Sunday, June 9, 2013

Genesis--Land of Confusion (1986)

     When we left things yesterday, Peter Gabriel left to pursue a solo career. The band tried out around 400 singers to replace him before settling on Phil Collins. Over 30 years later, it's easy to think that the band's move to more pop oriented material was a sharp line between the two singers. This was far from the truth as several of the albums post-Gabriel were progressive in nature as well. "A Trick of the Tail" (1976),  "Wind & Wuthering" (1976), and "Seconds Out" (1977--a live album). Of course, you can hear a gradual shift towards more pop sounds, but they would never totally leave their artsy roots. Looking back all of these years later, they were actually ahead of the curve. While the late 70's became a wasteland for many of the progressive rock heroes earlier in the decade, Genesis saw the writing on the wall and began a change to a sound that took the best parts of their prog roots and wedded them to a more pop structure.
     Am not sure if his leaving hastened this change over, or vice versa, but by the album, "..And Then There Were Three" (1978), Steve Hackett had left as well leaving it down to a trio of Banks, Rutherford, and Collins. The 80's was when this lineup struck gold time and time again. Beginning with, "Follow You, Follow Me" (1978), they racked up seventeen top 40 hits through 1992, with the apex of this popularity coming between 1986 and 1988, which included, "Land of Confusion"
     Although a big fan of 70's progressive rock, I always felt an detachment to Gabriel era Genesis. I've always found the latter era group to be more tuneful. To be fair, Peter Gabriel has also done better creatively in his solo career after leaving the group which helped launch his career. Despite what prog rock sympathizers might tell you otherwise, the 80's version could rock as well, and this song is a good example of it. Things began to slow down in the mid-90's, especially after Collins left in 93',   and although there had been a couple of reunions since, 1997's, "Calling All Stations" wrapped it up for the group as a recording entity. 


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