Apologies to those that aren’t sure what the Guelph Music Club is all about, but now is your chance to catch-up.
Trying to pick the five best albums from 1963-1973 has proven to be pretty challenging. I’m not sure I could pick my five favourite albums from 1967, forget an entire ten-year period.
So forget about listing them in order of preference, how about just random.
But I was really wrong.
To go off on a tangent for a moment, there are very few things I enjoy more than discovering a band (or re-discovering in some cases) and learning that they have quite a significant back catalogue of music that I have never heard before.
That is very much the case for Genesis.
I discovered albums like 1970′s Trespass, 1972′s Foxtrot, and 1973′s Selling England By The Pound. But the one that blew me away was 1971′s Nursery Cryme.
A few important notes about Nursery Cryme include that it is the first with Phil Collins on drums, and legendary guitarist and prog-rock hero Steve Hackett.
It’s also the start of a consistent Genesis line-up (though that only lasted until 1977 when Hackett and lead singer Peter Gabriel would leave the band).
But this isn’t a history lesson (I hope you learned something…), this is about why Nursery Cryme is one of the best albums from 1963-1973.
What’s not to enjoy about this album?
The band, as a whole, are stellar. It’s hard not to listen to the music, and become absorbed in the tune. Hackett is one of the best, yet most under appreciated guitarists in rock’n'roll. He may be in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame (as a member of Genesis), but it wouldn’t be a stretch that he should be in there as a solo artist / session musician.
Or maybe it’s the vocals – perhaps some of Gabriel’s most powerful from his legendary career. Gabriel has a way of making a song his.
It’s a track like this, The Return Of The Giant Hogweed, where you can hear what the early Genesis sound was all about.
Hogweed has so many musical levels to it. It starts with what could be called a more ‘metal’ guitar intro from Hackett. But once the band joins in, it begins to resemble the classic prog design. Theatrical vocals, with mystical, poetic lyrics. Time signatures that don’t follow the traditional 4/4 style. And supreme musicianship.
I regret that I allowed Genesis to be dismissed as a pop band for as long as I did. Thankfully I’ve gotten past that. I even (kind of) like the Phil Collins era.
But there is something about the music that Gabriel, Banks, Hackett, Rutherford, and Collins produced in just a few years that really stands out to me as some of the best from not just one bands catalogue, but from a decades worth of music.