25 years ago today: GENESIS release their last studio album ""Calling All Stations"

    • Official Post

    Yes, it has been a long long time ...


    read our review from 1997:

    https://www.genesis-news.com/c…tions-CD-review-s242.html


    ... and a review about the B-sides:

    https://www.genesis-news.com/c…NONALBUMTRACKS--s243.html


    ... and the 2012 retrospective:

    https://www.genesis-news.com/c…A-retrospective-s498.html


    What are your favorite tracks?

    Your favorite tracks on ... "Calling All Stations"


  • Wow. Where has the time gone?


    I remember being so excited. It was the first release after I had become a massive fan. The media buildup was steady and seemed fairly well orchestrated. But then it was a dark album that came out in a warm sunny august, and all news everywhere was swamped with princess Di dying and Elton John putting out candle in the wind. The usual music rags also did their MAGA-esque populist pile on saying the album was shit purely because it was Genesis and Genesis weren't cool, Spice Girls were the flavor du jour if I recall. (Sure, argue the album was shite on merit if you want but there wasn't a hint of that in the puerile shit I read at the time, it was brainless follow-the-crowd hostility).


    Anyway, I remember it did well in the UK. I personally loved it, and still do. Congo landed with a bit of a clunk however and unfortunately the album faded from sight pretty quickly. Then the tour sold very poorly and had to be majorly downgraded (from jumbo to big). I thought they had done enough to go for a second album as they were effectively starting with a new crew, and was very excited to continue following them but alas it was not to be.


    I love the title track, Congo, Dividing line, there must be some other way, and uncertain weather. Fond of not about us and alien afternoon. It's dense so it holds up well to being rediscovered as there's often some bit I'd forgotten I liked. The b sides were a mixed bag but quite a few enjoyable ones in there like sign your life away and run out of time.

  • Quick thoughts in response to the reviews:


    (1) I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks Ray sounds like Tony at the end of "Congo."


    (2) To me, "7/8" sounds more like it's in 7/4, mainly because of the drum part.


    (3) "Anything Now" has been on my mind a lot recently as I've dealt with some ups and downs in life.

    “When the waitress asked if I wanted my pizza cut into four or eight slices, I said, ‘Four. I don’t think I can eat eight.’” -- Yogi Berra

  • ...Then the tour sold very poorly and had to be majorly downgraded (from jumbo to big). I thought they had done enough to go for a second album as they were effectively starting with a new crew, and was very excited to continue following them but alas it was not to be.

    Let's not get confused about the tour. Whilst we all know about the nightmare in the US, after announcing one night in UK arenas, second nights were added in Birmingham and Cardiff. Not all the dates sold well, and Earls Court was very poorly organised, but it was far from the disaster it's too-often made out to be.

  • It's ... weird, which is why I love it, which is why I don't play it much, which is why when I do play it, I play it loudly.


    Sometimes I play it and skip skip skip songs, other times I'll let it ride--and still find something surprising--and still find something that makes me cringe.


    What's weird? Well, there's what I think a section of pure magic and elation that is the second half of Alien Afternoon... which is stitched to this bumbling reggae-wannabe section with "woke up in the morning"-triteness lyrics... which then segues into this wall of sound and yearning in the second part (which was pretty amazing in the live versions I've heard) that takes my breath. But as a whole? What is it?


    That's sort of my overall feeling for the album, maybe, I don't know, it still confounds me. Maybe I'm confused myself because I think I might actually really like Small Talk. What's wrong with me?

    ...

  • It's ... weird, which is why I love it, which is why I don't play it much, which is why when I do play it, I play it loudly....


    What's weird? Well, there's what I think a section of pure magic and elation that is the second half of Alien Afternoon... which is stitched to this bumbling reggae-wannabe section with "woke up in the morning"-triteness lyrics... which then segues into this wall of sound and yearning in the second part (which was pretty amazing in the live versions I've heard) that takes my breath. But as a whole? What is it?


    Tony Banks in 2021: "[CAS] slightly taints the whole Genesis catalogue. It's an album that's a bit weird."


    And on Alien Afternoon in 2016: "...I don't really like the first half. I wrote the lyrics and they're pretty bad. I'd always wanted to start a song with the words, 'I woke up in the morning', so I thought it would be great to use it here, but it didn't really work."

    • Official Post

    Let's not get confused about the tour. Whilst we all know about the nightmare in the US, after announcing one night in UK arenas, second nights were added in Birmingham and Cardiff. Not all the dates sold well, and Earls Court was very poorly organised, but it was far from the disaster it's too-often made out to be.

    pretty much the same situation in Germany. Dortmund was sold out quickly (saw them there), they added shows and festivals and the album sold well here.

  • Let's not get confused about the tour. Whilst we all know about the nightmare in the US, after announcing one night in UK arenas, second nights were added in Birmingham and Cardiff. Not all the dates sold well, and Earls Court was very poorly organised, but it was far from the disaster it's too-often made out to be.

    I'm not confused. I remember the original stage design they were planning which was much bigger than what they ended up with (I recall multiple sliding video panels, while they ended up with a couple of tall paper streamers). I don't think they got as far as booking stadia and then downgrading, but they weren't intending a tour of the scale they ended up with. Not a disaster (apart from the US) but definitely smaller scale than they envisioned.

  • I think there are too many songs on this album. :/

    Here's my playlist:


    CAS.

    Congo.

    Shipwrecked.

    Alien Afternoon.

    The Dividing Line.

    Small Talk.

    There Must Be Some Other Way.


    Bonus track: Not About Us. <3

  • I love that this divisive album that brought their studio career to what many consider a rather unsatisfying end has more threads on this board than any other album.


    I guarantee, in a year or so there'll be another one. Which I might start myself.

    Abandon all reason

  • Great album. It's Genesis. Really good stuff. Some I think dividing line is a classic. My 14th favourite Genesis album and one of my most played. Like all great bands Genesis never stood still and developed with each album.(For better all for worse but always good; never boring) This could have been the beginning of whole new era ,but sadly wasn't to be .

  • The main problem in this album is the sound : there’re a lack of dynamics, awful synth sound, no piano sound (it’s really a pity!!!) and a fade out in every song. The sound is too compressed. This greatly affects the drums which sound like a drum machine. This is a shame.

  • The main problem in this album is the sound : there’re a lack of dynamics, awful synth sound, no piano sound (it’s really a pity!!!) and a fade out in every song. The sound is too compressed. This greatly affects the drums which sound like a drum machine. This is a shame.

    TDL ends 'properly' but it's literally the only one to, I think. It's especially brutal on Congo where the song has switched to a different segment and feels like it's still got something to say then suddenly it fades. It's like a person who's in the middle of explaining something to you then walks off while they're still doing it. I think they overused fadeouts throughout their career.


    I don't mind the compression and the quite stark sound and feel it gives the album but I sense I'm in a minority not just regarding CAS but other albums too judging from comments on this board about the compression in some of the 07/08 remasters. But the keyboards sound rubbish, yes. For me it's partly some bad choices made by TB.

    Abandon all reason

  • Great album. It's Genesis. Really good stuff. Some I think dividing line is a classic. My 14th favourite Genesis album and one of my most played. Like all great bands Genesis never stood still and developed with each album.(For better all for worse but always good; never boring) This could have been the beginning of whole new era ,but sadly wasn't to be .

    Your 14th favourite, huh? It's certainly in my top 15.

  • When I listen to this it sounds ok but I rarely think to play it and when I do I don’t relish the thought of listening to it. I think Ray’s voice is outstanding and I think they have every right to call it Genesis so it’s not as if I had a poor attitude to it to start with. I just find it dull and samey with one or two exceptions and that makes it feel like another band to me. I prefer earlier Genesis but even on WCD and IT it felt like Genesis because there was a brightness and humour and experimentation. CAS sounds to me like bits of a Mechanics album bolted on to bits of latter Tony Banks solo stuff with the same singer, which it is in some ways and they did say they unexpectedly missed Phil bringing them together to make something new. Banks/Rutherford as a duo was never really a writing combo throughout Genesis until this point. I wish they had carried on but then Ray would have written with them and that might have made it even worse from my point of view. But I fully recognise its quality in places and I’m glad others like it.

  • There are some exceptions in terms of sound in this album :


    CAS

    Not About Us

    Uncertain Weather


    Another quote: the B Sides are more interesting to compare with certain songs on the album ! That’s a very strange album and work in progress.

  • A good album with weaknesses and a stepchild in their discography. It opened a new chapter of Genesis and left a huge question mark of what might have been. It suffers from being the first (and only) of a new personel constellation. Mike, Tony and Phil had been a working entity since Nursery Cryme, on CAS Tony and Mike had to find a new working mode and Ray had hardly a chance to give input. The songs were mostly written before they even had a singer. The drummers were doing session work and could not give their own input either. It all screams for a second album, it's a shame CAS never got a successor.


    One of the interesting aspects of this album is its darkness. Neither Tony's solo albums nor the Mechanics stuff has ever been so dark.

  • It left me cold when it came out, but I eventually rediscovered the album a couple of years ago. Tracks like "Uncertain Weather" and "The Dividing Line" are really good and I still wonder why "Anything Now" wasn't included ...