I first discovered Genesis back in the 70s. It was probably 1977 as I was already a fan when Attw3 was released and Trick was already old news. Trick quickly became an early fave of mine. It was during my spotty teenage years when my only source of comfort was the five-knuckle-shuffle as I crooned to Ripples in my back- bedroom and fantasied about those sixth form goddesses that, true to the song, sailed away and never came back or if they did, it was only to look scornfully down their noses at me which just made me rush back to my bedroom again in seek of...erm...more of the same. But I digress... 'England' was also an early fave.
I was an early playlister back then and tended to fillet out the indigestible bones. Besides, the albums are so long, I couldn’t get them on 1 side of a C90 cassette which was always a b*gger for those of us who had to make copies from the odd kid at school who had the LP. £5 (£25 in today’s money) was a lot for a spotty teenager to cough up back in the mid/late 70s. With 50p per week pocket money, it was birthdays and Christmas’ only, for me, I’m sorry to say!
“Kids today, huh? They don’t know how lucky they are! Now, hurry up with that tripe and onions, woman!”
So any track unfortunate enough to end up on the flip side, more than likely sat amongst the one-hit wonders and those cautious nibbles from other bands with which I was reluctant to fill the belly of a C90. As a result, they didn’t get listened to much.
One album I did shell out for was Foxtrot. I was probably about 13 or 14 at the time. But I was far too young for it. Distraught at a lot of the pastoral, folksy, developmental arrangements I rushed it back to the shop for something more readily digestible to my teenage ear.
It took me until 3 months ago, when reminiscing with a good friend, that I finally listened to it again. This was a band from my teenage years that I literally hadn’t listened to for decades. The old faves from yesteryear I suddenly recognised. OK, some had lost a lot of their former flavour but many had matured like a vintage cheese. In fact the more I gorged myself on the back catalogue, the more my appreciation grew. I was old enough now to look beyond the 'sugar ballads' (many of which remain ruined for me by disastrous love affairs at the time) for something with more complex flavours. Foxtrot, that album I just didn't get as a tender 13 year old, is now like fresh meat to me and has displaced Trick as a favourite album, as has Nursery Cryme of which I always, always loved 'The Musical Box', but found the rest of the album, well, a bit 'strange'. Not that I would have done anything but vigorously defend it to my mates back in the day. Naw, I was one of the cool kids, or at least I liked to think I was. "No 'Boney M', for me", I would announce with a swagger as I queued for a packet of Chewits from the school tuck shop with my pack of Top Trumps in hand....