Songs I'm Afraid to Admit I Don't Like

  • I would like to believe we can go beyond the boundaries of personal taste and particularly with the benefit of hindsight, admit...The Specials, Madness, Howard Jones, Nik Kershaw, Ultravox are really not in the big league

    And yet I know folk whose love for those artists rivals my own for Genesis and they would argue otherwise.

  • Yes, I can believe that the Italians would not like Abacab. They have sophisticated musical tastes with opera etc. I think they were the first country to really appreciate Genesis back in the 70s


    Make it two. Pisa, Italy, 1982

  • Yes, I can believe that the Italians would not like Abacab. They have sophisticated musical tastes with opera etc. I think they were the first country to really appreciate Genesis back in the 70s

    You clearly didn't watch a quarter of a million Italians lapping up Invisible Touch and I Can't Dance in 2007.

  • You clearly didn't watch a quarter of a million Italians lapping up Invisible Touch and I Can't Dance in 2007.

    Yet in 82 the new material didn't go down very well. They hadn't been in Italy in years and the audience, including the 17 years old myself, was expecting something else. They obviously had an album to promote but it wasn't well received, they changed a few songs for their concert in Rome a few days later which was I think very gracious of them. I had a bootleg tape of that concert, I obviously lost it now but I still remember an incredible performance by Phil on the Lamb lies down on Broadway.

  • Yet in 82 the new material didn't go down very well. They hadn't been in Italy in years and the audience, including the 17 years old myself, was expecting something else. They obviously had an album to promote but it wasn't well received, they changed a few songs for their concert in Rome a few days later which was I think very gracious of them. I had a bootleg tape of that concert, I obviously lost it now but I still remember an incredible performance by Phil on the Lamb lies down on Broadway.

    They played Supper's Ready at that show. Some people are hard to please!

  • Yes, I can believe that the Italians would not like Abacab. They have sophisticated musical tastes with opera etc. I think they were the first country to really appreciate Genesis back in the 70s

    I think Italians have always felt quite proprietorial about Genesis, unjustifiably so imo. It is true that it was the country that gave them their first break but I tend to think it was a coincidence, Genesis were simply too good it would have happened for them anyway. Again though, I think it was very nice of them to make a few changes and to be blunt Abacab material disappeared pretty quickly form their gigs anyway ;-)

    Edited once, last by Fabrizio ().

  • I would like to believe we can go beyond the boundaries of personal taste and particularly with the benefit of hindsight, admit some artist have been relevant for a certain period and then not so much. I might not like Duran Duran but they had their say. I might like Alison Moyet with Yazoo and solo but she stopped being relevant a while ago. Nobody can dispute the legacy of bands like the Police or Talking Heads and if you are into that even George Michael will be regarded as a gifted songwriter, particularly after his death but artists like: The Specials, Madness, Howard Jones, Nik Kershaw, Ultravox are really not in the big league

    I agree! There has to be more to it than personal taste. There was a lot of froth in the 80s. Fun but froth. The bands that made an impact are those such as The Smiths. Too many were simply those who got themselves a wacky haircut and jumped on the bandwagon. Anyone still playing Flock of Seagulls? Their natural home is an 80s compilation CD. I doubt their albums ever had much substance.

  • I think Italians have always felt quite proprietorial about Genesis, unjustifiably so imo. It is true that it was the country that gave them their first break but I tend to think it was a coincidence, Genesis were simply too good it would have happened for them anyway. Again though, I think it was very nice of them to make a few changes and to be blunt Abacab material disappeared pretty quickly form their gigs anyway ;-)

    The band themselves felt strongly that Italy was a special place for them, hence the Rome 07 show being free - their final European gig being a huge thank you to the country they felt first fully embraced them.


    I'm amazed they made set changes in response to booing. First, because they were so rigid with setlists they rarely made changes, and second because the booing in Netherlands didn't budge them and quite right too. I'm disappointed to hear they did that, I lose respect for any artist who doesn't have the conviction and confidence to stand by their new material.


    You can't read too much into the Abacab stuff being dropped quickly, they did that with most of their new stuff. The title track hung on in there for 4 tours.

    Abandon all reason

  • And yet I know folk whose love for those artists rivals my own for Genesis and they would argue otherwise.

    I'd add that re Madness and The Specials, the Stiff and 2Tone bands were very influential. The Specials didn't last long but like the also short-lived Pistols they made a lasting impression. I wasnt a fan but still strongly remember Ghost Town as one of the most evocative songs of that time. I'd argue both those bands have a legacy, as to some extent do Ultravox.

    Abandon all reason

  • I'm disappointed to hear they did that, I lose respect for any artist who doesn't have the conviction and confidence to stand by their new material.


    You can't read too much into the Abacab stuff being dropped quickly, they did that with most of their new stuff. The title track hung on in there for 4 tours.

    I am not disappointed but I agree with you, no artist should ever do do that, evidently, as you said, they felt some sort of gratitude towards that audience.

    Selfishly, I am happy they played Super's Ready.

    About Abacab material being dropped, I am obviously using the point to reinforce my opinion that, although the record was extremely important, that material wasn't very strong and didn't stand the test of time. I may be wrong ...Or not, no way of knowing it. The title track was the only one I think that lasted for a couple of tours which wouldn't disprove my point: only one song. I saw them in Vienna, I believe in 92, the WCD tour, I don't think they played any song from Abacab, not even the title track but I may be wrong.

  • I think a lot of the "punk killed prog" anti-prog nonsense came from the media rather than actual musicians, who largely tend to be very fair to each other.


    I embraced punk but my enduring love from that time is the post-punk new wave stuff and yes, PiL are up there with the Banshees and Magazine. I'm seeing PiL this month at my local club venue, Inverness Ironworks.

    I think it was Danny Baker who once said that when working for the Melody Maker (or NME?)in the 70's, the editor instructed the team to put some punk musicians at the top of the readers polls, regardless of how readers had voted, because he was 'sick' of the same people winning best drummer/guitarist polls; the likes of John Bonham, Ritchie Blackmore et al..

  • I am not disappointed but I agree with you, no artist should ever do do that, evidently, as you said, they felt some sort of gratitude towards that audience.

    Selfishly, I am happy they played Super's Ready.

    About Abacab material being dropped, I am obviously using the point to reinforce my opinion that, although the record was extremely important, that material wasn't very strong and didn't stand the test of time. I may be wrong ...Or not, no way of knowing it. The title track was the only one I think that lasted for a couple of tours which wouldn't disprove my point: only one song. I saw them in Vienna, I believe in 92, the WCD tour, I don't think they played any song from Abacab, not even the title track but I may be wrong.

    The title track was played on 4 tours. I think there's strong material on the album but ironically its tight spacey sound was its undoing on stage as their live sound couldnt capture it. Except the title track, which improved with each tour, all the other tracks they played live failed (Dodo wasn't too bad).


    I believe that the dropping of Abacab tracks was partly this, and partly their regular policy. Perfectly good tracks were ruthlessy dumped, never to be played again. Behind the Lines lasted 3 tours before they resurrected the first half in 07. Duchess, by their own judgement one of their best songs, lasted two tours, as did Ripples until its truncated revival in 07. I don't believe strong songs guaranteed escape from the brutal unsentimental approach to setlisting!


    You're right Abacab didn't make the WCD tour. I gather it was tried out for the 07 tour but PC said he couldn't get behind the lyrics and it was dropped, which I thought was a shame and meant one of their most important albums wasn't represented on their farewell tour.

    Abandon all reason

  • I believe that the dropping of Abacab tracks was partly this, and partly their regular policy. Perfectly good tracks were ruthlessy dumped, never to be played again. Behind the Lines lasted 3 tours before they resurrected the first half in 07. Duchess, by their own judgement one of their best songs, lasted two tours, as did Ripples until its truncated revival in 07. I don't believe strong songs guaranteed escape from the brutal unsentimental approach to setlisting!


    You're right Abacab didn't make the WCD tour. I gather it was tried out for the 07 tour but PC said he couldn't get behind the lyrics and it was dropped, which I thought was a shame and meant one of their most important albums wasn't represented on their farewell tour.

    I personally liked M&SJ and Dodo live, not to mention their 3SL versions, that for me was Phil's finest hour vocally. I enjoyed them but I also thought they weren't here to stay. I can't exactly explain why, just a hunch. I have never thought much of Abacab, a poor song imo, partially redeemed live but I always thought there was nothing there. You listen to it the first times and appreciate the energy but it wore out its welcome pretty quickly with me. KID is definitely one of my favorites on Abacab but not so much live. MOTC is cute but again falls flat live and the others aren't imo not even worth mentioning. We can agree I guess, that the only Acabab song with a real chance to make the final cut during the 07 Tour was the title track and personally, I'd rather listen to it than say Invisible Touch but I can understand why IT is a song they cannot possibly leave out. Whatever I think of it, it is still relevant, fans generally care.

  • Just with regards to songs being dropped from set lists, I wouldn't read too much into it. When putting together a set list, Genesis always prioritised the most current material and then it was simply a question of what room they had left for other songs. When they did the set list for We Can't Dance, they played as much of the new material as possible and then the obvious choice was the stuff from Invisible Touch because it had been such a successful album and so many of the songs worked well in concert. They had to drop songs, otherwise the show would have been too long, so out went the old stand-bys Los Endos, In The Cage and Afterglow as well as a few other numbers that the band presumably felt had had their day. It wasn't out of disrespect to the albums upon which those songs appeared but you can't play songs from every album. It's just not possible.

  • When putting together a set list, Genesis always prioritised the most current material and then it was simply a question of what room they had left for other songs.

    True; and that generally applies to any band. They have after all an album to promote, that's generally the reason for going on the road but in the spirit and logic of prioritizing the most recent material, an album like Abacab shouldn't be left out I guess. Again though, I freely admit that while acknowledge the extreme importance of the album, I don't think much of its material so I am most likely biased