Genesis lack of cover versions or collaboratiions.

  • I had a recent thought. Genesis were one of worlds biggest ever bands with a huge back catalogue. As far as I can think , they wrote every song themselves , not a single cover version or co writers. That must very rare. At most they did a medley on the mama tour just for a bit of fun and believe that's it. Oh and a nod to the drifters on the Lamb, it hardly a cover. This is really quite something when you think of it. Sure there must be other comparable bands out there who have achieved the same bit I can't think of any. I'm sure plenty of you will tell. ( Maybe I should have put this in other bands section.) Thoughts?

    Edited once, last by thefarmer ().

  • Brian Eno collaborated with Genesis on The Lamb.

    EWF horns on Acabab.

    But that is all I can think of.


    Supertramp? Jethro Tull? I cant think of any cowriters or covers?

  • In addition to the aformentioned Bourée, there were two cover songs on Tull's debut plus, understandably about a third of The Christmas Album is comprised of traditional songs that have been re-arranged.

  • Brian Eno collaborated with Genesis on The Lamb.

    EWF horns on Acabab.

    But that is all I can think of.


    Supertramp? Jethro Tull? I cant think of any cowriters or covers?

    I was thinking mainly of song writing, though now you mention it other than producers there is virtually nothing else.

  • I had a recent thought. Genesis were one of worlds biggest ever bands with a huge back catalogue. As far as I can think , they wrote every song themselves , not a single cover version or co writers. That must very rare. At most they did a medley on the mama tour just for a bit of fun and believe that's it. Oh and a nod to the drifters on the Lamb, it hardly a cover. This is really quite something when you think of it. Sure there must be other comparable bands out there who have achieved the same bit I can't think of any. I'm sure plenty of you will tell. ( Maybe I should have put this in other bands section.) Thoughts?

    a really good point. Phil and Peter have done cover versions, Steve has done some blues stuff and played with other bands, Mike I think has covered stuff live with the Mechanics but Tony never had covered anyone as far as I know. I suppose they had such a wealth of material and so many writers in the ranks. The Beatles did a lot of covers early on, so did the Stones and the Who did, especially live. Led Zep incorporated bits of blues classics. Floyd drafted people in later on.

  • Would it be fair to say probably most rock bands don't tend to have cover versions on their albums? I'm not really basing that on anything other than a gut feeling. On stage, I suspect it'd be a different matter in that a few covers would creep in.


    But yeah with Genesis, apart from as mentioned the TIOA medley on two tours and a couple of covers at the 'Balmes dance', nothing.

    Abandon all reason

  • Would it be fair to say probably most rock bands don't tend to have cover versions on their albums? I'm not really basing that on anything other than a gut feeling. On stage, I suspect it'd be a different matter in that a few covers would creep in.


    But yeah with Genesis, apart from as mentioned the TIOA medley on two tours and a couple of covers at the 'Balmes dance', nothing.

    yes I think so, especially for the bigger bands where there may be some covers early on but less so as their songwriting develops. I think as Genesis set out to be songwriters it makes sense that they started as they meant to go on

  • There's a few song writing contributions on Genesis albums from ex-members or people around Genesis. John Hackett had his little share of Get 'em out by Friday as well as Cuckoo Cocoon. Anthony Phillips wrote the basics of The Musical Box and Twilight Alehouse, both songs being recorded after he was no longer a member of Genesis. Mick Barnard also had his tiny share of The Musical Box. Peter Gabriel wrote the lyrics of Los Endos. And finally, Chester Thompson is credited for the Drum Duet.


    Besides the Turn It On Again medley, they also performed that Supremes' song in the solo medley since Phil covered it. And in the early days they had a number of cover versions in their set lists. For the sake of mentioning it: the bootleg demos from Selling England feature them jamming 'You Really Got Me' and 'The Last Time'; and, let's not forget about Peter's regular introduction to Supper's Ready which featured a short whistled version of some folk song, I can't recall its name.


    The Lamb has a number of quotations and references: The Drifters' 'On Broadway', 'Raindrops keep falling on my head', 'It's only rock'n'roll but I like it', 'Broadway Melody of 1923', 'In The Mood' (referenced in the lyrics); and indeed the story mentions "subterranean homesick dues" Rael won't have to pay.


    But yea. Basically all this rather confirms your statement. Genesis never made cover versions in the real meaning.


    As for guest musicians, well, David Thomas sang on FGTR, Arthur Greenslade arranged the brass and violins, and John Anthony had his moment in The Knife. And there's still that live version of Your Own Special Way with that Australian string orchestra. And those two little boys singing "We will rock you rock you little snake"...

  • Only J.S.Bach comes to mind with Tull... although there's that supposed collaboration with a certain Gerald Bostock! ;-)

    Apart from from nicking an 8 year olds poem, Jennie Anderson ( Ian's wife) co wrote Aqualung.

  • yes I think so, especially for the bigger bands where there may be some covers early on but less so as their songwriting develops. I think as Genesis set out to be songwriters it makes sense that they started as they meant to go on

    I agree with this. Many bands started off playing covers before they developed as songwriters. So covers remained in their concert sets and even made it onto albums. Genesis started with the intention of being songwriters, hence having only their own material on albums and in concert.

  • On “In the Cage” I’ve always thought that the line “My little runaway” followed by Tony’s brief keyboard solo was a nod to the Del Shannon song, which features that line followed by an organ solo.

  • ....and, let's not forget about Peter's regular introduction to Supper's Ready which featured a short whistled version of some folk song, I can't recall its name.

    Jerusalem - not quite a folk song, but I know what you mean :)

  • I thought this thread would get bombarded with mentions of other bands that have gone it entirely alone . Looks like Supertramp did it but the more I have thought about it the vast majority of bands realty seem to have had at least some songs co written with someone else or have done covers . Rush did an entire album late in their career. Maybe it has something to do with the freedom all the Genesis members had in their solo careers which enabled them to do the beloved songs of their past and co write with admired others , saving Genesis just for Genesis .

  • I think the other possible issue is that many of the artists that Genesis members admired and admitted as influences were very different than the music the band was itself creating. Imagine a set with The Musical Box, then a version of Marvin Gaye's Ain't That Peculiar, then Watcher of the Skies, then a cover of The Beach Boys' God Only Knows, etc. While I might have enjoyed it, it might have thrown much of their audience at the time.

  • I thought about this & remembered that Dire Straits didn't do covers. But much as I love them, their output wasn't large. Mark Knopfler has done a few covers on his own.