67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let The Dance--And The Collins Era--Begin!
1976's "A Trick Of The Tail" was the first Genesis album without lead singer Peter Gabriel, with drummer Phil Collins taking Gabriel's place at the mike on a full-time basis for the first time (Phil had already sung lead vocals on a pair of the band's earlier songs, "For Absent Friends" & "More Fool Me"). "A Trick Of The Tail" was a landmark album for the band, and it...
Published on August 26, 2002 by Alan Caylow
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Verrry different -- be warned
KEEP YOUR 94's. So much sounds so different here, it's like it's not even the same mix. It's out with the cozy and familiar, in with the...scary. Collins' vocals sound too high. The speeds of "Squonk," "Ripples," maybe other tracks, sound sluggish, actually slower. The keys on "Entangled" are quite attenuated, and the bass thuds to the ground and stays there in certain...
Published on July 23, 2007 by Noel Pratt
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67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let The Dance--And The Collins Era--Begin!,
89 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's up to you...I'm just going to help you choose...,
An event recently took place that many of us have been waiting (sleeplessly) for ever since 1994: The entire Genesis catalog is in the process of being remastered, and the charge has been taken up by none other than the masters of remastering, Rhino Records! When I heard this, I was absolutely floored. After all, it has been now 13 years since the Genesis albums have been touched, and while Yes, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, and even Kansas have been available in remastered editions since the turn of the millennium, Genesis has been completely overlooked...until now.
Unfortunately, it's not all rosy and peachy. Unlike some reissues, yes, you definitely will notice the difference between the new and old versions. And that's the problem. By no means were the 1994 Genesis remasters perfect; in fact, some of them are downright pitiful. 'A Trick of the Tail' was one of the better ones, though there were several glaring problems that needed to be solved with the sound. Incidentally, these have been totally fixed in the 2007 reissue. But, alas, it's the other changes that complicate the matter.
Below is an itemized list of what's right with this remaster, and what's wrong with it:
What's RIGHT with 'A Trick of the Tail' (1976/r. 2007):
1) Hey! I get it now! - Throughout the album, the vocals are much clearer. Passages that seemed muffled and unfocused are now much easier to understand, even without the aid of already knowing the lyrics. This was a weakness of Phil Collins's vocals all the way up to the 1980 'Duke' release, and I'm glad to say Rhino did a great job maximizing what they had to work with. Listen to "Squonk," for instance, and you can actually follow the tale perfectly.
2) Cutting through the mix - If there was one thing that was lacking in the 1994 issue of the album, it was that the overall sound was very crowded. The 2007 reissue fixes this, though at the expense of a loss of some of the overall feel of the album (see the next section). Vocals are separated from the instrumentation better than ever before, and the guitars in particular are heard loud and clear (again, see below). Complex mixes of instrumental textures are resolved much more nicely than in the 1994 issue.
3) It doesn't hurt anymore - There were some particularly grating siblants ("esss" sounds) in the 1994 reissue, most noticeable in "Mad Man Moon." These have been handily dealt with in the Rhino remaster.
4) Backing him up - The background vocals are more spacious and clear than ever before, and solo and ensemble vocal selections contrast very nicely now. This is best heard, again, in "Mad Man Moon."
What's WRONG with this reissue:
1) Where are the bloody keyboards?! - Steve Hackett is a great guitarist. Please don't misunderstand me. But I really don't want to hear *every single note he ever strummed in his life* blasting away with all the subtlety of a jackhammer. Especially when it means that the keyboard parts, particularly the Mellotron, are completely drowned out. For instance, listen to the hypnotic ending section of "Entangled." Most of its charm is from that dark, haunting keyboard solo that proceeds to the end of the piece, backed by deep bass notes and a wash of heavily-processed Mellotron chorus. Many of you were probably not even aware that Hackett does strum a few notes here and there at the end, but if you listen to the 2007 remaster, it is utterly impossible to miss it. Of course, something had to give, and that is the Mellotron chorus, which is so muted that until the very end of the song you probably wouldn't even know it was there. This sort of thing happens all over in these reissues (it's much worse in the following album, 1977's 'Wind & Wuthering'), and it's a jarring and, in my opinion, detrimental alteration to the sonic character of the album.
Say what you will about my comments here; I really don't care. As I said, Hackett was a great guitarist, and Genesis really fell apart as a progressive act when he left. But the music just sounds wrong with his work showcased in the manner of the 2007 remaster. Your miles will vary, and the degree to which the keyboards are muted varies across the album as well, but for me, I say this was a real mistake that undermines the musical cohesion expressed by the band during this time.
2) If I wanted to hear a live performance... - On several of the songs, most notably "Dance On A Volcano" and "Squonk," there is a copious amount of echoing, stadium-style delay applied to the vocals and guitars. Along with the way the drums were EQ'ed throughout the album (a lot of bottom and top end, with the midranges muted), these songs especially sound like the engineers were trying to make them sound live. This just won't do. Apart from being inconsistent with the remainder of the album, the "live" ambiance just doesn't suit this music.
3) It ain't the 80s, guys - Throughout the album, it seems as though the engineers were trying to bring the overall sonic character more in line with the 80s Collins-era albums. As a result, something very special about the pair of albums released in 1976--'Trick' and 'Wind'--is utterly lost. This effect is much more apparent in the 2007 remaster of 'Wind' than on 'Trick,' but it can be heard in "Squonk" and "Dance On A Volcano" in particular. There was a very particular sound about 'A Trick of the Tail,' a more intimate, analog cast, that is pulverized by the cold edge of 80s-style digitization. Again, this is down to personal preference, but I think the 1994 release really captured the warm, analog tone of this album much better.
Overall, this Rhino version of 'A Trick of the Tail' sounds *very* different from the 1994 release. Some of the changes were welcome, but more of them (at least in my opinion) were wholly unwelcome. Many if not all the major issues with the 1994 release were fixed, but the new version has many new issues of its own. I can't help but feel that Rhino really dropped the ball here, and I am really disappointed with this work. It looks as though we're going to have to wait another decade or so before somebody comes along and gets it right. The thing that dismays me, though, is that I always had faith in Rhino. I guess I was just proved wrong.
Like I said, opinions will vary widely. My suggestion to prospective buyers is to buy both versions (1994 and 2007) of any one of the classic output of Collins-era Genesis, choose which one you think sounds better, and then complete the set from that version. I will get a lot of hateful comments ("How dare you insult Steve Hackett!"), but my opinion will not change. I have made a compromise with this review by rating the 2007 remasters the same way I have rated the 1994 ones (the ratings are based on the album content), but I have included my exclusive comments on the 2007 reissue quality. My purpose is to serve as an adviser to any who are considering purchasing this edition, either as an upgrade or as your first copy. Whichever version sounds better to you is ultimately your decision, and I wish you all the best with it. Rhino just didn't do it for me here.
Better luck next time.
57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pinnacle of achievement,
I have to qualify this by saying that I'm a huge Gabriel-era Genesis fan. For the most part, I can do without the Phil Collins era (okay, "Duke" is pretty good). I even prefer Ray Wilson's work on "...Calling All Stations..." to most of Phil's. But despite that, I have to say that "A Trick of the Tail" is my single favorite Genesis album, PERIOD.
As wonderful as Peter was, he really had demanded too much control over the songwriting. As a result, this first album sans Peter - where they were clearly under enormous pressure to prove that they could survive without him - ended up being like a songwriters' and instrumentalists' clinic.
Tony Banks's songwriting, Mike Rutherford's and Steve Hackett's guitar playing, and Phil Collins's singing and drumming all get a great workout here, and there isn't a single clunker in the bunch - "Squonk," "Dance on a Volcano," and "Entangled" are the clear winners here, though Banks's keyboards really shine on "Ripples" and "Mad Man Moon." Only "Robbery, Assault & Battery" ever strikes me as a bit dated or campy - but it's strong enough instrumentally to overcome the somewhat forced lyrics.
I never get tired of listening to this one on roadtrips, and it often rocks harder than much of their other work. So - despite preferring 1969-75 Genesis overall - it's usually the album I use to introduce newbies to the band. My recommendation is without reservation.
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect if you don't have SACD,
I would argue that the SACD (absent from this US edition) sounds crisper and slightly more detailed. However, the DTS version has a "fuller" or "fat" sound that is quite nice on the heavier songs like "Squonk." All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by the DTS versions, and the graphics on the screen during the songs (which show the album cover, song titles and credits) are nice as well. Depending on your equipment, you might not even be able to tell the difference between SACD and DTS. There is no question that the DTS version sounds better than the standard CD. And, even the CD sounds a little better that the origninal "Definitive Edition Remaster Series." The Dolby Digital, to me, sounds a little harsh. The bottom line, I suppose, is that if you don't have a SACD player, this is the version to get. If you do have a SACD player, you have a decision to make - personally, I think that the extra $ for the SACD is worth it, but it is a close call.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye Peter, Hello Phil!,
An interesting note here - this album and "Wind and Wuthering" are, I believe, the only Genesis albums where individual songwriting credit is given. It's interesting to see who wrote which songs and compare their musical styles. On this album, the lion's share of the compositional duties were shared by Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford. Phil Collins had not yet really come into his own as a writer, and Steve Hackett, by this point, was getting shoved more and more to the side. This had a big influence on his decision to leave Genesis in 1977, and it's too bad. His talents are showcased very well on this album. It makes one wonder what the Genesis hit machine would have produced in the 80's if he had stayed around.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last Genesis masterpiece...,
By A Customer
Genesis in totality, 1969 to present is loved by almost no one. There are two different camps of Genesis fans. Many prefer the early progressive quintet of the Peter Gabriel era, whilst many others prefer the poppy hit friendly trio of the Phil Collins era. But it is a rare beast that actually loves the whole gamut. The only unified crossover appeal between the two camps generally comes with this album and it's follow up 'Wind and Wuthering', appropriately the only two albums Genesis made as a quartet.
After the departure of flamboyant vocalist and primary lyricist Peter Gabriel, many in the press and fan base had Genesis written off for dead. After an exhausting search for a new lead singer proved fruitless, the lead vocal duties were handed to the groups drummer Phil Collins. This was at least a safe choice as Collins was already a familiar voice to fans, and had already been heard on lead vocals a couple times since he had joined the band in 1971, as well as being the primary harmony vocalist to Gabriel during the period.
The first fruit of the 'new' Genesis, 'A Trick of the Tail' was a sheer slap in the face to critics and nay-sayers who thought that Genesis died with Peter Gabriel's departure. The difference is immediately noticeable, as the witty and ironic lyric crafting that was a trademark of the Gabriel era is severely watered down in this first post Peter release, but ironically the music is actually more melodic and immediately accessible than any release that had come prior.
'A Trick of the Tail' is not quite the Peter Gabriel era Genesis, but it is still also a far cry from the pop machine of 'Invisible Touch'. The songs here are still very progressive, running in odd time signatures, with extended instrumental sections, and only one track running less than 5 and a half minutes.
The album is also very balanced with the songs all being of nearly equal caliber. The sonic trilogy of 'Dance on a Volcano', 'Squonk' and 'Los Endos', the exquisite 'Entangled' and the moody 'Ripples' all are superb. If the weakest link would have to be pointed out, it would probably be 'Robbery, Assault and Battery', but that is not to so say it isn't without it's own merits, it just doesn't quite stand up as well as the remainder of the album.
All in all, 'A Trick of the Tail' is far and away the best album of the Phil Collins vocalist era of Genesis, and really the only album that to these ears, is comparable in overall quality and enjoyment to the Peter Gabriel era albums of 1970-1975. It was the last truly great Genesis album, and unfortunately, every album in succession after this one, took one more step away from the progressive band that Genesis was, and one step towards the straight forward pop band that they eventually became by the end of the eighties.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic returns.,
-The SACD version is available as an import. It contains the album in both stereo and 5.1 surround sound SACD. The second disc contains video material in PAL format, which means you will not be able to watch it on most DVD players because of PAL/NTSC incompatibility.
-The domestic version from Rhino/Atlantic contains the CD in stereo. The second disc is a DVD with complete album in 5.1 Dolby Surround and DTS plus video content viewable on any domestic DVD player
-The third version is also an import and is also SACD. It's the same as the first description but the video is in NTSC and viewable on any domestic DVD player.
The new stereo masters for all versions are new re-mixes and are the same for all versions. The only difference is the encoding (i.e. SACD/DSD or DTS/Dolby).
The SACD versions are imports and are more expensive. They are released through EMI since they handle the UK recordings and they support the SACD format
The DTS/Dolby versions are released through Atlantic via Rhino. They do not support the SACD format and the domestic versions, to some, sound a little different. Since this is very subjective because everyone listens to music differently you have to figure out which one is right for you and how much are you willing to spend.
It is my opinion that both sound about the same and since I like to save money like a majority of other people I got the domestic version of "A Trick Of The Tail" and it sounds great in both stereo and surround. The best thing about the surround sound is that the music envelops you without destroying the feel of the stereo version. "Entangled" "Ripples" and "Mad Man Moon" are well complimented by the mix.
SACD was invented by Sony to compete with DVD-Audio, Dolby, and DTS. With SACD one has to buy a player capable of decoding SACD and you need a receiver/amp with the necessary 6 inputs and outputs from player to receiver, to speakers (DVD-Audio is similar). Most SACD's on the market are not surround so all you have to do is just plug the player into your existing system. Other SACD's are hybrids meaning that there is a layer of regular audio and the SACD information on the same discs. The downside is that most people who have surround sound systems had them before SACD or can't afford or justify the added expense of buying another system.
Dolby 5.1 and DTS audio are sent through a fiber optic cable to the surround sound amp and is digital as opposed to the SACD/DVD-A analogue connection. It is also the standard for most `theater-in-a-box" surround systems and any DVD player.
So if you already have a SACD surround set up get the SACD version. Everybody else get the domestic.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Verrry different -- be warned,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
UPDATE 2013: Time has allowed my ears to take this release as not being quite so obnoxious as what I wrote above. I'm glad to have it for the ah-ha sounds, though much prefer the straighter remixes they did of the rest of the 2007 catalogue.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genesis' best non-Gabriel effort is a headphone must,
By A Customer
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding album reissued with equally outstanding DVD material,
As to the CD, "A Tick of the Tail" (8 tracks, 51 min.) remains a fabulous listen 31 years later. From the opening "Dance On a Volcano", the band shows it is as good, if not better, than anything it ever did in the Peter Gabriel era. "Entangled" remains as spell-binding as ever. "Squonk" finds the band charging hard, to end in a beautiful gentle outro, wow. "Mad Man Moon" is a great Tony Banks ballad. "Robbery, Assault & Battery" brings out the lighter side of the band, and it was the track that opened some mainstream attention, with its witty video. The beautiful ballad "Ripples" and the happy "A Trick of the Tale" also gained some attention. The instrumental closer "Los Endos" perfectly summarizes the album, and would be a concert staple for years to come. Wow... what an ablum. It's hard for me to pinpoint my favorite Genesis album, but I've probably played this album more than any other over the years.
As to the DVD, it first brings the album in a terrific 5.1 surround system, and it sounds fantastic if you have the proper home music set-up (which I do). As to the visuals, it first brings the videos of Robbery, Assault & Battery (which I remember seeing on TV in Belgium back then, my first time seeing it now since then), Ripples and the title track. "The Reissue Interviews 2007" brings about 20 min. of the guys bringing their perspectives on the album, quite entertaining. The absolute 'must-have' is a 45 min. footage of a 1976 concert, with surprisingly good audio and video quality, and bringing mesmorizing and stunning performances. Highlights of that include "Fly On a Windshield", "Entangled", and "Los Endos". If you are a Genesis fan, you simply must have this, period.
If you are considering buying any of the reissued CD/DVD albums, you really should look at buying the "Genesis 1976-1982" box instead as it offer far more "bang for the buck" (only $69 here on Amazon), and on top it comes with a bonus CD/DVD of assorted B-sides, EPs and other hard to find tracks from that era.
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