In The Rapids, An Overlooked Gem By Genesis

In The Rapids is a Genesis song that really does not get much attention. It is the penultimate song from the band’s superb concept album The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (1974). At two minutes and twenty two seconds the track is short, but it sure is not sweet. The band packs an incredible amount of music and emotion into this compact gem.

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Peter Gabriel certainly had his fair share of great vocal performances during his time with Genesis. Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, The Lamia, The Battle Of Epping Forest, Back In N.Y.C. are just a few that come to mind. I would say that In The Rapids stands as one of my favorite vocals from Peter Gabriel.

It is amazing how much the band packs into this song. There is more brilliance on display inside of this short song than many bands are able to put onto an entire album. Every member of the band shines here adding their musical parts and pieces to enhance the collective whole.

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The song has a deceptively low key intro, just clean guitars. Peter Gabriel enters soon after, initially delivering a reserved vocal.  At the 0.54 mark the rest of the band slowly enters. They spend the remainder of the song slowly building layer upon layer of musical tension, emotion and drama. To fully appreciate this gem you really have to listen to it with headphones on.

The band puts on an absolute clinic in subtlety and finesse. Initially the music is a foundation for Gabriel’s vocals. But as the song progresses there is so much going on, the music feels as if it is swirling around Gabriel’s vocals.

At the 1:29 mark Steve Hackett’s electric guitar wails and the rest of the band bring up the intensity. At this point there is less than one minute until the song segues into the album’s finale with the song It. The desperation in Gabriel’s vocal is nearly heartbreaking. Steve Hackett’s guitar adds to the melancholy felt during this end portion. It almost sounds like his guitar is weeping. Phil Collins is at the top of his game here and throughout The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. Not content to just display his considerable skills on the drums, Phil always had a musical approach to the drums. His drumming is not merely keeping the time, his playing elevates the somber mood of the song.

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Before you know it the song is over. The tension is released with the siren like intro of the album’s final song.  As a stand alone track In The Rapids is very emotional. But taken in context with the rest of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway the song is so much more. At this point of The Lamb’s storyline as a listener you are emotionally drained by Rael and John’s journey.

For me In The Rapids is the most overlooked gem in the entire Genesis discography. At 2:22 it is all too easy to miss this track. After the tour for The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway the band never played this song live again. It is to bad that in later years Genesis never really explored much of The Lamb live beyond the title track, In The Cage, The Carpet Crawlers and a section of Colony Of Slippermen.  Granted, In the Rapids is an unusual song to play on its own. Perhaps it would have worked best in the context of a medley. I have included audio for both In The Rapids and It.  Since one goes directly into the next, it is hard to play one without the other.

Troy T.

Mike And The Mechanics, Don’t Know What Came Over Me

It is always a good time when one of your favorite bands is about to release a new album. I count Mike And The Mechanics as one of my favorites. Being a huge Genesis fan it was an easy transition becoming a Mechanics fan back in 1985.


Their latest album, Let Me Fly, has a release date of April 07, 2017. This is the follow up to The Road (2011), which was the first Mechanics album to feature the new post Paul Carrack lineup. The Road is a very solid album. It may not be the band’s best work, but it is a worthwhile addition to their discography. The two new singers, Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar, did a fantastic job on vocals. The songs were really good. Overall some of the music was a bit too low key at times, but The Road is an enjoyable album.


The newest Mechanics song, Don’t Know What Came Over Me, has just been released.  After the first listen I was hooked, I love it!  It is a catchy pop rock song with a hint of R&B. I am quite excited to hear the rest of the album. I do hold out a slim hope that The Mechanics will tour in America. I have never seen the band live. Based on viewings of online videos it looks like a fun show.

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I applaud Mike Rutherford for keeping the Mechanics alive.  The band’s popularity really fizzled in America after their highly successful second album  The Living Years (1988).  Mechanics fans know what happened in the ensuing years.  Paul Young passed away far too soon.  Eventually Paul Carrack moved on to focus more time on his own music. It would have been very easy for Mike to pack up his guitar and bass and retire quite comfortably.  I am thankful that he opted to recruit new singers and revive The Mechanics.  Mike really appears to be enjoying himself on stage with The Mechanics.  The fact that he still wants to create new music is a bonus.

Troy T.

Song Spotlight: Cul-De-Sac By Genesis

Cul-De-Sac is the ninth song on the Genesis album Duke, released in 1980. This very dramatic track could have been right at home on the band’s Wind And Wuthering album, released in 1976. I will forever argue that Duke is a progressive rock album and this great track helps to illustrate that point.

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The song opens quietly with just keyboards and a brief vocal. The band then spend nearly one minute setting the mood of the song instrumentally. The bulk of the music coming from Tony Banks’ lavish keyboard play. When the main vocal begins the bass and drums drive the song musically, with the keyboards complimenting. Mike Rutherford plays some fantastic bass lines that, along with Phil Collins’ drums, really propel the song. Aside from a wonderfully melodic, but brief, guitar solo the guitars really take a back seat.

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At the 2:54 mark the band slows the pace and brings the drama down a notch. They than slowly rebuild the tension and drama. That drama comes to a head as Phil belts out, “No, not even one!” This leads to Mike’s guitar solo and one last chorus before it all ends in a very dramatic instrumental flourish.

I must say that Cul-De-Sac features one of my favorite vocal performances from Phil Collins. It’s a very serious vocal that perfectly compliments the dramatic feel of the music and the lyrics. Phil takes a slightly different approach to the vocals. His delivery is restrained, but strong, controlled but forceful.

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Overall Cul-De-Sac is a great example of three man Genesis. The song is drenched in keyboards, but all five instruments, (keyboards, bass, drums, guitars and vocals) are important to the music. The three band members play for the song, there is not a need for any over the top playing here.

Duke is my favorite album by Genesis. I feel that everything came together for this album. All aspects are top notch, from the songwriting to the production to the energetic performances. For me it is a near perfect album.  Kudos to David Hentschel who co-produced  the album with the band.

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Cul-De-Sac is a song that the band never played live. Unfortunately this great song tends to get overlooked. I feel that it is a very special song that deserves a bit more attention.

Troy T.

Genesis 2016: The Outline Still Remains

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If you are a fan of the solo careers of the various members of Genesis than 2016 has been a very good year.

Steve Hackett recently finished his highly successful Acolyte to Wolflight/Genesis Revisited tour. He is currently recording his next album and next year he will hit the road to support it. Part of the new live show will be dedicated to celebrating the 40th anniversary of the classic Genesis album Wind and Wuthering.

This year Phil Collins has slowly emerged out of retirement with a few live performances. His autobiography, Not Dead Yet, is due to be released later this month. With each live performance he appears stronger and healthier. That is a very good thing to see.

Mike Rutherford is currently touring with Mike and the Mechanics. Their set list includes some new songs that I can only assume are going to appear on the next Mechanics album scheduled to be released next year.

Peter Gabriel recently finished a large co-heading tour with Sting. He also released two new singles this year, I’m Amazing and The Veil.

What a great year, so far, but one member of the band is noticeably absent. Tony Banks where are you? We know that he is alive and well but he is keeping a very low profile. His only recent activity has been the release of older material. 2015 saw the release of his career spanning box set A Chord Too Far as well as remastered reissues of two of his solo albums, A Curious Feeling and The Fugitive. If you are not familiar with Tony’s solo music I would highly recommend purchasing the boxset. But where is the new music?

The extended members of the Genesis family have been active throughout 2016 as well. Anthony Phillips, Ray Wilson, Daryl Stuermer and Chester Thompson all continue to be involved in studio recordings and/or live shows.

All of this activity makes Tony’s silence that much louder. I do not mean to harp on Tony, but I am a huge fan of his rock solo albums. His two classical albums leave me a bit cold, but at least they contain new music. His last release of new music was in 2012, that’s a bit too long for me. I find it curious that he has chosen to remain so still. It feels like he wants to be incognito, as if he is a fugitive on the run from a music studio. I know that his solo career did not help his bank statement, but I sure would love to hear some new music from Mr Banks in 2017.

Thus far, Tony Banks’ absence aside, 2016 has been quite a productive year from the Genesis camp.  2017 looks to be more of the same.  In my opinion the odds of a Genesis reunion are slim to none, despite the fact that some members of the band seem open to the possibility.   If the band never reforms I am fine with that.  I am happy that the various members of the band continue to produce new music.  And some continue to carry the torch by keeping the great music of Genesis in their set lists.

Phil Collins – In The Open Air

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Words can not express how great is was to see Phil Collins perform tonight at the opening of the US Open. For those who may not have seen it he performed two songs, In The Air Tonight and Easy Lover. This continues his slow emergence from retirement. As I was watching I couldn’t help but think if Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford were watching.

It is apparent that Phil is still recovering from his recent surgeries. As great as it was to see him tonight it was also a little bittersweet because he looks a bit older than his 65 years. I know that no one stays young forever, but it can be hard to watch your heroes grow old. Despite his appearance he sounded great and he sang with great passion. His band was amazing, especially Daryl Stuermer on guitar. Special mention must be made for his teenage son Nick who handled the drums like a pro.

What’s next for Phil? Only time will tell. For me, as a huge fan, I would love another solo album and one more Genesis album. I think asking for a tour at this time is a bit too much to ask. If, however, there is no new music in the future I’m fine with that. Phil Collins has provided me with thirty plus years of enjoyment through his music. So much of his music has been and continues to be part of the soundtrack of my life. He has given up so much for his love of music: marriages, family time and ultimately aspects of his health. Speaking as a fan, this man owes me nothing at all, he has already willingly given so much of himself and his life.  Here’s to many years of healing, health and happiness to one of my biggest music heroes.

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Phil Collins: A Survivor

The release date for Phil Collins’ new autobiography, Not Dead Yet, was recently announced. The book will be released later this year on October 25. The title is a tad morbid, especially considering all of the great musicians that we have lost over the last year. The title aside, I am greatly looking forward to reading this book.

I am not a big reader of biographies and autobiographies. In the last year I have read two. The first was Stryper lead singer Michael Sweet’s incredibly candid Honestly. The second was Genesis bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford’s engaging and at times enlightening The Living Years: The First Genesis Memoir. In both bios the authors discussed their fellow band mates, not always in a positive light.  But both really used the bulk of their books to expose personal things about themselves; good, bad and sometimes ugly.

With Phil Collins’ Not Dead Yet I am not looking for a juicy tell all full of dirt and scandal. However, I am very curious to peer behind the curtain of the Genesis machine. More than anything I want to read about the band’s creative process. I want to read about their songwriting approaches, their recording sessions and tour preparation. I do believe that Phil Collins is the Genesis member objective enough to deliver the most grounded view of the band. I am also very curious to read about his highly successful solo career, as well as his personal life. He has promised a tell all, so my interest is piqued. I have been a huge fan of Genesis and Phil Collins since 1981.  I do hope for a great read from a man whose music has been such a large part of my life for so many years.

 

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The Curious Case of Tony Banks

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I am a HUGE fan of the band Genesis.  I am also a fan of a good deal of the solo material released by various members of the band over the years.  Focusing on the five main players in the band’s history (Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett and Phil Collins) and their music careers outside of the band, one thing stands out.  That is the lack of success of one member, Tony Banks.

Phil Collins became a household name and arguably one of the biggest pop stars of the 1980′ and 90’s.

Peter Gabriel was a mainstay of MTV in the 80’s.  He has achieved worldwide recognition as well as a great deal of critical acclaim because of his innovative music.

Mike Rutherford formed Mike and the Mechanics and had a few top 40 hits as well as an #1 single.

Steve Hackett has had moderate success as a solo artist. He has developed a small, but loyal fan base over the years.  But he had his biggest success with the band GTR.  The band produced one successful album which spawned one hit single.

Tony Banks?  A curious case, nine albums, including two band projects, and no success.  Genesis fans and music fans in general seem to regard his solo career with  a collective sigh of indifference.  I wish I knew why, I love his solo recording.  He was arguably the most important songwriter in Genesis.  Throughout the band’s career his keyboards shaped the overall sound of the band.  In most cases his solo recordings are just as good, if not better, than the music that he produced with Genesis.  So, if you are feeling musically adventurous than I would strongly advise that you check out his solo work.