Various - The Fox Lies Down - A Tribute To Genesis

Year of Release: 1998
Label: Cleopatra/Purple Pyramid
Catalog Number: CLP-0287
Format: CD
Total Time: 63:56:00

In 1998, Purple Pyramid (a division of Cleopatra Records), released this compilation album featuring well known prog bands or artists taking stabs at classic Genesis tunes. Brand X, Mother Gong, and The Flower Kings are just three of the 11 eleven artists on this disc.

What seemed to me to be the most unusual cover is Mother Gong performing "In The Beginning." So much so, that I went back to the original to see how it compared. Now, obviously, having a female vocalist (Gilli Smyth) will automatically mean there is some difference. But, whereas the original (to be found on From Genesis To Revelation) has a very late 60s pop sound, acoustic guitars contrasting against Gabriel's echoed vocals. Mother Gong's take gives the track a more psychedelic feel - Smyth half-singing, half-whispering over a muted techno beat, while keening keyboard effects spiral upward - atmospheric as hell.

John Wetton gives "Your Own Special Way" a somewhat different character than the original Collins-sung tune. Wetton's voice is richer, but also he makes the track sound more like an 80's Top 40 track - actually this cover version made me think of soul duos like Peaches and Herb. Or even more so like a soft rock band - Ambrosia, for example. Maybe it's the organ (a Hammond, I think). A sense I don't get from the original, even if it did signal an eventual shift to being a pop band [for Genesis]. Now, I like John Wetton and the way he sings very much. But, I am glad to say that the whole album doesn't go the way of this track, because if we had a soft rock take on Genesis (just shy of Musak), it might as well be marketed on late night TV by K-TEL (can you imagine the sales pitch? "Today's hottest stars sing the best of Genesis, including Backstreet Boys doing their version of 'Supper's Ready.'" Eek!!).

Okay, in some ways, there are some of today's hottest stars here - if only to a small audience. Yes, I mean The Flower Kings and Architectural Metaphor for example. Okay, hottest stars might be a bit of hyperbole, but given that many of the artists are close to being (classic) Genesis contemporaries, the New Guard of prog rock contributing to show the breadth of Genesis' influence. The Flower Kings contribute a beautiful "Cinema Show," and Arch Met with a very dark "The Waiting Room."

Spirits Burning's performance on "Return Of The Giant Hogweed" isn't a rehash of the original either - the percussion is way up front, but a little too tinny to these ears. If possible, this is even stranger than that which appeared on Nursery Crime. Not a terrific performance, but often a tour de force - it sounds as if it were recorded live - in one take at the very least.

Darxtar are a Swedish space-rock band and they bring all that implies to "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" giving it an ambient feel. One of the few that takes the progressive spirit that was early-Genesis and expands upon it.

Other performances: Daevid Allen and Solid Space on "Visions Of Angels," John Ford of the Strawbs on "Carpet Crawlers," ex-Yes keyboardist Patrick Moraz and Ronnie Ciago on "Los Endos," Controlled Bleeding with a darker "Broadway Melody Of 1974."

Overall this is a good tribute and I find I quite like it. I heartily recommend it to Genesis fans.

Brand X II - 'Can Utility And The Coastliners' (5:42) / John Ford (Strawbs) - 'Carpet Crawlers' (4:57) / Patrick Moraz & Ronnie Ciago - 'Los Endos' (6:02) / John Wetton - 'Your Own Special Way' (4:24) / Mother Gong - 'In The Beginning' (5:01) / Daevid Allen & Solid Space - 'Visions Of Angels' (6:59) / Spirits Burning - 'Return Of The Giant Hogweed' (5:10) / Darxtar - 'Dancing With The Moonlit Knight' (5:40) / The Flower Kings - 'Cinema Show' (7:02) / Controlled Bleeding - 'Broadway Melody Of 1974' (6:02) / Architectural Metaphor - 'The Waiting Room' (6:57)



Genre: Various Genres

Origin VA

Added: February 1st 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Hits: 802
Language: english


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