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A Genesis thread about class and prestige

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Icarium View Drop Down
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    Posted: July 30 2019 at 09:07
This is not really about the music, but also sort of are. As a musical group the main topic of a musical band the music is the sum of every topic regarding most topics. The final musical result is a development of every topics surrounding a group of musicians that created music that have managed the test of time.

If one after watching band (Genesis) docus and want to create a intrduction and summary one can not make a just textstory about Genesis without getting into where they come from, or how much emphasis on the fundation of the band. How much the system of class is a grand factor to how the sound and how also the various personal motivation the various band members have.

4 of the 6 main member were Charterhouse pupils, i don't know what class Hackett belongs to, but Ant Phillips, P Gabriel, T Banks and M Rutherford is of various degrees of upper class. With Rutherford and Phillips of a slight higher social class than Gabriel and Banks or it might be in different order. Collins is a proud working class guy, i guess that is why i worked the most and hes attidude and work ethos in the 71 - 81 period, how he developed and worked hes way out and towards hes first solo album.

I saw a Genesis docu yesterday that expressed that the sound og Genesis spounded completly non-relative to any previous trends or sound schools. Not based on RnR, not blues rock, not folk rock, noy psychadelic rock. But they had a totaly different outset than any other sound. Which i sort of buy into. They have a more theatrical standpoint. So i believe that is a reflection of what satus and enviroment 4/6th of the creative and impactfull members of Genesis at least to me, becomes obvious that classical litterature, philosophy and theater/opera was apart of uppbringing, Night of the Prom and such orchestral snotty high class entertainment were common. The only commoner was Collins to my knowledge abd brought with him jazz/motown/beatleesque elements
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TSNDwToWdIc&t=1764s

Edited by Icarium - July 30 2019 at 09:24
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2019 at 09:14
Yes, most of the band went to private school (Charterhouse, not Chesterhouse) and I guess that reflects in their work, especially lyrically, otherwise I doubt they would have written songs based on TS Eliot. However I think you might be overstating their "poshness" a bit, I doubt they sat around all day watching "snotty" high-class entertainment.

Edited by chopper - July 30 2019 at 09:24
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Icarium Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2019 at 09:31
From docus, i get that they sort of were rebellious to expection from parrenting hold, and that makes them rock'n'roll in spirit, but they can't 100% be releaved of their upbringing. As a Norwegian looking in on and have been explained classystem, Norway has a very chaotic non-existing class system so british class-system is quite complex to get ones mind into. But the sound of Genesis is exieting to listen to becouse its an actual class-war/argument, its a true escspist and upheavel yet in a classy and segmentet way. the Knife is an upheavel and riot towards class vs rock'n'roll.

Edited by Icarium - July 30 2019 at 09:33
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote twosteves Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2019 at 09:34
Mike and Tony are clearly elitists Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaldJean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2019 at 10:45
Originally posted by chopper chopper wrote:

Yes, most of the band went to private school (Charterhouse, not Chesterhouse) and I guess that reflects in their work, especially lyrically, otherwise I doubt they would have written songs based on TS Eliot. However I think you might be overstating their "poshness" a bit, I doubt they sat around all day watching "snotty" high-class entertainment.

I remember what I read about the (in)famous so-called "6 bob tour" featuring Genesis, Lindisfarne and Van der Graaf Generator in the VdGG book. Peter Hammill made a remark along the lines that "Genesis were the prissy schoolboys, Lindisfarne were the drunkards and we were the spliffmasters"


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaldJean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2019 at 10:48
Originally posted by chopper chopper wrote:

Yes, most of the band went to private school (Charterhouse, not Chesterhouse) and I guess that reflects in their work, especially lyrically, otherwise I doubt they would have written songs based on TS Eliot. However I think you might be overstating their "poshness" a bit, I doubt they sat around all day watching "snotty" high-class entertainment.

I remember what I read in the VdGG book about the (in)famous so-called "6 bob tour" featuring Genesis, Lindisfarne and Van der Graaf Generator. Peter Hammill made a remark along the lines that "Genesis were the prissy schoolboys, Lindisfarne were the drunkards and we were the spliffmasters"


Edited by BaldJean - July 30 2019 at 10:50


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Manuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2019 at 16:15
I guess where you come from says a lot about you, and what, how, and why you do things the way you do them, not only in music but also in every aspect of human society.

Edited by Manuel - July 30 2019 at 16:16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote patrickq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2019 at 16:26
Originally posted by Manuel Manuel wrote:

I guess where you come from says a lot about you, and what, how, and why you do things the way you do them, not only in music but also in every aspect of human society.
Amen. It probably isnt possible to separate any artist from his or her social context. Even though we might want to. As some minor character said on The Simpsons, its all a rich tapestry.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2019 at 16:29
The ultimate nerd rock band really. So many prog musicians come from either middle class or upper class backgrounds . Collins seemed a bit in denial about the whole idea of prog for a while and wouldn't accept that Genesis had any connection with bands like ELP and Yes. I remember him being interviewed and claiming they had more in common with Marvin Gaye than the technical type of music that was prog. I can never work whether he was a complete ass or just in denial about his part in seventies prog rock!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Howard the Duck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2019 at 19:56
In Banks' playing you can hear a clear influence from Debussy, which must be in part due to the band's music school education. They might have been the most effective band of the era at incorporating classical influences in a relatively unobtrusive way, because it's not showy Emerson-like adaptions of bombastic classical themes but a more subtle adaption of Debussy's chordal innovation (revolutionary at the time he was originally composing).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2019 at 00:22
Banks was probably the best composer in progressive rock from a purest point of view. However as in any band , the influences brought to bear by others (Hackett and Gabriel especially) were massively important. Hackett's Voyage Of The Acolyte showed Banks the way but he declined the invitation and allowed Collins to be the front man and dictate the music direction. I realise this is not knew but I suppose I am saying that Banks was better when he had others who were of equal stature to him to bounce off. Collins and Rutherford were too much of a creative vacuum in the end.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 01 2019 at 23:02
I kind of don't like the implication that being a nerd and liking mythology and such makes one an upper class elitist. I try to remind myself that England is a bit different from the U.S. But still, Phil Collins was not the only commoner. Steve Hackett was from a working class family as well, yet he managed to be a huge fan of Classical music and has demonstrated a great deal of affinity for mythology and classical literature.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2019 at 04:11
Originally posted by BaldJean BaldJean wrote:

Originally posted by chopper chopper wrote:

Yes, most of the band went to private school (Charterhouse, not Chesterhouse) and I guess that reflects in their work, especially lyrically, otherwise I doubt they would have written songs based on TS Eliot. However I think you might be overstating their "poshness" a bit, I doubt they sat around all day watching "snotty" high-class entertainment.

I remember what I read in the VdGG book about the (in)famous so-called "6 bob tour" featuring Genesis, Lindisfarne and Van der Graaf Generator. Peter Hammill made a remark along the lines that "Genesis were the prissy schoolboys, Lindisfarne were the drunkards and we were the spliffmasters"
LOL
That figures, Lindisfarne being Geordies an' all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Blacksword Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2019 at 05:11
Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

The ultimate nerd rock band really. So many prog musicians come from either middle class or upper class backgrounds . Collins seemed a bit in denial about the whole idea of prog for a while and wouldn't accept that Genesis had any connection with bands like ELP and Yes. I remember him being interviewed and claiming they had more in common with Marvin Gaye than the technical type of music that was prog. I can never work whether he was a complete ass or just in denial about his part in seventies prog rock!


Banks was also a bit stuffy about prog rock, and ha said he didn't really regard Genesis as being in that category, but more in the Manfred Mann EB, Bowie, Roxy Music, Queen art rock category.

As for Collins, his attitude confused me somewhat. Despise his apparent preference for soul, jazz, RnB etc, he was involved in numerous proggy projects outside Genesis (Brand X, Eno, Gabriel, Steve Hackketts debut etc), and at least appeared to be more appreciative of Hackett's contribution to the band than Banks appeared to be.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2019 at 14:54
Originally posted by HackettFan HackettFan wrote:

I kind of don't like the implication that being a nerd and liking mythology and such makes one an upper class elitist. I try to remind myself that England is a bit different from the U.S. But still, Phil Collins was not the only commoner. Steve Hackett was from a working class family as well, yet he managed to be a huge fan of Classical music and has demonstrated a great deal of affinity for mythology and classical literature.



Robert Fripp was working class too. On the other hand, Pink Floyd were at least as posh as Genesis but straight up in both music and lyric.  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2019 at 00:05
Originally posted by Blacksword Blacksword wrote:

Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

The ultimate nerd rock band really. So many prog musicians come from either middle class or upper class backgrounds . Collins seemed a bit in denial about the whole idea of prog for a while and wouldn't accept that Genesis had any connection with bands like ELP and Yes. I remember him being interviewed and claiming they had more in common with Marvin Gaye than the technical type of music that was prog. I can never work whether he was a complete ass or just in denial about his part in seventies prog rock!


Banks was also a bit stuffy about prog rock, and ha said he didn't really regard Genesis as being in that category, but more in the Manfred Mann EB, Bowie, Roxy Music, Queen art rock category.

As for Collins, his attitude confused me somewhat. Despise his apparent preference for soul, jazz, RnB etc, he was involved in numerous proggy projects outside Genesis (Brand X, Eno, Gabriel, Steve Hackketts debut etc), and at least appeared to be more appreciative of Hackett's contribution to the band than Banks appeared to be.
 

Yeah I've heard Banks say that he considered Genesis to be an art rock band. I suspect that ELP were much to blame for this. They were a rock band first and enjoyed themselves and were well over the top. But at least for a few years they were one of the most visible bands in the world selling out massive stadiums. Banks could never see himself being anything like Keith Emerson (understandably!) and I reckon just felt that Genesis had to be more serious and introspective. So if they weren't 'prog rock' then they had to be something else. Art Rock sounded a much more cooler thing to be part of. You can see why there was a simple divide between bands like Led Zep , the Who and ELP ( the ones that ripped things apart) and the quiet ones like Gentle Giant and Genesis that were not comfortable with that whole rock excess thing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Howard the Duck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2019 at 05:01
Yeah but if we're going to give Gen an arbitrary genre distinction I don't think art rock really fits (from those examples, you can't really call them similar to Bowie or Queen lol!)

I guess out of the prog subgenres symphonic rock applies the best, but granted Gen's a lot less bombastic than ELP or a lot of other bands. In classical music you've got a lot of bombast and more subtle music as well though, so if you're going to base a new genre on it, might as well have a wide range of sounds there too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2019 at 02:29
Originally posted by Howard the Duck Howard the Duck wrote:

Yeah but if we're going to give Gen an arbitrary genre distinction I don't think art rock really fits (from those examples, you can't really call them similar to Bowie or Queen lol!)

I guess out of the prog subgenres symphonic rock applies the best, but granted Gen's a lot less bombastic than ELP or a lot of other bands. In classical music you've got a lot of bombast and more subtle music as well though, so if you're going to base a new genre on it, might as well have a wide range of sounds there too.
 

I think the point I was making that Banks was never comfortable with Genesis being bracketed with certain bands and neither was Collins apparently. I know that Banks didn't like ELP although he didn't mind The Nice ( The Knife is a clear reference to their track Rondo and he admitted that)  and Collins didn't like Yes at all.
I think they were very stuck up in the early days , very elitist , more so than many other prog bands of the time. Gradually they came out of that and it was Collins that helped in that respect. He could connect with an audience and that was one of the biggest reasons they became so successful from 1976 onwards.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Howard the Duck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2019 at 03:35
Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Originally posted by Howard the Duck Howard the Duck wrote:

Yeah but if we're going to give Gen an arbitrary genre distinction I don't think art rock really fits (from those examples, you can't really call them similar to Bowie or Queen lol!)

I guess out of the prog subgenres symphonic rock applies the best, but granted Gen's a lot less bombastic than ELP or a lot of other bands. In classical music you've got a lot of bombast and more subtle music as well though, so if you're going to base a new genre on it, might as well have a wide range of sounds there too.
 

I think the point I was making that Banks was never comfortable with Genesis being bracketed with certain bands and neither was Collins apparently. I know that Banks didn't like ELP although he didn't mind The Nice ( The Knife is a clear reference to their track Rondo and he admitted that)  and Collins didn't like Yes at all.
I think they were very stuck up in the early days , very elitist , more so than many other prog bands of the time. Gradually they came out of that and it was Collins that helped in that respect. He could connect with an audience and that was one of the biggest reasons they became so successful from 1976 onwards.


Surprised Collins didn't like Yes - usually he's pretty positive about the other prog bands when he's interviewed these days. I can see why Gen maybe doesn't fit the template set by some other prog bands, but yeah art rock i think is an even less apt distinction. But yeah, you're probably right that it was a slight case of grandiosity on Banks' part.

I was surprised to hear years later that he was kind of the de facto leader of the band. It seems he would try to keep everything to a vote, but this ended up limiting PG's influence (who left after struggling to bring the Lamb to life as he'd envisioned it) and Hackett's as well. Even Phil got fed up when he felt unappreciated despite being the main songwriter at that point - and from what I've read Phil's usually pretty easy to get along with. (Banks even worked with Fish on his solo albums as a PG replacement, and didn't seem to have any problems with replacing Phil for CaS.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2019 at 12:00
Originally posted by Howard the Duck Howard the Duck wrote:

Yeah but if we're going to give Gen an arbitrary genre distinction I don't think art rock really fits (from those examples, you can't really call them similar to Bowie or Queen lol!)

I guess out of the prog subgenres symphonic rock applies the best, but granted Gen's a lot less bombastic than ELP or a lot of other bands. In classical music you've got a lot of bombast and more subtle music as well though, so if you're going to base a new genre on it, might as well have a wide range of sounds there too.

Ive never heard of Bowie or Queen as being Art Rock. Bowie was usually called Glam, and Queen just plain came along later. Art Rock as I recall was always applied to US west coast bands like Zappa & the MOI or Captain Beefhart. Ironically, Genesis could have superficially fit into Glam on the basis of PGs costumes and unusual stage set ups. Id prefer Art Rock, though. There was a time when Punk came along that Prog artists were adamant in denying that they were Prog, presumably due to market forces and what was perceived as cool vs. uncool.





Edited by HackettFan - August 05 2019 at 12:01
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