Produced by David Hentschel and Genesis
Label – Charisma
Following the departure of front man Peter Gabriel the previous year the remaining four piece went in to a period of almost hyper activity with “Wind And Wuthering” arriving less than 12 months after the well received “A Trick Of The Tail”. Whilst the predecessor had more of the collaborative air of a band trying to prove themselves once again, this recording clearly sees the influence of Tony Banks as the new driving force in terms of compositional and creative decision making. The album is filled with his keyboard intricacies and to some extent stifles the input from the other members of the band, particularly guitarist Steve Hackett. Despite the obvious decrease in instrumental dynamics this is still a fine album and possibly stands as the final true progressive rock album the band would record. Aided by David Hentschel it is a more fully realised collection, the complexity and intensity is evident during the more powerful moments, all abetted by Collins’ superb percussion work. There are stand out songs which would be staples for the live shows, but there are in addition some glaring inconsistencies.
“Wind And Wuthering” is bookended by two examples of the band at their best. Opener “Eleventh Earl Of Mar” carries all the necessary dramatics of past glories and with Collins’ driving rhythms powerfully grabbing the attention, it’s a welcome introduction. “Afterglow” is less progressive, more classic rock and seems to contain genuine contributions from all of the band. “One For The Vine” is a song that Banks had been working on for the best part of a year, and frankly it still sounds unconvincing with Collins’ thin vocal and a slow lugubrious pace that lingers for over 5 minutes before a latent injection of pace which comes far too late. Worse still is Rutherford’s “Your Own Special Way”; a clumsy pop/rock ballad which really should have been reconsidered particularly in view that any one of the three discarded half decent tracks that were later released on the “Spot The Pigeon” E.P would have made much more interesting additions. Phil Collins’ fixation with jazz fusion would lead to the wholly unnecessary instrumental “Wot Gorilla”. He was never going to turn Genesis in to Brand X, so why try? Steve Hackett’s parting shot to the band is the outstanding highlight. There’s a beautiful pastoral Englishness to the acoustic intro followed by the melancholic verse and memorable chorus resulting in one of the guitarist’s greatest compositions. He would leave the band shortly after owing to the limited opportunities the other band members gave his material.
Many fans reprove the band for future musical crimes, stating that this was the last genuine “Genesis” album, but realistically they had to move into new sonic areas. A seismic shift in musical creation was around the corner as punk rock dawned. The prog. rock era was over and “Wind And Wuthering” stands as a timely and mostly worthy finale.
Track by Track Rating
1 – Eleventh Earl Of Mar 8
2 – One For The Vine 6
3 – Your Own Special Way 5
4 – Wot Gorilla 5
5 – All In A Mouse’s Night 7
6 – Blood On The Rooftops 9
7 – Unquiet Slumbers For The Sleepers 6
8 – In That Quiet Earth 6
9 – Afterglow 8