Genesis

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The Slider
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Re: Genesis

Postby The Slider » 15 Sep 2021, 13:25

For years I never noticed Collins' oversinging - filling in every space with his vocal stylings - but nowadays I can't unhear them.
Side Four of Seconds Out used to be one of my untouchables, now it is verging on untouchable.

The best - by far - live artefact of the band is the 1973 Live at the Rainbow set that came with the Live box set.
It has been knocking about as a bootleg since the old king died.
But it finally got an official release in 2009

and meanwhile I'm still thinking

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Re: Genesis

Postby Hugh » 15 Sep 2021, 13:27

Suppers Ready from that is magnificent.

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Re: Genesis

Postby The Slider » 15 Sep 2021, 13:39

EVERYTHING from that is magnificent Hugh
It is peak Genesis
and meanwhile I'm still thinking

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Re: Genesis

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 15 Sep 2021, 16:13

The Slider wrote:For years I never noticed Collins' oversinging - filling in every space with his vocal stylings - but nowadays I can't unhear them.
Side Four of Seconds Out used to be one of my untouchables, now it is verging on untouchable.

The best - by far - live artefact of the band is the 1973 Live at the Rainbow set that came with the Live box set.
But it finally got an official release in 2009

Same as the Arhive box set?
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Re: Genesis

Postby The Slider » 16 Sep 2021, 15:31

Same show - more of it* and different mix.

* (the dvd - audio rip of which is in the youtube clip - has the entire show)

Archive contained only the asterisked songs
The full set was
Watcher Of The Skies
Dancing With The Moonlit Knight*
The Cinema Show
I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)*
Firth Of Fifth*
The Musical Box
More Fool Me*
The Battle Of Epping Forest
Supper's Ready*
and meanwhile I'm still thinking

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Re: Genesis

Postby Matt Wilson » 16 Sep 2021, 17:07

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Peter Gabriel 1978
Not as interesting nor as diverse as the debut and also front-loaded in that the first few songs are probably the best. This is nonetheless, another brilliant burst of energy from our Pietro which - in its best moments, puts his old band to shame. I don't mind And Then There Were Three at all, and I'll get to that soon (today, hopefully), but Genesis was treading water after the loss of Hackett - going (like so many progressive rock bands who'd been in the game for a long time by the late seventies) in a more commercial direction rather than explore new territory. Seeing the success they achieved with this path, it's hard to fault them, but I admire Gabriel's willingness to reinvent himself so spectacularly and with such grand results.

Peter Gabriel – vocals; Hammond organ on 11; piano on 2; synthesizer on 5, 7
Robert Fripp – electric guitar on 1, 3, 5, 10; acoustic guitar on 5; Frippertronics on 8
Tony Levin – bass guitar on 1, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11; Chapman stick on 2, 4, 9; string bass on 6; recorder arrangements on 6, 9; backing vocals on 1, 4, 7, 10, 11
Roy Bittan – keyboards on 1, 3, 5, 6, 10, 11
Larry Fast – synthesizer, treatments on 1, 2, 5, 7, 10
Jerry Marotta – drums on all except 3; backing vocals on 1, 4, 10, 11
Sid McGinnis – electric guitar on 1, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11; acoustic guitar on 2, 3; steel guitar on 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11; mandolin on 2; backing vocals on 7
Bayeté (Todd Cochran) – keyboards on 2, 4, 6, 7
Tim Cappello – saxophone on 10, 11
George Marge – recorder on 6, 8, 9
John Tims – insects on 3

All tracks are written by Peter Gabriel, except where noted.

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1. "On the Air" 5:30
The opening sounds are almost Genesis-like until the drums and guitar blast out of the speakers and Peter's new wave type (is that what this is?) fills the room. Love this track and if this is what writing a song for radio exposure sounds like, give me more. Pye Hastings and co. couldn't come up with something like this if you held guns to their heads. Fripp's up to his usual high standards with the guitar sounds (I really should get to a Crimson thread soon). Out-fucking-standing.

2. "D.I.Y." 2:37
What do you know - another kick-ass tune. He's promoting the do-it-yourself ethos that punks espoused at the time and it suits him just fine, thank you. After all, that's exactly what he's doing with this album. Separating himself from his old band and establishing a new persona on the English music stage during the era of punk couldn't have been easy.

3. "Mother of Violence" (Peter Gabriel, Jill Gabriel) 3:10
Beautiful track written with his then wife, Jill, this abrupt change of pace features nice piano by Roy Bittan of the E St. Band. I don't know why but I tend to pay attention to Gabriel's lyrics more on his solo albums than I did previously. A more down-to-earth approach suits these songs.

Wiki - "In the NME in 1978, Nick Kent wrote: "Its brazenly left-field veneer left me cold at first, and it's only now that its strengths are starting to come across ... once past the disarming non-focus veneer, there's a quietly remarkable talent at work – quiet in the manner of the slow fuse burn of 'Mother of Violence' with Roy Bittan's piano work outstripping anything he's turned out for either Bruce Springsteen or David Bowie. Closer to the root of the album, there's a purity, a strength to the songs individual enough to mark Gabriel out as a man whose creative zenith is close at hand."

4. "A Wonderful Day in a One-Way World" 3:33
Well, Peter's English, so cod-reggae had to be here somewhere, right? I do find myself singing along though despite myself. I've got the SACDs of these first four Gabriel discs because I wasn't satisfied with the way the CDs sounded. Come to think of it - I'm not too crazy about the sound quality of Genesis CDs either.

5. "White Shadow" 5:14
I guess this ballad might be my least fave cut on the first side, and if I had to choose, it sounds the most like Genesis. Nothing wrong with it, don't get me wrong, it's just not memorable to me. This album seems to be the runt of the litter of the first four of his LPs, and I guess I concur. But I give it points for originality, audacity, and staying power. Unless I change my mind when I play And Then There Were Three next, I think I prefer it to what his old bandmates were doing. Ooo, there's a nice Fripp solo playing at the moment.

Image Image

6. "Indigo" 3:30
Hmm, I wouldn't have opened up side two with a slow number, but I'm not the artist, so...

7. "Animal Magic" 3:26
Now this is more to my liking, but I've always gravitated to up-tempo tracks. Check out these song lengths. Our boy was prog no more.

8. "Exposure" (Peter Gabriel, Robert Fripp) 4:12
Peter's big number with Robert Fripp is interesting in its use of the soundscape. Wonder if the multis are still around and if any of his early albums could be presented in 5.1. This would sound great in that format. Wikipedia: "The album did not sell as well as the first Peter Gabriel, but reached No. 10 in the UK. In the US, the album was titled Peter Gabriel II. The album is also often referred to as Scratch, referring to the album cover by Hipgnosis. The influence of producer Robert Fripp is evident in the use of "Frippertronics" on the track "Exposure".

Having said all that - the track is interesting sonically, but goes nowhere as a tune. Just keeping it real, folks!

9. "Flotsam and Jetsam" 2:17
The record is running out of steam, and this little ditty should have been a rocker to pick up the momentum a bit as we near the finish line.

10. "Perspective" 3:23
And here is said rocker. Unfortunately, it's a tad mundane in its repetitiveness. The sax is nice though - why do saxophones always remind me of New York City?

11. "Home Sweet Home" 4:37
I like this one, but it starts out too slow and contains some shocking verses. Sometimes when Pete is trying something new musically, it works better than when he stays in his comfort zone.

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Re: Genesis

Postby Neil Jung » 16 Sep 2021, 17:57

I bought all the first 4 PG solo albums when they came out. Scratch is my least favourite although I haven’t been inclined to play 3 or 4 for quite some time either.
I’ve probably played the debut two or three times more often than the others. It’s just more fun, with better songs and production.
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Re: Genesis

Postby slightbreeze » 16 Sep 2021, 18:00

My fave and "White Shadow" is MAGNIFICENT

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Re: Genesis

Postby Neil Jung » 16 Sep 2021, 18:01

I’d be happy if On The Air and White Shadow swapped with the tedious Excuse Me and Waiting For The Big One On the debut.
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Re: Genesis

Postby slightbreeze » 16 Sep 2021, 18:16

None of his albums have been consistently strong. Sometimes he tries just a little too hard to be diverse

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Re: Genesis

Postby Matt Wilson » 16 Sep 2021, 18:29

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...And Then There Were Three... 1978
So while Peter Gabriel was busy reinventing himself as a post prog, DIY kind of guy who could hold his own with the new wavers (still feel funny using that word), the three remaining lads (moving towards middle age) in Genesis were all business as usual in their approach to record-making. I don't know what to make of this album. I rarely play it, in fact I'm trying to remember the last time I did. I suppose it's fine, nothing really offensive. It's no Love Beach or Better by Far, that's for sure. Is it better than Tormato? I dunno, let me play it again and find out.

Tony Banks – keyboards
Phil Collins – drums, percussion, vocals
Mike Rutherford – basses, guitars

1. "Down and Out" (Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford) 5:28
More of a rocking approach than usual - were they listening to Peter Gabriel albums? It's interesting to compare/contrast the approaches of the two acts in 1978. Peter is stretching out and trying new directions and Genesis were streamlining their methods, solidifying their songwriting in the changing musical stage of late-seventies England. I like this number, I must admit. It's better than some of the filler tracks on side two of Gabriel's album put it that way. Cool Tony solo which could have been longer.

"Down and Out", one of the three tracks written collectively, was written during the band's rehearsals. Thompson found its more complex time signature difficult to reproduce on stage at first as Collins could not explain the riff and rhythm which Rutherford noted merely "added to the confusion". Collins wrote the lyrics, which concern American record labels who drop artists when they are no longer in fashion; the chorus is spoken from the artists's view and the verses from the label. The band had originally planned to develop and arrange Banks's song "Undertow" further, but its basic track of guitar, drums and piano, coupled with its simple chorus, was strong enough to keep as it was. Banks plays a Yamaha electric grand piano on the track which also incorporates voice loops made by the band that were kept "low-key and subtle" in the final mix. Banks had written a two-minute introduction to the song, but recalled disagreement from the other members as there were enough keyboard parts on the album. The section was reworked and used as a part of "From the Undertow", a track on Banks's first solo album A Curious Feeling (1979)." - Wikipedia

2. "Undertow" (Tony Banks) 4:47
And already we have a ballad. I'm usually bored with these kinds of songs and I guess this one is no exception. It could have been on a Genesis CD in the eighties, only then it would have stood out as being better than the surrounding tracks. It certainly sounds like our boys, there's no mistaking who we're listening to, but any adventurous quality to their music is long gone by this point.

3. "Ballad of Big" (Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford) 4:51
Well all three of them worked on this, so it should be good, eh? Hmm... not quite. Another one of Phil's stories, this time in a western setting. "Westerns" as in cowboys and ranchers, etc. LOL. Was there a need for this? I guess it doesn't suck, so there's that.

Wiki - "The lyrics to "Ballad of Big" were written by Collins. The introduction contains a wobbly guitar effect created by Rutherford whereby he rubbed his guitar strings with pieces of metal, giving it a "slightly Eastern strain". The end of the track has Banks and himself dueling between the Yamaha electric piano and his Roland guitar synthesizer."

4. "Snowbound" (Mike Rutherford) 4:31
Was it time for a ballad again? I guess so. First Tony, and now Mike writing songs in this manner. And Phil was glad to sing 'em too - I can tell you that. It sounds pretty, but it was only two years ago these guys were still putting out great records. "For "Snowbound", Collins originally recorded his drum part at a considerably faster pace before the group decided to slow them down in order to fit the style of the song. Collins and Rutherford described it as a romantic song, with its lyrics about a man who wears a snowman outfit to hide from people but while inside, becomes paranoid and finds he cannot get out." - Wikipedia

5. "Burning Rope" (Tony Banks) 7:10
The lengthiest tune to be found here harkens back to my earlier pronouncement that Genesis do well with longer numbers. While I do feel this is a highlight on this LP, it wouldn't have been on Trick of the Tail or Wind & Wuthering. Safe and pleasant, but remember when Genesis were different, and perhaps a bit weird? Not anymore.

Wiki: "While Banks was writing "Burning Rope", he decided to shorten the track rather than stretch its arrangements into an extended piece as he wished to avoid repeating himself and drawing comparisons to his ten-minute "One for the Vine" from Wind & Wuthering. It features a lead guitar solo from Rutherford that he found was a challenge to produce in the wake of Hackett's departure, but was pleased with the final result and called it his best on the album."

I do like the guitar solo actually.

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6. "Deep in the Motherlode" (Mike Rutherford) 5:16
Side two begins with this Rutherford tune which sounds fine and continues their preoccupation with American themes which I guess had begun with The Lamb album. It's neither here nor there for me. Neither unpleasant nor admirable. I almost feel as if the entire album fits that description. Wiki has a few things to say about this song though:

"The song tells a fictional story of a man's travels during the Nevada gold rush and his family's urging for him to get as much gold as he can. A mother lode is a rich vein of valuable metal in a mine. The lyric "Go West, young man" is a reference to a famous phrase by Horace Greeley, who, in a 13 July 1865 editorial, advised: "Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country. The original title to "Deep in the Motherlode" was "Heavy". Rutherford uses a bottleneck slide guitar which he was inexperienced with at first to the point of placing it "on the wrong hand".

The song was performed live by Genesis on their 1978 tour and was used as a frequent opening number on their 1980 tour, but the song was not performed live thereafter. In Japan and North America it was released as a single, but re-titled as "Go West Young Man (In the Motherlode)".

7. "Many Too Many" (Tony Banks) 3:32
Yet another slow one from Tony which would become par for the course in ensuing years. It begins here though. Collins would all but base his solo career on songs like this.

"Many Too Many" features more lead guitar work from Rutherford, who felt less confident about his playing compared to the months after the album's release and had practised further. Once the basic tracks had been put down, the group were still unsure on how to finish the song and sought more arrangements to complete it, including a string sound Banks played on a Moog synthesiser. At one point, they considered using orchestral instruments for the track but they never tried it. Banks, who penned the song's lyrics, recalled an issue Collins had with singing the word "mama" in the chorus, something which Banks had to reassure him that he could sing it." - Wikipedia

Funny that, as Genesis had a hit with a song called "Mama" later on.

8. "Scenes from a Night's Dream" (Phil Collins, Tony Banks) 3:30
I used to read some of those Little Nemo comics years ago, so I have an appreciation for this tune. Wiki again: "Scenes from a Night's Dream" is based on a childhood dream, itself inspired by the cartoon strip character Little Nemo which Collins had bought a book on for his brother. The song developed from a musical idea from Banks who wrote the first draft of its lyrics, but he gave up halfway through as he felt they were unsuitable. The band instead settled on a set of lyrics that Collins offered during down time while mixing at Trident Studios that brought in a different melody and more harmonies."

9. "Say It's Alright Joe" (Mike Rutherford) 4:21
Well Tony contributed two dirges, so Mike probably felt left out. Here's his second dragging tune to even things out. It does pick up though. The band is at a crossroads here. Still proggy-sounding in their use of keyboards mostly, but the emphasis is on commercial-sounding numbers with broad appeal. They still haven't mastered the art of hit song writing though, but that would come soon enough (two songs from now, in fact).

"Say It's Alright Joe", written by Rutherford and the penultimate track recorded for the album, is a torch song about an alcoholic who goes into a drunken stupor. The guitarist intended the track to be a "piss-take on the Dean Martin 'set 'em up Joe' alcoholic style'", but thought it was not going to work until Banks added his keyboard overdubs and the band started mixing the track, at which point it "came to life". - Wikipedia

10. "The Lady Lies" (Tony Banks) 6:08
Long tune, at least for this album, and it's not bad. These songs are all kind of faceless though, aren't they? Will any of us here stand up for this record as being among their best? I'd like to read a defense of it actually. Oh, and as to whether it's better than Tormato - it's not. Nice synth sounds though. Mike and Phil should have let Tony stretch out a little more. Wiki - "The Lady Lies" is the tenth track on the Genesis 1978 album …And Then There Were Three…, with music and lyrics written by Tony Banks. The lyrics tell the story of a man who rescues a woman from the mouth of a monster, but is later seduced by the woman, or as the band refer to her during the song, a demon, and led into an unknown fate. The song was performed often during the 1978 and 1980 tours. In the live shows, Phil would often coach the audience on when to cheer and when to boo in response to different characters in the song and their actions. The final instrumental part would be extended by Daryl Stuermer's guitar solo. The introduction to "The Lady Lies" was meant to have a "strippers feel to it. Hence the title"

11. "Follow You Follow Me" (Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, Phil Collins) 4:01
Well, I'm not gonna front - this is a highlight. An honest-to-God hit single from a band trying for just that. Except they all were. All the progressive bands still trying to survive in the post-punk age were attempting the same thing and only Genesis succeeded. Heard it a million times before and it still doesn't offend. I fine way to end an average album.

Wikipedia - "Genesis deliberately planned to close the album on a "lighter note" as a contrast to a heavier track, so they placed "Follow You Follow Me" at the end, the album's only track written during the rehearsal stage and went through numerous guises before the group settled on a three-minute song. Hentschel was dismissive of the song, but prepared an initial mix and presented it to the staff at Atlantic Records, who recognized it as a potential hit single for the band. The song was remixed and included on the album. The lyrics were written by Rutherford and were inspired by his wife. He later said it was the easiest set of lyrics he had written, spending "about ten minutes" on it.

Like much of the rest of the album, the slower, sentimental "Follow You Follow Me" was a departure from most of their previous work as a progressive rock band, featuring a simple melody, romantic lyrics and a verse-chorus structure. Although previous albums contained love ballads, such as Selling England by the Pound's "More Fool Me" and "Your Own Special Way" from Wind & Wuthering (1976), "Follow You Follow Me" was the first worldwide pop success by the group. The band felt that their music was attracting mainly male audiences, so this song was written specifically to address the imbalance.

Composition
The song started from a chord sequence by guitarist Mike Rutherford, who also said he wrote the lyrics in about ten minutes. At the time, the band usually wrote songs individually. Keyboardist Tony Banks was quoted:

'It was our only truly group-written number. Mike played the riff, then I started playing a chord sequence and melody line on it, which Phil then centralized around. It worked so well as a very simple thing; it was enough as it stood. I'd just written a simple love lyric for "Many Too Many", and I think Mike was keen to try the same thing. Maybe "Follow You Follow Me" was almost too banal, but I got used to it. I think we find it much easier to write long stories than simple love songs.'

Drummer and vocalist Collins described it as "a great rhythm track" but said it "was not intended to be a hit single".

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Re: Genesis

Postby slightbreeze » 16 Sep 2021, 18:34

Wish it had been titled "And then there were none"

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Re: Genesis

Postby Mike Boom » 16 Sep 2021, 19:17

I didn't like it much at the time but over the years I've come to think its really quite underrated. Sure its kind of poppy but I think it sounds great, and the songs while way more accessible than before are all wonderfully played and catchy. Its in no way groundbreaking or experimental but I don't think everything has to be, they had already done that, and this is them playing to their current strengths. I think its really rather good and play it much more than Tormato for sure!

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Re: Genesis

Postby Hugh » 16 Sep 2021, 19:51

I’d only fallen in love with Genesis in January 1977 so I wasn’t ready to give up on them 14 months later. However, this sense of disappointment I had with this album never faded and it remains a watershed in my relationship with the band.

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Re: Genesis

Postby Neil Jung » 16 Sep 2021, 22:26

I think you’ve been unduly harsh - it’s a fine album, almost the equal of Trick and W&W. Yes it lacks top notch lead guitar and of course there’s no acoustic guitar either. But as said, it sounds great, there isn’t a duff track on it.

And it’s much much much better than Tormato.
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Re: Genesis

Postby Lord Rother » 16 Sep 2021, 22:35

Mike Boom wrote:I didn't like it much at the time but over the years I've come to think its really quite underrated. Sure its kind of poppy but I think it sounds great, and the songs while way more accessible than before are all wonderfully played and catchy. Its in no way groundbreaking or experimental but I don't think everything has to be, they had already done that, and this is them playing to their current strengths. I think its really rather good and play it much more than Tormato for sure!


I’d echo this.

Loved it at the time, and still do.

The band sound might have evolved into something different but to my ears it was exciting to hear that change and it’s another album full of bloody good songs, well performed (with no silly stinkers).

I don’t get the gnashing of teeth when a band steers a different course - just listen to the music and if the songs are good, that’s it, that’s all that matters. To me, anyway.

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Re: Genesis

Postby Mike Boom » 16 Sep 2021, 22:48

Neil Jung wrote:Yes it lacks top notch lead guitar and of course there’s no acoustic guitar either


Indeed, it does miss Hacketts guitar, almost a bigger loss to their sound than Gabriel's vocals in the end. Hackett's guitar would have given it more of an edge.

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Re: Genesis

Postby trans-chigley express » 17 Sep 2021, 05:45

Mike Boom wrote:I didn't like it much at the time but over the years I've come to think its really quite underrated. Sure its kind of poppy but I think it sounds great, and the songs while way more accessible than before are all wonderfully played and catchy. Its in no way groundbreaking or experimental but I don't think everything has to be, they had already done that, and this is them playing to their current strengths. I think its really rather good and play it much more than Tormato for sure!


Pretty much my feelings too. It's a not a great album but it's enjoyable attempt to streamline and modernise their sound and the results are much more appealing that what other Prog bands came up with at the time. Highlights for me are Down and Out, Snowbound (could have been a decent Christmas single), Burning Rope, Deep in the Motherlode, Many too Many (which I think is a terrific ballad) plus the hit which is perfectly sequenced to come at the end. The instrumental ending of The Lady Lies is great too but I'm not a big fan of the main song.

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Re: Genesis

Postby trans-chigley express » 17 Sep 2021, 05:52

Matt Wilson wrote:Not as interesting nor as diverse as the debut and also front-loaded in that the first few songs are probably the best.

I'd agree with that, the first half is certainly better than side 2. I like White Shadow much more than you. Nothing on side 2 really stands out at all but I do enjoy the "new wave" feel of the whole album. It lacks a sure fire hit like his other albums had. DIY was the main single off it but it's no Solsbury Hill or Games Without Frontiers.

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Re: Genesis

Postby Matt Wilson » 19 Sep 2021, 22:29

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Duke 1980
Some say the last fully-satisfying Genesis album, others say that it was Wind & Wuthering. The more persnickety among us say it was The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Regardless, I like it more than ...And Then There Were Three... One has to take into account that by the dawn of the new decade, things looked dour for the progressive rock genre, and that there really weren't too many great or even good prog LPs being released. Permanent Waves, Drama, Caravan did one called The Album which I didn't even bother to review in my thread, etc. So an LP as good as Duke by a band who'd been releasing them since the late 60s was cause for celebration. This was also the first long-player by the group that US rock stations paid attention to. Sure, "Follow You, Follow Me" had some airplay previously, but "Misunderstanding," and "Turn it On Again" were all over FM stations. And then the momentum was further established by the acceptance of Abacab the next year. After eleven years, Genesis were finally on their way to superstardom on both sides of the pond, but they would have to more-or-less leave the progressive thing behind to grab the brass ring. This record has one foot in the prog camp, and one in the more commercial realm that they would be so comfortable in. I can enjoy it for what it is, but don't rank the album up there with the '71 - '76 camp. Having said that however, none of their peers were releasing anything this good in 1980 - so credit is due. Phil's relationship songs give the endeavor a very human vibe which I like.

Tony Banks – keyboards, backing vocals, 12-string guitar, duck
Mike Rutherford – guitars, bass guitar, bass pedals, backing vocals
Phil Collins – drums, vocals, drum machine, percussion, duck

1. "Behind the Lines" (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford) 5:31
I must say I like these big, opening numbers with all the fanfare and sturm and drang. They all three worked on this one and it's a highlight for sure. Sounds like the first number to some concept LP or something. Phil would reexamine this song on his solo LP next year.

Wikipedia: The Genesis version of the track is a dramatic art-rock piece, while the Collins version is lighter and played in a funk style. Lyrically, the song is about pleading to a former lover, a subject that fitted smoothly into Collins's post-divorce solo album. There were a few minor changes to the words, however.

Collins revealed on the Classic Albums documentary on Face Value that his solo remake came about after "recording Behind the Lines, we ran the tape back at double speed and suddenly this other song appeared". Collins then set out to re-record the song on Face Value as a Michael Jackson Off the Wall-era disco track featuring the Earth, Wind and Fire horn section, the Phenix Horns."

Probably should have saved that for when I review Face Value, but what the hell...

2. "Duchess" (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford) 6:40
Cool percussion to start this UK single. All very pretty and the vocals don't start until 2:22. One of the better songs on the album, too.

"Duchess" is a song by the English rock band Genesis, appearing as the second track on their 1980 album, Duke. It peaked at number 46 in the UK Singles Chart. The song is a part of the album's "hidden suite" which included "Behind the Lines," "Guide Vocal," "Turn It On Again," "Duke's Travels," and "Duke's End." It was the first Genesis song to use a drum machine.

The lyrics tell the story of the rise and fall of an ambitious soul singer. At the start of her career, she dreams of singing to large crowds, but cares more about her music than the prospect of fame. Increasingly successful, her dream comes true and she becomes a superstar, adored by ecstatic audiences. However, after several years at the top, she struggles to stay relevant; by caring too much about what her audience wants, the quality of her music is negatively impacted. Unable to stay in spotlight, she chooses to end her music career and fondly remember her former superstardom.

The video for the song shows Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford playing at various points around the Liverpool Empire Theatre. The drum machine used in the song (Roland CR-78) is shown at the beginning of the video."

3. "Guide Vocal" (Tony Banks) 1:18
Short piece functioning as a link to the next track. Rather affecting though, and perhaps more time should have been afforded its development. Since there's not much to say about this track, it might be a good time for some stats: "Duke was positively received by music critics, who praised the album for bridging the band's progressive rock-oriented past, via experimental pieces such as the closing ten-minute "Duke's Travels"/"Duke's End" suite, with their more pop rock-oriented, commercially accessible direction, as displayed on the hit singles "Turn It On Again", "Duchess", and "Misunderstanding". It reached No. 11 in the US, and it was the first album by the group to reach No. 1 on the UK charts. It has since been certified Platinum in both the UK and US." - Wiki

4. "Man of Our Times" (Mike Rutherford) 5:35
Okay Rutherford tune which neither diminishes nor enhances the effort for me. Simple, but effective synth lines and serviceable words.

More background: "Duke received a mostly positive reception from music critics. In his review for Rolling Stone, David Fricke noted that "Turn It On Again" is "vibrant rock & roll" and thought that "Man of Our Times", "Duchess", "Duke's Travels", and "Duke's End" "possess a refreshing urgency". Fricke points out the band's losses without Gabriel and Hackett in the line-up, yet summarised Duke as "comforting: a reassurance that Genesis aren't for an exodus yet." Sounds' Hugh Fielder gave the album four stars out of five, enjoying the opening of "Behind the Lines" and considering Collins's vocals to be "more convincing than ... before". He felt the first side was better than the second, and criticised some lyrics, but concluded "no Genesis fan could be disappointed". The Los Angeles Times' Steve Pond described the album's music as "identifiably Genesis, but it is toned-down" and a "a more confident and successful album than ...And Then There Were Three...". He criticised the album as inconsistent with a lack of "melodic invention" on side one, but thought "Duke's Travels" and "Duke's End" were "one of the best and most consistent pieces of music that band has made in some time". - Wikipedia

5. "Misunderstanding" (Phil Collins) 3:11
One of their most well-known songs in the States. Very catchy and memorable - though it sounds more like a Collins solo cut to me. Wiki - "Originally written by Phil Collins during the production of his debut solo album Face Value, the song ended up being donated (along with "Please Don't Ask") for Duke. According to Collins, the song was modeled after The Beach Boys' "Sail On, Sailor", Sly and the Family Stone's "Hot Fun in the Summertime" and Toto's "Hold the Line". Tony Banks said of the song: "All three of us were fans of The Beach Boys, so when Phil brought the song to the writing sessions, we thought it would be a fun one to work on. It has a California, summertime, surfer vibe to it that was unlike anything else we'd worked on in the past."

Hmm, if you say so, Tony.

6. "Heathaze" (Tony Banks) 5:00
No less than four tracks on side one exceed five minutes. Or maybe I shouldn't count this one since it's exactly 5:00. The requisite ballad, and you know how I feel about most of these kinds of songs. LOL. It's okay, of course. I guess I don't know Tony's style well enough, because this reminds me more of Phil.

"In autumn 1979, Banks and Rutherford moved in with Collins in Shalford to start rehearsals on Duke. Collins had written a large number of songs, but he felt many of them would not suit Genesis, while Banks and Rutherford were short of material having just recorded their solo albums. The three decided each member should contribute two of their own songs for the band to work on. Banks put forward "Heathaze" and "Cul-de-Sac", Rutherford used "Man of Our Times" and "Alone Tonight", and Collins had "Misunderstanding" and "Please Don't Ask". The remainder of the songs were written together in rehearsals. Banks later regretted not choosing Collins' "In the Air Tonight" for the album. His track "Cul-de-Sac" became a problem for Collins to get into as its overall style and lyrical content no longer interested him, and realised that he should have kept the song for his solo output.

The group found the writing process easier and more enjoyable than ...And Then There Were Three..., which was primarily songs written in advance individually by the members. Rutherford summarised his time writing songs for Duke as "getting back to the basic stage of ideas being worked on jointly". Banks reasoned much of the band's refreshed attitude was "down to not having worked together in a while", which resulted in "good ideas" being put forward, something that he said had not "happened for some time". Collins felt the band interacted "as a group much better ... there's definitely a side to us coming out which wasn't on the last album; the playing side". Rutherford would later describe the writing process for the album, alongside the one for Abacab, as a "rethink" of Genesis' approach, refocusing their output to group writing and improvisation. In contrast to earlier Genesis albums, most tracks were short with the exception of the ten-minute "Duke's Travels"/"Duke's End" suite that closed the album. The group went to Polar Studios to record the album, starting on 12 November 1979, and recording up to the end of the year. As with several earlier albums, production duties were shared by the band and regular co-producer David Hentschel. Collins used the Roland CR-78 drum machine for "Duchess"; the first time he used one on a Genesis song.

The cover art was drawn by French illustrator Lionel Koechlin [fr] and taken from his book L'Alphabet d'Albert, published in 1979. The band liked his work and decided to use it as the cover, but Collins maintained the character depicted is neither the album's titular character nor related to any song on it." - Wiki

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7. "Turn It On Again" (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford) 3:50
Easily my fave Genesis hit of this era. Sounds great in an ear-worm kind of way and originally part of the "Duke Suite." "Behind the Lines" was the first song arranged for the album and "Duchess" came about from rhythms that Collins had played on his set of drum pads. In its original form, "Behind the Lines", "Duchess", "Guide Vocal", "Turn It On Again", "Duke's Travels", and "Duke's End" were one 30-minute track that told a story of a fictional character named Albert which had a working title of "Duke". The group chose this name because the fanfare melodies on "Behind the Lines" and "Duke's End" conjured an image of royalty. The band decided against sequencing the tracks this way on the album, partly to avoid comparisons to their 23-minute track "Supper's Ready" from Foxtrot, but also to have certain segments of the suite, such as "Duchess" and "Turn It On Again", released as singles. The six tracks were performed live on the album's supporting tour with Collins introducing it as "The Story of Albert". "Turn It On Again" was originally a short connecting piece in the middle of this medley, but the band enjoyed playing it so much, they decided to double its length and make it more of a standout track. It came from a piece that Rutherford discarded from Smallcreep's Day and a separate piece from Banks that they joined together. The group considered placing the band-written songs on side one and the individually written tracks on the other, but this was rejected. Rutherford described the final running order as "a very balanced album". - Wikipedia

8. "Alone Tonight" (Mike Rutherford) 3:54
Mike can write a Phil-sung ballad just as easily as Tony it seems. Ho hum... Just kidding, it's affecting.

Wiki: Duke is the tenth studio album by English rock band Genesis, released in March 1980 on Charisma Records. The album followed a period of inactivity for the band in early 1979. Phil Collins moved to Vancouver, Canada, in an effort to salvage his failing first marriage, while Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford recorded solo albums. Collins returned to the UK after his marriage ended and wrote a significant amount of material, some of which was used for Duke and some was later reworked for his first solo album, Face Value. Duke contained a mix of individually-written songs and tracks that evolved from jam sessions in mid-1979, while recording took place at the end of the year. The break in activity rejuvenated the band, and they found the album an easy one to work on."

9. "Cul-de-sac" (Tony Banks) 5:02
This is the one mentioned above that Phil wasn't really into. It's a testament to his humble personality that he recorded it then. Bit of bombast musically, and Tony's war-themed lyrics probably didn't appeal to Collins who was writing about the disillusion of his marriage.

10. "Please Don't Ask" (Phil Collins) 4:00
This is more in line with what Collins wanted to sing in '79 - '80. One of my favorites in the 'Phil's ballads' category where admittedly, not many songs reside. At least he was writing about real things which I applaud.

11. "Duke's Travels" (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford) 8:41
Their sop to prog works quite well I reckon. Majestic music, no vocals until well after six minutes - almost like it's a few years earlier, really. The opening synth lines are reminiscent of Emerson, Lake and Palmer to these ears, but once the drumming starts - there's no doubt who's behind the tubs. Glorious, and truly a group effort.

12. "Duke's End" (instrumental) (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford) 2:04
Coda to the previous number, and a fine way to call an end to the activities. I dug this album more today than I have in years!

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Last edited by Matt Wilson on 20 Sep 2021, 00:20, edited 1 time in total.