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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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TONY BANKS discography


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

3.43 | 241 ratings
A Curious Feeling
1979
2.44 | 131 ratings
The Fugitive
1983
3.20 | 58 ratings
The Wicked Lady (OST)
1983
2.74 | 98 ratings
Bankstatement
1989
3.14 | 119 ratings
Still
1991
3.58 | 90 ratings
Strictly Inc.
1995
2.79 | 82 ratings
Seven - A Suite for Orchestra
2004
3.83 | 100 ratings
Six - Pieces for Orchestra
2012
3.95 | 167 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)

2.83 | 69 ratings
Soundtracks
1986
4.46 | 15 ratings
A Chord Too Far
2015
4.59 | 8 ratings
Banks Vaults - The Albums 1979-1995
2019

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

3.21 | 9 ratings
For a While / A Curious Feeling
1979
4.38 | 8 ratings
For a While / From the Undertow
1979
2.96 | 7 ratings
And the Wheels Keep Turning
1983
3.07 | 9 ratings
This is Love
1983
3.40 | 5 ratings
The Wicked Lady
1983
3.50 | 4 ratings
Performing Songs from Lorca and the Outlaws
1985
2.81 | 8 ratings
Shortcut to Somewhere
1986
3.00 | 6 ratings
The Gift
1991
3.00 | 6 ratings
I Wanna Change the Score
1991
3.71 | 7 ratings
Still It Takes Me By Surprise
1992

TONY BANKS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Strictly Inc. by BANKS, TONY album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.58 | 90 ratings

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Strictly Inc.
Tony Banks Crossover Prog

Review by TheBear

4 stars How do you rate an album where 9 tracks are good, or at least inoffensive but unexciting, and the last is an unsurpassed masterpiece?

Not wanting to add to the "five-star inflation" I've limited myself to four, but make no mistake: "An Island in the Darkness" is a song that NO collection of Prog should be without. Make it a Blues Brothers' Mission from God to get hold of a copy of the CD.

I dream of hearing it live one day by professional musicians (not to diss the admirable collective amatuer effort some years ago - I own the CD and like what they tried).

In fact, my very detailed dream is for Tony Banks to guest one of Steve Hackett's shows (it requires two keyboard players live, and Roger King is up to the task). Wouldn't it be poetic if Steve Hackett played Daryl Stuermer's beautiful solo after Stuermer has done admirable justice to Hackett's classic solos for so many years?

One can always dream...

 Bankstatement by BANKS, TONY album cover Studio Album, 1989
2.74 | 98 ratings

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Bankstatement
Tony Banks Crossover Prog

Review by Sidscrat

2 stars There is a problem when you are trying to be like everyone else looking for that golden wand that you can use to rake in lots of dough. Tony Banks is one of the most brilliant keyboardists in rock and especially prog. I am a big Genesis fan, that is "Trespass" through "Wind & Wuthering". "And then there were 3" was okay and "Duke" had the last blast of their old prog sound (Duke's Travels). Post Hackett meant abandoning prog for the most part. They would include a lame piece of sort of prog on each album. Buying each album as it came out left me searching for the tunes that were "just okay."

As I have gotten older I have a little more respect of pop music but not much. Anyone can sit down and spend 20 minutes writing a 3 minute song. Granted, some of the tracks here instrumentally are complex in the keyboard area which is the saving grace here. I wonder what would have happened had they included some of the pop tracks on a Genesis album.

I think what I am trying to say here is that Tony was not destined to be a pop star and he spent his solo days trying to be something he wasn't. Tony should be Tony, not Phil, not Mr. Mechanic. His albums seem to want to accomplish success more than they do putting out great music. I really think Tony's pride hated the fact that he just couldn't get on the charts like Phil, Peter or Mike and he sure wasn't going to allow Steve to best him since he always gave the impression he didn't like him in the band. Thankfully Hackett stayed true to himself and I respect him more than any of the other 5 core members of Genesis. It is a shame he has been criminally overlooked by his former bandmates and the critics. Steve just puts out music he wants and isn't looking for stardom. You have to respect a musician who does that regardless of what genre they are in. Anyway, Tony is not a pop music genius.

We have his later album that once again was under a band name: "Strictly". It is like Bankstatement in that it is catering to pop except on the last song which is a long prog tune that seems totally out of place on the album. It is okay but again, lacking, "Still" had some good moments but it was also like this album in many ways with the one long prog song on it, The Fugitive was musically his best attempt and has some prog in it. This album isn't so bad but it isn't great. I bought it on vinyl as soon as it came out and oddly the vinyl version was missing the song which I felt was probably the best: "Diamonds Aren't So Hard". That song I just couldn't stop playing. The catchy driven beat, the tightly interwoven keyboards and even the lyrics make that song the strongest for me. "The Border" also has a full sound due to the more complex keyboard melody. "Big Man" I actually like and his voice works on it almost having a Beatle-esc sound to it mixed with the strange keyboard sound.

The last song is an instrumental "Thursday the Twelfth" and I like the keyboards on it. That is as prog as the album gets. One cannot review this album from the platform of prog as it just isn't nor was it meant to be. It is an attempt to create pop stardom and falls short but again, Genesis put out those awful pop ballad like songs that threw them into stardom so I would think some of the other love tracks would do well with Phil's voice. In other words, Tony could have given them to Phil to drop on his solo album and then Tony could make his money!

 Banks Vaults - The Albums 1979-1995 by BANKS, TONY album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2019
4.59 | 8 ratings

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Banks Vaults - The Albums 1979-1995
Tony Banks Crossover Prog

Review by FalconBleck

5 stars #50TH REVIEW!

I can't believe that this one had no reviews. This compilation of all Tony Banks solo rock albums was released in 2019 and i got it on early 2021, somehow it was still in stock on the Cherry Red Records store. Now its out of stock there but you can still find it new for a $100, i got it for $50 and it arrived pretty fast from England to South America.

Well, anyways, for $50 this was a great deal, especially considering that the price has taxes and the shipping included. I already did a review of this package on my yt channel, but what i'm writting here will be mostly different, but what strikes me is that i released that video on July 7th 2021, and thought of doing a review of Banks Vaults here at the same time, yet i forgot.

Now, why do i say that this is a big deal? Well, for one, i was looking for a Tony Banks solo album, and then i remembered that there was a compilation, wich is weird because i saw all the promotional interviews, then i forgot and 2 years later i thought that i really needed some Tony Banks solo material stuff (besides "5" wich is my most well known review here, as well as the first one of that album as well i think), i wanted some of his rock stuff that i have been enjoying a lot lately, in fact, i'll give an update to my Strictly Inc. review later this month. Anyways, i'm glad with what i got from a pure concept of what this is, a compilation of Tony's solo rock career, but i was more than pleased for other reasons, and others not so much so lets get a bit technical here. The packaging won't blow you away for $100, but i think that its more than serviceable for $50, its a good design, not so much a good name wich i think cost the thing from selling more. Its a very well presented folded card board box with some nicely printed art on it, but the insides aren't plastic cases, just small card-board sleeves for the discs, wich is fine, they look nice except that the full design leads a bit to be desired, they are similar to the original stuff, but besides having new copyright, they also included numbers on the discs, as well as a text saying "Disc One", as to let you know that in fact there are 8 discs on the package... yes, I CAN COUNT YOU KNOW?? Anyways, that was a dumb decision, but then, what about the discs themselves? Well, the discs have the same album cover printed in them, nothing special, yet they hold all that you want from Tony's rock solo career except for the extras or B-Sides, but it is already a good deal, specially if you had troubles finding any of his albums used and wanted to own the whole thing in a new release, yes, all the albums have brand new remixes, and re-releasing something takes a ton of time, contracts and what not, Tony and Co. did all of that for a very cheap compilation at the time, and yet the thing was in stock for 2 years or more, it definitely didn't sell. I would say that hopefully he recovers a bit from that investment from some of those new internet aplications and stuff, but it seems like barely anyone listens to those. I'm mixed on the mixes, a few have some great additions, while others lose stuff and others are great in one part, the other isn't as good as the original and vice-versa, i think that if you mix both the original and new mixes together, you'll get something more special, but i still don't know what's the best way to listen to Tony's solo career, since there is so much going on in every song. Lastly, we arrive at the DVD, it has a menu that follows the artwork on the packaging, its even animated, and it includes some very high quality versions of Tony's music videos, well, high quality for an old CRT display anyways, it looks great, there was definitely some work done here. But the package is not done, because there is a booklets with press pictures and all the lyrics, that's why the disc sleeves are so bare-bones, because all the content and more its on this new booklet, wich was the biggest surprise to me, the promotional pictures for this compilation did show the booklet, but none of the descriptions have it listed, they just point out the 8 disc deal.

So overall, for me this was and is great, i truly enjoy having it, there is some stuff that could've been better but i think that with all the work put together and the price point, that i feel like i was stealing from Tony, even though i bought this from the cherry red store and my intention of buying this was to not steal anymore, but i mean it, this release has more value to me, has more value in its creation than on what it looks like. If you are a fan of Tony's rock solo career and own every album, you probably already own this, but if you are just starting on buying or plan to have some of what he has released, then i seriously encourage you to get this. This is an easy 5 stars from me, because it not only offers stuff for new fans, but for old ones as well, almost every song sounds different, and it also includes a new release (the DVD) and a cool booklet.

 5 by BANKS, TONY album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.95 | 167 ratings

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5
Tony Banks Crossover Prog

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In a general sense of the word, and in most cases, I do not go out of my way to listen to classical music as I am particularly never keen or interested in the genre. While being a huge music nerd who loves works that go for more symphonic or orchestral sounds, IE Progressive Rock to name the obvious, I still never took the time to really take a look, listen, and grasp classical music albums. However, today I felt interested. I wanted to listen to a classical piece of music. For some reason something about this album made me feel like I had an itch to scratch. I think it must've been the album cover, or maybe a review I saw that got me interested, or it possibly was due to the fact this was made by a legendary figure in Prog Rock music, Tony Banks.

Tony Banks isn't really one to give out an introduction too. He got his start with Genesis being one of the founding members of the band, and had a small-ish solo career, plus a side project called Strictly Inc. with Jack Hues of Wang Chung. By the early 2000s he had shifted gears from Prog rock and pop music to go into a new direction. He created a 7 piece classical suite, simply titled Seven, or if you wanna call it by its full name, Seven - A Suite For Orchestra. Afterward he would make a follow up in 2012 being Six Pieces for Orchestra, which is a 6 piece suite, much like how Seven was. I have not heard these two yet but I will someday. This change in direction definitely changed the course for Banks' work moving forward, going for a contemporary classical sound this time, making his career pretty heterogeneous. With that out of the way, he would release his next suite, also named after a number. In 2018 he released the album, 5. This was made with The Czech National Symphony Orchestra and Choir, plus a multitude of other artists like Nick Ingman, and Frank Ricotti. This is a collaborative effort on Tony's part, so with all of that out of the way, I think it is time to look at this work thoroughly.

I would rather not base this review on a usual track by track basis since this is basically one big work. It is a suite after all so considering each movement as a seperate song would not make sense in my opinion.

Each movement has a clear thematic approach. Each movement goes through a leitmotif that drives through each of the five pieces. Each time it feels very much the same yet distinct enough in the backing melodies for you to spot it but never fully expect it. Each movement also builds into the next one seamlessly, yet they never go into full big crescendos at the end. I am a tiny bit mixed in this sense when I expect these bigger and longer songs, I sort of want some ending that really drives home the album for me, but then I noticed that this was something a bit more experimental. It wasn't Avant Garde and super weird, but Tony here clearly is composing a work that is a lot more different. Instead of going for big and expanding crescendos, he instead is making the movements feel like the crescendos themselves throughout their run. I like this because it makes you appreciate the little details in the pieces more.

The more I hear this album the more I notice something more. Melodies I haven't paid attention to for my first listen become very familiar yet when they are replayed again it feels like entire thoughts on them switch up in a good way. This album is like a puzzle at first. You do not know where the pieces fit, but then you start to understand the image more and more as you assemble the picture. Little details like what tab goes in what socket or something in the image that fits with another thing. It all builds up into this full picture that when you get done with it, you really appreciate it.

I do however have to give it some criticism as I feel like it is important. While I love longer music, I felt as though these movements meandered a bit. Furthermore, I felt as though some of these pieces never stuck out to me as much as others. I feel like the main motif and a few others stuck better due to their sound, but some sounds almost went through one ear and out the other. Obviously I am not saying that every piece should be instantly stuck in my head, but I felt as though Tony made some ideas stuck more than others in these movements. He is a great composer, but he definitely should reevaluate some sections in the music of this suite so they can be as good as they possibly can be. As I stated before, some of these movements meander a bit throughout their run on the suite for me to never really get a good grasp on them, even after a ton of listening on this album.

All my critiques aside I do feel like there's definitely a good amount to love, especially with the mood of this album. Many classical works feel very bombastic, but this one feels very tranquil. Even when these big strings and horns come up I never felt like it pressured me down. I definitely felt the music, but I never felt like the music was pinning me against the wall. It felt like a light tap on my shoulder, noticeable, but nothing that makes me feel locked down. I love it when music just has an aura of good vibes. The tranquility of this piece really feels good to listen to, even when I had a disinterest in classical and orchestral music. I would not say that this album changed my worldview on classical works entirely, but I would enjoy another round of this kind of experience again.

I would definitely recommend checking this one out as it has this nice and cozy feeling if it. I would not call this a full on masterpiece, but as it stands it has a good deal of love put into it for it to never be bad in my opinion. There is definitely stuff to point out about it, but overall this experience can be very pleasant for anyone, even for people who do not enjoy listening to classical music like myself. Check it out if you have the time.

 Soundtracks by BANKS, TONY album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1986
2.83 | 69 ratings

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Soundtracks
Tony Banks Crossover Prog

Review by Mirakaze
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

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

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

 Bankstatement by BANKS, TONY album cover Studio Album, 1989
2.74 | 98 ratings

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Bankstatement
Tony Banks Crossover Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review N 485

The musical career of Tony Banks is very extensive and is divided on two distinct facets, the career inside Genesis and his solo musical career. Inside Genesis, his role was fundamental on the group's sound and he always was one of the main composers of the band. His elaborated keyboard style is perfectly evidenced in songs like "Firth Of Fifth", "The Cinema Show", "Watcher Of The Skies" and "Supper's Ready", just only to mention some of them. Definitely, his work in the band helped to establish the final and unique sound of Genesis. Those works explain why he is considered as one of the best and most respected keyboardists and the owner of an unmistakable sound in the progressive rock. Banks' distinct keyboard style is very different from many of his contemporary keyboard players, always keeping a low profile, in opposition to the most extravagant styles like we can see, for instance, in the cases of Rick Wakeman and especially in the case of Keith Emerson. That style earned him to be considered the quiet driving force behind Genesis.

Unfortunately, unlike the other band members of Genesis, his solo musical career, beyond can be considered relatively short, never was considered really bright. Sincerely, I could never understand the why, and it always let me puzzled and disappointed. Apart from being responsible for some of the best and my favourite songs from Genesis, he always was my favourite member of Genesis along with Steve Hackett. Sincerelly, I don't know yet all his solo musical works. However, of the four works I know, until now, "A Curious Feeling", "The Fugitive", "Bankstatement" and "Still", the first is, in my humble opinion and without any doubt, the best and the only that we can consider truly a progressive album.

"Bankstatement" is his fourth solo studio album and was released in 1989. Technically, it's a group's project with little more than an only a name. In reality, this is a solo project of Tony Banks, issued under a band's name. The other band's members were the singers Alistair Gordon and Jayney Klimek, predominantly on lead vocals. The latter of which, also appeared in Bank's next and fifth solo studio album "Still", released in 1992. It seems that Banks had the idea of creating a band named Bankstatement, after he knows the success that Mike Rutherford was having with the debut eponymous studio album of his Mike And The Mechanics musical project, an album which was released in 1985.

Again, Banks wrote all the tracks and invited several musicians to participate on the album. So, the line up on "Bankstatement" is Tony Banks (vocals, keyboards, bass synthesizer and synthesizer lead guitar), Alistair Gordon (lead vocals and backing vocals), Jayney Klimek (lead vocals and backing vocals), Geoff Dugmore (drums), Pino Palladino (bass guitar), Dick Nolan (bass guitar), Steve Hillage (guitar), John Wilson (additional vocals), Martin Ditcham (tambourine and congas), Martin Robison (saxophones) and The Phantom Horns (brass).

Once more and as happened on his "A Curious Feeling" and "The Fugitive", the album has also eleven tracks. As a conceptual album, I'm not going to review the album track by track, as usual, but only a global review. "Bankstatement" is an album completely different from "A Curious Feeling" and "The Fugitive". "A Curious Feeling" is essentially a symphonic progressive album and "The Fugitive" is, for me, a little bit difficult to classify. It's something between a crossover album and a pop album. "The Fugitive" is, in a certain way, a kind of a nave album where Banks thought he could dispense some professionalism, like dispense a real vocalist and do himself those functions. "Bankstatement" is a more professional album than "The Fugitive". It's a more painstaking album with two really good vocalists and it has also a handful of good professional performers. Certainly, it's not Banks at his best but it has some tasteful moments. As happened with "The Fugitive", I like this album too, but I think it isn't better than "The Fugitive". After first listenings it seems to be a bit flat and boring. But, I think these are the main problems of almost the albums made by the classic prog bands of the 70's, in the 80's. It has some inconsistency but if you're a fan of 80's Genesis, maybe you can like it.

Conclusion: My overall impression about this album is mixed. There are some highlights on it, there are some good songs but there are also some mediocre songs too. Banks to often rely on repetitive musical structures and does lyrics to do the trick. The sound is still firmly rooted in the 80's, though the drum sounds reveal that it has been recorded near the end of that decade. By the other hand, the musicians on "Bankstatement" didn't become a truly full band. The proof is that on his next solo work "Still", it appeared under Tony's own name again, though the concept of "Still" isn't so different from "Bankstatement". Finally, what lacks to this album is some variety and catchy tunes, especially for being a non progressive album. After all I said before, I still think that "Bankstatement" can be considered a good album, but on the contrary with Rutherford's "The Mechanics" project, Bankstatement never reached the successful career of his colleague and friend. So, unlike the opinions of most of my colleagues on Progarchives, I don't think "Bankstatement" is a better album than "The Fugitive" is. So, I think that "Bankstatement" deserves to be rated with the same 3 stars.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 The Fugitive by BANKS, TONY album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.44 | 131 ratings

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The Fugitive
Tony Banks Crossover Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review N 449

Tony Banks is a British composer, pianist and keyboardist which became most known in the world of progressive rock music, especially because he was one of the founding members of Genesis, with Peter Gabriel and Mike Rutherford. Along with Rutherford he was the only band's member that stayed in the group throughout their entire musical history.

Banks was trained in the classical piano, and what many of we don't know, is that he was also a self-taught person in terms of learning to play guitar. So, we can even say that it's also a guitarist. Having studied at Charterhouse School in the 60's he met Gabriel. Along with Chris Stewart both formed a band named The Garden Wall, which was merged with a band called Anon which included Rutherford and Anthony Phillips. The final result of that was a group called Genesis.

Like happened on their debut album "A Curious Feeling" on "The Fugitive", Banks also wrote all the tracks and invited several musicians to participate on it. So, the line up on "The Fugitive" is Tony Banks (vocals, keyboards, sinth bass and Linn LM-1 drums), Daryl Stuermer (guitars), Mo Foster (bass guitar), Tony Beard (drums and percussion), Steve Gadd (drums and percussion) and Andy Duncan (drums). Shortly, we can resume the main differences from his debut album to three. First, he doesn't invite a vocalist to sing on the album, as happened with his previous work, and so, this is his first and only full length album where Banks sings all the songs. Second, he decided doesn't play guitar on the album and for that job he invited Daryl Stuermer, an American musician that he knew very well, because he played guitar and bass for Genesis during the live shows of the group. Finally, he invited three drummers instead Chester Thompson, the American drummer who usually played drums during the live shows of Genesis, replacing Phil Collins when he sungs on their live performances. Curiously, he also decided to use the mechanical drummings on the album.

So, "The Fugitive" is his second solo studio album and was released in 1983. As happened with his debut solo studio album "A Curious Feeling", the album has also eleven tracks. As I usually do in many cases, I initially thought to review this album track by track. Still, my final decision was not do so. Instead of that, I decided to make a global review of it.

So and in the first place, is important to say that, "The Fugitive" has nothing to do with his previous debut studio album "A Curious Feeling". His debut is, in my humble opinion, essentially a symphonic progressive rock album, almost on the same vein of a Genesis' classic album, while "The Fugitive" isn't a progressive album, and has nothing to do with the music of Genesis, until that moment. In the second place, "A Curious Feeling" is a conceptual album and the songs are based on a story of a book where all the songs are somehow linked together, while on "The Fugitive" we have a set of songs unconnected with nothing to do with each other and where the lyrics aren't about stories, myths and legends. In the third place, Banks composed the songs on "The Fugitive" to his voice and, as we all know, and despite he has a very nice voice, he was never a real true vocalist, indeed. In the fourth place "The Fugitive" isn't an album easily identifiable as a keyboardist album because there aren't really on the album any great keyboard solos and the sound of the synthesizers sound rather mechanical. In the fifth place, Banks became very disappointed with the poor reception of "A Curious Feeling". Comparing the reception of his album with both albums of his colleagues of Genesis, his album not reached the success that Rutherford and Collins reached with "Smallcreep's Day" and "Face Value" released in 1980 and 1981 respectively. Finally, the last but not the least, fashioned with the new wave musical style, Banks decided to make an album lighter and essentially with many pop characteristics. So, due to all I said before, "The Fugitive" is a very strange album. He decided to move further away from his Genesis' progressive roots and the band's melodic pop period too. So, as a whole, "The Fugitive" has a rather and pleasant catchy sound, but without any kind of prog visions.

Conclusion: "The Fugitive" marks, in my humble opinion, the first time that Banks clearly found his own very unique musical style, as a solo artist. Despite some fairly sophisticated songs, the album provides a much stronger pop feeling than demonstrated on their previous solo debut studio album "A Curious Feeling". "The Fugitive" dramatically sets Banks' solo work apart from his work with Genesis, and in many aspects, it's a light years away of his previous solo studio album. It's unquestionably not for everyone. It represents also, possibly, the end of hope that Banks, as a solo artist, followed the same progressive path followed by Hackett. Both always were my favourite Genesis' members. However and despite everything I said before, I like "The Fugitive". This is, in my humble opinion, a good album, and I sincerely think that Banks made a very honest and interesting musical effort to create this album. I know very well that "The Fugitive" isn't a progressive album, but, for me, it's a very well balanced album with a good handful of songs. I also know that most of you don't like particularly of this album and became very disappointed when you listen to it for the first time. However, this is my point of view. I sincerely think that "The Fugitive" deserves to be rated with 3 stars.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Still by BANKS, TONY album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.14 | 119 ratings

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Still
Tony Banks Crossover Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review N 417

"Still" is the fourth studio album of Tony Banks and was released in 1992. It was originally going to be named with the same name of one of the tracks "Still It Takes Me By Surprise", but it was later shorted to "Still".

"Still" has ten tracks. All songs were written by Tony Banks except "Red Day On Blue Street" and "I Wanna Change The Score" which were written by Tony Banks and Nik Kershaw and "Another Murder Of A Day" which was written by Tony Banks and Fish. The first track "Red Day On Blue Street" is sung by Nik Kershaw. It's a very good and energetic track, very powerful and emotional, that sounds very well from the beginning to the end. Musically, it's a simple song in terms of composition but it has some good and interesting musical appointments, like the use of the sax on it. The second track "Angel Face" is sung by Fish. This is another very good track and it's more energetic, powerful and emotional than the previous track. However, this is a song that sounds more mellow and dark than the previous song, and this is probably because the vocal interpretation by Fish. Here, Fish sounds probably more close to Peter Gabriel than ever. The third track "The Gift" is sung by Andy Taylor. This is another very good song that keeps the album in a very good and high quality level and it's very well balanced. It's the shortest song on the album, but it's very well constructed and performed and it has also good and nice lyrics. This song represents very well how a song composed to be a pop hit can be so good, lovely and with good quality. The fourth track "Still It Takes Me By Surprise" is also sung by Andy Taylor. This is another type of a song that sincerely took me by surprise. It's a very emotional song sung with great sensitivity by Andy Taylor. But, the great highlight of the song, for me, is the piano performance of Tony Banks. His performance is very beautiful and reveals such sensitivity that every time I hear it, always comes to my memory "Firth Of Fifth" of Genesis. This is, without any doubt, one of the highlights of the album. The fifth track "Hero For An Hour" is sung by Tony Banks. We are in presence of another different type of song on the album. It's also a good song, very nice and pleasant to hear. However, I think it has less quality than the previous songs because it's more repetitive, simpler and less imaginative. However, we may say that we are in presence of a very pretty and decent track, indeed. The sixth track "I Wanna Change The Score" is sung by Nik Kershaw. It's a type of song totally different from anything else on the album. This is typically a song where the guitars and the rhythm of the song sound totally as a pop rock song. It's a song that reminds me strongly the albums made by his colleague from Genesis, Mike Rutherford with The Mechanics. This is a good song but too much pop for a progressive rock album. The seventh track "Water Out Of Wine" is sung by Jayney Klimek. It represents another different track on the album. It's a very beautiful and relaxing song on the album with good and nice lyrics and it's beautifully sung by Jayney Klimek. Probably, this isn't a great track, but personally, I like very much of it. Curiously, this song reminds me very much the type of music made by the Italian band Aries on their eponymous debut album, "Aries". The eighth track "Another Murder Of A Day" is sung by Fish. It represents, without any doubt, with "Still Takes Me By Surprise" the two best musical moments on the album. This is the best, the lengthiest and it's also the most progressive track on the album. Here we can clearly see the hand of Fish all over the song, not only on the vocals but also in the composition. It's a fantastic neo-prog song that reminds me, at the same time, the music of Genesis and Marillion. This is, in reality, a great song and represents a perfect marriage between Tony Banks and Fish as a duo of composers. The ninth track "Back To Back" is sung by Jayney Klimek. This is another song composed to be a great pop rock song. It's a very nice and powerful track very well performed and sung, which constitutes a nice and pleasant song to hear. However, it isn't very imaginative and creative. It's also very repetitive and despite being interesting, it isn't one of the high points of the album. The tenth track "The Final Curtain" is sung by Nik Kershaw. It's a fine track with a nice and good vocal performance by Nik Kershaw. Here, he sings some of the sweetest lyrics on the album and he sings it with a passion never seen before in the whole album. This is a perfect way to close the album and the name of the song represents and provides, in reality, a good and nice final curtain to this album.

Conclusion: From all Banks solo albums, I only know very well, "A Curious Feeling", "The Fugitive", "Bankstatement" and this album "Still", until now. So, I've no doubt in saying that "Still" is less good than "A Curious Feeling", but definitely better than "The Fugitive" and "Bankstatement". Musically, "Still" is slightly inferior compared to "A Curious Feeling", in terms of composition and progressivity. However, it's a very good album, well balanced and in reality, it has only one weak song "Hero For An Hour". On the other hand, it has many good songs, especially "Another Murder Of A Day", which is, for me, a real gem on the album. So, in my humble opinion, it deserves to be rated with 4 solid stars.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Still by BANKS, TONY album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.14 | 119 ratings

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Still
Tony Banks Crossover Prog

Review by Squire Jaco

4 stars If you ever - even only once - heard a classic Tony Banks keyboard solo like the ones he nailed on Genesis songs such as "The Cinema Show", "The Colony of Slippermen" or "Duke's Travels" (but to pick a few cherries from his vast orchard), you'd be tempted to seek out ALL of his solo works in search of more keyboard nirvana....and you might end up being surprisingly disappointed. At least I was.

I mean, I actually like most of his solo albums, but I'm really amazed at how little they resemble the sound of Genesis (with the exception of his first album, "A Curious Feeling"). But there are always hints of Banks' genius and signature keyboard styling in every one of his albums (e.g., listen to "An Island in the Darkness" on his "Strictly, Inc." cd), even though he took a decidedly "poppier" route in many of the songs. Many of these solo albums were issued in the 80's!

I think "Still" contains some of his proggiest sounding songs outside of Genesis, with lots of great keys and his typical chord changes in some of the songs. Yes, there is certainly a lot of "pop" sound here too, but they are all very good songs done well.

I'm going to limit my review here to just two songs on the second half of the album, since many of the reviews have already done a great job of noting the overall flavor of the cd, and also because these two songs just happen to be my favorites on the cd - maybe my favorites of Banks entire solo output.

"Another Murder of a Day" is just great - written in the classic Genesis style with Fish's Gabriel-like vocals, the music moving through a few different great themes, and circling back to the original keyboard lick that began the song. The lyrics are moving, the mood transitions are perfect, and the performance is flawless. But as great as it is, it is preceded by an even BETTER song...

Tony Banks cd's are the only places that I've ever heard of the singer Jayney Klimek. She does a nice impersonation of Pat Benatar on the ninth track, "Back to Back". But her delivery on the eerie and mysterious "Water Out Of Wine" is GORGEOUS. And what a composition! Banks has numerous subtle chord changes - which Klimek nimbly follows - and he leads her voice between the bounds of two full octave ranges. I truly believe that this is one of the most underrated songs in Tony's entire catalogue, and it's really a shame that it will go unnoticed except by us loyal Genesis fans looking for keyboard wizardry. (And I suspect that because it's sung by a woman, even many of us proggers might dismiss it out of hand without giving it its proper due.) This is a GREAT composition and performance. Buy the cd for that song, and enjoy the rest of the cd accordingly.

 5 by BANKS, TONY album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.95 | 167 ratings

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5
Tony Banks Crossover Prog

Review by hergest ridge

5 stars Of course, "FIVE" of Tony Banks is not a rock record : it's a classical one. And, what's sure : it's completely progressive!

We can speak of a "classical trilogy" for his last three albums : Seven, Six and then this one : Five.

I was really surprised by the high level of quality of the two first records. But what a wonder when I first listened to this album! For me, the level of "Five" is still higher than the first two!

How to describe this classical music composed in 2018? It's completely romantic : you hear Rachmaninov and Tchaikowski here! You also hear Bernstein for a more modern touch. But you also hear John Williams because it could be a very big orchestral film music!

In summary, if you like progressive music, romantic classical music and also orchestral soundtrack, listen to "Five" of Tony Banks, you will not be disappointed.

And after, listen also to "Six" and "Seven"...

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

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