Genesis (Genesis album)

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Studio album by Genesis
Released 3 October 1983
Recorded May–August 1983
Studio The Farm, Chiddingfold, Surrey, UK
Length 45:59
Label Charisma (UK)
Atlantic (U.S.)
Vertigo (South America)
Genesis chronology
Three Sides Live
(1982)Three Sides Live1982
Invisible Touch
(1986)Invisible Touch1986
Singles from Genesis
  1. "Mama"
    Released: 22 August 1983
  2. "That's All"
    Released: 3 October 1983
  3. "Home by the Sea"
    Released: 31 October 1983
  4. "Illegal Alien"
    Released: 23 January 1984
  5. "Taking It All Too Hard"
    Released: June 1984

Genesis is the twelfth studio album by the English rock band Genesis, released on 3 October 1983 on Charisma Records. The band decided on its title as each of the album's nine tracks were written as a group. The album cover depicts the shapes from a Shape-O, a children's toy made by Tupperware. For this reason, some fans refer to this album in conversation as Shapes. Mike Rutherford referred to this album as his favourite Genesis album.[2] According to AllMusic, the album established that Genesis were "now primarily a pop band", although "art rock functions as coloring to the pop songs".[1]

Genesis was a commercial success upon its release. The album reached No. 1 in the UK and No. 9 in the U.S., where it sold over 4 million copies. Five singles were released between 1983 and 1984, with "Mama" being the band's highest-charting single in the UK at number 4. In 2007, Genesis was reissued with a new stereo and 5.1 surround sound mix as part of the band's box set, Genesis 1983–1998.


In October 1982, the band wrapped their two-month tour of North America and Europe in support of their live album, Three Sides Live. They reconvened in May 1983 to start work on their next studio album at The Farm, the band's recording studio in Chiddingfold, Surrey. The album marked the beginning of Hugh Padgham's formal production assistance after engineering the band's previous studio album, Abacab (1981).

The album was developed differently from previous Genesis albums. Prior to this album, each member would bring in his 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.[3] 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 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.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Kerrang! (very favourable)[4]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[5]

In his retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine rated the album three and a half stars out of five. He 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." He also praised the band's completely redefining themselves as a pop group.[1] 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 Phil Collins, Tony Banks, and Mike Rutherford. The band returned to giving all members credit on all songs, a practice they would continue through the release of 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


  • Genesis – production
  • Hugh Padgham – production, engineer
  • Geoff Callingham – technical assistance
  • 1983 UK & US LP Original Mastered at Tape 1 London, UK by Geoff Pesche ('Pounda')
  • Tony Smith – manager
  • Geoff Banks, Steve Jones, Dale and Clair Newman, Andy Mackrill, Jo Greenwood and all at Hit and Run Music – Without whom department
  • Bill Smith – sleeve design
  • Chris Peyton – sleeve adaptation (for The Redroom)

Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Genesis review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 8 March 2012. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Neer, Dan (1985). Mike on Mike [interview LP], Atlantic Recording Corporation.
  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. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Library and Archives Canada. 31 March 2004. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  7. ^ " – Genesis – Genesis" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ " – Top 100 Longplay". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  10. ^
  11. ^ " – Genesis – Genesis". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  12. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  13. ^ " – Genesis – Genesis". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  14. ^ " – Genesis – Genesis". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  15. ^ October 1983/7502/ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  16. ^ "Genesis – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Genesis.
  17. ^ " – Genesis – Genesis" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  18. ^ " – Genesis – Genesis". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  19. ^ "French album certifications – Genesis – Genesis" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select GENESIS and click OK
  20. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Genesis; 'Genesis')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  21. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Genesis; 'Genesis')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  22. ^ "British album certifications – Genesis – Genesis". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Genesis in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  23. ^ "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

External links[edit]