Genesis 2016: The Outline Still Remains


If you are a fan of the solo careers of the various members of Genesis than 2016 has been a very good year.

Steve Hackett recently finished his highly successful Acolyte to Wolflight/Genesis Revisited tour. He is currently recording his next album and next year he will hit the road to support it. Part of the new live show will be dedicated to celebrating the 40th anniversary of the classic Genesis album Wind and Wuthering.

This year Phil Collins has slowly emerged out of retirement with a few live performances. His autobiography, Not Dead Yet, is due to be released later this month. With each live performance he appears stronger and healthier. That is a very good thing to see.

Mike Rutherford is currently touring with Mike and the Mechanics. Their set list includes some new songs that I can only assume are going to appear on the next Mechanics album scheduled to be released next year.

Peter Gabriel recently finished a large co-heading tour with Sting. He also released two new singles this year, I’m Amazing and The Veil.

What a great year, so far, but one member of the band is noticeably absent. Tony Banks where are you? We know that he is alive and well but he is keeping a very low profile. His only recent activity has been the release of older material. 2015 saw the release of his career spanning box set A Chord Too Far as well as remastered reissues of two of his solo albums, A Curious Feeling and The Fugitive. If you are not familiar with Tony’s solo music I would highly recommend purchasing the boxset. But where is the new music?

The extended members of the Genesis family have been active throughout 2016 as well. Anthony Phillips, Ray Wilson, Daryl Stuermer and Chester Thompson all continue to be involved in studio recordings and/or live shows.

All of this activity makes Tony’s silence that much louder. I do not mean to harp on Tony, but I am a huge fan of his rock solo albums. His two classical albums leave me a bit cold, but at least they contain new music. His last release of new music was in 2012, that’s a bit too long for me. I find it curious that he has chosen to remain so still. It feels like he wants to be incognito, as if he is a fugitive on the run from a music studio. I know that his solo career did not help his bank statement, but I sure would love to hear some new music from Mr Banks in 2017.

Thus far, Tony Banks’ absence aside, 2016 has been quite a productive year from the Genesis camp.  2017 looks to be more of the same.  In my opinion the odds of a Genesis reunion are slim to none, despite the fact that some members of the band seem open to the possibility.   If the band never reforms I am fine with that.  I am happy that the various members of the band continue to produce new music.  And some continue to carry the torch by keeping the great music of Genesis in their set lists.

Phil Collins: A Survivor

The release date for Phil Collins’ new autobiography, Not Dead Yet, was recently announced. The book will be released later this year on October 25. The title is a tad morbid, especially considering all of the great musicians that we have lost over the last year. The title aside, I am greatly looking forward to reading this book.

I am not a big reader of biographies and autobiographies. In the last year I have read two. The first was Stryper lead singer Michael Sweet’s incredibly candid Honestly. The second was Genesis bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford’s engaging and at times enlightening The Living Years: The First Genesis Memoir. In both bios the authors discussed their fellow band mates, not always in a positive light.  But both really used the bulk of their books to expose personal things about themselves; good, bad and sometimes ugly.

With Phil Collins’ Not Dead Yet I am not looking for a juicy tell all full of dirt and scandal. However, I am very curious to peer behind the curtain of the Genesis machine. More than anything I want to read about the band’s creative process. I want to read about their songwriting approaches, their recording sessions and tour preparation. I do believe that Phil Collins is the Genesis member objective enough to deliver the most grounded view of the band. I am also very curious to read about his highly successful solo career, as well as his personal life. He has promised a tell all, so my interest is piqued. I have been a huge fan of Genesis and Phil Collins since 1981.  I do hope for a great read from a man whose music has been such a large part of my life for so many years.