Tabletop Genesis Episode 12 – “… And Then There Were Three … “

and then there were threeLaughter, music (and perfume!) linger ’round the tabletop as the members dive deep in the motherlode that is 1978’s “… And Then There Were Three …” The lively discussion touches on Steve Hackett’s departure from the group and the “genesis” of the three-piece unit, while exploring everything from snowmen and all-star Indian tribes to pretty mamas and maidens fair.

20 thoughts on “Tabletop Genesis Episode 12 – “… And Then There Were Three … “

  • March 31, 2016 at 10:50 pm
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    Great episode as usual! Listening to everyone gush about their favorite tracks always seems to be contagious; I’m reminded of how much I love some tracks and have the sudden realization that I love others. Scenes from a Night’s Dream is my surprise track to appreciate this time – absolutely bonkers! Speaking of which, Little Nemo is indeed a reference to the an old comic strip about a boy’s adventures in his sleep (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Nemo). Why Phil and the guys decided write a song around that of all things is anyone’s guess!

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  • April 1, 2016 at 4:27 am
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    Great podcast, one of the best so far – thanks a lot.

    But one question:
    “My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard”…WTF is he talking about??

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  • April 1, 2016 at 7:42 pm
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    Regarding their need for success – I seem to recall reading that the band itself was not very profitable until this album. So probably true – they had to start making more money . Does anyone else remember this?

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    • April 2, 2016 at 9:55 pm
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      Hi AR, if my memory of the Genesis: A History documentary serves me right, I believe the band actually broke even after the ATTWT tour but the manager didn’t keep any receipts so they were still a bit up shite’s creek. If I’m wrong, I know Tom Roché will correct me because he’s memorized that documentary like a homework assignment.

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  • April 1, 2016 at 8:07 pm
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    Yes! I didn’t like it at the time, when I was all serious and “prog”, now I enjoy it for the great rhythm, melody, good production (compressed to the roof as it is), and Phil’s singing has good subtleties here.

    “once he went. To the carnival. Of nations.” makes me laugh every time. News at 10, read by Phil Collins.

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  • April 1, 2016 at 8:08 pm
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    By the way, as with previous podcasts, I find I need to do some “remastering”.
    huh? yeah, I do some dynamic compression, so I don’t have to bring up the volume when the music ends and you guys start talking 🙂

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  • April 2, 2016 at 11:24 am
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    Great podcast as always.

    Among many “serious” prog fans, this Genesis album seems to get a poor press. I’m not sure why this is so. Possibly people fixate on the personal issues, viz. the departure of Hackett, rather than actually appreciating the music for its own sake. It wasn’t supposed to be this good, with only three band members remaining.

    The other thing is, this album had what to some is an unpardonable sin; a hit single.

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  • April 3, 2016 at 7:12 pm
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    “build myself a tower, NO way in NO way out,
    then my friends can visit me..”

    Can they, Phil? can they??

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  • April 4, 2016 at 4:04 pm
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    Great podcast, I enjoyed it even though this album is not one of my favourites.

    After listening I thought about how it differs from earlier albums and I may be wrong but is this album not the first one without any 12 string guitar on it (at least since Trespass)?

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  • April 14, 2016 at 10:07 am
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    Love ATTW3, from that Lying Lady down to Little Nemo. Had to be the first Genesis album I heard, didn’t know from Steve Hackett’s departure. Simon, if you’ve saved this album, you have 38 years of listening to catch up to me. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

    Did anyone else find the original recording a bit over-produced? It seemed Phil’s vocals were layered over by the instrumentals, and at times the sound was a bit mushy and treble-y. “One Louder”, as Stacey has said. However, on the podcast, the music sounds much more balanced and better mixed, and I had no idea that Phil was embracing the “more cowbell” theme on ScenesFaND. A much more enjoyable album recording, what version is this??

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  • April 15, 2016 at 4:45 am
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    …I think y’all might’ve missed the deal with “Follow You, Follow Me”…by this time, the boys had to be well aware that each album had to have at least one or two radio-friendly songs that had ‘Top 40 potential’ to even be considered for backing by Atlantic, as well as to have the chance to squeeze a seven minute story-song onto an album…as far as the record companies were concerned, the days of the mini-opera were surely beginning to wane by SEBTP…candy pop sells…I respectfully suggest FYFM is in actuality ATTW3’s “I Know What I Like”, in the form of a ballad & without the creepy lawnmower man…the tempo’s nearly the same & their beats are both on the 2 & the 4 (please don’t tell the DJs)…;)

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    • April 15, 2016 at 9:41 pm
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      …btw, I think the same also goes for “Mama” & even “In Your Eyes”, tempo-wise…only the keys are different…

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  • July 12, 2016 at 7:58 pm
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    Thanks for the podcast – I have to put in my .02 though. It’s a funny thing. We all have sounds that speak to us -and for other people, not so much. I absolutely love Say it’s alright, Joe. I think it is a gorgeous song – and I liked it on the album even before I saw them perform it (at Knebworth in 78). I adore Mike’s work and the very “loungey” chords that Tony used.

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    • Tabletop Genesis
      July 13, 2016 at 11:11 am
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      Thanks, Jim – (Tom here). It was surprisingly how the love of that song fell between gender lines, with the three guys liking it and the ladies not so much. I’d forgotten to mention that in the live version, near the beginning during the quiet moments, it sounds like Tony adds a bit of a melody from another song, but can’t quite place it. It’s around 3:05 on this video:

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  • October 10, 2016 at 4:49 pm
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    This album was a bit overproduced and took time to grow on me. But when I was a student in the 1980s, I loved it nonetheless. “Undertow” and “Burning Rope” got me through bad nights in grad school — there are some Tony Lessons there! And I too remember looking up the lyrics to “Snowbound” and being freaked out.

    BTW, the Little Nemo reference is to a famous cartoon character from my parents’ and grandparents’ generation — more of Phil’s obsession with period Americana:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Nemo

    It’s just weird listening to such an English performer do this American stuff so well. The English culture of stagecraft, performance, and inhabiting characters served Phil well here, as it also served Peter, et inter alia, David Bowie, Kate Bush, and earlier the Beatles.

    (The Latin means: “and among others.” Only on a prog rock site would I use Latin … I’m shocked Tony or Peter didn’t write something in that dead language.)

    P.S. Listening to your podcast has been a highlight of my Genesis journey. I heard Hackett’s live show last year and Musical Box in 2014.

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    • October 10, 2016 at 4:50 pm
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      BTW, speaking of Latin, “nemo” means “no one” or “no man” (nil homo).

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  • June 30, 2017 at 5:10 pm
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    I just discovered your podcasts and they are great. I am not picking at the review. I just thought of an interesting small point. At 42:26 a reviewer says he can’t imagine Jon Anderson doing country music. I thought of the Yes album TIME AND A Word the first song No Opportunity Necessary No Experience Needed in which the middle section contains an exuberant western motif.

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