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Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by NoSonOfVine on Mar 14th, 2017, 9:09pm

I'm just going to have to say it. In my honest opinion, Genesis's worst album is not FGTR - it's Abacab.

Now, this sudden change of opinion might sound strange, if not ridiculous, at first. "Really? Abacab? But... it's not that bad, right? How can it possibly be worse than FGTR?"

Allow me to explain.

FGTR, to me, can be forgiven. It was their first album. Their first attempt at recorded music. And although it doesn't succeed, I'm starting to really like parts of it. I can appreciate the attempt at making it and specific bits of it have an eerie, wise, elderly tone. It's mostly forgettable to the point where most of it will never fully sink in, but this just makes the album all the more fascinating to me. It's a dark, mystical and intriguing antique.

Abacab, on the other hand, is bad for far worse reasons. I'm sorry, but I can't hold this opinion back any longer: It's a complete mess. It may have a few good songs, but even those good songs have underwhelming moments to me. My favourite track on the album is the title track, and even that song's instrumental ending isn't that great. The rest of the album is mostly mediocre and at times, entirely lacking in flavour and energy. And of course, the album is home to the band's biggest stinker. But even then, subtracting this one song doesn't significantly improve the album. The whole thing feels like it was slapped together, much like the colours of the album cover. It's inconsistent and it never truly gets itself going, and it doesn't even end well. It's just an overall highly unrewarding experience for me, and sticks out in their discography like a sore, multicoloured thumb.

Sorry to any Abacab fans but I wanted to get this off by chest after all these years. I've always been very critical of the album, but at the same time I kept trying to defend it in my head. I can no longer do so. It's a cold, ugly album. One that, quite frankly, I don't think I ever need to listen to again. Its three best songs are all on Three Sides Live and are amongst other great songs, and I'd much rather listen to that album any day of the week.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by rael1974 on Mar 15th, 2017, 12:31am

on Mar 14th, 2017, 9:09pm, NoSonOfVine wrote:
I'm just going to have to say it. In my honest opinion, Genesis's worst album is not FGTR - it's Abacab.

Now, this sudden change of opinion might sound strange, if not ridiculous, at first. "Really? Abacab? But... it's not that bad, right? How can it possibly be worse than FGTR?"

Allow me to explain.

FGTR, to me, can be forgiven. It was their first album. Their first attempt at recorded music. And although it doesn't succeed, I'm starting to really like parts of it. I can appreciate the attempt at making it and specific bits of it have an eerie, wise, elderly tone. It's mostly forgettable to the point where most of it will never fully sink in, but this just makes the album all the more fascinating to me. It's a dark, mystical and intriguing antique.

Abacab, on the other hand, is bad for far worse reasons. I'm sorry, but I can't hold this opinion back any longer: It's a complete mess. It may have a few good songs, but even those good songs have underwhelming moments to me. My favourite track on the album is the title track, and even that song's instrumental ending isn't that great. The rest of the album is mostly mediocre and at times, entirely lacking in flavour and energy. And of course, the album is home to the band's biggest stinker. But even then, subtracting this one song doesn't significantly improve the album. The whole thing feels like it was slapped together, much like the colours of the album cover. It's inconsistent and it never truly gets itself going, and it doesn't even end well. It's just an overall highly unrewarding experience for me, and sticks out in their discography like a sore, multicoloured thumb.

Sorry to any Abacab fans but I wanted to get this off by chest after all these years. I've always been very critical of the album, but at the same time I kept trying to defend it in my head. I can no longer do so. It's a cold, ugly album. One that, quite frankly, I don't think I ever need to listen to again. Its three best songs are all on Three Sides Live and are amongst other great songs, and I'd much rather listen to that album any day of the week.


Interesting opinion. Personally I like the album a lot, but I do see a few issues with it:

1. "Who Dunnit?" sucks. It shouldn't have been recorded, let alone put on the album (no offense to those who like the song).

2. "No Reply At All" feels out of place on the album due to the horns. I would have released it as a non-album single. "You Might Recall" would have worked better.

3. The album is often times described as having an abstract and minimalist sound to it. Although I agree with this for the most part, "No Reply At All", "Me And Sara Jane", and "Like It Or Not" don't always fit these descriptions to my ears. At least parts on these songs have a fuller sound and a romanticism to them, unlike the other songs. "Like It Or Not" could work as a song on Duke if you ask me.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by HENRY on Mar 15th, 2017, 01:03am

Evaluation...

NoSon is either:

A: Extremely bored.
B: Running low on medication.
C: Desparately seeking attention.
D: All of the above.

grin
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Yild4Genesis on Mar 15th, 2017, 01:15am

on Mar 15th, 2017, 01:03am, HENRY wrote:
Evaluation...

NoSon is either:

A: Extremely bored.
B: Running low on medication.
C: Desparately seeking attention.
D: All of the above.

grin


D.


Seriously I would take Abacab over FGTR any day. Even better than IT IMHO...
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Dougal on Mar 15th, 2017, 04:48am

'Keep It Dark' is a fabulous piece of music.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by peterpyser on Mar 15th, 2017, 04:55am

on Mar 14th, 2017, 9:09pm, NoSonOfVine wrote:
I'm just going to have to say it. In my honest opinion, Genesis's worst album is not FGTR - it's Abacab.

Now, this sudden change of opinion might sound strange, if not ridiculous, at first. "Really? Abacab? But... it's not that bad, right? How can it possibly be worse than FGTR?"

Allow me to explain.

FGTR, to me, can be forgiven. It was their first album. Their first attempt at recorded music. And although it doesn't succeed, I'm starting to really like parts of it. I can appreciate the attempt at making it and specific bits of it have an eerie, wise, elderly tone. It's mostly forgettable to the point where most of it will never fully sink in, but this just makes the album all the more fascinating to me. It's a dark, mystical and intriguing antique.

Abacab, on the other hand, is bad for far worse reasons. I'm sorry, but I can't hold this opinion back any longer: It's a complete mess. It may have a few good songs, but even those good songs have underwhelming moments to me. My favourite track on the album is the title track, and even that song's instrumental ending isn't that great. The rest of the album is mostly mediocre and at times, entirely lacking in flavour and energy. And of course, the album is home to the band's biggest stinker. But even then, subtracting this one song doesn't significantly improve the album. The whole thing feels like it was slapped together, much like the colours of the album cover. It's inconsistent and it never truly gets itself going, and it doesn't even end well. It's just an overall highly unrewarding experience for me, and sticks out in their discography like a sore, multicoloured thumb.

Sorry to any Abacab fans but I wanted to get this off by chest after all these years. I've always been very critical of the album, but at the same time I kept trying to defend it in my head. I can no longer do so. It's a cold, ugly album. One that, quite frankly, I don't think I ever need to listen to again. Its three best songs are all on Three Sides Live and are amongst other great songs, and I'd much rather listen to that album any day of the week.


I've got a quick solution for you: don't listen to it.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by slowdancer on Mar 15th, 2017, 04:58am

Abacab is a really great album. Not only, because it includes some really great tracks, some of which have become Genesis classics by full right, but also, because it directed the band into a new direction soundwise. This is mainly the merit of producer Hugh Padgham, but also caused by a different approach of the band to writing and recording music.

I love almost every song on the album, and even the songs, that didn`t make it on the album are a real treat.

For me, Abacab is really an outstanding effort of the band.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by NoSonOfVine on Mar 15th, 2017, 05:30am

on Mar 15th, 2017, 01:03am, HENRY wrote:
Evaluation...

NoSon is either:

A: Extremely bored.
B: Running low on medication.
C: Desparately seeking attention.
D: All of the above.

grin

Do you feel that my opinion is not worth sharing? I swear that I am in no way trying to seek attention here. This truly is how I feel about the album now. There comes a time when I have to get an opinion off my chest. For years I'd always seen Abacab is a disappointing album, but it's never been able to grow on me.

If you or anyone else here really likes the album, I have nothing against that. If you don't understand why I now consider it their worst, think of it this way: You have two meals in front of you. One is a chicken and vegetable soup. The other is a plate of varying foods that don't contemplate each other (some foods on it are tasty, others are bland, some outright bad). You can only eat one, and you must eat all of the meal. So which would I pick? The chicken and vegetable soup. Because although it's a boring meal all the way through, it would be easier for me to digest it than a plate full of mixed food types. That's the problem with Abacab to me - it's too mixed up, it's all over the place.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Noni on Mar 15th, 2017, 06:31am

on Mar 14th, 2017, 9:09pm, NoSonOfVine wrote:
I'm just going to have to say it. In my honest opinion, Genesis's worst album is not FGTR - it's Abacab.

Now, this sudden change of opinion might sound strange, if not ridiculous, at first. "Really? Abacab? But... it's not that bad, right? How can it possibly be worse than FGTR?"

Allow me to explain.

FGTR, to me, can be forgiven. It was their first album. Their first attempt at recorded music. And although it doesn't succeed, I'm starting to really like parts of it. I can appreciate the attempt at making it and specific bits of it have an eerie, wise, elderly tone. It's mostly forgettable to the point where most of it will never fully sink in, but this just makes the album all the more fascinating to me. It's a dark, mystical and intriguing antique.

Abacab, on the other hand, is bad for far worse reasons. I'm sorry, but I can't hold this opinion back any longer: It's a complete mess. It may have a few good songs, but even those good songs have underwhelming moments to me. My favourite track on the album is the title track, and even that song's instrumental ending isn't that great. The rest of the album is mostly mediocre and at times, entirely lacking in flavour and energy. And of course, the album is home to the band's biggest stinker. But even then, subtracting this one song doesn't significantly improve the album. The whole thing feels like it was slapped together, much like the colours of the album cover. It's inconsistent and it never truly gets itself going, and it doesn't even end well. It's just an overall highly unrewarding experience for me, and sticks out in their discography like a sore, multicoloured thumb.

Sorry to any Abacab fans but I wanted to get this off by chest after all these years. I've always been very critical of the album, but at the same time I kept trying to defend it in my head. I can no longer do so. It's a cold, ugly album. One that, quite frankly, I don't think I ever need to listen to again. Its three best songs are all on Three Sides Live and are amongst other great songs, and I'd much rather listen to that album any day of the week.


Generally I view albums by how much I can play the whole thing and enjoy it... I agree on your comments NSOV about Abacab and rate this pretty average as there are quite a few tracks I want to ignore.... FGTR on the other hand was an album I grew up with during the mid 70s and although it does not have that Genesis feel to it, I love the album a lot!... Definitely not the worst from Genesis!.... I suppose it's the era you were born in and what you listened to growing up!.... smiley
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by onetwothree on Mar 15th, 2017, 06:58am

On the one hand, I really have nothing against ABACAB. I quite enjoy most of it, even "Who Dunnit?" (To me, "Another Record" is the real stinker.)

On the other hand, I do consider it a bit of a step down from most of what came before it. I feel like Genesis, though still quite good, was never quite the same from ABACAB on.

I also think that a better album than the actual ABACAB could have been assembled from the available material. I don't feel quite the same about any other Genesis album.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by NoSonOfVine on Mar 15th, 2017, 06:59am

on Mar 15th, 2017, 04:55am, peterpyser wrote:
I've got a quick solution for you: don't listen to it.

I won't. That doesn't mean we can't discuss it. smiley

By the way, in response to Dougal, I quite like KID, though it's not one of their best.

I might sound like I'm being overly harsh on the album, but trust me, I would love to enjoy this album, and yes it has its moments, but for me they are few and far between. undecided
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by The Cosmic Lawnmower on Mar 15th, 2017, 07:37am

I must say, Abacab was a major disapointment to me when it was released and subsequently I have never particularly warmed to it, although I find it more bearable than I used to. I think it could have been improved if some of the non-album tracks such as Paperlate / Submarine / Naminanu / Me & Virgil had been included in lieu of horrible things such as 'Who Dunnit' which taint the album (after all these years I still find it hard to believe they thought it was a good idea to put that on there!).
However I would rate this above WCD, which is the absolute nadir IMHO.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 15th, 2017, 08:14am

on Mar 15th, 2017, 04:58am, slowdancer wrote:
Abacab is a really great album. Not only, because it includes some really great tracks, some of which have become Genesis classics by full right.

Such as? There are some songs I might enjoy listening to but I would really struggle to define them as classics. That's an album that has been dropped by the band altogether and left no trace on radios. It is a very important one, that is undisputable but I always thought it was quite weak in terms of material.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by slowdancer on Mar 15th, 2017, 08:23am

on Mar 15th, 2017, 08:14am, Fabrizio wrote:
Such as?


Abacab
Dodo/Lurker
Me And Sarah Jane

non album tracks: Paperlate and You Might Recall (one of my all time favourite Genesis tracks).
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 15th, 2017, 09:08am

on Mar 15th, 2017, 08:23am, slowdancer wrote:
Abacab
Dodo/Lurker
Me And Sarah Jane

non album tracks: Paperlate and You Might Recall (one of my all time favourite Genesis tracks).


Again, though I like some of those: Dodo/Lurker
Me And Sarah Jane and You might recall, I really don't think these are songs the band will be remembered by. We probably have diffferent definitions of 'classics' but I feel it should go beyond personal taste. The general public doesn't remember those songs, you can still hear Invisible Touch, Into deep, No son of mine or I can't dance on the radio, on occasions even Mama or TTT. Abacab is gone and forgotten, commercially speaking it is hardly a classic, as for Genesis fans tha camp is highly divided at least, as for the band, the only song with a minimal chance to be reprised during their last tour was Abacab, it was a single and it is a quintessential live number,not a good one imo but still. They couldn't be bothered. It doesn't matter how I feel for instance about Invisible Touch, the song, I fully realize that you can't have a final tour without playing it. Rightly or wrong it is revered by many fans, it was a huge hit, it's a classic.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Dougal on Mar 15th, 2017, 09:14am

on Mar 15th, 2017, 06:59am, NoSonOfVine wrote:
By the way, in response to Dougal, I quite like KID, though it's not one of their best.

smiley
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by WinstonWolf on Mar 15th, 2017, 09:15am

I'm not surprised Abacab is a divisive album, because even for them it's pretty experimental, and often experiments don't always go the way one might want.

I like Abacab for several reasons, mostly because of the variety. It has the big "wall of sound" kinds of songs mixed in with some of the most stripped-down arrangements they ever did. This was their first attempt at recording as they were writing, which allowed them to create a lot of shorter songs that might otherwise gotten jammed together into longer pieces the more they rehearsed them.

I think the speed they were working at shows mostly in the lyrics, because while I think the music is uniformly great some tracks got some really first-draft words. While I think Keep It Dark is another one of their great story songs, and Me and Sarah Jane is typical Tony, Another Record is bogged down by some really banal lyrics and Man on the Corner is probably a little too on the nose and lacking any real depth or development.

But for me the album really stands out as being their most straight-ahead "rock" album and the energy makes Abacab a fun listen, if not as satisfyingly deep as it could have been.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by NoSonOfVine on Mar 15th, 2017, 12:50pm

on Mar 15th, 2017, 09:15am, WinstonWolf wrote:
Another Record is bogged down by some really banal lyrics and Man on the Corner is probably a little too on the nose and lacking any real depth or development.

And as for LION, that's another song that I just cannot enjoy. It just sounds awkward and clumsy, and the lyrics are lousy. That "Everything I haaaaad!" lyric certainly doesn't help.

On the other hand, I love YMR, and yet it was relegated to an EP. The other two tracks on that EP are also superior to most of the album IMHO. Naminanu and Submarine, two very decent tracks, were also left off.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by rael1974 on Mar 15th, 2017, 12:59pm

on Mar 15th, 2017, 05:30am, NoSonOfVine wrote:
Do you feel that my opinion is not worth sharing? I swear that I am in no way trying to seek attention here. This truly is how I feel about the album now. There comes a time when I have to get an opinion off my chest. For years I'd always seen Abacab is a disappointing album, but it's never been able to grow on me.

If you or anyone else here really likes the album, I have nothing against that. If you don't understand why I now consider it their worst, think of it this way: You have two meals in front of you. One is a chicken and vegetable soup. The other is a plate of varying foods that don't contemplate each other (some foods on it or tasty, others are bland, some outright bad). You can only eat one, and you must eat all of the meal. So which would I pick? The chicken and vegetable soup. Because although it's a boring meal all the way through, it would be easier for me to digest it than a plate full of mixed food types. That's the problem with Abacab to me - it's too mixed up, it's all over the place.


I think he was just being sarcastic. After all, it's HENRY that we're talking about.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 15th, 2017, 2:54pm

on Mar 15th, 2017, 12:50pm, NoSonOfVine wrote:
And as for LION, that's another song that I just cannot enjoy. It just sounds awkward and clumsy, and the lyrics are lousy. That "Everything I haaaaad!" lyric certainly doesn't help.

It should have been on a record I had the misfortune to buy; Acting very strange, so sappy it would have been a perfect fit.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Kerry95 on Mar 15th, 2017, 3:37pm

i have a good opinion about 'abacab', maybe because i always listen to my own extended version of it, with the five outtakes added at the end. songs such as you might recall and paperlate raise the average mark. the album 'abacab' just as it was released, with no outtakes, seems incomplete to me.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Dr. John on Mar 15th, 2017, 4:06pm

on Mar 15th, 2017, 05:30am, NoSonOfVine wrote:
That's the problem with Abacab to me - it's too mixed up, it's all over the place.


I disagree on this point. I find Abacab pretty unified in its sound and style. Many of the songs focus more on groove and feel (title track, Keep It Dark, No Reply at All, main section of Dodo, Whodunnit) rather than chord progressions (probably because there was more focus on jamming). Although various older songs had grooves or sections based on grooves, they have never had a album so dominated by grooves.

There is also the focus on a more simple soundscape. Gone for the most part are the rich, orchestral textures that dominated up to ATTW3 and were still present for parts of Duke. Random snippets sound more like new wave than prog.

So I find the album pretty cohesive. I think it is a bit light in the lyrics department. I really like about half the tracks and tolerate the rest.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by snowdog on Mar 16th, 2017, 06:45am

As you've all probably guessed by now, I'm a huge fan of Abacab. To me, it's a slightly flawed gem of an album. Yes, the last few minutes of the title track seem to wander around lost before finally ending in a slow fade. They should have brought the song to a proper close as they did on 3SL, where all the improvising suddenly regains focus and nails the landing at the end. And yes, some of outtakes were more solid than some of tracks that made the album, Paperlate and YMR in particular.

But that's the end of my criticism, as I enjoy every track on the album for what it is, even the dreaded track-which-shall-not-be-named. The fun and energy on display from the band more than make up for a couple weaker songs and some intentionally abstract lyrics. I agree that it's really the band's only straight rock album, except for maybe the Genesis album... (and maybe CAS?). IT and WCD land more squarely in the pop category, not that I dislike them entirely.

And yes, I even think Another Record is a great way to end the album, with its bluesy faux harmonica and entreaty to put another record on. To sum it up, Abacab is great, fun rock album from a superbly talented prog/rock/pop band. Besides, deep down, "You know you like it." grin
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by foxfeeder on Mar 16th, 2017, 07:58am

Is it just me who thinks, lyrically, that Keep It Dark harks back to the track, A Trick of the Tail?
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 16th, 2017, 08:03am

on Mar 16th, 2017, 06:45am, snowdog wrote:
Besides, deep down, "You know you like it." grin

I'll admit and concede that I am more likely to listen to Abacab than IT, which is a lean mean, glossy, well oiled, relentless hits machine, where almost every song is 'perfect' and suits the purpose.
Abacab certaily retains a certain charm which goes beyond the merits of the material per se and the energy IS infectious. Still the material is too 'thin' and I would agree with the original sentiment of the thread that it is one of their weakest releases. We can debate over the reasons but imo it pales when compared to the first side of the Mama album. I think in dropping old habits, they were a bit lost and they seemed to be sure about what the didn't want, not so much about what they wanted or how to achieve it and it would be understandable.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by WinstonWolf on Mar 16th, 2017, 09:33am

on Mar 16th, 2017, 08:03am, Fabrizio wrote:
I think in dropping old habits, they were a bit lost and they seemed to be sure about what the didn't want, not so much about what they wanted or how to achieve it and it would be understandable.


I agree, and their later feelings about the album seem to back that up. Abacab was important because it really opened up their ability to write and record on their own terms and own time, but you can tell they were still working things out.

Genesis is certainly more polished, and they adapted to their new writing/recording style quite quickly, because IT and WCD seemed even more confident and effortless for them to make.

But sadly Abacab was the last album they made that really had any kind of a raw edge to it. Which is why I tend to prefer live versions of their later material.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 16th, 2017, 10:02am

on Mar 16th, 2017, 09:33am, WinstonWolf wrote:
Genesis is certainly more polished, and they adapted to their new writing/recording style quite quickly, because IT and WCD seemed even more confident and effortless for them to make.

But sadly Abacab was the last album they made that really had any kind of a raw edge to it. Which is why I tend to prefer live versions of their later material.

Actually, while I agree that Genesis was more polished, I still hear a lot of edge in it. I remember hearing Mama and HBTS and thinking that they had found the way to remain relevant and still retain their essence as a band.
There is also another aspect which perhaps has some sort of weight; between 1980 and 1983 they were pushing real hard, capitalizing on the momentum. Phil became a star and just like Tony and Mike released two solo albums, they released Duke, Abacab, Genesis and 3SL....A lot, it is also possible that they were a bit dry of ideas.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by rael1974 on Mar 16th, 2017, 1:57pm

on Mar 16th, 2017, 07:58am, foxfeeder wrote:
Is it just me who thinks, lyrically, that Keep It Dark harks back to the track, A Trick of the Tail?


How so?
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by NoSonOfVine on Mar 16th, 2017, 4:58pm

on Mar 16th, 2017, 1:57pm, rael1974 wrote:
How so?

A character tells others of a magical world. They disbelieve him.

KID is a decent track, but I certainly wouldn't say it's "fabulous" as Dougal described it. I much prefer ATOTT to it.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by rael1974 on Mar 16th, 2017, 7:26pm

on Mar 16th, 2017, 4:58pm, NoSonOfVine wrote:
A character tells others of a magical world. They disbelieve him.


Ah yes, that's right. The only difference is whether the creatures of subject are terrestrial or not.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Schrottrocker on Mar 17th, 2017, 07:32am

Am I the only one who sees 'Me and Sarah Jane' as the one track that sticks out completely on this album? It is full of complex Tony chord changes and has a progressive structure, meaning it never repeats any part, unlike the verse/chorus songs. But even more, the whole sound of it is so much different from that "raw" edgy Abacab sound.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by rael1974 on Mar 17th, 2017, 1:04pm

on Mar 17th, 2017, 07:32am, Schrottrocker wrote:
Am I the only one who sees 'Me and Sarah Jane' as the one track that sticks out completely on this album? It is full of complex Tony chord changes and has a progressive structure, meaning it never repeats any part, unlike the verse/chorus songs. But even more, the whole sound of it is so much different from that "raw" edgy Abacab sound.


No I have similar thoughts. I outlined this in my original post on this thread, although I didn't mention the chord changes.

"3. The album is often times described as having an abstract and minimalist sound to it. Although I agree with this for the most part, "No Reply At All", "Me And Sara Jane", and "Like It Or Not" don't always fit these descriptions to my ears. At least parts on these songs have a fuller sound and a romanticism to them, unlike the other songs. "Like It Or Not" could work as a song on Duke if you ask me."
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by onetwothree on Mar 17th, 2017, 1:13pm

on Mar 15th, 2017, 2:54pm, Fabrizio wrote:
["Like It Or Not"] should have been on a record I had the misfortune to buy; Acting very strange

As long as someone besides Mike sang it... and everything else on the album, for that matter!
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 17th, 2017, 2:59pm

on Mar 17th, 2017, 1:13pm, onetwothree wrote:
As long as someone besides Mike sang it... and everything else on the album, for that matter!

Yeah, well, Mike deciding to sing on it was a brave but ultimately misguided move but I don't think it was the main problem with that album, as for LION, not even Phil was able to infuse some life into it.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by rael1974 on Mar 18th, 2017, 12:24am

Am I the only one that likes "Like It Or Not", whether it should have been on Abacab or not?
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by TonyEdwards on Mar 18th, 2017, 07:44am

It's the Genesis album I play most, and have done for a few years. The production is superb, and timeless. There isn't a song on the album I ever feel inclined to skip. There are some standout tracks: Abacab, Dodo/Lurker, Me & Sarah Jane, Keep It Dark. And the outtakes from the Abacab sessions (especially You Might Recall, which alternates with Cinema Show as my favourite Genesis track) are fantastic too. I love a listen to Abacab Complete, what Abacab would have been had they gone ahead and released it as a double.

I say all that as someone who was somewhat bemused by the album on its release, given what had gone before.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by onetwothree on Mar 18th, 2017, 08:08am

on Mar 18th, 2017, 12:24am, rael1974 wrote:
Am I the only one that likes "Like It Or Not", whether it should have been on Abacab or not?

No, you're not. I like it too. Unexpectedly, at the time the album was new, it was the one track from the album I heard the most on the local radio station. And it wasn't even a single. I think the only other one they played was "No Reply At All" -- no "Abacab," no "Man On The Corner."
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 18th, 2017, 09:08am

on Mar 18th, 2017, 07:44am, TonyEdwards wrote:
what Abacab would have been had they gone ahead and released it as a double.



That's an interesting perspective, I' have an opposite one: the best material on Abacab and Genesis would have made one hell an album, of course including You might recall.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 18th, 2017, 09:11am

on Mar 18th, 2017, 08:08am, onetwothree wrote:
And it wasn't even a single.

Why do you think is that? It is after all a pop song and it would have seemed like an obvious choice for a single, Instead of others

Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by WinstonWolf on Mar 18th, 2017, 09:23am

on Mar 18th, 2017, 09:11am, Fabrizio wrote:
Why do you think is that? It is after all a pop song and it would have seemed like an obvious choice for a single, Instead of others


I don't know. I think it sounds more radio-friendly than Keep It Dark, which was a single.


Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 18th, 2017, 09:29am

on Mar 18th, 2017, 09:23am, WinstonWolf wrote:
I don't know. I think it sounds more radio-friendly than Keep It Dark, which was a single.


It certainly does but the band didn't believe in it, radio-friendliness doesn't necessarily mean good and I'm strictly talking about commercial potential. Personally I doubt it would have charted but I could be wrong and the band might have taken the wrong decision.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by WinstonWolf on Mar 18th, 2017, 09:46am

on Mar 17th, 2017, 07:32am, Schrottrocker wrote:
Am I the only one who sees 'Me and Sarah Jane' as the one track that sticks out completely on this album? It is full of complex Tony chord changes and has a progressive structure, meaning it never repeats any part, unlike the verse/chorus songs. But even more, the whole sound of it is so much different from that "raw" edgy Abacab sound.


I'm a yes and no on that one. To me it still stands out as being the "Tony" song of the album, absolutely, but I think it would have been much different had it been on any other album besides Abacab. First, I think it does have the raw "Abacab" sound. There's more space in Tony's playing (probably because of the drum machine) but the drums slice through everything else on that track, just like every other song on Abacab.

Had Me And Sarah Jane been on Wind or Three there would have been at least two more keyboard overdubs of string or synth sounds holding down those chords, and the guitar and drums would have buried somewhere under that a la Undertow or Afterglow.

Duke is the step towards paring down their BIG sound, but it's still sitting in the middle. Abacab definitely found out just how stripped down they could get and still sound like Genesis, which is why I think it's so divisive. Everyone's opinion of what "and still sound like Genesis" means to them is different.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 18th, 2017, 09:59am

on Mar 18th, 2017, 09:46am, WinstonWolf wrote:
Everyone's opinion of what "and still sound like Genesis" means to them is different.

I don't know whether that has been done already but it would be an interesting thread to try and define what is Genesis' sound and what does sound like Genesis.
About Tony, I love his music: sound, songwriting and playing, to me it is the one memeber Genesis cannot live without, that said I believe he has his limitations as well and he was becoming quite monolitic. After Peter left he took over and while it was good for most of the parts it was getting too much imo and was leading the band nowhere.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by TonyEdwards on Mar 18th, 2017, 4:18pm

on Mar 18th, 2017, 09:08am, Fabrizio wrote:
That's an interesting perspective, I' have an opposite one: the best material on Abacab and Genesis would have made one hell an album, of course including You might recall.


To be clear, I wasn't suggesting an Abacab double album would have been a good idea - I just love listening to its unofficial release!

Much as I love the outtakes, they don't (to my ears anyway) have quite the same production values as the album tracks. I'd be interested to hear the views on this of others with a better ear than me.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by NoSonOfVine on Mar 18th, 2017, 4:37pm

on Mar 18th, 2017, 07:44am, TonyEdwards wrote:
It's the Genesis album I play most, and have done for a few years. The production is superb, and timeless. There isn't a song on the album I ever feel inclined to skip. There are some standout tracks: Abacab, Dodo/Lurker, Me & Sarah Jane, Keep It Dark. And the outtakes from the Abacab sessions (especially You Might Recall, which alternates with Cinema Show as my favourite Genesis track) are fantastic too. I love a listen to Abacab Complete, what Abacab would have been had they gone ahead and released it as a double.

I say all that as someone who was somewhat bemused by the album on its release, given what had gone before.

So, our opinions of the album are at opposite ends of the spectrum entirely. I still think it's fascinating that two different fans of Genesis can hear the same album in entirely different ways. smiley

By the way, if I were forced to make a choice, I'd absolutely listen to Abacab over any album by Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus, Snoop Dogg, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, etc. laugh
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by TonyEdwards on Mar 18th, 2017, 4:54pm

on Mar 18th, 2017, 4:37pm, NoSonOfVine wrote:
So, our opinions of the album are at opposite ends of the spectrum entirely. I still think it's fascinating that two different fans of Genesis can hear the same album in entirely different ways. smiley


Absolutely - they've released such a great diversity of material, it's no surprise that fans have differing views of what the "best" album or era is.

Two other things to love about Abacab, by the way: Collins' voice; and Collins' drumming.


Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Dust on Mar 18th, 2017, 7:31pm

on Mar 18th, 2017, 12:24am, rael1974 wrote:
Am I the only one that likes "Like It Or Not", whether it should have been on Abacab or not?

I like it a lot.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by rael1974 on Mar 19th, 2017, 12:48am

on Mar 18th, 2017, 4:37pm, NoSonOfVine wrote:
By the way, if I were forced to make a choice, I'd absolutely listen to Abacab over any album by Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus, Snoop Dogg, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, etc. laugh


Good to know. smiley
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 19th, 2017, 08:09am

on Mar 18th, 2017, 4:54pm, TonyEdwards wrote:
Two other things to love about Abacab, by the way: Collins' voice; and Collins' drumming.


I am with you with the former not so much with the latter.
To me Abacab and Genesis represent the peak of Phil's vocal performances and to be clear I am not talking about what he sings, rather how he sings it. On Abacab particularly, since we broght up terms like 'edge' and 'raw', much of it is due to his voice and performances imo.
As for the drumming, well, OK, he plays the way he is supposed to be playing on Abacab, mostly backbeats but when one considers what he played on previous records and how he played it, it's hard to say his drumming really stands out on Abacab. There's a strong empahsis on sound of course, the sound he started devoloping with and for Peter on PG3 and yes, that sound was captivating even though imo he ended up milking it too much throughout the years but from Abacab on he will increasingly become more of the singer and less of the drummer.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Kerry95 on Mar 19th, 2017, 08:18am

i think that like or not was included because they presumably made the deal to include one individual song by each member.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by HENRY on Mar 19th, 2017, 08:47am

on Mar 19th, 2017, 08:18am, Kerry95 wrote:
i think that like or not was included because they presumably made the deal to include one individual song by each member.
Arguably, not a deliberate consideration. Yes, the writing contributions were delegated evenly, but that does not deem that this song was included specificly to adhere to that conclusion.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by HENRY on Mar 19th, 2017, 09:10am

I haven't gone through all of the responses to this thread, but I think that a few issues need to be considered...

According to the band, Abacab represents how they had actually sounded in the studio without post production and other manipulations. Heck, the latter half of "Abacab" is essentially a straight recording of a jam session.

It seems that many folks who are bothered by the album insist upon some sort of "traditional" sound by the band, but the band members themselves acknowledge that is what they wanted to avoid. Artists move on; sometimes that doesn't figure into expectations. So, who's version is most valid? The artist, or the random outsider?

Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by HENRY on Mar 19th, 2017, 09:16am

on Mar 18th, 2017, 12:24am, rael1974 wrote:
Am I the only one that likes "Like It Or Not", whether it should have been on Abacab or not?

Hell, I love it. Always one of my favorite Genesis tracks. Was fortunate to see and hear the band play it live. Great song.

Funny how it seems relegated to being a "pop" song. Predujices certainly run deep.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by TonyEdwards on Mar 19th, 2017, 10:53am

on Mar 19th, 2017, 08:09am, Fabrizio wrote:
I am with you with the former not so much with the latter.
To me Abacab and Genesis represent the peak of Phil's vocal performances and to be clear I am not talking about what he sings, rather how he sings it. On Abacab particularly, since we broght up terms like 'edge' and 'raw', much of it is due to his voice and performances imo.
As for the drumming, well, OK, he plays the way he is supposed to be playing on Abacab, mostly backbeats but when one considers what he played on previous records and how he played it, it's hard to say his drumming really stands out on Abacab. There's a strong empahsis on sound of course, the sound he started devoloping with and for Peter on PG3 and yes, that sound was captivating even though imo he ended up milking it too much throughout the years but from Abacab on he will increasingly become more of the singer and less of the drummer.


I respectfully disagree; his playing on Abacab, even if not as busy as on previous albums, is exquisite (Me & Sarah Jane in particular).

Bit of a diversion - Phil at the Band Aid recording:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kG2AqnDhz4
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by foxfeeder on Mar 19th, 2017, 12:04pm

on Mar 18th, 2017, 4:37pm, NoSonOfVine wrote:
So, our opinions of the album are at opposite ends of the spectrum entirely. I still think it's fascinating that two different fans of Genesis can hear the same album in entirely different ways. smiley

By the way, if I were forced to make a choice, I'd absolutely listen to Abacab over any album by Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus, Snoop Dogg, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, etc. laugh


Damning with faint praise!

(Hell, I'd choose Joe Dolce over Snoop Dogg!)
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by WinstonWolf on Mar 19th, 2017, 1:08pm

on Mar 19th, 2017, 10:53am, TonyEdwards wrote:
I respectfully disagree; his playing on Abacab, even if not as busy as on previous albums, is exquisite (Me & Sarah Jane in particular).


I agree. Just because Phil wasn't throwing in a ton of "look at me" fills all over the place (which he really stopped doing WAY before Abacab) it doesn't mean the playing is that much less impressive, it's just doing things differently.

Songs like You Might Recall and the instrumental half of Abacab have some very odd bass drum placement. No Reply At All sounds simple but the way Phil's playing blends with the drum machine is very hard to do well and the way every verse is a little different from the last shows how even "simple" parts grow and develop in a standard pop song.

Me and Sarah Jane has some deceptively busy parts and again if that song had been on an earlier album I don't think Phil would have chosen anything nearly as funky as what he ended up playing. Dodo/Lurker is also pretty busy, but again a bit deceptive because the busyness is often hiding inside the bigger, more obvious parts of the groove.

Like everyone else, Phil was trying different ways to play, and almost every track shows off some element he'd really not done before. Because the overall drum sound got pushed up in the mix Phil was using dynamics and note placement more than before. Fewer bombastic fills, yes, but there's still a lot of subtlety and creativity there.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 19th, 2017, 2:26pm

on Mar 19th, 2017, 10:53am, TonyEdwards wrote:
I respectfully disagree; his playing on Abacab, even if not as busy as on previous albums, is exquisite (Me & Sarah Jane in particular).

Bit of a diversion - Phil at the Band Aid recording:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kG2AqnDhz4

You are right, Me&Sarah Jane is exquisite and personally I never saw Phil as a 'busy' player.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 19th, 2017, 2:48pm

on Mar 19th, 2017, 1:08pm, WinstonWolf wrote:
I agree. Just because Phil wasn't throwing in a ton of "look at me" fills all over the place (which he really stopped doing WAY before Abacab) it doesn't mean the playing is that much less impressive, it's just doing things differently.

Songs like You Might Recall and the instrumental half of Abacab have some very odd bass drum placement. No Reply At All sounds simple but the way Phil's playing blends with the drum machine is very hard to do well and the way every verse is a little different from the last shows how even "simple" parts grow and develop in a standard pop song.

Me and Sarah Jane has some deceptively busy parts and again if that song had been on an earlier album I don't think Phil would have chosen anything nearly as funky as what he ended up playing. Dodo/Lurker is also pretty busy, but again a bit deceptive because the busyness is often hiding inside the bigger, more obvious parts of the groove.

Like everyone else, Phil was trying different ways to play, and almost every track shows off some element he'd really not done before. Because the overall drum sound got pushed up in the mix Phil was using dynamics and note placement more than before. Fewer bombastic fills, yes, but there's still a lot of subtlety and creativity there.

I've always regarded Phil's drumming as functional, musical and versatile. Never flashy, in Carl Palmer's fashion or Bill 'Keep up with me' Bruford. In 81, Abacab release year, he played and produced John Martyn's record Glorious Fool and his playing there, quite far from familiar territory, is simply amazing. The same apply to his drumming with Brand X of which he was still a member. If we accept that as a drummer he served the song and say that the songs became 'simplier' the rest is a logic consequence, than of course he is still a grear drummer and in 81 he was still at the top of his game but it is no blasphemy to say that somewhere along the way drumming became less and less important to him, compared to songwriting and singing. Sure, there are nice things on Abacab but it is where this all process begins imo. It goes for Tony too btw, still a great player but it is not an insult to say that he used to play more demanding stuff.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Merryman72 on Mar 19th, 2017, 6:58pm

on Mar 16th, 2017, 7:26pm, rael1974 wrote:
Ah yes, that's right. The only difference is whether the creatures of subject are terrestrial or not.

[Re. "Trick of the Tail" and "Keep it Dark"]

I don't think it's specified in either case whether the "creatures" are terrestrial or not, right?

[By the way, I replied to this thinking that it was the most recent comment, but it just turned out to be the last comment on the page I was viewing..!]
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by rael1974 on Mar 19th, 2017, 10:00pm

on Mar 19th, 2017, 09:10am, HENRY wrote:
It seems that many folks who are bothered by the album insist upon some sort of "traditional" sound by the band, but the band members themselves acknowledge that is what they wanted to avoid. Artists move on; sometimes that doesn't figure into expectations. So, who's version is most valid? The artist, or the random outsider?


You make a very good point there.

on Mar 19th, 2017, 6:58pm, Merryman72 wrote:
[Re. "Trick of the Tail" and "Keep it Dark"]

I don't think it's specified in either case whether the "creatures" are terrestrial or not, right?

[By the way, I replied to this thinking that it was the most recent comment, but it just turned out to be the last comment on the page I was viewing..!]


I guess you're right about "A Trick Of The Tail", but I remember Tony Banks stating the lyrics of "Keep It Dark" are about a man who was abducted specifically by aliens. I don't have the source or quote for that though.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by onetwothree on Mar 20th, 2017, 07:02am

on Mar 18th, 2017, 7:31pm, Dust wrote:
I like it a lot.

Is "like it a lot" meant to be sung to the tune of "like it or not"?
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by rael1974 on Mar 20th, 2017, 10:27am

on Mar 20th, 2017, 07:02am, onetwothree wrote:
Is "like it a lot" meant to be sung to the tune of "like it or not"?


laugh
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Backdrifter on Mar 22nd, 2017, 12:33pm

I'm firmly on the pro-Abacab side. After The Lamb, it's my favourite Genesis album and one I play all of quite frequently. I like the more open, spacey, edgier feel of it. The stripping-down and focusing of their musical dexterity contributed a lot to this. PC still sounds very clearly like a great drummer on this album. It takes an already excellent musician to do simpler stuff and make it sound great. I like all the songs to some extent, with M&SJ and KID being two of my absolute favourite Genesis songs.

My 'version' of the album reinstates Naminanu and Submarine either side of Dodo/Lurker. I do admit it would be a better album with those in, and any 2 of the final 4 tracks out. But for me, none of them are stinkers.

I love that they were working on a whole different album then realised it was like the last 2 albums all over again and junked it, and started over again to produce Abacab. I have huge respect for a band that takes that sort of approach. I have the strong feeling that if they'd come out with something very like Duke or ATTWT, I would probably have started to get bored and gone off them. Abacab gave their sound, and my appreciation of it, a shot in the arm.

Therefore, I disagree with every single thing in the original post, though I've always understood why some fans don't like the album. No need for the 'apology' to Abacab fans though, at least not to me. I'm interested by some of the reasons for the dislike but ultimately it doesn't matter to me.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by rael1974 on Mar 22nd, 2017, 1:08pm

on Mar 22nd, 2017, 12:33pm, Backdrifter wrote:
After The Lamb, it's my favourite Genesis album and one I play all of quite frequently.


Ah, a fellow Lambite (if that's not a thing, it should be)! Nice!
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 22nd, 2017, 3:02pm

on Mar 22nd, 2017, 12:33pm, Backdrifter wrote:
I like the more open, spacey, edgier feel of it. The stripping-down and focusing of their musical dexterity contributed a lot to this. PC still sounds very clearly like a great drummer on this album.
I love that they were working on a whole different album then realised it was like the last 2 albums all over again and junked it, and started over again to produce Abacab. I have huge respect for a band that takes that sort of approach. I have the strong feeling that if they'd come out with something very like Duke or ATTWT, I would probably have started to get bored and gone off them. Abacab gave their sound, and my appreciation of it, a shot in the arm.

Therefore, I disagree with every single thing in the original post, though I've always understood why some fans don't like the album. No need for the 'apology' to Abacab fans though, at least not to me. I'm interested by some of the reasons for the dislike but ultimately it doesn't matter to me.

I agree with almost everything you say and yet I cannot share your enthusiasm for the album. For starters it's much more interesting to debate in these terms than being automatically lumped as an old era fan or Phil hater and such. I too have a tremendous respect for what they did, it wasn't easy and much as I like Tony's music I feel on Duke, particularly with his solo songs, including Evidence of Autumn, it was getting a bit tired and formulaic. IMO they wouldn't have survived the new decade and I mean both commercially AND musically.
Phil as a drummer, as I said clearly was still in his prime, this cannot possibly change with one record, only with the new course, less was required and I simply missed that, I don't think there's any sly on him implied.
Abacab was pivotal or, as music critics love to say: 'seminal' for the band, only for my money very, very poor and thin , materialwise and by that I don't mean compared to say Foxtrot or SEbtP but rather Genesis or from a commercial point of view, Invisible Touch.
It says imo something that no song was included on their last tour or even with Ray for that matter and it says something that you won't hear any Abacab song on the radio today, although some of those songs are radio friendly. It's even OK to like stuff like LION or Paperlate, although to my ears they are nothing more than fillers which have been generally forgotten but without belittling the importance of the album I think time put things in perspective for it.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by FeelItComing on Mar 22nd, 2017, 4:36pm

on Mar 22nd, 2017, 12:33pm, Backdrifter wrote:
I'm firmly on the pro-Abacab side. After The Lamb, it's my favourite Genesis album and one I play all of quite frequently. I like the more open, spacey, edgier feel of it. The stripping-down and focusing of their musical dexterity contributed a lot to this. PC still sounds very clearly like a great drummer on this album. It takes an already excellent musician to do simpler stuff and make it sound great. I like all the songs to some extent, with M&SJ and KID being two of my absolute favourite Genesis songs.

My 'version' of the album reinstates Naminanu and Submarine either side of Dodo/Lurker. I do admit it would be a better album with those in, and any 2 of the final 4 tracks out. But for me, none of them are stinkers.

I love that they were working on a whole different album then realised it was like the last 2 albums all over again and junked it, and started over again to produce Abacab. I have huge respect for a band that takes that sort of approach. I have the strong feeling that if they'd come out with something very like Duke or ATTWT, I would probably have started to get bored and gone off them. Abacab gave their sound, and my appreciation of it, a shot in the arm.

Therefore, I disagree with every single thing in the original post, though I've always understood why some fans don't like the album. No need for the 'apology' to Abacab fans though, at least not to me. I'm interested by some of the reasons for the dislike but ultimately it doesn't matter to me.


I agree with you. For the title track & Dodo/Lurker alone, this is actually now my second favourite album (after WCD). I love the 'new wave' sound of it & I am normally not a 'new wave' person. I put it with Queen's News Of The World & Billy Joel's Glass Houses as an answer to new wave. It doesn't bother me that on their last tour they played nothing from it.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by NoSonOfVine on Mar 22nd, 2017, 4:44pm

I honestly didn't know so many people would defend the album, with some even regarding it a classic of their discography. Like I said, maybe I'm just too hard on it, or I just don't "get" it. On the other hand, perhaps my dislike of it is just a testament to how much this band means to me. Genesis's music is often of such an near-unsurpassably high standard that it's really noticeable to me when they make something that doesn't cut the mustard.

Specifically, what I think of each track:

Abacab: Main part is great, the ending is only so-so however, and overlong.
No Reply At All: Middling and forgettable, should have been on a Phil Collins solo album.
Me And Sarah Jane: Good, at times great, but below average for a Tony song.
Keep It Dark: Just good, not much else to say about it.
Dodo/Lurker: Great, though like Abacab I much prefer the first section to the second section.
Who Dunnit?: Terrible. Occasional bits are listenable, but most of it is too obnoxious for me.
Man On The Corner: Boring, mediocre and forgettable.
Like It Or Not: Same as the previous, possibly worse.
Another Record: A middling conclusion to the album. However, I'll admit that it's the best of the final three and better than NRAA.

Overall, everything on it blends together into a shapeless lump of odds and ends, good bits and bad bits, complete songs and incomplete songs... and that's why it's my least favourite. It's listenable but lacks a certain ideal magic that the other Genesis albums have; even FGTR has some of that Genesis magic. I know it sounds like I'm just making up excuses to justify my opinion, as if I'm actively trying to dislike it, but I'm not.

Some on the forum dislike IT and WCD for the same or similar reasons I've given throughout this discussion. Personally I love both of those albums, IT because I just like everything on it, and WCD because although it's overlong and could have had two or three tracks cut from it, the great moments heavily outweigh the not-so-great ones.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 22nd, 2017, 5:36pm

on Mar 22nd, 2017, 4:44pm, NoSonOfVine wrote:
I honestly didn't know so many people would defend the album
Personally I love both of those albums, IT because I just like everything on it, and WCD because although it's overlong and could have had two or three tracks cut from it, the great moments heavily outweigh the not-so-great ones.

You shouldn't be surprised, people like or dislike things for different reasons, all of them valid....Or none at the same time. For instance while I may agree with you on Abacab I disagree on IT which I dislike for being a glossy, soulless hit machine or WCD, where my opinion is exactly the opposite, a couple of very good songs drowned in mediocrity but so what? Vive la difference!I do however, sometimes think that even being fans we could go beyond the scope of what we like and think that is generally 'great'. I like stuff like Undertow and Open Door, for instance, I know though they are far from being 'classics'. They are just cute littlle things I happen to like, Genesis as a band will not be remembered by them, I understand why they are not played live, the majority of fans don't think highly of them and I suspect that goes for the band as well.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by NoSonOfVine on Mar 22nd, 2017, 6:37pm

on Mar 22nd, 2017, 5:36pm, Fabrizio wrote:
You shouldn't be surprised, people like or dislike things for different reasons, all of them valid....Or none at the same time. For instance while I may agree with you on Abacab I disagree on IT which I dislike for being a glossy, soulless hit machine or WCD, where my opinion is exactly the opposite, a couple of very good songs drowned in mediocrity but so what? Vive la difference!

I've always loved both of these albums because of the cheerful enthusiasm and energy present on both. IT is cheesy, yes, but delightfully so, in my opinion. WCD is a nice mixture of fun, poignant and powerful songs, with the odd forgivable blip here and there.

Quote:
I do however, sometimes think that even being fans we could go beyond the scope of what we like and think that is generally 'great'. I like stuff like Undertow and Open Door, for instance, I know though they are far from being 'classics'.

I consider Undertow to be one of their finest gems and one of the best short (less then 5 minutes) songs ever written. Everything about it is spot-on: the lyrics, the tone, the atmospherics, the sense of honest emotion and deep meaning (the desire to never stop fighting to keep your family safe, even when faced with year after year of pain and sorrow).
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Backdrifter on Mar 23rd, 2017, 04:55am

on Mar 22nd, 2017, 3:02pm, Fabrizio wrote:
I agree with almost everything you say and yet I cannot share your enthusiasm for the album. For starters it's much more interesting to debate in these terms than being automatically lumped as an old era fan or Phil hater and such. I too have a tremendous respect for what they did, it wasn't easy and much as I like Tony's music I feel on Duke, particularly with his solo songs, including Evidence of Autumn, it was getting a bit tired and formulaic. IMO they wouldn't have survived the new decade and I mean both commercially AND musically.
Phil as a drummer, as I said clearly was still in his prime, this cannot possibly change with one record, only with the new course, less was required and I simply missed that, I don't think there's any sly on him implied.
Abacab was pivotal or, as music critics love to say: 'seminal' for the band, only for my money very, very poor and thin , materialwise and by that I don't mean compared to say Foxtrot or SEbtP but rather Genesis or from a commercial point of view, Invisible Touch.
It says imo something that no song was included on their last tour or even with Ray for that matter and it says something that you won't hear any Abacab song on the radio today, although some of those songs are radio friendly. It's even OK to like stuff like LION or Paperlate, although to my ears they are nothing more than fillers which have been generally forgotten but without belittling the importance of the album I think time put things in perspective for it.


I get that, it's possible to accept and respect the bold change of direction etc but still not like the result. What I don't buy into is the idea that the absence of it from the 07 tour or its lack of radio play are somehow indicators of its poor quality. Both those omissions apply to plenty of their other stuff as well.

As to NoSonOfVine's remarks above, I really don't think there's anything to chew over regarding whether or not you "get" it - if you don't like it, you don't like it. As I said, I can absolutely see how within their body of work some fans dislike it very much. It's definitely not one for all Genesis fans. My favourite album is The Lamb but I'm aware many Genesis fans don't much like that one either and I can understand that too. W&W is a very firm favourite of many fans but it leaves me cold and is one of my least favourites (even though Blood and Afterglow are among their very best songs in my opinion).
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 23rd, 2017, 08:24am

on Mar 22nd, 2017, 6:37pm, NoSonOfVine wrote:
I consider Undertow to be one of their finest gems and one of the best short (less then 5 minutes) songs ever written.

Much as I like it and I've always have, I'd be the first to concede that Tony has done better and it probably remains in the dark horse category. As for the lenght, since we are discussing Abacab, it is an attempt to do things differently but not quite, the song was heavily edited with bits ending up on A Curious Feeling but imo it suffers from this editing, it remains a typical Banks' songs, as such it begs for and intro, requires and instrumental bridge with a classical Tony's crescendo and an outro would fit just fine. Only with Abacab they really will try to approach things differently and my guess is Tony was the one having the most trouble coping with it.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 23rd, 2017, 08:35am

on Mar 23rd, 2017, 04:55am, Backdrifter wrote:
I get that, it's possible to accept and respect the bold change of direction etc but still not like the result. What I don't buy into is the idea that the absence of it from the 07 tour or its lack of radio play are somehow indicators of its poor quality.

Thanks, that is exactly it, I applaud the bravery, I think it was much needed only the 'meat' isn't quite there for me,it is there however, on the first side of the subsequent album. Again, I think a song like Whodunnit was quite representative: they knew it was onboxious, they knew it was going to rile and diconcert fans, they dropped stuff like You might recall in its favor and yet they did it anyway. Quite ballsy, I admire that, the song remains bad anyway.
As for dropping the material from the tour, it is of course no absolute indicator, particularly when you have a catalogue spanning over decades, I am proabably reading too much into it but it is odd, as the only album from the new course not to be represented at all, wouldn't you say? I understand not playing stuff from Trespass, NC, Foxtrot and of course CAS but a record from 81?
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Backdrifter on Mar 23rd, 2017, 3:21pm

on Mar 23rd, 2017, 08:35am, Fabrizio wrote:
As for dropping the material from the tour, it is of course no absolute indicator, particularly when you have a catalogue spanning over decades, I am proabably reading too much into it but it is odd, as the only album from the new course not to be represented at all, wouldn't you say? I understand not playing stuff from Trespass, NC, Foxtrot and of course CAS but a record from 81?


Yes it's a little odd, and for me disappointing, but on balance I do think you're reading too much into it. Plus, even though I like the album a lot, I don't think it ever translated very well live. The title track worked best, Dodo/Lurker was okay, but of the rest even ones I love such as M&SJ and KID were pretty lame in their live versions. As a live band I don't think they were a natural fit for that much sparser, spacier sound.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Backdrifter on Mar 23rd, 2017, 3:24pm

on Mar 22nd, 2017, 1:08pm, rael1974 wrote:
Ah, a fellow Lambite (if that's not a thing, it should be)! Nice!


Oh, it's a thing, and I am.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by NoSonOfVine on Mar 23rd, 2017, 3:42pm

on Mar 23rd, 2017, 3:24pm, Backdrifter wrote:
Oh, it's a thing, and I am.

I'm fairly sure most people on this forum are big fans of TTLDOB.

I am one. It is a near-masterpiece.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 23rd, 2017, 3:51pm

on Mar 23rd, 2017, 3:21pm, Backdrifter wrote:
I do think you're reading too much into it. Plus, even though I like the album a lot, I don't think it ever translated very well live. The title track worked best, Dodo/Lurker was okay, but of the rest even ones I love such as M&SJ and KID were pretty lame in their live versions. As a live band I don't think they were a natural fit for that much sparser, spacier sound.


You are probably right, I guess I'm looking to validate my opinion of the album through that.
I actually enjoyed Dodo and M&SJ on 3SL and I guess I would have enjoyed KID too, the title track, although personally I really can't stand it, would have been the obvious and probably only choice for thr reunion tour, it is however strange that such a high energy album wouldn't translate well live.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Schrottrocker on Mar 24th, 2017, 10:44am

on Mar 23rd, 2017, 3:21pm, Backdrifter wrote:
Yes it's a little odd, and for me disappointing, but on balance I do think you're reading too much into it. Plus, even though I like the album a lot, I don't think it ever translated very well live. The title track worked best, Dodo/Lurker was okay, but of the rest even ones I love such as M&SJ and KID were pretty lame in their live versions. As a live band I don't think they were a natural fit for that much sparser, spacier sound.

If my memory serves right they were indeed discussing to alter the set list for the North American tour and take in Abacab and In Too Deep. I wonder which songs would have been dropped in turn? Ripples maybe? Anyways, they didn't. To me it looks like the playlist was fine as it was and that's it. Meaning, the Abacab album just didn't make it.

on Mar 23rd, 2017, 3:42pm, NoSonOfVine wrote:
I'm fairly sure most people on this forum are big fans of TTLDOB.

The exception proves the rule wink
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by HENRY on Mar 24th, 2017, 11:22am

on Mar 24th, 2017, 10:44am, Schrottrocker wrote:
If my memory serves right they were indeed discussing to alter the set list for the North American tour and take in Abacab and In Too Deep. I wonder which songs would have been dropped in turn? Ripples maybe? Anyways, they didn't. To me it looks like the playlist was fine as it was and that's it. Meaning, the Abacab album just didn't make it.

"Ripples" was a potential drop for the N.A. part of the tour. "Abacab" was not in consideration beyond the initial rehearsals.

Re: "Abacab"
As I remember, they started out with a general list of potential songs for the tour, and slowly pared that list down for the final setlist. For all we know there could have been another song from Abacab under consideration at that initial stage, but at this point it really doesn't matter.

It's possible that after trying to rehearse "Abacab", it just wasn't working for them or they didn't feel comfortable with the results. Sometimes things like that happen with songs. They hadn't played it for 20 years, and it's not a simple song to play. In the end, for whatever reason, they just weren't either confident enough or satisfied with themselves to include it in the set.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 24th, 2017, 11:30am

on Mar 23rd, 2017, 3:42pm, NoSonOfVine wrote:
I'm fairly sure most people on this forum are big fans of TTLDOB.


I have and I admit it, quite draconian views when it comes to TLDOB and I fully realize many fans might not share them: quite the flawed album, as any double album imo, not their best, although in the top 3, sheerly by virtue of the amount of amazing music on it, but flaws notwhitstanding their Manifesto, it is everything, good and bad, Genesis are about as a band and here comes the radical part: if you don't like or don't get this album, you don't get Genesis. I know, I know.....
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Schrottrocker on Mar 24th, 2017, 3:45pm

on Mar 24th, 2017, 11:30am, Fabrizio wrote:
I have and I admit it, quite draconian views when it comes to TLDOB and I fully realize many fans might not share them: quite the flawed album, as any double album imo, not their best, although in the top 3, sheerly by virtue of the amount of amazing music on it, but flaws notwhitstanding their Manifesto, it is everything, good and bad, Genesis are about as a band and here comes the radical part: if you don't like or don't get this album, you don't get Genesis. I know, I know.....


I'm gonna open a new thread titled "Sorry, TLLDOB. :(".
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 25th, 2017, 06:58am

on Mar 24th, 2017, 3:45pm, Schrottrocker wrote:
I'm gonna open a new thread titled "Sorry, TLLDOB. sad".

Tja, viel Spass damit. My guess is you are going to get some interesting responses laugh wink
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by rael1974 on Mar 25th, 2017, 6:43pm

on Mar 25th, 2017, 06:58am, Fabrizio wrote:
Tja, viel Spass damit. My guess is you are going to get some interesting responses laugh wink


You're damn right he will! grin
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Backdrifter on Mar 30th, 2017, 04:21am

Lamb and Abacab are my top 2 albums, not that this proves anything, but there might be something in the notion that certain people gravitate to those 2 albums in particular.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by Fabrizio on Mar 30th, 2017, 07:42am

on Mar 30th, 2017, 04:21am, Backdrifter wrote:
there might be something in the notion that certain people gravitate to those 2 albums in particular.

They are both....'disruptive'? wink
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by BlinkeredArcade on May 2nd, 2017, 1:23pm

This my least favorite album with Phil singing, but it still has a lot of stuff that I really like. Keep It Dark is definitely the favorite. Love Dodo/Luker and No Reply at All. I even like the non album songs especially Paperlate. I honestly never got into Me and Sarah Jane.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by StarofSirius on Jun 2nd, 2017, 3:22pm

I'm of the opinion that the general direction Genesis took from the 80s onwards was a regrettable one, but I actually have a lot of time for Abacab and enjoy it much more than anything that followed. It has a raw, aggressive energy that's a lot of fun, and a sense of adventure and experimentation that's reminiscent of the early days, even though the music sounds almost nothing alike. The title track, "Me and Sarah Jane", "Dodo/Lurker" and "Keep It Dark" are all great songs. It's also the last album that doesn't feature at least one track I find seriously objectionable. No, I'm not kidding. Give me "Who Dunnit?" over "In Too Deep", "Illegal Alien" or "Small Talk" any day. smiley

I wish they'd carried on exploring this kind of sound in the 80s. After Abacab (with a few notable exceptions), I find that things become increasingly safe, unadventurous and dull, culminating in the absolute nadir that is Calling All Stations.
Re: Sorry, Abacab. :(
Post by NoSonOfVine on Jun 2nd, 2017, 5:33pm

Since making this thread, I have once again changed my opinion of the album. I now consider it just as good as FGTR, as to me both are heavily flawed (and thus I very rarely listen to either of them), but they have undeniable moments of Genesis magic.

However, that means that both albums are tied for worst album in my ranking. I rate them both 5/10. I still consider Abacab a mess, but to be honest it isn't a bad album, just one that could have been so much better. It's starting to grow on me just a little bit. Oh, and I really like MASJ nowadays! smiley That track took a very long time to grab me.