Friday, December 5, 2008

111. Genesis - Foxtrot

Hard to believe there was a time when I thought Phil Collins was a genius, but there was. Long before Sussudio, there was early Genesis and Peter Gabriel and some of the strangest music to ever be put in the rock category.

This was deep stuff. This wasn't the kind of music you'd put on at a party. This was quiet. You put the record on and you studied the lyrics and studied the music because there was going to be a quiz on this later, and that quiz would come as ten of you sat in the dried out landfill on a hot summer night and spent hours discussing the lyrics and the meaning while you passed around bottles of Boones Farm wine.

Unlike a lot of the stuff I listened to in high school where I thought the music was deep and profound and then later on laughed at myself for thinking so much of so little, I still like this album. I still think the story within is a good one and the music is good and I never, ever get tired of saying: A flower? I might not be able to sit through 23 minutes of Supper's Ready in a dumbfounded stupor like I did in the 70's, but I can still appreciate it. The musicianship is superb and is a great reminder of what both Collins and Gabriel were; brilliant musicians with incredible ideas (that's not to take anything away from Banks, Rutherford and Hackett), but both those artists went in different and opposite directions, and neither of those directions give any indication to the creativity and musical intricacy of what they used to do together in Genesis.

By the time I got around to seeing Genesis live, it was July, 1978. Gabriel had long left the band but he showed up that night to join Genesis for an encore. Awesome night I will never forget.

I loved so much of their early stuff, but Foxtrot is like a Neil Gaiman novel set to music. How could you go wrong with that?

Favorite song: Supper's Ready
Foxtrot Wiki


fatherjack said...

With you on the 'they were better then than now'. Phil Collins lost all credibility for me when he came out publicly saying that if Labour got into governement - late '80s - that he would leave the UK because his taxes would go up. Just about the time that he had a song called Another Day In Paradise in the charts...

Still, Genesis + Foxtrot were great in their time. Jealous you got to see them. One thing I think I should (have done) do more of is see live music.


keep the reviews coming.

Jim said...

I don't know how I got through my ELP, Pink Floyd, Marillion, Yes, King Crimson days without getting deeply hooked into Genesis. I blame Petey Clark Jr. Petey Clark Jr. loved Genesis -- I couldn't love anything Petey Clark Jr. loved. This became an incredible asset in early 1980s when Petey Clark Jr. fell in love with Loverboy and the requisite teeny-tiny headbands.

I saw the Phil Collins version of Genesis in 1983 or 1984. I think Collins, Banks, and Rutherford (Hackett gone by then) are good musicians -- but not exciting and, frankly, unimaginative. Boring.

Gabriel gave them an edge. I'd go back and try to get into old Genesis, but I fear I no longer drink enough alcohol or care what 25-year-old obscure British lyricists write anymore. Sad.

Solonor Rasreth said...

Same for me as Jim. I was deeply into Yes, ELP and King Crimson and never even listened to Genesis until after they were way past being any good.

Arjun said...

I would like to meet Jim because I also loved all the bands he mentions (without Marillion - I always hated them) but I never liked Genesis. My dislike for Genesis was visceral, and I loved hating people who loved Genesis. I still feel that way. When Phil Collins went all Against All Odds on everyone, I felt oh so vindicated.

ahtitan said...

Yes! One of my favorite albums of all time and my favorite Genesis, with Nursery Cryme being number two.

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