Genesis - Duke

Album cover

  1. Behind The Lines (5:30)
  2. Duchess (6:25)
  3. Guide Vocal (1:34)
  4. Man Of Our Times (5:33)
  5. Misunderstanding (3:12)
  6. Heathaze (4:58)
  7. Turn It On Again (3:51)
  8. Alone tonight (3:55)
  9. Cul-De-Sac (5:04)
  10. Please Don't Ask (4:00)
  11. Duke's Travels (8:39)
  12. Duke's End (2:07)

Virgin, 1980

also by Genesis:

see also... Steve Hackett, Tony Banks, Jethro Tull

Their final album before they became mainly pop mongers. I'm quite fond of bits of "Duke", and not just by comparison with the dire "Abacab". Some of the four-square soft rock on this I can take or leave, but it has a clarity and confidence that was sometimes lacking in the muddy "And Then There Were Three". It's relatively long, and sags in places, (such as "Heathaze", "Cul-De-Sac") but there's some colour amongst the greyer patches.

As the stand-out track I'd pick the broad, sweeping "Duchess". Those missing the rock-out band-play of the "Trick of the Tail" era might also enjoy the energetic opener "Behind the Lines" and the instrumental outro Duke's Travels / Duke's End. Although this jam rambles on a bit, as if Duke got lost. There seems to be something (or, more likely, somebody, a certain guitarist) missing.

The played-to-death hit "Turn It On Again" might have inspired a thousand obvious jokes, but I grudgingly admit its tune and one-note bassline are decent. However wet-lettuce stuff like "Misunderstanding" and "Alone Tonight" are a waste of time. On the other hand, "Please Don't Ask" is the best of these Collins-dominated ballads, a poignantly personal piece of divorce therapy.

July 24, 2004

6 out of 10

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