Monday, August 6, 2012

"Genesis" by Genesis (1983)

View the Premise & Ground Rules for Revisiting Vinyl.

Filed Between: Crystal Gayle and Giuffria

Key Line:
"We relive our lives in what we tell you."

This LP Has a Really Great Song About: A Haunted House

Key Tracks:
Mama, Home by the Sea/Second Home by the Sea and Just a Job to Do come from a collective sameness that we'll get into more directly.

Obvious Filler & Swings-and-Misses:
Illegal Alien - nobody should try to be The Police except for The Police.  At least it has a catchy chorus.  Can't say the same for Silver Rainbow.  It sounds like they're trying to ape the Genesis sound from the Peter Gabriel days, but it never gels.  It's Gonna Get Better is maudlin and hammy.

My Overall Rating of the Tracks Separately:
Above Average (2.5/4 stars)

I'm taking this one off the rails.  The dark ferocity of Mama and the (literal and figurative) haunted insistence of Home by the Sea deserve to be anchored in something deeper than what "Genesis" delivered.  So, I'm gonna make my own suggestion for which songs should have been included on this LP.  I know it's totally pretentious and insulting to the artists, but as a card carrying fanboy, I figure that it's also part of my duty to do such things from time to time.

And I think Genesis might agree.  They knew where the money was; you can tell by the way they ordered the tracks on "Genesis."  It kicks off with Mama, one of the weirdest and most disturbed tracks in the Genesis catalogue.  Next comes what they had to know would be a pop juggernaut with That's All.  Then they jump into the epic Home by the Sea.  After that, their hand is played.  Most of the b-side sounds like an afterthought.

So, here's what my track listing would have been for "Genesis"...

Songs Phil Collins should have saved instead of releasing on his 1981 solo LP "Face Value":
In the Air Tonight crouches in the darkness and his cover of Tomorrow Never Knows is strange wherever it gets put.

Songs they should have kept from the "Genesis" LP:
As mentioned, Mama and Home by the Sea/Second Home by the Sea have an eeriness and a weight to them that merits great attention.  Also kept, the spy versus spy themed Just a Job to DoThat's All could have been saved for later.  It would have fit in perfectly on "Invisible Touch."

And speaking of "Invisible Touch"...

Songs they should have waited until they wrote that eventually wound up on the follow-up LP, "Invisible Touch":
Domino is another weird, dark, long song.  Ditto for Tonight, Tonight, Tonight.

That's my line-up.  It's only seven songs, but it's almost fifty minutes worth of moody, elaborate music and complicated themes.

So, is it an album?  No.  See above.

Up next, we go back to the Chairman of the Board.  It's "That's Life" by Frank Sinatra.

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