Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Genesis Mama album cover
3.07 | 62 ratings | 5 reviews | 40% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1983

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Mama (5:18)
2. It's Gonna Get Better (5:00)

12" version

1. Mama (7:27)
2. It's Gonna Get Better (6:27)

Line-up / Musicians

- Tony Banks / keyboards, backing vocals
- Phil Collins / drums, percussion, lead vocals
- Mike Rutherford / lead guitar, bass guitar, backing vocals

Releases information

Record Label: Virgin
Catalogue No: MAMA 1 7"
MAMA 112 12"
Country of Origin: UK

Thanks to mogorva for the addition
and to Snow Dog for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy GENESIS Mama Music

GENESIS Mama ratings distribution

(62 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(40%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(23%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (16%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

GENESIS Mama reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
2 stars 'Mama' - Genesis (Single)

Having declared that the studio itself was now an instrument for the band, Genesis proves that point with this single. It is generally accepted that while the band may have been at their commercial peak during the 1980s, they had lost alot of the charm and appeal they once had when Peter Gabriel was fronting the group. While their self-titled album was an uninspired disaster in my books, 'Mama' was one of the few songs on that album that seemed to stand out from it's peers in terms of quality and attractiveness.

While certainly not matching up to a truly 'great' Genesis track by any stretch, 'Mama' is one of the better tracks from this era in the band's career. Here, Phil Collins' trademark drum technique can be heard; not necessarily in the way he plays, but in the way it is translated in the studio. The song (a martial, percussive anthem) is driven by the drum track; engineered to sound like nothing would be heard in nature. To some extent, those who are familiar with industrial music might hear something familiar with the sound here. Admittedly, the track does build up very well, going from a single rhythm into a somewhat epic finale. However, over the course of the seven minutes, the musical theme remains more or less the same, which leads to it being a track you won't necessarily want to put on repeat.

The b-side here 'It's Gonna Get Better' is more or less forgettable. There are interesting instrumental arrangements in sections, however the apparent 'chorus' of the song is not catchy or interesting in the slightest, defeating the purpose entirely.

Certainly not a slice of the band's career I would want to use to introduce someone to this group, but compared to alot of the other material Genesis did under the front of Phil Collins, this is the lesser of two evils.

Review by Matti
3 stars Two tracks from the eponymous Genesis album (1983). First the flip side: 'It's Gonna Get Better' is a pop ballad and one of the most frogettable songs on the album, quite repetitive if I remember right. But 'Mama' is an extremely intensive song I would call a classic. Built on a heavy drum machine rhythm, it weaves a nightmarish atmosphere. Phil's frantic "HA-ha...ha... oooh" shouts are awesome. Also the doomy synths are unlike anything else Genesis have done. It still worked pretty well in their concerts this Millennium.

I'm not sure if the protagonist (the final lines are "no no, don't go! Mama mama don't go!") is meant to be a fetus in mother's womb, but that's the image I get. And it begs her not to go to the doctor to kill him. Frightening! Interesting to think that the same band (but with a very different line-up) did 'Knife' in 1970.

Review by Guillermo
2 stars My review is for the 12" version of this single, which has the two extended versions of both songs.

Maybe it was in September or in October of 1983 that one cousin commented to me that Genesis had a new song played on the radio. A few days later I listened to that song, "Mama", on the radio. I was very surprised (and I am still surprised!) that a song like that, full of "dark" and "sinister" lyrical and musical themes could be released as a single. I really did not like the song, and I still don`t like it. It still sounds to me like music for an horror movie with all those musical atmospheres created by the keyboards, the guitars and even the drum machine and the real drums. And the vocals of Phil Collins are really a very good reflection of the content of the song. The extended version has an extended final section in comparison to the album version. A one star rating for this song.

The "B" side has the extended version of "It`s Gonna Get Better", a much better song than "Mama", for my taste, and it really is another sad song in that mostly "dark" self-titled album from 1983. The difference with "Mama" is that this song, despite having lyrics about loneliness, still reflects some hope. The extended version has an additional last verse which was not included in the album version of this song. This extended version was played during the tour for that album in 1983-84, which also added a very good lead guitar part played by Daryl Stuermer at the end of the song. Maybe the live versions are better than this extended studio version, but this studio version is good. A three stars rating for this extended version of this song.

An indication of the lack of inspiration that GENESIS as a band had for their self-titled album was the lack of extra songs not included in the album and to be released as "B" sides of singles. Even the "Calling All Stations" album (which in my opinion is another candidate for their "worst album ever") had some extra songs which were released as "B" sides of singles.

Latest members reviews

2 stars 2 song single from later-day Genesis. "Mama" and "It's Gonna Get Better". "Mama"- I always considered this to be a remake/copy/ clone whatever...of the Phil Collins tune "In the Air Tonight". It's not a terrible track, and may be considered one of their better works from the post-DUKE era of Ge ... (read more)

Report this review (#300114) | Posted by mohaveman | Wednesday, September 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars One of the few Genesis singles my father purchased throughout the eighties. The thing you must know about my dear old dad is that he is very much like the guy from American Psycho. No no, he doesn't chop up hookers for the sheer fun of it. Nah, he just came onto Genesis when "Duke" and Phil's solo ... (read more)

Report this review (#293899) | Posted by LionRocker | Monday, August 9, 2010 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of GENESIS "Mama"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.