Wind & Wuthering

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Wind & Wuthering
Studio album by Genesis
Released 27 December 1976 (UK)
7 January 1977 (US)
Recorded September–October 1976
Studio Relight Studios in Hilvarenbeek, The Netherlands
Genre Progressive rock
Length 50:54
Label Charisma, Atco
Producer David Hentschel and Genesis
Genesis chronology
A Trick of the Tail
(1976)
Wind & Wuthering
(1976)
Spot the Pigeon
(1977)

Wind & Wuthering is the eighth studio album from the English rock band Genesis, released in December 1976 on Charisma Records. Recorded after the critical and commercial success of A Trick of the Tail, it is the last album recorded with guitarist Steve Hackett in the band's line-up before his departure to continue his solo career. Hackett felt his contributions were left out in favour of songs written by keyboardist Tony Banks.

Wind & Wuthering was mostly well received and continued the band's growing success during the 1970s. It peaked at number 7 on the UK Albums Chart and number 26 on the US Billboard 200.

Recording[edit]

The album's title derives from two pieces: The "Wind" comes from "The House of the Four Winds", the title of one piece Hackett wrote that became the bridge on "Eleventh Earl of Mar"; the "Wuthering" alludes to the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. The titles of the tracks "Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers..." and "...In That Quiet Earth" are taken from the closing paragraph of the same novel.

Recording began in September 1976 at Relight Studios in Hilvarenbeek, The Netherlands,[1] with further work on the album done in October at Trident Studios in London.[2] Banks said there was "quite a lot" of music was written in their early writing sessions.[3] Writing for the album took, according to Rutherford, "about six weeks".[4] Hackett found himself arguing with the band as he felt his ideas were rejected in favour of material that Banks, in particular, had put forward.[1][2] Having released his first solo album Voyage of the Acolyte in 1975, Hackett requested the band use more of his material on Wind & Wuthering, but as Collins said, "We just wanted to use what we agreed was the strongest material, irrespective of who wrote it".[2] Banks ended up with writing credits on six of the album's nine tracks.[5]

When recording finished, Banks expressed some concern that the album would be too "heavy" and "difficult" for people to get into at first as the three tracks recorded that were left off were described by Banks as "quite simple".[6]

"Eleventh Earl of Mar" refers to the historical figure of John Erskine, 11th Earl of Mar by one reckoning. The first line of the song, "The sun had been up for a couple of hours, covered the ground with a layer of gold", is the first line of the novel The Flight of the Heron by D. K. Broster. Rutherford, who wrote the song's lyrics,[4] got the idea after reading a "history book about a failed Scottish rising" that happened "around 1715".[4] I liked the idea of him. He was a bit gay, a bit camp and a bit well-dressed."

"One For the Vine" was a track that Banks wrote during the writing sessions for A Trick of the Tail. He spent a year working on the song until he "got it right".[7]

Collins describes "Wot Gorilla?" as one of his favourite tracks on the album[8] as it brought in influences of jazz fusion and Weather Report which he liked.[9] Rutherford said of the track, "[it is] a reprise of a section out of 'Vine'. It was Phil's idea to play a fast, jazzy rhythm.[4]

For "Blood on the Rooftops", the song's title and the music to its chorus was written by Collins. Hackett wrote the song's lyrics and its acoustic guitar introduction.[10] According to Hackett, the song was a love song originally. He explained, "When I heard the other lyrics on the album, there was a bit of a romantic tinge anyway, so I decided to go right the other way and make it as cynical as possible."[11][12]

In contrast to the amount of time it took Banks to develop "One For the Vine", he wrote "Afterglow" "just about in the time it took to play it".[13] A few days after he wrote it he came to the sudden realisation that it resembles "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", which led to him playing it back and realised "it wasn't the same".[14] A Moog Taurus, a foot operated analog synthesizer, was used to create a drone effect.[citation needed] It was a staple on Genesis tours for over ten years.[15]

Release[edit]

Wind & Wuthering was released in the UK on 27 December 1976; its North American release followed on 7 January 1977. It peaked at number 7 on the UK Albums Chart and number 26 on the US Billboard 200. "Your Own Special Way" was released as a single in the US that reached number 62 on the Billboard singles chart, the band's first charting single with Collins as lead vocalist.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[16]
Q 3/5 stars[17]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[18]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[19]

In his positive review for Record Mirror, David Brown opened with "The grey misty, autumn cover gives away the mood of this album, with its mellow tones and airy songs". He believed the band's new following after the success of A Trick of the Tail would not be disappointed. The album is "remarkably well-paced – the music flows ... in an almost undisturbed stream ... subtle instrumentals cleverly link the songs together".[20] Barbara Sharone reported her various positive impressions of Wind & Wuthering through multiple sessions listening to the album for Sounds. Her thoughts include "too much to digest on one listening", "less immediate but more substantial" than A Trick of the Tail, and "the band now seem relaxed and confident to be themselves". As the review progresses, she comments that "One for the Vine" is "Genesis' finest moment".[21] Rolling Stone gave the album a positive review, praising Genesis for being more experimental and steeped in conventional rock than their progressive rock contemporaries. They made particular note of "Your Own Special Way", calling it "a first-rate pop song".[18] Wind & Wuthering was included in Billboard magazine's Top Album Picks feature, noting "Genesis has grown into one of the premiere art-rock bands to come out of England and its fans will not be disappointed with the latest offering ... sometimes the music and the words are brilliant". The tracks "One for the Vine", "All in a Mouse's Night", and "...In That Quiet Earth" were picked as highlights.[22] According to Billboard, a 1977 poll of more than 10,000 radio listeners in Greece voted Wind & Wuthering the fourth best album of the year.[23]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave the album a retrospective rating of four stars out of five on AllMusic. "Eleventh Earl of Mar" and "One for the Vine" were selected as the album's two "Track Picks". He made note of "Your Own Special Way", calling it "the poppiest tune the group had cut and also the first that could qualify as a love song" and summarised the album as "a standard Genesis record" that finds the band "working the same English eccentric ground that was the group's stock in trade since Trespass".[16] Andy Fyfe, writing for Q, named "One for the Vine" as one of Genesis's "moments of impressive songwriting".[17]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Eleventh Earl of Mar"   Tony Banks, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford 7:39
2. "One for the Vine"   Banks 9:56
3. "Your Own Special Way"   Rutherford 6:15
4. "Wot Gorilla?"   Banks, Phil Collins 3:12
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "All in a Mouse's Night"   Banks 6:35
2. "Blood on the Rooftops"   Collins, Hackett 5:20
3. "Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers…"   Hackett, Rutherford 2:27
4. "…In That Quiet Earth"   Banks, Collins, Hackett, Rutherford 4:45
5. "Afterglow"   Banks 4:10
Note
  • The first pressings of the North American edition combined "Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers..." and "... In That Quiet Earth" as a single track for a running time of 7:12.

Reissues[edit]

Wind & Wuthering was first reissued on CD in 1985 by Charisma Records.[nb 1] A remastered CD followed in 1994 by Virgin and Atlantic Records.[nb 2] In 2007, the album was remixed and remastered once more as part of the Genesis 1976–1982 studio album box set by Nick Davis and Tony Cousins. Each album is presented on CD in stereo on a DVD containing two 5.1 surround sound mixes with bonus material including interviews, tour programs, and bootleg videos of live performances. The European and Japanese editions replace the CD with a hybrid Super Audio CD which contains the stereo and a multi-channel surround sound mix.[24][25]

Personnel[edit]

Genesis

Production

  • David Hentschel – production
  • Genesis – production
  • David Hentschel - engineer
  • Pierre Geoffroy Chateau – assistant engineer
  • Nick Bradford – assistant engineer

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Charisma CDSCD 4005
  2. ^ Virgin CDSCDX 4005
Citations
  1. ^ a b Bowler and Dray, p. 128.
  2. ^ a b c Bowler and Dray, p. 129.
  3. ^ Tony, Banks (2007). "Reissues Interview 2007" bonus feature from Genesis 1976–1982 box set for the album Wind & Wuthering. 1:48–:1:52. (DVD). Virgin. 
  4. ^ a b c d Welch, Chris (25 December 1976). "Wuthering heights". Melody Maker: 14. 
  5. ^ Bowler and Dray, p. 130.
  6. ^ Tony, Banks (2007). "Reissues Interview 2007" bonus feature from Genesis 1976–1982 box set for the album Wind & Wuthering. 1:54–:2:05. (DVD). Virgin. 
  7. ^ Tony, Banks (2007). "Reissues Interview 2007" bonus feature from Genesis 1976–1982 box set for the album Wind & Wuthering. 9:23–:9:30. (DVD). Virgin. 
  8. ^ Phil, Collins (2007). "Reissues Interview 2007" bonus feature from Genesis 1976–1982 box set for the album Wind & Wuthering. 10:22–:10:26. (DVD). Virgin. 
  9. ^ Phil, Collins (2007). "Reissues Interview 2007" bonus feature from Genesis 1976–1982 box set for the album Wind & Wuthering. 10:31–:10:41. (DVD). Virgin. 
  10. ^ Steve, Hackett (2007). "Reissues Interview 2007" bonus feature from Genesis 1976–1982 box set for the album Wind & Wuthering. 5:13–:5:25. (DVD). Virgin. 
  11. ^ Bowler and Dray, p. 131.
  12. ^ Bowler and Dray, p. 132.
  13. ^ Tony, Banks (2007). "Reissues Interview 2007" bonus feature from Genesis 1976–1982 box set for the album Wind & Wuthering. 9:30–:9:40. (DVD). Virgin. 
  14. ^ Tony, Banks (2007). "Reissues Interview 2007" bonus feature from Genesis 1976–1982 box set for the album Wind & Wuthering. 9:45–:10:00. (DVD). Virgin. 
  15. ^ Song Review by François Couture. "Afterglow – Genesis | Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Wind & Wuthering at AllMusic
  17. ^ a b Andy Fyfe Q, May 2007, Issue 250.
  18. ^ a b Marsh, Dave (24 February 1977). "Genesis: Wind & Wuthering : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 1 December 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  19. ^ 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. 
  20. ^ Brown, David (18 December 1976). "GENESIS: 'Wind & Wuthering' (Charisma CDS4005)". Record Mirror. 
  21. ^ Charone, Barbara (18 December 1976). "Wuthering heights". Sounds. 
  22. ^ "Billboard's Top Album Picks: Pop: GENESIS-Wind & Wuthering". Billboard: 45. 15 January 1977. 
  23. ^ Billboard, 18 February 1978, p. 63.
  24. ^ "Various formats described". Genesis-news.com. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  25. ^ "Explained in interview with producer and remixer Nick Davis". Genesis-news.com. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
Bibliography
  • Bowler, Dave; Dray, Bryan (1992). Genesis - A Biography. Sidgwick & Jackson. ISBN 978-0-283-06132-5.