A Trick Of The Tail

  • An attempt to revive the albums threads. We've done FGTR through to Lamb, plus Three and CAS - the latter being such a popular discussion point it has two whole threads of its own.


    Reverting to the chronological sequence we reach the first album without Gabriel. Personally it's not a favourite of mine but I sense I'm out of kilter on that with most fans as I get the impression it's top of many people's lists.


    For me it's kind of summed up by Volcano in that the first half is superb but the second half is terrible. I don't mean side1 is good and side 2 bad, rather that the album is a frustrating mix of good and bad. Ripples, Los Endos, Squonk, Trick and Volcano part 1 are all good, the rest I can't listen to. (EDIT - Entangled should also be in the 'all good' category, thanks Progatron!)


    Over to you.

    Abandon all reason

    Edited once, last by Backdrifter ().

  • It's my favourite of theirs. To me, it's a magical album of storytelling-type songs, with very strong musical sections all throughout, and their playing is fantastic. I understand differences of opinion, although I must say I can't imagine calling the second half of Volcano 'terrible'. To me, that's pure Genesis. And Entangled is probably a top 3 song for me. Such a lush, rich sound to the first half with the harmony parts and the moody second half with the mellotron and 12-strings. Again, pure Genesis to my ears.


    Honestly, I love every second of this album.

  • I can't imagine calling the second half of Volcano 'terrible'. To me, that's pure Genesis. And Entangled is probably a top 3 song for me.

    Thanks for making me realise I should've included Entangled in the ones I do like. It's MMM, RA&B and 2nd half of Volcano I can't stand. These are all among the worst stuff I think they ever did. I genuinely don't get the idea Volcano part 2 is pure Genesis. To me it sounds like they suddenly veered off into a poor Yes impersonation. All those stops and starts, the stupid high shrill wobbly keyboards and the whistle - eeuurrggh I can't stand it. It's exactly what they weren't. Dropping that part live was one of their best moves. The first half, now you're talking. That I can definitely see as the essence of Genesis.


    Does anyone recall a TV ad for this album? I have a vague recollection of one. It would've screened in the London area.

    Abandon all reason

  • The whole Trick package was evocative. The double gatefold cover and intricate portraits of the characters from the record made it like a fairy story to me. It is my favourite record not just by Genesis but anybody. I love the production too which brings me back to 1981 when I first encountered it.

    Musically everything is perfect apart from Robbery Assault. I do listen to that tune because of its place on the disc but I just wish Hackett could of offered Ace of Wands from his Acolyte record or Hands of the Priestess. Then blimey what a record it would have been. Favourite bit is all of side one. Just magical.

  • It's MMM, RA&B and 2nd half of Volcano I can't stand. These are all among the worst stuff I think they ever did. I genuinely don't get the idea Volcano part 2 is pure Genesis.

    Are you sure you're not being a tad hyperbolic there? Among the worst stuff they ever did? Again, to each their own, but... wow. Mad Man Moon is a typically wistful, romantic Banks piece full of his trademark chord changes. Robbery has that delicious 13/8 instrumental section with out-of-this-world drumming (much like the Volcano instrumental section, which again is unmistakably Genesis to my ears).

  • RA&B is certainly the weakest track, and much of MMM is not exceptional, (The best bit for me is Steve's guitar at the "So I pretended to have wings...." it really captures the essence the lyrics.) but the rest is, if not their best, within striking distance.


    To come up with such an album just as everyone is writing you off, is a real coup.

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile

  • Are you sure you're not being a tad hyperbolic there? Among the worst stuff they ever did? Again, to each their own, but... wow. Mad Man Moon is a typically wistful, romantic Banks piece full of his trademark chord changes. Robbery has that delicious 13/8 instrumental section with out-of-this-world drumming (much like the Volcano instrumental section, which again is unmistakably Genesis to my ears).

    Yes I'm sure. I dislike all those pieces very much. I get what you mean about the mechanics of them but all that does is prove to me that nice chord changes and excellent playing don't necessarily lead to stuff I like.


    The one bit of RA&B that I in any way sort of just about like, ish, is the 16 or so bars of instrumental after "... bad man, bad man." In MMM similarly I almost conceivably kind of quite like the 'sandman' bit. But on the whole it really annoys me. Right from the first time I heard it in about 1977 I got about halfway through and found myself impatient for it to end. The whole section leading up to 'sandman' in particular makes me want to go do something else. Progatron you called it wistful. Maybe that's a big part of the problem as I don't get on well with 'wistful'.


    The first half of DOAV is sublime, the changes, textures and dynamics just wonderful and to my ears 100% Genesis at their best - the perfect way to kick off the new era and confound everyone's expectations. Then, obviously for me and probably (here at least) me alone, it all turns to crap and descends into silly high-speed noodling. And again, those horrible shrill wibbly-wobbly sounds. What the hell were they thinking. It might be the most stark example of a song with two utterly contrasting halves I can think of.


    But I must stress, the other stuff apart from those 2.5 songs ranges from good to superb. Entangled and Ripples are among their best work. I wish they hadn't been so typically brutal and dropped the former from their live shows after that one tour, which they often did with good new songs.

    Abandon all reason

  • Progatron you called it wistful. Maybe that's a big part of the problem as I don't get on well with 'wistful'.

    Interesting... how are you with songs like Burning Rope, Heathaze, or Evidence Of Autumn? Three Banks pieces rooted firmly in the 'wistful' zone. Spoiler alert: I love all three. :p

  • Interesting... how are you with songs like Burning Rope, Heathaze, or Evidence Of Autumn? Three Banks pieces rooted firmly in the 'wistful' zone. Spoiler alert: I love all three. :p

    😄


    I think you're ahead of me here! I don't like any of those. Musically, a couple of bits of Rope are OK. The lyrics of all three highlight an aspect of his stuff that's a problem for me, that kind of cod philosophical tone, a bit like a prog-rock Adrian Mole.


    On Trick he gave us the title track which has a nice McCartneyesque feel. The lyric is borderline for me but just about OK.

    Abandon all reason

  • I pretty much agree with all the positive comments here. TRICK is my favorite Genesis album overall (although, as it happens, my favorite Genesis song is elsewhere). Very evocative, even "magical," and the cover art fits the music nicely. Highlights for me are Entangled and Mad Man Moon, but there's nothing I really don't like. After Peter's departure, the rest of the guys really stepped up and showed what they could do.


    BTW, the truth is that the ending of Volcano (which I have no problem with, although I understand where the negative comments are coming from) is pure Hackett! He's the one that wrote that part, and anyone who's heard how out-of-control he gets on some of his solo releases will find that quite unsurprising!

    Such are the times we live in, that talking about what's really going on will make you sound crazy.

  • So other than Mad Man Moon, title track and second half of DOAV you can listen to and like the majority of the album? That's about 75% you like which on most albums would be considered a good album. I like MMM much more than Squonk that I have never really taken to. Horses for courses etc

  • So other than Mad Man Moon, title track and second half of DOAV you can listen to and like the majority of the album? That's about 75% you like which on most albums would be considered a good album. I like MMM much more than Squonk that I have never really taken to. Horses for courses etc

    I was a bit misleading in that opening post. The ones I can't listen to are DOAV 2nd half, MMM and RA&B. Squonk and the title track are good, Los Endos v good, Ripples and Entangled excellent. It's a fair point that that's not a bad strike rate on an 8-song album. I suppose my overall point was that while I like most of it, those lows are very low and it's not a top 5 Genesis album for me, in contrast to many here for whom it's their favourite.


    Words such as magical, wistful and fairytale have been used in this thread to describe it. I don't really get that from it, which is probably just as well as they're qualities I tend to dislike in their work and in music generally.

    Abandon all reason

  • I was a bit misleading in that opening post. The ones I can't listen to are DOAV 2nd half, MMM and RA&B. Squonk and the title track are good, Los Endos v good, Ripples and Entangled excellent. It's a fair point that that's not a bad strike rate on an 8-song album. I suppose my overall point was that while I like most of it, those lows are very low and it's not a top 5 Genesis album for me, in contrast to many here for whom it's their favourite.


    Words such as magical, wistful and fairytale have been used in this thread to describe it. I don't really get that from it, which is probably just as well as they're qualities I tend to dislike in their work and in music generally.

    Apologies. I have no idea why I added the title track and not RA&B. I guess I must have assumed that you missed it out from your like tracks that you didn't like that one. Its an age thing with me lol

  • This remains one of my favourite Genesis albums, although I also don't love every track. There is a level of confidence about the music and playing that is surprising, given that Peter had left. Phil does a great first turn on lead vocals, able to range effectively from his usual (up until now) soft and mournful tones to more emphatic and aggressive on tracks like Squonk.


    Dance on a Volcano is one of my favourite opening tracks. The chiming, metronomic, tension-building 12 string, punctuated by mini explosions from the drums and guitar, and then anchored by the deep bass pedals. There is no one else that combines all these elements so well. I understand Backdrifter's dislike of the coda (it's hardly the second part - more like the 4th or 5th part). It does feel kind of tacked on and I'm glad they eventually dropped it from the live versions.


    Entangled showcases their great interplay on 12 strings. Just gorgeous how they fit together. Plus a beautiful melody, tight harmonies, and a haunting outro with Tony commanding the mellotron and Arp Pro Soloist.


    Squonk is great, relatively straightforward rock. Although I usually prefer live versions of Genesis songs, I particularly like the crispness of the attack in this studio version. They story is perhaps a little fey, but I can let that go.


    Mad Man Moon is one of those Tony songs in which I really appreciate the craft and musicianship, but doesn't excite me or move me much. The instrumental section is particularly well crafted, but I usually don't care enough to get there.


    Robbery Assault and Battery is more of a mixed bag. I find the verses unengaging and the chorus melody boring. The instrumental section is great and probably deserves to be in another song.


    Ripples... is one of my favourite Genesis songs. More great 12 string interplay, poignant lyrics, soaring melody, a haunting and long guitar solo interlude. A Genesis classic.


    The title track I can take or leave. It feels kinda slight and a bit Beatle-esque. Not offensive, but very skippable.


    Los Endos is a great instrumental, bringing together elements from many of the preceding songs (including It's Yourself in absentia). Phil brings his fusion rhythms into play. Mike has lots of nimble basslines. Steve does a lot of great interplay and harmonizing with Tony, who is stellar as usual. An awesome closing track.

    Edited once, last by Dr. John ().

  • A lot of great analysis here - pro and con.


    I'll be concise (for once):


    Love: DOAV, Entangled (one of their prettiest songs), Squonk, Ripples (another one of their prettiest), ATOTT, Los Endos (one of the best classic 70s prog instrumentals)


    Like, but don't love: MMM, RA&B (except the instrumental jam, which is great)


    Dislike: none


    I always wished that "It's Yourself" had found a place on it - yes, either this song or "Los Endos" would have had to change the instrumental bit that they share (unless they had melded the two together - it wouldn't have been an impossible feat). Of course, the purist prog anoraks would have complained about this song they same way they complained about "Your Own Special Way" on the following album. Still, it's a very nice track.

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

  • I think the best post-Gabriel album. It’s got real energy, contrast of light and shade, superb playing, some great lyrics and a nice cover package as well. I didn’t find Genesis until 1979 but if I’d been a fan in 1975/6 it would have been a huge relief that they had carried on and then produced something with the force of the Lamb and the intricacies of Selling England. Ok it misses something with Peter gone but they couldn’t have done it with him, they had gone beyond that kind of group dynamic with him unfortunately. A real triumph.

  • I don’t think it’s one of my favorites, but I really like this album. I do like every song. I think they range from “good-great”. Even though there’s nothing amazing, (except maybe Los Endos) there’s nothing terrible. It’s solid.
    People ragging on RAandB...do you not like it on Seconds Out? I think it rocks on there.
    Fav tunes...

    Entangled

    Squonk

    Ripples

    Los Endos

  • I don’t think it’s one of my favorites, but I really like this album. I do like every song. I think they range from “good-great”. Even though there’s nothing amazing, (except maybe Los Endos) there’s nothing terrible. It’s solid.
    People ragging on RAandB...do you not like it on Seconds Out? I think it rocks on there.
    Fav tunes...

    Entangled

    Squonk

    Ripples

    Los Endos

    I simply don't like RA&B in either version. If anything I probably dislike the SO one even more due to Collins's exaggerated "jokey" vocal performance, which I find quite cringey. It doesn't help that I generally don't much like Seconds Out.


    I'm with you on your favourites list, with Entangled and Ripples being the standouts.

    Abandon all reason

  • It feels kinda slight and a bit Beatle-esque

    Surely that's a positive!



    the ending of Volcano (which I have no problem with, although I understand where the negative comments are coming from) is pure Hackett! He's the one that wrote that part, and anyone who's heard how out-of-control he gets on some of his solo releases will find that quite unsurprising!

    It's like Ace Of Wands meets Brand X circa 1977.

  • My favorite album for a blend of both sentimental and artistic reasons, strange, considering that all other favorite albums are with PG. I still believe that musically it is probably their most cohesive, homogenous and even effort but I would concede that it doesn't have the peaks of the ´previous albums.

    There's not a song a dislike, although I would agree that the title track and RA&B are the weakest ones but I like the lyrics, the stories they tell , the atmosphere they conjure up and that they are both played masterfully. We are imo far from fillers.

    Phil delivers, although he is very far from the singer he was to become.

    My favorite song, strictly for sentimental reasons, is MMM, altrhough I don't believe it's the best song on the album, that would be probably Entangled IMO but the way I see it, the album is made up of 6 very strong songs and 2 OK songs.

    My favorite G-Cover art as well.