VARIOUS ARTISTS -- Supper's Ready... Another Serving From The Musical Box (Magna Carta)

When Genesis first got together back in the late 60's, the band couldn't have had any idea of the success they were to achieve. With Peter Gabriel, and later Phil Collins on lead vocals, the band became one of the top drawing concert acts of the rock era. Gabriel left the band in 1975 to pursue a solo career, and to many, took the creative spark with him. Once Collins and company started writing more hit-oriented material, the band started shying away from the longer tracks it had become known for. The songs got shorter and more radio-friendly. Whether you prefer the newer (more commercial) stuff, or the older (and better) material, the fact remains - Genesis is (or was, depending on your preference) one of the most influential progressive rock bands around.

Ranging from early cuts like Richard Sinclair's cover of "For Absent Friends" to Magellan's version of "Mama", the artists on Supper's Ready perform a wide assortment of the band's material with mixed results. There's a few that are really great (such as Over the Garden Wall's take on the classic "Firth of Fifth"), and a few that are "interesting" (like Kevin Gilbert's "Back in N.Y.C.", and Annie Haslam's version of "Ripples"), but for the most part, Supper's Ready is a disappointment. Michael Zentner's vocals on "Carpet Crawlers" sound like a cross between Barry Gibb and Roy Orbison. Not exactly what you want to hear in a prog-rock song. Shadow Gallery does a good job on "Entangled", as does Cairo with "Squonk".

Most of the songs on the CD are fairly true to the originals, with the exception of Crack the Sky's almost industrial version of "I Know What I Like". The biggest problem with most of the tracks here is the vocals. It makes you realize just how unique the voices of Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins really are. The music is good on most of the songs, but the vocals just don't cut it. Several of the bands on here are on the Yes tribute disc, Tales From Yesterday (where they sound much better). Supper's Ready might be a good disc if you don't already know the material. If you are familiar with the songs though, you'll probably be disappointed.

© 1996 Steve Marshall