Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I just now noticed that emusic has added Genesis to their catalogue. I love Peter Gabriel, and I often enjoy proggish music, so I expect that I'll like these guys. But what would be a good album for somebody who has never heard them before to buy? They're recommending "Selling England by the Pound." Is that a good place to start? Or am I better off with one of their "best of" albums?

Edited by Cunningham

Scott -- 2nd Story -- Twitter

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would NOT recommend a best-of album; Genesis were album rockers through and through, not a singles band, and you really can't fully appreciate their vision based on a compilation.

As for albums, my personal favorite is Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, but, at two discs, it may be a bit much for an introduction. Selling England would be my next choice, but I bet Andy Whitman will have something to say in this thread. :)

Partner in Cahoots

www.cahootsmag.com

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would NOT recommend a best-of album; Genesis were album rockers through and through, not a singles band, and you really can't fully appreciate their vision based on a compilation.

As for albums, my personal favorite is Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, but, at two discs, it may be a bit much for an introduction. Selling England would be my next choice, but I bet Andy Whitman will have something to say in this thread. :)

I don't think eMusic has the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. So, Selling England By the Pound would be a good choice, or maybe Foxtrot.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Previous Genesis threads here and here.

My views haven't really changed from those expressed in those threads, but I certainly agree with Josh that Genesis was not a singles band, so a "Greatest Hits" package is not the way to go. I have a slight preference for the Peter Gabriel albums, but I have a renewed appreciation for the Phil Collins albums from '76 - '82. They're very different. The Gabriel years represent the pinnacle of prog rock. It doesn't get any better than what Genesis was doing between '70 and '75. But the early Collins years, before Genesis became a flaccid pop band, represent a surprisingly durable prog rock/pop hybrid. Phil gets mercilessly slagged from a critical standpoint, and sometimes for good reasons, but his early work with Genesis was very fine.

So ... you may not find the response "buy the two box sets" ('70-'75, and '76-'82) to be particularly helpful. Nevertheless, buy the two box sets. Not only do you get 10 essential albums (out of the 13 recorded), but you get more than 6 hours of prime concert video from the period, another 6 hours of interviews/commentary from the band, and a couple books.

But if hard pressed, Selling England by the Pound is a great first choice.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm an unabashed fan of the Phil Collins era, but I also agree that the earlier albums with Phil Collins on vox are more interesting than the later ones. Their first album as a trio, "And Then There Were Three," has some great songs on it, but the second one, "Duke" is probably the best.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've goosed the A&F music critics before about their refusal to choose one song, or one album, in their year-end and decade-end lists, so I can't resist pointing out the development of this string. This is meant as good-natured ribbing; I hope it doesn't come across as angry.

First, Cunningham for "a good album" by Genesis

But what would be a good album for somebody who has never heard them before to buy?

Josh replies that the best choice is a 2-disc set!

As for albums, my personal favorite is Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, but, at two discs, it may be a bit much for an introduction.

Andy tops that by recommending two box sets:

Nevertheless, buy the two box sets.

Why? Why would someone looking for one album need 10 albums? Because:

Not only do you get 10 essential albums (out of the 13 recorded), but you get more than 6 hours of prime concert video from the period, another 6 hours of interviews/commentary from the band, and a couple books.

And who cares what it costs? It's good stuff! Buy ALL of it.

I hope you like Genesis as much as you think you do, Cunningham. :)

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've goosed the A&F music critics before about their refusal to choose one song, or one album, in their year-end and decade-end lists, so I can't resist pointing out the development of this string. This is meant as good-natured ribbing; I hope it doesn't come across as angry.

First, Cunningham for "a good album" by Genesis

But what would be a good album for somebody who has never heard them before to buy?

Josh replies that the best choice is a 2-disc set!

As for albums, my personal favorite is Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, but, at two discs, it may be a bit much for an introduction.

Andy tops that by recommending two box sets:

Nevertheless, buy the two box sets.

Why? Why would someone looking for one album need 10 albums? Because:

Not only do you get 10 essential albums (out of the 13 recorded), but you get more than 6 hours of prime concert video from the period, another 6 hours of interviews/commentary from the band, and a couple books.

And who cares what it costs? It's good stuff! Buy ALL of it.

I hope you like Genesis as much as you think you do, Cunningham. :)

In my defense, in the same posting I also wrote:

But if hard pressed, Selling England by the Pound is a great first choice.

And sometimes one album doesn't cut it. Or one book. Or one painting. Which is the best Shakespeare play? The best Rembrandt painting? No, I don't think Genesis is in the same league as Shakespeare or Rembrandt. But they were very good, and very good for a lot of different reasons, for a long time. Some bands should be appreciated for their body of work. Genesis is one of them. And if you're going to do that, you might as well as buy the box sets, because you get all the best albums, plus a bunch of video footage and a couple books. Makes sense to me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Gabriel period is amazing. Had such an influence on so many, like Elbow, Doves etc. Would recommend Foxtrot or Selling England.

I too lived without Collins led Genesis for years, but a recent compilation helped me appreciate affresh some of the great songs like Mama, Turn it on Again etc.

Do not buy the Wilson led album by accident!!!

If the world was my oyster I would never taste anything!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Andy: It does make sense on some level to encourage a breadth of listening and purchasing, considering the band's long history and lineup changes.

That level, however, does not include such factors as, oh, cost considerations that a newbie might have (do all music critics have deep pockets?), or the possibility that Cunningham might not like what he hears. Or, heck, time considerations. Maybe he doesnt' have hours to spend watching video footage? I'm just speculating.

He wrote: "What would be a good album for somebody who has never heard them before to buy?"

You're suggesting two box sets with hours of additional footage for someone who's never heard the band before? I wouldn't want him to dismiss the band based on one poorly selected CD or era from the group's history, but I'd just go back to the original question. What "good album" should he invest in?

That sounds even more fair, doesn't it?

And, as you noted and as I mentioned in my first post, you and the other contributors did offer up a one-CD preference.

You know, I've never bought anything by Genesis.

If you could recommend just one CD for me to buy ...

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Lamb Lies Down counts as one album, regardless of how many discs are involved. The whole thing runs 94:22, which is two full-length LPs but only a little bit over the length of a single 80-minute CD. It's just ONE album.

So for the Gabriel era I'd say Lamb and for the Collins era I'd say Duke.

But if you're truly looking for a single overview of the band's entire output, OF COURSE you'll have to buy a compilation! You'll miss out on a lot, but it's the only thing that will inexpensively fit the bill.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've goosed the A&F music critics before about their refusal to choose one song, or one album, in their year-end and decade-end lists, so I can't resist pointing out the development of this string. This is meant as good-natured ribbing; I hope it doesn't come across as angry.

First, Cunningham for "a good album" by Genesis

But what would be a good album for somebody who has never heard them before to buy?

Josh replies that the best choice is a 2-disc set!

As for albums, my personal favorite is Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, but, at two discs, it may be a bit much for an introduction.

Andy tops that by recommending two box sets:

Nevertheless, buy the two box sets.

Why? Why would someone looking for one album need 10 albums? Because:

Not only do you get 10 essential albums (out of the 13 recorded), but you get more than 6 hours of prime concert video from the period, another 6 hours of interviews/commentary from the band, and a couple books.

And who cares what it costs? It's good stuff! Buy ALL of it.

I hope you like Genesis as much as you think you do, Cunningham. :)

In my defense, in the same posting I also wrote:

But if hard pressed, Selling England by the Pound is a great first choice.

And sometimes one album doesn't cut it. Or one book. Or one painting. Which is the best Shakespeare play? The best Rembrandt painting? No, I don't think Genesis is in the same league as Shakespeare or Rembrandt. But they were very good, and very good for a lot of different reasons, for a long time. Some bands should be appreciated for their body of work. Genesis is one of them. And if you're going to do that, you might as well as buy the box sets, because you get all the best albums, plus a bunch of video footage and a couple books. Makes sense to me.

That's quite possible, but someone still needs a place to *start* :)

As for me, "Selling England" looks like it will fit the bill. Much gras.

Scott -- 2nd Story -- Twitter

Link to post
Share on other sites

(do all music critics have deep pockets?)

Just to clarify, no. That would imply that we get paid, which, at least these days, is virtually antithetical to being a music critic.

We do get a lot of free music, though, which is a form of payment, I reckon. It's just hard to fit those CDs in the pocket.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cunningham.

You can get a Used Vinyl of "Beat The System" for under four big bucks.

Close enough.

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...