Album Of The Week - Genesis - A Trick Of The Tail
Following from last week's recent indie rock, comes an album that is one of the most complete I've ever heard. For this week's 'Album Of The Week', we return to the progressive rock genre this time for Genesis' 1976 masterpiece A Trick Of The Tail.
Continuing on from the departure of Peter Gabriel and the successes of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway in 1975, Genesis decided to take their music in a new, more refined direction whilst also keeping the quirky nature of the tracks themselves. Squonk in particular, details the famous Pennsylvanian legend of a hunter catching this mythical creature. It's rather sinister with Steve Hackett's lead guitar notes and the vocal from Phil Collins is crisp and crystal-clear. The brilliant ending track Los Endos, a particular favourite of the die-hard Genesis fans, was a live staple for Genesis for many years. Even on their 'reunion' tour in 2007, Los Endos was played almost every night. It's an exceptional track and in my opinion, is one of the best progressive-rock tracks full-stop.
Despite albums such as Selling England By The Pound receiving acclaim by fans, by comparison A Trick Of The Tail doesn’t really get much of a look-in. That’s a shame. It’s my favourite Genesis album as it’s one of the best collections of their work I’ve ever heard. Songs like the wonderfully-named Robbery Assault & Battery are more of a comedy record than anything else but despite their lighter feel by comparison to some of the drudgery on other bands' albums, its absurdity is what makes it so tremendous.
There are the more emotional elements, as is the case with some prog-rock albums (see Marillion's Script For A Jester's Tear) on numbers such as Entangled and its delicate and sumptuous guitar notes give it such a brilliant foundation for the vocal to be built upon, like a magnificent gothic cathedral spire. Ripples is also a highlight with its resemblance to the work of Jethro Tull and moreover, it's a softer track by comparison to Dance On A Volcano, the album's opener.
As an album, A Trick Of The Tail is one that I would recommend to both the die-hard progressive rock fans and also those looking for something a tad left-field to try. There's really not much to pick up on in the way of criticisms either; Phil Collins' vocals are outstanding and the instrumentation makes the album one of the most complete of all time.
More musical magnificence to come next week!