Genesis - I Know What I Like and I Like What I Know

Rank them Studio Albums. From Least to Best.

My Choices:
15. Calling All Stations (1997)

14. We Can’t Dance (1991)
Maybe the title track on a weird day, and that’s it…

13. Invisible Touch (1986)
I actually saw them on this tour, and that album and that tour depressed me.

12. From Genesis to Revelation (1969)
Of Historical interest, but not a good or memorable album.

11. Trespass (1970)
It’s got “The Knife”…and that’s it.

10. Abacab (1981)
When this came out and when I was younger I held this one in higher esteem. Now…I mean it’s polished, competent and and has some good music like “No Reply at All” and “Man on the Corner”, but it just is kind of a plastic thing from the Eighties, and the attempts at experimentation fall flat. “Keep it Dark” being a notable exception.

9. Nursery Cryme (1971)
Overrated. Having said that, it’s the album where they become Genesis. Hackett and Collins complete the classic lineup and everything, everything kicks up to a high level.
And some tracks on it like “The Musical Box” and “The Return of the Giant Hogweed” have become classics. But it’s uneven, especially side two.

8. Genesis (1983)
Underrated. Especially by the Gabriel-era die-hards. “Silver Rainbow”. “Home By the Sea”. “Second Home By the Sea”. Still Genesis, still making fantastic musical experiments. Sure there are hits. And they were beginning to become overexposed. But this one needs to be judged on the merits. I do hate that they went all eponymous with the title though.

More to come later…

Short version: Anything from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway back to the beginning, infinitely better than anything that came later.

This would be difficult for me, because Genesis is distinct enough in its pre- and post-Gabriel days to be two different bands, at least in my head. It’s like if Yes turned into Huey Lewis and the News. Which I guess they kinda did.

I believe I said something about “Gabriel-era die hards”…

My choices:

“7”. Calling All Stations - Ray Wilson was such a weird addition to the band. On the one hand, they said when they heard him do the old Genesis songs in the audition, they got chills. And I could see that. That’s why even after I listened to Calling All Stations over and over for a month, and even after all that time I just couldn’t develop a love for it, I still held out hope that if they did a live album with Ray Wilson where we got to hear him sing the Genesis back-catalog, that’s where his value would be. But sadly that never happened. This is the only album from Genesis that I bought on Day One. I was so excited to hear their new sound, after spending the previous few years listening to the other 6 albums on this list, but it was a major disappointment.

“6”. Abacab - This barely eeks out Calling All Stations for me. This was the last Phil Collins era Genesis I bought, and it was disappointing compared to their other albums.

“5”. We Can’t Dance Live Vol 1 - The Shorts - I do like their short songs, and they do a good job live, but Phil never sings the same way live as he does on the studio albums, which drives me nuts a little bit. In a documentary I saw I discovered that this is because he is a perfectionist in the studio, and does a million takes until he gets every note just perfect. Well, he doesn’t have that luxury live, and so many of his notes are not the same as the albums. Still, you get used to those new notes. Even though I prefer Invisible Touch (the song) from the studio album, the weird live version on this album is good too.

“4”. Genesis (1983) - Pretty classic Phil-era Genesis album. You’ve got the long song in Home By the Sea/Second Home by the Sea, and you’ve got single-worthy short songs that are immediately catchy pop tunes like Illegal Alien, Mama, That’s All, Just a Job to Do, It’s Gonna Get Better. Overall a great album.

“3”. We Can’t Dance - Here’s where it gets really, really good. Driving the Last Pike is one of my all time favorite songs of all time, and one of those classic long Genesis songs. It takes you on a journey, tells a tale, and makes you feel emotions not just with the lyrics but also with the music. Fading Lights is another great long Genesis song but it doesn’t take you on as much of a journey. The short pop songs on the album are really great, though they take some getting used to. Jesus He Knows Me is instantly likeable, but I took a long time to warm up to I Can’t Dance. No Son of Mine: I love it, but I always find it very sad. I thought it was such a strange choice for a first single from this album. But it does hint at the sadness that permeates most of this album. All the rest of the tracks are excellent. I never fast forward to any of the tracks on this album, they’re all gems. Never a Time gets me a bit down, but Dreaming While You Sleep picks me up a bit, and then Tell Me Why brings me down, etc. It’s always a great listen.

“2”. Invisible Touch - It’s tough to pick between this and We Can’t Dance. I always think of We Can’t Dance as the perfect album, and Invisible Touch is a perfect collection of good songs. Every song on here is just perfect. Invisible Touch is the first Genesis song I ever heard back in the 80s that made me a fan. Tonight Tonight Tonight was a single back then that I loved, but this album version with the long interlude in the middle is so perfect. Land of Confusion is just such a great song, the lyrics are perfect, and the music is just pop perfection. In Too Deep is a great slow song that’s even better when it’s live. Anything She Does is the only one that’s not a pop single, but I really warmed to it. Domino Part 1 and 2 are another classic Genesis long song that takes you on a journey with the lyrics and the music, which is my favorite part of the bad. Throwing it All Away can make me cry sometimes if I’m feeling down. And the Brazilian can pick me right back up, it’s such an upbeat instrumental track.

“1”. We Can’t Dance Live Vol 2- The Longs (Live album featuring their long songs, including an awesome medley of their old songs from the Gabriel era that I’m not familiar with otherwise). Picking this as my top choice is like cheating, but I’m doing it anyway.

One of these days I need listen to the Gabriel era albums. I’ll keep an eye on this thread for which ones I should check out first.

What a coincidence, I’d JUST dug out the cant dance album to give it a spin. It really did grow on me, though I’m not sure where I’d place it on my Top5 list.

I will freely admit to being a Peter Gabriel fan. But it is also that I have zero respect for Phil Collins. He took a great prog rock band and turned it into pap.

One of the few unqualified triumphs of decision-making I can claim from my teenage years is that, the night the Invisible Touch tour came to my area, I went to see Miles Davis instead.

That said, I listened to a lot more Genesis at the time. I recently unearthed my vinyl copy of Three Sides Live and still find a lot to like about it.

Completely nuts, “Fountain of Salmacis” is one of the best songs in the Genesis oeuvre, “Seven Stones” is way better than you think it is, “Harold the Barrel” is a classic. This album is top five.

I don’t even know whose stations they were calling or what they were touching but I’m not into that s**t, I couldn’t be bothered to rank every single album since I don’t listen to them all. The best one is probably “Selling England by the Pound” although I’d put “Foxtrot” up there and “Nursery Cryme” and “Wind & Wuthering Heights” and “A Trick of the Tail.” The Lucky Charms album is surprisingly good pop.

We just had a gaming weekend and spent 99% of the time listening to Genesis albums. Those are the five we listened to most because I was running the music. I tried “Lamb Lies Down…” but it was tedious. When I was a freshman in college this guy down the hall tried to convince me that “Lamb Lies Down…” was the greatest record ever recorded but every time he tried to do so he was super high. Now he’s a radiation oncologist.

One other thing: the break-point is not and never was the loss of Gabriel. I’ll be your sledgehammer all right sure you will. It was the loss of Hackett. He was a tremendous technical guitarist and was responsible for writing many of the longer and more complex songs, which happen to be the better ones. He has some great guitar solos that Hamfist Rutherford could never touch, since he was a bassist/rhythm guitarist, so naturally they moved toward pop tunes where you don’t need Hackett’s technical skill. There was no drop-off (in fact, there was elevation) from the loss of Gabriel: “A Trick of the Tail”
is surely better than “The Lamb Lies Down…” But And “…And Then There Were Three…” is catastrophically worse than “Wind & Wuthering,” which was the last Hackett album.

Play me my song. Here it comes again.

On this we concur (not the uneven Nursery Cryme). 7-1 coming soon.

Parte the Seconde - Ranking them Studio Albums, 7-1.

7. …And Then There Were Three… (1978)
Underrated again, but flawed and confused like the previous two. No surprise with Hackett leaving, but a more even effort than the previous. “Follow You, Follow Me” is a fantastic song, but almost a surprise at the end. Great efforts here, like “Snowbound”, “Deep in the Motherlode”, “Burning Rope” and “The Lady Lies” are let down by uneven efforts at composition arranging. They had to reinvent themselves musically and it shows. Hackett was a serious loss.

6. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)
Lets talk Rael the Imperial Aerosol Kid, shall we?
Lamb has magnificent moments, and trimming away half of it might move it up further. But it has a lot of wandering confusion in it. For every “Colony of Slippermen” and “Carpet Crawlers” there is a “Lilywhite Lilith” and a “Here Comes the Supernatural Anaesthetist”. The reason being is that it is a magnificent failure. An ambitious attempt to tell a grand sweeping tale by Gabriel that even he can’t really describe to you today. And the music was forced to fit around this incomprehensible tale. And it suffers. Genesis had never operated this way before, serving one man’s vision. Add in the fact that everyone really didn’t want to do it (except Gabriel) and you end up with this. A Band, near the height of its composition and performing powers, teeming with creativity, that delivers a garbled mix of music and words. But it is a supremely talented garbled mess.

5. Wind & Wuthering (1976)
A magnificent album, but the album that forced Hackett out. Fantastic compositions like a personal favorite of mine “The Eleventh Earl of Mar”, “One For the Vine” and I have a soft spot for “Wot Gorilla?”. the wole thing is fantastic. But they left in a weaker Rutherford composition, and Hackett got miffed and left. And it has “All in a Mouse’s Night”. Weak, and can’t stand it. So it ranks lower here for me.

4. Foxtrot (1972)
Watcher of the skies, watcher of all!

Arthur C. Clarke, meet a lyrical and musical masterpiece.

This might be in my top 3 or top album if it wasn’t for "Get “Em Out By Friday” which I can’t stand.

Supper’s Ready” is a modern Symphony, and one of my favorite modern symphonies at that.

Can-Utility and the Coastliners” still has the some of the deftest guitar work I have ever heard, one of my favorite Hackett songs.

The album is a wonder.

3. Duke (1980)
This easily could have been my favorite album, based on the virtuoso compositions of the Duchess Suite, but the decision to cut it up rather than have it as whole piece diminishes it. And the “hits” like “Turn it On Again”, scoffed at by Prog purists, is merely a brilliant rendition of a man wrapped in numbing loneliness, told from a first person narrative, say, like one of Peter’s characters earlier. But it rocks and doesn’t have whimsical mandolin-y things happening, so it gets scoffed at. Brilliant album. Phil is at the height of his powers on the drums.

2. Selling England by the Pound (1973)
No weak spots. A song cycle of an English dream that was disappearing (or never was). Graceful and Powerful at the same time, in a symphonic (“Dancing with the Moonlit Knight”) and playfully transcendent (" I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)") way. Elegiac and myth-invoking (“The Cinema Show”). Beauty and Power. The compositions, lyrics and musicianship is magnificent. Reason for not being number one? “Aisle of Plenty”. It’s OK. Not weak. But just OK.

1. A Trick of the Tail (1976)
Power and the epic (“Dance on a Volcano”) followed by the sublimely delicate (“Entangled”). Do this again (“Squonk” and “Mad Man Moon”). Add in “Ripples”. Bring it all home with “Los Endos”. All muscians, including Hackett, the all-important glue, with something to prove.

Peter Who?

Can’t argue with your top 3. Probably right about the bottom 3 too, assuming songs like “Illegal Alien” and “Land of Confusion” cancel out “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” and “Domino,” letting it sink to the bottom.

Unfortunately, could never really get into much before Selling England By The Pound. Interested to know where you’d put the studio stuff from Three Sides Live.

I like “Paperlate”, great song and a neat callback to “Dancing with the Moonlit Knight”. The others are ok.

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.

Cheers! :D

A good ranking! And welcome to Qt3!

Found this nosing around the other day.

“I keep cuttings that interest me,” Peter Gabriel told writer Janis Schacht years later. “‘Battle of Epping Forest’ was taken from a genuine news story in The Times . When I went back to find the story I’d misplaced it, so I fabricated the whole thing around the story of two gangs fighting over protection rights in London’s East End.”

The rest of the band were aghast. “Peter took the song and wrote the lyric and we recorded the track,” recalled Phil Collins in the interviews conducted for the 2007 reissue of Selling England . “It’s like, 300 words per line. There was no space. All the air had been sucked out of it.”

Oh Phil. It needed no space. It all worked out just fine. One of the best songs on one of the best albums. So you can wipe off that grin, I know where you’ve been. It’s all been a pack of lies.

@Navaronegun, as a consequence of this thread, I’ve had Domino stuck in my head for the last two days.

Bwhahaha! My secret plan will have succeeded when you have “Dance on a Volcano” stuck in your head.