My love of Genesis goes back a fair few years, well to hearing Nursery Chryme in the school music room in around 1975. To this day I still love that album. It showed me this wonderful world that was Genesis. I was lucky to see Genesis a fair few times over the years. The first being Knebworth in 1978, a great concert even though sadly both Gabriel and Hackett had left by then. I saw them a few times after as well. In ’82 I saw them numerous times at places across the country, culminating in the Six of the Best on a rainy day in Milton Keynes. There I saw Gabriel with Genesis for the first time, as well as the encore with Steve Hackett.
It’s fair to say that my favourite period of Genesis music was up to the moment that Hackett left. Then they seemed to lose their way, although I still listened and bought the records. I last saw them when they reformed in 2007, where my son and I went to both UK dates making it a weekend I’ll never forget. The music may not have been as strong but boy did Carpet Crawl make up for that. (more later)
So here goes, my Top Ten. I have to say first off that I tried to put a three man Genesis track in there. I toyed with the Duke Suite (another post I think) and Home by The Sea/Second Home by the Sea. In the end after listening to them I couldn’t really justify their inclusion. Maybe it was the lack of real guitar work. (Incidentally And then there were three would have made a great album with Hackett on guitar).
At Number Ten then is Seven Stones, a track from Nursery Chryme. Maybe it wouldn’t be most peoples choice but I do like the whole piece. Atmospheric and hinting a little of bits of Suppers Ready.
Number Nine is maybe another left field choice. It’s from Trespass, the second album. I love the simplicity and the atmospheric music. It maybe lacks in drum and guitar but it’s an epic little track which gets an outing quite often live in I Know What I Like. Na na na na…
Eight is Los Endos from Trick of the Tail. This was the first album after Gabriel left and had some cracking tracks. Most of them were quite short compared with others but the last track was what brought it together for me. A live favourite over the years. It’s false ending and the sheer majesty of the music makes it my pick of the album.
At seven is Fountain of Salmacis from Nursery Chryme. To be fair it was either this one or Musical Box. Both are stand out tracks but this got the vote because of my son mishearing ‘from a dense forest’ as Farmer Den’s forest. Little things make a song.
At six is the entire second side of Wind and Wuthering. I always thought it was another Suppers Ready, a series of tracks that work as one piece. Acoustic to start off with rising to a glorious crescendo with Afterglow. It may be five tracks but in my mind it’s one and as it’s my top ten then anything goes. To me it shows how Genesis could have gone if Hackett had stayed.
At five after much deliberation is Carpet Crawlers. There are probably better tracks from Lamb, yet this is the one which always fills me with happiness. Maybe its the music or perhaps it was being able to sing it with my son, when Genesis had it for their last encore in 2007. A track that’s very personal for me and almost made number one.
At four, its two tracks, actually more, but was and still is a staple of the live shows. In the Cage is a brilliant track and live in the 80s with all those vari-lights was brilliant (see below). The way the track sequenced into Afterglow through Slipperman and Cinema Show was excellent. Afterglow on its own is such a strong song, the lyrics and orchestral like music just can’t be beaten.
So we’re down to the top three now. At number three is Cinema Show. As with all Genesis epics, Cinema Show highlights all the band. Keyboard given room to go big, guitar strong, great drumming and great lyrics. It deserves it place. The album it comes from, Selling England by the pound, is maybe their best (although Wind and Wuthering is a strong contender).
At two and it’s probably the track many would put a number one. Twenty Three minutes of pure pleasure. A track that soars and puts you through every type of emotion. Lyrics that mean everything and also the song where I pulled the website title ‘Can’t you feel our souls ignite’. From walking across the sitting room through to the new Jerusalem it’s a true epic.
And at number one is Firth of Fifth. It was hard to choose between this one and Suppers Ready. Another day and it would be the other way, but this is Steve Hackett’s moment. His guitar solo is incredible. From the piano of Tony Banks to the quiet ending, it flows like a river (of constant change). Another track from Selling England, it proves how good Genesis were before Hackett sadly left.