Genesis ‎– Trespass (1970)

Trespass is the second album by English five-piece Genesis, released in 1970 on Charisma.

Recorded two years after their debut, the album witnesses the band’s leap into multi-movement song-form — an approach carried most elaborately through the slow, shifting development of “Stagnation” and across the roaring, flaming intensity of “The Knife.” Elsewhere, the emotional tenderness of “Visions of Angels” and the pained cries of “White Mountain” display the aesthetic contrast between the romantic leanings of guitarist Anthony Phillips and the existential curiosity of vocalist Peter Gabriel.

Arrangement-wise, the album is notable for the band’s newly minted spectrum-guitar style, which Phillips developed for these sessions in collaboration with bassist Mike Rutherford. Though the guitarist departed Genesis following this album’s release, the band continued to use his layered 12-string style across their following six albums.

“Visions of Angels” – ivory intro in C, climbing from 5ths, joined by 120string, (C-F-Dm), vocals @:25, light phasing (?), subdued verse in C… the narrator encounters a sequence f mirages in the forest (non-existent trees, streams, angels)… plunge to Em (bridge), sees apparition…. Open cadence (chorus) heralded by Am, shifts through sharps/flats, grand delivery of chorus live, elongated vowel on “bye” as things rescind… second verse, selective bass notes, it seems the narrator is an old man visiting the forest to communicate with the spirit of his deceased love… second chorus climaxes with elongated chords and staccato organ notes (2:20)… middle section, 12-string/piano/bass counterpoint in Dm (2:30), then Fm… grand, major-key, high-volume churchy organ sweep with thundering toms and faint choral melody (2:49-)… 3:42, intro returns with added flute… third verse, faint mellotron, narrator bemoans the current trajectory of mindkind, doubts god really cares… third chorus is initially muted, swells up on second and final repetitions (harmonies, circling organ/toms)… final “goodbye” cuts to an ascending organ coda, sequences to return of the middle section for grand finale… ends on C with icy, fading Mellotron

The first example of their elongated, pastoral approach… developed intro, subdues chorus, swelling bridge, grand chorus, epic middle section (5 distinct parts, all given ample time for ensemblic interplay and soloing), repeat all… the two parts that get me most is the minor-key shift as Gabriel sings “all around” and the grand mid-section… conventional only in its verse/bridge/chorus/middle format; they would mix song formats around on the next few albums… My favorite song on the album apart from “The Knife” (a left turn that they wouldn’t explore further)



A1. Looking for Someone (7:04)
A2. White Mountain (6:40)
A3. Visions of Angels (6:48)
B1. Stagnation (8:46)
B2. Dusk (4:11)
B3. The Knife (8:55)

Peter Gabriel – vocals, flute, accordion, tambourine, bass drum
Anthony Phillips – 12-string acoustic guitar, lead guitar, dulcimer, harmonies
Anthony Banks – organ, piano, Mellotron, guitar, harmonies
Michael Rutherford – 12 string acoustic guitar, electric bass, classical guitar, cello, harmonies
John Mayhew – drums, percussion, harmonies

John Anthony – producer

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