Written on January 1, 2010
First, things first. There are two completely different incarnations of Genesis as a band, and these incarnations are polar opposites of each other. When most common music fans think of Genesis, they think of Phil Collins, and they think of the 1980’s, but Genesis had a long history before Collins took the helm.
The first incarnation of the band released it’s debut album in 1969, and it was fronted by Peter Gabriel. This version of Genesis was around from 1969-1975, and after their debut they released 5 seminal progressive rock albums. (“Trespass,” “Nursery Cryme,” “Foxtrot,” “Selling England by the Pound,” and “The Lamb Lies down on Broadway”). These 5 albums played an important role in the development of early progressive rock, and they put Genesis on the map as one of the main pioneering acts from first wave of original progressive rock along with King Crimson, ELP, and Yes.
In 1975, Peter Gabriel left the band. So with Gabriel gone, but the band at the height its popularity, the remaining members needed to find a new singer. Rather than bringing in someone new, Collins took on the role of lead vocalist and drummer (session drummers would fill in on tour), and they recorded two more progressive studio albums and one live album with this line up. Then in 1977, Steve Hackett left the band, leaving just the trio of Collins, Rutherford, and Banks. They released one more album in the 70’s appropriately titled “…And, Then There Were Three.” This album’s sound was the start of Genesis’s departure from their progressive roots, and it set the stage for the much more commercial sound that Genesis would become famous for in the 80’s.
With Collins at the helm, Genesis exploded as a intelligent pop phenomenon in the 1980′s, and they released 5 more albums between 1980 and 1991. All these albums were well received by the mainstream music community, and Genesis received regular rotation on the radio and MTV.
Collins left the band in 1996, and he was replaced by Ray Wilson for Genesis’ final album “Calling all Stations” from 1997. “Calling all Stations” received mixed reviews, and it is Genesis’ last album to date (2011).
Styles and Genres
progressive rock, pop rock
Progressive Rock Band Line-Up
Peter Gabriel – lead vocals, flute, oboe, percussion
Phil Collins – drums, percussion, backing vocals
Tony Banks – piano, keyboards, backing vocals
Steve Hackett – lead guitar
Mike Rutherford – bass guitar, bass pedals, rhythm guitar, electric sitar,
80′s Pop Band Line-Up
Phil Collins – drums, percussion, vocals
Tony Banks – keyboards, bass pedals
Mike Rutherford – guitars, bass guitar
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