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Acquiring the Taste

Gentle GiantAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

Price: $8.19 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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MP3 Music, 8 Songs, 2011 $4.99  
Audio CD, 1990 $8.19  
Vinyl, Original recording, 1971 $182.00  

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Acquiring the Taste + Gentle Giant + Octopus
Price for all three: $37.45

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 20, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fontana Island
  • ASIN: B000001FW9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,997 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "food for thought" August 9, 1999
By A Customer
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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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A strange and beautiful work 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.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Acquiring The Taste For Gentle Giant 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Sophomore effort... 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another great edition to my music library!
Published 2 months ago by PervySageChuck
4.0 out of 5 stars not my favourite gentle giant album but that doesn't mean it isn't ...
not my favourite gentle giant album but that doesn't mean it isn't good. stand out songs - wreck and plain truth
Published 3 months ago by ...
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm....Did Gentle Giant hate their audience ?
I wonder why I balked on this one in the day ? I liked Giant enough to see them in concert and they were superb. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Keith Nathan Albrecht
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Re-discovery
In 1973 I discovered Gentle Giant through their "Octopus" album. I then worked my way backwards to "Three Friends" and "Acquiring The Taste". Read more
Published 5 months ago by Steven A. Blomerth DC
5.0 out of 5 stars Clean Sound
I owned this album on LP many years ago, it sounded like it was recorded over the phone. This new re-mastered version sounds great! Read more
Published 14 months ago by John C. Stewart
5.0 out of 5 stars Wanted this one for quite a while.
I've been a fan of the Giant's since I was in my early 20's. I had a hard time finding their CD's for a number of years and quite frankly I forgot about them. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Paul Progman
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
I knew this CD a long time ago. I am very satisfied. I recommend this CD to every prog rock fans
Published 19 months ago by Carlos Jardim
5.0 out of 5 stars classic
love this eclectic album. so far from pop, it varies style with each song. golden age stuff. complex and interesting from beginning to end.
Published 19 months ago by beergeekjoey
4.0 out of 5 stars I DON'T WANT A TASTE !
I like this album,not as much as The Power and the Glory but it holds my attention in some places more than others. Read more
Published 20 months ago by cary
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle Giant - Acquiring The Taste
All of Gentle Giant's early works are pretty much flawless and the knowingly titled Acquiring The Taste is no exception. Read more
Published on April 10, 2012 by Gentlegiantprog
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