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Mike Rutherford Smallcreep's Day album cover
3.71 | 187 ratings | 41 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

- Smallcreep's Day (24:41) :
1. Between the Tick and the Tock (3:59)
2. Working in Line (3:08)
3. After Hours (1:45)
4. Cats and Rats (In the Neighbourhood) (4:52)
5. Smallcreep Alone (1:25)
6. Out into the Daylight (3:53)
7. At the End of the Day (5:39)
8. Moonshine (6:26)
9. Time and Time Again (4:54)
10. Romani (5:27)
11. Every Road (4:15)
12. Overnight Job (5:45)

Total Time 51:28

Line-up / Musicians

- Mike Rutherford / guitars, basses

- Noel McCalla / vocals
- Anthony Phillips / keyboards
- Simon Phillips / drums
- Morris Pert / percussion

Releases information

Inspired by the book "Smallcreep's Day" by Peter Currell Brown

Artwork: Hipgnosis

LP Charisma ‎- CAS 1149 (1980, UK)

CD Passport Records ‎- PBCD 9843 (1988, US)
CD Virgin ‎- CASCD1149 (1989, Europe)
CD Charisma ‎- CASCD 1149 (2004, Europe)
CD Music On CD - MOCCD14147 (2022, Europe)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy MIKE RUTHERFORD Smallcreep's Day Music

MIKE RUTHERFORD Smallcreep's Day ratings distribution

(187 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MIKE RUTHERFORD Smallcreep's Day reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Peter
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This solid solo undertaking from the stalwart Genesis bassman shouldn't disappoint Genesis fans. Rutherford has recruited some prog heavyweights to serve as his band here: Anthony Phillips plays the Keyboards (!), Morris Pert (Brand X & later Talk Talk) provides percussion, and the estimable Simon Phillips (Eno/801, Pete Townshend, etc.) is behind the drum kit, thundering away on his trademark double bass drums. As well, Noel McCalla (otherwise unknown to me) is a fine singer. The songwriting is equally up to the high standards of the band: apart from Hackett's work, this is the best of the solo Genesis outings. In classic prog fashion, the lyrics are written around a single concept (the life of a lonely "nobody" in a dead-end job) and the tracks all run together. The opening "Moonshine" with its trademark Rutherford bass pedals, and infectious keyboards, is especially powerful, and the closing "At the End of the Day" is moving and anthemic. What lies between is simply very good prog, and makes SMALLCREEP'S DAY a good option for followers of Genesis, and progressive in general!
Review by Sean Trane
2 stars 2.9999 stars really ....but not three. This album is the proof ( if needed any) that Rutherford could write some good stuff , as opposed to that Special Way crap on Wutherings. The stuff on this album is sometimes good ,sometimes correct but also sometimes bad. Funny thing is that the library CD copy has got the side reversed compared to here. The overall tone of the album is a bit like Bank's Curious Feeling (but less put-me-to-sleep) and sounds a lot like Duke era material (which is of course normal given the dates of releases). The vocals are not very nice and some of the numbers (time and Time Again) are annoying especially on the non-suite side. As for the suite , it is easy to see that Rutherford was a full third of then Genesis . Duke (take away Misunderstanding and Turn It On again ) had some good stuff ( much better than ATTWT ) that still hinted to the better days but was also the last correct album ( along the first side of the Mama album where the Two Home By The Sea ). I would've loved to hear how that suite might have turned out on Duke with Banks's input." Avec des "Si" , on met Paris en bouteille".
Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is a great debut solo offering from Mike Rutherford. Sure it has all the flavours of Genesis like a Curious Feeling has for Tony Banks. The vocalist choice, Noel McCalla is a shrewd one because this guy can really sing and reaches those dizzy high peaks very easily. The album is a bit disjointed in respect that Side one on the LP is made up of 5 songs and Side 2 has the lengthy ' Small creep's day' and the final epic song ' At the end of the day' not as specified on this site as being part of the smallcreeps suite. Do not be confused because on the CD version they have swapped the format around, incorrectly IMO.The whole album is strong so I am not going to point out any individual pieces. Great musicians on here as well. Good to see Anthony Phillips on the keyboards.
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This record is the best and the most progressive one from Mike Rutherford. Anthony Phillips on modern keyboards is a sure value: he creates addictive, memorable, introspective and enigmatic floating atmospheres which you are never tired of. Mike's electric guitar solos are very good and melodic, although his sound is not better than on Genesis' Duke album. Sometimes mellow & nostalgic, sometimes loaded with fast drums, this record can be listened from A to Z without any problem. Noel McCalla's lead vocals are EXCELLENT: he sounds a bit like Max Bacon (the GTR singer), with a much more soothing voice. Simon Phillips' drums are very good, refined and rather complex. It is not exaggerated to say that the "Smallcreep's day" album slightly sounds like Genesis around 1980: the difference is that it is much more progressive and less pop than Genesis. "Time & time again" is a rather soft FM romantic song, as reveal the melodic piano + guitars and the tender lead vocals. All the tracks are at least very good.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by horza
4 stars One of the better solo albums from the Genesis stable. Rutherford always tended to be lumped with Tony Banks as one of the quieter ones in the band and maybe not as influential as the others. This album tells a different story. His guitar playing on this album is confident and as restained and tasteful as Gilmour or Latimer. The compositions demonstrate Rutherfords imprint on Genesis and the epic title track has nods towards Hackett. An album worthy of purchase which also showcases an excellent choice of musicians by Rutherford, and the singer Noel McCalla is also superb.
Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Mike Rutherford's first and ultimately best solo album (he would release one more and then start Mike & the Mechanics) was proof enough that he was a driving force behind Genesis' progressive sound and this album shows that he still had some left in him and that he would use his ideas to create an album with some strong more commercially oriented pieces and a sprawling 24 minute epic. The first thing that you'll notice is that Anthony Phillips is on this album, and not on the guitar like he was in Genesis. On this album he is strictly a keyboardist and he does a fantastic job on the keys creating lush textures on the synthesizers as well as ambitious solo sections. The rest of the band is pretty solid as well, with Simon Phillips on the drums and Noel McCalla on vocals (his voice is pretty disctinctive and solid as well). If you're interested in the solo careers of Genesis members then this will definitely be something to look out for, as it gives even some of Steve Hackett's career a run for it's money progressively.

The first side of the album is comprised of more commercially oriented pieces yet they still have a distinctive and progressive flare (the instrumentation certainly has some progressive overtones to it). The first of these songs is Moonshine. Droning synthesizers and punchy guitars are what to expect from the song. Mike Rutherford utilizes a lot of guitars on this album, and it's very evident from the get go on this piece. Pretty solid and punchy opener. Time and Time Again is a piano based ballad that has some passionate voals from McCalla. Phillip's organ sounds give off a Tony Banks vibe and the majestic mellotron work also makes it an enjoyable piece to say the least. Rutherford's guitar solo at the end also gives shades of the style he would unveil in the three man tenure of Genesis (he also hits a serious Hackett vibe as well). Romani begins with anxious synthesizers and hits an ambient electronic atmosphere (reminds me a bit of a Klaus Schulze or Brian Eno piece only more concise and with vocals and guitars). Although it's a bit samey and sounds similar to the previous pieces it's a pretty cool piece. Every Road is an acoustic ballad that reminds me a bit of Entangled during the chorus in terms of the progression, although the bass is really dynamic and the piano is very melodic (and the synthesizer solo towards the end also brings up more thoughts of Entangled). Overnight Job is the last of the regular pieces before the epic Smallcreep's Day. It's a guitar driven piece with some solid drumming from Simon Phillips as well as a great vocal performance from McCalla (and Rutherford's solo is also pretty killer as well).

Smallcreep's Day is the second side epic that shows Rutherford still had some aces hidden up his sleeve. It has all the ingredients of a superb epic, a soft intro that let's the keyboards explore a motif before turning into a more rocking section. On the album, it's indexed into different tracks to make it seem more like a medley than one concise piece. Between the Tick & Tock begins with a synthesizer melody that reminds me a bit of Pigs (Three Different Ones) from Pink Floyd's Animals and some expansive and anxious synthesizers exploring a very open atmosphere before hitting the second part, Working In Line. Working In Line has a magnificent 12 string guitar motif as well as some majestic synthesizer leads on top. Rutherford's first of many solos begins here, and he shows a melodic and precise performance offering a majestic and uplifting solo before entering the next section (he's a great guitarist actually). After Hours is next and it essentially is a short synthesizer based interlude that changes the atmosphere to that of the first part of the song again. Cats and Rats follows next with a walking synthesizer line and some precision rhythmic work from Simon Phillips and Mike Rutherford. Ant Phillip's first keyboard solo is also pretty comprehensive and expansive as well. Smallcreep Alone is another synthesizer based interlude in the vein of After Hours and once again offers another dynamic to the overall feel of the piece. Out into the Daylight has some great drumming from Simon Phillips as well as some more expansive synthesizers from Ant and Rutherford offers a great performance on bass and guitar (although the drumming is the real draw of this part of the piece, it goes far and beyond any other performance on this album). It goes into the finale of the song and the album At the End of the Day. It ends the album on a majestic and uplifting note, hitting many different emotions (mainly because of the expressive and tasteful vocal performance from McCalla. The keyboard solo at the end is also stunning and ends it in the same way that Afterglow ended Wind & Wuthering (along with the epic fadeout). It's a fitting ending to this great second side epic.

In the end, Smallcreep's Day is one of the better solo albums from a Genesis member and it's one of the better albums from 1980 that I've heard. You could still hear classic Genesis in Mike Rutherford's first solo album, maybe it was the Ant Phillips influence or maybe they were ideas that weren't accepted during the A Trick of the Tail- And Then There Were Three times, but whatever it is, this album is fantastic and I highly recommend it to someone wanting some fantastic music that features some infamous musicians at a time when it looked as if their progressive edge was being lost in mediocrity. 4/5.

Review by bhikkhu
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I had been hearing good things about this album for years. A couple of my friends had it, but I never recall it being played. We usually ended up listening to Genesis, or Peter Gabriel. I even had a copy of "Acting Very Strange," but never sought this one out.

Last year, I came across a copy. I listened to it several times, and nothing sunk in. I really wanted to like it, so I kept with it. Still, there was nothing that stood out. I put it away for a while, and then tried again. Nothing had changed. It's not bad. The songs are pleasant, and the playing is up to the par of a man such as Rutherford. It just seems to lack life. There is no spark, nothing to make you sit up and take notice. The songs also tend to meander, without any solid direction. The endings don't seem to be closures, as much as the songs running out of steam.

I really hate to be so negative about an album that is not actually poor. I just found it very dull. If this is your bag, enjoy. However, I can't see it being appealing to anyone but true fans.


Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars As a logical consequence of reviewing Shakary 2006, I continue my musical journey with Mike Rutherford "Smallcreep's Day". Why? The lead vocal is the same: Noel McCalla. Nothing logical, actually. But, the fact that Shakary includes Noel McCalla in Shakary 2006 reminds me this album by Mike Rutherford. Please bear in mind that this vocal line is completely different with Shakary 2006 - it's 26 years difference in time horizon. The vocal characteristic like in this album that reminds me to Noel McCalla's vocal tone. This album was one of excellent albums that I liked by the time this album was released. I expected something as high quality as Genesis music to prove that Mike can compose excellent music. Yes, he has proven it. This album was beautifully composed and it would not disappoint any Genesis fans.

The album (CD format) starts mellow with "Between the Tick and The Tock" without drums involvement; it's basically a keyboard-based composition. The strength of this song lies on its melody and harmony, delivered excellently with Noel's powerful and clean vocal. "Working Line" is an upbeat tempo track with nice acoustic guitar work and dynamic drumming. "Cats and Rats In The Neighbourhood" is a simple pop rock song with nice melody and stunning keyboard. Noel sings with his tiny voice and fits with the music.

The music continues with ambient mood of "Smallcreep Alone" followed beautifully with "Out Into The Daylight" which casts excellent combination of keyboard, guitar and drums in relatively fast tempo. It reminds me to "Duke's Travel" of Genesis' "Duke" album. This is an excellent instrumental piece that Genesis fans would love and enjoy it very much. It's hard to differentiate this track from Genesis music. The music flows wonderfully to "At The End of The Day" which has excellent melody in slow tempo.

The CD continues with the "A" side of LP format through an energetic "Moonshine" (6:23) with an excellent harmony. I like this track. Next track is my best favorite track with memorable melody "Time and Time Again" (4:52) which has somewhat colored my college days at Bandung. In large or small part this track is heavily influenced by "Many Too Many" from Genesis "And Then There Were Three" album. It's a simple track with nice melody and powerful composition. I like the piano parts at the opening followed with Noel's nice voice "It's been so many years since I saw your face ." oh .. what a truly melodic segment!

"Romani" is another Genesis-influenced music followed with nice ballad "Every Road" (4:13). The album concludes beautifully with "Overnight Job" (5:43).

Overall, this is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Genesis fans would not be disappointed with this album - even, it's a must to own this album for Genesis fans. The strengths of this album are on its powerful song-writing, beautiful melodies imposed into the music, excellent vocal job and excellent musicianship. I got no trouble at all enjoying this album even after 26 years since its release date. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Curiousity

This, the first solo album by the Genesis bassist, was released some years before his much more commercially successful ventures with "Mike and the Mechanics". Rather ambitiously, he chose to fill one side of the album (on my LP, the first side) with a concept piece, based on a day in the life of a dull individual who works on a production line without any idea of what he is actually making.

The "Smallcreep's day" side of the album is a continuous piece of music, broken into distinct sections although there are no track markings on the vinyl. The opening "Between the tick and the tock" is a downbeat, reflective number which has echoes of Tony Banks' similarly timed first solo album "A curious feeling". The second section, "Waiting in line" is the most commercial part of the piece, and was almost a hit single. Noel McCalla's vocals here are distinguished and appropriate, thank goodness Mike resisted the urge to sing (he would find that urge too powerful on his next solo album). Former band mate Anthony Phillips contributes some fine keyboard work, sometimes as backing sounds but often to the fore such as on the "Lamb.." sounding "Cats and rats" and the excellent "Out in the daylight", where he sounds very Banksian.

The suite closes with the touching ballad "At the end of the day", where McCalla's sympathetic performance sees him displaying his full vocal range backed by some wonderfully atmospheric keyboard and guitar motifs.

Side two of the album consists of more orthodox pop rock songs, most of which would have suited Genesis albums "Duke" or "And then there were three". Indeed, "Smallcreep's day" was released between those albums, so these songs may even have been submitted by Rutherford for consideration for them.

"Moonshine" is a rather nondescript rambling piece, with Tony Banks inspired synthesiser driving it along. "Time and time again" is an excellent ballad, which once again has the feel of Tony Banks' "A curious feeling" (which curiously was recorded in the same studios at the same time. Note also that the central theme of "Smallcreep's day is curiosity!). The remaining songs are adequate but ordinary, and certainly overshadowed by the revese side of the LP.

In some ways, "Smallcreep's day" is a bit of a "Tarkus", with the title suite occupying the whole of one side, and completely overshadowing the other side. Like "Tarkus" the tracks on the second side do have some merit, but they are significantly inferior when compared to the album's focal point.

An essential album for the suite which gives the album its title. The LP represents excellent value too, running for over 50 minutes.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Before venturing off into Popland , leading his way too clean Mechanics and the once great Genesis to dizzying commercial success, Rutherford used his Rickenbakers wisely on the Anthony Phillips debut "The Geese and the Ghost" and on this, his first solo album. Thankfully, we have these testaments to treasure , this one in particular is a fine collection especially at a time (1980) when Prog was being brutally assassinated by the Lester Bangs and assorted British punk-journalists (none of whom had talent musically or in penmanship!) of the world, imposing their rather poor taste in music and forcing Prog's extended but temporary hibernation (Video killed the radio star but punk didn't kill the Progster!).While no record executive was looking, Rutherford was free to delve into the musical adaptation of a book by Currell Brown , enlisting his good friend (and ours too) Anthony Phillips to chair the keys , as well as another famed Phillips :drummer extraordinaire Simon (no relation to the Ant), as well as one of the best movers and shakers in percussionist Morris Pert . The vocals are well piped by former String Driven Thing Noel McCalla and guitars and basses handled by the leader. The main treasure here is the long suite dedicated to the routine gloom of the hopeless blue collar worker , a stellar brew of sweeping symphonics straight out of the "Winds and Wuthering" song book , ending conclusivey on the painfully majestic"End of the Day" , owner of a melodic hook that would startle the daylights out of Peter Pan! Don't be fooled by Rutherford's future quest for stardom, this is prime prog that deserves eternal recognition.While perhaps not a monument, the context makes this an essential document. 4.5 meek inheritors
Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Mike Rutherford´s first solo album was released at the time his Genesis pal Tony Banks did the same. But more than Banks A Curious Feeling, Smallcreep´s Day reflects a lot what was happening to Genesis at the end of the 70's: half the album is truly progressive music (the title track suite with its 24:38 time). The other half it´s pop music (with some prog overtones). Very much like Genesis Duke. And I must say I always liked it. Specially if you compare this one with his ludicrous second efford, the very forgetable Acting Very Strange.

First he put together an excellent team of musicians that included an ex Genesis axeman, Anthony Philips (now playing keyboards! and doing a fine job), England´s best studio drummer in the 70´s (Simon Phillips), a jazz rock percussionist (Morris Pert) and an old friend who once sang with the proto Genesis during school days (Noel McCalla). Songwriting wise, Rutherford proves he can write some decent symphonic tunes along with his obvious pop leanings. Fortunatly he does not sing on this one, McCalla´s choice being a very fitting one: he has a fine voice and his interpretations are very emotional and convincing. As for Rutherford himself he sticks to his guns, adding some nice solos here and there, emulating Steve Hackett´s style very well.

Certainly for progheads the title track is the true gem of the album, and I agree.. But the other songs are also fine. Pop songs alright, but sophisticated pop, tasteful and well arranged. An album I can hear from beginning to end without skipping a single track. If you like Genesis around the Wind and Wuthering era, you´ll probably love this album.

A little piece of trivia here: my old LP had the suite on the first side and the other tracks on the b side. it works better that way.

Review by Matti
3 stars Rutherford's first solo project came between And Then There Were Three and Duke by GENESIS. And a pretty good album this is. The group is perfect for this occasion: Noel McCalla (too unknown talent) on vocals, Morris Pert on percussion, Simon Phillips (who's heard on many Oldfield albums) on drums, and the old band mate Anthony Phillips (who left Genesis before really showing his multi- instrumental and writing skills) on keyboards. Mike naturally plays both guitars and basses. Production is modern and clean, more or less like on the mentioned Genesis albums.

Rutherford is the most AOR type of a songwriter in the Genesis camp, as was later demonstrated with Mike + The Mechanics. The pop songs of Side One are accessible AOR stuff, resembling more of the future eighties than the bygone seventies, but fairly listenable anyhow. Side Two is filled by a 7-part title epic of equally accessible 'prog pop'; that is, there are no majestic solos or other prog rock trademarks, it's just a narrative entity segued together. It works very well as it moves between various atmospheres. It's about a factory worker who tries to reveal the secrets behind the producing line.

For a collector of GENESIS-related stuff this offers a nice addition the same way as Tony Banks' debut A Curious Feeling (both being the only good albums in their solo discographies).

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Strange how unpredictable art is regarding the momentum of an individual's inspiration: such is the case that brings us to the review for this Mike Rutherford's solo effort. Even though Rutherford had been responsible for some of the most progressively relevant passages in Genesis' history, he was usually surpassed by Banks' majestic vision and Hackett's texturial signature inputs. Outside Genesis, besides extensively collaborating as a musician and even sharing some writing credits for Hackett's and Anthony Phillips' debut solo efforts, prog fans were not in touch with what Rutherford could bring by himself to the prog genre until the release of his solo debut "Smallcreep's Day". It was amazing!! It still sounds amazing after all these years, typically Genesis-related in terms of overall sound and compositional moods - generally speaking, this album reinstates the serene density of "Wind & Wuthering" and the best elements of ".And Then There Were Three". The dynamics and colorfulness delivered through the repertoire in such a way that it overshadows Tony Banks' "A Curious Feeling"; for the more lyrical passages in the album, Rutherford almost equals the magic of the romantic pieces from Hackett's "Please, Don't Touch". The presence of a particularly special guest, Anthony Phillips, on keyboards is peculiar for many reasons: he reveals himself as a proficient keyboardsman who comes as no second to fellow Genesis founder Tony Banks. In fact, Phillips steals the limelight with his keyboard inputs in many moments. Noel McCalla is also vital for the delivery of the sung tracks' moods: his tone and timber, which remind us of Michael Sadler-meets-Graham Bonnet, feels at ease with his versatile AOR-like singing. Whenever things get cooking, the duo of drummer Simon Phillips and percussionist Morris Pert help things breathe and tighten up. The namesake suite open up the original British album with a first section deeply rooted in ethereal atmospheres, featuring lush keyboard layers and harmonies under which soft classical guitar arpeggios flow by. Part 2 'Waiting in Line' is a catchy yet subtly exercise on melodic prog that may remind us of the best aspects from late 70s Camel and Oldfield: a revamped version of this song with a repeated vocal part was released as a single. Among all the straightforward balladic, post-punk and new wave singles, I remember feeling captivated whenever they played this one on the radio (years before becoming the prog freak that I am). The remaining sections are diversified enough as to comprise eerie interludes (III & V); prog pop (IV, which sounds like a younger brother of 'Man of Our Times' from "Duke"); a bombastic Hackett-like instrumental (VI); and finally, the hypnotic pompous ballad 'At the End of the Day', which delivers a sense of grayish romanticism where optimism and pessimism fuse into one single feeling. Moments like this showcase the Hackett similarities that I mentioned earlier in this review. The album's second half gets started with the muscular mid-tempo 'Moonshine', a song that the guys of Saga in their pre-"Heads or Tales" era would have been proud of. 'Time and Time Again' is a beautiful ballad, perhaps in the mould of Banks' 'Many Too Many' and 'Undertow', yet providing a fuller sound and a more vibrant mood: the predominance of the keyboards' inputs is crucially essential for this. Beautiful indeed, it sends me chills just by singing it in my mind. The other ballad 'Every Road' is focused on the acoustic guitars, sounding closely related to the Anthony Phillips legacy. Between the two, 'Romani' is yet another "W&W"-meets-"ATTWT" sort of song, exploring a clever alternation of 5/4 and 4/4 tempos in a very fluid manner. The closer 'Overnight Job' is a fine rocker, with an interesting melodic nucleus, yet evidently less impressive than any of the four preceding pieces. It is a nice closure, but it wouldn't have hurt if any other track would have been chosen to fill this position: maybe the whole suite, as it appears in the US edition? All in all, "Smallcreep's Day" is a great item in any good prog rock collection.
Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Lot's of four and five stars for this album. Huuum?

I wouldn't be that generous. Some OAR oriented songs, like ''Moonshine''; but remember this was released in 1980. It holds some ''Squonk'' values and is an average + opener; but no more.

Some songs (or parts) of this album sounds rather popish like ''Time & Time Again''. This was the mood of the year I would say. No harm but no big thing either. The real harm is reached with the weak ''Romani''. Actually, most of the first side of this LP isn't really outstanding in terms of prog to be honest (cf. ''Overnight Job'').

This album do share a lot of the music available while the band were only three. The epic that resides here sounds too much though as a combination of several songs rather than a smooth genuine epic. There are some fine moments and the whole is by far the best available on this creep's thing.

The opening '' Between the Tick and the Tock'' has definitely inspired ''Marillion'' (the genuine one of course) in their early days and is one the finest part of this work; plenty of emotion and talent.

''Cats & Rats'' does have a solid ''When They Were Three'' feel (again) which is far from being bad. At this time, it is about normal to say that the lead singer doesn't perform a great job. I quite like the instrumental parts: ''Smallcreep Alone'' which is quite melodic or the very ''Wind & Wuthering'' number called ''Out Of The Daylight''.

Don't worry though: this album which was released in 198 has much more to deal with ''Duke'' than with ''Abacab'' if you see what I mean. As such, I would rate it with three stars: a good album which features some fine moments. But by no means a masterpiece.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Rutherford's Day

This first solo album by Mike Rutherford features Mike on guitars and bass, another Genesis member of the past in Anthony Phillips on keyboards, Simon Phillips on drums and Noel McCalla on vocals. The vocals are often rather soulful and soothing. The style of music involved is a kind of diluted Genesis of the And Then There Were Three and Duke era. I am a fan of those Genesis albums, but Smallcreep's Day, though a good album in its own right, is hardly up to the standards of those Genesis albums. Any claim to the effect that Smallcreep's Day is 'the lost Genesis album' is without merit in my opinion.

The compositions range from decent to good and the quality of the songs are quite evenly spread over the album's running time. The second vinyl side (the first side on some releases, I believe) is taken up by a continuous piece of music. It is rather good and fully listenable, but it is not very memorable. This long piece, as the album as a whole, has progressive moments and some soulful Pop moments.

In the end, I believe that this album will appeal to fans of post-Steve Hackett Genesis. A good but non-essential album.

Review by stefro
2 stars Based on the novel of the same name, Rutherford's solo debut is a lively concept album that mixes elements of straight-ahead pop with tinges of prog and features a sharp, synthesizer- heavy sound and impassioned vocals from Noel McCalla. It's much more 'Duke' than 'Nursery Cryme', and the music shares a lot of similarities with 'Mike & The Mechanics', the commercially-successful band Rutherford would create several years down to give him an outlet for his burgeoning solo work. It's all very light, with ballads and workmanlike pop the order of the day, but a couple tracks do deserve faint praise, such as the atmospheric opener 'Between The Tick & The Tock', which showcases Rutherford's impressive keyboards skills, and the fist-pumping rocker 'Moonshine', which is genuinely anthemic, featuring a pulsating beat, hard-edged guitars and impressive vocal harmonies a la Foreigner circa their '4' years. As a piece of prog, however, 'Smallcreep's Day' is fundamentally limited by Rutherford's simplistic approach, and fans of Genesis will probably find very little of interest. The album's lead single, the jangly, guitar-led 'Waiting In Line', is a perfect example of Rutherford's style, giving the album a brash and breezy feel similar to the disposable chart-pop that would soon dominate the eighties. Limited stuff then, 'Smallcreep's Day' should appeal to Mike & The Mechanics fans, and will appeal to die-hard fans of the Genesis guitarist. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars I'm everything but a Genesis fan so it may seem strange that I like this one very much. If it wasn't for the vocals one could easily think that it's Genesis, but it's probably the absence of Phil Collins that makes it very appealing to me.

Of course I like the B side more than the A (I have it on vimyl, of course). The A side is just question of some disconnected songs, some of them nice, but none is a masterpiece.

"Moonshine" is a song that makes clear that this is a sort of lost Genesis album on which Noel McCalla sings midway between Gabriel and Collins. I like his voice, anyway. I think it's one of the best things of the album, really an added value. The song itself is good but non- essential, better in the slow chorus than in the uptime parts.

"Time and Time Again" is a sweet pop song in Collins' style, but also here McCalla transforms an average pop song into something special.

"Romani" is the song that I like less. After a symphonic intro it turns to be a missing Peter Gabriel's song. Not a bad song but it's only Genesis of the 80s.

"Every Road" is a missing Phil Collins song, instead. A sort of follow-up to Time and Time Again. Is it possible that Maike Rutherford is not able to make something "personal"? Just wait for the B side. By now this is another poppy sweet song with good vocals and the acoustic guitar reminiding more of Anthony Phillips than of Steve Hackett.

If I like less Romani, I'm used to skip "Overnight Job", so I suspect that a true Genesis fan would like it. Also this song is improved by the vocals, anyway.

Now the suite. It could have been a full concept album and it's a pity that Mike Rutherford has limited his effort to 20 minutes. An extended version of this epic to cover both the sides would have make of this album a masterpiece. The seven parts of it are strictly connected, the story is consistent and moving. It has good lyrics, too and make the A side appear like a collection of fillers. I remember myself listening to it for the first time on tape and playing continuosly the second half of the suite before going to purchase the album. "At The End Of The Day" deserves a remark, but all the suite can be intended as a single long song. Surely Marillion have been influenced by it when they composed Misplaced Childhood. 30 years after is still an album that I like to listen and I find that it's not so dependent by the time of release like other albums from the 80s are. It's full of the typical Genesis sound, not of the boring 80s fairlights and even if I usually don't like Genesis much, this is an album I would never get rid of.

The A side is a 3-stars collection of songs, the B side is a masterpiece so 4-stars.

Review by Guillermo
4 stars This first solo album by Mike Rutherford is much better than his second solo album ("Acting Very Strange" from 1982), and it really a very Progressive Rock album with some Pop Rock influences. It was recorded during 1979, a year on which the members of Genesis took a hiatus from activities as a band, maybe to take a rest, but also due to Phil Collins`s personal problems with his marriage which he tried to resolve without success during that time and which finally ended with his first divorce. So, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks took that time out of the band to record their first solo albums that year, while Collins worked a bit with the band Brand X releasing a new album titled "Product" and also working in the studio with Peter Gabriel for Gabriel`s third solo album which was released in 1980 (plus an appearance with Gabriel as part of his band a the Reading Festival also in 1979). Both this album and Banks`solo album ("A Curious Feeling") were recorded at ABBA`s Polar Studios in Stockholm but I don`t know if both were recorded at almost the same time, but I doubt it. Banks`s solo album was released first, in October 1979, while Rutherford`s was released until January 1980. By late October of that year Genesis started rehearsing and composing new songs for their new album titled "Duke", which also was going to be recorded at Polar Studios and also was produced by David Hentschel like both solo albums. "Duke" was released in March 1980 and then Genesis toured again unitl June 1980.

For his first solo album Rutherford had some very good musicians, like drummer Simon Phillips, former Genesis member Anthony Phillips on keyboards, Noel McCalla on vocals and Morris Pert on percussion. The long suite titled "Smallcreep`s Day" is very good sounding a lot like Genesis in some parts, but my favourite part from it is the last which is titled as "At the End of the Day". Phillips is a good keyboard player playing very good keyboards atmospheres particularly during this last part of the suite. The suite is very good as a whole but a bit long (at almost 25 minutes in duration).

I prefer the rest of the songs which are shorter and more varied in styles. I can hear to some inlfuences from Camel, particularly in some arrangements and in some parts Noel McCalla`s vocals sound a bit like Chris Rainbow`s from the Alan Parsons Project and Camel. I think that McCalla is a very good singer and that Rutherford had the very good idea to have this singer for this album. McCalla`s vocals also sound a bit similar to the vocals of future lead singer of "Mike and the Mechanics", the late Paul Young.

With this solo album from Rutherford, with Banks `"A Curious Feeling" solo album, and with Genesis`s "Duke" album I can hear some of the musical transitions that the members of the band were doing from the music of the seventies to the music of the eighties: they were still retaining some of the Prog Rock influences while still incorporating new sounds and more influences from Pop Rock music. So, Rutherford`s guitar playing was moving more to the use of distorted electric guitars and guitar riffs than to the use of arpeggios which were more characteristic to the sound of Genesis`s music during the seventies. He still uses the bass pedals in several parts.

Thi is a very good solo album by Mike Rutherford. Mostly Progressive Rock in style.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nº 597

As many of we know, Mike Rutherford is one of the founding members of Genesis with Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks and Anthony Phillips. Along with Banks he was the only band's member to belong to Genesis throughout their entire musical history. Initially, in Genesis, Rutherford was the bassist of the band but with the departure of Hackett of the group, he took also the guitarist duties. His guitar style isn't considered as technical as Hackett's, still he has a guitar style with some harmony and creativity. While touring, Rutherford switches between bass and guitar with the American guest musician Daryl Stuermer. The bass line of Rutherford is known for being well done and with great innovation and technical base, having been prominent in the movement of progressive rock. Rutherford also exceeded as a performer of 12 string guitar and backing vocals on Genesis. However, he described his playing as average and said that he always considered himself as a songwriter, first and foremost. He also collaborated on some albums with other artists.

After the release of Genesis' ninth studio album "And Then There Were Three?" released in 1978, during the musical hiatus of Genesis, Rutherford recorded two solo albums, "Smallcreep's Day" in 1980 and "Acting Very Strange" in 1982, and he also created and leads the AOR band Mike And The Mechanics with a great and enviable commercial success.

The line up on "Smallcreep's Day" is Mike Rutherford (guitar and basses), Anthony Phillips (keyboards), Noel McCalla (vocals), Simon Phillips (drums) and Morris Pert (percussion).

As I wrote above, "Smallcreep's Day" is his debut solo studio album and was released in 1980. The album is divided into two distinct parts. The first part is a conceptual piece of music where the title suite occupies all the A side of the original vinyl disc. It's based on the dark and surrealist novel of the same name by Peter Currell Brown. The second part occupies the entire B side of the vinyl disc and waith a handful of five individual songs without common points. "Smallcreep's Day" has six tracks, all written by Rutherford. The title track suite "Smallcreep's Day" is divided in seven parts: "Between The Tick & The Tock", "Working In Line", "After Hours", "Cats And Rats (In This Neighbourhood)", "Smallcreep Alone", "Out Into The Daylight" and "At The End Of The Day". As I said before, this piece is based on a novel with the same name by Peter Currell Brown edited in 1965. The story is a surreal satire on the modern industrial life. The book explores some of the author's ideas about human relationships, freedom and the values of the human life. Some passages on the book are hilarious, some depressing and some macabre. About the music itself, I can say that it has many elements of Genesis' early progressive sound and that it's truly a progressive music piece. In reality, there is nothing to be in debt to some of the best musical moments produced by Genesis in all their musical history, and for that reason, it deserves to be considered truly a masterpiece. The second part has the five songs mentioned by me. They're all more guided into a pop style and in general they have less quality. "Moonshine" and "Time And Time Again" are the best. "Moonshine" has lots of bass, bombastic keyboard cascades that remind me "Behind The Lines". This is a pretty and solid track with an excellent harmony. "Time And Time Again" is a nice song pleasantly sung by Noel. The chorus breaks out of the melancholy with some optimism. The middle section of the song has a nice brief solo by Mike. This is another good song. "Romani" has interesting vocals and rhythmic niceties like frequent changes in signatures and speed making it enjoyable. This is the typical Rutherford's songwriting that sounds clever and ease. "Every Road" is carried mainly by the acoustic guitar. It sounds like a symbiosis of "Over My Shoulder" and "Open Door" and spreads some good vibrations along the way. "Overnight Job" is a dynamic song. In the middle the song changes directions completely and proves yet again one of the Mike's strengths lies in writing strong and catchy riffs.

Conclusion: What remains to me is the overall impression this is an album of Genesis under an assumed name, if you don't count the five individual tracks. The title track "Smallcreep's Day" reaches a length of 25 minutes and it can perfectly replaced "Supper's Ready" as the lengthiest Genesis' related piece of music ever made by them. However, as I wrote before, we have to separate the two parts of the album. The first part is a masterpiece but the second part has in general slightly lower quality and isn't progressive. As our colleague Easy Livin noted, and I fully agree with him, there are many similarities between "Smallcreep's Day" and "Tarkus" of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. I also would add "2112" of Rush. The similarities aren't, of course, on the type of the music but how the album was made. On all these three albums, the side A is a masterpiece but the side B has significantly an inferior quality level. Unfortunately, because the differences between the two sides on the album, "Smallcreep's Day" is somewhat an unbalanced album. Because of that it failed to be a masterpiece, being only a half-masterpiece as "Tarkus" and "2112". It deserves the same 4 stars.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

4 stars 1980 the new GENESIS is long overdue, hop a solo album from one of its members to wait! - Smallcreep's Day in a unique piece, that's already a cause, with 1. Between the Tick and the Tock begins with a melodic crescendo, soft at the start and with the sound of 'And Then'; high voice, airy organ, ... (read more)

Report this review (#2858898) | Posted by alainPP | Sunday, December 18, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars #30 Review After reviewing the 80s hit "Acting Very Strange" with the lowest score i have given to an album ever, i decided to finish the reviews of Mike's solo efforts (not Mike + The Mechanics cause they're not in this site and i also don't care that much about that) with Smallcreep's Day, c ... (read more)

Report this review (#2097295) | Posted by FalconBleck | Saturday, December 15, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When I make a review I try to evaluate several things, for example, the presence of prog elements or the quality of the songwriting. I think that Mike Rutherford is without doubts a great songwritter.Him, with Tony Banks, were the main songwriters of all Genesis career, from 1968 till 1997. Of cours ... (read more)

Report this review (#1080549) | Posted by genbanks | Saturday, November 23, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Mike Rutherford's solo record "Smallcreep's Day" is an interesting album. It gives us music that isn't far from what Rutherford at the same time did with Genesis. And then there were three and Duke is very similar. As those records also this is released on Charisma records and I like the cover ... (read more)

Report this review (#1059547) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Monday, October 14, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Mike Rutherford is not a virtuoso guitarist, Ant Phillips is not a famous keyboardist. McCalla is an acceptable vocalist. Simon Phillips was a young drummer when he participated here, one of the best I saw in action. With these clarifications, I can say that Smallcreep's Day is a good product. ... (read more)

Report this review (#936820) | Posted by sinslice | Friday, March 29, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars in the 80's many prog artists went solo and Mike Rutherford of Genesis was one. SMALLCREEP'S DAY from 1980 is a pretty mellow journey through pop tinted prog. This album always made me think of Camel and DUKE by Genesis. It is not a bad album, but also it has never left a lasting impression on me ei ... (read more)

Report this review (#733630) | Posted by mohaveman | Friday, April 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Mike Rutherford's debut solo release is a very ambitious and artistically successful album. It doesn't sound a lot like Genesis in general, but you can definintely tell that he was the one who wrote "Deep In the Motherlode", "Man of Our Times", and some of "Duke's Travels." The band he assem ... (read more)

Report this review (#570601) | Posted by 7headedchicken | Friday, November 18, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I might say that with better production this might be a much higher rating. Actually the cool thing is that the synthesisers on this album are actually being played by Anthony Phillips. He was just as good as Tony on the keyboards (okay not quite), and he's a great guitarist as well. But back ... (read more)

Report this review (#279093) | Posted by Brendan | Friday, April 23, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars These early Genesis solo albums really speak volumes about the frame of mind of each band member and also their contribution to the band's sound. Tony's A Curious Feeling sounds like outtakes from "And Then There Were Three" with a generally more organic sound. The songs are filled with layers ... (read more)

Report this review (#238645) | Posted by SonicDeath10 | Friday, September 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is an incredible album, full of emotion and melody which oozes throughout the entire album. I would go as far as to say that it represents the best solo album from any Genesis artist. It is that good. The band is on top form and the vocals from Noel McCalla are pure heaven. Noel is current ... (read more)

Report this review (#220159) | Posted by demolition man | Sunday, June 7, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Smallcreeps Day gave me a greater appreciation for Michael Rutherford's contributions to Genesis. If it weren't for the vocals, you could mistake many of these songs for lost late-70's Genesis tracks. The singer (Noel McCalla) has a voice that is rather nondescript. He's not bad, but he wouldn' ... (read more)

Report this review (#203439) | Posted by AdamHearst | Tuesday, February 17, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars For those Genesis nuts who love their Wind & Wuthering yet DON'T have a copy of Mike Rutherford's Smallcreep's Day, you really need to put this one on your list STAT! Just a stunningly melodic collection of tunes that the Genesis bassist/guitarist was clearly squirreling away for his own pet proj ... (read more)

Report this review (#200315) | Posted by Steven in Atlanta | Friday, January 23, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Mike Rutherford is certainly an important part of the Genesis sound as a bass player and composer. So it was really interesting to let him released a solo work...but the result isn't exactly what I expected... Mike had a good idea to form a kind of band...but Anthony Philipps just played keyboa ... (read more)

Report this review (#147807) | Posted by H.NOT | Sunday, October 28, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I finally got round to buying this hidden gem. It was well worth the wait! This is, to be sure, MIKE RUTHERFORD'S best foray into prog music in his "solo" career. He claims all writing credits on this concept album. I guess by that he means lyrics and melodies. And for that he should be applau ... (read more)

Report this review (#117304) | Posted by Mcgraster | Wednesday, April 4, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, and Phil Collins all put out solo albums starting around 1980; of these, I would say this is the best example of progressive music in the lot. Having Simon Phillips on drums adds quite a bit to this album, and Anthony Phillips appears as well, but this outing he i ... (read more)

Report this review (#84166) | Posted by Foxtrot | Wednesday, July 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Many of the other reviewers are right - the genius of this solo effort is that it attempts to be a good prog-concept album, in the same vein as Pink Floyd's 'The Wall,' though lacking some of the musical variety and greatness of Genesis' 'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway' (which Rutherford playe ... (read more)

Report this review (#78319) | Posted by prog4evr | Tuesday, May 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I can without hesitation call this album a masterpiece. It is beautiful and there is nothing like it- although other reviewers are correct that it has somewhat of a "Duke" sound to it- like Tony Bank's album of the same time- which is also a masterpiece, and both are some of the best example ... (read more)

Report this review (#65960) | Posted by | Sunday, January 22, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Of all things, no prog-fan can dismiss this album as a mediocre album. This is not. Indeed it has a "Duke" feel in it, which is not bad. I would say, Rutherford's compositions here did show that he had some sharp stuffs outside Genesis. The biggest achievement for him is that there are very few b ... (read more)

Report this review (#50852) | Posted by Sharier | Sunday, October 9, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Mr Rutherford's first solo album, recorded and released (along with Tony Banks' 'A Curious Feeling) during the brief layoff between the heavy recording and touring commitments of Genesis (circa Seconds Out). Side one of the album was inspired by the book 'Small Creep's Day' by Peter Currell Bro ... (read more)

Report this review (#41298) | Posted by | Tuesday, August 2, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The best non-Genesis output by Mike Rutherford. A very, very, fine album. It's not at all dated, even at 25! His song writing is terrific and he assembles a brilliant group of musicians: his old band mate ANT PHILLIPS on keys, MORRIS PERT on percussion, the incredible SIMON PHILLIPS on drums, ... (read more)

Report this review (#38152) | Posted by | Friday, July 1, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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