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5 stars I'm a huge Genesis fan and in my opinion this is their best album. I can listen to it round and round and I still find new things hidden in there. Songs like "Entangled", "Mad Man Moon" and "Ripples" are true gems. The entire album is like one song, even though it's not conceptual. I envy you all who haven't listened to this album yet and who are going to do so... ;-)
Report this review (#332)
Posted Sunday, November 9, 2003 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is a very good album but it is a departure from their old style songs going towards the popish Collins side.That said it is still a strong album.Phil Collins is the singer now . Dance on a Volcano and Los Endos are the best songs .There are a few nice ballads if you like the type.
Report this review (#340)
Posted Tuesday, November 18, 2003 | Review Permalink
5 stars Although with Gabriel departed they lost a little of their edge lyrically, as well as his unique vocal sound, musically this is up with the best. Production excellent. Steve Hackett's guitar is beautiful, Collins' drums rocky yet original and complex at times, and Banks keyboards sweet to the ear as always. My favourite tracks are Dance on a Volcano, Squonk, Mad Mad Moon and Robbery Assault and Battery. Enjoy the bass pedals on a good hi fi. The band were really on top of their game at this point in their career.
Report this review (#333)
Posted Thursday, December 18, 2003 | Review Permalink
4 stars I don't agree that Genesis became more commercial with this album, most albums have 1 or 2 shorter tracks but most people are always trying to pinpoint the album with which they got more poppy. Occasionally Trick is a little bit too sweet and mellow but in a typical prog rock way with the inclusion of lots of delicate twelve string acoustic guitar, but when it is more agressive it stands up with the best of the Gabriel led stuff. Dance On A Volcano is perhaps one of the best Genesis songs ever recorded and the odd meter still sounds like the old vinyl version was jumping. Definately one of my favorites and without peer.
Report this review (#338)
Posted Monday, December 29, 2003 | Review Permalink
5 stars Not Peter Gabriel anymore, but still the Genesis we adore and miss, Banks and Hackett at their best (a exaggeraton???), Mad man moon is my favorite tune. I always said that Collins and Gabriel have a similar singing, and when you hear every song it seems that Gabriel had never leave the band...One of their best of their career
Report this review (#362)
Posted Thursday, January 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars A good outing for Genesis. Almost conceptual in nature, the record flows from one song to the next, with very little filler. The title track and Los Endos are stellar here, soft, yet poignant. There IS a little wee song in each of us.

Give it a go.

Report this review (#330)
Posted Monday, January 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
5 stars I got into Genesis with this one although I had acquired Selling EBTP 18 months before but could not enjoy it (as 13 year old) and when this one came along it was .... Genesis , love at second sight.

Needless to say I have a special feeling for this one and almost thirty years later, it is still fabulous. Dance On A Volcano is the amazing intro and Entangled is really out of this world and so is Mad Man Moon (a delicate Banks composition) but I do find Squonk a bit sub-par and rather uninspired compared to the rest of the album. Robbery Assault And Battery is Phil Collins doing a "Harold The Barrel" or "Willow Farm" and quite convincingly at that. Ripples and Los Endos are real gems also but the title track is really the tops emotion wise.

They've got no horns and they got no tails.............

Report this review (#357)
Posted Monday, March 1, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first one with Phil on lead vocals and I think it fits in nicely with the Gabriel stuff before it. For one thing, I don't think Phil wrote much of it and secondly, he still kinda sounds like Peter on this one. Next to 'Selling England' and perhaps, 'Foxtrot', you can't beat the way this album opens. Phil's drumming is the star of this album. moreso than his singing. I love Tony's playing on 'Mad Man Moon' and Steve's playing is fantastic on 'Ripples.' But the highlight for me is the instrumental closer 'Los Endos' a highlight of their live show with the only vocal being Phil recalling a line from Foxtrot's 'Supper's Ready' Not quite as good as their last 3 albums, but still an essential Genesis album.
Report this review (#346)
Posted Friday, March 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars OK "4 stars" is the righter score, but once again its importance is worth 4 stars and an half at least!! Besides the incredible touch of Tony BANKS (listen to the splendid solos within "Robbery, Assault and Battery" and "Dance on a Volcano", or the fantastic piano excursions within "Mad Man Moon", probably the best reference for bands like CAMEL), makes this album absolutely essential, despite of the presence of such tepid and quite banal songs by Phil COLLINS.

Absolutely recommended!!

Report this review (#347)
Posted Thursday, April 1, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is the third best of the Genesis' albums, right after "Selling by the pound" and "Foxtrot"! It is OUTSTANDING, and Genesis never made a so jazz/fusion album like that! The drums and bass are at many bits REALLY FAST. This album has very delicate and tender moments too, like the tracks "Mad man moon" and "Entangled". The tracks are varied enough to satisfy anyone! Hackett's guitars are quite acoustic, and the electric ones are really Fripp-esque: the emotional solos here are less like on "Wind and wuthering", but rather like on the King Crimson's albums of the 70's. Rutherford is probably at his best here: the elaborated bass is a strong point on this record. Phil Collins is REALLY at his best on drums, no doubt about it!! He is so fast and complex that he seems to float over his drum kit. Banks' keyboards are really refined: compared to "The lamb lies down on Broadway", his keyboards work here is at many levels better: more complex, more moving, more impressive, faster, more varied! Banks here really masters the keyboards: Collins' extreme drums and Rutherford's refined and fast bass really challenge Banks: Banks proves that he is able to manage the overloaded music by producing melodic solos, floating arrangements and rhythmic parts extremely difficult to play. Collins' voice is excellent, especially on "Ripples", his best vocals performance with Genesis! Even the least good track, "A trick of the tail", has something very special: very cute, funny and pleasant to listen! Well, this album contains one of the best Genesis' songs ever recorded: "Ripples", "Entangled", "Los endos", and the quintessential bit in "Robbery assault and battery". The use of mellotron as a choir emulation is very poignant, and the final product is OUTSTANDING, like on the second part of "Entangled" and "Los Endos". The instrumental part on "Ripples" is absolutely graceful, majestic and moving. The quintessential bit on "Robbery assault & battery" is one of the most complex and progressive part made by Genesis.


Report this review (#348)
Posted Friday, April 9, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Although Gabriel gone, this album shows that the musical ability was still their. Haunting melodies, beautiful lyrics and outstanding musicianship make this one of the best Genesis albums of all time, even without Gabriel !
Report this review (#349)
Posted Monday, April 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars A workout for the woofers

When Peter Gabriel left, I like many others believed Genesis were finished. Indeed, based on his rather lightweight contributions to previous albums ("More fool me", "For absent friends"), I feared the worst when it was announced that Phil Collins was to take over on vocals. It was therefore a pleasant surprise to find that not only had the band written some of their best material to date for "A trick of the tail", but that their performance was up well up to the standard of previous albums.

Gabriel's departure was arguably a benefit. His dominance which had been so apparent on "The lamb.." had instantly disappeared, and the band was once again working together as a team of equals. For the first time, the individual song writing details are given, with Tony Banks taking the lion's share of the credits.

"A trick of the tail" generally has a softer feel more along the lines of "Selling England.." than say "Foxtrot". The beautiful "Ripples", has a deceptively simple song/chorus structure, with a highly atmospheric instrumental middle section, which builds to the final chorus. "Entangled" too is a soft piece, with a delightful soft melody. The closing section of the track is a haunting solo by Tony Banks, with some great bass notes to test your woofers!

"Mad man moon" has some great prog moments, as it weaves through various themes and Gabrielesque lyrics. The closing instrumental track "Los Endos" is a remarkable piece which once again reflects the feel of "Selling England.." far more than "The lamb.." did. The band even have the confidence to refer back to "Foxtrot" with the "There's an angel standing in the sun" reference as the track concludes.

On the whole, Steve Hackett's guitar work does not feature as much as might be hoped, with Banks' keyboards tending to take precedence on most of the instrumental breaks. A terrific album though, which flows well from start to finish. Genesis had with one stroke shown that not only could they survive without Gabriel, but that they may well in fact flourish.

Report this review (#350)
Posted Monday, April 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Following the departure of Peter GABRIEL, and letting more than a year pass for the other shoe to drop, the remaining quartet returned with "A Trick of the Tail", conceding nothing. The album begins with the explosive "Dance on a Volcano", a tour de force that conceals one of Steve HACKETT's more riveting musical nightmares. The remaining tracks, credited here to individual members for the first time, form a series of vignettes rather than a unifying concept. It's a less ambitious effort than "Lamb..", but in that regard there was nowhere to go but down.

"Trick..." is still a treat for GENESIS fans, including such classics as the title track and "Robbery, Assault & Battery". The songs written by the trio of BANKS, COLLINS and RUTHEFORD foreshadow the music to come, fuzzy and large-sounding creations like "Squonk" and "Mad Man Moon". In between are two very pretty numbers, the mischievous "Entangled" typical of HACKETT's warped tunes and the gentle "Ripples". It all comes to a close with "Los Endos", reprising the opening theme in the same way that "Selling England..." did.

Some fans are quite fond of this record, though I'd give their next the distinction of best post-GABRIEL album. If it's not classic GENESIS, it's not far removed from it either, a somehow intimate antidote to the political/social statements of past efforts.

Report this review (#327)
Posted Thursday, April 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars This album is almost exactly what I expected, Genesis had lost their unique vocalist, excellent lyricist and charismatic frontmant, so they weren't able to do anything as complex as the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway or dark as Nursery Cryme Foxtrot or Trespass, so it was logical to expect a release much more similar to Selling England by the Pound.

Even though "A Trick of the Tail" is a transitional album, it's still progressive and complex but much more friendly and warm than any previous release, Peter Gabriel is missed, but the results without him couldn't be better at that point.

Dance on A Volcano sounds like a PG era track with a slightly different voice, good an explosive. Entangled and Ripples are soft and more in the vein of Phil Collins.

Squonk can be compared with I Know What I Like and Robbery, Assault & Battery with Battle for the Epping Forest, also two very good tracks. And of Course Los Endos is an excellent closer for any concert.

Mad Man Moon deserves special attention, is totally different to any Genesis song previously released, but it's beauty resides in that difference, soft and warm but explosive in some parts, a wonderful song, perfect for Collins voice.

Maybe the weakest point would be the title track, pretends to keep the interest on the lyrics but it's weak and repetitive.

Great album, not as solid and atmospheric as any previous but still keeps the interest of the progressive fan.

Report this review (#353)
Posted Thursday, April 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Marks the beginning of the 'Post- Gabriel' era of Genesis.This balances the old and the new perfectly with much of the complexity of earlier prog efforts like 'Lamb...' and 'Foxtrot' but with a softer and more accessible approach.Collins has a better voice than Gabriel which shines through on the songs such as 'Ripples' and 'Squonk'.A CD that I would recommend to anyone starting to get into prog but with enough depth to keep long stanging prog fans interested.
Report this review (#363)
Posted Tuesday, May 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars In the summer of 1975, we all thought the news of Peter Gabriel's departure spelled the end of Genesis. How wrong we were. This album marks the return of guitarist Steve Hackett to the rightful place of prominence within the band. Before this, "Selling England By The Pound" was the best example of Steve's prowess. This was post-Gabriel Genesis at its best. One album later, it all changed...superstardom replaced musicianship. But for this essential point in prog rock history, here is the essential album.
Report this review (#367)
Posted Sunday, June 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Trick Of The Tail" was the last really good album these guys ever made. There were mmoments here and there after this, and yes, obviously they were to become quite a different animal very shortly. This was the last one where they were really captivating and engaging musically. "Dance On A Volcano" and "Squonk" are stunning while "Ripples" is simply beautful. The titles cut is a pop masterpiece. The playing here is great and the songs are for the most part short and sharp. This one was always a favorite upon it's release and still holds up quite well thank you.
Report this review (#368)
Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars And after The Lamb and without Peter Gabriel. What a true masterpiece! One can almost feel the liberation the other members share on this album and that means no disrespect to Gabriel either. Extremely Prog by it's nature TOTT is a beautiful album from begining to climax' Los Endos'. Try this one too on Seconds Out. In saying that all the tracks are excellent on TOTT especially Dance on a volcano ( What a name for a song!!!), Entangled, Ripples, Mad Man Moon, oh what the hell the entire album.
Report this review (#370)
Posted Wednesday, July 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
James Lee
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Inspired by William Golding's "The Inheritors", the album looks at mankind from an outsider's viewpoint- specifically, that of a race of critters who preceded man and are now dying out. "To summarize the legend of the squonk: It is a very ugly creature, and it knows this. Its skin is ill-fitting, and covered with warts and other blemishes, therefore the squonk hides from being seen, and spends much of its time weeping sorrowfully over its own ugliness. Hunters who have attemped to catch squonks have found that the creature is capable of evading capture by dissolving completely into a pool of tears and bubbles when cornered." -

"Dance On a Volcano" is a great opener, with a slightly frantic and rhythmically interesting verse that resolves into an anthemic chorus- a structure more commonly found in classic YES than GENESIS. "Entangled" is mysteriously beautiful, pastoral and slightly creepy with the billowing Mellotron choir signalling the climax of the piece. "Squonk" is an essential single- probably the first thing I ever heard from the band, although my memory is untrustworthy. The drums are just a little plodding, but the melodic elements are very memorable. "Mad Man Moon" is one of my favorites, a poetic narrative painted in tender and sad colors, with a surging chorus; wonderful keyboard work marks the bridge section- a shortened progressive journey with classic playful GENESIS character. "Robbery, Assault and Battery" is less appealing to me ( listen to that disco beat in the chorus, yuck!) but is still a well-crafted song, very much in line with Phil's "artful dodger" persona, and the instrumental performances in the middle are quite impressive. "Ripples" is more to my taste, a perfect compromise between the "Lamb" sonic textures and the flowing acoustic mystery that the band often sampled from but rarely developed for a full song. The title track is very accessible without sounding too 'poppy', and manages to craft a very interesting narrative without ever letting the words interfere with the music (an area in which "The Lamb" often faltered). Finally, the magnificent "Los Endos" is an instrumental tour de force which reprises "Squonk" as well as quoting "Supper's Ready" in the brief vocal section, as a sort of tribute and response to Gabriel's departure.

My decade-older siblings had a huge record collection, and much of my initial prog experiences came from what was on hand in my formative years. GENESIS was represented solely by this disc (actually, there were two copies of the sleeve, one of which contained a JACKSON BROWNE album!). That may indeed color my opinions; while I agree that Gabriel's departure was a bad sign, I also regard "Trick of the Tail" as one of their best albums (I prefer it to some of the more often cited band classics). The sound on this album is organic and very un-forced, stylistically flowing from one section to the next. Collins adopts a bit of Gabriel style in his vocal delivery, but to Phil's credit the emotional factor is a little closer to the surface here. Next to "Lamb", this is my favorite GENESIS album- very highly recommended.

Report this review (#371)
Posted Saturday, July 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars A magical album which demonstrated the combined talents of the remaining members of this progressive juggernaut. I recently have been making my way through the post- Gabriel period of Genesis. In a word beautiful.

I was pleasantly suprised by what I am hearing. Although the quality and progressive tendencies do seem to diminish the further you get away from ATOTT. Wind and Wuthering is an ideal companion piece.

Favorite Tracks:

Squonk Mad Man Moon Ripples Los Endos

Report this review (#372)
Posted Wednesday, July 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Not as bad as the diehards would have you think!!!

Genesis lost great lyrics and an enigmatic frontman when Peter Gabriel left, but he left behind the same group of musicians responsible for "Nursery Cryme", "Foxtrot", "Selling England..." and "The Lamb", and nowhere is this more evident than on "A Trick of the Tail".

"Dance on a Volcano" is a simply wonderful piece of the prog that Genesis were rightly renowned for - Banks, Rutherford, Hackett and Collins fusing together to provide tight rhythms, beautiful melodies and complex changes to satisfy any prog fan except maybe the more demanding. Phil wasn't too bad in the vocal melody section either, but it's just as well that most of the words are almost unintelligible due to sensible mixing. One or two lines are quite funny, however, such as "The lava's the lover that licks your boots away". The ending line "Let the dance begin ~" is prophetic given Genesis' direction after this album.

"Entangled" features some superb acoustic guitar work, and the lyrics are fairly amusing if slightly hackneyed. This song verges on the folk-like, and has some exquisite passages with sublime textures, although the refrain is a bit annoying.

"Squonk" is more of the quality of "Dance on a Volcano" - Phil's drums sound especially resonant, and the fills are all the more satisfying for the generally minimalistic approch. This is quite a head-banger compared to much of Genesis' earlier material, as there is not much complexity in construction or form, rather complexity has been saved for small details in the layering. It does get a little more interesting around 5:30, where a short coda brings relief from the headbanging. The lyrics are an interesting little tale about the furry squonk - but ultimately silly!

"Mad Man Moon" is quite beautiful, although the lyrics do seem to get weird for the sake of being weird and doing something a bit different. This track bears some really nice Genesis hallmarks; notably Banks' keyboard layers and Rutherford's solid bass pedals. At 2:40, there's a superb piano-led section from Banks, as if trying to recapture a little of "Firth of Fifth". Personally I would have bought an entire album of material like this - "Mad Man Moon" must surely be one of the most overlooked Gems in Genesis back catalogue. Collins gives a fine vocal delivery on this track in his own style - which is much better than his attempts to imitate Gabriel!

"Robbery, Assault and Battery" is one of my favourite of all Genesis' songs, despite the dodgy lyrics and dreadful characterisations (dreadful as in cheesey rather than actually bad!). The rhythms and time changes for the verse sections are almost sensual, with Collins producing some particularly imaginative rhythms. The chorus sections are thankfully short, but the wonderful mid section around 2:35 featuring keyboard leads from Banks and a range of gorgeous textures from the keyboard sounds, Collins' percussion and Rutherford's striding bass lines is very satisfying. However, there's another nice keyboard lead around 4:20 that gives me goose bumps in the symphonic splendour and surprising entry. It's a pity that another verse has to follow it - this construction reminds me a little of "The Battle of Epping Forest", a song I'm particularly not keen on. However, all in all, a superb example of pure Genesis prog.

"Ripples" is a nice enough ballad with nice guitar and keyboard textures, but I find it a little dull after several hearings, and not very progressive.

It's fortunate that the title track is not the final song, as we have another piece in song format - even if the verses are extended. The chorus lyrics are irritating, although the story is quite entertaining, and the "Doo-wop" section is highly unwelcome.

"Los Endos" is much more like it - a very energetic finish to the album which leaves a sense of overall satisfaction, Banks dominating again with gorgeous keyboard melodies and Hackett continuing to maintain a low-key presence.

Conclusion - although there does appear to be some "dumbing down" in places, still a worthwhile prog album in any collection - with good examples to any aspiring keyboard player, bassist, drummer or vocalist (purely in terms of melody, of course!) of how simple ideas can be used to form complex arrangements; Yes, there are a few complex ideas in there as well, but this is proof that attention to detail in form can triumph over pure virtuosity when creating progressive music. It's also a warning against sticking to tried and tested song structures, and considering lyrics very carefully!

This album belongs in any collection of prog, no matter where your tastes take you generally; this is an album to return to like a comfortable sweater. It's not going to blow anyone away, but it's a very satisfying listen nontheless.

Report this review (#373)
Posted Thursday, August 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars "When Peter Gabriel left Genesis, I thought the band was as good, if not...better." said Ray Wilson, Genesis last singer.

Some worship the era that A Trick of the Tail marked with a deep scar. Lost of memories are attached to that record to many people. They were about 17 when this record came out, and they were there to witness almost a miracle. Yes, the graceful and charismatic actor Gabriel left the ship with no anchor on board. A positive and honest Collins said: "We'll just continue as a four piece instrumental band!" After auditioning over 400 singers, Phil tried and succeeded. This is the beginning of a new period, inbetween the dollar-showering and the theatrical majestics. A very good period, indeed.

The "feel" is still there...thanks to the remaining presence of Banks and Hackett. Mellotron, 12 strings and superior drumming. Most of the elements are there...except the talent of Peter for writing delicious tales. But, the lyrics are still decent and sometimes...funny. A great cover (my favorite in general) by Hypgnosis that gives a great feel of mystery and you gotta admit it looks fantastic. Simple but attractive.

It's a "bronze medal" classic, but still deserves a handclap for above-average songs and a vintage feel that aged well. At last: Dancing on a Volcano, Entangled and Robbery Assault & Battery...three butt-kicking acts. Try it.

Report this review (#374)
Posted Thursday, August 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Genesis' best album by far! The production alone makes it great, but just they way they guys got together! You can't find a better Prog album - or rock for that matter. It is hard to follow up something like The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, but ATOTT beat it HANDS DOWN!! Anyone who enjoys good music, buy this album. You won't be let down.
Report this review (#376)
Posted Thursday, September 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Two reasons why I need to review this album. First, it's the first album after the previous front man, PETER GABRIEL, left the band. PHIL COLLINS, the drummer, took his role as vocalist and drummer. So, it's sensible to review this album on the basis of "before" and "after" Gabriel left the band. Second, I'm preparing a paper for a progressive rock seminar at the end of this month with specific topic on "neo progressive rock" for a music institute in my country. The Institute focuses on creating musicians in contemporary music. They just recently (last week, to be exact) conducted "The Progressive Concert 2", presenting the performance of prog bands formed by their students and instructors. It was a great show of 11 bands and they performed beyond my expectations as I saw so many talented prog musicians. Most of them demonstrated their talent in progressive metal genre.

What reminds me about this album was that in the middle of putting my thoughts on paper as a material for the seminar, I have identified clearly that there has been a strong link between what so called neo prog sub genre with Genesis "A Trick of the Tail" and "Wind and Wuthering" albums. It's really obvious that these albums were the pinnacles that have inspired many bands especially those in neo prog basket. The following write-up will show you where are they in the album.

DANCE ON A VOLCANO is an uplifting track with dynamic drumming, soft guitar fills and symphonic style keyboards / mellotron work. It's obvious that when vocal line enters the music "Holy mother of God ." the rhythm music is composed in the vein of their previous album "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" especially the title track or "Back in NYC" track. The use of mellotron is intensive, coupled with energetic and dynamic drumming that make this track so powerful. The song structure has vast variety of melody with high and low point and shifting tempos that make the song relatively complex. The beauty of the song is the existence of touchy melody in some of its segments, demonstrated through keyboard sound. This song indicates the continuation of classic Genesis sound, especially "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" album.

Through ENTANGLED, Genesis tried to push the progressive envelop into a simpler format but still maintaining the symphonic (thru the use of mellotron) style and classical music touch (acoustic guitar fills). This is a mellow track dominated by acoustic guitar fills with keyboard sound slowly enters the song. Structure-wise, this song basically brings only one tagline melody with no (or little) variation. To make the song memorable, the band creates some transition segments demonstrating the acoustic guitar solo and accentuation of keyboard at the end of the bars. The melody does not shift so much as the chorus says "Well, if we can help you we will ." (the part that Genesis-mania used to emulate about this song). When the music enters the ending part that starts at minute 4:15, it's the time where keyboard solo played slowly, accentuated by mellotron with acoustic guitar fills as rhythm. It's a wonderful melody. This song, I think, has inspired many neo prog bands in the 80's either the structural composition (overall) or the ending part of the song.

SQUONK brings the music into an upbeat tempo with great and memorable opening (combination of dazzling drums and guitar rhythm - wonderful!). Again, it's a simple music segment at this opening part. The strong points of this opening are: it has a tasty melody and it creates a symphonic music nuance. When all of these are combined with Phil's dynamic drumming, the result is an ultimate enjoyment when listening to this track. We tend to emulate Phil's singing while spinning the CD. This song has more shifting tempos than the previous track. The beauty part of this song is at the ending part where the melody turns to Phil's higher tone vocal and it then fades out ..

The band then brings you back to a rather mellow track MAD MAN MOON. It starts mellow at the beginning and it goes to faster tempo. BANK's piano / keyboard works dominate this track. Just before the middle of the track, there is a really nice classical piano and keyboard sound that serves as a transition for the song to move to a faster tempo. The music then comes back to the original tagline melody as demonstrated at the beginning of the track, this time with mellotron at background. Again, this song is the basis of neo prog music.

ROBBERY, ASSAULT and BATTERY is a track with an upbeat tempo in the vein of classic Genesis music. At the beginning part, this track seems so monotonous in term of melody and composition but when it comes to a transition at roughly minute 1:00, the drumming style is shifting dynamically and the music then enters to the chorus part. The music becomes complex when it reaches the interlude with a domination of keyboard work by Tony Banks. It reminds me to the classic tracks of the band like "In The Cage" or "The Colony of Slipper Man". It's a stunning keyboard!

RIPPLES is another mellow track opened with a melodic vocal line with acoustic guitar fills as rhythm section. The opening part of this track seems like a ballad song. But the band has composed in such a way that there are many intense influence of classical music especially during transitions. The acoustic guitar work by Hackett is really stunning, accompanied by soft keyboard work. The interesting part that, I think, has mostly inspired many neo prog bands is the interlude part that start approx at minute 4:06 where Steve HACKETT's howling guitar come into play accompanied with BANK's keyboard work. It's very nice.

The title track A TRICK OF THE TAIL is a medium tempo track with stunning piano work and nice melody through a vocal line. It sounds like a pop song for me, especially in the way Phil COLLINS is singing. I don't think this track has strong prog elements; it sounds a straight pop music.

LOS ENDOS is the concluding track that serves its role to summarize the album content because it contains some musical elements of other tracks in the album, performed with no vocal line. It's a very enjoyable track and it has become STEVE HACKETT's favorite in his solo work; he played this track in most of his live performance.

Despite the loss of Peter Gabriel, I think the band continued to deliver excellent music for their fans. Some tracks (Dance on a Volcano, Squonk, Robbery .) still maintain the style of Gabriel era music, and some of them have gone mellower than classic Genesis. No harm at all. In fact, "The Lamia" of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway was a mellow track as well. I think, the pinnacle of wonderful GENESIS music is STEVE HACKETT, not Peter Gabriel. My overall rating is 4/5 for this album. Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

Report this review (#377)
Posted Wednesday, October 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Peter Gabriel left the band, and the "mystery" and the "theatre rock" were out of GENESIS (well, almost!). I prefer GENESIS without Peter Gabriel, because I am more interested in the music than in "theatre rock". So, for me, GENESIS became a "real" band in this album, after being considered Peter Gabriel`s backing band for several years. Phil Collins`vocals sound for me more "authentic" than Gabriel`s, who, at least for me, always seemed to be trying to impress the fans doing "strange things" (like David Bowie, Robert Fripp, David Byrne, REM`s Michael Stipe and other similar artists), being more an "enigmatic" character of a story than a "real" singer. Gabriel is another "musical chameleon", always experimenting, solo album after solo album. I respect Gabriel and his fans, but I prefer more the music than the theatre.I bought this album (for the first time, the L.P.) some hours before John Lennon`s death (8-December-1980). I remember that in that day I went to a record shop in the evening.Later I arrived to my parent`s house, played the album once, I liked it a lot, so I played it again. During the second playing of this album, one of my brothers was watching T.V. (an American Football match) and suddenly he went to my bedroom and told me that in the T.V. they announced that John Lennon was murdered a few minutes before. So, this album is linked to that day, but as the years passed the album still shines by itself. I like every song in this album. "Dance on a Volcano" is one of the best songs, with Hackett`s guitar sounding like "burning lava" in some places, in good interplay with Banks`s keyboards. "Entangled" is more influenced by Steve Hackett, with very good 12 string guitars (maybe played by Hackett, Banks and Rutherford) and a very good keyboards solo at the end. "Squonk" has very good drums by Collins, and it seems that this is the first song Phil sang in rehearsals, and with this song he convinced his mates in GENESIS to become the lead singer. "Mad Man Moon" is a very good song by Banks, with piano, mellotron, Steve Hackett`s very original guitar sounds, and Collins`percussion (a marimba?) playing along with the piano in the instrumental section. Collins`vocals have a lot of feeling, something that Gabriel lacked. Theatre Rock is almost gone, because "Robbery, Assault & Battery" has some "acting" by Collins in his vocals (after all, he was a child actor, with more experience than Gabriel, maybe!). "Ripples" is a nostalgical song, one of my favourite songs of the band, with 12 string guitars, and an instrumental section again with an interplay of the lead guitar and the keyboards. "A Trick of the Tail" is a fantasy story by Banks. "Los Endos" has a lot of influence of Collins`drums, a very good instrumental piece. All the songs were credited for the first time to the individual composers of the songs, to avoid confusion in the fans about who wrote which song. Banks appears as composer or co- composer in all the songs. This album started the most interesting period in GENESIS`history , which for me it is from 1975 (the recording of this album) until 1982 ("Three Sides Live", with "abacab" still sounding "progressive" in some songs).
Report this review (#378)
Posted Friday, October 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars The first GENESIS album without GABRIEL, and also the first album I've removed a star from a perfect five. HACKETT and BANKS (who eventually gives up to pop later on in the trio stage) are the last influences of prog on GENESIS, with RUTHERFORD and COLLINS fighting on the other end for pop, and the battle shows on this album.

"A Trick of the Tail" seems to have a more defined guitar than the GABRIEL-era albums, and you can easily pick out each separate instrument on the more diluted tracks: a clear sign that the strings are beginning to unravel. Also missing are the theatrics, the flute, and the lyrical genius of GABRIEL, although COLLINS does write a few good lines. This album seems to me in form not unlike "Selling England by the Pound." It begins with a strong, harder piece, then a mix, then reprises the "main riffs" at the end. If "Selling England" was buttery smooth and cinammony, this is the margarine and sugar counterpart with the pop showing occaisionally (watered down, if you will).

"Dance on a Volcano" is like "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" in title, form, and lyrical structure. Both are brilliant, wonderous pieces; both ecourage the listener to dance (in metaphor, of course: the latter being in social opposition, the former being in more Christian terms of "doing right"); and both have riffs which are reprised in the last song. But don't take my word for it: listen for yourself and decide what you think. The song is in mainly 7/8 time, but still flows extremely well, so it's barely noticeable and smooth. I especially enjoy the instrumental section after "the dance begins" at the end.

"Entangled" is an interesting mostly HACKETT-influenced song laced with soft, soothing guitar and lyrics about a person trapped in an anesthesiac sleep. It ends in a way you would expect from GABRIEL: after extensive dream imagery and comforting voices, they give him the bill for his operation. The rest of the song is some mellotron and guitar instrumental work which keeps with the song's slower tempo and does not noticeably reflect the song's ironic lyrical ending.

Immediately we are thrown into a musical counterpoint, "Sqonk." When I first heard this, I had deja vu. Now I know why. MAGENTA's "Revolutions" completely ripped the major riff in this song! That riff is surprisingly catchy, and a thudding bass accompanies. The lyrics are about some guy catching a critter which melts into a pool of tears, nothing really noteworthy; which is probably the reason I don't really like this song that much.

"Mad Mad Moon" is a BANKS composition with mostly pianos to begin, then with a stronger section coming in somewhere in the middle. Nice, but nothing exceptional. Following is "Robbery, Assault, and Battery," which I think bogs down this album. It shows some sonic qualities, but also COLLIN's sad replication of GABRIEL's theatrics, which of course falls flat. This song is also too pop-influenced to be of my liking. However, there is a midsection instrumental in 13/8 which partially redeems the song.

"Ripples" gives credit to BANKS and COLLINS for its existance, but what I hear in this song is mostly HACKETT. It is a nice companion to "Entangled," and both are about the same in form. Its lyrics are about an old woman remembering the days when she was young and beautiful and her dealing with that. After a nice chorus, it speeds up a bit for an instrumental section which ends with another chorus.

The title track is nice and all, but is pop, plain and simple. At 4 minutes with barely any variation on the main (pop) theme, the only thing of true interest here is the odd lyrics about a creature which visits humanity only to be locked up. It escapes and tries to show them a better place than their cities, but the people are too blind to see it. Now that I've summed it up, you have no reason to listen to this track. Save your time for the next one...

...which is "Los Endos." All I can say is: wow. No, actually, I can say more: this track is an amazing instrumental which reprises themes from virtually all of the songs on this album. It is pure prog, switching up and down and staying purely symphonic all the way through. It closes with a variation of "Squonk"'s theme and some vocals lifted from "Supper's Ready" for effect. Excellent, especially the rhythm section. RUTHERFORD and COLLINS may not be my favorite songwriters, but they are VERY good at their instruments.

All in all, a 4.5 star album with pop and prog both present, but prog still holds a large amount of ground. The next album leads more in a pop direction, but the balance doesn't really shift until HACKETT leaves.

Report this review (#382)
Posted Sunday, November 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Recently, i revisited this LP in it's "definitive edition remastered" version. And the improved sonic quality served to remind me again of why i love this album: the music is amazing! Just as the previous album, 1974's double-LP concept opus "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" featured Genesis' most daring songs to date, "A Trick of the Tail" continues the trend, with a great emphasis on harmonies (e.g. "Entangled" and "Ripples"), as well as powerful rockers, a rarity in the Genesis canaon (see "Dance on a Volcano", "Squonk", and the latter portion of "Los Endos"). Collins's voice sounds lilting a youthful, easily handling the pastoral themes explored by Banks, Rutherford, and (to a lesser degree) Hackett, the chief writers at the time. The organization is great, as moods alternate, each song is given an instrumental finesse, and some dominant passages are revisited in the last track. "A trick of the Tail" proved that Genesis was much more than a backing band for Peter Gabriel, and from a musical standpoint, the LP is a must for Genesis fans. Like all prog rock, some of the mellotron and 12-string dynamics might not be for everyone, but it surely won't disappoint lovers of great music!
Report this review (#383)
Posted Monday, November 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Despite being the first one without Gabriel, this is the album that vies with 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' for the title of greatest work by the mighty Genesis, an astonishing achievement in every way.

A huge percentage of this recording captures something very special indeed - a timeless sound; not in terms of technical production quality, but rather in terms of the instrumentation and textures created by both old and new (at the time) sound technology. The numerous weavings of triple 12-string guitar such as on 'Entangled' and 'Ripples' simply sound magical, both ancient and intimate, and are like the ultimate form of the technique the band had been employing ever since 'Trespass'. Then there are the immaculate pianos of 'Mad Man Moon' and the title track, rich and earthy organs, synths and bass pedals, all embellished by the lyrical guitar overlays of master Steve Hackett, which are often like a voice unto themselves. But of course the true voice belongs to Phil Collins, here turning in perhaps his best performances when he was still in his completely innocent, gentle phase of vocal delivery, as opposed to his appalling 'cocky' phase ('Duke' - 'Genesis', particularly on stage) or later 'mature' phase ('Invisible Touch' - 'We Can't Dance'). He sings on this album like a sensitive, lost troubadour, full of emotion and honesty - the first verse of 'Mad Man Moon' alone typifies this, and the rest of the material showcases his range. The only truly outlandish sounds are to be found in the mindblowing synth soloing of 'Robbery, Assault & Battery' and 'Los Endos', which even themselves only serve to make things better.

Like all the best Genesis albums, 'A Trick Of The Tail' is far more than the sum of its parts; each theme explored in the separate tracks does unite into a story all its own, an omnibus of tales, reflections on human experiences and dreams. And unlike much progressive fare, this is far from loose - I fail to see how any of these songs could be described as mere fairy tales. If 'Squonk' is just about a furry creature, then 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is just about a mummy's boy and 'The Long And Winding Road' is just about some road. There is much more here, a reversal of the idea 'hunter becomes the hunted', metaphorical parallels between the creature that dies of loneliness and those that hunt them. The belief that the grass is always greener on the other side is contended with great poignancy and fantasy in 'Mad Man Moon', complete with desert imagery and a chorus that threatens to make you weep. This is the calibre of material that a listener will find on this wonderful LP, all audibly executed with feeling, conviction, and an excellent standard of musicianship.

Consider this essential for anyone serious about music.

Report this review (#384)
Posted Thursday, November 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars A mysterious miraculous album an all-time classic. I first bought this on its release in 1976 wore out the vinyl instantly and have replaced it many times since. Lyrically imaginative the listner is seduced by the slower melodic tracks like 'Ripples' simply a beautiful song delicate yet intense or 'Entangled' with its malevolent undertones. Both of these tracks are supplemented by supberb acoustic guitar work and have a timeless almost magical quality that has never been equalled by Genesis or any other progressive rock band. There are other highlights, the dynamic opening track 'Dance On A Volcano' and 'Los Endos' a hearty spirited finale that captivates and ensures that you let the CD return to track 1. Sure, not all is perfect for example, 'Robbery, Assault and Battery' seems out of place to the rest of the album. 'A Trick Of The Tail' has no great depth but is fun to listen too. However, this album remains a masterpiece an essential, at least, twice-a-year listen. Revist and reflect on how one of England's all time great groups peaked with these stunning performances.

The definitive and best Genesis album.

Report this review (#385)
Posted Tuesday, December 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Beautiful .... Tony Banks as always at his best as is Steve Hackett with Entangled. Eight fairy tale stories entangled in eight musical, magical, melodies wrapped in a beautiful sleeve and inner sleeve for those old enough to buy the original copies first time round. Unfortunately, I was only 6 or 7 when Trick of the Tail was released so I'm relying on my eldest brother to pass me on his original one day!
Report this review (#386)
Posted Saturday, December 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars A trick of the tail is a more conventional album than its predecessor The Lamb which was way too experimental for some of the fans. During the last tour with Gabriel when he announced his departure, Collins, Banks and Rutherford were already making preparations for recording the next album. Squonk was the first song they wrote without Gabriel and Hackett. Hackett was working on his solo debut at the time and joined his fellow bandmates in the studio later on. Squonk is a great track, more rock than prog anyway. It could easily be included on one of their forthcoming releases of the following decade. During the recording process many vocalists did an audition for being the new singer. The band members didn't find a suitable replacement for Gabriel but when they realised time was ticking away, Collins suggested to do the job himself pending a permanent replacement. But we all know by now how things turned out.

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

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

Report this review (#387)
Posted Saturday, January 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Buying this LP as a spotty 5th former in 1976, I was full of intrepidation. Gabriel had left what I considered to be the best rock band in the world and the 'drummer' had taken over on lead vocals. Up until now Phil Collins voice had only been heard on the odd track, notably " More Fool Me " on Selling England by the Pound.

Nearly 30 years later the album ( now CD ) is without doubt the most played in my collection ( which numbers into nearly a thousand ). Quite simply the album is a masterpiece of melodic progressive music. Every track is memorable and in it's own way magnificent.

From the opening chords of "Dance on a Volcano" through to the last notes of the underture that is " Los Endos " the four piece band make a superb 50 minute listening experience.

The best track for me is "Ripples" written by Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks - quite simply magnificent in a quiet way.

The album is 30 years old this year, but if you havent got it - BUY IT.

Report this review (#388)
Posted Monday, January 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album was many things, but most importantly, it was a test. Simply: could they survive without Peter Gabriel? Gabriel's loss left a huge gap, and while the band would never quite be the same, musically as well as visually, they clearly had a lot left to give, and 'A Trick Of The Tail' offers plenty for any Genesis fan to chew on.

With drummer Phil Collins now doubling as lead vocalist, the new four-piece lineup launches into the panoramic "Dance On A Volcano", marked by a crystalline production job and a wide range of dynamics, from the frantic mid-section to the dreamlike layers on the chorus. While Phil fits in well as vocalist, I sometimes hear a kind of flimsiness in his voice throughout this and many other post-Gabriel Genesis albums. Excepting some moments when he takes initiative and projects himself strongly ("Dance On A Volcano", the mighty "Squonk"), he tends to drift in the background too much. This is appropriate on tracks like "Entangled" and "Ripples", but elsewhere it's a little frustrating. That's a minor point, because the music overtakes the attention, encompassing a rich array of sounds, recalling the best moments of their previous work while offering a few new avenues of expression, like the hyper "Los Endos" and the throbbing "Squonk". The album is sequenced well, giving you a laid-back track every other song ("Entangled", "Mad Man Moon" and "Ripples") in between the more energetic moments. And if the final section of "Entangled" isn't Tony Banks at his celestial best, I don't know what is. Every song has a certain well-rehearsed quality to it, as if they knew they were going to have to present something especially solid this time (and considering some of the members found 'The Lamb.' a little too ponderous, it's no surprise this album is a compact and tight 8 songs). It doesn't quite reach the heights of total perfection, as I've always found the title track to be nice-yet-forgettable, and Phil's silly Keystone-cop thing in "Robbery, Assault And Battery" ruins the excellent synergy running underneath, Hackett and Rutherford locking up especially well on this. It's not a perfect album, but it does represent yet another great Genesis album worth more listens than our short human life spans will allow.

Report this review (#389)
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars For a band in a time of uncertainty (as Peter Gabriel had just departed and drummer Phil Collins had taken over role as lead vocalist) this is an absolute masterpiece. From the top: The sleeve attracts you straight away, with old fashioned sketches of almost fairytale like characters, with the lyrics written inside the gatefold sleeve in old-fashioned text. Opening track is the nightmarish "Dance on a volcano" (the first Genesis track written without Peter Gabriel) with Phil singing about climbing a volcano over Tony Banks' Mellotron, and a strange time signature, "Let the dance begin" shouts Phil towards the end and the whole piece turns into well contructed chaos. Then we are given a moment to calm down, as this is followed by the beautiful "Entangled" with chiming 12-string guitars and more haunting choir-like mellotrons, Phil sings like he's trying to send a child to sleep (think that's what it's about). This is followed by "Squonk" another interesting tune about an ugly creature who constantly weeps. Then "Mad man moon" comes, another Tony Banks piece with some excellent playing and more mood switching. Next up "Robbery, assault & battery" a strange tune about a guy robbing a safe, but with more outstanding playing Notably from Banks & Collins. Another beautiful tune follws this "Ripples", again with massed 12-string guitars, and tinkling piano. Then the title track, a marching piano tune and bizarre lyrics about a creature leaving home and discovering men - strange creatures "they've got no horns & they've got no tails, they don't even know of our existence!" interesting. All of these great tunes are wrapped up by "Los Endos" a final reprise containing many themes from the album (may recognise it from the Live shows). Okay I'm waffling, but if you are a prog fan with any imagination at all, every song on this album will paint a picture for you. Buy this, you will NOT be dissapointed.
Report this review (#390)
Posted Saturday, January 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This was my first GENESIS album. In fact it was my "only" for about two years. It helped get me through high school. There is no doubt that this is excellent, progressive music. With PHIL fully ensconsed behind the microphone, one can detect a slight shift in direction. We all know what happened, but to be fair, they are in fine, fine form here. Ripples, Entangled, Los Endos, I love them all. All the songs here are good. Phil is still playing awesome drums and HACKETT & RUTHERFORD play well off each other. Banks is always solid - though he seems a little more in the background here - except for Mad Man Moon. Brilliant!!! And a beautiful song. This album holds up well over time. The boys are doing just fine without GABRIEL (for now . . . . ). A must for any prog head!
Report this review (#393)
Posted Thursday, February 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars When Peter Quit Genesis, we all wondered if it would be the end. Well no! they come up with one of the best albums they have produced. Stand-out tracks for me have to be 'Ripples' and 'Dance on a vocano'. The album does not contain any bad songs and proved they could carry on without Pete (for now anyway...). This is an album that you will play many times. I never get tired or hearing it. Still sounds good today.
Report this review (#394)
Posted Thursday, February 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars How shocked we all were when Peter Gabriel announcdd his departure! And what a stunning album the four remaining made!! Personally I rank A trick of the tail amongst my all-time favourites. The melodic songs, the strong opening with 'Dance on a vulcano', the mixture of up-tempo and ballads, Kackett's breath-taking guitar playing on 'Ripples', Banks' romantic keyboards on 'Entangled' and 'Mad man moon', the brilliant group perfromance on 'Los Endos' and, of course, Phil's extraordinary good singing on all songs of the album, it all makes this an outstanding masterpiece. Not to be missed, this is truly an essential!
Report this review (#395)
Posted Sunday, February 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is great stuff. Despite the fact that Peter left the band, the remaining four put together a very strong album with songs that all have a different 'feel' to them. All the songs are good, but my personal favourite of this album is "Mad man moon". I can even say that in my opinion this is one of the best Genesis songs ever. And you can certainly call it progressive.
Report this review (#396)
Posted Wednesday, March 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I remember on first listening this album didn't quite grab me the way "Foxtrot" and "Nursery Cryme" did and it took me some time to get into Genesis' 'new' sound, though the opening and closing tracks was instant jawdroppers. After a week this album did it to my top 5 Genesis albums and still is today. This album seems fresher and more upbeat and 'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway' as it was a very tense period for the band back then before Gabriel left, and the songs are generally stronger. The charisma featured on the Gabriel'era albums is not as obvious here though although tracks like "Robbery Assault and Battery" recalls mini stories like "Harold the Barrel" and the beauty of "Entangled" matches everything the band did in the past. Overall an excellent album that should not be ignored by a forthcoming Genesis nut. 4.5/5

I also have the original 1976 T-shirt for this album hanging on the wall, probably the best thing that will ever hang there :)

Report this review (#400)
Posted Wednesday, April 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars A truly great album - just beaten by 'Selling England' but no less worthy of 5 stars. I remember this LP coming out in the shops very clearly and the buzz at the time was huge - obviously the departure of Gabriel sparked debate on the viable future of Genesis. So to share my first impressions with this in mind, I have a clear recollection of putting this album on the turntable. Dance on a Volcano was an inspired opener. Classic Genesis by any standard (and sounding more 'prog' than many of the more lyrically driven songs on The Lamb) this kicked in with confidence and energy. The experience of hearing Phil's first vocals was not dissimilar from hearing the first vocal passage in Yes's Machine Messiah - by accident or intent, his vocal style was not a million miles away from Gabriel's unique rasp and thus initial trepidations were diffused somewhat! As the song ran breathlessly into its closing instrumental passage (and what band understands the extended instrumental excursion better than Genesis?) this seemed a highlypromising start. Entangled - a quiet, unassuming start somewhat more conventional in presentation. Eyes straying to the album cover, lyrically this track seemed to match the Edwardian flavour of the designs and I was drawn into the other images. Almost without warning the music was beginning the slow build into anaesthetic total immersion - lovers off this album will be familiar with the stunned state of mind you are left with as the final, enormous chord drops out. A beautiful, beautiful song. Squonk impressed me less - perhaps Genesis by numbers complete with the obligatory 'Eight Days a Week' chord changes over a pedal bassnote. Playground rumour whispered that it was a semi-affectionate swipe at absent friend Gabriel as a riposte to Solsbury Hill. HOWEVER a tantalising playout suggesting that yet another extended intrumental playout was being launched which had to be faded out for space in the final cut. Yes, I know that live Genesis reproduced this section & resolved it, but I feel that was a decision after the event. I'll stick my neck out and posit that on the original master of this track exists some sublime instrumental Genesis unheard by most. Otherwise, the fade makes no sense to me. Mad Man Moon. The flute! Well, ProSoloist synth, but we get the idea that Genesis are trying their hardest to convince us that Gabriel's departure has not essentially changed the band sound. I'm certainly convinced by now. And what a sublime song - Banks' composing at its most accomplished (a true craftsman Banks - unlike Hackett who appears to 'make mistakes' in his writing, but nonetheless often leading to equally beautiful and stunning songs). This is one of my favourite Genesis songs ever - fabulous chords, subtle instrumentation (check Collins' soft xylophone rolls) an evocative, if slightly obscure lyric and the most heavenly recapitulation in Rock History (though compare the Beatles trumpet reprise of You Never Give Me Your Money on Abbey Road, or King Crimson's full-length Starless). Side two continues the symmetry of songs with middle instrumentals - Robbery, Assault and Battery is Cinema Show revisited with a wonderful 13/8 instrumental workout matching the 7/8 section of CS. Collins does the Gabriel thing with vocal characterizations. Ripples, like Entangled is basically a simple song (great lyric here) given to the band (or is it just Banks) to incorporate the instrumental section. The title track is less characteristic Genesis, but musically witty and attractive with some brilliant guitar work which only Hackett would dream of producing. Los Endos draws together several strands of the album - great in context, though a little disjointed and gratuitous if taken alone (and somewhat spoilt subsequently by appearing to be the start of a trend taken up by Wot Gorilla on the next album). But as Collins celebrates the Angel Gabriel standing in the sun on the track's fade, the peace is made, the links are forged and Genesis are poised to establish their dominance of progressive rock. Or at least that's how it seemed at the time...
Report this review (#401)
Posted Thursday, April 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars The immediate consequence of Gabriel Leaving is a masterpiece. Collins on vocals is extraordinary and the usual greatness of Banks, Hackett and Rutherford, made this work really a Genesis album. The best track is surely the first, "Dance on a Volcano", the typical powerfull and majestic Genesis' song. Really a good work, everybody have to buy it. Really highly reccommended.
Report this review (#402)
Posted Monday, April 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I first heard Genesis as a 16 year old in 1981, when Duke was released and, as a drummer, I loved it. I then wanted to hear everything else the band had released and I acquired "Trick of the tail " a month or so later. It is to me, as a die-hard Genesis fan for 24 years a core recording in the history of the band. Not only was it the first album with Collins up front, but a new beginning for them. They came to life in a very different way. It's a key purchase for any Genesis fan, no matter how die-hard you are. The history of the band before and after the albums release is encompassed in this. P.S Check out the live versions of "ripples" and "entangled" on the "archive collection vol2.
Report this review (#403)
Posted Monday, April 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars All was said and written. I only add, that one can understand that after great and big projects something subtler must come. Just to have some relax after exhausting journeys, just to sit in a garden and watch and listen. And relax. Nothing more. 'Yes' have relaxed after three big trips: ctte, tftto, and relayer; in 'going for the one' and especially in 'tormato'. And this album is the beginning of the genesis relax period involving great masterpieces anyway. And it is peculiar for Genesis, that even in doing their most ambitious works they had remained accesible, melodic, simply, enjoyable. and this side of their art becomes absolutely transparent in this album. Melodies to remember, beautiful harmonies, enchanting atmosphere, not to mention perfect musicality. I have written this somewhere already, with this album and those to come of both genesis and peter gabriel, it has become obvious: that was good moment for the music when they ways have divergated. And another fact has got clear in this album: what an extremely talented chap Phill Collins is.
Report this review (#405)
Posted Tuesday, May 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
5 stars This is not my favorite album but I see it as a historical album: the press had lost their belief in them after Peter Gabriel's departure but Genesis took revenge with the best way to do, THE MUSIC! In fact Hackett, Banks, Rutherford and Collins had often jammed together during the "The lamb lies down on Broadway" sessions because Peter Gabriel often left the studio because he wanted to telephone with his pregnant wife. So they had some experience to act without their frontman and this resulted in a wonderful progrock album entitled "A trick of the tail". In my opinion it is a logical successor to "Selling England by the pound" but with a more lush keyboard sound and more captivating interplay between Hackett and Banks. It's no coincidence that the most commercial track "Robbery, assault and battery" is co-writtten by Collins, it could have been written for "And then there were three"! Without Peter Gabriel Genesis emphasized their hugh instrumental potential, that's why so many instrumental interludes and tracks on this album are so beautiful, from "Dance on a volcano" to "Los endos". AN ESSENTIAL ALBUM!
Report this review (#37263)
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars It wasn't death, but a new life what was in store for Genesis after Peter Gabriel's departure: despite the fact that Gabriel's input as a writer, frontman and sensibility was a major asset for the band's development and constant maturation, the four men who stayed managed to cherish the blessing in disguise and make the best out of it. which resulted on the conception and recording of yet another masterpiece in the band's résumé. The fantastic 'Dance on a Volcano' shows from step one that Banks, Collins, Hackett and Rutherford were capable of creating exciting and intelligent music and deliver it with craft and passion. Like this one, most of the tracks display the foursome's interest on increasing the instrumental expansion of the melodic motifs and enhance the jazz-oriented nuances that had somewhat been understated in the last Gabriel-era albums ("Selling England" found Genesis exploring their symphonic trend right to its deeper roots, while "The Lamb" went for rockier realms). Actually, you may notice an air of renewed enthusiasm in the way that all musicians interplay with each other and the energy displayed in Banks and Hackett's solos, as well as Collins' drumming. Yes, the musical genius was still there in spite of the loss of such a splendid source of theatrical charisma as the one provided by Gabriel. Now Genesis is more like an instrumental band that happens to have some lyrics in most of their compositions. The same goes for 'Squonk', 'Robbery, Assault & Battery' and the explosive closure 'Los Endos', which combines a series of assorted reprises of other albums tracks during its final passages right before the jazz-fusionesque tour de force that takes place in the core. I only wish that Hackett's riffs and leads were not so hidden behind the massive keyboard wall-of-sounds delivered by Banks: I guess that some things were meant to never change in Genesis recording and mixing sessions, Gabriel or nor Gabriel. But what can be heard is really fine - from the days of "Selling England" straight until his hot debut venture "Voyage of the Acolyte", Hackett had been making his way to the limelight as one of the most refined and inventive lead guitarists in the prog movement. But I don't want to say that this is a reborn Genesis out of an old life that hadn't left a print on their new one. On the contrary, the prototypical melancholic vibration that Genesis had been cultivating for years is still very present in tracks such as the majestic 'Mad Man Moon', the ethereal 'Entangled' - whose coda is a surreal exercise on creepy synth and mellotron layers - and the emotionally charged 'Ripples', a moving song about the passing of time and all the nostalgia around it. A special mention goes to the interlude (great dialogues between the guitar leads and the ARP synth textures over the grand piano arpeggios and bass pedals counterpoints) and the final set of repeated choruses of the latter song (the continuing guitar lead and the sound of bells add drama to Collins' singing). The title track is the least complex of all. Following a 'Penny Lane'-inspired piano basis and rhythm pattern, the song provides some sort of easy-going relief between the cathartic emotion of 'Ripples' and the intense energy of 'Los Endos' - by the way, Hackett's use of ultra-high notes for his leads is really chilling. As Collins himself proclaimed during the 'Los Endos' fade-out, Gabriel was free to get back home; so was Genesis, free to continue their instrumental development, and certainly they achieved what they were still capable of - creating a musical gem before the eyes of the world.
Report this review (#38029)
Posted Wednesday, June 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first Genesis work after the departure of Peter Gabriel shows a well rooted faith in their own means by the remaining quartet, far from being stranded at sea by their former charismatic frontman's absence. It also testifies how objectively lucky they have been in finding a home-made outstanding vocal replacement in Phil Collins: he has a completely different approach but, thanks to many timbrical identities, he has been able to carry on the work of his predecessor.

In "A Trick of the Tail" Genesis abandon the characteristic sound ambience of their previous work ("The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway") reverting to the more familiar sonorities of "Nursery Cryme" and "Foxtrot".

The result is an absolute masterpiece that is able to recapture the sound of good old days gone by, approaching it from a different point of view, in the form of songs (albeit atypical ones, thinking about the 8'03" of "Ripples") rather than extended epics.

Outstanding tracks: Dance on a Volcano, Entangled, Mad Man Moon, Robbery Assault and Battery, Ripples

Disappointing tracks: None

"Dance on a Volcano" (Banks/Collins/Hackett/Rutherford) - This odd meter whirlwind takes off right where "Dancing with the moonlit Knight" and "Cinema Show" landed. The 12 strings guitar and synth set the mood right and when the vocals enter the emotional climax is readily achieved. Interesting albeit slightly dissonant middle part. The closing part evocates a mayhem of dancing demons in a sabbath scenery, before ending on a quiet but eerie note...

"Entangled" (Banks/Hackett) - A sweet 12 strings arpeggio introduces one of the most touching Genesis songs. The mood and the lyrics are intimately tied as they describe the sensations of a person who's recovering from anaesthesia. Phil Collins singing at his best, with his doubled vocals conjuring the right airy choir...Then the wonderful finale where guitars, Mellotron and synth intertwine carrying the listener adrift.

"Squonk" (Banks/Rutherford) - A completely different approach for this broadly acclaimed concert opener. Riffs and lyrics courtesy of Mr. Michael Rutherford, he depicted a witty portrait of the immaginary beast created by William T Cox, and of its hunters. Legends are that sometime around the year 1900, a man was able to successfully catch a squonk, following a trail of tears, and when he heard a nearby squonk weeping under a hemlock tree, he lured it by imitating it. He caught the squonk in a bag, and carried it home, while it sobbed pitifully in his sack. As he carried his prize home, he suddenly noticed that the bag was lighter, and on opening it, found that there was nothing inside but tears and bubbles. So goes the story, and that's how the band narrated it! From a musical point of view it features the hardest-rocking drum track so far, seemingly borrowing its style from John Bonham's heavy pounding: the nervous verse is then countered by the definitely more relaxed chorus and the springy instrumental bridge that connects it back to the main theme. As with the first two tracks, the finale has some surprise set aside, following a completely different theme and fading out.

"Mad Man Moon" (Banks) - A gentle piano and flute theme introduces this very emotional song, dealing with stories of sun, sand and mythical creatures. Majestically composed by Banks and perfectly sung by Collins, it is a straightforward 4/4 ballad that relies on complex chords (not many writers are able to start a verse on the chords Em/D, D/C or shift from Bm to F without sounding awkward), and features a bright and sunny 7/8 middle section dyed in spanish hues. It ends as it began with the introductory theme.

"Robbery, Assault & Battery" (Banks/Collins) - Mr. Collins conveys a massive dose of humour with his cockney interpretation of this Victorian tale about a burglar and his misadventures concerning the long arms of the law. A cheeky polka-like rhythm and verse structure garnished with Phil's vocal extravaganzas gives way to a lush middle part in which the ARP synth and the Mellotron hold the lion's share thanks to fast soloing, intricated arpeggios and complex chords. The focus comes back to the verse and the chorus for the grand finale. Honorable mention to the video clip for this track, which features Phil Collins as the thief, Mike Rutherford as the murdered owner of the safe, and Tony Banks and Steve Hackett as the policemen...

"Ripples" (Banks/Rutherford) - Yet another 12 strings and piano driven dream, with very delicate lyrics. It features a definitely catchy chorus, but its focal point is without doubt the instrumental section which starts some 4 minutes into the song. The rippling piano arpeggio and the ominous synth notes provide a perfect background to Hackett's soaring distant guitar until the final burst that links back to the chorus.

"A trick of the tail" (Banks) - Tony Banks sketched this song way back in 1969, and then he picked it up again some six years later fitting it into the mainly acoustic mood of the album, and providing it with the fantasy lyrics that permeate the whole release. Musically, it is composed by two differently structured sections (the verse and the chorus), both somehow reminiscent of a beatlesque style. The lyrics tell the first person perspective of a humanoid being provided with a tail, who is then trapped by some people and showed around as a circus freak, until the moment when he breaks free and convinces them to follow him in order to catch a glimpse of the place where he comes from. But alas, these people are so narrow minded that they cannot even perceive what he is about to show them, and in the end he disappears from their sight.

"Los Endos" (Banks/Collins/Hackett/Rutherford) - A final instrumental showcase for the talents of the group, especially Banks and Collins stand out with their performance. Often performed live and acclaimed with the extension usually known as "Drum Duet", where Phil Collins plays simultaneously with the supporting drummer for the concert (usually Chester Thompson, who performs drumming duties while Collins is busy facing the crowds). Its ending features an instrumental reprise of the "Dance on a Volcano" beginning that merges into "Squonk"'s instrumental verse and fades away.

Report this review (#39719)
Posted Monday, July 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Having listened to a fair range of genesis albums, i consider this to be the best: although i enjoy the very heavy progressive sounds of Gabriels early works, i think the music on trick of the tail is compulsively listenable in a way that albums such as trespass simply are not. The album also allows the listener to enjoy a range of diverse songs, from the distinctly melancholy 'ripples' to the far more whimsical 'Robbery Assault and Battery' and very rapid and exciting 'dance on a volcano'. I honestly cannot fault this album, worthy of 5 stars
Report this review (#40637)
Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album proves that The band could continue without the presence of the genius Peter Gabriel. While this album is of lower quality of their previous works ... It still provides plenty of great musicianship and compositions and a songwriting similar to Selling England By The Pound.

1. Dance On A Volcano is a great energetic song in a similar vein to Dance with The Moonlight Knight. It provides plenty of musical changes of rhythm, atmosphere and time signatures. The instrumental section is a little cheesy for me though. 8/10

2. Entangled : This is a beautiful atmospheric track with a great climax in which a haunting synth, and a mellotron lead the piece. 9/10 3. Squonk : This song is more uptempo, and is what I consider prog pop. It is a simple catchy song with a great chorus, in which tony banks dominates with a keyboard riff. The drumming here is heavier than usual. 8.5/10

4. Mad Man Moon : This song is a laid back track which seems to be a Tony Banks composition. The pianos dominate this track, especially on the instrumental section. 7/10

5. Robbery, Assault & Battery : A moderately long track that can be compared to the Battle of Epping Forest in style (playful melodies) and contains a majestic keyboard lead around minute 4. I think the piece would have been better if the song ended with that keyboard lead in a fade-out. The percussion in this song is some of the best in Genesis. 7/10

6. Ripples : A nice Collins ballad like More Fool Me, but much longer, and more complex. It has strong classical touches with its classical guitar work and soft piano embellishments. The chorus and instrumental section are classic Genesis. 8/10

7. A Trick Of The Tail : It is unusual that the title track is the weakest track of the album. This is a straightforward pop song with no prog elements. 5.5/10

8. Los Endos : My favourite track of the album. This is an amazing instrumental that plays most of the themes of the whole album. The musicians are at their best here, and are here to prove how worthy they are to have played with Peter Gabriel in their past. 9/10

This album is a mixture of pop and prog, making it an easy album to digest, while you enjoy it in the long run. There is nothing bad about this album, other that it is far from being a masterpiece.

MY Grade : B

Report this review (#42696)
Posted Saturday, August 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A fine album that fails to captivate.

This is a very harmonized and effectively written post-Gabriel album, which is often celebrated among the Gabriel-era GENESIS fans and I can see why. A superb production and musicianship including the effective cover artwork and lyrics, with Collins singing lead almost "as good as Gabriel".

However it never appealed to me much and that's it. I cannot point at any obvious error or weakness, it just does not contain "something" which I could easily found in their earlier stuff. An overlooked gem is a gentle ballad "Entangled" by Banks/Hackett. A very good album though, which I hesitate to label "excellent" and I give 3,5 stars.

Report this review (#43217)
Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars The album that proved everyone wrong. There WAS life in Genesis after Peter Gabriel left. Who'd have thought that the same Phil Collins whose More fool me on Selling England by the pound was such a disgrace on a perfect album, would turn out to be the ideal replacement for Gabriel on vocals?

1. Dance On A Volcano (5:53) "We are back with a vengeance". Very good album opener, full of life and dyamics, excellently sung by Phil. 8,5/10

2. Entangled (6:28) Awesome. One of the all-time great songs, a tender ballad writen by Banks and Hacket. Beautiful, the way the songs ends in instrumental majesty. 10/10

3. Squonk (6:27) One of the weirdest songs in the Genesis prog catalogue, this story of a legendary animal that once caught dissolves in tears. Some people list this as thweir favourite Genesis track, and I can see why (although I do not fully agree). 9/10

4. Mad Man Moon (7:35) Pure class. Progressive rock, yes any pop/rock, does not come better than this to my taste. The instrumental parts of this Banks gem are gorgeous, right from the intimate flute play at the start. And Phil Collins shows what a fine voice he has for symphonic rock, delivering catching lines like "forever caught in desert lands one has to learn to disbelieve the sea" with great panache. 10/10

5. Robbery, Assault & Battery (6:15) The track that for me is the least interesting. it is not bad, but I can find nothing outstanding about it. 7/10

6. Ripples (8:03) Once more, Genesis manage to get a third absolute classic song on one album, an amaing performance. More than any other track on this album, this song pushes their sound in a more direct, less fanciful direction. Ripples is an epic ballad about the perceived threat of growing old. The lyrics alternate verses that mourn the passing of beauty which comes with getting older ("The face that launched a thousand ships is sinking fast - that happens, you know") with a chorus that uses the image of ripples disappearing across a pond for the aging process ("Sail away, away - ripples never come back"). The music maintains the low-key mood of the lyrics: its gentle melody with verses that drift high and low with a yearning chorus that floats off into the ether. 10/10

7. A Trick Of The Tail (4:34) Often quoted as the weakest track, buit I disagree. It is a bit more simple than most, but with its catchy melodies and interesting lyrics, this is always a joy to listen to. For me, at least. 9/10

8. Los Endos (5:46) A fine instrumental ending to an absolute masterpiece. 8/10

After Selling England by the pound, the best Genesis album for me, and clearly in my top 10 of all time, even in pop/rock in general.

Report this review (#43571)
Posted Saturday, August 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Okey, i was not even alive back then (ok, i wasn't even a tought)... But i can assure you that this one changed a lot.

This was the one that made my father got into Genesis,and one i promised myself to hear only after i heard all of Gabriel era albums (altough i heard Genesis before hearing the lamb, but it was cos a friend of mine was spinning it). And as i got into collecting papers from the era, and see what was going on with the progressive scene in the 70's, i saw it was a HUGE shock knowing that Gabriel would left Genesis after the lamb tour (plain curiosity, the last show of the tour was cancelled due to bad ticket sale, so they entered the stage in their last show right after knowing this was going to be their last show togheter. Soon after knowing this, and before hitting the stage, Gabriel played "The Last Post" on a Oboe in the backstage).

So, Gabriel is gone? oh boy, we're in trouble! And then they had to show the world they wouldn't miss Gabriel (and they wouldn't really, since Gabriel only written a few songs for genesis). So, they took their time to do whatever it took to make it into a perfect Gabriel era LP, without Gabriel in their lineup. That's why you're gonna hear Phil Collins here and say "hey, this is Gabriel!". The only thing that changed a little, is Collins hand shaking stuff. Now he is in a better place, so drums start to appear highly on this one, getting more of a direct and concise sound, instead of making soundscapes with two acoustic guitars (except for "Entangled")

This one can still beconsidered as one of Genesis really great albums(for me, W&W is the dividing line in that point), and no fan of earliest OR latest Genesis will get disapointed, nice way to start a new era.

Another plain curiosity, i own 4 Lps of this one. since it was my dad's favorite, he bought two of them (in case one got messed up, altough it never did), later Virgin re- released this album, and so went dad, to buy another 2 copies of this one. Afterwards, when i installed our LPset after 5 years since we moved, he came to me with all of his Genesis LPs (from Tresspass to Secret Touch, all of them) and said "since it's you passion now, these, and those(pointing to the other cases where the albums were stored) are yours, so you can keep passing this on", and thats how i ended up wih 4 copies, in this very emocional family moment

Report this review (#43858)
Posted Monday, August 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars After a bit of uncertainty after the loss of Peter Gabriel, the remaining members of Genesis carried on with erstwhile drummer Phil Collins taking over on lead vocals. Forget about Collins' later (ahem!) work. Here his performances are a tad restrained, sort of like Gabriel-lite, but this is musically as strong an album as Genesis has ever produced.

"Dance On A Volcano" is another "Watcher of the Skies"-type of number allowing Collins to show off his drumming prowess. He gets more opportunity on the lengthy instrumental/underture "Los Endos", which closes the album and was to become (understandably) a live staple. Much of the album is made up of curious story-songs, not too different from Gabriel-era work, with only Collins' vocals showing that anything had changed. Meanwhile, "Entangled" and "Ripples" are two of the group's loveliest and most celestial acoustic-guitar oriented numbers.

It does take a bit for this one to grow on you, but in the end it's another winner from Genesis. Feel free to listen and enjoy.

Report this review (#46277)
Posted Sunday, September 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Album announced in 1976 "A Trick Of The Tail". The first work after Peter Gabriel secedes. Music has not changed surprisingly. It became a more technical, more dynamic performance. Especially, the keyboard and the drum are wonderful. Work that can be called it is a masterpiece with which new element is sprinkled.
Report this review (#47006)
Posted Saturday, September 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars After four years, I am re-writing and re-rating A Trick of The Tail. I gave it 4 stars at that time just because this album did not have a piece on epic proportion. But the fact is this is album that does not loose appeal at all goes to prove that it is actually a masterpiece. This is also I think the biggest prog album with Collins in the vocals (off course Wind and Wuthering is also brilliant). Firstly the songs of this album are more or less very tight, except for Squonk-- which I believe could have been tighter. The recording is very crisp and you can hear all the instruments all the time. Dance on a volcano is simply a masterpiece-- demonstrating absolute musicianship where Genesis proves to be a master of rhythm. Excellent guitar, excellent drum, bass, keyboard and excellent vocals. You'll never get tired of it and in fact, the more you hear it, the more you appreciate it. Entangled is yet another brilliant piece with a little shorcoming-- its lyrics. Entangled sounds like a sentimental song during the vocals part-- although this is a satirical piece on psychological treatment. Yet its an outstanding song with a mellotron led ending that can never be forgotten. Squonk opens very nicely and the tune is very catchy. But I would say they could cut the length to make it more appealing. Mad Man Moon is an adventurous piece based on complex piano work and tends to grow on you. Brilliant lyrics of self discovery in pursuit of wealth and fortune. Robbery, Assault and Battery is another satire-- well played and very interesting. Ripples is yet another brilliant piece with straight forward lyrics and intriguingly structured. The finishing is as brilliant as Ripples-- but this time its Steve's amazing guitar moaning. A trick of the tale is rather the most simple composition in this album with yet another satirical and nice lyrics about how people react to something they are not used to, or new or different. By all means this is a very nice song-- though it has lower replay value. Los Endos is the instrumental grand finale of the album that borrows from the other songs of this album- Dance on a volcano and Squonk. Heavy percussion and loads of guitar, bass and keyboard works. Its not the finest Genesis instrumental, but its good.
Report this review (#47399)
Posted Tuesday, September 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I was first exposed to this album back in '77, when I bought it as a cassette from my hometown's fair. It was my first Genesis album and, although the tracks, as they were recorded on the tape, were in essence samples of the actual tracks (what the hell, I didn't know I was going to be ripped off!), nevertheless I was very impressed by their sound.

Bearing in mind that 'A Trick..' was the first album by Genesis that I had heard up until then, I was hooked immediately! Especially on listening to 'Dance on A Volcano' - I thought 'Woah!' What's this?'. I was hooked! The production was top-notch and I wasn't aware that it was the band's first album with Collins singing lead which, compared to other Gabriel-albums I subsequently got to listen to, I couldn't tell apart from Gabriel's voice!

The album is a great showcase of the musicians' skills and their songwriting was becoming more loose and the music itself more 'fusion-y',which makes sense if one considers that Collins had, by then, already started to jam with Brand X.

Speaking in terms of melodies, 'A Trick..' assumed a more snappy approach and Collins' vocals give the album a much less ponderous air lyrics-wise, which would no doubt have been the case, had Gabriel sung them. In my opinion, the lyrics are more bizarre but have a more mundane, happy-go-lucky approach. All of the material on the album is great, my favourites being 'Mad Man Moon', the ballad 'Ripples', 'A Trick of The Tail', 'Assault and Battery' and the aforementioned 'Dance on A Volcano'.

This and the following album 'Wind and Wuthering' were two of a kind, in terms of inspiration, that can safely be considered to be the last two great Genesis albums, before the band , by Collins' admission, decided to 'embrace commercialism' ('Follow You, Follow Me' anybody?).

Report this review (#50980)
Posted Sunday, October 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I really have a soft spot for this one! It was my first CD-album from GENESIS, and there are no weak points really!! With the exception that PG was not there!! But, all the elements of Progressivness IMO were still present. And, I fell that Hackett influence was the dominant one... Lyrcs were still pretty good, and production improvments, make sound much better than previous releases... Highly recommended!!!
Report this review (#51792)
Posted Friday, October 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wonderful album. Very satisfying piece of art.

Dance on a volcano: Great start for the album. Phil sings from his heart

Entangled: Very touching acoustic prog-genesis.

Squonk: In the beginning of this song, the drums takes you with them. Phil's voice does its work again. Absolutely great song

Mad Mad Moon: Reminds me lot of cinema show. Beatiful work from Banks aaah.. Well what can I say, the best song in the album.

Robbery, Assault & Battery: The weakest song of the set. But in its on way its good song.

Ripples: This time the longest song of the set gets the secong place. But its just 1mm behind. Beatiful song in every aspect

Report this review (#51875)
Posted Saturday, October 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wasn't sure I liked this at first. It's quite a roller-coaster musically, being at times frenetic, full of energy, NOISY, and next moment soothing, mellow, only to take off again. But the overall craftsmanship, the keyboarding ties it all together. This does have an experimental, progressive sound about it. A lot of people were struck by the remarkable similarity between the voices of Phil Collins and the recently departed Peter Gabriel. Phil stepped into the role admirably. This is a classic.
Report this review (#53773)
Posted Saturday, October 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Very solid effort from the 4 man incantation of Genesis. With the absence of Gabriel, Collins now became the lead vocalist, but the drumming he does is nothing short of brilliant. More guitar oriented than The Lamb and still as progressive as ever, A Trick of the Tail along with Wind and Wuthering is somewhat of a bridge between old Genesis and new Genesis. The songs are more complete and are very well-rounded with memorable riffs and interludes. Hackett is as strong as ever, with great riffing and chord work. Rutherford plays fluently and creatively on the bass, and Banks is a genious on his synths.

Beginning with the stunning Dance on a Volcano and ending with the sublime instrumental Los Endos, this album feels like Gabriel in craft, but in truth it is quite different. Without a doubt the best songs on this album are Squonk and Los Endos. Squonk has a memorable intro and chorus and has some of the best lyrics on the album. And Los Endos is what it was meant to be, the instrumental to end all instrumentals. The song contains nods and key phrases from each song on the album and features stellar interplay between Banks and Collins.

Overall, I must say that this album is a terrific piece of progressive rock. Every song is incredibly strong, technical, and wonderfully composed. I can't give it any less than 5/5.

Report this review (#55119)
Posted Monday, November 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Once Peter Gabriel departed the group and left many critics to predict the demise of the band, Collins, Rutherford, Banks and Hackett all brought together an album that could prove the general public wrong and prove that they could indeed still make an awesome album (the irony of the statement is that Genesis pretty much went to pot after Duke). Without Gabriel to hold the band back, the band soared to new heights, pinnacles that had never been touched on before and never would again, by Genesis.

There isn't a single complaint from me on the songwriting. Everything is melodic without being unreasonbly catchy, it's well thought out, and the songs differ enough to keep interest. Probably the best piece of writing on the album is the piano interlude to 'Mad Mad Moon.'

The instruments come together in a fantastic fashion. What makes this harmony so beautiful is that if one was to isolate all the instruments of the song, you wouldn't be able to recognize a song. All the instruments are exploited at the same level, and it just ties the music together. Phil Collins' drumming doesn't stand out, even though he does a virtuoso job on it.

Dance On A Volcano-Many people liken this one to 'The Cinema Show,' and I honestly don't know why. Maybe they share one or two riffs and a basic form, but they sound completely different. Dance On A Volcano is much faster and much more layered than The Cinema Show; the word I'm searching for is intense.

Entangled-Hackett's twelve string is the impetus to this song, starting from a very beautiful ballad and working its way into a moving keyboard solo. To a newcomer to the album, I can quite easily understand how one could get bored of Entangled right after listening to something as fast paced as Dance On A Volcano. Give it some time. This is a jewel on the album.

Squonk-Many people chastise this for being a loose, silly song, and I really don't understand why. Squonk has always appealed to me (to the point of it becoming my favourite Genesis tune) as a well thought out tune. The aura conveyed is very deep, and it feels like the guitar is stretching all over the place to cover everything. The bass adds to that. Collins' distorted and intense vocals help move the song along and add to the intensity of the tune. His drumming, while not as complex as on other tracks, is still notable for how well it adds to the tune. My recommendation-listen to this song while driving around downtown Chicago around sunset. Then you'll love it.

Mad Mad Moon-Mad Mad Moon feels a lot more mystical and like Genesis' pre-Lamb era work. The mellotron is used here better than on most other songs I've heard it used on. The piano interlude, as noted above, really pulls this song into the 5 star category.

Robbery, Assault & Battery-This one I don't mind labelling as silly. Because it is. The lyrics pretty much define it as. But this song has one of the best Genesis instrumentals of their entire catalogue. The pulsing keyboards, the flowing guitar work-it all comes together.

Ripples-Back to the likening of Entangled, Ripples starts out slow and gradually builds up, but I feel that Ripples always feels like the strongest piece on the album, maybe it's the instrumental interlude that always gets me.

A Trick Of The Tail-Semi silly, but still conveys an idea and is defintely a great tune. It always reminded me of a Beatles' song for some reason, but it's just another well thought out, fantastic number.

Los Endos-I'm always blown away every time I hear this song-it just reeks energy. The chords at the beginning builds the song up and then truly masterful drum work leads the song into a much harder repitition of those chords. The song is easily much more intense than Dance On A Volcano, and everyone is probably pounding the crap out of their instruments by now. It's here that Collins' drumming hits its peak. The fantastic movements convey such a great, atmospheric and floating aura that it has to be heard to be believed. The farewell to Gabriel in the Squonk reprise at the very end is a nice touch.

'Wind And Wuthering' kind of closed up the truly great era of Genesis, although they did come back with 'Duke' and then fall into a deep, dark hole with 'Abacab' (Essentially, any Genesis album with Steve Hackett is worth a look). 'A Trick Of The Tail' is easily Genesis' best.

Report this review (#56144)
Posted Sunday, November 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album was my first experience to Genesis. It is a great album, and easier on the public ears than earlier (little did I realize when I got this album that this was nothing compared to earlier Genesis). I guess I picked up ATotT becuase I thought Peter Gabriel would be on it, since I loved the stuff that he has put out. However, I was proven wrong.

And now for the songs: 1. Dance on a Volcano- This a great song.Collins, himself kind of sounds like Peter. However, it sounds a little off beat to me (then again, I don't even know what time signature that is!).

2.Entangled- Oh my God! What a beautiful song! This maybe be the most lullabyish song ever produced by Genesis (I don't know about the pop Genesis, but what I heard of them, they aren't nearly as good as prog Genesis). I somethimes go to sleep with this song. It is so soothing and beautiful.

3.Squonk-Ah, yes. Squonk. Probably by most people's standards, this is the most progessive rock song on the album. I truly like it.

4. Mad Man Moon- This song is kind of interesting. It's really... what's the word, mellow? Banks does do some excellent piano/keyboard playing on this.

5.Robbery, Assault, and Battery- My absolute favorite song on this album! The intro is truly cool, with the keyboard and phasered guitar.Collins certainly is good drummer not only of his playing ability, but also becuase he can do that and sing at the same time. I am a drummer myself, and I can't do that! My hat to you, Mr.Collins.

6.Ripples-What a beautiful and powerful song! This song is also another favorite and gem on this album. Banks, once again, can show you his powerful keyboard playing. This song, IMO, fits Collin's voice the best.

7.A Track of the Tail-The album track is still very good, but it isn't the strongest track on the album. Also, some of you may say that this song is very popish. You're right , in a sense, but still, it's not nearly as bad as later Genesis (though I like them, they aren't the prog Genesis).

8. Los Endos- A great conclusion to the track. This, and Squonk IMO are the most progressive rock tracks on the album. Phil's drumming is incredible.

In conclusion, this is a very good Genesis album, and the last great one, for you purists. If you like progressive rock that isn't too hard on your ears, this is the Genesis album to get.

Report this review (#56322)
Posted Monday, November 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Good work with good songs, a well-balanced album. All tracks are above the average but none is a classic in the same manner of 'The musical box', 'Supper's ready' or 'In the cage'.

Musicianship is high maybe because band members were probably not dealing with the strong personality of former vocalist Peter Gabriel or maybe they wanted to show their skills that were sometimes hidden. They also seem to share equally their part of the cake.

"Dance on a volcano" keeps Genesis tradition of high-level opening track and the other songs are well disposed and recorded turning the album into an easy flowing piece.

Well, but there is something not running accordingly: Phil Collins' lead vocals. Phil could do a good job as supporting vocal or even as main singer in certain specific songs ('More fool me', from SEBTP) but the task of frontman was too much for him, at least for a Genesis style of music and interpretation. He went fair in ballads like 'Ripples' or 'Mad man moon' but failed on typically-oriented Gabriel's songs like 'Robbery, assault and battery', 'Entangled' or the title-song.

I saw Genesis live, here in Rio, 1977, and Collins vocals only worked for the slow songs, the others were at the edge of a disaster. The negative impact of that live show was so great that I preferred not to buy their next album, W&W, having only the opportunity to hear it completely many years after. I think that the poppish line that Genesis took had also a strong contribution of Collins inability for higher flights with more complex and sophisticated music: the essence of progressive.

Minus 2-stars due to weak leading vocals in some tracks. Total: 3.

Report this review (#56536)
Posted Wednesday, November 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars When Peter gabriel left Genesis in 1975, most people thought the band were finished. NOT SO! Phil Collins simply stepped up to the vocal mic from his drum stool and it was business as usual. "Dance on a volcano" starts the whole thing off in menacing fashion and quirky beats, and for some reason always makes me think of a blonde haired and a black haired dominatrix dressing Johnny Orzach up in womens clothes. "Entangled" is simply beautiful, with Hacketts beautiful guitar lines and Tony Banks ghost like piano ending making the hairs on the palms of your hands stand up on edge. The subject matter is about somebody who is ill in hospital, gets better then is given the bill for the hospital services by a pretty young nurse. "Squonk" is a bit more rockier, with a great vibe going right through it. The lyrics tell the tale of a creature with a red rag hanging out of his mouth who gets caught by a hunter, is put into a sack, where he promptly cries his eyes out. "Mad Man Moon" i must say is not one of my favourites. It is a beautiful song, but i found the piano noodling in the middle section a bit overlong and boring. Toby Banks is one of my favourite keyboard players, but he does tend to go on a bit at times. "Robbery Assault and Battery" appears to be about Phil collins doing a robbery in his youth. He gets away from the police by escaping via the roof. Phil then reflects that one day his luck is going to run out and the police will attach him to a chain. Musically it is not far removed from "The Battle Of epping Forest" from "Smelling England By the pound" the synth solo halfway through is excellent and makes me think of Karen Carpenter for some reason. "Ripples" is a sad song about ripples not being able to come back. Phil will have you in tears on this one with his heartfelt vocals, as will Toby banks with his fast piano playing melding with Hacketts crying guitar sound, which puts me a mind of The guitarist from "The Brian Perry New Deal Experience" The title track is very Beatles like in the Magical Mystery Tour era. great jaunty piano playing by Banks and well delivered vocals by Phil Collins. Has anyone noticed Kevin Walters grunting on the fade out? "Los Endos" is simply one of the best instrumentals of all time. Majestic sounds, killer vocals and a touch of influence from Dukes Travels, which would be on the Duke album four years later. I really love the way the band reprise "Dance On A volcano" "Squonk" and "Locomotive Breath" on this track. To my ears, Genesis never sounded better than this 1976 treatie of an album. So if it is not in your collection, put on a nice fluffy cardigan, and your warmest mackintosh and skip merrily to your local record shop to pick up this little sweety

Cheers Chit

Report this review (#57055)
Posted Saturday, November 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album finds Genesis ( less Gabriel) in melodic form, a contrast from the sometimes slightly uncomfortable listening of parts of LLDOB. I remember it as a huge success at the time and listening to it again 30 years after its original release while it perhaps lacks the punch of the Lamb and the originality of Foxtrot and SEBTP, it is still an enjoyable listen with arguably only Robbery Assualt and Battery being less than very good. 4 and a half stars.
Report this review (#58351)
Posted Sunday, November 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Great stuff guys 5 stars!!i can understand all the fear for Gabriel's departure but the band has get off the rabbit from hat:phill collins leader and vocalist!incredible and exciting coincidence.Dancing on a volcano has many fusion elements but what can it be said about Steve hackett's melody on guitar!Best song for me and also Entangled with oriental style that creates a great climax!i'm so fascinated by this group because in every album it's innovative and brilliant!thanx Genesis
Report this review (#60627)
Posted Saturday, December 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Farewell Peter Gabriel! You were fantastic. But Collins and co managed a miracle! Trick of the tail exceeded all expectations and was brilliant! Dance on a volcano was a catchy opening track but the album got better as it went on. Bearing in mind they had to follow Lamb lies down on broadway, a tricky task. The standouts for me: Squonk, Entangled, Ripples and Trick of the tail. A superb Album.
Report this review (#64302)
Posted Wednesday, January 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Today, for a long time, I put this to my stereos... Aah this is absolutely wonderful music. Tony Banks shines here, Collins never been better, Hackett is simply the best and Rutherford.. well good! This album is a mixture of Tresspass&Selling England, wonderful songs with awesome synthwork. The album starts with Dance On A Volcano, well it is the best opening I know (right after Dancing With The Moonlight Knight). The music is something unusual. Collins could have been Gabriel, at first listen you could think Gabriel sings here. Next Entangled, slow, progballad which grows stronger and stronger. Amazing. 3rd Squonk, mm might be the best song here, though everyone is quite amazing. Collins shows his ability as a drummer, well I think he is the best prog-scene ever had. Mad Mad Moon, the best song here (maybe). Wonderful pianowork, I mean, when you listen to this at 100% volume, it makes you weep =D... Robbery&assault&batter, this is the "catcysong" here. Great pop-prog song. Ripples could have been the best, but it doesnt reveal its true potential, they kinda just did this song in a hurry or something (oh no it is not bad, I just mean it could have been the best). Trick of the tail is great pop song with prog elements. I mean really really great, no that crappy pop... Los Endos, the must-instrumental-Hackett-song. Well it is amazing. All the music here... Wonderful Points overall: 9.85/10=5 stars
Report this review (#65111)
Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Peter Gabriel's departure was a pity, since the band lost a great songwriter and one of the most brilliant and polifacetic vocalists of the past century. However, his loss was not probably as important artistically speaking as Hackett's, for example. This album and the next are two (splendid) examples of this statement. Although Gabriel is not there, the spirit is still present. Even Phil Collins managed at this stage to provide an excellent 'Gabriel-esque' vocal counterpart that unfortunately he decided to abandon later to develop a more personal style. If that is good or bad, is something up to everyone's opinion, although his vocal performance in this ocassion was the appropiate one.

Generally speaking, and although I'm yet to listen to a lot of material from the 'non- progressive' era, I dare to state that this is probably the best Genesis record with Phil Collins as a vocalist and probably my personal favourite after "Foxtrot" and "Selling England by the pound" ("The Lamb..." is also amongst my favourites but probably in a lower scale). It is probably one of the most melodic and artistically sweet albums from this band (a lot in the vein of "SEBTP"). Each song is a true melodic experience that should be tasted slowly and carefully.

"Dance on a volcano" is probably one of the best intro songs I've ever listened from any band, its guitar introduction is a quite original and brilliant one, and a grand spirit is kept along the entire song. "Entangled" is another reason (amongst the many) of why Steve Hackett's departure was so important for this band. A simply delicious song. Collins also sings pretty well here. "Squonk" has another guitar starting arrangement that is amongst my favourites. Tony Banks' symphonic work is quite remarkable also (organ, mellotron and the such), like it was in many works from the Gabriel era. "Mad Man Moon" starts in a very romantic way and Tony Banks performs another excellent work here, this time with piano. "Robbery, Assault & Battery" is another humorous and rhytmic song like were "I Know what I like" or "The Battle of the Epping Forest" and is also a very mellotron-influenced song. "Ripples" provide us with another Hackett-Banks instrumental tandem also acomppanied with one of the best Phil Collins' vocal performances. "A Trick of the tail" is a curious story which talks about the human race from the perspective of an extrasterrestial visitor. It is another quite rhytmic song. And finally, "Los Endos" serves its purpose as an excellent instrumental closure and proves that Genesis have a nice and unsuspected touch for instrumentals (some of them are found to be their best pieces).

I have to say that I have truly enjoyed this album, as well as I have done with many of the early Genesis albums I'm listening to recently. Maybe I'm doing to many five stars reviews but it is the case that when a record deserves it, it deserves it.

Happy listening.

Report this review (#67937)
Posted Thursday, February 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I hesitate to write a review, as so much has already been said. But I give this album 5 stars to firmly plant TOTT among the best of the post Gabriel-era offerings. This is a wall-to-wall listen, with no weak spots unless you perceive the lack of Peter to be a weakness...and I do not.

The lighter feel of the lyrics makes way for a rich, sculpted sound that, had they been willing to pursue it, could have propelled the progressive Genesis as far into the 80s as they travelled via pop. But hey...who knows. Their embracing of pop is a path I'm sure the boys would travel again if all were to do over. And speaking as one who came to love Genesis through the eponymous 1983 smash, I could easily be tagged as a Phil fan or pop Genesis fan. But I worked my way back through the discography to immerse myself in this band, so maybe the pop pathway has a great deal of merit when seen as a pedestal for their progressive roots. I love the early albums with a fierce passion. I love Peter Gabriel in all his solo glory. But of all recordings connected to Genesis and its members, this one stands out as my favorite.

Phil-haters, you should hear this album through Genesis-lover ears, and love it. It was written for you.

Report this review (#69911)
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Genuine progrock, this record. Luxurious harmonies, great execution, you almost don't miss Peter Gabriel here. A portrait of progressive rock, this album converges into the basic qualities or characteristics of the genre. Sometimes well humoured, sometimes dark. Not a masterpiece, but very close to it.
Report this review (#70664)
Posted Monday, February 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Absolutely the best Genesis album ever made! A truly masterpiece! Not a single weak link, it works great as an album! Songs are linked together and Phil is not so theatralic singer as Peter was. Phil sings smootly and nicely and his voice fits perfectly to Genesis music. What a comeback after Peter left the band! Many thought that when frontman is gone, band can´t do so good music anymore but it did even better! Peter was not keymember of the band, he was just a singer and showman and band was even stronger after Peter and his stupid shows on which band were bored. Dance on A Volcano, Entangled, Ripples, Robbery, Los Endos and Mad Man Moon, all great songs but the magic of the album is how well songs fits together. Band is in the best balance ever! Peter took too much room in the band and now other players has more space to play and they are not in the shadow of Peter anymore. Phil don´t dominate the album as Peter used to do and that is a good thing. Peter was not so good singer and his way to sing and perform was many times quite hard to listen. Now band is enjoying to play and you can hear it!
Report this review (#71400)
Posted Wednesday, March 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's already all been said. Not planning to add much more than a couple of my typical opinions. It's amazing what the band did after Gabriel left. We all thought they were goners when we heard that Gabriel was leaving the band, but you've got to hand it to the remaining members.

Dance With a Volcano is a great song right from the beginning. In fact I attribute a lot of the getting-over- ambivalence to listen to the album on the fact that it's such a good opening song. Every composition on the album is superb. That's it strength. Not a song is dull. It's weakness however is that no single track takes over and carries the album to immortality. No Carpet Crawler into Chamber of 32 doors segue or Supper's Ready or Firth of Fifth. Nonetheless a must have because songs are great and it's fascinating to see Genesis post Gabriel.

Report this review (#71905)
Posted Tuesday, March 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I bought this album when it first came out, but never owned it on CD until recently, so the time has come to re-assess this album.

I remember on first hearing that Phil Collins sounded very much like Gabriel, but on reflection this was probably because I was more familiar with Phil's voice than I realised, as he had sung on a number of previous Genesis tracks.

"Dance On A Volcano" is probably the most prog track on the album, being 7 beats to the bar. Nice guitar riff with keyboard harmony and great instrumental ending.

"Entangled" is possibly my favourite track and is a lovely acoustic song with excellent harmony vocals on the chorus. The song ends with a keyboard & mellotron workout which builds up to a dramatic climax.

"Squonk" was rumoured to be about Peter Gabriel when the album first appeared, but is actually about a mythical creature which had already featured in a Steely Dan song (look up Squonk in Wikepedia). A good guitar-driven number.

"Mad Man Moon" is a Tony Banks song, similar in construction to "One From The Vine" on this album's successor. As with this song, it has an excellent instrumental middle section.

"Robbery, Assault and Battery" is probably the weakest song here, being a "comedy" number in a similar vein to "All in a mouse's night". Only partially redeemed by a good ending.

"Ripples" is another beautiful, mainly acoustic, number about women losing their beauty as they get older. Hackett shines on this one with a great (backwards?) guitar solo.

The title track is reminiscent of Magical Mystery Tour-era Beatles with its staccato piano and psychedelic ending.

"Los Endos" finishes the album off in style, being basically a Brazilian-style resume of parts of "Dance On A Volcano" and "Squonk". This song is even better on Seconds Out.

Overall, an excellent 4 star album which proved Genesis could survive without Mr Gabriel. With hindsight, there are signs of the later, more pop-orientated band but things only really went downhill when Hackett left.

Report this review (#75327)
Posted Tuesday, April 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars When Gabriel left Genesis, Phil Collins expressed that he was not a strong enough singer to be a lead vocalist. He forgot to mention he was also not a strong enough writer to compose lyrics and music. Unfortunately Tony, Steve, and Mike ignored this fact and persisted with mediocre results.

Most certainly the strongest album of Collin's era Genesis. The album takes a more mellow, ethereal feel with strong jazz influences. And turns out some great tunes like "Dance On A Volcano" and "Squonk", but overall the magic of Gabriel is just missing. All tracks have left their epic feel imparted on them by Gabriel. Phil's voice is much less dynamic and without the raw emotive power that used to drive Genesis. That former aggressive Genesis sound is gone unable to be supported by Collin's bland vocals singing sub par lyrics, longing to be the metaphorical gems of Gabriel but failing miserably.

A solid purchase especially if you can pick up a used copy for cheap. Most songs are good for the occasional listen, some need to be put down. This would have been much more interesting as the instrumental album it almost was, but even with Phil Collins' at the helm it still retains a certain enjoyability.

Report this review (#76930)
Posted Tuesday, May 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars WHAT A MASTERPIECE !!! 9/10

Peter Gabriel gone of Genesis, there's his style missing, it's true, but it's still really good ! I don't know why I waited so long to buy it .. I tought it was ordinary and not as good as WIND AND WUTHERING and even DUKE, but I was wrong. DUKE is not that good and I like WIND AND WUTHERING as much as I like this one, TRICK OF THE TAIL.

I first heard 1. DANCE ON A VOLCANO and tought it was good (And I think it's a good intro for a cd like this) but it wasn't good enough to make me buy the cd before the others. 3.5/5

After I heard 3. SQUONK, again, not good enough to buy the cd before the others (I had and have the intention to buy all their cds, four are missing in my collection) and I tought I saw the color of the album, but I was a bit wrong ;) 2.5/5

Now that I have the cd, I can listen to all the songs and IT WORTH IT. 2. ENTANGLED is just so good !!! The end is so grandiose ! It worth to be listen just for the ending of the song even the rest of the song is really good :D And I really like the chords that are used. 5/5 :D

He he, 4. MAD MAN MOON .. only one word, WOW !!! The chords are really but wait THE PIANO SOLO is THE BEST piano solo ever in any prog music that I heard at 3min18. I love the piano and keyboards when they go fast .. hihihi ! The rest of the song is relly good too with of course a GENESIS sound that I love so much ! 5/5

For the fifth song, 5. ROBBERY, ASSAULT AND BATTERY, it will be short : not my style .. Sorry, my tasts tell me it is good but really not my favourite. BUT, at 4min19, it is becoming better even really good for me (this part saves the song, but too short !) 3/5

Sail Away, Away !!!!!!!!!!! It makes me sail away in my imagination. 6. RIPPLES .. The chorus, the refrain makes the song, its chords, its vocals, its instrumentation, WOW. I like the instrumental part but I don't know, the sound of the guitare and the keyboard, I don't know, something makes me think there are better instrumental part in a lot of songs of a lot of group, still the fast piano in the part is really good. 4.5/5

7. A TRICK OF THE TAIL, ever shorter : not my style. But this time, no really good instrumentale part to save the song .. 2/5

8. LOS ENDOS, the only complete instrumentale song of the cd. My favourite part is at 1min47 but the song seems to be like some songs that have been put together (with a little bit of the first track of the cd, DANCE ON A VOLCANO), it's really weird. The thing is that those songs are good :P Ok good conclusion but not a ­­­­­You-Must-Hear-It. 3.5/10

I know, it gives us a 3.5/5 note but the good part are so good and outstanding that I think for it worth 4.5/5 :D

Report this review (#77568)
Posted Monday, May 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars A Trick Of The Tail proved that Genesis didn't need Peter Gabriel to make good music. Indeed, the members of the band sound like liberated after the departure of the man who dominated them for so long (and made them do the silly The Lamb Lies Down.). Although lyrically they may have suffered a bit, but I never cared for Gabriels lyrics anyway, this is a very strong album, from the excellent opener Dance On A Volcano to the closing track Los Endos. Songs in between include a few nice ballads, with Mad Man Moon as the absolute highlight. Robbery, Assault & Battery and the title track took me some time to get used to, though. The first because it reminds me of some of the PG-era "epics" (well, of course it's not as bad as Get Em Out by Friday), the second because it hints at the commercial direction the band would slide to a couple of albums later. Perhaps not essential, but strongly recommended anyway.
Report this review (#79155)
Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I decided that 164 ratings for this album in progarchives weren`t enough so here`s mine. I just finished listening to it for the first time in a few years so I`m going to review it as if it was the first time I ever heard it.

After the departure of Peter Gabriel in late `75 Genesis fans looked on with horror as a multitude of potential vocalists were auditioned as his replacement until it was decided by the band that Phil Collins would take over. More horror followed as Genesis fans held an 18 month vigil for the new album to arrive.

With Phil Collins up front and Tony Banks handling most of the writing oddly enough the band regained it`s intrinsic English sound which was beginning to wane on the previous Lamb Lies Down On Broadway album. The album suprised critics, delighted fans and record executives could sleep at night . Collins, while sounding remarkably like Gabriel had a sharper and more energetic approach to the vocal work and was much more alive and not as meloncholic as Gabriel was at times. Robbery Assault and Battery is a good example of this where Collins` English accent provides a good effect. I couldn`t imagine Gabriel singing a song with the vocal theatrics Collins emphasizes during the little dialogue bits in this extended piece.

There are other glaring reminders of the earlier Genesis days which made this 18 month wait for Trick of the Tail well worth it. The opener, Dance On a Volcano. a full group writing effort, takes one back to the Selling England By the Pound days as does Squonk with wide sounding syth treatments. Two of the most beautiful tracks from the band can be heard here. Ripples and Entangled are straight rock ballads with the latter being one of the most beautiful progressive rock songs ever recorded. Employing mezmerizing 12- string guitar layering it conveys the dreamy theme of the song immacuately.

If you were folowing Genesis chronologically back in the `70s like this reviewer ( who is over 100 years old ) Trick of the Tail made The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway easy to forget which became a little over- dramatic at times. The lyrics are much more easier to appreciate and with Gabriel`s ecclectisism gone the band comes back to life somewhat and becomes much more tighter. They even end off the album with a mini instrumental showpiece aptly entitled Los Endos.

To put the icing on the cake of this command performance is some wonderful cover artwork by Hipgnosis which features cartoon-like charictures of the various characters which appear throughout the album . An old vinyl copy with the gatefold cover is worth hunting down just for the artwork which is also reproduced on certain CD re-issues. 5 gold stars add ½ gold star for going beyond the call of duty with the artwork. Bravo!

Report this review (#81220)
Posted Thursday, June 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album, along with "Wind and Wuthering", is proof that Peter Gabriel's departure from Genesis was far from being as bad for the band as Steve Hackett's departure. This album picks up where Selling England By the Pound left off (don't get me wrong, I LOVE The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, but it was a hell of an experiment that deserves a field all it's own and stands alone within the Genesis discography, a parenthesis if you will), and showcases a more united band, all members going in the same direction, which must have been a relief for everyone involved after The Lamb... The sound was the best they had had at that point, the songwriting was top notch, the execution brilliant. One small downfall : Phil Collins' drumming began to suffer a little due to his handling of lead vocals (really, just a little) in certain songs, even though most songs didn't call for excessively technical drumming. Collins more than makes up for it with his singing though, the vocal melodies being, in my opinion, the best from Genesis (Gabriel was theatrical and all, but not as melody friendly as Collins). The stars on this album are Tony Banks and Steve Hackett, without a doubt. Every song here is brilliant, but my favorites are : Dance on a Volcano, Entangled, Mad Man Moon, Ripples and instrumental album closer Los Endos.

The best post-Gabriel album, and even rivals any Gabriel era albums for that matter. One of my favorite Genesis albums ever.

Report this review (#83464)
Posted Tuesday, July 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first Genesis album I got was "Foxtrot", which was a true masterpiece ("Watcher of the Skiues", "Supper's Ready"...). "A Trick of the Tail" was the second. It's obvious that Gabriel had a huge influence on the previous works and I was very suprised to note that his departure didn't prevent the band from making very good music !

The first and the last tracks may be the best (actually they are linked by some musical elements) and the more progressive. Tony Banks take part in the writing of all the songs and leaves two jewels (of which the wonderful "Mad Man Moon").

To sum up, it's a very very good effort for a band which had lost a leader. 5/5 without any hesitation.

Report this review (#83495)
Posted Wednesday, July 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album enlight my teenage. First time i listen, i said to my self, this is the music i want to hear from now on, this was in 1991. From than, till now, Trick of the tail is among the best i ever heared. To me is the best Genesis, the band is in busines here and what a great album this is....Some tracks are killers Dance on the volcano, smooth Entangled, and Robbery, assult and battery, the rest are good too. A very good effort and 5 stars without hesitation.
Report this review (#84595)
Posted Sunday, July 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars So sorry to all the fans of this group, but I remember when Peter Gabriel left the band I wished him "good riddance" because I thought then that his role within the group was very heightened and bordering in the monomaniacal. After hearing the mess they called "The Lamb Lies Down in Broadway". Anyway, when I bought this particular LP in a clothes store (yes, they used to sell imported LPs then in the most strange places in those days in Mexico) I still vividly remember hearig the mellotrons and the magic Hackett and Banks used to do together. I still have my doubts if I like better this record or "Trespass" but both of them seem important and pivotal records. There´s no filler here, all the songs have a personality of their own and just try showing me a better ending song than "Los Endos", just try. This is serious music from a serious group who were to face a sad destiny three records in the future. But back then, everything just clicked right. Perhaps you have noticed that I love this CD and it is right, let me say it again: I love this CD.
Report this review (#85056)
Posted Friday, July 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I place A Trick of the Tail on the same level that I place Rush's Signals or Yes' Tales From Topographic Oceans, these two being among my favorite albums ever. The fact that Gabriel is out of the group is not a problem, though the overall feel of the album has less of a hard edge. Tony Banks' keyboards have a very prominent role in the majority of the album, while Steve Hackett's guitar is at first glance more subtle (but still serves the songs well). Like Signals or Tales, I think it's necessary to listen to A Trick of the Tail as a whole (well, mostly as a whole, as I'll explain toward the end of this review); it feels like a concept album, even if it isn't one, as it gels perfectly from song to song to create a truly unique experience.

"Dance on a Volcano" is an amazing opener, with simple guitar lines that flow into a swelling keyboard backdrop. An uplifting main theme follows, and then the song goes through various phases before the fast- paced, chaotic instrumental passage softly dies down into a quiet coda. 9.5/10

The gentle "Entangled" begins before the listener realizes it, with delicate acoustic guitar and a soothing vocal performance from Phil Collins. I can't help but chant along with the chorus, but it's really the chillingly beautiful mellotron/synth/keyboard build at the top end, which features sublime key changes and choir sounds in the background, that sends this number home. 9.5/10

After "Entangled" the listener is taken by surprise by the dark, heavy beat of "Squonk". The vocals take precedence here but occasionally get lost in the rest of the sound, making it hard to understand without closely listening. A nice change of pace after the previous two tracks, more simple and melodic; also, there's an interesting change of the theme toward the end, as it fades out. It would have been nice if they'd explored this further, but only so much can be fit onto an LP side. 7/10

"Mad Man Moon" is a beautiful song centering around piano and subtle mellotron that seamlessly drifts between major and minor keys. Between the verse/chorus parts is a magnificent keyboard-driven midsection. The song ends with a quiet, somber piano solo passage. A great way to end the first half of the album.... 8/10

...And "Robbery, Assualt & Battery" is a great way to kick off Side 2. A lighter number in which Collins dawns several character roles, changing his voice between the narrator, robbers, and guards. Like many songs here this one features a proggy midsection, fast-paced and with plenty of time-changes and solos.Overall, a fun and exciting song to listen to. 7.5/10

"Ripples" is the longest song, though it doesn't feel much longer than the rest of the album, possibly because of its somewhat simple arrangement. A delicate verse section flows into a beautiful chorus, and a brief instrumental portion similar to that in "Mad Man Moon" fades in. However, this instrumental passage is darker, more tense; it has a sort of "penultimate-track" feel about it. After this tension, "Ripples" builds to a dramatic resolution, which fades out on the chorus. 9/10

I'm a little upset that so many people strongly dislike the title track, as it's my favorite song off of the album, and one of my favorite Genesis songs period. "A Trick of the Tail" may be poppy, but that's not inherently bad. I remember having a bonding moment with my father listening to this song, which also happens to be his favorite on here. I can't explain why I love this song so much... maybe it's the background vocals during the chorus; or maybe the images this song brings me after the journey of the rest of the album (also very personal); or possibly it's that perfect fade-out that sends shivers through my body every time I listen to it... just... wow. 9.85/10

"Los Endos" is a great song on its own, but here, I don't feel that it fits well. Which is why I usually don't listen to it after I've listened to the rest of A Trick of the Tail. It moves between the energetic main theme and reprises of "Dance..." and "Squonk". It might not have felt so unnecessary if it stopped after the "Dance..." reprise, but the dark, creepy choir section and the "Squonk" theme that follow just seem inappropriate for this closer, in my opinion. Not bad, but it just doesn't "gel" well or do much for me. 6.75/10

Overall, this album is a must-have for any Genesis fan, and I highly recommend it to any new fan of prog rock. One of my top three favorite albums.

"Hello friend, welcome home..."

Report this review (#85494)
Posted Wednesday, August 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
Tony Fisher
4 stars After The Lamb, Gabriel packed his bags, leaving Collins to do the lead vocal role and, whilst not in the same class as Gabriel, he has improved since "the track we do not play or talk about" he sang on Selling England. The material is generally strong, with Dance on a Volcano, Ripples, the brilliant instumental Los Endos and Squonk being some of their best material ever. But Robbery Assault and Battery is an inferior song in similar vein to Epping Forest and the title track is weak too. Banks keyboards dominate but Hackett produces some wonderful solos at times and the rhythm section is tight; whatever Collins failings as a singer, he is a master drummer and Rutherford is an underrated bass player who fits in perfectly.

Gabriel's departure weakened the band lyrically and in his unique vocal presentation and theatricals but it did not destroy them as some would contend. This and the next album (Wind & Wuthering) were still high quality and they survived Gabriel's loss far better than that of Hackett when he left after W&W. This is a good 4* album but there are clear signs that the band was past its zenith.

Report this review (#86505)
Posted Thursday, August 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars After the complex and at times abrasive "Lamb Lies Down On Broadway", all eyes were on Genesis in 1976 to see just how spectacularly they would mess up on their follow-up album - particularly because they had also parted ways with frontman Peter Gabriel, whose colourful vocals and stage persona had become such an identifiable part of the band.

Everyone knows the story: drummer Phil Collins takes over vocal duties and (fast forward 10 years) Genesis becomes the biggest band in America for a while. This is, of course, largely due to the fact that they changed their style an awful lot towards more housewife-friendly AOR. But on this, their first Collins-fronted album, things were, well, pretty much as they always were. This proved that Tony Banks's monumental synths, Phil Collins's powerhouse drumming, Steve Hackett's swooning guitar and Mike Rutherford's pulsating bass were as much a part of the Genesis sound as anything that Peter Gabriel had to offer. Here is my track-by track review of the album:

Dance On A Volcano (05:55) - Tony Banks says on "The Genesis Songbook" DVD that once they had written the intro to this song, all uncertainties about the future of Genesis were cast aside at once. Listening to the first 60 seconds, one knows exactly what he means. It is an absolutely colossal piece of music, richly melodic and ominous- sounding. This leads into the first vocal part, which has timing so complex and jerky it truly does sound like a record that is skipping. The song alternates between light and shade most effectively until about 04:20 when the tempo increases for a breathless instrumental section. A flawless start to a new chapter in the band's history. (10/10)

Entangled (06:27) - Gentler but by no means more light-hearted than the cataclysmic opener. Built on the warm and velvety sound of the 12-string guitar, this enchanting piece blissfully floats and soars until it is weighed down by the choir of mournful voices simulated by Tony Banks's trusty Mellotron. This sounds like something from a bygone century. (9/10)

Squonk (06:30) - This was, if I recall correctly, one of the songs used as an audition piece for prospective new vocalists. It tells the entertaining story of the pathetic Squonk, a mythical creature in a perpetual state of weeping. The music, with its plodding and straight-forward beat, is not too complex and very easy to sing along to. Phil Collins adds just the right amount of vocal nuances to compensate for the absence of instrumental variation. I must add that the live version done by Spock's Beard is far superior to this one. (9/10)

Mad Man Moon (07:36) - An evocative Tony Banks composition with a heavy emphasis on his beautiful piano melodies which continually alter in tempo and mood. Although Collins nails the vocal, I dare say that this could have worked equally well as an instrumental piece - such is the quality of the melodies. (10/10)

Robbery Assault and Battery (06:17) - Quaint British comedy songs are always a danger area for prog bands. Sometimes they work (Genesis - The Battle of Epping Forest), but mostly they die a horribly unfunny death (ELP - Benny The Bouncer). This one falls somewhere in between. Phil Collins does the required voices without too much resulting embarrassment, and the story itself isn't too toe-curlingly lame. But the sound of the first two and a half minutes is just a little too wispy and wafer-thin. Compare it to the more fleshed-out sound of "All In A Mouse's Night" from the Wind and Wuthering album released a year later, and you'll now what I mean. At 02:35 Tony Banks delivers his best solo on the album and the music takes a turn for the better, fortunately. A great example of a song that gets a lot better as it goes on. (8/10)

Ripples (08:06) - This is a gentle, 12-string guitar-based track much in the same vein as Entangled. Only that it is much better. In fact, it is probably the band greatest "ballad". I simply lack the words to effectively convey the atmosphere and mood created by the band on this pinnacle of their creativity. This ranks them alongside composers like Wagner and Mozart in the milieu of evoking emotion through music. No bull[&*!#]. (10/10)

A Trick of The Tail (04:35) - A lively and merry Banks composition with a great stomping beat and "doo-wop" backing vocals. Not the most intellectually stimulating of Genesis tracks (although compared to "Illegal Alien", this is like quantum physics), but it's certainly one of the most melodic and hummable. Hackett plays a great little solo very high up on his fretboard in the fade-out. (9/10)

Los Endos (05:46) - an impressive instrumental reprising many of the album's melodies and hooks. Some reviewers have likened this to Brand X (the jazz-fusion group Phil Collins was a part of around the same time as this album), but I can't validate this as I have never heard Brand X. But if they mean the drumming is manic and complex, and the whole things sounds like a really tight jam - I fully agree. Having said that, this is probably my least favourite track on the album (only by hair's breadth) That keyboard solo in Robbery really saves it you know! (8/10)

Okay, so that's it! What have we learned? Genesis sans Gabriel is still a world-class band. Is this a good place to start with Genesis? Yes. Who is the hero of this album? Collins.

If you like this, I strongly suggest you check out "Wind and Wuthering", which is marginally better.

Thank you for your time. FIVE STARS

Report this review (#87111)
Posted Sunday, August 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars 'A Trick of The Tail' as is widely documented is the first post Gabriel era Genesis effort. I will always think of this album as the one where I pretty much listen to the even numbered tracks only. The set starts off decently with the intriguing 'Dance on a Volcano', however there are some annoying whistles in the opening moments that nearly ruin the track altogether. In this piece we see the capability of the band, sans PG, is not too bad. That being said I can't help but notice that there is something missing to the music, be it angst or just simply a musical depth. I liken this 'new' sound to Paul McCartney embarking on his solo career; without Lennon co-writing the songs McCartney simply became more schmaltzy showing that Lennon's influence kept the edge on all those infamous Beatles songs. This lack of depth would show up on the subsequent 'odd numbered' tracks 'Squonk', 'Robbery, Assault, and Battery', and 'A Trick of The Tail'. In each of these tracks there is enough quality to hold the listener and some excellent parts but as a whole they have clearly lost their aggression and I feel they never got it back then after. Pehaps the striking difference lies in that each of these pieces attempts at the theatrical side of Genesis' previous albums but Phil Collins, though a capable vocalist, cannot match the variety that Gabriel could and so the band would have to adjust to their new frontman (and they would on their next effort).

Now to the better parts. For those of you raised on the Gabriel era stuff wishing to march on further into the bands discography you will notice that the tracks 'Entangled', 'Ripples', and 'Los Endos' still prove that there is alot to offer yet from the newly formed foursome. 'Entangled' and 'Ripples' are both similar in that they are primarily ballads and more acoutically oriented. Both are excellent, though sappy (not that there's anything wrong with that). Excellent keyboard work from Banks and guitars from Hackett dominate these tracks making me wish that Hackett had more prominence in the previous albums. 'Los Endos' is an instumental medly of the musical themes produced in the previous tracks and is an excellent stand-alone piece sealing the deal that this is definitely a decent album, but not great!

Report this review (#88134)
Posted Thursday, August 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars Another case of gilding the lily here - that is, adding my probably irrelevant opinion to a couple of hundred others... Hope you'll bear with me and read this review until the end, and perhaps find something you haven't yet discovered about this album (that's my usual big-headed self showing.).

In spite of having been recorded after the shock that was Peter Gabriel's departure, "A Trick of the Tail" seems to be universally acclaimed as one of the best Genesis albums. I must admit to having always had a soft spot for both this album and its follow-up, the patchier "Wind and Wuthering", though I would never go so far as to call either of them a masterpiece.

Solid is probably the best word to describe AToT. Eight tracks, impeccably performed by a band that, in spite of having just lost their charismatic lead singer, are at the top of their game from a purely musical point of view. A quirky, very English cover in warm shades of brown and gold, and equally quirky, humour-laced lyrics. Though the loss of Gabriel's visionary, quasi-mystical slant can be felt, in a way the transition is not as strongly noticeable as one might think. Phil Collins (who had yet to become the prog musician everybody loves to hate) fulfills his vocal duties admirably: his voice may even be better than Gabriel's in a strictly technical sense, and he delivers the long, often intricate lyrics quite successfully (although I have to admit that I'm not overly keen on his use of a higher pitch, often bordering on falsetto).

AToT's standout tracks bookend the album. "Dance on a Volcano" starts out with a very distinctive, explosive drum and organ riff that paints a sort of sonic picture of the song's lyrical content. If one had any doubts left as to Phil Collins' skills as a drummer (however much one can hate him for his later career), his commanding performance on this song immediately clears the ground - besides, the interplay between the four band members is nothing short of dazzling. Energetic, uplifting "Los Endos", possibly the foremost candidate for Genesis' best instrumental, closes the album by cleverly reprising the themes of all the other songs, with Banks' majestic keyboard washes dominating the proceedings.

The other tracks offer a wide spectrum of moods and musical textures, though they can be neatly divided in two strains: the mellow and melodic (wistful, dreamy "Entangled", with the unexpected sting in the tail of its dryly ironical closing lines; lush, keyboard-laden ballad "Ripples"; the beautiful piano melody of "Mad Man Moon", featuring some excellent, understated singing from Collins) and the more upbeat (tongue-in-cheek "Robbery, Assault and Battery", somewhat reminiscent of "The Battle of Epping Forest"; drum-and keyboard-driven "Squonk", and the quirky, endearingly poppy tune which is the title-track).

Unfortunately, Genesis' golden years were reaching their end, though on this album the future development of the band's sound still seems quite remote. AToT is certainly a more than worthwile offering from one of the seminal, most influential bands of prog, although not as challenging as their Gabriel-era masterpieces. However, you could definitely do worse than add it to your collection and enjoy it for years to come.

Report this review (#88318)
Posted Monday, August 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album, along with Wind and Wuthering, are Genesis' last progressive works before falling to the tempting ways of commercial pop. Being their first album without the majestic vocals and lyrics of prog legend Peter Gabriel, they did alright. Better than alright, actually. This is one of Genesis's best studio albums. It's much softer than what Genesis usually does, which is nice for a change. The focus is piano and acoustic guitar, with fewer electric sections, and more milky atmospheric songs. The album is very beautiful and memorable. This, actually, is one of my first Genesis albums. In fact, it's one of my first prog albums: my father introduced me to Proggressive Rock with this album, "Supper's Ready" from Foxtrot, some Gentle Giant, ELP, and various Jethro Tull. With that being said, this makes a great starter prog album, and will remain an important memory in the psyche of an experienced prog rocker.

Collins does well making up for Gabriel on the vocals. The lyrics, as well, aren't too shabby. One of the very few faults of this album's is there isn't a large amount of inspiring moments, or musical diversity. Some of the tracks seem to repeat themselves endlessly, which isn't awful, since they are, in fact, good moments. The rocking-out sections aren't as complex as they were back in the good ol' days, or as adrenaline-pumping. But Banks' writing is at a peak here, and the piano sounds he generates are so entirely spooky, eerie, moving, and unique, that buying it is certainly worthwhile. The album art is nice, and sound quality is great. A good album any Symphonic fan, Genesis fan, or general prog fan seeking to know Genesis better must buy. Enjoy.

Report this review (#90552)
Posted Tuesday, September 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This was, of course, the first album the band released after Peter Gabriel's departure. I remember well the trepidation all of us fans felt when it came out...would it match the quality of their previous wonderful albums. Well, we had no need to fear. This is another superb effort. Apparently, the album was a pleasure to write and record, and it shows all the way through the songs. the music is deceptively simple, and the songs flow from beginning to end. 'Dance On A Volcano' opens proceedings in an uptempo way, with Banks and Hackett in fine form, weaving their instruments in and out of the song, whilst Collins proves he can take on the mantle of lead singer effortlessly. Ok, he isn't identical to Gabriel, but he has a similar style and tone to his voice, and his phrasing is just as good. 'Entangled' is possibly the best post-Gabriel track they ever recorded, at least to my ears. It certainly ranks, for me, alongside 'Blood On The Rooftops', off the next album, as one of my favourites, from any era in fact! A smooth, almost trance-like melody, it could be a lullaby, the lyrics are simple yet humorous, and the ending, well...again Hackett and Banks weave their indefinable magic to leave the listener spellbound. The song is almost a step back to the Nursery Cryme era, and the song would have fitted on their well methinks. 'Squonk' was used as a concert opener, and it is another catchy song, with strange, alien-like lyrics, about a little mythological furry creature. Nice song. 'Mad Man Moon' is another classic. It is a slow, very melodic piece, except for the faster, light relief part in the middle. Exquisite piano and keyboards here from Banks. 'Robbery, Assault & Battery' opens the old side two, and is probably my least fave track on the album, though it is still pretty decent. Collins gives a glimpse into his later persona on this humorous account of a robber 'getting away with it'. Uptempo, it is straightforward, yet fits the album well. 'Ripples' is another classic. Slow and moody, it has more beautiful piano from Banks, and a lovely guitar solo in the middle from Hackett, almost in the vein of 'Firth Of Fifth'. I love the bass line from Rutherford here too. The title track is mid-tempo, jolly, almost too simple, yet very nice, with, again, bizarre lyrics about a strange creature with a horn and a tail who lives in a 'city of gold'. Finally comes the brilliant instrumental, 'Los Endos' which brings together fragments of other songs on the album. A keyboard inspired piece, it really is wonderful, especially the change of tempo near the end, where it sounds almost like a train chugging away before exploding into a wonderful keyboard riff, with Hackett's guitar subtle yet precise in the background. A magnificent ending to a magnificent album. Even the cover is a work of art. My favourite Genesis cover in fact,with all the characters from the album displayed in an almost Victorian setting. The essence of England, and the essence of Genesis! I could give it five stars, but will restrain myself and give it four. Ahh! Those were the days!
Report this review (#91464)
Posted Saturday, September 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Genesis did not lose one step with this album. They cast down any doubt of they're future without Peter with their lightest album until they're pop albums. What a true masterpiece. This could be considered the Tony Banks era as in the next two albums, he didn't have writing credits on only 3 out of the 17 songs. All of them, though show what great musicians they are. As much of of Peter fan I am (and believe me... I am), they never needed that crazy poet in a dress up on stage. They proved why they are the greatest prog BAND ever (imnsho).

"Dance on A Volcano" shows right off the bat that they weren't going anywhere. Great song- I love 7/8 so much. I also love the last minute or two when Tony and Steve just become one and go nuts.

"Entangled" is like something played in heaven. It's so light... almost like a dream sequence or a fantasy...

"Squonk"- typical great song, for some reason gets lost in my mind by some other songs.

"Mad Man Moon" is sometimes my favorite song of this era. Such a brilliantly written song. Peter isn;t the only one that can dish out witty prog lyrics. Tony really shows his geni(s)ous on this one. Beatiful piano parts. Really, don't miss this one.

"Robbery, Assault, and Battery"- Funny. Makes me laugh. Phil and Tony show they're comical side again.

"Ripples"- Oh my. They just keep coming. This is one of the greatest songs ever (how many times have i used the word "great"?). Piano again is great, plus great Steve guitar at the end. Another can't miss.

"Trick"- Still great. 'tis said to be the weakest track on the album, but look at what it's up against. Love it too.

"Los Endos"- Amazing finish. Gives me chills. All need be said.

Despite my comment on "Mad Man Moon", I really don't have a favorite off here. One smack of euphoria (any Brand X fans?) after another. Definately a prog masterpiece. Listen to it.

Report this review (#95461)
Posted Sunday, October 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars I'm not sure why, but A Trick of the Tail really failed to captivate me. I listened to it a couple of times and I did not feel compelled to listen to it again. Dance on a Volcano is a good song, as well as Los Endos. Some of the songs are a little boring in my opinion, such as Mad Man Moon and Ripples, which are the longest tracks on the album. The title track doesn't have much substance. Entangled is a decent song, but I'm just not used to hearing Steve strumming his guitar. The only Peter Gabriel-era song I remember Steve strumming on is More Fool Me (not exactly a highlight from Selling England).

Speaking of Steve's guitar work on this album, it seems pretty sparse. Steve's unique style adds so much to Genesis' music, and it makes the first and last track shine more than the others. In my opinion this album is a step backwards for Genesis and I think that it is definitely because of the loss of Gabriel. Also, I think that the next album Wind and Wuthering is much better, and this is due to much more guitar from Hackett. Also, Wind and Wuthering just sounds so much more progressive to me. There are many more tempo changes, changes in dynamics, and powerful instrumental passages. This is not a bad album by any means, but compared to the previous work of the band it is definitely not up to par. So, for me this album is just "good."

Report this review (#95874)
Posted Thursday, October 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars I recently got this on CD having not heard it for years and years. I remember it as being a really pleasant surprise back when it was issued. Like many others I was nervous at the prospect of Phil Collins taking on lead vocal duties because at the time I was only really aware of his vocal contributions via "For Absent Friends on Nursery Cryme and "More Fool Me" on Selling England by the Pound. Looking back that was wrong of course. Listening to Gabriel era Genesis now I can spot how much Collins was there in the background, his voicing blending perfectly with Gabriel's.

I think the sense of relief at Phil's ability to handle the vocals overcame me for a while and I wasn't as critical of the album as I am now.

There are some kick ass moments in Dance on a Volcano, Squonk and Los Endos for sure, but I don't hear a lot of Hackett's influence or trademark guitar.

Other problems for me are: Entangled- (nice, but overextended); Mad Man Moon- (lyrics, more on that later); Robbery, Assault and Battery (an attempt to deliver a Gabriel-esque song involving multiple characters- more on that later too); Ripples- (actually, not much wrong with that except again overlong for the musical ideas it contains); Trick of the Tail- (pleasant enough but nothing stunning);

What it really seems to lack to me is the lyrical complexity and humour that Gabriel brought to the band. Collins doesn't have Gabriel's ability to assume different persona within songs either.

So it's pretty good, but certainly with hindsight it marks the beginning of end for the classic Genesis sound, a trend that continued with Wind and Wuthering and ended with And Then There Were Three.

Report this review (#100946)
Posted Wednesday, November 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Although this album doesn't give me that exact magical feeling i get when listening to for example Lamb Lies Down or Selling England, it still can't be described as anything but a masterpiece. Phil Collins' vocals suit the band perfectly, and there are several incredible and moving compositions here, which follow up many of the elements introduced by the band on previous records. The strongest tracks on the album are in my opinion probably "Dance On A Volcano" and "Robbery, Assault & Battery", but there really aren't any weak points here.
Report this review (#102974)
Posted Wednesday, December 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Not quite as good as Wind and Wuthering, but still a decent album. The first track is excellent, and reminds one of great tracks on Foxtrot and Nursery Cryme, like Watcher and Friday. Good stuff that seemed to show that Gabriel was not as big a loss as it might have been. Entangled is a fantastic song that brings back the twelve string beauty of earlier works. The vocal parts are very good and very well done with excellent harmonies. One of my favorites from the two post Gabriel with Hackett albums.

But at this point, the album begins to lose me. Robbery and Ripples are not bad songs, but the rest do little for me. Most of the rest of the album just sort of washes over me and seem nondescript and a little boring. Still, there is nothing terrible or unlistenable, just nothing that does much for me. Final track, Los Endos is a nice coda to the album and does a great job of pulling all the major themes of the album together in an exciting and impressive way.

Overall, not one of the better albums from early Genesis, and probably my least favorite of their prog period (I don't count their debut........since I've never heard it and have no interest in hearing it). Still, a decent album though that is deserving of a three star rating, even if only for the two excellent opening tracks.

Report this review (#103964)
Posted Thursday, December 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars After the collapse of Peter's departure, I was so anxious to discover this album that I rushed to the record shop the day of its availability (in February 1976). What a shock ! Was I dreaming ? Was this true ?

With "Dance on a Vulcano" I immediately was reassured that MY Genesis was not dead. The intro is of course great, but what we all were waiting for was to hear Phil's vocals and compare them to Peter's one : the master.

Well, honestly Phil is doing a great job here. I was quite scared though, because so far Phil's reference were mainly backing vocals or some reply to Peter (Play Me My song ... Here It Comes Again). Not to mention the disastrous "For Absent Friends" and "More Fool Me". So this opener was quite a relief.

"Entangled" is a superb melodious track. Accoustic and mellow but very nice. More commercial than usual probably: all sweetness and harmony. On the contrary of "Squonk" which is one of their harder song so far and will be the opener of their live performances in the live tour that followed (I was lucky to see this one - but I will tell you more about it in my review for "Seconds Out").

"Mad Man Moon" on the contrary will never be played live. IMHHO, it is the best track of the album : great piano work, nice melody and a good lenght to develop the idea. A top ten in their repertoire and a composition of the sole Tony Banks.

"Robbery, Assault & Battery" opens the B side and as far as I can remember it led to their first true video clip with Phil disguised in a robber. It is a good rock and pop song. Maybe a first sign of things to come...

"Ripples" was also one of my fave from the album at that time. A long, mellow accoustic ballad. Maybe I was too melancholic at the time. This song has not really passed the proof of time (at least I have reversed my feeling and I much more appreciate "Dance On A Vulcano" and the excellent closing number "Los Endos" - "The Ends" than 30 years ago).

The title track generated another video clip as well but is the weakest track of this album. a gentle rock ballad, with an upbeat chorus. No more.

Four stars for this work. A huge relief.

Report this review (#104890)
Posted Friday, December 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The difference between the era of Peter Gabriel and the era of Phil Collins as lead singer is remarkable, escpecially from around 1980. Though this record, "A Trick of the tail" (1976) is still progressive in it's character but contains more regular rock, compared to the earlier, more symphonic albums. It's obvious that Genesis went for more commersial music from this moment and on. Phil Collins, who earlier almost only played the drums, does a good job as the "new" lead vocalist - he even sounds similar to Peter Gabriel in some of the songs.

For those who never have heard anything from Genesis, this record is good for a start. Songs like Entangled, Sqounk, and of course title song a trick of the tail itself should be enjoyable even for a person without any particular interest for progressive rock.

A very good record!

Report this review (#107363)
Posted Saturday, January 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Holy Mother of God" are the first words sung on this album and that was my first thought upon hearing the dynamic and arresting sounds of the "new" Genesis booming through the shop's stereo system. I was honestly astounded by what I was hearing. I was working in a record store in February of 1976 and I must admit I had never really paid any attention to this band for one ridiculous reason or another. (Mostly because I was firmly and conceitedly into Yes and was convinced that no other group could rival them for my attention. I guess you could have called me a "Yessnob").

But the high fidelity and undeniable power of "Dance on a Volcano" with it's odd conga-line-from-hell beat grabbed me by the aural lapels and made me realize that I had better take Genesis seriously for this strong collection of songs was obviously a force to be reckoned with. Therefore, Trick of the Tail remains one of my favorite Genesis albums because it was my first to own. Steve Hackett's gorgeous twelve-string opens "Entangled" and Phil Collins' amazing vocals made me wonder why this excellent singer had been hiding behind the drum kit for so long. (I really knew nothing of their history). Then Tony Banks' synthesizer and Mellotron take over, creating a wonderful and mysterious atmosphere. "Squonk" bursts through the speakers like the second coming and never lets up in its intensity. It's quality rock and roll but it certainly doesn't sound like anything else that was being produced at that time.

"Mad Man Moon" is without question one of the best songs Tony has ever written. There is a palpable mood of sadness that runs throughout the tune as Phil sings "If this desert's all there'll ever be then tell me what becomes of me, a fall of rain?" It's a very poetic piece. The keyboard interlude is absolutely brilliant in its structure and feel as it leads to the fast- paced but brief bridge. If you've ever wondered why Tony Banks is so highly regarded by proggies worldwide, this alone should answer any questions about his ability. The song ends as peacefully as it began and is one of the standouts of the album. "Robbery, Assault and Battery" is a bit of levity that is inventive and clever in its arrangements of varied musical ideas. Again, it is Banks' brilliant middle section that draws this song up from the realm of the ordinary and makes it unique. His Hammond organ work is spectacular here.

One of the things that makes these songs stand out are the well-written lyrics (especially considering that Gabriel, one of the greatest rock lyricists ever, was no longer around) and "Ripples" may be the best example of all. It's about the inevitable effects of aging and the refrain of "Sail away, away, ripples never come back. Gone to the other side, sail away, away." is haunting and memorable. Again, Mr. Collins delivers a passionate and poignant vocal, doing this beautiful song complete justice. It's yet another of my favorite Genesis tunes. "A Trick of the Tail" is a strange little song that fits well enough here but, frankly, is quickly forgotten. "Los Endos" is a perfect instrumental finale that sorta wraps up all the various themes of the album into a forceful and strong coda.

My thinking is that when Peter Gabriel announced his pending departure the remaining four bandmembers, rather than becoming discouraged, decided to pool their creative imaginations together and shock the music world with a defiant and defining statement that they were far from finished. None more so than Tony Banks who has a writing credit on every tune. In many ways the group was just starting a whole new journey together with a new sound (for better and for worse) that would take them from relative obscurity to the top of the charts in just a few years' time. The remastered version is exquisite and sounds as fresh and exciting as the first time I heard it three decades ago. It was one of the first "progressive rock" albums that wasn't discordant or difficult to absorb for the general public, inviting a whole new audience to see and listen to innovative music in a whole new light. It is truly a landmark.

Report this review (#107451)
Posted Sunday, January 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars A very solid album. I bought this album at a music store because I thought, "How am I supposed to talk to a progger about genesis when I don't own even one album?" hence I bought this one as I recognized it as a fairly respected collection on here. At first, lukewarm feelings, the songs just didnt seem to have much of a magic to them and I was extremely put out by Phil Collins voice, "what the heck is the disney guy doing in a prog band?" But as time went on and I tried it out more I became more accustomed to it. Now I would have to say I like Collins' voice and his very talented drumming. The whole thing is quite good, even the song that I hated at first "Squonk"

Personal favorites are "Dance on a volcano" and "Mad Mad Moon" but all are very good. "Moon" is especially beautiful with very good lyrics, great chord progression, and awesome piano. Tony Banks is one heck of a songwriter. Although it would be nice to have Gabriel on here, they do very, very well without him.

I would recommend this to anyone, and to you "Gabriel only" genesis fans, give this one a chance. There is some good stuff on here.

Great music.

Report this review (#107653)
Posted Tuesday, January 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Lukewarm.

With few exceptions, this might be one of the most accessible prog albums. It has a certain warmth to it that many could find themselves enjoying. As I find with many other Genesis works, some of this falls flat on it's face however, for being downright boring.

My favorite piece is the opener, which sounds similar to much of the PG era Genesis, it's actually quite a good piece, with interesting dynamics and memorable melodies. However, much of the rest of the work is just too dull for me. Rarely can we find a powerful and moving moment, rarely a sign of innovative songwriting.

There appears to be a lack of artistry in much of this. There's no flavor, no pizzazz. It's lukewarm water. It might be something we all need, but we prefer it in other forms, like a refreshing brew. Something with some kick in it. Inspiration seems almost completely gone, and it is no wonder (and with such ease) as to how the band went to pop. A Trick of The Tail isn't bad per se, but it's nothing special.

Report this review (#108855)
Posted Thursday, January 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Not to contradict our various Genesis "experts", but I don't feel the lack of Peter Gabriel on this record. Maybe because it was only my second take on prog-Genesis after an ambitious attempt at listening to "The Lamb..." aged 10. Following such a complex album, it would be easy to think of ATOTT is a return to an apparent simplicity. Not quite.

From the first notes of Dancing on a Volcano, you know the band went back to Nursery Cryme and SEBTP for initial inspiration. This album is a natural follower of the later, and togheter with W&W, makes "The Lamb..." look like the odd album in a great sequence. We have all those great lush athmospheres created by Banks and Hackett (Entangled has got to be the most beautiful thing they ever wrote togheter), great vocals from Phil (along with drums, the only thing he does right - damned be the the day he was handed a pen) and the usual skill of Mike. The survival of the Prog-Machine Genesis seemed assured when listening to songs like the Dancing on a Volcano, Squonk, Robbery, Assault & Battery and Los Endos, with their fantastic rhythm changes, faster pace and symphonic passages. Mad Mad Moon and Ripples served well their purpose as softer, more romantic pieces, well complemented by Steve's guitar, especially the later, with its ethereal middle section. The title track is definitly the gayer in an album that is generally somber, and the closest Genesis had ever come to a pop-track.

One of the reasons I like this album so much probably has to do with the fact that there is so much Hackett in it. Yet while some might say Wind & Wuthering has even more Hackett (and good Hackett it is!), we notice here that there was still present a strong will in driving the band forward, with each member contribuiting with as much good material as possible. This is the product of a band who almost desperatly wanted to prove, and successfuly did, that they could last without what was generally assumed to be it's driving force. Something that I feel was beggining to lack in W&W.

Report this review (#109205)
Posted Sunday, January 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
Dan Bobrowski
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A Trick of the Tail was my first Genesis album. At 15 years old, I was more into King Crimson and YES. A neighbor kept talking about Genesis and how I would love it. Sure. As a kid, money was tight, so it took a while to finally make the jump into Genesis. From the first few bars of Dance on a Volcano, I was hooked. Power, speed, rhythmic shifts, unusual lyrics and good vocals... everything I dug about YES and KC. Cool!

Genesis was also very good at shades of darkness and light, shifting from Dance on a Volcano's hard edge to Entangled's tinkling keys, tinkling percussion, ethereal synths and janglely acoustics guitars. It don't get any better.

Squonk, that "imaginary being" song, has always been my favorite from the album. As an adolescent first hearing those lyrics, I could relate to the strangeness I felt about just being me, "what's the difference when you don't know the reason?" During puberty we are all squonks, pools of emotion. Anyway...

Mad Man Moon takes you on a Pan-like journey of the mind. I love the bridge from this tune. Banks keyboards standout brilliantly. Robbery, Assault and Battery is a bit of fun, but may well be the weakest track here. Ripples returns to the softer side of prog, lilting and filled with lyrical imagery and subdued instrumental expression. A Trick of the Tail took awhile to click for me, but it's message is still appropriate for the turbulent times of today. Los Endos is an excellent instrumental, which cleverly recaptures elemts of the complete album.

4.5 stars... Every prog fan should own this one.

Report this review (#112102)
Posted Wednesday, February 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars So one of the most impressive turn of events in rock history takes place when the face and -seemingly- heart & soul of the band, Peter Gabriel, leaves the band. "Like Jagger leaving the Stones", said a music critic. So the drummer steps out to sing and... the rest is history.

Not that I want to get into the historical side too much. Music is what matters here, and the guys do a good job. I'm not particularly fond of "Dance on a Volcano", though it's interesting to see how there's a jazzy vibe running here, sort of the work Phil did with Brand X back then. But then two of the most solid Genesis songs I can remember come in: "Entangled", a gentle and emotional waltz with funny lyrics that when you think it's over, hammers you in the head with an epic mellotron extended ending. "Squonk" with it's heavy and steady beat (Almost a slow headbanging thing) and the story about this mythical animal who dissolves to tears when cornered. Unfortunately, though the song is long in its own terms, I never thought it found the right way to go out... it could have gone on and instead dissolves, just like the Squonk itself. Could that have been the point?

"Mad Man Moon" is what from this point on one could recognise as Banks' work. I'm really fond of Tony's work, but his kind of emotional songs I tend to skip from time to time. "Robbery, Assault and Battery" is a song I never liked, I hate the lyrics and the melody never felt special, except for the jazzy parts, that is... great addition to the Genesis pool of resources. "Ripples" is Genesis in full emotional mode again. Nice song, but again, not one I relate to very much. The title track follows, and it's a happy beatle-esque thing, really enjoyable. Finally, "Los Endos" creates a medley out of instrumental parts of the album. Not mind-blowing but interesting, and certainly better crafted than what Queen tried to do with its "Jazz" album closer some years later.

In short, a very good album with some uneven points, but really recommended.

Report this review (#112458)
Posted Saturday, February 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Gabrielless prog's masterpiece.

Well, no, it's not bad at all, said I, after a few listenings. No Peter here. OK, this is just another band. Listen and enjoy. I will. Actually, it's not. What? Another band. I don't have that impression. So, you're trying to tell me that Phil guy actually can sing.

But we knew that already.

After the first seconds of listening of those crazy diminished guitar chords on "Dance On A Volcano", we are aware that the guys didn't lost the plot. And production is very good; Nursery Cryme days are gone for good. This is focused, but not conceptual; mature, but not boring; brilliant but not a masterpiece. Hm. I really should leave that sentence for the end of the review. But it is, it's obvious. Actually it is a masterpiece - a masterpiece of between-Gabriel's-presence and Hackett's-unpresence period.

What is going on?

Two brilliant tracks. Two very good tracks. One very significant track. A lovely overture. And the rest, with its ups and downs, but filling the album perfectly. Actually, "filling" is not a good word because it will leave a bad impression. And there is no song here that left a bad impression on me. Some are weaker, but still very enjoyable.

The weakest one is, perhaps, "Squonk". I find it a little bit boring. Actually, quite boring. I am fed up with that one. Lovely lyrics though. About a small pool of tears. No. If you just read the comments attached to each song written in the inner sleeve you'll get the idea. The song is a perfect bridge - perfect, I said - between two Genesis' era. Traces of Phil's 80's are here, and 70's are still present.

"Robbery, Assault And Battery". What a lovely title it is. That is important because if you agree with me on that, you might agree with me on the other points as well, and find my impressions valuable for your young, intact, roseing musical knowledge. Knowledge. Guys from the band know how to do it better than that. Cheesy chorus and cheddar lyrics. Robbery, assault and battery. A felon and his felony. The rest of the songs is good. I assure you.

"Los Endos". Now, this number can won in competition for the most stupid song title in the history of progressive rock. Maybe not. If you know any others, feel free to inform me; I'm curious and I don't know why. That's because I'm a masochist I guess. The song is actually an overture and it consists excerpts of other songs on this album. Spooky at the moments, brilliant all the time.

Are the emotions changing over the years and decades? Of course they are changing. I didn't mean that. I mean, is it possible that an emotion, let's say love, anger, melancholy is not globally the same in the different decades. Anger of the seventies is not anger of the nineties? Love in the sixties is not love in the eighties? Well, that's the case with "Ripples". It's lovely song, and it's pure melancholy. But seventies melancholy, not this modern one. Listen to the Emerson Lake and Palmer's "Take A Pebble", for example. You will find the same example of the feeling. Actually it reminds me more of Pavlov's Dog.

I'm often wondering if it's possible to be 100% polite. I mean, if I wrote the word puka, that means nothing. Right. I speak three languages (and I wave my hands in several more languages) but I can't remember if the word puka is insulting, offensive expletive in any of these languages. On the other hand, there are several thousands languages around the globe, so that word must be offensive somewhere (or if applied) to someone. Quite possible; "A Trick Of The Tail" is maybe to worst possible swearing somewhere on Earth. On a second thought, "A Trick Of The Tail" could be even in English interpreted quite kinky. I apologise if anyone ever got offended by Genesis' song. It's quite nice epic, actually.

I hate when my brain tries to explain to my heart that it's wrong. I hate when I'm wrong. For example, I absolutely adore the song "Entangled". It contains some dreamy, floydian feeling. That's strange, I'm not fan of Pink Floyd. But I love The Stranglers. And this song, in a same way as "Golden Brown" does it, contains slow waltzer tempo, with one bar added at the end of the verse. Just too good to be true. After the pathos of last verse (I don't want to spoil the party, you have to hear it to believe it), the song flows into the seas and shore of lovely string-like keyboards. That part of the song is maybe a little bit too protracted and it should have been more developed. See? That's what I was talking about! I like the song as a whole! What's the use of phrases like should have been more developed? Sorry, I left the question mark inside italic. Now it's corrected: "?".

Anyway, what's the use of using of loads of italicized or bolded fonts inside a review? It gives a certain significance. It looks more mature and analytical. It's proving that you're a smart guy capable of using the text codes. If you didn't noticed yet (didn't noticed? I never knew if that's correct perfect tense. Alas, my English!), the point of a review is to get your attention on a certain album, and I am doing it with a good reason, because this is good album. What else should I do? Maybe I should start writing reviews with Irish accent? How would ya loike that? On a second thought, I'm writing in Irish way already; Joyce was Irish. Or maybe I should explain in a old-fashioned, conventional way, that "Dance On A Volcano" is an astonishing song, with excellent keyboard solos within the 7/8 time measure, a lovely collage of different parts ranging from dreamy to furious? It is. Even the lyrics are, good, although I never liked Collins' "ho ho ho" somewhere in the middle of the song. This is not Jethro Tull's Christmas album, mind you.

The number of the stars this album deserves is equal to the number of progressive rock fans worldwide who are actually glad that Collins replaced Gabriel. And there's no Gabriel here, and this is an excellent progressive rock album. There something to think about. Or not. Thanks, Hackett. And everyone else.

Report this review (#113124)
Posted Thursday, February 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The album that Genesis proved they could go it ahead without Gabriel. This was the first Genesis album I ever heard I heard I was about fifteen my brother came home from University on holiday with his CD collection he had two albums that stood out this one and Yes Classic I had for years wanted to listen to these bands it was the album artwork, the the name of the songs and their length that described what might be inside that would take you on grand journeys of the soul. This is really where my prog journey began; although I was a fan of Floyd and Mike Oldfield already, prog rock was both fascjinating and elusive. Originally at my first listening I was dissappointed and thought that this album was too soft but something was in it that kept drawing me back to it, perhaps it was the victorian themes and album art work, but eventually I couldn't put this down, I would go to art class in high school and paint the visions that I saw in the album's music, alongside Yes . I felt that album has supurb instrumentals that take my imagination to heavenly places so vivid, the lyrics were so well crafted, the stories were amazing, I lost all interest at comtemporary music at that time, nothing could top this amazing stuff. Very folksy yet classical, gentle but eccentric. Rutherford's bass was so warm, Collin's drums hyperactive, Hackett's guitar emotional, Banks keyboards etherial. I could go into more detail of this music but you really need to listen to it yourself, a great album with mature songwriting originality and imagination, a masterpiece.
Report this review (#113765)
Posted Tuesday, February 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Don't let yourself be TRICKED BY THE TAIL

Sometimes I trend to think this album has been overrated in progressive rock history. I purchase it because I read good reviews and recommendations on several magazines and web sites but.... honestly it did not clicked on me the way I expected.

Personally, I think Genesis is not in their best season! Gabriel has left due to personal reasons and Phil Collins is trying to resurrect a band without a Gabriel's unique voice. I would say that this is the point where this legendary band has started their way down to his sad death in Duke's End... but still fighting to survive!

"A Trick of The Tale" is like turning to a new direction from previous recordings where symphonic elements were present along every album. ATOTH is a fusion between progressive rock, 70's hard rock, and new pop era. The softer tracks are focused on acoustic guitar heading for a popish style and the heavier ones are still technical but not like before. Despite my complaints, I must admit Genesis still has some elements that characterize his celestial and beautiful essence. Let's check it track by track:

"Dance on the Volcano". 8/10. A very enjoyable track. The first 30 seconds evocates Los Endos with its certain symphonic background. I consider this track very enjoyable but I do not like Phil Collins' voice who starts to sing at 1:00 min. Even though, this track returns to its progressive roots after the 4:20 min with Hackett and Tony Banks solos which are extraordinary. The track is not that bad at all but I think it is not cohesive enough. If Peter Gabriel would have sung it would have sound much better but Collins' vocals are not mature enough.

"Entangled" 10/10. It is a catchy mellow ballad that I enjoy a lot. It reminds me of "Colors" from "Shadow Gallery" which is track from "Legacy" album. It is totally acoustic and I think that Phil's vocals fit very well with this style. It has a very interesting keyboard part and chorus arrangements from 4:20 min to the last. This is probably one of the best tracks of this album and one of the Genesis' best tracks.

"Squonk" 7/10. This is a plain pop oriented track with repetitive riffs and soulless vocals. It has some good moments and the track as a whole is good but not exceptional. No solos, no majestic parts, a plain soft track.

"Mad Man Moon": 8/10. A completely different track from anything Genesis had recorded before. It begins with delicate keyboards and fine vocals, at 2:42 minutes we find mellotron passages which I consider annoying and after that it comes the excellent classical keyboard lines. At 4:50, we find a darker part and then the band returns to the tunes of the beginning of the track. This is a very good and enjoyable track, and extremely romantic. Definitely a very good track. "Robbery, Assault and Battery" 7/10. This is one of the hardest tracks to review because it has flaws and also take-breathing annoying instrumental passages that reminds Genesis golden age. The strange combination of repetitive riffs and those progressive arrangements makes the whole track a bittersweet experience. The track begins with a popish riff that reminds me the eighties. However, Phil vocals have an interesting theatrical style. That popish atmosphere finishes by 2:35 min when Tony Banks introduces himself with a phenomenal instrumental section from until 3:55 min. From 4:20 to 4:50 we have a solo by Steve Hackett reminding me "Selling England by the Pound". At the last their same structure at the beginning keeps to the end.

"Ripples." 6/10. A very soft track oriented to a romantic style. The track is not bad at all but it is not enjoyable for a progressive lover. It has an instrumental part from 4:15 to 6:40 which is too long and boring. As a pop track is good but considering it comes from Genesis, it could have been much better.

"A Trick of The Tail" 4/10. Very popish track, enjoyable but lacking musical virtuosity.

"Los Endos" 10/10 is an excellent instrumental track and probably the best of this album. The use of mellotron and the dynamic compositions reminds the finest progressions of this legendary band.

In conclusion, three and a half Stars for a really good but not indispensable album! For fans like me, this album is a real must...

Good Progressions!!!

Report this review (#114132)
Posted Saturday, March 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'll admit it. I once was one of the many who refused to listen to anything Genesis did after Gabriel left because it's "not classic Genesis." Well for my birthday a friend got me "Genesis: The Video Show" on DVD. At first I didn't really care for, cause I knew it was all later videos from their more "pop" era. However, some songs were actually prety good such as "I Can't Dance", and others grabbed me right out, notably the three videos for this album "Robbery, Assault and Battery", "A Trick of the Tail", and "Ripples". After hearing these songs, I rushed out and bought this album. I was not dissapointed. "Dance on a Volcano" and "Entangled" are some of my favourite Genesis songs. For anyone doubting the post-Gabriel era, give this one a spin!
Report this review (#114479)
Posted Wednesday, March 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Ahh, the defining moment after the loss of Peter Gabriel. "A Trick of the Tail" is a strong album; quite a surprise after the original frontman left.

1. "Dance on a Volcano" opens with a bizarre wistle in time to the drums, but the guitar riff (mixed with liberal bits of synth) keeps the listener interested. Phil Collin's morally-tinged vocals are actually very good, and not as nasal as many people profess them to be. Keyboards are likely the strongest parts, and Steve Hackett works well with Tony Banks to supplement with his guitar. Overall, this track is not a highlight: it meanders, like many late '70s progressive rock albums, but retains a bit of power in the vocals and synthesizers.

2. "Entangled" is a true comedy in the vein of parts of "Supper's Ready" and "Get 'Em Out by Friday" from Genesis' previous album, Foxtrot. It begins in a minor key, with some rather sad guitar riffs and high register keyboard effects to highlight the farytale feeling. This piece of music seems to... float across rooftops in the dead of night, as the vocals describe. After a minute and a half, piano comes in, and Genesis' newly polished harmonic singing comes in for the melodic line. The song tells of hospitals raking up the bill after kindly helping someone back to their health. "Entangled" is an improvement on "Dance on a Volcano", and ranks slightly higher on my list. There are orchestra-hit-like mellotron pieces springled around as well, with choir-tron concluding the piece, making for better feelings toward this album on my side.

3. "Squonk" is an almost generic mid-to-late 1970's piece of prog, with surprisingly strong vocals, and excellent/warm synthesizer pads. Our drummer friend Mr. Collins works so very well in making the rhythm section work, falling away with a few tempo changes. The singing is a tad muddled, and not that exciting but for a few crescendos. The bass, guitar, and keyboards work together to form that Rutherford/Hackett/Banks balance which makes a long-time reviewer feel fuzzy inside. A decent piece of music!

4. "Mad Man Moon", considered experimental for 1976, has a contingent involving piano and vocals that change around in tempo. Mellotron, flute, drums, and bass work together to create a sorrowfully beautiful ballad of rather epic makeup. It creates a feeling of melancholy, almost inducing tears if a person is in the correct mood. Hackett's tortured guitar works well with the harmonic, echoed vocals, and Banks' signature mellotron/organ combo offers an immensely strong backing. Piano does not stand out as it did in 1973's "Firth of Fifth", staying mostly rhythmic, but it becomes much more melodic toward the second half of the piece. Non-Western percussion is added in, and synthesizers augment the piano's drifting, pastoral theme.. almost as if the moon is rising over a rapidly flowing river at night. Beautiful!

5. "Robbery, Assault & Battery" is one of my favourite pieces of music, period. The music is full of whimsey, sarcasm, and irony. If Gabriel had been present to sing on this song, I believe Collins would have done it more justice. Telling of a bank robbery, jail, and various happenings in court rooms, the song is exemplary for Collins' use of different pitch in his vocals to illustrate different characters. There is a short, yet frantic, bit of synthesizer solo in the middle section, augmenting the uptempo drums, all adding a bit of irony to the vocals, which tell of failure. Great drums, as well!

6. "Ripples" is almost throw away, except for the drums, piano, and bass. The power and beauty (dare I say glory, as well?), once the song actually gets going, rival much of 1972's Foxtrot and 1973's Selling England by the Pound. Whatever Banks did to practice piano, I want to take that lesson or meet that teacher, for his playing here is excellent. Synth horn adds a noble air to the proceedings, and the drums augment Collin's voice... overall, a grandiose experience.

7. "A Trick of the Tail", the centrepiece of the concept and of the album, is a story of an odd creature leaving its home, being found by humans, and leading humans there. It is strong, very strong, and attempts to show the world from the point of view of creatures which aren't human. Musically, it takes a backseat to the storyline and vocals, which are key to understanding and liking the song. However, the piano again comes up and makes everything else seem inconsequencial.

8. "Los Endos" begins with strong synth playing, excellent bongo/tom tom drumming, and an overall feeling of frantic desparation. I will not leave a structural description of this piece, as it is absolutely my favourite on this entire album, and needs to be heard by each in his or her own way. It is beautiful, and contains an end-of-the-album "goodbye" to Peter Gabriel... listen closely, and enjoy this one; it's a gem.

"A Trick of the Tail" does not retain the cohesiveness retained throughout "Trespass", "Nursery Cryme", "Foxtrot", and "Selling England...", but it is a strong prog album when standing alone. I would recommend this album heartily to anyone who loves prog, but to a newcomer to Genesis, find one of the earlier outings.

Report this review (#114823)
Posted Saturday, March 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was the first album GENESIS released without PETER GABRIEL who had left the band after the THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY tour in 1975. I can only comment the behaviour of those people who do not want to listen to anything GENESIS released after GABRIEL got out of the group with the allegation of not being open-minded. You should really give this one a try because it is a masterpiece!

After the retirement of PETER GABRIEL drummer PHIL COLLINS started singing for GENESIS and I have to say that his voice fits as well as GABRIEL's voice to the music. With A TRICK OF THE TAIL GENESIS went new ways, it did not sound like the GENESIS from 1970/1971 until 1975 anymore, but it was no radical change and by no means a renunciation of Progressive Rock for the benefit of pop. The chant of PHIL COLLINS did not form such a big contrast as it was the case as PETER GABRIEL sang for GENESIS anymore, it incorporated a bit more into the music I think, but still the chant was unmistakable. The keyboard does not lord it over the guitar as is the case on the group's next output WIND & WUTHERING, all seems to be well balanced. The lyrics are still awesome on this album as we are used to the lyrics of this great band.

The opener "Dance On A Volcano" is one of my favourite GENESIS songs and the last song "Los Endos" who relates on many passages of the album is outrageous and forms a retrospect on the album. All songs are great, I especially like besides the two tracks I have already mentioned before the titles "Ripples", a song about death and fugacity, the sad "Mad Man Moon" and "Robbery, Assault And Battery" which reminds me a bit on "Harold The Barrel" (NURSERY CRIME).

A TRICK OF THE TAIL is an amazing diversified and sweeping album. Do yourself a favour and buy this album, it is a masterpiece!

Report this review (#116273)
Posted Saturday, March 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Hah! Take that, you doubters!

PETER GABRIEL leaves, and the four remaining members have room to breathe. Rather than the muddy mix of previous GENESIS albums, 'A Trick of the Tail' allows BANKS, RUTHERFORD, HACKETT and COLLINS to shine. Suddenly it's about the music, and nothing Genesis ever did approaches the sheer musical excellence of this record. No, it's not really a concept album in the lyrical sense, but it is bound together by shared musical themes, brought home by the stunning closer, 'Los Endos'.

'Dance on a Volcano' is no simple opener. A powerful opening theme is counterpointed by a sophisticated verse rhythm, and PHIL COLLINS powers into the vocals. Of course we're going to compare him to PETER GABRIEL. And you know what? There's no comparison. Forget 'Sissudio' or 'You Can't Hurry Love', I dare you. Come on, hear what he's doing here. A unique voice, so confident already, beautifully phrased, only to get better in the years that followed. 'On your left, and on your right ...' COLLINS doesn't have the sheer presence of GABRIEL, but that's all to the good - now we can hear GABRIEL'S former backing band, and they're not bad! 'Better start doing it right!' Oh, they are. GABRIEL has the voice of a solo artist; COLLINS that of a band singer, with a tremendous range. Now that GABRIEL has left, to go on to his own stellar solo career, they're all finally doing it right. Win-win.

On to 'Entangled'. No drums, just beauty. A peasant conceit lifted into the stratosphere by TONY BANKS' last two minutes. Listen to that lead break on the keys. Imagine Gilmour playing it on guitar - it'd be ahead of 'Comfortably Numb' on all the 'greatest guitar solos' lists. With the mellotronic voices and the ethereal atmosphere, the climax of this song is as good as music gets.

Then in roars 'Squonk'. Just the right gap between songs for the thundering start to work. Not their very best song, but it still beats GENESIS' earlier 'weird animal' stuff such as 'Hogweed'. 'Mad man Moon' is just beautiful: we now begin to realise that TONY BANKS is and always was at the heart of what GENESIS managed to accomplish. Plaintive, precise piano, just gorgeous singing from COLLINS, this song goes unnoticed in the GENESIS canon but would be a career highlight for almost any other band. The rising transitional note between 'sun and sand' and 'Within the valley' is another classic BANKS moment, of which there are dozens on this record. And has there been a line so fraught as 'Forever caught in desert lands/ One has to learn to disbelieve the sea'?

'Robbery, Assault and Battery' does what the awful 'Epping Forest' couldn't; freed from GABRIEL'S overindulgence, prog's playfulness is masterfully summarised. 'Ripples' is extraordinarily powerful, marred slightly by an overlong central transition section. Again, GABRIEL could do many things, but singing 'Sail away, away' wouldn't be one of them. Lovely big drum sound, and splendid effort from Mr RUTHERFORD. A faint echo of this song, 'Fading Lights', can be heard on 'We can Dance', but it's only an echo; this is the business. The title track is a fun piece, lovely clean pop allowing the humour of this band to rise to the surface again.

Finally 'Los Endos.' An instrumental coda wich brings the musical themes of the album together, this really is redolent of the best of this album. Disparate themes welded together into five minutes of music which soars from peak to peak, a summary of a career together. Somewhere near the best five minutes of music on the planet.

So come on, all you doubters. Cast aside your anti-COLLINS hatred. Give this a listen.

And to think it so nearly didn't happen.

Report this review (#116383)
Posted Sunday, March 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This particular Genesis album was always a tough one for me to swallow. I miss Peter's vocalization and his off-beat lyrics, yet I can't help but think it was only a matter of time before the band imploded. Does this mean it's a bit of a letdown? Yes and no. Yes in the lyrical and theatrical department, no in the actually music and sound. Phil Collins may be a better overall singer, but he's not very strong when it comes to articulating the words. Peter had a way of phrasing the words that made you believe that what he was singing came straight from his heart and guts. Phil is a kind of 'American Idol' style singer, (he loves to sing Motown tunes) flashy but no substance, except for one track. When he sings 'Squonk' he uses every ounce of his voice singing high notes, low notes, even singing along with Tony's keyboards weaving in and out of the song masterly. It is without a doubt his finest performance with the band and without. It's a deceptively complex song that you may not think so a few times around, but once you get past the simple structure you'll notice Phil's incredible drumming, Mike's bass, (which is always overshadowed) and Steve's nimble but wonderful guitar. Oh, and of course the master Tony's keys! 'Squonk' is one of my favorite prog songs to blast with my car windows down. The rest of the album sneaks up on you. With the exception of 'Dance On A Voilcano', (which sounds like a track from their early days) and 'Los Endos', the album has many hidden gems amongst the simpleness. In 'Entangled', Tony's Mellotron is gorgeous. In 'Mad Man Moon' there is a fantastic middle instrumental section. "Robbery, Asault and Battery' has a complex mid- section that is as progressive as anything they've ever done. 'Ripples' is haunting and 'A Trick Of A Tail' is whimsical. But it's 'Squonk' that is the highlight for me. The fact that the melody is the fading melody at the end of 'Los Endos' justifies my review thank you very much. Sure I miss Peter, but this album and the next few are still must haves for any prog fans. Can't give it a 5-star rating if you compare it with their other early albums, but it's oh so close. 4.5 stars!
Report this review (#116610)
Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Here we have one of my favorite two albums by a Progressive Rock monster. Sure Gabriel is not on this, but that in no way detracts from the excellence of this set of music compositions. Start to finish, this album ranks as one of the top five Prog releases in my book. A big reason for that comes from an accomplishment few bands can or could ever achieve. Writing flowing melodies that make you want to sing along with them, and doing so in unquestionable Progressive fashion. This is not an easy task. The future success of the band in the non-Prog realm is a testament to the ability to write a great song for the myriad listeners. This album provides an early view into that window.

This album does not have a low point. Each song offers something different and can stand alone as a masterpiece. And each part of each song sounds like it was crafted, not thrown together in haste. The aggression of Dance on a Volcano, the complexity of 13/8 in Robbery, and the dissonance of Squonk, the etherealness of Entangled, all satisfy the Progressive ear. Of course, Los Endos is a perfect ending with it's return to themes of previous tunes, not to mention the throw back acknowledgement or thanks to Peter Gabriel in the background singing of Collins "There's an angel standing in the sun".

If you haven't heard this album, please do yourself a favor and get it. You shan't be let down.

Report this review (#117329)
Posted Wednesday, April 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Again little to say about this one except that it's an absolute classic. Proof positive that the boys could hack it (ahem) without Gabriel. Its all here great songs, composition and performances. All the mellotron and bass pedals you could want and if there is a better 3 minutes of music than the instrumental section of "Ripples" I haven't heard it. Even after 30 odd years its still sublime.

The all singing and dancing 5.1 SACD re-master adds DVD footage of a mid seventies concert which must have originally been shot for a TV show. Not quite as good as the "Duke" footage in my opinion but as there is so little classic Genesis live stuff available on DVD it's nevertheless very welcome. Again the re-master adds band interviews, promo (mimed) "videos" (including "Ripples") and a (mimed) US TV show. Great stuff. Plus some dodgy bootleg quality film of a Japanese performance which again I think is mimed.

These re-masters aren't cheap but they've been done with a bit of flair and at least add some worthwhile add ons . I hope the next tranche of releases maintains the standard.

Report this review (#118783)
Posted Wednesday, April 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is one of Genesis finest hours. The writing, the playing, the production and yes even the vocals are the band in it's prime. I pull this one at least once a month still. I never skip a track and to me that is the mark of great 5 star album. With the departure of Peter Gabriel the band found its own strength in the remaining members and the work really shines in the eclectic numbers on here. Dance on a Volcano, Squonk, Entangled, Mad Man Moon and Los Endos have very little in common with each other but all seem to be tied together by the familiarity of the instruments and players who play them. Soaring and blistering in some places, thoughtful and introspective in others Genesis gives up a performance for the ages. It is one of the albums I can point to and say this is a perfect example of prog rock.

The artwork on the cover is quite amusing and associates to the varied songs on the album. This was the best produced Genesis album to date as some of the earlier recordings have shown the lack of top notch facilities and sound. (Don't get me wrong I love them all just making an honest observation)

This is 5 star. No doubt in my mind.

Report this review (#119274)
Posted Saturday, April 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The year 1976 brought us a new Genesis. Gone was their beloved lead singer Peter Gabriel who would venture into a successful solo career and now the vocals come forward from behind the drum set. Along with Gabriel's departure came a new and refreshing Genesis sound, a hybrid of sorts mixing the almost medieval and symphonic sound of their past with a more modern approach to songwriting, plus a much better recording production.

I must say the band did quite wonderful on their own with Phil Collins taking the lead. There isn't a weak song, nor a pinch of filler on A Trick of the Tail, albeit a slight nod towards the radio-friendly side of things. The music is quite original, even if not as complicated as some of their earlier masterpieces (with the exception of Dance on a Volcano). The topics are all interesting and there's even a bit of subtle humor in places. I find that Banks' keyboard work seems to dominate in the mix.

This is definitely not as good as their 1970-1973 period, but it certainly is a masterpiece nonetheless. Easily another five star effort from this amazing band. Highly recommended and essential.

Report this review (#126458)
Posted Thursday, June 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
5 stars It was around 1978 when I was over visiting a friend of a friend when he pulls this LP out of it's sleeve and says "You guys should hear this". Well, after listening a while I looked at my friend and we kind of smiled respectfully at each other about what we were hearing. The longer I listened the more I liked it. "It" was "A Trick Of The Tail" by GENESIS and this was my first experience with GENESIS. I sort of forgot about this record until they released the single "Follow You, Follow Me" and when I heard that GENESIS song on the radio I was reminded of that experience. It wouldn't be until "Duke" came out in 1980 that I would buy my first GENESIS record.

"Dance On A Volcano" is such a good song ! Can these guys create a melody or what.The intro is fantasic and the mellotron during the verses is heavenly. I really like the line "So you better start doing it right". Hackett and Banks really shine on this song. "Entangled" has gentle vocals and acoustic guitars to start. The sound becomes fuller and the vocals sound double tracked as the guitar is strummed. Haunting synths,12 string guitar and mellotron to close it out. "Squonk" is another good one with pulsating keys as the drums pound. The vocal melody 2 minutes in is a highlight. "Mad Man Moon" is a ballad with fragile vocals, piano and floods of mellotron. The piano melody recalls "Firth Of Fifth". The tempo picks up 5 minutes in before it settles back down with mellotron.

"Robbery, Assault & Battery" has theatrical vocals while the chorus just doesn't do it for me. The best part of the song is 4 1/2 minutes in as Banks shines.This song is not one of my favourites. "Ripples" is my favourite. It's a song about getting old and it's so beautiful. Acoustic guitar, piano and vocals lead the way. The chorus is so uplifting. The synths to close out the album are great. "A Trick Of The Tail" is somewhat catchy but far from being the best track. "Los Endos" is an instrumental that gives each member an opportunity to show off their talents. The mellotron that rolls in 3 1/2 minutes is very haunting. There is a reprise of a passage of "Squonk" late in the song.

These guys didn't miss a beat when Gabriel left. These are some of the most amazing songs that i've ever heard.

Report this review (#128745)
Posted Monday, July 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars A TRICK OF THE TAIL proved a triumph for all concerned. The only thing you could possibly find fault with is the words. Having lost, in Peter Gabriel, one of prog's most gifted lyricists, the band sometimes resorts to childish whimsy. But their song-writing and playing had never been better.

TRICK is a remarkably well-balanced record. Eight compositions of similar length follow each other smoothly. The original A-side, in particular, comes across as a perfect sequence. The grandiose riff of "Squonk", the third track, seems a natural continuation of the dreamlike keyboards solo which ends the acoustic splendour of "Entangled". (I'd never thought a song about a rat-like creature, which dissolves itself in tears, could sound so exciting.) And "Mad Man Moon" has to be the most rapturous melody Tony Banks ever wrote. (Wonder who was responsible for "The Carpet Crawl"?) Its mellotron arrangement is delightful, and Phil Collins sings exquisitely - particularly that final verse which goes: 'Within the valley of shadowless death they pray for thunderclouds and rain, but to the multitude who stand in the rain, heaven is where the sun shines'. "Mad Man Moon" makes the heart melt, so let's forgive Tony for his rambling, incoherent lyrics.

"Robbery, Assault and Battery" is memorable for its extensive keyboards solo, superbly accompanied by the rhythm section. Both "Ripples" and the title track are unspectacular, although they have a funny way of lodging in your mind. And "Los Endos", as all Genesis fans will tell you, is simply one of the most joyful pieces of instrumental music the band ever recorded.

Report this review (#129781)
Posted Sunday, July 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
2 stars Am I the only person who chokes in outrage that this tepid, gutless piece of ham-fisted key-driven "symphonic" mediocrity rates so high? Where are the thoughtful compositions and interesting instrumental parts? Where are the exciting and dramatic lyrics? This is Genesis at their worst; at least I can tap my foot and get into the groove of "Land of Confusion"-- I can't do anything here but cringe at Bank's boring melodies and laugh as Hakcett's spineless wimperings masquerading as lead guitar. I tried so hard to discover the appeal to this one, given its overwhelmingly good reviews, but found nothing but bland monotony.

Coming from a later generation, Genesis holds no emotional appeal to me, and when I am offered so many other exciting options, choices like this are boring, and not worthy of attention.

Songwriting: 2 Instrumental Performances: 2 Lyrics/Vocals: 2 Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

Report this review (#130820)
Posted Monday, July 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
4 stars I was 16 at the time this one came out and when I think of that year (1976) this is the main soundtrack. I must have litened to this album more than 500 times on that year alone! Still, for old Genesis fans like me, everything changed. With the loss of Gabriel Genesis music also lost some of its the edge. A trick Of The Tale was, in many ways, the start of their pop-rock period, although that was not clear at the moment. And, besides, it was also very good music.

Genesis could survive Gabriel´s exit, but it was a whole new band. I really loved how Phill Collins handle well the vocals. The music may be less intricated and ambitious, but still retained enough early elements to make it an essential item for anyone who loves prog music. Only Robbery, Assault and Battery never really captivate my imagination. It´s not a bad song, really, but it is not par to the rest of the tracks, all excellent ones. There´s magic all over this CD, specially during the acoustic parts with some of Banks best mellotron works. The cover art is awesome even today. Also production wise this album was an importante step ahead for the band.

Conclusion: a transitional album that still carries much of their earlier works. Mid period Genesis (with hackett) may not have the same impact as their masterpieces, but it was a new music with lots of merits and very enjoyable songs. Four solid stars.

Report this review (#132170)
Posted Tuesday, August 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars This record sounds too boring and uninspired. The melodies are tolerable at best and thre are almost no great instrumental passages (except for Banks´solo in Mad man moon and Hackett´s passage in Ripples). The old gGenesis sound is still there, but the songwriting and inspiration isn´t.

Overall rating: 2 STARS


Report this review (#132857)
Posted Sunday, August 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Peter who?" one might say! What we have here is four musicians at the top of their game producing one of the finest albums of all time. My favourite tracks are actually the quiet ones, i.e. Entangled, Mad Man Moon and Ripples, where the combination of 12 string guitars, piano and mellotron makes a quite heavenly sound. Dance On A Volcano is a superb opening track. The heavier Squonk, sitting between Entangled and Mad Man Moon, makes a great contrast with those two tracks. The closing instrumental Los Endos reprises Volcano and Squonk as well as the out-take It's Yourself. It has gone on to become a live classic. What's left? The title track is quite a jaunty little number written by Tony Banks. I'm sure I read somewhere that he'd written the basis of it many years earlier. It's pleasant enough even if not on a par with the rest of the material. Finally we have Robbery Assault And Battery, where Phil proves he can do a character based song like Peter, cf. Get 'Em Out By Friday and The Battle Of Epping Forest. This song comes in for a lot of criticism which is unfair. If you put it on any Genesis album from 1980 onwards, it would be one of the best tracks. It is a very good track, but the rest of the album is so strong that inevitably it gets overlooked sometimes, in spite of having a great keyboard solo. So at the end of the day, A Trick Of The Tail has to be awarded the full five stars.
Report this review (#133880)
Posted Monday, August 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars "A Trick of the Tail" is a very good album, just not quite the era that I really like Genesis from. I must admit that "Dance on a Volcano", "Squonk", and "Los Endos" are bangers and they give the album a much needed heavier feel. I almost wish they would have done the whole album as a hard charging experiment, as some of the slower, softer, folkier songs lost my attention. Don't get me wrong, the album is masterfully intricate and the production is full, I just fail to see a lot of the fuss made over this album. But then again, I'm not really one for the acoustic sounds, so I guess that says something about where I stand when listening to this album. I prefer the 1980s Genesis because that's what I grew up with and relate to more, but "A Trick of the Tail" is a good peek back in time if you're interested in going back to 1976.
Report this review (#135315)
Posted Wednesday, August 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars So, it's 1975, PETER GABRIEL has just left GENESIS, and the music press are preparing the groups obituaries. Surely you cannot have a GENESIS without their enigmatic frontman and vocalist, that just wouldn't work, would it? For many fans, critics, writers and assorted commentators, this was it. The end. No more Genesis. Gabriel was the lifeblood of the group, the magnetic stage presence that the fans affixed their gaze upon during their heady live shows. Without him(and his crazy costumes), the band would be missing a huge part of it's identity, and the general consensus was that GENESIS were finished. Not so. Gabriel might have written a large percentage of the lyrics and sang 95% of the lead vocals, but the music was produced by the band. After a series of not-quite-good-enough auditions for a new front-man, the remaining members decided that the best man for the job would be the little known PHIL COLLINS, the bands second drummer after original tub-thumper JOHN MAYHEW bailed out after TRESPASS, and also a former child TV star. Needless to say the experiment turned out to be one of the greatest decisions regarding late 20th century popular music. Charisma Records, the groups label, was run by a man named TONY STRATTON-SMITH, and he gushed at the time(after hearing Collins sing for the first time): "He sounds more like Peter Gabriel than Peter Gabriel!". So, it was this record, the groups first with Collins as lead singer, and the first ever Genesis record without any input from Gabriel, that continued the bands musical evolution when so many thought it was the end. More like the middle, really. The album itself(Long intro I know, sorry!), is possibly GENESIS' most complete work. Shorn of Gabriels lyrical and musical demands, the songs seem more relaxed in mood and much less fraught with the kind of crazy imagery so beloved of their ex-lead singer. Album opener DANCE ON A VOLCANO sounds like a sequel to SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUNDS 'MOONLIT KNIGHT', eschewing the giddy guitar histrionics for a more structured approach involving some thrilling organ workouts from TONY BANKS. ENTANGLED, a beautifully sedate and almost psychadelic swirl of acoustic strumming and mellotronic meanderings shows that the band were capable of writing sensitive ballads, and not just surreal epics featuring bizarre characters. ENTANGLED is a gem of a song, and allows the listener a bit of breathing space before storming head-first into the riff-tastic beginning of SQUONK. Bassist MIKE RUTHERFORD admits that he didn't actually like the opening guitar riff for SQUONk, but, perserverance on the bands behalf helped him see the light and the riff stayed. It's a true GENESIS classic, featuring yet more stunning organ work from Mr Banks. Other highlights on the album include the eponymous title-track, a lightly-ambling, whimsical and very english prog- folk workout, whilst LP-closer LOS ENDOS thrills and delights with it's stunning battery of drum attacks and chiming guitar licks, courtesy of STEVE HACKETT, who, it must be said, is not given a lot of time to express himself here. A TRICK OF THE TAIL marks a creative high-point for the band as a foursome, as later efforts failed to reach he heights achived on songs such as SQONK and ENTANGLED. The band obviosuly felt they had something to prove now that Gabriel was gone, and prove something they did, producing a genuine English symphonic prog classic that still stands up as an excellent example of the genre.

Report this review (#135480)
Posted Thursday, August 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars It was very hard for me to rate this album, I was stuck between a three star and four star rating, but ultimately came up with a three. Why, because after many many listens and quite a few discussions on this site and outside this site, people immedietly change their views of the band, as if it isnt the same group that released Selling England, Nursery Cryme, or Foxtrot, and to be completely honest, it is almost a completely different sound. The lyrics are much less forboding and mysterious as Gabriel left them, and are much more warmer and well, British. The music has also lost it's jauntiness, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your personal tastse. Dont get me wrong, The album is very beautiful, and will definately appeal more to the fan that never got into Peter Gabriel Genesis. Anyways, here's my initial review of the albums songs:

The first time I put this album in, I was very excited and was placing it in very high hopes, for my dad told me it was easily Genesis' best album, and when dance on a volcana threw itself at me, the anticipation just grew. Dance is a really cool opener for two reasons, one beacause it started out electric which is a very non Genesis thing to do, one because it completely goes against every other genesis opener song. Either way great song, but a bit misleading, because it is basically the most fast paced and electric this album goes by far! Entangled is a jaw dropper, particularily for the extremely catchy chorus and eerie synth solo at the end. As far as lyrics go, one of the best on the album easily! The next song squonk, is a bit disapointing, because of the poppy synth riff that goes throughout the song, and strangely sounds a bit like the kind f riff the band was going to make ten years later and one less member. After this song, I find myself still anticipating a hckett solo or lead line since the opener, which barely makes the cut. Mad Man Moon is amazing lyrically, but musically, very awkward and somewhat boring, and easily one of Collins worse vocal performances. Robbery assault and Battery is a very fun song, filled with jaunty piano and awkward time signatures, good placement after the dull mad man moon. Ripples is my favirote song on the album, mostly because of it's complete and utter progness! Although it stays very mellow throughout the song, the chorus is awe inspiring, and the key oards are very smooth, along with very well written lyrics!The next two songs A trick of the tail have never eally popped out to me as I think they should, the title song is just piano and some otherwise corny lyrics, and the closer is a pretty cool instrumental, but lacking the dynamics to be a great, no solo's, no breaks, no speed up's, ect ect.

The music of the album easily surpasses the vocals and lyrics. The mood is very mellow, 50% twelve string guitar, while the other 50% is keyboards and drums. ABSOLUTELY NO ELECTRICS, besides maybe two or three notes after Dance on a volcano, which really upsets me considering they have one of the greatest guitar palyers at the time. The keyboards are very innovative and creative, with some very cool Synths and moogs, combined with lots of piano's. Phil does an excellent job on drums, maybe except for the awkward keyboard solo on Robbery assault and barberry. As for the vocals, I dont think Phil really found his frontman vocals he learns to perfect on Duke and loses on invisible touch.

Overall this album kinda disapointed me at first, but after many close listnes, i have come to appreciate the mellow atmosphere and pretty acoustics. The major mistake of the album was not showing off hackett nearly as much as he was!

***3 stars!

Report this review (#137674)
Posted Monday, September 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first album without Gabriel is a truly progressive gem...this work has to be considered from a point of view very close to what have been the band members point of view: have to write an album which wouldn't disappoint all the fans, without Genesis pushing force: Peter Gabriel; they actually made it, this album not only is not disappointing at all, but contains beautiful and energic songs, not to mention Collins vocal performances, reminding Gabriel at his best. The weakest point of "A Trick Of The Tail" is the song "Robbery, Assault And Battery", a quite useless number. This album is brilliant and features well arranged songs, inspired lyrics, and some numbers which have become Genesis classics ("Dance On A Volcano", "Entangled", "Mad Man Moon", "Ripples"). Too bad that a couple of years later Genesis would have abandoned this way of making music, becoming a commercial band. I suggest it to every prog head out there! My rating is 4 stars.
Report this review (#137957)
Posted Thursday, September 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Phil Collins perpetually gets a bad rap in the prog world. People should be required to hear this album who criticize him. The lyrics are both different and similar to Gabriels.

Similarity: These lyrics are outrageous. Each song tells somewhat of a fairytale story. I know my thought bubble displays a huge "WTF?" often times when I actually read the lyrics.

Difference: Sorry gang, I think Peter was more entertaining as a lyricist. I'm much less intrigued by the lyrics on ATOTT.

The music, however, is equal if not better than much of Genesis under the reign of Gabriel. Dance on a Volcano and Los Endos open and close excellently. Ripples is a beautiful ballad that, in my opinion, rivals Carpet Crawlers. Conversely, Dance on a Volcano and Squonk show Phil's ability to "rock out" more. Though I prefer him as a ballad singer, he truly succeeds here.

Some of the slower songs seem to drag on. Mad Man Moon and Robbery Assault Batter bore me a little. I often feel like I'm listening to them just to get to Los Endos.

Great album, I would say this is an excellent addition to any prog music collection.

Report this review (#139236)
Posted Thursday, September 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I really like this album. The songs are very catchy but still great prog songs at the same time. Dance on a Volcano, Robbery Assault and Battery and Los Endos are by far the best songs on the album. I really like the way all the songs meld in together nicely. Phils vocals sound enough like Peters to keep a similar sound whle still changing it enough to make it not sound like just repeating the Petery goodness. This album is probably the best really progressive Genesis album. Anyone that likes Genesis prog should pick up this album if they havent already.
Report this review (#140680)
Posted Wednesday, September 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars And Then There Were Four. A Trick of the Tail was the first Genesis album to feature Phil Collins on vocals after Peter Gabriel left the band to pursue a solo career. This is an excellent progressive rock album which provides much in the way of the classic Genesis sound but also foreshadows the poppier side that Genesis will later pursue. At this point, Phil hadn't quite found his "pop voice" yet and it appears that he was singing in Peter Gabriel-like style, probably to try and keep with the Genesis-like sound. To bring a perspective to my review I must reveal that I am a late comer to Prog Genesis. I grew up with 80's era Genesis and Phil Collins solo music so I am more familiar with the Pop Genesis material than I am with the Prog Genesis material. In a way, I have experienced Genesis in reverse since I knew them as a pop rock band before I knew them as a Prog band. Tracking backwards, A Trick of a Tail is an excellent bridge album for acclimating a pop rock Genesis fan to the prog side of Genesis. Now for my analysis of the individual songs:

Dance on a Volcano - what a shock to Gabriel-era Genesis fans. The first song on the first album post-Gabriel is, egads, a dance song. OK, it is a lively prog rock song with excellent keyboards and drum work and some nice behind the scenes guitar work, but "put your left foot first and move into the light" might include the Hokey Pokey as its inspiration.

Entangled - is a melodic song featuring some beautiful playing by Tony, Steve, and Mike. Even in their proggiest days Genesis has always excelled at performing prettier mellower songs (not quite a ballad per se, since it isn't a song about love). A song perhaps about the theater of dreams, possibly brought on by anesthetics. Interestingly forecasting the costs of the healthcare industry with "you'll have no trouble until you catch your breath and the nurse will present you the bill".

Squonk - when I was a young child and we would go camping we would go "snipe" hunting. This was a make-believe character that was used as a way to entertain us kids as we would walk around the fields at night trying to find these snipes. I believe that my childhood snipe may have been related to the squonk. At any rate this is a pretty straight ahead song that tells a good story regarding hunting squonks. Possibly a commentary on fox hunting by the royals in England. This song reflects past prog Genesis in that it could be a leftover from Nursery Cryme with 2 or 3 references to nursery rhymes. In addition, Phil is singing multiple characters like Peter Gabriel did on previous albums. Phil sings as the hunter and as the squonk. He doesn't accomplish this as well as Peter Gabriel might have however, and this song is a disappointment to many Peter Gabriel-era fans. However, I like it and find it quite entertaining.

Mad Man Moon - is another song on the mellow side of prog. It also promotes dream-like qualities and lyrically paints a very picturesque landscape with its many descriptive references. About half-way in it begins to rock a bit then it mellows out again and finally ends with the final minute of a very quiet musical passage.

Robbery, Assault and Battery is another of the more "controversial" Phil Collins era songs that is equally liked and derided by Genesis fans. I find it to be a fun song that keeps a nice pace and quite enjoy the music and the humor of the story. Again Phil Collins sings different characters throughout the song in a "tribute" to Genesis' past, but again he doesn't quite do it as well as Peter Gabriel might have. Also, I find the chorus quite "catchy". Hopefully, it doesn't play on my internal ipod the rest of the day.

Ripples is quite possibly the most beautiful song ever performed by Genesis. Again the lyrics are very visual and the guitar and organ/keyboard playing are very gentle. A possible reference point might be Take a Pebble from Emerson Lake and Palmer. I believe that it symbolizes "embracing this moment in time" because "you're not getting any younger".

A Trick of the Tail is a song telling a fantasy story of a mythical "beast that can talk" that comes from a land of gold who is captured by humans and then tricks them into bringing him to his home where he then disappears back to his fantasy world of gold. This song features some nice guitars and even some nice drum playing by Phil, which is quite infrequent throughout this album. Another story that I quite enjoy with another "catchy" chorus.

Los Endos - an excellent prog instrumental to end this album. Possibly another "trick of the tail", which if you were to think of this song as the tail of the album, it might trick you into thinking that Genesis were a progressive jazz band. The song does replay some of the themes encountered along the way throughout the album.

All in all I believe this is an excellent album that would be an excellent addition to any prog music collection.

Report this review (#140858)
Posted Friday, September 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Although I've yet to appreciate "Entangled" and "Mad Man Moon", the rest of this album is faultless.

"Dance on a Volcano" and "Squonk" are classics and the solos of "Ripples" and Robbery, Assault and Battery" are fantastic. The title track is a nice pop song in the same vein as "I know what I like." of Selling England by the Pound. Then I haven't mentioned "Los Endos" yet, the quintessential ending track. An instrumental that especially live became a Juggernaut.

Maybe not their absolutely best, but one of the better albums Genesis did.

Report this review (#142362)
Posted Saturday, October 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album mostly composed by Tony, at least 3 songs written and composed by himself. The other's about the stuff by the band. The album starts with energic opus "Dance On A Volcano" - which become stage favourites. Then, harmonious guitar works "Entangled" by Steve. This was one of my favourite tracks in this album. Then, "Squonk" came attacking. Attacking what? Some people says this tracks - which written by Mike and Tony - referred to Peter. It shown in: "Here I am, I'm very fierce and frightening. Come to match my skill to yours. Now listen here, listen to me, don't you run away now I am a friend, I'd really like to play with you. Making noises my little furry friend would make. I'll trick him, then I'll kick him into my sack. You better watch out ... You better watch out!" But finally there's a hidden messages at the closing piece in "Los Endos". I think, it's written by Phil: "There's an angel standing in the sun. Free to get back home." This is some good-luck message I think. By the way, the fourth song was "Mad Man Moon", a moody track about a dream about somewhat linked to mad man moon (I don't know what exactly). Then, the second side came with "Robbery, Assault & Battery", a story-based song. Then, 8-minute slower song called "Ripples" written by Mike was a wuthering song. And, the title-track starts with tuneful keyboard sounds by Tony, a beautiful track. Finally, the jazz-fusion style opus called "Los Endos" came. This track was very Brand X sounding, wasn't it? The genius Phil attached the Brand X sounds into his primary band, the results was a very powerful track, "Los Endos". Another Genesis-Brand X style one was "Wot Gorilla?" which appear in their next studio album.

Well, I would say this is a perfect album. No bad materials can be found here. Phil can cover up the spot that Peter left perfectly (even, sometimes I think Phil had sung little bit better than Peter. But Peter's the one, he's the true Genesis' vocalist I think). Steve's guitar sounds more 'tasty' than previous album, "The Lamb". Tony and Mike's stuff works good too. Probably, this was the last Genesis' great album. And also, to me, this album contains the band's greatest words ever written.

Five stars was the results, I'll go with it.

Report this review (#145698)
Posted Thursday, October 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars A Trick of the Tail is quite a noble attempt to move on after the departure of Peter Gabriel. It certainly showed that he wasn't the only creative force in the band, but at the same time it showed that he had a lot to do with the band's identity. The album sounds like a Genesis record, sure, but some of the musical quirks, especially the vocal theatrics are missing. Phil Collins was given some time to sing on past records, and we all knew that his tracks were among the weaker ones, but now he is at the helm all record long. He sings well - his voice is clean and smooth as I'm sure we all knew - but he simply lacks the charisma and command of Gabriel. On the positive side, this album sounds shockingly better than all of their albums. The production is thick and the atmosphere is saturated. The sound is superb, even for a 70's record. I wish the band could have had this production on their past three records! And as another positive note, a lot of the instrumental passages are strong and the band always sounds good. It's mostly the vocals and the writing that hinder the quality of this record. The songs simply aren't as memorable. I'm not captivated by any of the parts I feel like are supposed to captivate me. Et cetera.

The start of this album is quite promising with "Dance on a Volcano." Phil's entrance on this disc is stellar, the way the music shifts and the particular music that is going on at the time provides a great start. Besides that the song ends up lacking that character and memorability of the previous releases - it is hard to match, to be fair - it is a good tune, and unfortunately it's mostly downhill from here. I would like to know who is responsible for the refrain of "Entangled." That has got to be the one of the most annoying choruses I've ever heard. The song is only slightly remdeemed by the instrumental part toward the end. The end is great, the first half is just that unpleasant. "Squonk," unlike the name, is not an awesome, fun song, but rather a slower and less good "Dance on a Volcano." "Mad Man Moon" is a highlight for me; there is good band interplay, melodies, structure, etc. "Robbery, Assault and Battery" is a pretty good one as well. "Ripples" is a bit dull. "A Trick of the Tail" has a great riff to start, one that would make a very good short, poppy song, but I think they didn't take the right direction with it. The instrumental closer, "Los Endos," shows some fusion creeping into the mix, as Phil was involved in the fusion group Brand X at the time. They peppered some themes from the album into the piece and everything. It's another highlight.

You can see that the band is not quite sure what to do and where to go now that Peter is gone, but the band tries to maintain their dignity and to a degree of sucess. We don't have to write them off yet. In fact, they will have one last stand with their next output before they collapse into mediocrity and worse. A Trick of the Tail is worth having if you find it in the bargain section of a used record store like I did, but don't pay full price for a new CD.

Report this review (#150816)
Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This was the first Genesis album i ever listened to,and A Trick of the Tail is a great album to start out with if your getting into some classic Genesis. This was the first album without Peter Gabriel present and this album is less heavier than like a Foxtrot or Nursrey Cryme . This album has a dark feeling to it. Phil Collins taking over lead vocals was something new to him and i like his voice very much on this album. There are many highlights on this album like the opener Dance on a Volcano, Entangled which is one of my favorite Genesis tracks of all time, Phils vocals are amazing and Steve Hacketts acoustic guitar is so beautiful. And the the closing track Los Endos is awesome instrumental by Genesis, with great drumming by Phil. Another great album by Genesis, soon Phil, Tony, and Michael would take the band into a way different direction and guitarist Steve Hackett would leave to pursue a solo career like Gabriel. Probably the last great Genesis album. 4 stars for a great album
Report this review (#151657)
Posted Sunday, November 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
5 stars A Trick of the Tail has long been a personal favourite, and somewhat of a 'guaging stick' for me. It was the first 'authentic' prog album I ever bought (I had most early Floyd at this stage, thanks to 'Another Brick in the Wall' Part II, but wasn't even familiar with what 'Prog-Rock' was about, let alone certain genres of music in existence), so I am partially sentimental to this release, and still find it one of the (many) greats - pretty much as good as 'Selling England...' which I acquired shortly afterwards (circa 1987).

From the outset, 'Dance on a Volcano' hit me hard. I loved the intro, and the way it struck me as 'listen to me, I have something to say'. What is this odd rhythm, is my record skipping ?? This was the album, by method of deduction, I figured out what the mysterious strings and choir sounds were - a Mellotron !!!! From then on, it was all Crimso, Moodies, Yes and most things 'tron. What a superb introduction to the 'fantastical world' it was.

Continuing with 'Entangled', a tune that features one of the most powerful synth/ choir-reel mellotron sections I've ever heard. Simply breath-taking, mellow 'Floydian' 12-string (when did Floyd ever actually use a 12-string acoustic ??) arrangement and then that insanely magical passage - I'm totally blown away by this stage. 'Squonk' is next, which sounded more 'harder' but full of imagery from another place (just the right concoction a 15 year old needed at that stage !!). Rounding off Side 1 was 'Mad Man Moon', one of Keyboardist Tony Banks' compositions, something of a 'ballad', but beautifully arranged, utilising his keyboard rig of the time (Piano, ARP Synth and Mellotron, don't recall organ in this one).

Side 2 started with 'Robbery, Assault and Battery', again showing off the band's instrumental prowess, fully symphonic, quirky character role-play in Phil Collins' singing/lyrics, and more show-offy playing from all concerned. The long track, 'Ripples' (8mins 4secs), is an acoustically based track and sounds wonderful and inspired. It contains a lovely, classically oriented instrumental part. Title-track is a catchy and accessible song but no less engaging regardless. Closing (mainly instrumental) piece, 'Los Endos', was/is the most appropriate ending to this superb display of instrumental/lyrical dexterity, and to this prog listener, remains one of the highest ranking prog albums I listen to. Full score.

Report this review (#151799)
Posted Tuesday, November 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The first album with Phil Collins as the lead singer in Genesis, was A Trick of the Tail. The loss of Peter Gabriel was huge, but somehow the others managed to carry on in a decent fashion. Let there be no doubt, I like Peter Gabriel Genesis a lot better than Phil Collins Genesis, but I still like the three first albums with Collins very much. I think they are very essential to prog heads.

A Trick of the Tail starts with Dance On a Volcano with it´s strange rythm and generally exciting melodic approach. There are some pretty complicated instrumental parts in the song which I find very interesting. This is a classic Genesis song.

Entangled is the next song, and what a beautiful song. The 12 string guitars are fully displayed in the beginning of the song, and once the keyboard sets in this song goes from beautiful to Godly. This is symphonic prog at it´s best. Really essential. The ending of the song is so overwhelming that it takes my breath away.

I had to get used to Squonk before I could fully appreciate it, but now it is one of my favorite songs on the album. Really emotive and captivating even though this is one of the more rock like songs on the album.

Mad Man Moon is a favorite of mine. I just love the piano from Tony Banks on this song. It´s so inspiring and beautiful. I think Phil Collins delivers his best vocal perfomance of the album on this song. This is really emotive.

Robbery, Assault & Battery is maybe the weakest song on the album, and the one that reminds me the most of Peter Gabriel. He would have made this song a winner. It just doesn´t work when Phil Collins tries to be funny and sing different voices. But I´ve grown used to it and of course I enjoy it.

Ripples is the most Pop like song on the album. The chorus is almost in a vein where I can´t stand it, but only almost and in fact I find it to be a beautiful song. Not the best on the album though.

A Trick Of The Tail is one of my favorite songs with a great humour ( and not once do I think of Peter Gabriel) and a nice melody. This is not the most progressive song, but I still think it is a very strong song.

Los Endos is the most complex song on the album, it is an instrumental track with themes from most of the other songs on the album. This was a Genesis live favorite and I must say that I think this sounds like it would be better live than it is in the studio version. It´s not bad at all, I just feel it has a live feeling that this studio version doesn´t honour. A good track though.

Beneath all my criticism I hope it shines through that I really like this album, and I would recommend it to anyone into prog rock. Even though there is a big difference between Peter Gabriel Genesis and Phil Collins Genesis some of the earlier releases from the later are very essential to prog heads.

This is not a masterpiece, but very close to being one. 4 stars is fair.

Report this review (#152247)
Posted Thursday, November 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars If ever there was a five-star album, this is it! After 25 years, I am still absolutely spellbound by this disc every time I listen to it. Despite being described by Tony Banks as "a much simpler album" compared to the Lamb, Trick of the Tail is deceptively complex and filled with beautiful details and far more mature performances than anything from the Gabriel era. The textures on this album are quite varied, but generally softer than their preceding work, with a more tranquil acoustic vibe reminiscent of Trespass. This era of Genesis saw Tony Banks rise to become the dominant songwriter in the absence of Peter Gabriel, and even his lyric writing really blossomed. In my opinion, Tony always either wrote or cowrote the best Genesis songs, and that is why the albums of the "Tony" period (1975 to 1980) are my favorites. A Trick of the Tail is the best of the bunch.
Report this review (#153996)
Posted Tuesday, December 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Ah, the controversial first Post-Gabriel Genesis Outing. Everyone though Phil Collins wouldn't do well on the vocals, but I think he did a nice job on this album. Wind and Wuthering and Beyond is another story. The rest of the band are all superbly on target, with this being one of the more instrumentally focused albums the band has ever done. Banks throws in many moments of pure joy and beauty, Hackett adds his dulcet tones and shrieks, and Rutherford anchors it all down and adds some guitars of his own. not only that, but Collins hasn't stopped adding great drums underneath it all yet, which is, again, more than I can say for everything past this. However, bits of poppy future come in as they did on Selling England and Lamb Lies Down. This album overall has a fun, nostalgic feel to it, making it very similar to Selling England.

Dance on a Volcano: Emphasizes the funness of this album with its catchy rhythms and memorable hooks. The drums kick in well with the screaming guitar, and Collins sounds like a distant Gabriel singing. The verse sounds very dramatic and I love it. the last part of the song is probably the most intense instrumental section the band ever did, surpassing Los Endos and Moonlight Knight. Banks' Synth and Hackett's electric run side by side up some intense scalar runs, and it ends on an eerie note, leading nicely into...

Entangled: Possibly one of the most beautiful tracks the band, or any band, ever recorded. Everyone is on 12 string here except Collins, who of course has no guitar talent whatsoever. The overlapping notes echo round and round, making the perfect atmosphere for the dreamy vocals. the lyrics are also about sleep, which suits the music. The chorus is the epitome of catchy. the ending section contains some epic mellotron and synth work from banks, as well as some powerful bass notes from Rutherford on the pedals. This also segues nicely into the next song, the powerful...

Squonk: A powerful intro, with deep bass synth notes and some nice strumming. The main chord progression in this song is excellent, alternating between minor and major. Collins soars in with nice vocals, and the synth echoes him from far away. The lyrics are very image evoking, im not sure what theyre about, but theyre nice. The chorus is dramatic and beautiful at the same time. Collins does some of his best singing here, and the whole progression through everything is so long and complicated. The outro is tearjerking, seemingly sady regretful.

Mad Man Moon: Banks' moment to shine on the synth and grand piano. The intro is gorgeous, with piano augmented by a flute sound, making us think of Gabriel Days. The vocals are nice again, with the lyrics painting pictures of days long ago. when the piano kicks in, it is one of the best instrumental bridges, except this time more mellow instead of intense, like Dance. then the synth comes into play with the piano underlying it. When Collins comes in to sing over this, its a hard rocking genius moment, and the transfer back to the original melody is painstaking and perfect. My favorite song on the album.

Robbery, Assault and Battery: A nice upbeat start to side 2, with some great synth tones. the one and only storytelling song by Collins, with lyrics about a burglar and the cops chasing him. The bouncy drums add much to the song, and the synth adds a silly feel. Collins does some roleplaying, as a falsely accused man, the burglar, and the cops. the chorus is nice and hardrocking, but a little simple. The bridge, however, is in an impossible time signature with some equally impossible soloing by banks. the bass is also nice here, keeping time well. Hackett appears to be nonexistent.

Ripples: Nice acoustic intro, with some soft singing.there is some nice piano backing the verse. However, this song gets a little too sappy for me, and the chorus takes it over the top. it also gets repeated too much, killing it. The bridge, however, is excellent with heavy piano overlaid by some excellent Hackett and Banks soloing again. But the chorus is repeated as a fade away outro, making it bad again.

A Trick of the Tail: Following Ripples in the vein of being too poppy. it sounds a little like the Beatles, but Collins voice kills it. The piano and guitar following collins' voice is a little old at this point. The chorus is also a little too much.

Los Endos: Fortunately, the amazing, jazz/fusion, powerful instrumental outro saves the second half of this album from being entirely pop. The shimmering intro reminds us of Dance on a Volcano, but soon it becomes evident this is an entirely different song. After the opening chords have all been strummed, the drums kick in with a purpose. the blasting chords power their way through this salsa section, shared by synth and guitar, with the bass doing stellar runs in the background. As it slows down a bit, the high synth notes come in and take us into a slower, but no less powerful section. the bass hits it again, and the mellotron eeriely segues into the background. Then it picks up again and the synth flies towards the stratosphere. it slows down again as the drums go wild. the opening theme for the album is reintroduced at a slower tempo, and seems to end the song, but the mellotron hits a sharp note, and the drums bring us back up again for the dramatic reprisal of the Squonk chord progression and outro. There is an allusion all the way back to the end of Foxtrot, when Collins shouts in the distance: "theres an angel standing in the sun"

Overall, a great album, brought down a little by some shmaltzy tracks on side 2, but brought up from the genius of side 1 and the closer. Collins and Co. would soon try even less to make progressive rock as they would try to make commercial pop. the end of an era, with Gabriel recalled once or twice, but now completely gone. This album almost makes me cry because of what could have been done if Gabe had stayed for this one.

Report this review (#155076)
Posted Monday, December 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of my favorite Genesis albums toghter with Trespass and The Lamb, and even tough i rate this the same as Nercery cryme and foxtrot i prefer this one and lisen too it much more then thos two. The album starts with Dance On A Volcano superb opener, Entangled very good ballad, Squonk the hard rock song of the album but with a sweet tuch, excelent. Mad Man Moon might be the best song on the album at first i didetn realy pay atention to the lyrics and tought it was about something els which only made it beter when i studied em i got a litle let down but its still great stuff, i used to go and sing it in my head all the time. Robbery, Assault & Battery is by far my least favorite of the album the lyrics are repated way to many times over and over and it yust gets boring its a comic song but not realy very fun. Ripples gets us back on track again another long and great balladish song with some good and unusual keyboard playing by Banks in the midle of it. A Trick Of The Tail is a fun and litle song in the same style as squonk, about a litle devil some explorers find, if i got the story right with good music and its pretty much the last song since the ending Los endos is a bit of a filler yust the same themes from the other songs mixed toghter and palyed over again. No masterpice but a very good pop prog album loaded with chatchy melody's and sweet singing from Collins, which was a superb replacement for Gabriel. 4.5 stars.
Report this review (#161827)
Posted Friday, February 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars The prospects for any band attempting to follow such a mammoth album as 'The Lamb' are daunting to say the least. But to lose your lead vocalist and lyricist before you even start must make the challenge doubly hard. No wonder Genesis fans held their collective breath to see what the four remaining members of the band would produce. To my mind, what emerged was a masterpiece - perhaps their finest hour.

You can argue long into the night (as indeed many have) about whether Genesis's enforced change of vocalist was a good thing or a bad thing. Was Collins 'better' or 'worse' than Gabriel? What is certain is that he was different. He brings a gentler quality necessary for the songs in this collection - songs which are perilously difficult to sing, as you'll know if you've ever tried. And 'collection' is the word. This album is more like a book of short stories, introducing us to unforgettable characters. Who could fail to be moved by the Squonk, the creature which disolves intself into a pool of tears through fear? Who could not smile at the robber who lives to fight another day, mourn with the woman watching her youth disappear year by year, or share the spirit of adventure of the beast with horns and tail?

Musically the album is a delight as well. From the somewhat disquieting opening notes of Dance On A Volcano, to the triumphant reprise of that and other themes in the concluding piece Los Endos, we are taken on a journey worthy of these lyrical creations. The 7/8 time of Dance keeps us on our toes. The lava is indeed nearby! Then comes the dreamy intoxication of Entangled. One can almost smell the ether in the smooth interplay of keyboards and acoustic guitar in the coda of this, the only Banks/Hackett composition in the Genesis canon. The drama of Squonk is followed by the music of long hot summer days in Banks's Mad Man Moon. The cheeky Phil Collins voice emerges perhaps for the first time in Robbery, before Ripples sweeps us away on into the stacatto beat of the title track, which has us marching jauntily along with our devillish companion. Los Endos - apparantly a nod of appreciation to Santana - pulls together and rounds off the album in a satisfactory climax - a compositional technique applied again equally succesfully in Duke. There's even a closing nod to Supper's Ready - their past is not forgotten.

Did Genesis survive Gabriel's departure? Survive is not the word. They evolved, developed, progressed to become the band they wouldn't otherwise have been, and Trick Of The Tail should have left fans in no doubt that even greater things lay ahead. This is a must have album that you'll play for years and never tire of.

Report this review (#161856)
Posted Friday, February 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars The first Genesis album that had to do without PG - the stlye remains the same, the singing of the drummer is similar but inferior, of course. The magic is gone and this album is showing how indispensable PG was for the band. This is exactly the same situation as with Season's End by Marillion. If you want to do special, magical music you need a special, a magical man. None of the remaing band (in both cases) has this special kind of magic. So in this case we are left with 8 tracks, none of which is overwhelming:

****= Dance on a Volcano; Entangled; Robbery...; Ripples ***= Mad Man Moon; Trick of the Tail **= Squonk, Los Endos. All in all: 26 stars divided by 8 songs = 3,25 stars.

Report this review (#162993)
Posted Saturday, March 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
TGM: Orb
3 stars Review 14, A Trick Of The Tail, Genesis, 1976 StarStarStarStar Star

After the departure of Peter Gabriel, Genesis' sound really does take a drastic change. For some people this is a welcome development, but not so much for me.

Firstly, Collins takes over lead vocals. I think the issue here is not his voice, which I, personally, enjoy on all the previous albums, and on the following Wind & Wuthering, but that he's not that confident with it, and doesn't really make the songs his own on this album. Occasionally he adopts weird accents on Dance On A Volcano, Mad Man Moon and Robbery..., but it just doesn't pay off for him as much as it did for Gabriel. The lyrics are still very good, but the relatively non-distinctive nature of Collins' vocals here do obscure that a little, so they originally felt like repeated pop choruses, even when they aren't.

Secondly, the music is somewhat less explosive. There are far fewer great rock moments, and nothing like Fly On A Windshield or Firth Of Fifth. For me, at least, this meant it's taken a lot longer to acquire and get used to, and puts it somewhat behind the Gabriel era albums for me.

Anyway, they say she comes on a pale horse, onto the music:

Dance On A Volcano was a little difficult for me to get into, but I now do enjoy it. Great opening, mainly guitar-based, good drumming, a great quirky bass part from Rutherford, and overall a very enjoyable track.

Entangled is an odd creature. On the verses and the instrumental second half, good, enjoyable acoustic guitars from Hackett and Rutherford, here, and banks provides excellent synth and mellotron (I think) parts. Collins provides a nice vocal, and the song suits him. However, the choruses really don't work for me. I've never been a great fan of playing acoustics with too many chords, and this isn't an exception. The vocal harmonies aren't very distinctive, either. A very good song, I admit, but not one that grips me.

'Like father, like son' A good, but simple drum-and-bass rhythm, with matching guitar, opens Squonk. Great vocals for decent lyrics, here, somewhat more assertive than on the rest of the album, I feel, though I wish they were a little more prominent in the mix. I love the drums on this one. One of my favourites from the album.

Mad Man Moon is one of the most beautifully opened songs I've heard so far, with stunning piano and keys, emotive vocals, perfect background electrics from Hackett, and an uncharacteristically quiet performance on the percussion from Collins. Oddly enough, it merges into something with a more Latin feel, with strange percussion that sounds like castanets, cheerful and classical-styled piano juxtaposed. This is followed by the strange Sandman section, with odd, but intelligent lyrics, accented vocals. After that brief interlude, it returns to an even finer rendition of the opening, 'Within the valley of shadowless death', with a superb return to the piano theme, even better guitar minimalism and percussion, and a great ending from banks. Lyrically, this is certainly my favourite song from the album, and probably for Genesis as a whole. Essential listening for Genesis fans.

Robbery Assault And Battery is yet another weird case, where nothing manages to offend, and I love the electric guitar and bass, and the drumming's quite catchy. The cockney vocals are amusing enough, and there are two great short instrumental sections near the end and at the end, respectively. I think it's the silly keyboards here that put me off the song as a whole. A good song, and I think I should like it more than I do.

Throughout Ripples, much like Entangled, I love the piano-and-guitar verses, with superb vocals, but I don't enjoy the chorus and its harmonies much. Good lyrics, great piano, and a decent instrumental section towards the end. I prefer my soft songs staying relatively soft throughout, rather than doing what these two do, which is start with a beautiful melody and then go to a generic chorus at a slightly louder volume.

Oddly, I really enjoy the pop-ish ATOTT. A thoroughly enjoyable short song, with great guitar from Hackett, and acceptable vocals and lyrics, with some great harmonies, plenty of bombastic silliness. I don't know what so many people dislike about it, but unlike the rest of the album, I liked this one on the first listen.

Los Endos is essentially a medley of tunes from the rest of the album, together with the legendary 'There's an angel standing in the sun!' of Supper's Ready, and a couple of weird shimmerings and strange percussion things indicative of what the band would do with the instrumentals on the next album. This, however, is much more catchy and enjoyable than them, with the rhythm section standing out a little more than Banks and Hackett.

In the end, not my favourite, but a solid four star effort. Perhaps not recommended to those who prefer the harder rock aspects of Gabriel-era Genesis, or those who healthily dislike acoustics. If, like me, you fall partly into the first of those two categories, it may need a fair few spins to grow on you.

Rating: Four Stars, though personally a borderline three Favourite Track: Mad Man Moon

Edit: just saying that I am getting fonder and fonder of this. Hackett's subtleties are becoming thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyable, and the album as a whole has grown on me massively since I wrote the review. Not love at first listen, but nonetheless, love.

Report this review (#163555)
Posted Sunday, March 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars The second best Genesis album (all periods included) after Wind & Wuthering. Absolutely wonderful, with its sunny cover art, the album contains 8 tracks which are all beautiful - especially Entangled, Ripples, Los Endos, Squonk, and my favorite, Dance On A Volcano (perfect introduction, perfect song). I love this album. Nothing's wrong in it. The song I love the less is Robbery, Assaut & Battery, but it's, anyway, a very nice song.
Report this review (#163973)
Posted Saturday, March 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars A splendid deja vu!

It's very probable, that I've heard this album before. It was called Selling England By the Pound, and it had Peter Gabriel on vocals... and quite a lot fresh ideas back then. But then again...

Genesis could have gone in a slightly more new wave direction, if they continued writing songs similar to 'Squonk' or 'Back in NYC'. They COULD have gone Police-ish, mainly by killing Banks. That would help later on, and might have prevented Hackett from leaving. Tough luck. Instead, they used the blueprint of 'Selling...' and created two decent albums.

The guy who hit the drums and sang lines like: Here it comes againnnn... on the 'Musical Box' unexpectedly took Gabriel's place (who had chosen the life of a family man, away from all the big time & superstar popularity... yeah, like Genesis were ever really popular amongst PEOPLE - disclaimer: human beings that attended Gabriel-Era gigs couldn't have possibly been normal people). Not a really bad choice. Phil sounds funny though - like a slightly distorted guitar, sometimes even like... Bee Gees! really, especially during the 'sugar' moments of some ballads. His voice is not harsh enough to deliver the aggressive emotions like Gabriel did. On the other hand he's just perfect for love songs. The biggest problem is that on several parts of the album his hardly audible. The guy/team responsible for mixing the sounds should have been killed as an example. It would get even worse on Wind & Wuthering. I don't know why? Maybe they had still Gabriel singing set to default ;)

As I stated earlier, a handful of songs on A Trick... sound like some twisted Selling... and early Genesis rearrangements. E.g. Robbery, Assault and Battery is a copy of The Battle of Epping Forest, the idea of Squonk is very similar to The Return of the Giant Hogweed . However, while Hogweed sounds very chaotic, Squonk has a well-arranged melody with a simple, yet catchy guitar tune (Hackett wins with simplicity). Dancing on a Volcano (one of the faster tunes, with an interesting intro), Entangled (mellow Phil goes Bee Gees-like), Ripples (with awful vocals in the first minute but constantly getting better; Rush's Madrigal has a really similar melody) and Los Endos (an ending song - reprising the Dance on a Volcano and Squonk themes; construction similar to Aisle of Plenty) are nothing original amongst Genesis songs. They're on the level they ought to be.

Apart from Squonk, there are two gems on the album: Mad Man Moon and if that isn't original, cute and cuddly, I don't know what is. A mellow inspiring piano melody flowing (Banks always flows... he wouldn't stop flowing even if he had a tragic death song two play; thus he should have been killed). I suspect some Camel influences here (The Snow Goose was released one year earlier - so who knows?) the other one is the title track - A trick of the Tail suits Collins' perfectly in terms of lyric interpretation and vocal abilities. And, oh my, the song has a catchy chorus. In my view it resembles the really bright sides of Genesis' earliest works (From Genesis to Revelations I suppose), but on the level of Selling....

So... It's just a copy of Selling England By the Pound with a new vocalist, you might ask. Clearly not. It based on a blueprint that proved well 3 years hence. The next album would go in much the same direction. Well, isn't progressive rock supposed to explore various unknown musical directions, even though sometimes acquired taste is necessary? If it stops doing that it turns from prog to mellow rock. This is the direction Genesis took (the album sold quite nice refilling the budget, severely emptied after The Lamb Tour), and kill me, if they aren't a superb mellow rock band.

Best Song: Mad Man Moon (at least it's original) Worst Song: Ripples (there's nothing worse than a mourning Collins)

Report this review (#165998)
Posted Monday, April 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A Trick of the Tail - Review

Well what can I say that hasn't been said by various reviewers before me?

I gave this album a five star rating as it is my all time favorite album, without question.

We'll go song by song then finish up with a couple of general comments.

1) Dance on a Volcano simply rocks (10/10). The beginning of the post Gabriel era starts out with a bang as the powerful intro starts us out. The song weaves through the chaos and hell of a volcano as an allegory to love. One of the highlights is Mike Rutherford's bass, especially towards the end. 2) Entangled is hauntingly beautiful (10/10). The first half is a lovely guitar and vocal bit, the harmonies on the chorus are fantastic. Follow this up with Tony Banks atmosphere and you have a lullaby for the ages. 3) Squonk is simple and powerful (9/10). "Like Father Like Son" the immortal words that got Phil Collins the gig, blare out and grab you. This is not The Lamb. 4) Mad Man Moon is chock full of proggy goodness (10/10). Tony Banks' piano work is outstanding, Phil's voice, soulful. 5) Robbery, Assault and Battery is fun (7/10). A rollicking tale of cops and robbers, not the deepest song on the album, but fun nonetheless. 6) Ripples is a sad lament (9/10). A somewhat sad song exploring the passing of youth, "Ripples never come back" Phil mourns in one of their most beautiful ballads. 7) A Trick of the Tail always makes me smile (10/10). The story of a creature, bored with his life and seeking adventure. He finds that adventure in the form of humanity. Maybe the grass really isn't greener. In all honesty, this is not terribly progish, but still a fantastic song. 8) Los Endos sums up the whole she-bang (10/10). A jazzy, Santanaesque vamp recalling many themes of the album. The reverse snare transition to the Squonk theme is otherworldly.

Throughout the entire album (with the exception of the instrumental 'Los Endos'), the focus remains on story telling. The characters on the front of the album only give a hint of the depth that each of them have. The sadness of the seamstress looking in the mirror gives but a hint of the emotion of Ripples. The mirth of the creature, the surprise of the robber. Each one has their story.

The musicianship is wonderful as well. Each of the four have their moments of brilliance and put forth a solid effort. Everyone is showcased on 'Dance on a Volcano' and 'Los Endos'.

All in all, this remains my favorite Genesis album, and in fact, my favorite album of all time. If you write this off as the beginning of the end, then I believe that you'll miss out on a wonderful set of music.

Report this review (#171683)
Posted Monday, May 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
The T
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I'll try to make it brief.

As opposed to the obscurity of its predecessor, "A Trick of The Tail" is a much warmer album, with much more accessible songs but still totally progressive. The departure of Peter Gabriel surely affected the band lyrically, but in general I think it was a healthy event for GENESIS. After "The Lamb Lies Down.", which pretty much felt like a Gabriel project with the best background musicians on the planet, I can't imagine what else the band could've done as a band if their legendary frontman would've stayed. With his leaving, the remaining members focused once again in the music, now deprived of their master lyricist, and gave the vocal duties to Phil Collins, who emerged as a decent replacement for Gabriel, even if he really got things going as a singer in later albums. Collins tries at moments to sound like Gabriel, and he succeeds, even though without the drama or theatricality of its predecessor. When Collins tries to sound like Collins, he shows he could be a very good vocalist.

A quick word about the songs:

Dance on a Volcano (9.5/10) An excellent track that assures that Gabriel's departure wasn't going to mean the end of GENESIS. Very progressive, full of different sections and rhythms. Collins here tries to emulate his predecessor.

Entangled (10/10) A masterpiece like only GENESIS could deliver. The melody is beautiful, and Collins sings it very well. The verse is s soft, so tender, and it becomes even more beautiful in the chorus, when the music reaches a climax of great perfection. A wonderful song.

Squonk (9.5/10) An unusually heavy track for GENESIS, Collins sings it in a more personal, less Gabriel-like style, and it fits the song very well. His drumming is also perfect. If not as complicated from a structural point of view, the song is still very progressive in its instrumentation and layering. The chorus-like section features some very inventive piano figure by Banks. The ending section is a welcome change of mood. A brilliant song.

Mad Man Moon (10/10) Few albums have a start like this one, with four fantastic tracks in a row. But this one takes the prize for being the best and most beautiful of the lot. The melody is just out of this earth. Collins emulates Gabriel one instant, and the next one he's sounding just like himself. The quiet, whisper-like section previous to the chorus is just magnificent in beauty. Halfway down Banks starts a more energetic section, with a solo that, once again, as in his insuperable intro to "Firth of Fifth" makes me call him the greatest keyboard player in rock's history. The song travels more stormy waters and then goes back to the utter paradise of the beginning. This track, alongside "Can Utility and The Coastliners" in "Foxtrot" is, without a doubt, the two best not-so-famous songs in GENESIS' catalogue, at least from a prog-rock fan's perspective, one that has listened "Supper's Ready" or "Firth of Fifth" countless times.

Robbery, Assault and Battery (9/10) This is a very humorous and progressive track where Collins gets to sing at his most theatrical. The song at first sounds like a joke, then it turns into a really progressive thing, with a very intriguing instrumental section.

Ripples (8.5/10) Another very soft and mellow start leads to quite a weird track, one that shows the first signs of the GENESIS that was to come. The chorus sounds very similar to what we would hear (and some, like me, enjoy) in albums like "And Then There Were Three" or "Duke". Near the end Hackett is given time to display his masterful art in creating atmospheres with the utmost simplicity. A very good song.

A Trick of the Tail (7.5/10) This song, like its predecessor, sounds like future GENESIS. The melody is good, as always. There have been few -if any- bands in all prog and rock in general that have had the talent for melodies that GENESIS had. The track gets weaker after the start, though, and constitutes the only less-than-very-good song in the whole record. But this same track would be quite an achievement for other lesser bands.

Los Endos (8.5/10) GENESIS leaves their great instrumental for last. This is an all-show-off track, with Rutherford never resting, Collins quite energetic, Banks in full control and Hackett, well, the only member who doesn't really explode in this track. Maybe his future was already starting to appear on his mind. A great instrumental.

All in all, another masterpiece by GENESIS and my second favorite album by the band. It can't top "Foxtrot", which stands as their highest glory, but I prefer it to "Nursery Cryme" which is less accessible and to "Selling England by The Pound" which has a couple less-than-great songs (even though it has the best song in GENESIS -and maybe rock's- history). As such, I'll give it 5 stars, the same rating I've given to these 3 albums I mentioned.

Report this review (#176348)
Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
5 stars Mad Man Phil

Genesis is a remarkable group. Usually a really great band has one or maybe even two members that stand out as having something really special, Genesis had (at least) five unique talents among its ranks! When Peter Gabriel left, Phil Collins stepped up and started singing, revealing that he is every bit as good as Gabriel was! Who would have believed that one of the best drummers in the world also was a great vocalist? Gabriel went on to a successful solo career and Collins brought the band onwards to new heights. A few years later Rutherford would similarly step up and take over guitar duties when Steve Hackett left and 'then there were three' and the rest is history, as they say.

A Trick Of The Tale is actually my favourite Genesis album and one of my personal favourite albums of all time. There is nothing I do not like about it. Everything from the lyrics to the detailed art work to the vocals, the guitars, the keyboards, the drums, etc. Only a handful albums in my collection is as close to perfect as A Trick Of The Tale. Phil really grew with the challenge and he sings extremely well on this album as well as drum like a mad man on Los Endos. This song became a standing concert closer on most subsequent Genesis tours and Steve Hackett plays it too with his own band. Steve is one of my favourite guitar players of all time and A Trick Of The Tale might be his finest hour. Tony and Mike are doing an excellent job too.

The dramatic Dance On A Volcano opens the album with an almost metal riff. Entangled and Ripples are much softer songs with soaring keyboards and guitars. Los Endos is a Jazz-rock/Fusion instrumental reprising a theme from Dance On A Volcano that is a perfect (and unusual) way to end the album. All the songs are simply great and the whole album holds together very well.

My re-mastered CD version is the new CD/SACD & DVD version and I think the sound is great on the CD and the visual extras are worth while for fans.

This may not be as groundbreaking as earlier Genesis albums, but this is still a masterpiece!

Report this review (#177309)
Posted Saturday, July 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars ah..yeah!So avantgarde and so great!You need that music to feel the world,amazing!So different Genesis album,but in same time exceptional one.This album is a mixture between compound metre,ballads and avantgarde progressive elements tough for understanding.Perfect rock songs like Vance on a Volcano and Los Endos.Ballads like Entangled and part of Mad Man Moon and of course A Trick of the Tail.Little avantgarde like all but first two and last two.The characteristic of the album is frequent tempo changes.Typical progressive rock album of high quality!
Report this review (#178664)
Posted Saturday, August 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album came out after the band masterpiece double album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and it was the first without Peter Gabriel.

So the fans were merely sure it could be a flop. But it wasn't!

The ambientation was really different from the darkness and undergrond situation af the preceding album, but here we can find another time the aim to tell fairytales, as Squonk and A Trick of the tail, shown in the very early albums of the band.

Nowadays we can argue that the easy listening influence of mr. Collins was already taking place, though balanced by the Steve Hackett prog-creativity.

I think Steve Hackett is still one of the greatest prog-guitar players of all times.

But the album is brilliant and full of magic moments of great music.

Starting from the wonderful 7/8 of Dance on a Volcano and passing through Squonk, Mad Man Moon and Ripples we reach one of the greatest instrumental prog-standards played by the moltitudes of prog-musicians: Los Endos, where the instruments seem to melt together and where in the very end of the track we can listen the Collins tribute to the former great singer (There's an Angel standing in the sun. To Peter Gabriel) and our spine shivers with emotion.

Collins remembers the Gabriel way of singing, but his tune is much higher, so sometimes he becomes a little strident, with the respect of Gabriel's beloved deep tune.

Moreover Gabriel was always been a great performer (and still he is!) while Collins was still far from it.

Luckily the instrumental parts of the whole album are great, well performed and rich with feeling, starting from Rutherford's bass to Collins' drums and passing through the richness of Banks' keyboards and Hackett's extraordinary guitar.

I cannot give less than 4 stars. Nearly a masterpiece.

Report this review (#178678)
Posted Saturday, August 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album is the first one in the Genesis canon that I happened to listen to. While it's not that bad of an album, I've heard some better efforts from them with Peter Gabriel in their line-up. Not that A TRICK OF THE TAIL is horrible by any means, but the whole of the album sounds too ''pretty'' for my liking.

Take the title track; it has that immediate infectiousness of any delicate art-pop song, but either I played it too much or it's overbearing prettiness got to me and I really can't listen to that song with the same scope as most proggers. This album sounds like the end result of a serious band trying to merge art and pop into one package of which the end result sounds flat out boring to my ears.

Only certain songs can please me at certain times and there isn't a reason why I prefer some songs to others. Take ''Entangled'' and ''Ripples...''; both are very long, very quiet acoustic numbers that are meant to be very pretty, but it so happens that ''Ripples...'' does nothing but bore me while ''Entangled'' can keep my interest for a while.

For the most part, there's not much life being pumped into the band here, other than Mike's bass which is astounding. ''Robbery, Assault and Battery'' and ''Los Endos'' are the least boring of the batch, and I like ''Entangled'' very much, but it's too sleepy, serious and pretty for me to really take to heart. It's missing that bite that Peter Gabriel possessed on their earlier classics.

Report this review (#181399)
Posted Monday, September 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars No trick of the ear

Genesis' first album without Peter Gabriel would find them walking of unfamiliar grounds in terms of direction and composition, yet somehow they managed to churn out something befitting of the ''classic'' Genesis sound. Everyone is still at the top of their game and Hackett seems to have turned the volume knob from 5 to 11 as he's much more dominant in this carnation of the band. Phil has taken on the vocal parts - but for all those nervous about how it sounds, don't be worried at the moment, since for this album and the next he'd be trying his best to sound just like Gabriel, and succeeding to a large degree. He still takes a proud seat behind the drums and proves that he's still a capable drummer, meaning that later album's drum machines would not yet be in use. There are tunes on the album that can rival some of the best that the band has released, and with their poppier side starting to shine through this album can very very accessible for those weary about more sophisticated works from the band like Selling England By The Pound.

What really makes this album great are the songs that have a perfect combination of the band's later and older sound. This album really is a transitional work, and though it has its feet set more firmly in the band's 70s works than the later stuff, it really does have a ''catchy'' feel to it. Likely the best example of this is the title track, A Trick of The Tail features a sing-along chorus and yet an incredibly ''progressive'' air to it with Hackett's superb playing and Bank's backing atmospheres and frontwards keys. Squonk shows the band in Led Zeppelin mode with a chunky riff and aggressive vocals - a side of Genesis not often seen. Robbery, Assault And Battery is another more upbeat tune with story-telling lyrics and some very impressive instrumental parts.

But the best had yet to be mentioned. Two songs on this album epitomize what Genesis does best, the opening Dance On A Volcano is a majestic powerhouse with an unforgettable intro from Hackett. A speedy pace brings back memories of Dancing With The Moonlit Knight and excellent keyboard solos from Banks in the middle and end really show off some ''classic'' Genesis. Los Endos is an amazing instrumental that ends the album by revisiting themes used throughout the record. Colins is on fire on this track, and listening to him go mad on the skins is almost enough to make any progger forget about what he was about to do to the band on their upcoming albums. Almost. This is one of Genesis' more speedy moments, and this song really rocks! Something you don't often hear about the band.

Other songs on the album are pleasant, if not as impressive. Most of them feature the same kind of playing that you'd expect from the band, and some very impressive solos. Still, these songs don't necessarily stand out above the rest, although a Genesis nut would tend to disagree with this statement. Entangled is a slow and pretty piece featuring a somewhat haunting chorus, and in a similar vein is the lengthy Ripples. While these songs are quite good, this album is a its best when the band is trying something new, not just sticking to what they know.

In the end this is still a classic Genesis, and indeed, a classic prog album. While it may not have quite the same punch as some of their other material, this album is undeniably great. 4 volcanoes out of 5 - the band would mature for the second (and last) album with this line-up, but this album is definitely worth investigating for any prog fan. An excellent addition to your collection.

Report this review (#186390)
Posted Sunday, October 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars A year of change was in store for Genesis in 1976. With the departure of former frontman Peter Gabriel, the band was without a lead vocalist and down to only four remaining members. After auditioning possible replacements for Peter, the band decided on using drummer Phil Collins as the new lead vocalist. Collins would continue to be the band's drummer, with former Yes and King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford becoming the band's live drummer. Collins too would play drums onstage leading to a thunderous two drum attack that worked in the band's favor. A Trick of the Tail was the first album that this new lineup recorded together and it is my favorite out of their entire body of work.In my opinion, it is as essential as Foxtrot or Selling England By the Pound.

The album itself begins with the superb "Dance on a Volcano". As usual, Steve Hackett's guitar work weaves in and around the song and leaps about with Tony Banks's keyboard work. The song moves at a frantic pace with Collins's vocals keeping pace. Collins is spot on with the vocals, his voice sounding more pure and clear rather than Gabriel's gritty singing. Ending with a swirling instrumental flurry, we are led off to the quiet and dreamlike "Entangled". An acoustic number featuring no drums, Collins has the voice of an angel here, in stark contrast to the dark lyrics about mental illness. This is my favorite song off the entire album. Banks closes the song with a beautiful mellotron solo, ending this lovely, grim little tune. Another rocker, similar to "Dance on a Volcano" comes in next. "Squonk" is a pounding, bass heavy tune with lyrics telling of a tale to hunt a mythical creature known as the Squonk.

The listener is treated next to the gorgeous and lush "Mad Man Moon". Starting with the mellotron that we know and love, we are treated to a quiet ballad with more top notch vocal work from Collins. The middle of the song is filled with some triumphant instrumental work before we once again reach the beginning mellotron lines. Song number six is "Robbery, Assault, and Battery" a song about a criminal who always gets away, no matter what. Personally, this is a controversial song for me, not because of the lyrical content, but because of one little detail. To start, this is a good song, it has some fantastic drumming by Collins, jazzy bass playing by Mike Rutherford, and Banks's usual virtuoso keyboard playing. The only problem is the keyboard solo near the middle of the song. Comparing it to the version found later on the live album "Seconds Out" the solo is played much too quickly when in reality it is a fantastic little detail to the song. The live version has the solo being played slower and much more drawn out with a great contrast to the drumming. Whatever, that is my only complaint for the album.

Moving on, we hear the grandeur of "Ripples". Another acoustic based number, this song is accompanied by beautiful grand piano chords and echoing bass. One of the defining moments of the album is the middle of the song where we hear rolling piano notes and one of Hackett's most emotional guitar solos. This is the sound of the ripples becoming waves and crashing before the listener.

After this, we come up to the title track "A Trick of the Tail". This could easily have been a single release with it being the poppiest track on the entire album. Even though it sounds like it could have been an outtake on the later Duke or Abacab albums, it still has the feel of a classic Genesis song and is actually my second favorite on the album. The closer here is the incredible Los Endos. Opening with a shimmering guitar riff and galloping drums the song kicks into a heavy twisting hard rock guitar riff before kicking into reprises of the main melodies from previous songs Squonk and Dance on a Volcano. Being the only instrumental it is one explosive conclusion to the album, and if one listens closely to the end of the song, they can hear Phil Collins whisper a lyric from Supper's Ready. I won't reveal it to you, you decide what he's saying for yourself. Pick this one up. Even if you are skeptical of Collins era Genesis, this one will not disappoint you. Whether you are a jazz fusion, symphonic, or psychedelic prog fan, this has it all. Or as I said up above, you decide for yourself where this album fits, both musically and personally.

Report this review (#186832)
Posted Friday, October 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars How did you feel after hearing the news Gabriel had left the band?? I wasn't there, but I imagine fans of Genesis being quite devastated. It's over? Genesis is no longer?? I mean, the band may continue, but there's no way they can carry on the same without Peter? This must have been the thoughts of many.

Like I said, I wasn't there, but I'm sure this is the way I would've felt. After knowing only of Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot, SEBTP, Lamb Lies Down and such, there's no way I would have had any confidence in the bands new releases. Actually, this is the way I felt. However, almost 30 yrs later, Genesis being brand new to me. But, I know, if the news was current, meaning, in 1976, I would have taken it a lot harder.

It took me a while to finally take this album for a spin. A lot like Yes's Going for the One, I was skeptical at first and weary of a letdown. When I finally did, I was awestruck, seriously. Now, you have to consider my rather low expectations. So, when I say awestruck, I'm not saying I felt the same way after listening to A Trick Of The Tail, than Foxtrot, for example. A Trick Of The Tail barely, barely skips a beat transitioning from a Gabriel led Genesis to a Collins led Genesis. The album is near flawless. It doesn't have the sheer epic ness of Foxtrot, but many don't, so, it's really a non issue. Like most Genesis albums, it has fast and loud parts and very soft and melodic parts; lyrically amazing as well. Squonk is a popular favorite (rightfully so), but I really enjoy Ripples. If I could give 4.5 stars, I would. This is a must have for any fan of Genesis. Also, an excellent addition to any collection, but I wouldn't go as far to say it's a must.

Report this review (#189026)
Posted Thursday, November 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This going to be my last Genesis review because it's the last one I had to do of their great era and we all know which era that is. Like previous (Nursery Cryme) also this one has me in doubt for a long time now what the rating will have to be. Again it's in between 3 and 4 stars to me and again the song by song rating will have to bring the decision.

Dance on a Vulcano is one of the better to me. Classic track in the Genesis history I believe. So typical for what they are about, second part is really special, first half more accessible, great composition (4*).

Entangled is more of a ballad, a good one but not one of their all time best to me though the mellotron towards the end will always be something special of course (3,25*).

Squonk is one of those songs I don't really have a downright opinion about. It's a good song but average for Genesis standard (3,25*).

Mad Man Moon is more interesting to me, more versatile, better composition than previous song. Great track (3,75*).

Robbery, Assault and Battery was always the stand out song for me on this album, accessible and recognizable, first signs of a more popular sounding Genesis ? (4*)

Ripples is another highlight, a wonderful song mainly thanks to great vocals by Phil (3,75-4*).

A Trick of the Tail is the shortest track of the album. The title track is just as Robbery a more popular one proving that Genesis is slowly but surely leaving their symphonical touch as they had a few years before this (3,5*).

Los Endos is the closing instrumental track closing the album in style (3,5*).

In fact I expected this album to finish above the 3,5 average and it did. But not really in a convincing way. If I compare it to my previously reviewed Nursery Cryme I think this one is slightly better overall but it lacks the real highlight that a song like Musical Box is. Still 4 stars.

Report this review (#195208)
Posted Saturday, December 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars In the latest review the album, A Trick of the Tail, the reviewer sumarily reviews each track without acknowledgin the overall achievement of the album. At the time, Peter Gabriel had left the band and there was some questions as to how they were going to continue and with what singer. Also, would they be able to deliver a reasonably good Genesis album. Not many albums are loaded with 100 percent great tracks, but this album succeeds with the opener, Dance on a Volcano - a rocker with a classic Genesis instrumental part, I'm not crazy about entangled, but Squonk is a good rock tune that showcases the tightness of the band, mad man moon, I think is a decent enough track with some good lyrics -could the evil of a snow flake in June..., Robbery, Assault, & Battery is sorta of like a lite version of the battle of epping forest, again, ripples is an acquired taste depending on what mood your in, I personally like trick of the tail the song because its sorta of like tunes like Harold the Barrel, But Los Endos is a great showcase of Genesis (the great fusion band, shhh!). The album succeeds as a ample bridge from the Gabriel era to the Phil Collins led Genesis. This is the main point of this album. Its that part in the Genesis story that all Genesis fans need to know in order to know how it happened that they got from Gabriel to Collins. So, I'd rate slightly below essential except for Genesis fans.
Report this review (#195219)
Posted Saturday, December 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm listening to this now, and have been whilst writing reviews of a couple of other LPs - I nearly forgot just how good this album is.

Written after PG left, it is a bold and stunning statement by a group of songwriters who refused to give up after their most recognisable element left.

Dance With A Volcano has exceptionally complex vocal and instrumental arrangements, whilst Entangled is simply a stunning ballad, beautifully sung by Collins with the first hint of the surround keyboard wall of sound that Banks would make very much his own.

Squonk is again a very complex piece of musical arrangement and is simply fun. Mad Man Moon is for me the finest Banks composition ever - a lovely ballad with delicate keyboards and a very sympathetic treatment by Collins.

Robbery Assault & Battery is great fun, whilst Ripples finally convinces all just how crucial Steve Hackett was to this band. A story of growing old and lamenting that process, his guitar solo simply cries out to us in that story.

The title track has been attracting some radio airplay recently and the testament to Los Endos is that it is still played by Hackett and the band in gigs to this day, instrumentally exceptional and a joy to listen to digitally with decent surround sound speakers.

I opened up the sack, and all that I found was a pool of tears, just a pool of tears. What a work of genius and proof that Genesis were NOT just about Gabriel, but a collective of superb songwriters and performers.

An essential addition to any prog rock collection.

Report this review (#199553)
Posted Saturday, January 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars It is always troubling when a lead singer leaves a band, particularly a band that derived so much of its sound from that person's voice, and so much creativity out of that person's mind. Even though Peter Gabriel was not with them, Genesis proved that they could produce noteworthy progressive rock. Phil Collins has a more melodic vocal style than that of his predecessor, which is not to claim in anyway that he is superior; whereas Gabriel was entertainingly dramatic, Collins shows that he is more of a pop singer than anything. Regardless, he serves his band well, and does a fine job throughout the album. Tony Banks is really the star of the album, as nearly all of the compositions here rely so heavily on his keyboards. Guitarist Steve Hackett and bassist Mike Rutherford do not stand out much at all, even if the former does bring back to the mind of the listener his brilliant moments in works like "Firth of Fifth" or "Hairless Heart" with that swelling guitar of his. Overall, this is a fine album, very consistent, with no single track standing too highly above the others (a trait consistent with all the Genesis releases up until this point). The whole album, however, does pale a bit in comparison to earlier endeavors.

"Dance on a Volcano" Hackett's guitar and Banks's synthesizer take to the fore in this opening track. The bass and drumming are almost just as strong, and Collins does his best to fill some amazingly big shoes. More than anything, though, this is Banks's song, as his synthetic sounds dominate the last part of the song. The tones do sound like carryovers from the previous album.

"Entangled" More in the vein of Genesis's first few major albums, this track relies heavily on acoustic guitars, not the least of which is the fat sound of the twelve-string. With an amazing vocal melody, the song does not fail to please; the layers of guitars are great, and the harmonies are incredibly enjoyable also.

"Squonk" A strong step toward the 1980s sound where Genesis was heading, "Squonk" does boast a very good melody, even if the instrumentation is largely lacking. The music exists as a vehicle for the narrative lyrics. This was also the audition piece, according to the band, that Collins performed to become the new lead singer for Genesis.

"Mad Man Moon" Although it begins with piano and flute, the song is largely based around Banks's Mellotron and piano. The instrumental middle section is somehow dark and splendid, evocative of the previous album, featuring fast riffs on synthesizer and piano.

"Robbery, Assault, and Battery" Upbeat and amusing, this track hearkens back to the more histrionic approach of Peter Gabriel, with Gabriel singing in different voices to convey the story. It has a heavier sound, again looking-forward to the 1980s sound the band would soon adopt, except for Banks's impressive keyboard soloing over an odd time signature, which is reminiscent of his glorious work during the second part of "The Cinema Show."

"Ripples" The quiet moment of the album (and strangely the longest track on the album), this is largely dependant on the twelve-string acoustic guitar as many classic Genesis songs had been. This is by far the most pleasant song on the album, with delightful lyrics and a lovely melody. During the instrumental section, the volume of Hackett's lead guitar swells in, with Banks responsible for most of the accompaniment. The music build to a final, majestic repeating of the refrain.

"A Trick of the Tail" The title track has a fun melody and enjoyable lyrics. For once, Rutherford stands out a bit more, his bass carrying the main theme. The words describe a devilish-looking creature who left his home to come to Earth, but wound up in a freak show. No one believed his story of homeland. Despite its structural simplicity, Genesis has strangely enough never performed this song live.

"Los Endos" Peaceful electric guitar and synthesizers eventually give way to a charging rhythm and chunky bass. Banks' lead synthesizer tone is the same as that on "Riding the Scree" from the previous album. The piece includes excerpts from three different pieces, namely "It's Yourself" (a B-side to "Ripples"), "Dance on a Volcano," and "Squonk." During the final moments of the song, as it is fading out, Collins sings some of the last lyrics of "Supper's Ready," perhaps as a tribute to their departed vocalist.

Report this review (#202618)
Posted Friday, February 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars After the departure of Peter Gabriel Genesis had to prove they could still cut it without their charismatic frontman. Not only did they prove they could, but A Trick Of The Tail for me is a superior album to their last to feature Gabriel, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. The Lamb, due to Gabriel's insistence to write all the lyrics and plenty of them there were too, left little room for musical manoeuvres thus it lacked the longer tracks with all the excellent instrumental interludes that the band did so well. While A Trick Of The Tail contains 8 roughly equal length (give or take a couple of minutes) tracks it offered far more scope for Genesis to display their musical chops and thus bears more resemblance to the likes of Selling England By The Pound than The Lamb.

It's a beautiful warm sounding album containing some of the bands most sublime moments with Entangled, Mad Man Moon and best of all Ripples which even my wife who hates Prog likes. While these more subdued pieces are all lovely songs the band also find time for their more explosive and dynamic moments. Dance On A Volcano is a fantastic opener, the scene being set by chiming twelve strings before the track explodes into life. Squonk is as near as Genesis had yet got to a straight forward rock song with it's simple John Bonham influenced rhythm from Phil Collins on drums. Robbery, Assault and Battery is a cousin of Harold The Barrel from Nursery Cryme with a short but superb instrumental section. The title track, while being the weakest song on the album is pleasant enough and the album closes with the blistering Los Endos, a stunning instrumental which in parts revisits themes visited earlier on the record. Such is the bands faith in it that it remained in their live set for the rest of their career.

A fantastic album then, despite the fact that guitarist Steve Hackett does not feature as much as he could, no doubt in part down to the fact that he didn't have a lot of ideas to bring to the table, having used them all up on his first solo album, Voyage Of The Acolyte. Nevertheless it remains an essential seventies symphonic prog album that any fan of the genre will surely enjoy.

Report this review (#203414)
Posted Tuesday, February 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Back with a Vengeance, Losing the Rough Edges

The first words we hear from now lead singer Phil Collins on _Trick of the Tail_ is "Holy Mother of God you got to go faster than that.." and already the music is heavier, more crazily syncopated, and better produced than anything Genesis had ever created. The boys were making an emphatic statement that they were just fine without Peter Gabriel, thank you, and in fact were "Gonna start doing it right." Having felt pushed into the background during the exhausting Lamb tour, Genesis had some fire that was ready to explode. The result of course is the song Dance on a Volcano.

Quickly though, we see that this new Genesis is not going to be all fire. Phil Collins' much smoother voice finds its own element in softer material, starting with Entangled, a solid story-song. While one could imagine Gabriel doing the verses, with the grand chorus, a new Genesis sounds emerges. Harmony vocals with big echoes in lockstep, something absent for the most part since Anthony Phillips' departure, now return. This quiet balladry reaches its peak on Ripples, a beautiful song that again seems initially reminiscent but builds to a huge, strummy "Sail Away" refrain.

Squonk, the third song, points to the future of the band, beginning with a plodding 4/4 and shimmery guitars. Very behind the beat, it wouldn't be out of place on pre-Invisible Touch 80's Genesis albums (though we'd have been gleeful if that sound reached this level in those days). Collins sounds like himself, rather than imitating Gabriel, which he does frequently on this album. Despite this, he lacks Gabriel's expressive range, his level of eccentricity, and frankly, his level of literacy. Though the lyrics here are fine, none match the nuance of Gabriel-era Genesis. Collins' sense of melody and a hook are excellent, however, and on the albums namesake track, the English whimsy that had always been a part of Genesis reaches a previously unreached peak.

Despite a mild mid-album lull with Mad Man Moon and Robbery, Assault, and Battery, the overall quality of the songwriting here is quite good and the performances are extraordinary. The ending instrumental, Los Endos, is a part of the Genesis canon for good reason. Finally returning to the fire and energy that they opened with, the band shows us some of their astounding virtuosity in a frenetic finish. The rhythm section races along at breakneck pace before slowing into a dreamy key sequence and finally some reprises of the melodic themes of the album.

All in all, the boys succeeded in shedding their dramatic star in convincing fashion. It is indeed an excellent addition to any prog collection.

Report this review (#208981)
Posted Friday, March 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I do happen to find Wind & Wuthering a masterpiece.And maybe because I came across it before ever hearing A Trick Of the Tail,the latter always sounded to inferior work of art.And let me point out just where does this album is spoiled to my ears:the band's(much particulary Collins')struggle to create music that could match what their gone frontman wrote is so unbelievably apparent and clear to anyone willing to hear,that it takes away a nice shair of the songs' shining brightness.Don't take me wrong:most of the material presented here is excellent music by all means,but there's simply the feeling that they are trying too hard.By the time Wind & Wuthering saw the light of day,Genesis was probably more secure of themselves,what(alongside with Steve Hackett's much larger share of credits and space in the band)contributed to a very singular album.Nevertheless,one simply cannot deny that A Trick Of the Tail(if not so comprimising)contains some of the finest Banks compositions we have knowledge of.

Dance On A Volcano,pointed out by many as a remarkable rescue of the Gabriel era sounding,seems to me exactly the opposite:one of the points in the album where the whole group is more developed and free of the hauting charges the previous singer left over them.It may take a while to aprecciate this song entirely,but once it hits you,it becomes a very impressive opener and overall a great composition.Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins are outstanding in bass and percussion throughout the recording,and this is sensed since the very beggining of the opening number.It's worth pointing out that Phil as the new singer doesn't leaves much to be desired,that meaning that he could not possibly take charge for the apparently unreplaceable gap Peter left in the band.

Entangled may be the most interesting song present on this album,a rare acoustic highlight with a powerfull chorus and verses that complete the beautifull work of Hackett.Squonk follows,an expressively weaker piece that echoes all through the album,enjoyable but somewhat empty of depht...and strangely...boring(sorry everyone),despite the very nice bass/drums leadership.

As for Mad Mad Moon,what a perfectly touching and lovely symphonic prog piece...except for the fact that,here,Peter Gabriel's absence is screaming out loud.So noble is Collins attempt to sound as charismatic as his former bandmate,this piece will unfortunately never escape the shadow of past glories for me.But being perfectly fair(after all I'll not judge the album after my personal impressions),there is absolutely nothing wrong with this fine piece of prog.

Robbery,Assault & Battery,on the other hand...doesn't sound like anything made by Genesis,before or after it.Let me make myself clearer:this is a bad song.Period.Someone is clearly trying to make something in the fashion of Harrold the Barrel or Get'em Out By Friday,but the lyrics/music relation (suposed to be the song's strongest factor)is simply ridiculous,specially at the chorus.Curiously enough,I constantly find myself with it stucked in my head,for this is a catchy tune.The problem is it's absolutley out of place,and as far as musical avaliatons go,this is a cheesy song,one that I'm quite honestly pretty sure would be hated if it was released on albums post Hackett departure.

Ripples brings back some of the new band's idendity,that is,softer and mellower.I do love the lyrics and find the verses particulary touching,although it took me a good while to get used to the somehow pop- reminding chorus(and I'm doing my best not to sound arrogant).

The title track is,along with Entangled,the song that lifts up the album for me.And please focus on this last sentence,this is only my personal opinion,after all this is usually considered a low point.I just LOVE the lyric/verse and melody co-relation,and the chorus express very vividly and subtely the feel of this album.Los Endos closes the recording as an interesting overture,well thought-off and very apropriate.

Some may have noticed,I like A Trick Of the Tail for all the wrong reasons.It is probably my least favourite 'prog-Genesis' album.As far as song writting goes,Genesis were definetly not out of shape,and they delivered another album full of stunningly beautifull compositions.The one star I'm taking away reflects the fact that unlike Wind & Wuthering,Gabriel is deeply missed at points.But the moments when he is not make the is album so much worth listening to.

Report this review (#210865)
Posted Thursday, April 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Genesis: A Trick Of The Tail.

Review by Progkidjoel

Genesis' "A Trick of The Tail" is the first post-Gabriel Era Genesis album, and possibly the best. This album, although only 8 tracks in length, never ceases to amaze, entertain or amuse the listener.

1. Dance On A Volcano (5:53) One of my favourite Genesis tracks ever, this great track opens with a flowing melody and an interesting guitar and drum pattern. Quite a challenging listen for the first few tries, this song is sure to amaze and amuse. Phil Collin's vocals were particularly strong on this track, and led alot of the musical brilliance to be found on the first track of this album.

[4 Stars out of 5]

2. Entangled (6:28) A slow, flowing, harmonic piece which carries on a great lyric with yet again great vocals. Quite remmenisent of "The Musical Box" from Gabriel-era Genesis, this track is one of my favourites of the album. The lyrics to this track are the leading star, and boy, do they shine.

[4.5 Stars out of 5]

3. Squonk (6:27) A squonk: (Not a word for word quote) Is a beast, which when threatened, scared or entrapped can dissolve itself into tears. My favourite track from this album, and one of Genesis' best ever. The drum track to this song is absolutely great, powerful and rhythmic, yet at the same time, incredibly metronomic in a way which lets the vocals flow over the top. The keyboards at the chorus to this song are fantastic, and so is the Lyric. One of my favourite Genesis lyrics ever, "If you don't stand up, you don't stand a chance" is a great explanation of a Squonk.

[5 Stars out of 5]

4. Mad Man Moon (7:35) One of the coolest prog tracks I'd heard up to that point, this flowing, piano-led ballad is fantastic. One of the very first songs I ever learnt on piano, I love this song to bits and will never forget it.

[5 Stars out of 5]

5. Robbery, Assault & Battery (6:15) More of a comedy than a song, this track is as amusing as it is fantastic and reminiscent of Gabriel-Era Genesis. The lyrics convey the story of this track fantastically, and never cease to entertain, even after numerous listens. The instrumentals on this track are also very great, and add to the overall depth of this track.

[4 Stars out of 5]

6. Ripples (8:03) Another semi-space rock track, which is quite similiar to entangled, this is quite an interesting track. It's high vocals and flowing piano melody at the chorus are quite deep, and make this song feel very... Thick? In an emotive way. Deep would be a better word to use. A great track, none the less.

[4 Stars out of 5]

7. A Trick Of The Tail (4:34) One of the best EVER Genesis' tracks, the title track of this album tells the tale of a beast, who left his home in search of adventure, only to be captured and riticuled by humans. This is one of the defining tracks of Collins-era Genesis, and should not be overlooked. Not only one of the most memorable title tracks ever, but this song delivers brilliance in a very "Supper's Ready" way, and does nothing other than entertain and engage both the old and new Genesis fan from beggining to end.

[5 Stars out of 5]

8. Los Endos (5:46) My least favourite track from this album, I didn't see what the point in adding this track was. Its a flowing epilogue to a great album, displaying the dynamics, elements and harmonies from the best tracks on the album, but never the less, I found it incredibly dull in comparison to the rest of this great album.

[3.5 Stars out of 5]

Closing thoughts:

The production value on this album was great, albeit a little bit too treble concentrated. Where the bass is visible, it is great, but it's a shame these moments are too scarce. An easily reccomendable, 5/5 album for any proggy, old or young, Gabriel or Genesis, symphonic or Neo.

Final rating: 5/5 Stars (NOT an average) -Joel G

Report this review (#213120)
Posted Friday, May 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars With apologies to PG fans, this is the best of what Genesis has to offer. There is a slight easing of the lyrical content, but I believe this is good as some of the earlier work (see the Lamb, Supper Ready) is so convoluted that it is almost indecipherable. While still having excellent, interesting and more understandable lyrics, the music has really been kicked into high gear. The first track, Dance on a Volcano, lets everyone know that Genesis is going forward without Gabriel and they are not looking back. Entangled, Ripples and Mad Man Moon are tracks of uncommon beauty. Robbery Assault and Battery is an excellent story song that Genesis has always done well. The songs alternate between hard and soft, climaxing with the excellent Los Endos instrumental.

In short, A Trick of the Tail, the first with Phil Collins on the mike as the frontman and more importantly the first of the Tony Banks era, something that most Genesis fans don't acknowledge. Banks get a writing credit on all of the songs and if there is a slight negative to this album, it's that the balance is a little too keyboard oriented. A little more Steve Hackett and this would have been perfect.

Still a masterpiece. 5 Stars.

Report this review (#216340)
Posted Sunday, May 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars An excellent album full of pastorial melodies, breaks and details.

The end of the Peter Gabriel era was not the end of Genesis. They just regrouped (litterary speaking) and came up with this masterpiece. From the first tone to the last tone; this is excellent stuff. There are some light-weight pop tunes here too. But most of it is pure Genesis and this album is a part of the Genesis legacy we find in so many other prog rock bands these days. Even the vocals are excellent here and I am not a member of Phil Collins fan club. Most of this album is Tony Banks through and through. Steve Hacket is only playing a supporting role on this album. It is a waste of this great talent. But listening to what Tony Banks does here makes you forgive Genesis for that travesty. I love this album as one piece of music. But the closing track Los Endos is just brilliant. The same is the title track. I do not care too much about the light pop material which sneaked in here. But this is still one of Genesis best albums and one the best albums in my record collection.

4.5 stars

Report this review (#227298)
Posted Friday, July 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I was tempted to give this album five stars. Melodically speaking, composition wise, production wise, etc. it certainly in many ways is a 'masterpiece'. However there are a few quirks. Steve Hackett is for one missing entirely. I can't help but think what this album could have been with a little more participation from his side. Also the title track isn't too much to speak of in my opinion. Lyrically it is also a step down from the mastery of Gabriel.

I wasn't born at the time, but I guess when Gabriel left, a lot of people were wondering about what would happen to the band. How would the new album sound? The answer is pretty easy. Add 'Selling England by the Pound' and 'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway', subtract Gabriel from the equation and you've basically got the sound of 'A Trick of the Tail'. Many feel that 'The Lamb' in a way lost the organic and warm sound of 'SEBTP' in favor for a more sterile, technical sound. I'm a fan of the way both sounds - - they reflect the respective albums' concepts and lyrical themes. I think however that 'A Trick of the Tail' sounds even better, instrumentally at least. The vocals are naturally another matter. Basically 'A Trick' has the same instrumental sound as 'The Lamb', but the warmth and dynamics of 'SEBTP' is back. Perhaps this is due to the organ gaining a larger role again. This is perhaps most easily heared in the gripping ending of 'Entangled' or the beautiful middle part of 'Mad Man Moon'.

As for the songs, I like them all. The opener 'Dance on a Volcano' was definitely a statement by the band, in a way distincting themselves from the Gabriel-Genesis sound. For the first time the band really turns up the pace. This track rolls fast! The highlight is definitely Banks synth playing. The whole track really sounds fresh.

The album soon returns to old Genesis territory with 'Entangled' which is a beautiful piece. The ending is fabulous. It's powerful, yet beautiful, much thanks to the mellotron in combination with Hackett's twelve strings guitar. It isn't just the ending that makes this track great however, the whole thing is really beautiful. Hackett's accoustic playing really shines, as well as Collins' vocals. Penned in part by Hackett, I guess it hints at what could have been if Hackett were allowed a bit larger role in the post-Gabriel Genesis.

The next track up is the, at the time, unusual 'Squonk' about this little imaginary creature which can dissolve itself to tears when threatened. The lyrics are well written and Collins delivers pretty well. What is special about this track is its over all style. It features Genesis in a slow rock groove which certainly was unusual for them at the time, but which pointed forward to later pop songs. Don't take this as a warning -- this groove is extremely catchy, and further more it is topped by a absolutely beautiful synth melody by Banks (this one stuck in my head from first listen!) Besides, the chorus is also very strong, with another great melody played on organs. Over all this track works very well and is in fact one of my favorites.

Following up is 'Mad Man Moon', which seems to be a largely overlooked track by many. I don't quite get why. This is probably the album's highlight. Right from its start we're given a beautiful melody on piano by Banks, with Hackett accompanying it with beautiful guitar playing. The chorus is also beautiful with a rather interesting chord progression. The real gem is however the middle section. Probably one of Banks' finest piano moments. After a while accompanied by some great symphonic synth playing. Simply a great track. The lyrics are perhaps a bit strange but whatever. The music is excellent. Even some flute here. Wonder who played that...

'Robbery, Assault and Battery' is a bit overrated in my eyes. The whole robbery concept is ridiculous and this aspect is only strengthened by Collins' flawed attempt at voice acting a la Gabriel. Musically however, this track has a really great instrumental section. Definitely one of Banks' highlights on the album.

'Ripples' is another track which is overrated I think. To be frank I find the chorus a slight bit cheesy. A bit unoriginal perhaps. It's a nice track however, and especially the middle section is moving. Even Hackett comes out to do some soloing stuff a la 'Firth of Fifth'.

The album ends with the title track before it closes off by picking up the speed again and giving us a few a reprises from earlier songs. The title track never appealed much to me. I guess it's a solid single by the band, but for me it isn't especially interesting. One interesting thing however is Hackett's weird atmospheric high pitched playing in the background during the sections featuring the intro melody on bass. The closer 'Los Endos' picks, as mentioned, up the pace. Collins provides some really rhythmic drumming, clearly inspired by his work with jazz fusion band Brand X. His playing is simply outstanding. Rutherford's bass also gets to let some steam out. Banks of course grips the chance to spill out one catchy synth melody after the other. After this chaotic section is followed by the intro of 'Dance on a Volcano', this time with an epic mellotron choir to back it up. Powerful! Then comes a powerful reprise of 'Squonk'. The final few seconds Hackett contributes substantially to the song but it fades out ...

I find 'A Trick of the Tail' to be a really entertaining album. Not very melodramatic, complex, theatric, spanning four LP sides or anything like that. Just a set of really, really strong songs. Some fast and furious, others mellow and beautiful. There's no masterpieces here, just great tracks which fit very well when you just want a casual listen.

Report this review (#229733)
Posted Monday, August 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Phil say what?!?

A Trick of the Tail is what is called by many the start of the Phil Collins era, but by others a continuance of Peter Gabriel's legacy. Genesis have not really changed their sound around the two first Collins albums (Trick of the Tail, WInd & Wuthering), but there are obvious hints of what might happen next. This album still carries the power of previous Gabriel era albums, and Collins' vocals even sound similar, as we've heard before on songs like The Raven (Lamb), For Absent Friends (Nursery), amongst others.

The first sounds of Hackett's guitar in the beginning is sure to ring a bell for the old days, or even the radio from a week ago. The song is one of the Genesis classics that are on this album. This is reminiscent and will most probably put joy in the hearts of the Foxtrot era fans. Phil's takeover has given him strength and now the drums are a much more important part than in previous Genesis albums. *cue obvious mention of synthesizers* Tony Banks provides heavy use of synthesizers on this track and the whole album in general, giving it a proggy yet poppy feel.

Entangled's opening is reminiscent of Nursery Cryme / Lamb Lies Down songs, with its keyboards and Phil Collins vocals. The sound of Hackett's guitar is fantastic on this album, and this one definitely shows it. The guitar sound and overall sound of this song can please fans of songs like Watcher of the Skies, and other songs featuring heavy use of effects on keyboards and guitars. This song is not reminiscent of following songs on this album and Genesis in general, so once you hear it, it's not gonna give you a good overall impression of the album.

Squonk is more of a song for the people who like the pop-80's "Genesis", "" intended. It features an 80's drum sound, 80's feel, and just plain 80's overall. It features Phil Collins' voice for many years to come, with all of his usual effects and sounds. There is a part where Banks brings in his Hammond for an old remniscing of the old days, but that's the only thing I think Gabirle-era fans only can enjoy. This album does not feature Collins' Gabriel imitating voice, unlike other albums, which in my opinion, has its upsides, but also its downsides. The upside is that you can reminisce of how great Genesis was when Gabriel was around and how he built the band's overall sound, but the downside is that Gabriel is not there any more, and you can't hear his voice, and when Collins uses the Gabriel accent for even a second, it reminds you he's not there any more.

Mad Man Moon's opening made me think of Looking for Someone on the Trespass album as soon as the first note rang. The drums come in and I immediately think of Nursery Cryme songs, and think I'm flipping through Genesis albums one by one. The mellotron comes in, and like earlier, I think of Foxtrot's Watcher of the Skies opening, with that beautiful string mellotron sound. This is a great reminiscing track, and as sad as I may be for saying such good things about Collins (no hard feelings, but it's not Genesis without Gabriel), but I think he really brings out the old days of Genesis on this track.

Robbery, Assault and Battery is what I like to call, the "cute" song of the album. It has this childish tune and sound, and the instrumentation is pretty childish, but not in a bad way! It is actually my favorite track from this album. Collins' drumming here is as excellent as he was back in his first Genesis apperance with Nursery Cryme, the popstar has not changed a bit in his drumming after all! The classic guitar line in the chorus is just, well, classic. I do not know if this was a hit or not, but this can be a fun song to dance to, sing to, or play to. This is the instrument show-caser on this album, great stuff!

Ripples starts out as a poppy(ier) song, but it's piano parts are amazing and remind me at some times of classic Genesis tracks, like Supper's Ready. When the whole band enters the song still sounds poppy, but with the obvious "You can hear it's prog!" Genesis sound. Banks is the guy on this track, with great piano work, and keyboards in general. If you like songs that are vocals piano, and can enjoy Collins' vocals, this is the song you should check out before getting this album. There is a reverse guitar solo by Hackett, but it's not as audible as I guess it should have been. The song is repeating itself, and except for the guitar solo, it isn't that diverse.

The title track sounds like a pop version of a song off The Lamb, or a cheap copy of Robbery, Assault & Battery. Harmonies are cheap and have been used many times before on other songs, a lot of them being pop songs. It sounds like one of the 80's Genesis tracks was written and recorded in 1976, somehow, using a very advanced inflatable-time- machine. One of the lamer songs on this album.

The final track is Los Endos, a classic which is played at most Genesis gigs ever since March or April 1976, when the Trick of the Tail tour got on the road. It is a fast paced song, sounding like Camel's debut at many parts, instrumentally and rhythmically. It then goes into a part which is one step closer to the Genesis I, and a "few" other people like. After 3 minutes of the latin rhythm, it sounds like the band is slowing down and Hackett's guitar plays a simple guitar part with a little delay, and a little reverb, and that's all it takes to make it sound beautiful, and that is one of the things I loke about Hackett.

This is the 1000th word of this review, and with that, I mark the end of it. The album is good, and even great at some parts, but the long and sometimes unnecessary make me give it, yes, a 3 out of 5. I'd have expected good words to come out my keyboard, but all the bad things I said started making sense to my ears, and I finally understood, with all the greatness in this album, there's some pretty bad stuff in it. So yep, 3/5.

Report this review (#236296)
Posted Tuesday, September 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
3 stars A Trick of the Tail is the last interesting Genesis album. Not that they wouldn't do any good songs anymore, but here there are still enough of them to satisfy our thirst. But rating it above the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway? with dreary sentimental stuff like Entangled or Mad Man Moon? You must be kidding.

The reason for the many good songs is the genius of Steve Hackett of course. His trademark style is all over this album making it almost as good as his first solo album Voyage of the Acolyte. Almost, we must admit, because there's a few occasion where Collins takes the spotlight and gives us a first idea of the bland soft pop direction he would steer Genesis in. Entangled has a nice closing section but the pop song at the heart of it is a punishment to endure. The same can be said for the lackluster Mad Man Moon and Ripples.

Now, that brings us to the reason why you can't convince me this deserves more then 3 stars. All good tracks here appear in a better version on Seconds Out, so if you get that live album instead, you get all the good tracks from this one plus a good deal of classic Genesis tracks in very pleasing renditions by Phil.

Report this review (#240375)
Posted Sunday, September 20, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Peter Gabriel leave Genesis...what a conmotion!!! No problem! Phil could sing, yes Mr. Collins is a capable singer not as bad as people think. I am surprised that some fans of Genesis only consider the Gabriel albums as masterpieces of the time and underestimate the Collins-Banks era. 'A Trick of the Tail' is another masterpiece, possibly the lyrics of this album do not outweigh the great classics, I remember that here is not that genius named Peter Gabriel, but if you are Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherfoord and especially this underrated guitarist named Steve Hacket you could do without problem another masterpiece in terms of music and emotion. 'Squonk', 'Dance on a Volcano', 'Robbery, Assault and Battery', 'Mad mad Moon' and the beautiful 'Los Endos' are masterpieces of Progressive Rock. Let prejudices anti-Phil Collins back and let you be tempted by this great album.
Report this review (#242740)
Posted Saturday, October 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Delicate Orchestration and Romantic Feel

Moving past the quirky, sometime raw feel of The Lamb, Tony Banks dominates with subtle, tasteful orchestrations and beautiful melodies.

True, Steve Hackett is either absent or restrained in many of the mixes (save "Entangled" in which in part his compositional talents and playing are given ample attention). However, the adroit drumming of Mr. Collins, supple bass and guitar of Mr. Rutherford complement the overall sound. David Hentschel's fresh, clean engineering allows the album to breath whereas prior entries in the Genesis oeuvre (Nursery Cryme in particular) felt suffocatingly layered and muffled.

Please do not confuse the "lighter" aspects of the album with "poppy" as assuredly I think no less of Gounod imbuing his endearing lightheartedness in his symphonies. "Trick of the Tail" is catchy yes, but lyrically poignant and musically sublime in a way quite unlike the disturbing sonorities of say "Fly On A Windshield."

This album, in my opinion, cements Edward Macan's notion of Genesis as the "Mozarts of Prog" with their intricate ensemble interplay and Mr. Banks' 18th-century influenced virtuoso stylings.

Report this review (#243841)
Posted Friday, October 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Bluegirls come in every size, some are wise and some are otherwise.

Trick of the tail is the first one of the two great albums made without the Gabe. It's really a great album, even though Gabe isn't on it. It starts with the nice jam of "Dance on a volcano" and goes then to the nostalgic "Entangled". The old Genesis sound is still fresh, and these two tracks take you back to the times of Selling england by the pound and maybe Foxtrot. The funny thing with Collins voice is that he sounds almost exactly like Gabe on this one(and W&W), except without that rasp that Gabe sometimes puts in his harder vocal parts.

There's real gems on this albums too, "Mad Man Moon" and "Ripples" are outstanding, and then there is the ending instrumental "Los Endos" which is also magnificient. The problem with the album is of course rest of the tracks. "Squonk" is a bit too loose, "Robbery & Assault" is just boring and "Trick of the Tail" fails to deliver even though it isn't as bad as the two i described.

This album actually shows that Genesis is more than just Gabe, even though Gabe was a BIG part of the best Genesis. Tony Banks deserves a big credit for this album, as the keyboard solos are mostly amazing. Credit goes also to the rest of the band for keeping the standards high, so that Genesis could remain as the best prog and rock band of all time. 4 Stars.

Report this review (#250084)
Posted Thursday, November 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I came into this album a bit begrudgingly, being a great Peter Gabriel fan and sincerely loving both Selling England By The Pound and Foxtrot. I had given Wind & Wuthering a spin and I didn't like how the progressiveness seemed to have been tuned down in favor for a more radio friendly sound. But as I gave A Trick of the Tail some time and enough listens I realized I had been in the wrong for doubting both the voice of Collins and Genesis's ability to carry on without their previous front man.

It might be worth mentioning here that I was in no way raised with Genesis and it wasn't until a few years ago that a friend recommended them to me.

The album is truly a Genesis album, the symphonic and bombastic feel of the older records shines through from the first notes with "Dance on a Volcano" and the fact that they open the album in 7/4 just made me all the more delighted; progressiveness was to be had!

Going through the songs one by one is pointless, I think records should be enjoyed as wholes and nothing else. What I especially like so much about this album is how each track really stands out from the others, yet does so in such a fashion that it never feels disconnected.

I had a pretty interesting experience when a friend visited a while ago. He was playing some video game and I was by the computer listening to the album. He is the kind of guy who listens to hardcore and electronic music of all sorts, not the type of guy who'd lurk around on this site. He looked up from the TV and asked me what band it was, saying he loved the song that was playing(Entangled). I think this just goes to show how Genesis stretch over musical borders, bringing a lot of great things together for everyone to enjoy, no matter what musical background.

Edit: Sometimes I am too stingy with reviews and want to avoid giving too many 5-star reviews. I wanted to be as "objective" as I possible, but coming back to this record time and time again only to love it more makes me realise that 'A Trick of the Tail' is a masterpiece and so deserving of a 5 star rating I ought to slap my own face. That is all.

A masterpiece. 5/5

Report this review (#251867)
Posted Friday, November 20, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars "A Trick of the Tail" was the one of the first prog rock albums I came across (thanks to a friend) and to this day, I enjoy it very much. Every time I listen to it, it still brings that feeling of wonder and amazement, taking me to those first days when I began discovering this wonderful world of progressive rock. I look at "A Trick of the Tail" as a stepping stone towards expanding my tastes as a listener, an important album that made me aware of what music could be, full of risks, adventure, and a little bit of magic added in.

After the departure of Peter Gabriel, things looked uncertain for the remaining four members but with this album, they were able to prove that they could carry on, and quite well, without their esteemed ex-front man in the picture. "A Trick of the Tail", with its beautiful intricacies and atmospheres, is evidence enough that a new era of Genesis had begun. But does it necessarily match up to the glorious albums made by the classic 5 lineup? Let's have a look, shall we?

"Dance on a Volcano" sets the mood for the album right away. Collins' crazy drum parts and Banks' keyboards really shine in this track, making for a solid first track. "Entangled" is one of the softer songs and also the most eerie. However, its thoughtful lyrics and music provide a pleasant feeling. "Squonk" is one of my favorite tracks from the album and also one of the "heaviest" Genesis ever did. Collins' voice performs excellent here. "Mad Man Moon" is one of the more somber tracks, but very beautiful overall. The band as a whole is top notch in this track. And now, to side 2.

The second side is slightly weaker than the first, in my opinion, but not so weak as to bring the entire album down. "Robbery, Assault, and Battery" is one of the weaker tracks, but showcases Collins' drumming skills at their best. A funny video was made for this song. "Ripples" starts off very well, with Hackett's acoustic 12-string leading the way, but dwindles slightly towards the middle. Still quite a good track. "A Trick of the Tail" is the "poppiest" of the songs but also one of the best. The song has one hooked from the beginning with its catchy riff. "Los Endos" is the instrumental that ends the album, and in such a high fashion. Exceptional bass work from Rutherford, especially. The song also features Gabriel's voice near the end, as an nod, I presume. And thus so, the album comes to an end.

"A Trick of the Tail" will always remain one of my dearest albums, seeing as how it was one of my first prog records. Although it may not be a masterpiece, it is definitely worth attaining if you have not done so. An excellent addition? You betcha.

1. "Dance on a Volcano" - 8.5/10

2. "Entangled" - 8.5/10

3. "Squonk" - 9/10

4. "Mad Man Moon" - 9/10

5. "Robbery, Assault, and Battery" - 8/10

6. "Ripples" - 8/10

7. "A Trick of the Tail" - 9/10

8. "Los Endos" - 9/10

69/8 = 86.25% = 4 stars!

Report this review (#251984)
Posted Saturday, November 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars This, the first Genesis album without long time front man Peter Gabriel, shows promise, but also shows a few signs of the morass the band will fall into just a few albums later.

Banks and Hackett seem particularly charged on the bookend pieces of the album, Dance On A Volcano and Los Endos. Their performance exceeds most of their previous output. This song is forceful and strong, with unexpectedly powerful solos from both guitar and keyboards.

Unfortunately, between the bookends are much lesser songs. Squonk is lumbering prog that never overcomes it's slow pace. Mad Man Moon, Robbery, Assault & Battery and Ripples are all plain MOR, with proggy breaks that save them from total worthlessness. Entangled and A Trick Of The Tail are light prog, nothing more.

At least this album has some value.

Report this review (#256037)
Posted Monday, December 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Genesis - A Trick of the Tail (1976)

This is one of the early Genesis albums that's very hard to rate. It has some moments of brilliance, but it also has weaker parts. Furthermore the recording is done quite bad. The strange out of space sound of tracks like Dance on a Vulcano and Squonk is just horrible. Why this thick, sticky recording? Why not record all instruments in a way it doesn't sound like one big blur? Is this modern? It does give the record an early pre-neoprog sound.

Two songs are standouts on this album. Dance of a Vulcano is a very progressive track with a great main theme in 5/8. Throughout the track new melodies make this a very enjoyable song. Follow-up Entangled is one of my favourite Genesis tracks. The great gentle acoustic guitar parts in the beginning with the warm vocals of Phil Collings are truly emotional and effect my mood. The symphonic solo parts are uncomplicated but very effective. This is a great progressive ballad!

From this point the quality begins to decline. Squonk has both good parts and bad parts but mainly suffers from 'modern' recording technologies and far-far-far-away lyrics from Phil Collins. Mad Man Moon is a bit better with a Kayak-like piano part in the middle of the song, but this song also introduces the mellow Genesis ballad style that would begin to bore on Wind and Wuthering.

Robbery Assault and Battery isn't my cup of thee. I don't like the structure and the vocals on this song. The compositions has some potential though. Ripples isn't very memorable as is the title track that has just a nice main theme. The instrumental ending (Los Endos) is as good as the first two tracks and has a very progressive sound. Most of the melodies and sounds are taken from other songs of the album.

Conclusion. An album with highlights and songs that leave me indifferent. The recording could have been much better and more human. This would have saved it from losing a star and going to three stars. Some tracks are quite essential progressive listening, others are not so important. Still this is must-have for fans of the band, excellent for fans of the genre and interesting for those interested in the neo-progressive genre. Three stars.

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Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars GENESIS under Peter Gabriel's tutelage was a tough nut to crack. Brilliantly powerful at times and overly fanciful and obtuse at others, some of my favourites and duds came out of that era. In contrast, the two transitional albums before STEVE HACKETT left were warmer, more accessible, and more melodic while generally lacking in the genius of earlier works. It has been pointed out that "Trick of the Tail" and "Wind and Wuthering" might have been, in the final analysis, more influential to the modern prog movement than "The Lamb", and indeed more of a midwife in the birth of the neo prog movement. Of the two albums, this first is the stronger, due to the greater involvement of Hackett, the more inventive arrangements, and greater vitality.

Phil Collins perches atop the vocalist stool surprisingly easily, and shines on the three best tracks - "Entangled", "Squonk" and "Ripples". The first is Hackett all the way, a simple almost CSN rivalling folk tune that ultimately scores via one of the most gorgeous mellotron choir passages ever conceived. "Squonk" is a precursor to Mike Rutherford's later work, at turns ripping and reflective, managing to garner sympathy for the poor and clearly unappealing rat-like critter. "Ripples" is another Hackett gem that extrapolates to his late 1970s solo work. Apart from the sparkling chorus, the instrumental section merges several melodies and might eclipse "Firth of Fifth" as a hair raising experience.

Other good tunes include "Mad Man Moon", the fanciful title cut that smells like a wood nymph tail, and the monster closing instrumental "Los Endos". Even if "Robber Assault and Battery" sounds too much like what the group would later become, and "Dance on a Volcano" is as welcome as a skin eruption, tails wins heads down.

Report this review (#258562)
Posted Wednesday, December 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Beginning of the End

The first irony is that the loss of Gabriel assured the band were a shadow of their former self, even as their commercial viability would eventually reach the stratosphere. The second is that the band were becoming sonically more pleasing as they had less to say, they were becoming better musicians as they lost the quality in songwriting that gave the instrumental work purpose. How much of this was the result of Gabriel being the soul of the band will never be known and doesn't really matter. Sure, the decline could have continued even had he not left. His departure only meant it would be a certainty sooner than later. The band survived the loss of one of its emotional anchors in Ant Phillips. It would not survive losing the balance from the purist Genesis perspective. Commercial achievement is another thing altogether and something I don't care about. But at the very core issue of substance and gravitas, Trick of the Tail lacks what Selling England and its predecessors had in spades. Gone is the magic of getting lost in their world and its subtle dark overtones, replaced by plastic and a nice hum for your day.

Trick of the Tail is wall to wall flowery prose without that indescribable Genesis spirit of the Trespass-Selling England years. With Collins ascension the songwriting would receive a boost in the separate areas of fusion and pop sensibilities. They would try out these interesting fusion inspired ideas to only limited success. Even at this stage you can clearly hear the beginnings of the mastery they would find in the embrace of mainstream, catchy directions. This is the beginning of the Genesis pop period even if it is still largely hidden within the prog cloak. "Robbery" and "Ripples" would lead to "Your own special way" which leads to "Follow you follow me," and we all know where it ended up. Of course there is still plenty of entertainment here for the wider Genesis fan and I'm not saying it's a total disaster. Just that we have moved into a lukewarm 3 star territory and that's being generous. As a vocalist Collins lacks the passion and depth of Peter Gabriel. As a songwriter he proved not a capable replacement either which is one reason Trick is the beginning of the end of progressive Genesis. Some claim it the first neo-prog album. I'm not sure about that, but I am sure it's a shadow of the band I really love.

Report this review (#259142)
Posted Sunday, January 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars You better start doing it alright. Indeed, they just started, however, without Gabriel (who knows after all, whose fault it was, all we know is what they told us). So this is album of great expectations, both positive and negative ones, everyone wanted to know, how it will sound like without him. For prog's sake, Collins sounds exactly like Gabriel, I didn't notice any change here, which is of course sinister. Dance on a Volcano is great "first after" song, one of these A-class ones. Almost romantic melodies, that's my impression about most of songs here. Problem with writing reviews on this Genesis period is that most of elements in their music are the same. Still new and original, finding new way how to do these sounds, but you simply can recognize that it's Gen. At least till "Wind"

4(+), end is pleasant (reprise) type of song. Like a knight, who stops traveling, turns around and overlooks his album and say: "We have done it, it's good and we can get away with it."

Report this review (#260047)
Posted Saturday, January 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars As everyone knows : this is the first outing without the legend P. Gabriel. And I suspect that some fans automatically class this one under the 5-star-mark, because of that alone... Well, it is their right, but... Some of the hundreds of posts here go for the perfect score anyway ! Is it worth ? My strong answer is YES !

This CD is perfectly symphonic prog, one of the very best ever, with all the characteristics. In my view, it is equalling SEBTP, Foxtrot and Nursery Cryme, as the best from Genesis, in the prog-world (Inv. Touch would be the counterpart in the pop-world ... ).

'Dance on a Volcano' and 'Robbery, assault & battery' are much complex tracks, with a music so difficult to reproduce by any group, lots of tempo variations, power and fun. 'Squonk' and 'Los Endos' also generate lots of power and energy (by the way, it is amplified in the new remix version !!). The title track is very entertaining, funny, still proggy, very well constructed and original. So, everyone is, up to now, excellent. But, my favorites ones are the other three... 'Entangled' is soft, but very melodic; the guitar and keyboard plays are amazing, very artistic and going increasing in emotions. Superb. 'Mad man moon' is one of the best single track by Genesis, ever ! Complex musical scheme, present at the start and the end, fragmented by a gorgeous 7/8 episode, more energic and... a reference. Also most superb. 'Ripples' has a more pop segment (the refrain), but the center diversion is another typical complex and musically perfect example. Quite soft, but with the fantastic center solo and impro. Again, mostly superb.

We all know what routes were coming on Genesis... It is bad that could not attain this super-prog quality in some subsequent CD's (let's say : from Duke and on...).

A very solid 5, even if Gabriel was not on it.

Report this review (#276931)
Posted Thursday, April 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars This was the time period that I started listening to Genesis. Fortunately for me, I bought their older music first. That is why I got this one also. I did enjoy it, but I was sorry they didn't have that extra kick that Gabriel gave to the songs. Anyway, the fire still seemed to be there and I wanted to keep listening to them.

"Dance on a Volcano" is cool as far as the as the beat goes. They definitely have some good music to listen to.

I happened to catch the video of "Robbery, Assault, and Battery" and it was pretty cool seeing a band like Genesis perform their budding hit on the little screen. This is a good tune and I still sing it a lot.

I happened to hear Annie Haslem sing "Ripples" and I realized how beautiful the tune really is. I think I like her version better, but it is a class tune no matter who does it.

The last standout is "Los Endos" which restates some of the rest of the album's themes. It is Hackett dominated, which I loved to no end.

This album is somewhat proggy, but not like their earlier stuff. They stay too long on some things, but the fan and the novice will find more than a few enjoyable ideas within the confines of this release. I will give it 3 stars, because I think it is good, but it is definitely non essential.

Report this review (#278305)
Posted Saturday, April 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars While it doesn't include the "classic" Genesis lineup with Peter Gabriel, I have always thought this was their best release. (Nursery Cryme a close second). Steve Hackett shines forth on this release like on no other. Not a single song on this album is less than perfect to me. It contains great melodies- "Entangled", "Ripples" being the standouts. The opener and "Squonk" are great! In fact, "Squonk" is my all-time favorite Genesis track. Great lyrics and a strong beat keep this always interesting. "Trick of the Tale" is just a plain cool song with a great story and a foot-tapping beat. The only "maybe" soft spot on this is "Robbery Assault and Battery" which goes on a little long and seems like it is trying to be "Harold the Barrel" or "The Battle of Epping Forest". But, it is not bad, just not as "perfect" as the rest. 5 stars with no hesitation. By far the best Phil-era Genesis.
Report this review (#280848)
Posted Friday, May 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
5 stars The genie had escaped from the bottle and Genesis were free again

Perhaps the overly creative Peter Gabriel was actually stifling the creativity of Genesis by overpowering them with his own creative juices. After Peter Gabriel left, many feel that the magic was extracted from the band, in a sense the cork had been popped and the genie had escaped from the bottle. Gabriel went on to do other great things and left the band dangling by a thread with the reluctant Phil Collins to take up where Gabriel left off. "We came close to calling it a day when Pete left," Rutherford mentioned in an interview, "It wasn't that we lost our nerve. We were always confident we could write the music, because Tony and I had done most of 'The Lamb.' It was just a question of whether the public would accept us." There was a lot of misconception that the band could not continue sans Gabriel. After the enormously popular "The Lamb Lies Down In Broadway" the band had to come up with something extraordinary as there was such an expectation with this new lineup. Could Genesis pull it off without the enigmatic Gabriel? The answer is a bonafide yes. This is perhaps one of the best Post Gabriel Genesis albums of all time. The musicianship is absolutely brilliant when you have the likes of Hackett guitar extraordinaire with, Banks, masterful on keyboards and mellotron, Rutherford, bass rhythm professional, and of course, percussionist Collins on lead vocals.

It begins with the progalicious off kilter rhythms of Dance on a Volcano with Banks, Rutherford, Hackett and Collins in full flight, a force to be reckoned with. The intricate time signatures are astonishing, a mixture of jazz fusion and complex melodies. I love the way the drums are off beat, not quite in time with the signature, but the off kilter metrical pattern is consistently off the beat and it works so well. The lyrics are quite amusing nonsense, and the time sig is chaotic in a passage of proggy delight, "On your left and on your right, Crosses are green and crosses are blue, Your friends didn't make it through. Out of the night and out of the dark, Into the fire and into the fight, Well that's the way the heroes go, Ho! Ho! Ho!" There is a chilling self prophecy towards the end with the estranged vocals "Let the dance begin", and we all know the "We Can't Dance" album and how that shaped their music for the worst, becoming commercial and radio friendly. In any case this opening track is brilliant Genesis and a killer to present the new Genesis. Hackett's guitar riffs are infectious and unforgettable on this track. This is the best track on the album, a tour de force of proggy rhythms and virtuoso musicianship.

Entangled has an excellent Hackett 12 string intro and the soft vocals of Collins accompanying. The track is essentially a folk ballad, the type that would grace every Genesis album from here on with Collins at the helm. The lyrics are all about a patient who dreams disturbing things, there is no slipperman or fox here, just a simple melodic balladic form, "Madrigal music is playing, Voices can faintly be heard, "Please leave this patient undisturbed." Sentenced to drift far away now, Nothing is quite what it seems, Sometimes entangled in your own dreams." . The harmonies are quite nice, and even pastoral at times, especially some of those swells on the keyboards that add an ethereal quality. The end synth break is a highlight, showcasing Banks inimitable flair.

Squonk has a solid steady rhythm with very familiar lyrical style, the nursery rhyme or is that cryme style, "All the King's horses and all the King's men, Could never put a smile on that face." The lyrics are very fairy tale in style, "He's a sly one, he's a shy one, Wouldn't you be too. Scared to be left all on his own. Hasn't a, hasn't a friend to play with, the Ugly Duckling, The pressure on, the bubble will burst before our eyes." The story is all about the furry little squonk and it makes references to all sort of chidren's literature such as 'Snow White'; "Mirror mirror on the wall, His heart was broken long before he ever came to you..." So Genesis were still maintaining the thematic content of past albums that was centred on fairy tales and nonsense rhymes which is nice to see. The lyrics that refers to the 'Trick of the tail' is here too, "Now listen here, listen to me, don't you run away now, I am a friend, I'd really like to play with you. Making noises my little furry friend would make, I'll trick him, then I'll kick him into my sack. You better watch out... You better watch out." A great song that is quite popular among Genesis freaks.

Mad Man Moon begins with a dreamy flute sound and very soft piano. Collins gently sings in a melancholy way while the mellotron plays underneath, "Was it summer when the river ran dry, Or was it just another dam. When the evil of a snowflake in June, Could still be a source of relief. O how I love you, I once cried long ago, But I was the one who decided to go. To search beyond the final crest, Though I'd heard it said just birds could dwell so high." This is a very pastoral song which changes feel at 2:45 with a piano interlude, played to perfection by Banks. This is a quiet sleeper track.

Robbery, Assault and Battery has some of the more character driven lyrics we have become used to from Gabriel, but this time Collins plays the very English characters, "Slipping between them he ought to have seen then, The eyes and their owner so near. With torch shining bright he strode on in the night, Till he came to the room with the safe." Collins uses a tough cockney accent on the next sections, "Hello son, I hope you're having fun." "You've got it wrong Sir, I'm only the cleaner." With that he fired, the other saying as he died, "You've done me wrong," it's the same old song forever." The chorus is memorable, melodic and easy to sing along to in a live performance, "Robbery, assault and battery, The felon and his felony..." There are some compelling time sig changes and Banks is allowed to shine with his scintillating keyboard lead breaks. The section at 3:20 is great sounding like the type of style on "Foxtrot". The cathedral grinding pipe organ sound at 4:30 is majestic and powerful. The verses return, the storyteller vocals sing, "I've got clean away but I'll be back some day, Just the combination will have changed. Some day they'll catch me, to a chain they'll attach me, Until that day I'll ride the old crime wave. If they try to hold me for trial, I'll stay out of jail by paying my bail, And after I'll go to the court of appeal saying, "You've done me wrong," it's the same old song forever." This line repeats until the song ends. I like the style of this old school Genesis track.

The last three tracks are featured many times in live performances as a trilogy and indeed on compilations. I had heard them many times but on this album they made a perfect ending to the album. Ripples begins immediately with trademark 12 string Hackett brilliance. The melody is very strong and memorable, one of the best of Collins quieter moments with the band. There is an uplifting chorus that soars, "Sail away, away, Ripples never come back. They've gone to the other side. Look into the pool, Ripples never come back, Dive to the bottom and go to the top, To see where they have gone. Oh, they've gone to the other side..." I like the instrumental break with violin style guitar and very well executed piano flourishes and an extended passage of synth. A fan favourite and performed live it is a gem.

A Trick of the Tail is a bit of a transition between two treasures. The lyrics are a real feature telling the bizarre tale of a beast. "And wept as they led him away to a cage, Beast that can talk, read the sign. The creatures they pushed and they prodded his frame, And questioned his story again. But soon they grew bored of their prey, Beast that can talk? More like a freak or publicity stunt..." The melody is whimsical matching the Beowulf style lyrics. I always liked this as it is so different than anything else on the album, and a lot of fun, not taking itself seriously. I can understand why many feel this to e a low point on the album but it resonates with me, especially the infectious chorus, "They've got no horns and they've got no tail, They don't even know of our existence. Am I wrong to believe in a city of gold, That lies in the deep distance, he cried and wept." The quest for the beast is humorous but it is intriguing, and streets ahead of any of those love ballads that were soon to permeate the genesis catalogue in the dreadful 80s.

Los Endos is a true classic that has ended many Genesis concerts, full of incredible instrumentation and shades of light and dark textures. The drums, the tom toms are frenetic and driving, the guitar is riffing eloquent, and the bass is a key rhythm powerhouse. It settles into the familiar 6 chord keyboard pads that all Genesis fans know. Banks is absolutely stunning on this instrumental. At 4 minutes in there is a choral section and gradually building keyboard motif, until there is a type of reprise of album tracks, you can determine the various melodies. Collins even subliminally has a few lines of singing, "There's an angel standing in the sun, Free to get back home." . Then it fades into the distance. This was the perfect way to end an excellent album, with the band demonstrating their uncompromising musical genius.

Overall, "A Trick of the Tail" is a wonderful beginning to the new lineup without Gabriel, proving the band can do incredible things even without their frontman, flutist. The songs will grow on you after a while and some have become part of Genesis folklore now, especially the last three tracks and the opening track. This progressive excellence was not to last unfortunately. There were three more solid albums with prog elements until 1981 when the band sold out to mainstream commercial radio snapping their prog apron strings once and for all and effectively destroying the trademark sound to become marketable to a mainstream target audience; adoring females. The music on this album is well accomplished and many guitarists love to emulate the work of Hackett on this and keyboardists can revel in the talents of Banks. This is a very pleasurable album with much to recommend it; one of the best from 1976. I was not going to go as far as to call it a masterpiece on first listen, but it really grew on me and I get the chills when I hear some of that work from Hackett, and Collins is at his best here, therefore it is perhaps the best work Genesis did sans Gabriel, and that is worthy of 5 stars without question.

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Posted Monday, May 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars The "Trick of a tail" album by Genesis is a very good recording. Unlike a lot of Genesis albums from the 70's, the production is very strong from beginning to end. Phil Collins is lead vocalist now, taking over from Peter Gabriel. I think Gabriel probably had to go, he'd gone as far as he could with the band. I don't know how you follow up "The Lamb lies down on broadway". With Gabriel out of the picture, there seems to have been a fight for the leadership, and Banks seems to have won. Anthony Banks gets songwriting credit on all of these song, but, say, Steve Hackett, he only gets credit on three songs, one of them the reprise. That said, "Tail" still follows fairly closely in the footsteps of 'Peter Gabriel', though goes back to the more English, eccentric, elegiac sound of albums like "Nursery Crymes" and "Sellling England by the Pound".

Without having to take orders from Gabriel, these mega-talented instrumentalists were 'freed' to do what ever they want. The instrumental parts on this album are just amazing, they are so amazing. The boys were at the top of their game here. The songs are catchy and have memorable choruses. They are typically off-kilter and have typically eccentric stories about various subjects from dancing on volcanoes and violent, thieving felons to little creatures who cry themselves into extinction.

As for the songs, "Dance on a volcano" is an accomplised, if ominous opener. Some good guitar textures here, I think Hackett has a strong influence on this song, but the writing credits go to the entire band. The second song "Entangled" is a gentle, acoustic song, and I think it's mostly Hackett's work. Again, very catchy chorus and a wonderful guitar solo at the end, very ethereal.. After this song, Hackett prettymuch disappears.

"Squonk" is kind of medieval funk-rock. Very catchy, and even though this is the only song where the vocals get obscured, it is still one of my favourites on the album. There are a pair of Banks Ballads "Ripples" and "Mad Man Moon", which have melodic perfection and ever- so-inspiring instrumental interludes. The rocker "Robbery, Assault and Battery", which featured Phil Collins giving us his wonderful cockney accent, also has some very interesting instrumental sections. The last two tracks, "Los Endos" and the title track area bit of a let- down, hence the four star rating. The title track is an Elton John-ish piece of piano pop that is probably only on here because it's a song glorifying the Devil. "Los Endos" is a reprise. Not a bad song but a lot of it feels like it is reliving a lot of the earlier music. This album is also out-done in terms of ambition, by other Genesis albums, but still most of the music on here is just amazing.

A lesser-classic from the seventies that is sure to please with it's amazing instrumental vision, originality and catchy songs.

Report this review (#282723)
Posted Thursday, May 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Trick is one of those albums that you could take a lot of perspectives toward. First, you could be thrilled that Genesis were continuing and just happy to have more. Conversely, you could forever be longing for the Gabriel days and just not terribly interested in whatever came next. Or, you could have been hoping that without Gabriel, the players would be able to really cut things loose and focus primarily on extraordinary instrumental work, as could be found in Selling England and Foxtrot.

I suppose I fall somewhere toward the latter option, as I certainly believe the Gabe's contributions were far from perfect, but I also enjoyed a good deal of the creative songwriting and instrumentation that were hallmarks of early Genesis.

Instead, in Trick of the Tail, we have the slow trend toward pop, with plenty of prog mixed in. I'd agree that some prog is better than no prog, but in my opinion, the prog content in Trick is much lessened than in their previous albums. The good news is that this still puts this album ahead of many other prog albums!

Highlights: Dance on a Volcano, Robbery, Assault and Battery, and Los Endos. Here, the prog is solid but not great, or consistent for that matter. There is plenty of experimentation in rhythm, such as the 13/8 flight of fancy in Robbery. In some ways, Los Endos eliminates the need for some of the other tracks, such as Squonk, because I would have preferred them to just rock out a bit longer on the closer than plod along for 6 minutes of Squonk.

The rest? It's all solid, but I find some of it somewhat dull (Entangled, Moon, Ripples), even with the nice 12-strings and spacey keys throughout.

So, A Trick of the Tail is good prog, and is also a good prog album (including a major plus for the album cover and sleeve), but is never great to my ears. I come back to it only rarely.

Report this review (#285126)
Posted Saturday, June 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Peter Gabriel was gone, and Genesis demonstrated that Peter wasn't the main songwriter. Even more, with the time we could release that Banks and Rutherford were always the driving force of the band, mostly Banks. So A Trick of the Tail make us not miss Gabriel. In my opinion A Trick? is into the Progressive Top 4 of the band.

Dance in a Volcano: A classical Genesis album beginner. A strong song with a dramatic atmosphere, and a full progressive ending with Banks shining in a classic keyboard solo.

Entangled: A shared effort between Banks and Hackett. Steve provided the verse and Tony the chorus. The fantastic acoustic guitar pattern is pure Hackett quality, and the closing mellotron solo by Banks is superb.

Squonk: A solid track composed by Banks and Rutherford, and sung in a perfect way by Collins. The song rest over a hard bass drum line, over which Ruhterford puts a great guitar riffs complemented by great keyboards melodies.

Mad man moon: Well, that track is into the top ten Genesis ever, unless for me. A Banks masterpiece, in which Collins seems to be the perfect singer, and maybe the only one who could sing this song by this way. A progressive number by every sides. Developed over a complex piano base, with touches of mellotron, the song shines by its melody line which gets into a fantastic chorus, very emotional. Then an instrumental interlude full of piano and keyboards, a Banks trademark.

Robbery, assault and battery: Maybe in an inferior level than the rest. This track, composed by Banks and Collins, gets into a new dimension when the band performs it live, registered in the Seconds out album. The keyboard solo is progressive rock at its best.

Ripples: Another highlight composed by the Genesis masters Banks and Rutherford. Beginning into an acoustic mode the song gets into a great chorus until it flows into an anthological instrumental piece in which the organ and the electric guitar construct a magic passage.

A trick of the tail: The other Banks one. Here we have not instrumentals, but the fantasy lyrics are well fit with the music developing a great atmosphere. Maybe not so prog as the others but I love this track.

Los Endos: The album closes with this Genesis iconic instrumental, composed by the band as a group. Collins suggested to make a track using different parts of other songs of the album. The piece is very original and powerful. The last part is great, in which some suspense precedes the appearance of "Los Endos" in a superb and full orchestra reprise of the Squonk melody. Over the music we can hear a distant Collins singing "there's an angel standing in the sun?" Some said that this was the last farewell to their old mate Peter Gabriel.

Report this review (#289159)
Posted Sunday, July 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album to me was a bit random at first, but with more listens i really got into its beauty and depth, the beauty of songs such as ENTANGLED, MAD MAN MOON and RIPPLES the rocking parts in opener DANCE ON A VOLCANO, SQUONK and ROBBERY, ASSAULT & BATTERY. To be honest i cant see much difference between Collins and Gabriel's voices so it didnt make much difference (it only really started to change on the next album) this is still a very good album, not their best but miles off their wors, there was not too many things i didnt like about this album its a very enjoyable album the songs just arint as strong as a few of their other albums;

Dance On A Volcano - 9/10 Entangled - 9/10 Squonk - 8/10 Mad Man Moon - 9/10 Robbery, Assault & Battery - 8/10 Ripples - 10/10 A Trick Of The Tail - 8/10 Los Endos - 8/10

MY CONCLUSION? this album is wel worth checking out a great introduction to the Collins era, just be prepared for not all their albums to sound like this..

Report this review (#289798)
Posted Friday, July 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars It really is a damn fine Yes album, I kid you not.

Genesis - A Trick of the Tail (1976)

Best song: ENTANGLED

Overall Rating: 10?

Hahahahaha! You tricked me! If it weren't for Phil's absolutely worthless vocals, which honestly make Jon's space flatulence look adequate, I could have easily construed this as a mediocre Yes album, kind of like Relayer or something. Where are the melodies? Where are the melodies? You know what, I'm tired of looking for them. This album is impenetrable, and I don't mean that from a melodic point, either. Something like this is ample proof of how essential a man like Peter Gabriel was to the band's force. The Lamb might have been rough for a single sitting, and it might have been utterly incoherent, both conceptually and musically, but at least it was never outright boring.

Where are the melodies? Screw that, where's the energy? Each song seems like a generic, pale imitation of Gabriel-era Genesis. Who is the culprit behind the sickening hollowness? I bet it was that asshole, Banks. He always had it out for the sincerity of the group, and his cheese synths were always at the forefront of their musical misery. But, Senior Collins doesn't exactly help. He transforms the mediocre astral ballad, Entangled into a mushy little adult contemporary tune. No, that's exaggerating it a bit. It's really a gentle song, and maybe even the best moment on here, but it's not a drop in the bucket of what More Fool Me was.

When Hackett gets to play, things are fine and dandy, because the instrumental passages, sans keyboards, are the album's saving graces. The haunting touches to the end of Entangled really do wash over me, and show that this wasn't a band to go down without a fight. It only took Banks two years to strangle the life out of progressive genesis, though. That arrogant fool! As if anyone listened to genesis for his proto-80's goo fusion. I sure as hell didn't. By the way, just discard all those ranting Yes comparisons in the opening paragraph, because it just isn't fair. See, genesis at their worst could still write more emotionally intriguing music than Yes could have written while fasting in a damned peace corps rally on a breast cancer awareness march into impoverished new guinea ghetto villages. Squonk actually showed to me that Phil Collins had potential as a competent singer, 'cause some of those vocal melodies take me places, ya know? That is until they decided to rip out the song's soul in favor of the generic late 70's prog rock mush of vapid jamming that doesn't go anywhere. The song is ONLY worth hearing because of those mildly sweet vocal melodies that pop up occasionally.

It's still much less memorable than Genesis are known for, and the overall focus of the band is no longer on creating a world of their own, it's on just writing neat songs. No, neat isn't synonymous for amazing, it's synonymous for acceptable, but hardly enthralling. Selling England was a damned trip into another world. The Lamb was a wrecked vision of our own world, but Trick is nothing more than a collection of unrelated prog rock tunes that sometimes evolve into jaw dropping compositions, but mostly tend to be content with simply rocking along on this finite little line, drawn by basic repetitive melodies, with hooks that are just silly and childish compared to what I know they were capable of, with or without Peter Gabriel.

The song placement is silly, with pseudo trippy ballads smashed together in what I can easily view as an adult contemporarification of the band's heart. Oh, and they've got more directionless keyboard passages than you can shake a Wakeman at. It's as if the fellows are too afraid to be subtle or jarring, with their metaphorical head chopped off. But, I still don't despise 'em. They're all trying, and at least the band isn't drowning in ....self parody! Naw, that wouldn't be until next time, friends. Have I told you all lately that Phil Collins is a wet paper bag compared to Peter Gabriel, and his voice does nothing for me when he's singing anything even remotely "rocking"? I didn't? Well, take a listen to Robbery, Assault, and Battery, to see why. Golly, you'd think they could have mustered more than that two tone keyboard riff atop those stiff drums. Did Banks really expect a song to be carried by Philly-boy's harping? Lord have mercy! Oh, it's also another excuse to show off how completely decent he was as a keyboard player. Tony Banks, that is. I wouldn't let Phil Collins near a keyboard to save my life. No Jacket Required has scarred me.

So, I'm stuck. Honestly, Trick of the Tail bores me to cheeto tears, even if the songs are never outright bad. Hell, there are some neat moments, like Entangled, so it's definitely not an abject failure, but I just can't sit through this thing without wanting to kill a keyboardist or go listen to some Gabriel solo material, or something. It's a shame that my favorite moments on this here record are when they are the least complex and "wanky". It's an uneven album, even if it's almost all the same, all the way through. Half rockers, half jerkers, nothing totally sincere, nothing otherworldly, just mundane music by professionals lacking a definitive or appealing vision, or melodies, dude. You might like it, but I doubt it will cause too many tears to fall, unless of course, you're weeping over Genesis going down the toilet. Count this as an extremely low 10, almost a 9 out of fifteen, for containing the remnants of a really cool band. Perhaps Steve Hackett could perform his eulogy, oh wait...


Report this review (#291263)
Posted Tuesday, July 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is simply amazing. The first thing you hear when you turn it on is dance on a volcano. That songs has a fantastic instrumental and is really the finest example of why the loss of Gabriel was really not as severe to the band as the loss of Hackett was. Entangled is an example of why Hackett is a genius and when you put a genius with a bunch of other geniuses you get a masterpiece like that. That solo at the end gives you the goosebumps like you've never had them before, absolutely haunting stuff. Then squonk which is very innovative and imaginative, lyrics and guitar-wise. That songs is probably the most neo-prog of all the songs on the album. Then Mad mad moon which probably took many takes to get right, it has a very difficult sounding keyboard section by Tony Banks, once again very innovative and excellent stuff. Then Robbery,assault and battery which is in my opinion the weakest songs on the album but still very good. And I'm too young to say for sure but it probably sounded amazing in concert. Then probably the best song on the album, Ripples. It contains some excellent piano by Banks and really this song is the one that will make you think that this is a very sad and somber album. Then the title track, this song is the height of the album emotionally. It tells the story of a creature who lives deep beneath the earth, somewhere that humans have never discovered. The creature leaves his home (the city of gold) in search of a life. Then the chorus is probably the creature speaking to himself saying that they have no hors or tails and they don't even know that we live here. He then goes to circuses and freakshows until he convinces the humans to show him his home. When they get there in a blink of an eye he was gone. Then the final songs, an instrumental wrapping up the album. This song gives the book-end effect because his comes back with stuff from squonk and dance on a volcano. I highly suggest this album, seriously listen to this.
Report this review (#291579)
Posted Friday, July 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars A very interesting album. Off course, it's the first one without Peter. I must say as an album I don't like it at all. But there are a few tracks... Dance on a volcano is perhaps my most favorite Genesis track. Especially the aggresive ending! ( to bad they never played thàt live...). Squonk is also a very very nice one. Entangled is pretty ok and it has this great Tony Banks atmospheric ending. Los Endos is a great jam but I prefer the seconds out version. The rest of the album, mainly writter by Banks, is crap. I hate it. Really. The bonus cd has the beatifull live 1976 concert. And still wonder who is risponsible for skipping the beginning of supper's ready and the cinema show. a real shame. Perhaps they are still laying is vault or on a attic somwhere? O sweet dreams...
Report this review (#297475)
Posted Sunday, September 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 1. "Dance On A Volcano" (5:53) Great opening--especially the second section. Genesis is not dead!
 Not sure what the song is about, but it works for me! (8.75/10)

2. "Entangled" (6:28) IMO, one of Genesis's greatest songs--top five! Tony's eerie solo, the 12-strings and bass pedals are awesome. Steve's mixed way too quietly! (10/10)

3. "Squonk" (6:27) 
Great opening guitar hook, good vocals with really weak lyrics (Is this the pre-history to "A Trick of the Tail"?). The song really never goes anywhere. (It was pretty boring--a letdown--in concert.) (8.25/10)

4. "Mad Man Moon" (7:35) 
Beautiful song, sensitive, melodic, varied and rich. One of Tony Banks's most majestic. (13.5/15)

5. "Robbery, Assault & Battery" (6:15) Genesis had a habit of laying down some really interesting, really beautiful music and then, IMO, ruining it with either horrible lyrics or over-dramatic presentation. This is one of those songs. 8/10 musically + 2/10 lyrics and presentation = average of (7/10)

6. "Ripples" (8:03) A song I can never seem to hear too often or too much. I was always disappointed Hackett's guitar was mixed so far in the background and so thin. (13.5/15)

7. "A Trick Of The Tail" (4:34) is actually a very cute, bouncy song. Theatric and mythic with a modern moral. A nice change of pace. Tight presentation; no fluff or excess. (9/10)

8. "Los Endos" (5:46) An awesome overture/finale of this new adventure in Genesis world. (Great concert closer teamed with "Dance on a Volcano" and with Chester and Phil pounding away together in the background.) (9/10)

"Trick" is not a bad album. In fact, it is a rather good album. Why they mixed Hackett so quietly into the mix, I'll never know, but I love hearing the drums, basses, and keys.

I really get the argument that this album may mark the beginning of the Neo Prog era--that the "classic" prog era was over. There is just something 'different' about this and its counterpart "Voyage of the Acolyte."

B+/4.5; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music despite the fact that it holds a much dearer place in my heart.

Report this review (#299373)
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars A very very good outing by Genesis. Even after Gabrieal left the band continued to make good music with depth and feel for Trick of the Tail and Wind and Wuthering. I'll call The first mentioned to be the best out of this era. I believe that if you want an example of Phils best drumming, this would be it. On Los Endos he is unbelievable. All the tracks are great with not one track standing out from the rest as they all contribute something to the whole album. Los Endos is a culmination of the whole album and was a great way to end it. Definentlly on par with everything they released with Gabriel, and highly recomended.
Report this review (#301235)
Posted Thursday, September 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars It's the second Genesis album I ever heard and when I heard it I said to myself ''Well, Phil Collins isn't that poppier than Peter Gabriel.'' but I changed my mind after hearing Invisible Touch. Anyways, I really liked the album even if it was a bit more comercial than the last ones. There's strong melodies, great rythms and great moods. Phil Collins sings pretty well too, he's not Peter Gabriel but he's actually a pretty good singer. A really strong album even after the departure of their great leader. The album's sound is really clean, not dirty at all.

A really good album from Genesis, hope you'll like it.

Report this review (#301547)
Posted Saturday, October 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars 10/10

"There's an angel standing in the sun, there's an angel standing in the sun, free to get back home..."

After the departure of Peter Gabriel the Genesis began a search for a singer ... only to discover that he was among them, playing drums. And this man named Phil Collins took the band in an era of prosperity and commercial success - and bitterest critics, many of them here on the site. But before that the group has created two great masterpieces progressive 100%, one of which is Trick of The Tail, my favorite album of the band ...

... and one of the best of its kind ever created.

From the dark opening of Dance on a Volcano to reprises and the powerful jazz-fusion of Los Endos through the pastoral atmosphere of Entangled, melancholy and Mad Man Moon Ripples and restoring the past with the theatricality of Robbery, Assault and Battery this is an album that was never it made ​​him tired. 50 minutes are breathtaking, giving us some of the best moments of this band which is always a favorite of many.

The only two weak elements that I would like to highlight are Squonk and the the vocal passages in Robbery ... But foturnately is nothing that can overshadow the brilliance and genius of Trick of The Tail - and can not make me change my mind about the love I have for this album.

Report this review (#307106)
Posted Thursday, October 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Thus begins Genesis, and my venture into the world of prog rock began with Genesis and with this album. It was a revelation back then, when I really had no similar music to compare it with and considered it a true masterpiece. It helped me to delve deeper into prog territory and gave me encounters of which the majority has been good, some dreadful, and a few truly wonderful. Therefore I find this album a good place to start when I decided that I should review some albums here on the archives.

This album is the first Genesis album after Peter Gabriel's departure and the first to showcase Phil Collins abilities as a lead vocalist. He comes off as higher pitched than Gabriel and imho he is lacking a certain edge that was always present in Peter's voice. Musically speaking though, media and some fans had overestimated the impact Gabriel had on the making of the music, He was considered to be of he same importance for the songwriting as, for instance, Ian Anderson or Peter Hammill had for their respective bands, and A Trick of the Tail showed that this was not the case. A very Banks-oriented album, with the sound clearly dominated by his keys and most of the songs written or co-written by him, you could clearly hear musical traces of, for instance Nursery Cryme or Selling England here. Oddly though, not much of their previous double album The Lamb lies down on Broadway.

But to be frank. I find something to missing here. Over the years I've found myself coming back to this particular album less and less often. Why so, I can't tell. Lyrically this is a letdown from the quirky cleverness Gabriel delivered. The most of the lyrics are ok, no more no less. I like "Squonk", somewhat reminiscent of Gabriel's way of telling a story. A Trick of the Tail", that seems to focus slightly more on the lyrics, on the other hand, clearly misses the mark.

Musically, this is a good album overall with compositions on par with a lot of their earlier material. But how much I may love the interlude in "Ripples", the ending of "Dance on a volcano", or some of the clever lines in Squonk, I still feel that all the elements apparent on this album has been performed slightly better by other bands. It never gets really dull, "Entangled" is a beautiful ballad, actually better than, for instance "Harlequin", the solo in Mad man moon is brilliant, Hackett delivers subtle beauty with his guitar lines throughout...

...but Phil played better jazz fusion with Brand X, Harmonium, Focus or... well, early Genesis wrote more haunting melodies. Supertramp or maybe even 10 CC on a good day could trumph out "A Trick of the Tail" (the song) as a prog pop chartattempt. All the ingredients are still there, but I find that edge missing. The edge that maybe disappeared with Gabriel after all. It puzzles me, because I can't point out a certain fault. And of course, this IS after all a good album.

It's just that in comparison with some other albums in my collection I find this one to be a very nice listen, but also a very predictable one. A good starting point, a great starting point, but Genesis has made no less than eight better albums according to my taste.

And "Los endos"? Well, a nice song. No more, no less. "Duke's travels" are way better.

Report this review (#344187)
Posted Sunday, December 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars The first release from a shaken Genesis was also the last truly consistent studio release of theirs! The band did astonishingly well without Gabriel's father figure and proved that they had what was needed in order to continue on their own.

Dance On A Volcano has everything that I love about great Genesis compositions - sharp melodies, amazing interplay between the members and a touch of music magic! If there is any real criticism that can be uttered about this release then it would be pointed towards the lyrics. If you don't believe me then try closely examining the lyrics to Entangled and tell me that you actually consider them to be worthy of the music that they accompany.

The rest of the material, leading up to Ripples, isn't as masterful as the two opening tracks but they do a good job of expanding the band's sound to new areas where the collective hasn't yet traveled. Both Squonk and Mad Man Moon feature great instrumental arrangements even if the compositions themselves might not be top notch. Still it's the ballads that seem to dominate this album and they get to a hauntingly beautiful conclusion with Ripples. Steve Hackett's guitar, towards the end of the track, can only be resembled to that of a cherry on top of a perfect desert that you want to consume over and over again!

Since I'm still talking about the individual tracks, I might as well come out and admit that Los Endos has never been a favorite of mine. Yes, it's a fun little conclusion to the album but it adds nothing to the already quite impressive album for me. This is something that I really can't explain, but if there are others who agree with me then please let your voice be heard. In conclusion, A Trick Of The Tail is a great Genesis album that returned the band to the formula of Selling England By The Pound and showed the world that the quartet still had what it took in order to conceive great music.

***** star songs: Dance On A Volcano (5:53) Entangled (6:28) Ripples (8:03)

**** star songs: Squonk (6:27) Mad Man Moon (7:35) Robbery, Assault & Battery (6:15) Los Endos (5:46)

*** star songs: A Trick Of The Tail (4:34)

Report this review (#347370)
Posted Wednesday, December 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars I had a copy of "A Trick of a Tail" on pre-order so that I would be one of the first to get a copy. This was during 1976 when I was in my final year at high school. At this time, I had all the Genesis albums plus Steve Hackett's "Voyage of the Acolyte" but I approached ATOAT with some trepidation. Gabriel had left Genesis and Phil was taking over the vocal duties. Phil had done some backing work and had previously sang lead on More Fools Me on Selling England by the Pound but this was a ballad and a fairly ordinary one at that. Phil also sang lead on some of the tracks on Steve Hackett's "Voyage of the Acolyte" but again these were slower, softer songs.

Genesis are a different band without Gabriel and therefore it is unfair to compare directly with their previous work. Of all the tracks, I feel that only "Robbery, Assault and Battery" and Tick of a Tail" could be sung by Gabriel.

Collins handles the vocal duties well and in fact he does have a similar style to Gabriel. Some of the songs (Dance, Squonk, Los Endos) are heavier than on previous albums and the drumming and bass is a lot more dominant overall. These are also contrasted by some mellow tracks (Entangled, Ripples - both of which have beautiful and extended guitar /mellotron outros). The instrumental interludes are superb and show Genesis growing in strength as musicians.

Overall this is another exceptional performance for Genesis. There are no weak tracks here, and even "Trick of a Tail" which received some airplay has interesting lyrics and keyboards.

4.7 stars

Listen for the reference to Supper's Ready at the end of Los Endos which is the band saying good-bye to Gabriel and without any animosity.

Report this review (#349673)
Posted Saturday, December 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Hmmm... Gabriel left Genesis and Hackett remain. This is important because Hackett is the last contact with Prog for Genesis. In fact without Hackett Genesis not played Prog (see 80's albums).

In this case Genesis played a good Prog album, devastated by virtuosity and complications in Prog parts but devastated also by too long POP parts and without true balance from both parts. In substance the Prog parts are too Prog and the POP parts are too POP. At the same time Collins is not Gabriel and non have Gabriel magic.

In a good substance this is my perception of "A Trick Of The Tail", a good album for 1976 and for Genesis in 4 man line-up.

Report this review (#378702)
Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars What I disliked most about this album came from knowing the sound Phil Collins would take the band in the 80's. There is some foreshadowing of that sound, but keep in mind this is still 1976, well before that sound "ruined" Genesis as many prog fans would believe. Based on the merits of what this album itself brings to the table, this is a great album. It doesn't quite capture the greatness of Nursery Cryme through Lamb, but it's excellent. Don't skip out on this simply because it's not Foxtrot. It's great.

Steven Hackett is still in the band, and there's a lot of really cool rhythmic stuff they're doing. I read that Trick is the closest they get to Led Zeppelin which is respectable. And that's true also in the sense that sometimes the drums are more straight up rock than "wussier" folkish drumming. Overall 4 - 4.5 stars!

Report this review (#412846)
Posted Tuesday, March 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars A Trick of the Tail is the album that marks the era where Phil Collins starts his role as the lead vocalist for Genesis, and I always considered him to be superior to Gabriel in vocal style for being more controlled and serious.

"Dance on a Volcano" features some nice technical chops that I don't recall hearing much of in Genesis' earlier material, and is kind of aggressive. The main motif of the song is quite catchy, and makes the track stand out more than it would otherwise, as nothing else really is significant other than the technical musicianship.

"Entangled" is a very beautiful acoustic-folk ballad that really reaches me emotionally. I've always felt that Genesis had strength in writing these beautiful acoustic songs. This track is soothing and I consider it to be stretched out to a very appropriate length at almost 7 minutes, and the ghostly effects near the end really do wonders for the atmosphere. This is one my personal favorites from this album.

I consider "Squonk" to be one of the earliest examples of neo-prog. It's progressive and lightly poppy with very strong synths throughout that give the song a heavy, monstrous vibe. The track is really catchy, and Collins really lets his vocals shine. This very strong track is one of the best on the album.

"Mad Man Moon" is a beautiful track with lots of soothing mellotron, and the vocals on this track really shows how Phil Collins vocals suit this style of softer songwriting much better than Gabriel. The song moves through a few passages that are all beautiful, and this track really sounds like it could have been a Renaissance song from the Ashes are Burning album. Very beautiful indeed.

"Robbery, Assault & Battery" is a slightly bouncy and poppy song with nice staccato mellotron lines, and despite its name it is actually quite a fun song. The chorus is very catchy and is easy to sing along to, and kind remind me of "I Know What I Like" from Selling England by the Pound. It eventually progresses into a nice solo on the keys backed by funky bass that takes up most of the track.

"Ripples" is another slowly paced song that is similar to "Mad Man Moon", but gets slightly more aggressive in the middle. The song goes from beautiful folky guitar picking, to fantastic piano lines set to a fast paced beat during the second half of the track. The light guitar solo near the end is very ethereal and calming. Collins again lets his voice shine, and this is one of the best tracks on the album.

The title track is another bouncy and poppy prog rock song that is highly enjoyable. This track also reminds me of "I Know What I Like". The beat is steady throughout which makes this very accessible to anyone.

"Los Endos" is an aggressive and bass-heavy song, with a very symphonic feel to it. It progresses through a few different passages, but maintains an excited feel throughout and is the best ending for a Genesis album that I've ever heard. Very strong instrumental ending to a fantastic album.

I feel like Gabriel leaving the band was mostly a good thing, and that Collins at the front profoundly improved the songwriting. Every song here is memorable and enjoyable, and often beautiful. Collins has a voice that suits the band far better, and I would highly recommend this album to any symphonic prog fans, even though I'm not really one.

Report this review (#429400)
Posted Friday, April 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Along with Selling England by the Pound and Foxtrot , this is one of my absolute favourite Genesis albums, hence the name. It begins with Dance on Volcano a subtle opener and then moves quickly on into two of the best songs on the album Entangled and Squonk. Entangled, like most of the album, is soft and beautiful whilst Squonk has a slight pop feel to it. Man Man Moon and Ripples are in a similar category to Entangled with beautiful Hackett and Banks inspired melodies. A Trick of the Tail is a Banks-pop tune in similarity with Afterglow from the next album. And Los Endos ends things perfectly, drawing from the previous songs, Volcano and Squonk in particular.

Dance on a Volcano - 16/20, Entangled - 18/20, Squonk - 18/20, Man Man Moon - 17/20, Robbery, Assault & Battery - 14/20, Ripples - 17/20, A Trick of the Tail - 17/20, Los Endos - 19/20

Overall album score - 86%.

Report this review (#450592)
Posted Saturday, May 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars As many well know, this is the first Genesis album with Phil Collins as the lead singer. I think he has a very different voice than Peter Gabriel's, and even through he would start to sing with more power on later albums, he's very expressive here, and very good at singing the kind of music Genesis was making at this time, and his drumming is still in top form. They kept a lot of the sounds used on the previous two albums, and the mood as a whole is a lot lighter than the one before it, but there are still some dark soundscapes, like the end of "Entangled", the end of "Los Endos", and the opening "Dance On a Volcano", which is one of their most impressive progressive pieces, with odd time signature, off- beat drumming, and virtuoso guitar and keyboard duets similar to those on "it.", but faster and more modal. "Squonk" is another thick-atmosphered song that has a strange way of lazily rocking very heavily. I like when they write about unusual subjects, like the Squonk. There's a very notable keyboard solo in I think 13/8 in "Robbery, Assault and Battery", and great bass work (not to mention great band interplay) in "Los Endos." Elsewhere, the album is often quiet and sophisticated, with emotional, moving choruses, like in "Ripples..." and the masterfully composed "Mad Man Moon." Both of these songs bear a close resemblance to romantic classical music, and the climax of the instrumental middle part of "Ripples..." that leads back to the last chorus is something to behold. Much overlooked on this album is Steve Hackett's very characteristic guitar work on the album's one pop song, "A Trick of the Tail." You can tell that they spent a lot of time making sure all of these songs were written, performed, and recorded exactly the way they should be, the sound is impeccable, and if it wasn't for Foxtrot, this would be my favorite.
Report this review (#458023)
Posted Tuesday, June 7, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Genesis were the first prog band that I enjoyed. This album, a continuation of the style of Genesis after Peter Gabriel, was positively surprised me. The balance is given by the guitar of Steve Hackett, who had not abandoned the band, but still kept the old sound. The composition was less elaborate, and the theatrics of the voice was lost, but the quality remained. This album has songs that make me dream and I still enjoy it today. From this work, the Genesis entered the commercial age and lost all the charisma, so for many people, after the departure of Peter Gabriel, Genesis over. I maintain my opinion that after The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, the Genesis had two major albums and Trick of the Tail is one of them. This band that inspired and still inspires many bands, and in Italy, caused the emergence of many important bands of the Italian progressive rock, as in other parts of the world. This is a masterpiece, absolutely, of a Big Band of seventies. 5 stars
Report this review (#458170)
Posted Wednesday, June 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow, I have come to adore this band over the years. This is one of the many Genesis greats. 'Dance On A Volcano' is just an intoxicating prog classic and Phil Collins does well with the vocals. His excellent drumming is more noticeable than before too. There are plenty of mesmerising moments, including 'Entangled', with its sweet melodies. Listen out for the sophisticated organ and piano passages on this album. I love the subtle classical-folk-prog moods and just like other amazing records, I seem to catch new things everytime from the many twists and turns the music leads you. The lyrics and fantastical themes are very intriguing. 'Mad Man Moon' is one favourite. It's very melodic and contains a string section as well. Another real eye-opener is Ripples. It may be dreamy in sound but it has such touching lyrics. This is an intensely striking, sad song and is one of my favourite of all Genesis songs. Fabulous music - always interesting and impeccably played from start to finish. It seems that a few fans have a difficult time being objective about the incredible music created after Peter Gabriel's departure. Give records like 'Trick' another listen. Gensis moved on. And their fans definitely should too.
Report this review (#459261)
Posted Sunday, June 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars When i first heard of Genesis, I was in the car and Invisible Touch came on and I didn't think much about it and later when i got interested in progressive music i came across Genesis of course. The first album i listened to was A Trick of the Tail and i was blown away. It still is my favorite album of theirs top to bottom full of great progressive tracks and slower songs with great musicianship, Phil's debut as a singer and no craziness of The Lamb :D. But let's get to the songs.

Dance on a Volcano: This song ALONE made me a Genesis fan, no kidding. It has a jammy feel to it with a progressive edge. They seem to be getting more rock n roll with this song(and album) but it still ranks as one of their all-time best. It feels like a strong, complete song.

Entangled: The first of the slower tracks. Not much percussion, but dominated by Steve and Tony intermingling their bits together in a nice, easy going track.

Squonk: To quote Mr. Collins "That was our Zeppelin track", and it feels like it, from time to time. The drums get loud and aggressive, but not quite Bonzo aggressive. It still rocks out with a great guitar/keyboard riff and awesome vocal from Phil. This is the one that made him the lead singer.

Mad Man Moon: At first, I loved this track, but this song has gone downhill for me. It feels like a jumbled mess with no clear direction. It starts and ends alright, but I get so confused listening to it.

Robbery, Assault and Battery: Kind of a comedic track like Harold the Barrel from the older days. It tries to tell a story about a robber and cops and such. It's not bad, in fact, I love the instrumentation of this song, the keyboard solo/drum jam is a classic Genesis but the lyrics annoy me a tad. It seems Phil is trying to do the Peter thing of being multiple people like in Epping Forest but ends up kind of lacking. But still, a great track

Ripples...: An amazing ballad. I love this track so much and has a power ballad feel, but in an organic 70s feel to it. The middle instrumental section is great as well. This song really shows off Phil's vocal capabilities.

A Trick of the Tail: The title track, apparently made during the Selling England sessions, does feel like a simple "pop" track made for the Phil-era, per se. I still like it for being a harmless, catchy tune.

Los Endos: This is how you end an album. It combines elements from Volcano, Squonk, and the B-Side, It's Yourself, as well as original music to make an excellent jazz-prog-rock-jam instrumental. The cymbal rhythm that dominates the track, as a drummer, I still have trouble doing just right. The band are in full form and end with a book-end, glorious end, feeling like they are proud of this work, as they should.

Overall, I after listened to this album, I was hooked on Genesis till I die. This is in my Top 5 albums ever and on my "Desert Island" list. 5 Stars. Highlights: Dance on a Volcano, Squonk, Robbery Assault and Battery, Ripples..., A Trick of the Tail and Los Endos

Report this review (#470434)
Posted Sunday, June 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Whilst Phil Collins' tenure as Genesis lead singer would eventually wind up with the band abandoning their prog rock past almost completely, it couldn't have started out better. A Trick of the Tail is a resurgence of the nostalgic, pastoral style of Nursery Cryme (complete with preoccupation with Victoriana), but on top of that presents some of the best instrumental performances from the band, with Dance On a Volcano, Squonk, and Los Endos being particularly worthy of mention.

On top of that, Phil really comes into his own as a singer on songs such as the comedic and whimsical Robbery Assault and Battery (which like the best Gabriel era material manages to be whimsical without being embarrassing) or the emotionally moving Ripples. In presenting an updated vision of the pastoral prog of Genesis' earliest days, A Trick of the Tail and its successor go a long way in making sure the Phil Collins era has at least a few albums worthy of the band's illustrious past. It doesn't quite make up for We Can't Dance or Invisible Touch, but let's be honest, neither does Nursery Cryme or Selling England By the Pound.

Report this review (#547149)
Posted Sunday, October 9, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Now, it took me a long time to give this album a listen, given the background of the situation. But, I was the fool in the end to overlook such an amazing piece of, not only progressive rock, but the strongest musicianship and songwriting that Genesis had ever known. Their ties became stronger following the departure of PG, and the band took a democratic approach to writing their material (much to the dismay of HACKETT, who left a few years later partly due to this reason.) Nevertheless, I would definitely say this belongs in any prog collection, and may be bold enough to say it is one of the best Genesis albums.

1. Dance on a Volcano - Sheer brilliance. Brand X had an effect on COLLINS to bring his glorious jazz drumming to new heights. This is my favorite on the album and one of my favorite Genesis songs, ever. Just listen, I can't explain it any more.

2. Entangled - A wonderful break from the chaos. This beautiful "ballad" wraps its tender arms around you and embraces you within it's tender melodies and soft vocals. By far their most moving piece in terms of beauty to the ears.

3. Squonk - Returning to the proggy nature of the album, Squonk features great bass lines by RUTHERFORD and excellent organ riffs by BANKS, classic in foundation and composition, another stand out track.

4. Mad Man Moon - Another beautiful composition to balance out the intensity/softness that is present in the album. Not as moving as Entangled to me in terms of sensuality, but nevertheless a great moving piece. BANKS' keyboard leads and the sped up tempo that is commonplace within Genesis complete the song with great precision.

5. Robbery, Assault and Battery - Ah, the great theatrics of Genesis return in the form of their cheesy dialogue and weird voices (which I LOVE.) Has a similar feel to "Get Em' Out By Friday" and "Willow Farm" from Suppers Ready. Swinging, fun and complex, just the way i like my prog. COLLINS lyrics are comical and amusing, in the vein of PG.

6. Ripples... - The last of the ballads, and not by any means the least moving. COLLINS stands out with his fantastic vocal melodies in sync with the flowing keyboards. Truly moving, tears may have been shed a few times, if not by this song then by the others for sure.

7. A Trick of the Tail - My least favorite track, and a weak song for the title track. Even though it is my least favorite track, it is still good in the vain of their contemporaries like "The Beatles" or any other British Invasion bands. Possibly alluding to the pop direction Genesis takes in the upcoming albums?

8. Los Endos - The best, and i mean the best, finish to an unbelievable piece of musical ecstasy. Jazzy drums, fast keyboard shredding, and almost explosive bass chords reprise "Dance on a Volcano" and bring this album to bookend status. And best of all, the allusion to PG using the lyrics "There's an angel standing in the sun...There's an angel standing in the sun / free to get back home" makes this album that much greater. It proves that Genesis could easily move on without PG, but that he could never be replaced for what he did and that he will never be forgotten within the band.

Final Rating - 5/5 stars. Essential, not just for Genesis fans, but for fans of Progressive rock, and even just rock music.

Report this review (#600101)
Posted Saturday, December 31, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars For me, this was and remains the ultimate prog album. Four talented musicians with something to prove after Gabriel's departure, and boy did they prove it! Every single track on this album is a gem to me, starting with the outrageous "Dance on a Volcano"; whenever I change a component on my sound system, this is the track I play because it has great sounds and a wonderful "duel" between Steve Hackett and Tony Banks in the instrumental section, brilliant drum rolls and a driving baseline. It tests every part of the sound spectrum, and for me it is prog. Then there's "Entangled" - perfect in every way with beautiful vocals, delicate guitar, and a definitive mellotron sound. "Squonk" follows this with a heavier sound and some fabulous drumming over fanciful lyrics! "Mad Man Moon" features some outstanding piano work and one of Collins' best vocal performances. "Robbery, Assault and Battery" jumps straight back into a lively jaunt with another brilliant instrumental section and a delightfully cheeky performance by Collins on vocals. "Ripples" is a masterful performance with Banks and Hackett complementing each other perfectly in a dreamy but wonderful instrumental break over Collins' wistful vocals; a song that continues to grow in meaning for me as the years pass (not worried about my own "facial ripples" you understand, but as time goes by I can really appreciate the lyrics written by Mike Rutherford). We then drop into a nonsensical piece of fantasy with "trick of the Tail" - how else could you describe a bouncy, chirpy song about a mythical creature visiting from the City of Gold to speak with disbelieving humans. Sheer brilliant nonsense, and I love it! Finally, "Los Endos" closes the album with an amazing instrumental tipping nods to several of the earlier tracks, and probably the best interaction between drums and bass on the album. It is the only 5-star album I have (although both Wind and Wuthering and Close to the Edge are both in the same ballpark), and it is undoubtedly a masterpiece.

One word of caution - if you can find the Definitive Edition Remaster, buy that rather than the newer mix (which sounds amazing in 5.1 but notably less impressive in its SACD format). The search is well worth the effort, believe me.

Report this review (#604035)
Posted Friday, January 6, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars A very good restart

The first album after the departure of Peter Gabriel is a very good work, although perhaps a little too melodic: you can feel here the first clear signs of what will be the band's style for years to come.

The big news of the record is, of course, the lead singer. The band decided not to replace Gabriel with a new member and assigns the role of lead singer to Phil Collins who demonstrates that he has a great vocal flexibility. The tone of Collins appears to be quite similar to that of Gabriel, however, the differences stand out immediately: the voice of the drummer is more harmonious and less rough, but lacks the expressive power of his predecessor. Consider, for example, to the difference between the masterful interpretation by Gabriel in "The Battle Of Epping Forest" and that, obviously too histrionic, by Collins in some ways similar, Robbery, Assault And Battery. No question about it: Gabriel wins this contest.

Of course, also in terms of lyrics, themes are very different than before. Gabriel's lyrics, full of inventiveness, his fantastic creatures and his surreal and paradoxical stories, give way to lyrics more ordinary. Hard to say whether this is due solely to the absence of the first Genesis singer or a natural process of change that involves the band.

The music is less gloomy than the previous "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway", with more frequent use of 12-string guitars (in Ripples and in the excellent Entangled), a recovery of the sounds of "Selling England By The Pound" and a general tendency to avoid the complexities of "The Lamb" (consider, for example, the cheerful atmosphere of the title track, or the powerful but all in all, pretty obvious riff of Squonk).

In some moments the album is a litlle too melodic, for example in the vocal section of Ripples or in Mad Man Moon, however, are still present the wonderful change of pace and great romantic atmosphere that characterized the previous Gabriel era.

The best moments? Dance On A Volcano, especially towards the end, Entangled, probably the greatest song ever since Gabriel left the band, Mad Man Moon, characterized by melodic vocals and a brilliant piano interlude by Banks. Even Ripples and Robbery, Assault and Battery (the 13/8 time signature section in the middle is awesome) have good moments.

Pleasant, but nothing more, the rocking Squonk and the funny A Trick Of The Tail. Unnecessary and out of context Los Endos, is a song that does not fit in the style of the band. Fine irony typical of Genesis, the song was conceived as the answer of Genesis to Carlos Santana: in fact, if you listen to this song you have the impression you're listening to some album by Santana (is the same stuff really: but this is not "Abraxas" or "Cavanserai" and I don't want Santana's music, I want Genesis music!)

In any case, by far the best album of Genesis without Gabriel.

Songs rating: Dance On A Volcano 8/10, Entangled 10/10, Squonk 6/10, Mad Man Moon 8/10, Robbery Assault And Battery 7/10, Ripples 7/10, A Trick Of The Tail 6/10, Los Endos 4/10.

Total rating: 7/10. Four stars.

Best song: Entangled

Report this review (#667910)
Posted Monday, March 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Genesis had a seriously talented bunch of musicians but what they lost with the exit of Gabriel was a measure of character and personality. Consummate professionals that they were, they could still put together excellent albums. But the most immediately striking aspect of A Trick of A Tail is it does not even attempt to make a statement and is safely along the lines of what Genesis fans would expect from their band. This might please those who disliked the alleged pretentiousness of Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (the charting performance seems to suggest as much) but it is what makes me hesitate using the greatest superlatives to describe the album.

The lack of a statement is also evidenced in the unusual diversity of styles (for a Genesis album) utilized here. It does not, however, seem to be the Lamb-like diversity of brilliance flowing from a band at its very peak and indicates confusion and irresolution to me. Dance on a volcano and Los Endos mildly evoke the fusion scene, Entangled is gentle and pastoral while Mad Mad Moon and Robbery Assault and Battery seem to be rooted in the SEBTP style.

As the above might indicate, Genesis don't really evidence much growth here. Perhaps, the prevailing circumstances forced their hand and they wanted to stabilize the ship at this stage. I don't know if that's all there is to it, though, because Genesis would continue to be somewhat stagnant for the next couple of albums before taking artistic left turns in the pursuit of commercial success. It could be that their ambitions had reached a dead end and there was nowhere left for them to develop their signature further.

Whatever it may be, this somewhat takes the sheen off the musical experience. Ripples is the only track that brings something fresh to the table. Clearly Hackett driven (even though Banks drowns his wailing guitar in a wall of keyboard), it brings forth a soaring, ethereal, and yet emotional, dreaminess and utilizes Collins's ability to stay melodic even as he hits powerful high notes well. One of my all time favourite Genesis tracks.

Right, Collins! This is Collins's first major outing as a singer to the best of my knowledge. Overall, he makes the transition a lot smoother than it should have been because he doesn't, ultimately, sound completely unlike Gabriel. He sings Squonk with the kind of gusto that might have been beyond Gabriel's reach. But his lack of confidence hurts when the music is sentimental or humorous and he is further crippled in his attempts by Banks's unconvincing lyrics.

Banks's lyrics serve to underline the problem that haunts this otherwise excellent release: the lack of a clear vision or the power to articulate it emphatically. The production meantime is topnotch. Like SEBTP, the overall mix of styles and sonic elements puts this album a bit too squarely in the 'happy and clean' basket and there's not much darkness to contend with.

4 stars then for a Genesis release that is hard to go wrong with and yet one that is, at least for me, hard to love to pieces.

Report this review (#787966)
Posted Sunday, July 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars 'A Trick of the Tail' is the first album without Peter Gabriel and marks the beginning of a new Genesis era. Despite Gabriel's departure, the remaining members still made some incredible music. I will admit Collin's vocals aren't as strong as Gabriel's but they're pretty close. Furthermore, the music here is on par with some of their earlier albums, and is far tighter and more cohesive than the Lamb.

'Dance On a Volcano' (10/10) kicks of the start of the album in classic Genesis fashion. The song has everything that made earlier Genesis great, including the main melody in 7/8, and an instrumental section similar to 'Dancing In the Moonlit Knight.'

'Entangled' (9/10) is an acoustically driven song with some very celestial keyboard at the end. This is Hackett and Banks' at their best.

'Squonk' (8/10) is the rocker of the album, and almost has a Zeppelin feel; Collins really pounds on those drums. The main melody is amazing, and easily one of my favorites from Genesis.

'Mad Man Moon' (8/10) is Banks's piece of the album. It's complete with fantastic piano melodies and beautiful waves of Mellotron.

'Robbery, Assault and Battery' (6/10) is Genesis returning to the 'I Know What I Like/Harold the Barrel quirks of their past albums. The middle does have some amazing driving bass with keyboards and Mellotron.

'Ripples' (7/10) takes the sound of Entangled and mixes in the melody from Squonk to create another beautiful song.

'A Trick of the Tail' (4/10) is the weaker, pop-sounding track of the album. Perhaps this song was a hint of what was to come, but it shouldn't have been what the album was named after.

The album does conclude in a strong manner with the song aptly named 'Los Endos,' (8/10) which is just a fantastic instrumental which reprises some of the parts earlier in the album.

Overall, Trick of the Tail is a welcome departure from the Gabriel era. While the album still contains a few weaker moments, this is a much stronger and united effort than The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.


Report this review (#809652)
Posted Thursday, August 23, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars From the stylish pen of Anthony Banks is the first solo composition on Trick taken. I knew about A Trick of the Tail before I heard Mad Man Moon, simply because it didn't find room on the cassette A side(45 min) I had from a friend and I wasn't even informed about its existence. Not until I had another cassette from the same guy, I became enlightened on the subject. Is Mad Man Moon an important song on Trick? Well, all tunes carry a hallmark of importance you may suggest and that is probably indisputable, but some are even more relevant than others. To use the language of Isaac Newton; the centre of gravity rests on this celestial body. If this genius of a scientist was given the chance to define Moon, he would probably call it the centre point of the record. Besides, also while he's observing the sunbeam pass through the spectrum in his darkened room, seized the opportunity and just relished the waves of the great music. Mad Man Moon is a tremendously essential part of Trick; it solidifies the quartet's integrity and potential. Had last track on side A failed, then the skeptics(they were frequent as flies) had exulted and cut the quartet in pieces. No matter how good other parts of the album had sounded. Luckily they never got the opportunity, the most recalcitrant antagonist rather had to accept the new formation of Genesis, without reservation. At least the bulk of them.

An acquaintance of mine, he considered Tony Banks the finest composer in the world. If you pay attention to Moon you will soon find out what a scholarly is already well-informed on. The feeling of musical is obvious; an open, large and airy approach rules. Had Mozart(more historical figures, as we are narrowed and limited today) descended from his paradisiacal position and joined a collaborative band at the present day, probably he would have learnt the song by heart just as fast as a damsel changes object for her innermost love. But he should not really surpass the uppermost Mad Man Moon compositionally. The tune is the logical continuation of earlier flagship Firth of Fifth; it displays rich and mellow piano parts, keyboard strings and flute like synthesizer. In the absence of ex-singer/flutist Gabriel, Banks does his best to imitate the woodwind instrument. Bearing the circumstances in mind, the try is acceptable. What's lacking is the human vibrato and intonation, which is nearly impossible to copy on an electronic device. But it's unsure if one really misses its inclusion here. It is appealing to fantasize about the presence of a full orchestra but on the other hand it may have sounded detached, compared to the composers own integrated and single-minded playing. The chorus is unbeatable, if your eyes weren't wet during the verses they will guaranteed become at the peak of this exquisitely carved composition. You have never before been so carried away by a melody belonging to contemporary music, and most likely you will not later either. The extensive instrumental section sweeps through the centuries and isn't really set in any specific era. Had Tony Banks gone the other way, back in time, it would have echoed in the lofty music chamber from the pearlescent cembalo. Key changes as in 'In the Cage', another highlight from Banks, had been expressed on the ivories with unequivocal finery. If you listen carefully to the subsequent vocal section you may detect a unique b. vox from Banks himself. Tony Banks is the only member of the band who has spent 100% of his energy on Genesis. Everybody else has been away on various projects from time to time but the keyboardist took his oath of allegiance to the group. We are thankful for this measure and partake of Mad Man Moon on a shining silver plate, comfortably perched on the regal throne.

Why did Phil Collins become the new lead vocalist of Genesis? Who could imagine a top-ranked world class drummer leaving his drum stool for a standing position at the microphone? Even if Collins was a competent songster he's still a better drummer. Hadn't the band recorded the backing tracks in advance there was at least one strong candidate, but the pre-recorded tapes didn't suit his voice. All well documented in the history books. Not even after the record was completed Genesis gave up their search, but as we know, in vain. There's still a big question mark hanging in the air. How did Banks/Rutherford find vocalists Kim Beacon/Noel McCalla on their respective debut solo albums? Any of them could, technically seen, have joined the band as well. Above all Banks' singer has a resemblance to Collins' moderate and dampened style. They were both first- or second choice and not competing with hundreds of others. The participant of the large squad Alan Parsons Project? We're talking mid-seventies and the progressive movement is at its peak, the international scene is crowded with promising names. Despite a slight accent, a thinkable solution...Didn't ELP(or what became ELP) pluck a talent from a rivaling top-act..? Let's stop here. If a honey jar attracts the peckish bee, then Genesis must be a smorgasbord for a singer. An established and highly desirable act ought to have a variety of possibilities, but a directing hand from above had obviously defined the future for Genesis and settled the new line-up. Or were there other reasons involved? Perhaps the quartet deep down didn't want to bring in an untrustworthy outsider, in fear of future collisions and dissension(there were some in the past). After all it's easier to handle four than five wills. Also more space and preferably more paying. The question is interesting, when Hackett left there was no doubt about it. Not even the most splendid, fitting and obliging guitarist on the planet bothered! The guitar shoes belonging to the famed S. Hackett were deliberately left empty.

Still there's an Entangled and it's one of Hackett's highlights during his sojourn. As you can read yourself the writing credit says 'Hackett/Banks', and why bother bout that? Tony Banks is credited on every single track on 'Trick' even if his input differs highly from title to title. Hackett wrote both great achievements Voyage/Please Don't Touch by and large himself, so why didn't he succeed in at least one during the four-piece era? Pure coincidence perhaps but still worth noticing. However, the second song on Trick is unique in a number of ways. Collins creates single-handed a Crosby/Stills/Nash display of phenomenal standard. He takes their multi layered vocals and transfers them into progressive land; hats off to the music god who gave us eardrums and an astute mind adapted to clever listening. The choruses are richer and gentler than everything imaginable, even for your own symph heroes Genesis. Like taken directly from the flowery landscape witnessed from the porch of a remote country-house. You are indeed surrounded by loose and soothing mould. It has to be the most 12-string dominated recording ever from Genesis. Played by Hackett, Rutherford and Banks, that is by now ¾ of the band. The minor portions of electric guitar feel almost out of sight. The lyric is inspired by a painting from Brazilian artist Kim Poor, likewise known as better half of Steve. The couple was newly wedded at the time and it's a most impossible task to find out why Hackett's inspiration shouldn't be seething with fervour. Mrs. Poor, one can't neither disregard her art/moving paintings nor her own exotic charisma. The mild and unconcerned Atlantic winds blowing along the sandy strands of Brazil had an impact on the Victorian A Trick of the Tail. Back in the puritan old world, folks got their breakfast tea down the wrong way by the unconstrained and unbridled beauty of Entangled. It is Steve Hackett's debut not musically but lyrically on the album and no one will have this undone.

Let's regard it from the peculiar and confounding state right in between dream/awakening. Here you are alert enough to be aware of your inexplicable sights but still incapable of escaping your horrors. Next to the heart-rending love songs, the dream state is about the most worn out lyric choice. To catch the attention of the listener you have to come up with a try to something fresh. Hackett really does here, actually Entangled is a sterling counterpoint to 'Counting Out Time' in its field. It's subtle and earnest. We need more exploratory lyrics on this subject. Bearing both For Absent Friends and More Fool Me in mind, even if a fifth member had been brought in we would rightly have heard Collins sing here, not least because he's jobless on the drums, but just as much on account of his timely strength and authority. Entangled is on the stronger side of the vocal feats on Trick, and there are more to be proved. The almighty keyboard final turns the average church organ equipment into a toy instrument. The whole canopy and its underlying universe seem to be a vital part of this primeval force. If there's over intelligent life in the Andromeda galaxy, then they probably have located at least some parts of Tail and accordingly invented a brand new genre; Universal Music. More facts, Entangled is the first song that Hackett introduced on stage. The sitting guitarist stood up and finally made his voice heard live. Not entirely without problem, he stopped short and had to start all over again, slightly embarrassed. Anyhow, the ice was broken. Steve was even heard doing one of the vocal parts as his confidence rose.

As demonstrated, much happened in a year after Gabriel had left. The extra five percent of room he offered each and every remaining comrade were utilized to the breaking-point. Though never calculated mathematically, it became a true to life equation. If Entangled was erudition in the art of 12-string acoustic then Dance on a Volcano is an eruption of the equivalent electric. In other words, the upper half of Rutherford's double-neck. The weight of the song is equivalent to the hostile surroundings on this gruesome mountain. Possibly the heaviest and smokiest Genesis composition regulated from an adjacent control room. The volcano is actually just as big a threat, or even worse, than the comet from outer space. We all know 'bout the extinction of the dinosaurs but long before that, there are theories about a sinister volcano which annihilated about 90% of all living species on mother earth. Or at least greatly contributed to it. The small percentage that trod on and finally led to the human race can justly be said to have chosen the right steps in their pre-historic dance. Music is also a vital part here, the raw and thunderous 12-string has been mentioned. Volcano is the song where its dimensions come to life. Together with monumental Achilles Last Stand(both recorded late 75 and released 76), Volcano owns the most refined effects of the underused instrument. The Old Norse Tor defies Greek deity Atlas in a trial of strength. Rutherford, Banks and Collins began rehearsing as Hackett was belated by his solo, or pre-Genesis project. It's only question about a couple of days, but even this limited period was telling. Would Volcano have behaved differently if Hackett had been present from minute one? Not impossible as it was entirely set up in the heat of the moment. In any case, the finished product doesn't ask for any restructuring. The scorching mid section is very tough indeed, both in tone and wording. Hackett's influence and writing are apparent in last part of the title. For some inexplicable(or explicable) reason it was sacrificed live, it became a dual drum solo and a medley linked to Los Endos. The drum performance notwithstanding, how would the full version have developed on stage? The playful half speed sound distortions are also to be found on Please Don't touch, which indicates whose behind this invention.

Who said that the wind instrument danced out with the departure of Gabriel? They have probably missed out the whistle just before the five min. mark. Slightly more monotonous in the long run than the flute though. The gimmick didn't recur. Volcano contains, as you count out, the obligatory 7/8 time signature. A prog album with self-esteem shan't lack a portion of it. 4/4 will is for the slick pop listener, the prog nature is striving for the oddities. Dance on a Volcano is hardened and steadfast in build, but indefinable in its potency. Beethoven's 5th might be more inclusive when it comes to length and the actual number of participants, but who says that even the top three- composer could create the amount of Con Fuoco in just six flying minutes? Grieg's 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' would definitely be put to the test against this lava spouting massif!! Squonk is another title that false-started with the three-piece line-up. Similar instrumentation, 12-string electric/bass-pedals, keyboards and the accompanying drums. If you listen to the remastered version in a first-class sound setting, you will be fully aware of the quadrangular nature of Squonk's edifice. Is this a clear sign of the new Genesis? Some people may claim this and say that the quartet have become a more straightforward and linear affair. It's allowed to assert the opposite as well; they didn't become anything at all, what happened was that they lost one member, and what was left acted in the same manner as they used to. Or at least would have done in a similar situation. Gabriel was given to the odd costume, the acrobatic vocal style with its surreal lyric, the outlandish sound source...Banks/Rutherford are both inclined to more basic strategies, which saw the light of day on Trick. There are improvements, the drum sound on Squonk, to say nothing of the rest of Trick, is blatant. In an environment with frequent and extended drum breaks, the ace Collins deserves to be noticed when he's playing. From now on, and even more accentuated in the eighties, there's no chance to limit his uplifted position. Squonk intensifies without any solos or real instrumental outbreaks. Rutherford's pounding bass(he switches there and back on pedals/guitar) shortly after 2.30 is a rise in temperature. Tony Banks distinguishes himself with an exclusive synth part, a song within a song. The end section kneels down in a psalm like manner and fades out ceremonially. Some may see this as an anti-climax in an otherwise forceful composition, others as a solemn part of a thoroughly good song. On the live version there's an additional end section.

To study the instrumentation list is an everyday experience for the temporary listener. For the qualified it's a fundamental part, and the biggest experts even notice the invisible. Regarding the order of the musicians, if you turn it upside down you will find Hackett's name on top. Is it alphabetical order? In order of appearance/contribution? Is it a coincidence? Had the outside activities of the guitarist a vital role here? On 'Selling England' Steve played 'electric/6-string acoustic'. On Trick it's 'electric/12-string', so if there wasn't any 12-str. there, why isn't there any 6-str. here? The philosopher will point his index in the air and summon his disciples under the tree of knowledge. Trick is the only album without nylon guitar, if you exclude early Nursery Cryme(which is more comprehensible). Gone are the instruments handled by the ex-vocalist, and now also one of the obligatory guitars. So why this drastic measure? There was no need/room for it, you may suggest. That is true, but there's no need for any instrument; you create a need. If it's not created means it's not wanted. Compare the plural form on Rutherford's '12-string guitars, basses' to Hackett's singular. Pianos etc... Even if it mirrors the reality it's still demonstrative. Michael plays both 12-string acoustic/electric, Stephen only acoustic, he never touched the electric(unlike namesake Howe the equilibrist on Awaken). The question is, where could and should, the six-string acoustic have found its proper place? If you listen to the architectonic Hierophant from Voyage, there's 6/12- string on the chorus which is highly effective. Hackett's part on Ripples could, at least partly, have been transcribed or even doubled in the same manner and given the song yet more lustre. Just like the electrified on Volcano. The Lovers could easily have found its way to Trick as well, and become the new Horizons of the mid seventies! So how do we evaluate a course of events like this? Is it a conscious neglect of one of the group's own members? It is hard to find another explanation, but at the same time there are specific reasons behind. The 'all titles done by all' led to some indistinctness.

All fuss and commotion with Gabriel's defection followed by a five star solo recording after that. Hackett's issue was the first ever from the Genesis camp to indicate one single name as composer. A cynic might suggest that he too could've given some sort of credit to the rest of the band as a gesture for earlier apportionments. If Steve has a share in 'The Lamia', then why doesn't Tony own the ring finger in 'Hands of the Priestess'? Again, why weren't at least parts of the sublime Acolyte-material used by the band? This is a never ending maze where no one is really guilty, it just happened to result in this artistic dispute. Art has to spread its wings, it beats us sometimes how. So what about T. Banks keyboards on Trick? The self-evident piano/organ are in company with an increasingly active synthesizer. There are reasons for this; as mentioned before, in the absence of Gabriel the synth has a greater role to put on. A flute connoisseur could've longed for a guest flutist on one or two tracks(brother John?). As we know, there are no guest artists on Genesis bandstand, but it's a conceivable illusion. The development of the synthesizer(Arp Pro Soloist) is blatant, and so is Banks' playing technique. The result is much more satisfying here than on all previous efforts. There's hardly one single track on this highly esteemed album without its presence. That's not a disadvantage, but a concentrate so to say. The next track is exactly what we're looking for. If you never experienced Banks in prestissimo you will right here, on Robbery, Assault & Battery. Vast, supersonic synth/organ outbursts from the composer, possibly his most virtuoso attempt in this trade. Not without success, solos on The Lamb sound primordial in comparison. Banks, normally more stuck to melody & verse rather than showing off his dexterity and technical prowess, proves that he's not behind his colleagues in Yes/ELP. The organ part is so smooth and well-executed, almost liked filtered through sequencer.

The mellotron isn't the '69 version of the same. The instrument is similar but does a 'relic' flourish in a high-tech surrounding? If you're in possession of the yellow album(Selling England), whether you're a native born Englishman or not, you're still capable of listening to the non-U(non-Upper Class) poetry. Both Robbery and Epping Forest basically deal with the same subject. There are, in fact, a few similarities, or even copied straight off. Collins, who co-wrote Robbery, carries out his role with an insight just as strong as Gabriel mustered during his time. Phil's high spirits are reflected in his optimistic drumming as well. Add the early and tentative video of the song, and you may wonder why the child actor didn't pursue his talents in front of the camera. In fact, his predecessor on the post once had similar ambitions. If the keyboards are high-lighted, then the guitar is halfway buried. Or even treated past recognition! It was partly caught up on stage, as proven on the stout testament Seconds Out, but you can't really call Robbery fully developed in the guitar compartment. Isn't Hackett interesting enough to be noticed in the mix? The reason for its defensive position is rather a result of the album structure than the song itself, what's low here is high elsewhere. We will return to the final judgement regarding the production side. Trick entered an era of a short-lived quartet format, and there were other successful bands of this size. A decade earlier there was at least one. So it may be a bright idea to open the new chapter in the band's career with some sort of connection to the greatest upheaval ever in the music calendar.

Why did title song 'A Trick of the Tail' crop up here and not before? If there was any hesitation it wasn't due to lack of quality, then it wouldn't be found here either. Didn't Trick strike P. Gabriel's fancy or is there a 'hidden' message involved? Or was the band just awaiting its right opportunity? As we are aware of it's an amalgam of two separate song ideas from T. Banks. Written during a period when The Fab Four still were prosperous, a few years before the turn of the decade. If the lyric has the same date-line is unclear, but both story and rhymes are of highest calibre. Fans were rightly astonished by the enchantment in Tony Banks sharp writing. Is this as close as you will ever get to the undeveloped story of 'The Little Prince'? The Fable lies Down in Bedfordshire... The keyboard player has uttered that he'll be more flattered by a comparison to The Beatles rather than the contemporary big six. This is an indelible fact, you can sing along to it - Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes, grabbed a creature by the scruff of the neck pointing out. A compliment rather than a degradation, every seventies group has juridical authorization to redo at least one tune from this unavoidable source of inspiration. Is it a coincidence that 'Excuse Me' from the ex-vocalists solo debut sounds, with a little free fantasy, like a major version of Yesterday? Or is it just a trick of the ear? Phil Collins doesn't falter on the vocal harmonies on title song, but the tune A Trick of the Tail remained intramural, while the barber shop singing of Excuse Me sounded throughout the concert halls. In common with the strophe of 'Moonlit Knight', Ripples is immediately likeable, or why not loveable? Both boast with vocals from first second, although the latter is in company with the 12-string.

The sentiment of Ripples is strongly connected to Selling England but the question remains; is there a more visionary, romantic or moving moment to be found? Rutherford is not credited for any solo composition on the record but this feels like his achievement. His bass playing is very chary, but the few tones included are weighed on a scale of gold. During the interims, the tranquil void, you are free to fill out your own course of events. And this is your mission, the empty space is just as explanatory as the composed. The difference is that it's yourself that becomes author and writer. As its gentleness feels staked out, all you have to do is to saunter in optional direction. Ripples is vanilla cream for your taste buds and layers of limitless meadow land beneath your naked feet. A vague but approaching scent of eternal stillness and carefreeness. Only you who is called upon to tread the perpetual road carven out by the angelic voices of Ripples. A special song, Ripples was my first favourite Genesis track. The light classical piano playing, and the most Hackett-defining moment you will encounter on electric. Steve is not playing along to it, he's circling around it! The swallow in the summer sky has no other intention! The longest offering on Trick, the instrumental section is clearly extended and not filled to the brim with twists and turns. Could perhaps have benefitted from a minutes reduction. The final section is performed with piano chords in contrast to the initial brittle tones. What has the painting technique sfumato in common with the wondrous Ripples? The idea is to obtain a smooth, boundless transition where two separate colours(pieces) meet. It's called seamlessness in popular speech, but not in the higher school. A reality at the opening of the mid-section, this is composed passepartout, or just as well drawn composition.

Regarding Collins vocal on Ripples(and the whole album), it would be inhuman to expect an all ready top feat from first to last note. What we are offered is exactly what one could foresee; from full-fledged to a little less full-fledged. From the impeccable and highly personal, to reading aloud from the pre-printed libretto. The drummer's background as second vocalist during a number of years secures a decent level, but his maximum didn't show up here. Not either on the following album but let's move forward and land on the Duke tour. Listen to the version of Ripples on the 80' tour and compare with current, there are bootlegs around with sufficient quality. For the comfortable and idle, chose YouTube. Then started the multi-million selling solo career and an added dimension, but that's another story. When I heard Trick for the very first time I couldn't even pronounce the name of the genre. I was misinformed and told that the lead vocalist was a Peter Gabriel who quit after this album and was replaced by the group's own drummer. My informant was highly of British descent and had a considerable amount of records with an overseas band called Genesis. We can leave out the reason for this bewilderment, but more relevant is if I was convinced or not. I wasn't. When I heard [the vocals] I immediately said to myself that this sounds like Phil Collins. It took some 24 hours or so to verify the correctness in my prophecies. Directly from the decade known as the seventies, when the unrealizable was possible.

For the novice, Los Endos sounds exotic and Mediterranean but it's rather Spanglish than Spanish. The ends are near, the one and only instrumental starts with extracts from 'It's Yourself', on initiative from Collins. Hackett returns to the writing credit for the first time since Entangled, but it's unfailingly the rhythm section that unleashes and worth your attention. If Collins is bringing the open and direct attitude from his side project Brand X, it happens here. It would've been a breach of duty if he didn't. Not everyone is aware of the diversity of the Genesis employed. Once I conversed with a drummer in the absolute world elite, I happened to mention Phil Collins and the immediate reaction was "the pop artist?". I kept quiet. Rutherford is keeping up with his peer, it seems like the bass man has been equally inspired by the inflow of new waves from the outside. You don't have to grasp the bass yourself to relish in his punchy style. The faultless but lesser known congregation Brand X is something to use as a gauge of one's own standing. Hackett/Banks share the same passage, much like another termination called 'It'. The trumpet sounding synth is a clear indication of the fiery senorita and her belonging castanets. It all comes to a halt, and the familiar Volcano intro is laid upon thou once again. You didn't know how stately the backing track to Squonk sounded before you listened to Los Endos. The band had time to study its potential in between auditions. It is by no means inferior to the vocal version, or is it even more impressive? Transporting the album to the fade out, and a few, but unwritten, words are included. The origin of the words is to be found in two different situations. Quite obviously Magnum Opus Supper's Ready, less glaring from Solsbury Hill.

Both Collins/Rutherford(Fripp guitar, Ant Phillips piano) played on the demos to Gabriel 1. As a contrast to the cheeky lyrics of Squonk one can assume that the instrumental Squonk serves as equalization. All in all six songs within a song. If 'Larks' Tongues in Aspic 1' squeezed out the maximum of a short lived line-up of King Crimson, then Los Endos did the same for Genesis. It may be in reduced version, but as Bill Bruford put it; - Genesis is a song based band, and quite lightweight at that too. Isn't the Queen Mab lightweight in her misty twilight dance? She lacks the vigour of the Viking yes but makes up this with an enchanting and yet unchristened symphony of movements. Her sonata is imperishable, and her dull day unclouded. Not only a major change in the line-up, Trick also saw the arrival of new producer David Hentschel. Not entirely new, he had previously worked as engineer on Nursery Cryme. Hentschel was to stay till the decade was ended; four studio- a double live plus two twin solo albums. The spell was broken when Collins rocketed into fame as solo artist with his self-produced Face Value. If the drummer could run his own recording successfully it would of course have been a defeat for the trio to rely on an outside force. Otherwise who knows, he may have remained even longer. What made the band stick to this unaltered state for such a long period? No earlier producer came even close to his superior record. Regarding current album, it is harder to pass a fair judgement on Hentschel since the band is indicated as co-producers. If success is readable in sales figures, then Trick outshone all quintet recordings by far. When Genesis went into the studio to perpetuate Trick of the Tail they were heavily indebted, and it is more than understandable that radio play is just as appealing as a ricercar(complex polyphonic baroque work).

It's not that Tail has put Genesis in the mainstream category, but the many admirers of 10 cc, Supertramp and ELO doubtlessly had a more realistic chance to melt this topical edition than earlier. All songs within the length of 6-8 min. create a sort of conformity. The drums are as mentioned put in a superior position. Like an indication of what to expect from the following decade. If the '75 recording became step one in the development of the drum department, then step two occurred during the making of P.G. 3, with its scientific definition gated reverb. Quite a few listened and took note; the whole world ended up in echo-drenched throbbing, but lacking the feeling and proficiency of its instigators. Hentschel isn't lost as musician himself even if he's not a drummer. His skill in the synthesizer field, and as key. player in general, is clearly reflected in the flowing and winning keyboard textures throughout the album. This doesn't mean that the other components are neglected or forsaken, but let's affirm that the guitar is at least a split millimetre behind. The production on Trick is modernized, up to date, and departs expressly and consciously from the bygone early seventies. To some extent experimental and striving for go-ahead spirit, which is a risk taking. I've heard a few people comment on this particular era asserting that a meek, soft and at times blur sound picture took form. A note reading Segovia versed, who also has a vague knowledge about the capacity of the Gibson Les Paul, would ogle at the austere and severe production of Voyage of the Acolyte. D. Hentschel's contribution to the new unproved Genesis is tantamount to P. Collins voices; top-notch, and occasionally a little less top-notch. Perfection is a passing cloud in the air. There are considerations to be taken; Genesis survived, thrived, kept on touring and recording. Also sold one or two single-records. Far from every band, no matter how gifted, succeeded in this trick. The computation meant that you were able to hear an old medley as late as in the nineties. So the outcome was nothing but remarkable.

It's a mark of favour for the foremost bands to obtain the most creative artwork. Or is it just illusive, is it the music that turns the artwork into a striking object? The museological, but resurrected Lp and its cover/inner-sleeve can be seen as an inspirational source for deepened art explorations. Once you know the coalition with the music it'll shine with translucent light. In due order, there's a lot more to be fascinated by on the LP than the stunted cd. The cd freak will never understand. The short lived quartet was never portrayed on a studio record. At least one of the both heritage they left behind could have been adorned with photos. Not only owing to identification, but just as much or even more as an artistic infusion. You who are in possession of the Long-player Foxtrot know exactly what's on the carpet. You didn't see a band photo before Abacab was released in '81; it covered an entire side of the record cover, at the expense of a lyric sheet! Needless to say, Abacab was the follow-up to the pioneering Face Value. The premier cd issue of Trick is to prefer. The remastered package is perhaps a good choice sound-wise, but please listen with both eyes closed. The dandelion yellow has turned into grainy mustard. Where in the history of art rock belongs A Trick of the Tail? A threefold group consisting of Going for the One, Animals and Trick are a pleasing way to initiate the second half of the decade. I was lucky, or foresight, to stumble across the exclusive selection before anything else existed. Genesis, now reduced to a Pink Floyd numerical, didn't seem to suffer from the changes. Why not a singing drummer just like a (,) bassist/guitarist? There's nothing speaking against it.

So what prevented the multi-talented band member from singing/playing at the same time on stage? Recall Geddy Lee and his utterly demanding bass lines added to Peart's intricate language. Moreover the keyboard parts on his agenda! Couldn't Collins have done a similar showpiece? Supposedly he could've, but it is more a matter of visuality rather than lack of prowess. After all, how many drumming lead vocalists have you witnessed live? Even Floyd was increased with a fifth musician live. All three mentioned albums emit a phenomenally strong spirit, like an urge to express something of very keen nature. Had the assertion from Robert Fripp, PhD been followed to the letter, had neither A Trick of the Tail nor the other titles even seen the light of day! Crimso disbanded and choose to stay in the morning dew of the early seventies, by order of the leadership. Did Fripp's academic but well considered decision send signals that there were still things to approve? A while later, Fripp himself turned down an offering to become ally with Chester Thompson et al on the upcoming world tour. Understandably, he was more benevolent when P. Gabriel knocked at the door and begged for assistance. The former band vocalist jumped ship in the wake of the ex-mellotronist. As I heard on an analytical radio program once, they claimed that the post-Gabriel era just became a reiteration of just the first half of the decade. That's a simplified and stereotyped way to contemplate the matter. Instead, how many entities can brag with the ability to move from the depths of detached rock theatre to hegemony in the secular pop charts? The singles off present album came in due order, there wasn't yet any Turn It On Again or No Reply at All though. It's unclear whether they ameliorated the total sales, but there are a few noteworthy things.

An Italian release defined as promo single contained the title track plus Hackett's A Tower Struck Down on the flipside. This is an astonishment for the veteran fan. In the absence of a covetable band b-side, it must be taken down as a major anecdote. On the Progarchives you will find Trick at about top 50 in the readers' poll. It's a ranking that seems admissible, a conspicuous amount of fans would establish it as the refinement of the second wave Genesis. If it had been the solitary release of Genesis it would have fared much higher. Any four-piece combination of earlier line-up had turned Tail into a consummate sound work-shop. But what about the essence of the belonging lyrics? There's most likely no knowledgeable supporter of the group who favour any later try than fantasy tinged Trick. All lyrics are good, better or nearly outstanding! They are, unconditionally, placed above their challengers on Drama and A Momentary Lapse of Reason(to be illustrative; the loss of heavy-weights Anderson, Waters, Gabriel). Despite the general high standard, Gabriel's linguistic litheness and agility on Harold the Barrel/Willow Farm is not within reach for all gods' children. His buddies are aware of this fact, while they surely surpass themselves in an energetic measure. The new chief lyricists Banks and Rutherford are more difficult to separate from each other, they cling together and are equally talented. L'ange Gabriel's shadow is hanging over the locale, had he remained wing-commander on Trick his contribution would make up 50%. As it happens, Los Endos is an instrumental; whereby the exact apportionment is written in the stars.

Report this review (#852485)
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Princess Diana's favourite album. The first without Gabriel and the first to actually sell decently. This greatly outsold all the band's previous efforts, going to #3 in the UK. However, the content itself sounds just like Gabriel-era Genesis...only without the Gabriel. I don't know if I prefer Peter or Phil in the lead vocalist spot. What I do know is that the band actually auditioned vocalists to fill Peter's shoes. One day Phil sang the song "Squonk" and the other members decided he would do. The sound and production here is a vast improvement over all previous albums and the music benefits from it. Like SEBTP, this is a long single album(for the time) being over 50 minutes long.

Gabriel left because he complained the band was interfering with his family time. The other four wrote the majority of the music for The Lamb without him. It seems only natural that they could make another album by themselves. "Mad Man Moon" and "Ripples" were always my least favourite tracks on the album. The rest of it is some of the best music the band has ever made. "Mad Man Moon" starts off melancholic and easy-going. Later it gets more classical sounding. Once the drums enter the song gets more interesting. "Ripples" opens with vocals and 12-string guitar in a ballad/folk kind of way. Drums come in during the second chorus. Then it changes to more classical sounding with backwards guitar.

"Dance On A Volcano" is one of the best openers of any Genesis album. Love the 'squeek, squeek'. What a great middle section; intense stuff. And what's more intense? The 'dance' at the end. Great stuff, just as essential Genesis as anything on their previous albums. "Entangled" is one of the band's most hauntingly beautiful songs ever. Collins was going to end up singing this song no matter what...because there are no drums(ha). Features the other dudes on 12 string guitars. Excellent overdubbed harmony vocals. I love how the keyboards gradually get added and by the end they overwhelm the whole song. That ending section is one of the greatest things you will ever hear on a Genesis album: superb mix of Mellotron choir, synth and 12-string guitar.

"Squonk" is a highlight. What a groove! Always loved that keyboard melody before and after the 'chorus' part. Collins certainly shows that he is a capable vocalist for this song. The ending section is great although I wish it didn't fade out so quickly. "Robbery, Assault & Battery" is another highlight. Features some of Tony Banks' best ever keyboard work. Collins' drumming and vocals are great in this track. That middle section is just pure awesomeness. One of the band's most unique songs. The title track points towards the band's more radio-friendly future in a way that say, songs like "I Know What I Like" and "Counting Out Time" did not. It is the most 'single' oriented track on the album. The lyrics however are not your typical pop fare: humans being judged by creatures they don't even know exist.

The best part is at the end...literally, "Los Endos". For many reasons, one of which is the incorporation of other songs into it. The beginning comes from another song called "It's Yourself" which the band wrote around this time but recorded later as a B-side. Towards the end both "Dance" and "Squonk" are reprised. When the track is fading out you hear Collins sing: "there's an angel standing in the to get back home". Those are lyrics from "Supper's Ready". Apart from that the track is completely instrumental. Love the jungle type rhythm used. The way the track just morphs and changes is brilliant. Just before "Squonk" is reprised is the best part: the drums, Mellotron and synth. Excellent.

One of the groups' best efforts and the last really super terrific awesome one. The followup Wind & Wuthering is similar but not quite as strong (with even more hints of their radio- friendly future). After that Hackett leaves. They would get less proggy after he left yet sell way more albums. Gabriel would soon start his own solo career which would take him in a different direction entirely (although both would end up making R&B-influenced pop/rock hits in the 1980s). I would give this a 4.5 but "Mad Man Moon" and "Ripples" are going to make me knock it down to a solid 4 stars.

Report this review (#896918)
Posted Monday, January 21, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Genesis album A Trick of the Tail is their first after the departure of lead singer Peter Gabriel, and I find it a more cohesive effort from their last endeavor, the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Although Peter is a hard act to follow, Genesis did the right thing and stayed in house with Phil Collins becoming their new lead singer, even though he still occupied the drum set. On the touring front they had to hire an outside drummer while Phil sang. Initially this was Bill Bruford, but he went on to different things and his place was taken by Chester Thompson, who has stayed on as the live drummer pretty much since then (outside of the tour with Ray Wilson, who had replaced the departed Collins).

This album shows how good Genesis could be when they put their minds to it. Dance on a Volcano is an increible album opener, one of the strongest, in my opinion, in the history of Genesis. The twin guitar attack of Steve and Mike is an awesome accomplishment. Entangled is a 12-string lovefest. Squonk is a great driving Genesis song that pounds away. Mad Man Moon is another soft pastoral song.

Side two opens with Robbery, Assault and Battery, an aural assault with tongue in cheek lyrics, a song that would have been perfect for Peter to sing if he had stayed with the band, with its cast of characters. Ripples follows, a song that I personal rank as one of the best songs they have ever done. A Trick of the Tail follows, loosely based on an American Indian folktale and featuring Tony's excellent keyboard work. Los Endos ends the album with an instrumental that incorporates the themes of many of the songs to pull the album together as a whole. The track is so popular with the band itself that they still play it onstage.

An excellent album, one that I consider to be their third best, only bettered by Foxtrot and Selling England By the Pound. If you can, get the extended 2007 remaster that features amazing live video from this album's tour, it's well worth the price of admission, as well as the 5.1 stereo remastering is amazing, too.

Report this review (#911264)
Posted Friday, February 8, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars So after Peter left, Genesis was unsure about their future with a vocalist. They even thought about being an all-instrumental band. They auditioned many singers and I believe they auditioned drummers too. They didn't like any of the singers they auditioned so Phil decided to take a stab at it, the band had liked what they have heard from him in the past(For Absent Friends, More Fool Me). They eventually gave him the job as frontman and so the Phil Collins Era of Genesis began. He has somewhat of a similar vocal range from Peter but he is able to sing higher notes. I personally loved the guy's vocals in the 1970's(he was flawless with so much soul and emotion). A Trick Of The Tail was the beginning of all this. The album was released in 1976 and it actually sold more copies and it was more critically acclaimed than any album with Peter put together( I still prefer PG Genesis regardless of what others say! but that doesn't mean I don't like PC Genesis because I still do). Anyways, the line-up now consisted of Phil Collins on lead vocals and drums, Tony Banks on keyboards, piano and mellotron. Steve Hackett on lead guitar and Mike Rutherford on bass guitar. The album cover was made hipgnosis(known for doing Pink Floyd album covers) and it features the themes that the album's lyrics talk about(Squonk, Robbery, Assault & Battery, Ripples I think you get the point!). You'd think that they lost their lead singer, main lyricist and frontman that they would suffer but that's not the case here(hehe). I will talk about what I like and don't like about this album. To me this still a solid album!

Here's the track listing for the album that was released in 1976

1. Dance On A Volcano- This song is just good, I love how they go crazy and change time-signatures and head into a jam towards the end. It shows you that Genesis isn't resting on their laurels or past glories. They have a new identity. This is classic Genesis in my opinion. 'Let the dance begin!!!" 10/10

2. Entangled- Oh my is this one great, I get tremendous chill whenever I listen to it, Phil's vocals are fantastic along with the rest of the band. When this head towards the end, it gives me even more chills. When the Mellotrons you are like "wow!!". I don't know if I've ever had more chills listening to a Genesis song. When I hear this I think of the shadow of Peter Gabriel and how the band was able to tell everyone "We'll be fine!" . There's no need to worry we're still Genesis and with that in mind, it makes it even more chilling!. 10/10

3. Squonk- Though a little repetitive for my liking it still shines on many levels. Primarily on the groove of the bass and drums. Due to the repetitive nature of this song I'll deduct some points(If you know me by now and my reviews I don't really like repetitive songs in my Prog world) Phil's vocals aren't too bad either! The song is still a good listen. 8/10

4. Mad Man Moon- This one is more of Tony's piece than any other on the album(I believe Tony had a say in every song on this album, I could be wrong though). It's a Piano piece that is just wonderful though the bridge hardly does anything for me. The verses and choruses are fantastic though. 8/10

5. Robbery, Assault & Battery- Now this is one I love, it tells a story about a thief and how he escapes and gets out of jail by paying his bail he continually robs money and precious material from banks. That little jam and that keyboard synth solo and interplay with the guitar is just too awesome!!. I think the lyrics are funny but it doesn't really bother the music(Genesis with Peter did always have that humor though so I guess it really shouldn't bother me). The song is really solid with a great bass and drum attack on the rhythm section. Steve guitar work on this song is often overlooked.10/10

6. Ripples - Ah this one, this one is so great!! I love the piano, the vocals, Steve Hackett's crying guitar(his guitar cries on this song, just listen!!) The music in the background while Steve is playing his solo is just so mysterious and beautiful at the same time!. "Sail away, away though the Ripples never come back". It talks about how everyone beauty goes away from them(it specifically talks about women though). I hope it didn't or doesn't intend to be sexist. Anyways, this song is just beautiful, it's enough to make a man cry(In my opinion). Just a great song. 10/10

7. A Trick Of The Tail- I bet some people were upset by this one because it sounds more commercial than just about anything that they have done until this point. I happen to think the opposite. I was glad that Genesis decided to make something like this(it was a breath of fresh air to me!). I think it's a very enjoyable song, I don't think it's perfect but still really fun! 9/10

8. Los Endos- This one is one of Genesis best instrumentals, I find it to be very solid. It's got some jazzy influences in there. I really like how they referred back to Squonk(I thought that was neat not original but neat nonetheless). This refers to Dance On A Volcano too and it's one of Genesis's best instrumentals. 10/10

Overall the album gets a 75 out of 80 from me. Out of 10 it gets a little more than a 9. I will give the album a 5 star rating because of 5 great songs!Genesis proved to us all that they don't need to rely on Peter Gabriel to make great music, and they did just that!!!.Peace Out!

Report this review (#931236)
Posted Saturday, March 16, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is my favorite Genesis album. In fact, it's my favorite album of all-time - period.

Genesis would emerge from Peter Gabriel's goliath shadow to produce an album with a true minimum of preconceptions of even where the band came from. They were obviously simply trying to compose and perform great music, regardless of where they'd been before. Sure, the hallmarks of their earlier albums were all there - lush, pastoral moods, occasional savagery, waxing and waning of energies and moods - but the instrumentation goes beyond pretty much anything they had done to this point.

Certainly, this is very much a Tony Banks-inspired production. Songs like "Ripples" and "Mad Man Moon" would have required two keyboardists to fully replicate live, something not often seen on earlier albums (and certainly not to this degree). Additionally, "Entangled" is completely bereft of drums, something only done on those earlier tracks ("For Absent Friends", "More Fool Me") where Phil Collins sang lead; of course, with Collins now full-time lead vocalist, you could argue that there was no real change there, but in this case the instrumentation is far more lush than those earlier two tracks and stuck in between two of the rockiest songs on the album.

And the songs - great-to-magnificent. "Dance on a Volcano" sounds like a Gabriel-era relic. With Collins' vocals apparently being tracked in triplicate, there's a thick voice riding over a complicated tempo in the song's verses, with Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett providing most of the melody on some rather odd-sounding guitars. The song finishes with a "dance" if you will which I personally would not want to have to keep up with, reminiscent of "Dancing With the Moonlight Knight"'s ending.

"Entangled" - beautiful melody in the largely acoustic beginning, augmented by glockenspiel and more heavy tracking of Collins' vocals. At the end is a beautiful keyboard solo with ghostly overtones played over the guitars and bone-chilling bass pedal thumps.

"Squonk" - maybe the weakest track here, but still great. More heavy vocal tracking, and an ominous tone to Banks' keyboards which lead to the songs sorrowful conclusion, which musically is a reprise of "Dance on a Volcano"'s introductory theme.

"Mad Man Moon" - a tale of survival in a desert, but worried far more with the emotional detachment the protagonist feels than any mere physical needs. The instrumental break is a piano/synthesizer-drenched interlude with scant guitar before Collins' voice breaks in again, apparently with a dream telling the protagonist he's better off where he is, before finishing with the opening themes where the protagonist has apparently resigned himself to his isolation. Maybe a lot being talked about at a metaphorical level here - I can't tell for sure, but it would fit with the overall feel of the song.

"Robbery, Assault and Battery" - a tale of a murderous thief sidestepping and perhaps one day outwitting the criminal justice system. Not overly heavy stuff, really - it's a spoof all the way - but a nice if a little bit slight way of breaking up the album's two epics.

Next, the piece-d-resistance, "Ripples". This is my favorite song of all time. It's a lovely tale of aging and acceptance, with quite simply the most beautiful instrumental section I've ever heard. The opening verses of the song are mostly acoustic guitar with piano coming in midway through, then a beautiful chorus where the piano becomes even more prominent under Collins' gorgeous vocals. Then, the instrumental - a rolling piano, then a beautiful, gently-played guitar adding color as much as melody, followed by a single-hand synthesizer riding over all of it as the drums and bass rumble underneath. It's gorgeous, ethereal and earthy simultaneously, and still gives me chills after hundreds of listens. The song finishes with the chorus as before, augmented more heavily by some of the instruments added in during the instrumental.

The title track is a quirky little number about a creature from a far off land, with horns and a tail, leaving his city of gold and finding individuals looking like normal humans with no knowledge of his peoples' existence. Fun and with some catchy piano and guitar, and another welcome break before the finale...

Los Endos - Once described by Hackett as "Genesis meets Santana". The intro starts with some the instrumental work at the end of "It's Yourself", a song unreleased on the original album, before moving into a portion that seems to be Collins' doing - it sounds very similar to the work he was doing in Brand X at the time. It's frenetic, jazzy and highly percussive. Then, a sudden stop as we move into a reprise of "Dance on a Volcano", before finishing up with a reprise of "Squonk". This song gives the album something of a "concept" feel even if it truly doesn't fit that description.

The fact that after 25 years, this album still tops my list, should be telling as to its quality. If you don't have it, get it and give it a try. I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed if you can take the time to really listen. It's a rare gem and should be appreciated fully. Five stars.

Report this review (#935439)
Posted Tuesday, March 26, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Gabriel had left the band and Collins took over the mike duties. I was very sceptical at the time whether Genesis could continue and keep the magic without Gabriel.

"Dance on a Volcano" - A very solid track. The old Genesis magic is still there. The track is less wordy fare from the band. The musical pyrotechnics later in the track are very good and somewhat of a change for Genesis.

"Entangled" - Nice fragile dreamlike track.

"Squonk" - Brilliant track - majestic and soaring.

"Mad Man Moon" - Very beautiful softer piece.

"Robbery, Assault & Battery" - quirky track that I can't say I enjoy until around the halfway mark when it fleshes out into a Genesis jam. For me this track is the low point of the album.

"Ripples" - Lovely track. I heard somewhere that the original lyrics of the track had to be changed as they were too bawdy to begin with.

"A Trick of the Tail" - Flighty track that I don't dislike but I don't like it much either - to me it points toward the future of what Genesis would become.

"Los Endos" - Very powerful instrumental piece. I love the drum work on this.

To me this signalled that Genesis weren't dead at all - they recovered well from the loss of Gabriel. I do pick up a lot of hints on this album pointing to the "pop" music band that Genesis would later become. I really enjoy the majority of this album's tracks. There are one and a half tracks that I don't enjoy all that much - a half because I do enjoy some of "Robbery, Assault and Battery". From me a four star rating where the weaknesses are very adequately made up for by the strengths.

Report this review (#946079)
Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars This work by Genesis is one of their best in my opinion. The music here is complex and fairs well against their earlier work. Phil does a good job with the vocals, and Tony Banks keys are good too. Steve Hackett I feel doesn't sound well in the mixing and honestly I barely notice him except on Squonk and Entangled. As for the songs themselves, well, everything here holds up well. Dance on a Volcano really kills it instrumentally, and is just a exceptional song. Entangled is softer, with Steve Hackett playing throughout and Tony's mellotron outro makes for a rather basic but interesting song. Squonk is another song where it has a rather basic structure but sounds great, and has a great feel. Mad Man Moon is the peak of this album for me, it starts with a very soft sound, and some neat lyrics, but then transforms into a much faster song through Tony's keys mainly. A really cool song and very spacey too. Robbery, Assault, and Battery is probably my least favorite, but only because of the fricking Done be wrong, same old song part, god that gets annoying!!! Aside from it being repeated the entire song it seems, it's nice musically and has a premise that wouldn't be uncommon of the earlier Genesis. After that the song Ripples comes in, and this one is pretty much a repetitive song, that while nice, feels like it could be a lot shorter. A Trick of The Tail is personally amazing for me, I really enjoy it a lot, but I know a good amount of people would disagree with me. Very very great song. Last is the pretty much instrumental piece Los Endos, which is a fast and technical, should I say, prog, work. A great ending piece. I would recommend A Trick of The Tail to anyone into prog, or more specially crossover or neo prog. It's got shorter songs, and a much more straightforward sound mainly. Doesn't make it worse, and is worth getting.
Report this review (#970461)
Posted Monday, June 3, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars Peter Gabriel, as a real man, left Genesis to take care of his wife in her hard hard moments. So Phil Collins slowly sold Genesis by the pound. A Trick Of The Tail was the first album without Gabriel, icluding Phil as leader. The album isn't bad. Many people think that from post- Gabriel era this record is the nearest to the oldschool Genesis. I don't think so. This is totally different. There was Banks, Hacket, Collins, but no one could keep Genesis on the ground after Gabriel's departure. Some songs from this album has a good songwriting, but too repetitive. I really don't need to listen to this album when I have all the masterpieces from Trespass to Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Even into prog area, Genesis went easy listening with A Trick of The Tail. And most of the tracks are very happy, or have a different mood here. Good (and half good) tracks are: Dance On A Volcano, Robbery Assault and Battery, Ripples, A Trick of The Tail, Los Endos. The rest is poor. And even the good tracks are monotone, boring to listen to the whole track, yes, I always get bored at the middle of the track.
Report this review (#1013189)
Posted Wednesday, August 7, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Trick Of The Tail is another Genesis classic. This was the first album without their former lead singer, and even though it lacks somewhat of a powerful voice, it makes up for in musicianship. The songs here are all played wonderfully.

"Dance On A Volcano" gets things started with an exciting beginning and end. At points it sounds like Peter Gabriel never even left, because of Phil Collins' voice. "Entangled" is a gentle song with beautiful 12-strings. "Squonk" is a more straightforward rocker. In an interview, Phil Collins said it was the closest they ever got to Led Zeppelin. I don't hear the resemblance, but still, a good song. "Mad Man Moon" makes use of its seven minutes by having melodic and rhythmic changes. "Robbery, Assault And Battery" is a fun song containing what has to be one of the best instrumental breakdowns in any Genesis song. The drumming is fantastic. The song also has an interesting chorus. "Ripples" seems like a long song but it stays consistent and is pleasant to listen to. "A Trick Of The Tail" is a catchy pop song in the same vein as "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" from Selling England By The Pound and "Counting Out Time", from The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. "Los Endos" is sort of a jazz-fusion number that repeats some of the album's material at the end, most notably a reprise of "Squonk".

This album is a testament to the talent of the group as a whole. Coming after The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, A Trick Of The Tail is another great record. Of course, nothing was going to top The Lamb, but they didn't need to make another album like that. Following in the footsteps of Peter Gabriel, everyone thought the band would not be able to survive without him. But with this album, they proved that they could not only survive, but even do well without him. A solid effort that shows that the group weren't ready to give up the ghost just yet.

Report this review (#1085749)
Posted Wednesday, December 4, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars With the exception of Pink Floyd, this may very well be the most accessible album into the world of Prog. It was not the first Genesis album I had listened to and while I was off-put to know that Peter Gabriel had left before this, several listens convinced me that this was not something to be ignored by the Prog world. Each song is beautiful and well-crafted; they all fit together perfectly. Here is where Genesis (mainly Banks and Rutherford) shows the world that song-writing did not solely belong to their former front-man. I'd list noteworthy songs but to be honest they're all exceptional and outstanding that to select a few isolated tracks would seem to diminish the value of the others. I will say that "Los Endos" may be Genesis' finest climactic ending to an album/song; yes, I'd even go as far to say that it rivals even "Supper's Ready" or "The Musical Box". The reprising melody from both "Squonk" and "Dance on a Volcano" always brings goosebumps to my skin.

While not altogether a masterpiece, this album has the unique distinction of not limiting itself to Prog audiences. There are elements within this record that can appeal to a wide range of music lovers, which makes it the accessible and wonderful group of melodies that I will cherish til the end of my days.

Report this review (#1134191)
Posted Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars When I first heard "Trick of the Tail" i thought: "God, bless them". I was really impressed, by anything in there. Great songs, nice lyrics, and great SOUND. Possibly it is the better- sounding Genesis LP in the Progressive Era, in terms of recording tecs. Perfect EQ and superb mixing. I love how this album sounds.

DANCE ON A VOLCANO: Mike plays a riff, which will re-appear a couple of times again later in the album, and quite immediatly Steve, Phil and Tony make syncopated stop-fills with a nice jazzy taste. The thing gets interesting when the large and majestic 7/4 turns into a nervous one. Phil's singing is quite perfect. I think this album shows clearly his whole "drum philosophy": triplets and quadruplets almost everywhere, ghost notes on the snare and great bass drum work. The song ends after an outstanding "jamming" moment in which Tony and Steve build a very nice dialogue between synth and guitar.

ENTANGLED: this is an Hackett one. Music and words. It's a waltz, softly carried on by lots of guitars (Steve, Tony and Mike). The first part shows a weird situation, concerning psychiatrist and things like that. The song touches its finest part when it turns instrumental. The waltz goes on for a bit, while Tony draws an emotional landscape which reminds me a lot of "classical choral" stuff. We got Mellotron (choir) playing chords and the lead synth playing the soprano line. Amazing.

SQUONK: this is a rock song. And stop. I heard someone saying this is the weak song. I could agree, but not completely. We got to understand that, in 1976, Genesis had to handle the progressive audience as well the american one. "Squonk" is a nice track. Nothing like "Epping Forest", of course! It is a nice rock track, which echoes some Led Zeppeling moments (John Bonham drum influence is quite clear!), it has got nice lyrics and great vocal work.

MAD MAN MOON: now this is the underrated song of the block. I think nobody considers Mad Man Moon because it doesn't keep the "usual Genesis taste". I suggest: try to listen to it just as a song. It is simply wonderful.

ROBBERY, ASSAULT AND BATTERY: I always thought that "Robbery" has got to be considered -together with "Harold the Barrel", "Willow Farm", "Epping Forest"- one of the Genesis "Silly" Songs. I always thought that was an attempt to make a Gabriel-like silly- dramatic-comedy-story. And, to be onest, the result is not comparable in terms of lyrics. But it is still a great song. GIANT drumming, as usual. The instrumental moment is a 15/8 jam. Someone still thinks that it is 7/4. But if you pay attention you will notice that is a 7+6. The "one note solo" by Hackett -before the dramatic mellotron part- is to me one of the highest things ever made by human race.

RIPPLES: classic Genesis evergreen. 12 strings, sweet vocals, nice chords. Almost a ballad song. The middle part still makes me unquiet. It nearly makes me cry every single time. The guitar sighs by Hackett are so heart touching.

TRICK OF THE TAIL: cleverness. Pure cleverness. Tony's song. Pure taste.

LOS ENDOS: this is an explosive ending. It is just one of the greatest "ending tracks" of all times. Anyone knows this was inspired by Carlos Santana jams. Not simply a jam, "Los Endos" features Genesis at their best -instrumentally speaking-. It is magic. Everyone of them works for the ensemble. So tastefully built, the song flows into a "Dance on a Volcano/Squonk Reprise" with lots of self quotations including the "There's an angel standing in the sun" part which sends tons of shivers down my spine.

I can only imagine Peter Gabriel thinking "well done, boys."

Report this review (#1237647)
Posted Thursday, August 7, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first album without Peter Gabriel is one of the finest efforts Genesis have produced. One major difference to its predecessors is the lack of extremely short and extremely long songs, which had become a trademark of Genesis over the last few albums. But this doesn't affect the quality at all, quite on the contrary, it makes the songs easier accessible without lowering the musical standard or drifting off to more mainstream sounds. We were spared that development for a few years yet.

Oh how fresh and nearly happy most of the songs sound, compared to the strict artistic approach of Selling England... and Lamb. Surprisingly, as I usually like ballads, the two slow songs, Entangled and Ripples made the "weakest" impression on me, if only slightly. But my favourites are Mad Man Moon with its almost classical sound, dancing Robbery, Assault & Battery and the powerful final track Los Endos, which is strong competition for It and Supper's Ready in regards to the best final song of a Genesis album, though I wouldn't consider the latter a classical finale. The rest are strong songs, just without the extra bit. Dancing On A Volcano may be one of the best openers of a Genesis album, but there are quite a few album openers by other artists that remain in my head a bit longer. The same is true for Squonk while the title track is too similar to Robbery, only a wee wee bit weaker.

Still some 4.8 stars for a wonderful album.

Report this review (#1353825)
Posted Monday, January 26, 2015 | Review Permalink
5 stars The end is not yet...

A Trick of the Tail was released in 1976 by what many people believed to be posthumously, due to the departure of everyone's favorite sophisticated stage-clown, Peter Gabriel, the year prior. Desperately, the band tried to find a new vocalist, going through about 100 auditions in order to find one. What they didn't realize until later was they already had a vocalist in their midst- Phil Collins. Before Trick Collins hadn't had a large lead vocal repertoire in the band, in fact the only song where he did was 'More Fool Me', an acoustic ballad off of Selling England By the Pound in 1973. The limelight was set his major frontman debut and this was the product. How does it fair?

It's a loaded question, really. With such a monumental shift in front-men some comparisons should be made between the qualities of their styles. For one, Phil Collins grew into his stage presence fairly well; he had a warm atmosphere that greatly contrasted with Gabriel's theatrical vivaciousness (with a sort of separation between audience and band by some proverbial means). In the studio Collins remained the same: a skilled and intricate drummer whose experimentations have influenced the likes of Neil Peart with their complexity. Let's not hasten to forget the other members, however. Banks is as ever a fantastic song writer and the mastermind behind some of the best songs on the album, such as 'Mad Man Moon', 'Robbery, Assault and Battery', and the title track (not bad on the keys either). Rutherford and Hackett of course are fantastic on the strings, creating some of the best hooks Genesis has ever had.

The album itself is interesting because it both reserved and boisterous at the same time. The synth hits are it perfect spots at serve as sort of climactic cannon shots every time they appear. The songs themselves can range from powerful swagger like 'Dance on a Volcano' and 'Squonk', or soft-spoken like 'Entangled' (funnily enough sounding like it took a lot of inspiration from 'More Fool Me') and 'Ripples. It also may be worth it to mention that this album features much of what the hated 80's Genesis would continue to have: groovy bass pedals from Rutherford, atmospheric yet lumbering chords followed with the echo of Collins' voice shouting self-conjoined harmonies into the symphonic fray. What I believe this album has that the albums following didn't have (aside from the band's eponymous from '83 and some certain selections from other albums) is the stoic refinement that were left from the over-the-top self indulgent days of Peter Gabriel's reign. This refinement would go on to be more like residue with the music becoming less and less subtle as their discography progressed.

Trick of the Tail combines the good parts of both Genesis eras- the elegance of Gabriel and the freewheeling of Collins. If you looking for the true best of both world then this album is the prime example of what you're looking for.

Report this review (#1593576)
Posted Sunday, July 31, 2016 | Review Permalink
4 stars High Quality, despite Gabriel's departure.

Clearly feeling they should continue making quality music in the face of Gabriel's departure, they mustered up the strength to carry on with Collins becoming the main vocalist and front-person. The result is remarkably good. Although the lyrics are clearly missing Gabriel's gifts, Collins demonstrates he can provide sufficiently intelligent substitutes, and furthermore (and probably most importantly, for the history of the band), that he can sound like Genesis. This would come back to bite them as Collins increasingly would take the band into commercial territory that dismissed (or even seemingly mocked) the progressive musical developments on these earlier albums, but for now the band is working well together to come up with 'Genesis' music, hugely aided by the presence of Steve Hackett (who would also remain for the next album, his last with the band). Over time, this album would become an icon in itself, representing a middle-70s Genesis sound and compositional style. I actually think that contemporary band Big Big Train sounds not so much like Gabriel-era Genesis, but instead most like this album in both lyrical form, singing style, and musical form (if one had to compare). This album also presented to the world a number of tunes that would later be considered among the best in the Genesis catalogue. Songs like the opener 'Dance on a Volcano', 'Squonk', 'Ripples' and the title track are really very good. They are also very direct and unpretentious. I don't think that 'Wind and Wuthering' - the only other album to feature this exact same line up - was able to do this so well, leaving Trick of the Tail as a unique and distinct album in the larger Genesis body of work. I give this album 8.2 out of 10 on my 10-piont scale, which translates to 4 PA stars.

Report this review (#1696056)
Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | Review Permalink
5 stars Review Nº 131

'A Trick Of The Tail' is the seventh studio album of Genesis and was released in 1976. This is another album that represents another turning point into their discography. It's even considered by some people the first neo-prog album in rock history. After the release of the sixth Genesis' studio album 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' in 1974 and during the live tour of that album in May of 1975, Peter Gabriel announced that he was leaving the group. At the time, and after the band auditioned over 400 lead singers to find a replacement front man to the group, and because Phil Collins had already provided some vocal work on Genesis, they decided that he was the right man to replace Gabriel.

So, that change transformed the band from a quintet to a quartet. If the problem of the singer became resolved, it raised the problem of a drummer for their live shows. So, they decided to engage Chester Thompson which is an American drummer and session musician who played with Weather Report and Frank Zappa, to perform on their live shows.

'A Trick Of The Tail' has eight tracks. The first track 'Dance On A Volcano' written by Tony Banks, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins is a great opener for the album. This is a very progressive song full of frantic rhythmic variations. It's also a song with a beautiful melody and complex musical changes which correspond completely to the great expectations created around this new studio work. The second track 'Entangled' written by Banks and Hackett is a very beautiful pastoral piece of music that features a superb acoustic guitar work by Hackett accentuated by a fantastic mellotron work by Banks. It's a wonderful and melodic song that makes us glide and dream. The third track 'Squonk' written by Banks and Rutherford is a song with a fantastic and memorable opening and it has also a remarkable fantastic drumming work made by Collins. This is a very simple song with great choral work. The fourth track 'Mad Man Moon' written by Banks is one of the most beautiful songs of the album and is one of my favourites too. We can even say that this is one of the most beautiful songs ever created by Genesis. It's also a song with beautiful chorus and a wonderful keyboard work by Banks. It became as one of the most beloved songs of Genesis, especially in Hackett's musical era. This is really a truly fantastic progressive track. The fifth track 'Robbery, Assault and Battery' written by Banks and Collins is a very good song and particularly it has great imaginative rhythms and time changes. It's a song also with a fantastic instrumental middle section with great individual performances by all band's members. The sixth track 'Ripples' written by Banks and Rutherford is a very calm and beautiful song. It's a song with nice guitar and keyboard musical textures. In reality, Hackett's guitar work is absolutely stunning, accompanied by a soft and wonderful keyboard work by Banks. This track represents the quiet and calm track on the album. The seventh track is the title track 'A Trick Of The Tail'. It was written by Banks and represents a very accessible track with very interesting lyrics. However, this is, in my humble opinion, one of the less progressive songs on the album and it sounds more like a song made to be released as a single hit. So, despite be a very nice song, I sincerely think this is the weakest and less interesting track on the album. In reality, it seems to be more a pop song than a track of a progressive album. The eighth track 'Los Endos' written by Banks, Hackett, Rutherford and Collins, is a fantastic instrumental progressive piece of music and represents my favourite track on the album. I even dare to say, that this is undoubtedly one of the favourite tracks of all Genesis' fans. It's the track that serves to resume the all album because it has some musical elements of all the other tracks. This is a very energetic track that closes the album wonderfully. It's interesting to note that 'Los Endos' became an emblematic song for the group and for the fans too. It became part of the alignment of the songs chosen to be part of almost all of their live shows and became commonly used to close almost all of them.

Conclusion: 'A Trick Of The Tail' is the first album released by Genesis as a quartet and without their front man and song writer Peter Gabriel. I have no doubt in saying that it was, for sure, a horrible moment for them. Certainly, Collins was very nervous wondering if Genesis' fans would accept him as the new front man of the group. However, and despite the loss of Gabriel, the group continued to deliver excellent musical moments for their fans, and 'A Trick Of The Tail' represents an excellent example of that. With this album, Genesis found new musical direction instead of simply revisited their musical past work. As I wrote above, some people consider that 'A Trick Of The Tail' was the first neo-prog album in the history, but others consider that was 'Market Square Heroes', the debut EP of Marillion released in 1982. Anyway and furthermore, 'A Trick Of The Tail' remains as an important milestone in the progressive rock music and in particular to the neo-prog sub-genre. It reveals also and undoubtedly that this is an album with great quality of Genesis. This is in reality an essential album for everyone who really loves progressive rock music with great beauty.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Report this review (#1771483)
Posted Monday, August 14, 2017 | Review Permalink
5 stars #9 Review

Once Peter Gabriel left, the band kept searching and they ultimately decided for Phil Collins to be the lead... poor guy, he never wanted to leave the drums, but his voice eventually overshadowed his drums skills on the people wich is sad, but what can you do when you are very talented at 2 things? Not only that, but probably one of the best for the 2 jobs but one of those omits the other?

Well, the band continued and released a pretty aweosome album that i discovered because of a friend of an uncle who is having a hard time now at the hospital, hope that he gets well soon and i must thank him, this album is aweosome and because of those Peter Gabriel fanboys is because i never wanted to listen to this on the first place, i was pretty influenced by them when i started with Genesis, and i must tell everybody, listen to nobody, not even to me if you want, you just need to experience Genesis in its totality and i hope that you and everybody can realize what Genesis is all about, that's why i am here.

As always, i'll be reviewing per song.

1.- Dance on a Volcano 10/10 This song is pretty aweosome, it does almost everything right, the rythms, the time signatures, the atmosphere, the sound... everything is great here... How can i say that is an special song other than it is perfectly made? Well, really nice drumming and crazy "drop" of the instruments at the end.

2.- Entangled 10/10 If you want to listen to this, put your lights at minimum, making a glowy orange scene in your bedroom, make the room be filled with darkness also and look up in the window at night, watch for the rooftops and imagine childrens runing up there, it's a magical night where only the silhouette of the childrens can be seen while the moon washes the colors of the roofs, and you want to be there, as a child, to relive those inocent times that you never had because you were listening to prog alone at your room, you don't regret it, but you cry because you never had a social experience and now... you're tired and ill. That's how i feel, i love this song and i'd like to animate it or something, i want to share how i feel with somebody, maybe that's why i write reviews.

Pretty well done atmospherics by everybody here, and there's not a single piece of drums being played, only sweet Phil singing.

3.- Squonk 9/10 Nicely done kind of badass song, a little repetitive and because of that i sometimes forget that i'm listening to it, but still sports a nice rythm. I have another minor problem with this song, and that one is that in the ending, i would've liked for them to continue, i investigated and found that the ending overlaps infinitely, so they never composed something more to finish the song? Weird, i guess some of those ideas went into the most famous unreleased song from this album. Shoutouts to the singing, again but in a different way.

4.- Mad Man Moon 9/10 This song was perfect!! But the dumb lyrics in some parts had to rest 1 point. This song is really melancholic, here the spotlight is Tony Banks, he plays an incredible piece at half the song where it sounds like something that could be played whilst watching one of those Georges Méliès silent movies, it really takes away into a different reality and i love it. So the instrumentals are perfect here, the lyrics not, and it's hard for me to give it a point less because i mostly focus in instrumentals, but the lyrics really do take apart the illusion, it happens at the second half of the song, it is the singing or the lyrics tho?

5.- Robbery, Assault and Battery 10/10 At first i wasn't very fond of this song, but then after some re-listens, i just love it, it sports a lot of interesting and uniques things here, a funny story, but then an incredible aweosome odd time signature, this is one of the best Genesis songs to showcase odd time signatures. Shoutouts to everybody here because everyone got it's time to shine in this song.

6.- Ripples 10/10 Should i say something? This song has made everybody cry atleast once, because it's a pretty song, really sad and melancholic but then it gets pretty emotional and near the end there is one of the most epic solos i have heard, when i first listened to this, there was nothing toping that part and i edited the song so i could loop that part as far as i wanted, i really love that part. But the song in it's entirety is another one like Entangled with almost no drums, until the chorus and the solo tho. Shoutouts to Steve Hackett and Tony Banks, my favorite music couple... maybe.

7.- A Trick of the Tail 10/10 The title trick, i mean track, it's a somewhat short song, with really interesting lyrics, and a really sticky rythm, this song may be a little repetitive, but it gets stuck pretty easy in the head and the lyrics really get inside of my mind and i don't get distracted, i concentrate the whole song, and if i distract for some reason, the chorus hooks me up pretty fast. So in this one is a shoutouts to the lyrics.

8.- Los Endos 10/10 The final song that closes it all with just almost repeating all the songs in the albums with an incredible showcase of talent from Phil Collins on drums and everybody also, but the drums in a really special way. This song is really well executed and i'm glad that in concerts they have come back to this song multiple times, it represents the album well.

All in all the final score is a 98/100, wich obviusly translates to 5 stars, i recommend this album to EVERYBODY.

Report this review (#1865826)
Posted Wednesday, January 10, 2018 | Review Permalink
5 stars When Peter Gabriel left Genesis, a lot of the weirdness went with him.It was probably that weirdness which was preventing them from being a more commercially viable group. When the 4 remaining members reconvened in 1976 with Collins taking over as vocalist, instead of having to produce yet another soundtrack for Gabriel's increasingly bizarre lyrics, they now had the opportunity to concentrate on producing music that they wanted.

It is no surprise therefore, that the resulting album reflected their personal tastes and as a result is probably the most diverse album they ever produced.Most tellingly is the fact that for the first time, you did not have to be a Genesis fan to appreciate this album or even be a Progressive Rock fan either. In fact I know quite a few people who are not even into Rock music at all but still love it.So why is this? Ultimately it comes down to way that the album as a whole is at once accessible and involving.

The opening track, "Dance On A Volcano" opens with a series of loud stabbing chords set against a slightly menacing twelve string pattern before settling in to one of those great anthemic instrumental choruses that Genesis were so good at producing. It is really quite stunning.The verses are no less dramatic underlined by an urgent riff.

The next track "Entangled" is a complete contrast, being a gentle acoustic song with some extremely pleasant harmony vocal support from Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford.It is closer in spirit to Folk Rock than Progressive Rock and reminds me a little of Crosby Stills and Nash.Steve Hackett is largely responsible for this beautiful song.

The next track "Squonk" is clearly inspired by Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" with its crunching and very loud twelve string riff.It has a slow rather plodding rhythm but is still very melodic and has another punchy instrumental chorus.This loud and powerful track made an excellent opening track at subsequent concerts.

"Mad Man Moon",the closing track on side one is pure Banks- a very romantic piano based song with an extended keyboard instrumental and some very atmospheric soloing by Hackett in the background.

"Robbery Assault And Battery" makes an excellent side two opener.Musically and lyrically it is fairly slight compared to the tracks on side one but it does have a suitably muscular riff underlying a catchy chorus as well as a particularly inventive instrumental break.In fact starting at the 2.30 minute mark and lasting barely one and a half minutes, it is remarkable how many musical ideas Banks comes up with including a sudden mood shift with the mellotron creating a dramatic affect that reminds me of a chase seen in a 70's Cop show. This song perfectly showcases how musical inventiveness can be contained within an otherwise straightforward pop song.

The following track "Ripples" is far and away the most achingly beautiful song Genesis ever produced in their entire career. The song about growing old and losing your looks has a an almost unbearably melancholic chorus.

The title track is one of those Genesis tracks that I suspect divides fans. It is pure pop with another catchy chorus but like "Robbery Assault And Battery" has an extended middle eight section reminiscent of groups like 10CC and Wings who also specialized in sophisticated pop. Personally I have a particular fondness for this uplifting Beatlesque song inspired by the book "The Inheritors" by William Golding.

The closing instrumental track "Los Endos" is an absolute classic and is probably the most well known track on the album being played at virtually every concert they performed right into the nineties. In the same way "Squonk" was inspired by Led Zeppelin, this track is clearly inspired by Santana's "Promise Of A Fisherman" with its Latin style percussion and soaring guitar themes.It also neatly incorporates themes from the previous track, mainly "Squonk" and "Dance On A Volcano".Even though there is no improvising as such, it still has a great jazz-fusion feel.

As far as the production values go, the recording is very crisp and polished but I prefer the more "live" sounding Wind and Wuthering" which was recorded only a few months after "Trick Of The Tail". In particular, Steve Hackett's guitar seems curiously muted on the heavier tracks .His playing is as inventive as always but sometimes I wish he could have produced that great fat Gibson sound that he produced on Wind and Wutheringl. Listening to the powerhouse performances on the live album "Seconds Out" of tracks like "Dance on A Volcano" and "Los Endos" it is hard to believe it is the same band playing.Overall though, this album is very nearly my favorite Genesis album second only to "Selling England By The Pound"

A solid 5 Stars *****

Report this review (#1937161)
Posted Tuesday, June 5, 2018 | Review Permalink
5 stars To compliment my Wind and Wuthering review, I'm going to review their other album released in 1976, A Trick of the Tail.

Ahhhh comeback albums, after loosing the charismatic front man of Peter Gabriel, Genesis carried on and released this masterpiece, their final masterpiece. Nearly every song is as good as the last. On top of this, Genesis sounds much more mature and refined on this album perhaps at the cost of some personality. Even if I prefer Gabriel, I cant deny that Collins does a great job taking the lead vocals on this album. My personal favorites here are Ripples, Entangled, Mad Man Moon, Dance on a Volcano and The Title Track. With that said, there is no weak track on this one. I really believe this is far superior to wind. There is very little intensity on wind to the likes that we see with songs like Dance on a Volcano and Los Endos.


Before we get into the songs I'd like to note each members greatest contributions to this album

Tony Banks:

I noted on my wind review that Tony Banks was too dominant on that album. Well he's definitely more dominant than on previous albums but for the better in this case. His sections on Entangled, Mad Man Moon and Ripples might single handedly bring this album into Masterpiece Territory.

Steve Hackett:

Steve Hackett is rarely an in your face guitarist, he knows when to hold back and when to be subtle. His Highlights here are of course Ripples and Entangled on the acoustic guitar. Over on the Electric, his solo on Ripples and subtle guitar work on the title track are beyond excellent.

Mike Rutherford:

He wrote Ripples. So points there right off the bat. Uhhh well Mike plays the bass and does a fine job! Sorry Mike.

Phil Collins:

I cant imagine a world where Ripples isnt sung by Phil Collins. He nails every song on this album and I could only see maybe one or two songs that Gabriel could have potentially done better on. As for drums, I think they're less developed than they were on Foxtrot and Selling England, but they're great as usual.


Dance on a Volcano 9/10

I cant imagine many people still had doubts about carrying on without Gabriel after hearing this song. Towards the end they do a fake fadeout and all come back in all chaotically, yeah thats good stuff.

Entangled 9.5/10

Wow, one of my introductions to prog was this song and Ripples and man this is beautiful. The mellotron soaked ending is what really makes this song.

Squonk 8/10

Great song that I cant help but sing along to. Genesis isn't trying to be blatantly progressive here but there's never a dull moment.

Mad Man Moon 9/10

Amazing song, but Tony Banks's middle section is simply among his greatest contributions to Genesis. However its worth noting the beautiful lyrics and vocal performance on this song as well.

Robbery Assault and Battery 8.5/10

Some consider this a wannabe Gabriel esc song, but I like it for what it is. Catchy verse and Chorus, but the real fun is when the song takes a sharp right turn into proggy synth territory. I feel bad for all the Synths banks probably set on fire while recording that solo.

Ripples 9.5/10

The longest song and the best. I remember listening to this on the bus in maybe 7th grade and wondering why this wasn't considered one of the greatest songs ever like Stairway to Heaven or the likes. We open with just two guitars and Collins vocals, eventually banks joins us on the piano for the chorus and the song evolves into a wonderful play out to close out the song. Just an unbelievable piece, essential prog.

A Trick of the Tail 9/10

Not sure why I love this song so much. Perhaps the fantastic lyrics and bridge. Also, this song is covered with fantastic subtle guitar work by Steve Hackett.

Los Endos 8.5/10

That moment when the Squonk reprise fades in. To put it shortly, when I listen to Los Endos, so do my neighbors.

5 Stars


Report this review (#2138885)
Posted Saturday, February 23, 2019 | Review Permalink
4 stars Although Genesis probably tried to avoid alienating fans of their recently departed lead vocalist Peter Gabriel, new lead singer Phil Collins puts his mark on A Trick of the Tail almost immediately. "Dance on a Volcano" doesn't sound like a Peter Gabriel song, so it's kind of surprising that it's album opener. On the other hand, there's no other song here that grabs the listener like this one. After a false ending beginning around 4:45, the madness continues for another minute before wrapping up nicely, preparing the listener for a lighter song.

"Entangled" is the first of three or four songs on A Trick of the Tail which I can imagine Gabriel singing without much adjustment to the arrangement. It almost perfectly captures the sense of moving between dreaming and waking, and its use of what I assume are multiple 12-string guitars harkens back to some of the band's earlier arrangements. "Entangled" also contains some of the best vocal harmonies the band ever recorded.

The title song is also a strong offering, and another sci-fi tale along the lines of "Get 'em Out By Friday" or "Keep It Dark," although its storyline is more comprehensible. The melodious "Ripples..." is also said to have an otherworldly plot. As nice as "Ripples..." is - - and it is very nice - - there just isn't eight minutes of material here. I feel the same way about closing song, the instrumental "Los Endos," which recycles some themes from "Squonk" and "Dance on a Volcano." It's a solid track, just a little long.

The only song I'm not especially fond of is "Mad Man Moon." It's a little tedious in my opinion; there's nothing here that the band wouldn't top less than a year later on "All in a Mouse's Night." The remaining two tracks, "Squonk" and "Robbery, Assault and Battery" are both good songs, but they sound a bit tepid here compared to the live versions released on Seconds Out in 1977.

The production quality on A Trick of the Tail is better than that of the band's previous album, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. The mix is much more integrated - - the instruments, and especially the vocals, sound much more like parts of a cohesive whole than they had on prior albums. Some of this may be due to burying Collins's voice in the mix, but whatever it is, it works.

On the whole, A Trick of the Tail is one of Genesis's best three or four studio albums. There's no "Supper's Ready" here, but this album contains textbook examples of heavy Genesis ("Dance on a Volcano") and light Genesis ("Entangled"). Highly recommended to anyone who figures that all Collins-era Genesis must sound like Invisible Touch!

Report this review (#2151390)
Posted Saturday, March 2, 2019 | Review Permalink
5 stars If this one isn't my favorite album of all time, it's in my top 5 for sure.

Absolute perfection. Not one single flaw. And not only that, it's one of those albums that had a huge emotional impact on me. It's got the perfect diversity of various themes, moods, feelings and moments that "give you adrealine" how exciting it is to drop the stylus on this LP. I love it so much that I rarely play it, because I just don't want to get tired of it. I want to enjoy it for a longer time span than two weeks, like most albums have on me in the shorter run.

It starts off with Dance On A Volcano, a sweet, sweet album opener that has the perfect balance between progressive and catchy (without turning to pop). It ends with a killer instrumental.

Entangled comes in. In songs like these, I usually can link the song to a particular season. There, I would link it closest to autumn, but I really don't know. This one is unique in its own way. It's haunting yet charming. It's like a rustic decoration for the album, just like the cover.

Then comes Squonk, probably the most catchy and pop-accessible song of them 8, but still is fairly progressive. I'll say it here ; Phil Collins definitively is a great singer, and on this one I like him better than Peter Gabriel. I consider the 1976-1977 era and the 3 albums with it (including Seconds Out) the golden age of Genesis because I overall prefer the style of these 3 albums. Squonk is a classic of that era, and besides, who doesn't love the rich keyboard sound of that song?

Closing the first side is Mad Man Moon, possibly one of my favorite songs ever. It has a desperate, sad feeling but oh my god is it just so, so, beautiful. I'm a huge fan of the compilation between mellotron & piano like there is in the first part of this song. The lyrics are in my style, and what can I say about the piano solo of the middle. It's extremely complex, but beautiful and makes you feel in the wide-open hilly desert at first (Not like in the lyrics), all alone, but then it places you in the tiniest of areas, contemplating your life and the universe in a very enclosed head. The buildup enters and all light and hope penetrates your brain, and from there it only gets better and better. It's melancholic, but so beautiful that it will turn tears of sadness into tears of joy. It really is one of my favorites, and because of that I don't play it often.

And that closes the first side. Fortunately for us, the second side is just as perfect. Robbery, Assault & Battery as a smaller opening instrumental but fits perfectly for a B-Side opening, just like Dance On A Volcano had a perfect A-Side opening. So, this one has a clear theme based on the track's title. Through the song, there is a very special keyboard solo combined with a unusual but awesome drum and bass pattern. Phil's vocals are just as great.

If Mad Man Moon is not the masterpiece of the album, Ripples is the one. They're both equally pure perfection with a bonus of emotional outrage, of joy. Ripples starts very acoustic, and Phil's vocals are the best on this one. It's a great and beautiful acoustic tune, until the middle part comes in. I can't explain it, but they somehow manage to transform the song into one of the most amazingly beautiful instrumentals of all time, and in the end, it magically goes back to the main chorus in such a beautiful and fluid way. It's one of those songs that makes you cry of joy how beautiful and perfect it is.

Then you have the title track, which is also a little more accessible just like Squonk but less of a rocker. Another song with a great feeling attached to it. Just great, simply put.

Something important in an album to me is how each side starts and ends, but more importantly, how the album as a whole starts and ends. Dance On A Volcano had a killer opening, well, Los Endos is just the P-E-R-F-E-C-T closing for an album. This instrumental pretty much sums up the whole album, and I'd even dare to say, the whole sub-genre that is Symphonic prog. It's that fascinating to hear and closely listen. Phil makes his "voice" shine on drums on this one, and shows his true talent. All four members are at best on Los Endos, and it sums up the whole album ; perfection. Simply put, pure perfection.

Report this review (#2247284)
Posted Friday, August 30, 2019 | Review Permalink

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