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Music / Genesis (Album)

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"I can't see you Mama, but I can hardly wait!"

"Just as I thought it was going alright,
I found out I'm wrong, when I thought I was right.
It's always the same, it's just a shame, that's all!
I could say day, and you'd say night.
Tell me it's black when I know that it's white.
Always the same, it's just a shame, and that's all!"
"That's All"

Genesis is the twelfth studio album recorded by the progressive and pop rock group Genesis. It was released by Virgin Records via the Charisma labelnote  in the United Kingdom, and through Atlantic Records in the United States, on 3 October 1983.

After a successful tour of Abacab and a one-off gig in Milton Keynes with former bandmates Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackettnote , Genesis took an eight-month hiatus as their members sought their respective solo projects. They reconvened in The Farm - their Surrey studio - to begin work on the album on March 1983, making this the first album to be written, recorded and mixed entirely there.


The album was yet another commercial success, reaching two times Platinum in the United Kingdom and four times Platinum in the United States. "That's All" was the album's highest charting single on both sides of the Atlanticnote , and promotional music videos were made for "Mama" and "Illegal Alien".


Side One
  1. "Mama" (6:52)
  2. "That's All" (4:25)
  3. "Home by the Sea" (5:08)
  4. "Second Home by the Sea" (6:06)

Side Two

  1. "Illegal Alien" (5:17)
  2. "Taking It All Too Hard" (3:58)
  3. "Just a Job to Do" (4:47)
  4. "Silver Rainbow" (4:31)
  5. "It's Gonna Get Better" (5:14)


Principal Members:

Welcome to the Trope by the Sea:

  • Concept Video: The music video for "Illegal Alien" directly adapts the song's concept into a visual format, depicting the band as Mexicans attempting to immigrate to America.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The album cover exclusively uses black and yellow tones.
  • Dodgy Toupee: Phil wears a truly horrible one in the video for "Illegal Alien", doffing it for the camera when getting a photo taken.
  • Epic Rocking: "Mama" comes close to reaching the seven minute mark in the album version. "Second Home by the Sea" meanwhile clocks in at just over six minutes (with the sum of the full "Home by the Sea" suite additionally lasting over eleven minutes).
  • Evil Laugh: A sinister-sounding throaty chuckle prominently reoccurs throughout "Mama". Phil Collins admitted to stealing it from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
  • The Illegal: "Illegal Alien" is about the plight of those who seek to cross the border without legal documentation.
  • Incest Subtext: "Mama" is narrated by a man sexually fixated on a prostitute that resembles his mother, to the point where he only refers to her as if she were the genuine article.
  • In the Style of: Word of God established that "That's All" has some influence from The Beatles, with Phil Collins basing the drumming there on that of Ringo Starr.
  • Just Following Orders: "Just a Job to Do" revolves around a hitman who constantly describes his occupation via this defense, stating that all he's doing is what his employers ask of him.
  • Longest Song Goes First: The album begins with the nearly seven-minute "Mama".
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • "Illegal Alien" is a jaunty tune about the hardships faced by Mexicans trying to immigrate to the United States.
    • "Just a Job to Do" is an upbeat-sounding rocker about a hitman.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: A photograph of Tupperware Shape-O pieces (often mistaken for Perfection pieces) in a black space surrounded by a yellow border, with the album/band name superimposed in a yellow script font. The toys was cover artist Bill Smith's then-one-year-old son's, who left them on the floor after having gone to bed.
  • Nightmare Face: Phil in the video for "Mama" when he does the Evil Laugh. Also repeated in live performances of the song as well.
  • Obsession Song: "Mama" is about a man's obsession with an older prostitute.
  • Performance Video:
    • "That's All" features the band miming to the song in an abandoned factory, playing the parts of homeless men.
    • "Home by the Sea" depicts a live performance of both it and "Second Home by the Sea".
  • Self-Titled Album: The only album in Genesis' discography to do this. The band couldn't come up with a suitable title, so they decided to use their band name to emphasise the album being a collaborative effort in its songwriting.
  • Sexual Extortion: During the bridge of "Illegal Alien", in a part typically cut from radio play:
    But I've got a sister who is willing to oblige.
    She will do anything now, to help me get to the outside.
  • Shout-Out: Phil Collins' laugh in "Mama" is based on "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
  • Siamese Twin Songs: "Home by the Sea" and "Second Home by the Sea"; the two songs segue into one another (to the point where the music video depicts a live performance of both songs in sequence), and the latter reuses a verse from the former during its final part.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Rutherford throws a cigarette up in the air, catching it with his mouth in the video for "Illegal Alien".