Why wait a few years for a new album when the new version of the band became successful with its new singer?
Released in December 1976, the band of Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett remained unchanged, however trouble was brewing on the horizons.
Success leads to the need to create more success. And for Genesis, they had four competent songwriters who thought they all had the songs to create more success. The question was, which songs would get chosen and which songs would be left out.
Eleventh Earl Of Mar
Written by Tony Banks, Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford. Its progressive, competing with bands like Yes for complex time changes and yet it still sounds like foot tapping rock and roll.
That section that starts with the words “I’m fighting, gravity falling” is my favourite and while brief, the vocal melody from Collins is memorable.
It refers to the historical figure of John Erskine, Earl of Mar, a Scottish Jacobite.
One For The Vine
At 10 minutes, it’s not for everyone. Written solely by Banks, the keys dominate the track.
I like the section from about the 4.40 minute mark. It’s almost soundtrack like something which The Alan Parsons Project would do a lot with his instrumentals. And the quietened down section at 7.21 fits well after the long instrumental passage.
Your Own Special Way
Even though the song is written by Rutherford in open tuning, it’s a typical Phil Collins song. It also reminds me of Coheed and Cambria and a song from the “No World For Tomorrow” album.
An instrumental which Collins brought to the band and one that he said is one of his favourite tracks as it brought in his influences of jazz fusion.
Meanwhile Hackett felt that the song was “good rhythmically, but underdeveloped harmonically” and didn’t want it on the album in place of his song “Please Don’t Touch” which Hackett would later use for his solo album of the same name.
All In A Mouse’s Night
Written by Banks, it’s a silly song lyrically about a 10 foot mouse with big teeth however the music reminds me of a section in Dream Theater’s “Six Degree Of Inner Turbulence” song.
Blood On The Rooftops
Written by Hackett and Collins, I like the classical/flamenco style guitar from Hackett to start off the song. Listen closely and you will hear a bit of “Dee” from Randy Rhoads there. Then again, classical is classical so everyone is borrowing from the same masters.
Banks and Rutherford have said that this was Hackett’s best song as a member of the group.
Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers…
Written by Hackett and Rutherford, it’s an instrumental which is in two parts. The guitar playing from Hackett is very flamenco finger picked liked and good enough to rival the masters of the genre.
In That Quiet Earth
Written by the band, this is the second part of the instrumental and Collins is playing a fast jazz fusion beat which allows the rest of the band to dance over.
The heavy metal like section from 2.50 is the reason why I press play.
Written by Banks, this a milestone song for the band, as it proved that they could write short songs that they all liked. And a sign of the direction they would take.
The album was another success and the tour was huge with the gigs in Brazil being attended by over 150,000 people and each member needing armed bodyguards during their stay.
But Hackett was not a happy camper.
The writing process for the album was argumentative and having his songs removed was also contentious. So once the tour ended, Hackett left the bend to pursue a solo career.