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Thread: Genesis- Duke

  1. #1
    Member Bungalow Bill's Avatar
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    Genesis- Duke

    I know there have probably been a million discussions about this album. But...

    I'm 52. The first Genesis album I ever heard was Abacab when I was in high school. I was a prog fan in high school but I only listened to Jethro Tull, Rush and Yes - I didn't know then about the VdGGs and Gentle Giants of the world.

    Anyway, since joining PE way back, I've made the plunge into Genesis. I like everything from the debut (yes, I enjoy it) through SEbtP. Lamb is OK but I always end up finding it tedious listening. The next two without PG are decent, very atmospheric. I've never heard ATTWT. I still have some nostalgic love for Abacab. I'm not very fond of anything after Abacab. They were a great band after that album, lots of strong singles, but just not my thing in terms of composition.

    To be blunt: I was blown away by Duke. The sonics are very good to my ears and most of the playing is impressive. There's a good blend of old-school arty prog and an effort to move into the contemporary world. IMHO, Phil sounds excellent as the singer. And, even though I've heard "Misunderstanding" a million times, it's a classic song - great swing to it and catchy as hell. It seems slightly out of place on the album but not dis-jarringly so.

    Just wanted to solicit other thoughts. Also curious about, given my favorable response to Duke, whether ATTWT is worth a spin?
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  2. #2
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    ATTWT is a Tony Banks heavy album (maybe the most). It's like Wind & Wuthering Pt 2 with shorter songs and no Hackett. It's worth having and better than it's rep.

  3. #3
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    I could do without hearing Misunderstanding ever again. I hate it. I'm 55 and was introduced to Genesis in 1975 when my brother gave me Genesis Live at Christmas. I soon loved the album and played it almost to the point of no grooves left on the LP. I soon collected all of their material at this time. I was fortunate to see both the Trick of the Tail and Wind and Wuthering concerts.

    Back to Duke. I disliked most of Genesis' later day catalogue and ignored Duke until I joined PE. I must say that was an enormous mistake to overlook such a gem of an album. I think this is the last stellar Genesis album. Duke's End/Travel is outstanding and I like the pop tunes too.

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    One of the first of their albums I heard and I still rate it highly. 'Behind The Lines' grabbed me instantly and 'Duke's Travels/Duke's End' has some of their all-time greatest playing, I think. The section with the 'Guide Vocal' reprise is stunning and truly inspired. Whilst I like much of what followed, that's perhaps the last time I get that real goosebump feeling from them.

    'Turn It On Again' is alongside the later 'Mama' my favourite of their 80s singles.

    'Man Of Our Times' is one I've always loved that doesn't get talked about very much...great drumming from Phil Collins.

    The ballads 'Misunderstanding', 'Alone Tonight' and 'Please Don't Ask' are the divisive tracks; the B-sides 'Evidence Of Autumn' and 'Open Door' might be more to older Genesis fans' taste.

  5. #5
    Love this album, love the alternative tracks mentioned, the last Genesis album where Phil's drumming blew my mind (Behind The Lines).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    ATTWT is a Tony Banks heavy album (maybe the most). It's like Wind & Wuthering Pt 2 with shorter songs and no Hackett. It's worth having and better than it's rep.
    This is a very concise and IMO accurate description of the album. I would only add that I think it's also where Phil really hit his stride as a singer.
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    I didn't buy Duke until years afterwards because I was put off by Turn It On Again and the abysmal Misunderstanding (must be some kind of mistake?). When I finally got it I really liked it, even Collins Please Don't Ask is a little a gem. I would highly recommend ATTWT, I know some don't like it but I still view it as classic 70's Genesis just with shorter songs and no Hackett as Sean said above. Don't get me started about Abacab though....

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    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proggy_jazzer View Post
    This is a very concise and IMO accurate description of the album. I would only add that I think it's also where Phil really hit his stride as a singer.
    Thanks! Phil has some really great drumming on ATTWT too. The opener "Down and Out" alone is worth the price of admission.

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    ^Said it before but I love ATTWT with the exception of 'Ballad Of Big' (Genesis 'do' blues, why?) and 'Scenes From A Night's Dream' (has its moments but disjointed and a lame ending).

  10. #10
    All-night hippo at diner Tom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    ATTWT is a Tony Banks heavy album (maybe the most). It's like Wind & Wuthering Pt 2 with shorter songs and no Hackett. It's worth having and better than it's rep.
    Yes, yes, no, maybe.

    Duke was a reboot of Genesis; and Then There Were Three was the album that proved a reboot was needed. The band reached a dead end, with an album full of skippable songs. I know the band likes "Many Too Many" but it is not much of a tune. I want to like "Burning Rope", the most ambitious composition on the album, but usually I fail. For me the entire album collapses to "Undertow" and "Snowbound".

    I think the reboot worked, mostly. Banks's style changed significantly; the lush, swooping surrounds of Wind and Wuthering are replaced with sustained synth chords. This became the new Genesis sound, at least through We Can't Dance.
    ... “there’s a million ways to learn” (which there are, by the way), but ironically, there’s a million things to eat, I’m just not sure I want to eat them all. -- Jeff Berlin

  11. #11
    theres a lot to like about ATTWT. I think it is kinda underrated and the songs aside from follow you follow me don't pop up much so are not over played at all. if you don't care for follow you follow me just shut it off after lady lies and you still have a satisfying album.

  12. #12
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    I can only echo the praise for Duke. One of my all-time favorite albums. Like the OP, I first became aware of Genesis around ABACAB, so never really had any problems with their poppier songs, and the ones on Duke are excellent, IMO. And very relatable when I went through my own divorce. But I was drawn in by "Behind the Lines," "Turn it on Again" and the Duke's End suite.

    I never really appreciated ATTWT until relatively recently. It was one of those that I would revisit from time to time, until one day it just clicked. I have to be in the right mood for it, but when that's where I'm at, I really enjoy it.
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  13. #13
    Interesting. These are two Genesis albums I've never owned (ATTWT, Duke). I heard them both, long ago. Duke was played for me a couple times by a good friend who, same as me, preferred the Gabriel era stuff (he had never heard that stuff until I started listening to it, but he had heard all the post ATTWT albums and owned some of them, including Duke obviously). He thought it was a great album and loved it. At that time, I wasn't really thrilled with it, but it did sound better than the 80's and 90's stuff I'd been hearing on the radio for years. So I think I should give that one another go sometime soon, as that was almost 30(!) years ago now.

    ATTWT I heard a couple times about 15 or so years ago when I was working at a video/CD store. We were allowed to put on any CD's that were in the used rack that weren't still in the cellophane (which was most of them) and we happened to have a copy of ATTWT. I played it in the store two or three times, but nothing on it ever really grabbed my attention. Of course, I was working so it was hard to give it full attention while waiting on customers, but the store wasn't a terribly busy one so I was able to give much of it my full attention. Anyway, probably another one I should give a listen to, as it's been so long.

  14. #14
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by infandous View Post
    ATTWT I heard a couple times about 15 or so years ago when I was working at a video/CD store. We were allowed to put on any CD's that were in the used rack that weren't still in the cellophane (which was most of them) and we happened to have a copy of ATTWT. I played it in the store two or three times, but nothing on it ever really grabbed my attention. Of course, I was working so it was hard to give it full attention while waiting on customers, but the store wasn't a terribly busy one so I was able to give much of it my full attention. Anyway, probably another one I should give a listen to, as it's been so long.
    I really didn't appreciate it until I was able to give it a "quality listen."
    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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    Genesis was my favorite band during the 70's and is still my favorite 70's band. As for me, ATTWT is the last Genesis album I like a lot. I thought back then that Duke was a disappointment, and I think now that Duke was the start of Genesis' decline.

  16. #16
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    I revisited Duke within the past year or too and really enjoy it. They sounded very re-energized. ATTWT is very ho-hum to me. They came through the loss of Gabriel with flying colors on ATOTT, but they seemed to skip a beat after losing Hackett. A great comeback, but unfortunately the pop was creeping up fast.

  17. #17
    I think Duke has a strong first four tracks and the last two are good (but not great, IMO), but there are too many in the middle that I find rather unmemorable and generic.
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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Thanks! Phil has some really great drumming on ATTWT too. The opener "Down and Out" alone is worth the price of admission.
    Totally. "Down and Out" is one that still gets me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom View Post
    Yes, yes, no, maybe.

    Duke was a reboot of Genesis; and Then There Were Three was the album that proved a reboot was needed. The band reached a dead end, with an album full of skippable songs. I know the band likes "Many Too Many" but it is not much of a tune. I want to like "Burning Rope", the most ambitious composition on the album, but usually I fail. For me the entire album collapses to "Undertow" and "Snowbound".
    I could not disagree more.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gojikranz View Post
    theres a lot to like about ATTWT. I think it is kinda underrated and the songs aside from follow you follow me don't pop up much so are not over played at all. if you don't care for follow you follow me just shut it off after lady lies and you still have a satisfying album.
    Agreed. ATTWT was my introduction to Genesis. There are tons of Tony's keyboards on this one. I always considered Trick, W&W and ATTWT as the Tony Banks' era as he gets the lions share of the writing credits during this time. I never understood the hate for FYFM, as there are many who are turned off of the whole album because one short song. One would think Genesis produced a Britney Spears pop album with all of negative comments. They added a few more accessible songs that were well done and survived the meteor that killed off many of the prog heroes in the late 70's. Collins is excellent on the drums and vocals, and yes Rutherford is no Hackett on lead guitar, but there is more Banks.

    Favs: Down and Out, Undertow, The Lady Lies

    Definitely give this cd a spin.

  20. #20
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    The song I actually dislike is "Man Of Our Times". Annoying Mike riff that has no business being any part of a song verse, weirdly empty and stupid lyrics sung by Phil from inside a closet using a funny voice, not saved by its big anthemic chorus because all it does is repeat the title twice. And this lasts five and a half minutes.

    I'm actually mostly into the second side, particularly the run from "Cul De Sac" to "Duke's Travels"/"Duke's End".

    But this is clearly an album in transition. Phil came back from an awkward marriage, Tony and Mike came back from doing solo albums, and suddenly they weren't the tight unit they used to be, so the songs are patchier and not as cohesive. They'd more or less commit to a more modern sound on the next album, instead of playing with it here.
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    Duke is another strong album. I guess YMMV based on your tolerance for pop/rock tracks. I don't mind as long as they are done well and generally Genesis does. No I don't really need to hear Misunderstanding or Alone Tonight, again, but they aren't bad songs and the rest of the album holds up very well. And if you don't like Duke's Travel and Duke's End, well Genesis might not be for you.

  22. #22
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    For this album on my MP3 player I only bothered to put on Behind the Lines/Duchess/Guide Vocal/Duke's Travels/Duke's End edited into a suite plus Cul de Sac.

  23. #23
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    IMO...

    Side 1 of Duke is nearly flawless (I could do without "Heathaze".) Side 2 has strong bookends but the three center pieces bore me to tears. To me they all sound like rejects from ATTWT or their solo albums.

    I think overall the album sounds great and is a quantum leap forward from ATTWT (which was produced by the same team -- go figure.)

    By the way, I also came of age with Genesis with Abacab. Thanks to FM radio I was already burned out on "Misunderstanding" and "Turn It On Again" in '81 which is probably why I didn't own Duke til much later.

    And I also agree with Sean's comment that ATTWT is basically Tony's idea of a successor to W&W with the other two helping out (although "Follow You Follow Me" is very much a Mike song.)
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    ...And Then There Were Three was the first "new" Genesis album to come out after I got into them with Seconds Out first, and then working back. Those in the UK in the seventies may remember Alan Freeman played the whole album when it came out on his Saturday Rock show.

    For me, it's not my favourite Genesis album...not even top five. But I do like it a lot. There's not a single song that I don't enjoy, and as others have said it is a Phil Collins tour-de-force, with some of his best singing and the drumming is out of this world. I was trying to teach myself drums around this time, and this is the album I would always use to practice with.

  25. #25
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    ATTWT is a Tony Banks heavy album (maybe the most). It's like Wind & Wuthering Pt 2 with shorter songs and no Hackett. It's worth having and better than it's rep.
    Well, don't forget Rutherford was the writer of Deep In The Motherlode, Snowbound and Say It's Alright Joe.... I adore ATTWT, and Down And Out is, believe it or not, in my top 3 Genesis songs. I think it's the strongest album opener they ever did, in terms of setting the tone for the album (yes, I know, Watcher Of The Skies, etc. etc... but still).

    I love or like every Genesis album, honestly. And although I have a tremendous fondness for the early 70s stuff, over the many years the dust finally settled, and I think my most played period is 1976-1980: Trick, Wind, ATTWT and Duke. I think this run of albums was them at their strongest as composers. I'll even toss in A Curious Feeling, which makes a nice bridge between ATTWT and Duke.

    Oh, and there are some mighty fine non-album tracks from this period as well.
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