A Trick of the Tail review by Genesis

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  • Released: Feb 2, 1976
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (2 votes)
Genesis: A Trick of the Tail

Sound — 9
Genesis is an English progressive rock band that formed in 1967 with members: Peter Gabriel (lead vocals, flute), Tony Banks (keyboards), Mike Rutherford (bass, 12 string guitar), Anthony Phillips (lead guitar), and Chris Stewart (drums). This lineup did not last particularly long as Chris was replaced by John Silver during the sessions of their debut "From Genesis to Revalation" in '69. Afterwards they then started to write more intricate and detailed music with their sophomore record "Trespass" released in the following year, this time with another new drummer John Mayhew. Once more touring became a part of their lives more prominently, Anthony Phillips starting get a lot more stage fright related issues and health concerns and he left the group. John Mayhem ended up also being replaced... this time Genesis would get a magnificent drummer who would unknowingly end up becoming the band's vocalist as well. Enter Phil Collins. Phil is an excellent drummer who showed up to the audition with ultimate percussion prowess and nailed the songs Genesis had prepared for him. Now flip over to 1975 where Peter Gabriel leaves his band, more or less leaving them in a tricky situation: finding a new singer. The process definitely didn't not go over too well with them and their auditions, and since they knew Phil could already sing (lead vocals on "More Fool Me" and back up vocals for the most part) he decided to have a go at it. The end result was fantastic as Genesis essentially catapulted into more commercial and mainstream success with their music and even a few comedic antics. This is a great album by Genesis, I simply love it all the tracks on the album are great. Phil is a great singer, he has quite a soulful voice in his own right and frankly is the perfect choice I'd say. He has a different vocal style and it is certainly distinct when comparing him to Peter Gabriel. For the most part Genesis has used fairly common instruments on this record, such as: electric guitars, 12 string guitars, electric bass, keyboards/synths, drums, bass pedals, and vocals. This is a wonderful album one of their bests for sure, a perfect mid '70s gem in my opinion. The quality of the recording is great also, everything sounds and seems in order.

Lyrics — 8
My impression of the lyrics is that they are all stories and are really interesting to get into, especially if you are into prog rock and love to listen to each specific word or even just appreciate the sound they add to the music. The lyrics go quite well with the music and I can't really think of anything more fitting for the music and I wouldn't want to much either. I think the songs have a bit of a woodsy or an older romantic sort of feel to them. Specific verses/lyrics that jump out to me particularly are: "Hey man, I'm the sand man, and boy I have news for you, they're gonna throw you in gaol, and you know they can't fail, cuz Sand is thicker than Blood..." - "Mad Man Moon" (bridge..?) "The face that launched a thousand ships, is sinking fast, that happens you know, the water gets below, seems not very long ago, lovelier she was than any that I know..." - "Ripples" (3rd verse).

Overall Impression — 10
I find "A Trick of the Tail" a great record by a great band so I am a little biased to give very high ratings for each section. I think it stands up quite nicely with the rest of their albums and is up there with "Trespass," "Wind & Wuthering," and "...And Then There Were Three" for my favorites. The most impressive songs on the album in my opinion are: "Entangled," "Squonk," "Mad Man Moon," "Ripples," "A Trick of the Tail," and "Los Endos." These songs really are quite amazing to me, I'm glad to have heard them that's for sure. I love everything about it probably, I can't think of anything really to dislike about it to be honest. If it were lost/gone/stolen I'd go out and get it again as soon as I could or thought of it.

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