Genesis vs. The Dean


Christgau has at Genesis; Genesis fans have back at Christgau.

I know, har-har yeah-whatever, tell-me-something-I-don’t-already-know (er, you do know where you are now, right?) but it’s funny reading this in light of a comment I posted on the architecture site recently by pre-Yo La Tengo rock critic, Ira Kaplan (from a great review, actually, of the first Christgau guide; someone mailed me a photocopy of it years ago, though the publication and date were missing… anyone know what ‘zine it’s from?).


8 thoughts on “Genesis vs. The Dean

  1. Yes!
    These are my peeps.
    Who the fuck is Robert Christgau?
    The Lamb Lies Down on broadway gets a B cause Gabriel cut his and plays a NYC punk.
    Go wish for the next OutKast album or sumpin!

  2. Graphic-arts aside here, Steven: This is getting out of hand, with you, Patrick, and Chuck Eddy all sharing the same powder-blue commenter’s logo and then posting back-to-back. Actually I’m jealous that the random generator issued you guys logos in my own preferred blue, and stuck me with maroon & white, which happen to be my college alma mater’s colors but not my idea of a good-hued time. I get even more green-eyed (so to speak) envious when those Roosian pornograscammers post their traife on the All-Purpose Lester Bangs Forum and receive a BRIGHT-BLUE or BRIGHT-GREEN (albeit temporary) logo for their miscreant efforts. Those are the logos I most crave for myself and by god I’ve earned ’em in the rockcrit trenches! (End of rant.)

    Where were we? Oh yeah, Steven, have you written any pieces on Genesis that would help us determine what you like about their sound? I’d be interested to read some specifics.

  3. Nope Richard. Never really written anything that’s been published.
    I’m way too much of a fan. I can’t be very objective.
    I was being (or trying to be) funny about Christgau. Actually, he was surprisingly kind to genesis in those consumer guide reviews.

  4. Christgau is, in my opinion, completely accurate on Genesis. I went back and listened to them recently, and as he points out, the only stuff I could really stomach is “Selling England by the Pound”–“Battle of Epping Forest” and “Firth of Fifth.” Although I admit, I sorta like some of the Steve Hackett pastoral guitar stuff I’ve heard…

  5. I was into them for a few crucial years as a pre-teen so by default I’m more generous towards them than virtually every critic of Christgau’s and Richard’s generation, and I’ve always rated side one of *Lamb Lies Down* pretty highly (and still maintain some affection even for certain sections of “Supper’s Ready”). A group with a lot of pretty bits scattered about (many attributable to Steve Hackett, for sure), and I’ll take them over solo Gabriel, for sure.

  6. Scott’s got it right with his “Christgau’s and Richard’s generation” — Bob and I, for a variety of reasons (mostly class-based) had a problem with the emergence of prog rock in the ’70s, as we thought the Animals, Stones, Kinks, etc., had cleaned all those “posh” clocks in Britannia for good. That said, I’d much rather listen to Genesis (any version) than the wretched Supertramp, who took such overweening pride in being twits. I unloaded on them on the Rock’s Backpages blog last winter.

    Yes, I’ve become an old crank. And if Phil is going to try to bring Harry Potter into this discussion, then my g-g-generation has definitely been gapped outta here!

  7. OK. that song about the giant hogweed–it’s actually kind of fun. the thing I like about Genesis is how clunky the whole thing is as they earnestly try to play this kind of class-conscious light-classical music. They really attempt theme-and-recapitulation, key changes and instrumental passages that probably carry more weight than the words. Except on “Battle of Epping Forest” and maybe “Watcher of the Skies,” which is another tolerable track. I’m part of the generation that probably isn’t, and wasn’t, so concerned about knocking back any English twit music with hard-edged American music, though. Yes, Genesis, ELP and King Crimson, and the Floyd–they all kinda suck in various ways, but at least they tried to do something they thought was new, and some of it’s very enjoyable. Here in the South we have blues and soul, so we don’t ever worry about those English twits, we co-opt them.

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