For the video game console, see Sega Genesis. For the Web Game, see Ge Ne SisGenesis
is a British band formed in 1967. It went on to become one of the most successful rock bands in history, spanning five decades and selling over one hundred million albums.
Genesis has several distinct eras. The first album has some slight Christian themes and has a more relaxed and poppy sound which might be jarring for fans who got interested in the band during their later years; the interim period and their second album have a more pastoral sound occasionally edging into hard rock, both provided by guitarist Anthony Phillips note
. The second era starts with the introduction of guitarist Steve Hackett and drummer Phil Collins
into the band. The first album this new line up produced was Nursery Cryme
as Genesis, much like other British bands at the time, dove head-first into Progressive Rock
. The albums made during this time are arguably the strongest, the band being at their peak of musical talent and creativity. Opinions differ on whether the definitive album of this era is Foxtrot
, Selling England By The Pound
or the enormous The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
. In 1974 Peter Gabriel left Genesis over creative differences, and after two more albums, Steve Hackett also left, further reducing the quartet to a trio, with Phil Collins slowly taking the role of the Face of the Band
After fumbling to find a new direction, Genesis released ...And Then There Were Three...
in 1978, followed by Duke
in 1980, which marked the start of a new era as the they broke into the mainstream with a slicker Arena Rock
sound. The band gradually recreated itself as one of the most successful pop/rock bands of the era, performing to massive audiences, topping the charts several times and selling albums by the truckload. Most people were introduced to Genesis during this time, and they are most likely remembered for a string of sleek poppy radio hits released between 1983 and 1986 like "That's All", "Invisible Touch", "In Too Deep" and "Land of Confusion
". Phil Collins also had a successful solo career during the time that Genesis was having hits, and his continued solo success eventually led to him leaving Genesis in good terms in 1996 as he wanted more free time to work on his own projects. Unfortunately, Genesis took a nosedive in quality following Collins' departure, only releasing one rather disappointing album and going on hiatus as the result.
In 2006, Collins, Banks and Rutherford held a massive reunion tour called "Turn It On Again", where they were joined by longtime auxillary members Chester Thompson and Daryl Stuermer as replacements for Gabriel and Hackett who were sadly unavailable.
In 2009, Phil Collins revealed that spinal problems accumulated during the Genesis reunion tour, caused by sitting irregularly at the drum kit, led to him receiving back surgery. He is unable to play the drums or piano properly as a result, and had to tape his drumsticks to his hands to play them on his Going Back
album. He retired from music in 2011 to spend more time at home with his family, although he has since made statements that his medical condition has recovered considerably, and has even spoken of a comeback — potentially with Genesis.
It's impossible to describe Genesis in general terms since the band has always been constantly evolving, but they have a gentle, emotional sense to their music present regardless of era. Genesis has also pioneered several musical techniques during its existence and is often cited as inspiration by other musicians. There are also many Genesis tribute bands, such as The Slippermen, Dusk and The Musical Box, the latter of which faithfully reproduces early Genesis performances, and is the only Genesis tribute act endorsed by Genesis members.
They were also one of the early adopters of moving light fixtures, taking some of the very first units on the Abacab
tour. They actually invested heavily in the company after being shown the first prototype and their manager Tony Smith even suggested the name "Vari-Lite".
Principal Members (Founding members in bold, current members in italic):
- Tony Banks - keyboard, organ, piano, vocals, mellotron, synthesizer, guitar, pianet, synth bass (1967-1998, 1999, 2000, 2006-Present)
- Mick Barnard - guitar (1970-1971)
- Phil Collins - lead vocals, drums, percussion, vibraphone, drum machine, trumpet, tambourine (1970-1996, 1999, 2000, 2006-2011)
- Peter Gabriel - lead vocals, flute, accordion, bass drum, tambourine, oboe, accordion, percussion, sound effects (1967-1975, 1978, 1982, 1999)
- Steve Hackett - guitar, kalimba, autoharp (1971-1977, 1982, 1999)
- John Mayhew - drums, percussion, vocals (1969-1970, died 2009)
- Anthony Phillips - guitar, vocals, dulcimer (1967-1970)
- Mike Rutherford - bass, guitar, vocals, cello, bass pedals, sitar, drum machine (1967-1998, 1999, 2000, 2006-Present)
- John Silver - drums, percussion, vocals (1968-1969)
- Chris Stewart- drums, percussion (1967-1968)
- Ray Wilson - lead vocals (1996-1998)
- 1969 - From Genesis To Revelation
- 1970 - Trespass
- 1971 - Nursery Cryme
- 1972 - Foxtrot
- 1973 - Selling England By The Pound
- 1974 - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
- 1976 - A Trick Of The Tail
- 1976 - Wind & Wuthering
- 1977 - Spot The Pigeon
- 1978 - ...And Then There Were Three...
- 1980 - Duke
- 1981 - Abacab
- 1982 - 3X3
- 1983 - Genesis
- 1986 - Invisible Touch
- 1991 - We Can't Dance
- 1997 - ...Calling All Stations...
- 1973 - Genesis Live
- 1977 - Seconds Out
- 1982 - Three Sides Live
- 1992 - The Way We Walk, Volume One: The Shorts
- 1993 - The Way We Walk, Volume Two: The Longs
- 2007 - Live Over Europe 2007
Genesis contains examples of:
- Ace Custom: Since he spent most of the classic years playing both rhythm guitar and bass, Mike Rutherford used a number of specially constructed double-neck guitars, with a 12-string and a 4-string bass section. His most famous would be his Shergold Modulator, which allowed him to attach either a six-string or two different 12-string sections (for different tunings) onto a lower bass section.
- After the End: "Stagnation" and "Afterglow".
- Album Title Drop:
- The song "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" contains the lyric, "Old man dies/The note he left was signed "Old Father Thames"/It seems he's drowned/Selling England by the pound."
- "White Mountain" off of Trespass.
- All There in the Manual:
- The story Gabriel wrote for the liner notes of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.
- Many of the songs on Trespass and Nursery Cryme also have liner notes that help put the meaning of the songs into more context - especially "Stagnation" on the former and "The Musical Box" on the latter.
- Animal Metaphor: "Pigeons" very cleverly uses the titular birds to represent immigrants to London, and its excrement as a metaphor for the things right-wingers blame them for. The song is sung from the perspective of a character who doesn't understand them and wants rid of them, and refers to a politician who hires a skinhead group (who drive a white van) to shoot them. The calypso inspired horns make it clear this is referring to the large amount of Caribbean immigrants to the UK in the 70s, who were unfairly criticised in a similar way to the way Polish and Arabic people are today. This song remains surprisingly relevant with the increase in right-wing sentiment towards immigrants post-9/11 (and especially post 7/7 in the UK).
- Apocalypse How: "Domino" from Invisible Touch; in part 2, a Class 1 or 2 is going on. How it happened is unclear, but it's somehow the fault of the narrator of part 1.
- Artistic License – Geography:
- On The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, the protagonist Rael had previously been incarcerated at "Twenty-Second Street". There is no mental hospital at that location, nor was there ever one there.
- There used to be (probably still is) available online, an essay about The Battle Of Epping Forest that has so many inaccuracies and false assumptions as to be unintentionally hilarious. In particular, the author failed to realise that if a song by an English group, about an event just outside London in England, has the lyric "not since the Civil War", it's almost certainly referencing the English Civil War, not the American one.
- Badass Longcoat: Phil Collins appears to be channeling this trope in the very Blade Runner-esque music video for the song "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight", which were both filmed at the same location. Later, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks tried it on for the "Congo" music video.
- Phil Collins previously wore one during live performances of "Say It's Alright Joe" during performances in 1978 and 1980.
- Ballad of X: "Ballad of Big" from And Then There Were Three....
- The Band Minus the Face: Genesis survived without Peter Gabriel just fine. Not so much without Phil Collins.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Phil Collins.
- Big Applesauce: The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway takes place in NYC. Well, parts of the story do, anyway.
- Bishōnen: Peter Gabriel, pre-Lamb, full stop.
- Black Comedy: "Harold The Barrel" again.
Such a horrible thing to do
Harold the Barrel cut off his toes and he served them all for tea
He can't go far. He can't go far.
(Hasn't got a leg to stand on!)
He can't go far.
- Blatant Lies: For the Genesis Archive 1967–75 boxset, the final song, "It", from the live Lamb show is dropped and faded in to a re-engineered studio track. In the liner notes, this is stated as being due to the tape running out. A full version of the show, used for the King Biscuit Flower Hour radio program, with all the songs and both encores ("Watcher Of The Skies" & "The Musical Box") included, is available on the concertvault.com website.
- Bowdlerize: On the live version of "The Knife", this part of the lyrics:
I'll give you the names of those you must kill
All must die with their children
Carry their heads to the palace of old
Hang 'em all high, let blood flow NOW!
- Has been changed into this...
I'll give you the names of those you must kill
Hang 'em and burn 'em quickly
Cover them up in Trafalgar square
Hurry to see, you'll see them dead
- Break the Cutie: The disintegration of Phil Collins' first marriage was the inspiration for all of the sad love songs that made him so famous back in The Eighties.
- Broken Record: "Whodunnit" from the album Abacab.
- Usually around 3 to 4 would appear on singles from most albums from 1982's Abacab and after. (Many of them would later appear on the Genesis Archives #2 set.) Spot The Pigeon was a EP released in 1978 with the band's first two songs from the Collins/Banks/Rutherford era, combined with "Inside And Out" - the last track Steve Hackett would contribute to, which was a track left off of Wind & Wuthering. The 3x3 EP included three of the songs left off of the UK pressing of Three Sides Live.
- For all of Calling All Stations' faults, some of the B-sides from that CD were well-received, as they also included covers of a few classic-era Genesis songs, which highlighted Ray Wilson's very Gabriel-esque vocals.
- Body Horror: The Slippermen from The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.
- Boring but Practical: Most of Mike Rutherford's guitar work qualifies. He's no Steve Hackett, but compliments Banks' keyboard leads quite well.
- Canon Discontinuity: During/ever since the 2006–2007 reunion tour, even the band themselves pretend that Calling All Stations just never happened.
- Although it was given a re-release along with every other album in their catalog around the same time, except for From Genesis To Revelation, which is a more straight example.
- Caps Lock, Num Lock, Missiles Lock: In the video for "Land of Confusion", President Reagan has a panel at his bedside with two buttons: "Nurse" and "Nuke". He accidentally starts World War III trying to get a glass of water.
- City of Gold: The Creature from the song "A Trick Of The Tail" comes from one.
Bored of the life in the city of gold,
He left and let nobody know.
Gone were the spires he had known from a child,
Along with the dream of a life.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Peter Gabriel frequently came across as one.
- Concept Album: The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, and to a lesser extent, Duke, which is half a concept album. It was actually originally intended to be divided into an A-side consisting of a suite of related tracks ("Behind the Lines," "Duchess," "Guide Vocal," "Turn It on Again," "Duke's Travels," "Duke's End") and a B-side of unrelated tracks. The band, after listening to this track order, decided it would leave the album with an unnecessarily weak B-side, and also decided they didn't want the A-side suite to be compared to "Supper's Ready", so they split it up. However, the suite of songs was often performed in its entirety live.
- Companion Cube:
- "Turn It On Again" and "Anything She Does" is about a guy who falls in love with a pretty face on a tv set and a photo, respectively, then channels his love onto the object.
- A little bit of this in "The Musical Box" off of Nursery Cryme as well.
- Continuity Nod: At the very end of the otherwise instrumental song "Los Endos", one can very faintly hear Phil Collins sing, "There's an angel standing in the sun/Free to get back home". These are lyrics from "Supper's Ready", one of the epic songs of the Peter Gabriel era. "Los Endos" is the last song on the album A Trick Of The Tail, which is the first album to feature Collins on lead vocals instead of Gabriel. The band may have also intended it to be a reference to Gabriel himself, as in the Archangel Gabriel.
- Cover Version:
- Angra did a cover of "Mama".
- Disturbed did a cover of "Land of Confusion".
- Cross Dresser: Peter Gabriel at one point wore a long red dress and a fox's head on stage, like so◊, as part of the band's performance of the album Foxtrot.
- Darker and Edgier: Wind & Wuthering and especially The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. "Back in NYC" is probably the edgiest song Genesis ever wrote.
- Deadpan Snarker: Everyone, but Phil Collins (no, seriously!) especially.
- Design Student's Orgasm: Some of the early album art definitely qualifies.
- Double Entendre:
- Pretty much all of "Counting Out Time" from The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. Also, some people think "Silver Rainbow" from the 1983 self-titled album Genesis fits this trope too.
- The title of "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" from Selling England by the Pound also qualifies. Notable in that both "I know what I like" and "in your wardrobe" both appear in the song, but never right after each other.
- Double Meaning Title: "Snowbound" from And Then There Were Three.... "Snowbound" refers to being snowed in on a winter day, and to...what that song is really about. See: Lyrical Dissonance below.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Nursery Cryme features the first Genesis track sung entirely by Phil Collins, "For Absent Friends". And it was the second track on the album.
- Early Installment Weirdness
- Any album recorded before 1980, for those who only knew the band through their radio.
- Even for fans of the "classic" prog era, the first two albums would qualify, being heavily piano and 12-string guitar driven. The piano songs would be mostly excised from later albums, as electric pianos of the time couldn't do them justice live, and the 12-string would be relegated to rhythm parts, with lead guitarist Steve Hackett mostly relying on his Les Paul.
- Phil Collins' drum sound for those early albums would qualify as well; cymbal-driven and heavily syncopated, with nary a noise gate or reverb pedalnote in sight.
- The Eighties: And how!
- One week in 1986 saw singles by Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Mike + The Mechanics, and supergroup GTR (featuring former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett) dominate the Top 10. And "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel dethroned Genesis' "Invisible Touch" in the #1 singles position.
- Just to point out how over they were in the decade, "Domino" from Invisible Touch (an eleven-minute-long album piece with a lengthy instrumental section) made the Billboard charts despite never having been released as a single or radio promo.
- '80s Hair: Phil Collins' overly permed mullet should have been taken out and shot.
- Eldritch Abomination:
- The Giant Hogweed in "Return Of The Giant Hogweed" on the album Nursery Cryme. Note that almost everything said about this plant is true in Real Life, except the malevolent setinence (We hope).
- Also the alien, parasitic entity that covers the world in darkness in "The Day the Light Went Out."
- Peter Gabriel's Slipperman costume was covered in growths and incorporated two balloons on the groin that Gabriel would inflate while onstage. He regrets the costume because the mask was so big and unwieldy, he couldn't get the microphone anywhere near his mouth so the audience couldn't hear what he was saying/singing.
- El Spanish O: "Los Endos". The phrase doesn't mean a damn thing in Spanish or Portuguese, and allegedly the closest phrase that does mean something translates to "the entrails".
- Epic Rocking: Experts in it.
- The biggest example is "Supper's Ready", which is nearly 23 minutes long and takes nearly a side of Foxtrot.
- Also of note is the solo section in "The Cinema Show," which would find its way into medleys on the band's late 70's and early 80's live shows.
- Everyone Went to School Together: Banks, Rutherford, Gabriel, and Anthony Phillips are all alumni of British boarding school Charterhouse.
- Evil Laugh: "Mama". Phil Collins admitted to stealing it from Grandmaster Flash.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin:
- Three Sides Live, but only in the US edition; the UK edition is entirely livenote . In any case, the US CD is actually "1½ Sides Live".
- Also, from "Supper's Ready", "Apocalypse in 9/8"; it's apocalyptic in sound, and (even to a non-musician) it's very noticeably in 9/8.
- The first album after Steve Hackett's departure left Genesis a trio was ...And Then There Were Three...
- Fanservice: The video for "Anything She Does" features Benny Hill and his usual collection of scantily-clad girls.
- Former Child Star: Phil Collins, averted. Though he was a child model/actor who played The Artful Dodger in a West End production of Oliver! and had teeny tiny blink-and-you'll-miss-him roles in A Hard Days Night and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, his success as an adult far eclipsed his success as a child actor/model.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- The band's huge hit "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" is about a drug addict trying to score. It was then used in a beer commercial, which could be interpreted as sending the message that beer drinkers were drug addicts. Michelob beer were the corporate sponsors of Genesis' Invisible Touch tour, so the company naturally used one of the album's big hits.
- "Counting Out Time" from The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is about Rael reading a book which scientifically describes the key "erogenous zones" needed to sexually arouse women, which he attempts to do on his date. It only succeeds in scaring off his girlfriend.
- Phil Collins has described "Mama" to be the tale of a younger man's obsession with an older prostitute. He has half-jokingly Jossed on his site's messageboard that "it's getting so hard" is not a Pun, though.
- God Guise: The primitive people that the protagonist of Wind And Wuthering's "One For The Vine" encounters mistake him for "God's Chosen One who's come to save us from all our oppressors/We shall be kings on this world", with predictable results. See also: Tomato in the Mirror.
- Greatest Hits Album: Turn It On Again: The Hits and its even more comprehensive 2007 Tour Edition, and the 2004/2005 Platinum Collection box set. The live albums might also qualify. Averted with the other box sets, which are more like a bootlegger's paradise, with rare live shows, demos, and BBC sessions.
- Grief Song: Word of God says that "Since I Lost You" from ''We Can't Dance" is about the death of a child. Apparently it was written for Eric Clapton, whose four-year-old son Conor had died.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop / No Ending: "One for the Vine".
- Happily Married: Mike Rutherford and his wife Angie have been married since 1976; Tony Banks and his wife Margaret have been married since 1972.note They're also arguably married to the band, since they're the only members who are on every album.
- Hates Small Talk: "Small Talk".
- Heavy Mithril: Several songs from the Prog and Transition periods.
- Heroic BSOD: Phil Collins admitted to having one of these during the breakup of his first marriage.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners / True Companions: At this point, Banks, Collins, and Rutherford seem to be this for one another.
- Humans Are Bastards / Humans Are the Real Monsters: In "A Trick Of The Tail", the protagonist ends up being locked in a cage by the humans, dubbed 'creatures', due to the fact that he has horns and a tail.
- I Can't Dance: Guess!
- Indecipherable Lyrics: More often in the Gabriel era than the Collins era.
- I Have No Son: "No Son Of Mine" from the album We Can't Dance.
- Intercourse with You: Genesis themselves have "Anything She Does" and "Counting Out Time". And that seems to be the subtext, under all the Squick in "Lamia".
- Insult Backfire: In the video for "Jesus He Knows Me", Phil Collins wears a suit and wig and affects a voice similar to those of American televangelist Ernest Angley, making him a specific target for the song's skewering of televangelism in general. Collins revealed in his appearance on Room 101 that Angley was apparently flattered by his "portrayal".
- In the Style of...: In the 2007 interview on the DVD version of A Trick Of The Tail, Phil Collins says that "Squonk" is basically Genesis doing "Kashmir". "Vindaloo" by Fat Les is in the same kind of style as Genesis doing "Match of the Day". "Driving the Last Spike" from We Can't Dance has some people wondering "what is this Gabriel-era song doing on their last-but-one album?". "Misunderstanding" is a The Beach Boys type song with a riff almost directly taken from Sly And The Family Stone's "Hot Fun in the Summertime" (and the lyrics are essentially a rewrite of The Beatles' "No Reply"), and "Hold On My Heart" is an attempt at imitating Burt Bacharachnote .
- The historical drama of "Driving The Last Spike" doesn't really echo any Gabriel-era sounds or themes, except for maybe its longer length compared to other songs on We Can't Dance and a couple of time changes, but the song certainly wouldn't look out of place if it had appeared on 1978's ...And Then There Were Three.
- For the song "Afterglow," composed by Tony Banks more or less in the time it took to play it, he recalls playing the song back for the first time and realizing in horror that he had just re-written "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas."
- Irony: Phil Collins virtually never played the drums and sang at the same time. When inquired about it, he would always cite the dangers of doing so (the microphone has to be placed above and away from the singer in order to not pick up the drums, and straining to reach it can be a very unnatural position) and in particular pointing out the damage that Don Henley had done to his back over the years of doing both. As of 2015, Henley is still touring with the Eagles, drumming about half the band's three-hour-and-change set note , while Collins' back injuries have more or less retired him.
- Knight Templar: "The Knife."
- Large Ham: Peter Gabriel (complete with theatrical costumes) and Phil Collins.
- Little Nemo: "Scenes From A Night's Dream" from And Then There Were Three... tells the story of Little Nemo.
- Long Runners: Formed in 1967, touring in 2006 and 2007. Reunion of Gabriel-era line-up for BBC documentary in 2014.
- Loony Fan: "Turn It On Again" is written from the perspective of one.
- Looks Like Jesus: Mike Rutherford, particularly so in the music video for Follow You, Follow Me. His puppet in the Land of Confusion music video was actually reused as Jesus in Spitting Image.
- Loudness War: The 2008/2009 remasters.
- Lyrical Dissonance:
- "Snowbound" from And Then There Were Three.... A gorgeously orchestrated song about hiding a dismembered body in a snowman.
Here, in a ball that they made,
From the snow on the ground
See it rolling away, wild eyes to the sky.
They'll never, never know...
- "Tonight, Tonight Tonight" ; see Getting Crap Past the Radar.
- The sprightly tempo of "Harold The Barrel" hides some very macabre humor underneath.
- Meet the New Boss: Implied in "The Knife."
- Mind Screw: Much of the Gabriel-era material, particularly "Supper's Ready" and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.
- Mind Screwdriver: The story that Gabriel wrote for the liner notes of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.
- Minimalistic Cover Art: From Genesis to Revelation
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: An average of 4. The band were known for starting songs quietly and getting into louder rock sections later on. Occasionally the band has a full on hard rock song like "The Knife", and both "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" and "In the Cage" start off sedately and end with proto NWOBHM galloping rhythms. Later on, "Land of Confusion" is almost 80s metal but not quite. The album Calling All Stations shows some influences from alternative rock and grunge in its production, thanks to Ray Wilson's experience in the band Stiltskin, although the song structures are still quite poppy.
- My God, What Have I Done?: The protagonist of "Dreaming While You Sleep," who hit a girl/woman with his car and drove away.
- New Sound Album:
- Duke, where they almost entirely abandoned their prog roots and went pop. This is also the point where Tony Banks abandoned the Hammond organ and Mellotron for an entirely synthesizer-based sound, and Rutherford switched from mostly 12-string guitar work to a more conventional David Gilmourish tone. Except for the concept suite spread throughout the album (see "Concept Album" above), which still had pretty strong prog elements (especially the final two, mostly instrumental tracks). The prog sound was more fully abandoned on the next album, Abacab, although the title track and "Dodo/Lurker" still had trace elements of the band's prog roots. Indeed, a few tracks on each "pop" album still display elements of progressive rock (Genesis: "Home by the Sea"/"Second Home by the Sea"; Invisible Touch: "Domino"/"The Brazilian"; We Can't Dance: "Driving the Last Spike"/"Dreaming While You Sleep"/"Living Forever"/"Fading Lights").
- Trespass might be the most straightforward example of this trope, since it was much closer to the progressive sound for which Genesis eventually became famous than the folksy light psychedlic pop of From Genesis To Revelation.
- Nightmare Face: Phil in the video for "Mama" when he does the Evil Laugh. Also repeated in live performances of the song as well.
- Non-Appearing Title: "Squonk", "A Trick Of The Tail", "Undertow", "Snowbound".
- Non-Indicative Name: Those unfamiliar with the songs in question are unlikely to guess that "One for the Vine" is about warfare or that "Blood on the Rooftops" is about TV watching.
- Obsession Song:
- Older Than They Look: Steve Hackett doesn't seem to have aged a day since he left Genesis.
- Our Monsters Are Different:
- "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" and the title track of "A Trick of the Tail".
- The Slippermen, again.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Most of them. Notice how Mike Rutherford seems to tower over the other members like he's Wilt Chamberlain? He's 6'3".
- Poor Communication Kills: Part and parcel of the inital members' boarding/public school upbringing. It took until the recording of Foxtrot for Peter, Tony, and Mike to point out that things were working very well with Phil and Steve — this was after they had toured together for a year and recorded an album together. Similarly, Tony and Mike never really sat down and talked to each other about whether or not to do a post-Phil Collins Genesis album; neither one really wanted to do it, but assumed the other one did. The half-hearted effort is probably the main reason Ray Wilson doesn't have many nice things to say about either one of them these days.
- Progressive Rock: One of the big ones.
- Pun-Based Title:
- Selling England By The Pound.
- And Nursery Cryme.
- The live album Seconds Out is a boxing term referees give announcing that round one is to end and that round two will begin, possibly a reference to a new era beginning post-Wind And Wuthering (most of the Gabriel-era standards recorded on this album would be dropped from the setlist for the next tour). It also refers to their second official live album being released (Genesis Live was released in early 1973), and the second member from their classic five piece lineup (Steve Hackett) having left the band by the time of Seconds Out's release in 1977.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "I'M RAAAAAEL!!!!"
- Putting the Band Back Together: The 2006-2007 reunion tour of the 80-90's touring lineup.
- The tour had originally been planned as a reunion of the classic 70's lineup, which Peter Gabriel shot down as he was in the midst of recording his solo record Up.
- Real Life Writes the Plot:
- "The Battle of Epping Forest" from the album Selling England By The Pound.
- Sadly, "No Son Of Mine" evidently fits this trope as well.
- Songs on Duke and Abacab written by Phil reflect on his first marriage crumbling. They were written around the same time period as Face Value.
- As does "Throwing It All Away" on Invisible Touchnote . The move towards more personal songs is something people have criticised the Phil Collins era for.
- Religion Rant Song: "Jesus He Knows Me" (a critique of televangelists) falls under Type 3.
- Rich Idiots With No Day Job: Though the founding members came from wealthy/upper class backgrounds and met at the prestigious public school they all attended, this is an averted trope.
- Riddle Me This: In "Dodo/Lurker" from Abacab (In the linked video, the riddle is heard at about 5:13, and unlike the album version, it is not repeated.):
Clothes of brass and hair of brown
Seldom need to breathe, don't need no wings to fly
Ooo, and a heart of stone
And a fear of fire and water, who am I?
- Answer: A nuclear submarine. "Hair of brown" = seaweed. "Seldom need to breathe" = unlike a diesel-engined sub, a nuclear one doesn't need oxygen as part of its power. "Don't need no wings to fly" = submarine crews refer to its motion through the water as "flying". "And a heart of stone" = the fuel rods which power the reactor. "A fear of fire and water" because leaks and fire are both feared on a submarine. Leaks for obvious reasons, and a fire needs oxygen to burn..
- Rock Opera: "Supper's Ready," The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, and the suite from Duke (see "Concept Album" above) are the band's most extended forays into this trope, but they never really stopped doing it - see "Driving the Last Spike" and "Dreaming While You Sleep" on We Can't Dance for latter-day examples of mini-rock operas.
- Rouge Angles of Satin: The song "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight" and from that song, the line "And all their hands are playing apart", which is usually misheard as "playing a part".
- Self-Deprecating Humor: A running joke among the band (at least in interviews and such) is that the main reason Daryl Stuermer was hired with the band as road guitarist was so that he could teach Mike Rutherford how the songs went and they could go on tour. Not too far off the mark, as Rutherford is blissfully musically illiterate, and the band has had to drop at least part of one song (the vocal part of "Cinema Show") because he couldn't remember the tuning he used for it.
- Sex Changes Everything: The Slippermen are an extremely literal example of this trope.
- Shaggy Dog Story: In their prog rock era, it would take a long time for everyone to retune for each piece. While the rest of the band tuned up, Gabriel would recite poetry or tell a long story, which never had anything to do with the next song in the set.
- Shirtless Scene:
- Peter Gabriel during the The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway tour.
- After taking on lead vocal duties after Gabriel's departure, Phil Collins did this a few times too.
- "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight" begins in a folk style, probably as a tribute to Genesis' then label-mates Lindisfarne.
- The song "Blood On The Rooftops" has the line "The grime on the Tyne is mine all mine all mine", referencing Lindisfarne's famous "Fog On The Tyne".
- The video for "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" is one long Shout-Out to Blade Runner.
- Phil is singing "There's an angel standing in the sun, free to get back home" in the end of "Los Endos", a shout out/tribute to Gabriel, paraphrasing "Supper's Ready".
- The band rehearsed "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" for the 1981–82 Abacab tour. Phil took the line, "'Paper late,' cried a voice in the crowd" and used it to title the much shorter and funkier 1982 Three Sides Live studio track "Paperlate".
- Shown Their Work: Most of the facts about the Giant Hogweed are accurate. Well, apart from its invulnerability, sentience and desire for revenge...
- Smoking Is Cool:
- Sixth Ranger: When Phil Collins stepped up to be the band's lead singer for 1976's A Trick Of The Tail, Genesis hired Bill Bruford as the band's second drummer on the album's promotional tour to allow Phil to step away from his kit. Bruford was replaced by former Frank Zappa/Weather Report drummer Chester Thompson in 1977, who stayed as the band's live co-drummer till 1996, then returned for the trio-lineup's reunion tour of 2007. Guitarist/bassist Daryl Stuermer joined in 1978 for their live shows when Steve Hackett quit.
- The Ray Wilson era saw Anthony Drennan replace Steurmer and Nir Zidyahu replace Thompson for the short Calling All Stations tour.
- Solo Side Project: Phil Collins started his highly successful solo career in 1981. Around the same time, Genesis grew more popular, too, with Collins still as their drummer and lead singer. That way, it was pretty much impossible to avoid his music in The Eighties. It wasn't until the late Nineties that Collins left Genesis. Also, guitarist/bassist Mike Rutherford recorded two solo albums before forming his own Solo Side Project, Mike + The Mechanics. Not to mention Genesis' former and gone-for-good lead singer Peter Gabriel. Steve Hackett's first solo album, "Voyage of the Acolyte", was recorded before he formally left Genesis.
- Stable Time Loop: The plot of "One for the Vine", from Wind and Wuthering.
- Stalker with a Crush: One possible interpretation of "Misunderstanding".
- Step Up to the Microphone: One of the most famous examples, with drummer Phil Collins taking over as lead vocalist after Peter Gabriel's departure.
- Even during the Gabriel era, Collins sang lead on "For Absent Friends" (from Nursery Cryme) and "More Fool Me" (from Selling England by the Pound).
- Tony Banks and Ant Phillips provide a few lines of lead vocals on "Shepherd" and "Let Us Now Make Love", respectively, on the first "Genesis Archive" box set
- Bizarre example from Hackett's solo career: his first two albums largely relied on guest stars, but for the Spectral Mornings and Defector albums, Hackett had a stable band including Pete Hicks on lead vocals. However, Hackett himself sings lead on "Ballad of the Decomposing Man". Starting with his next album, Cured, Hackett would start singing most of his songs himself.
- Another Hackett example: Nad Sylvan was the nominal lead vocalist on the "Genesis Revisited" tour, along with some special guests, but drummer Gary O'Toole sang "Fly on a Windshield"/"Broadway Melody of 1974" and "Blood on the Rooftops"
- Take That:
- The Peter Gabriel solo song "Solsbury Hill" is about his departure from Genesis. Word of God confirms this.
- Many fans also feel that way about Ray Wilson following Phil Collins as lead singer.
- "Jesus He Knows Me" gives voice to Phil Collins' utter contempt for money-grubbing televangelists.
- "Land of Confusion" isn't particularly subtle given that the video contains unflattering caricatures of Ronald Reagan by the creators of Spitting Image. The lyrics themselves are more subtle but still, if you read between the lines, make it pretty clear that the band aren't too pleased with Reagan or Margaret Thatcher.
- Many of the We Can't Dance songs are attacks of one form or another: "I Can't Dance" ridicules stylistic, male model-heavy Dada Ads selling blue jeans (Phil felt the backing track sounded like an artsy/trendy Levi's ad, and the illustration shows a man wearing blue jeans, taken from his backside); "Living Forever" mocks self-help trends, new age philosophies and fad diets; "Tell Me Why" criticizes wealthy governments for doing too little to help poverty and hunger.
- Half of the video interviews on the 2007 box set consist of bandmembers (particularly Peter and Tony) "good-naturedly" taking potshots at each other's playing and songwriting style. Gabriel in particular still seems raw about the rifts that opened up between him and the band when recording The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: "The Knife."
I'll give you the names of those you must kill
All must die with their children
Carry their heads to the palace of old
Hang them high, let the blood flow
- Tomato in the Mirror: We discover at the very end of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway that Rael and his brother John whom he's spent the entire album chasing are actually the same person.
Hang on, John! We're out of this at last
Something's changed, it's not your face
- Two-Person Pool Party: Or in this case, Rael and three Lamia.
- Uncommon Time: "Turn It On Again" is in 13/8 time. Beyond that, bizarre meters were used liberally during their prog rock days.
- Again, the solo in "Cinema Show" which is in 7/8, as is (almost) all of "Dance on a Volcano."
- "Apocalypse in 9/8" is in, well, guess, as are "Riding the Scree" and the first half of the instrumental "...In That Quiet Earth". The instrumental midsection of "Robbery, Assault and Battery" is in 13/8 (subdivided into a bar of 7/8 followed by a bar of 6/8).
- The Tony Banks piano intro to "Firth of Fifth" switches between 2/4, 13/16 and 15/16.
- Unreliable Narrator: "Rael" is practically made of this trope.
- Up to Eleven: "Whodunnit", again. Phil Collins dials his Cockney accent up to eleven for that song.
- Vaudeville Hook: Almost. At the end of both the "I Can't Dance" and the "Jesus He Knows Me" music videos, Mike and Tony come in from offscreen to drag Phil away.
- Vocal Tag Team: When both Peter and Phil were in the band.
- A World Half Full: "Land Of Confusion"
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The Lamb of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is mentioned only once, and then...
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: The video for "Invisible Touch" is practically made of this trope.
- Word Salad Lyrics: "Willow Farm", which is part of "Supper's Ready".
- The X of Y: "Land of Confusion", "Ballad of Big", "The Fountain of Salmacis".
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: Nursery Cryme.