Posts by Fabrizio

    They weren’t very successful pop songs? Singles from Invisible Touch were all over top 40 radio stations all through the late 80’s and early 90’s. Every supermarket, dentist office waiting room, every car radio played those songs. You get the point. Disagree strongly that they weren’t successful pop songs.

    They were extremely successful pop songs, huge but you are basically saying, correctly imo that they achieved elevator music status, although they would still throw in the occasional odd one and some fans might have a problem with that.

    In a sense I agree with you. WCD suffered from “cd bloat”, in that this was the early years of the digital age and they probably thought, hey let’s put every song on the album, we got the space for it. In my opinion, they should have just cut out three or four of those middle of the cd songs, and just added On the Shoreline. Cut a 70 something minute album down to 55-60 mins, would have made it stronger. Overall I don’t dislike it as much as some do, but it would still be in the bottom half of overall ranked Genesis albums, IMO. Off track, as this is a thread about Shapes, my apologies.

    A shorter album would have made everything more even and a couple of editorial choices were quite questionable. Also, imo Phil wrote far too many lyrics and amongst his manifold skills, this is the one I really rate the least, although NSOM and Spike are good. It would have still been an end of the road album, that's what it was after all but it would have been a bit more palatable, to me at least. So, Shapes...

    But for me, other than FGTR, this is comfortably their worst album. And I mean by a long way.


    IMO it has 3 good tracks (Mama, HBTS, 2HBTS) and thats it.


    Listening to side 2 these days makes me think they didn't have a lot of ideas going round

    I see your point, they might have been dried up and we already discussed the possible reasons for that. Personally I feel that way about WCD which has imo 3-4 good songs and nothing more but it is a much longer album. I guess the difference for me is that on Shapes there is at least a classic and there is some energy to it. WCD sounds like they were on autopilot.

    I’m not buying that they didn’t have the tools. I totally don’t buy either the fact that a group of brilliant musicians go a decade secretly yearning to write pop tunes, but due to some sort of mutual or mental constraints or bad prog influences on each other, they ‘settle’ into masterpieces like Lamb, Selling England, Foxtrot until such time as they could become Fleetwood Mac. I know Tony tried to claim the “We always wished we could write hits” claim, but I’m not buying it. Without Peter’s depth and Steve’s passion for prog, they were left with three.

    Nicely put, if you listen to some fans you sometimes get the impression that Genesis messed around for a decade till they finally saw the light, honed their pop writing skills and at last began to get it right. I know there have been statements made by the three of them about this but just like you I don't buy it, it's press, what else were they supposed to say? They were pushing a narrative and advertising, just like any other artist. The bit that always disconcert me is when they talk about "evolving" and not doing the same things they've done before , a valid point per se but let's just say they approached things differently, evolving is an entirely different matter. Left to his own devices Tony would have kept writing 20 minutes long songs and if Brand X could have been his bread and butter, Phil would have left in a heartbeat. That's what they were about. The idea that in their mid - 30s they suddenly discovered ballads and pop, called it "evolving" and some fans believe it is frankly amusing to me.

    All true. I wonder if the band’s approach to songwriting by 1983 (just come into the studio and start jamming) had as much to do with each member running somewhat dry after writing for their own solo albums

    Well, yes, I think Tony said that much. I also believe the success of FV might have contributed to the shift in the dynamics within the group and also, they smartly realized they needed to capitalize on the fact that Phil was suddenly a superstar. Crazy schedule anyway.

    One thing that strikes me about the sessions for the 1983 album is that (as far as I know) there was no leftover material, i.e. songs that didn’t make it on the album. Close as I can figure out this may have been the only album with no such leftover material. Compare that to the album directly before (Abacab: Naminanu, Submarine, You Might Recall, Paperlate, Me and Virgil) and the album directly after (IT: Feeding the Fire, Do the Neurotic).

    True but it makes sense, if you think about it. Between 1980 and 83 they released Duke, Abacab and Shapes, toured extensively, at a much larger scale than before and released 3SL In 82. Phil released FV in 1980, HIMBG in 82 and toured, Mike released Smallcreep's Day in 1980 and AVS in 82 and Tony the Fugitive in 83. They were pushing extremely hard and they were probably a bit ''dry''.

    Taking a look at the results, confirms what I've always thought, side A of this album is probably one of the best 3-man era moments, with the exception of Duke, of course. Side B reverts a bit to the Abacab mode, sort of: ''let's throw stuff at he wall and see what sticks''. Very little imo..


    I’d say it was a smart move removing that starting with A Trick Of The Tail (but it slowly took over by Abacab so what was the point

    Just guessing but perhaps with age comes some degree of maturity and the realization that even if you are the main catalyst for the song, when you are in a band the others' contribution will always be substantial. Mike came up with the riff for TIOA but it was much slower, Phil told him to pick it up and it's no minor thing, in my view it pretty much makes the song. I'm sure that just as usual, Tony had a lot to say about the chords. It's mainly acknowledged as Mike's baby but it's very much a group effort. I'd assume things like that, happened all the time in Genesis and it's really hard to tell thigs apart from another.

    I think it said that on Wikipedia but I’m not sure if there was a link backing it up, I’ll have to check. Phil was using the phrase “going down like a monkey” a lot, which is why the working title was Monkey/Zulu.

    It might very well be Phil's, ''get me out of here'' is quite the recurring theme with him., plus he had this way of improvising on top of the base which I guess must have led to many of the lyrics of that period and it makes sense for the singer to be in charge of that department.

    What do you think of Domino? For all the angst about this album and the pop direction it took the band, you would think a song like Domino would keep the old time prog fans content. Even on WCD, they had songs like Driving the Last Spike. They didn’t lose their progressive roots all the way. The five single tracks off of IT were EVERYWHERE in the late 80’s. At least in the US, the big five from IT were played in heavy rotation, day and night. And a song like Domino was saved for the progressive leaning of the fan base. It’s like they said, here— we are going to put all these sleek pop oriented songs on the album, but here’s one for you, old time fans.

    Domino is fine, doesn't really blow me away. On some occasions, albeit rarely, Tony's songs and Domino is a typical one, don't really resonate with me, The Lady lies would be an example. I guess it's a matter of form over substance for me. Tony has a formula and sometimes it gets predictable. I don't need to have time signatures changes or ballads in 7/8 all the time, I'm perfectly able you enjoy pop but the title track is really a low point for my taste and it opened the door to other low points on WCD. As I said before there are good songs on IT, LOC is one TTT is certainly another, we mentioned Domino and we could include the Brazilian but as I said, as far as I'm concerned that particular period in music, that sound and atmosphere is quite distasteful. It's like a mullet, it looked like a good idea at the time. I intentionally brought up SO because Peter is a music hero of mine and to be clear that album is way better than IT, imo but it has simply aged poorly for me.

    I agree. Love Trespass. From the acapela opening to the closing notes of The Knife, just excellent. Yes the drumming would much improve going from Mayhew to Collins; although I don’t find anything particularly weak about Mayhew’s drumming on this album. I’m always impressed that a group of 20 year olds, could write music this well. It’s quite amazing.

    I love it but it's simply too old, poorly produced, even by the standards of that time, particularly considering what bands like Yes were doing. Poorly arranged, some dodgy lyrics and the musicianship simply isn't there.

    I doubt anybody listening to this album today for the first time could get into it. Still, when stripped down to the core: chords, harmony and melodies the songs are very good. The talent was obviously there, the originality undeniable and the overall atmosphere is pure magic.

    I don’t understand why IT gets a bad rap among Genesis fans. It’s an extremely tightly produced and arranged album, and yes it’s very 80’s sounding in many places, but it still sounds great to this day. The very nature of progressive music is for it to progress, and that’s what they continually did with their music, at least up through IT. You can make an argument that they stagnated on We Can’t Dance, but that is probably more a byproduct of the CD era, and so called “cd bloat” than anything else.

    IT is immensely popular, amongst G fans and the general audience. The numbers are there and you can't deny them. A group of Genesis fans, including myself dislike it, I confess that I have a problem with music made around those years 87-88-89, even an album like SO hasn't aged all that well for me, even though I still like it better than IT. You are right, it's extremely well produced and arranged and as I said, the material is solid, if I review the tracks, apart from the title track, into deep and anything she does which I find atrocious and TAA which is merely OK and cute, the rest are indeed good songs. I'm more likely to listen to Abacab which I find dodgy in terms of material because of the energy and the edge. Side A of Shapes is where I wished they would have stayed, it's still pop but more focused than Abacab and there's some quirkiness and originality to the songs. IT, for my taste, is too sleek, too smooth and well-oiled. As for the argument of progressive music and evolving you've got a point but IT is a bad example IMO. King Crimson with their debut album and then Discipline come to mind, they evolved. Going from Love me do to a Day in the life within 5-6 years is evolving, the opposite wouldn't. They changed alright, I'd hesitate to call it evolution or progress.

    Live I have to go with the Mama Tour. They found the balance between the more intimate, intense flavor of their early shows with the more accessible, arena friendly vibe driven by their burgeoning commercial success. Phil, as I mentioned in another thread, was at his peak vocally. Whenever I go for a live version of "Mama," the "In the Cage" medley, or "Home by the Sea" among others, it's usually from this tour (and it usually is 11/27/83 in Philly).


    Studio, I'd say every album from Foxtrot through Abacab is remarkably rock solid and consistent. The Phil-Peter debate aside, every album in this run is fantastic. If you judge by sheer consistency, their studio pinnacle is 1972-81 for me.

    A lot of fans overlook Trespass, I can see why, it's outdated and so very ''green'' but the material is imo very strong and the album is quite even, it'd make no sense of course to play any of those songs today and I'm not saying I wouldn't like that but they are 51 years old and very much period songs. I'd personally struggle to put albums like ATTW3 and Abacab in the same category, many songs on those albums are quite forgettable imo and have in fact been forgotten, even by the band.

    Biko for me, powerful message aside and it's quite a lot, the novelty of that arrangement, back in 1980 was something really something unheard of. Provided that I adore the whole album, Family snapshot is a personal favorite of mine. and of course NSC.

    In response to the post a ways back about whining and digs at the band (since I was probably one of those posters being referred to), I think it is possible to both be a Genesis fan (I bought tickets for this tour) and also muse about how age-related limitations will potentially impact the setlist and performance about the songs. If I want to only experience Genesis at the peak of their live capabilities, I can obviously go back and re-watch or re-listen to many performances in their career. However I am still happy to see what they can deliver now and also expect it will be a bit different than performances of yore.

    Sensible point of view As for that post, I thought about replying, as I was certainly the main target but when I read stuff like ''so 'called fans'', I really can't be bothered to turn it into a boring pissing contest.