GENESIS - Sum Of The Parts (documentary 2014)

  • I guess I'm saying that I don't like much of what turned Phil, Peter and Mike into radio darlings. There's no lofty preaching from this prog fan either, just my opinion. Everybody has one.

    That's fair enough, you like what you like and don't what you don't.

    I occasionally have this discussion with prog fans who say Genesis and the members you mentioned "sold out", and will by comparison praise prog acts who (as you put it) stayed true to form. For me, that too often translates as 'bands who kept doing pretty much the same thing'. I find it hard to respect such bands, but I tend to like acts that develop and evolve. If a band you like evolves in a way you happen to not like, so be it. Any decent band will change as they go along while knowing they might lose some fans, but perhaps attract new ones.

    One of these "Genesis sold out" guys once said, look at Barclay James Harvest (which I'd rather not but never mind) - he said he didn't much like their later stuff but all kudos to them for only playing their older proggier stuff at gigs. Personally I think that's pretty crap - I have zero respect for a band that puts out new material, has no faith in it and wallows in their ancient history like they've become their own tribute act.

    I totally get Genesis fans disliking the later trio "commercial" work. I have no major problem with that material but understand the antipathy to it, but it was absolutely not them "selling out".

    Incidentally, I think Hackett made a pretty clear bid for commercial success with songs like The Show, Cell 151, some of Cured, the move to incorporate world music on... whatever that album's called - and why not? Nothing wrong with a professional musician wanting hits. Invisible Men was a transparent attempt by Phillips to achieve a poppier more commercial sound. OK it didn't work but so what that he had a go.

    Abandon all reason

  • That's the song that was used for the fishing programme! Yeah, decent track. Should have been a hit...but then, imagine the backlash from the prog fans!

    I've always liked it, great riff of the kind he seemed able to come up with frequently back then. I really liked Pete Hicks's voice and the combination with Hackett's on that track is nice.

    The sequence of Spectral Mornings, Defector and Cured (generally disliked though the latter seems) is for me the strongest set of 'songy' songs he ever came up with, though as I've said before I'm very unfamiliar with the post-Faces stuff (members have given me listening tips in a SH thread). Those albums are replete with catchy tracks with some nice riffs and hooks. I agree he could've had some decent hits with some of them.

    I don't recall The Show being used on the fishing programme, was it the theme tune? The watery motif is a nice parallel with his theme for Tales From The Riverbank.

    Abandon all reason

  • I don't recall The Show being used on the fishing programme

    They edited it to an instrumental. I think they just used the opening part. I'm going back a few years here. My dad was a keen angler so I remember him watching the programme all the time. Probably would've been in the eighties.

  • Yeah, I don’t think anyone in Genesis tried not to have hits. That would be pretty stupid in my opinion. “Hmmmm. Let me continue in relative obscurity and not make a lot of money because that seems more legit.”

  • I don't know who your friend was, but he was clearly stoned at the BJH gigs, cos they played stuff from all eras, but mainly the later songs at later gigs. They also made some great albums (and yes, some fairly bad albums, and it didn't even follow logic, Ring of Changes, 1983, was one of their best, the following album, Victims of Circumstance, 1984, same producer, same studio, was appalling), their 1989 album, Welcome to the Show, for me, is a better album than anything Genesis came up with as an album from then onwards.

    Steve did try to get commercial, and have a hit single, at the request of Charisma! The Show did not chart (in the UK, at any rate! I believe it was a hit in Denmark) but Cell 151 did get to no 66. Not enough for Charisma, they let him go.

    Generally, the artist has little control over what TV stations use as theme's or elsewhere, lots of local stations used stuff from Spectral Mornings as backing music and stuff, all too long ago to remember.

    As to Sum of the Farts, Steve and Ant may not have had the commercial success the others had, (Except Tony. Shame, that!) but to exclude him completely from a documentary that was "claimed" to focus on the collective and solo works of it's members is just wrong. And unjustifiable, except in the mind of one person. Can we guess who? ;)


    Putting the old-fashioned Staffordshire plate in the dishwasher!

  • Quality trumps quantity every time. I understand how Hackett and his fans might have felt short-changed but let's face it, at the point when Genesis weren't sure if they would be able to carry on having lost their singer, frontman and major writer (along with Tony) Steve saved himself and made a solo record. From that point on, it was clear where his priorities lay so let's not raise the guy up above the others as though he's the saviour of the band's so-called progressive era. He's just milking his time in the band to the point of embarrassment.

    No ,not raising him up above the others I just thought that the point of the programme was about a combination of group and solo stuff , the TV edit was called Together And Alone. I think one of the great things about this band is their collective individual success both artistically and commercially. The SH career both original and revisited stuff is just an aspect , (didn't mean anyone to think I was putting him ahead of anyone ) which I thought in the context of the documentary it should've got at least a mention. I think it's great that places such as The Symphony Hall etc get sold out to people loving the early mid Genesis era. It's nice seeing it whether it's Steve or a tribute and nothing wrong being proud of it. I would be. Phil Mike Peter and Steve all still sell out huge places . That's amazing .

    Also there was a fair bit on TBs solo stuff which was good but SH has had a much bigger output and has outsold TB considerably

    If the documentary was mainly focused on the 3 that would be fine ,, they are after all the main line up and backbone of it all. But they got all five of them then all but ignored Steve . If they hadn't bothered with him it wouldn't have mattered so much but to focus on whole era band film then ignore one of them seemed very awkward and a bit rude.

  • If Peter left and then made a bunch of albums that sounded like early Genesis but less interesting, and then did a Genesis tribute act, maybe they wouldn’t have included his career either.

    I always thought the song "The Virgin And The Gypsy" would have fit nicely on a middle era Genesis album.

    Perhaps one might argue half the songs on Voyage of the Acolyte could have passed for Genesis.

    Aside from that, and the odd track here and there over the course of 40+ years' output, I'd be hard pressed to describe any of Steve's albums as sounding like early Genesis.

    Not sure how familiar you are with Steve's work.

    From the above comment, I would suggest, not very.

  • I have all of Steve’s albums. Especially the later ones I think generally all sound the same. He doesn’t seem to be growing into anything new, although he is very good at what he does.

    My favorites are Acolyte, Spectral Mornings, Defector, Cured, Guitar Noir, and To Watch the Storms.

  • I suppose I would rank my level of interest in solo careers thusly:

    Phil Collins (most interest)

    Peter Gabriel

    Steve Hackett

    Tony Banks

    Anthony Phillips

    Mike Rutherford

    While I find Steve more interesting than the bottom three, it doesn’t bother me when he is not given equal treatment in documentaries or not included in reunions. Three-man Genesis is, after all, Genesis. I don’t live in the past.

    None of the solo acts are more interesting than Genesis. Steve sounds the most like classic Genesis because he is still prog.

  • For me, it's this order

    Steve Hackett

    Peter Gabriel

    Phil Collins

    Anthony Phillips

    Tony Banks

    Mike Rutherford

    Steve's solo albums are mostly great and there's always a reason for me to revisit any of them. If PG had stuck to the level of brilliance he displayed on all his solo albums thru to, and including, Security, he'd be the frontrunner. But he chose to go the World music route and left the prog world. Phil lost me after his debut solo album. Tony and Mike's solo releases never held my interest. Ant can also be very samey, but I do love much of his music. Yes, Steve has gotten a bit stale over the years, but he's the only one putting any effort into playing classic Genesis music, and doing it brilliantly.

  • If PG had stuck to the level of brilliance he displayed on all his solo albums thru to, and including, Security, he'd be the frontrunner. But he chose to go the World music route and left the prog world.

    Yes, Steve has gotten a bit stale over the years, but he's the only one putting any effort into playing classic Genesis music, and doing it brilliantly.

    Your comment on PG's career presupposes he was even in the 'prog world' as a solo artist, in order for him to then leave it, which I don't think is the case.

    The problem with SH's output getting stale is the fact he's locked himself into a sort of feedback loop. He does these tired-sounding albums and, evidently recognising they're not very good, goes on tour playing a couple of tracks at most, along with 'classic Hackett' and a half-set of 70s Genesis. I get why fans like that and it's clearly a good earner for him but I think it's a shame a once creative artist falls into touring his own old stuff and his previous band's material (rendered somewhat limp by an insipid singer) while marginalising his latest work. I'd rather he injected some new life into his new stuff and had the conviction to tour it properly.

    Abandon all reason