Genesis (Genesis album)

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Studio album by Genesis
Released 3 October 1983
Recorded May – August 1983 at The Farm, Surrey
Genre Pop, art rock[1]
Length 45:59
Label Charisma (UK)
Atlantic (US)
Vertigo (South America)
Producer Genesis, Hugh Padgham
Genesis chronology
Three Sides Live
Invisible Touch
Singles from Genesis
  1. "Mama"
    Released: 22 August 1983
  2. "That's All"
    Released: 31 October 1983
  3. "Illegal Alien"
    Released: 23 January 1984
  4. "Taking It All Too Hard"
    Released: June 1984

Genesis is the twelfth studio album by the British rock band 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.

A 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.


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" on Mike + The Mechanics (1985). Collins and Banks were unenthusiastic about the "bit" and had voted against developing it.[2] 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; the LP version omitted one verse and was faded early. "It's Gonna Get Better" ran 5:00 on the LP and 6:27 on the 12" single; the LP version had a verse and a chorus cut out.

"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, whom he considered one of his drumming influences.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[3]
Kerrang! (very favourable)[4]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[5]

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.[3] 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".[4] In 1985 the album received a Grammy Award nomination 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]

All songs written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins, and Mike Rutherford. The band returned to giving all members credit on all songs, a practice they would continue up to We Can't Dance.

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

Working titles[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):

  • The Drone ("Mama")
  • 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")[6]

[7] [8]


Main article: Mama Tour

Genesis toured in support of the album 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) Satisfaction", "Pinball Wizard"

"The Carpet Crawlers" and "Who Dunnit?" were performed early in the tour, but were later dropped. On 25 January 1984, "Behind the Lines" was included 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]


  1. ^ "Genesis". Allmusic. Retrieved December 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ Neer, Dan (1985). Mike on Mike [interview LP], Atlantic Recording Corporation.
  3. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Genesis review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 8 March 2012. 
  4. ^ a b De Whalley, Chas (3 November 1983). "Genesis 'Genesis'". Kerrang! 54. Spotlight Publications Ltd. pp. 10–11. 
  5. ^ Considine, J.D. (19 January 1984). "Genesis: Genesis : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 30 November 2007. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Genesis – News in the World of Genesis – August 2009". Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Created by Lurke View Groups (25 August 2011). "Working Titles – Genesis Community". Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "T H E unknown". Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Library and Archives Canada. 31 March 2004. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  10. ^ "Genesis – Genesis" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  11. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 263. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  12. ^ "Top 100 Longplay". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Genesis – Genesis". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  15. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  16. ^ "Genesis – Genesis". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  17. ^ "Genesis – Genesis". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  18. ^ October 1983 "15 October 1983 Top 40 UK Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  19. ^ "Genesis Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for Genesis. Prometheus Global Media.
  20. ^ "Genesis – Genesis" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  21. ^ "Genesis – Genesis". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  22. ^ "French album certifications – Genesis – Genesis" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select GENESIS and click OK
  23. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Genesis; 'Genesis')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  24. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Genesis; 'Genesis')". Hung Medien. 
  25. ^ "British album certifications – Genesis – Genesis". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Genesis in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  26. ^ "American album certifications – Genesis – Genesis". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
Preceded by
No Parlez by Paul Young
UK number one album
15 October 1983 – 21 October 1983
Succeeded by
Colour by Numbers by Culture Club