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Gentle Giant - Acquiring The Taste CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.26 | 1362 ratings

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Post/Math Rock Team
5 stars I would have loved to have heard this album when it first came out. I'm sure there wasn't much around to compare it to. This is a band that did not show it's infuences at all. This album was more experimental and 'progressive' than the self titled debut. From the liner notes: "It is our goal to expand the frontiers of contemporary popular music at the risk of being very unpopular." It goes on to say: "From the outset we have abandoned all preconceived thoughts on blatant commercialism." Goals achieved. Produced by Tony Visconti(who is best know for working with David Bowie), this album has something that is sadly lacking in a lot of prog....a funny cover!(it's really an apple, or a pear or some kind of fruit).

So you get your English folk music mixed with hard rock mixed with jazz mixed with classical and so on. On the last song "Plain Truth" GG sounds like a mix of Kansas and Lynyrd Skynyrd, but before either band had released an album. "Black Cat" sounds like a Isaac Hayes song that for some reason has an avant-classical section spliced into the middle of it. Brilliant. The riffs on "The House, The Street, The Room" and "Wreck" are just more proof to me that in the early '70s, 'progressive rock' and 'heavy metal' had a lot of similarities. Most of the time I cannot tell who is singing but Derek Shulman doesn't sound as prominent here as he is on later albums. Lots of different instrumentation here used to good effect. I miss Phil Shulman's presence in later albums. Here he is an integral part of the music and it seems that after he left the band's sound became more technical and cold.

Gentle Giant were one of the first bands to ever use the Moog synthesizer. It is used on their debut but here it is used much more. In fact, the title track is nothing but Moog. On this album they not only have their own unique sound but all the compositions have a life of their own. By the time of say, Free Hand, it seemed like they were starting to repeat themselves. Most of the members are multi-instrumentalists and helps add to the strength of Acquiring The Taste: it's diversity. This may or may not be a good place to start with Gentle Giant, but nonetheless deserves 5 stars for it's consistency, good production and overall ahead-of-it's-time-ness.

zravkapt | 5/5 |


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