A Trick of the Tail
|A Trick of the Tail|
|Studio album by Genesis|
|Released||2 February 1976 (UK)
20 February 1976 (US)
|Recorded||October–November 1975, Trident Studios|
|Label||Charisma, Virgin, Atco|
|Producer||David Hentschel and Genesis|
A Trick of the Tail is the seventh studio album by British rock band Genesis and the first to feature drummer Phil Collins as full-time lead vocalist following the departure of original vocalist Peter Gabriel. It was released in February 1976.
Post-Gabriel Genesis 
After Peter Gabriel left Genesis, the remaining members held auditions for a permanent lead singer, although some members (most notably Banks) considered continuing as an instrumental act, as most songs were written without knowledge as to how they would be sung. Initially, Phil Collins did not wish to take over for Gabriel, opting instead to teach the potential lead singers the songs. One of the 400 auditioners, Mick Stickland, came close to being chosen, but the band and Mick decided in the end against working together. According to the band members, the backing tracks for A Trick of the Tail had already been recorded and were in a key in which Mick was not comfortable singing. When the auditions failed to produce a suitable vocalist, Collins reluctantly went in the studio to sing "Squonk" and the band decided that Collins should be the new vocalist.
The album was recorded and mixed at Trident Studios in October/November 1975. It also marked the first album that the band would co-produce with David Hentschel. They would work with Hentschel for the next four years.
For the first time in their career, Genesis filmed promotional videos for their songs. Three videos were filmed. Banks' "A Trick of the Tail" was the first, which featured the band playing to the track together around a piano. A miniature Phil Collins can be seen hopping around on a piano and a guitar (Collins later revealed that this video was the most embarrassing of his career). The second video was for the song "Ripples," which was a performance clip. The third was for "Robbery, Assault and Battery" which depicted Collins as a bank robber who shoots an elderly man (played by Mike Rutherford) after holding him up and is then pursued by cops (played by Banks, Hackett and Rutherford), shooting Banks in the process.
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
A Trick of the Tail reached No.3 in the UK, remaining on the charts for 39 weeks, and No.31 in the US. Additionally, the album was certified Gold in the US by the RIAA in March 1990. Also according to Tony Banks in the essay that comes with Platinum Collection, the album doubled the band's previous albums sales. This success was also financially crucial for Genesis who were $400,000 in debt by the time Peter Gabriel left.
Working titles for the album 
Before A Trick of the Tail was released, two songs had working titles. Below is a list of the original working title and finalised song title (in parentheses):
- "Indians" ("Squonk")
- "Beloved Summer" (a.k.a. "It's Yourself"; not included on the album, but later released as the B-side of the Italian release of "Ripples" and the UK release of "Your Own Special Way". "It's Yourself" was later released on the 1999 CD Box Set "Genesis: Archive 2: 1976-1992" and again - in its original full length version - in 2008 on the "Genesis Box 1976-82, Extra Tracks" CD)
"Squonk" is based on the North American tale of the squonk which when captured dissolves in a pool of tears. The song features many different sections and was a live favourite at Genesis concerts between 1976 and 1980. It forms a significant part of the album's closing song, "Los Endos," which continued to be played live through the 2007 Turn It On Again tour. According to Collins, in the interviews on the DVD release, this song was intended to be the closest thing Genesis ever got to Led Zeppelin (who were signed to Atlantic Records, the US label for Genesis). The working title of the song was "Indians".
Track listing 
All Songs Copyright Control. This album is the first to depart from the practice of crediting all members of Genesis for writing each song.
Original release 
|1.||"Dance on a Volcano"||Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford||5:53|
|4.||"Mad Man Moon"||Banks||7:35|
|1.||"Robbery, Assault & Battery"||Banks, Collins||6:15|
|3.||"A Trick of the Tail"||Banks||4:34|
|4.||"Los Endos"||Banks, Collins, Hackett, Rutherford||5:46|
B Side 
|1.||"It's Yourself*"||Banks, Collins, Hackett, Rutherford||5:46|
* "It's Yourself" is the B-side to "Ripples" as well as a single from the Wind & Wuthering album. The song ends in the same notes that open "Mad Man Moon". "Los Endos" retains part of "It's Yourself" in its introduction.
|The remastered version of the album had slightly different track timings|
|1.||"Dance on a Volcano"||Banks, Collins, Hackett, Rutherford||5:55|
|4.||"Mad Man Moon"||Banks||7:35|
|5.||"Robbery, Assault and Battery"||Banks, Collins||6:16|
|7.||"A Trick of the Tail"||Banks||4:34|
|8.||"Los Endos"||Banks, Collins, Hackett, Rutherford||5:46|
2007 SACD/CD/DVD Release 
A new version of A Trick of the Tail was released in the U.K. and Japan on 2 April 2007. It was released in the US and Canada as part of the Genesis 1976-1982 box set on 15 May 2007. This includes the entire album in remixed stereo, the entire album in surround sound, and related video tracks.
- Disc 1, in the European and Japanese releases, is a hybrid SACD/CD. The stereo layer includes the remixed tracks, and the SACD layer is a multichannel surround sound remix.
- Disc 1, in the Canadian and U.S. releases, is a standard CD, containing the stereo remixes. No SACD layer is included.
- Disc 2, in all releases, is a DVD-Video disk containing both audio and video tracks. This DVD includes three audio mixes of the album: DTS 5.1-channel surround sound, Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround sound, and Dolby Digital stereo. The DTS surround sound is a slightly compressed version of the surround sound on the SACD, and the Dolby surround sound is of slightly inferior quality to the DTS.
- Disc 2 also includes the following video tracks:
- Band interview about this album (2006).
- Promotional videos: "Robbery, Assault and Battery", "Ripples" and "A Trick of the Tail".
- Genesis: In Concert (1977 concert movie filmed during 1976 tour). Songs include "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)", "Fly on a Windshield", "The Carpet Crawlers", "The Cinema Show", "Entangled", "Supper's Ready" and "Los Endos".
- White Rock premiere program, from 1977 show (8 page gallery).
- Tony Banks – organ (Hammond T-102), synthesisers (ARP Pro Soloist and ARP 2600), pianos (acoustic and RMI Electra 368), background vocals, 12-string guitar, mellotron
- Phil Collins – vocals, background vocals, drums, percussion
- Steve Hackett – electric guitar, 12-string guitars
- Mike Rutherford – bass guitar, 12-string guitar, bass pedals
A sample of "Mad Man Moon"
|Problems listening to this file? See media help.|
- Arranged By Genesis
- Produced By Genesis & David Hentschel
- Recorded & Engineered By Nick "Haddock" Bradford & David Hentschel
The tour of 1976 was the first to feature Phil Collins as the band's lead vocalist. Since Collins could not play drums and sing lead simultaneously, Bill Bruford was brought in on the tour after he suggested that they might use him to fill in for a bit. The subsequent tour is documented on the film "Genesis In Concert" and is included on the 2007 re-issue of A Trick of the Tail.
Set List 
- "Dance on a Volcano"
- "Lamb Stew Medley" – "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway"/"Fly on a Windshield"/"The Carpet Crawlers"
- "The Cinema Show"
- "Robbery, Assault and Battery"
- "White Mountain"
- "Firth of Fifth"
- "Supper's Ready"
- "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)"
- "Los Endos"
- "It" / "Watcher of the Skies"
- Tony Banks – organ, synthesisers, pianos, background vocals, 12-string guitar, mellotron
- Phil Collins – vocals, percussion, drums
- Steve Hackett – electric guitar, 12-string guitars
- Mike Rutherford – bass guitar, 12-string guitar, bass pedals, background vocals
- DVD Interview http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nErUmembqdg
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2011 [last update]). "A Trick of the Tail – Genesis | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- Andy Fyfe Q, May 2007, Issue 250.
- Nicholson, Kris (20 May 1976). "Genesis: Trick Of The Tail : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 20 June 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
- Nathan Brackett; Christian David Hoard (2004). The new Rolling Stone album guide. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 327–328. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8.
- Mick Houghton Uncut, May 2007, Issue 120.
- Gerhardts, Christian (2006). Nick Davis interview: His Own Special Way, Genesis News Com [it].
- The DVD interface has two audio choices: Dolby 5.1 and DTS 5.1. If the Dolby 5.1 option is chosen on a system that does not support surround sound, the Dolby stereo mix is played.
- Comparison from Sound and Vision magazine article online at http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/musicreviews/2285/genesis-in-surround.html[dead link]