Title: The Knife

Artist: Genesis

Album: Trespass

Year Released: 1970

What It Is:Where it really started. Yes, they had an earlier album but it wasn’t really Genesis. Well, OK, not the Peter Gabriel-led prog rock titans Genesis. (Actually, Tony Banks had a heck of a lot to do with the direction of Genesis as well. Just ask him!) But this cut laid the foundation. The rest of this album is pretty much bleah, but this is the money cut. The next album, Steve Hackett and Phil Collins join and they were on their way! (The guitarist on this album was Anthony Phillips and the drummer was John Mayhew. They actually do a great job on this cut!)

Riffage / Hookage: Banks’ organ riff leads off the song, and Phillips adds some tasty fills and solos. The chorus has great urgency and impact. Of course, it’s an almost 9 minute song, and it’s prog, not funk, so the riffs and hooks come and go. But Banks and Phillips do a great job.

Cowbell?: No. Mayhew plays a snare-heavy kit (as opposed to Collins’ booming toms) but he does a great job, especially as the song is winding down after the “freedom” chant.

Words Of Wisdom: “Stand up and fight, for you know we are right
We must strike at the lies
That have spread like disease through our minds.
Soon we’ll have power, every soldier will rest
And we’ll spread out our kindness
To all who our love now deserve.
Some of you are going to die –
Martyrs of course to the freedom that I shall provide.”

I get a Braveheart vibe from this.

Mixology Report:Well, 9 minute long prog-rock songs are not the easiest things to mix. But the song is good enough to compensate for its length and its meandering.

For The Good Of The Order: One thing that I did not know before I started to investigate early Genesis was that Peter Gabriel was a pretty good flautist. That’s him playing the gentle passage in the middle, before the ruckus starts again.
There were a few versions of this on the inter-web. One was a live shot that started halfway through the song, and another was a live version that had other visuals. But I wanted to represent the Phillips and Mayhew version so you could hear it, so I found this fan’s vid with the original studio cut. Enjoy!

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