...And Then There Were Three...

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...And Then There Were Three...
Genesis - And Then There Were Three.jpg
Studio album by Genesis
Released 23 March 1978 (US)
7 April 1978 (UK)
Recorded September–October 1977
Studio Relight Studios in Hilvarenbeek, the Netherlands[1][2]
Genre Progressive rock
Length 53:27
Label Charisma, Atlantic
Producer David Hentschel and Genesis
Genesis chronology
Seconds Out
...And Then There Were Three...
Singles from ...And Then There Were Three...
  1. "Follow You Follow Me"
    Released: 24 February 1978
  2. "Many Too Many"
    Released: 23 June 1978
  3. "Go West Young Man (In the Motherlode)"
    Released: September 1978

...And Then There Were Three... is the ninth studio album from the English rock band Genesis, released in the United Kingdom in April 1978 on Charisma Records. It is the first album recorded as a trio of keyboardist Tony Banks, guitarist Mike Rutherford, and singer and drummer Phil Collins, following the departure of guitarist Steve Hackett in 1977.



...And Then There Were Three... was recorded at Relight Studios in Hilvarenbeek, the Netherlands, the same location as Wind & Wuthering.[2] According to Rutherford, the album was recorded in two weeks.[2]

The title ...And Then There Were Three... comes from a verse of the children's rhyme "Ten Little Indians" ("Four little Injuns up on a spree, One got fuddled and then there were three"). It alludes to the state of the band at the time, after the departure of guitarist Steve Hackett in 1977 reduced the group to a trio of keyboardist Tony Banks, guitarist Mike Rutherford, and singer and drummer Phil Collins. This three-man line-up would last until Collins' departure in 1996.


While many of the songs were still progressive in terms of instrumentation and lyrics, the arrangements went from the more classical, movement-style composition of previous albums to the more standard verse/chorus/bridge format of popular songwriting. This was the final Genesis album to use a Mellotron, which is used on just one track, "Many Too Many".

The lyrics to "Ballad of Big" were written by Collins. The introduction contains a wobbly guitar effect created by Rutherford, whereby he rubbed his guitar strings with pieces of metal, giving it a "slightly Eastern strain".[2]

"Scenes from a Night's Dream" is based on the adventures of comic strip character Little Nemo. The song developed from a musical idea from Banks who also proceeded to write its lyrics, but he gave up halfway through writing them as he felt they were unsuitable. The band instead settled on a set of lyrics that Collins offered.[2]

"Say It's Alright Joe" is a torch song about an alcoholic who goes into a drunken stupor. Rutherford intended for the track to be a mock on "the Dean Martin set 'set 'em up Joe' alcoholic style'".[2]

Rutherford said that the group deliberately planned to end the album on a "lighter note", as a contrast to a more heavy sounding track to close the record.[2]

Sleeve design[edit]

As with their past three studio albums, the sleeve was designed by Hipgnosis. In an interview, Storm Thorgerson called the design a "failure", and described the concept being conveyed:

We were trying to tell a story by the traces left by the light trails. It was a torch, a car, and a man with a cigarette. The band was losing members and there were only three of them left. The lyrics of the songs were about comings and goings and we tried to describe this in photographic terms by using time-lapse. So there's a car going off to one side and then the guy gets out of the car, walks over to the front of it, and lights a cigarette. But as he walks he uses a torch and the car he was in leaves. There's a trail left by the car, a trail left by him as he's walking and then he lights a cigarette, which on the cover is where there's a flash of his face.[3]


The album reached No.3 in the UK Albums Chart, and remained in the charts for 32 weeks[4] having been bolstered by the UK Top 10 success of "Follow You Follow Me", which also became Genesis' first hit US single. ...And Then There Were Three... reached No.14 on the US chart, becoming their first Gold (eventually Platinum) album there (see RIAA certification).

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[5]
Q 3/5 stars[6]
Robert Christgau D+[7]
Rolling Stone negative[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[9]


Genesis toured in support of ...And Then There Were Three.. between March and December 1978. This tour marked the debut of Daryl Stuermer as their touring guitarist.


A digitally remastered version was released on CD in 1994 on Virgin in Europe and Atlantic in the US and Canada. The booklet on the remaster features the lyrics, although the gatefold picture is missing. A SACD / DVD double disc set (including new 5.1 and Stereo mixes) was released on 2 April 2007. It was released in the US and Canada as part of the Genesis 1976–1982 box set. This includes the album in remixed stereo and surround sound, and related video tracks. The only exception is the track "Say It's Alright Joe", which was not remixed because the band was unable to locate the multitrack recordings.[10]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Down and Out"   Collins, Banks, Rutherford 5:25
2. "Undertow"   Banks 4:47
3. "Ballad of Big"   Collins, Banks, Rutherford 4:47
4. "Snowbound"   Rutherford 4:30
5. "Burning Rope"   Banks 7:07
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Deep in the Motherlode"   Rutherford 5:14
2. "Many Too Many"   Banks 3:30
3. "Scenes from a Night's Dream"   Collins, Banks 3:30
4. "Say It's Alright Joe"   Rutherford 4:18
5. "The Lady Lies"   Banks 6:05
6. "Follow You Follow Me"   Rutherford, Banks, Collins 3:59


  • Genesis – production
  • David Hentschel – production, engineer
  • Pierre Geofroy Chateau – engineering assistant
  • Steve Short – mixing assistant
  • Geoff Banks – equipment
  • Andy Mackrill – equipment
  • Dale Newman – equipment
  • Hipgnosis – sleeve design, photographs


  1. ^ a b c ...And Then There Were Three... (Media notes). Charisma Records. 1978. CDS 4010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Fielder, Hugh (1 April 1978). "Genesis Track By Track". Sounds: 17–18. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Cerio, Steven (1998), "Storm Thorgerson", Seconds Magazine (46): 46 
  4. ^ Genesis UK chart history, The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  5. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2011). "And Then There Were Three – Genesis | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  6. ^ Andy Fyfe Q, May 2007, Issue 250.
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: Album: Genesis: . . . And Then There Were Three . . .". robertchristgau.com. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  8. ^ Bloom, Michael (10 August 1978). "Genesis: And Then There Were Three : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2 May 2008. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  9. ^ Nathan Brackett; Christian David Hoard (2004). The new Rolling Stone album guide. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 327–328. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8. 
  10. ^ Explained at http://www.genesis-news.com/genesis/reviews/sacds/1976-1982.htm