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 hotthread  Author  Topic: Is "Turn It On Again" Really A Classic?  (Read 498 times)
rael1974
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xx Is "Turn It On Again" Really A Classic?
« Thread started on: Mar 14th, 2017, 7:23pm »

The song "Turn It On Again" seems to be an iconic song for the band. It was a hit single. It's been played live on every tour since its release. Two hits albums and a reunion tour were named after it. Even this very forum is named after the song.

Despite all of this, it seems that a lot of fans (at least on this forum) don't consider the song to be one of the band's top songs. The song doesn't seem to appear on many top Genesis songs lists here or else where on the internet. I don't even see it be listed as highlight from Duke that often here.

So, what should the true status of "Turn It On Again"? Is it a classic? Is it one of the band's greatest songs? Or, is it overrated? Has the band been portraying the song to be a classic, and the fans just aren't receiving it as such?

In my opinion, it is a true classic. In fact, I would go as far to call it my favorite Genesis song. Although part of my love for the song is due to nostalgia (it was my first Genesis song), I love it because it serves as a good crossover between two eras and styles.

What are your opinions on the matter?
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xx Re: Is "Turn It On Again" Really A Class
« Reply #1 on: Mar 14th, 2017, 7:57pm »

To me, certainly not one of their best songs. I daresay it's rather overrated in some respects. I'm not knocking it, it's an enjoyable track. But at the same time, it's only a couple of tiers better than Misunderstanding to me. It's just "good" and nothing more. Back when I joined this forum, I wouldn't be saying this; I'd probably say it's great. But after years of listening to and analysing their discography, I've found that there are many Genesis songs that I overlooked, thus several of my old favourites have been pushed to the back since then.

For example, on Duke, there were two songs on it that I'd never quite understood: Alone Tonight and Please Don't Ask. Back in the day I dismissed them as boring, by-the-numbers ballads with no real meaning. But eventually, after having had listened closer to the lyrics and melodies, I detected subtle magic within them; Please Don't Ask especially. I even remember the exact emotion I felt that song suddenly clicked for me; I felt ashamed that I had ever dismissed such a poignant track and listened to it three or four additional times, absolutely loving it. And this has happened with many Genesis songs outside the album as well: "Wow, this song is actually really good." Because of this, Turn It On Again just doesn't hold up as well these days. It's a fairly basic, likeable rock track with not much magic in it.
« Last Edit: Mar 15th, 2017, 05:21am by NoSonOfVine » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Is "Turn It On Again" Really A Class
« Reply #2 on: Mar 15th, 2017, 06:49am »

TIOA was the song that got me into Genesis; rarely have I been so struck by a song upon first listen.

I still consider it the best song on DUKE and one of Genesis' best songs overall. I will say, though, that live versions never do it justice.
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xx Re: Is "Turn It On Again" Really A Class
« Reply #3 on: Mar 15th, 2017, 10:35am »

For me TIOA has a special place for me because it was one of the first Genesis songs I heard. Comparing it to the other tracks on Duke, I can't see why anyone wouldn't think its a highlight on the album! As far as their pop songs go, I would put this in the top 5 as it's not as poppy as Invisible Touch. Other than that, it was a great song to open the 2007 TIOA Tour right after Duke's Intro!
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xx Re: Is "Turn It On Again" Really A Class
« Reply #4 on: Mar 15th, 2017, 11:52am »

I love it and I think the lirycs are great too: TV induced alienation cured by TV itself, all packed up succintly in a funny rock-ish time signature? Plus one of the first Phil's great vocal performances. Brilliant, as far as concerned.
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xx Re: Is "Turn It On Again" Really A Class
« Reply #5 on: Mar 15th, 2017, 12:28pm »

on Mar 15th, 2017, 10:35am, HomeByTheSea wrote:
For me TIOA has a special place for me because it was one of the first Genesis songs I heard.

I feel the same way about NSOM. The first Genesis song I heard, and to this day I still consider it a gem.
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xx Re: Is "Turn It On Again" Really A Class
« Reply #6 on: Mar 15th, 2017, 3:32pm »

i first listened to it when i was a teen, more than twenty years ago, expecting that it was a very famous song (since i had heard that it was a big hit and a genesis classic). i was disappointed because i had never heard it before, and i found it a rather dull song because it had no chorus, among other things.

now i enjoy a lot turn it on again, and i love the fact that such weird song became a hit... in uk and other countries, not in mine, where good bands hardly ever succeed.
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xx Re: Is "Turn It On Again" Really A Class
« Reply #7 on: Mar 15th, 2017, 4:07pm »

I love Turn It On Again & will never tire of it. Classic? Yes.
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xx Re: Is "Turn It On Again" Really A Class
« Reply #8 on: Mar 15th, 2017, 4:14pm »

I really like TIOA. Not sure what constitutes a classic, but it would be in my top 25 Genesis songs (not necessarily my top 10).

I think it is a great trick to make a such a catchy song with a 13/4 time signature and many chord changes. The lyrics are intriguing. And it has a great hook at the end.

All this said, this is one of the few Genesis songs that I prefer the studio version over the live version. There is a crispness and tightness to the band's performance on the studio version that they never capture live. I find many live versions a bit plodding and dull. And Phil's rhythmic ad-libbing (Turn it on, turn it on, turn-it-on-again, turn-it, turn-it, turn-it-on-again-'gain-'gain-'gain...) gets really tiresome.
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xx Re: Is "Turn It On Again" Really A Class
« Reply #9 on: Mar 16th, 2017, 08:03am »

Chris Evans played it this morning, and commented on the long outro: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08hcgdr

He then added he might ask MR about it tomorrow as M& the mechanics are on his show on Friday, playing live: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08hcgg3
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xx Re: Is "Turn It On Again" Really A Class
« Reply #10 on: Mar 16th, 2017, 1:52pm »

on Mar 16th, 2017, 08:03am, foxfeeder wrote:
Chris Evans played it this morning, and commented on the long outro: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08hcgdr

He then added he might ask MR about it tomorrow as M& the mechanics are on his show on Friday, playing live: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08hcgg3


Interesting. Thanks.
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xx Re: Is "Turn It On Again" Really A Class
« Reply #11 on: Mar 25th, 2017, 3:28pm »

i've noticed that tony's moving under (from his solo album 'the fugitive') is a bit similar turn it on again.
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rael1974
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xx Re: Is "Turn It On Again" Really A Class
« Reply #12 on: Mar 25th, 2017, 6:45pm »

on Mar 25th, 2017, 3:28pm, Kerry95 wrote:
i've noticed that tony's moving under (from his solo album 'the fugitive') is a bit similar turn it on again.


I'm not hearing it, but that's just me.
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Chaim
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xx Re: Is "Turn It On Again" Really A Class
« Reply #13 on: Mar 26th, 2017, 01:18am »

People, including the band members, always say that TIOA is in 13/4. This is terrible nitpicking, but I don't agree. Try counting from one two thirteen in the verses. It doesn't feel natural, because after six beats it starts from one again. To me it's more like 6/4 + 7/4, and I wouldn't write it as a continuous 13, because it so clearly starts again after "6".

I don't know if I can explain this, but I'll try...Basically I feel there's a 4/4 groove in the verses with some beats left off here and there. Like a lot of Syd Barrett songs. When I listen to Syd's songs, I feel that he didn't bother to wait for the beats to reach the full amount (4+4+4+4....) to get to the next phrase, so he left them off and just started the next phrase. So instead of a Syd song actually being in a weird time signature, I feel it more like that.

Having said that I know a song has to be WRITTEN in a weird time signature if the "leaving off beats" happens regularly throughout the song and in the same manner. So I would write TIOA as a "6+7" instead of "13", as I don't feel that "it's in 13/4".

I remember Tony Banks once saying the same thing somewhere about TIOA (feeling it like there are beats left off instead of an actual weird time signature), but I don't remember where and when.

None of what I said changes the fact that the song is adventurous for a hit song and that's why I called this nitpicking from the start. grin
« Last Edit: Mar 26th, 2017, 01:22am by Chaim » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Is "Turn It On Again" Really A Class
« Reply #14 on: Mar 26th, 2017, 07:48am »

I see your point, when I was to write that main riff into sheet notes I would also write it in 6/4 + 7/4. Doesn't change the fact that this is technically the same as an 13/4 though or a 4/4 + 2/4 + 4/4 + 3/4 pattern. The reason why 6/4 + 7/4 might feel best is due to the nature of the riff which is basically twice the same riff in two different keys and two different time signatures so there's a clear caesura after the first 6 beats.

In Robbery, Assault and Battery they had a similar way of creating a 13/8 signature, technically it is 7/8 + 6/8; not so however in the middle part where Phil sings because the 3 16th triplets plus the 2 16th doublets make a "real" 13/8. That again is pretty close to the way Tony ended up with all the crazy time signatures in Firth of Fifth. But hey, that's enough musical nerdiness for now. cool
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