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Thread: Tony Banks & Jack Hues- Strictly Inc.

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    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Tony Banks & Jack Hues- Strictly Inc.

    How many of you are familiar with this mid 90s Tony Banks related album? I'm usually a little leery of his solo work with vocals, (not that I have heard them all) but Jack Hues (of Wang Chung fame) has a great voice so this is more appealing. Despite being done in the mid 90s, the piano on this album and the way Tony plays it totally reminds me of Duke. An Island In The Darkness is a pretty awesome little epic, btw. Reminds me a bit of Tonight, Tonight, Tonight but has more to offer. TTT run through the Duke blender...

    Last edited by Sean; 2 Weeks Ago at 06:57 AM.

  2. #2
    I think Tony has worked with some great vocalists over the years - Alistair Gordon, Fish, Nick Kershaw, Janey Klimak, Kim Beacon. I even enjoy Tony's All Stewart-like voice. And Jack Hues was an inspired choice. Rick Wakeman's choice of vocalists was a bit problematic at times...

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    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Good point. Admittedly, I haven't heard all of Tony's solo works.

  4. #4
    When I listen to solo Banks I'm always listening for ideas that might have been cast off from the previous Genesis album.
    No matter what anyone says, you are the decider of how you will listen to music.

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    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    I bought this when it was released and still got it. Can't say I play it often...
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  6. #6
    One of the things about Banks' solo work that doesn't work for me is that there seems to be an edge missing to the music. Is that what Rutherford and Collins would have brought with them? I'm not sure. I do know that the songs he wrote for Genesis had a quality to them that very little of his solo work has for me.
    No matter what anyone says, you are the decider of how you will listen to music.

  7. #7
    “Walls of Sound” is a gorgeous song and it helped me woo one particular woman of my affections in the late 90s. Thank you Tony!

  8. #8
    I like Strictly Inc for what it is (i.e. late-era Genesis offshoot).

    Having a single vocalist instead of a mix of singers lends the album more of a cohesive identity compared to say Still or Bankstatement.

    The first half of "Island" is grand. IMHO it greatly loses steam on the back half, feeling long for the sake of long rather than developing as an extended piece. It's also the only piece where (near the end) it feels like Hues is straining to hit the notes.

    At the time I remember hearing this and thinking "if we get the best of this and the best of Mike + the Mechanics circa 'Beggar on a Beach of Gold' with the upcoming new Genesis lineup, it should be pretty cool late-era stuff." Didn't quite work out that way, sadly.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Flightwave View Post
    “Walls of Sound” is a gorgeous song and it helped me woo one particular woman of my affections in the late 90s. Thank you Tony!
    ^^ no joke, easily one of my favorites from TB as well. I suspect Hues helped with the music on this one as well (a few bits remind me more of Wang Chung than Genesis, like the guitar line in the chorus).
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  10. #10
    This is my favorite Banks project outside of Genesis. It really helped him to have someone of Hues' caliber to collaborate with. No marketing and an awful cover destined it to fail though.

    Bankstatement looked like a deliberate effort to try and make his own version of Mike + the Mechanics.
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    All-night hippo at diner Tom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Splicer View Post
    One of the things about Banks' solo work that doesn't work for me is that there seems to be an edge missing to the music.
    So clearly true, and yet so hard to pin down precisely. Take the end of the long instrumental middle of "An Island in the Darkness" (11:53), which is a very nice moment. I think early Genesis would have completed it, with more varied bass and textured guitar backing the keyboards. Banks's solo version is plainer, and we're listening to him partly because we love the supersaturated Genesis sound of 1973-77.

    Overall it's enjoyable, though. The same incompleteness is much worse on The Fugitive: you have great melodic hooks (e.g., "And the Wheels Keep Turning") but the overall arrangement lets them down.
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    Member rickawakeman's Avatar
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    Always dug this album.

  13. #13
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Jack Hughes is also on the Led Bib vocal album, ‘It’s Morning’ along with Sharron Fortnam of North Sea Radio Orchestra!
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  14. #14
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisynoise View Post
    This is my favorite Banks project outside of Genesis. It really helped him to have someone of Hues' caliber to collaborate with. No marketing and an awful cover destined it to fail though.

    Bankstatement looked like a deliberate effort to try and make his own version of Mike + the Mechanics.
    I was so disappointed with Bankstatement that I never bothered with this one. I'm not sure I ever ended up hearing it, so I think I'll try to hear this "Wall of Sound" now...
    "Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart...not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!"

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    I was so disappointed with Bankstatement that I never bothered with this one. I'm not sure I ever ended up hearing it, so I think I'll try to hear this "Wall of Sound" now...
    Let us know what you think!

    I'd rate his non-orchestral solo albums this way:

    Strictly Inc (by a hair)
    A Curious Feeling (wonderful album, but Strictly has more variety and I slightly prefer Hues as a vocalist)
    Still
    The Fugitive
    Soundtracks
    Bankstatement
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    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisynoise View Post
    Let us know what you think!

    I'd rate his non-orchestral solo albums this way:

    Strictly Inc (by a hair)
    A Curious Feeling (wonderful album, but Strictly has more variety and I slightly prefer Hues as a vocalist)
    Still
    The Fugitive
    Soundtracks
    Bankstatement
    When I saw this rating, I quickly played Strictly Inc. I don't see it as remotely as accomplished as Curious Feeling. It's non-descrip pop with unimaginvative drums. This was my orginal impression that was just reinforced. I'm going to play Still, the Fugitive and Soundtracks to see where they land. I won't even bother with Bandstatement.
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  18. #18
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    I'm still listening. There is one track near the end that has really nice piano playing. Otherwise, big disappointment.
    What can this strange device be? When I touch it, it brings forth a sound.

  19. #19
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    It's the last tune. I must say it's better than anything else on Strictly inc.
    What can this strange device be? When I touch it, it brings forth a sound.

  20. #20
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    The last tune is Island of Darkness. Damm, was a huge improvement over everything else!
    What can this strange device be? When I touch it, it brings forth a sound.

  21. #21
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    That one was pretty epic.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by mozo-pg View Post
    It's non-descrip pop with unimaginvative drums.
    I enjoy the music a bit more than you but agree 100% on the drums.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Splicer View Post
    One of the things about Banks' solo work that doesn't work for me is that there seems to be an edge missing to the music. Is that what Rutherford and Collins would have brought with them? I'm not sure. I do know that the songs he wrote for Genesis had a quality to them that very little of his solo work has for me.
    I have all his LP's and I hate to say I agree... he has always been my favorite member of Genesis both as a writer and performer so his solo stuff is a bit of a let down. Definitely not bad... but there was always something missing to my ears. I must say his orchestral LP's are very good, maybe that makes sense?

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by mozo-pg View Post
    The last tune is Island of Darkness. Damm, was a huge improvement over everything else!
    I'm glad you hung in there for the last track

    I love Tony's pop writing and his more epic stuff, so Strictly works for me on both counts. No shade on Curious though, beautiful album.
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  25. #25
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    A fan of Tony Banks solo work. I think he was always trying to get that pop/rock hit that wasn't natural to him. His promotion was next to zero. Whatever MTV videos he had seemed to low budget. He's just not a front man, but unlike Rutherford who also isn't, he didn't surround himself with the people to do the job.

    That said, I only think his first album is great. None of the albums are stinkers and all have some very good songs. Rate em. I'll play

    A Curious Feeling
    Still
    Strictly Inc

    Bankstatement
    Soundtracks
    The Fugitive

    Bankstatement has grown on me over the years as The Fugitive hasn't aged well.

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