Sunday, 16 September 2012


This is a simple proposition. 99% of readers of this web site will disagree, and I don't care.

The song "Afterglow" by Genesis is the best short piece of music that was ever written.

The chords aren't  just "nice".  That descending sequence puts a feeling of the most profound melancholy straight into your soul. And the lyrics create an ache in your soul that never goes away:

"Oh but I would search everywhere
Just to hear, hear your call
And walk upon stranger roads than this one
In a world I used to know before 
- I miss you more."

And just the title itself resonates. "Afterglow". The arc of light left in the sky after the sun has already set. A metaphor for where we live, with respect to the high-point of modern culture. We watch the pinking-in of the sky every evening at "Filling up of Beakers", and we realise the truth of this. Every day, just after sunset - there's the realisation that there is a time that is too late. A time when the sun has gone. No more direct light; no more warmth. Just an Afterglow. And that's when we feel that yearning. A yearning for something that's lost. Even if we don't know what it is.

As I say, I'm sure everyone will disagree with me. I don't care.


  1. Dunno about the best, but it's a darn fine thing they did there. "The ways and holes that used to give me shelter / They're all as one to me now.." Yes! (Not to mention Mike Rutherford's bass tone, which is good enough to eat...)

  2. Saw Genesis perform this on the tour to promote Wind and Wuthering. It is a much underrated album and the song is beautiful. My only reservation is that I would like to hear it sung by Gabriel who has a richer tone and range than Collins, who sometimes sounds as if he is shouting rather than singing.

    1. If Peter Gabriel had sung it, there would be a danger it would sound slightly "knowing" and ironic. I think Collins gives it the earnestness this most lovely of love songs deserves.

  3. Just listened to the Seconds Out live version of Afterglow and Collins sounds much better on that.


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