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Thread: Genesis Calling all Stations

  1. #51
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    'Who Dunnit' had a good intro, but it falls off a cliff when the lyrics and the way Phil sings them kick in.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by 80s were ok View Post
    "Suppers Ready" faded out too...

    i may be nitpicking here, but before the fade out, “supper's ready” hopscotches along different sections and then manages to build itself to an almost unbearable climax, before sneaking itself away like the fading roar of a departing vintage jetliner. the songs on “calling all stations” are much more even and homogenous in structure as they meander along and then fade out, with the exception of possibly “one man’s fools” which is a little more diverse. that said i still like the album, the irritating overuse of fade outs notwithstanding, it has held up very well over the years. and it has “the dividing line”, which, in my ears, is a bona fide GENESiS classic. and that doesn’t fade out.

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasKDye View Post
    And that's what's so funny, because except for "Fading Lights", which is and will always be my all-time favorite song, the rest of WCD is like musical wallpaper. Even IT has more dynamism and passion. "Living Forever" and "On the Shoreline" (a B-side!!) are okay, and "Dreaming While You Sleep" is sort of eerie, but then you have Phil singing "Tell Me Why" and "Way of the World" like he's on valium and Tony Banks playing the most wispy, inconsequential chord changes ever. Even "Jesus He Knows Me" is pretty low-key for all the satirical qualities of the song. Even at the time, when I was a hard-core Genesis fanboy and would have listened to the three of them singing the alphabet song, I found it to be really dry and perfunctory. It was as if no one wanted to step on anyone else's toes so they played it excruciatingly safe.

    CAS kicked everything up, in my opinion; Ray Wilson's earnestly husky vocal delivery automatically upgraded the material, which was decidedly darker and more atmospheric than its predecessor. It just seemed deeper and more intense than anything Genesis had put out since "Duke" (I'm not saying musically better -- there's a difference). But when I read the album's reviews, I felt like I'd been teleported to a strange alternate dimension where people thought relatively highly of the Abacab-WCD material but thought CAS was irredeemable crap. I mean, no. If WCD had as much depth as CAS I would definitely have liked it better at the time.
    Thumbs up for "Calling All Stations", I thought it was pretty good and more interesting than "We Can't Dance". The only track I really liked on WCD was "Living Forever" and the longer tracks "Fading Lights" and even "Last Spike", while not quite as good, was really cool when I saw them do it in concert in Toronto 1992 at the Skydome. Anyone else here see that show? Phil sounded incredible on that song as he did on much of the show--never heard him so powerful live.

    But CAS had cool stuff, especially the title track which is quite powerful, too bad it was rushed and didn't develop as much as it could have, The whole album could have been better if they'd taken more time on it but it's still a pretty good listen and interesting to hear where they might have gone. I like Mike Rutherford's harder edge guitar in a few spots.

  4. #54
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    Interesting that so many seem to strongly dislike "congo" since that was the "hit" from the album. I suppose it's common for prog fans to dislike something that was popular(sometimes it seems just because it was popular). I think it's a good song. Maybe not the best from the album but it seems to fit in pretty well for the most part. I'm one of those that didn't hear this album until maybe 2 or 3 years after it came out(I initially taped it from a library cd copy) and never bought a proper cd copy until maybe five or six years after it came out.

    As for it being disastrous in the US, I'm not sure I would go quite that far but it certainly didn't do that well and it did bad enough for there not to be any tour of the US in support of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    Interesting that so many seem to strongly dislike "congo" since that was the "hit" from the album. I suppose it's common for prog fans to dislike something that was popular(sometimes it seems just because it was popular). I think it's a good song. Maybe not the best from the album but it seems to fit in pretty well for the most part. I'm one of those that didn't hear this album until maybe 2 or 3 years after it came out(I initially taped it from a library cd copy) and never bought a proper cd copy until maybe five or six years after it came out.

    As for it being disastrous in the US, I'm not sure I would go quite that far but it certainly didn't do that well and it did bad enough for there not to be any tour of the US in support of it.
    CAS did so bad in the U.S that it was deleted soon after release. I love CAS. I remember hearing a radio interview when the album first came out and Mike and Tony were comparing how is was when Peter left and Phil took over to how it was when Phil left and Ray took over. Until that interview, I never knew that the guy who sang Sledgehammer was in Genesis. Or that they existed in the '70s. I love CAS, and Ray's voice. It may not be out and out prog, but it still doesn't sound as commercial to what came before. It sorta has a Pink Floyd atmosphere about it.
    Last edited by JIF; 02-18-2013 at 05:58 AM.

  6. #56
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    Interesting that so many seem to strongly dislike "congo" since that was the "hit" from the album... I think it's a good song. Maybe not the best from the album but it seems to fit in pretty well for the most part.
    It is a good song, I agree. It just suffers from the dreaded fadeout mentioned already, and Tony's keys are a little on the cornball side. IMO, anyway. I think the fadeout issue is being taken too seriously - it's not fadeouts themselves that are the problem - it's the fact that there are so many on this album and that a couple of them are too damn long. The title track in particular suffers from a serious need of trimming. Someone mentioned that it takes too long to get going and I agree with that. The music and the verses are quite nice and have a nice moody atmosphere.

    I encourage you guys to try the album in the order I listed (at the bottom of page one) - I'm curious to see if anyone else agrees. I think it's a great album that way!
    Two boys have been found rubbing linseed oil into the school cormorant.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    It is a good song, I agree. It just suffers from the dreaded fadeout mentioned already, and Tony's keys are a little on the cornball side. IMO, anyway. I think the fadeout issue is being taken too seriously - it's not fadeouts themselves that are the problem - it's the fact that there are so many on this album and that a couple of them are too damn long. The title track in particular suffers from a serious need of trimming. Someone mentioned that it takes too long to get going and I agree with that. The music and the verses are quite nice and have a nice moody atmosphere.

    I encourage you guys to try the album in the order I listed (at the bottom of page one) - I'm curious to see if anyone else agrees. I think it's a great album that way!
    I think I will try it out! BTW, I agree with the fadeout problem but again, I think it's because (I'm sure it's already been mentioned here or somewhere else) that they rushed the album too much and probably should have added a few more parts to those songs, or write an ending! Fadeouts are great, but they can be overused.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    Interesting that so many seem to strongly dislike "congo" since that was the "hit" from the album. I suppose it's common for prog fans to dislike something that was popular(sometimes it seems just because it was popular). I think it's a good song. Maybe not the best from the album but it seems to fit in pretty well for the most part. I'm one of those that didn't hear this album until maybe 2 or 3 years after it came out(I initially taped it from a library cd copy) and never bought a proper cd copy until maybe five or six years after it came out.

    As for it being disastrous in the US, I'm not sure I would go quite that far but it certainly didn't do that well and it did bad enough for there not to be any tour of the US in support of it.
    Iirc,it was Atlantic that chose Congo to be the first single in the US. Genesis were not even consulted. It was Congo is the single and you'll do a video for MTV and that's that. I think with the loss of Phil they also lost some power of destiny as well. Shipwrecked was chosen to be the next single,but it never made it to tv. I think if Atlantic had chosen,Uncertain Weather,The Dividing Line or Alien Afternoon it would have done better.

  9. #59
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    "Congo" was perfect for radio and Atlantic or whoever knew what they were doing. Trying to turn something like "The Dividing line" into a single would've garnered less reaction than "Congo". I still love "Congo" and play it loud often.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by 80s were ok View Post
    "Congo" was perfect for radio and Atlantic or whoever knew what they were doing. Trying to turn something like "The Dividing line" into a single would've garnered less reaction than "Congo". I still love "Congo" and play it loud often.
    I always felt the "B" section of this song sounds more like Phil's Genesis circa 1983-1986.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    'We Can't Dance' is too long. I rate 'No Son Of Mine', 'Jesus He Knows Me', 'Driving The Last Spike', 'Dreaming While You Sleep' and 'Fading Lights'. The title track, 'Living Forever' and 'Hold On My Heart' are OK. But the other tracks are amongst the worst Genesis have ever recorded IMHO...'Never A Time' and 'Way Of The World' especially. Those are amongst the very few Genesis songs I skip over ('Small Talk', 'If That's What You Need', 'Who Dunnit' and 'Anything She Does' are others!).
    You hit the nail right on the head. IMO you can make a great 40 minute album out of "We Can't Dance" if you cut out the fluff. If it just had "No Son Of Mine", "Jesus He Knows Me", "Driving The Last Spike", "I Can't Dance", "Dreaming While You Sleep", "Living Forever" and "Fading Lights" the album would pretty much equal "Duke" to my ears, which is their last truely great album.

    I have always found a lot to like on WCD and think that they tried to please both sides of their audience with at least some success.

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  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    IMO you can make a great 40 minute album out of "We Can't Dance" if you cut out the fluff.
    I have always found a lot to like on WCD and think that they tried to please both sides of their audience with at least some success.
    I agree with this as well (there's no Genesis album I don't like ) - Talking about these has put me in a mood for them, I'll likely play them at work this coming week and wait for the eye-rolling to commence.

    I have my 'own' version of WCD too and I love the running order of this one. Give it a try!

    On The Shoreline
    Dreaming While You Sleep
    Living Forever
    Driving The Last Spike
    No Son Of Mine
    Jesus He Knows Me
    Fading Lights
    Two boys have been found rubbing linseed oil into the school cormorant.

  13. #63
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Man, I can't believe how much love "Jesus He Knows Me" gets. I think it's one of the worst songs they've ever done.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

  14. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by PotatoSolution View Post
    I've always had the feeling that a second album with this lineup would have been really interesting and much better. Alas.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Bails View Post
    I always felt the same way - especially since CAS didn't really feel finished, to my ears.
    I'm with you guys. I understand most of the thing was already written by the time Ray came on board, so I've always wished we could have heard a more equal writing effort from the trio. CAS is a flawed gem, but I play it at least as often as any of the Philesis albums, and often more. Ditto the couple bootlegs I have from the tour; Ray's voice often sounds more suited to the Gabriel material than Phil's ever did.

    And since nobody else has said it--I just love "Small Talk."

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    Interesting that so many seem to strongly dislike "congo" since that was the "hit" from the album. I suppose it's common for prog fans to dislike something that was popular(sometimes it seems just because it was popular). I think it's a good song. Maybe not the best from the album but it seems to fit in pretty well for the most part. I'm one of those that didn't hear this album until maybe 2 or 3 years after it came out(I initially taped it from a library cd copy) and never bought a proper cd copy until maybe five or six years after it came out.

    As for it being disastrous in the US, I'm not sure I would go quite that far but it certainly didn't do that well and it did bad enough for there not to be any tour of the US in support of it.
    Nah, the record for worst selling album of all time (at least for Warner Bros, and we're talking upon release) was, curiously, Richard Thompson's first as a leader, Henry the Human Fly. Subsequent years have been kinder to it, but then.... a total bomb!

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Bails View Post
    Man, I can't believe how much love "Jesus He Knows Me" gets. I think it's one of the worst songs they've ever done.
    catchy tune, good lyrics and great video.

  17. #67
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    I'll give you catchy, but both the lyrics and video are cheesy as hell.

    And they were about 5 years behind on the whole TV evangelist thing.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

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    Sorry but the idea that 'not liking Congo because it was popular' is a total straw man argument- for me at least. I like several of their singles with Phil Collins. Also was 'Congo' even much of a hit anywhere in the first place?

    I like 'Jesus He Knows Me' and find it a good lyric. Not thrilled about the keyboard sounds on the track, though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    Sorry but the idea that 'not liking Congo because it was popular' is a total straw man argument- for me at least. I like several of their singles with Phil Collins. Also was 'Congo' even much of a hit anywhere in the first place?

    I like 'Jesus He Knows Me' and find it a good lyric. Not thrilled about the keyboard sounds on the track, though!
    The keyboard sound at the beginning of song makes me think that Tony was listening to a lot of Mechanics music. The other keyboard sound that is heard throughout the song sounds kind of like an organ; I like it.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    It was in the second box-set they put out. The Gabriel era was the third and last...for whatever reason.
    FYI, the Gabriel box set was put out last, because Mr. Gabriel wanted Nick to make some adjustments to the new mixes. The box sets were further postponed when Pete had a skiing accident. I remember reading this info on the old Genesis message boards from their website.

  21. #71
    the thing i don't understand on this album is : why did tony banks choose to play the whole album with his elbows rather than the fingers ? a concept album ?

  22. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Bails View Post
    the lyrics and video are cheesy as hell.
    I think that was kind of the point.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiral View Post
    I think that was kind of the point.
    When debuting a new line up the last thing you want to do is produce cheese, even if done in a self depreciating manner. Most of the lyrics on this album are pedestrian in the extreme. 'Like an army ant!' still makes me cringe. The plodding bass lines (plotted bass lines would have been welcome) pointed out by one of the earlier posters also annoy.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by happytheman View Post
    ^ yeah I never understood the criticism for the album either... I thought it had some very good moments and personally wished they had stuck together for another release and rebuilt the fan base...
    I only relatively recently got a copy of Calling All Stations. You know when you've been avoiding an album because of the poor reviews and when you get it you're soo annoyed as you like it and and have been missing out all that time? Yeah, well, Calling All Sations isn't one of those albums. It has a few good sections, but I was extremely disappointed that it was very mediocre instrumentally, even on Invisible Touch some of the instrumental sections are fabulous (Domino for example). Vocals are actually quite good. Songwriting is nearly (but not quite) as bad as a Phil Collins album.

  25. #75
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    CAS is a disc that I do not play very often, but I would have to say that I enjoy it very much when I do, (I don't always drink beer...)

    I think the songs are very good, love Congo

    I'm trying to remember the last time I played WcD all the way through - probably the year it came out I'd guess

    Playing CAS as I type, probably do WcD right after - very interested how that will hit me

    BG
    "When Yes appeared on stage, it was like, the gods appearing from the heavens, deigning to play in front of the people."

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