A Trick of the Tail was the seventh studio album by the progressive rock band Genesis and the first to feature Phil Collins as full-time lead vocalist following the departure of original vocalist Peter Gabriel. It was released in February 1976.
After Peter Gabriel left Genesis, the remaining members held auditions for a permanent lead singer, although some members (most notably Banks) considered continuing as an instrumental act, while most songs were written without knowledge as to how they would be sung. Initially, Phil Collins did not wish to take over from Gabriel, instead teaching the potential lead singers the songs. One of the 400 auditioners, Mick Strickland, came close, but the band and Strickland decided against working together in the end. According to the band members, the backing tracks for A Trick Of The Tail had already been recorded and were in a key in which Strickland was not comfortable singing. When the auditions failed to produce a suitable vocalist, Collins reluctantly went in the studio to sing "Squonk
" and the band decided that Collins should be the new vocalist.
The album was recorded and mixed at Trident Studios
in October / November 1975
. It also marked the first album that the band would co-produce with David Hentschel
. They would work with David for the next four years.
For the first time in their career, Genesis filmed three promotional videos for their songs. Banks' "A Trick of the Tail" was the first, which featured the band playing to the track together around a piano. A miniature Phil Collins can be seen hopping around on a piano and a guitar (Collins later revealed that this video was the most embarrassing of his career). The second video was for the song "Ripples," which was a performance clip. The third was for "Robbery, Assault and Battery" which depicted Collins as a bank robber who shoots an elderly man (played by Mike Rutherford) after holding him up and is then pursued by cops (played by Banks, Hackett and Rutherford), shooting Banks in the process.
A Trick of the Tail
reached #3 in the UK and #31 in the US. Additionally, the album was certified Gold in the US by the RIAA in March 1990. Also according to Tony Banks in the essay that comes with Platinum Collection
, the album doubled the band's previous albums sales. This success was also financially crucial for Genesis who were $400,000 in debt by the time Peter Gabriel left.
- "Dance on a Volcano" (Tony Banks/Phil Collins/Steve Hackett/Mike Rutherford) – 5:54
- "Entangled" (Tony Banks/Steve Hackett) – 6:27
- "Squonk" (Tony Banks/Mike Rutherford) – 6:27
- "Mad Man Moon" (Tony Banks) – 7:34
- "Robbery, Assault and Battery" (Tony Banks/Phil Collins) – 6:16
- "Ripples" (Tony Banks/Mike Rutherford) – 8:04
- "A Trick of the Tail" (Tony Banks) – 4:35
- "Los Endos" (Tony Banks/Phil Collins/Steve Hackett/Mike Rutherford) – 5:47
2007 SACD/CD/DVD Release
A new version of A Trick of the Tail
was released in the U.K. and Japan on April 2
. It was released in the US and Canada as part of the Genesis 1976-1982
box set on May 15, 2007. This includes the entire album in remixed stereo, the entire album in surround sound, and related video tracks.
- Disc 1, in the European and Japanese releases, is a hybrid SACD/CD disk. The stereo layer includes the remixed tracks, and the SACD layer is a multichannel surround sound remix.
- Disc 1, in the Canadian and U.S. releases, is a standard CD, containing the stereo remixes. No SACD layer is included.
- Disc 2, in all releases, is a DVD-Video disk containing both audio and video tracks. This DVD includes three audio mixes of the album: DTS 5.1-channel surround sound, Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround sound, and Dolby Digital stereo. The DTS surround sound is a slightly compressed version of the surround sound on the SACD, and the Dolby surround sound is of slightly inferior quality to the DTS.
- Disc 2 also includes the following video tracks:
- Band interview about this album (2006).
- Promotional videos: "Robbery, Assault and Battery", "Ripples" and "A Trick Of The Tail".
- Genesis: In Concert (1977 concert movie filmed during 1976 tour). Songs include "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)", "Fly On A Windshield", "The Carpet Crawlers", "The Cinema Show", "Entangled", "Supper's Ready" and "Los Endos".
- White Rock premiere program, from 1977 show (8 page gallery).
- Phil Collins – vocals, background vocals, percussion, drums
- Steve Hackett – electric guitar, 12-string guitars
- Tony Banks – organ, synthesizers, pianos, background vocals, 12-string guitar, mellotron
- Mike Rutherford – bass guitar, 12-string guitar, bass pedals