I've heard a few interesting Genesis things from 1970-71 BBC sessions -- early versions of songs that changed in some way before making it onto an actual album. I'll be curious to see what else is out there and whether any of it differs enough from official releases to be worth my attention.
This is the only Brand X album I've ever owned or heard. I'm now unclear as to why I considered it an essential purchase all those years ago. For a long time the only tracks I listened to from the album were "Ipanaemia," the title track & "Modern, Noisy and Effective." I had someone digitize these three tracks from my vinyl copy. Recently I put the remaining tracks to digital myself (though with slightly lesser sound quality than the others), and I have the album arranged so the three "lesser" tracks come first.
"Modern" is my favorite. Note that Goodsall is credited as playing on it, but there is no guitar to be heard.
Also note that Goodsall just barely starts playing his guitar as "Tmiu-Atga" fades out. Personally, I would have liked to have heard what came next.
Quick thoughts in response to the reviews:
(1) I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks Ray sounds like Tony at the end of "Congo."
(2) To me, "7/8" sounds more like it's in 7/4, mainly because of the drum part.
(3) "Anything Now" has been on my mind a lot recently as I've dealt with some ups and downs in life.
Here's what actually inspired me to ask the question: The CD reissue of Ant's IVORY MOON includes, as a bonus track, a solo piano version of "Let Us Now Make Love." Ant says this about the song:
"...Mike Rutherford and myself used to play 12-string guitars and Tony Banks would swap from organ to my stratocaster through a Leslie speaker for the instrumental sections."
OK, here's a question for all you Genesis experts out there: Which Genesis songs (as recorded in the studio and/or as played live) is Tony Banks known to have played guitar on? I'm aware of a few but I wanted to pose the question to those with more knowledge.
I distinctly remember the grooves of Later On, a droning trancey Fripp & Eno track on a 7" single b-side. There was a marked pattern throughout them, like chevrons.
Similarly, I used to see that tracks with heavy and persistent rhythms would show sort of a spiral pattern when the record was in motion -- sometimes moving toward the center and sometimes away from it, depending on the tempo. I mention this because, as I recall, the rhythms on the Hackett track "Just the Bones" (12" single only) managed to make spirals in both directions at the same time!
(OK, enough of being off the main topic...)
The best track on Steve's first album -- an otherwordly epic with a wonderfully intense ending section.
P.S.: Ever heard of people who can "read" vinyl records -- i.e., distinguish loud and quiet sections just by looking at light shining on the grooves? I used to do that in pre-CD days. Anyway, "Hierophant" may be the best track in history to practice that with, given the alternating loud and quiet sections in the first half and the slow crescendo at the end.
I just gave the album a listen (not because of this discussion), and I have to say I'm not quite in agreement with the common dislike of Side 2 as compared to Side 1.
I do understand it, though, since Side 2 has nothing on the level of "Mama" or "Home By The Sea." And then, of course, there's "Illegal Alien," which manages to be wrong about its subject matter according to every possible viewpoint; I can't take it seriously enough for it to bother me, though, and there's nothing wrong with it musically. Besides all that, once that awful edited version of "It's Gonna Get Better" is replaced by the proper full version, we have a bunch of songs that I like just fine. In fact "Just a Job To Do" is one of my favorite songs on the album.
I got this in the early '80s shortly after getting into Genesis, since I wanted to hear what the various members had done solo. I still have it, but it's the only PG album in my collection. (I do have a handful of other PG tracks acquired individually, including 3 from "So".)
I consider it a highly uneven album, and not at all Genesis-like. For me, "Solsbury Hill," "Modern Love" and "Here Comes the Flood" are highlights. "Waiting For The Big One" and "Down the Dolce Vita" are not.
I don't look at the booklet much myself, but a lot of what I see here for Archive #1 doesn't look familiar. Either mine is missing pages (I thought I bought it new, though), or I just don't remember all of it.
I compared my copy of the ARCHIVE #1 booklet to the pages shown in Discogs, and all of the pages are there (although some in the middle are now falling out). I note one difference, though: On page 34 (which says "GAUMONT THEATRE" in the upper left), the "revealing" picture in the upper right ("ALL OF RICHARD") has a "censoring" stripe added in my copy that's not there in Discogs.
On another note, it occurs to me that I've never been inclined to read all of the various articles, etc., in the booklet. I'm not sure why.
I bought both the US and UK versions when the album was new, although the extra live side on the latter didn't do much for me. As for the actual three-side live album, I've always had a mixed opinion of it, and for a long time I only listened to a few selected tracks from it. "Abacab" was always a favorite though.
You can of course revisit something you previously disliked and reassess it, it's rare but it happens.
That's actually happened to me a lot!
As for ABACAB, I've never disliked it, but I'll always consider every Genesis album from then on to be not quite as good as most of what came before.
Here's an odd thing that recently occurred to me: Did you know that, on every Genesis studio album, there is at least one song that makes reference to an animal of some kind? For example:
In The Wilderness (deer)
White Mountain (wolf)
Seven Stones (gull)
Supper's Ready (fox)
I Know What I Like (lovebird)
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (self-explanatory)
Mad Man Moon (horse)
All In A Mouse's Night (mouse/cat)
Burning Rope (eagle)
Silver Rainbow (bear)
Tonight Tonight Tonight (monkey)
I Can't Dance (dog)
And now you know! Sorry, just had to get that off my brain...
Were there any proper B sides for this album, and if not, was it the only Genesis album without any?
Well, GENESIS was the only Genesis studio album of the post-Gabriel years not to have any associated non-album B-sides. There weren't all that many non-album tracks released in the Gabriel era, of which some were A-sides rather than B-sides, and not all the albums had any associated with them.
The only studio leftover was “A Call To Arms”, which Mike subsequently used on the first Mike & the Mechanics album. Details here (look in the “Background and recording” section) :
It's a stretch calling ACTA a "studio leftover" since it was just a "bit" that Mike and his co-writers built a song around, rather than an actual leftover song, as some seem to think is was. (I've read a professional review of the first M+M album where the writer assumed that Tony Banks wrote the lyrics to ACTA.)