Acquiring the Taste
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.
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
(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)
- Pantagruel's Nativity (6:50)
- Edge Of Twilight (3:47)
- The House, The Street, The Room (6:01)
- Acquiring The Taste (1:36)
- Wreck (4:36)
- The Moon Is Down (4:45)
- Black Cat (3:51)
- Plain Truth (7:36)
- submitted by Jerry McCarthy
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
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
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.
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
Lead vocals: ensemble (verses), Derek (chorus)
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
Cool stuff in the music
- The story told in Pantagruel's Nativity comes from French mythology and is taken from the book Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais. Same for The Advent Of Panurge on Octopus. Check out The Pantagruelion for full info on these French giants.
- The first six notes of Pantagruel's Nativity are repeated throughout the piece within different themes (thanks to Donald Prince):
- At 0:00, these first 6 notes starts off the piece
- At 0:25, introduction of the vocal melody.
- At 1:50, strummed on the guitar.
- At 3:09, after the grandiose vocal arrangement (Pantagruel born, the earth was...).
- At 3:28, in the vibraphone solo.
- At 4:07, in the guitar solo.
- At 5:18, trumpet plays the melody within the new orchestration of said part.
- The chromatic vocal harmonies in the chorus of Pantagruel's Nativity are thoroughly analyzed in Proclamation issue number 4.
- Edge Of Twilight begins with the words "The moon is down": the title of track 6, The Moon Is Down. (Thanks to Jerry McCarthy.) Likewise, The Moon Is Down contains the phrase "edge of twilight" (at 1:06).
- Listen to Schoenberg's "Heimfahrt" (Homeward Journey) from Pierrot Lunaire. You'll notice a melody that Gentle Giant used for their song Edge Of Twilight. (Thanks to Jeff Clement.)
- The first four notes of Edge Of Twilight are the same as those of "God Save the Queen," which Gentle Giant used to perform as The Queen. It is unknown whether this was intentional or coincidental. (Thanks to David McCalman.)
- The guitar solo in The House, The Street, The Room is played over a whole tone scale. (Thanks to Michael Beauvois.) During the solo, around 2:51 in the right-hand speaker, you can hear an intense scream, "YEEEEAAAAHHHH" in the background. (Thanks to Donald Prince.)
- The main theme from The Moon Is Down, played on saxophones, contains a quote from Medea by the classical composer Samuel Barber. (Thanks to Jeremy Lakatos.)
- The title of The Moon Is Down is found in Shakespeare's Macbeth, Act II, Scene 1, Line 2. (Thanks to Jason Rubin.) In addition, John Steinbeck had a book of the same name, and according to E. Shaun Russell, "upon reading the lyrics (and having read the book a few years back) there is a distinct possibility that the song was named after Steinbeck's book rather than Shakespeare's line."
- In Black Cat, at the beginning of the instrumental part around 1:30, you can hear quiet whispers of a band member saying "one, two, three, four," before entering with his instrument. (Thanks to Adar Zandberg.)
- The voice ordering food from Wimpeys (in Plain Truth) is Gary Green.
|Acquiring.mid||Acquiring The Taste (song)||Acquiring the Taste||Dan Bornemark|
This list is not necessarily complete, and various releases are out of print.
|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|
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.
- Acquiring the Taste review by Glen Bourgeois
- Acquiring the Taste review by Jason Rubin
- George Starostin review