Most Untypical Genesis Song

  • Thanks! Would you like to elaborate? I think it sounds like nothing else they ever did.

    Well, I think that not only does it stand out in the Genesis repertoire as being unlike anything they'd done before, but it also has the distinction of sounding unlike anything anyone else had done before. The lyrics are used not so much for their meaning but for the sound of the words used. Musically, it has a bombastic opening which then gives way to a reggae backbeat and then the song switches to Lurker which is completely off-the-wall. Lurker captures a certain magic with its jaunty keyboards and Phil's comedy vocal stylings giving way to a passionate and heartfelt reading of "clothes of brass and hair of brown etc."

  • Well, I think that not only does it stand out in the Genesis repertoire as being unlike anything they'd done before, but it also has the distinction of sounding unlike anything anyone else had done before. The lyrics are used not so much for their meaning but for the sound of the words used. Musically, it has a bombastic opening which then gives way to a reggae backbeat and then the song switches to Lurker which is completely off-the-wall. Lurker captures a certain magic with its jaunty keyboards and Phil's comedy vocal stylings giving way to a passionate and heartfelt reading of "clothes of brass and hair of brown etc."

    Thanks. That's a good interpretation.

  • ^

    I don't know if this is what SCD means but to my mind your description of "one of a kind" = 'unique', not 'atypical'. The latter means there'll be a small number of them, distinct enough to stand out from the majority.


    But maybe a more pertinent question would be, what is a "typical" Genesis song?

    Abandon all reason

  • If you'd asked me some years ago, I would have said No reply at all. The Earth Wind & Fire collaboration seemed unecessary to me, although in the scheme of Genesis pop I don't hate the song. But Banks pointed out that some of the Genesis trademarks were still there. He said the keyboard part was very similar in technique and feel to that on the Lamb Lies down on Broadway (the title track)


    Overall, I say either The Waiting Room is very untypical Genesis. There's a few from each era I guess; Whodunnit, Anything she wants, I can't Dance.

  • i've always found the funky horns on no reply at all and paperlate very un-genesis (which doesn't mean that i don't like those songs). genesis played a wide variety of styles and sounds, but they all were made by themselves. there were no addicional musicians in any album from 'trespass' to 'we can't dance', except for the guest appearance of the earth, wind & fire horn section for those two 'abacab' tracks.


    well, maybe we should consider brian eno on 'the lamb lies down on broadway' as a guest musician too, but his input doesn't stand out as much as the above mentioned horns...

  • Oh how articulate! Thanks for that explanation. I stand gratefully corrected.

    Brevity is the essence of wit. Even the most cursory read of your posts assures me (as if I needed assuring) as to who is the more articulate poster around here. You can sit down now.

  • i've always found the funky horns on no reply at all and paperlate very un-genesis (which doesn't mean that i don't like those songs). genesis played a wide variety of styles and sounds, but they all were made by themselves. there were no addicional musicians in any album from 'trespass' to 'we can't dance', except for the guest appearance of the earth, wind & fire horn section for those two 'abacab' tracks.

    Not since From Genesis To Revelation had there been any additional musicians on a Genesis record. At least with No Reply and Paperlate these musicians were invited to play! Having worked with the EWF horn section on Face Value, Phil promised them he would find a place for them on the next Genesis record. Phil's confidence was increasing and he felt a lot more confident about making more dramatic suggestions about the musical direction of the band. Merging Genesis with EWF was the very definition of progressive music. Tony wasn't sure but Mike accompanied Phil to the Los Angeles session to meet Don, Lui, Michael and Rhamlee and he thought they were a great bunch of guys. The resultant songs were "simply fabulous" and probably the funkiest pieces of music Genesis had ever produced.

  • Anything She Does. A lyric about page three models, written by Tony Banks, with music that is distinctly ska. Move over Buster Bloodvessel!

    Interesting. It never struck me as Ska. Different rhythmically to Ska. More of a Motown influence IMO.


    Not that I'm an authority on either..! Can you explain why you think it's Ska influenced? I will say, the chorus does bring to mind the Police (at least for me, it does.. :P) who had an obvious reggae influence which is a relation of ska.


    Shoot me down by all means!

  • I find I Can't Dance untypical for Genesis. There are very few layers of music, and I think the song was written just to take the mickey at that commercial for a certain brand of jeans - which is probably a first and a once-only in Genesis's catalogue.


    The tricky thing is, perhaps, that Genesis have done a lot in different ways, so there is nothing that is "typical Genesis" ... except that it may be typical for Genesis songs that they are not typical Genesis songs, if you know what I mean (and I hope you do because I think I just got caught in a tight logical and grammatical tangle...).

    ...cried a voice in the crowd.


  • I find I Can't Dance untypical for Genesis. There are very few layers of music, and I think the song was written just to take the mickey at that commercial for a certain brand of jeans - which is probably a first and a once-only in Genesis's catalogue.


    The tricky thing is, perhaps, that Genesis have done a lot in different ways, so there is nothing that is "typical Genesis" ... except that it may be typical for Genesis songs that they are not typical Genesis songs, if you know what I mean (and I hope you do because I think I just got caught in a tight logical and grammatical tangle...).

    There is no logic to Genesis. I think they always just did what the f**k they wanted, which is fair enough.


    I'm not even sure what sort of music 'I can't dance' is. Personally, I never like it. Always made me feel queazy.

  • Anything off of From Genesis To Revelation just doesn't sound remotely like them to me, no matter the era. Just inexplicably lightweight sort of 60s pop numbers with the only Genesis like thing I can find taking the form of Gabriel's vivid imagery in the lyrics.


    Not that they don't have a breadth of strange tracks scattered across the years, but that first record is just so unindicative of what was to come.

  • Interesting. It never struck me as Ska. Different rhythmically to Ska. More of a Motown influence IMO.


    Not that I'm an authority on either..! Can you explain why you think it's Ska influenced? I will say, the chorus does bring to mind the Police (at least for me, it does.. :P) who had an obvious reggae influence which is a relation of ska.


    Shoot me down by all means!

    It was actually someone else who pointed out the ska influence. I think they meant the opening section that's reprised during the bridge, with Tony's horn sample on the keyboard. Once it was pointed out I heard it straight away. The tempo and the rhythm is total ska. I just wish I could remember who it was who cottoned on to it in the first place!


    Of course, reggae has been featuring in Genesis songs ever since the Abacab album and can be heard in Dodo, Home By The Sea, Just A Job To Do, Jesus He Knows Me, Hearts On Fire and Alien Afternoon.

  • There is no logic to Genesis. I think they always just did what the f**k they wanted, which is fair enough.


    I'm not even sure what sort of music 'I can't dance' is. Personally, I never like it. Always made me feel queazy.

    Mike described it as "swamp rock" but the riff definitely recalls The Stones and T-Rex. Interviewed at the time on Radio One, Mike felt that if anyone heard I Can't Dance they'd be hard-pressed to think they were listening to Genesis, at least until the vocals came in (inspired, it turns out, by Roland Gift from The Fine Young Cannibals).