Genesis - did they really sell out?

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

  1. dubious title

    dubious title Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario
    Did Peter sell out?

    Is dating movie stars selling out? Wanting to be in with the Hollywood crowd, slick press photos with fancy cloths and stylish haircuts, is that selling out? Big Time, Kiss That Frog, Barry Williams Show, Shaking the Tree......

    Tony Banks is the most average guy in rock music, Rutherford is not far behind. This accusation mostly revolves around Phil.
     
  2. BryanA-HTX

    BryanA-HTX Crazy Doctor

    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Yes leaned towards pop just as Genesis and Rush did.

    ___________________________________

    I'd say they started writing some really good catchy singles... but the albums as a whole and overall musicianship suffered starting with Abacab. Though there's occasional good deep tracks like "Dodo Lurker", "Domino" and "Home By the Sea" which all have their proggy moments.
     
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  3. abzach

    abzach Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sweden
    The pop Genesis camp desperately tries to argue that they didn't sell out, it will never work how much you try to re evaluate history with more and more strange arguments - I'm sorry - never has, never will. The whole 60's 70's music movement sold out in the late 70's, that's just they way it was - you may like the music they did after the sell out, but that's not relevant.
     
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  4. Bassist

    Bassist Zungguzungguguzungguzeng

    Location:
    London
    Sell out? Reverted to type would be more accurate.
     
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  5. Jim St.Clair

    Jim St.Clair Well-Known Member

    No way. In fact when Phil Collins split the band at the end of 90's, instead of getting a Phil Collins sound alike they recruited Ray Wilson for a completely different sound. Perhaps this move proved TOO progressive for the fans and they couldn't even sell tickets to their shows. This certainly wasn't a move a band selling out would do.
     
  6. MechanicalAnimal6

    MechanicalAnimal6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    yes, they sold out and turned into a lame pop band....some of their early 80's stuff is alright yet, but once you get to the Abacab and self titled era, that's where i need to stop.
    i actually didn't mind Calling All Stations, but the rest of their music in between was quite bad and not even a shell of their former selves. just pop garbage is what they turned into.

    They really started to decline with Peter Gabriel leaving, but managed to get 2 more great albums out before the real steady decline started though.
    So maybe Peter and Steve Hackett were much more needed than the other 3 thought...

    just my opinion though on the band.
     
  7. GreggF

    GreggF Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    The Gabriel Era is the one that stands out for me. By the time the eponymous "Genesis' was released I had lost interest.
    But, I don't think Genesis sold out. It's more like they morphed from an eccentric cult band into a pop song writing collective.

    I saw it beginning with the And Then There Were Three tour. More females in the audience, Collins had grown comfortable as a front man and the crowds were bigger than ever. It wasn't really my bag but I was rooting for them to hit the big time. They had lost three key players since their inception and never let that slow them down. They refined their song writing and gained mass appeal without losing their apparent enthusiasm as a group. Not an easy feat.
     
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  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    Yep, and the fact of the matter is, if Phil was steering the ship alone into sellout world, Genesis would have been making Motown tribute albums lol
     
  9. Thoughtships

    Thoughtships Forum Resident

    Location:
    Devon, UK
    More like regressive. It's their worst album.
     
  10. GreggF

    GreggF Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    That's true.
    They were hoping to write songs as good as the Beach Boys.
     
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  11. Judging from Phil and Mike's solo albums, I'd say no. It's not like they gave free rein to more proggy or jazzy impulses when freed of the band context.
     
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  12. dubious title

    dubious title Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario
    "Sheets of double glazing help to keep outside the night"

    This was a lyric from Tonight x 3 that Phil hated singing, but Tony fought to keep it. Not exactly selling out, when you fight for an obtuse lyric that doesn't sing well. Did they they want to get songs on the radio too? Yes sir, that was a mission statement for a very long time.

    Say, did Kate Bush sell out? Slick production, co-writes with Prince, shorter more accessible songs.
     
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  13. Pines Brook

    Pines Brook That sums up Squatter for me

    Location:
    New York, NY
    I think creative and intuitive types understand that inspiration comes in whatever form it comes in, at the time it comes. It's like a river that ever changes. You reach in to the water sometime in 1973, you pull out Dancing Out With The Moonlit Knight. That's based on the inspiration, and also so much else - the music technology you have at your disposal, the political climate, the contemporary success of other prog bands, the book you were reading before you fell asleep last night. You reach in that river again in 1980, you can't pull out a Moonlit Knight. Maybe you pull out Misunderstanding. And that too is based on the inspiration, the technology you have, the cultural climate, your failing marriage, the music on the radio, that great Sly Stone groove from "Hot Fun In The Summertime" that you always wanted to jam over.

    There may be cases out there where musicians and artists have intentionally watered down what they were doing and artificially injected simplistic trends into their music in order to have revived success. I don't think Genesis did that. I think they were pursuing the type of music they were interested in pursuing at any given time, and using what material appeared to them as inspiration.

    There's something I read about years ago, that I apply to popular musicians, called "the anxiety of influence". Harold Bloom's idea was that "poets are hindered in their creative process by the ambiguous relationship they necessarily maintain with precursor poets." I think similarly at some point, musicians, especially after some degree of success, begin to fall back on their original influences, because after the pinnacle of their unique success, ironically there can follow a period where the artists are struggling to define themselves in comparison with the music that originally inspired them, or in some cases perhaps those who started out around the same time they did. The White Album is a good example of this; it's a strange rollicking ride through more styles and genres than any other Beatles album before or after, but there's a sense that it could indicate some insecurity around their own identity. ("Can we do the early Beach Boys better than the Beach Boys?" "Can we be heavier than The Who?")

    Genesis "sold out" right at that starting gate, technically, by flavoring a potential hit single ("The Silent Sun") as a "Bee Gees pastiche", to please their manager. After that, it's no doubt that the music of King Crimson and others (and the critical and popular approval "progressive" music got for a short time around 1969-1970) were also a great influence on the band. So taken as an organic process, the development of Genesis is no surprise in this context. Some bands or singers may have jumped on the disco wagon for a minute, just to try and get a hit and revive their popularity. Other bands or singers may have actually just liked disco, and felt inspired to try something in that vein. I don't associate Genesis with disco at all, but it's a similar point. Just because an artist "shortened their songs" doesn't mean it was a cynical and pragmatic move. Phil Collins' clear love of Motown (and fundamentally, that label's simple approach to accessible songwriting) is something I think he organically returned to, something he was again inspired by.

    I've written too much here without even getting into other valid and organic reasons why bands like Genesis change over time. I can easily imagine Tony Banks getting a bit tired of hoping his 12-string guitar was in tune with his Mellotron... These guys played very complex music on the road for years. If they streamlined their sound (and I suppose, their band) and had greater success than anyone would have hoped they would back in 1971, I think they don't deserve any criticism or "sell out" accusations.
     
  14. Pines Brook

    Pines Brook That sums up Squatter for me

    Location:
    New York, NY
    Yeah, that's a great article. Tony Banks far better (and more authoritatively) sums up what I was trying to ramble about in my post above; that there comes a time when a successful band will begin to fall back on their original influences in an attempt to, for themselves, better define their true place and abilities in that larger context of pop music history.

    Tony Banks:
     
  15. dubious title

    dubious title Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario
    Brilliant and perfectly stated. Thank you.
     
  16. GreggF

    GreggF Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I missed the Duke tour and recall asking a keyboard player I knew, a rabid Genesis fan, what he thought of the show. His response was that Banks looked tired and he wondered if they would keep going for much longer.
     
  17. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Yes of course they sold out.
    What is up for debate is whether musicians "selling out" by making music that pleases more people is a negative thing.
     
  18. There were plenty of directions the bands could've gone in that didn't involve writing radio-friendly material. But anyway: to go OT for a bit, I'd say Rush did the opposite of selling out. By the time of Moving Pictures they'd accumulated a fair size audience and could've lost it all by incorporating synths and going in more fashionable or pop-friendly directions without gaining any of the pop audience that thought of them as a bunch of noodly dorks. Genesis by contrast had a lot less to lose, although I think both bands were legitimately following their muses at the time.

    Now, take Journey - there's a proper sellout!
     
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  19. MPLRecords

    MPLRecords Owner of nine copies of Tug of War

    Location:
    USA
    I just don't enjoy prog music, so I went to my wife on this one. She said "of course they did!".

    (For what it's worth, she likes Genesis up until the s/t, and I only like Genesis from 1980 to 1991.)
     
  20. Say It Right

    Say It Right Not for the Hearing Impaired

    Location:
    Niagara Falls
    Phil was pulling double duty in Brand X during the same time period as "Follow You Follow Me."
     
  21. micksmuse

    micksmuse Forum Resident

    Location:
    san diego
    they sort of evolved into playing the music that they listened to and liked. phil liked earth, wind and fire and i am sure after his success he dominated direction a bit. but they continued the instrumental inventiveness till the end, albeit with more modern sounds.
    they have to be congratulated for the fact all three would get in a room and construct the songs. playing together like a real band. writing them as they went with all three's input.
    not phoned in and pieced together like yes eventually got to doing.
     
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  22. misteranderson

    misteranderson Forum Resident

    Location:
    englewood, nj
    Pop is always fashionable. That's what it is. They didn't sell millions upon millions of Trespass, Nursery Cryme, and Foxtrot. There was actual pop music in 1972, so why not sell out then?
     
  23. Say It Right

    Say It Right Not for the Hearing Impaired

    Location:
    Niagara Falls
    Hackett, too. He admitted that he was perceived as being esoteric, which was what appealed to him with GTR. Invisible Touch, So and the GTR were Top 10 albums at the same time. Doubt anything like that's happened before or since.
     
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  24. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC USA
    Success doesn’t always have to mean selling out. They evolved with the times. Nobody wants to make the same album over and over again. I have no problem with their transition. The caliber of the work was still high.
     
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  25. misteranderson

    misteranderson Forum Resident

    Location:
    englewood, nj
    Peter had a long relationship with Rosanna Arquette, I think while he was still married?

    Nobody would mistake Tony, Mike, or Phil for matinee idols. Phil was a pretty unlikely pop star.
     
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