Saturday, October 5, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Acquiring The Taste" (1971)

"Acquiring The Taste" - Gentle Giant  (1971)

The first time I played "Acquiring The Taste" I really liked it.  A few days later I played the album again and loved it!  The Allman Brothers wanted you to eat a peach.  Gentle Giant preferred you settle back and lick one.  This is some tasty (no pun) early prog from that little old band from London.  I'm just a caveman.  I'm no expert on the ways of prog.  But I enjoy the early stuff and this, the band's 2nd album, is amazing.  There are wonderful little Easter egg surprises in every song.  A variety of instruments are nicely incorporated.  Apparently, someone is playing a donkey jaw...(I had to google to see if that was really a thing.  It is.)  But my point is that with everything thrown in the pot...nothing sounds forced or contrived.

This is a good album for those wanting to dip their toe in the prog water.  From needle drop to label, Gentle Giant takes us on a wonderful journey.  The opening track "Pantagruel's Nativity" is prog perfection.  But the album also surprises with some legitimate rockers to satisfy that other itch.  And they do it without ever letting the listener forget where their bread is buttered.  “Wreck” is a cool seafaring rocker that'll have you raising your glass.  And the closing track and longest, “Plain Truth” is an in your face blues-rocker, but again with Gentle Giant sprinkling tasty prog dust throughout making it more than expected. "Acquiring The Taste" is a nice mind find.

"Acquiring The Taste" (back)

"Acquiring The Taste" (inside gatefold)

Vertigo label (side a)

Vertigo label (side b)


"Wreck" - Gentle Giant / "Acquiring The Taste" (1971)

TRACKS:
A1  "Pantagruel's Nativity"  6:49
A2  "Edge of Twilight"  3:48
A3  "The House, the Street, the Room"  6:04
A4  "Acquiring the Taste"  1:36
B1  "Wreck" 4:37
B2  "The Moon Is Down"  4:45
B3  "Black Cat"  3:53
B4  "Plain Truth"  7:42

PERSONNEL:
Kerry Minnear – piano, electric piano, Moog, organ, harpsichord, clavichord, celeste, Mellotron, cello, timpani, xylophone, vibraphone, maracas, tambourine, vocals, writer
Phil Shulman – vocals, tenor sax, alto sax, trumpet, clarinet, piano, claves, maracas, vocals, writer
Ray Shulman – bass, violin, electric violin, viola, 12 string guitar, organ, bass pedals, Spanish guitar, tambourine, vocals, writer
Derek Shulman - alto sax, clavichord, cowbell, vocals, writer
Gary Green – guitars, mandolin, bass, donkey's jawbone, catcalls, voice (8)
Martin Smith – drums, tambourine, gong, side drum
GUEST MUSICIANS:
Paul Cosh – trumpet, organ
Tony Visconti – descant recorders, treble recorder, tenor recorder, bass drum, triangle
Chris Thomas – Moog programmer

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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