Aisle Of Plenty (1.32)
Steve Hackett: Electric Guitar, Nylon Guitar.
Peter Gabriel: Vocals, Flute, Percussion, Oboe.
Tony Banks: Keyboards, 12-String Guitar.
Phil Collins: Drums, Percussion, Vocal, Lead Vocals on (4)
Mike Rutherford: Bass, 12-String Guitar, Electric Sitar.
Published by @ 1974 Genesis Music Ltd/Hit & Run Music (Publishing) Ltd
Recorded at Island Studios, Basing Street, London, August 1973
Produced by John Burns/Genesis
Remastered at The Farm and Abbey Road by Nick Davis, Geoff Callingham and Chris Blair
There are rare occasions where words fail; to call Foxtrot “sublime”
or attach any series of suitably descriptive words to it merely traps in
an ordinary jelly jar what was meant to exist outside of it.
Hearing Foxtrot, really hearing it, will change the way you look at music altogether.
Nursery Cryme was an inspired record, but not a perfect one, as this is.
It’s one thing to aspire to art through music, but quite another to turn each instrument
into an individual paintbrush, as happens here.
Perhaps “camera” is the better word, since it’s from five separate vantage
points that the scenery takes three-dimensional shape.
From the first moments that Tony Banks heralds “Watcher of the Skies,” it’s clear
that this is a different Genesis.
Peter Gabriel inhabits the songs like a foot in a well-worn shoe,
wiggling into different characters with ease and aplomb.
With Mike Rutherford’s bass providing the foundation, Phil Collins’ drums are
free to add delicious commentary throughout the record, underscoring
gentle passages with a well-placed tap on the bell, ushering in stormclouds of
sound with dexterous rolls on the drums.
And of course there’s Steve Hackett, his electric guitar sliding in and out
of the music like sunrays through clouds.
Although the nearly side-long “Supper’s Ready” is the album’s focal point
(and perhaps their magnum opus), every song on Foxtrot is stellar.
Conjuring the past in “Time Table,” scrying a bleak, not-too-distant
future in “Get ‘Em Out By Friday,” inventing new gods on “Watcher of the Skies”
and “Can-Utility And The Coastliners,” these songs are at the heart of
what progressive rock can accomplish.
There are precious few albums that transcend music to become epics in
their own right (Close to the Edge and Minstrel in the Gallery come to mind).
Genesis duplicated the magical feat on Selling England By The Pound, but it
detracts not one iota from Foxtrot’s achievement.
This record, to my tastes, represents one of the great musical works of the 20th century.