Tony Banks
A Curious Feeling
30th Anniversary Edition

Release Date: October 20, 2009
(Original Release - 1979)
Produced by: Tony Banks, David Hentschel
Format: CD



Bob Metcalf


I have to admit I missed this recording way back in 1979.  I think I didn’t give Genesis a chance once Peter Gabriel left at first, then was blown away by Trick of the Tail after the fact, became a huge fan again, and missed A Curious Feeling.  Tony Banks, Genesis’ keyboardist since the beginning, created this work while the band was on a short hiatus.  So I am reviewing this CD as a new one for me, and judging by past sales, it could be new to you too. 

This is one very special, important musical offering.  Tony Banks is interviewed by Mark Powell in the liner notes, and gives wonderful history and details of writing and recording this work; but I would like to cover a few highlights.  Tony Banks had originally envisioned a concept album based on the short story “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes (if you are like me, you had to read it in one of your high school English classes – and actually thought it was cool!) about a man who is mentally impaired but through scientific experiments, comes out of his perpetual stupor and enjoys life for a short time the way it should be.  Through circumstances, Tony changed the story to be of a man losing his cognitive abilities gradually over a period of time. 

The eight lyrical songs out of the eleven on the disc tell this story through the eyes of the victim.  These are powerful and emotional images, wonderfully written and if you know of anyone suffering from Huntington’s, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, they will touch you in ways that few rock albums, or any albums, probably ever will.  The vocals by Kim Beacon, now deceased, are as emotive as any I’ve heard, like some of the finest vocals on an Alan Parson’s project.  All of the music is played by Tony excepting the drums by Chester Thompson, Genesis’ long time touring drummer.  It is keyboard dominated with many different sounds and effects throughout.  And the music!  The majesty of the best instrumental passages of Genesis is here, especially around Trick of the Tail and Wind and Wuthering periods.  If you love those Genesis recordings, and are fond of the classically-influenced surges, you must go out and get this disc immediately – you will not be disappointed.  Another point I would make about the music is that it has to have had some influence on today’s progressive bands like Marillion, IQ, Sylvan, echolyn and Izz.  The music sounds so modern that it could stand up with any of the new progressives and beat a lot of them hands down.

Now to the remastering:  You can tell right away that this was a labour of love to do.  Nick Davis, involved with all the Genesis reissues, has done a masterful job.  As Tony states in the liner notes, he was surprised how well recorded the original drum tracks were and could be enhanced all the more – and they sure were!  All of the instruments stand out in the mix and blend together so well – even the large symphonic swellings come across cleanly in this superb mix.

To sum up, Tony Banks also comments that he hopes that this recording will eventually be rediscovered never doing as well as the rest of the Genesis catalogue.  Like any true artist, he wants this wonderful music to be appreciated by others.  I would like to say that I hope this review and word of mouth will help.  This music deserves to be heard and enjoyed!









Copyright 2002-2009 Matthew Rowe.
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212 Frech

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