Genesis: Wind & Wuthering (1977)
Genesis was once a great prog rock band, but unfortunately, most of the songs radio stations would play from these guys are from albums like Invisible Touch (1986) and We Can’t Dance (1991). You can pretty much pass up on those albums, unless your favorite album is Phil Collins’ No Jacket Required (1985), of course. But from 1970-1977, Genesis created some truly interesting music that is so unlike the corporate sellout crap music they’re better known for.
Wind & Wuthering is their second album without Peter Gabriel and it shows the band still sticking to progressive rock and giving us some more great classics like “Eleventh Earl of Mar”, “One For the Vine” and the Mellotron heavy “Blood on the Rooftops”. Two songs do point to the pop direction the band would head in the 1980s, “Your Own Special Way” and “Afterglow”, but the album is stuff with enough great material not to irritate people with excellent taste in music.
Another great song on this album is Tony Banks’ “All in a Mouse’s Night”, which is basically a story song, which proves the band was still able to give us a good story without the presence of Gabriel. There are also a couple of instrumentals, as well, like “Wot Gorilla”.
I was a little hesitant giving this album a try, since Phil Collins is doing the vocal duties, after all, this is the same guy who gave us No Jacket Required in the mid 1980s, and Genesis gave us Invisible Touch one year later which sounds pretty indistinguishible from No Jacket Required, but once I heard this album, I was totally amazed. So different from the drum machines, digital synthesizers, and banal lyrics of the albums Phil Collins and Genesis did in the mid ’80s. What Genesis was doing in the 1970s was everything that made prog rock so great in that decade.
Unfortunately, Wind & Wuthering marks the last album with Steve Hackett. He would depart to concentrate fully on his solo career (he already released his first solo album, Voyage of the Acolyte in 1975 while he was still with Genesis). I’m pretty sure the reason for Hackett’s departure from Genesis was he was sensing the pop direction the band would follow (although I know for a fact he was getting sick of not having time to get his chance to play). This pretty much holds water when you hear Spectral Mornings (1979) and, to a lesser extent, Defector (1980), as those albums were more progressive than what Genesis were becoming, particularly with albums like Duke (1980), Abacab (1981), and all those albums after. Wind & Wuthering is a great album, and sadly, the last Genesis classic, from a progressive standpoint.
– Phil Collins: vocals, drums
– Tony Banks: piano, organ, Mellotron, synthesizers
– Steve Hackett: guitars (electric and acoustic)
– Mike Rutherford: bass
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