SUPPER'S READY vs. THE DUKE SUITE

  • Which do you prefer? 22

    1. Supper's Ready (13) 59%
    2. The Duke Suite (9) 41%

    Which do you prefer?


    You sometimes hear these two mentioned side-by-side; in fact, the members of Genesis said that they separated the tracks from the Duke Suite partly because they didn't want the suite to be compared to Supper's Ready. They are of somewhat similar length - 23 minutes for Supper's Ready vs. 29 minutes for the Duke Suite.


    I love Supper's Ready, but there's no way that it beats the entire Duke Suite. For me it's not even close. Still, I've never seen this poll on any Genesis forum before, so I thought I'd put it up.

  • In my mind, Supper's Ready is the ultimate Genesis song. Nothing beats it. It is their masterpiece. The "Duke suite" does not even exists as such! Sure, it was called that way in relation to the tour supporting Duke, but they precisely wanted to avoid any comparison with Supper's Ready and needed to move away from their traditional sound, including long pieces, which is why the songs comprising the so-called "Duke suite were separated on the album. Later, they cut Home by the Sea and Domino in two separate parts.

  • In my mind, Supper's Ready is the ultimate Genesis song. Nothing beats it. It is their masterpiece. The "Duke suite" does not even exists as such! Sure, it was called that way in relation to the tour supporting Duke, but they precisely wanted to avoid any comparison with Supper's Ready and needed to move away from their traditional sound, including long pieces, which is why the songs comprising the so-called "Duke suite were separated on the album.

    They were absolutely right to resist all their later urges to create suites - Moonlit Knight/Cinema Show, Duke and Dodo. (Do we know of any others?) Good for them for avoiding it. If they'd done these other suites it would've devalued SR.


    It's a brilliantly put-together thing and it cleverly elevates a number of pieces that would have been barely average on their own. For me, while it's a smart bit of construction I find it quite overrated. Sanctuary and Apocalypse are wonderful, the latter one of the best pieces of rock music ever made, but because it's Genesis it'll never feature in any "greatest of all time" lists. The other parts are OK.


    I'm especially glad Duke was kept separate. Although the first and last bits feature linked songs, they stand up well on their own. Linking them worked well on the tour but on the record it would've resulted in a ridiculously long side and a badly lop-sided album overall.

    Abandon all reason

  • Without hesitation Supper’s Ready. Certainly

    it started out as a collection of shorter songs but builds into possibly the greatest epic in prog. Only The Musical Box rivals it for proggy passion and that song possibly achieved in less than half the time what Supper’s Ready does over twenty odd minutes. The Duke suite would have needed a lot more crafting to make a whole to rival Supper’s Ready but, having said that, I like it a lot, either separately or as a suite. It would have made for a weak second side to Duke but I still would have liked them to try it because live, even strung together as a collections of bits, it worked well.

  • I may not be part of the majority, but I always felt that Supper's Ready was more a collection of different songs and the Duke Suite is more or a unit. I like both, but prefer the Duke Suite

    As I see it, both use pretty much the same structure, complimentary but unrelated pieces of music that segue into each other before an elongated keyboard solo and grand recapitulation of one of the earlier bits. I would even say that the Duke Suite is more disjointed, because the songs themselves are already self-contained units, Behind the Lines, Turn it on Again and Duchess.


    I too like both, both are top 5 or 10 things the band has done, but I don't think the Duke Suite reaches the heights of As Sure as Eggs is Eggs, especially Peter's performance.

  • Linking them worked well on the tour but on the record it would've resulted in a ridiculously long side and a badly lop-sided album overall.

    Bingo.


    As it happens, DUKE represents the most music Genesis ever crammed onto a single LP: 55 minutes. (BTW, side 2 of SELLING, at over 28-1/2 minutes, is their longest LP side overall.) The "Duke Suite" would have actually fit on one vinyl side (at "only" about 28 minutes); but the album is definitely better as it is -- a perfectly sequenced album, IMHO.


    BTW, I chose "Duke Suite" over "Supper's Ready", but it was a close call.

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

    Edited once, last by DecomposingMan ().

  • Supper’s Ready is my favorite track ever, so has to be this obviously. I do love Duke Suite but I personally find a comparison between the two very difficult. SR is a symphony of prog rock while DS tends towards soft rock/pop. DS brilliant in its on right, but it's just not Supper's Ready.

  • I love Supper's Ready and enjoy it all the way through. But if it had been broken up as individual songs, I probably would mainly focus on Lover's Leap, Apocalypse, and ASAEIE. Whereas each of the Duke Suite tracks (well, maybe except Guide Vocal) are great on their own and then make a greater whole strung together (if only on tour and in my head).

  • I love Supper's Ready and enjoy it all the way through. But if it had been broken up as individual songs, I probably would mainly focus on Lover's Leap, Apocalypse, and ASAEIE. Whereas each of the Duke Suite tracks (well, maybe except Guide Vocal) are great on their own and then make a greater whole strung together (if only on tour and in my head).

    Yes, but the point is Supper's Ready was not broken up while the so-called "Duke suite" was never intended to be a complete song. We are talking about a comparison between something that existed and something that never did. This is more a game of "what if", like speculating that there ever was a "Dodo suite" or a "Wind suite". Artists produce works of art and I like to think that Genesis' definite works of art appeared on their records.

  • I agree. IF Supper's Ready had been broken into its individual songs it's almost certain those parts would have been developed more and may have ended up much different. Likewise based on the bend's own comments many of the songs that contributed to the Duke Suite would have been fleeting moments of connective tissue, not the fully fleshed-out songs we know.


    I enjoy the "what if" aspect of the original question, but I just think that they're too dissimilar in their finished form to make a real comparison.

  • Not disagreeing with you both. I was just engaging in the intellectual exercise as posed. In reality, I enjoy listening to both SR and Duke without even thinking about comparing them.

  • The two are kind of 'apples and oranges', they both bring something good to the table (if you will). Supper was always best done by Gabriel (in my view), my all time favorite live rendering of the song is from Watford '72. The Duke Suite is a great song and caps off the album perfectly.

  • I am a huge fan of both. However, they are very different from each other and I agree, you would be comparing apples with oranges.


    Having seen them both performed live and the significance of each suite, they are worlds apart. You could say even recorded by a different band.


    Supper's ready is not only an epic of biblical proportions but it's a song that that is split in several parts. Some are very naive and gentle and at the end in Apocalypse 9/8 it becomes very aggressive and bombastic, ending with a beautiful New Jerusalem chant for the ages. Very majestic.


    The Duke suite is brilliant but I would say a different kind of epic, it narrates the story of Albert and his obsession with TV. I took this from an article that compares these two compositions: Tony Banks proposed writing a 30-minute epic that would be an update of sorts of their previous epic, the 23-minute “Supper’s Ready.” Much different than progressive rock albums at the time, however, was the idea that the epic should revolve around a guy named Albert’s life failures."


    Found here:

    https://www.treblezine.com/22362-genesis-duke-hall-of-fame/


    My favorite is Supper's Ready by all standards giving Duke a nod and pat on the back as the great last epic by Genesis.

  • It's a tough call, comparing these two. Supper's Ready has several glorious sections: I love Tony's descending guitar pattern of the intro. I love the gentle acoustic/flute section that eventually leads to "The guards of Magog", and of course Apocalypse in 9/8 is outstanding. But it also has some other parts that lost some of their appeal for me over the years. The "How Dare I Be So Beautiful?" section is pretty dreary, and gives the piece a 'sagging' feeling. Don't get me wrong, I love the song of course. But it is not flawless.


    Nor is the Duke suite, but I think Duchess and the Guide Vocal reprise at the climax of DT are two of the finest moments of their entire career, eclipsing even those incredibly strong Supper's Ready moments. Behind The Lines is also a very strong opener.


    Duke suite got my vote!