After seven years together, Genesis were starting to make real headway, and some proper money. Publicly, the band tried to put a brave face on it all. The guitarist was busy finishing his first solo album, Voyage Of The Acolyte. Genesis had heard its signature song, Kashmiron the radio in Germany and loved the huge drum sound.
A week later, MM writer Chris Welch interviewed the group at their rehearsal studio and presented his subsequent article as an obituary. Before long, between and tapes nobody can agree on a figure had arrived at the Charisma Records office. Reports also vary as to how many vocalists made it to the audition stage. Banks says it was two or three a day for a time. Drummer Bill Bruford was rehearsing with Brand X and recalled Collins dropping by the studio and moaning about the auditions.
It worked. He sang another song. And then another. In some ways it was easier without Gabriel. With Gabriel gone, there was one less potentially dissenting voice. The band now relished the opportunity to prove that Genesis had always been a songwriting collective, not just a vehicle for Peter Gabriel.
Collins was right. This was Genesis back in the netherworld of elves and sprites, but with a cautionary message. There was a masked felon, a hook-nosed judge, a withered old crone and a sobbing Squonk, all drawn by artist Colin Elgie on a faded yellow sleeve that resembled old parchment. This song is even better on Seconds Out.
Overall, an excellent 4 star album which proved Genesis could survive without Mr Gabriel. With hindsight, there are signs of the later, more pop-orientated band but things only really went downhill when Hackett left. The best post-Gabriel album, and even rivals any Gabriel era albums for that matter.
One of my favorite Genesis albums ever. Gabriel's departure weakened the band lyrically and in his unique vocal presentation and theatricals but it did not destroy them as some would contend, Album). In spite of having been recorded after the shock that was Peter Gabriel's departure, "A Trick of the Tail" seems to be universally acclaimed as one of the best Genesis albums.
I must admit to having always had a soft spot for both this album and its follow-up, the patchier "Wind and Wuthering", though I would never go so far as to call either of them a masterpiece. Solid is probably the best word to describe AToT. Eight tracks, impeccably performed by a band that, in spite of having just lost their charismatic lead singer, are at the top of their game from a purely musical point of view.
A quirky, very English cover in warm shades of brown and gold, and equally quirky, humour-laced lyrics. Though the loss of Gabriel's visionary, quasi-mystical slant can be felt, in a way the transition is not as strongly noticeable as one might think.
Phil Collins who had yet to become the prog musician everybody loves to hate fulfills his vocal duties admirably: his voice may even be better than Gabriel's in a strictly technical sense, and he delivers the long, often intricate lyrics quite successfully although I have to admit that I'm not overly keen on his use of a higher pitch, often bordering on falsetto.
AToT's standout tracks bookend the album. If one had any doubts left as to Phil Collins' skills as a drummer however much one can hate him for his later careerhis commanding performance on this song immediately clears the ground - besides, the interplay between the four band members is nothing short of dazzling.
Energetic, uplifting "Los Endos", possibly the foremost candidate for Genesis' best instrumental, closes the album by cleverly reprising the themes of all the other songs, with Banks' majestic keyboard washes dominating the proceedings. The other tracks offer a wide spectrum of moods and musical textures, though they can be neatly divided in two strains: the mellow and melodic wistful, dreamy "Entangled", with the unexpected sting in the tail of its dryly ironical closing lines; lush, keyboard-laden ballad "Ripples"; the beautiful piano melody of "Mad Man Moon", featuring some excellent, understated singing from Collins and the more upbeat tongue-in-cheek "Robbery, Assault and Battery", somewhat reminiscent of "The Battle of Epping Forest"; drum-and keyboard-driven "Squonk", and the quirky, endearingly poppy tune which is the title-track.
Unfortunately, Genesis' golden years were reaching their end, though on this album the future development of the band's sound still seems quite remote. AToT is certainly a more than worthwile offering from one of the seminal, most influential bands of prog, although not as challenging as their Gabriel-era masterpieces. However, you could definitely do worse than add it to your collection and enjoy it for years to come. The intro is of course great, but what we all were waiting for was to hear Phil's vocals and compare them to Peter's one : the master.
Well, honestly Phil is doing a great job here. I was quite scared though, because so far Phil's reference were mainly backing vocals or some reply to Peter Play Me My song Here It Comes Again. So this opener was quite a relief. Accoustic and mellow but very nice. More commercial than usual probably: all sweetness and harmony. On the contrary of "Squonk" which is one of their harder song so far and will be the opener of their live performances in the live tour that followed I was lucky to see this one - but I will tell you more about it in my review for "Seconds Out".
IMHHO, it is the best track of the album : great piano work, nice melody and a good lenght to develop the idea. A top ten in their repertoire and a composition of the sole Tony Banks.
It is a good rock and pop song. Maybe a first sign of things to come A long, mellow accoustic ballad. Maybe I was too melancholic at the time.
This song has not really passed the proof of time at least I have reversed my feeling and I much more appreciate "Dance On A Vulcano" and the excellent closing number "Los Endos" - "The Ends" than 30 years ago.
The title track generated another video clip as well but is the weakest track of this album. No more. Four stars for this work.
A huge relief. But the high fidelity and undeniable power of "Dance on a Volcano" with it's odd conga-line-from-hell beat grabbed me by the aural lapels and made me realize that I had better take Genesis seriously for this strong collection of songs was obviously a force to be reckoned with.
Therefore, Trick of the Tail remains one of my favorite Genesis albums because it was my first to own. Steve Hackett's gorgeous twelve-string opens "Entangled" and Phil Collins' amazing vocals made me wonder why this excellent singer had been hiding behind the drum kit for so long.
I really knew nothing of their history. Then Tony Banks' synthesizer and Mellotron take over, creating a wonderful and mysterious atmosphere. It's quality rock and roll but it certainly doesn't sound like anything else that was being produced at that time. There is a palpable mood of sadness that runs throughout the tune as Phil sings "If this desert's all there'll ever be then tell me what becomes of me, a fall of rain?
The keyboard interlude is absolutely brilliant in its structure and feel as it leads to the fast- paced but brief bridge. If you've ever wondered why Tony Banks is so highly regarded by proggies worldwide, this alone should answer any questions about his ability. The song ends as peacefully as it began and is one of the standouts of the album. Again, it is Banks' brilliant middle section that draws this song up from the realm of the ordinary and makes it unique. His Hammond organ work is spectacular here.
One of the things that makes these songs stand out are the well-written lyrics especially considering that Gabriel, one of the greatest rock lyricists ever, was no longer around and "Ripples" may be the best example of all. It's about the inevitable effects of aging and the refrain of "Sail away, away, ripples never come back. Gone to the other side, sail away, away. Again, Mr. Collins delivers a passionate and poignant vocal, doing this beautiful song complete justice.
It's yet another of my favorite Genesis tunes. My thinking is that when Peter Gabriel announced his pending departure the remaining four bandmembers, rather than becoming discouraged, decided to pool their creative imaginations together and shock the music world with a defiant and defining statement that they were far from finished.
None more so than Tony Banks who has a writing credit on every tune. In many ways the group was just starting a whole new journey together with a new sound for better and for worse that would take them from relative obscurity to the top of the charts in just a few years' time.
The remastered version is exquisite and sounds as fresh and exciting as the first time I heard it three decades ago. It was one of the first "progressive rock" albums that wasn't discordant or difficult to absorb for the general public, inviting a whole new audience to see and listen to innovative music in a whole new light.
It is truly a landmark. With few exceptions, this might be one of the most accessible prog albums. It has a certain warmth to it that many could find themselves enjoying. As I find with many other Genesis works, some of this falls flat on it's face however, for being downright boring. My favorite piece is the opener, which sounds similar to much of the PG era Genesis, it's actually quite a good piece, with interesting dynamics and memorable melodies.
However, much of the rest of the work is just too dull for me. Rarely can we find a powerful and moving moment, rarely a sign of innovative songwriting. There appears to be a lack of artistry in much of this. There's no flavor, no pizzazz.
It's lukewarm LP. It might be something we all need, but we prefer it in other forms, like a refreshing brew. Something with some kick in it. Inspiration seems almost completely gone, and it is no wonder and with such ease as to how the band went to pop. A Trick of The Tail isn't bad per se, but it's nothing special. We have all those great lush athmospheres created by Banks and Hackett Entangled has got to be the most beautiful thing they ever wrote toghetergreat vocals from Phil along with drums, the only thing he does right - damned be the the day he was handed a pen and the usual skill of Mike.
Mad Mad Moon and Ripples served well their purpose as softer, more romantic pieces, well complemented by Steve's guitar, especially the later, with its ethereal middle section.
The title track is definitly the gayer in an album that is generally somber, and the closest Genesis had ever come to a pop-track. One of the reasons I like this album so much probably has to do with the fact that there is so much Hackett in it. This is the product of a band who almost desperatly wanted to prove, and successfuly did, that they could last without what was generally assumed to be it's driving force.
Genesis was also very good at shades of darkness and light, shifting from Dance on a Volcano's hard edge to Entangled's tinkling keys, tinkling percussion, ethereal synths and janglely acoustics guitars. It don't get any better. Squonk, that "imaginary being" song, has always been my favorite from the album.
As an adolescent first hearing those lyrics, I could relate to the strangeness I felt about just being me, "what's the difference when you don't know the reason? Mad Man Moon takes you on a Pan-like journey of the mind. I love the bridge from this tune. Banks keyboards standout brilliantly. Robbery, Assault and Battery is a bit of fun, but may well be the weakest track here. Ripples returns to the softer side of prog, lilting and filled with lyrical imagery and subdued instrumental expression.
A Trick of the Tail took awhile to click for me, but it's message is still appropriate for the turbulent times of today. Los Endos is an excellent instrumental, which cleverly recaptures elemts of the complete album. Every prog fan should own this one. Well, no, it's not bad at all, said I, after a few listenings.
No Peter here. OK, this is just another band. Listen and enjoy. I will. Actually, it's not. Another band. I don't have that impression.
So, you're trying to tell me that Phil guy actually can sing. But we knew that already. After the first seconds of listening of those crazy diminished guitar chords on "Dance On A Volcano", we are aware that the guys didn't lost the plot.
And production is very good; Nursery Cryme days are gone for good. This is focused, but not conceptual; mature, but not boring; brilliant but not a masterpiece. I really should leave that sentence for the end of the review. But it is, it's obvious. Actually it is a masterpiece - a masterpiece of between-Gabriel's-presence and Hackett's-unpresence period.
What is going on? Two brilliant tracks. Two very good tracks. One very significant track. A lovely overture. And the rest, with its ups and downs, but filling the album perfectly. Actually, "filling" is not a good word because it will leave a bad impression. And there is no song here that left a bad impression on me.
Some are weaker, but still very enjoyable. The weakest one is, perhaps, "Squonk". I find it a little bit boring. Actually, quite boring. I am fed up with that one. Lovely lyrics though. About a small pool of tears. If you just read the comments attached to each song written in the inner sleeve you'll get the idea.
The song is a perfect bridge - perfect, I said - between two Genesis' era. Traces of Phil's 80's are here, and 70's are still present. What a lovely title it is. That is important because if you agree with me on that, you might agree with me on the other points as well, and find my impressions valuable for your young, intact, roseing musical knowledge. Guys from the band know how to do it better than that.
Cheesy chorus and cheddar lyrics. Robbery, assault and battery. A felon and his felony. The rest of the songs is good. I assure you. Now, this number can won in competition for the most stupid song title in the history of progressive rock. Maybe not. If you know any others, feel free to inform me; I'm curious and I don't know why.
That's because I'm a masochist I guess. The song is actually an overture and it consists excerpts of other songs on this album. Spooky at the moments, brilliant all the time. Are the emotions changing over the years and decades? Of course they are changing. I didn't mean that. I mean, is it possible that an emotion, let's say love, anger, melancholy is not globally the same in the different decades. Anger of the seventies is not anger of the nineties? Love in the sixties is not love in the eighties?
Well, that's the case with "Ripples". It's lovely song, and it's pure melancholy. But seventies melancholy, not this modern one. You will find the same example of the feeling. Actually it reminds me more of Pavlov's Dog. I mean, if I wrote the word pukathat means nothing. I speak three languages and I wave my hands in several more languages but I can't remember if the word puka is insulting, offensive expletive in any of these languages. On the other hand, there are several thousands languages around the globe, so that word must be offensive somewhere or if applied to someone.
I apologise if anyone ever got offended by Genesis' song. It's quite nice epic, actually. I hate when my brain tries to explain to my heart that it's wrong. I hate when I'm wrong. For example, I absolutely adore the song "Entangled". It contains some dreamy, floydian feeling. That's strange, I'm not fan of Pink Floyd. But I love The Stranglers.
And this song, in a same way as "Golden Brown" does it, contains slow waltzer tempo, with one bar added at the end of the verse. Just too good to be true.
After the pathos of last verse I don't want to spoil the party, you have to hear it to believe itthe song flows into the seas and shore of lovely string-like keyboards. That part of the song is maybe a little bit too protracted and it should have been more developed. That's what I was talking about!
I like the song as a whole! What's the use of phrases like should have been more developed? Sorry, I left the question mark inside italic.
Now it's corrected: "? Anyway, what's the use of using of loads of italicized or bolded fonts inside a review? It gives a certain significance. It looks more mature and analytical. It's proving that you're a smart guy capable of using the text codes. If you didn't noticed yet didn't noticed? I never knew if that's correct perfect tense. Alas, my English! What else should I do? Maybe I should start writing reviews with Irish accent?
How would ya loike that? On a second thought, I'm writing in Irish way already; Joyce was Irish. It is. Even the lyrics are, good, although I never liked Collins' "ho ho ho" somewhere in the middle of the song. This is not Jethro Tull's Christmas album, mind you. The number of the stars this album deserves is equal to the number of progressive rock fans worldwide who are actually glad that Collins replaced Gabriel. And there's no Gabriel here, and this is an excellent progressive rock album.
There something to think about. Or not. Thanks, Hackett. And everyone else. Suddenly it's about the music, and nothing Genesis ever did approaches the sheer musical excellence of this record. No, it's not really a concept album in the lyrical sense, but it is bound together by shared musical themes, brought home by the stunning closer, 'Los Endos'.
And you know what? There's no comparison. Come on, hear what he's doing here. A unique voice, so confident already, beautifully phrased, only to get better in the years that followed. On to 'Entangled'. No drums, just beauty. Listen to that lead break on the keys. Imagine Gilmour playing it on guitar - it'd be ahead of 'Comfortably Numb' on all the 'greatest guitar solos' lists.
With the mellotronic voices and the ethereal atmosphere, the climax of this song is as good as music gets. Then in roars 'Squonk'. Just the right gap between songs for the thundering start to work. The rising transitional note between 'sun and sand' and 'Within the valley' is another classic BANKS moment, of which there are dozens on this record.
A faint echo of this song, 'Fading Lights', can be heard on 'We can Dance', but it's only an echo; this is the business. The title track is a fun piece, lovely clean pop allowing the humour of this band to rise to the surface again.
Finally 'Los Endos. Disparate themes welded together into five minutes of music which soars from peak to peak, a summary of a career together. Somewhere near the best five minutes of music on the planet.
So come on, all you doubters. Give this a listen. And to think it so nearly didn't happen. The artwork on the cover is quite amusing and associates to the varied songs on the album. This was the best produced Genesis album to date as some of the earlier recordings have shown the lack of top notch facilities and sound. Don't get me wrong I love them all just making an honest observation This is 5 star.
No doubt in my mind. I must say the band did quite wonderful on their own with Phil Collins taking the lead. There isn't a weak song, nor a pinch of filler on A Trick of the Tail, albeit a slight nod towards the radio-friendly side of things.
The music is quite original, even if not as complicated as some of their earlier masterpieces with the exception of Dance on a Volcano. The topics are all interesting and there's even a bit of subtle humor in places. I find that Banks' keyboard work seems to dominate in the mix. This is definitely not as good as their period, but it certainly is a masterpiece nonetheless. Easily another five star effort from this amazing band.
Highly recommended and essential. Can these guys create a melody or what. The intro is fantasic and the mellotron during the verses is heavenly. I really like the line "So you better start doing it right". Hackett and Banks really shine on this song. The sound becomes fuller and the vocals sound double tracked as the guitar is strummed.
Haunting synths,12 string guitar and mellotron to close it out. The vocal melody 2 minutes in is a highlight. The piano melody recalls "Firth Of Fifth". The tempo picks up 5 minutes in before it settles back down with mellotron.
This song is not one of my favourites. It's a song about getting old and it's so beautiful. Acoustic guitar, piano and vocals lead the way. The chorus is so uplifting. The synths to close out the album are great. There is a reprise of a passage of "Squonk" late in the song. These guys didn't miss a beat when Gabriel left. These are some of the most amazing songs that i've ever heard. TRICK is a remarkably well-balanced record. Eight compositions of similar length follow each other smoothly. The original A-side, in particular, comes across as a perfect sequence.
The grandiose riff of "Squonk", the third track, seems a natural continuation of the dreamlike keyboards solo which ends the acoustic splendour of "Entangled". I'd never thought a song about a rat-like creature, which dissolves itself in tears, could sound so exciting. Wonder who was responsible for "The Carpet Crawl"?
Its mellotron arrangement is delightful, and Phil Collins sings exquisitely - particularly that final verse which goes: 'Within the valley of shadowless death they pray for thunderclouds and rain, but to the multitude who stand in the rain, heaven is where the sun shines'.
Both "Ripples" and the title track are unspectacular, although they have a funny way of lodging in your mind. And "Los Endos", as all Genesis fans will tell you, is simply one of the most joyful pieces of instrumental music the band ever recorded. Coming from a later generation, Genesis holds no emotional appeal to me, and when I am offered so many other exciting options, choices like this are boring, and not worthy of attention. I really loved how Phill Collins handle well the vocals.
The music may be less intricated and ambitious, but still retained enough early elements to make it an essential item for anyone who loves prog music. Only Robbery, Assault and Battery never really captivate my imagination. The cover art is awesome even today. Also production wise this album was an importante step ahead for the band. Conclusion: a transitional album that still carries much of their earlier works. Mid period Genesis with hackett may not have the same impact as their masterpieces, but it was a new music with lots of merits and very enjoyable songs.
Four solid stars. The first time I put this album in, I was very excited and was placing it in very high hopes, for my dad told me it was easily Genesis' best album, and when dance on a volcana threw itself at me, the anticipation just grew. Dance is a really cool opener for two reasons, one beacause it started out electric which is a very non Genesis thing to do, one because it completely goes against every other genesis opener song.
Either way great song, but a bit misleading, because it is basically the most fast paced and electric this album goes by far! Entangled is a jaw dropper, particularily for the extremely catchy chorus and eerie synth solo at the end. As far as lyrics go, one of the best on the album easily! The next song squonk, is a bit disapointing, because of the poppy synth riff that goes throughout the song, and strangely sounds a bit like the kind f riff the band was going to make ten years later and one less member.
After this song, I find myself still anticipating a hckett solo or lead line since the opener, which barely makes the cut. Mad Man Moon is amazing lyrically, but musically, very awkward and somewhat boring, and easily one of Collins worse vocal performances.
Robbery assault and Battery is a very fun song, filled with jaunty piano and awkward time signatures, good placement after the dull mad man moon. Ripples is my favirote song on the album, mostly because of it's complete and utter progness! Although it stays very mellow throughout the song, the chorus is awe inspiring, and the key oards are very smooth, along with very well written lyrics!
The next two songs A trick of the tail have never eally popped out to me as I think they should, the title song is just piano and some otherwise corny lyrics, and the closer is a pretty cool instrumental, but lacking the dynamics to be a great, no solo's, no breaks, no speed up's, ect ect. The music of the album easily surpasses the vocals and lyrics.
The keyboards are very innovative and creative, with some very cool Synths and moogs, combined with lots of piano's. Phil does an excellent job on drums, maybe except for the awkward keyboard solo on Robbery assault and barberry. As for the vocals, I dont think Phil really found his frontman vocals he learns to perfect on Duke and loses on invisible touch. Overall this album kinda disapointed me at first, but after many close listnes, i have come to appreciate the mellow atmosphere and pretty acoustics.
The major mistake of the album was not showing off hackett nearly as much as he was! Dance on a Volcano - what a shock to Gabriel-era Genesis fans. The first song on the first album post-Gabriel is, egads, a dance song. OK, it is a lively prog rock song with excellent keyboards and drum work and some nice behind the scenes guitar work, but "put your left foot first and move into the light" might include the Hokey Pokey as its inspiration.
Entangled - is a melodic song featuring some beautiful playing by Tony, Steve, and Mike. Even in their proggiest days Genesis has always excelled at performing prettier mellower songs not quite a ballad per se, since it isn't a song about love. A song perhaps about the theater of dreams, possibly brought on by anesthetics. Interestingly forecasting the costs of the healthcare industry with "you'll have no trouble until you catch your breath and the nurse will present you the bill".
Squonk - when I was a young child and we would go camping we would go "snipe" hunting. This was a make-believe character that was used as a way to entertain us kids as we would walk around the fields at night trying to find these snipes. I believe that my childhood snipe may have been related to the squonk. At any rate this is a pretty straight ahead song that tells a good story regarding hunting squonks.
Possibly a commentary on fox hunting by the royals in England. This song reflects past prog Genesis in that it could be a leftover from Nursery Cryme with 2 or 3 references to nursery rhymes. In addition, Phil is singing multiple characters like Peter Gabriel did on previous albums.
Phil sings as the hunter and as the squonk. He doesn't accomplish this as well as Peter Gabriel might have however, and this song is a disappointment to many Peter Gabriel-era fans. However, I like it and find it quite entertaining. Mad Man Moon - is another song on the mellow side of prog. It also promotes dream-like qualities and lyrically paints a very picturesque landscape with its many descriptive references. About half-way in it begins to rock a bit then it mellows out again and finally ends with the final minute of a very quiet musical passage.
Robbery, Assault and Battery is another of the more "controversial" Phil Collins era songs that is equally liked and derided by Genesis fans. I find it to be a fun song that keeps a nice pace and quite enjoy the music and the humor of the story. Again Phil Collins sings different characters throughout the song in a "tribute" to Genesis' past, but again he doesn't quite do it as well as Peter Gabriel might have. Also, I find the chorus quite "catchy".
Hopefully, it doesn't play on my internal ipod the rest of the day. Ripples is quite possibly the most beautiful song ever performed by Genesis. I believe that it symbolizes "embracing this moment in time" because "you're not getting any younger". A Trick of the Tail is a song telling a fantasy story of a mythical "beast that can talk" that comes from a land of gold who is captured by humans and then tricks them into bringing him to his home where he then disappears back to his fantasy world of gold.
This song features some nice guitars and even some nice drum playing by Phil, which is quite infrequent throughout this album. Another story that I quite enjoy with another "catchy" chorus.
Los Endos - an excellent prog instrumental to end this album. Possibly another "trick of the tail", which if you were to think of this song as the tail of the album, it might trick you into thinking that Genesis were a progressive jazz band.
The song does replay some of the themes encountered along the way throughout the album. All in all I believe this is an excellent album that would be an excellent addition to any prog music collection. The start of this album is quite promising with "Dance on a Volcano. Besides that the song ends up lacking that character and memorability of the previous releases - it is hard to match, to be fair - it is a good tune, and unfortunately it's mostly downhill from here.
I would like to know who is responsible for the refrain of "Entangled. The song is only slightly remdeemed by the instrumental part toward the end. The end is great, the first half is just that unpleasant. The instrumental closer, "Los Endos," shows some fusion creeping into the mix, as Phil was involved in the fusion group Brand X at the time.
They peppered some themes from the album into the piece and everything. It's another highlight. You can see that the band is not quite sure what to do and where to go now that Peter is gone, but the band tries to maintain their dignity and to a degree of sucess.
We don't have to write them off yet. In fact, they will have one last stand with their next output before they collapse into mediocrity and worse. A Trick of the Tail is worth having if you find it in the bargain section of a used record store like I did, but don't pay full price for a new CD.
From the outset, 'Dance on a Volcano' hit me hard. I loved the intro, and the way it struck Entangled - Genesis - A Trick Of The Tail (Vinyl as 'listen to me, I have something to say'. What is this odd rhythm, is my record skipping??
This was the album, by method of deduction, I figured out what the mysterious strings and choir sounds were - a Mellotron!!!! From then on, it was all Crimso, Moodies, Yes and most things 'tron. What a superb introduction to the 'fantastical world' it was. Simply breath-taking, mellow 'Floydian' string when did Floyd ever actually use a string acoustic??
Rounding off Side 1 was 'Mad Man Moon', one of Keyboardist Tony Banks' compositions, something of a 'ballad', but beautifully arranged, utilising his keyboard rig of the time Piano, ARP Synth and Mellotron, don't recall organ in this one. The long track, 'Ripples' 8mins 4secsis an acoustically based track and sounds wonderful and inspired. It contains a lovely, classically oriented instrumental part. Title-track is a catchy and accessible song but no less engaging regardless.
Full score. There are some pretty complicated instrumental parts in the song which I find very interesting. This is a classic Genesis song. Entangled is the next song, and what a beautiful song. The 12 string guitars are fully displayed in the beginning of the song, and once the keyboard sets in this song goes from beautiful to Godly.
Really essential. The ending of the song is so overwhelming that it takes my breath away. I had to get used to Squonk before I could fully appreciate it, but now it is one of my favorite songs on the album. Really emotive and captivating even though this is one of the more rock like songs on the album. Mad Man Moon is a favorite of mine. I just love the piano from Tony Banks on this song.
I think Phil Collins delivers his best vocal perfomance of the album on this song. This is really emotive. He would have made this song a winner. Ripples is the most Pop like song on the album. Not the best on the album though. This is not the most progressive song, but I still think it is a very strong song. Los Endos is the most complex song on the album, it is an instrumental track with themes from most of the other songs on the album.
This was a Genesis live favorite and I must say that I think this sounds like it would be better live than it is in the studio version. A good track though. Beneath all my criticism I hope it shines through that I really like this album, and I would recommend it to anyone into prog rock. Even though there is a big difference between Peter Gabriel Genesis and Phil Collins Genesis some of the earlier releases from the later are very essential to prog heads.
This is not a masterpiece, but very close to being one. After the departure of Peter Gabriel, Genesis' sound really does take a drastic change. For some people this is a welcome development, but not so much for me. Firstly, Collins takes over lead vocals. The lyrics are still very good, but the relatively non-distinctive nature of Collins' vocals here do obscure that a little, so they originally felt like repeated pop choruses, even when they aren't.
Secondly, the music is somewhat less explosive. For me, at least, this meant it's taken a lot longer to acquire and get used to, and puts it somewhat behind the Gabriel era albums for me. Anyway, they say she comes on a pale horse, onto the music: Dance On A Volcano was a little difficult for me to get into, but I now do enjoy it. Great opening, mainly guitar-based, good drumming, a great quirky bass part from Rutherford, and overall a very enjoyable track. Entangled is an odd creature.
On the verses and the instrumental second half, good, enjoyable acoustic guitars from Hackett and Rutherford, here, and banks provides excellent synth and mellotron I think parts. Collins provides a nice vocal, and the song suits him.
However, the choruses really don't work for me. I've never been a great fan of playing acoustics with too many chords, and this isn't an exception. The vocal harmonies aren't very distinctive, either. A very good song, I admit, but not one that grips me.
Great vocals for decent lyrics, here, somewhat more assertive than on the rest of the album, I feel, though I wish they were a little more prominent in the mix. I love the drums on this one. One of my favourites from the album.
Mad Man Moon is one of the most beautifully opened songs I've heard so far, with stunning piano and keys, emotive vocals, perfect background electrics from Hackett, and an uncharacteristically quiet performance on the percussion from Collins.
Oddly enough, it merges into something with a more Latin feel, with strange percussion that sounds like castanets, cheerful and classical-styled piano juxtaposed.
This is followed by the strange Sandman section, with odd, but intelligent lyrics, accented vocals. After that brief interlude, it returns to an even finer rendition of the opening, 'Within the valley of shadowless death', with a superb return to the piano theme, even better guitar minimalism and percussion, and a great ending from banks.
Lyrically, this is certainly my favourite song from the album, and probably for Genesis as a whole. Essential listening for Genesis fans. Robbery Assault And Battery is yet another weird case, where nothing manages to offend, and I love the electric guitar and bass, and the drumming's quite catchy. The cockney vocals are amusing enough, and there are two great short instrumental sections near the end and at the end, respectively.
I think it's the silly keyboards here that put me off the song as a whole. A good song, and I think I should like it more than I do. Throughout Ripples, much like Entangled, I love the piano-and-guitar verses, with superb vocals, but I don't enjoy the chorus and its harmonies much.
Good lyrics, great piano, and a decent instrumental section towards the end. I prefer my soft songs staying relatively soft throughout, rather than doing what these two do, which is start with a beautiful melody and then go to a generic chorus at a slightly louder volume.
A thoroughly enjoyable short song, with great guitar from Hackett, and acceptable vocals and lyrics, with some great harmonies, plenty of bombastic silliness. I don't know what so many people dislike about it, but unlike the rest of the album, I liked this one on the first listen. Los Endos is essentially a medley of tunes from the rest of the album, together with the legendary 'There's an angel standing in the sun!
This, however, is much more catchy and enjoyable than them, with the rhythm section standing out a little more than Banks and Hackett. In the end, not my favourite, but a solid four star effort.
Perhaps not recommended to those who prefer the harder rock aspects of Gabriel-era Genesis, or those who healthily dislike acoustics.
If, like me, you fall partly into the first of those two categories, it may need a fair few spins to grow on you. Hackett's subtleties are becoming thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyable, and the album as a whole has grown on me massively since I wrote the review. Not love at first listen, but nonetheless, love. Well what can I say that hasn't been said by various reviewers before me? I gave this album a five star rating as it is my all time favorite album, without question. We'll go song by song then finish up with a couple of general comments.
The beginning of the post Gabriel era starts out with a bang as the powerful intro starts us out. The song weaves through the chaos and hell of a volcano as an allegory to love. One of the highlights is Mike Rutherford's bass, especially towards the end. The first half is a lovely guitar and vocal bit, the harmonies on the chorus are fantastic. Follow this up with Tony Banks atmosphere and you have a lullaby for the ages. This is not The Lamb. Tony Banks' piano work is outstanding, Phil's voice, soulful.
A rollicking tale of cops and robbers, not the deepest song on the album, but fun nonetheless. A somewhat sad song exploring the passing of youth, "Ripples never come back" Phil mourns in one of their most beautiful ballads. The story of a creature, bored with his life and seeking adventure. He finds that adventure in the form of humanity. Maybe the grass really isn't greener. In all honesty, this is not terribly progish, but still a fantastic song. A jazzy, Santanaesque vamp recalling many themes of the album.
The reverse snare transition to the Squonk theme is otherworldly. Throughout the entire album with the exception of the instrumental 'Los Endos'the focus remains on story telling. The characters on the front of the album only give a hint of the depth that each of them have. The sadness of the seamstress looking in the mirror gives but a hint of the emotion of Ripples. The mirth of the creature, the surprise of the robber.
Each one has their story. The musicianship is wonderful as well. Each of the four have their moments of brilliance and put forth a solid effort. Everyone is showcased on 'Dance on a Volcano' and 'Los Endos'.
All in all, this remains my favorite Genesis album, and in fact, my favorite album of all time. If you write this off as the beginning of the end, then I believe that you'll miss out on a wonderful set of music. As opposed to the obscurity of its predecessor, "A Trick of The Tail" is a much warmer album, with much more accessible songs but still totally progressive. After "The Lamb Lies Down. With his leaving, the remaining members focused once again in the musicnow deprived of their master lyricist, and gave the vocal duties to Phil Collins, who emerged as a decent replacement for Gabriel, even if he really got things going as a singer in later albums.
Collins tries at moments to sound like Gabriel, and he succeeds, even though without the drama or theatricality of its predecessor. When Collins tries to sound like Collins, he shows he could be a very good vocalist. A quick word about the songs: Dance on a Volcano 9.
Very progressive, full of different sections and rhythms. Collins here tries to emulate his predecessor. The melody is beautiful, and Collins sings it very well. The verse is s soft, so tender, and it becomes even more beautiful in the chorus, when the music reaches a climax of great perfection. A wonderful song.
Squonk 9. His drumming is also perfect. If not as complicated from a structural point of view, the song is still very progressive in its instrumentation and layering. The chorus-like section features some very inventive piano figure by Banks.
The ending section is a welcome change of mood. A brilliant song. But this one takes the prize for being the best and most beautiful of the lot. The melody is just out of this earth. Collins emulates Gabriel one instant, and the next one he's sounding just like himself.
The quiet, whisper-like section previous to the chorus is just magnificent in beauty. LP down Banks starts a more energetic section, with a solo that, once again, as in his insuperable intro to "Firth of Fifth" makes me call him the greatest keyboard player in rock's history. The song travels more stormy waters and then goes back to the utter paradise of the beginning.
The song at first sounds like a joke, then it turns into a really progressive thing, with a very intriguing instrumental section. Ripples 8. The chorus sounds very similar to what we would hear and some, like me, enjoy in albums like "And Then There Were Three" or "Duke".
Near the end Hackett is given time to display his masterful art in creating atmospheres with the utmost simplicity. A very good song. A Trick of the Tail 7. The melody is good, as always. The track gets weaker after the start, though, and constitutes the only less-than-very-good song in the whole record. But this same track would be quite an achievement for other lesser bands. Los Endos 8. This is an all-show-off track, with Rutherford never resting, Collins quite energetic, Banks in full control and Hackett, well, the only member who doesn't really explode in this track.
Maybe his future was already starting to appear on his mind. A great instrumental. It can't top "Foxtrot", which stands as their highest glory, but I prefer it to "Nursery Cryme" which is less accessible and to "Selling England by The Pound" which has a couple less-than-great songs even though it has the best song in GENESIS -and maybe rock's- history.
As such, I'll give it 5 stars, the same rating I've given to these 3 albums I mentioned. Genesis is a remarkable group. Usually a really great band has one or maybe even two members that stand out as having something really special, Genesis had at least five unique talents among its ranks!
When Peter Gabriel left, Phil Collins stepped up and started singing, revealing that he is every bit as good as Gabriel was! Who would have believed that one of the best drummers in the world also was a great vocalist? Gabriel went on to a successful solo career and Collins brought the band onwards to new heights. A few years later Rutherford would similarly step up and take over guitar duties when Steve Hackett left and 'then there were three' and the rest is history, as they say.
A Trick Of The Tale is actually my favourite Genesis album and one of my personal favourite albums of all time. There is nothing I do not like about it. Everything from the lyrics to the detailed art work to the vocals, the guitars, the keyboards, the drums, etc. Phil really grew with the challenge and he sings extremely well on this album as well as drum like a mad man on Los Endos.
This song became a standing concert closer on most subsequent Genesis tours and Steve Hackett plays it too with his own band. Steve is one of my favourite guitar players of all time and A Trick Of The Tale might be his finest hour. Tony and Mike are doing an excellent job too.
The dramatic Dance On A Volcano opens the album with an almost metal riff. Entangled and Ripples are much softer songs with soaring keyboards and guitars. All the songs are simply great and the whole album holds together very well. This may not be as groundbreaking as earlier Genesis albums, but this is still a masterpiece! Take the title track; it has that immediate infectiousness of any delicate art-pop song, but either I played it too much or it's overbearing prettiness got to me and I really can't listen to that song with the same scope as most proggers.
This album sounds like the end result of a serious band trying to merge art and pop into one package of which the end result sounds flat out boring to my LP. Only certain songs can please me at certain times and there isn't a reason why I prefer some songs to others. Take ''Entangled'' and ''Ripples For the most part, there's not much life being pumped into the band here, other than Mike's bass which is astounding. It's missing that bite that Peter Gabriel possessed on their earlier classics.
Genesis' first album without Peter Gabriel would find them walking of unfamiliar grounds in terms of direction and composition, yet somehow they managed to churn out something befitting of the ''classic'' Genesis sound. Everyone is still at the top of their game and Hackett seems to have turned the volume knob from 5 to 11 as he's much more dominant in this carnation of the band.
Phil has taken on the vocal parts - but for all those nervous about how it sounds, don't be worried at the moment, since for this album and the next he'd be trying his best to sound just like Gabriel, and succeeding to a large degree. He still takes a proud seat behind the drums and proves that he's still a capable drummer, meaning that later album's drum machines would not yet be in use.
There are tunes on the album that can rival some of the best that the band has released, and with their poppier side starting to shine through this album can very very accessible for those weary about more sophisticated works from the band like Selling England By The Pound.
What really makes this album great are the songs that have a perfect combination of the band's later and older sound. This album really is a transitional work, and though it has its feet set more firmly in the band's 70s works than the later stuff, it really does have a ''catchy'' feel to it.
Likely the best example of this is the title track, A Trick of The Tail features a sing-along chorus and yet an incredibly ''progressive'' air to it with Hackett's superb playing and Bank's backing atmospheres and frontwards keys.
Squonk shows the band in Led Zeppelin mode with a chunky riff and aggressive vocals - a side of Genesis not often seen. Robbery, Assault And Battery is another more upbeat tune with story-telling lyrics and some very impressive instrumental parts. But the best had yet to be mentioned. Two songs on this album epitomize what Genesis does best, the opening Dance On A Volcano is a majestic powerhouse with an unforgettable intro from Hackett.
Gin Und Rum - Gustav Winckler - Den Store Gustav Winckler Boks (CD), Give It Love (Radio Edit) - Various - Rave & Techno Dance World Volume 9 (CD), De Kalder Mig 1 - Various - Det Man Hører Er Man Selv - Latter 1997-2004 (CD), De Vloek Der Negatiefheid - Verloren (2) - In Zalvend Onmin (CD, Album), Jogging In A One-horse Gig - June Bronhill, Jeremy Brett, David Hughes (11), Ann Howard (2) - Highli, Sleigh Ride Kisses - The Happy Continentals - Sleigh Ride Kisses / Hello Mr. Strauss (Vinyl), A B C D - Various - Non Stop Hot Dance (Vinyl, LP), HYTTE - Radiohead - The Most Gigantic Lying Mouth Of All Time (DVD), Sand Mountain - New Madrid - Yardboat (CD)