What's the best Genesis album?

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Tbf, I think I'm fairly unusual in only listening to Gabriel-era Genesis (although I like a couple of Collins-led singles) and I do know people who only listen to certain eras of Rush.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 13 July 2017 19:11 (one year ago) Permalink

I find it very difficult to believe you don't listen to A Trick of the Tail or Wind & Wuthering, both of which prove that Genesis was the Banks'n'Rutherford Show as much as Duke proves that Hackett wasn't really that essential either.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Thursday, 13 July 2017 19:28 (one year ago) Permalink

Well, they certainly become less of a guitar band. Literally zero notable guitar leads after Hackett leaves, for better or for worse (often for better!)

Lifeson had been moving toward that Andy Summers style pretty early on the '80s, and certainly with "Permanent Waves" a simplicity (for lack of a better word) and general Police-iness has entered the scene. Lifeson's more atmospheric chords sat well with the infusion of synths. With "Grace Under Pressure," though, Geddy and Neil pushed the electronics much farther, with synths, Simmons pads, etc., and Lifeson's playing got a little simpler as well, by necessity. By "Power Windows," my understanding is that a lot of that album was sequenced (in the synth sense) before Alex really got involved, and he had to struggle to find places for his guitar (which I find funny, since I love the guitar on that record). "Hold Your Fire" is more of that, and while "Presto" pares down the electronics, it pares down everything else, too; it's a pretty spare record. By "Roll the Bones" I think Alex was bristling at being locked in to all the synths and programming, and I remember "Counterparts" being hyped as a return to guitars, and reading Alex interviews where he expressed his excitement at being album to play riffs again. Of course, as always that isn't totally the case, but it's not a coincidence that the last couple of albums are probably the band's hardest, and most guitar-centric, since the '70s.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 13 July 2017 19:31 (one year ago) Permalink

I found this, though:

Geddy Lee: My love of keyboards – I guess you could call it an obsession – reached its peak on Power Windows.

Alex Lifeson: Keyboards were the new thing, so there was this attitude: ‘Let’s just push them up, they sound big and they sound cool.’

Geddy Lee: We would get caught up in the making of an album, and then maybe after it was done Alex would hear it with fresh ears, he’d be like, ‘Hmm, maybe that was too much keyboards.’ Every so often it would come up in conversation between us.

Alex Lifeson: I did see the bigger picture: I knew we were going in a new direction and this was part of it. I don’t have anything against keyboards.

Geddy Lee: Power Windows was very much an album that was out of that whole Trevor Horn school. We brought in this synthesiser guy, Andy Richards, who really brought it up a notch in terms of quality and technology. This was very attractive to me, because it was new and fresh and exciting.

Alex Lifeson: For me, that record was a challenge. But I thought: go with it and it will all work out in the end. So I did that. I just saw that there was a shift in my role.

Geddy Lee: When you’re using that many keyboards, you’re taking up so much space on the record. Then the guitar has to fit around that. With a lot of the songs on Power Windows – songs like Grand Designs and Marathon – we had so many parts already done on keyboards that on previous records the guitar would have filled. So Alex had to figure out a way in. That’s really what it required of him.

Alex Lifeson: The guitar suffered in a lot of the mixes. That’s what bothered me more than anything. The bottom line was, I just thought that we needed to preserve the core of what the band is. It’s a three-piece.

Geddy Lee: Alex did play some great stuff on that record. Like on Mystic Rhythms. Without the guitar riff, that song doesn’t work. And I really like the sound of that album. I thought it was a really strong production. There are some great songs on that record. I like Middletown Dreams a lot – you know, every once in a while we write a good melody! Overall, I thought Power Windows was a great accomplishment for us. But maybe not so much on the couple of albums after that – Hold Your Fire and Presto. On those records the keyboards were still present, but not in so positive a way. That was making the case, once again, for realigning the sound…

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 13 July 2017 19:41 (one year ago) Permalink

I find it very difficult to believe you don't listen to A Trick of the Tail or Wind & Wuthering, both of which prove that Genesis was the Banks'n'Rutherford Show as much as Duke proves that Hackett wasn't really that essential either.

Lol that this is a difficult thing to believe.:)

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 13 July 2017 20:06 (one year ago) Permalink

I'll give them another try some time, though.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Thursday, 13 July 2017 20:06 (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 (two hours ago) Permalink

I'm not sure I'd describe the early albums as remotely pompous!

Tim F, Thursday, 13 July 2017 20:37 (one year ago) Permalink

Ha yeah, I'd say the pomposity happens after New Gold Dream, not before.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Thursday, 13 July 2017 20:58 (one year ago) Permalink

Once Upon a Time is one if the grosser arena sellouts.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 13 July 2017 21:02 (one year ago) Permalink

(I'm aware that it's the consensus pick for the rot-setting-in album.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 13 July 2017 21:04 (one year ago) Permalink

It's also stylistically about as far away from Reel to Real Cacophony as you can get!

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Thursday, 13 July 2017 21:10 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah the transformation of Simple Minds across its first seven albums is almost as extreme as from A Trick of the Tail to Invisible Touch.

Tim F, Thursday, 13 July 2017 21:43 (one year ago) Permalink

I want to host a listening party where I take Alfred and Brad through the first six in chronological order. As with Genesis and Talk Talk the overall progression is fascinating.

Tim F, Thursday, 13 July 2017 21:45 (one year ago) Permalink

It's probably even more extreme when you consider the first two albums - only released six months apart but it feels like there should have been three or four albums in between the two, such is the leap between the two!

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Thursday, 13 July 2017 22:03 (one year ago) Permalink

this section of the wikipedia article on Once Upon a Time is kind of bathetic

Legacy[edit]

In 2008, Once Upon a Time was listed as the 864th greatest album of all time by the French retail chain Fnac.[8]

In 2013, "All the Things She Said" was featured on a radio station in Grand Theft Auto V, the fourth best-selling video game of all time (as of February 2017).

soref, Thursday, 13 July 2017 22:07 (one year ago) Permalink

I'm listening to A Trick of the Tail again now, and fucking hell 'Squonk' is just so good.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Thursday, 13 July 2017 22:20 (one year ago) Permalink

There's a good anecdote on the Life in a Day Wikipedia about Kerr hearing Unknown Pleasures shortly after the first album came out and immediately realising they'd fucked up.

Tim F, Thursday, 13 July 2017 22:20 (one year ago) Permalink

It's probably the one that generally gets rated the lowest of the first five records, but I really like Life in a Day! Sparkle in the Rain is the last one I'll go anywhere near, but it's far more tolerable than what came after.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Thursday, 13 July 2017 22:25 (one year ago) Permalink

Sparkle is alright, but that's when the vocals go a little bit Bono for the first time. Can tolerate the singles from Once Upon A Time but otherwise the quality just plummets to this sub-U2 wasteland.. I forget the name of that 'I Travel' rehash but it's absolutely putrid. And then came Street Fighting Years.

PaulTMA, Thursday, 13 July 2017 23:19 (one year ago) Permalink

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

― No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r)

way to piss off the "trespass" thread

The Saga of Rodney Stooksbury (rushomancy), Friday, 14 July 2017 01:35 (one year ago) Permalink

Ha, well, you got me there. Really, as my list above shows, I just listen to the albums with Gabriel and Hackett.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Friday, 14 July 2017 01:38 (one year ago) Permalink

Oh, i'm pissed; but not for that --it's this talk of Rush that makes me ill.

Never the twain.

bodacious ignoramus, Friday, 14 July 2017 05:17 (one year ago) Permalink

Rush were the superior band, though, in terms of energy (no longer-than-they-need-to-be meandering 12 string guitar detours), playing/instrumental proficiency (Peart > Collins, obviously), production (even the early Rush LP's sound better than Trespass and Nursery Cryme), songwriting ('Turn it on Again' is excellent, but not as excellent as 'The Spirit of Radio' ... also '2112' and 'Cygnus X-1: Book II' are superior compositions to 'Supper's Ready'), lyricism ('Subdivisions' alone crushes anything Genesis came up with), adaptability (Rush absorbed new wave elements far more successfully) etc. I could go on and on...

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Friday, 14 July 2017 12:41 (one year ago) Permalink

I think I'd disagree on the songwriting, plus both Collins and Gabriel are better vocalists than Geddy Lee. I'd struggle to choose although I'm not a huge fan of either band - though I do really like both in places.

Gavin, Leeds, Friday, 14 July 2017 12:53 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah, Gabriel and Collins are both better singers and have better voices that are easier to listen to and Genesis probably sold more records, but overall Rush crush Genesis in every way.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Friday, 14 July 2017 13:02 (one year ago) Permalink

(and I like Genesis)

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Friday, 14 July 2017 13:02 (one year ago) Permalink

but overall Rush crush Genesis in every way.

These kind of statements...

I mean - come on.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 14 July 2017 13:32 (one year ago) Permalink

Both bands have made their share of good to great albums. What are you basing the crushing power of Rush on lol?

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 14 July 2017 13:35 (one year ago) Permalink

Ok - just saw your post upthread. Wow.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 14 July 2017 13:36 (one year ago) Permalink

I think Genesis absorbed the New Wave ( and US r&b) influences so well they appeared like almost natural fits when it happened. Rush sounded awkward at times when incorporating New Wave elements.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 14 July 2017 13:40 (one year ago) Permalink

I disagree, I think that the run of albums from Permanent Waves to Power Windows sound very natural and unforced in their adoption of New Wave styles.

Duke sounds natural and unforced too, but I can't say the same for Abacab and Genesis, particularly the former.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Friday, 14 July 2017 14:09 (one year ago) Permalink

Rush blow after Signals; only drooling fan-boys would fail to see that Genesis have at least a half-dozen classic records where Rush have maybe two.

...and i like Rush

bodacious ignoramus, Friday, 14 July 2017 14:36 (one year ago) Permalink

Genesis have 6 classics, whereas Rush have 8 - so there y'go, yet another level on which Rush annihilate Genesis.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Friday, 14 July 2017 14:41 (one year ago) Permalink

i don't think any of the rush albums that absorb new wave are as consistent as duke, abacab, or even shapes

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 14 July 2017 14:41 (one year ago) Permalink

also peart is a terrible lyricist

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 14 July 2017 14:43 (one year ago) Permalink

xpost Not Moving Pictures or Permanent Waves or Signals? I disagree.

Peart > Collins, obviously

No way. They are very different drummers, but Peart is not "clearly" superior, unless you subscribe to the Peart-is-the-greatest-drummer-of-all-time stance. Collins and Peart are equally creative and talented, and for a time equally busy/chops-heavy. Still, not to bash on Peart at all (because he's awesome and I like Rush better than Genesis, too), but I couldn't imagine him filling all the stylistic roles Collins has, from Zep to Motown to fusion to ... I mean, it just goes on. Collins is like one of those great session drummers able to impart his own personality with each performance. And he grooves and swings, which Peart, for all his awesomeness, just doesn't do much of. Or need to do!

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 14 July 2017 14:44 (one year ago) Permalink

80-82 is my favourite era of Rush so I do think they win on the new wave front. That said I've never thought of Genesis as being particularly new wavy anyway bar a handful of songs - their '80s albums are quite eclectic but to me they lean more towards just straight MOR/rock. I guess there was a lot of overlap at that time.

Gavin, Leeds, Friday, 14 July 2017 14:48 (one year ago) Permalink

Duke and Invisible Touch are the only two albums that could remotely compete with anything that Rush released 1980-1985. In terms of Rush's discography from the beginning up to 1985 and Genesis' discography in the same period, the Rush albums are relatively filler and fat-free.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Friday, 14 July 2017 14:48 (one year ago) Permalink

@josh oh i was talking mostly about signals, grace under pressure, and power windows. signals is my fav rush record but even then i don't like it as much as duke. idk, maybe it's time to spend more time with the rush catalog lol

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 14 July 2017 14:50 (one year ago) Permalink

...and here i thought we could be friends. Eight classic Rush records... you're high (and Invisible Touch sux).

Josh; you are wise -- my arguments would be better expressed if filtered through your pen.

bodacious ignoramus, Friday, 14 July 2017 14:52 (one year ago) Permalink

I find the idea that Peart doesn't "groove" or "swing" really funny and pretty much demonstrates a lack of knowledge about the guy's drumming. Of course, naturally, from a purely technical perspective alone Peart > Collins, but there's more to Peart's drumming than that. He was at his peak for longer too.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Friday, 14 July 2017 14:54 (one year ago) Permalink

oy vey. Can there be a Genesis Vs Rush poll so we can go back to matters at hand? lol

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 14 July 2017 15:17 (one year ago) Permalink

xpost You are totally wrong about Peart. His parts are totally precise, totally arranged, totally deliberate and totally not spontaneous. And totally awesome. That's their brilliance! Even his solos are totally composed! Not a dig on him, just a very different style that does not demand groove or swing or whatever. Anyway, let's go to the tape:

Neil Peart does Buddy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aT9333XiR4U

Phil Collins big band:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JT5UslpgPUA

I mean, neither is playing the Village Vanguard.

Peart did stay at his peak longer, I'll give you that. But he worked really hard at that, too - taking lessons, reassessing/changing his technique - and it played a big role in his retirement.

Don't get me wrong, they're both great! But Neil Peart is perfect for Rush and only for Rush. Collins is far more versatile.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 14 July 2017 16:09 (one year ago) Permalink

I mean, Collins doing his best Jaki here:

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

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 14 July 2017 16:11 (one year ago) Permalink

Through-composing and arranging ones parts has nothing to do with ones ability to "swing" ...

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Friday, 14 July 2017 16:17 (one year ago) Permalink

Sure. But it does discredit an occasional looseness and spontaneity as an attribute. Peart is like a machine, which is what I love about him. Not a time-keeping machine, just a total wind-up do his thing machine.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 14 July 2017 16:25 (one year ago) Permalink

It's a different discussion, but I've often wondered about certain rarified virtuosos, if they're so into their thing that that's all they can do. Again, that's not a dig at Peart at all. But I was really impressed several months ago coming across some video of Mike Portnoy playing the Beatles. Not that I like Portnoy's playing - I hate Dream Theatre - but I was just impressed he could set aside ego and do his best Ringo. Could a guitarist as prima facia virtuoso as, say, Steve Vai, even play a sloppy version of "Wild Thing?" Without doing his weedle-weedle? I saw a clip of Adrian Belew once - he's another guitarist who just does his thing - and he was talking about influences, and it was a bit like pulling teeth. The interviewer finally got him to concede Hendrix, and then it took another round of coaxing to get Belew to even minimally demonstrate some Hendrix-like licks.

Anyway, Peart's, yeah, through-composed approach to drums is (or was) essentially unique. That's what makes him special. But it's also what makes it so hard for me to compare him to other drummers.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 14 July 2017 16:28 (one year ago) Permalink

Josh has it right -- Peart is a technician; adept, yes, but still a craftsman.

bodacious ignoramus, Friday, 14 July 2017 16:34 (one year ago) Permalink

Sure. But it does discredit an occasional looseness and spontaneity as an attribute.

Rush were never about jamming/improvising and neither really were Genesis, but that doesn't mean they couldn't do it and of course being musicians of their calibre I'm sure they could. Basically, your argument boils down to "Collins is a better drummer because he's done more session work", and I disagree.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Friday, 14 July 2017 16:37 (one year ago) Permalink

Peart > Bruford > Palmer > Collins > White

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Friday, 14 July 2017 16:41 (one year ago) Permalink


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