Taste is one of the five senses, along with touch, smell, sight, and sound. There are five different types of taste: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and ‘umami’ (from the Japanese word for ‘savory’).
Of course, taste often has nothing to do with food and is used metaphorically. For example, ‘good taste’ (meaning ‘good judgment’), or ‘a taste’ (‘a little bit of’) love.
Ok, time for the main course. Here are the best songs about taste (or with ‘taste’ in the title) to get your tastebuds tingling :-).
‘A Taste of Honey’ – The Beatles
Written by Bobby Scott and Ric Marlow for the play A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney and popularized by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.
The version we include here appeared on The Beatles album Please, Please Me and became a regular on their concert circuit (including Hamburg) in the early 60s.
‘Need a Little Taste of Love’ – The Isley Brothers
Here’s an example of a love song where the word ‘taste’ is used figuratively. Here, the narrator desperately needs a little (a ‘taste’) of love.
“Might as well face the facts, no need to be holdin’ back, need a little taste of love.”
‘Good Taste’ – Lou Reed
This outtake of Reed’s Sally Can’t Dance album isn’t a song about food – instead, he’s singing about a girl who has ‘good taste’ (taste = judgment) because she likes him.
How modest 🙂
‘Taste the Ceiling’ – Wilco
In many ways, Wilco are the epitome of good taste. Fine songwriting, competent musicianship, well respected by many.
‘Taste the Ceiling’ is from their humorously titled Star Wars album (with the cat on the front) and sees singer Jeff Tweedy conjure up a performance that’s reminscent of John Lennon.
“I was only after a friend to follow through,” he laments.
‘Taste the Floor’ – The Jesus & Mary Chain
‘Taste the Floor’ appeared on this Scottish indie band’s debut (and highly influential) album, Psychocandy.
In many ways, the album – and this song from side one – paved the way for the shoegazing genre. Bands such as ‘My Bloody Valentine’ were heavily influenced by it – as can be heard on their track ‘When You Sleep’ from our list of popular songs about sleep playlist.
‘Taste The Pain’ – Red Hot Chili Peppers
From the Chili Pepper’s late ’80s album Mother’s Milk, ‘Taste The Pain’ was written by singer Anthony Kiedis about kicking his drug habit. But, unfortunately, he’d also just lost the band’s guitarist (Hillel Slovak) to a heroin overdose.
“Walk away and taste the pain, come again some other day.”
‘You Got Good Taste’ – The Cramps
Another song about ‘good taste’ (though at one point the singer does mention ‘tomato paste’), ‘You Got Good Taste,’ is by cult band The Cramps.
The much-loved band were notable for having a great female guitarist (called Poison Ivy.) Check out her solo halfway through.
‘Sugar Never Tasted So Good’ – The White Stripes
There are plenty of songs about sugar and the taste of sugar. “Sugar never tasted so good,” singer Jack White confesses, “until her soul fell next to me.”
‘Taste’ – Animal Collective
Psychedelic popsters’ Animal Collective’ make pretty unusual music, and this one is no exception. This is from their popular 2009 album, Merriweather Post Pavilion.
“Am I really all the things that are outside of me?” singer Brian ‘Geologist’ Weitz asks.
‘Tastebud’ – Grateful Dead
This bluesy number from ’67 (sometimes called ‘Come Back Baby’) has the original frontman (Pigpen) on vocals and sounds like it’s straight out of a Muddy Waters set.
Some excellent lead guitar from a young Jerry Garcia, too, was a sign of things to come.
‘Taster’ – Grandaddy
In the days of old, a ‘taster’ tested the King or Queen’s food to make sure it hadn’t had poison added to it. No surprise that the average life expectancy of someone in this job wasn’t particularly long (especially if the ruler had many enemies).
Here, the taster eats poisoned food (“rival sabotage a bad pot of duck stew”). Everyone applauds him (“taster you’re the automatic saint”), but it’s unlikely that would make him feel any better!
‘I Get a Little Taste of You’ – Z-Rock Hawaii
In 1994, Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo (better known as Gene and Dean Ween from the cult band ‘Ween’) collaborated with ‘Boredoms,’ a Japanese noise rock band.
Collectively, they went by the name ‘Z-Rock Hawaii.’ ‘I Get a Little Taste of You’ was one of their quirky compositions.
“The only thing I do, when I find I’m feeling blue, is get a little taste of you.”
‘Brown Sugar’ – The Rolling Stones
We couldn’t write a list of songs with taste in them without mentioning the Stones’ classic, Brown Sugar.
Ok, it’s not about taste as such, but the line “Brown Sugar, how come you taste so good?” gives it the right to appear.
Besides, does a song by The Stones ever need to be justified? Nah, not really. Enjoy 🙂