As Monty Python used to say, “And now for something completely different.” I decided to do a one-off episode about my favorite topic with which to annoy anyone of taste and refinement—a reflection on prog rock, which Jody Bottum once aptly described as “rock and roll gone to college.” It turns out that 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of some of the classic albums from the golden age of Prog Rock, include “Fragile” and “The Yes Album,” Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung,” “Nursery Crime” from Genesis, and “Acquiring the Taste” from Gentle Giant.

Steve Hackett

Given that I’ve successfully annoyed Power Line readers with some of the more forbidding Gentle Giant tunes from that era, I decided for this episode to review some of the instrumental interludes and bridges of Genesis from those long ago albums before Phil Collins ruined the band by taking it into pure pop after Peter Gabriel left in 1975. For excerpts, however, I decided to use some of the recent live arrangements of Steve Hackett, one of the lead guitars and co-songwriter for many of those old tunes. So while it may be “prog rock,” it’s easy listening! (Though I did sneak in a few bars of Gentle Giant at the very end.)


The episode features excerpts from “Firth of Fifth,” “The Cinema Show,” “Supper’s Ready,” “Horizons,” “After the Ordeal,” and “Harlequin.”

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There are 4 comments.

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  1. Franco 🚫 Banned

    As a fellow Genesis fan, I found this enjoyable. I always liked them back in the day, but as I developed as a musician I became a much more active listener. In the 90’s I became numb to classic rock and blues ( I played guitar) and went into trad folk and took up the fiddle.
    Now 30 years later, I’m tired of that stuff because I immersed myself in it( that I play it professionally helps) and am now focusing on classical violin and covering certain rock and blues songs on violin.
    I’m learning the flute ( and guitar) interlude from Firth of Fifth. On your example,  it’s played on a sax, and the brilliant guitar instrumental is left out, for which IMO the sax or flute solo is prelude to ( flute is better IMO, but not essential).

    Another great solo is from Entangled originally recorded on a melotron but is perfect for violin ( because the melotron is set to sound like a violin?…).

    Here is a sample of a violin playing that magnificent solo, starting at 2:48

    I covered  that song with my band on a recording a few years ago.

    I’d like to get to the point where I can maybe join a Genesis tribute band, but I’m getting old and have diverse musical paths.

    It’s funny that a ten minute song is considered too long, and it’s how pop radio trained us – because commercials! – No one frets about opera or classical music being “too long”

    Im also learning this arrangement of After the Ordeal.

    Regardless of my talent level (below that of this violinist for sure) I will never be able to compete with the looks 😜

    • #1
  2. James Hageman Coolidge
    James Hageman

    This may be the single best podcast episode any time, anywhere.

    • #2
  3. Steven Hayward Member
    Steven Hayward

    James Hageman (View Comment):

    This may be the single best podcast episode any time, anywhere.

    You’re a great American!

    • #3
  4. OccupantCDN Coolidge


    Canon Rock:

    The Mighty Rio Grande:

    You’ll recognize it from “MoneyBall” – its a long one.

    • #4
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