Mike Rutherford's first, and best, solo album is an eye open
Terrence J. Reardon | Lake Worth (a west Palm Beach suburb), FL | 05/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Genesis guitarist/bass player Mike Rutherford's first solo album entitled Smallcreep's Day was released in February of 1980.
The album came about during an unexpected break for Genesis. This came about after singer/drummer Phil Collins' first marriage crumbled. Whilst Phil tried to salvage his marriage, Rutherford and Genesis keyboard player Tony Banks recorded solo albums.
Banks' A Curious Feeling was released in October of 1979 and Smallcreep's Day came a few months later.
Like Banks' album, Rutherford had producer/engineer David Hentschel and recorded it at Polar Studios in Stockholm, Sweden. Unlike Banks' album, Rutherford had a stellar band featuring a reunion with original Genesis guitarist (and Charterhouse schoolmate) Anthony Phillips on keyboards, drummer Simon Phillips (whom up until 1980 had only appeared on Judas Priest's Sin After Sin album before playing with Pete Townshend later in the 1980s), percussionist Morris Pert from Collins' jazz-fusion group Brand X and an excellent singer in Noel McCalla.
The first side of the original US edition of the album (either that or side 2 of the UK issue) kicks off with the great rocker "Moonshine" and what a song. The riff just rocks out BIG TIME and the vocals ROCK! Next is the great ballad "Time and Time Again" that will give you goose bumps. Next is "Romani" which is another great song that tells of the gypsy train of thought, but the main feature has to be the never-ending keyboard line with very well-played guitar lines. "Every Road" is next and another winning ballad and proves that ballads can have many moods and not ever lose intensity. The first half (or side two of UK issue and/or CD itself) ends with the rocker "Overnight Job" which is another great piece.
The 26-minute 7-part title suite took up either the first side of the UK release or second side of US vinyl release (take your pick). The first part "Between The Tick and The Tock" has no drums, but who needs them with such rich, well-voiced chords and melodies and guitar synths. Part two is "Working In Line" which has few lyrics but Rutherford's great guitar solo compensate in spades. Part three is "After Hours" which is a calming interlude. Part four is "Cats and Rats (In This Neighbourhood)" and is a nice section. Part five which is "Smallcreep Alone" is another calming interlude, but with more urgency. It segues into Part six which is the superb "Out Into The Daylight," a very intense guitar solo that doesn't rest along with Phillips' powerhouse drumming (I can see why people like Judas Priest and The Who and later Toto always wanted to work with Simon) which ends like a piece from Mike's day job "Supper's Ready". The suite concludes with the beautiful "At The End Of The Day" is another one of Rutherford's great ballads, rivalling his best ballads from Genesis ("Throwing It All Away," "Your Own Special Way," and "Taking It All Too Hard," just to name a few) and the music is so beautiful that you could shed tears of joy to it.
Smallcreep's Day sadly was ignored when released and peaked in the lower rung of The Billboard 200.
The album was re-released last year and is available at the Official Genesis store and if you have to pay the money, do so as it is a GREAT ALBUM and Rutherford's best solo effort.
Smallcreep's Day is EXCELLENT!
Robert Cash Mccloy | Newport Beach, CA USA | 09/07/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was a huge Genesis fan in the late '70s to mid '80s. I lost interest after they started going more mainstream commercial pop in the late '80s/early '90s. I loved the etherial, introspective, classically influenced rock music that Genesis made from their beginning thru ABACAB. I also consumed most of the bands solo projects. To be honest, I have been hugely disappointed in most of the solo projects with the exception of the following three albums: Spectral Mornings by Steve Hackett, Face Value by Phil Collins and Smallcreep's Day by Mike Rutherford. Out of those three Smallcreep's Day is the true masterpiece IMHO. The album unfortunately received very little fanfare and notice by music critics as well as Genesis fans, at least in the US. Trust me, if you like golden era Genesis music you will love Smallcreep's Day!
As a personal side note, I had the good fortune of meeting Mike Rutherford in the lobby of the Four Season's Hotel in downtown Houston Texas in May 1986. He was on tour with his new band Mike & the Mechanics. He and the band were checking into the hotel and I just happened to be there on the same afternoon attending my sisters wedding reception. As a long term Genesis fan I just had to say "hello". He was extremely gracious and polite to me in a traditional English way. Quite the gentleman I thought. I have one huge regret from that brief encounter. As I was telling him what a great and long term Genesis fan I was I totally forgot to tell him how much I love Smallcreep's Day and how I think it is far and away the best solo album by any current or former member of Genesis. I am confident that compliment would have been far more endearing to him than the stereotypical Genesis dribble I was eschewing because the album experienced such modest sales. So I guess I am sharing this story here on Amazon in the hope of receiving some absolution. After all these years I can't seem to shake the regret. Sorry about that Mike. I truly love Smallcreep's Day. It is a very unique, special and brilliant album."