Genesis - did they really sell out?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by manco, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. manco

    manco Forum Resident Thread Starter

    San Jose, CA
    It seems that it's pretty well documented subject that Genesis 'sold out' around Abacab and big time on Invisible Touch. What were they supposed to do? Keep making proggy albums and stay a somewhat successful band or streamline their sound and start selling mega-millions?
  2. Scope J

    Scope J Senior Member

    For me, they do not exist after Lamb
  3. MikeManaic61

    MikeManaic61 Forum Resident

    No, them and Rush adapted while the other Prog bands were trying replicate the glory days.

    No would've died out if they didnt.
  4. PhilipB

    PhilipB Forum Resident

    Genesis' musical evolution was organic and inevitable. The three of them enjoyed making music together and obviously all moved in the same direction.

    As Phil Collins says, 'Who says we can't have horns on it? It's our ****ing record!'
  5. intv7

    intv7 Senior Member

    Boston, MA, USA
    To paraphrase Gene Simmons, they "sold out" in every city they played in.

    You really can't fault people for wanting to make money by producing their art. Prog rock credibility alone doesn't pay the mortgage or put kids through school.
  6. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Minneapolis, MN
    This. Both bands took their original style/formula as far as it could go. They took in new sounds and influences, grew up and matured as people, and their music evolved.

    I mean, where does Rush go after "Cygnus II" and "La Villa Strangiato"? Or Genesis after "Supper's Ready" and then a double LP concept album? There was legitimately nowhere left to go that wouldn't have just been repeating themselves.
  7. Coricama

    Coricama Classic Rocker

    Marietta, GA
  8. juss100

    juss100 Forum Resident

    In the 90s when that narrative was formed the 80s wasn't such a distant memory and it felt like the big prog stars had all sold out, lost their sound and were producing substandard work. I think with a lot more hindsight it's easy to see how the prog boom in the 70s was no longer financially viable and these bands had to adapt or die - it's easy to say they had no integrity but how else were they realistically to sell records when producers were at the height of wanting to push marketable pop bands? On top of that I think they'd recorded and toured and played a lot, wanted something new, a change of direction etc - "prog" is not an unlimited well and bands needed to try something new or risk repeating themselves anyway. So many bands just faded out or into obscurity anyway so Genesis did well. As did Yes and King Crimson. I used to be bitter about the 80s and prog, and whilst I don't see it as a prog golden age, now I'm just glad that we got the 70s output and any curiosities that eventually followed.
    Paully, NunoBento, pantofis and 4 others like this.
  9. BPMC

    BPMC Forum Resident

    Riverside, CA USA
    It was my understanding that, at the time of Gabriel's departure, the band was heavily in debt. Taking a more "accessible" turn at that time may have been as much out of financial necessity as an artistic shift.

    If so, I really don't blame them them even though I really don't listen to much of anything that followed Trick of the Tail.
  10. misteranderson

    misteranderson Forum Resident

    englewood, nj
    I suppose Yes sold out too.

    Abacab still had elements of "prog." It's not like every song they recorded after Duke was 2:50 and crafted for maximum pop appeal. These were guys in their early 30's - it was more than a little unlikely that they would end up being massive pop stars shifting tens of millions of units by the end of the '80s.

    "Selling Out" is consciously doing something your heart just isn't in, purely for money. I don't think Yes, Genesis, or Rush ever fit that description.
    progmanjum, PhoffiFozz, fRa and 19 others like this.
  11. FloydMaui

    FloydMaui good kitty

    50th State
    Yes, many many times.

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  12. Say It Right

    Say It Right Not for the Hearing Impaired

    Niagara Falls
    While everybody was focused in on the hits and stardom, Genesis always included something on the later albums to appeal to their progressive base. "The Brazilian" was not recorded for the same people who wanted to hear "Throwing It All Away."

    Despite some of the fan snobbery, an example of which is above in this thread, Genesis should be congratulated for what they accomplished.

    During the 70's, Yes and ELP sold millions and packed stadiums. Genesis were never close to that level then. Those other two acts were both done by 1980. Genesis lost two key members, and continued to get more popular. Good for them!
    ThirdBowl, VH3FAN, l-l-d and 55 others like this.
  13. GodShifter

    GodShifter Forum Member

    Dallas, TX, USA
    Didn't so much "sell out" as evolved over the course of time. I'm fine with it.
  14. dubious title

    dubious title Forum Resident

    Hmmm.... Has this been asked here a few times already?


    Did David Bowie sell out? ZZ Top? Rush? Pink Floyd, the SHF sacred cow Queen?! Everybody sold out and didn't't sell out.

    Bands are expected to evolve and make a profit. There's tremendous pressure exerted on them from their management, the multitude of people they employ, their fans and...... the musicians themselves. Do we ever "sell out" in our jobs, our lives?

    For goodness sake. The members stated from day one they wanted to be successful songwriters. The fact that they made two plus decades of adventurous and awesome music is the anomaly. The fact they they had an abundance of still unusual music alongside the "sell out" music is also an anomaly.
    powerq, William Smart, DLeet and 11 others like this.
  15. abzach

    abzach Forum Resident

    I think so, yes - and so did many other 70's bands and artist but perhaps most of all Genesis. Now, bring the popcorn.
    klockwerk and William Smart like this.
  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product

    I have always found the sell out tag on Genesis to be lazy.
    The band played all sorts of stuff all the way through. They started off with weird little atmospheric pop/rock songs (from gen to rev). They moved into a more progressive folk/rock type thing (Trespass). They then moved into pretty much fully fledged prog rock (Nursery - Foxtrot). Moved along to include some pop elements in that prog rock (Selling England). Sidestepped into psychedelic prog rock (Lamb)
    then they had the first big split/
    Trick was a good album with some good progressive and rock elements, but it is my third least favourite album.
    Wind and Wuthering somewhat reflects Trespass in its somewhat pastoral feel.
    And Then There Were Three the band still had the prog rock thing going, but they became more synth focused... although I think Rutherford did some great guitar on the album it is undeniable that Tony was sailing the boat here. Magnificent progressive prog synth rock album ... but oh dear it had a hit, and boy did that upset some folks.
    Duke was a natural progression from ATTW3, and took on a semi-concept album styling.
    Abacab, was another natural progression on from Duke, and it was a hardcore synth rock album.
    Genesis the album had some popish elements, but almost every album from the band up to that point had had some popish elements, but again, Mama sounded nothing like anything else I had ever heard before at that point in time.
    Invisible Touch was somewhat like the bstd child of Abacab and the self titled album, with a lot of somewhat pop oriented tracks, but processed through the Genesis style to be slightly different ...
    We Can't Dance was a very natural progression from IT....

    Most of the time a sell out is someone making hardcore punk and suddenly releasing a Bee Gees cover or something, not a band naturally progressing over the course of twenty years
  17. rancher

    rancher Unmade Bed

    agreed, and they still found time to do The Brazilian, Home By the Sea x2, Living Forever, Fading Lights etc ... not really a sell out
  18. abzach

    abzach Forum Resident

    Never in a million years that they would have went pop if it hadn't become fashionable, just nu way on earth, that's just an after construction.
  19. Phanerothyme

    Phanerothyme Forum Resident

    No, they PROGressed.
  20. Denim Chicken

    Denim Chicken Dayman, fighter of the Nightman

    Bakersfield, CA
    I get in arguments with my wife over this all the time. She very much on the the ‘band become pop after Hackett left’ camp. But then I’ll bust out some Home By The Sea and Duke’s Travels and she can’t deny how great it is. But then something like In Too Deep (which I love) comes on and I lose my argument haha
    It’s all fun. I love all the eras and some (like my wife) don’t.

    Just don’t go spouting out that they turned pop after Peter left :realmad:
    Runicen, carlwm and Diablo Griffin like this.
  21. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    I couldn't stand Invisible Touch but I have to agree that they didn't so much "sell out" as they just finally found themselves an identity apart from Peter Gabriel. I understand that a lot of Collins' songs are personal in nature so you can't say he wasn't honestly moved to write the songs that he did. They didn't try to hang on to a style that had passed by. That's a good thing.
  22. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product

    There is a very strong argument that pop went Genesis in the eighties and not the other way around
  23. shaboo

    shaboo Forum Resident

    Bonn, Germany
    There is no such thing as sell out. There are only artistical decisions you possibly don't agree with.
    ARK, Christian Hill, Runicen and 6 others like this.
  24. abzach

    abzach Forum Resident

    Never heard that one.
  25. abzach

    abzach Forum Resident

    Of course there is.

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