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, Netherlands
Genre Progressive rock
Length 50:54
Label Charisma (UK)
Atco (US)
Producer David Hentschel, Genesis
Genesis chronology
A Trick of the Tail
(1976)
Wind & Wuthering
(1976)
Spot the Pigeon
(1977)
Singles from Wind & Wuthering
  1. "Your Own Special Way"
    Released: 1977

Wind & Wuthering is the eighth studio album from the English rock band Genesis, released in December 1976 on Charisma Records. Upon its release, the album reached number 7 in the United Kingdom and number 26 in the United States. "Your Own Special Way" was released as the album's sole single.

The album was recorded in 1976 after the commercial and critical success of A Trick of the Tail and its supporting tour. Hackett felt some of his material was dropped in favour of songs written by keyboardist Tony Banks. Some of its titles and lyrics contains literary and historical references, including works by Emily Brontë and D. K. Broster.

The band and critics have given a mostly positive view of the album; Hackett and Banks named it one of their favourite Genesis records. Genesis's 1977 world tour to promote the it drew an enthusiastic reception from audiences. At its conclusion, Hackett left the band to continue his solo career. Three tracks recorded during the album's sessions were later released in the extended play Spot the Pigeon. The album has since reached Gold certification by the British Phonographic Institute and the Recording Industry Association of America and remastered with a new stereo and 5.1 surround sound mix in 2007.

Production[edit]

Recording[edit]

Following the end of their 1976 tour of North America and Europe in support of A Trick of the Tail, Genesis proceeded to work on their next album. The line-up during this time was Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, and Steve Hackett. Recording began in September 1976 with producer David Hentschel at Relight Studios in Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands,[1] the first time Genesis recorded an album outside of the UK. The band worked hard, recording all the basic tracks for the album in twelve days.[2] Further work on the album was completed in October at Trident Studios in London;[3] the album was mixed there in three weeks.[2] The album's title derives from two pieces—"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 album's sleeve was designed and illustrated by Hipgnosis.

Banks recalled a considerable amount of music had been written before the album was recorded.[4] Rutherford said it took an estimated six weeks to write the album.[5] He pointed out the band wished to distance themselves from writing songs that were inspired by fantasy, something that their past albums "were full of".[6] 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][3] Having already released his first solo album, Voyage of the Acolyte, Hackett requested the band use more of his musical ideas on Wind & Wuthering. Banks ended up with six writing credits on the album's nine tracks, more than any other member.[7] Collins spoke of Hackett's request: "We just wanted to use what we agreed was the strongest material, irrespective of who wrote it".[3]

Songs[edit]

"Eleventh Earl of Mar" refers to the historical figure of John Erskine, Earl of Mar, a Scottish Jacobite. 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 opening line of the novel The Flight of the Heron by D. K. Broster. Rutherford, who wrote the song's lyrics,[5] got the idea after reading a "history book about a failed Scottish rising ... around 1715".[5]

"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".[8]

Collins describes "Wot Gorilla?" as one of his favourite tracks on the album[9] as it brought in influences of jazz fusion and Weather Report which he liked.[10] 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.[5]

"Blood on the Rooftops" is a song concerning "the tedium and repetitiveness of television news and the overall mocking disgust that must sometimes accompany watching the news happen".[6] The music to its chorus was written by Collins with Hackett writing the song's lyrics and its acoustic guitar introduction.[11] 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."[12][13]

"Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers..." and "...In That Quiet Earth" are two linked instrumental tracks.

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".[14] 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".[15] 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.[16]

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. By April 1977, the album had sold roughly 150,000 copies in the US.[17] "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. In February 1977, the album was certified Gold by the British Phonographic Institute.[18]

In May 1977, Genesis released the extended play Spot the Pigeon containing three songs recorded during the Wind & Wuthering sessions but were left off the final track selection–"Match of the Day", "Pigeons", and "Inside and Out". Spot the Pigeon reached number 14 in the UK.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[19]
Q 3/5 stars[20]
Rolling Stone (1977) (favorable)[21]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[22]

When recording finished, Banks expressed some concern that the album would be too "heavy" and "difficult" for people on their first listen, but he knew fans would give the material a chance. He noted the three tracks recorded during the album's sessions that were ultimately left off were "quite simple".[23] Hackett and Banks have named it as one of their favourite of all Genesis records.[24]

Critical reception of Wind & Wuthering turned out to be favourable with both contemporary critics and retrospective reviews. In a 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. He thought the album is "remarkably well-paced – the music flows ... in an almost undisturbed stream ... subtle instrumentals cleverly link the songs together".[25] 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".[26] 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".[21] 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".[27] Stephen Lavers for National RockStar named the album the best from Genesis at the time of its release and their most ambitious work since The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.[28] Circus magazine described the album as "flawless" with "the most mature orchestration to date" from the band.[6] Bruce Malamut for Crawdaddy! said the "Unquiet Slumbers" suite was "majestic" with its "colorful sound textures".[29]

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".[19] Andy Fyfe, writing for Q, named "One for the Vine" as one of Genesis's "moments of impressive songwriting".[20]

Tour[edit]

Following the album's release, Genesis embarked on a world tour covering Europe, North America, and their first dates in South America. The tour marked the first time Chester Thompson was hired as their touring drummer; Thompson replaced Bill Bruford who played drums on the A Trick of the Tail tour.[6] The band concentrated their stage set with an elaborate laser and lighting display.[6] The tour received enthusiastic responses from crowds. Collins recognised a growth in the size of their audience in some cities they visited in the US.[17] The tour began on 1 January 1977 with a sold-out UK leg, beginning with three nights at London's Rainbow Theatre. Over 80,000 applications for the available 8,000 tickets were made. The North American leg saw Genesis play their first show at Madison Square Garden in New York City.[6] Their concerts in Brazil were attended by over 150,000 people, with a proposed 100,000-person gig cancelled for fear of rioting. Each band member was accompanied by an armed bodyguard during their stay.[30]

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 released in a new stereo and 5.1 surround sound mix individually and as part of the Genesis 1976–1982 studio album box set engineered Nick Davis and Tony Cousins, 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.[31][32]

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 9:59
3. "Your Own Special Way"   Rutherford 6:15
4. "Wot Gorilla?"   Phil Collins, Banks 3:12
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "All in a Mouse's Night"   Banks 6:35
2. "Blood on the Rooftops"   Hackett, Collins 5:20
3. "Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers..."   Hackett, Rutherford 2:27[nb 3]
4. "...In That Quiet Earth"   Hackett, Rutherford, Banks, Collins 4:45
5. "Afterglow"   Banks 4:10

Certifications[edit]

Organisation Level Date
BPI – UK Silver 16 February 1977[18]
Gold 16 February 1977[18]
RIAA – US Gold 20 April 1990[33]

Personnel[edit]

Genesis
Production
  • David Hentschel – production, engineer
  • Genesis – arrangement, production
  • Pierre Geoffroy Chateau – assistant engineer
  • Nick "Cod" Bradford – assistant engineer
  • Hipgnosis – sleeve design
  • Colin Elgie – sleeve design
  • Tex (Nibs) Read – equipment
  • Andy Mackrill – equipment
  • Paul Padun – equipment
  • WB Music Corp. – publishing
  • ASCAP – publishing

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Charisma CDSCD 4005
  2. ^ Virgin CDSCDX 4005
  3. ^ The original 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.
Citations
  1. ^ a b Bowler and Dray, p. 128.
  2. ^ a b "Genesis – Wind and Wuthering – press kit – Atlantic Records". Atlantic Records. 1977. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Bowler and Dray, p. 129.
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ a b c d Welch, Chris (25 December 1976). "Wuthering heights". Melody Maker: 14. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Frischvers, Richard (31 March 1977). "'Wind and Wuthering'". Circus: 58–60. 
  7. ^ Bowler and Dray, p. 130.
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ Bowler and Dray, p. 131.
  13. ^ Bowler and Dray, p. 132.
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ Song Review by François Couture. "Afterglow – Genesis | Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  17. ^ a b Clarke, Steve (16 April 1977). "Oh to be a tax exile, now that April's here...". NME. pp. 7–8. 
  18. ^ a b c "Certified Awards". BPI. Select keyword "Genesis", By award : Gold, By Format : Album. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  19. ^ a b Wind & Wuthering at AllMusic
  20. ^ a b Andy Fyfe Q, May 2007, Issue 250.
  21. ^ 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. 
  22. ^ Brackett & Hoard, pp. 327–328.
  23. ^ Tony, Banks (2007). "Reissues Interview 2007" bonus feature from Genesis 1976–1982 box set for the album Wind & Wuthering. 1:54–:2:23. (DVD). Virgin. 
  24. ^ Tony, Banks; Hackett, Steve (2007). "Reissues Interview 2007" bonus feature from Genesis 1976–1982 box set for the album Wind & Wuthering. 13:58–14:03. (DVD). Virgin. 
  25. ^ Brown, David (18 December 1976). "GENESIS: 'Wind & Wuthering' (Charisma CDS4005)". Record Mirror. 
  26. ^ Charone, Barbara (18 December 1976). "Wuthering heights". Sounds. 
  27. ^ "Billboard's Top Album Picks: Pop: GENESIS-Wind & Wuthering". Billboard: 45. 15 January 1977. 
  28. ^ Lavers, Stephen (8 January 1977). "GENESIS: 'Wind & Wuthering' (Charisma CDS4005)". National RockStar. 
  29. ^ Malamut, Bruce (March 1977). "Genesis reaches Wuthering Heights". Crawdaddy!. 
  30. ^ "Brazil goes nuts for Genesis". Sounds. 28 May 1977. 
  31. ^ "Various formats described". Genesis-news.com. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  32. ^ "Explained in interview with producer and remixer Nick Davis". Genesis-news.com. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  33. ^ "RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for albums by Genesis". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
Bibliography