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Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Trick of the Tail

Lately, a large chunk of the music I've been listening to is from Genesis. And when I mean Genesis, I mean all three eras of the group: with Peter Gabriel, with Phil Collins, and with Ray Wilson.

Yet when it comes to fans of Genesis, I seem to only know two kinds of them: those who love the Gabriel era and those who love the Collins era. There's very little carryover between them. Seems you're not supposed to like both.

Well, I can't deny my early love for the Collins era with Invisible Touch. Yes, there is a nostalgic reason since that record was, along with the Cars' Heartbeat City and the Police's Synchronicity, my first introduction modern Top 40 rock music as a child. Listening to those records again, I think they still sound great, but I have a newer appreciation after knowing more about the people behind the music and the music itself.

With the records the group did with Peter Gabriel, I heard about heralded records like Selling England by the Pound, Foxtrot, and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Whether it was a member of Phish or Mastodon, the prog era of Genesis was to rave about while the mainstream success was to be either made light of or not mentioned at all.

Frankly, I like it all. And that includes Calling All Stations, the one-off record with Ray Wilson on lead vocals and Nir Z on drums.

It's only really sunk in with me during the last year about how multi-faceted and inventive Phil Collins is as a drummer. Given how he drummed through most of the prog era and all of the pop era, his talents were always there. And the melodies were there too, whether it was Gabriel on lead or Collins on lead. Strange to say, but there was a logical progression, year-by-year from what they were to what they became.

Sure, the number of years spent listening to singles from Invisible Touch and We Can't Dance greatly out-way the number of times I've heard the title track from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, but who knows, maybe that could change down the line.

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