George Starostin's Reviews



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Simon Hearn <> (08.09.99)

How you can grant these guys a 3, I DO NOT KNOW! A one maybe, but 3? I have to be honest and will say I hate genesis - in my opinion they are the most boring "successful" band of all time. Nothing innovative lies within their catalogue and they make Fleetwood Mac seem positively avant gard. I know you may disagree strongly, but there you go!

Ps. Any band that spawns Phil Collins deserves a minus score

Peter Agnew <> (10.09.99)

Genesis a three star artist - ahead of YES??? How could you do that? OK, I can understand why you put King Crimson ahead of Yes, but GENESIS?? Ugh. Please forgive me if this sounds harsh, but as far as I'm concerned, the only good thing about Genesis was (note tense) Peter Gabriel. The differing paths that Genesis and Gabriel took in the eighties is instructive.

While the weakling Genesis decapitated itself and degenerated into a third rate pop group, Gabriel's bold experiments with world music timbres broke new ground in pop music. Compare Invisible Touch with So and the former album is embarrassing!

But at least Genesis's stuff with Gabriel was intermittently interesting. Only one problem, early Genesis never seemed to know how to rock. All my prog-mates tell me that "Supper's Ready" is a great track, but it just puts me to sleep. Selling England and Broadway do have their moments though. But no, compared to Yes, King Crimson, Gentle Giant and Van Der Graaf Generator, Genesis are certainly not a "three-star" artist. Surely this little classification error can be easily rectified???

Peace and stay positive.

<> (25.10.99)

I have just GOT to write to you on this one.

Yes, Tony Banks is a professional (and educated). But put next to Keith Emerson or Rick Wakeman he would look like Tony Banks -- and not have to apologise for it. True, he may not play as fast as the other two gentlemen, but is that such a bad thing? I liked 'Rondo 69' when it first appeared but it doesn't compare well, thirty years later, with the original 'Rondo'. Same for Wakeman. The whole solo part between the two book-ends of the main them on 'Catherine Howard' (a track I adore: one of Wakeman's absolute classics) is not improved by speeding it up, as in The Piano Album: the playing is, of course, technically perfect but it is approaching the soulless perfection of a paper-roll-driven mechanical piano. Tony Banks has never succumbed to the temptation to speed up the glorious solo on 'Firth of Fifth': he has too much taste and knows it would be wrecked. To those who say he would be incapable of doing so even if he wanted to, what? Virtuoso speed is not everything.

You seriously underestimate Mr Banks if you think that Emerson or Wakeman could make him look like a six-year old etc.,etc. One of his strengths is his ability to write good tunes and to create new, albeit sometimes short, solos. Apart from the aforementioned 'Firth of Fifth', take another listen to his first solo album: A Curious Feeling. It is moody and atmospheric with strong melodies. Mr Wakeman, however, whose music I will never cease to love, and who can write some beautiful tunes, seems, to me, to fall down when he extemporises, by relying on the same old cliches, and variations on them, every time.

It is true that Tony's instruments are at the centre of the band's sound, but this is surely necessary since Steve Hackett (a seriously under-rated guitarist) left the group; it was not like that in Steve's time. I know you feel otherwise but if you listen again you will hear give and take between Tony and Steve, both on the accoustic, as well as electric guitar.

You might not like Tony's "corny keyboards and cornier synths" but that is surely subjective. The man is an exceptionally talented keyboard player. To say he isn't quite in Wakeman's or Emerson's class may be true: but then comparisons, so we are told, are odious.

Mike DeFabio <> (26.10.99)

Why do all these people hate Genesis so much? I love Genesis. Before Gabriel quit they were better than Yes and King Crimson combined. They could have been my favorite band of all time, but ol' Pete decided to LEAVE and go SOLO (actually most of his solo albums are pretty good too. They ain't no Foxtrot, though) so my favorite band is Pink Floyd. But these guys were DAMN good.

Glenn Wiener <> (04.02.2000)

I am not a big fan of these guys. However, I can relate to your reviews. It seems as when Peter Gabriel was in the band, these guys put out a more creative product. I remember looking at a picture in a 1976 Circus Magazine thinking,"What Odd Looking Dudes. They will never be around three years from now." Boy was I wrong. Whereas as the Phil Collins era put out some more radio friendly songs with catchy beats, I tend to find alot of the creativity from the Gabriel era seems to be missing. Also the tone of their songs are a little bit too eerie and programmed for my tastes.

Jeff Blehar <> (21.02.2000)

To think...there was actually time when Phil Collins was hip! Really!

Anyway, I feel somewhat silly commenting on this page. I more or less despise prog-rock (and I have heard quite a bit of Crimson, ELP, and Yes, so I know of what I speak), but dammit, I love these guys silly! Perhaps I'm a closet prog-lover? I don't know, but I'd like to take a shot at explaining why I think these guys are worthwhile, from the point of view of a guy whose predilection tend towards punk, rock, and new-wave.

First of all, mood. Genesis were more pastoral, dreamy, and English than any of the other proggers out there, and it works in their advantage. Instead of faceless airy-faerie mysticism like Yes or anonymous foreboding like King Crimson, Genesis at their best are evocative - in a Kinkish sort of way - of an idealized England that never was. That applies to both modern England and the swords and sorcery days of yore. These guys can create atmosphere pretty effortlessly.

Second of all, instrumental prowess. Not that these five (I speak of the "classic" lineup of Gabriel/Banks/Rutherford/Collins/Hackett) could play anywhere nearly as well as many of their contemporaries - Gabriel's never been good at playing any instrument (as a flautist he's merely passable) and only Collins (possibly Hackett) is a real virtuoso at his instrument. Yes! Everyone forgets that: Phil Collins was (is?) an EXCELLENT drummer, with a jazz background and a great sense of playing. Of course now he pumps out musical filth, but let that go. Anyway, as I was saying, they play well enough to be convincingly prog, yet not well enough (and I believe this is really important) to lose their pop souls. Because they were never technically amazing, they were never really in danger of taking off into that super-complex soulless programmatic style that ELP and Yes lost themselves in. They were prog band, but they never ceased being a pop band either.

Third, and most important, THEY HAD A SENSE OF HUMOR. Unlike almost ALL of the other prog-rock groups. And I don't mean a forced ELP style "well here's a funny bit now, look at it!" style of humor, where it's almost there to PROVE something; Genesis was naturally self-deflationary. Call them puffed-up foolery and pretentious crap if you want, but I seriously doubt any band who made songs like "I Know What I Like" or "Harold The Barrel" while having their lead singer alternately dress as a female fox or a flower took themselves that seriously. So I never lose sight of the fact that there are humans behind the music (at least during the Gabriel years) and that's really important to me.

So that's why I like 'em, at least as far as I'm capable of explaining. Oh yeah, and stop knocking Tony Banks' keyboards! I really don't see what wrong with them at all. They don't really strike me as cheesy (until around 1979, I suppose, but EVERYBODY'S keyboards sounded cheesy at that point), and they guy above me is right: that "Firth Of Fifth" opening is wonderful.

John McFerrin <> (05.04.2000)

Hey, George, I think I have a greater understanding now of what it is about Banks that drives me nutty in his pre-synthesizer days (of course, his ToTT and WaW problem is that he has a large ego and little taste for what makes a good keyboards sound). What I've noticed is just how little the man plays his keys legato, or rather, the marked difference in his playing on the occasions when he does. His playing on 'Firth of Fifth', 'Battle of Epping Forest', and, oh, the beginning of 'Hogweed' all have a wonderful flow to them, and as such they are extremely enjoyable to the ear. Much of the rest of the time, though, he tries to deceive the listener into thinking his parts are impressive by essentially placing an accent on virtually every single note he plays! Sometimes it works ('Knife', 'Salamcis'), but usually it doesn't (the very beginning of Foxtrot, etc).

That being said, his style does work if it's not at the forefront, such as when he's driving 'WotS' forward, but a lot of the time it's just annoying.

Jeffrey A Morton <> (09.05.2000)

George, you are mistakenly under the impression that Gabirel wrote most of the lyrics for Genesis during his tenure. This isn't true. Yes, he did write all the lyrics for The Lamb... and the song "Supper's Ready". But classics like, "Fountain of Salmacis" (lyrics: Mike Rutheford), "Watcher of the Skies" (lyrics: Tony Banks), "Get em' Out By Friday" (Total collaborative effort from Banks, Gabriel and Rutheford), "Firth of Fith" (lyrics: Tony Banks) were written by people OTHER than Peter Gabriel. I could go on and on. Hell, even Anthony Phillips wrote lyrics on Trespass.

On another note, why the hell do people blame Phil Collins for the dive into adult pop that Genesis took. Most of the blame should lie on Mike Rutheford's shoulders (ie: Mike and the Mechanics). Who as early as 1979 was delving into adult pop. Collins is a HELL of a drummer, dispite what you think of his voice. And maybe wrote his best lyrics for "Blood on the Rootops."

[Special author note: yeah, actually I do know that Gabriel was not alone for the lyrics. Funny, though, that the most pretentious and at times nauseating lyrics (the ones on 'Firth Of Fifth' still make me cringe and come close to spoiling the perfect sensations from the perfect music) were always written by Tony. What an amazing coincidence...]

Ted Goodwin <> (10.05.2000)

Just a note on Mr. Morton's comment above: To give credit where credit is due, Steve Hackett wrote most of the lyrics to "Blood On The Rooftops", although Phil did come up with the title. (Source: SH's own web site.) Actually, these may have been the ONLY lyrics SH wrote for Genesis, but oh well.

Andrey <> (31.05.2000)

My name is Andrey, i am from Krasnoyarsk region of Russia. I think that Genesis (1969-1978) is greatest music band of 20 centery. Thank you.

Jeffrey A Morton <> (15.06.2000)

Er, sorry 'bout that. Yea, I did know that Hackett wrot the lyrics on that song. Maybe I was thinking of "Robbery Assault and Battery."

Ivan Piperov <> (24.08.2000)

I used to hate Genesis and Phil Collins when I was in school and everyone sang "Jesus he knows me". Out of curiousity I listened to Nursery Cryme, to hear what they sounded like with Peter Gabriel. And I instantly fell in love with it all! They are the greates prog-band around, and Phil Collins is the most energetic drummer I've ever heard. I still can't believe it when I see him on TV singing these bland tunes, that this guy could rock like hell. He IS a virtuoso! Listen out for his contribution on some Brand X albums (great stuff too!) if you're not convinced. Today Genesis suck.

Jeffrey A Morton <> (24.12.2000)

Well, George, I've had time to think about your comments on Genesis. This is my revised opinion.....Though often Phil Collins recives the brunt of the abuse on this page ( I feel, wrongly) , I do have to agree that their best "artistic" period was with Peter Gabriel. Tonly Banks is a good songwriter who is often overcome by his own lyrical pretensions. When Gabriel left Banks felt he had free reign, thus we have lyricly obtuse albums...such as Wind and Wuthering. Steve Hackett is a good, bordering on great guitarist who was seriously underused during his time in Genesis. Phil Collins is a fantastic drummer, just listen to his work on "The Carpet Crawlers" or "Firth of Fith" to see what I mean. Then there is Mike Rutheford. A man who I believe deserves the brunt of the blame for bringing Genesis in the the "sappy love song" territory . Look at "Your Own Speicial Way" or "Follow You, Follow Me", or his first solo albums which predates any solo album by Phil Collins. It's a sad commentery on a man who wrote "White Mountain" and "Fountain of Salmacis"

<> (17.02.2001)

Genesis is probably my favorite band. I play Foxtrot, Selling England, and The Lamb more than any other albums in my entire collection, and those three albums alone make them one of the greatest bands of all time and certainly the best progressive rock band. But on top of those three masterpieces, Genesis contributed a whole bunch of lesser, but still great albums. I even really like their later pop music to a certain extent: it certainly does not deserve the embarassing reputation it has received. In my opinion, Calling all Stations is the only truly bad album the band ever produced. Peter Gabriel is a musical genius, with this band and without, and his period with the group cannot be topped. But one certainly shouldn't deny the excellence of some of the later stuff. Anyway, my reviews are below.

Nick Karn <> (22.02.2001)

Kudos on the upgrade of Genesis to a 4 star band rating - they deserve it. Personally, I wasn't sure for awhile whether or not I'd give them a 3 or 4, but the latter seems much more reasonable. I've now acquired all their regular studio albums (with the exception of Calling All Stations, which I'm reluctant to get unless I see it REAL cheap, and even then only for reviewing purposes) after starting out with reviewing only Invisible Touch and We Can't Dance from the collection of my brother (the hair metal freak and 'minor band' enthusiast) of all places, thanks in huge part to this site, which pointed me first to Selling England, which I, like many people, feel is their best album, though not my favorite prog rock album of all time. Now for me it's on to more live releases and Peter Gabriel albums before CAS, the latter's especially because he was the true musical genius of the band.

Using this scale, my ratings for quite a few of the albums are pretty similar to yours, though keep in mind the ratings translate slightly differently on this scale than what the albums would receive on my own 1 to 10 one. The 15 point system seems slightly more detailed and interesting in this respect. They are:

FGTR - 5(9) (sorry), Trespass - 6(10), Nursery Cryme - 7(11), Foxtrot - 8(12), Selling England - 10(14), Lamb - 9(13), Trick - 8(12), Wind - 4(8), Three - 6(10), Duke - 3(7), Abacab - 7(11), Genesis - 8(12), Invisible Touch - 6(10), We Can't Dance - 7(11) (so shoot me)

rick spataro <> (21.05.2001)

Alright dude, I gotta get this off my chest. I have read these album reviews you've done for Genesis. How in the world can you claim to be any sort of fan of the band when in almost every single one of your reviews, you practically rip the albums apart? Doesn't ANYTHING satisfy you? If you hate long instrumentals, sappy lyrics and short, "meaningless" songs, then why the hell do you even bother listening to Genesis in the first place? Oh sure, you'll praise the very first album, which IS good, but you'll slice and dice up the rest which are ten times better than the very first one. You make no goddamned sense dude.

Gary Gomes <> (14.07.2001)


Obviously you can dislike Tony Banks all you wish (and I agree with you entirely about everything after A Trick of the Tail--way too soupy) but, being a keyboard player, I can assure you that his output from Nursery Cryme to Trick was first rate, and pretty damn virtuosic--the equal of Emerson and Wakeman in every way.

Also, you should realize that the second "guitar" solo on 'Musical Box' is actually Tony on a fuzzed up RMI Electrapiano! (You will hear a little "duelling" on the track between Hackett and him.) When I saw him in 1973 and 1974 his entire setup was an organ, the RMI, a mellotron and a little one note at a time ARP soloist synthesizer. Tony's good--he's very good, just got caught up in the wretched excess of the late 1970's I think. They were ALL quite awesome live.

One comment that I can remember somebody making was that they got Hackett because they couldn't hire Fripp, and you do hear a bit of Fripp in his playing--he had a "pedalboard" set up similar to Fripp.

This album and Foxtrot, were extraordinary LP's and Genesis managed a very high creative level up to and including A Trick of the Tail.

Brian Sittinger <> (20.07.2001)

GENESIS!!?? A progressive rock band? If you told me this two years ago, I would not have been able to distinguish this era from what they are TOO well-known for doing!! (At least I knew Peter Gabriel was in this band for a while. Other than that, I only knew of a couple of songs from Lamb, as well as "Squonk" (of course, from the Collins led version.)) A friend highly recommended Selling England by the Pound. Though skeptical, I bought it. And it wasn't bad, though some parts take a little bit getting used to. And now, I own their entire classic "prog" catalog (except Seconds Out. One of these days...). I still have somewhat of an allergy toward their "pop" era, though I am thoroughly acquainted with all their "hits" from this period: some okay ("ABACAB", "Mama", "Follow You, Follow Me"), some BAD ("Misunderstanding", and Phil Collins' solo style stuff for example); so, I won't be buying any of this any time soon.

Concerning the band itself: Often underwhelming on first listen. But, as with most progressive music, a few honest listens are needed before drawing any conclusions (King Crimson tenfold!!). I went more or less backwards through their catalog starting at Selling England by the Pound back to Nursery Cryme, before finally buying (in this order) Trick of the Tail, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (due to its controversial aura and money!!), and then Wind and Wuthering. (NOTE: I actually heard Trick of the Tail on the radio right after buying Selling England by the Pound; maybe this is why I don't have any preconceived bias between the Gabriel and Collins' prog. eras!) All these albums are highly recommendable, with Wind and Wuthering being the least. More on this in the commentaries below. It's true that none of the band members have the abilities of Yes or King Crimson (from what I know of them). But, this may have worked to their advantage; Genesis never fell into the trap that the two aforementioned bands are often accused of. In particular, keep an eye on Gabriel's singing/lyrics, Hackett's guitar stylings (they are breathtaking in the few notes he plays), and Collins' drumming (yes, he can drum very well!!)

Steve Y <> (18.01.2002)

Read with your interest your thoughts on Genesis, and it made me think of my love for this band and why. I've listened to a lot of 70's prog rock over the years, but to tell you the truth, I don't consider myself a fan of any of it other than Genesis. I can APPRECIATE other bands (Yes, Gentle Giant), but they don't really touch me in any way.

Genesis did, for these reasons. First, they were just good songwriters. Does anyone think ELP or Gentle Giant actually wrote good songs? Between the inevitable prog pretensions of the time, 'Supper's Ready' contained at least four strong songs - songs that stuck in your head, that touched you, that made you feel something. Secondly, Gabriel's voice. One of the most dramatic rock vocalists of all time. And thirdly, Steve Hackett. Hackett was the progressive conscience of this band, without being showy. It seemed he totally lacked ego, which is a plus in a symphonic progressive rock band. Much of his early work was even unrecognizable as guitar. Those are the main reasons, but there are other smaller ones, down to Collins excellent drumming and bg vocals and yes, even Banks had a flair for arrangement.

For what they did in their time, they were the best.

Benjamin Massey <> (07.03.2002)

I have to agree with you that Genesis is a pretty fine prog my humble opinion, they're second only to Jethro Tull in the prog category. But, then again, I'm a sucker for the medieval stuff.

To me, the thing that seperates Genesis (yes, I mean Peter Gabriel Genesis here) from other prog bands is the deepness of their lyrics, for one. Most of my Genesis experience comes from Foxtrot, I'll admit...but I've heard most of their albums at one point or another and I actually find myself really thinking about what their lyrics mean. I just don't do that, unless the lyrics are _really_ something special.

I also love their transition...the way they can go in one minute from light, almost 'merry' prog-playing to raging rocking. This was almost entirely Peter Gabriel's doing (some of his solo works do this brilliantly) and it is the loss of this transition that killed Phil Collins Genesis. More than anything, the fact that they were mired in one basic style for any given work was a crippler.

Glenn Wiener <> (05.04.2002)

I know that I have previously submitted a comment in this section. However, since I wrote my original comment on Genesis, I have actually listened to many more releases by this band. And you know what? I find that I like these guys somewhat although I appreciate their progressive side more than their pop side.

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is one creative piece of music with many great songs. Peter Gabriel's vivid imagery shines thru and the other band members contribute some passionate instrumental passages. Trick Of A Tail is another fine piece of work which features Phil Collins at the forefront. Yet Banks, Hackett, and Rutherford make many fine contributions.

I borrowed a Genesis Archives CD 1967-1975 which features some live versions from Selling England By The Pound as well as the epic 'Supper's Ready' and the captivating 'Watcher Of The Skies'. Geez, those Selling England tracks are sure captivating in their own unique way. Eventually, I just might take up your advice and purchase this CD. The last CD features some of the early demos of which three appear on the debut In The Beginning CD. Some interesting moments, 'In The Wilderness' stands out a bit with the catchy chorus.

The pop oriented Genesis features a few good songs here and there but mostly an overabundance of technical effects. I guess Genesis went the pop route because they ran out of ideas on the spotty Wind and Wuthering CD. The Shapes CD and Abacab are both pretty good efforts based on good song structure in spite of the excess of drum machines. I might be able to add Duke someday to that category once I get an opportunity to listen to it. However Invisible Touch and We Can't Dance are mediocre releases.

As musicians, Genesis were pretty good in their progressive days. Tony Banks was a little bit too much at the center of their sound. However, Tony created many beautiful keyboard solos and melodies that really captured the overall sound of Genesis. Steve Hackett came up with many innovative guitar solos. Its too bad the band stifled him so much. Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford certainly made strong contributions during the bands progressive days. However, they seemed to get lazy instrumental wise on their pop releases. And Gabriel certainly had his wonderful imagery which made up for some of his vocal short commings. He certainly knew how to add creative vocal effects which Mr. Collins could not quite duplicate. I do admit that Collins possible has a stronger voice.

So there you have it, by new and improved Genesis commentary.

Guillermo F. Vázquez Malagamba <> (09.10.2002)

It seems that the Peter Gabriel years are overrated in Genesis´ story. I comment about each period of the band:

1. The Early Genesis (1967): they were teenagers and still learning how to be a band. They were "guided" by the Big Ego of producer Jonathan King (now in jail for sexual abuse against teenagers, but fortunately not Genesis). Their style then was more directed to sixties pop similar to the Bee Gees.

2. First step in their "real" style (1969-70): Trespass was a good period but they still sounded "amateur".

3. The Gabriel Theatre Years (1971-75: they became a better band because Hackett and Collins joined the band. Their musical equipment still wasn´t very good, but they became better composers and players. Gabriel became the focus of the public´s attention because he used costumes, masks, etc., to "Act" the songs. IMO, this period is overrated because they still had to became better as musicians. Gabriel wasn´t the main composer as many people think. IMO, Gabriel since then is looking to attract the public´s attention doing things "out of the musical norm". IMO, he is like David Bowie a bit. The Lamb... is also cited as their peak, but IMO, it was like The Beatles´ White Album: fragmented.

4. The Quartet years (1975-77):Their peak period, IMO. They became better musicians playing in better equipment. Great music from A Trick of the Tail and Wind & Wuthering. Their best progressive period, more mature. Banks was a very good keyboards player (despite having a reputation of a Big Ego problem), making a lot of atmospheres and melodies. Collins was a sensitive lead singer, a good showman and a better drummer. Hackett´s best period with the band. Rutherford´s great 12 string guitars and basses.

5. Trio years, chapter one (1977-82): the band had a big loss when Hackett left the band. They became a mixture of "progressive" with a tendency to pop songs. The change was directed by the Big Bosses (record companies) and the passing of progressive rock as a fad.

6. Trio years, chapter two (1983-93): the full commercial years for Genesis starting with the Genesis album (IMO, their worst), being in full pop style for Invisible Touch and ending with We can´t dance, a good album in comparison to the previous two albums. A period very influenced by Phil Collins´ solo career and Mike and the Mechanics.

7. Decadence (1997-98): their CAS album and tour. An attempt to return to the old days with Gabriel and Collins, but in real confusion about tastes of the public.

Crew Glazjev <> (13.05.2003)

Genesis is the most overrated prog rock band. That's my view. Somewhere I saw an assertion that Genesis is one of the five greats along with Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull. Genesis is the only of these five who is included undeservedly. Not that I discard them, there is a number of songs in their catalogue which I am fond of. It just seems to me they lack all of the components to make a band one of the greats. The following text should not be regarded as complete list of these components; I'll only point out some of them.

None of their songs actually rocks. Melodies are very tangled, sometimes there is no any discernible melody at all. Perhaps the songs were composed as follows. Gabriel comes with (sometimes concocted) lyrics, then Banks and other gentlemen begin to fabricate music picking in their assholes. 'Fuck!' Tony says, 'This line doesn't fit!' 'Okay, let's put it this way', says Peter, 'but then we should chuck next verse'. 'It's alright', Mike answers, 'we'll shove some Tony's synths there'. Well, it's a method too, and I am not a fan of simplicity; and you know which band is my favourite, George. And what we've got from Genesis is not bad for me. But it doesn't rock. You can't call yourself greatest rock band if your songs don't rock. Even more, it's a big question whether Genesis are rock band at all.

Another problem is the problem of performers. Peter Gabriel is... I didn't see Genesis live, so I don't talk about this side of the man. But he's rather a mediocre singer, horrible on the first listen (and calling him flautist is even greater exagerration than calling Ian Anderson Jethro Tull's guitarist). At least he was so on the Genesis records. He is a reciter, an actor with thousand faces, it's fascinating and enthralling experience for the listener to hear him change his masks and voices in the course of one single song. Sometimes it works, but at some instant you want to hear some perfect voicing, some operatic vibrato... and Peter gives out suffocated squeak. Wallowing in his gimmicks and theatricality he forgets to sing sometimes. And I agree with you, Gabriel does bring feelings into progressive, but I just DON'T BELIEVE him. These feelings are fake, his character's, not his own. What Gabriel feels himself is a pure mystery. I must confess though that his singing may sound appropriate, but only after a couple of listens.

Since we are talking about singers, the next guy to fulminate is Phil Collins. Oh, no, if we're talking 'bout singers, there must be no Phil Collins anywhere around. Gabriel as a singer has at least some idiosyncrasy; Collins is no singer. As a drummer he certainly deserves some good words... but I only find accusatory ones. He could be an inventor of a drum machine (PC-909 - a good name, isn't it?), at times his hammering's so confoundedly tedious that I wonder whether it was such a drag for him to insert a twist or two. It seems that each of his drum pieces may be played more ingeniously. The only time I was impressed by Genesis drummer, was listening to 'Cinema Show' from Seconds Out. 'Wow!' I thought, 'excuse me, Mr Collins... but how can you drum and sing simultaneously?' Yes, it was Bruford, not Collins. I may seem preoccupated against Phil and there's a grain of truth in such assumption. I only have to say that the first song by Collins I heard was not bad, absolutely. (It was a clip, something like 'I Wish It Would Rain Down', Phil with a sort of score in his hands). You say he's underrated? Okay, maybe he is, but he didn't make us (well, me) appreciate himself by his records. Doubtlessly he can drum more creatively... perhaps Britney Spears can play tambourine professionally, but who cares? she didn't prove her mastery.

Steve Hackett is not to be blamed. He's surely a great guitarist but his guitar rarely emerges from the arrangements (even bass sometimes sounds more substantially). Philips is a good master too. Mike Rutherford is not Jaco Pastorius but his bass line seems to be okay. I can't nag at Genesis' guitars, they're just not very important.

And what is important is keyboard section. Poor old Tony Banks, cruelly vilified by heartless reviewer George Starostin. I feel a need to advocate Tony somehow, for he was one of the few (I emphasize, the few) who dared, being a keyboardist, to carry the whole band's sound on his own shoulders in the era of guitarists' sway. Synthesizer, as I've already told you, is a big trap, and Tony was not the only one (and not the most renowned) who fell into it. I doubt that any member of Genesis would protest against synths at the time, I don't think it's Tony who was always saying 'No, guys, gotta remove this guitar and let me play ma synth'. By the way, I heard a talk about techno of the early Nineties; a geezer was saying 'Ah, well, it's not topical today'. That's the main point in the synths and what they've led to - all this rave-wave-techno crap - they can lose their topicality in a year or two, unlike the rock of 60-70. I mean, you may like or dislike some rock band, but the best specimens are still actual, and I hope they will stay so. However even the greatest techno-projects (greatest for the connoisseurs of genre, of course) become dated very quickly. Why is it so? I can formulate some axiom (refer to it as Glazjev principle if you want) which goes 'Every synthesized sound can be synthesized better'. The main consequence of it is that the great and interesting synthesizer sound will surely look dull and dated tomorrow (or the day after tomorrow). There are some exceptions to the rule but they are so sparse... And what we have is phenomenon when the song is written not around some feeling, or some lyric, or some instrumental lick but around the sound which seemed interesting to the composer at the moment. It looks like 'Oh, what a brilliant sound! I must take it! Whoa, whoa, another one!..' That's why today's synth manufacturers begin to introduce some devices and algorithms which model real instruments' sounds rather than synthesize new ones. I talk here about the sounds only, because in the Seventies you could synthesize the sounds only. Today you can do the same with the rhythm, the melody, the instrumentation, the arrangements, the track titles, whatever... I think, electronic music occupies its own niche, and it can't be even compared to the rock music. This doesn't mean electronics is bad or rock is good, they're just different. Electronic music acts another way, I'm even not too sure if we may call it 'music' at all. It's something very different.

Digression. One may think it's Genesis who invented electronic music. Sorry. As for Tony... he was just doing what he ought to, it was fashionable to use synths, and it was modern then. When he was playing organ and piano, it sounded good, and it still does. It's easy to be wise after the event, so don't be too harsh, George.

And still, notwithstanding all these flaws, there are many Genesis songs I like. And their number grows day by day. I'd say this band is even more tough to get into than Van der Graaf Generator. It's a band of the state of mind. Sunlit harmonies and rattling passages in a single pot. Let's see what I have in my coffer.

Nick Johnson <> (11.08.2003)

Hello George. I've been reading your website for a while now and I'm a big fan of Genesis and The Moody Blues. So I'll right a quick review of both bands. First Genesis.

First my take on each of the band members.

Peter Gabriel: This guy could do it all. Sing as well as put on a show onstage and he could do voices as well for some characters he creates.

Steve Hackett: Very severly underatted. He knew how to really play some beautiful guitar.

Phil Collins: One of the best drummers you'll ever hear. Also I happen to like his solo work in the 80's (I'm a sucker for 80's pop music.) His singing when he first took over the singing duties wasn't good at first but when the 80's came along he got better.

Tony Banks: Well I somewhat disagree with you and John Mcpherrin. He is a very good keyboardist and his work on Selling England shows it. Also him changing Genesis from a prog to pop band wasn't a bad idea (as Phil I think was better suited to Pop than Prog). However I do agree about him putting Steve on the backburner and him making one more album after Collins left when he and Mike should've broken up.

Mike Rutherford: Good bassist and 12 string guitarist and he knew how to write some good songs. His band Mike and the Mechanics wasn't too bad as he had a couple of songs I liked there. ('Silent Running' and 'All I Need Is A Miracle')

My first Genesis album was Invisible Touch. It has since become one my favorite albums of the 80's. Later on I bought And Then There Were Three and Abacab. Both were very good as well. Then came Duke and Genesis. Duke is kinda ok but Genesis is terrific.

In 2001 though I finally bought my first Gabriel/Genesis album Foxtrot. I got hooked on 'Watcher Of The Skies'. 'Get Em Out By Friday' and some parts of 'Supper's Ready'.

Then The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway and Selling England By The Pound. Selling England right now has become another one of my favorites. Every song is right on!

Finally today I bought Trepass, Nursery Cryme, A Trick Of The Tail and Wind and Wuthering. I only listened to them once so I can't rate them yet. Though I like 'The Musical Box', 'The Fountain Of Salamis' and 'Dance On A Volcano'.

However my parents somehow don't like Gabriel/Genesis. Last December we were driving home from vacation and I decided to put on The Lamb that I had just bought. Once we got to 'Back In NYC' (Track 7) my parents couldn't take it anymore. They thought that Gabriel was loud and obnoxius and that he has no rhyme in his lyrics. Fortunatly I had also bought Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon (Another all time fav) so we put that on next.

All in all here are my ratings

Foxtrot 8(12)

Selling England 10(15)

The Lamb 7(11)

And Then There Were Three 8(11)

Duke 6(10)

Abacab 8(12)

Genesis 8(13)

Invisible Touch 10(14)

There you have it! What do you think? I'll give some reviews of some albums soon.

<> (04.05.2004)

Early Genesis stand out as the best prog rock band ever, Hacketts guitar, phil collins on the drums(whatever you think about collins he,s a brilliant percussionist) ect. Standing out though was the originality of Gabriels voice...Gabriels voice took them above all other prog rock bands of the time and also the ones who would follow ...Pink Floyd could not match the raw live sound Genesis created with Hacketts guitar work (listen to 'THE KNIFE' on Tresspass) topping that of Gilmores.

After Gabriels & Hacketts departure, although they still did some good stuff they or Collins to be more precise, worried to much about the critism Genesis recieved from the music press. In wanting to please the critics (In the late 80,s 90,s) the songs became more commercial (almost fully by Collins influence) & at times almost(for fans of Gabriels Genesis) embarrissingly bad. They sill tried to do lengthy 'wankothons' aswell, but compared to such songs as the Musical box & The Knife they were Eeer wank in comparison.

brodsky <> (31.08.2005)

Briefly about Genesis: do you know why there's so much keyboard in Genesis music? Because Tony Banks was probably the main composer in the band - or him & Rutherford. So giving credit to Peter Gabrel for almost all the good things the early Genesis have done is simply a misconception. For example: the vocal part of 'The Knife' is based half on what Peter wrote and composed on the piano, and the other half on what Banks musically came up with after hearing that first part. And so on. So even when there's something that seems written by Gabriel, there's probably a contribution by Banks or Rutherford to integrate it or complete it. If somebody had taken away Tony Banks from Genesis, he would have taken away part of the core of the band. Of course I think that Gabriel was very important too - and that his departure "didn't improve" Genesis. But the widely shared notion that A Trick Of The Tail and Wind And Wuthering are not as good as the previous albums doesn't depend solely on Gabriel's departure, but, I think, even on the chronological coincidence with Banks and Rutherford beginning to lose their ispiration. This coincidence created the illusion that Gabriel was the mastermind behind Genesis. But they were a band, not Gabriel's toy. After all the thing is already clear in the last side of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway: those last songs are very tired and not very inspired. This is what I thought after reading a book about Genesis, with comments about each song and about who composed what, based on what the Genesis said in their interviews.


John McFerrin <> (07.02.2000)

I got this in the mail today (gotta love ebay) and I must say I pretty much agree with you here (surprise). The bonus tracks are alright, but the album itself is great! It's all in a style like The Moodies 'Love and Beauty,' and that's alright by me! And the songs are all pretty. And Gabriel has his great voice.

I agree with the 8.

Bob Josef <> (08.02.2000)

Finally, a positive review of this album. It really is simplistic compared to the groups later work, but so what? A wonderful collection of naive pop songs, filled with teenage angst and childlike wonder -- give me this over Marilyn Manson any day. They really only get totally sappy in "One Day"(Animal friends/please help me decide? -- give me a break). I totally agree about "One-Eyed Hound", and my favorite is "The Conqueror" - -that one has a more rock edge that points to their future. I originally bought the album because I was told it sounds like the Moody Blues, and fans of that group will not be disappointed.

Jeff Blehar <> (21.02.2000)

Ugh. I really tried to like this one - I knew going in that it was no masterpiece, that most considered it embarrassing, that it sounded like the Bee Gees, etc. Heck, I even knew most of the songs pretty well, having bought the (excellent) boxed set before this album.

But man, this is REALLY atrocious. I mean, I have no problem with the songs not sounding like proggy "Genesis" songs; I'm more of a fan of pop than prog anyway. But these songs sound like bad Zombies ripoffs. Not Bee Gees - everyone makes that comparison, but I really believe that anyone else familiar with The Zombies' (amazing) Odessey And Oracle will hear a thousand steals and imitations here, only worse. Thus far I've never met anyone familiar with both albums: anyone out there agree with me? Anyway, a lot of the songs are quite boring, like "Am I Very Wrong?" or "A Place To Call My Own," and "Where The Sour Turns To Sweet." And I for one don't get a thing out of the singles, except that one B-side, "One Eyed Hound," which I like 'cause it's so stupid. Some of the songs here are pretty damn good compositions, however - "The Serpent," "In The Beginning," "One Day," "The Conqueror" and especially "In The Wilderness" are all well-written pop songs. But they're ruined by a) poor, poor performances (you call that GUITAR PLAYING??) and b) the world's shittiest production ever. I mean, the bad performances are one thing, and they're salvageable (both Banks' piano and Gabriel's nervous singing are quite good), but the production utterly ruins this. I know this because I have the boxed set, where the band intentionally presents a bunch of these songs in rough mono mixes, but in otherwise identical versions. Here, the songs are damn catchy, especially "In The Wilderness," which I contend is nothing less than a lost classic, with that great "music, all I hear is music" chorus. But on the album, they've been subjected to some of the most hamfisted stereo separation since the days of the "reprocessed stereo" of the early Rolling Stones albums, as well as truly crappy orchestration. The strings and horns just DO NOT work, and they render the entire album - already built on the somewhat dodgy concept of the Bible - a real chore to get through. By the way, did you know that Gabriel was so anxious about singing these songs in the studio that he was constantly taking cold showers and puking in between takes? Perhaps he knew what the end result was going to be. There's a reason the band pretended this album didn't exist for so long. 3/10.

[Special author note: just wanted to remark here that that funny trivia tidbit about Gabriel taking cold showers only adds to the charming naivety of the album, never detracts from it. That's the key to enjoying this stuff. And - well - sorry to say that, but the production doesn't worry me even a single bit. Maybe I'm aurally challenged or sumpthin'...]

John McFerrin <> (23.02.2000)

I've really been trying to figure out why people are so negative about this album, and I think I came up with a reason that hasn't really been stressed much. That's the fact that, unless I'm mistaken, this is a completely acoustic album. Screw the strings and brass, this is just piano and a guitar with a hole in the middle.

FINE BY ME! Seeing as Banks didn't have a very huge grasp of how to make his keyboard parts interesting (although I think you're underrating his work on Lamb, believe it or not), isn't piano a refreshing alternative? And with the guitars, well, Hackett wasn't yet in the band, so there's no reason to be complaining about the lack of electric sound yet. Most importantly, though, what this does is cause you to concentrate on the actual _songs_. Screw the 'concept', if I want a Genesis concept album I'll listen to Lamb (and btw, I've been listening to it a lot lately, and looking for stuff on the plot on the Net, and I've found that NOT ONLY does it have a plot, it is EXTREMELY interesting and deep. Seriously). But here, I have my attention drawn by 'Wilderness' and the like. So there. I stand by the 8.

Ben Greenstein <> (16.04.2000)

ICK ICK ICK!!!!!!! Sorry, George, but this is perhaps the worst album I've ever heard! The songs all sound comatose, with not even a hint of energy, and the melodies - well, I can go to a high school battle of the bands and hear more creative and catchy songs than this. I don't care about the instrumentation or production, the fact is, the band simply are NOT good songwriters at this point. "That's Me" is ALMOST catchy. That's it. I give the album a one!

[Special author note: you people might think I'm crazy, but I'm willing to defend the poor lads at all costs. Who dares to accuse them of uncatchiness? 'Ocean of motion, squirming around and up and down, pushing together, scattering mountains all around you?' 'Once upon a time there was confusion, disappointment, fear and disillusion?' 'Am I very wrong/To hide behind the glare/From an open minded stare?' 'Music, all I hear is music - guaranteed to please?' 'Pick me up, put me down/Push me in, turn me round/Switch me on, let me go - I have a mind of my own?' 'One day I'll capture you and call you to my side/One day I'll take you from the boredom of our lives?' 'And it's all gone wrong/Night is the time for chasing the one-eyed hound?'

I could go on (what the hell, every second song on here has something like that), but I won't. THIS is not creative or catchy? THESE beautiful chantings are comatose? Lou Reed's Berlin is comatose, or R.E.M's Up (that's not to say these albums are bad - comatose does have its value at times, but we just need to set things straight). Please tell me the exact address of that high school where they write such songs. This high school will save the world, no doubt about that!

I reiterate - This Band At This Particular Point In Their Career Writes Good, Original, Memorable, Non-Derivative Vocal Melodies. And that's all I need, dammit. Just like John above, I proudly stand by the 8. Ooh, I'm really tired. Any more counterarguments and I'll raise it to a ten.]

Adrian <> (17.06.2000)

I surprised myself with this one! I actually really like this album! It's quite charming and docile compared to every album after this. Peter Gabriel is a great vocalist and makes every line sound honest and inspired. Granted, it's hard to ignore how many ideas have been recycled and melodies stolen...but come on, they had yet to find their sound. So they borrow it from others, and this fact does not hurt the album one bit in my eyes. My favorite track (right now anyway) is 'In The Wilderness'. It would be hard for me to find a weak track (even though my copy has so 17 + 2 bonus tracks). The only problem I see is that they all start to sound the same after a while. Perhaps it's meant to just be one big song! :)

<> (30.01.2001)

I really don't feel like discussing all the songs on here. The singles and the first half of the album or so sound great, and some of these songs are very memorable, but it does sound samey after awhile, and there's so much on here. Let me just paraphrase the line of bold text above your review of Bob Dylan's debut: "Mostly super-professional, yet derivitive 60's pop, but it's Gabriel who sings, and that's something".

<> (17.02.2001)

This was one of the last albums I heard from the band (simply because I couldn't find it anywhere). Many people consider it to be an atrocious, immature collection of silly, adolescent, and pretentious pop songs, but I disagree. Look, this is an album of sweet little songs, and the melodies, while nothing spectacular or even memorable for the most part, are truly listenable. Any album featuring Peter Gabriel on lead vocals is worthwhile in my opinion, and I don't see why this is any worse than some of the other similar albums released at the time (such as stuff by the Moody Blues). The sound quality is really lacking at times, but in general, I really enjoy this album quite a bit even if I rarely listen to for anything other than historical curiosity. The first three songs are beautiful and catchy ('That's Me' is wonderful) and there are some hints at later styles (like the opening of The Conqueror). A nice little album, but rather slight when compared to later efforts, this gets a 7 out of 10.

Richard Craig <> (29.03.2001)

This is really quite bad. It sounds absolutely nothing like any of the band's other Gabriel albums, not even Trespass which was recorded a mere year later. This is almost entirely due to the album's utterly awful production, which flatters absolutely nobody. We know that the band could basically write, as exemplified by 'Patricia', their first ever song which is actually quite mature in places. This album, however, does them no favours. They got their Charisma deal on the basis of a live performance, not on the basis of this album and it easy to see why.

The main bone of contention is the slight tendency for everything to go all cheesy. Examples- the key change in 'That's Me' is diabolical and sounds out of place (as does the rather inept guitar solo)and the backing vocals are DREADFUL. Tony Banks would later refer to them as 'the wild boars'. He hit the nail on the head there, that's for sure.

Another point that has to be made is that at this stage 3/5ths of the band couldn't actually PLAY, something which is central to producing a decent album! Only Banks' piano and Gabriel's vocals sound like anything approaching later Genesis. The guitar is lost in the mix, and the bass plods. Who would think that the bassist on this album would go on to write the famous riff for 'Apocolypse in 9/8' among others?

Don't get me wrong, after this album Genesis actually began do to their name honour. If somebody took some songs like 'In the Beginning' and covered them , then perhaps we would realise what a talent the band were at this stage. But,as it is, the trip to Richard MacPhail's cottage in 1969 did them a whole world of good.

Eric Benac <> (02.05.2002)

I am in total agreement with you on this one. Usually, when I listen to an album, it takes me quite a few listens before I know the individual songs well. after the second listen of this album, i could sing all of the songs. which is always the sign of a great album. in fact, i got this album based entirely on your recomendation. gabriel's singing is great, the songs are well constructed, catchy, and memorable. and i agree with you: it's not that pretentious. to me, the concept is completely unfindable in the lyrics, but the better for it! a solid 8, approaching 9. better than tresspass i think.

Brian Sittinger <> (27.08.2002)

A fun, naive debut record. How can these songs be butchered by critics? It's pleasant late 60's Bee Gees-style pop! I can't really call any of them bad. Peter Gabriel is already singing well. "In the Wilderness" is ny favorite from this collection. The earns a solid 7 out of 10.

Alexis Macquoy <> (19.10.2002)

First of all I must say that this is the first comment I dare to post on this site, and the first Genesis album is rather uneasy for a first try. Actually, I've always had problems to fully consider it as a Genesis album, even though it was the second one I bought, right after Selling England By The Pound. Genesis is one of my favourite bands (along with Pink Floyd, McCartney and Queen (don't laugh)... not to mention those 4 Liverpool dudes of course), and I love them because they used to be a terrific prog rock band. But this album... I simply cannot understand it. I mean, there's a kind of continuity in Genesis' musical evolution, from Trespass to Genesis (I wish they hadn't released anything after 1983), with no consecutive albums being totally different, but the metamorphose from From Genesis To Revelation to Trespass is unbelievable. Okay, the lyrics and the concept of the record may prefigure the future of the band, and there's also Gabriel's theatral singing. But where are those long epics, those mighty 10-minutes tracks with loads of different musical ideas, those crazy instrumentals ? Here, no song is longer than 4 minutes ! Each one follows the classic pop pattern (verse/chorus, verse/chorus...). This is a pop album ! By Genesis in 1969 ? Are you jokin' ?

You might start to think I hate this record. That's wrong. In fact, I like it a lot ! I sure am missing the "grandiose" side of Genesis, but if I don't think it's Genesis, if I don't listen to it as a Genesis album (not that easy though; hey, it's Gabriel singing !), then I admit it's a jolly good pop record, as almost every song has at least one good musical idea. In fact, the melodies are all great, and sometimes even superb. 'Fireside Song' and 'A Winter's Tale' are the highlights here : simple, atmospheric piano songs, with the most catchy choruses ever written by Genesis (along with 'Time Table' and 'I Know What I Like'). These songs are amazingly well written, and they are well arranged (I don't understand the critics towards the arrangements and orchestration. This album is well produced for Chrissake !). 'A Silent Sun', 'A Place To Call My Own' and 'Fireside Song' are in the same mood, a bit less gorgeous maybe. But all this stuff could've been written by Elton John ! (in the 60's or 70's of course). These soft songs are counterbalanced by the "heavy" numbers, which are simply excellent. 'The Conqueror' in particular, is very dynamic (terrific rhythm section, groovy backings during the chorus) and might seem repetitive, but never becomes monotonous, just like your average Bob Dylan song. 'That's Me' is angry and threatening, and 'The Serpent' has an excellent riff and an 'insecure' atmosphere set by the vocals, the bassline and the barely audible organ in the background (I don't dislike Banks as much as you do George, but I admit that he's better when he doesn't play too loud). There's also 'In The Beginning', which features Gabriel's best singing on here. My favourite one is the title track (I've got this record under the name When The Sour Turns To Sweet), with its gentle verse followed by a slight crescendo created by the backing vocals and the violins, and then the majestic chorus, wonderfully enlightened by the brass section, that makes me wanna 'come and join them now' ! The other tracks are a bit weaker : they're less shiny and I admit they could seem boring. They don't bore me though : it's good music and I don't mind if tension is lower between two great songs. In fact, in EVERY song is a gem to be found ('In Limbo's coda for example ! 'One-Eyed Hound's acoustic guitar riff !).

Conclusion ? Some say they were unexperienced. Might be. But it seems to me that every song here is perfectly performed and arranged, with much care about the atmosphere, the mood, the general impression. Listen to 'A Place To Call My Own's coda for instance. THIS is underarranged ? Bad-produced ? Okay, the playing in general might not be groundbreaking nor virtuose, but each instrument fits in the right place. Simple and efficient. The piano sets the mood for the soft songs, the bass/percussion/rhythm-guitar section for the more dynamic ones, and there's an intelligent use of the backing vocals and the brass or strings section. Besides, the songwriting is perfect. There's absolutely no filler on here, not a single weak track ! Maybe 'Window'. No, even not. 'Come see me take my hand/View from another land' with that horn playing in the distance... Isn't that a hook ?

I give it a really solid 7, not far from an 8. No, it's a 7, because the 6 following albums are better than this one and the maximum rating is only 10 ! Anyway, I still don't understand how these guys (or at least four of them) could release Trespass one year later. Where did the 'prog' come from ? From Phil Collins ? HA HA HA !!!

Ted Goodwin <> (30.10.2002)

OK, George, you win. Having heard Disc 4 of ARCHIVE 1, I finally had to get this album. And I have to admit it's not terrible. I'd still call it their worst album, but only because even the best band has to have a "worst". (Maybe some of their live albums could be considered "worse", if only because of being so unnecessary and pointless.) I had this album many years ago, and I realize now that only the bad stuff (mainly some wince-inducing lines of Gabriel's lyrics) really stuck in my head. But hearing it again now, I find that the blatant '60s ambience (by way of the strings, horns, style of backing vocals, bad stereo separation, etc.) is kind of fun. It often sounds a bit older than 1969, though. (Sometimes I'm reminded of the Beatles -- or perhaps the Rutles. That's mostly a good thing, BTW.) There are all kinds of wonderful little ideas that just aren't developed satisfactorily, and have you noticed how many of these songs have nothing beyond verse/chorus? "Sour/Sweet" & "Serpent" are definite highlights, while the chorus on "Am I Very Wrong" makes me CRINGE. Overall, the album looks to me like a huge, banged up antique that's interesting but doesn't fit in with the rest of the band's decor.

Bonus information: THE COVER: The album cover you show belongs not to the original but to one of the many reissues, as should be obvious from the "classic-era" photos below the older one. Here is a scan of the original:

THE DRUMMERS: The drummer in the frequently-reprinted old photo on the cover you show is Chris Stewart (on the far right). Chris drums on the bonus tracks from the 1968 singles. (Actually, Chris has said he doesn't remember playing on the "Winter's Tale" single, so it's possible that some unknown session drummer was used for that.) The drummer on the actual original album (except for "Silent Sun" which is identical to the single except for being in stereo) is Jonathan (John) Silver (of whom many -- some fans say too many -- pictures appear in the ARCHIVE 1 booket). After leaving Genesis, Stewart became a farmer in Spain and has now become well-known in his own right as an author. Here is a recent picture of him: Silver became a TV producer and nothing was heard from him for years, but recently he's participated in nostalgic Genesis-related projects (the 1998 Heathrow Airport reunion, the 2001 Genesis Songbook video). Here he is with the "big six" in 1998 (he's the one with glasses, in case there's any doubt):

Gerard Nowak <> (16.11.2002)

George, it was a real pleasure to read this review. One just has to forget about all the subsequent Genesis efforts, and simply enjoy splendid tunes! I guess, this album could be a nice surprise for all the people disliking Genesis on the whole.

Crew Glazjev <> (13.05.2003)

From Genesis To Revelation is not bad album indeed; I can easily imagine people who'd love Genesis merely for this one (discarding all subsequent ones). Production is neither brilliant nor disastrous. I think those who complain about it are in fact displeased by the melodies and (maybe) lyrics; melodies are not what Selling England... fan should expect. Labeling this record highly derivative is dangerous statement, 'cause if you try to scrutinize music, you'll surely find some borrowings everywhere from Backstreet Boys to Henry Cow. I'm not too sure that Gabriel and Co were particularly admiring Moody Blues or Bee Gees at the time, so the style could be invented by themselves as well. Album doesn't contain any revelations (in spite of the title) but it's rather good and could well be recorded by early Beatles or someone of the kind.

I'd gladly call you crazy but not about this record. I can't say I love the songs, yet they all are quite nice. After first listen I was left with the feeling of a good record, though couldn't recollect any tune except 'When The Sour Turns To Sweet'. This is the main drawback here, I think. The album is sweet... sweetish nearly without any touch of other taste. It's like a model on the magazine cover: she's beautiful, but you feel nothing toward her, nothing to make your heart flutter. No, it's okay. And what do they have against brass section? What would become of 'Sour To Sweet' or 'One Day' if there were only guitar and piano? So shut up you flamers, 'cause you've actually lost leading 'f'.

Alexander Zaitsev <> (07.06.2003)

This record is special. It has more disadvantages than the devil itself, but you can enjoy it. You can enjoy it, but it has more disadvantages than the devil himself. Hell, I'm confused. Let's put it this way: Does anybody of you have a daughter, who sings in a choir? If you have one, do you enjoy her singing? I presume that you do. But would you rate her singing as you rate Janis Joplin's? Don't rate this album, either.When you love this album, you start to ignore its flaws. On the other hand if you hate this album, you are ready to burn every single copy of it..This is because there are no musicians here. Just kids. It is impossible to rate a kid's effort. George, the way you treat the record is exactly the way a father treats the creative work of his talented child: ready to forgive everything for that special charming naivity and a spark of talent. No matter how many arguments there are against the child, the father will always love him. Forget about the rating, cross it out, get rid of it, just ENJOY the album!

Kevin MacNutt <> (14.09.2005)

Yeah, I have to agree, this album does not deserve all the negative critcism it receives, although it is far from perfect. The only thing the band is guilty of is being extremely young and naieve, on the other hand Jonathan King's production is completely inept. It is not uncommon to have the orchestra bits overdubbed on to already recorded tracks, although most producers have the ability to make it sound as if it were actually recorded at the same time or at least on the same planet. This is most notable on the "Silent Sun" where the basic track is in mono and the orchestral overdubs are in stereo, which do not come in until the second verse. Better yet is "In Limbo" where the band is completely in the left channel and the overdubbed orchestra and Gabriel's second vocal track is in the right. Sure that was done plenty in 1964 on Beatles records, although were talking about 1969, people knew better by that time. I think the final nail in the coffin was King's concept for the original album cover which was plain black, with a leatherette texture and gold letters simply saying "From Genesis To Revelation" and no band name. No wonder it was tossed into the regious bins. If I were Gabriel & Co. I would have been on the phone with my lawyers over that mess!!! The bonus tracks are far more representative of what this band can do and the regular tracks are far better represented on the early disc in the first Archive box set.


Mike DeFabio <> (24.08.99)

Yeah, sometimes it's boring but sometimes it's REALLY COOL. 'The Knife' is great, 'Looking For Someone' is great. 'Visions of Angels' is great. The other songs are boring, but these three songs are great!

A seven!

Richard C. Dickison <> (20.12.99)

I have not heard this album for a long time, but lets see....

Tell me my life is about to begin, tell me that I'm a hero.... Now, when I give the word, it's time to fight for your freedom, Now,......

Good song, 'The Knife', damn good song. It will ring in your head for a good long time. Peter started putting darker emotions in his songs. This album was the beginning of something special. Lot's of low points too, mind you. This would be a good buy if you really liked what you heard in Selling England By The Pound.

Bob Josef <> (08.02.2000)

My favorite Genesis album, although I'm in the minority! We get the youthful earnest sentiments of the previous album tied into a quantum leap of musical prowess. I find the long instrumental passages not dull at all, but the interplay of acoustic guitar, flute and keyboards quite soothing. And I love the lyrics -- we get sci-fi ("Stagnation"), politics ("The Knife"), fantasy ("White Mountain") and apocalyptic searching (the rest). I would agree that Hackett is a far more accomplished guitarist than Phillips (especially on electric), but I consider Mayhew's drumming here, if not more versatile than Collins's jazz influenced stuff, more powerful than anything on the later albums. And while a lot of people seemed charmed by Pete's later eccentricities, I have found them annoying, and here he keeps them at bay.

Jeff Blehar <> (21.02.2000)

Strange, George. I *really* like this one - I understand that it's technically inferior to most of their other Gabriel-era albums, but it's got such a mood and an atmosphere that I'm always taken in by it. I certainly prefer it to Nursery Cryme. First of all, I must commend the group: the jump from 1969's From Genesis To Revelation to 1970's Trespass has got to one of the most sudden, thorough, and convincing reinventions a band has performed upon itself. There's almost no trace whatsoever of the original style of the group left; perhaps "Visions Of Angels" as you said, but even that one's miles ahead of its predecessors.

Anyway, normally when I see six songs on the back of a CD case, all sortsa klaxons start going off in my head. Six songs means LONG songs. And pretentious songs. And, as is the case with most prog-rock, BAD songs. But not 'ere! I could've sworn that I was going to reject Trespass the way a body rejects a transplanted liver, but criminy joseph, the operation went smoothly, 'cause here's six GOOD long songs!

Well alright, I'll be the first to admit that "White Mountain" blows a kielbasa, but the other five are really cool! And I mean that both in the sense that they're neat and in the sense that they're cold. Because Trespass is, above all, a mood album. And that mood is a surprisingly frosty, wintry one. Maybe it's the blue cover. Maybe it's the haunted Peter Gabriel crying out a capella "Looking for someone!...I guess I'm doing that/Trying to find a memory in a dark room." Maybe it's the icy crystalline tinkle of that catchy little piano line in "Visions Of Angels" or the snowy windy night of "Dusk." Indeed, it could be the fiery, swirling, psychotic descent into hellish madness of "The Knife."

Wait. That last one completely breaks character. The other songs though, while not lapel-grabbiingly catchy, are just so right; they set a scene, maintain a rarified atmosphere, and, as long you don't listen to some of the more gratingly overblown lyrics (e.g. "White Mountain"), hold your interest quite nicely. And then there's "The Knife." Once I heard this one, I knew I'd never feel guilty about liking Genesis again. I mean, this song musically kicks arse, with that hopping, schizophrenic keyboard figure and it's got these shockingly violent lyrics. I mean, bands like King Crimson played at being dark and foreboding most of their careers, but here Peter Gabriel manages to trump all those folks effortlessly with a set of really paranoid, bloody lyrics. I mean, he comes right out and says "Some of you are going to die," and it doesn't sound like a joke or an affectation - Peter was one of those performers who really was capable of sounding possessed by the music he was singing and he sounds dead serious here. If "The Knife" was the only thing here I'd still love this album, but I like everything else too, so I'm going to break ranks and give this an 9/10.

Ben Greenstein <> (16.04.2000)

Maybe a five for me, because as much as I love "The Knife" to death (how can anyone not?), none of the other songs do anything interesting in the least. A lot of people have pointed to "Looking For Someone," but, to be honest, that's the one I hate the most. A memorable melody, sure, but a poorly-lyriced, obnoxious one in the vein of "I've Seen All Good People," another song I hate. Still, "The Knife" is really good. A five, like I say.

Adrian <> (17.06.2000)

Uck! What an utter waste of my time. I love prog-rock just as much as the next pompous bastard, but what is this? Are there even songs on this album? Sure, I hear a bunch of pretty melodies and sounds here and there...but the rest is filled with endless keyboard and guitar fiddling. This album's only reason for existence is 'The Knife', which is a wonderfully dark track which gives us a picture of what the future holds. It's only weakness seems to be Genesis' need to stick to a formula and stick the obligatory flute passage in there. It seems very out of place to me. The rest of the songs lack distinction and all sound like mindless sound-collages. It's just a boring album. Even Peter Gabriel's wonderful voice can't save this one from collecting dust on my shelf next to Pink Floyd's A Momentary Lack of Reason.

<> (17.02.2001)

And here is where it all really begins. Trespass gets a bad rap from a whole bunch of people who I feel just don't listen all that closely. I love every track on this album.

LOOKING FOR SOMEONE: Beatiful, but truly powerful and intense at times as well. Peter sounds amazing on this.

WHITE MOUNTAINS: Great melodies all over this tune. Love that acoustic sound.

VISIONS OF ANGELS: Another beautiful melody, and the entire song earns that title. The lyrics are really silly, but what do I care? This is a lovely song.

STAGNATION: Hell yeah. The only problem with this song is the production (like much of their early albums), but it is great through and through.

DUSK: The shortest song on the album may be mistaken for filler if not given the close listen it deserves. It actually contains a really beautiful melody and atmosphere.

THE KNIFE: Hints at the next album, that's for sure. Look, this song kicks my ass all over the place and is truly one of the band's greatest songs. This is INTENSE, and I even love the sound effects in the middle...for some reason, I think they work extremely well (and I usually become very turned off when I hear such effects). Juxtaposed against the almost heavenly beauty of the rest of the album, this song truly SLICES up the record. Much like the album cover, which is absolutely perfect.

This album is amazing, and truly underrated...if you like Gabriel-era Genesis, you cannot go wrong with this album and I disagree with George immensely. A 9 out of 10.

Brian Sittinger <> (20.07.2001)

I bought this after having listened to Nursery Cryme through Wind and Wuthering. I more or less knew what I was getting myself into here! "Looking for Someone" and "The Knife" are the only ones I can remember. The rest, though not anywhere close to bad, is just, well a bit boring and nonmemorable. It is interesting to see the complex structures developing, even at this stage, in their songs, despite the band's limited ability at their instruments (ex: note the simple but enthusiastic drum rolls!). "The Knife" is easily the finest song on this album. (It would be improved on greatly on Genesis Live, greatly helped by Hackett and Collins; check it out!) 6 out of 10.

Ted Goodwin <> (28.10.2002)

Not a bad album overall but definitely for Genesis fans only. Yes, there's that bad production, with "sandpaper sound" a'la NURSERY CRYME and that "tape-splice" jump in the middle of "Stagnation". And yes, the band shows rather bad timing at times. And yes, Pete's voice shows a distinct lack of skill here and there. Still, not bad. It's interesting to hear Anthony Phillips actually functioning as the lead guitarist for a prog-rock band; most of the material on his 603 or so solo albums is far removed from such a setting. For a Genesis album there's atypically large amounts of backing vocals (note how much of "Dusk" is not sung by Pete -- and with no Phil in sight) and flute playing.

Thoughts on the songs:

"Looking For Someone" - Starts out pretty well but then gets rather unfocused. I find that tempo change in mid-vocal especially jarring.

"White Mountain" - I agree that this is the low point. Those lyrics, written by Tony "Master Of The Awful Story Song" Banks, are embarrassing (the visual picture of the wolf standing "with the crown upon his head, sceptre raised to deal the deadly blow" is probably the most unintentionally humorous moment of Gabriel-era Genesis) and that "whistled" finale is seriously misguided. The song's basic musical ideas deserved better.

"Visions Of Angels" / "Dusk" - Nice pieces of music, but it sounds like Phillips (who wrote the lyrics to both) needed to get some personal issues worked out before trying to write much of anything for mass consumption.

"The Knife" - Whatever else may be said about this song, those stupid "television noises" really mess it up! They sound bad, and they impose a modern, mundane setting on what would otherwise have a sense of timelessness and mystery. And personally, I think some of the music is a bit too bouncy and happy for the lyrical theme.

Miscellaneous trivia:

(1) Both "Visions" & "Stagnation" are quoted in the "jam" on the SECONDS OUT version of "I Know What I Like".

(2) There is a mystery involving Genesis' TRESPASS drummer John Mayhew. After he left the band, he seems to have fallen off the face of the earth -- no one knows what happened to him. I've read that his royalties from TRESPASS remain uncollected to this day.

(3) I once saw some of the lyrics to "Visions" written on a public bathroom wall. (Just in case it's not obvious, that's not the sort of thing one usually finds written on American men's-room walls!)

(4) I once owned an early '80s US LP copy of TRESPASS, and it was a remarkable piece of "bargain-bin product that the record company seriously doesn't care about". All the songs on side one were listed as "7:00" on the label because no one actually bothered to time them, and it had the most shoddily-made record cover I've ever seen in my LIFE!

Alexis Macquoy <> (29.11.2002)

Trespass in undoubtedly the worse album of the entire Gabriel-era Genesis period, but that's a case when 'worse' means 'not as brilliant as the other ones'. Sure, there's filler (and not only in the instrumentals) and the guys were just unexperienced prog-rockers, but I don't think their technical skills are as weak as some think them to be. In fact, some guitar solos here are very well performed ('The Knife'), the drumming is sometimes very good ('The Knife', 'Looking For Someone'), Banks has some lovely keyboards parts ('Stagnation') and I like Gabriel's tender flute, even if he sure is no Ian Anderson (but did Genesis need Ian Anderson at the moment? guess no.) If some instrumentals get boring, this has not to do with the presumably low skills of the guys: let's consider them as failed attempts to create an 'atmosphere'.

'The Knife' is the only song with nearly no filler, and thus is deservedly considered as the best one. The sung parts are scary and perfectly demonstrate Pete's vocal abilities, and the instrumentals rock hard. Although the lyrics are stupid, I admit that the battle scene is perfectly rendered, especially the 'We are only wanting freedom' crescendo line which leads to this furious guitar/drums solo, which proves that Philips and Mayhew were at least somewhat talented.

My personal favourite is 'Stagnation', but only parts of it (!). This is a case of a magnificent song totally slaughtered by a horrendous ending: this hideous line ('And let us drink...') repeated again and again is the lowest moment on the record. Thus, the 'giant crescendo' on which the song is built ends up in total dreck and it's a shame, because some parts of this song are heavenly: all the vocals are beautifully melodic and the instrumentals sometimes equal Selling England By The Pound's quality, especially this MAGNIFICENT crescendo near the 6th minute, after which Banks puts out a TERRIFIC solo, and then comes Gabriel's desperate singing which nearly kills me. After which I skip to 'Dusk' to avoid the disaster.

And 'Dusk' is a cool song, in the 'A Place To Call My Own' style: the melody is catchy in the verse ('NOW it claws the past...') and a bit ethereal in the chorus, but the slight crescendo-decrescendo works well and really makes you feel that 'night-times fears disappear'. Shame that the divine comatose state I'm in is broken by the senseless instrumental after the second verse.

The first side is a bit weaker. 'Looking For Someone' begins on a very high note (I can't get enough of Gabriel barking 'Yeah!' after each verse) and the instrumentals are not too boring. I don't get the critics towards 'White Mountain'. The melody is nice and well sung. The lyrics may be stupid (like in 'The Knife') but the song is intelligently built : slow, majestic verses, and fast choruses illustrating the 'action scenes' (the pursuit or the battle). The music fits the story well and the result is good; besides, I don't think this story must be taken seriously. Once again they don't manage to end the song correctly and we have to bear two minutes of filler.

'Visions Of Angels' is easily the worst song: the melody reminds me of 'In The Wilderness' but is far weaker, and even Gabriel can't save this title as his singing lack the habitual theatricality (except on 'IIIIIIII believe there never is an end'). The instrumentals are not too bad though - I especially dig the piano/guitar/bass intercourse in the crescendo after the second verse.

Once again, I agree with George's rating. Good but flawed in deed, the main flaws being their incapacity to build a song without filler and with a good coda (these flaws would be quickly corrected; check out 'The Musical Box' or 'The Fountain Of Salmacis' for instance). Had they cut out two minutes on the four first songs and put out a seventh good one, Trespass would have deserved an 11, if not a 12.

Crew Glazjev <> (13.05.2003)

Here we come to the most underrated and my favourite Genesis album, 'Trespass'. I guess, my opinion on it mirrors everyone else's. You and your acolytes call it weak (I generalize, y'know) but love 'The Knife'; members of another party say it's worthy and, again, love 'The Knife'. I like this album and claim 'The Knife' is the worst track on here. It's the only case when I like some Genesis album as a whole, not a piece or two from it. This is what I've just referred to as 'sunlit harmonies'; someone called it dark and frosty though; so you see, I stay opposite him too. Oh, of course, lyrics are pretty poor and sometimes there is no rhyme at all, however they do give some feel of fairy-tale atmosphere. I've noticed that you use term 'atmosphere' in an abusive way... Anyway, both Gabriel and his bandmates have never been particularly good poets. But music is excellent, it just proves that you don't have to be virtuoso to play beautiful tunes. Further still, virtuosity may lead to incomprehensibility, self-indulgence and stupid instrumental noodlings as it happened with some of King Crimson works. If you're not virtuoso, you'd rather think how to write good melody and impart good atmosphere to it than how to show off. That's what jazzmen do. I mean, jazz is more interesting to perform than to listen. 'Trespass' is interesting to listen. Hell, not only weird bends in the beginning of third minute of 'Stagnation' sound eyebrow-raisingly. What about that organ solo right after that? It's not complex technically, but it's just marvellous! Background instrumentation helps very much, of course. And the melody on 'and I will wait forever' line is a real find.

No, 'Stagnation' is not the only song deserving good words. I cannot see, what's so devilishly moronic in 'White Mountain'. You call it so and leave without any explanations - this makes me say it's unfounded assertion, it just shows whether you like the song or not. 'Dusk' is an outstanding piece too, very brittle and catchy. The main problem is that engineer could not cope with Gabriel's singing (and this tendency had been enduring on all albums to follow); when Peter lowers his voice, he almost disappears from the phonogram. Ah, well, the whole thing here is underproduced. Could be done far better.

And what about 'The Knife'? Oh, what have you people found in it? Melody is very very conventional, lyrics are just imbecile (not content but form). Tempo changes are most clumsy ones I ever heard. The song makes an impression of a poorly sewn set of unfinished musical ideas. Looks like guys were willing to put on the record everything they'd got by the moment at any price. In the end, it's really out of place here as it doesn't conform with remaining tracks.


Jeff Blehar <> (21.02.2000)

Yes, it SOUNDS infinitely better, both because of the improved production and also because of the addition of Hackett and Collins, but I find this album to be much less engaging than Trespass. "The Musical Box" and "The Fountain Of Salmacis" are really, really impressive compositions (even if the latter's lyrics a tad bit precious for my tastes), but "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed" really leaves me cold. It shouldn't; I mean, it's got all the requisite parts, including a great set of riffs and a good Gabriel vocal, but the whole is distinctly less than the sum of its parts. And the short songs are really unmemorable. They're basically repeats of most of the musical themes of Trespass minus the novelty and most of the interest: "Seven Stones" and "Harlequin" will pass by without so much as a single exciting moment. "For Absent Friends" is cute, but that's about it. However, I now dig "Harold The Barrel" where I used to dislike it. How to describe it? Alright: take a typical Genesis musico-lyrical epic brimming with ideas like the 27-minute "Supper's Ready." Now collapse the whole damn thing into TWO AND A HALF MINUTES. Once you get over the sheer sensory overload of being pelted with so many different musical ideas and such a fast-moving lyric, you'll really appreciate the wacky li'l thing. Or maybe you won't. I do. But that and the two epic bookends aside, this album is just so much aural filler to my ears, without even so much as a unifying mood to make it really memorable. 5/10, perhaps a 6.

Ben Greenstein <> (16.04.2000)

They're still learning, but at least this time they pull out some memorable melodies and sound effects. I can't get into "Giant Hogweed," and "Harlequin" is pointless, but "Musical Box," "Harold The Barrell," and "For Absent Friends" are the first Genesis songs that are really, well, dark! And ENJOYABLE - interesting music is definitely a must have for any album. Gabe and Co. are, thankfully, beginning to learn this.

Jean-Paul (26.04.2000)

My favorite Genesis album. Trespass sounds like Genesis but for some reason the album just does nothing for me. (I won't even mention their debut album - o wait, I just did.) Foxtrot, Selling England and The Lamb Lies Down are excellent too, but if I'd have to pick one Genesis desert island disc, it would have to be this one. 'The Musical Box' is simply marvellous, perfect, wow! And most of the other songs are genuine classics too: 'Seven Stones', 'Return of the Giant Hogweed', 'Harold the Barrel', 'Fountain of Salmacis'... Ah, just typing the names of these tracks makes me want to listen to them, right now! 'For Absent Friends' and 'Harlequin' are, in my opinion, a bit weaker than the other songs on the album. Furthermore, I don't think there's a single boring minute on this album. I'd give it a 9 or a 10.

Adrian <> (17.06.2000)

Much, much better. Phil Collins and Steve Hackett really add some needed inspiration to the Genesis crew. The opening track is incredible, 'Seven Stone' is beautiful, and 'Return of the Giant Hogweed' is hilarious. The only track I'm not sold on is 'Harold The Barrel'. The story is quite entertaining, but the song itself isn't very memorable. If you asked me how it goes, the only part I can remember is the "you must be joking" lyric. That's it. Still, compared to the filler on the previous album, this one is much more worthy of the Genesis moniker.

Rich Bunnell <> (07.07.2000)

A neat album, and almost as good as the following one. None of the songs are particularly stunning, but none of them are really bad either, though a couple of the short acoustic ones like "For Absent Lovers" or "Harlequin" probably could've been nixed in favor of another longer song. Because, let's be honest, the longer tunes REALLY take the cake here. "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed," "The Musical Box" and "The Fountain of Salmacis" are all EXCELLENT multi-part songs (well...not really multi-part on that last one, but still good) which don't fail to thrill me for their entire extended running times. I also think that "Seven Stones" is gorgeous and that "Harold The Barrel" is a nifty, bouncy-catchy distraction from an otherwise serious album (why do people say that Genesis only started making pop with "I Know What I Like"? Here's some earlier pop for y'all!), an album which is pretty consistent the whole way through and deserves at least an 8.

Ted Goodwin <> (19.07.2000)

I agree that most of the shorter songs here are unmemorable and pointless, although they're pretty enough. I don't really have anything against them. (Am I the only one who thinks Pete doesn't sound like himself on "Harlequin"?) But "Harold" (which Jeff B. really nailed in his earlier comment) is my favorite song on the album, short or long. I especially like the way the music, rather than the words, informs us that Harold has jumped. (As you said, we're not told why Harold wants to jump, but his mother's careless disregard for his feelings at the end may give us a clue as to the origins of his cynical despair.)

As for as the long songs: "Musical Box" is understandably the most enduring track here, although Gabriel ruins the ending for me with his smutty imagery and his incessant "NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW"s. "Hogweed" is an acquired taste, but it's fun to hear Pete take such a left-field concept (which might have come from some pre-lyrics working title) and playing it so straight. Great guitar noises by Mr. Hackett on the instrumental break! "Salmacis" really brings the old story to life, although rather melodramatically. Plus, there's no clue as to what the nymph's motivation is.

(P.S.: That has to be one of the most potentially offensive album covers ever made.)

Nick Karn <> (30.08.2000)

I think you're pretty much right on the money here - 'the boredom is still there, but truthfully, there's a lot of pure entertainment on this record' sums it up nicely. None of these songs are really unworthwhile, but the longer epics tend to work a lot more than the shorter songs. "Harlequin" and "Seven Stones" almost define the category of songs that are good and enjoyable while they're on, but are highly unmemorable afterwards. I do adore "Harold The Barrel", though - Peter Gabriel's sense of humor is truly something spectacular, and I like the idea that it's almost structured as if it's one of their longer epics compressed into three minutes. On the subject of the epic songs, you're probably right about "Hogweed" being the best of the lot - a fantastic balance between Gabriel's lyrical wit, and the very well structured epic scope of their early period. "Fountain Of Salamacis" also works very well on a storytelling level and has groovy bass work popping up all over the place, and "The Musical Box" alternates impressively between beautiful instrumental textures/vocals and fantastic jamming. The noticeable negative aspect here is the production, which present the bass and drums somewhat more prominently than the other instruments (but then, I got this album used in an unremastered version) - that can be forgiven, though, since it was 1971 afterall. An 8(11) is a perfect score for this one, and it's an improvement over the slightly weaker and less focused Trespass. It's no Selling England of course, though. :)

Philip Maddox <> (27.11.2000)

This would get a very, very, VERY low nine from me. A couple of the songs are kind of filler-y, but still nice ("For Absent Friends", "Harlequin"), and one is pretty majestic sounding and good, but not exactly excellent ("Seven Stones", which features a very pretty chorus, if you ask me). The rest is so damn good, though, that I'd feel wrong giving this less than a nine. "Harold" is absolutely nuts, and features more original ideas in 3 minutes than Kansas came up with in 25 years. And the three epics... wow! "Salmacis" is very pretty indeed, with Tony's mellotron sounding especially great. Steve's guitar bits aren't bad either, though. "Hogweed" is unbelievably cool, featuring a really great, unsettling melody and, like you said, cool, cool lyrics. And then there's the album opener, "The Musical Box". The first 8 minutes are really really good, alternating those really pretty bits with the loud guitar soloing, but then, those last two minutes... the last two minute bit of that song is my favorite piece of music. Period. That is SO DAMNED GORGEOUS!!! The way the organ ascends and descends, Peter's desperate vocals, the way Steve's guitar comes in, the cool, crashing finale of it... yow! If the album contained only those 2 minutes, it'd be worth having, but the rest is really good too. As prog rockers, Gabriel's Genesis really had it going on like no other band.

Michael and Priscilla Bloom <> (05.02.2001)

I flip-flop back and forth between this one and Foxtrot. (At one point the two were available as a double LP set, which made the "favorite album" question real easy. Unfortunately they were really dreadful pressings.)

Here's how I see it: Gabriel-era Genesis was trying to construct the ur-myth of the human species, kinda like you're trying to construct the ur-language. To that end, they're investigating and adapting a lot of existing myths. "Fountains of Salmacis" is obvious (although it's interesting to contemplate how poorly all of prog-rock views sex; here the subtext seems to be that it costs you your very identity). "Musical Box" is also about sex, albeit intertwined with death-- the hero dies, to be reborn on another plane, and sex is the one thing he wants to carry with him from this life. (And I definitely have no problem at all with the instrumental solos here, since their dramatic function is to have his whole life pass before his eyes, and I like the note choice. This is where "the Genesis style" really takes shape, the consistent bass tones with weird ornamentation on top.) "Giant Hogweed" is a vegetable version of Frankenstein-- "There are some things man was not meant to know" kinda hubris that ends up threatening civilization-as-we-know-it, kinda Faustian in its goofy way. And "Seven Stones" does belong in this company. If you can't say what it's about, that's because it's about indeterminacy, uncertainty, the whole weird and tentative nature of the human experience of trying to derive meaning from a random universe. I also believe it's one of the band's prettiest chord changes ever.

Other than that, "Harold the Barrel" and "For Absent Friends" are more slices of English life, and I love them both, and "Harlequin" is short and harmless. No bad songs, six out of seven really strong ones, four that make me think long and hard-- a really important and magnificent album.

<> (17.02.2001)

This is a spectular album, without one song approaching badness, but the sound production truly sucks. I mean really sucks. If this was better mixed, I would possibly like it as much as some of the next couple albums. Oh well. This is as wacky as the band ever got (in a playful way). The album title perfectly sums up the imagery and overall feeling of the album: these are some criminally twisted nursery rhymes.

THE MUSICAL BOX: I didn't really like this that much when I first heard it for some reason, but it definately grew on me. Again, the production is so bad that I want to scream, but the quality of the songwriting and playing redeems it. Hackett is the star of this song, which alternates between beautiful acoustic passages and absolutely maniacal instrumentals (like much of prog). The ending rules.

FOR ABSENT FRIENDS: Phil steps up to the mic for the first time. A really pretty song.

RETURN OF THE GIANT HOGWEED: Whoa. This song is wacky. It's also really funny and exciting, and the energy of the band completely destroys the critics' claims of prog being too technical and not raw. A tiny bit lacking in terms of melody, but the sheer atmosphere and intensity (as well as the lyrics) completely make up for it. I love the Hogweed gibberish toward the end.

SEVEN STONES: I love this song, and most people never even mention it. One of the most beautiful things the band ever wrote in my opinion. (The second time they sing, "Despair that tires the world ??? brings the old man laughter" gives me chills every time.)

HAROLD THE BARREL: As much as people hate to admit, this is best song on the album. Simply awesome, with a great story, some amazing melodies, and a great performance by Gabriel. Absolutely classic.

HARLEQUIN: Worst track on the album, but like all of their stuff, truly pretty and listenable.

FOUNTAIN OF SALAMACIS: My second favorite song on the album. The story comes straight of mythology, and Metamorphosis, and it's really cool. Great use of mellotron.

Overall, a damn good album, but that damn sound.....Another 9 out of 10.

Sam <> (24.02.2001)

I should admit I have some reserves on this Genesis album, since it's the only one frome the Gabriel's era that contains some boring song in my ears. This is highly personal but when I listen to this Nursery Cryme I only pay attention to four songs "Harold..." is quite good and give originality-humour wedding, "Fountains.." is really original and push you to make an effort to get it as somebody wants to communicate with you with odd words... but finally you got his message and are happy to have spent time to get it. "The return of the Giant..." yes, that's a song ! It created a whole history book in few minutes.. no need of learning the second world war or anything since I've found a real parrallel univers where stories are more romantic and exciting than in our univers ;o). And finally in my point of view the masterpiece of this album it "The musical box"... for two reasons, first because of his roller coaster effect of rythms.... should sound unpleasant to the ears this strong rythm break.. but it's rather the opposit... attrackting like red and black ! And secoundly, the closing part of this song is one of the most clever thing I've ever heard.. how they managed to get such a great musical closing part for human's frustration description... I don't know.. it's great that's all ! For the other songs I should say they are boring to me... I always thought they worked very strongly on the four songs mentionned above and they wrote the other ones quickly to fill the LP... that's why I give a little 7 to this album.. the less balanced album of Genesis in my point of view... looking for extremities.

Brian Sittinger <> (20.07.2001)

Wow! I truly can appreciate the difference between Trespass and this album! There a few nonmemorable songs on this album (guess what they are!), but they are short and nonoffensive in any way). It can not be emphasized what a difference Hackett and Collins bringa to this group. The 'epic' songs here make the best impression here. "The Musical Box" features great contrasts of mood (the breaks are spontaneous: soft acoustic to Who-like bombast then back to soft...), along with great solos from Steve Hackett. The only thing is that this song has a very quiet sound to it (due to production?). So, turn it up, and be blown away!! "Revenge of the Giant Hogweed" feature great growling volcals of Gabriel, great music (jazz-like?), and SICK lyrics. "Harold the Barrel" is the one very memorable short song here; bouncy rhythm, hilarious Gabriel vocal delivery, and great ending. Finally, the last song I'll comment on is "The Fountain of Salmacis", which has great mellotron lines (similar to King Crimson's "Epitaph") and the first of Hackett's heavenly guitar lines at the end of the song - check out that tone and how much he can say with a few notes. Once you apprciate his style, his style will stick like glue to your soul!!

Excellent record!! 9 out of 10.

Bob Josef <> (09.10.2001)

Just picked up the remastered version, and it's marvelous. Listening to it through headphones is a real trip. That made me realize that Collins really was quite a versatile drummer, even early on, which sort of makes up for the lack of crash-boom-bang power that Mayhew provided on Trespass. And I've learned to really appreciate the slower songs, too, especially "For Absent Friends." The lyrics are maybe simple, but they are quite touching -- don't know what's not too like about it. A welcome relief from the insane British eccentricity of "Hogweed" and "Harold the Barrel." Those lyrics, combined with the nutty music, just really bother me. Oh well.

My favorites, of course, are the two everyone loves. The drifting mellotron of "Salmacis" is tailor-made to suck a prog fan in. And "The Musical Box," although a bit too long, is a mind-blower. I must strongly disagree about the coda. The final vocal -- "Touch me, now, now, now, NOW!!" -- is the most emotionally naked moment of Gabriel's tenure with the group. Incredibly powerful.

It's clear from this release that Anthony Phillips provided the tranquil, pastoral tone and almost religious introspection to Trespass which has significantly diminished here. I miss it, but it's also obvious that Genesis would have evolved into something quite different it he had stuck around.

Daniel S. Wing <> (07.02.2002)

Just a short comment about this album ... The final minute and 55 seconds of "The Musical Box" is among the most thrilling finales in Rock and Roll, rivaled only by the last 59 seconds of King Crimson's "Starless" from RED.

Ben Kramer <> (26.05.2002)

You know George, I never even heard of Genesis before stumbling across them on your site (John's too), and I think to myself "This stuff is so awesome, why don't you ever hear it on the radio?". Then I realized that my collection was becoming based on what I heard on the radio, or what VH1 called their "Top 100 albums". It's nice because it got me into The Beatles, Stones, Floyd, Zeppelin, Doors, ... But, if I only bought those albums, my collection would stop at around 200 albums. Then upon finding your site, I also discovered probably 3-4 dozen artists I never in my right mind would have considered liking or even knowing. This led me to think that maybe I can find some other artists that I love that maybe you haven't heard of or heard of yet not reviewed yet. So, I can now boast a 5 dozen artist collection (a number I could only dream about a year ago, yet a number that seems somewhat scrawny compared to the number of artists you reviewed or I have heard through audiogalaxy). However, despite all of that, rambling, I still consider my favorite find BY FAR to be Genesis. Nursery Cryme - SEBTP is one of the best trilogies in album history, and although this is easily the weakest, I still love it.

For one, it starts off with the magnificent 'Musical Box'. In all of its 10 minutes, there are so many musical ideas, catchy melodies, and funny lyrics. I usually don't care for prog rock's lyrics, but Pete Gabriel is one of the few lyricists in progressive rock that brings a smile to my face. The last three minutes is among my favorite pieces of music ever written, and when considering The Beatles output, SEBTP, Quadrophenia, and so many other immortal albums, that is saying a lot. 'Musical Box' may be my favorite Genesis song (Though it does have its competition with 'Watcher of the Skies', 'Dancing With the Moonlit Knight', 'Firth of Fifth', 'Battle of Epping Forest', and 'Cinema Show'). 'Musical Box' isn't the only moment of brilliance on this album. The brilliant organ riff of 'Return of the Giant Hogweed' stands out as well. 'The Fountain of Salmacis''s introduction is really cool and I think you picked an excellent adjective for it (slick). The long stuff is the best on here, but the four shorter tracks are still excellent. They aren't just written off and done poorly simply because they are short and take up less of the record. 'Absent Friends' and 'Seven Stones' aren't sloppy, they're fun. And even if they were sloppy, what's wrong with that? 'Can't You Hear Me Knocking' is sloppy, yet it is probably my favorite song on Sticky Fingers. A lot of the stuff on Let It Be is sloppy too, yet good old Ben happily gives it a 15, or a high 14 in the very least. So sloppy isn't an acceptable excuse for me, and I like both tunes. I feel the same way about 'Harold the Barrel'. It is fun, and creative.

Really an excellent album, worthy of a 13. And the best stuff was still to come. By the way, did I mention that Pete has the most addicting voice I have ever heard?

<> (15.06.2002)

Great album with my personal favorite being "The Musical Box". Speaking of which, you still need to correct you part of the review in which you say Peter is singing "and I see, and I touch, and I feel THE WALL!". It should be "HER WARMTH!". I used to think it was "The Wall" too, but check the lyrics, it's not (Actually, I did check the lyrics, and they do say "The Wall", I'm pretty sure of that - G.S.). And it only makes sense with the story since the old man spirit wishes to romance Cynthia. Secondly, it should be noted, if it hasn't, that Steve Hackett's guitar solos were actually written by Mick Bernard, who was briefly in the band before Hackett joined. Anyway this is a wonderfully wacky album that deserves at least an 8/10, maybe higher.

Crew Glazjev <> (13.05.2003)

Beginning to comment Nursery Crime I'd like to point at funny little oversight in your review. You say about maturity of Gabriel's lyrics (mind you, I don't argue here) and that he beats Sinfield and J. Anderson at it. Just those whom you call the greatest mannerist and graphomaniac in the prog rock. Well, then it's not a big achievement to overcome such hacks :) And here I argue already: Gabriel's lyrics 'are not supposed to be paid attention; they simply do NOT matter most of the time' (quote). Prefaces and roles don't work if you have no printed lyrics in front of you. I think, if a song needs a preface, it's poorly written one. But I doubt that you can explain me what's the message of 'The Musical Box' even with preface. Oh, yeah, if you listen to voice rather than read lyrics sheets, you'll hear 'and I touch her warmth', not 'the wall'. It's fruitless to debate on this, though; mark only this yet another proof of nothingness of the lyrics - these two words should bear opposite meanings, I guess, but general meaning is not to be changed for it's missing. I don't even want to talk about those three black songs in your track list for I just don't remember them (though have listened to the album just a few hours ago) - which says something in itself. 'Salmacis', as you noted, is just a retelling of Greek myth but who needs it? I'd rather take a book and read full version. So, there are only two worthy tracks in terms of lyrics: 'Hogweed' and 'Harold The Barrel', but the latter draws attention by the very performance, not the elegant style. Both, as usual, are lacking some rhyme - remove the music and see they're somewhat crappy. What the hell is this 'Heracleum Mantegazziani'?

But music (and performance, of course) really save the day. Very convincing playing, especially on 'The Musical Box' and 'Return Of The Giant Hogweed'. Have you noticed that Banks hadn't stuck to his synths yet? I'd only prefer him to diversify his sound. He could change the registration at least, or turn the scanner on; organ seems to play in nearly the same register on all Genesis records, which is inadmissible. I don't know which one of these two titles is best on here. In contrast, 'Fountain Of Salmacis' is pretty weak, with its insipid and incoherent melody lines; the only thing to notice is that mighty mellotron part. Anyway, this song should not be placed in the end of the record.

John McFerrin <> (20.10.2003)

Heracleum Mantegazziani is the scientific name for, you guessed, giant hogweed. So it actually makes sense, nyah.

Fernando H. Canto <> (18.01.2004)

Perhaps I'm the freak here, or you are the jerk: I wasn't bored with the instrumental passages on the album! Of course, the first listens were mere a "reckoning" phase, so I didn't have time either to be bored or entertained (really!), but I've grown to enjoy mostly everything about the album. I'll say that, among the three epics, only 'The Fountain Of Salmacis' is sub-par, for no particular reason. But then again, with the "par" being 'The Musical Box' and 'The Return Of The Giant Hogweed', being sub-par doesn't mean much! 'The Musical Box' is very gripping and intense. I like how the lyrics merely paint an, um, "psychological background" to the story. 'The Return Of The Giant Hogweed' is just genius. Everything about the song is just great, really! On to the shorter songs, you're really spot-on with 'Harold The Barrel', but you completely missed it with 'For Absent Friends'. Sorry, but as far as Phil-Collins-led acoustic tunes are concerned, this one is just a half-step away from 'More Fool Me'. It's got a very pretty and gentle melody. On the other hand, I kinda agree with 'Seven Stones'. Rather dull and unmemorable. Only the ending manages to be rather beautiful. And 'Harlequin' isn't very much metter. But, man! Does the first half of the album rock hard! This is definitely not Genesis's finest hour, but it is close! And stop being so bitchy about the instrumental passages. I can detect more Steve Hackett on here than on Foxtrot - how can Steve Hackett be boring?


Ben Greenstein <> (26.07.99)

Not their best, but I really like a lot of the tunes. Especially "Can-Utility and the Coastliners," which you obviously don't care for. And I agree about "Supper's Ready" being too long - I'm working on making an edited version as we speak (er, type), and, coincidentally, I would omit all of the parts that you don't care for. And, one last note - "Watcher of the Skies" is a TERRIBLE song. The worst they've ever done, and that's including the last couple of Phil Collins-era albums. Am I the only one who realizes how ugly the chorus is? Awful, awful, awful. One of those songs which I just don't understand. I'm not familiar with your rating scale, but on my own reveiws of it, I gave it an 8/10.

Mike DeFabio <> (24.08.99)

You people will think I'm really dumb but this is my favorite album ever. Better songs have been written, sure, but on this album everything comes together and clicks and makes something absolutely wonderful. Run down to the record store and get it now! And if you can't afford it, steal somebody's wallet!

Ilya Morozov <> (20.12.99)

'Supper`s Ready' is one of the greatest pieces of music in XXth century!

Ted Goodwin <> (24.01.2000)

Just wanted to note that 'Horizons' is by Hackett (who has featured it on at least 2 of his solo albums), not Rutherford -- not like you'd know it from that ridiculous standard "all songs by Genesis" credit from the Gabriel days. (That sort of credit is usually meant to be "democratic" but usually leaves people thinking the lead singer wrote everything.) If any song shows that they should have given individual credits, it's 'Horizons'.

John McFerrin <> (24.01.2000)

A really, really good album. Now, at first, it was the side-A tracks that sucked me in, just like with you (although, like you, 'Can-Utility' doesn't do jack for me). But at the time I would've only given it an 8, mainly because I just couldn't 'get' 'Supper's Ready'.

After five or six listens, however, that changed drastically. There are certainly chunks where it meanders a bit too much (ie 'How Dare I be so Beautiful'), but on the other hand, I can somewhat forgive that. See, the supper referred to is the "Marriage Supper of the Lamb," which is discussed a bit in Revelations. Now, since the track is ultimately about the apocalypse and events before and after, it almost seems to work better that the song is somewhat unconnected before Apocalypse in 9/8 (which I just LOVE, btw), since it is stated that no man knows when the Apocalypse is going to happen, so life would be relatively normal right up to the time when it happens (ie it would be more or less haphazard). And in that way, the track works perfectly

A solid, solid 9, and the band's second best effort after England.

Bob Josef <> (08.02.2000)

Big disagreement here! Genesis comes up with its best epic piece with "Supper's Ready" -- the lyrics are bizarre but still intriguing and the music is captivating. "Watcher" perfectly catches a sci-fi/outer space mood with its use of the mellotron.

The other tunes suffer from Pete getting a bit too eccentric in an old British man sort of way, which is weird for someone who was only 21 at the time.

By the way, you complain a lot about Tony's "synths", but at this point he was still sticking to organ and mellotron.

Rich Bunnell <> (12.02.2000)

I have to agree with Mike's perfect score, even though it isn't my favorite album ever. This is the kind of stuff I -like- in my Genesis-- it's not too bombastic, it's prog without the big, ominous overbearing dynamics which mar some other great Genesis material. "Supper's Ready" is a masterpiece, one better viewed as a lot of different songs mashed into one rather than one big, long 23-minute song. If the CD divided the sections of it into separate tracks, no one would complain. I'll stop here. I love this album. It's the perfect Genesis experience for me.

Also, the thing that's confused me the most throughout my review-page-browsing is Ben's utter contempt for "Watcher Of The Skies." I just can't help wondering what's in the song that makes it horrible at's amazing!

Jeff Blehar <> (21.02.2000)

I'm going to have to side with most of people here in disagreeing with you, George. I think that Foxtrot is an absolute peak performance for the early Genesis, which is easily the equal if not the better of Selling England By The Pound (it's close, but I'd ultimately favor Foxtrot because "The Battle Of Epping Forest" is just lamentably bad). Almost everything is top-notch here; "Watcher Of The Skies" is a great opening shot, with those portentous organ chords and that bizarrely clipped 7/4 meter. I like the "short" songs like "Time Table" and "Can-Utility" quite a lot as well, especially the melody line of the latter. The only song on here I actively dislike is "Get 'Em Out By Friday," which is just a bit TOO British for my tastes...I think the opening is also really ungainly and ugly, too. "Horizons" is a beautiful acoustic showcase, but really now, the reason why we all love this album is that thing on Side 2: "Supper's Ready." I can't think of very many songs that I'm happy to sit and listen to for 24 minutes, but this is one of them. There are just SO many intriguing things going on in here, brilliant little bits that you just sit up and smile for: that mystical and momentous opening passage (goosebumps for me always), the loping melody of "Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man," the orgasmic release of the guitar soloing on "Ihknaton & Itsacon," the inspired goofiness of "Willow Farm," and then of course the apocalypse, capped by the brilliant recapitulation complete with church bells and a truly thunderous fade out where the whole band sounds like it's waving goodbye. Sure, there are some slow moments like "How Dare I Be So Beautiful?," and I could have done without a couple of minutes of the 9/8 playing easily, but taken all in all, the final effect floors me. Now I quite like Thick As A Brick, but I think "Supper's Ready" compares favorably to it. Perhaps Genesis couldn't play as well as Tull, but each composition is going for different moods, and Genesis does a better job with theirs. Gabriel's lyrics (for all of their cheerful insanity) certainly hold together far better than Ian Anderson's burblings about modern culture; I defy you to point out any moment in Thick As A Brick that rivals "Lover's Leap" or the finale for sheer ability to transport you some mystical, visceral place (sure: 'Do You Believe In The Day' is just as, if not more, mystically poignant; but ultimately you're right, Thick As A Brick is about quite different things; still, it has far less boring moments during its 45 minutes - G. S.). Those references to strange transfigurations, "guardian eyes of blue," and souls igniting really take me somewhere. This deserves no less than a 9. Not a 10 because of "Friday," but a strong 9 nonetheless.

Adrian <> (17.06.2000)

The only reason for this album is 'Supper's Ready'. 'Watcher of the Skies' is nice but nothing special, and certainly no better (if not a worse album opener) than 'Musical Box'. 'Get 'Em Out By Friday'? Can you say, ? The 'Re turn of the Giant Hogweed part 2' ? And the rest of the songs? Filler, filler, and more filler. Ahh, but mention 'Super's Ready', and a smile forms upon my face. Bare in mind, this smile was very hard earned. Sitting through 20+ minutes of abstract lyrics and shifting and swirling music is quite a lot to ask, and Genesis definitely wasn't the first progressive band to ask this of their fans. This piece could have been trimmed down here and there (like the whole Narcissus and social security part before 'Willow Farm') and the intro is certainly a little too long. But once I really started exploring the song, the more I liked it. Unlike many prog-epics, this one is able to keep me interested most of the time. The lyrics, while hard to make sense, are some of Gabriel's best. And the religious overtones really add to the grand feel of the track. The music has incredible dynamics, and the three-part acoustic guitar intro is beautiful. I do wish there was a little bit more Hackett-guitar in the song though. Anthony Phillips had more leads and riffs on the first two Genesis albums than Steve ever got on his six (not including the live albums). Of course, he's said himself that he was more interested in 'atmospheres'. Then again, it sure is hard to enjoy atmospheres when you can't hear them!

Philip Maddox <> (09.09.2000)

This was my second Genesis album, and though I originally liked it more than Selling England, that one grew on me immeasurably and this one never did. It still rules, of course. It takes most people a long time to get into 'Supper's Ready', but for some reason, it clicked with me immediately. I must have listened to that song 5 times in a row. I don't think any of it's weak - I wouldn't change a second of it. Highlights are the 'Ikhnaton' part, the conclusion, and my favorite, 'Willow Farm'. Ooh, now that's a groovy song. The hook in the verses reeled me in instantly. Plus, it's fun! It segues right into that beautiful acoustic guitar and flute bit, too. I love that! 'Supper's Ready' is, without doubt, my favorite song on here. The rest isn't bad at all, though. 'Watcher Of The Skies' is very majestic, as is 'Time Table'. Both of 'em are great. I even love 'Can-Utility And The Coastliners', especially that vocal section near the end. Or maybe the part when Peter sings "All who love... OUR MAJESTY!". It doesn't strike me as filler at all - actually, it may be my favorite side A track. By a strange coincidence, 'Get 'Em Out' is probably my least favorite track here - it's good, but not quite great. It's probably just because it doesn't strike me as very pretty, while everything else is extremely pretty. I can't decide if I'd give this a really high 9 or a 10. I'll have to wait until I get more Genesis albums.

Nick Karn <> (27.09.2000)

Yeah, this is indeed an awesome album, and probably one of their absolute best. I have to confess, though, that my listening experiences for this album revolve around the countdown until "Supper's Ready" and its' preceding acoustic instrumental "Horizons" (it might as well be an intro to the song as far as I'm concerned), which is one of the candidates in my mind for prog rock's finest ever creation. The last half of it is simply some of the most absolutely breathtaking music I've ever heard, with Gabriel's spectacular theatrical display in "Willow Farm", the threatening 9/8 jam (really setting a spectacular mood), and the shatteringly majestic final section reprising the "Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man" bit (I LOVE that main melody in both forms!!). Simply blows me away.

But since that song is less than half of this 51 minute album, the rest of the album would have to be fairly excellent for it to earn an overall high rating, and it is for the most part. "Watcher Of The Skies" has a good dramatic intro and mood, though it doesn't REALLY thrill me - just a very well played 7 minute epic. "Get Em Out By Friday", though, really is a great sequel to "Return Of The Giant Hogweed", with an even more curious, truly original, and downright twisted plot and all those different character sketches. Great overlooked drumming in that piece too. And I think "Can Utility And The Coastliners" is actually quite beautiful near the beginning of it - it's just the middle acoustic meandering part that's not too exciting, but the end of the song is rather good. "Time Table" to me is the least thrilling full length song on here, though it is a rather pretty ballad piece, and a step up from the unassuming filler on Nursery Cryme. I agree with the 12 rating overall - a normal nine.

<> (30.01.2001)

I really would have awarded this the ten over Selling England. See, I do like everything on Selling England, but I can actually enjoy, and even be enthralled, by Foxtrot all in one sitting. It's like they develop all these musical themes on the first side and kick them all into high gear with 'Supper's Ready'. For example, 'Horizons' seems like a gear-up for every note Steve played on 'Supper'. By the way, anybody out there thinks the individual sections of 'Supper's Ready' should have been indexed separately should love this--'Willow Farm' by itself was the b-side of the 'Watcher of the Skies' 45. The only thing in 'Supper' I would shorten would be the instrumental section between 'Willow Farm' and 'Apocalypse 9/8'. Other than that, I can hear it from beginning to end with no problems. 'Watcher of the Skies' has this very mod-gothic atmosphere at the beginning(not that I like goth-for-goth's-sake), and makes me feel as if I'm in a tower watching the skies. 'Time Table' may be the only track on here remotely close to filler status, but it's still great. I love the piano playing and the chorus. 'Get 'Em Out's intro sounds like something they would play at a baseball game. The song sounds good, with alternating acoustic and organ riffs, but it also does something, by using the music to tell the story in a way Lamb didn't even accomplish. The jam in the last quarter of the song really makes it feel as though years are going by, but they are exciting, tension-filled years. Then it slows down and Peter drops the big bomb on everyone. I can see why this is your favorite part of the album. I don't hear any problems with 'Can-Utility and the Coastliners'. They play driving acoustic and organ riffs that stick in my head, and any song that sticks in someone's head can't be feeble. As the guy above my comment said, 'Horizons' serves as a meditative-intro for the 'Supper's Ready' marathon. But 'Horizons' is a fantastic acoustic riff in itself. I see no reason why this and Selling can't both enjoy an overall rating of 13/15. Besides, 'Cinema Show' outright recycles some of the music from 'Supper'. Foxtrot may be sequelish to Cryme, but it doesn't reuse any musical ideas. It is truly a stand-alone masterpiece all its own.

<> (17.02.2001)

Words do not express the greatness of this album. One of the seminal works in modern music, in my opinion, it contains my favorite song of all time, 'Suppers Ready'.

WATCHER OF THE SKY'S: Brilliant opener, a classic song in every way.

TIME TABLE: So beautiful it makes me sick. How could a band write something this goddamn good and not be more recognized for it?

GET EM OUT BY FRIDAY: The funniest and best story song the band every wrote (well, its a tossup between this and Epping Forest and I'm not even including Lamb songs). Truly inventive, and Gabriel gives another classic performance.

CAN UTILITY AND THE COASTLINERS: Oh my god. No words. This song is brilliant, and the ending makes me want to get up and cheer everytime I hear it.

HORIZONS: Beatiful classical guitar piece by Hackett.

SUPPER'S READY: As I've said, this epic song-suite is my favorite thing ever put to record by any group. So majestic and awesome in its scope and power that I could cry. And I do. Every time I hear the final, "Take them to the New Jerusalem" line at the end, tears come. That's the best last line ever. This song rules...RULES!!

Did you have any doubts about my rating? A enormous, 10/10 and if I could give it infinite out of 10 I would.

Sam <> (24.02.2001)

This in my point of view is a very stable album, with no real weak song. I was used to love Supper's ready, but now I consider it more like a good song rathen than their best song, it's an adventurous song, but I should admit that sometimes I would like to skipp some parts.. but sometimes I feel it's perfect as it is ;o) For me it has always been surprising to see how this album's strucutre was close to the "meedle" of the pink floyd (by far my favorite album of the pink floyd). So did Genensis somehow copy the Pink Floyd who released a "similar" album some years before ? I don't mind since the originality is really present in this great album... I'm used to listen to it in november when the days are really shortening... maybe the effect of the appocalypse ;o) All the songs of this album are worth listening in my point of view and all have their own personallity (in opposit to Nursery C.), "Watcher" is a real good song even if it miss a little bit of melodic aspect, "Get them out.. " is again the same as the "Giant..", a cross into a parallel univers with very interesting thing happening there, and a great music behing (in both case it's like a bad-lost-paradise). The most difficults songs for me at the beggining were "Time tables" and "Can, utiliy..", but after a while I understood the personallity of those two songs.. definitely this album is a great familly without ashole inside and a great rock mood. I really think that in that album they succeeded to make a big sythesis of the prog-rock and the humour, in my point of view the best union of their life ! So I don't care if it's somehow structurally copied on Pink Floyd since their baby is more balanced, with a lot of imagination and humour. So a good 9 for this LP. (and Pink Floyd then copied Genensis' Lamb concept album structure with The Wall... so a boomerang history ;o)

Brian Sittinger <> (20.07.2001)

Very solid album. I do not find any weak spots in this album. It just took a bit of adjusting to appreciate this great work. Except for a small portion of "Supper's Ready", this album does not have the extreme contrasts of mood that Nursery Cryme (in particular, "The Musical Box" possesses. As such, I don't have many comments for this record. The often neglected "Horizons" is a pretty, and unfortunately short classical guitar song by Steve Hackett. Check out the harmonics at the beginning! Finally, "Supper's Ready" moves very smoothly through its 20+ minutes playing time. Right hen it seems that the song will get dull, it changes direction. This song gets especially going once you're at "Willow Farm". "Apocalypse in 9/8" features a unique, catchy rhythm (err, something like 9/8 perhaps!) building up to "As Sure As Eggs Are Eggs" (what wacky subtitles!) with a cathartic final section courtesy of especially Gabriel and Hackett (more heavenly/emotional notes from him, accompanying Gabriel's vocals). It will blow you away. 10 out of 10 (on a very bad day, a very solid 9).

<> (16.09.2001)

After all the good things I've heard about early Genesis, (yes, of course I'm familiar with the band, just not so much Gabriel-era) I finally went out and bought Foxtrot and Selling England By The Pound. And ya know what? This is great background music for writing e-mails to Starostin! Seriously, though. I'm into my third listen of Foxtrot, and my favorites so far are "Can-Utility And The Coasters" and the VERY lengthy "Supper's Ready". I agree that in that alot of the instrumental parts in SUPPER are a bit too long in spots, but at least they're interesting. I think I love this song! Damned if I know what Gabriel's singing about on most of this track, but he sounds like he means it, one of the more interesting songs I've heard in a long while. Moving on, "Can-Utility And The Coastliners" is a song I liked from the first listen, everything really clicks on this track. It's kinda hard to explain to someone who hasn't yet heard it. I think Gabriel really shines on this one, beautiful. This is a really mellow piece (well, mostly) about, I haven't got a clue! I've only owned the disc for a short while, ask George, he does'nt like it, though.

"Watcher Of The Skies" is another really good one, once you've heard this, it will be stuck in your head for the next 3 days, even as complicated as the chorus is! You'll either love it or hate it, I love it.

Last, I'd like to point out that the instrumental, "Horizons", is a beautiful little number I enjoy very much. Short, but very sweet. I actually plan on commenting on Selling England... after a few more listens, if I like it as much as this one, I'll probably pick up The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.

Ted Goodwin <> (17.11.2001)

I originally made a quick comment on this album back in 1/2000, but I think now (11/2001) it's time I gave it a full review.

WATCHER OF THE SKIES: Gabriel-era Genesis stuff is often pretty and ugly all at the same time, if you know what I mean, and no song is a better example of that than this one. (There's a short single version of this song -- heard on ARCHIVES 1 -- that's not an edit but a different recording altogether. One thing worth noting about this version as compared to the original -- besides an ending section that doesn't appear in the album version at all -- is Gabriel's improved enunciation, i.e., no "lizard's shedded-a-tail".) BTW, the time signature on this song is 6/4, not 7/4 as someone stated.

TIME TABLE: Fine, but arguably the album's least interesting song. The "why-y-y-y" chorus is rather awkward, but I like the rest.

GET 'EM OUT BY FRIDAY: My least favorite song on the album. Not actually bad, but kind of a waste of some good musical ideas. The story is pointless and doesn't quite make sense even within its own context. (I still remember hearing this song for the first time, on a very scratchy vinyl copy whose jacket didn't include the lyrics, and not being able to tell WHAT was supposed to be going on.) I have to admit that Pete's various voices are good, though.

CAN-UTILITY AND THE COASTLINERS: This has some hopelessly awkward moments that really weaken it, but somehow I still find it enjoyable (particularly in the instrumental section where the tempo changes). Apparently it's supposed to be about King Canute (thus the rather forced pun of the title), but when I looked up some info on him nothing lined up with what's in the song.

HORIZONS: As I noted in my original short comment, this is by Hackett (who has featured it on both live and studio solo albums), not Rutherford -- not like you'd know it from that ridiculous standard "all songs by Genesis" credit from the Gabriel days.

SUPPER'S READY: I consider this the best song on the album, and not just because it's an "epic suite". I read somewhere that "Willow Farm" was written first and the rest was written so W.F. could pop up unexpectedly in the middle of something. What a wonderfully insane piece that W.F. is! The main riff of "Apocalypse in 9/8" has been criticized for being ungainly and clunky; that was my first impression, but I got used to it. Overall the parts of the suite flow together really well; I've tried to pinpoint where the various sections begin and end and found that it's not always clearly defined. Trying to index them separately on a CD would be a mistake!

Trivial side note: The first side of vinyl copies of FOXTROT looks more like a record of classical music than any rock record I've ever seen. (Those who've ever observed record grooves may know what I mean.)

Billy Williams <> (06.01.2002)

Foxtrot is a great album, and, in my humble opinion, is the greatest prog album I've ever heard. "Watcher of the Skies" (I like the creepy organ intro) is quite good, as is "Time Table." Both have solid melodies. "Get 'Em Out By Friday" is tremendous. I love this song. It's humorous and it rocks, and, in many ways is a precursor to songs like "The Battle of Epping Forest." I think you've underrated "Can Utility and the Coastliners" just a bit, George. It ain't that bad! The major highlight is, obviously, "Supper's Ready." What more could be said about it? All in all, this is Genesis' finest effort, just slightly ahead of Selling England.

Ben Kramer <> (01.01.2002)

When I got this a few weeks ago and listened to it, I knew that Genesis would be my favorite prog band and one of my favorite bands of rock. This album is just about as amazing as its follower, the epic Selling England By The Pound. 'Watcher of the Skies' is the perfect song to open it and it is also my favorite song on the album. The opening 2 minutes is amazing, and it sets more atmosphere than Yes ever did. The instrumental is great too, almost as great as the one found in 'Dancing With The Moonllit Knight'. 'Time Table' is a nice little pop song, maybe not as good as 'I Know What I Like', but it is still memorable. 'Get 'Em Out By Friday' is just phenomenal, being one of the best songs of the Gabriel era (Which is by far their best era, I don't have any albums after he left with the exception of A Trick Of The Trail (excellent!), but the napster files don't prove to make the later Genesis era promising.). The little opening riff is simple, yet intriguing. The only problem I have with it is that it seems to drag on at the end a little too long, not in a bad way, but it just seems like it would have been better if they shaved 30 seconds off of it. I don't see what you have against 'Can-Utility And The Coastliners' because I love it. They could have built a 7 minute prog song around it and it would be as amazing as 'Watcher Of The Skies'. 'Horizons' is totally pointless and I don't see the need to make side one 27 minutes from 25. However, that is my only problem with side one. Side two is as good as side one. The 23 minute 'Supper's Ready' (I don't know how famous it is, but I can't imagine it ever becoming a common radio hit, so I wouldn't call it famous) is built on the best melody Genesis ever did (except the piano/synth part on 'Firth of Fifth', but I don't know if that actually counts). Also, Pete's lyrics are his best ever and he wouldn't top them until, maybe 'Biko', maybe 'Intruder', but not until his solo career. The problem with it is, like all sidelongs (not 'Thick As A Brick'), contains many themes along with the main theme. So, while the main theme may be awesome and Genesis' peak, within the song, there are a couple of small sections that I would have cut. I can't really say which ones, because they change from listen to listen, but about 10 minutes in is what I'd consider the only true boring part in the whole song. Other than that, this is prime Genesis, and excellent prog. Overall, this album is worth a 9(14) on the McFerrin scale and a 10(14) on your scale. Why does this get a slightly weaker score than Selling England By The Pound? Well, Selling England By The Pound is one of the most emotional albums I have ever heard (along with Abbey Road and Quadrophenia, as well as a couple Dylan albums, but that's a given). It isn't something that you could listen to 5 times in a row. Foxtrot isn't as emotional and while a superb album, it isn't quite up to Selling England By The Pound which I would give a 15, though I still see Genesis as a 4 star band, at least the Gabriel era. The rest is probably a 2, maybe a three because A Trick Of The Trail is so great. Good Job Guys, you managed to outdo yourselves on this one, and even followed it with more excellence. In case you were wondering, this is my second favorite progressive album ever, only behind Selling England By The Pound.

Crew Glazjev <> (13.05.2003)

Must agree, on Foxtrot lyrics get more interesting indeed, and the amount of filler decreases. There are only two such pieces: 'Horizons' (absolutely unnecessary and pointless) and 'Apocalypse In 9/8' (did they think its odd meter would justify its monotonousness?) And yet lyrics stay pretty nonsensical, crowned by famous 'Supper's Ready'. What is it about? To hell with it, I don't want all these idle interpretations! It's easier to think they're there for nothing. No worse than A Passion Play in this respect.

Music is even more classy here. Rhythmic figure on 'Watcher Of The Skies' makes me envy it's not me who invented it. But the chorus (Gabriel's singing on it) is really awkward, looks like there must be an extra syllable or two to follow the music exactly. I'd like to draw your attention to 'Can-Utility And The Coasters', it's a good example of how Genesis could disguise a brilliant song in the heap of muck. Firstly I didn't notice it too, but give it another chance, buddy, especially Gabriel screaming along with almost Victorian passages by Banks in the very end. 'Get 'Em Out By Friday' is interesting as an approach, but the tune seems to be 'Hogweed' revisited, and if you don't have scenario, it's pretty hard to understand what's going on. And Gabriel's 'bad' voice (I mean, Mr Pebble's) sounds like croaking of a half-crushed frog, rather than real bad hardhead's commands.

Oh, almost forgot, remove your lines about 'those nauseating Banksynths'. There are nearly no synths both on this album and 'Nursery Crime', they are mainly used in the background. It's organ, man, just organ and mellotron. And ain't Banks' climactic lick on 'Ikhnaton And Itsacon' terrific? By the way, this sub-section musically fits well for the 'Quadrophenia', don't you think?

Glenn Wiener <> (08.06.2003)

If I were to sum up Foxtrot, I would say that it is loaded with creative instrumental passages. However, melody wise its a hit and miss affair. 'Watcher Of The Skies' has the most memorable melody. 'Time Table' is fairly memorable as well but its the keyboard touches and the vocals that make it special. 'Get 'Em Out By Friday' is way too all over the place. An occasional interesting passage but just not too captivating for an 8 1/2 minute tune. 'The Coastliners' tune is pretty good for the most part but there are some so so spots. 'Horizons' is good background music. And 'Supper's Ready' has both good and trying moments. 10 out of 15 sounds right.

Fernando H. Canto <> (18.01.2004)

Wow, did Genesis learn to like to do long albums. They must have looked at the huge lead-out groove on Nursery Cryme, and Tony said: "How much music can we fit in there?" "Three," Steve said, coldly. "I think we can fit in *five*, if we squeeze the rest of the record a bit more", Peter challenged. "But we'll be reducing the sound quality!," Mike replied, reluctantly. "Who cares about sound quality, if we can compensate it with *musical" quality, eh?," Peter said, even more challenging. Silence fell for a few seconds, until it was broken by Phil's shy voice: "Can we?"

I think they could! They spent less time going on stuff like 'Seven Stones', and went on to the real meat: My only gripe against the album is that Tony is *too* heavy on the vibrato-less organ, and that monotonous hum can be a bit grating sometimes. Also, there's less Steve Hackett. But, the good songs are just as good as on Nursery Cryme, and the bad songs... Heck, there are no bad songs! Shut up, you whiny 'Can-Utility And The Coastliners' hater. I mean... Seriously, if this compares to 'Harlequin', then 'Time Table' certainly compares to 'Firth Of Fifth'. I like the way the mood of the song flows from soft and gentle to tense and nervous and finally to screaming and ascending into the finale. That's a cool song. Oh, well... I guess my main disagreement is that Genesis' strength is not the "power". I don't really care whether they're being powerful or soft - if they have got a good melody, they can make anything work. Then again, I like 'For Absent Friends', so I can see where our tastes differ. Other than that, you're pretty right on 'Time Table' being beautiful. I've seen some people comment on the "hideous" lyrics to that song. Sheesh, if 'Time Table' has hideous lyrics, what does 'Watcher Of The Skies' have? Man, people are crazy! These must be the same folks who love Graeme Edge's poetry on Days Of Future Passed! Okay, okay, on topic, on topic. I *love* 'Watcher Of The Skies'. Corny Mellotrons? You're crazy, man! Those Mellotrons give me chills! And 'Get 'em Out By Friday' is pretty much perfect, too. I like all the transitions of mood and instrumentation and vocal intonations. I'm not one of those who go totally ape over 'Supper's Ready', just because it isn't as mindblowingly fantastic as other sidelongs I know, but it is a great composition, anyways. Whether all those different things fit well together, I don't care. Those are very good musical ideas, and it sure has a grandiose finale. And 'Horizons' rules! I wish I could play harmonics like that!


Dan Miller <> (23.08.99)

Actually, Live was meant to be a single album. The recordings were originally produced for the "King Biscuit Flower Hour," and Charisma Records decided to transform them into a live album, though Genesis felt a live album at that point in their career was too early. Now, if they had waited until the Selling ... tour, they most definitely could have released a double album to account for some additional stage standards such as "Firth of Fifth" and "Cinema Show."

However, the argument that Genesis should have produced a double-live album since Yes (and ELP) produced a triple-live album is specious at best. First of all, Yes' Yessongs is a triple album because the recording had to: (1) account for the lengths of Yes' songs; (2) account for the depth of their catalog; and (3) accommodate each member's desire for solo space. ELP did the same with their Welcome Back My Friends ... (and with only three members). Yes and ELP are renowned (and scorned) for their individuals' extensive soloing. Keith Emerson is perhaps the most guilty, but each of these musicians carried solo fever into studio albums and often filled their tapes with solos at the expense of cohesive group compositions. Fragile might be considered one of Yes' finest, but only because it features three outstanding collaborations, while ELP's Works, Vol. I is one of the most slandered albums in history because of its perpetual solos.

Genesis, in spite of several instrumental interludes, was never a soloist's venture. Sure, the keyboard is the band's signature, and the lack of a stand-out guitar throughout most of the band's compositions might have played a minimal role in Steve Hackett's departure, but Steve's decision to leave Genesis was largely of his own accord as he felt the band was incorporating little of his writing. Steve was concerned more about composing than playing, and his first solo album, Voyage of the Acolyte (written and recorded while he was still in Genesis) attests to that fact. By and large it is an album that showcases Steve's writing skills, and while his guitar is prevalent throughout, Voyage ... is an album of compositions, not guitar solos. Steve's entire catalog, with the exception of "Bay of Kings" and "Momentum" (acoustic guitar compositions) is composed of his band's collaborative efforts.

Your frequent jabs against Tony Banks are unwarranted. Perhaps he is not quite as skilled as Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman, but he is better than the rest of his contemporaries (Tony Kaye, Rick Davies, Thjis van der Leer, Richard Wright, Manfred Mann). Second to Keith Emerson's piano introduction in "Trilogy", Tony's piano in "Firth of Fifth" is quite possibly the most delicious ivory ever committed to a rock 'n' roll record. The term "Banksynths," is worth a chuckle, but realize that the synthesizer really did not make its way into the Genesis repertoire until Selling England ... and only sparingly at best. Genesis produced four studio albums before then where Tony played hammond organ, mellotron and piano. >From Selling England ... through Wind and Wuthering, Tony achieved dramatic effects through his use of synthesizers as had Emerson and Wakeman on their own recordings. Only when the next-generation synthesizer - that computerized, pre-programmed automaton that appeared in the early eighties through such emotionally flatulent acts like Soft Cell - did the synthesizer become a curse on popular music. Banksynths? Think Invisible Touch, and maybe even Genesis, since they are both products of their particular generation, but as Phil Collins once said, "that all."

Jeff Blehar <> (21.02.2000)

I was really surprised by the quality of this. I bought it basically as a collection completer, and I was blown away by the quality of the playing here. Literally, this is one of those live albums where every track is better than its studio counterpart. Now George is right in saying that the arrangements remain completely faithful to the album versions, but these songs have a real KICK that's missing on the studio LPs. For me it's hard to get excited at the thought of listening to a live rendition of "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed," but somehow they really manage to bring it to life here. Even better, the live performance of "The Knife" here is positively FEROCIOUS, a real noticeable improvement over the already-awesome Trespass take. Since the song is fueled by Gabriel's insane ranting energy, it stand to reason that it would only gain in live performance it's not just his singing. Rutherford and Hackett are at their best here, especially near the end, when the song has finally returned to its major key for the ascending keyboard figure - the guitars make this great coruscating rattling sound, which just makes the performance for me. The only shame is that they didn't include more of Gabriel's banter with the audience - the one bit that they did use ("[sound of bass tuning up]...That was an unacccompanied bass pedal solo by Michael Rutherford.") is genuinely funny. And "Get 'Em Out By Friday" still sucks AND blows at the same time, even though that's physically impossible.

The only other problem is that this album lacks a "listening niche," as I would call it. It doesn't really fit into my listening habits since I like to listen to albums by a band in sequence - thus this live album, with its performances that only deviate slightly from their original versions, is just repetitive. Still, it makes a GREAT introduction to early Genesis. If you don't know where to start, start here. 7/10.

Adrian <> (17.06.2000)

There is no reason to get this album. Live albums can be wonderful affairs. They can contain different versions of album tracks, or extended jams and extra solos. Sometimes the band performs a cover tune, or a rare b-side or early track. Many times the crowd sings along, and the performer is heard interacting with the crowd. Sometimes there's an energy in live performance that even rivals the studio tracks. This album offers NONE of those qualities. The songs are performed note-by-note perfect, sounding almost disturbingly studio-like. The energy level is nothing special, and we get ripped-off when it comes to audience interaction!!! Where are Peter Gabriel's legendary stories and banter? I think there's just one story on this album, a little bass joke and that's it. Rip-off!!! Even the revamped version of 'The Knife' does little to stir my blood. Don't waste your time. I you must have live Genesis, get the box-set, Archive 1967-1975. At least they didn't edit out all the stories and dialogue on that one.

Philip Maddox <> (14.12.2000)

Early Genesis was certainly a fantastic prog rock band - their melodies were pretty hard to top, and Peter Gabriel was a fantastic showman, even when he was restrained to the studio. When you take the best of these early songs, add in some live energy from Peter and a few cool lines thrown in by Hackett, and have good sound quality to boot, well, you're in for a fantastic experience, and certainly a 9-worthy one. "The Musical Box" was one of my favorite songs, even when it was on Nursery Cryme, and it's actually improved somewhat here. I'm not even sure why - it just sounds more vital. Plus, Peter's voice is fantastic and Steve really blazes on those last couple of minutes. I'd never heard "The Knife" before I bought this, but that's a great song, too - what a fantastically brilliant chorus! Pete's flute solo here is breathtaking, too - I wish he played the flute more on his albums. He really knows how to use that thing to add something to the music. Great, great tune. The other 3, while not particularly different from the studio versions, are a bit more energetic and the original songs were superb anyway, so no complaints.

The only real problems with this album is that the album almost feels like a rip off these days - 5 songs, no stage banter, a booklet featuring naught but one story (even though its a cool one) and some teeny tiny pictures, and plenty of room left on the disc for some neato bonuses like on the new Live At Leeds (where the bonus tracks were every bit as good as the original). If they had corrected these few mistakes on the reissue, I would've seriously considered giving this a personal ten, but as it is, no can do, just because this could have been so much better. Still, a fantastic album and well worth my $11.88.

Sam <> (24.02.2001)

This album is the second one I've bought... ok I was young, I didn't have so much money so I bought the tape which was less expensive... but what a live album !!! It's true that all the songs are very close to the studio versions, and that there is not much surprise on thi field.. but I really think that these 5 songs are all better than the studio's versions since they are more mature. Compared to the studio's versions, it seems to me that they have growth in every band's mate and these are 5 matures great songs ! I really love to listen to this "live CD" since it's five song I really like and since they rock better than in the studio version..... I think that the knife did't have his real place in Trespass since the other songs of this album are more mood songs.. .but on the "live" album "Trespass" start to be surrounded by his real mates, and mainly "The musical box". I was feeling sad looking at "The Knife" being alone on his LP, and they did very well in "dating" it with more closer songs. So this album is somehow a "best of" for me, with even a stronger maturity of each of the songs, that's why I give to this LP a good 9 !

Brian Sittinger <> (20.07.2001)

Great record. This can be a great way to introduce oneself to pre-Selling... -era Genesis. Good song selection, though a bit short. Although the songs are played very faithfully to their studio versions, this shows that the studio efforts were not flukes. Plus, there are embellishments (esp. from Steve Hackett) here and there. "The Knife", as presented here, blows away the original version: much more loud and menacing, with disconfigured Gabriel vocals before Hackett goes wild on his solo (sadly one of the few times where we can witness this!). Too bad there is not more of Gabriel's stage banter... . Still, 9 out of 10.

Jaime Vargas <> (10.05.2002)

I like very much this album, but I have a minor gripe about one of the songs..."The Musical Box". Listening to it, I get the feeling that there too much guitar parts sounding at the same time. In the beginning I could attribute to Mike playing the arpeggiated guitar (as he did in the studio version), but later, once he picks up the bass...I hear rhythm AND lead electric guitar at the same time. Hmmm...maybe they did some tampering in the studio, because the true live version sounded too "hollow"? As a matter of fact, I don't get the same impression in any of the remaining four songs...what's the deal with this?

John McFerrin <> (12.05.2002)

I almost thought the same thing about the rhythm and electric guitar parts, until I saw footage of the band doing the song in full. Much of the feedback that sounds like it's coming from Hackett is actually coming from Tony's keyboard setup.

Ted Goodwin <> (13.05.2002)

Regarding your comment on GENESIS LIVE at George Starostin's site:

"I like very much this album, but I have a minor gripe about one of the songs...'The Musical Box'. Listening to it, I get the feeling that there too much guitar parts sounding at the same time. In the beginning I could attribute to Mike playing the arpeggiated guitar (as he did in the studio version), but later, once he picks up the bass...I hear rhythm AND lead electric guitar at the same time. Hmmm...maybe they did some tampering in the studio, because the true live version sounded too 'hollow'? As a matter of fact, I don't get the same impression in any of the remaining four songs...what's the deal with this?"

Remember Pete's joke at the beginning of the song about Mike's "unaccompanied bass pedal solo"? Bass pedals, played with the feet, were what allowed Mike to sound like he was playing the bass while also still playing his guitar. Neat trick, huh? Now, if you want to talk about studio tampering, look at all the overdubbed Phil vocal parts on SECONDS OUT...

[Special author note: heh. Now which one of you guys is actually right?]

John McFerrin <> (24.05.2002)

Actually, I give, Ted is right. I realized the next day that I had been thinking of another part of the song. When watching footage of the band, I notice that Mike isn't really playing bass in the way you'd expect a bass player to - rather, he's strumming like a madman. My badd.

Crew Glazjev <> (13.05.2003)

There's not nuch to say about Genesis Live. Arrangements are slightly more clumsy than on studio efforts, and, if it's possible for the concert, less spontaneous. Now we know they could play it onstage. Now we know Rutherford could give out unaccompanied bass solo. But all these versions don't add nothing to studio ones (except maybe 'The Knife').


Mike DeFabio <> (24.08.99)

Yeah, it's great. It's like Foxtrot. It's not as good as Foxtrot, but it sounds like Foxtrot. If you liked Foxtrot, you'll like this one.

Cole <> (16.11.99)

I don't like this album as much as most people do. I like the first side, but the second side doesn't do much for me. I have to bring up one point--Genesis finally found a producer that didn't make them sound like they were recording in Peter Gabriel's garage. Nursery Cryme certainly has a bootleg-quality sound to it--heck, I'd say my vinyl copy of Selling England... sounds better than my remastered CD of Cryme! Whoever produced Foxtrot got them in the right direction, but this is where they finally got a clear-sounding mix. Why they didn't just get Eddie Offord (their contemporaries sounded great with him) I don't know. 6/10.

<> (17.11.99)

George, I found your site quite back by accident but have logged on constantly over the last few weeks. I credit you with my buying Selling England by the Pound. It took about two plays for me to get used to it, and now I really like it, and it deserves your high rating. I noticed that the prog rock/folk rock/art rock group Kansas seems to have taken quite a bit of music off of "Fifth of Firth". The instrumental break on that track sounds incredibly like the music on the instrumental break on "Song for America" by Kansas, especially the synth solo and Collins' drum rolls, even the introductory acoustic piano. I have noticed bits and pieces from Selling England on other prog rock albums.

I think Phil's song is weak, even by his standards, but other than that, I think this is a great album, well worth the $11.88 I paid for it.

John McFerrin <> (05.12.99)

I bought this yesterday, and at first I wasn't really that enthralled with it. Still, after I headed out to see a movie with some friends and I was thinking about the album, I couldn't help but think that there was something about the album, a greatness that I couldn't quite put my finger on, but that I knew was there. Well, I've given it a few more listens, and I have to pretty much agree with you on everything. I guess I was just put off by the pure _Britishness_ of the whole thing, but I got past that by the third listen or so. This is a terrific album. 'Dancing with the Moonlit Knight' is simply wonderful, with those terrific Gabriel vocals and a fantastic drive throughout. I think that my favorite on the album, though, is 'Firth of Fifth'. That slow noodling guitar part with that eerie background is absolutely amazing in its power and simplicity. In any case, the rest is quite good as well

This is my first Genesis album, but I see no reason that it wouldn't earn an objective ten from me. Good stuff

Adrian <> (01.02.2000)

Wow oh wow oh wow!!!! I was not perpaired for this album when I purchased it (thanks to your review). When hearing Gabriel's frantic cries of "Knights of the Green Shield stamp and shout," I was grinning from ear to ear. And the other tracks didn't disappoint either, except for the last few which just weren't distinct enough to make a big impression. I have to say that "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" is one of my favorite songs. This album is prog rock's finest moment, along with Court of the Crimson King (except for 'Moonchild' which can send anyone into a coma!). How does a man go from "Firth of Fifth" to "Sledgehammer"? (Or "More Fool Me" to "Sussudio"? He he he!)

Rich Bunnell <> (12.02.2000)

I don't hate this one at all, yet I don't consider it the band's masterpiece at all. It's certainly majestic, but sometimes the majesticness of everything makes it all sound exactly the same; a problem which Foxtrot didn't have. Despite all of this, the tracks which you like ("Moonlit Knight," "I Know What I Like," "Firth Of Fifth," "Epping Forest") are really well-written. Hell, it's all great, the songs are all great songs on a great album, but the overbearing nature of the songwriting and some of the instrumental passages can get a bit tiring. I'm content giving this one a nice, healthy eight.

Jeff Blehar <> (21.02.2000)

The first time I heard Selling England I was completely underwhelmed, and I'm afraid most first-time listeners will be too. That's a shame, because it really is, like everyone here agrees, a great album, one of early Genesis' best. It actually strikes me as being easy to overlook, since other than that nifty little pop tune ("I Know What I Like," and it's that song!) nothing really throttles you like "The Musical Box," "The Knife," or "Supper's Ready." As wonderful as "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" is, it is also fairly subdued. In fact, the only moment of true bombast is also the weakest moment on the album, and by far Genesis' worst-ever long-form song. I'm talking about "The Battle Of Epping Forest." No, George, it's just no good at all. It starts with an alright chorus, but it degenerates into unfunny humor and blandly uninteresting music. I don't mind songs that run for 11 minutes if they have something, be it musical or lyrical, to justify their length, but this goes nowhere for what seems like an eternity, and the recording sound very dry and underproduced to boot. The rest of the album has a really subtle charm, however. It's not immediately apparent, but it gets under your skin like nothing else in their canon. It's atmosphere again, a more mature type of the same thing which made me love Trespass. "Firth Of Fifth" is just grand, spiralling piano and all (took me forever to figure that out on the piano!), and "Cinema Show" is a really beautiful mood piece that is my dark horse fav. on the disc. "After The Ordeal" is the aptly named reward we get for having to sit impatiently through Gabriel's interminable ranting on "Epping Forest": a soothing instrumental. But the best song on here (and this doesn't fit into my sentence one bit, but I forgot that Phil's "More Fool Me" has more personality and charm than his entire solo career) has got to be the opening "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight," which again pulls that impressive trick Gabriel first did on the first part of "Supper's Ready" of transporting you bodily into a different time, one of swords and sorcery, dragons and Merrie Olde England. So it's a very good, if initially unprepossessing album. But it's tarnshed by the embarrassment of "Epping," and I could also point out that, at 52 minutes, it runs a bit too long. Still, it's a 9/10.

Ted Goodwin <> (12.04.2000)

This is where it all really came together for Genesis -- the substandard production of the past was gone (as was pointed out earlier), and Gabriel wasn't dominating things like he did on LAMB. The credits say "all titles done by all" which is not only a through-the-teeth lie (of course, the old "all songs written by [name of band]" credit is a through-the-teeth lie on every rock record it appears on, except for some Genesis albums after 1982 and possibly TALES FROM TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS) but is especially ironic here because for once, given a little background information, one can see that Genesis consisted of five individual WRITERS. No song is written by only one member, but every member's writing presence is clear somewhere if you know what to look for, and that's not quite true of any other Gabriel-era album. (Side note: that wholesale "all songs by Genesis" had the effect of denying credit to Anthony Phillips for his contributions to at least 2 songs recorded after he left: "Musical Box" and the awesome SELLING-era B-side "Twilight Alehouse". I really wish "Twilight" could have made it onto SELLING, if only as a CD-reissue bonus track.)

Personal opinions: Phil's song is the weakest, and straddles the line between adding variety and just plain not fitting in. "Firth Of Fifth" sounds oddly like it could have been sung by Phil in the first place (and I haven't even really checked out his later live singing of it). Unlike others, I like "Ordeal" & (especially) "Cinema" just as much as anything else on the album. I've gotten used to "Epping" & admire Peter's variety of voices; the song is a rare case where the music goes along with Peter's cynical humor instead of being clashed with by it.

Ben Greenstein <> (16.04.2000)

Almost TOO good. Fantastic melodies, great production, some of the cleverest keyboard lines this side of "Just What I Needed," makes for a really good album. I still can't be bowled over by "Battle of Epping Forest," though I don't think that it's a bad song by any stretch of the imagination. "Moonlit Knight" is really good, but the best song on the album just HAS to be "The Cinema Show." I just love it to pieces. The instrumental part isn't slow at all - in fact, I wish they had gone on even longer! Moves me to tears, it does. Why can't I write that? I don't get why everyone gets so down on Banks for being not enough of a virtuoso, but then ALSO bashes Keith Emerson for being "too showoffy." Whathefuckisthat?" As for this album, I give it a lowish ten.

[Special author note: people don't get down on Banks for not being a virtuoso. People get down on Banks for not being a virtuoso while always making sure to place his instruments, which he isn't too creative about, at the center of the band's sound, thus obscuring poor Steve Hackett who was the only true instrumental genius in the band. And personally, I just hate the Banksynth tone, especially since Wind & Wuthering.]

John McFerrin <> (19.04.2000)

I know that he hasn't explicitly said that he thinks otherwise, but I think Ben should be made aware that the last chunk of 'Cinema Show' is not just Banks. Yes, he provides the foundation of what makes the whole thing so beautiful, but the melodic parts are actually courtesy of Hackett. I actually thought that was Banks myself at first, but then I realized that that was just Steve using his pedal. In any case, the last chunk of 'CS' _is_ as beautiful as it is made out to be, but please be sure to give credit where credit has always been due.

Clarke Melville <> (18.06.2000)

A friend's older brother introduced me to this album when i was in grade 7. I would listen to it on my walkman as I delivered my papers afterschool i knew ever single inch of the tape, it did wonders for my imagination and confidence. 18 years later I have the CD, a worn out vinyl and a new vinyl that i never play and keep as a back up. It still has the ability to take me away to battlefields and gardens.

Rich Bunnell <> (08.07.2000)

Wait....what bug did I have up my butt that day? This album rules! I think that Foxtrot is a stronger album overall (since it's the quieter, pensive side of Genesis which really gets under my skin and holds on tight) but I now have no trouble at all giving this a ten. "The Cinema Show" is simply too gorgeous to be overlooked (great intro by Gabriel and energetic, pretty-sounding instrumental section for the entire last half of the song), and "The Battle Of Epping Forest," though it's impossible to tell what the hell's going on unless you read the lyrics in the liner notes, is jolly good fun in the most British sense of the word possible. And that spiraling piano/synth in "Firth Of Fifth" might be the most memorable moment in the entire Genesis canon! I still can't believe what a jerkoff I was, giving this only an eight-- ten ten ten.

Bob Josef <> (30.07.2000)

The operative word here is: mellow. Not as mellow as Trespass, but certainly compared to the previous two studio records. There is a lot of gorgeous music here, like "Firth of Fifth" and "Dancing." And "I Know What I Like" is a funny tune. And this is the best production they came up with to date.

But, still, I feel something is lacking in this album. It seems over to course of the first four records, Genesis was building on the one that came before. Here, they seem to have retrenched -- there aren't a lot of new ideas here. What they were building to, of course, was The Lamb -- but there is such a thing as overconstrunction... Anyway, even though it's much better played and produced, and similar in many ways, I still prefer Trespass. The beautiful spirituality in that album is really missing from this one.

Philip Maddox <> (09.09.2000)

A couple of months ago, I was browsing through the record store, looking for a good record to blow my 12 bucks on. Unfortunately, all of the albums I was looking for were either (a) not there or (b) ridiculously expensive. I happened across a copy of this record for 10.99 (digitally remastered, of course) and remembered your praise for it. I'd never heard Genesis before (outside of a couple of late period pop hits), but I remebered how this album was supposed to be cool medieval sounding stuff, so I decided to pick it up on a whim. Man, am I ever glad I did. This album rules! Not a bad song to be found. Even though every song is good, special notice must be paid to 'Dancing With The Moonlit Knight' and 'Firth Of Fifth'. The former is, well, breathtakingly beautiful. And the latter is, well, even better in my opinion. The sung part at the beginning is very pretty, but the instrumental middle section is gorgeous. From Gabriel's flute to Banks' synths and piano and Hackett's guitar, it all works. I could listen to it all day. 'The Cinema Show' is very pretty as well. Not quite as good as the big 2, but it would blow away the best material on almost any other album by anybody. Phil's song is nice, 'Wardrobe' is groovy and fun, and 'Epping Forest' is really underrated if you ask me. Lots of fun and plenty of great melodies slammed together. I'd give this a good, solid 10. I almost like this as much as Thick As A Brick, and that says a lot. The only other Genesis album I have as of today is Foxtrot, but I plan on correcting that problem very soon.

Richard Craig <> (14.12.2000)

I was on your site, which I found after doing an Internet search for Selling England By The Pound because it is the best album ever recorded by anyone. Simple as that.

i have been aware of its existence since about 1985 and i have probably listened to it about 500 times. I never get sick of it because it does not seem like the work of any old rock band- it sounds like Genesis at the peak of their creativity.

With the exception of 'Aisle Of Plenty' which i only heard six years ago for the first time (because the original copy was a bootleg with the end chopped off),every song is absolutely fantastic. The best bit of the album is probably just after Gabriel has finished singing on 'Dancing With the Moonlit Knight' whenever Rutherford's bass and Bank's keyboard/Hackett's guitar (hard to know which one) play the same notes in a completely unconventional little solo, and then the organ goes crazy, followed by a beautiful interlude in which Rutherford plays chords on his bass (doesn't happen very often) before the acoustic comes in.

The next song is great too. i used to listen to this in the car when I was about five and it always reminds me of great summers sneaking other people's beers while they werent looking!

The piano solo for 'Firth Of Fifth' still amazes me after 15 years, and Steve's guitar solo is inspired- who says that solos have to be blindingly quick?

I think you underestimate 'The Cinema Show'. It would take a lot of talent to write a song like that. And the passage where there are just 12-strings and Gabriel's flute is absolutely beautiful- I can't see some bunch of arseholes like Coldplay producing wonderful hypnotic music like that. On the subject of hypnotism, isn't the drum echo at the start of 'Stagnation' on Trespass really good?

i envisage a video for that bit where the band are sitting on a hill and for each drum beat the sky changes colour. Spaced, huh?

By the way i never touch drugs.

And yes, after about 1977 Genesis became completely shit and coincidentally popular with the public at the ame time. Strange that. Funny also how after Steve Hackett left they got a hit single. It says a lot for Steve's musicianship.

<> (17.02.2001)

Depending on my mood, this is even better and certainly just as good as Foxtrot, and wouldn't you know it, every song is amazing.

DANCING WITH THE MOONLIT KNIGHT: This song got me into Gabriel-era Genesis. It's one of the bands signature songs, and very representative of what they're all about, moving from what is quite possibly their all time greatest melody (the album's recurring three chord progression) into some crazy cool rockband workouts

I KNOW WHAT I LIKE: A perfect pop song. Nothing else to say here.

FIRTH OF FIFTH: I don't know, do I sound repetitive. Next to 'Suppers Ready', this is easily the band's best song. It's amazing. When Banks plays the opening piano part on his synth in the middle of the song, it's musical bliss.

MORE FOOL ME: I love this Phil-sung ballad, which seems like filler but actually would be one of the better songs on an album by say CSN.

BATTLE OF EPPING FOREST: A masterpiece, and probably Gabriel's crowning achievement as a vocalist. He owns this song (it's 11 minutes of almost all vocals). Filled with about 10 perfect melodies.

AFTER THE ORDEAL: Great title for this powerful and gorgeous instrumental track.

CINEMA SHOW: Another sublime classic. Banks is god on this song which leads into the final...

AISLE OF PLENTY: Unifies the album by reprising that great melody from 'Moonlit Knight'. Many consider this the bands best album, and I wouldn't argue with them, it's just that this, Foxtrot, and the next album are all the best depending on my mood. Of course its a 10/10

Sam <> (24.02.2001)

Foxtrot look for me as an artificial, or "alien" album with a lot of "out of the earth" fantasy, so not so many things linked to the earth... even if in Supper's ready the soil is a strong point ;o) Selling England by the Pound is a far more "natural" album to me, it's a come back to the nature... with the forests, the seas, the lakes, the birds, the leafs, the wind and so on... somehow the opposit of the Foxtrot's alien and technical story-line. So I listen mainly Selling.. during the summer when there is a lot of sun outside, since I think there is a lot of link between this album and the light. (Foxtrot was rather the opposit). For me there is two very strong song on this LP, mainly due to their great musical part.. sometimes I even feel that they should have removed Gabriel's voice to see what's comming out... "Firth of Fith", is certainly one of the greatest prog' piece ever, when Hackett starts his work it's finally a step in the lost paradise... this is really a very clever song, I like to compare this piece to the "Bolero of Ravel" since every instruments has his share of the cake.. and what a cake ! The second strong song in my point of view is the "Cinema Show".. it's maybe a little bit to long at the beginning but the final part rules ! In my point of view on the musical aspect this is the best Genesis album, but unluckily the association of lyrics and music is not so perfect... the great synchronisation found in Foxtrot is somehow lost since words and notes do not always go in the same direction. Even if I don't really like "Battle.. " and "More fool me", this albume has a strong basis. So I give to this one a big 8.

Brian Sittinger <> (20.07.2001)

There's not too much that has not been said about this album. But, "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" is sure a way to convince one without a doubt that Genesis was not always pop!! No weak songs on here at all, although "Cinema Show" does sound familar to "Supper's Ready", but it doe go in a different direction. "Battle of Epping Forest" is the strangest song on here. Great intro with flutes and drums. Then, the song dives into the wacky fanatasy land of Gabriel. He goes wild with the characters here.

"Firth of Fifth" is my personal favorite here (ignore the lyrics!!). Hackett has his deservedly best well-known solo here, absolutely heart-wrenchingly beautiful. if you haven't heard it yet, hear it soon. I haven't said anything of Tony Banks yet, but he puts on an impressive solo intro to the aformentioned song, too. In short, this song is as close to musical perfection as possible.

"I Know What I Like" has to be the one of the most bizarre 'pop' sons I have heard. "After the Ordeal" is beautiful, too. Even Phil Collins has a decent song here! An emphatic 10 out of 10!!!

Ben Kramer <> (24.11.2001)

I don't own many progressive rock albums and those I have on napster don't really expand my knowledge that much. However, out of the ones I have heard, this is by far, the best album progressive rock has to offer. If any Genesis album were to be used to prove that Peter Gabriel is a genius, it would be this one. The rest of the band members, while not nearly as talented, somehow get it together and they are able to produce excellent progressive instrumentals, which from those albums I own, I can tell that it is a rare feat. Yes had a tough time with instrumentals despite producing many albums with Rick Wakeman and King Crimson couldn't be counted on to produce a great instrumental and neither was Genesis. But Selling England By the Pound is an exception to this. The opener, 'Dancing With the Moonlit Knight' is probably my current favorite Genesis song (tied with a couple others on this album). Gabriel's singing hasn't been surpassed and Hackett has a great solo (not really a solo, but a few seconds to be in the spotlight). Another favorite of mine is 'The Battle Of Epping Forest'. Gabriel's images are so convincing and once again, brilliant instrumental parts occur throughout. My favorite song for the music (definitely not for the lyrics) on this album is 'Firth of Fifth'. The piano part, later synth part is astonishing and If only Banks were able to contribute the way he did here on every album, Genesis could have done so many wonderful things. 'Firth of Fifth' may have my favorite instrumental part in a song ever (ok, so 'Shine on ... 1-5' is wonderful, so is 'Love Reign O'er Me'...). Phil Collins' contribution shows that anyone can write a great song. If only he based his solo career around it. (There are so many "If only's" present here because all of the members of Genesis were at their musical peak on this album). Another feature that comes along is that the end of the album completes it, sort of the way 'The End' completed Abbey Road ( I know it didn't, but it should have). After listening to it, you feel moved by the music. Ok, lets recap. Great singing by Peter, great instrumentals throughout, great lyrics by Peter, and a wonderful Phil Collins song. Only Gabriel would be able to match his strong points found on this album and it really wouldn't be until his third solo album. By the way, George, John McFerrin has a more reasonable rating system than you. Any artist can achieve a perfect rating on his site while on yours, only 4 can. I can't not give this album a 10(15) so I will use the McFerrin rating scale when giving my grade to this album. This is the perfect prog album and many songs go beyond perfection. Readers of this comment: buy this album now. Thank you Genesis for such a rewarding musical experience.

Miss Fantastic <> (09.12.2001)

I honestly do not know whom I should thank for recommending this album, you or John McFerrin. After listening to SEBTP numerous times since my purchase of it in May of 2001, I have told all of my music loving friends that there is no way you can call yourself a fan of Progressive Rock until you have listened to SEBTP. IMO, it is THAT breathtaking an album. During the first two or three listens, I honestly was not sure what to think. But slowly and surely, the majesty of “Dancing With the Moonlight Knight”, the humor of “I Know What I Like”, the pompousness of “Firth of Fifth”, etcetera started to sink in. And before I knew it, I was hooked to this album in such a way, I find myself listening to it almost every day. Well, maybe not that much, but I do listen to SEBTP quite often.

Your comments are dead on with my opinions regarding the album overall. I absolutely adore everything from “Dancing With the Moonlight Knight” through “After the Ordeal”. “The Cinema Show” is kind of slow and slightly boring compared to everything else SEBTP offers. I kind of cannot help but like “Aisle of Plenty” because I feel that it makes for a nice reprise of “Dancing With the Moonlight Knight”. My pick for best song would be a tie between “Dancing” and “The Battle of Epping Forest”. “Battle” is so irresistible with the vocal antics of Peter Gabriel. This album really opened up my eyes to the wondrous world of Peter Gabriel Genesis. I will never forget how five years ago, when I was listening to Music Choice’s commercial free Classic Rock station on DirecTV, and they used to play Peter Gabriel Genesis very often. Among the songs they played the most were “The Musical Box” and “Supper’s Ready”. And, every time those came on, I hated them because being young and all, they were too long to me, and just sounded “stupid”. Well, little did I know. Over the last couple of years, and especially thanks to the music review sites I frequent, I have come to love Peter Gabriel Genesis. The funny thing is now that I appreciate PG Genesis, that same station will not play any PG Genesis, except for the title-track from Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. Grrrrr...

Ryan Maffei <> (30.03.2002)

Don't crucify me. I don't like this record.

Don't crucify me and leave my body to be devoured by savage mongrel dogs, either...I don't like "Dancing With the Moonlight Knight".

I'm sorry. It's just, I'm a big fan of bombastic, emotionally powerful prog, and I've heard this form of art-rock done much better and more powerfully than the plodding, fluid but dull instrumental textures this song has to offer. I find "The Battle of Epping Forest" to be quite annoyingly anticlimactic, as well, long and mildly entertaining, but really without direction. Collins' ballad is fine, but traditional and forgettable...and the rest of the lot doesn't rivet me as often as I expect progressive-rock to do.

In the end, the only song I truly admire here is the stellar pop tune "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)". Interesting that somewhere amongst the dull, meandering virtuoso interplay and too-studied finesse (you plug David Gilmour for being calculated and not this record?), there hides a brilliant slice of songcraft.

In the end, Peter Gabriel's best prog-rock song remains, for me, his "Here Comes the Flood". A great song and dramatic as hell, to the point of moving me intensely. Not the Robert Fripp version. Ahem. A 7 for Selling England.

Benjamin Massey <> (13.11.2002)

This album just oozes Peter Gabriel...I'm sorry, but I love this album. It even oozes Phil Collins, and makes him actually sound _pretty good_!

I was a big fan of Foxtrot back in the day, and thus, when I was in my local Department Store, I decided to grab another Genesis album just for kicks. The choices were Nursery Cryme and Selling England By The Pound...and I could only have one. Thinking back to this very page, I chose Selling England. Good call.

Although I positively worship at Selling England By The Pound's altar (I never thought that I'd find a prog album better than Foxtrot, but...), I worship it for an entirely different reason that those given on the site. 'Dancing With the Moonlit Knight' is just amazing, in my mind. Really...when I first listened to this album, I was afraid to play the next song for fear that it wouldn't be able to match it. And it doesn't, although it's really good. 'Firth of Fifth' and 'More Fool Me', however, both continue the rise of the album...I _love_ 'More Fool Me' especially. 'The Battle of Epping Forest' is just...well, indescribable. I can't put my finger on it, I really can't. But after that, oh man...

I can't stop listening to 'After The Ordeal'. I love it. It's the most beautiful instrumental of all time, in my opinion. It strikes joy into my heart. It's beautifully arranged, so perfectly played, and flawless in every respect. And as if that weren't enough, then it's 'After The Ordeal'. Which, having wasted all my lavish praise on the last song, I am simply powerless to describe. It grabs me and just...takes me away. I've listened to this song many, -many- times and still haven't grown sick of it, which is unusual for me. 'Aisle of Plenty' closes off the Album of Plenty...just excellently. That's where I disagree with your review, I think the _end_ is the good bit. Possibly the best 'bit' of any album ever. Excuse me while I rant. :P

Carson Duper <> (06.03.2003)

A magical album, and to my ears the climax of a whole magical period that began with Nursery Cryme and the "classic" Genesis lineup. I just cannot help but hear those two albums and Foxtrot as one extended concept - of tone, sensibility, and theme. No doubt more intuitive than intended, Gabriel's fairy tale Britain gathers force with each new evocation, growing from myth through modernism. And whatever Peter is reaching for with all that brother/sister, male/female, ambi- or bi-sexuality, it's consistent - an ongoing exploration of a classic duality.

The sound enchants me most of all. Musically and lyrically, "The Cinema Show" brings together everything. Echoing both the light, pastoral bridge and the dark, hypnotic main theme of "Musical Box," this modern fairy tale of a couple preparing for a date is just a more innocent version of the family drama, again reaching into "Salmacis" material with the two-sexed Father Tiresias - an attempt to finally integrate the masculine and feminine. Just Peter's recurring obsessions of course, but in "Aisle of Plenty" (ISLE of plenty, naturally) I hear more than just a wraparound to the album's opening track, but to the beginnings of what I think of as the great trilogy of Gabriel/Genesis albums.

True, Tony Banks is no virtuoso and his extended solo in "Cinema" is not quite cohesive - but how its pieces soar! And the real star is Phil, whose steady propulsive drumming is absolutely thrilling, with seemingly endless variations on a ripping pattern, accented with the lightest of touches. This was the song that showed me what people mean when they say he's a first-rate drummer.

Anyhow, enough. So I like "Cinema Show" more than anyone else does, maybe. But I agree with most of you about that special quality Genesis had for one brief and magical time, which I've tried in my way to describe.

Federico Fernández <> (25.04.2003)

The perfect prog album. Definitively better than any other Genesis album and certainly better than any King Crimson or Yes release, as much as I enjoy those bands. Because it's like I said, the perfect album. This is glorious beauty, energetic power and musical perfection condensend in one forty minute package; this is what most groups dreamed of but very few could achieve. Well certainly Genesis could and it shows.

Buy this album now: it displays four of the best prog-rock epics ever, one of the best pop songs ever, one of the best instrumentals ever and one of the less vomit-inducing Collins-penned song ever.

The album is very cleverly secuenced so the short ditties are placed between the dramatic epics in order to give the listener a breath. But what makes this one of the best albums ever is that the music is SO haunting, SO beautiful that it really takes me (and you) away to unknown lands, moody landscapes, autummnal forests, magical dreams and forgotten moments in the past, as lively as no other album ever could. It's like being transported to a very pleasant, other-worldy and magical dimension. Yes; it's very complex music, but somehow they manage to do it SO devastatingly well that your ears feel like they're witnessing the most natural, flowing and eternal music ever. Genius. At first it MAY seem a little monotonous (It didn't happened to me, because I had had my hard time with Foxtrot already) But after a few listens its multiple and sutile shades appear in all their glory and take over you forever.

"Dancing With The Moonlight Knight" is like, the PERFECT opener. The a-cappella introduction is simply a wonderful way to start things off and when Peter sings "It seems he's drowned, Selling England by the pound" it's impressive: you're in for a marvellous trip. Then the songs starts to grow and grow to epical proportions: the Hackett solos are a catharsis, and the bombastic chorus (Follow on!) is something I won't forget as long as I live. I can't really feel the "English" aspects that George rave about, but that's very personal. An eight minute song that sounds like it was three. Amazing.

"I Know What I Like" is the one of the most bizarre, catchy and blistering pop songs ever written. The melody is weird but memorable, the chorus is irresistible and the arrangements are pure experimental genius.

"Firth Of Fifth" is hands down the best cut in the album: The epic intro is my favourite piano passage ever in a rock record; the verses are pure majesty and the instrumental break with that ABSOLUTELY haunting flute melody, the blissful synth reprise of the intro and the epochal, awesome, tear-inducing Hackett solo (the same melody of the flute) is as close to musical perfection as popular music ever got. "More Fool Me", writen by Collins is good, but it really sounds like disrupting filler between these amazing epics. The melody is prime stuff though.

"The Battle Of Epping Forest" is the lengthiest here and one of the most underrated songs ever. Everything here is simply UNFORGETTABLE. The funny story and the wonderful way Peter impersonates al those hilarious characters all the way through is JUST an anecdote: Musically, this is a hell of an entertainment thanks all those unexpected fun melodies gathered together in a music-hall mood, those neat synth breaks that popup here and there, the spooky "Reverend" intermezzo. This is FUN, pure and sheer FUN. Many don't like it. Many stupids I'd say. "After The Ordeal" is concieved as filler to link "Battle" and "Cinema" but is so damn good that becomes another highlight. George's right when he points that the instrumental spots in the great epics are better, but doesn't prevent the solemn piano intro and that chilling Hacket requiem solo from being gorgeous.

"The Cinema Show" is the last epic and the perfect closure. Don't let yourselves be fooled; this one's AS good as the previous three suites. George vastly underrates this absolute gem with a somewhat weak reason; No George, this is not an energetic album in its essence: its primary a BEAUTIFUL album. And "The Cinema Show" has loads of beauty and delight for you, me and the generations to come. Ok, so it displays very little energy but... Is that actually supposed to be a real reason to dismiss it? No way! Shucks! "Five great songs in a row (...) plus too good songs" Ok! So the "energetic" "More Fool Me" is a GREAT song and "The Cinema Show" is just a GOOD song? Yeah, right. Disagreements aside, the vocal part is plain soothing and very low-key compared to the previous mistical ravings. The na-na-na part is heavenly and the lengthy final "synth" suite is a VERY GOOD way to end the album. So many melodies, so many climaxes, so many moods condenced in these few minutes. Not to heavy on the "powerful" side but oh! so beautiful it makes me wanna cry. I prefer this subtle and magical ending to the bombastic closure to Foxtrot. And it what's most striking about it is the way it flows seamlessly into the inmortal melody of "Dancing With The Moonlight Light" rounding the album in a very convincing and efective way.

And I did it too long so lets stop. So, basically this is a 15. Pity that your sistem allows only MAJOR bands to reach that heighs. Some people never know.

Crew Glazjev <> (13.05.2003)

Selling England By The Pound is rather good. I don't know if it's better than Foxtrot - 'must be draw'. Okay, you've said it all yourself. Just learn to tell synths from other instruments, for Banks doesn't neglect his synths, quite the contrary, he begins to use them and it really weakens some songs (Hackett's pedal sucks too). Lyrics... Ah dunno, maybe they're clever, but I didn't understand a thing. In any case, if a man is unable to write clear lines (and beautiful at the same time), he's more likely graphomaniac than genius. And even if it's clever, it's not poetry. One should look for the rhymes with magnifying glass. (Sorry, this statement is slightly out of place here being more relevant to the previous albums). I don't think there's something special in 'Epping Forest', and 'After The Ordeal' is a good name for the track after that. Though, it's ordeal in itself - pretty pointless I have to say. 'Cinema Show' is a diamond you overlooked, and it's no wonder as there are some very good songs before it. But the synthesizer in the instrumental part sounds as feeble as it can. Just imagine this song with Gabriel at the mike, Bruford on drums and Banks playing organ! Ah, well...

Glenn Wiener <> (12.10.2003)

A prime time Genesis recording for sure. 'Dancing With The Moonlight Knight' is a true gem. Love how it starts so slow and yearning and builds into some wild guitar and keyboard solos. Hackett's solos just may be the best of his career. 'I Know What I Like In Your Wardrobe' is one funny piece of music. 'Cinema Show' has many captivating moments. The ending synthesizer solo is oh so pretty. Heck my only complaint is that sometimes it may be hard to put up with the lengths of these tracks. Four of them exceed eight minutes. However, they certainly win big points for creativity.


Bryan B. <> (24.03.99)

I find it quite funny that you say that the only reason you got deeper into Genesis is because you heard Selling England by the Pound first. I heard this one first, and, while it's not TRASH, it leaves a lot to be desired (and provides a lot to be despised). Of all the supposed great concept albums, this is probably the dullest I've heard (Well, I don't much care for Zappa's Freak Out either, but at least it's amusing) There have been worse concept albums made...but not this dull. You're right to put down Tony Banks I say, he's a very dull keyboardist (though he's not "bad" in that technical sense. Just dull.) Though earlier Genesis is by golly certainly better in quality, I have the lingering memories of horror and rotting brain cells sustained from listening to this album to haunt me at the mere mention of the name "Genesis." Needless to say, they were a band I was never able to quite get into. They didn't have any genius musicians like your Rick Wakeman or Chris Squire, but they were just as pretentious as Yes. Oddly enough, the only musician I ever rated that was in Genesis was Steve Hackett, and you don't seem to think he was anything special at all. Peter Gabriel had a pretty good solo career for himself, but it wasn't because he was any virtuoso musician after all; he was just a decent singer and good lyricist.

[Special author note: I do think Steve Hackett was special; like I said, he was just buried deep down under Banksynths].

Mike DeFabio <> (24.08.99)

See, here's where we really disagree on the subject of Genesis. I think this is their second best album. My English teacher thinks this is the greatest album ever done by anybody ever, but he's a dork. This definitely deserves a nine, though, what with all those fabulous songs jumping off the record at you.

José Humberto Mesquita Filho <> (30.09.99)

Now there's an album I truly enjoy. Loved it for the first time, and it only gets better. What a sound! Genesis do play progressive rock, without forgetting the ROCK part. Steve Hackett is playing like hell, and all of Tony Banks' synthethizers are in their right place, not overshadowing the rest of the band. And, altough they recorded it 25 years ago, I don't feel it's a classic. Maybe because its lyrical content hasn't been digested yet by the general public. I, for one, don't understand shit about what Peter Gabriel is singing about. "It", for example: what the hell is it? It does not bother me, however, since the song is glorious. OK, some parts of disc 2 are quite boring, but the overall result is amazing. This band ROCKS. I'm often in doubt about which of the last three Genesis' albums with Gabriel is my favourite, but since Lamb is a double and I listened to it again today, it gets my applause. And I never tire of Gabriel's voice. Now there's a guy who sings like an angel (whether standing in the sun or not).

John McFerrin <> (25.12.99)

Hey, George, got this from my brother today, and I must say that I enjoy it greatly. I will also admit that the plot is REALLY screwed up; however, it is kinda understandable, but ONLY if you have the accompanying liner notes spelling it out as much as possible

In any case, I would give it a 9, and I'd also like to point out that 'Counting Out Time' fits in in that it's part of Rael's flashbacks while he's sitting and brooding while walking through the Lifeless packaging hall

Bob Josef <> (08.02.2000)

Every prog band has produced an album where their vision outstrips their music-making talents. With Yes, it was Tales from Topographic Oceans, with ELP it was Pictures at an Exhibition. And with Genesis it was this. It is just TOO MUCH, musically and lyrically. A very heavy, heavy listening experience. I rarely listen to the whole thing all at once.

I agree that "The Waiting Room" is an atonal mess -- it sounds like they were hanging out with their buddy Brian Eno (credited on the album sleeve) a bit too long. But there are some very cool songs on the record, like the title track, "In the Cage" and "Carpet." And your review points out one thing that people overlook: where the hell is Steve? Not nearly enough guitar! Which is not entirely surprising, since supposedly Tony and Mike came up with mist of the music.

<> (15.02.2000)

I'm shocked at the negativity being targeted at this album. I find it to be a masterpiece, something completely new and modern. It hasn't dated one bit for me, it's extremely well done. My main reason is, however, the cinematic flourish to the whole thing: I feel like a story is being unfolded as I listen. This is key. Most rock operas, such as Tommy, The Wall, Quadrophenia etc. are just a series of unrelated songs that form a character's personality or mindframe, without actually saying, "Then he walked into the house." Lamb says, "Then he walked into the house" in its own weirdo ways. It does tell a story though, no matter how abstract the story may be. And it can be analyzed, sense can be made of it (I see it as RAel journey through hell and heaven, but I've heard many interepretations). The actual music isn't as good as Selling England or Foxtrot, but with a combination of music and lyrics, audacity and ambition, concept and depth, it just barely oversteps Selling England to be their best album. It takes a while to fully appreciate it, but it's the one of the only albums that I never tire of. I love it dearly. (I feel I've given the music a negative vibe. Keep in mind that I only said it's not as good as Selling or Foxtrot, but it's almost as good. It's still friggin' amazing. Banks' keyboards on 'Riding the Screen', the beauty of 'THe Lamia' and 'HAirless Heart', the groove of 'Supernatural Aneasthetist'. Also, I've heard people say that they like the first half of the album much more than the second. Well, while the second has more experiments and less singing, it also is the best side in rock opera terms: the entire last set of songs tells of a truly followable adventure in which Rael is castrated etc. It's awesome.)

[Special author note: no particular negativity here, man... after all, Wind And Wuthering this album ain't. However, I'm a bit shocked to see somebody oppose the 'story' of Lamb to a LACK OF STORY of Tommy and The Wall. The fact that the last two have chronological gaps (which is normal, since the story takes a large time span) cannot be considered a 'flaw' as opposed to the continuity of Lamb. And yes, I'm primarily considered about the music - plain and simple. If the music here is less good than on Selling England, this means that the album is less good. Pure logics. The story overshadows the music. If I wanted a story, I could just read the lyrics in the booklet.]

Jeff Blehar <> (21.02.2000)

Perhaps I'm well-disposed to this album because it's the first Genesis CD I bought, and it's the one that - despite all the filler - made me want to seek out the rest of their stuff. Nevertheless, this has got a LOT of filler between the good stuff, and I'm willing to concede that my opinion probably isn't one shared by most folks.

My tendency with The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is to look beyond the overlong running time and obvious space fillers to find the really worthwhile music here, and although you have to sort, there is quite a lot of it to be found. First of all, the concept is flaky in the extreme, but after hearing the album quite a few times I've grown to understand it pretty well; which is to say that sense CAN be made out of it. Not as if that makes it any better as a concept, but simply that there IS one. As for the songs, The Lamb finds Genesis for the first time pretty much embracing short-form pieces, and it's a good thing, since the best moments here are POP songs, not PROG songs: the evanescent "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" (yeah, it's probably the best track on the album, but whoo, what a song!), the straight pop of "Counting Out Time" and "The Carpet Crawlers," and the rock 'n' roll of "it." and "Broadway Melody." (By the way, the 1998 remake of "it" on the Genesis Archives box set is much better than the original, with a rerecorded Gabriel vocal and much crisper sound). But the longer tracks are also worthwhile; I for one think "In The Cage" is great ALL the way through, while "The Colony Of Slippermen" has one of Banks' best synth solos.

But yeah, there's a lot of crap here too. "The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging" is transparently filler, and it's horrendous, while "The Lamia" puts me to sleep. The instrumentals are all pointless too: "Hairless Heart," "The Waiting Room," "Ravine," and especially "Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats" can all leave through the back door, please. So I wouldn't recommend this unless you already like the band - I'm surprised I managed to hang on to get into them, considering my native predisposition against stuff like this. Those good bits are great, though, and there's more of them than George would have you think. 7/10, with caution.

Ben Greenstein <> (16.04.2000)

Well, I like it. They should have edited it down to one disc, but the GOOD half of the album is so dark and moody that I can't help but fall in love with it. I'd call it the first "goth" album, but I hate goth music (which is odd - sometimes people mistake me for a goth), so it will have to settle for being really good dark prog. My favourites are the title track and the "Hairless Heart/Counting Out Time" suite. I give it an eight.

Adrian <> (17.06.2000)

This was a tough record to deal with. It probably took more listens than any other record I own for me to get into it. Even now I'm still torn. One on hand I love disc 1. There isn't a single track (besides 'Grand Parade...') that I don't like. The title track is magical, 'In The Cage' is oh so intense, and 'Counting Out Time' is the funniest song ever, period. Disc 2 is where the waters get bumpy. Even after all this time, the only tracks that stand out to me are 'Lilywhite Lilith', 'The Light Dies Down On Broadway' , and 'it'. Even when I force myself to sit down and listen to disc 2, I get bored and stop pay attention. 'The Waiting Room' sets the mood, assuming the listener likes sitting through a pointless and messy sound orgy. No thank you! After that, I feel that the band is trying to fill up space. Even Gabriel's melodies seem to falter. But I guess even Genesis is human (see Trespass!!!). I do think that this would have made a better single album. But I do think that the songs on the first disc make it worth buying the whole package. For better of for worse, I am very impressed by this album and think that it is a fitting end to the Peter Gabriel era.

Ben Greenstein <> (23.06.2000)

I've been listening to this one a lot recently, and there isn't nearly as much filler as I used to think there was. "The Lamia," for example, has one of the most beautiful, intoxicating melodies that this band (or any band) has put together. And although I agree that the intro to "In The Cage" is pure beauty that surpasses the rest of the song, I still LOVE the rest of the song, do I ever. In fact, I believe that this has become one of my favourite albums, and very easily the best Genesis album (even though there's a whole lot I would rate really high). A ten!

Rich Bunnell <> (05.09.2000)

Aw man, here I was all ready to rave about how stupid you are not to consider "Cuckoo Cocoon," "Chamber Of 32 Doors" and "Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging" to be great songs, and you go and raise the album's grade two points! Not that I'm complaining; I think that it's a great, interesting album and as good a sendoff of Pete as there could possibly be. I agree that the only duffer on Disc 1 is "Back in NYC," which features both Tony's synths and Pete's singing at their most ugly and annoying (plus the song has almost no melody), though I think that the song gets better once it hits its alternate melody about three minutes in. In fact, I agree with you entirely about the first disc. Great, magnificent, excellent stuff. I know that I'm being unoriginal, but "The Carpet Crawlers" is probably my favorite Genesis song (from either era - but shouldn't it be unspoken that the best song from the Gabriel era would be better than the best from the Collins era?) - it's gorgeous. "In The Cage" is groovy (if you can call any Genesis song pre-Abacab "groovy") and "Fly On The Windshield" is atmospheric and murky, and Don Henley would later rip off that stomping synth-guitar part at the end for one of his lame, boring solo career songs that keeps getting played on the radio where I live.

Though the second disc is a bit of a letdown melody-wise (there aren't any real knockouts like the title track or "Counting Out Time," except for "it" of course) it still boasts great atmosphere and some cool instrumentals. "The Waiting Room," for example, I enjoy a whole lot more than I'm told to, and "The Lamia" is a great, dramatic ballad. In fact, I'd say that the second disc is more consistent because it has no huge stinker like "Back in NYC," but then people would make fun of me.

This album took me over two months to digest (how the hell was John able to comment on this album AND understand the story the same day he got it?!?!?!? It's not humanly possible!) but I have to say that it was worth it. For me it's the third straight masterpiece of Genesis's career - the band was really on a winning streak at this point (and some of the brilliance trickled into the next album in spite of Pete's departure). I give it a ten, and don't try to get me to make it any lower!!!

John McFerrin <> (06.09.2000)

Well, (since I've been called out), I wouldn't say that I _understood_ the plot, really. There are so damn many subtexts and metaphors in here, it is only after pouring through this album repeatedly that one can grasp what Pete actually meant to say.

All I meant was that I had the chronological sequencing of the story down-pat after just a couple of listenings - I mean, c'mon, this story is fascinating beyond words, how could I possibly resist trying to get the outer-workings of it into my head as quickly as possible?

Plus, I insist that this album does have a fairly reasonable flow - when my brother wanted to know the next day what the heck the plot of this mythical rock opera was in the car ride home from church, I found it surprisingly easy to keep everything straight, from the 'viewing' of his life in the 'Grand Parade' ... to his seduction by and subsequent of the Lami to his castration (how can anyone ignore the beautiful lines, "Don't delay, dock the dick, I watch the countdown timer tick"?) to his soul fluttering back and forth between his body and his brother's. Not that I had any idea what any of it meant, of course, but still, not as challenging as it's made out to be.

But then, I'm a freak who tried to understand Tales From Topographic Oceans - I'm glad I did, but I would definitely say, "Don't try this at home" to anybody who would decide to follow in my steps.

Philip Maddox <> (26.11.2000)

My opinions on this album have changed quite a few times. The first couple of times I heard it, I was convinced it was a masterpiece of the highest order. The next few times, however, I noticed that nothing really jumped out at me, and none of the tunes hit me as hard as the tunes on the last albums. After a good couple of months of listening to it, however, I've come to the consclusion that this album is real good, and quite worthy of a 9, in my opinion. There are lots and lots of extremely good ideas and melodies on this album, the best of which show up in the gorgeous "The Carpet Crawlers" and the dark, cold, extremely pretty "The Lamia". Nothing's really bad here, either, though a few of the instrumental passages are a bit dull, and the conclusion of "it" doesn't quite do it for me. The song is good, of course, but it doesn't have the real "punch" that ended the last 3 albums - the mellotron crecendo on Cryme, the beautiful repeating guitar lines of Foxtrot, or the "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" reprise on Selling England. Doesn't really hurt the album, though.

You know what's weird? I think I actually like the second disc here just as much as the first one. There are TONS of great songs there, if you ask me, especially "The Lamia", "Anyway", and "Lilywhite Lilith". Yup, this is a great album, though not as good as the last 2, if you ask me.

Richard Craig <> (15.12.2000)

Once again I was on your fantastic site (why do Russians like Genesis so much?) and I noticed your complete slagging of Seconds Out. I got this album for my second Genesis CD five years ago and it fooled me into thinking that 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' was a crap song.

Imagine what I felt what I heard the real version with the old master Peter Gabriel in command instead (I assume he still had long hair during those sessions as they were early 1974). There was a piano instead of a synth (even Tony confessed that he hated the sound of synth on that track at least).Mike's new double neck bass was in evidence too.

The Lamb was the last Gabriel era album that i was introduced to. I had all the other albums on crappy tapes lying around the place, and I used to look at the back of the CD and see things written like 'A Visit To the Doktor.' Only Peter Gabriel would induce weirdness like that- none of your King Crimson esque huge song titles. Weird spelling of doctor?

Jolly good! I am aware that The Lamb is inferior to Selling England, but I was sekeing the last chapter of the classic Genesis ( my mum had already force-fed all that commercial crap like Invisible Touch down my throat) and I was delighted. Even 'IT' sounds good against the backdrop of the dreadful version on Three Sides Live which i had already. And the atmosphere on the album is so confident- I like the way the first two artists mentioned on the sleeve are Mike and Steve- just as important as Gabriel in my opinion. This is probably the worst of the Gabriel/Charisma era( the Decca LP is not really a Genesis record, you know), but its still absolutely great.It makes Topographic Oceans look positively ridiculous(only I have this album too and its not that bad).

PS has anyone heard the improv after The Supernatural Anesthetist on the live Lamb on the Archive Boxed Set? It is supremely spaced out. There is some American guy shouting 'open the curtain!' throughout but its still great. Does anyone know if it surfaced anywhere else and what it is called?

inri <> (23.12.2000)

i'd just like to point out that most people aren't getting the post-modernism in the lamb. you don't understand what it's about because it's *not* about anything! gabriel is not taking himself seriously, he's doing the exact opposite - the entire thing is ridiculing you for trying to figure it out. why would you think that a guy who ran around wearing ridiculous costumes for 5 years would all of a sudden start taking himself *this* seriously? that's where the genious in this album lies, people spend hours pulling their hair out trying to figure out what the fuck does x passage mean when x passage is nothing more than a bunch of random garbage. you're all being made fun of and none of you are smart enough to figure it out! that's why this is the best thing either gabriel or genesis ever did in my opinion - it was the culmination of 5 years of progress.

now, as to the matter of tony banks, you're missing out on what his importance was, man. banks did not waste hours of his time becoming a viurtuoso musician - and that's exactly why he's the only progrock synthesist that will be remembered 200 years from now. nobody is going to give a rat's ass how fast rick wakeman could play because the music he pumped out was bland, boring, sterile and unimaginative. it didn't tear down any walls or break any new ground, although it sure was hard to play! for rick wakeman, music is a physical stimulus and not an auditory one - it's like playing a sport or being a trapeze act in a fucking circus or something. 'look ma! no spaces!'. tony banks actually wrote *melodies*, synthesized new sounds and didn't spend his time showing off like a 6 year old kid does when he learns a new yoyo trick. [that's the difference between virtuosity and maturity]. more importantly, he did something new. he was also a LOT more experimental than his contemporaries, and for that he doesn't get much credit - keep in mind that the waiting room was created in 1973 when the technology was sparse at best. and tracks like 'silent sorrow in empty boats' really helped kickstart the whole ambient music thing that brian eno stole all the credit for; a little known fact is that eno was present during the recording of this album, and learned a helluva lot from mr. banks in the process. as did banks (and particularly gabriel) from eno, of course.

whether you like it or not, tony banks IS one of the most influential *synthesists* of all time [although he is now vastly overshadowed by a major fan of his, mr cEvin key and of course eno.].

give the lamb another listen with this in mind.....i'm telling you, it'll make a lot more sense [especially the second half when the raven takes off with rael's manhood]

<> (06.01.2000)

I agree with that last comment...but it sounds like he's unknowingly agreeing with you when you say the whole thing's a put on. Anyway, here are the lyrics to the final song, 'It', which really does sound like Peter is mocking anyone who dares try to annotate his Lamb...

When its cold, it come slow

it is warm, just watch it grow -

all around me

it is here. it is now.

Just a little bit of it can bring you up or down.

Like the supper it is cooking in your hometown.

it is chicken, it is eggs,

it is in between your legs.

it is walking on the moon,

leaving your cocoon.

it is the jigsaw. it is purple haze.

it never stays in one place, but it's not a passing phase,

it is in the singles bar, in the distance of the face

it is in between the cages, it is always in a space it is here.

it is now.

Any rock can be made to roll

If you've enough of it to pay the toll

it has no home in words or goal

Not even in your favourite hole

it is the hope for the dope

Who rides the horse without a hoof

it is shaken not stirred;

Cocktails on the roof.

When you eat right through it you see everything alive

it is inside spirit, with enough grit to survive

If you think that its pretentious, you've been taken for a ride.

Look across the mirror sonny, before you choose decide

it is here. it is now

it is Real. it is Rael

'cos it's only knock and knowall, but I like it...

Joel Larsson <> (14.02.2001)

Why does it seem as George's got all good albums wrong? Well, now this is a masterpiece! The Lamb is an awesome one! Doesn't George care about the lyrics? These lyrics, based on a short story written by Peter Gabriel (that can be found in the booklet) makes me as happy as ever. Well I mean, it's not that usual rock lyrics; it's not about girls and cars, but it is heavy progressive, it's creating a whole new world, new creatures and characters, and finally: a story that links everything together to an interesting tale. If I'm quite down, I only need to sing along with Peter Gabriel and I'm happy again (at least in 1½ hour, while the record isn't longer). Believe me, it works!

Well now enough about the lyrics, the music isn't bad either. There are only one song, "Lilywhite Lilith", that may work as a single. I don't like commercial music, maybe that's why I'm such a big fan of British prog. But that song is good, anyway. And as the lyrics are linked together, the music is very "linked", too. The music is conceptual, easy talkin'. But if a prog fanatic like me listens to this album, he'll hear lots of terrific music if he listens carefully. Read mr Greenstein's two comments above and you might know what I mean, at least Greenstein will know. But I must say that this record gets better and better each time I hear it - the first time I heard it I didn't like it at all - but as I like all (progressive) music that requires at least two listenings I adore this one. Some seem to getting annoyed on the length of the song, but heck, King Crimson's "Starless" is long, too! A 10+!

[Special author note: Joel, dear, if I had to rate Gabriel's songs based on the lyrics, I'd have to give everything a ten, bar maybe some of the earliest stuff. And I have reviewed so many albums that are 'not about girls and cars' that I can't use this as the main criterion, either.]

<> (17.02.2001)

The best of all the rock operas, the only one with a trully great narrative pull. The second disc sounds like a movie being played out on my stereo. I love everything on this album, and I won't go through it track by track if only because they're all part of the greater scheme. I will say however that the second disc is unjustly maligned by many people. I actually like it more than the first disc, because it truly feels like a rock opera, with a story and a various episodes rather than a group of songs. However, both discs are amazing. I love this album so much that if forced to, I may call it my favorite overall Genesis album because it works as an album more than the last two. But why torment over which masterpiece rules over the other? It's a 10/10 for sure, a truly amazing listening experience that deserves front-to-back listening.

Sam <> (25.02.2001)

It's seems that The Lamb is the most controversial album from the Gabriel's era... when I bought it and listen first time I was highly disapointed... where are all those pompous musical parts ? where are all those middle-aged sounds ? It took me a lot of time before starting to appreciate it, it's in my point of view certainly the most difficult album of Genesis.... it really required an effort to understand it.... I may have give up and say it's a stupid work without meaning and soul... but luckily I'm a stupid bastard who want to "understand" ! And finally I really like this album... I was quite surprised how people say that this song is crappy and this one is great..... for me this whole Lamb is just a longer "Supper's ready".... a big story with different moods... and that's a very strong part of the Lamb : such a roller coster of mood in these 2 CD... finally a humanic CD from Genensis !!! In my point of view Trespass was more about an "unknow" land, "Nursery" was mainly dealing with stories happening to others, Foxtrot was more focusing on the techno aspect of a non-humanic world and Selling was a deserving the nature, the green part of it (me ? i'm just a lawn-lawer...)... The Lamb is a very high valuable piece dealing with internal feelings and internal fight... almost psychological dissection ! I cannot listen to one only song since I'm always excited to remember what are the other aspects of the evolution of Rael ! For sure I have favorite songs (mainly "Broadway's Melody", "The Chamber of 32 doors", "Anyway", "Lamia" and "It"), but none sounds crappy to me, they all fit very well ! And there is at least one point which is highly better than in Selleing England... the music totally fits with the lyrics ! A great mood piece of rock ! And finally I do not understand why people do not like "Grand parade.." since the structure is very close to the classical closing part of the "Musical Box" ! And in my point of view, what you find boring on the second disk is rather a clever and great way to do descriptive music.. enven "The waiting room !". And I think that the Lamb really make a whole and is highly stable as all the pieces of the puzzle fit's together after a while.... but I agree that not all the Genesis fan will like it... maybe it's too original or provocative... we were used to have a Genesis which was somehow less disturbing.... odd for sure but less disturbing. A very good 9 for me !

Brian Sittinger <> (20.07.2001)

What a convoluted plot! Maybe Peter Gabriel is leading us on. Nevertheless, I more or less caught on to the gist of the plot after a listen or two, just don't ask me to explain 'it' to anyone else! (No more 'it' jokes! Poor John McFerrin kindly reitalicized all of the 'it''s in my commentary there, as they did not transfer well to his e-mail!) The style of this album is definitely that of Genesis, yet it seems a bit different (a drearier atmosphere throughout the music perhaps).

As for The Lamb... itself: The first half of this album flows along pretty well. Some minor irritations here and there, like "Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging", but that's minor. The title track, "In the Cage", "Hairless Heart", and "The Carpet Crawlers" are among my favorites from this album as they have great resonance to me, as well as represent the moods displayed throughout this album. The second half drags a bit, though this is very slowly getting better with time (maybe it IS too plot heavy). "Waiting Room" is the biggest offender (in the grand tradition of King Crimson?). "It" is a great closer. Finally, Steve Hackett starts to disappear! So, ferreting him out becomes more of a challenge here on out. Still, this album is (at least) worthy of an 8 out of 10, with possible improvements in the future.

Glenn Wiener <> (24.09.2001)

Certainly a creative release by these Progressive dudes. The first disc is a bit better than the second but there are some other good tracks on disc 2. Anyway, 'Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetist', and 'Lillywhite Lilith' offer some nice tones that fit in well. However 'Hairless Heart' and 'Counting Out Time' are my faves on the record. The instrumental passage of the former is oh so beautiful and the gradual change to the bounciness of the alter peice is transformed with sheer excellence. The vocal harmonies and guitar riffs just amplify my feelings. Of course 'It', The title Track, and 'The Carpet Crawlers' are other strong tracks. At times Peter Gabriel's voice is grating yet there are moments when it is very soothing. Amazing how his range can vary. Tony Banks contributes some super piano. You are a little bit too hard on him. None the less your grade is pretty accurate. I would probably give it a solid 12 maybe a 13.

Ted Goodwin <> (09.10.2001)

I can't dispute that this is a great album, though I always found it a chore to listen to (especially with Pete going lyrically where no man ever needed to go). At any rate, it was not a good idea for such a democratic band to spend a double album and an entire tour doing so much of what one member wanted. No wonder Pete left after this -- he probably couldn't stand the idea of going back to being in less than total control. (That's what happened with Steve after he'd done his first solo album, but it look him longer to leave.) In the long continuum of Genesis albums over the years, LAMB stands as a big disruption of the flow; A TRICK OF THE TAIL follows SELLING ENGLAND almost as if LAMB didn't exist. Lyrically, LAMB is a prime example of how something can be said with massive depth, complexity and cleverness, yet not actually be worth saying.

Vasiliy Zavorochayev <> (26.11.2001)

Possibly this album is the culmination of all progressive music (at least it's one of the 5 greatest albums ever made).

It's hard to me to divide this album on separate songs and also I never divide it on two individual discs as some commentators do. This album contains the most impressive images, the greatest ALTER EGO of frontman (I've never heard that someone had played his role so sincere as Gabriel on The Lamb), the most thoughtful sense and the greatest musical material (excellent polyphonic sound, exquisite melodies, fantastic arrangement and crystally clear sound).

I absolutely agree with Joel Larsson (it seems to me this young man have wrote the best review for this album). The Lamb is even more than simply masterpiece.

Also this album is complicated. Unfortunately, but it is too complicated for many our commentators, those cannot conceive The Lamb as it is (they say that disc-2 is worse, and consider, that album has unnecessary songs ('Back in NYC', 'The Waiting Room' and others), but without these compositions the album loses it's sense and became discompleted).

My review can take too much megabytes if I will describe the sense of album lyrics. That' why I won't make such description. It is another theme for long-time talking.

I'm fell in love in The Lamb since 1st listening, and the more I listen it - the more I like it. I never tired from this record for almost seven years.

About "discrimination" of Steve Hackett: sometimes his guitars sound like synthesizers, and you can hear a lot of pseudo-keyboards playing by Hackett's guitar on the album. That's why there's no absolutism of Banks. Though Banks determines the sound of The Lamb (and makes it excellent!). His solos on "In the Cage", "Riding the Screen" and others are my favorite moments on album, also some other moments too.

I give this album the highest rating. I think this album was ahead of it's time, even ahead of nowadays.

Leslie Roediger <> (06.01.2002)

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway...the only comments I have to make about this astonishing achievement of mankind are:

Anyone who would try to discuss it by breaking it down into "songs", "tracks" or "discs", could never, ever possibly begin to grasp where Gabriel was going with this. In fact I'd go so far as to say that if you didn't see the live show (I did twice) you really are only grabbing at straws in attempting to understand. Don't try to bring this work of art down by trying to analyze it parts. It won't work! I suppose you'd critisize the individual pigments and brush strokes of the "Mona Lisa"?

I'd even bet that some of you think Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel sound alike anyway! : )

Eric Benac <> (02.05.2002)

holy crap. this was the first album i bought by Genesis, and it almost completely scared me from every buying another. the lyrics are so complex, that i was threatend to think they didn't mean anything. and i couldn't hear them so well under BANKSYNTHS (i love that phrase) but when i heard them, they sounded completely crazy, and the music seemed to be a complete and utter synth fest. it is such a strange, frightening album, i pushed Genesis away for a long time.

however, sense prevailed and i listened to it again. and again. still, however, i was frigged out by it. finally, after finding selling england by the pound and becoming obsessed with it, i listened to the lamb again..... and, well, i found it to be incredibley well constructed, emotional, intersting funny ('grand parade of lifeless packing' of course) and melodious... at least the first half. the second side is a bit lazy in parts. still, i'd give it a 9. for the amazing first half, and the second half that isn't horrible, but you know, not as amazing as the first. now if only hackett could have gotten some more noise onto the album.....

Luke Redgen <> (23.06.2002)

I disagree with your opinions of this album, George, particulary it's second disc, which I enjoy immensly. Personally, I don't know if you gave it enough time to grow. Sure, "The Waiting Room" brings back horrible memories of "Revolution No. 9", but luckily it's not quite as long, and isn't quite as annoying, and also gives one a good excuse to go make a cup of coffee, or take a toilet break, bit like an intermission or something. Apart from that, there is not one poor song on the album. I ADORE "Back In N.Y.C", the song that originally got me into Genesis only because I heard a Jeff Buckley cover of it (I'm only 17). "The Colony of Slippermen" is just plain beautiful, an amazing lyrical delivery, filled with beautiful and mystical rhyme, that fits in brilliantly with the story, the last verse sending chills down my spine. The final song, "it", is a perfect conclusion to the album, with a clever final lyric, even if it doesn't really mean anything. But the perfect song to basically tell the world, "if you don't like this, stuff ya". Apart from that, there is not one dull song on the album, "The Chamber of 32 Doors", "Fly On A Windshield/Broadway Melody" and the title track, as well as 'Slippermen', all equal contendors for best song on the album, as well as all-over best Genesis song. My favourite Genesis album, a really clever album, and one that will grow on you after many listens, including a brilliant story to dicepher, and some wonderful music. My third favourite album ever. On your system, it would get a 15.

Ted Goodwin <> (07.11.2002)

I made some earlier comments on this album (10.2001), having in fact not heard it for many years. It was one of several Genesis albums I'd gotten rid of and thought I'd never get again, but ended up not being able to stay away from.

On THE LAMB, more than any other Genesis album, the focus is on Pete; but I consider this album good in SPITE of him more than BECAUSE of him. Sure, the dream-logic of Gabriel's story is fascinating at times, but the story & lyrics also get really DISGUSTING at times. And almost none of the songs make any kind of sense out of the context of the album. (This bothered Banks so much that he later wrote a solo concept album -- not sung by him -- where virtually ALL the songs could work out of context.) Tunes like "Cuckoo Cocoon", "Lilywhite Lilith" and "The Lamia" (to name but a few) deserved better than to be slaves to Gabriel's narrative. I've often felt that Pete was rather at odds with what the rest of the band was about musically, and THE LAMB has a lot to do with this.

I don't think the story of THE LAMB is really a big put-on, nor do I think it's meant to have one particular interpretation. Pete has explained some of the symbolism, but there are still a lot of holes that listeners can fill in for themselves.

With an album like this it's not worthwhile to comment on many individual pieces, but I think my favorite moment (particularly in terms of Pete's contributions) is "Broadway Melody Of 1974" (which, on many CDs including ARCHIVE 1, is incorrectly indexed as 30 seconds instead of 2 minutes). Another possibly unexpected favorite is "Riding The Scree". Things I'm not too fond of include "In The Cage", "The Waiting Room" (wherein the band managed to scare the bejeebers out of themselves while merely annoying everyone else; ya gotta admit that such a random piece is pretty atypical for such an "everything-we-play-is-worked-out-in-advance" band, though), and "Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats" (the album's most fillerish filler).

P.S.: I just noticed for the first time that Phil has a brief lead vocal in "Slipperman", playing the part of John ("Now can't you see, where the raven flies there's jeopardy".) It's almost weird how much alike he and Pete could sound.


Richard C. Dickison <> (16.05.99)

I agree that the synth on here can be overbearing but check out Wind and Wuthering for those guitars, thats where they stashed them.

I do like the energy on this album and thats where you can really key into this one. The albums with Peter involved seemed to always have something to prove or some type of now dated display of musical prowess (ala Yes, ELP) and lets face it these guys did stumble. I've come to believe Peter was the one wanting to push the length of songs as shown in The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.

This album is the only other besides Selling England by The Pound where things seem to balance out the songs stay sort-of short, and damn there even clever, something Steve said he ways promoting.

I can't really fault any one person for not bringing anything to the table musically except Steve and he really did not show up on Lamb either, probably saving up for the next album where he finally leaves.

I also have to point out that most people I know who got into Genesis started with this album. I believe they were at their most accessible here. I think it sounds more tungue in cheek, like they were actually trying to show the band having fun. The next album Wind and Wuthering sort of peters out (get it), I always thought that it sounded like outtakes from this album and since it came out in the same year and really has no high points. hmmm

Anyway this was the last exceptable progressive album from this band in my opinion be that what it may, if you have an interest in one of the better prog bands start here or with Selling England

George, it's obvious you have really listened to these albums alot, thanks for the balanced reviews your giving them. Dick

Rich Bunnell <> (19.11.99)

This one doesn't bother me all that much. The arrangements are certainly pompous and the album is filled with synth, but without that huge, dominating synth, "Squonk" wouldn't be such an amazing song (check out that majestic melody in the chorus!) and that would be just wrong. I suppose the album is boring at moments, but Phil Collins doesn't annoy me nearly as much here as he does on later Genesis albums and his own godawful solo career. I'd give this a 12.

Ben Greenstein <> (28.11.99)

I don't care who's singing - I love this album! At times, I consider rating it even above Selling England, because it doesn't have any tracks like "Battle Of Eppermore" that I don't really care for.

The album opens with "Dance On A Volcano" which (don't laugh) is my favourite Genesis song EVER. I don't know exactly why, but it may have to do with a teenage crush I had on a young actress in a movie about volcanoes. Of course, it probably has more to do with the awesome eerie twelve-string and awe-inspiring chorus. I'm also quite fond of "Squonk," "Entagled," "The Title Track," and that "Ripples" song is pretty cool too. I don't see what's so atrocious about "Mad Man Moon," but do agree that it's probably the worst song on here, followed closely by the kind-of-annoying "Robbery, Assualt, and Battery." Of course, these are still fine songs - in all honesty, I'd rather listen to this stuff than some of the weaker tunes from the band's first couple of albums, and even more than some of the stuff on Foxtrot. This album is awesome - I give it a 10/10.

John McFerrin <> (01.03.2000)

Ehn ... I'm not sure I'd give it such a high grade. I agree with you when you say you miss the mutterings etc.; Collins does pull off the 'power' aspect of Gabriel pretty well, and it's very difficult to tell the two apart in that way, but that's all that he does. And no humorous blurts of hilarious combos like "RAEL IMPERIAL AEROSOL KID" (I LOVE that line).

Still ... 'Ripples' is GORGEOUS (though it should be two minutes shorter at least) and 'Trick of the Tail' comes as close to a funny track as anything else. And 'Squonk' does stir emotions, what with the dissolving in tears part and all. But 'Dance' does very little for me (and what is with those wierd, annoying synth notes at the beginning? Yeesh. SHUT UP TONY!). I'd give this a 7.

Ted Goodwin <> (12.04.2000)

Opinions on this album (as well as WIND & WUTHERING) generally depend on whether you first became interested in Gabriel's Genesis or Collins'. I am of the latter persuasion, and TRICK & WIND are my favorite Genesis albums because they came during that brief period after Gabriel left but before Hackett did. Gabriel's delivery was often more theatrical than musical, and to my ears his cynical wit, sometimes ugly imagery (although I've found that others actually wrote some of what I thought were "Gabriel's ugly words") and occasional outright shamelessness (esp. on LAMB) were at serious odds with the beauty of Genesis' music.

And, believe it or not, Hackett made a difference. "Entangled", Hackett's main moment on TRICK, is prettier than anything Genesis did before of since (and imagine how much less pretty it would been in Gabriel's hands -- I don't even want to think about it). I like the first side of TRICK better than the 2nd (yes, even "Mad Man Moon"). "Robbery" just doesn't quite cut it -- Phil (as lyricist) tries to paint a scene that's somewhere beyond his painting abilities, and the instrument break has a sloppy feel to it. "Ripples" really doesn't need that 2-part structure, and besides that there's small but specific changes I wish I could make to the tune. I never cared for the title track (as with most of Banks' lame story songs) until I realized that, intentionally or not, it works as a neat little parable: if something doesn't fit in with our little view of the world, we simply choose not to see or accept it. Probably not intentional, but oh well. As someone else said somewhere, "Los Endos" seems like a cop-out in the absence of a good ending song (especially since it's almost entirely made up of parts of other songs, one of which is a rare non-LP B-side), but it still works.

Jeffrey A Morton <> (30.06.2000)

Someone said to me once, and I believe it to be true, that post-Gabriel Genesis was much more "musicaly" oriented than the lyricly dominated Gabriel albums. Maybe Trick of the Tail was a respnse to the lyricly obtuse Lamb... where our dear friend Peter when slightly batty. It's interesting to hear the intertwined guitars in "Dance on a Volcano" and it's oddly timed rythms (it occured to me George that you may be thinking that some of the guitar parts are synths. Hackett was prolific in creatings "non-guitar" sounds from his guitar.) The fantasy tale in "Squonk" is very good....but musicaly is where it really stands out. And Phil (a great drummer, not a pill) really makes a non-threatening performance, but would find his voice on later albums...

Rich Bunnell <> (06.07.2000)

I wanted to add another reader comment to this because my last one was too short and just said "I like Squonk. This is good. 12/15." I've grown to REALLY LOVE this album, maybe not so much as some of the Gabriel ones, but at least as much as, if not more than, Selling England. It's true that Collins only manages to pull off the general Genesis sound (i.e. powerful Banksynths and Gabrielish vocals) without the weird, spaced-out lyrics that Gabriel was so good at, but this doesn't matter to me because these songs are just SO GOOD. The arrangements that you call "bad" I call "really interesting," and by that I'm specifically referring to "Dance On A Volcano," a great opening tune with a really neat "boiling over" sound(though Ben has said before that he wants to sing it at his wedding-- that sort of scares me; isn't singing "You'd better start doing it right!" continuously kind of insulting towards the bride?). "Entangled" and "Ripples" are gorgeous (not a bit overlong, in my humble-as-hell opinion), and the title track and "Robbery Assault and Battery" are neat distinctly-British slabs of bouncy pop. $100,000 QUESTION: Why does every Genesis fan hate the latter song so much? I went to the Genesis newsgroup and there was a thread going on about the worst Genesis song of all time, and most of the posts either singled out that song or "Who Dunnit". Why?? (About "Robbery," of course-"Who Dunnit" is crap no matter how you slice it.) Sure, the song tries to recreate the Gabriel vibe and kind of fails at it because Collins just doesn't have the ability to emulate anything but Pete's voice, but that doesn't stop the song from having a really solid and fun melody with a great chorus. "ROB-BER-RY! Assault, and BAT-TER-Y!"

....Anyway, my only problems with the album are the production (not as good as what came before or later, the mix is kind of choppy and the versions on the upcoming Seconds Out only serve to prove that further) and that "Mad Man Moon" is a bit overlong considering that it has the weakest melody on the album. Otherwise this is by far the strongest Collins-era album and a very solid and high 9. And yes, "Squonk" is an AWESOME song. It should've been a hit single, but I guess the public thinks "Misunderstanding" is just so much more awesome. Yeeeeeah.

Andrew Brash <> (08.01.2001)

I'd like to make a few comments on many of your Genesis reviews, but for now I'm going to start with A Trick of the Tail. This is one of Genesis' finest albums (in my opinion of course). It is an incredible acheivement, especially when one considers all of the obituaries for the band floating around after Peter's departure. Why would people expect anyone to try emulating Gabriel's style? Phil Collins is himself, and his performance comes across as sincere and even innocent. The album has a very soft, gentle and comforting feel, a distinct shift from The Lamb, but so what? I think both the band and its fans needed to mellow out a bit after that one. The important thing is the album creates a very strong atmosphere of its own and has the power to transport the listener into another space (a space some listeners might even want to stay in), and as such does share a lot in common with the best of Gabriel-era Genesis. Steve Hackett is not missing from the record at all. Anyone familiar with his playing will instantly notice his presence, and the record could not be the same without his emotive playing, the final touch of magic that makes the record what it is. I have also read quite a few comments on 'Banksynths' and his domination etc., but in my opinion Trick is an acoustic guitar album, as even the synths somehow have an 'acoustic' feel. When I see the CD on the shelf I think 12-string. Someone has mentioned Banks' horrible notes in the opening of 'Dance on a Volcano', and I wonder if we're listening to the same song. The song opens with the magic 12-string guitar and is soon joined by Hackett's 6-string and an underlay of synths by Banks. The guitar dominates, and continues to be showcased throughout the piece. Personally I find the synths to be used brilliantly - they are part of the music, not a Wankman overlay of honky-tonk horseshit. The end of 'Dance' is a frantically paced and exciting outing by the entire group! If proof is needed that Banks and Hackett could play together please listen to this! (And love that brief pause for the volume pedaled lead guitar). As for 'Robbery', again I'll have to disagree with some of the comments made. Sloppy? If you want sloppy listen to the Beatles or Led Zeppelin (esp. live). The instrumental mid-section I love, and find Tony's soloing to be interesting and magnificent - and he even 'lets' Steve have a volume pedal solo at the end, even if it is too low in the mix. (Mind you Steve even mixes himself low on his own solo records, so who the hell knows where the responsibility lies for that). And as for the final piece 'Los Endos'...if this is just "average Prog-rock" I'd like to know who has set the bar so high. Did someone really call this filler? I can't disagree more, as I find it truly wonderful. It's the kind of ending to a CD that has you wondering what to possibly put on for an encore. Anyway, there you go. So much music out there, so many different opinions. And by the way, many people have compared Steve Hackett to Steve Howe, coming to the conclusion Howe is the better technician. Listen to Momentum or A Midsummer Night's Dream or Sketches of Satie by Hackett and you'll never think the same again.

John McFerrin <> (08.01.2001)

I think that the commenter above is referring to me, so I guess I'll just have to rebutt. What I was referring to are the *squeak* *squeak* noises that come between the opening guitar sounds. Now, if those were produced by a guitar, my apologies to Mr. Banks, but if not ... I dunno, those sounds have always annoyed me. Even if the synth part underlying the verse melody is quite good, that opening always sticks out at me much more so than anything else.

Philip Maddox <> (25.01.2001)

Man oh man, the first three songs on this album are AWESOME. "Dance On A Volcano" is weird, distorted, messed up and, well, brilliant. You have no idea how much I love it when Phil sings "D-d-do you want to dance with me? You better start doing it right!" What a coooool vocal melody! "Entangled" is gorgeous. The lyrics are quite intriguing, and the vocal bit in the chorus "AS I count backwards you eyes be-come heav-i-er stiiiii-iiilll" is one of the most memorable things I've ever heard. "Squonk" is, like the 2 songs before it, nearly perfect. I love that slow, bass driven opening that leads into the verse, that majestic synth and, of course, those vocal twists! When Phil sings "I'll trick him, then I'll kick him into my sack - you better watch out, you better watch out" and "All the while in perfect time, his tears are falling on the ground, but if you don't stand up, you don't stand a chance", I'm in absolute heaven. Peter is a better vocalist than Phil, but on these opening numbers (and on this album in general), I don't miss Peter all that much yet.

In my opinion, nothing is quite as good as that opening trio, but everything is still good (except the totally mediocre "Mad Man Moon"). "Robbery Assault And Battery" would have sounded better with Peter, but it still sounds really good, much like the title track, with lots of cool twists and turns keeping it interesting. "Ripples" is a bit long, but it's still quite pretty. "Los Endos" is just instrumental reprises of previous songs, but hey, it sounds good enough to me. I can't decide right now if I'd give this a low nine or an UNBELIEVABLY high 8 (due to "Mad Man Moon" and that none of the last 5 tracks really blow me away). Still, this is a good, good, good prog record.

<> (17.02.2001)

Surprisingly strong, this album is. True, Gabriel has left and Phil can't begin to measure up. But Phil is certainly the best replacement possible in terms of vocals. He even tries to sound like Petey quite a bit, and some claim they can't tell em apart ( I can easily tell em apart, but they do have similar voices). Phil just isn't a good actor (seen Buster?) so the story songs don't work as well.

DANCE ON A VOLCANO: Not amazing, because the vocals are mixed poorly, but nonetheless a powerful opener with a great theme that bookends the album in a way similar to Selling England.

ENTANGLED: Gorgeous harmonzing. This is all much more gentle and polished than some of the Gabriel stuff (not necessairly a good thing, mind u).

SQUONK: Great song, with real power behind it.

MAD MAN MOON: This foreshadows the feeling of the next album, and while it is really beautiful, it is a sign that Gabriel's influence would soon leave.

ROBBERY ASSAULT AND BATTERY: OK, Phil just can't do the story thing that well. He goes for some different voices in this song, but it just doens't really work and the chorus has a really lame melody. But parts of the song are truly great (the bastads got away...god always fights...)

TRICK OF THE TAIL: I actually think this is one of the best songs on the album. It's a very poppy song, almost Beatles-like, but that doesn't stop it from being very fun and catchy.

LOS ENDOS: Shows that the band could still truly play their instruments. Very listenable and engaging instrumental, but the ending (with the little 'Supper's Ready' reprise tossed in) gets me depressed. This is no 'Supper's Ready'.

I miss Peter. I really do. And I can't TRULY get over his departure like some could. I think that without him, this band should've gone straight to pop becasue a lot of this stuff just milks his legacy. Oh well, i still listen to this quite a bit and I do admit it's a great album, with or without Peter. An 8.5/10.

Sam <> (25.02.2001)

For me it seems that the Trick of the Tile is somehow an image of Selling... and the Lamb is the mirror. The Trick is a great album musicaly, the melodies are great and it is very soft melodies... the total opposit of the Lamb which was rather agressive. I really like "Squonk" as I think it is musically the most original song of the post-Gabriel periode. I like "Robbery... " a lot as well, and I'm quite surprised to know that so many people do not like it at all.... the middle musical part sounds great to me ! "Dance on a Volcano" is great as well.. this song really make me travell to an exotic place on earth, with heat and luxuriant vegetation on a strange island.... somehow coming back to the theme of Selling.... but I think my favorite track is "Los Endos"... really a great prog song.... maybe the last real they made, and there as well I don't get the point why some people like "Volcano" so much and not "Los Endos" since they are both very close musically ! Genesis was made of so clever and talentuous guys that the loss of one of the "most obvious master piece" didn't even pushed them to the mediocrity.. I would even think that they showed that they can still make it without the Angel... but with other aspect for sure. I doubt that there could be so many groups which would survive so well without their lead-vocal-lyrics-writer. In this group nobody was the weakest link of the chain.. and that's pretty rare in music rock ! For me this album is a great "common" work of the 4 people in the band.. even if in the back cover we can now read the one who wrote the songs... in my point of view this is the album in which the get the most synchronised musically. (maybe because they felt free after the Lamb lack of possibilities to create). I give this album an 8, a solide one (even if "Mad Man's Moon" sounds like the beggining of a real good period).

Richard Craig <> (29.03.2001)

I own a video of Genesis performing at Shepperton Studios in 1974, just at the commercial peak of the Gabriel era. During 'Apocolypse in 9/8' Peter goes away to change costume and the music doesn't change a jot. On the stage are Rutherford with the black-and-white Rickenbacker twin neck, Collins behind his Gretsch drum kit, Banks with, well..keyboards and Hackett with his Les Paul and pedals. I look at the screen and think 'Hey, there's the Trick of the Tail line-up, producing good music.'

This is exactly the reason that the first album without Gabriel didn't disgrace the band at all. Gabriel contributed lyrics, but not all the time. He contributed instrumentals, but they weren't an integral part of the band's sound.Hell,sometimes he couldn't even sing properly,as demonstrated by his voice towards the end of concerts (Phil Collins actually has a superior range although his solo career is still shite).Gabriel did introduce one hell of a lot of charisma, that is not to be denied, but in October 1975 at Trident Studios in London Genesis Part Two had had enough charisma. The departure of Gabriel left a gap which needed to be introduced because the band was in danger of becoming a parody of itself-as Phil Collins said' In those costumes he couldn't get a microphone close enough to his mouth to actually SING'.

The main reason for Genesis' brilliance was Steve Hackett, as demonstrated by the fact that the band had a hit single as soon as he left!

A Trick of the Tail is the product of exactly the same instrumental minds behind the other albums, so as a result it is brilliant, soooo much better than The Lamb.

'Entangled' for instance is absolutely astonishingly beautiful,and really well written- the product of a proper rock band. But all the songs are good (except perhaps for Man Mad Moon which does drag on a little)- the twelve string guitars in 'Ripples' are just so perfectly constructed, 'Los Endos' has a groovy electric sitar,and 'Dance on a Volcano' is just plain nuts.

This album was the second side of a tape i had once- the other side being Selling England- and as such there is a very definite, and positive, association. This, incidentally, was the late Princess of Wales' favourite album of all time, although the relevance of this isn't that significant. It doesn't detract from the fact that this is a 10/10 album.

Glenn Wiener <> (30.07.2001)

This is not the pop flavored Genesis that most fans are familiar with. Actually that is a good thing because the band’s creativity really soars. I don’t know why you are so hard on Phil Collins’ singing. I think he sings quite well. Tony Banks is a bit overbearing at times on the keys. It would be nice if there was just a little bit more guitar. There are some creative guitar touches at the beginning. of most of the songs but as they progress, Mr. Banks cranks up the keyboards and Steve is extremely lost in the shuffle. From glancing at the CD I borrowed, Tony Banks writes or co-writes all of the songs. Therefore his influence is great. The solos on 'Mad Man Moon' and 'Ripples' are absolutely gorgeous. The drumming by Phil Collins is strong throughout especially on 'Squonk'. What a strong melody line on that number. Anyway, this release is quite good…to the point that I may desire borrowing more Genesis records.

Brian Sittinger <> (23.08.2001)

Surprise! A trick of the ear? A good Phil Collins-led Genesis album!? Yes, it is. Even the first time I heard this, I was very pleasantly surprised when I heard this album.

As for the album itself, the set of songs here is rather solid. There's only a couple moans and groans here. One, "Mad Mad Moon", though still quite decent, is overlong. There is no way to get around that! It is nice to know that some other commentators were able to hear Hackett's soaring guitar lines within this song too. It adds to the grandeur (well, the first few minutes, anyway) of this song. One can also bemoan the fact that there is more keyboards (though okay, often don't really add THAT much to the songs). And of course, they have a tendency to bury the guitars more so than in the past (though it would be a much bigger problem in Wind and Wuthering). Again, check out the beautiful backwards guitar solo of Hackett in "Ripples..." amongst some keyboards.

"Dance on a Volcano", though unusual with its rhythm and 'noises', is quite good, ending with a great duel between Banks and Hackett. "Entangled" is a pretty acoustic song with an appropriate whirling keyboard solo at the end. Not much more can be said about "Squonk". Let's just say this is the first prog-Genesis song I ever heard. "Robbery, Assault, and Battery" is a tad weaker, though still entertaining. Just don't compare this to Gabriel's efforts! "Trick of the Tail" reminds me of the Beatles in its arrangement. Finally, "Los Endos" (what bad Sapnish/Italian!!) is a solid way to end this album. A solid 9 out of 10.


Richard C. Dickison <> (21.08.99)

I really can't agree with your placing Wind and Wuthering as the worst Genesis album for one reason. They still were yet to produce that heaping pile of shit called Calling All Stations. I mean lets face the facts that this album still has Steve Hackett and Phil Collins for good or bad. That other stinking thing has neither.

I know you hate Tony (We all do) but why not show this constructively by naming Calling All Stations the rightful holder of the, do not buy at any price, award.

We could even say that Tony destroyed Genesis finally, dead, dead I say.

This poor album is simply the worst of the semi-classic Genesis. More pointless songs per square inch than any other of the quote classic Genesis albums. I also like the cover art here, I mean even I could place more value in this album because of that. Sort a nice tree, neat how the leaves are blowing in the breeze, Autumn is almost here is'nt it. You can almost see Tony hanging from that tree, noose and all, ha ha. Oh, I'm sorry what were we talking about again.

[Special author note: Dick is right, I already substituted the album on the 'worst album' list.]

Ben Greenstein <> (09.11.99)

I don't think it's bad at all! I honestly can't see what makes "One For The Vine" any less interesting than, say, "The Battle Of Epping Forest." The synths are a little distracting at times, but, see, I really love Bank's keyboard work (he's just got so many great ideas!), so I really don't care how he plays them. Plus, "Eleventh Earl Of Mar" has got to be one of the band's best "pure-prog" numbers - how can you dislike that midsection? Sounds fine to me. There are a couple of tunes, though, that don't really stick out at all, and I'm at a crossroads about "Your Own Special Way." While part of me likes it's memorable melody, the rest finds it to be a slightly bland ballad. The album gets a six or a seven, depending on my mood.

Greg Nordeng <> (20.02.2000)

WOW!!! I am truly astonished in your opinion of this album. I personally think that Gabriel will always BE Genesis. And without Gabriel in this album they still somehow managed to keep that Gabrielesque sound. The guitarwork from Steve Hackett is the backbone of this album, he has that sound that sounds like mix between Mother Goose and an intellectual novel. I find a lot of emotion in the progressions of this album, especially in the song "Blood On the Rooftops". To me the song "Afterglow" might be one of the most powerful endings an album could hope for. Very rarely will I actually feel a song in throughout my stomach, this song sends a tornedo through my stomach leaving me VERY fulfilled with the album. In fact tears beg to come out whenever I listen to 'Afterglow'.

John McFerrin <> (08.03.2000)

This album blows; I dislike it more than you do. It reminds me highly of Tormato in that it's little more than a shadow and a parody of previous successes. Less guitar than EVER, synths that simply befuddle the mind, and COMPLETELY without the Gabriel vibe. I mean, let's face it, it was that vibe that was the heart of Genesis, and without him the band could only continue to fall apart at the seams. And THAT is probably why Hackett left; he wanted to get out of a band that he sensed was on the verge of even worse self-parody than what they had already shown.

Now, the actual songs. It follows, again, the Tormato model in that there is only ONE good song on here. Unfortunately, 'Your Own Special Way', I'm sorry to say, just isn't that special. It's ok, I guess, but hardly a standout. Oh, wait, it is the standout. Darn. Throw in the fact that we don't get any amazing guitar work (like Howe in 'Release Release') or anything else to captivate us, and you get a pretty miserable album. And those instrumentals .... UGH! At least the ones on Lamb suited the dark, sub-earthly atmosphere of Rael's location in the story, but these are all ... POINTLESS! Absolutely POINTLESS!

I give it a 3.

Ted Goodwin <> (12.04.2000)

I really don't see what's wrong with Tony's synthesizers, either the sounds he uses or the way he plays them. For me the main thing wrong with WIND is his charmless story-song lyrics. Why did he feel the need to burden our brains with the story of "One For The Vine"? What does the "vine" have to do with anything, anyway? And some of the musical aspects of "All In A Mouse's Night" deserve better than to be tied to an un-serious, un-funny and pointless Tom & Jerry exercise. All this doesn't mean I don't like WIND -- I just don't like it as much as TRICK. The tracks on WIND that really do it for me are "Eleventh Earl Of Mar" & "Blood On The Rooftops". Not coincidentally, these are the places where Hackett shines through -- the tunes on "Blood" and (undoubtedly) the middle part of "Earl" are his, and they're BREATHTAKING to me.

Rich Bunnell <> (06.07.2000)

I'm not particularly irritated by synthesizers (I mean, I listen to and enjoy the freaking Pet Shop Boys, for god's sake) so I personally don't find this album to be nearly as atrocious as you do. If there's anything to complain about, it's that the last few tunes ("Blood on the Rooftops," "Afterglow") and the closing instrumentals are sort of weak, dragging on for too long without interesting enough melodies to keep the listener either interested or enthralled. Still, "Eleventh Earl of Mar" is a simply stunning, groovy tune, "Your Own Special Way" is a pretty ballad that succeeds despite the atrocious country twang gee-tar in the chorus, and "One For The Vine," no matter how much everyone bashes it, doesn't particularly offend my ears for a single minute out of its ten. Yeah, it's weaker than Trick, but it's still a pretty good album. I agree that Tony had completely taken over the band's sound by this point, but let's be honest-- was there ever a point where he didn't dominate the band's sound? Maybe a high 7 or a really low 8.

<> (27.08.2000)

I'm very confused. Trick of the Tail gets an 8, but Wind and Wuthering gets a 4 and is called one of the band's worst albums? Jeez. I always thought those two albums were very similar, in terms of quality and sound. Banks' synths remain overbearing on both albums, and although they may be a bit more prominent on Wind, I can't see why anyone would hate one and like the other. I personally find Wind and Wuthering to be better than Trick, if only because it's moodier and has a more cohesive feeling to it. Damn, it's the most gentle Genesis album the band ever did....I simply can't understand the low rating.

John McFerrin <> (19.12.2000)

There's one thing you didn't mention, and I've never really seen mentioned much at all -

'Wot Gorilla' is a rewrite of the instrumental passages in 'Riding The Scree'! That annoys me so much!!

Nick Karn <> (31.12.2000)

Err... this album seems to me the final step in Genesis' transformation from one of the MOST energetic and alive prog bands ever to one of the LEAST. It sounds like all the life has been sucked out of the band's songs, and that's due in no small part to Tony Banks' synth atmospheres that are as ugly as the album cover itself, and his overbearing lyrics - no wonder they went pop. Not that I'm offended by his style usually (his work on the 72-74 albums is actually a great great influence on me), but here is where I think he really overdoes things. One could only wonder how And Then There Were Three would have turned out if HE was the one that quit and forced Genesis to become a trio... hmm...

It also doesn't help that Phil doesn't have much energy in his singing and the melodies just aren't memorable either. And they continue the Trick Of The Tail like tendency of dragging the songs out longer than they deserve to be. But all those songs were at least good (often even great), with the exception of "Mad Man Moon", and that's the one Trick song this album seems to model itself after, as a bunch of lifeless slow songs with boring instrumentals mixed in between, featuring the occasional interesting groove (parts of the otherwise dull "All In A Mouse's Night"). The main culprit here is "One For The Vine", which in my opinion (and probably yours too) is BY FAR the worst song they did up to that point - it just drags and drags without ever actually taking me anywhere, quite the opposite of any other long number they ever did. How did that one go again? Ugh.

I wouldn't give this as low as a 3 or 4, though, because I actually like the songs here a bit more than Duke (and I give that a really low 5), and there are some actually quite good moments. I don't think "Eleventh Earl Of Mar" and "Your Own Special Way" should have been dragged out as much as they were, particularly the choruses and middle sections of both, but I generally enjoy them somewhat, particularly since the former is one of the few places where some energy is actually apparent, and the latter's chorus is beautiful. The acoustic beginning to "Blood On The Rooftops" is very nice too, though when the synths come in it seems to turn into an unbearably morose number, and the last instrumental (I forget its' stupid fancy sounding name) is actually decent in the first couple minutes, mostly because we actually get to hear Steve play a reprise of some of the more memorable album melodies on electric.

But alas, those good moments are not enough to make this album anything more than mediocre. "Wot Gorilla?" More like 'Tony Banks and Phil Collins, wot were you thinking'? (that's one of the most hilariously stupid song titles ever though) "Afterglow"? Passable slow ballad with generic solo Collins-like melody. This album is a fan favorite? Not this fan's favorite. I swear people like it just because the songs are long! A normal 5 I guess.

Michael and Priscilla Bloom <> (05.02.2001)

I don't find Wind and Wuthering that much less interesting than Trick of the Tail; sometimes I like it even better. Has anyone mentioned "All on a Mouse's Night," which I find really charming, a pleasant little domestic scene, not without humor, that may well be the appropriate philosophical level for the post-Gabriel band. Musically it's about the level of a minor Gentle Giant song for me. "Eleventh Earl" has a majesty to it, despite that stoopid phase shifter slathered over the keyboard, and I really like the guitars in the quiet middle (dream sequence?) section. (Peter Gabriel certainly would have sung it much better.)

"One for the Vine" is as cheesy as most of the contributors say, but partly that's because it has such high ambitions. It's an analysis of somebody who became a hero by accident, and while Banks doesn't empathize with normal people as a rule, he's on to something here. The title refers to the guy trying to figure out what's expected of him, without any prior experience to guide him, so he tries to achieve a mystical enlightenment by having a period of ascetic meditation (water) followed by a drunken blowout (the vine). The instrumental break here, according to Banks himself, tries to illustrate that-- the piano solo for water, and that twitchy clockwork passage (which I hate as much as anything on the record) is the drunkenness part.

While it may not equal any of the records with Gabriel, I certainly like it better than any of the post-Hackett projects.

<> (17.02.2001)

Wind and Wuthering, contrary to George's strange disliking of it, is not very different from the previous album. They are pretty much partners, similar in style and songwriting and arranging and format. It's not as good as Trick of the Tail, but I still find it really beautiful (but even I'll admit that Banks goes a little overboard with the damn synths here). One complaint: the entire tone of the album has always struck me as really lethargic, in a weird way. It sounds like the band is highly drugged throughout the entire album, and I think it's a combination of many things (production, Phil's singing, the songwriting itself, even the album cover...which is beautiful by the way) but it has always bugged me immensely.

ELEVENTH EARL OF MAR: At first, I hated this song. And I still think the lyrics are highly ridiculous..."Daddy, you promised!" What the fuck is that shit? Phew...anyway, it's actually not a terrible song and contains, just like Trick of the Tail, the albums "theme" at the very beginning that pops up at the end. This theme, however, is rather lame and Banks' synths sound silly when it is played. But this song is pretty good anyway.

ONE FROM THE VINE: The Mad Man Moon clone, I find parts of the song to be truly beautiful in ways even comporable to some of the Gabriel-era beauty (I say comporable, not on par with or even close to). I don't like the little ticky-tocky instrumental in the middle, but overall I really like this song (the lyrics are quite interesting as well.)

YOUR OWN SPECIAL WAY: Here it is: the first truly mainstream Genesis song. But it's actually a really good song, cheesey and overblowm or not. See, a lot of people sort of forgot that this band actually was writing better cheesy pop songs than epic prog tracks at this point.

WOT GORILLA?: Offputting instrumental. Somewhat experimental, it's rather listenable, but I would never go to turn on Wind and Wuthering to hear...Wot Gorilla? like I would go to Selling England to hear 'After the Ordeal' (u get the point?)

ALL IN A MOUSE'S NIGHT: An unfairly overlooked song. It's one of their first songs that I would call "cute," and the story is certainly "Cute." The melodies are also interesting, so it works.

BLOOD ON THE ROOFTOPS: Hey! Steve Hackett is still there? I thought he was gone already? No, but really, this song contains the only true presence of Mr. Hackett on the entire album (man, you can really see why he left, he was probably being crushed in his sleep by one of Bank's synthesizers). The opening is better than the actual song, which is pretty but pedestrian.

UNQUIET SLUMBERS...: First part of the instrumental sucks and bores me.

IN THAT QUIET EARTH: Second part of the instrumental rocks and is one of the best things on the album, if only because its one of the only things that sounds like it wasn't recorded in a coma.

AFTERGLOW: Another one of the best songs on the album, proving yet again that it was the simple POP music that the band was good at at this point in their careers. I've heard people refer to this album as their favorite one, and that Afterglow is a truly majestic ending. Not a chance. But it's certainly worthwhile, and if you like Genesis, I don't think you'll feel the same way George did when he heard it. But who knows. And 8 out of 10.

Sam <> (25.02.2001)

For me when I first listen to this album I had the strong impression that the band has made really a lot of efforts to overcome Gabriel's departure and they did something great with the Trick of the Tail. And then they got a rest... no real strong inspiration in my point of view in Wind and W., the songs are somehow mainly flat, the magical effect of Genesis quite disapeard for me in this album since I'm not really mentaly travelling when I'm listing to this album. There is only one song I'm used to like and I will have a lot of people throwing stones to me but "The one for the vine" is the only original song in my point of view on this album.... I like all the parts of this songs since it's still quite "disturbing" like the Lamb's songs were. It's the only songs in my point of view which sounds still a little bit progressive to me.... the other ones are very close to pop songs and "your own special way" is a total pop song. And like "The knife" in Trespass, I feel that "Afterglow" do not really fit with the rest of the songs.. it has a too different personalitiy to be synchronised with the other songs, this song would have fit better in the next album, like "The knife" would have fit better in Nursery Cryme. So I really think that this album is far weaker that the Trick of the Tail, there is no mystical magic as in the other Genesis previous albums.. but I should say that I do not hate it, so I give to this Wind a strong 5.

John Drayton <> (18.04.2001)

Wow, I'm amazed at the negative comments this gets: to my mind it is one of the band's very greatest albums. Sure, it doesn't have the coherence of Trick of the Tail with it's illusion/reality theme, but it has a strain of bleak melancholy that matches the cover art really well.

I agree with some others that "Wot Gorilla" is filler, and I think "Your Own Special Way" is a (bad) sign of things to come, but every other track is a winner.

I think this and Trick (the band's other highpoint) mark a period when prog-rockers were getting a bit frayed by their "visionary" posturing and were wanting to experiment with mellow phrasing and tighter structures, without sacrificing the music. I'd put Yes' Going for the One, just about all of Peter Hammill's solo stuff and the great Roy Harper in the same category (although admittedly these last two are special cases).

Brian Sittinger <> (23.08.2001)

First of all, I'll say this: of the Gabriel/Hackett Genesis albums, this one is the weakest. However, it's not that bad! Yes, there are a lot of synths here, no question about that. Sometimes, they get overbearing even for myself. It seems like he's doing some Emerson style impersonations at times! Sadly, this buries Hackett even more, though he still can be found. Also, there is overall, considerably less energy on this album. So, even though most of the songs are still okay, they can really drag!! And most of them are long, too!

As for the positives, "Eighth Earl of Mar" is a solid way to begin the album; although it has a few annoying synths at the beginning, and is a bit long, it is quite engaging, due to the energy in the song. "Blood on the Rooftops" is also quite pretty; Hackett is clearly present at the beginning, and we hear a Mellotron insteado the jkeyboards! This also includes Collin's best vocal effort here. The instrumentals at the end are quite good, too, especially on "...In That Quiet Earth". Steve Hackett lets loose another awesome solo; this seems to predate a style I see in Spectral Mornings. Only moan here is after Hackett's solo, when Tony Banks plays his annoying synth solo that seems disjointed from the first half of the song. This album can earn no more than a 7 out of 10 from me.

Glenn Wiener <> (28.11.2001)

Whereas this CD is not as bad as you make it out to be, it certainly is not on the level of A Trick Of The Tail. Too much emphasis on Tony Bank's synthesizers and not enough on song structure. That 'One For The Vine' epic is too all over the place with fiv half baked melodies although I do think the piano solo with percussion accompanyment in the middle is quite strong. The best pieces here are the last three. 'Blood On The Rooftops' sets a nice mood and there is reasonable instrumental balance. 'The Quiet Earth' instrumental is spooky in a good way with interesting tone shifts. 'Afterglow' is simple yet effective. The melody actually has about five ntoes as I picked it out on my guitar. But I think you are annoyed about the fact that Steve is constantly hit one note(I think its a D) every other time he touches a string. None the less the mood and ambience and the pretty chord changes makes it a winner for my ears.

The 'Mouse' tune is in bad need of a rip roaring guitar solo at the end as Tony's synths just rule the day on that one. Also he blast a couple of ugly solos on the otherwise decent 'Earl Of Mars' and strays too far away from the theme on 'Wot Gorilla'. 'Your Own Special Way' has a nice melody but is a little too long probably due to the slow pace especially around the keyboard solo. None the less, A Trick Of A Tail has far more ear catching ideas.

<> (29.04.2002)

I don't think this is a bad little album at all. The band was still recovering from the devastating loss of their voice and leader and were floundering around trying not only to establish their own identity, but to find a songwriting voice of their own. Phil Collins had yet to flourish into the gifted writer he eventually became and as a result, the other band members tried to pick up the songwriting slack. Phil Collins would watch and learn and eventually write hooks that could land whales, but all things considering, this is a worthwhile followup to Trick Of The Tale. Tony Banks certainly is no Emerson or Wakeman but so what. He never tried to be. Those guys were at the top of their game and Banks did a very good job laying the foundation. As a former classical piano student myself, I have the utmost respect for anyone who masters the keyboard and in no way consider it "cheesey." 'Your Own Special Way' is just a beautiful song with a very strong vocal from Phil. 'Eleventh Earl Of Mar' has always been one of my favorite Genesis tunes. I liked it and a lot of other people do too. A great album for the "transition stage."

Gerard Nowak <> (01.05.2003)

George, it may only add to your dislike, but Tony Banks regards this one as the best Genesis record. And it's OK with me, I seem rather to like his style and compositions. I don't think he dominated the scene here more than on the Trick. On this one you can find the first post-Gabriel song written without any assistance by Banks ("Blood On the Rooftops" by Collins/Hackett). And I wouldn't be as vociferous about Hackett's guitar allegedly pushed away. Nowhere within the Trick can you find classical (not acoustic) guitar passages like here on the opening song and on the "Blood". "Your Own special Way" and "Afterglow" are also guitar-laden (the latter song was written by Banks on a guitar, not a piano).

It would be my favourite Genesis album were it not for the obvious self- indulgent stupidities between the "Blood" and "Afterglow" (I don't bother about their titles), and the "Gorilla" crap. On these I side with you completely. But the rest are sheer pleasure for me. Apart from the above- mentioned disasters, listening to this album resembles being lost in a beautiful forest in which you never know what can possibly be there behind another tree (i.e. another chord). That's why I find the musical logic of "Blood on the Rooftops" as convincing as that of "Entangled". This album is a step further, slightly off the track, and I enjoy this kind of freedom. I similarly enjoyed, for the very same reason some fragments of Yes' Tales.

A final remark is on the "two-note pattern" of 'Afterglow' and 10-year-old Elton John writing the "Vine". Here are some "two-notes" fragments by some other guy: the verses of "Across the Universe", "I am the Walrus", "Come Together", "Help"... It's not so much about the note patterns, the question is: AGAINST WHAT CHORDS those? "One For the Vine" is a beautiful melody at times against brilliant chord changes. It's as good as the "Earl of Mar". Definitely red.

<> (22.08.2004)

Wow. You really have something against Tony Banks...

I've always heard that he liked Foxtrot the best of all the Genesis LPs, not this one, by the way.


<> (08.06.99)

George, the drummer for the Seconds Out concert which I saw in Pittsburgh was a fellow named Chester Thompson. Your are correct in that he was a very good musician. At times in the show Phil joined him at a second drum set. This concert featured some really well done special effects which made some of the longer material such as 'Supper's Ready' stay interesting in spite of its length. You are right on that Phil spent of lot of time trying to tell jokes and act quirky in imitation of Gabriel. All in all though, one of the more entertaining shows which I saw in this timeframe. Thanks for your reviews. Keith

Richard C. Dickison <> (09.06.99)

That's what the guys name was, Chester Thompson and Bill Bruford played on some of the other songs.

The thing was that in my mind Phil was by and large as good a drummer as these guys on stage.

He really did not need those mechanical drum machines till later on when he got older.

Then he would layer them as if he were actually playing the instruments themselves and not like a crutch for lack of real drummer, sort of like when a great guitarist uses effects to make things interesting but not to hide lack of talent.

I really believe the most lacking musician in Genesis was Tony, he drug the others down because the synths were made so prominent in most of the recordings. Of course then Phil started trying to sing, and things got pretty hateful. No wonder Steve left.

Michael Kozlowski <> (10.08.99)

Not to be picky or anything, but I'd just like to point out that I think the best song on S.O. is 'The Musical Box' (closing section) because they improve it the most. I think this for two main reasons. 1. Phil's vocals just come out sounding more energetic and passionate, and 2. They do a great job of editing here, leaving out the unnecessary first 7 some-odd minutes! Come to think of it, I think they do an even better job of it on The Way We Walk Volume 2 - The Longs, as part of the 'Old Medley'.

Rich Bunnell <> (08.06.2000)

High-eightish or low-nineish for me. It's interesting seeing what is essentially Steve Hackett's last performance with the band (or last tour, at least) and Collins does a really good job of handling Gabriel's vocals. Plus, the song selection is awesome!!!! "Squonk"? "The Carpet Crawlers"? "Supper's Ready"? I'm in aural heaven! It's also sort of ironic that the Trick Of The Tail songs on here actually sound a lot cleaner and more well-produced than on the actual album, but I guess that says something for the band as a live band.

John McFerrin <> (13.07.2000)

Grr, and I had such high hopes. The playing is decent enough, of course, but Phil just ruins the older stuff for me. There are far too many lines that he sings _normally_ that shouldn't be (there is only ONE correct way to sing "RAEL IMPERIAL AEROSOL KID"). I don't here any of the necessary emotional screaming at the end of 'Supper's Ready', or the 'war cry' in part III of said song ("waiting for battle"), or ... ugh, there's too much to list.

Good songs, of course, and the recent stuff still sounds fine (how could 'Squonk' ever be a bad song?) but really ... I'll be very kind and give it a 10/15.

Ted Goodwin <> (25.08.2000)

This isn't a bad live album at all but almost every track on it makes me wish I was listening to the original version of the song instead. On the Genesis live albums I've heard (the first 3) the live versions don't have what it takes to justify their existence alongside the originals.

The main point of this album, of course, was to prove that Phil could handle the Pete material. So can he? Well, yes and no. I don't think Phil's voice is the main issue; it doesn't strike me as lacking that much. It's more of a personality thing. Phil is developing his own persona rather than trying to duplicate Pete's, and I can't really blame him. As a result Phil does more not-trying-to-sing-it-just-like-Pete-would than he really needs to. He has enough of a voice that there was probably no reason he couldn't have given lines like "waiting for battle" and "RAEL IMPERIAL (etc.)" more appropriate treatment. (I personally don't have a problem with Phil's singing the RAEL line normally, even though it isn't THE CORRECT way.) The bottom line is that Phil's effectiveness at handling the Pete-era songs varies -- not just from song to song but often from line to line. Part of the issue, of course, is that this album is sung by the gentle-voiced Phil of "Entangled", not the stronger-voiced Phil of "Mama".

Having the GENESIS ARCHIVES 1967-75, we can now hear Pete's own live versions of most of these tracks. I've only heard parts of the ARCHIVES (having passed them by in favor of a 12-track promo sampler taken therefrom), but I have to say this: If I knew nothing about Genesis other than having heard the Pete & Phil live versions of "Supper's Ready" & "I Know What I Like", I would say Phil was easily the better singer. More specific observations: (1) Pete's live version of "I Know What I Like" is really obnoxious on the spoken parts and not very satisfactory otherwise. I don't mind the "lengthy stupid jam" on Phil's version, but I'd like it better if it were more of a jam and less of a name-that-tune-in-six-notes medley of unrelated Genesis song parts. (2) Phil pulls off "Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man" live much more smoothly than Pete, who (having the lower voice of the two) strains badly at its high parts. (3) "Willow Farm" is a we-can't-really-pull-this-off-live mess in the hands of both singers, though Pete at least has the advantage having of another singer (Phil) to back him up. (4) What's so wrong with Phil's version of "Carpet Crawlers"? (I refuse to use the "alternate" title of "Carpet Crawl".) Pete's live version is still preferable, if only because it doesn't have the intro part chopped off; but this is one of those "pretty" songs that works as well, if not better, with Phil's voice. (But what's with Phil overdubbing harmonies on a "live" album? That's sure what it sounds like, anyway. I think he does it, less blatantly, on "Cinema Show" too. For LAME, dudes!)

<> (19.02.2001)

Since you questioned the identity of the drummer on this album, I thought I'd let you know that the drums were played by Chester Thompson, Bill Bruford, and Collins. Bruford is most likely well-known to all, but Thompson isn't, so I'll provide a little insight. He's drummed for mostly for Zappa (9 albums), but can also be found on records by Fogerty, Ron Kenoly, Neil Diamond, Peter Cetera, and Weather Report, and plays organ on a Dave Koz album. Thompson also appears later in Genesis' catalog, drumming on Three Sides Live and Live Volume 1 - The Way We Walk.  Genesis must have liked the guy as he also appears on Hackett's Please Don't Touch!, Banks' Curious Feeling, and Collins' Serious Hits!-Live.

Forgot to mention...he was on the Genesis Revisited album Hackett put it out in '97.

Brian Sittinger <> (27.08.2002)

Where's the energy? Otherwise, this is well-performed, and Phil Collons does a respectable job trying to cover the Gabriel-era stuff. If this version of "Supper's Ready" is unappealing, refer to the Archive boxset. 7 out of 10.

P.S.: Since my Genesis collection ends here, let me put the 15 scale on the albums I have, as of today:

FGTR, Trespass 7(10)

Nursury Cryme 9(12)

Foxtrot 10(14)

Live 9(13)

Selling England 10(15)

The Lamb... 8(12)

Trick of a Tail 9(12)

Wind/Seconds Out 7(10)

Archives (69-75) 9(13)


Ben Greenstein <> (16.04.2000)

What a dip in songwriting! They barely manage to plod along here, and every song sounds the same. Bummer, because the previous two (or for that matter, the previous five) studio albums were fantastic. It's not even the keyboard that bugs me (come to think of it, why is every music fan so rabidly anti-keyboard?), but it IS the lack of guitar. And memorable melodies. But even the lesser songs are at least entertaining, and "Undertow" is one of the greatest songs ever written. Hit single is good, too. A six.

Rich Bunnell <> (25.12.2000)

I've had this album for five months now and I never, ever feel like listening to it. No WAY is this a step up from Wind and Wuthering - that album at least has some interesting passages and standout tracks like "Eleventh Earl Of Mar." This one just hits you with boring song after boring song after boring song until it finally rewards you for sitting through all of the crap with "Follow You Follow Me." I can't even name any of the other songs, because they all sound exactly the same, or at least don't deserve to be distinguished from one another. A low five, and only that high because it's Christmas.

<> (17.02.2001)

And then the band released their first really weak album....which isn't actually THAT bad but simply pales in comparison to both the early stuff and the later stuff which it acts as a transition between. The problem is that very few of the songs are memorable, and right now (after listening to the album for years) I have to consult the lyrics to even remember what each song sounds like.

DOWN AND OUT; The production on this song is so weird, with Banks' synths taking over everything, that I don't even know what to say. The rhythm is sort of neat though.

UNDERTOW: I really like this pretty and even powerful Banks ballad, which will serve as the example for about 6 or 7 more of these (that are all completely alike). This is my favorite one of all of them though.

BALLAD OF BIG: This has one great section of it, "MUST BE MAD, HE MUST BE MAD" but the rest is rather lame and sounds the band doesn't really know what they're doing. The songwriting just isn't strong at all on so many of these songs.

SNOWBOUND: This is such a dumb song. The worst lyrics of the band so far. "Hey there's a snowman..." I bet Peter listened to this song with a bucket of popcorn laughing at a picture of Rutherford the entire time. However, it does have a pretty melody it's just that I can't get those awful lyrics out of my head when I listen to it.

BURNING ROPE: Cool tune. Of course, Banks' sythns almost manage to drown out the entire rhythm section, but nonetheless, this is very engaging stuff.

DEEP IN THE MOTHERLODE: One of the album's best songs. I don't know why the band is using country-western themes (the music sounds nothing like country and the band is probably as far removed from that mentality as one could be), but the GO WEST YOUNG MAN line is very well-done.

MANY TOO MANY: Another Banks ballad, completely unmemorable.

SCENE'S FROM A NIGHT DREAM: I've always really liked this song, and people seem to pass it over as filler when they describe the album. I don't know, it think it contains a fun drive to it, even if the lyrics are atrocious (but they all are on this album).

SAY IT'S ALRIGHT JOE: A generic Rutherford penned ballad, and Phil sounds so little and unassured on it that I wanted to go comfort him.

THE LADY LIES: Banks masturbation fest!!!! Or not? Well, it's still one of the better songs on the album, possibly my favorite, because it actually has a melody that I can hum and the synths sort of work as a part of the song rather than sounding like the song was written on a guitar and then massacred by being played on those obnoxious synths.

FOLLOW YOU FOLLOW ME:Completely generic and lifeless pop song. Not very good. This isn't a true switch to pop yet, but it still isn't all that good and it's their worst album until Invisible Touch. But 'Undertow', 'Burning Rope', 'Lady Lies', 'Deep in the Motherlode'...those are good songs. Anyway, it's a 7 out of 10.

Ted Goodwin <> (22.05.2001)

I didn't like most of this album the first time I heard it, but it's grown on me. Musically it sounds pretty even to me, so most of the songs stand or fall based on their lyrics.

Banks, thankfully, has gotten away from the vines and the mouse's nights. On "Undertow" & "Burning Rope" he tries to, you know, actually SAY something (what a concept), though the latter song goes in and out of making sense ("Don't live today for tomorrow like you were immortal..." - Hmm. Okay. "...and the man in the moon who seduced you then finally loosed you" - Huh??) "Many Too Many" is cute and inoffensive. "The Lady Lies" I originally thought was crap, but I came to really like it; it's a neat metaphor for all kinds of temptation. (The line "who can escape what he desires?" ought to be in books of quotations).

"Down And Out" is one of my favorites on the album. "Deep In The Motherlode" (why didn't they just call it "Go West Young Man" and leave it at that?) is another -- a story song that's not really pointless but doesn't hit you with a big, obvious moral either.

"Scenes From A Night's Dream" only makes sense if you're familiar with the fascinating early-20th-century comic strip "Little Nemo In Slumberland" by Winsor McCay.

"Say It's Alright Joe" may be the album's most effective and moving song; the tale of the patron's suicidal despondency, as he bends the bartender's ear with his ramblings, is given in glimpses and impressions rather than hard outlines. (The quiet/loud songs like this one work especially well with Phil's voice.)

"Follow You, Follow Me" is shameless pop, but it's good pop. The only part I don't like is when Phil's voice fades into a mush of "la la la la la's". Like many people, I was introduced to Genesis by this song. (My first impression was that it sounded like Cat Stevens!)

So the only real stinkers for me are "Ballad Of Big" and "Snowbound". The former is simply a pointless story, badly told. (The lyrics' confusion of past vs. present tense is but one of their annoying qualities.) The latter could have been a nice song about winter, but then Mikey had to throw a bizarre "the snow feels pain" twist into the lyrics. Why?? Was this some sort of drug vision??

I too wonder, what's with the American-themed songs? (This would count "Scenes" as well as "Ballad" and "Deep".) And the epidemic of song titles that don't appear in the lyrics?


Cole <> (16.11.99)

Inexplicably, my favorite Genesis album. I don't like the 10 minutes of jamming at the end, but there's something about the other 9 songs on here that just grab me. Maybe it's Tony Banks' cheesy synthesizer soundscaping. Anyway, for those people who blame Phil Collins for "ruining" Genesis: go listen to a Mike + the Mechanics album (I have: Living Years), then try to say it's all Phil's fault. By the way, I think the only obvious drum machine use is on "Duchess".

Rich Bunnell <> (05.12.99)

This one's sort of boring. It starts out okay and has a few good songs sprinkled around, but that's the thing; the songs are only okay. Collins was very obviously dominating, and it shows in unoriginal MOR AOR like "Misunderstanding"(though I don't spew nearly as much venom towards the song as Ben Greenstein constantly does) and "Turn It On Again." That said, the album is a very nice listen but the problem is that unlike a few of the other Collins-led records, I feel like I'm listening to solo Collins. And trust me, considering the quality of his No Jacket Required album, that is NOT a good thing. I give this a 5 out of 10.

Richard C. Dickison <> (14.12.99)

Just a small note here, If you look you will see that Phil(the pill)Collins was helping Peter Gabriel out with his third album at this time and geee look at the drum machines being used here. Also you will note that Phil was running to do his first solo album too. More electronics are coming into the picture.

Of course they have not taken over quite yet but then Phil had not either. Anyway I will not put Phil down for being a bad drummer but he was not that creative on other instruments and as you see him taking over the band you see less progressive (instrument heavy music) and more electronic. hmmmmmm. I wonder if the next album will be full of drum machines. You know it will be.

Bob Josef <> (08.02.2000)

The beginning of the end for prog fans, with the horrible, horrible, horrible "Misunderstanding." Not because it's a pop song, but because it's a very BAD pop song! Boring, dull, repetitive with stupid lyrics to boot. The album's low point -- unfortunately, it's commercial success gave more clout to Collins.

But most of the rest of the songs are decent and creative as far as pop goes, like "Behind the Lines, 'Duchess," "Guide Vocal", "Turn it On Again". I like "Heathaze", too, but something bothers me about including the word "whereas" in a song on a rock album. And "Alone Tonight" proves that Mike is as adept at writing touching ballads as Phil, without as yet descending into insipidity. It occurs to me that Hackett could have really added something to that song. You point out that there wasn't enough of him when he was in the band, but his presence added something very distinctive to Genesis' sound which was not replaced by Mike's generic lead guitar.

"Dukes Travels" and "Duke's End" find the group trying to have it both ways, trying include prog in the middle of their pop pieces. But the piece is really boring when compared with stuff like "Supper's Ready or "Los Endos". By the way, there is no concept behind Duke -- that was the working title for the group-composed pieces. The guy on the cover is some French comic book character named Albert.

Ben Greenstein <> (16.04.2000)

God dammit! This was supposed to be a fantastic moody concept album about modern romance with all those cool Banksynths that I usually love, but it's just a BORING collection of pedestrian pop songs. "Misunderstanding" just may be the worst song ever recorded - well, maybe not the worst, but the one that I hate the most, at any rate. "Duchess" isn't too good either, a shame because it starts out really well. I can't even get into "Behind The Lines" - it's catchy and kind of cool, but so damn poppy that I just want to reach into my CD player and steal the prozac that Rutheford MUST have been taking. Still, I love "Turn It On Again" and "Man Of Our Times," it's only the other ten songs that blow.

Jeffrey A Morton <> (14.06.2000)

I've been trying to figure out some sort of "theme" for this album since I got it. I have decided in recent days that it is the story of Phil Collins. Almost every song on the record refers to his divorce and subsequent emotional trauma. I believe (someone will correct me I'm sure) that Collins wrote most of the lyrics on this album, and the ones that Banks and Rutheford pened were indirect references to their balding, diminutive, band member...

John McFerrin <> (02.02.2001)

Well, I more or less agree with this review, except for a couple of things:

1. "There ain't even a single semi-classic on the entire album"

I strongly want to know one thing - how on EARTH does 'Turn it on Again' not qualify as at least a semi-classic??!! The chord sequences, the bridge, the intro ... it all rules!!

2. I actually enjoy 'Man of Our Times' greatly - the bombastic heavenly chorus, for me, is far more effective than it was on 'Special Way'.

Otherwise, yeah, it basically works as background music ... but, and I know I'm almost alone on this, as far as background music goes, I _really_ enjoy this album when it's on. Honestly, even though few of the songs really jump out, I could easily give this an overall 10 rating. Possibly because I don't mind Banks' keyboard tone on this album as much as during the Wind/Then era - it's much more cheery, bright and sunny. Kinda like the contrast in the albums covers (as this is white and inviting, while the last couple of covers were dark and dank).

<> (17.02.2001)

I love Duke. I don't know why others (like George) really dislike it. It's one of my two favorite post-Gabriel albums.

BEHIND THE LINES: Great pop anthem...this is really well-written and conceived, and the sound is totally different from And then there were three and Wind and has a life-like bounce to it and makes me want to move a little rather than stare at my fingernails. The band actually plays really well on it too. The first truly awesome pop song this band wrote.

DUCHESS: A super Banks ballad (it's connected to 'Behind the Lines' in a sort of suite like fashion). These themes will come up later in the album.

GUIDE VOCAL: Very beautiful melody in this little interlude.

MAN OF OUR TIMES: I hate the arrangement of this song...but the song is great! In my opinion, one of the best thing Rutherford would ever write. MISUNDERSTANDING: This song is cute. Come on now. I've heard people call this pure crap...but it's not. It's just cute. All right, I know it's stupid and generic as well. But at least it has a prounounced, man-made rhythm section which is more than I can say about some of the later stuff or the previous album. HEATHEAZE: Another good Banks ballad, though it is pretty draggy.

TURN IT ON AGAIN: Here's what I'm talking about...this song is great! I mean really, this is a spectacular pop song.

ALONE TONIGHT: Very cheesey, but also gorgeous at times and Phil sounds really great and sure of himself for the first time on one of these ballads. CUL-DE-SAC and PLEASE DON"T ASK: These two songs are the weak spot of this album and I usually don't even listen to them. They're not bad, mind you, but they really do feel like filler (except I love the opening line of Cul-de-sac.

DUKE'S TRAVELS/DUKE'S END: Great instrumentals. Duke's end, in particular, sums up the themes of many of the album's songs and gives it a truly cohesive feeling. Banks' synthesizer parts on Duke's Travels kick ass...they sound like something out of old-school Genesis.

Many complain that this doen't know if it's prog or pop. I beg to differ. It's a pure pop album done in a style suitable to a prog album. I think that's cool, and that it truly works. And it contains some of their best pop songwriting. And Phil sounds really strong and clear. For me, an 8.5/10.

Ted Goodwin <> (21.07.2001)

This was the album that got me interested in Genesis in the first place. I had heard "Follow You, Follow Me" and seen a poster of DUKE's cover at a record store, but had had no other exposure to the band, when I heard "Turn It On Again" on the radio. Without actually knowing who it was by I immediately associated it with the DUKE cover -- it just fit!

I don't believe "Duke" (or "Duchess", for that matter) is supposed to be a particular person. I think the album's (rather loose) theme has to do with no-name, lonely Everyman losers of various kinds. (Even a couple of songs left off the album, later being collected on THREE SIDES and on ARCHIVE 2, fit this theme.) There are multiple songs that could be about the same guy, but this person would have no actual connections with the singerine of "Duchess" or the doomed soldiers of "Cul-De-Sac". And I think the "Albert" guy on the cover is not supposed to be a "fat old person", just a dull, unglamorous guy.

Anyway, "Turn It On Again" really impressed me. Even "Misunderstanding" did, to a lesser extent. They seemed so much more real and poignant than the usual "baby don't go" songs. "Turn" is a cool piece of prog-pop in that it takes weird time signatures and makes them NOT sound weird. (In contrast, some Rush songs on the radio in the same era shoved their odd time signatures in the listener's face.) (Has anyone else noticed that the beginning of "Misunderstanding" sounds just like that old song about "hot fun in the summertime"? Oh well.)

When I finally heard the whole album it seemed much less even to me than it does to you. The radio hits remained highlights, and I found further highlights in "Behind The Lines", "Duchess", and "Man Of Our Times". I've grown to appreciate the other songs but my initial favorites are still my favorites.

"Guide Vocal" doesn't do much for me, nor did Banks' other compositions at first. They represent his style at its least pretty. "Heathaze" does have some mildly amusing lyrical points (though I, like a previous commentator, find its use of "whereas" rather awkward), such as the picture of the dry-river-bed fisherman and the description (apparently) of diet cola ("perfumed poison, betrayed by its aftertaste"). "Cul-De-Sac" seems a bit hard to understand, but apparently its "losers" are soldiers cut down en masse by the enemy's secret weapon. (There seems to be some imagery here of ants marching out of their hill and getting sprayed!) They're "cul-de-sacs" in the sense that they're people without descendants -- genetic "dead ends".

"Man Of Our Times" may be my favorite song on the album (BTW, its keyboard parts foreshadow the even more all-over-the-place, glide-heavy keyboard parts found on much of Rutherford's first solo album). "Alone Tonight" paints its picture pretty effectively, but it's not very interesting musically. And its non sequitirs and unfinished sentences, popping up as they do in an otherwise coherent song, are annoying to me.

"Please Don't Ask" is a much better piece of songwriting than I would have expected from Collins at this point. Like "Misunderstanding" it's real, poignant and (unlike the other guys' solo compositions) crystal clear in its meaning.

Some don't like all the instrumental stuff at the end, but I think it makes a nice break from all the lyrical melancholy that leads up to it. The scheme of "Duke's Travels" in the overall theme seems to be something like "this guy (one of the unspecified number of 'Dukes') saved up a little money and traveled to various parts of the world to forget his troubles, but of course he was still a lonely loser." And I'm going to point out the obvious here just because I've never seen it mentioned anywhere: "Duke's Travels" is not really an instrumental because it reprises all the lyrics to "Guide Vocal", with an additional line that, apparently, one of the guys besides Banks thought should be there. Got that? Good.

Glenn Wiener <> (16.11.2003)

Duke ranks as a middle of the road Genesis recording. The best songs are the ones that got the airplay on radio ('Turn It On Again', 'Misunderstanding', 'Behind The Lines'). 'Guide Vocal' is pretty but it really is a bit incomplete. I also like 'Duchess' in spite of the synthesizer excess. The melody is quite captivating. 'Man Of Our Times' is the best of the rest of the tunes which just do not have strong melodies.


Ben Greenstein <> (29.11.99)

It's wierd that some fans praise this album while bashing Invisible Touch - if you ask me, the latter album has a much stronger sense of melody and is lacking any blatantly awful tunes, which this album has several of. Don't get me wrong - I still think it's an okay record, but it's really a shame that all of the songs aren't as fabultastic as "Abacab" and "Dodo/Lurker". Both of those are groovy, atmospheric, and easy to shake your rump to, but the rest of the material doesn't measure up, sounding too much like solo Phil Collins. The poppy tunes that I like are "No Reply At All" (which gains appeal with that awesome midsection) and "Me And Sarah Jane" (which is actually quite prog-rock, so far as I'm concerned). I considered giving the album a seven, but the hit "Man On The Corner" is just so awful that I had to lower that to a six.

Ben Greenstein <> (31.12.99)

Ohh - never mind my previous comment. This deserves an eight or nine! "Keep It Dark" has become one of my all-time faves, and the rest of the album is pretty good, too. The first five numbers really outshow the rest - however, except for "Man On The Corner," none of the later songs are TOO bad. I give it an eight.

Bob Josef <> (08.02.2000)

After reading your review, I do appreciate the fact that the band was experimenting. Lyrically, the group compositions fall flat -- the solo compositions actually have better words. Mike's "Like it Or not" continues the angst of "Alone Tonight" from the previous album, "Me and Sarah Jane" revisits the unusual rhythms of "Evidence of autumn" (a Duke outtake on Three Sides Live) and "Man on the Corner" is at least not as obnoxious as "Misunderstanding." However, the group has now starting rewriting Collins solo tunes into slightly more complicated Genesis tunes -- "No Reply at All" is a rip-off from "I Missed Again," with those horns sounding totally out of place. AAargh!

Ben Greenstein <> (16.04.2000)

Strike my previous two comments, this is one of my fave albums of all time. I give it a ten, even though I still hate most of the second side. Couldn't they have just reworked the good songs from Duke?

P.S. According to my spell check, "Ababa" is a word.

John McFerrin <> (07.05.2000)

Ah, thank goodness for ftp servers ...

Anyways, I decided it wouldn't hurt me to try out some early 80's 'pop' Genesis. And strange enough, I don't mind this album much at all. Some of the numbers aren't particularly great ('No Reply at All' is too cheezy for my tastes, 'Me and Sarah Jane' is only so-so, and the last two tracks refuse to stick in my brain) but the rest is very solid. The title track is enjoyable as hell, 'Dodo' is a cool prog number done in the 80's style, 'Who Dunnit' is hilarious and ... well, I'm sure Ben will want to jump through his computer screen and strangle me, but I love 'Man on the Corner', I'm serious. Yes, the arrangement is a little dumb and the melody slightly obvious, but the hooks are aplenty, and it's certainly better than almost anything I hear on the radio today.

All in all ... ehn, a mid 7.

Rich Bunnell <> (03.07.2000)

I don't see how the title is a pun on a "normal song structure." It's more normal than most, but how many completely normal pop songs go verse-chorus-verse-bridge-verse-chorus? Why isn't there a chorus before the bridge? Am I just completely misinterpreting the title altogether? I guess that "Ababcb" wouldn't work as a title so they had to compromise.

Anyway, I think that this album is really good-- Genesis were at their all-time pop high in the early '80s, having learned not to be bland from their late-'70s pop albums and not yet too overproduced and soulless like what would come later. Obviously the highlights are the title track (what a cool song!) and "Dodo/Lurker," but I'm also really fond of "No Reply At All"(who cares about the horns?) and "Keep It Dark," which is like an early mechanical version of XTC's "Stupidly Happy"(a superior song, but the Genesis one is still very good). "Man On The Corner" is simplistic, but not in a really bad "Misunderstanding"/"One More Night" way, more of a creepy, brooding way that really works with me. Plus, I've never heard it on the radio, which always helps.

The downers are "Another Record," which loses many points for not building on that ominous groove that joins the song about 45 seconds in and choosing instead to rely on a weak chorus with that cheesy thin "What's Love Got To Do With It" harmonica which was the worst instrument in the '80s, and "Who Dunnit?" which I don't feel like "sitting down and having a good laugh at" because it's annoying and boring and idiotic. Why did the band always shove a crappy joke song right in the middle of their really good early '80s albums just to make sure it wasn't listenable the whole way through? Yeah, the other song I'm talking about is "Illegal Alien," WANNA MAKE SOMETHING OF IT????? The rating is an 8. It's not as cool and atmospheric as the following album (hence the lower grade), but it gains points for being more interesting and diverse. Plus, for pop music, this is definitely pretty experimental.

Jon Morse <> (15.12.2000)

Abacab actually leaves me sort of flat, not on its own merit, but because for whatever reason (Chester Thompson replacing drum machines, perhaps?) the versions of the tracks from this album on Three Sides Live completely blow the studio versions away.  First, you have the "full" version of "Abacab" to play with, rather than a mix which fades out before the driving conclusion.  The studio version just seems to drift off into non-existence while the TSL rendition has more of a sense of purpose.  Likewise, "Me and Sarah Jane" gets delivered with more feeling and power live.  But, then, here I am commenting on an album you haven't reviewed (yet?)... on its own, Abacab is a nice little album, worth about an 8, but placed next to TSL, it can't help but suffer.

<> (17.02.2001)

Good pop album, with only one really weak song. And yes, they are now a POP band in every sense of the word, but the haven't lost those prog sensibilites just yet (actually they never really would.)

ABACAB: One of my least favorite things on here, but it's really popular. The jamming just sounds way too sterile. But it certainly makes me want to get up and groove.

NO REPLY AT ALL: At first, the addition of a horn section left me cold. Now, I really like it. This is a superb song.

ME AND SARAH JANE: Awesome. Contains like 5 great melodies...this is truly PROG-POP.

KEEP IT DARK: One of the worst songs on the album. Not particularly memorable or even listenable.

DODO/LURKER: Aw yeah. I love this song. LOVE IT! Lurker is so cool, and for some reason Bank's really cheesy synth part makes me feel very giddy.

WHO DUNNIT?: This is fun. Stupid and unneccesary, but fun.

MAN ON THE CORNER: Solid melody, Phil. Very pretty and pleasant.

LIKE IT OR NOT: I really like this song, though next to Keep it Dark it's one of the lesser songs.

ANOTHER RECORD: Good closer. I love when Phil sings, "Cause I like that song" in the chorus.

I used to hate Phil Collins, and I admit that he really sucks now, but this stuff is good pop music and I love Phil on it. An 8/10.

Ted Goodwin <> (09.08.2000)

Various points regarding this album...

THE COVER: Following (originating?) one of many obnoxious musical trends from the '80s, the original LPs of ABACAB came in several different covers, i.e., the same design with different color schemes. Did they think completists would buy 4 copies of it? Are CD copies like this too?

THE SONGS: I think it says something about Genesis' accelerating commercial ambitions at the time that all the ABACAB songs but one either appeared on singles or on THREE SIDES LIVE. (The exception, "Like It Or Not", was ironically the track that got the most airplay where I live.)

"Abacab": The screeching noises you hear in the background of the closing instrumental section are sped-up noises made by the horn section. If you have a way of slowing the music down (easier with LPs, I realize), try it & see!

"No Reply At All": Notice Tony's "alternating hands" technique here (sort of a distant descendant of his playing on "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway"). I don't know how original or technically proficient this kind of playing is, but I don't think I've ever heard anything like it from anyone but Tony. Also notice how up-front the bass is.

"Me & Sarah Jane": It's interesting how this song keeps moving on from one thing to another without ever going back to anything (except at the very, very end). Tony did something similar with an instrumental piece on his 2nd solo album.

"Dodo/Lurker": It's been said that the answer to the riddle posed in "Lurker" is "a submarine" (the "hair of brown" is seaweed, for example). Not coincidentally, "Submarine" was the title of an instrumental ABACAB-reject B-side which has been said to be sort of a "3rd part" to the suite.

"Who Dunnit?": This song is so deliberately, shamelessly stupid that one just has to laugh at it. Ya gotta admire silly little touches like turning the volume down for a split second (WE KNOW yeah WE KNOW), making it sound like there was a tape defect or something. I've read that the band played a ridiculously long live version of this song (once? many times?), which (unfortunately? fortunately?) didn't make in onto ARCHIVE 2.

"Man On The Corner": Not the easiest song to appreciate but I've grown to like it. (Ever notice that Phil had only 3 solo writing credits with the band?) My favorite part is the ominous organ chords on "there's no hiding place". As far as I remember, the single mix of the song (with more emphasis on the hi-hat) was better than the album version.

"Another Record": Good tune but the lyrics are more honestly dumb than even "Who Dunnit?".

<> (18.05.2002)

This was the first album I ever bought and it holds a certain place for me. I love the sound - dense, thick, with a lot of range in the tones - sonically, its Genesis' best album. My fave also is "Dodo/Lurker". I always thought the answer to the riddle was - 'man', until I found out it was a submarine. I love the symphonic -sounding ending with the bells clanging. As for "Abacab" - its great, although I wish it would end like it does on TSL . I think I'm the only person who likes "Like It Or Not". For some reason it makes me think of a big band playing it - I think its the chorus at the end. "No Reply At All" and "Man On the Corner" are great - the latter the band at times changed when playing live to sound more upbeat. Overall, I give it a 8.5/10. If "Paperlate" and "You Might Recall", which were recorded for these sessions and placed on TSL, had replaced "Who Dunnit?" and "Another Record" , and "Abacab" had its proper ending , I could see giving it a 10/10.


Dan Miller <> (20.06.2001)

True, true - the first disc is not really necessary, although I do like the live version of "Abacab" - having a real ending gives more purpose to the tune. The second disc is where it's at, no matter which version you find. Way back when, I found an import of "Three Sides Live" with the fourth live "side" and snatched it up and kept putting off the 'domestic' Three Sides Live for years. Then, all of a sudden, it was gone! The knuckleheads at Atlantic, when remastering the Genesis catalog, decided to remaster and 'domesticize' the imported version and render the "fourth-side studio" version out of print. Pissed me off! Until I found the domestic version at a used CD store. Score! Anyway, Tony Banks addressed the title discrepancy along the lines of, "To account for the fourth live side, the title Three Sides Live can mean there are three people in this band - three sides to the band." Get it? Clever. The "In the Cage" medley is probably one of Genesis' finest moments (live or studio) post-Gabriel, and not only do you get a blistering "In the Cage" at a faster tempo than the original (with a smokin' Banks solo) and "Cimena Show," you also get the main keyboard riff off of "Slipperman" and just a taste of "Riding the Scree." Afterglow, never a favorite of mine, is an appropriate closer here after all the intensity of the medley material. So, the next question is, what happened to that fourth studio side? Well, four-fifths of it ended up in the Genesis Archive Vol. 2 set (minus "Me & Virgil" - Tony does not hide the band's distaste for this song, which is a shame. It's a more interesting tune than the Phil Collins solo album-style "Paperlate" and the sleepy Rutherford ballad, "Open Door."). The real gems are "You Might Recall," which really should have been included on Abacab (instead of, say, "Another Record," or "Evidence of Autumn," a better ballad than "Alone Again" and arguably one of Phil's finest vocal performances ever. However, at least you get that glimpse of Hackett on the fourth side live, and you get Bill Bruford, too! Beyond that, Daryl Steurmer demonstrates once again why he is at best a cookie-cutter replacement for Hackett. Overall, a more satisfying listen than Seconds Out and a tour-de-force compared with the Live the Way We Walk Vol. I coffee cup coaster.

Ted Goodwin <> (20.06.2001)

I haven't heard this album in many years and, frankly, I haven't missed it. As I've mentioned before, Genesis live versions are usually just inferior carbon copies of the originals. The five studio cuts on the US THREE SIDES LIVE album had appeared on singles & an EP in the UK, and all but one (which wasn't a loss) now appear on GENESIS ARCHIVES 2. Like you I hate it when Phil improvises in a live version; it always comes off sounding like he's tired of singing the song correctly. I remember hating the version of "Fountain Of Salmacis" here, mainly because of Phil's horrible straining on "within a HIDDen cave". (His inappopriate substitution of "son of God" for "son of gods" didn't help, either.)

Glenn Wiener <> (05.07.2001)

This review is based on the original lp which has three live sides and one somewhat unremarkable studio side. Paperlate is a catchy upbeat song but the rest of the material just does not distinguishing in anyway. But the live material has some creative touches whether it be Phil Collins’ vocal effects specifically on 'Turn It On Again' and 'Misunderstanding'. The keyboard effects are quite pleasing on 'Duchess', 'Abacab', and 'Me And Sarah Jane'. The drumming is steady throughout. A nice collection especially for fans of these guys.

Bob Josef <> (02.12.2000)

I have both the original American and British LP's (the latter courtesy of my brother), so it was interesting to play both after several years. You're right, on the first two sides they really don't stray too much from the studio versions, but it is nice to have some of the stronger tracks from Duke and Abacab all in one place. Of course, it's impossible to improve the stupid "Misunderstanding" in any setting (the worst track on the whole set), but after that it's when things really start cooking. Of course, we all miss Gabriel on "In the Cage," but the arrangement here is a lot tougher and more percussive than the original or the live take on Archives 1, so that's a plus. And I think this "Afterglow" is the best ever released. I'm usually an advocate of the "more mellotron, the better" prog school (as on the studio version or the Seconds Out take), but the more low key synth he subs here on the coda makes the song more intimate and emotionally resonant. By the way, the inside cover photo shows the lights and fog that come on at the conclusion of this song -- they were performing this extended medley through the next two tours.

The 4th live side is where prog fans get their money's worth, of course. I don't quite why you object so hard to "One for the Vine" -- at least this version. I don't remember the studio track, but with Tony's piano the primary instrument, it sounds to me very similar to what might have been a longer song on Duke. Since this version is from the Duke tour, that's not too surprising. And his lyrics are pretty similar to the interesting apocalyptic/revolution themes he also used on later songs like "Cul-de-sac," "Me and Sarah Jane" and "Domino," so that's consistent. I think the popping might be Phil on a syndrum, actually.

As for the now lost studio side, it's hard to figure out why the two Duke songs were left off instead of some of the tracks that are there. "Evidence of autumn" is a much more moving Banks song than of the meandering "Cul-de-sac." And Rutherford's lovely, quiet (no drums) ballad "Open Door" is a better "good-bye to love" song than Collin's wimpy "Please Don't Ask." And while it's obvious that "Paperlate" is much too similar to "No Reply at All," the other two Abacab outtakes have good lyrics and music. "You and Virgil" had some good Collins lyrics with an Old West tale (sort of a prequel to "The Roof is Leaking"), so why the band hates it now is a mystery. What they should have done is add them as bonus tracks to Duke and Abacab instead of consigning the rest to Archive 2.

And if you hate Collins' live "blubbering," as you put it, you'd better avoid the live version of "Turn it On Again" which showed up on the flip of the "Illegal Alien" single. The band's encore at the time, it has Collins interpolating a medley of 60's songs like "In the Midnight Hour,""The Last Time" and "You Need Somebody to Love," with Phil informing the audience that each band member needs love ("Did you know Anthony James Banks needs someone to love?"). Thanks for sharing, guy. Aaargh!

<> (18.03.2002)

This album demonstrates why Genesis was a superlative live group. A good portion of these songs sound as good as or better than their studio counterparts. The 'In The Cage - Cinema Show' medley has already been touched upon and I agree it is excellent. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this 'Cinema Show' instrumental may be my favorite piece of Genesis music and one of my favorites pieces of any music I have heard period. The structure of the song, most noticably with the keyboards and drums, was changed slightly from the way it was played on Seconds Out and it sounds even better here. The ending to 'Abacab' has a simple, yet powerful and effective efffective drum-guitar-bass-key ending that was lacking on the album. But the biggest upgrade might have been on the 'Behind the Lines-Duchess' suite. 'Behind the Lines' sounds so much smoother and faster while 'Duchess' features what I feel is some of Phil's most powerful singing anywhere; I miss the multi-voiced chorus present on the album, but, I would still say his strong yet melodic vocal delivery here more than makes up for this small fact. In closing, the studio side is good, and as stated above 'Paperlate', 'You Might Recall' , and 'Evidence of Autumn' are highlights P.S. - I have the video for the "MAMA" tour and in between 'Cinema Show' and 'Slippermen' is the king,king version of 'In That Quiet Earth'. It sounds soooo much better live. The guitar riffs are crunchy, the drums are powerful and looming with both Chester and Phil playing at the same time, and Tony's keyboards sound threatening and absolutely diabolical. The song becomes a Beast when done live. If you ever get a chance to see the video it's worth it just to see how well integrated this song is with the rest of the medley.


Rich Bunnell <> (05.12.99)

For a while I was swooning over the later pop-era Genesis, not familiar with anything Peter Gabriel ever recorded besides So and Us, and thus I bought the three last Collins albums with one swipe of the arm. This one really didn't grab my attention until recently because it wasn't as shiny as Invisible Touch(which I -LOVED- on first listen), and that's because it actually sounds fairly different from the other Collins albums. It's still pop like the other ones, but the big overplayed hit "That's All" isn't horrible, and there're some really cool-sounding progressive pop songs in "Mama" and the "Home By The Sea" suite. This would be the ideal Collins Genesis album for me if Trick Of The Tail weren't better and if this album didn't contain the insipid piece of crap "Illegal Alien"(with a title that cool, why did they have to make it a stupid dopey-sounding ethnic parody which lasts five excruciating minutes!?). As it is, on a 1-10 scale this is a 9. I'd do a General Rating, but I still don't know what rating I'd assign to Genesis.

Bob Josef <> (08.02.2000)

I actually disagree with one statement in your review -- that there is no trace of the band's prog roots on this album. There is -- in "Second Home by the Sea." A bad trace. Once again, it's like they were trying to say to the old fans, "See! We've still got it!". When the piece is totally dull, especially in concert.

Otherwise, it's more dull pop songs. Again, they morph a Collins song into a "new" Genesis song - -this time, "In the Air Tonight" becomes "Mama." And while there are no real horns on the album, the synth horns on "Just a Job to Do" sound just as jarring as the real thing did on "No Reply at All." I must admit that I, too am sucked into "Taking it All too Hard," despite myself -- the lyrics are really affecting.

Ben Greenstein <> (16.04.2000)

Cool pop music, but it's no Abacab. I could give this a seven. Best song is "Home By The Sea" suite, NOT because it's "prog," cuz it ain't. It's simply the best pop song the band has on here. "Mama" is cool too, and none of the numbers really stink, they're just a little thin. I don't know. Maybe I'm selling it short. Who cares?

Ted Goodwin <> (08.05.2000)

One thing I've always had against this album is that it contains EDITED versions of "Mama" & "It's Gonna Get Better" -- the full-length versions were reserved for a 12" single. The edit of "Mama" (which lost about 45 seconds) didn't make a lot of difference, but the edit of "Better" (which lost about a minute and a half) is really lame -- a 5-minute song with only 1 verse? Blah! You haven't heard this song until you've heard the full version. Unfortunately no one had the presence of mind (or monetary motivation, or whatever it would have taken) to use the proper versions of these songs when the album came out on CD. There is a live version of the full "Better" on GENESIS ARCHIVE VOL. 2; if you have either this or the 12" single, the edited album version becomes completely unnecessary.

Anyway, some comments on some of the songs:

"Mama" - Man, what an intense song! Who thought Phil could be so menacing? I never cared for the "ha-ha" part, though. Just what is it supposed to be, anyway? (At least it's original.)

"Second Home By The Sea" - Nice atmosphere but doesn't really hold your attention.

"Illegal Alien" - Semi-nitpicky problem with this song: The character isn't an "illegal alien" because he hasn't actually crossed the border yet. And he seems to be putting a lot of effort into at least APPEARING legal (if not actually being that way) once he does. Anyway, the music is deceptively poppy but there's some clever things lurking under the surface. The ending is a Genesis rarity because it features actual Tony & Mike backing vocals that aren't mixed down to nothing.

"Just A Job To Do" - I can't claim this is a great song but I find it one of the most enjoyable on the album.

"Silver Rainbow" - Fine tune, but it gets a bit dumb lyrically.

John McFerrin <> (05.07.2000)

Wow. I must say, I was absolutely shocked at how good this album is. Not that it's as good as the best of the group's prog stuff, of course, but still...

Actually, y'know what, while I more or less like all of the numbers on here, ultimately it's 'Mama' that does the trick for me. My goodness, Phil actually sounds _talented_ when he's singing bitter love songs, and this is as bitter and sad as it comes. I normally am annoyed beyond words by Phil's voice (and I have to confess, I can't get myself to watch Tarzan the movie because the soundtrack is almost all Phil singing - his overly saccharine vocals make me want to wretch) but I LOVE the way he sounds in this number.

Oh, and the 'Home by the Sea' suite is cool too. Plus, it's neat the way the second part, while not being complex at all, still manages to suck me in as much as it does. I'd give this a 9, and a _12_ overall.

<> (17.02.2001)

Their best pop album by far. Every song is a solid, well-written radio-ready tune.

MAMA: Phil rules on this album. I mean really, Phil Collins is awesome on this song. It's the only song the band ever did in which Phil is the focus and the true reason for the song's excellence.

THAT'S ALL: Perfect pop song.

HOME BY THE SEA: Great melody, very memorable.

SECOND HOME BY THE SEA: Sort of New-Wave-ish...a very solid 80s instrumental for the band. I expected to be very bored, and I wasn't at all.

ILLEGAL ALIEN: Another great pop song, but the theme and delivery go a little close to over-silliness.

TAKING IT ALL TOO HARD: Beautiful, upbeat pop tune.

JUST A JOB TO DO: Worst song on the album, simply because it could be on Invisible Touch. A bit generic.

SILVER RAINBOW: Cool, solid melody and good work by Phil.

IT'S GONNA GET BETTER: Really optimistic and catchy.

Overall, I play this album a lot more than I thought I was going to. Look, I almost feel embarassed to admit how good some of these later albums actually are, but I really like em. At least up until this one. A 8.5/10.

Glenn Wiener <> (31.03.2002)

One of the better efforts from the pop era Genesis in spite of some overly synthesized drum beats. The instrumentation does not compare to such releases as A Trick Of The Tail or The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. However, the songs are very focused and have good hooks. Tony Bank's has moments where he is creative with the synthesizer without being overbearing like he was on Wind and Wuthering. The backgrounds to 'Its Gonna Get Better' and 'Taking It All So Hard' are actually quite soothing. There are a few decent guitar rhythms on a few cuts, but in general Steve Hacket's presence is definitely missed as a suitable foil for the keyboards. However, this record is consistent.

Guillermo F. Vázquez Malagamba <> (09.10.2002)

Genesis was my favourite band in my adolescence until they composed the offensive song called "Illegal Alien". When I analyzed the lyrics and I watched to the video of this song on T.V., I knew that Genesis were the kind of musicians who are really ignorants about some social problems. They made a joke of people in need. Instead of showing some understanding of the problems of the illegal aliens, they simply wrote a song which made me think that they only care for their own homeless people, not for all the people in need of the world. This album is,IMO, their worst, not only for the "Illegal Alien" mistake, but in general. Even the Calling All Stations album is better than this "horror movie soundtrack" ("Mama", "Home by the Sea" and the filler "Second Home by the Sea"). With "Taking it all too hard", it seems that they wanted to show that "we also have our little hearts after all". Only two songs deserve my attention: "That´s all" (a little of humour in a song introduced! by Phil Collins in the Invisible Touch Tour video as "a song about living with a woman who really is a pain in the ***"), and "It´s gonna get better", a song about hope. "Just a job to do" seems to be about a professional killer (a theme for which the band "U.K." previously wrote a song :"Danger Money" (1978)), and "Silver Rainbow" is only interesting by the musical arrangements behind the first verse. With this album, Genesis seemed to be just making albums for a contractual obligation. They sound tired and bored (and boring).

Chris Hine <> (17.08.2006)

...on your review of Genesis' self titled 1983 album, you open the review by saying that "Drum machine sound greets you from the very beginning of the album on 'Mama'".

While it's easy to think this, it actually isn't the case. Phil Collins provided drums on Peter Gabriel's 1980 solo album (melting face on the cover). One of PG's demands for this album, was that the drummer would simply play DRUMS. No cymbals were allowed in the kit, with separate percussion being provided by other musicians. Gabriel and producer Steve Lillywhite created the bombastic, synthetic drum sound by recording the drums then applying echo and reverb, then using filters to chop most of the treble from the sound, resulting in the echoey 'punch' that Gabriel had in mind. Listen to 'Intruder' of the Gabriel album and compare the drum sound to 'Mama' and you will hear the similarities. Phil Collins is often credited with creating this sound, whereas it is actually Gabriel's creation.

Although this doesn't make a slight bit of difference to the album review, or the album itself, I just thought you may like to know.


Rich Bunnell <> (24.08.99)

From what I understand, Genesis fans simply disregard this album, and pretty much everything after it—- or maybe that’s just everything after 1980. I’d give this one a 6, or maybe even the 5 which you gave it, because it’s all just -too- shimmery and poppy. I mean, I like pop music, and I don’t really think I actually listen to much which could be truly called "experimental," but this is pop to the furthest degree!

I do like "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" in spite of that since it’s nice and long and full and stuff, and "Land Of Confusion" is my favorite of the band’s really late work. I mean, even if you hate the song for being too cheesy with all of its "Ohhhhhhh!" call-and-response vocals, you’ve gotta love that video! Then again, knowing you, a fan of classic rock, you probably despise the video age, as do I for the most part—-Gah, once again I’m off the subject.

"Domino" and "Throwing It All Away" are both okay, but the former is a bit too ponderous to be a pop song at the same time, and I’ve heard the latter on the radio too much. I don’t care at all for the title track—- I used to love it but I realized how much it resembles an uptempo Phil Collins solo song. And "In Too Deep" is wimpy. Yeah, a 5. Or a 5.5. Or whatever. Tape the 4 or so good songs, then you're free to use the actual CD as a coaster or frisbee.

P.S. Hey, as much as I think "Land Of Confusion" is really darned catchy, does anyone else find the lyric "I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right!" as funny as I do? What, are all of the pudgy, balding 40-year-olds gonna stage some sort of political revolution? Oooh, Phil be tough.

Nick Karn <> (19.10.99)

I haven't heard any Peter Gabriel-era records from this band... shame on me, I confess!! I also have to admit that this album is pretty good, despite its' overly commercial and dated 1986 keyboard sound (I love keyboards as much as the next progressive fan, but the sound here is laughable). The melodies are highly irresistible or at least fun at minimum, though, so the title track and "Land Of Confusion" (great sing-along track with a CLASSIC video) are top highlights. The former does in fact sound like Collins' solo career a bit, but the melody is too great for me to toss the song off. "In Too Deep" is a real bore of a sappy ballad, though... now that's taking the solo Collins influence a bit too far, although "Throwing It All Away" is sappy in a good way - certainly not quality Paul McCartney sap but still solid. As for "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight", it's interesting, but the solo section just sounds somewhat aimless and is the most obvious example of how the dated sound here just gets to me, but "The Brazilian" is an intriguing closing instrumental example of how the dated sound actually works in their favor (now there's another contradiction!), while "Anything She Does" is musically exciting but doesn't do too much.

Oh!! I've gone through this whole review without mentioning my absolute favorite here - the tour-de-force of this album, one of the few hints of high quality progressive rock here, "Domino". The two sections of this song work wonders together and the overall effect is breathtaking. Overall, this early chapter of another incarnation of Genesis is very good but inconsistent, so I give it a 7.

Bob Josef <> (08.02.2000)

Actually, I enjoy this one more than the last. Yes, they caught my prog-rock ears with "Domino" and with, to a lesser extent, "The Brazilian." These have faint echoes of the glory days. But yet continued dullness with the endless "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight," the wimpy "Throwing it All Away" and the overproduced title track. And yet MORE rewrites of Collins' solo tunes -"Against All Odds" becomes the nap-inducing "In Too Deep." And "Sussudio" becomes "Land of Confusion", but in this case, this is a big improvement, thanks to some intelligent lyrics by Mike.

Ben Greenstein <> (16.04.2000)

Am I crazy? This is a fine album. It sounds EXACTLY like the previous one, but with more hit singles and a more polished sound. The poppiness of it all is a little grating, yes, but they're such masterful pop songs, and like him or not, Phil Collins is a really creative drummer who does a lot of interesting things with the electronic production. Best songs are "Land Of Confusion" and "Tonight Tonight Tonight," but I also really enjoy (gasp!) the title track and "Anything She Does." I KNOW they're blatant pop, but they're GOOD blatant pop. Everyone needs to get over their hatred of this album and admit it deserves at least a six. Maybe a seven. I could almost give it an eight!

Dan Miller <> (12.08.2000)

It's a damn shame that the two best songs were never even included on the album: "Do The Neurotic" and "Feeding the Fire." The former starts with some Depeche Mode keyboard noodles but kicks into a captivating instrumental. The latter is an out-and-out rocker with real drums! Believe it! The solution here would have been to purge "Anything She Does" and "In Too Deep" (in my opinion the two worst songs Genesis ever committed to record - cheesily bland slush of pop pap at the time unheard of in a Genesis or even Collins album. Why Banks and Rutherford let these two slip by their bullshit detectors, and why Genesis fans would rate "Robbery Assault and Battery" [see ToTT commentary] as the worst Genesis song is absolutely beyond me. "Whodunnit?" is "A Day in the Life" next to those two floaters ... sorry.) and throw in these two unreleased gems (I have them on an import "Land of Confusion" CD-single. "Feeding the Fire" was available originally as the B-side of the "Land of Confusion" 45). They certainly would have brought an edge and aggression to an album that was already overly sweetened by the tolerable title track and "Throwing It All Away." "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" is great, but I agree that dated synthetic belches and farts bog it down, and most of the Domino duo is brilliant, as is the aforementioned "Land of Confusion." Mike's guitar licks in "The Brazilian" show that nearly ten years after Steve Hackett's departure, the latter continued to have a strong influence on the Mechanic. All in all, more skins and strings could have worked some wonders. As such I consider it the lowest-quality post-Gabriel Genesis offering, and yes, that includes Calling All Stations - for which I'd like to offer my 2 cents later.

<> (31.01.2001)

Hard to believe, after all the stuff that I had gotten into over the past year or so, that I would still stand-up for this album. But I listened to it again last night, and while it's not something I would go through everyday, I can still enjoy it a lot even if only once-in-a-while. I wouldn't give it an "almost below average" score, "good but flawed" is more like it. Title track, 'Land of Confusion', and 'Anything She Does' are very driving, and I love Phil's vocal hooks on these songs. 'Tonight x3' and 'Domino' may be pop songs pretending to be prog, but they both stay interesting throughout with their well-placed synth notes. 'Domino' is my favorite on the album, and it's always felt more rewarding to hear it right after 'Anything She Does', which feels like a lead-in to the song. I don't really care for 'In Too Deep'(I usually skip it), but 'Throwing It All Away' at least has this nice regretful atmosphere and once again, great vocal hooks. 'Brazillian' is a fine instrumental closer, with its ascending synth riff. If you listen closely enough, you will hear the guitars played by Mike Rutherford and the beats thumped out by Phil('s drum machines). Tony may be the center of the band's sound, but he isn't the only thing you'll hear. People say that Tony and Mike have not made a contribution to the band in years, but it's not as if they haven't done anything. Tony after all did write the lyrics for Domin-I think I'll just shut-up now.

<> (17.02.2001)

Whoa. This is what the band gets made fun of for. When I tell my friends I love Genesis (thinking in my head of Foxtrot and Selling England), the response is always a horrible mockery (courtesy of my friends) of one of the songs off this album. I swear, next time sometimes sings, "She seems to have the Invisible Touch" to me when I talk about this band, I'm going to scream. Anyway, it's a really generic pop album with some awesome songs regardless.

INVISIBLE TOUCH: Radio-friendly and generic, but not bad by any means.

TONIGHT TONIGHT TONIGHT: Another radio hit, this bores the hell out of me.

LAND OF CONFUSION: Very popular radio song. Just like 'Invisible Touch''s not a bad song, but it's too poppy and generic.

IN TOO DEEP: Pretty song, but its inclusion in the film "American Psycho" will always make me think Christain Bale and that hysterical scene wheneverI hear it now.

ANYTHING SHE DOES: Kind of listenable but...come on. What is that horn section doing on this song?

DOMINO: Good song, probably my favorite thing on here, but still generic and lifeless.

THROWING IT ALL AWAY: Another hugely popular radio song, this one is actually really pretty.

THE BRAZILIAN: Sort of interesting, but not really.

Overall, this is the thing that gave one of my favorite bands such a bad reputation. Damn. Oh well, it's a 7/10 anyway because it's very catchy pop music, even if it's very generic pop music.

Glenn Wiener <> (04.11.2001)

You hit it right home on this one George. Decent song hooks but no substance. I listen to the words on the title track and am amazed how run of the mill they are when compared to 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' or 'Lamia' or 'Ripples'. Geez I think you and I can compose more thought provoking lyrics than what exists on here. And let me tell you Phil Collin's vocal style gets boring pretty fast on this release. The other guys sure couldn't provide a decent harmony. How can the music listening public call this great. Its oh so ordinary. The best track on here is the instrumental, 'The Brazilian' where Tony Banks puts in some creativity although its a far cry from his varied stylings from A Trick Of The Tail and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.

Ted Goodwin <> (04.09.2002)

I think it says something about Genesis' commercial ambitions at the time that 5 of the 8 tracks (including all 4 on Side 1) were singles. (Additional trivia: In each case where Phil or Mike was the lyricist/primary writer the song was a single, and in each case where it was Tony the song wasn't.)

Thoughts on individual songs:

Title track & "In Too Deep" - Basically Phil solo tracks, and not particularly good ones. Some radio stations have been known to play no other Genesis song besides "Deep"; oh yeah, THAT really represents them.

"Tonight (etc.)" - Pretty good song but too long for its own good. And Tony has now officially discovered atonal (and obnoxious) synth noises. (Note how Phil's lyrics include the phrase "In too deep". Coincidence?)

"Land Of Confusion" - All I wanted to say about this is that I think the "I remember long ago" bridge sounds lyrically like it belongs in a different song; it almost would fit into "In The Glow Of The Night".

"Anything She Does" & "Throwing It All Way" - Decent pop, both better musically than lyrically.

"The Brazilian" - This is the only Genesis instrumental from ABACAB on that didn't get relegated to a non-album B-side. It's a fun song where the artificial sounds actually work.

"Domino" - My vote for best song on the album. This one gets interpreted as having some kind of apocalyptic meaning, but I think it's just giving the viewpoint -- both in the form of conscious thought and a nightmare -- of one man who has suffered loss, and its message is simply this: death should not be glamorized or thought lightly of, and life should not be taken for granted.

Guillermo F. Vázquez Malagamba <> (18.10.2002)

I bought Invisible Touch in late 1986. And I like it then! In comparison to the Genesis album it was an improvement. I was younger then, too! But 16 years later, in hindsight, I can say that this album marked the peak for Genesis in commercialism. This album made them richer. It was, after all, the eighties, a period when some progressive bands went pop: GTR (with Hackett and Howe), Asia (Astra), YES (90125), Emerson, Lake & Powell, and even the much praised and overrated Peter Gabriel! (So). This change in direction was ordered by the record companies and managers like Brian Lane, John Kalodner, and others, and their employees had to do it to mantain their jobs! But I also think that many of the former "prog" rockers wanted to change. It meant more money! "Prog" was dead as a fad. They were bored of progressive rock. I don´t agree with you calling Banks a "synthfest" on Genesis´albums from 1970-80, but this album is a clear demonstration of that "synthfest"! Electronic drums are also present in excess. This album sounds like a "musical computer"! As you said, at least 5 songs were singles! I comment each song briefly:

1. Invisible Touch: the best song of the album despite the silly lyrics.

2. Tonight, Tonigh, Tonight: a good "prog" song, which sounds mechanical. The live (complete) versions are better with Chester Thompson on drums. A song about a drug addict.

3. Land of Confusion: good lyrics, but mechanical sound again thanks to synths and electronic drums. The video is very good.

4. In too deep: a sugar ballad. I don´t like it. The video is painfully commercial. Collins looks in the video like Barry Manilow, and he seems very happy with it!

5. Anything she does: at least it has acoustic drums, but is not one of my favourites.

6. Domino: a nuclear war song, it seems. A good song, with lyrics maybe written by Banks. Live versions are better. The more "prog" song of the album.

7. Throwing it all away: a good ballad, but very commercial. Live versions are better.  

8. The Brazilian: IMO, they thought that this song sounded "exotic", so they called it "The Brazilian"! I don´t see why they called it "The Brazilian", because I can´t see the connection to Brazil! The worst song of the album, very mechanical and boring.

In conclusion: a mechanical, synths-and-electronic drums-dominated commercial pop album, better than the Genesis album. Genesis´peak as commercial pop artists. Fame and money at their peak.


Nick Karn <> (19.10.99)

The final transformation of making Collins' solo career and Genesis practically the same thing. I'm not exactly sure why (maybe it's the more thoughtful lyrics), but I actually love this album. Even though the progressive elements are even more subdued (with only a beautiful mellow jam on the atmospheric "Fading Lights" and the ending solo section to "Way Of The World" hinting at it), the ballads don't sound bad to me at all either... they're nice and dependable melodically relaxing (I actually quite enjoy "Hold On My Heart" -- I guess I deserve to be lined up against the wall and shot by Roger Waters, and especially "Since I Lost You", a very beautiful tribute to Eric Clapton's son who died tragically). It's the more lyrically meaningful, pieces that really make this album click in my opinion - particularly those first three tracks ("No Son Of Mine", "Jesus He Knows Me", "Driving The Last Spike"), which in my view are flat out brilliant, somewhat more than just average pop. I guess my only serious gripe with this album is the inclusion of the uptempo more "rock" number "I Can't Dance", which is highly annoying to me and plus doesn't fit the album AT ALL, but it doesn't really bring down my rating, because the rest of the album, for the most part, is outstanding. An 8 it is.

Rich Bunnell <> (31.12.99)

I like to think of this one as the best solo album Phil Collins ever made, because while it certainly sounds like an album he'd make on his own, it actually has some worthwhile songs on it. Yes, there are definitely loads of dreck ("Hold On My Heart," "Living Forever," "Since I Lost You," "Never A Time") but some songs, like "No Son Of Mine," "Jesus He Knows Me," and "Way Of The World" are downright great! Still, this is considerably more boring than the best Genesis work, and I'd have to give it a low seven. Nevertheless, this is quite a bit more listenable than Invisible Content could ever hope to be.

Bob Josef <> (08.02.2000)

They should have added "We Can't Play or Write, Either!" Invisible Touch wasn't quite "Invisible Talent," but that's what's going on here! And, contrary to your review, this ancient prog fan is not charmed by the unexciting "Fading Lights" -- it should have been called "Fading Attention." The only enjoyable tune is "Driving The Last Spike," which has some interesting, literate lyrics and a good melody. But that's it! Good riddance, Collins! I got my copy of this album for free, and it was stolen. No great loss.

Ben Greenstein <> (16.04.2000)

How can anyone stand by "Driving The Last Spike"? It starts out as pretty decent, but just keeps REPEATING itself to the point where it sounds like self-parody. Really, really sad. And it's one of the standout tracks! The rest of this stuff is boring as fuck (not to say that fuck is boring, I just need to draw some sort of crude analogy), with the exception of three very well done pop singles, which I love like children. They're enough to give it a four. But no more!

John McFerrin <> (27.07.2000)

This album blows. It gets a 3 from me. For one thing, 'Fading Lights' is absolute bullshit - I am insulted that they would think that art-rock fans would swallow this crap just because it's lengthy. But the rest of the album is little better. I just listen to this and my jaw drops at how unbelievably horrible this stuff is. 'I Can't Dance' is pretty good, of course, and both 'No Son of Mine' and 'Jesus He Knows Me' are fairly decent. But that's it.

Ted Goodwin <> (19.11.2000)

It seems like a lot of fans either hate this one and like CALLING ALL STATIONS, or vice versa. I don't place either one much above the other. While some CALLING songs make me think "more could have been done with this idea", some DANCE songs make me think "this idea should have been scrapped altogether". DANCE might qualify as Genesis' most uneven album; most people seem to like some of its songs and dislike others, but there's not much consensus as to which songs are the good or bad ones.

Thoughts on the songs: "No Son Of Mine" - I just want to know, what is the point of this story? That the guy shouldn't have walked out on his abusive family? That he shouldn't have tried to go back? Oh, wait, it's a Genesis story song -- it doesn't have to have a point.

"Driving The Last Spike" - I like this better than it probably deserves to be liked. The "can you hear me" chorus is excellent.

"I Can't Dance" - People either like this or REALLY hate it; I agree with your assessment of it. (BTW, it has the rare distiction of existing in an extended-remix version that's almost interesting, mainly because the backing track is really different. It does pull Obnoxious Extended Remix Trick #3, though: "repeating" the end of the song at the beginning.)

"Dreaming While You Sleep" - I originally judged this song as "dull" based on the ARCHIVE 2 live version, but the studio version is definitely better. But it pulls a "There Must Be Some Other Way" by being overextended in the middle, then fading out too quickly. Also, the "it will live inside of me" part sounds too much like Madonna's "Live To Tell".

"Living Forever" - Most people seem to like the instrumental ending more than the vocal part, but I feel the opposite way (mainly because of one or two really wrong turns in the solo).

"Way Of The World" - I wouldn't presume to defend this song's lyrics (don't they sort of cancel out "Tell Me Why"?), but musically it may be my favorite on the album.

"Fading Lights" - This one had potential, but all in all it's a pretty unconvincing attempt at an extended prog-rock piece. The instrumental break is pretty much a waste of effort. And doesn't the "far away, away" part sound a bit too much like "sail away, away" from "Ripples"?

I don't think I would have missed any of the following songs much if they hadn't been included, though I don't dislike them all equally or for the same reasons: "Jesus He Knows Me" (throws mud at an easy target at close range and pretty much misses), "Never A Time" (lays there and does nothing), "Tell Me Why" (shows why Genesis and message songs don't mix), "Hold On My Heart" (better than "Never" but still doesn't do much), and "Since I Lost You" (it was a nice gesture for them to write this, but the near 1950s style doesn't fit the theme, the album, the band, or anything).

I still think that "On The Shoreline" & "Hearts On Fire", the two songs that didn't make it onto the album (ending up as B-sides and on ARCHIVE 2) are better than a lot of songs that did. If I could reassemble this album from the available songs, it would go something like this: No Son Of Mine / I Can't Dance / On The The Shoreline / Dreaming While You Sleep / Living Forever / Hearts On Fire / Way Of The World / Driving The Last Spike. That would have been about 48 minutes -- not too short, not too long (unless you wanted to fit it on one side of a 90-minute tape), and no filler.

<> (17.02.2001)

Blah. I'd rather not call this a Genesis album thank you very much. It's pure Collins, and I can't even understand why it has the Genesis logo. Even so, I really like 'Driving the Last Spike', 'Tell Me Why', 'Dreaming While YOU sleep', and some of the other songs. But that's mainly because I loved this album when I was a little kid. The title track completely threatened to destroy Gabriel-era Genesis' entire legacy. This is a 5/10.

Glenn Wiener <> (08.10.2001)

The creativity is pretty much gone here. Tony Banks is reduced to providing mere synthesizer background effects on most of the releases. Mike Rutherford adds a few good guitar jolts but for the most part this release is Phil Collins singing supporting by an artifical computerized instrumental backing. A few good songs here and there. 'I Can't Dance' is probably the best track. 'Jesus He Knows Me' is pretty decent as Collins at least show that he is capable of putting a decent backbeat into a song. Most of the rest of the material is really more suited for the elveator/vocal pop crowd who just want to have any kind of music in the background. 'Never A Time' is probably the best of that lot. The two extended pieces, 'Driving The Last Spike' and 'Fading Lights' have some mildly intersting solos but nothing that compares to the work done on The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. Sometimes appeasing the masses of getting something mroe radio friendly can dilute one's creativity and unfotunately Genesis did just that with the release of this CD.

Guillermo F. Vázquez Malagamba <> (18.10.2002)

After the commercial excess of Invisible Touch and several years of solo success for Phil Collins, Genesis returned to the studio to record their last album with Phil, but nobody knew it at the time. It was a better way to say goodbye for the band, in comparison to Calling All Stations. We can´t dance is a good album, their best since Duke. It seems that as lyricists they matured (Phil was the main lyricist for this album), because, in comparison to the crap of "Illegal Alien", they seemed to write better lyrics for social problems. This album is more balanced between pop and progressive rock music.

I comment each song:

1. No son of mine: good lyrics about violence in the family. Good vocals and drums by Phil.

2. Jesus He Knows Me: a song about T.V. Evangelists in the U.S. Very good lyrics with humour. The video is better!

3. Driving the Last Spike: a song about workers exploitation. It seems that Phil and company opened their eyes (at last!) to write interesting lyrics about real things. But again, they only sang about their country, and only about an historical fact. In comparison to "Illegal Alien", when they didn´t think about the suffering and the exploitation of the illegal aliens, Genesis looked from their "comfortable clouds" to criticize a constant thing in human´s history.

4. I can´t dance: a funny song, maybe to criticize the cult to appearance.

5. Never a Time: a good love song.

6. Dreaming while you sleep: I don´t like this song very much but the lyrics are good.

7. Tell Me Why: I like this song, but it is very similar to "Another day in paradise" in the themes of the lyrics. A critic to the politicians.

8. Living forever: good music, and "existencial lyrics" maybe written by Banks.

9. Hold on my Heart:a very good love song.

10. Way of the world: good music,  with lyrics talking about "nuclear war" (again?). A conservative song about "weak" and "strong" to justify Imperialism? I don´t agree with them!

11. Since I lost you: a moving song written for Eric Clapton when his little son died. A really good song and a very good gesture for a friend.

12. Fading Lights: it seems to me a farewell song from Genesis. I like this song very much. The live version is better.

In conclusion, a matured Genesis, in music and lyrics. But I don´t agree with them in some things. After all, they still are living in their "clouds" in some themes ("Way of the World"). They can´t change that!


Ben Greenstein <> (16.04.2000)

Yeah - why not "Abacab" or "Illegal Alien"? Or "Turn It On Again," "No Reply At All," "Dodo," or a FULL version of "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"? Why not? As it is, it can get a seven, but that "Hold On My Heart" really rubs me the wrong way. As for volume two, it's really just a medley of older, Gabrielish stuff (which sound kind of weird with the modern synths) and the "progressive" songs from the last three albums. It's okay. I don't OWN it, but I've heard it. Maybe you should, too.

Rich Bunnell <> (08.06.2000)

Whatever. The songs mostly sound exactly the same as the studio versions, and when they don't, it's just a dull, tedious lengthening of an already crappy song ("Invisible Touch," "I Can't Dance"). They completely slaughter "Throwing It All Away" and there's nothing else on here that you can't get by simply buying one of the studio albums. The version of "Mama" is good, but it really doesn't differ much from the studio version, so I think it has to do mainly with the fact that the original song was so good in the first place. Still-- 3/10. EAT THAT, COLLINS!!!!!!!

It doesn't seem like the second volume is worth anyone's time either, chiefly because instead of playing lots of the band's old prog songs, they just cram most of them into a medley and then spend the rest of the disc playing songs like "Fading Lights" and "Driving The Last Spike" and acting like they rank up there with the Gabriel material. Yeeeeeah right.

Ted Goodwin <> (07.10.2003)

I now have both THE SHORTS & THE LONGS because I was able to get them dirt cheap at the same time. Having heard THE SHORTS, I now feel more charitably toward THE LONGS than I originally did. Few albums have less reason to exist than THE SHORTS; small wonder that it's one of the major-artist CDs most commonly up for sale really cheap in used copies! To all the comments already made by others, I'd just like to add that several songs are marred because Phil has to change their melodies, not being able to reach the high notes from the originals. BTW, I've condensed the two TWWW volumes into one "make your own live album" on tape, using 5 of 6 LONGS tracks but only 4 of 11 SHORTS tracks. That should tell you something. And I mixed them up some; when I listened to the original albums, it was exhausting hearing all those LONGS in a row. Actually, so was listening to all those SHORTS in a row, but for a different reason.


Luke Redgen <> (20.06.2002)

Firstly, I can understand why this album has no comments (disgarding the fact it is a recent addition). It really doesn't deserve any, it's interesting enough, but not of any particular importance. If there could be any album more pointless than the previous, this would have to be it. There are already three perfectly fine live albums which feature most of the songs here, and the others are your typical, aimlessly meandering pop-prog type songs. So, I'm not ashamed to admit that I have only heard the second half of this album (everything after the 'Old Medley') once, and I am not planning on listening to it again any time soon. So my opinion of the second half of this disc would leave it with a rating of 2 or 3, the perfect evidence of what happens when a pop performer joins a progressive band, and tries to write progressive music, especially with the talents (or lack of) shown by Michael Rutherford, or worse, Tony Banks, who forgot how to do anything interesting with his instruments once Peter Gabriel parted ways with the band. However, the first track of this album is worth a mention, and I even listen to it from time to time. First off, the most pointless two minutes of 'Dance On A Volcano' is played, and I'm not complaining, not being much of a fan of anything but the title track of A Trick Of The Tail, always finding that the band had a lack of direction and true song writing (or as you defined, arangement) immediatley after Gabriel's departure. 'Lamb' is nice enough, but doesn't really present anything new, and why repeat the word "down" like Collins does? It's not supposed to be some silly disco song, it's supposed to be serious, in my humble opinion. 'The Musical Box' and 'Firth Of Fifth' are fine as usual, but it's a shame only being allowed to hear parts of them, as they are both high quality 'long format' progressive songs, but there isn't a lot more to comment on here. "I Know What I Like" is the most notable song in the suite, and I'm not ashamed to admit I like the way Collins focuses on his vocals, and reaching some high notes, and I even sometimes quite enjoy hearing it, as I don't find him too annoying a singer, even though he's no Gabriel. The excerpts from the various other Collins-era Genesis songs was all too horrid a reminder of how simple and boring these songs are -- the lyrics fit right over the music from a Gabriel-era song, maybe an unfair comment as I really wouldn't know what these songs sound like properly, having only heard them a few times each, but a speck of truth in it. Finally, it truly goes for a bit too long for what it is, it was always supposed to be a realtively short pop-type number, who wants to hear a long, drawn out, and fairly uneventful solo in the middle? As for the rest of the songs, it's not my place to comment on them, I haven't heard them enough, and they just don't interest, in fact, bore me even. They all sound similar to their studio counterparts, and I don't know those well enough to compare the live versions fairly. The "Drum Duet" at the end of the album is kind of interesting, but drum solos are something I have never found particulary entertaining, and only worth a few listens, if that, in a lifetime. Still haven't got a chance to watch the DVD/Video of the performance, and I'm not planning on spending my money on it either. It gets a five out of ten at best in my books, and serves as a cruel reminder of how little respect Collins really has for Gabriel. Oh, how lovely it would have been to have heard the songs/suites from the "Old Medley" in their entirity, and compared the quality of it back to that of Genesis Live. Collins might have got quite a shock.

Bob Josef <> (04.07.2002)

I do really like "Driving the Last Spike," but I wasn't about to actually pay for a copy of We Can't Dance to replace it. So, I decided to pick up this instead. But not without some trepidation, when I saw the track listing also includes the boring "Second Home by the Sea" and the appalling "Fading Lights."

But, in the end, excluding the "Old Medley," I think everything here is better than the studio versions. It's not because of the basically note-for-note performances, but because of the mix. Tony's mushy keyboards are pushed to the background, with more emphasis on the rhythm section and the solid, if generic, guitars. This makes the songs sound tougher and more compelling. Even "Second Home by the Sea" becomes listenable and "Fading Lights" tolerable background music.

As for the "Old Medley" -- well, Ron Wood once said that when he saw Elvis do a medley, he knew it was the end of the line for him. And this makes it obvious that Genesis was at a dead end as well. I don't think I like classics like "I Know What I Like" and "The Lamb Lies Down" infested with the same wimpy synths and pop beat as, say, "Invisible Touch." I don't like Collins pointlessly inserting random lines from "Your Own Special Way" or "That's All," either. (Tony also throws in the fanfare from the coda of the long-lost and lamented "Stagnation"). This all sounds more like a eulogy to the great old stuff as opposed to an homage.

The "Drum Duet" should never have been included. Collins and Thompson do come with and interesting drum pattern, and it was kind of fun to watch when seeing the band live. But as a strictly auditory experience, it wears out its welcome after about a minute. It would have been great if they left "Land of Confusion" off of The Shorts and put it here instead. After all, if a seven minute "I Can't Dance" can be a "short," why can't "LofC" be a "long"?

There was one "long" from the tour that didn't make it to the album and ended up on Archive 2, the appropriately titled "Dreaming While You Sleep." Yawn. But it still, again, an improvement over the studio track, and over "Drum Duet."

Ted Goodwin <> (05.08.2002)

Someone lent me this one, after which I decided not to buy it for myself.

What is it about Genesis live tracks that makes nearly all of them inessential? First, they almost never vary much from the originals in any worthwhile way. Secondly, Phil (during his years as the singer) often sounds as if he's tired of singing the songs; he changes the vocal parts, as if out of impatience, just enough to be annoying. (Pete's live vocals don't tend to be nearly as good as on the originals either, while we're on the subject.)

The "Long Medley" (comprised of SECONDS OUT repeats) adds some mildly interesting twists to the songs. Of course, a live medley, like an "extended remix", is something no music fan really wants but which happens anyway. As on SECONDS, "I Know What I Like" includes excerpts from assorted songs, but in this case they're vocal excerpts rather than instrumental ones so there's no guesswork. Whether that's more or less annoying depends on the listener's viewpoint.

The "Drum Duet" is kind of fun if you have a tolerance for drum solos. The remaining tracks, typically for Genesis, are carbon copies of studio originals. Overall, we have a live album that fails to justify its existence.

One thing worth noting, though: Unlike on SECONDS OUT, there are actually decent, audible backing vocals that don't seem to be Phil overdubs. Apparently Tony and Mike's solo albums from the early '80s did them some good in that area.


Richard C. Dickison <> (21.12.99)

What does a band do when the only motivated, professional, player in the band, the only member who set direction for the group for years decides he made enough money and had overstayed his welcome with the public.

What do these poor slobs do when none of them have any idea about what to write or play next because none of them have made a contribution to the group in years.

Well, you scam the public for any money you can get by putting out the biggest piece of shit you and your fellow useless musician friends can come up with.

Tony, do us all a favor and declare bankruptcy next time you idiot.

Genesis is dead dead dead dead, fini

Bob Josef <> (08.02.2000)

I actually don't hate this album, if I don't think of it as Genesis. You complain again that Tony's synth dominate, but I actually find him too muted here. The dominant musical personality is Mike -- the album sounds like a Mechanics album with Tony, Ray and the drummers as session men. Ray actually sounds more like Mechanics vocalists Paul Young and Paul Carrack than Pete or Phil.

None of this is necessarily bad. It's pop music, to be sure, but it's has a darker, tougher edge than anything Collins produced with the band. And the lyrics are really intriguing -- looks like the boys had major relationship troubles.

But, yeah, it's not Foxtrot.

<> (10.05.2000)

At one point or another I've owned every Genesis album and I don't think I ever got sick of any of them except FGTR. When I bought Calling All Stations I listened to it once and wanted to throw it out the car window doing 80! Enough Said

John McFerrin <> (27.07.2000)

Well, I don't hate it quite as much as you do. But I still dislike it more than W&W, and I couldn't stand that much at all.

The thing is, few of the songs are overtly horrible. Almost all are just a very, very very low level mediocre. And in fact, 'Congo' and 'Shipwrecked' are almost decent songs.

The problem here comes when you take them all together. When every single song is almost exactly the same, and that same is mostly 'boring as hell', and the singer sounds like crap, and yet they still think that they are 'artsy,' it is then that you have problems.

I give it a low 2. It's not as bad as 3 (or Power of Three, whatever it's called), and hence I'm not ready to give it a one.

Dan Miller <> (12.08.2000)

W-W-Wait a minute! What is this? Heavy Metal?

No, it's Mike Rutherford ripping an agressive guitar riff through the opening strains of ``Calling All Stations,'' the title track to the latest Genesis studio effort, the first album since Phil Collins left the band after a glorious near quarter-century of service.

An aside: I had read a blurb in the paper that said Phil Collins had left Genesis (it also said that Banks and Rutherford would continue). That night I dreamt the Charterhouse alumni recruited Gabriel-wannabe Fish (formerly of Marillion) and Carl Palmer (or any other at-the-time unemployed prog-rock drummer), and that Steve Hackett came back to put out a fun throwback album to the glory days. And why not? Yes put out Union and it sucked, but this would have the advantage of some injected new (albeit old) blood.

(On the flipside: the nightmare would have saccharine-schlock Paul Carrack on vocals and oil-slick, plastic-robotic Hugh Padgham returning to the control board.)

Well, that's why they're called dreams. Banks and Rutherford decided that their first Collins-less album would be darker and more introspective (well, duh. After the fruity ``In Too Deep'' and ``Never a Time'' of albums previous, how could it not?). Enter Ray Wilson - a decent singer devoid of Phil's pop sensibilities and Gabriel's mystical storytelling - to voice songs not of world hunger or nuclear annihilation but of growing old, dying relationships and the inner frustrations borne of life's failures.

Well, I'm going to break ranks and give the album a thumbs-up, and while I will not rank it alongside Selling, Trick or Three (my favorite albums from each of the critical lineups), I think it's Genesis' best work since Duke and is comparable to Abacab. Why?

For starters, most of what is left of Genesis' vital signature is still evident - lush keyboards, compelling song structure and strong drumming (good work by studio/half-member Nir Zakadookie or whatever the hell his name is - Collins himself said he was quite impressed). The ballads work because they lack the cheese that made ``In Too Deep'' (and in your case, George, ``Hold on My Heart'') repulsive. The more complex compositions don't reflect days of old (like Banks might have mistakenly claimed), but remind me of the best work off of Three and Abacab. And, I have to admit, I think ``Alien Afternoon'' is the best song Genesis has put to record since ``Dodo/Lurker.'' ``AA'' has it all: a pop/reggae beginning, a vocal with an ounce of pop candy and a second half that rips into a powerful, aggressive climax laced with despondence and tragedy. Good stuff!

Now, George, before you erase this, even I can recognize the album's faults. For starters, and probably most frustrating, every song fades out. Fades out? What a cop-out! For writers who once crafted powerful finales to such gems as ``The Musical Box,'' ``The Fountain of Salmacis'' and ``The Knife,'' this is mildly irritating to say the least. Sometimes the fade-out is over, and there are still some lyrics left on the page. Hello?!? Second, the Banksynths you deride have recoiled to the background. It would have been nice to hear a few more solos. ``Fading Lights,'' ``Firth of Fifth,'' ``In the Cage'' and ``Riding the Scree'' remind us how well the man can rip a solo out of thin air, but except for ``There Must Be Some Other Way,'' Banks stays in the background almost throughout. Oh, and ``Small Talk'' is pointless, although I'd still rank it well above dog-logs like ``Anything She Does.''

Perhaps Banks never should have said that Wilson sounds like Gabriel. All it did was attract the most venomous spite from fans offended by the blasphemy. Banks should have strictly pointed the band in a new direction, because that's what it is. Calling All Stations does not succeed the way the first Post-Gabriel Trick of the Tail did for Collins, and surely the band's stadium-headlining days are over, but if the muse in Tony remains strong, he and his bandmates can release a better album the next time around. Let's wait and see, but Calling All Stations works for what it does.

Stanislava Stoytcheva <> (04.10.2000)

Hey you know what? Dan Miller is sdamn right! Take this album for what it is, and not for what it lacks. And then boom - believe or not, you'll like it. It's autumn now, and in Germany it's a shitty wheather, so all of this music is perfectly right...for autumn. And like it or not - there ARE melodies. Man! But I understand you...but try! You know, Ray hits it when he sings "How different things look when you're overrun" And I promise you: things WILL look different when you play this album on a really bad day with really bad wheather - what a wonderful soundtrack!

Ivan Piperov <> (10.10.2000)

I also used to hate this album; but one day, leaving all preoccupations aside, I realized whatever happened, whatever happened...well, George, write a couple of tunes like the title track, and I'll take you as my composer! This song paints a picture: a lonely man, standing in the dark...rain...calling all stations...O.K. the CD has a fatal flaw: the songs share generally all the same mood, the same (O.K. dull) instrumentation, and the voice...

But do you remember And then there were three? That was also a record where Mike and Tony offered a somewhat tour de force of overlong boring and very similar to each other Genesis songs. It was exactly the same case: when you learned to love this kind of song, you were bound to love the whole album, distinguish the songs from eachother, and maybe even discover some melodies.

And so, 20 years later we've got this. And what can I say: try to understand it - Tony Banks does have a message for you with his majestic chords, which Mike Rutherford still knows how to underpin with his original monotonous bass. The lyrics will take you to the world of self-alienation and loneliness once again. It all has a very autumny feel (remember the ballads from Duke?) which is confirmed by their flawless singer. (Who certainly should NOT shoot a bullett through his head!)

Maybe you'll come to see that the title track is truly idiosyncratic, "Shipwrecked"is truly beautiful, "The Dividing Line" is a prog-...(maybe you'd say shit) and "A Day Of Uncertain Wheather" could have easilly landed on any 76-80 Genesis-album.

If it still doesn't work George, just imagine you're listening to a new Pink Floyd album; then it MUST work!

[Special author note: I will try to explain my reasoning with a counterexample. Take that great lost late Nineties classic, Britney Spears' Baby One More Time. Any of the tunes on there easily match the average CAS track in melodicity and intensity (and I'm perfectly serious here), so maybe you should take those faceless automatons that wrote the songs for the poor girl as your composer instead. Sure, it has a few flaws: the songs share generally all the same mood, the same dull instrumentation, and the voice... But try to understand it - the guitar player does have a message for you with his powerful riffs, and the bass player sure knows how to underpin them with his jumpy lines. The lyrics will take you to the world of loneliness and passion. It all has a very autumny feel which is confirmed by the flawless singerine. You'll come to see that the title track is truly idiosyncratic, 'I Was Born To Make You Happy' is truly beautiful, 'You Drive Me Crazy' is an immaculate pop-... (maybe somebody'd say shit) and 'Soda Pop' could have easily landed on a classic Bob Marley album. If it still doesn't work, imagine you're listening to a new Badfinger album; then it MUST work!

Seriously now, what I was trying to say is that it's perfectly easy to make oneself love any album in the universe. When, however, you apply some different criteria, like 'originality', 'intelligence' and 'catchiness', that's where the rub sets in. I don't personally object to all the songs on an album sharing the same mood, but it has to be an intelligently crafted mood, something unprecedented and tasteful, like Dire Straits' debut, for instance. There is nothing original or tasteful on CAS - that same mood had already been explored many times before. Take David Bowie's Outside, for instance, or some of - yes - Peter Gabriel's more recent work, where darkness and despair are depicted far more vividly. I could go on, but why should I? Tastes are tastes, and paradigms are paradigms.]

<> (17.02.2001)

Not as bad as George says, but still pretty bad nonetheless. However, sometimes I find this stuff more appealing than the insipid pop of We Can't Dance (actually I never do, I just want to sound a llittle positive here). Wilson really does sound quie a bit like Peter Gabriel (now, not at the time of Genesis). Its quite generic and processed at times, but still listenable in my opinion ('congo', 'Alien Afternoon', and 'One man's fool' are cool). The biggest flaw: the songs are SOO long its ridiculous. And there's no use making excuses for the album: it's just not very good and the band, thankfully, is no more. They lost it long ago. A 4/10.

Frances Burger <> (01.03.2001)

Getting a little silly here, aren't you, George? (Not at all! This is just what I call "adequate reaction"! - G.S.)

Personally, I really like this one, but I've somehow been blessed with the ability to enjoy Genesis' pop side nearly as much as their prog side. I think to appreciate it, you have to like the sound of it, and personally, there's nothing I enjoy more than some dark moody synths and generic hard-rock riffs. Yes, it's uniformly dark and slow, but goddammit, I have a fetish for dark and slow. In fact, in that sense this may be the most consistent album Genesis have ever released. The whole flows better as an album than nearly anything else in their catalog, or at least I'm more likely to listen to the whole thing at one sitting than with most of their stuff.

As for the accusation of tunelessness, there are just as many appealing chord changes here as on any other Genesis release. There's just something about the arrangements and Ray's voice that mask them. A lot of it probably has to do with the slowness and darkness.

Ted Goodwin <> (12.10.2001)

Since this seems to be one of the more "controversial" Genesis albums reviewed on this site, I had to check it out for myself. This is not simply a bad album or a good album; it's an album with potential that it frustratingly fails to live up to. In terms of overall sound this is not a Genesis album but a below-average Tony Banks solo album (with, I'm sure, bits of the Mechanics thrown in). Ray sounds maybe a tad like Pete (he sure as heck doesn't sound like Phil!), and I hear a little Sting as well. Maybe it's just the material, but what he really sounds like to me is a typical outside singer from a Tony Banks solo album (and, by extension, a bit like Tony himself). In all the group photos Ray is shoved way to the front as if to be the target of all the rotten tomatoes, but he doesn't really deserve them. I don't find much wrong with his singing except for an occasional too-hoarse sound; I think he just needed better material to work with. I've heard that he handled both Gabriel and Collins material well in concert, and I don't have a hard time believing it. No, I think Tony is the main one at fault here. The unfocused melodies and bad chord choices clearly bear his stamp. The guys had some good ideas, but overall they didn't develop them well. (They had a LOT of ideas, too -- they recorded 8 other songs that didn't make the album, and at least one of these is better than most of the songs that did.) There is a lack of focus in the song structures that weakens both the "prog" and "pop" elements. The lyrics lack punch, too; it's a sad thing when an album's best line is "Then the sky turned from blue to green / it took on colors I have never seen". (Some of the omitted tracks had better lines: "By the light of a candle / through the base of a wineglass / you could almost take me for the real thing".) But just for the record, I'd much rather listen to this than FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION.

Thoughts on some individual songs:

"Calling All Stations" - Thoroughly unmemorable. Bad choice for an opening track, or for inclusion period.

"Congo" - Pretty good song, although it's messed up by that tacked-on bridge that it awkwardly fades out in the middle of. Hey guys, can you say "Repeat chorus and fade"? (The part that says "If that's how it's got to be / If that's what you want from me" is so straight from a Banks solo album that Tony might as well have sung it himself.)

"Shipwrecked" - Not one of the better ideas, but certainly one of the more well-developed ideas.

"Alien Afternoon" - One of the best songs, IMO. The second half doesn't seem to have much to do with the first, but I like the groove it gets into.

"Not About Us" - Could have been a fine song, but the meandering chorus needed to be cut down to a more normal structure.

"If That's What You Need" - Decent pop song, neither remarkably good nor bad.

"There Must Be Some Other Way" - If they tightened up the meandering instrumental break and made the fadeout longer, this would almost be a great song!

"One Man's Fool" - A typically less-than-perfectly-developed idea, and the lyrics (most unusually for Genesis) are really preachy. The non-linear but steady buildup at the end is really good, though -- probably the best Genesis album ending since "Duke's End".

Some further thoughts CALLING ALL STATIONS-era Genesis:

(1) Having now heard a few live recordings from the CAS tour, I can say this about Ray as a singer: He does in fact sound quite Gabriel-like when singing Gabriel material. But he has a very detached, emotionless delivery that doesn't serve a lot of the Collins-era songs very well.

(2) I mentioned that Genesis (in their grand tradition of recording more music than can fit on their next album) recorded 8 tracks not used on CAS. Not only does this break the previous record for most leftover tracks from a Genesis album (ABACAB, 5), but it turns out that more music was completed at the CAS sessions (107 min.) than for any other Genesis studio album -- including LAMB LIES DOWN (95 min.)! Weird. Guess that means lack of inspiration does not equal lack of material!

Eric Cowan <> (22.08.2002)

I cannot understand the amount of criticism this effort has gotten from not only the press, but the fans as well. Genesis has never been about sticking to trends, not even in the eighties, and this record is no exception. I certainly don't find anything on this album boring or monotonous, and I think hiring Ray Wilson as a vocalist after Phil left was a brilliant move. The man is a wonderful and, despite arguments to the contrary, emotive singer. One only has to listen to these tracks with an open mind to enjoy them. No its not We Can't Dance II, nor is it anything like Foxtrot or Selling England. What it is, however, is a new twist on the classic Genesis sound. There isn't one track on this album that isn't bursting with ambition, honesty, and creativity. It isn't meant to be dance music, the group had already treaded those waters. In fact, this sounds nothing like solo work by any member of Genesis; it is unique. Through this collection of moody and atmospheric pieces, I feel that Banks and Rutherford have taken Genesis successfully to another level. I appreciate the music on here as I appreciate a good Floyd album (though they sound nothing alike), for the creep of the music and the way it doesn't jump out and grab you. Instead, it gradually pulls you in until you are spellbound. 'The Dividing Line', the title cut, 'One Man's Fool', and 'Uncertain Weather' all spring to mind as wonderful pieces of inventive prog rock.This isn't a record for everyone though, so while it is immensly rewarding for those not predisposed to hate it, it isn't commercial nor is it typical neo prog, its just different. Its a pity about the state of the industry today. FGTR and Tresspass were not heralded either upon their release, yet without them we wouldn't have The Lamb or Nursery Cryme, or even Abacab. Its a shame really. For a "debut" this album sounds fresh and new for the band, and I couldn't help but feel disappointed that "cloth eared nincompoops" (to quote Mike Oldfield) couldn't see the potential and pulled the plug on a truly great band.

Guillermo F. Vázquez Malagamba <> (09.10.2002)

IMO, this is not Genesis´ worst album. This "dis-honorable mention" is for the Genesis album from 1983. But I agree that CAS is one of those albums that is hard to listen without skipping tracks. Is a "dark" album starting from the cover design. IMO, Ray Wilson wasn´t the right singer for Genesis. He is not a bad singer, but he was younger than Banks & Rutherford, a thing that affected their public image and sound as a band. But this album still has some interesting songs.

'CAS':good atmospheres created by the keyboards and very good sounding guitar. Wlson´s vocals are very good.

'Congo': a silly song, really, but not as bad as others from Genesis.

'Alien Afternoon': I like this song musically, but the lyrics...

'Not About Us': a good song, but the lyrics (maybe written by Wilson) are more for a teenagers song style than for Banks/Rutherford "older" style.

'Shipwreck': a good song, but again, more directed to younger audiences.

'If that´s what you need': IMO, the best song of the album and it could have been a better choice for a single instead of "Congo".

'One Man´s Fool': a good song, but it sometimes sound monotonous.

The rest of the songs are the songs which I often skip in my C.D. player when I listen to this album. The drummers who replaced Collins are not bad musicians. The recording of the C.D. is very good. I agree that when Collins left it could have been better to split the band then. The We can dance album is a much better album and a better way to say goodbye leaving their success and reputation intact. The U.S. tour for CAS was canceled because the lack of interest of the public in the C.D.

musicman <> (13.03.2003)

Hi,George.This is my first time posting a comment.I just thought I would comment on Ray Wilson's voice and the way people say that it is like Peter Gabriel's.Although his voice is pretty bad on the album itself,when hearing him cover Gabriel's stuff in a live situation,he can {but doesn't always} sound close to Gabriel's voice.I have heard samples of Ray singing "Carpet Crawlers" and "Lovers Leap",and he does {for the most part} do them justice better than you would probably think.Anyway,just a thought!

Peter Ross <> (20.10.2003)

No kidding! Not only is this album a complete mockery of everything Genesis once stood for, it's one of the worst albums ever released. Wilson can't sing his way out of a paper bag, the songs are TOO DAMN LONG (I never thought I'd say that about Genesis) and Rutherford and your favorite keyboardist are trying to be "hip" and "with it" but are failing horribly at it. I'll admit to getting some enjoyment out of the title track and "Congo," but the rest is deadly boring and pathetic. Fie on this.

I give this a 1 (3). I got this FOR FREE and I still think I overpaid.

ARCHIVE 1967-75

Ted Goodwin <> (24.09.2002)

There's been some noise about Pete's overdubs on the live LAMB, but I personally don't care -- it all sounds live enough for me. Discs 1 and 2 here actually make for one of Genesis' better "live albums". It's weird having a live version of an entire 2-disc album, and that will limit how often I actually listen to this. But it's kind of cool how they end up playing some material they'd otherwise never do in concert. On the other hand, most of the live stuff on Disc 3 just seems to be there so we'd finally have Gabriel live versions of these songs (and, that being the case, why not "Fountain Of Salmacis" and "Cinema Show"?). That said, "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" is great. But Pete sounds so bad throughout "I Know What I Like" that it's painful for me to listen to. Most Genesis fans like "Happy The Man", but I don't. I agree that "Twilight Alehouse" is the "major discovery" here! I'd go so far as to say that it's one of the best songs from the whole Gabriel era of Genesis. What's weird is that it was written back in the TRESPASS era; in fact, a snatch of it (or what would become it) is heard between songs somewhere on FGTR. And it was recorded way back at the FOXTROT sessions. So... why the heck didn't it ever get a proper album release?? I already discussed "Watcher Of The Skies" in my FOXTROT comments, but just so it's clear: This is not a single "edit" but a complete, though shorter, re-recording; note the ending section that's unlike anything in the original. I find the two versions actually complement each other quite well. I have to admit that the songs from FGTR -- as generally unpleasant as my memories of that album are -- are among the best stuff on Disc 4. Some of the earlier pieces (later on the disc) are indeed pretty useless (especially "Hidden"), but I really enjoy "Shepherd" (check out the lead vocals by Tony Banks!), "Let Us Now Make Love" (check out the minor lead vocal parts by Ant Phillips!), and "Build Me A Mountain". "Going Out To Get You" would be good except that some of Pete's vocal affectations are really awful. "Patricia" is funny just 'cause you get to hear Genesis at that stage where even the most short-lived garage bands have been. Overall on this disc, it's just kind of fun to hear Genesis sounding so totally "sixties" -- try playing some of this stuff for someone who only knows '80s Genesis and see if they can guess who it is!

Glenn Wiener <> (11.10.2000)

An excellent release based upon hearing the Lamb Lies Down On Broadway Live. The vocals effects by Peter Gabriel is excellent and Steve Hackett is more present in the mix than on the original studio recording.

Side 3 is very good as well. Awesome guitar solos on 'Dancing With The Moonlit Knight' as well as 'Firth of A Fifth'. 'Watcher of the Skies' is another compelling track and 'Supper Is Ready' has some intriguing moments.

Side 4 is interesting from a historical perspective but is easily the weakest of the four CD's. Many of the songs sound the same although there are some creative touches.

Brian Sittinger <> (31.01.2003)

Up to this point this is the only boxset I possess. Probably, this si due to the fact they can be quite expensive, and hold a bunch of songs/interviews that would only be welcomed by the most hard-core of fans. Sometimes, they're redundant, too! Not with this set! (Plus, I found it used; life can be quite nice...)

If anything, about 3/4 of this boxset can be seen as the true companion to their Live album, and NOT Second's Out. We get more or less full renditions of "The Lamb", selected songs from Selling England by the Pound, and "Supper's Ready". And, all these tracks are superb! In fact, I rather like the live version of Lamb better than the studio version, most likely because: (1) there's more Steve Hackett (livlier/ more resonant solos on "Anyway" and "The Lamia", as well as more textures from him in "In the Cage"), and (2) the songs sound way more organic (err, more lively) live. Even the instrumentals don't drag nearly as badly in the live context. Due to this, the "touch-ups" don't bother me at all. Sometimes Gabriels newer vocals actually benefit the songs! And, the 'newer' version of "It" really comes off very well!

As for the rest, I quite like "Twilight Alehouse" for its great atmosphere (btw, this song was from the Trespass era, but not recorded in the studio until later.). Unfortunately, "Happy the Man" annoys me a bit. Also, the live "Stagnation" is quite moving. The really early stuff is okay, not much to mention. And, that booklet is quite informative: 9(13).

Bob Josef <> (26.01.2004)

A big find for the fans of the Gabriel era. I really don't think the live Lamb adds much to the studio version, since there was zero room for any spontaneity, but listening to it again (along with "Dancing" and "Happy the Man") made me appreciate more Gabriel's fondness for punning language. I like the Rainbow Theater stuff a lot more -- you can really hear Steve very clearly in the mix, especially on "Firth of Fifth," of all things. I'm a bit surprised that you don't like Disc 4 more, since you're a major fan of FGTR. At the same time, it's not about to convert anyone to that first album, either. After hearing the stringless versions of the FGTR songs, I must disagree with Banks' comment that the overdubbed orchestration weakened the final album. The limitations of the band's pre-prog musicianship comes through here -- these songs needed something. I do find it amusing that Gabriel sings "SHE'S A MODEL!!" on "She is Beautiful" in the same melodramatic way as he does "BEWARE THE FUTURE!!" on the revised "The Serpent." Still, some ambition ("Lighthouse," "Build Me a Mountain") is shown -- you can see that Jonathan King was right about the band's potential.

If a novice bought this set and Live, that would almost be a good substitute for buying the Gabriel studio albums.

ARCHIVE 1976-1992

Ted Goodwin <> (03.10.2002)

All right George! I don't know if you've ever written a review that echoed my own thoughts as much as your review of ARCHIVE 2 does! The studio tracks (all B-sides or EP tracks) are the only real reason to get this. I have very little disagreement with you on these; I like "Vancouver" and "You Might Recall" better than you do, but that's about it.

(A side note about the studio tracks: As any good Genesis fan knows, there were some rather glaring omissions on this set. I would have liked "Match Of The Day" to be included, but it's on the SPOT THE PIGEON CD EP which isn't terribly hard to find. I personally don't miss "Me & Virgil" at all. The long version of "It's Gonna Get Better", a less frequently pointed-out omission, is fairly well made up for by the inclusion of the live version thereof.)

As for the rest of the collection... well, the remixes are a total waste (except for "I Can't Dance" as you said). The live tracks are also mostly unnecessary. I consider "The Lady Lies" the most essential, because (a) I think it's about the best live rendition in the collection, and (b) like a number of the studio tracks it's a genuine rarity, having been released on a magazine flexidisc in '81. (Bonus trivia: The live versions of "Dreaming While You Sleep", "The Brazilian" and "Your Own Special Way" were previously released on CD singles.) I should be glad that there's live versions of "Ripples" and "Entangled", but on the former Phil sounds like he's impatient with the song's pace, and the latter is ruined by blatant vocal overdubs, awkward guitar arrangements that make the players sound like their timing is off (at the end), and the inaudibility of those powerful bass pedals (also at the end).

(P.S.: No, they never performed "Silver Rainbow" live.)

Ted S. <> (03.10.2002)

I agree wholeheartedly with your review! This second boxset takes a lot of slagging on the Genesis forums that I am a member of, but I think it's a tremendous asset to the Genesis legacy.

Glenn Wiener <> (11.10.2000)

Suprisingly good compilation of live versions and rarities. To my ear, the second CD is the best as it features a beautiful version of one of my all time favorite Genesis tunes, 'Ripples'. The guitar and keyboard interplay is stunning and Phil Collins gives some nice vocal treatment in a concert setting. Other standouts 'The Brazilian', 'Your Own Special Way', 'Deep In The Motherlode', and 'Duke's End'.

The other discs are nice too. 'Submarine' is kind of cute and 'Shoreline' is kind of pretty. 'Vancouver' and 'Pigeons' have some badly needed spunk and 'The Day The Lights Went Out' has some nice hooks. The 12 inch tracks are a drawback as only 'I Can't Dance' is even tolerable. Nonetheless, the good outweighs the bad.

Bob Josef <> (29.01.2004)

While the first volume would give a novice a decent overview of the Gabriel era, only those who have fully assimilated the Collins years really need this. But I agree -- there are lots of interesting outtakes that are actually better than what appeared on the original albums. My favorites, of course, are the Hackett era tracks, even without him. "Ripples" and "Entangled" are as gorgeous as ever, and "Inside and Out" is vastly superior to anything on its parent album, W&W, with beauty, cohesiveness and energy that is sorely lacking from that record. And the string quartet is a nice addition to "Your Own Special Way."

As for the rest of the live tracks, there isn't really that much difference from the studio versions, although the live mix makes "Duke's Travels/Duke's End" a lot less murky than the studio version. "No Reply At All" (which I think is taken from the Three Sides Live video) is suprisingly lame without the horns. "Land of Confusion" is a good song, even in its remix, but the rest of these are just useless. Especially "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" -- it was already way too long and draggy, and then they added two more draggy minutes to it! The instrumentals show that the band still had a creative streak in them somewhere, even as far out as WCD. Still, if you've developed an allergy to Phil Collins' pop stylizations, stay away--there's an abundance of that here.


Bob Josef <> (08.02.2000)

The beginning of a boring solo career, which led, in my mind, to the deterioration of Genesis. But there are four gems here: "Behind the Lines", with its new horn arrangements is at least interesting -- it was a good song in its Duke incarnation; "The Roof is Leaking", which has very poignant lyrics; and "In the Air Tonight" and "Tomorrow Never Knows," which are good enough to be Genesis-worthy, even if "Air" was horribly overplayed.

Phil included his bit of "Over the Rainbow" at the end of "Tomorrow" because he intended his version to be a tribute to John Lennon, who was assassinated during the writing and recording of the album.

Ted Goodwin <> (19.06.2001)

This album doesn't do much for me -- I like NO JACKET REQUIRED better. I suppose it's not bad considering how new Phil was at writing songs on his own. I'm not surprised that it was a "surprise" hit. There's no question that the best songs are the first and last ones, as you say. (Most distinguishing, and possibly best, factor in Phil's version of "Tomorrow Never Knows": the harmonies on the 2nd verse.) I also agree with you that he ruins "Behind The Lines" here. I think I'd like "I Missed Again" OK if there were a few minor changes. Everything else just doesn't make a whole lot of impression on me. Overall, not a "keeper". (Translation: The copy someone gave me will soon be passed on to someone else.) P.S.: There's two guitarists credited on "If Leaving Me Is Easy" (one of them Eric Clapton, no less), but there's no guitars! (As a friend of mine put it, "Did they just stand there holding their guitars while the song was being recorded?") Well, OK, if you listen closely, you MIGHT manage to hear a few seconds of faint noise that COULD have been made by guitars. P.P.S.: You won't be hearing from me about HELLO, I MUST BE GOING. "You Can't Hurry Love" and "Like China" are enough to scare me away from that one for good.

Bill Slocum <> (20.06.2004)

A solid effort for what it is, early '80s pop. A couple of classic hits, with "I Missed Again" the easy choice for favorite with me. (Damn good lyrics and a powerfully dynamic tune, you should listen to it someday.) The other hit, "In The Air Tonight," is the album's signature moment. I think the mood of the piece is so well-established and pervasive that an urban legend was in the cards. Also Phil shows his dramatic leanings with his impassioned delivery on this number, almost as over-the-top as he gets on Genesis's "Mama," and good for him.

I also like ""I'm Not Moving," a clever tune that does in fact move quite well despite the title, though it's a shame Phil didn't come up with an ending. "Thunder And Lightning" and Sade-esque "This Must Be Love" are accomplished strides in the adult contemporary/easy listening direction of his solo career that had its ups and downs. For evidence of the downs, there's the tempo-challenged "Behind The Lines," where Phil tries to make himself goofy in order to clue the listener into the idea he/she is supposed to have fun. I much prefer the subtle bombast (yes, oxymoron that it is) of "I Missed Again."

The two worst tracks for me are "The Roof Is Leaking," which reminds me of his "But Seriously" Phil-Becomes-Mother-Teresa-And-Dies-For-Our-Sins phase; and "Tomorrow Never Knows," which is an original choice for a Beatles cover and does fit the theme of the album (Phil finishes his bitter accounting of a failed marraige with a renewed quest to find true love.) But he doesn't do anything special with the song, throw in some curve or invigorated direction to justify why in the world he chose it other than the song's composer is dead and he feels bad. He sings it in the same lifeless, rushed way he delivered "You Can't Hurry Love" two years later. And I do miss the cool gull sound effects.

But these songs are still interesting to listen to, and the rest of the album is quite enjoyable, more than I expected. Interesting also to hear a composer that seems to base his music on the percussion, building the melodies around it. Of course, he's a drummer, but it's a distinctive approach, one Phil himself seemed to pull away from in his later efforts.

I keep coming back to "I Missed Again," a song I think just gets cooler and cooler every time I hear it. He may be Barry Manilow to you, and sometimes, to me, but he pulls off some terrific songs, too. Love that palpable vagueness (another oxymoron) in the lyrical middle-eight: When it feels like something you want so bad/And then you think you've got it but it's something you already had/And you can feel it all around you but it's something you just can't touch/And I can feel it coming at me/I can feel it coming at me...


Rich Bunnell <> (04.02.2000)

I don't actually have this album, but "You Can't Hurry Love" is a pretty-darned-well-known Supremes tune from the '60s-- maybe it doesn't get airplay in Russia or something. I do agree, though, that Phil's version is horrible....he should stick to the cooler stuff like "In The Air Tonight" rather than attempt to sing '60s Motown tracks...he doesn't have the voice for it.

Bob Josef <> (08.02.2000)

I really find Phil's attempts to be a "soul" singer to be quite offensive -- he did really start that of the last album''s "Behind the lines," with his annoying "Oh, Lord" asides.

But "You Can't Hurry Love" was truly an obnoxious error that he didn't get over for several years, culminating in including a medley of 60's soul tunes in live performances of "Turn in On Again" and appearances with The Blues Brothers. Phil, you are a short, white British guy, not Wilson Pickett or Levi Stubbs! Get over it!

Glenn Wiener <> (01.03.2000)

The words that come to my brain when I think of this release is com si com sa. I have the lp from my college days and remember thinking it was OK. But if you or I were to rank my music collection, it would definitely fall in the middle or even less. The songs are just not that memorable. I don't mind his cover of 'You Can't Hurry Love'. However, both the Supremes and especially The Stray Cats perform this song considerably better. Truthfully 'Why Can't It Wait Until Morning' is a nice song as it serves a definite purpose: To go to sleep and out on a better record the next day! The rest is OK for background listening but classic stuff this is definitely NOT!

Bill Slocum <> (08.07.2004)

I know I was supposed to hate this album, but I can't. The problem, George, is that its actually good. Not that I would dare think Peter Gabriel should have ever left Genesis, or that Phil Collins is the great undiscovered blue-eyed soulster he seemed to pose as in the latter 1980s. It's just that this album justifies itself pretty well as an excursion into early-80s pop thematics, even more than Face Value did.

That's without championing the two U.S. Top 40 hits off this album, neither which I like especially. As you say, "I Don't Care Anymore" is a less-inventive "In The Air Tonight" retread, and "You Can't Hurry Love," despite being a sterling Supremes song in its original incarnation (really, George, check out Motown sometime, it was a great label for two decades or so for more than just Stevie Wonder) sucks, sucks, sucks in its Phil Collins rendition, where he hurries through the song in a lame, fey fashion much like he did with "Tomorrow Never Knows" on Face Value. (That you actually liked 'TNK' was strange, though no stranger than calling the unremarkable "The West Side" Hello I Must Be Going's best cut.) I remember wincing through Phil's take on this Holland-Dozier-Holland classic in high school, knowing he was affecting an Elwood-Blues-white-boy-cool that just didn't work. Lady Di and the girls did this right so YOU didn't have to, okay?

But what I come away from after listening to the rest of this album, including the songs you pillory, "I Cannot Believe It's True" and "It Don't Matter To Me", is that Hello is good. Solid, competent, evocative, even. Not great, it's Middle-Of-The-Road to be sure, but not lame, not derivative. "Like China" explores a would-be romance from the British-class-divide perspective, and scores points with these ears. "Do You Know Do You Care?" is a less gimmicky version of Genesis's "Mama," though that's a good thing for me since (prepare yourself for this shock) that's one Genesis song I actually like. Nothing on this record kills me the way "I Missed Again" does, but nothing rankles either. Giving this an 8, as you did, doesn't seem so bad, except you indicate in the review it doesn't really deserve it, that its a weak 8 whereas Face Value is a strong 8. I just think you have it the wrong way around. (Maybe I'd say strong 7 and weak 7, frankly George your system, admirable as it is, confuses me.)

You write: "Phil's second album follows exactly the same pattern as his first one, and it's probably more of a complete clone in relation to Face Value as any selected AC/DC record is in relation to any other selected AC/DC record." Here's the thing: I want to agree with you, because I hate his version of "You Can't Hurry Love" and I don't particularly care for "I Don't Care Anymore," whereas I love "I Missed Again" and admire "In The Air Tonight." I should by all rights dig Face Value and call Hello I Must Be Going, released just over a year later with a pretty good Genesis album in between besides as a lame cash-in. But I think Phil was still firing on all cylinders here. He still had bullets in his gun. Hello I Must Be Going is not great, but it seems to be going in a place (pop-oriented as it is) that's pretty catchy and tuneful, which he managed to find even more value in with No Jacket Required before the Grammies and the Buster film admittedly carried him away.

If you just heard "You Can't Hurry Love," you would be excused for thinking this guy a Michael Bolton clone before his time. But "Thru These Walls" is a classic paranoid love song, and "Why Can't It Wait Til Morning" is the song Elton John and Bernie Taupin tried and failed to write with "Tonight" from Blue Moves. A lot of tenderness there. Because Phil maybe wrecked a good art-rock band with his if-it-sells-what's-wrong aesthetic, then feel free to rip him, I could care less because Genesis don't pay my rent. But when he puts together a good solo album or two, it doesn't seem right to call it lame because it's not precious So or As.

Phil lost me, too, as his career went along, but his aesthetic going in was simple and deserves a mite more respect. He was a solid entertainer with some real melodic talent and an inventive sense of rhythm (call it pace and make it sound less racist), and his first records at least were nice examples that pop don't have to be dumb to be fun.


Rich Bunnell <> (03.03.2000)

Ecch....There isn't really much to say. I despise this album. If all Phil Collins Genesis sounded like this, I wouldn't be interested in them at all; luckily Phil kept most of this generic radio-ready crap for his own solo albums. "Take Me Home" is probably the best song on the album, but it's so wimpy and repetitive that it's hard to notice. A 3. And I don't churn out bad grades towards albums just based on the fact that they're commercial, it's when the music is overly soulless, polished, and wimpy when I get annoyed. This album is among such albums. Eccccccch.

Ben Greenstein <> (07.03.2000)

Oh, come on. Do you mean to tell me that you've honestly never caught yourself singing "Sussudio"? I do it all the time - it used to embarrass me, but I got over that. The corny production can't ruin the fact that it's a really cool dance tune. At least, I like it. "Take Me Home" is great, too, and I remember the second song being fun, too. The rest ain't bad, but generic. And I don't think I'll ever listen to the album again except for those three songs. But you can get it for dirt cheap, and it's fun, so everyone should own it. Hell, judging from album sales, I'd say that everyone already does.

Bob Josef <> (07.05.2000)

How about No Talent Required? Couldn't resist that one! Non-distinctive pop music that could be done by anyone! "Sussudio" is indeed a lame rip-off of Prince's "1999." "One More Night" might have 4 chords, maybe. And worst of all, he starts ripping off other people's titles and lyrics: Steely Dan ("Don't Lose That Number"), Dave Mason ("Only You Know and I Know"), and, as you mentioned, Paul McCartney ("We Said Hello Goodbye"). Unfortunately, as his creativity, or ambition, decreased, his popularity went through the roof. Can we say "SELLOUT?" This was the album that, annoyingly led to the bastard child of Invisible Touch.

Ted Goodwin <> (31.05.2001)

I never would have bought this, but someone gave me an old LP copy, so what the heck.

Formulaic, banal, generic sludge? Sure! But I found nothing on it really annoying or offensive. Even the boring crap like "One More Night" didn't really turn me off. The songs do get a bit too repetitive in places, and Phil doesn't have a single spontaneous moment on the whole album. But I don't think Phil's commercial style is a case of "prog-rocker sells out". Phil's natural style is to write the simple & memorable; he's just going with it. (Just 'cause he can drum & sing prog doesn't mean he can write it -- I mean, how many Gabriel-era "written by Genesis" classics do you think he was a major contributor to?) My least favorite is "Doesn't Anybody...", but that's mainly just because it's so repetitive and didn't need to be. (I once saw Phil on TV performing this live as a soft keyboard ballad, so I was a little surprised to hear how it sounds on the album.) "Inside Out" and "Take Me Home" are definite highlights.

(3/2002) I finally got a (cheap) CD copy and heard "We Said Hello Goodbye" which wasn't included on the LP. It doesn't really fit in with the sound of the rest of the album, and in fact is better than just about any of it!

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