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Mike Rutherford - Smallcreep's Day CD (album) cover


Mike Rutherford


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3.70 | 174 ratings

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4 stars This first solo album by Mike Rutherford is much better than his second solo album ("Acting Very Strange" from 1982), and it really a very Progressive Rock album with some Pop Rock influences. It was recorded during 1979, a year on which the members of Genesis took a hiatus from activities as a band, maybe to take a rest, but also due to Phil Collins`s personal problems with his marriage which he tried to resolve without success during that time and which finally ended with his first divorce. So, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks took that time out of the band to record their first solo albums that year, while Collins worked a bit with the band Brand X releasing a new album titled "Product" and also working in the studio with Peter Gabriel for Gabriel`s third solo album which was released in 1980 (plus an appearance with Gabriel as part of his band a the Reading Festival also in 1979). Both this album and Banks`solo album ("A Curious Feeling") were recorded at ABBA`s Polar Studios in Stockholm but I don`t know if both were recorded at almost the same time, but I doubt it. Banks`s solo album was released first, in October 1979, while Rutherford`s was released until January 1980. By late October of that year Genesis started rehearsing and composing new songs for their new album titled "Duke", which also was going to be recorded at Polar Studios and also was produced by David Hentschel like both solo albums. "Duke" was released in March 1980 and then Genesis toured again unitl June 1980.

For his first solo album Rutherford had some very good musicians, like drummer Simon Phillips, former Genesis member Anthony Phillips on keyboards, Noel McCalla on vocals and Morris Pert on percussion. The long suite titled "Smallcreep`s Day" is very good sounding a lot like Genesis in some parts, but my favourite part from it is the last which is titled as "At the End of the Day". Phillips is a good keyboard player playing very good keyboards atmospheres particularly during this last part of the suite. The suite is very good as a whole but a bit long (at almost 25 minutes in duration).

I prefer the rest of the songs which are shorter and more varied in styles. I can hear to some inlfuences from Camel, particularly in some arrangements and in some parts Noel McCalla`s vocals sound a bit like Chris Rainbow`s from the Alan Parsons Project and Camel. I think that McCalla is a very good singer and that Rutherford had the very good idea to have this singer for this album. McCalla`s vocals also sound a bit similar to the vocals of future lead singer of "Mike and the Mechanics", the late Paul Young.

With this solo album from Rutherford, with Banks `"A Curious Feeling" solo album, and with Genesis`s "Duke" album I can hear some of the musical transitions that the members of the band were doing from the music of the seventies to the music of the eighties: they were still retaining some of the Prog Rock influences while still incorporating new sounds and more influences from Pop Rock music. So, Rutherford`s guitar playing was moving more to the use of distorted electric guitars and guitar riffs than to the use of arpeggios which were more characteristic to the sound of Genesis`s music during the seventies. He still uses the bass pedals in several parts.

Thi is a very good solo album by Mike Rutherford. Mostly Progressive Rock in style.

Guillermo | 4/5 |


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