TotW 01/25/2020 - 01/31/2020: GENESIS - Congo

  • What do you think about "Congo"? 13

    1. 15 points - outstanding (1) 8%
    2. 14 points - very good (0) 0%
    3. 13 points - very good (-) (3) 23%
    4. 12 points - good (+) (3) 23%
    5. 11 points - good (3) 23%
    6. 10 points - good (-) (1) 8%
    7. 09 points - satisfactory (+) (1) 8%
    8. 08 points - satisfactory (0) 0%
    9. 07 points - satisfactory (-) (0) 0%
    10. 06 points - sufficient (+) (1) 8%
    11. 05 points - sufficient (0) 0%
    12. 04 points - sufficient (-) (0) 0%
    13. 03 points - poor (+) (0) 0%
    14. 02 points - poor (0) 0%
    15. 01 points - poor (-) (0) 0%
    16. 00 points - abysmal (0) 0%

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    GENESIS - Congo

    Year: 1997
    Album: Calling All Stations
    Working title: Congo
    Credits: Banks/Rutherford
    Lyrics: Yes
    Length: 04:53
    Musicians: Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, Ray Wilson, Nir Z.
    Played Live: 1997, 1998
    Cover versions: --

    Notes: Congo was the first single from their last studio album, Calling All Stations. It featured a new singer, Ray Wilson, and drummer Nir Z. A modern music video was produced, but the single was released after the album release and entered the UK singles charts at #29. The video featured an edit of the song, which fades out early and doesn't contain the bridge and last verse.
  • I like the single edit better, but best of all would be if the song went on a little longer and had a real ending, like when it was played live.


    BTW, does anyone know what the sampled voices say after "Congo hey Congo?" (Or whose voices they are?)

    The Seat Bunny!

  • A very frustrating song for me. It starts well, the chanting with the keyboard line phasing in, then the chords and the shift into the main body of the song all make an excellent intro. It was the first CAS track I heard, and I straight away liked the darker feel and RW's voice, then that strong chorus. So far so good.


    Then it just sort of deflates. A really lame and superfluous keyboard solo leads into what sounds like it's shaping up to be an extended middle section. I imagined it taking us on a diversion and routing us neatly back to the chorus and a conclusion. Errrr but no it just fades right there! If this song was a graph it would start on a high upward curve, plateau and then plummet. A great big disappointment of an initially promising song.

    Abandon all reason

    Edited once, last by Backdrifter ().

  • 3, CAS overall (to me) wasn't Genesis, in the strictest sense, it was the Banks/Rutherford band. The only redeeming track in my view from that album was "The Dividing Line", which would have been even better if done as a pure instrumental.

  • 3, CAS overall (to me) wasn't Genesis, in the strictest sense, it was the Banks/Rutherford band. The only redeeming track in my view from that album was "The Dividing Line", which would have been even better if done as a pure instrumental.

    Obviously a valid opinion, personally however, I would have a hard time thinking that Rutherford and most of all Banks are not Genesis or are able to generate anything that doesnt sound like Genesis, particularly the latter.

    He is a founding member, doubtlessly the most prolific writer within the band, his keyboards sound massively defined the band's sound, on occasion too much imo but Ok.

    His chords and chords changes, melodies, moods and atmospheres are quintessentially Genesis, he literally cannot play anything without sounding like Genesis, to the point that his solo career sounded, on occasions, rather pointless.
    I cannot even begin to list how many times he and Mike collaborated on Genesis songs, TOTT, for instance, from a songwriting perspective is overwhelmingly their album.

    He has been aknowledged by the others, including Peter, Steve and Phil as the backbone and cornerstone of the band,. Tony Stratton-Smith has said several times, he is the one member that could have nor been replaced.


    With that in mind, we can say that perhaps he wasn't on his strongest form on that album and definetely Phil was sorely missed, as well as the chemistry they created amongst the three of them but to me for instance, whether I like it or less and I'm not crazy about it, that album sounds more Genesis than most of the stuff on IT or WCD.

    Edited once, last by Fabrizio ().

  • I'm the one who voted "outstanding"!


    I've always felt that this was one of the standout tracks on the album, showing real promise as to where the band could have gone. I like the darker tone and the greater emphasis on the guitar (is it a synth guitar?) and I thought the vocal line was ideal for Ray Wilson's range. The drums are sparse and Nir Z plays some tasty fills. And the middle eight is just beautiful!


    It should have been longer, though. The first time I heard it, I thought the end section was actually the start of another song so it was a real shame that it faded out so quickly. However, editing software is freely available for the amateur mixers amongst us and I've cobbled together a longer mix that, to my ears, sounds just right.

  • I gave it 12. I like the song a lot just wish it was a bit longer. One of the best songs on the album

    “Without music, life would be a mistake”

  • I'm the one who voted "outstanding"!


    I've always felt that this was one of the standout tracks on the album, showing real promise as to where the band could have gone. I like the darker tone and the greater emphasis on the guitar (is it a synth guitar?) and I thought the vocal line was ideal for Ray Wilson's range. The drums are sparse and Nir Z plays some tasty fills. And the middle eight is just beautiful!


    It should have been longer, though. The first time I heard it, I thought the end section was actually the start of another song so it was a real shame that it faded out so quickly. However, editing software is freely available for the amateur mixers amongst us and I've cobbled together a longer mix that, to my ears, sounds just right.

    These echo my thoughts on this track, although I gave it 13. I think that configuration of the band had great potential, a lot of which was manifest in this track. Very dark, exploratory, new young writer. I was so hopeful for the next chapter at that point. It was a big deal at the time because they spent a million quid on the video. To no avail really.


    His chords and chords changes, melodies, moods and atmospheres are quintessentially Genesis, he literally cannot play anything without sounding like Genesis

    This is an interesting observation. I know TB is central to Genesis, but there is not a single song from his solo career I would place above the lowest Genesis track. Maybe, *maybe* something like Queen of Darkness over Hold on my Heart. I find the overwhelming majority of his solo work doesn't really sound 'like' Genesis. I think most of it would have been rejected by Mike and Phil.


    I'm not crazy about it, that album sounds more Genesis than most of the stuff on IT or WCD.

    IT, WCD and CAS all sound like Genesis to me, but I prefer CAS by quite a bit to the other two.

  • This is an interesting observation. I know TB is central to Genesis, but there is not a single song from his solo career I would place above the lowest Genesis track. Maybe, *maybe* something like Queen of Darkness over Hold on my Heart. I find the overwhelming majority of his solo work doesn't really sound 'like' Genesis. I think most of it would have been rejected by Mike and Phil.

    I'd rate Lion of Symmetry and Somebody Else's Dream above almost anything Genesis did after them. But it's true, Tony did need others to bring out the best in him, much like, say, Brian May or Freddie did.

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • I know TB is central to Genesis, but there is not a single song from his solo career I would place above the lowest Genesis track. Maybe, *maybe* something like Queen of Darkness over Hold on my Heart. I find the overwhelming majority of his solo work doesn't really sound 'like' Genesis. I think most of it would have been rejected by Mike and Phil.


    A bit harsh perhaps, several songs on ACF are imo at Genesis level, in fact most of them, were written for Genesis but I would agree that Tony's solo career was somehow disappointing, considering his talent. I've always thought of him as a musician who gets a 90% there; he has the chords, the melodies, the lyrics but he obviously depends on a singer and he never had a singer as good as Peter or Phil. Also he is not a very flexible artist, he does what he does and what he does is excellent but don't expect him to step out of his comfort zone or explore which keeps him from being edgy imo. As talented as he is I think he works best in a band context. I think he needs someone who helps him simplifying or simply argues with him to edit him, both Phil and Peter were helpful in that department.

  • ...


    This is an interesting observation. I know TB is central to Genesis, but there is not a single song from his solo career I would place above the lowest Genesis track. Maybe, *maybe* something like Queen of Darkness over Hold on my Heart. I find the overwhelming majority of his solo work doesn't really sound 'like' Genesis. I think most of it would have been rejected by Mike and Phil.


    ...

    I have a vastly differing view.

    I can think of six Genesis albums that I would choose A Curious Feeling over.

    To me, ACF is the closest any solo release ever came to sounding like Genesis.


    And there are at least close to half a dozen individual tracks from other albums of Tony's that I think would have been among the highlights if they initially appeared on certain Genesis albums.

  • I gave it a 13. I actually like the verses in this song better than the chorus. I love the darkness of Ray’s voice, like someone else said. I also thought this would have been better as a second or third released single instead of first. The Dividing Line would have been an amazing first single. Not about us would have worked, IMO. Maybe a couple others. Rock radio stations in Philly promoted the heck out of this song at the time. I too was eager to see where the next chapter would have went.

    I usually have no issue with fans liking what they like with respect to the band. The only thing that has ever bothered me with respect to this album, is when longtime fans dismiss CAS without even listening to it, because Ray sounds nothing like Phil. He’s not supposed to sound like Phil, that’s the uniqueness of this album. It was a different direction, it was dark and gritty, and I liked it. I would have loved to have seen three or four Genesis albums with this atmosphere; dark, heavier, almost alt rock—for the late ‘90’s perfectly. Nevertheless, I digress.


    Congo is weird, but fits the mood of the album perfectly.

  • 3, CAS overall (to me) wasn't Genesis, in the strictest sense, it was the Banks/Rutherford band. The only redeeming track in my view from that album was "The Dividing Line", which would have been even better if done as a pure instrumental.

    Bands can change and evolve based on circumstance. I respectfully disagree that they weren’t Genesis. They changed their sound-for better or worse. It could be that I was 17, 18 years old when this album came out, impressionable years and all for music tastes to form. I agree that The Dividing Line is the best track, but other tracks hold up.

  • I have a vastly differing view.

    I can think of six Genesis albums that I would choose A Curious Feeling over.

    To me, ACF is the closest any solo release ever came to sounding like Genesis.


    And there are at least close to half a dozen individual tracks from other albums of Tony's that I think would have been among the highlights if they initially appeared on certain Genesis albums.

    Personally, I'd choose ACF over Abacab, at least the half of Shapes, IT, WCD and CAS any day.