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Genesis - Wind and Wuthering
Label: Atlantic Records
Release: 1977

Tracklisting:
Eleventh Earl of Mar
One for the Vine
Your Own Special Way
Wot Gorilla?
All In A Mouse's Night
Blood On The Rooftops
Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers...
...In that Quiet Earth
Afterglow
Wind and Wuthering - Genesis
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Roll up! Roll up! It's the Tony Banks show! If his keyboards were at thefront on "A Trick of the Tail", then he's completely dominant here - pretty much every song on this album gets thepatented banksdrench - they're basically washedin pure synth. This is both good and bad - the bad is that this is probably themost impersonal and least emotional Genesis album to date. Although that doesn't necessarily lie with Tony - Philwas still struggling to find his voice, andhe sounds utterly emotionless here. And the emotional guitar lines of Hacketthave been thrown out of the window - he'scompletely under the banksynths now, only ever peeking his head out a couple oftimes. If anything, the only real emotionon this album lies in the banksynth - heck, practically all of the melodies areplayed by Banks. It won't surprise you that Tony considers this album to be Genesis's magnum opus.

As for the good, well...although the banksynth dominates, it's played very wellindeed - as a keyboardist, this album isarguably Banks's peak. The melodies come streaming out of Banks, even though insome cases, it's still pretty disjointed(One for the Vine). It works brilliantly though on the only song here that canreally be regarded as a Genesis classic -the opening "Eleventh Earl of Mar", which starts with a signature, instantlymemorable Banks line, and goes through it's pretty hectic verses and choruses 'till finishing spectacularly in a huge washof Banks. Classic.

You couldn't really say the same for anything else on this album, although thenext 2 songs are good, at the very least. 'One for the Vine' isn't as terrible as it's often made out to be, but it'sstill not amazing - but Banks does have at least5 great banksynth melodies in this song alone. Plus, you get a fleeting glimpseof Hackett in the song intro. Bar that, it's kind of unmemorable. Plus, Phil is barely audible.

"Your Own Special Way" is another song that's often criticised, mainly due to itbeing called "the first Genesis pop song", which it isn't (see "I Know What I Like" for further details), it's a nice song,and it's placed pretty well - afterthe gigantic banks-drenches that smother the first two numbers, it's nice tohave your basic, simple ballad. Nice job,Mikey.

That's pretty much it for this album - the rest of the songs generally rangefrom unmemorable to just plain poor - the last 2 songs on the first side, "All In A Mouse's Night" and "Wot Gorilla?" fallright into the first category, while pretty much all of side 2 falls into the second category. "Blood on theRooftops" is the only other real glimpse ofHackett on the album, but it's generally boring - and the same can be said forthe "unquiet slumbers for the sleepers.../inthat quiet earth." suite - it may be connected to a book that also produced oneof the greatest songs of all time, but thatcertainly can't save the song - dull and lifeless. And yep, "Afterglow" isn'tthat great an ending either - it's just completely out of place after all of the breakneck keyboard jamming. A flatending.

The first side of this album is solid - three good songs, including a Genesisclassic. But the rest is generally eitherunmemorable or utterly poor. Despite the signature Genesis, I can only givethis album a 5. Although, unlike a lot of people, I don't blame Tony - I don't like the guy, but he's easily the bestplayer on this entire record - contributing great synth lines at every opportunity. Mike Rutherford also does well -contributing the nice and simple "Your Own Special Way". Collins is decent behind the kit, but as a singer, he's poor here- he contributes the most to the generalmachine-like sound of the album. And of course, Hackett is inaudible.

It's no real surprise that this was Hackett's last album. Creatively, Hackettand the rest were pulling away from each other - Hackett was still wanting to do big prog stuff in 7/8 and whatnot, whilethe rest were looking to change direction,and be a lot more melodic. Hackett's departure was unfortunate, but at thistime, required - he would have been nowhere inthe Genesis that was to come. It's good that he did leave to pursue his solocareer, which has produced a brace of excellentalbums. Genesis were left as a trio of perfectly good pop songwriters, and theywere ready to change completely.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

I like Genesis a lot and so I have to say I like this album.
All that really can be said is that if you love the synthesiser sound of the 70's you will like this album.
Not all the songs are their strongest but still it keeps me entertained.
I must also say i feel very bad for Steve hackett Who is totally ignored as a writer on this album.Tony Banks always seems like a self centered jerk to me, too bad he is such a great keyboard player.I guess thats why Steve quit shortly after they made this album in favor of making solo songs that sound as if he was still playing with Genesis.

Actually Steve Hackets first album "Star of Sirus" is just as good if not better than this album. it even features Phil Collins and Mike Rutheford playing on a track or two.So check that album out too if you like this kind of stuff.

The best song is Blood on the rooftops,which ironically has nothing to do with tony banks at all.
All in a mouses night is musically great with one of my favorite song endings ever but lyrically it is pretty stupid to write a song about a mouse being killed by a cat.
Afterglow is also a good song but sounds kinda dead on the album live versions of Genesis songs always come off much better and faster.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

 


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