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Genesis - A Trick of the Tail CD (album) cover

A TRICK OF THE TAIL

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.27 | 1670 ratings

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kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars GENESIS under Peter Gabriel's tutelage was a tough nut to crack. Brilliantly powerful at times and overly fanciful and obtuse at others, some of my favourites and duds came out of that era. In contrast, the two transitional albums before STEVE HACKETT left were warmer, more accessible, and more melodic while generally lacking in the genius of earlier works. It has been pointed out that "Trick of the Tail" and "Wind and Wuthering" might have been, in the final analysis, more influential to the modern prog movement than "The Lamb", and indeed more of a midwife in the birth of the neo prog movement. Of the two albums, this first is the stronger, due to the greater involvement of Hackett, the more inventive arrangements, and greater vitality.

Phil Collins perches atop the vocalist stool suprisingly easily, and shines on the three best tracks - "Entangled", "Squonk" and "Ripples". The first is Hackett all the way, a simple almost CSN rivalling folk tune that ultimately scores via one of the most gorgeous mellotron choir tunes ever conceived. "Squonk" is a precursor to Mike Rutherford's later work, at turns ripping and reflective, managing to garner sympathy for the poor and clearly unappealing rat-like critter. "Ripples" is another Hackett gem and a precursor to his late 70s solo work. Apart from the sparkling chorus, the instrumental section merges several melodies and might eclipse "Firth of Fifth" as a hair raising experience.

Other good tunes include "Mad Man Moon", the fanciful title cut that smells like a wood nymph tail, and the monster closing instrumental "Los Endos". Even if "Robber Assault and Battery" sounds too much like what the group would later become, and "Dance on a Volcano" is as welcome as a skin eruption, tails wins heads down.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |

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