i don't think that's strictly true Alfred. they were a band with a bunch of disparate songwriters in from the beginning, and the earlier Prog stuff feels more like the result of 3 or 4 writers pulling in different directions than a concerted style. Gabriel was never even given total lyrical control until The Lamb. i feel like they had more in common with yr Jeff Lynnes or 10CCs than with Yes or Gong or the Canterbury guys etc
― bell hops (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:10 (2 years ago) Permalink
― ginny thomas and tonic (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:11 (2 years ago) Permalink
When Gabriel left, so did the band's prog instincts. Look at their solo projects! Collins and Rutherford wanted to be pop musicians! They were better at it!
The musical brain of 70s Genesis was just as much Tony Banks as Peter Gabriel. On their two excellent 1976 albums (the first two without Peter Gabriel), he was the de-facto leader of the band. And even on his solo projects, Tony Banks has been pretty much proggy all along, maybe save for a couple of his late 80s albums.
― Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:11 (2 years ago) Permalink
didn't they pursue individual songwriting credits for a brief four-year span or something?
i feel like they had more in common with yr Jeff Lynnes or 10CCs than with Yes or Gong or the Canterbury guys etc
I'd argue Yes (maybe apart from the "Relayer" album) had more in common with Genesis than with Cantebury and other more experimental forms of prog.
― Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:13 (2 years ago) Permalink
i think Genesis were one of the more ear-catchy prog bands too, dammit. like...I love King Crimson too, but I can see how they polarize people with their noodling experiments.
― suge knight rider (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:15 (2 years ago) Permalink
They did. And it appeared most of the lead tracks on their late 70s albums were done by Tony Banks. Even on "Duke" (where Phil took care of most of the hits), Tony wrote more tracks than the others.
He has a very distinctive sound though, like in the way he does the chord changes, and his typical sound is heard less from "Abacab" onwards. At least until "Calling All Stations", where it seems like he took the lead in the songwriting biz again.
Even on "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway", there is "The Lamia", which - apart from the lyrics - is archetypically Tony Banks.
― Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:15 (2 years ago) Permalink
from memory: post Gabriel the songs get individual writer credits, but i cd be wrong. certainly by And Then There Were Three they were, and almost definitely from that up to the s/t I think. Hackett cited a lack of opportunities for his stuff as the main reason for leaving, and as I said, Gabriel writing all the lyrics for TLLDoB was seen by the band as being a big deal. a lot of the pre Lamb stuff is at least recognisably dominated by one of the band, notably Banks and Hackett I think.
― bell hops (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:16 (2 years ago) Permalink
Geir I did think about Yes as having more in common with Genesis than "out" Prog but i'd argue that from "Fragile" on they're more into sonics/musicianship than out and out songcraft and that puts them in the other camp
― bell hops (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:18 (2 years ago) Permalink
Hackett never really dominated Genesis. His playing was an important part of the band, but his compositions tended to play second violin. They are very easily recognizable whenever he got them in, from the early "Harlequin" through to late efforts like "Entangled" (easily my favourite Hackett song!) and "Blood On The Rooftops".
― Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:18 (2 years ago) Permalink
They were closer to the King Crimson/ELP camp than Genesis were, but the fact that they were always very melodically strong and largely stayed away from the most atonal moments of Crimson/ELP also meant they were always closer to Genesis than the others. Maybe besides a band like Camel.
― Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:20 (2 years ago) Permalink
OK can we talk then about "The Brazilian"? And "Domino"?
― ginny thomas and tonic (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:21 (2 years ago) Permalink
"Domino" is great in places, but the drum machines are very much out of place, disturbing the dynamic of the song. Probably would have sounded great had they recorded and arranged it in 1976 rather than 1986.
― Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:24 (2 years ago) Permalink
"Domino" was the obvious song for me to latch onto when the album came out, cos I was still basically a Prog fan and it presents itself as a Prog track. Now I'd argue that to some extent all of the longer tracks from Abacab on are a kind of pretend Prog almost acting like a sop to the old school fans, but inferior to the better short tunes they were writing. Second half of "Domino" has a lovely climax iirc but I don't feel the urge to go back to it like i do with "In Too Deep".
"The Brazilian" is the instrumental yeah? I like their songs better.
― bell hops (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:25 (2 years ago) Permalink
"Domino" is closer to prog than "Driving The Last Spike" ever was. I partly agree with the "pretend prog" tag, but "Domino" is probably the closest they got to prog after "Duke".
― Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:28 (2 years ago) Permalink
I mean, "Home By The Sea" is great, but it largely repeats the same section with slightly different arrangements. "Domino" has genuine sections and mood changes to an extent that no other Genesis track after "Duke" did.
― Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:29 (2 years ago) Permalink
i just feel like they're pandering to a section of the fanbase at that point by doing longer tracks even tho they seem much more into their poppier stuff.
― bell hops (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:30 (2 years ago) Permalink
Genesis were three individuals at the time. Phil Collins had always been into poppier stuff, and Mike Rutherford also was at the time. Tony Banks, however, has always wanted to do prog and more musically advanced stuff.
― Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:31 (2 years ago) Permalink
wind and wuthering is sooooo fucking bad and boring
― coo coo khal (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:33 (2 years ago) Permalink
Obviously I'm not gonna convince you otherwise G :) but Banks's stuff on say And Then There Were Three is short enough and tuneful enough, however complex we might wanna argue it is/n't
― bell hops (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:33 (2 years ago) Permalink
Wind and Wuthering is half their best album imo. The half that isn't is a bit shit tho.
― bell hops (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:34 (2 years ago) Permalink
Mind you, as late as 1995, Tony Banks made this:
― Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:34 (2 years ago) Permalink
i just feel like they're pandering to a section of the fanbase at that point by doing longer tracks even tho they seem much more into their poppier stuff
exactly -- and the point I was trying to make.
― ginny thomas and tonic (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:34 (2 years ago) Permalink
"Wind and Wuthering" is a beautiful album. I prefer a couple of the Peter ones, and even "A Trick Of The Tail", but "Wind and Wuthering" was Genesis' last absolutely classic album.
"Burning Rope" is the longest and most complex track on the entire album.
― Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:35 (2 years ago) Permalink
maybe i'll listen to w&w again but i remember hating it compared to foxtrot or lamb lies down
abacab is that sweet spot album between eras i think
― coo coo khal (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:36 (2 years ago) Permalink
"Abacab" is the strange new wave album that is unlike anything else they ever did before or since.
― Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:38 (2 years ago) Permalink
for W&W u need to delete/skip "Your Own Special Way" (not horrible but shdn't be there), "Wot Gorilla?", "Mouse's Night" and "Blood on the Rooftops" (good bits too but too ponderous somehow tho it's apparently about 5 minutes shorter than I thought). What's left makes a v. well sequenced mini-album I reckon.
― bell hops (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:40 (2 years ago) Permalink
i own it on vinyl which makes it a little more problematic to skip stuff but i guess i'll just plough through again cuz i respect y'alls greater knowledge and appreciation of genesis
― coo coo khal (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:42 (2 years ago) Permalink
"Mouse's Night" is great!
― Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:45 (2 years ago) Permalink
i've got a degree of affection for the last bit of it but to call it fucking ridiculous wd be an understatement
― bell hops (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:46 (2 years ago) Permalink
mind you, don't you like that horrible "Epping Forest" fuck up as well?
"The Battle Of Epping Forest" is fantastic. Everything on that particular album is.
― Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:52 (2 years ago) Permalink
United in our differences, bro :)
― bell hops (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:53 (2 years ago) Permalink
my fingers hesitate to type this, but.....Geir OTM?
― suge knight rider (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:54 (2 years ago) Permalink
it's like they had this 30 minute bad Monty Python skit and tried to shove it in a 10 minute song which ends up being rushed, too much verbiage and embarrassingly silly voices. Sandwiched in between the stretched-out lushness of "Firth of Fifth" and "Cinema Show" it's just like a big red unsightly boil
― bell hops (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:56 (2 years ago) Permalink
No, it's a great symphonic rock/pop song, with lots of nice contrasting sections. Instead of thinking Monty Python, think 10cc. (And see also "Get'em Out By Friday").
― Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:57 (2 years ago) Permalink
I love Battle of Epping too but I'm aware of its red headed stepchild status among Genesis fans
― suge knight rider (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:58 (2 years ago) Permalink
Also along with "Get'em Out By Friday". I love both, but then I also love such 10cc tracks as "Une Nuit a Paris", "Don't Hang Up" and "Somewhere In Hollywood".
― Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 01:00 (2 years ago) Permalink
I dunno, I have some live tapes from this area and I gotta say they really go all out on "Domino" -- if it is pandering they are hiding the insincerity very well.
Not enough love for "The Brazilian" on this thread. The ballads on this are terrible, and I never again need to hear "Land of Confusion" or "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight," but I heard the title track to this on the radio the other day and I was surprised by the extent to which I wanted to keep listening to it. The production sonuds terrible though. Someone should cover it!
― Guayaquil (eephus!), Tuesday, 3 May 2011 05:53 (2 years ago) Permalink
I wrote this about Invisible Touch last year:
Genesis - Invisible Touch My memories of this album seem to cluster around the age of six years old, and days spent listening to whatever was playing in the living room while staring at the intricate patterns in the carpet. That would peg my relationship with Genesis to 1988; it's possible my parents purchased this album previously, but I didn't become a music critic until about six, so any prior memories have not been documented. At the time Genesis - even mid-eighties Genesis, and indeed no other incarnation existed for me - seemed fantastically dramatic and serious and weighty, qualities that attracted and repulsed with equal measure, and stood distinct from the nostalgist soundtrack fare ('Dirty Dancing', 'Good Morning Vietnam', 'The Big Chill') that comprised the balance of my inadvertent listening in the late eighties. This is in part because it was dramatic and serious and weighty in its presentation, but also in part due to my imposition of a concept album-like narrative arc over the songs, some sort of love-struggle between our hero and a mysterious, seductive succubus, or at times between our hero's task to save the world and his debilitating desire for the femme fatale. This probably stemmed from the actual lyrics of "Invisible Touch", mixed in with ideas and allusions taken from my motley collection of then-favourite films and stories ('Dracula', 'Blade Runner', above all Fritz Lang's 'Metropolis', the Moroder version) plus some sort of general horrified fascination with the concept of desire per se, to become something much more ominous than a "straight" reading of the song would suggest - less invisible touch, more invisible taint. In some senses the album is better than I remember, but only in senses that I was too young to articulate or care about at the time, so it would be more accurate to say it has characteristics I can now identify with approval: those snazzy programmed beats in the title track, and its across-the-board panache; the Moroderesque middle section of "Domino", which I cannot remember at all, and now seems like some weird cross of Donna Summer's 'Once Upon A Time' and Simple Minds' 'Empires & Dance' (the joy and pain of rediscovery often boiling down to shifting reference points in the interim), the buzzing pomp and circumstance of "The Brazilian" which just about defies comparison with anything ever (if only because not all sounds which can be made should be) - unless it's the theoretical possibility of what would have happened if Trevor Horn had joined Yes only after producing Frankie Goes To Hollywood, In other ways, it's lesser - most obviously in the vocals, Phil Collins frequently sounding pinched and strained, as if he was patched in from a toilet. But mostly, it's not that the album is bad so much as that what moved 6 year old me doesn't move 28 year old me quite so much - in particular, the middle-class agit-pop of "Land of Confusion" is nowhere near as evocative as I remember, though I still love the guitar riff that arrives at the end of the chorus (otherwise you can stick with Alcatraz's superior dance-pop version, "The World We Live In"). The song I was most interested to rehear, and the one which also stands up best today, is "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight". Even going by a twenty year old memory, I had a feeling that the tune's pitchshifting syncopated rhythm and cricket-chirp synths would connect with a current (and perhaps modish) weakness I have for opulent eighties stabs at greenhouse global lushness - see also Fleetwood Mac's marvelous "Caroline", in some ways this tune's superior successor; on a different plane, the gentle but widescreen mysticism of the extended mix of the Commodores' "Night Shift". I was right, and "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" has a cracker arrangement, eerie and foreboding and excitingly disjointed and ultimately so epic that even the weirdly corny first section middle eight can't hinder it much. It's also a stout defence of the brave pomp of mid-eighties drumming. But what startled me on returning to this song was not how much it appealed to an older version of me; rather, it was the rush of remembered associations and feelings, like a familiar scent whose origin in memory you cannot place. This song, rather than the title track, bore the full burden of a six year old's moralising treatise on the dangers of sexuality, becoming a tragic declaration of submission to the alluring enemy, laden down with dramatic irony ("don't do it!" I had wanted to shout at Phil through the speakers, like I was watching a pantomime). The memory springs back to life fully formed, notwithstanding the now-apparent complete disconnect between the song's lyrics and the story I had created from nothing. It got to me so that I ultimately disliked this song, or rather, like my imagined protagonist, I viewed its approach with both anticipation and dread, and sighed with relief at its passing (which may be why I liked the following "Land of Confusion" so much at the time). From a pop critic perspective, the ears of children interest us because of how wrong they can be, or how right - a source of entertainment that functions in much the same way as watching trained monkeys, in that it's never clear whether the humor derives from how closely they mimic humans, or how far they fall short. But what interests me about my own child's ear is that clearly I had yet to perform the fundamental conceptual task - to isolate music as music, to consider it as such - that I now do without thinking. Genesis did not exist as music for me then, but as parable, or a prophetic vision of the adult world that was denied to me not by lack of age, but by a lack of story. To listen to "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" in particular was to step dangerously close to a threshold into another life, such as those that existed in my other (more age appropriate) favourite stories. I was right in one crucial respect: with an arrangement that brilliant, "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" really deserves to be a dark tale of conflicted, dangerous desire. Not the confused and confusing song-about-nothing it turns out to be when replayed to these disenchanted 28 year old ears.
― Tim F, Tuesday, 3 May 2011 11:05 (2 years ago) Permalink