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.
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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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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...

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"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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