Song Of The Day 11/24/2014: Jonathan King - "Everyone's Gone to the Moon"

Don't ask why but I spent the better part of my Sunday evening at home after the jousting contest listening to old Genesis albums. The Peter Gabriel era. Up to and including The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. As a matter of fact, I think I should be more open about this: I've been listening to prog a lot a bit (well, a bit) over the last couple of weeks. But it's the off-center prog more than anything else. Ame Son from France, the Spiders from Mexico, the Shiver from Germany, some stuff that blurs the border between free jazz and prog and I'm not about to refine the distinction. For some reason I felt like hearing old school Genesis Sunday night. Sue me. I was flush with victory from the jousting. What else are you supposed to listen to after jousting?

As usual, these listening sessions no longer take place within an information vacuum anymore. Now I look up everything associated with whatever I'm listening to. So in listening to Genesis' Trespass and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway I was somehow led to a couple of other Genesis-related incidents. One was the only album issued by Phil Collins' pre-Genesis group Flaming Youth, and it contained a discovery so wonderful I'm putting it up later this week. [Note: Make that next Sunday Nov. 30 on Flaming Youth. -- Ed.] The other was the very, very first Genesis album From Genesis to Revelation, which many wouldn't consider a real Genesis album and I understand why. It was made while they were still undergraduates and had been discovered by Jonathan King, a mid-level one-hit wonder from Britain. After King's customary fifteen he went behind the scenes. He also discovered 10cc.

As for Genesis, King threw them all in a studio and made them record an album at a time when very few new groups got such an extensive opportunity. King favored the sounds of the Bee Gees, so essentially what this Genesis made was an album of linked baroque pop songs, and King went back and put strings on it to give it that Gibb-ness. Many Genesis purists are perfectly within their rights to disparage From Genesis to Revelation, but for me it was a... well, revelation, I guess, dammit. It's got some extremely lovely moments on it: ""Am I Very Wrong?," "In Hiding," "In Limbo." Basically anything that questions or reflects a position of self-imposed ambiguity straight up rocks the hamlet on this album.

But of course I'm not featuring anything from it because I heard the phrase "one-hit wonder" associated with Jonathan King. "One-hit wonder? I'm on that, baby! Fetch me my monocle!" King's one hit was called "Everyone's Gone to the Moon." It's a very, very cushy song. You're left dreaming about childhood, innocence, the best patty melt you never had. At first I was hoping it was the original version of a song that the Three Degrees performed in the film The French Connection, but I was wrong. That was the similarily off-center"Everybody Gets to Go to the Moon." This one's different. Hope we spelled that out.

(Oh, amusing side note: King was found guilty of a series of sexual assaults on underage boys in the '80s and was imprisoned for them between 2001 and 2005. He maintains his innocence. In 2007 he produced an internet-distributed film called Vile Pervert: The Musical, which sort of sounds like an attempt to clear his name through the magic of song and dance, and pixelated flashing. Good luck with that.)

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