This is about pop music, not scripture! Here is another in a series of occasional articles that discuss music that has move me greatly by its beauty. This one is a little more risky than the others. I’m going to talk about the rock band Genesis in their early manifestation (when Peter Gabriel was their lead singer and Phil Collins played drums and nothing else). There’s nothing worse that an old codger trying to convince you that the pop music he liked in his day was genuinely good music. When I was young I used to yawn when the generation above me used to complain about my music and then tell me how great the Sixties was…..This is almost going to be one of those articles, but bear with me, I do have a reasonable point to make. So even you don’t have a clue who I’m talking about, there might be something in it for you by the end!
When I was sixteen, I had no interest in music and if you’d asked me I would have said that I just wasn’t musical. Then I heard the album (do we still use that word nowadays?) by Genesis called Selling England by the Pound. This was my first experience of hearing a piece of music that just transported me through its beauty (the instrumental section in the last half of the track called Cinema Show and then instrumental sections, again, on the track, the Firth of Fifth ). What would happen later with Schubert, Brahms, Mozart and Palestrina happened first with Genesis.
It was purely the music. I didn’t really understand the lyrics and didn’t really care. The words sounded intellectual – the references were both obscure and eclectic enough to convince me that there was something clever going on and this satisfied my teenage pride. What I did pick up created a fantasy world that was evocative of rural idylls and classical mythology and this did seem to suit the music. For example there were references to classical literature and Dante with figures such as ‘old father Tiresius’ although I don’t know why, and fantastic stories about Victorian explorers bringing the man-eating giant hogweed to Britain from Russia. Later, I heard the keyboardist
Tony Banks explain that the reason they went in for this sort of thing was that they had all met at an English all-boys (Read More)