A Trick Of The Outtakes (Red Devil RD052-1)
Beloved Summer, Ripples, Ripples, Robbery Assault & Battery, Los Endos, Los Endos, Mad Mad Moon, A Trick Of The Tail, Entangled (instrumental #1), Entangled (instrumental #2), Dance On A Volcano, Squonk
A Trick Of The Outtakes captures Genesis in one of the strangest periods in their long career. When Peter Gabriel decided to tend to his cabbages instead of continuing with school chums Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks, Genesis lost not only the singer, but they lost the artistic focus of the band.
It was his artistic vision, both visually and lyrically, that defined the image of the band during their initial rise to popularity. And in a stranger turn still, despite auditioning four hundred vocalists and settling upon drummer Phil Collins, and with the British music press already writing obituaries for the band, they come back with their strongest album yet with A Trick Of The Tail.
Genesis began to write and demo the songs for this LP in the summer of 1975 and they recorded the album in October and November 1975 at Trident Studios. The tape on this particular release comes from the studio sessions. They were released first on vinyl on A Trick Of The Tail Outtakes (5020). The instrumental track of “Squonk” is under its original name “Indians.”
It was pressed on silver disc on A Trick Of The Tail Outtakes (Sacem Alt91-80-80) and in 1998 on A Trick Of The Takes (Highland HL198). A Trick Of The Outtakes on the Red Devil label offers the same material as the others but the sound quality, especially compared to the Highland, is a significant improvement. It is louder with less hiss and is several generations closer to the master tape.
The tape begins with the one true outtake from the sessions. “Beloved Summer” is the original name of the song. This song was released as the b-side to both “Ripples” in 1976 and “Your Own Special Way” in 1977. On CD it appears on Genesis Archive Vol 2 and on the sixth disc of the Genesis 1976-1983 box set released in 2007. The latter restored the omitted second verse (“Don’t you know I’m not asking / You must have made up your mind / Is it worth the pain you’re causing / To those you’re leaving behind”) and is the longest available, clocking in at 6:15.
The second two tracks are instrumental takes of “Ripples.” Each clocks in over four minutes and approximate half of the eight minute commercial version. Each also has a short count-in.
The second “Ripples” picks up during the instrumental interlude before the grand finale of the song. The instrumental take of “Robbery, Assault, & Battery” begins with Banks saying, “Take four and we’re rearing to go…” This sounds like the final take except for vocals and Banks’ organ figure during the instrumental middle between 3:23 and 3:37.
The first “Los Endos” take begins without the beautiful “It’s Yourself” soundscape but picks up at the quick tempo bass and drum line and does not have the “Squonk” reprise at the end. The second “Los Endos” picks up with the “Dance On A Volcano” and goes into the “Squonk” theme (but without the faint Collins vocals on the commercial version) before breaking down in the middle.
“Mad Mad Moon” is one of the most gorgeous creations written by Tony Banks that unfortunately was never played live by the band. On A Trick Of The Tail the song is almost eight minutes long, but the track in this collection is four minutes of the first half consisting of the piano, bass, and drums and ends during the piano solo in the middle. The lyrics and keyboard flute augmentation are missing. It sounds naked, but it is fascinating to hear the piano playing alone.
The title track is the same as the commercial version including vocals and a short count-in but missing the synthesizer arrangement in the melody. Two takes of Steve Hackett’s “Entangled” follows. Both are instrumental run throughs with guitar, drums, bass and piano. The vocals and other keyboards were added later. It again sounds very naked but to hear the stark instrumental of the mesmerizing track is great.
The first run through has about half of the song, but the second has the song in its entirety. “Dance On A Volcano” and “Squonk,” the final two tracks on the tape, are close to the final arrangements but lacking vocals. The final track is fascinating to hear since this is what they used when auditioning all of the vocalists and is subsequently the first one Collins recorded.
Red Devil package this release in a cardboard digipack with many memorabilia from the era and a duplication of the album on the front cover (but with the robber from “Robbery, Assault, & Battery” and Helen from “Ripples” brought to the forefront.
The track listing on the back contains several errors: the second “Ripples” is listed as “Robbery, Assault & Battery,” “Robbery, Assault & Battery” is listed as “Los Endos,” “Los Endos” is listed as “Squonk (instrumental / different intro)” and “Mad Mad Moon,” and “Mad Mad Moon” is listed as “instrumental.” These corrections are listed here to avoid confusion since at first glance it looks like there might be brand new material, but that isn’t the case. However, A Trick Of The Outtakes is a great sounding and looking release that is worth having.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)