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TONY BANKS

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Tony Banks biography
Anthony George Banks - Born March 27, 1950 (East Hoathly, Sussex, England)

One of the original founding members of GENESIS , Tony BANKS has been the quiet, driving force behind the band ever since their debut back in 1965. His classical leanings, strong compositional skills and distinct (and often emulated) keyboard style have set him apart from his contemporaries from the very start. Always keeping a low profile, he displays a rare compassion for his music and never tries to impress with extravagant shows of technical prowess. His contribution to the GENESIS sound and identity is fundamental. His solo material, however, is very uneven and can honestly not be called 'progressive'. This, coupled with an avowed dislike for the limelight that precludes any inclination for touring, has resulted in his solo albums systematically failing to chart - or even approaching the success of the other band members' solo material.

His first solo effort, "A Curious Feeling" (1979), is by far his best. Bearing his distinctive musical signature, it features interesting conceptual lyrics as well as the familiar crafted compositions and massive wall of keyboards that made the music of GENESIS so compelling. After this release, however, his stripped-down approach to composing brought us "The Fugitive", an early 80's pop-oriented album where he toyed with the new digital/synthetic gadgets of the day. Its catchy hooks and the fact that he handled all the lyrics himself make it interesting, but hard-core progsters find it rather disappointing.

BANKS also composed music for films ("The Wicked Lady" and "Soundtracks") and released three albums of adult-contemporary material ("Bankstatement", "Still" and "Strictly Inc") featuring a rotating cast of assorted vocalists. Finally, "Seven - A Suite for Orchestra", was released in 2004. It is made up of compositions in the pure classical symphonic tradition, performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra with BAANKS handling some piano parts himself.

With the exception of one monumental progressive track on the album "Strictly Inc.", his recent material is decidedly MOR, with occasional references to his progressive past. Why this incredibly gifted composer has strayed ever so far from his progressive roots is a mystery - some (including myself) would say a tragedy. Still, Tony BANKS remains one of the influential figures of our times and his legacy among co...
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FiveFive
BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd 2018
$9.98
$7.45 (used)
A Chord Too FarA Chord Too Far
Esoteric Antenna 2015
$37.97
$39.86 (used)
The Fugitive: 2016 Remixed EditionThe Fugitive: 2016 Remixed Edition
Cherry Red 2016
$10.30
$15.53 (used)
StillStill
Giant Records (Warner) 1992
$18.96
$3.02 (used)
A Curious Feeling: Two Disc Expanded EditionA Curious Feeling: Two Disc Expanded Edition
Cherry Red 2016
$12.40
$14.75 (used)
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TONY BANKS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

TONY BANKS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.39 | 198 ratings
A Curious Feeling
1979
2.41 | 110 ratings
The Fugitive
1983
3.39 | 44 ratings
The Wicked Lady (OST)
1983
2.74 | 78 ratings
Bankstatement
1989
3.00 | 93 ratings
Still
1991
3.53 | 71 ratings
Strictly Inc.
1995
2.77 | 62 ratings
Seven - A Suite For Orchestra
2004
3.95 | 76 ratings
Six - Pieces For Orchestra
2012
4.00 | 110 ratings
5
2018

TONY BANKS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

TONY BANKS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

TONY BANKS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.84 | 51 ratings
Soundtracks
1986
4.84 | 10 ratings
A Chord Too Far
2015

TONY BANKS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.17 | 5 ratings
For a While / A Curious Feeling
1979
4.50 | 4 ratings
For a While / From the Undertow
1979
3.05 | 3 ratings
And the Wheels Keep Turning
1983
3.13 | 5 ratings
This is Love
1983
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Wicked Lady
1983
4.00 | 1 ratings
Performing Songs from Lorca and the Outlaws
1985
3.00 | 3 ratings
Shortcut to Somewhere
1986
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Gift
1991
3.00 | 2 ratings
I Wanna Change the Score
1991
4.67 | 3 ratings
Still It Takes Me By Surprise
1992

TONY BANKS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Six - Pieces For Orchestra by BANKS, TONY album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.95 | 76 ratings

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Six - Pieces For Orchestra
Tony Banks Crossover Prog

Review by FalconBleck

4 stars #26 Review

So, not so long since my last review. I come here knowing nothing about this, except that it has mostly positive reviews, but i also come from a failed attempt at reviewing Seven because i got a little bored (commentary not representative of what that actual review will be, i wasn't paying much atention).

1.- Siren 8/10 What a beautyful start! A soundtrack to a magical underwater world that flows with the rythm that the light reflected by the water and the ecosystem produce. Good choice of instruments, sounds really adventurous too, fulfills every feeling. This music demands imagination, but it also gets a little repetitive in the scales that keep coming back through the song, it is also a little too long from what it needs to be.

2.- Still Waters 6/10 This song gives me more of an autumn feel or of a place like a farm, i really don't feel much, its slow but it doesn't get much traction, sounds like an improvisation. Some parts sound really beautyful but it could have more going on. Halfway through, the music gets more exciting, but it gets back and ends a little too quickly.

3.- Blade 10/10 Parts of this music could easily belong on a Fire Emblem game. You can feel the landscapes, the adventure unfolding and the battle happening... or more so, a chronology of every space and time that a blade has occupied in history. I like the violins that pop in from time to time accompanying the exquisite main violin. It has a good amount of changes and goes back elegantly to the main motif from time to time, keeping it out from being boring.

4.- Wild Pilgrimage 10/10 I like the chord changes, this music also shows the passing of time in nature, but it goes since the conception and the passing of vegetation through the years, like what nature inherits towards the future... until a big rain unveils what a beautyful lake was hidden in that ravine.

5.- The Oracle 5/10 Really peaceful... sounds repetitive and simple also... maybe another improvisation? I don't think any of the music pieces here are, but this sounds like it.

6.- City of Gold 10/10 Am i wrong to believe in a city of gold? I read somewhere that Tony Banks was captivated about an story that inspired him in doing A Trick of the Tail, this music piece could be the ending of that idea, and the start sounds exactly like what you would feel when watching something as marvelous as a city of gold... is the person getting introduced to royalty next? Then are they telling the history of the place? Halfway through the music, night comes in, "will the place still exist once i wake up?" - wonders the protagonist. Morning comes and the city can't look more beautyful, it glows majestically... maybe too much for a pair of human eyes, the protagonist closes them, wonders how the day will continue, and the place disappears once people are approaching it, the protagonist is alone but happy, knows that the place is there and that it will appear again, so the city of gold opens up again once the people of good heart stay. As with Blade, this music piece goes back to its main motif elegantly while introducing new elements in between to accompany the story that revolves around the title.

This album was a really good ride, sometimes in some music pieces it was hard to identify what it was portraying, i think that some should've had different names. Overall this album gets an 82/100, wich is 4 Stars.

 Still by BANKS, TONY album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.00 | 93 ratings

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Still
Tony Banks Crossover Prog

Review by FalconBleck

2 stars #25 Review

After a long hiatus i'm finally back, there have been many changes in my life, but i also had lost inspiration in reviewing for some time, that's why i'll approach this really simple to approach album... well, not really, every time that i listened to it i wasn't paying atention because of how simple it felt, but now i'll try to pay atention and actually do a review about it.

I like that many people are cooperating with Tony here, some people that we've seen in his past work and people that we will see later again. It'd be cool if he worked with them again... except with whoever designed his album art, really boring.

1.- Red Day On Blue Street 5/10 Mostly happy and harmless pop song, i have the feeling that this album will keep being like this, not good, just ok.

2.- Angel Face 5/10 This one gets more intense, like what i've been accustomed already, something that i forgot to mention about the past song that this one also has, lyrics over music or atleast music at the service of lyrics, nowadays is voice over instruments.

3.- The Gift 4/10 Reminds me of a later release... Strictly inc. Heavy on scales, reminds me of "The Serpent Said" where in the review i said "chord progressions" when i wanted to say scales . It is happy, sounds like a modern church song near the end, really basic.

4.- Still It Takes Me by Surprise 7/10 The title track, a normal ballad, more complex than everything so far. Finally a piano solo, not the best one but good. I like the chord changes and scales, i would've done the song shorter and added some more instruments... like a mellotron, everything is better with mellotron.

5.- Hero for an Hour 4/10 I haven't pointed who was singing in each song, that's the sellout of the album, i really don't care that much if the songs are still boring, but it is always something special to know when Tony is singing his own songs. This song is just ok, a little simple again, more lyrics than music again, repetitive and a little charming, but it doesn't have much going on.

6.- I Wanna Change the Score 6/10 Reminds me of "Moving Under" from "The Fugitive". This song fits right into a slice of life relaxing 90s movie, better than ok, gives a good mood and does it right even tho i don't feel like the music should be so happy because of the lyrics.

7.- Water Out Of Wine 6/10 A haunting song, its average, the chords sound special tho, it gives some certain intranquility. I have to point out Jayney Klimek because i really liked her work in Bankstatment and here she shows that she works really good with Tony Banks.

8.- Another Murder of a Day 7/10 Already a really nice atmosphere, the best song from Tony with Fish on vocals. This song is really good, but near the last 3 minutes, it feels as if Tony went tired, and the song gets happy while also giving the queue to the short guitar solo, if it wasn't for the last 3 minutes, this would be 1 point higher, it is still the best song on the album. The last piano notes are too late to save the song from losing my interest.

9.- Back to Back 5/10 Pumping that rythm out, it sounds good, it gets very repetitive but it has some moments near the end. At this point i'm a little tired of this album, i would've given it a 4.

10.- The Final Curtain 4/10 Another song that reminds me of "Strictly Inc." and i'm already tired of this album, but wait, at half of the song, it gets more hyped, but that doesn't stop the song from being repetitive and boring. I don't feel like it deserves a 3 tho, its a little better than that.

Overall this album gets a 53/100, wich is 2 stars and the lowest overall score so far, i expected less but i finished surprised. I still feel like not recommending any song unless you like the musicians involved that aren't Tony Banks, this album offers good moments instead of good entire songs.

I still don't know what's certain in the future but who does, i'll probably review Six next.

 Soundtracks by BANKS, TONY album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1986
2.84 | 51 ratings

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Soundtracks
Tony Banks Crossover Prog

Review by FalconBleck

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 the context that's needed for the music. So, while the producers put the idea, you are mostly free to make whatever music you want and they'll pay you, but there's another catch, you still need to not go that much overboard or you'll work overtime, maintain the music pieces to be no much more longer that the scene that its going to be for.

I'm really no expert in the process for soundtracks, but i can see the limitations and liberties that i pointed out, i don't see many movies only using pop songs as soundtracks, they need music for every moment and some of those very creative musicians add a little of their spice, such as making pieces based on classical music while also inking it with a little 70s rock, techniques and odd-times.

This review its a little special, as it is a box-set, we have music from 2 movies, i won't go too much on details, but for example "Quicksilver" got its soundtrack released and has almost every song that where on the movie, here it is obviously only what Tony did, and the details are that those releases have little differences, i won't point out that. At the same time, it seems obvious that we need the context of the scenes, the problem is that i heard this music before watching the films and already had an idea for what they where, i still haven't watched the movies but got a glimpse of them and i thought "well, this soundtracks are better suited for what i imagined than for what they are", so i'll be concentrating on the music itself, that's not a surprise really.

A.- Quicksilver I only saw the trailer and the Final Chase scene, i honestly thought that it was a cool space movie by the name and the soundtrack, i'm a little dissapointed but not quite, the movie looks ok and reminds of some other recent movie that's not bad either.

A.1.- Shortcut to Somewhere 5/10 Really 80s, standard and a little boring, with the voice of Phil Fish (Marillion), not a really good start, repetitive. Curiously enough, this is the only song from Tony that has been played by Genesis (40th Atlantic Record Anniversary).

A.2.- Smilin' Jack Casey 8/10 A song from the Commodore 64 game called "The Big Deal"... no, that's not it, Tony probably doesn't know that one of his soundtracks was featured in a videogame, it has the typical Tony Banks flavor, yet it gets a little boring near the end, mainly because the synth-drum pattern takes too much space on this song. Solid work overall.

A.3.- Rebirth 6/10 Starting as something glorious that is emerging and then going to the upbeat principal track, played differently, i like the principal track, not so sure about this variation, it is slower and adds some unnecesary stuff.

A.4.- Gipsy 8/10 Misterious. I like what it does, i can see me in an alley filled with smoke walking to a misteriour person who's going to tell my future, the setting is like the one on Bladerunner or the video of Tonight, tonight, tonight... wait, is the same thing! The song morfs and goes upbeat, i can hear some synth dogs, is this a fight of some sorts? From what i watched from the movie, i feel like this track wasted potential here.

A.5.- Final Chase 9/10 This final score mixes everything that was played earlier into a grand final that i feel it should've been used in a more cience fiction film, it also reminds me a little of Lorca in terms of structure.

B.- Redwing Bad movie according to many people on the internet, i watched the start of the movie and i got horribly bored, i can't bother into watching it in its entirety, either way. It has a good soundtrack that was cut out from the US release because of copyright.

B.1.- You Call This Victory 7/10 The starting is absolutely pretty, then it goes into a repetitive pop song, although not a bad one. The instrumental is ok and could've been improved into another instrumental song.

B.2.- Lion of Symmetry 9/10 Toyah, what a great name and singer, this song is a test of that, it is a complex pop song with a more serious idea behind it, this is the real deal, the best pop song made by Tony. It gets a little bit repetitive but its really catchy.

B.3.- Redwing 10/10 Going all out on that science fiction, reminded me a little of the X-Files theme for a bit, this could well be the introduction to a SNES JRPG, its aweosome.

B.4.- Lorca 10/10 This is it, a music so good that had to be used on another song called "Queen of Darkness". This could perfectly work on a videogame as well, maybe in a racing or shoot em' up scene.

B.5.- Kid and Detective Droid 8/10 This could also be used on a JRPG, like on a cutscene where someone is telling the story of the continent at the chimney. It is also a reworked version of the principal track, not the best version.

B.6.- Lift Off 6/10 There's something that i haven't pointed out from this album, and is that the mixing and the synth sounds selected make the album sound really outdated, there are albums that sound like that but still pass the test of time, while albums like this one suffer from sounding less good than it should. In the case of this music, the vocal synth sound gets a little annoying, it is a beautyful track but it could've benefited from a better sound bank. It sounds like church instead of something space related.

B.7.- Death of Abby 7/10 Don't listen to this at midnight with the window open, it might scare you at the start, then it goes to another version of the principal track, worse than kid and detective droid.

At the end of the day, the entire box-set gets a 78/100, wich is 4-start, i liked it, specially Lorca, Final Chase, Lion of Symmetry and Redwing, nice job on those, Tony should make a soundtrack for an space shoot-em-up.

A little update here, i fixed my "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" review, mainly the wording. I'll continue to review Tony Banks albums and after that i'll probably get back to Genesis and then something else that's Genesis related

 A Curious Feeling by BANKS, TONY album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.39 | 198 ratings

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A Curious Feeling
Tony Banks Crossover Prog

Review by FalconBleck

4 stars #23 Review

I might listen to an album many times and there are songs that i always skip from time to time you can realize what songs i do like a lot and i listen a lot when reading my reviews, the songs that i skip a lot its because they are repetitive (most of the time thats my problem with the songs) and there are different ways a song feels repetitive, one is when the structure never goes anywhere else than what they do all the time, and the other way is when the rythm or the chords are repeated too much in some interval, like it happened to me with "Watcher of the Skies" (i know that it sounds controversial, even then i still like that song a lot).

1.- From the Undertow 10/10 The introduction that Tony prepared for the song "Undertow" from "... And then there where three..." after the song was already made... this inctroduction serves as the introduction to Tony's solo career, and with this one i would've expected an incredibly long crafted concept 2LP album with lots of feelings and textures... well, his solo albums are mostly not that, but we still get a glimpse of that, i would say like 40%, while the rest are pop/love songs, 50% of those are good, that leave us with 70% of good solo material. I don't think that this song should've been an intro to Undertow, instead it could've been worked on and made a complete instrumental with it.

2.- Lucky Me 5/10 Really simple pop song that makes me go into the 70s really easily, even tho i was never there. A love ballad, another one (even tho it should've been the first i would hear when making reviews for this artist) thats too repetitive, i have already stablished that i'm not a fan of something like this.

3.- The Lie 7/10 Going into more Tony Banks territory here, with more changes and insteresting chord progression, as well as having a good feel to it and it doesn't get boring. This song could very well be a B-Side to a Genesis album from that time.

4.- After the Lie 8/10 It continues from the previous song, i don't get why it was separated from the previous song, it continues with all the goodness, but it takes the Banks factor over by a little with a really nice solo at the end and more details in between the song.

5.- A Curious Feeling 4/10 What an obnoxious start, i already dislike it and its the title track, even tho Tony said that he was going to name the album "The Waters of Lethe", that might have driven more sales but worse reviews, since people would've expected something different from this album. Well, this is another love pop song, while i can hear the "more meat" that Tony says pop songs need, i still find it too repetitive tho (imagine how horrible are todays pop songs for me if i'm disliking this song, and you can imagine, i suffer an incredibly amount of pain when the local radio is on).

6.- Forever Morning 10/10 The second instrumental on this album, this time more worked up than the first. While it starts a little unimpressive, it gets progressively better and more classic. The morning is characterized by a really nice myst and little rays of light, this song somehow manages to show me exactly that, is really magical and well done.

7.- You 10/10 It starts as your typical good love song and then it becomes one of the best instrumentals in this album, i really love its, i get transported to a river, a night sky and everything moves at the speed of the song.

8.- Somebody Else's Dream 5/10 How would be to live the lives of other people? Not as boring as this song i would say, again, i find it repetitive and it hardly moves me because of how monotonous everything feels placed, as if a machine made this song, with some times Tony doing an intervention.

9.- The Waters of Lethe 8/10 The third and last only instrumental in this album. I really love the start to this song, its incredibly sad, then it becomes somewhat of innocent and then it goes incredibly loud for the rest of the music piece, i would rather keep the sadness, and thats what i am doing, i'm learning the first part on piano and i'll take inspiration from that to make a piece. I like this instrumental but i'd rather those loud parts to be out of it.

10.- For a While 6/10 I finally found a song from an artist that i like that my grandparents could listen to. While in simple nature and repetitive as well, at least this song is much more pretty than the last one and the Tony Banks factor is present, this could've been another "Follow You Follow Me". Nice getaway to 70s love.

11.- In the Dark 10/10 I don't know what Tony Banks has with darkness, but i also feel something about it, and this song makes me go to a snowy place in the dark morning, near there i see a dog in my final hours and i try to do my latest good deed by giving him a place to rest with my coat. Such a beautyful and sad piece to end this album.

This album gets an 80/100, wich is exactly 4 stars.

I never expected to do a double upload, but i finished The Fugitive review last week, and this one was finished just recently, i expect to do soon my next Tony Banks review as well.

 The Fugitive by BANKS, TONY album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.41 | 110 ratings

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The Fugitive
Tony Banks Crossover Prog

Review by FalconBleck

3 stars #22 Review

I was looking through some "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" reviews and i came to a realization... prog reviewers could be as complex as prog is, and i like that, but because of that i should clarify what kind of prog reviewer i am, there are some that go for the lyrics... i'm not that, some that go for how much rock there is on a certain song... i really don't care, there are others who go for techniques, and i do care about that, i like it, but if you have seen my other reviews you will realize that i almost never talk about it... because i'm more about the feeling the music gives, i started with soundtracks, and what some people called "filler" to some of the little instrumental music pieces on "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway", if your read my review you already know, i think that those music pieces really added to the album to feel more like a movie... and the band thinks that so, they've tried to make a movie about that album 2 times already... so you know.

We have seen Tony sing in a Genesis song called Shepherd and his voice is really well used there, and here... we will see.

1.- This is Love 7/10 A song with a reggae sound, a weirdo that spies on to a lady and an interesting music video. I don't get why Tony felt like this was his song style, but somehow this song manages to sound good, specially when he is not singing. While this song doesn't need his voice, it still adds character. I don't get why i enjoy this song, maybe i feel somewhat identified with the weird persona.

2.- Man of Spells 3/10 I like how this album has felt alien so far. This song also seems like it doesn't need the voice, the piano/synth guitar is playing that part anyways. This song is very repetitive at the point where i asked myself "is really that all?".

3.- And the Wheels Keep Turning 5/10 While the voice does a little more here, i expected more on this song, in the parts where it goes "big", but it never does, instead this song has a little solo to compensate for that near the end (and repeated again at the end with a fade out). I was left expecting more from this song.

4.- Say You'll Never Leave Me 3/10 A love ballad that has little interesting moments and that its repetitive, not a good combination, it tries to do more but everything still falls flat. The lyrics get repeated too much.

5.- Thirty Three's 10/10 If i get to live 10 years more, alone and in a obscure solitary apartment... this is the song that will play on that place forever. I really like this instrumental, is dramatic and weird. I have no complaints.

6.- By You 4/10 This song is weird, alien and repetitive. It truly feels experimental and as such is interesting but not very good.

7.- At the Edge of the Night 7/10 I expected it to get more soundtrack like, but is just another pop song, albeit with more changes and much more interesting than some others that are here in this album. It could've been a hit if the keyboards were made louder, with synth drums and with somebody else's voice.

8.- Charm 10/10 I always wanted to hear Tony Banks do soundtracks for videogames, i think that some Genesis stuff and some songs from Tony solo career, Steve Hackett and Anthony Philips could make for an excelent videogame soundtrack. This "8-bit" instrumental has many classic influences and feels like a trip to a computer generated world that goes evolving graphically by any layer of music that passes, i really like this music piece.

9.- Moving Under 7/10 I almost understimated this song because of the last one, but it has some complex moments, the bass is really sweet and it has a little part in 5/6. This song has many changes in it and the final part sounds interesting.

10.- K2 5/10 An average repetitive pop-ballad but with a little of Tony Banks recipe in it.

11.- Sometime Never 5/10 Really similar to K2, harmless pop-ballad that i won't mind hearing while i lunch.

I recommend to every prog and soundtrack listener to take a moment and apreciate the songs 5 and 8, and if you're curious about some early pop done by Tony, i recommend hearing 1, 7 and 9

This album gets overall a 60/100 and that means that this album barely gets 3 stars.

 Strictly Inc. by BANKS, TONY album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.53 | 71 ratings

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Strictly Inc.
Tony Banks Crossover Prog

Review by FalconBleck

2 stars #21 Review

Before i start with this, i want to point out that in the previous review i mentioned "Still", i don't know when i'll review it, but i'll continue with Tony Banks until i finish the discography, as well, i was updating older Genesis reviews with B-Sides, but that might change, i'm not sure what to do with that as of now, but some albums are already done (as mentioned at the end of my previous review). Before choosing Strictly Inc. i was almost ready to review The Fugitive, that could be the next review, but i don't promise anything.

First up, what's up with that cover artwork? I like the ridiculous and over exagerated animations from the 90s, but i don't like what i see here, its one of those albums that don't enter in the eyes and it looks really lazy as well.

1.- Don't Turn Your Back on Me 3/10 Starts with an incredible catchy rythm, and continues being a typical uninspired pop-song, very repetitive with no purpose and boring lyrics, so it sets a good mood at the start but then i feel like skipping the song.

2.- Walls of Sound 5/10 Now another catchy rythm that repeats even more, but the song is more than ok, it changes enough on the other instruments to make the song somewhat enjoyable.

3.- Only Seventeen 5/10 Tony knows how to do catchy starts to songs, its the same case as the previous song but it is really different and feels more "action-packed" than the previous one, the last part of the song becomes more like a soundtrack, but that still doesn't save it from being really average.

4.- The Serpent Said 6/10 Going more into soundtrack territory, is still pop but more serious and with more chord progressions, yet it still falls short.

5.- Never Let Me Know 6/10 This should as well be a song without voice, only the keyboards. It sounds good, its extremely average but the nice little solo near the end saves it a little.

6.- Charity Balls 4/10 Another song heavily done with chord progressions, some of this songs feel like taking out from little pieces of the last song in this album, this song is boring, it has nothing more going than those chords. The little guitar solo at the end saves it a little.

7.- Something To Live For 6/10 A little boring with a nice guitar solo at the end and for some reason it is in 7/8, only that saves it, because overall is extremely average.

8.- A Piece of You 3/10 Reminds me of charity balls on how it takes a little piece from the last song on the album, notably the notes used for the lyrics, i would've prefered if this song was out of the album, the last one does it much better and another ballad is just filler at this point. The little solo halfway is also a modified piece from the last one.

9.- Strictly Incognito 7/10 The title track, reminds me of Throwback, and its a nice throwback to what Tony Banks does, mixing sundtrack sounds with that strong good pop that he can do, just one problem, repetitive.

10.- An Island in the Darkness 10/10 If he says that he got inspired by Firth of Fifth, then this song might be something, right? The introduction is already something incredibly beautyful that could very well be from a classic era pianist, when the drum synths kick in you can already feel how the atmosphere changes to something more obscure, and then the lyrics appear and are on top, so the mood is already set, misterous, melancholic, cloud but with bits of light delicately expressed by Tony Banks synths. A little solo appears that makes you feel lonely in wichever kind of terrain you're standing, while seeing the sea and feeling the breeze that those drum synths bring every so often. Then everything comes to a halt and the music starts progressing, this is your time to shine and do everything, the fog clears and everything seems to work again, but as time passes you realize and think of everything you have accomplished so far and on the next steps that you have to follow, hours and days keep passing and you get closer and closer to success but then... you hit the top, you know that there's more out there but for some reason you can't reach more at the moment, you look back and feel proud at how everything turned out, while you still want more, maybe it is time to rest and think about everyone and every good moment... and now its time to hit it back again, but the fog surrounds you, see the ghosts of your past and want to change the score, but its too late, you miss everyone and all your frights become a reality, just when you're about to hit it big time, do you have the will to carry on? Don't leave time to do your job and start, that's what you do, and that's how you succeed, yet its so difficult but you keep doing it because the reward is even better that way, while everything pushes you down, you remember all the people that have helped you out, all those moments in the past and realize that you can do it again, and if you don't, you still have your dearest people close and the memories with you, so on a last effort you manage to get into a place where you can finally rest again and in expectansy of your next challenge, but now with relief.

Sadly, this album is a 55/100 for me, wich is 2 stars, i didn't want to put 2 stars because An Island in the Darkness is one of the best works that Tony has ever done, but the rest of the album has unnecesary songs, this album never needed to be that long, maybe it was to accomodate the new longer format (like Genesis did with We Can't Dance), in the end i don't recommend this album as a whole, but i do recommend tracks 9 and 10, specially 10.

 Bankstatement by BANKS, TONY album cover Studio Album, 1989
2.74 | 78 ratings

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Bankstatement
Tony Banks Crossover Prog

Review by FalconBleck

3 stars #20 Review

I find really weird that this album was intended as a band project, and it is still listed in some sites as a separate entity to Tony solo works, when this is in fact a work composed and writen (mostly) by Tony Banks, even knowing that, i really apreciate the talents that he got for making this album.

And now the review:

1.- Throwback 8/10: A song that i first ignored, that has some really good moments, i don't usually talk about lyrics, but i really like the ones here, i like what it tells and how the singer reaches those notes. Another thing to point out is the video, wich has several nods to The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, the video overall is really entertaining. The song itself may feel too happy with those horns, or sometimes really repetitive, but the Tony Banks factor clearly plays into here, wich makes the song be entertaining... and by the Tony Banks factor i mean that he has difficulties to do something simpler, but also he says that its intentional because he believes that pop songs need more beef, like his musical inspirations have done (The Beatles, Pet Shop sounds).

2.- I'll Be Waiting 4/10 Those synth clap sounds are back, this time for a more forgetable song (spoilers from a future review), this song would fit Calling All Stations, i can already imagine Ray Wilson singing this. With this song i really feel like i'm waiting for a more entertaining song to happen... the wait ain't so bad tho, there is interesting material here, expecting to have a better usage, like the pieces of music i have writen myself, except that i don't release them. Also, as i say to many songs... this one is also repetitive.

3.- Queen of Darkness 8/10: Based on the song "Lorca" from "The Red Wing Suite", feels like a new version from a song that i already like (spoilers), and "Lorca" feels based on "Final Chase" from the "Quicksilver Suite". If you have followed my reviews, you should know that i'm a fan of soundtracks, and that before Prog i was into movies and videogames soundtracks, and this song feels like an HD remaster of Lorca with interesting lyrics "If you wanted a creature from another dimension... i'm the answer", what is with that? I like it, and the voice work is excelent as well, the only downside to this song is the ending, wich feels boring, should've done a little more instead of a remaster with lyrics of "Lorca", but anyway, it still made for an entertaining song.

4.- That Night 7/10 A song clearly made from someone that specializes on keyboards, one really beautyful and melancholic song, really good voice work here. This song has a really interesting concept where the music and voice work contradicts each other on every verse until they mix together for the final, really nice idea that makes the song don't get old, but i feel like this song could've been expanded, made a part of a really large song, the fade-out at the end comes too soon.

5.- Raincloud 4/10 What is this? What a change from the last song feelings-wise, either way, it makes me feel really similar to what "I'll be waiting" did, except that this one could be on We Can't Dance and its repetitive, but it is more entertaining and has more variations than that one... if this song lasted 1 minute, it wouldn't lose that much.

6.- The Border 8/10: I really like the piano here, its repetitive but mesmerizing, the voice gives intensity and strenght to this song, that already feels more serious than everything previous on the album. Even with the little changes near the end, the song is still very repetitive, this song could be shorter... also, on a video for a certain Tony Banks tribute group (yes, there is one, i don't remember the name) they use an instrumental version of this song for introducing their concerts, it sounds really sweet. This song does what some songs previous on this album tried to do, a catchy sound to get us interested.

7.- Big Man 5/10 This starts like a SNES song and then it transforms into a Genesis/Mega Drive song, Tony would be really good at making videogame music... ok, aside from that, now Tony is singing, and he does a good job while telling bullies how they are. The problem with this song is that it gets repetitive quickly and tried to do an interesting chorus that comes out as boring.

8.- A House Needs a Roof 6/10 Tony really needs to make music for the Yamaha YM2612... this song is as 80s pop as a song can be, why wasn't this a hit? And as always, he needs to add something more and added a really minuscule keyboard solo, this is good, probably no for this site, but what can i do, this song works for what it is.

9.- The More I Hide It 4/10 This again reminds me to "The Waiting", yet this song tried to be interesting at one point, to add more, it really feels like this song was calculatedly crafted to add more "beef to pop", but in the end it falls short again, its the same case.

10.- Diamonds Aren't So Hard 7/10 It starts a little funny with happy music while telling horribly bad and ridiculous situtations, then the music makes you travel to a fictional world where diamonds aren't so hard to find, and that's how the song keeps being interesting, the changes one the song are welcome and the rythm is well done.

11.- Thursday the Twelfth 8/10: What an ending to this album, its as if a portal is distorting the world and re-organizing every physical entity while also making me dizzy. This instrumental track its a really interesting ending to an album that was supposed to be filled with pop-hits, yet Tony Banks can't contain himself from being weird, and you know, weird isn't bad. My problems with this song are that the intensity of the start decreases too fast, i feel like some people won't like this song for how it sounds or for being on 4/4, i like to be subjective on my reviews but i always seem to not make it that way, and in this case i can tell you, i'm clearly being biased because i just like this song.

So in the end this album gets a 62/100, wich is just 3 stars, almost 2.

My "5" review got lots of atention and i forgot to add in there that i was updating my older reviews with "B-Sides", right now "Abacab" and "... And then there where three..." are already done, but i plan to continue with "Invisible Touch" and "Trespass". I'm sorry if it took so long for me to post, but i was so busy that i even forgot that i was doing reviews and now i'm back, hope you give Bankstatement a chance and for Tony Banks in general, he is a really good keyboardist and composer, probably one of the best and my biggest inspiration... well, not for that i'm gonna make inflated scores, i don't want to spoil it, but there's an album that "still" dissapoints me to this very day... ok, that was mean, goodbye.

 5 by BANKS, TONY album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.00 | 110 ratings

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5
Tony Banks Crossover Prog

Review by FalconBleck

5 stars #19 Review

I hinted to this review some times and i waited 21 days for my copy of the disc to arrive, it's the first order i make to a foreign country, and the first time i buy something from an artist when it's been released this year.

I have been in a marathon of Genesis since the first time i listened to them in 2012 and i realized that everyone had something to offer in the band, but also as a solo artist, and i really felt identified with Tony Banks, but more than that, i think that he is the reason on why i got so hooked with Genesis, he has been the secret ingredient of the band, i feel like the success of the band is in big part the success of him, and his solo career, while not getting the atention it deserves, i still feel like he has done a more than impressive job in all of music, this might feel like spoilers of my next reviews, but i had to say it, and i'll say more, after i finish reviewing Tony Banks solo albums, i'll review every other project where members of the band where involved (except for Mike + The Mechanics and Phil Collins solo career, they're not in this site and i really don't care that much about those).

So, without further ado, let's review like i have always been.

1.- Prelude to a Million Years 10/10 This album doesn't shy out and starts strong, with Tony Banks working his chords an arpegios, making powerful and tranquil moments, making you feel what the title says, in full detail. 15 minutes of pure imagination and mastery of what the classic genre has to offer, and i feel right at home here, i started listening to prog because i like soundtracks, and i know that symphonic prog and classical symphonic music goes hand in hand. I have always been more focused in the instrumental and in how it sounds, i can feel every sound no matter the instrument that's being played, being on an 8-bit machine, i still can imagine what they were trying to do, and here this feels like a complete work, but i can still imagine it being aweosome in different, more "affordable" styles (i obviously don't have money to rent an orchestra, not even a band), luckily the Special release of this album comes with all the sheet music, and Tony himself has said that he wants people to play what he has composed.

2.- Reveille 10/10 As some people have already pointed out, this is the return of the cross-hand technique, and it comes in full glory, the sound is hypnotizing and glorious, i'm impressed, this album already holds 2 of the most beautyful pieces of music released on this year, and this music holds how i feel about this album existence, its incredible, like if i "woke" up on a dream.

3.- Ebb and Flow 10/10 This music piece feels like the introduction to a journey, where i as the protagonist i'm really excite to partake in, and to discover a world that's incredible expansive and that it makes one impressed by every place my eyes gaze upon, a world that's in constant movement, where by each passing day everything feels better and newer than the last time.

4.- Autumn Sonata 9/10 This music piece was called "New and Old" in its conceptual stages, because it incorpores parts from a piece that was made some years prior to this album, those parts conform the middle section of this music piece, and all the rest was made entirely new. The new parts are really great, they follow the rest of the excelent previous music pieces(is a suite after all) but the middle section feels a little boring, it's an interesting change of pace but i'm not a big fan of it, interestingly, the middle part is where the Autumn feels the most, maybe i'm not a big fan of autumn itself.

5.- Renaissance 10/10 What a way to end an album, at first it feels like something is forming, in deep space, then that thing is something humble, yet so magnificent, nothing more humble than a new start, where you're learning the wonders of the world, and where there is a whole amount of experience waiting for you. This music doesn't tell me that it is the end, but actually a new beggining, not only for this piece, but for me and maybe for many people more to get inspired by this work.

Albums like this show what an artist can do, and i always knew that Tony Banks was capable of making incredible music, and i was really surprised with this one, this album is a gem that should be appreciated, and i'm pretty glad that it got #1 in the UK Classical Music charts, and i hope that it got it in more countries as well, i feel so happy that i bought it, even though it was the small package, i'll always be happy to support on of my favorite artists and not only that, i feel overwhelmed by this album, it's much and more, i hope to see more works like this in the future, i don't know where we could go from this but i'm prepared to be surprised, thanks Mr. Tony Banks.

98/100, this album is obviously a "5".

 5 by BANKS, TONY album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.00 | 110 ratings

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5
Tony Banks Crossover Prog

Review by proghaven

4 stars Along with Emerson, Fripp and Wakeman, Banks was one of the protagonists of progressive rock since its birth. Moreover, thanks mostly to Banks prog became prog as we know and perceive it. It's a great news that now, after half a century since Genesis was founded, their keyboardist and musical leader is still active, though he's no longer a progster and moved into the area of symphonic/orchestral music (ce qu'on appelle 'neo-classical', right? I often confuse terms, sorry, too much of them to be learnt while too low content in any of them). His new solo album is of no doubt classical enough, symphonic enough, orchestral enough... et cetera. The only reason for regrets is that Five is not Banksian enough. It's something between Sibelius and Charlie Chaplin's movie soundtracks. The first and only business for a musician/composer is to build relationships between musical sounds (if anyone wants to dispute this, I'm all ears). Banks became worldwide known in 1970s due to his capacity to discover and construct brand new relationships between sounds, sometimes so revolutionary and unevident that maybe even Beethoven or Ciurlionis could faintly imagine. Just remember Firth Of Fifth, After The Ordeal, Cinema Show, Can-Utility And The Coastliners, Timetable, Mad Man Moon, Robbery, Assault And Battery (instrumental passage), All In A Mouse's Night, One For The Vine... Perhaps Banks reached his creative peak with And Then There Were Three (Burning Rope), A Curious Feeling (most of the tracks but especially After The Lie and The Waters Of Lethe) and of course Duke (Heathaze and Cul-De-Sac are beyond top I'd say). After that, probably having had enough of prog, Banks switched to more rocky/poppy matters, but returned to so-called serious music in 2000s as an orchestral composer. And what he currently does with orchestra is more than interesting, but surely something important is forever left behind for him. It would be difficult to discuss every track on Five because there's nothing to be said about a given track that couldn't be said about any other one. All are refined, all are flowing, lulling, more or less uniform and quite traditional. For Sibelius or Sviridov, such an album could become a highlight of creative life. For Banks, it's very good, no more than that. An undoubted asset to symphonic music but not to Banks. Yes the music of this album is beautiful. But 1979 will never be back.
 5 by BANKS, TONY album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.00 | 110 ratings

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5
Tony Banks Crossover Prog

Review by The Jester

5 stars Starting this piece I should say that I am a big fan of the first period of Genesis; the one with Peter Gabriel. After his departure, Genesis released two good albums (A Trick of a Tale and Wind and Wuthering), but then everything changed and I stopped following their album releases. I always considered Tony Banks to be a very important "piece" in the Genesis puzzle, and together with Steve Hackett and Peter Gabriel the most valuable members of the band's early years.

From time to time, I listened to a few solo albums by Genesis members, but I didn't like almost any of them, with only a few exceptions. So, when I read about Tony Bank's new release a few weeks ago, I didn't pay too much attention to be honest. Then, I begun reading one great review after the other, and I thought that maybe it would be a good idea to add 'Five' in my collection. So I did! And what an album this is!

Before anything else, I should inform you that 'Five' is not a Rock or a Progressive Rock album. It has nothing to do with Rock actually. It is something between Classical music and a soundtrack. (I don't know how to describe it exactly).

Five, as the title implies, is a collection of five compositions, recorded with the world-renowned Czech National Symphony Orchestra, lending itself to a stunning presentation. Produced by the famous orchestrator and collaborator Nick Ingman, the album was recorded at Angel Studio in London, but also in Prague as well. Tony Banks performed all the piano parts, giving to himself the complete creative control!

The albums opens with the almost 15:00 minute long Prelude To A Million Years where the listeners can experience the progression of a lifetime; followed by the album's shortest song, Reveille. Reveille is an almost cinematic 9:00 minute long song, starting with piano and strings. As the song progresses, more and more instruments are added and it's a real treat for the ears and the mind. The 3rd track is Ebb and Flow, a delicate and soft tune, that can be described as 'inner peace through music'. There are 2 more songs in the album, but I will stop here. I think I gave you a first impression about this album.

Personally speaking, I have the album for almost a week now, and I think I have listened to it for at least 15 times so far! With every new listen, I sink more and more into the beauty and the greatness of this amazing piece of art! Because that's exactly what it is: A piece of art!

The album is available as CD and double vinyl, which also includes the music sheets, signed by Tony Banks. The prices are fair enough, so money shouldn't be an issue. I bought the vinyl edition of the album and I love it more and more with each passing day. I have no idea what is going to happen (musically) during 2018, but 'Five' already took its place in my annual Top-5 album list. Thank you Mr. Banks for this amazing album that you offered to us! My Rating: 4.5 (out of 5.0) stars.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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