“I didn’t want to NOT be the drummer,” Collins says in a clip from the Showtime documentary. “This is what I did. ‘This is my territory”
It’s Time For “Genesis!”
Before I explain why you will be humming Genesis for the rest of the day, let’s begin with the greatest Genesis song of the Phil Collins era: the “prog” pop/rock majesty of “Turn It On Again…”
“Turn It On Again” is pure 80’s, but did you know that the band Genesis formed in 1967? Did you know that Peter Gabriel was the lead singer? Did you know he dressed like this?
Yes, Peter Gabriel Is Dressed Like A Flower…
If you only know the singer from his “Sledgehammer” song, you have missed out on his most “colorful” period…as lead singer of Genesis!
That’s Gabriel dressed as a flower, performing with Genesis in the mid-70’s…and here is a publicity photo of the band at the same time – note that Gabriel is more elaborately attired than his bandmates…
“Genesis: Sum of the Parts” – is a new documentary about the band that is airing on Showtime right now – it traces the band’s sonic development from prog-rockers to pop-rock sensations, and it also spends time on the individual members’ solo careers.
Cue The Controversy!
The story of Genesis is fascinating for a number of reasons, including the controversy that lives now, as guitarist Steve Hackett recently spoke out against this project on his Facebook page, calling it “a biased account of Genesis history” that ignored his solo work.
However, a DVD release of the documentary, along with a compilation box set with Genesis classics and three tracks from each member’s solo work, is due to be released, so Hackett’s solo songs will be heard…
This is the Genesis most people knew: Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford – they were one of the biggest bands of the 80’s…this was after Hackett left, and well after the band’s original lead singer, Peter Gabriel left as well…
The Peter Gabriel-led Genesis is highlighted by their masterpiece “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway”, with this classic song, “The Carpet Crawlers”
The entire band takes part in this documentary, including a candid group conversation about the band. The doc includes a great bit of friction between Tony Banks and Peter Gabriel. The singer left after “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” to go solo, because he felt his musical direction wasn’t the same as the bands. And his choice of creative attire didn’t necessarily amuse the others either. Tony Banks confirms his disdain for “Broadway” right in front of a bemused Gabriel, saying flatly of the “Lamb Lies Down” project:
“I didn’t like it. Still don’t.”
“Alive At Both Ends But A Little Dead In The Middle…”
Genesis fans know this line from “Squonk!”, the first song from the band after Gabriel left. As Phil Collins sings it beautifully but also says he had NO intention of taking over the lead singer role…
“I didn’t want to NOT be the drummer,” Collins says in a clip from the Showtime documentary. “This is what I did. ‘This is my territory!”
And continue to drum he did, as well as sing all of the band’s biggest hits!
As the documentary points out, when the band auditioned replacement singers, Collins would always sing the part to them first…but no one who came in sounded as good as he did!
So Collins became lead singer, but as he said, he didn’t give up the drums, and Genesis continued on…
Here is that classic song “Squonk”, from their first album without Gabriel, performed live from 1980…
“Abacab” And Beyond!
The band refined its sound and soon became a hit machine, with a great mix of progressive rock and pop sensibility, like this classic song “Abacab!”
“In The Air Tonight!”
And of course, Collins had a huge solo career as well, including the iconic “In The Air Tonight” – this music video has almost fifty million views on youtube!
Genesis continued to record and tour throughout the 80’s and early 90’s…here is their hit “I Can’t Dance” from the 1993 Billboard Music Awards…
And then the band was no more…until now – check out this terrific documentary from Showtime, the candid conversations between band members is great!
And even though Guitarist Steve Hackett is upset, the music project will soon include some of his solo work, so enjoy it all!