Genesis and Versatility

  • One of the greatest things about Genesis, for me, is how much variety there is in their back catalogue. When you take into account the solo albums and projects of each member, it seems there is almost a bit of something for everyone.


    Is there a major style or genre that has not been tackled in some way by either Genesis as a collective, or by one of the band members on a solo project?

  • I'm not saying none of these have, they're off the top of my head and ready to be corrected if need be: rap, reggae, Country & Western, industrial, metal, dance

    Abandon all reason

  • I'm not saying none of these have, they're off the top of my head and ready to be corrected if need be: rap, reggae, Country & Western, industrial, metal, dance


    I've been thinking about some of those in particular this morning. I'm not saying they ever overtly do a song in those genres, but I think there is influence from each at least somewhere in the Genesis/solo oeuvre.


    Reggae -


    Phil's Dance Into the Light album has a reggae vibe at times, maybe?


    Rap -


    Would we consider Peter Gabriel's 'Steam' to be verging on rap at one point?

    There is at least the influence of hip hop in 'Mama', as Phil has stated with regard to being inspired by Grandmaster Flash


    Country and Western -


    Phil's 'The Roof is Leaking'

    I would also go so far as to say that if Paul Carrack put on a southern accent for Mike + The Mechanics' 'My Crime of Passion', it would be a country song


    Industrial -


    The Brazilian

    Mike + the Mechanics - Underscore?


    Metal -


    That heavy supporting guitar on Calling All Stations would not be out of place on a Rammstein album

    Steve's solo work has a lot of metal in it, especially his two recent ones


    Dance -


    Mike + The Mechanics 'Now That You've Gone' is completely a 90s dance track, to the point where I can imagine Ricky Martin or someone singing it

  • I knew the Mama laugh would come up!


    I think most of those are stretching it a bit but it still indicates the range of styles in their work.

    Abandon all reason

  • Weren't there rap/hip hop elements on OVO? I haven't listened to that one for the last nineteen years or so.


    That's All has a country & western vibe, Jesus He Knows Me has a reggae-ish bit.

  • I've never really got this thing about That's All having a C&W vibe.


    This came up in another thread where a few Genesis covers were posted. I'd love to hear really interesting covers, such as a dub-reggae Mad Man Moon, an industrial noise metal Eleventh Earl, Firth of Fifth as a techno trance club mix.... You get the idea.

    Abandon all reason

  • I'm not saying none of these have, they're off the top of my head and ready to be corrected if need be: rap, reggae, Country & Western, industrial, metal, dance

    Rap: The Story of OVO (PG)

    Reggae: Me And Sara Jane "And I was standing on the corner ..."; Holy Deadlock (AP) has a reggae feel to it, too

    Country/Western: The Man In The Long Black Coat (SH)

    Industrial: Ahead Of The Field (AP)

    Metal: Hmmm... Compression (MR), second half??

    Dance: Only Seventeen (Strictly Inc.), several official remixes (of I Can't Dance, Word Of Mouth, Kiss That Frog, Easy Lover ...)

  • I've never really got this thing about That's All having a C&W vibe.

    Well, the band themselves (or at least Phil) thought it had one - just watch his introduction to "That's All" on The MAMA Tour DVD. ^^


    The drum rhythm and Mike's guitar playing at the end are quasi-C&W - as close as they get anyway.

    Stepping out the back way, hoping nobody sees...

  • I always thought that. It may not be everybody's cup of tea, but the different musc styles are quite stunniung


    Steve does prog, but has also experience in classical music, blues etc

    Phil did Prog and Pop, but also soundtracks, Big Band and Fusion

    Genesis never stopped progressing, and there were always interesting bits on the albums that were unique.

    Tony did Pop and Prog and now feels home in classical music

    Ant did Pop, a bt of pop, ambient and library music

    Peter came from Prog, did a unique version of Rock, also Pop, World Music, Orchestra stuff etc

    Mike came from Prog and enjoys pop music

    Ray Wilson does a lot of acoustic stuff, but also has prog influences and hard rock / Grunge stuff in his history


    Then there are plenty of interesting projects in the family as well .....


    And these examples sum it perfectly up for me - it's a great band and there's nothing around that's comparable.

  • Well, the band themselves (or at least Phil) thought it had one - just watch his introduction to "That's All" on The MAMA Tour DVD. ^^

    Yes, I still shudder when I think of that and his appalling accent.


    Again, I do think some of the examples being given are stretching things - it's not as though they've actually done a dub-reggae track - but as I said, it does still show the range of work by the band and various offshoots. Most bands classed as prog don't tend to stray far from where the seed has fallen (and frankly, a lot of their fans want it that way) but that can't be said of Genesis.

    Abandon all reason

  • Steve does prog, but has also experience in classical music, blues etc

    Shoot, Steve can cover more stylistic territory in a single album than some artists do in their entire careers. Look at TO WATCH THE STORMS or WILD ORCHIDS, for example (particularly the Special Editions).

    The Seat Bunny!

  • Sorry Christian, what albums did Ant ever do pop. :?:

  • And these examples sum it perfectly up for me - it's a great band and there's nothing around that's comparable.

    There are a few bands who cover many genres, one that stands tall is The Flower Kings. On one example, their double album Flower Power, you get many styles, including prog, blues, jazz and more, but the complexity of their music is what stands out, and this is where Genesis failed their prog fan base over the years. They sacrificed the complexity for radio friendly fluff, and in the end lost a lot of their fans. I suppose they gained a different and much larger fan base, fans of pop music, of which I am not one. But, as Christian has stated, they did what they wanted to do, and that's fine.

  • this is where Genesis failed their prog fan base over the years. They sacrificed the complexity for radio friendly fluff, and in the end lost a lot of their fans.

    Each to their own of course, you can't like what you don't like. But still, I always think it's a pity that some fans see the band's development as some sort of failure, when it really isn't. In fact, to me when a band doesn't change its style, that's more of a failure.


    I don't believe they 'sacrificed' anything. They retained their musical integrity, but just applied it differently and in a way that, as you say, many didn't like. At school there were quite a few Genesis fans and I ended up being the only one who liked Abacab, the others all reacted as you described. I've never had a problem with bands moving on and changing, I respect it. That respect increased when in the last few years I learned they junked a load of new material when recording the Duke follow-up, after deciding it was too similar to the last 2 or 3 albums. A bold move that I really admire. If they'd come out with more Burning Rope or Vine type stuff I'd have long gone off them. But I come back to accepting that if the bold move results in music you don't like, I totally get that.


    But I can't agree about the 'fluff' thing. Hits consisting of 6-minute spiky songs about child abuse and being obsessed with a mature prostitute aren't what I'd call fluffy. Drippy songs about snowmen, cats and mice, and "poor little nemo" are well within fluff territory, though!

    Abandon all reason

  • Each to their own of course, you can't like what you don't like. But still, I always think it's a pity that some fans see the band's development as some sort of failure, when it really isn't. In fact, to me when a band doesn't change its style, that's more of a failure.


    I don't believe they 'sacrificed' anything. They retained their musical integrity, but just applied it differently and in a way that, as you say, many didn't like. At school there were quite a few Genesis fans and I ended up being the only one who liked Abacab, the others all reacted as you described. I've never had a problem with bands moving on and changing, I respect it. That respect increased when in the last few years I learned they junked a load of new material when recording the Duke follow-up, after deciding it was too similar to the last 2 or 3 albums. A bold move that I really admire. If they'd come out with more Burning Rope or Vine type stuff I'd have long gone off them. But I come back to accepting that if the bold move results in music you don't like, I totally get that.


    But I can't agree about the 'fluff' thing. Hits consisting of 6-minute spiky songs about child abuse and being obsessed with a mature prostitute aren't what I'd call fluffy. Drippy songs about snowmen, cats and mice, and "poor little nemo" are well within fluff territory, though!

    I agree with COT. I listen to more classic Genesis then their later stuff!


    As far as prog, they made a history in our timeline and feel Genesis is well known for their Prog related albums then later on.

  • I don't believe they 'sacrificed' anything. They retained their musical integrity, but just applied it differently and in a way that, as you say, many didn't like.

    I basically agree with this. While Genesis's albums from the "pop" era (ABACAB thru WCD) aren't my favorites by any means, there are a number of songs from that period that I like just as much as any earlier material -- and hardly any songs that I actually dislike.


    There's a reason why Genesis is the only long-lasting band that I'm an "all eras" fan of.


    Other favorite bands have lost my interest by losing too much of what I liked about them, and going "pop" has sometimes been part of that. But, to my ears at least, there's a world of difference between the 1980s "pop" of Genesis and that of, say, Chicago (one band that really lost me in that decade).

    The Seat Bunny!

  • I agree with COT. I listen to more classic Genesis then their later stuff!


    As far as prog, they made a history in our timeline and feel Genesis is well known for their Prog related albums then later on.

    Fair enough if you prefer listening to the "classic" stuff (I'm assuming you mean up to W&W) but no, they are generally far more well-known for their post-Hackett output.

    Abandon all reason