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Genesis (Genesis album)

Genesis is the twelfth studio album by Genesis, recorded and released in 1983. The shapes are from the Tupperware "Shape O Toy Ball." The toy consists of a blue and red hollow ball with different shaped holes cut into the surface, into which the shaped pieces can be inserted.

Genesis (named for the fact that all three band members composed every song on it together) marked the beginning of Hugh Padgham's formal production assistance after engineering Abacab.

"Mama", a song about a man's obsession with a prostitute, became Genesis' biggest UK hit, reaching No. 20 upon release (and ultimately peaking at No. 4), although the song did not do well in the US singles chart. Further successes "That's All" (which became the band's first US Top 10 hit), "Illegal Alien" and "Taking It All Too Hard" ensured that Genesis was well received, and it reached No. 1 in the UK, remaining in the charts for 51 weeks. It also reached No. 9 in the US, eventually selling over four million copies there alone. The album contains a mixture of progressive rock material (Mama, Home By The Sea, Silver Rainbow, It's Gonna Get Better) and pop rock material (That's All, Illegal Alien, Taking It All Too Hard, Just A Job To Do) with both genres overlapping at numerous points.

SACD / DVD double disc set (including new 5.1 and Stereo mixes) was released in October 2007 in Europe and as a CD and DVD double disc set in the US and Canada a month later.


 [hide*1 Background


The album was developed differently from previous Genesis albums. Prior to this album, each member would bring in their song ideas fully composed. This time, each band member would bring in a fragment of an idea and they would compose the song together through improvisation in the studio. The band did this due to the other commitments taking up their time, as the members by this point had side projects and solo careers. This method allowed them to keep the band unified and the songs fresh.

A "bit" (fragment of music too short to be used as a complete piece) written during Genesis sessions was later developed into the song "A Call to Arms" onMike + The Mechanics (1985). Collins and Banks were unenthusiastic about the "bit" and had voted against developing it.[1] The album sessions produced no non-album tracks, the only studio sessions since 1974's The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway not to do so. However, a 12-inch single was released with unedited versions of "Mama" and "It's Gonna Get Better," both of which appeared on the album in edited versions. The version of "Mama" on the LP ran 6:46, while the version on the 12" single ran 7:27. "It's Gonna Get Better" ran 5:00 on the LP and 6:27 on the 12" single.

That's All was developed from a bit Phil Collins created as a tribute to The Beatles, in particular the drumming style of Ringo Starr, who he considered one of his drumming influences.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [2]
Kerrang! (very favourable)[3]
Rolling Stone [4]

In their retrospective review, Allmusic criticised the album for lacking coherency, but found that a majority of the tracks are outstanding, "balancing such sleek, pulsating pop tunes as 'That's All' with a newfound touch for aching ballads." They also praised the band's completely redefining themselves as a pop group.[2]The Kerrang! reviewer determined that for this album Genesis "have traded technical complexity and ingenuity for an altogether more stunning simplicity", making "a Genesis album for people who normally hate Genesis" and "great music for the masses".[3] In 1985 the album received a Grammy Awardnomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal while "Second Home by the Sea" was nominated for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.

Track listing[edit]Edit

All songs written by Tony BanksPhil Collins, and Mike Rutherford.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Mama"   6:46
2. "That's All"   4:22
3. "Home by the Sea"   4:46
4. "Second Home by the Sea"   6:22
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Illegal Alien"   5:12
2. "Taking It All Too Hard"   3:54
3. "Just a Job to Do"   4:44
4. "Silver Rainbow"   4:27
5. "It's Gonna Get Better"   5:00


  • Tony Banks – keyboards, backing vocals
  • Phil Collins – lead & backing vocals, drums, percussion, trumpet (uncredited) on "Illegal Alien", drum machines
  • Mike Rutherford – guitars, bass guitar, backing vocals, drum machine on "Mama" (uncredited)

Working Titles[edit]Edit

Before Genesis was released, many of the songs had working titles. Below are the original song working titles and finalised song titles (in parentheses):

  • George and Marthia (That's All)
  • Heavy Simmons (Second Home by the Sea)
  • MTB (Illegal Alien)
  • MJ (Just a Job to Do)
  • Adam (Silver Rainbow)

[5] [6] [7]


Main article: Mama Tour

Genesis toured in support of the self-titled album nicknaming the tour The Mama Tour between October 1983 and March 1984.


  1. Dodo/Lurker*
  2. Abacab*
  3. That's All*
  4. Mama*
  5. Old Medley
  6. Man on the Corner*
  7. Illegal Alien
  8. Home by the Sea*/Second Home by the Sea*
  9. Keep It Dark
  10. It's Gonna Get Better
  11. Follow You Follow Me*
  12. In the Cage
  13. The Cinema Show (closing section)/Riding the Scree (teaser)/The Cinema Show/...In That Quiet Earth/The Colony of Slippermen (c) The Raven
  14. Afterglow
  15. Drum Duet
  16. Los Endos


  1. Misunderstanding
  2. Turn It On Again (In the Midnight Hour(I Can't Get No) SatisfactionPinball Wizard)

The Carpet Crawlers and Who Dunnit? were played early on in the tour, but were dropped a short while in. On 25 January 1984 they included "Behind the Lines" in the Old Medley section.


  • Tony Banks – keyboards, drum machine on "Mama", vocals
  • Phil Collins – lead vocals, drums, electric and acoustic percussion
  • Mike Rutherford – guitars, bass guitar, bass Pedals, vocals


  • Daryl Stuermer – guitars, bass guitar*, backing vocals on "Illegal Alien"
  • Chester Thompson – drums, percussion
  • The group's road crew – backing vocals on "Illegal Alien"

Charts and Certifications[edit]Edit

Chart (1983) Peak


Canadian Albums (RPM)[8] 2
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[9] 2
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[10] 1
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[11] 2
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[12] 12
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[13] 2
UK Albums (OCC)[14] 1
US Billboard 200[15] 9
Chart (1984) Peak


Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[16] 2
Chart (1987) Peak


New Zealand Albums (Recorded Music NZ)[17] 2
Region Certification Sales/shipments
France (SNEP)[18] Platinum 400,000
Germany (BVMI)[19] Platinum 500,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[20] 2× Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[21] 4× Platinum 4,000,000^

  • sales figures based on certification alone ^shipments figures based on certification alone

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