Top 10 Genesis tracks

  • No. 2

    The Musical Box

    I love the slow build-up, that adrenaline-pumping exchange between the guitar and organ at the start of the climax, the unique sounds of the guitar during the solo, and that powerful ending.

    Absolute perfection.

  • No. 2

    The Musical Box

    I love the slow build-up, that adrenaline-pumping exchange between the guitar and organ at the start of the climax, the unique sounds of the guitar during the solo, and that powerful ending.

    Absolute perfection.

    To this day, this song fascinates me. They worked on it a long time with Ant and then Steve and Phil came on board and instantly made their mark. Possibly, Peter's first great vocal performance with the group. I read someone saying on this very forum that the song did nothing for him up until the ending but, and I don't mean to sound patronizing, I would suggest to listen harder, you are missing out. This is Genesis at their best.

    Edited once, last by Fabrizio ().

  • #2 ‘The Cinema Show’ from Selling England by the Pound (1973) GOLD

    The song starts with a heart flutter of gentle notes descending into the lyric of a modern day “Romeo and Juliet”. This track typifies the Genesis sound with a plethora of 12 string guitars of which 2 and sometimes 3 are used in addition to an electric 6 string. Hackett plays some very pastoral phrases here whilst Gabriel contributes the melodic lead. Like the other epics on this album, the song builds into many sections of which the first shift occurs at 2.01 when Romeo plans to bed his Juliet, ‘armed with his chocolate surprise’. At this point the gentle acoustic promise gives way to a Hackett solo of joyful expectancy with lyrical pastures inspired by T.S. Eliot and a gentle but persistent background drumming. At 2.44, the musical tide ebbs away leaving the drums and vocals behind as we bob along on the wave of a flute solo and a floating choral chant before returning to repeat the chorus. So far so typically prog. But this isn’t what really floats our boat in the Cinema Show, is it? No; it’s those closing 5 minutes.

    Oh, Tony Banks, you may not be the coke-snorting, babe-magnet bad boy that the music press love to write about but when you hit the keyboards like you do here, no Val Doonican jumper can hide your inner rock-god. At 5.20, it’s time to seriously jack up the volume. A tease of a Hackett solo quickly dissolves into drum-laden rhythms that simmer along deceptively until, with a sudden swoop, Banks soars skywards at 6.58. Who doesn’t experience a shiver down the spine as he sustains this aerial flight accompanied throughout by an incredible... and I mean, incredible... drum shuffle in 7/8 time by Collins. This is a climax and a post-coital fag rolled into one and quite simply the point of no return for the listener.

    Those who remain unmoved by this should pack their bags and buy a one-way ticket to the 80s. The rest of you; wipe the tear from your eye, you’ve made it through: welcome! This is GOLD medal 1970s prog-rock and nothing short of an arthouse blockbuster!

    ~ My talents may not be obvious but they are always...always...delicious! ~

  • My number 2 choice is One for the Vine.

    Classic symphonic prog rock from the masters, from whatwas the bands best period.

    This song and Mad Man Moon have both grown further on me since starting this countdown. I've now tweaked my running order and they are sitting at number 4 & 5 respectively.

    ~ My talents may not be obvious but they are always...always...delicious! ~

  • The journey ends. Time for our Number Ones.

    What else could it be? Their masterpiece, the epic Musical Box from Nursery Cryme. A gruesome fairy tale of a girl killing her playmate by whacking his head off with a croquet mallet. The boy returns in spirit and ages instantaneously to an old man, experiencing a lifetime's sexual desire in an instant. Gabriel had an old man mask in which he used to sing the closing portion in character.

    Here's a link to a live TV performance which is great for observing each of the band members

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    Good thing this effete Peter Gabriel went to that posh school. He would have got his head kicked in at my outer London comp. But can we imagine young men of this age having the maturity and the intellectual background to be able to put together pieces of this kind of complexity, to be able to treat sexual desire in this whimsical way, if they were products of a bog standard comp? Maybe I should revisit my political beliefs on state education, just in the hope that every thirty years we might get another Genesis.

    Now that I know the track well it sounds even better when I play it. I know those crescendos are coming and can feel the excitement building as they approach. It reminds me of a white water rafting experience: floating down a calm river, slowly becoming aware of the rising noise of the next rapids and you know you are about to face another raging torrent.

    I still find Nursery Cryme a disappointing album after such an opener. Only Seven Stones I would choose for a general playlist. Hogweed and Salmacis have a kind of epic quality, and fanlore affection to match, but for me there is a lack of musicality which lets them down. Perhaps it doesn't matter. I should be grateful enough for the delivery of this gemstone and not mind it comes wrapped in such a tatty box. If I were to do a top twenty from my entire music collection The Musical Box would be in there. Do I have twenty songs I prefer to this one? Certainly not. Do I have ten?

    One of my favourite parts, among so many, is the very last bar, a symphonic flourish which Beethoven would be proud of. Fantastic way to close.

    Here's my overall list again, as posted and which I stand by for the final tallies:

    1. Musical Box

    2. Firth of Fifth

    3. Blood on the Rooftops

    4. Cinema Show

    5. Mad Man Moon

    6. Moonlit Knight

    7. Ripples

    8. Many Too Many

    9. Home by the Sea

    10. White Mountain

  • The musical box is epic! The version on Geness Live is my favourite.

    My number one choice, and sorry to be somewhat predictable is Suppers Ready.

    None of us need to apologise for choosing a “predictable” #1. There’s a place for a left field choice at the lower end but at the top you put your favourite

  • Mine is Home By The Sea.

    Two years ago when I was becoming much more interested in Genesis there were only a couple of tracks which I could really call favourites. For some reason one day That's All really caught my ear (it was unlucky not to make this list). I can only think I must have decided to listen to the rest of the album & Home By The Sea just hit me where it hurt. I don't know why; it's mainly the lyrics & Phil's vocals. The way he sings 'dreaming of the time we were free' in his lower register is brilliant. I love the whole dysfunctional, eerie atmosphere of it. Plus it's catchy. Plus it has the instrumental part.

  • Mine is Home By The Sea..

    My favourite late era track and for me their last great song. I had it at #9. If allowed to pair it with its instrumental second half it might be a place higher still. Love that lilting keyboard over the top of Phil’s « Sit down, sit down «

  • No. 1

    The Fountain of Salmacis

    Bit of an oddball choice?

    Not really, coming from someone who compares Nursery Cryme to a beautiful piece of tapestry, embroidered with pastoral scenes and classic romanticism, cites it as his favourite album of all time, picked "The Musical Box" as his No. 2 choice in this list, and melts in pleasure to the sound of a mellotron.