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

A TRICK OF THE TAIL

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.27 | 2326 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Review Nš 131

'A Trick Of The Tail' is the seventh studio album of Genesis and was released in 1976. This is another album that represents another turning point into their discography. It's even considered by some people the first neo-prog album in rock history. After the release of the sixth Genesis' studio album 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' in 1974 and during the live tour of that album in May of 1975, Peter Gabriel announced that he was leaving the group. At the time, and after the band auditioned over 400 lead singers to find a replacement front man to the group, and because Phil Collins had already provided some vocal work on Genesis, they decided that he was the right man to replace Gabriel.

So, that change transformed the band from a quintet to a quartet. If the problem of the singer became resolved, it raised the problem of a drummer for their live shows. So, they decided to engage Chester Thompson which is an American drummer and session musician who played with Weather Report and Frank Zappa, to perform on their live shows.

'A Trick Of The Tail' has eight tracks. The first track 'Dance On A Volcano' written by Tony Banks, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins is a great opener for the album. This is a very progressive song full of frantic rhythmic variations. It's also a song with a beautiful melody and complex musical changes which correspond completely to the great expectations created around this new studio work. The second track 'Entangled' written by Banks and Hackett is a very beautiful pastoral piece of music that features a superb acoustic guitar work by Hackett accentuated by a fantastic mellotron work by Banks. It's a wonderful and melodic song that makes us glide and dream. The third track 'Squonk' written by Banks and Rutherford is a song with a fantastic and memorable opening and it has also a remarkable fantastic drumming work made by Collins. This is a very simple song with great choral work. The fourth track 'Mad Man Moon' written by Banks is one of the most beautiful songs of the album and is one of my favourites too. We can even say that this is one of the most beautiful songs ever created by Genesis. It's also a song with beautiful chorus and a wonderful keyboard work by Banks. It became as one of the most beloved songs of Genesis, especially in Hackett's musical era. This is really a truly fantastic progressive track. The fifth track 'Robbery, Assault and Battery' written by Banks and Collins is a very good song and particularly it has great imaginative rhythms and time changes. It's a song also with a fantastic instrumental middle section with great individual performances by all band's members. The sixth track 'Ripples' written by Banks and Rutherford is a very calm and beautiful song. It's a song with nice guitar and keyboard musical textures. In reality, Hackett's guitar work is absolutely stunning, accompanied by a soft and wonderful keyboard work by Banks. This track represents the quiet and calm track on the album. The seventh track is the title track 'A Trick Of The Tail'. It was written by Banks and represents a very accessible track with very interesting lyrics. However, this is, in my humble opinion, one of the less progressive songs on the album and it sounds more like a song made to be released as a single hit. So, despite be a very nice song, I sincerely think this is the weakest and less interesting track on the album. In reality, it seems to be more a pop song than a track of a progressive album. The eighth track 'Los Endos' written by Banks, Hackett, Rutherford and Collins, is a fantastic instrumental progressive piece of music and represents my favourite track on the album. I even dare to say, that this is undoubtedly one of the favourite tracks of all Genesis' fans. It's the track that serves to resume the all album because it has some musical elements of all the other tracks. This is a very energetic track that closes the album wonderfully. It's interesting to note that 'Los Endos' became an emblematic song for the group and for the fans too. It became part of the alignment of the songs chosen to be part of almost all of their live shows and became commonly used to close almost all of them.

Conclusion: 'A Trick Of The Tail' is the first album released by Genesis as a quartet and without their front man and song writer Peter Gabriel. I have no doubt in saying that it was, for sure, a horrible moment for them. Certainly, Collins was very nervous wondering if Genesis' fans would accept him as the new front man of the group. However, and despite the loss of Gabriel, the group continued to deliver excellent musical moments for their fans, and 'A Trick Of The Tail' represents an excellent example of that. With this album, Genesis found new musical direction instead of simply revisited their musical past work. As I wrote above, some people consider that 'A Trick Of The Tail' was the first neo-prog album in the history, but others consider that was 'Market Square Heroes', the debut EP of Marillion released in 1982. Anyway and furthermore, 'A Trick Of The Tail' remains as an important milestone in the progressive rock music and in particular to the neo-prog sub-genre. It reveals also and undoubtedly that this is an album with great quality of Genesis. This is in reality an essential album for everyone who really loves progressive rock music with great beauty.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 5/5 |

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