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Some observations about Tony
Post by CyanideWand on May 17th, 2017, 09:38am


I've been watching the reissue interviews in the box sets, as well as Songbook and Sum of the Parts.

Does it seem to anyone that Tony is somewhat of a diva? What I mean is that his pride seems to be hurt whenever he doesn't get his way or when someone leaves the band due to a disagreement.

In Sum of the Parts, you can see his discomfort whenever Peter or Steve are talking. And he clearly dislikes The Lamb because Peter wrote the lyrics. Also, he almost never compliments Steve and when he does it seems back-handed. There is one interview where Tony says that on a certain song Steve actually "sounded like a real guitarist."

He even resents Phil's success. "We didn't want to him to be THAT successful."

I'm not saying any of this to criticize Tony. I just want to understand the group dynamics. I have come to see Tony as the group leader in a certain way. Genesis is his baby for all practical purposes. The keyboard solos ARE Genesis, really. They are the best moments in my opinion. I think Tony is a charming and funny guy, but it's just very interesting watching the dynamics in the group and observing his comments.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Kerry95 on May 17th, 2017, 11:56am

for me, genesis is like a gang of old friends whom you like just the way they are. there have been other bands that worked better because members accepted their roles. but genesis is still your favourite band, even though it wasn't the most perfect one.

queen is a good example. i can't imagine freddie mercury not wanting to sing a song because he didn't write the lyrics, or brian may feeling jealous because freddie got more attention on the live shows, or roger taylor complaining because not enough of his songs were included on the albums...

as for tony, he's very stubborn indeed. i recall phil once said "good luck with telling tony what to do!". however, i think he got on well with phil and mike, because they were kind of flexible and conciliatory.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 17th, 2017, 1:13pm

I don't know about 'Diva' but I think he admitted himself that he wasn't easy to deal with when he was younger.
I obviously don't know him but to me he comes across as brutally blunt, doesn't mince words, a sacastic, at time even caustic sense of humor. Says what he means and means what he says, Public school British but feet too much on the ground to be a Diva.
All Genesis members have always been clear about stuff and songs they didn't like. Phil, certainly the most agreeable and diplomatic, said once clearly in an inteview they didn't much like Steve's contribution in terms of songwriting, Peter said he didn't like the others' lyrics, so it was quite normal for them to be open about their criticism. I think you migh have misunderstood Tony's comment on Steve being a real guitarist. If I remember the bit he was talking about Steve's solo on FoF, wasn't he?
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by CyanideWand on May 17th, 2017, 1:43pm

Yes, I think that was the song.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 17th, 2017, 2:05pm

on May 17th, 2017, 1:43pm, CyanideWand wrote:
Yes, I think that was the song.

I should go and look at that bit again but the way I remember it is Tony saying the FoF solo finally gave Steve the chance to showcase his playing and perhaps there might have been some level of tongue in cheeck there but the way I understood it is that the general consensus is that the guitar was always buried beneath the keyboards in Genesis and he knows that he is considered the 'villain' but again that was my interpretation.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Witchwood on May 17th, 2017, 3:45pm

In the interview accompanying the reissue of SEPTB, Tony actually credited Steve for taking the lead in making Firth of Fifth a little more bombastic (more in the vein of King Crimson) than was originally planned.

Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by CyanideWand on May 17th, 2017, 4:05pm

on May 17th, 2017, 3:45pm, Witchwood wrote:
In the interview accompanying the reissue of SEPTB, Tony actually credited Steve for taking the lead in making Firth of Fifth a little more bombastic (more in the vein of King Crimson) than was originally planned.


I remember that. He was discussing how the song became something bigger than his original piano thing. I think this was a comment about Steve's guitar solo with the sustained notes. I know I heard him say that he sounded like "a real guitarist." Well, he is one, right? I might have heard it wrong.

I have definitely seen Phil make dismissive comments about Steve's work, both in interviews and in his autobiography, although I think they get along personally. I wonder to what extent his opinion on this was influenced by Mike and Tony?
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Yild4Genesis on May 17th, 2017, 4:11pm

My opinions of Tony have been well documented on here in the past. I will leave it at that....
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by flunky on May 17th, 2017, 5:09pm

Whatever you think of Tony, I think it's universally acknowledged that he was the band's strongest creative force. I'm not necessarily saying he was the most creative, as all the members have gone on and done some pretty extraordinary things on their own, but rather that even in the latter three man days, Tony's influence over the band's composition and sound were enormous. I imagine to some extent that is going to make anyone a bit arrogant, though the impression I always get of him from the interviews I've seen is that more than anything else he's a bit impatient, and that will lead to a certain willfulness.

As to Tony criticizing Lamb, well I think everyone but Peter was a bit down on it to some extent, and they've all said things like "There was that bit on that track that I'm really really proud of, but..." While Peter's leaving was a pretty complex thing, I'd say the Lamb was the breaking point. Tony wasn't the only one to be critical of that record, and I know Mike has made some negative comments as well. There was a lot of tension in the band at that point, and most certainly a lot of it was directed at Peter. I can imagine Tony would have been the most brutally honest.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Synth Solo on May 17th, 2017, 7:13pm

I remember reading a review in Q Magazine which said that Banks was "bitter" about the commercial failure of his solo career.

I also read an interview in The Guardian which said that Phil Collins has "an unmissable undercurrent of bruised melancholy and a residual wariness from years of being derided" when you meet him.

So I suppose we can say the music industry takes its toll.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by CyanideWand on May 17th, 2017, 7:35pm

I'd like to meet Phil.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by rael1974 on May 17th, 2017, 9:18pm

on May 17th, 2017, 7:35pm, CyanideWand wrote:
I'd like to meet Phil.


Wouldn't we all?
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by ftf on May 17th, 2017, 9:36pm

Diva? The central heating plumbing, chicken keeping, garden tending, campervan driving, keyboard player? .. no.

Watch Come rain or shine, or the Mama documentary, 3 extraordinary guys creating great music, eating sausage and tomato on toast, drinking Mateus Rose, and having a ball.

In their younger days, they were all less mature, more prolific/creative, and there were more songwriters trying to get their bits into 40 minutes of vinyl. That's going to lead to debates.

Having good quality control is what makes a good record, if you had to choose between Octopus's garden and The long and winding road, should you choose the former because it's fairer? Should you lie about which is your favourite track 35 years later when asked? The lamb has some strong bits, some weak bits, is too long, has a crap cover, and after all these years I still haven't got a clue what the story is about.

Somehow Tony has become the whipping boy since his comments in the famous documentary have been blown out of all proportion, mostly due to the misunderstanding of English humour/irony. Friends and colleagues often have digs at each other, there is no malice behind it.

The comment about Phil is a joke. If it isn't obvious, there's a beaming smile at the end of the sentence just in case.

Tony and Mike are the backbone of the group

Peter and Steve left 4 decades ago, of their own accord - it's a little odd for fans to still be holding a grudge about it after so long.

No Tony, no Genesis, no forum.





Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Backdrifter on May 18th, 2017, 03:20am

Banks comes across as a stubborn (by his own admission) and strong-willed, determined person who has very clear ideas about what he wants and is prepared to dig himself in and not budge in order to achieve those things. That's had a lot to do with how he's been a major factor in driving Genesis along, together with his very distinctive writing style and strong feel for chord sequences that's given the band such a particular style.

Some of the remarks mentioned above are indeed to do with his dry English humour. Both he and Rutherford have made comments on PC's solo success that were intended as affectionately mocking, I don't see how they could be taken any other way. On his own solo work, I'm guessing that as probably the main driving force behind Genesis's music he felt he might transfer that into a successful solo career and clearly felt he came up with some good songs, which he did. Why it never took off for him is a whole other discussion, but I can see it must have been quite hard for him to watch the others have their success while his stuff made little impact.

In the Sum documentary he does come across as a bit grumpier than usual; maybe he wasn't feeling at his best. It's often hard to comment on these things as TV documentaries usually get edited to within an inch of their lives and the final product can be very unrepresentative of the actual thing. Add in that the group interview was also split into pieces and scattered across the programme, and you end up with something that could possibly come across as misleading.

In one of the solo interviews in that show, if I remember correctly, TB unfavourably compares Hackett's playing on Firth with Stuermer's and says something like, SH's playing could be "dry". Or am I imagining that?! If not, I have to completely disagree - SH's original was an economical thing of beauty whereas DS went over the top and made it way too fussy.

The Lamb is always going to be controversial in one way or another - it was a difficult album to make for various well-documented reasons so will always have certain connotations for the band. I love it, but can understand their varying feelings about it. Plus, at the time, after all the effort and trouble it briefly appeared at number10 for a week then pretty much vanished, following the previous album's good chart run and reaching number 3. I recall Rutherford saying that many people refer to it as a classic now, but at the time it "died a death". So they are going to have pretty mixed feelings about it.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 18th, 2017, 07:10am

on May 17th, 2017, 4:05pm, CyanideWand wrote:
I have definitely seen Phil make dismissive comments about Steve's work, both in interviews and in his autobiography, although I think they get along personally. I wonder to what extent his opinion on this was influenced by Mike and Tony?

Again, it depends on how you choose to see it, personally I hardly consider it 'dismissive'. Steve sumbmitted some songs, the others didn't like them or thought there were better songs, that's about it, hardly dismissive imo.
Incidentally I think they were right, much as I like Steve's playing I never rated him highly as songwriter, still don't, also remember that he started writing quite late and what he contributed to Genesis is imo still some of the best stuff he did but he wanted 25% of the album and that is not a great idea.
As for Phil's opinion, I think he must at least be credited with the ability to make up his own mind.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by CyanideWand on May 18th, 2017, 07:37am

True, but there is a difference between your opinion being influenced and borrowed.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 18th, 2017, 08:48am

on May 18th, 2017, 07:37am, CyanideWand wrote:
True, but there is a difference between your opinion being influenced and borrowed.


So it couldn't just be a case where Phil thought that Steve's songs weren't as 'good' as Mike's and Tony's in that moment? I cannot know obviously but it seems to me all Genesis members were always quite clear about what they llike or else, it might lead to frictions within a band but I believe it's the only healthy way to go about it, otherwise you simply allocate 25% of the record to each member which I don't really think is smart.
Look at George Harrison with the Beatles, some might argue he had it rough there as a songwriter, some others, including myself simply may think that John and Paul were better.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by CyanideWand on May 18th, 2017, 10:29am

I'm not saying that it can't be as you say--just that we don't know one way or the other.

It's not uncommon to be influenced by opinions. We are influenced by what we watch on TV, by what our friends say, etc.

For example, when Phil was unpopular in the 90s and universally hated, my opinion was different than what it is now. I only admitted to liking his first two albums. My opinion has changed now partly because of age, but also because it's not the "in thing" to hate Phil anymore so I am more free to admit my tastes.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Yild4Genesis on May 18th, 2017, 3:12pm

on May 18th, 2017, 07:10am, Fabrizio wrote:
Again, it depends on how you choose to see it, personally I hardly consider it 'dismissive'. Steve sumbmitted some songs, the others didn't like them or thought there were better songs, that's about it, hardly dismissive imo.
Incidentally I think they were right, much as I like Steve's playing I never rated him highly as songwriter, still don't, also remember that he started writing quite late and what he contributed to Genesis is imo still some of the best stuff he did but he wanted 25% of the album and that is not a great idea.
As for Phil's opinion, I think he must at least be credited with the ability to make up his own mind.


Couldn't have started writing that late. He was the first to release a solo album after all...
wink
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 18th, 2017, 3:21pm

on May 18th, 2017, 3:12pm, Yild4Genesis wrote:
Couldn't have started writing that late. He was the first to release a solo album after all...
wink

Up to SEBTP he never thought of himself as a writer, he said it himself quite a number of times in several interviews. Whether this was due to lack of self-confidence, lack of intrest or pehaps the fact that he joined a group that had already a group of writers I don't know but it's quite established. Things might have changed with the Lamb due to the fact perhaps that it was a double album and everyone was encouraged to pitch in.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by FeelItComing on May 18th, 2017, 7:49pm

on May 17th, 2017, 9:36pm, ftf wrote:
Diva? The central heating plumbing, chicken keeping, garden tending, campervan driving, keyboard player? .. no.

Watch Come rain or shine, or the Mama documentary, 3 extraordinary guys creating great music, eating sausage and tomato on toast, drinking Mateus Rose, and having a ball.

In their younger days, they were all less mature, more prolific/creative, and there were more songwriters trying to get their bits into 40 minutes of vinyl. That's going to lead to debates.

Having good quality control is what makes a good record, if you had to choose between Octopus's garden and The long and winding road, should you choose the former because it's fairer? Should you lie about which is your favourite track 35 years later when asked? The lamb has some strong bits, some weak bits, is too long, has a crap cover, and after all these years I still haven't got a clue what the story is about.

Somehow Tony has become the whipping boy since his comments in the famous documentary have been blown out of all proportion, mostly due to the misunderstanding of English humour/irony. Friends and colleagues often have digs at each other, there is no malice behind it.

The comment about Phil is a joke. If it isn't obvious, there's a beaming smile at the end of the sentence just in case.

Tony and Mike are the backbone of the group

Peter and Steve left 4 decades ago, of their own accord - it's a little odd for fans to still be holding a grudge about it after so long.

No Tony, no Genesis, no forum.



I completely agree & this is how I reacted to Tony when I first saw Sum Of The Parts. I knew nothing about him but I got his dry humour at once. If you are married to an Englishman it's easy to spot. People should also watch him accept his Prog Rock award from Peter; he is hilarious. '12th best keyboards player? Who the f*k were the other 11'? He is also fascinating to watch in Come Rain Or Come Shine. He's a very talented man.


Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Schrottrocker on May 19th, 2017, 04:08am

on May 18th, 2017, 08:48am, Fabrizio wrote:
So it couldn't just be a case where Phil thought that Steve's songs weren't as 'good' as Mike's and Tony's in that moment? I cannot know obviously but it seems to me all Genesis members were always quite clear about what they llike or else, it might lead to frictions within a band but I believe it's the only healthy way to go about it, otherwise you simply allocate 25% of the record to each member which I don't really think is smart.
Look at George Harrison with the Beatles, some might argue he had it rough there as a songwriter, some others, including myself simply may think that John and Paul were better.


My guess is Steve's problem was only a certain type of his musical ideas were accepted. He had a fair share in Wind and Wuthering (middle part of Eleventh Earl, Blood on the rooftops, Unquiet Slumbers, first half of In that quiet Earth) and Tony praised Entangled and Blood On The Rooftops, yet Steve could never win the others for stuff like Please Don't Touch or A Tower Struck Down. They already frowned on his contributions to Moonlit Knight and Dance On A Volcano. So there you go, he constantly had to hold back his wilder side and it is understandable it became a frustrating situation for him.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 19th, 2017, 1:09pm

When I see or read the interviews I'm under the impression that all of them were at one point or another quite clear about what they didn't like or in their opinion went wrong.
Peter got tired of the chorus of I know what I like but liked his bits, he didn't like the others' lyrics, he thought the keyboards solos were too much.
Phil didn't like Peter's costumes, the way they got in the way of the music, how basically Peter ruined The Battle of Epping Forest with the lyrics the fact they never seem to be edgy enough.
Steve didn't appreciate being buried in the final mix, the fact that his songs didn't make the final cut, feeling constantly like junior member.
Mike didn't like the lyrics to Watcher of the skies and the way it developed, same with Dancing with the Moolight Knight.
Tony was no different, perhaps less diplomatic, if he saw or heard something he didn't like he just said so but I think they all shared some sort of common respect and admiration which allowed them to speak their mind freely without being personal, resentful or jealous.

Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 19th, 2017, 2:58pm

on May 19th, 2017, 04:08am, Schrottrocker wrote:
They already frowned on his contributions to Moonlit Knight and Dance On A Volcano.

They did?
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Yild4Genesis on May 19th, 2017, 4:08pm

on May 19th, 2017, 1:09pm, Fabrizio wrote:
When I see or read the interviews I'm under the impression that all of them were at one point or another quite clear about what they didn't like or in their opinion went wrong.
Peter got tired of the chorus of I know what I like but liked his bits, he didn't like the others' lyrics, he thought the keyboards solos were too much.
Phil didn't like Peter's costumes, the way they got in the way of the music, how basically Peter ruined The Battle of Epping Forest with the lyrics the fact they never seem to be edgy enough.
Steve didn't appreciate being buried in the final mix, the fact that his songs didn't make the final cut, feeling constantly like junior member.
Mike didn't like the lyrics to Watcher of the skies and the way it developed, same with Dancing with the Moolight Knight.
Tony was no different, perhaps less diplomatic, if he saw or heard something he didn't like he just said so but I think they all shared some sort of common respect and admiration which allowed them to speak their mind freely without being personal, resentful or jealous.


That's life in a band though, isn't it? Five guys all with differing views coming together to make something special but still five individuals ....
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 19th, 2017, 4:21pm

on May 19th, 2017, 4:08pm, Yild4Genesis wrote:
That's life in a band though, isn't it? Five guys all with differing views coming together to make something special but still five individuals ....

I agree completely and I also think that Genesis dealt with it very graciously. Members defected, there were clear shifts of balance if not power within the band and never a bad word. Compared to other bands....That said, they had their opinions and voiced them clearly which I think it's ok. I don't think Tony made louder noises than the others though
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Yild4Genesis on May 19th, 2017, 5:39pm

on May 19th, 2017, 4:21pm, Fabrizio wrote:
I don't think Tony made louder noises than the others though


Well, not in public but behind closed doors?

tongue
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 19th, 2017, 6:08pm

Now, THAT might very well be the case smiley But so was Peter apparently and surprisingly. Who knew?
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Schrottrocker on May 20th, 2017, 08:32am

on May 19th, 2017, 2:58pm, Fabrizio wrote:
They did?


Tony said repeatedly he is not fond of Moonlit Knight; and about DOAV I don't remember who said it, I think Phil and Mike - they stated that instrumental second half was too much showing off, the kind of stuff they didn't want Genesis to become.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 20th, 2017, 09:06am

on May 20th, 2017, 08:32am, Schrottrocker wrote:
Tony said repeatedly he is not fond of Moonlit Knight; and about DOAV I don't remember who said it, I think Phil and Mike - they stated that instrumental second half was too much showing off, the kind of stuff they didn't want Genesis to become.

But that was not Steve's doing, not entirely at least. What I remember from their comments in particular about DWTMK is that they got in he studio, feeling apprehensive because it was the first time without Peter and one of the first if not the first thing they knocked off was DWTMK which reassured everybody, they still had it.
Steve wasn't even there in the early sessions, he was recording his album which to this day I find odd.
He obviously contributed when he got in but I trust that if there had been anything the others didn't like it would have been discarded.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by TMATMATMA on May 20th, 2017, 11:52am

Definitely heard Tony say he liked the first part of Moonlit Knight, not so much afterwards. The latter part of Volcano does have a very similar feel to it.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 20th, 2017, 12:52pm

on May 20th, 2017, 11:52am, TMATMATMA wrote:
Definitely heard Tony say he liked the first part of Moonlit Knight, not so much afterwards. The latter part of Volcano does have a very similar feel to it.

I think it was Mike or at least Mike too.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by WutheringNights76 on May 21st, 2017, 12:49am

In the 2007 interviews, Mike said the start and first bit of Dance on a Volcano but he wasn't sure about the rest - or something similar. I'm pretty sure Tony has hinted that he didn't like it or and that the band couldn't play it well enough. In any case, it was cut from DoaV from 1977 onwards. Steve said in the 2007 interviews that the outro for that song was his.

And Tony is very vocal about his hatred for After the Ordeal, which sounds like a Steve bit. In a Q&A when asked what their least favourite Genesis songs were Phil alluded to Me & Virgil and Tony said After the Ordeal!
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Kerry95 on May 21st, 2017, 03:11am

on May 21st, 2017, 12:49am, WutheringNights76 wrote:
And Tony is very vocal about his hatred for After the Ordeal, which sounds like a Steve bit. In a Q&A when asked what their least favourite Genesis songs were Phil alluded to Me & Virgil and Tony said After the Ordeal!


phil is more self-critical. he dismisses songs that he had an important input for, like me and virgil or match of the day.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Backdrifter on May 21st, 2017, 11:35am

on May 20th, 2017, 08:32am, Schrottrocker wrote:
about DOAV I don't remember who said it, I think Phil and Mike - they stated that instrumental second half was too much showing off, the kind of stuff they didn't want Genesis to become.

Whoever said it, I agree. I've never liked that 2nd half, and it especially suffers after such a strong 1st half. It gets way too high and shrill. One of the best things they did on stage was to drop that whole section.

on May 21st, 2017, 12:49am, WutheringNights76 wrote:
Tony is very vocal about his hatred for After the Ordeal, which sounds like a Steve bit.


Yes I think the first section is by Hackett and I read a while back that the 2nd half, where the drums come in, is by Rutherford. Banks described his piano playing as "atrocious" and that he can't bear to listen to the track. I really like it.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Schrottrocker on May 21st, 2017, 11:56am

on May 21st, 2017, 11:35am, Backdrifter wrote:
Banks described his piano playing as "atrocious" and that he can't bear to listen to the track. I really like it.


I sometimes get the impression Tony and the others never re-listen to what they recorded and still carry some attitude about songs they had in the recording session.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 21st, 2017, 12:19pm

on May 21st, 2017, 03:11am, Kerry95 wrote:
phil is more self-critical. he dismisses songs that he had an important imput for, like me and virgil or match of the day.

Well, in those particular instances he hasn't been self-critical but objectivesmiley Seriously though, I think to some extent they all are:
Mike describes the lyrics to Watcher which he co-wrote as a mouthful.
Steve himself doesn't seem to be crazy about Ordeal.
Peter re-recorded some of the vocals because he found they were shite.
Tony thinks the mid-section of MMM wasn't played as good as it should have been.
This is the point of the thread though and why I don't believe that Tony is a Diva or resentful; they all are critical and speak their mind.Ņ, in a quite sober and equanimous way imo.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by 666 on May 23rd, 2017, 05:04am

I think if you look at the quote that Tony didn't want Phil to do THAT well...two viewpoints. Firstly, it's tongue-in-cheek and a playful remark on jealousy. Secondly, Phil doing THAT well could signal the end of the group because the solo career would be the main draw.

Regarding the way he's blunt to PG. Well, PG is probably so used to people blowing smoke up his ass that it might be their honesty with each other that keeps them really good friends to this day. It was only the other year (maybe last year) that PG made a speech for and presented TB with his Prog God award.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by foxfeeder on May 24th, 2017, 11:18am

on May 18th, 2017, 08:48am, Fabrizio wrote:
So it couldn't just be a case where Phil thought that Steve's songs weren't as 'good' as Mike's and Tony's in that moment? I cannot know obviously but it seems to me all Genesis members were always quite clear about what they llike or else, it might lead to frictions within a band but I believe it's the only healthy way to go about it, otherwise you simply allocate 25% of the record to each member which I don't really think is smart.
Look at George Harrison with the Beatles, some might argue he had it rough there as a songwriter, some others, including myself simply may think that John and Paul were better.


I think "Within you Without you" is the best track on Sgt. Pepper, always have.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by foxfeeder on May 24th, 2017, 11:19am

on May 19th, 2017, 4:08pm, Yild4Genesis wrote:
That's life in a band though, isn't it? Five guys all with differing views coming together to make something special but still five individuals ....


5 people in the Moody Blues, always managed to work together amicably. Doesn't mean other bands can, could or should, but it can be done.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 24th, 2017, 1:43pm

on May 24th, 2017, 11:18am, foxfeeder wrote:
I think "Within you Without you" is the best track on Sgt. Pepper, always have.

And it's perfectly Ok but I don't think it is enough to question who the main songwriters in the band were. It's A Day in the life for me btw. I'm boring that way wink
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by foxfeeder on May 25th, 2017, 07:03am

on May 24th, 2017, 1:43pm, Fabrizio wrote:
And it's perfectly Ok but I don't think it is enough to question who the main songwriters in the band were. It's A Day in the life for me btw. I'm boring that way wink


But it illustrates the point. George had 3 lp's worth of stuff bottled up by the time the Beatles split. He had good stuff, but it wasn't used. Maybe some, or even all, wasn't considered as good as what was used, but it would have diversified the band's sound.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 25th, 2017, 08:05am

on May 25th, 2017, 07:03am, foxfeeder wrote:
But it illustrates the point. George had 3 lp's worth of stuff bottled up by the time the Beatles split. He had good stuff, but it wasn't used. Maybe some, or even all, wasn't considered as good as what was used, but it would have diversified the band's sound.

I remeber going through Alll things must pass which I purchased and thinking:'Oh right, I get it'.
George had all these songs piled up and wasn't able to release them on the Beatles' albums, he also was quite resentful about it but personally when I hear the album, with exception of 1 or 2 songs, I sort of understand why they didn't make the final cut, how many of those songs are being rememberd today? That understanding is confirmed by his solo career.
I'm not saying that he wasn't capable of occasionally writing the good song but imo that was about it, occasional.
And yes, just to address it, there might be a parallel with Steve there, actually more than one.
As for diversifying a band's sound, I don't know, it might be a good idea, or less, it depends on the quality I guess, I certainly wouldn't doing it for the sake of diversifying, in Genesis case for instance I wouldn't have allocated 25% of the album to Steve by default just to diversify.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by onetwothree on May 25th, 2017, 1:48pm

on May 25th, 2017, 07:03am, foxfeeder wrote:
George had 3 lp's worth of stuff bottled up by the time the Beatles split.

If you mean the 3 LPs of ALL THINGS MUST PASS... well, it was actually 2 LPs plus the "Apple Jam." Although, technically, I'm sure he had another LP's worth of material written that wasn't used on ATMP.

on May 25th, 2017, 08:05am, Fabrizio wrote:
I wouldn't have allocated 25% of the album to Steve by default just to diversify.

Every time I hear about Steve wanting each of the four guys to write 25% of WIND & WUTHERING, I wonder... did he think Phil was prepared at that point to contribute 25% of a Genesis album? (PS: By my best estimate, Steve actually did write close to 25% of W&W.)
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by CyanideWand on May 25th, 2017, 2:07pm

I think ATMP is Beatle quality.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 25th, 2017, 2:07pm

on May 25th, 2017, 1:48pm, onetwothree wrote:
Every time I hear about Steve wanting each of the four guys to write 25% of WIND & WUTHERING, I wonder... did he think Phil was prepared at that point to contribute 25% of a Genesis album? (PS: By my best estimate, Steve actually did write close to 25% of W&W.)


Hard to say what Steve had in mind at the time, what seems pretty much established is that he seemed to think the equal share system was feasible for the band and yes, he did contribute a lot to W&W and I incidentally like everything he brought to the table there.
I always thought the instrumentals are underrated and Bolood on the Rofftops is one of the best songs on the Album.
Of course, you are correct about All things must pass, I had the vinyl, never bought the CD and it's been a while.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 25th, 2017, 2:09pm

on May 25th, 2017, 2:07pm, CyanideWand wrote:
I think ATMP is Beatle quality.


Which of their record for instance compare to ATMP or viceversa, in terms of quality? Which songs are still considered classics after all these years? Which songs apart from the title track and My sweet lord for which if I remeber correctly he lost a plagiarism lawsuit, are even remembered today? Finally if I remember correctly apart from the two above mentioned only Beware of the Darkness was performed at the Concert for George.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by FeelItComing on May 25th, 2017, 5:59pm

on May 25th, 2017, 2:09pm, Fabrizio wrote:
Which of their record for instance compare to ATMP or viceversa, in terms of quality? Which songs are still considered classics after all these years? Which songs apart from the title track and My sweet lord for which if I remeber correctly he lost a plagiarism lawsuit, are even remembered today? Finally if I remember correctly apart from the two above mentioned only Beware of the Darkness was performed at the Concert for George.
'

What Is Life, for a start, plus Isn't It A Pity, Apple Scruffs, The Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp, Awaiting On You All, Art Of Dying. Those are great songs.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Kerry95 on May 26th, 2017, 03:28am

steve shouldn't have complained so much. in other bands, one member writes 100% of the songs (mark knopfler in dire straits, martin gore in depeche mode...) and the rest 0%.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Yild4Genesis on May 26th, 2017, 03:50am

on May 26th, 2017, 03:28am, Kerry95 wrote:
steve shouldn't have complained so much. in other bands, one member writes 100% of the songs (mark knopfler in dire straits, martin gore in depeche mode...) and the rest 0%.


That's great when the bands are known for that system (Crowded House and Neil Finn is another) but Genesis has always called itself a songwriter's collective. I mean up until Pete left there was no individual crediting on the album. I think Steve was within his right to voice an opinion and correct to leave when he did
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by BlinkeredArcade on May 26th, 2017, 10:45am

Man I think All Things Must Pass is a masterpiece. At the concert for George they also played Wah Wah and isn't It A Pity BTW. Here Me Lord, Let It Down, and I'd Have You Any Time are some of my favorites. In the period 69-70 George's songwriting was at it strongest and he was in my opinion equal with John and Paul then.

In regards to Tony I think just open about his opinions like the rest. He seems to be just as critical on his own stuff as much as the others.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 26th, 2017, 11:20am

on May 25th, 2017, 5:59pm, FeelItComing wrote:
'

What Is Life, for a start, plus Isn't It A Pity, Apple Scruffs, The Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp, Awaiting On You All, Art Of Dying. Those are great songs.


I should go back and listen to them, as I said, it's been a while, the point is though I could just as easily reply that they are not, they are just OK, but in doing that, I would remain, like you, in the personal opinions and preferences territory, I don't seem to remember those songs being mentioned when talking about George's songwriting skills or memorable songs, I really don't know whether they charted or have been performed live or covered by other artists. Then of course we all like what we like, we are entitled to, no matter how niche. Personally I have a different concept of 'Great Songs' which doesn't have to be right of course.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 26th, 2017, 11:23am

on May 26th, 2017, 10:45am, BlinkeredArcade wrote:
In the period 69-70 George's songwriting was at it strongest and he was in my opinion equal with John and Paul then.


While I don't entirely agree with that, I believe that during that period, given John's increasing lack of intrest towards the band and Paul's self indulgence and commercial streak more George's songs could have ended up on the White Album, Let it Be and Abbey Road.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 26th, 2017, 2:20pm

on May 26th, 2017, 03:50am, Yild4Genesis wrote:
I think Steve was within his right to voice an opinion and correct to leave when he did


I agree with you and I actually think he should have been more assertive earlier on. The problem with Steve as I see it though, seemed to be he didn't know exactly what he wanted. Up to SEBTP by his own admission he saw himself as a player not a songwriter, btw I think he should have fought Tony more over soloes, playing time and arrangements in general. Then evidently something must have changed with the Lamb and why not? People evolve, because at a time where the band needed to prove themselves, he goes out to record a solo album. Can you imagine if Tony had done that? On Trick again his contribution in terms of songwriting is not gigantic, although brilliant imo and again he is buried by Tony in the final mix. Then on W&W, where he does have more space, suddenly, he has this not very smart idea of being entitled to 25% of the album. Then he leaves Genesis, has a solo career but goes back to revisit Genesis...Twice. Man!!
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by FeelItComing on May 26th, 2017, 8:46pm

on May 26th, 2017, 11:20am, Fabrizio wrote:
I should go back and listen to them, as I said, it's been a while, the point is though I could just as easily reply that they are not, they are just OK, but in doing that, I would remain, like you, in the personal opinions and preferences territory, I don't seem to remember those songs being mentioned when talking about George's songwriting skills or memorable songs, I really don't know whether they charted or have been performed live or covered by other artists. Then of course we all like what we like, we are entitled to, no matter how niche. Personally I have a different concept of 'Great Songs' which doesn't have to be right of course.


I don't think a song has to have been covered or performed live to be a great song. I agree this is only personal opinion but getting back to Tony himself, he didn't exactly have a lot of chart success, but I would hope many Genesis fans would agree that he did some 'great' solo work. Great in the sense that we enjoy the songs. But regarding ATMP, I believe that What Is Life IS a 'great' song, even if the others I mentioned perhaps are not.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 27th, 2017, 06:02am

on May 26th, 2017, 8:46pm, FeelItComing wrote:
I don't think a song has to have been covered or performed live to be a great song. I agree this is only personal opinion but getting back to Tony himself, he didn't exactly have a lot of chart success, but I would hope many Genesis fans would agree that he did some 'great' solo work. Great in the sense that we enjoy the songs. But regarding ATMP, I believe that What Is Life IS a 'great' song, even if the others I mentioned perhaps are not.

You are of course right, I was just trying to toss around ideas, a way to determine what constitues a great song a bit beyond the fact whether we like it or not. Being a hit also doen't mean a song is great but it certainly makes it memorable. Imo only a few George's songs are, that's what I meant. Tony did some good solo word but imo not comparable to what he did in Genesis.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Schrottrocker on May 27th, 2017, 08:19am

on May 26th, 2017, 2:20pm, Fabrizio wrote:


I agree with you and I actually think he should have been more assertive earlier on. The problem with Steve as I see it though, seemed to be he didn't know exactly what he wanted. Up to SEBTP by his own admission he saw himself as a player not a songwriter, btw I think he should have fought Tony more over soloes, playing time and arrangements in general. Then evidently something must have changed with the Lamb and why not? People evolve, because at a time where the band needed to prove themselves, he goes out to record a solo album. Can you imagine if Tony had done that? On Trick again his contribution in terms of songwriting is not gigantic, although brilliant imo and again he is buried by Tony in the final mix. Then on W&W, where he does have more space, suddenly, he has this not very smart idea of being entitled to 25% of the album. Then he leaves Genesis, has a solo career but goes back to revisit Genesis...Twice. Man!!


After Foxtrot Steve took part in the recording of 'The Two Sides of Peter Banks' which seems to have been quite liberating for him. He appears to have been a lot more confident on Selling England with bringing in his own ideas. The Lamb didn't leave too much space for individual ideas because everything had to serve the concept of the album. After Peter left it was unclear if Genesis would continue at all, for a while everybody procrastinated the decision: Phil recorded with Brand X, Mike recorded with Ant, Steve recorded his solo album that contains everything he could not introduce in The Lamb or previous albums. It was Tony who called the others back to Genesis. During the recordings of Trick Steve was absent for a while because he was mixing his solo album, with all the ideas he had put into VOTA he had not left too much to add to Trick. W&W was when things finally clashed, he had written Please Don't Touch and Hoping Love Will Last, both were song ideas he could never hope to win the trio for so he had to choose between holding back his input or leave. The result was a sublime Hackett solo album (Please Don't Touch) and a mediocre Genesis album (ATTWT) which speaks loud and clear Steve did the right thing. About him revisiting the old Genesis songs, I don't see the problem with that. He has fond memories of the time nonetheless and loves the music that was produced even if it didn't last - if you've been divorced 20 years ago you can still cherish the good times you spent together.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 27th, 2017, 09:24am

on May 27th, 2017, 08:19am, Schrottrocker wrote:
After Peter left it was unclear if Genesis would continue at all, for a while everybody procrastinated the decision: Phil recorded with Brand X, Mike recorded with Ant, Steve recorded his solo album that contains everything he could not introduce in The Lamb or previous albums. It was Tony who called the others back to Genesis. During the recordings of Trick Steve was absent for a while because he was mixing his solo album, with all the ideas he had put into VOTA he had not left too much to add to Trick. W&W was when things finally clashed, he had written Please Don't Touch and Hoping Love Will Last, both were song ideas he could never hope to win the trio for so he had to choose between holding back his input or leave. The result was a sublime Hackett solo album (Please Don't Touch) and a mediocre Genesis album (ATTWT) which speaks loud and clear Steve did the right thing. About him revisiting the old Genesis songs, I don't see the problem with that. He has fond memories of the time nonetheless and loves the music that was produced even if it didn't last - if you've been divorced 20 years ago you can still cherish the good times you spent together.


Actually, speaking about the Lamb, from a musical point of view a lot of ideas were required, on a couple of occasions they didnít have enough music for the story, if I remember correctly this is how Carpet Crawlers was written, so there was room enough for everybody to pitch in.
Whatever Mike, and Phil did after the Lamb did not interfere with the Bandís schedule and as far as I remember, it was the press and some fans who were unsure whether the band would continue or not, the band themselves had never any doubt. They were perhaps unsure whether to continue as an instrumental ensemble, or what kind of singer to get or even whether they were going to be successful without Peter but I donít remember they ever considered calling it quit and by the end of the tour things were settled.
Steveís absence from the initial session of Trick can be interpreted in many ways: lack of commitment on Steveís part? The band thought he was expendable? Philosophical acceptance of a given fact? Who knows? I donít.
What I think is correct however, is that they wouldnít have moved on with those sessions without Phil, Mike and Tony, I think we can all agree with that.
I agree that ATTW3 was not their best album, personally I donít find Please donít touch sublime though, the title track doesnít do much for me and for the band either apparently and as for Hoping Love Will Last, I think even Steve admitted it was better suited for a female vocalist. That said I have little doubt that Steveís contribution could have improved ATTW3, whether enough to Ďsaveí the album I donít know, I never saw him as a driving force.
Of course Steve can revisit Genesis music anytime he pleases, I personally respect more Peterís attitude, even though at times I found a bit extreme.

Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by foxfeeder on May 27th, 2017, 1:28pm

We seem to have wandered off topic here. To "Get Back" (pun):

Tony is a very talented songwriter and keyboard player, but he has faults.

He is unwilling to delegate.

He writes in a very "mathematical" way (by his own admission, from one of Armando's books)

He is poor at arranging his own stuff on his own. Not alone in this, Brian May is very talented, but without external input, he tends to go a bit "heavy metal" and sadly he is not even very good at it.

Discuss..... grin
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 27th, 2017, 1:48pm

on May 27th, 2017, 1:28pm, foxfeeder wrote:
We seem to have wandered off topic here. To "Get Back" (pun):

Tony is a very talented songwriter and keyboard player, but he has faults.

He is unwilling to delegate.

He writes in a very "mathematical" way (by his own admission, from one of Armando's books)

He is poor at arranging his own stuff on his own. Not alone in this, Brian May is very talented, but without external input, he tends to go a bit "heavy metal" and sadly he is not even very good at it.

Discuss..... grin

I agree with everything.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by foxfeeder on May 27th, 2017, 1:57pm

on May 27th, 2017, 1:48pm, Fabrizio wrote:
I agree with everything.


"falls over in disbelief!"

wink
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 27th, 2017, 2:55pm

on May 27th, 2017, 1:57pm, foxfeeder wrote:
"falls over in disbelief!"

wink

laugh I don't think it's the first time I've ever said that Tony has his limitations. To me he is someone who gets 80% 'there', he has the chords, the harmonies, the melodies and the lirycs but needs a decisive external input.
Peter would fight him over editing and adding vocals.
Phil would help him arrange his stuff and being more accessible and it is true that the way he builds up songs is quite mathematical, music sort of is, once he starts playing something you sort of know where he is going, that's why he needs the others imo, I think he came to realize that, after probably believing for some time he could be self-sufficient.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Schrottrocker on May 28th, 2017, 07:22am

What is "mathematical" in Tony's writing? I don't get that huh
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 28th, 2017, 08:01am

on May 28th, 2017, 07:22am, Schrottrocker wrote:
What is "mathematical" in Tony's writing? I don't get that huh


I am not sure I can explain that in satisfactory way but I'll try:
Think about his crescendos, soloes and melodies. Absolutely beautiful IMO but when he starts with something you kind of know what follows or where it is going to go. It is not meant to despective or to say that he is predictable but he follows rules, we instictevely follow those rules too when listening to a melody. You don't need to a musician, it's cultural, when listening to Indian or Chinese music we are completely lost, we have no idea what's being played and what is going to follow, they follow other scales patterns. You might want to read about tonal and modal music.
I give you two Beatles songs as an example: Hallo Goodbye and Stawberry fields forever. The former by Paul demonstrated absolute control of the said rules you hear it and after two verses you know what's going to follow, by the way, it could go anywhere but you'd know anyway, chords follow a natural progression which sounds familiar. The second is absolutely free and loose in its form.
Tony is more than a McCartney kind of writer, Peter is more in the Lennon camp.
Sorry if it sounds confusing but I wouldn't know how to explain it better.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Schrottrocker on May 28th, 2017, 1:18pm

on May 28th, 2017, 08:01am, Fabrizio wrote:
I am not sure I can explain that in satisfactory way but I'll try:
Think about his crescendos, soloes and melodies. Absolutely beautiful IMO but when he starts with something you kind of know what follows or where it is going to go. It is not meant to despective or to say that he is predictable but he follows rules, we instictevely follow those rules too when listening to a melody. You don't need to a musician, it's cultural, when listening to Indian or Chinese music we are completely lost, we have no idea what's being played and what is going to follow, they follow other scales patterns. You might want to read about tonal and modal music.
I give you two Beatles songs as an example: Hallo Goodbye and Stawberry fields forever. The former by Paul demonstrated absolute control of the said rules you hear it and after two verses you know what's going to follow, by the way, it could go anywhere but you'd know anyway, chords follow a natural progression which sounds familiar. The second is absolutely free and loose in its form.
Tony is more than a McCartney kind of writer, Peter is more in the Lennon camp.
Sorry if it sounds confusing but I wouldn't know how to explain it better.


I think I see your point but I don't agree. wink For those two Beatles songs, I basically agree but I don't see them as so extreme as you describe them. Both have their share of familiar ground as well as their surprise moments. For Tony's writing, I would rather have put him in the 'surprise' corner, he often uses quite unusual chord progressions. Maybe once you know his style it gets familiar but judged by what could be considered standard pop music formulas he is really far out.
Re: Some observations about Tony
Post by Fabrizio on May 29th, 2017, 06:22am

on May 28th, 2017, 1:18pm, Schrottrocker wrote:
I think I see your point but I don't agree. wink For those two Beatles songs, I basically agree but I don't see them as so extreme as you describe them. Both have their share of familiar ground as well as their surprise moments. For Tony's writing, I would rather have put him in the 'surprise' corner, he often uses quite unusual chord progressions. Maybe once you know his style it gets familiar but judged by what could be considered standard pop music formulas he is really far out.

I see that I wasn't able to explain myself and it was to be expected and entirely my fault but just to clarify: I never said that he is unoriginal and I did say he is not predictable, just that being a chords driven composer, just like you said places him immediatly in a specific area which is different from instance from those songwriters who come up with a tune from nowhere or work around two chords to build up the song.