I bet you thought that immersing myself wholeheartedly into the cassette experiment would present me with no opportunities to hear new music. Well today’s cassette, ‘Abacab’ by Genesis isn’t exactly recent (it’s actually 32 years old), but it’s new in the sense that, before today, I’ve never actually listened to it.
I’d like to qualify what I’m about to tell you by revealing that I’m a firm believer in an artist limiting their output to no more than 10 albums. Once they’ve reached that 10 album point most artists are creatively spent. Don’t believe me? Try and think of an absolute classic album released by any artist more than 10 albums into their career. If you are able to think of any I bet you can count them on the fingers of one hand.
There are a few rules – live albums and compilations don’t count for example,and once you start a new band or solo career you can reset the counter, but otherwise I put it to you that this 10 album rule holds water.
I know I’m in the minority, but I quite liked Genesis’ 10th album, ‘Duke’. I think it makes a strange and interesting companion to (or even bedfellow with) Peter Gabriel’s third solo album which was released just a couple of months later.
‘Abacab’ is the 11th album to be released by Genesis.
Obviously not all of ‘Abacab’ is new to me. I’ve heard the singles before, particularly the mediocre title track. ‘No reply at all’ (with Earth Wind & Fire’s horns if you please) sounds like it would be more at home one of Phil’s (non Granny-scaring) solo albums, as does ‘Man on the corner’ and ‘Like it or not’, where Phil whinges on about his private life in a way that no-one else can – or would.
The only example of ‘traditional Genesis’ to be had here is in the twin opening tracks of side 2, ‘Dodo/Lurker’. Any joy, however, is relatively short-lived.
Watch out too as Phil reverts back to his Artful Dodger persona (and accent) for the awful ‘Who dunnit?’ If you have any teeth you should prepare yourself for them to be set on edge.
Incidentally the cover (or insert) was available in four different colour combinations. Sadly this fact may be the most interesting thing about this album.
Label – Vertigo (I have a German copy for some reason)
Year – 1981