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FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION

Genesis

Symphonic Prog


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Genesis From Genesis to Revelation album cover
2.59 | 774 ratings | 104 reviews | 4% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Where the Sour Turns to Sweet (3:13)
2. In the Beginning (3:46)
3. Fireside Song (4:18)
4. The Serpent (4:38)
5. Am I Very Wrong? (3:31)
6. In the Wilderness (3:29)
7. The Conqueror (3:40)
8. In Hiding (2:37)
9. One Day (3:21)
10. Window (3:33)
11. In Limbo (3:30)
12. Silent Sun (2:13)
13. A Place to Call My Own (1:58)

Total Time: 43:47

BONUS TRACK on DCC album:
14. The Silent Sun
15. That's Me
16. A Winter's Tale
17. One Eyed Hound

BONUS CD (39:06)
1. Patricia (Demo) (3:07)
2. Try a Little Sadness (Demo) (3:21)
3. She is Beautiful (Demo) (3:48)
4. Image Blown Out (Demo) (2:49)
5. The Silent Sun (2:14)
6. That's Me (2:40)
7. A Winter's Tale (3:31)
8. One-Eyed Hound (2:33)
9. Where the Sour Turns to Sweet (Demo) (3:16)
10. In the Beginning (Demo) (3:32)
11. In the Wilderness (Rough Mix Without Strings) (2:58)
12. One Day (Rough Mix) (3:08)
13. Image Blown Out (Rough Mix) (2:12)

Lyrics

Search GENESIS From Genesis to Revelation lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search GENESIS From Genesis to Revelation tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Gabriel / lead vocal, flute,. accordion, tambourine, bass drum
- Tony Banks / piano, organ, mellotron, acoustic 12 string. vocals
- Anthony Phillips / acoustic 12 string, electric guitar, dulcimer, vocals
- Mike Rutherford / acoustic 12 string, bass guitar, cello, vocals
- Jonathan Silver / drums, percussion

Releases information

LP DECCA SKL4990 (1969)
CD (2CD Deluxe Edition) Edsel MEDCD721 (2005)

Also released as 2008 RealGold/ Weton-Wesgram B.V. RG2042 Licensed by Jonjo Music Co. Limited

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
Edit this entry

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Buy GENESIS From Genesis to Revelation Music


Turn It on Again: The HitsTurn It on Again: The Hits
Atlantic 2007
Audio CD$1.88
$1.10 (used)
R-KiveR-Kive
Box set
Rhino 2014
Audio CD$32.47
Lamb Lies Down on BroadwayLamb Lies Down on Broadway
Import
EMI Europe Generic 2009
Audio CD$6.05
$15.80 (used)
Selling England By The PoundSelling England By The Pound
Remastered · Import
Atlantic 1995
Audio CD$9.16
$8.29 (used)
TrespassTrespass
Fontana Mca 1993
Audio CD$1.77
$1.18 (used)
And Then There Were ThreeAnd Then There Were Three
Remastered · Import
Wea Int'l 1994
Audio CD$4.78
$4.50 (used)
FoxtrotFoxtrot
Remastered · Import
Wea Int'l 1990
Audio CD$4.80
$5.20 (used)
DukeDuke
ATLANTIC/Q RECORDS
Audio CD$5.95
$3.50 (used)
Invisible TouchInvisible Touch
Rhino 2007
Audio CD$9.25
$5.90 (used)
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Turn It on Again: The Hits by Genesis (U.K. Band) (CD, Mar-2007, Atlantic/WEA) US $1.75 [0 bids]
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1986 Genesis Promo-Only Interview LP w/Cue Sheets and Letter Atlantic Records US $19.95 Buy It Now 1h 10m
Invisible Touch by Genesis (U.K. Band) (CD, Dec-1986, Virgin) US $1.00 [0 bids]
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We Can't Dance by Genesis (U.K. Band) (CD, Nov-1991, Atlantic (Label)) US $1.99 [0 bids]
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Invisible Touch by Genesis (U.K. Band) (Cassette, Oct-1990, Atlantic (Label)) US $3.25 Buy It Now 2h 47m
Genesis by Genesis (U.K. Band) (Cassette, Jan-1983, Atco (USA)) US $3.99 Buy It Now 2h 47m
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Rock Vinyl GENESIS "Genesis" 12" LP Vinyl Record - Original Print US $2.99 [0 bids]
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Pop Rock Vinyl PHIL COLLINS "Buster" 12" LP Soundtrack Vinyl Record - GENESIS US $2.99 [0 bids]
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Rock Vinyl GENESIS "Invisible Touch (Single)" 12" LP Vinyl Record, Collins US $2.99 [0 bids]
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Rock Vinyl GENESIS "And Then There Were Three"" 12" LP Vinyl Record, Collins US $2.99 [0 bids]
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Rock Vinyl GENESIS "Mama" 12" LP Vinyl Record Single US $2.99 [0 bids]
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Rock Vinyl GENESIS "Spot The Pigeon"12" LP Vinyl Record, Collins US $2.99 [0 bids]
3h 46m
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4h 54m

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GENESIS From Genesis to Revelation ratings distribution


2.59
(774 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(4%)
4%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(11%)
11%
Good, but non-essential (35%)
35%
Collectors/fans only (37%)
37%
Poor. Only for completionists (13%)
13%

GENESIS From Genesis to Revelation reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Jonathan King looks after young lads in need of a helping hand

This was Genesis first album (predating "Trespass", which many assume to be their first album), and was produced by pop music impresario Jonathan King. King's influence is strong, with strings overlaid on many of the short, pop orientated songs. The result is similar to the way Phil Spector hijacked the Beatles "Let it be" album. It would be interesting to hear FGTR without the strings, as I am sure it would sound far more like the Genesis with whom we are familiar.

In retrospect, the band's capabilities are clearly there, and some of the songs such as "One eyed hound" hint at what was to come on "Trespass". Much of the band's efforts to explore their capabilities are smothered by King's over production, and his efforts to make the band commercially successful. Even Gabriel's vocals only occasionally point to the power which would be unleashed on subsequent albums.

We should not however be too hard on King, he did after all discover them and set them on the road to becoming the band we all know and love. The poor selling original "From Genesis to revelation" LP is of course very rare and of significant value. It has however been re-issued on numerous occasions under titles such as "Rock Roots" and "The Compact collection", usually with 2-4 additional tracks such as the Bee Gees like "Silent sun" from the same period.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#420) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, March 06, 2004

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars Most people/friends I know discard this as rubbish . OK , this is not good but it is very naive as the musicians were but certainly ambitious as they also were, and they will be more ambitious with further works . That alone makes this a Genesis album in its own right. If one listens to it well , (I realize that this may be hard to do) you will hear that a lot of the ingredients , that we all recognize and love in future albums , are already present here and there are some very good moments fully worth the patronym Genesis. On the other hand , this can be a messy affair but I will call it "un péché de jeunesse"

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#415) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The first GENESIS album: we are still not in the 70's here so do not expect "Foxtrot" 's elaborated compositions.

We just have here tons of short, pop, mellow and accessible songs, where acoustic and soft electric guitars work together with piano and background mellotron. The bass is not timid. We have not to forget GABRIEL's voice, who sings rather like a good young boy coming good parents. I would say that the songs are even a bit sentimental.

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#416) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 08, 2004

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
3 stars Not bad for a bunch of kids that were at school, some poppy ballads, a couple of great tunes like Silent Sun and Am I Very Wrong? Others good and a few bellow the average, but lets be honest, Genesis was a school band searching for a hit and nothing more, but they made a better album than many pop professionals.

The music is nothing special, but Peter's unique voice and Tony's piano are outstanding, maybe Anthony Phillips great talent is wasted.

I understand why some people hate it and others love it, it's a good album but it isn't Progressive Rock at all. Of course it's better than anything Genesis released after Seconds Out, but that doesn't mean too much.

Good, if you are a collectot or a Genesis fan you can buy it as part of the history.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#424) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, April 30, 2004

Review by Proghead
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars To me, I find this album to be little more than a historical curiosity. At this point, the members of GENESIS (Peter GABRIEL, Tony BANKS, Mike RUTHEFORD and Anthony PHILLIPS) were finishing up their education at the notoriously exclusive and snooty public school (that is, the UK eqivalent of a private or boarding school) called Charterhouse. "From Genesis to Revelation" sounds very little like the early GENESIS sound that's to be found on their following albums. As has often been said, the music has more in common with the MOODY BLUES and early BEE GEES, but in my book, it's more like those two band's worst aspects (like the BEE GEES' "I Started a Joke" which a lot of this album reminds me of or many of the overblown ballads the MOODY BLUES are known for).

The music is plastered with reall bad dentist office Muzak-style strings, out of tune piano, barely noticible guitars, and bad lyrics. "Fireside Song" to me is by far the worst thing on this album with inane lyrics that go: "Once upon a time there was confusion, disappointment, fear and disillusion". This album seemed more the product of producer Jonathan King (himself a former Charterhouse student) than what the guys of GENESIS had in mind. At that time, the legality of the name GENESIS was in question (because of an obscure American band that recorded for Mercury Records that existed at the same time, who vanished very quickly without a trace), so the original LP was simply titled "From Genesis to Revelation" with no mentione of the band's name, with most of the copies being sold under the religious section, explaining the pitiful sales (the musical quality also explains a lot as well).

The only good I can say of this album is Peter GABRIEL, his voice is still quite unmistakable. But luckily the band will be heading in the right direction by changing labels and being much more serious. As for this album, basically get a copy if you can find it for cheap.

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Send comments to Proghead (BETA) | Report this review (#431) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 02, 2004

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Love this album. You have got to remember these were just kids and Jonathan King was producing so hence the Bee Gee type similarities. There are moments on the album where you can already pick up the potential of Gabriel's voice. It is not a bad album at all when you consider the time it was produced. What I found most unusual was the chenge to Trespass. This album but a seed, Trespass was already growing.....

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#439) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, July 05, 2004

Review by Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars My Stereo L.P. copy is called "Rock Roots: Genesis", released by Decca in 1976, and it was the first time this album was released with the 4 bonus tracks:two singles and their "B" sides (with Chris Stewart on drums, all Mono recordings). I begin with the review of the singles. "The Silent Sun" is a Mono version of the song called "Silent Sun" and also released in the original "From Genesis to Revelation" album. It sounds different, of course (it is in Mono), but as this single was recorded and released when original drummer Chris Stewart was in the band, I can`t say if Stewart is also in the album version of this song (John Silver played the drums in "From Genesis...") , and apart from the mixing, I can`t say if it is the same recording. This is one of my favourite songs in the album, but I prefer the Stereo version. Good orchestral arrangements. The B side of this single, "That`s me", is also good, without orchestra, with teenage lyrics. "A Winter`s Tale", the second single, is another good (love) song, without orchestra. "One Eyed hound", the B side of the second single, is also good, and also without the orchestra. Most of my favourite songs from the "From Genesis..." album are in the Side Two of the L.P. : "One Day", "Window", "In Limbo" (the best of all, with a very good lead guitar and very good drums, and here the orchestral arrangements really worked well with the song), and "Silent Sun" . "In the Wilderness" from Side One is also one of my favourites. This album is good, and it shows that Genesis had an own style since the beginning of their career. But this album was promoted in a wrong way: the original cover was a black cover with the words "From Genesis To Revelation" printed. Yes, it sounds like the Bee Gees in some places, but the Bee Gees of the sixties were in their peak, I think (in comparison to "Saturday Night Fever"), so, if they were an early influence, it was a good influence. GENESIS still sound inmature in this album, but being an album recorded when the members of the band were 16-18 years old, it is still good. The original full Mono album version of "From Genesis to Revelation" (originally released without the singles and the B sides, of course) is not only different due to the mixing. The songs also were edited differently. Some songs are longer, others are shorter, than in the full Stereo version of the album.

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#442) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, October 07, 2004

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Far from a success back when it was released in March 1969 selling only 650 copies worldwide and mostly by christians, obviously because of the album title. This is a collection of short and folk influenced pop songs with a very young Peter Gabriel on vocal. Awful production and completely unnecessary string arrangements on nearly every track ruins this album for me. And the drums are nearly inaudible!

I picked up the Disky edition for a few bucks mainly because Im a Genesis fan. Listening to this and then follow it with 'Trespass' is quite a leap really, but Im forever thankful they went that direction instead. Not essential by any means but a nice enough item for fans. Loads of demo tracks from this album is also avalable on the 'Genesis Archive 67-75' boxset for those who would like them as well.

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Posted Thursday, December 02, 2004

Review by slipperman
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Unlike some other poor Genesis albums (which would come much later), 'From Genesis To Revelation' is less than exemplary due to outside influence. Then pop-mogul Jonathan King not only named the band and got them their record contract, but he had huge influence in shaping this album's arrangements, adding horns and strings to the band's disapproval, as well as snipping their tendency toward longer pieces.

There isn't a lot you'd call real prog here (or real Genesis either!), other than the interesting linking of one song to another by themed musical segues--and the insanely ambitious concept: the history of man's evolution in 12 pop-length songs. 'From Genesis To Revelation' is wrapped in a somewhat ethereal production (maybe "muddy" less kindly describes it), and the band's latent creative abilities are hugely dampened. Little of the forthcoming Genesis sound is heard, Tony Banks hardly audible but for the thin tinkling on what sounds like a child's plastic piano. Mellow acoustic harmonies and melancholy melodies offer a mere glimpse into what would become a large part of the Genesis approach. Peter Gabriel is instantly recognizable. He takes command confidently enough, despite his fairly unobtrusive presence. His voice carries otherwise average songs like "Where The Sour Turns To Sweet" and "Am I Very Wrong?", showing a good degree of maturity and command. When the band gets to flex its muscles a bit and go for heavier textures and relatively ambitious playing--as heard on wonderful songs like "The Serpent", "In The Wilderness" and "The Conqueror"--things reach a sublime level. (An interesting note: the opening segue into "The Serpent" incorporates what seems to be a foreshadowing of "Twilight Alehouse".) Then there's the dull plod of the rest of the album. "Fireside Song" sounds uncomfortably close to Spinal Tap's flower-power parody, and many other moments are mired in hokey brass enhancements. "In Hiding", "In Limbo", "The Silent Sun" and the nauseating boys-choir stylings in "Am I Very Wrong?" are pretty much abysmal. Too bad they didn't replace one of these songs with the hypnotic "Let Us Now Make Love", which found release on the first 'Archives' box set much later.

This album was licensed to the point of ridiculousness by Jonathan King, and goes by other titles like 'In The Beginning', 'The Silent Sun', 'Where The Sour Turns To Sweet', '. And The Word Was', and geez, about 20 others. (Collect 'em all!) It's not a great album by any name, thanks in large part to a (well-meaning) visionary who saw this band's potential but not its purpose. A footnote in the Genesis discography, a mere curiosity dotted by a few worthwhile tunes and a lot of flat-out crap.

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Posted Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Review by soundsweird
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is an album that must be taken at face value. Jonathan King, the producer whose hit single "Everyone's Gone To The Moon" (a great song, incidentally) may have been a template for the overall sound on this album, obviously had more impact on the finished product than the band members themselves. Just like the pre-King Crimson album "The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles & Fripp" (which is actually a pretty good album), this effort is worthwhile as a glimpse into the beginnings of a great band. In addition, some of the songs, though hopelessly "of their time", are pretty good pop songs. I happen to like The Bee Gees' output up until their Disco period, and this material is about as good as their non- hit album tracks. Find a cheap used copy of the CD, and add it to your Genesis collection.

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Posted Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "We're waiting for you. Come and join us now. We need you with us. Come and join us now!" - GENESIS "Where The Sour Turns To Sweet"

Yeah! It's an encouraging lyrics. Whenever I facilitate a leadership / strategy workshop (hey, music has been in my blood since I was at fourth grade enjoying local bands like Koes Plus, Panbers, Golden Wing, The Rollies, etc. So I breathe, I sleep, I work with music!) I sometimes put this CD and played Where The Sour Turns To Sweet after the participants enjoyed coffee break. The reason is simple: I love Genesis and I think the above lyrical part is suitable to gather the crowd back to my class. People usually do not complain because the music is truly simple - no heavy guitar riffs, no soaring keyboard sounds - but it has wonderful melody! We're waiting for you. Come and join us now . uugghh man .. it's truly encouraging lyrics! And it's suitable for leadership subjects. Sometime I got a new prog friend as one of the participants approached me before my class started: "Gatot, do you like Genesis?". Wow . I got new prog friend since then ..!!! Prog rules!

One should not put one eye to this debut album even though the music is simple. Look, all the ingredients of future Genesis album are here: great melody, neat composition. What lacking was probably the complexity as a prog rock album. It's fine with me because almost songs are excellent. Please imagine if song like "Am I very Wrong" is rearranged with a bit of complexity, you would find it interesting. Echolyn did a tribute song to Where The Sour Turns To Sweet and it's an excellent composition! In The Beginning, Fireside Song, The Serpent are all great tracks!

I think we should put thing into perspective when we put a review of this album as that time the psychedelic music was the major movement in music industry with previously released Pink Floyd's Pipe at The Gates of Dawn. The only this=ng that this album doe not deserve five stars is because of the comparison with In The Court by King Crimson that had moved the prog music forward as compared to Genesis debut. The follow-up album, Trespass, was really a take-off in Genesis music direction. Keep on proggin' ..!

Progressively yours, GW

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Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I am a big GENESIS fan, but let's be serious and realistic: "From Genesis to Revelation" is a very weak album.

Several substantially good songs ("Where the Sour Turns to Sweet", "In the Beginning", "The Serpent"...) are drowned among the amateurish production, additionally spoiled by inappropriate orchestral arrangements, with terrible sound. On the other hand it is amazing to see that Gabriel was already a developed singer and Banks an excellent pianist. Others are virtually non-identifiable on this record, which was notorious for its numerous re-packages by various labels. Mine is a Dutch release by Disky in 1996, including a standard singles "Silent Sun/That's Me" + "Winter's Tale/One Eyed Hound" as bonus, with previously unreleased "Image Blown Out" and an interesting early demo of "The Serpent" under the title "She's So Beautiful" with the same melody but different lyrics (teenage romantic desire instead of God's creation of man!).

Not recommended to anyone but a devout GENESIS enthusiast. Still, close to **1/2!

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Posted Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Because of the name of the band, this album was often put in the section 'Religion' in the record stores! Anyway, it achieved poor sales and Genesis decided to get rid off their producer Jonathan King. The main reason to do that was his commercial musical view, for instance to add polished violin arrangements to some compositions, the band was absolute furious about this!

In general this album is a pleasant mix of pop, rock and classical featuring the emotional, very distinctive voice from Peter Gabriel, the lush 12-string acoustic guitars and the tasteful keyboards from Tony Banks. Some tracks sound very promising but most of the songs are no more than nice progressive pop. No wonder that Tony Banks once said Jonathan King wanted Genesis to sound as a 'Bee Gees pastische'...! The great compositional skills from the band members lift "From Genesis to revalation" to a good album, no more or less.

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Posted Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is certainly one of my own favorite underdog records! Some of the songs here are very good, though there are also evidently non-essential tracks included. Some of the duller ones may also have nice parts, but I'll focus on my favorite tunes.

"In The Beginning" has a nice aggressive feeling in it, with straightforward acoustic guitars, and Peter is doing preachy vocals about the creation of man: "It has begun, you're in the hands of destinyyyYYYY!". The song begins with strange organ sounds, and is a quite good one really. "The Serpent" continues with the biblical genesis-themed lyrics. There's a very funny chorus going from one single note behind the singing at the verse, which I found as really pleasant detail. There are also no orchestrations and only little of keyboards used on the song. "In The Wilderness" is also a great performance, Peter gets to do some powerful singing, and the composition is nice, leading to interesting spheres of moods. "The Conqueror" has gospel-oriented feelings, achieved with acoustic piano and guitar driving the song towards, and Peter is again singing about "The day of justice". I don't find it surprising this LP was first sold in sixties at slots of religious record instead of pop, as I think it is such to a very high degree from lyrical and emotional aspects. As counterpart for this, I also have the satanic albums of Black Widow on my record shelf, so they can counterbalance each other, and do some physical fighting when people are not witnessing it. "Window" has also very peculiar feeling of The Genesis sound in its beginning, though it's a quite dull song otherwise. "Silent Sun" was some sort of hit I believe, and it sounds like it, slightly boring tune.

I have this as DCC re-release, so I have heard some of the bonus tracks. There's a small funny detail at least in my copy, "Silent Sun" is named as "Silent Gun" in the track listing. I'm not sure why it's also here as a bonus track. Maybe the re-releasers thought these are two different songs 'cause of this error, or there might be some unnoticeable tiny differences in the mix? It could be also a B-side of a single, named just differently. "A Winter's Tale" is great song with dual layered vocals, which in some parts have different lyrics, just like in the song "Fountain of Salmacis" to be recorded few years later.

I wouldn't recommend this as the first Genesis album except to those who like only 1960's music. But when one is familiar with the band's music, it's nice to find elements of their style yet in their birth process. These songs have very often some short piece of playing not related to the actual song in them, and there are also some fade-outs and various post-production stuff detected, which are probably producers ideas. Well, there are also some more songs from this era on the "Archive - vol.1" CD-box, if you want to check them out.

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Posted Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Review by Prognut
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Well, I will have to agree with most all the reviews. Not really an album that IMO deserve much of my time. Proto-progressive at most, but nothing progressive to show for. Remember, this one is 1969 and they were very young! Still is part of my GENESIS collection! But, overall maybe 2 1/2 stars at the most.

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Posted Friday, October 14, 2005

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Not so awful as some reviewers saw and not so spectacular as some unaware person should expect from Genesis. Songs are generally good, production is generally bad.

When doing the first hearing we could think about a band in the midway between Bee Gees, with their easy-cheesy tunes and Moody Blues, with more elaborated orchestrations; I wonder... try to realize some songs in a "Trespass" or "Nursery Cryme" kind of arrangement, for instance 'Silent sun' or 'Am I very wrong?': longer, more dramatic, with more extensive solo parts, etc. The result would be fine.

Even with the problems Banks, Rutherford and Phillips show a fair musicianship and Gabriel gives a demonstration of even better times to come. Phillips style, soft and discreet, could be better observed in his solo works.

Best tracks are: 'Where the sour turns to sweet', the shaking opener; 'Fireside song', with a dark intro; 'In limbo', very catchy and rocky. Other tracks are simply average, although easily hearable.

Knowing Genesis output in the following years, it is very interesting to make contact with the band childhood and first features, and to perceive that in some moments they show the same punch observed later.

Minus 1.5-star for the weak production, minus 0.5-star for the obvious commercial and poppish bias. Total: 3.

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Posted Saturday, November 12, 2005

Review by Tony Fisher
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars If only these young lads from Charterhouse had spent more time developing ideas and had used a more sophisticated producer than the awful Jonathan King, this album might have been something listenable. As it is, the tracks range from total bilge to some with clear promise (The Serpent, Silent Sun, The Fireside Song) but the string arrangements and poppy feel ruin almost everything. You can sense King's hand pushing them to release an album before they were really ready. Their playing shows some promise but is far short of what they would achieve later.

They didn't take long to get it right (indeed next time out) but this is definitely only for completionists.

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Posted Friday, August 11, 2006

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Black Holes or Revelations?

An intriguing debut that shows tantalising glimpses of the band's full potential - and goes a little way to realising some of that potential in several places. The initial impression is of a super-light folk song collection with little consequence, but closer inspection reveals a surprisingly subtle range of very musical expression and something on the outer fringes of Flower Power with a couple of dark twists.

For Genesis fans, an interesting historical document, for collectors, if you can find a first press, a real gem - since the value will continue to climb, even from the outrageous prices it currently commands - for folk fans, an interesting curio by one of Prog's greats, but for the average Progger (if there is such a person) a bland and mushy throwaway collection of insignificant trivia.

Musically, the melodies seem to be the biggest let-down as they wander up and down the major scale, sounding like Gabriel had raided the nearest English Hymnal. The harmonies and arrangements, though, are more interesting than King's bland production and naff string arrangements would have us believe.

But these are generalisms - if we listen in a bit more detail, then there are a lot of nice proto-prog touches that would otherwise be completely overlooked - incuding the fact that this is very nearly a concept album.

Starlight

"Where The Sour Turns To Sweet" is very interesting lyrically - almost prophetic in places. "Look inside your mind, See the darkness is creeping out, I can see in the softness there, Where the sunshine is gliding in, Fill your mind with love, Find the world of future glory". This could also infer the time before the universe began, where all was potential.

The introduction is fairly interesting - Banks' lonely piano lines accompanied by a finger- click rhythm are quickly joined by Gabriel's familiar tones inviting us to "come and join us now". This early statement of the chorus idea is followed by a piano and light guitar accompanied verse - and there may be a Mellotron in there - "Can you sense the change" modulates to a minor key, and the second chorus is more fully accompanied and more passionately sung using a variation on the original melody. After a second iteration of this pattern, featuring the notable line from Gabriel "Paint your face all white " the first chorus variant is re-used and extended as a burn-out. OK, it's nothing stunning, but it's not your average song structure.

Then there's a dark and throbbing keyboard and bass introduction to "In The Beginning" - the title continuing the prophetic vein - and the Biblical connections are re- inforced as Gabriel sings about the birth of planet earth - although in Darwinian terms rather than Biblical.

The melody is shockingly naff and robs the lyrics of their authenticity, while the accompaniment hangs around single tonal areas - although the line "It has begun You're in the hands of destiny" is colourfully arranged. It does get more interesting in the "C" section, however - the structure of this piece is ABABCABC - again indicating the fledgling Genesis' intention to break away from the run of the mill - everything as normal until the re-visted C section, which seques neatly into "Fireside Song" via a Banks piano line that modulates neatly before the horrible strings ruin everything. This also happens at the beginning of each chorus - a wonderful modulation is masked beneath unnecessary and vulgar strings that server up lashing of cheese faster than you can say "Edam".

Gabriel's lyrics this time revolve about the emergence of life, and you might make out fragments of melody from "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight" - because I certainly can.

The introduction to the Serpent is very badly produced, with a nasty drop-out at the end, but full of interesting key and tempo changes. Gabriel finds a darker melodic line to follow, keyboard lines shine through and the music ebbs and flows dynamically. Really, if some of those keyboards, drums and guitars were higher in the mix, we'd be entering into Doors territory - this could be such a powerful song, despite Gabriel's weak melodies. Lyrically, we consider the creation of man, woman Garden of Eden and serpent, but there are no real poetic fireworks here - this is just the next logical part of the story.

Banks' piano lines on "Am I Very Wrong?" remind me of Marillion's Fugazi, but the acoustic guitar and flute lines are pure early Genesis. The concept of the song structure, however, is pure Genesis with the lonely man questioning and worrying, while the chorus reassures (in abysmally precious vocal style) - in the first signs of theatricality from this band. The concept of the album, on the other hand, is virtually lost - this song just doesn't fit into it.

Burn in hell for your sins

Here, the album loses concept and direction, taking a massive nosedive;

"In The Wilderness" is a more intriguing title than song - it should have been called "Music, All I hear is Music"... although we're using the term Music loosely in this case to describe this rather naff and cheesey piece. Even Banks little improv at the end doesn't save it - it's FAR too short.

Anthony Philips reprises the "Music, All I Hear Is Music" theme as the intro for "The Conqueror" - but the awful drop-in makes it just sound like a mistake. A vaguely average song that isn't saved by the keyboard and guitar layers one iota.

"In Hiding" is a bit of a Gabriel showcase, with rich melodies, a little vocal harmony and very interesting lyrics asserting "I have a mind of my own". It's a pity Jonathan King didn't listen to this one as he could have learned something.

"One Day" shows Gabriel in a more poetic mood, while Banks and Philips wrap rhythms around each others parts...(don't even go there, it just gets a bit wearying reviewing music this average!) - if only those strings and horns would just shut up!!! You can kind of hear what King was trying to achieve, but no. Just no.

Supermassive Black Hole

So... 4 tracks to go, and the concept well and truly dead. Or is it? Who said the Revelations had to come from the Bible? The interpretation of Genesis didn't.

Ostensibly, 4 standard songs - but songs with lyrics that are pure Gabriel and melodies that hint of what he is capable of. Banks' keyboards are more interesting than the run- of-the-mill and Philips' guitar is unfairly suppressed in the mix dominated by horrible strings and horns that threaten to strangle the delicate songs underneath...

Witness these great lyrics from "In Limbo"

"Take me away From the power of my ambition And I'll be happy Peace - floating in limbo, Limbo - leading me nowhere, Peace - now without motion I cry - when will i die? God - where is my soul now? My world, please set me free"

Coulda Woulda Shoulda

It could have been so much better - and this album could have killed Genesis forever. Fortunately, as the evidence in these grooves shows, they were so much better than this artifact despite King's attempts to prove that he was better.

Side 1 gets 3.5 Stars because it sticks to the concept and develops nicely. Side 2 gets 2 Stars because of the quality of individual band members' contributions.

It's just a pity about the quality of the resulting album.

Buy out of curiousity by all means - but if you do, don't give up on it after one or two hearings.

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Posted Thursday, November 02, 2006

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I purchased this album together with their back catalogue in April 1974. Needless to say, it was quite a deception : some poppy songs with classical orchestra in the background.

No wonder that this album won't be a huge success: it doesn't a single great tune even if "In The Beginning" has some psyche flavour à la "Jefferson Airplane" and is one of the best track of the album.

The low of the album is reached with "Fireside Song" : a mellow song with no feeling nor melody. Very poor (same for "In Hiding" and "Silent Sun"). "The Serpent" has some insights of what "Genesis" will be be a year later. Unfortunately, the orchestration is quite useless.

Their first album though, won't be remembered as a great one. Mostly poor compositions. And I can tell you, I purchased this one just after "Foxtrot", so the disappointment was enormous. It is really not comparable with their later work even if on some tracks, Peter's vocals are precursory of "Trespass".

I can only rate this album for what it is and not as a "great" start of one of the most fabulous band (IMHHO).

Too many boring orchestrations, lacks of passionate songs : this album contains too many weak moments to be reasonably rated more than two stars. The band was really disappointed by the poor sales of this record and almost called it quit.

But then they signed a contract with Charisma...The story could begin.

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Posted Friday, December 29, 2006

Review by silvertree
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars OK. So this was their very first album. It sounds more like a demo for the Trespass album. It's also ruined by a very bad orchestration their producer added. Reminds me of The Beatles' Let It Be album also ruined by production in my opinion. Anyway, this is only for fans of Genesis and Peter Gabriel.

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Posted Friday, February 16, 2007

Review by progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Being introduced to Genesis in the mid-1980s, I worked my way backwards through their catalogue from the self-titled Genesis album of 1983. As I progressed with each album, they got better and better. What an amazing group this was. Alas, I finally reached their first album and was quite disappointed with it.

Here we have the humble beginnings of what will become one of the greatest prog bands of the 1970s. It's basically a collection of mellow 1960s pop songs, sorely lacking the musical and lyrical skill of Trespass and all other albums that followed. Still, you can hear potential here and there on this oddity of a record. On some of the songs, Gabriel's voice carries that raw energy he would be widely known for on later recordings, especially on the song "In the Beginning." The music though, has an almost demo feel to it.

Not the best place to start if you want to get into Genesis. I would recommend starting with Trespass and then acquiring each album chronologically after that. Only for the curious, thus two stars.

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Posted Thursday, June 14, 2007

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Genesis debut is clearly much different from all the albums they did after it. But listening close you can hear hints of what was to come. Even today I listen to this CD with great pleasure. Ok, I´ll have to agree with most reviews here stating this is really a pop oriented album most of the time. So what? It´s good music after all and I still think it´s a tremendous first efford for such a young band. In fact a band that didn´t really exist: according to their offical bio Chapter and Vsrse, before going to the studio they were actually just two teams of songwriters (Ant Philips and Mike Rutheford on one side and Tony Banks and Peter Gabriel on the other).

The lyrics for instance are quite original and interesting. The orchestration do make them sound a little more appealing than their raw demos available later on the Archives boxset (which indeed sounded too unoriginal and a little too derivative). Anyway, the resulting album shows great promise, specially on tracks like Where The Sour Turns to Sweet, In Hidding, The Serpent and Am I Very Wrong? The rest of the songs are alt least good, and I think Silent Sun is a fine pop tune. Producer Jonathan King definitly saw their potential.

Although Tresspass would be a giant step forward, From Genesis To Revelation has a special place in my heart. It shows Genesis still struggling to find their sound, but talented as they were, even their early effords were better and bigger than much of other bands best stuff. 3,5 stars, really. Not really essential (except for the Genesis fans) but a very good start that survived the test of time.

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Posted Monday, September 03, 2007

Review by Slartibartfast
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I first encountered From Genesis to Revelation about the same time I became a big Genesis fan in the first place, in '78 at the time And Then There Were Three came out. At the time, I was able to get exposure to the whole catalog. Certainly, my least favorite from the discography so far, back then. Still, I've always regarded as part of the family. It really shows the promise and potential that Gabriel, Banks, Rutherford, and Phillips had for the future as musicians. Also , quite a good effort in it it's own right, considering the age of thes guys. Maybe as time has gone by and a lot more music has entered my life, this material has been diminished a bit, but too much. I won't speak too much about the music. Because there are so many reviews that already go into detail.

The current CD version in my collection was sort of fast one by Decca released in 1987 to capitalize on the fame of the band at the time. They titled it And The Word Was.. Some bonus tracks were provided, but they sandwiched the main album between them, which I consider wrong, but I was glad to get it just to complete my old Genesis collection (I think I bought it early '90's). It starts out with a mono version of Silent Sun, which I wouldn't really rate a "bonus". That's Me follows, which was the B side of the single, no orchestrations on that one, I really like it.

They did leave LP's tracks in proper order. The music is a nice combination of mellow and harder tracks. It has a lot of progressive elements to it and yet still has one foot stuck in some of the '60's sound. The last two tracks on the CD are from their second single demonstrate this in particular. But I think songs on the album really are musically half way to Trespass.

The album certainly is an essential for any big Genesis fan and an excellent addition for those of the '70's era band. It's not a masterpiece of progressive as much as a historical artifact, that may or may not be of interest to the average prog fan. If you're in the latter category be sure to try it before you buy it. I give it the benefit of the round up.

Footnote: There's a really good version of In the Beginning on a tribute album called The Fox Lies Down performed by Mother Gong. Yes, that Gong.

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Posted Thursday, November 01, 2007

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The first album from Genesis is generally overlooked in the discography of the band. The music is of another nature than their later efforts, but hints of future grandiour are there, if you listen close enough.

Genesis didn´t have their symphonic sound yet, and the album is really a collection of 2-4 minute long Pop/ rock songs. The expression is rather melancholic and simple.

There are some really great songs on this album though, which I find really enjoyable. The mix is not that good, but you can easily hear what´s happening. Songs like Where The Sour Turns To Sweet, The Serpent and In the Wilderness are good solid tracks.

Phil Collins and Steve Hackett had not joined the band at this point, and wouldn´t until Nursery Cryme, which meant that Jonathan Silver plays the drums and Anthony Phillips plays the guitar. Anthony would also play on Trespass where he would make a much bigger impact than on this album.

If you are a diehard fan like me you will surely enjoy this early attempt from Genesis. It´s not the place to start for new fans though as this is not really comparable to what they stood for in their Symphonic Peter Gabriel period.

Personally I would give this one 3 stars as I find this album enjoyable and good, but I realise that this is a collecters item and it probably won´t have any relevance to anyone else than completists. This means I have to give this one 2 stars. Not because it´s bad, but because it´s simply only for the diehards.

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Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Review by Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars From Genesis To Revelation is a very sweet sounding debut record from a band that would go on and define what Symphonic Prog was all about. The album is acoustically based, mainly 12 string guitars and Piano, with a subtle rhythm section. Peter Gabriel's vocals are clear and perfect, maybe a tad innocent, but still demonstrates a singer with a fine set of vocal chords. The lyrics are generally fantasy oriented, with well crafted choruses and memorable melodies. The songs are all short, they flow into one another, giving the record a continuum which tends to hook the listener onto what they were doing (not that it was the first, or last album to do so, but it is an early example). Arthur Greenslade's orchestral arrangements are integral to most compositions, they are somewhat 'cheezy', but in all fairness, I couldn't imagine what the songs would sound like without them. Occasionally, sound effects have been employed to enhance certain songs, and Banks uses an organ on what I think is the best track, 'The Serpent'. Hints of things to come on that one. It does sound dated by today's standards, but maintains a certain 'magic', making it more than just a completists acquisition. 3.5 stars.

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Posted Saturday, November 17, 2007

Review by TGM: Orb
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Review 8, From Genesis To Revelation, Genesis, 1968 StarStar

A rather weak album, in my opinion: a load of pop songs, none of which are very compulsive, and the few flashes of excellence are soon obscured by massed string/horn parts and appalling choruses. However, it's occasionally good for background music, and, apart from The Conqueror, I wouldn't consider any of the tracks irritating. The concept in itself is feebly done (producer Jonathan King's fault, since he suggested it) and the lyrics vary from terrible to passable. I prefer a couple of the stringless mixes to those included on the album, and the original 'She Is Beautiful' floors the reworked version 'In The Beginning'.

Where The Sour Turns To Sweet has a fairly nice melody and vocals, but the lyrics are a little poor, and for no real reason, the end result doesn't make a real impression. The string and horn overdubs here are generally tolerable.

In The Beginning begins with a promising chaotic sound into a bass part into a song dragged down by the poor sound quality and slightly pretentious lyrics. I like the components, but the recording isn't very clear, and you can't really hear anything except Gabriel properly: Rutherford and Philips are good musicians (at least, they are later), but it seems that here, as on the rest of the album, they can't be heard properly.

Fireside Song goes on too long with too little variation, and the lyrics are pretty ineffectual. Gabriel's unsteady voice and the whiny strings do nothing to alleviate this. However, the starting piano theme is passable, and the acoustic parts are sometimes good. The end result is dull and cheesy, sadly.

The Serpent starts off quite well with a sort of hollow drumming thing and excellent acoustics and a decent bluesy rocking guitar part, then it moves to a rework of what was originally 'She Is Beautiful', not bad, with a decent bass part and bits of organ if you listen hard enough, as well as good electrics, and enjoyable drumming, but the vocal harmonies (aaaa) (aaaa) (aaaa) everywhere really make it difficult to listen to the music, and the lyrics are feeble, compared to the original piece.

Am I Very Wrong has one of the highlights of the album: the excellent pensive acoustics-trombone-and-vocals of the verses, with great piano parts between them, unfortunately, it then goes on to have a silly, moderately mindless chorus that ruins everything. Could've been a pretty good song, but wasn't.

In The Wilderness actually isn't too bad, though the childish dun-dun-dun-dun thing leading to a passable chorus annoys me if I'm listening properly. The verses have a hint of Gabriel's future ability and range as a singer, but it doesn't quite work here, for whatever reason. The strings don't hurt me. The piano solo end is a decent touch.

The Conqueror opens with a guitar repeat of the In The Wilderness themes, and then a fairly mindless and unclear acoustics and piano tune with fairly weak harmonies and appalling lyrics. On the plus side, the electric guitar in the background and then soloing over the top of the theme is good, however, the piece overall is very weak.

In Hiding has the same problems as the much of the rest of the album: repeated and uninteresting music, and a weak chorus. Gabriel's voice here is pretty good, but that's about the only thing I like about the song.

I like One Day, silly horns and strings, yes, repeated chorus, yes, fairly weak lyrics, yes, but it seems to work here. The bass-and-piano are good, the xylophone or vibraphone or whatever it is additions to the start are nice, and it all works together quite neatly.

Window starts promisingly with a bit of acoustic guitar and piano, bass in the background, a quiet and haunting vocal with (what sounds like) trombone in the mix, slowly building to... a bland and generic chorus with irritating strings and fairly idiotic lyrics. The verses are generally quite good, though they could have lost the violin, but the end result is an unmemorable song.

In Limbo again starts with a decent theme, and this time it's the vocals that bring it down, and the choruses are also annoying. The ending limbo section suffers from poor mixing, in my opinion, I love the electrics and hectic background music, but it's not very audible behind the weak brass and vocals in the foreground.

The Silent Sun is a little uninteresting: an essentially generic ballad crossed with a generic pop song. The harmonies are badly done, the vocals aren't that great, and the violin is completely redundant here. Just unmemorable.

The concluding A Place To Call My Own is probably the best thing on the album. Banks and Gabriel give their first real indication of their future vocal and piano talents, and the instrumental end is quite good, with the strings/brass being used in a more constructive way. I don't love the final 'lalalala' thing that much, but it's a decent effort.

The bonus tracks I have on my 2 CD compilation thingy make it much easier to piece together the problems: recycling of material to fit producer Jonathan King's concept results in weaker lyrics, and the strings and horns seem to be added a lot when not needed. I prefer Patricia without the vocals to the piece it became (In Hiding), Try A Little Sadness is a weak pop song, with basically the same random strumming and good piano with a couple of tolerable musical moments in there that can actually be heard. She Is Beautiful is essentially a better version of The Serpent with piano taking the lead, better lyrics ('cool as ice, but brittle as glass') and the (aaaa) being less dominant. Although I think the final mix has better basic material, this one sounds better. Image Blown Out is a fairly silly, whimsical composition, tolerable once if you're in a good mood.

The Silent Sun's single version isn't really that much different, but the slightly more audible bass is good. Retains the problems of the original, but slightly less dull. That's Me is an enjoyable pop song, although the vocals in the chorus grate a little. The guitar solo (and guitar in general) is fun, and the lyrics are tolerable. It sounds as if the band had fun playing/writing it, something not always evident here, and Philips (guitarist), whose playing made Trespass for me, doesn't seem to be on such a leash here. A Winter's Tale has a quiet organ in the background, which gels amusingly with the pop chorus. I enjoy listening to it, but partly for the wrong reasons. A better song than the album proper. The One-Eyed Hound is a bit weaker, with an annoying refrain ('This man committed a sin, this man, he never can win') absolutely wrecking the song, which would otherwise be passable. The rough mixes generally strike me as being equivalent to or better than the album pieces in quality/sound quality.

Only recommended if you want to see the first stages of Genesis' development and the opportunity to rant about poor producing in reviews. I feel the album could've done with more music time instead of chorus repeat time, and the strings rarely work well here. This seems to me like a mix of poor production, poor mixing and a musical immaturity or a lack of direction in the band. Nonetheless, there are occasional glimmers of promise, and Genesis would go on to produce no less than seven very strong studio prog albums in a row after this.

Rating: 2 Stars. Flashes of promise, but mostly weak.

Favourite Track: That's Me, or, in the album itself, A Place To Call My Own

Two updates on this: 1) I enjoyed this album a lot more when in the right sort of relaxed mood for it (much like Dire Straits' debut). Still think the production brings it down, and keeping to the rating, but admit the review is perhaps a bit missing the point. 2) I now ADORE That's Me. Superb, superb song. Great guitars, lovely and weird vocals from Peter, and great lyrics. The drumming also feels quite right for it. A serious favourite now, and all because it came up on shuffle.

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Posted Saturday, February 16, 2008

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars At last, I own every album in the GENESIS catalogue. I found this record on a discount price in a record store and I couldn't stop myself from buying it. Now that I've listened to it, I don't regret my decision, even if the album is quite weak.

The music, as has been said before, is very different to what GENESIS would deliver starting with "Trespass" and on. This is pop music ,60's pop music to be correct, so it sounds very innocent, very unpretentious, very modest. All the songs are extremely short, and none of them has any long instrumental section. The sound has a little bit of folk, a little bit of hippie, and a little (very little) of psychedelic.

There are, though, some minor hints of the future band that would emerge out of this. There are moments where Banks shows he's no typical keyboard player, and sometimes the melodies (which aren't so good as those GENESIS was able to produce later on) are darker than it appears. Peter Gabriel, on the other hand, while restrained and pretty much completely relaxed, starts to give little clues here and there of the amazing frontman and singer that he would become.

But even for a pop/rock record from the 60's, most songs are weak, and the music itself lacks energy, lacks more soul. In a way, it's not good pop/rock because it doesn't feel like true, honest pop/rock. Neither does it sound, of course, like progressive-rock, not at all. So, we can say that what this album truly lacks is character. Who would imagine, saying that of a GENESIS record?

After all, it was the product of 5 very young people who still had to wait a few years to give us what they were truly capable of. To say they just got better with time is quite a monstrous understatement. Even their next album, "Trespass", is so many miles ahead of "From Genesis to Revelation" in quality that it's outstanding only one year separates one from the other.

All in all, an album that GENESIS completionists should have, even if only for filling the gap in their shelves. And don't get me wrong: after a few tries, some songs actually become quite decent ("That's Me", "Am I very Wrong", "In limbo", among a few more), so there's nothing to lose in buying this record.

And, yes, as it doesn't have "Illegal Alien", it still rates higher than 1983's "Genesis" and, as a better song collection -with no electronic drums- , than 1986's "Invisible Touch".

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Posted Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
1 stars Not even Proto-Prog

This very first Genesis album has very little to do with the rest of the band's output. The music found here is very much a child of its time, which is the 60's. And comparing this with similar bands such as The Beatles, The Zombies, or whatever, it does not stand up very well. We have here a large number of three to four minute, rather mundane Pop tunes. There is not so much as a hint of what was to come on Trespass and later albums.

I really think that for all purposes other than stilling your curiosity and completing your collection, Trespass should be considered to be Genesis debut album. Let's just pretend From Genesis To Revelation was made by some other band and move on to Trespass!

This album is recommended for completionists only and for them it is really only either a collectors item or a historical document rather than an enjoyable listen in its own right.

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Posted Saturday, July 19, 2008

Review by poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars What a poor debut album for a band like Genesis!This album is so naive,like the little boys that made it.The musicianship is very weak and it is normal for teenagers.I think this album doesn't hint at what will come later.There are some good ideas,but they aren't enough for 2 stars.For me 1.3-1.4!

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Posted Sunday, August 03, 2008

Review by J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Here it is...where my favorite band (up to 1975 of course) started. While it is not at all like Foxtrot, it is still a great album. It is sort of like a concept album, but is more proto-prog than full-blown prog. Now like, I said don't expect anything like their later works at all. This album is a lot like early Moody Blues records more so than Yes records. This album is focused a lot more on mellow pop music than Foxtrot or Nursery Cryme, but I still love it almost as dearly. This album could be a pleasent surprise for many people, but many probably couldn't shake the image of early Genesis making pop music. If you can however push that aside, you will find some of Genesis' most beatiful melodies, Peter Gabriel's best singing, and Tony Banks' best piano sound.

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Posted Thursday, September 04, 2008

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
3 stars I understand it's hard to take this early sound of Genesis, in contrast to later perfect albums in early 70s. But being this released by some one-shot band, ratings would be higher I suppose. For me, it's easy. I evaluate these songs as 1969 proto-prog band. Maybe not completely, but at least to some extent, this should be applied. Because take for example their "Nursery Crime". Considered by most as very good album, but worse than "Foxtrot". But if you'll think about Nursery without thinking about Foxtrot, you're possible to get 5-star album. It's hard and I'll try to fight with it.

This is not so strong as their later albums, it's (after all) their debut. Acoustic guitars mostly, use of strings, half prog folk and half early symphonic prog. Not like their future albums at all. But far better (for me) than their 80's work. Songs are quite short, but nevertheless, they're consistent and long enough to be interesting.

It's not a bad album. But even when you leave your mind used to epics Foxtrot and Selling and compare it independently with other prog folk releases of late 60's you know, still, the result is not so great. The problem here is annoying repeating here ("We're waiting for you. Come and join us now. We need you with us. Come and join us now!" over and over again). And it's not problem of just this song, it's ever-present. Symphonic elements are nice, but more like solid background to tender music (hey, we're talking about Genesis, right?). So if you want acoustic Genesis without Genesis, that's a choice for you. You know, it's hard to depart from you were taught all your life (I suppose that's true for most of you, readers). Piano, acoustic guitar, sometimes always chamber-like a capella voice of Peter Gabriel (reminiscent of what will come later).

3(+), rating worse would be illogical hatred of "different" things.

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Posted Monday, November 09, 2009

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars In the beginning, schoolmates create a band...

One could be forgiven for thinking this must be a great relic. After all, the first Yes album is dated but good and rocking, and the first Floyd album is a masterpiece. Certainly Genesis' debut had to be as great too? Many proggers hunted down this collection hoping such logic would pay off, only to be disappointed to varying degrees. For the Genesis debut is nowhere near the otherworldly genius of Piper or the already formidable chops of Yes. Long before names like Phil Collins or Steve Hackett were but a glimmer in the eye of Genesis lore, school mates Peter Gabriel and Tony Banks (of a band called Garden Wall) were collaborating with Ant Phillips and Mike Rutherford (of Anon.) The resulting music caught the ear of rising musical man Jonathan King who got the lads into the studio in the summer of 1968. Upon completion and apparently without permission King took the new material and layered it with strings and horns making what could have possessed more original personality into a finished product that sounded a bit commercial and ordinary. Phillips was the most openly critical of what King saw as the chance to get the band viable:

"Ah, the strings on "From Genesis to Revelation." I was the one who really blew my top about it....the originals were rough but at least they had some power....in those days you couldn't get back to a previous version, it was too late, there was no undo button. And I completely freaked out. I can only quote all my other friends saying 'He's butchered it.'" [Anthony Phillips]

"The part that the band really didn't like was that I added the strings....I think they work terribly well, actually. It gives the songs a sweetness that wasn't there in the original thing and covers up some of the slight amateurishness of the basic tracks." [Jonathan King]

And yet it has its moments. The music is 60s pop to an extent, sometimes sounding a bit like the Moodies "Go Now" or The Hollies, maybe a bit of Cat Stevens' "Mona Bone Jakon", etc. But there was more depth and a trace of that English & dark folk/rock vibe underneath that Genesis fans will recognize as the foundational sounds of the later group. Gabriel's warm and soulful voice is already a showcase. The acoustic guitars have a briskly strummed pace, controlled, with Ant peeling off a modest solo here or there. Tony has some lovely piano episodes. But the band's talents are certainly modest, as is the sound and production which are pretty weak, to be expected as this was recorded in about 3 days. I can see what excited King however as the songwriting shows some real potential. Especially cool is the fantasy vibe of "The Serpent" and the foreboding piano lines of "Am I Very Wrong" which also sports Gabriel's flute playing. Tony plays a minute long piano solo to introduce "Fireside Song" which is rather somber and yet hopeful, quite lovely. Other tracks sport short piano ballads with a bit of folk influence, a dramatic young Gabriel, some "la la" backing vocals, occasionally a bit of light rock and soul. But these short tracks never develop to the point of any interesting instrumental jamming that would become commonplace later. The best moments sounds like simplistic and shortened demos from Trespass, far below that level of execution, yet with some of the same naïve wonder and innocence.

This debut is mostly for fans of Genesis and/or 60s pop and there is surely enough little bits of the future here to please them. But the overall performance and sound are fairly weak and there are some duds as well. I think 2 ½ stars is probably the most accurate rating and yet it is a very affectionate 2 stars I give. I enjoy this music quite a lot despite the strikes against it. What a leap they would take on the next album!

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Posted Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Review by progpositivity
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars This isn't a terrible record. Whenever it gets played, I don't put my hands over my ears and scream "Mommy! please make it stop!" Such ringing endorsements, however, hardly earn it a third star in my book.

Because of this album, I placed "early Genesis" on the backburner for years. So I hope you will forgive me if I don't allow the band's subsequent works to award bonus (or concession) points to "From Genesis to Revelation".

Here is how it happened. Because I was only familiar with the commercial Genesis music of the 1980s, everyone kept telling me "You simply must check out early Genesis". I finally acquiesced when one day at the record store I saw a copy of the album "From Genesis to Revelation".

Upon placing the needle on the LP, I couldn't believe my ears. This was what everyone was ranting and raving about??? It sounded like folk era Bee Gees. Well it sounded more like somewhat 'watered down' folk era Bee Gees to be brutally honest. (Early Bee Gees music was actually quite professional produced folk-pop. This was somewhat amateurish in comparison). I incredulously double-checked the album cover to see if perhaps I had purchased an album by some local band that also had used the name Genesis. Nope. This was "the" real Genesis of old. I immediately filed "early Genesis" into the "not for me" category.

I present this esperience as a "case study" to illustrate what I believe you really already know deep within your "heart of hearts". That - musically speaking - prog fans would not pursue and purchase this record were it not for their interest in Genesis based upon their subsequent output.

Later, once the age of internet radio brought a wider range of "try before you buy" prog music to my ears, I was provided the opportunity to hear 70's era Genesis and to hear the difference! And what a difference it is! But, had my exposure to "early Genesis" been left to the content of this album, I would never have sought out to learn or hear more.

That doesn't make this album worthless, however. This record is of interest from the perspective of early band history. And even were it not for prog music history's sake, fans and collectors of Genesis would still want to hear this debut because of how it, by way of contrast, makes the impact of the band's follow up albums all the more powerful.

But let's not kid ourselves. "From Genesis to Revelation" is for fans and collectors only. It is a 2 star album by a band that would soon shake the progressive rock world with a dramatic quantum leap forward on their very next album.

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Posted Sunday, May 16, 2010

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars This is one of those albums that has been reviewed so many times I can't add anything new to it, and frankly Genesis is one of those bands that never really clicked with me despite growing up surrounded by their music and having many friends who were diehard fans. But it's in my collection so I knew I'd eventually get around to saying something about it. Today is that day.

I've no idea how many times this thing has been reissued. I know I looked this up though and found at least 25 of them. Mine is a 1976 vinyl release called 'Rock Roots 1', released by Decca UK in 1976 with liner notes that indicate the label clearly felt the band was on its way out after Gabriel's departure. With downloads and on-line ordering and multi-national global corporations being all the norm today it's easy to forget the days when an imported album was kind of a big deal, back when British imports generally had thinner sleeves and thicker vinyl than American releases. The import stamp is also kind of interesting, a blue- and-red button stamped with "Imported & distributed by Peters International, NY NY". I've no idea why this thing would have been imported to the U.S. back in 1976 since London Records already had a U.S. issued version of the original in their catalog. The thing would have cost more back then than most new albums considering the import tariffs, and since Genesis weren't exactly a household name in the U.S. at the time I have to believe this was either a special-order, or was intended for a very niche market. The cover is pretty cheesy: a heavily color-treated photo of an old Decca Stereogram 33rpm singles record player superimposed with a couple press photos of the band, the same photos used on the covers of several later reissues including the Dutch Black Box 2-disc CD set that was issued just a few years ago.

Well thanks to time and the band's fame after this record released, these songs are pretty familiar to most progressive music fans today. Certainly much has been said of the spotty production and over-the-top string and horn arrangements on most every track, although from my perspective these aren't as distracting as most hardcore fans of the band seem to find them and frankly they probably help spruce up what would have been rather sterile- sounding songs otherwise.

Gabriel's lyrics are much better than his vocals, which are simply average here but would blossom into the stuff of legends within a couple years of this release. On a view tracks the dates sound of the melodies and instrument-playing are quite strong, particularly "In Limbo", "A Place to Call My Own" and "A Winter's Tale", but elsewhere the songs stand up as pretty decent precursors of what would come later.

In keeping with the times and the post-psych commercial leanings of British labels of the late sixties, these are all short tracks with fairly accessible arrangements, certainly a far cry from 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' but decent enough if compared to their contemporaries rather than to their later catalog. There are also a couple of pre-album singles on this release (including their B-sides), but none of this is new to anyone who has picked up any of a number of later CD reissues.

Like I said, I'm not exactly a Genesis fan but when I play this record today and consider it solely on its own merits, it's not a bad record. Certainly not a masterpiece, and not even as good as another Genesis band (U.S.) debut called 'In the Beginning?' that was issued around the same time. But good enough to rate three stars on a scale of five, which is what I'm going to give it right now.

There, I finally got around to assessing this one and can slip it back into it's vinyl sleeve and stick it back in the stacks for another few years. Perhaps my kids (or grandkids) will rediscover it and help perpetuate the myth that is Genesis for yet another generation someday. One never knows?.

peace

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Posted Saturday, May 29, 2010

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RPI
2 stars From Genesis To Revelation is little more than a run of the mill pop album and without Peter Gabriel's distinctive voice you might not even recognise this as Genesis. I don't like the admixture of real orchestras and rock instruments at the best of times, but in this case the band's instrumentation is completely smothered by producer Jonathan King's heavy-handed orchestrations. King evidently wanted a commercial sound, but it's a real no-brainer that the album would have benefited from a more sympathetic producer. Furthermore, when it is actually possible to hear the band's instruments they sound distorted and muggy.

The album's lyrics is another contentious issue for me, and I'm sorry but I can't make allowances for the band member's tender years. There's a slight Biblical thread running through some of the songs such as IN LIMBO, bluesy-rocker THE SERPENT and the psychedelic IN THE BEGINNING. That's fine, but on other songs some of the lyrics are mawkish and downright face flush material. How about ''only Jack Frost saw the kiss she gave him in return'' from WINDOW, or IN HIDING's ''pick me up, put me down, push me in, turn me round''? The Musical Box it ain't, although there was maybe the germ of an idea among those words. I'm probably being unfair with this criticism, but hey-ho. It's not all bad news though and there are a few vague signs of the band's early potential, with some interesting little musical fragments and links between songs. I don't want to damn this recording with faint praise, but many of the songs are just nice. Introspective ballads dominate although the band does shift gear on occasion and songs such as THE CONQUEROR are good because of the absence of that darn orchestra.

This album is important in the history of Genesis but not in the history of Prog. It's definitely one for fans only. To be honest, if you're in the mood for some late '60s psychedelic pop you'd be better listening to Best Of The Bee Gees Volume 1... seriously folks.

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Posted Friday, June 11, 2010

Review by tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Rarely has the debut album of a major group received this much of a slagging from both fans and critics alike. And on the surface, the flaws of the album are huge and very numerous, seemingly leaving criticism fully justified. In case you're unware, here's the general rundown: first, the band was in its formative stages, without either of its instrumental virtuosos (Hackett and Collins, both of whom would join in '71). Hence, the playing on this album is a bit unimpressive, apart from nice Tony Banks piano lines. Next, the band had not yet found its own distinct style, choosing to emulate the Beatles, Bee Gees and Zombies. And worst of all, producer Jonathan King, in an attempt to make the band seem 'sophisticated', forced the band to write around the concept of the creation of the world through the death of Adam (yes, I know the title implies the whole Bible, but trust me, it's fairly apparent that the story is all told from the point of view of God or Adam, and no other characters). Oh, and when they were done, he threw a lot of orchestration over the songs, except that King seemingly had no idea how to properly use string and brass arrangements in rock (unlike, say, George Martin).

So the obvious question comes to mind - WHY am I giving this album a 4-star rating??!!! Because beneath all of the superficial weaknesses lie two of Genesis' strengths, in just as full of force now as they would be later - incredible songwriting and incredible vocals from Peter. I don't know if I'm just listening to different songs than the rest of y'all, but almost a dozen of the songs on here (and yes, I'm counting the singles on the reissue, more on those later) are, at least in one aspect in each of them, absolute pop perfection. "Am I Very Wrong?," for instance, may have a slightly awkward and Disney-sounding chorus, but how about that vocal melody in the verses?! And the rest ... man. Man. Where "The Sour Turns To Sweet" (I know it's technically a bonus track, but it's impossible for me to think of this album and not consider this a prelude to the rest) is beautiful, "In The Beginning" has one of the most awesome vocal hooks I've ever heard, and "Fireside Song" is EVEN BETTER. Are you going to tell me that the chorus of that song isn't one of the most perfectly constructed tunes you've ever heard??!! And don't forget "In Hiding" or "Window," no sirree, the former with another perfect sing-songey melody and the latter yet another beautiful ballad.

And that sure as heck isn't all. "In The Wilderness" is a whee bit flacid in the verses, but that chorus ... "Music, all I hear is music, guaranteed to please ...". Guaranteed to please is right, dang it. And neither "The Conqueror" nor "One Day" fall short of the standard, the former a great energetic rocker and the latter one of the most perfect love songs I've ever heard.

Oh, and don't forget the bonus tracks. The single version of "The Silent Sun" is only slightly better than the album one (and that one's really dull, actually), but the other three are all highly recommendable. "That's Me" is, as usual, catchy as all get out, a great anthem of misogyny, while "A Winter's Tale" has yet another incredible chorus melody, while "One Eyed Hound" has great interaction between the piano melody and Peter's vocals.

Oh, I was going to tell you about Peter's vocals on this album, wasn't I. Now, at first glance, it would seem that Peter fails miserably in trying to vocalize the early chapters of Genesis, the logic being that since he's singing about such a profound part of Christianity, he should sound booming and authoritative to match the profundity. Well, quite honestly, I think that's bunk. How do you really think Adam would have been upon his placement on the earth - authoritative and patriarchal, ready to assume his place as the biological father of all of Man? Bull. He would have been filled with wide-eyed awe at all of the creations around him - his own body, the animals in the garden, not to mention Eve and this new, strange emotion called 'love'. And in THAT way, Peter pulls off the album to an absolute tee. The lyrics (which, btw, are NOT bad - they are youthful and naive in their feel, but naive does not necessarily mean bad or sloppy) and vocals on this album combine in such a way as to perfectly convey the 'story behind the story' with Adam.

In case you haven't been able to tell, I really like this album. If you dislike it, well, it's your own choice, but dismissing it so easily just based on the lack of competent instrumentation and stupid orchestration seems no less than a fatal mistake to me.

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Send comments to tarkus1980 (BETA) | Report this review (#290604) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, July 17, 2010

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock Team
1 stars The first Genesis album. Released in 1969, this sounds more like something from 1966. This isn't even proto-prog. Most of the music here sounds like 60s Bee Gees. Clearly this is the work of teenagers who are not sure exactly what they are trying to do. There is nothing here that gives you a hint of what they will sound like on Trespass.

"In the Beginning" and "In The Wilderness" are in the league of decent songs. The former has some great feedback at the beginning, while the latter has the only good use of orchestra on the album. "The Serpent" has some good electric guitar and organ. "The Conquerer" is one of the better songs. At the end of "Fireside Song" you can hear a preview of "Twilight Alehouse". The best song is "One Eyed Hound" which is the b-side to "Winter's Tale". It may be a bonus track but it's the best thing on the whole CD.

This is only for people who want everything Genesis did. This is the worst studio album they ever did. The work of amateurs with no sense of direction. Awful production to boot. This honestly does not deserve anything more than 1 star.

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Send comments to zravkapt (BETA) | Report this review (#317302) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, November 13, 2010

Latest members reviews

2 stars Not the best start for a band that would become one of the greatest prog rock acts. It's not terrible, it just isn't very memorable. It sounds like other stuff that had come before it (Moody Blues, Bee Gees). This is a pop album and not progressive. The band were supposedly told to write songs loose ... (read more)

Report this review (#1088982) | Posted by thebig_E | Thursday, December 12, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars 2.3 Stars. A prog band trapped in a pop cage, but they could still sing their prog So here is the debut album of a band that would become a prog (and later on pop) legend, although when listening to this album for the first time it's pretty difficult to see that potential. The music found here is ... (read more)

Report this review (#1047446) | Posted by LakeGlade12 | Sunday, September 29, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I think Genesis debut is a pleasant album. The young group had interesting rock songs, nothing really great or very relevant, but the good tracks, like The Serpent and Am I Very Wrong, are far better than most of A Trick of The Tail songs and this album is much more impressive than the high ... (read more)

Report this review (#1014217) | Posted by VOTOMS | Thursday, August 08, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Anyone who sees this review will think I'm being way too generous with 5 stars, but the truth is I really do love it! "Trespass" (Genesis' next offering) is my all-time favourite album - it has a very live and rough quality with some great progressive folky themes, and I think all that "From Genesis ... (read more)

Report this review (#984605) | Posted by Xonty | Sunday, June 23, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The personality that Genesis gained later is definitetly a mistery for me. This is an album of simple songs, and just that. It is strangely funny to hear this and thinking of their next album, Trespass, released the next year. There are no progressive elements in this album but i don't think t ... (read more)

Report this review (#966608) | Posted by marcobrusa | Wednesday, May 29, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars For the purposes of this review I have stuck to the original recording and not to the extended release with bonus tracks. This is very much lighter fare to later Genesis albums and I would suggest that this is very much psychadelic pop music for the time period of the release. It isn't hard to ... (read more)

Report this review (#944085) | Posted by sukmytoe | Monday, April 15, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Not as bad as you think! Many people will say that this album is not well done or is just not worth listening to, but what they might not realize is that this album is the 'beginning' of Genesis. Their cheesy 3 min songs are more than meets the ear. The lyrics are poetic and though the songs aren ... (read more)

Report this review (#897061) | Posted by AuttBott | Monday, January 21, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Here is the debut of one of the best and most inventive Prog Rock bands to come out of Britain in the late 1960's and early 1970's. I'm of course talking about Genesis. This debut doesn't really sound like Genesis and what they would eventually become but I feel it's still a good listen. But reme ... (read more)

Report this review (#894757) | Posted by ProgMetaller2112 | Thursday, January 17, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Today's task was to listen carefully to my two favourite progressive rock band's first albums, both from 1969. Of course I am talking about Genesis and Yes. I began with Genesis, which I hold as the little better of those two combatants. I know this was Genesis so I thought this must be underrated. ... (read more)

Report this review (#889175) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Monday, January 07, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Oh, you little poor, quite underrated thing. I love you. You can not be compared with later Genesis albums, but you have your own magic. I have a beautiful memories with you. It was last spring, when the nature was slowly beginning to wake up, but very slowly. I was riding the bike every day, riding ... (read more)

Report this review (#772426) | Posted by Glucose | Saturday, June 16, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I really like this album. I know its not considered up their with their later works, but I find it more listenable than any other of their albums. I have both the record and later the cd version with the bonus tracks. I really wish Genesis had continued with this sound, because it has much ... (read more)

Report this review (#743916) | Posted by By--Tor | Wednesday, April 25, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Although many die-hard proggers don't even count this as part of the "splendid" Gabriel era, it is oh so more than meets the ear. My usual way of rating things is giving each track up to two points, finding a fraction, and rounding it to the nearest fifth. Since I'm assuming everyone knows about ... (read more)

Report this review (#623860) | Posted by genesissinceseven | Tuesday, January 31, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars "That is the sound of the new-born world and a light from the curious sky. It has begun! You're in the hands of DES-STI-INY!" And it's not so much a matter of the lyrics as it is a matter of the voice. I know that this album is not a favorite of lots of people. Maybe it's because it does not soun ... (read more)

Report this review (#613955) | Posted by Dayvenkirq | Friday, January 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Moody Blues? "From Genesis to Revelation" is an album that is overlooked even by members of Genesis, and it is not hard to see why. This here sounds more like a proto-prog album from those produced in 60´s years (Moody Blues come to mind) than a real wonderful album of this band. It is known ... (read more)

Report this review (#475707) | Posted by voliveira | Monday, July 04, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A very ambitious and original debut. This album has some things in common with their later work, as well as with the subsequent releases, but in overall sound is unique to their canon. I like both the folky sides of it like "In Hiding" and "Fireside Song" and the more dark groove- garage rock ... (read more)

Report this review (#451394) | Posted by 7headedchicken | Monday, May 23, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars While it is possible to hear the great band that is buried in this release, it is still pretty murky. FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION is pretty much a collection of average to below average late- 60s pop and folky songs. (I only have the original so I can't speak about the bonus cuts). Are there gui ... (read more)

Report this review (#449218) | Posted by mohaveman | Tuesday, May 17, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I really like this album! As many reviewers have said, From Genesis To Revelation can't be compared to the majesty or complexity of the band's later works but it's still very enjoyable. Musically, it's best described as psychedelic pop. I can acknowledge some similarities to Moody Blues and early ... (read more)

Report this review (#447691) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Saturday, May 14, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Pleasant, pretty songs. A little rock sometimes. 9/10 Can't say that I've really wanted to explore Genesis albums. Some months back I checked out "Prog" magazine's reader poll on the greatest prog albums of all time and noticed that Genesis were very prominent in that. In the past I've tend ... (read more)

Report this review (#431391) | Posted by dfle3 | Tuesday, April 12, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars We all have to start somewhere. In the case of the masters of prog; with an album like this. This album is the odd one out in Genesis discography. And that says a lot because Genesis has done a lot of strange things. Most of all; this is the band that Jonathan King (now thankfully rotting awa ... (read more)

Report this review (#368227) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Thursday, December 30, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Thumbing through the LPs at the local record store in 1975 I suddenly came across a new Genesis album selling for half the price of normal LPs. Here was Gabriel in his flower mask so surely it must be from around the Foxtrot/Live period...but it was a Decca release not Charisma. Perhaps this was ... (read more)

Report this review (#347819) | Posted by KeepItDark | Thursday, December 09, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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