Genesis: Abacabacaba (1981, Revisited)

Been a bit since the last imaginary album I shared, but here's the latest: Abacabacaba, a (minor) reworking of Genesis' 1981 Abacab LP.

I'm much more a Peter Gabriel-era Genesis fan, though I enjoy some of the records from the Phil Collins-helmed years as well--particularly the first couple (Trick of the Tail and Wind and Wuthering, which retained some of the artier aspects of the Gabriel records), but also 1980's Duke, which sees them moving pretty solidly into their new pop style, albeit holding on to some proggy overtones in the opening and closing suites.

1981's Abacab is the last Genesis record I cared for. It has little in common with the early stuff, fully embracing their more radio-friendly pop chops, yet it's still an artful, sophisticated record. The songs are surprisingly consistent in quality (more so than Duke). Still, it could use a few minor tweaks. 

So I've deleted the one true dud (the abrasive, nearly unlistenable "Who Dunnit") and replaced it with two of the session leftovers that ended up on their 3x3 EP (later included among the studio outtakes on 1982's Three Sides Live, and ultimately finding a home on the Extra Tracks CD of the 1976-1982 box set). "Paperlate" is an undeniably great pop song, a hit in its own right, though you could see why it was omitted, sounding pretty much exactly like "No Reply At All" (right down to the borrowed Earth, Wind & Fire horn section). Redundancy aside, it works just fine here. I also added "You Might Recall," a catchy, upbeat number that's easily as good as anything that made cut. (However, I opted against adding the final outtake, "Me & Virgil"; it's got a nice hook, but ultimately is a little overlong and better relegated to b-side status.)

I did a bit of re-sequencing as well, so it flows better, with the extras stuck in the center (you could see "Paperlate" making an obvious side two opener on a vinyl version).

Here's a Spotify version (unfortunately, "You Might Recall" doesn't stream).