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Genesis - Duke CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.50 | 1495 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Just behind the line!

While it's been said before that many people draw the line for "good" Genesis at Wind And Wuthering, some people prefer to end the "good" at this one, some end it when Peter Gabriel left. I, for one, think that Wind And Wuthering is the last of the classic Genesis period, but this album gets stuck in a sort of parellel dimension where pop-prog-rock Collin's era Genesis is great music! While "And Then There Where Three..." is certainly a good and underrated album, this one is excellent! (and underratted.) Duke manages to mix elements of the pop band that Genesis would come to be (with Collin's "Emotions on the sleeve" style of writting) and the last shards of classic Genesis (With Banks and Rutherford's contributations). A truly unique album.

While the album was originally supposed to host the side long "Duke's Suite" the track was split up in order to avoid comparison to earlier work. While I, and I'm sure most on this website, wish that the song had been left as one, all the parts are still there, and all still excellent. (As stated by Banks in the 2007 interviews) The Duke Suite would have consisted of the songs: BEHIND THE LINES, DUTCHES, GUIDE VOCAL, TURN IT ON AGAIN, DUKE'S TRAVELS/END. Each one of these songs holds very very good music. BEHIND THE LINES is a great opener that sets the stage for the fantastic ballad DUTCHESS, with it's unique vocal mellodies that's sure to please the ears of many. GUIDE VOCAL is a nice, short, well sung track while TURN IT ON AGAIN is a fantasic pop-rock single that (while many dislike it, sour grapes, perhaps?) has always been a favorite of mine. It's got edge, it's complex, it's not stanard in sturcture, what more could you want? DUKE'S TRAVLES/END are a pair of perfect instrumentals that go very well together and ... they just work. All in all the 28-minute suite is fantastic, the only thing that could make it better is if the songs were kept together as one.

Other tracks on the album are good as well, if overshadowed by the suite. MAN OF OUR TIMES is a well done track that's pleasing to the ear. HEATHAZE is a great, obscure-sounding slow beauty that stomps on the other slow tracks ALONE TONIGHT and PLEASE DON'T ASK (Each of which is okay, but not great, they each sound more like something off Abacab or beyond). CUL-DE-SAC is the obvious standout among the non-suite tracks, it's eerie, ominous and generally great.

Did I miss any? No? Great.

All in all this one is too often overlooked simply because it exists in the 80s. Don't let that fool you, this is an excellent album that can easily compete with (but not match) previous albums. It would also prove to be the last great Genesis album, being succeded by the like of Abacab, the self titled and the oh so selly-outy Invisible touch... and some others. As for this one, great job boys! 3.5 stars!

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |


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