Audio Remixers: Nick Davis ; Tony Banks.
The inaugural installment of a Tony Banks reissue program, A Chord Too Far is a career-spanning four-disc box set containing 48 tracks selected by the Genesis keyboardist himself. Banks began venturing outside of Genesis in 1979, and over the next decade and a half he recorded four solo albums along with a record with a band called Bankstatement and composed scores for The Wicked Lady, Quicksilver, and Starship (aka Lorca and the Outlaws), with the latter two collected on the aptly titled Soundtracks compilation; later, he released a pair of orchestral albums. Each of these records is sampled on A Chord Too Far, which remixes many of the original recordings so they're crisp, clean, and punchy, then places the tracks out of chronological order so the listener's attention is directed to certain similarities running throughout Banks' solo work (it also helps that all the symphonic and soundtrack work is grouped on the fourth disc). Often, these recordings sound quite similar to the Genesis albums of the time -- big, shiny, and tuneful, occasionally assisted by the guitar of Daryl Stuermer. Sometimes there are some palpably '80s excesses -- tightly sequenced rhythms, analog synths, stiff funk, atmospheric power ballads -- but as a compiler, Banks made the canny decision to downplay his prog side in favor of his arena-filling album rock and, as such, this is a surprisingly entertaining and somewhat revelatory career-capping box set. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine