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Tony Banks

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Tony Banks Bankstatement album cover
2.75 | 99 ratings | 15 reviews | 5% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1989

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Throwback (4:39)
2. I'll Be Waiting (5:56)
3. Queen of Darkness (4:26)
4. That Night (4:41)
5. Raincloud (4:40)
6. The Border (5:52)
7. Big Man (4:16)
8. A House Needs a Roof (4:07)
9. The More I Hide It (4:30)
10. Diamonds Aren't So Hard (5:12) *
11. Thursday the Twelfth (4:48)

Total Time 53:07

* not on LP editions

Line-up / Musicians

- Tony Banks / keyboards, bass synth, synth lead guitar & lead vocals (7), co-producer

- Alistair Gordon / lead (1,2,4-6,9) & backing vocals
- Jayney Klimek / lead (3,4,8) & backing vocals

- John Wilson / vocals (1)
- Steve Hillage / guitar, co-producer
- Martin Robertson / soprano saxophone (9,10)
- Nick Nolan / bass (3,6,7)
- Pino Palladino / bass (1,2,4,5,11)
- Geoff Dugmore / drums
- Martin Ditcham / congas & tambourine (5)
Phantom Horns:
- John Thirkell / trumpet (1)
- Derek Watkins / trumpet (1)
- Gary Barnacle / saxophone (1)
- Pete Thoms / trombone (1)

Releases information

Artwork: Halpin Grey Vermeir with Andrew Olney (photo)

LP Virgin - V 2600 (1989, UK)

CD Virgin - CDV 2600 (1989, Europe) With a bonus track

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy TONY BANKS Bankstatement Music

TONY BANKS Bankstatement ratings distribution

(99 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(15%)
Good, but non-essential (44%)
Collectors/fans only (24%)
Poor. Only for completionists (11%)

TONY BANKS Bankstatement reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by daveconn
3 stars Surely with the success of Mike + The Mechanics, the time was right for Tony BANKS to join his GENESIS mates at the top of the charts. Or so the thinking probably went; but Tony's temporary rebranding as "Bankstatement" ended up on the loss side of the balance sheets, commercially anyway. Produced by Steve HILLAGE and featuring a pair of strong vocalists in Alistair Gordon and Jayney Klimek, "Bankstatement" was the closest thing to a full-fledged contender that BANKS had released yet, augmenting his keyboard-led creations with palpable production value.

At times, especially when Klimek takes the lead, "Bankstatement" seems like a viable option artistically (just recall how good Toyah Wilcox sounded on "Lion of Symmetry"). Alistair Gordon's voice is less consistent; the opening "Throwback" ends up sounding like Was Not Was' "Knocked Down, Made Small (Treated Like A Rubber Ball)", Lou Gramm comes to mind on "The More I Hide It," Barry Manilow on "That Night". Gordon gets the lion's share of the leads, which was likely intended as a means to compete with Mike + The Mechanics, but Klimek gets the best moments: "Queen of Darkness" and "A House Needs A Roof.".

Despite being credited with guitar, HILLAGE has little audible effect on the outcome, though his handiwork is evident on the Eastern-tinged "Big Man" (which starts with a reference to GENESIS' "Watcher of the Skies"). Thankfully, BANKS' character still comes through on "Bankstatement". No doubt the labels would have liked an entire album of adult contemporary pop, but it's when "Bankstatement" resists these expectations and returns to BANKS' strengths that the record truly succeeds. And if you enjoyed the instrumentals on "The Fugitive", check out "Thursday the Twelfth."

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars More attempts at commercial parity with his peers....but there are some wonderful moments on this album especially ' I'll be waiting' 'Raincloud' and ' The border' which would have been comfortable on any Genesis album. I sometimes wonder what Bank's works would have sounded like with PC behind the mic!
Review by Snow Dog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars I expected a lot from this album due to Banks being a main Genesis songwriter and a great tinkler of the keys, but it fails to deliver! All the tracks are mere "soundscapes" with rather ordinary vocals sung on top. The songs start as they mean to go on and then just fade way at the end. Every one. Funnily,the stand out track for me is the Banks sung one "Big Man". Other than that a rather forgettable experience! Not an unpleasant album by any means, but lacking in any real "go". Seems an album aimed for commercial success and failing.
Review by horza
2 stars I really expected a lot of this album when I bought it back in the day.Steve Hillage guested on guitar and his was the first gig I had ever attended.Tony Banks was a keyboard player that I really admired.I remember that at about the time I purchased this I also bought Wet Dreams by Richard Wright. Keyboards was my favourite instrument and I had hoped for stirring stuff. I was to be disappointed. This album was much weaker than Wet Dreams,and I remember being thankful that I had never found a Peter Bardens solo album. The pain may have been too much to bare. Tony Banks was crucial to the success of Genesis,but as a solo artist he left me wanting so much more.
Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Six years after releasing the hideous "The Fugitive" album, Tony Banks returns to the solo spot with Bankstatement. Thank God I listened to this album after The Fugitive. Both deal much with pop music, but while the former is a total disaster, with bad songs and a rather lacklustre vocal, the latter is actually much better in both subjects. It seemes that Banks found out that his voice is not really ideal even for his songs (he sings only one track here). So he called two good vocalists fot this task. Right move. Also his songwriting here is fine. Pop music with a little hint of prog, ok, but fine nevertheless. In fact, if some of the materail were recorded by Genesis, they would probably be hits. If you don't believe me just hear the first track Throwback and try NOT to think Phill Collins singing it. It's a perfect Genesis late 80's song and a sure top ten single IF Collins had sung it and had the label Genesis print on it.

Certainly it's not Banks in it's prime but I have to admit I like this album. At first it really sounds a bit flat and bopring. But after a couple of listenings you'll probably finding out the fine subtletities most of the tunes have. It's not Tony banks best, far from that, but good anyway. If you're a fan of 80's Genesis music I recomended it

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Low on credit?

Having failed to achieve the level of solo success enjoyed by his peers (Gabriel, Collins Hackett & Rutherford) from Genesis, Tony Banks released under the name Bankstatement what was really another solo album. Unfortunately, the venture was no more commercially successful than his previous attempts, and the name was quickly dropped.

For this album, Banks brought in the legendary Steve Hillage on guitar and production duties. While the production is indeed top notch, the talents of both Hillage and Banks are largely wasted in a collection of anonymous pop and soft rock songs. Sensibly, Banks takes a back seat on vocal duties on all but one of the tracks. He employs Alistair Gordon for six of the nine tracks, Jayney Klimek singing on a further two and dueting with Gordon on "That night". Gordon sounds very like future Genesis singer Ray Wilson, his throaty style also being reminiscent of Kim Bacon's contribution to Banks' first solo album.

The album opens in rather worrying fashion, with a brass intro to an upbeat pop rock number, which is rather too much in the vein of Phil Collins solo work. The "keyboard brass" is "augmented" by the real brass of The Phantom horns. Fortunately, this is the only track with a brass arrangement.

In rather predictable fashion the upbeat pop songs alternate with reflective ballads. Of the ballads, "I'll be waiting" is a pleasant but undistinguished song with breathing keyboards, while "That night" is a sugary middle of the road duet. The upbeat songs are the least appealing though, especially when Banks insists on singing on the "Jesus he knows me" related "Big man". "I need a roof" is probably the album's nadir, with all the characteristics of a Cindi Lauper reject and featuring lyrics such as "Call me, please talk to me, tell me the truth, I need to believe like a house needs a roof".

There are a couple of slightly more exciting songs. "Queen of darkness" is a bit heavier, the female lead vocal making for a pleasant change. "The border" sees Alistair Gordon sounding more than ever like Ray Wilson, Banks' supporting keyboards giving the track slightly more depth.

The main problem is the although Banks writes all the songs, his keyboards never take centre stage, preferring to maintain a supporting role throughout. The sole exception is the closing instrumental "Thursday the twelfth", when Banks finally comes up with something a little more constructive. Even here though, he hardly challenges himself, the piece being a mid-paced plod through some pretty straightforward keyboard exercises.

Not Banks' finest hour by any means, and a further indication that Phil Collins was far from being the only guilty party in Genesis migration to the murky world of pop.

Review by Moogtron III
3 stars In 1989, Tony Banks' colleague from Genesis, Mike Rutherford, was enjoying commercial success with his band outside Genesis, Mike & The Mechanics. Since Phil Collins also had enormous success as a solo artist, Tony now was the only artist within Genesis who didn't find himself a steady audience outside of the band.

Therefore it's no wonder that Tony tried to go the same road as Mike: forming a band with different singers, and make an album under a group banner: here on ProgArchives this album is filed under "Tony Banks", but originally it was released under the group name "Bankstatement".

Here we encounter a bit of a tragic story within Tony's life: time and time again he tried to make solo albums which would give him commercial success, but in this respect the record fails on two levels: not only does he not get the attention that he wants, but also he estranges his progressive core audience from himself.

After this lengthy introduction it may be obvious that this album is not a prog album. Indeed, it isn't. There are, on some songs, only hints of prog, nothing more. This may also the least rock oriented Banks album. This is very much a keyboard oriented album, but quite different from A Curious Feeling. The (simple) rhythms give the album very much a pop sound. Very 1980's hard and hollow sounding rhythms sometimes. The record company wanted Tony to have an outside producer, which is logical if you listen to Tony's first two solo albums, which sound a bit underproduced. For this job Tony asked Steve Hillage, who also plays guitar on the album. Although Steve still had a hippie image in those days, he did exactly what the record company and Tony wanted him to do: help to make it a modern commercial album. Don't buy this album because you are interested in Steve's guitar: there isn't much to enjoy on this album in that respect.

After five paragraphs of critical notes I may surprise you to tell you this is actually not a bad album. Well, if you are looking for prog on it, you will be very disappointed. But if you look at the record as a melodious 1980's pop album, it is actually quite good. The production still isn't very good (the next album "Still" would be better in that respect), but the songs are quite good. On this album Banks shows, to begin with, that he is an excellent song smith in a traditional way.

Yes, I said "traditional". "Throwback" and "Raincloud" are completely traditional sing songs, but very well written. Melodious songs with a head, a middle part and a tail. They are well sung also, by the way, by Alistair Gordon, who does a decent job on the album. Alistair's voice sounds much like Genesis' Ray Wilson, by the way.

But there is more than just traditional songs. "I'll Be Waiting" and "The More It Shows", also sung by Gordon, show that Banks knows how to make soulful songs where keyboards add a lot of atmosphere. The best piece on the album, "That Night", is also like that, though with the added vocals of female singer Jayney Klimek. Here Tony shines, and his keyboards give some sort of wall of sound which sounds quite compelling. It's too bad that Tony didn't have charisma as a solo artist, because on the strength of his compositions he might easily have found himself a bigger audience.

"Big Man" is also good. Tony' sings on it, in a style which is almost completely sounding like the songs of The Fugitive. It also shows that Tony can write intelligent lyrics: the song is about someone who comes in a position of power, maybe because he's elected as a politician because of his rhetorics or good looks, but misses in any way the abilities to handle his power in a good way. Especially memorable is the line: "I got a red light warning, I don't know why. Maybe it will go away if I close my eyes".

"Diamonds Aren't So Hard To Find" is a nice glorious feel good track. Even when, in terms of composition, the chorus and the verse aren't seamlessly fitting together, but the song is so catchy that it doesn't really bother.

"Thursday The Twelfth" is an instrumental with some nice, roaming, keyboard waves.

There are three songs on the album which don't work out well. "Queen Of Darkness" is a remake of an instrumental track on the Soundtracks album, this time with Jayney Klimek singing. The original version is much better, though, and Jayney sounds a bit nagging on the Bankstatement version which doesn't add to the original atmosphere of the song. "The Border" and "A House Needs A Roof" are like fillers in my ears. The other eight are quite good, though.

Review by VianaProghead
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*)

Latest members reviews

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 th ... (read more)

Report this review (#2843035) | Posted by Sidscrat | Thursday, September 29, 2022 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1939939) | Posted by FalconBleck | Tuesday, June 19, 2018 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Tony Banks has another crack at pop success and he doesn't succeed. It must have been frustrating for the main writer in Genesis not to have the success the four other members from their artistic heyday. Released in the last year of the 1980's, Banks created an album that had more polish th ... (read more)

Report this review (#245600) | Posted by tdfloyd | Thursday, October 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If Genesis fans had a fit after The Fugitive, they must really have been driven up the wall by this album. A "debut" album by a "band" that Tony created (I use the quotes because this was as much a band as any other group Tony had worked with on his solo albums before) it was an even stronger ... (read more)

Report this review (#238658) | Posted by SonicDeath10 | Friday, September 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I largely concur with previous reviewers in my opinion of this album. There's nothing particularly offensive about Bankstatement, but there's nothing particularly memorable about it, either. Overall, it's a nice production. Good singers, great keyboard textures from Banks, and a few musically ... (read more)

Report this review (#158289) | Posted by bassandbeyond | Thursday, January 10, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars As with GTR, I expected more out of the collaboration between Banks and Hillage and got a poppy result. Jayney Klimek comes across like a 'Stars In Their Eyes' version of Aimee Mann (then of Til Tuesday)down to the blonde dreads, but minus the lyrical wit. Alistair Gordon I'm not sure about. ... (read more)

Report this review (#27185) | Posted by pickle | Friday, August 20, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars One of the great mysteries concerning Genesis is 1. the lack of respect for Tony Banks 2. How important Tony is to the sound of Genesis 3. How underated Tony is as a writer. Many might frown at Tony Banks musical direction that he has taken in both Genesis and his solo career, but in admitance, T ... (read more)

Report this review (#27182) | Posted by | Tuesday, March 30, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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