The Sad Song Co. the new album.

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The Sad Song Co: Blog

Nigel Powell: Attack the Blog!


It hardly seems to matter now

Monday 8th April, 2013

So here's another in what I anticipate to be a series. Jeez, what a lot of series we have running - Puritan (to be continues when I get access to my old photos and a scanner, so I can make it a bit more visually interesting), Blogging The Shuffle (which will continue when enough time has elapsed since the first one to make it seem FRESH and NEW again), and now this - Genesis.

My biggest, and sometimes rationality defying musical... influence? Inspiration? Both of those words seem wrong somehow, because the band, and the related solo careers and extra-curricular work, have taught me plenty of negatives as well as a wealth of positives. But certainly what I do is informed by them, maybe because above any other act out there (that I haven't been involved with) I am very informed about them.

I could write a book about it, but it would be very similar to others that have been written, hopefully without the fawning apologist bullshit that most of their biographers have fallen into. They formed at school, a very posh school, in England in the sixties, and were discovered by school old boy Jonathan King. And right there is the first area where our group of uninterested non-investigative biographers skate over. Let's face it, it has come to light that Jonathan King was "interested" in young boys, and The Garden Wall and The Anon (the two school bands who amalgamated to become Genesis, Peter Gabriel and Tony Banks in the former, Ant Phillips and Mike Rutherford in the latter, and at this point no-one gives a toss about the drummer) were pouty, clean skinned examples of the public school system... maybe their ambition was partly driven by being chased by demons... memories of the sweaty contorted face of their mentor... who knows. But it doesn't seem beyond reason.



Genesis in 1967 - look at the haunted eyes

Genesis in 1967 - look at the haunted eyes

Anyway, they made a debut album (which I must admit I've never sat all the way through) which sank like a commercial snitch with the rock of bollocksness chained to his ankle. Cue Jonathan King exiting the scene (and a possible group sigh of relief from the collected ringpieces), being dropped from their deal, retreating to a cottage in the country for six months and gorging on King Crimson until their songs had fattened up to the point of prog.

One vital point of inspiration that they share with everyone on my heroes list is that they toured like madmen. Constantly, even from the start, once they'd emerged from their progging up time in the cottage. Eventually the touring scored them a deal with an indie (Charisma Records) and they made another album, Trespass, which is good but missing an essential ingredient for me.

Then founder member Ant Phillips leave, and they realise that maybe having a good drummer might be an advantage. Reorganisation - London grammar school boy Phil Collins is hired as drummer and Steve Hackett completes the line up a short while later. And then things get interesting. So naturally, at that point, to make things bite-sized and easy to digest, I will leave this episode. And tell anyone still listening why I think it's interesting later. Bye!



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