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Tony Banks - Bankstatement CD (album) cover


Tony Banks


Crossover Prog

2.75 | 99 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

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!

Sidscrat | 2/5 |


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