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Genesis - A Trick Of The Tail CD (album) cover

A TRICK OF THE TAIL

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.28 | 2556 ratings

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aglasshouse
5 stars The end is not yet...

A Trick of the Tail was released in 1976 by what many people believed to be posthumously, due to the departure of everyone's favorite sophisticated stage-clown, Peter Gabriel, the year prior. Desperately, the band tried to find a new vocalist, going through about 100 auditions in order to find one. What they didn't realize until later was they already had a vocalist in their midst- Phil Collins. Before Trick Collins hadn't had a large lead vocal repertoire in the band, in fact the only song where he did was 'More Fool Me', an acoustic ballad off of Selling England By the Pound in 1973. The limelight was set his major frontman debut and this was the product. How does it fair?

It's a loaded question, really. With such a monumental shift in front-men some comparisons should be made between the qualities of their styles. For one, Phil Collins grew into his stage presence fairly well; he had a warm atmosphere that greatly contrasted with Gabriel's theatrical vivaciousness (with a sort of separation between audience and band by some proverbial means). In the studio Collins remained the same: a skilled and intricate drummer whose experimentations have influenced the likes of Neil Peart with their complexity. Let's not hasten to forget the other members, however. Banks is as ever a fantastic song writer and the mastermind behind some of the best songs on the album, such as 'Mad Man Moon', 'Robbery, Assault and Battery', and the title track (not bad on the keys either). Rutherford and Hackett of course are fantastic on the strings, creating some of the best hooks Genesis has ever had.

The album itself is interesting because it both reserved and boisterous at the same time. The synth hits are it perfect spots at serve as sort of climactic cannon shots every time they appear. The songs themselves can range from powerful swagger like 'Dance on a Volcano' and 'Squonk', or soft-spoken like 'Entangled' (funnily enough sounding like it took a lot of inspiration from 'More Fool Me') and 'Ripples. It also may be worth it to mention that this album features much of what the hated 80's Genesis would continue to have: groovy bass pedals from Rutherford, atmospheric yet lumbering chords followed with the echo of Collins' voice shouting self-conjoined harmonies into the symphonic fray. What I believe this album has that the albums following didn't have (aside from the band's eponymous from '83 and some certain selections from other albums) is the stoic refinement that were left from the over-the-top self indulgent days of Peter Gabriel's reign. This refinement would go on to be more like residue with the music becoming less and less subtle as their discography progressed.

Trick of the Tail combines the good parts of both Genesis eras- the elegance of Gabriel and the freewheeling of Collins. If you looking for the true best of both world then this album is the prime example of what you're looking for.

aglasshouse | 5/5 |

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