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Acquiring the Taste


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Audio CD, April 20, 1990
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 20, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fontana Island
  • ASIN: B000001FW9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,855 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Pantagruel's Nativity
2. Edge Of Twilight
3. The House, The Street, The Room
4. Acquiring The Taste
5. Wreck
6. The Moon is Down
7. Black Cat
8. Plain Truth

Editorial Reviews

Only one band could mix Gregorian chant and hard rock (okay, two, the Yardbirds did it), and that was Gentle Giant, and never better than on this, their second record, released by Vertigo in 1971. Featuring such masterpieces as Pantagruel's Nativity and Edge of Twilight.

Customer Reviews

This new re-mastered version sounds great!
John C. Stewart
Simply put, it is progressive music that truely lives up to that label, and sounds as unique and daring as it did then.
Paul Minot
Gentle Giant were one of the truly great bands from the Seventies , their music was totally indefinable .
Kim Fletcher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 9, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I first listened to this album many years ago when my older sister gave me an original vinyl record. She had bought it on the recommendation of a friend but had no idea what to make of it. I listened to it a few times, thought it rather odd but interesting then filed it away and forgot about it for over twenty years. Some months ago while unpacking from a move, it fell out of a stack of records and I set up the turntable to give it a spin for old times sake. What a revelation! I've never heard a group that has tried such an ambitious and unique mix of styles and sounds. I suppose that my maturation has helped me to appreciate what I could not quite "get" as a teenager. It certainly does not contain any radio-friendly cuts, but if you have the time to sit and listen with an open mind you will be greatly rewarded. Especially "tasty" are "Black Cat", "Pantagruel's Nativity" and "The House, The Street". I have since listened to most of the later albums by the Giant but find that they pale in comparison. Could it have been the production by Tony Visconti that makes the difference? He seems to have been the "hidden hand" behind the seminal works of some other talented groups and artists in the early 70's. Whatever the secret, Aquiring the Taste is a remarkable achievement that has held up very well over the years.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By David J. Loftus on August 30, 2000
Format: Audio CD
"It is our goal to expand the frontiers of contemporary popular music at the risk of being very unpopular," read the 1971 liner notes to the second album by this unique British progressive rock band. At this remove, the statement sounds combative, even defensive, and time would show that Gentle Giant indeed would have liked to have won the kind of broad acclaim and sales enjoyed by such colleagues as Yes, Genesis, and Jethro Tull. Such, alas, was not to be, but their courage was impressive at the time, and over the course of a decade and nearly a dozen albums they would achieve their aesthetic goals and record some amazing and unforgettable work.
Sporting three lead vocalists at this point and playing an aggregate of more than 30 musical instruments in studio and on stage, Gentle Giant wedded classical to rock, madrigals to blues, and simple sweet ballads to near heavy metal and complex time signatures. Theirs was a music that demanded sophisticated musical taste and concentration of its listeners as much as emotion and an urge to dance.
Some Giant fans count this album among their favorites. I find it a bit too atmospheric and meandering on certain cuts, though never boring. "Edge of Twilight" is languid, dreamy, a little ominous, with an instrumental break that moves from delicate arpeggios and feathering of the keyboard to timpani and xylophone. "Black Cat" is another sly tune with electric guitar and keyboards quietly meowing under Kerry Minnear's understated vocal.
For the title cut Minnear plays a brief (1:36) and gentle Baroque theme on calliope-like keyboards that whistle and bomp in counterpoint.
Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Alan Caylow on August 30, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I love what Gentle Giant wrote on the inside of their second album, 1971's "Acquiring The Taste": "It is our goal to expand the frontiers of contemporary popular music at the risk of being very unpopular." That pretty much sums up this daring British band, never achieving big commercial success in their 10 years together but not really caring either, as long as they made great music, and on their own terms. And they did. "Acquiring The Taste" is one of Gentle Giant's finest efforts, a superb prog-rock disc. My personal favorites: "Pantagruel's Nativity" is a stunning piece, with the band mixing classical, folk, rock, mellotron, and operatic vocals into a supreme musical blend. The title track is a brief but very-cool Moog synthesiser instrumental, courtesy of keyboardist Kerry Minnear. "Wreck" is a great rocker. "Black Cat" is one of my all-time favorite GG songs, a spooky little number with excellent string decorations throughout, and the 7 1/2 minute "Plain Truth" is another favorite Gentle Giant staple. The band's boldness, musicianship, and studio experimentation is mighty impressive on this album. "Acquiring The Taste" is another terrific prog-rock offering from the terrific Gentle Giant.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 5, 2001
Format: Audio CD
A lot of GG fans seem divided on this album. I'm defiantely on the positive side of the fence, and this album is a personal favourite of mine.
It all starts off with, what may very well be, the best GG song they ever wrote, and one of my favourite songs from any band, 'Pantraguel's Nativity'. You really have to hear this song to believe it, it's that good. The bass work, guitar work & keys are all written to perfection. The vocal section in the "chorus" still sends chills down my spine...
Up next is 'Edge of Twilight', a nice little track complete with timpani and xylophone, followed by 'The House, The Street, The Room". This is the second Gentle Giant song I ever heard, and one of the stronger songs on the album. It's a rocking tune, and pretty darn catchy, yet about as far as you can get from a "pop tune"...
The title track is a rather odd little instrumental by keyboardist Kerry Minnear. It's only short, and neither adds nor subtracts from my enjoyment of the album...
'Wreck', or as I like to call it, "The Pirate Song", is an enjoyable song, and the first Gentle Giant song I learnt to play on the bass! However I must admit I haven't added many more GG songs to my repertoire... not because I don't want to, simply because I *can't*!
'The Moon is Down' is a nice quiet track, with a fantastic middle section. The last two tracks, 'Black Cat' and 'Plain Truth' never really grew on me. 'Plain Truth' in particular was a song I never really warmed to, but the other fantastic songs on the album make up for it.
As with their debut, and the album that followed this one, these probably aren't a great starting point for new commers to the GG flock. This album in particular has a very... I guess you could say... eerie tone to it that isn't really prevelant in later albums, but It's something that I personally enjoy.
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