Titles: The Fugitive / A Curious Feeling
He’s a reserved sort of guy, isn’t he? I mean compared to his fellow prog keyboardists such as the extrovert antics of Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson. Banks has that cultured, quiet air about him. Restrained, even. Nevertheless, he has almost created the Genesis sound, single handed. At the very least, his keyboard work has created a distinct and notable Genesis personality yet his own solo work has never really reach the same heights of success. Esoteric feel that Banks’ own creations deserve more recognition, though, as the label has released two of his solo CD albums, in an expanded form.
A Curious Feeling (1979), presented here in a jewel case with card sleeve cover was Banks’ solo debut and the one that is closest to the Genesis sound. Even the track names such as From the Undertow, Somebody Else’s Dream and The Waters of Lethe have that early Genesis flavour to them. Gone are the progressive complications, though, and in comes a simplified, melodic form but still within a symphonic package while guest vocalist, Kim Beacon adds occasional and effective vocal duties while Genesis stalwart, Chester Thompson, attends percussive duties. This is a decent album and quite satisfying for all Genesis fans who should takes a listen, if they haven’t already done so.
The Fugitive (1983) arrives within a hardback book-type cover and the sparse instrumentation continues here with simple yet effective melodies serving as the centre to his creative originals.
Accompanied by respected drummer, Steve Gadd and Genesis touring guitarist, Daryl Stuermer, I was happy to actually hear Banks sing and, hey, his voice isn’t bad. Not amazing, granted but not bad. Why hasn’t he sang more on Genesis LPs? This album strays into 80s poppy rock and, to be honest, does a better job than many of its more famous and charting contemporaries. An album of its time, yes, but always with a streak of Banks talent running through it.
Both of these albums have been remixed from the original master tapes by Nick Davis (who also remixed the entire Genesis catalogue in 2007) and Tony Banks while, in addition, both add new 5.1 Surround Sound mixes, included on the second discs in both packages. A Curious Feeling also includes the rare promotional videos of For a While and The Waters of Lethe made in 1979 while The Fugitive includes the rare promotional video of This is Love.