Your favorite tracks on ... "Abacab"

  • Isn't that peculiar? With many people foaming at mouth when Whodunnit? is mentioned and with the famous booing concerts I would have expected it to be the other way round: hate for Abacab because of its music, and indifference to IT, because its music is pop.

    That was just a sample of polls and personally I couldn't detect any particular animosity towards the album, it did rank low in any poll, rightly so in my opinion. As for Whodunnit, I t guess people in the meantime take it for what it was, a joke, it's up to anybody to take it seriously or less.

  • I don’t understand the demon vitriol for a particular song. I could understand not liking a song from your favorite band; but sheer utter hatred of a song that brings you to boo at a concert? Just go to the bathroom, get a beer, whatever. If you were going to a Genesis concert in the 80’s wouldn’t you expect them to play their 80’s stuff? Lol.

    Not necessarily, not all songs from the album are played live during a tour, some just don't lend themselves to it. I guess, some fans didn't expect them to play that one. I personally never booed and I agree with you, you don't like it just do something else, it's only 5 minutes, after all, if you pay the ticket however, I believe you have the right to boo, no matter how futile I find that.

  • Ah, Whodunnit. I remember being with my girlfriend at the time in a diner in Northern Virginia. Whodunnit was on the jukebox and we played it just to try to get a “WTF is that?”type of reaction out of the other people in the restaurant. As I recall everyone just went right on eating—no reply at all. Whodunnit was far from my favorite song on Abacab but I did appreciate its quirkiness and I actually ended up enjoying it live, with Phil wearing his weird mask and Mike on drums.

  • Ah, Whodunnit. I remember being with my girlfriend at the time in a diner in Northern Virginia. Whodunnit was on the jukebox and we played it just to try to get a “WTF is that?”type of reaction out of the other people in the restaurant. As I recall everyone just went right on eating—no reply at all. Whodunnit was far from my favorite song on Abacab but I did appreciate its quirkiness and I actually ended up enjoying it live, with Phil wearing his weird mask and Mike on drums.

    I thought all the mask and goggles tomfoolery was pretty lame but I did like seeing the switched-around set-up especially the oddness of Banks centre-stage which for me was actually more odd than MR on drums.


    I agree with your assessment of the track. I don't think it's the atrocity many seem to regard it as - given the choice I'll listen to it over, say, Scenes From A Night's Dream every day of the week. And several other clunkers as well, come to think of it. I recall Banks saying they consciously created something they knew would likely piss some fans off. Job done I'd say. In that sense maybe Witchwood is on to something about alienating certain fans! Doesn't change the immutable fact that if you go to a gig and boo the band's new stuff you are a dim-witted twat. That's a truth that cannot be argued with.


    I like the big warp of noise at the start of Who Dunnit. I wish they'd done more oddball stuff like that.

    Abandon all reason

    Edited once, last by Backdrifter ().

  • I thought all the mask and goggles tomfoolery was pretty lame but I did like seeing the switched-around set-up especially the oddness of Banks centre-stage which for me was actually more odd than MR on drums.


    I agree with your assessment of the track. I don't think it's the atrocity many seem to regard it as - given the choice I'll listen to it over, say, Scenes From A Night's Dream every day of the week. And several other clunkers as well, come to think of it. I recall Banks saying they consciously created something they knew would likely piss some fans off. Job done I'd say. In that sense maybe thewatcher is on to something about alienating certain fans! Doesn't change the immutable fact that if you go to a gig and boo the band's new stuff you are a dim-witted twat. That's a truth that cannot be argued with.


    I like the big warp of noise at the start of Who Dunnit. I wish they'd done more oddball stuff like that.

    I agree with a lot of what you said. I sometimes wonder if Whodunnit was really just a weird doodle that the band messed around with but never really expected to be on the album, especially given the oft-repeated story that the head of Atlantic Records convinced the band to take a chance by putting that song on the album instead of You Might Recall. Riffing off your comment on Scenes from a Night’s Dream, I’d listen to Whodunnit every day of the week over Invisible Touch.

  • I love Abacab, it's firmly in my 'top tier' of Genesis albums. It's spacey and exploratory. They were never trying to alienate fans, they were just doing what they were good at it. If it rubs you up the wrong way, it's on you. Pass on and listen to what you like.


    re: Whodunnit, it's just a tune at the end of the day. I enjoy it, I wouldn't seek it out specifically to listen to but I don't skip it. It's fun. I kind of love that it pisses some people off.


    Primary memory it excavates: I was going to my first, and only Genesis gig so far, in 1998, the CAS tour. My parents were going too as I was pretty young. The week or two before I was watching the Genesis tour videos at home, getting in the mood as it were, or just watching what I enjoyed. Anyway my dad came into the living room and sat down coincidentally as Whodunnit came on the 3SL video. He watched and I suffered a little. Around three minutes later he stood up awkwardly and lumbered toward the door. "Jaysus, that's awful shite" he mumbled.


    I explained that the Ray Wilson version of the band was *extremely* unlikely to play it, but he didn't stick around for In The Cage :D

  • It's funny that I started off being a big Genesis fan after really getting into Three Sides Live and loving the Abacab tracks on it, but then when I finally got around to getting Abacab itself it quickly became one of my least favourite Genesis albums. Looking at the tracklist I'm not even sure why. Out of all the songs I only dislike Whodunnit and Another Record and really rate everything else. I think it's probably because most other Genesis albums have a strong movement from beginning to end, and by the time you get to the last track you feel like you're coming to the end of a sort of satisfying narrative. I didn't like that there was nothing to look forward to at the end of side 2 of Abacab - just the slightly odd and boring Another Record.


    I'm convinced that if they'd swapped Another Record for You Might Recall (and maybe got rid of Whodunnit completely, or replaced it with Paperlate?) it would have had that satisfying flow from start to finish, and it would be considered one of the best Genesis albums (or at least their best pop/rock album)

  • I'm convinced that if they'd swapped Another Record for You Might Recall (and maybe got rid of Whodunnit completely, or replaced it with Paperlate?) it would have had that satisfying flow from start to finish, and it would be considered one of the best Genesis albums (or at least their best pop/rock album)

    Do you think so? I think it was Ahmet Ertegun who suggested not to include YMR in favor of Who Dunnit, just to give this album more edge and make it more interesting. I assume he thought the inclusion of a "safe" track instead of something controversial such as Abacab would have made this album less ... special?

  • Do you think so? I think it was Ahmet Ertegun who suggested not to include YMR in favor of Who Dunnit, just to give this album more edge and make it more interesting. I assume he thought the inclusion of a "safe" track instead of something controversial such as Abacab would have made this album less ... special?

    To add to Christian’s point as well, they already had a song with horns on it in No Reply at All. I believe the feeling was, that adding Paperlate would have given the album too much horns. They chose one, and went with No Reply at All. Both would have been excellent choices, IMO.

  • Do you think so? I think it was Ahmet Ertegun who suggested not to include YMR in favor of Who Dunnit, just to give this album more edge and make it more interesting. I assume he thought the inclusion of a "safe" track instead of something controversial such as Abacab would have made this album less ... special?

    Ahmet, the man who made Phil add drums to In the Air Tonight, to create the single version, which you NEVER hear now. Even Phil's "Hits" album uses the album version. So, perhaps his judgement was not that good, after all.

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • Ahmet, the man who made Phil add drums to In the Air Tonight, to create the single version, which you NEVER hear now. Even Phil's "Hits" album uses the album version. So, perhaps his judgement was not that good, after all.

    I completely disagree. He was a mentor for both, Phil and Genesis in the early eighties. And I think that was a wise decision. People keep discussing Abacab, it's far from being a boring album.

    Ahmet's statements about In The Air Tonight itself are also quite interesting. It's part of the Face Value classic album DVD.


    PS: The HITS album uses album versions only ... same with THE SINGLES

  • Ahmet, the man who made Phil add drums to In the Air Tonight, to create the single version, which you NEVER hear now. Even Phil's "Hits" album uses the album version. So, perhaps his judgement was not that good, after all.

    I actually didn't know this, or had never noticed the difference. However, the single version was a massive hit all over the world and made PC a superstar, so I don't see anything wrong with his judgment there. He WAS wrong about Whodunnit though!

    Do you think so? I think it was Ahmet Ertegun who suggested not to include YMR in favor of Who Dunnit, just to give this album more edge and make it more interesting. I assume he thought the inclusion of a "safe" track instead of something controversial such as Abacab would have made this album less ... special?

    Did he actually suggest replacing YMR with Whodunnit, or was it just that he really liked Whodunnit and wanted them to put it on the album, without any particular idea of which track it would be replacing?

  • I completely disagree. He was a mentor for both, Phil and Genesis in the early eighties. And I think that was a wise decision. People keep discussing Abacab, it's far from being a boring album.

    Ahmet's statements about In The Air Tonight itself are also quite interesting. It's part of the Face Value classic album DVD.


    PS: The HITS album uses album versions only ... same with THE SINGLES

    In the Air Tonight loses it's climactic peak at the big drum break through having drums all the way through. Phil did the original the way he did for a reason, with the menacing drone building up to it. The change adds nothing, IMO. Still, for those who prefer it...........


    What is the same with the singles?

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • I actually didn't know this, or had never noticed the difference. However, the single version was a massive hit all over the world and made PC a superstar, so I don't see anything wrong with his judgment there. He WAS wrong about Whodunnit though!

    Did he actually suggest replacing YMR with Whodunnit, or was it just that he really liked Whodunnit and wanted them to put it on the album, without any particular idea of which track it would be replacing?

    I’ve begun wondering the same thing. Did Ertegun suggest that You Might Recall be dropped in favor of Whodunnit (which I’ve always assumed was the case), or did he simply push to have Whodunnit on the album? Was there a consideration to slot it in somewhere on the album while also including You Might Recall? Whatever the precise circumstances, it is an absolute shame that YMR didn’t make it on the album. If Whodunnit was a lock at some point to be included I would have preferred YMR over Like it or Not, although I guess that wouldn’t have flown because it would have meant Mike was the only member without a solo written track on the album. Perhaps then YMR replacing No Reply at All, though I guess Phil would have rebelled over that.

  • My memory of the documentary where his involvement regarding Whodunnit was mentioned is that when he heard the track, he said "that's got to be on there" or something to that effect. Ie not that it should be on instead of another track, just that it had to be on the album. I think the band were unsure. I never remember hearing anything about YMR being in the equation.


    I'm sure someone with detailed knowledge will be along to clear things up...

  • My memory of the documentary where his involvement regarding Whodunnit was mentioned is that when he heard the track, he said "that's got to be on there" or something to that effect. Ie not that it should be on instead of another track, just that it had to be on the album. I think the band were unsure. I never remember hearing anything about YMR being in the equation.


    I'm sure someone with detailed knowledge will be along to clear things up...

    That's how I remember it too. I got the impression it was just a throwaway comment - just that he liked it and thought it should be on there. Not like an order or anything. Genesis just happened to agree I guess, and/or felt that his opinion was worth respecting.

  • That's how I remember it too. I got the impression it was just a throwaway comment - just that he liked it and thought it should be on there. Not like an order or anything. Genesis just happened to agree I guess, and/or felt that his opinion was worth respecting.

    I think this is right. Given that they've described deliberately doing a song that was so far removed from their usual sound, and knowing it would annoy many people, I think there was a clear intention to include it and AE's comment probably just bolstered their resolve.

    I'm convinced that if they'd swapped Another Record for You Might Recall (and maybe got rid of Whodunnit completely, or replaced it with Paperlate?) it would have had that satisfying flow from start to finish, and it would be considered one of the best Genesis albums (or at least their best pop/rock album)

    If you mean a straight swap, ie the album ends with YMR, that wouldn't work in my view as it's not a closing track. I'm not saying AR is a brilliant closer but it feels more of a end-piece than YMR but yeah the latter is the better song by far.


    That said, I don't mind AR and quite like the fact it's a bit of an oddity not just on this album but in their work generally. I like the slightly quirky downbeat feel to it and it's interesting hearing the unusualness of a harmonica sound in a Genesis song. Did someone say earlier it was intended to personify their disgruntled older fans? Do we know that or is it surmising? Either way I like the idea, ending their most right-angled turn of an album in that way.

    Abandon all reason

  • I think this is right. Given that they've described deliberately doing a song that was so far removed from their usual sound, and knowing it would annoy many people, I think there was a clear intention to include it and AE's comment probably just bolstered their resolve.

    If you mean a straight swap, ie the album ends with YMR, that wouldn't work in my view as it's not a closing track. I'm not saying AR is a brilliant closer but it feels more of a end-piece than YMR but yeah the latter is the better song by far.


    That said, I don't mind AR and quite like the fact it's a bit of an oddity not just on this album but in their work generally. I like the slightly quirky downbeat feel to it and it's interesting hearing the unusualness of a harmonica sound in a Genesis song. Did someone say earlier it was intended to personify their disgruntled older fans? Do we know that or is it surmising? Either way I like the idea, ending their most right-angled turn of an album in that way.

    I agree about AR. Absent the full Dodo Suite to my ear Another Record is the only song from the Abacab sessions that really works as an end piece.

  • I agree about AR. Absent the full Dodo Suite to my ear Another Record is the only song from the Abacab sessions that really works as an end piece.

    Just gave it a spin as I haven't in a while, and enjoyed it even more than I remember. Captures the feeling known as "wistful" perfectly. I especially like the first chorus, as they are different from each other, the melancholy little piano fill that comes on after "put another record on...".