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

A TRICK OF THE TAIL

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.27 | 1803 ratings

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Fishy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A trick of the tail is a more conventional album than its predecessor The Lamb which was way too experimental for some of the fans. During the last tour with Gabriel when he announced his departure, Collins, Banks and Rutherford were already making preparations for recording the next album. Squonk was the first song they wrote without Gabriel and Hackett. Hackett was working on his solo debut at the time and joined his fellow bandmates in the studio later on. Squonk is a great track, more rock than prog anyway. It could easily be included on one of their forthcoming releases of the following decade. During the recording process many vocalists did an audition for being the new singer. The band members didn't find a suitable replacement for Gabriel but when they realised time was ticking away, Collins suggested to do the job himself pending a permanent replacement. But we all know by now how things turned out.

And now for the songs.Dance on a volcano is one of the best tracks the band ever wrote. There're so many changes in moods, atmosphere and rhythms it needs a few spins before you really begin to like it. This is the only song on the album where Collins tries to sound just as angry as Gabriel did in the past. Entangled is a pastoral song with great harmony vocals and a ghostly sounding mellotron. Lovely ! Mad man moon is a typical Banks ballad, another highlight of the album. The song is based on a splendid piano melody. Later on, the sound gets broadened by some great mellotron sounds. Soon afterwards this wonderful instrument would never be used again for a Genesis album. The title track was the very first song where the band did record a video clip for. An accessible song which isn't too complicated but not commercial either. Nice one ! On each Genesis album there's a nervous track with a kind of conversation in the lyric. The Harold the Barrel/Get'em out by friday of this album is called Robbery, Assault and Battery which was issued on single as well. A quite boring track except for the little musical interlude of guitar and mellotron. To me it's no surprise the album reached bigger sales figures than any other Genesis record which had been released till then. Most songs are shorter in length than they used to be, the tracks are also less complex than before. The third single Ripples is a fine song with great sounding guitars but the melody for the chorus is sounding far more emotional than any song Gabriel did. Maybe this is the only weak point of the album. Collins did a fine job in replacing Gabriel but you can hear he didn't have much experience as a singer at the time. The ideas for the lyrics aren't really interesting. It is known that the band did loose some loyal fans with the release of this album. It was hardly noticed because of the many new fans. But off course, if you enjoy the music without putting any attention to the lyrics, you still have a good album. Los endos is an instrumental track and would become a permanent concert favourite for the tours to come. This is one of those tracks where the band puts itself on a higher level. It starts off as an excellent prog theme with eastern influences, later on it turns out to be a medley of some of the albums most exciting moments. This track makes an excellent listening experience. This was the first Genesis album with David Hentschell as a producer. He gave this album a sound which was ahead of its time in 1975. Many albums would follow using his production skills. Thanks to his good work, A trick of the tail sounds timeless which is a good thing for a prog- album. For the best sound quality I recommend the Japanes pressing from some time ago but the definitive edition remaster serves well.

I gave four stars for one of the better efforts of Genesis but I wouldn't call it a masterpiece of progressive rock. I would prefer Wind & wuttering, The Lamb, Selling England by the pound or Foxtrot to this album. Phil Collins did a remarkable good job in replacing Peter Gabriel but he sounds almost shy on this record. In the early days Gabriel frightened his listeners and I don't believe Collins is able to do that at this point in time. But still.this is a good album. The songs are great, the production is good, the artwork is fantastic. and the title for this album could not have been better.

Fishy | 4/5 |

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