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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Genesis - Turn It On Again - The Hits

Phil Collins often gets a bad rap, partially due to what some perceive as cheesiness as well as musical simplicity. Love him or hate him, his "cheesy and simple" music hit a chord with millions of people. I find that some of the greatest comedians to ever live didn't necessarily have the best jokes, but because they had one-of-a-kind delivery the jokes took on a life of their own. The same applies to music in my opinion. In this entry we will be discussing Genesis' "Turn It On Again: The Hits", where you will find their most commercially successful songs. For the most part, these songs were written by the trio of Phil Collins, Tony Banks, and Mike Rutherford (Mike and the Mechanics).

"Turn It On Again" is the perfect introduction to a great album. Listening to the keyboard introduction is like opening a storybook. The song is about a man who becomes so obsessed with television that he begins to believe the characters are his friends. I guess in a way it's a perfect way to describe the album. You almost create a story in your mind when listening.

"Invisible Touch" is disguised in this upbeat melody, but it is about a manipulative woman who you fall for every time and she just emotionally wears you out. You really hear Tony Banks' genius keyboard ability here, especially in the solo later on.

"Mama" has a haunting melody and really displays Phil's ability to put on a theatrical performance of the ages. It is about a young man's longing for a certain prostitute however it is open to the listener's interpretation. Collins' laugh is based off of Grandmaster Flash's "The Message".

"Land of Confusion" is not one of my favorites as I respect Ronald Reagan too much to appreciate the message.

"I Can't Dance" was one of their later hits and not a favorite of mine. You could tell they were reaching the end.

"Follow You Follow Me" really signifies the forming of the famous trio of Collins, Banks, and Rutherford. Introduced on their "...And Then There Were Three" album, it is an adventurous tune. Whenever I hear this I feel like I'm watching a classic movie like Hook or reading a Roald Dahl book. The keyboard solo is one of the greatest I have ever heard.

"Hold On My Heart" is a romantic song, sort of taking on the tone of "Follow You Follow Me" only with the ability to really pull on the heartstrings.

"Abacab" is in ways very similar to "Turn It On Again" as far as its upbeatness goes. It is titled this as an ode to the A-B-A-C-A-B musical structure.

"I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" is one of their earliest tunes and included Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett. It seems to have a story format to it with who I believe to be Peter Gabriel telling a story. It is not a favorite.

"No Son of Mine" is about a disapproving father and is a rather sad song. It is a bit too dark for my liking but has a good message.

"Tonight Tonight Tonight" has a tribal beat and is a great song to listen to when pumping oneself up, due to it having a bit of an angry tone.

"In Too Deep" is a break-up song discussing all the reasons as to why the relationship is dissolving. One of their greatest songs, it is proof that a simple song can be powerful.

"Congo" was released in 1997 after Phil Collins had left the band. On vocals was Ray Wilson. It still manages to generate that Genesis feel, another one that almost seems to take on a storybook-like feeling. Wilson makes it his own.

"Jesus He Knows Me" is about the deceitfulness of televangelists who use God as a way to make money. Whether one agrees with its overall message or not, it is a great song with a nice beat.

"That's All" is their greatest song in my opinion. Taking on a Seals and Crofts meets Chicago feel, the piano is what I consider to be all-time classic.

"Misunderstanding" is a great tune about a guy who is stood up by a girl. In an interview with Redbeard on In The Studio, Phil credits "Sail on Sailor" by the Beach Boys and
"Hold the Line" by Toto as this song's influence.

"Throwing It All Away" is another one of those songs that you think of when someone mentions Genesis. Having that storybook feel to it, I feel like I'm in prehistoric times with dinosaurs roaming around.

"The Carpet Crawlers 1999" is a re-recording of their 1974 track with its original performers. Definitely a Gabriel piece as it sounds like something off of his So album. Great song with a real creepy yet storybook feel. You feel like you're in a fantasy world.