Recent Genesis-related news
05/11/2019 ROCKING HORSE MUSIC CLUB: New video of Paperchase now available
03/11/2019 THE MUSICAL BOX will perform The Lamb live again in late 2020
29/10/2019 DJABE & STEVE HACKETT: New album "Back To Sardinia" comes this December
23/10/2019 PHIL COLLINS: Turquoise anniversary vinyl edition of But Seriously out in November
15/10/2019 STEVE HACKETT: Acoustic Trio Show in Basel announced

Posts by Fabrizio

    Yes. Well said. Those later songs, 'real' though they were, didn't SOUND 'real'.

    Not the first time an artist feels strongly about an album and fans don't respond to it equally enthusiastically. When Phil released I can't stop loving you which is not his but he thought it was a good idea to cover, I remember thinking that if he had released that song in the 80s, at the peak of his success, when I was in my 20s, I would have probably loved it. After all, who hasn't had a teary good-bye at a railway station? When it came out though, I simply dismissed it, it simply wasn't for me anymore but apparently as far as Phil's music was concerned, time had stood still. As I sad, too many sappy love songs can make you deaf and insensitive, even when it's real.

    Regarding Both Sides you can read some of my comments earlier in the thread. Regardless of how 'personal' an album is to the artist himself, it isn't necessarily going to come over that way to the fans. To me it just sounds like the same songs he had already written, which were more powerful, more angry & far superior musically. I have tried & tried to put myself in his shoes while I listen to it & I just can't. But I can do that for the first four albums, especially Face Value.

    Regarding the 'anger' stuff - those songs, such as Do You Know, Do You Care & I Don't Care Anymore are far more effective than the weary resignation of I've Forgotten Everything., If that says more about me than it does about Phil, it can't be helped. He did something unique with the earlier songs - and ITAT, of course. He doesn't do that with the Both Sides songs.

    I believe it would be very hard for any fan to maintain that he has ever reached the peaks of ITAT again. That is a classic and though he has written some very good songs, I don't think he was ever able to replicated that kind of intensity and uniqueness but obviously that's me, There was another point I didn't bring up because it was even more subjective than the ones I mentioned, I might as well though. Someone said love songs are the easiest to write, good love songs though, are the most difficult ones. I'd agree and the reason is simple: they work better when they are heartfelt. Phil was going through some changes in his life and felt the need to pour his heart out on a record, I can totally see why for him the thought of going back to Genesis and sing Tony's lyric had become unbearable but IMO and it really is a personal assessment, as a writer, he lacks the depth needed to make those songs really compelling. So, you are a middle-aged pop star, going through another divorce and rekindling an old flame. I can see why it is important to him, others might not relate.

    You listen to something like Please don't ask and anybody who went through a divorce knows exactly what he is singing about. It's straightforward, plain but it works because it's heartfelt and that is palpable, it works with his angry songs too btw. as long as they are real. Phil, as far as I'm concerned, cried wolf too many times in his career, too many sappy unrequited love ballads made ME less receptive when it was finally about something real. I never really rated him as lyricist, I must say and for me it only worked when he was really angry: I don't care anymore or really down: You know what I mean otherwise he would mainly write cliches-ridden stuff and it would apply also when he would have a go at social issues: Another day in Paradise or tragedies: Singe I lost you.

    I was listening to Both Sides the other day and I can see why Phil is so fond of this album. I believe, in all honesty most of the songs are quite good, he has a point when he says this album doesn't get the credit it deserves but in hindsight I think there two major factors contributing to this:

    The decision to play al instruments was, I believe, a very brave but ultimately misguided one. Personally, I find songs like Turning Back the years and I've forgotten everything, suffer terribly from it, more, much more could have been done with them. Those casio sounding keyboards sound atrocious and amateurish.

    Secondly and wholly unrelated to the music, it wasn't simply the time for that kind of record. Die-hard fans aside, the rest of the public was still saturated from the ever-present Phil and labelled him as a strictly 80s artist. I don't think it could be helped, at hat particular moment in time but having other musicians playing on it would have imo helped re-evaluate the album after the dust had settled.

    I wonder whether a young lad could get into it, listening to it today. It's probably too much of a period record. Plus, there are no back-up dancers and no rap mid-section....

    Dickensian in the sense that some of the lyrics have a 19th century feel to them, most obviously Robbery, Assault & Battery but also the title track & Entangled. Even Mad Man Moon has a 'period piece' feel to it. At least I hope that's what Fabrizio meant.

    It was. Thanks. Some of the drawings: the children, the nurse, the barrister, the thief seem to come straight from a Dickens book.

    The thread made me think about the covers and my personal appreciation or dislike of them:

    Trespass: Quite nice, a period cover no doubt but compelling, colors are nice and it certainly draws one's attention

    NC: Victorian, morbid again quite nice

    Foxtrot: Extremely busy but that was sort of a given in those days, my least favorite of the 5-man era. I'd have to agree with Phil on this one; it doesn't even look particularly professional.

    SEBTP: quite the improvement and very much suits the music.

    The Lamb; I don't hate it but it doesn't do much for me. I can see what they wanted to achieve but I don't find it particularly compelling.

    Trick: My favorite, very tasteful, suits the music perfectly. Dickensian.

    Wind: Again, very tasteful and quite beautiful

    ATTW3: I simply don't like it, never have. Particularly disappointing after the previous two covers

    Duke: excellent imo.

    Abacab: Bad!

    Shape: Worse

    IT: The Worst. It's like they stopped caring at this point. This one is particularly tasteless imo

    WCD: a vast improvement over the previous three. The logo is plainly ugly.

    CAS: Not bad, nice colors. I can take it or leave it but it's not aesthetically offensive like IT, Abacab or Shapes.

    Provided that I cannot rate FGTR as proper Genesis album and it has already been established the ''worst'' and ''best'' are quite vague terms, I believe that their weakest albums, in terms of material are ATTW3, WCD and Abacab. Then, for instance I am more likely to listen to Abacab, purely because of the energy it exudes, even though I think the material is quite poor than, say IT which is nearly perfection….Glossy, stultifying perfection. I am sentimentally attached to ATTW3, even though it was their weakest up to that point and WCD has at least three songs that really stand out and show that Genesis still had it, when they wanted. CAS is far from solid and hard to adjust to, for obvious reasons but there are some fine songs on it. Again, very tricky; I look at something like SEBTP, my second favorite album of theirs and it is quite flawed but it is absolutely magic and the highlights are a thing of absolute beauty.

    Personally, I never understood the fascination of some fans with the Lady Lies. I know, I am supposed to like it; it's Banks', it nods at prog with lyrics and all but I just find verses and chorus incredibly dull. It happens rarely with me and Tony's songs but this is really one of the few cases. As for the album, I listen to it quite often but I do skip several songs and I realized it's more nostalgia with the period that the music itself. Not a very coherent, focused work imo. Steve gone, Phil's mind and purpose elsewhere, the music landscape around the changing, all elements that seemed to have led them to seek a different approach but half-heartedly. Even the good songs, seem to lack conviction.

    Would Undertow have been improved if it opened with the first 40 seconds or the first two minutes of FTU?


    I'd have to hear how it blends together.

    But I love the song as it is, all 4½ minutes of it, and I've never felt it was missing anything.

    There's no way of knowing for sure, isn't there? I could ask conversely, would MtM have been ruined by an instrumental mid-section or Duchess by a time signature change?All things Tony does and loves and my guess is, yes. They are fine as they are. I can only go by my ear, taste and feeling; something's missing in Undertow. I still enjoy it though. One of the best songs on their weakest album up to their point, imo.

    were you aware, before you ever heard the song at all, that there was originally meant to be an intro to it? If so I imagine that influenced the way you felt about it. But as you say, it's purely subjective. Like you I think it's a brilliant piece of music, lyrically and musically.

    No, of course I wasn't, I wish I had that direct channel :-) As I said, it just felt odd and when I listened to it the first times read all the stuff around the song it figured. Plus ACF, the title from the undertow was a bit of a giveaway and the instrumental itself is CLEARLY an excerpt from the song.

    Yeah I know it had an intro, that's what I was referring to. I think it's absolutely fine just as it is in its released version, bar the typically over-cooked lyric but I can tune that out and enjoy the music and PC's vocal performance. If the structure you describe is a typical Banks format then all the better that there's a Banks song that breaks away from that. This was after all the beginning of their process of breaking away from being typically Genesis in various ways.

    In fact at this stage onwards we get 3 Banks songs that are, for me, among his very best and for the most part break away from his 'conventions' - Many Too Many, Duchess (group-credited but I understand it's mainly him) and M&SJ. Plus ATTWT already has a Banks song (Rope) with the exact format you described, in fact two I suppose including Lady, good for them avoiding another one.

    Edit - Just listened to FTU and if it any way resembles what he originally planned as the intro, it's definitely best they dropped it, leaving a good and relatively concise song.

    Well, we both seem to like the song and then to diverge on anything else which is fine, I think it's great people can find so many different things in a song while disagreeing.

    I'm OK with the lyrics, I like the the epic element which I think, suits the somewhat pompous but beautiful chorus mixed with the more intimate verses. I don't think for once Phil does a brilliant job on ATTW3, after wonderful performances on the previous two album and certainly on Duke. Perhaps a bit of Tony's lyrics fatigue or missing being only a drummer, who knows? I might agree with breaking away with the usual format and structure, I mentioned Many too Many which falls into Phil's canon, chords and structure for instance but that song feels very organic, so does Duchess, another good one but you can tell they were written that way and adding anything wouldn't have felt right. The same applies with taking anything away from a song. Undertow was clearly conceived as another MMM, Rope or One for the Vine and then stripped down. In that process imo, something is lost in the song. The first time I heard it, I didn't know it was Tony's although I quickly figured it out but Immediately felt it was odd not to have an intro, not because I have to have one but it felt that way, it also feels wrong not to have an instrumental mid-section, the song at that point literally begs for one imo, because again it is a typical Tony's song written in typical Tony's style.

    This suggests you knew the song originally had an intro before you first heard it? I didn't, and I never noticed anything strange about it. To me it feels right as it is.

    It doesn't suggest it, nor do I, Tony did. He ended up using the edited bits on From the Undertow on ACF. As for you never noticing anything strange about it, nothing wrong with it and it 's as usual subjective. To me it sounded immediately off and I think we can agree it is certainly not Tony's MO, when it comes down to his most epic songs. Even something as basic as Many too many has a short intro.

    I've always liked the sudden opening of Undertow, it's nicely uncharacteristic of them. The song really doesn't need an "intro".

    I beg to differ, imo the song does need an intro, in fact it had one. I've always struggled with that, It's a typical Banks songs: intro, verse chorus, repeat, instrumental break in two parts with crescendo, reprise verse, chorus and coda. It was conceived and written in that way and then edited, to my ears it felt sort of mutilated.

    Testify has major strengths from wake up call, come with me, testify: great first three. I also adore 'the least you can do', and 'can't stop loving you' . The newish remaster has fab live tracks too and another John martyny 'tearing and breaking'.

    Additionally on a John Martyn extra there is a unique video featuring Phil on YouTube. 'Ways to cry'. I have watched this video many times recently and it just about sums up life for me.

    That's a good one but I'm biased with John Martyn. Testify to me sounds and have always sounded kind of 'tired'' and at that stage, I had also started to find his voice much less interesting than what it used to be. He had lost a lot of power and became quite nasal.