Genesis were huge in the eighties (and indeed seventies). But with Nursery Cryme I got off to a bad start…
In the film “Almost Famous” by Cameron Crowe, a love of rock music is instilled in him when he is bequeathed a number of albums by his older sister, Anita when she leaves home after a row with their mother. The bag of records hidden under her bed contains Get Yer Ya Yas Out, Led Zep 2, Neil Young, CSN, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Joni Mitchell, Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde and The Who’s Tommy.
I had an older sister too. She had a record player and a bag of records also. However, her record collection consisted of “You’re The One That I Want” by Olivia Newton John and John Travolta, “Hopelessly Devoted To You” by Olivia Newton John, “Summer Nights” by JT and ONJ, “The Smurf Song” by Father Abraham, Paul Young’s “No Parlez”, Bananarama’s “Deep Sea Skiving” and “Can’t Slow Down” by Lionel Richie.
I had no hope.
The one beacon of hope in this musical horror show was a record that featured Phil Collins, and that’s not a sentence you expect to write every day.
Perhaps on the back of the “That’s All” single and Collins’ solo work including the soundtrack for “Against All Odds” the cover of which featured a “from here to eternity”-esque passionate clinch from a couple in the very popular film, my sister had decided to buy “Genesis” by Genesis. Collins had already gained popularity a year or so earlier with “You Can’t Hurry Love” the video of which featured three Phil Collins which some might argue is three too many.
Collins’ popularity was as inexplicable as his subsequent unpopularity, as he didn’t seem to change what he did in the meantime.
The self-titled Genesis album was something else however. Songs like “Mama” sounded scary and foreboding. “Silver Rainbow” seemed to be about getting stoned and the art-rock instrumental “Second Home by the Sea” was a million miles away from the soft-rock that Collins was vomiting up with his solo work. You could lose yourself in this music. That just didn’t happen listening to Five Star. Suddenly, Genesis seemed to be a good band to follow, and I knew they had back catalogue to truffle through.
I started with “Nursery Cryme”. That was a big error.
This album, released in 1971, was to my unsophisticated ears, appalling whimsy-filled drivel.
Cursory listens to other albums such as “Trespass” and “The Lamb Lies Down…” confirmed that Nursery Cryme was no one-off. This bed-wetting nonsense appeared to have been churned out in spades. I am listening to Nursery Cryme as I write this now. I appreciate it more: it is quirky, layered and interesting, but it is still also appalling bed-wetting whimsical drivel. They sing embarrassingly about Old King Cole for Pete’s sake…
On a more positive note, I borrowed, and subsequently bought the album “Duke”…and this was neither whimsical nor appalling bed-wetting drivel. This was the Real Thing…
Record # 12 – Genesis – Second Home By The Sea
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