In July 1970, Genesis released it's second album, "Trespass." Like their first album, "From Genesis To Revelation," it too vanished without a trace. However, all was not lost. "Trespass" was important for three reasons:
1. It got the attention of the British Music Scene, especially in London (bands like Yes, Pink Floyd & Humble Pie were taking notice).
2. The album officially put Charisma Records on the map (even though the Nice's fourth album, "The Five Bridges Suite" was before it.
3. 'The Knife' was not only a hit but would become a stage favourite for the early years.
Just as Genesis was signed on Charisma Recors & before this album was released, Guitarist 'Ant' Phillips was not celebratory at all. Due to his stage fright, he would later resign. His lead guitar work on 'Looking For Someone' & 'The Knife' wasn't the greatest but it seem to be perfect in the right spots. John Mayhew wasn't bad either. His drumming was okay, more basic & his background vocals was decent. Mayhew would comment later on some stiff profound statements after he was fired. Genesis would find the final missing ingredients in Phil Collins (June, 1970) & Steve Hackett (Late December 1970) in their next album.
If you look closely at the album itself, you can see all 6 songs on the cover & the back. Let me describe: The couple looking out at the scenery, they're 'Looking For Someone.' The mountains in the picture ('White Mountain'). The Angel behind the couple ('Vision Of Angels'), The scene is in 'Stagnation' & the time of day is 'Dusk.' 'The Knife' in the back of the cover.
Trident Studios were kicking out execellent, well-sounding, high quality albums. Although they were using 16-track (a quantam leap forward since their first album was uning 4-track recording) the sound is very murky & somewhat cloudy. The editing is very bad on this album. That's why it gets the 3-Star rating.
Now let's go through the songs:
LOOKING FOR SOMEONE: Peter Gabriel's voice sounds more confident then he did on the first album. Right from jump, it's like he's on a mission. The song builds up until it crashes into an exciting climax.
WHITE MOUNTAIN: A pretty song. Acoustic guitars over Tony Bank's Hammond L122. Gabriel whistles through the outro while Banks makes his haunting Hammond Organ statements.
VISION OF ANGELS: Another light hearted song w/ Banks using the Mellotron MK II for the first time.
STAGNATION: This song begins w/ quiet acoustic guitars & then builds up to a loud cresendo as Banks' L122 tells the story. The loudness builds to a complete halt when Gabriel's flute quiets the noise only to build up for another cresendo.
A better version of 'Stagnation' can be heard in the 1998 Box-set, "THE GENESIS ARCHIVES 1967-75" when the 'Class of 1971' line-up were on BBC Live, 1971. The very last part of the song has the makings of a great late 60's band.
DUSK: A beautiful acoustic piece w/ great background vocals. Again, the Mellotron creeps up only to add melancholy.
THE KNIFE: The second most explosive song on the track. A song about a revolutionist on a power trip. Michael Rutherford's Fender Precision Bass sounds distorted through the whole song. As the song breaks in the middle, everyone improvises during the quiet moments, very unusual indeed. And remember, once the smoke is cleared, you'll be screaming "We are only wanting freedom!"
A better version of 'The Knife' is on the 1973 album, "Genesis Live."
If you're getting into Genesis, I highly recommend this as the starting point. If you're a regular Genesis fan & only are familiar w/ the 80's stuff, ("Duke," "Abacab," "Genesis," "Invisible Touch," "We Can't Dance") this may not be for you unless you feel daring enough to really know what Genesis really was. I took the plunge when I bought this back in 1996 was I was 18.
For the die hard fans, you might like, but for us HARD CORE GENESIS FANS (I fit in this group) this is 'our' Genesis that we know & love, when they went for broke & transformed themselves into Progressive Art Rock before they sold out to pop rock.
"Trespass" was just the beginning.