Posts by martinus

    TONY BANKS - From The Undertow

    Year: 1979

    Album: A Curious Feeling [album review]

    Working title: unknown

    Credits: Tony Banks

    Lyrics:-

    Length: 2:45

    Musicians: (tba)

    Played Live: never

    mp3 downloads:

    Cover versions: none


    Notes: When you read the title you think of a similarly titled piece on ...And Then There Were Three... When you close your eyes and listen you hear Genesis. When you check the booklet you realize it's Tony Banks solo. The similarity to Genesis songs and the title connection have a reason: Tony has always left his mark on Genesis. Our current Track Of The Week was planned as the introduction to the Genesis song Undertow. It eventually became the opening track of Tony's first solo album.

    An instrumental that has a bit of Genesis and a lot of Tony Banks and no way to hide its lineage.



    We invite you to share interesting facts and tidbits about this track. Let's look at the track in the context of the band's / the artist's history, at the music, the songwriting and all other aspects that are relevant for this track. Please do stick to the discussion of the track above. Comparisons to other tracks are okay, but remember that the other track you may be keen to talk about has or will have its own Track Of The Week thread.

    If you spot a mistake or if you can close a gap in the fact sheet above please feel free to contact martinus or Christian about it; we will gladly add and improve!

    PETER GABRIEL - Here Comes The Flood


    Year: 1977

    Album: Peter Gabriel I ("Car") [album review]

    Working title: unknown

    Credits: Gabriel

    Lyrics: Yes

    Length: 5:54

    Musicians: (tba)

    Played Live: 1978, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1993, 1994, 2002, 2003, 2004

    mp3 downloads:

    Cover versions: Bette Midler


    Notes: So, which version? The intimate version, with Gabriel playing the piano solo live under a single spot in the darkness - or the version on his first solo album, where a joint attack by drums, guitar and an orchestra strive to give the chorus the monumental force of a huge rock anthem? Our Solomonic answer must be: Both of them.



    We invite you to share interesting facts and tidbits about this track. Let's look at the track in the context of the band's / the artist's history, at the music, the songwriting and all other aspects that are relevant for this track. Please do stick to the discussion of the track above. Comparisons to other tracks are okay, but remember that the other track you may be keen to talk about has or will have its own Track Of The Week thread.

    If you spot a mistake or if you can close a gap in the fact sheet above please feel free to contact martinus or Christian about it; we will gladly add and improve!

    GENESIS - Duchess

    Year: 1980

    Album: Duke [album review]

    Working title: unknown

    Credits: Banks, Collins, Rutherford

    Lyrics: Yes

    Length: 6:37

    Musicians: Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford

    Played Live: 1981, 1982

    mp3 downloads: iTunes

    Cover versions: none


    Notes: Duchess marks the time drum computers started to feature in Genesis jam sessions. With this song the band also returned to working together on song ideas. The lyrics foretell much of what would happen later in the band's history. When Tony Banks spoke about the third verse of this song in a TV special in the late 1990s he had some trouble keeping his voice even. Many thought the end of the band had come by that time. Duchess was written at the beginning of their commercial period - and stated right away that these times cannot stay forever...



    We invite you to share interesting facts and tidbits about this track. Let's look at the track in the context of the band's / the artist's history, at the music, the songwriting and all other aspects that are relevant for this track. Please do stick to the discussion of the track above. Comparisons to other tracks are okay, but remember that the other track you may be keen to talk about has or will have its own Track Of The Week thread.



    If you spot a mistake or if you can close a gap in the fact sheet above please feel free to contact martinus or Christian about it; we will gladly add and improve!

    MIKE + THE MECHANICS - Another Cup Of Coffee

    Year: 1995

    Album: Beggar On a Beach Of Gold [album review]

    Working title: unknown

    Credits: Rutherford/Neil

    Lyrics: Yes

    Length: 4:42

    Musicians: Mike Rutherford, Paul Carrack, Peter van Hooke, Adrian Lee, Gary Wallis

    Played Live: 1995, 1996, 1999, 2004, 2011, 2012, 2013

    mp3 downloads:

    Cover versions: none


    Notes: Whatever you think about the Mechanics, they have always had a good nose for great melodies. In 1995 they shifted to a more acoustic or "more organic" sound, as Mike would put it. The result was a relaxed album that spawned several radio and single hits. One of the best-known and most successful singles from the album is Another Cup Of Coffee.



    We invite you to share interesting facts and tidbits about this track. Let's look at the track in the context of the band's / the artist's history, at the music, the songwriting and all other aspects that are relevant for this track. Please do stick to the discussion of the track above. Comparisons to other tracks are okay, but remember that the other track you may be keen to talk about has or will have its own Track Of The Week thread.

    If you spot a mistake or if you can close a gap in the fact sheet above please feel free to contact martinus or Christian about it; we will gladly add and improve!

    PHIL COLLINS - Long Long Way To Go

    Year: 1985

    Album: No Jacket Required [album review]

    Working title: unknown

    Credits: Collins

    Lyrics: Yes

    Length: 4:23

    Musicians: Phil Collins, Daryl Stuermer, Leland Sklar, Sting

    Played Live: 1985 (Live Aid), 1997

    mp3 downloads:

    Cover versions: none


    Notes: Long Long Way To Go is a ballad. It is the odd one out on the album, perhaps even a hidden gem. Far more unobtrusive than in-your-face pop hits like Sussudio and Don't Lose My Number, Long Long Way To Go represents the quiet, unconventional part of the album. And it's our Track Of The Week.


    We invite you to share interesting facts and tidbits about this track. Let's look at the track in the context of the band's / the artist's history, at the music, the songwriting and all other aspects that are relevant for this track. Please do stick to the discussion of the track above. Comparisons to other tracks are okay, but remember that the other track you may be keen to talk about has or will have its own Track Of The Week thread.

    If you spot a mistake or if you can close a gap in the fact sheet above please feel free to contact martinus or Christian about it; we will gladly add and improve!

    I do find some of their story songs quite cringey. But as I said in another thread, I tend not to focus much on lyrics anyway.

    I pay attention to lyrics (as I said at probably great length in the Fountain of Salmacis TotW, but it is always the music that comes first. With Squonk, it's the music and the lyrics that I, frankly, do not enjoy that much.

    The story of Squonk is based on the descriptions of a curious animal called the squonk that have been passed on since the early 19th century in Pennsylvania. After 350 years in which the bearers of the indigenous North American folk legends were cast out, exploited, killed and generally treated in similarly friendly ways, people develop a desire for a "local legend", and out comes the squonk. Such are the blessings of Western culture.

    Back to the topic: Squonks are said to be extremely shy, extremely ugly, and can dissolve into a puddle of water in extreme danger. The song is about a hunter who captures a squonk with a trick and carries it home in his bag. In the end the bag has some water damage. (My guess is his fellow hunters would have shared a grin: "A squonk, yeah right. You just haven't trained your dachshund properly, that's where that comes from").


    The song alludes to the nursery rhyme of Humpty Dumpty, but I think it is an allusion for allusion's sake (Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, / Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, / All the King's horses and all the King's men, / Couldn't put Humpty together again.The parallel is, of course, that neither creature can be put together again.


    The lyrics allude to another fairy-tale, the Ugly Duckling by Hans-Christian Andersen. Those who are more familiar with English fairy-tales and nursery rhymes will probably be able to find more allusions, but I will leave it at that. Squonk just is not one of the Genesis songs I enjoy. In fact, it prompts me to press "next". It is too affected and it has this unpleasant odour of "Oh yes, let's write a song with a funny story."

    It appears that Squonk was the first song Genesis wrote after Peter Gabriel had left. There are first songs. There are best songs. Most rarely does a song belong to both groups.


    6 points.

    GENESIS - Squonk

    Year: 1976

    Album: A Trick Of The Tail [album review]

    Working title: Indians

    Credits: Banks, Rutherford

    Lyrics: Yes

    Length: 06:30

    Musicians: Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford

    Played Live: 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1983/84 (parts of it in a medley)

    mp3 downloads: iTunes

    Cover versions: none


    Notes: Squonk was the starting gun for post-Gabriel Genesis. It was the first song Collins sang in the studio because he simply sang it better than all the candidates the band tried out. A Led-Zeppelin-esque "heaviness" had frequently been noticed in the song. It was played live mainly in the 1970s.




    We invite you to share interesting facts and tidbits about this track. Let's look at the track in the context of the band's / the artist's history, at the music, the songwriting and all other aspects that are relevant for this track. Please do stick to the discussion of the track above. Comparisons to other tracks are okay, but remember that the other track you may be keen to talk about has or will have its own Track Of The Week thread.



    If you spot a mistake or if you can close a gap in the fact sheet above please feel free to contact martinus or Christian about it; we will gladly add and improve!

    STEVE HACKETT - A Place Called Freedom

    Year: 2011

    Album: Beyond The Shrouded Horizon [album review]

    Working title: unknown

    Credits: Hackett

    Lyrics: Yes

    Length: 05:56

    Musicians: Steve Hackett, Roger King, Nick Beggs, Amanda Lehmann, Gary O'Toole, Rob Townsend

    Played Live: 2011

    mp3 downloads: iTunes

    Cover versions: none


    Notes: Things get folk-y with this song. Steve Hackett has a knack for putting a pleasant melody into the right musical structure. His 12-string picking may remind you of his time in Genesis.



    We invite you to share interesting facts and tidbits about this track. Let's look at the track in the context of the band's / the artist's history, at the music, the songwriting and all other aspects that are relevant for this track. Please do stick to the discussion of the track above. Comparisons to other tracks are okay, but remember that the other track you may be keen to talk about has or will have its own Track Of The Week thread.



    If you spot a mistake or if you can close a gap in the fact sheet above please feel free to contact martinus or Christian about it; we will gladly add and improve!

    As a convenience for you, here's a list of all Tracks of the Week of 2018 complete with links.


    0001 - 09/01/2018 GENESIS - The Fountain Of Salmacis

    0002 - 09/08/2018 PETER GABRIEL - Secret World

    0003 - 09/15/2018 STEVE HACKETT - A Place Called Freedom

    0004 - 09/22/2018 GENESIS - Squonk

    0005 - 09/29/2018 PHIL COLLINS - Long Long Way To Go

    0006 - 10/06/2018 MIKE + THE MECHANICS - Another Cup Of Coffee

    0007 - 10/13/2018 GENESIS - Duchess

    0008 - 10/20/2018 PETER GABRIEL - Here Comes The Flood

    0009 - 10/27/2018 TONY BANKS - From The Undertow

    0010 - 11/03/2018 GENESIS - Stagnation

    0011 - 11/10/2018 PHIL COLLINS - Take Me Home

    0012 - 11/17/2018 RAY WILSON & STILTSKIN - Constantly Reminded

    0013 - 11/24/2018 GENESIS - The Lamia

    0014 - 12/01/2018 PETER GABRIEL - Mercy Street

    0015 - 12/08/2018 MIKE + THE MECHANICS - The Letter

    0016 - 12/15/2018 GENESIS - Fading Lights

    0017 - 12/22/2018 BRAND X - ...And So To F...



    This list may still be short, but there are so many Tracks of the Week to come. (Even if you leave out most of Anthony Phillips' library music ;) )

    PETER GABRIEL - Secret World

    Year: 1992

    Album: US [album review]

    Working title: unknown

    Credits: Gabriel

    Lyrics: Yes

    Length: 07:13

    Musicians: Peter Gabriel, Manu Katche, Tony Levin, David Rhodes, David Bottrill, Doudou N'dlaye Rose, Malcom Burn

    Played Live: 1993, 1994, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009

    mp3 downloads: iTunes

    Cover versions: none


    Notes: Secret World has become one of the big anthems in Peter Gabriel's catalogue. The studio version held back a bit, the 1993/1994 live version had something secretive and mystical , the 2002-2004 versions really hit audiences' ears. Peter Gabriel had firmly fixed Secret World in his set and made the song an indispensible classic.



    We invite you to share interesting facts and tidbits about this track. Let's look at the track in the context of the band's / the artist's history, at the music, the songwriting and all other aspects that are relevant for this track. Please do stick to the discussion of the track above. Comparisons to other tracks are okay, but remember that the other track you may be keen to talk about has or will have its own Track Of The Week thread.



    If you spot a mistake or if you can close a gap in the fact sheet above please feel free to contact martinus or Christian about it; we will gladly add and improve!

    (1) The part at the end where the guys go "ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-AAAHHH-ahh!" (after "unearthly calm" and "both had given") is one of my favorite Genesis "backing vocals" moments.

    For reasons that are unlikely ever to become clear, that point in the some always reminds me of the "stone circle riddle" scene in that very old adventure game Conquest Of Camelot.



    If you ask me what I enjoy about Genesis I have to say it's two things. One, the music. If I did not like the music I wouldn't bother with the rest, obviously.

    The second thing I really love in Genesis is the lyrics, though I must say this applies foremost or only to their output up to and including The Lamb. There is, in my mind, no bigger injustice you could to to the Four Big Albums of the Gabriel era, i.e. Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot, Selling England and The Lamb, than to call the lyrics trite. I love coming back to those lyrics, reading them over again, listening to them again, and discovering new aspects, new allusions, a quote I had not noticed before...

    With The Fountain Of Salmacis I can enjoy the music and the clever lyrics and my soft spot for classic Roman poetry and storytelling. 13 points from me for this wonderful song.

    Here is a translation of Ovid's story of Salmacis. All its flaws are mine ;)


    As I said before, the story of Salmacis is a bit risqué, so I put it behind a spoiler warning.


    A few notes (which will likely brand me a showoff).


    The „Pauly“, an encyclopedia of classical studies, states that the story of the first hermaphrodite goes back beyond Roman and even Greek times. The say that Hermaphroditus is the mythological shape of a very old androgynous deity which was imagined as a (female) Great Goddess with male attributes (e.g. Ishtar-Semiramis in Babylon).


    Mount Ida is a mountain in the Northwest of Asia Minor that rises to 5.800ft. The surrounding area was called Phrygia and was not far from Troy. In fact, the Trojan prince Paris is usually shown with a Phrygian cap. Mount Ida is mentioned in a number of ancient myths, mainly ones that are related to the Trojan war. Mount Ida was where the Judgement of Paris took place, where Aphrodite conceived Aeneas from Anchises and from where the Olympian gods watched the siege of Troy.


    Nymphs are minor female deities that live either in trees or in lakes or brooks. If they live in sweet water they are also called Najads, while salt water nymphs are usually called Nereids. The indiscriminate use of the expressions in the song lyrics obscures the fact that Salmacis is a nymph, too. AAphrodite and Hermes are not really #afraid of their love, but of their tryst or its result being discovered. If that is the case there is very little sense in hiding their child at the popular holiday resort for Olympian gods and goddesses, though.


    Hermaphroditus is never called the hunter in Ovid, but it explains why he appears at the lake just as well as the reason Ovid gives (“just seeing the sights, old boy”). In fact, styling Hermaphroditus as a hunter fits well to the image Ovid draws of him: He describes him as a shy and chaste young man. These are the usual attributes in mythology of a hunter who has devoted his life to Diana, goddess of the hunters. Diana herself is a celibate deity – so celibate, in fact, that she turned Actaeon, who had inadvertently seen her naked, into a stag that was then torn to pieces by his own hunting dogs. Another example for the topic of the chaste hunter is Hippolytus, the sad victim of the sexual desires of his step mother Phaedra (as displayed in Seneca’s tragedy Phaedra).


    Hermaphroditus is a hunter to the degree that his success in hunting (the deer) is described like an erotic conquest. Perhaps this also refers to a pun on heart/hart (see Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, where a courtier tries to cheer up the lovesick prince: "Will you go hunt, my lord?" - "What, Curio?" - "The hart.[gesprochen genauso wie 'the heart'] " - "Why, so I do, the noblest that I have.”)


    Give wisdom to your son. A subtle but very clever pun. Before the advent of maps and satnavs, a traveler who lost his way – like Hermaphroditus – would pray for guidance to the god of the travelers, who is, in fact, Hermes. So the son has to ask the father for directions.


    The Naiad queen is actually Diana who is not a Naiad herself. Perhaps Salmacis is called a queen here to stress that she is female, perhaps also to give the impression of regal beauty.


    Salmacis has been stirred. The stories of Salmacis and the narrator do not match here. Salmacis mentions “a creature” that has been stirred. The narrator states that the naiad herself is stirred or excited.


    The water tasted strangely sweet. Ovid does not record Hermaphroditus drinking from the water. The song lyrics may be deviating from Ovid’s story because the original is rather explicit. The poet uses elegiac vocabulary which is steeped in erotic innuendo (if you choose to read the text like that). A Roman audience would have had no doubt as to what Salmacis does while she is watching Hermaphroditus. The “strangely sweet” water may be quite a different liquid pooling – particularly when a “stirred” Salmacis urges the young man to “drink form my spring”. – Hermaphroditus drinking prepares the later pun “your thirst is not mine”.


    If anybody in this scene is cold-blooded, it is Hermaphroditus. Salmacis is anything but. The irony of these words and the contrast to the ovidian text is biting.


    may share my fate, i.e. they became hermaphrodites. The myth did not deter people from touching the waters of the lake. Ancient writers such as Strabon and Vitruvius report that the water of the fountain of Salmacis was healthy and tasted good.


    A lover’s dream had been fulfilled – It is the proverbial dream of a lover to be united forever with the loved one. Note that in this grammatical case it is the desire of the only one lover (a lover’s dream instead of the lovers’ dream). Hermaphroditus does not share this desire; he is not even a lover which is why he curses the fountain.



    What happens in the story of Hermaphroditus and Salmacis is nothing less than rape, and Roman readers would probably have agreed. One should bear in mind, though, that this is a story of Ovid, the master of the elegiac system. In his Ars Amatoria (a poetic-elegiac handbook on how to find and keep a mistress) he explains that the (male) lover may urge his mistress to sleep with him and that it is acceptable to bring here there even if she is unwilling. The punch line of the story of Salmacis lies in the fact that Ovid switches the roles: The female lover forces the (sexual) union with a young man who does not love her back. That does not make it any better now, does it?




    Literature has frequently inspired Genesis lyrics: Supper’s Ready clearly draws on the Bible. White Mountain borrows from Jack London, The Cinema Show from T.S.Eliot. They musicians openly extended that to their solo careers; just think of Smallcreep’s Day and A Curious Feeling.


    I would love to know how Peter, Mike and Tony did in Latin in Charterhouse. If they were any good I suspect they enjoyed reading poetry from the end of the Roman republic and the early imperial period. Poets like Horace and Catullus wrote for a highly sophisticated audience that enjoyed hearing the overtones in a poem, the careful insinuations, the most delicate innuendo. Poets and their readers played a highly intellectual game of hide and seek. Genesis enjoyed that as well – just examine the names they used in Get ‘Em Out By Friday.

    Of the poets I mentioned Horace was the well-mannered, subtle poet, while Catullus was wilder and more explicit (in a poem written when Julius Caesar was at the peak of his power Catullus famously called him “faggot Romulus”). Horace and Catullus, who wrote mainly poetry of the “small form” (involving mundane things and love and erotica), were followed by an Augustan poet who attempted to bring those subjects into poetry of the “big form”, i.e. into epics. This poet’s name was Ovid. He became famous for three books: Love Elegies (“Amores”), the infamous Ars Amatoria that some think caused him to be exiled to the Black Sea coast, and a collection of tales in which people changed into other things in a period spanning from the creation of the world to the days of the Emperor Augustus. In the fourth volume of this book, the Metamorphoses, you can find the story of Salmacis. Ovid uses the epic form, but retains the vocabulary and the puns of the elegy, which introduces sexual innuendo into the noble genre of the epic. (As an example: When Ovid mentions in a summer poem that “lizards scamper through the bush”, everybody who spent a summer in southern Italy can confirm that this happens. Roman readers would know that the lizard is a phallic symbol – and suddenly there is a subtext.

    Depending on where you come from, Genesis have written a rather dirrrty set of lyrics - or bowdlerized the Ovidian version.

    Please ignore if you feel uncomfortable with the mentioning of certain body parts. I found this sorry effort of a song on an old compilation CD (circa 1995).


    Short dick man - 20 Fingers



    (Yes, it should have been forgotten, I agree)