MIKE RUTHERFORD - Acting Very Strange - review

  • Never though A Curious Feeling was that strong, for me Still and Strictly Inc are his best albums, but that's a different story.

    AVS is indeed strange. But listening to the songs now, they may seems a bit odd, but it's also something Mike hasn't done before or after that. Apart from Hideaway, a classic Rutherford ballad ....


    They should make this album available on CD

  • Just a random thought I wanted to add here: To my ears, Mike's singing voice (such as it is) doesn't sound anything like his speaking voice. To me, they don't sound like they're coming from the same person at all. This isn't the case with any of the other G-men.

    The Seat Bunny!

  • The record is also close to 40 years old and I can imagine he tried to work around his speaking voice, which seemed weak to him in terms of singing. But I agree, you wouldn't guess it's Mike if you didn't know that

  • I've never heard it. All I've ever heard is a few moments of Maxine on some Genesis doc.


    I think it's the worst album cover in the entire Genesis universe and one of the worst in the history of album covers.


    If he wanted an image conveying the phrase "acting very strange" he'd have been better off with a pic of himself painted completely purple, standing on one leg and pulling a demented expression while smearing duck fat on a gargoyle. For example.

    Abandon all reason

  • I've never heard it. All I've ever heard is a few moments of Maxine on some Genesis doc.


    I think it's the worst album cover in the entire Genesis universe and one of the worst in the history of album covers.


    If he wanted an image conveying the phrase "acting very strange" he'd have been better off with a pic of himself painted completely purple, standing on one leg and pulling a demented expression while smearing duck fat on a gargoyle. For example.

    Never judge a book by it's cover! ;)


    The cover is awful, clearly done in a hurry and on the cheap, and yes, it's far from the best "Genesis solo" album, but I think you do yourself a disservice in having never heard it. You can hear it for free courtesy of youtube. Ignore the vocal quality, and focus on the lyrics and some of the more inventive ideas an the music, and who knows, you might even listen to it a second time.

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • Never judge a book by it's cover! ;)


    The cover is awful, clearly done in a hurry and on the cheap, and yes, it's far from the best "Genesis solo" album, but I think you do yourself a disservice in having never heard it. You can hear it for free courtesy of youtube. Ignore the vocal quality, and focus on the lyrics and some of the more inventive ideas an the music, and who knows, you might even listen to it a second time.

    There's never been any specific reason I haven't listened to it. I just never got around to it, as I never have with Strictly Inc, various Phillipses and nearly all the Mechanics. Funnily enough after writing my above post I did make a mental note to look it up on YouTube.

    Abandon all reason

  • I recently got this on CD. I had the record but hadn’t played it in decades.


    One or two good songs, but yes his voice is very strained.


    Is there anything to the rumor that George Harrison did the solo on Hideaway?

  • Never judge a book by it's cover! ;)


    The cover is awful, clearly done in a hurry and on the cheap, and yes, it's far from the best "Genesis solo" album, but I think you do yourself a disservice in having never heard it. You can hear it for free courtesy of youtube. Ignore the vocal quality, and focus on the lyrics and some of the more inventive ideas an the music, and who knows, you might even listen to it a second time.

    Decided to hear it today otherwise I'd never get around to it. I listened to most of it.


    It's not too bad, and the vocals are okay, they're certainly nowhere near as bad as many (including him) say. There's a kind of pattern in that many of the songs start off well, really promising in fact, then settle down into something much less interesting than the opening suggested. I think of it as Nobody's Perfect syndrome. e.g. A Day To Remember has some interesting sounds at the start, they continue through the song but the opening makes it feel like the song could've gone down a darker and more intriguing path (a route I frequently wished Genesis could've taken). One or two others are similar.


    It's very of its time, in one or two places slightly behind, where it sounds like it's attempting a sort of late 70s new wave/power pop sound such as the title track. The Saaaaf Laaandan intonation on the title phrase is amusing, as is his "Daaah!" at the start of Maxine, which in fact made me laugh out loud. In other places it sounds like it could be a Hall & Oats album. I was listening to the album in sequence then broke off during one track when a very 80s yacht-rock style sax blared its way in suddenly (I'm allergic to sax outside of some King Crimson and Van Der Graaf where they make it sound a bit demented). Taking it back to Genesis, at times it also reminds me a bit of that era of Hackett, a bit Highly Strung-like (or should that be the other way around, I think this was a year before, wasn't it?).


    Now I've heard Hideaway I'm inclined to think the slide guitar outro, while quite Harrisonesque, is probably Rutherford doing a Harrison, those references in my earlier post notwithstanding.

    Abandon all reason

  • I'm glad you took the trouble, even gladder (is that really a word?) you didn't find it a waste of time. I don't think it as bad as some say.


    And yes, 1 year prior to Highly Strung, though I think that a much better album, whose single should have been "Give it away".

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • I’ve seen photos of Mike with George Harrison before. There is another rumor that the new incarnation of the Traveling Wilburys had Mike in it, but the sessions were never released.


    Anyone heard THAT rumor?

  • yes, 1 year prior to Highly Strung, though I think that a much better album, whose single should have been "Give it away".

    At times their voices sound quite similar.


    It amuses me to think that this affable chap we see in interviews with his polite Home Counties accent, with whom you can imagine having a friendly chat in the farm produce shop he manages on the outskirts of a picturesque small market town in Surrey, sings like that.

    Abandon all reason

  • I know the song well but I don't know what you mean. What I hear at the very beginning is one of the backing singers going "Yeah!"

    Alright alright. I only ever heard it that one time and it didn't have my full attention. I just re-listened to the start and whoever it is, MR or backing singer, I concede it's YEEAAHH not DAAAH but quite frankly it would've been a lot better and more original if it was DAAAH. Everyone goes "yeah" in songs.


    I was amused thinking it was DAAAH but you've ruined that now.

    Abandon all reason

  • I just remembered something I read in a review of AVS shortly after it was released (don't know where); it was something like this: "Unlike Phil Collins, Rutherford doesn't have a strong voice, but he does manage to mumble his way through the album."


    (Personally, I would not describe Mike's unsuccessful lead vocals on AVS as "mumbling.")

    The Seat Bunny!