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For the video game console, see Sega Genesis. For the Web Game, see Ge Ne Sis

File:Genesis gallery 2.jpg

The classic 70s lineup. Clockwise from upper left: Mike Rutherford, Steve Hackett, Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Phil Collins

Genesis, formed in 1967, is one of the most successful rock bands in history, spanning five decades and selling over one hundred million albums. It has had several member changes during its existence. the band now consists of (most famous lineup bolded):

  • Phil Collins - drummer, lead vocals (and former backup vocals)
  • Mike Rutherford - guitar and bass
  • Tony Banks - keyboards

Former members:

  • Peter Gabriel - former lead vocals
  • Steve Hackett - former guitarist
  • Anthony Phillips
  • John Mayhew
  • John Silver
  • Chris Stewart
  • Ray Wilson

Other Personnel:

Genesis has several distinct eras. The first album has some slight Christian themes and has a more relaxed and poppy sound which might be jarring for fans who got interested in the band during their later years; the interim period and their second album have a more pastoral sound occasionally edging into hard rock, both provided by guitarist Anthony Phillips [1]. The second era starts with the introduction of guitarist Steve Hackett and drummer Phil Collins into the band. The first album this new line up produced was Nursery Cryme as Genesis much like other British bands at the time dived head first into progressive rock. The albums made during this time are arguably the strongest, the band being at their peak of musical talent and creativity. Opinions differ on whether the definitive album of this era is Foxtrot, Selling England By The Pound or the enormous The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. In 1974 Peter Gabriel left Genesis over creative differences, and after two more albums, Steve Hackett also left, further reducing the quartet to a trio, with Phil Collins slowly taking the role of the Face of the Band.

After fumbling to find a new direction, Genesis released Duke, which marked the start of a new era as the they broke into the mainstream. The band gradually recreated itself as one of the most successful pop/rock bands of the era, performing to massive audiences, topping the charts several times and selling albums by the truckload. Most people were introduced to Genesis during this time, and they are most likely remembered for a string of sleek poppy radio hits released between 1983 and 1986 like "That's All", "Invisible Touch", "In Too Deep" and "Land of Confusion". Phil Collins also had a successful solo career during the time that Genesis was having hits, and his continued solo success eventually led to him leaving Genesis in good terms in 1996 as he wanted more free time to work on his own projects. Unfortunately, Genesis took a nosedive in quality following Collins' departure, only releasing one rather disappointing album and going on hiatus as the result.

In 2006, Collins, Banks and Rutherford held a massive reunion tour called "Turn It On Again", where they were joined by longtime auxillary members Chester Thompson and Daryl Stuermer as replacements for Gabriel and Hackett who were sadly unavailable.

In 2009, Phil Collins revealed that spinal problems accumulated during the Genesis reunion tour, caused by sitting irregularly at the drum kit, led to him recieving back surgery. He is unable to play the drums or piano properly as a result, and had to tape his drumsticks to his hands to play them on his Going Back album. He retired from music in 2011 to spend more time at home with his family.

It's impossible to describe Genesis in general terms since the band has always been constantly evolving, but they have a gentle, emotional sense to their music present regardless of era. Genesis has also pioneered several musical techniques during its existence and is often cited as inspiration by other musicians. There are also many Genesis tribute bands, such as The Slippermen, Dusk and The Musical Box, the latter of which faithfully reproduces early Genesis performances, and is the only Genesis tribute act endorsed by Genesis members.

The Genesis studio discography:

Live Albums:

  • Genesis Live 1973
  • Seconds Out 1977
  • Three Sides Live 1982
  • The Way We Walk, Vol I: The Shorts 1992
  • The Way We Walk, Vol I: The Longs 1993
  • Live Over Europe 2007 2007


  • Genesis Archive 1967-75 1998
  • Turn It On Again: The Hits 1999
  • Genesis Archive 2: 1976-1992 2000
  • Platinum Collection 2004
  • Turn It on Again: The Hits - The Tour Edition 2007

Box Sets:

  • Genesis 1976-1982 2007
  • Genesis 1983-1998 2007
  • Genesis 1970-1975 2008
  • Genesis Live 1973-2007 2008


  • Spot The Pigeon 1977
  • 3 X 3 1982

Genesis contains examples of:

  • Album Title Drop: The song "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" contains the lyric,Old man dies/The note he left was signed "Old Father Thames"/It seems he's drowned/Selling England by the pound.
  • All There in the Manual: The story Gabriel wrote for the liner notes of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.
    • Several songs from Duke was originally part of a suite (see Concept Album) called "The Story of Albert". When the suite was performed live on the "Duke Tour" in 1980, Collins used to introduce it by telling this story. You can read it here.
      • It's well-known that the relevant songs form a suite, but no way is that string of obvious jokes its intended plot, if it even has one.
  • Apocalypse How: "Domino" from Invisible Touch.
  • Artistic License Geography: On The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, the protagonist Rael comes "out of the subway" at Broadway which is evidently "just like Twenty-Second Street". The New York subway system does not work that way. Averted when performed live, as Phil Collins sometimes sings "just like Forty-Second Street" instead.
    • The "Twenty-Second Street" referenced in "In the Cage" is actually the location of a mental hospital in which Rael had previously been incarcerated ("where they got me by my neck and feet"). The line does not refer to a subway stop.
    • There used to be (probably still is) available online, an essay about The Battle Of Epping Forest that has so many inaccuracies and false assumptions as to be unintentionally hilarious. In particular, the author failed to realise that if a song by an English group, about an event just outside London in England, has the lyric "not since the Civil War", it's almost certainly referencing the English Civil War, not the American one.
  • Badass Longcoat: Phil Collins appears to be channeling this trope in the very Blade Runner-esque music video for the song "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight", which were both filmed at the same location. Later, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks tried it on for the "Congo" music video.
  • Ballad of X: "Ballad of Big" from And Then There Were Three....
  • The Band Minus the Face: Genesis survived without Peter Gabriel just fine. Not so much without Phil Collins.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Phil Collins.
  • Big Applesauce: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway takes place in NYC. Well, parts of the story do, anyway.
  • Bishonen: Peter Gabriel, pre-Lamb, full stop.
  • Blatant Lies: For the first box set, the last several songs from the live Lamb show are dropped and replaced with re-engineered studio tracks. In the liner, this is stated as being due to the tape running out. A full version of the King Biscuit Flower Hour tape used for the box set, with all songs and both encores, is available on the Wolfgang's Vault website.
  • Blue Eyes: Pretty much everyone in the band.
    • "Suppers Ready" from Foxtrot: "Hey my baby with your guardian eyes so blue/Hey my baby, don't you know our love is true?"
    • "Ripples" from the album A Trick Of The Tail: "Bluegirls come in every size/Some are wise and some otherwise/They have pretty blue eyes."
  • Bowdlerize: On the live version of "The Knife", this part of the lyrics:

 I'll give you the names of those you must kill

All must die with their children

Carry their heads to the palace of old

Hang them, hang them, let the blood flow



  - Has been changed into this:



 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


 Bored of the life in the City of Gold,

He left and let nobody know.

Gone were the spires he had known from a child,

Along with the dream of a life.

  • Cloudcuckoolander: Peter Gabriel frequently came across as one.
  • Concept Album: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, and to a lesser extent, Duke.
    • To be more precise, Duke is half a concept album. It was actually originally intended to be divided into an A-side consisting of a suite of related tracks ("Behind the Lines," "Duchess," "Guide Vocal," "Turn It on Again," "Duke's Travels," "Duke's End") and a B-side of unrelated tracks. The band, after listening to this track order, decided it would leave the album with an unnecessarily weak B-side, and also decided they didn't want the A-side suite to be compared to "Supper's Ready", so they split it up. However, the suite of songs was often performed in its entirety live.
  • Companion Cube: "Turn It On Again" is about a guy falling in love with his tv set. According to the accompanying story (see All There in the Manual), he also fell in love with a walking stick. And he tried to have sex with both objects.
    • A little bit of this in "The Musical Box" off of Nursery Cryme as well.
  • Continuity Nod: At the very end of the otherwise instrumental song "Los Endos", one can very faintly hear Phil Collins sing, "There's an angel standing in the sun/Free to get back home". These are lyrics from "Suppers Ready", one of the epic songs of the Peter Gabriel era. "Los Endos" is the last song on the album A Trick Of The Tail, which is the first album to feature Collins on lead vocals instead of Gabriel. The band may have also intended it to be a reference to Gabriel himself, as in the Archangel Gabriel.
  • Cover Version: Disturbed did a cover of "Land of Confusion".
  • Cross Dresser: Peter Gabriel at one point wore a long red dress and a fox's head on stage, like so.
  • Darker and Edgier: Wind & Wuthering and especially The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. "Back in NYC" is probably the edgiest song Genesis ever wrote.
  • Dead Baby Comedy: "Harold The Barrel" again.

 Such a horrible thing to do

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

He can't go far. He can't go far.

(Hasn't got a leg to stand on!)

He can't go far.


 Here, in a ball that they made,

From the snow on the ground

See it rolling away, wild eyes to the sky.

They'll never, never know...

  • Mind Screw: Much of the Gabriel-era material, particularly "Suppers Ready" and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.
  • Mind Screwdriver: The story that Gabriel wrote for the liner notes of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: From Genesis to Revelation
  • New Sound Album: Duke, where they almost entirely abandoned their prog roots and went pop.
    • Except for the concept suite spread throughout the album (see "Concept Album" above), which still had pretty strong prog elements (especially the final two, mostly instrumental tracks). The prog sound was more fully abandoned on the next album, Abacab, although the title track and "Dodo/Lurker" still had trace elements of the band's prog roots. Indeed, a few tracks on each "pop" album still display elements of progressive rock (Genesis: "Home by the Sea"/"Second Home by the Sea"; Invisible Touch: "Domino"/"The Brazilian"; We Can't Dance: "Driving the Last Spike"/"Dreaming While You Sleep"/"Living Forever"/"Fading Lights").
    • Trespass might be the most straightforward example of this trope, since it was much closer to the progressive sound for which Genesis eventually became famous than the folksy light psychedlic pop of From Genesis To Revelation.
  • Nightmare Face: Phil in the video for "Mama" when he does the Evil Laugh. Also repeated in live performances of the song as well.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Squonk", "A Trick Of The Tail", "Undertow", "Snowbound".
  • Non-Indicative Name: Those unfamiliar with the songs in question are unlikely to guess that "One for the Vine" is about warfare or that "Blood on the Rooftops" is about TV watching.
  • The X of Y: Land of Confusion.
  • Obsession Song: "Misunderstanding" from Duke is arguably about a Stalker with a Crush.
    • It's actually an attempt by Collins to make a Beach Boys-type song.
    • "Mama," which is about a young man obsessed with an older prostitute.
    • The Phil Collins solo songs "It Don't Matter To Me" and "Do You Know, Do You Care?" zoom past this trope and straight into Yandere territory.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" and the title track of "A Trick of the Tail".
    • The Slippermen, again.
  • The Pete Best: Anthony Phillips, who was replaced by Steve Hackett, and John Mayhew, who was replaced by Phil Collins.
  • Progressive Rock: One of the big ones.
  • Pun-Based Title: Selling England By The Pound.
    • And Nursery Cryme.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: The 2006-2007 reunion tour.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: "The Battle of Epping Forest" from the album Selling England By The Pound.
  • Religion Rant Song: "Jesus He Knows Me" (a critique of televangelists) falls under Type 3.
  • Rich Idiots With No Day Job: Though the founding members came from wealthy/upper class backgrounds and met at the prestigious public school they all attended, this is an averted trope.
  • Riddle Me This: In "Dodo/Lurker" from Abacab (In the linked video, the riddle is heard at about 5:13, and unlike the album version, it is not repeated.):

 Clothes of brass and hair of brown

Seldom need to breathe, don't need no wings to fly

Ooo, and a heart of stone

And a fear of fire and water, who am I?

    • Answer: A nuclear submarine. "Hair of brown" = seaweed. "Seldom need to breathe" = unlike a diesel-engined sub, a nuclear one doesn't need oxygen as part of its power. "Don't need no wings to fly" = submarine crews refer to its motion through the water as "flying". "And a heart of stone" = the fuel rods which power the reactor. "A fear of fire and water" because leaks and fire are both feared on a submarine. Leaks for obvious reasons, and fire because there's nowhere to go to escape.
      • Actually, that's not the offical answer. Tony Banks, who wrote the lyrics, had this to say in an interview: "I'm afraid to say really that there is no real solution. You can search for your own one if you like. It was a bit of a joke. When I was writing it I honestly didn't really have a specific idea in mind. If you can find out what the answer is, perhaps you can tell me!"
        • The demo version of "Dodo/Lurker" is called " Submarine". So...
  • Rock Opera: "Supper's Ready," The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, and the suite from Duke (see "Concept Album" above) are the band's most extended forays into this trope, but they never really stopped doing it - see "Driving the Last Spike" and "Dreaming While You Sleep" on We Can't Dance for latter-day examples of mini-rock operas.
  • Meet the New Boss: Implied in "The Knife."
  • Sex Changes Everything: The Slippermen are an extremely literal example of this trope.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: In their prog rock era, it would take a long time for everyone to retune for each piece. While the rest of the band tuned up, Gabriel would recite poetry or tell a long story, which never had anything to do with the next song in the set.
  • Shirtless Scene: Peter Gabriel during the The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway tour.
    • After taking on lead vocal duties after Gabriel's departure, Phil Collins did this a few times too.
  • Shout-Out: "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight" begins in a folk style, probably as a tribute to Genesis' then label-mates Lindisfarne.
      • Another Shout-Out comes in the song "Blood On The Rooftops" with the line, "The grime on the Tyne is mine all mine all mine", referencing Lindisfarne's famous Fog On The Tyne.
    • The video for "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" is one long Shout-Out to Blade Runner.
  • Shown Their Work: Most of the facts about the Giant Hogweed are accurate. Well, apart from its invulnerability, sentience and desire for revenge...
  • Smoking Is Cool: Oh, Phil, What Were You Thinking??
    • Rutherford thows a cigarette up in the air, catching it with his mouth in the video for "Illegal Alien".
  • Stable Time Loop: the plot of "One For the Vine", from Wind and Wuthering.
  • Take That: The Peter Gabriel solo song "Solsbury Hill" is about his departure from Genesis. Word of God confirms this.
    • Peter Gabriel, again. He refused to attend the group's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and referred to them disparagingly as "my old band from school".
      • I wonder what he would say if WOMAD went broke again. Not that it ever did, or that Genesis bailed it out with a reunion concert.
      • Given that all the bandmembers are very subtle humor-wise, we may be missing something here. When he declined to be a part of the reunion tour, Collins made a quip that Gabriel wouldn't do something just for the fun of it.
    • Many fans also feel that way about Ray Wilson following Phil Collins as lead singer.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "I'M RAAAAAEL!!!!"
  • Tomato in the Mirror: We discover at the very end of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway that Rael and his brother John whom he's spent the entire album chasing are actually the same person.

 Hang on, John! We're out of this at last

Something's changed, it's not your face

It's mine!

  1. When asked about it, Tony Banks and Michael Rutherford once stated that Phillips' departure had a bigger impact on the band's sound than Peter Gabriel's
  2. or, as in an interview on the DVD of The Way We Walk, Tony Banks' attempt at imitating Phil Collins