Genesis - did they really sell out?

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

  1. Tom Daniels

    Tom Daniels Forum Resident

    Well, in the seventies, by being in the prog stream, they were playing in one of the major streams in pop/rock music. And as they evolved to synth rock, or whatever people want to call it, they were playing in one of the major streams of eighties music. Artistically and commercially musicians are going to be influenced by what is going on around them. And they are going to evolve. And they are going to be interested in multiple styles of music.

    Genesis was influenced by what was going on around them from the beginning. Was it really selling out to be influenced by what was going on later on? Did the Beatles sell out by being influenced by girl groups, and Motown, then Stax, then psychedelic music, then the back-to-basics trend of the late 60s?

    Genesis changed, they evolved with the times. It always seemed rather organic to me. So some people like the early stuff and not the later stuff. And some people came along with the later stuff and couldn’t get into the early stuff. I don’t see it as selling out.
  2. Indeed - but after that, when Genesis really started "selling out"? I don't know if he got much more outré than working with Peter Gabriel.
  3. abzach

    abzach Forum Resident

    Because the pop music in the seventies wasn't as commercial as in the 80's, the whole music scene changed.
  4. zen

    zen Forum Resident

    Genesis went pop. After awhile, it was difficult separating Phil Collins solo, and the group in question.
    Rufus rag likes this.
  5. enfield

    enfield Forum Resident

    Essex UK
  6. Maurice

    Maurice Forum Resident

    North Yarmouth, ME
    Hey, as far as I'm concerned, the band came into their own by going pop or "selling out." I love their 80s tracks but their earlier material just isn't to my taste at all, in particular the Peter Gabriel material - and I love his solo work. But I kinda take issue with the premise of the question, I guess. I know it's not a popular opinion but I always have vastly preferred them as a vaguely proggy 80s pop band than as a full-on progressive rock band and yes, I love Invisible Touch from beginning to end.
  7. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Never realized GTR went top 10 (not doubting it, just did not realize it).

    Maybe we could start a "worst top 10 album ever" thread and discuss there.
  8. Terry

    Terry Senior Member

    Talk about a steep decline in quality, buttressed by massive commercial success.
    zen likes this.
  9. realmdemagic

    realmdemagic Forum Resident

    The term "selling out" is a double edge sword.

    To the fans if a band changes their sound, they are "selling out" to a please a different audience.

    Also, to the fans if a band continues to make the same type of album over and over without progressing their sound, they are "cashing in" on their own success.

    It's a no win situation.
  10. Say It Right

    Say It Right Not for the Hearing Impaired

    Niagara Falls
    Everybody here really should check out the Phil box set, Plays Well With Others. It's 4 discs, hard coins case and an exceptional value on Amazon.

    He was doing the more experimental work with Eno, also, but like you said, after Gabrielz it changed. Even then, as OP pointed out, Gabriel wanted a big taste of Top 10, Grammy awards, dating Hollywood starlet, etc

    The 80's landscape had changed. Nobody was going to perform "Return of the Giant Hogweed" then.
    ARK and realmdemagic like this.
  11. Tristero

    Tristero Touching from a distance

    Genesis was always interested in making quirky "pop" music, as far back as stuff like "I Know What I Like" and "Counting Out Time", alongside the weightier fare. They certainly evolved and adapted over time as the musical fashions changed, like most of their old peers did. Obviously, doing twenty minute tracks about the end of the world wasn't going to play well in the 80s. I certainly can't begrudge them for changing things up and streamlining their sound. Were the results worthwhile? Sometimes, though I personally got off the bus with Invisible Touch, which was too heavy on the synth and saccharine for my tastes.
    carlwm and mark winstanley like this.
  12. davidlg1971

    davidlg1971 Forum Resident

    Bay Area, CA
    ELO was in the prog space early in their career. Long songs, suites, trippy concepts.

    Because that was a popular rock market in the 70s. But - it died. So they adapted. Ditto Genesis.
    realmdemagic likes this.
  13. blastfurniss

    blastfurniss Forum Resident

    Marion, OH, USA
    I'm not a Genesis fan but I would say they "evolved" rather than sold out. Certainly worked out better for them from the standpoint of money and fame.
    elee532 and carlwm like this.
  14. JoeRockhead

    JoeRockhead Forum Resident

    New Jersey
  15. 93curr

    93curr Senior Member

    I had no problem with them "going pop" if the pop they had gone to hadn't simultaneously led to a fairly brutal decrease in songwriting skill. It's a helluva drop from 'Ripples' or 'One From the Vine' to 'Illegal Alien' or 'Anything She Does.'

    I consider them to have sold out, not because they changed their genre of music, but because the quality sunk so low. If they'd gone from sophisticated prog to sophisticated pop music, who would have complained? (There were traces of that; 'Keep It Dark' on 'Abacab' was great and who doesn't love Phil's 'In The Air Tonight'? But even those quickly became the exceptions.) Instead they became embarrassing. I was listening to a lot of well-crafted pop music in the 80s, from Elvis Costello and Roxy Music to Grace Jones and King Crimson. If they'd joined those ranks, all would have been well. But they entered a world where making a video with Benny Hill seemed like a clever idea. And that has nothing to do with prog vs. pop.
    RudolphS and misteranderson like this.
  16. misteranderson

    misteranderson Forum Resident

    englewood, nj

    You don't like '80s pop music, therefore you need to dismiss it by inventing the fallacy that it was "more commercial," when in fact, pop is always commercial by definition. Some real crap made it to the top of the charts in the '70s, and that's true of every era, even the holy '60s.
    ARK, WilliamWes, Maurice and 5 others like this.
  17. dumangl

    dumangl Senior Member

    I think Genesis improved when they "sold out".
  18. Rufus rag

    Rufus rag Forum Resident

    Yeah, let's start at number 1 with Invisible Touch
    Rfreeman likes this.
  19. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk Forum Resident

    Fort worth tx
    I don't know if I would call it selling out...…..more like job security. Anyhoo, I enjoy all the various changes and albums through the years (except Calling All Stations).
  20. planetexpress

    planetexpress Hypnotist Collector

    Would have said no but then I remembered "The Night Belongs To Michelob":

    If that isn't selling out I don't know what is... I guess that means Eric Clapton is a big sellout too and I'm OK with that.
    BwanaBob and Rfreeman like this.
  21. mark winstanley

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

    Spot On
  22. soundboy

    soundboy Senior Member

    I believe it was Genesis, along with Gabriel, Collins, Mike + The Mechanics, and GTR, all scored top 40 singles within one calendar year.
    ARK, Jimbino and realmdemagic like this.
  23. Autotune Sucks

    Autotune Sucks Forum Resident

    Little Rock, AR
    Hate to be a boring corrector, but that line is actually from the "Domino" suite on the same album. I agree with your overall statement, though.
    carlwm and dubious title like this.
  24. Say It Right

    Say It Right Not for the Hearing Impaired

    Niagara Falls
    M+M probably did, but that was earlier in the year. Invisible Touch, So and GTR were Top 10 simultaneously.
  25. soundboy

    soundboy Senior Member

    That's just crazy.
    Say It Right likes this.

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