Posts by mdepps

    Had the album on this afternoon in the car and I regard it as one of my Genesis favourites.

    I struggle to detect that it was poorly drummed in comparison to the subsequent albums but what do I know about drumming? In fact I think I remember an interview with PG who said that it wasn't so much that JM lacked technique, but that it took him too long to grasp what the other band members wanted him to do.

    Going against the tide of opinion here, I list White Mountain as my favourite track on the album and in our recent top ten exercise I had it at #10 in my all time list. The guitar intro is worthy of Steve Hackett, I love the energetic synth, and the contrast between the fast and slow parts. OK, lyrics about wild animals tearing each other apart aren't poetry in motion but there are plenty of Genesis songs with lyrics that are difficult to understand or probably completely meaningless. Does anyone really know what Firth of Fifth is all about?

    In line with the above I’m gonna be equally expansive...

    Songs I’m afraid to admit I don’t like:

    Everything, and I mean everything, after ‘Duke’.

    Y'know I'm almost with you in that I recognise that all the best stuff was done in the 70s.

    In some ways I'd even go further because I can't find anything on Duke I love.

    It's just I think that Side 1 of Shapes is a brief return to form. And there are a handful of singles (fingers of one hand!) spread over the last five albums that I wouldn't skip.

    There's no gap between the two tracks is there? I agree that The Lamb is one complete listening experience, just like The Wall :thumbup:

    No there is a gap - between every track on the album. That's what annoys me. Not that I care about much of the material anyway.

    Depending on how much time you have on your hands, you could always edit Fly On A Windshield together with Broadway Of 1974 on Audacity. That way you have one damn fine piece of music of a decent length. And Hairless Heart can easily be extended using the same software so that it doesn't end so soon - of course, what it really needed was a guitar solo...

    The only editing I'd need to do would be to remove that irritating half second gap between the two tracks. Bugs the hell out of me why they had to chop it up like that. Same gripe about the way Home By The Sea is unnecessarily divided. Floyd have no problems letting stuff flow together on Dark Side etc. To the extent that I don't even really know the tracklisting - it's just one piece of music. Ditto The Wall.

    If Fly were paired with its successor - Broadway Musical 1974 then it would be a strong candidate for a place in my top ten. But both are too short to merit inclusion on their own.

    There’s not a whole lot else I’m mad about on the album. In the Cage, Hairless Heart (again very short), umm now I’m struggling.

    Thanks to Gabble Ratchet for leading this whole thing. Been quite a journey. Forced me for one to plug quite a few gaps in my knowledge of the band and their catalogue.

    Mine is Home By The Sea..

    My favourite late era track and for me their last great song. I had it at #9. If allowed to pair it with its instrumental second half it might be a place higher still. Love that lilting keyboard over the top of Phil’s « Sit down, sit down «

    Couldn't agree more. By the time this album came out, they'd long abandoned art-rock glory for radio-ready piffle.

    I don't think you've given this material a chance. You're kind of obsessed with being able to neatly close the book at the end of the 70s that you're not giving later material a chance. Home by the Sea has an instrumental section that's as complex and accomplished as any of their earlier stuff, and as far as I'm concerned beats anything off Duke into a cocked hat. In fact they deliberately divided the suite so that one half could be short enough for the radio while retaining the longer ensemble for album consumption.

    The musical box is epic! The version on Geness Live is my favourite.

    My number one choice, and sorry to be somewhat predictable is Suppers Ready.

    None of us need to apologise for choosing a “predictable” #1. There’s a place for a left field choice at the lower end but at the top you put your favourite

    The journey ends. Time for our Number Ones.

    What else could it be? Their masterpiece, the epic Musical Box from Nursery Cryme. A gruesome fairy tale of a girl killing her playmate by whacking his head off with a croquet mallet. The boy returns in spirit and ages instantaneously to an old man, experiencing a lifetime's sexual desire in an instant. Gabriel had an old man mask in which he used to sing the closing portion in character.

    Here's a link to a live TV performance which is great for observing each of the band members

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    Good thing this effete Peter Gabriel went to that posh school. He would have got his head kicked in at my outer London comp. But can we imagine young men of this age having the maturity and the intellectual background to be able to put together pieces of this kind of complexity, to be able to treat sexual desire in this whimsical way, if they were products of a bog standard comp? Maybe I should revisit my political beliefs on state education, just in the hope that every thirty years we might get another Genesis.

    Now that I know the track well it sounds even better when I play it. I know those crescendos are coming and can feel the excitement building as they approach. It reminds me of a white water rafting experience: floating down a calm river, slowly becoming aware of the rising noise of the next rapids and you know you are about to face another raging torrent.

    I still find Nursery Cryme a disappointing album after such an opener. Only Seven Stones I would choose for a general playlist. Hogweed and Salmacis have a kind of epic quality, and fanlore affection to match, but for me there is a lack of musicality which lets them down. Perhaps it doesn't matter. I should be grateful enough for the delivery of this gemstone and not mind it comes wrapped in such a tatty box. If I were to do a top twenty from my entire music collection The Musical Box would be in there. Do I have twenty songs I prefer to this one? Certainly not. Do I have ten?

    One of my favourite parts, among so many, is the very last bar, a symphonic flourish which Beethoven would be proud of. Fantastic way to close.

    Here's my overall list again, as posted and which I stand by for the final tallies:

    1. Musical Box

    2. Firth of Fifth

    3. Blood on the Rooftops

    4. Cinema Show

    5. Mad Man Moon

    6. Moonlit Knight

    7. Ripples

    8. Many Too Many

    9. Home by the Sea

    10. White Mountain

    #3 - Blood on the Rooftops

    This must be my most regularly-played Genesis song. Beautiful music and probably my favourite lyric by the band. Sublime!

    High five! Your and my #3 placement will likely give this masterpiece a place in the overall listings!

    At #3 - Blood on the Rooftops from Wind and Wuthering.

    If I were ranking Genesis albums Wind and Wuthering would not be on the podium. Much of its material I struggle with. Afterglow would make a general playlist, YOSW would not, Mouse would not, Mar dips in and out of the reckoning, as does the Quiet Earth suite.

    The album does however contribute two classics to the canon. One for the Vine has been listed by other contributors - in my list it's snapping for an 11 - 15th place. But the shorter Blood on the Rooftops is the masterpiece on this album. It contains what I consider to be their best ever chorus, the music for which was written by Collins, with Hackett writing everything else, including the thoughtful lyric. We have three highly contrasting components. An intricate acoustic guitar intro, the delicate verse and then two doses - the second a double helping - of that wonderful crashing chorus. Banks and Rutherford rate Rooftops as Hackett's finest contribution to the Genesis catalogue but this rather understates Collins' contribution.

    It's a complex piece of music. Never one for easy time sigs, Hackett's intro must be a nightmare for guitar enthusiasts to master. Just try humming verse and chorus, let alone singing along - you need quite a vocal range to make it to the end. In short, if you had to do a Genesis song at a karaoke evening, you wouldn't choose this one. Steve certainly doesn't attempt it at his gigs, hunched over his guitar, muttering along to his masterpiece while his session staff do the hard bit.

    So I guess I'll go make that tea..

    #4 Dancing with the Moonlit Knight - SILVER-GILT

    ..the song is essentially a pastoral yearning, lamenting the loss of the old order. The early 70s were tumultuous times which witnessed the rise of the impersonal supermarket chains and the early decay of community life as exemplified by the demise of locally owned shops.

    Another example of how complex the themes were that these kids chose. Gabriel is 23 when this comes out.

    So it's that time of the week again..

    At #4 I have The Cinema Show from Selling England by the Pound.

    I wonder who else we can compare Genesis too in their choice of complex or intellectual themes. Two albums previously they interpet the myth of Salmacis and Hermaphroditus, now they are alluding to TS Eliot's "The Waste Land" and its use of the figure of Tiresias from the Odyssey. Tiresias, originally male, offended the goddess Hera to the extent that she forced him to become female for seven years ("I have crossed between the poles"). As such this seer is uniquely qualified to comment on relationships between men and women.

    Let's think of some lyrically equivalent candidates here. Leonard Cohen, Cat Stevens, David Bowie? Who else chooses such complex and difficult themes? What is staggering is the fact that these boys are, at the time of this release - boys. None of them have even gone to university, sacrificing the opportunity of proffered places at prestigious institutions in a desperate attempt to get their careers as musicians on the road. A year earlier they're exploring themes of repressed sexuality in the Musical Box, able to detach it from their own raging hormones, when most rockers of their age are limited to screaming "I want yer baby!".

    But if we just wanted the poetry we would turn to Eliot or Homer. We're interested in the musical expression of the themes, and particularly the mesmerising instrumental sections. It's no wonder this is a firm fans' favourite.

    Personally, I love Mama and the whole first side of Shapes.

    they descended into whatever you want to call the bland, soulless, diet-coke pop of Invisible Touch.

    Completely agree on Shapes. Home by the Sea was my #9. Which of the band members said Side 1 of this album was the best thing they did - and Side 2 was the worst?

    I.T! Occasionally I feel I ought to spin it again, put it on, skip this one, skip that one, 5 mins later I’m done. And it’s their bestseller!

    Yeah, I agree with you. We are Philly boys together! The pop era with Phil Collins is the best one but Mama is number 1 Song not number 5.

    Now there’s a limit how far I’ll go down this road with you! My top ten and probably my top twenty is mainly composed of material from albums up to and including ATTW3. But Shapes has a great side one. And maybe I need to give WCD another airing because people keep mentioning tracks from it and when I hear them they sound good.

    5. Mama

    It’s a great album opener, and great live song when used with cool lighting. It’s simple, creative and has an awesome Phil vocal performance. Love this song!

    Totally! Mama is a runner and rider with me bouncíng around with a couple of others just outside the top ten. Some say Genesis were "descending into pop" about now but Mama is as original and imaginative a song as you could imagine ever hitting the charts. Collins claims he ripped the spooky laugh from Grandmaster Flash but he's doing himself a disservice - it's a different sound completely.