Being a band that strives to be an entity unto itself these days is a can’t win situation; the public gives you trouble if you step outside your chosen format, yet they constantly demand new and better things from you and come down hard if you don’t deliver. The suspicion also lurks about dressing rooms that a band can never be the same if one of its members leaves after the group has achieved a modicum of success.
Such was the case with the ‘new’ Genesis; after spending roughly three years carving out their own private niche in the U.S. record market and developing a stage personna that relied heavily on each individual member, Peter Gabriel, the band’s lead singer, flutist and visual center of attraction with his costumes, masks, etc., left the band for reasons that have been well-catalogued by now. Genesis fanatics were shocked: how, they reasoned, can you replace an irreplaceable
member? Surely the new version of the band would never match what had already been done. When word from the Genesis camp arrived that the new singer was none other than Phil Collins, the band’s percussionist extraordinaire and second vocalist, and that on tour Bill Bruford would now handle most of the drumming, reaction was still mixed. People worried that Collins’ voice wasn’t strong enough to be out front, or that the band would be limited to a real short live show because they certainly wouldn’t have the audacity to try and perform material made famous by the band with Peter Gabriel.
Given all the hoop-la, controversy and circular argumentation surrounding the band, it was surprising, then, to discover that each individual member radiated an aura of confidence that previously had gone unnoticed; Mike Rutherford, the band’s bass player, second guitarist and back-up singer, noted that while this was certainly a new line-up for the band, there were indeed several links to the past: “I feel it’s like the old Genesis with a bit of fresh energy, because musically, it’s