Genesis – A Trick Of The Tail (1976)

FrontCover1A Trick of the Tail is the seventh studio album by English progressive rock band Genesis. It was released in February 1976 on Charisma Records and was the first album to feature drummer Phil Collins as lead vocalist following the departure of Peter Gabriel. It was a critical and commercial success in the UK and U.S., reaching No. 3 and No. 31 respectively.

Following Gabriel’s decision to leave the band, the remaining members wanted to carry on and show they could still write and record successful material. The group wrote and rehearsed new songs during mid-1975, and listened to around 400 audition tapes for a replacement frontman. They entered Trident Studios in October with producer David Hentschel to record the album without a definitive idea of who was going to perform lead vocals. After the search for a singer proved unfruitful, Collins was persuaded to sing “Squonk”, and the performance was so strong, he sang lead on the rest of the album.

Upon release, critics were impressed by the improved sound quality and the group’s ability to survive the loss of Gabriel without sacrificing the quality of the music. The group went out on tour with Collins as frontman and Bill Bruford as an additional drummer, and the resulting performances in the US raised Genesis’ profile there. The Genesisalbum has been reissued on CD several times, including a deluxe package with bonus tracks in 2007.

Founding member and lead singer Peter Gabriel decided to leave Genesis in late 1974, midway through the tour for the album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.[1] His bandmates hoped he would reconsider, as they were still in debt and felt his departure could destroy the band’s future, but ultimately accepted that he would leave.[2] The remaining members felt they still wanted to collaborate musically, and show journalists and critics they were primarily a song writing team that could still produce good music.[3] Keyboardist Tony Banks had been close to Gabriel personally, and did not want the band to split up on top of seeing less of one of his best friends. He had written a number of songs for a possible solo project before deciding they should be used on the new Genesis album.

Following the end of the tour, guitarist Steve Hackett recorded a solo album, Voyage of the Acolyte with guitarist/bassist Mike Rutherford and drummer Phil Collins, feeling unsure that Genesis would survive. He reconvened with the remaining group members in July 1975. Banks and Rutherford were particularly keen to write and record new material so that critics and fans would accept Gabriel’s departure.[4] The group began rehearsals in a basement studio in Acton, and quickly wrote material they were happy with, but had not yet found a replacement lead singer. They placed an anonymous advertisement in the music paper Melody Maker for “a singer for a Genesis-type group”, which received around 400 replies. Some applicants sent photographs of themselves in costume and wearing masks, as Gabriel had done on stage. A few weeks into rehearsals, Melody Maker managed to find out about Gabriel leaving the band, and their story made the front page of the 16 August issue, where journalist Chris Welch declared Genesis dead. The group spoke to the music papers to deny they were splitting up and explained they had a new album written and waiting to be recorded.

Genesis3

“I didn’t want to not be the drummer … this is what I did. This is my territory.” (Phil Collins recalling the choice of a new lead singer to replace Peter Gabriel)

Recording began in Trident Studios in October 1975 with producer David Hentschel. Hentschel had served as tape op and then engineer on earlier Genesis albums and Collins had become a fan of his album Startling Music, a re-recording of Ringo Starr’s album Ringo on an ARP 2500 synthesizer. Collins thought the group could carry on as an instrumental act, but the others felt that it would be boring without vocals.[6] The group had still not decided on a replacement singer, so they decided to start recording backing tracks and audition singers as they went. Gabriel visited the band in the studio and listened to the album, and thought they had succeeded in proving to others that they still were “a whole, strong band without me”. He knew that the group could write strong material, but the little effort it took them surprised him the most.

Genesis4

A Trick of the Tail had a positive reception from music critics, who were impressed that the group could not only survive the loss of Gabriel but still deliver a good album.The sound quality had improved from previous albums as a result of Hentschel’s production skills. The album reached No. 3 in the UK, remaining on the charts for 39 weeks, and No. 31 in the U.S. It was certified Gold in the UK by the British Phonographic Industry in June and in the US by the RIAA in March 1990. The album remained in the UK charts for 39 weeks and recouped a significant amount of $400,000 worth of debt they had accumulated by the time Gabriel left.

For the first time in their career, Genesis filmed promotional videos for their songs. The first to be filmed was the title track, which features the band playing to the song together around a piano, including composite shots of a miniature Collins hopping around on a piano and a guitar. The group also produced promotional films of “Ripples…” and “Robbery, Assault and Battery” (by wikipedia)

Singles

After Peter Gabriel departed for a solo career, Genesis embarked on a long journey to find a replacement, only to wind back around to their drummer, Phil Collins, as a replacement. With Collins as their new frontman, the band decided not to pursue the stylish, jagged postmodernism of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway — a move that Gabriel would do in his solo career — and instead returned to the English eccentricity of Selling England by the Pound for its next effort, A Trick of the Tail. In almost every respect, this feels like a truer sequel to Selling England by the Pound than Lamb; after all, that double album was obsessed with modernity and nightmare, whereas this album returns the group to the fanciful fairy tale nature of its earlier records. Also, Genesis were moving away from the barbed pop of the first LP and returning to elastic numbers that showcased their instrumental prowess, and they sounded more forceful and unified as a band than they had since Foxtrot. Not that this album is quite as memorable as Foxtrot or Selling England, largely because its songs aren’t as immediate or memorable: apart from “Dance on a Volcano,” this is about the sound of the band playing, not individual songs, and it succeeds on that level quite wildly — to the extent that it proved to longtime fans that Genesis could possibly thrive without its former leader in tow. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Tony Banks (keyboards, mellotron, guitar, background vocals)
Phil Collins (drums, percussion, vocals)
Steve Hackett (guitar)
Mike Rutherford (bass, guitar)

Booklet3
Tracklist:
01. Dance On A Volcano (Rutherford/Banks/Hackett/Collins) 5.55
02. Entangled (Hackett/Banks) 6.28
03. Squonk (Rutherford/Banks) 6.24
04. Mad Man Moon (Banks) 7.32
05. Robbery, Assault And Battery (Banks/Collins) 6.11
06. Ripples… (Rutherford/Banks) 8.02
07. A Trick Of The Tail (Banks) 4.34
08. Los Endos (Collins/Hackett/Rutherford/Banks) 5.44

LabelB1

*
**

Front+BackCover

Genesis – We Can’t Dance (1991)

FrontCover1We Can’t Dance is the fourteenth studio album by English rock band Genesis, released on 28 October 1991 by Atlantic Records in the United States and 11 November 1991 on Virgin Records in the United Kingdom. It is their last album recorded with drummer and lead singer Phil Collins before his departure in 1996 to pursue solo projects. Production began after a four-year period of inactivity from the group, following the commercial success of Invisible Touch (1986) and its tour.

We Can’t Dance was a worldwide commercial success for the band. It became the band’s fifth consecutive No. 1 album in the UK and reached No. 4 in the U.S., where it sold over 4 million copies. Between 1991 and 1993, six tracks from the album were released as singles, including “No Son of Mine” and “I Can’t Dance”. The latter received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals. Genesis toured in support of We Can’t Dance in 1992 which saw the band play large stadiums and arenas across North America and Europe.

We Can’t Dance was Genesis’s first studio album in five years, following the international success of Invisible Touch in 1986. After the tour for that album ended, the band took a long hiatus to focus on solo careers. Both Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford expected Collins to leave the band during this time due to his huge solo success, but he stayed until 1996. The album reached No. 1 in the UK and No. 4 in the U.S., selling several million copies (including 4 million in the U.S. alone). The album also spawned several hit singles, including “No Son of Mine”, “Hold on My Heart”, “I Can’t Dance” and “Jesus He Knows Me”, the latter two supported by humorous videos. Two songs, “On the Shoreline” and “Hearts on Fire”, were cut from the album, because “there wasn’t enough room on the record.” Both songs were released as B-sides.

Genesis
Contrary to popular belief, “Since I Lost You” is not about a broken relationship. The lyrics were written by Collins for friend Eric Clapton. On 20 March 1991, Clapton’s four-year-old son Conor died after falling from the 53rd-story window of his mother’s friend’s New York City apartment, landing on the roof of an adjacent four-story building. Collins played it to him before putting it on the album to get his approval.

Most of the songs were written through improvisation, and rehearsed and recorded at The Farm, their recording studio in Chiddingfold, Surrey in England.

We Can’t Dance was released on 28 October 1991 by Atlantic Records in the United States and 11 November 1991 on Virgin Records in the United Kingdom. The album was a success in the charts, going to number one on the UK Albums Chart for one weeks from 23 November 1991. In the United States, it debuted the Billboard 200 chart at number four, the week of 30 November 1991. It stayed at its peak for one week during its 72-week stay on the chart.

Booklet05A
On 1 December 1991, the album was certified double Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for shipment of 600,000 copies. A year later, sales grew to reach quadruple platinum, signifying 1.2 million copies sold. The album reached quintuple platinum status in March 1997, for 1.5 million copies sold. In the United States, We Can’t Dance shipped 1 million copies by 27 December 1991. Five years later, the album was certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for four million copies sold.

Rolling Stone chiefly commented on the album’s lyrics. They criticised “Tell Me Why” and “Way of the World” for being soulless and impersonal social commentaries, but regarded most of the songs as outstanding, and summarised “Although We Can’t Dance doesn’t quite achieve the vulnerable grace of Duke or the exuberance of Abacab, Genesis has nevertheless delivered an elegantly spare – and even adventurous – album.”

BookletBackCover1
AllMusic similarly criticised the lyrics of “Tell Me Why” and “Way of the World”, calling them “paeans for world understanding that sound miles away from any immediacy”. However, they praised the album for returning to a less pop-oriented direction, and especially complimented the grittiness of “No Son of Mine”, “Jesus He Knows Me”, and “I Can’t Dance” (which received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals in 1993).

David Browne of Entertainment Weekly gave a lacklustre review, stating: “At a time when everything is uncertain … you almost have to admire a record like We Can’t Dance. … You know there will be a couple of fleeting moments when the band breaks out of its torpor – for instance, on the very polite primal stomp of ‘I Can’t Dance’ – and that such moments will just as quickly be subsumed by the rest of the musical quicksand.”

Stevie Chick of The Guardian has dismissed the album as “blandness”.

The album garnered Genesis an American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo, or Group and two further nominations for Favorite Adult Contemporary Album and Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist. At the Brit Awards in 1993, the album was nominated for Best British Album while Phil Collins was nominated as Best Male British Artist for his contribution to the album. (by wikipedia)

Singles
The singles from this album


Personnel
Tony Banks (keyboards)
Phil Collins (drums, percussion, vocals, drum machines)
Mike Rutherford (guitar, bass)

Booklet01A

 

Tracklist:
01. No Son of Mine 6.39
02. Jesus He Knows Me 4.16
03. Driving The Last Spike 10.08
04. I Can’t Dance 4.01
05. Never A Time 3.50
06. Dreaming While You Sleep 7.16
07. Tell Me Why 4.58
08. Living Forever 5.41
09. Hold On My Heart 4.37
10. Way Of The World 5.38
11. Since I Lost You 4.09
12. Fading Lights 10.16

All songs written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford.

CD1*
**

Illustration