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Genesis - A Trick of the Tail
Label: Atlantic Records
Release: 1976

Tracklisting:
Dance on A Volcano
Entangled
Squonk
Mad Man Moon
Robbery, Assault And Battery
Ripples...
A Trick of the Tail
Los Endos

A Trick of the Tail - Genesis
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Average Blamo User Rating: (3 votes)

Well, well, well. Needless to say, the band pulled this one right out of the bag - although the post-Gabriel/pre-Abacab era is pretty much poor overall, this record, the first which they made after the departure of Peter, is an absolute barnstormer. Cheers, guys. There are a few problems here and there - Phil's voice, especially at this stage when he was still trying to find it, isn't remotely close to Gabriel's. As a result, the band did lose some of the charm which made their past records across-the-board classics - Phil may very well be a better singer in the technical sense, but his voice isn't as unique and as charming as Peter's. Also, Hackett is even less noticeable on here than he was on the Lamb - he still gets in here and there, even having a hand in one of the songs ("Entangled"), but he's generally nowhere to be seen on many of the tracks
bar "Dance on a Volcano" and the last three.

But the band had two members who were in rip-snorting form at this point in time - Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford. Banks himself has a hand in every song, and he also includes two smashing works of his own in the title track, and the horribly underrated "Mad Man Moon" - a lovely track with a great melody to it. Of course, he's also doing his stuff on the old keys too - and the banksynths are starting to come out. Moogs fly everywhere, and Banks supplies the oft-dreaded wall of
sound. And on this record, it's absolutely brilliant - this record features some of the guy's best ever key work. From the understated mellotron on the aforementioned "Mad Man Moon", through the cascading piano on "Ripples", and the heavenly synths on "Entangled", he is unquestionably at the top of his game. Good one, Tony.

Rutherford is also excellent - he collaborates with Banks on two of the album's best works. "Squonk" is a bouncy, catchy number with great melodies throughout, and the aforementioned "Ripples" is pretty much the best song on here - an undisputable Genesis classic. A wonderful, soft ballad, with a very good set of lyrics, and an uplifting chorus - utterly
beautiful. Also, the song features a fleeting Hackett glimpse in the midsection, as he produces another great guitar solo. Bass and 12-string is also, as usual, perfectly in check.

There's 3 other compositions on this record - Collins and Banks make up "Robbery, Assault, and Battery" which is a pretty decent and funny song, sung by Phil in his own ridiculous Cockney accent. It doesn't really compare to some of the other "silly Genesis" works, but it's still a great song. The opening "Dance on a Volcano" is an ass-kicker - filled with wonderful Hackett guitar and lots of Rutherford as well - fantastic close-out coda on this one. And "Los Endos" is a reprisal track that's filled with themes from the album - mainly based on a b-side entitled "It's Yourself (i love)". It all comes together to make a decent closer, and a very good instrumental.

I haven't really mentioned "A Trick of the Tail" itself actually - for once, Banks writes a great set of lyrics, and the song itself is very memorable - it's got a great, great chorus. Also, Hackett peeks his head up on this track - his contribution on guitar is very understated, but it's solid, and it really contributes to the overall sound of the song. Great number.

There are general faults on this album - but really, they're few and far between. Pretty much every song on this record is great, and it gets an extremely high 9 from me. Wonderful, wonderful record, and a great achievement for the band to make an album as brilliant as this one, seeing as they'd just lost a key, key member. Thanks guys.

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