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Genesis

Genesis started life as a progressive rock band, in the manner of Yes and King Crimson, before a series of membership changes brought about a transformation in their sound, into one of the most successful pop/rock bands of the 1980s and 1990s. In addition, the group has provided a launching pad for the superstardom of members Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins, and star solo careers for members Tony Banks, Michael Rutherford, and Steve Hackett. Their roots go back to 1965 and a pair of rival groups, the Garden Wall and the Anon, formed by students at the Charterhouse School in Godalming, Surrey. They merged, with the result that 15-year-olds Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, and Michael Rutherford joined with 14-year-old Anthony Phillips, calling themselves the New Anon and recording a six-song demo featuring songs primarily written by Rutherford and Phillips.

Charterhouse alumnus, recording artist, and producer Jonathan King heard the tape and arranged for the group to continue working in the studio, and it was also King who renamed the band Genesis. In December of 1967 they cut their debut single, "The Silent Sun," a very deliberate Bee Gees-style pastiche -- it was released in February of 1968 without attracting much notice from the public, and a second single, "A Winter's Tale," followed with similar neglect. They also ran through a couple of drummers during this period, Chris Stewart and John Silver. At this time, the group's music was a form of lyrical folk-based progressive pop, built on lush melodies primarily carried on acoustic guitar and piano, with lyrics that tended toward the florid and trippy -- psychedelia was in vogue, and Genesis showed an exceptional facility with poetic content as well as gorgeous melodies. Their debut album, From Genesis to Revelation -- which the group has all but disowned in the decades since -- was released in March of 1969, and passed without too much notice from the music press or the public. The members began thinking about getting on with their lives outside of music, and especially attending college. But they felt strongly enough about their work to try making it as a professional band. The re-formed in 1969 and got their first paying gig in September of that year, and spent the next several months working out new material, with new drummer John Mayhew aboard.

Genesis soon became one of the first groups signed to the fledgling Charisma label, founded by Tony Stratton-Smith, and they recorded their second album, Trespass. That record, released in October of 1970, showed the first signs of the band that Genesis would become. The music was still folk-based, some of the songs couldn't quite carry their length, and they had some way to go in terms of vocal and instrumental finesse, but it had reach if not grasp -- most of the album was comprised of extended pieces, sung with dramatic intensity, and with complex parts for all of the instruments.

Genesis then lost two members. Mayhew left over the unhappiness with aspects of his playing, and was replaced by Phil Collins, a former child actor turned drummer who had previously played with Flaming Youth -- he also added an occasional additional lead vocal to their sound. Much more unsettling was the departure of guitarist Anthony Phillips, who had developed crippling stage fright. For some time afterward, Genesis worked as a four-piece with the guitar parts covered by Banks' keyboards. Finally, just prior to Genesis beginning work on their next album, their lineup was completed with the addition of guitarist Steve Hackett, a former member of Quiet World. The band's next album, Nursery Cryme, was recorded so close to his arrival that Hackett played on it, but some of the guitar parts were written and played by Michael Rutherford, while the centerpiece of the new album, "The Musical Box," used material that Phillips had composed.

There was hardly a weak moment on the record, and the music was far more exciting -- and witty -- than most of the progressive rock of the period. The heart of the record was "The Musical Box," a song telling a Victorian-era story of children, murder, and ghostly apparitions that was worthy of the classic horror film Dead of Night. And while it might not have become a pop culture phenomenon, the album and the song did find an audience among collegiate listeners. The theatrical attributes of Gabriel's singing fit in well with the group's live performances during this period as he began to make ever more extensive use of masks, makeup, and props in concert, telling the framing stories in order to set up their increasingly complicated songs. Part of the reason for the stories was practical -- it gave the others, especially Hackett, a chance to retune their instruments. When presented amid the group's very strong playing, this aspect of Gabriel's work turned Genesis' performances into multimedia events. And word soon began to spread about Genesis being an act that was worth hearing and, even more so, worth seeing in concert.

Foxtrot, issued in the fall of 1972, was the flash point in Genesis' history. The writing, especially on "Supper's Ready" -- a conceptual piece taking up an entire side of the LP -- was as sophisticated as anything in progressive rock, and the lyrics were complex and clever, but the record was never boring, or even less than bracing. It became their first to chart in England, reaching number 12. Genesis' live performances by now were practically legend. Rock music had always contained a theatrical element, which had reached new levels in the late '60s. But Peter Gabriel, with his growing array of costume changes and acting out of roles, far transcended anything seen on a rock stage -- it was true rock theater, and an intense listening experience.

In early 1973, the band allowed a group of performances to be taped for American radio, and with a live tape on hand and a gap to fill between studio albums, Stratton-Smith convinced the band to let him issue that same performance, in edited form, as the group's first concert album. Genesis Live featured songs from across three of their albums, including "The Knife," "The Musical Box," and "Watcher of the Skies," presented in their most recent and dramatic incarnations. The group's next release, Selling England by the Pound (1973), was also their biggest seller to date, reaching number three in England and number 70 in America. They were still a cult band in the United States, but thanks to a lot more FM radio play, their music was getting heard beyond the ranks of the cultists, and finding new listeners by the thousands, especially on college campuses.

The release in late 1974 of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway also marked the culmination of the group's early history. A concept album with a very involved story and a large cast of characters, its composition had been difficult, involving a story outlined and written (along with most of the lyrics) exclusively by Gabriel. A creative split developed between him and the others, however, and the division grew worse during the tour that followed. In May of 1975, Gabriel announced that he was leaving Genesis, at what seemed the very moment of their commercial breakthrough. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway had been a breakthrough as well, played heavily on progressive FM stations and selling in far greater numbers than anyone expected of a double LP by this group -- it just missed the Top 40 in the United States, while in England it got to number ten.

The group tried auditioning potential replacements, but it became clear that the remaining members all preferred that Phil Collins -- who had provided some vocals on the group's three prior albums -- take over as lead singer. Genesis returned to the studio as a quartet in October of 1975 to work on their new album, and the resulting Trick of the Tail was not a huge departure from their earlier work -- there were still musically challenging progressive songs on the album. The latter were reined in a bit, however, and there was some effort to make the album and the music as accessible as possible. And it worked, the album reaching number three in England and number 31 in America, their best chart showing up to that time.

Their 1977 album Wind & Wuthering contained a genuinely appealing pop song, "Your Own Special Way," which helped to loft it to number three in the U.K. and number 26 in the United States. Soon after, Hackett announced that he, too, was leaving -- he was replaced on subsequent concert tours by Daryl Stuermer, but there was no permanent replacement in the studio; instead, Rutherford played all of the guitar parts on their subsequent recordings. In 1978, Genesis released the appropriately titled And Then There Were Three -- with sales driven by the hit single "Follow You, Follow Me," the album got the group its first gold record award. By this time, the group had become a pure pop outfit, and its subsequent albums Duke (1980) and Abacab (1981) both topped the charts in England while brushing near or reaching the Top Ten in America.

In 1983, the band regrouped for the self-titled Genesis, which furthered the group's record of British chart-toppers and American Top Ten hits, becoming their second million-selling U.S. album. Two years later, the group outdid itself with the release of its most commercially successful album to date, Invisible Touch, which -- driven by a quintet of Top Ten U.S. singles, including a number one chart placement for the title song -- went platinum several times over in America.

It was seven years before the band released its next album, We Can't Dance, which debuted at number one in England and got to number four in America. During that time off, each of the members had done extensive solo work, and Collins had already become a superstar in his own right. We Can't Dance was Collins' last album with the group, and with him they also lost Chester Thompson and Daryl Stuermer from the touring band. Calling All Stations (1997), featuring new vocalist Ray Wilson, seemed to please neither critics nor fans, and Wilson left the group at the conclusion of the accompanying tour. The group was on hiatus for most of the next decade, which saw the release of a pair of box sets, Genesis Archives, Vol. 1 and Genesis Archives, Vol. 2, covering the Gabriel and Collins eras, respectively. Banks, Rutherford, Hackett, Collins, and Gabriel regrouped for a one-off re-recording of "The Carpet Crawlers" for inclusion on the compilation Turn It on Again: The Hits.

Genesis were hardly heard from except in an archival capacity for most of the first decade of the 21st century. A 2007 reunion tour featuring Collins, Banks, and Rutherford got decidedly mixed critical reviews, and yielded a lackluster live CD/DVD set. But it coincided with a wave of upgraded, double-disc reissues of most of Genesis' catalog and a quartet of box sets covering their history from Trespass forward -- including a complete issue of a legendary 1973 Rainbow Theatre performance -- which have rendered them among the most thoroughly documented groups of their generation. Rumors of a full-fledged reunion continued to circulate but only archival releases materialized, including the triple disc R-Kive which combined Genesis staples with solo cuts from the band's original lineup. ~ Bruce Eder
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Platinum Collection

Disc 1

1. No Son Of Mine

2. I Can't Dance

3. Jesus He Knows Me

4. Hold On My Heart

5. Invisible Touch

6. Throwing It All Away

8. Land Of Confusion

9. In Too Deep

10. Mama

11. That's All

12. Home By The Sea

13. 2nd Home By The Sea

14. Illegal Alien

15. Paperlate

16. Calling All Stations

Disc 2

1. Abacab

2. Keep It Dark

3. Turn It On Again

4. Behind The Lines

5. Duchess

6. Misunderstanding

7. Many Too Many

8. Follow You Follow Me

9. Undertow

10. In That Quiet Earth

11. Afterglow

12. Your Own Special Way

13. A Trick Of The Tail

14. Ripples

15. Los Endos

Disc 3

1. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway

2. Counting Out Time

3. Carpet Crawlers

4. Firth Of Fifth

6. I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)

9. The Knife

x

Track List: Turn It On Again - The Hits

1. Turn It On Again

2. Invisible Touch

3. Mama

4. Land Of Confusion

5. I Can't Dance

6. Follow You, Follow Me

7. Hold On My Heart

8. Abacab

9. I Know What I Like

10. No Son Of Mine

11. Tonight, Tonight, Tonight

12. In Too Deep

13. Congo

14. Jesus He Knows Me

15. That's All

16. Misunderstanding

17. Throwing It All Away

18. The Carpet Crawlers 1999

x

Track List: Calling All Stations

1. Calling All Stations

2. Congo

3. Shipwrecked

4. Alien Afternoon

5. Not About Us

6. If That's What You Need

7. The Dividing Line

8. Uncertain Weather

9. Small Talk

10. There Must Be Some Other Way

11. One Man's Fool

x

Track List: The Way We Walk - Vol. 1: The Shorts (Live)

1. Land Of Confusion (Live)

2. No Son Of Mine (Live)

3. Jesus He Knows Me (Live)

4. Throwing It All Away (Live)

5. I Can't Dance (Live)

6. Mama (Live)

7. Hold On My Heart (Live)

8. That's All (Live)

9. In Too Deep (Live)

10. Tonight, Tonight, Tonight (Live)

11. Invisible Touch (Live)

x

Track List: We Can't Dance

1. No Son Of Mine

2. Jesus He Knows Me

4. I Can't Dance

5. Never A Time

6. Dreaming While You Sleep

7. Tell Me Why

8. Living Forever

9. Hold On My Heart

10. Way Of The World

11. Since I Lost You

x

Track List: Genesis

1. Mama

2. That's All

3. Home By The Sea

4. Second Home By The Sea

5. Illegal Alien

6. Taking It All Too Hard

7. Just A Job To Do

8. Silver Rainbow

9. It's Gonna Get Better

x

Track List: Abacab

1. Abacab

2. No Reply At All

3. Me And Sarah Jane

4. Keep It Dark

5. Dodo/Lurker

6. Who Dunnit?

7. Man On The Corner

8. Like It Or Not

9. Another Record

x

Track List: Duke

1. Behind The Lines

2. Duchess

3. Guide Vocal

4. Man Of Our Times

5. Misunderstanding

6. Heathaze

7. Turn It On Again

8. Alone Tonight

9. Cul-De-Sac

10. Please Don't Ask

11. Duke's Travels

12. Dukes End

x

Track List: And Then There Were Three

1. Down And Out

2. Undertow

3. Ballad Of Big

4. Snowbound

5. Burning Rope

6. Deep In The Motherlode

7. Many Too Many

8. Scenes From A Night's Dream

9. Say It's Alright Joe

10. The Lady Lies

11. Follow You Follow Me

x

Track List: Seconds Out

Disc 1

1. Squonk (Live)

2. The Carpet Crawl (Live)

3. Robbery, Assault And Battery (Live)

4. Afterglow (Live)

5. Firth Of Fifth (Live)

6. I Know What I Like (Live)

7. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (Live)

8. The Musical Box (Closing Section) (Live)

Disc 2

3. Dance On A Volcano (Live)

4. Los Endos (Live)

x

Track List: Wind & Wuthering

1. Eleventh Earl Of Mar

3. Your Own Special Way

4. Wot Gorilla?

5. All In A Mouse's Night

6. Blood On The Rooftops

8. In That Quiet Earth'

9. Afterglow

x

Track List: A Trick Of The Tail

1. Dance On A Volcano

2. Entangled

3. Squonk

4. Mad Man Moon

5. Robbery, Assault & Battery

6. Ripples

7. A Trick Of The Tail

8. Los Endos

x

Track List: Selling England By The Pound

x

Track List: Trespass

1. Looking For Someone

2. White Mountain

3. Visions Of Angels

4. Stagnation

5. Dusk

6. The Knife

x

Track List: From Genesis To Revelation

1. Where The Sour Turns To Sweet

2. In The Beginning

3. Fireside Song

4. The Serpent

5. Am I Very Wrong

6. In The Wilderness

7. The Conqueror

8. In Hiding

9. One Day

10. Window

11. In Limbo

13. A Place To Call My Own

14. The Silent Sun

15. That's Me

16. A Winter's Tale

17. One Eyed Hound

x

Track List: The Genesis Of Genesis

1. Where The Sour Turns To Sweet

2. In The Beginning

3. Fireside Song

4. The Serpent

5. Am I Very Wrong

6. In The Wilderness

7. The Conqueror

8. In Hiding

9. One Day

10. Window

11. In Limbo

12. The Silent Sun

13. A Place To Call My Own

16. A Winter's Tale

17. One Eyed Hound

18. That's Me

19. Image Blown Out

20. She Is Beautiful

Comments

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Beautiful memories
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in the manner of Yes and King Crimson?? no, the early lyrics were story based, unlike Yes and KC.
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Frank valli
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❤❤❤❤❤
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Pandora never plays Peter Gabriel era Genesis:-/
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philippepelu s o
A Trick of the Tail (1976) brings so many fun memories. What a great record!
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Hi. IM SO YOUNG WHEN I START HEARS ALL THESE SONG IM FROM PANAMA REPUBLIC OF PANAMA IM LOVE PHIL COLLING I WISH ONE DAY MEET IT HIM IS MY MEN WHEN IM 12 YEAR OLD BEAUTIFUL VOICE LOVE YOU GUYS
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Peter or Phil, it's still Genesis
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What an appropriate song for these times ("Land Of Confusion")! !
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Thought Genesis was done when Peter left but love all of them. Together apart doesn't matter love them always!!! JODIE M.
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The greatest
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israelcollaz o
Well
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israelcollaz o
I.
Love. You
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israelcollaz o
Um
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israelcollaz o
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israelcollaz o
U. S. aaaaaaaaaaa
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What Era Is Better?
1968-1975? Or 1976-2006
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schalin123
I awoke in the night and went to the bathroom where I silently unwrapped a bar of soap and left it for the next morning
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U know .......I just Want Too LOVE YOU ��but...if You Keep This Up....There Will Be SOMEONE..... E L S E ! ! ! ! X X X X X O O O L O
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zag.nyl
Genesis without Peter Gabriel is like Black Sabbath without Ozzy Osbourne. They both continued ok but it was never the same.
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zag.nyl
Genesis without
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Wish u could listen to albums in entirety on Pandora, A Trick of the Tail is my all time favorite album , used to listen to it relentlessly . . great stuff
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love this album, wish I could listen to the whole thing on here..
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Love Phil Collons, great music !!!
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the old stuff is cool, melodies and total trippin lyrics can't find now adays
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My Genesis radio just plays s**tty Genesis...
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Come on Phil! We need a genesis tour stat. You guys aren't getting any younger.

Sincerely,
A big fan
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Post Duke was awful. They had a great run
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That's all it's an awesome song
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Refreshing
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chipw9
Other than No Reply at All (which I understand was boo-ed by fans when it was first performed live in the 1980s) Invisible Touch is my favorite Genesis song. Both tunes are earnest and embody some of the best musical styles of the 1980s. Thanks, Pandora.
Report as inappropriate
paigeb1994
I love Genesis and Phil Collins they are amazing! So pumped about him coming out of retirement! I doubt a Genesis reunion will happen but a girl can hope.
For the people who disagree with me and hate on them and him here's a solution: Don't listen to the music and stop b**ching about it!
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jmbecker372
Great Genesis
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dianedefranc i s c o 7 7
An awesome song and writing artist ��
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Genius ~ genesis Couldn't agree more!
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Influential music for the progressive genre.
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Hey, glenn. They still put out 2 great albums after Gabriel left. It was when Hackett quit that they shifted to pop. Even Duke had some great moments, but it was down the hole after Duke.
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stutz0468
my genesis channel plays everything BUT genesis
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I grew up with genesis since I was a kid.
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courage05
In the land a sound falls like grains of sand and the hand of retribution holds tight the hounds of confusion with night closing within the dawn seems no closer to rising again as we find the day darkening on hopes and dreams these times calls out in desperate screams to gather in final wave and wash away every misfortune humanity gave
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Who are you people?????W T F
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@nar1128
You got some problems
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Add Lionel Richie to my Boz Skaggs station please..
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glennbykowsk i
Maybe the Phil Collins band would have been better!
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glennbykowsk i
They should have changed their name when Gabriel left! End of story!
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Tonight, tonight, tonight...ca n n o t be touched! Also loved No Reply at All from the Abacab album!
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msilvermerli n
Land of Confusion remember it well aslo like the newer Godsmack version
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Genius ~ genesis
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beautyofnatu r e . l g
Follow Me...romanti c , simple, true, from back in the days when people believed in love. I'm better for the smile you give...Stay with me, just one single tear with each passing year.
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Invisible touch, land of confusion, that's all, I can't dance are my favorite songs thanks Phil and your awesome band.
Show more

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