The Genesis Story - Part Ten: Wind & Wuthering by Peter Morton. Photographs by Alan Perry. Memorabilia: TWR Archive/Mino Profumo.
Having successfully completed the A Trick Of The Tail Tour in the summer of 1976, the band took a short break before they were back in the studio once more to commence work on their next album: Wind & Wuthering.
For the recording of this, the band, during the autumn of 1976 went over to a studio in Hilvarenbeek in Holland. Many of the song ideas had already been written during this period and Tony Banks in particular went through a prolific writing period as is shown by the writing credits for the album<
As the tracks for the new album were being recorded, it became obvious that Steve Hackett was becoming frustrated in that many of the ideas he and the rest of the band had been working on, which he thought should have been on the album were being omitted. Thankfully though, three of the songs that didn’t get on to the LP appeared the following year on the Spot The Pigeon EP.
It is interesting to note that two of Steve’s songs that didn’t make it on to Wind & Wuthering later appeared on Steve’s second solo album: Please Don’t Touch. These were: Hoping Love Will Last and the title track: Please Don’t Touch, the latter incidentally, came out of a riff he was working on during the Selling England By The Pound rehearsals back in 1973.
On November 13th 1976 prior to the album’s release, Genesis announced a world tour that would begin with three shows at London’s Rainbow Theatre from 1st to 3rd January 1977. The theatre had been closed in 1974 and Genesis were to be the first band to play there since then. After a mere 48 hours of the announcement, 28,000 applications had been made for the 8000 tickets available for those shows! It was obvious that even Peter’s departure had failed to dent Genesis; popularity and they were becoming one of the hottest properties in the UK
Bill Bruford who had successfully assisted Phil with the drumming during the A Trick Of The Tail tour was unavailable for these forthcoming gigs as he had left Genesis while they were recording the album to join the jazz-rock outfit UK with his old comrade Rick Wakeman. With Bill gone, a replacement was sought and Chester Thompson who had been recommended to Phil by Alphonso Johnson, became the new drummer. Chester was born in Baltimore and had played with many bands before joining Genesis. His last outfit being Weather Report. Playing with Genesis was to be an exciting challenge for Chester. Genesis were the first British group he had played with and after only nine days’ rehearsals for the tour, Genesis were confident that he would be the ideal drummer to assist Phil during the gruelling six months of touring that was to follow.
Upon its release on New Years’ Day 1977, the album generally received very good review. Record Mirror gave it four stars, saying that… “It is an album to grow into and one that is unlikely to disappoint the fans…” On the opening show of the tour at the Rainbow, Genesis premiered several tracks from the new LP, all of which were received enthusiastically by the sell-out crowd. At the first three gigs the set consisted of the following tracks: Eleventh Earl Of Mar/Carpet Crawlers/Firth of Fifth/Your Own Special Way/Robbery Assault & Battery/Unquiet Slumbers for The Sleepers/In That Quiet Earth/Afterglow/Lilywhite Lilith */Wot Gorilla?*/One For The Vine/Squonk/All In A Mouse’s Night/ Supper’s Ready/I Know What I Like/Dance On A Volcano.
* = Tracks only performed on 1st January.
By the time Genesis reached Birmingham a week later, they had dropped Lilywhite Lilith and Wot Gorilla and All In A Mouse’s Night from the set and altered the running order around with Squonk providing the set opener to this and each subsequent show.
Charisma released the first single from the album during February 1977. This was the edited version of Your Own Special Way (CB300) which reached number 43 in the UK charts. The single’s B side: It’s Yourself, however, was of particular interest to Genesis fans as this was a piece left over from the recording sessions for the band’s preceding album: A Trick Of The Tail.
During a short break from touring during April 1977, Charisma planned the release of the band’s first EP: Spot The Pigeon a spoof on the “spot the ball” football gambling craze in the UK at the time. This release put together the remaining three tracks from the album sessions: Match Of The Day/Pigeons and Inside & Out (GEN001) and upon its release on 20th May it gave the band their biggest hit to date reaching the number 14 position in the UK charts. Apparently to promote the single the group appeared on Top of The Pops!
In May after playing a series of shows in the enormous stadiums of Brazil, the first time the band had visited that continent, Genesis returned to Europe to complete the final leg of the tour. Once again, the live set had changed little, Your Own Special Way being replaced by Inside & Out and the added bonus of an edited version of The Knife being played as an encore during the band’s three shows at Earls Court Arena in London. Capitol Radio broadcast the show in 24th June and parts of the show were filmed as were the shows in Paris earlier that hear.
On 3rd July after almost six months on the road, Genesis played their last show on this gruelling tour in Munich. Those who attended it not only saw another excellent performance by the band but also witnessed Steve Hackett’s last gig with Genesis (except for his all-too-brief appearance at Milton Keynes in 1982).
In Part Eleven of The Genesis Story, Hackett departs. The band release their second live album and Genesis become a three piece.