Review Summary: Trespass is an undisputed gem that states the birth of a prog hero of all times.
This is the place to start when speaking of Genesis. Trespass
is their sophomore effort, but more accurately their first one deserving the label 'progressive rock'. Trespass
reveals Genesis as a band on a steep learning curve and it successfully laid the foundations for the band's future classic recordings. Before striking out on their own musical terms, Genesis first determinant move was to split with their first manager, the pop producer Jonathan King, to turn their back from the naive poppish, lightweighted debut album 'From Genesis To Revelation'
. Therefore the band was free to explore their own style, to push the boundaries and strive beyond existing stagnant music forms.
had foreshadowed the path the band would follow through the Gabriel era, and even more. There are extremely beautiful melodies on display on Trespass
, and every song comes up with something new. To reach such a quality level, there's no magical recipe other than doing music and so on. All the band were living on the road for 'Trespass'
work out and were playing in bars and stuff . They spent most of the time in playing music. This rush did last for about the twelve months preceding 'Trespass'
release. Continually on the road and elaborating the aformentioned epic album to come. 'Trespass'
presents the same line up found into 'From Genesis To Revelation
', except for drummer John Mayhew (R.I.P. - 1947-2009) who only performed forTrespass
and all like the former guitarist Anthony Phillips, he left before being respectively replaced by Phil Collins and Steve Hackett who both joined the fold to soon record Nursery Cryme.
Phillips left after the Trespass
tour due to his serious stage freight that didn't prevent him from starting a quiet but effective solo career. The deep Phillips' influence can be heard troughout the Genesis early outputs. Phillips is known for his twelve string guitar work and his unique folkish approach and his magical acoustic textures, but only few people know that he has contributed for some parts on 'Musical Box'
and 'Fountain of Salmacis'
, before 'Nursery Cryme'
actually came out. Successor Steve Hackett took the ideas to new heights for the aformentioned album and subsequent ones, but the fundamental sound (including 12 string arpeggiation, thick melodic lead tone, classical sensibilities) came from Phillips. Maestro Steve Hackett proved to be a very appropriated replacement on guitar duties. He actually has contributed a lot for the band's excursions in Progland. While he's taken back the same acoustic approach of Phillips, he managed to bring some new blood with his more strong, agressive electric guitar playing. He's also the instigator of both the 'tapping' and 'weeping' technique and many strange effects pedals.
In the case of drummer John Mayhew, while he did a more than decent job, band was unhappy with his restrained skills. There was no future for him within a band like Genesis. John knew from the start that he was not skilled enough whereas Genesis had some ambitious music to work for and to play. The unfortunate drummer was aware to get eventually fired but he lived well with that. On the other hand and sadly enough, he played a second role for the band as the gig driver, equipment transporter and on top of that, the rehearsals were also done at his house as well. Kinda drummer and service man at the same time. Bummer. The man was soon replaced by virtuoso and way more technical Phil Collins shortly after the 'Trespass
' tour, followed by Steve Hackett who joined the fold as well in the same period, both arriving in time to record 'Nursery Cryme'
. The classic lineup was then born. The band' style started to have more definition and depth, and then both their performances and songwriting were done with more and more confidence.
Mike Rutherford is the solid foundation that kept the whole thing together. The eventual arrival of drummer Phil Collins was well deserved considering his playing had upgraded a lot since Collins did replace Mayhew. Also, Rutherford and Collins later happened to become the good combination to propulse Genesis in higher grounds. He's a bassist with excellent dexterity, and has a natural sense to support well their music and to bring nice inventive proggy feels. He also put together lots of solid structures, riffs and stuff. Throughout, Banks' organ and mellotron soar majestically to provide most of the melodies. While Banks and Phillips might be the prime composers on here, the gifted and theatrical frontman Peter Gabriel was also a leading force in the songwriting of the band.
Before touring to promote 'Trespass'
, they first of all used to play in
some local auditoriums. And then, with gain of popularity and some welcomed opportunities they toured more widely with such bands like 'Van der Graaf Generator' and, among some others, 'Soft Machine' and 'PFM' if I remember well. Slowly but surely they increased their fanbase and audience by touring with known bands, doing shows and getting praised quite fast, for instance in Italy, where they were warmly acclaimed from the start. If you checked out the black and white clip of 'Stagnation'
in Italy, you can feel the theatrical charactere exploited by frontman Gabriel. Crowd was quite immobile during prestation. They were in fact amazed by this excentric band performing unexplored kind of music.
For a big amount of fans, when Gabriel left in 1975, it meant the end of Genesis, which was not the case - The band released two other classic records afterward. But when Hackett left after these, we soon noticed that Genesis would never be the same. And it was the case. Just listen to his first three solo albums and see. They're very Genesis sounding. Yes Indeed, the prominant guitarist left cause the band didn't care enough about his own precious compositions. So he brought his musical treasure with him instead.
Here are the highlights on Trespass; 'Looking For Someone
has a similar style of ''The Musical Box
'''. It merges symphonic and prog folk brillantly. It starts with some emotive, yet desperate 'a capalla' vocals by Gabriel who carries on with his trademark dramatic and theatrical character. 'White Mountain'
is a moving acoustic guitar based folk song augmented with lone mellotron work and stunning melody. The main motif is developed with a majesty that stays pastoral and dynamic concurrently. Anthony's acoustic 12-string work is delicate and masterful in its execution.
'Visions Of Angels'
is another majestic one with a mind blowing chorus. Its soundscape leads you to the impression that you are yourself surrounded by those...
Visions of Angels alll Around, Dance in the Skyyy, Leaving me Here, Forever Goodbyyye...
Genesis have kept the best for the end with their famous classic "The Knife
", a frantic, menacing song, which pounds along like an out of control express train. It starts off with furious keyboards, intrusive and heavy riff that work incredibly well with Phillips distorted guitar riffs. The guitarist delivers by far his most memorable extroverted electric guitar. Gabriel charisma and dramatic, theatrical motions are once again convincing.
While Genesis had never really explored hard rock territories, The Knife
represents well that category. Both Return of the Giant Hogweed
and Musical Box
) contains serious heaviness elements as well.
" has an eerie, mystic and very artistic overall feeling on it. Musical emotions flow nicely from poetic, impressionistic pastorals to aggressive and dramatic, theatrical scenes as only Genesis can do so. Although the classic members Steve Hackett and Phil Collins are missed in "Trespass
", the spirit and the quality of their music are in every track of this excellent album.
LOOKING FOR SOMEONE: 4.5/5
WHITE MOUNTAINS: 5/5
VISIONS OF ANGELS: 4.5/5
THE KNIFE: 5/5