Undertow & From the Undertow

  • My understanding is that Undertow from ATTWT had more music to it but the band didn't include it, so Tony Banks used that music on his first solo album (it became "From the Undertow", IIRC). Has anyone listened to both pieces and heard any connections between the two? I had an idea of splicing the two tracks together somehow, but I can't say I hear the connection.

  • I'm not sure if I got this wrong but wasn't the original source of both songs that film music Mike and Tony did before ATTWT? I think I remember an interview in which Tony stated he used that extended intro for Undertow which was cut to elaborate, he basically built a whole new song around it and that's what became From The Undertow.

  • There was someone on the old board who actually did edit the two songs together to see how it would sound.


    As far as audible connections between the two, there is a part in the middle of "From the Undertow" that hints at "Undertow" musically, specifically the second section of the chorus ("Stand up to the blow...").

    The Seat Bunny!

  • I do recall TB saying the removal of a planned intro to Undertow was the reason the track starts so suddenly with no preamble (which in fact I like), and I've heard theories about FTU being the said intro.

    Abandon all reason

  • i read somewhere that mike and phil didn't like the long intro that tony wrote for undertow. i find hard to believe that tony couldn't do what he wanted, considering that he was a close thing to a genesis leader. ;) anyway, the result would have been interesting, maybe a bit similar to behind the lines, in the sense that it has quite a long intro compared to the total length of the song.

  • i read somewhere that mike and phil didn't like the long intro that tony wrote for undertow. i find hard to believe that tony couldn't do what he wanted, considering that he was a close thing to a genesis leader. ;) anyway, the result would have been interesting, maybe a bit similar to behind the lines, in the sense that it has quite a long intro compared to the total length of the song.

    While TB had the reputation of being Mr Stubborn who forced his ideas through, I get the impression that he could be swayed by the others when he recognised they had a point. So perhaps in this case he saw the wisdom of dropping the intro.


    While a long intro may have made it structurally similar to e.g. BTL, other Genesis tracks with long intros that immediately spring to mind are all quite different - Watcher, Riding The Scree, Firth, Battle, Duchess, etc. Los Endos? (well there is a tiny little bit of vocal right at the end!).


    In the UK the original 7" single release of TIOA had as its b-side BTL without the 'intro', listed as Behind the Lines (part 2).

    Abandon all reason

  • Personally, I've always thought the song felt sort ''mutilated'', not only because the missing instrumenta in the mod-section, it begins awkwardly but it could have used an intro, like other Banks' songs.

  • I have read somewhere that the part of the original Undertow that was dropped was rewritten by Tony Banks for A Curious Feeling and ended being what we know as From the Undertow. So we'll probably never know for sure how the complete original Undertow sounded like. And the reason why Tony agreed not to use the intro to Undertow was because the band had made a decision to record shorter songs. However, TB did write a pretty long intro for The Burning rope, didn't he?

  • Having seen "The Shout", I can confirm that "From The Undertow" is used in the film, but only as a chord progression used as a very minimal underscore for a number of scenes. Frankly, there was actually very little music used in the film at all! I believe the music from The Shout was essentially a demo of the intro to "Undertow" that Tony created but was ultimately unused then reworked for the "A Curious Feeling" album.

  • I've always liked the sudden opening of Undertow, it's nicely uncharacteristic of them. The song really doesn't need an "intro".

    I beg to differ, imo the song does need an intro, in fact it had one. I've always struggled with that, It's a typical Banks songs: intro, verse chorus, repeat, instrumental break in two parts with crescendo, reprise verse, chorus and coda. It was conceived and written in that way and then edited, to my ears it felt sort of mutilated.

  • I beg to differ, imo the song does need an intro, in fact it had one. I've always struggled with that, It's a typical Banks songs: intro, verse chorus, repeat, instrumental break in two parts with crescendo, reprise verse, chorus and coda. It was conceived and written in that way and then edited, to my ears it felt sort of mutilated.

    Yeah I know it had an intro, that's what I was referring to. I think it's absolutely fine just as it is in its released version, bar the typically over-cooked lyric but I can tune that out and enjoy the music and PC's vocal performance. If the structure you describe is a typical Banks format then all the better that there's a Banks song that breaks away from that. This was after all the beginning of their process of breaking away from being typically Genesis in various ways.


    In fact at this stage onwards we get 3 Banks songs that are, for me, among his very best and for the most part break away from his 'conventions' - Many Too Many, Duchess (group-credited but I understand it's mainly him) and M&SJ. Plus ATTWT already has a Banks song (Rope) with the exact format you described, in fact two I suppose including Lady, good for them avoiding another one.


    Edit - Just listened to FTU and if it any way resembles what he originally planned as the intro, it's definitely best they dropped it, leaving a good and relatively concise song.

    Abandon all reason

    Edited once, last by Backdrifter ().

  • I beg to differ, imo the song does need an intro, in fact it had one. I've always struggled with that, It's a typical Banks songs: intro, verse chorus, repeat, instrumental break in two parts with crescendo, reprise verse, chorus and coda. It was conceived and written in that way and then edited, to my ears it felt sort of mutilated.

    This suggests you knew the song originally had an intro before you first heard it? I didn't, and I never noticed anything strange about it. To me it feels right as it is.

  • This suggests you knew the song originally had an intro before you first heard it? I didn't, and I never noticed anything strange about it. To me it feels right as it is.

    It doesn't suggest it, nor do I, Tony did. He ended up using the edited bits on From the Undertow on ACF. As for you never noticing anything strange about it, nothing wrong with it and it 's as usual subjective. To me it sounded immediately off and I think we can agree it is certainly not Tony's MO, when it comes down to his most epic songs. Even something as basic as Many too many has a short intro.






















  • Yeah I know it had an intro, that's what I was referring to. I think it's absolutely fine just as it is in its released version, bar the typically over-cooked lyric but I can tune that out and enjoy the music and PC's vocal performance. If the structure you describe is a typical Banks format then all the better that there's a Banks song that breaks away from that. This was after all the beginning of their process of breaking away from being typically Genesis in various ways.


    In fact at this stage onwards we get 3 Banks songs that are, for me, among his very best and for the most part break away from his 'conventions' - Many Too Many, Duchess (group-credited but I understand it's mainly him) and M&SJ. Plus ATTWT already has a Banks song (Rope) with the exact format you described, in fact two I suppose including Lady, good for them avoiding another one.


    Edit - Just listened to FTU and if it any way resembles what he originally planned as the intro, it's definitely best they dropped it, leaving a good and relatively concise song.

    Well, we both seem to like the song and then to diverge on anything else which is fine, I think it's great people can find so many different things in a song while disagreeing.

    I'm OK with the lyrics, I like the the epic element which I think, suits the somewhat pompous but beautiful chorus mixed with the more intimate verses. I don't think for once Phil does a brilliant job on ATTW3, after wonderful performances on the previous two album and certainly on Duke. Perhaps a bit of Tony's lyrics fatigue or missing being only a drummer, who knows? I might agree with breaking away with the usual format and structure, I mentioned Many too Many which falls into Phil's canon, chords and structure for instance but that song feels very organic, so does Duchess, another good one but you can tell they were written that way and adding anything wouldn't have felt right. The same applies with taking anything away from a song. Undertow was clearly conceived as another MMM, Rope or One for the Vine and then stripped down. In that process imo, something is lost in the song. The first time I heard it, I didn't know it was Tony's although I quickly figured it out but Immediately felt it was odd not to have an intro, not because I have to have one but it felt that way, it also feels wrong not to have an instrumental mid-section, the song at that point literally begs for one imo, because again it is a typical Tony's song written in typical Tony's style.

  • It doesn't suggest it, nor do I, Tony did. He ended up using the edited bits on From the Undertow on ACF. As for you never noticing anything strange about it, nothing wrong with it and it 's as usual subjective. To me it sounded immediately off and I think we can agree it is certainly not Tony's MO, when it comes down to his most epic songs. Even something as basic as Many too many has a short intro.

    No, I know all that about the song. I just meant - were you aware, before you ever heard the song at all, that there was originally meant to be an intro to it? If so I imagine that influenced the way you felt about it. But as you say, it's purely subjective. Like you I think it's a brilliant piece of music, lyrically and musically.

  • Would Undertow have been improved if it opened with the first 40 seconds or the first two minutes of FTU?

    Perhaps.

    I'd have to hear how it blends together.


    But I love the song as it is, all 4½ minutes of it, and I've never felt it was missing anything.

  • were you aware, before you ever heard the song at all, that there was originally meant to be an intro to it? If so I imagine that influenced the way you felt about it. But as you say, it's purely subjective. Like you I think it's a brilliant piece of music, lyrically and musically.

    No, of course I wasn't, I wish I had that direct channel :-) As I said, it just felt odd and when I listened to it the first times read all the stuff around the song it figured. Plus ACF, the title from the undertow was a bit of a giveaway and the instrumental itself is CLEARLY an excerpt from the song.

  • Would Undertow have been improved if it opened with the first 40 seconds or the first two minutes of FTU?

    Perhaps.

    I'd have to hear how it blends together.


    But I love the song as it is, all 4½ minutes of it, and I've never felt it was missing anything.

    There's no way of knowing for sure, isn't there? I could ask conversely, would MtM have been ruined by an instrumental mid-section or Duchess by a time signature change?All things Tony does and loves and my guess is, yes. They are fine as they are. I can only go by my ear, taste and feeling; something's missing in Undertow. I still enjoy it though. One of the best songs on their weakest album up to their point, imo.