A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.
Unlike any that follow, the sound varies greatly from track to track on the first PG album, as does the music. You know you have a good copy when the best sounding tracks sound their best. That may seem like a tautology but is in fact the only way to judge a side when the songs sound this different from one another.
On side one the fourth track, Excuse Me, with its barbershop quartet harmonies, has potentially Demo Disc Quality Sound.
On side two of the best copies Waiting for the Big One will indeed be big, as well as powerful and above all dynamic.
Tubey Magical Richness and breathy vocals are the hallmarks of a good British PG 1.
Good space, breathy vocals, and plenty of British Tubey Magical richness make this a winner. Excuse Me has Demo Disc sound here to be sure.
Even better! The best we heard in fact.
Huge, with the most space and energy. Present breathy vocals, Tubey Magic like no other, this side was doing it all.
A tough record to find with quiet vinyl, PG #1 is in fact a very tough record to find in clean condition on any pressing, and especially hard to find on British vinyl (which are the only ones that sound any good to us).
Practically none of the copies from our shootout played much better than Mint Minus Minus. Also, the beginning of side one tended to be a bit “stitchy” on most every copy we played.
Moribund the Burgermeister
Waiting for the Big One
Down the Dolce Vita
Here Comes the Flood
…much of the record teems with invigorating energy (as on Slowburn, or the orchestral-disco pulse of Down the Dolce Vita), and the closer “Here Comes the Flood” burns with an anthemic intensity that would later become his signature in the ’80s. Yes, it’s an imperfect album, but that’s a byproduct of Gabriel’s welcome risk-taking — the very thing that makes the album work, overall.
Having left Genesis the previous summer, Peter’s first solo album arrived in February 1977. He was 26. With legendary producer Bob Ezrin taking charge (the man behind many of the records of Lou Reed, Kiss, Alice Cooper and Pink Floyd), the intention was, despite the presence of King Crimson’s Robert Fripp, to make something more direct and tougher than the proggy flights of fancy he’d often taken off on with Genesis.
Fripp helped Peter expand his horizons; there was experimentation both with electronics and with music from across the globe. And after opening track Moribund The Burgermeister – not a huge step in sound or name from those prog days – the clouds part with the bucolic Solsbury Hill. The widescreen, apocalyptic feel of Here Comes The Flood was another hint of what was to come from the solo years, a song about “the flood that drenches the brain, not necessarily the countryside”. Meanwhile, the brains of Peter’s acolytes were preparing for the flood of solo music heading their way.
I really wanted the first record to be different from the stuff that I’d done with Genesis, so we were trying to do things, different styles. There was a variety of songs and arrangements that were consciously trying to provide something different than what I’d done before.
I’d chosen Bob Ezrin, having met many different producers. He was based in Toronto at the time and we were working in his studio there. There was a selection of people that he’d recommended and some that I’d brought in. I think it really took me three albums to get confidence and find out what I could do that made me different from other people.
Bernie Grundman’s mastering approach for the first PG album is a disaster — brighter and cleaner, which turns out to be precisely the wrong sound for the music.
The Direct Disk Labs half-speed is thick, compressed and lifeless, though fairly rich. You could do worse I suppose, but too much of the life of the music will be lost when playing their version.
The Brits are the best way to go, but we did run into an original domestic pressing or two that had very good sound on at least one side.