Creating a Genesis Album out of Solo Work

  • So I've been on a little bit of a kick of rearranging albums, playing around with song orders, including b-sides, all of that sort of thing - great fun, and I've managed to come up with an interesting new order for everything And Then There Were Three... - can't find much fault with the ordering of the earlier stuff, admittedly!

    I've been wondering in light of this whether or not it would be possible to construct a kind of faux Genesis album out of the solo output of the guys. Basically, as a fan of (most of!) the solo catalogues to varying extents, it's interesting to consider what it would have been like had the guys stayed together, through the medium of their solo works. I've managed to come up with two broad "types" of album that you could cobble together; either something much more progressive, which focuses heavily on the work of Hackett and Phillips (think "what if Tony left, and the five-man lineup was Gabriel, Phillips, Hackett, Collins, and Rutherford?"), and something set a little bit later, in the late 70s and 80s, which excludes Steve and Ant's work, but which includes stuff from Peter, Phil, Tony, and (maybe even?) Mike. Have a look at what I've put together, and post your own track listings - we might even come up with something listenable.

    Which Way the Wind Blows (1977)

    Side One
    1. The Geese and the Ghost
    2. Silver Song
    3. Which Way the Wind Blows

    4. Solsbury Hill

    Side Two
    5. Moribund the Burgermeister
    6. Star of Sirius
    7. Shadow of the Hierophant
    8. Wind-Tales

    This is very much a more progressive album, and focuses largely on stuff produced by Ant and Steve in the mid to late 70s, with some Peter stuff thrown in there for good measure. I actually think that this makes for quite a good listen - it starts out very pastoral with The Geese and the Ghost (which Mike plays on!), tracks through a Side One carried by acoustic guitars, and which focuses on moments of reflection and consideration of the past, then moves into a heavier, more fantastical Side Two, culminating in the crescendo of Shadow of the Hierophant , and the light relief of Wind-Tales. Phil and Peter are sharing vocal duties here, and all five of the guys are credited as writers, except Phil.

    Genesis (1985)

    Side One
    1. Wallflower
    2. Take Me Home
    3. Hand in Hand
    4. At the Edge of Night

    Side Two
    1. Start
    2. I Don't Remember
    3. Thirty-Three's
    4. Intruder
    5. In The Air Tonight

    And here, later, is something more akin to Genesis (1984). All of the tracks were released 1980 to 1985 in our timeline, and this takes on a more "pop with progressive elements" feel to it. I'm not entirely happy with the middle section, Hand in Hand to I Don't Remember, but the run of Thirty-Three's to In The Air Tonight is actually fairly tight, and works together as a kind of mini-suite - I think that it's the gated reverb that you've got in Intruder and In The Air, which follows on nicely from the drum machine underpinning in Thirty-Three's. The only one getting short changed here is Mike, but I couldn't find a way to get a Mechanics track in without it unbalancing the album with its aggressive poppiness and distinctly un-Genesis vocals.

  • Really interesting concept. Mine would be a 1978-1982 sounding record. A dark brooding EP.

    1. Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground) (MR)

    2. Intruder (PG)

    3. Thru these Walls (PC)

    4. The Waters of Lethe (TB)

    5. The Steppes (SH)

    What was your And Then There Were Three track-listing?

  • And Then There Were Three took me about 15 listens to fall in love with it. The only complaint from me is Genesis gave us too much on that album (generous to a fault).

    With minor surgery, I've come up with a version which works great for me. Just take the last two songs, The Lady Lies and Follow You, Follow Me, from the record and make them part of an EP.

    The trailing notes at the end of Say It's Alright, Joe fade away with that era of the band. The next you hear from the boys is the start of the Duke album, a triumphant return.

    As an aside, it took me over 40 years to really see ATTWT's cover. Wow!