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Tony Banks

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Tony Banks Soundtracks album cover
2.83 | 69 ratings | 11 reviews | 4% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1986

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Short Cut to Somewhere (from Quicksilver) (3:38)
2. Smilin' Jack Casey (from Quicksilver) (3:14)
3. Quicksilver Suite: Rebirth / Gypsy / Final... (from Quicksilver) (2:57)
4. Quicksilver Suite: Gypsy (3:38)
5. Quicksilver Suite: Final Chase (2:46)
6. You Call This Victory (5:14)
7. Lion of Symmetry (7:24)
8. Redwing Suite: Redwing (5:38)
9. Redwing Suite: Lorca (3:49)
10. Redwing Suite: Kid and Detective Droid (2:08)
11. Redwing Suite: Lift Off (3:07)
12. Redwing Suite: Death of Abby (1:41)

Total Time 45:14

Line-up / Musicians

- Fish / vocals
- Toyah Willcox / vocals
- Tony Banks / bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Jim Diamond / vocals, performer

Releases information

CD Charisma CASCD1173 (1986)
LP Charisma 1173 (1986)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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TONY BANKS Soundtracks ratings distribution

(69 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(4%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(15%)
Good, but non-essential (49%)
Collectors/fans only (25%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

TONY BANKS Soundtracks reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Definitely not his best... FISH of MARILLION is on the first track! There are some not catchy songs with guest lead vocals. Awful!

Soundtrack music? Well, a bit (like on "You Call This Victory" and "Lion of Symmetry", "Lorca"), but rest is keyboards-like "Abacad"-GENESIS period, although less catchy.

Review by daveconn
3 stars I avoided "Quicksilver" (subtext: bikin' Bacon bites big time); Lorca And The Outlaws avoided me, or at least any of the theaters near me. Both films did share what would appear to be a bit of good fortune: acquiring the services of Tony BANKS to score the music. Following the success of 1983's GENESIS, one can picture the movie moguls approaching BANKS with a desire to write film music like "that Mama song" or "the one where Phil sings 'all I needed is radio'" (yes, sic). At least I hope that's what they asked for, since that's what they got. BANKS and a trio of vocal collaborators teamed up for actual songs (the inevitable "single" actually fell to Roger Daltrey on "Quicksilver"), which is "Soundtracks" ' real attraction.

A project with FISH (hooray!) falls short of expectations on "Short Cut To Somewhere," largely because of dated synthesizers and artificially contrived drama that stink of the '80s. (Pockets of the same stale parfum waft throughout the "Quicksilver Suite", with a minor variation of "Mama" in the middle.) "You Call This Victory" features Jim Diamond, who plays Tim Finn to BANKS' Jeff Lynne, eliciting all manner of hand-wringing heartache on the line "You call this justice when without here there's no sun", confirming for many the inextricable link between sunlight and justice. "Lion of Symmetry" is the best of the batch, as if Siouxsie Sioux rewrote the lyrics to "Turn It On Again" with passion. The closing "Redwing Suite" is pretty much a series of musical placeholders, no better or more memorable than the instrumental snippets from "A Curious Feeling". So, is "Soundtracks" the bastard child in the BANKS discography? To quote the immortal Fred Flinstone (or, more precisely, Fred's alien clone): "Yes yes yes."

Review by Hibou
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This is a very uneven album. It starts off with an up-tempo, catchy tune with FISH on vocals but soon switches to some obscure, dark instrumentals or vocal tunes that don't mean much to the listener if he/she hasn't seen the movies they were written for (I admit going out to see "Quicksilver" just to hear TONY's music in quadrophonia - I must have been the only one in the theatre paying attention to the soundtrack for the same reason). The most memorable part of the album for me remains the beginning of the "Redwing Suite", a 5 1/2 minute instrumental that begins with a delicate flute and progressively builds up to a full orchestral piece. This may not be BANKS' best but at least, no one will try and compare it to "his contribution to GENESIS". He tried his hand at solo ("A Curious Feeling"), he tried pop ("The Fugitive"), he tried "Soundtracks" and he is now the proud composer of a symphony ("Seven"). You've got to admit the man has some guts.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars The other guy from Genesis.

You have to have a certain amount of sympathy for Tony Banks. He was not only a member of one of the most successful bands the world has even seen, he was arguably the main driving force behind it. Much of the success of Genesis can be directly attributed to both his compositions, and the layers of keyboards he created which gave the band their sound.

When it comes to his solo albums though, he has been spectacularly unsuccessful. This lack of success must be all the more frustrating for him when he has had to watch his peers (Gabriel, Collins, Rutherford, and even Hackett), enjoying so much adulation and appreciation. If I was being harsh, I could suggest that this lack of solo success is attributable to some extent to his lack of charisma. Banks is very much a musician, not a performer. When I saw Genesis final tour (the one with Ray Wilson), Banks barely acknowledge that the audience were even present, let alone making any effort to communicate with them. Such detachment from his "audience" does not serve to endear him to them.

The other obvious reason for Banks' relative failure as a solo artist is the lack of a hit single. He has tried on several occasions to strike the rich seam which his band mates have exploited, but such efforts have been consistently unsuccessful, resulting only in disappointing material which clearly did nothing to represent his talents.

In a further effort to find that elusive success, Banks has collaborated with a number of well known artists, but even they have been unable to light the fuse. "Soundtracks" is a perfect example of all that is good and bad about Banks as a solo artist. The album consists of music written by Banks for two films ("Quicksilver" starring Kevin Bacon and "Lorca and the outlaws" AKA "Starship"), neither of which can be termed blockbusters.

Since the music was written to accompany these films, the album is more instrumental that other Banks solo works (apart from the recent classical project). Three of the six tracks have no vocals at all, while the other three feature different guest singers.

The first three tracks, which occupy most of side one of the LP, are from "Quicksilver". "Short cut to somewhere" features the vocals of Fish, but the song is straight from Genesis 80's pop era and as such was a potential, but ultimately failed, hit single. The two other tracks from the film are little more than incidental music of the type which I'm sure Tony can churn out in his sleep.

The remaining track on side one, and the whole of side two are dedicated to "Lorca and the outlaws". Banks' compositions for this film were originally intended for the film "2010", but everything he wrote was rejected when it was submitted, and he ended up allowing it to be used without charge on "Lorca..".

The distinctively voiced Jim Diamond sings (and co-writes) "You call this victory?", a rather mediocre drudge of a song. Mrs Robert Fripp, sometimes known as Toyah, provides the final vocals on the album on "Lion of symmetry". Her instantly recognisable lispy tones sit well with Banks' plodding, slightly offbeat synthesiser rhythm. Apart from the rather clumsy pun of the title, this is the most appealing part of the album, the infectious beat reflecting Banks' "This is love" from "The fugitive".

The remainder of the album is occupied by "The redwing suite", which is in reality another batch of incidental music in five parts. The atmospheric introduction is unceremoniously pushed aside by the ubiquitous pounding beat of drum machine and synthesiser as Banks bashes out more of the same.

It is often unfair to judge an artist by their soundtrack work. The music is often written to complement the intended film, and as such is out of context when heard in audio only format (A fish out of water if you will). Disregarding the fact that in this case part of the album was actually written for a completely different film to the one it was used for, the music does actually stand up fairly well in its own right. This is by no means an essential album, and those seeking more of the significant contribution Banks made to Genesis finest works will find little here of that nature. Nevertheless, should the album land upon your lap, it is worthy of a spin.

Review by Moogtron III
3 stars What do you do when you earn your living with music, and you have, to a certain extent, progressive tastes, but the winds of time make it happen that making more or less progressive albums is like blowing against the wind? Some musicians have found some satisfaction in writing soundtracks. There they have more musical freedom than on a 'normal' album, and they can reap some financial rewards at the same time.

This album shows that Banks is good in writing soundtracks. The albums contains music for two movies: Quicksilver (the most recent) and Lorca And The Outlaws (the oldest of the two). If you think that soundtracks are boring: not so with Banks' soundtracks. Consider them as songs without words, though with a progressive twist. Sure enough, there are some songs with vocals on the album as well, but the biggest part of the album is instrumental.

Banks has interesting themes, interesting chords, and his synths and the production are state of the art. The sound of the album is very good. Maybe still a bit mechanical sounding for some, but definitely warmer than on "The Fugitive". Actually, I think that quite some prog / Genesis fans, who are being put off by most other albums Banks made after A Curious Feeling, might find some of their liking on this album. The reason is simple: the album is much more free form, and leaves more room for creativity beyond the three minutes pop song.

The music of Quicksilver is the most daring of the two, but the music of the oldest soundtrack, Lorca And The Outlaws, is probably the most in line with the tastes of the average Genesis fan. It's very melodious, the sounds of the synths are very open, spacey and sometimes a bit enigmatic (though never too much with Banks, who is still a traditional composer in many ways).

There are three vocal songs on the album, one with Fish, one with (in those days) new wave / pop singer Toyah Willcox and one with Jim Diamond, who was lead singer of PhD in those days, a band which was well known for their smash hit I Won't Let You Down. Maybe it's a matter of taste, but I think the song with Jim Diamond ("You Call This Victory") is the best of the three, and it shows Banks' considerable song writing talents. The three vocal songs are also a pointer for the future: from that point on Banks would make solo albums with different singers, and songs with different atmospheres (as opposed to the homogeny in sound and vocals of Banks' first two solo albums).

Soundtracks is a decent album and shows that Banks still had some progressive aspirations, and that he was versatile enough to reinvent himself as a composer and performer. It's not a spectacular album, but is has some real nice moments for prog / Genesis fans.

Review by Mirakaze
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars As the title would suggest, this is a compilation of incidental music that Tony Banks made for two 80s movies: Quicksilver and Lorca & The Outlaws (also known as Starship). I didn't know anything about the former going into this, and if the Red Letter Media crew is to be believed, the latter is apparently pretty terrible, but I didn't want to make hasty judgments about the music, especially coming off the relative success of Tony Banks's soundtrack to The Wicked Lady. The good news compared to that score is that this collection doesn't have any pointless, cheesy orchestral filler, but the bad news is that it also doesn't have anything nearly as striking or memorable as the songs from The Wicked Lady. The main theme of Quicksilver, the Fish-sung "Short Cut To Somewhere", an optimistic and spirited synthpop number, probably comes the closest and is pretty good by the standards of mid-80s Banks pop songs; its production is a bit too generic 80s power-poppy for my taste but neo-prog fans will probably appreciate this. The same praise cannot be uttered for the pop songs on the Starship OST which are just rather dull and mediocre: "You Call This Victory" is a toothless arena rocker with an ugly vocal performance and "Lion Of Symmetry" overstays its welcome by at least half its running time.

As far as the actual scores are concerned, it's all perfectly serviceable and listenable but aside from "Lorca" and the electronic "Smilin' Jack Casey" none of it is all that outstanding. By no means is this an essential item in Mr. Banks's catalog and only big fans of his compositions will find something of value here.

Latest members reviews

4 stars #24 Review I like soundtracks, for videogames, movies, whatever, they give more focus into what's happening on screen, but at the sametime, is a place where musicians can experiment with whatever genre they like without feeling guilty or overwhelmed by what's done outside, while also maintining ... (read more)

Report this review (#1952720) | Posted by FalconBleck | Saturday, July 28, 2018 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Released just as Genesis finished recording Invisible Touch, most of the material on Soundtracks has the same keyboard approach: starry, fast moving high range parts, Fairlights, and low, bending, deadly octave interjections, with a good amount of layering. As a disclaimer to this review, I h ... (read more)

Report this review (#569466) | Posted by 7headedchicken | Thursday, November 17, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars As a fan of Genesis and Tony Banks, I'm glad this album exists. It collects the man's scant soundtrack work (except for Wicked Lady, how cruel) and puts most of the highlights onto one accesible disc. This is great, because who the hell wants to watch the movies this music came from? Because o ... (read more)

Report this review (#238656) | Posted by SonicDeath10 | Friday, September 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Okay, admittedly this album constitutes some of the most obscure work of Tony Banks's obscure solo catalog, but if you dig Tony Banks, then this album is definitely worthwhile. I must confess that I was initially disappointed by Soundtracks, and I almost traded it in at the used CD store after ... (read more)

Report this review (#158271) | Posted by bassandbeyond | Thursday, January 10, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A friend once told me that Tony's expression on the front cover seems to say, 'this is what I really like doing!' The contribution of Fish isn't as good as 'Another Murder Of A Day' from 'Still', but you can find the video for 'Shortcut To Somewhere' on his 'Kettle Of Fish' DVD. 'Smilin' Jac ... (read more)

Report this review (#27181) | Posted by pickle | Sunday, July 25, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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