5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Genesis CD
This is my favorite Genesis album. In 83 and 84,7 out of 9 songs on this CD were either small or big hits on the radio. Phil Collins drums really kick on this one. Tony Banks outdid himself with the synthesizers on this album. This album is very solid from start to finish with a very smooth and polished haunting rock sound. MAMA and HOME BY THE SEA are my favorites...
Published on Feb 7 2000 by Mike S
3.0 out of 5 stars A tale of two Genesis's
For fans of the pop era of Genesis, this is a must have. Side one is stellar and 12 years after I bought the album I find I still play this one, while 'Invisible Touch' and 'We Can't Dance' collect dust on the shelf. I don't play side two much anymore, as the material is weaker. 'Illegal Alien' is downright annoying to me these days, although I would like to see the video...
Published on Feb 14 2003 by Neil Tiedeman
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Genesis CD,
4.0 out of 5 stars Still Going Strong,
"Mama" opens the album and was released as the first single, but it is hardly a standard "pop" song by any measure. It has a darker sound than one would expect for a Genesis song, though it does fit well with other songs on the album. The song didn't do very well on the U.S. pop charts, though it did reach #4 in the UK. "That's All" comes next and it is more of a standard pop tune, soft and simple and not surprisingly it did better in the U.S. as a result. The last song(s) on the first half of the album is/are "Home By the Sea". Though split into "Home By the Sea" and "Second Home By the Sea" this is really one piece and is a good example of how Genesis still incorporated progressive elements in their songs. The song was played on tour for years after this album and was often a showpiece with its extended instrumental section. The piece also works well with "Mama" in giving the album a somewhat eerie feel up to this point with the exception of "That's All".
The second half opens with "Illegal Alien" a light and humorous piece which suffered from overplay. It was released as a video, but after hearing and seeing it a few times it tends to become annoying. "Taking it All Too Hard" is next and is another typical soft-rock type pop song. Being on the same album as "That's All" and "It's Gonna Get Better" made it somewhat redundant. It was released as a single but didn't do particularly well. "Just a Job to Do" provides a fairly high energy piece in an album which needs something other than "Illegal Alien". It is one of my favorites on the album, though it isn't quite at the level of "Mama" or "Home By the Sea". "Silver Rainbow" is a rather odd piece, especially with regard to the lyric, but perhaps that is why I tend to like it. "It's Gonna Get Better" is another ballad, making 3 of the 9 tracks ballads, and when one considers that "Home By The Sea" is really one piece it tends to make the album a bit ballad-heavy.
On the whole, this is a fairly decent album. One can always skip over "Illegal Alien" and one of the second half ballads and have an enjoyable listen. The first half of the album is clearly the strongest part of the album, though other than "Illegal Alien" the rest of the tracks are fairly easy to listen to. The group shares the writing credits for all the tracks with: Phil Collins (drums, percussion, lead vocals); Tony Banks (keyboards, backing vocals); Mike Rutherford (guitars, bass, backing vocals).
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential Genesis,
By A Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, breathtaking! 3rd great pop work by Genesis!,
By A Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars I got a name, I got a number ....,
I do not consider Taking It All Too Hard a snooze as it was put by somebody else. Of course, my favorite will be Just A Job to Do. This combined with the Abacab & Invisible Touch albums will give you basically all the Genesis that you need.
4.0 out of 5 stars Genesis becomes The Police (and that's a good thing),
4.0 out of 5 stars It was official now; Genesis were superstars!,
By 1983, Genesis had been a trio for 5 years, and saw their success slowly increase as the years went by. If that wasn't enough, their drummer-turned-leader Phil Collins was pursuing a solo career that would almost eclipse his band's in terms of popularity and records sold. Their days as a progressive rock collective were long gone, and even though they retained some aspects from that era, pop music was now their bread & butter, and with albums like their 1983 self-titled, fans who stuck around need not have worried if too much success would cloud the band's judgement.
It's amazing that after Phil Collins released 2 best-selling solo albums, he was willing to get back together with his full-time band to create an album that further broke Genesis through to the mainstream, perhaps helped by Phil's success on his own. Unlike previous albums, where individual members might contribute their own songs, all 9 songs on GENESIS were composed by the group together, proving that no amount of solo success could tear them apart.
Genesis had been no stranger to the top 40 by early 1984, but they finally reached the top 10 with "That's All" peaking at #6. A relentlessly upbeat piano pop song, perhaps some fans wondered about Genesis' motivation towards abandoning their progressive past once they heard this song. Yet a little melody goes a long way, and certainly if it was Genesis' most poppy song to date, it was still miles above the typical pop product of the time. Of course, the fact MTV gave the video for "That's All" frequent rotation was some bearing on it.
Interestingly, that song was the highest charting single from the album, while the three others didn't even see top 40 action. Nevertheless, they're all just as good as (and maybe better than) "That's All". The creepy (where did Tony Banks come up with those keyboard lines?) first single "Mama" only managed #73, belying its parent album's eventual big success. Perhaps the fact that this was one of the songs that could easily have been at home on progressive-era Genesis albums (particularly music-wise) didn't win over those fans who had been hooked by the band's more accessible material. However, "Mama" does feature one of Phil Collins' finest vocal performances & Lord can you feel his anguish!
"Illegal Alien" has long been the song off of GENESIS that I could play over & over again, and never get tired of it. Just missing the top 40 (reaching #44), to me this is simply a fun, catchy number that also has some political subtext to it. Yet I'm surprised to see that some people have thought "Illegal Alien" to be offensive and even xenophobic (when in fact, it's quite the opposite). Hopefully, there are some thicker-skinned listeners out there, who may also want to check out the video for it if they get the chance (I didn't see it until later in life, but it's a load of fun just like the song itself).
"Taking It All Too Hard" was not a bad song, if really just a lightweight ballad-type tune that Genesis maybe could have written in their sleep. The fact that this song stopped at #50 after being released nearly a year since GENESIS was released is maybe evidence that the band's label was milking the album's success for every last drop. I could see "Taking It All Too Hard" on one of Phil's albums, just not Genesis'.
The remaining album tracks are no slouches in their own right, and just because they never saw as much airplay as their more successful cousins doesn't mean they're not worth a mention. "Home By The Sea" & its partly-instrumental counterpart "Second Home By The Sea" is another way Genesis reminds listeners of their earlier days as FM radio darlings with a 2-part progressive-inspired extravaganza that would be repeated & refined on INVISIBLE TOUCH's "Domino". "Just A Job To Do" is a funk-driven number that sounds a little close to ABACAB's "No Reply At All" in sound (only without the horns), but is a fine rocker that I'm sure would have fit the tone of that ABC series THE INSIDERS well (I was maybe too young to remember it). "Silver Rainbow" is another Genesis pseudo-love song like "Taking It All Too Hard", but Genesis seems to inhabit this song better than its predecessor. "It's Gonna Get Better" closes the album out with a song that apparently points out the ruthlessness of the big city, where backstabbers outnumber the good Samaritans. However, there's always the hope that goodness still survives and, somehow, you will get through it.
When GENESIS became Genesis's largest-selling album to date, it naturally came with a double edge. On the one hand, the band now had a larger audience than ever before in their history. But on the other, those fans who had stuck with Genesis ever since the beginning saw reason to complain that they were no longer the same band they had loved in the first place; their music was now more polished and normal than anything off of FOXTROT or THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY. Perhaps the ones complaining the least were Genesis themselves, who were now suddenly household names & saw no reason not to continue in the same direction for the next decade or so. If 1978's ...AND THEN THERE WERE THREE was Genesis' official entry into the mainstream, GENESIS was their introduction to the front ranks of it.
1.0 out of 5 stars YET ANTOHER DUD OF A RECORDING,
4.0 out of 5 stars "something doesn't feel quite right",
"Illegal Alien" sounds blatantly commercial with mocking stereotypes and racist undertones. Although, in some cases, there is some truth to some of the lyrics, releasing it as a single with a silly video was a little much. I've always liked "Taking It all Too Hard." It is not as remembered as much as other Genesis singles, but it is one of my favorites. It is very catchy. The rest of the album sounds like B-Side material. Very banal music that makes the less memorable tracks off Abacab sound fantastic. "Silver Rainbow" is almost embarrassing: "but if you're sitting there beside her and a bear comes in the room and you keep on going cos you're unaware then you know that you are there." Still, there is enough great stuff on here to make it well worth it. This eponymous release was the calm before the storm for, three years later riding on Collins' solo triumphs, the band released an album that made them superstars with music far less creative and innovative than most of the material on this album.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very catchy prog-pop,
1. Mama- this is the bomb, a longer version than on "Turn it On" but it appears not quite as dark- 5/5
2. That's all- Fairly generic pop-sounding song but has a good bridge 3.5/5
3 and 4. Home and Second Home- A great prog song that incorporates some pop beats and 80's drum machines and synths 5/5
5. Illegal Alien- a fun yet subtly political song that seems to attack the generosity of the British immigration system. Great pop number 5/5
6. All too hard- Nah, I'll be right. Actually it's okay, nothing special though 3/5
7. Just a job to do- A song about Milgram's experiment which was addressed later and better in Peter Gabriel's song "We Do What We're Told" 3/5
8. Silver Rainbow- my favourite from the album 5/5 for sure
9. Gonna Get Better- The bassline is so good on this song- very 80's. My second favourite 5/5
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Genesis (Audio Cassette) (Audio Cassette - 1990)