4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Best Genesis album of the 80's,
This review is from: Duke (Audio CD)
The year was 1980. Genesis had survived the departure of Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett, had clocked up a hit single along the way and were about really make it big. Duke proves that a band can have commercial success without compromising their art. Many critics write them off after 'Wind & wuthering' but in my view their obituries were premature. Duke produced a string of hits both in the UK & US (Turn it on again, Misuderstanding, Duchess)which put Genesis on the commercial map, but Duke retains much of the bands prog rock greatness. For a start, it's a concept album - I think. There certainly seems to be a thread running through the songs, about relationship breakup. Probably inspired by Phil Collins' marriage breakup, which coincided with the writing of Duke.
The music is powerful and melodic, as you would have expected on any previous Genesis offering, and follows on nicely from '..and then there were three' their previous album. Mike Rutherford continues to consolidate his role as both bass player and guitarist, and the band as whole prove that writing songs together, instead of apart, as had been the case, can be very successful. The album opens with the exciting, explosive 'Behind the lines' Anyone who ever had the privilage of seeing them on this tour will never forget the intensity of their shows opening with this blinding song; a mixture of trad Genesis, descending into something more funky and soulful. There are prog moments to hold the attention of the die hards (like me) - Heathaze, Cul-De-Sac, Dukes Travels & Dukes End - as well as love songs, which unlike later efforts, or the work of Phil Collins on his own, wont make you yawn or want to throw up! All in all Duke is a very good album, certainly the best they released in the 80's and probably their last 'good' album, for those who grew up with them and loved their old sound, and the whole prog rock scene of the 70's.