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Genesis (Band)

Genesis (Band)24 posts

Genesis is an English rock band formed in 1969 around school friends Peter Gabriel (vocals), Mike Rutherford (bass, guitars) and Tony Banks (keyboards). Phil Collins (drums) and Steve Hackett (lead guitar) joined in 1970, and they had success with a number of progressive rock albums through the 1970s. After Gabriel left the band in 1975, Collins took on the dual role as lead vocalist and drummer. After Hackett left in 1977 the band continued as a three piece having a number of more pop-oriented hits through the 1990s.

14 Apr, 2014

Gabriel on reunion, Hall of Fame induction


Gabriel is interviewed by Rolling Stone, about the possibility of a future Genesis reunion tour:

I never say never. It really didn’t happen last time. I think there’s a small chance, but I don’t think it’s very high.

Gabriel also discusses the recent induction of Genesis to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Getting awards is nature’s way of saying you’re getting old, so you can get a little more reflective. There are very few good things about getting old except you care less about what people think.

31 Oct, 1986

Land of Confusion

Single Release

The band release Land of Confusion, the fourth single from the album Invisible Touch. The video is directed by John Lloyd & Jim Yukichm, with the band and world leaders shown in the style of the puppets on the UK satirical political show Spitting Image. Rutherford, who writes the song’s lyrics:

That was our favorite video to make, because we didn’t have to do anything. [As well as Ronald Reagan] we also made fun of Michael Jackson, Madonna and the Pope.

Jun 1980

The Lamb movie interview


Gabriel talks about The Lamb movie to KR0Q Radio in Los Angeles:

I hope so. I spent a couple of months working with Alexander Jodorowsky, who directed El TopoTar Babies and Holy Mountain, which were not very well known, but are cult movies over here. I felt instinctively that he really understood what I was trying to articulate on that album and the story. We changed a few things, and finished the script, and handed it over to the film company who are a little reluctant to put the money up when I was dropped by the American label over here. So it’s hovering in the balance a bit, because even though there is the name of Genesis to sell the soundtrack, they also want a return from their investment on my product as well. So I’m hoping we can get things sorted otherwise we’ll look for other backers. But is is hovering in the balance at the moment.

25 Feb, 1978

Follow You, Follow Me

Music VideoSingle Release

The band release Follow You, Follow Me, from the album …And Then There Were Three. The music is written by Banks, Collins and Rutherford, with lyrics by Rutherford. Collins has described the song as a great rhythm track and claims it was not intended to be a hit single. Banks:

It was our only truly group-written number. Mike played the riff, then I started playing a chord sequence and melody line on it, which Phil then centralized around. It worked so well as a very simple thing; it was enough as it stood. I’d just written a simple love lyric for Many Too Many, and I think Mike was keen to try the same thing. Maybe Follow You Follow Me was almost too banal, but I got used to it. I think we find it much easier to write long stories than simple love songs.

Ripples music video

Music Video

The band release the video for Ripples from Trick of the Tail. Hackett:

We never did actually perform Ripples live whilst I was in the band. Ripples I thought was one of the best tracks on Trick of The Tail. I thought it had something interesting about it. Mainly, for the guitar combinations to be honest. The 12-string work, from Mike (Rutherford) and myself, and the thing that sounds like a backwards guitar solo which was played forwards but was a sign of things to come.


Single Release

Entangled Single Cover imageEntangled is released as a single in France, with Trick of the Tail on the B-side. Hackett:

It was really the psychiatrist couch. Whether you place it in a hospital or somewhere else, it was the idea of drifting in and out of consciousness. I remember when I first had the lyric ready and I showed it to Phil who was going to sing it and he said this has got a Mary Poppins feel to it … Over the Rooftops and Houses. Indeed, the whole world of Disney cartoons and the attendant music was a huge influence on Genesis. Certainly throughout the 70’s, beyond that … possibly less so for them, but then I really shouldn’t comment on what they did post Gabriel and post me…I was thinking on the lines of Crosby, Stills and Nash and I was thinking of Graham Nash’s voice. Funny enough, I’ve run into Graham a few times in recent years and very often in the same place in New York. When I think of harmony I often think of the sound of his very sweet high voice. I think if a band that has three part harmony and can have the sweet voice on the top then the sunshine can really come out of those harmonies. So I was thinking of that … working a song that was less dependent on the lead singer and more on a harmony sound. I often still take that approach myself. Entangled is a song that I’m really proud of.

20 Feb, 1976

Trick of the Tail

Music VideoSingle Release

The band release the single Trick of the Tail, their first single featuring Collins, and the first to have an accompanying video. Banks wrote the majority of the song in 1972 and it was originally intended for Foxtrot. The lyrics are inspired by the book The Inheritors by William Golding. The video features the band playing around a piano, and appearing in miniature inside the piano. Collins:

Trick of the Tail is probably the most embarrassing video I have ever been in. It was a very small me running up and down a piano. You know when you look back and think, ‘Who told me to do that? whose lapse of taste was that? Was it mine?’ I think it was a mixture of me and the director…and the other guys. Everyone must be blamed.

6 Sep, 1975

Why I Quit Genesis

Writes Article

Gabriel writes why he left the band in Melody Maker:

I had a dream, eye’s dream. Then I had another dream with the body and soul of a rock star. When it didn’t feel good I packed it in. Looking back for the musical and non-musical reasons, this is what I came up with:

OUT, ANGELS OUT – an investigation.

The vehicle we had built as a co-op to serve our songwriting became our master and had cooped us up inside the success we had wanted. It affected the attitudes and the spirit of the whole band. the music had not dried up and I still respect the other musicians, but our roles had set in hard. To get an idea through “Genesis the Big” meant shifting a lot more concrete than before. For any band, transferring the heart from idealistic enthusiasm to professionalism is a difficult operation.

I believe the use of sound and visual images can be developed to do much more than we have done. But on a large scale t needs one clear and coherent direction, which our pseudo-democratic committee system could not provide.

As an artist, I need to absorb a wide variety of experiences. It is difficult to respond to intuition and impulse within the long-term planning that the band needed. I felt I should look at/learn about/develop myself, my creative bits and pieces and pick up on a lot of work going on outside music. Even the hidden delights of vegetable growing and community living are beginning to reveal their secrets. I could not expect the band to tie in their schedules with my bondage to cabbages. The increase in money and power, if I had stayed, would have anchored me to the spotlights. It was important to me to give space to my family, which I wanted to hold together, and to liberate the daddy in me.

Although I have seen and learnt a great deal in the last seven years, I found I had begun to look at things as the famous Gabriel, despite hiding my occupation whenever possible, hitching lifts, etc. I had begun to think in business terms; very useful for an often bitten once shy musician, but treating records and audiences as money was taking me away from them. When performing, there were less shivers up and down the spine.

I believe the world has soon to go through a difficult period of changes. I’m excited by some of the areas coming through to the surface which seem to have been hidden away in people’s minds. I want to explore and be prepared to be open and flexible enough to respond, not tied in to the old hierarchy.

Much of my psyche’s ambitions as “Gabriel archetypal rock star” have been fulfilled – a lot of the ego-gratification and the need to attract young ladies, perhaps the result of frequent rejection as “Gabriel acne-struck public school boy”. However, I can still get off playing the star game once in a while.

My future within music, if it exists, will be in as many situations as possible. It’s good to see a growing number of artists breaking down the pigeonholes. This is the difference between the profitable, compartmentalized, battery chicken and the free-range. Why did the chicken cross the road anyway?

There is no animosity between myself and the band or management. The decision had been made some time ago and we have talked about our new direction. The reason why my leaving was not announced earlier was because I had been asked to delay until they had found a replacement to plug up the hole. It is not impossible that some of them might work with me on other projects.

The following guesswork has little in common with truth: Gabriel left Genesis  1) To work in theatre 2) To make more money as a solo artist 3) To do a “Bowie” 4) To do a “Ferry” 5) To do a “Furry Boa round my neck and hang myself with it” 6) To go see an institution 7) To go senile in the sticks.

16 Aug, 1975

Gabriel’s departure becomes public

Magazine Cover

Gabriel-out-of-Genesis-517x700The Melody Maker reports that Gabriel has left the band. Collins:

We were not stunned by Pete’s departure, because we had known about it for quite a while. We are going to carry on and we’ve been rehearsing for three weeks for the new album. It was Peter’s decision and I can only emphasise that we are carrying on as if nothing happened.


Supper’s Ready performance

Music Performance

The band performs Supper’s Ready from their album Foxtrot at Shepperton Studios. The filming covers two days (30- 31 October). Gabriel’s intro to the song:

Old Michael, walked past the pet shop – which was never open – into the park – which was never closed. And in the park was a very smooth, clean green grass. So Michael, took off all his clothes, and began rubbing his flesh into the wet, clean green grass. He accompanies himself with a little tune… It went like this… Beneath the ground, the dirty brown writhing things, called worms, interpreted the pitter patter from above as rainfall. Rainfall in worm-world means two things: Mating and Bathtime. Both of these experiences were found thoroughly enjoyable to the worm colony… simultaneously. And within seconds, the entire surface of the park was a mass of dirty, brown, soggy, writhing forms. He was still pleased – Old Michael, and he began whistling a tune this time, to accompany himself. It went like this:…Jerusalem Boogie to us perhaps, but to the birds it meant THE SUPPER IS READY!

10 Jan, 1973

Bataclan concert

InterviewMusic Performance

The band are filmed before and during their performance at the Bataclan theater in Paris. The film shows excerpts of The Return of The Giant Hogweed, The KnifeSupper’s Ready. On The Musical Box Gabriel wears a fox head and red dress (in later tours he will use an old-man mask).

Int: When did you start to develop the theatrical side of your music?

PG: I think it came naturally… I had started to do a bit of mime and it increased with the music…and this last year it became more exaggerated than it was before…

Int: Who do you think you imitate the best ?

PG: Alice Cooper, I spent six months in the US to imitate him… and I watched 17 films of him on stage, just to copy his movements almost exactly… and David Bowie, I’ve been living with him for the last three years, which allowed me to understand a lot of his technique…

Int: But you’re the only one (in the band) to be theatrical…

PG: Of course, they’re all busy with their instruments…

TB: He’s singing, but there are a lot of moments where he doesn’t and so he must do something to get paid as much as the others…

Int: And you’ve never been tempted to act like him ? … it seems to me that Peter is the pop star, as if the others only play as a support band…

PG: No, Tony is having tap dancing lessons and next time we play in France he will do five minutes of tap dancing… and Steve does some numbers by Maurice Chevalier…

MR: The point to remember is that the theatrical side always enhances the music rather than the music…

Oct 1972


Album Release

genesis-foxtrot-front-1972The band release their fourth studio album, Foxtrot, with the same lineup as Nursery Cryme. The album includes Watcher of The Skies, Get ‘Em Out By Friday, TimeTable, Horizons and the 23-minute long Supper’s Ready, the band’s longest track. Gabriel sings all songs except Horizons, which is an instrumental piece for guitar, written and performed by Hackett. The album is produced by the band with Dave Hitchcock as co-producer, and John Burns as engineer. The sleeve is once again designed by Anthony Whitehead.

18 Apr, 1972

Piper Club performance

Music Performance

The band appears on Italian TV, performing Happy The Man at the Piper Club in Rome. Rutherford:

We like audiences that sit down and listen to the music rather than get drunk and pic up girls … We like audiences that sit down and listen to us.

12 Nov, 1971

Nursery Cryme

Album Release

NurseryCryme Genesis Cover 1971The band release their third studio album, Nursery Cryme. The album includes The Musical Box, The Fountain of Salmacis, and Return of The Giant Hogweed. This is the first album with Collins and Hackett. Gabriel sings all songs except For Absent Friends, which is written by Hackett, and sung by Collins. The album is produced by John Anthony and engineered by David Hentschel. The sleeve is designed by Anthony Whitehead, based on the characters in the songs. Banks:

Nursery Cryme was the album that incorporated Phil and Steve into the band, so we became, for that reason, a better playing unit than we’d benn in the past. And we’d also by this time, played quite a liot on stage, so the development from Trespass was quite a big one. And we had the Mellotron was a new instrument, and a certain quality of the early-Genesis sound was started with this album.


I was thrilled with it. The rough edges at that time I refused to hear. I just wanted to bask in the glory. I’d done an album with what was destined to become a great band, and occasionally the sound was wonderful.


It was a real great five-piece working uni. We all got together for the meetings for the cover, we were there all the time for the mixing. Pretty much we were all involved in the writing, apart from the lyrics. Certain songs would have pairs going off to write lyrics. I have very fond memories of the period.


A step into the shade, if you like.  There’s more sunshining in Trespass, more folky feels, and outside stuff. And we’d gone indoors in Nursery Cryme.


It’s a good example of how we were moving on…I like the cover Quite a strong image of the girl and the croquet lawn., and the head. We were starting to create an atmosphere about the band. Slightly quirky. I felt we were starting to become something that was a little bit unique in the music business.

12 Dec, 1970

Hackett joins Genesis

Joins Band

Steve Hackett Melody Maker adHackett places a classified in Melody Maker seeking work with musicians who were “determined to strive beyond existing stagnant music forms”. Gabriel sees the ad and both he and Banks travel to Churchill Gardens, Pimlico, London, where they audition him. Hackett’s brother John accompanies him on the flute. Hackett joins the band a few weeks later.

I remember [Phil] saying on the very first day that I met him and we were going to be working together he said we’re bound to influence each other. I thought it really hadn’t occurred to me because I’d never worked in a band context before. It was a very different proposition working with a band that is often very competitive with each other. But we managed to cooperate sufficiently to come up with a great bunch of songs between us all… When I first joined the band it was on the premises that if you wrote a guitar part you were already part of the writing team, so I joined as a full writer from the word ‘go’ and I think it was a very healthy way to run a band. You keep everyone happy and everyone is going to end up being on an economic equilibrium. That struck me as a very good way to keep a band together and get the best out of everybody. If you just feel like you’re a hired gun you’re not necessarily going to give the best of yourself.

What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about Genesis (Band), created by Newslines' contributors. Help us grow it by finding and summarising news. Learn more