Genesis - The Collins Era: Triple Album Bundle - Save 50%!
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Genesis - The Collins Era: Triple Album Bundle
These three amazing albums which followed the departure of Peter Gabriel, took Genesis to new heights of fame.
1) Genesis – And Then There Were Three…: The Classic Album
And Then There Were Three... is the ninth studio album by Genesis. Released in March 1978, it is their first recorded as a trio of singer/drummer Phil Collins, keyboardist Tony Banks, and bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford.
2) Genesis - Duke: 2016 Remastered on 180g White Vinyl
Duke is the tenth studio album by Genesis, which was released in March 1980 on Charisma Records. The album followed a period of inactivity for the band in early 1979.
Duke is the tenth studio album by English rock band Genesis, released in March 1980 on Charisma Records. The album followed a period of inactivity for the band in early 1979. Phil Collins moved to Vancouver, Canada, in an effort to salvage his failing first marriage, while Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford recorded solo albums. Collins returned to the UK after his marriage ended and wrote a significant amount of material, some of which was used for Duke and some was later reworked for his first solo album, Face Value. Duke contained a mix of individually written songs and tracks that evolved from jam sessions in mid-1979, while recording took place at the end of the year. The break in activity rejuvenated the band, and they found the album an easy one to work on.
Duke was positively received by music critics, who praised the album for bridging the band's progressive rock-oriented past, via experimental pieces such as the closing ten-minute "Duke's Travels"/"Duke's End" suite, with their more pop rock-oriented, commercially accessible direction, as displayed on the hit singles "Turn It On Again", "Duchess", and "Misunderstanding". It reached No. 11 in the US, and it was the first album by the group to reach No. 1 on the UK charts. It has since been certified Platinum in both the UK and US
By 1978, Genesis were a trio of lead singer and drummer Phil Collins, keyboardist Tony Banks and guitarist/bassist Mike Rutherford. They had survived the departure of original frontman Peter Gabriel and guitarist Steve Hackett and released the album ...And Then There Were Three..., which included the top ten single "Follow You Follow Me". The group were still touring successfully, and enjoyed the songwriting collaborations between the three of them. They decided to take a break before writing and recording a new album, which would be largely group-written in a rehearsal room, without many pre-conceived ideas.
The group's touring schedule had put particular pressure on Collins, whose marriage was at risk of collapse due to him being away from home frequently. His wife, Andrea, had warned him that if he committed himself to the full ...And Then There Were Three... Tour, she would not be there when he returned. Collins, however, was convinced that Genesis were on the verge of an international breakthrough and that his work with the band would pay dividends in the future. By the end of 1978, Andrea had decided to move to Vancouver with their children. Realising that his marriage was more important than the band, Collins held a meeting with Banks, Rutherford and manager Tony Smith. He said he was moving to Vancouver and try and re-build the family, and that the group would have to accommodate this. In an interview for Sounds, Collins said, "I went off for two months to try and sort things out ... I was never going to leave the band. It was just that if I was going to be living in Vancouver then we'd have had to organise ourselves differently." He also noted that the individual members of his side project Brand X were geographically dispersed.
Banks and Rutherford suggested the band take an extended hiatus, hoping Collins would save his marriage and that the band could work with him in Vancouver. Banks recorded his solo album A Curious Feeling at Polar Studios in Stockholm with Genesis touring drummer Chester Thompson and singer Kim Beacon, while Rutherford also recorded his first solo album, Smallcreep's Day, at the same studio. In April 1979, Collins returned to the UK after the attempt to salvage his marriage failed. With time to spare before working on the next Genesis album, he gigged with Brand X, and began work on demo tracks for what became his first solo album Face Value at his home in Shalford, Surrey. As well as playing piano and synthesizers, he had recently picked up a Roland CR-78 drum machine and become interested in the possibilities of electronic drums.
In autumn 1979, Banks and Rutherford moved in with Collins in Shalford to start rehearsals on Duke. Collins had written a large number of songs, but he felt many of them would not suit Genesis, while Banks and Rutherford were short of material having just recorded their solo albums. The three decided each member should contribute two of their own songs for the band to work on. Banks put forward "Heathaze" and "Cul-de-Sac", Rutherford used "Man of Our Times" and "Alone Tonight", and Collins had "Misunderstanding" and "Please Don't Ask". The remainder of the songs were written together in rehearsals. Banks later regretted not choosing Collins' "In the Air Tonight" for the album. His track "Cul-de-Sac" became a problem for Collins to get into as its overall style and lyrical content no longer interested him, and realised that he should have kept the song for his solo output.
The group found the writing process easier and more enjoyable than ...And Then There Were Three..., which was primarily songs written in advance individually by the members. Rutherford summarised his time writing songs for Duke as "getting back to the basic stage of ideas being worked on jointly". Banks reasoned much of the band's refreshed attitude was "down to not having worked together in a while", which resulted in "good ideas" being put forward, something that he said had not "happened for some time". Collins felt the band interacted "as a group much better ... there's definitely a side to us coming out which wasn't on the last album; the playing side". Rutherford would later describe the writing process for the album, alongside the one for Abacab, as a "rethink" of Genesis' approach, refocusing their output to group writing and improvisation. In contrast to earlier Genesis albums, most tracks were short with the exception of the ten-minute "Duke's Travels"/"Duke's End" suite that closed the album. The group went to Polar Studios to record the album, starting on 12 November 1979, and recording up to the end of the year. As with several earlier albums, production duties were shared by the band and regular co-producer David Hentschel. Collins used the Roland CR-78 drum machine for "Duchess"; the first time he used one on a Genesis song.
The cover art was drawn by French illustrator Lionel Koechlin and taken from his book L'Alphabet d'Albert, published in 1979. The band liked his work and decided to use it as the cover, but Collins maintained the character depicted is neither the album's titular character nor related to any song on it.
"Behind the Lines" was the first song arranged for the album and "Duchess" came about from rhythms that Collins had played on his set of drum pads. In its original form, "Behind the Lines", "Duchess", "Guide Vocal", "Turn It On Again", "Duke's Travels", and "Duke's End" were one 30-minute track that told a story of a fictional character named Albert which had a working title of "Duke". The group chose this name because the fanfare melodies on "Behind the Lines" and "Duke's End" conjured an image of royalty. The band decided against sequencing the tracks this way on the album, partly to avoid comparisons to their 23-minute track "Supper's Ready" from Foxtrot, but also to have certain segments of the suite, such as "Duchess" and "Turn It On Again", released as singles. The six tracks were performed live on the album's supporting tour with Collins introducing it as "The Story of Albert". "Turn It On Again" was originally a short connecting piece in the middle of this medley, but the band enjoyed playing it so much, they decided to double its length and make it more of a standout track. It came from a piece that Rutherford discarded from Smallcreep's Day and a separate piece from Banks that they joined together. The group considered placing the band-written songs on side one and the individually written tracks on the other, but this was rejected. Rutherford described the final running order as "a very balanced album".
Duke was released in the US on 24 March 1980 and in the UK on 28 March. It was the band's greatest commercial success at the time of its release; it spent two weeks at No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart and peaked at No. 11 on the US Billboard 200. The album spawned three singles; "Turn It On Again" reached No. 8 in the UK and No. 58 in the US; "Duchess" reached No. 46 in the UK; "Misunderstanding" reached No. 42 in the UK and No. 14 in the US. Duke was certified Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry on 3 July 1980 and by the Recording Industry Association of America on 11 March 1988.
Duke received a mostly positive reception from music critics. In his review for Rolling Stone, David Fricke noted that "Turn It On Again" is "vibrant rock & roll" and thought that "Man of Our Times", "Duchess", "Duke's Travels", and "Duke's End" "possess a refreshing urgency". Fricke points out the band's losses without Gabriel and Hackett in the line-up, yet summarised Duke as "comforting: a reassurance that Genesis aren't for an exodus yet." Sounds' Hugh Fielder gave the album four stars out of five, enjoying the opening of "Behind the Lines" and considering Collins's vocals to be "more convincing than ... before". He felt the first side was better than the second, and criticised some lyrics, but concluded "no Genesis fan could be disappointed". The Los Angeles Times's Steve Pond described the album's music as "identifiably Genesis, but it is toned-down" and a "a more confident and successful album than ...And Then There Were Three...". He criticised the album as inconsistent with a lack of "melodic invention" on side one, but thought "Duke's Travels" and "Duke's End" were "one of the best and most consistent pieces of music that band has made in some time".
In a retrospective review, AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine felt Duke was the Genesis album that "leaped into the fray" of pop music but retained "a heavy dose" of progressive rock with the "Duke" suite. Erlewine thought the album comes off "a little bombastic" at times, with "Misunderstanding" and "Turn It On Again" being the two tracks that "showcase the new version of Genesis at its absolute best".
Genesis supported the album with a 78-date tour across Europe and North America, between 17 March to 30 June 1980. They were joined by drummer Chester Thompson and guitarist Daryl Stuermer. As the group had not embarked on a full scale UK tour since 1977, the tour began with a 40-date trek across the country, which saw all 108,000 available tickets sold within hours of going on sale. A 40-minute excerpt from the performance at the Lyceum Ballroom in London was broadcast on The Old Grey Whistle Test and released as a bonus feature on the 2007 reissue of Duke. Recordings from the tour were released on Three Sides Live (1982) and Genesis Archive 2: 1976–1992 (2000).
A digitally remastered version of Duke was released on CD in 1994 on Virgin in Europe and Atlantic in the US and Canada. The CD included the album's original booklet, artwork and lyrics. It was reissued again in 2007 as part of the Genesis 1976–1982 box set, which included a new stereo and 5.1 surround sound mix and a DVD of bonus features including band interviews, music videos, live performances and tour programs.
3) Genesis - Abacab: 2016 Remastered on 180g Vinyl
Abacab is Genesis's eleventh studio album and the first album recorded at The Farm, a recording studio bought by the group in Chiddingfold, Surrey.
Abacab is the eleventh studio album by English rock band Genesis, released on 18 September 1981 by Charisma Records. After their 1980 tour in support of their previous album, Duke (1980), the band took a break before they reconvened in 1981 to write and record a new album. Abacab is the first Genesis album recorded at The Farm, a recording studio bought by the group in Chiddingfold, Surrey. It marked the band's development from their progressive roots into more accessible and pop-oriented songs, and their conscious decision to write songs unlike their previous albums.
Abacab received a mostly positive reception from critics and was a commercial success for the band, reaching No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 7 on the US Billboard 200. Genesis released four singles from the album, the most successful being "Abacab" and "No Reply at All". The album continued to sell and was certified double platinum in 1988 by the Recording Industry Association of America for two million copies sold in the US. The Abacab Tour visited North America and Europe in 1981, recordings from which formed most of their 1982 live album and concert video Three Sides Live. Three tracks left off the album were released as an extended play, 3×3. The album was reissued with a new stereo and 5.1 surround sound in 2007.
In June 1980, the Genesis line-up of drummer and singer Phil Collins, keyboardist Tony Banks, and guitarist Mike Rutherford, with touring drummer Chester Thompson and guitarist and bassist Daryl Stuermer, wrapped their 1980 tour of the United Kingdom and North America in support of their tenth album, Duke (1980). Following a period of rest, in November 1980 the band bought Fisher Lane Farm, a farmhouse with an adjoining cowshed near Chiddingfold, Surrey, as their new private rehearsal and recording facility. In the process of remodelling the building into a studio, the trio reconvened in the farmhouse to write and rehearse new material, which initially took place in the living room, and they started recording the album in March 1981 once the studio was operational. Abacab marks the first Genesis album that was recorded in England since A Trick of the Tail (1976). The success of Collins's debut solo album Face Value (1981) had gained momentum by the recording stage; Banks claimed it did little to alter the sound or style of Abacab or the relationship towards him or Rutherford as they had been friends for a long time.
Genesis recorded Abacab in 14 weeks, working between 12 and 14 hours each day. The new environment had a productive effect on the writing process and the band had written enough for a double album, but they discarded one hour of material because they sounded too similar to their past albums. Though the band did not alter the way in which they approached the songwriting for Abacab, Banks said a conscious effort was made by the group to avoid "Genesis cliches" such as using tambourines during a chorus, reprises, extended solos, lengthy instrumental passages, and keeping melodies simple, which signalled further changes in their direction. He claimed that Abacab was the least technical Genesis album up to this point. Rutherford pointed out that the omission of familiar sounding tracks was done in order to avoid Genesis becoming a caricature of itself so a change in direction was therefore necessary. He would later describe the writing process for the album, alongside the one for Duke, as a "rethink" of Genesis' approach, with the group turning their focus towards developing ideas that sounded different from their norm. Collins noted that the band went further with processes used in Duke: group improvisation and writing with the aid of electronics. A rehearsal session that failed to go anywhere was no longer a problem for the group as the absence of a schedule from renting studio time elsewhere allowed them to stop and work on another song.
The band's shift in direction was also underlined in their production with the departure of producer and engineer David Hentschel, who had worked with them since 1975. His replacement, Hugh Padgham, was chosen following his work on Face Value and former Genesis singer Peter Gabriel's third solo album that featured Collins on drums. The track "Intruder" features a gated reverb effect on Collins's drums that the band found attractive and wanted Padgham to incorporate on Abacab. Bringing the drums to the forefront in this way made Banks alter his method of writing and playing his keyboards, which he found exciting. The band praised Padgham's fresh approach; Banks recalled his attractive ideas for the drums and his lack of knowledge in handling keyboards allowed him to explore and obtain sounds he liked. The band considered Abacab an album that closely represented their natural live sound, as opposed to their earlier ones. For the first time in the band's history, the production duties were solely credited to Genesis. Padgham is credited as the album's engineer. The band produced different mixes of finished songs and selected the mix they liked best.
The album's artwork was designed by English artist Bill Smith, who recalled that the group were difficult to design for as "they only ever knew what they didn't like". The design was conceived after Rutherford spotted a collection of torn pieces of paper of one inch in size taken from a Pantone swatch of colours for a book design in Smith's sketchbook, depicting a bright abstract design. Smith then reproduced it in four different colour schemes with an embossed finish. The band liked all four and thought it would have an effective presentation on shop displays. Three of the designs had a limited print, after which just one of the designs remained in stock. In a contrast to previous Genesis albums, the sleeve is absent of lyrics. Banks reasoned this to reducing the emphasis on the words, which he thought had been overdone on previous albums, in order to make them a greater part in the album's overall sound.
Abacab is formed of nine tracks, six of which are group written with the remaining three solely credited to one of each member: "Me and Sarah Jane" is from Banks, "Man on the Corner" by Collins, and "Like It or Not" by Rutherford. Banks said the album consisted of mostly collectively written songs as such material became the strongest on Duke.
Rutherford spoke about how the "Abacab" was arranged: "There were three bits of music in 'Abacab', and we referred to them as 'section a', 'section b', and 'section c' ... and at different times, they were in different order. We'd start with 'section a' and then have 'section c' ... and at one point in time, it spelled Abacab. On the final version, it's not that at all, it's like 'Accaabbaac'." The song developed from a group jam session that had them playing along to a looped drum track until the tape they were using to record on ran out.
"No Reply at All" is a rhythm and blues style track that features the Phenix Horns of the American band Earth, Wind & Fire. This marked the first instance of Genesis using outside musicians for one of their tracks since a string section was used on their debut album, From Genesis to Revelation (1969). The band wanted to emulate the brass keyboard sound that was used on some parts on Duke, and Collins had used the Phenix Horns on Face Value and suggested to Banks and Rutherford that they use them for the track. Collins thought the horns was a good move to "suddenly jar people and take them off automatic pilot" from the predictable ideas they had considered Genesis to be. Their involvement created some initial reservations from Banks, but he grew to enjoy the track by the time it was complete. In rehearsal, Banks played a drum machine while Rutherford and Collins played a guitar and drum part, respectively, and played until they found ideas and sequences that worked. Collins had the idea of writing a song that The Jackson 5 would have wanted to record and direct the band in a direction that they never had before. Collins wrote the lyrics.
"Me and Sarah Jane" originated from takes that the group had recorded from the second day of recording.
The lyrics to the "Dodo" and "Lurker" were written by Banks. He included a riddle in "Lurker" that had fans wondering what the answer to it actually is. In a 1997 interview, he said: "There is no real solution [...] It was a bit of a joke [...] I honestly didn't really have a specific idea in mind."
Banks described "Who Dunnit?" as a "real one-off piece". Featuring drums, guitar, and a Prophet-5 analogue synthesiser, he obtained the track's distorted keyboard sound by changing its presets as he played the notes. He pushed Collins and Rutherford to record what ideas he had for the track, to which Collins wrote a lyric. Padgham wanted the drums on the track to sound loud and exciting, and not like typical drum recording sounds of the 1970s. Rutherford played the drums alongside Thompson during live performances of the song on the album's tour. While the group were deciding the final track listing for Abacab, Atlantic Records president Ahmet Ertegun believed "Who Dunnit?" should be included. At one point, Genesis considered releasing "Who Dunnit?" as a single.
Among the songs that were left off the album were three that were picked for release on Genesis's second EP, 3×3. This contained "Paperlate", "You Might Recall", and "Me & Virgil", which were included on the international edition of their third live album Three Sides Live, both released in 1982. Two other songs, "Naminanu" and "Submarine", originally part of a four-song suite with "Dodo/Lurker", were released as B-sides on the album's singles.
"Keep It Dark" tells the story of a man who gets taken to a surreal and peaceful alien planet but does not tell anyone as he thinks no one would believe him. Its original working title was "Odd” and became a favourite track for Banks. It features the band taking two bars of a drum pattern previously recorded and playing the song to it.
Abacab was released on 18 September 1981 in the United Kingdom by Charisma Records and 24 September 1981 in the United States by Atlantic Records. It was simultaneously released in four different colour schemes.
In 2007, Abacab was remastered with a new stereo and 5.1 surround sound mix and bonus features as part of the Genesis 1976–1982 box set.
In a review for Melody Maker, reporter Paul Colbert thought the album was the band's least consistent and therefore, least predictable in three years. He recognised a "heavy PC [Phil Collins] twist to the sound" on "Man on the Corner" and "No Reply at All", but "he does not have it all his own way". Colbert, however, thought Genesis had produced "a couple of Frankensteins" such as the latter half of "Abacab", which he deemed "unstructured" and "uninspired" compared to their past instrumentals. He named "Keep It Dark" and "Who Dunnit?" as "the most exciting and innovative music" the band had produced for several years and concluded with the album is "by far more promising" than Duke or ...And Then There Were Three.... Ken Kubernik of the Los Angeles Times wondered if the success of Collins' solo album Face Value was an influence on the group, to which he replied, "Yes and no." He praised the album for its "thick, resonant instrumental passages, quaint imagery in the lyrics, and superb production", but "beneath the surface are some new wrinkles in the trademark Genesis sound", noting a reduction in harmonies for more simple vocals and Collins' drum sound replacing Banks's keyboards as their "vortex". Kubernik did, however, praise Collins' vocals. Jim Bohen for Daily Record recognised Abacab had largely taken its direction from Collins's Face Value with its structure based around a "a huge, booming drum sound". He noted the instrumentation is less restrained than previous Genesis albums. "Who Dunnit?" was described as "an Ian Dury like tongue-twister", yet deemed "Dodo/Lurker", "Like It or Not", and "Another Record" as "less noteworthy". Bohen concludes, however, that the album "drags this trio of art-rockers into the 80s at last". A positive review was published in The Pittsburgh Press by Pete Bishop. He named Abacab a "state-of-the-art" album and picked "Abacab" and "No Reply at All" as particularly good tracks despite Collins's vocals not being "the world's strongest". Bishop said "Who Dunnit?" was the album's only "dud” yet believed overall the album would please Genesis fans. An uncredited review in The Coshocton Tribune in Ohio predicted the album would be Genesis's first top ten album in the US due to its similarity to Face Value but rated it ahead of "the dreary Duke".
David Fricke of Rolling Stone praised the album for shedding the "ivory-tower artistry" of their previous albums, turning to sparse arrangements and "highly rhythmic interplay" and drawing inspiration from popular contemporaries such as XTC and The Police. In his retrospective review for AllMusic, critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine echoed this sentiment with greater emphasis, declaring "Duke showcased a new Genesis... but Abacab was where this new incarnation of the band came into its own." He also argued that although the album is far richer in pop hooks and accessibility than the band's previous works, at its heart Abacab "is truly modern art rock, their last album that could bear that tag comfortably."
Genesis toured in support of Abacab from September to December 1981, covering Europe and North America. Shows in New York City and Birmingham, England comprised the Three Sides Live album released the following year. The tour also marked the first appearance of the Vari-Lite automated lighting system, in which Genesis invested.