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Tuesday, March 25, 2008


The world of Rock music is full of nose dives. Once mighty rockers laid low by all manner of means. The most horrific tale of complete loss of integrity, of total submission to suckdom is that of Genesis.

Genesis began as a harmless whimsical art rock group from the stuffy affluence of British suburbia, and has ended up an economic enterprise loosely associated with guitars, very loosely.

The first record, 'From Genesis to Revelation', is beyond reproach.

Made by novices, it holds up well, and is at least as good as the Moody Blues or David Bowie of the same era.

The second record, however, indicated a sea change. On 'Trespass' the music looses innocence, gains a slight threatening edge, and opens wide with a definite declaration of what we now call Prog.

The third record, 'Nursery Crime', introduces Steve Hackett and Phil Collins The tunes start to mature, and the character of the band solidifies. What that character is, and how it is defined are not easy questions, but they had developed a distinctness which would carry through subsequent releases for some time to come.

1972's 'Foxtrot' got them in the British charts (#12), and gave us their first classic, 'Supper's Ready'. While earlier efforts such as 'The Knife' and 'Musical Box' showed us the promise, 'Supper's Ready' delivers on it.

'Selling England by the Pound' is probably my favorite Genesis record. Here's where Gabriel grabs the ring. 'I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)' propelled the album to #3 (in England), but 'Cinema Show' is what it's all about.

So, your a successful Rock band, two hit records under your belt, what else do you do but self destruct? 1974's 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' was a good idea. Idea. Sometimes ideas don't come to fruition as foreseen. Let's make a double album. Let's make a concept double album. Let's use it as a springboard into America.

Gabriel says he needed more time and wasn't given it. Upon listening I'd say they all needed more time - OR - they should have made it a single record. If 'The Lamb.....' was one disc, it would have killed. There's a great record in there, it's simply weighed down by half baked ideas.

What do you do when your singer quits? Odds are that 'let the drummer sing' would not be among your immediate responses, but that's just what they did. Phil's voice is not dissimilar to Peter's, and despite a definite loss, they made good. 'A Trick of the Tail' is probably my second favorite Genesis record. Far more cohesive than 'The Lamb...', 'Trick....' finds the band falling into step remarkably well after a major shake up.

By 1977's 'Wind and Wuthering' some impetus seems to have been misplaced. Although 'All In A Mouse's Night' and 'Eleventh Earl of Mar' rank among my favorite Genesis tunes, the album is a bit.....well,...... windy and wuthery.

Although the band was very happy with the record, apparently they weren't all happy with each other. Apparently Steve felt that there was not enough Hackett making it onto the records, and off he went. The remainder spent little time mourning their loss and promptly returned to the studio to record the penultimate good Genesis record. The sadly aptly titled 'And Then There Were Three' is truly a pivotal record. It contains the swan song of the classic Genesis style (Burning Rope) as well as the prototype of what would be the new Genesis (Follow You, Follow Me).

This is where I draw the line, sort of. The successive three records, 'Duke', 'Abacab', and 'Three Sides Live' mark the decline of Genesis. The word 'boring' comes to mind. Sure they play some classics on the live record, but they don't mean it. Not really. In 1983 they put out their eponymously titled record. Again, we have a dichotomy. 'Genesis' is ground zero for sell-ou crap, BUT, there are two good songs on it. God knows why, but they decided to toss in some quality in the form of 'Mama', and 'Home By the Sea'.

The rest is such utter shit that I won't even mention any of it except to say that predictably their successive releases sold gazillions of copies.

America! What a country!

Why, oh why did you remind me of this drivel?

Lets keep the prog where it belongs-in supermarkets and elevators.
No surprise that I'm not much of a fan of most of their stuff. While studying art in England the summer of 85, my studio mate got me to listen to The Lamb and I ended up getting into it, but not much beyond that. I really can't stand Phil for all the right reasons. The one thing great about Genesis is it gave us Peter Gabriel. The rest is pretty boring.

Much better than Bjork though...
I admit it. I like the songs from those three albums AND PC's solo efforts. They are great pop songs... "In the Air Tonight", which I thought was Genesis.. (is it? I can't distinguish Genesis from the Phil Collins solo material during that era...) gets me every time..
I am neutral regarding Gabriel era Genesis... Perhaps that is why the later, poppy stuff doesn't bother me so much.
Always with the Björk slagging... I think you are smitten.
I am impressed Milkyum that you would go to such lengths to find the "o" with the umlaut in spelling her name.
HAH! I knew you would like that!
You've been tagged for Crazy 8's. You need to post 8 Things You're Passionate About, 8 Things You Want To Do Before You Die, 8 Things You Often Say, 8 Books You Read Recently (ha - I didn't do that one either), 8 Songs You Could Listen To Over And Over, 8 Things That Attract You To Your Best Friends, and a catagory of your choice. It serves you right for stealing my posting here, except I was going to write about Live instead of Genesis.
I draw the line at Duke, although I really only enjoy the longer form pieces at the beginning and the end of the record (Behind the Lines, Duchess, Guide Vocal, Duke's Travels, Duke's End).

To really enjoy the older stuff, it helps if you see the 1972 concert film they did of the Selling England by the Pound tour. Although Gabriel was by no means the primary songwriter, he brought a kooky ethereal feel to the band that was lost on TotT and WaW.

The big joke is that what the band became, chart-topping pop songsmiths, is what they wanted to be in the first place!

(milkyum - In the Air is PC solo, not Genesis)
Gee thanks Mathdude. I'll get right on it.......How about 8 things people have asked me to do that I simply refused? 8 stupid ideas? 8 stupid internet viral movements?
i've always been partial to The Lamb

i just skip the bad tracks
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