Posts by Dr. John

    I agree it would be helpful to have at least the existing reissues and boxes more readily available for newer fans.


    I also agree that the band members appear to be not invested in releasing more unreleased material in general in terms of demos, rehearsals, etc. I think it is unlikely we will see any more of this stuff.


    The things I would most value is release of additional live material that was professionally recorded. As mentioned above, a number of shows were recorded for tours after the Lamb. So there are songs from pretty much each tour that were not officially released. I know there is always work involved in cleaning up, mixing, and mastering these recordings before release, so it would have to be financially worth it to do this work.


    It goes without saying that I would also love the full footage and performances from the available tours, but this also involves money - acquiring the rights and doing all the cleaning up etc.

    The Christmas music I enjoy most includes traditional hymns done, well, traditionally - voices/choir with piano/organ accompaniment. There are few modern takes on traditional carols that I like. I also really enjoy Handel's The Messiah (The Tafelmusik version is fantastic) and Bach's Christmas Oratorio.


    In terms of modern Christmas-y music, I like a whole grab-bag of stuff:

    • Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas is great.
    • Holly Cole Trio has an old EP of Christmas songs that has a particularly good version of I'd Like to Hitch a Ride With Santa Claus.
    • Jane Siberry wrote a beautiful Christmas song called Are You Burning Little Candle that first appeared on Count Your Blessings and then also appeared on her Child live Christmas album (which has some other fun stuff).
    • Katherine Wheatley wrote a particularly poignant portrait of family tensions at Christmas called Rita - the best version is on a compilation Stuck on a Cold Steel Pole.
    • A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector is fun, particularly The Crystals' version of Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (probably the inspiration for Bruce Springsteen's version).
    • The Roches' We Three Kings contains some hilarious takes on Christmas classics with exaggerated New York accents - check out their version of Winter Wonderland.
    • Joni Mitchell's River takes place around Christmas and is a beautiful song.

    Somehow, I don't feel those two albums belong in the same world. Foxtrot is more dystopian, while SEBTP might be a Lewis Carroll soundtrack. But I love 'em with a passion, including Battle, even though I'd really like to find a vocals-free version of it (same goes for the whole of the Lamb album).


    Seriously, guys – yes, The Battle of Epping Forest is packed to the brim with sarcastic words and gorgeous LesPaul/synth lines - so what? Are you gonna tell me that after all this time, you haven't found your way through its wonderful sonic thickets? :)


    I know some of you feel I've been trolling (can't help it – I'm French :S), but really: is it so difficult to realise that the first few albums were game-changing – exceptional works in all respects, while the later output still lags far behind Nik Kershaw's concurrent output (which I happen to love)?

    TBoEF is a song I could never get into. On paper the words are very clever and Peter does have fun with his vocal characterizations. And there are lots of great musical bits. But for me the song lacks cohesion. It feels like a bunch of stitched together bits and has far too many bits. Complexity doesn't work for me if the whole isn't greater than the sum of the parts.

    That might work for singing it, but poor Tony would have the task of relearning that solo in a new key 😳 Not that he hasn't done it before on In The Cage for example, but that could be a heavier lift.

    I don't think he has to relearn it in a new key. He can play in the original key and use a setting on his keyboard to transpose the key down. I think that's what he did on the 2007 tour - he looks like he is playing in the original key even though the song has been lowered.

    I’d love to see them do the second half of Supper’s Ready. Maybe as part of an Old Medley a’la the early shows of the IT Tour. Phil’s voice can’t handle the 666 section anymore, but perhaps they could project the footage from the ATOTT concert film of Phil singing that section as the band plays live on stage? Then Phil could sing the final section “And it’s hey babe” etc live. It shouldn’t be any more of a strain on his voice than Afterglow.

    ASAEIE is actually quite challenging to sing too - sustained and fairly high notes. Might be possible if they key the whole thing down a 3rd or more. If they do that, then Apocalypse might come more into range as well.

    While I can understand how "plodding/lumbering" might apply to some of Led Zeppelin's more blues-oriented material (e.g., When the Levee Breaks, Dazed and Confused, etc.), there is a lot of material that is stylistically broader. There's the English folk and Joni Mitchell-influenced stuff like Going to California, That's the Way, etc. for example. There also songs with nods to funk (The Crunge), Latin/samba grooves (Fool In the Rain), and the keyboard/synthesizer-based songs on In Through the Out Door.

    Although I have an appreciation for the musicianship of Queen in general and for Mercury's skills as a singer and frontman, They have never been my favourite. I find so much of their songs completely over-the-top, which I know is intentional, but I find less appealing.


    I agree the early albums of The Eagles were great and there are many less-known songs on those albums that I enjoy just as much as the early hits. By the time of Hotel California, Don Henley and Glenn Frey had developed into very good craftsmen of songs. They could put something together that sounded really good, although it might not have the same emotion and heart that the earlier material had. I think Hotel California is a fantastically constructed song (and credit obviously goes to Don Felder for the music). And even though the song is overplayed, I still really appreciate the musicianship of the duelling guitar parts. But I find myself more energized listening to Train Leaves Here This Morning or Midnight Flyer. I'm not saying those are better songs exactly, but I do find them more engaging than the cynicism of Hotel California.

    Regarding Whitney, Mariah, and Celine, all have great pipes and there are a number of examples where they didn't let their melisma run wild. For example, Whitney's early singles such as Saving All My Love For You and How Will I Know are darn good pop without the excess that ruins many of her other songs.


    Although definitely some country music reinforces gender stereotypes, there is plenty of great intelligent songwriting that provides a portrait of (primarily white) American culture over the last 100 years. For every "Stand By Your Man", there's many Loretta Lynn songs or many Dolly Parton songs (I disagree a bit with thefarmer's take on Jolene) that define very different positions and perspectives.


    And yes, now that I am reminded, I have great difficulty listening to anything by Yoko Ono.

    While there is music I dislike or don't care for, I can't say I hate much. There are narrow subgenres where I have yet to find something to like. But I find I cannot dismiss broader genres (e.g., country, hip hop) because there is so much diversity and I always find some artists and songs that I really like.


    Many of the comments above mention songs that get overplayed. I too can get tired of some songs that I have heard a 1000 times or more, but it has never resulted in strong dislike, just a waning of enthusiasm. I know every single note of songs like Sweet Home Alabama, Stairway to Heaven, Hotel California, etc., but don't think less of them as songs. I can just listen to them less, to keep them fresher for me.


    Some people really don't like ABBA and I echo the comment above about the hidden complexity of these songs. As much as people might perceive a super slick, sugary pop veneer, the music is quite skillful. Dancing Queen has some great harmony structures over the chord progression that are not the "obvious" notes and the bassline is pretty challenging.


    If I were to pick a song I find particularly grating, it is Bryan Adams's Summer of '69. I find every single line so incredibly trite. In fact, it is hard to find a line that isn't a cliche.

    I enjoy all three, although Pigeons is clearly third. Match is slight, silly, and catchy. Good for a little fun. Inside and Out is a nice story song, but where it really excels is the outro instrumental - great keyboard solo and some tasteful work by Steve.


    I have the 3-inch CD single too and don't have a player that will play it anymore, so I'm glad these songs are on the box set or I wouldn't be able to play them.

    Yes, it was.


    It's interesting to compare John's 'personal' songs with Paul's which seemed mainly to be about his relationship with Jane Asher & then Linda. I much prefer songs like You Won't See Me to Julia, but that's just me.

    You Won't See Me is just so darn catchy. Julia isn't one of my favourites - I appreciate John was expressing himself, but I find the song a little monotonous.

    Both the 5 and 4 man line ups present far too many challenges at this stage, they are really not a realistic option , that said a cameo could be squeezed in for Peter and Steve, one or two songs at the end of the final show, for instance.

    I agree that cameos or one-off 4 or 5-man shows are more realistic.

    It is not surprising to me that it is the 3-man group that is mounting the tour. They were together as a unit longer than the previous incarnations and it makes sense that they could have the strongest sense of connection with each other. A 3-man configuration is also the most straightforward to put on tour.


    If they were to do a tour as the 5-man or 4-man line-up, there are a number of complexities to consider. Would they focus only on the earlier repertoire, which some fans would love? I'm not clear that Tony, Mike, and Phil would want to ignore their later repertoire. They have all talked about how much they like their later repertoire, so I can't imagine them agreeing to not play any of it. Also, if Peter were to somehow agree to a 5-man tour focusing on earlier repertoire, what would Phil be doing, other than back-up vocals? It would be at best a 4.5-man tour


    Alternatively, they could cover a broader range of repertoire, but then how would Steve and Peter be involved? Would Steve be OK covering Mike's guitar parts on the later songs with Mike playing bass? Would Mike be OK with this? What would Peter do? They could do something that The Eagles did on their History tour, splitting the show into two parts - first part 5-man or 4-man, second part 3-man. But would Peter and Steve want to be part of a tour in which they only played on half of the setlist?

    Did he not feel that way about In My Life as well? Or Yer Blues?


    One of the reasons John & Paul bonded so strongly was because they both lost their mothers when they were young. (Hence Mother Mary in Let It Be).

    Also, I thought Julia was a very personal song for him.

    I've raised this point before, but I'll do it again as it is relevant to this conversation.


    There is nothing wrong with creating art to make money. It is what most (admittedly not all) artists do. Some of the greatest works in music and art were made for money, very often tailoring the art to meet the expectations of the people paying for it. A composer such as Mozart created music for his patrons/employers at the time. Michaelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling because he was commissioned to do so. Their works were not diminished because they were done for money.


    I would argue that Genesis was always creating music to make money and build an audience. How successful they were changed over time. I don't believe they ever stopped caring about creating music that they liked and felt was of good quality.

    The tour is very unlikely to begin as planned in April but happy for a live stream? On a personal level, the feelings you get from seeing and hearing a band live are not comparable to live streams on any level.

    It's very much akin to a cookery program where the meal looks delicious and all you have is a guest telling how how fabulous it tastes.

    While I agree that there is no comparison between experiencing a live show in person and watching a concert on a screen, I'll take a concert on a screen over no concert at all.

    There are many interviews in which John indicated a preference for gutsy, straightforward rock 'n' roll, and yet he is also responsible for musically intricate songs like Because, which has some of The Beatles' most interesting harmony parts.

    Most of the paired strings are tuned to different notes. Somebody in the old forum posted a youtube link of a guy who showed the exact tuning and played the intro in the original way. I can't guess the tuning, I'm not a guitarist, but I know the lowest pair is tuned in an octave, the second pair in a fifth, one of the higher pairs in a sixth and the highest or second to highest is in unison. Anthony Phillips uses a lot of similar crazy tunings, which is what made me realize Mike did this too in The Cinema Show. I don't even know how that song can be played with a standard tuning. A cover band I saw perform that song played it with three guitars to make it sound like this...

    Correct! Usually the pairs of strings on a 12-string are tuned in octaves or unison, even in alternative tunings. For The Cinema Show, Mike tuned two sets of strings not in octaves but in a fifth and a sixth as you noted. The second half of of the song he switches guitars to one in standard tuning. Here is an example of someone doing the intro in this tuning:



    Your turn!

    Thanks. I had wondered why The Beatles hadn't achieved something like this, but then remembered that most of their singles didn't come from their albums, but were separate releases.


    My question: 12-string guitar parts were a wonderful feature of many Genesis songs through to the late 70s. Mike in particular, used alternative tunings for his 12-string. For example on The Musical Box, he tuned the 3 highest pairs of strings all to F# (live was a slightly different tuning). For the first half of The Cinema Show, he did something particularly interesting with the tuning, very different from standard alternative tunings. What was unusual about his tuning for the first half of The Cinema Show? Bonus if you know the actual tuning (because he apparently has forgotten).