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Do you think CAS is the worst Genesis album?

  • What do you think is Genesis's worst studio album? 15

    1. Calling All Stations (5) 33%
    2. From Genesis to Revelation (5) 33%
    3. some other album (please specify) (5) 33%

    Whatever any given Genesis fan may think of CALLING ALL STATIONS, I think most of us would agree that -- as far as their studio albums go -- it's generally been the subject of the harshest criticism.


    But do you personally think it's their worst album? Or do you maybe consider FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION to be? Or, is some other album your least favorite? (One critic unequivocally called WE CAN'T DANCE the worst Genesis album, and referred to CAS as "a half step in the right direction.")


    Personally, I think CAS is the weakest Genesis studio album, closely followed by FGTR. That said, though, I should emphasize that I still like both albums quite a bit. I just happen to like all of the others even better!

    "Coming up next, we'll be playing songs by The Cars, The Doors... and The Car Doors."

  • These always seem like pointless negativity threads to me, but perhaps something constructive can come out of the conversation that ensues. For me, if I was forced to rank the albums I would probably have CAS as the second-to-last place with FGTR in last. But I still get loads of enjoyment out of both albums when I am in the mood for either of them.


    FGTR barely qualifies as a band album, as they weren't really a 'band' yet, they were just teenagers lucky enough to record the songs they had written. Nonetheless, it contains a lot of nice melodies and some earnest singing. It's an early taste of the talent they would all hone as the years went on - and things improved dramatically between then and the recording of Trespass. Playing live, learning what worked and scrapping what didn't, improving their technique as players and writers...


    CAS, at the far end of their career, had lots of great melodies as well and some wonderful and dramatic moments. I think it suffered from a bit of aimlessness though, and some confusion with regards to direction. Furthermore, there seemed to be an inability to properly end some of the songs (lengthy fadeouts hurt some of those quite a bit), and perhaps some very outdated sound choices (Banks' solo in Congo is a bit cringeworthy). I don't think the blame for any of this stuff falls on Ray Wilson, he seemed to do a good job in his role. But Phil is just not someone you can replace. For some of the fans/audience, but more importantly, from a group dynamic perspective when it came to the writing and recording of the album. It had been the three of them for a long time, they were a well-oiled machine, and Phil was an important component of how songs ended up sounding. And when you took him out of the equation, and his replacement was not really given a say in those arrangements, you were left with an album that sometimes wildly shifted between lightweight Mechanics-style ballads and quirky Banks pieces that maybe needed a bit of tightening, and would have been better suited for one of his own albums. As good as a lot of that raw material was, it didn't quite add up to a fully fleshed-out Genesis album IMO. It isn't bad by any means, it just doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of their catalogue.

  • Calling all stations is a fantastic cd.

    Every song has a vibe and menace. I particularly enjoy There must be some other way and one mans fool. It does lack a sense of humour but song quality is ace.

    Genesis haven't done a worst cd in my opinion.

  • I much prefer CAS, which despite Ray Wilson still sounds like Genesis to me, to FGTR which in large parts sounds like CSN(Y). It took a while for me to get over the 'that's not Genesis' feeling about CAS but once I did, there is a great deal to like about it.

  • No CAS isn't, for me, their worst album. I like more songs from it than I do W&W, from which I only properly like Afterglow and BOTR and can tolerate Unquiet and ITQE.


    I don't tend to include FGTR in such considerations, mainly for the kinds of reasons Progatron gave.


    That said, I couldn't honestly say every song on CAS has vibe and menace. I wish it did, as menace is something I wish they had more of in their music.

  • I'd definitely rank Invisible Touch lower. Abacab wasn't their brightest moment either.


    This is a nice occasion to mention sth that occured to me lately: CAS is pretty unique among Genesis albums for its overall dark, slowly flowing melancholic mood. No need to point out WCD, IT and Genesis album were all pretty much the opposite - now let's look a little beyond band albums: The last album Tony released before CAS was Strictly Inc., Mike did Beggar On A Beach Of Gold. Neither of them has that dark mood either. However, Stiltskin's debut album, the last thing Ray did before CAS, comes quite close in that respect, despite it being different as a grunge album. Why is this so? Ray didn't have too much input as a song writer. Maybe Tony and Mike were simply open to what kind of direction he would like? Or it was just coincidence.

  • I like every Genesis album. I think each one has its merits.

    Having said that, FGTR is easily my least favourite of the bunch.

    CAS, WCD and IT would be grouped in the next category — couple of notches above.

    But I couldn’t give you a consistent answer if asked which of those three I like the best or the least.

    It really varies on my mood and my tendency to rate albums higher when I happen to be listening to them.

  • I don't think CAS is a bad album, it's just not a Genesis album. They had a different singer, a different approach to songwriting and a different sound. It was like a new band altogether. Everyone who expected CAS to sound like a proper Genesis album were disappointed.

  • I’m afraid it is for me. I really like FGTR, including the strings! I suppose that embryonic album is part one of two, with Trespass being two. CAS is part one with a missing part two after Mike gave up. As we maybe like FGTR with the hindsight of Trespass, CAS doesn’t get that chance. For me it follows a trend of Tony’s stuff becoming too quirky without quality and possibly the reverse for Mike. Without Phil’s pop sensibilities to make it palatable we ended up with what is to me a charmless mix of high class potential but nothing to really reward lots of repeated listening. I’m glad they tried and they fully own the right to, but it actually did become what they set out to be at the start - a songwriting team- but maybe the wrong team. In any event that special spark was not there- for me anyway. But fair play to them for having go and at times, as on the title track, it’s pretty much there. Should have been part two but can’t say I blame Mike for calling it a day. WCD is saved worst spot for me by Spike, No Son of Mine and Fading Lights. IT only really salvaged by the genius of Land of Confusion and parts of TTT and Domino. To me they were originally, gloriously infused by a collective, tense, slightly amateur, earnest genius which diminished with numbers and increasing professionalism, only to be glimpsed where once it was commonplace.

  • Bonus trivia: More finished studio material was recorded at the sessions for CAS than any other Genesis album... including LAMB.

    That's correct, 8 songs (one of which still remains unreleased officially) totaling almost 40 minutes. That's like a second album! Abacab would be the next choice, with 5 songs/24 minutes.

    Lamb had none whatsoever, so that's not the best comparison to make. ;)

  • That's correct, 8 songs (one of which still remains unreleased officially) totaling almost 40 minutes. That's like a second album! Abacab would be the next choice, with 5 songs/24 minutes.

    Lamb had none whatsoever, so that's not the best comparison to make. ;)

    You may have misunderstood my statement. I didn't mean, finished studio material that wasn't included in the album; I meant total material including both the album and any omitted material from the same sessions.


    The sessions for LAMB, the longest Genesis studio album, produced about 95 minutes of material. No other Genesis album's sessions produced a total amount of material that comes anywhere close to that... except the CAS sessions, which produced about 107 minutes of material.

    "Coming up next, we'll be playing songs by The Cars, The Doors... and The Car Doors."

  • You may have misunderstood my statement. I didn't mean, finished studio material that wasn't included in the album; I meant total material including both the album and any omitted material from the same sessions.


    The sessions for LAMB, the longest Genesis studio album, produced about 95 minutes of material. No other Genesis album's sessions produced a total amount of material that comes anywhere close to that... except the CAS sessions, which produced about 107 minutes of material.

    Oops! I did indeed misunderstand (I waited in the rain for hours, you were late). I thought you were talking about music that was recorded but left off the album.


    That's interesting, I never realized or thought about just how long CAS sessions ended up being. Nowadays, it's common for huge, sprawling albums of that length (bands like The Flower Kings, etc.) but for Genesis, 107 minutes is a huge amount!

  • Personally I’ve always liked CAS. As an overall album I’d rank it higher than And Then There Were Three and Trick Of The Tail. I know this will be a controversial view but I’ve always thought ATTWT was the weakest and Trick and Wind And Wurthering have enough great tracks combined to make one great album between them.

  • Personally I’ve always liked CAS. As an overall album I’d rank it higher than And Then There Were Three and Trick Of The Tail. I know this will be a controversial view but I’ve always thought ATTWT was the weakest and Trick and Wind And Wurthering have enough great tracks combined to make one great album between them.

    Wow! Well, at least we can learn from these threads about the different tastes out there in fan land. :) Trick is my favourite album, and ATTWT is in my top 5.

  • With all of the horrible reviews CAS commonly gets, it's good to hear from some fans who appreciate it. See, this thread wasn't all negative after all...

    "Coming up next, we'll be playing songs by The Cars, The Doors... and The Car Doors."

  • I can appreciate CAS but it isn't really a proper Genesis album. They should have given themselves a new name but I can see why they didn't. In hindsight WCD is the worst album from the Collins era. Strictly Inc and Beggar have fared better given the passage of time.

  • Personally I’ve always liked CAS. As an overall album I’d rank it higher than And Then There Were Three and Trick Of The Tail. I know this will be a controversial view but I’ve always thought ATTWT was the weakest and Trick and Wind And Wurthering have enough great tracks combined to make one great album between them.

    It's good to see someone else who isn't too hot on the 4-man albums.