What's the best Genesis album?

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Most of my listening this week has been Genesis albums. I've known the Gabriel era albums for years but A Trick Of The Tail is the only Collins one I've checked out before now. I'm surprised how much I've enjoyed these albums. Abacab and the self titled are the two that are standing out. Abacab is good all the way through apart from that obnoxious synth at the end of Dodo/Lurker. As others have said, the self titled is badly let down by Illegal Alien. It's actually quite a good tune but obviously so misguided in every other way. I think I'd still pick that album up if I saw it cheap as the rest of it is so good. It would just be like Iggy Pop's New Values where I pretend African Man doesn't exist. Interested to hear And Then There Were Three and Wind & Wuthering next. It's been really interesting following this thread as I get to know the albums.

kitchen person, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 19:28 (one year ago) Permalink

Abacab is a patchy follow-up to Duke, IMO. I like the title track a lot, even though it probably doesn't deserve to be that long - and 'No Reply At All' would benefit by having the obnoxious horns removed from it. I generally love horn sections, but not on Genesis and Phil Collins records where they generally sound tacky. 'Who Dunnit?' is crap, and the epics aren't particularly memorable.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 19:46 (one year ago) Permalink

I love how Abacab sounds like Genesis running into Simple Minds and The Teardrop Explodes in a crowded thoroughfare.

Tim F, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 21:20 (one year ago) Permalink

(Specifically referencing those bands' contemporaneous material there)

Tim F, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 21:21 (one year ago) Permalink

Abacab is a patchy follow-up to Duke, IMO

it's not

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 21:26 (one year ago) Permalink

and 'No Reply At All' would benefit by having the obnoxious horns removed from it

god the next sentence was even worse

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 21:26 (one year ago) Permalink

imo the fenix horns pretty much never sound tacky, they act as sharp punctuation wherever they're employed?

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 21:34 (one year ago) Permalink

I love how Abacab sounds like Genesis running into Simple Minds and The Teardrop Explodes in a crowded thoroughfare.

― Tim F, Wednesday, July 12, 2017 9:20 PM (eight minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

This is indeed what it sounds like, but the end result isn't as great as that description sounds because the material isn't quite there, whereas on Duke not only did they manage to incorporate elements of New Wave into their sound successfully, but they managed to balance it with their progressive tendencies and they managed to write a set of wall-to-wall very good to great material, powerfully played and impeccably produced.

It has its highlights, but it's definitely a weaker Genesis record.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 21:35 (one year ago) Permalink

Relistened to "Invisible Touch" today after reading all the reappraisals on the IT thread and...yikes. Outside of "Tonight..." I can'tt get with its über-mid-80s digi-production at all. I remembered that's when I had stopped caring.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 21:39 (one year ago) Permalink

The "uber-mid '80s digi-production" is part of the reason I like the album so much - another reason is that there's not a dud track on it!

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 21:52 (one year ago) Permalink

Now that the connection has occurred to me I am very curious to know what a Brab thinks of Sons and Fascination.

Tim F, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 22:07 (one year ago) Permalink

sympathetic to capitaine jay vee's experience of invisible touch; the other day i was listening to it and was kinda annoyed at the digital space in which the songs unfold bc it made the more atmospheric sections of songs sound thin and distant. weirdly this was most pronounced during "tonight..." could've just been my mood at the time as obv i love ultra-synthetic production, unreal crystalline approximations of "real" instruments revolving coldly in an artificial environment 4ever, that's the stuff

i have never heard a simple minds record tim

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 22:15 (one year ago) Permalink

xpost:

A connection between Genesis and Simple Minds occurred to me before, but weirdly the other way around - the bassline to 'In Trance As Mission' has always reminded me of the riff of the 'Apocalypse' section of 'Supper's Ready' ... I wonder if the early Minds were Gabriel-era Genesis fans?

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 22:16 (one year ago) Permalink

but that'll change soon! xp

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 22:16 (one year ago) Permalink

OMG Brad it must!

Given SM got Steve Hillage to produce S&F I wouldn't be surprised if they were British prog fans more generally.

Tim F, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 22:22 (one year ago) Permalink

I look forward to Brad being the only person on ILM to like 'Belfast Child' ...

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 22:36 (one year ago) Permalink

I am a huge fan of slick '80s production in many cases ("Cupid & Psyche 85", Brian Ferry's solo stuff of the decade, anything ZTT/ Trevor Horn, etc). but I'm with ToddBonzalez re: the airless digital space the songs exist in here. Plus there's a pronounced nasal shrillness to Phil's voice on this album that grates.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 23:15 (one year ago) Permalink

I don't really notice any big difference in Phil's voice on this album, except that he was a far more accomplished singer by that point and had better control over his voice!

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 23:20 (one year ago) Permalink

The endless plain of digispace + Collins' decision to shout = an often grating experience. It ruins "Tonight, Tonight Tonight" and "Anything She Does" for me.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 23:46 (one year ago) Permalink

lol "plane"

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 23:46 (one year ago) Permalink

'Tonight, Tonight, Tonight' is perfect, IMO. Can't fault Collins' passionate vocal performance on that at all.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 23:54 (one year ago) Permalink

"the endless plane of digispace" is my favorite john cale song

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Thursday, 13 July 2017 00:19 (one year ago) Permalink

that's what I had in mind

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 13 July 2017 00:31 (one year ago) Permalink

Tonight x 3's rain of pain falls on an endless plain

Tim F, Thursday, 13 July 2017 00:42 (one year ago) Permalink

I recall being profoundly disappointed with abacab upon its release and I still tend to value the post-Duke material much less than what came earlier. But wow, I wasn't aware of the resistance they faced on their 1981 tour:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8d3-CKPupM

doug watson, Thursday, 13 July 2017 15:01 (one year ago) Permalink

I wonder if the early Minds were Gabriel-era Genesis fans

they were never shy about it either
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n760wQHFVOo&t=2m14s
2m14s

PaulTMA, Thursday, 13 July 2017 15:16 (one year ago) Permalink

that may have not worked: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n760wQHFVOo

PaulTMA, Thursday, 13 July 2017 15:17 (one year ago) Permalink

is there a reason why The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is not on Spotify but everything else is?

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 13 July 2017 16:25 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah, it's a bit strange how Genesis fans reacted badly to the band trying different things, whereas Rush had no problem bringing their audience with them. But then from '81-'85 Rush were putting out far better material.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Thursday, 13 July 2017 17:57 (one year ago) Permalink

whereas Rush had no problem bringing their audience with them

idk, it's been a while since i watched the rush doc but this is not my impression of how it went down

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:05 (one year ago) Permalink

They might have lost a few fans who disliked their move from hard rock to progressive rock, or disliked the shorter songs and New Wave elements or disliked stuff like Hold Your Fire, but generally Rush were always perceived as a band that, no matter what they did, they did it with their integrity fully intact and cultivated a very dedicated fanbase who would follow them no matter what.

With Genesis, the audience is far more divided.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:17 (one year ago) Permalink

Genesis lost their original lead singer/songwriter and lead guitarist. Those are pretty drastic changes.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:21 (one year ago) Permalink

If anything, I feel like there is more continuity between Gabriel-era Genesis and the early solo Gabriel albums than between the Gabriel era and the Collins era. Rush always sounded like Lee, Lifeson, and Peart.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:23 (one year ago) Permalink

I've tried so hard to love let alone like Simple Minds beyond "New Gold Dream" and "Glittering Prize." Jim Kerr is the wrong kind of pompous, with colleagues to match.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:31 (one year ago) Permalink

Peter Gabriel was never the "lead" songwriter or driving force at any point... this is one of the reasons why he left! The only LP where all the lyrics are his is on Lamb ... before that, he would mostly sing what he was given by Mike and Tony, and it was similar for Collins on the post-Gabriel albums. Even later on when Phil started writing more it was a couple of tracks at best.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:32 (one year ago) Permalink

Rush sales remained steady (they were automatic platinum for much of the eighties) but you should see the band's faces in recent years as they've learned that millions of fans love if not prefer New World Man Rush. I'm not sure even the band loved the synths.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:33 (one year ago) Permalink

It's worth noting also that Hackett also left because Genesis was the Banks'n'Rutherford show... always was!

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:35 (one year ago) Permalink

Rush sales remained steady (they were automatic platinum for much of the eighties) but you should see the band's faces in recent years as they've learned that millions of fans love if not prefer New World Man Rush. I'm not sure even the band loved the synths.

― the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, July 13, 2017 6:33 PM (one minute ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I'm sure they did, or they wouldn't have done it.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:36 (one year ago) Permalink

seeing Rush twice in the 2000s felt like, whatever happened at the time, any old divides have long since healed, and everything as new wavey as "Time Stand Still" as proggy as "Cygnus X-1" or as meat and potatoes 70s hard rock as "Fly by Night" or "Working Man" all go down great with the multi-generational crowd

was my impression that Lifeson was a bit of a holdout on the synths and that direction was more Geddy and Peart, but I think that's just he felt like his role was being marginalized

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:37 (one year ago) Permalink

I'm sure they did, or they wouldn't have done it.

― The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican),

Not necessarily. Market accommodations. I'm not saying it was the only reason, and if it were the only reason the music is nevertheless terrific.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:41 (one year ago) Permalink

Admittedly, I listen to Lamb the most but you have to acknowledge that a lead singer and lead guitarist are pretty important in defining a rock band's sound.xps

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:41 (one year ago) Permalink

Rush went deeper into synths than they would have needed to in order to accommodate the early 80s rock market, surely. I got the impression that Lee was really intense and passionate about synths?

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:43 (one year ago) Permalink

xxpost:

It wasn't market accomodations - they were listening to The Police, Ultravox etc., liked what they heard and made music influenced by what they were hearing - y'know, like musicians do.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:45 (one year ago) Permalink

Alfred I think you are wrong, Geddy was super into the Taurus pedals...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8uWrP1uD9U

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:46 (one year ago) Permalink

But it's not a binary. Musicians have complex motives. Synthesizers and short songs were popular, and The Police were making music they like. Of course Rush would say, "Hmm, let's give it a go."

But I give up.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:47 (one year ago) Permalink

Admittedly, I listen to Lamb the most but you have to acknowledge that a lead singer and lead guitarist are pretty important in defining a rock band's sound.xps
― No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, July 13, 2017 6:41 PM (three minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Gabriel has an immediately identifiable voice, but Collins is as close as you can get to Gabriel vocally without actually being Gabriel that it's not much of an issue, really. Gabriel blossomed creatively in his solo career, but in Genesis he wasn't the driving force at all - 'Watcher of the Skies' would have turned out near enough the same if Phil had sung it.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:50 (one year ago) Permalink

In Genesis's case, the departure of key members at least provides a symbolic basis for drawing battle lines. It gives an easy shorthand for naming the different eras and stating one's preferences. That might account for the appearance of a rift, though it's hard to estimate actual numbers here, i.e. how much of the early fanbase dropped off. I know my mom and uncle kept buying the albums.

jmm, Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:53 (one year ago) Permalink

The hilarious thing about Soto's comments, re: Rush and synths is that... well, he does realise Rush were using 'em as far back as 2112, right? And they feature heavily on A Farewell to Kings and Hemispheres, too. Bizarre for a band that "don't like synths" and are only using 'em to sell records...

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:56 (one year ago) Permalink

I actually think the first glimmers of new wave/post punk in Rush musically begins really prior to their embrace of synths with Hemispheres, like the chiming guitar figure around the minute mark in La Villa Strangiato, the chorus of Circumstances, quite a bit of the early section of Cygnus X-1: Book II: Hemispheres...

Lifeson is switching to a more chorus, Roland-y type guitar tone and there's an angularity (don't shoot me for using that word) to some of the riffs that seems influenced by new music coming out. Though they are still working primarily in "70s Rush" mode, it feels transitional.

Which is to say this is prior to the first Police album, not to say the Police didn't end up being a big influence but they were moving out of the 70s mode already

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 13 July 2017 18:59 (one year ago) Permalink

The hilarious thing about Soto's comments, re: Rush and synths is that... well, he does realise Rush were using 'em as far back as 2112, right? And they feature heavily on A Farewell to Kings and Hemispheres, too. Bizarre for a band that "don't like synths" and are only using 'em to sell records...

Oh I'm aware. Rush were like Queen that way circa The Game. And I hear things on Hemipsheres that presage what was to come.

Well, to be clear, if you watch the documentary from 2010 or 2011 the band still looks as if they have to mind that they eschewed the prog starting in 1981 (I don't think they did, as any casual listen to "Middletown Dreams" shows). Call it a signal to the older fans (whom I know) who went along with the synths because it was Rush and the eighties but sure weren't happy about it.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 13 July 2017 19:02 (one year ago) Permalink


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