The Genesis of It

It would appear that the plug has finally been pulled on one of my favourite bands, Genesis. Due to a spine issue, Phil Collins officially announced his retirement a short time back, it throws any hope of a reunion into question.

There had been talk of Mike Rutherford working on a new Mike + the Mechanics project. There was talk also that, at some point, Genesis would return with Phil behind the drum kit and Peter Gabriel returning as the front man for one final tour.

I would like to see either of those.

Gabriel has sung once with the band, that I am aware of, since his split from them back in the early 1970s. Was not long and Steve Hacket left as well. With the band as most of us know it…a trio with Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford…their first hit was Follow You, Follow Me off of the …And Then There Were Three release. That was how Genesis stayed until Phil left in the mid 1990s foillowing the We Can’t Dance tour.

Then there was Ray Wilson…a blue collar singer hired by the white collar Genesis to replace Collins. On pure vocals, he was the best singer that Genesis had had with the late 90s release of Calling All Stations. There were two problems with Wilson. First, he was too much of a working class guy for the big business that is Genesis. Second, though a better singer, Genesis had a tradition of showmen fronting it with Gabriel and Collins…Wilson was not the type to do that. Perhaps he was simply too serious and could have evolved into more, but he was not given the chance.

I had tickets for the Toronto show of the Calling All Stations Tour…they were to perform at the O’Keefe Centre but, due to a lack of North American popularity, the North American concerts were cancelled.

That was the closest I would come to seeing the band together.

I have seen Mike + the Mechanics perform, twice actually, back in the summer of 1989. I saw Phil Collins perform to a sold out SkyDome, in Toronto, the night of OJ Simpson’s Ford Bronco chase. In the summer of 2003, I even saw Peter Gabriel on his Still Growing Up Tour.

But I have never seen Genesis play together.

As I fall asleep tonight, I have Ray Wilson singing tunes from all of them…Genesis, Gabriel and Collins…as part of an acoustic live release he did on his own a couple of years ago. He still sounds great…and he sounds as though he may have loosened up, just a touch, as he accidentally starts his cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run in the wrong key.

Perhaps that was the problem with him and Genesis. It was the wrong key and none of them stopped to fix it.


    1. Truth is, it is probably my fav Genesis album since 1980 or so. There was ab obvious difference in style without Phil there.

      As for Wilson, he is probably best known as the front man for a group called Stiltskin. Almost grunge, really, but not bad.

      I figure if Genesis did reunite they should bring Ray back and then hire Simon Collins (Phil’s son) on drums.

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