Results for Genesis

interviews

David Weigel

prog rock Perhaps more than any other genre, Progressive Rock has a particular penchant for fantasy motifs. From Gensis, to Yes, to Rush, to King Crimson dystopian worlds, hobbits, and medieval imagery found a home within those sprawling 14-minute long songs. But why? Jim and Greg speak David Weigel, national correspondent for the Washington Post, and author The Show That Never Ends: The Rise And Fall Of Prog Rock. Weigel says that in the early 1970s as prog was making its rise, the works of J.R.R. Tolkien were not the blockbuster films we know today. Instead, they were much more a part of the counter-culture, like prog rock.

Go to episode 608
specials

School of Prog Rock

One of the terms that keeps coming up again and again on Sound Opinions is "Progressive Rock." The Decemberists channel it, Mastodon references it, and countless of fans are obsessed with it. So, this week Jim and Greg decide to dive right in to this larger-than-life, fantastical genre that, let's face it, sometimes makes us laugh. They talk to Charles Snider, author of The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock, about Prog's heydey in the 1970s. Charles, Jim and Greg define the genre as having the following traits: it is visionary and experimental, it has virtuosity in both execution and composition, it's romantic, and it has a sense of "Britishness."

So which bands do it best? Charles and our hosts recommend the following for great, Progressive headphone listening.

  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer
  • Genesis
  • Jethro Tull
  • Gentle Giant
  • The Pretty Things
  • Kraftwerk
  • Yes
  • King Crimson
Go to episode 207
reviews
Scratch My Back (Special Edition)Scratch My Back available on iTunes

Peter Gabriel Scratch My Back

While he won't be joining his former Genesis bandmates at the upcoming Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, Peter Gabriel will be busy promoting his new album Scratch My Back. Gabriel graduated from Genesis to have a hugely successful solo pop career. Now he's tackling some of his favorite songs on this new covers record. Greg has immense respect for Gabriel and thinks the album concept, which focuses on melodies and lyrics, is a noble one. However, he thinks it loses steam and lacks any variety. He gives this“well-intentioned dud”a Trash It. Jim doesn‘t understand Greg’s criticism about tempo and points out that this is a mood record. He applauds Gabriel for taking a left turn at 60 and gives Scratch My Back a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 223
A Musical History (Remastered)A Musical History available on iTunes

The Band A Musical History

A Musical History from folk-rock group The Band is one of the most comprehensive sets featured on the show. It contains five CDs with more than one hundred songs, as well as a DVD and a book. Greg suspects that the release of this set is lead singer Robbie Robertson's attempt to set the record straight on The Band's history. The many disputes over songwriting credits have been made quite public by some recent biographies, as well as Martin Scorsese concert film The Last Waltz. This set follows the long chronology of this group from its initial incarnation as The Hawks to their role as touring band for Bob Dylan on the 1966 Electric Tour. It also features tracks from The Basement Tapes, a famous bootleg of songs Dylan and The Band recorded while living in Woodstock, New York. Jim and Greg are both really impressed with how packed this set is, and are careful to point out that although Robertson has painted himself as the“auteur”of the group, The Band had many great vocalists including Richard Manuel and Levon Helm, the group's drummer. Pressed to come up with another singing drummer, Jim can only think of Genesis' Phil Collins.

JimGreg
Go to episode 3
10,000 Days

Tool 10,000 Days

On a completely different note, progressive metal band Tool also has a new album out. 10,000 Days is the band's fourth album, and it debuted at number one on the Billboard Chart. Tool's commercial success is surprising considering the band's lack of self-promotion: They rarely get radio or MTV play, seldom do interviews, and perform practically in darkness. They are almost anonymous, yet have a huge cult following. Jim and Greg imagine this is because of the band's progressive rock vibe. They appeal to fans (especially teenagers) who love complete albums and desire to spend hours and hours mulling over one band's work. But, Jim points out, unlike prog rock groups like Rush and Genesis, Tool's music is lacking hooks. It's nü-metal side kind of ruins the package for Jim and Greg. Therefore, despite the fun 3-D packaging, 10,000 Days only gets a Trash It from Greg and an reticent Burn It from Jim.

JimGreg
Go to episode 24
dijs

Jim

“The Return of the Giant Hogweed”Genesis

Jim's been thinking a lot about Genesis lately – and no, not the most famous version of the band with Phil Collins on vocals. Before hits like "I Can't Dance" Genesis was an unabashedly nerdy prog rock band, and that's the iteration of the group Jim wants to celebrate with his DIJ pick. 1971's Nursery Cryme with Peter Gabriel on vocals fit wonderfully into Jim's teenage world of renaissance fairs, Isaac Asimov, and Dungeons and Dragons. No track embodied the group's proto-steampunk ethic better than "The Return of the Giant Hogweed." Gabriel tells the story of a Victorian explorer who discovers the hogweed in Russia. Unaware of the plant's carnivorous tendencies he brings it back to England to the royal Kew Gardens, where it proceeds to wreak havoc. Listen for Steve Hackett, mimicking the sounds of the murderous plant on his guitar.

Go to episode 353

Jim

“No Self Control”Peter Gabriel

The show concludes with Jim's Desert Island Jukebox pick. Reviewing Tori Amos' new album got Jim thinking about other artists who have used characters in their performances and albums. One of the people who has done it best is Peter Gabriel. Gabriel assumed different identities throughout his time with Genesis. But it was on his third solo album that Gabriel really let the schizophrenia rip. In the song, "No Self Control," Gabriel sings from the perspective of an insane man in an asylum. We don‘t know what crime he’s done, nor do we know what violent act he's poised to do, but the lyrics as well as the music definitely give the listener a sense of chaos and paranoia. Part of that atmosphere can be attributed to the innovative drumming. Gabriel enlisted former Genesis mate Phil Collins and Jerry Marotta to give the drums a heavy bottom and not use any cymbals. Instead they used a Gate, an electronic device developed by Hugh Padgham. The sound was incredibly influential, and for that reason the drum geek in Jim wants it with him on the deserted island.

Go to episode 76

Jim

“One for the Vine”Genesis

A couple of classic rock reunions made the news recently. First was Black Sabbath sans Ozzy Osbourne. The second was Genesis sans Peter Gabriel. Jim is a self-professed "prog rock nerd" and wanted to use his turn at the Desert Island Jukebox as an opportunity to defend Genesis, even in the days after Gabriel (and according to some, the band's credibility) left. He goes with "One for the Vine," which our host explains may have been written by Tony Banks as a companion to "Salsbury Hill," which was written by Gabriel, his friend and former bandmate. Jim believes the song is about a messianic leader who brings his people into a war fought in his name, and then gets pulled up into heaven… or something like that. Regardless of the content, Jim thinks it's a beautiful song. Greg scoffs, but you be the judge.

Go to episode 49

Jim

“America”Yes

For his Desert Island Jukebox pick, Jim wanted to play a song by an artist that epitomizes“high fidelity.”He looked to a member of his holy triumvirate of rock: Pink Floyd, Genesis and Yes. This week it's Yes' turn. Jim describes their version of "America" as a“headphone classic.”While you won't be able to hear the original vinyl audio fidelity on the radio or podcast, Sound Opinions H.Q. hopes you enjoy this cover of a classic Simon and Garfunkel song.

Go to episode 123
lists

Fantasy Songs

Whether Mordor, Westeros, or a dystopian landscape, multiple artists have written songs that pay homage to their favorite fantasy worlds. This week, Jim and Greg share their inner nerdiness and pick their favorite prog rock and fantasy-inspired songs.

Go to episode 608

Going Solo

Paul McCartney solo Paul McCartney released his first post-Beatles album 45 years ago this month, launching a commercially successful solo career that is still going strong. Sometimes members of a famous band go out on their own and fall flat on their faces. But in this segment, Jim and Greg share examples of artists going solo and living up to expectations.

Go to episode 490

Rock Operas

For many music fans, when you hear "Rock Opera," you probably think of The Who's 1969 album Tommy. But, Jim and Greg assert that Tommy is neither the first, nor the best, Rock Opera. Credit for the first goes to S.F. Sorrow by The Pretty Things in 1968. Credit for the best? Well, there's a long list throughout music history, including those listed below. But whatever your favorite, just don't call it a concept album!

  • The Who's Quadrophenia
  • Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
  • Green Day's American Idiot
  • Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger
  • Janelle Monae's The Archandroid
  • The Pretty Things's S.F. Sorrow
  • The Kinks' Arthur
  • Lou Reed's Berlin
  • David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust
  • Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage
  • Pink Floyd's The Wall
  • The Decemberists' Crane Wife
  • Neil Young and Crazy Horse's Greendale
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar

Share your favorite at 888.859.1800, at interact@soundopinions.org or on Facebook and Twitter.

Go to episode 455
news

Music News

With 2008 ahead of us, it's time to look back at who reigned in the year that was. According to recent figures, it was The Police. The recently reunited group had the top grossing tour of 2007 with $132 million. Also making the top 10: Genesis, Van Halen and Roger Waters. While people like Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera also had successful touring years, Jim and Greg were dismayed to see how dominant aging, nostalgia acts were. It doesn't bode well for the concert industry, especially when you see that overall sales were down almost 20%. Our hosts recommend concert promoters focus more on developing younger, more diverse acts if they want to improve the numbers for next year.

Next up Jim and Greg speak with Oscar-winning director Peter Bogdanovich, whose new film Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream, has been airing on the Sundance Channel and is now available on DVD. Greg notes that Bogdanovich is a director who likes to cover big subjects and big men, like Orson Welles and John Ford. And the filmmaker agrees that Tom Petty fits into that mold. He describes him as a truly“American”artist, and one that warrants a four-hour film.

Go to episode 110

Music News

It's the dirty little secret of the music industry. If you've got the loot, Mariah Carey, Nelly Furtado and Usher, among others, can perform at your wedding, birthday party or bar mitzvah. And these big stars don't appear to be too selective about their gigs – a fact that has caused some controversy recently. The aforementioned pop singers performed at private parties for members of Muammar Gaddafi's family. Now they are expressing regret, and in some instances, promising to donate their fees to charity. Usher, for one, has claimed ignorance, but Jim and Greg think these high powered artists can afford to pay a little more attention to their schedules.

Phil Collins has sold about 100 million albums – and to him that seems like a good place to stop. The Genesis drummer recently announced his retirement and was then hit with a number of unkind rumors about the impetus for this decision. He set the record straight on his website, explaining that he wants to spend more time with his children. Jim and Greg think this is a noble way to bow out – assuming he doesn't launch an expensive comeback tour in a few years.

Go to episode 276

Music News

This year's crop of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees were celebrated last week at a ceremony in Cleveland. 2009's class includes Metallica, Run DMC, Jeff Beck, Bobby Womack and Little Anthony and the Imperials. While Metallica is getting its props, heavy metal is consistently unrepresented. Greg would vote to nominate Slayer. Jim agrees and adds that progressive rock music is also due for some representation. Love ‘em or hate ’em, Genesis, Yes and Jethro Tull are certainly as influential, if not more, than Little Anthony.

On the same day that U2 released a second set of tickets for their highly sought-after fall tour, New York Senator Chuck Schumer unveiled new legislation to crack down on the secondary ticket market, or scalping. Schumer is riding the wave of popularity he got after criticizing Ticketmaster for sales of Bruce Springsteen tickets, but Jim and Greg don't blame him. Jim calls scalping“a plague”on the music industry, and both critics urge reform.

They may have stopped making music decades ago, but The Beatles' output is still going strong. This fall Apple Corps and EMI will release the band's entire catalog remastered digitally on CD. This is long overdue; their music hasn't been upgraded since songs were first put on CD twenty years ago. But, while fans might be excited for a new model, Jim and Greg see this as a very transparent attempt to keep dipping into the same profit pool year after year.

Go to episode 176

Music News

The list of possible inductees for next year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony has been announced. Among the first-time nominees are Kiss, LL Cool J, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Genesis. But there are some old faces, too. ABBA, The Stooges, and Donna Summer have all been up for induction before. Jim and Greg think they deserve recognition, but also have a healthy dose of skepticism whenever they talk about the Hall of Fame. It's notoriously conservative and often overlooks more fringe genres. Plus, as Jim explains, winners always run the risk of being encased in glass and wax in Cleveland.

A heavy debate on piracy and the internet is brewing in Europe. First, the controversial“Three Strikes”law in France has passed in the French assembly. This means that if a French citizen is caught downloading illegally three times, he or she will lose internet access and be subject to fines up to $450,000. Their neighbors in the U.K. are also concerned about this issue. British pop stars like Radiohead, Annie Lennox, and Robbie Williams are members of the Featured Artists Coalition, which recently released a statement coming down firmly on the side of the consumer and defending internet file-sharing as a promotional tool for up-and-coming artists. But artists like Lily Allen and James Blunt have taken the other side. Jim and Greg find this to be a bit ironic considering Allen's use of MySpace early in her career.

Before they launch into reviews of new fall albums, Jim and Greg take a look at how things are going on the charts. The Beatles are still the big winners, selling more than 2 million albums worldwide in just five days. But, as Jim points out, this is a fraction of what they might have sold back in the CD heyday of 1992, and a fraction of what they might have sold digitally. Another big chart winner is Jay-Z, who sold almost 300,000 albums of The Blueprint 3. Hip hop still dominates the charts, with big-selling albums by Drake, Lil Boosie, and Kid Cudi, whom Jim and Greg discuss later in the show.

Go to episode 200