In 1967, the original members of Genesis met at Charterhouse School in the UK, beginning first as a folk act, moving forward in the 70s as one of the pioneering prog rock bands before turning further toward pop under Phil Collins.
Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, Phil Collins, and original lead singer Peter Gabriel made up perhaps the most famous formation of the band.
In an attempt to get more publicity at their shows, Peter Gabriel would wear costumes on stage, a ploy often used in the 70s thanks to stars like Elton John and Freddy Mercury. Well, it worked. Local newspapers began writing about the band, and people began showing up to see the stage show.
In 1975, Peter Gabriel left the band to pursue other projects and begin a solo career. The band became frustrated when they couldn’t find a suitable replacement. Until they looked inside their own membership to find that drummer Phil Collins was quite the singer. As Phil would audition new singers, none were able to perform as good as him.
In 1982, Peter Gabriel launched the WOMAD festival, which brought together musicians from all over the world. It was a financial disaster. To help pay the debts, his former Genesis mates offered to play a reunion concert with him. Since Peter hadn’t sang any Genesis songs in years, he was forced to tape the lyric sheets to the floor during the performance.
Their 1986 album Invisible Touch made Genesis the first band to release an album with five US Top 5 singles: “Invisible Touch” (#1), “Land Of Confusion” (#4), “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” (#3), “In Too Deep” (#3) and “Throwing It All Away” (#3).
While still enjoying success together as a group in the 80s, three members of the band had wildly successful careers as solo artists in Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins, and Mike Rutherford enjoyed success with his new band, Mike + the Mechanics.
And speaking of Mike, he didn’t exactly need to make money in a band. He was a successful and talented polo player for 25 years. He’s now retired, having broken his leg and his nose, and having his teeth knocked out.
In the 90s, Genesis disbanded so the members could focus on their solo efforts. Though they did reunite for a tour in 2007. In 2010, the band enjoyed induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
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