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Author: Subject: rate your favorite Genesis albums

World Class Peach





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  posted on 11/25/2013 at 10:02 PM
The Abacab thread got me thinking. I absolutely love old Genesis, though I have never really given the post-Hackett line-up a fair shake. I don't own Abacab or Duke; I do like the Mama album and 3 Sides Live. I've heard all of the other albums and find some worthy moments but plenty of things I skip.

ANYWAY....as far as their 1970-1977 goes, I'm pretty obsessed with that. Some thoughts:

Selling England is my absolute favorite LP for them. Start to finish, I think it is the strongest and most consistent. It certainly helps that it is recorded better than the albums that precede it; it also helps that Steve Hackett's guitar is mixed louder than it is on what comes after. Just an aboslutely stellar album with so much good songwriting and gorgeous playing.

Second favorite is tough! Call it a tie between the Lamb and A Trick of the Tail? The Lamb is their most radical ride, a crazy journey both musical and otherwise. It has a lot to take in and has a cinematic feel. As is often the case with old Genesis, the guitar and keyboards are so tightly integrated that it can be tough to tell which is which. Gabriel's singing is so plaintive, and Phil's drums absolutely crack. Phil Colllins, more than any other prog rock drummer IMO, has the sheer musicality to make even the most obtuse and odd-time-signatured music still swing and flow. He is a beast. "Trick" is maybe the strongest album by any group in its prime who just lost a central member, with the possible exception of the post-Duane tracks on "Eat A Peach." The drum sound on "Trick" is unreal; this is a great disc to use to test a stereo out.

I sort of lump "Nursery Cryme" and "Foxtrot" together. Genesis was in its wildly eccentric, utterly British peak - loads of sweet vocal harmonies, chiming 12-string guitars, literary lyrics. Certainly not for everyone. No blues in sight! I happen to love it, and "Genesis Live" gives a nice snapshot of how the live setting added some aggression to these songs. Epics like "Supper's Ready" and "The Musical Box" really take me places, especially with headphones on. However, I love the shorter numbers too - you can tell Genesis had some Beatles DNA in them at times. These albums have a million worthy musical moments, so melodic.

"Trespass" is even more "not for everyone" - if you can wrap your head around it, it is gorgeous music. It has a pastoral feel, and you can tell these guys had been to church. It lacks the quirky humor of later albums, but in "The Knife" it gives a peek at how these guys would sound when they plugged in.

I lump "Wind and Wuthering" and "Seconds Out" together - Steve Hackett got turned down! Despite that thin guitar sound, some of the songs on "Seconds Out" do show how the band grew into these songs life - the album swings more than "Genesis Live." "Wind and Wuthering" is Tony Banks' baby - the band at its most romantic and lush.

Those are some thoughts off the top of my head. I have plenty of bootlegs I like, but that's another topic, as is their solo careers. I think that these guys are wildly underrated as musicians, and it is unfortunate that the over-exposure of Phil's solo stuff led plenty of people to disregard or never hear the earlier Genesis.

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/25/2013 at 11:16 PM
My favorite is Selling England.

Honorable mention to Genesis Live, The Lamb and Trick Of The Tail. I enjoy most of the Gabriel albums besides those mentioned also.

 

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  posted on 11/27/2013 at 02:29 AM
28 replies about Abacab and only one when given every option to discuss?

I agree with pretty much everything Jim mentioned especially Selling England By The Pound. Hackett is amazing on that album and as mentioned you can hear him.

But love many other albums. The thing is that my Brother In Law is a fanatic and Genesis is all he plays ever given the choice. They have been married over 30 years. I'm sure you get the drift. I rarely play them as I get evenings worth on some occasions.

Genesis Dancing with the the Moonlit Knight-1973-Oxford

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nexYBTKqC_k

Genesis Live in Montreal 1974 Full Show

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NghJHyoEV7A

[Edited on 11/27/2013 by CanadianMule]

 

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  posted on 11/27/2013 at 08:11 AM
My favorite Genesis album is "Duke"

 

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  posted on 11/27/2013 at 10:05 AM
I have to go with Lamb, being it was the first heard.

 

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  posted on 11/27/2013 at 02:36 PM
As much as I like the Gabriel albums, The early Collins as vocalist period is my favourite. I first saw them on the Wind and Wuthering tour. That album is criminally underated generally, IMHO. They started to lose me after "And Then There Were 3" but for every fan they lost in their "pop" era they must have gained 1000.


Trick Of The Tail
Wind And Wuthering
Seconds Out
Selling England By The Pound
Genesis Live
Nursery Cryme
Lamb Lies Down
Foxtrot
And Then There were 3
Trespass.

 

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  posted on 11/27/2013 at 02:50 PM
I'll take a stab... this is probably the order I'd rate the studio albums:

Selling England By the Pound
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
Foxtrot
A Trick of the Tail
Genesis
Nursery Cryme
Abacab
Wind and Wuthering
Duke
And Then There Were Three
Trespass
We Can't Dance
From Genesis to Revelation
Invisible Touch
Calling All Stations

I don't think I missed any...

 

World Class Peach



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  posted on 11/27/2013 at 04:16 PM
Boy, what a disappointment "Calling All Stations" was, for different people, in different ways. And what a drop in fortunes! While the loss of Phil Collins was obviously going to be an enormous one - that guy was massive at the time - this album and tour bombed abysmally.

The double-edged sword was this: the initial buzz was that this new guy sounded like Peter Gabriel and thus that the band was headed back toward their older sound. This was utterly untrue. The band did not really flex its instrumental muscles on "Calling All Stations" at all. In fact, the b-sides from the album, which were instrumental songs, did not really impress either. They sounded like incomplete demos. While some songs were longer than pop songs, they did not really go anywhere.

And then, of course, anyone looking for the deft pop touch that the band had shown on the previous few albums did not find that either. "Calling All Stations" had a somber, sluggish feel.

I do like a few of the melodies ("Shipwrecked") and I think Ray Wilson's voice is OK, but this was an incredibly generic album, especially from a very distinctive band. Genesis had been selling out massive sports stadiums like Giants Stadium, the 60,000-seaters, on the previous tour; for this album, they were booked for the theaters, the 5,000-seaters, and they could not even fill those, so the U.S. tour was cancelled. Ouch.

 

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  posted on 11/27/2013 at 05:06 PM
quote:
Boy, what a disappointment "Calling All Stations" was, for different people, in different ways. And what a drop in fortunes! While the loss of Phil Collins was obviously going to be an enormous one - that guy was massive at the time - this album and tour bombed abysmally.

The double-edged sword was this: the initial buzz was that this new guy sounded like Peter Gabriel and thus that the band was headed back toward their older sound. This was utterly untrue. The band did not really flex its instrumental muscles on "Calling All Stations" at all. In fact, the b-sides from the album, which were instrumental songs, did not really impress either. They sounded like incomplete demos. While some songs were longer than pop songs, they did not really go anywhere.

And then, of course, anyone looking for the deft pop touch that the band had shown on the previous few albums did not find that either. "Calling All Stations" had a somber, sluggish feel.

I do like a few of the melodies ("Shipwrecked") and I think Ray Wilson's voice is OK, but this was an incredibly generic album, especially from a very distinctive band. Genesis had been selling out massive sports stadiums like Giants Stadium, the 60,000-seaters, on the previous tour; for this album, they were booked for the theaters, the 5,000-seaters, and they could not even fill those, so the U.S. tour was cancelled. Ouch.


Yeah, I don't blame this on Ray Wilson really at all. In fact, he probably came too late into the project... But the songs just weren't there, which I found odd as Tony & Mike had both written so many songs individually that I loved. - I like "One Man's Fool" a lot.

I think they should've carried on, but I think they should have approached it differently and once it failed, they should have hung on longer to see if it would work...

Well, I kind of hate when people do "should'ves" in this situation, but I think it could have worked. It just didn't. I want to like "Calling All Stations".

 

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  posted on 11/27/2013 at 05:13 PM
Three Sides Live is my favorite Genesis album and the last one that I thought had any kind of classic Genesis feel to it. I realize others think they jumped the shark well before this, but I enjoy late 70s / very early 80s Genesis.

 

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  posted on 11/27/2013 at 06:00 PM
These are the only five that I ever listen to these days ... in order of preference and most often played ...

1 The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
2 Selling England By the Pound
3 A Trick of the Tail
4 Foxtrot
5 Genesis

 

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  posted on 11/28/2013 at 12:32 AM
By the time Genesis released "We Can't Dance," in the early 90s, they were hugely popular, as was Phil's solo career. Their prog rock past was far behind them, and out of the 60,000+ people who would pack a stadium to see them, many fans did not even know that this band had been known for its epic-length songs two decades earlier.

Genesis and Phil had owned the radio and MTV for the much of the 1980s. Did they sense that it could not last forever? Was there a glimmer of regret that they had not stuck with art rock a little more? Did Phil know that "We Can't Dance" would be his last album with Genesis?

I ask those questions because on that album appears a song that certainly sounds like the band saying goodbye to....something. "Fading Lights" is a somber tune, maybe a little too somber and slow and smooth in its vocal parts, though I like the melody. However, the song does hit the ten-minute mark because in its middle section, Genesis breaks into its last great instrumental section, a real nod to the glory of the instrumental passages of "In the Cage" or "Cinema Show" or "The Apocalypse in 9/8."

Skip to 3:30 into this video, and watch until about 8:00. It really is an excellent piece of music, a great example of what these guys could do:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GezNPo1OcOU


 

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  posted on 11/28/2013 at 08:15 AM
I'll have to plead ignorance on early Genesis, in fact all of the Peter Gabriel/Steve Hackett era. I like to keep an open mind, so I watched all of this show which CanadianMule posted:
quote:

Genesis Live in Montreal 1974 Full Show

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NghJHyoEV7A



Early on there is some very interesting stuff...........their musicianship is astounding, especially Tony Banks' keyboard work. However, cut to the 42 minute mark and see how long it takes you to get completely bored. It sure didn't take me long, and the music continues to plod for a long time IMHO. Add to that Peter Gabriel's ghoulish stage getups, which I guess I just don't seem to get. Doesn't make me feel real foolish for not exploring early Genesis before. However like I said, there are certainly some interesting musical passages here. But I can see why this band didn't achieve mass commercial success until later on. I'd be interested in hearing Selling England because both Jim Sheridan and CanadianMule said it was their favorite Genesis record and I respect both of their opinions.

This earlier version of Genesis was obviously a COMPLETELY different band than the one which put out "Abacab" (1981) and "Genesis" (1983, "Mama", "Illegal Alien", etc.) I love those records and just from watching this 1974 show, without exploring the Gabriel era more fully, I would say that I much prefer the later, more commercial version of the band. You have to give these guys tons of credit for being able to pull off both: The extreme progressiveness of the early band and the later, more commercial version.

 

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  posted on 11/28/2013 at 09:29 AM
Robslob, as with most prog rock, Genesis would move into some long instrumental passages that certainly are not everyone's cup of tea. I happen to love 'em, but I have plenty of friends who find those parts too much. I have plenty of other friends who find that this music is the ultimate headphone listen, especially after a smoke. YMMV.

I have mixed feelings about the costumes. They can be a distraction. I think at the time, they were an appealing aspect for a band whose other members had less stage motion and visible emotion than a young Derek Trucks.

As for Selling England By the Pound, to me it showed a sort of crystallization of their songwriting / playing/ sound AND their recording. I will make analogies to some other bands I love: with Pink Floyd, "Ummagumma" is too self-indulgent for some, and "Division Bell" is too poppy for others; "Dark Side of the Moon" is a perfect blend. That is Selling England by the Pound. With The Who, "Tommy" has great stuff but is poorly recorded, while "It's Hard" is nicely recorded but has mediocre songs. "Who's Next" is a perfect blend. That is Selling England by the Pound. That is just my opinion, obviously, but boy, it is a heck of an album.

I agree that the band changed radically. It is interesting how much some of the prog rock bands changed into the 1980s - think of how different Yes's "Owner of a Lonely Heart" is from "I've Seen All Good People," or how different Pink Floyd's "Learning to Fly" is from "Echoes."

 

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  posted on 11/28/2013 at 09:30 AM
"A Trick of the Tail" is the first album without Gabriel, and that too is a really terrific blend of improved recording and evolution of sound while still being very proggy.
 

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  posted on 11/28/2013 at 09:43 AM
Again I couldn't agree more Jim. Well put.

Another thing that many miss with old Genesis is that many parts that people think are keyboards are actually guitar. Hackett played and sounnded different than most players of that era. His parts were complex and added effects and lots of volumn swells. He often blends so well with the keyboards that they sound like one. That is why he sat most times. Had enough to deal with without having to stand too. For myself, I think Selling England was his peak with Genesis and a big part of why I love the album.

 

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  posted on 11/28/2013 at 10:42 AM
Whilst I have heard all the Genesis albums, I'm only listing, in order of preference, the ones I own.

Foxtrot
Lamb
Selling England
Nursery Cryme
Trick of the Tail
Trespass
Seconds Out
Wind and Wuthering
Genesis Live
And then....3

 

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  posted on 11/29/2013 at 11:18 PM
Trespass
A Trick of the Tail
Winds and Wuthering
The Lamb Lies Down
And Then There Were Three
Duke
Invisible Touch
Abacab
Genesis
We Can't Dance

 

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  posted on 11/30/2013 at 10:47 AM
Their final one. The misery finally stopped.
 

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  posted on 12/2/2013 at 01:33 PM
quote:

Their final one. The misery finally stopped.


LOL!! Gotta admit, that's pretty funny.

 

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  posted on 12/2/2013 at 05:40 PM
The disappearance of Genesis / Phil / Peter Gabriel from the airwaves left us in the hands of the grunge derivatives: Creed, Nickelback. etc.

I'll take "Illegal Alien" over that crap anyday!

 

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  posted on 12/4/2013 at 08:10 AM
I have to rate this by era. Can't seem to rate them altogether.

So for the Gabriel era:

Selling England by the Pound - quintessential Genesis
The Lamb ... - although I consider this their best album, it's inaccessibility at times holds it from the top spot
Foxtrot and Nursery Crime - I consider these one in t he same with Fox the higher of the two
Live - good representation of live Genesis that missed the mark by not including 'Supper's Ready'
Trespass - good Sunday morning pastoral album that you forget is on until 'The Knife' comes on
and lastly ... From Genesis to Revelations - forgettable but interesting from time to time

The Collins era:

Abacab - my go to Genesis album. just is
Duke - very good album, which would have been a lot better had they not split up the Duke suite
A Trick of the Tail - more of a successor to Selling ... but with Phil singing
Second's Out - really good live album with a good rendition of 'Supper's Ready'
Three Sides Live - love the live versions from 'Abacab'
Genesis - really enjoyed this album when it came out, save for one or two songs
Invisible Touch - ditto
Wind and the Wuthering - starts out good but gets too mellow, also includes Rutherford's "Your Own Special Way" which started them down the commercial path
Live Over Europe - to me, much better than the "Way We Walk ..." live album
We Can't Dance - alright, but they should've ended it there
And Then There Were Three - a bit disjointed of an album, with some good songs here and there but ultimately let down by the muddy production
The Way We Walk live - Not bad, not great, gets a spin maybe once a year

Finally, the Ray Wilson era

Calling All Stations - someone said it was dull, and nailed it. I find it mostly tuneless and more easy listening that anything else. Later on, I downloaded the outtakes, and there were some strong tracks on there but ultimately I simply didn't care.






 

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  posted on 12/4/2013 at 09:45 AM
Huge Genesis fan here... got into them just as Gabriel was leaving, damn..
saw them with Phil as the front man many, many times..
but for me it's the older Genesis..

Foxtrot, Nursery Cryme, Selling England, etc..
my fav. by far - The Lamb lies down..

Second Out still a supurb lp as well..

 

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  posted on 12/6/2013 at 01:44 PM
I`m a big genesis fan. for me its foxtrot. add all the Gabriel, Hackett line up best.

 

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  posted on 12/6/2013 at 04:08 PM
I've always loved the Genesis song "Evidence Of Autumn" (Duke era B-side)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X93JUpUDFwM

 

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