Sunday, 8 January 2012

Genesis - ...and then there were three: Music To Stop The Car...

One of the things I find endearing about music as an art form is how it means so many different things to different people at different times. Music can, taken totally out of context, evoke feelings that may be totally at odds with how the music was originally recorded and released into the media. An example of how this can manifest itself is the album "...and then there were three" by Genesis. Released in 1978, and following on from the albums "Wind and Wuthering" and "A Trick of the Tail", many argue  this was the album in which the band began to produce shorter, less ambitious tracks, which were to mark their direction over their final years together as a band. Arguably "...and then there were three" would not be part of many fans of Genesis' top 5 albums by the band.
Whilst driving our daughter to The Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield recently, "Many Too Many" a track from the album was played on the radio. Hearing the track in this context immediately brought back memories for me of being 10-12 years old and spending Saturday afternoons in the car travelling to and from family days out, and particularly listening to the Alan Freeman show which was on Radio 1 at the time. The Alan Freeman show then specialised in the music which was forming my cultural ideology ("progressive" rock). The emotions and the feelings evoked by the music were totally disproportionate to the actual song, and, if asked prior to this experience, no connection could possibly have been made between the music and these thoughts. Listening back now to the album takes me back to those years in a way that would not have been possible prior to this moment.

Considering this, I look back at episodes in my life and consider music which helps to recreate narratives. The music on "...and then there were three" does not evoke these responses per se , but almost facilitates some form of conduit back to those childhood years. I am certain that I am not alone in experiencing this, and as I have described above, that to me is the true beauty of the musical craft. The music I have heard and consumed throughout my years has formed some sort of diary, which fluctuates over time, but is almost the tale of the subconscious me.

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