Genesis--List Your Top 5

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Clement

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@Daniel John 's recent thread, Yes - List Your Top 5 albums, strikes me as such a great idea and has elicited wonderful responses; I thought I would start a few more threads for bands that have a similar longevity and even more of their output available in multichannel magic. So here are my top 5 for Genesis, in chronological order (click on album title to link to QQ poll threads):

1) Foxtrot (1972): This one is a sentimental favorite for me--I spent an inordinate amount of time with this one back in HIGH school, HEADphones barely containing my freshly baked brain within my smokey skull, side 2 taking me on an epic trip that never got old. It was a ritual that bordered on the religious. Don’t get me wrong--side 1 is no slouch! Did Genesis ever rock as hard as “Watcher of the Skies”? Had they produced as rollicking a ride as “Get ‘Em Out By Friday”? It was a side of Genesis I hadn’t heard before, and one that raised my expectations for what the band could accomplish. For me, this is the band’s first masterpiece and it ultimately only hints at what was to come. Also, clocking in at over 50 minutes, it set a standard of bang for my adolescent buck that few albums could approach. Great surround mix!

2) Selling England by the Pound (1973): The wonderful wordplay of the title (so punny!) embodies what distinguishes this release for me. My inner recovering Engl-ish teacher wants to rank this as Genesis’s best release: each of the album’s eight tracks (and this one is even longer than Foxtrot!) is a tightly written gem of a story--and the musicianship is at least as good as the songwriting. Sure, there is nothing as hard rocking as “Watcher of the Skies” and nothing as epic as “Supper’s Ready,” but, taken as a whole, this is one amazing, cohesive, and prescient collection. Consider the opening line of the opening song: “Can you tell me where my country lies?” How meaningful is that in a post-Brexit world, and the song is about consumerism! Every track still resonates and sounds as fresh today as when I first heard this back in 1977--those mowing blades have never dulled! Another stellar surround mix; I wonder if it sounds better on blu-ray . . . (All of my Gabriel-era Genesis releases are Japanese SACD/DVD Paper Sleeve Series reissues).

3) The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (1974): For me, this is the one. Having come of age in the 70s, I’m a fan of wretched excess, an anti-Mies van der Rohe--more is MORE. Not to suggest that there is anything wretched or excessive about this release. Sure, it might be trimmed to a tighter, more coherent whole, but I love ALL of this one! The literary leanings of SEbtP meet the epic ambitions of “Supper’s Ready” and the result is one of the greatest concept albums/ rock operas ever recorded! This one is almost a tale of two albums: the first disc has some killer, straight up rocking masterpieces and ends with the majestic beauty of “Carpet Crawlers”/”The Chamber of 32 Doors.” The second disc is a prog descent into darkness . . . until the redemptive ending of “In the Rapids” / “It.” But together, they make up one of my favorite albums of all time--a truly postmodern nightmarish masterpiece. It is here. It is now. It’s only knock and know all, but I love it! Another stellar mix; I play the DVD with this one for the great visuals from the tour.

4) A Trick of the Tail (1976): With the departure of the frontman who appeared irreplaceable, Genesis seemed all but dead. The fact that they emerged with an album that rivaled some of their best eccentric and whimsical Gabriel-era work wins this release a spot on my top 5. To be sure, this is no SEbtP or Foxtrot, but it is a solid collection of memorable songs that are performed by a band that never stopped growing and cohering--these guys are really in the groove and clearly enjoying themselves, though not yet reinventing themselves. The mix on this one isn’t as satisfying as the Gabriel-era mixes (which benefit from being the last released), but I’m still glad to have it.

5) Abacab (1981): It was between this and 1983’s eponymous release. Both showcase the more pop-oriented band that Genesis became (though never really jettisoning their art-roots). As far as the albums go, I think I would give Genesis the edge, but the mix and fidelity on Abacab are better to my aging ears. It really is a tough call, but I feel this era of Genesis needs to be represented on my list, and Abacab is a good representation of Collins’s growing confidence as a vocalist. Regardless of how much I love their prog releases, the Collins-era Genesis did put out some great pop songs and AOR. This album features the polished pop of “No Reply at All” (with horns by no less than E,W&F) the single that really signaled where the band was heading. The album also has a little reggae, some hard funk, and the hardest-rocking song the band had yet recorded in the titular track. And the mix actually saves “Who Dunnit?”

I’d better publish this before I rewrite my fifth choice! I’m really looking forward to reading about your favorites. Stay Surrounded, Comrades!
 

edisonbaggins

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1. Selling England - the peak of the classic lineups powers
2. Trick of the Tail - strong AF songs and you could swear that's PG singing sometimes
3. Shapes (S/T) - love most of the songs
4. Foxtrot - Suppers Ready rules
5. Duke - love the songs and the SACD smokes
 

ProgRules

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Same as hennkris, different order:

1- The Lamb (right up there w/ Close to the Edge and Tales as my all-time faves) a conceptual masterpiece, a surrealistic voyage that is literary, musical, visual and mystical. A real shame PG couldn't get the movie made- if well done could have been mind-blowing
2- Foxtrot the album that first pulled me into Genesis
3- Selling England The peak of the writing skills, some of their best songs but also a few middling (for them ) tunes
4- Trick an album I always loved to blast, an absolutely stunning and unexpected answer to Gabriel's departure
5- Nursery Cryme came in a double set w Foxtrot (entitled Genesis the best; at first I thought of the two as one album), so it was also instrumental in drawing me into the band
 

Simon A

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1) A Trick of the Tail - I love everything about this album. My fave tracks are Squonk and Ripples. Great vibe and solid playing/writing/engineering.

2) Abacab - The first Genesis album I've heard and owned. The title track played non-stop on Montreal's CHOM FM. I was hooked instantly. I also love No Reply. It really has the sense of what Phil's first two Solo albums would sound like.

3) Selling England by the Pound - My favourite Gabriel era album.

4) Genesis - Yes it was all over the radio but Home By The Sea is a top track of mine.

5) still thinking about this one... I have so many albums I haven't explored yet.
 
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jimfisheye

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Heh. They only ever released 5 albums from the big lineup:
Nursery Cryme
Foxtrot
Selling England
Live
Lamb

Kind of a freebee here!
 

ctoelle

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1. Selling England By the Pound
2. A Trick of the Tail
3. Foxtrot
4. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
5. Wind and Wuthering
 

SHB

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1.Selling England by the Pound
2.The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
3.A Trick of the Tail
4. Nursery Cryme
5. Abacab
 

GOS

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It'd be great if threads like this could be polls.
Would be interesting to see at a glance which albums from large catalogs rise to the top.
And how many others might also like unusual favorites.
I agree! Though, it's not clear to me if everyone who rated actually rated from 1-5 with 1 being their favorite....
 

colsky

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It'd be great if threads like this could be polls.
Would be interesting to see at a glance which albums from large catalogs rise to the top.
And how many others might also like unusual favorites.
Agreed. We used to sit round my friend's house when I was younger and hairier and smoke the odd thing, and do top 10's of this, top 10's of that, top 100 drummers etc!
 

steelydave

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5) Abacab (1981): It was between this and 1983’s eponymous release. Both showcase the more pop-oriented band that Genesis became (though never really jettisoning their art-roots). As far as the albums go, I think I would give Genesis the edge, but the mix and fidelity on Abacab are better to my aging ears. It really is a tough call, but I feel this era of Genesis needs to be represented on my list, and Abacab is a good representation of Collins’s growing confidence as a vocalist. Regardless of how much I love their prog releases, the Collins-era Genesis did put out some great pop songs and AOR. This album features the polished pop of “No Reply at All” (with horns by no less than E,W&F) the single that really signaled where the band was heading. The album also has a little reggae, some hard funk, and the hardest-rocking song the band had yet recorded in the titular track. And the mix actually saves “Who Dunnit?”

I’d better publish this before I rewrite my fifth choice! I’m really looking forward to reading about your favorites. Stay Surrounded, Comrades!

Really glad to see this album on your list - I've really grown to love it since I got the '76-'82 box set all those years ago, and I think it's become one of my favourite Genesis albums. I think it kinda gets short shrift from Genesis fans because of how much of a stylistic shift it was, but to me that's the essence of true "progressive" music, and what they did on this album, embracing new sounds, styles and production textures.

I actually used to hate this album, and it turns out it was all due to Whodunnit? - it's not the style of the song that bugs me, it's the primary colours repetition in the melody and chord progression. Once I started skipping over that track, my esteem for the rest of the album grew immensely because I didn't have the impending dread of that song's auditory Chinese water torture attached to every listening. Apparently this album was originally going to be a double-LP, and I think if you remove Whodunnit? and add some of those tracks that ended up as B-sides (all of which I think are collected on the '76-'82 bonus disc) like Paperlate, You Might Recall, Me and Virgil, Naminanu and Submarine) and you have (for me) one of the best Genesis albums of all time.
 

scooob

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The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
A Trick of the Tail
Genesis (1983)
Seconds Out
...And Then There Were Three...

These Top Five lists are fun... but hard. Hard to stop at five. Hard to decide on the order. I settled on the ones I play the most, or at least think about playing the most. I like most everything Genesis did, if you start with Nursery Cryme and end with the '83 self-titled... plus a few songs from the earliest and last few. Trick of the Tail is my sentimental favorite, but The Lamb is genius, all the way through. Supper's Ready is in the top echelon of 70s prog epics for me, even though I couldn't fit Foxtrot in my top 5. I have both studio surround boxes, and though it's thrilling to hear these great albums in 5.1, I sure wish they weren't mastered so loud and harsh. For CD listening, I always choose the Definitive Master versions.
 

Scott M4

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1) Selling England - Beautiful album and mix - need to be in the mood for Epping Forest though
2) Foxtrot - for Supper alone, let alone Watcher and Friday too
3) The Lamb - Wonderful in surround with the visuals
4) Trespass - It wasn't a fave until I started listening to the excellent sounding surround mix.
5) Trick - The sound/surround mix on this was so disappointing that I never bought another post Gabriel album.
It's a fine work though, and they really pulled it out of the fire, so I'll let it bump Nursery Cryme.
 
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