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Genesis - Wind & Wuthering CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.10 | 1849 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars One for the Vinyl Collection

Released around Christmas 1976, this would be the second post-Gabriel Genesis album, and their second that year. The band would continue their trend of softer keyboard-driven prog on this album, but this is definitely an improvement over 'A Trick of the Tail'.

The album starts with Eleventh Earl of Mar, which is almost 8 minutes in length. The lyrics of this song are based on the Scottish Jacobite uprising of 1715, with the consequence that they will be lost on you unless you're a history boff. Despite a quieter section in the middle, there is nothing in the melody to keep me interested, and no instrumental either.

The next track One for the Vine, is actually one of my favourite Genesis songs, with or without Gabriel. Very few times do you get perfect lyrics combined with wonderful music, but this is exactly what we have here. At exactly 10 minutes in length, this is one of the 'nicest' epics you'll ever hear. It's quite possible to listen to this track on two different levels: listening to the music, or listening to the story. If you are doing the former, then the song really starts to get interesting towards the centre, when the band launch into an up tempo instrumental with rhythmic keyboards. The powerful outro will is incredibly moving, and is followed by a piano piece mirroring an earlier part, in much the same way as Firth of Fifth. The more I listened to this song though, the more I realised that the lyrics were making perfect sense. One day, I sat down with the lyrics in front of me and listened to the song again. My mind was completely opened up. I won't explain the story, but I'll just say that there is a beautiful and eloquent tale which seems believable until the final lines which present us with a great twist. A true masterpiece.

I have a real soft spot for Your Own Special Way. A lot of prog fans will say they don't like this cheesy pop tune and I can fully understand why, but I find the choruses of this song really heartwarming. There are many naval references in this song, suggesting that this song is about a sailor's love. I'll usually put this song on if I'm feeling a bit low, as it always seems to hit the spot.

Wot Gorilla? is a brief instrumental that's heavy on the keyboards. Unfortunately, I can't say there are any redeeming features of this track apart from it's brevity.

All In A Mouse's Night shows a band who have been watching too much Tom and Jerry. The lyrics of the song seem to depict nothing other than that. This song could do with being less repetitive in it's structure, and the 2 minute outro seems too long. The whole song is quite grating, and the 'mouse' novelty wears off quite quickly.

Blood on the Rooftops is a bout of social commentary from guitarist Steve Hackett. A long classical guitar solo introduces this song which is sung beautifully by Phil Collins. The lyrics of the song won't make very much sense to those who did not live in Britain in the 1970s, making this a thing of its time.

The final three tracks fit together to make an 11 minute track, the first two being instrumentals and the last with lyrics. Unquiet Slumber For The Sleepers... is a quiet instrumental which seems to be brimming with tension. ... In That Quiet Earth is the resolve to that tension. Although it's true that Genesis focused more on the songwriting than on the music, to say that they weren't talented musicians would be a fallacy. One only has to hear the breakneck drumming from Phil Collins in this song to find this. Halfway through this track, a theme from the beginning of the album is reprised, giving the album a more cohesive feeling. This is undoubtedly one of Genesis's best instrumentals.

The final track Afterglow has such a thick bass line that it will shake your trouser legs in the room. The melody of the lyrics seems to closely mirror that of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. This is quite an anthemic song which leads the album out very nicely, but it wouldn't have been half as good if it weren't for all that gooey bass though.

As you can see, this is quite a mixed bag in terms of quality. The inclusion of One for the Vine definitely makes this an essential Genesis record, and one that shows that they could still write prog without Gabriel. This is definitely my favourite of the two albums recorded between Gabriel's and Hackett's departure. This an album that truly has it's own special way.

baz91 | 4/5 |


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