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Tony Banks - Bankstatement CD (album) cover


Tony Banks


Crossover Prog

2.75 | 99 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars If Genesis fans had a fit after The Fugitive, they must really have been driven up the wall by this album. A "debut" album by a "band" that Tony created (I use the quotes because this was as much a band as any other group Tony had worked with on his solo albums before) it was an even stronger stab at pop success. Unlike the bizarre stripped down and tense sound of The Fugitive, this was 80's pop all the way. The first song "Throwback" starts out with a horn chart that was a definite "throwback" to contemporary Genesis and Phil Collins songs. After this, the album storms through a collection of contemporary 80's pop styles. Hard driving synth pop rock tunes are surrounded by dreamy ballads and even evocative instrumentals. Tony was experiencing a lot of success in Genesis around this time. Genesis was one of the top selling bands in the world, and much of the songwriting was pushed by Tony. Likewise, Phil and Mike were also succesful with their parallel solo careers, getting huge hits with songs like Sussudio and All I Need is a Miracle. Tony figured he could do the same.

Why Tony never got this success is still unclear to me. There are many moments on this album that are as catchy as any moment from Phil or Mike's solo stuff. Tony was, and is, a great songwriter and composer, so these songs are strong, diverse, well played, and confident. In a different world, this album could have been a huge hit.

I think the reason it wasn't cuts close to the nature of Tony. Though Tony's keyboard playing style was often the center of Genesis, it was rarely, if ever, larger than life. It was subtle and careful, and Tony has always been illustrated as the shy and reclusive Genesis member, which is saying something, considering how shy and reclusive many of them are to this day. While Phil had the big friendly charisma and simple, honest approach that engendered him to pop success and Mike had the natural pop songwriting ability to create memorable and hit filled albums, Tony didn't have that same charisma. He was more likely to shyly smile during an interview, or tell one of his barbed, sometimes cruel jokes. He didn't promote, tour, or push his work the way that Phil did, nor did he have that easy going, natural talent to create pop music that Mike did. Tony worked best long and sprawling. He would develop his melodies slowly, create harmonic diversity, and come up with a polished and beautiful, if lengthy tune. Though he could write pop music, I truly don't believe his heart was in pop music. This is why, although he could write catchy pop just like Mike or Phil, he just didn't have the success.

SonicDeath10 | 4/5 |


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