Genesis - did they really sell out?

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

  1. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Resident

    new york city
    My answers are: "yes," if using a broad definition of "selling out," but "no" if using a more restrictive definition.

    It was only trio-era Genesis that changed their sound to make hits (substantial hits; not small flukes like I Know What I Like). I would say that losing 2/5 of the band (especially those particular two) more more less created a new band. Though the Genesis sound did change gradually over time, IMO trio Genesis represented a fundamental change in the band and it was a change that quickly affected both the manner in which their music was made, and the intent of the final product. Was going from ATTWT to Abacab a "sellout?" I don't see it. One could say that that just got better at doing what they were already doing.
  2. dubious title

    dubious title Forum Resident

    Yup, Would prefer that they hadn't done that commercial, I believe they had regrets about it as well.

    Remember that Dylan bank commercial? The times they are a changing I believe. Karen O coving the Immigrant song for a Marvel Movie. We could go on.

    Unfortunately product endorsement, shilling, creating your own clothing line is synonymous with many popular musicians today.
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product

    I can't agree ...

    and I bet there are a lot worse even than that
    SRC and Rufus rag like this.
  4. tkl7

    tkl7 Agent Provocateur

    New York, NY, USA
    I've been a big Genesis fan ever since the release of their 1980 album, Duke. Before that, I really didn't understand any of their work. Too artsy, too intellectual. It was on Duke where Phil Collins' presence became more apparent. I think Invisible Touch was the group's undisputed masterpiece. It's an epic meditation on intangibility. At the same time, it deepens and enriches the meaning of the preceding three albums. Listen to the brilliant ensemble playing of Banks, Collins and Rutherford. You can practically hear every nuance of every instrument. In terms of lyrical craftsmanship, the sheer songwriting, this album hits a new peak of professionalism. Take the lyrics to Land of Confusion. In this song, Phil Collins addresses the problems of abusive political authority. In Too Deep is the most moving pop song of the 1980s, about monogamy and commitment. The song is extremely uplifting. Their lyrics are as positive and affirmative as anything I've heard in rock.
  5. seed_drill

    seed_drill Senior Member

    Tryon, NC, USA
    Don't forget Yes and ASIA going the prog-pop route. And Peter Gabriel was far more successful as a solo artist making poppy art rock than he ever had been doing full blown prog with Genesis.
  6. misteranderson

    misteranderson Forum Resident

    englewood, nj
    Clapton did a Michelob commercial. Can't remember if he had quit drinking by then.

    I had a good friend, an over-the-top Who fan and very altruistic, who lost it when Pete agreed to corporate sponsorship of their 1987 tour. He actually stopped listening to The Who! He may have relented later on, I'm not sure.
  7. Rufus rag

    Rufus rag Forum Resident

    History isn't kind to the 80's era. They still get lambasted
    abzach likes this.
  8. pig bodine

    pig bodine God’s Consolation Prize

    Syracuse, NY USA
    I honestly can’t say. Did they record what they wanted to or what the public wanted? Anyway, who cares, they had more than a half dozen prog albums. Which should be enough to keep the mind kid fans happy.
    ARK, tug_of_war and Rufus rag like this.
  9. Bungo

    Bungo Forum Resident

    San Jose, CA
    Thank you, Patrick Bateman! :)
  10. Rufus rag

    Rufus rag Forum Resident

    Two totally different bands. Should have changed their name after Hackett left to The Phil Collins Trio
    abzach, BwanaBob and patel kismet like this.
  11. patel kismet

    patel kismet Forum Resident

    reunion france
    Genesis were fantastic in the 70's with 2 peaks : The Lamb with Gabriel & Duke with Collins. The following albums are a lot less exciting. (IMO). It was not until the 90's that prog regained a second wind with new bands like Dream Theater or Symphony X.
    Rufus rag likes this.
  12. Instant Dharma

    Instant Dharma Spray paint!!! Avoid breathing the vapors

    CoCoCo, Ca
    Genesis started out doing a brand of Psychedelic pop in the mold of the BeeGees and Cat Stevens. You can look it up.
  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product

    I think part of what is being lost here is that Genesis weren't a prog band ... Music at the time was going through a progressive phase, in several areas, and Genesis were a part of that. There were a lot of bands that got labelled as "Prog" later, but essentially most early seventies rock bands were being progressive in some way.
    So the whole idea that Genesis sold out because they stopped being prog, has more to do with how you narrowly define prog, than anything else.
    Runicen and tug_of_war like this.
  14. patel kismet

    patel kismet Forum Resident

    reunion france
    The Phil Collins Trio or ATTWT (And Then There Were Three)
  15. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product

    If that had occurred a multitude of people would have never heard Gabriel era Genesis, and that would be a shame
    ARK, Runicen, WilliamWes and 2 others like this.
  16. RobNeil

    RobNeil Forum Resident

    Midlands, UK
    Can’t believe it took until page 4 for the Patrick Bateman quote.
  17. tug_of_war

    tug_of_war Sassafras & Moonshine

    Genesis - did they ever sell out?

    They never did.

    The truth is: Genesis has always been a pop band in its very essence. Compare their proggier stuff with the likes of King Crimson, Camel or Caravan. It was prog with pop hooks. Because they all came from a pop background, they were all fans of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Rolling Stones etc. Three minute songs with strong chorus are the genesis of Genesis.

    It's no wonder they cut off (most of) their prog once prog ceased to be exploratory music and became a formula.
    It's no wonder their first songs were the typical late 60s pop.

    Genesis were always pop, no matter what we think of it.
  18. RobNeil

    RobNeil Forum Resident

    Midlands, UK
    The progressive band that progressed, as Al Murray said.
    mark winstanley likes this.
  19. tinnox

    tinnox Senior Member

    I really enjoy Abacab that is my favorite from them.
  20. vinyl diehard

    vinyl diehard Two-Channel Forever

    Not another Genesis, Gabriel era versus Collins era again. Christ.
    ARK, tug_of_war, tinnox and 2 others like this.
  21. They never sold out. They evolved. I have/had multiple different physical renditions and copies of every release of theirs, except 'We Can't Dance'. 'Invisible Touch' was a masterpiece and my favourite work of theirs. Every sound from before met the sound that was now for that album and that's what makes it phenomenal.
  22. Psychedelic Good Trip

    Psychedelic Good Trip Senior Member

    New York
    1980's came Genesis made some catchy top 40 tunes that appealed to radio, MTV record buyers so yeah they did sell out. It doesn't deny they had many deep cuts on those big 80's albums. I enjoy those 80's albums today as I did then.
    Diablo Griffin likes this.
  23. bRETT

    bRETT Forum Resident

    Boston MA
    Take note that if you subtracted half the tracks, you could turn We Can't Dance into a 40 minute album with five songs on it, none of which have pop friendly lyrics.
    MrCJF, ARK and Runicen like this.
  24. Blastproof

    Blastproof Forum Resident

    Mooresville, NC
    Did Genesis sell out? Repeatedly. Carrier Dome, Hoosier Dome, Silver Dome....
  25. Wild Horse

    Wild Horse Forum Resident


    I really like the Peter Gabriel era, but unlike many I like the early Phil Collins era (Trick, Wind & Wuthering, ATT Were Three) just as much. Phil Collins had a very melancholy voice that suited progressive era Genesis well. Gabriel's vocals were more theatrical, but Collins' were more soulful.

    The problem was Phil Collins' big love for Motown and R&B. Which started to creep in on the album Duke, and was in full bloom on Abacab. I like R&B and Motown a lot, but Phil Collins (and Genesis) just wasn't any good at it.

    Anyway, they saw the money start to pour in, so they ditched the prog and doubled down on their new R&B-influenced art-pop sound with each new release.

    They sold out.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019

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