Genesis

Picture of Genesis

Trespass

Genesis - Trespass ©1970 MCA
1. Looking For Someone
2. White Mountain
3. Visions Of Angels
4. Stagnation
5. Dusk
6. The Knife

Genesis' second album, Trespass, still ranks as one of my favorite from their early days. This album featured the band's earlier lineup that didn't even include Phil Collins or Steve Hackett yet. Better yet, the band had ditched their initial sappy harmony Beatles act from their debut for a truly progressive and ambitious sound that would initiate their prog-rock years throughout the seventies. Regardless of some the album's flaws in production and sound quality that are probably enhanced greatly by current CD copies, Trespass is a wonderful and stirring album that never fails to move the listener. Each of the six songs are quite lengthy, moving through a variety of musical passages that tie together very nicely. The interplay between the guitars (a lot of very solid acoustic passages), keyboards and rhythm is exquisite. Peter Gabriel's singing throughout is also quite excellent, offering great melodies to work with the music at hand. Harmonies saved from their earliest days are still present in spirit as the soft but moving "Dusk" proves. "The Knife", one of the more aggressive - comparitively speaking - songs, became a concert closer for years to come. Possibly the most impressive thing about the album is that it is the type that you can listen through the entire thing without getting bored at all. Whether the band is playing soft passages or more rock-based moments, it all works together. Trespass is definitely one of the most recommended albums in the early years for Genesis.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2000

Back to top 

Nursery Cryme

Genesis - Nursery Cryme ©1971 Atlantic
1. The Musical Box
2. For Absent Friends
3. The Return Of The Giant Hogweed
4. Seven Stones
5. Harold The Barrel
6. Harlequin
7. The Fountain Of Salmacis

I've never known quite what to think of Nursery Cryme, the third release by Genesis and the first to feature future megastar Phil Collins in his original role as drummer. On a whole, Nursery Cryme is quite ambitious and sprawling, moving beyond some of the simpler romanticism and delicate nature of the band's first two releases. The cover alone, which depicts a young lass playing croquet with various decapitated heads, shows there's something a bit more sinister in the Genesis water cooler. Song titles also suggest a bit of warping had gone on in vocalist Peter Gabriel's head: "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" is one such example. Genesis seemed very determined to write longer, ambitious songs containing many segments, moods and approaches to showcase Gabriel's stories, but unfortunately a lot of these songs lose me along the way. The production is also somewhat befuddling, lacking some crystalline pristine that would benefit this style of music. Unlike the releases that followed during Gabriel's tenure with the band, Nursery Cryme does not have as much tension and dramatic pull to allow the songs to build to a massive climax for the listener. However, "The Musical Box" has lived on in concert for many years as the closing passage has been often reprised live.

Insofar as early Genesis goes, Nursery Cryme is very definitely the last album I'd pull out to hear. While by no means terrible, it simply lacks the amazing depth of Selling England by the Pound, the evocative dementia of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway or the pristine, charming beauty of Trespass.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/2001

Back to top 

Live

Genesis - Live ©1973 Atlantic
1. Watcher Of The Skies
2. Get 'em Out By Friday
3. The Return Of The Giant Hogweed
4. Musical Box
5. The Knife

The first of what would prove to be many live releases from Genesis was a brief five song, but lengthy 1973 issue. The five songs are culled from the band's first few releases (the original debut notwithstanding). All five songs aptly capture the theatrical nature of the early era of Genesis as well as demonstrate the band was rather tight onstage with their complex music. Peter Gabriel naturally is the focal point of much of the music, since his lyrics capture some rather interesting surrealistic snapshots of existence. The band stays true to the studio originals of the songs, rather than improvising or expanding on them. The sound quality itself is decent, although the remastered version released by Atlantic a couple years ago is rumored to have a much improved clarity.

Live is hardly a definitive live recording nor something more casual fans are going to seek out in droves. However, for ardent fans of the early era, Live does become a bit more necessary as it does present some early epic numbers in a slightly different setting.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/2001

Back to top 

Selling England By The Pound

Genesis - Selling England By The Pound ©1973 Atlantic
1. Dancing With The Moonlit Knight
2. I Know What I Like (in Your Wardrobe)
3. Firth Of Fifth
4. More Fool Me
5. The Battle Of Epping Forest
6. After The Ordeal
7. The Cinema Show
8. Aisle Of Plenty

After two albums that never quite gelled with me, the tepid and imperfectly executed Nursery Cryme and the very ambitious Foxtrot, Genesis brought forth one of my very favorite Gabriel-era albums, Selling England by the Pound. Both epic styled tracks (though not on the same level as "Supper's Ready" from Foxtrot) and more precious tracks coexist here, as well as some absolutely stellar performances from the band.

Of the seven songs here, four are eight minutes or longer and are extremely well structured to allow the songs to progress through a variety of moods and heightened musical passages. "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight" is an exceptional album opener, showing off all facets of the band, from Peter Gabriel's interesting lyrical visions to Phil Collins' remarkable drumming. (Say what you want about our odd looking future superstar, but his percussion abilities are top notch.) "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" is the closest thing to a pop song on the entire album and features some exceptionally British lyrics and sentiments. "The Battle of Epping Forest" is Gabriel's grandest lyrical display on the album, telling a multilevel and slightly twisted tale of a gangland war with plenty of tangents and sidelights. And for every tangent, the band brandishes their own musical tangent to match. "Firth of Fifth" shows off Tony Banks' great ability on the piano and keyboard as well as the band's ingenius ability to structure songs to feature climaxes and near crescendos in music. In a bit of foreshadowing for the future of Genesis, Phil Collins provides the vocals on "More Fool Me", which is an acoustic ballad type of number. The closing "The Cinema Show/Aisle of Plenty" is another epic song that shows off a great amount of intelligent song arrangement and features one of my favorite musical passages, which the band would eventually do in concert medleys (such as the one on Three Sides Live).

Selling England by the Pound is undoubtedly one of the finest moments in Genesis' long history. Never pompous to the point of insufferability or too heady for even holistic music fans to enjoy thoroughly, the album captures the band at both a songwriting and playing ability apex.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2000

Back to top 

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway ©1974 ATCO
1. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
2. Fly On A Windshield
3. Broadway Melody Of 1974
4. Cuckoo Cocoon
5. In The Cage
6. The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging
7. Back In N.Y.C.
8. Hairless Heart
9. Counting Out Time
10. Carpet Crawl
11. The Chamber Of 32 Doors
12. Lilywhite Lilith
13. The Waiting Room
14. Anyway
15. Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetist
16. The Lamia
17. Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats
18. The Colony Of Slippermen
19. The Arrival
20. A Visit To The Doktor
21.The Raven
22. Ravine
23. The Light Dies Down On Broadway
24. Riding The Scree
25. In The Rapids
26. It

With The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Genesis arguably reached their creative peak, while albums on either chronological side feel like they were building up to, or trickling down from it. Although a 70s concept album (ugh, and a double album at that!), Peter Gabriel's surreal and satirical lyrics alluding to mythology and modern day social ills save the listener from being at the mercy of a mediocre story teller that plagued many bands of the era trying to weave a coherent story together. There is an operatic plot that's not pretentious or cliché, and allows for being open to different interpretations depending on your point of view while taking multiple listens to soak it all in.

Musically these proto prog-rockers run the emotional gauntlet while having drawn out ominous epics, experimental soundscapes, to flat out catchy tunes ("Erogenous zones I love you. Without you what would a poor boy do?" is a line that I can't get out of my head.). Even though the track listing is long and winding over two discs Genesis streamlined their song writing process as only the dark "In the Cage" and uniquely bizarre "The Colony of Slippermen" clock in just over eight minutes. Songs lean on each other to make a real flowing listening experience as a whole album instead of just a collection of songs. Aside from stellar song writing and ace musicianship Genesis really knew how to take advantage of a studio environment. The production is busy yet balanced and lush with the music seemingly existing on its own spacious, airy plane.

Unfortunately this era of Genesis came to an end after the supporting tour for the album but perhaps it was for the best as the lineup had reached its full potential. Maybe they should've gone as far as to change their name to Exodus (ba-dum-tish!). Funny that Peter Gabriel decided to leave as he was the center of attention, having a theatrical stage presence which rivaled that of Alice Cooper and David Bowie. Crazed fans would storm him from all sides after live shows, going as far as to literally shove future pop superstar Phil Collins out of their way to get to him. Surely it's proof that higher powers at work have a great sense of humor.

Review by Joel Gilbert

Review date: 02/2013

Back to top 

Trick Of The Tail

Genesis - Trick Of The Tail ©1976 ATCO
1. Dance On A Volcano
2. Entangled
3. Squonk
4. Mad Man Moon
5. Robbery, Assault & Battery
6. Ripples
7. A Trick Of The Tail
8. Los Endos

After original vocalist Peter Gabriel left Genesis in 1975, the band embarked on a famous search high and low for a suitable replacement. Little did the band know their man was already in the band, sitting behind the drum kit. And thus in 1976 began the unlikely story of the frumpy Phil Collins ascension into superstardom. Who would have guessed this rather odd looking chap would eventually become an international pop icon?

Trick of the Tail was the first release from the remaining members of Genesis and although it shed much of the surrealism and ambitious prog-rock tailings of previous releases, turned out to be a quite fine album. Obviously without Gabriel's imaginative lyrics and fanciful storytelling ability the band would sound considerably more normal, but Trick of the Tail retains enough great musicianship to convince naysayers that Genesis wasn't going into the dark night any time soon. While the music was also trimmed down somewhat, the album contains a lush, vibrant sound that highlights Collins' vocals quite nicely. His voice wasn't terribly far off from Gabriel, only less husky and with a distinctive timbre that would eventually somehow catapult him into superstar status. For the most part he was content to croon softly as the songs on this record tend to fall into a much more mellow and sedated than previous Genesis releases. The sound suits the four piece quite well. The band seems less interested in showing off their skills and more towards building a central mood for the record.

Trick of the Tail did indeed prove that the whole is greater than the parts and the world was given the gift of both Peter Gabriel's noteworthy solo career and a string of quite good Genesis records (at least until the mid 80s, when Collins' schmaltzy pop tendencies would reduce Genesis to a secondary vehicle to his solo ambitions). Chances are doubters in the band's viability were given quite the second thought here.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2001

Back to top 

And Then There Were Three...

Genesis - And Then There Were Three... ©1978 Atlantic
1. Down And Out
2. Undertow
3. Ballad Of Big
4. Snowbound
5. Burning Rope
6. Deep In The Motherlode
7. Many Too Many
8. Scene's From A Night's Dream
9. Say It's Alright Joe
10. The Lady Lies
11. Follow You Follow Me

Having finally trimmed themselves down to their trio format of Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks, Genesis celebrated their newly truncated lineup with And Then There Were Three..., which unfortunately is one of the least engaging Genesis albums in their entire catalogue. From what I've noticed on their releases from the time Stephen Hackett left the band till the trio settled into their pop oriented idiom, Genesis was somewhat unsure exactly how to go about songwriting. Their ambitious prog-rock days were well behind them but they hadn't quite gotten their bearings on if they wanted to be an unusual pop band or still try to cover prog territory. Both And Then There Were Three... and Duke tend to straddle the fence and the results are mixed. Much of And Then There Were Three... is reminiscient of Trick of the Tale and Wind and Wuthering era material, but with a tendency to hedge a bit on the more far reaching elements. Moreover, it lacks the truly definitive songs that really make a Genesis album stand out for me. Obviously "Follow You Follow Me" has become a long standing fan favorite, but other tracks aren't nearly so memorable. There are some good songs but nothing great. For any fan of Genesis, this album is still required as a loyal listener but it is certainly the one I'm least likely to pull off the shelf when I'm in the mood for this band.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2000

Back to top 

Duke

Genesis - Duke ©1980 Atlantic
1. Behind The Lines
2. Duchess
3. Guide Vocal
4. Man Of Our Times
5. Misunderstanding
6. Heathaze
7. Turn It On Again
8. Alone Tonight
9. Cul De Sac
10. Please Don't Ask
11. Duke's Travels
12. Duke's End

Duke is probably one of my least favorite Genesis albums. As noted elsewhere in my review of And Then There Were Three.., the trio was still unable to fully decide whether they wanted to be a progressive, artsy band or the pop standard they would quickly become in the 80s. Duke tends to straddle the fence for the most part and creates a quite uneven affair that unfortunately falls more to the side of fluff and dross.

The best songs on the album is, of course, the hit oriented one: "Turn It On Again". "Misunderstanding" is also pretty good for a dry sort of piano and groove bit. Where the album fails is the longer instrumental passages that lack the flair of older Genesis material. Morever, occasional dips into past formulas, such as the vocal and quiet instrumentation of "Guide Vocal" (an attempt to capture the feeling of Trick of the Tail or Wind & Wuthering), come across as half hearted. Those type of songs generally are quite dull. Whereas in the past, the quiet moments worked well to build into a sense of climax, these songs are lifeless and bland. The closing duo of songs, "Duke's Travels" and "Duke's End", try to recreate a "Los Endos" type ending and do a reasonable, but not highly encouraging job. Needless to say, as the band shed its pretentions of being an ultra-progressive entity, things did improve and the music became more interesting. Unfortunately, Duke is mired in unexciting and tiresome arrangements, just begging for either a musical spark or something much more simple and invigorating.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/2000

Back to top 

Abacab

Genesis - Abacab ©1981 Atlantic
1. Abacab
2. No Reply At All
3. Me And Sarah Jane
4. Keep It Dark
5. Dodo
6. Lurker
7. Who Dunnit?
8. Man On The Corner
9. Like It Or Not
10. Another Record

By the time Abacab (named after the progression of chords in the songs) rolled around in 1981, the core sound of Genesis was more than slightly listing towards the direction of pop music. Phil Collins solo career was already underway and from that moment on, Genesis' more experimental (and interesting) era was dead. But regardless of that, Abacab is still one heck of a good record, no matter what pop pretensions it might have. Even if the song received a ton of airplay, as "No Reply At All" has, the songs here are all quite good or simply exceptional. There is still a tendency to hint at their more progressive roots, as "Dodo/Lurker" does. Or, as another method, some of the songs work a mood rather than noodle. "Me and Sarah Jane" and "Man on the Corner" both fall into that category, with the former being the more unusual track. The band even sneaks in some groovy rock numbers, such as "Keep it Dark" or the album closer "Another Record". The band also contributes some bizarre lyrical numbers, such as the Clue inspired "Who Dunnit?" Overall, Abacab has remained one of my all time favorite Genesis records on the basis of the excellent songwriting contained here. Though thoroughly eschewing progressive modes, Abacab is an apt demonstration of how pop music can become something greater with a little skill and intelligent songwriting.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/2000

Back to top 

Three Sides Live

Genesis - Three Sides Live ©1982 Atlantic
1. Turn It On Again
2. Dodo
3. Abacab
4. Behind The Lines
5. Duchess
6. Me & Sarah Jane
7. Follow You , Follow Me
8. Misunderstanding
9. In The Cage (medley--Cinema Show, Slipperman)
10. Afterglow
11. One For The Vine
12. Fountain Of Salmacis
13. It / Watcher Of The Skies

For the most part, the definite edition remasters of Genesis' immense back catalogue have been a very nice collection of sharpened up packaging, but I do have to gripe about one major problem with Atlantic's reissue of Three Sides Live: where the hell is the fourth side of studio tracks that appeared on the original release in 1982? There are five songs, including an excellent number called "Paperlate", that have been turned into missing collector's prizes. Why Atlantic chose to delete them and include three older live songs is a little mysterious and vexing.

Nevertheless, Three Sides Live is probably the best of the four different live Genesis collections released over the years. Once the band was slimmed down to the trio of Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks, the band picked out excellent touring musicians for their live show. It goes without saying that Chester Thompson's drumming on their live records is phenomenal and the drum duets between he and Collins in the longer instrumental passages (such as the one at the end of "Abacab") are a marvel to hear. Secondly, Three Sides Live benefits from a good selection of songs, including a couple of the best from Abacab, Duke and a medley of "In the Cage/Cinema Show/Slippermen" that gives both a nod to the past and a totally high caliber rendition of older material. Collins more than proves his ability to sing Peter Gabriel material with conviction on the medley. The entire bands sounds in prime form on the entirety of the disc, regardless of when the particular tracks were recorded (songs were culled from shows in 1977, 1981 and 1982, I believe).

Although I miss the studio tracks that made up the final side of the original double LP release, the reissued version of Three Sides Live is a wonderful live collection that caught Genesis at their pop era peak.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2000

Back to top 

Genesis

Genesis - Genesis ©1983 Atlantic
1. Mama
2. That's All
3. Home By The Sea
4. Second Home By The Sea
5. Illegal Alien
6. Taking It All Too Hard
7. Just A Job To Do
8. Silver Rainbow
9. It's Gonna Get Better

By the time this self-titled album surfaced, I imagine that the noteriety of Phil Collins' blossoming solo career brought a little extra attention to this release. Though Genesis was going to spend a lot more time between albums, they were still on a creative streak that allowed their music to be both conventionally mainstream and of the highest quality at the same time. Nearly every song is quite digestable in the pop fashion but rather than fading into instant uselessness, the songs all stand the test of the years. With the exception of the weak "Taking It All Too Hard" (which is only made weak by the property around it), Genesis is a strong contender that I haven't ever fully become weary with.

Obviously Collins' voice had become the focal point, as his strong vocals are the primary role in "Mama" and the aforementioned "Taking It All Too Hard". But the other two members had great contributions as well, as the "Home by the Sea" two-parter demonstrates their love for extended song lengths and high concept rock (though not to the degree of the band's work in the 70s). The band also is able to create a slightly off center atmosphere with "Just a Job to Do" and "Silver Rainbow". The former track is a song written in the viewpoint of a hitman while the latter is a number that simply carries a great mood with it.

An album like Genesis proves the band was able to write commercial songs that were able to retain substance at the same time. Definitely a highlight of the band's career as a trio.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/1999

Back to top 

Invisible Touch

Genesis - Invisible Touch ©1986 Atlantic
1. Invisible Touch
2. Tonight, Tonight, Tonight
3. Land Of Confusion
4. In Too Deep
5. Anything She Does
6. Domino
7. Throwing It All Away
8. The Brazilian

By this point in 1986, it seemed that nearly anything Phil Collins touched was gold - or multiplatinum, as it would turn out. Invisible Touch was one of the most blatantly pop oriented albums the band had released up to that point and as a result, MTV and fans came with fistfuls of cash and made this album a huge seller. Every time you turned around, hits from this album were on the radio and the wacky video for "Land of Confusion" was gracing your teevee. Genesis was making no real noteworthy effort to be pegged as a progressive rock band anymore and the sappiness of Collins' solo records was truly beginning to take hold of the trio's music, as evidenced by the ballads of "In Too Deep" and "Throwing It All Away". But aside from those melodramatic moments of pop excess, the other songs on the album are actually quite good. The title track, although overplayed to the point of utter ridiculousness, is catchy as malaria and the aforementioned "Land of Confusion" is a good, slightly dark piece. The most impressive segment of the album is the two part "Domino", which was as epic and complex as the band would even attempt to be at this point in their career. The latter part, "The Last Domino", is a very well arranged and gripping song, one of Genesis' best. "The Brazilian" is a great album closing instrumental with some interesting sounds erupting forth.

Although the pattern had been set where Collins' solo albums and career were putting more years between Genesis releases, Invisible Touch still retained enough of the band's good sound to make it worthwhile. Certainly the temptation to skip over the most overplayed radio tracks will be strong, but you can either do that or sing along heartily in your car. While I might point you in the direction of other Genesis albums as being more worthy of your immediate attention, at some point or another, you will need Invisible Touch to have the proper Genesis collection.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/2000

Back to top 

We Can't Dance

Genesis - We Can't Dance ©1991 Atlantic
1. No Son Of Mine
2. Jesus He Knows Me
3. Driving The Last Spike
4. I Can't Dance
5. Never A Time
6. Dreaming While You Sleep
7. Tell Me Why
8. Living Forever
9. Hold On My Heart
10. Way Of The World
11. Since I Lost You
12. Fading Lights

When this album popped seemingly out of nowhere in 1991, I was completely taken by surprise. With Phil Collins' solo ventures doing quite well it didn't seem as if a Genesis reunion would be necessary in his busy schedule. Regardless, teaming back up with Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks was unfortunately to quite as great as it could have been. 1986's Invisible Touch was certainly overty pop oriented, yet it still had the quality necessary to be a Genesis album worth hearing. On We Can't Dance, the album splits between reasonably progressive rock with high emphasis on pop over all other traits. The other half is stomach churning schmaltz that would have best been suited for a Collins solo record rather than placing it under the Genesis flag. Luckily, the band was kind enough to place the better tracks on the first half of the album and the crud safely on the second side. Of the poppier numbers, "Jesus He Knows Me" is a bouncy number taking a swipe at televangelists (not that countless metal bands hadn't already in the years previous) and "I Can't Dance" is an amusing song that of course was the album's big hit. The band even kindly wrote two extra long numbers ("Driving the Last Spike" about the railroad construction era of England and "Fading Lights") to remind people that in the 70s, this band was synonymous with excessive. But the bad songs are far too abundant here for the album's own good. "Hold on my Heart" is nothing more than trite pop that is guaranteed to eat away at your stomach lining. Other songs are simply so faceless and forgettable that it's embarrassing to associate them with this band. You can expect Phil Collins to sing them on his solo records as that music is designed for sedated corporate office radio stations and lonely housewives, but you'd prefer that Genesis at least attempt to strive for something with a bit more substance.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/1999

Back to top 

Live: The Way We Walk (Volume One: The Shorts)

Genesis - Live: The Way We Walk (Volume One: The Shorts) ©1992 Atlantic
1. Land Of Confusion
2. No Son Of Mine
3. Jesus He Knows Me
4. Throwing It All Away
5. I Can't Dance
6. Mama
7. Hold On My Heart
8. That's All
9. In Too Deep
10. Tonight, Tonight, Tonight
11. Invisible Touch

Coming off a very successful tour for We Can't Dance, Genesis decided to put out yet another live package to complement 1973's Live, 1977's Seconds Out and 1982's Three Sides Live. Why any band feels they need quite this many live albums is a bit of a mystery but Genesis regardless felt the need to document this tour. To help out fans who might have a preference towards either the pop oriented Genesis or the more epic oriented Genesis, the two volumes of this live show are split into "The Shorts" and "The Longs" (which will be reviewed elsewhere).

Genesis's period as a pop oriented band has certainly found some long lasting gems for what generally is an ephemeral style. Many band favorites (post 1981 of course) are here: "Invisible Touch", "That's All", "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" and "Land of Confusion". These selections compliment the hits from 1991's We Can't Dance. The performances, which include the trio of Collins, Rutherford and Banks, are aided greatly by longtime live session musicians Daryl Stuermer and Chester Thompson. In other words, you get a very much by-the-book approach to the hits and the band gives the audience precisely what they want. A lot of work went into making sure the live album sounded polished and giving all the instruments their proper space. There is very little variation outside of the studio renditions, but Genesis circa 1991 was hardly an improv band. Your need for this album has more to do with how much you really need to hear their absolute most popular material all on one disc. Assuming these songs don't offend you, then it's a good, if not somewhat redundant, collection. Otherwise I suggest you spend more time acquainting yourself with "The Longs" on the second volume of this live show.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2000

Back to top 

Live: The Way We Walk, Vol II (The Longs)

Genesis - Live: The Way We Walk, Vol II (The Longs) ©1993 Atlantic
1. Old Medley
2. Driving The Last Spike
3. Domino
4. Fading Lights
5. Home By The Sea/second Home By The Sea
6. Drum Duet

The second part of the Live: The Way We Walk live set from the 1991 Genesis tour features only six tracks, one of which is simply a drum solo, yet this is the more highly recommended disc of the pair. This volume is subtitled "The Longs" and compiles a great setlist of older Genesis favorites and their more epic centered tracks over the years. As the first volume was more oriented towards the schmaltzier, sappier and poppy Genesis songs, older fans of the band might find interest in this disc simply because the band faithfully includes some old standards. The "Old Melody" digs out a few chestnuts from their early 70s releases and gives them a faithful revisit, stringing them together flawlessly. The CD also includes the excellent "Domino" from Invisible Touch as well as "Driving the Last Spike" from their 1991 We Can't Dance, which fits into the flow of the disc very well. Although I'm certain some studio cleansing was employed on the disc, the performance is top notch, giving the songs a solid runthrough for the audience. It also features a "Drum Duet" between Phil Collins and touring drummer Chester Thompson, which should thrill percussion enthusiasts everywhere. While Collins can be safely criticized for adding too much schmaltz and pop to Genesis over time, his drumming is still quite impressive.

Live: the Way We Walk Volume Two: The Longs is probably not of utmost imporance to anyone but the most fervent of Genesis fans. However, the inclusion of their longer (and often better) material in one place does give the CD some necessity for fans.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 06/2001

Back to top 

Calling All Stations

Genesis - Calling All Stations ©1997 Atlantic
1. Calling All Stations
2. Congo
3. Shipwrecked
4. Alien Afternoon
5. Not About Us
6. If That's What You Need
7. The Dividing Line
8. Uncertain Weather
9. Small Talk
10. There Must Be Some Other Way
11. One Man's Fool

Face it, Mr. Banks and Mr. Rutherford. Without that Collins fellow, there is no way under this bright sun you are going to ever reach those stellar plateaus of the past. Regardless of Collins' undeniable penchant for pure pop schmaltz and utter vapidity at times, his presence in the band brought sales. This Ray Wilson character....did he ever do a Michelob ad? Did he have a role in Buster? Of course not. And worse yet, his voice is roughly in the same area as Marillion's Steve Hogarth. So now they are sort of copying the band that copied them twenty years ago. How convoluted can you get? This new fangled Genesis really doesn't do much to set its own identity or even tie itself into the past. Instead, the band kicks out eleven tracks of bland AOR fodder that fails to really matter much at the end of the day. You certainly won't find highbrow concept art with this Genesis or even the definitive memorable pop-done-right of 80s Genesis. I refuse to blame this on Ray Wilson since this guy has a very pleasant and capable voice, but he fails to sell the songs at all. Frankly there is no real need to get this album and even set it on the same shelf as anything else associated with Genesis. The only calls made here was by Atlantic pleading radio stations to even play this.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/2000

Back to top 

Turn It On Again - The Hits

Genesis - Turn It On Again - The Hits ©1999 Atlantic
1. Turn It On Again
2. Invisible Touch
3. Mama
4. Land Of Confusion
5. I Can't Dance
6. Follow You, Follow Me
7. Hold On My Heart
8. Abacab
9. I Know What I Like (in Your Wardrobe)
10. No Son Of Mine
11. Tonight, Tonight, Tonight
12. In Too Deep
13. Congo
14. Jesus He Knows Me
15. That's All
16. Misunderstanding
17. Throwing It All Away
18. The Carpet Crawlers (1999)

Listening to this greatest hits compiliation, it just occurred to me that Phil Collins may be indeed a wonderful role model. Think about it. This short, frumpy, balding man went from being a rather good drummer for a 70s progressive rock band to world famous icon and pop star. That should give you motivation to feel much better about yourself as well because if a doof like Phil can do it, so can you.

Anyhoo, Turn It On Again - The Hits does the casual Genesis fan (read: fans of classic rock radio) the favor of compiling nearly all the more famous pop hits of Genesis. One might notice that very few inclusions exist from the band's first decade of existence and there's quite a dearth of "progressive" in this rock. However, as I have noted many a time before, the pop rock era of Genesis is not without some great music as pop rock can be quite good if done masterfully and the nucleus of Genesis is far too talented to write bubblegum music. Most of these eighteen songs are still often heard on the radio and I'm sure that nearly everyone on the face of the planet knows the words by heart. How could you avoid "I Can't Dance" in 1991 or "Invisible Touch" in 1986? The video for "Land of Confusion" was played almost nonstop on MTV at the time of its release. The result of putting all these catchy pop staples together on one disc is that you have a funfilled release that covers all the mainstream bases for the band. I could have done without the utterly vapid schmaltz of "Hold On My Heart", which should have been left on a Phil Collins solo record and the remix of "The Carpet Crawlers (1999)" proves that some things do not need fixed. The lack of Peter Gabriel's presence on this compiliation suggests that Atlantic someday needs to release a collection of the band's more ambitious music to provide a counterpart to this. Nevertheless, it's very hard not to totally like this compiliation and is a very good mix of the catchy era of Genesis.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2000

Back to top