TotW 12/15/2018 - 12/21/2018: GENESIS - Fading Lights

  • What do you think about "Fading Lights"? 17

    1. 15 points - outstanding! (6) 35%
    2. 14 points - very good (6) 35%
    3. 13 points - very good - (2) 12%
    4. 12 points - good + (1) 6%
    5. 11 points - good (1) 6%
    6. 10 points - good - (1) 6%
    7. 09 points - satisfactory + (0) 0%
    8. 08 points - satisfactory (0) 0%
    9. 07 points - satisfactory - (0) 0%
    10. 06 points - sufficient + (0) 0%
    11. 05 points - sufficient (0) 0%
    12. 04 points - sufficient - (0) 0%
    13. 03 points - poor + (0) 0%
    14. 02 points - poor (0) 0%
    15. 01 points - poor - (0) 0%
    16. 00 points - abysmal (0) 0%

    GENESIS - Fading Lights

    Year: 1991

    Album: We Can't Dance [album review]

    Working title: Nile

    Credits: Banks, Collins, Rutherford

    Lyrics: Yes

    Length: 10:27

    Musicians: Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford

    Played Live: 1992

    mp3 downloads:

    Cover versions: none


    Notes: Fading Lights is not merely a thoughtful look back across a long and successful career, it is also a declaration of love for progressive rock. Fading Lights makes the impossible possible and spans an arch from the early 70s to We Can't Dance. The instrumental middle part is excellent, and even dyed-in-the-wool prog fans who usually avoid the Collins era find something attractive in this song. Plus, there is something prophetic to Fading Lights as Tony Banks may have been writing about the end of Genesis.




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    ...cried a voice in the crowd.


  • Another track that's neary perfect. It kind of combines the more melody-driven later period with the prog-times in the 70ties. It would have been a nice very last track for the band and that was obviously on Tony's mind when he wrote the lyrics. 14 points

  • I'm not sure that Tony was thinking about the end of Genesis when he wrote the lyrics to this song, although I can appreciate why we can all interpret the lyrics that way.


    Although the vocal part of the song is lovely, serene and poignant, the part that really energizes me is the instrumental section. I don't think it is a throwback to older instrumentals. Instead it is the modern (at the time) version of what a Genesis instrumental could be. It is far more straightforward than the instrumentals of the early to mid 70s - no weird time signatures, fairly simple chord progressions. And yet it has all the melodicism and majesty that marks the best of Genesis. Phil's drumming is exceptional, especially in the live versions.

  • A favourite later track. I agree with various of the above comments, the vocal parts are great but the song is carried by the instrumental, which indeed was very much a contemporary take on the Genesis extended instrumental. Again I agree that the drumming is phenomenal and sounds superb on the album, the production is so good.


    The instrumental also shows how different their approach was from other bands that opted for "let's just have some widdly keyboards and a guitar solo to fill some time". As was often the case with Genesis, the instrumental here really sounds like it's telling a story, each element has meaning. The lyric is clearly a person near the end of their life and reflecting on their memories, and I think the instrumental conveys that with its different sections, dynamics and textures.


    It was always nice on the rare occasions it was just the three of them on stage and this is my favourite example of that.

    Abandon all reason

  • Banks through and through and what a fitting finale for their career. Evocative, wistful but powerful, for me THE highlight on a quite disappointing, extremely formulaic and tired album. 14.

  • I remember reading the review of We Can't Dance in Vox just before buying the album (that particular edition of the magazine featured a great interview with the band, by the way) wherein they referred to Fading Lights as featuring the kind of "noodling" that might be expected of Chick Corea. I don't think Tony's playing is anything like that at all. When I first heard the album, I was moved almost to tears by the instrumental section; some of the sounds Tony wrings out of his keyboards are really evocative.


    The lyrics, which he has since revealed where prompted by the idea that this might be Phil's last album with the band, are amongst the best he's written in Genesis. Phil turns in a bravura performance, singing at the absolute limit of his range. The perfect end to a wonderful album and a fitting closure to the band's most successful era.