Review Summary: Before ending up as a trio, Genesis put out their final progressive record.
Even after Genesis were left as a four-piece during the mid-70’s, carrying on the progressive torch as best they could with one man less, friction between their numbers persisted. With A Trick of the Tail
arriving earlier and Wind & Wuthering
later in the year, 1976 was a productive time for the newly Collins-led ensemble, but their upholding creativity could not prevent another member from stepping out. Despite his phenomenal playing, Steve Hackett had been continually underused as a lead guitarist, eventually growing dissatisfied with the weight of his input in the recording process. He fully devoted himself to his solo career after leaving the band, though not before providing his valuable contributions to the essential live release Seconds Out
, arguably the final snapshot of ‘progressive’ Genesis.
Wind & Wuthering
follows the course laid down before, although it is a calmer, once again more orchestral work. Gone are the elements of jazz fusion, and back are Tony Banks’ all-dominating keyboards. Judging by his proficiency throughout and the execution of One for the Vine
and All in a Mouse’s Night
, both of which he takes sole credit for, that really doesn’t seem to have been a bad development. Unfortunately, the band’s interplay does suffer for it. The full extent of their sound presents itself strongly during Eleventh Earl of Mar
, as well as the two-part instrumental Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers... In That Quiet Earth
, but the particular vibe that gave a lot of life to A Trick of the Tail
did not make it all the way through.
It can still be safely qualified as progressive, but the album does contain the first real hints at Genesis’ future direction. Your Own Special Way
is a first love song from them, and a very average, overly lengthy one at that. It’s the only clear low point, as Afterglow
wraps up things in much better fashion. The slow-moving ballad is a perfect fit for Collins, who ironically enough had no part in any sort of love song here. Soon enough, the remaining trio would ready to seal the deal with pop music. They were in for a lot of success; prog was not.
Genesis Mark IV:
Phil Collins – Vocals, Drums
Steve Hackett – Guitar
Tony Banks – Keyboards
Mike Rutherford – Bass, Guitar
Eleventh Earl of Mar
One for the Vine
Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers... In That Quiet Earth