Posts by Gabble Ratchet

    Glad to see someone else appreciate this great track. Interesting that you prefer it to the Musical Box.

    It's the centre piece of W&W, an album which I regard as a flawed masterpiece. There are some incredible peaks of quality therin, and some gutting missed opportunities too, IMO,

    Banks described the album as ‘Foxtrot 4 years later’ and I can see exactly what he means. It’s just a shame that with the advent of Punk & New Wave, the hostility of the music press towards prog rock at the time and the greater success they enjoyed with Trick that they would abandon this level of complexity and resort to a more easily digestible musical output on the albums to follow

    Number 5: The much malligned "Chamber of 32 Doors" from The Lamb

    I have always loved this track, and find it very emotional. I love Gabriels vocal perfomance, the moody mellotron and Hacketts weeping guitar licks.

    I don;t care what anyone says. Sue me! 8)

    Ha ha! I thought we might see The Lamb from you. Get ready for Eppsy’s rant against that Town Man / Country Man chorus! :D

    Seems I wasn’t the only one to think losing the group was a smart move. The bookies have responded by reducing the odds on England reaching the semifinals from 1:4 to 1:3 and on winning the WC itself from 1:9 to 1:7 ^^

    At #5 Mad Man Moon from Trick.

    Entangled - Ripples - Mad Man Moon, the triumvirate of epics in this midpoint album. What's between them? I've already listed Ripples, Entangled is just outside, banging on the door. But at this stage it's neck and neck, nip and tuck. MMM shades its stablemates by the sheer beauty of its contrasting phases, with that keyboard bridge the highlight.

    Now, I wasn't expecting that! Something you said last weekend convinced me it was another. mmm... Intrigued!

    It’s time to name your #5.

    "One for the Vine" from Wind & Wuthering (1976) SILVER-GILT

    When Mike Rutherford described 'Wind and Wuthering' as a feminine album, I took note. I'd always found this to be one of their least accessible albums and now he seemed to be passing me the key with which to unlock it. So with this in mind, I put the album on yet again. Was he right? Certainly, there are no 'in-your-face' raunchy rock anthems with instant appeal. The ballads here exude a delicate passion, a subtlety and an understated charm. So far, so feminine. These songs are true ladies in their gentlest, most refined form. That's not to say that within these songs there are no rousing moments. It's just that when these songs reach a climax there are no shrill squeals like one might hear from behind the boozer on a Friday night with a boor of a boyfriend. No; they slowly entice by teasing, denying, by 'edging' the listener so he is left screaming for release as the songs hold back from those last few musical thrusts. Of course, to the 'thinking man' this makes the ultimate release all the sweeter (not so sure how the boor would view it!) So, yes, Mike Rutherford’s right. This is a truly feminine album and in the best sense of the word.

    'One for the Vine' is the stand-out track on the album and one guaranteed to annoy those musical cross-dressers who fear that too much prog rock ages them and so suck in their bellies to squeeze into their ‘pop music’ pants. But no matter how often they may rant against old rock heads, the qualities of this song will remain whilst their frantic wink at today’s youth for acceptance just looks sad and desperate.

    Tony Banks once said that this song of his was ‘as far away as you can get from 3-chord rock.’ Stating the obvious perhaps yet also understating his genius as a song writer. This is one of the most complex songs he has ever written, and the only one that took him a full 12 months to complete. The song itself is composed of ten different musical segments and the frequent changes in mood, pace and dynamics create the impression that the song is at least twice as long as it actually is. Unlike "Supper's Ready," each segment is well-integrated into the song (instead of forming a suite), and the piece progresses naturally from one to the next, Yet a seamless product is often dismissed as over-processed and consequently overlooked in favour of one where the artisanal stitching is more evident. The song unjustly suffers from this. It is delicate and demure with hidden qualities that will take time and effort to unravel and hardcore fans agree, it remains one of the most under-appreciated songs from the band's entire repertoire.

    The song begins with a wistful synthesiser motif symbolic of the title and feel of the album as a whole before leading into a gentle verse where Collins is accompanied solely by piano until a delicate soft drum beat joins him in the second verse. This is Collins at his best; not rasping through the lower vocal ranges but soaring high in his natural home. After exactly 1 minute, the chorus starts with the line, "Then one whose faith had died". At this point synths and cymbals come in and the tempo builds towards a breaking climax. Yet the chorus Banks delivers here is barely enough to scratch that musical itch he's caused. Is he toying with us? It seems so as the song now drifts back to the gentle melodic form with which he started. Many will groan and skip the track at this point sensing that this is no musical whore eager to display her wares for the casual listener. Good! Banks has shaken the apple tree and got rid of the undiscerning listener. For those still with us, the song once again climbs through verse and chorus to the expected climax he teased us with last time. Now he gives us what we need. At 2.15, a series of powerful guitar chords and a flurry of ascending keyboard notes culminate in a crescendo of soaring vocals as Collins sings out, 'Follow me...' in that delightful high register he delivered so beautifully on 'More Fool Me', three years earlier. It's a floaty feminine release with enough multi-orgasmic potential for Banks to let him sing it through again. Satiated? Not quite; we're missing the post-climactic climb down which Collins marks with the line, 'No, no, no, this can't go on.' At this point the tempo dramatically drops until a tinkling piano takes over before faltering poignantly to a halt at 3.30. If the song were to end here it would probably still make my top 10, as it is we're only a 1/3 of the way through. At 3.33, the vulnerability of self-doubt is expressed with the most tentative of piano openings. This hands over to a haunting synth which hangs in the air until returning to the wistful motif from the start of the song. This time an upbeat tempo signifies that things are about to take a dramatic change. The synth chords crash and bounce with increasing intensity from 4.41 until they are superseded by the crowning glory of the whole song. If your feminine side found fulfilment back when Phil sung, 'Follow me', then at 5.28 is when you'll discover your inner beast. Hackett is now off the leash and he roars powerfully through the next minute before Banks crashes in with a rhythmic pounding of his own and all to accompany the most angst-ridden lines of the song, "They leave me no choice. I must lead them to glory, or most likely to death!' This marks the emotional zenith after which the main refrain ebbs away at 7.15 to the wistful motif of the opening bars. The final verse when it comes, almost takes us by surprise. Surely the song is over. Yet, no; this time it’s different. No longer is there just a simple piano accompanying the vocals. Now we have a fuller sound, a strong assertive drum beat and a bank of synths symbolic of a new-found strength that comes through adversity. A musical resurrection even. When the song does finally end it is with an incredibly powerful refrain of the main theme that climbs ever higher into the heavens until it can no longer sustain the giddy heights to which it has risen, at which point it hovers, at 9.20, holding its own for a couple of bars before handing over to an unaccompanied piano which gently lowers it back to Earth.

    A good friend of mine described this album as 'a meandering nothingness.' It was meant as a slur on the quality of the music but it got me thinking. Time spent away from the familiar clutter of everyday life can result in convictions and a clarity of vision that would elude us otherwise. After all, we all know what 40 days and 40 nights spent in a wilderness did for the history of mankind. Not that I am making any such grand claims for 'One for the Vine' (we are still only in silver-gilt territory after all 😂) But let's not be too quick to dismiss those things lacking instant appeal and in the words of the poet (and failed Catholic priest) Gerard Manley Hopkins, 'Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet!'

    ("One for the Vine" was an important part of the band's live show from 1977 to 1980)