Customer Reviews: Duke
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  • Duke
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"Duke" is the 4th post-Peter Gabriel album, originally released in 1980. I never bought the album when this came out as I preferred the prog-rock sound of the band and this alvum continued their evolution into a more commercial, mainstream band. But the temptation of the 6 CD/6 DVD box "Genesis 1976-1982" was such that I just had to have it, and so now I have "Duke" finally.

As to the CD, "Duke" (12 tracks, 55 min.) is, now listening to it 27 years after the facts, quite a surprise to me, and a pleasant one. No, I still don't like the "Misunderstanding" or "Turn It On Again", the album's big hits, all that much. But I discovered quite a few other tracks I really like, starting with the majestic opener "Behind the Lines", the reflective "Man of Our Times" and "Alone Tonight", and then of course the massive 11. min. ending of "Duke's Travels/Duke's End".

As to the DVD, it first brings the album in a terrific 5.1 surround mix, and it sounds fantastic if you have the proper music set-up at home (which I do). As to the visuals, it comes with the videos for Duchess, Misunderstanding, and Turn It On Again, nice but nothing earth-shattering. The "Reissue Interviews 2007" brings about 20 min. of the guys bringing their perspectives on the album, quite entertaining. But the real gold nugget is a 45 min. excerpt of a 1980 London concert where the band showcases several Duke tracks (including a great "Behind the Lines") and then delves into the past and delivers outstanding performances of "In the Cage", "Dance On a Volcano" and "Los Endos". The video and audio quality is tops. Any Genesis fan will want to have this, period.

If you are considering buying any of the reissued CD/DVD albums, you really should look at buying the 6 CD/6 DVD "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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on March 1, 2009
Seriously,these one-star people bashing the sound quality need to upgrade their sound systems,because this remix/remastered CD/DVD of the seminal 1980 album done by the trio of Phil,Mike and Tony is a big leap in audio quality over the harsh,tinny-sounding CDs of the previous 80's/90's issues IMO.I bought the "1976-1982" box set and I put the DVD of this album first,went to "Misunderstanding", and was amazed and pleased to be worth the investment-the bass was increased,the drums have power,the overbright top-end was brought down to tolerable levels,and a great song sounded better than before.The same goes with rest of the 5.1 mix and their two-channel stereo CD counterparts.My teeth will never hurt while listening to this album ever again!As for the album itself,what else can I say? What a great start for the 1980's with strong,catchy pop songs like "Turn It On Again","Behind The Lines","Duchess" and the aftermentioned "Misunderstanding" mixing with traditional(i.e. progressive) Genesis fare like "Cul-De-Sac","Heathaze"and the lenghty 11-minute closer "Duke's Travels/Duke's End".Fabulous!(Note to MP3 users:buy the one that says "2007 remaster" and avoid the older one.)
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on November 9, 2014
**DVD-A - surround**
One of my favorite Genesis albums, FWIW... Surround mix is great. I don't like all the Genesis albums covered in the mid-period box set, so I found this one individually. Paid under $14 for the CD/DVD-A combo. DVD has bonus video content as well. If you like this album and are set up for surround, this disc is a must.
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on June 15, 2008
Duke is my favorite Genesis album, and the reissue with the DVD is outstanding. My favorite songs from this band are Behind the Lines, Duchess, Misunderstanding, Turn It On Again, and Duke's Travels/Duke's End. The DVD contains one of their best Reissues Interviews in the entire series, and the 1980 Live at the Lyceum is a must have concert for a Genesis fan. Highly recommended.
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It's 1980 and everything has changed not only for Genesis and Phil Collins. For his part Phil was in the middle of a rather upsetting divorce and spent the majority of this album lyrically exploring the resulting tentions and dilemas. So obviously the "fantasy" lyrics are gone forever. As far as the music goes Genesis have discovered the drum machine. Now that is NOT saying this album is mechanical. Between the heavy,forbodding arrangements on tunes such as "Behind The Lines",the brilliant "Dutchess","Man Of Our Times" and the title suite all not only point to Phil's upcoming first solo project but that the opposit had also occured;the musicalefforts of Phil,Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks were so collaberative on this music that at times the different sounds seem to be behaving as one. In short Genesis have found the sound that would serve them in the 80's. Not only that but they've started to throw down some of the great pop tunes that would typify that era."Misunderstanding",with it's 50's soul/Sly Stone ballad-ish shuffle at last gives Genesis a chance to showcase Collins' love of R&B.Between that,the terrific pop/rocker "Turn It On Again" and the moving "Alone Tonight" the pop styles are pretty well covered. "Cul-De-Sac" points out another great point of this album-that Genesis's new found interest in ambient sounds is actually meshing very well with the bands loud prog-rock edge (and often fusiony) edge. The same thing happens on "Please Don't Ask". In the end it all sounds great blaring out of the speakers,on the headphones or in the arena during a concert. Either way this is a recording Genesis could be proud of and the musical inventiveness and good pop smarts really payed off in every important way from this point onward!
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on February 19, 2011
I decided to skip over the CD and pop in the DVD audio. I had no expectations but I HAVE to SAY that the remastering is INCREDIBLE. I feel like it was JUST released!!! It's an incredibly new and beautiful listening experience! I hear stuff I never really heard on the vinyl.
This is the. BEST. record. by Genesis. (Sorry avid fans; I love Gabriel immensely but this is hugely powerful song-writing; very moving. I was 11 when I fist fell in love with the vinyl release after learning of this on (pre-MTV) Video Concert Hall from the UK in 1979 and I was too young to appreciate what is clear now: that Phil Collins was not the only fantastic songwriter here. They ALL were.
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on November 10, 2007
Genesis released their first album of the 1980s entitled Duke in March of 1980.
The album was the band's first of the decade that Genesis would conquer the world, the 80s.
Duke saw Genesis starting to shed away their progressive-rock sound slowly but surely. This was mainly because of the radically changing musical scene as punk/new wave hadall but killed prog and also because of drummer and singer Phil Collins' new-found influence within the band as a songwriter (due to a personal crisis which unleashed a budding songwriter) and also to capitalize upon the success of 1978's Gold selling Then There Were Three.
Recorded at Abba's Polar Studios in Stockholm, Sweden in the fall of 1979, Duke showcased a more commercial sound, brisker arrangements, and more down-to-earth (some would say merely more prosaic) lyrics. Though keyboardist Tony Banks was still responsible for the majority of the songwriting, turning in the songs "Guide Vocal", the atmospheric first side closing "Heathaze" and the proggish "Cul-De-Sac". Also, guitarist and bass player Mike Rutherford contributed the songs "Man of Our Times" which was a great mid-tempo rocker and the ballad "Alone Tonight". Duke also contains Collins' first two solo compositions, the Top 20 US hit "Misunderstanding" and the very personal "Please Don't Ask" which was intended for Phil's solo album Face Value (released in 1981) but after Banks and Rutherford heard the demo version of the song, they loved it so much that they decided to record Please Don't Ask as a Genesis track.
The songs all three wrote together were the opening classic rocker "Behind the Lines" and "Duchess" (which told the tale of a girl singer's rise to fame and fall down the other side (the song would become the band's Morse code and I also see as the Morse code of Britney Spears' career strange but true as her career has now patterned after the song Duchess). The British hit "Turn it On Again" is a classic rocker with a 13/8 time signature and a great song. The classic finale of "Duke's Travel" and "Duke's End" is superb and on Duke's Travels you get the lyrics to Guide Vocal as a sort of reprise.
The Duke album was yet another Top 20 smash hitting #11 Stateside and gave the band its first #1 album in their native England and was another US Gold seller for the band (eventually going Platinum).
I first bought this CD in October of 1997 when I bought the remastered edition (which was superior to the original 1980s Atlantic CD).
Now in May of 2007, Rhino/Atlantic re-release the album as a CD and DVD set. The album is remixed on CD in stereo for excellent sound (kind of like what was done to The Who catalog in the 1990s). The new mixes are AMAZING and I hear things in the new mixes that I have not ever heard before. Also, it comes with a DVD which has the album mixed in 5.1 plus the three promo videos for the album (Turn it On Again, Duchess and Misunderstanding), new interviews with messieurs Collins, Banks and Rutherford and Genesis Live at the Lyceum Theatre in London (featuring killer versions of Behind the Lines, Duchess, Guide Vocal, In the Cage/Slippermen, Afterglow, Dance On a Volcano and Los Endos).
Highly recommended!
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on July 6, 2009
Hated the drum machine and its really their last progressive album. This is a different band from what I had appreciated. If I let go the old love and look at this as a new group then this is a great record, but still hate the drum machine.
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on September 24, 2009
I had this album on vinyl when it was first released, (you remember turntables, don't you?). I really like all the songs on this. Great viewing on the second (DVD) disc. Great songs, good memories.
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on February 10, 2009
4 1/2

Duke marks a sad point in many Genefile's hearts, as it is widely viewed as their last bold thematic work and overall brilliant record before subscribing to trends over compositional importance with Abacab. This 1980 release continued, from their past few releases, what I personally hear as one of few high water marks in modern pop.
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