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Mike Rutherford - Smallcreep's Day CD (album) cover


Mike Rutherford


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3.70 | 174 ratings

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4 stars Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, and Phil Collins all put out solo albums starting around 1980; of these, I would say this is the best example of progressive music in the lot. Having Simon Phillips on drums adds quite a bit to this album, and Anthony Phillips appears as well, but this outing he is on keyboards. Side one of Smallcreep's Day is the bridge between what Genesis was doing at the time, and Rutherford's later work with Mike and the Mechanics. Most of side one is pop-oriented, although some very good harmonies, and skillful musicianship make it enjoyable. Most noteworthy are the first two tracks, "Moonshine" and "Every Road". What makes Smallcreep's Day really shine, however, is the eponymous 25 minute song taking up all of the second side of the album. "Smallcreep's Day" tells the story of a mild mannered employee sneaking through the factory he works at on a weekend to find out exactly what is being produced there. From the haunting opening keyboards, we are introduced to Smallcreep, plodding through the boredom of his workaday life, "Between the Tick and the Tock". This transitions to rapid guitar high chords as he is "Working in Line" which spark his curiosity, and back down to the mellow notes of "After Hours". At this stage, the song really takes off. There is some brilliant keyboard work in the majestic "Cats and Rats", as Smallcreep makes the frightening journey in the off hours to find out just what is going on at his employer's. This mellows into the short "Smallcreep Alone"; a segue which provides a break before the bass pedals swing into full gear on "Out into the Daylight", which has some soaring guitar work, and brilliant percussion. Wrapping up the opus is the closing section "At the End of the Day", which sees Smallcreep thankful for the little things in life, as he hurries back home to bed. Some of the guitar work here is quite reminiscent of what Rutherford had done in And Then There Were Three and Duke. While this song is a bit stripped down compared to what it might have been if Gabriel, Banks, et al had contributed to it, it is a very enjoyable song, and the album is worth the price for just this one. I picked up the original LP a couple of years after it was released - a "cut out" in the bargain bin for about $5.00 US, and copied it over to cassette. After wearing out three or more cassettes, I ripped it to CD, and still enjoy listening to it some 25 years later, which earns it four stars in my book. If you have not heard any of the solo albums from the final three members of Genesis for fear of buying pop, you can be assured of getting at least one very good progressive number on "Smallcreep's Day".
Foxtrot | 4/5 |


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