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Taste was an Irish rock band formed in the 1960s and is most noted for the fact that musician Rory Gallagher was an original member.
Taste (originally "The Taste") was formed in Cork, Ireland in August 1966 as a trio consisting of Rory Gallagher on guitars & vocals, Eric Kitteringham on bass, and Norman Damery on drums. In their early years Taste toured in Hamburg and Ireland before becoming regulars at Maritime Hotel, an R&B club in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
In 1968 Taste began performing in the UK where the original lineup split up. The new lineup formed with Richard McCracken on bass and John Wilson on drums. The new Taste moved permanently to London where they signed with the record label Polydor. While with Polydor, Taste began touring the United States and Canada with the British supergroup Blind Faith. In 1969 Taste released their first two studio recordings, the self-titled "Taste" first and "On The Boards" soon following, the latter showing Rory and the band's jazz influences with Gallagher playing saxophone on numerous tracks. In November, the band, along with Yes, opened for Cream at Cream's farewell concerts.
Perhaps their most notable performance came in 1970 as part of the Isle of Wight Festival, joining such notable musicians as Jimi Hendrix and The Who. They were well-received by those in attendance, ultimately being called back for five encores. Later the same year Taste would once more tour Europe before performing their last show on New Year's Eve in Belfast. In 1970 Taste split leaving frontman Rory Gallagher to pursue his solo career.
Some years after the band's untimely split, earlier recordings featuring the original lineup emerged. These are rough and ready runthroughs, some of which would have had appeared on the first Taste album. Fascinating for fans, not least because of the quality of Gallagher's guitar playing is not evident. Whereas his fretwork would appear on the later version, the solo slots here are filled by his harmonica playing.
In the August 2006 issue of Blues in Britain it was revealed that John Wilson has made Taste active once again. Bass player Richard McCracken will join Sam Davidson on guitars. www.taste.uk.com.
The fact that they, like so many late-'60s contemporaries, were molded in the image of Cream has often been cited to diminish the stature of Irish power trio Taste. But, all things being equal, it's impossible to dismiss their fine eponymous debut based solely on obvious source of inspiration, nor, by any means, the singular talents of the band's creative and performing focal point, vocalist and guitarist Rory Gallagher вЂ” barely 20 years of age upon its release in 1969. After opening with the menacing staccatos and power chords of the forward-looking, proto-metal classic "Blister on the Moon," Taste turn right back around and indulge their retro-fueled Brit-blues influences with a bottleneck run through Leadbelly's "Leavin' Blues" вЂ” a show of contrasts that speaks volumes to the breadth of Gallagher's instrumental versatility.
The blues keep coming with the guitarist's self-penned showcase "Sugar Mama" and a more restrained acoustic "Hail," then the hard rock fires are stoked once again with "Born on the Wrong Side of Town" вЂ” a track whose regional folk music accents did much to foment Gallagher's enduring status as a blue-collar, Emerald Isle legend. And so it goes until the album's conclusion: with alternating glimpses of past and future musical tendencies peppering remaining tracks "Same Old Story," "Dual Carriageway Pain" (both gritty blues-rockers showing riffs that sometimes smacked of the then brand-new Led Zeppelin), "Catfish" (a traditional blues standard turned monster jam), and "I'm Moving On" (a spare but spunk-filled Hank Snow cover).
Ultimately, it's a stylistic stew that would arguably get honed to better focus and achieve greater distinction from the competition on Taste's second album, a year later. But who's to say that Taste didn't have almost as much influence as Cream on future bands such as Rush, whose early records are quite literally mapped out on this release вЂ” a worthy addition to collections of this exciting period in British rock.
01. 'Blister on the Moon' 02. 'Leaving Blues' 03. 'Sugar Mama' 04. 'Hail' 05. 'Born on the Wrong Side of Time' 06. 'Dual Carriageway Pain' 07. 'Same Old Story' 08. 'Catfish' 09. 'I'm Moving On'
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