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“FOUR DAYS, FIVE GIGS…CRAZY”
BY NICK FOUNTAS
SUN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
THE LOWELL SUN
LOWELL, MASS. 4-15-76
Mike Rutherford is a tall, slender Englishman with shoulder-length brown hair that clings to his rather long face. Relaxing after Saturday’s show at the Orpheum, the member of “Genesis” said he felt the concert audience had enjoyed “A Trick of the Tail’, their latest release.
“I’m happy because this album was very different from our others. It was an album of songs with more involvement in the studio with the four of us, as opposed to the past.”
Rutherford commented that extensive touring can affect both the performer’s health and playing ability , and that playing “five gigs in four days is crazy business.”
Other Genesis albums had been done differently. Their previous lyricist-vocalist Peter Gabriel would record his vocal parts after all the instruments had been recorded. Creating an album became split-involvement for the band. Gabriel left Genesis last May, and drummer Phil Collins, already part of the band, assumed his vocal duties.
Rutherford related this to the new album, “If you’ve written a melody, you like to be involved in recording it, which we were with Phil, and that benefits the new album. We all worked very carefully on the songs and it made a difference.”
Genesis is Phil Collins on vocals, drums and percussion, Mike Rutherford on guitars and bass guitar, Steve Hackett on guitars, and Tony Banks on keyboards. An additional percussionist, ex-Yes drummer Bill Bruford has been added for the current tour of over 30 U.S. and Canadian cities and an upcoming European tour, but his position exists only for the tours.
Their stage act is strong visually, using laser beams and rear-screen projection of slides and movies that relate to the musical tale being performed.
Many bands use stage and sound effects during their performances, but few are as adept at creating a totally saturating effect that engulfs the observer as Genesis. Their effective use of triple rear-screen projection, movie and laser effects, and “visual” lyrics adds synergistically to superior music backgrounds. Their understanding of music and theatrics and how they may be applied together has earned them a reputation as the best in visual rock.
“We all work on the slides to do the films, we work with two others…who are nicely looney. We talk over things and then they go off and do it.”
These extras are closely synchronized to the lyrics in performance and add to the impact of their musical delivery.
Genesis music is conceptual in nature, each track relating as a part of a saga that lasts as long as the album. They sometimes incorporate melodies from each into a final track on the album – a sort of overture. Spotted with frequent key changes, their music is reminiscent of Yes, Gentle Giant, and Strawbs, while their lyrics are uniquely descriptive. The lyrics almost exclusively relate to grim encounters.
Coupled with their visual prowess, their live performance creates the illusion of taking part in the lyrically-described trek owing to the abilities of vocalist Phil Collins.
Unlike others who attempt theatrics (Kiss and other equals) the visual efforts do not degrade from their musical performance. Both are top-notch.
With the talent that abounds in Genesis, it is surprising that only guitarist Steve Hackett has a solo album, “Voyage of the Acolyte”, on ABC. Mike explained. “If too many people did solo albums, there wouldn’t be Genesis. We would have had one or two people doing ‘Tail’ , but Genesis needs a lot of full time work. This year, I don’t think any of us will do another album.”
Many companies are involved in developing “video-discs” that provide both music and pictures simultaneously. When these are sold to the public, Genesis will enjoy the success that is due to them, They are pioneers in the effective use of visual aids to accentuate a musical message and are years ahead of any colleagues who may now find themselves interested in this type of performance.
1969 From Genesis to Revelation
1971 Nursery Cryme
1973 Genesis Live
1973 Selling England By the Pound
1974 The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
1976 A Trick of the Tail
1976 Wind and Wuthering
1977 Second Out (Live)
1978 …And then There Were Three…
1982 Three Sides Live
1986 Invisible Touch
1991 We Can’t Dance
1992 The Way we Walk (Shorts, Live)
1993 The way We Walk (Longs, Live)
1997 Calling All Stations
2007 Live Over Europe
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Berkeley, Ca. 4-29-76