Genesis, founded in 1967 in the United Kingdom by Peter Gabriel, Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, Anthony Phillips, and Chris Stewart, was a pioneer in progressive rock. Known for their avant-garde approach, drama, and dark humor in the 1970s, the group transformed in the 1980s under the leadership of Phil Collins, with more accessible work that earned the band numerous hits. These ten songs are a showcase of that evolution, which made Genesis one of the most versatile and successful bands in rock history.
10. Throwing It All Away
From the 1986 album “Invisible Touch,” this song is a perfect blend of Genesis’ progressive rock roots and their later pop-sensitive sound.
It describes the emotional turmoil of a broken relationship. Characteristic of this song are the heartfelt lyrics and the signature guitar play, making it a favorite among fans and a frequent appearance in their live performances.
9. Firth of Fifth
From the album “Selling England by the Pound” (1973), this song is known for its complex structure and beautiful piano intro, played by Tony Banks.
It is one of the highlights of their early progressive period, with lyrics that have a romantic, almost mythical quality, and a legendary guitar solo by Steve Hackett.
8. No Son of Mine
This song, from the 1991 album “We Can’t Dance,” tells the story of a boy who runs away from home and the tense relationship with his father.
The emotional depth of the lyrics, combined with the powerful melody, makes it one of Genesis’s most poignant songs. It was also a commercial success, helping the album achieve high sales.
7. Invisible Touch
The title track from their 1986 album and one of their biggest hits, “Invisible Touch,” shows Genesis at their most accessible.
The song, which is about a mysterious love with an ‘invisible touch,’ is catchy and energetic, making it a huge hit on both radio and MTV.
6. Home By the Sea
A standout track from the 1983 album “Genesis,” “Home By the Sea” is a captivating story about a haunted house. This two-part song combines spooky lyrics with a powerful, almost cinematic composition.
It is a beautiful example of how Genesis combined their progressive roots with a more mainstream sound.
5. I Can’t Dance
This song from the 1991 album “We Can’t Dance” is known for its dry humor and ironic lyrics, a departure from the more serious tone Genesis often had.
The music video, featuring the band members dancing deliberately woodenly, became an MTV favorite. “I Can’t Dance” is also notable as one of the last major hits before Phil Collins left the band.
4. Jesus He Knows Me
Also from “We Can’t Dance,” this song is a satirical look at televangelists and the exploitation of religion for personal gain.
The sharp lyrics, combined with a catchy melody, make it a powerful critique of hypocritical religious figures. The accompanying music video, featuring Phil Collins as a fraudulent preacher, reinforced the song’s message.
3. Follow You Follow Me
A love song from the 1978 album “And Then There Were Three,” “Follow You Follow Me” marked a significant shift toward a more mainstream, pop-oriented sound for Genesis.
This song, with its simple but touching lyrics and melodic chorus, became one of their first major hit singles and helped the band reach a wider audience.
2. Land of Confusion
This powerful song from the 1986 album “Invisible Touch” is known for its socially critical lyrics, aimed at the political and social issues of the time.
The innovative music video, made with puppets from the British TV show ‘Spitting Image’, became famous for its unique and sometimes disturbing images.
From the self-titled album in 1983, “Mama” is one of Genesis’ darkest and most intense songs. The song, with its heavy drumbeat and creepy laugh from Phil Collins, tells the story of a young man and his obsession with an older woman.
“Mama” is known for its emotional intensity and is often considered one of the band’s most powerful performances.