This leading UK band first came together at the public school Charterhouse. Peter Gabriel (b. 13 May 1950, London, England; vocals), Tony Banks (b. 27 March 1951, East Heathly, Sussex, England; keyboards) and Chris Stewart (drums) were in an ensemble named the Garden Wall, and joined forces with Anthony Philips (guitar/vocals) and Mike Rutherford (b. 2 October 1950; bass/guitar/vocals), who were in a rival group, the Anon. In January 1967, the student musicians sent a demonstration tape to another Charterhouse alumnus, Jonathan King, then at Decca Records. King financed further recordings and also christened the band Genesis. They recorded one single, "The Silent Sun" in 1968, but it was not until the following year that their debut album FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION was issued.
Where The Sour Turns Sweet/In The Beginning/Fireside Song/The Serpent/Am I Very Wrong/In The Wilderness/The Conqueror/In Hiding/One Day/Window/In Limbo/Silent Gun/A Place To Call My Own/The Silent Sun/That's Me/A Winter's Tale/One Eyed Hound
Its lack of success left them without a label until the enterprising Tony Stratton-Smith signed them to his recently formed Charisma Records in 1970. The group had already lost three drummers from their line-up before finding the perfect candidate that August. Phil Collins (b. 31 January 1951, London, England) had already worked with a professional group, Flaming Youth, and his involvement would later prove crucial in helping Genesis achieve international success. The already recorded TRESPASS was issued in October 1970, but sold poorly.
Looking For Someone/White Mountain/Visions Of Angels/Stagnation/Dusk/The Knife
Further line-up changes ensued with the arrival of new guitarist Steve Hackett (b. 12 February 1950, London, England). The group were already known for their highly theatrical stage act and costumes, but this did not help record sales. When the 1971 album NURSERY CRYME also failed commercially, the group were again in danger of being dropped from their label.
The Musical Box/For Absent Friends/The Return Of The Giant Hogweed/Seven Stones/Harlequin/Harold The Barrel/The Fountain Of Salmacis
Success on the continent brought renewed faith, which was vindicated with the release of FOXTROT. The album reached the UK Top 20 and included the epic live favourite "Supper's Ready."
Watcher Of The Skies/Time Table/Get 'Em Out By Friday/Can-Utility And The Coastliners/Horizons/Supper's Ready:Lover's Leap/The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man/Ikhnaton And Itsacon And Their Band Of Merry Men/How Dare I Be So Beautiful?Willow Farm/Apocalypse In 9/8/As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs (Aching Men's Feet)
Over the next two-and-a-half years, Genesis increased their profile with the best-selling albums SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND and THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY.
Dancing With The Moonlit Knight/I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)/Firth Of Fifth/More Fool Me/The Battle Of Epping Forest/After The Ordeal/Medley:The Cinema Show-Aisle Of Plenty
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway/Fly On A Windshield/Broadway Melody Of 1974/Cuckoo Cocoon/In The Cage/The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging/Back In N.Y.C./Hairless Heart/Counting Out Time/Carpet Crawlers/The Chamber Of 32 Doors/Lilywhite Lilith/The Waiting Room/Anyway/The Supernatural Anaesthetist/The Lamia/Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats/The Colony Of Slippermen:The Arrival-A Visit To The Doctor-Raven/Ravine/The Light Dies Down On Broadway/Riding The Scree/In The Rapids/It
Having reached a new peak, however, their prospects were completely undermined by the shock departure of singer Gabriel in May 1975. Many commentators understandably wrote Genesis off at this point, particularly when it was announced that the new singer was to be their drummer Collins. The streamlined quartet proved remarkably resilient, however, and the succeeding albums TRICK OF THE TAIL and WIND & WUTHERING were well received.
Dance On A Volcano /Entangled/Squonk/Mad Man Moon/Robbery, Assault And Battery/Ripples/A Trick Of The Tail/Los Endos
Eleventh Earl Of Mar/One For The Vine/Your Own Special Way/Wot Gorilla/All In A Mouse's Night/Blood On The Rooftops/Unquiet Slumber For The Sleepers/In That Quiet Earth/Afterglow
In the summer of 1977, Hackett left to pursue a solo career, after which Genesis carried on as a trio, backed by various short-term employees. Amazingly, the group appeared to grow in popularity with the successive departure of each key member. During 1978, they received their first gold disc for the appropriately titled AND THEN THERE WERE THREE and two years later enjoyed a chart-topping album with DUKE.
Down And Out/Burning Rope/Snowbound/Undertow/Ballad Of Big/Many Too Many/Deep In The Motherlode/Scenes From A Night's Dream/Say It's Alright Joe/The Lady Lies/Follow You, Follow Me
Behind The Lines/Duchess/Guide Vocal/Man Of Our Times/Misunderstanding/ Heathaze/Turn It On Again/Alone Tonight/Cul-De-Sac/Please Don't Ask/Duke's Travels/Duke's End
With various solo excursions underway, Genesis still managed to sustain its identity as a working group and reached new levels of popularity with hits in the USA. By late 1981, they were in the US Top 10 with ABACAB and could rightly claim to be one of the most popular groups in the world.
Abacab/No Reply At All/Me And Sarah Jane/Keep It Dark/Medley:Dodo-Lurker/Man On The Corner/Who Dunnit?/Like It Or Not/Another Record
Helped by Collins' high profile as a soloist, they enjoyed their biggest UK singles hit with "Mama" and followed with "That's All" and "Illegal Alien." Both GENESIS and INVISIBLE TOUCH topped the UK charts, while the latter also reached number 1 in the USA.
Mama/That's All/Home By The Sea/Second Home By The Sea/Illegal Alien/Just A Job To Do/Taking It All Too Hard/Silver Rainbow/It's Gonna Get Better
Invisible Touch/Tonight, Tonight, Tonight/Land Of Confusion/In Too Deep/Anything She Does/Domino:In The Glow Of The Night/The Last Domino/Throwing It All Away/The Brazilian
By the mid-'80s, the group format was not sufficient to contain all their various projects and Collins pursued a parallel solo career, while Rutherford formed the hit group Mike & The Mechanics. Meanwhile, Genesis soldiered on, reuniting at various intervals for tours and albums. There was no sign of decline in their popularity and in America they scored a number 1 single in 1986 with "Invisible Touch," while the following four singles all made the US Top 5. Although their working partnership is less prolific these days, the concept of Genesis continues, amid a myriad of offshoot projects. In 1991, the group reconvened to record and issue WE CAN'T DANCE.
No Son Of Mine/Jesus He Knows Me/Driving The Last Spike/I Can't Dance/Never A Time/Dreaming While You Sleep/Tell Me Why/Living Forever/Hold On My Heart/Way Of The World/Since I Lost You/Fading Lights
Although this was their first album in over five years it immediately scaled the charts throughout the world confirming their status as one of the world's leading bands. After years of balancing his group affiliation and solo career, Collins announced his departure from Genesis in early April 1996.