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Jul 26th, 2017, 7:36pm



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 thread  Author  Topic: Duke, a classic comparable to classical music  (Read 511 times)
Rick
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xx Duke, a classic comparable to classical music
« Thread started on: Jun 24th, 2017, 11:39am »

I want to share a wonderful experience regarding Genesis, my favorite band ever. I was born and raised in Argentina, a fascist nation in which, perhaps to survive fascism, there were lots of Genesis fans. In early 1980 I was drafted into the Argentine Army, so I missed Duke; to make it short, I barely survived a conscientious objection deed; but from there, especially after the Falklands War, army intelligence was after me, breathing my neck, so listening to music was out of consideration for me. I came to the United States in 1992; learning English and then being a college student neither left time for me to listen to music, but one time when I became a choir singer for my alma mater the University of Toledo. My life was hectic until recently; I had listened to some of Genesis albums, but, crucially, I had missed Duke. So when recently I found out that Duke ever existed, it blew my mind because by far it is their best; at least for those of us who also like classical composers such as Debussy or Mussorgsky, which I am pretty sure that a most sensitive and intelligent songwriter like Tony Banks likes, too. I had no idea that in 1980 Genesis had composed, arranged and recorded a conceptual album of one such a high quality. I am addicted to Duke, which means something because I am classically trained in both the guitar and the piano; honestly, I can’t help it favorably comparing Duke with the kind of classical music I like (not the Mozart and Beethoven kind, to make sure). Duke is a top album in composition, arrangements, ensemble playing, amazing modulations, and something that I learned singing Brahms, as above: declamation, this is the perfect matching of chords and words, which in Duke has a lot to do with Banks’ extraordinary keyboard playing and talent as a songwriter: I can write a book about Duke! I am mesmerised: Duke is so perfect; nothing they did before or after compares. Cul-de-sac: tears fill my eyes when I listen to it, and to the entire album. Simply stated, Duke is played and sung from the soul: there is nothing cold or technocratic about this wondrous and coherent album. In a world blinded by technology and terrorized by irrational violence, Duke is like an oasis of peace. My love for this band is undying. For those interested as much as I do in Duke, there is an excellent review at:

http://www.genesis-news.com/c-Genesis-Duke-CD-review-s244.html


Thanks a million, Banks, Rutherford, and Collins!
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xx Re: Duke, a classic comparable to classical music
« Reply #1 on: Jun 24th, 2017, 7:47pm »

A lovely tribute. Thank you for sharing your inspirational life story. You just made my day. I'm going to listen to it right now...
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xx Re: Duke, a classic comparable to classical music
« Reply #2 on: Jun 24th, 2017, 7:55pm »

I agree, Duke is a fantastic album.
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xx Re: Duke, a classic comparable to classical music
« Reply #3 on: Jun 24th, 2017, 9:14pm »

An inspiring read.
Thank you Rick for sharing your experience and thoughts about this album.

« Last Edit: Jun 24th, 2017, 9:15pm by Witchwood » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Duke, a classic comparable to classical music
« Reply #4 on: Jun 25th, 2017, 12:07am »

Yes, a wonderful perspective on a great album.

I don't know if I would assess it in terms of traditional classical music, which I like very much, but there certainly are creative moments that echo a kind of classical influence, but I think that crops up in all of Genesis' albums.

Generally, a very underrated work.
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xx Re: Duke, a classic comparable to classical music
« Reply #5 on: Jun 27th, 2017, 11:13am »

Duke has a special place in my Genesis collection of music. I will admit I don't listen to the entire album as there are a couple of songs I just don't get. However, after your wonderful review, I think it's time to give it another play through in it's entirety! cool
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xx Re: Duke, a classic comparable to classical music
« Reply #6 on: Jun 27th, 2017, 1:25pm »

on Jun 27th, 2017, 11:13am, HomeByTheSea wrote:
Duke has a special place in my Genesis collection of music. I will admit I don't listen to the entire album as there are a couple of songs I just don't get.


I am with you; great album, a couple of songs imo don't quite belong there though and Open Door should have been on it.
« Last Edit: Jun 27th, 2017, 1:34pm by Fabrizio » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Duke, a classic comparable to classical music
« Reply #7 on: Jul 8th, 2017, 2:16pm »

What a coincidence - I just found this thread while listening to Duke.

I don't agree it's perfect as it has some tracks I've never liked - I never listen to Heathaze, Alone Again and Please Don't Ask. (And I've never got all the fuss about Open Door and why it should have been on the album. It's okay but nothing special).

But even with those tracks edited out, it's still a special sort of album for me. It's a lot to do with the Duke tour being my first experiences of seeing them on stage (two London shows, Hammersmith in March 1980 then the famous televised Lyceum one in May) so it was a magical kind of time for the 14-year-old me, Genesis-wise. The Hammersmith one was just before the album came out so the 'Duke piece' was completely new to me. One of a small number of memorable gig moments in my 5 decades of gig-going is the Duchess intro at that first gig. I found it mesmerising, atmospheric and exciting. It was to my knowledge the first time I'd heard a drum machine. Even now Duchess remains in my top 5 favourite Genesis songs and the intro a favourite piece of music generally, not just Genesis. That opening double salvo of that and BTL is probably the best start to any Genesis album.

Much maligned as it seems to be (even by its own author), I loved Man Of Our Times then and still do. It's like their version of the Phil Specter Wall Of Sound - it's huge, with those massive great chords and thwacking drums, and PC singing in an interesting register. Cul de Sac has a similar sound.

I like the production and love the punchiness of the remaster. Overall the album is recognisably and in some ways definitively Genesis but moving away from the fey and often twee nature of the last two albums and into a harder-edged sound that was a transition towards Abacab. I much prefer the latter, but Duke is a very enjoyable stop on the way to it.
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xx Re: Duke, a classic comparable to classical music
« Reply #8 on: Jul 8th, 2017, 4:12pm »

on Jul 8th, 2017, 2:16pm, Backdrifter wrote:
I don't agree it's perfect as it has some tracks I've never liked - I never listen to Heathaze, Alone Again and Please Don't Ask. (And I've never got all the fuss about Open Door and why it should have been on the album. It's okay but nothing special).



I can't speak for the rest who made a 'fuss' about it and I certainly would agree that it is not their greatest achievement in terms of songwriting but for my money Open Door is better than Alone Tonight.
I can understand why you can't have both on the same album particularly when coming from the same author but I find it much more intersting melodically. Alone Tonight for me is as bland a Snowbound, perhaps a little more, the former retains at least some sort of charm to my ears perhaps due to the lyrics or because it came first.
So, personally, when I say Open Door should have been on the album I certainly mean instead of Alone Tonight.
I like Please don't ask, I find it poignant but it's a divorce song, terribly personal and as such certainly not a Genesis song, neither lyrically, nor stylistically, it should have been on Face Value. Man of our time is imo OK, no more than that though. Heathaze is a little gem and I find Cul de Sac pleasant but Tony has done better imo. Misunderstanding is one I have always loathed. Still do.
« Last Edit: Jul 8th, 2017, 4:13pm by Fabrizio » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Duke, a classic comparable to classical music
« Reply #9 on: Jul 11th, 2017, 10:52am »

Personally I think they made the right choice putting Alone Tonight on over Open Door. While it's not their best, the intro of the song with Mike strumming the guitar and Tony's key's coming in like a warm sunrise make it one of my favorite of the lesser known tracks on Duke. I would put Cul-De-Sac in the same boat as a good lesser known track. I skip Heathaze and Please Don't Ask as I think they take away from the completeness of the album. But that's just my opinion. Your millage may vary! grin
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