The Pressing Question Of (A) Foxtrot

And no! I am not referring to dancing and my desire for a “dad dance” with Jim. Lol.

I am, of course, referring to the 1972 Genesis album. In the interview for the “Records In My Life” video, Jim mentions his second gig being that of Genesis during the Foxtrot tour. In discussing Jim’s interview with someone, I was advised (possibly against my better judgement!) to give Foxtrot a listen.

Now, to me, prog can (or indeed DOES) have its roots in folk. But very traditional folk. Like…16th century shanties and things. With groups like Jethro Tull (their namesake being an 18th century agronomist), et al, it is never really a genre of music that has particularly spoken to me.

I don’t dismiss ALL prog. I don’t dismiss ALL folk (though I declare it to be my least favoured genre of music)…but blend them? And it really is something I find quite hard to digest.

There have been times…exceptions…in which I have thoroughly enjoyed a piece of work within those genres. PJ Harvey’s stellar Let England Shake from 2011, for example. Also David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World and tracks like The Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud, but by and large, the genres of folk rock, traditional folk and/or prog do little for me.

So, I tried to keep any bias from the door and just give the album a listen. It wasn’t entirely unpleasant to begin with. And really, this kind of musical concept I *should* love! It’s almost like a musical history lesson. The musical style, to me, harks back in time and leans heavily in style of those traditional shanties.

By the third track – Get ‘Em Out By Friday – I was falling asleep (mostly from the reason for the way I take in the majority of my music listening these days…at night once settled in bed for the evening) with a question I was ready to pose in the morning… HOW DOES THIS SPEAK TO A 13 YEAR OLD BOY ON A COUNCIL ESTATE IN GLASGOW?!

Now, of course, when Jim was talking of Genesis and Foxtrot, he was talking about having seen them on tour. But to want to see them, you must have some interest in them…be a fan?

What happened earlier this year with Roxy Music and that “epiphany” moment I had? Well, it was helped along by Jim, explaining to me (for him personally) the significance of Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry for and to him. It helped the penny drop in the slot, so to speak. Sophia Deboick had me aiming the coin along the right trajectory…Jim just…widened the path, one could say (I dunno…a strange analogy…stick with me! Lol).

Foxtrot is Genesis’s fourth studio album. Had Jim already heard the other three? Was Foxtrot his first foray into Genesis? If so, then the question is amplified.

I suppose part of me is now wondering whether he, Jim, can produce the seemingly impossible, and win me round to early Genesis. I have less of a problem with later Genesis, once Gabriel leaves and Phil Collins turns frontman. They change musical direction and become a more traditional rock band and leave most of the prog style behind. Or at least with strong folk element within their early style of prog.

I’ve always found the title of the genre “prog rock” an ill-fitting one. For, what’s “progressive” about it? To me it’s kind of REGRESSIVE in its outlook and styling. Unlike glam which seemed blindingly futuristic. Look at how the glam genre was, with stars like Bolan, Bowie (even though David had done the prog thing with TMWSTW) and Roxy. They were otherworldly. Men from outer space, with a look and style that forged them headlong into the future. And like a supernova, they exploded quickly, shining brightly.

So…SELL THEM TO ME, Jim! Sell early Genesis to me. I know it shouldn’t be your remit to do so…but I’d like to think you are up to the challenge.

Just to recap, here was yesterday’s more succinct pondering and question to Mr Kerr about Foxtrot. The particular bit of how this music spoke to him at that time is a question I’d really love to have answered.

So, one last time…with feeling…

Jim? (maybe I’ll have to wait until you’re home and rested some)

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