Archive Panic: With over 40 years worth of material, plus all kinds of bootlegs and each member's solo material, new fans can find it all a bit daunting. Anthony Philips' solo catalogue alone (counting his program music, soundtracks and Private Parts And Pieces series) can be hard to keep up with, and very rare finds.
Good luck listening to all of Steve Hackett's discography. He releases new recordings so frequently that chances are by the time you've finished listening to his latest album, he'll have released three more.
Awesome Music: Oh, so many. "Watcher of the Skies" from Foxtrot immediately springs to mind, what with its epic intro played on the Mellotron.
Also, "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight", "Dance on a Volcano", "Firth of Fifth", "Los Endos" and the ending sections of "The Musical Box", "Supper's Ready" and "Cinema Show".
Side one hell. The whole album is generally considered a masterpiece. note Although many, including Phil Collins himself, feel that the album gets progressively weaker towards the end. Probably not the place to start for someone new to the band though - Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot, and Selling England by the Pound are good choices.
For the post-Gabriel era: "One for the Vine", the Duke suite, "Home by the Sea", "Domino", and the various live medleys all come to mind.
Mike Rutherford mentioned in the documentary video accompanying the 2009 remaster of Genesis that he feels the 1983 album's first side may be the band's most powerful album side, track-by-track, in the band's catalogue.
"Heathaze" is probably one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded.
Broken Base: And how! To name just a few points of contention:
The most infamous debate in the fandom is whether Peter Gabriel or Phil Collins was the best frontman. Some fans think the band became terrible after Gabriel left, while others think that was the point where they started getting good. Meanwhile, there are the all-era fans who love both singers and think the other fans need to calm down. And don't even mention Ray Wilson unless you want to open a whole new can of worms; some fans think the band is right to ignore his tenure as lead singer, while others love Calling All Stations and think its omission from the band's 2014 documentary was an outrage.
When it comes to the fans who think the band lost their way in the 80's, was their last truly great album The Lamb (the last album with Gabriel), or was it Wind and Wuthering (the last album with Steve Hackett)? Some even think the trio era had one or two (or even three or four) good albums before moving straight into pop.
While popular among critics, Invisible Touch is a huge point of contention among fans, largely because of it being the point where the overlap between Genesis' music and Phil Collins' solo music really became hard to ignore. Some fans consider it a fine enough record with enough edge and prog tinges (particularly on "Domino" and "The Brazilian") to carve a suitable niche in Genesis' discography. Others, however, consider it a cheesy, throwaway pop album without much to distinguish it from the generic nature of Phil Collins' solo records. The only thing both sides seem to agree on is that "Land of Confusion" was a great single.
Among the fans who consider Invisible Touch to be a bad album, there's a debate on whether We Can't Dance was an improvement (due to some of the more prog-like songs such as "Driving the Last Spike" and "Fading Lights") or just another throwaway pop album (due to the poppier songs such as "I Can't Dance" and "Jesus He Knows Me").
Even the all-era fans are heavily divided on the quality of certain songs; "Who Dunnit?" (from Abacab) and "Illegal Alien" (from Genesis) tend to get the worst of this. While the former is very often thought of as the band's worst song by a wide margin, fans are divided on whether the song's over-the-top nature makes it So Bad, It's Good or just plain bad. The latter doesn't get quite as much heat, but many fans consider it too awkward to laugh at nowadays, not just for the stereotypes, but also for being a song poking fun at a serious political issue regarding Mexican immigration to America (which is still a hot-button topic decades after the song's release).
Ironically, given the fights over Collins versus Gabriel among fans, some listeners have reported having trouble even distinguishing Collins' voice from Gabriel's, which could make him almost a Suspiciously Similar Substitute, at least as vocalist. While the two have different accents and vocal timbres, Collins did so many harmony vocals on the Gabriel-era albums that many tracks would effectively be the two of them blended. Furthermore, particularly in the early days of his tenure as lead vocalist, Collins often seemed to be doing his best Gabriel impression, though this would lessen with time.
Critical Dissonance: Much of Genesis's Peter Gabriel-era material was viewed apathetically at best by a majority of critics when it first came out, and much of it is still critically unpopular today (save for Foxtrot and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway). It wasn't until Phil Collins took over the role of frontman and the band underwent their Genre Shift to mainstream pop rock that Genesis would more consistently see praise from the music press. However, with the sole exception of 1969's From Genesis to Revelation, the Gabriel-era material sees significant levels of acclaim from Genesis fans and progressive rock fans in general, with Selling England by the Pound and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway in particular being considered two of the greatest prog rock albums ever made. Meanwhile, Genesis' Collins-era output is much more divisive, both due to the nature of the band's genre shift and the general, still-lingering backlash against Collins' popularity in the 1980's.
Cult Classic: Of ALL things, Calling All Stations, the sole album recorded with Ray Wilson.
The band's early output to some extent qualifies as this as well. Most people probably have never heard a note of Selling England by the Pound, but by contrast, few Progressive Rock fans haven't listened to the album at least dozens of times from start to finish, and it's one of the most influential albums within the genre, to the point where Genesis is one of the stock reviewer comparisons for progressive rock bands (Pink Floyd, Yes, King Crimson, and Jethro Tull, and Rush probably being the other most common ones). The albums have actually all sold fairly well thanks to consistent back catalogue sales, and it's well known enough through Pop-Cultural Osmosis that jokes about people preferring the Peter Gabriel output are pretty widespread, but the band really qualified as a One-Hit Wonder in many parts of the world (with "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" being their Black Sheep Hit) until the release of Wind & Wuthering, when "Your Own Special Way" became their second major hit. Of course, progressive rock wasn't about radio singles, so judging their success by single sales may be missing the point to some extent. Regardless, Genesis' early output is extremely influential within a relatively niche music genre and is seldom heard by fans who are uninterested in it.
Dork Age: Invisible Touch is often considered the point where the Broken Base that had been plaguing the band since Peter Gabriel's departure came to bite them in the ass. When it had become clear the band was no longer the prog rock stalwarts it once was, and was just an excuse by Collins to continue saturating the pop charts with his music in the '80s, longtime fans started to engage in backlash. This caused the last Collins-led album, We Can't Dance, to not make much impact despite producing a Top 40 single, not helped by the dominance of Alternative Rock by the time of its release.
It should be noted, however, that Invisible Touch was a massive hit at the time - in fact, it was their biggest commercial success, spending almost 100 weeks on the charts in both the U.S. and the U.K. and selling millions of copies. It also spawned five top-five singles in the U.S. within a two-year time span, making Genesis the first band and first foreign act to pull off that feat (only Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, George Michael, and Madonna had managed it previously). Nonetheless, the album has been critically divisive since the day it was released.
Ensemble Dark Horse: Phil Collins came out from behind his drum kit to take over as lead singer of the band, and then went on to have an astronomical solo career. Mike Rutherford has also found solo success with his band Mike + the Mechanics, and Steve Hackett remains a well-respected figure in the progressive rock community to this day (it helps that, in concerts, he often performs old Genesis songs in addition to his original songs).
Epic Riff: "Dance on a Volcano". So epic, they reprise it during "Los Endos". During live performances, they reprise it again at the end.
The organ from "The Knife".
Tony Banks got quite a few of them. The piano opening of "Firth of Fifth" (the main melody of which is reprised on synthesizer later in the song), the organ part that underlies the original version of "The Carpet Crawlers", the piano bit that opens up "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway", and so on. (Most of these are only familiar to Progressive Rock fans, but most prog fans would recognise any of them after just a few notes.)
From the group's pop days, "Turn It On Again" and "Land of Confusion" have both got to count.
Peter Gabriel's theatricality, masks and costumes were a focal point of the bandnote He says that the decision to dress up came from a combination of shyness (so he could pretend to be someone else on stage) and because the rest of the band took too long to retune their instruments between songs, so he had to vamp and tell the overarching stories of their albums to keep the audience engaged, to the point that many feared the band wouldn't be able to survive without him (when he left, the media was quick to declare that Genesis was dead, prompting the rest of the band to clarify that no, they weren't planning on breaking up). It didn't help matters that the media thought Gabriel wrote all of the material (they credited the writing to "Genesis" to avoid in-fighting) and was responsible for all of the sound and creativity of the band. This is why post-Peter albums started crediting individual writers in the band (which actually did lead to in-group arguing and the departure of Steve Hackett) on the album sleeves, at least until they began writing as a democratic group in The '80s.
Phil Collins stepped into the role after Gabriel left because they realized Collins could do Gabriel just as well as (if not better than) Gabriel could, although he always wanted to be primarily known as the band's drummer. Collins has expressed displeasure as being known as the band's face, because they were always very collaborative but he'd be the one credited with the band's successes and failures. Indeed, he was definitely this during The '80s, to the extent that radio DJs would announce Genesis songs as either Phil Collins songs or "Phil Collins and Genesis", as though Genesis were merely Collins's backing band. It also meant that - to this day - long-time fans consider Collins to be singly responsible for the band's move into a more commercial direction, as though the other two members were either completely uninvolved, or somehow forced by Collins to go along.
Fanon Discontinuity: The following people (either individually or in any combination) never left/joined the band: Anthony Phillips, John Mayhew, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Phil Collins, and Ray Wilson. Also, no albums were ever recorded with/without some/any/all of these people.
Similarly, the band's fanbase is split in half: Those who prefer their Peter Gabriel led albums and those who like Phil Collins-led records. What albums exist usually depend on which side you're on.
The majority of old fans were actually quite happy with Phil Collins until the band got poppier to match his solo career. The albums A Trick of the Tail and Wind & Wuthering are usually as well loved as the Gabriel albums, or at least nearly so.
From Genesis to Revelation, their first album, also qualifies. Not only were Phil and Steve not on it (they weren't on the second album, Trespass, either, but that album is closer to the band's typical style than the first one, and fans (and the band) still consider it a good album), but the band does not own the rights to it, and it is distributed to the few who want to hear it by another company. Thus, most official discographies and catalogues make no mention of it. It's also pretty different from even their second album. Several demo pieces from it (missing the shitty excuse of a string section forced on the band by manager Jonathan King) did make it onto the band's first box set.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Considering what has gone on in Phil's love life since ...And Then There Were Three... was released (he and his first wife went through a nasty divorce not long after the album was released, and he later had two more failed marriages, though he has since gotten back together with his third wife), it's a little bit awkward to hear him singing "Follow You, Follow Me", a song where the narrator hopes his loved one will always stay with him.note On the other hand, both Mike (who wrote the song's lyrics) and Tony were happily married to their respective wives at the time, and still are to this day.
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Not that they weren't big anywhere else, but they were huge in Italy, and pretty much from day one (Genesis's Italian pic sleeve singles are usually unique and very collectable). Similarly, Trespass, released to obscurity in England, was the number one album in Belgium shortly after release, leading to a hasty tour of the continent.
Mainstream Obscurity: Peter Gabriel's tenure as frontman of the band is known well enough that it's been the subject of several jokes, but far more people have heard of his work with Genesis than have actually heard it.
Mis-blamed: As mentioned in Face of the Band above, a lot of people think Phil dragged Mike and Tony kicking and screaming into the pop-rock 80's. Word of God (Tony) says that the near opposite is true. If not for him, Mike and Phil would be a straight up pop band, and Tony is the one keeping what little prog-rock influence there is in the band. And even then Tony's written his share of pop songs as well.
Tony also gets a hefty share of the blame from the band's fanbase over Gabriel and Hackett's departures.note Gabriel left the band due to family matters, and Hackett left due to the in-group fighting from individual songwriting credits as mentioned above This despite the fact that both have mentioned the level of creative freedom they wanted would have been impossible in any kind of band structure. This has gone as far as claims that he ordered the engineers on Seconds Out to mix Hackett's guitar all the way to the back (something Tony once said as a joke, and Steve denies ever really happened).
"I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)", "The Silent Sun", "Happy the Man", "Twilight Alehouse", and "Counting Out Time" were earlier attempts at commercial singles, yet were still too quirky and progressive-sounding for commercial success. They weren't really opposed to the idea of radio success, just unlucky with their attempts to get a hit single.
Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel have Jossed the accusations that since Phil had some reservations with some of Peter's more elaborate theatrics (and how they threatenened to overshadow the music) by The Lamb Lies Down on Broadwaynote in particular the Slipperman costume, which, by even Peter's admittance, was so bulky that it was hard to breathe in it, let alone get a microphone near it, he tried to edge Peter out of the group and take over. Phil not only was quite comfortable as drummer and background vocalist, and sad to see Peter leave (they remain friends to this day), but even after having recorded A Trick of the Tail, was still planning to hire a formal lead vocalist to go on the road. Collins was reluctant to take on the vocalist/front-man role, only doing so as the band could find no proper replacement for Peter. Collins had even at first, with no disrespect to Peter, suggested that the band could continue on as an instrumental group.
Ray Wilson gets so much flack for Calling All Stations, even though Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks were the ones who actually wrote most of the album. In the end, Ray was only doing what he was asked to. Some fans seem to have at least warmed up to him in recent years though.
To a lesser extent, Foxtrot helped make them one of the top prog bands in England and parts of Europe, and Selling England by the Pound gave Genesis their first small taste of touring success in the US (and their first chart success, 'I Know What I Like' reaching 21 in the UK chart).
Older Than They Think: Hackett made heavy use of the "tapping" and "sweep picking" techniques (often thought to be invented by 1980s heavy metal guitarists) in the early-to-mid '70s.
Replacement Scrappy: Phil Collins was initially seen as this when he replaced Peter Gabriel. Ray Wilson was seen as this by many fans when he replaced Collins.
Scapegoat Creator: Again, as mentioned under Face of the Band and Misblamed, the fans who reject the band's pop-oriented material tend to place the blame for it squarely on Phil Collins. Even though both Tony Banks and especially Mike Rutherford wanted to write pop songs as well, and the trio eventually developed a democratic songwriting system where, if two band members didn't like a song idea that the third proposed, they would vote it down (so if Banks and Rutherford were against changing the band's sound as much as members of Collins' hatedom say they were, then theoretically, the albums from Genesis onward should have been more of a return to the progressive rock sound instead of the pop albums they are).
Likewise, Tony Banks gets some heat for causing two members of its classic lineup, Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett, to leave the group due to Creative Differences.
Sophomore Slump: Averted, if not Inverted with Trespass, almost universally considered a huge improvement over From Genesis to Revelation. The band had kept writing songs during their early tours and cherry-picked the numbers that went over especially well for the album.
Special Effect Failure: In a documentary, Collins said The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway had at least one in every show they did. For example, one scene required two explosions onstage revealing Gabriel and a mannequin dressed as Gabriel to represent Rael's dual personality. The pyrotechnic expert was a bit overzealous on the explosives, resulting in a charred mannequin.
Surprisingly Improved Sequel: "The Carpet Crawlers" was a long established classic in the band's oeuvre, so when the classic lineup regrouped to rerecord in 1999, many groaned and wondered what the point was. However, when they heard it, a lot of people changed their minds. The rerecording takes the original melody and improves the dramatic qualities of the song. In the original, the melody line is mostly driven by an arpeggiated organ, the drums are not really propulsive, and Peter Gabriel's voice couldn't quite handle the low notes. In the rerecording, all these issues are addressed, and while the song may seem a bit sleek, it works.
Tastes Like Diabetes: A lot of the more popular songs put out during the Collins-led era, especially love songs. Special mention goes to "Follow You Follow Me" and We Can't Dance's "Hold On My Heart" (although for many fans, those two songs fall under this category in the bestpossible way).
They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Several things throughout the band's career can provoke this reaction; most obviously, many older fans of Genesis feel this way about the band's output during the 1980's.
"Firth of Daryl"note Referring to touring guitarist Daryl Steurmer taking Steve Hackett's epic "Firth of Fifth" middle section and turning it into a generic Van Halen-esque guitar solo, along with many other examples of the Collins-era band trying to cover Gabriel-era material. On the other hand, Gabriel actually praised Collins' renditions of his songs, claiming that Collins "sang them better" than he did. Although... He did have mixed feelings about Collins' rendition of "Supper's Ready", but that was mainly because the song was so personal to him; he compared it to seeing someone trying on your old clothes and being unsure if they'll fit.
Can also, oddly enough, refer to the band's choice of equipment. Hardcore fans blame the Korg Wavestation for Tony Banks' muddy, generic sound in the 1990s, and many (and occasionally even bandmembers) will point out that quite a few of the older songs don't sound particularly well on anything but the old, worn-out, temperamental machines they were recorded on note In particular, "Watcher of the Skies" was recorded on a MkII Mellotron, an analogue sampler using magnetic tape, and one not meant for anything but studio use. When it finally broke for the last time, the band switched to a "portable" Mellotron M400, whose single manual keyboard as opposed to the MkII's dual manuals (the second manual's part was played on bass pedals) sucked the life out of the song and led to its retirement. And let's not get into Phil Collins and drum machines unless you want to open another can of worms.
Took the Bad Film Seriously: Ray Wilson, whose work with Genesis on the album Calling All Stations was outright panned, has seemed to parlay his brief stint into a substantial career. To this day, he still performs songs from Calling All Stations live and recently appeared as a guest singer at Steve Hackett's 2013 Genesis Revisited II show at the Royal Albert Hall. Currently more than half his live set list consists of Genesis covers, including several songs originally recorded long before he joined the band.
Also, Ray Wilson following Phil Collins as lead singer.
While averting this when succeeding Gabriel as the lead singer, Collins following him into a solo career would count as well. Tonight Show host Johnny Carson once introduced him as "The man who made a career out of being not as good as Peter Gabriel" for this reason.
In a certain sense, the rhythm section of Daryl Stuermer (guitar, bass) and Chester Thompson (drums) might get compared and contrasted to the musicians whose contributions they have to recreate in live performance. This might especially be the case for Daryl's recreations of Steve Hackett's guitar work, as unlike Mike Rutherford or Phil Collins, Hackett's physical presence onstage is missing from the trio-era lineup.
"Supper's Ready" can also border on either this or Viewers Are Geniuses, particularly if you don't have much understanding of Christian theology (and since Gabriel's theology isn't exactly conventional, it still won't make perfect sense). The Mind Screwdriver explanation the band printed in concert programmes at the time may help somewhat, but still doesn't explain everything.
Values Dissonance: "Illegal Alien", which lightheartedly pokes fun at illegal immigration in the United States, is very obviously a song that could only have been made before the subject matter became a hot-button issue during the 1990's. This is even truer for the music video, which features the band members acting out Mexican stereotypes to the point where it comes off nowadays as highly racist. For these reasons, the band considers the song and video a hugeOld Shame.
Vindicated by History: The band's progressive rock output, to some extent. Some of the band's '70s albums were critically divisive at the time they were released, and they weren't huge sellers compared to either the band's later work or the works of some of their contemporaries (e.g., Pink Floyd and Yes). However, the critical stature of Genesis' early output has improved overall (for instance, the popular music review website Allmusic gives perfect five-star ratings to Foxtrot, Selling England by the Pound, and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway), and they've remained consistent sellers, thanks in part to their continued influence on new generations of progressive rock and metal musicians; for example, Selling England and Lamb have both received Gold certifications in both the United States (at least 500,000 copies shipped) and the United Kingdom (at least 100,000 copies shipped) as well as some other countries.
What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, and the surreal, fantastical stage show that resulted. Word of God claims the band were among the least drug-affected of bands in their era. This probably doesn't count Phil Collins, who spent the Lamb tour high as a kite, and "initiated" Hackett into the band by seeing how much Newcastle Brown Ale he could drink and still play the drums at a live gig. For a seventies rock band, that's practically straight-edge, though.
Les Yay: Sisily and Emi. Sisily also gets a new attack called 'Electrify Kisses' after Emi, a yellow (electric) natured side character, transfers her spiritual power gives her a smooch. Sisily claims she doesn't swing that way, but we know better.
Slow-Paced Beginning: The storyline is not particularly interesting until about halfway through the game, at which point it suddenly picks up the pace.
That One Boss: Cerberus. Is a powerhouse, has a high HP regeneration rate, and acts twice per turn.