Acquiring The Taste

Artist: Gentle Giant
Label: Vertigo
Catalog#: VEL-1005
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1971-08
A1 Pantagruel's Nativity  
A2 Edge Of Twilight  
A3 The House, The Street, The Room  
A4 Acquiring The Taste  
B1 Wreck  
B2 The Moon Is Down  
B3 Black Cat  
B4 Plain Truth  

Bass, Violin, Viola, Violin [Electric], Guitar [Spanish, 12-string], Tambourine, Percussion [Skulls], Vocals, Written-by – Ray Shulman
Drums, Tambourine, Gong [Gongs] – Martin Smith (12)
Electric Piano, Organ, Mellotron, Vibraphone, Synthesizer [Moog], Piano, Harpsichord, Timpani, Lead Vocals, Written-by – Kerry Minnear
Guitar [6-string, 12-string, 12-string Wah-wah], Vocals – Gary Green
Programmed By [Moog] – Chris Thomas
Recorder, Bass Drum, Triangle, Producer – Tony Visconti
Saxophone, Clarinet, Trumpet, Piano, Claves, Maracas, Lead Vocals, Written-By – Phil Shulman*
Saxophone, Clavichord, Bells, Lead Vocals, Written-By – Derek Shulman
Trumpet, Organ – Paul Cosh


Fold-out cover and originally released with a swirl label.

Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
The title of Gentle Giant’s second album, Acquiring The Taste, was of course a reference to their musical oeuvre. The liner notes insist, “It has taken every shred of our combined musical and technical knowledge… to expand the frontiers of contemporary popular music.” And there you have it: the progressive ethos! The band plays what seems to be an orchestra of instruments over the course of the album. From the baroque recorders on “Wreck” to the alto and tenor saxophones of “The Moon Is Down,” Giant extend the range of their music in a genuinely eclectic way. Remember, this was 1971: If you wanted new sounds, you had to come up with them on your own; there were no magic buttons to press. The string quartet on “Black Cat” is highly effective, lending warmth to the feline interpretation. And dig the Walter Carlos-esque Moog synthesizer of the title track. Throughout the album, the Giant’s performance is, of course, consummate, as is Tony Visconti’s impeccable production. Both “Plain Truth” and “The House, the Street, the Room” carry a familiar heaviness the band would often revisit. Lyrically, the album also stretches out, referencing the literary works of 16th century humanist François Rabelais in “Pantagruel’s Nativity.” The liner notes further describe and predict the album’s conclusion: “to give you something far more substantial… at the risk of being very unpopular.” For the most part, Gentle Giant succeed on both counts: Their technical ability was enormous, and their albums did not sell very well. The album was their first to see release in the US, yet it failed again to chart. Gentle Giant would, however, record another two albums for Vertigo.
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