And Then There Were Three by Genesis

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And Then There Were Three by Genesis
And Then There Were Three by Genesis

Album Released: 1978

And Then There Were Three ::: Artwork

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1.Down And Out5:25
2.Undertow4:47
3.Ballad Of Big4:47
4.Snowbound4:30
5.Burning Rope7:07
6.Deep In The Motherlode5:14
7.Many Too Many3:30
8.Scenes From A Night's Dream3:30
9.Say It's Alright Joe4:18
10.The Lady Lies6:05
11.Follow You Follow Me3:59

Reviews

When several of Steve Hackett's songs for Wind & Wuthering were left off the album at the insistence of the other band members, he left the band in frustration to embark on a successful (and frequently awesome) solo career. That left Genesis as a trio, a trio that their legions of fans would come to know best.

And Then There Were Three is also recognized as Genesis' final progressive rock album - their 1980 follow-up Duke had much more of a pop flavor to it. And thank heavens they switched to pop music, because I don't think I could've taken much more of their progressive rock. Granted, this isn't the worst prog album on the face of the planet (and in fact I think it's better than many people give it credit for), but it's pretty clear after listening to this record that Genesis needed a change of pace.

They went from creating some of the most fascinating pieces of progressive rock ever recorded, to boringness like “The Lady Lies”. It's a song that's put together well, laden with quiet dramatic parts that escalate into crescendos, and Collins does what he can to carry the material reasonably well. But I've listened to that song at least a dozen times and tried to get into it, but I just can't seem to.

Genesis' previous prog-pieces, such as “Dancing With the Moonlit Knight”, were the musical equivalent of a roller coaster - they took me on an exciting journey through all their twists and turns. “The Lady Lies” is also like a roller coaster, but it seems like I'm watching it from a distance rather than on it - Collins' melody at the beginning, even though he performs it warmly and sweetly, never hooks me in. The chord progressions are sophisticated but souless. The instrumentation is textured, but never enchanting, with Tony Banks playing ho-hum patterns on his organ, synthesizers, and piano. The bombastic chorus is loud but distant.

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by Reviewer: Don Ignacio (blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews)


Hackett finally realized that nobody could hear his guitar parts with Banks' keyboards blaring away constantly, so he left the band.

The result? Well, the album title says it all. Banks was now free to pile as many synthesizers, organs, and pianos as possible into the mix. Rutherford picks up the electric guitar, but - while his bass playing is excellent - his guitar technique is pretty average. The band also complete their transition to shorter song structures - only four of this album's eleven tracks go past 5 minutes (and only two pass 6).

So, what of those songs? Well, the first side contains some more excellent balladry in "Undertow" and "Snowbound", and - though it's pretty much a combination of "Dance on a Volcano" and "Eleventh Earl of Mar" - the opening "Down and Out" is a great energy rush with some fantastic drumwork. Even the Banks-fest "Burning Rope" is worthwhile, particularly its wonderful chorus.

Side Two is more spotty - pluses include the great 'go west' song "Deep Inside the Motherlode" (presumably what the album artwork was based on), and the band's first US Top 40 hit "Follow You Follow Me" (with its sickly-sounding guitar intro).

The rest of Side Two has its moments, but the songs just seem to drag, particularly the 6-minute "The Lady Lies". Overall, it seems the departure of Hackett pushed the band out of its Wind and Wuthering lull and towards its notorious pop-oriented direction.

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by Reviewer: Cole Reviews (blogging at Cole Reviews)


Hackett had left Genesis by now, not that that causes any real difference to the sound of this album from the previous one in guitar terms, given Wind and Wuthering was so light on guitars anyway.

Album opener "Down and Out" indicates this is still prog-style Genesis - Collins sounds more confident perhaps - he was still growing into his new role within the band. Hackett's departure was obviously going to place more focus on Collins' contributions. Not that he was determining their artistic direction yet, but with "Follow You, Follow Me" closing the album - and sounding like it's being performed by a different band altogether - he was clearly starting to assert himself.

Actually, "Follow You, Follow Me" sounds more like a Peter Gabriel solo cut than classic Genesis - Collins was paying attention to what Gabriel was up to in the studio and on record, and incorporated his observations into the Genesis sound.

Whilst "Down and Out" is okay, the rest of this album is awfully difficult to listen to, what with its strained vocals and harsh overbearing synths. Genesis don't quite seem to know what the hell they are doing post Gabriel, and now post-Hackett as well. "Snowbound" for example is an easy listening ballad, until that is it explodes into overly loud synths, with Collins' thin vocal trying to keep up with it all.

And Then There Were Three lacks cohesion and direction - some songs display the soon-to-come sound of 80's Genesis, some are locked into prog mode - and neither style convinces. So the album hardly stands amongst Genesis' best work - it's only perhaps notable for the sound of Genesis to come, with "Follow You, Follow Me", a nice pop song, and far more pleasing than the rest of this confused mess.

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by Reviewer: Adrian Denning (blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews)