I'll disagree with that last comment. In a sense, they actually became more focused as a group immediately following Gabriel's departure. Maybe somewhat less creative and "out there", but from a songwriting standpoint, Trick of the Tale is probably their best written album. I just happen to think that Wind and Wuthering SOUNDS better. The last song on Wind and Wuthering "Afterglow" is the best example of pop and prog music living in harmony. Melody and heavy bass pedal....I'll always be a fan of that.
(Afterglow) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xA_uWtbX ... re=related
I think the focus got confused from "And Then There Were Three" until they got to "Abacab" where they found a meeting place in writing pop rock music, while still incorporating odd time signatures and musicianship. There may not be any 4/4 on Abacab, and yet it's easy to not realize that.
('Another Record' from Abacab) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFjExeNh ... re=related