Genesis
A Trick of the Tail


4.5
superb

Review

by e210013 USER (204 Reviews)
January 23rd, 2023 | 17 replies


Release Date: 1976 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Somehow, this is the follow up to Selling England By The Pound. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is more a Gabriel's baby.

“A Trick Of The Tail” is the seventh studio album of Genesis and that was released in 1976. The line up on the album is Phil Collins, Steve Hackett, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford.


This is another album that represents another turning point in their career. It’s considered by some people the first neo-prog album in rock history. After the release of the sixth Genesis’ studio album “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” in 1974 and during the live tour of that album in May of 1975, Gabriel announced that he was leaving the band. At the time, and after the band auditioned over 400 lead singers to find a replacement front man to the group, and because Collins had already provided some vocal work on Genesis, the band decided that he was the right man to replace Gabriel.

So, that change transformed the band from a quintet to a quartet. If the problem of the singer became resolved, it raised the problem of a drummer for their live shows. So, they decided to engage Chester Thompson which is an American drummer and session musician who played with Weather Report and Frank Zappa to perform on their live shows.

After Gabriel’s departure, Genesis continued to record strong albums. It’s clearly to me that wasn’t Gabriel’s departure that shattered Genesis as a progressive rock band. Great songs and great ideas can be found on “A Trick Of The Tail”, which can mainly be attributed to Banks, as well as Hackett, who, as usual, rarely appears as a composer, but makes the songs something special with his wonderful guitar lines. Here we have a more flavour, more pressure, more variety, more melody and a more oriented song structure. The compositions, which increasingly take on a clear song structure, are quite nice and have a pleasing sound. The album spreads a wonderful melancholic atmosphere, which I really like. In addition, we have a denser and partly more bombastic basic sound and we have also the new and beautiful voice of Collins. And while I miss Gabriel’s voice, it’s also interesting to hear what Collins can do. At some points his voice sounds a bit like Gabriel, especially where it’s loud and intense. The quiet vocal passages are very pleasant to hear too.

“A Trick Of The Tail” has eight tracks. “Dance On A Volcano” is a great opener. It’s full of frantic rhythmic variations. It has a beautiful melody and complex changes which corresponds to the great expectations created around this new studio work. “Entangled” is a nice pastoral piece that features a superb acoustic guitar work by Hackett accentuated by a fantastic Mellotron work by Banks. It’s a wonderful and melodic song that makes us glide and dream. “Squonk” has a fantastic and memorable opening and a remarkable fantastic drumming work. It’s a very simple song with great choral work. “Mad Man Moon” is one of the most beautiful songs on the album, one of my favourites. It’s one of the most beautiful songs created by Genesis. It has a nice chorus and a wonderful keyboard work. It became as one of the most beloved songs of Genesis in Hackett’s era. “Robbery, Assault And Battery” is a great song especially due to its imaginative rhythms and time changes. It has a great instrumental middle section with great individual performances by all band’s members. “Ripples” is a calm and beautiful song. It has nice guitar and keyboard textures. Hackett’s guitar work is stunning, accompanied by a soft and wonderful keyboard work by Banks. It represents the quiet and calm track on the album. The title track is an accessible track with its interesting lyrics. Still, it’s one of the less progressive songs on the album. It sounds more like a song to be released as a hit single. So, despite be nice, it’s the weakest and less interesting track on the album. “Los Endos” is a fantastic instrumental piece, my favourite track on the album. It’s one of the favourite tracks of Genesis’ fans. It serves to resume the all album because it has some elements of all the other tracks. It’s an energetic track, a great closer to the album. “Los Endos” became an emblematic song. It became part of the songs chosen to be part of almost all of their live shows and became commonly used to close almost all of them.


Conclusion: “A Trick Of The Tail” is the first album released by Genesis as a quartet and without their front man and song writer Gabriel. It was surely, a horrible moment for them. Certainly Collins was nervous wondering if Genesis’ fans would accept him as the new front man of the band. However, and despite the loss of Gabriel, the band continued to deliver excellent musical moments for their fans, and “A Trick Of The Tail” represents an excellent example of that. Here Genesis found a new direction instead of simply revisited their past works. As I wrote above, some consider “A Trick Of The Tail” the first neo-prog album in history, but others consider that was “Market Square Heroes”, the debut EP of Marillion. Anyway and furthermore, “A Trick Of The Tail” remains as an important milestone in the progressive rock and in particular to the neo-prog sub-genre. It reveals also and undoubtedly that this is an album with great quality of Genesis. This is in reality an essential album for everyone who really loves progressive rock music with great beauty.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



Recent reviews by this author
Peter Gabriel CarMike Rutherford Smallcreep's Day
Tony Banks A Curious FeelingGenesis Foxtrot
Steve Hackett Voyage of the AcolyteBacamarte Depois Do Fim
user ratings (849)
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Nagrarok (4)
Gabriel leaves, but Genesis' progressive spirit does not....

DarthMann (4)
'Face Value is better than this record' - neck....

AndreasG (3.5)
the last really good Genesis album...



Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
January 23rd 2023


4267 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

...And Then There Were Four...

For those like me, the oldest guys here, and in a first sight, the leave of Genesis of the most charismatic, the front man and main lyricist of the band, Peter Gabriel, was a real drama. Many of us thought the band was finished. How could a band like Genesis survive, especially in the live shows? Still, they moved on with only four members and were abble to adapt Genesis to the new reality, but keepping a great song write quality with a bit different approach, especially in the lyrics department.

A Trick Of The Tail was their first work, of the two, that were made in that career phase. I hope you can check it for the first time or revisit it, if it's the case. I think it's a pleasure to listen to this album, even today.

zakalwe
January 23rd 2023


36630 Comments


Nice one e

e210013
January 23rd 2023


4267 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks bro.

hel9000
January 23rd 2023


1404 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good review man. this is one of their best for sure. the instrumental section of Ripples is one of my favorite pieces of music ever, i think. haunting stuff.

Jethro42
January 23rd 2023


17746 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fun fact I want to add; Phil Collins would have been able to sing on every songs while drumming. They hired another drummer (Chester) to do a drum duet during their extended instrumentals. Also it allowed to Collins to make a full, charismatic frontman, which were almost as theatrical as Gabriel.

Complete review, dude, even if we can always add anecdotes here and there.

Zig
January 24th 2023


2609 Comments


" follow up to Selling England By The Pound"
don't you mean to Lamb Lies Down On Broadway?

e210013
January 24th 2023


4267 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks hell. I always loved it.

e210013
January 24th 2023


4267 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's true Jethro. They hired the great Chester Thompson and Phil did Gabriel's job quite good. But the band lost the costumes that Peter used and the mime makeup, a thing that almost all fans loved. Phil replaced that by many well humuroud moments during the live shows.

Thanks, my friend.

e210013
January 24th 2023


4267 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No Zig, I didn't forget The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. How could I? But, I made a mistake my friend, on the review summary. Instead I wrote:

"Somehow, this is the follow up to Selling England By The Pound. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is more a Gabriel's baby."

I wrote:

"Somehow, this is the follow up to Selling England By The Pound. Genesis is more a Gabriel's baby."

Why? Because I always thinked that The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway always was an album more linked to Gabriel, a kind of a pre-solo album of him. So, I alwys felt A Trick Of The Tail the real follow up album of Selling England By The Pound. Of course, these are only my feelings. Besides, Ialso love The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, which is undoubtedly one of their best works.

So, thanks for calling my attention to that, amigo. I already corrected that in the review summary.

Zig
January 24th 2023


2609 Comments


Just think you should have explained that on the text, that's why got me confused. Like, instead of a paragraph doing a track by track review, would be better a write up on why you think there's similarities with Selling to consider Trick a follow up and what changed musically and lyrically with Gabriel's departure. The summary, in my opinion, should be more focused on the reviewed record, like "Phil Collins take the lead" or "a new era begins for Genesis", something like that.

Anyways, bom trabalho, amigo.

e210013
January 24th 2023


4267 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ok, I see your point. Obrigado amigo.

Jethro42
January 24th 2023


17746 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah of course, only the charismatic, theatrical way of Gabriel and Collins are comparative. No costumes left when Gabriel quit.

e210013
January 24th 2023


4267 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, Jethro. But it seems that Matthew Parmenter picked up that torch and brought it to the live shows of Discipline, many years later.

The same happened with Manuel "Frodo" Cardoso of Tantra, but this time also in the 70's.

It sems the tradition didn't die.

Depite I've seen that in Tantra, I never had the opportunity to see that on Discipline, what is a pity.

Jethro42
January 24th 2023


17746 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think Collins wore the old man mask from The Musical Box from time to time.

Jethro42
January 24th 2023


17746 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the information. Yeah it would have been a treat to see couple of these artists disguised.

TheIntruder
January 25th 2023


623 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice work for a great album. It was fine to see the album again in the front page of the site. Pos.

e210013
January 25th 2023


4267 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks pal. Yeah, you're right. It's nice to see it in the front page of Sputnik again.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2022 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy