Acquiring the Taste

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For other uses of "Acquiring the Taste", see Acquiring the Taste (disambiguation).

About the Album

Gentle Giant's second album was a departure from the blues and soul influences found on their debut: more experimental, more dissonant, and even more diverse instrumentation. From the liner notes:

"Acquiring the taste is the second phase of sensory pleasure. If you've gorged yourself on our first album, then relish the finer flavours (we hope) of this, our second offering.

"It is our goal to expand the frontiers of contemporary music at the risk of being very unpopular. we have recorded each composition with the one thought - that it should be unique, adventurous and fascinating. It has taken every shred of our combined musical and technical knowledge to achieve this.

"From the outset we have abandoned all preconceived thoughts on blatant commercialism. Instead we hope to give you something far more substantial and fulfilling. All you need to do is sit back, and acquire the taste."

This album was also released in the Motive series by Mercury, but only the word "Motive" appears on the cover, so it looks like the album title.

Musicians

Gary Green - 6 string guitar, 12 string guitar, 12 string wah-wah guitar, donkey's jawbone, cat calls, voice

Kerry Minnear - electric piano, organ, mellotron, vibraphone, Moog, piano, celeste, clavichord, harpsichord, tympani, maracas, lead vocals

Derek Shulman - alto sax, clavichord, cowbell, lead vocals

Phil Shulman - alto & tenor sax, clarinet, trumpet, piano, claves, maracas, lead vocals

Ray Shulman - bass, violin, viola, electric violin, Spanish guitar, tambourine, 12 string guitar, organ bass pedals, skulls, vocals

Martin Smith - drums, tambourine, gongs, side drum

Assisted by Paul Cosh (trumpet, organ) and Tony Visconti (recorder, bass drum, triangle).

(Dan's note: other members of the band played recorder too, though this is not listed on the album cover.)

Other liner notes:

  We are deeply indebted to:
  Martin Rushent, Big A and Garybaldi at Advision Studios
  Bill Price at A.I.R. Studios
  Chris Thomas - Moog Programmer
  Paul Cosh - Ace Trumpeter and Good Viber
  Park - Amplifiers that don't give up

  Produced by Tony Visconti

  (Arranged by Gentle Giant)

  All pieces written by: Shulman, Shulman, Shulman and Minnear
  All selections published by Dick James Music, Inc. (BMI)

Track List

  1. Pantagruel's Nativity (6:50)
  2. Edge Of Twilight (3:47)
  3. The House, The Street, The Room (6:01)
  4. Acquiring The Taste (1:36)
  5. Wreck (4:36)
  6. The Moon Is Down (4:45)
  7. Black Cat (3:51)
  8. Plain Truth (7:36)

Lyrics

All lyrics reproduced with the permission of DRT Entertainment (USA) and Alucard Publishing, Ltd. (UK).

- submitted by Jerry McCarthy

Pantagruel's Nativity

Lead vocals: Kerry

How can I laugh or cry
When my mind is sorely torn?
Badabec had to die
Fair Pantagruel is born
Shall I weep, yes, for why?
Then laugh and show my scorn

Born with a strength untold
Foreseen to have great age
Set in Gargantuan mould,
Joyful laugh, yet quick to rage
Princely wisdom, habits bold;
Power, glory, lauded sage

Pantagruel born -- the earth was dry and burning
In Paradise dear Badabec prays for him
Pantagruel born -- the earth was dry and burning
In Paradise dear Badabec prays for him.

Pantagruel born -- the earth was dry and burning
In Paradise dear Badabec prays for him

How can I laugh or cry
When my mind is sorely torn?
Badabec had to die;
Fair Pantagruel is born
Shall I weep, yes, for why?
Then laugh and show my scorn.

Edge Of Twilight

For other uses of "Edge of Twilight", see Edge of Twilight (disambiguation).

Lead vocals: Kerry

The moon is down
Casting its shadow over the night-haunted town
Mystical figures under the silence of light

The trembling air
Drifts slowly unseen over the houses there
And echoes changing into the voices of night

On the edge of twilight whispering
Whisper, whisper, whisper, whisper,
On the edge of twilight whispering
Whisper, whisper, whisper, whisper

Elusive time
In limbo active in never ending mime
The edge of twilight into the darkness of day

The House, The Street, The Room

Lead vocals: Derek

The room and street are known only to me and a few
I won't tell nobody
A place to meet where no-one can tell you what to do
I won't tell nobody
Here,
Awake in sleep
Together

My time is spent in chains and confusion in my head
I don't tell nobody
I keep my pains and swallow the harsh tears that I shed
I don't tell nobody
Here,
In reverie
Together

I find escape in the street, in the house, in the room
I become somebody
I cast my die and leave all my troubles in the room
I become somebody
Here,
Awake in sleep
Together

Acquiring The Taste

Instrumental

Wreck

Lead vocals: Derek (verses), Kerry (middle section)

The ship's rising up from the sea to the sky heyeheh Hold on
Just one sorry scream and a desperate cry heyeheh Hold on
Their lives pass before them before they die heyeheh --

The sea yawns around like a boiling hell heyeheh hold on
And souls disappear with the toll of that bell heyeheh hold on
The arms of the sea they are dragging them down heyeheh hold on
And sorrows and sins they are lost as they drown heyeheh --

How strange when you think that the sea was their way;
And a meaningless death is the price they pay
For their living was made from the deep
To their people in comfort and keep
Keep all their people and places there
Never to be seen again, never to be loved and their last embrace --
And the kiss has a salt bitter taste

Now all that remains is the deep cruel sea heyeheh hold on
And wreckage of things that used to be heyeheh hold on
No stone marks the place of that watery grave heyeheh hold on
Together they die both the weak and the brave heyeheh hold on

The arms of the sea.... etc.

The Moon Is Down

Lead vocals: Derek, Phil

And the horse riding up through the red skies
The moon is down
With a gold coloured bird through the cloud flies
The moon is down
Look East to the Sun, Oh where do they run
Look East to the Sun, Oh where do they run
They live in my dreams,
  in my dreams, in my dreams

And the Moon and the Earth they were mating
The moon is down
And the Angels of hell they were waiting
The moon is down
Oh bride of the winds, Reward for their sins
Oh bride of the winds, Reward for their sins
They live in my dreams,
  in my dreams, in my dreams

There's a chaos of visions and voices
Sad is the laugh of the clown
  now the old moon is down.

Black Cat

Lead vocals: Phil

There's a cat prowling through the streets at night
And she's black and her eyes are burning yellow
fierce and bright
The lights are darkened;
Senses sharpened;
Wide awake

As she acts out her past of Jungle days
When the night was her friend in many other
different ways
It gave protection
Of detection
By her prey

With a sway and swing she walks away
And the look in her eye it never seems
to say
The way she's feeling
No revealing,
Black Cat Ways

Plain Truth

Lead vocals: ensemble (verses), Derek (chorus)

Gary: "Tell Frank to order me...uh...two Wimpeys and a portion of chips, will ya? With onions, and tomato sauce on the chips, please."

Why do you question
When there's no answer told?
Plain truth is nothing
You can't buy it when it's sold

Save all your money
And they won't reason why
Why all the worry?
They'll spend it when you die

Chorus:
Don't look for something
Plain truth is nothing,
  nothing but the plain truth

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

Chorus:
Don't look for something
Plain truth is nothing,
  nothing but the plain truth

first and second verse and chorus

Music files

MIDI files

MIDI File Title Album Contributor
Acquiring.mid Acquiring The Taste (song) Acquiring the Taste Dan Bornemark

Sheet music

Sheet Music File Title Album Contributor
Acquiring-the-taste-akutche.zip Acquiring The Taste (song) Acquiring the Taste Alexander Kutsche
Acquiring-the-taste-van-de-hart.png Acquiring The Taste (song) Acquiring the Taste Paul van de Hart
Edge Of Twilight WheatWilliams.zip Edge Of Twilight Acquiring the Taste Wheat Williams, Phil Smith
Wreck WheatWilliams.zip Wreck Acquiring the Taste Wheat Williams, Phil Smith
The Moon Is Down WheatWilliams.zip The Moon Is Down Acquiring the Taste Wheat Williams, Phil Smith
Black Cat WheatWilliams.zip Black Cat Acquiring the Taste Wheat Williams, Phil Smith
Plain Truth WheatWilliams.zip Plain Truth Acquiring the Taste Wheat Williams, Phil Smith
The House The Street WheatWilliams.zip The House, The Street, The Room Acquiring the Taste Wheat Williams, Phil Smith
Pantagruels Nativity WheatWilliams.zip Pantagruels Nativity Acquiring the Taste Wheat Williams, Phil Smith

CD releases

This list is not necessarily complete, and various releases are out of print.

Country Label Information
Germany LINE Records, LICD 9.00726
Germany Vertigo/Polygram, 842 917-2
USA Vertigo/Polygram, 842 917-2
UK Vertigo/Polygram, 842 917-2
Japan Nippon Phonogram Co., Ltd., PHCR-4202
Repertoire Records Germany

Defects

On the LINE, Vertigo, and Nippon discs, the first two notes of track 4, "Acquiring the Taste" are out of tune. In fact, the first note slides upward and sounds strangely "filtered" as well. Some people believe this is not a defect because their vinyl versions of the song also begin this way. But some vinyl versions do not. A correct answer has finally been obtained from the composer, Kerry Minnear. Yes, it is a defect. In fact, Kerry has never even heard the "bending" version of the piece! He guesses that maybe someone damaged a master tape and then tried to repair it. [Big thanks to Geir Hasnes for tracking down the answer!]

The compilation album Edge of Twilight does not have the "bent first note" defect.

The LINE disc misspells the album title as "Aquiring the Taste" on the spine of the case.

Reviews

See also