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Turn It On Again: Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, and Genesis Paperback – November 1, 2004

3.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat Books (November 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879308109
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879308100
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,507,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've been fascinated with Peter Gabriel since I was 12 years old. I bought this book hoping to get some insight into the man and some info on those early Genesis albums. The book got off to a great start; discussing the early days of Genesis as school chums. But as the book progresses it begins to read like a discography. So-and-so made a solo album with these musicians, Genesis made this album, here's how it did in the market. The writing is marked by british style humor and language. But this does nothing to make this book any more interesting. It lacks insight into the bands characters and barely discusses what's going on in their lives. For example, at one point the book mentions Peter Gabriels wife Jill. Uh, no one told me he got married! who's this jill person? what does she do? Later the same thing happened with phil collins. When did he get a wife? early on there are some good stories but later all we hear about is that they put out a new album, who was on it and how the album did. a little about the sound too. oh well, they'll stay mythic in my mind.
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Wow. You would think if you went to all the trouble to write a detailed Genesis tome you would get the small details correct.
For me, simple slipshod errors make me think you're a sloppy writer, and you have a sloppy editor, and it calls everything else in your book into question. Two quick examples (off the top of my head): There are two different photos of Mike Rutherford where he is identified as Steve Hackett; and in a section discussing Phil's band Flaming Youth, keyboardist Brian Chatton is referred to more than once as "Brian Chatto". There are more, but I don't have them in mind right now.
The fact that the author proudly refers to himself as a die-hard fan since the 'Foxtrot' days kind of makes me ill...someone supposedly that into the band, and supposedly reverent of their legacy, should get the simple things right. Like musician's names. And I wonder if he really thinks Mike Rutherford IS Steve Hackett? Anyway, I was unable to take his book seriously as a whole. Anybody can get the big facts right...the minutia is the whole reason anyone into the band would want to read this book, and it is sorely lacking in this area. Little to no backstory on the musicians, etc. The author muffed it.
Read the book by the band themselves, or Armando Gallo's, if you can find it. Those are the only two worth reading.
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Format: Paperback
Given the lack of press they get these days, it's easy to forget how ubiquitous this band was in the mid-80's. So it is a pleasant surprise to find any book on Genesis, especially one taking up nearly 250 pages. Sure enough, this book contains an almost startling amount of detail on the formative and early years of the band. While I consider Genesis one of my favorite groups, and I think I know quite a bit about them, there was quite a bit of new info to me in this book.

You get the feeling though, that the author is solidly in the camp that Geneis didn't do much of note after Hackett left the band. The entire 80's output feels glossed over, focusing mainly on Colins' solo career and noting that his sucess had an impact on how things were done within Genesis. There just is not that much behind-the-scenes info here covering the period when the band was at the height of their popularity. To be fair, Genesis has never been a band with a seedy back story, so there just might not be that much to say. But given how much space the author devoted to peripheral players, such as the band String Driven Thing -- whose only connection to Genesis was as labelmates and sometime openers -- I was a bit let down by this lack of coverage of the band the book was supposed to be about. Likewise, as has been noted in other reviews, some key events are a bit rushed here. As an example, while the split with Gabriel is of course documented, there is almost no coverage of events leading up to the breakup.

Nonetheless, I unreservedly rate this book a solid 4 stars, and highly recommend it to any Genesis fan. It's a sure bet that you'll learn something new here.
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Format: Paperback
I didn't expect to get past the Peter Gabriel years when I started reading this... who cares about Genesis after that, after all? But Thompson's writing style is so engaging, his humor is so strong and his passion so contagious that the band had broken up before I put the book down, and I was actually calling up my sister to borrow her copy of Abacab. Recmmended to everyone who actually cares about the music (and doesn't just want the dirt on their private lives...)
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