Genesis: Phil Collins (vocals, drums); Mike Rutherford (guitar, bass); Tony Banks (keyboards).
Recorded at the Farm, Surrey, England.
Digitally remastered by Nick Davis, Geoff Callingham & Chris Blair.
Atlantic's Gold Standard Audiophile Compact Discs are gold-plated CDs that boast 20-bit digital reproduction technology for improved sonic dynamics. Each re-issue comes in a specially designed mini-box which includes the jewel CD box plus a 24 page color booklet featuring new liner notes, photographs, and the complete original album artwork.
Genesis: Phil Collins (vocals, drums); Mike Rutherford (guitar); Tony Banks (keyboards).
Genesis (UK): Mike Rutherford (bass guitar); Phil Collins, Tony Banks.
Personnel: Tony Banks (vocals, keyboards); Phil Collins (vocals, drums, percussion); Mike Rutherford (guitar); Earth, Wind & Fire (horns).
Recording information: Farm Surrey.
Arranger: Tom Tom 84.
At the dawn of the '80s, many '70s prog-rockers (Yes, Rush, etc.) trimmed away the musical fat in an attempt to keep current. Genesis's sonic reduction was an unprecedented aesthetic and commercial success. Though traditionalists cried foul, ABACAB was in fact more inventive and memorable than its comparatively leaden predecessor DUKE.
The R&B rhythms and punchy Earth, Wind & Fire horns on "No Reply At All" foreshadow Phil Collins's more commercial solo career, but the track breathes with an undeniable vitality. The symphonic grandeur of old is gone, replaced by a sparser, more rhythm-oriented style. In this manner, each individual part of the arrangements receives greater focus and import. As always, there are some agreeably unusual song subjects, such as the alien abduction of "Keep It Dark." "Whodunnit" sounds more like Devo than like Gentle Giant, but the skewed melodic sensibility is a link to Genesis's Gabriel-era glory days. Utilizing simpler melodies and more syncopated rhythms ("Me and Sarah Jane" even sports a reggae feel), ABACAB simultaneously simplifies and expands the Genesis sound.
Q (11/96, p.64) - 3 Stars - Good - "...A step by step guide to acquiring heavy rotation on US radio..."
CMJ (1/5/04, p.10) - Ranked #14 in CMJ's "Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1982".
Mojo (Publisher) (3/01, p.82) - "...The band streamline their sound for the most direct, commercial set so far in their career...The title track features the horn section from Earth, Wind & Fire..."