Similarities between "Battle of Epping Forest" and "Robbery, Assault And Battery"?

  • Hey

    a user in our German forum has started an interesting conversation (link to the original post in German language).


    He wrote:

    I bought both - Selling England and A Trick of the Tail - together and got to know them on the same day, which makes me more aware of a certain similarity between Battle of Epping Forest and Robbery, Assault & Battery. Not only in thematic terms are both songs humorous looks at heavy British boys and offer Gabriel and Collins the opportunity to celebrate role-playing lyrically, but musically I also see overlap:

    The passage ""He's leaving via the roof, the bastard's got away" sounds almost the same melodically as "Amidst the battle roar, accountants keep the score". Banks' previous instrumental parts from 3:17 of Epping Forest and from 2:36 on Robbery, Assault and Battery also sound pretty similar to me.

    I would assume a coincidental similarity, but who knows. :) Has anyone else noticed this?


    I have never noticed that until I checked it earlier today. What do you think?

  • That’s very interesting! ARP Pro Soloist parts followed by similar melodies. Something tells me Banks was inspired by his own creation that he used it again on Robbery.

  • I guess this is coincidence. That said, yes, of course there's similarities between these songs in a broader sense. And both are surprisingly unpopular among Genesis fans (surprising for me, I love both of them).

  • People hate Robbery? :o


    I honestly think it’s one of my favorites. It’s got some complicated parts and the humor is pretty good.


    I’ve got some admiration for Epping as well, but I kinda lean more over to the Robbery spectrum.

  • People hate Robbery? :o


    I honestly think it’s one of my favorites. It’s got some complicated parts and the humor is pretty good.


    I’ve got some admiration for Epping as well, but I kinda lean more over to the Robbery spectrum.

    I'm certainly not keen on either but would tend to prefer Battle. When PG told a humorous story he did it so much better and with more style. One album after his departure and they already started to get quite twee lyrically, RA&B being a prime example. The Seconds Out one with PC's overacting makes it even worse.


    By comparison, although I don't much like Battle as a whole I love the 'Reverend' section. Musically it's completely unrelated, lyrically it's linked but in a different style which shows how PG was infinitely better at this stuff than Banks.


    The only bit of Robbery I like is the segment immediately after "bad man, bad man".

    Abandon all reason

  • I guess this is coincidence. That said, yes, of course there's similarities between these songs in a broader sense. And both are surprisingly unpopular among Genesis fans (surprising for me, I love both of them).

    I too, love both of them—hence my name.
    “I’m breaking the legs of the bastard that got me framed!”

  • I too, love both of them—hence my name.
    “I’m breaking the legs of the bastard that got me framed!”

    It's certainly a good source of Genesis board user names. If I were to pick a Genesis name it'd most likely be The Reverend (see my earlier post). But it could just as well be Barking Slug, Thumpire, Harold Demure, Jones the Jug, Sweetmeal Sam... though I'd be less sure about Mick the Prick or Bob the Nob.

    Abandon all reason

  • Good spot, there are more similarities than I thought. I prefer Epping because of the Reverend section but both good tracks. I suppose from Nursery Cryme to Wind and Wuthering and probably beyond, there was always a story track with a bit of humour, and lots of characters - Harold the Barrel, Get ‘em out by Friday, Epping Forest, perhaps Counting out Time (arguably the whole of the Lamb), Robbery, Mouse’s night. But Epping and Robbery do have a lot of overlaps.

  • Good spot, there are more similarities than I thought. I prefer Epping because of the Reverend section but both good tracks. I suppose from Nursery Cryme to Wind and Wuthering and probably beyond, there was always a story track with a bit of humour, and lots of characters - Harold the Barrel, Get ‘em out by Friday, Epping Forest, perhaps Counting out Time (arguably the whole of the Lamb), Robbery, Mouse’s night. But Epping and Robbery do have a lot of overlaps.

    Harold is a nice character ;)


    I also didn't know about the similarities, thx for the heads up! Fascinating what fans can find.