From the oven to the table: share your Genesis story!

  • My introduction into Genesis in the mid-to-late 1970s came from a combination of my older brother listening to them (on the recommendations of some of his schoolmates), and hearing them being played on a show called Your Mother Wouldn't Like It, with Nicky Horne on London Capital Radio. It's all a bit vague but I can remember the two bits of music that hooked me in: the closing section of The Musical Box, and Carpet Crawlers. Those planted a seed in my mind that very gradually grew over the next 2-3 years. I vaguely remember Trick and W&W being released and liking them, and listening to the Spot The Pigeon EP a lot. I must have incrementally become enough of a fan to be shocked when reading the article in one of the music papers (probably Sounds) "Genesis Down To Trio As Hackett Quits" and wonder what they were going to do.

    At school, people were generally rock fans, soul boys, 'rude boys' or punks. I wasn't much interested in soul or ska, but was a rock fan who also got into punk and new wave. The other Genesis fans and rock fraternity members were dismayed at my new-wave leanings, while the punks and new wavers (who, come to think of it, were essentially just Peter Kelly) sneered at my rock fandom (though Kelly admitted he liked Squonk). My musical aberrations were tolerated, some say pitied, by each camp.

    Even within the rock clique, my rock tastes raised eyebrows as I was the only Genesis fan who liked Abacab and didn't mind Rush's new direction post-Hemispheres. These were the kinds of guys who complained that such bands were no longer doing songs longer than about 5 or 6 minutes.

    While they went off moaning about Genesis doing poppy stuff and having chart hits and other such unthinkable horrors, I managed to find something to like about each album as they came out. Post-Invisible Touch and seeing them on that tour, I sort of lost interest. I was very unengaged when WCD was released and toured. I hadn't gone off them as such, just became kind of disconnected from them. I taped the Knebworth 1992 gig off the radio and enjoyed it, though raised an eyebrow over just how squeezed the early stuff had now become - even Los Endos had bitten the dust.

    I didn't listen to Genesis for probably about 12 years but my interest was rekindled by getting Archive 1 as a birthday gift. But it was still a very gradual climb back up to anything like regularly listening to them. I went to the UK shows on the 07 tour and from then I've been fairly regularly listening to them again. I hardly ever listen to whole albums though; mainly my compilation discs, individual tracks, live and archive stuff on Youtube, but occasionally the whole of The Lamb or Abacab.

    Abandon all reason

  • It might sound strange - for a band that have been a massive part of my life - but I can't for the life of me remember what the first Genesis I heard was! I know it must have been around the time of the release of the No Son of Mine single - I had it on cassette single (remember them!), but really can't recall if I had heard anything before that. I remember I wasn't a huge fan of the song - I just liked it - but I loved the B-side Living Forever. I was 13/14 and already really into 70s stuff like Queen and Led Zep, as well as metal like Maiden and Sabbath. So I think I was aware that Genesis were another band that had been around for a long time, and that their earlier stuff was full of long songs and instrumental sections. I'd already decided this was what I liked so I quickly got myself some second hand Genesis albums on tape.

    It might well have been Foxtrot first - I wish I could remember! - but I do remember that I loved every album I got. Unlike other bands I liked (Queen, Pink Floyd) there didn't seem to be any dud albums, no below-par songs, everything was so solid, as well as being deliciously strange and beautifully melodic.

    I do know that the album that made me a FAN was Three Sides Live. It just confirmed to me that here was a band with a long, interesting history who couldn't seem to write a bad song. I just loved it all, from Me and Sarah Jane to Fountain of Salmacis. The whole album is so atmospheric, and takes me back to summer 1992 every time I hear it. I also remember that Duke was one of the last albums I got because I thought I already had most of the songs on 3SL. It's now one of my favourite G albums...

  • Through the 1980's I was probably more aware of Phil Collins than I was of Genesis. I have a vague memory of someone bringing the Invisible Touch tape into school on the last day of term and no-one wanting to listen to it. Following that I didn't really become aware of Genesis until the release of We Can't Dance. I remember the title track being everywhere and my friends doing the walk. I eventually ended up getting a 'copy' of the album from my Dad in 1992 - he lived abroad at this time and I had no idea what other Genesis albums he may have had.

    After that I slowly made my way back through their catalogue. I had got as far the Shapes album when a mate brought a rock compilation round with a previously unknown to me Genesis track on it. Or so I thought. The track was Turn It On Again. The title meant nothing to me but when I heard it I had a sense of hearing it before but couldn't place where. A bit of research told me it came from an album called Duke. I bought it on CD. The cover immediately appealed to me but it was when I listened to it that a connection was finally made. Whilst I couldn't sing along to it, it sounded familiar and the more I looked through the artwork I began to realise why. I'd heard it before, probably not long after it was released. Memories were awoken of when I used to sit with my Dad listening to music and in this particular case being sat crossed legged on the floor with the LP sleeve in my lap taking in the cartoons whilst trying to read to lyrics!

    At this point I had WCD, the two associated live albums, IT, Shapes and Duke. Having invested in a Genesis bio I could now start filling in the gaps. Abacab was next along with several of Phil's albums. PG's Us, So and Secret World Live also got picked up in this time. However, working backwards the changes in their sound seems more radical than it does working forwards. I wasn't initially taken with And Then There Were Three and returned it. I borrowed The Lamb and Trick from the library. I liked bits of them but decided that for now I had all the Genesis I needed. I also came to realise that having found Genesis I wasn't going to be able to see them live - or at least the line-up I'd fallen in love with - as Phil left the group. I took a chance on the Congo single. Even liked it. But it wasn't the same.

    In 1998 I borrowed Archive 1968-75 from the library. Suddenly The Lamb spoke to me (at least the individual songs if not the concept) although not enough to go out and buy it. I may have taped the first 2 discs and possibly some of the 3rd. I apologise! I then picked up Hits and Archive 2. Eventually I would take a chance on The Lamb again and also invested in Seconds Out and this helped bring me into 70's Genesis. Slowly, in a mostly random and forgotten order the gaps I had in my collection were filled including buying my own Archive 1! Still, didn't think I'd ever get to see Phil with them again until the Turn It On Again tour was announced and I didn't hesitate. I only saw them once, at Old Trafford, but at this point that's enough. As someone who doesn't go to a lot of live gigs, having several songs from that gig appear on the official live album from the tour is still amazing to me.

  • I was very late to the party. I'd been a casual fan of the music (as well as Phil, Peter, and Mike's solo efforts) since I was a kid in the 80s, but for some reason never went any further than putting the hits on mixtapes in high school. It wasn't until I finished my Master's degree in 2015 that I thought "Well, I suddenly have a LOT of time on my hands, what should I do with it? Hey, why don't I listen to all of Genesis from start to finish?" and I did. And I loved it!

    Then the downward spiral began of watching interviews and documentaries, reading articles, collecting vinyl and t-shirts...and that's where I still am today :)