Day 157: A song that you consider to be one of the most beautiful you have ever heard.
“At The End Of The Day” – Mike Rutherford
Mike Rutherford is perhaps my least favorite member of Genesis.
- Tony Banks: Brilliant songwriter and keyboardist.
- Phil Collins: Amazing drummer, and he can kind of sing, too.
- Mike Rutherford: Meh.
I said that once at a table full of Genesis fans. It was one of those movie-like scenes where every thing stops. No sound. No movement. Just people looking at you in astonishment, unable to believe you said something so heretical. And then, just like a movie, they all decided to completely ignore it and move on.
But it’s just my impressions talking. If you really look at everything he’s done in his career—original (excellent) bass player for Genesis, eventual guitarist for Genesis (rhythm and lead), leader of Mike + The Mechanics, songwriter of such things as “Silent Running” and “The Living Years,” lyricist on “Land Of Confusion” and “Follow You, Follow Me”—it’s not that he’s meh, it’s that he’s so low-key about it all.
In a trio where you’ve got a lot of brilliance going around, someone has to be the lesser one, don’t they? If there are three stars in the sky, one has to be the least bright, right?
So that said, he’s my least favorite. And that generally includes solo work. Few people realize that he released a couple of solo albums before forming Mike + The Mechanics. His first, Smallcreep’s Day from 1980, is actually very good, (much better than his second effort, 1982’s Acting Very Strange) but it was released in the US on Passport Records.
What’s that you say? You’ve never heard of Passport Records? My point exactly. This album had no chance of getting any airplay, anywhere, any time. (That’s okay, given the musical climate in 1980, I’m not sure it would have done well anyway.)
The album’s original configuration had a suite, based on the book Smallcreep’s Day by Peter Currell Brown, that was the entire first side. It’s brilliant (thus my rationalization above). Side 2, while not as amazing as side 1, is still very good.
Today’s song “At The End Of The Day” is the final part of that “Smallcreep’s Day” suite. I suggest you give it a listen:
Now, it my not seem like it, with such chart-toppers as “I’m Falling,” “Hole In My Head,” “Trains,” and most recently “Fool In Love” in the blog roll, I actually do try to shy away from songs you’ve likely never heard before. I mean, there needs to be some point of convergence—some common ground, common points of reference—right? I obviously don’t totally avoid them, because how could I broaden your horizons then, but to be sure, it’s a balancing act.
I simply couldn’t do that here. This song is too good. Too beautiful. For crying out loud, it nearly brings me to tears every time I hear it.
It’s not just the lyrics (although that’s part of it). It’s those chords (courtesy of original Genesis guitarist Anthony Phillips). And when Noel McCalla gets to the “I’ll be holding you so close to me” part, it’s almost too much.
So someone who writes (and plays) something so emotive, so good, can’t be “meh.” He just can’t.
He just needs to apply himself more.