Gentle Giant - Acquiring the Taste

Album cover

  1. Pantagruel's Nativity (6:52)
  2. Edge Of Twilight (3:51)
  3. The House, The Street, The Room (6:06)
  4. Acquiring the Taste (1:39)
  5. Wreck (4:39)
  6. The Moon is Down (4:48)
  7. Black Cat (3:53)
  8. Plain Truth (7:35)

Mercury, 1971

also by Gentle Giant:

see also... Yes, King Crimson

From the title I was led to believe this would be some kind of bizarre early left-field experiment. Maybe it seemed like that at the time, but in hindsight it now seems like a warm up for their later, more adventurous stuff. You can sense that they're going in that direction, but it doesn't yet have the consistency.

In any case it's still more interesting than Yes's early hippy stuff, and has some inventive instrumental arrangements. The trumpet and organ interplay on the first track brings to mind Curved Air. This song has a good strong, straightforward but interesting riff and tune. "The Edge Of Twilight" has a spooky, echoey atmosphere. "The House..." is a grinding rocker that dissolves into some twiddly improvisation. The title track is a little instrumental interlude. "Wreck" starts off with some unison blues-rock, but contrasts this with some medieval piping and a Moody Blues-like symphonic flourish. "The Moon Is Down" isn't that interesting, but "Black Cat" is a fun piece with a slinky string theme, pizzicato blips and miaowing noises on guitars! The final track has more simple unison rock, but tinged with jazzy instrumental breaks.

A great album by anyone else's standards, but much better things were to come.

September 15, 2003

7 out of 10

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written and maintained by Christopher Jackson