Genesis - did they really sell out?

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

  1. cungar

    cungar Forum Resident

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    Nick Drake
     
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  2. Tristero

    Tristero Touching from a distance

    Location:
    MI
    So Banks and Rutherford suddenly became faceless non-entities after Hackett left? I'm not hearing it--they remained full collaborative partners until Phil left. Their songwriting became more streamlined and immediate at the dawn of the 80s, but for the most part, they still sound like the same band.

    I strongly prefer their 70s output myself, but when I read some of the elitist attitudes that inevitably crop up with this topic, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The snobbishness of some prog fans is difficult to stomach after a while.
     
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  3. BwanaBob

    BwanaBob Forum Resident

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    If your definition of progressing is going from challenging music to simpler pop tunes, so be it.
     
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  4. ti-triodes

    ti-triodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    Did they sell out, or did Gabriel and Hackett fans just cut them off after their respective heroes left? Yeah, they did get overly poppy in the ‘80’s, but almost every album had something that linked back to the old days. That includes the universally loathed (at least around here) We Can’t Dance which includes the superb Driving The Last Spike.
    They adapted to the times. Too bad a lot of their fans didn’t.
     
  5. mark winstanley

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

    Out of that whole statement I made I can only guess what you're referencing.
    If you're referencing Follow You Follow Me, It's a great song. Really nice guitar riff, excellent smooth drums.
    If you don't like it, that's cool.
    It's more ballsy than More Fool Me, off what is generally regarded as the bands best album.
    Don't forget also the Down and Out is the most Rock song the band ever did, off the same album.
    So really I have no particular idea what exactly it is that you're addressing from the statement I made
     
  6. misteranderson

    misteranderson Forum Resident

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    englewood, nj
    You haven’t offered anything to prove your ridiculous assertion.

    Please explain me how disco and soft rock from the 70’s were “less commercial” than ‘80s pop.
     
  7. mark winstanley

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

    In relation to prog - I think you misunderstand my statement. My statement was in reference to perception. Everyone these days calls seventies Genesis Prog.

    In relation to lyrics - The band was really popular with teenage boys in the early seventies partially because of the fantasy lyrics, and I still think they are interesting and fun. When the guys grew up, it would have been a bit fake for them to be writing like young men, they wrote about more realistic topics for their age and socio-economic realities. Aside from the fact that we know Phil wasn't really very good at the fantasy lyrics lol.

    As to the sell out - To me the transition was much too slow and organic to be considered a sell out. It isn't like all of a sudden the band were writing only 3 minute pop songs, about love and life. To me, at least, there was a natural transition across the catalog from Selling England through to We Can't Dance (and as you may remember I only like about half of We Can't Dance as an album, and that has nothing to do with selling out, it is just a weaker, somewhat tired band, packing too much into an album ... again in my opinion.)
    They started with the ballads early. Even the bands most epic and reaching album Lamb, is full of shorter, more hook laden songs, and several songs that are more pop market oriented. The Title Track, Counting out Time, Lillywhite Lillith ... I mean when they did Trick Of The Tail, they were obviously trying to recapture the earlier sound and feel, and I know most disagree with me, but I think they failed, even though there are some great tracks on the album.
    Another thing to consider, is that after writing epics for ten years, it would start to lose its interest.... I think only writers would understand that..... but if everything you write is in an odd time signature, and ten minutes long, it gets boring and becomes somewhat of a formulaic thing, rather than an organic natural thing.
    but anyway. Like I say, the whole "sell out" happened much too slowly and organically to be considered a sell out in my book.
     
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  8. A Jammy Bastard

    A Jammy Bastard Active Member

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    They were all aware they needed hits to pay off their debts.
    Rutherford has said they didn’t make money until “Follow You, Follow Me” hit and goosed the sales of “...and then there were Three”.
    From there it was obvious what was required.
    That’s not “selling out’”, that’s survival.

    I remember that ad was controversial because he was in recovery at the time and it was public knowledge.
     
  9. kaztor

    kaztor Music Is The Best!

    They did the right thing and played the game to stay relevant.
     
  10. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

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    NYC Man
    What's to say that the prog stuff wasn't them "selling out"? Prog was popular at the time. They could have pursued that sort of music just to tap into/make money off of the niche audience for it.

    I don't really buy the concept of "selling out." Musicians almost universally do material that's a combo of their interests and what they think they can make a living with. Most musicians aren't interested in just one type of music.
     
  11. drad dog

    drad dog Forum Resident

    Location:
    New England
    It wasn't working. Obviously the sales of TOT and WW didn't make them "happy." Their direction change happened just after.

    The prog fans who were happy with those LPs were the people here now, and me too. Obviously there weren't enough of us to make them happy.

    I'm not the industry expert, but prog was a smaller subset of the market and they didn't get much radio play. So Genesis can be a superstar band to us and they were part of the industry but the power they had was not great. Back then bands had to make some cake to keep the ship floating.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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  12. drad dog

    drad dog Forum Resident

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    Sorry. Yes I was referring to FYFM.

    "More ballsy than More Fool Me" ? Now that's a new one on me. Isn't that a ballad? Beautiful song, I love the band but Genesis is not in the ballsy stakes. Sometimes it was the whole point of their best stuff.
     
  13. mr.datsun

    mr.datsun Incompletist

    Location:
    London
    Patrick Bateman is the expert on this. He makes it very clear in his book, American Psycho, that the post-Gabriel era was when Genesis really came into their own.
     
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  14. Fullbug

    Fullbug Forum Resident

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    Seattle
    Brett Easton Ellis, sir.
     
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  15. mark winstanley

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

    I like More Fool Me too, my point was, there is a syrupy ballad on Selling England, but it is rare anyone says "Hey, Genesis sold out on Selling England, It Has a syrupy Ballad on it"....
     
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  16. drad dog

    drad dog Forum Resident

    Location:
    New England
    I don't know why anyone would say that about MFM. There are ballads on all the Genesis records aren't there? They are all pretty compelling, but FYFM is neither compelling to me, nor a ballad.
     
  17. Jmac1979

    Jmac1979 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Given all the Maroon 5, Creed, Nickelback and Imagine Dragons albums out there that went top 10, Invisible Touch probably isn't even in the bottom 50
     
  18. dubious title

    dubious title Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario
    Simple pop, good pop (which I'll admit Genesis didn't always deliver) is hard, perhaps harder. Bridging "bits" and jams together into a long song doesn't always equate to producing challenging music.
     
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  19. Evethingandnothing

    Evethingandnothing Forum Resident

    Location:
    Devon
    Anyone that thinks it's easy to write a pop hit should write pop hits.
     
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  20. mark winstanley

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

    The fact that there are ballads on all the Genesis albums goes a long way to backing up my whole point... they had always done that kind of thing.
    The ballad is generally considered the biggest sell out there is, but they had always done them.
    As to whether you like FYFM, well that's somewhat irrelevant, I hate robbery assault and battery, but I love epping forest ..... so which is the sell out? Neither. There is just that one sing that I really dislike, and it makes Trick a hard album for me to get into, because i think the title track is pretty crappy too.
     
  21. dubious title

    dubious title Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario
    It stuck me recently that as much as I dislike the song Invisible Touch, it is a unique sounding track production wise. Mike and Tony's rhythm parts really meld into a neat sound, the song is driving yet floats along at the same time. Not a lot from that era sounds quite like it. Is that selling out? Sure that Hugh deserves a decent amount of credit for this.
     
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  22. mr.datsun

    mr.datsun Incompletist

    Location:
    London
    Spoilsport :)
     
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  23. drad dog

    drad dog Forum Resident

    Location:
    New England
    This backs up my point, too? Ballads are a sell out for a hard rock band and their teenage fans. It has nothing in my mind to do with any purported Genesis sell out. I'm not going to make a sell out case. I checked out when Hackett checked out, is all I know. I liked side 2 of TOT as my intro to the band, in college, but I like side 1 better now.
     
  24. Tristero

    Tristero Touching from a distance

    Location:
    MI
    Selling England By The Pound also featured their first hit single (in the U.K. at least), I Know What I Like. They were trying to score hits all along. By the 80s, they got good at it.
     
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  25. mark winstanley

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

    Ballads are technically a sell out for any band, if the term is even relevant, because the consistently biggest selling songs have always been ballads ... All through the sixties seventies and eighties, and possibly even the nineties, ballads ruled the waves as far as year end biggest sellers.
     

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