Genesis – A Trick of The Tail
This was the end of Genesis. Peter Gabriel had left them, and their drummer was taking over vocals. I jest, of course. This was the beginning of a new and bold era of Genesis, which only lasted two albums. But the two albums are among my favorites in the Genesis catalog.
I was just discovering Genesis in the late ’70s, and I was hearing songs featuring both Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins on vocals, and I could not tell them apart. I remember a classmate of mine listening to Genesis in the cafeteria while I was drawing, and he told me that there were two different singers. My untrained ear could not detect it.
Back then I had not yet heard enough Genesis for it to make an impression. Once I began to really hear more of their songs I was enchanted.
I remember buying A Trick of The Tail and putting it on the turntable. I was pretty familiar with “Squonk,” but most of the disc was new to me. Listening to the whole album at once takes you to another world. Unfortunately, many won’t experience this album the way that I did. I remember the days of buying vinyl, staring at the artwork, peeling away the wrap, opening it up to reveal the centerspread with the lyrics, sliding out the inner sleeve, and then finally sliding out the record and putting it on the turntable. So much more adventure than downloading from iTunes!
From the intense energy of “Dance on a Volcano” to the beautiful composition “Mad Man Moon,” this album delivers a unique experience. Banks/Collins/Hackett/Rutherford do not miss a beat without Gabriel, and they show themselves to be powerhouse composers. The whole album fits together with moments of power, whimsy, imagination, and intricacy. “Entangled” is one of the most haunting songs I’ve ever heard, while “Squonk” and “Trick of The Tail” take me to other lands — and “Ripples” is simply magical.
Genesis had not sounded quite like this, and would only sound like this for one more recording session, but they left us some gems, and for that I am forever grateful.
All for one and one for the vine!