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Genesis - Wind & Wuthering CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.11 | 2023 ratings

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5 stars This album doesn't really need another review since it's been well covered by many others. These words emerge solely as a response to the shape of the current Top Prog list as I write this. Somewhere over the last few weeks "Wind & Wuthering" dropped down to 96, which seems simply remarkable to me. And yet, Genesis' first real album, "Trespass," remains at position 64. Really? Don't get me wrong, I love "Trespass." It's a surprisingly better album than one would expect, and I come back to it again and again. But surely "Wind & Wuthering" is a much, much better album. I know that these lists are fairly arbitrary affairs, but are we perhaps letting the Gabriel vs. Collins war rule the day here? Yes, "A Trick of the Tail" rides high, but I'd love to see "Wind & Wuthering" up there as well.

Out of the gate storms the wild bull that is "Eleventh Earl of Mar," followed by the brilliantly complex and whimsical "One For the Vine," one of the band's best compositions. (How can you not love that movement that starts around 4:40 on the CD?) In the middle of the album is the raucous "Wot Gorilla?", with outstanding "Los Endos"-styled drumming by Collins. By the second half we get the great chain of "Blood on the Rooftops," "Unquiet Slumbers For the Sleepers. . .", ". . . In That Quiet Earth" and "Afterglow." This sequence is simply stunning and I think it stands not just as a great bowing out for Steve Hackett, but perhaps as some of Hackett's most spectacular playing with Genesis after "Firth of Fifth."

The weakest moments? Sometimes the lyrics and story of "All in a Mouse's Night" strike me as a bit twee, but I don't think it's any sillier than a number of moments on "Tail." For me the weakest moment is definitely the ballad, "Your Own Special Way." Retrospectively it would be too easy to say, "Ah, right here is where Genesis started to slide downhill into the hell of the vapid 80s." It's not all that bad, but it's not the album's strongest moment. Having sad that, I'm surprised this album has the reputation of being one of Genesis' slow and quiet albums. While the ballad fits that impression, the rest of the album is pretty damned heavy, much heavier than "A Trick of the Tail." (It sounds like I'm knocking that album, but trust me I'm not.)

I end my defense by saying that I think this is one of Genesis' best albums. It's definitely in my top four of their lps. Even if it is the last masterpiece, it is a masterpiece. Maybe a 4.8/4.9 masterpiece, but without a doubt a required album for all prog fans. Oh, and it's much, much better than "Trespass" (even if that album had Gabriel on it!).

questionsneverknown | 5/5 |


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