25 years ago today: GENESIS announce Phil Collins had left the band

  • 25 years ago today, GENESIS have faxed us a press statement, confirming that Phil Collins had left the band.


    The statement itself was quite ... unique.

    Read it here:

    https://www.genesis-news.com/c…-the-background-s186.html


    What did you feel in 1996 when you heard Phil had left? What expectations did you have? Looking back from today, what do you think about the whole thing now?

  • I was faxed the press release upon issue. I just couldn't get my head around the "20 year experiment..." jest and that diverted my attention from the implications. Once it sunk in I'm not certain quite how I felt. I know I wasn't devastated norbelieved it to be the end of the best of the band. What I didn't enjoy was all the - inevitable but often ridiculous - subsequent assertions over who would be the new singer. Indeed, it's a topic which still riles when it's regularly aired.


    Phil Morris

  • 25 years ...

    Well the world was still pretty offline by that time, the internet was only a little something for some crazy people. So it was a surprise although Phil mentioned in interviews during the BS tour that he wasn’t sure about another Genesis album.
    I always thought WCD wasn’t that bad after all and I was curious what they would come up with.
    I am not a fan of CAS, but they should have done another album. Also, The way they treat everything that came after WCD is not appropriate.

    ...

  • I remember it was all a bit too much back then and I partly lost my interest. So when Phil officially left, it was a suprise for me and I was curious what's gonna happen next. Watching the album launch in Berlin (?) was enjoyable, the album as a whole a bit dull. Still I think it wasn't a mistake, but maybe they should have invested more time?

  • I don't think I had ever seen the official press release that was issued by the band — until moments ago.

    If I had, I'm sure I would have found the headline very odd and disingenous, referring to Phil taking over vocal duties as a "20-year experiment" and the band now seeking a full-time replacement for Gabriel.


    I heard the announcement on the radio at the time.

    My heart sunk but I wasn't shocked and, in fact, felt it was something that was bound to happen eventually in light of how monstrously popular Phil had become as a solo artist.

  • Am I the only one who saw the "20 year experiment" comment simply as an in-joke?

    Yes it’s very much in the vein of Tony’s comment at the reunion of ex-Genesis members: “Well we managed to sack the whole lot of you!”. Most British people get the humour but it sometimes perplexes others ^^

  • Yes it’s very much in the vein of Tony’s comment at the reunion of ex-Genesis members: “Well we managed to sack the whole lot of you!”. Most British people get the humour but it sometimes perplexes others ^^

    People of many nationalities appreciate dry humour.

    It just struck me as odd appearing in a printed press release sent out to media outlets where intonation is more likely to be lost and editors are more likely to read the words and take them literally.

  • People of many nationalities appreciate dry humour.

    It just struck me as odd appearing in a printed press release sent out to media outlets where intonation is more likely to be lost and editors are more likely to read the words and take them literally.

    I don't want to make any presumptions about you, and your point is well made, but being from the (british) isles and living in north america, I've noticed how elastic language can be in Ireland and the UK where you can literally say the opposite of what you mean or couch your meaning in obscure terms and be reasonably confident that you will be understood. The situation is almost the opposite in the US (and probably other places) where universally you must say what you mean, or there is a very high probability you will be misunderstood.


    Veering off piste here, I think it's partly why straighter genres of fiction like thrillers and sci-fi (eg: sopranos, x files etc) work equally well in both territories, but comedy is so radically different (eg: everyone loves raymond vs fawlty towers. Of course there are exceptions that prove the rule, like frasier and south park).

  • Even before 1995 after Phil's both sides tour finished and Peter Gabriel's subsequent Secret World tour ended, there began rumours circulating that the genesis five piece classic line-up were in talks for a reunion and I think at one point even Peter had said that talks were progressing, suddenly talks came to an end, even a one-off special was talked about, but nothing came of it. Then the rumours began of the three piece band getting back into the studio in 1995, then they were put on hold. Eventually the official announcement that Phil was leaving the band came about. Shortly afterwards the announcement that a new solo album from Phil was in the works. I didn't feel surprised about Phil's departure, the sadness sort of wore off once the announcement was made that Genesis were going to carry on without him

  • Like a lot of others here, I wasn't shocked when I heard Phil was leaving. It seemed inevitable that it would happen. Funny though, I didn't know Genesis was going to carry on so one day I saw a poster on the window of a local record store that had the Calling All Stations album cover art. I thought someone had taken the name and was a hip hop group or something since that was the new "in thing" then. When I found out it was our Genesis I was pretty surprised.


    Looking at it now the only thing Phil did after that I liked was his big band tour. As for Genesis, I think they should have given it another shot with Ray and tried a new album with him and Nir as equal members during the writing process.

  • When I heard the song "Congo" for the first time, I thought it was a song by Oasis or Green Day, but never by Genesis. Also that the voice was not at all recognizable to that of Phil Collins so when I found out it was a new Genesis song by a new vocalist and album I was not only surprised but it took me a while to assimilate.


    This slow moving effect would have never happened now in the internet era. Faxes were kind of slow, eh?


    After I became familiar with the Calling all stations album, the song "Dividing line" became my favorite and all was good. So sad it lasted such a short time, this new trio could have done great things but it was never meant to be.

  • The Dividing Line also became my favorite. Actually, I was surprised that Ray WIlson took over. I knew Stiltskin, but never was a fan. Inside was a massive hit, bit the connection to Genesis didn't seem obvious. So I was hoping for a darker, heavier album.

    Some tracks shopuld have been dropped, i.e. If That's What You Need. Anything Now would have fit much better.

    I also like Small Talk.


    On the other hand, Shipwrecked and Not About Us remain. favorites of mine as they are decent ballads.

  • The Dividing Line also became my favorite. Actually, I was surprised that Ray WIlson took over. I knew Stiltskin, but never was a fan. Inside was a massive hit, bit the connection to Genesis didn't seem obvious. So I was hoping for a darker, heavier album.

    Some tracks shopuld have been dropped, i.e. If That's What You Need. Anything Now would have fit much better.

    I also like Small Talk.


    On the other hand, Shipwrecked and Not About Us remain. favorites of mine as they are decent ballads.

    Agreed; after I discovered the bootleg double CD "Live in Poland", I was able to at least get an idea on how the band sounded in early 1998.


    Sadly they never came to this side of the pond so it was great to hear Ray's interpretations of classics like: The Lamb, Carpet crawlers, Firth of Fifth and a few Collins era tunes like Mama, Domino and Home by the Sea. Ray and the band did an excellent job!

    Also on this Poland setlist are: Alien afternoon, Dividing line, Shipwrecked and of course, Congo.


    I never understood why Chester and Daryl were not in the 1998 live band but Nir Z and Anthony Drennan did a respectable job live.

  • I remembering buying CAS when it was released. Also here in Philadelphia, local stations played the hell out of Congo. I really enjoyed the album, and still to this day feel that they gave up too easily on their new sound. To me, CAS was darker and heavier than what came before it, and they could have really ran with that mood. The music reminded me of Brother Cain, Fools Shine On. It had that type of feel to it. It was the late nineties after all, alternative music was darker and heavier than the some of the music of the earlier part of the decade. I also love The Dividing Line, and the Title Track. Not About Us is my favorite ballad on the album.

  • I remembering buying CAS when it was released. Also here in Philadelphia, local stations played the hell out of Congo. I really enjoyed the album, and still to this day feel that they gave up too easily on their new sound. To me, CAS was darker and heavier than what came before it, and they could have really ran with that mood. The music reminded me of Brother Cain, Fools Shine On. It had that type of feel to it. It was the late nineties after all, alternative music was darker and heavier than the some of the music of the earlier part of the decade. I also love The Dividing Line, and the Title Track. Not About Us is my favorite ballad on the album.

    They absolutely should have stuck with it. Had a great sound, very promising tracks (CAS, Dividing line, Run out of Time) and a big fan base. Ray and Tony were in.


    Thanks Mike.