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The other side

When Steve Hackett showed the way with his album Genesis Revisited  former tour guitarist Daryl Stuermer had to follow up with this record. The release was not really planned as a Genesis tribute album initially. He wanted to play songs by other influential artists, too. As more and more Genesis songs were being recorded, it turned out to be a fine idea to devote a full album to the songs of the most important band he ever was a member of. Stuermer picked only songs that were recorded during his time with the band. Except for two songs, all had been released as singles in their day. Stuermer played almost all the instruments himself, that is, all the guitars and bass guitars, keyboards, drums and programming. He was supported by the keyboard man Kostia and two colleagues from Phil Collins’ tour team, viz. Luis Conte on assorted percussion and Amy Keys for the backing vocals. Most of the album was recorded in Stuermer’s own Urban Island Studio. Now for the music…


Another Side Of Genesis

Daryl Stuermer

Another Side Of Genesis

Urban Island Music, keine Katalognr.

1. Follow You Follow Me 4:28
2. Hold On My Heart 4:36
3. Taking It All Too Hard 5:59
4. Throwing It All Away 5:37
5. Since I Lost You 4:26
6. Land Of Confusion 5:10
7. In Too Deep 5:47
8. Turn It On Again 4:13
9. Man On The Corner 4:13
10. No Son Of Mine 6:42
11. Never A Time 5:11

Gesamtspielzeit: 56:33

The opening track is the oldest track of the album. Follow You Follow Me was released on the 1978 album And Then There Were Three. The beginning is marked by lots of Latin-American percussion, an element less commonly found in Genesis. Jazz piano and a rhythm guitar (which replaces Rutherford’s more spectacular instrument) lend an exotic latin feeling to the number. Stuermer plays the vocal melody on the acoustic guitar, varying it a bit throughout the song.

Track two is Hold On My Heart, a ballad from We Can’t Dance (1991). This song remains close to the original. Only an additional piano track and more percussion replacing Rutherford’s rhythm guitar are new. It’s Stuermer’s acoustic guitar doing vocal duty again, but there are also some ‘real’ backing vocals near the end. The harmonies near the end that accompany a calm Stuermer solo are new.

Though it was the second single release from the self-titled album (1983), Taking It All Too Hard did become neither hit nor classic. But this did not stop Stuermer from recording his own version which is slightly faster than the original. It keeps all the important bits of the original, though: groove, arrangement and melody stay the same. They are occasionally augmented by piano. While the vocal melody is played on an acoustic guitar in the first part of the song, Stuermer later switched to a slightly distorted electric guitar. The end is marked by an extensive solo during the chorus.

Then there is the classic live song Throwing It All Away from Genesis’ 1986 gigantic success Invisible Touch. Except for a new ending hardly any changes were made. The melody is first played on the piano, then on acoustic guitar. The bridge is an e-guitar piece. Note the playful percussion and backing vocals. Near the end there is a long solo on the electric guitar which keeps ascending through changing harmonies and rhythmic patterns right to the very last note.

The new version of Since I Lost You, a less well-known song from We Can’t Dance, is quite dramatically different from the original. There is no rhythm group, just a piano and an acoustic guitar with a hunch of strings. This resembles Steve Hackett’s Guitar Noir album. Once more the final chords are changed.

Let’s go back to the Invisible Touch LP. Stuermer now serves a fusion-rock version of Land Of Confusion. The beats have become stronger and many percussion bits were added. The jazzy harmonies during the verses are played on the e-piano. The grooves on the bass guitar are more subtle than on the original. Land Of Confusion is, by the way, the only song that uses only the electric guitar on which Stuermer plays spectacular solo which leads into an all new middle part.

We stay with the album. In Too Deep draws almost exclusively from the original. E-piano and drum machine patterns were replaced with real piano and real percussion. A clean sound on the electric guitar (much like Dire Straits) replaces the vocals except for some backing vocals. The sequencer part in the middle is played on the guitar for a change before Stuermer launches into another solo across the chorus harmonies.

Turn It On Again is the only song that was chosen from Duke (1980). It is a slightly clumsy copy of the original. The focus is on the electric guitar which is employed for both rhythm and melody.

One of the few Collins-only compositions on a Genesis records is Man On The Corner (from Abacab, 1981). A piano leads us into the song before the other instruments come in one after another. A doubled acoustic guitar plays the melody. The percussion arrangements were changed. On the original, they came from a drum machine. Stuermer takes the opportunity for an improvisation on the guitar near the end.

Then there is the second of three songs from We Can’t Dance. No Son Of Mine is a faithful rendition of this superhit – the only thing it lacks is that special “elephant sample”. An electric guitar leads us through the song and it really gets going. Add to that some percussion and the odd keyboard bit here and there and you have a fine song.

The final song is Never A Time (from We Can’t Dance). The speed is down, but the groove is up. At this balladesque end of Another Side Of Genesis Stuermer once more showcases his acoustic guitar both for melody and rhythm. Spot the backing vocals and the mandatory solo near the end.

This is a record nobody expected. Daryl Stuermer shows courage to touch the material of his former employers. Genesis fans are a spoiled bunch – the band has set high standards. Perhaps he only wanted to really let loose with his guitar on these songs that are so familiar to him. After all, on Genesis tours he almost always played the bass, though his playing technique is better than Mike Rutherford’s. If you were hoping for creative new versions you will be mostly disappointed. Stuermer sticks to the original versions. The biggest changes consist in replacing Collins’ vocals with guitar and including big solos. There, it must be said, are fantastic. He was also lucky in having Kostia and Conte as fellow musicians. All in all, this is an interesting document for fans of easy-going Genesis.

by Steffen Gerlach
translated by Martin Klinkhardt
photos by Armando Gallo, Helmut Janisch

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