MIKE RUTHERFORD - Smallcreep's Day (album thread)

  • In celebration of today's release anniversary (15th Feb 1980), I think it's a nice idea to open a general album thread for Smallcreep's Day.


    You may check our review about the album:

    https://www.genesis-news.com/c…s-Day-CD-review-s270.html


  • For me, the best "Genesis-solo" album not to have Steve's name on it! Mainly due to side one, the concept side, but 2 or 3 of side 2 are vary good also. Mike should be prouder of it than he appears to be!

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • Moving this from the other thread since it probably fits better here...


    I may have said this before but I'll say it again: I know that the suite is officially supposed to be on Side 1, but I've always been used to the U.S. vinyl version that had it on Side 2. To my ears, the album just doesn't work right with the suite on Side 1; it's like switching the sides of, say, FOXTROT.

    The Seat Bunny!

  • These days Mike seems to disregard anything that predates the Mama album, be it Genesis or solo. ?( I like Smallcreep's Day a lot and think it's one of the best solo releases by any Genesis member. A wonderful re-teaming of Mike and Ant. Also, as a Genesis fan, after I had first listened to it I actually felt much wiser as to what Mike's contribution had been to the albums from the 1970s.

  • Love this album! It's a shame you can only listen to this album via youtube or illegal download sites, if you're not lucky to find an extant vinyl somewhere. It really deserves to be reissued.

  • I was able to find this album on CD easily enough at one point, but that may have changed since then. The CD version has no lyrics or even proper credits -- i.e., no mention of Noel, Ant, etc.


    A couple of comments about the review:

    (1) It says that the sides were swapped on many US & UK pressings by mistake?? That contradicts other information I've heard (sides swapped intentionally on US pressing only) and it doesn't sound right to me.

    (2) It also says that, since the suite is longer than Supper's Ready, it can be counted as "the longest Genesis-related piece of music." Um, no... that would be "The Meadows of Englewood" by Anthony Phillips & Guillermo Cazenave, which runs for 36:43.


    Side note: This morning I decided to copy the single edit of "Working In Line" from vinyl to digital. It makes for a rather odd single, given that the words don't make any particular sense out of the context of the suite. The vocal section is included twice, rather than just once, but overall it's shorter than the album version (about 2:45). (I originally only got the single for "Compression," a track that really should have been included on the CD reissue to begin with.)

    The Seat Bunny!

    Edited once, last by DecomposingMan ().

  • These days Mike seems to disregard anything that predates the Mama album, be it Genesis or solo. ?( I like Smallcreep's Day a lot and think it's one of the best solo releases by any Genesis member...

    Mike is another prime example of artists being the worst judges of their own material.


    I share the love and enthusiasm of those who herald Smallcreep's Day as one of the best solo albums to come out of the Genesis camp - it would probably be in my Top 5 or 6.

    I was always quite puzzled by Mike's dismissal of it as "not very good" when I think it outshines everything he has done on his own since.

  • Moving this from the other thread since it probably fits better here...


    I may have said this before but I'll say it again: I know that the suite is officially supposed to be on Side 1, but I've always been used to the U.S. vinyl version that had it on Side 2. To my ears, the album just doesn't work right with the suite on Side 1; it's like switching the sides of, say, FOXTROT.

    Indeed, here is the aforementioned other thread, for those who might like the buzz and excitement of switching between two Smallcreep threads. Well, lockdown can do that to a person....

    Abandon all reason

  • I listened to this album after having listened to all of Genesis, and having a good bit of familiarity with the mechanics works. I found - and still find - the mechanics very middle of the road, and quite unexciting. My impression had been that Mike was something of a lightweight contributor in writing terms to Genesis. I would have thought of Throwing It All Away (a song I find terribly bland) as the quintessential Mike song.


    I was therefore very pleasantly surprised by Smallcreep's Day. I haven't listened in a while but it was much more ambitious and complex than I expected. For a long time it was my favorite solo album by a member (likely overtaken by Up or Hello! I must be going). I look forward to listening again soon to see if my favorable impression still holds.

  • I absolutely love this album - best solo Genesis project out there, imho.


    Crying out for a 5.1 surround mix like Tony's A Curious Feeling. Can't understand why Mike won't allow it to happen.


    Noel McCall singing many of the Smallcreep songs live at Trading Boundaries with the Rocking Horse Music Club band was a real highlight of 2019.

  • This thread inspired me to give Smallcreep's Day a long overdue listen. I love the album.


    When I pulled out my CD, I was disappointed to find that the 30 year old silver disc is starting to turn light brown/rust colored. I know this probably means it is in the early stages of CD Rot and will eventually stop playing. For now, fortunately, it plays fine. As a back-up --- since a replacement CD isn't available --- I was able to successfully rip the tracks from the CD onto my hard drive as both WAV and FLAC files.


    Yet another good reason for Mike to follow Ant's lead and give this album a well deserved re-release with all the frills of Ant's recent Esoteric clamshell releases. Ant seems to be in favor of re-releasing it ...


    Looking Back At Mike Rutherford's Smallcreeps Day With Anthony Phillips

  • When I pulled out my CD, I was disappointed to find that the 30 year old silver disc is starting to turn light brown/rust colored. I know this probably means it is in the early stages of CD Rot and will eventually stop playing. For now, fortunately, it plays fine. As a back-up --- since a replacement CD isn't available --- I was able to successfully rip the tracks from the CD onto my hard drive as both WAV and FLAC files.

    Which edition is that? I'm guessing the original UK one.


    Phil Morris

  • From my notes for Ant's Harvest of the Heart release:


    With these preparations completed, the recording of the album commenced at Polar Studios in Stockholm, with David Hentschel undertaking both production and engineering duties, assisted by David Bascombe. The choice of Noel McCalla as lead vocalist for the album had yet to be made so during the sessions at Polar the tracks for the album were only recorded in instrumental form. In order to ensure that the singer would have a point of reference when recording the lead vocals, it was decided that Mike would put down some rough guide vocals for most of the tracks. With Ant and Mike knowing each other very well and both possessing a similar sense of humour, it was almost predictable that this would be the source of some amusing moments in the studio. Almost inevitably, as Mike sang the first line of Between The Tick & The Tock (“It’s so very dark in here”) the studio lights were promptly switched off....

  • it was decided that Mike would put down some rough guide vocals for most of the tracks.

    I can't begin to imagine what that would have sounded like...


    On another note: Where does the title of the B-side "Compression" come from? It's not even remotely hinted at in the lyrics as far as I can tell. Way back in the early '80s, when I was familiar with the album, and knew of the B-side but hadn't yet heard it, I thought the title sounded like it could be connected somehow with the "mechanical" theme of the SD suite.

    The Seat Bunny!

  • On another note: Where does the title of the B-side "Compression" come from? It's not even remotely hinted at in the lyrics as far as I can tell.


    Way back in the early '80s, when I was familiar with the album, and knew of the B-side but hadn't yet heard it, I thought the title sounded like it could be connected somehow with the "mechanical" theme of the SD suite.

    I've always surmised that this was the working title from where it originates (the end section) during the SEBTP sessions.


    Phil Morris

  • Which edition is that? I'm guessing the original UK one.


    Phil Morris

    Yes, it's the original UK edition from 1989.


    The only other CD I have had turn bronze like this is Tony's Soundtracks which is inscribed on the disc's center with "Made in UK by PDO." Through online research, I found that it's common for discs manufactured in the UK by PDO between 1988 - 1993 to have this problem. Smallcreep's Day, though, does not say made in UK by PDO.


    The funny thing is, Soundtracks turned bronze more than 10 years ago but still plays fine. Even though I have all of Tony's releases, I rationalized buying the recent "Banks Vaults" box set partly as an excuse to have a better copy of Soundtracks.

  • Yes, it's the original UK edition from 1989.


    The only other CD I have had turn bronze like this is Tony's Soundtracks which is inscribed on the disc's center with "Made in UK by PDO." Through online research, I found that it's common for discs manufactured in the UK by PDO between 1988 - 1993 to have this problem. Smallcreep's Day, though, does not say made in UK by PDO.

    Thought so. I had a load of these discs at the time the problem was first reported. Fortunately, labels were very good at replacing them and I was able to do so for all but a couple of obscure CD singles which had been deleted.


    Phil Morris

  • Yes, it's the original UK edition from 1989.


    The only other CD I have had turn bronze like this is Tony's Soundtracks which is inscribed on the disc's center with "Made in UK by PDO." Through online research, I found that it's common for discs manufactured in the UK by PDO between 1988 - 1993 to have this problem. Smallcreep's Day, though, does not say made in UK by PDO.


    The funny thing is, Soundtracks turned bronze more than 10 years ago but still plays fine. Even though I have all of Tony's releases, I rationalized buying the recent "Banks Vaults" box set partly as an excuse to have a better copy of Soundtracks.

    Philips/Polygram also had the problem with German manufactured discs, there were different causes, Philips issue in the early days was that they made the discs oversize, diameter-wise, then cut them back, which exposed the edge of the aluminium layer to air. It's easy to spot these discs, they have a flat edge, while discs made without cutting back have a tapered edge. I suspect other companies had issues with contamination in the factory.


    I have an 80's Philips copy of "on the Threshold Of A Dream" by the Moody Blues which went bronze 20 years ago, but still plays. The only 2 discs I had fail are David Gray's White Ladder, long since in the bin, and XTC's Skylarking, which doesn't say where it was made, or by who. Luckily, I had a lossless backup of the latter. Neither were noticeably bronze, and XTC has a tapered edge.

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life