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Old 01-21-2018, 05:22 AM   #181 (permalink)
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I actually like From Genesis to Revelation and especially the Silent Sun. I'm not a deep prog person after King Crimson and Yes, so I like the shorter song structures on this album. I am looking forward to your thoughts on the next entries though. I also notice that a song I had on the album (it was a reissue obviously) is not on here and that is That's Me. That's probably my favorite from the sixties Genesis overall. I think that was actually a single they recorded in 1968 before the Revelation album.
Yeah it's on the reissue/extended/special edition/whatever, but as I said, **** that. I'm reviewing these as I've heard them. Trespass ends on "The Knife". Wind and Wuthering ends on "Afterglow". ...And Then There Were Three ends on "Follow You Follow Me". Anything else can go hang itself from the nearest lamppost. This is the music I grew up with and I won't be changing the format or lineup of any album to include bonus tracks that I don't have or have never heard. Sorry.
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Old 01-21-2018, 05:27 AM   #182 (permalink)
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Don't be sorry. I didn't even know they had recorded an album in 1969 until I saw the reissue (American version I might add) at a record store. I also discovered the Gods (pre-Uriah Heep) the same way. Yeah, I don't include bonus tracks in my reviews either. I just wanted to point out how much I liked That's Me. Anyhow, carry on .
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Old 01-21-2018, 06:58 AM   #183 (permalink)
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I remember buying it thinking holy **** I missed an early genesis record and then being like ugh.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:41 AM   #184 (permalink)
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I remember buying it thinking holy **** I missed an early genesis record and then being like ugh.
Pretty much my reaction too. Also, "Did I put on the right record?"
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:33 AM   #185 (permalink)
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Trespass (1970)

As Iíve said many times before, and it is true, itís not just me who makes the claim, this is in reality the album that should be considered Genesisís debut. Free of the controlling influence of future child molester Jonathan King, the band were able to flex their musical muscle, draw on their deep creativity and fashion a real masterpiece of progressive rock. The amount of tracks on it, compared to those on the ďdebutĒ, clearly shows that the old axiom holds true: quality over quantity.

Looking For Someone
Whether itís meant as such or not, the opener places Gabriel square in the spotlight, front and centre and makes no bones about his being the bandleader, creative force and frontman of this fledgling group of (still) youngsters. His voice is the first sound we hear, before the droning organ of Tony Banks comes in, and when this time the track goes through changes, from pastoral gentle almost lullaby to hard rocker, it seems planned rather than forced. Itís never been my favourite track on the album but itís a hell of a better opener than ďWhere the Sour Turns to SweetĒ, thatís for sure.
8/10

White Mountain
A real tour-de-force, a favourite of mine, not only on the album but within Genesisís discography, and an example of a true storyteller plying his art, as Gabriel narrates a tale about wolves, crowns and kings, treachery and betrayal and death, all against the backdrop of a snowy, wintry wilderness. Thereís almost the beginnings of what could possibly be termed ďdoom progĒ in this song, with dark, funereal marching drums in one section of the song, and some frenetic keyboard work by Banks, to say nothing of the sprinkly acoustic guitar layered over the tune by Rutherford and Phillips. As the narrator though, Gabriel holds court over all, and his impressive range is displayed to its fullest extent here.
10/10

Visions of Angels

And another standout. A ballad, but with a terribly bitter edge, as Gabriel doubts the existence of God (quite risque for the seventies I would have thought), or at least if there is one, if He cares about us - ďI believe there never is an end/ God gave up this world, its people, long ago.Ē Just beautiful piano turning into angry, stabbed organ (ouch!) from Banks and again itís a total masterpiece, one of the songs which helps elevate this album to the position of high regard it holds among fans, and certainly with me.
10/10

Stagnation
Another chance for Gabriel to get a bit manic with his vocals, and they undergo some sort of phasing effect I think during this song, which kind of puts me in mind of the voices of the Slippermen on The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. The refrain at the end is almost like a church organ, and I always thought he was singing the title, but he isnít. Damn weird song when you look into the origins of the lyric, but I ainít going into that here. Another virtually perfect piece.
10/10

Dusk
Without question, the quietest, most laid back and pastoral track on the album. Gabrielís voice is at times almost inaudible as he appears to be humming nearly, and there are some lovely vocal harmonies. The music is to die for. I see Occult had this as or near his number one track, and I completely understand why. It really is a beautiful, understated, fragile masterpiece (sorry, I keep using that word, but itís totally justified) of a song, and your last chance to relax before the final track hits.
10/10

The Knife
Anyone who says Genesis canít rock needs to listen to this. Yes, itís led by a keyboard-fest from Banks, bounces along like later Marillionís ďMarket Square HeroesĒ, and tackles the subject of blindly following a charismatic leader, even if where heís leading you is into Hell and to your own death, but it's a rocker for all that, and something we have, up to now, not really heard from this band. I would say itís strange that this was released as a single, but I suppose itís probably the only one of the album that lends itself to possible commercial appeal, if any do. Itís powerful, itís energetic, itís dark and it gives Gabriel the chance to play the mad megalomaniac. He must have loved it! A rip-roaring end to the album; youíre out of breath by the time the last stabbing keyboard chords and drumbeats pound out the finale.
9/10

Album Rating: 10/10
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Old 01-21-2018, 10:54 AM   #186 (permalink)
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Yeah it's on the reissue/extended/special edition/whatever, but as I said, **** that. I'm reviewing these as I've heard them. Trespass ends on "The Knife". Wind and Wuthering ends on "Afterglow". ...And Then There Were Three ends on "Follow You Follow Me". Anything else can go hang itself from the nearest lamppost. This is the music I grew up with and I won't be changing the format or lineup of any album to include bonus tracks that I don't have or have never heard. Sorry.
I totally understand not wanting to listen to any more Genesis than you absolutely have to.
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Old 01-21-2018, 11:13 AM   #187 (permalink)
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I totally understand not wanting to listen to any more Genesis than you absolutely have to.
lol

Do you also hate Yes?
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after tha club whats ta hap?
So much gin, take a swim ho
Homie pass the weed, let's get super high
I smoke that **** that made R. Kelly think that he could fly
me
I done ****ed up 17 families
So bring it on if you wanna play
Huh, make my mother****in' day
'Cause you'll be one dead mother****er black
I'mma put your ass on your back
I won't play no games wit cha boy
You'll just be one more n****r in the morgue
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Old 01-21-2018, 11:16 AM   #188 (permalink)
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lol

Do you also hate Yes?
I don't love them but I do like them. They can certainly be too noodly for their own good, but they're also far less lame and cringey. "South Side of the Sky" is hella sick nasty too.
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Old 01-21-2018, 11:57 AM   #189 (permalink)
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I totally understand not wanting to listen to any more Genesis than you absolutely have to.
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Old 06-27-2018, 09:40 AM   #190 (permalink)
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Nursery Cryme (1971)

Although you would never associate Genesis with violent imagery or necessarily dark lyrical material, the cover on this, their third album, is pretty damn mature. I mean, look at it: it features a girl playing croquet with a severed head! Possibly the kind of cover that could be awarded the coveted “Parental Advisory” sticker these days, assuming nobody actually listened to the music! I initially thought this was a creation of Storm Thorgenson's Hipgnosis, with whom Genesis would be so deeply involved over their career, as with Pink Floyd, but no: it's by some guy called Anthony Whitehead, who did three covers for the guys, including the next one, one of their more famous.

This was the album of changes, in every way. Suffering from severe stagefright, founder member Anthony Phillips left the band, unable to tour, and was eventually replaced by Steve Hackett, making the band a five-piece again after briefly touring as a quartet, and Phil Collins came onboard as the new drummer, and sometime singer. A natural progression and evolution from Trespass, this album features less in the way of bitter anger and kind of up-themselves-ness, if you will, bringing in some lighthearted humour in some of the songs, and though three of the songs still tip the eight-minute scale (with the opener over ten), and though even that would be nothing compared to the epic which was to unfold on their next album, there are shorter, more simpler songs here too. So the balance is beginning to settle a little.


The Musical Box
The centrepiece of the album, and the song from which Whitehead took inspiration for the cover, this is an imaginary tale set in Victorian England, a kind of macabre fairytale melded with a steaming sexual yearning that was not present in the lyrics of any of the songs on Trespass (perhaps “Visions of Angels”, to a degree, but not like this). The addition of Hackett is immediately noticeable in the more intricate guitar parts, though most of it is driven by Rutherford's licks, and Genesis are clearly now working out how to start a song sedately and then blast it up to ten - “Dusk” married to “The Knife” perhaps. It's a long song, over ten minutes, that goes through many changes along the way, getting quite frenetic at times and then, just like “Stagnation” on the previous album, as it builds to a climax (pun intended: what do you mean, what pun?) it all slows right down again on Gabriel's soft vocal, which then rises amid Banks' marching keyboards, almost tubular bells-like, into a powerful and epic finish.

10/10

For Absent Friends
Genesis at their most simple, almost, but not quite, back to the days of the debut. This was the first attempt by Hackett to sell a song to the band, as it were, and to be fair I don't really like it. It's very Olde English, very much for those approaching older age (and at the time I got this I would have been in my teens or early twenties, so such things did not interest me) and it's, well, too simple. Kind of reminds me of Simon and Garfunkel's “Bookends” or something. Not a bad track though, and as time goes on I've come to appreciate it more, but still nowhere close to my favourite and actually probably my least favourite on the album. It does give Hackett a chance to be all introspective though, and yeah, it's the first time we hear Collins sing.

4/10

The Return of the Giant Hogweed
This is just a fun song. I don't care what anyone says about it being about some Russian weed that was brought to England in the Victorian era : if Gabriel has read Wyndham, this is based on his Day of the Triffids, if only slightly so. End of. It has some lovely marching organ in it, some clever lyrics and some great vocal performances, and it ends, again, on a big, almost doomy epic organ, swirling around as the nasty Hogweed plot to take over Earth. Where's that Weedol?

6/10

(From here on in it's all gold)

Seven Stones
Not quite what you'd call a ballad, though a slower song, and to be honest I ain't got clue one what it's about, but it seems to have something to do with trust and betrayal, and people wanting something to believe, and not able to make decisions for themselves. It has a lovely sort of intro to the chorus where Gabriel just sings “ah ah ah ah ah ah” very softly. Nice song, with some really nice melodies.

7/10

Harold the Barrel
Oh God I love this song! Not only do the guys write what is essentially a comedy sketch to music, where poor Harold decides to end it all and we find him sitting on a roof with “the whole world below”, watching to see what will happen, but they poke gentle fun at the notion of suicide. This song features, for the first time I think in a Genesis song, a “cast of characters”, with “the man from the BBC”, Harold's mother, Mister Plod, the Mayor all being voiced and singing their parts as if this were a mini comic opera, which it kind of is. Very cockney, and the last line is very telling, when you consider where Harold is perched: “take a running jump!” followed by slowly descending and fading piano notes from Banks, which leave us in no doubt as to how the story has ended.

10/10

Harlequin
Just a lovely soothing ballad. Not a whole lot more to say. Beautiful vocal harmonies, lovely melody, nicely leads up to the epic closer.

8/10

The Fountain of Salmacis
One accusation that would be levelled at Genesis in the seventies was that they were upper class snobs, who wrote about things upper class snobs were interested in. Now, in the case of “Harold the Barrel” that clearly isn't true, but it's hard to really contest that view when you look at the lyrics and themes of the vast majority of this album, and certainly this song. I mean, who really knows their Greek Classical Mythology that well to know of Salmacis, the first hermaphrodite? Who even knows what a hermaphrodite is? (It's one with both male and female gentialia, so it can literally go **** itself! ) I was and am a big fan of all mythology (though I prefer Norse) and even I didn't know about this one. But the story is explained, and well, against a bouncy keyboard run from Banks, with Gabriel raising and lowering his voice in the persona of the nymph Salmacis who pursues the reluctant Hermaphroditus, eventually calling on the gods to meld them as one, so they may never be apart. The gods shrug, say, why not? Sounds like fun and there's nothing on the telly, and so it is done.

But the music itself is very classically-leaning too. Lots of powerful, epic rising keyboard, scintillating flute, lovely acoustic and twelve-string, and again we have a big breakout romp in the midsection to end on a reprise of the opening into an epic crescendo finale, a fantastic way to close the album, but a song which might leave your average Joe Sixpack or Eddie Punchclock wondering what the hell was all that about? Still, **** Joe Sixpack and Eddie Punchclock: let them listen to Madonna or Nickelback if they want simple. This, my friends, is real music, and it needs effort and attention to get the best out of it, which is probably why so many people revile Genesis.

Well, **** them, too.

Album Rating: 8/10
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