Disclaimer: I discovered Genesis with Abacab in 1981 at age 13, and because of that song/album they became my all-time favorite band, and especially after delving into their past stuff thanks to Three Sides Live.
So, my least to best (and is in no way definitive, it’s just how I’m currently thinking putting this together)…
Invisible Touch - This one does have a couple gems I guess, but in all honesty I really can’t stand this album. Phil sounds like he shout-sings almost every song, and he fully joined the '80s crap electronic drums sound (save the cool “Anything She Does” and the awesome non-album track “Feeding The Fire”). But at the time, it was nice finally having a new Genesis album after a damn 3 year wait!
From Genesis To Revelation - Well, this was their very first one, and I find it actually more listenable now than Invisible Touch. lol But even for 1969, it sounds terribly weak compared to other groups’ debut albums of that era. Yep, totally blame that jackass (over)producer. But, the non-album track “One-Eyed Hound” is really great – seems if it was promoted correctly it could have given for example Pink Floyd and The Who competition!
Genesis - This one has shining moments for sure, but it started the damn “screw real drums” trend on most of the songs which is why it’s low on my list.
And Then There Were Three - As usual, there’s some decent songs, but this one just overall sounds badly recorded. I do like it more now thanks to the remixed edition (in fact it’s the only remixed edition I like).
We Can’t Dance - Except for the lamer songs (especially the pure Phil puke “Hold On My Heart”), I hold this one as a return to sound for the band. Finally, REAL DRUMS again! A few epic songs! The rest sounds good too.
Calling All Stations - I actually like this one all the way through, because it sounds great and even the “lame” songs are listenable compared to We Can’t Dance. ha
Trespass / Nursery Cryme / Foxtrot - For sake of sanity, I have to lump these together. Awesome prog rock albums with many standout songs. Peter’s voice is an acquired taste, but it works. The recording quality definitely sounds like the era, but it’s awesome stuff. Trespass is incredible through-and-through; Nursery Cryme has a few epic songs; and Foxtrot, well, you know… damn!!. :)
Selling England By The Pound - As many seem to suggest, this is definitive Genesis at their recorded best up to that point, and I mostly agree. The only thing that really bothers my about this one is “The Battle of Epping Forest,” which dare I say sounds pretentious as hell, at least lyrically.
A Trick Of The Tail / Wind & Wuthering - Again for sake of sanity, these essentially masterpieces go together. The best two back to back collections ever that are practically good all the way through. And my all-time fav Genesis songs are “One For The Vine” and “Mad Man Moon.” Oh yeh, let’s not forget to include the decent Spot The Pigeon, “Inside & Out” is pretty kickass.
Duke - I remember thinking “wow, what a project” when I got this one. Has a couple stinkers, and it could have been recorded on better equipment I suppose, but it’s damn great with the greatest closing instrumental ever. And “Evidence of Autumn” is a classic non-album track.
Abacab - The one that started it all for me. Sounded like nothing I’ve ever heard before. Hearing the song Abacab on the radio back then astounded me sonically. The drums and keyboards! When I got the album, I was blown away and must have worn out several cassettes. lol Another all-time fav Genesis song is of mine is “Me & Sarah Jane.” The Three Sides Live album solidified things for me about Genesis.
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway - Simply put, a prog rock masterpiece if there ever was one. Sure, a weird story, but musically it has very little filler and is what makes it a real journey of a listen.