PG vs. PC Revisited / Oriental Influences


Good Heavens, isn't this the return of the ... father of all Paperlate debates!?

If I am not mistaken, this is where the list splits into 2 camps, with one accusing the other of being elitist, while the latter returns the favor by accusing the first group of being conformist, isn't it?  It is really rather interesting to see how extreme the exchanges can get sometimes.  But sometimes I get the feeling that "what we have here is the failure to communicate" (sorry, can't resist that quote from "Cool Hand Luke", what a great movie).  Despite the considerable entertainment value of watching this professional wrestling match, I feel obligated to point out the danger of stereotyping from both sides.

While many a prog/early G fan have made strong rebuttals against the idea that they are just a bunch of snobbish intellectuals who are being elitist for its own sake, I feel the need to attack the notion that PC/later era G fans are conformists.  The assumption that fans of the later era are only attracted to Genesis music because the band was popular in the 80's is preposterous.  I would go so far as to say that those who jumped on the bandwagon because of Genesis' popularity are almost certainly no longer their fans.  I assure you in most quarters nowadays it is far more "uncool" to like 80's Genesis than to like 70's Genesis.  Conformists would never last this long in the face of derision by both the current trend-chasers and the prog fans.  Indeed from what I read on this list there is reason to suspect that a few younger prog fans may have been guilty themselves of jumping on the prog bandwagon due to the prevailing opinion on the internet that "prog is cool".

A few PG era fans like Jan were offended by the suggestion that they need to "have a mind of your own", while this is understandable I hope you calm down and consider the fact that on the whole it is the prog fans that tend to give others a hard time on this list and other Genesis forums.  Do you ever wonder why few Paperlaters ever declare that they couldn't stand PG era songs while it is so common to hear people label later period music as "unlistenable"?  Isn't it true that you are far more likely to receive agreement here when you profess your love of "Foxtrot" than if you champion "Invisible Touch"?  Certainly it is never pleasant to have others question the pureness of our musical tastes, but in those circumstances it helps to remind ourselves that we don't need anyone else to validate our opinions.  Moreover, we don't need to prove to anyone our ability to think independently, it usually comes through naturally in our writing. 

Whenever we criticize any part of the band's catalog, we have to keep in mind that others are equally entitled to do so even if they happened to slam our favorite passages.  Consider an opposing opinion rather than dismissing it, at the very least acknowledge other people's right to voice it.  That is how we keep it a democracy.



I know, right about now you are probably thinking: that Chinese girl is talking crazy again!  Well, maybe, but would someone please explain to me why the Phil Collins B-side "Around the World in 80 Presets" repeatedly strikes me as very Chinese-sounding?  Even more bizarre is the fact that this is by no means an isolated discovery.  Whether by design or by accident, "Sun in the Night" off of the "Moroccan Roll" album by Brand X also sounds highly Chinese/Japanese influenced.  Don't laugh, but for a brief moment during that song I actually thought Phil was singing an English version of a Peking opera!  As for Genesis themselves, I swear a short section of Second Home by the Sea (from 2:27 to 2:54) is the best imitation of Tibetan music by a Western band I have ever heard!!

I heard that Brian Eno's critically-acclaimed "Taking Tiger Mountain (by Strategy)" album was named after the "new Peking opera" of the same name.  Phil drummed on that album as many of you know.  But to my disappointment neither the title tune nor "China My China" sounded remotely Chinese to me.  This left me wondering if any Paperlaters out there know of any other G-related music with an oriental-influence or theme. 

Btw, if any of you are interested or curious about Chinese traditional music, you can't go wrong if you start with masterpieces such as "The Moon Mirrored in Twin Pools" or "Melody from the Night Fishermen".  If you prefer Chinese music with a symphonic spin, try "Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto".

take care,



Index Page

Next Post