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Genesis - Wind & Wuthering CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.10 | 1837 ratings

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5 stars If you were to liken albums to seasons then this is Genesis's autumn album. From the lonely tree and leaves blowing in the wind on the grey cover through to the music's rich, layered and largely melancholic vibe and the Wuthering Heights reference in Unquiet Slumbers For The Sleepers.. It really has an air of that end of the year season. It also happens to be the last truly great Genesis album, ending a run of seven essential Symphonic Prog albums, starting with Trespass, a run not even Yes can match. Sadly Steve Hackett would depart after Wind And Wuthering taking an essential element of the bands sound with him.

The beautiful sweeping intro of Eleventh Earl Of Mar gives way to one of the bands more bombastic songs. Driven along by Phil Collins powerful and solid drumming, a la Squonk from A Trick Of The Tail and dominated by Tony Banks stunning keyboard work, it makes an excellent instantly likeable opener.

The 10 minute One For The Vine is a truly beautiful song. A track of many moods and changes, from the melancholic early feel through the up tempo instrumental mid section to the majestic keyboard driven finale, this really is Banks' track.

Although we didn't know it at the time, Your Own Special Way was an indicator of what was to come in the future. One of the simpler pieces and the least essential track, it nevertheless has a catchy melody and doesn't seem too out of place with the overall feel of the album.

Side 1 of the original vinyl version closes with Wot Gorilla, an excellent but short instrumental, no doubt influenced by Collins Jazz Rock excursions with Brand X.

All In A Mouse's Night whilst instrumentally lush and rich has a light hearted vibe courtesy of the lyrics, being largely about a mouse which gets the better of a cat. Despite the lightweight lyrical content it's still a fantastic song; another great Banks moment but also featuring an excellent Hackett solo to close.

There are many great Hackett moments on the album but perhaps none more so than on the often overlooked Blood On The Rooftops. Another beautiful and melancholic track opening with some fine solo acoustic guitar. It has an overall orchestral vibe courtesy of Banks, but the acoustic guitar is an integral element for adding light and shade.

Getting back to that Emily Bronte reference, Unquiet Slumbers For The Sleepers...In That Quiet Earth is 2 tracks that go to make up a 2 part instrumental. It really is superb from the beautifully haunting start with no drums, it bursts into life with some excellent jazz inflected drumming from Collins, the track really soars, again some excellent guitar work from Hackett and then the tempo drops, the rhythm more solid, into an eastern feel to end. It then segues into the melodic Afterglow which makes an excellent way to close this fine album.

Listening to this record again reminds me of how much Hackett was missed on their future albums. Although Mike Rutherford would do an admirable job he never really filled his shoes on the solos and although there were some fine Genesis moments to come they were more randomly scattered amongst some mainly patchy albums.

Nightfly | 5/5 |


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