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"Big Blue Ball" (CD)

Peter Gabriel and Friends - Big Blue Ball

Peter Gabriel - Still Growing Up: Live And Unwrapped (2DVD) kaufen bei
Peter Gabriel - Still Growing Up: Live And Unwrapped (2DVD) kaufen bei

Mitte der 90er kam es im Rahmen der Real World Recording Weeks zum Big Blue Ball Projekt. Die Veröffentlichung dauerte fast 15 Jahre. Peter Gabriel wirkt auf vier Songs mit.

"Down To Earth" (mp3)

Down To Earth from Wall*E

Down To Earth - Download bei iTunes

Für den neuen Pixar Film Wall*E steuerte Peter Gabriel den Song Down To Earth bei, der nun bei iTunes erworben werden kann.

"Genesis: Generations" on their new album

"Calling All Stations"

When Phil Collins left the band in March 1996 a whole avalanche of rumours about the future of Genesis started to wash over the fans. Speculation focused both on the line-up and the musical direction they might take. Lots of things were talked about, written about or internetted about. Rumours mentioned Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Fish, Paul Carrack, Chester Thompson or Daryl Stuermer or concerned the return to the style of the 70s. Usually it was little more than wishful thinking.

Now we finally hold in our hands the actual future, or rather, present of Genesis! Instead of all those people mentioned above a handful of musicians make up the new studio and live line-up. Most of them have never been mentioned in a Genesis context before, and the musical direction is somewhere between We Can’t Dance, Strictly Inc. and Mike + The Mechanics. Calling All Stations has a mixture of complex songs (e.g. Alien Afternoon, The Dividing Line), simple songs (e.g. Shipwrecked, Not About Us) and songs in between those other two (e.g. Uncertain Weather, Congo). Most of the eleven album and two single bonus tracks are mid-tempo numbers; only The Dividing Line and the non-album track Papa He Said are a bit faster.

Calling All Stations is an acquired taste. One has to listen to it a couple of times and become more and more familiar with them before one fully appreciates the pieces or even grows enthusiastic about them. The album benefits from repeated listening: At the second or third listen initial expectations have gone and you know there will be no odd time signatures, rhythm changes or instruments coming in in a spectacular way. The songs show their own beauty and you may soon find yourself revising “o’erhasty judgement” about Calling All Stations.

When Collins left the time had come for messieurs Banks and Rutherford to overcome the rigor mortis that had taken over in their live shows and to prove with fresh hunger, fresh vigour, fresh ideas and fresh new musicians that MV Genesis can sail the musical seas of this world without captain Collins at the helm. Calling All Stations does not change the world, it may not even be a milestone in the history of Genesis worthy to be mentioned in a line with albums like Foxtrot, A Trick Of The Tail, Seconds Out or Abacab (feel free to make up your own list here). Still, 28-year-old Ray Wilson, the new singer and three-times co-song-writer, has managed to breathe new life into the Genesis.

Genesis will need some more time to find their feet with this new line-up and reinvent themselves – the gap Phil Collins has left has not closed. His inventiveness is occasionally missed in the melodies and so is his sense for tasteful drum bits, rhythmic ideas and production ideas, not to mention his humour and special groove that were important ingredients in Genesis. Singer Ray Wilson, the new drummers Nir Zidkyahu, Nick D’Virgilio and the three producers Nick Davis, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford did their best to close the gap - how successful they were is up to the gentle listener.

The situation is closer to when Steve Hackett left after Wind & Wuthering than to Anthony Phillips’ departure after Trespass or Peter Gabriel’s leaving Genesis after The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. Why is that so? Nursery Cryme and particularly A Trick Of The Tail became well-rounded albums. It was not immediately obvious to the ear that the line-up had changed. On And Then There Were Three, however, Mike Rutherford evidently still has Steve’s way of playing the lead guitar on his mind. Despite a couple of fantastic pieces and though Mike’s guitar playing on the album is among the best performances he ever recorded And Then There Were Three remains a transition album on the way to Duke on which record Genesis had come to terms with Hackett leaving and found a new identity. Calling All Stations may play a similar role.

Substitute or no substitute, Ray Wilson (formerly with Stiltskin) makes a very good impression on the new album. It is a good thing that Genesis have found a singer who imitates neither Collins nor Gabriel. If one insisted on comparing him to his predecessors he would be closer to Gabriel than to Collins (take, for example, the end of Small Talk). Wilson knows how to make clever use of his voice’s range, from the emotional tone of Uncertain Weather to shouting out There Must Be Some Other Way. He sounds like a mixture of (attention, here goes!) Alistair Gordon, Jack Hues, Kim Beacon, Noel McCalla (on Uncertain Weather), Tony Banks (at the end of Congo), Bryan Adams (e.g. Not About Us), Peter Hammill, Bono, Colin Hay of Men At Work (e.g. on Banjo Man), Francis Dunnery of It Bites (e.g. at the end of One Man’s Fool) and Paul Carrack (“in his way of singing”, according to Steffen) – send further suggestions to the staff of it). Tony Banks has had the tendency on his solo albums to pick singers that sound similar to himself, though as opposed to Banks they can sing – and Calling All Stations sounds like a Banks solo record with Rutherfordian influences in parts. Ray sings with lots of soul, and it is easy to imagine his voice singing many old and new pieces, e.g. The Knife or Mama. Since he only joined the band when most of the songs had been written he was not involved with the composition process. It may be assumed that this will change on the next album, and it will take Genesis a step closer to finding themselves. – Those who doubt that Ray Wilson is an absolute streak of luck for Genesis should check out Lover’s Leap (part one of Supper’s Ready), Turn It On Again and No Son Of Mine from the acoustic set on August 26, 1997 in Berlin. The reviewer, a card-carrying Collins fan, sat in front of his tv and was very happy, did not miss Phil for a second (though it was strange when they showed the old videos) and soon was absolutely certain: Ray is the right one! And all I needed was a TV show…

Nir Zidkyahu and Nick D’Virgilio (tracks 6, 8, 9 and first half of track 4) play the drums very well, at times they sound like Phil Collins. Nir Zidkyahu, born in Israel and living in the USA, is a new drummer. His drum work stands out on The Dividing Line and Alien Afternoon, but even in songs that do not exactly challenge him his qualities show (groove and precision). Nick D’Virgilio has proved his abilities before on both (highly recommended) Spock’s Beard albums. It is a pity that none of the drummers are full members of the band, hence they are not involved with the song-writing process. It would certainly not hurt the rhythm department if there were more input in that direction on future Genesis records; the opposite is more likely to happen, though.

So what do the old boys do? They still know how to write stylistically unique songs. Tony Banks brings in a couple of interesting harmonics treats, but all in all he plays rather in a restrained, texturing way. Only rarely does he use the keyboards to mark out the rhythm.  Of all the presets he has on his keyboards he uses the “string” presets as the foundation in all (!) songs. Papa He Said excepted, Banks does not use piano and organ sounds (small bits of that can be heard on One Man’s Fool and Banjo Man) – sadly.

Rutherford plays some unusually heavy guitar on Calling All Stations (e.g. on the title song or The Dividing Line). He also frequently uses his trusty old “tick-a-tick-a-ding tick-a-ding-tick-a-tick-a-ding”. Nice as it sounds it gets a bit boring if he plays it all the time. He also shows again that he is a rather average lead guitarist who lacks the class he had on records such as Smallcreep’s Day, Duke or And Then There Were Three (motto: Why use the other five strings when I have found a right note on the first one?) He has, however, his own special style and plays his good riffs with, as he once put it, “a lot of feel”.

As far as arrangements and dynamics are concerned Genesis have always been pros – Calling All Stations does not change anything about that. Listening to the new album for these aspects is a real treat.

After this much praise (alright, it has not been that much praise) it has to be mentioned that Banks and Rutherford do not really use all their abilities. Genesis would benefit from it if they decided to explore and experiment a bit more with their music. They stick to the tried and trusted things, but big innovations and experiments do not happen.

cover Production duties were fulfilled by Nick Davis (supported by Banks and Rutherford) who already fiddled with the knobs on We Can’t Dance, both The Way We Walk live albums and Tony Banks’s albums Still and Strictly Inc. Sometimes the vocals are a bit quiet, the snares are a bit loud here and there; the overall production is okay, and once you have heard the album for a couple of times you will not notice what you noticed as weak moments before. Calling All Stations, like all its predecessors since Abacab, was recorded at The Farm, Surrey with its typical, slightly muffled sound that can also be heard on the new production.

The interesting cover (designed by Wherefore ART?) shows a man in the middle of circles or waves of light. This image is open to many ways of interpretation; it occurs repeatedly in variations throughout the booklet. The cover artwork was probably inspired by the album title or the album song Calling All Stations, but there are other songs, too, that are expressed in the artwork, e.g. Shipwrecked, Alien Afternoon or The Dividing Line.

Calling All Stations

working title: Katmandu
music: Banks/Rutherford
lyrics: Rutherford
key: E Minor
speed: 88 bpm

00:00 – 00:33 = intro, guitar riff by Mike, strings by Tony
00:33 – 01:22 = vocal bit A, half a guitar riff by Mike
01:22 – 01:47 = vocal bit B, guitar riff by Mike
01:47 – 02:52 = vocal bit C
02:52 – 03:30 = “The Boat”-like effects by Tony
                             accompanying riff by Mike
                            string harmonies by Tony
                            single guitar notes plus half a guitar riff by Mike
03:30 – 03:54 = guitar solo by Mike
03:54 – 05:43 = vocal bit A (with modified and extended harmonies)

Calling All Stations begins with the title piece, a real smasher on the new Genesis album. Mike Rutherford plays a rough guitar riff that could almost be taken from a heavy metal album. Tony Banks summons a dark, hopeless atmosphere with a plethora of interesting harmonies, and Ray Wilson sings his desperate, passionate vocals above that. Monotonous drumming underlines the depressive mood.

The transition from the guitar solo to vocal bit C is the latest moment when this special Genesis thrill sets in that does not leave throughout the complete bombastic closing section even though the vocals are a bit quiet there. Just when the listener has completely sunk into this typical Banksian blanket of sound a terrible fade-out sets in as if someone dumped a thousand gallons of pink paint over a beautiful painting. One can but hope that Calling All Stations will be released as a “full length version” on the single and that it is played completely during the concerts. Calling All Stations, which was written during the first session for the new album, resembles No Son Of Mine probably because of Rutherford’s quavers, the simplistic, powerful drums and perhaps also the identical key (E minor). The monumental finale also bring their 1983 classic Mama to mind. Calling All Stations is about someone quarrelling with their life’s (mis)fortunes, someone in an extremely uncomfortable physical and/or psychological situation.


working title: Congo
music: Banks/Rutherford
lyrics: Banks
keys: B minor, E major, G major
speed: 95 bpm

00:00 – 00:45    ethno intro (B minor, not harmonized)
                            melody introduced by Tony (not harmonized)
                            harmonies introduced by Tony (accordion-sound)
00:45 – 01:27    (synth?) guitar fifths (key changes to E major)
                             first verse
01:27 – 01:47    chorus
01:47 – 02:15    second verse
02:15 – 02:35     chorus
02:35 – 03:05    middle eight; harmonies by Mike & Tony
                             key changes to G major;
                             vocals Ray
03:05 – 03:45    chorus (repeated once)
                             key changes to E major
03:45 – 04:05    keyboard solo by Tony (squawking sound) over harmonies from the intro
04:05 – 04:50    closing section: Ray sings over the intro harmonies (the previously unharmonized
                              part of the intro is harmonized here)

Congo is a sort of slow lambada with a Gabrielesque bush intro. Its uplifting mood provides a contrast to the gloomy opening song Calling All Stations. This song smells like a hit from the very first note (the chorus complete with its sing-along “yeah-ea-eah” is particularly catchy) – but then it is too complex to be perfect for the radio. The chorus, for example is a bar “short”, which makes for the unevenness one notices only subconsciously unless you analyze the song.
Without the lyrics the listener tends to put this song in the humorous section of Genesis’ oeuvre alongside Illegal Alien, Jesus He Knows Me and I Can’t Dance. The lyrics, however, are a stark contrast to the rather merry music: A man asks his (soon to be ex) life partner to  kick him out if she does not want him in her life anymore. He seems quite prepared to better himself, but also tells her what she always meant to him and also makes clear that he does not actually want to go.

A friend of the reviewer’s about Tony’s keyboard solo: “I coulda done better!” Congo is one of several songs on this CD that would fit well on a Banks solo CD; during the closing section Ray Wilson sounds like Tony Banks (compare e.g. Man Of Spells from The Fugitive).The breaks in the drumming resemble Collins’s style, particularly in the first verse (compare No Son Of Mine); the very loud snare in the quiet middle eight is a nuisance. A classic Genesis element occurs in the chorus: The bass bordune, E in this case, underlies all harmonies – and always sounds good. An insensitive fade-out spoils the enjoyment of Congo.
The single version offers not a desirable extended version but only a cut-up edit, i.e. a shortened version that takes away all the charme of the song. This attempt to whip this song into radio format ruins it totally. Hands and ears off it!


working title: 1965
music: Banks/Rutherford
lyrics: Rutherford
key: F sharp major
speed: 86 bpm

00:00 – 00:41 intro, guitar riff Mike (“radio sound”) / string melody from chorus by Tony
00:41 – 01:03 first verse
01:03 – 01:25 chorus
01:25 – 01:47 second verse
01:47 – 02:31 chorus twice; second chorus with extended melodies and bigger arrangement
02:31 – 02:54 middle eight, vocals Ray
02:54 – 04:23 closing chorus, string melody by Tony, vocals by Ray

A transistor radio intro resembling Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here introduces Shipwrecked, a harmless little ditty from the Walls Of Sound / Taken In corner. For four minutes and twenty-three seconds nothing much happens, the song simply runs its course. Rutherford’s guitar does not stand out much except for the nice riff at the beginning. Banks plays a repeating pretty keyboard line and also places a brief drawn-out keyboard gimmick in the closing chorus (at 03:42). Mike’s quaver bass in the intro and the chorus is quite original. When the key changes from F sharp major to B major the bass switches one quaver later which makes that transition more interesting. Shipwrecked is about a man who feels tossed around in the hands of his girl-friend.

Shipwrecked has just enough quality for a bonus track B-side and one tends to think of it as boring. By and by it wriggles into one’s ears, though, and unfolds the beauty hidden in simplicity. While we are mentioning bonus track B-sides: Shipwrecked is going to be the second single…

Alien Afternoon

working title: Paris
music: Banks / Rutherford
lyrics: Banks
keys: D minor, D, major
beats: 77 bpm

00:00 – 00:54 ethereal intro played by Tony with string sounds
00:54 – 01:40 verse introduction and first verse in a reggae-like rhythm
01:40 – 02:05 vocal bridge
02:05 – 02:26 chorus, keyboard melody Tony (Abacab-like sound)
02:26 – 03:03 second verse
03:03 – 03:28 vocal bridge
03:28 – 03:50 chorus, keyboard melody Tony
03:56 – 04:58 middle part; deep keyboard bass sound, riff by Mike, string sounds by Tony
                       Distorted vocals by Ray
04:58 – 07:50 closing section (in D major); ethereal vocoder choirs, string harmonies by Tony
                          Drumming by Nir, guitar riff with “feel” by Mike, improvised vocal bits

Alien Afternoon is the first of four longer songs on Calling All Stations. The atmospheric intro is followed by the quaint verse in a reggae-like rhythm; Banks likes to do that occasionally, e.g. in Me And Sarah Jane or This Is Love. The mood of the song is similar to Hero For An Hour while the line “woke up in the morning” may recall Sting’s Message In A Bottle. The lovely passage of “gotta get to work on time” is a real hook line right from the first time one hears it. Tony Banks introduces a couple of peculiar transitions between harmonies in both verses, bridge and chorus – very interesting and good sounding stuff.

The climax of the song is the transition from the middle part to the closing section. It is as if one dove into a wonderfully clear mountain lake (cf. #8, Uncertain Weather). Unfortunately the closing section cannot live up to the promises its beginning made. Tony floats in his sea of keyboards, Mike plays his riff with much feeling, but Ray simply improvises in the back of the mix. There should be happening a bit more in this closing section, just a little bit, like interesting harmonies or a hearty instrumental. Only the colourful drumming by Nir Zidkyahu is convincing here.

A novum in Genesis studio work: Two different drummers on one piece! Nick D’Virgilio drums on the first part and Nir Zidkyahu takes over for the second half.

Alien Afternoon tells the story of a peculiar afternoon in a bizarre and poetic way which leaves it open to many different interpretations:

Attempt 1 – Someone experiences something very strange, and only later is he able to really enjoy and appreciate the world he had been taking for granted. The peculiar changes of the world around him may be metaphorical for incisive events in his life.

Attempt 2 – The lyrics are about a normal guy who is fighting hard not to go crazy. After several of those fights he yearns to find his inner peace far from madness and never to leave his familiar surroundings anymore. His mental condition keeps tripping him into new worlds of unknown experiences all the time, and unless he escapes the maelstrom of madness he has to find his way in these new worlds. Everytime he manages to work things out another strange thing happens, another Alien Afternoon begins.

Attempt 3 (a variation on 2) – It may not have been madness that caused him to leave his familiar world but a self-chosen urge to explore: I wanted to go anywhere, I wanted to see how strange it all could be. Nothing would ever take me away again, never more to go wandering, never leaving my world behind…


Not About Us

working title: acoustic EMI
music: Banks / Rutherford
lyrics: Wilson / Rutherford
keys: G minor, B flat minor
speed: 79 bpm

00:00 – 00:18 intro on acoustic guitar by Mike (harmonies taken from the verses)
00:18 – 01:06 first verse
01:06 – 01:52 chorus
01:52 – 02:40 second verse
02:40 – 03:25 chorus
03:25 – 03:37 key changes to B flat minor, keyboard solo by Tony (horn sound)
03:37 – 04:38 closing section based on the verse harmonies (back  in G minor)

We have had Us, Only Us, One Of Us (Abba), Not One Of Us and All About Us. Now here is Not About Us, a song in the “heavy metal band goes sparkler ballad” category (e.g. More Than Words by Extreme). Mike Rutherford wrote the lyrics with Ray Wilson, whose voice resembles Bryan Adams’s here. For the first time since Duke (Alone Again, Open Door) the western guitar plays a leading role again in a Genesis piece. Though it had been used for a couple of bars on Just A Job To Do Mike had only recently pulled it from the attic for the Mechanics’ Beggar On A Beach Of Gold album.

Not About Us, a kind of slow Over My Shoulder if you like, seems like a simple song but it has very interesting harmonies, particularly in the chorus. It has been remarked that the end of the chorus is a bit like Vancouver, but analysis of the harmonies shows that that is not true. Vancouver has Mike switching from F sharp major to G major while he switches from D minor do G sharp major in Not About Us. The effect, however, is not so very different, probably because the chord changes are unusual in the context of the harmonies and also because they are positioned similarly (at the end of a section). Not About Us is a love song about loneliness.

If That’s What You Need

working title: Jelly
music: Banks / Rutherford
lyrics: Rutherford
keys: E major, C major
speed: 89 bpm

00:00 – 00:32 intro strings by Tony, “tick-a-tick-a-ding” by Mike
00:32 – 01:09 first verse
01:09 – 01:42 chorus
01:42 – 02:18 second verse
02:18 – 02:50 chorus (Mike’s guitar more intense)
02:50 – 03:14 vocal bridge (key change to C major)
03:14 – 03:35 keyboard solo Tony (strings sound)
03:35 – 04:13 third verse (slightly different harmonies)
04:13 – 05:12 closing chorus

From the „Been there, done that“ department Genesis bring us the romantic If That’s What You Need, a mixture of Hold On My Heart and verses from the Mechanics’s song Nobody Knows. Mike plays his tick-a-tick-a-ding and Tony plays chords that please through their bizarre beauty (despite the poor “drumming”). The vocal bridge is not as original as the rest, and Tony’s harmless keyboard solo smacks of retirement home. This song becomes interesting for its effective dynamic changes, e.g. variations of the volume or the use of a second guitar in the arrangement that makes the sound richer and more intense.

If That’s What You Need is about is about a man who is, after a period of indecisiveness, about to find the courage to tell a woman about his feelings and promise her everything possible and impossible in lover’s poetic tongue. Life punishes those who wait too long…

The Dividing Line

working title: NYPD
music: Banks / Rutherford
lyrics: Rutherford
keys: A minor, E major
speed: 119 bpm

00:00 – 01:49 introduction, brief “starter” sound, synth bass, drums & percussion Nir,
                          heavy guitar attacks by Mike
                          from 00:49 keyboard melody Tony (Abacab-style in A minor)
                          from 01:37 transitional guitar bits (in E major)
01:49 – 03:17 vocal section A
03:17 – 03:57 vocal section B
03:57 – 05:01 guitar riff Mike, vocal section A
05:01 – 05:41 vocal section B
05:41 – 07:32 (intro repeated)
05:41 – 06:29 synth bass and drum solo
06:29 – 07:32 keyboard melody Tony (Abacab-style, A minor)
07:32 – 07:44 closing section, with a brief unintentional(?) bass noise

Because of its energy, The Dividing Line reminds the listener of the violent pieces from the Peter Gabriel era (The Knife, The Return Of The Giant Hogweed). This second long song on Calling All Stations begins with a synth bass that resembles Land Of Confusion, angry tom toms (Collins-style) and rough heavy guitar attacks. It continues with a longer keyboard section that consists of simple, yet effective melodies à la Abacab. Just when you start to think “Hey, that’s an instrumental!” Ray Wilson’s gripping vocals come in. Impressive is the moment when he goes “hey, hey, hey, hey!” at the end of vocal section A. In vocal section B there are interesting harmonic sequences based on the continuo bass E. Nir Zidkyahu’s drum solo during the reprise of the introduction is another Genesis innovation. When Phil hears that he will be annoyed that he left Genesis. Pity the times of two live drummers are past, else this would have become a great drum duet…

The Dividing Line has the distinction of being the only piece on the album with a full-stop ending instead of a fade-out, which may explain why this song was originally supposed to be the last on the album.

The Dividing Line is a song about social inequalities and problems in our cities. It criticizes the people who simply cannot be bothered. Such an inhumanity and ignorance may revenge themselves during our lifetimes. Instead of enjoying one’s own comfort one should use one’s power to not only recognize the dividing line between rich and poor as part of our society but to help cross it. The Dividing Line continues a lyrical line from Another Day In Paradise, Both Sides Of The Story and Get ‘Em Out By Friday.

Uncertain Weather

working title: Answering 12
music: Banks / Rutherford
lyrics: Banks
keys: D minor, F major
speed: 88 bpm

00:00 – 00:54 introduction, effect percussion, vocals Ray (2nd part of the verse), strings melody Tony
00:54 – 01:37 first verse
01:37 – 02:26 chorus (F major)
02:26 – 02:48 vocal bridge
02:48 – 03:10 strings melody Tony
03:10 – 03:53 second verse
03:53 – 05:29 closing chorus (slightly extended)

Reviews of new albums ought to be as neutral as possible and avoid subjective comments. It may perhaps be permitted to leave the path of impartial description: Next to the title song and The Dividing Line, Uncertain Weather is one of the highlights on the new Genesis album. It is short, perfect and it has lots of things happening in it. Uncertain Weather surprises with an unusual intro. The song begins with a brief distorted drum machine bit that is followed by the second part of the verse and a strings melody by Tony Banks. The drumming during the intro and the verses resembles Can’t Find My Way by Phil Collins. The $64,000 question: What does Mike Rutherford do during the verse? That’s right, he plays his “tick-a-tick-a-ding”. But it fits just fine. The transition from verse to chorus in Uncertain Weather has the same effect on the listener as the transition from middle to closing section in Alien Afternoon. The vocals, which sound a bit like Noel McCalla hails back to the good old times of Smallcreep’s Day. Note the fine restrained vocal bridge!

Wonderful and melancholy lyrics complete this song. It is about someone looking at a faded photo and thinking about the person in the picture (someone MIA in a war?).

Small Talk

working title: Morley
music: Banks / Rutherford ( / Wilson?)
lyrics: Wilson
keys: A minor, C major
speed: 86 bpm

00:00 – 00:28 introduction, end of chorus once, second part of the verse
00:28 – 00:50 first verse
00:50 – 01:15 second verse
01:15 – 01:53 chorus
01:53 – 02:15 interlude A; Tony and Mike (based on the second part of the verse)
02:15 – 02:40 third verse (like second verse)
02:40 – 03:19 chorus
03:19 – 03:41 interlude B (key changes back to C major; pub talk and pizzicato sounds Tony)
03:41 – 03:47 interlude C (end of chorus, back to A minor)
03:47 – 05:01 closing section

Small Talk is a song from the stack of “easy listening Banks songs” such as Charity Balls or Strictly Incognito. Tony Banks uses the Abacab sound again for verses and choruses. Three brief keyboard cues in the third verse sound interesting – actually it sounds as if someone had accidentally hit some keys. The middle part of it had some pub talk cut into it, like the way they did in Illegal Alien. The restrained closing section with just some vocal bits resembles Aisle Of Plenty. When Ray Wilson sings “I’ll be alright” at the very end of the song it is quite in the style of Peter Gabriel (“Dance right on through the night…”). Not a masterpiece, but it adds to the palette of styles on Calling All Stations. It might also turn into a hit and could be released as the fourth single.

Small Talk is about a lack of communication that threatens to end a love affair.

There Must Be Some Other Way

working title: Thunder
music: Banks / Rutherford
lyrics: Banks / Wilson
keys: E minor, E major
speed: 108 bpm

00:00 – 00:35 intro: drum machine / Mike, strings Tony
           (bits from the verses without vocals)
00:35 – 01:32 first verse
01:32 – 02:16 chorus
02:16 – 03:13 second verse
03:13 – 03:58 chorus, transition to middle eight
03:58 – 06:05 middle section
             from 03:58 keyboard solo A (like I’ll Be Waiting) accompanied by toms and snare drum pattern
             from 04:24 additional keyboard melody (Fading Lights-style)
             from 04:42 keyboard solo B (Fading Lights-style)
             from 05:06 bigger arrangement (pizzicato keyboards)
             from 05:21 dynamics further heightened (bigger sound, drums)
             from 05:39 keyboard solo
             from 05:56 return to verse
06:05 – 07:02 third verse
07:02 – 07:53 closing chorus

In the first four minutes long song no.3, There Must Be Some Other Way, lives off the dynamic change between verse and chorus. While interesting string harmonies rub their back against the bordune E in the verses and Ray restrains his voice accordingly, he shows the immense strength of his voice when he shouts out the chorus. Banks’s keyboard wall of sound in the chorus resembles the closing section of Submarine. Mike keeps playing one note rhythmically in the verses; in the second verse he brings on a guitar sound like the one he played for the last two notes of Second Home By The Sea. Tony Banks plays a rather unspectacular yet still pleasant melody over a series of conventional harmonies. If one disregards the violence of the chorus, the whole structure of the song (long vocal passage – long keyboard part – return to the initial vocals) as well as the sounds employed make There Must Be Some Other Way a kind of successor to Fading Lights.
In There Must Be Some Other Way another love affair has reached its end, but there still is the question whether there is any other way than separation.

One Man’s Fool

working title: Breathless
music: Banks / Rutherford
lyrics: Banks
keys: E flat minor, C sharp minor, E flat major, F sharp major
speed: 86 bpm

00:00 – 00:22 intro: drum machine, keyboard melody Tony, guitar harmonies Mike
00:22 – 01:01 first verse
01:01 – 01:31 chorus (brass sounds + keyboards Tony (like the closing chorus of
                        Driving The Last Spike played live)
01:31 – 02:09 second verse
02:09  - 02:40 chorus
02:40 – 03:18 third verse (slightly bigger arrangement)
03:18 – 03:48 chorus
03:48 – 08:46 “grand finale” (Ray singing throughout)
             from 03:48 – 04:07 keyboard solo Tony (C sharp minor)
             from 04:07 guitar riff Mike
              from 04:18 Tony’s keyboard “creeps back in”
             from 04:24 key changes back to E flat major; vocals Ray in the background
             from 04:51 keyboard harmonies in that “Driving The Last Spike final chorus played live” style
             from 05:00 rhythmic guitar riff by Mike (like the closing section of Driving The Last Spike)
             from 06:08 several vocal overlaying melodies
             from 06:14 new harmonic passages (with an organ-like sound), vocals Ray
             from 07:03 double beat drumming
             from 07:36 – 07:47 key changes to F sharp major
             from 07:47 closing section, keyboard harmonies back in E flat major (as from 04:51 onwards)

The music Genesis made in the 70s is commonly called “art rock”. Songs like One Man’s Fool (and a couple of other songs on Calling All Stations) could be described as “art pop”, as it were. It is during the introduction to this fourth long song that Mike Rutherford plays the trickiest, most “art rock” part on the whole album. Pity it is somewhat short. After the very active first part that is only marred by the loud snare in the second verse Tony plays a brief keyboard solo that is attractive mainly for three notes that are moved around rhythmically. The solo segues into the grand finale which sounds as if Genesis had picked some bits from a longer jam session and basically just stuck them together. Genesis definitely took that approach for Abacab and perhaps also for a piece like Do The Neurotic. The relation to this non-album track from the Invisible Touch sessions becomes evident when the drummer Nir Zidkyahu accelerates to double speed at 07:03. There are also several things that sound a bit like Driving The Last Spike (see above). The closing section is very drawn-out; despite all the variations it is tiring rather than exciting. When Ray sings “There are only differences” his vocals remind one of Francis Dunnery, singer of It Bites.
The lyrics of One Man’s Fool are not easy to get. Their alternatingly biting and resigned lines are open to all kinds of interpretation; if it is understood as a protest song it becomes a continuation of songs like Land Of Confusion or Tell Me Why. The lyrics denounce the madness and pointlessness of wars in which millions suffer because some powerful people draw demarcation lines in order to defend them with lots of lethal effort (unfortunately, there are enough examples that could have sparked this song) – to top it all off, these militarists are even frequently honoured with a monument. 


After the recent accomplished solo albums from the Genesis camp (e.g. Strictly Inc., Beggar On A Beach Of Gold, Dance Into The Light or A Midsummer Night’s Dream) the “real thing” brings us Calling All Stations, an album the reactions to which it will be very interesting to note (listen to the album frequently and turn up the volume!). Since they allegedly wrote 17 songs we may hope for four more non-album tracks. One of them is likely called Run Out Of Time. According to information found on the net it was originally supposed to be on the album.

Though We Can’t Dance had great songs like Fading Lights, Driving The Last Spike and No Son Of Mine it turned out during the promo tour that Genesis’s heart was not really in it anymore – their performances were just too exchangeable and polished despite the great music. With all due love and respect for Phil Collins, the time had come for a change. It remains to be seen what effect the breath of fresh air Ray Wilson brings into the band will have on the concerts where another new member will be introduced into the Genesis family: Since Daryl Stuermer is currently touring around the world with Phil Collins (and therefore not available for Genesis), guitar and bass player Anthony “Anto” Drennan (formerly with Clannad, The Corrs, Bill Whelan and others) will play live, too. Nir Zidkyahu will sit at the drums.

by Bernd Vormwald and Steffen Gerlach
translated by Martin Klinkhardt

Genesis: Calling All Stations

Calling All Stations Cover
Veröffentlichung: 1. September 1997
Formate: CD, MC, 2LP
Wiederveröffentlichungen: SACD/DVD

Band-Lineup und weitere Musiker

Tony Banks: Keyboards
Mike Rutherford: Guitars, Bass
Ray Wilson: Vocals
Nir Zidkyahu: Drums, Percussions
Nick D'Virgilio: Drums, Percussion

Produzent: Nick Davis


Calling All Stations 5:37
Banks / Rutherford

02 Congo
Banks / Rutherford

03 Shipwrecked
Banks / Rutherford

04 Alien Afternoon
Banks / Rutherford

05 Not About Us
Banks / Rutherford / Wilson

06 If That's What You Need
Banks / Rutherford

07 The Dividing Line
Banks / Rutherford

08 Uncertain Weather
Banks / Rutherford

09 Small Talk
Banks / Rutherford / Wilson

10 There Must Be Some Other Way
Banks / Rutherford / Wilson

11 One Man's Fool
Banks / Rutherford



Banjo Man 5:37
Banks / Rutherford / Wilson
CD-Single Congo

Papa He Said
Banks / Rutherford
CD-Single Congo

Banks / Rutherford
CD-Single Shipwrecked

Banks / Rutherford
CD-Single Shipwrecked

Anything Now
Banks / Rutherford
CD-Single Not About Us

Sign Your Life Away
Banks / Rutherford
CD-Single Not About Us

Run Out Of Time
Banks / Rutherford
CD-Single Not About Us

Nowhere Else To Turn
Banks / Rutherford
unveröffentlicht (nur auf interner Promo)