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Outside the confines of an extremely stuffy atmosphere, the world was becoming far more liberated, socially, sexually, politically, and musically, and these bands represented an outlet for young men who, basically, as young men do, wanted some of that. The two acts coalesced into one, and the students had the novel idea of placing a tape of their music into the hands of Jonathan King whilst he was visiting his alma mater.
King was, at this time, a big selling artist and musical impresario, and, consequently, someone who mattered in the rock world. He arranged for the band, with drummer Chris Stewart, to record some sessions in London, where the boys experimented with quite complex, orchestral pastiches.
Knowing that King was not happy, the band penned Silent Sun, a song which was essentially a Bee Gees tribute single. The brothers Gibb were huge commercially at this time, and King was known to be a huge fan. The resulting album in early was named "Genesis to Revelation" by King, as representing something brand new and exciting in the musical world. It barely scratched the surface of the commercial music world, and, for many a year after, copies could still be found in the bargain bin section of stores.
Following this, there was, initially, some d Following this, there was, initially, some doubt as to whether the musical careers would survive leaving school. Parental pressures were particularly acute on Rutherford, whose parents had virtually guaranteed him a scholarship with the British Foreign Office.
However, a decision was taken to further the music, and, with new drummer John Mayhew not a schoolmate in tow, the band began to gig extensively, picking up admirers in the burgeoning progressive rock scene which was bursting out in student halls across the UK. King had, by now, lost interest, but the band were lucky when, on a recommendation, Tony Stratton-Smith, a legendary Soho impresario and founder of Charisma Records, saw them live, fell in love with, particularly, a live version of what was to be later recorded as Visions of Angels, and signed them up virtually there and then.
The key to this signing was the artistic freedom afforded by the label to the band to produce the music they wanted to produce, and, crucially, the time required to build a following, something which would be next to impossible in the modern world, with its record executives generally having the attention span of the average gnat.
The first Charisma release was Trespass in late , a collection of complex songs which belied the youth and relative inexperience of the band. As strange as it may seem, the band continued to play music from this album right up to the final live shows of , with elements of Stagnation forming part of the classic instrumental medley regularly played at gigs.
Most recognise that the highlight of the work was the furiously paced, radical, revolutionary rock track The Knife, which was the album, and live show, closer. It became a hit in Belgium in , helping to propel the album to number one in the charts there. The extensive touring was, though, beginning to take a toll on Phillips, who began to suffer from acute stage fright, this becoming so bad that he made the decision to quit.
His departure was a body blow to the band, because Phillips was far more in terms of song-writing and playing one fifth of the outfit.
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Phillips would subsequently become a music teacher, and launched his own studio based solo career in , encompassing a range of musical styles. Despite the loss, the decision was taken to carry on and to replace Mayhew, who had serious musical limitations, at the same time. Steve Hackett on guitar was recruited on the back of an advert he had placed in the music newspaper Melody Maker, in which stated he wished to join "receptive musicians, determined to drive beyond existing stagnant music forms".
Phil Collins on drums attended auditions held at the rather grand Gabriel residence, and learned the songs being played to and by other auditionees whilst relaxing in an outside swimming pool. By the time his turn came, he was note perfect!
As grave as the loss of Phillips must have been, Genesis had added two exceptional musicians. Collins came to be regarded as one of the finest rock drummers in the world, and he had the added advantage of being able to provide decent backing vocals to Gabriel. On the first album released by the line-up, Nursery Cryme in , Collins sang uncredited lead vocals on the short For Absent Friends. The album did not sell particularly well in the UK, where the band were still very much a cult act, but did break big in Italy.
Belgium also continued its commercial affair with the band, and, as a result, the band toured extensively on the continent, and made several television appearances, some of which can still be viewed in varying degrees of quality, on YouTube. On the resulting tour, the stage costumes and theatrical persona of Gabriel began to take shape.
A Genesis gig at this time was becoming an event, visual as well as oral, and it is fair to say that the oral side was becoming more and more accomplished. Highly recommended for those wishing to get a flavour of the live act in this period is the initial Archive boxset release of , which has a set from The Rainbow theatre. The Lamb was incredibly adventurous, and remains a firm progressive rock favourite to this day. However, it marked the end of the "classic" line-up of the band, and the strains had begun to show even before Gabriel announced to the press in a statement that he was leaving.
Upon the news becoming public, Melody Maker printed a front cover proclaiming "The death of Genesis", but they, and the wider music community, had not reckoned with the sheer stubbornness of the remainder of the band. Auditions began for a new lead singer, including, amusingly, one Nick Lowe, who went on to become a darling of the post punk New Wave scene.
Eventually, the band decided that they already had a replacement in house in the form of their drummer. A commercial rock behemoth was born. There was, though, a chilly wind blowing. Punk was born in this period, its spittle fuelled violence spewing against all things prog, and Hackett was becoming disenchanted with the direction the band were taking musically. A subsequent interview with the band Genesis: The double album Seconds Out does, though, capture the incredible live experience of this time and line-up extremely well.
The remaining three doggedly continued, and, thus, the later period of the band started. They became huge, began to specifically write, and have, hit singles, and there is still much controversy in the progressive rock community as to the direction taken, specifically with most of the vitriol being directed at one Mr Collins, who, after the release of his debut solo album, Face Value, which included tracks rejected by the band in the rehearsals for Duke, became probably the most unlikely superstar in music in the history of unlikely superstars.
Numerous interviews with the band have demonstrated the unfairness of this vitriol. Banks is on record as stating that, although his preference musically was for the longer pieces, it was certainly extremely pleasant, not to say lucrative, to have hit singles.
All the albums of this period included recognisably progressive tracks, and some famous sprawling epics, and the live shows were careful to include such favourites for the older fans, who were now joined by persons of the female form not previously seen at a Genesis show.
Whether one loves, or hates, this and opinion is certainly still split , nobody could deny not just the success it brought, but the fact that the musicianship was still never less than superb. Many fans were also introduced to the more symphonic past of the band because of the later works, thus serving as a good introduction to the history of progressive rock. In , Collins left to concentrate on his stellar career in music, television, and films. Nick Mason, of Pink Floyd, was, though, to later remark, on being asked how bands should break up, "Genesis.
I wish we could have broken up like Genesis", i.
The resulting album, Calling All Stations, released in , did not exactly bomb, but it was, perhaps unfairly, not a critical success, and certainly did not sell anywhere near as well as its predecessor albums.
Live, they were now playing venues the size of Manchester Indoor Arena, whereas with Collins, it was venues the size of Wembley Stadium. In , Collins, Rutherford, and Banks, with Thompson and Stuermer back on board live, embarked on a hugely successful reunion tour, without any album to promote.
Quality Time with Uncle Spike (TV Movie 1987) - Plot Summary - IMDb
It proved, beyond all doubt, that there was only one line-up the wider public would flock to see. That, compilation albums and anthology interviews aside, was the last Genesis activity as this bio is written. Rumours continue to persist, however, of plans for one last reunion tour, although whether Gabriel, at the age of 67 would want to prance around the stage playing a odd year-old Puerto Rican punk is another matter.
Genesis, all iterations of Genesis, are simply essential progressive rock. It is a fair summary to state that no student of the genre could possibly ignore the history and music of this seminal act.