Monday, August 15, 2011

Genesis - "Taking it All Too Hard"

Taking It All Too Hard - Genesis (Remastered)

(Debuted September 1, 1984, Peaked #50, 12 Weeks on the Chart)

Genesis's evolution from an art-rock combo to a pop juggernaut was still in progress with the Genesis LP in 1983. While some long-time fans shook their heads at the prospect, the group would become even more popular as the decade wore on. While some say Genesis was the moment the band stepped over the line to become a full pop band, it's worth noting that the album's four singles only netted one Top 40 pop hit. The other three -- including "Taking it All Too Hard" -- fell short of the chance to have Casey Kasem play them on his show.

Looking at those three singles, "Illegal Alien" was a borderline novelty and a little touchy for widespread airplay in the U.S. "Mama" had a sinister vibe that may have hurt its chances on this side of the Atlantic (yet became a big hit in their native U.K.). "Taking it All Too Hard" is surprising that it missed the Top 40, as it still gets airplay on adult-leaning radio stations.

The album was named after the band because it was the first to have all the members contributing songs to it on an equal footing. That was likely a healthy direction, as all three members were also contributing to other projects outside of Genesis at the time. "Taking it All Too Hard" was a Mike Rutherford composition that featured a big help from Tony Banks' electric piano. A song whose lyrics are about the aftermath of a separation, it probably deserved a bigger chance in its original release. It definitely seems to have lasted longer in the collective memory than many other (bigger) hits of the era.

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