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Ray Wilson The Weight Of Man Interview
Surrender Of Silence
The Last Domino? Tour

Calling All Stations


If you analyzed the highly interesting song chart at the 2008 fan club meeting in Welkers you could find out some background information about the songs on Calling All Stations. Seven songs that were not used on the album have become available: Papa He Said and Banjo Man, Phret, 7/8, Anything Now, Sign Your Life Away and Run Out Of Time.

Papa He Said

working title: Tele
music: Banks/Rutherford
lyrics: Rutherford
keys: B flat major / A minor
speed : 114 beats per minute
length: 4:07

00:00 - 00:17 = intro (B Major), guitar riff Mike (a)
00:17 - 00:42 = key changes to A Minor, guitar riff Mike (b), vocal part (A)
00:42 - 00:55 = vocal part (Ba)
00:55 - 01:11 = guitar riff Mike (b), vocal part (A)
01:11 - 01:37 = vocal part (Bb) (= Ba with many harmonic extensions)
01:37 - 02:02 = guitar riff Mike (b), vocal part (A)
02:02 - 02:27 = vocal part (Bb)
02:27 - 02:52 = intro passage (key changes to B Major) + vocals Ray
02:52 - 03:17 = key changes to A Minor, guitar riff Mike (b), vocal part (A)
03:17 - 03:25 = vocal part (Bc) (= Bb modified)
03:25 - 04:07 = guitar riff Mike (b), vocal part (A)

Mike Rutherford plays his guitar in the fashion of Westernhagen's guitarist Jay Stapley or Keith Richards of the Stones. There is also a bit of I Can't Dance in there. Though this song is stylistically not at all typical Genesis material one should not dismiss Papa He Said too soon. The key changes from B flat Major to A Minor and back and the variations on the vocal parts have a peculiar attraction, and songs like these are just made for Ray Wilson's voice. Tony Banks even dares go back to an organ sound. The drummer (whether it is Nir Zidkyahu or Nick d'Virgilio is unknown) occasionally uses a cow bell, an percussion instrument rarely used by Genesis. This song could have been the odd one out on the album, but it could have also found its place like Small Talk did. 

The lyrics? Someone is given peculiar pieces of advice by their father. 

Banjo Man

working title: Banjo
music: Banks/Rutherford
lyrics: Wilson
key: B minor
speed: 97 bpm
length: 4:21

00:00 - 00:10 = intro keyboard / drums / banjo (Mike? Tony?) over chords from the verses
00:10 - 00:49 = 1st verse
00:49 - 01:08 = chorus
01:08 - 01:47 = 2nd verse
01:47 - 02:07 = chorus
02:07 - 02:29 = bridge
02:29 - 03:27 = 3rd verse
03:37 - 03:44 = bridge
03:44 - 04:21 = intro repeated with Ray’s vocals

„What on earth is that?“ is a very likely question for someone who first hears Banjo Man. Is it a banjo sample by Tony Banks or did Mike Rutherford hang the instrument round his neck? Anyway, kudos for the courage to use this instrument that was last heard (sampled) on Phil Collins' songs We're Sons Of Our Fathers or (for real) on The Roof Is Leaking. Fans may feel unsure of what to do with Banjo Man today in the same way fans were about Happy The Man in the 70s - and what is Happy The Man today? It is a cult song, so there. Ray Wilson sings a bit like Colin Hay of Men At Work (remember the band from Down Under who had a big hit with Down Under in the 80s?) on this peculiar piece. One of the drum breaks (~ 02:27) is exactly the same as in Congo (~ 03:03) so it is likely that Nir Zidkyahu drummed on this song. Banjo Man is not necessarily album material, but certainly worth a B-side - though no-one would ever link this song to Genesis unless it said so on the cover!

It is a song about a street musician who enchants people with a certain song and dreams of his big breakthrough. A couple of strange lines make interpretation of this song difficult.


Working title: Fret
Music: Banks / Rutherford
Keys: G Minor, G Major
Speed 88bpm
Length: 04:06

00:00 - 00:59 (part A) G minor, quiet E-piano, drum machine
00:59 - 01:42 (part B) G major, bombast, real drums
01:42 - 02:42 part A
02:42 - 04:06 part B

The title for this instrumental comes from the sound Tony Banks uses in the B parts of the song. It is a sound that mimics a phret-less bass. Of course, the spelling used in the working title would be more correct, but there is such a thing as artistic freedom, then perhaps the British have their spelling reform, too, and then, really, who cares?

It is the first time in the history of Genesis that a bass plays the lead role to such a degree, though it is obviously a keyboard imitation because Rutherford's part consists of playing the acoustic guitar you hear in the B parts.

The quiet minor E-piano parts (in part A) are an effective contrast to the bombastic major sounds in the other part of the instrumental. What a pity that Phret was not developed from this demo into a full song.


Working title: Seven Eight
Music: Banks / Rutherford
Keys: E minor, G major, D minor
Speed: 128 bpm
Length 05:09
00:00 - 00:27 part 1a twice, E minor, quiet guitar chords
00:27 - 00:40 part 1b once, G major, plus keyboards
00:40 - 00:52 part 1a once
00:52 - 01:18 part 1b twice
01:18 - 01:57 part 2, G major, plus synthetic-sounding E-piano
01:57 - 03:28 part 3, D minor, bombast
03:28 - 03:54 part 1a twice
03:54 - 04:20 part 1b twice
04:20 - 05:09 part 2

In order to understand and appreciate this instrumental a brief detour into the frequently boring, but instructive world of musical theory might help: Computer freaks know that the language of these incredible machines consists only of 0 and 1, regardless of whether you are listening to Watcher Of The Skies or a nursery rhyme. Something similar happens in rhythmics: In music, there are only rhythms based on two and on three. They can be linked whichever way you like. Everything that is in 2/4 or 4/4 sounds familiar to our ears, and we all will probably recognize a waltz in 3/4 and clap along correctly. 

So-called strange time signatures (e.g. 5/4, 7/4, 9/4 and their correspondent rhythms of 5/8, 7/8 and so on) sound alien to our ears. They seem strange, bizarre, unusual, and that is why they are so attractive that they were quite normal in Genesis' music up to Duke and still are in progressive rock bands like Marillion, IQ and Spock's Beard - to the delight of their fans. The last one from the Genesis camp to use a strange notation  was Tony Banks (in Something To Live For from his Strictly Inc. album).

The sophistication that can be achieved in 'strange time signatures' becomes audible in pieces like The Cinema Show (7/8) or Apocalypse in 9/8, part six of Supper's Ready. The latter song offers the parallel in that both songs mention the time signature in their respective titles. 

7/8 is more interesting than the other non-album instrumental. Both Phret and 7/8 let the dynamics shine, particularly in the compact third part leading to a highpoint that resembles Alien Afternoon. Nick d'Virgilio is let off the leash on this song - why not on the album?

Both Phret and particularly 7/8 seem like a perfect backing track that lacks vocals to be completed. 7/8 could have become a Genesis classic in the 90s. Pity it didn't.     

Anything Now

working title: Big Boy
music: B/R
lyrics: ?
keys: B major, B minor
speed: 104bpm
length: 06:58
00:00 - 00:55 intro with chorus from 00:20 onwards, B major
00:55 - 01:50 first verse, B minor
01:50 - 02:26 chorus
02:26 - 03:12 second verse
03:12 - 03:48 chorus
03:48 - 05:45 instrumental section in B minor:
     03:48 - 04:06 arpeggio Mike
     04:06 - 05:08 CP-70 solo Tony
     05:08 - 05:26 riff from the verse, Mike
     05:26 - 05:45 'beeping' sounds Tony
05:45 - 06:21 chorus
06:21 - 06:58 closing section (chorus) + additional keyboards

Anything Now begins with a Mechanics-like guitar riff. The chorus comes in soon after and offers a direct, smooth introduction to the song.

Rutherford plays a funky guitar riff during the verses that resembles a passage from Second Home By The Sea (01:49 - 01:58). The melody that accompanies the words  sometimes… sounds very much like Tony solo.

The instrumental part with its light swing/shuffle feeling includes a piano-solo by Tony Banks on the Yamaha CP-70E. Though it does not really rock the world of music it is a tasteful melody. Throughout the song one can hear a couple of sound effect gimmicks in the background.

Anything Now is distinguished from most Calling All Stations songs by its optimistic sound. It is a song about someone who is basically happy with their life, but, of course, suddenly everything can change, “anything now could be there for you”, anything is possible.

Sign Your Life Away

working title: Fuzz Intro
music: Banks / Rutherford
lyrics: ?
key: G major, B minor
speed 121 bpm
length: 04:44
00:00 - 00:27 intro, G major
00:27 - 01:03 first verse, B minor
01:03 - 01:11 interlude, G major
01:11 - 01:46 chorus, G major
01:46 - 02:21 second verse
02:21 - 02:29 interlude
02:29 - 03:05 chorus
03:05 - 03:28 bridge A with vocals
03.28 - 03:44 bridge B, guitar riff Mike with sounds like on Calling All Stations + sound effects
03:44 - 04:44 chorus

Sign Your Life Away is a powerful song, almost too aggressive for Genesis. It has a very heavy beginning that sounds a bit like 70s pop bands such as The Osmonds (Crazy Horses). Mike's guitar sounds a lot like Andy Summers in The Police's classic Roxanne. The drumming, too, (Nir's or Nick's?) resembles Stewart Copeland's style. Copeland, incidentally, drummed on Mike's solo album Acting Very Strange. The two-part bridge sports peculiar rhythms before Mike brings back the striking distorted guitar sound of the album's title track.

The powerful sound of the chorus is extended by a keyboard sound that brings back childhood memories: Who of us us did not whirl one of those plastic tubes through the air to produce a whistling sound and annoy their parents?

Ray Wilson angrily sings about empty promises and politicians who trick people into trusting them and then abuse that trust and bring on pain.

Run Out Of Time

working title: Chicago sax
music: Banks / Rutherford
lyrics: ?
key: G minor or B flat major
speed: 100 bpm
00:00 - 00:33 intro with synth saxophone, G minor
00:33 - 01:16 first verse, B flat major
01:16 - 01:54 chorus, G minor
01:54 - 02:37 second verse
02:37 - 03:15 chorus
03:15 - 04:46 bridge resembling a film score
                    04:03 short chorus Ray
                    04:13 synth saxophone solo (similar to intro)
04:46 - 05:20 third verse

Run Out Of Time spreads a jazzy atmosphere with its poor man's keyboard saxophone. Ray Wilson sings in a plaintive voice that has bits of Peter Gabriel and Bono. The chords underneath range from beautiful to bizarre both in verse and chorus. The transition from the verse to the chorus has particularly unusual harmonies. The middle section is very enjoyable, too, and sounds almost like a soundtrack. Both guitar, drums (Nir Z) and the barely audible drum machine tablas play very discreetly throughout the track.
The lyrics are about someone whose time is running out (in what context so ever) and who has run out of love and tears. When you hear this great song (originally only 4:40, by the way) it makes you wonder why it was not included on the album - a non-album gem…...


Nowhere Else To Turn (working title: Rosin / Cold Winter's Nite) is another song that was completed but will likely never see the light since the band have planned no further single releases to accompany the album. Besides that there are also a couple of more or less unfinished songs or song ideas. Of these, two working titles are known: Soft Delight and Scotties

Upon (literally!) closer inspection the song chart reveals another three-part demo: Groan pt.1, Groan pt.2 / Katmandu (this became Calling All Stations) and Groan pt.3 / Fast Echo.

by Bernd Vormwald and Steffen Gerlach

translated by Martin Klinkhardt