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Gentle Giant - Acquiring the Taste CD (album) cover

ACQUIRING THE TASTE

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.24 | 993 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Peter Pan
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This is a review of the remastered edition of "Acquiring the Taste" published in 2006 by Repertoire Records.

You will hear this album as if you hear it for the first time. Digital remastering has been done in a marvellous way and made this very jewel shine more than it ever did. All instruments sound so clear and separate as if the band had been in a modern studio just yesterday. (Only the vibraphone in "Pantagruel's Nativity" turns out to sound somewhat blurred compared to the original vinyl LP.) On my stereo I can hear absolutely no band hiss or at least none that is distinct from the hiss of the amplifier at high volume.

The music of this album is fresh and exciting as it has ever been. Once again and even more than before on vinyl the remastered production reveals the beautiful arrangements, the mastery of each of the six musicians and their perfect collaboration as a band.

"Acquiring the Taste" was cutting edge at the time it was originally produced - in 1971 - speaking in terms of popular music and recording techniques. It's innovative blend of rock, blues, jazz, classic and medieval music is unreached.

The remastered edition gives extensive chance to study the complex structure of this album and the playing of the different musicians. Basses can be heard more clearly than on vinyl. And especially the invaluable contributions of guitarist Gary Green stand out more clearly than before - the experts always knew the important role of this fine member of the band.

The music is real art. Each track is a masterpiece on its own. No other album of Gentle Giant with the exception of "The Power and the Glory" was as avantgardistic and adventurous as this one. Though the concept album "Three Friends", the follow-up to "Acquiring the Taste", was the most coherent and maybe the best album of Gentle Giant.

My favourites are:

- the opening track "Pantagruel's Nativity" with a unique atmosphere that only Gentle Giant could produce and which I would call "Swinging Electronic Middle Ages";

- "The House, The Street, The Room" with the extraordinary introducing riff;

- of course "Wreck", the still breathtaking hymn to all wrecked sailsmen, in which bass, guitar, synth and voices produce a thrilling sound that makes you nearly see and feel the "boiling hell" of the roaring waves;

- "Plain Truth", where Ray Shulman lets its electric violin howl and cry only to let the band break in with an existentialistic chorus: "You stand and wonder / Just let it warm your skin / Take all the living / Live life and let it win / Plain truth means nothing / Cry, laugh and cry again / You question answers / Born, live and die, Amen".

The cover in the so-called digi-sleeve format has been carefully reproduced and mimics the originally fold-out cover. It contains a little poster with the lyrics in magnified text size and a story of Gentle Giant. The "Repertoire" lable states this edition has been limited to 3000 copies and promises a corresponding certificate on its web site.

Can't believe, not 25 but 35 years ago now...

Peter Pan | 5/5 |

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