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

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

    Interesting. To me, that's not a good thing. When a band member does solo stuff I'm not interested in it sounding like the band they're from, I wouldn't see the point of that. I like it when a solo outing completely departs from the band's output.


    Anyway it's moot with ACF as I really don't like it. For me it's like the dullest elements of the 4-man era - my least favourite Genesis phase - watered down.

    Abandon all reason

  • Interesting. To me, that's not a good thing. When a band member does solo stuff I'm not interested in it sounding like the band they're from, I wouldn't see the point of that. I like it when a solo outing completely departs from the band's output.


    Anyway it's moot with ACF as I really don't like it. For me it's like the dullest elements of the 4-man era - my least favourite Genesis phase - watered down.

    That's Tony Banks with his strengths, many and weaknesses, some. He does what he does and he cannot do anything else. What he does, incidentally makes up a large part of what Genesis is. I always have to smile when I read about CAS not sounding like Genesis, only because Phil isn't on it. Like Tony and Mike, together can produce anything different than Genesis, in fact, I doubt they could even if they tried. I personally think the 4 man era was excellent, Trick, to very good, Wind but I'm happy it was brief as it was spiraling into blandness and that mainly because Tony was too much in control.

  • Genesis is so diverse and wide ranging lyrically and sonically, ironically.

    Not really, some diverse elements crept in through the years but the core is quite well defined. There definitely is a Genesis style, some chord changes, atmospheres and melodies are quintessentially Genesis.

  • Though that doesn't explain a large portion of what he's done beyond Genesis.

    I'd say, at times, he tried to do something different and didn't succeed. I find ACF great but imo it was a mistake not to have other musicians on it, apart from Chester and Beacon, who thought was OK but not great. A real guitarist, with some real guitar parts and a bass player would have made a difference.

    Edited 2 times, last by Fabrizio ().

  • I know we've derailed the thread massively, but it had been defunct anyway.


    ACF is extremely tepid for me. I can't get excited about (or interested in) it. My favorite banks solo album is probably the fugitive, but I'd take any Genesis album over it. I do think Genesis had a lot of variety too, obviously from era to era, but also within an album. I think the trio stretched themselves with something like tonight, tonight, tonight with a long trancey bit and lyrics about drugs. For all banks' contribution and outsized writing contribution to Genesis, he had one of the best drummers of all time, a legendary vocalist, and an exceptional bassist working with him in the band. The difference between his work with them and without is stark.

  • All Genesis members contributed significantly in making Tony's music better with perhaps the only exception of Steve but just because Tony never gave him the chance to be more than the layer on he cake, he would bake. When Steve was given a chance, he more than chipped in. IMO he never had two singers as good as Peter and Phil and that is crucial. Still, as every member, including the manager, at one point or another have stated, Tony is the only one the band could not be dispensed with, if we are talking about the musical essence of the band. I appreciate your point on ACF and to an extent I share it, I still maintain the material per se, is very strong, he should have allowed more external input to bring it to life, just like Mike did with Smallcreep's day.

  • Not really, some diverse elements crept in through the years but the core is quite well defined. There definitely is a Genesis style, some chord changes, atmospheres and melodies are quintessentially Genesis.

    Every band has a defined “style” that trained ears can listen to, hone in on and say, yeah that’s “this” band. I’m saying that by it’s very nature this “Genesis” sound you speak of is founded in a very diverse range of musical styles. Mike and Tony, within the confines of Genesis, had contributed to much variety in their compositions.

  • I know we've derailed the thread massively, but it had been defunct anyway.


    ACF is extremely tepid for me. I can't get excited about (or interested in) it. My favorite banks solo album is probably the fugitive, but I'd take any Genesis album over it. I do think Genesis had a lot of variety too, obviously from era to era, but also within an album. I think the trio stretched themselves with something like tonight, tonight, tonight with a long trancey bit and lyrics about drugs. For all banks' contribution and outsized writing contribution to Genesis, he had one of the best drummers of all time, a legendary vocalist, and an exceptional bassist working with him in the band. The difference between his work with them and without is stark.

    Exactly the right word, tepid. My least-liked Genesis period is W&W-ATTWT and ACF seems to be stuff from Banks's dustbin from that time. I agree he's the core of Genesis but needed the others around him to rein him in, temper his excesses and add their own creativity into the mix, as ACF demonstrates. It also has the same sheeny top-end production as W&W and ATTWT. Beacon's voice is pretty insipid. With the exception of Pete Hicks and Paul Carrack, Genesis members' solo work rarely featured notable guest singers (not including the rare guest spots on PG albums).


    I don't know much of TB's solo stuff but for me The Fugitive is way better. It came closest to what a solo album should be - far away enough from the 'day-job' band to be distinctive yet also recognisably that artist. Even then I still wouldn't place it above any Genesis album, although I'd probably find it a more consistently satisfying listen than ATTWT.

    Abandon all reason

  • I've said it before. The songs on ACF are great, esp. Lucky Me, Somebody Else's Dream, and the 2 closers. The 3 instrumentals, on the other hand, are probably the 3 worst things Tony ever did (the instrumentals on Fugitive easily outgun them), the 3 tracks where Tony is alone.

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • Not sure this is on track but for what it’s worth I think Congo is typical of the CAS period. It’s not bad, quite interesting and dark but not exciting or dramatic enough. The whole album seems to take itself too seriously. But Congo also hints at what might have been, an indicator that a second album was worth a try. On the subject of solo albums I like most of them, especially the first ones by each member, probably because they don’t stray too far from the mothership as it was at that time. I love ACF and I like the fact that Tony took one mood and theme and explored it further, I prefer it to ATTWT because I find that album a bit too safe, although FYFM is one of their best and the first two tracks also stand out. Yet again another example of there being something for anyone in the Genesis canon.

  • Not sure this is on track but for what it’s worth I think Congo is typical of the CAS period. It’s not bad, quite interesting and dark but not exciting or dramatic enough. The whole album seems to take itself too seriously. But Congo also hints at what might have been, an indicator that a second album was worth a try.

    In fact you're being very good by returning us to the intended track! I agree with your summing-up of CAS and that we are left with the unfulfilled intrigue of what a second Banks/Rutherford/Wilson album might've been like. I'd have preferred them to have had a crack, I think it could have been very interesting.


    Your "first of each solo album" assessment certainly rings true for Banks and Rutherford in that theirs don't diverge much from Genesis of the time, which is conversely why they don't interest me much.

    Abandon all reason

  • In fact you're being very good by returning us to the intended track! I agree with your summing-up of CAS and that we are left with the unfulfilled intrigue of what a second Banks/Rutherford/Wilson album might've been like. I'd have preferred them to have had a crack, I think it could have been very interesting.


    Your "first of each solo album" assessment certainly rings true for Banks and Rutherford in that theirs don't diverge much from Genesis of the time, which is conversely why they don't interest me much.

    Agreed! A second album would have been called for, it’s a shame that it didn’t work out. I loved the darker grittier sound. For what it is, CAS is solid.

  • Agreed! A second album would have been called for, it’s a shame that it didn’t work out. I loved the darker grittier sound. For what it is, CAS is solid.

    Totally agree. I'm a huge fan of that album. I've spouted off before on what a shame it is how things didn't work out. Suffice to say, I think they had a lot of potential, of which there was plenty of evidence in the CAS material, and a second album would have been so interesting.

  • Totally agree. I'm a huge fan of that album. I've spouted off before on what a shame it is how things didn't work out. Suffice to say, I think they had a lot of potential, of which there was plenty of evidence in the CAS material, and a second album would have been so interesting.

    I like the album fine, not crazy about it, to this day though, I wonder whether Ray was the right choice. Don't get me wrong, I like his voice and he did a good job but I hear it came down to either him or David Longdon and after having heard David with Big Big Train, I would have definitely preferred him. Also, I have the feeling, after having heard Ray's solo career and David's contribution to the band, he would have been a better fit in the songwriting department.

  • Totally agree. I'm a huge fan of that album. I've spouted off before on what a shame it is how things didn't work out. Suffice to say, I think they had a lot of potential, of which there was plenty of evidence in the CAS material, and a second album would have been so interesting.

    Right alongside you bud. Fans that put the album down without even listening to it are missing out in my opinion. Ray wasn’t trying to fill Phil’s shoes (ha), he’s Ray. Just relax and enjoy it for what it is. I think Ray did a more than commendable job, given the circumstances.

  • ...after having heard David with Big Big Train, I would have definitely preferred him. Also, I have the feeling, after having heard Ray's solo career and David's contribution to the band, he would have been a better fit in the songwriting department.

    My concern would be if Longdon ended up getting the Genesis gig and they just recorded that one album, David would forever be an ignoble footnote in the history of Genesis and carrying a lot of baggage.

    Would BBT have even hired him? With Nick d'Virgilio as the drummer, half the fans attending BBT shows would be baying for songs off CAS.


    While I agree Mike and Tony made the wrong choice, I am very happy with the way things unfolded with them selecting Ray instead.

    I think the world is a better place with David being musically unfettered in BBT.

  • My concern would be if Longdon ended up getting the Genesis gig and they just recorded that one album, David would forever be an ignoble footnote in the history of Genesis and carrying a lot of baggage.

    Would BBT have even hired him? With Nick d'Virgilio as the drummer, half the fans attending BBT shows would be baying for songs off CAS.


    While I agree Mike and Tony made the wrong choice, I am very happy with the way things unfolded with them selecting Ray instead.

    I think the world is a better place with David being musically unfettered in BBT.

    I think BBT would have been happy with any Genesis "reject" but I see your point. Ultimately no singer would have altered the fate of that album, without Phil their commercial appeal was gone, no matter what and I think you are right, Genesis have had their say and what a say it was. Let's just appreciate BBT.