Genesis – Turn It On Again: The Hits – Rhino Entertainment

by | Jul 3, 2024 | Jazz CD Reviews, Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews, SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

This is a great compilation of hits from Genesis!

Genesis – Turn It On Again: The Hits – Rhino Entertainment Company R1 603497836544 double vinyl, ****1/2:

(Tony Banks – keyboards; Phil Collins – drums, vocals; Steve Hackett – guitar; Mike Rutherford – guitar, bass; Peter Gabriel – vocals, flute; Ray Wilson – vocals; Nir Zidkyahu – drums) 

Among the pioneers of progressive rock in the late 60’s and early 70’s, Genesis emerged as the most commercially viable. One of the earlier lineups included Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford,  Phil Collins, Steve Hackett and the charismatic frontman, Peter Gabriel. While not producing “hit’ singles, the band had a devoted fan base. Their music was an eclectic mix of pop, rock and classical influences. When Gabriel left the group to pursue a solo career in 1974, a reluctant Collins took over as lead singer. The group continued to flourish. Amazingly, when the group was reduced to just Banks, Rutherford and Collins, Genesis achieved huge stardom. 

Rhino Entertainment Company has released a double vinyl of GenesisTurn It On Again: The Hits (which had been out in other compilations, but never on vinyl.) Included are 16 classic Genesis “trio” cuts and a pair from the Peter Gabriel era. These tracks are a logical amalgam of the sweeping motifs and pop sensibilities of this band. Side A opens up with the title track. The rhythmic guitar of Rutherford and expansive Banks keyboards (which seem to be the anchor of this unit) frame Collins’ emotive vocals. There are interesting chord and tempo changes that integrate the catchy arrangement. After some humorous studio chatter, the familiar strains of “Invisible Touch” feature some of Collins’ best vocal work as Banks and Rutherford add jazz-tinged pulsating riffs. This side also includes the gritty politically-charged “Land Of Confusion” (which had a widely celebrated video). Rutherford has a jagged solo and there are some studio-enhanced effects. In contrast, “I Can’t Dance” is pure rock funk with a relentless, head-nodding vibe and chord modulation in the chorus. Banks’ use of electric piano is a nice touch and combines with percussion and guitar in a hypnotic groove.

Songwriting craftsmanship is at the core of Genesis. “Follow You, Follow Me” has a steady flow with ethereal organ and synthesizer (with a great solo). Synth and vocals are done occasionally in unison. Banks creates a dream-like melancholy on the romantic ballad, “Hold On To My Heart”. Rutherford’s subtle understated guitar contributes additional texture to the aural landscape. Picking up the pace and attitude, “Abacab” is hard-driving and very indicative of the group’s approach to their unique genre. The trio jamming is furious and Banks’ synthesizer lines are crisp. The first Gabriel entry (“I Know What I Like In Your Wardrobe”) has a  layered sound and utilizes exotic instrumentation including a mellotron and electric sitar. There is a denser sound with a variety of genre-bending flourishes.

Social commentary on familial abuse and an eerie musical framework are at the core of “No Son Of Mine”. Collins’ drumming is at the forefront of the mix and Rutherford’s crashing guitar is complemented by the fluid synthesizer. “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” continues the darker contexts (both musically and lyrically) and relies heavily on gossamer synth lines and electronic drumming, The band switches to ballad mode on “In Too Deep” as Collins uses falsetto with r & b shading. “Congo” features new vocalist Ray Wilson. With Collins back on lead vocals, the final side kicks off with a scathing hard-rocking religious commentary (“Jesus He Knows Me”). A nimble ska-like interlude counters the ferocity. “That’s All” is a simpler arrangement with piano, and showcases Collins’ urgent singing. Rutherford’s guitar surrounds the soulful “Misunderstanding”. Banks and his synthesizer permeate the chorus. A certain highlight is the sing-a-long “Throw It All Away”. There is a gentle rhythm with some vocalese in the chorus. The finale (“The Carpet Crawlers”) is a rarity and a glimpse into the future of Genesis. Featuring the classic lineup (with Hacket on guitar), the lead vocals are shared by Gabriel and Collins. Gabriel’s abstract lyrical imagery is unusual.  

This double vinyl is an excellent compilation highlighting the commercial appeal of Genesis. The integration of multi-faceted instrumentals and vocals is captured vibrantly. 

Highly recommended!

—Robbie Gerson

Genesis – Turn It On Again

Side A: Turn It On Again; Invisible Touch; Mama: Land Of Confusion; I Can’t Dance

Side B: Follow You, Follow Me; Hold On My Heart; Abacab; I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe); 

Side C: No Son Of Mine; Tonight, Tonight, Tonight; In Too Deep; Congo

Side D: Jesus He Knows Me; That’s All; Misunderstanding; Throwing It All Away; The Carpet Crawlers. 

More Information through Rhino

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Album Cover for Genesis - Turn It On Again



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