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

A TRICK OF THE TAIL

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.27 | 1670 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
5 stars A Trick of the Tail has long been a personal favourite, and somewhat of a 'guaging stick' for me. It was the first 'authentic' prog album I ever bought (I had most early Floyd at this stage, thanks to 'Another Brick in the Wall' Part II, but wasn't even familiar with what 'Prog-Rock' was about, let alone certain genres of music in existence), so I am partially sentimental to this release, and still find it one of the (many) greats - pretty much as good as 'Selling England...' which I acquired shortly afterwards (circa 1987).

From the outset, 'Dance on a Volcano' hit me hard. I loved the intro, and the way it struck me as 'listen to me, I have something to say'. What is this odd rhythm, is my record skipping ?? This was the album, by method of deduction, I figured out what the mysterious strings and choir sounds were - a Mellotron !!!! From then on, it was all Crimso, Moodies, Yes and most things 'tron. What a superb introduction to the 'fantastical world' it was.

Continuing with 'Entangled', a tune that features one of the most powerful synth/ choir-reel mellotron sections I've ever heard. Simply breath-taking, mellow 'Floydian' 12-string (when did Floyd ever actually use a 12-string acoustic ??) arrangement and then that insanely magical passage - I'm totally blown away by this stage. 'Squonk' is next, which sounded more 'harder' but full of imagery from another place (just the right concoction a 15 year old needed at that stage !!). Rounding off Side 1 was 'Mad Man Moon', one of Keyboardist Tony Banks' compositions, something of a 'ballad', but beautifully arranged, utilising his keyboard rig of the time (Piano, ARP Synth and Mellotron, don't recall organ in this one).

Side 2 started with 'Robbery, Assault and Battery', again showing off the band's instrumental prowess, fully symphonic, quirky character role-play in Phil Collins' singing/lyrics, and more show-offy playing from all concerned. The long track, 'Ripples' (8mins 4secs), is an acoustically based track and sounds wonderful and inspired. It contains a lovely, classically oriented instrumental part. Title-track is a catchy and accessible song but no less engaging regardless. Closing (mainly instrumental) piece, 'Los Endos', was/is the most appropriate ending to this superb display of instrumental/lyrical dexterity, and to this prog listener, remains one of the highest ranking prog albums I listen to. Full score.

Tom Ozric | 5/5 |

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