From Genesis To Revelation

  • We have the Rank The Albums Thread, but unless I'm missing something there isn't a thread for any individual album other than CAS. So I thought I'd go back to the beginning with this one.


    FGTR is an odd one for me, as I suspect it is for many. Even though they usually changed from one album to the next, this one is possibly the most off-the-curve. In discussions on this and the previous board you'd occasionally see comments along the lines of "I've never really properly listened to FGTR" and it will be left out of people's considerations of album-ranking and so on. I'm probably in that category as well. When listening to it over the years, it would have this weird effect of just not sticking in my mind. Probably I wasn't ever really giving it enough of a chance, perhaps as a result of that forgotten child/runt of the litter reputation it seems to have. That said, I think I'm opening up to it a bit more now and starting to see more clearly that it's not a bad collection from such young songwriters of that period.

    Abandon all reason

  • "Odd" is a good word for it. It's a peculiar work that not only feels out of place in Genesis' discography, but doesn't really seem to belong anywhere else either! I've described it as sounding as if a band from 1967 somehow recorded an album in 1963.


    Like much of early Genesis it took a while for me to warm up to. Some moments have a nice, haunting quality that I sometimes hear in music from the late '60s.


    The early Genesis tracks released later on (ARCHIVE 1 disc 4, etc.) at least manage to give it some context, besides showing some of the transition to the very different TRESPASS.

    It often takes more wisdom to unlearn what's wrong than to learn what's right.

  • ... I've described it as sounding as if a band from 1967 somehow recorded an album in 1963.


    ...

    I like that description.

    Considering some of the adventurous music that was coming out at the time, these songs seem to belong to a slightly earlier era or designed for a much older and conservative listener – and I attribute that largely to Jonathan King and his vision and handling of the production.


    Having said that, songs like “Where The Sour Turns To Sweet” always convey to me the innocence of youth, conjuring up memories of my early teens, that wondrous period when I was exploring early Genesis and listening to this album the first few times.


    Admittedly, it’s more out of nostalgia and sentimentality that I play the album maybe once every two or years (if that), than any high regard for the music.

  • I still cannot understand why this album does not click with fans:?: Specially when Genesis left their proggier side when Hackett left. :/


    This album is dated I know and the start of what was great. It reminds me of bands like the Beatles & Stackridge.


    I play this album probably 5 times a year as with with other Hackett/Phillips era Genesis. 8)

  • I still cannot understand why this album does not click with fans:?: Specially when Genesis left their proggier side when Hackett left. :/

    Didn't Steve say that he could see the band moving towards shorter songs before he left? In which case, the change in direction happened despite him, not because of him.


    To quote Anthony Phillips, the lyrics on FGTR were "unwieldy" and "naive". I find much of the album pretty cringeworthy to be honest* and even though the next album still has a lot of the faux religious aspects to the lyrics, it's a considerable step forward in terms of musicianship.


    *Nothing as bad, though, as the lyrics to Going Out To Get You which must be the most unintentionally hilarious song the band ever wrote.

  • I still cannot understand why this album does not click with fans:?: Specially when Genesis left their proggier side when Hackett left. :/


    This album is dated I know and the start of what was great. It reminds me of bands like the Beatles & Stackridge.


    I play this album probably 5 times a year as with with other Hackett/Phillips era Genesis. 8)

    Speaking for myself, the problem I have with this album is not as much that it is outdated, Trespass is too but I love it, I simply have a hard time considering it a Genesis album. Some of their typical elements surface faintly but in general there is no identity there and the fact they were very young is only part of the problem because that again, would apply to Trespass too. No, they were consciously trying to cater for somebody else's taste, possibly Jonathan King's and in doing so they were nor really themselves. You can hear Peter for instance trying different vocal styles on the record, on Trespass, he is simply himself, lack of experience and all, but himself..

    I must say, I never understood how some fans can claim they abandoned prog after Steve left and some even saying because he left. It seems highly inaccurate to me. I never had the feeling that Steve got to decide or steer the band's course, in fact, I seem to remember he left because he felt shortchanged, and underused both as a player and as a writer which btw. was true. Whatever happened with band after he left, would have most likely happened anyway. It would have been his choice to be a part of it or less but again, I don't think he would have gotten the chance to determine anything.

    Edited once, last by Fabrizio ().

  • I agree it's hard to think of it as a Genesis album. As I think they've said themselves, it was too soon for them to make an album. They were schoolboys who had vague ideas about writing songs for others and were then suddenly in a studio doing an album. It was only after leaving school and getting some life experience, and honing their skills, they started to hit their stride.

    Abandon all reason

  • Nothing as bad, though, as the lyrics to Going Out To Get You which must be the most unintentionally hilarious song the band ever wrote.

    I never paid much attention to them, so just looked them up. You're right - I was actually laughing as I read them. They are absolutely hysterical. "Pulpit of the python" and "Burning in the orifice of Hades" are hilarious but nothing beats this verse for sheer mind-blowing silliness:


    I saw you in the Devil’s Kitchen
    Cooking for the Queen of Spades
    Hiding in your pretty laces
    Licking fingers sunk in jam


    Thanks for causing me to look that up.


    For anyone who doesn't know it, the Jonathan Coe novel The Rotters Club is set mainly in the mid 1970s and features a schoolboy prog rock band led by a Yes fanatic. They call themselves Gandalf's Pikestaff and do a 30-minute epic called Apotheosis of the Necromancer. I often find the names and album/song titles of prog bands very funny so this really appealed to me. I can't believe there hasn't been a prog band or album called either Pulpit of the Python or Orifice of Hades.

    Abandon all reason

  • This has officially given me a fit of the giggles. It sounds like something from a "progressive band" version of Spinal Tap.

    Wasn't Spinal Tap inspired in some part by the po-faced antics of progressive rock bands? Certainly the moment when Derek Smalls gets stuck inside the plastic pod recalls both The Lamb tour and some of the stuff that Yes used to have onstage.

  • Wasn't Spinal Tap inspired in some part by the po-faced antics of progressive rock bands? Certainly the moment when Derek Smalls gets stuck inside the plastic pod recalls both The Lamb tour and some of the stuff that Yes used to have onstage.

    Both the Lamb tour and Topographic tour have been mentioned as inspiring some of the Spinal Tap stuff, certainly I think Alan White once got stuck in a plexiglass whale.


    Come to think of it, wasn't Plexiglass Whale the controversial second album by Orifice of Hades?

    Abandon all reason

  • Both the Lamb tour and Topographic tour have been mentioned as inspiring some of the Spinal Tap stuff, certainly I think Alan White once got stuck in a plexiglass whale.


    Come to think of it, wasn't Plexiglass Whale the controversial second album by Orifice of Hades?

    :D

  • More thoughts about FGTR after a recent listen:


    (1) The strings and horns on this album have been criticized quite a bit. I don't know that I'd consider it a big improvement if they weren't there, but they definitely add to the distance between FGTR and their later work.


    Quick, without listening first: Can you name the 3 songs on FGTR that only feature the band, without any strings or horns? :)

    (Bonus tracks like "One Eyed Hound" don't count.)


    (2) Listen to how Pete struggles on the first verse of "Window." That sounds like it was written by someone who knew he wasn't going to be the one singing it!


    (3) There doesn't seem to be much discussion of John Silver's drumming ability, probably because we can't hear him all that well on the album. On a past Genesis message board he got some mockery for his prominent but unimpressive fill in "In The Wilderness." But how good was he as a drummer, really? I don't get the impression that the band particularly wanted him to leave. How might he have done once they started getting more progressive?


    His work on a 1973 Ant Phillips demo, and his (rather sloppy) "biscuit tin" work on "Magic of Time," indicate some definite jazz leanings.

    It often takes more wisdom to unlearn what's wrong than to learn what's right.

  • Quick, without listening first: Can you name the 3 songs on FGTR that only feature the band, without any strings or horns? :)

    (Bonus tracks like "One Eyed Hound" don't count.)

    Just read this and off the top of my head, are The Conqueror and Going Out two of them? (Probably showing my relative ignorance of the album here). Whether or not they are correct, I can't think of a third.

    Abandon all reason