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

  • While I agree that the Genesis of the early days was not really a guitarist's band, once Steve left Mike's more direct approach seemed to be given greater visibility. Deep In The Motherlode, Misunderstanding, Abacab, Like It Or Not, Home By The Sea, I Can't Dance and Driving The Last Spike all had celebrated guitar parts.

    They were not a guitar band in the early days they were even less so in the later days, when even Phil and Tony played less end edited themselves, refraining from showing-off and sticking to the basics. Celebrated guitar parts? By whom? I haven't heard many Genesis fans celebrating those and none of the critics or general audience ever paid attention to them. Don't take this the wrong way but I find you a bit biased in favor of those bits. You don't seem to care much for Steve's playing but are ready to extoll the virtues of Mike's? Come on……..

    Edited 2 times, last by Fabrizio ().

  • They were not a guitar band in the early days they were even less so in the later days, when even Phil and Tony played less end edited themselves, refraining from showing-off and sticking to the basics. Celebrated guitar parts? By whom? I haven't heard many Genesis fans celebrating those and none of the critics or general audience ever paid attention to them. Don't take this the wrong way but I find you a bit biased in favor of those bits. You don't seem to care much for Steve's playing but are ready to extoll the virtues of Mike's? Come on……..

    It's just an opinion. You have yours; I have mine.

  • Even when they became more...Let's say accesible, I 've always thought of Genesis as quintessentially British. Perhaps, not as much as when the recorded SEBTP, when they dealt directly with Britishness but still ver British. it wasn't only the lyrics, no matter how much Peter and Phil loved black music, it was always filtered through them being very English. Daryl, although a terrific player is exactly not that. His sound, playing, style, feel, even his chops,, everything about him is profoundly American, as revealed by his delivery of the FoF solo when given a bit room to do his thing. Noting wrong with that of course, I love American music, particularly black music but it's a matter of identity and to me Genesis, at least the Genesis I got on board with really didn't need a jazz-rock fusion American guitarist. Steve had to struggle to get his guitar heard and when he left they decided not to replace him, it speaks volumes on what they thought of the guitarist role in the band. Given the material they released afterwards, I fail to see what substantial contribution he could have made to the band. The same I guess he made to Phil's records which was imo not really relevant. No legendary guitar parts to speak of there. He has been around for decades and I have a lot of respect for him but I have always regarded him as a hired gun and without wanting to belittle him , I think that's what he was.

    Fabrizio’s comments above are both insightful and accurate. The band’s romantic tryst with the synth intensified in the 80s. This was the age of the New Romantics. A foreign skin was now caught in the band’s satin bedspread causing the headboard to rattle with a new-found attachment and, sadly, a lead-guitarist was no longer welcome.

    Mike even confessed that ‘Man of our Times’ was his attempt to sound like Gary Numan, the verses of which certainly capture that rhythmic robotic pulse that Numan made his own.

    Mike, says that Steve’s strength was as a guitarist rather than a songwriter; a point echoed by someone on this forum who said that Steve never could write a decent chorus. All too true in my opinion and in this sense, the description of Steve being a hired gun is an apt one. But in times of peace and synth who needs a hired gun? Genesis certainly felt they didn’t. Steve’s strengths were in swooping and soaring through the music and his contribution would be forever acknowledged like that of an angel with grandiose wings yet whose wings were nevertheless lifted in that posture usually adopted for tombstones.

    ~ My talents may not be obvious but they are always...always...delicious! ~

    Edited once, last by Gabble Ratchet ().

  • I totally agree with the fact that Daryl and Chester helped improving the band's sound and performance live but the studio and their creative process is another thing entirely. I completely and absolutely disagree that Daryl lifted Steve's solos. Their playing is really apples and oranges. Steve's playing and sensibility fit perfectly to the band's aesthetic. Daryl's not at all.

    I agree. Daryl is an excellent musician, but he's one of thousands of gifted guitarists with a generic understated soft rock solo sound. He's technically perfect but completely innocuous; could be anyone. Steve was unmistakably Steve, and his style instantly identifiable in the same way that Steve Howe, Eddie Van Halen and Frank Zappa were. Daryl is a session musician, who could tour with a boy band if need be, and who's sound just blends in. These musicians have their place and Daryl's contribution to live Genesis has been good enough, but I've never regarded him as a member of band. I have a little more respect for Chester in this regard, though. Like Bruford, Chester is quite a recognisable, stand out player who's probably bought more to the Genesis live sound over the years than Daryl did.

  • I agree. Daryl is an excellent musician, but he's one of thousands of gifted guitarists with a generic understated soft rock solo sound. He's technically perfect but completely innocuous; could be anyone. Steve was unmistakably Steve, and his style instantly identifiable in the same way that Steve Howe, Eddie Van Halen and Frank Zappa were. Daryl is a session musician, who could tour with a boy band if need be, and who's sound just blends in. These musicians have their place and Daryl's contribution to live Genesis has been good enough, but I've never regarded him as a member of band. I have a little more respect for Chester in this regard, though. Like Bruford, Chester is quite a recognisable, stand out player who's probably bought more to the Genesis live sound over the years than Daryl did.

    Actually, when I hear Daryl Stuermer playing on Jean Luc Ponty's albums, I often wonder how he didn't get bored touring with Genesis. He definitely had the chops for jazz fusion.

    Having said that, I found nothing remarkable about his playing in Genesis - or at least nothing that would make me forget about Steve Hackett.

    In fact, those brief moments when Daryl was unleashed, the contrast in his approach did nothing more than reinforce my preference for Steve's way of playing those songs.

  • Actually, when I hear Daryl Stuermer playing on Jean Luc Ponty's albums, I often wonder how he didn't get bored touring with Genesis. He definitely had the chops for jazz fusion.

    Having said that, I found nothing remarkable about his playing in Genesis - or at least nothing that would make me forget about Steve Hackett.

    In fact, those brief moments when Daryl was unleashed, the contrast in his approach did nothing more than reinforce my preference for Steve's way of playing those songs.

    I'm sure I've heard Daryl shredding like a metal head in In the Cage. Its all very impressive but doesn't really bring anything to the song IMO.

  • Actually, when I hear Daryl Stuermer playing on Jean Luc Ponty's albums, I often wonder how he didn't get bored touring with Genesis. He definitely had the chops for jazz fusion.

    Having said that, I found nothing remarkable about his playing in Genesis - or at least nothing that would make me forget about Steve Hackett.

    In fact, those brief moments when Daryl was unleashed, the contrast in his approach did nothing more than reinforce my preference for Steve's way of playing those songs.

    I think both he and Chester could have played Genesis stuff during a nap and that is the point I was trying to make: having two musicians of that caliber surely helped the band raising their game live. Having praised his chops and his superior technique, I remained convinced though that Daryl's playing has absolutely nothing to do with Genesis and what they are about.

  • I agree. Daryl is an excellent musician, but he's one of thousands of gifted guitarists with a generic understated soft rock solo sound. He's technically perfect but completely innocuous; could be anyone. Steve was unmistakably Steve, and his style instantly identifiable in the same way that Steve Howe, Eddie Van Halen and Frank Zappa were. Daryl is a session musician, who could tour with a boy band if need be, and who's sound just blends in. These musicians have their place and Daryl's contribution to live Genesis has been good enough, but I've never regarded him as a member of band. I have a little more respect for Chester in this regard, though. Like Bruford, Chester is quite a recognisable, stand out player who's probably bought more to the Genesis live sound over the years than Daryl did.

    I respect them both. I am a lousy guitarist and when somebody can play like Daryl, I cannot help but be in awe, then of course I agree with you: while I appreciate their years of service to the ''cause'', they were never band members and without wanting to be disparaging, the cause would have been served with equally proficient musicians. I also agree Chester is more recognizable than Daryl in his playing. in fact he struggled a bit in the beginning with regard to what Phil wanted from him. Nothing to do with skills of course but coming from a different background he has a different feel. There's a video on YouTube of him being interviewed by Nick D'Virgilio where he says there was a bit of frustration on both Phil's and his side in the beginning because Phil wasn't getting what he wanted from him and he was unsure about what Phil wanted. Apparently going to a Disco in the UK, watching people dance there and how he related dancing with rhythm helped him realize what he had to do differently. Ultimately though, no matter how much I appreciate them as musicians, I wouldn't have wanted them on any Genesis record. They are simply not right.

  • Fabrizio’s comments above are both insightful and accurate. The band’s romantic tryst with the synth intensified in the 80s. This was the age of the New Romantics. A foreign skin was now caught in the band’s satin bedspread causing the headboard to rattle with a new-found attachment and, sadly, a lead-guitarist was no longer welcome.

    Mike even confessed that ‘Man of our Times’ was his attempt to sound like Gary Numan, the verses of which certainly capture that rhythmic robotic pulse that Numan made his own.

    Mike, says that Steve’s strength was as a guitarist rather than a songwriter; a point echoed by someone on this forum who said that Steve never could write a decent chorus. All too true in my opinion and in this sense, the description of Steve being a hired gun is an apt one. But in times of peace and synth who needs a hired gun? Genesis certainly felt they didn’t. Steve’s strengths were in swooping and soaring through the music and his contribution would be forever acknowledged like that of an angel with grandiose wings yet whose wings were nevertheless lifted in that posture usually adopted for tombstones.

    Except the "hired gun" comment was a reference to Daryl! Lots of bands in the 80's had a synth sound and a good guitarist, nothing prevents them working together. As for Mike criticizing other's songwriting, it seems a bit ironic given his leaning on others to co-write so much M&M stuff.

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • While I agree that the Genesis of the early days was not really a guitarist's band, once Steve left Mike's more direct approach seemed to be given greater visibility. Deep In The Motherlode, Misunderstanding, Abacab, Like It Or Not, Home By The Sea, I Can't Dance and Driving The Last Spike all had celebrated guitar parts.

    Which, except for abacab, (and even that is adequate, nothing more) presumably ended up on the cutting room floor! ;)

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • Except the "hired gun" comment was a reference to Daryl! Lots of bands in the 80's had a synth sound and a good guitarist, nothing prevents them working together. As for Mike criticizing other's songwriting, it seems a bit ironic given his leaning on others to co-write so much M&M stuff.

    True, the'' hired gun'' was a reference to Daryl. As for Mike's comments I wouldn't take them as criticisms, just…..Comments, and as I remember he wasn't the only one in the band not being crazy about Steve's songwriting skills. An assessment, and I am aware it means nothing, I personally share. I do believe and I wrote it previously that Steve has a chorus problem. As for Mike, I think he admitted himself being a collaborative songwriter but I would say that he was smart enough to realize that, others weren't and Mike is certainly responsible for some very significant bits in Genesis, securing his place in the band's legacy.

    Regarding the guitar playing, I think they were right in not replacing Steve, for the music the started generating, Mike was more than OK.

  • Which, except for abacab, (and even that is adequate, nothing more)

    Adequate.....Is it though? Personally I am quite underwhelmed by it. The new course didn't give a guitarist many opportunities to really shine. This was one and imo more could have been done with it. I like Mike's playing on CAS but solos are really not his for

  • That's a pretty fatuous remark, even for you.

    Getting personal is uncalled for. I enjoy debating you, you know your Genesis history and it's stimulating. You are obviously very, very, very biased in favor of Phil but why not? Nothing wrong with that, even though a little more objectivity would help. Unfortunately you have this penchant for abrasiveness that makes it difficult sometimes to have a decent conversation with you, particularly when you snap back with personal attacks like you just did. You find my remark fatuous? Fine, elaborate, substantiate it and refrain from getting offensive. Again, I find your contributions interesting and I would hate to have to block you but I am not here to have Forum feuds, they bore me really.

  • Except the "hired gun" comment was a reference to Daryl! Lots of bands in the 80's had a synth sound and a good guitarist, nothing prevents them working together. As for Mike criticizing other's songwriting, it seems a bit ironic given his leaning on others to co-write so much M&M stuff.

    Oh, I’d class Steve as a hired gun too, for the reasons stated previously. But he’s a white hatted gunslinger who knows the value of restraint and gets my vote over a black hatted shredder any day.

    As for synths and guitars, of course they’ve always co-existed, but there was a moment in the UK in the 80s when pure synth bands ruled the airwaves. They signalled the future and it was Gary Numan’s bleak synthetic drones that caught Mike’s attention enough to re-focus his songwriting.

    ~ My talents may not be obvious but they are always...always...delicious! ~

  • Oh, I’d class Steve as a hired gun too, for the reasons stated previously. But he’s a white hatted gunslinger who knows the value of restraint and gets my vote over a black hatted shredder any day.

    As for synths and guitars, of course they’ve always co-existed, but there was a moment in the UK in the 80s when pure synth bands ruled the airwaves. They signalled the future and it was Gary Numan’s bleak synthetic drones that caught Mike’s attention enough to re-focus his songwriting.

    Totally agree regardng Hackett. He was chosen because of his sound and style which Banks described as a bit 'Frippy' when they went to his flat to listen to him play for the first time. Hackett was into textures and atmospheres. Steurmer is just into playing the notes; very well, but he could be any profficient guitarist.


    Off topic, but I really like Gary Numan. Out of all the synth acts his music could actually be quite guitar heavy at times. His music was closer to rock than pop at times. This is often not acknowledged. He polarised opinion because of his approach (and his apparent rise to fame out of nowehere!) and his use of guitars and acoustic drums, which synth purists like The Human League, Depeche Mode et al thought defeated the point of making electronic music.

  • Oh, I’d class Steve as a hired gun too, for the reasons stated previously. But he’s a white hatted gunslinger who knows the value of restraint and gets my vote over a black hatted shredder any day.

    As for synths and guitars, of course they’ve always co-existed, but there was a moment in the UK in the 80s when pure synth bands ruled the airwaves. They signalled the future and it was Gary Numan’s bleak synthetic drones that caught Mike’s attention enough to re-focus his songwriting.

    Literally speechless re the Steve comment. Nonsense.


    There was a moment when Punk ruled the airwaves too. Thankfully, both were dead-end moments, and ended quickly, when the public saw how vacuous they were.

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life