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Genesis - Calling All Stations CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.50 | 957 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars This is the so called "darker album" that Banks and Rutherford promised, but did not follow thru on. There are many problems on Calling All Stations but the biggest was the attraction to the sizable pop/rock audience that was built up over the years. It proved too tough to resist and what was produced was an album with several ballads with a singer who can't sing them. Ray Wilson was great on the rock songs, Dividing Line, Congo etc, but his voice isn't suited for the softer material. Another problem is that while the drumming was not at fault on the album, Chester Thompson wanted to be a full time Genesis member on this recording but Banks and Rutherford turned him down. Chester walked. I believe Daryl Stuermer also wanted in but met the same fate as the long time live drummer. I can't help but think it was one huge missed opportunity after another. The crushing blow was the manager's decision to tour stadiums in the USA and the refusal to scale back the tour and play arenas finished off the great band known as Genesis.

A strong 2 or a weak 3 rating, gets a 2 because of what it could have been.

Two months after the review above, which was a week after a deleted 1 star review, I actually sat down and listened to Calling All Stations for the first time in about 10 years. This time I listened without the expectations of the marketing departments "Return to the glory days" and "the darker album". I wanted to give the album a fair shot and well, I was quite surprised. I still like the rockier songs, I still think they made most all of the mistakes that I mentioned above. What did change is that Ray Wilson is a better singer then I originally gave him credit for. No, his voice would never get the ballads onto pop radio but he does have a style that appeals.

The thing that bothered me this time was the rather basic and plotting bass of several songs. Rutherford usually has something of interest for the followers. Anyway, I enjoyed CAS as never before. Still flawed, but a solid 3 stars.

BTW, On the Platinum Collection, Genesis really blew it again. They decided to fill the 3 disc set in reverse release order, EXCEPT that instead of starting with a song from CAS, they hid it as the last song on the first disk. As if they were embarrassed by it. They should have opened with Dividing Line, drum solo and all, to say we are back, like they did when they released Trick of the Tale with the mighty Dance on a Volcano leading off.

tdfloyd | 3/5 |


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