Genesis - A Trick of the Tail CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.27 | 1897 ratings

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5 stars When I first heard "Trick of the Tail" i thought: "God, bless them". I was really impressed, by anything in there. Great songs, nice lyrics, and great SOUND. Possibly it is the better- sounding Genesis LP in the Progressive Era, in terms of recording tecs. Perfect EQ and superb mixing. I love how this album sounds.

DANCE ON A VOLCANO: Mike plays a riff, which will re-appear a couple of times again later in the album, and quite immediatly Steve, Phil and Tony make syncopated stop-fills with a nice jazzy taste. The thing gets interesting when the large and majestic 7/4 turns into a nervous one. Phil's singing is quite perfect. I think this album shows clearly his whole "drum philosophy": triplets and quadruplets almost everywhere, ghost notes on the snare and great bass drum work. The song ends after an outstanding "jamming" moment in which Tony and Steve build a very nice dialogue between synth and guitar.

ENTANGLED: this is an Hackett one. Music and words. It's a waltz, softly carried on by lots of guitars (Steve, Tony and Mike). The first part shows a weird situation, concerning psychiatrist and things like that. The song touches its finest part when it turns instrumental. The waltz goes on for a bit, while Tony draws an emotional landscape which reminds me a lot of "classical choral" stuff. We got Mellotron (choir) playing chords and the lead synth playing the soprano line. Amazing.

SQUONK: this is a rock song. And stop. I heard someone saying this is the weak song. I could agree, but not completely. We got to understand that, in 1976, Genesis had to handle the progressive audience as well the american one. "Squonk" is a nice track. Nothing like "Epping Forest", of course! It is a nice rock track, which echoes some Led Zeppeling moments (John Bonham drum influence is quite clear!), it has got nice lyrics and great vocal work.

MAD MAN MOON: now this is the underrated song of the block. I think nobody considers Mad Man Moon because it doesn't keep the "usual Genesis taste". I suggest: try to listen to it just as a song. It is simply wonderful.

ROBBERY, ASSAULT AND BATTERY: I always thought that "Robbery" has got to be considered -together with "Harold the Barrel", "Willow Farm", "Epping Forest"- one of the Genesis "Silly" Songs. I always thought that was an attempt to make a Gabriel-like silly- dramatic-comedy-story. And, to be onest, the result is not comparable in terms of lyrics. But it is still a great song. GIANT drumming, as usual. The instrumental moment is a 15/8 jam. Someone still thinks that it is 7/4. But if you pay attention you will notice that is a 7+6. The "one note solo" by Hackett -before the dramatic mellotron part- is to me one of the highest things ever made by human race.

RIPPLES: classic Genesis evergreen. 12 strings, sweet vocals, nice chords. Almost a ballad song. The middle part still makes me unquiet. It nearly makes me cry every single time. The guitar sighs by Hackett are so heart touching.

TRICK OF THE TAIL: cleverness. Pure cleverness. Tony's song. Pure taste.

LOS ENDOS: this is an explosive ending. It is just one of the greatest "ending tracks" of all times. Anyone knows this was inspired by Carlos Santana jams. Not simply a jam, "Los Endos" features Genesis at their best -instrumentally speaking-. It is magic. Everyone of them works for the ensemble. So tastefully built, the song flows into a "Dance on a Volcano/Squonk Reprise" with lots of self quotations including the "There's an angel standing in the sun" part which sends tons of shivers down my spine.

I can only imagine Peter Gabriel thinking "well done, boys."

BillyShears | 5/5 |


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