Title: The Musical Box

Artist: Genesis

Album: Nursery Cryme

Year Released: 1971

What It Is: Well, it’s not Genesis’ debut, and it’s not the first incarnation of what many remember as GENESIS (Gabriel edition) (that would be The Knife) but it’s the first cut of the first album with Phil Collins and Steve Hackett. And it started a string of successful prog albums that were usually dominated by one or two epic songs. This is the best of those epics (though “Watcher Of The Skies” is right there too), I feel. There’s definitely some pop elements here that Gabriel and Collins would investigate later in their careers.

Riffage / Hookage: It’s a prog-rock epic, so there be riffs and hooks flying around. The problem is that since it’s an epic, you catch one and it’s gone. Sort of like a firefly. Well, it’s sort of like a firefly if you forget to put holes in the top of the jar.

Cowbell?: Collins hasn’t perfected his echo BOOOOOM sound yet, and concentrates on his basic kit.

Words Of Wisdom: Oh, there are words. Plenty of words. Heck, they need to fill 10 minutes! But here’s the climax:

“I’ve been waiting here for so long
And all this time has passed me by
It doesnt’t’t seem to matter now
You stand there with your fixed expression
Casting doubt on all I have to say.
Why don’t you touch me, touch me,
Why don’t you touch me, touch me,
Touch me now, now, now, now, now..”

Well, OK then Peter!

Mixology Report: The length hampers it, but the unwashed may appreciate the Genesis lesson.

Top Five Genius Results: Yes – Siberian Khatru
Peter Gabriel – No Self Control
ELP – Jerusalem
Jethro Tull – Cheap Day Return
Pink Floyd – Dogs

For The Good Of The Order: Oh, if I could have seen a Genesis concert circa-1973 or so, with Gabriel’s costume changes and the epic songs making true theater. But really, it may have best seen on some illicit substances. And just remember, you can become an insufferable balladeer by starting as a drummer of a band that played 15-minute songs and had an audience of 90% engineering students and Dr. Who fans from the UK.

Here’s a TV version, from Belgium I believe, without costumery, and a very hirsute Collins!

Here’s a 1973 concert. Phil shaved and Peter cut his hair in an interesting fashion! And that consummate showman, Steve Hackett, sits and looks at his guitar with great fervor! (Oh, and there’s some of that costume thing deal bit, too…)