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Genesis - Calling All Stations CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.51 | 790 ratings

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3 stars Like many of the early Genesis fans, I had lost interest in the band after the departure of Hackett but for me this also coincided with developing other interests. For about 15 years until the late 1990's I was out of touch with the prog music scene due to other life commitments. I had no record player or CD player and was banned from playing (early) Genesis at home, so I had to resort to cassettes and Walkman.

In the mid 1990's I purchased a PC with CD player and a cheap set of speakers but had not really thought much about music. As my marriage was falling apart, for some reason I found myself thumbing through the sale racks at a local music store. Here was a copy (actually lots of copies) of a Genesis album "Calling All Stations". I had heard nothing about this (through newspapers or radio or TV). And from the cover there was no indication that this was the same band. But for $1.99 it was worth a chance.

Opening up the cover showed that Genesis was now Rutherford and Banks with a new singer Ray Wilson. I did not know of Ray or the other musicians. Most of the songs were quite long (over 5 minutes) but there were no instrumentals and from the lyric sheet these were to be wordy songs.

Of course I had heard the "then there were three" Genesis on the radio and TV in the intervening period. I generally found their music interesting but not really comparable to the early years. Other than the single releases I had not heard any of the Genesis album tracks.

My first impressions of "Calling All Stations" were positive. Clearly not the same band as the 70's but then I am not the same person. Ray has a very good voice and carries more emotion than Phil. I like the laid back style that Ray used.

There are really no bad songs on this CD. It makes for good background listening and I am always surprised by the number of people who actually want to know what is playing and then have gone and bought their own copy later. I would rate most songs as excellent (3-4 stars) as 'Adult-Oriented-Rock (AOR)' but only 2 or 3 stars as Prog.

The longer tracks are all very good and include some nice keyboard or guitar solos and interesting arrangements - Alien Afternoon (7:50), Dividing Line (7:44), There Must Some Other Way (7:53), One Man's Fool (8:45). These would all be at least 3 stars on a prog scale.

Overall, this CD is not as bad as most reviewers have indicated. 30% have given this one star but this is clearly because they are comparing against early Genesis (which was all 5 star material) and not against prog in general.

3 stars - some good (but not outstanding) prog tracks here with superior AOR songs. Recommended but non-essential in a collection.

KeepItDark | 3/5 |


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