Genesis – The history of a rock band

Genesis is a British rock band and one of the most successful groups in the world. Their hits include “That’s All”, “Invisible Touch” and “I Can’t Dance”. The group consists of Phil Collins (vocals, drums), Mike Rutherford (guitars, bass) and Tony Banks (keyboards).

Writer and musician Philipp Röttgers looks at the career of one of Britain’s most successful rock bands. This long and diverse career allowed all its members to have long and diverse solo careers (and in some cases very successful ones), too.

Genesis always seemed to have an invisible touch on their listeners and fans. Starting off as a progressive rock band in the early 1970s with singer Peter Gabriel and his strange costumes and masks, the band changed into a pop band with single hits in the 1980s after he left and drummer Phil Collins took over the microphone. At least that is the common conception. Philipp Röttgers takes a look beyond and asks if this change even exists or if there is some kind of misunderstanding. He turns it on again and analyzes certain songs from both “eras”, takes a look at live performances, music videos, album covers and press and fan reviews. He runs through the band’s history and also includes the solo careers to find out if their image should be renewed.

This website contains news, reviews and glimpses into Genesis’ history.

  • Genesis (1983) – Genesis
    On 3 October 1983, Genesis released their self-titled album Genesis.
  • Six Of The Best
    On October 2, 1982, the legendary ‘Six Of The Best’ reunion show with Peter Gabriel and Genesis took place at Milton Keynes.
  • Dublin, 28 Sept 1972: Peter Gabriel wears a fox head and a red dress
    On 28 September 1972, Peter Gabriel appeared onstage during ‘The Musical Box’ with the foxes’ head and the red dress from the Foxtrot album cover.
  • Up (2002) – Peter Gabriel
    On 23 September 2002, Peter Gabriel’s album Up was released.
  • Phil Collins’ last gig with Genesis at Cowdray Ruins on 18 September 1993
    On 18 September 1993, Genesis played their last gig with Phil Collins at Cowdray Ruins before he left the band. Genesis in 1993 1993 was a quiet year for Genesis. In 1992, the group had been on their huge’We Can’t Dance tour‘ following their 1991 … Read more
  • Peter Gabriel: ‘Why I Quit Genesis’ – Melody Maker 6 September 1975
    Peter Gabriel’s press announcement about why he has quit Genesis, published in The Melody Maker on 6 September 1975. Peter Gabriel writes why he left Genesis The news of Peter Gabriel’s departure from Genesis had first leaked in various music magazines from July 1975 onwards. … Read more
  • Calling All Stations (1997) – Genesis
    After Phil Collins’ departure from Genesis, the remaining two members Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford kept writing music and hired a new singer: Ray Wilson, born in 1968, known as lead vocalist of the band Stiltskin.
  • ‘Peter Gabriel Quits Genesis’ – Melody Maker 23th August 1975
    A week after The Melody Maker had rumoured about Peter Gabriel’s decision to leave Genesis, the departure was confirmed with the cover story ‘Genesis Seek New Singer’. Chris Welch recalls a great British Band At this point, the band had already moved on and worked … Read more
  • ‘Gabriel Out Of Genesis?’ – Melody Maker 16th August 1975
    The Melody Maker rumoured in its edition of 16 August 1975 about Peter Gabriel’s departure from Genesis. Peter Gabriel left the band after the 1975 tour After the The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway tour in 1975, lead singer Peter Gabriel left Genesis. The band … Read more
  • How Phil Collins joined Genesis
    In August 1970, Phil Collins joined Genesis as their drummer. This is the story of how he got the job with the band. ‘Looking for someone’ In the summer of 1970, Genesis had faced what is often described by them as the greatest loss in … Read more
  • Live Aid, July 13, 1985: Phil Collins appears in London and Philadelphia
    On July 13, 1985, Phil Collins was the only performer to appear on both Live Aid shows in London and Philadelphia. Phil Collins is all over the world In the mid-1980s, it seemed as if Phil Collins had already achieved everything: As a solo artist … Read more
  • The end of the Invisible Touch Tour at Wembley 1987
    On July 4, 1987, Genesis finished their gigantic Invisible Touch tour at Wembley Stadium. It was the fourth sold out night in a row at Wembley. Invisible Touch In 1986, Genesis released the album Invisible Touch. It became their most successful album, peaking at #1 … Read more
  • Steve Hackett’s last show with Genesis
    On July 3, 1977, Genesis played the last show of their Wind And Wuthering tour and (unbeknown to them at that point) also the last show with lead guitarist Steve Hackett. Wind And Wuthering In December 1976, Genesis had released Wind and Wuthering, their second … Read more
  • Where The Sour Turns To Sweet (1969) – Genesis
    In June 1969, Genesis’ third single ‘Where The Sour Turns To Sweet’/’In Hiding’ was released on Decca. It was released to raise interest in the LP From Genesis to Revelation, but to no avail. From Genesis to Revelation By 1969, Genesis had released two singles … Read more
  • Genesis at Reading Festival 1971
    On June 26, 1971, Genesis appeared at Reading Festival for the first time. Peter Gabriel had broken his ankle On their first appearance at Reading Festival, Genesis were low on the bill. Other artists that performed at the festival were Lindisfarne, Terry Reid, Renaissance and … Read more
  • Genesis first gig abroad in Belgium
    Genesis played their first gig abroad in La Ferme, Woluwe St. Lambert, Belgium on March 7, 1971. This is the story of their first gig overseas. ‘Trespass’ had charted in Belgium In early 1971, the band had not yet been very successful in the UK. … Read more
  • Peter Gabriel’s first solo gig
    Peter Gabriel’s first gig as solo artist took place in the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey on 2, 3 or 5 March 1977. His first album had come out in February 1977 The album Peter Gabriel* had come out in February and had produced … Read more
  • The ‘Turn It On Again’ reunion tour
    On 11 June 2007, Genesis started their ‘Turn It On Again’ reunion tour in Helsinki. It saw the return of Phil Collins on vocals. Genesis announced their reunion in 2006 On 7 November 2006, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins announced that they were … Read more
  • Archive I 1967 – 1975 (1998) – Genesis
    In June 1998, Genesis released their first of two ‘Archive’ box sets: Archive 1967 – 1975 covers the era with Peter Gabriel as lead vocalist. The plans to release ‘Archive’ box sets dated back to 1994 After the release of their last studio album Calling … Read more
  • The last show of “The Lamb” tour
    On 22 May 1975, Genesis played the last show of their ambitious “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” tour. It was also their last gig with Peter Gabriel as lead singer. “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” In 1974, Genesis went into the studio to … Read more
  • A Winter’s Tale (1968) – Genesis
    On 10 May 1968, Genesis’ second single was released. Like its predecessor and its successor, it flopped. Here’s the tale of ‘A Winter’s Tale’. In 1968, Genesis were still at school. The four guys from Charterhouse were in their late teens, when producer Jonathan King … Read more
  • Ray Wilson announced as new lead vocalist
    On 6 June 1997, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford of Genesis announce the band’s new lead singer after Phil Collins’ departure: 28 year old Ray Wilson. When it was announced in March of 1996 that Phil Collins would leave Genesis after 25 years, the public … Read more
  • 3×3 (EP/1982) – Genesis
    In May 1982, Genesis released 3×3, an extended-play featuring three previously unreleased tracks from their 1981 album Abacab. Three songs from the “Abacab” sessions Abacab* from 1981 had brought a change in sound and style for Genesis. They had a new producer (Hugh Padgham) and … Read more
  • ‘We Can’t Dance’ in Tampa – The story of the 1992 tour
    Tampa, Florida, 17 May 1992. Genesis leave the stage at the fourth show of their gigantic We Can’t Dance tour after just two songs. They leave behind an almost rioting audience. The band had to cancel the show after ‘Land Of Confusion’ and ‘No Son … Read more
  • Live at the Roundhouse 1970
    On 11 March 1970, Genesis played one of their biggest gigs of their early career at the Atomic Sunrise Festival at the Roundhouse Club in London. The event featured artists like David Bowie and Hawkwind and was sponsored by Yoko Ono. A few weeks later … Read more
  • Genesis induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010
    On 15 March 2010, Genesis were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks and Steve Hackett were present alongside live members Chester Thompson and Daryl Stuermer. Peter Gabriel did not attend the event. The band was inducted … Read more
  • Duke (1980) – Genesis
    On 28 March 1980, Duke* was released. On this album, Genesis went back to jamming together instead of bringing in individual songs. Let’s take a look back on the album that produced the instant classic ‘Turn It On Again’. Phil Collins became a songwriter Genesis’ … Read more
  • Phil Collins’ departure from Genesis in 1996
    On 28 March 1996, Phil Collins’ departure from Genesis was officially announced in a press release: “Genesis end twenty-year experiment, decide to replace Peter Gabriel as vocalist.” It was the end of an era. Here’s the story of his (temporary) departure. Phil Collins decided to … Read more
  • Phil Collins’ first show as frontman
    In 1975, Peter Gabriel left Genesis. After unsuccessfully auditioning for a new singer, drummer Phil Collins took over and sang on A Trick of the Tail* (1976), the first album after Gabriel’s departure. Still, he did not want to sing on the following tour. This … Read more
  • The Silent Sun (1968) – Genesis
    In February 1968, Genesis’ debut single “The Silent Sun” was released on Decca Records. Peter Gabriel was just 17 when it came out. Let’s take a look at the band’s first single! Genesis at Charterhouse Genesis were still at Charterhouse in 1968. Tony Banks, Peter … Read more
  • Face Value (1981) – Phil Collins
    In February 1981, Phil Collins’ first solo album “Face Value” was released. It went straight to number 1 in the UK charts and to number 7 in the US. His debut was his gateway into superstardom and with “In The Air Tonight” it includes his … Read more
  • The Rainbow shows in January 1977
    Genesis started their “Wind & Wuthering” tour at the Rainbow Theatre in London on 1st January 1977. They played the venue for three nights. Those shows were the first with Chester Thompson on drums. Also, the tour was the last with guitarist Steve Hackett. Wind … Read more
  • Steve Hackett’s first gig with Genesis
    On 14 January 1971, Steve Hackett played his first gig with Genesis at University College, London. It was not the best start for the guitarist. When Steve joined in late 1970, Phil Collins had already been in the band for a few months. Since then, … Read more
  • The Longs (1993) – Genesis
    After the “We Can’t Dance” tour in 1992, Genesis released two live albums titled “The Way We Walk” (1992/93). For this release a “typical” Genesis concert from that time was split in two. The first volume, “The Shorts” contained the hits, the second volume “The … Read more