Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Bands I Wish I'd Seen (Part of An Ongoing Project Now That I Have Written About It Twice). One of the things that I am enjoying about Apple Music is that it makes dipping into stuff I wouldn't ordinarily give a thought to really a snap. So, for example, Genesis' Foxtrot. I suppose that's the Peter Gabriel Genesis side to get if you are only going to get one (and post Peter Gabriel why bother?). That said, when I was in college there was usually a copy around if I wanted to hear it, and in the ensuing 30+ years I can't say that the urge has come upon me. Today it did, and you know, I just don't get it. I saw Peter Gabriel several times and he was always terrific, so I guess maybe context matters when experiencing "Supper's Ready".

| Comments:
Foxtrot is the weakest of the PG Genesis albums. You want Nursery Cryme or Selling England by the Pound. My personal favorite is Trespass, but that is very much a minority opinion.
Okay, subjects for further research, I guess. I've heard them all, of course-- but it has been a long time
I gave Nursery Chrymes a listen last night, and I agree that it is a step up from Foxtrot-- Gabriel's singing is stronger, and the guitar is more pronounced and interesting. It is sort of like what a good Jethro Tull album might sound like, if there was such a thing as a good Jethro Tull album, or if such a thing were even possible.

A couple of points. First, one difference between American and English keyboard players seems to be that, although they both sound church-y, most American rock organists sound like they've at least walked past a Baptist church at some point in their lives. Second, the difference between Gabriel's work with Genesis and his solo material is chiefly that his solo material seems personal. It isn't high concept, or abstract-- it is, at least somewhat, about experiences and feelings that he has had. I've been thinking about this kind of a lot lately, and it seems to me that the same observatioin can be made about a lot of artists-- until an artist has accumulated enough experience to be able to comment on it meaningfully mere technical proficiency will mean that the work will fall short. There's oodles of technical proficiency on the two recordings under discussion here, but not a lot of soul.
Not a lot of soul, no. And it's unlikely that, given his upper class background, Tony Banks was ever near a Baptist church. If he had been, the early Genesis records might not have had the sound of olde, weirde Englande that I love so very much. Much more than I do, say, the Phil Collins version of You Can't Hurry Love.
I don't mean to sound dismissive- I'm glad of the suggestions and of the opportunity to do a re-listen.
And I don't mean to sound jackassy - it just sort of happens naturally. I think there's plenty of room in the world for all kinds of music. Most of what I listen to is very personal, heartfelt and soulful (for example, DBT, my drinking music of choice). But sometimes I wanna nerd out.

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