I have to admit it to you, out of all of the wonderful prog rock bands, Genesis are my favorite. There is something magical in their music, something that captivates me deeply.
I am one of those people who appreciate all of their records and periods in musical development. From “Nursery Cryme”, already mentioned on this blog to their pop tunes, clearly inspired more by Collins’ solo career than anything else I am a devout fan.
I am also one of the people who consider “calling all stations”, their only record with Ray Wilson on vocals as one of their finest.
The album was recorded in 1996, shortly after Phil Collins’ departure from the band. Mike Rutheford and Tony Banks decided to continue with the group without him, called in a former Stiltskin vocalist Ray Wilson to perform vocal duties as well as Nir Zidkyahu and Nick D’Virgilio to cover up the drums part.
It seems that the idea behind this album was to move Genesis back a bit closer to their classic prog rock days, with much darker sound however.
“Calling All Stations” features much longer songs compared to the height of their pop era, much darker sound (a change that could be attributed to Wilsons much lower voice than Collins’s or Gabriels) and completely new approach to record production for the band.
The album, released finally in 1997 sold extremely well in Europe. The States however didn’t seem to bother with the release and it was completely ignored at a time (the album was rereleased there in 2007 to much better reaction). Unfortunately, the tour following the albums release shared the same fate. After an enthusiastic response in Europe, North American leg of the tour had to be cancelled due to poor ticket sales.
Both of these seemed to be the main reasons for putting the band on hiatus indefinitely.
Ray Wilson, eager to continue with the band went on to develop a solo career. He still incorporates an extended set of Genesis classics into his live sets and recently recorded a Genesis Klassik album, a collaboration between his band and Berlin Philharmonic.
For Banks and Rutheford “Calling All Stations” became their last Genesis studio album so far and the only group activity since was a Collins reunion tour of 2007.