GENESIS - “Mama”-Album (40th anniversary)

    • Official Post

    The self titled Genesis album from 1983 was released on this day 40 years ago.




    what are your memories? Did you buy it when it was released? What do you think about this album today?


    See also our album poll thread

    Your favorite tracks on ... "Genesis"


    our album review

    https://www.genesis-news.com/c…hapes-CD-review-s260.html

  • Bought it on vinyl when it came out, then later on CD then the SACD box set and then again on heavyweight vinyl. Always liked it, especially Mama, That’s All and Silver Rainbow. And of course Home and Second Home are brilliant. But actually liked it all, even the weaker tracks. I do now have to cringe my way through the lyrics and singing on Illegal Alien, but thank God we’ve moved on and it wouldn’t be done like that today. I did always feel it was a little lightweight compared to Abacab, because of side two, but better than the albums that followed. Mama is one of my top Genesis tracks from any era. Fantastic tour to follow albeit I would have preferred another 15 mins of Genesis to the silly encore.

  • I remember my friend bought the Mama 12" and we gathered around the turntable to give it a listen. I remember us all thinking "Well this is different!" Definitely different from Abacab and way different from Firth of Fifth and the like, which is what we high school kids were into. I can't say we liked it right away, but we played it multiple times and began to appreciate it for the masterpiece that I now think it is.


    Overall I like the album. Unlike rkive above, I think the melodies are quite catchy. Although I have always found Illegal Alien to be cringey from a lyrical perspective, it is very catchy. That's All is very catchy and I like the country-ish groove - very different from their other songs. Just A Job to Do, Taking It All Too Hard, and (especially) It's Gonna Get Better also have catchy melodies for me.


    Second Home by the Sea is a wonderful instrumental - not a retread of older-style instrumentals and yet very engaging and interesting. Silver Rainbow is the oddball song and I like it a lot.

  • I really like the album a lot. It sometimes feels a little lopsided because side one is the side they promoted and performed the most, but my estimation of the side two songs has increased a lot over the years.


    The one thing I've never really quite understood is the production of this album. It has always sounded like it was recorded in a closet, very smooth and small.

  • One of my favorite albums from the post-Gabriel era,

    I like the tracks "Just a job to do" and "It's gonna get better" and in contrast to most fans, I think side 2 of the record is also great...

    • Official Post

    Silver Rainbow has always been a favorite of mine. Several years ago I thought "that didn't age well", but actually, it did. I was hoping they would play this during their last tour.


    I like the album, only exception is Illegal Alien.

  • Imo comfortably, and I mean COMFORTABLY their worst album. (Im not counting FGTR).


    A couple (or three depending on how you look at it) of good tracks, and no surprises for guessing which those are. I bought this and spent ages trying to convince myself it was good at the time.


    I'm still slightly shocked at the quality control on side 2. I get the feeling they weren't feeling that invested at the time or something.


    And I hate the production too! :D

  • I have this record on a recent vinyl issue. I'm curious about the production quality comments.

    ¿Anyone with production knowledge to comment?


    Some thoughts:

    1. Some aggresive compression! I guess it was a period thing, since other records from 1982-1984 period are also very compressed. Funny though, I somehow dislike the over compression on Invisible Touch, but not in this record, where the compression is much more present. Somehow, it works.
    2. The particular case of Mama, some aspects such as Phil's essing and having mic the drum machine over the "wrong" amp was supposed to be part of the song's feel.
    3. About the Simmons drums, we can say they are an acquired taste. They work better in some songs than others.
    1. Some aggresive compression! I guess it was a period thing, since other records from 1982-1984 period are also very compressed. Funny though, I somehow dislike the over compression on Invisible Touch, but not in this record, where the compression is much more present. Somehow, it works.

    Kind of agrees with Winstonwolf's "smooth and small" comment.

    Ian


    Putting the old-fashioned Staffordshire plate in the dishwasher!

  • I had this one on cassette - it was the "Walkman era" after all ;) I remember hearing Mama on the radio for the first time & thinking 'well that's quite different from Abacab!' I also had a soft spot for "Just a Job to Do" and "It's Gonna Get Better". I'll but "Better" on when I need a good pick-me-up - great groove!

  • It's a great album and I love watching the "making of Mama" home movie. I can understand how people find the second side a bit weak, but I love it all. I first heard it around 1987, when a friend recorded Mama and Abacab on a tape for me.


    Over the years, I've noticed that people tend to hate Illegal Alien, but I like it. I especially like the section with Phil's trumpet playing that leads up to "Con....sideration". I enjoy Phil's singing on it as It suits the theme of the song and it makes me nostalgic for a time when people weren't so uptight and offended by every little thing. It was so obviously being sung tongue in cheek.

  • It has some very good tracks that I genuinely enjoy, including all of Side One and It’s Gonna Get Better as the album closer. Overall, however, it feels to me like an album that was driven in part by a desire to continue to build the band’s popular momentum after the success of Phil’s solo albums. To me the fact that it is the only Genesis album that produced no b-sides is telling. It seems like the band did just enough to be able to release an album.

  • It has some very good tracks that I genuinely enjoy, including all of Side One and It’s Gonna Get Better as the album closer. Overall, however, it feels to me like an album that was driven in part by a desire to continue to build the band’s popular momentum after the success of Phil’s solo albums. To me the fact that it is the only Genesis album that produced no b-sides is telling. It seems like the band did just enough to be able to release an album.

    I've wondered about the b side thing too. Although I don't think it's that they just did enough for this album, I suspect they simply had so many solo projects that any leftovers from Shapes would have made their way out elsewhere. Banks' protestations to the contrary, I bet there are one or two very rough demos of embryonic versions of songs that ultimately ended up on The Fugitive, M&tM or even NJR gathering dust somewhere.

  • That could be. Even so, it’s strange that it never emerged publicly in some form as a Genesis song in the 2 years between the Shapes album and the first M&TM albums.

  • Contrary to what seems to be a popular misconception, "A Call to Arms" did not emerge from the "Shapes" sessions as anything close to a complete song. There was just a "bit" from the rehearsals that neither Tony nor Phil wanted to develop further, which Mike built a song around with his M+M cowriters.

    Little known fact: Before the crowbar was invented...


    ...crows simply drank at home.

  • A flawless first side from the epic rock of Mama, to the country-tinged pop of That's All and, finally, the tour de force that are the Home by the Seas.


    The second side is underrated. Only clunker is Illegal Alien which, while good musically, has uncomfortable lyrics to listen to.

  • A flawless first side from the epic rock of Mama, to the country-tinged pop of That's All and, finally, the tour de force that are the Home by the Seas.


    The second side is underrated. Only clunker is Illegal Alien which, while good musically, has uncomfortable lyrics to listen to.

    I agree with pretty much all of this. Second side is overshadowed by the first, and by repetition it kind of became gospel that it was a weak side. I enjoy it a lot, I love the off kilter nature of it. Couple of tracks atypical for Genesis too.