Invisible Touch (Virgin)
Tysk VW Magasin, 1992 (oversat)
Den 28. juni 1986 - den folkerigeste dag i musikerne i Genesis' historie i USA. På den amerikanske Hot 100 hitliste befinder der sig 7 sange, der er direkte eller indirekte forbundet med bandet;
5. HOWARD JONES: No One Is To Blame (backing vocals + produc. Phil Collins)
8. GENESIS: Invisible Touch
10. PETER GABRIEL: Sledgehammer
21. GTR: When The Heart Rules The Mind
34. MIKE & THE MECHANICS: All I Need Is A Miracle
72. PHIL COLLINS: Take Me Home
85. MIKE & THE MECHANICS: Taken In
Titelsangen og "Anything She Does" er da den rene, rare poprock, som lige netop Phil Collins kan levere den. Her er han ellers genforenet med Genesis, og fra Genesis, hvis navn betyder "skabelsen" i bibelsk forstand, forventer man sig måske noget helt andet. Nu er det - bortset fra Collins i Collins' egen stil - mest blevet til reprise af kendte parader inden for den lettere symfonisk anlagte rock. Bevares, det er stadig flot, men det bliver også en smule anstrengt - mere som hjernespind ("Domino" pt. 1 og 2) end som en hjertesag. For mig har Genesis ikke været kilden til den helt store fryd, siden Peter Gabriel forlod gruppen. Men nu har vi altså denne LP til Phil Collins fans, mens Peter Gabriel-dyrkere kan glæde sig over, at han jo har sit eget soloalbum ("So" fra Virgin) fremme i samme ombæring.
4 af 5 points
Johnny Larsen, Musiknyt 11/86
Genesis har været springbræt for nogle af rockens tunge drenge. Peter Gabriel var med til at danne gruppen helt tilbage i 1966, og i 1970 kom guitaristen Steve Hackett ind i gruppen sammen med trommeslageren Phil Collins.
Af den oprindelige besætning er kun Anthony Banks og Michael Rutherford tilbage. Disse to har sammen med Phil Collins fundet en ny udtryksform, der i det væsentlige kan tilskrives netop Phil Collins. Genesis har bevæget sig fra den ambitiøse, symfoniske rock til en mere let tilgængelig musik, uden der på noget tidspunkt har været tale om forfladigelse.
Gruppens navn var oprindeligt "Garden Wall", men i 1969 ændredes navnet til det nuværende, dog med en kortvarig navneforandring til "Revelation".
Det kommercielle gennembrud kom i 1974 med LP'en "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway". Efter den LP forlod gruppens frontfigur, Peter Gabriel, gruppen for at begynde sin solokarriere. Med hans afgang måtte gruppen se sig om efter en ny sanger. Én der kunne løfte den tunge arv. Inden valget langt om længe faldt på gruppens trommeslager, var 400 sangere blevet hørt. I dag er der mange, der glæder sig over, at den lille mand med den store lyd blev trukket i front.
Mandsmæssigt er Genesis reduceret til en trio. Tre solister der hver for sig har gjort alt hvad de rørte ved til glitrende guld - hvorfor skulle de overhovedet sætte sig sammen igen for at lave endnu en plade under gruppenavnet Genesis. Forklaringen er enkel: Hver for sig er de gode, sammen er de bedst. Hvis man vil overbevises, kræver det ikke andet end man sætter sig godt til rette og lader tonerne fra gruppens seneste LP "Invisible Touch" fylde krop og sjæl. Denne, deres første LP i to år, viser dem fra deres bedste side. Den skærer igennem stjernestøvs-tågen, og smyger sig omkring firserne som en usynlig handske. Den eksploderer blidt som en sol af musik. Lige dele up-tempo, danse-hits og stille, stille ballader.
Fremskridt og modning - de bli'r bare bedre og bedre.
Måske falder det svært at skille Genesis' musik fra de solo-LP'er Phil Collins har sendt på markedet, men det kan næppe bedrøve nogen. Phil Collins har for lūngst sat sit prūg p firsernes musik, og hans fortsatte samarbejde med Michael Rutherford og Anthony Banks bringer gyldne løfter om endnu mere behagelig rock.
Den der har markeret sig stærkest er netop Phil Collins, der har været et af dette årtis mest travle personligheder i international rockmusik. Ved siden af arbejdet med Genesis har han løbende hyggespillet med gruppen Brand X. Desuden har han passet sin solokarriere, været musiker hos andre store kunstnere på scenerne såvel som i studierne. På Annifrid Lyngstads (Frida, ABBA) første solo-LP var han både producer og trommeslager.
Peter Gabriel har markeret sig stærkt som en af rockens supermænd, og Steve Hackett har med gruppen GTR(guitar) bebudet rockens tilbagevenden til den guitardominerede musik. Begge har i øvrigt sendt LP'er på gaden i år. Genesis har markeret sig som en ren rugemaskine for fremragende og betydningsfulde musikere gennem 70'erne og 80'erne.
John Tobler, Billboard Magazine # 10, 3/87
The opening quote of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" could be amended to read: "It is a truth acknowledged by the prudent studio owner that a recording act in possession of a state-of-the-art recording studio must keep its location secret and not allow it to keused by other acts."
The reason for this is exclusivity is simple -- as soon as a hot new studio emerges, there will, be requests, even demands, from outsiders to utilize the new facilities. While in itself there is no reason to bar a potential client, there are other considerations involved, as Carol Willis, executive assistant to Genesis manager Tony Smith, explains."Other people never look after a studio the way its owner does. I think they feel that if they're paying to use it, they don't have to worry about it after that, nor do they necessarily need to treat it with respect.''
In 1980, the Genesis organization acquired a building close to the city of Guildford in Surrey, near where the three group members live, and converted what had been a milking parlour and then a garage into a private recording studio. As luck would have it, a friend of Mike Rutherford's knew of architect John Flynn, who had recently completed architectural work on Maison Rouge, the studio then owned by Jethro Tull leader lan Anderson.
Flynn agreed to tackle the role of project architect, while Ken Shearer took control of acoustic treatment for The Farm, as the studio became known. Says Flynn: "At the start, it was rather a shoestring set-up, because Genesis had to finish the "Abacab" album, which was the first thing recorded there -- the building was acquired in November 1980, and was operational in March 1981."
Flynn collaborated with JVC Tokyo's Sam Toyoshima on this second phase of conversion, and the two worked so well together that they now operate as consultants under the name Acoustic Design Group.
Producer Hugh Padgham could by now claim to be the fourth member of Genesis, having worked on everything released by the band from "Abacab" to date (1987), and on virtually everything by the soloist Phil Collins, having first met the group through working with Peter Gabriel.
Of The Farm, Padgham says: "It has the finest control room in the world, in my opinion, and that's not just because I helped to design it. As far as facilities go, it's my choice, the only problem being that because it is a private studio, I can't use it for all my other projects.
Padgham has worked on Collins' production of erstwhile Abba star Frida, and on a single by Howard Jones, "No One Is To Blame," as well as Genesis and Collins solo projects at The Farm, and recommended the SSL desk, Studer 24-track machines and masses of outboard equipment which help to make records by Genesis such aural delights.
Flynn recently completed the plans for installing video projection facilities which can be remotely lowered from the ceiling for film and synchronization work. Although The Farm will remain, of necessity, a private studio, it seems that the Genesis family, individually and collectively, will generate sufficient work to keep it fully occupied for the foreseeable future.
Since the latest Eric Clapton album, "August", which was produced by Collins, and also made there, there can be no doubt that The Farm and resident engineer Geoff Callingham, have become a vital part of the Genesis organization.
Toby Creswell, Billboard Magazine # 10, 3/87
Tony Banks is the quiet one; the man behind the racks of synthesizers on a Genesis stage. He doesn't appear prominently in the the band's photographs or do a lot of interviews. In his spare time he doesn't turn out pop hits or undertake tours in the Mike Rutherford/Phil Collins style
That's not to say he just putters around in his English country garden and looks after the kids, which are, in fact, two of his main pastimes and joys. It's just that he doesn't feel comfortable in the spotlight. Indeed you're more likely to find Banks in a darkened cinema looking at film footage and composing music to it.
His last record, on Atlantic/Charisma, was a selection of tracks composed for the films "Quicksilver" and "Lorca and the Outlaws," which mark a direction Banks would like to take further. "I like music to be used to build atmosphere," he says as the band waits backstage in Sydney, Australia, and as the atmosphere in the concert hall builds. "I love the idea of soundtracks very much. When I was younger the best movies for me seemed to have the best soundtracks."
Banks has always been a musician's musician. While he puts a lot of store in the Iyrics for songs, he also spends a great deal of effort getting a piece of music to be as erudite and informative as possible. When he's doing a film he likes to get images and music to tell the story and he regrets that Hollywood has become obsessed with the soundtracks sampler album. "I don't believe in that as a way of doing film music. In the main it doesn't work. It's just a cheap way of getting publicity for a film.
"I enjoyed doing the last project, ''Quicksilver," but they kept wanting to put songs into it. I thought I'd talked them out of it when I went back to England to do the writing, but the longer I was away the more songs crept in. "With "Lorca and the Outiaws," I had just got back from the last Genesis tour and wanted to do a film, any film. That wasn't so much a low- budget film as a no-budget film, and I did the whole soundtrack at home on a Fostex 16-track which was quite interesting as an exercise. The sound was a bit on the rough side, but I quite like that as well." Banks has done a couple of scores, notably "The Shout," and the challenges of a new field of music are just beginning to open up. "I like the role of composer because you are exercising quite a lot of control over the film without appearing to."
The challenge of using melody to enhance meaning is very much part of the Genesis tradition, particularly in the early years of the band's history, when pieces of up to half-an-hour were not uncommon.
The problem' he concedes, is that it is very hard to promote anything that doesn't immediately lend itself to commercial radio, and he is reluctant to adopt a high public profile. "I've never particularly cared about being in the limelight. I'm probably a lot more important to the group than I appear, but that's what I've chosen to do -- I prefer to be anonymous."
The process of writing in most bands tends to become more fragmented as the group gets older and members develop their particular Iyrical passions. With Genesis it has gone the other way to the point where work began on the last two albums when the three members met to write with no songs in hand.
"The early stages of a writing session will go five days a week, say Monday to Friday, because we've got kids at school. We'll usually work from 11 in the morning to about seven in the evening. As the sessions get going, and certainly once we've started recording we'll go from say 11 to midnight, and once deadlines get close we'l work through weekends.
"If everybody is equally involved with every track then everybody is equally excited about every track and you don't get arguments about what the single will be or who is doing what. And one doesn't like to push forward one's own songs all that often. We've found that working this way means those questions don't even arise.
"As a threesome, we write in a way that we don't write individually. Some songs have more of the flavour of one person than another, but in the main it is a different style than that of each individual and that in itself is a good reason for the group's existence. Phil tends to write a more straightforward Iyric. I tend to be more complex; Mike is somewhere in the middle. It gets a good balance." Banks favours the complex over the superficial demands of the pop charts and maintains that despite their presence on the Top 40 airwaves around the world the fundamentals of Genesis have remained the same.
"It's no more than a difference in emphasis, though there are two obvious factors. The first thing is that we've got people used to the kind of thing we are doing. We could play an early song on stage tonight and the audience will like it. It's just that in the early days we couldn't promote those things; they wouldn't get played on the radio. But we've always done short songs. "The turning point was the song "Follow You Follow Me." We wrote that song like all the others but for some reason it became a hit singie in lots of countries and it got on the radio in America. That song gave us radio credibiiity.
"Because "Invisible Touch" has been a hit, people are aware of that song. In the old days people were aware of the longer songs. On that last album there's a track "Domino" that runs 11 minutes. For my personal taste, that's where the strength of the album lies. The longer songs give you room to breathe. You don't have to repeat as much, and you can build a mood more successfully. The strange thing is that lately we've found the songs that go down best are "Invisible Touch" as the hit single then "Domino".
Banks says the Iyrics have changed as well. "We used to write Iyrics that were somewhat obscure, hinting at things rather than spelling them out. Now the Iyrics tend to be more straightforward. I think its fair to say that Phil's singing has become more positive, which makes it easier to get across to an audience. And obviously he is better known to the public as well, which makes things more palatable."
Obviously Banks sees Genesis as very much an ongoing organization, having spent his adult life in the group, he has shaped the band around his lifestyle and there is no reason to stop. The bond in the trio is as strong as ever and the challenges are there. There is, of course, time off as well.
Banks is currently considering his options for the next Genesis "busman's holiday." There's the possibility of a solo album and more soundtracks to consider. Working with vocalists like Fish (from Marillion), Jim Diamond and Toyah Wilcox proved to be more of a pleasure than he had imagined, and he has been "genuinely surprised" at the eagerness other musicians have expressed about working with him. The one thing becomes abundantly clear when talking with Banks is that there are people in the music business who don't get obsessed with chart positions.
Stuart Coupe, Billboard Magazine # 10, 3/87
"If you'd said 18 years ago that l'd be sitting here now talking to you I would have said, "You've got to be crazy.' The thing that people find very hard really is that there's no one like us. There's no one even close in terms of mixing band and solo projects together."
Founding member Mike Rutherford reflects on nearly two decades of Genesis. He explains the chemistry that allows him to remain part of the core of Genesis while pursuing outside projects such as Mike + the Mechanics. "People also forget that we're all first generation musicians playing in a band. We're the first lot to come through. "We're the first group playing pop/rock'n'roll music that's been together for 18 years. It's never happened before. You've got the Stones and the Who, but the Who seem to have stopped and the Stones stop and start, and they were a little ahead of us. But the point is that you can't look ahead and say what must happen next. There's no sort of set precedent as to what one does, so we're kind of making our own way.
Quiet, reserved, disarming, yet expansive, Rutherford doesn't so much think the prospect of Genesis touring when they're all in their 70's as something to joke about, but an important consideration that it might just happen. He does betray slight amusement at the thought that a goodly percentage of Genesis' audience wasn't even born when he was making the early records. In Rutherford's opinion, the fact that he, Collins and Banks can work on individual projects then re-group as Genesis is the secret to the bands longevity.
Rutherford admits that the three musicians realized that Genesis wasn't enough to sustain their creativity. "it's like being married to someone and never going off and having a night out with the boys. You're living a narrow musical life. Following the current Genesis tour, Rutherford expects to have another "night out with the boys" when he revives the Mike + the Mechanics project. The band has completed one North American-tour which Rutherford describes as both strange and enjoyable, the former because some of the band hadn't actually met before the tour started, and the latter because they got on well. "Some of them hadn't been in the studio at the same time when the record was being made," Rutherford laughs.
"This Genesis tour runs until next July, although there are some quite big breaks in there. I'll do a bit of writing in between and the next project will be Mike + the Mechanics and vice versa. The truth about Genesis is we've never sat still."
Rutherford is also a musician who believes in commitment and hard work. Talking of the crucial personnel Iosses in the Genesis past, he points out that Peter Gabriel's departure was difficult because of his involvement in the song writing, but the circumstances leading to Steve Hackett's going were more taxing. "When Steve left we had been feeling that he wasn't happy with the group, that he wanted to work more on solo stuff. When you feel that some of you are working flat out for the band while the other person's commitment is not quite as strong it doesn't feel so good. So when he left I think it was almost a relief. It seemed to be the right thing to do, for him to go his own way and us to go this way."
Was there ever a time when Rutherford felt like throwing it all in and relegating Genesis to the rock'n'roll history books? Rutherford claims that the only touch-and-go time was immediately after Gabriel left. "You always sit down and think maybe it is time to call it a day, but when Pete left no one realized that there was still a very strong writing team. This is why we managed it. Pete was obviously the front man, and it's natural that people think that person is the leader. I do it myself -- you just can't help it. Until that point, we hadn't written down who wrote what. It would just have been credited to Genesis, just to avoid those fights, where bands argue over what single is to come out, all that sort of thing. So we just put Rutherford says that when Gabriel left, that policy proved a slight error. "Quite a few of the favourite songs had been written by the three of us, and if people had known that, there would have been less panic. So we tried to write another album and see what happened, and the first week -- it was without Steve because he was finishing a solo album -- it was just the three of us and it worked fantastically."
Rutherford clearly relishes his Genesis and non-Genesis work. Financially he has no need to work, but claims to enjoy spreading the word about Genesis. He says he'd like to do some other production work, but finds time a problem. At one point he mentions that something happened 'the other day', then explains that 'the other day could be any time in the last three years.' Like the aging element of his audience, Rutherford, father of two children, finds that his time is precious and he has to be selective about his involvements. He says: "I was walking down the street in New York the other day and the first three guys who came up and asked me for autographs were all over 40." Maybe, then, the prospect of Mike Rutherford performing and recording music with and without Genesis when he's 70 is not as wild as it might seem.
Glenn A. Baker, Billboard Magazine # 10, 3/87
In 1964, one 3-year-old Phil Collins spent seven nonths playing the Artful Dodger in the long-running stage production of "Oliver Twist" at the New Theatre in London's West End, a role also undertaken at various times by Davey Jones and Steve Marriott. Looking over the rich and diverse career which followed, it's not hard to believe that young Phil picked up a few tricks from his stage character. Certainly it is hard to accept his insistent claim that he is not a workaholic. For it would be hard to nominate another contemporary music figure with a greater array of distinctions and achievements than the energetic, and talented Genesis drummer who juggles simultaneous careers as band member, solo superstar, varied duet partner, hot hit producer and in-demand session musician.
As Collins admits, in most cases he finds it hard to say no. "I still don't consider myself to be up with the legends that people consider me to be up with. I'm incredibly flattered when people like Paul McCartney ring me up and ask me to play on an album; or Eric Clapton, who is a close friend, asks me to produce his albu m. ''I remember how I used to queue up outside London pubs to see a lot of those guys. I was at "A Hard Day's Night" in the selected audience of 500 at the Scala Theatre concert. Then 20 years later, I'm presenting Paul McCartney with a trophy at the American Music Awards. I was flattered that Philip Bailey, a great r&b singer, wanted me to produce him. I might say 'God, these people are ringing me!, But I'm not going to say no. I always find the time."
Collins has found the time to produce hits for Clapton, Bailey, Frida, Adam Ant, John Martyn and (with Hugh Padgham) himself. His playing time has graced recordings by Robert Plant, Tina Turner, Chaka Khan. Rupert Hine, Peter Gabriel, Robert Fripp, Brian Eno, John Cale, Argent, Thin Lizzy, Stephen Bishop, Band Aid and many, many others. His distinctive voice has been heard rendering title songs on the soundtracks of such films as "White Nights" and "Against All Odds," and soon on the new James Bond flick, "Living Daylights." He performed starkly at "The Secret Policemants Other Ball," helped Led Zeppelin re-form, and astonished collected mankind by appearing at both Live Aid concerts, one on each side of the Atlantic. He has acted on Miami Vice and will soon portray the great train robber alongside Julie Walters in his first feature film.
Even when Collins doesn't appear somewhere he still manages to come out on top -- like at the 1985 Oscars when the Academy got a bit stroppy and refused to let him perform his nominated song, "Against All Odds" (which began life as a "Face Value" out-take called 'How Can You Just Sit There?", but that's another story). The snub appeared to coincide with Collins having the number one album and single in America, which didn't stop Gregory Peck and his pals asking "who is he anyway?" As he recalls: "I was at the ceremony and it was a nice moment. I felt everybody was on my side. All the ushers were saying 'Sorry man, it's nothing to do with us,' and all the stars around me were apologizing for what happened. An odd experience. "
Collins is the first one to admit that he is short, balding and doesn't look much like Elvis Presley. Accordingly he is not really sure why a goodly portion of the world is going 'potty' over him. "It baffles me," he admits. "At the first American gig on my 'No Jacket Required' tour, in Worcester, the reaction frightened the life out of me. I hadn't seen young girls acting like that for a long time, and certainly not for me. I suppose that is what hit singles do. My success surprises me constantly. I'm a drummer! It obviously has something to do with more than looks."
Of his musical origins, he offers: "I was given a drum at five and stayed with it. Brian Bennett of the Shadows was a big early influence. Then Ringo, Bobby Elliott, Keith Moon, people like that." After his Artful Dodger stint, Colins started playing with bands. One outfit, Hickory, was transformed by pop manipulators Howard and Blaikley (of Herd, Honeycombs and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beakey, Mick and Tich fame) into Flaming Youth for the Moody Blues-ish concept album "Ark 2". At the Marquee Club in London one night, Jon Anderson invited him to audition for Yes, because Bill Bruford was considering a return to university. "I never rang him but I often wonder how life would have been different if I'd gone down and tried out." Collins also offered his services to the Who after the death of Keith Moon. But Pete Townshend had already given the nod to Kenney Jones but, as Collins points out, "every time we play together, he flashes me a sly little look that says it could have worked."
But Collins wouldn't have left Genesis to join the Who. He'd have done another of his juggling acts, as he did as a member of Brand X, the low-key jazzish outfit with which he recorded five albums during the 1970s. ''When I started playing with Brand X, people said, 'you can't do that; you can't play in two bands at once.' People tend to like to know where things are and put you into a little box and if you stray away they wonder what you're doing over there when you should be over here. Now I'm very lucky to be in a position where they dont care where I pop up."
Since 1970, Collins has been popping up regularly with Genesis, contributing to the band's awesome popularity with his forceful distinctive drumming, and since 1976's "A Trick Of The Tail" album, equally distinctive lead vocals. He became Genesis lead singer following the departure of Peter Gabriel and the consideration of hundreds of hopefuls, including Manfred Mann's Mick Rogers and Nick Lowe ("Yes, he sent us a tape and a photo, regardless of what he says!") Collins recalls: "As each hopeful came through the door, we'd ask ourselves do we want to write with this guy? Can he become one of the family? On that basis, nobody seemed to fit. It was my wife who suggested I do it, but I said no, l'd feel too strange coming out from behind my drum kit."
Collins came out and came on magnificently. His self-confidence soared and suddenly there was no containing the man. He played with Led Zeppelin at Live Aid despite having no rehearsals. I listened to a tape of "Stairway To Heaven" on the Concorde coming over from London. That whole day was so bizarre that it wasn't until the whole thing was over that I realized what had happened. I suppose I only did it because it could be done."
Advertisement Transcriptions, Billboard Magazine # 10, 3/87
"You've got to hand it to them. North America on Atlantic Records Triple Platinum. On Virgin Records over 2 million sales = 0ver 5 Million Units Worldwide and Still Going Strong. Their best selling album ever. Congratulations to Genesis from everyone at Virgin Records.'' "Brockum and Concert Productions international Salute Genesis. 1974-1987 a great relationship. Toronto - New York - London."
"Our congratulations to Genesis and the Invisble Tour 1986-87. And our thanks for 13 great years! Showco and Vari*Lite."
"DIR and the King Biscuit Flower Hour salute Genesis."
"In the beginning WEA Canada and Genesis created double platinum for "Selling England By The Pound". Fifteen years and many divine albums hence, Canada brought them forth 3 million units sold. We believe!"
"Congratulations on being so huge! Genesis: Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, Tony Smith and everyone at Hit & Run, best of good wishes from Hugh Padgham and Huge Productions Limited."
"Class of '65 - and still in a class of their own (Charterhouse class photo with fivefigures circled). Peter Gabriel GENESIS 1966-74. Chris Stewart GENESIS 1966-69. Tony Banks GENESIS 1966- . Anthony Phillips GENESIS 1966-70. Chris Hollebone SONY 1980- . All the best from Chris and the Pro Audio team at Sony, the leader in digital audio. (Apologies to Mike Rutherford same school, different picture, and Phil Collins, different school)"
Glenn A. Baker, Billboard Magazine # 10, 3/87
When Genesis came together at Charterhouse public school, the unit was more a writing co-operative than a hot-rocking stage band. The original members, Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Anthony Phillips, were obsessed by the creative mechanics of songwriting.
Fame as performers essentially came as a consequence of the necessity to promote their songs. That emphasis on the song as the centrepiece of all other activity has remained the cornerstone of Genesis. "The three of us know each other pretty well but you can never know exactly what the others are going to do. That's the surprise of the thing," says Banks, attempting to explain the unique creative process which ensures that each Genesis album offers a sense of freshness and vitality. "We improvise together. We're totally unselfconscious with each other. We don't have anybody else in the room when we're writing, no one at all. In company, we start to play differently, start to perform, start worrying about bum notes and things like that. And it's very important one doesn't worry about mistakes in that environment."
Collins, Banks and Rutherford live very close together on the edge of Surrey and Sussex, and operate their own studio in the general vicinity of their respective households. The three see a great deal of each other, both during recording and for the innumerable meetings necessary to the smooth running of their compiex careers. It's when they embark on a Genesis album that their long-standing bonds of friendship and trust become most valuable.
"We come together in the room and it's like we've never been apart," says Collins. "We're different people but we have a lot of fun and do a lot of laughing. Then we get down to it. With the last two Genesis albums we had nothing written before we went into the studio. "The understanding is, if I have anything left over from my own albums, I just leave it at home, and the same thing goes for Tony and Mike. Because otherwise it just becomes, say, my song with the other two as session players, which is not what Genesis is all about. We start from scratch and don't have to deal with those qualms about 'will I give this song to the group or keep it for myself?' We do have other outlets, so it's not something we have to hassle about. There are occasional exceptions. I wrote a chorus for a film song during some spare time in a Sydney hotel room. I couldn't write a verse, so it never happened. "Then, when we were writing 'In Too Deep', we couldn't come up with a chorus and I got torn between should I or shouldn't I. In the end, I said 'Aaahh, I think I've got a chorus,' very sheepishly. But that's probably the only time it's happened. We're our own best editors, actually. Anything which comes up that we think we've done before we try to avoid."
Collins says he certainly wouldn't like to give every song he writes to Genesis to record "because obviously there are other things that I want to do to them. Mike and Tony are the same way. So long as we keep Genesis and solo writing apart, there is no reason why it all won't go on indefinitely. "Anyway, I'm far more prolific now than I was before 1980, when writing didn't come as easily as others. I was mainly responsible for a few things like 'LilyWhite Lilith' on 'The Lamb' album, but it probably wasn't until my first wife left me that I had a lot of time to fill. The first thing I wrote out of that was 'Misunderstanding'."
How does a Genesis writing/recording session go on? Says Rutherford: "We just do it. We've all got some material, I'm sure, bits and pieces, but we try to go ahead from scratch. Day one is a blank piece of paper. We improvise and put a drum machine down, because Phil sings a lot initially as opposed to drumming. I play guitar, Tony plays keyboards. "Out of that original improvisation an idea will come. So we leave that and do another one, and after a week we have maybe a dozen potential ideas. We just keep working the same process, then one day we'll have a slow period, so we'll go back to an original idea and develop it, keep building it into songs until sections begin to appear."
Says Banks: "Having our own studio is quite a luxury. We can put down a piece of music before we've worked it to death. 'Selling England By The Pound' was the first album that we had a writing session for and, I think we learned a great deal. It's important that a lot of young people should like what we do. There have been a lot of changes -- I hope that's true. I don't want to be doing the same thing for the rest of my life. But I think the motive behind the band and the reason we sustain a following perhaps more than other groups is because slightly more thought goes into our albums."
Glenn A. Baker, Billboard Magazine # 10, 3/87
"These relationships don't happen often," concedes Tony Smith, who has deftly directed the affairs of Genesis for more than 13 years. "The strength of it is based on mutual respect and the recognition that each of us has an important role to perform. "I would think that Mike, Tony and Phil regard me, to a degree, as a non-performing member of the band. I suppose I'm their first contact with the outside world. I get the feedback as to what works and what doesn't."
Smith was a major British concert promoter from the late 1960s. He presented some of the first Genesis shows, including Charisma road tours with Lindisfarne, Van Der Graf Generator and other acts in the label stable.
"Genesis asked me to manage them in 1972," he says, "but I was really busy doing shows with the Stones, the Who, Led Zeppelin and so on. They asked me again in 1973 and by that time I felt I'd gone as far as I could with promoting without getting bored. The whole Genesis concept appealed to me so l gave it a shot, while still doing other shows for a year or so. Eventually, Harvey Goldsmith, who was working for me, took over the promoting completely and I was able to devote all my energies to Genesis."
Smith's involvement in the careers of the three group members extends to their extremely successful solo activities. He also co-manages Genesis breakaway Peter Gabriel, admitting there is some "friendly competition" between the two acts. Helming this extraordinary array of careers, projects and activities with an overall vision marks Smith as one of rocks ablest and most respected managers.
"We always sit down at the end of a touring or recording period and lay out a loose plan of what I think will happen over the next two or three years. That rough guideline might change by a couple of months here or there but invariably we stick to it. We allow for solo albums and tours, film soundtrack assignments, video shoots, and all that, and they say, right, we'll get back together as Genesis at X time. Right now, we're loosely talking in terms of 1990. There's never any resistance to coming together at the time we decide upon because I think everyone still enjoys it immensely. They get something out of Genesis that they don't get out of their solo careers, and vice versa, of course. It's in the chemistry of the people. The success they achieve outside the band doesn't have an effect on them.
"As you get older and gain more experience, the ego side doesn't mean so much. They're fairly ego-less, anyway. We've always tried to keep our feet on the ground. Even so, I think that if the solo careers had happened at a much earlier stage, it probably would not have worked out nearly so well."
Hit & Run Management's Sheryl Gordon, an American who works as tour publicity manager, adds enthusiastically, "They're unequivocally the best. Highly intelligent, nicely brought-up gentlemen who make my job so much easier. They always turn up at places when they say they will. Nobody's ever disappeared on me. They are incredibly well-organized, always interested and totally professional in their attitude. Most importantly, they are friends. They enjoy working together, writing together and performing together."
Smith has a great capacity for elements of maximum exposure, be it featuring the group's "In Too Deep" in the Bob Hoskins film 'Mona Lisa', suggesting to Phil Collins that he could conceivably perform at both Live Aid concerts on the same day, initiating radical video concepts, or arranging for Collins' voice to be heard in a seemingly endless stream of blockbuster films. Genesis may be one of rock's great 'institutions,' but Smith is certainly not fearful of change and growth. "We never had singles, now we do, and we reach a much wider audience. Go to a Genesis concert and you'll find a lot of 12-14 year-olds among the long-standing fans. Our appeal demographic is 14-40. Genesis has always been very influential and has a lot of influences on other bands, even though the press has never really taken to them or treated them that wel."
The source of the band's enduring appeal, believes Smith, is their quality songs. "Even when Peter left and everybody was predicting terrible things, I knew the songs were still there and that wasn't going to change. As songwriters they continue to learn their craft. Individually they are very strong but when they weld together, it becomes something else again. If you look over the albums, you'll find that there is always a pointer to where they intend to go on their next allum. There's always that stight change of direction. They continue to explore; they don't sit back on their laurels." Smith says Genesis represents a continuing high standard of music. "It's a thinking man's band, probably more white collar than blue collar. If youive got something that always delivers the goods, people will want it. Look at Queen, or the Rolling Stones. Every Genesis album, from the beginning, has outsold the one before it. And everywhere, except Australia, Genesis has always outsold Phil Collins. It's not the same audience. There is a crossover, but the people who go to see Phil are not automaticaily the people who go to see Genesis."
Asked to comment on the trio's motivation, Smith considers carefully before concluding, "They wouldn't do it if they didn't enjoy it. That's the key to the whole thing. If they sat down in a room on the first day of rehearsals and didn't get off on it, they just wouldn't do it. They don't need to do it, but they want to. That's important."
Billboard Magazine # 10, 3/87
"I feel proud and greatly privileged to have been associated with Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, and their terrific manager, Tony Smith, for so many years. We at Atlantic treasure our relationship with Genesis, and it has been a great experience to be part of their incredible story...it". The words come from Ahmet M. Ertegun, Chairman of Atlantic Records. Ahmet Ertegun and the Atlantic Records family have been involved in the Genesis story for almost a decade and a half. The Atlantic founder and chairman first learned about the group during the early 1970s when his label negotiated a North American distribution deal for the British-based Charisma Records.
"My friend Tony Stratton-Smith -- then head of Charisma -- had told me about a phenomenal group he was recording, called Genesis," says Ertegun. "Among the first projects we were to have under the Charisma deal was a new Genesis album; Selling England By The Pound,'' which we released in 1973. On record, the group had a sound like no other. On stage, its visual presentation was stunning and thoroughly original." Today, Ertegun's admiration of Genesis has continued to grow. "As songwriters and as musicians, the members have exhibited extraordinary growth over the years," he says. "Perhaps most remarkably, their commercial success has steadily increased at the same time their music has continued to mature and develop -- both individually and collectively. There is a special chemistry at work within Genesis, a combination of elements that is unique in contemporary music."
Since the emergence of "Selling England By The Pound," Atlantic has issued a further 10 albums by Genesis -- eight studio releases, and two in-concert recordings. "Quite remarkably, each new studio album, without exception, has outsold its predecessor," says Doug Morris, president of Atlantic Records. "Engendering tremendous fan loyalty, Genesis' momentum has been astonishing. Building their audience step-by-step, they have steadily moved up the sales ladder to their present place in the elite multi-platinum club." Analyzing Genesis' growth pattern, Morris adds, "Just as their sales expanded, so has their radio base. Genesis was one of the original FM favourites, a mainstay of the progressive era. Today, they remain among album radio's favourite sons, while their unique sound has captured the pop airwaves as well. The industry and the public have grown right along with the band, and their appeal has become universal while their music remains fresh, vital and ever-changing."
In addition to the Genesis product, Atlantic has, of course, enjoyed considerable success with a variety of recordings from the three individual members. During the 1980s, Phil Collins has established has established himself as a multi-platinum/Grammy-winning superstar with his three solo albums and his movie title songs. Mike Rutherford made a major breakthrough with the RIAA gold "Mike + Mechanics" album, which was released in October 1985 and spawned the hit singles "Silent Running'' and "All I Need Is A Miracle." At the same time, Tony Banks has garnered wide acclaim in recent years for his work on such soundtracks as "The Wicked Lady" and "Quicksilver."
Meanwhile, these outside pursuits have not affected the quality of Genesis' output, while public interest in the group has steadily increased. "In unprecedented fashion, the phenomenal amount of talent in Genesis has allowed the group's collaborations to become increasingly fruitful at the same time that their individual work has blossomed," says Morris. "The coming years will undoubtedly see an array of wonderful musical projects from Tony, Phil and Mike -- together and apart -- as their marvelous saga continues."