First time I revisited Genesis since the classical binge period and I wondered whether the music stills held up.
The answer is yes and I actually improved my opinion of them as a band although in a different way than I originally learnt to like them.
I am far less impressed about the "prog" elements of Genesis. For example the keyboard outro section after the vocal part of Dancing Moon Lit Knight ends sounds really sloppy and disjointed. Supper's Ready full side length suite sounds like bunch of separate songs joined together. In classical music - transitions is just as important as the themes. I find it harder to appreciate "prog" or "art rock" elements when you go back and appreciate the real deal of classical composers.
However, what really impressed me about Genesis is that they are one of the greatest songwriters in rock music and they are the best example of a band continuing the tradition of "continuous flow" melodies that I bragged on about in the previous post especially about the Beatles. Gabriel-Era Genesis is a spiritual successor to The Beatles when it comes to vocal melodies even if the music sounds completely different. GEnesis has the strongest level of vocal melodies of the 70's and at times they even surpassed the Fab four themselves.
Dancing with the Moonlight Knight is quite possibly the greatest vocal melodies ever written in rock music going far beyond even The Beatles standard
Every single vocal line up to the guitar solo (from ""Can you tell me where my country lies?"' to "Knights of the Green Shield stamp and shout") is different to each other. looking at the lyric sheet this is essentially 24 lines of lyrics with every line has a different vocal melody. Every paragraph within that 24 lines have different musical characters as well and a sense of different themes. This is absolutely extraordinary vocal melody writing.
The first five minutes of Dancing With THe moonlight knight is close as possible to the peak perfection in rock music (unfortunately spoiled by the outro afterwards)
This is the standard of vocal melodies that is present throughout the entirety of Genesis era album. Trespass, Foxtrot and Selling England By The Pound is equal to anything THe Beatles have written when it comes to vocal melodies.
Now I do not know about the creative process in terms of who wrote the vocal melodies especially when a lot of songs are considered co-written by the entire band, however when Peter Gabriel left Genesis, the songwriting immediately dipped.
Now I think A Trick Of A Tail is a great album (I would even give it a Hex D) but it's already apparent here that Genesis the genius of vocal melodies no longer exist. Dance On A Volcano is absolute great song but the vocal melodies there is already very narrow in pitch range often alternating two notes. Entangled is just a single vocal melody line repeated (example why Steve Hackett can never be equal to Genesis). Robbery Assault and battery has a narrow vocal range verse and a repetitive chorus.
When Genesis went "pop", they couldn't do a completely successful transition to that genre because their vocal melodies have already declined. Often they resulted to a single melodic line and repeating it. If they did write a flowing melodic line they could either do it in the verse or in the chorus but rarely both (see Invisible Touch and Follow Me And follow you where you have a decent vocal melodies in the verse but then it ruin by a very simplistic melody in the chorus). Unfortunately Genesis ceased being the "spiritual successor" to The Beatles when Gabriel left the group (despite claims from the group that they try to emulate the beatles by going pop)
Genesis had the potential to be one of the greatest pop band equal to prog band but they probably couldn't achieve this without Peter Gabriel present in the band. Their decline is not because they went prog but because there songwriting declined without Peter Gabriel presence.