Posts by absinthe_boy

    It is curious that both their first and last albums, the bookends, feel little like anything else they did.

    FGTR is naive. FGTR is often terribly compromised by the young band's desire and need to write and perform material that was pleasing to Jonathan King. To me, FGTR sounds like something that would have been better had it come out a year or two before Sgt Pepper....though it's still behind what The Byrds, The Beach boys and The Beatles were doing in's lack of sophistication in the lyrics and composition would have fitted in better with the pre-Pepper musical landscape.

    The strings and horns are mixed too loud, too "in your face". I have always felt that the liner note about them being added with care was a joke by Peter Gabriel. If the notes played aren't always inappropriate as delicate backing, they're presented in such a way that any pretence at delicacy is blown out of the water with a huge torpedo.

    Some of the music is too twee. But some of it is genuinely lovely. The lyrics are generally naive but that's not always bad. Songs like The Conqueror stand up quite well and could have survived into the 70s gigs had the band wished. Even the Bee-Gees pastiche "Silent Sun" is a competent pop song. Someone on the first page mentioned the band's personality not really coming across because they're writing for King's ear...and that is likely. There are moments though...the odd chord change here and there, Peter's vocals when he's being Peter, the interaction of Ant and Mike's guitars....glimpses of Genesis.

    I don't often listen all the way through, but there are a handful of tracks that I like....some perhaps in the manner of a guilty pleasure but it all means the record is not entirely without merit. But under two years later they recorded Trespass, which is not just miles but a whole marathon up the road from this.

    The unused tracks that we have access to perhaps suggest at the musical direction they'd have taken without King's controlling hand. But that said, they probably did need *someone* to shape the project and keep it from spinning off gods know where. I just don't think that King really understood or appreciated the musical direction they wanted to go in. If they'd had a Joe Boyd type figure, perhaps they'd have issued a stunning debut.

    I'm glad it's pretty much always been available. I first heard it on a cassette on the Argo label in the late 80s, then bought one of the first CD releases which had some bonus tracks. My turntable has had the honour of playing an original mono Decca first edition but sadly the earliest I own is the first US pressing from 1974. While the constant re-releasing can be construed as King trying to fool people into parting for this music multiple times, at least it's been consistently available - often with B-sides and other bonus tracks. It's an important part of the band's history even if there's nothing here that made it even into set lists of 1971 or beyond.

    What's been bought is the publishing rights to extant songs. So the new owners make money by licensing the music to advertisers, politicians....or by finding new ways to sell the music to us. Since every album has been remastered to death a thousand times, it's difficult to see what they can do in that regard. \

    Phil used to keep rehearsal tapes himself, and soundboard tapes from concerts....indeed it is heavily rumoured that some of the better quality bootlegs out there were leaked by Mr. Collins himself as a gift to fans.

    I doubt they kept "all the rehearsals". They rehearsed for weeks on end, hours per album might well have produced a closet full of cassette tapes or DATs. Even so, what will exist is still hours and hours of ideas that didn't work, noodling, mistakes, mis-steps and so have the guys listen to it all and someone actually prepare a reasonable (say four hour) release for one album's rehearsal sessions is quite a task.

    What we do know, because it was announced officially, is that two full dress rehearsal shows of The Last Domino were recorded in 4K vision and 7.1 sound, I believe. With the intention that all the effort put into rehearsing the music and creating the stage/light show not go to waste in the event that the tour couldn't take place due to Covid. The raw footage is in the can, waiting to be edited. Though those performances are probably not as good as the latter stages of the tour...even fan videos show that the band was totally on fire by the final leg and Phil's voice improved.

    What we don't know is the extent to which those later gigs were recorded. There will be video from the cameras doing close-ups of the musicians for the big screens. But was the light show captured? There will be audio from the sound board but are there full multi-track recordings enabling a thoroughly professional mix to be made? Or would they go back to the dress rehearsals?

    I'd love to hear more, and see more from the past tour videos. The Mama Tour VHS is nice but it's not a complete concert. Was the complete concert filmed? Does the original film/tape still exist? We fans might well enjoy something of lesser quality just to see/hear it....but a general release will need to sell to hundreds of thousands of people if it's going to make will need to be top quality.

    Well....we know that two full rehearsal shows were recorded before the tour, just in case it never happened due to the pandemic.

    We also know that there were numerous cameras on the musicians for the live screens. It is safe to assume that plenty of footage has been saved from these. It's not the 80s where that would mean hundreds of miles of videotape per show.

    It's also safe to assume that some sort of audio recording will exist of many if not all shows. But it might not be the kind of audio recording technique used if they had fully intended to release a live album or video (pick your favourite format).

    Tony Banks has stated that they did record it all. I assume he refers to what I've typed above, though for all we know there's something more such as a couple of shows being more comprehensively audio recorded.

    Now both Tony and Nic have alluded to the possibility that the decision not to release anything might be revisited in a couple of years.

    Now...sure...I'd love a full video of the Mama tour or whatever....but I do wonder just how much exists? Prior to that did they even videotape/film a full show? What kind of audio exists for those older tours? A cassette from the soundboard can be made to sound pretty good but we're talking Genesis Live, not Three Sides Live.

    Nic says his dad is doing great and enjoying being retired. What more do we want?

    Tony was the guest in an episode of Radio Rich Pickings not long ago where he reflected on the shows

    Mike is back out with The Mechanics soon, isn't he? So we'll hear more from him.

    Nic is with his own band again

    Daryl doesn't have any updates on his website so I'm unsure if he's currently active in any projects.

    What might be nice is if they wait a couple of years for the dust to settle then do a group interview to reminisce. Tony hinted that they might revisit the decision not to release a live video/album in a year or two, so a retrospective interview or interviews could work in that context.

    oh wow I could write an essay, and probably will.

    First off I believe that all the major players in Genesis history have made great contributions to the music of Genesis and beyond. Taking Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett, Rutherford and Phillips....six of the very best.

    As for my personal favourites? Are we talking for their music or my perception of their personality? their contributions beyond music?

    I don't think I can rank them but here goes my essay. Not in any ranking order. Alphabetical order according to surname

    Tony Banks: His solo rock material is actually very good but infuriatingly he never settled on a way to present it....swapping singers and side musicians from project to project. He could have been very successful with the material he wrote. Now his orchestral work has gained a good deal of respect I really must investigate it, as his love of dramatic chord structures suits the orchestra. Probably far less influential outside Genesis than he deserves.

    Phil Collins: What can you say about Phil? Omnipresent throughout the 80s and half the 90s. While his solo output is generally on the less adventurous side, it's undeniably high quality. Phil Collins wrote and sang songs that will be in the collective consciousness for decades to come. And he was a decent screen actor. In the 70s and 80s he guested on so many other musicians' projects, usually drumming but sometimes producing or singing backing vocals. His list of studio credits is almost unbelievable. And let's not forget Brand X. By any definition, an impressive body of work.

    PG - Fascinating composer and musician. All his solo albums are different and have their own feel/moods. The consistently high quality of his solo work is undeniable, even if the frequency of it has been maddeningly low these past 25 years. But he's also a campaigner, an activist and an innovator. His early use of what we might now call "multimedia", creation of WOMAD, melding of musical styles and promotion of non-Western/European musicians speak for themselves.

    Steve Hackett: The only one of the G-men who I have met, and he was a total gentleman. Outside of fandom, not as well known as he should be. The number of kids who think Eddie Van Halen invented tapping. Who else can make a guitar sound like so many other different things? Evoke moods at the touch of a string? His solo output did dip in the late 80s and 90s but since Darktown he's been putting out high quality work again - though of late not really moving beyond those existing stagnant music forms. Probably the most busy (ex) member of Genesis over the last decade or so too.

    Mike Rutherford: Can't argue with Smallcreep. Right up there with Acolyte and Fish Out Of Water in terms of great solo albums from members of prog bands. Mike & The Mechanics aren't really my jam apart from the first album and perhaps Rewired....and there is no arguing that they are "the most successful side project in rock history". Mike is very adept at getting his feelings succinctly down into a 4 minute song.

    Anthony Phillips: Has probably released more material than any of his former bandmates. Almost none of it saw any kind of commercial success but almost all of it is beautiful. His prog days are long gone but he continues to delight with chord/key changes that only Ant would ever dream up. Damn it, get together with Banks and do an orchestral record featuring Spanish and 12-string guitar together.

    I suppose Mike Rutherford is my least favourite, but that's just because his main projects outside Genesis don't float my boat. I see the quality, it's just not often my thing. On the other hand I thought his book was great and provided insights into his childhood and adulthood.

    Ray Wilson....I really should get around to listening to his stuff after he was unceremoniously dumped by Genesis. His voice is very expressive and I suspect he's a very good songwriter.

    it's still bizzar that because they released this live album, they chose to ignore Mama & Invisible Touch live albums.

    I never understood the logic, that these two eras were dismissed & still are.

    I'm certain live albums especially of IT in 1988 would have been huge seller for them, to help bridge a 5 year gap between albums

    They tended to release a live album after three or four studio albums had been released.

    Genesis Live, while not originally planned by the band, came after Trespass, Nursery Cryme and Selling England (not counting FGTR)

    Seconds Out then came after Selling England, The Lamb, Trick and Wind

    3SL was after ATTW3, Duke and Abacab

    TWWW (both volumes) may have been a full decade later but was after only three albums - "Mama", Invisible Touch and WCD.

    Remember in those days the intention wasn't to present something akin to attending a full live concert from an individual tour. It was to present their favourite songs performed live, as to distinguish them from the studio version and give everyone a chance to hear what certain songs sounded like live.

    They *could* have put one out between Invisible Touch and We Can't Dance but it would have seemed a bit like overload at the time.

    Additionally, the 80s was the era of home video becoming "a thing". We got videos of the 80s tours. Genesis and their management probably didn't think that it was right to put out a live album too. Remember that it wasn't an easy task....say they'd done it in 1988....that would still have meant mastering for CD, vinyl and cassette...selecting songs for what would have likely been a double album so 80-95 minutes or so. Trying not to use songs already released on previous live albums so it would have heavily relied on material from just Mama and Invisible Touch....because people didn't want yet another version of Carpet Crawlers or Los Endos.

    things are very different today when they could conceivably master a live recording for a digital stream/download and be done with it. And today we will lap up the nth version of IKWIL or Invisible Touch.

    Mad Man Moon would have been very difficult to pull off live, more so back in the 70s. But that and Blood On the Rooftops would have been at the top of my list.

    Another vote for Living Forever, that instrumental jam after the vocal section is great and it always surprised me that it never made any sort of appearance at a live show.

    It absolutely is their decision, as is the set list. They went out on their terms and can only be applauded for it.

    What Tony Banks said on Radio Rich Pickings, was that in a year or two (ie after the dust settles) they may revisit the idea of a live album or DVD/BD release. For now, I would imagine they're all wanting to take a rest and a break from Genesis.

    Genesis have never been a commercially oriented band, and although this is somewhat reassuring, they have put out less material than most bands of their stature. Still hoping for a blu ray (or 4k, depending on source quality) release of When in Rome.

    Tony Smith is commercially orientated....

    But the band would certainly be in a position to say "no" to a live release.

    In Richard Macphail's latest "Radio Rich Pickings" Tony Banks appears not to rule out a future release though....

    Is there evidence that it was ever video recorded in full? For example Pete's Shepton Mallet stuff is only partial, as far as I know.

    I would be prepared to believe that there's a soundboard cassette or three in the archive....which would be better than anything that has surfaced so far. Whether we'll ever hear it is another matter. I get the feeling Peter and perhaps MIke are adamant that the show was a one off, and best experienced on the day. There were mistakes, flubs, miscues....which were forgiven due to the occasion but would seem odd on an official release.

    Maybe not odd to us, we'd lap it up, but to the masses who wouldn't be fully aware what they were buying. Especially if it had come out in circa 1983.

    Maybe they'll get bored in retirement and start releasing soundboard recordings. Or maybe a certain Mr. Collins will decide to leak some of his personal collection again....allegedly....

    There's lots they could have done....but in the end they did what they wanted. Two years ago when they announced the tour, they said that Nic drummed like a young Phil and that gave them the opportunity to play some material that was *very* old and hadn't been done in a *long* time....but in the end they decided they didn't like how it sounded. Which is also probably why they haven't played certain songs since 1980 or 1982. Perhaps sad that they no longer love these songs that they wrote and which mean so much to us...but nothing much we can do to change that.

    Yes, the set was "safe". But it was also the material Genesis collectively wanted to play/sing.

    The DVD of "When In Rome" contains at least one 'correction'. Phil made a mistake drumming during Firth of Fifth which is miraculously not present on the released DVD but is on audience recordings.

    Nothing wrong with this, though wholesale re-recording like Gabriel did for his "Peter Gabriel Plays Live" is perhaps over the top. A live album could be made and if they feel a small number of corrections or overdubs are needed, so be it. A live album could also omit a handful of songs if they feel they're not desirable for release.

    But ultimately it's their choice. I am sure that fans will gather together the best audience footage and edit together something. But there's no substitute for a pro-shot, multi camera, multi-track and pro mixed video.

    I'm always reminded of something Mike said in the documentary "Genesis - A History" which was released around 1989. Talking of how everyone in Genesis went on to have solo careers and successful outside projects, he said "I suppose being in a band is a bit unhealthy after the first few years".

    Ultimately the timing of Steve's first solo record can be viewed in (at least) two ways.

    1...proved there was still a market and hunger for Genesis style music without Peter Gabriel singing and dressing up in his costumes

    2....Took attention away from the band at just the time they needed attention focussed on them to establish a post-Gabriel career.

    I get the impression that Mike and Tony saw the latter at the time, but later realised they felt similar pressures...the need to let off steam by making records outside of the band using material either unsuited to Genesis or which they had been unable to get through the "democratic process". Phil had always done side gigs, of course. However much I see it as (1), I can understand how it was viewed as a threat at a time when it was far from certain how Genesis would be received with a new singer, and without Pete.

    Steve reached that point of feeling the band was unhealthy for him in 1975, which continued into 1976/77 as he blossomed as a writer. Perhaps the others didn't feel it until a couple of years later. In the end everyone did feel they had to engage in outside projects to explore different musical avenues or simply as an outlet for material they'd written and wanted to record. That gave us Phil's solo career, Mike's albums and The Mechanics, Tony's solo career and classical albums.

    It's a shame they didn't all see, back in 1975, that Steve could have had parallel solo careers but the others all felt they needed to push ahead full steam ahead keeping Genesis in the spotlight.

    The only glimmer of light regarding Peter is an interview he gave a few years ago when Phil was re-releasing his solo albums, before his Not Dead Yet tour. Peter mentioned that other bands of the era had lost members (likely thinking of Chris Squire and Rick Wright), while the members of Genesis were all still there. He mentioned something about considering doing it "while it was still possible".

    One doesn't need to know much about Peter to know that isn't a commitment to perform with Genesis again. If anything, he still seems very reluctant to revisit the songs he sang with Genesis.

    I have a suspicion that in a few years they may regret not at least filming it properly. When the dust has settled, and they're well and truly retired...they may regret not recording it, just like they regretted not filming The Lamb or the Six Of The Best gig.

    That said, it is entirely their decision. And maybe we will eventually hear their reasons for it. It's a shame because the show looks spectacular and any flubs could have been gently ironed out during the production of a Blu-Ray or even cinema film. But it's their decision, and one must assume they have good reasons. They gave us this final tour, which is far more than we could have hoped for a few years ago.

    There is still the possibility, even if it's in a couple of years, of a live album. Some songs were reworked for this tour and are very different to any previously released or performed material.

    People keep asking him the question in interviews. Just like they still ask Peter. And every time Genesis have gone on tour since the late 70s, they've been asked if Peter or Steve will be joining them "this time out".

    It would be rude of Steve not to answer. Perhaps the best version of hisanswer was given in Richard Macphail's book. He elaborates a little more there.

    Steve certainly isn't Roger Waters. Roger has gripes and demons that he never seems to deal with successfully, and comes across as man with a lot of anger - not all of it righteous. As one contemporary journalist said of prog gigs in the could go to a King Crimson concert and feel the band were daring you to be in the same room as them...or a Pink Floyd concert where the bass player stomped around, scowled and even spat at the audience...or "welcome to the world of Genesis".

    I just cannot see any reunion, it seems very unlikely that Tony or Mike will want to guest on Steve's shows, and accepting that Phil is done with Genesis, a new singer would have to be found and the last time this happened it wasn't a happy experience. I think Steve would have been up for a reunion anytime over the past couple of decades but this has always been unlikely as evidenced by the BBC doc. Also, Steve left abruptly in the 70s and I doubt Tony has forgiven him! It's just wishful thinking and teasing from Steve.

    I get the impression that Mike may not have fully forgiven him. Tony possibly has. He's even given a few interviews lately where he states that he misses writing with Steve. But with Tony, who knows? His sense of humour is a bit dark sometimes ("we mixed him out of the album" still does the rounds) and he's difficult to read emotionally....product of the English traditional public school system. Mike has learned to display his emotions more.

    My knowledge of all things Tony Banks isn't infallible, but I don't recall him ever guesting with another live act or really appearing on anyone else's work. He's not especially fond of performing and still sees himself primarily as a songwriter, rather than performer. While he undoubtedly could guest with any Genesis tribute band, Steve's band, The Mechanics or pretty much anyone he just doesn't seem to be something that interests him.

    As I've mused before, Tony Banks can do anything because he's Tony Banks....but what he wants to do may be to put on his slippers and play Return of The Giant Hogweed on his grand piano at home. Now personally I'd pay to hear that. But Tony himself would likely prefer behind closed doors.

    Steve has consistently stated that he'd be up for a reunion for the last 20 years or so. Possibly longer, he just wasn't on the internet much in the 90s. What did he say recently?

    As for a new studio album, I strongly get the impression that they have no desire in making one. The Farm is no longer a working studio, no mixing desk any more...the control room is half empty from recent photos. I'm sure they could put together an album, perhaps using some of the newly worked songs alongside a few new ones. But in the end, Genesis is what Mike, Tony and Phil want it to be. And they want to lay it to rest.

    I'd take the attitude that while there's life, there's hope. It is not impossible that Genesis could be reactivated but the chances are small and I'm at peace with this being the end. And what a way to bow of the best stage shows they've ever had, the last song performed being The Carpet Crawlers, bowing out with the audience and fans worldwide wanting that little bit more but while still at the top. Biggest grossing rock tour of the first quarter of 2022.

    What I do hope for, despite apparently a denial from their management, is a full live album.

    Nic has been pretty reliable in the interviews he's given, other than giving the impression that Apocalypse in 9/8 would be played on this tour. And he's given a couple of interviews recently referring to his dad retiring after this tour is over.

    I believe that is Phil's intention, to retire with the audience wanting more. His unlikely comeback as a solo artist and with Genesis didn't see him at his very best, but he gave his all and left us still wanting to see him again. Bravo, that is the way to go out. The only caveat, and I do see it as a caveat rather than a hope, is that Phil seems to come alive and be at his happiest when he's singing on stage. In time he may miss that and decide to do some more concerts, even if it's not a full on tour. And it will all depend on his health.

    Ultimately for them all, the world is their stage. It's up to them individually and collectively. Mike & The Mechanics were active until right before this Genesis tour and could pick up where they left off. Tony doesn't have any live side projects and has always maintained that he doesn't see himself as a performer....but honestly if he chose he could put something together, guest with any Genesis related band or tribute band he chose, write songs with Steve Hackett (anyone else noticed Tony's mentioned missing that in recent interviews), or just put on his slippers and play Hogweed in his living room. Ultimately, though he may not see it this way, he's Tony Freakin' Banks and can do whatever he wants. I'm sure Daryl will find receptive musicians, he's well versed in many styles of music and very versatile. Nic's stock must be sky high and he'll be in demand.

    RUmour has it that Gabriel is working on his I/O project again so we may yet see him take the stage again. Steve is being Steve, touring successfully, releasing albums that chart quite well. Ant is being Ant...making bread and butter from library music and himself available for Genesis related interviews...and his body of work speaks for itself.

    As for a guest appearance by Gabriel or any other alumnus....I think that Phil singing Genesis out with Carpet Crawlers was just perfect. If Gabriel had come on stage last night it might have been better for him to sing something else earlier in the set. Or at an earlier gig. Ditto Steve or anyone else had they appeared. This was the line-up of Genesis that existed for more time than any other. Not my favourite but the best known, most successful, longest lasting...those three are close friends who have shared 50+ years of Genesis together. While it's clear that everyone still seems to get on with Pete, RIchard Macphail and probably Steve, this was a celebration of the trio plus Daryl.

    Maybe it would have been appropriate for Peter and RIchard (who were in attendance) to take a a bow with everyone? Maybe Peter just didn't want to. In the end, we must understand that these guys did the tour *they* wanted to do...played and sang the songs they wanted to play...they did it their way. And it was a tremendous success. So long, and thanks for all the fish. If there are more fish from any of the (ex) members in the future, I'll consume them. But if not....they leave a fantastic body of work.