The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

Legends of Rock: Genesis

Open October 18, 2011 | Main Exhibit Hall


Genesis’ initial core – singer-flute player Peter Gabriel, keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist-guitarist Michael Rutherford and guitarist Steve Hackett – came together in 1966. The group went through several drummers before settling on Phil Collins, who joined in 1970.

The lineup of Gabriel, Banks, Rutherford, Hackett and Collins remained intact for the first half of the Seventies. Genesis didn’t hit the charts in America until 1973, when their sixth album, Selling England by the Pound, rose to Number 70.

            In concert, Gabriel brought Genesis’ songs to life with a series of theatrical guises donned for every song. His stagecraft became the visual focus of Genesis’ live shows. In 1974, Genesis unveiled The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, a conceptual double album. A six-month tour followed, and in its wake, an exhausted Gabriel announced he was leaving the band.

Though they fretted about continuing without Gabriel – and auditioned 400 replacements before deciding Collins was up to the task – Genesis’ most successful days lay ahead of them. The four studio albums they released in the Eighties – Duke (1980), Abacab (1981), Genesis (1983) and Invisible Touch (1986) – generated 10 Top 40 hits. Invisible Touch became one of the biggest albums of the Eighties, launching five major hits: “Invisible Touch” (Genesis’ first and only Number One single), “Throwing It All Away” (Number Four), “Land of Confusion” (Number Four), “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” (Number Three) and “In Too Deep” (Number Three).

Away from Genesis, Collins launched a highly successful solo career that culminated with the phenomenal success of his third album, No Jacket Required (1985), which sold more than 12 million copies and stayed atop the album charts for seven weeks. Banks and Rutherford released solo projects, including Rutherford‘s band Mike + the Mechanics, but none of them matched Collins’ commercial heights.

       Genesis reconvened in the Nineties for one more album (We Can’t Dance, 1991) and world tour before Collins decided to leave for good. Now they were down to two, but Genesis didn’t break up. Recruiting a new vocalist, Ray Wilson, they recorded the 1997 album Calling All Stations. And then Genesis did go silent – until 2007, that is, when Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford reunited for the first time in 15 years for a highly successful world tour. Genesis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

Highlights of the exhibit include a Mike Rutherford double neck custom bass/guitar, Tony Banks synthesizer and Peter Gabriel leather jacket.


Exhibit Details