Genesis

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Re: Genesis

Postby C » 05 Sep 2021, 12:27

slightbreeze wrote:
ConnyOlivetti wrote:
Mike Boom wrote:Keep your fingers out of my eye !

Lamb is definitely their masterpiece, I can only think that those not liking it are put off by the story because the playing and tunes are stellar throughout.
Its definitely harder and darker than anything else they have done, when you listen to things like the Waiting Room and Fly On A Windshield but it also has some of there most beautiful melodies in Hairless Heart and Lamia and even the distorted pop of Counting and Grand Parade and then there is the title track and Carpet Crawlers that stand even outside of the story. Its certainly there most impressive achievement, and it blows away most concept albums to be honest, its way better than Tommy for a start.


Hear, hear

the reason could also be that they want their Genesis
to be pastoral, english wimsy dimsy, or as Gabriel put it
"prancing around in fairyland was rapidly becoming obsolete" :D

Exactly, and that is why "The Lamb" kicks "Selling England" up the arse and round the block.


Bloody nonsense!




:lol:
LMG wrote:Everyone I have ever met was at Baker's Airforce show where it was recorded. My boss, various ex-girlfriends, my postman was reminiscing about it the other day. My Mum went, my Dad and both sets of grandparents. I got stuck at home with a babysitter!

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Re: Genesis

Postby mudshark » 05 Sep 2021, 20:30

Prog, as we all agree, is pretentious. And "Lamb', for me is taking it a step too far.. or 10. Same as 'Quadrophenia' is a bridge to far for Townsend, and pretty much everything ELP did. It's just utter crap. I played the album last weekend. Got through 2-1/2" sides and have been listening to proper country ever since.
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Re: Genesis

Postby trans-chigley express » 06 Sep 2021, 05:46

mudshark wrote:Prog, as we all agree, is pretentious. And "Lamb', for me is taking it a step too far.. or 10. Same as 'Quadrophenia' is a bridge to far for Townsend, and pretty much everything ELP did. It's just utter crap. I played the album last weekend. Got through 2-1/2" sides and have been listening to proper country ever since.

Were you listening to The Lamb expecting country? :?

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Re: Genesis

Postby Neil Jung » 06 Sep 2021, 17:59

I can’t agree that Quadrophenia was a bridge too far for Townsend and The Who. I think it’s magnificent.
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Re: Genesis

Postby mudshark » 06 Sep 2021, 18:47

I like a bit of prog. Good prog. Some Tull, bit of Yes, smidgen of Genesis, a lot of VDGG. But that lamb album is just unbearable.
As far as Quadrophenia is concerned, I think I would have liked it as a single album. Too much filler, that spoils it for me.
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Re: Genesis

Postby robertff » 06 Sep 2021, 18:56

Neil Jung wrote:I can’t agree that Quadrophenia was a bridge too far for Townsend and The Who. I think it’s magnificent.




Agreed, excellent album.



.

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Re: Genesis

Postby C » 08 Sep 2021, 16:35

robertff wrote:
Neil Jung wrote:I can’t agree that Quadrophenia was a bridge too far for Townsend and The Who. I think it’s magnificent.




Agreed, excellent album.



.


Indeed - their second best studio album after Who's Next therefore better than Tommy





.
LMG wrote:Everyone I have ever met was at Baker's Airforce show where it was recorded. My boss, various ex-girlfriends, my postman was reminiscing about it the other day. My Mum went, my Dad and both sets of grandparents. I got stuck at home with a babysitter!

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Re: Genesis

Postby Hightea » 08 Sep 2021, 19:50

mudshark wrote:Prog, as we all agree, is pretentious. And "Lamb', for me is taking it a step too far.. or 10. Same as 'Quadrophenia' is a bridge to far for Townsend, and pretty much everything ELP did. It's just utter crap. I played the album last weekend. Got through 2-1/2" sides and have been listening to proper country ever since.


speak for yourself as I'm not one who agrees that prog is pretentious and consider it one of the biggest BS in music critics and reviews especially when you look at music today. You trying to tell us that these prog musicians of the 70's are more pretentious then artist since the 70's? There is an endless list of artists today who are all about themselves, have bizarre live show setups, play with orchestras, change their vocals to different accents and reach their vocal peaks to show off, talk about political issues and controversial ideas just for publicity and shock factor, claim they are the best musician, rapper, vocalist etc. Musicians are full or this today and barely anyone picks on it and no one calls it pretentious.

mudshark wrote: "Lamb', for me is taking it a step too far.
In what way? Lamb is 4 sides of music with very little solos, nothing that technical, basic rock vibes and great vocals and lyrics. Does it have a few clunkers? sure most albums do. Does it tell a wacky story? yes but why does that make it pretentious? Are you stating that Gabriel took himself too serious because I've never seen that Gabriel is a performer and likes to entertain nowhere does he state that Lamb is the greatest piece of music ever. Sounds like you don't like the rock opera (guessing by your comments about Quad), why because an album is full of connecting stories it makes it bad? Don't get the argument please explain what makes Lamb pretentious?


We get it you don't like the album, big deal I don't like 100's of albums doesn't make them all pretentious.
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Re: Genesis

Postby Hightea » 08 Sep 2021, 19:51

robertff wrote:
Neil Jung wrote:I can’t agree that Quadrophenia was a bridge too far for Townsend and The Who. I think it’s magnificent.




Agreed, excellent album.



.

Quad is the Who's best album.

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Re: Genesis

Postby mudshark » 08 Sep 2021, 22:09

I don't really know much about the artists of today so I can't really comment much. I read about Kanye West, and I think he's a lot more pretentious than Peter Gabriel. I saw PG Live in Rotterdam, back in 2004 or 2005. It was the tour with the round stage and the giant bubble he'd roll all over the stage with. It was utter rubbish. Pompous and self-indulging. We left halfway through the show. I think my problem is more with PG than with Genesis as a band. But I just think as an album Lamb is rather boring and certainly has a pretty lousy sound, but that's due to the production. It has too many mediocre songs to make it into the higher echelons of prog music where albums like Passion Play and Godbluff reign. I had to laugh when I read PG's answer to the question if Rael was a tribute to Townsend's song of the same name: "maybe a subconscious tribute'. Maybe that's why I subconsciously compare the album with Quadrophenia.

Of course The Who's best studio album is By Numbers.
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Re: Genesis

Postby Neil Jung » 08 Sep 2021, 23:16

mudshark wrote:I don't really know much about the artists of today so I can't really comment much. I read about Kanye West, and I think he's a lot more pretentious than Peter Gabriel. I saw PG Live in Rotterdam, back in 2004 or 2005. It was the tour with the round stage and the giant bubble he'd roll all over the stage with. It was utter rubbish. Pompous and self-indulging. We left halfway through the show. I think my problem is more with PG than with Genesis as a band. But I just think as an album Lamb is rather boring and certainly has a pretty lousy sound, but that's due to the production. It has too many mediocre songs to make it into the higher echelons of prog music where albums like Passion Play and Godbluff reign. I had to laugh when I read PG's answer to the question if Rael was a tribute to Townsend's song of the same name: "maybe a subconscious tribute'. Maybe that's why I subconsciously compare the album with Quadrophenia.

Of course The Who's best studio album is By Numbers.


Even Ian Anderson doesn’t rate Passion Play. I don’t think many would rate it among the higher echelons of prog music. Thick As A Brick, yes, Passion Play no.
I’m not sure Godbluff would be up there either, but to each to his own.
Who By Numbers over Who’s Next and Quadrophenia? It has the laughably bad Squeeze Box on it FFS!
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Re: Genesis

Postby Mike Boom » 08 Sep 2021, 23:56

Neil Jung wrote:Even Ian Anderson doesn’t rate Passion Play. I don’t think many would rate it among the higher echelons of prog music.


Whilst Passion Play certainly splits opinions personally I would rate it pretty damn near the top of the heap.

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Re: Genesis

Postby Matt Wilson » 09 Sep 2021, 00:45

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A Trick of the Tail 1976
Since we didn't get a Genesis album in 1975, they gifted us with two LPs the next year. BCBers seem to hotly debate the differences in quality between these records. I dunno, they're both pretty damn good to me. For now, I'm going to go with this one being better (but just by a hair) than Wind & Wuthering, but I may change my mind later on when I play the latter. I find they have more similarities than differences anyway; and since I'm always going on about the decline of prog during the second half of the '70s, this might be an opportune moment to point out the high level of excellence of this pair of platters in the relatively late date of 1976. Gabriel may be gone, but Hackett was around, and the band was still actively pursuing progressive rock sounds. Punk was emerging, but you would never know that from listening to these guys.

Steve Hackett – electric guitar, 12-string guitars
Mike Rutherford – 12-string guitar, bass, bass pedals
Tony Banks – pianos, synthesizers, Hammond organ, Mellotron, 12-string guitar, backing vocals
Phil Collins – drums, percussion, lead and backing vocals

1. "Dance on a Volcano" (Steve Hackett , Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, Phil Collins) 5:55
Synth-laden intro tells us it's our boys, and when the band comes in, all is right. Phil is now the singer and his voice isn't all that different from Peter's frankly. Not quite as eccentric as the Genesis of old, this slight progression in sound is quite accessible and dare I say it, admirable in light of the changes the group had undergone in the last year. Collins had already sung some of the material in the past and the choice to go with him rather than a new singer was logical. The way the song speeds up towards the end reminds me a bit of some of the tracks on Lamb.

Wiki: "The opening track, "Dance on a Volcano" was the first song written for the album. Rutherford felt in contrast to the material on The Lamb..., it was easy to write, and was intended to show how Genesis would move forward."

2. "Entangled" (Steve Hackett, Tony Banks) 6:27
Nice acoustic guitars reminiscent of Voyage of the Acolyte begin this number which gives Phil a chance to use his ballad voice. Gorgeous, really. If this was on the previous double LP it would be a highlight. Also, if given a chance to shine, Banks always came through - and here is no exception.

"Entangled" originated from a piece by Hackett that Banks particularly liked and went on to write the chorus and closing synthesiser solo. Hackett also wrote the lyrics which Collins thought had a Mary Poppins feel to them. Rutherford recalled that Hackett "started writing verses which were very airy-fairy and then he came down with a bang". - Wikipedia

3. "Squonk" (Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks) 6:29
This was the deciding factor in letting Phil sing lead on the album. Wiki-"Squonk" is based on the North American tale of the Squonk which, when captured, dissolves in a pool of tears. The song combines a main theme written by Rutherford against a middle section written by Banks, and was designed to sound like Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir". Having failed to produce a suitable vocalist, Collins reluctantly went in the studio to sing "Squonk". His performance was well received by the band, and they decided that he should be their new lead singer."

Having said that - a rather pedestrian effort to these ears. It's not bad of course, but would never make a suitable Genesis comp for me. And the weird thing is - I can hear Peter singing this in my head! LOL

4. "Mad Man Moon" (Tony Banks) 7:36
I think even at this early stage, Tony was starting to dominate the band. He gets sole writing credit on the longest track on side one. Things start to pick up at about the 2:40 mark and the piano sounds nice throughout. I like the synthesizers and their economical use further accentuates the attractiveness of the cut. Tony rarely, if ever, overplayed. This is perhaps when Genesis began their movement towards pop music. The music of this song can still demonstrably be classified as prog, but the vocal line has a melodic quality to it which puts places the tune in another category entirely. You can feel them wanting radio exposure by this point.

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5. "Robbery, Assault and Battery" (Tony Banks, Phil Collins) 6:16
Always liked this one. With the rare writing team of Banks and Collins, this tale of thieves with a bit of fun thrown in has a Gabrieleque quality which had to be intentional. And indeed:

Wikipedia: "Robbery, Assault and Battery" was mostly written by Banks, in an attempt to replicate the humour in some of Gabriel's lyrics. Collins, who also contributed to the writing, sang the song in character, inspired by his earlier role as the Artful Dodger in Oliver! before he became a professional musician."

Solid, workmanlike, I can picture the video in my mind when listening to the song.

6. "Ripples..." (Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks) 8:06
The longest track here is another ballad, but a superlative one in my estimation. Phil seems to rise above the mundane for an excellent vocal exercise foreshadowing future endeavors. "Ripples..." was a combination of a 12-string guitar piece composed by Rutherford and a piano-led middle section written by Banks. - Wiki. At about four-and-a-half-minutes, Steve gets a chance to play a bit - always a welcoming treat.

7. "A Trick of the Tail" (Tony Banks) 4:35
Another highlight with another solo Banks credit. Nice melody, interesting lyrics, and the usual stellar accompaniment.

Wikipedia: "The song was released as a single with "Ripples" as the B-side but failed to make any significant chart impact. The majority of the song was written in 1972 and was originally intended for the Foxtrot album. The song's rhythm, according to Banks, is partly influenced by The Beatles' "Getting Better."

The lyrics are inspired by the 1955 novel The Inheritors by British author William Golding. Like much of the album A Trick of the Tail, the song's lyrics focus on a specific character: the "Beast" who leaves his own kingdom and enters the world of humans. He is captured and put on display in a freak show after his captors refuse to believe in his kingdom. The Beast laments his decision to leave his home, describing it as a paradise covered in gold. His captors then release him in exchange for leading them to his world. However, just as they see what appears to be a "spire of gold", they find that the Beast has vanished, though they do hear his voice."

8. "Los Endos" (Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks , Phil Collins 5:46
A fabulous ending to a great LP. I'm making a ruling: Side two is better than side one. Majestic-sounding final number with spacey synths, powerful drumming (I really haven't given Phil his due on the toms in this thread - he's a superb drummer), cool riffage, etc. - and barely any words! What more do you want? Everybody seems happy with this one.

"The closing song, "Los Endos", was written by the whole band. Collins came up with the basic rhythmic structure, inspired by his work in side project Brand X and "Promise of a Fisherman" by Santana, wanting to take the looser playing style into Genesis. Banks and Hackett wrote the main themes, including reprises of "Dance on a Volcano" and "Squonk", and Collins sang a few lines from "Supper's Ready" (on the 1972 album Foxtrot) on the fade-out, as a tribute to Gabriel. The opening piece was recorded for a completely different song, "It's Yourself", which was later released as a B-side. The track became a live favourite, and continued to be played through to the 2007 Turn It On Again tour. In 2014, Hackett added the song to the playlist of his extended Genesis Revisited II tour." - Wiki

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Re: Genesis

Postby Matt Wilson » 09 Sep 2021, 02:54

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Wind & Wuthering 1976
The second record in twelve months, and another good 'un! I like both of the LP covers of these albums more than most of the Genesis records in the past. As I look at these song titles, I'm still gonna say I enjoy this album just as much as A Trick of the Tail, but if I had to choose, I might go for the former. Let's see...

Phil Collins – vocals, drums, cymbals, percussion
Steve Hackett – electric guitars, nylon classical guitar, 12 string guitar, kalimba, autoharp
Mike Rutherford – 4, 6, and 8 string bass guitars, electric and 12 string acoustic guitars, bass pedals
Tony Banks – Steinway grand piano, ARP 2600 synthesizer, ARP Pro Soloist synthesizer, Hammond organ, Mellotron, Roland RS-202 string synthesizer, Fender Rhodes electric piano etc.

1. "Eleventh Earl of Mar" (Tony Banks, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford) 7:45
We left with majestic music on the last track of the previous LP and we open with it here too. Hackett almost getting Steve Howe sounds out of his guitar and Phil sounding just fine, thank you. I'm blasting the 5.1 mix now and it sounds GLORIOUS! Steve really adds to this track and they lost something when he left.

"Eleventh Earl of Mar" refers to the historical figure of John Erskine, Earl of Mar, a Scottish Jacobite. Its working title was "Scottish". The first line of the song, "The sun had been up for a couple of hours", is the opening line of the novel The Flight of the Heron by D. K. Broster. Rutherford, who wrote the song's lyrics, got the idea after reading a "history book about a failed Scottish rising ... around 1715". Hackett wrote the music and lyrics to the song's bridge, which was originally a section of a different song." - Wikipedia

2. "One for the Vine" (Tony Banks) 10:00
Yet another divine cut, and is it my imagination or did they put a bit more effort into the stories told in these songs this time? Tony's big number and he makes the most of it. I'm also noticing the mixture of Phil's voice and the music made by the band are better blended here. Or is that just because I'm more used to it? He's singing in a falsetto now and it actually doesn't sound bad. Oh, now it's a completely different song before the five-minute point, just in case you forgot which genre you were listening to. Fan-fucking-tastic though! Love Hackett's guitar riff as well.

Wiki: "One for the Vine" was a track that Banks wrote during the writing sessions for A Trick of the Tail. He spent a year working on the song until he "got it right". His aim was to piece together a variety of instrumental parts into a complete song without repeating a section. The lyrics, which came after Banks had arranged the track, are a musical fantasy about a man who had been declared a Christ-like religious figure, and was forced to lead people into battle, while the music featured a variety of styles. In the end, he becomes the prophet that he himself did not believe in, and becomes disillusioned. Banks was inspired by the science fiction novel Phoenix in Obsidian (1970) by Michael Moorcock. The song became a live favourite, and regularly featured in the band's setlist for several years."

3. "Your Own Special Way" (Mike Rutherford) 6:19
Not to be outdone, Mike gets his solo writing due here. And what do you know - it works. Hard to believe Collins didn't have a hand in writing this as it seems tailor-made for his voice. Wikipedia: "Your Own Special Way" is an acoustic ballad written by Rutherford in open tuning, which includes a previously unused instrumental piece in the middle. He later said it was easier to join bits of individual songs together than write a single cohesive short piece."

The kind of love song the band eschewed only a few years before.

4. "Wot Gorilla?" (instrumental) (Phil Collins, Tony Banks) 3:21
The previous three tunes had gone from fast to mid-tempo to a ballad, so this short one rocks out a bit. Lots of synth lines almost make you believe you're listening to another band. I always like it when Tony steps out a bit more. That sense of grandeur the group does so well is on display and it's over too soon.

Wiki: "Collins describes "Wot Gorilla?" as one of his favourite tracks on the album as it brought in his influences of jazz fusion and Weather Report. Rutherford said of the track, "[it is] a reprise of a section out of 'Vine'. It was Phil's idea to play a fast, jazzy rhythm", that built on the success of "Los Endos" from the previous album. Hackett was less enthusiastic and initially declared it "a very inferior instrumental", but later said it was "good rhythmically, but underdeveloped harmonically"."

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5. "All in a Mouse's Night" (Tony Banks) 6:39
Lovely intro to side two and we're back in rocker mode (at least as rocking as they got at this point in their career). This could have almost been on one of their early eighties albums now that I process it. Wikipedia: "All in a Mouse's Night" is a comical tale based around Tom and Jerry. Banks wrote the lyrics with a cartoon-like feel. The song started out what Rutherford called "an involved epic" until the group abandoned this idea and approached it in a different way." - Thank God. LOL A tune about a cat and mouse doesn't need to be longer than 6:39. Cool Steve solo towards the end again. This is another one I can hear Peter singing by the way. But he had moved on from this kind of song by then as we'll see when we get to 1977 in a few days.

6. "Blood on the Rooftops" (Steve Hackett, Phil Collins) 5:28
Acoustic guitar in the front - something we haven't heard on this record - and it sounds pleasant. Another time to proclaim that the band didn't do material like this when Hackett left - and it's their loss. Another good vocal from Phil.

"Blood on the Rooftops" is a song concerning "the tedium and repetitiveness of television news and the overall mocking disgust that must sometimes accompany watching the news happen". The music to its chorus was written by Collins with Hackett writing the music to the verses, song's lyrics and its classical guitar introduction. According to Hackett, the song was a love song originally. He explained, "When I heard the other lyrics on the album, there was a bit of a romantic tinge anyway, so I decided to go right the other way and make it as cynical as possible." It also addresses some political issues, which Genesis had previously stayed away from. Banks and Rutherford both claimed it was Hackett's best song as a member of the group." - Wiki

7. "Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers..." (instrumental) ( Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford) 2:20
More acoustic guitars saturate the atmosphere along with Banks' keys - continuing the mood of the previous cut. The album is moving towards a grand finale now and every track counts. Yes, I do believe this album is more consistent than A Trick of the Tail.

8. "...In That Quiet Earth" (instrumental) (Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, Phil Collins) 4:54
The last piece becomes this one in a seamless join, except now we're really off! That joyous, majestic (there's that word again) vibe they've been able to channel since the end of "Supper's Ready" or "It" is here again. Only Genesis makes kind of music. It's a whole 'nother song before the third minute.

Wikipedia: "Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers..." and "...In That Quiet Earth" are two linked instrumental tracks. The titles refer to the last paragraph of the novel which inspired the album's title – Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë, which Banks had spotted in the book and thought the first title suited its mellow atmosphere. The tracks were written so that the band could showcase their instrumental talents, and stretch their musical skills as well as the songwriting." - And that, they do. You know how I love these sans-vocals numbers.

9. "Afterglow" (Tony Banks) 4:11
And this is the big final statement they were leading up to. A fine capper to a grand album. Is it better than the previous one? Damn, I do believe it is! I didn't hear a wasted moment just now listening to it, while there might be a song or two on side one of Trick which doesn't quite do it for me. Genesis did this real well in a live setting too as we'll see when we get to Seconds Out.

"Afterglow" is a straightforward and concise love song, and an important development in the group's career, as it proved to them they could write short songs that they still liked. In contrast to the amount of time it took Banks to develop "One for the Vine", he wrote "Afterglow" "just about in the time it took to play it". Banks said the song "is about a reaction to a disaster and the realization of what's important to you, in a slightly cataclysmic way [... I] made the chorus the essence of what the person is actually thinking". The ending features Collins' layered vocals. A few days after he wrote it, he came to the sudden realization that its melody resembles that of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", which led to him playing it back and concluding "it wasn't the same". A Moog Taurus, a foot-operated analog synthesizer, was used to create a drone effect. It was a staple on Genesis tours for over ten years." - Wiki

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Re: Genesis

Postby C » 09 Sep 2021, 13:39

Really good write-ups Matt - thanks

Two very good albums.

Trick is probably better than W&W but I prefer the latter. I always have done

I think Wot Gorilla is a really good track but I know the likes of Conny and Johnny Slider think not.

I recall seeing them on the W&W at, I think, the Hammersmith Odeon- front seats right in the middle.

Fantastic!




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LMG wrote:Everyone I have ever met was at Baker's Airforce show where it was recorded. My boss, various ex-girlfriends, my postman was reminiscing about it the other day. My Mum went, my Dad and both sets of grandparents. I got stuck at home with a babysitter!

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Re: Genesis

Postby Neil Jung » 09 Sep 2021, 16:49

I remember buying Trick. It cost £3.09. Tremendous album. Apart from Robbery etc.
If I had to choose between them I’d go for W&W. Although again I’m bored with Afterglow and Mouse’s Night.
I have both on original vinyl and the Definitive Edition Remaster CD. Didn’t they remaster them again for those big green boxes which I refused to buy? Were they an improvement? W&W seemed to lack bottom end….
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Re: Genesis

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 09 Sep 2021, 17:24

Neil Jung wrote:I remember buying Trick. It cost £3.09. Tremendous album. Apart from Robbery etc.
If I had to choose between them I’d go for W&W. Although again I’m bored with Afterglow and Mouse’s Night.
I have both on original vinyl and the Definitive Edition Remaster CD. Didn’t they remaster them again for those big green boxes which I refused to buy? Were they an improvement? W&W seemed to lack bottom end….

Remixed!
I dont like them, to much compression added.
W&W lacks bottom end, brittle and bright, compared to Trick
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Re: Genesis

Postby slightbreeze » 09 Sep 2021, 18:18

They're both nice albums....but old Genesis didn't make "nice" albums, they made adventurous albums

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Re: Genesis

Postby Hightea » 09 Sep 2021, 18:57

Another nice write up Matt, your killing it!
I'll always rate W& W over Trick but its closer today then ever before. Trick is the more complete album but a bunch of tunes of W & W are better than all the songs ion Trick.

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Re: Genesis

Postby Matt Wilson » 11 Sep 2021, 05:57

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Peter Gabriel 1977
Peter's first LP was dazzling in its post-prog nature. Had he only made this one album I think he would have been remembered as a god of that era, and the funny thing is - he would do better later on. It's difficult to compare this record to his prior work with Genesis as its aims are different. No longer interested in long, proggy songs and conceptual stories, in the three years since The Lamb Lies Down... he'd revamped both his sound and his image. Wisely observing that progressive rock had run its course and realizing he could work in a post-punk structure (if we can even call this music that), he essayed an LP more in line with what songwriters five or more years younger than he were doing at that time. The album is not a masterpiece, but I can think of no other ex-band member of a premier prog group who reinvented himself as successfully. Perhaps Robert Fripp, who had become a sideman extraordinaire, and whose music had a similar forward-thinking thrust might be comparable, but then he never became a solo star in his own right. No, Gabriel stands alone in this regard. People who had no use for progressive rock enjoyed Gabriel's music, and that's largely due to the fact that he was no longer making prog in the traditional sense of that term.

Peter Gabriel – vocals, keyboards, flute, recorder
Robert Fripp – electric guitar, classical guitar, banjo
Tony Levin – bass guitar, tuba, leader of the Barbershop Quartet
Jozef Chirowski – keyboards
Larry Fast – synthesizer, programming
Allan Schwartzberg – drums
Steve Hunter – acoustic guitar on "Solsbury Hill"; lead guitar on "Slowburn" and "Waiting for the Big One"; electric guitar, rhythm guitar; pedal steel
Dick Wagner – backing vocals, guitar on "Here Comes the Flood"
Jimmy Maelen – percussion, synthibam, bones
London Symphony Orchestra – orchestra on "Down the Dolce Vita" and "Here Comes the Flood"
Michael Gibbs – arrangement of orchestra

All songs written by Peter Gabriel, except where indicated.

1. "Moribund the Burgermeister" 4:20
From the first sounds you hear it's evident Peter's songwriting has adapted to modern times. There's still a sense of grandeur evidenced by the synths, but he sounds more like a rock singer now and there's enough spacey effects to satisfy those fans coming from his previous band and it's catchy enough to garner new ones as well. I really love this track.

And just why did he leave Genesis? Wiki - "During The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway tour, Gabriel announced to his Genesis bandmates that he had decided to leave the band, citing estrangement from the other members and the strains on his marriage. Nonetheless, he saw his commitment through to the conclusion of the tour. The breaking point came with the difficult pregnancy of Gabriel's wife, Jill, and the subsequent birth of their first child, Anna. When he opted to stay with his sick daughter and wife, rather than record and tour, the resentment from the rest of the band led Gabriel to conclude that he had to leave the group.

In a letter to fans, delivered through the music press at the end of the tour, titled Out, Angels Out, Gabriel explained that the "vehicle we had built as a co-op to serve our song writing became our master and had cooped us up inside the success we had wanted. It affected the attitudes and the spirit of the whole band. The music had not dried up and I still respect the other musicians, but our roles had set in hard."

Gabriel then closed the letter: "There is no animosity between myself and the band or management. The decision had been made some time ago and we have talked about our new direction. The reason why my leaving was not announced earlier was because I had been asked to delay until they had found a replacement to plug up the hole. It is not impossible that some of them might work with me on other projects."

Gabriel's Genesis bandmate Phil Collins, who replaced him in the band as lead vocalist, later remarked that the other members "were not stunned by Peter's departure because we had known about it for quite a while". The band continued without Gabriel, starting with their next studio album, 1976's A Trick of the Tail."

2. "Solsbury Hill" 4:21
Perhaps his most well-known '70s song, its poetic verse eludes easy analysis, but it concerns his decision to leave Genesis and foregoe the safety of a successful band in favor of a solo career. I view the song as a classic and I recall my only visit to England in 2003 when I was with my then-wife in a bus tour of the countryside, when the driver asked the passengers if they could think of who sang the song concerning Solsbury Hill which was in our view. Naturally, I was the only one who knew and was thinking of just this tune right before he asked.

"Solsbury Hill" is the debut solo single of English musician Peter Gabriel. He wrote the song about a spiritual experience atop Little Solsbury Hill in Somerset, England, after his departure from the progressive rock band Genesis, of which he had been the lead singer since its inception. The single was a Top 20 hit in the UK, peaking at number 13, and reached number 68 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1977. The song has often been used in film trailers for romantic comedies.

Gabriel has said of the song's meaning, "It's about being prepared to lose what you have for what you might get ... It's about letting go." His former bandmate Tony Banks acknowledges that the song reflects Gabriel's decision to break ties with Genesis, but it can also be applied in a broader sense to situations of letting go in general." - Wiki

3. "Modern Love" 3:38
Another great one, and it summarized his current position in the modern rock landscape in the late '70s. Sometimes I feel his songs from this era could have been sung by David Bowie, it was almost like he was competing on that level. Of course, Gabriel's efforts weren't of the same consistency as Low or possibly even Heroes that year, but the best songs on this effort were more or less in line with some of Bowie's work.

4. "Excuse Me" (Peter Gabriel, Martin Hall) 3:20
If the LP is front-loaded with possibly the three best cuts, then this harmony-sung number (in the beginning, anyway) is more than just filler. Gabriel has always had a sense of humor and this music hall ditty is definitely in that vein. I've always found it memorable and a brief respite from his usual style.

5. "Humdrum" 3:25
Another good one, and a track I'm surprised more people don't talk about. Well-produced (even if Gabriel had his reservations, more about that below), and I can imagine this being a Genesis tune in earlier years but with different production values of course.

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6. "Slowburn" 4:36
A rocker, just when the album needed it, and a fine opener to the second side. Dynamics, as the song ping pongs from fast to slow - but always returning to the guitar riff (Fripp or Steve Hunter?). Another tune which would have sounded fine on the radio. Dare I say this is a better album than And Then There Were Three? Yes, I do believe it is...

7. "Waiting for the Big One" 7:15
Side two's "Excuse Me," which is to say it doesn't sound like routine Peter Gabriel music. This has got to be the first blues he ever recorded, and it's not like he returned to that well-worn genre any time soon after. He sounds like a saloon singer after a few drinks. Like pretty much everything else on this record, I like it. Gabriel never would have put something like this on one of his records after this though.

Wikipedia: "Peter Gabriel was recorded at The Soundstage in Toronto with producer Bob Ezrin in the autumn of 1976, with additional sessions at Morgan Studios and Olympic Studios, in London, England.

"Bob Ezrin was suggested. For my part, I didn't feel I could be an Alice Cooper, but I made him listen to the extracts of what I had done and he liked them – or, rather, he liked what I liked. We understood each other. We talked. There was an excellent rapport immediately – a human rapport – and that was what I was looking for above all ... I tried to achieve a combination of Bob and me as producers. He controlled the American rhythm sections and I handled the more European things. And, on the album, Bob dominated the very rock passages which I wasn't used to producing, and I led the quiet parts – things I'd done in Genesis." – Peter Gabriel

Gabriel and Ezrin assembled musicians for the sessions including guitarist Robert Fripp of King Crimson, bass player Tony Levin (later of King Crimson), drummer Allan Schwartzberg, percussionist Jimmy Maelen, guitarist Steve Hunter, keyboardist Jozef Chirowski and Larry Fast on synthesizers and programming.

"I was uncertain of what I could or couldn't do so went with some of Bob Ezrin's choice of musicians (including Tony Levin) and invited Robert Fripp and Larry Fast to cover my more soundscape orientated / European ambitions. Although it was mainly recorded in a snowy couple of weeks in Toronto I remember the sessions as fast, exciting and hot. Many of the backing tracks were put down live, working to the limitations of the 16-track tape machine. It was a fun, intense and scary session, with a great band – who later came out to tour with me."– Peter Gabriel"

8. "Down the Dolce Vita" 5:05
Perhaps my least fave cut here. The orchestra sounds like it should be on a Rick Wakeman album, and the subsequent disco beat is another thing he wouldn't explore in the future. He's throwing things at the wall on this LP searching for something that sticks and this ain't it.

9. "Here Comes the Flood" 5:38
Ah, but this one is great! Many singers probably going back to Dylan sang apocalyptic scenarios in their songs, so this is another one in that tradition. Peter had touched upon that in "Waiting for the Big One" already, but this examines the theme to better effect. Yet one more tune that Genesis could have done well with. That's gotta be Hunter playing the bluesy guitar towards the end.

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