Crowned as the Prog God at this year’s Progressive Music Awards, Tony Banks has a musical career that can best be described as illustrious. He was a founding member of Genesis who helped the band endure even as members came and went, he even helped the band stay upright after the departure of both Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins.
In later years, he turned down the opportunity to work on The Terminator movie, but excelled with his score on The Wicked Lady, as well as a spell in the pop mainstream and, most successfully, in the classical world. His solo work was recently collected in the lavish four disc box set, A Chord Too Far. As he explains to Prog Magazine Show host Philip Wilding in the interview below, “It’s ludicrous to say that there was no feeling of completion between the members of Genesis, but I think we’d have liked it if all four of us did well. Mike’s album did a bit better than mine and I think any competition I had with Phil went out of the window on day one. I’d always use the excuse that Peter and Phil did well because they were the singers, but what was my excuse with Mike?!”
But first, Prog Magazine Editor Jerry Ewing picks the five defining - the Best of Banks, if you will - moments that helped make him the Prog God he is.
The Apocalypse 9⁄8 section of Supper’s Ready (Foxtrot, 1972)
Banks’ keyboard genius exposed in all its unhinged glory, capturing the fiery cataclysmic ending to the band’s epic tune. It would be shamelessly plundered by Marillion in Grendel years later.
The opening to Firth of Fifth (Selling England By The Pound, 1973)
Pretty much a signature sound for Genesis in the 70s. The way the opening piano chords build into full blown keyboard effect laid down a prog blueprint from the next decade and beyond.
Afterglow (Wind & Wuthering, 1976)
Possibly the finest Banks Genesis moment. Delightfully atmospheric, sweepingly grandiose, hugely emotive and affecting. You only have to hear the opening sweep of notes to reach for your lighter and start waving it in the air.
Home By The Sea/Second Home By The Sea (Genesis, 1983)
One of the band’s finest long form pieces from the Collins-era. It showed that the band could still capture conceptual progressive music when the mood took them, Banks sweeping keyboards set very much to the very fore.
Domino (Invisible Touch, 1986)
Again, more long form fun from the latter years. Domino moulded catchy pop with quirky instrumental progressive sounds to show there was still a prog heart (despite the massive arena shows) beating in the collective Genesis chest.
To celebrate the release of his four disc set covering his solo work in pop, film soundtracks and the classical world, Tony Banks stopped by the Prog Magazine Show to talk to Philip Wilding about life inside and outside of Genesis.
For even more on Tony Banks, including why you can’t tie Peter Gabriel down to anything and the low down on his table tennis prowess, then click the link below.