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Genesis - The Original Album CD (album) cover

THE ORIGINAL ALBUM

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

2.76 | 24 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Review Nš 204

Genesis was formed in 1967 when their founder members, Peter Gabriel, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks, were students in a public school. Formed out of school bands, the Genesis original line up consisted of Peter Gabriel (vocals), Tony Banks (keyboards), Anthony Phillips (guitars), Mike Rutherford (bass guitars) and Chris Stewart (drums).

After have watched to a concert from the band at school, Jonathan King that was a songwriter and a record producer in those times, (who had a hit single at the time, 'Everyone's Gone To The Moon' which was a top ten hit in 1965), met the band, and Gabriel gave him a tape record of some songs the band had recorded already. So, King offered the band a recording contract. He named the band Genesis (after suggesting the name Gabriel's Angels), suggesting the beginning of a new sound and a new music. The result of this was their debut studio album, 'From Genesis To Revelation' released in March 1969, to Decca Records. During the sessions, drummer Chris Stewart was replaced by John Silver.

'From Genesis To Revelation' was an ambitious conceptual album, which supposedly told the Biblical story of the Human mankind in a series of carefully arranged songs. The art cover of the original album was released in a suitably Biblical black cover with gold lettering. Despite the encouraging reviews did in those times, the album was greeted with a great indifference by the public and press, and sold very poorly. So, only 650 copies were released in March of 1969.

The failure of the album almost broke up the group. Banks decided go to the University and studs Physics. Luckily, on advice from King, the band decided to pursue their career. But it took some time to convince Banks to get him back again to a band that seemed has no future. But fortunately, they were able to convince him and the band doesn't split. Can you imagine the progressive music world without Genesis, or without Banks? Certainly, it would be a poor world.

'The Original Album' is a compilation album reissued only in 1998. This is a version of the original album, but despite the track list be slightly different, it retains the original idea of 'From Genesis To Revelation'. It has nineteen tracks, the same original thirteen tracks originally releasedof on 'From Genesis To Revelation' plus six new bonus tracks. The bonus tracks are the four different versions of the songs which were released as singles, 'The Silent Sun', That's Me', 'A Winter's Tale', 'One Eyed Hound' and the demos of the two songs, 'Image Blown Out' and 'She's So Beautiful'.

I've already reviewed the original album before. So, I'm not going to do it again. So, if you are interested to know what I've wrote before, I invite you to read my review about the album. Anyway, I'm going to write something more about it. Of course I'm not going to analyze it track by track, as I did before, but only to do a global appreciation of it. But, relatively to the bonus tracks, in reality, they didn't bring anything substantial new or interesting to this new version.

Rarely has the debut album of a major group received this much of a slagging from both fans and critics alike. And on the surface, the flaws of the album are huge and very numerous, seemingly leaving criticism fully justified. Here's the general rundown. First, the band was in their formative stages, without either of their instrumental virtuosos. Hackett and Collins would join only in 1971. Hence, the playing on this album is a bit unimpressive, apart from nice Banks piano lines. Next, the band had not yet found its own distinct style, choosing to emulate The Beatles and The Bee Gees. And worst of all, the producer Jonathan King, in an attempt to make the band seem 'sophisticated', forced the band to write around the concept of the creation of the world through the death of Adam. Yes, I know the title implies the whole Bible, but trust me, it's fairly apparent that the story is all told from the point of view of God or Adam, and no other characters. Oh, and when they were done, he threw a lot of orchestration over the songs, except that King seemingly had no idea how to properly use string and brass arrangements in rock, unlike, we can say, of George Martin. So, despite the album still retain a lot of some good qualities, it seems to me that there is some slight amateur musicianship all over it.

Conclusion: I'm a big Genesis fan, but seriously and realistically, 'From Genesis To Revelation' is a very weak album. Despite, 'From Genesis To Revelation' have some good songs like 'Where The Sour Turns Sweet', 'Fireside Song', 'Am I Very Wrong?', 'In The Wilderness', 'One Day' and 'Silent Sun', the rest of the album is very vulgar or even very weak. The problem with this album is that it just sounds like an album of the 60's and the music has more in common with The Beatles and the early Bee Gees, than the future sound of Genesis as a progressive rock group. This debut album isn't bad at all for a band of the 60's but not for a band like Genesis. By the other hand, many of the songs are in general nice, but the strings and the production aren't. If the strings have been cut and the production had been better, it could be a better album. So, I don't know if I'm being too hard with my favourite band, but if you aren't accustomed with Genesis' discography, please don't start with this album. Even some Genesis' catalogs no mention this album and start with 'Trespass' as their debut work. Still, if you want to complete your Genesis collection, maybe you can buy it.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 2/5 |

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