• To recap, there were no individual studio album threads until a CAS one was started, which made me think of starting from the beginning with FGTR and going on from there. We got as far as Nursery Cryme plus a Selling England one to mark its 45th anniversary. The NC one didn't attract much interest but anyway let's see how Foxtrot gets on.


    It's one of the best openings of any Genesis album. That mellotron solo - there is nothing like it that I know of. It underlines how, as I've said before, Genesis solos often showed how different their approach was - other bands seemed to do solos to fill up some time and show off a bit. Genesis ones always seemed to me to have shape and meaning, and tell a story. This one is also striking as it's right at the beginning of the track, indeed at the beginning of the album, and unaccompanied. I remember Banks saying he and Rutherford were on a rooftop in Italy looking out over a seemingly deserted town and it made them think what might go through the mind of an alien arriving on Earth and finding it deserted or abandoned. The mellotron solo seems to reflect that idea, its different shapes and textures suggest towns and landscapes. Well, to me, anyway! Even if that wasn't the actual intention. The dynamics of the rest of the song make it overall a very distinctive track, and a great showpiece for how well the two new boys were settling in. In relation to this, it's nice that Hackett got a solo piece on the album - I do like Horizons.


    Another favourite of mine is Can Utility, its twists and turns and different sections show how a band could achieve those features so often associated with progressive rock, but in a tuneful way in the space of about 5 minutes. I have a real fondness for the 'far from the north...' segment, part of the opening section which I understand was brought in by Hackett and which then segues into what sounds like a classic Banks-Collins-Rutherford jam.


    Time Table has never made much of an impression on me and I can't recall when I last ever listened to it - probably around 1980-ish. I don't feel I'm missing out on anything, unsurprisingly for a song that begins "A carved oak table tells a tale..." which has to be one of the most uninspiring opening lines of any song ever, and it doesn't get any better after that. I also haven't listened to Friday for decades apart from having it inflicted on me when Hackett mystifyingly chose it to open the Genesis section of one of his various Genesis Reheated shows a few years ago. On top of that of course, it was sung by Nad Sylvan.


    So that's Foxtrot. Oh - and of course, it's got Supper's Ready on.


    A slight diversion - on the Nursery Cryme thread I linked to a review on Julian Cope's website. Similarly here is a piece from the RAM Album Club site. I don't think they do it any more but they used to have this feature where someone reviews a well-known album they've never heard before. In this one, the writer David Quantick comments on Foxtrot. I found this quite funny but it will probably annoy some - http://ramalbumclub.com/post/1…eek-62-foxtrot-by-genesis

    Abandon all reason

  • FOXTROT is often spoken of as being one of Genesis' all-time great albums. In my view, however, it would only have been a great album if the whole thing was roughly as good as "Watcher" and "Supper's" are. As it is, the remaining tracks on side 1 are relatively weak -- not terrible, just the kinds of songs where I'm likely to agree with most comments from those who dislike them and from those who like them. (As for "Horizons," it's nice, but for me it really highlights the silliness of crediting every early Genesis track to the whole band.)


    As for the linked-to article: Sort of funny. (But "Supper's Ready" did NOT take up the whole 2nd side! Get your facts straight, people!)

    "I don't belong here," said old Tessa out loud...

  • I completely agree about Horizons and the 'all songs by all' policy, in fact I nearly said it earlier. I also noted the SR-occupying-a-whole-side thing in the RAM piece but decided not to bother commenting on that. It's been said so many times I tend to just let people get on with thinking it if they want.


    Time Table certainly isn't terrible, it's more that I find it quite dull whereas I do find Friday pretty terrible. In the Re-Arrange Genesis Albums thread my 'fantasy' Foxtrot was Watcher, Horizons, Can U, Twilight Alehouse, SR.

    Abandon all reason

  • Similarly here is a piece from the RAM Album Club site. I don't think they do it any more but they used to have this feature where someone reviews a well-known album they've never heard before. In this one, the writer David Quantick comments on Foxtrot. I found this quite funny but it will probably annoy some - http://ramalbumclub.com/post/1…eek-62-foxtrot-by-genesis

    Agreed, the preamble about Genesis is quite funny. It’s a pity David Quantick disliked most of Foxtrot, given how impressive his Top 3 Albums Ever List is (The White Album - The Beatles; Low - David Bowie; Another Music In A Different Kitchen – Buzzcocks). But at least he made the effort to listen to Foxtrot several times, so fair enough.


    I like all of Foxtrot. The weakest track is Timetable, pretty but rather bland - but that’s probably just because the rest of the album’s so strong.

  • I'm a bit sad that David Quantick doesn't like it, for I like him. His BBC Radio 2 series "The day the music died" which was a collaboration with John Holmes and Robin Ince was, for the most part, hilarious and bang on target.


    Still, Foxtrot is an odd kettle of fish. For a start, I couldn't really listen to it before the 2008 remix. I know the remixes were a mixed bag for many reasons, and while the Foxtrot one has a couple of issues, overall, it makes it listenable. Previously it just sounded "slack" and badly produced.


    The intro to Watcher never impressed, and still doesn't. Take a listen to "Watching & Waiting" by the Moody Blues from "To our children's children's children" to hear how a mellotron can sound, and for that matter, where Banks almost certainly got his inspiration. If I'd heard Watcher first, I suppose I might have been more impressed. Watcher is OK, but never really flies, for me. Time Table I like, it doesn't try to be anything it isn't. Lyrically, the story is a nice little parable. Can-utility has never really appealed to me much, Get 'em out I've always liked. Horizons is a nice palette cleanser before the banquet that is Supper's Ready, a track that out-Floyd's Pink Floyd! ;)

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile

  • Always loved that album, the weakest song imho is Get 'em Out By Friday. I must be one of the rare Genesis fans who also loves Time Table, regarding the frowns that song constantly gets. It is one of the beautiful non-epic tracks, I love its atmosphere, the interesting chord changes, the nice intertwining of piano and guitar, the bass lines, the few subtle time signature changes, and Peter's vocals on top of it all, and last not least the nice baroque intro. Also nothing bad to say about Horizons, I still prefer this original version over all of Steve's later recordings. It is a breather on the album and it brings up the mood of a peaceful early dawn before the rush of the day starts.

  • My first Genesis album, as such I can't help being biased, obviously with time the cracks have become more audible but I would maintain that any album with Supper's Ready on it, is a very good album. I agree that it is poorly produced but that is the case with any Genesis album, up until Trick. A pity, looking back, those are pivotal, very strong albums and they never got the production value they deserved. Watcher is a great opener, I love the intro but I confess the song in itself, after a while wears out its welcome with me. Lyrically interesting but metrically challenging, I believe it was Mike who said the lyrics were a mouthful at places and I agree. The intro is still incredibly strong after all these years. Time Table is just a good pop song, nothing to write home about but also nothing to frown upon, it's very Tony and I'm almost always on board with what Mr, Banks does. Get'em out by Friday never really grabbed me but I never felt the urge to skip it either, very much a period song in my mind. Can-utility is nice, quintessentially Genesis and I find the melodies quite interesting. Horizons in very pretty, lovely. I don't see how anyone can dislike it. I feel there's very little I can say or add about Supper's Ready which hasn't been said already.

    I know some fans don't really like it and it might be considered a bit drastic of me but imo disliking SR means really not understanding what Genesis were all about.

    It was not only my first Genesis record but also my first prog record, as such a difficult one to crack, accustomed as I was to 3-minutes songs. In retrospective, I guess what I got hooked on and forced me to listen harder were the few melodical hooks, scattered here and there on different songs and the singer's voice which I found different from any other voice, soulful and full of character. Peter's growl on ''Jerusalem'' at the end of Supper's Ready sent shiver down my spine. Still does.

  • Oh as for that linked review in the opening post: if anybody enjoys reading that kind of reviews I won't keep them from their pleasure; speaking for me I am glad the internet offers lots of different reviews that don't have this patronising cynical attitude. Back in the days before we had the world wide web I found myself dependent on rock encyclopedias written by exactly this type of journalists whenever I just wanted to find out how many albums a band released and what other interesting facts there are about them, there was no way around these "funny" comments that seem to imply we're supposed to hate on every rock band in history. These days we have wikipedia, masses of customer reviews, forums like this one etc. - I don't know about you but I decided a good time ago to quit wasting my time with these "experts" that seem to jack off on their loathing of any good music.

  • Always found Foxtrot to be the most unbalanced of the 70-77 albums (with the exception of the Lamb which is probably due to the volume of material) in that the highs (Supper's) are very high and the lows (Time Table, Friday) are very low. I'd put Can Utility and Watcher on about the same level, both above average songs. I like the Live version of Watcher better which probably speaks to production as has been mentioned. Though I like the album, it's probably my least favorite of the era.

  • Oh as for that linked review in the opening post: if anybody enjoys reading that kind of reviews I won't keep them from their pleasure; speaking for me I am glad the internet offers lots of different reviews that don't have this patronising cynical attitude. Back in the days before we had the world wide web I found myself dependent on rock encyclopedias written by exactly this type of journalists whenever I just wanted to find out how many albums a band released and what other interesting facts there are about them, there was no way around these "funny" comments that seem to imply we're supposed to hate on every rock band in history. These days we have wikipedia, masses of customer reviews, forums like this one etc. - I don't know about you but I decided a good time ago to quit wasting my time with these "experts" that seem to jack off on their loathing of any good music.

    There's an old saying, "Those who can, do! Those who can't, criticize." It's very true, and I've never taken much notice of critics reviews, almost always, they say more about the writer than the subject.

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile

  • My first Genesis album, as such I can't help being biased, obviously with time the cracks have become more audible but I would maintain that any album with Supper's Ready on it, is a very good album. I agree that it is poorly produced but that is the case with any Genesis album, up until Trick. A pity, looking back, those are pivotal, very strong albums and they never got the production value they deserved. Watcher is a great opener, I love the intro but I confess the song in itself, after a while wears out its welcome with me. Lyrically interesting but metrically challenging, I believe it was Mike who said the lyrics were a mouthful at places and I agree. The intro is still incredibly strong after all these years. Time Table is just a good pop song, nothing to write home about but also nothing to frown upon, it's very Tony and I'm almost always on board with what Mr, Banks does. Get'em out by Friday never really grabbed me but I never felt the urge to skip it either, very much a period song in my mind. Can-utility is nice, quintessentially Genesis and I find the melodies quite interesting. Horizons in very pretty, lovely. I don't see how anyone can dislike it. I feel there's very little I can say or add about Supper's Ready which hasn't been said already.

    I know some fans don't really like it and it might be considered a bit drastic of me but imo disliking SR means really not understanding what Genesis were all about.

    It was not only my first Genesis record but also my first prog record, as such a difficult one to crack, accustomed as I was to 3-minutes songs. In retrospective, I guess what I got hooked on and forced me to listen harder were the few melodical hooks, scattered here and there on different songs and the singer's voice which I found different from any other voice, soulful and full of character. Peter's growl on ''Jerusalem'' at the end of Supper's Ready sent shiver down my spine. Still does.

    Just curious, but what do feel is wrong with the production on SEBTP, or even more so, the Lamb? I'd agree the predecessors to Foxtrot aren't good, though I'd say Nursery Cryme is slightly better, but can't see any issues with the Lamb.

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile

  • Just curious, but what do feel is wrong with the production on SEBTP, or even more so, the Lamb? I'd agree the predecessors to Foxtrot aren't good, though I'd say Nursery Cryme is slightly better, but can't see any issues with the Lamb.

    If I think about the sound of other bands around that time: Yes in particular with Offord but also Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin there's a lack of crispiness and cleanness in the sound of Genesis, imo on SEBTP and the Lamb too, although they are a vast improvement form the previous records.

    Drums in particular suffered a lot and I can understand why Phil in particular but the others too on different occasions, expressed dissatisfaction over the way they sounded on record. Only with Trick you have a quite clear sound. Mind you, it could have been a problem of engineering rather than production but the point is, they could have sounded better.

  • Oh as for that linked review in the opening post: if anybody enjoys reading that kind of reviews I won't keep them from their pleasure; speaking for me I am glad the internet offers lots of different reviews that don't have this patronising cynical attitude. Back in the days before we had the world wide web I found myself dependent on rock encyclopedias written by exactly this type of journalists whenever I just wanted to find out how many albums a band released and what other interesting facts there are about them, there was no way around these "funny" comments that seem to imply we're supposed to hate on every rock band in history. These days we have wikipedia, masses of customer reviews, forums like this one etc. - I don't know about you but I decided a good time ago to quit wasting my time with these "experts" that seem to jack off on their loathing of any good music.

    I didn't get any of those negatives from the RAM piece - it's not journalists or professional critics or anyone trying to be experts, it's just two guys giving their honest opinions. The RAM guy does say he likes Genesis, and the guest does like some of their stuff but I recall from other comments he's made he is unfamiliar with the PG era. He does like some of this album and I have to say I'm with him on Get 'Em Out.


    Re production, it's not great, even in the 08 version. Not sure about the Offord comparison though. Even Yes themselves said he was erratic. Fragile and CTTE sound good, while Topographic and Relayer don't.


    Meanwhile, in another thread a while back, a board member dared to ask if Supper's Ready is really that good. I thought it was an interesting question. I like the track, I was thrilled to experience them playing the whole song (Sep 82, in a concrete shed used for agricultural shows), it's bold and it includes what I think is one of the best pieces of rock music ever.


    But I rarely listen to it and my enthusiasm for it has waned. Part 1 has an interesting guitar part, but it goes on just a bit too long. As the bit after the vocal part goes on, I start feeling impatient with it. Then there is one of my absolute favourite Genesis bits, as it goes into part 2 which is perfect, short and sweet, a lovely piece of music with superbly effective economy from Hackett. Part 3's okay, part 4 sort of okay but a bit dull, part 5 sort of okay but trying too hard to be quirky. Part 6 is stunning, part 7 a nice reprise of part 2 to round things off.


    Of course I recognise its iconic status within their work, and that it's an ambitious piece of writing and arranging. But for me, it's carried by parts 2 & 6, and they did plenty of much better stuff.

    Abandon all reason

  • Meanwhile, in another thread a while back, a board member dared to ask if Supper's Ready is really that good. I thought it was an interesting question. I like the track, I was thrilled to experience them playing the whole song (Sep 82, in a concrete shed used for agricultural shows), it's bold and it includes what I think is one of the best pieces of rock music ever.


    But I rarely listen to it and my enthusiasm for it has waned. Part 1 has an interesting guitar part, but it goes on just a bit too long. As the bit after the vocal part goes on, I start feeling impatient with it. Then there is one of my absolute favourite Genesis bits, as it goes into part 2 which is perfect, short and sweet, a lovely piece of music with superbly effective economy from Hackett. Part 3's okay, part 4 sort of okay but a bit dull, part 5 sort of okay but trying too hard to be quirky. Part 6 is stunning, part 7 a nice reprise of part 2 to round things off.


    Of course I recognise its iconic status within their work, and that it's an ambitious piece of writing and arranging. But for me, it's carried by parts 2 & 6, and they did plenty of much better stuff.

    It's up to you, imho Supper's Ready is pretty much superb for what this band was doing back at that time. The one slighter weaker passage for me is part 3 but that's fine for me. As I perceive it the whole band made another quantum jump in terms of song writing with Selling England so I can't blame them they were not yet at that peak on Foxtrot (or SR in particular) but they got already quite close there.


    However, the one thing I definitely agree with you is it has to "allowed" to question the quality even of such a holy grail as Supper's Ready. It's not religion we're talking about here, it's still just music.

  • It's up to you, imho Supper's Ready is pretty much superb for what this band was doing back at that time. The one slighter weaker passage for me is part 3 but that's fine for me. As I perceive it the whole band made another quantum jump in terms of song writing with Selling England so I can't blame them they were not yet at that peak on Foxtrot (or SR in particular) but they got already quite close there.


    However, the one thing I definitely agree with you is it has to "allowed" to question the quality even of such a holy grail as Supper's Ready. It's not religion we're talking about here, it's still just music.

    It's only normal that in an over 20 minutes song some bits are stronger than others, it applies to all suites and it applies to even to jazz or classical music. I happen to like Bach's string quartets immensely but I don't rave about every single part. Some are imo stronger than others but it is never detrimental to the brilliance of the piece in itself, the same goes for SR. It is a major leap forward in terms of songwriting and musicianship, another leap can be found on SEBTP as you said and that's exactly what the band was about. Moving forward, progressing, exploring and pushing the boundaries.

  • it has to "allowed" to question the quality even of such a holy grail as Supper's Ready. It's not religion we're talking about here, it's still just music.

    100% agree


    I've had run-ins with Genesis fans who think otherwise! (Not on here though. Yet.)

    Abandon all reason

  • Speaking of FOXTROT, here's a bit of trivia I mentioned once on the old message board: It's the only Genesis studio album on which Phil Collins appears without singing at least a short lead vocal.

    "I don't belong here," said old Tessa out loud...

  • Speaking of FOXTROT, here's a bit of trivia I mentioned once on the old message board: It's the only Genesis studio album on which Phil Collins appears without singing at least a short lead vocal.

    Yeah I remember that being mentioned, it's a good one, I like it. I've been waiting for an excuse to use it myself but the opportunity hasn't come up yet.

    Abandon all reason

  • I think I prefer Nursery Cryme over Foxtrot these days. The former album seems more consistent to me. Still, Suppers Ready is, to my mind, a flawless piece of music and I love Can-Utility and Get Em Out By Friday.


    As for David Quantick, I wouldn't worry too much about his opinion; his favourite Pink Floyd album is The Final Cut.

  • I think I prefer Nursery Cryme over Foxtrot these days. The former album seems more consistent to me. Still, Suppers Ready is, to my mind, a flawless piece of music and I love Can-Utility and Get Em Out By Friday.


    As for David Quantick, I wouldn't worry too much about his opinion; his favourite Pink Floyd album is The Final Cut.

    Wow...that last opinion is ghastly. It proves that he has no idea how that album was made.


    I also prefer Nursery Cryme over Foxtrot. I like everything on Foxtrot, but its magnum opus I always preferred live - studio version is fine; live (IMHO) is better. Can-Utility is my personal favorite track on the album. Nursery Cryme is just a gem for me.

    Stepping out the back way, hoping nobody sees...