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Old 04-11-2021, 07:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Discography Ranking Thread

Thought it might be fun to rank your favorite bands / artists discographies and make our cases for why we like what we like.

No strict format here, though I recommend TierMaker if you need a good template.

I'll start with Genesis

S Tier (Essential)

Trespass (1970) - The strongest of the Gabriel-era albums for me from a compositional and performance standpoint. Anthony Phillips guitar work is phenomenal and the material covers a lot of territory for 1970, with 'Looking For Someone' and 'Stagnation' being particularly nice.

A Trick Of The Tail (1976) - Phil Collins' debut as lead vocalist after Peter Gabriel left. It works really well as an album for similar reasons to Trespass, but it has the additional edge of having some arena-ready hooks at times like on 'Squonk' and the surprisingly poignant 'Ripples'. Basically, it has everything that was great about the Gabriel-era of Genesis but even better production and overall execution with less of Gabriel's meandering tendencies.

Duke (1980) - The best of the 80's era of Genesis, coincidentally, happens to be at the very start after yet another reinvention. Similar to the magic trick Yes would pull off a few years later with 90125, Duke is where Collins really takes off into big stadium AOR type territory. 'Turn It On Again' is a cool slice of pop (plus it's basically in 13/4 time which is ridiculous) and the New Wave-meets-prog aesthetic on 'Man Of Our Times' and the Duke's Travels suite are as good as pop-Genesis got. Very synth-heavy experience, but you can feel the energy just crackling off these songs.

A Tier (Almost Perfect)

Foxtrot (1972) - 'Watcher Of The Skies' is the one of the best opening songs by any band ever. You could get rid of every other song off this record besides this one and the 23 minute closer 'Supper's Ready' and it's still some of the best 30+ minutes of music ever made. The only reason it isn't S-tier is because the rest of the songs here aren't quite as memorable.

Genesis (1983) - The 2nd best 80's Genesis "pop" album. Side A is basically perfect with the skittish epic 'Mama' and the bouncy yet eerie 'Home By The Sea' being examples of Phil Collins doing his thing perfectly. Very close to S-tier overall, but the lulzy 'Illegal Alien' is just a joke song and 'Just A Job To Do' is pretty disposable.

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (1974) - Very ambitious concept album and pretty out there for '74. What holds it back from S-tier is that it lacks digestibility as a singular experience, too much meandering around and a tendency to jump between some great songs and questionable Beatle-esque diversions with little rhyme or reason. The best songs on this thing are great though, with my favorites being 'In The Cage' and the dreamy 'Carpet Crawlers'.

B Tier (Good-To-Great)

Nursery Cryme (1971) - The bridge between the glorious Trespass and almost-as-great Foxtrot, but not as strong as either album. 'The Musical Box' is one of the best songs from the Peter Gabriel era and the overall atmosphere is fairly nice, especially when those harmonies hit on 'Harlequin'.

Selling England By The Pound (1973) - 'Firth Of Fifth' is a legitimate slice of perfection, but otherwise it's easily the most overrated album from the Peter Gabriel era. A strong prog album objectively (Gabriel-era Genesis never did a "bad" album), just not a personal favorite.

Wind & Wuthering (1977) - Notable for being the last Genesis album with Steve Hackett's presence on lead guitar, this album has a lot of writing credits from him and it shows. 'Afterglow' has a 10cc vibe about it and 'All In A Mouse's Night' has a quirky charm to it, but I don't think the writing here (in an overall sense) measures up to the S-tier or A-tier albums. Production is pretty good though.

We Can't Dance (1991) - Of the albums I have here at B-tier, I think this one is probably the most underrated. Half of it is pretty nice, half it is meh. The songwriting at times reminds me of the best parts of the '83 self-titled, with my "I'd put this on a playlist' nods going to 'Driving The Last Spike', opener 'No Son Of Mine', the nifty 'Living Forever' and the 10-minute closer 'Fading Lights. Is it super cheesy? Oh yes. Should you probably own it anyway? Hell yeah.

From Genesis To Revelation (1969) - Surprisingly strong album at times. It doesn't sound at all like what Genesis would do just a year later, but Peter Gabriel is in fine form and the groovy 'In The Beginning' followed by 'Fireside Song' is one of my favorite sequences in their whole discography.

C Tier (A Few Good Songs But Generally Inconsistent)

...And Then There Were Three (1978) - I should love this album considering when it came out, but it really only has two great songs - the opener 'Down And Out' and the balladish but lovely sounding 'Snowbound'. I guess if I was feeling generous I would say it's on par with Wind & Wuthering with more accessible songwriting, but your mileage my vary. High C-tier / almost B-tier territory overall.

Abacab (1981) - The oscillating title track, the yacht rock-flecked 'No Reply At All', the proggy 'Dodo/Lurker' and the thudding yet catchy 'Like It Or Not' are all single-worthy and should be in your collection, but otherwise this is a case of a band basically treading water.

D Tier (Shrug/Meh/Etc.)

Invisible Touch (1986) - Not awful objectively but not all that interesting either. The problem with this album is that it sounds like a Phil Collins solo album at this point rather than something a band decided to put together...and his solo material is better than this. It's also the Genesis album that got played on the radio so much that you never want to revisit it unless you just adore the mini-keyboard break in the title track (very sample-able). It's not all a waste - 'Land Of Confusion' is a good single, 'Throwing It All Away' is a fair ballad...and 'Domino' is 10 minutes of decent progginess, but I consider this album the weakest of the Collins era overall.

Calling All Stations (1997) - This album has precisely two tracks worth owning - the crunchy and very well done 'The Dividing Line' and the surprisingly catchy 'Anything Now' that was buried and never even made it on the final record. It's not a terrible album, but it doesn't really feel like a Genesis record. With a different vocalist and writing approach it could have been A-tier material though.
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Last edited by Anteater; 04-11-2021 at 11:00 PM.
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