Sometime after splitting with Genesis — one of the lesser, but better-known acts in the classico-rock field — Peter Gabriel had an entheogenic epiphany. Then he wrote a song about it. Something about climbing a hill in Somerset, giant talking eagles, experiencing heart palpitations and, in case they hadn’t realised I yet, telling his ex-bandmates that, yes, he had definitely left the band. Heavy stuff!
When pressed for comment, Gabriel had the following to say: “There was all this big time stuff happening with long tours being planned way in the future, and I just felt I was getting to be part of a machine. I felt I was becoming a sort of stereotype, sort of ‘rock star,’ or falling into wanting that ego gratification. I didn’t like myself, I didn’t like the situation, and I didn’t feel free.”
Many believed that Genesis albums had tended to be dominated by Gabriel and his propensity for techno-trickery in the atelier. “Over-produced tosh” as some critics described it. And yet, those same many also thought that, when Gabriel took off to toy with the idea of working in film, pursue a solo music career and, presumably, spend time with his partner and newborn child, that would be the effective end of Genesis.
Instead, it was the pianos, synthesisers, organs and mellotrons of Tony Banks. Blame him. Even though Steve Hackett had some nice guitar solos, he was more restrained than previously, being mainly content to blend his twelve-string acoustic in with Banks. It was Banks who had a hand in writing all eight tracks on the album ‘A Trick of the Tail’.
Gabriel got in first and released a self-titled album before his loser ex-bandmates. They took a whole six years to release a self-titled album. How trash are Genesis?
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…and not one mention of Phil Collins