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Genesis - Before Or After Gabriel (or Hackett for that matter)?

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Posted on 5 Apr 2009 13:35:10 BDT
stamford 51 says:
this gabriel/collins bickering is childish. I have enjoyed and followed this band throughout their career, have seen them 13 times and have all the albums. of course my first love is the gabriel period and the long songs which i still play regularly, and yes i dislike all the collins divorce songs which cheapened the brand, but i would rather listen to a bad genesis song than many modern bands so called best ones!

to try and claim some high minded musical taste by dismissing all the post gabriel work is unfair. Music changes. Prog rock dominated the early 70's and we loved it but tastes changed, band personnel changed and so the bands music evolved to reflect this. I deplore the fact that some people think 'follow you follow me' represents genesis, and that those self same people have probably never heard watcher,knife, hogweed etc but I can't change it. thats life!

Sorry starting to ramble but to conclude:-

genesis were a fine band with great musicians who recorded several great albums and many fine songs and having checked the cd's I can find examples of their best stuff on each album. my personal lowpoints are ATTWT

Posted on 4 Apr 2009 01:42:44 BDT
rob slevin says:
No mr.cameron - you absolutely and certainly did not answer the question. go away and enjoy 'we can't dance' some more. *&%$. Enjoyed all the other contributions from proper Genesis fans. Rutherford playing is hilarious.

Posted on 13 Mar 2009 11:03:10 GMT
It wasn't just that Gabriel left, it was that Collins ceased to be a serious drummer. Listen to Foxtrot or Selling England and imagine them with everything taken out except the drums. They would almost stand up as albums in their own right. He was the most extraordinary drummer, and he let it go for other things.

Posted on 12 Mar 2009 12:17:01 GMT
Love Genesis from "Trespass" to "Seconds Out". Genesis was really the sum of all parts in the early days and that was their strength.The big change really came after Steve Hackett left. I tried to like it but it was basically crap.

I think Hackett had a bigger influence on the Genesis sound than we think. Just check out his solo stuff (except "Cured") to see how he tried to keep the prog sound going.

My two bobs worth is that Tony Banks probably quickly realised that Hackett was a good composer in his own right and he couldn't hack it ('scuse the bad pun). Hackett has been criminally mixed so low in some albums that he needn't have bothered sometimes. He really shines on the live stuff though.

Posted on 9 Mar 2009 17:09:12 GMT
Last edited by the author on 9 Mar 2009 17:20:30 GMT
Mr. R. Woods says:
A bit of perspective, people. "Selling England" has some excellent (classic) songs, but is The Battle of Epping Forest really that great? Or More Fool Me (which, for everyone who thinks the man should never have been allowed near a microphone, has Collins singing the song)? Their best ever album as compared with Nursery Cryme or Foxtrot (or the Live album from Leicester if you want a sort of Gabriel's Greatest Hits)? Hmmm...

Equally, "Trick of the Tail" has some excellent songs on it as well (Entangled, Mad Man Moon, Ripples, Dance on a Volcano...), "Wind and Wuthering" also has some excellent songs, including the crowd pleasing Afterglow, and frankly ATTWT isn't half bad. Yes, it has some fillers (Scenes from a Night's Dream, Ballad of Big...) but there are some damn good songs as well. Undertow, Down and Out, Burning Rope (I'd love to have heard them play that one live), Deep in the Motherlode...and so it continues, through Duke, Abacab, and so on and so on...

Genesis have always written good tunes, and they continued to do so up until "We Can't Dance," (I've not heard Calling All Stations, though I might now it has been recommended on here), but as they moved further towards poppy quirkiness they also produced too many (many too many) songs that weren't up to it. Tonight, Tonight, Tonight, Whodunnit, Misunderstanding, and a shedload of (for me) forgettable lurve songs. I could go on and I will if you like. All I'm asking for is the removal of the either/or, and the assumption that Rutherford can't play guitar or Collins sing.

Their body of work passes muster and I, for one, will carry on listening with extreme pleasure to all manifestations of Genesis until they carry me out feet first.

Posted on 9 Mar 2009 09:54:34 GMT
I like both Gabrial and Collins until Wind & Wuthering. Then the great Hackett left, forced out by Banks' childishness, and Genesis died. They are unlistenable after .....And then there were three. Rutherford playing guitar......ha ha ha.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Dec 2008 23:13:47 GMT
Martin says:
Indeed, didn't The Bald One himself release an album called 'No Hackett Required' some time in the abominable mid-80s? Case well and truly rested, I should say.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Dec 2008 21:46:37 GMT
There is no doubt in my mind that the Genesis sound was a product of Steve Hackett. The 'Then There Were Three' album sounds like the dying embers of Steve Hackett's influence, almost as if the remaining three were recording songs written by the previous four. After that album, the Genesis sound died. The Phil Collins band appeared under the name of Genesis and, unfortunately, everyone mourned the end of the Gabriel era. This ignored the tremendous influence of Hackett and turned the entire debate into a Gabriel versus Collins grudge match. Trick of the Tail and Wind and Wuthering become two albums stuck in limbo - neither Gabriel's nor entirely Collins' but definitely Hackett's. Genesis could return tomorrow, with the old sound but without Gabriel or Collins, but without Hackett, the unique Genesis that so many people here are talking about, simply would not exist.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2008 18:18:59 GMT
Just noticed this thread while answering the same question to RW Fletcher.

Missed live Gabriel, but did enjoy the Wind and Wuthering tour. ATTWT tour was poor. Stuermer no match for Hackett.

Read "Chapter and Verse" last Xmas, and, as far as rock biogs go, it was good reading - filled in a lot of the blanks as far as band politics go. Hackett was always an outsider - he thought so, and so did they. The pairings of Banks/Gabriel and Banks/Rutherford shifted noticeably, but Banks was clearly the engine of the group.

Nursery Cryme makes me cringe. I was given Platinum for my birthday (not really a fan of such compilations, but there you go..."just what I always wanted") and hearing again the theatrical lyrics of the early albums, and the lack of musical polish justified my decision to give them away. I have sentimental reasons (getting married - having children) for liking Shapes (I love That's All, Silver Rainbow and Home by the Sea) and We Can't Dance (Since I Lost You and Fading Lights) but their middle period was ropey.

That leaves the great 4 - Foxtrot (don't really like side one, but Supper's Ready is wonderful) - Selling England - love it all; no duff track - perhaps their best - The Lamb - dark, rocky (the whole first side, plus Back in NYC is splendid, with Rutherford at his best) - and Trick, with superlative playing that's never been matched, especially Los Endos.

Have I answered the question?

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2008 17:25:25 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Nov 2008 20:19:27 GMT
Red Mosquito says:
Two completely different bands in my opinion. ' Lamb Lies Down' was the last Genesis album. After that, they should have done the decent thing and changed their name. ' Trick of the Tail ' clearly had some of Gabriel's influence but with the housewives choice at the helm the four minute singles were inevitable.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Nov 2008 21:44:43 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Nov 2008 22:09:39 GMT
R. Pievaitis says:
without a shadow of doubt the real genesis has to include gabriel and hackett.
for those youngsters out there who seem to think genesis represent short pop songs like "mamma " etc etc you HAVE TO BE JOKING.
when hackett left for "and then there were three",the group should have renamed( mind you that applies to a lot of bands who should have done the same e.g. purple many times ,rainbow,sabbath,queen,led zep with miles kennedy ?what is going on there !!!!)yes,etc etc etc
genesis stood for quality songs, brilliant musicianship,whimsical themes,a certain penchant for the obscure,no mainstream greed.
i am not normally inclined to express such strong opinions but this one really does need spelling out.
the only exception to this is A TRICK OF THE TALE.
as for PIKEYBOY above who needs to get out more ?at least i don,t waste time leaving such a stupid comment as that ! add to the discussion or don,t bother.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2008 23:56:03 GMT
pikeyboy says:
Honestly, for your own sake, you need to get out more....

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2008 23:50:46 GMT
This discussion of the merits of Genesis pre- and post-Gabriel has sparked several conclusions in my own mind.

Firstly, that the Gabriel years contained some of the most wonderful music in history - a lovely marriage of progressive aesthetics with the tradition of English pastoral going back to the English folksong revival of Cecil Sharp, Vaughan Williams and Holst, but also taking in more contemporary influences such as the Canterbury scene.

Secondly, I get slightly irritated, however, with the received wisdom of the pecking order of the Gabriel-era albums. For me, Foxtrot has always been a deeply problematic album, and my love of this music has always been based on Selling England..., Nursery Cryme and The Lamb. In a similar fashion, I can never understand why VdGG fans plump for Pawn Hearts at the best album. Sure Man-Erg is the greatest track the band ever made, but Lemmings was ropy, and whilst Lighthousekeepers contains some great moments, it doesn't work for me as a whole (I digress).

Thirdly, the greatness continued with A Trick... Wind and Wuthering starts off wonderfully well with Eleventh Earl... and One for the Vine, but declines in quality after that.

Fourthly, It may not be a case of getting progressively worse. I think Duke was considerably better than the terribly dull And Then There Were Three.

Fifthly, I think the Buster Bashing may have gone a bit far. Collins' voice is well suited to a particular kind of song, and I think he produced some good quality pop songs in the eighties. Having said that, I cannot listen to the albums from Abacab onwards without cringing at most of the content. Overall, Gabriel had a much better eighties, and though So was too commercial for me, Security was a great album.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2008 23:32:42 GMT
pikeyboy says:
All you need to know about Phil Collins and Genesis can be found in the novel 'American Psycho' by Jay MacInnery.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2008 23:21:12 GMT
Well, no surprises here, the post Gabriel stuff is rarely lauded. And mostly the comments are justified. Though for me, whilst mainly agreeing, my favourite Genesis album is Trick Of The Tail. It`s after Hackett left that it all started to go badly wrong. I could listen up to and including Duke, but after that, no more. When the solo Collins stuff sounded like the latest Genesis album, enough was enough. I too saw the recent tour ( though on DVD) and was not disappointed merely as I knew what to expect eg not much. Compare that to the first time I saw the band in 1972 when my I was blown away. I just think what a waste of talent.
By the way, I totally agree about Rutherford`s guitar playing. On recent tours they have a far better guitarist who ends up mostly playing bass!

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2008 12:13:18 GMT
MC Zaptone says:
From Genesis to Revelation was a good folky pop album, Trespass, Nursery Cryme, and Foxtrot were works of Genuis. I saw them 7 times during that period. I think if they had quit
there and then or something tragic had occurred we would be talking about them in the hushed tones of reverence for something quite unique and beautiful.
Instead they just slipped into laughable irrelevance.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Nov 2008 23:20:40 GMT
I first got in to rock when the likes of Hawkwind/Genesis, etc, hit the scene. My love of Hawkwind has endured, the endless line-up changes have added to the longevity of an institution. Genesis, however, were a far superior band with Gabriel at the helm. First time I saw them live they were truly haunting, rock theatre at it's best. Genesis post Gabriel were awful.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Oct 2008 22:31:53 BDT
FDJ says:
The Gabriel era was Genesis at their Progtastic best.After Peter left they became Phil Collins backing band.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Oct 2008 08:25:30 BDT
Tommy says:
My little opinion is, Genesis never

Sorry ;-))

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Oct 2008 12:57:26 BDT
J. Hextall says:
I got into Genesis through Seconds Out, a kind of greatest hits of the Gabriel years, sung by Phil Collins. It was pretty good. The older records seemed better with some incredibly beautiful songs on, although the recording and pressing quality was not as good. The more recent albums have been pretty bland. I like Peter Gabriel's solo records although they got a bit samey by the time of So, and I like Phil Collins first solo album, Face Value, especially his version of Tomorrow Never Knows. I don't know his more recent records as I have kind of not been inspired enough to buy them... Although I did like his big band at Nelson Mandela's birthday some years back.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Oct 2008 14:30:40 BDT
I went off them about 1981. Although I realised that they had to move on Genesis for me went downhill as soon as Phil Collins realised they could still dovetail with his horrific solo career. Any one who bought his solo stuff tended to buy later Genesis records and thus helped nurture a two-headed yuppie-friendly monstrosity.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Oct 2008 04:10:44 BDT
I. Walker says:
I like both sides to Genesis personally. I grew up with Genesis when Phil Collins was on vocals but I tracked back and discovered amazing albums such as Foxtrot and Nursery Cryme.

The last Genesis album, Calling All Stations, with Ray Wilson on vocals, is arguably a return to 'the classic Genesis sound'. It is worth a listen.

Take care.


In reply to an earlier post on 2 Oct 2008 00:43:45 BDT
Dan Glaser says:
Zombie woof - I salute you sir! Twice in fact. A person after my own heart as far as Genesis is concerned. The debate rages on and will no doubt continue to do so for some time to come about the Phil Collins on lead vocals era. (To quote you, 'Ruddy kid's matinee' - I agree wholeheartedly). He is/was a great drummer and that's where he should have stayed - behind the drum kit. The whole thing became farcical as he tried to step into Peter Gabriel's shoes with his pathetic narrative between songs during their tours. That's not to say there isn't some merit (artistic or otherwise) in the music of latter day Genesis, but for heaven's sake they could have amended the name (to say The New Beginning... or some such). Anyway in my humble opinion, the group started to fail even while PG was still there, circa The Lamb. (It could have and should have been a single album). But for me, Foxtrot (as English as Big Ben, Fish and Chips and Sunday cricket), is probably one of the greatest albums of all time.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Sep 2008 14:45:38 BDT
Thank you Cartimand - I didn't mention the marvellously evocative 'Nursery Cryme' but I should have - though Tony Banks said it wasn't an advance on 'Trespass' and I think that is probably true. I listened to the v. early 'Genesis to Revelation' again recently - I actually think there is a lot of strong songwriting, lovely tunes and harmonies and so forth on it. Much prefer it to the later contrived poppiness of something like 'Misunderstanding' (with the wonderfully ironic refrain 'there must have been some kind of mistake.')
I don't think one should be too hard on them for wanting to earn some dosh though - it is very sobering to read about how they spent years touring in grotty conditions etc, all for the integrity of the music.
They could have done a name change though, but keeping the 'name' element - like Jefferson Airplane/Starship. Maybe Genesis AD or something.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Sep 2008 07:40:35 BDT
Cartimand says:
Couldn't agree more, zombie woof. Nursery Cryme was the first album that got me into Genesis. Wonderfully evocative and a quintessentially English prog rock sound. All the others from the Gabriel era (leaving out the rather naive Genesis to Revelations for now) were classics. Trick of the Tail was OK, but the Collins influence grew ever stronger and this once great rock back morphed hideously into yet another peddler of disposable pap muzak.
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Initial post:  28 Sep 2008
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