Entry for June 08, 2007

Genesis, Wind and Wuthering SACD review.

 

Genesis’ 1977 follow up to “A Trick of the Tail” found themselves settling into there new style. Phil was getting cozy with doing vocals after the departure of Gabriel, and Tony Banks is really coming into his own, with pretty much carte blanch to do his beautiful, structured song writing. Steve Hackett really shines on this release also. Such a pity it would be his last studio album with the band.

 

Wind and Wuthering was one of my least favorite of the catalog as a kid. Within the last decade, it has really grown on me, and I find new things to enjoy about this crafted disc on every listening. Not really the album to reach for, when you want some hard rockers like Squonk. It’s really an album that reminds me of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Not so much the scale, but the material is a somewhat British look at life and truly the second most “British” Genesis album next to “Selling England by the Pound”. Here are my views on the sonic quality of the 2007 SACD remaster.

 

 

1.) Eleventh Earl of Mar- Right from the start I am impressed by the all around sound and surround usage. This album has always been high, and slightly shrilly to me. And several tracks used to have me turning the volume down over the years from fatigue. I detect none of that here, highs are smooth, and the entire track is far more musical and pleasurable than before.

 

2.) One For the Vine- I find that Phil’s voice is not as clear, solid, and fixed as it was in Trick. There is sparkling clarity otherwise. Phil’s voice might be a matter of the original source tapes. It is not a bad thing, just very prominent after listening to Trick only yesterday. Much better use of the quiet passages now. There is a section half way through the song that has “racket” which makes excellent surround effects. That, once again has me chomping at the bits to hear “The Waiting Room” from The Lamb. As the song comes to a close, I realize I just had the best time ever listening to this song, and will be revisiting it again very soon.

 

3.) Your Own Special Way- Meticulously mixed. Perfect. The track comes alive like never before.

 

4.) Wot Gorilla?- This wasn’t the drum powerhouse I anticipated. Stellar surround use again however. Song is opened greatly, always sounded claustrophobic before. Lots of separation and imaging. Will be revisiting this one in SACD stereo. Bells tinkle with sparkling clarity.

 

5.) All in a Mouse’s Night. Here is what I wrote in my note pad while listening to this rather twee, cute song. “PERFECT! A true SACD demo track! DAMN!” this is the kind of track that makes the money, and time I spend on this system worth it. I would like to thank Bowers and Wilkens for making wonderful speakers, and for making moments like these possible. There is a tear in my eye.

 

6.) Blood on the Rooftops- This is the track that brings you back for more helpings of this underrated album. Perfect again. Perfect.

 

7.) Unquiet Sleepers for the Sleepers…- This track is far more musical than I have ever noticed before. I always used to think of this as a throw away, transitional, build-up track. This changed my mind, and this mix has really opened up this track, and gave the guys elbow room to work.

 

8.) …In That Quiet earth- Every time I heard this track in the past I have always had to bump the volume down a bit. This track has always been shrill and harsh to me. My thumb was poised over the volume down button. Low and behold, it was not needed! Clear with clean highs, but not rolled off. Drums were not as powerful as they should be.

 

9.) Afterglow- A bit more subdued than I expected for a closer. Gorgeous none the less.

 

 

Well there you have it. Another A performance, I am starting to think I am going to have to have another sort of ratings scale. I think it could have been an A+ but some sonic limitations hindered that. I believe that the recordings were utilized to the best. I will check and see where Trick was recorded in relation to this, which might explain the difference in quality on the vocals. It was the most enjoyable time I have ever had with this album. Thank goodness for Genesis.

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