Genesis was an English rock band that was active as a recording entity between 1968 and 1991. During the course of their career, they progressed from being an alternately dark/whimsical, theatrically costumed cult act during the 1970s to a globally famous, royally celebrated, top-selling stadium attraction during the 1980s. Across the chronological span of the band’s first 13 studio longplayers, each new album outsold its predecessor.
Members: Tony Banks (keyboards), Mike Rutherford (bass, guitar), Peter Gabriel (vocals, flute, oboe, 1967-75, 1999), Anthony Phillips (guitar, 1967-70), Chris Stewart (drums, 1967-68), John Silver (drums, 1968-69), John Mayhew (drums, 1969-70), Phil Collins (drums, vocals, 1970-96), Steve Hackett (guitar, 1970-77)
In 1965, the five founding members of Genesis were playing in rival bands at Charterhouse School in Surrey. Singer Peter Gabriel, keyboardist Tony Banks, and drummer Chris Stewart comprised the pop trio Garden Wall. Guitarists Anthony Phillips and Mike Rutherford were in the R&B/beat group Anon with bassist Rivers Jobe, singer Richard Macphail, and drummer Rob Tyrell. School policies made it difficult for the young musicians, then aged 14/15, to pursue band activities and the two acts splintered by late 1966. Jobe later surfaced in blues-rockers Savoy Brown, playing on their 1968 album Getting to the Point.
In early 1967, Rutherford and Phillips started writing material and invited Gabriel, Banks, and Stewart along to record a demo tape of six songs: “Don’t Want You Back,” “Try a Little Sadness,” “She’s Beautiful,” “That’s Me,” “Listen on Five,” and “Patricia.” The tape was sent to Charterhouse alumnus Jonathan King, who scored a 1965 UK hit with “Everyone’s Gone to the Moon.” King secured them a one-year deal with Decca and became their producer.
The young band spent the second half of 1967 at Regent Sound Studios recording potential singles. After considering various band names (Gabriel’s Angels, Champagne Meadow) they chose Genesis at King’s suggestion. In February 1968, “The Silent Sun” (b/w “That’s Me”) was issued as their first single, followed that May by “A Winter’s Tale” (b/w “One-Eyed Hound”). That summer, Stewart was replaced by another Charterhouse pupil, John Silver.
Genesis spent August 1968 at Regent recording their debut album. The resulting From Genesis to Revelation was released on Decca in March 1969. It features “Silent Sun” plus 12 additional songs in a baroque-pop/psych vein, including “In the Wilderness,” “In Limbo,” “One Day,” “In Hiding,” “Am I Very Wrong,” “The Serpent,” and “The Conqueror.” The songs are jointly credited to Gabriel, Banks, Phillips, and Rutherford.
After the band were done recording, arranger Arthur Greenslade added strings and horns to the songs. The album was issued in a plain black sleeve with the title, but not the band name, listed on the cover. This was done at King’s insistence to avoid confusion with an American band named Genesis, which came to Decca’s attention just prior to the album’s release. Genesis subsequently parted ways with King, who retained rights to From Genesis to Revelation and reissued it numerous times over the ensuing three decades.
- From Genesis to Revelation (1969)
- Trespass (1970)
- Nursery Cryme (1971)
- Foxtrot (1972)
- Selling England by the Pound (1973)
- The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)
- A Trick of the Tail (1976)
- Wind & Wuthering (1976)
- …And Then There Were Three… (1978)
- Duke (1980)
- Abacab (1981)
- Genesis (1983)
- Invisible Touch (1986)
- We Can’t Dance (1991)
- Calling All Stations (1997)
Non-album studio sides:
- “One Eyed Hound”
- “That’s Me”
- “Happy the Man”
- “Twilight Alehouse”
- “It’s Yourself”
- “The Day the Light Went Out,” “Vancouver”
- “Evidence of Autumn”
- “Open Door”
- “Feeding the Fire”
- “Do the Neurotic”
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