The Top 10 Genesis Songs From The Peter Gabriel And Phil Collins Eras

The Top 10 Genesis Songs From The Peter Gabriel And Phil Collins Eras

Gabriel or Collins? The songs list that satisfies both sides of the argument.

For those of you who have been living under a rock when it comes to music news, Phil Collins is unretired, recently released a memoir entitled Not Dead Yet, and is planning a very short European tour this upcoming summer (hopefully, a North American tour follows soon). As for Peter Gabriel, he recently concluded a summer tour with Sting. The commonality between Collins and Gabriel is that both men have been the lead vocalist for the progressive/pop rock group Genesis. Generally, the progressive rock era of Genesis has been associated with Gabriel and the pop rock era has been associated with Collins, although he has been a member of the group during both eras. This has sparked debate on which era of Genesis was better and who the better lead vocalist was. To appease both sides, here are the 10 best Genesis songs (in chronological order) from the Gabriel era and the Collins era.

Peter Gabriel Era

1. The Knife

Released in 1970 on the band's second album Trespass, this nine minute song served as a protest song whose lyrics, according to Gabriel, "...wanted to try and show how all violent revolutions inevitably end up with a dictator in power." Keyboardist Tony Banks plays a march-like organ riff along with distorted guitars played by Mike Rutherford and Anthony Phillips. "The Knife" was released as a single, but did not chart. Phillips would leave the band shortly after the release of the album mainly due to having bouts of stage fright.

2. The Musical Box

"The Musical Box" is the first Genesis song that introduced guitarist Steve Hackett and drummer Phil Collins. Clocking in at around 10 and a half minutes, the leadoff song from Nursery Cryme is quintessential progressive rock: changes in mood, time signature, and superb playing from each group member. The song would be a live favorite throughout the Gabriel era and the ending section would be a part of "old song" medleys during 1980s and 1990s tours with Collins.

3. Watcher of the Skies

As the first track on the group's 1972 album Foxtrot, "Watcher of the Skies" begins with a hauntingly beautiful Mellotron section played by Tony Banks and shifts to wonderfully executed musicianship by the main ensemble. The song opened many of the band's shows from 1972 to 1974 and Peter Gabriel's theatrics would be in full swing with this song. For "Watcher of the Skies," Gabriel would don a multicolored cape, UV makeup around his eyes, and wear bat wings on the side of his head. This would not be the last of his trademark concert outfits.

4. Supper's Ready

The 23 minute epic "Supper's Ready" consists of seven sections and is considered to be Genesis's magnum opus. As any typical progressive rock suite goes, there are numerous changes in time signature, key, instrumentation, and more importantly, mood. The final two sections, "Apocalypse in 9/8" and "As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs," respectively, highlight the suite. According to Gabriel, the lyrics are about a personal journey which ends up going through scenes in the Book of Revelation. For anyone wanting to try listening to progressive rock, definitely give "Supper's Ready" a listen.

5. I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)

From Selling England by the Pound, "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" became the band's first "minor" hit, peaking at 21 on the UK Singles Chart. This four minute song would be a live favorite for Genesis throughout. Upon listening to this song, there is definitely Beatles influence in the guitar playing of Steve Hackett and Phil Collins's drumming. For BBC America enthusiasts, "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" appeared on numerous occasions in Top Gear, much to the chagrin of co-host Richard Hammond, who is not a huge fan of Genesis.

6. Firth of Fifth

"Firth of Fifth" showcases Steve Hackett's guitar playing and Tony Banks's ability as a keyboardist. The song opens with a piano solo by Banks, which would serve as a leitmotif later in the track. Gabriel also played flute while in Genesis and his playing serves as a soothing interlude to a harder rocking middle section highlighted by Steve Hackett's guitar solo. The lyrics are not as spectacular. Banks would later recall them as "one of the worst sets of lyrics [I have] been involved with."

7. The Cinema Show

As the penultimate track on Selling England by the Pound, "The Cinema Show" invokes the characters of Romeo and Juliet as well as the mythological figure Tiresias, who was transformed into a woman for seven years. The songs best known lyrics, referring to Tiresias, are "Once a man like the sea I raged. Once a woman like the earth I gave. But there is in fact more earth than sea." The somewhat subtle hint that the female is the more dominant sex should make the song worth a listen! Either that or the masterpiece that is Tony Banks's keyboard solo towards the end of the song!

8. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

The title track of the group's 1974 concept album begins with fast paced keyboard playing by Tony Banks and transitions into a energy filled opening for the album. Inspired by soul songs recorded during the 1960s, the lyrics even reference the Drifters' 1963 classic "On Broadway." The song also introduces the album's protagonist, Rael, a Puerto Rican living in the heart of New York City. The album takes on brilliant strangeness in future tracks, including the next two songs in this list.

9. In the Cage

"In the Cage" is perhaps the darkest and hardest rocking track of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Great vocals from Peter Gabriel, chaotic drumming and backing vocals from Phil Collins, and the always brilliant keyboards from Tony Banks made this song a live favorite and a driver for medleys performed during the 1980s and the group's reunion tour in 2007.

10. The Carpet Crawlers

Personally, "The Carpet Crawlers" is my favorite Genesis song of the Peter Gabriel era. The melody is beautiful and the keyboards (Tony Banks again...) provide an atmosphere that gives one goosebumps. Gabriel's vocals and Collins's backing vocals gives the song a life of its own. "The Carpet Crawlers" would become a significant piece in Genesis shows throughout and poignantly served as the final song performed by the group on its 2007 reunion tour, perhaps the group's final tour. "The carpet crawlers heed their callers. We've got to get in to get out." Gabriel would then leave Genesis in 1975 after the tour in support of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.

Phil Collins Era

1. Squonk

After hundreds and hundreds of unimpressive auditions for filling the new lead vocalist role, Phil Collins hesitantly came from behind his drum kit to fill this void. Turned out to be the right decision as the band began work on its 1976 album A Trick of the Tail. Influenced by Led Zeppelin, the third track of the album, "Squonk," contained drum fills comparable to John Bonham and the song told the folk tale of the tune titled creature, who leaves a trail of tears for hunters to follow and would dissolve into a pool of tears when cornered. The song often served as an opening number for Genesis shows during 1977.

2. One for the Vine

Penned by keyboardist Tony Banks, "One for the Vine" was the second track from 1977's Wind and Wuthering. The ten minute song provided commentary about individuals who attract multitudes of followers only to have one person break away and attract many other followers, then repeat. Perhaps a subtle criticism of other faiths having root from breaking away from Catholicism? Definitely a shining moment in the band's songwriting.

3. Afterglow

Also penned by Tony Banks, "Afterglow" was the final track on Wind and Wuthering following the "Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers.../...In That Quiet Earth" instrumental. The lyrics tell the story of a survivor from a nuclear fallout and his thoughts about possibly being the only person left and his wanting to find his loved ones. Banks said he wrote the song "just about in the time it took to play it." Interestingly, days after writing the song, Banks thought he accidently used the melody of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" as the opening notes of each verse, later coming to the conclusion that he did not. Upon listening to "Afterglow," the beginning of each verse does sound similar to the classic Christmas tune, but are not copycat notes.

4. Follow You Follow Me

Following the departure of guitarist Steve Hackett, Genesis was reduced to a three member band. Appropriately, the group's next album was entitled ...And Then There Were Three... Released in 1978, the album was the band's first attempt at writing shorter songs while maintaining its progressive style. The final track, "Follow You, Follow Me," became the band's first Top 40 American hit peaking at 23.

5. Misunderstanding

As the first solely penned Phil Collins song in Genesis's repertoire, "Misunderstanding" became a classic rock hit staple and peaked at 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1980. 1980's Duke marked a transition for Genesis from a progressive sound to a more pop rock sound. The song was inspired by Collins's divorce from his first wife and his failed attempt to save his marriage. Interestingly, "Misunderstanding" was among the collection of songs Collins wrote during this difficult time in his life, which included his solo signature hit "In the Air Tonight." Genesis ultimately went with "Misunderstanding" and "Please Don't Ask," passing on "In the Air Tonight." The other Collins penned songs would make up his first solo album, Face Value, released in 1981.

6. Turn It on Again

Arguably pop era Genesis's signature song, "Turn It on Again" contains a memorable riff on both keyboards and guitar, played by Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford, respectively. Despite only reaching 58 on the Billboard Hot 100, the song would become a concert staple often serving as the ending number. During the Mama and Invisible Touch tours of the 1980s, "Turn It on Again" would be part of medley that contained covers of 1960s classics such as "In the Midnight Hour," Everybody Needs Somebody to Love," and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction."

7. Home by the Sea/Second Home by the Sea

From the group's self-titled album in 1983, "Home by the Sea" and "Second Home by the Sea" returned the group to a progressive rock feel, but with a pop rock sound. "Home by the Sea" contains more vocals and tells the story of a thief who unsuccessfully tries to rob a haunted house located by the ocean. "Second Home by the Sea" is mostly instrumental and primarily driven by Tony Banks's keyboards and superb drumming from Phil Collins. A reprise of the final verse in "Home by the Sea" closes the two song suite.

8. Invisible Touch

The self-titled track from 1986's Invisible Touch became the group's only number one hit, only to be surpassed by former lead vocalist Peter Gabriel's single "Sledgehammer." The upbeat song has always been a live favorite for Genesis and is occasionally played on 1980s hits radio stations.

9. Land of Confusion

"Land of Confusion" served as the third single from Invisible Touch and reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100. The song's lyrics, penned by guitarist Mike Rutherford, commented on the political turmoil felt by the United States, the United Kingdom, and Russia during the 1980s in regards to nuclear arms. The song is also notable for its music video, consisting of numerous puppets of the band members, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, as well as other notable figures including Saint Pope John Paul II. The video would eventually lose the MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year to Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer," another landmark music video incorporating stop motion animation.

10. No Son of Mine

As the first track from 1991's We Can't Dance, "No Son of Mine" reached number 12 in the United States and number 6 in the UK. The lyrics, written by Phil Collins, discuss a young man's turbulent relationship with his abusive father causing him to run away and then return, only to be rebuked. The song served as a live staple for the group during 1992, 1998, and 2007. We Can't Dance was the last Genesis studio album to have Collins as lead vocalist with his departure from the group in 1996. Collins would return for the band's 2007 reunion tour with Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford.

Cover Image Credit: Made

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.

Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Picking Passion Over Pressure Is The Answer To A Fulfillng Life

Don't crack under pressure, flourish with passion.


What motivates your actions? The answer to this critical question can determine whether or not you are living a fulfilling life. Many of us follow a social script as if we are reading lines from a play. We succumb to the influence of those around us and roam aimlessly in the direction of the masses.

The concept of living within the confinement of certain "norms" is an expectation society calls us to uphold, and it is not an entirely negative idea. But when life becomes "a series of motions to go through", this expectation can become problematic. When you find yourself stressed out about doing whatever it is you think that you have to do, stop and ask yourself if it makes you truly happy. Are you pursuing your passion or are you just performing under pressure? To find true contentment in your life, pick passion over pressure.

Be an individual before an identity.

When people first introduce themselves to a new friend or group of people, they are quick to jump to aspects of their life that compose their identity. Many of us define ourselves by what it is we do, and not necessarily who we actually are. For example, this can include identifying as a member of a club or sports team or even defining yourself based on accolades and accomplishments you have achieved. While these are definitely adequate ways to distinguish yourself from others, have you ever stopped to look beneath the surface? It is important to know what unique qualities make you an individual and not just a part of a larger entity.

By viewing yourself as an individual, you will find your passions in life more easily and find genuine enjoyment in all that you do. Taking on an identity will only hold you under unnecessary pressure to fulfill a role that could leave you feeling unsatisfied later on.

Become self-aware.

To find out what makes you truly happy, you need to establish a clear sense of who you are. Fostering self-awareness is a journey, and it can be discovered through life experiences. In order to figure out what you love doing, push yourself out of your comfort zone to figure out what you don't love doing. This can mean joining a new club, taking a challenging class, or working in an environment that you are unfamiliar with. Once you begin to discover how you react in certain situations, use these personality traits to your advantage.

Don't make the same mistake twice, and avoid taking on a position that you know would not be compatible with your lifestyle. By becoming self-aware, you will discover your passion more easily and will be able to take on realistic opportunities that will prove to be fulfilling. When you try to become someone you are not, it will seem like there is always a lingering pressure to "keep up the act", and it will be harder to accomplish tasks because you don't truly enjoy doing them.

View outside opinions with a filtered lens.

Don't let others dictate your future. When you make life decisions based on what other people think is best for you, you will be pleasing everyone except yourself. Consciously decide whose opinions are valid, meaningful, and constructive to your life. This can include the wisdom of close friends and relatives, professors, or a boss that has known you for years. By finding out who knows you best and who truly desires the best for your life, you can tune out the background noise and hone in on the few voices that actually do matter.

Place value in what these people have to say, and take the words of others with a grain of salt. Avoid letting irrelevant or negative opinions linger in your mind. If you allow the influence of others to infiltrate your decision making, you will find yourself in many regrettable situations and unsatisfied with the outcome of your choices. By subscribing to the helpful advice shared by those closest to you, you can foster your true passion.

Practice positive thinking. 

You can't find out what makes you happy in life without actually experiencing what happiness is. To discover your passion, adopt a positive mindset. Get out of the habit of mentally putting yourself down, and take the word "can't" out of your thought process. The more mental blocks you put on yourself, the less likely you are to have good experiences. Release your inhibitions and train your brain seek positivity in any situation.

Don't allow minor inconveniences to disturb you, and remind yourself of the saying that "it is only a bad day, not a bad life." In doing so, the positive choices you make will lead you in the direction of your passion so that you can live a fulfilling life.

Be open to new ideas. 

Keeping an open mind will allow you to experience life from a new perspective. Even when something seems foreboding, treat it as a lesson. If you cannot think of a positive quality for the situation you find yourself in, then don't assign your circumstances any qualities at all. If you keep a neutral mindset, you will eliminate the possibility for disappointment. This will encourage learning and growth, which are essential in your journey to finding your true passion.

Being open to new ideas will help you avoid sticking to the status quo. By taking part in something you have never done before, you are less likely to find yourself confined by what others expect you to do.

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