Sunday, 10 April 2011


Ask any NME reader what they think of Genesis, and you will almost certainly get a negative response. And yet, back in the Seventies, Genesis were the epitome of cool. Their brand of progressive rock was met with much adoration by the music press, and it was only when Punk happened, that the NME & Co pretended they had never liked them in the first place. But given that the likes of Flaming Lips and Radiohead have stolen ideas left, right, and centre from a lot of the bands from that movement, then let this blog here be the start of the rebranding of Genesis as musical innovators.

From Genesis To Revelation

Genesis were famously discovered by the now-shamed pop producer Jonathan King in 1967. The first line up of the band consisted of vocalist Peter Gabriel, Keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist and sometime guitarist Mike Rutherford, and lead guitarist Anthony Phillips. King helped to draft in Chris Stewart as drummer, the start of a Spinal Tap-esque succession of men on the sticks. After their debut single “The Silent Sun” was issued in 1968, Stewart was replaced by John Silver and it was this line up that completed most of the material on their debut LP.

Issued in 1969, “From Genesis To Revelation” was somewhat different to the Genesis sound that would develop in the Seventies. It had a whimsical, pastoral feel, with many of the songs being short enough to potentially be released as singles - something 70’s era Genesis steered clear of a lot of the time. There were enough “prog” moments to allow anybody who discovered the album later on to find something to love on the album, but the band later semi-disowned it, claiming it wasn’t truly representative of what they were trying to achieve as a band.

The legend is, that when the album was released, it sold so poorly because of it’s sleeve design. It was housed in a black cover, with the Decca label top right, and the album title top left. It was not immediately obvious that Genesis was the name of the band, so record stores looked at the title and assumed it was a religious LP, and placed it in the “Religious Albums” section of the shop, rather than “Popular”. Whether or not this can be 100% attributed to it’s commercial failure, is somewhat open to question. Neither “The Silent Sun” nor it’s two follow up singles (the stand alone “A Winter’s Tale”, and “When The Sour Turns To Sweet”) sold well, and indeed it’s easier to find promo copies of these singles rather than stock copies, an unusual situation nowadays but a regular occurrence with “flop” singles in the 60’s and early 70’s.

Despite it’s relatively obscure nature upon release, the album is now easily available. The rights to release the album have leapt from label to label, and following Decca’s own 1974 reissue where it was titled “In The Beginning”, the album has been regularly reissued. Most editions added the stray A and B sides from the period as bonus tracks, and whilst some more or less kept the original title (Music Club’s “From Genesis To Revelation…The First Album” in 1993), others simply didn’t bother (Disky’s “Rock & Pop Legends” two years later). Disky had another go in 1996, where they reverted to the original title and even tried having a go at replicating the original sleeve (a black cover, with the band name and album title printed in gold, but in the middle. The typography used for the album title, however, was actually identical to the original). This edition also added a pair of previously unheard demos, “Image Blown Out” and “She’s So Beautiful”, and these two songs plus a mountain of other outtakes from the period later found a home on 1998’s “Archive” boxset. More on that later.

In 2005, the album was reissued in it’s original cover as a 2 CD set, with some of those outtakes filling up CD2. The reissue was overseen by Edsel, and as such, an “EDSEL” logo appears top right, instead of the Decca one.


With their third drummer now in place (John Mayhew), Genesis signed to Charisma and released their first “proper” album in 1970, “Trespass”. It was an astonishing leap forward, benefiting at times from the heavier sound of the guitars and organ. It wasn’t quite perfect, but the seeds of classic-era Genesis were sown. The most notable change was in the songs themselves - only six numbers were included (less than half than on “FGTR”), with most of the songs averaging a good seven or eight minutes in length, and many of them sounding like two or three songs glued together, rather than being a simple “verse chorus verse” style 4 minute pop song.

The band were slowly starting to gain a following, which may explain why Charisma decided to release “The Knife” from the LP as a single. Trouble was, it was nine minutes long, so it was split in half - with the first half appearing on the A-side, and the rest on the flip. Suffice to say, there was little interest shown by their fan base, whose love of the band was due to them being “prog” rather than sounding like chart material, so few people wanted to buy half a song that was already on an album. It flopped in spectacular style. The single did not get a release until 1971, by which time Mayhew and Phillips had left, to be replaced by Phil Collins and Steve Hackett. Early copies of the single came in a picture sleeve which showed the new line up, but several copies were also issued in a bog standard white die cut sleeve, and even these are worth a small fortune, such was the small number pressed.

It was this line up where the band started to find their feet, and 1971’s “Nursery Cryme” finally hit the spot. It was a record brimming with confidence - songs changing direction halfway through, quiet one minute, loud and brash the next, there was an inventiveness on here that puts a lot of today’s so-called “alternative bands” to shame. Charisma were convinced that Genesis’ increasing popularity would eventually get them into the charts, and a stand alone single taped during the album sessions, “Happy The Man”, was released as their next 45. It flopped. “Nursery Cryme” became a bit of a sleeper hit - it only charted inside the top 40 when it was re-promoted in 1974, but has sold steadily over the years. It was the follow-up, 1972’s “Foxtrot”, that finally saw Genesis “arrive” - an interesting time for this to happen, given that almost the entire second side was taken up by the 23 minute long “Supper’s Ready”. Far from scaring people off, the band’s increasingly left-field musical leanings were winning them more and more fans.

By now, the band were also starting to get attention due to Gabriel’s perchant for wearing outlandish costumes onstage, and introducing songs with lengthy, rambling and indecipherable stories. Look no further than 1973’s “Genesis Live”, with Gabriel on the cover in a strange looking helmet/mask, whilst on the rear cover, was a bizarre story concerning a woman stripping off on an undergound train until she actually disintegrates.

Genesis finally did achieve a proper “hit” on the singles chart in 1974, when “I Know What I Like” (issued the year before) got into the top 30. It was the most accessible (and, to be honest, weakest) moment on their fifth studio LP, “Selling England By The Pound”, which continued the critical and commercial suucess of “Foxtrot”. The B-side, “Twilight Alehouse”, had originally been released as a flexi disc, and despite being nearly eight minutes long, was included in it’s entirety on the single.

It would be the next LP that would be Genesis’ finest hour - and also Gabriel’s last record with the band. “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” was a tour-de-force, a double album concept record telling the story of street-punk Rael, and his quest to “save” his brother John. Although it’s full explanation has never been revealed, it seems to be concerned with Schizophrenia. The album was actually created in two halves - Gabriel pretty much came up with the entire concept and the lyrics, but because of family problems, he was absent for many of the recording sessions, with the rest of the band taping backing tracks without him. This “split” was later described to have been of some concern to both parties, but was not the real catalyst for Gabriel’s departure.

The original LP came in a gatefold sleeve, with specially photographed shots of “Rael” (played by a friend of the band called Omar) displayed throughout. It was almost as if they were stills from a real movie. On the inside of the gatefold, Gabriel’s own story of Rael’s journey was printed in it’s entirety, ending on the final word “it” - also the title of the last song on the record, where the word (or at least the letters “it”) appeared in every line of the song. Of course, the story was not exactly the same length as the space available to print it (it was a bit too short), so after listing the credits, the opening lines of the story were printed again to fill up the remaining space.

Depending on how you looked at it, “The Lamb” was either one long song, or 23 short ones, so whilst there was little scope for time changes, or separate sections within one song, overall, the record was a stunning piece of work, from the punk-roar of “In The Cage” and the melodic build up of “Carpet Crawlers”, to the heartbreaking beauty of “In The Rapids” and freak-out terror of “The Waiting Room”, this was a record to admire. “The Lamb” is rarely talked about today whenever magazines do their “100 Greatest Albums” lists, but it has always deserved to be somewhere near the top, and for some reason - therefore - remains a great lost classic.

The band decided to tour the album by playing it in it’s entirety, in order from start to finish, and the first such show was on 20th November 1974. Gabriel’s costumes were even more bizarre than ever, which caused other band members concern, as they were worried that people were taking more interest in Gabriel than the music itself. The situation was made worse by the fact that some outfits were so outrageous, Gabriel was struggling to actually hold or reach the microphone, most notably during “The Colony Of Slipperman”, as he could barely move properly whilst wearing them.

Early on in the tour, Gabriel announced to the rest of the band that he was going to leave once the tour wrapped up in May 1975. His family life was a priority, and he stated he could no longer go on tour and leave his family behind for such long periods of time. None of the remaining members had such commitments as wives or children, so the decision was made for Genesis to carry on. Gabriel’s departure was not officially announced until August 1975, via a typically rambling press statement that actually made no real mention of his private life, but instead talked incomprehensibly about music, the industry and art. The split was entirely amicable, and Gabriel and Collins would later collaborate on Gabriel’s solo work in the early 1980’s.

And Then There Were Four

The band began preliminary work on the next LP, whilst also auditioning for new singers. Material for what would become the “A Trick Of The Tail” LP was taped with Collins singing vocals - he had provided backup ever since joining, and had also sung lead on “More Fool Me”, from “Selling England”. As the quest for a new singer dragged on and on, work on the LP was at such an advanced stage, that the group considered using Collins as temporary vocalist for the album, but with the auditions being used to find his replacement for the following tour. In the end, it was felt that Collins was in fact the perfect replacement for Gabriel, and so the decision was taken to carry on as a four piece, with Collins recording drum parts and vocals separately if need be in the studio, and a session musician being drafted in to play drums on stage. Bill Bruford became that session drummer on their next tour in 1976.

“A Trick Of The Tail” was a slight departure for the band - the melodic beauty of the band was still there, but the 20-minute long songs seemed to be over, as there were eight songs on the record, none of which were longer than eight minutes. This was, more or less, a sign of future-Genesis.

At the end of the year, Genesis released “Wind & Wuthering”, a slightly more prog-sounding record, with plenty of instrumental flourishes and cross fading between songs. The likes of “One For The Vine”, just under ten minutes in length, returned to the old style of featuring different “parts” making up a single song. The band headed out on tour again, this time with a “new” stage drummer, Chester Thompson, who would remain the band’s unofficial drummer for the rest of their (Collins’ helmed) career.

A double live album culled from both the 76 and 77 tours, “Seconds Out”, was issued late in 1977. The band logo used on the front was the same as that from “The Lamb” LP, but the band were beginning to move away from that era of their career. Even though “Supper’s Ready” filled up side 3 (it simply couldn’t fit onto “Live”, meaning it was making it’s live debut on record here), the version of “The Musical Box” at the end of side 2 consisted only of the final section, rather than the entire song. The album was also issued on Cassette, but as “individual” albums - so sides 1 and 2 were issued as “Seconds Out - Part 1”, and sides 3 and 4 as “Part 2”. The covers on each were identical.

The release of the album, somewhat coincidentally, occurred at the same time that Hackett announced his departure from the band. Again, the decision was taken not to replace him, but for Rutherford to simply record more guitar parts in the studio, and for extra musicians to join them on any forthcoming live commitments.

Genesis Go Pop

With the band now consisting of just a trio, the title of the next album said it all - “And Then There Were Three”. The band maintained the sonic vibe and “Genesis Sound” of the earlier records, but were now condensing them into shorter, snappier, tunes. “Burning Rope” weighed in at seven minutes in length, but this was an album full of hit singles in waiting. And lo and behold, that’s what happened, when both “Follow You Follow Me” and “Many Too Many” became huge chart hits. Interestingly, when the band toured the US in support of their new “poppier” record, Gabriel joined them onstage for an encore in New York - new meets old, you could say.

The “proggier” elements of the band were still evident on 1980’s “Duke”, but such moments were relatively few and far between. The opener, “Behind The Lines”, was a two-parter consisting of an instrumental opening, and then a vocal led second half, which then segued straight into “Duchess”, later issued as a 45. The follow up LP, “Abacab”, competed the journey from prog heroes to pop stars - yes, there were plenty of strange keyboard noises still coming from Banks’ side of the group, but the songs were generally a lot more straight forward, and older fans started to feel sidelined. Newer fans were not necessarily aware of the band’s history, and thus saw no problem with the punchier, shorter songs, and this may explain why the group began to play less and less Gabriel era tracks on stage - and when they did, they often only did excerpts from them one after the other so they could dispense with four or five in the space of 15 minutes.

Despite not releasing a studio LP in 1982, it was one of the more interesting years in the band’s career. The band released an EP consisting of three new songs, “3x3”, led by the punchy “Paperlate” - which sounded a bit too much like a Phil Collins solo song for comfort. Later the same year, saw the release of another live double LP, “Three Sides Live”. The strange title was due to the fact that in certain territories outside of the UK, side 4 consisted of the EP and several earlier B-sides, on the basis that these recordings were not widely available in North America, Europe, etc. On the UK release, side 4 consisted of three “blasts from the past”, with performances of material from the Gabriel/Hackett era back catalogue, taped between 1976 and 1980. For some reason, there remains much confusion as to where the band’s take on “The Fountain Of Salmacis” dates from, with a big question mark over both where and when it was recorded. “Three Sides Live” was also issued on VHS, making it an even stranger title for such a format. It bore no resemblance to the LP, as it was culled entirely from a pair of 1981 New York gigs - the LP featured material from 1980/81 from both the US and the UK.

The moment every (older) fan had been waiting for occurred on 2nd October, when Gabriel rejoined the trio for a one off show at the Milton Keynes Bowl. The show was done primarily to raise funds for Gabriel’s WOMAD organisation, who were facing severe financial difficulties. The only concession to the fact that the show wasn’t taking place in 1975 was the decision by the quartet to cover Gabriel’s big solo hit “Solsbury Hill”, as well as performing 1980’s “Turn It On Again”. Hackett joined the band for the two-song encore, but once it was over, it was over. Again.

In 1983, the band released a self titled album, trailed by the intriguing “Mama” single. It was a slightly left field move, a basic repetitive drum pattern with various keyboard and guitar parts coming in and out as the track progressed, creating a slow build up to a big finish. The original demo, later released officially on the “Archive 2” boxset, went on for ages, and only seemed to stop because it sounded as though the drum machine had broken down!

“Genesis” more or less carried on where “Abacab” had left off - for every quirky pop moment like “Illegal Alien”, there was a beautiful soundscape like “It’s Gonna Get Better”, or a prog moment like the “Home By The Sea”/”Second Home By The Sea” medley. Another tour produced another live video, “The Mama Tour” in 1984.

By now, Genesis were megastars. Their next album, 1986’s “Invisible Touch” continued to delight the new fans and horrify the old ones, with it’s trademark “80’s” sound. The singles released from the album were all big hits (unlike their attempts in the Gabriel days) and the accompanying tour saw them playing to some 70000 fans at Wembley Stadium, a show later issued on video. The album also spawned a “greatest hits” VHS, “Visible Touch”, which featured all of the promos from the LP (including the memorable Spitting Image video for “Land Of Confusion”), plus some ’behind the scenes’ footage. The “prog” element was still just about there - “Domino”, effectively two songs in one, weighed in at over ten minutes in length.

By now, with all three members of the band having solo/alternative bands with varying degrees of success, it meant that the time taken to regroup between albums was starting to get longer. It was not until 1991 that Genesis returned, with their first double-studio LP since “The Lamb”, called “We Can’t Dance”. It seemed, at times, to be a conscious effort to return to the “old style” Genesis, with plenty of lengthy numbers - even the first single, “No Son Of Mine”, was over six minutes in length. There were still some light hearted pop moments, but the album included not one but two tracks that were over ten minutes long, something “Invisible Touch” didn’t quite manage. The band headed out on tour in the enormodromes again, and a live video, “The Way We Walk”, from a show at Earls Court, was issued in 1993. Over the course of the promo campaign, the band took to including live recordings from selected shows as B-sides for the singles. A box was issued with one of the singles which was designed to hold all the singles from this period that had included live material on at least one of the B-sides.

At the tail end of 1992, more or less as the band played the Earls Court show, they released the first of two live albums documenting the tour. “The Way We Walk - The Shorts” consisted of mostly singles, although the “shorts” tag was at times a bit inaccurate, given that “No Son Of Mine” was on here. A live version of “Invisible Touch” was taken from the album and released as a limited edition single, with the CD version including a pair of tracks from the 'Invisible Touch Live' video. Early the following year, a follow up album, “The Longs” was released which, as the title suggested, concentrated on some of the proggier moments of the band’s career. Most of the songs were still post-Gabriel, although the album opened with the 20 minute long “Old Medley”, which was really five shorter songs stuck together, so that was cheating a bit. “Tell Me Why”, from “We Can’t Dance”, was then issued as a single - each of the two CD editions included a live version of “Dreaming While You Sleep”, which was not on either of the live albums, although it was on the VHS.

Not only was it now taking the band longer to make an album, but it seemed to be taking them just as long to make press statements. Some three years after “Tell Me Why”, Collins announced that he was leaving the band. Banks and Rutherford decided to continue, and recruited ex-Stiltskin singer Ray Wilson to take over on vocals, whilst two different drummers were to be used in the studio. Wilson was a huge fan, and after recording an album called “Calling All Stations” in 1997, the group turned up on VH1 having a crack at the likes of “Suppers Ready”, the track having disappeared from Genesis set lists after Hackett had left. The consensus was that Wilson and the band in general, were now really trying to take the band away from their poppier sound, and back towards the left field.

To be honest, I am not too sure about this part of the band’s career. The first single, “Congo”, didn’t quite sound like Genesis at all - either with Gabriel or Collins - and it seems other people agreed, as the album was a bit of a flop. The accompanying tour started, but didn’t finish, as US dates were scrapped and the group disbanded. Wilson later stated that he was unhappy with how the band was killed off, with him having no say in the matter - it was obvious he would have liked to have stayed in the group for the long haul, as he has continued to play Genesis songs in his solo shows.

The “Archive” Releases

And so, during 1998, Genesis ceased to be. Later the same year, the first of two “Archive” box sets were released, which attempted to make rare material available. The first box covered the Gabriel years, a 4-CD set. The first two discs featured the only “officially” recorded show from ‘The Lamb’ tour, and featured a performance of the album in full from a Los Angeles gig in January 1975. Unfortunately, somebody didn’t realise you couldn’t get the whole album on a C90 cassette (sides 3 and 4 have a running time of about 50 minutes…) and the tape ran out during the final song. This was an excuse for Gabriel to go back into the studio to record a new vocal, which was to be used over the original studio version. Whilst this may sound strange, it really works.

Disc 4 featured outtakes and BBC recordings from the “From Genesis To Revelation” period, whilst disc 3 threw in the band’s sole stand alone A-side (“Happy The Man”) and sole B-side (“Twilight Alehouse”) from the Charisma years. There were also five tracks from a show at The Rainbow in 73 (including the first officially available Gabriel-sung live version of “Suppers Ready”), a BBC version of “Stagnation” and the single version of “Watcher Of The Skies”, a track which was issued as a 45 in some countries, but not the UK.

Gabriel, along with Hackett, went back into the studio in 1999 with Collins, Banks and Rutherford to re-record “The Carpet Crawlers”, for inclusion on a Greatest Hits album, “Turn It On Again”. Although it was planned to be released as a single, the UK release was cancelled and it was only issued as a single in Germany.

In 2000, a second box set, “Archive #2 : 1976-1992” was released, covering the post-Gabriel years. Because the band released a sizeable number of singles during this period, this 3-CD set concentrated mostly on compiling B-sides and Remixes, rather than filling up the box with “new” material.

CD3 included the three 12” mixes made for singles from the “Invisible Touch” LP (“Land Of Confusion”, “Tonight Tonight Tonight” and the title track), whilst one of the two “extended” mixes made of “I Can’t Dance” made CD1 (“The Sex Mix”, simply retitled here as “12” Mix”). The rest of these two CD’s were mostly made up of B-sides, but certain tracks that could have been included were missing - “Match Of The Day” from the “Spot The Pigeon” EP, and “Me & Virgil” from the “3x3” EP, for example. Other tracks were edited for the box set (“It’s Yourself” and “Submarine”), whilst the live version of “The Lady Lies”, originally on a free flexi disc, was remixed for the box.

CD2 consisted entirely of live material. Most of it was unreleased, although the ‘Earls Court’ version of “Dreaming While You Sleep” appeared as track 2, whilst a live version of “Your Own Special Way”, previously a B-side, appeared as track 7. Most of the tracks were songs that had not been issued in live form before, and the disc made for quite an interesting listen.

The Reunion and The Reissues

In 2004, Genesis released the 3 disc “Platinum Collection” set. It was unusually designed to run in reverse-chronological order, the theory behind this (according to Gabriel era obsessives) was so that the good stuff came at the end. Disc 1 concluded with the title track of the Wilson-era “Calling All Stations”, a sign that the band were still quite proud of this period of their career. Most of the songs across the 3 discs were remixed, whilst the 7” edit of “Tonight Tonight Tonight” was included over the album version. “The Knife” closed CD3.

Soon after, talk of a Gabriel era Genesis reunion took place. Hackett was also due to get involved, and plans were being drawn up to play “The Lamb” in full. Gabriel, however, couldn’t find the time to do it, so declined. Hackett was available, but by reforming the 76/77 version of the band, it would have meant they would have been restricted to material from “A Trick Of The Tail” and “Wind And Wuthering” material only, or they would have had to play Gabriel era material as well despite the fact Gabriel would not be on stage with them. So, instead, the decision was taken in 2006 to reform the Collins/Banks/Rutherford era of the band. This meant that the setlists for the tour that followed the following year were not that different from the “We Can’t Dance” shows, although the band did opt to close their shows with “The Carpet Crawlers”. The band would later issue a DVD from a show in Rome, and a double-CD featuring a similar track listing, but sourced from multiple shows, entitled “Live Over Europe”.

With the reunion underway, the band set about reissuing their post-Decca studio back catalogue in newly remixed form. Each album would be issued as a CD+DVD set, with the DVD including video material and the album in Surround Sound. Each of the albums were also included in a series of box sets, which would cover a certain time period - the first box set, “1976-1982” appeared in April 2007. The box included a booklet which had an “Extra Tracks” CD and DVD, the CD collecting stray rarities from the period. “1983-1998”, notable for featuring “Calling All Stations”, appeared later the same year.

In 2008, the “Mail On Sunday” issued a free CD, simply titled “Genesis”, which was more or less a plug for the new live album and the ongoing re-issue campaign. Half of the CD came from “Live Over Europe”, there was a remixed “Follow You Follow Me” from the recent “And Then There Were Three” reissue, and the radio edits of “Mama” and “Abacab”. The album featured a rarity, as a remixed “Cinema Show” was also included, but unlike the version released later in the year on the re-released “Selling England” CD, this version faded out early, and did not segue into the next track on the album, “Aisle Of Plenty”.

In 2008, the band’s next boxset “1970-1975” was released, covering the Charisma Gabriel-led years. Again, each album came with a bonus DVD, meaning “The Lamb” was now a triple. Because the band, as mentioned earlier, didn’t release many singles and thus did not create many rarities, this box set included four previously unreleased tracks on the “Extra Tracks” CD. It was followed in 2009 by a live box set, “1973-2007 Live” which - unlike the others - consisted of albums that were not reissued individually at the time. “Three Sides Live” did not include a DVD, nor did “The Way We Walk”. The latter combined the “Shorts” and “Longs” albums, but merged the track listings, so that the album now ran more or less in the order that the songs were played onstage. The “2007” part of the title referred to the fact that it was originally planned for “Live Over Europe” to be included in the box, but after fans apparently complained about the concept of a relatively recent album being reissued, the decision was taken to instead provide a slot in the boxset which fans could use to store their own copy.

The “Genesis Live” CD included bonus tracks from the “Lamb” material on the “Archive” boxset, a bit pointless really, whilst there was also a bonus CD+DVD album called “Live At The Rainbow”. This took the five tracks from this gig that appeared on “Archive”, and added four previously unissued ones to create a 90 minute long set, meaning that two tracks were left off the CD so that the material could squeeze onto one disc. A final box set, “The Movie Box”, issued later in 2009, included DVD reissues of the “Three Sides Live”, “Mama Tour”, “Invisible Touch Live” and “The Way We Walk” videos, plus a bonus “VH1 Behind The Music” documentary, never before officially released on DVD. There was also a slot to house the “When In Rome” DVD.


From Genesis To Revelation (LP, Decca SKL4990, Mono edition also available [LK4990])
Trespass (LP, Charisma CAS1020)
Nursery Cryme (LP, Charisma CAS1052)
Foxtrot (LP, Charisma CAS1058)
Genesis Live (LP, Charisma CLASS1)
Selling England By The Pound (LP, Charisma CAS1074)
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (2xLP, Charisma CGS 101, initial copies included competition insert)
A Trick Of The Tail (LP, Charisma CDS4001)
Wind & Wuthering (LP, Charisma CDS4005)
Seconds Out (2xLP, Charisma GE2001)
And Then There Were Three (LP, Charisma CDS4010)
Duke (LP, Charisma CBR101)
Abacab (LP, Charisma CBR102, four different coloured sleeve designs)
Three Sides Live (2xLP, Charisma GE2002)
Genesis (LP, Virgin GENLP1)
Invisible Touch (LP, Virgin GENLP2)
We Can’t Dance (2xLP, Virgin GENLP3)
The Way We Walk: The Shorts (CD, Virgin GENCD4)
The Way We Walk: The Longs (CD, Virgin GENCD5)
Live Over Europe (2xCD, Virgin GENCD10)
Genesis (CD, Virgin UPGEN001, “The Mail On Sunday“ freebie)

Note: several other box sets, in addition to those mentioned above, have been issued over the years. The Charisma Gabriel albums were issued across a pair of Vinyl Box Sets many years ago, but are now worth a small fortune. “Selling England” and “The Lamb” appeared in a CD boxset in the early 90’s, each with pictures used on the discs. This release is notable for the fact that the original ‘Genesis’ logo on “The Lamb” is not used on this pressing, but the band name is printed on the front in a totally different typeface. “The Shorts” and “The Longs” were later reissued in a box together, catalogue number GENDCD 7.

A pair of French box sets from 1995 couple “Duke” and “Invisible Touch”, and “Genesis” and “Abacab”. The latter lists the “Genesis” album as “Mama” on the back of the box, whilst all copies of “Abacab” come in the fourth variant of the sleeve, coloured blue and grey.


The Silent Sun (Single Mix)/That’s Me (7”, Decca F12735)
A Winter’s Tale/One Eyed Hound (7”, Decca F12775)
Where The Sour Turns To Sweet/In Hiding (7”, Decca F12949)
The Knife (Part 1)/(Part 2) (7”, Charisma CB152, initial copies in p/s)
Happy The Man/Seven Stones (7”, Charisma CB181, initial copies in p/s)
Twilight Alehouse (Flexidisc, Charisma no catalogue number)
I Know What I Like/Twilight Alehouse (7”, Charisma CB224)
Counting Out Time/Riding The Scree (7” Version) (7”, Charisma CB238)
The Carpet Crawlers/The Waiting Room (Live) (7”, Charisma CB251)
A Trick Of The Tail/Ripples (7”, Charisma CB277)
Your Own Special Way/It’s Yourself (7”, Charisma CB300)
Spot The Pigeon EP: Match Of The Day/Pigeons/Inside And Out (7”, Charisma GEN001. This and all subsequent Genesis “hard vinyl” singles came housed in picture bags)
Follow You Follow Me/Ballad Of Big (7”, Charisma CB309, later reissued in new sleeve with different B-side on the “Old Gold“ label)
Many Too Many/The Day The Light Went Out/Vancouver (7”, Charisma CB315)
Turn It On Again/Behind The Lines Part 2 (7”, Charisma CB356)
Duchess/Open Door (7”, Charisma CB363)
Misunderstanding/Evidence Of Autumn (7”, Charisma CB369)
Abacab (Edit)/Another Record (7”, Charisma CB388)
Keep It Dark/Naminanu (7”, Charisma CB391, also on 12“ with “Abacab“ as extra B-side)
Man On The Corner/Submarine (7”, Charisma CB393)
3x3 EP: Paperlate/You Might Recall/Me & Virgil (7”, Charisma GEN1)
The Lady Lies (Live London Lyceum Ballroom, May 7th 1980) (Green Flexidisc, Lyntone LYN11806)
Firth Of Fifth (Live) (Flexidisc, Genesis Information G1-01, Fan Club release in picture sleeve)
Mama (Edit)/It’s Gonna Get Better (Edit) (7”, Virgin MAMA1)
Mama (Extended)/It’s Gonna Get Better (12“, Virgin MAMA 1-12, later reissued in 1988 on CD)
That’s All/Taking It All Too Hard/Firth Of Fifth (Live New York The Savoy 1981) (12”, Virgin TATA 1-12, B-side from different gig to Fan Club Flexi release listed above, other formats with this track missing exist)
Illegal Alien/Turn It On Again (Live, Edited Version) (7”, Virgin AL1, also available as shaped picture disc)
Illegal Alien/Turn It On Again (Live) (12”, Virgin AL1-12)
Invisible Touch (12” Mix)/Invisible Touch/The Last Domino (12”, Virgin GENS1-12, also on Clear Vinyl 7” without 12” Version)
In Too Deep (Edit)/Do The Neurotic (Edit) (7”, Virgin GENS 2)
In Too Deep/Do The Neurotic (12”, Virgin GENS2-12, also on 12” picture disc)
Land Of Confusion (Extended Version)/(LP Version)/Feeding The Fire (12”, Virgin GENS 3-12, CD adds “Do The Neurotic“, 7“ plays “Land Of Confusion“/“Feeding The Fire“ only)
Tonight Tonight Tonight (Edit)/In The Glow Of The Night/Tonight Tonight Tonight (12” Mix) (12”, Virgin GENS 4-12, some editions and CD version also add “Paperlate”, 7“ editions include first 2 tracks only)
Throwing It All Away (Live Los Angeles Forum 1986)/I’d Rather Be You/Invisible Touch (Live Los Angeles Forum 1986) (12”, Virgin GENS 512, also on Cassette)
No Son Of Mine/Living Forever/Invisible Touch (Live) (CD, Virgin GENSD6, some come in digipack sleeve with alternate cat no.)
I Can’t Dance/On The Shoreline/I Can’t Dance (Sex Mix) (CD1, Virgin GENSD7, also on 12“)
I Can’t Dance/On The Shoreline/In Too Deep (Live)/That’s All (Live) (CD2, Virgin GENDG7)
Hold On My Heart/Way Of The World/Home By The Sea (Live) (CD1, Virgin GENSD8)
Hold On My Heart/Way Of The World/Your Own Special Way (Live) (CD2, Virgin GENDG8)
Jesus He Knows Me (Single Mix)/Hearts On Fire/I Can’t Dance (The Other Mix) (CD1, Virgin GENDG9)
Jesus He Knows Me (Single Mix)/Hearts On Fire/Land Of Confusion (Rehearsal Version) (CD2, Virgin GENDX9)
Invisible Touch (New Live Version)/Abacab (Live At Wembley 87/Edited) (7”, Virgin GENS10)
Invisible Touch (New Live Version)/Abacab (Live At Wembley 87)/The Brazilian (Live At Wembley 87) (CD, Virgin GENDX10)
Tell Me Why/Dreaming While You Sleep (Live At Earls Court 92)/Turn It On Again (Live At Earls Court 92) (CD1, Virgin GENDG11)
Tell Me Why/Dreaming While You Sleep (Live At Earls Court 92)/Tonight Tonight Tonight (Live At Wembley 92) (CD2, Virgin GENDX11)

a) The Wembley 87 tracks and Earls Court 92 tracks are from a pair of concert videos, although the audio version of “Tonight Tonight Tonight” is slightly different to that on DVD. Any formats not listed are excluded because they contained nothing of interest (other than to completists) at the time of release.

b) The version of “Happy The Man” that is on “Archive” is slightly different to the original vinyl version.

c) “Archive 2” includes the 12” mixes of “Invisible Touch”, “Land Of Confusion”, “Tonight Tonight Tonight” and the “Sex Mix” of “I Can’t Dance”. The EP tracks and b-sides on the boxset (not including those slightly altered from the original release) are “Pigeons”, “Inside And Out”, “The Day The Light Went Out”, “Vancouver”, “Open Door”, “Evidence Of Autumn”, “Naminanu”, “Paperlate”, “You Might Recall”, the unedited version of “Do The Neurotic”, “Feeding The Fire”, “I’d Rather Be You”, “On The Shoreline” and “Hearts On Fire”. I understand that the missing songs, which then surfaced on the later box sets, were all remixed for these releases. The likes of “Riding The Scree (7” version), “The Knife (Part 1)” and “The Last Domino” have never resurfaced anywhere, because they are edited versions of album tracks.

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