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Various Artists (Tributes) - The River of Constant Change; A Tribute to Genesis CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Tributes)


Various Genres

3.90 | 15 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars The Italian job

Tribute albums tend to be motivated more by the desire for unknown artists and bands to find an audience, than by a genuine wish to pay tribute to the band in question. If the band being appreciated has already made the definitive version of a song, where is the tribute in a much less successful band recording a pale imitation? There are exceptions of course, such as the "Two rooms" tribute to Elton John and Bernie Taupin, and the "Encomium" collection of Led Zeppelin songs. In both these cases, the artists paying the tribute were well known in their own right, and offered their own distinctive interpretations of the artists' classic songs.

So where does "The river of constant change" fit in? I have to admit to a level of ignorance here, since this collection is mainly by Italian bands who are unknown to me. I cannot say however whether they are well known in their own country, but the impression I get is that generally speaking they are not. On that basis, this album is an attempt by these bands to find a wider audience on the back of Genesis fame.

In the main though, the bands here do not simply attempt to recreate the songs verbatim, but offer refreshingly original interpretations. Take for example Submarine Silence's version of Entangled or Mysia's Hairless heart. Both are instrumentals, and both successfully develop the original Genesis song into a piece which the band can genuinely call their own. Whether or not these versions are improvements is a matter of personal opinion, but for me both stand proudly in their own right as performances which are distinct form the originals. The version of Entangled includes some fine violin in place of the synthesiser solo.

The tracks selected cover a wide cross section of the Genesis catalogue. While the focus is primarily on the Gabriel era, later songs such as No son of mine and Afterglow appear too. It is good to see some imagination being shown here too, with Men of the Lake selecting the non-album single Twilight alehouse, Moongarden going for the rare Living forever and Nostalgia covering Am I very wrong and A place to call my own from the first album.

It should be said that not all of the 27 tracks here are original enough to distinguish themselves from the originals. Some are pretty faithful facsimiles, but on a positive note there are no real stinkers as such.

In all, a highly enjoyable and refreshingly diverse collection. Genesis fans will find enough here to make this a very worthwhile acquisition which simultaneously pays homage to the band while taking inspiration from them to boldly explore new possibilities for the songs.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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