Favorite Songs 002: Genesis

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9 Sep 2008, 5:16

Well, it's been a long time since I did the first installment of the favorite songs thing. I started it anticipating it to become a series that I could easily use to make for something interesting to read.

So, here at long last is another installment of my favorite songs. I'm picking up where I left off, at the top of my favorite artists list. Genesis have been my all-time favorite band since either late 1991 or 1992, right after the release of We Can't Dance. More on that later. Here we go... these picks are as of the moment and subject to my mood on any given day, of course. ;-)

Get comfortable, this is going to take a while. ;D


Sticking with studio albums and EPs:

From Genesis To Revelation (1969)
The mainly acoustic, almost folksy first effort does have some good stuff on it. Standouts for me include The Serpent (catch the early version of Twilight Alehouse in the intro!) and In the Wilderness.

Trespass (1970)
Is the same band that made the last record?! Actually, yes it is. ;-) Only the drummer is different. A radical change in direction, with guitarist Anthony Phillips putting his stamp on the band, a touch which would remain with them well into the 1970s. I like each of the six songs on this record, but if forced to choose two songs, I'd say Stagnation and Dusk. Bit of a surprise, eh?

Nursery Cryme (1971)
After the departure of Phillips, which devastated the band and caused them to consider dissolving the band, two new recruits came on board. They answered an advert in the paper by one Steve Hackett, a guitarist who was seeking a band in which to push musical boundaries. They also got themselves a new drummer who was more accomplished than any they'd had until that point (Genesis had already been through three drummers in three years): some guy named Phil Collins. The new lineup had a strong first showing, and my favorites from it would have to be The Musical Box (a holdover from the Ant Phillips days), Seven Stones, and The Fountain of Salmacis.

Foxtrot (1972)
...and the ball keeps rolling. Fox heads and red dresses abound in Gabriel's choice of stagewear. My top two from this one would be Can-Utility and the Coastliners and Watcher of the Skies. 'Wot, no Supper's Ready? Are you mad?!' I hear you exclaim. Don't panic. I fully appreciate and rate it very highly too. If I listed it as my favorite from Foxtrot that would surprise nobody. But see? It still made the list anyway. :)

Selling England By The Pound (1973)
The five-piece Genesis hits their stride here with another nearly flawless album. This one contains my favorite song of all time: Cinema Show. Though if you want to get picky it's the live version from 1976 on Seconds Out. That said, the original found here conveys nearly the same emotion. Other personal highlights from this album are Dancing With the Moonlit Knight and Firth Of Fifth.

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (1974)
The sprawling concept album which epitomized Peter Gabriel's theatrical aspirations at the time. Gabriel leaves the band on a high note after this double-LP. Being a concept album, it's hard to pick it apart into songs since it all goes together as one, but my favorite chapters of The Lamb, as it were, are: Fly On A Windshield / Broadway Melody Of 1974, In the Cage, The Lamia, and Riding the Scree.

A Trick of the Tail (1976)
After auditioning hundreds of vocalists to try and fill the hole left by Peter Gabriel's departure, Phil Collins reluctantly stepped up and laid down the vocal tracks for their first post-Gabriel album. He only ever meant to be a temporary singer until they found a replacement. The rest is history. The result is one of the best Genesis albums ever recorded. It's hard to pick favorites, but I'm going to say Entangled, Squonk, and Dance on a Volcano today. ;-)

Wind & Wuthering (1976)
This holds the distinction of being my favorite overall Genesis album. The cover art matches the music on the record perfectly. My favorite songs are the ending suite of Unquiet Slumbers For The Sleepers... / ...In That Quiet Earth / Afterglow, the opener Eleventh Earl of Mar, and Blood on the Rooftops. Special mention goes to All in a Mouse's Night for the coda with Rutherford's thunderous bass pedals.

Spot The Pigeon (1977)
Extras from Wind & Wuthering that just didn't quite fit the mood of the rest of the album. I like all three tracks: Match of the Day, Pigeons, and Inside and Out.

...and then there were three... (1978)
The title says it all. After Wind & Wuthering, and during the mixing of the live album Seconds Out (released 1977), Steve Hackett just stopped coming to the studio. One day, Phil saw him on the street walking as he was driving to the studio and offered Steve a lift, which he politely declined. It was in this rather sudden fashion that the band learned that Steve had departed the band. In the end it was because he felt that his intended contributions to the band were never given as much consideration as everybody else's, and since he had already begun a solo career on the side in 1975, Hackett left Genesis in 1977 to pursue his solo career and ensure that his creativity was not stifled. Rather than replace him, Genesis carried on as a three-piece, with Mike Rutherford adding lead guitar to his role in the band on top of bassist. In the end, this album was very much a Banks/Rutherford outing, with most songs on it being penned by one or the other. Phil was going through family issues at the time, so was not able to contribute much to the writing process this time around. It may be an overlooked album, but it does have some strong material on it. My favorites are Down and Out (one of the few group compositions on this record), Scenes From a Night's Dream (one of the few tracks with a Collins credit on this record), and The Lady Lies.

Duke (1980)
Trio Genesis begins to find its feet, and the result is yet another strong album. My favorites include Duke's Travels / Duke's End (any of that look familiar? ;D ), Man of Our Times, Duchess, and Turn It On Again.

Abacab (1981)
Genesis builds their own studio and waves goodbye to time restrictions. They also begin to compose from group jams, bringing no ideas at all into the studio and starting from nothing. Each member does contribute one complete song, however, and two of them are among my favorites on this album. Me and Sarah Jane (Banks), Man on the Corner (Collins), and Dodo / Lurker are probably my top 3. And for the record, yes, I in fact do like Who Dunnit?

3x3 (1982)
Abacab extras. You Might Recall is probably my favorite of the three.

Genesis (1983)
Teetering on the brink of worldwide success, the self-titled album has a very strong first side, and a second that seems to get lost in the history books. That said, my favorites from this one come from both sides of the record. Home by the Sea (both parts -- it's all one song anyway), Mama, Just a Job to Do, and Silver Rainbow are my top picks. Yeah, I know that's half of the album. ;-)

Invisible Touch (1986)
The band's pinnacle, commercially. Half of this album made the singles charts, after all. Still, this is an excellent album very much worthy of the Genesis name. My favorites are The Brazilian, Domino, Land Of Confusion, Tonight, Tonight, Tonight, and Throwing It All Away.

We Can't Dance (1991)
And this is when I came on board as a fan, thanks to the music video with the funny walk: I Can't Dance. I would be remiss not to include that song, as it was the first step in my becoming a Genesis fan, and I never looked back. Favorites from this album include: Dreaming While You Sleep, Living Forever, and Fading Lights.

...Calling All Stations... (1997)
This is a Genesis album. I know I'm in the minority with that opinion, but the cover does say Genesis so I'm willing to believe it. After Phil Collins' departure in 1996, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford had every right to carry on if they so chose, and so they did. They did establish the band some 29 years prior, and Genesis they are. Scotsman Ray Wilson was brought in to sing, and Nir Zidkyahu and Nick D'Virgilio split drumming duties, with most of what made the record being Nir's work. The result was in my opinion a very strong Genesis album. Maybe I'm biased because it's the only Genesis studio release which was made after I had become a fan, but I welcomed the new sound resulting from a new vocalist and new drummers. Enjoying this album does not in any way diminish the contributions of every other band member until then. It has every right to sit on my shelf among Duke, The Lamb, and all the rest. Of my favorites from this one, my top picks would probably be Alien Afternoon, Uncertain Weather, There Must Be Some Other Way, and The Dividing Line.



...and there you have it! Part history lesson, and part list of favorite songs. As you can see, I am a fan of Genesis in all of its configurations, and I look upon them all equally. Yeah, I'm a little defensive about Calling All Stations, but someone's gotta stick up for that one! To quote the band: I know what I like, and I like what I know. :D

Comentarios

  • joewatson406

    I figured the easiers way to comment would be to compare to my own favourite tracks... FGTR: Thanks :). I knew I recognised the intro to The Serpent from somewhere else, but couldn't place it! Trespass: Yes. Suprise indeed. Incedentally, my two least favourite tracks from the album. Followed by The Knife, which may be a surprise for you. Nursery Cryme: Your favourites appear fairly generic. My favourite album, and can't fault your choices, though I couldn't place any of them above the rest of the album. Foxtrot: Fair enough. My favourites are Horizons (being a huge Hackett fan) and Suppers Ready (More Genesis = better, no?) Selling England: Also provides my al-time favourite track, though this one being Firth of Fifth. Cinema Show is fantastic, but only the live version (with Bill Bruford... drool) can top After the Ordeal. The Lamb: Is an album I tend to avoid listening to. Also, love In the Cage and Fly on a Windshield as well as, bizarrely, The Waiting Room (Hackett again, see...) A Trick of the Tail: Agree that it's one of the greatest Genesis albums :). Muchly underrated and, even without Gabriel, my personal favourite. Would struggle to pick favourite tracks, but would have to say that Robbery, Assault and Battery is a let-down compared to the rest of the album. Wind & Wuthering: Also my father's favourite Genesis album. Shame that you agree, as I constantly compare it to ATOTT and try to convince him he's wrong. Personal favourite is Blood on the Rooftops. Spot the Pigeon: Offcuts indeed, but wrongly so. Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers/In that Quiet Earth/Afterglow should really have been one track and Wot Gorilla? dropped. Instead, Inside and Out and Pigeons should have made the album, as should Hackett's composition Please Don't Touch, which the band denied altogether. OK. Rant over. ATTWT: I start to lose intrest. No Hackett. A few good tracks. Disagree with you entirely though, and consider Undertow, Burning Rope and Many too Many the best. Duke: Good album, but weak songs. Nothing stands out (except Dukes Travels/Dukes End). From this point on, I give up. You wont agree with any of this (unless your mood has changed enough :p), but, just like you, I know what I like :).

    9 Sep 2008, 20:44
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