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September 10, 2008 5:47 PM   Subscribe

Genesis used to be good Old footage posted to YouTube (SLYT)

The singer is Peter Gabriel. Long-haired drummer: Phil Collins. Tony Banks (keyboards) is the heart of Genesis. Steve Hackett is missed. Mike Rutherford also.
posted by Turtles all the way down (58 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
I guess I don't know what's good anymore.
posted by pullayup at 5:50 PM on September 10, 2008


I actually liked 'Abacab' and 'Man On The Corner' better than any of the Gabriel era stuff, but I'm weird.
posted by jonmc at 5:55 PM on September 10, 2008


Okay, I confess. I was actually watching a bunch of "Shapes"-era videos on Youtube last week. I mean, "That's All?" "Mama?" It's pretty good stuff,* if you can forget what a douchenozzle Phil Collins turned out to be.

*"Illegal Alien," not so much.
posted by Rangeboy at 5:59 PM on September 10, 2008


Here's a great version of "Blood on the Rooftops"
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:01 PM on September 10, 2008


wow, i wish i was amazed by the video, but what i'm really amazed at is the amount of free time this person had to do this
posted by SJLaw at 6:03 PM on September 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


A great version of "For Absent Friends".
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:05 PM on September 10, 2008


My stepfather went to uni with these guys in England, so I grew up with their music. When I first heard them Phil Collins was singing about how he couldn't dance, and sorry to say that the music didn't really light any fires of excitement.
Then one day my stepfather called me in to show me a part of a live performance he was watching.

I still won't forgive Phil for a lot of the shit he's heaped on the world in recent years, but damn, the guy can drum.
posted by mannequito at 6:15 PM on September 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


mannequito: Agreed (forgive my intrusive presence in this thread)

Early Genesis for me has always been my magical entry into the Perfect World. I bemoan their post-ABACAB evolution. But they left all this music behind: witness the main link where they're all insanely talented teenagers. I love this tribute, from my favourite, Wind and Wuthering.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:20 PM on September 10, 2008


I bemoan their post-ABACAB evolution.

Really? Because they didn't completely abandon their prog roots until Invisible Touch. What about Home By the Sea?
posted by Rangeboy at 6:27 PM on September 10, 2008


I saw that Genesis was good. But then there was evening and there was morning and they sucked.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:30 PM on September 10, 2008


I was there and lived thru all of it and I still dont understand just what it was about the 80s that made everyone suck so bad.

For instance...

Stevie turned to shit in the 80s.

Lionel went from Commodore awesomeness to pastel AT&T commercial balladry.

These guys split into Phil Collins sucking on his own and Mike & The Mechanics foisting utter horseshit on us all.

Hell, even Peter Gabriel wasnt immune (Sacred Cow Alert) : Now, dont get me wrong, I think alot of his stuff is genius but there is no way you can keep a straight face and defend Adult Contemporary nonsense like "Sledgehammer" or "Big Time" to me. Claymation or no claymation, those songs were so unremarkably Mid 80s Winwood-level Bad that they may have been the cause of lameness in others. Pete was in to get paid and that's it. Which is understandable I suppose, when you have to be able to pay African fellows to play indigenous instruments made of gourds and shit to mask tepid songwriting. And that goes double for Paul Simon and his overrated minivan wank Graceland. But alas, I could rant about the Great World Music Boom of the Late 80s all night long.

Having had my rant, can someone give me a good starting point album for the good Genesis? Ive only heard bits and youtubes and am intrigued.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:33 PM on September 10, 2008 [8 favorites]


there is no way you can keep a straight face and defend Adult Contemporary nonsense like "Sledgehammer" or "Big Time" to me

Word, Senor. MeMail me for the gold.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:37 PM on September 10, 2008


Sweet! I was crrrazy about Genesis (and lots of other prog rock) when I was in high school. Other kids were listening to Nirvana and Pearl Jam, but prog was the stuff for me. I have long been bitter about the way Phil Collins turned Genesis into a lame pop band (anything post-Trick of The Tail is of little interest to me), but he is indeed a very good drummer. See also Brand X. Additionally, I think Phil has built a career around ripping off Peter Gabriel's vocal style. That said, I recently heard an episode of This American Life, "Break Up," that features two phone conversations between Phil and Starlee Kine. He gives her pointers on how to write an good break-up song, and comes off as friendly, unpretentious and totally likable. He's no Peter Gabriel, but he's alright.

On preview: Adult Contemporary nonsense like "Sledgehammer" or "Big Time"

Blasphemer!
posted by apis mellifera at 6:43 PM on September 10, 2008


You can have my copies of Abacab, Duke, and the s/t when you pry them from my cold dead fingers, prog purists!
posted by escabeche at 6:56 PM on September 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Adult Contemporary nonsense like "Sledgehammer" or "Big Time"

Dude, Big Time inspired the development of funk fingers, which are chopped off drumsticks used to hammer on the bass strings. Tony Levin dude, Tony Levin!
posted by furtive at 6:56 PM on September 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


Senor: Havng had my rant, can someone give me a good starting point album for the good Genesis? Ive only heard bits and youtubes and am intrigued.

I would start with Selling England by the Pound
posted by rakish_yet_centered at 7:03 PM on September 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


Not only is Phil Collins awesome, but he even mocks normal people by playing the drums with them all backwards.....

I get torn over him, too. He is a superb musician, but needs to be shot for so many reasons - not least Buster and the soundtrack - but then again you see stuff like the drum duel linked to above and I go all "holy fuck: again. He looks so effortless and relaxed, yet plays so brilliantly.

As for the original link, it all smacks of the same thing as Van Der Graaf Generator and Peter Hamill, to me. I'm sure it is very good music, but it sounds like a bunch of old, drugged up, twats to me. It's the prog rock version of Ronnie James Dio getting a little bit too 'goblins and wizards' but in musical form rather than lyrics. I can't get into it at all, despite knowing how good the musicians are - I just can't see past the pretentious self-abuse sound. Even though doubtless that inference has probably been more likely absorbed by watching imitators attempting to recreate that sort of genuine, pioneering, musical styles and being such pricks while doing it. Kind of contaminating the original through only hearing the weak pretenders first.

I suspect people hate The Locomotion because of Kylie when they heard it, thinking it was an original. Not quite the same thing, but I thought I'd throw that in to make people sit up a bit.

As a Phil Collins aside, I was noting that he spends a lot of the time drumming while looking over at Chester, and I kept waiting for some sort of acknowledgment or sign of mutual enjoyment at the music. Then I remembered a documentary that may not have made it to the US - Phil Collins was doing some prep for a concert that involved him playing with a load of classical musicians. I don't remember what for, now, but it showed them practicing and he was a prick to them. All tantrums and snottiness. Now, I'm sure the editing was less than flattering, as these things tend to be, but that memory made me wonder if part of the reason he looked over to Chester so much was that he was checking he didn't screw up. I hope I am just being cynical for thinking that. Especially as I reckon Chester could beat the crap out of that baldy dwarf in a fight. Chester's a big fella.
posted by Brockles at 7:05 PM on September 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sweet! Genesis fan fight! Almost as much fun as a Joel vs Mike fight. As far as my loyalties, I still have all the PG era stuff on LP.

Senor Cardgage, my advice is to start with Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and work yourself backwards. Alternately, look at Peter Gabriel's first three albums, starting with Security (and again, work backwards).
posted by volition at 7:07 PM on September 10, 2008


Play Sussudio!
posted by ND¢ at 7:07 PM on September 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Seconding "Selling England by the Pound". If you don't like that, then you're not gonna like anything else of the Gabriel-era.

But if you do, then move on to "Foxtrot," "Nursery Cryme," and "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway." All are really good.
posted by Ike_Arumba at 7:09 PM on September 10, 2008


Thanks for all the suggestions gents.
Im goin to the record store tomorrow and hope to be able to break these in on vinyl, if possible.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 7:11 PM on September 10, 2008


1. Peter Gabriel was just dreamy cute back then!
2. Phil Collins had hair!
3. Tony Banks was always a pretentious prig!
5. Steve Hackett & Mike Rutheford have the worst stage presence of, like, anyone!
6. Watcher of the Skies on "Live", FTW.

Genesis ceased to exist when Gabriel left, for me.

I'm also not so big on Sledgehammer -- it's an infectious ditty, but it's sure no Biko. Solo albums III & Security, however, were game-changing. It's too bad about the crap production on II because it has some outstanding songs, but the mix -- bleargh. To its credit, I think the first time I had a "Tony Levin Moment" was White Shadow. I also was blown away by the lead-out track-to-infinity at the end of that song. If your turntable didn't pick up automatically, the synth drone at the end would play forever. You can't do that with CD's. (I sure wish someone would REALLY re-mix that album.)

Let me add that anyone who disparages Graceland has a heart that's two sizes too small.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:12 PM on September 10, 2008


Again, apologies for posting in my own thread. But DON'T start with The Lamb. It is foreign-sounding and a turnoff for uninitiated ears. It is great, and my favourite, but Genesis is all about beautiful melodies, well played. The tempo changes, and frequent theme changes, in long Genesis songs can be off-putting. I think Selling England By The Pound, or A Trick of the Tail are nice starting points. From there, delve into the back catalogue: Foxtrot, Trespass and Nursery Cryme are wonderful. When Peter Gabriel left, it was a loss, but you still have the excellent Wind and Wuthering (the most romantic, atmospheric album) and And Then There Were Three, also great. Apologies to those who've posted loving the subsequent records, but that's not my bag, because it doesn't take me to the magical place. Respect nonetheless.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 7:24 PM on September 10, 2008


"Sledgehammer" or "Big Time" to me. Claymation or no claymation, those songs were so unremarkably Mid 80s Winwood-level Bad that they may have been the cause of lameness in others. Pete was in to get paid and that's it.

Maybe.

I don't think a lot of people get that after you've proven to yourself and others that you can cut against the popular grain and make "art", you're inevitably going to be looking for new challenges. Some of those challenges might be new art, but whether or not you can really write for whatever the current pop idiom is has got to be one of them... and sure, you can talk yourself into believing that the reason you can't is that you're just about a higher level of the art, but if you've got the performers/artists itch, I rather suspect that's gonna be inadequate eventually. Not to mention the very real pressures to get paid or find something else where you can.

This isn't to say there's no such thing as a hack, or that good artists are immune to criticism about temporary hack-hood. Just that I don't think making a go at pop is a sufficient requirement.

But then again, I like Sledgehammer and Big Time and even some Steve Windwood. YMMV.
posted by weston at 7:25 PM on September 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


So was the last Peter Gabriel album I liked. Yeah it wasn't up to his previous work either solo or with Genesis, but it had a few things going for it. One was that it was my introduction to Youssou N'dour, whom I've seen live several times since seeing him open for Peter Gabriel on the So tour. Then there's the song with Kate Bush on it, which I liked, and my girlfriend at the time really liked.

There's more to music than just the performance, there's also the emotional attachment related to one's experience. When I listen to So it triggers a lot of emotional memories, good and bad, because of what I was experiencing at the time it came out. It was a time when things were very raw for me. A huge amount of change and frustration, and So was a part of the soundtrack. If we leave out our emotional attachment to music, and refer only to the clinical, then I think we've lost a lot of the point of music in the first place.

Plus, holy crap, TONY LEVIN KICKS ASS!

heh.
posted by Eekacat at 7:26 PM on September 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


each album was a little better than the previous right up to their masterpiece the Lamb. They were strangely consistent. I stopped listening after Trick of the Tail, which was just after Gabriel left.

Start with Selling England and save the Lamb until later.
posted by bhnyc at 7:32 PM on September 10, 2008


Big Time and Sledgehammer maybe have been pop songs but the rest of the album is amazing. Mercy Street, That Voice Again, Red Rain, Don't give up, We do what we're told, In Your Eyes. C'mon!

If they ever come back to the states, I highly recommend the Genesis tribute band Musical Box . I only saw them once when they came to NYC about 15 years ago but it is still one of the most amazing concerts I have experienced.
posted by any major dude at 7:40 PM on September 10, 2008


I saw Musical Box twice: their Lamb show and I think their Foxtrot show, I forget, but I too highly recommend them. I was struck by the audience at the shows, each pair of seats were filled by a guy of a certain age, totally into the music, next to a really bored girlfriend. Also, hearing the Lamb for the first time in 20 years, I was struck how it resembled what the Grateful Dead were doing in 1975. Masterpiece, yes, but very sad.
posted by rakish_yet_centered at 7:53 PM on September 10, 2008


You can have my copies of Abacab, Duke, and the s/t when you pry them from my cold dead fingers, prog purists!

TESTIFY, comrade!

...Okay, I'm actually all over the Genesis/Gabriel/Collins/et al map in truth, because the first introduction I had to ANY of the damn guys was buying the '45 of "That's All" at the age of 13. Then I got the "shapes" album, and little white-bread me's mind was blown. Then I got more FULLY into the teen-girl pop-fan experience and ate up "No Jacket Required" with a damn spoon (to this day, "Sussudio" has a nostalgic hit for me like Proust's madeline).

But it was going to be another 3 years before the next Genesis album came out, so I started working backwards. I got Phil's "Hello, I Must Be Going" and then "Face Value". By this time I was starting to graduate away from pure pop and so some of the things on "face Value" made me say "...interesting." And then I got "Abacab" and things like "Man on the Corner" again made me say, "INteresting...." and then DUKE blew my mind. And then "And Then There Were Three" had some things that I thought were a little weird but others not so much. And then "Wind and Wuthering" sucked me in (I must have listened to "Blood on the Rooftops" about 23 times in a row once). And then I completely fell for "Ripples" on "A Trick of the Tail."

By then, SO had come out. I hadn't heard any Gabriel-era Genesis yet, so SO was really different from Genesis and I loved it for different reasons (my mother also really got into it, as I got that and GRACELAND at the same time and she dug through the basement to find her old copy of the MISSA LUBA she'd had in college and she and I went through a whole World Music phase together then, when I was sixteen). So I then started listening back through HIS albums. Loved"Solsbury Hill", loved "Biko," didn't know what to think of "DIY." Heard a couple Gabriel-era Genesis songs, but they weren't anything like the Gabriel I'd come to know so I kind of backed away.

But -- by now, it was time for the new Genesis album to come out! Huzzah! At last! I ran to the record store, purchased "Invisible Touch," brought it home, and...

...and thought, "...ew." The pop stuff had proved a gateway to their older and more progressive stuff, and had worked so well in that regard that their newer stuff just no longer appealed to me. A couple songs here and there were okay, but...not like the stuff on DUKE.

So I now have a very, very narrow window of Genesis fandom, a narrower window of Collins fandom and then a Gabriel window after that. So I'm kind of all over the map.

Plus also verbose. Wow.

There's more to music than just the performance, there's also the emotional attachment related to one's experience. When I listen to So it triggers a lot of emotional memories, good and bad, because of what I was experiencing at the time it came out. It was a time when things were very raw for me. A huge amount of change and frustration, and So was a part of the soundtrack. If we leave out our emotional attachment to music, and refer only to the clinical, then I think we've lost a lot of the point of music in the first place.

For me it's "Us." I remain convinced that everyone going through a breakup should just be issued a copy on general principle.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:56 PM on September 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


I'm a huge Gabriel nerd, and I don't like Sledgehammer. I adore almost all his other solo work (everything except most of Big Blue Ball), including Big Time, but I can't get behind Sledgehammer, so don't worry about any sacred cow anything.
posted by mkb at 7:56 PM on September 10, 2008


each pair of seats were filled by a guy of a certain age, totally into the music, next to a really bored girlfriend

I am crying inside from the truth of that statement. Why does something that moves me brand me as a geek? Never mind, henceforth I'll be quiet.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 7:57 PM on September 10, 2008


> I was there and lived thru all of it and I still dont understand just what it was about the 80s that made everyone suck so bad.

Synthesizers and/or shitty production. For every guy like Prince who knew how to make the most of the '80s sound, you had 100 who thought you could just replace the horn section with a synthesizer and the drum kit with a drum machine and call it a day. And there seemed to be this misguided school of thought that everything had to sound as "clean" as possible, ignoring the fact that a lot of rock, r&b and jazz benefited greatly from a little bit of analog murk.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:13 PM on September 10, 2008


Sledgehammer is an awful song, but he has a lot of truly great songs, like In Your Eyes, Shaking the Tree, Biko, Don't Give Up, and many others.

Up is really a great album, It took a while for me to get into it, but I really love "Growing Up", "Signal to Noise", and "Sky Blue". Unfortunately "Barry Williams Show" is another Sledgehammer.
posted by mike3k at 8:30 PM on September 10, 2008


(peers around sheepishly) ok, i've seen Genesis (post peter) about 5 times (first time was a monster show at RFK with Elvis, Blondie, the late great Robert Hazard, maybe Flock of Seagulls?), phil solo a few times (pretentious, but he can play a crowd as well as he can play drums) and peter a number of times (including the make-up wearing 'security' tour, which was a transcendent experience- tony levin playing to the crowd in rochester {eastman grad} was a joy). all great shows, except the crap tour with illegal alien.
i've never been able to describe why i love lamb or volcano so much - maybe they bring out the air drummer in me. great post, lots of good memories.
why no love for Daryl? i seem to recall he matched mike note for note and more... and of course Chester was always the best musician on stage.
posted by TomSophieIvy at 9:20 PM on September 10, 2008


All tantrums and snottiness. Now, I'm sure the editing was less than flattering, as these things tend to be, but that memory made me wonder if part of the reason he looked over to Chester so much was that he was checking he didn't screw up.

If you read this 1987 interview taken from Drums and Drumming it's fairly obvious they respect each other and get on pretty well. It also says the double solos were developed from the two of them jamming with a tape machine, listening back, and keeping what worked. I doubt Chester is going to screw up a piece in which half the material is basically his.
posted by Wolof at 9:43 PM on September 10, 2008


Genesis is my favorite band of all time, bar none, no question. I like everything up to (but not really including) I Can't Dance -- the 80s stuff was different, yes, but a lot of it was still quite prog (Home By The Sea, Domino, and half the stuff on Abacab comes to mind), and what wasn't was great 80s pop. I'd say that their overall best album was Selling England By the Pound, but there are moments in the 80s (did I mention Home By The Sea? I did? Home By The Sea? All right, then!) which match the sacred Gabriel Years, at least to my ears.

Those who like the proggish side of their 80s sound ought to seek out Tony Banks' solo stuff, especially The Fugitive. Boy, is that a great album to be depressed and twee to!
posted by vorfeed at 9:55 PM on September 10, 2008


I still dont understand just what it was about the 80s that made everyone suck so bad.

Coke?

But for me, "I've been a big Genesis fan ever since the release of their 1980 album, Duke."
posted by IvoShandor at 10:06 PM on September 10, 2008


I used to blame Phil Collins for what happened to Genesis, but it doesn't stand up to scrutiny. He took over lead vocals in 1975; Genesis didn't suck until Invisible Touch in 1986. Phil Collins didn't play for Yes, Rush, ZZ Top, Van Halen, Foreigner, Heart, ELP, or any of the other 70s AOR acts that were also ruined without his help.

It was the decade, or rather the half-decade, 1984-1988, that killed off interesting music on commercial radio. Maybe it's petulant to resent the artists and tropes that took over like an invasive plant: Madonna, the DX7, noise-gated drums, stabs of synth brass, wailing sax, gospel backup vocals (e.g. Steve Winwood's "Higher Love"). Much like melisma and Autotune have taken over now.

But what happened to the prog, proggish, or solid rock and roll acts some of us knew and loved... just compare the (60s/)70s and 80s:

Yes: Roundabout - Big Generator
Rush: Free Will - Time Stand Still
Genesis - Supper's Ready - We Can't Dance
Foreigner - Feels like the First Time - Been Waiting for a Girl Like You
ELP - Karn Evil 9 Impression 1b stroke 2 - Touch and Go
Heart - Love Alive - How Can I Get You Alone (shudder)
Eric Clapton - After Midnight - After Midnight
Boston - Foreplay - Cool the Engines

And what we got in their place: GTR. Asia. The Firm.

Anyway. Yes, Genesis used to be good, but that includes Abacab and Duke, and even their 1983 album had its moments, so it ain't Phil's fault.
posted by kurumi at 10:19 PM on September 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was 14 years old when their Foxtrot album was released. A friend and I hitch-hiked to Cleveland to see them. We stayed with a friend who lived there and were listening to the local rock radio station the morning of the concert. The show interviewed Phil Collins, and I think Steve Hackett. We were sitting there listening to the interview when the guy who owned the apartment said matter-of-factly that the radio station was a few blocks away. We jumped up and ran the three blocks in what seemed like a couple of minutes. Just as we arrived, out walks Phil and a few other guys. We stopped them and asked for autographs and he was happy to do it. He took his time and didn't seem put out at all. I was surprised that he was so short, and as I remember correctly, he was fairly bald back then.

We were teenage runaway hippies, and that meant we had no money. We had to go the concert that night and we had two choices: sell our blood at $5 a pint (tickets were $8, believe it or not) or steal it. My friend came up with the idea of making fake blotter acid and we sold it for the going rate of $2 per, outside the concert hall. When we had enough cash, we bought tickets from a scalper and we were in.

We didn't have any real drugs and we figured it would be nice to have something inside us, so I hung around inside one of the restrooms and waited. Sure enough, some dude was in one of the stalls selling weed. He had maybe a pound in there and was selling it by the ounce for $20. After one of his customers left, I burst into the stall. "I'm gonna have to take this," I said to him, and grabbed the baggie and waited to see what he was going to do. "Don't be an asshole, man!" He said to me. I told him I was sorry, and that I had to take it. He shook his head and sat down on the toilet.

When the concert started, we were pretty high. The lights dimmed, and then went out completely. The only thing you could see was a few tiny red lights from the amplifiers, and dim white light above the keyboard on the Wurlitzer. The crowd was quiet. Then Tony Banks started tapping away Watcher of the Skies, and it was one of the eeriest feelings I had ever had. I don't remember much of the rest of the concert except one song where Peter Gabriel crawled out of the urethra of a giant inflatable penis. They finished the concert and came back for an encore playing Musical Box.

We took a city bus back home after the concert, but a few minutes into our ride, we passed a hotel with a dozen or more limousines in front and people milling all around. We figured that must be where they were staying so we signaled the bus to stop and got off. The lobby was crowded with people in suits and scores of the most stunning women I've ever seen together in one place. We wandered around and I was surprised no one threw us out. I was dressed in holey jeans and the uniform of the time, a suede fringe coat just like the one Dennis Hopper wore in Easy Rider. Then, a limo pulled up under the portico and Peter Gabriel, Mike Rutherford, and a couple other guys got out, walked quickly through the lobby, and got into the elevator. They said nothing and no one spoke to them. Without thinking, I matched their pace, walked right up behind them and followed them right into the elevator. The doors closed and no one stopped me. One of them pushed the button for the 6th floor. Gabriel was still wearing his makeup and, just the opposite of Phil Collins, was a rather large man. In his black tights, dancing on stage, he appears to be thin and slightly feminine. But standing next to him in the elevator, he was just the opposite. He was muscular, tall and anything but feminine, even with his makeup.

Rutherford just stared down at the floor, and the other two unknowns looked straight ahead. I said to Gabriel, "Nice concert."

He said, "Thanks."

I was trying to come up with something to say. I remembered the bag of weed in by coat pocket. "Want to party?" I asked him.

He looked at me and said, "No."

I nodded my head, the elevator slowed and beeped, and at the 6th floor, the doors opened and everyone exited. I stayed inside the elevator and rode it back down to the lobby.

That was probably the best concert I've been to.
posted by sluglicker at 11:22 PM on September 10, 2008 [17 favorites]


That was an awesome story sluglicker, so forgive me for saying this but between the fake acid thing and gankin that dudes stash, you were kind of a dick as a 14-year old. :P
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:40 PM on September 10, 2008


you were kind of a dick as a 14-year old

Yes, I was. I'm not proud of it.
posted by sluglicker at 11:53 PM on September 10, 2008


When I was 14, other people stole my drugs, not vice versa. Your story was all kinds of awesome, sluglicker.

Genesis and its members, not so much.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:34 AM on September 11, 2008


Nothing drags more than prog rockers toodling away. When a band like Genesis finally finds a hook (like "The carpet crawlers heed their callers: We've got to get in to get out...") it's like the clouds clearing. Peter Gabriel learned how to write songs after he left Genesis.

But about that first video: just babies! Did their mothers know where they were?
posted by pracowity at 4:02 AM on September 11, 2008


mannequito: "My stepfather went to uni with these guys in England"

I'd query your stepfather a little harder on this... None of the guys from Genesis went to University.
posted by benzo8 at 5:16 AM on September 11, 2008


People fuck this up all the time. Genesis is not defined by the presence or absence of Peter Gabriel, but rather Steve Hackett.
posted by Eideteker at 5:32 AM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'd query your stepfather a little harder on this... None of the guys from Genesis went to University.

Most of them, though, were at Charterhouse together. Maybe he's an Old Carthusian or happened to be around that lot when they were. Or maybe he meant that he ran into them when he was at uni and they were a new band still at, or just out of, Charterhouse.

Or maybe he was, you know, pulling his stepson's leg.
posted by pracowity at 5:35 AM on September 11, 2008


Big fan of the prog era Genesis. I agree with the consensus on where to start: Selling England by the Pound. But Foxtrot contains "Supper's Ready" which is arguably the finest epic of the prog era. YMMV, but for me this is the most emotional studio performance of Gabriel's career.
posted by Ber at 6:02 AM on September 11, 2008


I have nothing much to add to this thread (yes, start with Selling England by the Pound) but I wish to stand up and be counted as a long time adorer of the general Genesis oeuvre, up to and including Duke, which I still think is the best break up album of all time, bar none.
posted by mygothlaundry at 6:31 AM on September 11, 2008


I would END with "Selling England by the Pound" ... title sort of sums it up for me ... :)

Now get off my lawn ("Me? I'm a just a lawnmower, you can tell me by the way I walk...") because "Supper's Ready!"
posted by aldus_manutius at 6:35 AM on September 11, 2008


You want to hate on somebody in Genesis for the pop stuff, blame Mike Rutherford and not Phil. "Invisible Touch", for example, is based on Mike's riff. "No Reply At All" has Mike's fingerprints on it too, despite the horns Phil brought in. Mike's bass line is tremendous on "No Reply", though. Dig around in Phil's solo albums and you will find some serious swinging going on (e.g. "The West Side", "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning"), but Mike's solo material doesn't have much to recommend it except when he stumbles onto a nice hook ("Par Avion", "Every Road").

I love the early Genesis, but Peter was right to leave when he did - you can only do so many songs about unifauns and hogweed before you start plagiarizing yourself. And that in turn pushed the band forward, Phil in particular. If it hadn't been Phil taking over the lead singer, there would have been some forgettable vocalist trying to get his head around Tony Banks' lyrics. Imagine a Ray Wilson type coming aboard in 1975 instead of 1997 and you'll get the idea. I do like Tony in judicious doses, but left to his own devices he's off to tweesville in a flash.

Phil coming forward did mean Steve Hackett got squeezed out, and if the band ever does do that full reunion they should start with the 3-man version of the band, then bring on Steve for the 4-man version so we can FINALLY hear "Blood on the Rooftops" live, then bring on Pete for all the juicy old bits. Talk about multiple fangasms...
posted by knockatize at 7:01 AM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Cardgage asked:
"I was there and lived thru all of it and I still dont understand just what it was about the 80s that made everyone suck so bad."

Money.

Every last one of 'em sold out as soon as they could.
posted by batmonkey at 7:08 AM on September 11, 2008


Don't forget age (growing up or getting old, depending on your point of view). If you're talking about Genesis, you've got teenagers in the late 1960s and 30-year-olds in the early 1980s. Between those ages, lots of stuff happens: girlfriends, wives, kids, mistresses, groupies, divorces, remarriages, remortgages, pork bellies, pot bellies, balling, balding, bowling, etc.
posted by pracowity at 7:47 AM on September 11, 2008


I fuckign hate Prog Rock, but I will love Nursery Crimes and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway until the day I die.
posted by shmegegge at 8:04 AM on September 11, 2008


Yes: Roundabout - Big Generator

Again, I don't get this. I'm a fan of classic Yes, in particular Close to the Edge, but I have zero problems with either the single or album Big Generator.
posted by weston at 8:44 AM on September 11, 2008



"I was there and lived thru all of it and I still dont understand just what it was about the 80s that made everyone suck so bad."

Don't forget about Lee Abrams who shepherded the conversion of progressive / alternative radio in the 1970s (see FM) into AOR of the 1980s (see WKRP). Tight balkanized playlists, syndicated robot-radio stations, speeding up tunes to fit in more commercials, etc.

Robert Christgau (no friend to prog in general) said of Abrams, "[He] was to the 70's what Mitch Miller was to the 50's."

There was some good stuff out there in the 1980s, you just weren't allowed to hear it.
posted by Herodios at 8:54 AM on September 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


I love Genesis and Peter Gabriel, although I grew up after it had all become ancient history (I was in college when US was released).

I was downloading bit torrents the other day and you can't imagine my disappointment when I discovered that "The Cinema Show" is a DVD of Phil Collins-era Genesis songs. Grr.
posted by goethean at 9:04 AM on September 11, 2008


I still remember the chills I got as a teenager watching the Miami Vice pilot and hearing Collins' "In the Air Tonight" come on, with the drums coming in at the right pivotal moment. Anyone who watched that and still says the Eighties were all suckage needs to have their suckometer adjusted.

(I heard Collins on This American Life too and thought he was pretty interesting. Especially when he basically called Starlee Klein out and told her that she didn't want to be over her ex yet. And he liked the same line that punk rock writers had liked -- "it does me no good; in fact it does me bad.")
posted by onlyconnect at 9:13 AM on September 11, 2008


Big Genesis fan here -- most Collins-era (ABACAB, Genesis, Duke, ...And Then There Were Three...), although I hardly listen to them anymore these days (I do listen to Elbow and Gomez which at times give off some of that same vibe). But, so, thanks for getting me to put ...ATTWT... on this afternoon to remind me how damned good it is and especially how much I love Undertow.
posted by papercake at 11:39 AM on September 11, 2008


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