Amazon.com Widgets
1,261 Recommend It!

Genesis: The Peter Gabriel Years (1967-1975)

By Published: | 83,307 views
During the last thirty years the world has been stuck in the syrupy sludge of the Phil Collins era of Genesis, when it was impossible to distinguish a solo Collins record from a Genesis one. Fans of the original group have long been dismayed by the acquired, gargantuan pop overtones of a band which was one of the most intriguing prog-rock groups of the early 1970s. Unless you've heard those early records forget all that has happened from the 1978 release of ...and then there were three... on.



Formed in 1965 by schoolmates Peter Gabriel and Tony Banks, Genesis was originally rounded out with Anthony Phillips (guitar), Mike Rutherford (bass and guitar) and Chris Stewart (drums). After a couple of singles the band entered the studio for their debut. From Genesis To Revelations was marred by producer Jonathan King's lush string arrangements, which set out to copy the road-tested magic of the early Bee Gees records.



Though the brothers Gibb discs were genius slices of chamber pop, the sound really didn't fit the material Genesis was writing. The record has been released in many incarnations but Genesis fans avoid it. With some personnel changes the band entered the studio again, and the sound that would define early 1970s Genesis began to gel on 1970's Trespass.



Genesis

Trespass

Atco/Atlantic

1970



Trespass, though it includes the fan favorite "The Knife" is an often-boring recording. It's apparent that the band is in transition and lacks the energy that would be a later trademark. They do manage to lay down the schematic from which they will work for the next six years. Trespass has a pseudo-folk prog feel, restricting the appeal of the complex arrangements contained within. This record unlike the debut album is an important piece since it contains the seeds of the ideas that would come to fruition on the next two records.



Genesis

Nursery Cryme

Atco/Atlantic

1971



With the addition of the newly acquired Phil Collins on percussion and Steve Hackett on lead guitar, Nursery Cryme was the breakthrough in sound that Genesis needed. Though the next three studio albums are all superior, the best work on this record makes up for the weaknesses. Nowhere is this better exemplified than on "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed." Here the band stretch out and jam, showing their skills. Collins may have destroyed many prog elements, yet his percussion skills have always been brilliant. Hackett is another virtuoso player, who first used the tapping and cross sweeping that many guitarists of the 1980s would rip off (and heard here on Nursery Cryme for the first time). At the same time, Gabriel began to show his skills as an articulate lyricist, while creating a genius theatrical presence on stage.



Genesis

Foxtrot

Atco/Atlantic

1972



In 1972, Foxtrot became the technical and musical breakthrough that the band had been building to. Beginning with the favorite "Watcher Of The Skies"—inspired by Arthur C. Clarke—and ending with the 23 minute "Supper's Ready," which is considered by many fans to be their masterpiece.



Though every track here is strong, "Supper's Ready" stands out since it is one of the finest examples of extended length prog-rock jams. It is comprised of seven parts: "Lover's Leap," "The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man," "Ikhnaton And Itsacon And Their Band Of Merry Men," "How Dare I Be So Beautiful?," "Willow Farm," "Apocalypse In 9/8 (Co-Starring The Delicious Talents Of Gabble Ratchet)," and "As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs (Aching Men's Feet)." The track uses a variety of structures and many of the songs included costume changes for Gabriel when performed live.



Genesis

Genesis Live

Atco/Atlantic

1973



1973 brought this exquisite live release. Though people would not get to see the crazy live show they would get to hear some of the stories that Gabriel would use when introducing songs. The disc shows that some Genesis tunes, such as "The Knife" were better live. Though a full live version of "Supper's Ready" was originally scheduled and put on the test pressings, it was dropped to make the album a single disc affair. But later in the year came Genesis' finest release yet, Selling England By The Pound.



Genesis

Selling England By The Pound

Atco/Atlantic

1973



Considered by many to be the crown jewel of the Genesis catalogue, Selling England By The Pound featured all around genius musicianship and a concept of medieval England. Hackett's work on "Firth Of Fifth" is some of the finest he has ever done, with beautifully executed solos that stand up to the amazing opening by Banks. "The Cinema Show," which features two lovers who are reincarnations of ancient Greeks, is heavily indebted to the "Fire Sermon" from T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land. The track is another shining example of intelligently realized structures used as a base for improvised soloing. Last but certainly not least is the double album that would be Peter Gabriel's swan song from the group...



Genesis

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway

Atco/Atlantic

1974


comments powered by Disqus

Weekly Giveaways

Roscoe Mitchell

Roscoe Mitchell

About | Enter

Peter Lerner

Peter Lerner

About | Enter

Jamie Saft

Jamie Saft

About | Enter

Sun Trio

Sun Trio

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW