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Genesis - Duke CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.50 | 1494 ratings

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4 stars "Take what's yours and be damned."?

Was this unintentionally directed at Genesis' diehard fans? I don't know, but what I do know is this album has the dreadful Misunderstanding on it. "What the hell was a Beach Boys song doing on a Genesis album?", I thought at the time. The irony was that just as I was becoming a serious progressive music fan, the band was running away from that style. I thought Turn It On Again was a lot better for a pop song. I had been listening to and enjoying Follow You, Follow Me when it came out on radio (from the previous album, of course). But I really think they went too far with that one, yes it was "some kind of mistake". It would have been more appropriate on a Phil Collins solo album. Still it accomplished what it was probably intended to do and lead a bunch of pop fans to the band, and they probably came to outnumber the original fans at some point. Now I must admit that by that time back then and still to this day I am a huge fan of the pre the three.

For me, if you took out Misunderstanding, Turn It On Again; also, Alone Tonight, probably, along with Please Don't Ask, definitely; you've got a decent sort of concept album.

What had really changed on this album, though the most of the music is proggy, is that the lyrics are almost all about personal relationships rather than mostly inspired storytelling.

I've an autographed copy of the LP and an unremastered version on CD. Fortunately, I skipped the "Definitive Edition" and now I've got the actual definitive edition in my collection - the one with the DVD. This is the one to go for and the complete package offered, with this edition, gets me off the fence as to whether the album is an excellent addition or merely non-essential. Granted it does have the Misunderstanding and Turn It On Again videos, but also one of Duchess (all of these available on the video compilation Video Show, too).

There's a surround sound mix and a 24 bit stereo mix of the original album to boot, an interview about the album, the world tour programme 1980 (I still have my hard copy from the show), but the thing that makes it worth the price of admission is the Live At The Lyceum London 1980 video. You get (in order) Behind The Lines, Duchess, Guide Vocal, In The Cage, Afterglow, Dance On A Volcano, and Los Endos! Notice what's not missing! What's been added? If you can't guess the former, the latter are Darryl Steurmer and Chester Thompson.

I can't say enough about Darryl Steurmer and Chester Thompson, providing guitar and drum support, respectively, without which Genesis could not have really functioned well on tour. Already excellent musicians in their own right, they learned to play some of the old prog songs and hung around with The Three for many tours as Genesis mutated into a pop band that would throw their old prog fans the occasional bone.

Now "nobody cries for more"? Well, Genesis is back and touring as I write this, yet more as a retrospective act than a progressive one.

Slartibartfast | 4/5 |


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