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DUKE

Genesis

Symphonic Prog


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spsmith45@aol
3 stars Collins was keen on drum programming at this time whiach gives the album a fairly unique sound. Some good compositions, but Genesis were now producing more poppy material which will not stand the test of time so well as their earlier compositions.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#10337)
Posted Thursday, December 18, 2003 | Review Permalink
4 stars I like the production on this album, a very big yet 'live' sound, especially the drums. Agreed the songs are simpler but the Banks penned (I think) Duchess, which is probably one one of their simplest songs, is no less powerful. Cul-De-Sac, Duke's Travels/End are also highlights but most of it is very good with the exception of Misunderstanding which is throwaway. An improvement on And Then There Were Three.

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Send comments to Jools (BETA) | Report this review (#10327)
Posted Tuesday, December 30, 2003 | Review Permalink
jaggrp@hotmai
4 stars A thoughtful and sometimes very rocking album. This is one that I enjoy very much, excellent writing and musical precision.

Duke's Travels / End is an excellent opus and Duchess should be lauded for its simplicity. An overlooked gem is Heathaze.

Give this one a go.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#10330)
Posted Monday, January 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
Peter
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Average? Not for Genesis. A bit of a downer, really. I had this album for years on vinyl, & never listened to it much. (I have made no move to replace it on CD.) "Turn it on Again" and "Misunderstanding" are good "new wave" and pop songs, but I certainly wouldn't include them on any of my home-made prog compilation CDs -- they're NOT prog! "Cul-de-Sac" is just OK. I don't mention any other songs because they simply weren't memorable enough for me to have remembered them.... All but the most fanatical of fans can safely give this one a miss

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Send comments to Peter (BETA) | Report this review (#10339)
Posted Sunday, February 01, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars Of course I am one to howl in the safety of the wolf pack by denouncing the Genesis sell-out , but this is mostly false! They were not taking it the easy way! If you take away the three best known numbers Misunderstanding (THE obvious sell-out and one of the most simple track ever written by the trio), Turn It Off Again (although this track is on a strange rythmic pattern amounting to something like a 13/8 or something along those lines - I read it somewhere , I never listened to that insufferable track) and to a lesser extent Behind the Lines ( I count it as a hit because it did get major airplay on Canadian radios at the time), you have got a fairly good album. But still not to one quarter of quality their early classic albums.

But the three big hits are there and ruin the ambiance of much better numbers such as Duke's Travel, End Cul-De-Sac, Heathaze are all reminders of what a great band they once were. Duchess I also find rather pleasant and delicate . Please note that although Collins is now a fully confident frontman and mainly responsible for the huge sales of this album , but his writing credits are still relatively few and therefore those yelling that he is the main cause of Genesis devolutions/regressions are wrong. nothing got done without Mr. Banks consent.

Can be regarded as the last worthy album from them as far as progressive rock is concerned.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#10377)
Posted Friday, February 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
Scotto'connor
4 stars This album is a mix between progressive rock and pop rock. The progressive songs like Heathaze and Cul De Sac are the best on the album, only responsible because of Tony Banks. Whilst Phil Collins had other ideas with Misunderstanding and Please Don't Ask, where these songs had the pop sound. I don't think it's fair to just reject them just because of the pop sound, Please Don't Ask should of been on a Phil Collins album than a Genesis one. After saying that they a quite good songs, very well writ, a bloke who's just been divorced or just been stood up, might appreciate them more, who knows?

Heathaze and Cul De Sac still remain the best songs here. Heathaze is of a man who can't seize the day and is forced into doing the same old things like everyone else- "throw some bread to the ducks instead, it's easier that way".Both songs are filled with interesting messages which I can appreciate and still shows that Tony Banks is hanging on to the old Genesis. Where Heathaze is a mellow, calm ballad Cul De Sac has a catchy refrain and an explsive finish, which makes them great songs. These are the songs Genesis should of shared with the mass audience.

Other songs like Turn It On Again is another song I love just for it's gritty rock sound, which recalls Down and Out and is a base for songs like Land Of Confusion and No Son of Mine. But in Man Of Our Times Phil Collins voice gets drowned by The guitar work from Rutherford and is hard to understand the lyrics without reading the lyrics book. For this I can't enjoy the song. Alone Tonight is a depressing song of a lonely man, it has no catchy music in it, just dribble.

Here it's 50/50 Good or just ok but at the end they deliver Duke's Travels/End which should of been one song. It's a piece that grows momentum with Guide Vocal at the end sounding meancing and haunting, great stuff! In Duke's End they have a clever little trick by putting Behind The Lines opening in at the start and the end of the song with the Turn It On Again guitar work in the middle, which ends the Duke album on a high. I think early Genesis progressive rock fans shouls give this a chance and not just brush it off just because of Phil Collins pop friendly sound, it's not the end of the world! Great Work from Genesis and Phil!

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#10323)
Posted Wednesday, March 03, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was the first Genesis Album I heard and liked it a lot, then, after hearing some of their songs from Gabriel's Era I realized this was not that good for a band like Genesis, but still an excellent album (concept album) for Collins Era, the best after Trick of a Tail, even though the style is totally different. I give it a 85% grade...that would be strictly Highly Recommended. Worst Song: Misunderstanding. Best Songs: Behind the Lines, Duchess, Man of our Times, Turn it on Again, Cul-de-Sac and Duke's Travels.

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Send comments to eriksalkeld (BETA) | Report this review (#10325)
Posted Thursday, March 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Another album that is actually better than it gets credit for. It does have a couple of poppier songs but 'Turn It On Again' is a perfect pop song! The album opens very strong and closes even stronger with 'Duke's Travels/ Duke's End' displaying some outstanding instrumentation. However, it does contain what I think was their first really wimpy song 'Misunderstanding'

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Send comments to quadb (BETA) | Report this review (#10333)
Posted Friday, March 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A GOOD ALBUM... "Duke" has good fresh songs! Phil COLLINS voice is excellent, BANKS modern keyboards are interesting and accessible, often quite floating. There are very pleasant smooth songs, and couples of well deserved hits like "Turn it on Again". Simple songs no more progressive, it can disappoint the GENESIS fan of the GABRIEL era. "Duke" may be good to listen some times, reminding you that it is not so bad!

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#10318)
Posted Friday, April 09, 2004 | Review Permalink
daveconn
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Once known solely as the authors of sublime album sides, GENESIS was steadily earning a reputation as a reliable singles act. "Misunderstanding" was as succinct a pop song as the band had yet managed; coupled with the relative success of "Turn It On Again" and "Duchess", it appeared that GENESIS had found a way to package their appeal into smaller packets. No doubt some fans resented the band's newfound appeal (implying a sell out) while others delighted in hearing their idols on regular radio rotation (citing that the singles from "Duke" were still scads better than most of the Top 20 fare).

On close examination, however, "Duke" is no less ambitious than their last album, the difference being a clarity of attack that better suits a trio running on all engines. In fact you could make the argument that "Duke" helped set the stage for the neo-progressive movement; a song like "Heathaze" would have felt equally at home on MARILLION's albums. Whether "Duke" represents a different chapter is a matter of taste; some listeners draw the line at "Lamb", "Wuthering", their last album or this one. Some of us don't even draw the line at all.

If "Duke" isn't an improvement over the old band, it's still the ideal setting to hear the songs of BANKS, COLLINS and RUTHEFORD. "Cul-de-Sac", which would have been rendered by some ill-suited singer in BANKS' band du jour instead becomes a great song in the hands of GENESIS. And would you want to hear Mike RUTHEFORD warble "Man of Our Times" or "Alone Tonight?" Or have Phil wilt over the piano for the entirety of "Please Don't Ask?" No, you wouldn't. And that's where "Duke" succeeds, by providing the best vehicle for three very talented musicians/songwriters. "Duke" is a feat of musical engineering: a smaller plane built from the ruin of a larger one, boasting better maneuverability and remarkable gas mileage.

Note that the album might function on a conceptual level; plenty of mind-candy moments and a clearly defined beginning and ending to the album would suggest the presence of some unifying theme, but I'll leave that to the individual listener.

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Send comments to daveconn (BETA) | Report this review (#10320)
Posted Thursday, April 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
richardh
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The last half decent Genesis album before they descended into their pop era.This is a mixture of great tracks like 'Behind The Lines' and 'Man Of Our Times' mixed with the not so great 'Misunderstanding' and fillers like 'Please Don't Ask' which I always skip.To me this is inferior to everything Genesis had done before but can at least claim to be the last Genesis album that doesn't make you want to vomit.

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Send comments to richardh (BETA) | Report this review (#10326)
Posted Tuesday, May 04, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars "There was a choice but now it's gone, I said you wouldn't understand"

"Duke" was the first Genesis album to point towards the Collins dominated output which was to spoil subsequent product by the band. Fortunately, it is only certain tracks which do so this time, and there are enough good ones here to make the album enjoyable.

On the plus side, "Duchess" is a well performed story of a fading diva; while it's certainly pop influenced and was a successful single, there's enough traditional Genesis in it to make it worthwhile. "Duke's travels", which combines well with the coda "Duke's end", is a wonderful, largely instrumental 11 minute piece. The track allows Banks in particular to slip in one of his all to rare lengthy solo performances. The soft, short "Guide vocal" from the first side is reprised towards the end of "Dukes travels" as a powerful conclusion to the track, making it one of the best pieces Genesis have ever recorded.

On the minus side, there are too many Collins dominated ballads ("Alone tonight" "Please don't ask", etc.) and pop songs ("Turn it on again", etc.).

With "Duke", the writing was very much on the wall that Genesis were prepared to abandon their traditional fan base in their pursuit of wider fame and fortune. Fortunately, this was just the start of the transition, so there is still some good Genesis music to be found here.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#10343)
Posted Friday, June 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars When I first heard Duke I felt like the typical old faithful fan that had been betrayed for a new ' sounding' Genesis. As erstwhile fans do, they persevere and in my case I am glad I did becuase Duke is a great album. Duchess being the high point but Guide Vocal, Behind the Lines and Heathaze are solid enough tracks. Side two is definitely more commercial but for those who liked the new direction Genesis were taking as a natural progression then you won't be disappointed with Duke. It definitely has a concept feel about with the exception of the Collin's tracks. 'Please don't ask ' is raw emotion concerning Collin's dissolving realtionship with his then wife. Yes you could also pick up he had hit the formula for commercial songs outside Genesis and in some future Genesis tracks but then again it worked as the times had changed.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#10344)
Posted Wednesday, July 07, 2004 | Review Permalink
jtanenbaum@co
4 stars If one was to decide when the full genesis of Genesis occurred, it would have to be 1985. The proverbial "jump the shark". Do a google if your unfamiliar with the term. I would say that even though I can not stand to hear the live medley blues brother version of Turn it again, Or the stammer version of 3 sides live Misunderstanding. It is still a very strong album and misunderstanding or Follow you, Follow me blow the doors off Hold on my heart.

Additionally, having a vinyl of From genesis to revelation and tresspass, I could attest that although some of the stuff Gabriel did was good. A lot of it depended on the stage gimmicks. I'd say the sweet spot for the band was from Selling up till 83's 3 sides. Even some of the self titled stuff was good if you could somehow forget it included Taking it all too hard.

However, Tony and Mike surely wouldn't have argued artistic integreity in lieu of some the fattest paychecks of there 20 plus year careers. This is the creative arc everyone goes through and once they make the money, its hard to keep the edge.

I often wonder why they have skirted around a reunion. Is it because they don't think they can come into the studio and produce a profound album that will speak to the older fans or are they afraid that no one will care.

Marillion which is forever compared to Genesis never really had the commercial success of Genesis and thank god for that. Although there attempts at pop music might make think susudio is prog rock, they still have some good stuff in them and they write for the dedicated following they have. I would love to see those guys step it up. They don't have to tour since Phil has no hearing left. Just sit in a studio with or without Peter and Steve and do something for them and for the fans that used to come see them 25 years ago.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#10346)
Posted Friday, August 06, 2004 | Review Permalink
graham_keane@
4 stars Theres something very endearing about this album to me. Although it is no where near as "progressive" as earlier outings, in my opinion it contains enough interesting musical elements to elevate it above the commercial norm. Highlights include the incredibly catchy "Turn it on again" and the fantastic closing suite "Dukes travels/Dukes end". Fine performances all round with Phil in particular sounding very concise and condifent behind the kit. I picked this up for Ł4.99, theres no excuse not to own it at that price. Go check it out, you'll be surprised!

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#10347)
Posted Thursday, October 07, 2004 | Review Permalink
rafaeldeyavor
5 stars First of all, I think that you have to put yourself in the mood of the album and the year they produced it, only for that, this album is a masterpiece. They understand that for GENESIS to survive and produce more music they have to adapt to the new market, and they did it with this album. They learn how to compact songs (a good prog song in a sort time), and for those that like the old way, they developed one of the best sogns written by them (my humble oppinion) Dukes Travel/Dukes end. Apart from all that I consider that Genesis is the only band that evolutionated with every album, you see in every album a search for something new, and for them it does not mater if the music they produce is as progressive as we (the fans) spected, but for sure they look for a change, not as other bands that are like dinosaurs protecting their land, they dont look for changes and new kind of sounds. If you listen to this album and rate it song by song you will probably miss the whole abient of it, so i prefer to rate the whole piece than going by each song. To end, I just encourage anybody who still has not listen to this album to do it and add it to their prog collection, without a doubt, a masterpíece.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#10348)
Posted Saturday, October 09, 2004 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After almost a year of not working together as a band, GENESIS returned to work as a band with this album, which was recorded at Polar Studios in Stockholm (ABBA`s recording studios). Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford also recorded their first solo albums there, in 1979, before "Duke" (and this studio was also used by LED ZEPPELIN in 1978 for the recording of their last album called "In Through the Out Door" which was released in 1979). GENESIS recorded this album between late 1979 and early 1980. So, for me, this is a "farewell album" to the GENESIS`s sound of the 70s, with David Hentschel as producer. But it is still "progressive" in some ways. For me, the main sound in this album is Tony Banks`Yamaha Electric piano, which appears in several songs. Banks` work in this album is very influenced by the sound of his first solo album, "A Curious Feeling", which was released in October 1979. "Behind the lines", "Duchess" and "Guide Vocal" are very "progressive". It seems that for this album Banks also bought new keyboards, as the mellotron is absent in this album. "Man of our times" is a song composed by Mike Rutherford with distorted guitars and bass pedals, with very good drums by Phil Collins. "Misunderstanding" is the first appearance of a Collins`song in an GENESIS album, and yes, it`s a very pop song, but it `s a good song. "Heathaze" is the best song of this album, in my opinion, composed by Banks, with Banks`s very good electric piano and backing keyboards, and maybe he also played 12 string guitar in this song, which is similar in sound as another song which was released as the B side of one of the singles of this album, called "Evidence of Autumn", which also was recorded during the "Duke" recording sessions. This song was also released in the U.S. version of the "Three Sides Live" album, and now it is available in the "Genesis Archive vol. 2" Box Set. "Evidence of Autumn" is a beautiful song which could have been released in this "Duke" album. Side Two of the original L.P. starts with "Turn it on again", another pop song. "Alone Tonight" is another song composed by Rutherford, a ballad with good guitars and keyboards, plus Collins`emotive vocals. This song is similar as another song released as the B side for another single from this album, called "Open Door", also released in the "real" "Three Sides Live" album (as the original U.S. double L.P. had 3 sides recorded live and one side recorded in the studio) and also now available in "Archive Vol. 2". In his song "Cul-de-sac", Banks also uses the electric piano, and it is one of the best songs in this album. The next song, Collins` "Please Don`t Ask", is a song about the divorce or the separation of a couple, and is similar to the "divorce songs" Collins recorded for his first solo album. The instrumental medley, "Duke`s Travels/Duke` s end" is similar in structure to previous instrumental medleys included by GENESIS in previous albums ("Los Endos" and "In that Quiet Earth") as it reprises some musical themes used in other songs of the album.

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#10349)
Posted Sunday, October 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
geopainter@ho
3 stars This album is exactly what the 3-star rating surmises: Good, solid musicianship, but not essential to your Genesis catalog. Having revisited this LP after five years or so, i am astounded by a number of things: First, the atmosphere is darker, denser, but somehow crisper than "And then there were three" from 1978. Definitely the band progressed in how to play as a power trio. Secondly, the guitarwork is much improved. Many (myself included) have criticised Mike Rutherford's playing, mostly from the stance that he is a bass player and should not have tried to fill Steve Hackett's amazing shoes. But the licks here are more pronounced than on "ATTWT" or any later LP for that matter! Finally, despite the lack of concrete storyline, the "Duke Suite" as its known to fans (comprised of "behind the Lines"/"Duchess"/"Guide Vocal"/ "Dukes Travels/Dukes End") is the most fully realised "concept" if you will on a Genesis album since "The Lamb lies down..."! Yep! i said it! The loose linkage of a confused character named Duke is like a little story of Rael, minus the psychosis of the latter! Anyway, you won't find such deliberate conceptual ties on "Trick of the Tail", "Wind and Wuthering" or "ATTWT" (which all emphasize multi- character studies)

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#10350)
Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Good beginning...but that feeling fades as you hear the rest of the album, you know three songs that link together and the fourth and the rest of the album as independent songs. Well I like the album is one of those you wanna hear before "all that prog stuff", too much prog is not so good for me and some light material it's ok sometimes :). This compared with Abacab is just a masterpiece, but you know when you get used to Gabriel work and ATOTT and W&W, this one just doesn't fit with the forementioned...But it's quite a good album, the Bank's favorite record as I read in the genesis website. That's just a proof that not only Collins was the responsible of the pop sound...Genesis always was and is what their members want them to be. Choose your favorite incarnation then... I just lve Genesis until this album, the rest is just radio music. Forgive and respect my point of view. Worth songs: "Behind the lines", "Duchess", "Misunderstanding", both Duke's Travel and End the rest is ballads and pop stuff...all in all good but not essential "prog" album

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Send comments to Carlos (BETA) | Report this review (#10354)
Posted Friday, December 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
ldlanberg@aol
4 stars Zesty, fresh and NOT a contrived example of Phil-Tony-Mike trying to salvage any well-worn- out remnants of the earlier dungeons & dragons stuff (qv. "And Then There Were Three"). The album refreshingly opens with a high intensity Jazz/Space Rock jam "Behind the Lines"....and closes with a momentous climax of the same idea, "Dukes Travels/Duke's End". Brilliant. Loud. Up-tempo. Phil really takes some angst out on his drums!

I think it's redundant for me to mention that "Duchess" and "Turn it On Again" also qualify for once-in-a-career Classics. This exciting sound wasn't on the earlier albums (as it was a new idea) and, certainly it did not carry over to the more commercialized next album "Abacab". So this makes "Duke" a Gensis Classic. I cannot rate it as 5-Stars, though, merely because of the amount of boring filler songs that were better meant for a Soap Opera. Rate: 4/5.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#10356)
Posted Sunday, January 02, 2005 | Review Permalink
luisgonzalezf
4 stars Maybe, their last masterpiece, a good farewell to the progressive era of genesis. Duke, like "and then there were three" with "follow you follow me", includes commercial hits with "misunderstanding" and "turn it on again" and you can feel the presence of Phil Collins much more than all previous albums, this LP is the beggining of a new genesis, even you still can find classical songs: Behind the lines, duchess, guide vocal, Duke's travels/duke's end are exepcional ones with a more modern sound, my favorite one considering to genesis like a trio, a powerful work, I recommend it to everybody. Enjoy it.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#10357)
Posted Monday, January 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
Matthew@howey
5 stars This was my favourite Genesis album for many years, and I use it as a benchmark for whether people like Genesis in the same way as I do. If someone likes "Selling Engand by the Pound" but does not like Duke, then I know they do not like Genesis for the same reasons as I do, just as much as someone who only likes the modern albums.

For me Genesis can be split up into three phases, first - the albums with Gabriel as vocalist up to the "Lamb", second the "Hentschel" years from Trick of the Tail to Duke, and third the modern albums from Abacab to the present. The second middle period is the best in my opinion, and the first period the second best, and the modern period is the weakest and least consistent. In my opinion "Duke" belongs to the modern period only in a superficial sense - in essence and quality it belongs to the classical period of musical creativity and brilliance. For me, the real tragedy of Genesis is this: they could do a progressive album with a pop sound (i.e. Duke), but they still chose to sell out and do music which was poppy to the core (i.e. Abacab etc.)

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#10358)
Posted Tuesday, January 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
NetsNJFan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is a great album, and out of the 'Pop' genesis albums, the best. The Duke Suite is outstanding (songs...1,2,3,11,12), climaxing in the fanatastic instumental 'Duke's Travel's. Behind the Lines, Duchess, Heathaze, and Turn it on Again are all very good tracks. This is the last Genesis album i listen too, as Abacab Onward is pretty bad. Phil Collins pop hit 'Misunderstanding' is weak and really brinsg down the flow of the album. Overall a great album for those looking for lighter, more accesible progressive rock.

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Send comments to NetsNJFan (BETA) | Report this review (#10359)
Posted Tuesday, January 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tony R
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars This album signals the sea-change in Genesis' musical direction and the confirmation that Phil Collins was the driving force behind the band in more ways than the obvious.Listening to the first two tracks, Behind The Lines and Duchess you can hear the foundations of Collins' solo career-the booming drums and mock angst-ridden vocals.These tracks are Ok, but they aren't Prog Rock-maybe a new hybrid of Prog Rock and pop:Regressive rock anyone?

Guide Vocal, 12 minutes into the album, and the cat is out of the bag - Collins wants to be the Dean Friedman of the Eighties Coffee Table Pop generation. On we go: Man Of Our Times,actually sounds more Stygian than Styx. The "poppy" Misunderstanding and Turn It On Again staples of AOR Radio Stations sandwich Alone Tonight- a dire monologue about Collin's marriage problems. Cul-De Sac, Please Dont Ask should have been used as B-sides to Misundersatanding and Turn It On Again, they aren't of sufficient quality to warrant inclusion on a studio album. Duke's Travels and Duke's End are tolerable musically but sound to this reviewer like going through the motions and I am not convinced these were ever intended to be full-blown "songs". This album sounds worse now than it did nearly 25 years ago-that in itself is a feat.

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Send comments to Tony R (BETA) | Report this review (#10361)
Posted Sunday, January 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
Thulëatan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The first Genesis album since their unusual debut that I cannot listen to in its entirety, 'Duke' marked a distinct change in the band's aesthetic and saw Collins' shift into simpler pop material begin to spread throughout the ranks. The result is a very unbalanced, conceptually absent collection... but since this was only the beginning of the change, there is still a bounty of great pieces by Banks and Rutherford; still different, but powerful enough to raise this album a notch above an average three stars.

The offenders: 'Behind The Lines' (minus the excellent W&W-esque intro), 'Misunderstanding'. and 'Turn It On Again'... despite very tight performances I simply find these unlistenable. Simplistic, repetitive, shallow lyrics, echoes of Motown almost in the vocals... ok for the background of a party, maybe, but this is the sound of a different Genesis, and sadly a less emotional, unadventurous one.

The high points: Tony Banks' personal pieces on this album are simply gold, starting with 'Guide Vocal', a short piece that closes the previous 'Duchess' which is also interesting, featuring some of the most mournful lines ever delivered by Collins. The unclearly motivated speaker tells of a guardian, or a force, or an inspiration, one that is essential but will be destroyed by the inquisitiion of the ignorant, and when it abandons us we shall be left empty to our own devices - 'take what's yours, and be damned'. To achieve this in so minimal and so short a track is quite an accomplishment, a sign of the better side of this album, but also a sad reminder of how Genesis could have continued. Similarly in 'Heathaze' and 'Cul-de-sac', Banks again weaves moments of sadness, change, disillusion, and ultimately even the doom of our kind thanks to shadows of our own devising. The music is laden with his 'Curious Feeling' era pianos and synths, built up to deeply-textured degree, and rolling along like a classical/rock symphony. Rutherford, too, steals the show with related tones - the steel-future, relentless 'Man Of Our Times', and self-explanatory 'Alone Tonight'.

The quality continues in possibly the best Genesis song to come from a purely Collins composition, 'Please Don't Ask'. Lyrically he would go on to cover the same subject numerous times, but never again with the same heartbreaking sensitivity as on this track. As Phil relays the quiet anguish of seeing a lost loved one again, each harmony that builds up is as gentle as the last, so fragile they could shatter at any time, and the key shifts as he realises 'but I miss my boy' are quite evocatively subtle. The band also let loose in power-instrumentals the likes of which were again found in 'Wind And Wuthering', with 'Duke's Travels' and 'Duke's End'. Very impressive musically, the concept itself (if any) is very muddy, and most likely exists more for the anonymous album cover character rather than any topic inherent to the songs.

For me 'Duke' is the beginning of the end for Genesis, but still an essential purchase with strong material patched throughout.

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Send comments to Thulëatan (BETA) | Report this review (#10362)
Posted Friday, January 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
slipperman
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Everybody's got a different example of the album that signals Genesis' downhill slide. Some say 'And Then There Were Three', some say 'Abacab', some say 'A Trick Of The Tail'. I've even heard someone say 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway'! For me it's 'Duke'. This album continued the band's evolution, but it finds their sound working toward a really streamlined area, with Phil Collins' R&B roots creeping in.

'Duke' is one of those half-baked concept albums, a storyline linking only half the songs. It's baffling that they spread those songs out between the stand-alone songs. "Behind The Lines" is grand in scope, with a nice momentum guided by Tony Banks' keyboard accents and some creative guitar/bass from Michael Rutherford. But Phil's Motown- esque delivery is an annoyance unless you're into that kind of thing. It never reaches the stellar heights it hints at. There's a nice segue from the ending into "Duchess", a really beautiful number filled with a certain sadness. Banks' keyboards are given full reign, and with Phil's dramatic delivery of this melancholy tale, it's a winner. "Guide Vocal" continues the brown emotions, hazy, gauzy, haunting.and way too short. "Man Of Our Times" is an epic squeezed into a short-song format, with a recording that does no favors to its grandiose leanings. Everything here, as on the rest of the album, sounds condensed and compressed, like the Genesis from the previous album in a sonic cage. This is a foreshadowing of the production values that would haunt Genesis (and prog in general) throughout the '80s decade, everything way too antiseptic, too muffled, too damn digital. But the end of "Man Of Our Times" breaks out of this cage momentarily and it's a joy to hear. "Misunderstanding" is a throwaway, probably the worst thing the band had recorded up to this point, a bouncy R&B number that can only appeal to those who already have a liking for that genre. I don't, so I don't get it. Next up is "Heathaze", a song I consider not only underrated but one of Genesis' best. It links Banks' sensitive writing and beautiful melodic choices with Collins' painfully moving delivery. Tear-jerking stuff. Autumnal and perfect.

Side two starts with a song that Genesis fans seem split on (just look at the many other reviews of 'Duke' here). I love "Turn It On Again", but I think it's much more effective as a live opener (as on 'Three Sides Live'), and I wonder why they didn't begin this album with it. "Alone Tonight" is no better than "Your Own Special Way" or "Follow You Follow Me", a weak ballad that hints at the awful commercial material that was to come. When it comes to ballad-esque songs, I hold "Afterglow" up as the Genesis standard, and this song is just another in the shadow of that tremendous track. "Cul-De-Sac" marries the old Genesis sound (old here meaning the first two albums with Collins on vocals) with the direction they were heading in. Some beautiful keys from Banks, a theatrical arrangement, symphonic in spots. "Please Don't Ask" is more forgettable filler material, with Collins' voices laid on thick in the chorus. I don't get anything to grab onto with this track, except maybe the skip button (this is an album to listen to on CD, cuz there's a lot of skipping potential). What finer way to end an album than the tandem "Duke's Travels" and "Duke's End"? Too little too late? No way. These are gorgeous songs, mostly-instrumental soundscapes showing there's still some symphonic Genesis in 'em yet. With several of the album's previous songs revisited (as they would do on 'Selling England By The Pound' and 'A Trick Of The Tail') you have a nod toward tradition. Amazing writing and performances save the day.

Could the artwork be any freakin' uglier? It's difficult to look at, and since artwork is inextricably linked to the music inside, maybe it colors my enjoyment of the album ever so slightly. But of course it's the music that matters, and with 'Duke' you're getting a good album, full of latter-day Genesis highlights but also brought down with some seriously "blah" material.

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Send comments to slipperman (BETA) | Report this review (#10363)
Posted Wednesday, February 09, 2005 | Review Permalink
hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Obviously there is a big discussion going on about the time point of the downhill slide in quality of GENESIS records. Actually IMHO it's quite futile to discuss about this question. Whether it was ATTWT, "Duke" or "Abacab", who cares? I think it's quite obvious that all these albums did not nearly reach the level of any of the ones between TRESPASS and WAW. And as well it was quite obvious that the biggest hole of creativity and musical skill has been left only by one person and that was STEVE HACKETT. I don't want to say that PETER GABRIEL has not been as well an indispensable group member since he had quite an important impact on the group, but more from the point of charisma and his unique vocs and not that much on the quality of their compositions as HACKETT had.

IMHO the band's decline happened in three steps. The first slight, not that dramatic drop-down was on ATOTT after PETER GABRIEL had demised and COLLINS took over lead vocs (honestly his voice although being very good just fits better to pop-rock and ballads). Though the album still contained great compositions one could realise on this one and even more on WAW that their music does not have anymore the same quality than in the 70-74 period. The second and very huge step downhill came with the release of ATTWT when they started to sound more like a rather good Pop or Art Rock band, because two decisive factors influencing the sound came together: COLLINS' rather pop-ish type of vocs plus (or even multiplied with) the lack of a real good guitarist, consequently keyboards taking over the role of main instrument. Two years later Duke came out, and here keyboards were even more in the foreground and the band finally adapted to a common 80's plastic synth sound even taking over some minimalistic elements of New Wave. The third step and finally the end of the band GENESIS the way it started came with the release of ABACAB, where the degeneration of their sound to pop was accomplished. This one and all studio albums that came after I'm usually just ignoring because they simply don't deserve anymore to carry the band's name and actually I wouldn't miss anything if they never had been released. BTW I listened to ALL of them (only once that's enough!), but I do not own any of them as an original.

Honestly Duke sounds already mainly like COLLINS's later solo albums with very few exceptions that are Heathaze, Cul-de-Sac and Duke's Travels + Ends which are rather good prog songs but of course lacking the greatness of earlier works. The rest of the album consists of some mediocre pop-prog songs like Behind The Lines and Duchess plus a few COLLINS-typical ballads and as well some very pop-ish and catchy songs with Misunderstanding being the worst. Cul-de-Sac is the only track showing some of the band's passed qualities - very good intro with piano, vocs sound stronger and even some odd-timed bars are present. For me this album (together with ATTWT) is just on the border to be accepted as a Genesis output but admittedly one has to regard it rather as a (fairly good) Art Rock Album.

SUMMARY:

As a pop-rock album Duke would deserve 3 stars or even more, but here we're dealing with Prog and GENESIS used to be a trademark for this music genre. So I'm giving 2 stars for it (maybe 2 1/2 in real) and recommend it only to those favouring the Collins/Banks/Rutherford line-up or lovers of Collins' solo stuff!

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#10364)
Posted Thursday, February 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Actually an improvement over "...And Then There Were Three", though here Genesis had stepped into the commercial music scene for real. However, "Duke" is much stronger musically here than on ATTWT, and it sounds really fresh and clear, despite the somewhat sterile mood. The strongest parts is absolutely the "Duke's Travels/End" suite at the end of the album. A very proggy and excellent piece of music that is almost equally as great as their glory days epics. This album might not appeal to all Genesis fans though, but give it a try. 3.5/5

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Send comments to Bj-1 (BETA) | Report this review (#10367)
Posted Monday, March 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars If someone was to ask my worthless opinion upon the subject of 'What is the worst Genesis Album?' I wouldn't say 'Duke', I would say 'There is no "worst" Genesis album, they are all good! (some people can't be objective, can they?) but that the WEAKEST is Duke'

Although previous albums had lyrics about 'Ten tonne weights above them' and about how it's 'all in a mouses night', and future releases would talk about 'I'm coming down like a monkey' and 'dreaming while you sleep', this album, from beginning to end, with a few rare exceptions, is only about divorce and relationship problems.

But the real killer for me is the production. Song after song Phil Collins' vocals are somewhere in the background with 'ten tonne weight of synths above them". The same problem also occurs on Mike Rutherford's solo release of that same very year, 'SmallCreeps Day' (that's the name of the album, not the number of the year). The worst offender is 'Man of our times', which sounds as though it were recorded with Phil Collins in the bottom of well!

Also, this album is the least innovative of all the Genesis albums. I'm glad they went off onto Robot-pop-prog related after this as it have them something new to do. Although the band is playing tight and well, and in a virtuous manner (as they always do, but quite noticeably here), the ideas all seem recycled from the last three albums, except the more radio friendly songs, and the general more R&B vibe to the music.

It begins with 'Behind the lines' which starts off with some good instrumental music, and has a catchy, prophetic Banksynth riff that is actually more catchy than the rest of the song. It later becomes a kind of R&B, groovy song. The second song is 'Duchess' which looks on paper like a 6-minute prog-epic but is really just a short song song with a two-minute drum intro, drums in the 'World Music' style. Also the synths slowly come in. The only thing I don't really like about this song is that the vocals are a bit obscured in the mix and it isn't particularly interesting, though it has quite a prophetic chorus. This is followed by a brief 'Guide Vocal' and that is followed by the aforementioned 'Man of our times' (ie Phil Collins down the bottom of a well). This song feels more influenced by new wave than by actual prog. The chorus My favourite track from side one, and the one with the best vocals is 'Misunderstanding', a nice R&B number, written by Phil Collins himself 'Misunderstanding' has better production, too, the only song on side one where the vocals are easy to understand, maybe that's what the 'misunderstanding' is "What did Phil just say 'Can of cow rinds'? "No no, you misunderstand, it's "Ham of our minds"... The song Heathaze is a ballad that also suffers from a poor production. I have never really found this song interesting, it never rings a bell with me, nor strikes a chord. But it's not very bad.

At this point the expectations aren't very high, but they turn it around with the ultra-catchy rocker 'Turn it on again', which has a big riff and brilliant playing. The best part about this song, though, is the ultra-catchy hook to the song, with Collins' R&B vocals hitting their stride nicely here. This song really hits the nail on the head! It's followed by 'Alone Tonight' which is not amazing or anything, but has a nice hummable chorus, though a bit similar to 'Man of our times' in melody. This is followed by 'Cul-de-sac' which kind of reminds me of something that would have been on the previous album '..and then there were three' in fact don't the solo albums that came in between feel like a 'bridge' between the two Genesis albums? Anyway Cul-de-sac sounds like a good one but after a while you realise this is kind of a weak version of 'Ballad of Big' (well 'I', in xtra big and bold font, realised that, you just nodded in agreeance when you knew my statement was right). Okay CDC is better than that, one of the more enjoyable, progressive and melodic songs to feature on this album. SOmetimes you just feel like we've heard all this before.The album is rounded out with 'Please don't ask', a great R&B ballad, and some awesome instrumental music in the form of 'Duke's Travels' and 'Duke's End'. I don't know why they split the two songs, it all sounds like one song to me, but it's a testament to Genesis that they need to spilt one-song into two to avoid looking excessive. Remember the first Styx album where they stuck two five minute, totally unrelated songs together with two minutes of talking and branded it 'Movement for the common man'! Genesis can write quality, whole and continuous pieces of music that go for over ten minutes. And on that wonderful note we conclude Duke.

Now for Genesis Duke is a 2.5 star album, but this is Genesis, and so 2.5 for them is at least 3.0 for other people. So I'll give 'Duke' a thumbs-up three stars! Enjoyable, but a few flaws and a few weaker moments.

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Send comments to Brendan (BETA) | Report this review (#10368)
Posted Sunday, April 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
vladimir.leks
5 stars I would be curious about if anybody in 1969 recognized the genius of the assamble named Genesis after their first album had appeared. Perhaps some did. But the revelation had come very soon - the trespass - and the revelation had continued afterwards with many masterpieces. Genesis gave raise to the Great mountains which are pleasent to look at and travell in. The first thing I heard of Genesis was Mama and I was astonished, what a great music, said my 13-year old tongue. But my older brother pointed that they had made something better before. I could not imagine anything better, but later I realized he was perfectly right. And now - Duke - definitely one of their masterpieces. In some respect it is an absolute peak. Here they combine imaginative 'soundbows' with popy feelings. And the result is really great. As I am getting older I more and more like shorter clearer simpler songs which have no ambition to reach the galaxies. I like more and more simple but strong stories just from the heart. Anyway, Genesis were simple even in their most expanded suites. But to listen to little gems from this album is really a pleasure. I recommend it to all. It provides a magic view out of the window of your room.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#10369)
Posted Sunday, April 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
mikeefer@paon
4 stars This is my favorite release of the post 70's/Steve Hackett Genesis. Most fans seem to dislike their transition to mainstream radio hits. I must admit that I wish they hadn't gone that direction myself, but none-the-less their pop songs are still head and shoulders above the adverage chart toppers. Who else could take 12/8 timing and make it sound catchy as they did with misunderstanding? Or the steady 8th note pulse below the shifting timing signatures of Turn It On Again? Turn It On Again is anything but simple! I like the symphonic intro and tags of behind the lines juxtaposed to the groove based verses, and then the return of the symphonic theme at the end with Duke's Travell/Duke's End. In between you find some very well composed songs full of rich harmonies and inovative musicianship. This may not be their best work, but it certainly is not their worste and far supior to the mindless and repetative drone of the pop industy.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#10370)
Posted Friday, April 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
jfelippi@uol.
4 stars I believe that some of the people here can't see that most of the Duke songs carry the main elements of Genesis songs, but under a "compressed" form. It may not be the case of the two "pop" songs, and maybe it have not worked properly on the ballads, but the moving emotional aproach of the band on "Please Don't Ask" and "Alone Tonight" make these two of the best songs of the 80's. Collins drumming is just superb, he would never play so great again. Banks uses the piano rather than mellotrons, bringing a lighter touch than in the previous album.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#10371)
Posted Friday, April 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
kirklott@comc
2 stars During the 80s and 90s, Genesis would release many lousy albums, and this is the first. Compared with Genesis prior to this album, "Duke" is sort of like giving Dali or Picasso a frontal lobotomy, and then watching them drool helplessly while wearing a straightjacket. "Misunderstanding" is a terribly simplistic song better suited to Barry Manilow; "Please Don't Ask" might have worked for James Taylor or Bread. But these songs aren't Genesis. The only good tracks are Behind the Lines (first half only) and the awe- inspiring closing suite, Duke's Travels/Duke's End, which hints at Genesis' potential. Otherwise, this album is mind-numbingly simple and uninventive. Do yourself a favor - buy all Genesis albums before this one.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#10373)
Posted Sunday, May 01, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the last proper and real GENESIS album in my view in a matter of fact they should have stopped after this one, but some latter songs are good as well. "Behind the Lines" (yes I know) is a favourite of mine also "Duke's Travels" there are lost of great Proggish tracks as they have not dumped the proggy sound but introduces there more Pop apperance. Never Mind still some great tunes if your finishing off your GENESIS collection stop at Duke cause in my view this is the last of the real Prog GENESIS albums.

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Send comments to PROGMAN (BETA) | Report this review (#10374)
Posted Tuesday, May 03, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Picking up GENESIS from "A TRICK OF THE TAIL" I fell in love with them instantly. In 1980 they released an album called DUKE. Upon first spin I was a little confussed. This is the same band that put out such wonderfully engaging songs as MAD MAN MOON and LOS ENDOS wasn't it ?

DUKE is not your daddy's GENESIS. This was something else. Commercial, pop tunes from the masters? What happened to the thick and earthy sound of ROBBERY,ASSUALT AND BATTERY and the compelling angst of SQUONK ?

What the band did was srtip themselves of what they felt were uneeded restrictions that would tie them to the ground of the genre. Yet, some real powerful and daring material is encased within the framework of this otherwise pop CD.

MAN OF OUR TIMES reminds you that Phil and company are still capable of the blowout prog numbers from the past with a more contemporary (for that time) twist. Banks makes full use of his mellotron and Rutherford's deep and vibrating bass pedals rear their head in a way not experienced (production value folks...) on previous outings.

The showpiece is obviously the feverishly played DUKE'S TRAVELS which starts out like a small wave with Tony's whispy keyboard intro which soon gives way to Phil's amazing drums which don't blast in (as Phil Likes to do) but rather, roll in like a gathering storm. Of that comes Banks accompanied by Rutherford and those helacious bass pedals. You are swept up in the tsunami before you know it and by (play on titles here) Duke's end you are left feeling a sense of well... utter satisfaction and then you start it over for another ride. Other noteworthy tracks include: DUCHESS though not terribly prog, it is a gorgeous song, CUL DE SAC, HEATHAZE AND ALONE TONIGHT. If there could be a true description of "Neo - Prog" I'd think it would describe a style, not a band. Genesis probably(and I'm just guessing here) put out the first "Neo - Prog" album with this release.

This is also, incidently, the last album GENESIS was still recognizable as GENESIS before they became "Phil Collins... with Genesis."

I like this album alot and think it's worth adding to any collection even if you are so old school prog that you were in class the day the first note was played.

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Send comments to Trafficdogg (BETA) | Report this review (#10379)
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
bgrave1@yahoo
5 stars Up front, I am a great fan of Phil Collins. Please bear this in mind. I have long been a fan of Genesis from Nursery Chryme until Phil left the band. I must say that when Peter Gabriel left, I feel that the music did become slightly more radio friendly. This is not a bad thing generally. I like my prog as much as the next guy, but it is nice to see more people get albums that show far more than a poppy hook. This is how many people I know fell in love with Genesis.

As for this album, it is a great combination of previous works like "Then there were three", "Wind & Wuthering" , and even "Trick of the Tail"

As a complete Phil Collins fan, I see how many people felt that going pop was a bad thing. This worked for Phil Collins. This was obviously the direction that Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford were going as well. This is not a one man band.

If you have not listened to Then there were three, you must. There is an obvious range that was built from the first Genesis album up to this one. If for nothing else, the older albums may need dusted off.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#35135)
Posted Friday, June 03, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Suprisingly solid pop/prog effort from the 3 remaining members of Genesis. 1980 saw the beginning of Genesis' pop era, which was led blindly by Phil Collins. This album acts as the bridge between the progressive and the pop sides of Genesis. There are progressive influences in certain songs, and genuinely pop stylings put into one tight recording. Phil Collins' drum work is solid and his vocal work is among the best of his Genesis reign. Mike Rutherford plays solid bass lines and tight guitar lines. And Tony Banks holds them all together with soft and touchy synths, and mighty piano work.

Examples of their final progressive touches are the final two tracks, Duke's Travels and Duke's End, which are both mainly instrumental works, with Tony Banks harking back to his earlier works, playing a sprawling and extensive keyboard solo. Some consider this to be the final progressive song from Genesis (Domino being one of the only other ones from this era). This is the crowning achievement of the album. But for this masterpiece, the rest of the album is filled with pop sensibilities and hooks. Misunderstanding is a dreadful track, with a repetetive and boring riff, and rather dry vocals from Collins. Turn it on Again is the most adventurous pop track of the album, with a catchy riff, and some great drum and bass work.

Overall, this is where Progressive Genesis fans end their journey. In later albums, you'll find no real satisfaction. This is a very solid work, IMO. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend it to everybody. Only Genesis fans should dabble in this work. For me, I give it a 3.5/5.

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Send comments to Cygnus X-2 (BETA) | Report this review (#39965)
Posted Friday, July 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Wake up now, this is the time you've waited for ."

When this album was released, I was hospitalized - not because of listening to this album - terrified and then getting sick; but it's because of motorcycle accident I experienced. During my one week stay in the hospital, I only brought the cassettes of Duke, Foxtrot, Selling England By The Pound, Led Zeppelin "Physical Graffiti" with me. Rocker man! I cannot live without rock music, even though hospitalized! And I don't know why I played Duke cassette more than any other cassette. And you know what was my favorite during walkman listening pleasure at my bed? "Cul-De-Sac" man! To tell you straight from the heart, this short song is truly masterpiece! It has great melody (even it's killing!), tight structure, creative keyboard / piano work and excellent Phil Collins singing. It starts wonderfully with Phil's voice: "Wake up now, this is the time you've waited for .." continued with keyboard / piano layer with an excellent melody. I like it man. It's a combination of energetic music and touchy melody. This song accompanied me when I was in bed and it continued as my favorite even until now when I'm reviewing this album - I still like it.

The album opener is an excellent trilogy: "Behind The Lines - Duchess - Guide Vocal" is an excellent introduction to the album. Yes, this kind of music is not a typical early Genesis music but it shares a similar basic component. "Behind The Lines" (5:43) is an upbeat tempo music full with energy and accentuation combining wonderful drumming by Phil Collins and multi-layered keyboard sounds by Tony Banks, augmented by guitar solo at background. "Duchess" (6:25) starts off with a nice transition piece using keyboard. It's a nice tune and it ends up with "Guide Vocal" (1:21) in mellow style.

"Man Of Our Times" (5:34) is a rocker with hard driving rhythm using powerful drumming, combined with stunning keyboard work and Phil's excellent voice. "Heathaze" (4:57) is a melancholic song with excellent melody. Tracks like "Misunderstanding", "Turn It On Again", "Alone Tonight" do not really attract me at all. But it's OK I can tolerate this.

What's so important about this album is the concluding tracks that must be enjoyed in its entirety: "Duke's Travels" (8:39) and "Duke's End" (3:08). It starts with an ambient opening exploring the keyboard and cymbals sounds in a beautiful way. What's so enjoyable is when drum work enters and brings the music into crescendo. Oh man .. It's really great. Especially when the music is played in full blown fashion featuring Tony Bank's wonderful keyboard solo. Drum work by Phil Collins is truly stunning. It's a well composed music with touchy melody. Oh yes, Tony Banks creates killing melodies with his keyboard solo. I usually play this song in LOUD volume to ensure drum sounds existence in the music. WOW! The climax is when the howling guitar enters the music at approx minute 5:50, just before Phil fills in with his voice. Greaaaatttt!!! "I am the one who guided you this far, All you know and all you feel .". Genesis rules! "Duke's End" continues seamlessly as final track of the album with some chords of "Behind The Lines".

Yes, I know there are some bad tracks bad I still consider this album, overall, is an excellent one. The composition is tight, the melody is killing and it has strong structure. Regardless your categorization about this album as not a truly prog album, it does not really matter to me. Because at the end, music is what that counts. And, this album stimulates my emotion in a positive way. Keep on proggin' ..!!

Progressively yours, GW

" I call you for I must leave, You're on your own until the end. There was a choice but now it's gone, I said you wouldn't understand, Take what's yours and be damned."

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#40773)
Posted Friday, July 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Why 3*?? Well, this is the beginning of the end (or the end of the beginning?) of Genesis prog golden era, the last of his kind... On one hand, it's definitively a Collins ego-album with lots of regular pop songs like "Misunderstanding", "Turn it on Again", "Alone Tonight" and "Please don't Ask"; not bad, but it's not my style. On the other hand we have songs like: "Behind The Lines": powerful overture, with a great sound of guitar and drums. But then, appears the Collins inffluence and this great songs became into a simple pop song. "Duchess": Another great intro that turns into a interesting ballad. "Guide Vocal": Very sad song, but too short... "Man Of Our Times": interesting rhythm, interesting keyboards. Sounds like a Rutherford song with a regular job of Collins on vocals. "Cul-De-Sac": An attractive composition, maybe a leftover of "Wind & Wuthering" or "And then they were three..." that they use to fill the space, but it's a good song with a pair of surpirses. "Duke's Travels" and "Duke's End": Definitevely, the best two songs of the album; a great instrumental journey with a brilliant Tony Banks playing keyboards as in the best past times. Great work of Mike and Phil on drums too. For me, still is an amazing composition that ends closing the circle with a superb reprise of "Behind the Lines". Powerful, full of surprising rhythmical changes and very-very prog. Maybe it's one of the best Genesis songs but surely it's the best prog song of the Collins/Banks/Rutherford era. That's why I give 3* to this album... as a farewell of a golden age...

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Send comments to progadicto (BETA) | Report this review (#41122)
Posted Sunday, July 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
Garion81
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Duke was an album that was conceived and produced under trying circumstances for both the band and Phil Collins. Phil gong through a divorce, moving to Canada, starting a solo career, not sure if Genesis was in his future. Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford made some concessions to him and this album was the result.

The first thing I notice here and among many of the prog legends entering the eighties was abandoning the Hammond organ. ELP, Genesis, Yes and Kansas to name a few all did this and it changed their sound. A lot of this music seems like something is missing and I believe that is what is missing.

The second thing is the music is written different. Much more minimalism going on and less is better attitude to the songs even in Dukes Travels and Dukes End. No embellishing keyboards or lavish guitar colors accent the music as it did on Wind And Wuthering just three years before. It isn't bad just not as good as before. More going through the motions or settling for less.

All that said this album had a personal attachment for me when I went through my divorce over 15 years ago. The music touches you there and though many critisize it's songs as being poppy or drivel I don't think many of these people have experienced the loneliness of a divorce such as what is laid out here.

On top of that the Duke suite which is comprised of Behind the Lines, Dutchess, Guide Vocal, Turn it On, Dukes Travel's and Dukes End was supposed to be one piece of music. The rational was that it would be too much in the format of Suppers Ready. While i am sure no one would make that mistake it would have been a better way to present the music. I would give this CD 4 stars if they did because it would have meant a big nod to the former progressive sound and ideas. Alas they did not.

Even so rating this album without my personal attachment to it's subject I can only give this one a three.

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Send comments to Garion81 (BETA) | Report this review (#42380)
Posted Wednesday, August 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars We were on the brink of finishing a very pleasant monthly progrock evening, loaded with 'classics' albums. I advised my friends to take a look at the Prog Archives site, the very first reaction was: "Duke" three stars? Down to two" (this was the most friendly advise, I censor the other reactions!). My own opinion about this albums is that Genesis had turned into a 'non-symphonic-pro-pop-orchestra', I cannot mention one interesting song, perhaps the two final tracks contain some nice moments. POOR, VERY POOR, HOW A REVELATION TURNED INTO A PROGROCK DISASTER!!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#42385)
Posted Wednesday, August 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
d_thackray@ho
4 stars Duke covers a lot of bases. When I first heard this I thought WOW this is a gem. Phil Collins' vocal is more apparant here. I think for the first time he sounds like he has a real edge to his voice - shows in the rock classic Turn it on Again or Man of Our Times. The opening track Behind the Lines sets the high standard of the album, it is clear, strong (listen to those drums) and elegant. Theres some Collins style emotion in Alone Tonight and Please Dont Ask but is not too overblown so don't be afraid. Generally the old style progressive sound has been toned down but is still apparant in Dukes Travels/End. Ok, this may be the start of the commercial sound of Genesis, but so what - this is a fine album.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#42646)
Posted Friday, August 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The last good album of prog legends!

"Duke" is probably the last GENESIS album that can appeal to prog listeners, although it surely marked a direction in which the band would move on throught the 1980s. It is obvious in soul/R&B moments of "Behind the Lines" and "Misunderstanding", which would be frequently called upon by the subsequent GENESIS and Collins solo albums. Here they are still nicely fitting into the album concept. In "Duchess" we witness the introduction of drum machine, but again it is here far more effective than on the later albums. Apart from these, excellent moments on the album include "Man of Our Times" and the closing pair "Duke's Travels/Duke's End", the latter being obviously shaped after the similar ending of "Selling England", "Lamb Lies Down" and "Trick of the Tail" albums. Rutherford was always much more than purely a bassist, but on this album he delivers several very interesting and effective guitar solos. On the other hand the hit "Turn It On Again" is overrated and pretty silly number along with a "lemonade" ballad "Alone Tonight" ("No one cares I am a lonely man...") - can I get a hanky please!

Still this album can be recommended as the last one (and probably the only one) that a GENESIS fan of pre-1977 period would want to include in her/his collection.

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Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#43911)
Posted Tuesday, August 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
Progbear
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Definitely a retooled Genesis for the 80's. A more streamlined, synth-oriented sound, with an obvious prog feel, but basically song-oriented. Actually, Genesis were always song-oriented, but this time they were explicitly aiming at the singles market. If they'd stuck to DUKE's formula, they could have been as successful artistically as they were commercially.

Surely, this is the most underrated album by the band's prog base. It was all downhill AFTER this, certainly, but this album is actually excellent, a near-perfect marriage of prog-rock musicianship and pop melody. While much-maligned, "Misunderstanding" is actually a gem of a pop song with a winsome melody, and deservedly a big hit. If anything, the weak spots on the album are Rutherford's "Alone Again" and Collins' "Please Don't Ask", both rather drippy MOR-type ballads and both setting rather bad precedents.

But the rest of the album is really superb, from the anthemic opener "Behind The Lines" to the energetic fusion-tinged numbers "Man Of Our Times" and "Turn It On Again" and mini-opuses like "Heathaze" and "Cul-De-Sac". And the epic, largely instrumental (save for the revised reprise of "Guide Vocal") "Duke's Travels/Duke's End" is one of the band's peaks as a performing unit.

So, don't listen to the "Genesis went to pot after Hackett left" contingent. Let them cling to their copies of TILL WE HAVE FACES. This is a superb album, definitely worthy of having in any collection.

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Send comments to Progbear (BETA) | Report this review (#46281)
Posted Sunday, September 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The openin trilogy led by Behind the lines still rocks with majestic organ and piano works. Barring a couple of spoilers, don't let bad reviews turn you away from this album. Lots of piano in it. And its certainly prog (minus a couple of spoilers which were placed, quite nicely, in the story of the Duke).

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Send comments to Sharier (BETA) | Report this review (#47406)
Posted Tuesday, September 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
mesi@esi.net
5 stars Their best trioalbum. The only weak thing about this album is 1 song (what you can find out yourselves) The beginning with Behind the lines and Duchess is so beatiful that it gives you tears, honestly so beautiful. After that, great popsongs+cul de sac & the end with duke's travels & end aaah love it... We can't dance is almost as great as this but not enough good.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#54091)
Posted Monday, October 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
emperornorton
4 stars A strong album.

This is about as far as a prog fan needs to go with Genesis, and this album doesn't disappoint, well not much at least. It's clear they were moving into pop at this point, probably as a result of the surprise success of Follow You Follow Me on their last album. Misunderstanding and Alone Tonight are good examples of this. Another hit, Turn It On Again, is actually a pretty good song, and represents trio Genesis probably better than all of their other hits. Cul-De-Sac and Heathaze are forgettable, but not necessarily bad, and Man of Our Times is actually really good.

But the real strength of the album is the bookended Duke Suite, the concept of this album. Behind The Lines comes in strong with a long instrumental intro, very reminiscent of Rush from the same period. The song flows seamlessly into Duchess, an excellent song, and then Guide Vocal, a short song that will be the recurring theme at the end of the album in Duke's Travels. Duke's Travels is probably the last great Genesis song instrument-wise. Banks actually uses the hammond organ for the last time here, which brings back a lot of great memories of their earlier Gabriel period. Duke's End reprises the instrumental that began the album giving the album a tidy and fitting end.

So you get about 45 minutes of great music on this album, and about 10 minutes of not so good music. Not too bad. There's no need to get any more Genesis albums that were released after this unless you're a real fan. This is as good as the trio ever got.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#54188)
Posted Tuesday, November 01, 2005 | Review Permalink
Zac M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After "...And Then There Were Three...," Genesis come back in full force to produce this very solid album. People may be put off by the fact that this album produce a couple of hits (e.g. "Turn It On Again" and "Misunderstanding"). This album is an improvement over "...And Then..." The album flows together much better. On the previous, album there were a lot of good songs and ideas, but they weren't all executed very well, much like Yes's "Tormato."

This album has a lot of really outstanding tracks, namely the last two, "Duke's Travels/Ends." The live version on the Archives Vol. 2 set is worth checking out as well. All the tracks here, for the most part, segue into one another. Most other reviewers seem to not too keen on the first track, "Behind the LInes," but I think it is one of the best on the album, and certainly a very fitting opening. Other good tracks include "Duchess" and "Man of Our Times."

The rest of the songs are either just ok by me or not so good and too commercial. The obvious stabs at mainstream pop make this album less noteworthy. It's not that these tracks are particularly awful, they're just nowhere near as good as "Dance on a Volcano," for example. I even think some of the tracks on "Abacab" appeal to me more than those like "Alone Tonight" or "Misunderstanding."

This album is just good by my standards, but still better than the previous "misguided effort." Most Genesis fans are already going to own this, but for those looking to get into Genesis, this is not the place to start. Final verdict, three stars.

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Send comments to Zac M (BETA) | Report this review (#57354)
Posted Monday, November 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
me@e.af
5 stars Duke:( Not considered as a prog. But a WONDERFUL pop-"prog" album from Genesis) The greatest album from Phil Collins-era (even better than trick or W&W). This albums has so many great songs, oh I think every one is except 'Guide Vocal' is slightly misplaced, cause the album starts with something awesome as 'Behing the lines', which always gives me cold ripples, because of the Synth-solo and it is absolutely beautifully sang song. Followed by 'Duchess' which is so beautiful i could almost cry.' Man of our times', again wonderful piece of music, played and sang aaaah. 'Misunderstanding', the "hit" of this album, the simpliest song here but it is great, you can't deny. Then I have to skip some songs here, so 'Cul-De-Sac', again those beautiful synths does it, you can listen it to again and again! and then the end with 'Duke's Travel's' and 'Duke's end" which are kinda taken from SELLING ENGLAND, cause Duke's end is instrumental (like cinema show mostly) and Duke's end has the same synths than in 'Behind the lines' (compare to Aisle of plenty/Dancing with the moonlit knight). If you even like a little popish prog with beautiful synths, i recommend!

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#60338)
Posted Wednesday, December 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Prog Specialist
1 stars Some people believe Genesis career ended with the departure of Peter Gabriel, I don't believe this is true, of course the band suffered loosing one of the best vocalists in Prog' Rock (If not the best) but also the man I considerer the best (and by far) lyricist ever.

Despite this terrible loss, still they had two great albums more (A Trick of the Tail and W&W), but in the same moment Steve Hackett left the band, it was Genesis no more, the main characteristic and trade mark of the band was the incredible atmospheres created by Steve Hackett and Tony Banks. But that after Steve left this incredible sound disappeared forever, plus the fact that there was only one great songwriter left, and Tony didn't had anyone else that could even be a challenge for him, because we know how weak is Mike's career and how incredibly poor is Phil's.

Mike Rutherford is an outstanding bassist but he's not more than an average guitar player and incapable of creating an atmosphere even if his life depended on it, so it was easy to expect the greatness was lost.

I have at least something good to say about Duke, it isn't as repulsive as any other later three men Genesis album, but again without the famous and unique atmospheric sound, Genesis was no longer a great or to be precise not even a good band.

Many people think There are some good songs in this album, well I wouldn't go so far to say there's something really good, but at least Duke's Travel/Duke's End is pretty proggy and can be listened without wishing somebody stick a nail trough your ear drums to stop the pain, even Duchess being repetitive is pretty decent for this Genesis caricature.

But there are a couple of songs that are hard to forgive:

Behind the Lines: For God's sake, what is this? Pomp Rock, AOR, POP? Nobody knows, but something is certain, despite the pompous and promising keyboards opening, Phil's voice appears and anything decent in this track is killed, if you combine this with poor mediocre and bland lyrics, you realize there's not hope for this once monumental band even when is clear that Tony hasn't lost the touch.

Misunderstanding: There must be some misunderstanding, there must be some kind of mistake......this is not Genesis, it's only a less than mediocre Pop track that shouldn't be named in the same paragraph with the word Genesis, boring, repetitive lack of imagination and horrible lyrics that would be OK for a band like BREAD.

Turn it on Again: I won't even stop to worry about the terrible music, because I just had lunch, but I can't stop mentioning the lyrics, because it's almost impossible to believe this is the same band that created solid, sometimes poetic but mainly intelligent lyrics like Squonk, Eleventh Earl of Mar or One for the Vine even after they had lost Gabriel, sorry but I can't get this.

The rest of the tracks are not much better (It's hard to get worst), but is enough to reach a final conclusion, no Gabriel or Hackett, no Genesis.

Trying to be nice I would give 1.5 stars to Duke, but there's not that possibility in Prog Archives, and doesn't deserve two, so I will stay with one lonely star.

Honestly I will never upgrade this album from LP, paying two times for this is too much and wouldn't accept it for free, of course this was the last Genesis album I ever bought until Archives I was released, and honestly I recommend prog fans to do the same, avoid any post W&W studio recording.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#61660)
Posted Sunday, December 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars When I heard first this album, I tought it's terrible and I turned off after some minutes. Nowadays a couple of years later I bougth it on vinyl. Now I like it very much. I think It's a bat thing to compare to Gabriel-era's albums or trick or wind (these are great), because it's completly different style. This is the last very good and concept Genesis album in the band's history. There are some pop song's on it, but I can survive these tracks. I always thinking in albums, not in tracks, but Duke's travel is great. Finally it's a good concept album, the best shoot of genesis-trio era. I think it's better than the album in 78.

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Send comments to tolgyi (BETA) | Report this review (#61759)
Posted Monday, December 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
chessman
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I have yet to review the Genesis collection of classic cd's. As they remain my overall favourite band of all, I have to try to be as unbiased as possible. Nevertheless, like most Genesis fans, I agree that when Steve Hackett left, they lost something vital in their makeup, and were never the same, or as good, again. However, of all the post- Hackett albums they did, this is, for me, without doubt, the best. It is the closest to the 'classic' Genesis sound. Ok, it is lacking Hackett's melodious and mysterious touch, but, otherwise, it is a good collection of songs. Mike Rutherford, in his own right, is a talented guitarist. He only turned to bass because Anthony Phillips was a better player, and then along comes Mr Hackett! This album does have a couple of songs that indicate the direction the band were to go under Mr Collins, eg: 'Misunderstanding', 'Alone Tonight', 'Please Don't Ask', but these tracks are not bad in their own right, and don't spoil the album in any way. The first three songs here merge magnificently together, and sound in many ways like the old Genesis, but with an updated sound. Collins on some songs sounds more like Gabriel here than on most other albums, especially the stark but effective 'Guide Vocal'. All good stuff! 'Man Of Our Times' is a wonderfuly powerful piece. 'Heathaze' is another superb song, melodic and Gabriel-like. 'Turn It On Again', although aimed more at the singles market, is a decent enough effort, catchy if not traditional Genesis fare. Cul-De-Sac is, again, an above average offering, whilst the magnificent 'Duke's Travels' is maybe the highlight of the album, and more in keeping with the old style. If Hackett had been on this song, it could have been a classic. As it is, Tony Banks is in wonderful form here, as is Phil Collins, whilst Mike Rutherford contributes an incredibly short, but stunning solo towards the end. And, at the end, we have 'Duke's End', which reprises 'Behind The Lines' in a most effective way to bring the curtain down on the last Genesis album worth having. After this, things were never the same again. Good job Steve Hackett is keeping the prog banner flying.

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Send comments to chessman (BETA) | Report this review (#64727)
Posted Saturday, January 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Although many consider this album to be not of the 'old' Genesis, there are still great progressive tracks on here, some even more proggy than 'A Trick Of The Tail'. This is a concept album which tells the tale of Albert, also known as The Duke. Albert is an unsuccessful young lover who falls in love with the Duchess when seeing her picture. Then he sees her on television, and learns the story of her life. Misunderstanding describes how he failed with her. Heathaze is his depression over this issue. Turn It On Again is all about how he doesn't need love, and just needs to be alone with the television. The next three tracks are about his realising that he really does need love, and Duke's Travels and End are about his journey far away, to find someone. The opening tracks are a sort of song in movements, with the first being Behind The Lines, which has a riveting three minute instrumental before the lyrics finally start, and then after that, it becomes very quiet, and we hear the quiet bells played on the electronic drum (Phillip's only use of electronic drums on this album) and Anthony's mellow keys send you drifting into the heavens, and once again, the lyrics start again, strongly, and send you into a wonderful track. This then fades out into 'Guide Vocal', a short but meaningful piece by Anthony. Even the pop song 'Turn It On Again' is written in more than one time signature. The instrumental 'Duke's Travels-Duke's End' is reminiscent of 'Los Endos', but on a larger scale. Near the end of this track is a reprisal of 'Guide Vocal'. A definite must for any prog fan.

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Send comments to bryantm3 (BETA) | Report this review (#66724)
Posted Wednesday, January 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars This album...what should I say? The last album to feature their epic sweep slightly or just a bad attempt at Supertramp? The latter. Now I understand that Phil Collins had gone through a painful divorce. I also understand that a lot of his heart and soul went into the songs and the lyrics he wrote. That probably why I hate it. I hate his heart and I hate his soul. Turn It On Again is a nice little pop song in 13/8 I suppose...but the rest feels grotesque...I just kindof hate him and this album reminds me of Face Value. I also hate some of the keyboard sounds so much... But Mike Rutherford plays bass and guitar very well...the riff to Turn It On is quite great and I suppose from a technical point of view some of what Collins sings is good..but it just feels very floppy: "It's driving me mad, just another way of passing the day" and I'm generally just given a picture of a sad old bald drummer watching his television and gawking at some women he fancies. Misunderstanding might also be the worst attempt at a pop single I've ever heard...his pain was real but his talent clearly wasn't.

Dammit this isn't really a prog album lets face it...its just one of those AOR albums made for US radio that have those horrible lubly jubly textures....

I might one day buy it though as I view the 13/8 single as slightly a guilty pleasure...and just to say I have all of their albums... but I'd never listen to it.

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Send comments to thom4gabriel (BETA) | Report this review (#67087)
Posted Friday, January 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I consider this album the apex of the band after Gabriel left. The previous effort, "And then there were three" remains one of my least favorite recordings by the group. Then they released "Duke" and all was forgiven. It bursts out of the gate with Behind the lines and instantly announces that they are on a mission that won't let up until the last notes fade away about 56 minutes later. They are telling a story of disillusionment that is timeless in its everyman associations. I understand why many don't like a number of songs included but I keep in mind that they were trying to hone their craft to where they could be more accessible (i.e. more successful/profitable) and I refuse to hold that against them. Phil was never going to be as mystical and charismatic as Peter was and they were writing what their hearts and minds were leading them to. Yet it is the incredible Duke's Travels and Duke's End that make this album soar above the rabble. It ascends ever higher until it reaches a tension filled peak that I consider one of their greatest moments ever and a landmark in progressive music.

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Send comments to Chicapah (BETA) | Report this review (#71267)
Posted Monday, March 06, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars If we are talking about Genesis from an strictly progressive point of view, this record was the end of the road. Completely. This album (like probably the previous one) is a progressive album with mainstream moments, whist the following ones were mainstream albums with progressive moments. While "And then there were Three" was a kind of gray record, this one was a clear improvement, being probably the best record Genesis ever released as a three-member band. And if they had chose to follow a similar road taken with this album probably the critics of classic fans would have been less harsh with them (or so I think).

In this record we find Tony Banks at his finest stage in my opinion and Phil Collins performs my favourite passages of drums from Genesis in this album as well. Mike Rutherford plays his bass without getting much attention and also didn't give guitars an star role, saving certain passages.

"Behind the lines" is a good presentation with an excellent instrumental baseline that we can listen as well in "Duke's end". Phil Collins vocal style is not very bright here, as it would happen in future records, but overall the song is good. "Duchesse" is one of the strong points of the album. It is a smooth, solid and cohesive song, with dreamy atmospheres almost 20 years before the expression 'chill out' would be used in the world of music. It also tells a beautiful story related with the somewhat conceptual background of the album. "Guide vocal" is a short and beautiful miniballad with a paragraph to be repeated later in another song. "Man of our times" is another good song with a mostly instrumental nature and where Phil Collins' voice is also a bit unnecessary but doesn't mess the final result. Good synthesizer loops by Anthony here (and by the way, why the... he decided to change the synths he used here for the crappy ones he used in "Abacab"?, I simply fail to understand it). "Misunderstanding" is one of the mainstream songs we can find, although it is probably the best one, along with "Please don't ask". "Heathaze" is another soft ballad in the lines of "Guide Vocal", although longer. It is, like most of the album, very piano based. "Turn it on again" is another mainstream song which gives me mixed feelings. It is, on one hand, a typical 80s Phil Collins' song (irritating at times, specially at the end), but on the other hand, Tony Banks doesn't perform bad either. "Alone again" is the worst song of the album for me. It is a simply insubstantial ballad like the ones that would follow in other records. "Cul-de-sac" is another sister of "Guide Vocal" and Heathaze", being probably the most serious and solid of the three. "Please don't ask me" is another ballad, although this one is well performed, with an elegant vortex of synths and piano, and even Phil's vocal style is correct here. And the best for the end. "Duke's travels" is the strongest track of the record, and probably one of the best since "Wind and Wuthering" times. The syth loops here are simply amazing (I insist with my previous question). Phil repeats "Guide vocal"'s paragraph at the end of this song as well. "Duke's end" proves that keeping this track only would have been enough, no "Behind the lines" needed I guess

Then, as I mentioned at the beginning of the review, this was the final chapter for classic Genesis. What would come from here would be another (bittersweet) story.

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Send comments to shyman (BETA) | Report this review (#79195)
Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars While a majority of people seemingly have a problem with Duke as Genesis' sticking one foot firmly in the pop realm, I actually find a lot of excellence in this album that the band would unfortunately never recover after this. This would be their last excellent album, which may not be as progressive as their earlier works, but it is among their most well-crafted. I especially love the musical nature of the suite, which is divided across the entire album. "Behind the Lines" is a driving opener, with some of Phil Collins' best drumming and even lyrics (presumably). "Duchess" is particularly great, with some of the best lyrics that Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford (again, presumably) wrote, and the "Guide Vocal" is an excellent bridge number, again from Banks. "Turn it on Again" is catchy, and became a minor hit in its own right with its life-on-television subject. The last pure progressive piece by the band is the album closer "Duke's Travels/Duke's End," which is simply one of their best compositions as a trio. Banks' keyboards dominate most of the piece, but not to an overbearing excess. The last half of the two-parter reprises most of this suite, including Phil recalling the "Guide Vocal" (otherwise it's all instrumental), and then closes with a final outburst and final note to go with.

There are six solo compositions, with each member bringing two to the table. As mentioned, Phil Collins comes through as an equal songwriter for the first time, as his two solo compositions are the hit "Misunderstanding" and "Please Don't Ask," which is actually very moving and, considering Collins' situation at the time, inspired. Rutherford's abrasive "Man of Our Times" is rather heavy on his guitars, as is the much softer "Alone Tonight," which does somewhat sound like a Collins' solo number, but both of them are still very good (I am a sucker for the latter one). Banks brings it his last masterpiece number with the synthesized "Heathaze" and the driving "Cul de Sac," which I never completely understood, but seems that's part of his complexity.

Anyway, while no, they aren't the "old" Genesis, they should not be expected to perform as such. Duke is a well-polished and well-played album from start to finish, and I get hooked every time I drop this in the CD player. Hard to believe that they dropped a lot with Abacab immediately thereafter. Still, I can't ignore how fine Duke turned out to be, and gave them one last great work.

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Send comments to CVoss (BETA) | Report this review (#80617)
Posted Wednesday, June 07, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Duke is the first album I've heard by Genesis and therefore it's my introduction to the band.

With "Duke's Travel" and "Duke's End" as the best tracks of the record, without competition, I must say that it's quite a good introduction

Other fine tracks on the album is the four first; "Behind the Lines", "Duchess", "Guide Voca"l and "Man of our Times". The three first being merged to a suite.

The album spawned two hits; "Misunderstanding" and "Turn It on Again". Misunderstanding isn't that good but Turn It on Again must surely be the best pop song they've ever done.

The rest of the album consists of quite anonymous pop/rock songs. "Cul-de-Sac" is the best and the most proggy of them.

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Send comments to Frasse (BETA) | Report this review (#82801)
Posted Wednesday, July 05, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Welcome to the last GREAT GREAT Genesis prog moment!

For all the Genesis prog-days fans, don't miss this. First listen to track 3, "Guide Vocal", nice little ballad, interesting chords. Now listen to Duke's Travels, start at 1'30". 12/8 work out till 3'00", switch to 6/8. 4'44" things start getting serious, take the 8th note and turn it into 4/4, very strong interesting keyboard solo, off beat kick, important bass line not landing on 1. Things start to peak at 5'27", where will it lead? 5'47" the spirit of Steve Hackett returns with a sublime guitar solo from Rutherford, brass stabs from Banks...then....surprisingly, wonderfully....Collins starts singing at 6'10". What is he singing? He's singing "Guide Vocal"! Somehow we are in the same key, and at 6'18" with the bass on the 5 we absolutely peak. Fists in the air stuff, play it loud. I don't want to get all New-Agey on you, but what is he singing about? "I am the one who guided you this far.....there was a choice but now its gone". I like to think that he could be singing about the guiding spirit of prog if you like, and this is the fond farewell. They would never get back to the top of the mountain again.

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Send comments to scotty_g (BETA) | Report this review (#84431)
Posted Friday, July 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars This is truly an appalling album, it lacks any creativity and does not contain a single descent song or melody. Extraordinary to think that 2 albums before they produced the sublime Wind and Wuthering with such gems as Blood on the Rooftops and One for the Vine. Here you have the pathetic "Duchess" and the ghastly "Man of our times". The album finishes with Dukes Travels and Dukes End - a feeble attempt to recreate Los Endos from Trick of the Tale.

At least in the days of vinyl you could snap such a miserable recording in two ! Avoid like the plague!

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Send comments to progaholic (BETA) | Report this review (#84749)
Posted Tuesday, July 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Much better than their previous recording, AND THEN... (78), DUKE is the perfect blending of late-70´s prog-rock and the newborn techno-synth-pop based on sometimes plastic sounding keyboards but with a very convencing background rhythmic session. Solid in its concept and with a better production, immediately noticed basically on the drums and keyboard sound troughout the record, DUKE showed that Collins/Rutherford/Banks incarnation of Genesis could produce some gorgeous stuff in the irregular 80´s even after a huge retrospect of masterpieces in the 70´s.

The departure of Hackett and the experience of adventure themselves into a pop-prog- oriented vein could result in a big disaster. After the underrated Wind & Wuthering, a delicate progressive gem (with Hackett), and the inocuos pop-prog effort And Then We Were Three, the trio decided to open their minds in a new territory: the synth-prog. Nothing wrong with this, basically because Banks and Collins evolved very much in their basic aspects since the 77 recording, not in virtuosism or extraordinary technical profiles, but in the capabability of produce excelent music in small packages, and the good news: without lost the progressive vein. Rutherford was now free-working with guitars, creating some angular chords and basic melodic rhythms, never losing his very solid bass lines, wich makes him famous.

DUKE has some astonishing complex tracks, including two "suites", mainly composed by the first 3 tracks, an example of pop-prog oriented tunes with quite nice rhythm variations (Collins in top-notch performance and Banks and Rutherford creating an atmospheric and strong catchy harmony. Here we can note an important aspect of Duke: Phil Collins maturity on vocals) and the last two tracks, an "explosion" of genuine Genesis prog-rock. Really good stuff.

The rest of the album is a collection of pop and prog--masterpieces (Misunderstanding and Turn it on Again, really nice tracks, very well produced and conducted), an almost symphonic piece (Cul de sac, that sometimes resembles the Wind & Wuthering period) and Man of our Times (a Rutherford track, quite nice in its strange guitar chords, strong vocals and generous solid drums). The rest are basically romantic tracks, supported by excellent Banks arrangements on keyboards, and some very inspired Collins vocals.

Finally, DUKE must be ranked among Genesis best albums. There is no reason to agree with it. The sound is impecable, almost free of any exagerated 80´s plastic stuff, and the trio are in their TOP. Recommended to any fan of 80´s prog, very well-done late 70´s music or only good memorable moments of pop music.

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Send comments to rguabiraba (BETA) | Report this review (#85299)
Posted Monday, July 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Duke is the last prog-rock album of Genesis, without any doubt; and also in my humble opinion one of their best albums. Don't diss me for saying that; times changed and not for the better, most of the 70s prog-rock bands started to make more accessible music and so did Genesis. That doesn't mean the music was bad (at least not in 1980). Duke is still a prog album. The songs are shorter and straightforward (in a positive way) but not simple as some say; there are progressive songs that remind of the 70s - the opener Behind the Lines, Duchess, Heathaze, Cul-de-Sac, Guide Vocal/Man of Our Times and the epic Duke Travels/Duke's End. Turn It on Again is a nice rocker. The rest of the songs are slower - Alone Tonight, actually one of my favourite songs of this album (great collective effort), Misunderstanding is a Phil Collins song - not bad at all (anticipating what was about to come in the future), and last but not least Please Don't Ask Me, another ballad, but a pretty good one.

I warmly recommend this album to all the people that enjoy prog-rock; great musicianship and good song-writing from beginning to the end of the album (as far as I'm concerned). Maybe after more than twenty years after Duke's release, we could keep an open mind and give this album the place it deserves: an excellent addition to our prog-rock collection.

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Send comments to Cristi (BETA) | Report this review (#86524)
Posted Thursday, August 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Duke! Just like "...And the There were Three...", Duke is wrongly accused of being a sell- out album. It's ironic that the album's biggest hit was named "Misunderstanding" because that's exactly what the album is. Again, I advise you critics of this album to just forget about the "golden days" of "Foxtrot" and "Lamb"... and just listen to the album.

For me, the highlights are "Behind the Lines", "Duchess", "Man of our Times" ,"Heathaze", "Turn it on Again", and of course, "Duke's Travel's". "Duke's Travel's" is the real gem here. This is the most progressive track on the album too. Tony's amazing as usual. He didn't really dominate this album as a composer like he had been. Phil's influence came through a lot more here. Don't pass this one up though. It is great.

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Send comments to White Shadow (BETA) | Report this review (#98992)
Posted Wednesday, November 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Genesis first Nr. 1 in the UK (reached 11 in the US). This record clearly drew the line between their prog era and their pop one (which in terms of sales will be very profitable) although this is still an OK album. In my jargon, OK means three stars. "Behind the Lines" is quite a good opener. Strong drumming and heavy keys from Tony. Vocals from Phil will be typical for this Genesis period. "Duchess" musical intro is spacey and nice : it could have been a good Oldfield production. The second part is less interesting. "Guide Vocal" is a very short and unnecessary transitional track. "Man of Our Times" is a nice ballad : very similar to what they have done in "And Then There Were Three" (like "Cul de Sac" and "Please Don't Ask"). "Misunderstanding" written by Phil is a poppy tune that they will play quite a bit in their concerts for the years to come. Some like it, some hate it. I belong more to the latter category. "Alone Tonight" is a short, very nice, and romantic ballad. The "Duke" suite is a great prog moment on this album. "Duke's Travel" is superb (a bit in the style of "One For The Vine"). Quiet for most of the time but with a strong and rocking section towards the end. With "Duke's End", the band seems to reproduced a song like "Los Endos". It is also a very good moment. It is a shame that it only lasts just over three minutes. Two highlights. Genesis adapted themselves quite successfully (in terms of sales) to the eighties period. For "old" fans like me though, a song like "Turn It On Again" was the worse we could endure.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#104966)
Posted Saturday, December 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars From my point of view, a HUGE improvement over what I consider the worst Genesis album (not counting the very first one and the very last one :P). "Duke" is a very curious piece of work in terms of how it blends prog and pop. The pop conversion has begun for Genesis, and for me, it would never work better than here. From "Abacab" on pop would dominate the scene, but here in Duke, things work in a curious way that I find fascinating.

Take "Turn it on Again", for instance. It quickly became a Genesis staple in concerts (with or without the sometimes painful medley) and remains one of the bands most popular song... yet parts of it are in a weird time signature, taking it beyond the pop realm. By themselves, songs like "Duchess" or "Guide Vocal" could easily be considered straight pop. Yet, combined with the opener "Behind the Lines" (amazingly fun song for me), "Turn it on Again" and the closing tracks "Duke's Travels" and "Duke's End", they create a thematical suite about different points of view within the music industry and its stars which, admittedly, is not Wish You Were Here but it has a coherence in regards of melodies and lyrics revisited (such as having the Turn it on Again melody in straight 4/4 during "Duke's End") that I cannot help but admire.

Apart from those aformentioned songs that make up what's commonly known as the "Duke Suite", here you can also enjoy two Banks compositions which I find extraordinary: the poignant "Heathaze" ("the trees and I are shaken by the same winds, but whereas the trees would loose their withered leaves, I cannot seem to shake them loose"... nice lyrics) and "Cul-de-Sac". Wish I could say the same for the Collins songs: by this time Phil was writing on his own and although I've always liked him, I feel his solo style was the worst addition to the pop Genesis of the 80's (which otherwise I love just the same as the prog 70's, only for different reasons). Here we have to put up with "Misunderstanding", which sounds like the Beach Boys on autopilot, and the self-confessional "Please Don't Ask", a leftover from Phil's first solo album, which, like future Genesis songs written by Collins alone, sounds out of place.

What's left? Oh, Mike's songs. Not really extraordinary. "Man of our Times" sounds a bit like "Back in NYC" with that arpeggio keyboard loop which would show up so much in Marillion's first albums. And "Alone Again", well... I just can put up with it.

All in all, a hugely enjoyable album, the last to feature a great drum sound for a while, and a real gem in terms of combining prog and pop.

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Send comments to Guillermizzimo (BETA) | Report this review (#106363)
Posted Saturday, January 06, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Recorded in Sweden this would be their first album to go number one in the UK. This is also the first time they used a drum machine.This record is special to me in that it was the first GENESIS album I ever purchased.1980 was an incredible year for me as I met a beautiful girl who would become my wife and some great albums came out like BLACK SABBATH's "Heaven And Hell", AC/DC "Back In Black" , RUSH's "Permanent Waves" and other favourites of mine.

The first three songs blend together and when I hear "Behind The Lines" my favourite on the album it just brings me sheer joy as i'm taken back to a time when life was simpler and when I was having such a blast ! The keys are so good on this song. "Duchess" is another good one while "Guide Vocal" is a short mellow and uplifting song. "Man Of Our Times" features heavy drums and some good keyboard work from Banks. "Misunderstanding" reminds me lyrically of "Fool In The Rain" by LED ZEPPELIN. It also reminds me of SUPERTRAMP's "Give A Little Bit" in that they are both commercial mid paced tunes that were on the radio and drew my attention to both bands in question.

"Heathaze" is another beautiful song with piano and gentle vocals.The song becomes quite passionate. Gorgeous. "Turn It On Again" is a great odd metered song with a really good beat. "Alone Tonight" is such an honest, heartfelt and meaningful song. "Cul-De-Sac" is another song with some nice sounding keys and the vocals get passionate later on. "Please Don't Ask" would fit well on Collin's solo album. "Duke's Travels" is a long instrumental until the vocals come in that recall "Guide Vocal" around 6 minutes in. And "Duke's End" is an instrumental that recalls "Behind The Lines". The first three songs that blend together on this record and these last two were played as one song on their tour in support of the "Duke" record. Some say they initially were going to make these 5 songs a side long suite, but changed their minds.

For me this is a solid 4 star record.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#112061)
Posted Tuesday, February 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
russellk
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Tell you what. Just for the sake of not missing an excellent musical experience, pretend for a moment this is an album of music, and not the first nuclear explosion in Armageddon, or the cancer that destroyed Progressive Rock. Take a moment; get your mind clear. Ready?

Oh yes, do one more thing. Rearrange the track listing so that Tracks 1, 2, 3, 7, 11 and 12 are on one side, and the rest on the other. Now you're ready. Go and listen to it. Then front up and tell me this isn't a classic, powerful GENESIS album.

Our new Side 1 is the 'Duke' suite, one powerful epic as it was originally intended, The band shied away from releasing it in this form, fearing - can you, who've heard the anti-COLLINS vitriol, believe this - comparisons to 'Supper's Ready'. Can you tell me that at this point commercial pop was uppermost in the lads' minds?

And this suite is powerful. 'Behind The Lines' is excellent and complex. I've read reviews lamenting COLLINS' solo influence. You want to know how COLLINS would have made this track sound on his own? Go listen to 'Behind The Lines' on COLLINS' solo album, 'Face Value'. That's diluted funk and soul. This is not. 'Duchess' is more reflective, presenting the tragic woman as artist figure. But, ooh, naughty PHIL uses a drum machine for the first time. So what? It's an instrument. Just because in the 80s the sound became ubiquitous doesn't mean it's a bad choice here. 'Guide Vocal' sets us up for the power of the epic's finish. It's fashionable to hate 'Turn It On Again', but one must listen to it in contect. I never heard it played incessantly on the radio, so it remains an excellent progressive track.

Do I really have to tell you how strong 'Duke's Travels/ Duke's End' is? Pounding rhythms, keyboard solos, a soaring guitar solo (Rutherford's best moment with a six-string), the haunting 'Guide Vocal reprise, and the extraordinary moment when they halve the beat - 'You fear what you ... don't understand' - music and vocals underlining the sadness, almost desperateness, of the small private lives under investigation in the suite and the album as a whole.

Yes, we do have 'Misunderstanding.' 'Argh, a pop song!' the trenchant critics cry. Actually, yes, and a very good one too. A little whimsy, and a courageous way for COLLINS to deal with his marriage breakup, along with the poignant 'Please Don't Ask'. I'll accept that singing about love and relationships is not an accepted part of the progressive rock sensibility: normally we get epics based on mythology or other fantasy motifs, and GENESIS have delivered their share of these. And this lessens the musical impact of the 'Duke suite' a little, especially since the suite is distributed amongst these other songs. But... the album's theme is about the little man and woman and their insignificant lives. The love songs make much more sense in this context. And there are other gems yet unmentioned: 'Heathaze' and 'Cul-De- Sac' are excellent examples of GENESIS' work.

Musically the drums really come to the fore on this album; COLLINS' gated drum sound (where the reverb is cut off rather than allowed to decay, giving the sound it's distinctive power) dominates a little too much. The classical GENESIS sound is being reworked; not necessarily better or worse, just different. Just as well GENESIS was blessed with such a great drummer.

A word about the artwork. I find it simply stunning. Again, not typical progressive artwork: no Roger Dean or Hipgnosis here. But the little heads make the point of the album.

The real change in the GENESIS sound comes with their next album. Don't let your loathing of baby- eating PHIL prevent you enjoying this near-masterpiece.

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Send comments to russellk (BETA) | Report this review (#116502)
Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars My First Review and not a lot more to be said about this one. Not my favourite Genesis recording by some considerable margin as it marked the band's continued decline into pop rock almost AOR realms. Not a bad album but not in the same league as Trick of the Tail.

However, I now have the spiffy remastered SACD 5.1 DTS etc. etc versions which add surround sound mixes and bonus visual (i.e DVD) content. Duke features approximately 30 minutes of high quality live footage from 1980 and this alone is worth the (rather high) asking price. We kick off with a couple of tracks from Duke which seem rather more powerful than the Studio versions even allowing for the rather primitive (though no less enjoyable for that) Linn drum effects- very 1980!! The highlight though has to be "In the cage", "Los Endos" and "Dance on a Volcano" great performances from all the members plus the epic drum "duel" between Chester Thompson and Phil Collins! Oh and if you like bass pedals it's a wet dream!!! The rest of the bonus material includes a band interview with the members talking about the making of Duke plus some rather dated video promos and stills of the 1980 tour programme. Great Package particularly if you can stretch to the Box set. 3 Stars for the Studio Album, 5 for the re-mastered package.

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Send comments to Paul R (BETA) | Report this review (#118781)
Posted Wednesday, April 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars DUKE is the perfect blending of late-70´s prog-rock and techno-synth-pop based on sometimes plastic sounding keyboards but with a very convencing background rhythmic session. Solid in its concept and with a better production, immediately noticed basically on the drums and keyboard sound troughout the record, DUKE showed that Collins/Rutherford/Banks incarnation of Genesis could produce some gorgeous stuff in the irregular 80´s even after a huge retrospect of masterpieces in the 70´s. So pieces like Duke's Travel, End Cul-De-Sac, Heathaze are all reminders of what a great band they once were. Duchess I also find rather pleasant and delicate. Nothing left for me to add just this record is a 4 star album, and maybe the best they done in the '80.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#123928)
Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
NJprogfan
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I have a soft spot for this particular Genesis album, it being the first one I bought as soon as it was released. I've always loved the artwork inside and out and since it has song's titled "Duke's Travels" and "Duke's End" and the album is titled "Duke" I naturally assumed it was a concept album. Well. I was wrong. Oh, you can try to wrangle the lyrics and make it seem like a concept album, but other then the first three songs melding together and the last two, it's definately not a concept album. But how is the music? It's the last Genesis album to these ears to have the majestic sound we all love. Banks keys just dominate this disc, and to put it honestly without his mighty wall of sound Genesis suffers. Even songs like the simple "Behind The Lines" is helped out immensely by Banks keys. Listen to "Man Of Our Times", a simple beat but is filled in enormously by that wall of keyboards. When you get to the center of the album though, it's where things begin to fall apart. "Misunderstanding", "Turn It On Again" and "Alone Tonight" smack of whats to come, plain pop songs without the classic Genesis sound of past. "Cul-De-Sac" and "Please Don't Ask" don't fare any better either. For me, the last two tracks are the last classic Genesis-sounding tracks in their career. Tempo changes, bombastic, great drumming by Phil and Banks mighty keys propelling the colors and mood. For these two songs alone I'd garnish these album three stars and I'd give the first three/four songs another half star, but it doesn't compare to any other post-Gabriel album except maybe ATTWT, (which I gave three stars). So, three stars is what it deserves. Good, but not great.

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Send comments to NJprogfan (BETA) | Report this review (#125236)
Posted Saturday, June 09, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars IMHO this one is one of underrated LP from Genesis. Duke includes one of most brilliant genesis suit namely DUke's Travel/Duke's End. Moreover some compositions like Behind the Lines, Duches or Turn It On Again became also very popular genesis songs. The power of the Genesis - the band Genesis is into those compositions. And those are very fresh, very energetic.

One may say: OK, those are fantastic, but what with the other songs?

Well... Other songs are also very good. Their are perfect complement to the power of this album. Even the pop-songs included here are quite OK :)

IMO Genesis Duke is still progressive and impresice. *****

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Send comments to adamB (BETA) | Report this review (#125888)
Posted Friday, June 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Duke is actually an improvement over the band's previous release and is for the most part, one of their most underrated releases. And Then There Were Three showed a rather sudden transition to shorter format songs. Duke follows this pattern, but at the same time hearkens back to their Wind and Wuthering period with pieces like Duke's Travels, Cul-de-Sac, and Behind the Lines. So it's sort of a hybrid of the new and old of Genesis.

There is slightly more radio-friendly fodder too, including Misunderstanding, Turn It On Again, Alone Tonight and Please Don't Ask. Lyrical subject matter is still interesting except for the aforementioned four songs.

Another interesting addition to the band's repertoire is the use of a drum machine on Duchess. One has to wonder why a band with one of the best prog/jazz drummers out there needs to resort to this. But when you give this song a listen, they make really good use of the drum machine as it plays more of a background role. Due to this experiment's success, the band would use the machine more often in the next few albums.

Overall, slightly better than And Then There Were Three, but far from reaching their former apex of works from the mid-1970s. Four stars seems quite deserving, making this an excellent addition to your symphonic prog collection.

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Send comments to progaardvark (BETA) | Report this review (#126834)
Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars the album contents reflects an end of a decade and the beginning of a new era. the colourfull 80´s, collins machine drums droped on purpose..popish misunderstanding, 1-2-3 turn it on...but i think its a very nice concept album, great tunes, i liked it very much, dont know żwhy? but it has driven me quite a lot. it certainly has energy delivered from the three members with collins special mention. thanks genesis, you tri, and you duke. all the best, Luis

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Send comments to luisman (BETA) | Report this review (#126884)
Posted Wednesday, June 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars The first Genesis album I heard was ...And Then There Were Three... which I still love to this day. I started collecting all the albums released after that album - including Duke - but was always slightly disappointed that none of them matched the power (keyboard "wall of sound") of the 1978 release. Later on I started collecting the albums released before ...And Then There Were Three... and discovered the majestic suite of albums starting with Trespass and ending with Seconds Out. But that's a different story for another day. So back to Duke. My favourite tracks are the sublime Heathaze, the long (almost) instrumental Duke's Travels and perhaps surprisingly, the big hit single in the UK, Turn It On Again. Well, its time signature is 13/8 I'm lead to believe which makes it stand out. Phil Collins' two contributions - Misunderstanding and Please Don't Ask - should've been on Face Value. The rest of the album consists of some good tracks but to my ears nothing particularly special. Behind The Lines has a good instrumental intro. but as soon as the R&B influenced vocals start, it loses me. Duchess, Guide Vocal, Man Of Our Times, Alone Tonight, Cul-de-sac and Duke's End - a reprise of Behind The Lines - are all fair enough but none of them stir my soul. Duke is a good album but I don't regard it as essential, so it gets a solid three stars.

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Send comments to Nigel66 (BETA) | Report this review (#127414)
Posted Tuesday, July 03, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Duke" is the arrival of the "new" sound of Genesis, and it's really, really good. From the opening of this album, you get the sense that it's going to be a fun ride, and it makes good on that feeling. First of all, the entire album flows together flawlessly, and each track has a similar feel and sound to it. I don't know if I would go so far as to call this a concept album, but in my own mind it's pretty close. All the songs deal with a meloncholy aspects of the world, and how we deal with them. I really don't know how to get further into detail, I just know that this album really grabs me when I listen to it, so therefore it's one of my favorite albums right up there with Nirvana's "In Utero".

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Send comments to Paul C (BETA) | Report this review (#135317)
Posted Wednesday, August 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Okay, this isn't a traditional "Prog" album, but it holds special significance to me. Tony Banks is quoted as saying that without this album, Genesis would have likely died. I don't buy that crap that "Genesis DID die after Hackett left." Sure, they weren't a prog band anymore, they were writing singles, but that doesn't mean that they sucked. I enjoy post-Hackett Genesis, but just in a different way. This album is really great if you know what you're listening to, and don't pretend that you're supposed to be listening to something else.

For the most part, this is a pop album, but it does have it's progressive moments. The fact that I love this album and it's still pseudo-progressive, I'm marking it as "An Excellent addition to any prog collection".

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Send comments to SiberianKhatru (BETA) | Report this review (#139239)
Posted Thursday, September 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Perhaps the last album Genesis did that mattered, I initially avoided anything post Hackett with this band, but I found some positive reviews of this album on the website and checked this album mout and then bought, I can tell although the Hackett magic is missing this is still a very good and proggy album, the band did bounce back with this one. Although there is an early 80s sheen to this album the songwritning isn't that far from the Peter Gabrial era. What impressed me about this album the most is Phil's voice, this is his most emotive singing it is just as emotional as anything Peter Gabrial did and at times Phil sounds absolutely identical, this was in part because Phil's marrage was falling apart and so Phil just let it out on this album. This is the only time you can take Phil seriously as a singer.Although Steve is long gone there is still the strong drama element in the music, and with the trio it is very tight and direct, the music is still very proggy and could fit on any of the previous Genesis albums, with the exception of three dud tracks; Misunderstanding, Alone Tonight and Please don't ask which keep this album from being 5 stars. The Songs Behind the Lines, Duchess, Guide Vocal, Turn it on Again, Duke's Travels and Duke's End were oringinally intended to form a twenty minute suite, but unfortunately the band decided against it, fearful that it may be compared to Supper's Ready and also because this period of time the industry was againsthighly adventurous music. The first song Behind the Lines, has Tony's traditional keyboard sound, and is very dynamic sounding and as I said earlier Phil on this album has grown into Gabrials shoes. Duchesss morphs out of the first track and has heart wrenching vocals, Genesis sounds modern (for the time) prepared for the new decade yet on this album they still maintained their artistic integrity and edge (which of course will dissappear in Abacab). Guide Vocal then flows out of Duchess and is reminiscent of How Dare I be So Beautiful ? on Suppers Ready. Man of Our Times has Tony playing classical keys keys reminiscent of Rick Wakeman on Tormato (at least on the good tracks on that album) Misunderstanding is a sign of the bands immenent decline, you can see it as the beginning of the end, it should have stayed on Phil Collin's solo album rather tha nthis one, it just doesn't fit on this album it sticks out like a Noel Reeding song sticks out of a Hendrix album, Diana Ross style of pop does not bel;ong on a Genesis album, I skip this song. Heathaze reminds me of the Lamia on the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, again the sorrow in Phil's voice is amazing full of sorrow, at points Split Enzesque keys adding a mild quirky touch yet the song is still very meloncholi. At certain points of this song Phil's vocals are similar to Home By the Sea part 1. Turn it on Again is a great song, in 13/12 it has a great dynamic feel to it, it was a radio hit but yet is still unusual enough to appeal to prog fans, again Phil's voice is great.It reminds me a little of the Who, a brilliant track, Tony's keys are exciting its got a brilliant drive boith emotively and rhythmically, its so tight and direct, yet unusual for Genesis in that it was more rhythmical, it feels wrong by itself and would fit in an epic as originally intended. Alone Tonight is just syrupy garbage written by Mike Rutherford, basically if you're like me and can't stand Your Own Special Way on Wind and Wuthering, then you'll hate this piece. Cul-de-Sac is another meloncholic piece like Heathaze yet their is a sound of hope and triumphwith Tony's key, that has drama in it that evokes feelings similar to his dynamic and dramatic keyboard piece on One for the Vine (also onW&W), and Split Enzesque keys. With a classy ending that only Genesis knows how. Please Don't Ask, should be called Please Don't Listen because its more syrup this time from Phil Collins with lousy lyrics about relationships that would fit better on his solo work. Duke's Travels and Duke's End merge into each other and are in the same vibe as Los Endos, and Unquiet Slumbers of the Sleepers of this Quiet Earth, the beginning is like Endos, and the keys have a highland/gaelic feel to it like ...of this Quiet Earth, with power and drama in the brief vocals piece and ending. If you want more Genesis goodness, but are fearful of anything past Seconds Out, there is still plenty of prog goodness, its just there are three awful tracks that you have to skip, it is definately worth your while if you like Genesis. But after this album, the bands fate is more greed inclined, and the creative instincts are lobotomised on the next album, it is indeed a tragedy, such a shrp decline. This does point at the bands future yet it still has the substance and emotional honesty (except the three dud tracks) balanced well. The last good and listenable Genesis album.

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Send comments to Cheesecakemouse (BETA) | Report this review (#144193)
Posted Friday, October 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well, this is a good album. The materials that we found here were richful. The album itself was very colourful.

This is the transitional album of Genesis, between their previous and futurous sounds. The sounds that similar to their previous sounds were "Heathaze", "Alone Tonight", and "Please Don't Ask". The fresh ones were rest of the songs. Beside, there are two progressive track as the closing of the album, they were "Duke's Travels" and "Duke's End".

Overall, once again, this is not an ordinary album form the band. Instead, this was a very unique album. The themes of each songs can be linked to the others to make this a concept album. I found the strongest songs in this album was "Duke's Travels/End" and "Man Of Our Times". For you?

Well, I would give 4 stars for this nearly-essential album. Salute to these men, Tony! Mike! And specially Phil!

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Send comments to progeater (BETA) | Report this review (#145701)
Posted Thursday, October 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Just behind the line!

While it's been said before that many people draw the line for "good" Genesis at Wind And Wuthering, some people prefer to end the "good" at this one, some end it when Peter Gabriel left. I, for one, think that Wind And Wuthering is the last of the classic Genesis period, but this album gets stuck in a sort of parellel dimension where pop-prog-rock Collin's era Genesis is great music! While "And Then There Where Three..." is certainly a good and underrated album, this one is excellent! (and underratted.) Duke manages to mix elements of the pop band that Genesis would come to be (with Collin's "Emotions on the sleeve" style of writting) and the last shards of classic Genesis (With Banks and Rutherford's contributations). A truly unique album.

While the album was originally supposed to host the side long "Duke's Suite" the track was split up in order to avoid comparison to earlier work. While I, and I'm sure most on this website, wish that the song had been left as one, all the parts are still there, and all still excellent. (As stated by Banks in the 2007 interviews) The Duke Suite would have consisted of the songs: BEHIND THE LINES, DUTCHES, GUIDE VOCAL, TURN IT ON AGAIN, DUKE'S TRAVELS/END. Each one of these songs holds very very good music. BEHIND THE LINES is a great opener that sets the stage for the fantastic ballad DUTCHESS, with it's unique vocal mellodies that's sure to please the ears of many. GUIDE VOCAL is a nice, short, well sung track while TURN IT ON AGAIN is a fantasic pop-rock single that (while many dislike it, sour grapes, perhaps?) has always been a favorite of mine. It's got edge, it's complex, it's not stanard in sturcture, what more could you want? DUKE'S TRAVLES/END are a pair of perfect instrumentals that go very well together and ... they just work. All in all the 28-minute suite is fantastic, the only thing that could make it better is if the songs were kept together as one.

Other tracks on the album are good as well, if overshadowed by the suite. MAN OF OUR TIMES is a well done track that's pleasing to the ear. HEATHAZE is a great, obscure-sounding slow beauty that stomps on the other slow tracks ALONE TONIGHT and PLEASE DON'T ASK (Each of which is okay, but not great, they each sound more like something off Abacab or beyond). CUL-DE-SAC is the obvious standout among the non-suite tracks, it's eerie, ominous and generally great.

Did I miss any? No? Great.

All in all this one is too often overlooked simply because it exists in the 80s. Don't let that fool you, this is an excellent album that can easily compete with (but not match) previous albums. It would also prove to be the last great Genesis album, being succeded by the like of Abacab, the self titled and the oh so selly-outy Invisible touch... and some others. As for this one, great job boys! 3.5 stars!

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Send comments to Queen By-Tor (BETA) | Report this review (#146158)
Posted Sunday, October 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Apologies in advance for this long-winded look at an already familiar artifact. But sometimes a belated review needs some sort of context to make any sense.

Like a lot of fans of early Genesis I lost touch with the band during the 1980s, at a time of rapidly evolving musical priorities (both theirs and mine). 1978's "And Then There Were Three.", their first LP without guitarist STEVE HACKETT, was not coincidentally the last Genesis album I ever heard...until a few weeks ago, when curiosity (and a nagging twinge of nostalgia) led me to finally catch up with this popular 1980 follow up.

In retrospect it's curious how the albums of Genesis always seemed to arrive in complimentary pairs. Think of "Nursery Cryme" and "Foxtrot", pearls of the early PETER GABRIEL era, or the post-Gabriel "A Trick of the Tale" and "Wind and Wuthering". And of course "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" was itself a double disc.

So it shouldn't have been surprising to discover how snugly "Duke" fits alongside "And Then There Were Three." That earlier LP was never the strongest album in the greater Genesis catalogue, but it at least kept the group afloat after losing yet another irreplaceable talent. Two years later, having circled their remaining wagons and consolidated the band's position in an unforgiving post-Prog landscape, the surviving trio of Collins, Banks and Rutherford were able to produce, for better or worse, probably their most confident and cohesive musical statement since The Lamb.

Mind you, that doesn't automatically make it any good. The band's target audience was of course changing, but die-hard Genesis partisans (like myself, dating back to their 1973 "Live" LP: the first Progressive Rock album I ever owned) couldn't fail to notice the discouraging lack of instrumental delicacy, always a hallmark of the classic Genesis sound. Here, it was replaced by enough Arena Rock bombast to rattle the largest stadiums on Earth, and I speak from experience: the last time I saw the band in concert, in April 1978, was at the massive Oakland Coliseum, tiny specks on a distant stage from my view in the nosebleed seats.

But I have to give the lads a little credit. Without the guiding vision of PETER GABRIEL, without the signature sound of STEVE HACKETT's guitar, the music was still recognizably Genesis. You can hear echoes of the old magic in the opening fanfare of "Behind the Lines", and (notably) in the dynamic complexity of the climactic "Duke's Travels/Duke's End" medley, clocking in at close to 11 minutes (almost all of them instrumental, by the way).

Heck, even the verses of their radio-friendly rocker "Turn It On Again" are arranged in what sounds like an unexpected 13/8 time signature. And, flying in the face of 80's fashion, there even appears to be a narrative concept behind it all, but don't quote me on that: my borrowed CD was missing its booklet.

Too bad the balance of the album is only progressive in the narrow sense that it anticipated the dumbed-down simplicity of the next decade. I certainly don't begrudge the band any of the world-wide success that followed: after all, Prog Rock had all-but exhausted its commercial potential by the tail end of the '70s, and to have continued plowing the same barren fields would have been suicidal at the time.

Even so, the plodding anti-Prog rhythm and ersatz R&B backing vocals of the hit single "Misunderstanding" must have been the final straw to discriminating listeners, despite the silver lining of a stronger beat than the anemic AM radio fodder of "Follow You, Follow Me", or the sappy "Your Own Special Way".

So, with more than twenty-six years of accumulated hindsight, what's the belated knee-jerk verdict? Not half bad I suppose, which of course is only another way of saying it's not half good either. The album is certainly a valuable slice of Genesis history, but having heard it at long last I don't see myself in any rush to catch up with "Abacab" now. Maybe after another quarter-century..?

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Send comments to Neu!mann (BETA) | Report this review (#154520)
Posted Thursday, December 06, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Duke's Travel, Genesis Death!!!

"Duke" is probably the last Genesis album that deserves to be inside a respectable progressive collection. "Duke" sound is a mixture of classical early 70's progressive with the commercial air of the 80's decade. In this new album, Genesis decides to focus its music on new fans by a more accessible style to be played on radio stations but always preserving its artistic essence.

Probably Duke is not a representative album in progressive rock history but it is clear that this is an important album in the band's history. This album is made of commercial musical mixed with progressive ingredients that cause nostalgia. Duke has excellent arrangements in percussion that evoke "A Trick of The Tail" even with the sound of the program drum machine. The voice of Phil Collins is exceptional. Tony Banks' keyboards have a much more modern atmosphere than their sound in the 70's. This allows the band to have a more accessible and dynamic sound. Hackett's absence as guitarist and composer is evident. That is why this album presents poor arrangements in strings and sometimes poor compositions lacking musical emotion. Even considering all these weak points, I admit that the essence of the old dying Genesis still refuses to die.

Genesis faces a radical change. The cover of the album is aside from the enigmatic covers on previous albums. They decided to include the cartoon of a character known as "Albert", who is in a children's book called "L'Alphabet D'Albert" written by Lionel Koechlin.

Duke is not an entirely conceptual album; however, a story can be distinguished when listening to the tracks: "Behind The Lines", "Turn it on again", "Duke's Travels" and "Duke's end". This is the story of a character whose dream is being famous and having a hit in the radio. At the end of the story the character makes a one-way travel. He disappears and he alleges that nobody will understand his decision but he needed to do it. It can be interpreted as the death of the progressive era and the majestic last ten minutes of the album prove that the band still had the courage for composing exceptional music.

Just as "Selling England By The Pound" and "A Trick of The Tail", Duke begins with an entirely progressive and delicious instrumental intro in "Behind The Lines" that reminds the end of the last track: "Duke's end". "Duchess" is a catchy track and the first one in the history of the band in which they decided to use machine drumming. "Man of Times" is a dark and experimental track, with a very complex percussion that evokes the style of eventual bands like Enchant and Magellan, from the decade of the 90's. "Heathaze" is a nostalgic track with the sound of the way Genesis should've sound in "And then there were three" album. "Cul-of-sac" it is a lightly commercial track with catchy musical arrangements. "Misunderstanding" and "Turn it on" again are very commercial tracks that are far from being an important musical contribution. "Alone Tonight" and "Please don't ask" are ordinary but pleasant pop tracks.

The best part in the album is in the last ten minutes when Genesis, with a majestic composition, decides to say good-bye to the old fans of the golden progressive era. In this way, the excellent epic "Duke's travel / Duke's end" has become one of the best compositions that this band has ever performed. The main character travels looking for his fame and glory, but in one specific moment he decides to continue alone in his journey and says good-bye to all. No one would understand his decision but there is no other option. So, he is damned to continue alone in his journey.

An elegant end for such a respectable band!

LONG LIVE GENESIS!!! Good progressions!

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Send comments to razifa (BETA) | Report this review (#156307)
Posted Saturday, December 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
jarhead12343@
4 stars Duke is the 10th release by Genesis. It was released in 1980. As you probably know, Peter Gabriel who was the main singer had already left many albums ago to pursue his solo career. Guitarist Steve Hackett had left after the wind & wuthering release. You can tell Genesis is still suffering from this. They were 2 ofthe main songwriters in the band.

Genesis had already released 1 very good album without Hackett and this is the second. This album is suprisingly very good. Tracks like Duke's Travels, Behind The Lines and Cul-de-sac show that Genesis still had some prog left in them, while tracks like Turn It On again show that they will become pop giants. Turn it on again went on to become one of the bands biggest hits and the band even named their recent tour after it. Turn It On Again is probably my favorite song on the album along with Cul-de-sac and Behind The Lines.

All in all, If you are a fan of the band and don't automatically hate every album after Peter Gabriel, this is a must have album. If you are a fan of prog in general this will be a decent listen.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#161703)
Posted Wednesday, February 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars This is my last Genesis album i dont got any other 80s genesis, but i have to say this on is actualy pretty good, sure they are now more a pop then prog band but i love some good pop now and then. Allmost all the songs are good sure theres some highlights like the opening Behind The Lines, Duchess is also very sweet, Man Of Our Times and Cul-De-Sac are very good pop songs. Sure there can be a bit to much self pity from Phil on songs like Misunderstanding, Alone tonight and Please Don't Ask, that drags the album down a bit. The ending mini epic Duke's Travels makes up for this and will make all lovers of early genesis happy. Anyway if you like good pop mixed with prog this is a pretty sweet album and if i understod it right this is thier best album of the 80s. 3.5 stars from me not an album i lisen to very often but when i feel i need some easy stuff i give this a spin or two.

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Send comments to Zargus (BETA) | Report this review (#161849)
Posted Friday, February 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Well here is where I get of. Genesis have almost made the transition into a commercial pop band. There is really nothing wrong with that, but when you think about the beautiful music they made up through the seventies this isn´t as fullfilling to me. Duke is clearly the best of the eighties Genesis albums as there are still some prog tendencies present here.

Behind the Lines, Duke's Travels and Duke's End have some great progressive parts that I enjoy and I also enjoy a song like Turn it on Again and to a certain degree Duchess, but songs like Misunderstanding and Alone Tonight are useless pop songs to my ears. When you sing lines like: There must be some misunderstanding, there must be some kind of mistake. I waited in the Rain for Hours, You were late. I´m sorry but this is the kind of Rain rhymes with Pain lyrics that are so embarrassing that I almost can´t stand it. Where have the humour and the clever lyrics of the old Genesis gone ?

The production is totally stripped down if you compare it to the production on the previous album...and Then there Were Three. There is a much more organic sound on Duke. It´s well produced IMO, but I miss the bombastic nature of ...and Then there Were Three. It´s a funny thing really that almost every other band had a really platic eighties sound around this time, but Genesis was obviously still rooted in the seventies when it came to the sound. The keyboards are very eighties sounding though.

As always both Collins, Banks and Rutherford show their brilliant musicianship allthough I must say I´m a bit disappointed about the drums from Phil Collins. They are way too simple and boring most of the time to satisfy a prog head like me.

Duke is a good album in many respects, but for prog heads there can´t be much of interest here. I know I seldom listen to it, and almost every time I do I think the same thing: Where has the intricate and beautiful music from one of my favorite bands gone ? There are enough good songs here to justify a 3 star rating though, even though Duke is not a favorite of mine.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#162803)
Posted Wednesday, February 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars I'm sorry for the fans, but I think this album is one of the less interesting Genesis albums. Yes, some great stuff here (I really love Heathaze, Duchess and Turn it on again), bt this is too long (probably one of the longest single records ever put on vinyl : 56 minutes). I think that the B side of the album is weaker than the A side : things like Cul-de-sac or Alone, tonight bores me at a point you can't imagine. No, don't try to imagine ! I say no ! :) Anyway, despite of all those weak songs on the B side, and despite the two last tracks, instrumentals (with a reminiscence of Guide Vocal), the 7 first songs are good. But only two stars for me. It deserves 3, but I gave only 2.

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Send comments to Zardoz (BETA) | Report this review (#162989)
Posted Saturday, March 01, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The 173'rd rating of this Genesis release, where the first dozen or so reviews say it all - this shows Genesis in their final, transitional phase (which has been increasingly obvious since 'Wind and Wuthering') from Progressive Giants, to being accessible and radio-friendly , and contains a fine cross-over in the process. The last of the truly 'Prog' Genesis albums IMO. Opening track 'Behind The Lines' incorporates a nicely performed instrumental introduction which gives the three-some equal share of the spotlight - cleverly arranged Drumming, dynamic Bass and lead- Guitaring, and some of the best sounding modern Keyboards for 1980 (discounting older, analogue hardware still used at the time). The bulk of the song has a 'soul' flavour to it, very tasty Bass-lines from Rutherford. Ironically, Collins did a funky re- recording of this song on his debut solo record, complete with a Brass section !..... 'Duchess' is quite an epic in its own right, and not too bad either. 'Man of Our Times' highlights an interesting drum pattern from Phil and is a very good song with an uplifting chorus. The weakest tune during the first half would be 'Misunderstanding', a Motown-flavoured poppy piano ballad, it's O.K. 'Heathaze' is a fantastic piece - Banks' keyboards shine, with some ripping fretless bass from Rutherford. 'Turn It On Again' is an intelligent song, in that it is extremely catchy, poppy, but with interesting rhythmic displacement - incorporating bars of 5,6, 7 and 8 beats, (if I'm not mistaken), but Collins makes these irregular patterns flow - a compositionally progressive trait. Next song worthy of mention is the touching ballad 'Please Don't Ask' - not even remotely Prog, but really beautiful. I have to say that we have an emotionally moving vocal from Phil, and the tune itself is quite pretty - along the lines of 'Many Too Many' from the previous album.) I still appreciate it a lot. The closing suite of 'Duke's Travels/Duke's End' is quality, inspired Prog-Rock, and allows Bank's to let loose on his synths and trusty old Hammond, and never becomes stale sounding, courtesy of the constantly shifting tempo's - Phil drums' his heart out. An outstanding composition and up there with the best Genesis has to offer. 'Duke's End' is a reprise of the opening passage of 'Behind The Lines' with the riff from 'Turn it On Again'. I rate DUKE as a 4 star album.

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Send comments to Tom Ozric (BETA) | Report this review (#163075)
Posted Monday, March 03, 2008 | Review Permalink
Gooner
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The is the best of pop sounding Genesis. Still quite a few shades of old here. The hits _Misunderstanding_ and _Turn It On Again_ are here, but that should not deter any prog.rock fan from turning their nose up at DUKE. This albums has a great opener with _Behind The Lines_ which is revisited on _Dukes Travels_. It also flows nicely into the strange but ominous _Duchess_. My favourite track here is _Man Of Our Times_ which could the _Undertow_ of this album. A mixed bag of pop and prog. and pop here, but DUKE works well. Recommended.

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Send comments to Gooner (BETA) | Report this review (#165800)
Posted Saturday, April 05, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars (Originally posted on rateyourmusic.com)

Duke is their last masterpiece. Their last album of theirs where they managed to keep their 70's style sound (on half the CD, though). However, their non-symphonic prog material on this album turns out to be their best attempt at pop music. Unlike their later pop albums, they managed to make their pop songs both creative and catchy, and they managed to at least try and write some interesting lyrics for their pop songs on here (look at Turn it on Again). The interesting thing about this album, though is that they manage to strike a balance between their 70's symphonic material and their 80's pop material. With full-out prog assault on songs like Duke's Travels/Duke's end and Man of our Times, and with catchy pop tunes like Misunderstanding and Please Don't ask. Hell, even some of their songs turn out to a mix of prog and pop, for example Duchess, Behind the Lines, and even Turn It on Again managed to dabble in both territories (interesting lyrics, 13/8 time signature). Guide Vocal was also very good, too, I love Phil Collin's vocals on that song...

On an interesting side note, Duke is a loose concept album, about people who are on the downturn of their career with their fans and critics abandoning them, which would happen not very long after this album. Perhaps they were forecasting their near future? We may never know, but they made a damn good forecast. Soon after this album, they didn't make anything that equates to this, as they would lose all of their creativity and originality for some radioplay and attention. What a shame...

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Send comments to spookytooth (BETA) | Report this review (#166346)
Posted Friday, April 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars An affirmative predecessor to And Then There Were Three Duke only just fails to capture the magic of A Trick Of The Tail and Wind & Wuthering. The Pop influence has definetly began to drift in on songs like Duchess and Man Of Our Times but ultimately chart-botherer Turn It On Again still sounds ridiculously out of place. Progressive Rock still seems to be where Genesis' talents lie on Duke, pieces like Behind The Lines, with its lengthy synth opening, the short melancholic Guide Vocal (almost reminiscent of Ripples), or the largely instrumental, nine minute long, Duke's Travels coming off as the album's strongest moments. As for the more commercial sounding tracks Misunderstanding, a jaunty piano led sing-a-long, takes first prize. Some of the songs, the epic ballad Heathaze primarily, are a little too forgettable to be considered excellent although there is nothing terrible here. Perhaps more Art Rock than Prog Duke can be described as the last truly great Genesis studio album.

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Send comments to TheRocinanteKid (BETA) | Report this review (#170331)
Posted Friday, May 09, 2008 | Review Permalink
The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Many people think that "And Then There Were Three" was GENESIS first lackluster album. As it's obvious from my 5-star review of that record, I disagree. I think that dubious honor belongs to "Duke", the second release of the three-man formation.

As would be evident from seeing the ratings I've given to all post-Duke albums, GENESIS never really hit rock bottom for me, except maybe in "Invisible Touch" (I have re-listened to "Genesis" and have found it quite better than I thought it was, even though "Illegal Alien" remains the worst track in the band's history). All other efforts are at least 2.5-3-star records, mostly thanks to the great skill that Collins, Banks and Rutherford had for crafting catchy and pretty melodies mixed with tracks that somehow showed at least 1% of the progressive tendencies that the band used to explore before. Not even "Calling All Stations" is really that terrible. But none of them is also a really good album. All of them are average, mediocre-to-decent discs that are a million miles away from what the band released prior to 1980. And "Duke", while probably the best of all of these 80's albums, is a good poster child for the huge drop in quality that GENESIS experimented.

I've said that melodies are still catchy and pretty in this era. But notice that I haven't said "beautiful" or "great". Though one can still find some excellent tunes scattered in all GENESIS post-80 discography, the band had lost that magic touch that allowed them to release a whole album full of melodic masterpieces just a couple of years before.

The excellent instrumental sections that still survived even when Hackett left the band (check the simple but magical middle section in "Burning rope") are also casualties of "Duke" and beyond, even to a greater extent than the melodies. What distinguished GENESIS from other bands is that they could create superb instrumental sections even in relatively short songs, like "Can-Utility and the Coast Liners" or, on a supreme level, in "Firth of Fifth". They also crafted some amazing instrumental passages in "Squonk" or "Eleventh Earl of Mar", and a very atmospheric one in the song I mentioned in this paragraph's first sentence. That unique magic is lost in "Duke" and afterwards. Instrumental sections would become rather bland, generic, and especially, they lost any hint of atmosphere. In this album, "Duke Travels" should work as a contradiction to my statement, as an 8-minute song with a 6-minute instrumental section. Wrong. This is precisely that, an instrumental piece, not an instrumental section within a piece. And even as an almost pure instrumental, this track is quite below GENESIS standards.

With the drop of quality in melodies and in pure-music sections, what would we expect but a complete disaster? The good thing is that this is not entirely the case. "Duke", while seriously flawed, is still an enjoyable album that still manages to be better than what many lesser bands could even dream to record. "Behind the Lines" is a good track, another one of the birth-places of the Neo-prog movement. "Duchess" is not great but it makes itself worthy. This track is the best example of what I was saying earlier: a quiet, semi-atmospheric song that pales in comparison with similar tracks in previous albums. "Guide vocal" is just irrelevant. "Man of our times" is almost boring, but the chorus is interesting. The much-maligned "Misunderstanding" is not really that atrocious. Actually, I must say I like the pretty, little, harmless pop tune (but I understand how this should've felt for a GENESIS fan used to "Foxtrot" and the likes in the 70's). "Heathaze" is very good, bordering in fantastic, very close to that level that only their best tracks could attain. It features a great performance by Collins (though very Gabriel-like at moments) and quite a majestic chorus, sad, melancholic, the only real triumph in this album. "Turn it On Again" is very entertaining, the theme powerful and exciting. "Alone Tonight" is almost lovely, but ends up being just a generic ballad due to the lack of invention in the chorus. "Cul-De-Sac" is good, with a clever idea in the main riff. "Please don't ask" holds the honor of being the first literal "I love you" moment in all GENESIS, (maybe with the exception of their very first album, but that again would be stretching things too far). I guess how atrocious this track should have seemed to their fans when the album was released. For me, it's a forgettable but rather lovely minor track. "Duke's Travels" is a mediocre instrumental for GENESIS standards (the one minute with vocals at the end seems like an afterthought more than anything), but not a bad track at all. "Duke's End" closes the album in very good fashion, even if it's a little too-brief.

"Duke" is not the best of albums, as it is the beginning of the descent into darker territories. But it's still a very entertaining collection of songs that gets 3 stars from me (in the absence of a 3.5 option, I round off the rating as I think the superiority of "The Lamb" and "Wind and Wuthering" should be made evident). What's also obvious is that, what was average for GENESIS, would have been great for other bands.

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Send comments to The T (BETA) | Report this review (#176947)
Posted Tuesday, July 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars Duke's end

Duke was the last ever really good album by Genesis and their last progressive record. In many ways Duke is a crossover between what had been and what was to be; a blend of 70's and the 80's Genesis. Some purists lost interest in Genesis already when Peter Gabriel left the band, but Trick Of The Tale and Wind And Wuthering are both, in my opinion, fantastic albums (indeed, both are all time favourites of mine); yet others gave up on Genesis when Steve Hackett left, but, again, both And Then There Were Three and Duke are, in my view, great albums too! For sure, the signs of the commercial direction the band would take with their next couple of albums were already there on And Then There Were Three (and some would claim Wind And Wuthering), but Behind The Lines/Duchess/Guide Vocal and Duke's Travels/Duke's End are great pieces of Symphonic Prog and together these tracks make up about half of the album.

The rest is mostly high quality Pop/Rock with only a few songs that stand out as weaker than the rest. Turn It On Again became a hit and a live favourite that was played on all (?) Genesis concerts since. I really like this song! Misunderstanding too became something of a hit, but it is a merely decent Pop song. Man Of Our Times and Heathaze are good songs, but not really more than just good. The weakest moments, however, come towards the end with Alone Tonight, Cul-De-Sac and Please Don't Ask, but this is remedied by the strong Duke's Travels/Duke's End that reprises some themes from the album's opening songs.

Duke is a highly recommended addition to your Genesis collection. Genesis last great album.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#177320)
Posted Saturday, July 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The last great album for Genesis and their best as a trio.Pop influence is already here but there are such songs as Behind the Lines,Duchess,Man of Our Times,Turn It on Again,Duke's Travels,Duke's End which are very good progressive songs.As whole the album is rock,not pop,but it's not solely progressive rock,but contains melodic rock,too.Slightly better than their previous release,it is the last really good album over the middle quality for Genesis.I would like to pitch on the song - Behind the Lines.I think this is an important song in Genesis' career.It is a mixture between progressive rock at the beginning and pop rock after that.The band wants to tell us that they still can make progressive rock and they aren't run out of ideas.They just want to break the commercial market.And they tell us all of this with one song - the opening one.

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Send comments to poslednijat_colobar (BETA) | Report this review (#178796)
Posted Monday, August 04, 2008 | Review Permalink
Slartibartfast
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars "Take what's yours and be damned."?

Was this unintentionally directed at Genesis' diehard fans? I don't know, but what I do know is this album has the dreadful Misunderstanding on it. "What the hell was a Beach Boys song doing on a Genesis album?", I thought at the time. The irony was that just as I was becoming a serious progressive music fan, the band was running away from that style. I thought Turn It On Again was a lot better for a pop song. I had been listening to and enjoying Follow You, Follow Me when it came out on radio (from the previous album, of course). But I really think they went too far with that one, yes it was "some kind of mistake". It would have been more appropriate on a Phil Collins solo album. Still it accomplished what it was probably intended to do and lead a bunch of pop fans to the band, and they probably came to outnumber the original fans at some point. Now I must admit that by that time back then and still to this day I am a huge fan of the pre the three.

For me, if you took out Misunderstanding, Turn It On Again; also, Alone Tonight, probably, along with Please Don't Ask, definitely; you've got a decent sort of concept album.

What had really changed on this album, though the most of the music is proggy, is that the lyrics are almost all about personal relationships rather than mostly inspired storytelling.

I've an autographed copy of the LP and an unremastered version on CD. Fortunately, I skipped the "Definitive Edition" and now I've got the actual definitive edition in my collection - the one with the DVD. This is the one to go for and the complete package offered, with this edition, gets me off the fence as to whether the album is an excellent addition or merely non-essential. Granted it does have the Misunderstanding and Turn It On Again videos, but also one of Duchess (all of these available on the video compilation Video Show, too).

There's a surround sound mix and a 24 bit stereo mix of the original album to boot, an interview about the album, the world tour programme 1980 (I still have my hard copy from the show), but the thing that makes it worth the price of admission is the Live At The Lyceum London 1980 video. You get (in order) Behind The Lines, Duchess, Guide Vocal, In The Cage, Afterglow, Dance On A Volcano, and Los Endos! Notice what's not missing! What's been added? If you can't guess the former, the latter are Darryl Steurmer and Chester Thompson.

I can't say enough about Darryl Steurmer and Chester Thompson, providing guitar and drum support, respectively, without which Genesis could not have really functioned well on tour. Already excellent musicians in their own right, they learned to play some of the old prog songs and hung around with The Three for many tours as Genesis mutated into a pop band that would throw their old prog fans the occasional bone.

Now "nobody cries for more"? Well, Genesis is back and touring as I write this, yet more as a retrospective act than a progressive one.

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Send comments to Slartibartfast (BETA) | Report this review (#178986)
Posted Wednesday, August 06, 2008 | Review Permalink
lazland
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I think this is a great LP, and, in addition to some of the more commercial feeling songs creeping in on the back of Follow You..., it has some great prog moments.

I give this album 5 stars - it has always held a special place for me since I brought the vinyl on release, and I really do not think there is a weak song on it.

The opening Behind the Lines, Duchess, and Guide Vocal were performed stunningly on the last reunion tour, and they are a tour de force of a band creating a huge wall of sound and progressive moments behind a more accessible veneer.

Man of Our Times thunders along, with Collins, I think, sounding particularly sinister in a song clearly aimed at politicians and their art. Banks & Rutherford again create a huge soundscape.

Misunderstanding is hated by many, I know. No, it's not prog, yes, it's pop, but at this stage, songs such as this did not detract from the excellence of all else, unlike in the following albums which I will review next.

Heathaze is a pleasant Banks inspired song with gentle and emotional keyboards providing the backdrop.

I still think Turn it on Again is a fantastic single, this studio version being far superior to the live versions in later years which I came to loathe. The original version contains some thunderous keyboards, huge drum sound, and simple, but effective guitar work. A brilliant single which again introduced many people to their earlier, pure prog, works.

Alone Tonight is a great melancholic song, definitely to be played after about 8 pints when you've been dumped or some such other tragedy. Again, the difference here between the individual band members solo efforts and the band efforts is the huge sound they create and the sense of emotion and musical feeling.

Cul de Sac features some excellent Banks work and is comparable, I think, to One for the Vine in its feel and subject matter.

Please Don't Ask was originally to be a Collins solo track on Face Value - thankfully, the other two liked it and created, again, a sympathetic and huge sounding texture to a very personal account of a breakup.

Dukes Travels & Dukes End are simply symphonic prog at their best - a huge sound driven largely by Banks, with the return of the guide vocal seeing Collins almost driving away whatever demons were pursuing him a the time. The final part crashes into a massive keyboard, drum, and guitar noise which is pure prog - not pop by any stretch of the imagination.

This is a far better album than many of the previous reviews suggest. It is not at all comparable to any of the Gabriel LPs, but it does represent a band who started an alternate journey with Trick of the Tail and have matured into a confident and musically tight outfit producing great work. Very highly recommended for all those who can listen to an LP without imagining its rubbish simply because its a Collins LP.

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Send comments to lazland (BETA) | Report this review (#201993)
Posted Saturday, February 07, 2009 | Review Permalink
horsewithteeth11
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars An exercise in mediocrity.

Actually, mediocrity might be a bit kinder and gentler than I tend to mean. This is the beginning of Genesis' long downslide out of the graces of prog fans. Some people wonder why I don't like Genesis as much as other 70s giants such as Gentle Giant, King Crimson, or Yes. It's all because of what started here.

No, I'm not saying that this is necessarily a bad album, but considering that I'm not as big of a fan of the band as most people on this site (I for one think they only ever made two, maybe three, masterpieces), this album still has a few good songs in Duchess, Cul-De-Sac, and Duke's Travels. However, that's pretty much where any enjoyment in this album ends for me. The rest feels too much like bland pop, despite me thinking of this album as more pop-prog. This is however the last Genesis album that will have any trace of prog on it as far as I'm concerned. I think Genesis fans will enjoy this one more, but if you're not a huge fan of them, then this 2 star album is one you don't need in your collection.

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Send comments to horsewithteeth11 (BETA) | Report this review (#202443)
Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Probably Genesis last really progressive album. I have to admit I like the Collins era pop period. ?At least it was fine, well done, prog influenced pop music. And Duke is where this transitional period is more evident, even more than on the patchy ...And Then We Were Three. Phil Collins was steppin in as a main songwriter in stuff like Misunderstanding (fine tune) and Please Don´t Ask. There are some great stuff here like Duchess, Behind The Lines and, most of all, the Duke´s suite at the end. Ok, there is also Turn It On Again, a very repetitive song that I never liked and I can´t really stand hearing it even today, but those weak moments are few.

Duke may have divided fans, but I still think it´s a fine album if you take in consideration the time it was released and the general confusing state of the music scene by then. The simple fact that it is still enjoyable today speaks for itself. So it may not be Genesis finest hour in their discography, but it is good anyway. Three stars.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#207828)
Posted Friday, March 20, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Along with other reviewers, I subscribe to the strategy of re-imagining this album. After removing the offending songs, you are left with a 43:57 minute album, (the standard length for that day), and a surprisingly good Genesis album. The first 3 songs deliver some nice drama, ambience and melancholy, all trademarks of the Genesis brand. Man Of Our Times is an excellent example of the late 70's cynical brand of prog along the lines of UK's first album. The various effects used on Collin's voice remind me of PJ Harvey's Rid Of Me album, where you have this extemely strong vocalist being aurally hamstringed, increasing the tension between music and vocalist. Very effective in its claustrophobic angst. With the leap frog in full effect, we move right into Heathaze, a typical Banks-ian affair, and [Side 2 opener] Cul-De- Sac, which at times is reminiscent in some chord changes and melody lines to (of all bands!) Steely Dan, another great band that people had trouble accepting until later in their career. Please Don't Ask gets to stay for its plaintive sincerity, melodic richness and brevity. The much lauded Duke's Travel/End is really a pale shadow of ...Sleepers..., Los Endos, and mostly Cinema Show (ie no Hackett, just ad nauseum Banks arpeggios). The return of the Guide Vocal theme serves little purpose, then after a coda of calliope (Hackett always liked those too), we have a restatement of themes (Turn It On Again rocking the house!), and then out. Sort of perfuntory (still can't find that great Rutherford guitar moment I keep reading about), but like The Wall, it's always hard to write the end to the end. But hey, they're upfront about it: the choices are gone, you're on your own, you wouldn't understand, take what's yours and be damned. When I first bought this album in 1980, I was embarassed and disgusted, but now 28 years later, I've listened to it 7 times (okay 10) in the last 5 days. I'm chalking it up to 1 part nostalgia and 2 parts listening without bias for the first time. Don't start with this album, but a truly developed love of Genesis can't help but see that they, unlike many of their compatriots, could still deliver 43 minutes of potable listening in 1980, no small feat.

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Send comments to fuqxit (BETA) | Report this review (#209468)
Posted Wednesday, April 01, 2009 | Review Permalink
Isa
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars |C+| So much music coming from just three guys. Sound familiar?

Indeed, the Genesis album Duke is recognized by most in both the prog and pop communities as a very worthwhile album, and it isn't too often that the two groups agree on anything when it comes to music. The reason for this is obvious: the band maintains relative musical integrity while still making the music accessible with catchy melodies and more repetition. So there you go, a happy intermediate between pop and prog, though a bit more on the pop side with this album.

I came across this album after discovering my parents' old vinyls in a box which hadn't been open for years. The only post-Hackett Genesis I'd heard before this was their self titled album, which I still consider pop rubbish. So naturally I expected the same with this album. When I first played it, I dismissed it as such after only half listening to it, then the last two tracks played, which caught my attention. Duke's Travels and Duke's End sound a lot like the band's proggier stuff, which I was pretty happy about. Since then I've played it on the turn-table about once a week or so, and each listen I'd pick up more things I hadn't noticed before, and now it's to the point that I can say I really enjoy this album, though I still don't give it the merit of many of the band's prior albums.

The main thing that impresses me about this album is Banks' diverse keyboard work throughout the album. I think of his parts playing a similar role in the music to Lifeson's guitar work (hence my introductory sentence) in that it not only fills up the middle space between the bass and vocals, but plays a key role in driving the music overall with the chord progressions and melodies. He does more with his keyboard on this album than most other hailed prog keyboardists on their masterpiece works. And of course let's not forget Collins' reputable drumming and competent vocals, and Ruthorford's bass, twelve string work, and backing vocals. So there should be no argument about the demonstration of diverse musicianship, something I certainly wasn't expecting from post-Hackett Genesis.

The main reason why I enjoy this album, however, is the emotional aspect of the album. Many of the experiences our character Duke faces are something most of us can really relate to on an emotional level, and this emotion is portrayed in the music very well. It's one of those albums you could easily sing to and enjoy even though you know it's not the old Gabriel-era Genesis we all love. This relatibility is probably why the pop listeners enjoy this even more than most proggers. Duke is a character we all know, because his adventures are similar to our adventures, in a sense. Quite frankly, of course a concept album about personal relationships isn't going to be full blown prog!

And this album does vier between pop and prog, coming real close to being completely one or the other for some tracks. The tracks Duchess, Misunderstanding, Turn It On Again and Alone Tonight come closer to the pop side, while the last two tracks, Man of Our Times and most of the instrumental sections come slightly closer to the prog side. But overall, it is somewhere between the two concepts, thus this album could probably be best labeled as predominantly prog-related.

Duke is certainly one of the better threes I'll give. I mainly suggest a purchase to those who are already fans of the band and don't mind Collins' voice and fans of prog-related music who like the pop-prog combination, but really this is a good buy for anyone who likes prog rock or pop music. I wouldn't be surprised if this is indeed the best of the post-Hackett albums.

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Send comments to Isa (BETA) | Report this review (#209908)
Posted Thursday, April 02, 2009 | Review Permalink
J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Duke is what I find as a farewell to Genesis in their good days. The previous album was my introduction to progressive music, and "Duke" is higher on both extremes. It's significantly poppier at times, and significantly proggier at times. I'm debating between 3 or 4 stars for this one, but I'm leaning towards 4. The pop moments aren't horrible (for the most part), and the prog moments are some of my favorite from Genesis (the Duke's Travels/Duke's End suite is some of my favorite music ever).

I'm not sure if this is a concept album or not. I don't know of it has a lyrical story or not (I guess I didn't pay close enough to the lyrics), but it certainly does have a few musical and lyrical reprises. The opening to "Behind The Lines" is reprised in "Duke's End", along with two or three other reprises.

In terms of music, this is a very solid effort that is far too often overlooked in the prog community simply because Steve Hackett and Peter Gabriel had left at this point in Genesis' career. Also, songs like "Misunderstanding" and "Turn It on Again" are associated with Duke way more than they need to be. Look folks, these are only 2 out of 12 songs. The rest of the album is almost all incredible. Ultimately, these two songs are why I'm giving this album 4/5 stars. What ISN'T associated with this album is all of the great parts that earn the other 4 stars. "Behind The Lines" has a proggy opening, but has a funky main section with really cool bass. Even some of the more poppy songs (Alone Tonight, Please Don't Ask) are very good.

One of the main things about this album is that, prog or pop moments, it is very synth-heavy and has a different feel, even in comparison to its predecessor. It has a sound that I tend to like, but I could understand somebody not liking some of the traits. One of these things that I definitely do not like is the drum machine that is used occasionally here. It's not nearly as bad as it would soon become, but it's a hint of where they were going to go, which is definitely a shame because the drumming is incredible on this album. If you listen to the drumming on the last two songs, you will see some of Phil Collins' true drumming ability.

All in all, this is a solid album. Is it Foxtrot? Certainly not. But in the dying prog scene in the early 1980's, this is a very good album with moments of symphonic prog at its best. This is a mix of a few prog songs and a few pop songs put together to make a solid album, warranting a 4 star review.

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Send comments to J-Man (BETA) | Report this review (#221345)
Posted Monday, June 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars I am no fan of Phil Collins pop era Genesis. Duke is another one of these pop albums, although not really straight pop. Pompeous pop is a more fitting label.

The album starts of with a great keyboard theme. I am not a fan of these synthetic plastic fantastic keyboards sound Tony Banks used in the 1980s. This album has plenty of it. The 1980s era Genesis was much less organic than the 1970s era Genesis. Collins and Banks kind of jumped on this bandwagon which was the 1980s. This decade was the lost decade of the mankind with horrendous clothes and music. Genesis kinds of falls into that category where all organisms are replaced with plastic sounds. The Duke is full of this type of sounds. Where is the warmth and the humanity of Trespass and Foxtrot ? Gone. Gone forever. Instead, we get assaulted by some plastic keyboards. Kind of robots in a car factory, killing all human ideas of creatitivty. The good material is there on Duke. But it is being coated in plastic and denied any breathing space.

There are some good songs here and I am not slaughtering it. Genesis has released far worse albums than this one. But I have some serious objections towards the sound and that sound kills of the good material. Yes, I am rambling on and probably not making much sense. But I am just expressing my view which comes from my senses, processes in my soul. That means Duke = good songs + bad sound.

3 stars (barely)

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Send comments to toroddfuglesteg (BETA) | Report this review (#244586)
Posted Wednesday, October 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Rutherford, Banks and Collins' 1980 release is a gorgeous one from a band that had never been able to stand still musically. Whether one liked that newness is, I suspect, more a matter of taste than art. In the case of these three, a penchant for a more defined musical design - leaner but sonically larger than previous work - had always been evolving since they began playing music together. And though Phil Collins' lyrics are typically ambiguous and vaguely symbolic (underlying story? general associations? open to interpretation?-- does anyone really care?), he'd matured as a singer and turns in a very strong performance. What we got was a record with wide appeal that showed what could be done with both pop and prog. As usual, this band was at the forefront of new ideas and technologies and this time was no different, they were just older and increasingly more interested in getting to the point. There are several cuts that will not appeal to 70s Genesis fans, there is no doubt, and Collins' broken-hearted, bubblegum tapioca pudding moans could induce late stage diabetes. But on the whole Duke is not only generally better and far more developed than their next, but also outdoes previous And Then There Were Three for continuity, studio sound and mixing. Which is to say, it's a good record. Real good.

'Behind the Lines' defines the new sound well, the guys sounding bigger and badder than ever but on contemporary terms. The Collins preoccupation with Jackson 5-style Motownism is unavoidable and the band seems happy to oblige, and his personal fascination with childhood pervades the lyrics. 'Duchess' is better, abruptly opens into a grand march after a timid start and chronicles a performer's fate, touching 'Guide Vocal', and though 'Man of Our Times' is a perfectly fine tune, contains increasingly obtuse lyrics that make us scream for Peter Gabriel's abstract nonsense which was at worst interesting. Obsessive young romance of hit 'Misunderstanding' was a highway-driving favorite, grim ecological visions in 'Heathaze', and utterly fantastic Flashdance-era spectacle for 'Turn it on Again'. Is that Travolta shaking his ass in Staying Alive? No! It was just the new Genesis record in 1980. Relax, and keep moving. 'Alone Tonight' will stay alone if I can help it as will 'Cul-de-Sac'. Finally some of the old magic for Duke's 'Travels' and 'End', Banks pulling out the tricks with a marvelous timbre on keys and bass pedals, the joy this band has playing together pouring through with some killer bits.

This, their tenth in the studio, is probably also the tenth Genesis album one should acquire. But far from being undesirable, Duke is a terrific pop record filled with highly entertaining music by some of the finest players of any realm in the world .

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Send comments to Atavachron (BETA) | Report this review (#244692)
Posted Wednesday, October 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover and E&O Teams
4 stars Sidenote: Sweet mother of prog, thank you that I'm back from these dark times of prog music. However, I'll return there, because some work has to be done. And it's not pleasant one (albums after Genesis).

Duke has nice cover(t) art, simplified, but about as simple as in Little Prince, but both promises great experience, when you properly feel into it. Still, this has almost all elements that old Genesis used to have (we all understand which ones, right?). When listening this, I feel like at home from some distant country of unhappy and unpleasant music (80's).

4(+) and let eternal damnation on my soul for doing it. This is not bad album, not even by remote, because honestly, when judging this in compare to some new bands that I've been listening and reviewing lately, this still stands still & firm (even it's "past Genesis time as undisputed prog band"). Long, instrumental passages, great atmosphere (finally, going backwards proved to be useful when I went from 1985 to 1955 and now it helped again), vocals of Collins that sounds even more like Gabriel's (good one, but how the hell are they doing it?), almost pompous structure of some songs and monumental outro.

Simply great

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#259877)
Posted Friday, January 08, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars For this Genesis fan, Duke is the low point in the band's deep catalog of stellar recordings. It disappoints mainly because of the sub-standard quality of the song writing, and because (owing to its 2 very popular hit singles: Turn It On Again and Misunderstanding) it received so much attention. It generated the band's highest album sales to date resulting in their first chart topping record. It's just irritating that something this mediocre (relative to other Genesis records) could also become hugely popular. I'm positive the purchasers of Duke had no prior knowledge of Genesis' music. But those aren't the only reasons I'm giving it a low rating. The album as a whole feels incomplete: it doesn't flow like other Genesis records. The main problem as I see it: Many Too Many filler songs. And since Duke is the band's longest record, that's a lot of filler. It's almost as if the group gave up on it, or they weren't given the time to finish it properly. That may have to do with the fact that Phil Collins was absent from the collective writing process while trying to patch up his marriage in Vancouver. And I'm sure their record company, Atlantic, was screaming for a follow-up to And Then There Were Three. So I give the band points for continuing the momentum; but take some back for turning in such a jumbled, overwrought, and overlong turkey.

As it stands, Duke offers 29 minutes of group written material, plus an additional 27 minutes of solo (by that I mean solo written, not solo performed) tracks. This would be fine if the solo songs stood up to the group stuff, but for this fan, the solo songs are bland and tuneless. They lack polish, conviction, humor, and any real connection to a concept, theme or unified musical identity. And the lyrics are appallingly bad. So many of the reviews I've read state that Heathaze is one of the best songs on Duke. Really? Tony Banks has written much better lyrics than "Silent as a day can be, Far-off sounds of others on they're chosen run, As they do all those things that they feel give life some meaning, Even if they're dull." Only Bernie Taupin could write less evocative lyrics. He follows that stanza with, "Time to stop this dreaming, Must rejoin the real world, As revealed by orange lights and a smoky atmosphere." Yes, Tony, you must rejoin the real world. All of the solo songs suffer from this same lackadaisical word play: the exception being Phil's songs because he was writing about the very real breakup of his marriage. However, it doesn't save his songs from sounding like much of the music heard daily on AM radio. As Tony Banks has pointed out, "Phil has a James Taylor side to him." On Duke, he almost goes Joni Mitchell.

But what really sinks this record for me was the decision, (by the band?, the record company?) to integrate the solo songs into the group written material. Breaking up the Duke Suite in order to balance sides A and B was a calculated concession to hide sub-par tracks. It may have (momentarily) kept fans from feeling gypped for purchasing a single sided record, but it just kills the momentum.

I must finish by stating that I am, above all, a true Genesis fan. I don't divide the band's career into pre and post Peter Gabriel eras. I do wish both Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett had remained in the band, but Phil Collins is a great singer, he is; and he really came into his own as a songwriter when the band needed it the most. He gets huge points from me for that. And lastly, I love music; and Genesis has, above all, consistently made very good music--no matter what the line-up.

So here's how I solved my "Duke" problem. I reunited the Duke suite, which is: Behind the Lines, Duchess, Guide Vocal, Turn It On Again, Duke's Travels and Duke's End. Then I combined, on an 80 minute CD, And Then There Were Three, (sequenced in reverse order minus Down And Out), with the Duke Suite immediately following Undertow. That means I get about 46 minutes of ATTWT followed by 28 minutes of Duke. For this Genesis fan, That's All that is required.

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Send comments to The Black Raven (BETA) | Report this review (#269943)
Posted Saturday, March 06, 2010 | Review Permalink
Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I'm going to go with my better judgment and give this 2 stars. This is primarily because there are at least some fleeting moments of...dare I say...great music on this album.

By 1980 much of the fun of listening to a new Genesis album was gone. They may have some good lines or melodies here and there, but due to effects and overdubs they didn't lay much of it down together, and that comes through in the music. Also--and I don't know whether to attribute this to the production or the instruments--but the synths sound cheesier and the guitars and drums tin-ier than a decade earlier.

In other words, as we all knew, the early 80s just weren't good for prog.

Highlights include the opening and closing overtures--particularly Duke's End--which show that the band could still rock out if called upon to do so. Despite what others think, Turn It On is a good and catchy song to my ears, even with a little non-standard rhythm in there to ever-so-slightly stick it to the traditional pop world. Duke's Travels also gets a B for effort, but it's really just a generic jam with some cheesy-sounding synths when you break it down.

The rest of the songs, at least to my ears, just don't need to be discussed much in the context of progressive rock.

All in all, I really just love the balls-out glory of Duke's End, with some highlights here and there. Some of the rest can lie in the scrap heap of other cheese-pop of the times.

And let's not even get started about that cover art...

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Send comments to Flucktrot (BETA) | Report this review (#285129)
Posted Saturday, June 05, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4 Stars. Duke is a good album, obviously not as good as the juggernauts of the Hackett era, but it has some really fantastic moments and overall is a fine effort from Mr.Collins who finally found his place as a frontman during this period. Tony Banks is as ever the backbone, and Mike Rutherford used his tried, tested and successful bass pedals throughout. Anyway, here I go song by song:

Behind The Lines is a classic Genesis powerful opener. Starting with a thundering bass pedal and a synchronised guitar and keyboard riff, it's an energetic start to a wonderful album. Phil Collins comes in, and during the second verse the song slows down a little and becomes slightly jazzier. His vocals build up the song to a climax, and the guitar chimes in with a short but pressure releasing solo. The riff then plays again, slightly altered before running into Duchess.

After Behind The Lines fades out, Duchess starts with a simple drum machine beat, and it's the first time Genesis used this technique if I recall correctly. The bass is droning (In a good way), and Phil's vocals shine, as they do throughout the album and the rest of his career.

Guide Vocal is a short, slower song acting as a break between the volatile Duchess and Man Of Our Times. It's one of Genesis' prettier short tracks, and is mainly comprised of Tony's keyboards.

Man Of Our Times is again led in by Rutherford's bass, a hearty keyboard riff and Phil Collins' varied vocals. It's got all the energy of Behind The Lines, and is one of the standout songs on the album. There is an instrumental break before a final, powerful chorus and a fade out.

Misunderstanding is the first single from Duke, and it's my least favourite song on the album. It does have a nice melody, but it's a bit too cheesy and doesn't have as much substance as the rest of the album - basically it doesn't fit right. Phil Collins added it onto Duke just after he recorded his debut solo album Face Value, and it's about a man who attempts to go on a date, but his partner doesn't show up.

Heathaze is the second ballad of the album, and it's quite a nice one. It begins pretty sparsely, but slowly builds into an a clean, almost agressive chorus. A Tony Banks composition, it's mainly soft and mellow but with meaning. Lyrically it's descriptive, beautiful and another testament to Tony's songwriting abilities.

Turn It On Again starts with a strumming bass, before a keyboard riff starts, and Phil's voice starts the first verse. It's sung more agressively, and the main riff is an infectious one. It does start to build, but eventually fades out before any kind of finale.

Alone Tonight starts out again as a ballad, and is a pretty acoustic and vocal song. Until the chorus, and it comes to life, the bass starts to really be heard and the voice is a lot louder and stronger. Definitely a good track, one of many on Duke!

Cul-De-Sac is another Tony Banks song, and it's a lot more interesting than some of the previous songs. It has an imperial kind of feel at times, and all four instruments seem to wake up and come alive. There are a lot of changes throughout the song, and the keyboards are at the forefront. Cul-De-Sac is the second standout song from Duke, and a good drum beat makes a surprise appearance.

The second of Phil Collins' songs, Please Don't Ask is another ballad, but a spritely one at that. Bass and drums take over for the most part, and Phil's voice is always dependable and unlike Misunderstanding, it's a solid and enjoyable song.

And here we have the marquee piece, the only song over 8 minutes and arguably the best song. Opening with an extensive keyboard intro and a mini drum solo, Duke's Travels soon changes to a bumpy rock riff, drums and keyboards intertwining and making a lovely cocktail of music. The bass slides it's way in, but the keyboards are already flying high, and the riffs constantly change. Tony Banks soars on the boards, before Phil comes in with the first lyrics, 6 minutes in. The strained verse is delightfully placed in the structure of the song, before the music forms an explosive climax then settles down slowly to a strange little sound for the last few seconds.

Duke's End is an instrumental reprise of Behind The Lines, and serves as a powerful way to end the album.

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Send comments to Niv (BETA) | Report this review (#286603)
Posted Tuesday, June 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Duke", 10th album's genesis was a watershed in the career of band.In one hand, there really inspired by bands Progressive Era ("Duke's travel") and more accessible ("Turn it on again"). Many fans Phase prog band don´t like this album.I'm personally like this.The 12 tracks on this album impressed me, some more, others less.

1-Behind the lines is a optimal range opening.The quickly and not lose much of its efficiency.I like much of instrumental introduction of two minutes.

2-Duchess is a song much more relaxed than previous, and his aberturainstrumental (also for 2 minutes) is guided by a drum machine and keyboards from Banks, who create an atmosphere of quite calma.Uma my favorite album.

3-Guide Vocals is a sort of "coda" of "Duchess" ,is a small range, guided by the voice of Phil Collins and the keyboards of Banks.

4-Man of Our Times is another song which I like much.Your chorus is perfect.

5-Misunderstanding is mainstream, and many people don´t like it.But,by more commercial than this song is, I can not help liking her.

6-Heathaze is my least favorite track, as I find it very protracted and crablouse.I'll give a 7 for the chorus, which is quite beautiful.

7-Turn it on again is another song too commercial, but I also like.

8-Alone Tonight is another ballad in the style of Phil Collins, but very pretty.

9-Cul-de-sac is another nice tune, where soon after the vocal has a small number of keyboard that culminates in the main theme.

10-Please do not ask -oh, God, how I love this song! This post-divorce ballad by Phil Collins is pretty sad and wistful, reflecting the spirit of it in period.Seu chorus is the most beautiful album.

11-Duke's travel is the "magnum opus" of this album, has the longest instrumental introduction of all the songs from Genesis: 6 minutes until the vocals entrarem.Até there, we have a sucesăo of instrumental themes showing that Genesis was still quite progressive.

12-Duke's end" is other "coda," this time only serves to terminate the previous song (as the name suggests), but is a great instrumental piece.

4,5 stars!

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Send comments to voliveira (BETA) | Report this review (#308311)
Posted Thursday, November 04, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Firstly, Behind the Lines is really popish (though a bit artsy) song in wich we hear the worst elements of the two albums before it. The song clearly want to appeal to most of the population and is very comercial. Duchess has got a very long intro witch was completely useless and after it, a popish nearly rocking song appears. Not really good to me and really unproggy. I'm certain a lot of people like it but it's simply not it for me. I aggree to say that Phil Collins has got a great voice but he is not a leader. I could not even finish the album skipping several songs because they were really unproggy wich led me to the last two tracks wich were seeming prog to me because together they formed a ten minutes suite. It's nearly good prog but not quite it.

Don't try this album thinking it's prog or listen to the end. That's my advice.

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Send comments to The_Jester (BETA) | Report this review (#339625)
Posted Wednesday, December 01, 2010 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars After getting introduced to the two post-Hackett Genesis albums through As Good As Gold live album, it felt like Duke was suppose to be a pretty decent and the better release of the first two trio albums. And so I once again used Spotify to listen to one of the later Genesis albums!

Duke definitely turned out to be a rather enjoyable release, especially in comparison to the self-titled (1983) album, which I will be covering shortly. Still, it doesn't come close to even the least interesting moments of the pre-1977 Genesis. The songs that I've learned to love on the live album were Turn It On Again and Misunderstanding, but surprisingly non of them managed to surpass their live counterparts. Instead it's the dramatic Tony Banks ballads that steal the show for me. Heathaze and Guide Vocal both feature very recognizable melodic hooks that could have only been arranged by the keyboard master himself. If you like to hear a clear difference in both arrangement and melody then Alone Tonight is a pretty good example of just that.

The Duke-suite was clearly made to integrate both fans of progressive rock and pop into the band's new direction. It all sounds a bit like a cheap trick to pull on your trusting audience and so most of those tracks never really clicked with me the way that they probably are expected to. I'm actually not sure if the pop audience would have been entirely convinced by this release if it wasn't for the surprise hit single Turn It On Again that skyrocketed Genesis into stardom for another decade.

Overall, it's a nice surprise to see that not all the albums released by the trio line-up were as bad as they were considered by the progressive rock fans at the time. Duke might not be even remotely close to the excellence of the band's past but still a worthy listen after you've covered all of the classics.

***** star songs: Guide Vocal (1:21) Heathaze (4:57)

**** star songs: Behind The Lines (5:43) Turn It On Again (3:46) Alone Tonight (3:54) Cul-De-Sac (5:06) Duke's Travels (8:39) Duke's End (3:08)

*** star songs: Duchess (6:25) Man Of Our Times (5:34) Misunderstanding (3:13) Please Don't Ask (4:00)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#348161)
Posted Thursday, December 09, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Duke is a definite improvement over "And Then There Were Three".

1. The production values are excellent with good separation.

2. The songs have a generally positive feel compared to the darker ATTWT

3. Mike is much more confident in his lead guitar work.

4. Phil's drum sound is much bigger and more dynamic

Several of the songs follow a concept known as The Duke Suite but which have been split up across the album rather than as a single long track. These songs are Track 1 Behind the Lines, Track 2 Duchess, Track 3 Guide Vocal, Track 7 Turn It On Again and the instrumentals Track 11 Duke's Travels (8:39) and Track 12 Duke's End (3:08). As whole these work quite well in a live setting and it is pity they were not kept together on this album.

Misunderstanding is very much a Collin's ballad and would have been better left for one of his solo albums (which Phil had yet to make). Similarly, Rutherford's "Alone Tonight" which like "Your Own Special Way" from W+W should have been kept for his future Mechanics project.

Turn It On Again is often derided but it does have a very interesting time pattern (13/4?) and was clearly a crowd and band favourite.

Overall this Album shows that the "Then There Were Three" Genesis have the ability to work successfully as a three piece.

The album is quite long for a vinyl recording (Total Time 55:46). If Misunderstanding (3:13) and Alone Tonight (3:56) were dropped and replaced by Bank's Single B-side Evidence of Autumn (4:58) this would clearly be a four star album and still be considered as a long vinyl album. This would have dramatically altered the ratio of Banks songs to the others. I think Tony was outvoted.

3.8 stars but could have been higher had Tony got his way!

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Send comments to KeepItDark (BETA) | Report this review (#350236)
Posted Sunday, December 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Not between the best albums of Genesis but a very good one. A half way between And then there were three and Abacab, Duke has very good moments and some shadows (not much).

The album opens with Behind the lines, a track that starts with an almost two minutes pompous instrumental, that sounds great, and sounds even better in the live versions. After that, the song is mainly the melody line, a good one.

Behind the lines is very well connected with the second track Duchess, the one preferred of Tony Banks. After a drum machine with little sounds and keyboards running of almost two minutes, Duchess gets into a great sound hold over a non conventional drum job. Collins did it very well in the voices, but the best is the chorus, just amazing. The fade out is really good and flows into a little gem composed by Banks called Guide Vocal, very emotional and with a stunning melody line over an electric piano motive.

Man of our times is a modern prog number by Rutherford in which Collins voice sound almost unrecognizable. The song is mainly based on keyboards and is really good.

Misunderstanding is one of the weak points of the album. Written by Collins was the first big hit of the band in USA. The track is a pure pop number much mellow for my taste. The live version on Three sides live is far better.

Heatheaze is a prog ballad from Banks with ethereal lyrics. One of the most underrated tracks of Genesis. This track is one of the best ballads of the band, in the way of the '70s second half Genesis.

The original side two, starts with one of the '80s Genesis iconic rock tracks. Turn it on again became from a guitar riff of Rutherford transformed by Collins in the speed. The track is really great and sounds far better in the Three sides live version, especially because the rougher and heavier sound. Alone tonight is a commercial ballad by Rutherford, a precursor of the next '80 Genesis ballads. It demonstrates the capabilities of Rutherford to create great melody lines.

Cul de Sac is another prog piece by Banks. Good instrumentation and change of rhythms, the only problem is that is too short. Please don't ask is sad ballad by Collins, based in a very simple piano riff. Just the other weak part of the album.

And the best is at the end. Duke's Travels, an instrumental epic of almost 10 minutes is the absolute highlight of the album. Banks did the main thing with fast and melodic keyboards solos here and there with Collins drumming with all his pyrotechnic. Rutherford brings a good job in bass and a better one with some electric solos, especially at the end. The track finishes with a great reprise of Guide Vocal to flow then into Duke's End, an instrumental reprise of Behind the lines intro. A great ending.

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Send comments to genbanks (BETA) | Report this review (#375010)
Posted Thursday, January 06, 2011 | Review Permalink
colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Duke shows Genesis moving further into their slightly progressive synth-pop phase. Genesis have fully embraced the fact that they write above-par and intelligent pop songs, and are quite able of being a terrific singles-act. The sound here is much more synth heavy than their last album, and eschews more of the progressive elements that were still loosely intact on And Then There Were Three.

The musicianship is still great throughout the album, and the music here is great for what pop music is generally considered to sound like. The only track here that I find to be completely enjoyable is "Duke's Travels" which is a progressive instrumental journey that really brings the album up a few notches.

Overall, this album isn't entirely great, and I would only suggest it for "Duke's Travels". This is the last album that Genesis would record with any noticeable elements of progressive rock.

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Send comments to colorofmoney91 (BETA) | Report this review (#429403)
Posted Friday, April 08, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Better than anything that came later, yet missing key prog ingredients. Great songs are here: "Behind the Lines", "Duchess", "Guide Vocal", and "Cul De Sac"and the end instrumental numbers. But the rest is rather empty and pointless pop. The best songs on here in my opinion are "Duchess" and "Cul De Sac". The worst? "Alone Tonight" I think. Overall, this may be the last gasp of a once great progressive music band as it rolls over in it's grave and comes back to life as The Phil Collins Trio. From here it was all downhill fast. 3 stars maybe 3 and a half.

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Send comments to mohaveman (BETA) | Report this review (#451852)
Posted Wednesday, May 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars Well, this Genesis album is dividing the respective critics who give it 1 to 5 stars and obviously cannot agree as to whether this is a masterpiece or a master-mess. I sit pretty comfortably in the middle. It is not all that bad, but nowhere near a masterpeice.

"Duke" is the first Genesis album that I owned and as such has a place in nostalgic terms for me as a vinyl treasure. The packaging is unforgettable with that iconic figure looking at the window. I absolutely love 4 of the tracks, but, as is the case in the 80s, Genesis was losing their prog power. But having said that, suffice it to say, 'Turn it on Again' definitely was progressive and hit the top 10 charts at that! The unusual meter in the pre chorus, dropping a full phrase and intonation, is outstanding and showed Genesis were still maintaining the inventive edge of the 70s days. Phil Collins is better on this album than subsequent albums when he turned to power ballads. He is wonderful on Behind The Lines and the brilliant Duchess. I always loved that war cry in the chorus "and everyone cried for more", having seen it first on the promo clip on TV.

The others on side one are rather forgettable. It is on side 2 that the genuine prog touch returns on the classic Duke's Travels, an 8:39 blitz of awesome instrumentation. There are many mediocre moments on the album so I could never rate this any more than 3 stars. However, there is nothing wrong with the aforementioned tracks, and really Turn it on Again and Duchess are quintessential to the 80s Genesis repertoire.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#452168)
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars If you have a vinyl copy of Duke, you will notice that it's mastered a little bit quieter than most records. I would bet that the reason for this was that they had made a longer album with songs that they felt should be in a very specific order without the interruptions that would have resulted in making it a double album. This is especially evident on Side One, one of their best sides ever. Opening with the super-charged energy of "Behind the Lines", (which soon turns into a soul song) they are immediately more confident as a three-piece, and Phil Collins has leaped forward as a fully adept frontman. Notice the newly added rock edge to his voice. The guitar solo in this song is one of my favorites from Mike Rutherford, showing much individual peronality and just the right choice of notes. Segueing into "Duchess", we're treated with an instrumental intro that is almost more hypnotic and entrancing in it's spaceyness than the end of "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight." The thick ambience of the keyboards continues into the song portion, definitely bringing a new sound to the plate. The following "Guide Vocal", while having very mysterious lyrics that I'm sure probably have a specific meaning, is very pretty, and again Phil Collins had not ever sounded exactly like this yet singing, and in some ways, this same combination of angst and romantic expression would not be found on record again after this. "Man Of Our Times" follows the new more aggressive sound with pounding drums and very electric sounding guitars and keyboards playing some interesting moving lines and chord changes, not to mention intelligent lyrics about possibly the news media's over-confidence in knowledge and information and things of that nature. The oft- maligned "Misunderstanding" is a bit unexpected, and some criticize it for being too commercial, but in my opinion, there is good pop and bad pop, and I've always thought that Genesis does this type of thing well, especially here! The arrangement if full, the confident lead guitar lines add a good amount of rock to it's poppiness, and the vocal harmonies are magnificent. I really like the Tony Banks song that follows, too, "Heathaze", seemingly about a struggle between natural reality and the manufactured world our society has created. Another very expressive vocal performance from Phil Collins, and another song that's placed in just the right spot. Beginning Side Two, "Turn It On Again" is more complex than it sounds, with it's mixed meter chord changes over an unchanging straight drum beat. These chord changes, like the ones in "Behind the Lines" are very original and some of the most creative writing Genesis has done. I never feel as strongly about Side Two as I do about Side One, though: while the next three songs, "Alone Tonight", "Cul-De-Sac", and "Please Don't Ask" are all three very good songs, coupled with the next track's somewhat directionless extended intro (it's no "Unquiet Slumbers..."), they seem to drag the momentum of the album down a little being placed one after the other like that, and I think the otherwise amazing instrumental excursion "Duke's Travel's/Duke's End" would have been able to bring more of the complete, dramatic finish that it seems to be aiming for and that the album needs if the aforementioned three song sequence had been interspersed with at least one song of a higher rock caliber. Still, the album is very satisfying, and the great multi-layered textural climax leading into "Duke's End" combined with the rest of the songs is able to give the album a unique feel of majestic, decayed elegance.

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Send comments to 7headedchicken (BETA) | Report this review (#458619)
Posted Thursday, June 09, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Rating: 10/10

After the departure of Peter Gabriel, Genesis debated between the progressive-symphonic rock and the each time increasing synth and keyboards pop that logically was growing with Phil Collins ahead.

Strangely, and this is another reason why music is such a magical thing, those two apparently not matchable waves came together and fitted perfectly exactly at the beginning of the golden pop decade: 1980.

Genesis put it all together as never done before and after into an album: "Duke".

An outstanding display of inspiration, great songwriting and marvelous interpretation.

And right there relays the magnificent of "Duke": although it's a conceptual album, that's not its most remarkable aspect. What makes this one an unforgettable album are the songs.

This is an incredible collection of songs forming a story of a common man called Duke that, immerse in the day by day loneliness of modern life, finds himself some kind of rendition and an easy escape or way out in T.V.'s fantasies, and falls in love with a glamor-kind actress.

The songs have their own thematic and argument, their own melody and rhythm changes without repetition ; they are individual pieces that fit perfectly and, putting them all together, give shape to the concept, the idea of the album.

In terms of songwriting this is by far the best Collin's (drums and voice) - Mike Rutherford (bass and guitar) - Tony Banks (keyboards) work ever, excluding the Peter Gabriel era of course.

From beginning to end, the songs remain with quality and beauty but also sophistication in instrumentation and arrangements.

It would be really pointless to name some of the songs because the musical level remains equal through all the record.

But it's impossible not to name the irresistible rhythm of "Turn It On Again" (by far one of the greatest and most memorable chorus on a song: "...I, I, get so lonely when she's not there!..."), the toughness and at the same time sweetness (the tempo is rough but kind because he's talking about the woman he loves) of "Duchess" with a stunning vocal interpretation by Collins, the semi-funk section of "Misunderstanding" proving their songwriting diversity, the strong "Cul-de-sac" in the artistic line of "Duchess" but with a fantastic unmatchable rhythm (this could be the definition of a perfect pop song) and the awesome ballads.

In this field this album is unreachable."Alone Tonight", "Heathaze" and "Please Don't Ask" are, simply, unbelievable. The deepness of the melodies, the impeccable instrumentation, the passionate vocal performance, the arrangements; everything is perfect.

But the most sincere advice is that this album must be listened from head to tail and therefor enjoyed in its entirely.

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Send comments to Mattiias (BETA) | Report this review (#461196)
Posted Tuesday, June 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Duke was a bold move for Genesis. It's a transitional album that works very well after repeated listens. It stands out on its own for sure. None of their other records sound like this one. The opening song 'Behind The Lines' sounds very fresh and uplifting and it flows into one of my favourites 'Duchess' with its really pleasant washes of keyboards and the band's first use of a drum machine. 'Guide Vocal' is a short, much softer moment and you may already notice the variety because none of the songs sound anything alike. With 'Man Of Our Times', you can tell the group have come from a progressive rock background, especially with the thumping drums and melodic keyboards, but the 80's hits making years also beckon. 'Misunderstanding' "Alone Tongiht" and "Please Don't Ask" fully display the band's astute new pop side. They may be pop songs but they are certainly very good ones. Very sweet, emotional and melodic. I've always loved "Heathaze" and "Turn It On Again" - these are great group compositions and the vocals are very strong. Listen to the beautiful opening part of 'Cul-De-Sac'. The rest of the song is really great too and the playing is tight. 'Dukes Travels' brings the prog mood back towards the end with some really nice keyboard touches. Duke really has an interesting fusion of ideas. Don't forget that this was released in 1980, not a steady time for prog music at all. As it stands, this album is excellent. 4 solid stars.

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Send comments to Frankie Flowers (BETA) | Report this review (#470590)
Posted Monday, June 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars To me, this one of their best and rivals the Shapes album as the best of the Trio era. The Duke Suite (Behind the Lines/Duchess/Guide Vocal/Turn it on Again/Duke's Travels/Duke's End) is the best part of the album and always captures me every time. The other songs are pretty good but don't hold up as well to me. Man of Our Times is pretty good and I do like Misunderstanding (I will defend Phil Collins songwriting to the hills) Heathaze and Cul-De-Sac hold up very well IMHO. Overall this is a great album that combined pop and Prog is a nice blend but as they went on the pop started to take over. 5 Stars. Highlights: Behind the Lines, Duchess, Guide Vocal, Man of Our Times, Misunderstanding, Heathaze, Turn it on Again, Cul-de-Sac, Duke's Travels and Duke's End

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Send comments to criticdrummer94 (BETA) | Report this review (#502679)
Posted Saturday, August 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Hardly the pop sellout it is sometimes painted as, Duke is in fact the last hurrah for Genesis' proggy side. Tony Banks ably incorporates a more modern (for the time) synthesiser sound into the band's music this time - and is one of the few people who are able to avoid early 80s synths sounding dated - and the album consists of three different types of song: adeptly composed art-pop pieces like Turn It On Again or Misunderstanding, nods to the band's pastoral prog past like Heathaze, and a modernised progressive sound displayed on songs such as Duchess and Duke's Travels/Duke's End which could have happily seen the band carry the prog torch through the 1980s and still attain great commercial success if only they had pursued this direction.

The disc also seems to be something of an inadvertent concept album - dividing up the "Albert" suite (Behind the Lines/Duchess/Guide Vocal/Turn It On Again/Duke's Travel's/Duke's End) and spreading it over the album means that overall the album seems to have a hidden storyline about a man whose wife leaves him, goes through a depressing period in his life, musters the courage to meet up with her again (Please Don't Ask), and then realises that he's moved on and is able to finally put her behind him. (The first "Take what's yours and be damned!" in Guide Vocal is sorrowful petulance from the jilted man; the second "Take what's yours and be damned!" at the end of the album is a firm rejection from a man who has decided he doesn't need what his ex was offering any more.)

I wouldn't call it the crowning prog achievement of the Phil era of Genesis - that accolade probably goes to A Trick of the Tail - but it's a competent updating of the Genesis sound which ably balances commercial accesibility with progressive credibility. It's certainly no betrayal of the band's past by any stretch of the imagination. That, friends, would come later.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#563692)
Posted Monday, November 07, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars THERE MUST BE  SOME MISUNDERSTANDING!

Ok. First of all I have say that DUKE, by GENESIS is an exceptional yet  brave piece of work. I say brave because GENESIS were able to fuse pop and prog together and make it freakin work! A Daring task indeed given their previous history. I hear some naysayers out there that say DUKE is not prog at all and I say to the negative nancy's out there that your wrong. Dead wrong! DUKE is what we call a progressive pop masterpiece. Tony Banks still offers up some of the sweetest soundscapes on keyboard and Phil Collins drumming is nothing short of exceptional. And alas we do not forget the wonderful Mike Rutherford, who gives you a bit of everything using a more simple approach on bass and 12 string guitar. This can be found throughout the whole album. Every track works like one big connective piece. The album could be a 47min en suite. After all, DUKE is a conceptual piece and a good one at that. Let's also be very clear that this album is not a sell out at all! Genesis have decided to usher in a new, fresh and flavorful genre of  music. Yes. It's got the word POP in it and it's combined nicely with progressive tendencies that, in my opinion really works and offers a nice exciting start to the 80's generation of music. DUKE is an innovative, smart classic that surely brought a lot of surprise to a ton of proggers who were heavy fans of the bands earlier works. Suffice to say, eventually people came around and DUKE became a hit. It's simpler yes, but still technically brilliant. For me, BANKS has never sounded better. It just sounds like he's having so much fun, especially on the opening track, BEHIND THE LINES. Overall I feel that this is an album where GENESIS just let lose and started having fun again. Rumor has it that DUKE was Banks favourite album he recorded and played on in the band, period. Although I know a lot of people feel that this album is like watered down prog, but you have to remember that DUKE was an album that created and started something so new, so inviting and fresh by commercializing  their progressive sound. It was a new beginning, but unfortunately didn't last long because the next 3 albums ABACAB, GENESIS and INVISIBLE TOUCH were far too saturated with the pop aspect in their overall sound. DUKE remains,still to this day, as a classic and it was the only perfect blend of prog and pop  that the band ever really did create. And I think that DUKE will still be largely misunderstood by a lot of proggers out there, but I see it as an innovative and smart piece of work that characterized an entire generation of music. That is the 80's of course.  Thus, DUKE is not an essential prog album but because of its strong innovation I am going to give it 5/5. I have my reasons and I'm sticking with them. Happy listening to all! Give DUKE a spin for old times sake. It'll surely put a smile on your face. 👍

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Send comments to progbethyname (BETA) | Report this review (#797460)
Posted Tuesday, July 31, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars Except for Guide Vocal, Turn It on Again (which is a really catchy pop song), Duke's Travels, Duke's End and the beginning of Behind The Lines, what we have in this album is the most boring collection of songs Genesis ever crafted. No excitement, just a collection of pop ballads that all sound the same. Behind The Lines soon turns out into a random R&B song. Duchess is pretty boring. Man of Our Times is even worst than Duchess. Misunderstanding is another attempt of copying motown that dosen't work. Heathaze is OK. Just nothing new. Alone Tonight has the worst chorus of a Genesis song. Cul-De-Sac is another art rock attempt that dosen't work and Please Don't Ask is another boring Face Value let down.

But Guide Vocal is a beautiful interlude. Turn it on Again is one of the best hits Genesis ever wrote. Duke's Travels has some prog in there. Yes. Far from being the best Genesis song but it ends the album in a high note with Duke's End compared to all the mediocrity that the other songs have.

In Conclusion, Duke is where the real poppy Genesis starts. Only real collecters and fans of the Phil Collins era should have this album.

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Send comments to geneyesontle (BETA) | Report this review (#865317)
Posted Friday, November 23, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars The best Genesis album of the 80's! Though it may not be on the same level as some of their 70s albums, it's still a great album I would recommend to any Genesis fan. Duke's Travels and Duke's End are among the best instrumentals they ever did, blending the typical 80s synth-heavy sound perfectly with prog. The first four songs of the album are all great for me, with the opening of Behind the Lines being a very catchy and energetic start to the album. The first average song is Misunderstanding. Not that bad, just not as great as some of the other songs on the album. I'm sure a lot of prog fans would find it too poppy. Heathaze is beautiful song, and I also like Turn It On Again. It seems like very few people on this site like it, but I think it's a very catchy song, certainly one of their better pop songs. Cul-de-Sac is another song I like a lot, it really builds up to a majesty-sounding chorus.. The only two songs that I tend to skip are Alone Tonight and Please Don't Ask. Their boring songs quite frankly, but the way I see it is the album is still about 48 minutes without those two tracks, which is still a good length (in fact, Close to the Edge by Yes is only about 38 minutes). So for me, it doesn't bring down how much I like this album too much. The album cover is a little simplistic, being a typical 80s looking cover. It would have been more relevant if they kept the idea of doing the "Duke Suite", that way the man on the cover could be Duke himself. But it still looks a lot better than say "Abacab".

A good album! I wouldn't recommended it as your first album by Genesis (try Selling England, Foxtrot, or A Trick of the Tail instead), but I think all fans of the band should buy it. You might be surprised how much you like it.

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Send comments to dscurtis (BETA) | Report this review (#878150)
Posted Tuesday, December 18, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars This isn't the first review of this album but it is my first review of a Genesis album. First a warning: Genesis is the best prog rock band of all time so I had hard to judge this fair but I did the best I could. It was a risk I gave it five stars by just emotion. Duke was recorded 1979 in my city (Stockholm) and said good bye to a wonderful decade, started with "Looking for someone" in 1970. Duke isn't Foxtrot or A trick of the tail but it's still a fabulous Genesis.

Since last record there were just three members: Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks and Phil Collins. It was a big task to face the loss of two fallen heroes but they did it very well. Actually I do not longer mourn their popularization. As progressive musicians they wanted to do something new and even the progressive isn't progressive if it's tradition. This is tematic disc, and a very long one, keep in mind it's just a single lp-record. This record has twelve songs and two of them take place amongst my favourite Genesis tracks: "Heathaze" and "Cul de Sac". The both of them has a melancolic dancing melody and wonderfull lyrics. In both tracks there is good piano work by Banks. "Behind the lines" is a great opener with power and both symphonic an popular tendencies. "Guide vocal" is short but almost in class with the two giants and the two ending tracks "Duke's travels" and "Duke's end" are also terrific with a strong and fast melody. Some other pieces are more popular and less interesting but the record definitely is worth four stars. After this record Genesis begins to sound to artificial, still good but not as genuine as before. This wasn't what I liked when I began listen to Genesis, but this is why I continue to listen to them.

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Send comments to DrömmarenAdrian (BETA) | Report this review (#889184)
Posted Monday, January 07, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars In the prog community are a couple of bands everybody just knows are going to turn sour at some point in their existence. Everybody knows Yes suddenly degrades before going pop after Going for the One. Everybody knows that ELP goes off the deep end and founders on Love beach after Brain Salad Surgery. For most of us born in the eighties and later though the transformation that really sticks out is Genesis. Most of us were introduced to the band well after Peter Gabriel and any progressive pretentions he symbolized were no longer associated with the band. For some of us, myself very much included it, comes as a shock the first time you learn that Genesis sold England by the pound or did the Foxtrot. We were born as it were, in a land of confusion. So it is a degree of trepidation that we dive into the discography, because at some point we know it all goes tits up.

At first we learn when that the point when young sheep lie down on certain New York streets there comes a great sundering. It can take some time to break past that first mental barrier. Then once accomplished, we know that the voyage of an acolyte marks a second more sinister turn. You can tell that a good many people are never prepared to move beyond that point. For the longest time, I wasn't either. So, it is with great pleasure that I find myself past that divide and reviewing what may actually be my favourite Genesis album Duke.

Duke is the real turning point for Genesis. Hereafter, the radio oriented singles are many and the sprawling epics are naught. But not on Duke, no Duke is special. It is a rare transition album which succeeds just as well in the popular domain as it does in the progressive one. Duke is primarily inhabited by the dissected and distributed pieces of a potential suite called the Story of Albert which the band actually toured at the time. Interspersed are shorter more conventional tracks, the most infamous being Misunderstanding, which while not terribly progressive is an incredibly infectious tune. The result of this pop-progressive mingling is a crisp and musically challenging album of floating new wave keyboards and driving drum beats. The sound which would characterize later Genesis is certainly there, but the daring spirit of the older Genesis certainly is too. This improbable mixture of water and oil is best characterized by the centre suite piece and second single from the album, Turn it On Again. Though it clocks in below four minutes, its simplistic drumbeat belies a much more complex track superbly sung by an energized Phil Collins really coming into his own as a vocalist.

The album comes at an interesting time for the remaining members of Genesis. Phil had been away from the band in an unsuccessful effort to save his first marriage and Mike and Tony had released solo albums in the interim. Phil spent much of the time away writing the songs which would become the basis for his progressively maligned, but popularly well received solo career. Some of that material was chosen by the band and found its way into the Genesis cannon as the more pop oriented material on Duke. However, the time away proved ultimately beneficial for the band as they felt better able to collaborate after having cleared their palates.

All told, the album isn't perfect. Some of the pop stuff causes it to drag through the middle. I'll single out Alone Tonight for being particularly boring. Aside from that though Duke, it is a well assembled, well imagined album, and most importantly, highly entertaining performance. It isn't Genesis at its most progressive, but it is perhaps Genesis at its best. I always love an album where the band sounds like they're having a good time playing it. After the personal and professional tumult of the preceding years, the evident joie de vivre on Duke is well deserved. That levity is most intimately felt where prog fans will want it the most, the powerful intro, Behind the Lines and two part show stopper Duke's Travels/Duke's End. I wish other prog albums could have such inerrant positivity. This album is pretty damn close to a five out of five to me, but as a progressive rock album, it is more appropriately a four out of five.

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Send comments to R-A-N-M-A (BETA) | Report this review (#895018)
Posted Thursday, January 17, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm not sure why "pop" is considered a four letter word by some prog fans. I love a good rock/pop album with progressive overtones. And in this offering, Genesis may have come up with the perfect example of that very idea.

"Behind the Lines" is a great opener. Great song. Bursting with energy and propelled nicely by Phil Collins' excellent drumming and Mike Rutherford's driving bass in its extended intro, it winds down into a deceptively simple-sounding pop number which many would probably find difficult to play. It blends into "Duchess", a tale of a girl trying to make the big time as a singer supported by the bands first recorded use of a drum machine (including for all the percussive effects in its also-extended intro). In some ways, this track would sound a bit better live, but it's still a great song in its studio incarnation. Then, a near-full stop with "Guide Vocal" - mostly just piano, a little guitar, and Phil Collins' voice. A nice range of moods moved through in just three songs. These three would be combined with "Turn It on Again" and "Duke's Travels/Duke's End" in live performances to form the "Duke Suite", which were originally supposed to be all wound together on the album but were broken up to avoid comparisons to "Supper's Ready". Taken together, they still make a powerful statement, comparisons to previous material aside.

"Man of Our Times" is a somewhat bizarre track penned by Rutherford. Crashing drums, highly processed vocals and flutish-sounding keys with lyrics which seem to be simply about "me-ism". It's fun in a way and a nice mood-shifter from the somber-sounding "Guide Vocal". Not an essential track, by any stretch, but enjoyable in an odd way.

Now, onto what is probably the most controversial track - "Misunderstanding". Yes, the melody sounds a lot like "Hot Fun in the Summertime". I don't doubt that it wasn't a plagiarism - all band members have admitted an affinity for Motown, and Collins likely was unwittingly inspired by this tune. However you may feel about this track, it's tightly played, with excellent piano/synth work by Tony Banks and great bass and guitar work by Rutherford. I, for one, have no problem with this track and still enjoy it when I play the CD (even if it's not my total favorite).

The next five tracks are, quite honestly, stellar. "Heathaze" is one of my all-time favorites - a lush number supported by some beautiful piano and guitar, telling a dreamy tale of a hot late-summer day (and perhaps featuring the only use of the word "whereas" in a rock song). The music and lyrics fit perfectly together and almost make you feel the environment being described. Then comes the deceptively simple-sounding rocker "Turn It on Again", a 13/4 thumper about a guy obsessed with a woman on TV. "Alone Tonight" is probably the weakest of the five tracks, but even it has a beauty about it in sound and lyric as a simple ballad. "Cul de Sac" kind of fits into the "Duke" theme a bit (though not intentionally), as a song about a leader meeting his Waterloo. It's well-written and well-played. And last is the heartfelt "Please Don't Ask", written by Collins about his divorce from his first wife and a (hypothetical?) chance meeting it its wake. It features some lovely keyboard work and some very bluesy-sounding guitar from Rutherford. Just a great track.

"Duke's Travels/Duke's End" make up the ending. "Travels" goes through several movements with a distinctly Irish/Saxon feel in many of them thanks to Banks' keys, which make up most of the melody here. The drumming is excellent, and the bass is both melodic and propulsive. It finally winds up in a reiteration of the lyrics in "Guide Vocal", sung much more harshly over the uneasy-sounding melody. After slowly petering down, a synth flute bit ushers in "Duke's End", which repeats the intro of "Behind the Lines" with a slightly different rhythm.

This is the last album by the band that I would describe as having a really "organic" feel (the others being "Trespass", "Selling England By the Pound" and "A Trick of the Tail"). Lots of piano, with the synthesizers being used more for mood or as a wallpaper or wash as opposed to completely pushing the sound ("Duke's Travels" aside), as synthesizers would overwhelm the sound of most of the material going forward. It's a wonderful formula, and with material this strong, it works like a charm.

This album is not a sellout. It's a new direction, no doubt - but there's still plenty of challenging, progressive material here presented in a truly delectable fashion. Listen to it with no preconceptions and you will be truly blown away. Five stars.

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Send comments to Mr. Gone (BETA) | Report this review (#935156)
Posted Monday, March 25, 2013 | Review Permalink
2 stars I've always viewed Duke as the last "acceptable" Genesis album before the pop sound completely overwhelmed them. Like their previous work, ...And Then There Were Three, Duke sees a mix of prog and pop tunes, with perhaps the latter being more dominant.

The prog in this album is mostly concentrated in the Duke Suite. which is a collection of pop songs with a strong progressive flavor (or is it the other way around?) The opening 'Behind the Lines' is classic symphonic Genesis tune with a great repeating motif. 'Duchess' 'Guide Vocal' are probably the only weak points of the suite. 'Turn It On Again' is one of the band's more commercially successful songs despite having some odd time signature changes, including the alternating 6/4 and 7/4 of the verses. The suite wraps up with the great 'Duke's Travels' and 'Duke's End' which further showcase Bank's melodic and technical prowess on the keyboard.

Unfortunately the rest of the songs aren't nearly up to par, and are mostly simple pop, though 'Misunderstanding' is rather catchy in parts.

Overall, I would say this is a stronger effort than ...And Then There Were Three, if only for the majestic Duke Suite. Unfortunately, after this album they will completely eliminate the prog influence that made them so great.

4/10

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Send comments to Mr. Mustard (BETA) | Report this review (#935409)
Posted Tuesday, March 26, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars I purely adore this album. I always thought, in the beginning, that it was a concept album about losing the woman that you love and about coping with that and getting through it. This album meant a great deal to me later on in life when I went through a divorce and when that layed me very low in life. This album was responsible for picking me up from the many down periods that I personally went through relating to losing the woman that I had loved. I guessed that a lot of this material had been written by Collins relating to his own divorce period.

"Behind the Lines" - a very strong album opener - the strongest opener from Genesis in a while.

"Duchess" - Very strong follow on to the opening track. Collin's voice is very strong on this album. I love the rythm structure throughout this track.

"Guide Vocal" - I absolutely love this short track with its very powerful emotion.

"Man of our Times" - Upbeat track that musically keeps the theme of the album flowing. A rousing dramatic number.

"Misunderstanding" - A more "poppy" track that I do enjoy although I'm not a fan of pop music at all. Again the lyrics carry the theme of lost love onward into the album.

"Heathaze" - A melancholy piece that has a fragile beauty to it. I love the lyrics.

"Turn it on Again" - an upbeat track that is in perfect couterpoint to the melancholy previous track.

"Alone Tonight" - A very sad track.

"Cul-De-Sac" - An enjoyable track that carries the theme forward to my way of thinking.

"Please Don't Ask" - again a very beautiful emotive track. I love the lyrics but they have to be listened to with the view that this is an album about loss and the various moods that accompany that over time.

"Duke's Travels" - The bass and drum work on this nearly istrumental track are spectacular as are the majestic sounding keyboard flourishes. The interplay here between the instuments is simply brilliant. The ending of the track with the reprisal of "Guide Vocal" lyrics and theme blows my mind.

"Duke's End" - A brilliant close to an exceptional album.

This is a work of genius as far as I'm concerned and I do believe that this album is criminally under-rated here on PA. I urge all those who initially disliked this to relisten to it but instead of listening to it on a track by track basis listen to it as a whole work. Those who have experienced the trauma of divorce or seperation would identify very strongly with this album if they looked at it as a whole and not as a bunch of tracks. For me this album isn't like my other two favorite Genesis albums - "Foxtrot" and "Selling England.............." but it is differently brilliant.

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Send comments to sukmytoe (BETA) | Report this review (#946803)
Posted Saturday, April 20, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars I really can't understand why so few people like this album. In my opinion, the greatest post-Gabriel album for Genesis without a doubt (and possibly my all-time favourite 80s album). After here, Genesis descended into mainstream territory with the less-impressive "Abacab", which hovered in limbo between pop and prog, followed by the self-titled album "Genesis", marking a new beginning really for the ethos in Genesis. Whilst "Duke" does retreat more to the mainstream side of what's to come for future Genesis, it's impossible not to see all of these progressive flavours embedded in this work. Analysing the chord progressions, the odd time signatures, and the whole atmosphere of "Duke", everything is there. You can also listen to this album very intently, picking out all of the little fiddly bits and harmonies underneath the many textures of it, or just turn it up in your car, head-banging to the majestic riffs.

I'm a big fan of the synths on here, and this is probably my favourite Tony Banks album for Genesis. As I've already said, the atmosphere is very full and symphonic throughout, and the keyboards play a big part in layering and structuring the base of the album, as well as managing to surface every now and then with a beautiful melody (especially on "Behind The Lines" and "Duke's Travels"). Mike Rutherford's guitar playing is a little below par after expecting the standard Steve Hackett brought to Genesis, and I think he misses a few tricks on here. The melodies he plays slot into the album very well, and have such a great tone, but there should have been a little more material in the sections he played in. Phil Collins is possibly at one of his peaks on this album - keeping a very strong beat but managing to do nice little fills in the right places and keeping the progressive elements of Genesis (a classic example being "Turn It On Again").

"Behind The Lines" acts more as an overture of what's to come in here. Very keyboard-driven with a symphonic atmosphere as I've already explained, and really powers the album. A great opener and spells out exactly how the album's going to be: lots of synths and layering, but also sensitive emotional climaxes and resolves with some great melodies/harmonies, but most importantly just a bit of fun. "Duchess" uses some nice effects, and shows off Collins' more experimental, electronic percussion techniques. Still a very gentle song, but somehow carries on the power of the previous track. After quite a lengthy intro, the lyrics kick in and you're back into it. You really get lost in the music and the atmosphere.

"Guide Vocal" subtly alters the feel of the album up to this point, and much shorter than the last 2 songs. Once again, some great keyboards, melodies, and lyrics. You feel some sort of sympathy to the lyrics, but you can't really understand why to be honest. Suddenly, the more clashy "Man Of Our Times". I think the double-tracked keyboards was perhaps a mistake here - too blatant and extrovert compared to the sensitive "Guide Vocal". Otherwise, another great track with probably the best chorus on the whole album. So brilliant, when it comes in after each verse. Tony Banks again layers all of the keyboards splendidly. Very dramatic harmonies and drumming from Collins too.

"Misunderstanding" goes into more of a laid back American rock feel in a way (I think in an interview, they compared it to "Rocky Mountain Way" by Joe Walsh). I think the atmosphere fades away a bit here - they needed to compensate for the slower tempo really. Listening back to it, it's probably Rutherford's guitar. Needs to be double-tracked or with a heavy more noticeable bass line. The lyrics are very typical pop - waiting for a woman who didn't show up. I can only think that they were listening to "Fool In The Rain" on Led Zeppelin's 1979 album (a year before this was released), and wanted to put a different feel to it. All in all, a great single but could potentially be a little better in places.

"Heathaze" acts a great piece to bring down the mood after 2 more high octane songs. A very underrated track in my opinion. The chord progressions in particular are just excellent, and has a great structure. Every slots together very well on here, and once again a very sensitive song with great melodies, lyrics, atmosphere, etc., etc. The keyboards again should be more recognised, and the guitars are quite good on here too! My favourite part is as the little synth interlude gradually changes key, and powers into "The trees and I are shaken by". One of the highlights on the album for me. Goes into the following track very well:

"Turn It On Again" is something most of you will have heard of if you were privileged to be born in the 60s :P (I wasn't by the way). Famous for having a radio-unfriendly 13/8 time signature in the verses, but a very radio-friendly feel and lyrics due to the rise of MTV that year ("All I need is a TV show"). The main problem for me is the intro. I think it should have faded in with those quavers instead of interrupting the mood with the fluffed guitar note, and should have crept in through "Heathaze". The chorus also has a great rhythm, and more feel-good lyrics, plus Tony Banks' keyboards - some of the best on the album. You can't help but restarting this track over and over the first time you hear it!

"Alone Tonight" is probably the worst overall track on "Duke", something missing as it does seem to have all of the great things on the previous songs. The lyrics probably contribute to this, which are quite shallow to interpretation and don't really keep much interest. Also a bit too sweet maybe, after such a pumping, beat-driven song as "Turn It On Again". Then again, it could be Collins' percussion, does seem a little below par in the verses, but the chorus is classic Phil really. Anyway, "Cul-De-Sac" follows, another underrated gem like "Heathaze" with intriguing lyrics and odd rhythms plus excellent lyrics. The timpani (?) roll about half a minute through really puts you back into the more thrilling feel of the classic "Duke" songs. Once again, more excellent melodies and synths, plus a nice little bass line and splashing percussion to stop you from suffocating under the heavy layers. The lyrics are probably some of the best on the album as well, and the tones that Banks and Rutherford get out of their instruments are just epic. Great little hooks too, so much to say about it.

"Please Don't Ask" is another ballad like "Alone Tonight" (probably in the wrong place again too). Had a bit more potential, but Collins' vocals are the right mixture between gentle and harsh, but his percussion could be better in places. On the other hand, the guitar is brilliant and should be more featured like this on the rest of the album. The lyrics are very emotional again but quite inconsistent, being weak in places (plus the backing "A-ha-ha" is just a bit too much pop for me). Still a great track, and a nice contrast to the next.

"Duke's Travels" is one of Genesis' lengthy epics really. Sums up "Duke" very well, and Banks' playing is just gorgeous, especially those galloping melodies just after Collins enters (also some amazing percussion playing) - really works for a travelling song, and a highlight on the album. The guitar however isn't droning enough, and the strums are too obvious, so the atmosphere goes a bit (in the first couple of minutes of the song). You get some reprises from earlier on, but mainly it is new material. The whole thing is really a Tony Banks-oreintated piece, and it's so great to see him shine on this album - he really did deserve more credit. The guitar playing before the "Guide Vocal" reprise is so sublime with the smooth rolling chords Banks plays.

Just a masterpiece really, but the one criticism is the last 10 seconds with the "Dance Of The Puppets"-type keyboards. I can see what they were trying to do, going into a more dynamic entrance for "Duke's End", but it goes too mellow. "Duke's End" is a brilliant way to end as well, basically shining "Behind The Lines" in a whole new light and finishing on a definite high note.

A(+) - An overlooked masterpiece by Genesis. "Duke" is built up on a solid structure with all sorts of more experimental and forward-looking techniques since "And Then There Were Three". Just as prog rock should be!

Behind The Lines: ***** Duches: ***** Guide Vocal: ***** Man Of Our Times: ***** Misunderstanding: **** Heathaze: ***** Turn It On Again: ***** Alone Tonight: **** Cul-De-Sac: ***** Please Don't Ask: **** Duke's Travels: ***** Duke's End: *****

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Send comments to Xonty (BETA) | Report this review (#984611)
Posted Sunday, June 23, 2013 | Review Permalink
stefro
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A damn sight better than the stodgy pop-prog of 1978's first post-Hackett album '...And Then There Were Three', the first Genesis record of the 1980s also proves to be one of their strongest since their first post-Gabriel album, 1976's 'A Trick Of The Tail'. Conceived and created during a difficult period for the now trio-sized outfit, 'Duke' - and for that matter Genesis' entire post-1980 career(sorry for the multiple uses of the word post, I'll stop now) - only came about thanks to the painful demise of Phil Collins marriage. Really? Yes, really. Because of the drummer-cum-singer's personal strife the goup had decided to disband for a while in order to allow their frontman the time to sort his domestic life out, and for Collins that really did mean the end for Genesis if that's what it was going to take to save his ailing relationship. Sadly(but not for fans of eighties Genesis) the marriage failed, and back came Collins, armed with a notepad stuffed full of self-penned songs - many about his, yawn, break-up(get over it Phil, your a rock star for christ's sake) - and a new desire for international success. Back together with Tony Banks(keyboards) and Mike Rutherford(guitars), the new, slimlined group reconvened in Holland(?) to start sessions on a new album. Virtually a million miles from the sound found on such Genesis prog classics as 'Nursery Cryme' and 'Selling England By The Pound', 'Duke' finds the threesome parlaying slick, synthesized keyboards and snazzy new technology into a distinctly melodic pop-rock brew that was just perfect for the 1980s. Still a year-or-so away from his own smash-hit solo success, Collins would, for the first time, contribute much of the writing to 'Duke', and rather predictably, the album proved a big success. Penning, amongst others, the catchy-albeit-lightweight break-up ditty 'Misunderstanding', and thus affording the listener a brief glance into the balding vocalist's own soft-pop future, Collins poured much of the pain, anguish and emotion of his recent break-up into 'Duke', making for a peculiar mixture of emotional pop balladry, fast-paced electro-rock and, still lurking hazily in the background, a dash of modernistic keyboard prog for those fans still yearning for the good old days. Of course, many of Genesis' older fans would leave the story at this point, but they would be replaced tenfold by a younger, hipper and less demanding audience who lapped up everything the band had to offer over the next five years. 'Duke', an album stuffed with expensive studio trickery, essentially kick-started the lucrative second-life of Genesis, and despite its slightly cynical commercial conception, it's actually a rather good album. Highlights are frequent, and include the toe-tappingly good 'Turn It On Again', the rather beautiful keyboard-led 'Duchess', and last but by no means least, the epic techno-prog of the surprisingly complex 'Duke's Travels'. Yes, it's not the Genesis we once knew and loved, but come on folks, deal with it. As a certain singer-songwriter once said, the times, they are-a-changing. He wasn't wrong. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2014

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Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#1158012)
Posted Sunday, April 06, 2014 | Review Permalink

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