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2 stars "Man on the Corner" from the "abacab" album was maybe Phil Collins`s first attempt to write a song with lyrics about homeless people and poverty , some social themes that he was going to address in other songs like "Tell Me why" (from GENESIS`s "We Can`t Dance" album from 1991) and "Another Day in Paradise" (from his solo album "But Seriously..." from 1989). "Man on the Corner" is a good Pop Rock song, with a good drum machine program pattern and in general with good arrangements.

"Submarine", in the side "B" of this single, is a good instrumental piece of music, but it is clear for me that it really was destined to be a "B" side of a single, because it sounds more like an improvised piece of music, with some slow Jazz-Rock drums by Collins and good musical atmospheres. But this kind of musical piece sounded a bit out of place in an album like "abacab", so maybe the main reason to record it was more to be a "filler" of a side "B" of a single than anything else.

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Posted Tuesday, March 25, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars 'Man on the Corner' was among the very first Genesis songs that caught my attention when I was 11 or 12 years old, thanks to my big sister and her music listening. A few more years and I'd be diving deep into the classic prog-Genesis and prog in general, but at the time my own relationship to popular music was just about to develop from passively hearing the listenings of my sis and bro to listening to their LP's on my own -- and starting to tape music into cassettes.

I remember taping also Abacab to a short cassette and copying the simple album cover art with colour ink pens, but ever since those days I've had very little interest towards Abacab. Maybe I should revisit it again. As you can guess from my childhood memories, 'Man on the Corner' is to me more about nostalgia than anything else. I haven't listened to it for decades (I think), but I remember it up to every detail. It's so simple, both in songwriting and in the minimalistic arrangement. As a song per se, it is really too simple and repetitive to hold interest for a long time, but I mildly like the soft (programmed?) rhythm pattern. A bit similar as in 'Duchess' on the previous album Duke (1980).

Non-album track 'Submarine' is an atmospheric slow-tempo instrumental, and rather an untypical track for Genesis. I agree with Guillermo that it sounds improvised and destined to be a B-sider in the first place (it can be found on the box set Genesis Archives vol. 2, 1976-1992). A nice one to listen to once in a while, nothing more.

Objectively, neither of these songs are hardly worth more than two stars, but for the notable personality, I'll rate this single with three stars. It would be a nice addition in my tiny 7" collection.

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Posted Saturday, March 16, 2019 | Review Permalink
3 stars I'm inspired by Matti's review to add my 2˘ here! "Man on the Corner" was one of the first Genesis songs I encountered, probably on the radio, or possibly from one of my friends who had MTV at home. I soon joined the Columbia House Record Club, and "Man on the Corner" undoubtedly inspired my choice of Abacab, which led to me selecting Three Sides Live. Some years later this would lead me to Seconds Out.

Anyway, like Matti, I was 11 or 12 years old when "Man on the Corner" was a minor hit (#40) here in the US. This was a time when you could hear a fair amount of prog crossover on Top-40 radio (Queen, Asia, ELO, Styx), and when "new-wave" music was rock-based (Police, Blondie, Go-Gos). So early-1980s Genesis and Phil Collins music fit right in.

Even though "Man on the Corner" wasn't guitar-based, in the US it was a bigger hit on album-rock radio (#14) than it was with pop listeners. "Misunderstanding," and especially "Abacab," had paved the way for Genesis to receive AOR airplay, and as the synthesizer- heavy "Abacab" took a step away from "Misunderstanding," the use of a drum machine on "Man on the Corner" moved another degree

The single reaches the bridge "for you and me - - are we just like all the rest?" about fifteen seconds sooner than the album version, and the fade begins about thirty seconds earlier. The mix also seems slightly different; on the single mix, the bass seems more prominent, and in general there's a little more separation among the instruments. In all, a nice piece of new-wave rock.

As a rule, I don't think the quality of a b-side should hurt the rating of a single - - although it certainly should help if the flip side is something special. That's not the case here, as "Submarine" is an underdeveloped idea, atmospheric in places, which was, I'm sure, appreciated by fans. The single version of "Submarine" fades out about thirty seconds sooner than the version that appears on Archive #2, but the mixes sounds pretty similar.

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Posted Saturday, March 16, 2019 | Review Permalink

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