If for any other reason I apprecciate and think of Wind & Wuthering as one of the finer Genesis albums made. To me Genesis stopped being a serious progressive band, although not the anti-christ of bands so many ex-fans look at their future releases. Steve...
If for any other reason I apprecciate and think of Wind & Wuthering as one of the finer Genesis albums made. To me Genesis stopped being a serious progressive band, although not the anti-christ of bands so many ex-fans look at their future releases.
Steve Hackett, who would depart after Wind & Wuthering has more than several shining moments on his swan song with Genesis. The instrumental songs started a trend that would continue on later albums, essentially recaps of the album similar to Los Endos from "A Trick of a Tail" this albums review of songs not only builds but brings on a startling crecendo that leads into yet another instrumental, the pair of songs Unquiet Slumbers For The Sleepers... followed by ...In That Quiet Earth are in some ways the most remarkable parts of Wind & Wuthering. When I first heard this as a young man I spent days trying to figure out what was synth and what was guitar. Back in the day that was a monumental complement as guitars had almost no processing or interesting and stageworthy devices that distinguished it. Back in the day you created unique sounds by changing you playing technique and in general, Steve Hackett was second, perhaps to Robert Fripp (King Crimson, et. al.) at developing unique tones and ideas previously not heard on guitar, and more important, sounds and techniques used today in all types of music and nearly cherished within the progressive rock community.
The absolute tastefullness and superb musicianship of this album is enough reason to purchase it. While I miss Peter Gabriel''s input, which was fairly obvious lyrically and in terms of the seasoning brought to the rest of Genesis were missed but if you listen to this gem of an album you''ll realize just how capable they were and especially how much Steve Hackett brought to the band, as they never again wrote a album near to the compositional and capable sound.
It didn''t hurt that many of Post-Gabriel concert classics came from this and A Trick of the Tail.
One of Genesis'' best tracks, Eleventh Earl Of Mar, followed by another near equal, and many year favorite on the Genesis concert tours, One For The Vine were structured in classical terms and live up to the genre title given bands like Genesis and Yes as "symphonic."
A glimpse of the future lies in the gentle, but not sugary Your Own Special Way and the album closer, Afterglow, again, mainstay concert tracks through the years until the Invisible Touch album, where I parted interest with the band. But here you can listen to the crossroads album, a last gasp of the quality lyrics, grand song schemes and furious playing that somehow always sounded effortless, even more a reason to admire Wind & Wuthering. It is one of the best recorded albums of the Progressive Era Genesis with long-form songs and serious chops.
Other interesting aspects of this album are tracks like All in a Mouse''s Night and Blood on the Rooftops. Two songs couldn''t be further from the type as these and yet they are supurb examples of what good musical chops and quality compositional skills get you. All in a Mouse''s Night is a wryly funny song with a nice O''Henry like twist in it''s tale. It is played with seriousness and treated like a fine quality work, something that grew less and less important, or seemingly to me, as Genesis treked on towards their deserved if somewhat ironic fame as pop heros. On this song though it is given the overall quality treatment that every song is given, and as a result it is a beautiful gem that has humor but isn''t moronic, nor made for dullards. I realize this might sound like elietist poop but one of the nicest things about Wind & Wuthering was Genesis showing that while Peter Gabriel is a master in his own sense they weren''t exactly his backup band. And I cherish this album because this is the last time Genesis was able to bring it upon themselves to make an album of such quality.
Not forgetting Blood on the Rooftops, now a favorite at Steve Hackett concerts, we see a more mature and sombre Phil Collins singing about the religious and modern issues that plague us to this day and have been since the Crusades. While a five and a half minute song isn''t going to cover nearly anything enough about the subject matter it does a fine idea of givng an idea of the near hopelessness of it''s subject. It''s also the last serious nylon string guitar based song and very much Steve Hackett''s goodbye as things turned out.
The other reason to spend so much time on a nearly 30 year old album is how easily it could fit into today''s progressive rock world. In fact, if something like this were to be available it would be nothing short of revolutionary. Prog rockers being the creatures that they are know this already, but maybe some of the fans looking for what Genesis sounded like in the really old days will want to chose an album to start and this or "Selling England By The Pound" are the places to start, keeping in mind I doubt there is a single finer album made by Genesis than Selling England... But, should Peter Gabriel scare off some fans (god knows why, but assuming so) your next best shot at hearing Genesis at it''s finest is Wind & Wuthering.
It is an exceptional album and the marking of the end of their hardcore progressive rock days. There would be glimpses of their capabilities until they ended their career and for me every album up to Invisible Touch and even after that particular album had proof of what an incredible assemblege of artists Genesis were.
Keyboardist Tony Banks and bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford were more than Phil Collins backup band thru their next period of music making that was to follow Wind & Wuthering. Lest people think I''m bashing poor Phil, I still think he''s one of the most inventive, incredible drummers around, including fellow old-timer Bill Bruford (seeing them live together was an incredible experience) not to mention modern guys like Mike Portnoy and the latest group of musicians that are technically brilliant if somewhat less enthusiastic and creative at their instruments. Consider that Phil Collins was one of the more avid drum machine programmers, well before Techno, and always working with interesting percussive instruments. For those interested see the first few "Brand X" albums; well worth searching for, especially if you enjoy Jazz.
Buy Wind & Wuthering if you haven''t yet run across it. It is an example of what was right about progressive rock. No ten minute solos, tight ensemble playing with nary a note unnecessary and every part of the performance essential rather than a chance to highlight a band member. The other thing to remember was that this iteration of Genesis wrote most of their material as a band. In interviews band members spoke of having to bring their best material. They did, and it shows. This is an essential album for anyone remotely interested in Genesis and Symphonic Progressive Rock.