From blues to rock to classical, Tony Banks’ influences are far-reaching: unsurprising, given the keyboardist and songwriter is approaching the 50th anniversary of his first release, Genesis’ prog-igniting From Genesis To Revelation. Right now, he’s firmly in classical mode, which influenced some of the records he pulled out during our crate-digging session…

An image of Tony Banks of Genesis sitting at a grand piano. He wears all black with a pair of over-ear headphones resting around his neck and his lips are pressed in a small smile as he looks at the camera. The grand piano is black and the lid is propped open. There are microphone stands and other recording equipment in the background.


VARIOUS (OST)The album cover for Roger and Hammerstein's The King And I, featuring a woman in a large, very formal pink ruffled dress and a man in traditional Thai clothing pointing his finger at the ceiling with a stern look on his face. The lettering bearing the album name is lime green and is Oriental style.
The King And I

“The first LPs I heard were the soundtracks from the musicals of the day. This one still works for me; I feel Richard Rodgers has been a definite influence on my writing. Standout track? Possibly Something Wonderful.”

 

The album cover for the Beatle's vinyl With The Beatles. The image is black and white and shows all four of the band members' faces, lit up heavily so only half of each face is fully visible.
THE BEATLES
With The Beatles

“The first album I bought – every track’s as good as a single: not normal for records at the time. For me, The Beatles were the best; the way they developed from ’63 to ’69 carried me through my teenage years.”

 

THE BEACH BOYSThe album cover for The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. The band members feed various farm animals and a green banner at the top bears the band name in yellow, the album name in white and lists the tracks in small yellow lettering.
Pet Sounds

“This came from nowhere, an extraordinary collection of songs that broke so many of the rules. Unusual chord sequences and totally original arrangements, yet still somehow very accessible. Brilliant.”

 

The album cover for Simon & Garfunkel's Bookends. The image is black and white and shows both band members' faces, leaning in together and looking into the camera.SIMON & GARFUNKEL
Bookends

“All their albums are wonderful, but this is their masterpiece. America is one of the great songs, both musically and lyrically. I had such a romantic idea of the New Jersey Turnpike, until I actually travelled on it…”

 

The album cover for The Nice's The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack. The lettering is psychedelic and rainbow coloured at the top of the image and the band stare up at it in an image below. The background is black.THE NICE
The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack

“A bit of a cheat, as The Nice were never captured successfully on record. Seeing them at the Marquee Club in 1967, still the best gig I’ve been to, convinced me playing live was something I might like to do.”

 

The album cover for the USSR Symphony Orchestra's Shostakovich. The lettering is block red and the background is white with a circular image in the centre showing a man wearing glasses and a suit looking pensive with his hand up to his mouth.U.S.S.R. SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Shostakovich Symphony No. 10

“It wasn’t till the end of the 60s, at uni, that I rediscovered classical music, through this. I’d forgotten just how exciting an orchestra in full flow could be.”

 

 

The album cover for Visconti's Death In Venice. The background is violet with indigo scrawled lettering spelling out the title. An image in the centre shows a woman wearing a white dress on a beach and a man looking on, writing something down.VARIOUS (OST)
Death In Venice

“My first experience of Mahler. The key piece on this soundtrack, the Adagietto from the 5th Symphony, introduced me to his world.”

 

 

The album cover for Stravinksy's Martinu. The background is white and purple geometric shapes move towards the front of the album cover. All lettering is black tariffed.CZECH PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
Martinu

“People know I like a nice dischord: the one opening Mémorial To Lidice is so arresting and sets the tone. The 4th Symphony is perhaps his best; beautiful, unusual harmony and great rhythmic sections.”

 

OTIS REDDINGThe album cover for Otis Redding's Otis Blue. The lettering is dark blue and pale orange and the image is a close-up of a person with blonde hair looking up into the distance.
Otis Blue

“At school, Peter Gabriel and I used to play a great variety of music that included A Change Is Gonna Come and I’ve Been Loving You Too Long: soulful singing of a not-quite-straightforward song, with an interesting arrangement.”

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