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An Illustrated History of A Band called Genesis

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    Posted: June 08 2010 at 10:19
Welcome to my second Prog Blog.
 
This is the beginning of an illustrated look at one of the progenitors of prog rock. The first of many bands I intend to examine. I dedicate this blog to my daughter who just started listeing to prog - and we begin with Genesis! 
 
 
 
AN  ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF A BAND CALLED GENESIS

Written with love by Atomic Scott

Researched from several websites and sources over 5 years.

 

The Brief Unillustrated Version

INTRODUCTION

Genesis are undisputedly one of the most influential and most revered bands in music history. They have a massive following due to a wide audience that enjoys at least something the band produced. The band’s output is incredibly prolific; whether it is the early Gabriel prog years, the best progressive albums definitively, or the Collins prog years, still worth pursuing, or the Collins pop years, less popular for prog fans but hugely popular for the charts where many people discovered Genesis in this period, they are one of the most important prog/pop bands in history.

The best line up is lead vocalist, flute player, Peter Gabriel, drummer, vocalist,  Phil Collins, lead guitarist, Steve Hackett, keyboardist, Tony Banks and bassist, Mike Rutherford, who played together from 1971's "Nursery Cryme" through to 1974's "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway".

Once Peter Gabriel left the band the sound completely changed. Collins took over as not only drummer but lead vocalist and for a few albums the prog style was maintained though not half as theatrical as Gabriel’s input, until Hackett left in 1978 and the band, now a trio, succumbed to peer and public pressure and transformed into a pop unit with Collins becoming famous for the power ballad. The radio was peppered with Genesis singles and they became famous worldwide. Their prog days were over once and for all apart from the odd throwback to the 70s era live in concert.

The target audience changed and female audiences became the norm in concerts. The members became unlikely pinup poster boys and they began to churn out video clips with a huge dollop of humour, sending themselves up often. They did not produce another studio album after “Calling All Stations” in 1997 with lead singer Ray Wilson. Collins had left to pursue a very successful solo career. The new lead singer was joined by Nick D'Virgilio and on some tracks Nir Zidkyahu on drums.
 
After some mild success and a few singles that did poorly the band disbanded. They reunited with Collins, Rutherford and Banks to tour and provide some very successful concerts, some of which are captured on live albums, and one recently on the DVD “Live In Rome”.  They remain one of the most popular bands in a live setting selling out concerts all over the world with the original trio.
 
Gabriel continues to produce incredible work as a soloist and his concerts are worldwide sellouts too. Hackett released a great deal of solo material and is revered as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Bnaks has forged a solo career along with other members of the band. Together they were Genesis. This is their story.

THE LINEUPS

ANTHONY PHILLIPS(1965-1970)
PETER GABRIEL(1965-1975)
MIKE RUTHERFORD(1965-)
TONY BANKS(1965-)
PHIL COLLINS(1970-1994)
STEVE HACKETT(1971-1977)
RAY WILSON(1996-1999)
CHRIS STEWART(1967-1968)
JOHN MAYHEW(1968-1969)
JOHN SILVER(1969-1970)

DISCOGRAPHY

THE ALBUMS

1969 FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION
1970 TRESPASS
1971 NURSERY CRYME
1972 FOXTROT
1973 GENESIS LIVE
1973 SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND

1974 THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY

1975 COMPILATION - ROCK THEATRE (COLLECTION)

1976 A TRICK OF THE TAIL
1976 WIND AND WUTHERING
1977 SECONDS OUT

1977 COMPILATION - GENESIS IN CONCERT 
1978 ...AND THEN THERE WERE THREE...
1980 DUKE
1981 ABACAB
1982 THREE SIDES LIVE
1983 GENESIS
1986 INVISIBLE TOUCH
1991 WE CAN'T DANCE
1991 COMPILATION - TURN IT ON AGAIN: BEST OF 81-83   
1992 THE WAY WE WALK LIVE: VOL ONE - THE SHORTS
1993 THE WAY WE WALK LIVE: VOL TWO - THE LONGS
1998 COMPILATION - ARCHIVE BOXSET VOL I: 1967-1975
1998 COMPILATION - THE ORIGINAL ALBUM
1997 CALLING ALL STATIONS
1999 COMPILATION - TURN IT ON AGAIN: THE HITS
2000 COMPILATION - ARCHIVE BOXSET VOL II: 1975-1993
2004 COMPILATION - THE PLATINUM COLLECTION
2007 LIVE OVER EUROPE
2007 COMPILATION - 14 FROM OUR PAST
2007 COMPILATION - TURN IT ON AGAIN:  THE HITS - THE TOUR EDITION
2007 COMPILATION BOX SET - GENESIS: 1983 - 1988
2007 COMPILATION BOX SET - GENESIS: 1976 - 1982
2008 COMPILATION BOX SET - GENESIS: 1970 - 1975
2009 COMPILATION BOX SET - GENESIS LIVE: 1973 - 2007 
2009 LIVE IN POLAND
2013 THE MAGIC OF TIME
2014 R-KIVE

THE DVDS

1985 THE MAMA TOUR

1991 A HISTORY OF GENESIS

2001 THE GENESIS SONGBOOK

2001 THE WAY WE WALK

2001 GENESIS LIVE: THE WAY WE WALK

2003 INSIDE GENESIS 1975-1980

2004 INSIDE GENESIS: THE GABRIEL YEARS 1970-1975

2004 INVISIBLE TOUCH - LIVE AT WEMBLEY

2004 THE VIDEO SHOW

2004 GENESIS LIVE VIDEO 

2005 ROCK REVIEW: A CRITICAL RETROSPECTIVE

2006 THE GABRIEL ERA

2007 GENESIS IN LONDON

2007 UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL (DVD AND BOOK SET)

2008 LIVE: WHEN IN ROME

2009 GENESIS: THE MOVIE BOX 

2010 LAND OF CONFUSION


 
SOLO GENESIS

 

PETER GABRIEL


ALBUMS

1977 PETER GABRIEL 1

1978 PETER GABRIEL 2

1980 PETER GABRIEL 3

1982 PETER GABRIEL 4

1983 PETER GABRIEL PLAYS LIVE

1985 MUSIC FROM THE FILM BIRDY

1986 SO

1989 PASSION

1990 COMPILATION - SHAKING THE TREE: 16 GOLDEN GREATS

1992 US

1992 COMPILATION - REVISITED

1994 SECRET WORLD LIVE

2000 OVO

2002 LONG WALK HOME

2002 UP

2003 COMPILATION - HIT

2002 PETER GABRIEL PLAYS LIVE HIGHLIGHTS

2008 BIG BLUE BALL

2010 SCRATCH MY BACK

2011 NEW BLOOD

2013 AND I'LL SCRATCH YOURS

2013 SCRATCH MY BACK/ AND I'LL SCRATCH YOURS

 

SINGLES

 

1977 SOLSBURY HILL

1977 MODERN LOVE

1978 D.I.Y.

1980 NO SELF CONTROL

1980 GAMES WITHOUT FRONTIERS

1980 BIKO

1980 SOLSBURY HILL

1982 I HAVE THE TOUCH

1982 SHOCK THE MONKEY

1983 I DON’T REMEMBER

1984 WALK THROUGH FIRE

1986 SLEDGEHAMMER

1986 DON’T GIVE UP (WITH KATE BUSH)

1986 BIG TIME (MAXI SINGLE)

1986 SLEDGE HAMMER – DANCE MIX

1986 BLOOD OF EDEN

1986 SOLSBURY HILL

1987 BIKO/ NO MORE APARTHEID (MAXI SINGLE)

1987 RED RAIN

1989 SHAKIN’ THE TREE (WITH YOUSSOU N’DOUR)

1992 STEAM

1992 DIGGING IN THE DIRT

1992 DIGGING IN THE DIRT – BROWN LINEN BOX

1993 BE STILL

1993 KISS THAT FROG

1994 SW LIVE EP

1996 WHILE THE EARTH SLEEPS (WITH DEEP FOREST)

2000 THE STORY OF OVO

2002 MORE THAN THIS

2002 THE BARRY WILLIAMS SHOW

2003 BURN YOU UP, BURN YOU DOWN

2003 GROWING UP

2008 WHOLE THING

2008 DOWN TO EARTH (WALL-E)

2010 THE BOOK OF LOVE/ NOT ONE OF US

2013 COURAGE 

 

 
 

DVDS

1990 P.O.V.

1994 SECRET WORLD LIVE

2003 GROWING UP LIVE

2004 PLAY: THE VIDEOS

2005 STILL GROWING UP: LIVE AND UNWRAPPED

 2011 NEW BLOOD LIVE IN LONDON

2011 LIVE IN BUENOS AIRES 1998

2013 LIVE IN ATHENS 1987

PHIL COLLINS

ALBUMS


1981 FACE VALUE
1982 HELLO I MUST BE GOING
1985 NO JACKET REQUIRED
1989 BUT SERIOUSLY
1990 SERIOUS HITS LIVE
1994 BOTH SIDES
1996 DANCE INTO THE LIGHT
1998 COMPILATION - HITS
1999 A HOT NIGHT IN PARIS
2003 TESTIFY


SINGLES
 
Jan 81 - In the air tonight/The roof is leaking
Mar 81 - I missed again/I'm not moving
May 81 - If leaving me is easy/Drawing board: In the air tonight/I missed again/If leaving you is easy (demos)
Oct 82 - Thru these walls/ Do you know, do you care
Nov 82 - You can't hurry love/I can't believe it's not true
Nov 82 - You can't hurry love/Do you know, do you care
Feb 83 - I don't care anymore/The west side
Mar 83 - Don't let him steal your heart away/ Thunder and Lightning
May 83 - Why can't it wait til morning/Like china
May 83 - I can't believe its not true/Thru these walls
Jan 85 - Sussudio/The man with the horn
Apr 85 - One more night/I like the way
Apr 85 - Sussudio/I like the way
Jul 85 - Take me home/We said hello goodbye
Jul 85 - Don't lose my number/We said hello goodbye
Mar 86 - Take me home/Only you know and I know
Nov 89 - Another day in paradise/Heat on the street
Jan 90 - I wish it would rain down/Homeless (Another day in paradise) demo
Jan 90 - I wish it would rain down/You've been in love just (that little bit too long)
Apr 90 - Do you remember/I wish it would rain down
Apr 90 - Something happened on the way to heaven/Rain down (demo)
Jul 90 - That's just the way it is/Broadway chorus (Something happened on the way to heaven)
Jul 90 - Something happened on the way to heaven/Lionel (Do you remember) Demo
Sep 90 - Hang in long enough/Around the world in 80 presets
Nov 90 - Hang in long enough/Separate lives (demo)
Oct 93 - Both Sides Of The Story/Always (Live)
Jan 94 - Everyday/Don't call me Ashley
Apr 94 - We wait and we wonder/Hero
Sep 96 - Dance into the light/Take me down
Dec 96 - It's in your eyes/Don't want to go
Jul 97 - Wear my hat

 


STEVE HACKETT

 
 

ALBUMS AND SINGLES

1975 VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE
1978 PLEASE DON'T TOUCH
1979 SPECTRAL MORNINGS
1980 DEFECTOR
1983 TILL WE HAVE FACES
1983 BAY OF KINGS
1984 CURED
1985 HIGHLY STRUNG
1988 MOMENTUM
1992 TIME LAPSE LIVE
1992 THE UNAUTHORISED BIOGRAPHY
1993 GUITAR NOIR
1995 BLUES WITH A FEELING
1997 WATCHER OF THE SKIES:GENESIS REVISTED
1997 A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
1998 THE TOYKO TAPES
1999 THERE ARE MANY SIDES TO THE NIGHT
1999 DARKTOWN
UPDATE:

2000 SKETCHES OF SATIE  (WITH JOHN HACKETT)

2000 FEEDBACK 86 

2003 TO WATCH THE STORMS 

2005 METAMORPHEUS 

2006 WILD ORCHIDS 

2008 TRIBUTE 

2009 OUT OF THE TUNNEL'S MOUTH 

2011 BEYOND THE SHROUDED HORIZON 

2012 GENESIS REVISITED II 

2012 A LIFE WITHIN A DAY (WITH CHRIS SQUIRE)


 
MIKE RUTHERFORD (SOLO)

1980 SMALLCREEPS DAY
1982 ACTING VERY STRANG (Mike sings lead vocals)


MIKE & THE MECHANICS

1985 MIKE & THE MECHANICS
1988 LIVING YEARS
1991 WORD OF MOUTH
1994 HITS
1999 MIKE & THE MECHANICS  (or M6)

also known as M6

SINGLES

(solo)
Jan 80 - Working in line/Compression (USA)
Mar 80 - Working in line/Moonshine (UK)
Jul 80 - Time and time again/At the end of the day (USA)

(Mike & the Mechanics)
Nov 85 - Silent running/Par avion
May 86 - All I need is a miracle/You are the one
Jun 86 - Taken in/A call to arms
Nov 88 - Nobody's perfect/Nobody knows
Feb 89 - The Living Years/Too many friends
Apr 89 - Seeing is believing/Don't
Mar 91 - Word Of Mouth/Let's Pretend It Didn't Happen
May 91- A Time And Place/Get Up
Sep 91 - Stop Baby/Get Up
Feb 92 - Everybody Gets A Second Chance/The Way You Look At Me
Feb 95 - Over my shoulder/Something to believe in
Jun 95 - Beggar on a beach of gold/Help me/
Nobody told me
Aug 95 - Another cup of coffee/You never change

May 99- Now that you've gone/Word of mouth (live)/Beggar on a beach of gold (live)
Aug 99 - Whenever I stop/Now that you've gone (live)



Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - October 17 2014 at 17:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 08 2010 at 10:29
The Detailed Long Illustrated Version
 
 
 
Where did Genesis begin?
 
 
 
 

1965

 

The beginnings of Genesis began in 1965 at the Charterhouse School in Surrey, London, the place where Anthony Phillips, Tony Banks, Peter Gabriel and Mike Rutherford studied. Tony and Peter began a group known as The Garden Wall. Anthony and Mike began a rival band known as Anon. When Anon disbanded, Mike, Anthony, and Chris Stewart, the drummer joined The Garden Wall and they created several demos, one of which was handed on to Jonathan King. King took a risk and signed the band to Decca Records and while doing so decided to rename the band Genesis.

 

 
 
 
 
more coming soon....


Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - June 08 2010 at 10:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 08 2010 at 20:54

1966-1967

a history of psychedelic music

 

Psychedelic music was in force. Genesis were signed to a contract with Decca records. They were intrigued by the psych rock coming out at the time.

The Psychedelic scene was primarily a plethora of hippies playing music to augment their LSD and hallucinatory experiences. The music they listened to was designed to enhance the mind altering experiences of Psychedelic drugs. The bands that made the music happen were seriously Psychedelic with colourful eyeball searing acid soaked album covers and trippy light shows with a whimsical surreal lyrical nature.

 
 

The music had to have certain aspects to be good enough for the new psych generation of listeners: As a musical style Psychedelic rock often contains some of the following features:

The electric guitars were distorted with feedback, wah wah and fuzz boxes.

 

The mixing in the studio was not just about putting down vocals and music, but very complex and elaborate effects were added such as backward tapes and long delay loops, panning and phasing sounds, extreme reverb on the guitars and the vocals, even vocals that were backmasked or fed through effects machines. The music had to sound otherworldly and off the planet.

The use of exotic instrumentation was a key factor particularly the sitar and tabla and other Eastern, or Indian musical instruments.

There was an emphasis on the keyboard that dominated the music at times, especially mellotron, electric organs and harpsichord.

 

To enhance the experience of tripping out the music too was replete with lengthy instrumental and jamming and improvisation with lead and keyboard soloing and extended musical passages with varying time signatures, like a multi movement suite of songs merged together into one long track.

The complex song structures depended on changes in key, modal melodies, drones and time signatures.

The lyrics were surreal or dreamlike, esoterically- inspired and based on fantasy or non-sensical, and at times whimsical and humorous.

WHITE RABBIT - JEFFERSON AIRPLANE (excerpt)
 
One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she's ten feet tall

.....
When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen's "off with her head!"
Remember what the dormouse said:
"Feed your head
Feed your head
Feed your head"

 
Album covers featured trippy multi coloured images with Psychedelic references.
 
 
The concert performances were a light show to augment the music and liquid light shows replicated acid trips.
 
 
 
The image of the band transformed, no longer wearing suits like The Beatles, Kinks, Animals or the other British Invasion bands,
 
 
 
 
but now wearing multi coloured mesmirising silk shirts and very long hair became the norm.
 
Pink Floyd with Syd Barret the master of psych.

The Height of Psychedelireached its peak in 1967 with the Beatles "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane", making way for a British "pastoral" or "nostalgic" Psychedelia. Then the album to follow knocked the Psychedelic wave out of the park with "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".

 
The album featured psych gems such as "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", “Fixing A Hole” and “A Day In The Life” that typified the new sensation of Psychedelia. The album had a hold on the music history and every band wanted to take up the baton and run with it.
 
"A Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum reached number one in the UK.
 
 
The Rolling Stones released an album "Their Satanic Majesties Request".
 
Pink Floyd released a Psychedelic treasure, "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn".
 

In America the Summer of Love of 1967 was in force when thousands of young people made the pilgrimage to Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, and the population grew from 15,000 to 100,000.

 
 
 
 
A huge music scene grew peaking at at the Monterey Pop Festival in June with Jimi Hendrix and The Who headlining.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hendrix sacrifices his guitar as a burnt offering at Monterey.
 
Key recordings were produced at this time with Jefferson Airplane's "Surrealistic Pillow", featuring a Psychedelic nugget "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love".
 
 
The Doors' had their first hit single with "Light My Fire".
 

It was into this environment that Genesis released their first hit single.

 
Genesis are discovered
 
 
 
File:Genesis 1967 lineup.jpg
 
 

The original Genesis line-up in 1967, with Anthony Phillips, Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, Peter Gabriel and Chris Stewart.

Genesis's original line-up consisted of Peter Gabriel, vocals, Anthony Phillips, guitar, Tony Banks, keyboards, Mike Rutherford, bass & guitar, and Chris Stewart, drums. Genesis began as a songwriting partnership and wanted only to write songs rather than perform as some members were stage shy. However, nobody wanted to record their music so they hit the studios to record one of their first singles. Jonathan King had discovered them at a concert at Charterhouse in 1968, the school the band attended and after the concert he was given a tape by a student that the band had recorded and thus a contract was formed.

 
 
King was also a songwriter and record producer with one hit single of his own "Everyone's Gone to the Moon". The band under the new name of Genesis, though it had been suggested they call themselves Gabriel's Angels, began to record for King. The name according to King was "a good name... it suggested the beginning of a new sound and a new feeling."


Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - April 29 2011 at 20:51
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 08 2010 at 21:44

1968

Jonathan King was only mildy successful with his single "Everyone's Gone to the Moon" so he turned his attention to Genesis his new found project. 

 

 
Genesis began as a pop band playing moody, simple keyboard-driven melodies. They released their first single in February 1968. “The Silent Sun/ That’s Me” and the lyrics were as whimsical as the psych rock of the time and blending in perfectly with the British Invasion.

Genesis The Silent Sun / Thats Me album cover
 

THE SILENT SUN (excerpt)

The silent sun that never shines,
She is the warmth of my lonely heart,
The motion of a turning wheel,
Can't you stop it and look around.

Baby, you feel so close,
I wish you could see my love,
Baby, you've changed my life,
I'm trying to show you.



 

This mild success was followed up by “A Winter’s Tale/ One-Eyed Hound” released in May 1968.

A WINTER’S TALE (excerpt)

You're concealing every feeling
Can you find me, deep inside you
Let me touch you, let me keep you
Let me know you're there
You're concealing every feeling
Can you find me, no
Yes deep inside you're a part of me
Every day I need to know I'm there, I'm there, I'm there


Nobody really cared about these singles at the time, the charts virtually ignored them, though they are now legendary as the Genesis of Genesis. But at least the band had made something to show their potential with a pysch tinge of whimsiness and a 60s pop sound. 
 
 


Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - March 13 2014 at 17:32
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 08 2010 at 22:21
1969 A Revelation for Genesis
 
 

 
 
 

Armed with their second drummer, John Silver, Genesis released their debut album "From Genesis To Revelation" in March 1969.

Genesis From Genesis To Revelation album cover
 
In the UK the initial sales were around 650 Albums.
 

In the US the album entered the US charts on 12-Oct-1974. It reached a debut position of #170 on 12-Oct-1974. It spent 4 weeks in the charts.

 
The single was released 
1. In the Beginning
2. The Serpent

Genesis GENESIS album cover

Not a great success but the band were on their way.
 
The re-release looks like this
 
 
and recently a new version was released on CD
 
 

 
 
 
 Track Listing of original album:
 
Side one
  1. "Where the Sour Turns to Sweet" – 3:16
  2. "In the Beginning" – 3:47
  3. "Fireside Song" – 4:20
  4. "The Serpent" – 4:40
  5. "Am I Very Wrong?" – 3:33
  6. "In the Wilderness" – 3:33

Side two

  1. "The Conqueror" – 3:42
  2. "In Hiding" – 2:40
  3. "One Day" – 3:22
  4. "Window" – 3:35
  5. "In Limbo" – 3:32
  6. "Silent Sun" (Gabriel/Banks) – 2:15
  7. "A Place to Call My Own" – 2:00
 

The album's songs were loosely based on the Bible. The album was recorded in August 1968, while band members were on school holidays, and the songs were overdubbed with strings and horns, much to the dismay of Genesis members. King took it upon himself to sequence all the songs together like a concept album, leaving no gaps and making the music flow seamlessly from track to track. The band members were aged 16 to 18, and did not consider themselves as proficient musicians, especially as they had very little studio experience. However the album had some good melodies and innovative instrumentation, with some inspired lyrics.

 
Lyrics to "The Serpent" (excerpt) 
 
And God created man from dust
With a soul inside his mould
And God created womankind
The vessel of satans hold

Creator made the serpent wise
Evil in his tempting eyes
Man is wonderful, very wonderful
Look at him
Beware the future


In between 'Fireside Song' and 'The Serpent' there is a brief instrumental interlude from the song 'Twilight Alehouse', and this developed into a seven-minute version to play live throughout the early seventies before being recorded by Genesis in 1972, to become the B-side of their single "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" in 1973.

Standout tracks on the album were varied but Tony Banks referred to "In the Wilderness" as the album highlight.

 
 
 
"In The Wilderness" (excerpt)
 
Music, all I hear is music - guaranteed to please
And I look for something else
Rain drops pouring down the rooftops
Flowing in the drains
As the people run their lives
As their lives are run by time



The album was issued several months later in a black album sleeve with its title scribed in gothic gold. The record shops did not know what to make of it and stacked it in the religious sections making it impossible to locate.

 
 

 
 
 

It was only when the band began achieving worldwide success, that the album hit the charts in 1974, peaking at #170.

The band’s name was omitted from the sleeve because Decca had discovered an obscure American act also calling itself Genesis, so they requested that the band consider changing its name so as to alleviate confusion, but King refused.

 

Genesis split from both Decca and Jonathan King, because they wanted to strike out on their own musical terms.

The band became a more professional unit in the autumn of 1969, and they replaced John Silver with John Mayhew on drums.

 
John Mayhew
 
 
Genesis, now a five piece, began formulating the music that would lead to “Trespass” and were signed to Charisma Records.
 
 
 
A Review of "From Genesis to Revelation" by tarkus1980 (with kind permission)
 
**** Rarely has the debut album of a major group received this much of a sl*gging 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.



Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - July 27 2012 at 16:43
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 09 2010 at 00:01

 
1970 Genesis wield The Knife

 
 
The band were still poor even with one album out but they stayed in London. They could not afford Hotel accommodation so after every gig they drove back to London and Surrey. The live show was a theatrical spectacle, with loads of masks and weird costumes, that cost next to nothing. "The challenge was to create something visually striking that was also cheap," Banks remembers, "which was a good discipline."

By 1970 Genesis were starting to be noticed with their distinct theatrical brand of progressive rock. Mike Rutherford, states, "We've always gone down well in the big industrial cities of the East Coast and Mid West (America), maybe because of the element of fantasy and escapism in our shows."

Genesis Trespass album cover

“Trespass” was released in October 1970, and was a detour into the art rock scene, and the lyrical content matched the artistic approach of the theatrical concerts.

 

“WHITE MOUNTAIN” (excerpt)

 

Thin hung the web like a trap in a cage,
The fox lay asleep in his lair.
Fangs frantic paws told the tale of his sin,
Far off the chase shrieked revenge.
Outcast he trespassed where no wolf may tread,
The last sacred haunt of the dead.
He learnt of a truth which only one wolf may know,
The sceptre and crown of a king.
Howling for blood, one-eye leads on the pack,
Plunging through forest and snowstorm.

 

“Trespass” reached #1 in Belgium, in 1971, and was Genesis' first No. 1 Album in the world.

In the UK it entered the charts in 1970, and was reissued and entered the UK charts on 21-Apr-1984 and reached Position #98 spending 1 week in the charts.

It is the only album with John Mayhew and the last with guitarist Anthony Phillips. It had a folk-flavoured progressive sound unlike their debut.

 

Side one

  1. "Looking for Someone" – 7:06
  2. "White Mountain”  – 6:45
  3. "Visions of Angels" – 6:51

Side two

  1. "Stagnation" – 8:50
  2. "Dusk" – 4:13
  3. "The Knife" – 8:56

 

 

 

 

The tracks were lengthy with only 3 on each side of the vinyl. The tracks featured several different musical sections and a 'pastoral English idyll' that is akin to the Canterbury scene. Multi-tracked 12-string acoustic guitars were blended with folky vocal harmonies, flute, acoustic piano, and gentle keyboard pads on the Hammond and mellotron. The drums were gentle but the band wanted a heavier sound and so they replaced Mayhew with Phil Collins.

Genesis The Knife album cover 

The most famous track on the album is "The Knife", an aggressive, bombastic, Gabriel vocal with Rutherford’s fuzz bass. Keith Emerson was very impressed with this song and it became a favourite to close the live gigs and the lyrics were changed as is evident on the 1973 live album “Genesis Live”.

 

“The Knife” was released as a two-part single in May 1971, but it did not chart. Gabriel wanted to write something like The Nice’s “Rondo” so this track stood out as being the heaviest on the album among all the pastoral folkiness of the other tracks. It featured a bouncy, march-like organ riff, with heavily distorted guitars and bass, and frenetic drumming. The song's lyrics focus on Gabriel's reflections on violent revolutions, and the lyrics determine to explore how those who use violence all in the name of freedom are often the ones who actually establish their own dictatorship.

 

Original lyrics

 

“THE KNIFE” (excerpt)

 

Stand up and fight, for you know we are right
We will strike at the lies
That have spread like disease through our minds.
Soon we'll have won and we'll treasure this worth
With our winnings and kindness
To all who our love now deserve
Some of you are going to die -
Martyrs, of course, to the freedom I will provide.


During one performance in June 1971, Peter Gabriel became so carried away at the end of “The Knife” that he leapt from the stage into the audience, landing on his foot,and finished the concert with a broken ankle. It was clear that Gabriel was becoming the theatrical showman of the group.


Genesis tree (opened insert, inside part), Genesis - Trespass

Japanese release art. from here http://www.minilps.net/genesis/trespass-vjcp-68091/inside-gatefold-1938#bigpic



 



Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - July 27 2012 at 16:41
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Textbook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 09 2010 at 00:09
How long before ACR opens The Church Of Genesis?

Except the scribes will have a tricky time putting a favorable interpretation on The Book Of We Can't Dance, Chapter II. "And verily did I say that Jesus knows me" etc.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 09 2010 at 04:07

My REVIEW of "Trespass"

 
 
 
 After the quiet breeze there is a hailstorm of chaotic drums, a thunderclap of stormy distorted organ and soaring guitar solos, with an injection of venomous, sniping vocals.

"Trespass" is the first album from Genesis since they parted with Jonathan King and Decca labels to pursue a more distinct sound, that of the 'pastoral English idyll'. The album features some of the first use of Multi-tracked 12-string acoustic guitars that are blended with folky vocal harmonies, quiet flute, acoustic piano, and gentle keyboard pads on the Hammond and mellotron. It begins with an isolated secluded atmosphere in the form of 'Looking For Someone' that is certainly not a sound the band would return to on subsequent albums. The band were very unsure at times of their sound Anthony Phillips holds back on guitar preferring an acoustic approach, John Mayhew gently touched his drums, Peter Gabriel is quiet and calm, Mike Rutherford maintains simple basslines, Tony Banks prefers a subtle keyboard motif - all this of course is transformed into glorious prog chaos on the last track.

'White Mountain' is a Gabriel driven storytelling work with lyrics that would typify the Gabriel-era Genesis; "Thin hung the web like a trap in a cage, The fox lay asleep in his lair. Fangs frantic paws told the tale of his sin, Far off the chase shrieked revenge. Outcast he trespassed where no wolf may tread, The last sacred haunt of the dead. He learnt of a truth which only one wolf may know, The sceptre and crown of a king. Howling for blood, one-eye leads on the pack, Plunging through forest and snowstorm." Gabriel was perhaps inspired by Rudyard Kipling in this quirky tale of two wolves battling for a mystical crown. The music peaks at the end of each verse and slows into the pastoral English feel, Gabriel's voice is even fed through a machine echo effect at one point. The rhythm is maintained during the verse, with Gabriel part of the rhythm. The quieter moments of the song are characterised by flute and acoustic flourishes. The mellotron builds a cathedral atmosphere in the break. A wonderful song from the album characterising a new sound akin to Canterbury but still distinctive.

'Visions of Angels' is a softer track with some staccato moments and grinding organ and angel harmonies. The softer moments of the track are almost like a fairy tale and then there is a darker razor edge to the music with some ethereal piano and mellotron. The flute lends it's folky pastoral quality to the piece. Gabriel has a phased effect on his voice in one section, abut he is master of the storyteller style and once again he dominates the track: "Visions of angels all around, Dance in the sky, Leaving me here, Forever goodbye."

'Stagnation' is acoustically driven and has a soft Gabriel vocal and a lilting melody that goes nowhere and is a folk soaked passage of estranged lyrics and atmospherics. The guitar is well executed here picking style and a chiming keyboard adds a mystical quality with descending shapes and chilling notes pulled down the scale almost ghostly. The other worldly sound builds with an electrifying instrumental passage capitalising on organ and a quick tempo beat with basslines and drums adding the metrical pattern. The flute shines on this when Gabriel sings gently: "Wait, there still is time for washing in the pool, Wash away the past. Moon, my long-lost friend is smiling from above, Smiling at my tears. Come well walk the path to take us to my home, Keep outside the night. The ice-cold knife has come to decorate the dead, Somehow. And each will find a home, And there will still be time, For loving my friend, you are there..." It even sounds like The Moody Blues at one point. The rhythm builds again and Gabriel ad libs all sorts of nonsense to end this, "I want a drink, I want a drink, To wash out the filth that is deep in my guts, I want a drink." The flute returns over a clean guitar sound that has that distinct pastoral quality. Once again an underrated track from this horrendously underrated album.

'Dusk' is a very gentle calming track with some strange harmonies that remind me of early Pink Floyd or The Moody Blues. The lyrics are as whimsical as ever; "Once Jesus suffered, Heaven could not see him. And now my ship is sinking, The captain stands alone. A pawn on a chessboard, A false move by God will now destroy me, But wait, on the horizon, A new dawn seems to be rising, Never to recall this passerby, born to die."

There are bell chimes and a loaded flute that is played beautifully by Gabriel, adding a unique atmosphere, very tranquil and dreamy. The acoustic is once again a main factor and there are heavy crashes of piano. Not too bad but only a shadow of the next track which is a bonafide classic.

'The Knife' is a real fish out of water here, the most famous track on the album beginning with a staccato Hammond worthy of Emerson and in fact Keith was impressed with the sound and let the band know it. Gabriel was quite attracted with The Nice and the song 'Rondo' and in trying to capture this sound came up with a track that would typify the Genesis sound on their next album "Nursery Cryme". The Hammond and one note fuzz bass intro this excellent prog exploration.

The lyrics are a real point of interest and Gabriel frighteningly sneers his way through them with utter conviction; "Stand up and fight, for you know we are right, We will strike at the lies, That have spread like disease through our minds. Soon we'll have won and we'll treasure this worth, With our winnings and kindness To all who our love now deserve, Some of you are going to die, Martyrs, of course, to the freedom I will provide." The song's lyrics focus on Gabriel's reflections on violent revolutions, and the lyrics determine to explore how those who use violence all in the name of freedom are often the ones who actually establish their own dictatorship.

In the mid section the dark Hammond sound ceases and a bass booms with a violining guitar created by volume swells, and then a lilting haunting flute, subtle cymbal clangs on the ride cymbal and a beautiful keyboard pad providing a dark ambience. Then a fuzzed electric guitar is heard with Rutherford's fuzz bass, an off kilter chord structure, and phased vocals chant with a tape loop of screaming and voices, the birth pangs of prog are right here. The guitars have a chance to launch into flight with some of the best work from Anthony Phillips.

After you have been lulled to sleep by all the gentle pastoralness of the previous tracks with their one note bass passages and dreamscape instrumentals you are suddenly jolted back to life with 'The Knife'. After the quiet breeze there is a hailstorm of chaotic drums, a thunderclap of stormy distorted organ and soaring guitar solos, with an injection of venomous, sniping vocals. It is not for nothing that this song closed the Genesis set for years after and is the only track fans want to talk about from 'Trespass'. The song in fact trespasses across the green fields and sets fire to them. The firestorm is a mixture of chemicals fuelled by psychedelic guitar passages, crunching fuzz bass, and blazing Hammond.

The dynamic nuances are augmented by psychotic lyrics; "I'll give you the names of those you must kill, Then have all burned and quickly, Cover them up in Trafalgar square, Hurry to see, you'll see them dead In this ugly world, Ready to fight for your freedom, Now, when I give a word, Hang 'em on high, let the blood flow..." The disturbing lyrics are enhanced by massive stabs of Hammond and gut wrenching guitar riffs but the fuzz bass is so entrenched upon the sound that it is as heavy as the band would get. An absolute masterpiece of prog.

In conclusion it would be unrealistic that I rate this anything more than 3 stars as the greatness of Genesis was yet to come. But this is still a solid slice of early prog and 'The Knife' is an outstanding track, one of the essential blasts of creativity from the Gabriel era. The knife stabbed in the album cover signifies that the band are slicing their ties with commercialism and dragging across a blade to usher in a new progressive sound that would become symphonic prog. It is interesting to note that the album cover has a pastoral feel with religious overtones, a couple stare lovingly out the arch toward the distant horizon and a cupid creature dances merrily in the foreground, but the knife stabbed in the back gatefold is like the stab in the heart of the pastoral idyll, the way 'The Knife' stabs in at the end of the album, infiltrating the quiet atmosphere, almost tacked on as an afterthought is intriguing; it is one thing to swim against the flow but here the goldfish has jumped out of the bowl. Perhaps the band were experimenting, and trying to ascertain what would happen if they pulled out all the stops and attempted a 'Rondo'. The result was a success and opened the floodgates for a prog sound like no other in the years to come. Overall, the album is a genuine curio showing the birth of a band that is ready to catapult into the progosphere with their next adventure, the awesome "Nursery Cryme".



Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - March 13 2014 at 17:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marty McFly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 09 2010 at 04:45
Very impressive Scott. And to be honest, it's easier to read this than to search for facts myself :-)
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Even my cat believes that :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 09 2010 at 05:54
^ Thanks Marty i learnt more than I could have anticipated as i researched this too. Beginning to really appreciate Genesis the more i look into their history.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote refugee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 09 2010 at 07:35
You have certainly put a lot of work into this, Scott, and the result is very nice. However, the admins are very strict when it comes to the use of copyrighted material:

http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=51801

I suggest that you instead of quoting the lyrics give a link to another site, such as SongMeanings. They probably don’t have the rights either, but at least that way it will not be you who violate the rules Smile. Keep up the good work! Cheers!
He say nothing is quite what it seems;
I say nothing is nothing
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Synchestra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 09 2010 at 08:16
Oh wow... Very impressive work. I havn't read it all, but this will definately provide me with a good way to learn something about some great bands. Great work Clap
'Yeah, thats.. Whatever you're talking about for ya' - Zapp brannigan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 09 2010 at 08:51
Originally posted by refugee refugee wrote:

You have certainly put a lot of work into this, Scott, and the result is very nice. However, the admins are very strict when it comes to the use of copyrighted material:

http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=51801

I suggest that you instead of quoting the lyrics give a link to another site, such as SongMeanings. They probably don’t have the rights either, but at least that way it will not be you who violate the rules Smile. Keep up the good work! Cheers!
Thanks I fixed those song lyrics into mere excerpts of the songs now so as not to violate copyright rules. Thanks for informing me there.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote refugee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 09 2010 at 09:04
No problem! I’m looking forward to the next part of the story.
He say nothing is quite what it seems;
I say nothing is nothing
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote missinglink07 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 09 2010 at 18:51
Very good stuff, and very interesting! I always like to know the backstory of the bands, and this is perfect.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 09 2010 at 21:17
Originally posted by missinglink07 missinglink07 wrote:

Very good stuff, and very interesting! I always like to know the backstory of the bands, and this is perfect.
Thank you
 
i am working on the rest now but it takes some research and I want to do this properly or not at all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote squire4001 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 10 2010 at 20:48
I think your work is much better than read wikipedia same articlesLOL yours is more interesting,even you wrote more details that make this history very attractive...
Congrats for your work! Cheers! Thumbs Up
Prog´ everyday in every way of your life including music!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bonnek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 11 2010 at 06:04

After seeing these photographs, I stand by my decision: Gabriel looked awful with long hair.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 11 2010 at 06:55
1971 Genesis tell dark fairy tales and create a legendary album
 
 
Singles were released before the next album.
 
in 1969 a single known simply as "Genesis" was released to little success.
Genesis GENESIS album cover  
1. In the beginning
2. The serpent

 
Then in 1971 "The Knife" became a single.
 

1. The Knife
2. The Knife - Part 2



 
 
 

When John Mayhew and Anthony Phillips left Genesis the band almost broke up. Phil Collins was introduced to the group by Tony Stratton-Smith, who was the head of Charisma Records and Collins was able to instantly bring stability to the rhythm section. The band played for a while with a new guitarist Mick Barnard, but it wasn’t long before they discovered an extraordinary guitarist that would catapult the group to stardom, Steve Hackett.

 
 
 
The next album was recorded at London's famous Trident Studios that was one of only a handful of British studios to have 16-track equipment, state of the art in the 70s. The album was called “Nursery Cryme”, a progression from “Trespass”’ pastoral qualities. this latest album would retain some of the pastoral folk qualities on "Harlequin" and "For Absent Friends", but the majority of material displayed a more aggressive sound. Hackett's lead guitar playing was a major factor, along with strong solos contained within "The Musical Box", "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" and "The Fountain Of Salmacis".

Although not a success upon release in their homeland, "Nursery Cryme" had become an unlikely hit in Italy peaking at number 4 in the Italian LP charts. This Italian success story developed into a European tour. The album eventually hit #39 in the UK charts for one week in May 1974, with the re-issue taking the #68 spot for one week in March 1984.

 
The band purchased their own Mellotron Mark II from King Crimson to employ a symphonic sound like three violins used to great effect in "The Fountain Of Salmacis" and "Seven Stones", whilst the climax of "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" used fuzzed Mk. II "combined brass". Rutherford utilised an electronic bass pedal unit Dewtron "Mister Bassman". The infusion of a semi-classical structural sensibility was more prevalent. The balladic style or folk song was given a minimum treatment and were substituted driving classical-rock epics that were chock full of sweeping Mellotron and riffing fuzzed guitars. The sound occasionally recalls the type of instrumental track that was produced by Keith Emerson of the Nice, especially in Tony Banks's organ musicianship.

Genesis Nursery Cryme album cover
 
 

Track Listing:

Side one

1.

"The Musical Box"

10:24

2.

"For Absent Friends"  

1:44

3.

"The Return of the Giant Hogweed"  

8:09

Side two

1.

"Seven Stones"  

5:08

2.

"Harold the Barrel"  

2:59

3.

"Harlequin"  

2:53

4.

"The Fountain of Salmacis"  

 

The album reached #4 in 1972 in Italy. In the UK it was released in November 1971 and entered the UK charts on 11-May-1974 peaking at #39. It spent 1 week in the charts. It was reissued and entered the UK charts 31-Mar-1984, then reissued and reached #68 on 31-Mar-1984 to spent 1 week in the charts.  

 
Peter Gabriel in early 70s.
 
 

The lyrical content was completely absorbed with a number of Lewis Carroll style fairy tales with overtones of horror and dark themes.  

It begins with ‘The Musical Box’, that began as an instrumental piece written by Anthony Phillips, though he never received credit for writing. The story is a Victorian fairy tale that explored themes of reincarnation, death and lust. The story told of two small children who lived in a country house, and Cynthia, the youngest murders the boy Henry by removing his head with a croquet mallet. The album cover depicts this as a quirky Nursery Rhyme, illustrated style. The albums' artwork, was painted by Paul Whitehead who was also the creative genius behind “Trespass” and “Foxtrot” albums.

The lyrics of ‘The Musical Box’ begin at the moment when Cynthia discovers Henry's Musical Box that plays “Old King Cole” the second she opens it. Henry's soul instantly returns in a restored body as the music plays, but Henry begins to rapidly age whilst retaining the mind of a child. His life flashes before his eyes, a life he will never experience. Henry attempts to have Cynthia pursue his desires in a romantic sense, but his nurse overhears the noise and ventures into the nursery to investigate. She hurls the musical box at the child who has become elderly-looking, and this action annihilates both of them.

 

When the song is performed on a live stage Gabriel wore an old man mask as he sung the final verse, and unzipped the chest section of this black jumpsuit and the elderly man would die in a dramatic scene.  

 

“THE MUSICAL BOX” (excerpt)

Play me old king cole
That I may join with you,
All your hearts now seem so far from me
It hardly seems to matter now.

And the nurse will tell you lies
Of a kingdom beyond the skies.
But I am lost within this half-world,
It hardly seems to matter now.

Play me my song.
Here it comes again.
Play me my song.
Here it comes again.

 

 

‘For Absent Friends’ is a folk song about two people who attend church to pray for their deceased loved ones. This song is the first to feature Phil Collins as lead vocalist, and was first to be written by the newest members Collins and Hackett.

 
Collins and Gabriel in early 70s, best friends.

‘The Return of the Giant Hogweed’ is an apocalyptic tale of a rampaging hogweed brought from by a Victorian explorer to the Royal Garden as Kew. It is planted by country gentlemen but the hogweeds become sentient spreading their seed throughout England in order to prepare for the carnage of the human race. An idea that may be inspired by “Day of the Triffids” or “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” sci fi classic movies. The locals plan to fight back against the hogweeds by using herbicide however it appears that the plant are immune to its effect. There is a short instrumental called ‘The Dance of the Giant Hogweed’ signifying that the hogweeds are celebrating over the subjugation of the human race. The song is inspired by the phototoxic weed Heracleum Mantegazzianum which is a threat to the UK and other countries.

 

“THE RETURN OF THE GIANT HOGWEED” (excerpt)

 

Turn and run,

Nothing can stop them,

Around every river and canal their power is growing.

Stamp them out,

We must destroy them.

They infiltrate each city with their thick dark warning odour

 

... Waste no time,

They are approaching.

Hurry now,

we must protect ourselves and find some shelter,

Strike by night,

They are defenceless.

They all need the sun to photosynthesize their venom.

 

 

 

 

 
 

‘Seven Stones’ depicts a story concerning a mischievous miserly old man who, like Ebenezer Scrooge laughs at the worlds' despair and robs a farmer blind. Now it is up to ‘chance’ to guide the farmer. This may have references to karma or reincarnation, though it is vague.

 

SEVEN STONES”

Farmer, who knows not when to sow,
Consults the old man clutching money in his hand,
And with a shrug,
The old man smiled,
Took the money, left the farmer wild.
And the changes of no consequence will pick up the reins from nowhere.

Despair that tires the world, brings the old man laughter,
The laughter of the world only grieves him,
believe him,
The old man's guide is chance.

 

‘Harold the Barrel’ is a tale of a restaurant owner who serves up his own toes for tea, and is hunted down by the police. In this song Gabriel has a chance to channel all sorts of weird characters and stereotypes in the same way he will do on ‘Get ‘Em Out By Friday’ and certain parts of ‘Supper’s Ready', a theatrical approach to the songs that would become his veritable trademark.

“HAROLD THE BARREL” (excerpt)

Bognor restaurant-owner disappeared early this morning...

Man-in-the-street: "it's disgusting, Such a horrible thing to do,

Harold the Barrel cut off his toes and he served them all for tea..."

..."You can't last long, Said you couldn’t trust him, his brother was just the same."

 

 

Harold is about to throw himself from a building in a suicidal attempt at the end of the song, or there is a slim chance he will turn himself into the police. Once again the idea of chance is brought in, there is a chance he will survive depending on his next move; fate is in his hands. The idea of fate is a mythological concept from Greek tales and this is capitalised in the final mini epic.  

 

 The band revelling in newfound success.

 

‘The Fountain of Salmacis’ is a Greek mythological tale of the nymph Salmacis who attempted to rape Hermaphroditus.The child Hermaphroditus was the son of Hermes and Aphrodite, the result of a secret love affair. He was entrusted to the nymphs of the isolated Mount Ida, who allowed him to grow as a wild creature of the woods. Following his encounter with the water-nymph Salmacis, he laid a curse upon the water. According to fable, all persons who bathed in the water became hermaphrodites.

“THE FOUNTAIN OF SALMACIS” (excerpt)


And as his strength began to fail
He saw a shimmering lake.
A shadow in the dark green depths
Disturbed the strange tranquility.

...As he rushed to quench his thirst,
A fountain spring appeared before him
And as his heated breath brushed through the cool mist,
A liquid voice called, son of gods, drink from my spring.

The water tasted strangely sweet.
Behind him the voice called again.
He turned and saw her, in a cloak of mist alone
And as he gazed, her eyes were filled with the darkness of the lake.
 
 
 
 

My Review of “Nursery Cryme”

 

***** A pandora's box of prog delicacies; Mother Goose laid the Golden Egg

 

Third time for Genesis and they finally got it right. Everything that was great about "Trespass", namely their classic album closer 'The Knife' was captured on every track. "Nursery Cryme" is the first Genesis masterpiece and what an incredible improvement it is from the first two albums; the band hit their peak with amazing compositions such as 'Musical Box' and 'Seven Stones' or 'Fountain of Samalcis'. The Genesis lineup here is the most revered with Gabriel, Rutherford, Banks, Collins and Hackett. The production is wonderful with intricate mixing of instrumentation and Gabriel's vocals are kept back blended in with the music rather than overbearing as on "Trespass". Each track tends to create an atmosphere and tell a story that is captured by the beautiful iconic cover illustration that is an enigmatic collage of all things Genesis.


'Musical Box' is a marathon of dark and light shades, a consistent pulling of tension and release, with musical virtuoso as never before heard by the band. 'Musical Box' is a dynamic exploration of symphonic pomp prog. They are undisputed on this track and it remains one of the all time treasured masterpieces of Genesis and indeed prog history. The chord progressions are intricately executed with a dozen or so melodies and time sigs pastiched over one another to create a soundscape montage. Gabriel pleads, "Play me Old King Cole, That I may join with you, All your hearts now seem so far from me, It hardly seems to matter now.... Play me my song, here it comes again". The references to Lewis Carroll echo the album artwork, and there are huge dollops of black humour and an enchanting Gothic mystical fragility. The flute is sweet and beautiful, and it plays over a dark tirade of Rutherford's heavy bass and Hackett's guitar. Gabriel is pastoral with flute and gentle vocals for the first section and then it builds to the dramatic blast of fire that explodes and rains down over shadowy volcanoes of molten mellotron. The time sig changes as a swell of organs and Hackett shines in the lead break, the sound cascades down from speaker to speaker teasing the ears, like an aural torture device. Then it settles as the 'Old King Cole' nursery rhyme is sung. It could be pretentious but it sounds moody and serious. Gabriel gets intimate on, "The clock tick tock on the mantelpiece and I want you to feel... and I know how to touch the wall." The music detonates into huge bombastic phased organ waves that crash down on the beach as a thunderclap of drums and bass blast the hemispheres. It lulls into an unnerving quiet guitar picking as the vocals state, "she's a lady and she's got time, brush back your hair, and let me get to know your flesh." The church pipe organ presents a religious feel and the drums tend to build and then a huge swell of pipe organ drowns out Gabriel begging us to touch him now. This completes an absolute blitz of song structures within songs and it coincides with the final paroxysm of energy from Hackett and Banks trading off perfectly with stop start ruptures of sound. This track is, in a word, unparalleled.


'For Absent Friends' is a short ballad or transition between two brilliant tracks. Phil Collins takes the driver's seat with warm vocals as lead singer in a prophecy of his later involvement when he would transform the sound of Genesis. The lyrics are full of religiosity, and obscure twisted dogma; "Inside the archway the priest greets them with a courteous nod. He's close to God. Looking back at days of four instead of two. Years seem so few. Heads bent in prayer for friends not there." It makes a nice resting place for tranquillity and a stream of calm waters before the storm rages.

The clouds of thunder roll as 'Return of the Giant Hogweed' crashes in. It begins with a mesmirising angular riff and then the wondrous chord structure to signal in the verse; "Turn and run, Nothing can stop them, Around every river and canal their power is growing. Stamp them out, We must destroy them. They infiltrate each city with their thick dark warning odour" . Gabriel is passionate and sneering as he belts out the verses and utters chilling warnings such as, "Waste no time, They are approaching. Hurry now, we must protect ourselves and find some shelter, Strike by night, They are defenceless. They all need the sun to photosensitize their venom." Only Genesis could include words like 'photosynthesize' in their lyrics. The Hammond sounds are articulated by bursts of energy ignited from Hackett's blazing guitar. It lulls in to a quiet passage that builds gradually into a heavy riff. The time sigs are all over the place and consistently change in this exploration of progression. There is a repeated pattern of song structure verse to verse and the instrumentation finally drives into a break with some complex patterns with flute, organ, corrosive fuzz bass and striking guitar in a fractured musicscape. The piano chimes in as all goes quiet and the threat of more chaos is imminent. There is a lovely keyboard solo here with a quirky rhythm and distorted lead guitar. The melody is transformed into dark textures and the sound becomes aggressive and more intense. The threat of the music is echoed by the threat of the Giant Hogweed on it's spiteful quest for revenge against the human race. The nightmarish imagery taken from a B grade sci fi movie perhaps, is perfect fodder for Gabriel to showcase his theatrical abilities; "Botanical creature stirs, seeking revenge. Royal beast did not forget. Soon they escaped, spreading their seed, preparing for an onslaught, threatening the human race." In concert of course he would have a ball dressing up as botanical semi-crustaceous metamorphosed lunatic creature and he revelled in the unreality of his psychotic altered universe. The music mimicks the horror tale alarmingly, even to the point of retelling its own story with funeral marches and music hall waltzes, a sound of ridiculed terror. Looming metrical changes make dark clouds cover the landscape with shadowy clouds as we draw to a close this masterful piece of music.

'Seven Stones' has lovely melodic passages with Gabriel taking control over the thickly layered organ and guitars. The music is allowed to breathe as instruments die down and a piccolo sound is heard and Gabriel on flute. His story telling qualities are exemplary on this track; "Tinker, alone within a storm, And losing hope he clears the leaves beneath a tree, Seven stones Lay on the ground." As the song progresses Gabriel tells the strange tale of the "Sailors, in peril on the sea" and "The Captain turns the boat" and the "Farmer, who knows not when to sow" . It is a nursery style again in line with the thematic title. This song truly grows on you with each listen, especially the wordless chorus sections. The way the vocals augment the music is incredible and the instrumental break here is alight with sweeping mellotron creating an uplifting atmosphere that dominates and builds higher into the clouds to meet the sun rays of very emotional string orchestrated sounds. It is a majestic quality that only Genesis can maintain. The mellotron ends this and the final product is one of the most beautiful Genesis classics.

There is still a tongue in cheek thread on songs such as 'Harold The Barrel' which paved the way for such storytelling epics as 'Supper's Ready'. The honky tonk piano will remind one of ELP's 'The Sheriff', equally out of place as this. Gabriel is delightful as he shoves it up the suits of an organised criminal inquest. A "Bognor restaurant-owner disappeared early this morning" and the hunt is on giving Gabriel license to channel all sorts of whimsical characters, such as the Man-in-the-street who suggests "it's disgusting, Such a horrible thing to do, Harold the Barrel cut off his toes and he served them all for tea..." It would be crude if not for the biting satirical delivery. Gabriel is truly sardonic on lines such as "You can't last long, Said you could'nt trust him, his brother was just the same." Gabriel continues to mock the stereotypes of autocracy and Harold's demise is never determined but we hear from his wife, the man on the spot, man on the council, lord mayor and the ridiculous Harold who states "If I was many miles from here, I'd be sailing in an open boat on the sea, Instead I'm on this window ledge..." Will he jump? We never find out. This is reminiscent of all the Gabriel fuelled parodies on the English idyll, no longer a pastoral pastiche but a worldly attack on how the English behave; even with mocking phrases, "we can help you... you must be joking, take a running jump" , Gabriel sneers. It reminds me of 'Willow Farm' section of 'Supper's Ready' or especially 'Get 'em Out by Friday'.


'Harlequin' is more like the pastoral folky feel of "Trespass", a style that would be shed completely as the band matured thankfully as they were always better heavy and bombastic with Gabriel unleashing his fury and antagonism. Here Gabriel is withdrawn and gentle and harmonious with other voices blending in a dreamy way. The lyrics are sugar sweet and balladic but there is an edge that things are surreal and dreamlike. "harlequin, harlequin, Dancing round three children fill the glade, Theirs was the laughter in the winding stream, and in between. From the flames in the firelight." If this were not so short I would have thought it would feel like a filler or throwaway but it is a nice change in direction. I would not rate it as a highlight but there is nothing wrong with some acoustic picking and harmonies from Genesis occasionally in small doses.

'Fountain of Samalcis' is another outstanding track and begins with a beautiful volume swell of mellotron ominously building like a jet plane swooping past, perhaps like a fountain rising and falling. Gabriel tells the weird surreal story and the track builds with glorious mellotron orchestrated in a symphonic crescendo by Banks. The story is a retelling of the Greek myth about an Hermaphrodite and yet it is captivating to reinvent the age old tale, a musical theatrical powerhouse. Gabriel brings the story to life with his excellent vocal prowess, perfection of intonation and pronounced tone that is stirring and evocative; "As the dawn creeps up the sky, The hunter caught sight of a doe. In desire for conquest, He found himself, within a glade he'd not beheld before... Where are you my father, Then he could go no farther, Give wisdom to your son, Now lost, the boy was guided by the sun". The violining of Hackett's guitar is masterful and he plays some angular riffs in this that are repeated as a hypnotic motif camouflaged by Banks soft key pads. Gabriel chimes in with "as he rushed to quench his thirst... A fountain spring appeared before him And as his heated breath brushed through the cool mist, A liquid voice called Son of gods, drink from my spring" . The bassline is notable of Rutherford. An interlude of soaring guitar ensues, with strong rhythmic shapes from Collins on percussion, a strange brew of bombastic glory. The bassline pulses stronger and some cathedral pipe organ is heard. I love this part and it continues to build to the next verse and the music answers Gabriel in turn. Pipe organ flourishes follow and a staccato organ that sweeps across a layer of frenetic bass and chaotic drumming. It fades for a time and builds with the huge organ swells like sunlight bursting through dark clouds, rays of light across the horizon. There is a grand finale with simmering elegance that shoots rays of light at the end to culminate in an apocalyptic crescendo. Masterpiece track to complete a masterpiece album.

In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen this is a classic legendary album that raised the bar for 70s prog, and subsequently this led to "Foxtrot" and "Selling England By the Pound" which are even better by comparison. Genesis were at the peak of their powers with this lineup and they were to enjoy some incredibly prolific years in the music scene until the final decision for Gabriel to seek out greener pastures. The grass has never been greener though with the 70s Genesis sound; an indelible trademark style and a lineup that could be termed as lightning in a bottle.

 

 
 


Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - March 13 2014 at 17:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 11 2010 at 07:25
Originally posted by squire4001 squire4001 wrote:

I think your work is much better than read wikipedia same articlesLOL yours is more interesting,even you wrote more details that make this history very attractive...
Congrats for your work! Cheers! Thumbs Up
Very nice to say that. i guess i didnt want this history to be dry and as much as i am learning myself I want to scour a number of resources to find the best info without it becomeing dull. If I dont find it dull i guess thats a good measuring stick for how others may see it. I have had a lot of positive feedback which makes this labour not in vain.
Thanks again
 
btw Bonnek, I agree Gabriel is quite a sight with long haitr but arent they iconic images. Smile 
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