Wind & Wuthering

  • This is intended as the latest in the album threads sequence. The others haven't elicited much attention but I thought I'd have one final go at it with this. I'll leave it then, as we already have a ATTWT thread, then the remaining albums are pretty much covered by the recent "favourite 3 tracks" threads and it'd just be more duplication to try any further full album threads. FYI, here are the other full album threads (not all started by me) - do use them if you want to add to the general discussions of these albums:


    FGTR

    Trespass

    Nursery Cryme

    Foxtrot

    SEBTP

    Lamb

    Trick

    ATTWT

    CAS

    CAS again - it's this board's most discussed Genesis album by some way, more so if you count the '3 tracks' thread!

    Abandon all reason

  • Anyway, W&W.


    I already know I'm well out of kilter with everyone on this as it's an album I don't like very much at all. But I'm very aware it's held in a lot of affection by many fans who regard it, and the 4-man phase, as near-enough definitive Genesis.


    It's odd because it was the album that loomed largest when I started properly listening to them and becoming a fan - well, it was certainly the latest album at that time. But I quickly discovered and much preferred their earlier stuff and in particular fell in love with The Lamb, which obviously presents a very different facet of Genesis and remains, right from then, my favourite album of theirs and one of my top 10 albums ever.


    I only like two tracks on W&W and ironically, as it's an album I don't much care for, they are two of my favourite Genesis tracks, Blood on the Rooftops and Afterglow. After those, I can on rare occasions listen to Unquiet/In That and quite like the live versions of OFTV from 78/80.


    Everything else on the album leaves me cold. I much prefer Pigeons and Inside & Out from the EP. Something about the general sound and the twee lyrical content of Earl and Mouse's are very offputting for me, though there are snatches of music in the latter that are ok - the coda is very pleasant. There's a very tinny, shiny, sugary top-end feel to this album, to my ears anyway.


    When I stand back and look at my Genesis preferences I can see that I gradually like their work more as the albums progress and it hits a peak with Lamb. Then there's a dip with the 76-78 sequence being their low point for me, though with Down & Out and Many Too Many showing promise for the trio era. Things look up with Duke and the peak trio for me is Abacab, with plenty of stuff I like from the remaining albums.


    So W&W is always going to be low on my personal Genesis chart.

    Abandon all reason

  • Wind and Wuthering is one of my favourites. Overall, it captures an atmosphere that is sort of misty, of another time, and very English (at least to my Canadian sensibility). The main song that doesn't work for me is One for the Vine, mainly because I don't find it musically cohesive. It seems like a lot of bits strung together. I love the subtlety of Blood on the Rooftops. I love the soaring heights and then heavy aggression of In That Quiet Earth. I really like Afterglow, although prefer the later live versions.

  • An album that impressed me greatly when I first got it but as time went by, some cracks appeared, although I still rate it quite highly, it has slipped a bit in my personal scale. This is the album where imo Peter's absence is felt the most. They coped wonderfully on Trick but they were beginning to be bit bland and formulaic for my taste, nothing blatant of course but elements were creeping in. Peter's quirkiness, grit and originality is missing and also someone who could limit a bit Tony. Much as I like Mr.Banks, I've always thought he needed either Peter or Phil to edit him. I like Steve's songs and contributions a lot and they stood the test of time for me, unlike some other bits. I still believe ths must have been Steve's finest hour, at least as a composer. As a player he is as usual brilliant but stifled by the wall of keyboards and again, I like Tony's sound but he really ovedid it here.

    Wot Gorilla could have been longer imo, Afterglow is simply brilliant as it is Earl of Mar. One for the vine is a great song but didn't age well imo, I cannot put my finger on it, everything is apparently brilliant, I just got tired of it. Mouse is really weak, lyrically and musically, except for the coda and YOSW....oh well..... I listen to the album when I'm feeling mellow or nostalgic. It suits the mood.

    Edited 2 times, last by Fabrizio ().

  • In the beginning (pun) I liked it all bar YOSW, and Wot Gorilla was fine but a bit out of place. Gradually though, 11th Earl and OFTV have dated very badly, leaving side one as a bit of a let-down.


    Side 2, however, was, and still is, Genesis at amongst it's finest, Mouse is a great song, and a good story, Blood is the highspot, but the instrumentals don't step down far, and Afterglow is a great closer. Trick, Lamb and England are their finest hour(s), but side 2 of W&W are in the ball park.

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile

  • As a player he is as usual brilliant but stifled by the wall of keyboards and again, I like Tony's sound but he really ovedid it here.


    Wot Gorilla could have been longer imo

    Wall of keyboards - yes, apt description.


    Again, it's interesting how tastes differ. You think Gorilla could've been longer whereas I wish it wasn't even there! A throwaway doodle that belongs on a b-side. Far better if Pigeons had taken its place, it would've provided a great change in the overall texture of the album which is very samey. (In the Reorganised Albums thread I did that and got Inside & Out in instead of Mouse).

    Abandon all reason

  • Wall of keyboards - yes, apt description.


    Again, it's interesting how tastes differ. You think Gorilla could've been longer whereas I wish it wasn't even there!

    Pigeon never did much for me, whereas Gorilla was Phil bringing a bit of Brand X to Genesis with Tony strechting outside his comfort zone. Phil said in an interview, he couldn't believe he was able to get Tony Banks to play stuff like that. I admit when I first heard it, I too thought it was a throwaway bit, nothing more than the distorted reprise of the OFTV solo with a cool drums pattern.

    That remained my idea for the longest time, then I started listening to what they were actually playing and how they were playing it and yes, I thought they could have developed it a bit more but as you said, tastes differ.

    It is also interesting how taste evolves with the years; I used to like YOSW, now I wonder what I was thinking, I thought Mouse was pure genius, now I think it is Banks at his most self-indulgent. Vine was perfection and now it feels cobbled together. I found Steve's instrumentals just OK, now I think they are absolutely brilliant.

  • Pigeon never did much for me, whereas Gorilla was Phil bringing a bit of Brand X to Genesis with Tony strechting outside his comfort zone.


    It is also interesting how taste evolves with the years; I used to like YOSW, now I wonder what I was thinking, I thought Mouse was pure genius, now I think it is Banks at his most self-indulgent. Vine was perfection and now it feels cobbled together.

    Gorilla doesn't strike me as Banks being outside his comfort zone whereas with Pigeons he said he specifically wanted to see if he could write a song with one note. Of course it didn't turn out that way and he couldn't resist bringing in his precious chords but his main line is indeed one note. That, the prominent banjolele and the frankly bizarre obsessive lyric (better than most which made the album) certainly take the song outside their normal constituency far more effectively than WG in my view, but then that is my view.


    Not that I'd have had any objection to a more Brand X vibe having been brought in, though I don't really see it in WG apart from the drum track as you say. I think a much better example is Naminanu, which is one that's grown on me over the years. Sadly though that was a b-side.


    I get what you mean about reappraisal of songs with time. Back then I happily listened to OFTV but now I simply can't, ditto Earl. The latter's mid-section shorne of its saccharine lyric is a nice piece of music, brought in wholesale by Hackett as I think I read somewhere.

    Abandon all reason

  • It is also interesting how taste evolves with the years; I used to like YOSW, now I wonder what I was thinking, I thought Mouse was pure genius, now I think it is Banks at his most self-indulgent. Vine was perfection and now it feels cobbled together. I found Steve's instrumentals just OK, now I think they are absolutely brilliant.

    To me, W&W is 'brilliant' beginning to end and One for the Vine cobbled together? It is a masterpiece and ranks right up there with Firth of Fifth and any other of the more noteworthy Banks tracks.

  • My 2nd favorite Genesis album, after ATOTT. "Blood on the Rooftops" is my favorite Genesis song, and "Eleventh Earl of Mar" is another favorite. I don't rate "One for the Vine" as highly as some do, though; to me it sounds like a smoothly-done medley of song bits from a concept album.

    Your most dangerous enemies are those who can convince you they're your friends.

  • To me, W&W is 'brilliant' beginning to end and One for the Vine cobbled together? It is a masterpiece and ranks right up there with Firth of Fifth and any other of the more noteworthy Banks tracks.

    I would never dare to criticize it from a formal point of view, it's a monumental piece of work which bowled me over the first time I heard it and for the longest time was my absolute favorite on the album.

    I said, ''it feels'' though and that is not only subjective, it really can't be helped.

    It simply hasn't aged well with me, I still can listen to FoF and it still feels magic and mind you, THAT was really cobbled together, as Tony has explained several times but to me it has retained its sense of wonder.

    Pressed to come up with explanations, I could probably say that there's more of the others on FoF: Peter's voice which IMO was better suited for this kind of songs, Steve's guitar which is substantial to the song and Phil's arrangement which, as Tony admitted, was key. Vine is entirely Tony's, he played it to the others for the first time in its entirety: chords, melody, harmony, arrangement and lyrics and I love Tony, I've always said he was the single most important member of the band and he largely defined the band aesthetic and sound but he really needed the others and I think his solo career proved that.

    That could be an explanation, if one was needed but I'm really not sure.

  • I do like W&W. I think there's a certain vibe that runs through the whole album and is brilliantly captured by the artwork on the sleeve. Certain songs worked much better 'live', of course, and not necessarily with the line-up that recorded them. Ergo, Your Own Special Way and In That Quiet Earth from 86/87, One For The Vine from 1980 and Afterglow from, well, pretty much any tour from 1980 onwards. Wot Gorilla, whilst fantastic on the album, really found its place when Phil had Brad Cole write a new arrangement for his big band in the late nineties.

  • Certain songs worked much better 'live', of course, and not necessarily with the line-up that recorded them. Ergo, Your Own Special Way and In That Quiet Earth from 86/87, One For The Vine from 1980 and Afterglow from, well, pretty much any tour from 1980 onwards.

    I found a new appreciation for the album version of Afterglow. Like many, I was deeply impressed by Phil's delivery on 3SL where he has a sort of ''muscular'' approach to the vocals, turning in it. de facto, into a power-ballad. For years, after hearing that, it was almost impossible for me to revert to the original, then it dawned on me that is is a nostalgic, wistful song and with that in mind, I was able to appreciate it again on the album, also because of the undercurrent vibe running through the album you were mentioning. That vibe at its worst sounds a bit too bland to me, at its best though, it's simply beautifully intimistic.

  • I found a new appreciation for the album version of Afterglow. For years it was almost impossible for me to revert to the original, then it dawned on me that is is a nostalgic, wistful song

    I've enjoyed the live renditions, both recorded and in person, but never relinquished my liking for the original. It shows what a good songwriter can come up with when being direct. Banks's description of writing this and Vine sum it up perfectly. One is a big long sprawling affair put together over the course of a year, and leaves me cold, especially its typically overwrought lyric. The other was written on the spot and conveys its message simply and clearly, is enduring and one of my favourite Genesis songs.


    I don't find it nostalgic and wistful - I'd likely not care much for it if I did - rather, my interpretation comes directly from Banks's description of what he had in mind, ie it's tragic yet hopeful. The narrator has lost everything but still has hope for the future - what a powerful message.

    Abandon all reason

    Edited once, last by Backdrifter ().

  • I've enjoyed the live renditions, both recorded and in person, but never relinquished my liking for the original. It shows what a good songwriter can come up with when being direct. Banks's description of writing this and Vine sum it up perfectly. One is a big long sprawling affair put together over the course of a year, and leaves me cold, especially its typically overwrought lyric. The other was written on the spot and conveys its message simply and clearly, is enduring and one of my favourite Genesis songs.


    I don't find it nostalgic and wistful - I'd likely not care much for it if I did - rather, my interpretation comes directly from Banks's description of what he had in mind, ie it's tragic yet hopeful. The narrator has lost everything but still has hope for the future - what a powerful message.

    I like Tony's bombastic style, his epic storytelling which incidentelly is an essential element of Genesis music, I like it also when he gets a bit introspective and at the same time, generic enough for everybody to identify with the song. As I said, I think Vine is spectacular, I don't know of many songwriters who could come up with something like that, occasionally though something he does doesn't resonate with me, such is the case with The Lady lies or it doesn't stand the test of time, Vine, after the WOW reaction it deserves imo, is one of those cases. I can see why it could leave someone could but in all honesty the music is great, the melodies simply beautiful, the solos fantastic and the arrangement brilliant. And yet....

  • Wot Gorilla and Blood on the Rooftops are the tracks that makw W&W special to me. Tracks like OFTV or Afterglow are great, but somehow "familiar", while Wot Gorilla is a true highlight, same with BOTR

    ... make tomorrow today!

  • This is intended as the latest in the album threads sequence. The others haven't elicited much attention but I thought I'd have one final go at it with this. I'll leave it then, as we already have a ATTWT thread, then the remaining albums are pretty much covered by the recent "favourite 3 tracks" threads and it'd just be more duplication to try any further full album threads.

    And so the album threads and the three-tracks threads finally intersect!


    The universe didn't end, thankfully.

    Abandon all reason