Saturday, March 26, 2016

Genesis: Trespass (1970)

Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Michael Rutherford, and Anthony Phillips, all return (with the addition of  John Mayhew on drums) for record number two, which is really the band's first foray into progressive (prog) rock. I think it's fair to say that this is the band's first proper record. You might say that it's the first Genesis record as a real band. It's clearly a definite change in direction. Anthony Phillips left after this record.

There are lots of prog haters out there. I like a small number of prog bands, but I wouldn't say that I am "into" prog music by any means. Some prog sounds OK to me and some of it sounds ponderous. Rather than attempting to define the genre myself, I will turn to Wikipedia:

"Progressive rock sometimes abandons the danceable beat that defines earlier rock styles and is more likely to experiment with compositional structure, instrumentation, harmony, rhythm, and lyrical content. It may demand more effort on the part of the listener than other types of music. Musicians in progressive rock typically display a high degree of instrumental skill. Musical forms are blurred through the use of extended sections and of musical interludes that bridge separate sections, which results in classical-style suites. Early progressive rock groups expanded the timbral palette of the then-traditional rock instrumentation by adding instruments more typical of folk, jazz, or music in the classical tradition. A number of bands, especially at the genre's onset, recorded albums in which they performed with full orchestras. Progressive rock artists are more likely to explore complex time signatures such as 5/8 and 7/8. Tempo, key, and time signature changes are common within progressive rock compositions." [source]

Notable prog rock acts include Genesis, Pink Floyd, Yes, King Crimson, Marillion, though I'm really not sure that Pink Floyd belongs in this list. I always viewed Floyd as more psychedelic.

In any case, Trespass shows where Genesis was going, and that may be the only reason to listen to it. As a fan, though, I like this album, but not as much as what came later. The best song, for me, is The Knife.

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