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 Mike Rutherford (and the Mechanics)

As always, see anything you like, email me. All boots are listed in chronological order, and all are on Audio CD-R unless I say otherwise. All dates are written in the European style, as in day/month/year. Click on the text links below to scroll directly to the entry you're interested in.

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Acting Very Strange (plus interview), 9/82 - Mike's second solo album, with bonus interview

Philly '89, 30/3 or 22/4/89 (Tower Theater, Philadelphia PA)

M6 Launch '99, 10/5/99 (Hanover Grand Club, London UK)

Amsterdam '04 (Phil Collins), 19/6/04 (Arena, Amsterdam Holland)

Acting Very Strange (plus interview)

September 1982

1 Acting Very Strange (4:58)
2 A Day to Remember (5:01)
3 Maxine (5:20)
4 Halfway There (4:10)
5 Who's Fooling Who (4:47)
6 Couldn't Get Arrested (3:50)
7 I Don't Wanna Know (4:38)
8 Hideaway (5:58)
Promotional LP, October 1985:
9 Mike on Mike: Exclusive Candid Interview (27:33)

Type/Quality: Studio/Excellent

Comments: This is mainly Mike's second solo effort, which is on this list because it has become an out of print, hard to find item. The official Genesis site has talked a lot about re-releasing the thing on CD, but has yet to put their money where their mouth is (which would thence allow fans to do the same ;). This is a particularly interesting album, as it happens to be the one on which Mike tried himself to do the lead vocals. The original release of the record was in '82, but a short-lived CD was released in the middle of 1991--that's where my copy was taken from. According to the credits, all songs were written by Mike except tracks 3-6. 3 and 6 are credited to Rutherford/Bellotte, and 4 and 5 to Rutherford/Palmer. One site I found had both Daryl Stuermer and Stewart Copeland (of Police fame) as players on this album.

I'll admit right now that the main reason I was interested in this album is because I was pleasantly surprised by Mike's first solo album, Smallcreep's Day, and unpleasantly disappointed in his work with the Mechanics. I was hoping that Mike by himself, even singing for himself, would do better than the cringingly bad pop sludge of The Living Years (the only album I have by the Mechanics). In some ways, Acting presages the '80s sensibilities of Paul Carrack and company--this album is very much a product of its time, and does not have the staying power of the better Genesis albums. Mike's voice, which he was to freely admit afterwards, is not a particularly strong one, and sounds rather strained and rough on most of these songs. Also the songs seem to rely very heavily on repetition of their titles--it seems like almost every track on here wasted its last minute or so by repeating the chorus over and over again.

Still, I found some bits still reminiscent of the slightly subtler and more intelligent Smallcreep on here--and some of the songs went a bit beyond the syrupy pop of the Mechanics and more into the area of actual rock, which was nice. In fact, some of the tracks almost made me think of the kind of pseudo-punk/reggae practiced by more adventurous bands of the '80s (like The Police). It's a fun, light album, which never takes itself too seriously, and as such it's hard to get too annoyed with it. The title track and the last are memorable and not bad at all.

Anyway, to make this disc fuller and to also add a bit more interest and rarity to it, an interview track has been added on the end. This comes from a promotional record which was probably for DJs, since I'm told the second side of the LP had a recording of only Mike's answers to the questions, so that local radio stations all over could pretend they had personally interviewed Mike by inserting the questions with their own voices. The interview is a good one, given probably right after or right before the release of Mike's first Mechanics album. Mike was soon to do some actual live gigs with his solo band, befor polishing off Invisible Touch with Genesis and going on a very long and tiring world tour with them. The interviewer and Mike discuss Mike's temperament, his childhood, his musical career, and his hobbies. It's a pleasant talk and I learned a few things about Mike's early life that I hadn't known before. Mike is a very natural speaker and easy to like. It's nice to hear him on his own, since whenever Genesis is interviewed Mike's comments tend to get pushed to the background, and he can often come off as some kind of tall, dumb guy.

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MIKE and the Mechanics

Philadelphia '89

30/3 or 22/4/89

Comments: This is 11 tracks of a Living Years tour show played at the Tower Theater and aired by the KBFH. I have it on a DVD-R as FLAC files. I also have the uncompressed audio files on my hard drive, which I can burn to audio CD. Just be aware that I have not listened to this disc.

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M6 Album Launch


Comments: This is 11 tracks of the band's launch of their new album at the Hanover Grand Club in London. Looks like it's a good quality radio show. I have it on a DVD as a file format called APE. I can give you the files or convert to audio, but be warned: I have not listened to the disc, and just because it came in lossless form does not mean it was errorless to begin with.

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Amsterdam '04 (Phil Collins)


Comments: At the Arena in Amsterdam, Holland, this is 9 tracks of Mike and the Mechanics opening for Phil Collins on his First Final Farewell tour. I also have the entire Phil Collins show in my Phil section. Right now for the M+M portion all I have is a collection of SHN files on a DVD. However if you request I will trade the SHN files, or I can make audio CDs for you.

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