Posts Tagged ‘Genesis’

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Genesis are one of the biggest selling recording artists of all time and one of Britain’s most internationally renowned bands. The band have gone through several line-up changes, The discography of the British band Genesis contains 15 studio albums, six live albums, three compilation albums, and a variety of box sets.

Genesis were formed by frontman Peter Gabriel, keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist / guitarist Mike Rutherford and guitarist Anthony Phillips at the British public school Charterhouse School, where they drew on contemporary pop, soul, classical and church music influences to write their own songs. From then to 1974, Genesis released a studio album around once a year.

Genesis came to epitomise the sound and character of British progressive rock – far more so than the deliberately abstruse eclecticism of King Crimson or the pastorally inclined, cod-mysticism of Yes – it’s worth recalling that that perception actually outlived for some considerable time Gabriel’s departure in 1975, and that their first real singles chart success was not some Collins-fronted 80s blockbuster but the typically quirky Gabriel-esque “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)” in ’74. The line-up stabilised in 1971 afterSteve Hackett replaced Phillips andPhil Collins joined as a drummer. The group established commercial success in the UK with oxtrot (1972), and with the following year’s Selling England by the Pound.

All of the group’s work since signing to Charisma (since acquired by Virgin Records and then EMI) has been remastered and re-released, and is available on various compilations albums such as Turn It On Again: The Hits and Platinum Collection. The sole exception is From Genesis to Revelation, whose copyright is owned by King, which has been reissued several times independently to the rest of the band’s releases

‘Gabriel – good, Collins – Not So Good (or indeed vice versa) is a common sub-text in discussions between Genesis fans. That split view of Genesis’s music over the years is based mostly on the assumption that during each of those two frontmen’s respective eras with the band, Genesis’s music was rigidly delineated musically, and/or that the frontmen were always the chief architects of the band’s music at the time. But it’s a flawed premise that such an argument is based on. At all stages of the band’s career, all the members of Genesis contributed to the song writing and arrangements, and the shift from Gabriel-led epics to Collins-fronted pop was neither instant nor as obvious as is often made out.

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From Genesis to Revelation (1969)

This album is very Beatles-ish and it has some very early Beegee’s influence too, it isn’t very original and there are only a few songs on this album that I enjoy Fireside Song and A Place To Call My Own are the exception. I have never thought that this album was very special and was never a fan. The band’s debut, From Genesis To Revelation (’69), is fascinating as an historical curiosity, but not much more. Owing much to fey 60s pop, folk and psychedelia, it’s for cultists and completists only. There’s nothing at all wrong with the band’s debut album, but it bears very little resemblance to the Genesis the world would come to know. Instead of prog, it’s filled with ‘60s-sounding orchestral pop (not that there’s anything wrong with that) that has more in common with the early Bee Gees (of whom label manager Jonathan King was a fan) and the Zombies, but isn’t quite on their level. Every band has an embryonic phase, and this was theirs.

The first Genesis album,From Genesis to Revelation is all but forgotten, even by many of the band’s fans. While the band is obviously not fully developed yet, as a first step, it’s got plenty of charm and great tunes. Early on, Genesis had adopted a significantly more “pop” approach than what they would soon immerse themselves in. Plenty of nods to the likes of the Beatles were front and center, but you can hear the rumblings of what would become the true Genesis sound on the song “In the Beginning.” The song begins with an ominous rumble before the acoustic guitar driven tune kicks in, and the offbeat lyrics give a hint as to what was to come. While the song has elements of the it is decidedly more aggressive. The essence of musical drama was in the air. A lost gem if ever there was one.

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Trespass (1970)

Quite the sophomore album, it has some songs I adore by the band (Visions of Angels, White Mountain, Stagnation and Of course The Knife). This album is full of great songs but I think it suffers a bit from amateurish writing. These guys were still trying to find out where they were going with this new, experimental sound. Also I think the drumming was severely lacking, John Mayhew (in my honest opinion) is just not that good of a drummer. Genesis certainly wasn’t at it’s peak, but it contains the classic sound that would characterize Genesis albums for years to come. With masterpieces such as The Knife and Stagnation, it is an essential for any early Genesis fan. Be ready to be patient, though, because it is much more pastoral and peaceful than the group’s later work. The Knife was the start of what was to become Genesis sound. While neither Phil Collins nor Steve Hackett had come aboard yet, Genesis’ second album is widely considered their proper debut. And although it concentrates more on acoustic guitar tapestries than subsequent albums would, ‘Trespass’ creates the template for the pioneering prog statements that were just around the corner for the band.

With their second album, Trespass Genesis noticeably changed direction from their first recordings. Gone were the more quaint, Baroque pop stylings, and in their place a more, dare we say, “mature” mood created. The songs were longer, more complex and more demanding. This approach would be cemented by album number three, but of the songs here, there is no denying “The Knife” as king. This song was their first show-stopper, serving as the centerpiece of their concerts at the time. The band is commanding as they flex their musical muscle here, while Gabriel is finding his signature voice here as well.

Beautiful album, definitely doesn’t get the praise it should. Stagnation is one of Genesis’ best tracks, so gorgeous and powerful. Although nowhere near the class and sophistication of later albums, demonstrates the enormous leap from the band’s undistinguished debut.

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Nursery Cryme (1971)

This first album from the ‘classic’ Rutherford/Banks/Gabriel/Hackett/Collins line-up may sound dated now, but a growing level of unique invention was evident in timeless Genesis now-standards The Musical Box and The Return Of The Giant Hogweed. There’s terrific ensemble playing throughout, lyrical erudition and Gabriel’s dry wit. On Harold The Barrel, he skilfully weaves a tale of mental illness and suicide – a challenge that he pulls off with aplomb. An interest in mythology (an influence that can also be discerned in the band’s next three albums) finds expression in the proto-epic Fountain Of Salmacis, hinting at what was to come on Foxtrot.

This album had some growing pains, losing Phillips and Mayhew and having both of them replaced by Hackett and Collins. This album was going in the right direction for sure. There isn’t one bad song on this album in my eyes, however my personal favourites on this album have to Seven Stones and The Fountain of Salmacis. They are two sides of the same coin, Seven Stones being the soft piece and The Fountain of Salmacis being the more busy in terms of playing and just… well… a brilliant song. I love this album a great deal.

I think we wanted to expand the horizons of the musical world we were living in, Peter Gabriel said in a documentary about Nursery Cryme their third album, and first album to feature guitarist Steve Hackett and drummer Phil Collins. By this time, they had finally found their musical identity. Incorporating a variety of influences from the worlds of pop, rock and classical, “The Musical Box” kicks off that album and welcomes the listener to their unique world. It’s all here, the drama, the humour, and the intricate musical road map. And the nurse will tell you lies of a kingdom beyond the skies were not your standard rock and roll lyrics, but of course, Genesis were not your standard rock and roll band. They would up the ante over the next few albums, surpassing themselves at every turn, but this is their first genuine classic.

This is where the band really started strutting its stuff for the first time. With the classic Peter Gabriel/Steve Hackett/Tony Banks/Mike Rutherford/Phil Collins lineup in place, Genesis began developing the complex writing style and dazzling instrumental interplay that would become their trademarks. They start putting prog-rock on the map straight out of the gate with the opening epic “The Musical Box,” which remains a fan favourite to this day.

This album is the perfect blend of pastoral passages and hard-rocking moments. The songs contrast beautifully while still maintaining a singular atmosphere that is both beautiful and haunting. Tragically underrated, Nursery Cryme deserves more recognition than it receives

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Foxtrot (1972)

Supper’s Ready, the archetypal prog epic – 23 minutes of unabashed musical/lyrical acrobatics and allusions to the Book of Revelations and classical mythology (not to mention the flowers, geese, and Winston Churchill dressed in drag) – isn’t the only reason to buy Foxtrot. The album also includes two other Gabriel-era favourites: Watcher Of The Skies, with its dystopian future earth, and Get ‘Em Out By Friday, a sardonic commentary on corporate greed. Individual contributions are central to this album’s impact, Tony Banks’ Watcher…, his wonderful keyboard solo on Apocalypse In 9⁄8, and Steve Hackett’s solo guitar composition Horizons being evocative illustrations.

The opening number during the band’s 1972 tour and among the best Peter Gabriel Genesis Songs, “Watcher of the Skies” set the stage for the band’s increasingly visual stage shows. As Gabriel appeared out of the darkness with bat-wing headdress, glowing eye make up and glittery cape, he transformed Genesis concerts into a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. The long organ intro by Tony Banks creates a tension not broken until the band crash the party in 6/8 time. The stop-start riff may have been inspired by the intense style of King Crimson but Genesis put their own spin on things. Certainly one of the band’s most loved songs.

When you’re talking Genesis, it doesn’t get much better than ‘Foxtrot.’ The jaw-dropping sweep of the 23-minute “Supper’s Ready,” the magisterial Mellotron of “Watcher of the Skies,” the cutting, almost Kinks-like sociopolitical commentary of “Get ‘Em Out by Friday” — it all adds up to a peak of the band’s canon, not to mention one of the greatest prog albums ever to toss tricky time signatures at listeners’ eager ears.

The signature song of the band’s live set for several years, “Supper’s Ready” is an epic tour de force, its power and beauty remaining in full bloom all these years later. Though the song clocks in at over 22 minutes, it’s hardly the pretentious ramblings often associated with prog rock. It is, in fact, a handful of shorter songs strung together to create a milestone of the progressive rock era. The often surrealistic lyrics are laid out atop the ever-shifting, always dynamic musical backdrop to create one of the most unique entries in their catalog.

Every song is brilliant, I love everything and everyone’s work on this, however some songs are better than others. This album also had my favourite song ever, “Can-Utility and the Coastliners”. The chord progressions, the atmosphere, the vocals, everything about that song, I love. Suppers Ready is the obvious choice for everyone and I think it’s a brilliant song, and I honestly believe that Time Table and Get’em Out by Friday are just as good.

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Selling England By The Pound (1973)

Gabriel is superlative, and the musicians apply themselves with controlled passion to an album which successfully celebrates, caricatures and comments on the nature of Britain and Britishness.

Creating backdrops to diverse themes – gang violence (The Battle Of Epping Forest); ruminations on gender Cinema Show a supermarket price-list Aisle Of Plenty – extraordinary and gorgeous performances proliferate. The strength, consistency and exquisiteness of the material is enhanced by a crisp, rich production.

A milestone of near-flawless prog rock, the album doesn’t have a single ugly sound. The albums that occupy the Top 3 spots on our list of Genesis Albums Ranked Worst to Best are all exceptional, and represent not only the pinnacle of prog-rock, but a high point for ‘70s rock in general. On one hand, ‘Selling England by the Pound’s quirky, hooky “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)” was the closest Genesis came to a radio song at that point; on the other, “The Cinema Show” and “The Battle of Epping Forest” are prime examples of the broad range of possibilities prog’s ascendance brought.

While Gabriel’s performance on this tune from their fifth album, Selling England by the Pound is nothing short of brilliant, it is the instrumentalists who really steal the show here. From the grand piano intro by Tony Banks to the spine-chilling guitar solo from Steve Hackett this is a tour de force. Banks, Hackett and Gabriel (on flute) each draw from the same melodic theme for their respective solos, but it’s not until Hackett is in the driver’s seat that it takes off for the skies.

As the needle hits the vinyl on the first track on Selling England by the Pound we hear Peter Gabriel alone in the spotlight, almost as if he’s delivering a sermon. “Can you tell me where your country lies, said the uni-faun to his true love’s eyes he sings a capella before the band quietly make their presence known. Gabriel recites a tale of a not-so merry Old England, as the band are blazing here with complex changes dished out left and right. “One of the aims of this record was to look at Englishness in a different way,” said Peter Gabriel . Guitars and entwine to create a beautiful wall of sound.

Every song on this album is completely equal to me, I don’t think there are any songs on this album I would consider worse than another. When an entire album has amazing songs and they come together in total unison, that’s when an album is a masterpiece, and this is among my favourite Genesis album of all time.

Also, the musicianship throughout the whole album is unmatched and that goes for Tony Bank’s intro and Steve Hacket’s solo on ‘Firth of Fifth’, the drum work on ‘The Battle of Epping Forest’ by Collins, the cool and interesting chord work of Mike Rutherford on the intro to ‘The Cinema Show’ and the lick of ‘I Know What I like (In Your Wardrobe)’, and of course the singing of ‘Dancing With the Moonlit Knight’ by Peter Gabriel.

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The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

The big concept, the double discer, the long album in their discography. I listened to this album from beginning to end… just for fun. A surreal adventure of a New York street kid, Rael, and a cast of decidedly strange characters, The Lamb… is the essential prog concept album. A structured, cleverly scripted set of connected songs performed by a band at the top of its game.

A more contemporary lyrical feel contrasts with the bizarre storyline, and musically the shifting moods are captured perfectly.

A sizable segment of the Genesis fan base would give Peter Gabriel’s last stand with the band top ranking. And there’s no question it’s one of their best, with their elaborate art-rock coming through at its most visceral. But concept albums are a tricky business, especially double albums, and the fact that this one wanders astray in a couple spots over the course of its considerable length means that it cedes its claim to the primary position.

this is one of the best albums ever made from the first song. The storyline by Peter Gabriel is strange but superb and the lyrics are awesome. Unlike their earlier albums there aren’t really so many individual songs that stand out. Rather all the tracks flow together to form a single big song. The music is a logical extension to their earlier works and contains some hints as to how Genesis would later sound like.

The shimmering piano intro sets the scene as the band slowly move in and the story of the troubled Rael is put forth on the best of Peter Gabriel Genesis Songs. The catchy, yet far from implistic song, is brimming with a bravado not always part of the Genesis arsenal. Gabriel’s vocal here ranks as one of his finest.  “The story in a way, is like a Pilgrim’s Progress but on the streets of New York,” Gabriel later said “It’s a spiritual journey into the soul, but it was quite a tough world that’s feeding the imagery.

The Carpet Crawlers is arguably the most beautiful song Genesis ever laid down. From the haunting piano intro to the final fadeout, it is second-to-none in terms of dreamlike beauty. The melody itself is haunting, but Peter’s performance here is beyond compare. The song builds, becoming more forceful and majestic as it moves along. Though a 1999 re-recorded version featuring both Gabriel and Phil Collins made its way to radio play, the Lamb original resonates for the ages.

Released in the fall of 1974, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is arguably the band’s masterpiece. The listener is taken on a thrilling ride from start to finish, veering from pure pop melodies to wild sonic experimentation, often within the same song. As the conceptual, and admittedly confusing, story of Rael unfolds before our ears, one thing is for certain, Genesis were at the top of their game. Gabriel’s performance throughout is stunning, perhaps nowhere more so than on “Back in N.Y.C.” The power of his voice here is striking as he spits out the lyrics with pure venom. The anger in his performance, and the fact that the character of Rael was a leather jacket-clad street punk, predates punk rock by nearly a year. So much for the prog vs. punk wars.

This album is beyond great, you have the heavy opener, the title track, and then straight into Fly On A Windshield, Broadway Melody, Cuckoo Cocoon, and then straight into… In The Cage. Carpet Crawlers, The Chamber of 32 Doors, The Waiting Room, The Lamia, The Colony Of Slippermen, etc… it’s all brilliant. This is in my eyes, the greatest concept record of all time. After punk, such records were savaged for their pomposity and portentousness. Yet art so well-crafted, entertaining and thoughtful needn’t apologise for itself. “If you think that it’s pretentious, you’ve been taken for a ride”… indeed.

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A Trick of The Tail (1976)

A masterful riposte to the nay-sayers in the immediate aftermath of Gabriel’s departure. From the muscular, deceptively complex opener Dance On A Volcano to the closing fusion-esque instrumental Los Endos, this album affirmed that Genesis were far from washed up artistically. Melodic ballads contrast with more rocky, character-based narratives, and while prog-heavy the record sounds more mainstream than its predecessors.

A massively important record for the band, who with it effectively came out from the shadow cast by their ex-frontman Gabriel.At the time, it probably seemed unlikely that Genesis could survive the departure of a frontman as distinctive and charismatic as Peter Gabriel … until they tossed a vocal mic behind the drum kit. For the most part, the first album with Phil Collins as lead singer is indistinguishable from the band’s mid-‘70s heyday, especially since Collins hadn’t quite sussed out his own vocal style yet and was still echoing Gabriel’s inflections, not a bad thing in this context.

Nothing is quite what it seems, Collins sings on this lost classic from 1976’s A Trick of the Tail, “Sometimes entangled in your own dreams. That lyric is a perfect summation of this mystical, percussion-free ballad, which builds from serene 12-string acoustic textures to a sweeping Mellotron coda. And it’s also a wonderful example of the band’s lyrical strengths: Steve Hackett depicts a tongue-in-cheek vision of a sickly patient under hypnosis, floating through his sub-conscious in a “Freudian slumber.

In a way, Phil Collins-Era Genesis Songs is the most important track the band ever released. When Peter Gabriel fled for a blossoming solo career in 1975, the remaining quartet were left without a singer. Collins (who’d already contributed vocal harmonies prior to Gabriel’s departure) took over the reigns after failed auditions with other vocalists. “Dance on a Volcano” kicks off A Trick of the Tail with a simmering fusion-prog anthem, defined by Collins’ impassioned vocals and Banks’ lava-ooze synths.

The Banks album, everything here is Banks and frankly this album is amazing. I have always thought that this is one of the best albums Post-Gabriel. Entangled, Dance on a Volcano, Ripples, Los Endos... everything here is amazing. Just a perfect album, every track is very strong, super enjoyable

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Wind and Wuthering (1976)

Wind And Wuthering posed a problem for Genesis: with the huge success they’d just had with Trick Of The Tail, how could they now capitalise on the momentum they had picked up via that album? . In failing to come up with a suitable answer, they ended up producing a pleasantly atmospheric work that had real flashes of excitement and majesty (for example, in 11th Earl Of Mar, Wot Gorilla? and Blood On The Rooftops, the end of One For The Vine), but much of it is far too wistful and polite for its own good. This ‘Trick…- Lite’ album clearly failed to keep Steve Hackett engaged, and proved to be his final studio album with Genesis.

The final album to feature guitarist Steve Hackett, a key contributor to the sound of the band’s “classic” era, ‘Wind and Wuthering’ found Genesis still sitting quite comfortably in the world they’d been inhabiting since the start of the decade. The lone attempt at a pop song, “Your Own Special Way,” was on the half-hearted side and didn’t stick, leaving plenty of room for the elaborate instrumental highlights that sound like prime Genesis.

After Peter Gabriel left in 1975, Genesis went through a transitional stage as a quartet. It’s a painfully overlooked chapter in Genesis history that produced two incredible albums, 1976’s A Trick of the Tail and the following year’s Wind & Wuthering. The latter album included this sprawling, multi-part prog epic, which demonstrates the band at the height of their adventurous instrumental powers: Banks’ sharp organ, Mike Rutherford’s frenetic bass, Steve Hackett’s graceful classical guitar, and Collins‘ fusion-inflected drumming.

Alright, the only reason why I believe that this isn’t as good as Trick is because of… well… Your Own Special Way. I don’t mind that song but I think overall, this album is very good but Trick is just an overall better album. Steve Hackett the underestimated magician, from here the prog went out of the window

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And Then There Were Three… (1978)

Ok, so this one is very good but yet it lacks the magic of the previous albums. I think that this album has some prog smashes such as Down and Out, Snowbound, Ballad Of Big, Undertow, Scenes From A Night’s Dream, and of course… (I do in fact like Follow You Follow Me). This is a good album, but I don’t think it’s as good as the previous albums. Undertow and Burning Rope are two of the strongest songs that Tony Banks has ever written, worthy of the best of Genesis. Overall, the album is a bit uneven

Even though it contains the band’s first big pop hit (the undeniably appealing “Follow You, Follow Me”) and was, as the title indicates, the debut of the Phil Collins/Mike Rutherford/Tony Banks lineup, this is really the swan song of old-school Genesis. As such, it’s a fine farewell to the prog-rock days of yore, sporting a generous supply of epic art-rock moments.

As a general rule of thumb, most of the songs of the Phil Collins-Era Genesis Songs won’t work well if played during your wedding. “Follow You Follow Me,” a groovy, teary-eyed ballad from 1978’s. And Then There Were Three, is one major exception. Now whittled down to the core trio of Collins, Rutherford and Banks, Genesis were slowly trimming back their expansive arrangements, writing fewer lyrics about dragons and knights and more lyrics about sweet, sweet romance. “Follow You Follow Me” was their first real love song – and also their first major hit.

Suffers from the loss of Hackett and – apart from the commercialism of Many Too Many and Follow You, Follow Me – lacks direction.

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Duke (1980)

Genesis created something of a hybrid with Duke. As well as having moments of terrific energy and musical drama, the record was also the tipping point for the band’s enviable pop fortunes over the next decade. Alongside Turn It On Again and Misunderstanding (massive hit in America) are simplified beats and memorable hooks.

Ignoring Genesis’s impact on 80s popular music would be churlish – the fact is that, whatever the zeitgeist may have been, they sliced through it with surgical precision. Those still hankering after a bygone age got a generally satisfying product, but the die had definitely been cast. This album marked a major turning point for the band. It occupies a perfectly balanced place between Genesis’ proggy past and their poppy future. They were really just beginning to take a more accessible turn on tracks like “Misunderstanding” and “Turn It on Again,” but there were still plenty of prog elements on board to satisfy old-school admirers.

Collins re-recorded this 1980 art-rock classic on his debut solo album, Face Value, transforming it into a soulful, horn-fueled strut. But he didn’t improve upon it: The Duke version remains one of the greatest Genesis tracks of all-time, cramming technically complex instrumental performances and massively catchy vocals into one compact, five-minute package. The song never sits still, moving from a busy instrumental opening theme to a tight verse-chorus groove and back again, all glued together by Banks’ subtle, sophisticated chord changes.

Behind the Lines is upbeat and sensual, Man of Our Times is big and bold, Please Don’t Ask is melancholy, not forgetting Misunderstanding and Cul-De-Sac. Phil really proved himself as the true successor to Gabriel on this. My absolute favourite piece of work by this outrageously talented, wonderful band.

This album is brilliant, I love this album, its brilliant. The concept of the album, this keyboard heavy album has a different mood than most of their discography. Heathaze, Duchess, Behind The Lines, Man Of Our Times, etc, all of these songs are just amazing. Need I say, Duke is just … it’s a personal favourite.

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Abacab (1981)

This is the beginning of the end for the band, this is still very good in my eyes but I think that this album could be better. The opening track is good, Me and Sarah Jane is very good, No Reply At All, Dodo is a brilliant prog song, Man on the Corner. There are quite a few mediocre songs on this album, Who Dunnit is a fairly terrible song… even though it was intentionally bad.

Abacab  won’t surprise anyone expecting full-on 80s pop classics, but there were still flashes of the band’s prog greatness. This album is in some ways revolutionary for the band it married prog, dance and pop with 9 killer songs. Lots of ‘70s prog bands tried to reboot themselves for the ‘80s, but nobody did it better than Genesis … at least for one album. Though subsequent releases would bring diminishing returns, ‘Abacab’ was a triumph. Against all odds, the trio totally reinvented itself, taking on the influence of the New Wave era and jettisoning all the ‘70s prog-rock excess. The place they ended up was an uncharted new paradigm that worked shockingly well and brought them loads of new fans in the bargain.

The driving title-track from the band’s 1981 album, “Abacab” epitomizes Genesis‘ stylistic reinvention of the early ’80s. Like the album itself, “Abacab” boasts a bold new sound: Tony Banks‘ synthesizers are punchier and more rhythmic; Collins’ drums explode out of the speakers with an emphatic gated drum sound. Most importantly, with its soulful backing vocals, sparse arrangement, and gibberish hook, “Abacab” offered the band levity and quirkiness, casting Genesis’ serious prog-rock image in a more playful light – just in time for punk’s crushing blow.

Genesis — perhaps one of the whitest bands in rock history — were (rightfully) never known for their funkiness. But when Phil Collins began releasing solo albums in the early ’80s, he started embracing his inner soul child, covering Motown classics and putting his now-trademarked horn blasts on almost all of his huge pop hits. “No Reply At All,” a standout funk-pop jam from 1981’s Abacab, is a mesmerizing middle-ground between Collins the Solo Soul Brother and Genesis the Prog Behemoth, with Collins crooning passionately over Banks‘ uptempo synth blasts, Rutherford’s complex bassline, and Earth, Wind, & Fire’s horn section.

‘Three Sides Live’! Directed by Stuart Orme and originally released in 1982, the concert film features live performances and behind-the-scenes footage recorded during the 1981 ‘Abacab’ album tour across Europe and North America.

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Genesis (1983)

Home By The Sea and Second Home By The Sea, Its Gonna Get Better, That’s All, Silver Rainbow are the best songs on this album. I have always thought of this album as a fairly ok album, just has some fairly mediocre songs. Mama is a pretty ok song, but Illegal Alien is just… a pretty bad song. Everything would have perfectly fine if Genesis would have just walked away after this self-titled album. Sure, it had plenty of poppy moments, but they aren’t buried in the era’s production cliches; “That’s All” feels charmingly McCartney-esque rather than obnoxiously ‘80s. And “Mama” and “Home by the Sea” even sound like they could have come from ‘The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway’ era.

“Mama” is a masterstroke of brooding climb and explosive climax. It’s also one of the most purely cinematic rock songs ever recorded: We open with a clanky drum machine loop, gradually engulfed in Banks’ spooky synth-pads, as Collins unfurls his enigmatic tale of a young man’s obsession with an elusive prostitute. The track builds and builds, slowly but surely – peaking first with Collins’ manic laughing and shrieking, and then with a stark snare-bass groove that propels the final minute. It’s a spine-tingling exercise in musical restraint.

check out the Genesis concert film was shot by Jim Yukich in 1984 and contains highlights from The Mama Tour’s final five shows at NEC Arena in Birmingham.

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Invisible Touch (1986)

Invisible Touch, Land Of Confusion, and The Brazilian are just not songs that work for me, I think these songs are all half decent. The best work is Tonight Tonight Tonight, In Too Deep, Domino and Throwing It All Away. Most of my favourite songs are the Soft Rock songs. Well either way, this is a pretty decent album overall.

On the dark day in Genesis history when this record was released, the band fully transitioned from art-rock glory to radio-ready piffle, replete with all the worst that ‘80s overproduction had to offer. The fact that just the tiniest bit of the “old” Genesis is discernible in a couple of tracks.

The next Phil Collins-Era Genesis Songs strikes a perfect balance between the band’s prog and pop sides. “Tonight Tonight Tonight” was the fourth single released from 1986’s Invisible Touch, but unlike the album’s other hits, this track is as eerie and artful as it is catchy, marrying its belted chorus and infectious drum machine rhythms with brooding, minor-key synth atmospherics, stretching out to a grand eight minutes.

Genesis were immersed in the sonic fabric of the ’80s on Invisible Touch bright synth pads, booming percussion, airy drum machines. For many early die-hards, this album was the last straw in an unending streak of catchiness. But as they proved with multi-part masterpiece “Domino,”‘ Genesis hadn’t totally shed their prog skin. Tony Banks‘ engrossing tale of a global domino effect is set to an expansive instrumental palette, dominated by Rutherford’s funky guitar riff. Over a skittering drum machine, Collins belts, “We prayed it would last forever!” It’s hard not to wish the same of the song’s ethereal prog-pop voodoo.

Genesis classic was filmed at the height of summer in 1987 during the grand finale of ‘The Invisible Touch’ tour in London’s Wembley Stadium.

We Can’t Dance (1991)

No Son Of Mine, Driving the Last Spike, Never A Time, Dreaming While You Sleep, Tell Me Why, Living Forever, Hold On My Heart, Way Of The World, Since I Lost You and of course Fading Lights. This is album is pretty good actually, and I do have a soft spot for soft rock so…. this album is great in my opinion.

We could have lived with videos of Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks mugging like a British ZZ Top if there had been anything approaching actual songs to go along with it. Recorded during the ‘We Can’t Dance’ tour at Earls Court in London, ‘The Way We Walk’ was first released on VHS tape in 1993

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Calling All Stations (1997)

This album is just … merely good. The title track, Congo and well… of course Shipwrecked. I really enjoyed this album and well it’s nothing really special. This is an album that leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth, kinda like you got a really good dish at a good restaurant but you feel like it wasn’t cooked right.

The band’s final offering is not a Genesis album so much as the sound of desperation on the part of guitarist Mike Rutherford and keyboardist Tony Banks. The last men left standing roped in new singer Ray Wilson when Phil Collins’ departure forced an attempt on the pair’s part to justify their continued existence as a creative unit.

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Genesis Live (1973)

Released as a minor stop-gap while Genesis worked on Selling England By The Pound, this is a great sampler from the early years. The performances are spot-on and the stirring magic of the shows is evident.

Collecting together live mainstays like Watcher Of The Skies, The Musical Box and The Knife, the album emphasises the surprising synergy between the five very young musicians – listen out for Steve Hackett’s often understated yet sublime guitar work, and the ever-unsung Mike Rutherford underpinning the band and adding sparkle with his undeniable skills as bassist and sometime 12-string guitarist. Shame there’s no Supper’s Ready though

See the source image

Seconds Out (1977)

With a polished, powerful and very accessible live celebration of both past glories and then-current material, Genesis demonstrate exactly why fans were flocking to see the band on stage. Collins’ voice smooths some of the quirky edges off older material, and Hackett, Banks and Rutherford turn in consummate and studied performances of everything from Supper’s Ready to Afterglow, ably assisted by drummer-for-hire Chester Thompson. Indeed, this is very much a drummer’s album, not least for the sole track from the ’76 tour (Cinema Show), on which Bill Bruford is joined by Collins in a jaw-dropping percussive backing to Banks’ showcase keyboard onslaught.

Three Sides Live (1982)

Awesome live versions of a number of superior Genesis songs, highlighted by Behind the Lines/Duchess and the amazing Old Medley, featuring a relentlessly driving version of In the Cage, the soaring keyboard section of Cinema Show, and a truly overpowering vocal performance by Phil Collins on Afterglow. My only regret with album is that I wish the band would have held off a few months in releasing it so that Supper’s Ready, which was part of the 1982 Encore Tour setlist, could have been included as the “fourth side live.”

cover photo, No photo description available.

Foxtrot, 1972

Today “Foxtrot” sounds as unique, dramatic, thrilling and ambitious as ever. It’s where the classic line-up of the band came fully into being; it’s when they realised how much they could do, how far they could go. “It was about creating a film for the ear rather than the eye,” says Steve Hackett. “And it even got to Number 12 in the charts,” Tony Banks laughs. “Of course the next week it went down to Number 27 or something, but it was our first moment  so we felt that we were underway, that we were heading somewhere different. “Foxtrot” was where we first started, in my opinion, to become a significant band.”

Recorded in 1972, almost exactly a year after the Nursery Cryme sessions, “Foxtrot” saw the group take a huge leap forward – both sonically and visually. Having already performed in Europe, Genesis booked dates in the US for the first time, and worked up a suitably ambitious live show – a key development of which was Peter Gabriel’s adopting of stage costumes.

Genesis, Foxtrot era stage masks

While all of its tracks are strong and inventive, Foxtrot is unavoidably dominated by the 23-minute, seven-part suite which graced what used to be side two. Supper’s Ready is one of the towering landmarks of prog, dovetailing short surreal pieces with moving neo-classical reprises and recapitulations, serene flows with shuddering staccato, parochial realism with pulchritudinous dreams. Across this fire from the skies, Peter Gabriel sings of battles between good and evil and love and war, of firemen, farmers, flowers (‘a flower?’), and a frog who was a prince (who was a brick) (which was an egg) (which was a bird). And of 666 and a new Jerusalem. Startling then, it remains a stunning achievement of vision and scale. Roger Taylor of Queen has called it, “at separate times, homely, beautiful, tortured and epic.” ‘We’ve got everything,’ it declares presciently. ‘We’re growing everything…’.While Supper’s Ready is the main course, Foxtrot should however be appreciated as more than just a set of appetisers leading up to it. It’s strange to learn that the album came about in a relatively ramshackle manner: no great master plan had been conceived.

A surprise to the rest of the band, Gabriel donned his wife’s red dress and a fox mask during their performance of Nursery Cryme’s ‘The Musical Box’ at Dublin’s National Stadium, on 28th September 1972. Further costumes were unveiled as the tour progressed (among them an “old man” costume that came into its own during performances of ‘The Musical Box’), while songs from Foxtrot were marked out by some of Gabriel’s most defining on-stage characters, including Batwing (a cape accessorised with wings, adorned during Foxtrot opener ‘Watcher Of The Skies’) and a large flower-headed guise, visualising the reference to Narcissus in Foxtrot’s epic closer, ‘Supper’s Ready’.

Gabriel, Genesis live, Foxtrot

B-sides are a relatively rare commodity for progressive rock bands. They often refused to stoop to the level of those pop proletarians, issuing singles. Additionally, if they had spare song fragments lying around, they could simply incorporate them into epic side-long suites. The track ‘Supper’s Ready’, which closed Genesis‘ 1972 album Foxtrot, was a bunch of shorter songs juxtaposed into one twenty minute piece.

‘Twilight Alehouse’ was recorded during the sessions for Foxtrot, although the band had been playing it live since 1970. It eventually surfaced as the b-side to ‘I Know What I Like in Your Wardrobe’, a single from 1973’s Selling England by the Pound.

Rather than a half-baked idea, it’s a fully formed Genesis song from their prime. It would arguably have been the weakest song on Foxtrot, but only because Foxtrot is a career highlight. ‘Twilight Alehouse’ bears the trademarks from the group’s progressive era – Peter Gabriel’s husky vocals and flute, Phil Collins’ virtuoso drumming, and Tony Banks’ dominant organ. Steve Hackett’s guitar is more prominent than usual, especially in the mellow opening section, where his rhythm playing is mixed louder than usual.

Because it’s a b-side, it’s hard to find information on who wrote the lyrics, which is always an interesting question for early Genesis – Gabriel was generally the strongest lyricist, but it’s not immediately obvious who penned these words. It’s an unusual lyric, almost like a love paean to wine from an alcoholic.

The band sought a producer who could capture their improving live sound, and to that end had meetings or sessions with Paul Samwell-Smith, John Anthony and Bob Potter. None was quite the right fit so David Hitchcock, whose work with Caravan had impressed, came in, with the more outspoken engineer John Burns.

Steve Hackett was fatigued by the heavy touring schedule and still somewhat intimidated by his fellow band members’ prowess (“these guys are so good”, he’s recalled thinking).

In 2012, having just re-recorded Supper’s Ready and others for his Genesis Revisited II album, he remembers the steps towards Foxtrot more fondly. “There weren’t a lot of days off; we were a hard-working live band,” he says. “Whereas with its predecessor, Nursery Cryme, we’d taken the summer off and written and recorded together as a unit, bonding the team, this time we were on the run, in and out of the studio. I remember flying back from Italy to be in there a day or two ahead of the others, who were travelling by road, just to finish off my guitar parts on the end of Supper’s Ready.”

We generally agreed to a man that we recorded Watcher Of The Skies too fast. To my ears now it sounds like a young band desperate to get the notes right in a race to the finish. Once we’d been playing it live for a while, we relaxed into it and it sounded bigger. The version that ended up on

Genesis Live is more in-the-pocket. That rhythm is almost impossible for any band to play perfectly! It’s full of pitfalls.Yet there’s lots of weird and wonderful stuff; it’s a band at its most creatively eccentric.”

Rehearsals (and writing sessions) in a variety of locations may have coloured the album’s angles and attitudes. Hackett recounts that Foxtrot was worked up in a variety of “drab, functional” places, until they moved (without Gabriel, who added the words later) to the Una Billings School Of Dance in Shepherd’s Bush. “There were girls dancing upstairs, learning their tap-dance and what-have-you. And the sound of that, those rhythms would come down through the ceiling. We were below in what had been a refectory, so you had a counter here and a gobstopper-dispensing machine there. It was all a bit strange, and the atmosphere influenced our subsequent efforts. Much of Supper’s Ready was written in the two weeks there. With the tap-dancing upstairs, you couldn’t be too serious for long, because you’d hear them: clumpety clump clump.

Watcher Of The Skies had grown out of Banks “fooling around” with the Mellotron. “We bought one of the ex-King Crimson Mellotrons,” he notes, “and Robert Fripp insisted it was the one they’d used on In The Court Of The Crimson King. Mind you, he had three, and I’m sure he said that about all of them when he was selling them.”

Hackett too emphasises the importance of that instrument to the album. “I’d kept hammering on that we should get one, saying it’d make our story-telling abilities so much greater. It meant that the band could function as a time machine, with all these various mythologies. The idea was that all the old instruments were there within the Frankenstein that was the Mellotron. It was like an alien orchestra being beamed to you by satellite. And you need to be able to smell the dust from time to time. It had a… cold warmth. I think it’s actually the most influential keyboard instrument in the whole of rock.”

Of course Paul Whitehead’s surrealist sleeve design is as much a part of the Foxtrot “immersion” experience as that pyramid-prism is to The Dark Side Of The Moon. Gabriel certainly dived in, courageously donning his wife’s red dress and a fox-head for stage shows. “It’s interesting how the most cherished albums have the most cherished sleeves,” ponders Hackett. “I think for fans of it there was always that feeling of looking at it and thinking: I’m onto something here that other people don’t necessarily know about. One’s taste becomes tribal: these albums become important bonding elements. Where language leaves off, music begins, and you share a dream.”

Gabriel, Genesis, Foxtrot Era

This new 3 CD Re-Mastered Box Set Celebrating The Musical sounds of the so called British “UNDERGROUND” Rock Music Of 1968. featuring tracks by Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Barclay James Harvest, Julie Driscoll, Brain Auger & The Trinity, Spooky Tooth, Traffic, The Move, Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Van Der Graaf Generator, Procul Harum, Genesis, Caravan, Jeff Beck, Pretty Things, The Incredible String Band, Tomorrow.

Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of “Revolution – Underground Sounds of 1968”, a 3CD clamshell boxed set celebrating the so-called “underground” rock music 1968, a year that saw huge changes, both musical and social. 1968 was a pivotal year for creativity in British rock, beginning with some influences of psychedelia still present in work by ground-breaking artists such as Pretty Things, Tomorrow, Incredible String Band, Idle Race, Traffic and The Move, but gradually giving way to styles influenced by jazz, blues, folk and more that would eventually become termed as “progressive”, “folk-rock” and “hard” rock, all of which championed by “underground” figures of the day such as DJ John Peel on his BBC Radio One show Top Gear and by publications such as International Times and Oz.The common thread among all of these artists was an emphasis on experimentation and a desire to push the perceived boundaries of popular music. It was also a year that would see the very first record releases by bands that would go on to achieve success and influence in the 1970s such as Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Barclay James Harvest, Genesis, Status Quo, Van Der Graaf Generator and Caravan. Aside from featuring better known acts such as Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Procol Harum and Pentangle, this compilation also features lesser known acts.

Revolution Box

The common thread among all of these artists was an emphasis on experimentation and a desire to push the perceived boundaries of popular music. It was also a year that would see the very first record releases by bands that would go on to achieve success and influence in the 1970s such as Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Barclay James Harvest, Genesis, Status Quo, Van Der Graaf Generator and Caravan. Aside from featuring better known acts such as Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Procol Harum and Pentangle, this compilation also features lesser known acts that produced work of a wide breadth such as Eyes of Blue, Love Sculpture, The Action, Dantalian’s Chariot, Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera, Gun, Second Hand, The Moles and Blonde on Blonde.

This collection celebrates a creative period when rock music was evolving into something altogether more serious, moving away from the single as medium to give way to the dominance of the album. Feed your head with Revolution – Underground Sounds of 1968.

Revolution Box Set

Genesis Revelation WO AC

On January 24th, 1975, Genesis performed at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium during their Lamb Lies Down on Broadway tour. The band knew it would be their last tour with front man Peter Gabriel; the audience didn’t. Just a few months later, drummer Phil Collins took over as lead singer, making this L.A. performance surprisingly historic. This recording which includes hit single “The Carpet Crawlers,” marks the last professional recording with then vocalist Peter Gabriel.

Gabriel’s departure threatened Genesis’ very existence as a band. After all, he was more than the front man; he interpreted the band’s proggy flights of fancy in literal and visual ways. Collins, who had sung backup to that point, didn’t have the same flair, but he did have the pipes. He reluctantly became the group’s lead singer, and as Genesis gradually transitioned from artful eccentrics to more reliable pop purveyors, his natural stage presence and ability to sing complex songs while drumming made the transition a smooth one.

Setlist :

0:34 The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway 5:36 Fly On A Windshield 8:41 Broadway Melody Of 1974 10:58 Cuckoo Cocoon 13:31 In The Cage 21:12 The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging 25:48 Back In NYC 32:01 Hairless Heart 34:23 Counting Out Time 38:22 Carpet Crawlers 44:07 The Chamber Of 32 Doors 50:55 Lilywhite Lilith 53:56 The Waiting Room 1:00:10 Anyway 1:04:58 Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetist 1:08:43 The Lamia 1:15:56 Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats 1:19:10 Colony Of Slippermen 1:28:00 Ravine 1:29:38 The Light Dies Down On Broadway 1:33:16 Riding The Scree 1:37:49 In The Rapids 1:40:12 It 1:45:50 Watcher Of The Skies 1:54:35 The Musical Box

A double-album sampler of the Charisma label’s 1971-1972 output, “Charisma Disturbance” is a veritable behemoth and no mistake. Just a glance at the participating artists renders further comment all but superfluous  Genesis, Peter Hammill, the Nice, Rare Bird, Van Der Graaf Generator, and the Incredible String Band are more than mere giants of the U.K. underground of the age; they also represent peaks to which British prog has been attempting to return ever since. This album’s unstinting trawl through some of their most adventurous pages — “Return of the Giant Hogweed,” “Killer,” “Sympathy,” and so on — is simply the icing on the hyperbolic cake.

Charisma Records itself was never less than the consuming passion of one man, founder Tony Stratton Smith, but it is to his unending credit that he neither tried to mold his artists toward any single vision, nor impress upon them the need to shift more product. Several of the artists here would go on to enjoy huge success Genesis, of course, but also Lindisfarne and Clifford T Ward — but “The Money Game,” as one of the album’s highlights calls it, was never the be-all and end-all of the label’s release policy. And so 20 tracks rattle past with an idiosyncrasy and imagination that shares no common ground beyond the Mad Hatter who so aptly dominates the label design itself, and if you don’t discover at least a handful of bands to run out and discover — even all these decades after the fact — then you deserve to listen to track seven for the rest of your life. Altogether now, “Spam spam spam spam, spam spam spam spam.”

Side 1

Sinfonia Of London* Conducted By Joseph Eger Sonata Pian E Forte
John Neville -The Unanswered Question
The Nice -Intermezzo ‘Karelia Suite’
Peter Hammill -German Overalls
Side 2 –

Alan Hull -Money Game
Bell & Arc -She Belongs To Me
Monty Python -Spam Song
Lindisfarne -Lady Eleanor
Bo Hansson -Flight To The Ford
Lindisfarne- Fog On The Tyne
Side 3 –

Capability Brown -No Range
Rare Bird -Sympathy
Audience – I Had A Dream
Clifford T. Ward -Home Thoughts
Van Der Graaf Generator -Killer
Side 4-

Music From Free Creek -Getting Back To Molly
Graham Bell -Too Many People
Jo’Burg Hawk- Dark Side Of The Moon
String Driven Thing -Regent Street Incident
Genesis -Return Of The Giant Hogweed

Levin Gabriel McGuiness

Peter Gabriel has long been a favorite artist of mine.  Peter Gabriel and his band performed for a live appearance at the third Rockpalast-Festival in the Grugahalle in Essen. Gabriel a well-known name in rock music; as co-founder, he was a singer with Genesis until 1975. Then in the three years since his separation from this band, he had received good reviews on two LPs of his own, had some hits and made a successful tour through Europe and the USA. that year,

Reflecting construction worker vests, builder’s gloves and shaven heads count among some of the outer appearances of Peter Gabriel’s band. With ladders as decoration and an appearance from the middle of the audience, he is trying to make his work as a rock musician transparent. After being with the mega undertaking Genesis, Gabriel for the first time questioned everything and did some thinking for himself.

Peter Gabriel was born on February 13th, 1950, in Cobham. In 1965, he played with his friend Tony Banks in the band ‘The Garden Wall’; In order to follow his solo experiments, Peter Gabriel left Genesis in 1975, at the end of their ‘The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway’ tour. In 1976, his first solo LP ‘Peter Gabriel’ was finished.

His music videos helped inspire many to get into stop motion and his live music has always reminded me how emotional a performance can get. Here is an early performance from the german “Rockpalast” series.

Peter Gabriel – voc/piano Tony Levin – voc/bass Jerry Marotta – drums/voc Sid McGuiness – guit/voc Larry Fast – keyb Timmy Capello – keyb/sax

Setlist

2:44 On The Air 7:05 Moribund the Burgermeister 12:29 Perspective 16:39 Here Comes the Flood 20:30 White Shadow 25:23 Waiting for the Big One 33:10 Humdrum 37:10 I Don’t Remember 42:35 Solsbury Hill 47:46 Modern Love 53:30 The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

As Genesis continued the break through in the mid ’70s, Peter Gabriel abruptly stepped off the musical carousel. His decision was driven, in part, by a desire to care for his ill infant daughter. But more than that, Gabriel wanted to start anew creatively , free of the constrictions of being in a band.

“When I left Genesis, I just wanted to be out of the music business,” Gabriel has said. “I felt like I was just in the machinery. We knew what we were going to be doing in 18 months or two years ahead. I just did not enjoy that.”

Genesis did, of course become much bigger and, at least until Gabriel released a self-titled solo debut album on February. 25th, 1977, Gabriel simply vanished. He spent time with his child, and dove into a years-long studies of art, philosophy, world music and religion.

He said in 1977, “I felt that were were just at the point of breaking through to the big time. I just felt that if I’d stayed, I would have got trapped into roles that I was beginning not to enjoy – both within the band and within myself. It would have been much more difficult to let go, once we’d got some material mountain, if you like. But at that point, it didn’t make much difference. If my lifestyle had changed considerably as a result of success, it would have been more difficult for me to let go of all that and leave the band.”

“It’s a funny thing, but when I was the singer, everybody thought I created everything and wrote all of it,” said Gabriel  “Of course, when I left the band, they were way more successful without me. Everybody then assumed, ‘Ah, okay, he did nothing.’”

In truth, he’d never stopped composing. It just took a while for Gabriel to develop any patience with the business side of things again. This time, he pledged to do things differently. Even as “Peter Gabriel” made its way into stores , he was flouting industry convention even refusing, for instance, to release an advance single.

“I kept on with songwriting,” said Gabriel “I knew I wanted to do that, but I really wasn’t that interested in performing again. Then, once the songs came out, I realized that to get them done in a way I liked, I’d have to start recording again. I got back into the recording thing, and started enjoying it. And here, I’m back again.”

Musically, the nervy, lean Peter Gabriel – a Bob Ezrin production which featured King Crimsons Robert Fripp and Tony Levin; Larry Fast; and Steve Hunter of the Alice Cooper band, couldn’t have been a bolder step away from the lengthy prog excursions that had come before. “Well, I tried to do a lot of things to separate me from Genesis,” he admitted . “Sometimes you’d see people leave bands and do watered-down versions of what the band had done. I was determined not to do that. I was keen to get a new audience.” It’s a purposefully eclectic, anything-flies approach to songcraft, venturing from hard-hitting rock (“Modern Love”) to quirky art-rock (the vastly underrated “Moribund The Burgermeister”) to pastoral folk-pop (the lovely “Solsbury Hill,” which serves as a thinly veiled kiss-off to his former band) to, umm, barbershop quartet crooning (“Excuse Me”). No other Gabriel album is quite so gleefully absurd. Unfortunately, the album’s second half is tedious and overwrought, particularly the crawling blues of “Waiting For The Big One” and the thickly orchestrated “Here Comes the Flood” (which later appeared with a more subtle, stark arrangement on Robert Fripp’s 1979 album, Exposure). Overall, Car is a fascinating — if frustrating — first chapter.

Still, the album offered little in the way of narrative insight into his time away, other than the ageless “Solsbury Hill” – an autobiographical turn dealing with Gabriel’s split with Genesis. That too was part of the atmosphere of thrilling risk that surrounded this project. He was, quite simply, unbound – even lyrically. “Climbing up on Solsbury Hill/ I could see the city light/ Wind was blowing, time stood still/ Eagle flew out of the night.” Doesn’t matter if you’ve never been within 500 miles of Somerset with those 28 opening syllables, you’re right there with Gabriel, sharing in his moment of revelation. It’s the first and only time the song’s titular location is mentioned, but the mental image it invokes is burned in your mind

Part of the reason the song’s unusual time signature works is because it’s all in the guitars — that gorgeous spider web of an acoustic riff (played by Lou Reed and Alice Cooper guitarist Steve Hunter) circling the song’s perimeter and providing its pristine, immediately recognizable framework. But if the guitars are undoubtedly the blood pumping through “Solsbury Hill,” it still all stems from the beating heart of the drum thump,

The story of “Solsbury Hill”  of personal epiphany, of hard decision-making, and of breaking free — was unsurprisingly interpreted to be inspired by Gabriel’s split from his old group, and the singer-songwriter has explained, “It’s about being prepared to lose what you have for what you might get, or what you are for what you might be. It’s about letting go.” It makes sense, and it certainly enriches the song to know just why Gabriel was worried about his friends thinking he “was a nut,” for making the risky choice to leave his best-selling group to go his own way.

“I just write down images that interest me. I’ve got an idea of what I’m trying to say, but there’s one part in “Humdrum” which I wasn’t clear about. You know, the words sounded nice when written down. I bought a dictionary, and that’s got hundreds of words. All I’ve got to do now is find out how to put them in the right order.”

“In Genesis, we were all putting in material in a polished band arrangement, whereas now I’m trying, as a writer, to arrange things differently, In a group, it was a compromise. You’d hand over your idea to a band interpretation, but now if I hear some things in my head, it’s possible just to try them and see how they work.”

Foxtrot

Many Genesis fans cite 1972’s “Supper’s Ready” is the ultimate example of the band’s ambition, a sprawling 23-minute epic divided into seven sections. It namechecks figures from the bible, ancient history, greek mythology and British political life, and was once described by Peter Gabriel as “the ultimate cosmic battle for Armageddon between good and evil in which man is destroyed, but the deaths of countless thousands atone for mankind, reborn no longer as Homo Sapiens.” It’s complicated. “Supper’s Ready” is a song by the band Genesis. The original recorded version appeared on their 1972 album “Foxtrot”, and the band performed the song regularly on stage for several years. Peter Gabriel summed up “Supper’s Ready” as “a personal journey which ends up walking through scenes from Revelation in the Bible….I’ll leave it at that”. He was also quoted in the book “I know What I like”as saying that the song was influenced by an experience his wife had of sleeping in a purple room, and the nightmares it gave her. The song as been reported as the band’s “undisputed masterpiece”

So why would anyone choose to spend months making an illustrated video to accompany the song? Nathaniel Barlam knows the answer. An artist and architect based in New York City, he works for a company that specialises in designing complex façade systems for skyscrapers and other large projects, but in his spare time he play drums… and works on illustrating songs. Nathan’s video for Supper’s Ready may just be the ultimate expression of his ambition.

Nursery Cryme 1971

Genesis before touring their new album, found themselves looking once more for a drummer – and also a new guitarist. After seeing their advert in Melody Maker, Phil Collins travelled to Peter Gabriel’s parents’ house to audition for the role of drummer, snagging the gig by virtue of his playing and singing skills, and having a personality that fitted the band.

A brief stint as a four-piece followed, before the group found an advert that prospective guitarist in Steve Hackett  who had himself placed in Melody Maker, seeking a band that was “determined to drive beyond existing stagnant music forms”. Duly hired, Hackett joined the new-look Genesis on the road in early 1971, before the group settled in to record their third LP, Nursery Cryme, in August. Genesis transitional Nursery Cryme served more as a signpost for future breakthroughs than a stand-alone accomplishment. The album actually became the bands first U.K. Top 40 album, but that was only after it became clear how important the then-recent additions to the band.

They brought a wealth of new musical ideas and energy to the group, which had released two largely ignored albums before Nursery Cryme arrived on November. 12th, 1971.

“Something definitely changed when Phil joined the band,” singer Peter Gabriel has said. “He was a real drummer – something I had never been too convinced of with [previous members] Chris Stewart and John Mayhew.”

For his part, Hackett eventually found a creative spark as a guitar-playing collaborator especially with keyboardist Tony Banks. “I will say, being in the band with Steve, who is also very masterful with the guitar and could get lots of different sounds with it, the combination of the two of us produced some combinations that were kind of unusual,

Genesis circa Nursery Cryme

Genesis In Pictures: 1970-1975

If you’re of a certain vintage then you will remember Peter Gabriel’s visually stunning Sledgehammer video from his award-winning 1986 album So. You will have had your heart strings tugged by his In Your Eyes and its pitch-perfect appropriation in Cameron Crowe’s Say Anything. 

But if you are of a slightly earlier vintage, you will remember these fine musicians for an entirely different reasons. The high-seriousness of Genesis, as fronted in its heyday by Gabriel, with Collins pounding the drums. Though the band persisted well into the 80s and 90s after Gabriel’s 1975 departure, and as Collins took the lead, die-hard Genesis fans swear by its classic configuration, with its surreal concept albums and stage shows rivaling Wall-era Pink Floyd or Bowie’s Stardust phase. If you’re none too keen on later Genesis, but recall the aforementioned flamboyant productions of English prog-rock tea, then here is a treat for you.

Just above is a fully restored concert film of a 1973 performance at England’s Shepperton Studios, “perhaps,” the single best representation of Peter Gabriel-era Genesis on film.” Though the concert precedes the band’s Gabriel-era swan song—double concept album, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway—it does showcase the strongest material from their two previous records, Foxtrot and the truly excellent Selling England by the Pound. Prominently on display are the eccentricities that sharply divided critics and enamored fans: the odd time-signatures and abrupt tempo changes, virtuosic musicianship, literate, esoteric lyrics, and Gabriel’s theatrical makeup and costuming. The effect of it all is sometimes a bit like Rush in a production of Godspell, and while This is Spinal Taptook a lot of the air out of this sort of thing three decades ago, the film remains an impressive document even if the performances are hard to take entirely seriously at times.

tracklist:

“Watcher of the Skies” (8:04)
“Dancing with the Moonlit Knight” (9:02)
“I Know What I Like” (5:46)
“The Musical Box” (11:39)
“Supper’s Ready” (23:59)

The story of this film’s restoration is intriguing in its own right. The Shepperton footage was rescued by a small group who pooled resources to buy it in a New York estate sale. Since then, Youtube uploader King Lerch and his confreres have upgraded the original restoration to the HD version you see above. Read more about the impressive project here, and see a much more stripped-down Gabriel-era Genesis below in a not-so-HD television concert from 1972. And for a full history of the mercurial Genesis, be sure to check out this comprehensive 1991 documentary.

Shepperton Studios, UK: 30/31 October 1973

Watcher of the Skies (0:00)
Dancing with the Moonlit Knight (8:36)
I Know What I Like (17:40)
The Musical Box (24:00)
Supper’s Ready (37:10)

It was 40 years ago that Genesis performed in this studio and 10 years ago that I did our first transfer of this 16mm film in PAL format (720×576). The results of this effort along with the generosity at meeksgenesis, SAB for the audio work, RH for the artwork, and a host of others well documented, created a masterpiece that has been used countless times after on TV, bootlegs, “review” DVDs, and even the official Genesis boxed sets. Who would have thought that our work would go so far? Well, I am here to try to push the envelope a little further…I give you Shepperton HD.

The definition we are presented with here is amazing HD (1440×1080), and a beautifully low contrast image. If you thought it was impossible to see more detail than the DVD we created 10 years back, your eyes will feast on this. Cymbal grooves, wood grain, each string on a 12-string guitar…it’s all here. Of course in addition to even more film grain, we can see new imperfections like hairs and dust. But I noticed that most of these imperfections switch as the camera view switches, and then switch back when the angle switches back. This means is that these are as a result of the original film recording/creation/editing, and are permanently on the print I have and cannot be removed. I did “clean” some of these digitally, but this is an inexact process and I estimate I was able to remove only about 30% of these imperfections.

Because of the amazing video transfer, I felt that the audio was a not a good match in quality. This 16mm film uses “optical” audio, printed down the side of the film like waveforms. This is common for 16mm and fine for dialogue, but not good for music. And unfortunately, there is no great machine to get a better audio transfer, and no great audio source has been discovered even after all these years. So I decided to resync it. Of course there are stories before some songs that could not be redubbed, so they are there in their original form. But I estimate that I was able to achieve about a 90% match for the entire film. I used various soundboards and radio shows, switched and layered and cheated and fine tuned to get it as close as possible. Thanks to Willem for help reviewing my work and suggesting alternate audio sources, and to Dave Raphael for some amazing original artwork as well as suggestions on the film itself.