HRH and I had a very successful day of Christmas shopping. Oh, and we had a very successful day of record shopping to boot. I found my, well, I guess that’s an entirely different blog post, but she found her ‘A Trick of the Tale‘ by Genesis.
So as it turns out, HRH has not only acquired much of my taste in music as she has my total music snobbiness as well. Somewhere down the line she must have heard me say that I prefer Peter Gabriel-era Genesis as opposed to Phil Collins-era Genesis and, well, so it was written so it was told…so did she.
However, I convinced her that she should still give both variations of the band a chance and determine for herself. She liked the weird little cartoon characters on this album cover, so that was promising?
And, hey, for $4.00, how can you loose?
So with this principle in mind, this album was her big acquisition today. So the big Prog Rock experimentation continues.
‘A Trick of the Tail’ is the 7th studio album from the band. It was released in February of 1976 on Charisma Records and was the first album to feature drummer Phil Collins as lead vocalist following the departure of Peter Gabriel. It was a critical and commercial success in the UK and U.S., reaching #3 and #31 respectively. Most interestingly to me though is that this is the album that recouped the significant amount of $400,000 worth of debt that the band had accumulated by the time Gabriel left. I guess Peter spent a shitload on his theatrical make-up n’ shit, who knows?
In the annals of progressive rock, some hail this album as one of the most tasteful and beautiful-sounding albums. They say that Genesis’s arpreggiated/unison acoustic and 12-string electric guitars never sounded prettier; the keyboard playing almost always seems incredibly right and bombast-free; and the lyrics are just about as good as anything Gabriel wrote, albeit without the vitriol and wicked humor.
What’s HRH‘s opinion?
Well, it does lack the outright weirdness of Gabriel’s Genesis which, truthfully, was the big allure for her. That’s not surprising though as the band was moving away from the barbed pop of the first LP and returning to elastic numbers that showcased their instrumental prowess, and they sounded more forceful and unified as a band than they had since ‘Foxtrot‘. Not that this album is quite as memorable as that album, or ‘The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway‘ for that matter, largely because its songs aren’t as immediate or memorable. ‘Squonk‘ is pretty friggin’ awesome though and I do like the pretty keys in ‘Mad Man Moon‘.
But, hey, what’ya gonna do for $4.00. Sometimes this is the price of learning a little something. Does she still prefer her Gabriel-era Genesis? Yes. She likes his voice better. But does that mean she dislikes this album altogether? No. Absolutely not. And now she can intelligently say for certain that she’s more of a Gabriel-Genesis fan and that opinion comes from experience now and not because she heard me get all uppity somewhere with some vendor or other opinionated music snob.
Having said that, I’m so proud of my little hipster music snob I could just choke on my vegan tofu tacos.