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Trivia / Genesis

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  • Big Name Fan: Inverted with Richard Hammond of the BBC's Top Gear and Amazon's The Grand Tour. He's known to have been vocal of his notorious dislike for Genesis's music, to the point where his co-star Jeremy Clarkson sometimes uses their work (Particularly "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)") to Troll the living shit out of him.
    • On the other hand, Clarkson himself plays the trope straight; he even provided liner notes for the 1997 remaster/reissue of A Trick of the Tail and the box set Genesis 1970-1975.
    • Similarly, John Lennon praised Selling England by the Pound, from which the band members took great encouragement at the time. Other musicians who have praised it include Rush's Neal Peart, Marillion's Fish, and Guided By Voices' Robert Pollard.
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  • Creator Killer: While the writing had been on the wall since the late 80's, the double whammy of Collins' 1996 departure and Calling All Stations the following year damaged the band's reputation to the point of no return. They were already facing heat for abandoning their prog rock roots in favor of mainstream pop rock since Gabriel and especially Hackett left, and the overlap between Genesis' newer music and Collins' solo works became apparent with the release of Invisible Touch. But with Collins deciding to focus on his solo work, Rutherford and Banks were the only original members left, and the group had to hastily assemble Calling All Stations in order to stay afloat. The result was a complete mess from top to bottom, resulting in one of the most critically-panned albums of the 90's. The group broke up not long after their concert tour to promote the album flopped.
  • Fake American: Rael, the protagonist in The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. A half-Puerto Rican street kid from New York City would be unlikely to refer to money as "notes and coins," with "cash" being more common. But in the song "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging", he does anyway.
    • Also in the song "Back in NYC", Rael says "your progressive hypocrites". An American would probably have called them "liberal hypocrites".
    • The evangelist character in the video for "Jesus He Knows Me" has a Deep South accent, at least until his accent slips.
  • Fake Nationality: The group dresses up in fake mustaches and Mexican garb for the video for "Illegal Alien".
  • Hey, It's That Place!: The video for "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" from Invisible Touch was shot at the Bradbury Building.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: A one-off reunion with Peter Gabriel, a concert on October 2nd, 1982 at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes, to benefit Gabriel's WOMAD arts festival, was never officially recorded or filmed. The only record that exists are bootleg recordings.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: While Selling England by the Pound is the album you're most likely to hear cited as Genesis' best (for example, it's their best-rated album on Prog Archives), some of the band members themselves have reservations with it. They don't think it's a bad album, but they think it could have been better (it is, however, Hackett's favourite album). Some of the band members also feel that The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, another candidate you're likely to hear cited as their best recording, gets progressively weaker towards the end.
  • Old Shame: Given the size of their discography and the number of people who have been members throughout the years, it follows that band members have expressed dissatisfaction with a fairly large number of works:
    • Despite the song as a whole being nearly universally considered Awesome Music, the lyrics to "Firth of Fifth" are considered by Tony Banks to be some of the worst he's ever written. On the reunion tour, they cut the lyrics out entirely and just played the epic middle section as an instrumental.
    • The entire band has been similarly negative about ...And Then There Were Three..., recorded in the midst of Hackett's departure and Collins' divorce; the three recording members felt they were making an album simply to make an album.
    • "Who Dunnit?" from Abacab. It was written more or less as a joke, then the joke was taken even further by incorporating it into the tour setlist. To drive the point home, in live performances of the song, Mike Rutherford plays the drums.
    • The band doesn't look fondly at its entire first album, From Genesis to Revelation. The only reason they haven't deleted it is because they don't own the rights to it; even so, they still exclude it from their official discographies. They have mentioned, however, that part of their dissatisfaction is with the saccharine string arrangements forced on the songs by Executive Meddling; they presented demo versions of some of the songs on the first Archives box set that they said were closer to their actual artistic vision.
    • Also, "Illegal Alien" pokes fun at a rather serious problem; the poverty of Latin American would-be immigrants attempting to enter the USA. Unfortunately, the video took it Up to Eleven, with the band sporting stereotypically Mexican outfits and engaging in allegedly comic south of the border shenanigans to the point of racist caricature.
    • Phil Collins has mentioned in internet postings not to be a fan of 'Match of the Day', from the Spot the Pigeon EP, which is probably why that track was left off of 2000's Genesis Archives #2 boxset, where 'Pigeons' and 'Inside and Out' were included. As a consequence, the song was extremely hard to find for a while. However, all three songs are included in the Genesis 1976–1982 boxset and the EP was repressed on vinyl in 2012, making the song easily available again.
    • Collins wasn't very proud of "Me and Virgil" from the 3 x 3 EP, either.
    • He also hasn't spoken fondly of the music video for "A Trick of the Tail", mentioning in a 1994 VH1 interview that he considers it one of the most embarrassing videos of his career.
    • The band as a whole regards their final studio album Calling All Stations as this, as well as Ray Wilson's time as lead vocalist (whom the album boasted). In both of their one-off reunions, they refused to play anything from the album, and their greatest hits album Turn It On Again: The Hits only includes the song "Congo," the only UK Top 40 hit from the album. Tellingly, their R-Kive box set from 2014 doesn't include any song from the album.
  • The Other Marty: Between Phillips' departure and Hackett's arrival, the band had another guitarist named Mick Barnard. Since he never performed on any official albums, and was only in the band for a few months, he is largely forgotten by most fans. An appearance on British TV in November 1970 includes Barnard in the band, but the recording of the broadcast has since been lost.
  • The Pete Best: Phil Collins didn't join the band until Genesis' third album, Nursery Cryme. Chris Stewart, John Silver, and John Mayhew (who appears in the 2014 Together And Apart documentary in footage recorded before his death in 2009) preceded him.
    • Anthony Phillips left after the second album, Trespass. While his contributions seem marginalized now, Tony Banks remarks in Together And Apart that his departure was not taken lightly, and he was concerned for the future of the band. While not credited, the song "The Musical Box" that appears on Nursery Cryme was based on a piece Phillips had composed for the band.
    • While Steve Hackett's leaving was amicable (both Collins and Rutherford contributed to his first solo album, Voyage of the Acolyte, released before he left the band) the 2014 documentary Together and Apart (broadcast as Sum of the Parts in the US), a film supposedly meant to touch on both the band's long life and the noteworthy solo careers of all the band members, gives Hackett's solo career, which spans over twenty records, the barest of mentions. Hackett went on social media and to Rolling Stone to voice his displeasure. Hackett was much more positive towards the R-Kive box set that accompanied the documentary, because it gave equal time to every member's side-projects.
      • What makes the documentary even more tone-deaf is that Hackett at the time of the documentary's broadcast was currently in the middle of a nearly two-year tour behind his Genesis Revisited II record, that continued into early 2015, playing many classic Genesis songs which hadn't been performed live for decades. (For the tour for his 2015 solo record, Wolflight, each show's second set was comprised of nearly all Genesis songs, going as far back as Nursery Cryme.)
    • Ray Wilson also to an extent, as his career with Genesis was killed by fan indifference before it could begin. However at the same time, he has seemed to parlay that brief time into a substantial career, still performing songs from Calling All Stations live and appearing as a guest singer at Steve Hackett's 2013 Genesis Revisited II show at the Royal Albert Hall.
  • Referenced by...: In Knights of Buena Vista, Adriana is singing one of the band's songs, and Ilene jokes that they are known as "Mega Drive" in the rest of the world.
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot: Many of their trademark techniques and tones were developed over a brief period of time between Anthony Phillips' split from the group and the hiring of Steve Hackett to replace him, as they had not yet found a guitarist and were rehearsing as a four-piece, with Rutherford and/or Banks using different methods of making up for the lack of guitar (bass pedals, double-neck guitar, distorted electric piano).
    • Their method of writing in the studio via jam sessions, improvisations and group-composing in The '80s was partly a way of keeping the dwindling band united on a project, particularly as pre-written songs were being used on solo albums. They also felt that the best tracks on ...And Then There Were Three... and Duke were group-written, and wanted to continue in that vein and justify their reasons for continuing as a band.
    • Gabriel's penchant for telling weird stories between songs arose as a way to keep audiences engaged during concerts, as the band would often take a long time to re-tune their instruments. Also, his usage of masks and costumes came about as a requirement for telling his stories in addition to overcoming his own stage fright.
  • Short-Lived Big Impact: Being one of the most influential of Progressive Rock, the classic lineup of Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, and Mike Rutherford surprisingly lasted 4 years.
  • Throw It In!:
    • In 1979, Gabriel asked Collins to play drums on his third self-titled solo album. Upon recording "Intruder", their producer Hugh Padgham, testing out his new recording console, accidentally recorded Phil's drums and it picked out a thick, punchy reverb that disappeared in an instant. That is how the "gated reverb", the sound of The '80s, was born.
    • The 2007 reunion tour was the result of a collective shrug and the band asking each other "Why the hell not?" Almost the entirety of Genesis's lineup had gotten together for an event celebrating the release of a boxset of the band's work and members began leaving one by one until it was just Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, and Tony Banks sitting around and chatting. The three looked at each other and realized that they represented the longest-serving incarnation of the band and decided to hit the road together.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Attempts were made to make a movie out of The Lamb since the late 1970s, including talks with William Fredkin, but nothing came to fruition.
    • When the band was forming ideas for what would become 1974's The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Mike Rutherford suggested composing a song cycle loosely based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's novella The Little Prince. Gabriel, however, had a singular vision for the record and ultimately wrote the lyrics for The Lamb on his own, with a edgier tone, and with an American protagonist.
    • Eventually, Rutherford's ideas would figure prominently in the song cycle that book-ends (along with the song "Turn It On Again") 1980's Duke. The album's art seems also evocative of the book.
    • The Little Prince-inspired tracks on Duke were meant to be a suite taking up one side, yet in the end the band didn't want the composition compared to similar songs such as "Supper's Ready" and felt leaving the tracks together would have given the record a noticeably weaker B-side, and make the songs harder to release as potential singles.
      • However, they did perform the "suite" live, introduced by Collins as "The Story of Albert", during the subsequent tour for the album, documented on several bootlegs.
      • Concidentally, Rutherford used another children's novel, Smallcreep's Day, as the basis for his first solo record, which was released in 1980, the same year as Duke, and recorded in the same studio.
    • Casual considerations to replace Steve Hackett as guitarist in 1978 were rumored to include Jeff Beck, Robert Fripp, and Steely Dan veteran Elliott Randall. It was later agreed to keep it a three-piece in the studio.
    • 1982's Abacab was originally planned as a double-album. Most of the tracks ultimately removed (most notably the instrumentals "Naminanu" & "Submarine") appeared as B-sides, and the song originally meant as the album's closer, "Paperlate", eventually appeared on 3x3 and Three Sides Live.
    • According to an interview in Guitar World, when David Lee Roth left Van Halen in 1986, Eddie Van Halen began writing many of the songs that would ultimately appear on 5150 with the idea of using different vocalists on each track. He had reached out to both Rutherford and Collins to work on the record, and wrote the song "Right Now" with the late Joe Cocker in mind.
    • Celebrated indie songwriter/musician Kevin Gilbert, who had much respect and love for the "classic" Genesis (he performed the entire ''Lamb Lies Down'' album live on stage with his band Giraffe in 1994), was invited to audition to replace Phil Collins in 1996. Unfortunately, Gilbert died of an accidental suicide before his management received the invitation. Considering Gilbert's prog-rock credibility and rising career as a songwriter at the time, there's no telling what his talent could've done to help invigorate the band.
    • Among the people also being considered to replace Phil Collins as lead singer was Fish, who had previously done vocals for some of Tony Banks' solo material. "Generillion" might very well have been really awesome, especially since Fish's vocals have been compared to Gabriel's to begin with.
    • Their 2007 Turn It On Again tour started as an attempt to reunite Banks, Collins, Rutherford, Gabriel and Hackett to perform The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway; when Gabriel decided against it, the post-Hackett five-piece touring band reunited instead.
    • "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight", "The Cinema Show", and "Aisle of Plenty" were originally composed as a single twenty-minute suite, but as with the Saint-Exupéry-inspired Duke suite above, the band decided they didn't want it compared to "Supper's Ready" (to which they felt it would be too similar) and split it up to bookend the album. This is why the coda to "Dancing" just seems to build up tension without any real release: it's intended to lead into the intro of "The Cinema Show". In any case, if they'd left them together we'd be mentioning them in the same breath as "Supper's Ready" now, so it's a shame they were split up.
    • Speaking of "Supper's Ready", the "Willow Farm" section was originally conceived as a separate song. The band later decided to include it in the suite, with Banks mentioning that it would prevent "Supper's Ready" from being too similar to their earlier song "Stagnation".
    • The liner notes for the Definitive Edition Remaster of Nursery Cryme list the lyrics for the songs in an alternate order from the album's running order.
      1. The Musical Box
      2. Harold the Barrel
      3. Seven Stones
      4. For Absent Friends
      5. The Fountain of Salmacis
      6. The Return of the Giant Hogweed
      7. Harlequin
      • When listened to in sequence, this provides an interesting alternate running order for the album that some listeners may end up preferring to the official one. For one thing, it ends less abruptly.
    • The non-Little Prince tracks on Duke were leftovers from the solo albums the members had just finished recording, as those albums had drained them all creatively. One of the songs Phil offered was "In the Air Tonight," about which Tony has said that he regrets turning it down.
    • After Collins' departure and Wilson's appointing, touring drummer Chester Thompson was interested in becoming a full-time member with doing the drums for Calling All Stations but the band opted to go with Nir Zidkyahu and Nick D'Virgilio instead, so he eventually declined the offer to serve as touring drummer for the album's tour and Zidkyahu became touring drummer along with appearing in the music videos for "Congo" and "Shipwrecked". Had this happened, it would've been the first time that Genesis been a quartet since the Collins-Banks-Rutherford-Hackett line up from A Trick of the Tail and Wind & Wuthering.


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