The scattered pages of a book by the sea
August 20, 2019 8:48 PM   Subscribe

1972's Genesis was, well, it was Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, Steve Hacket, and Phil Collins. It was deeply prog. Every track was an adventure. And thus we were given Foxtrot (discogs). Perhaps it's a love you've forgotten about. Perhaps you've never heard it. It's worth a listen either way. It's... well, it's 1972 Genesis. Side A: Watcher Of The Skies, Time Table, Get 'Em Out By Friday, Can-Utility And The Coastliners posted by hippybear (32 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
I have never had as much music nerd fun as I had with the 8-bit version of this album.. No vocals but it totally works. My astonishment level is set to maximum, and my glee and chortling delight level is at at least 7.

only works if you already KNOW the album.

posted by hippybear at 9:17 PM on August 20, 2019 [5 favorites]

This is one of the few albums I have owned as an LP, a cassette, a CD and an .mp3 . I got my first copy when I was maybe 16 - I don’t even remember where, a thrift store? A cutout bin? It was already out of fashion by then, not quite a decade after it came out - and I am still listening to it 40 years later.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:36 PM on August 20, 2019 [4 favorites]

I hope that humanity eventually progresses to a point where we have a prog museum. There should be an entire wing focusing only on Genesis, and a large room -- no, a chapel -- in that wing dedicated exclusively to Supper's Ready.
posted by vverse23 at 9:47 PM on August 20, 2019 [10 favorites]

Total tangent... but I just realized that Solsbury Hill is in 7/4. Oh proggers, I love you so.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:02 PM on August 20, 2019 [7 favorites]

Yes, whenever Solsbury Hill starts playing on the radio I make my 11 year old count it out. Future progger in the making.
posted by vverse23 at 10:05 PM on August 20, 2019 [7 favorites]

I became a Genesis fan after hearing Supper's Ready on the radio in 1973. Yes, some radio stations played the whole song. This was "Double J" radio in Sydney, where DJs would take a break while spinning their favorite long track.
posted by bhnyc at 11:54 PM on August 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

I belong to a Genesis Facebook group and one day someone posted "Which Genesis song is the best to make love to?". I said 'Supper's Ready' and some bloke said 'But it's 23 minutes long!" so I replied "You can always just play it twice" This exchange has earned me a reputation as a wit in the group -- it's a prog-rock group so the bar is fairly low...
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 1:10 AM on August 21, 2019 [16 favorites]

I would gush about this album, but sure, there's enough of that here in all and anyways.
posted by Homemade Interossiter at 3:25 AM on August 21, 2019

so I replied "You can always just play it twice"

For maximum effect, this sick burn should be played in at least three different time signatures with instruments that were last popular in the 1500s.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:41 AM on August 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

One Week One Band on Genesis
posted by pxe2000 at 4:27 AM on August 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Get 'Em Out By Friday is bang up to date (as is the even older 21st Century Schizoid Man by King Crimson.

Also, isn't Supper's Ready a retelling of the Book of Revelations? I mean, if you're going to have sex to it...
posted by Grangousier at 5:15 AM on August 21, 2019

The best.
posted by 3.2.3 at 7:20 AM on August 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Remains my favorite Genesis album. Even if it doesn't have half the songs of Selling England By the Pound, all of which clearly belong on a Best Possible Genesis Album.
posted by Quasirandom at 8:19 AM on August 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Whoa, that 8-bit version is indeed hilarious. Hee~~~~! The best part may be the opening, Watcher of the Skies.
posted by Quasirandom at 8:52 AM on August 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Also, isn't Supper's Ready a retelling of the Book of Revelations? I mean, if you're going to have sex to it ...

A song about everything (shameless self-link).

A song very much about the Apocalypse — Pythagoras with a looking glass, the beast 666, the guaranteed eternal sanctuary man, Winston Churchill dressed in drag, and ultimately the new Jerusalem, good conquering evil, an angel shouting with a loud voice, souls rising in ever changing colours, as a germ in a seed grows, like a river to the ocean, and so on …
posted by philip-random at 10:39 AM on August 21, 2019

Great post. I feel like a pretty big Genesis nerd, but Foxtrot was never one of my favorites. I prefer the preceding Nursery Cryme by a bit and Selling England by the Pound by a lot. I guess I should give it some more listening time.

Me, I'm just a lawnmower, you can tell me by the way I walk.
posted by jclarkin at 11:30 AM on August 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Foxtrot was the first Genesis album I ever owned and it blew the mind of 12 year old me.
posted by KingEdRa at 1:56 PM on August 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

Probably the best Genesis album, in retrospect, though there are still some great moments on The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. I’m particularly fond of the Genesis Live version of Watcher Of The Skies. They were a pretty monster live band too.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:16 PM on August 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

"Hey, Babe!" (Groovy hip twisting)
posted by ovvl at 6:37 PM on August 21, 2019

I love Foxtrot. Lamb might be their magnum opus, but Supper's Ready is a thing unto itself. When I was younger, I would've argued that the live version on Seconds Out was superior; now that I'm older and wiser, I see that while Phil was able to handle the bombastic parts, he doesn't have Peter's ability to do the quiet stuff without a bit of a smirk.

And that 8-bit version of Watcher of the Skies is such a jam!
posted by chbrooks at 10:07 PM on August 21, 2019

Like, seriously, do Supper's Out. It's so inventive and joyous in its inventiveness.
posted by hippybear at 10:25 PM on August 21, 2019

I can't even formulate my thoughts about this album clearly at the moment, still working on it. Relationship Status: It's Complicated
posted by hippybear at 10:30 PM on August 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

After watching that doc about the remastering, it's clear that one part of the band was railing against the Special Sauce of Hackett and Gabriel.

Collins and Rutherford saying it was too complicated....but that's the best thing about it!

I started listening to Genesis with Invisible Touch (I was 9) and started working backwards and it kept getting better to me, but there was 2 different directions to the band even back then.

And Collins kept working with Gabriel after the split, but he seems so derisive of him....
posted by Homemade Interossiter at 1:24 AM on August 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Okay, so, yeah, Foxtrot.

This might have been the second Genesis album I bought? The first I distinctly remember was Wind & Wuthering. And there wasn't THAT much back catalog to work through at that point, and Foxtrot might have been the next one I found when I had a spare buck at the local record store. I think after that Nursery Cryme because bits of that are in the background of the gatefold album of Foxtrot...

Anyway... Foxtrot... Oh how I love this piece. It's so utterly Genesis. Science Fiction as social commentary, a sweet reflective ballad, but then... then... Supper's Ready.

I poured HOURS into that. in the 70s. No context. Wow.

There aren't any side-long songs which are more utterly satisfying by their end. It's a drama, an opera, a classical music piece, a total rock piece, mystifying and yet entirely narrative... With a finality that leaves you breathless and entirely musically satisfied.

Like, I played classical music for years and years, both personally and as part of on orchestra, and there are few times you perform a piece that leaves everyone feeling that exhilarated.

It's not my favorite Genesis album. But it is my favorite Genesis album. I'm so conflicted about this. This early period, okay, so, it's like, they are each their own novel, or short story collection, or whatever. And they all have their own character, surrounding theme somehow. None of them are favorite. They are all just so... Genesis. Utterly fascinating stories of varying lengths and varying opacities, arranged by theme and given titles. I love them all.

I even love that one nobody ever mentions.
posted by hippybear at 8:44 PM on August 22, 2019 [5 favorites]

Which one -- their first, with the title that I can't remember?

(It ... never made much of an impression on me.)
posted by Quasirandom at 12:16 PM on August 23, 2019

From Genesis To Revelation -- the one Noel Gallagher likes because Phil Collins is nowhere near it.
posted by philip-random at 4:08 PM on August 23, 2019

Or Trespass? It has The Knife on it. And some other songs.
posted by Grangousier at 5:01 AM on August 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

Just reading the tracklist for Trespass, I see the title of the first song and I hear Peter's voice singing "Looking for someone... I guess I'm do-ing tha-a-at."

I mean, this is also true for From Genesis To Revelation. It's actually a collection of really interesting songs, entirely not attitudinally or lyrically based in pop music even if that's what the producer thought he was driving the lads toward. It's a really lovely gentle collection of songs that work well as an introduction of Gabriel's mental space and lyrical abilities, even while giving strictures on the rest of the band which were the borders that gave the band freedom to explore within them. I get why it wasn't commercially successful based on what else I know was coming out at the same time, but as a springboard for what the core of Genesis was going to explore, it works really well.

It's sort of important to remember, Genesis was always Tony Banks' band. He pulled them all together, he kept them moving, all across the decades of their career. There isn't a Genesis album that isn't deeply based in keyboards. They aren't a guitar-driven rock band. Tony was always the main force, no matter who constituted the rest of the membership or what direction they were going. Banks is who kept Collins in check during his geyser-like pop phase. Whenever he came back to Genesis, Collins was relegated back to being a part of Tony's group. Phil might try to push forward pop lyrics and pop song structure, but Tony was always there saying "yes, but maybe we need a 3 minute keyboard solo here, let me show you" and he nearly always won.
posted by hippybear at 8:20 PM on August 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

I mean, like watch the video for Supper's Ready linked above! Tony is all over that, even when the guitarists are doing their magical thing. And watch repeatedly to see Peter playing the flute only to start singing and turn the flute over to Tony AND YOU'D NEVER KNOW IF IT WASN'T THERE ON THE VIDEO!

Anyway, I love this band. I've wrestled with them and snuggled with them for decades and they will never cease to delight me.
posted by hippybear at 8:56 PM on August 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

The Banks-Gabriel relationship is a strange one. They became friends as school boys and somewhere along the line, things inevitably fell apart. Can you imagine being adult business partners with that kid you bonded with when you were eleven?

In the end , Banks won as far as Genesis goes. It's not just happenstance that he's the only member of the 1971-75 "glory days" who's never had any appreciable solo success. I wouldn't say that he's Genesis, but he's definitely the one individual who's best been able to express himself through their music. Wind and Wuthering seems to be the album that was most his. I doubt it's a coincidence that it's the first Genesis album I ever fell madly in love with ... even if I find hard to listen to anymore (damn you, Phil Collins and your absurd solo success).
posted by philip-random at 10:14 PM on August 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

About Tony's solo career: I have Bankstatement and Soundtracks, and only learned he had 6 other solo albums besides those while googling for this comment.

And his most recent is from 2018? Hrm. I must check that out.
posted by hippybear at 8:55 PM on August 28, 2019

I was told there would be foxtrot.
posted by theora55 at 3:42 PM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

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