The Genesis story actually covers three distinctly different periods. First, there was Genesis with Peter Gabriel, then the post-Gabriel Genesis and finally the '80s Phil Collins led incarnation with Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks seemingly along for the ride.
Genesis (Original Version)
Under Peter Gabriel's leadership, Genesis was Prog Rock to the extreme. Given Gabriel's use of masks and props the band was visually arresting. While starting in the late '60s and recording a couple albums, it wasn't until the '72 release of "Foxtrot" that the group's sound came together. "Selling England By The Pound" represented another step forward as the group added political commentary to their repertoire. "The Lamb Lays Down On Broadway" was their most ambitious and successful album with Gabriel. After a tour supporting the double album, Gabriel departed. His solo career took awhile to get going. It wasn't until the mid-80s, when he mainstreamed his sound (as much as he could), did he score with "Sledgehammer" and the clever accompanying video. Meanwhile his former band mates pressed on with drummer Phil Collins taking over lead vocals.
Genesis (post-Peter Gabriel)
With Gabriel's departure Genesis' remaining members decided to buck the odds and continue. Genesis, slowly at first and then with great haste, moved away from Art Rock to the pop/Rock mainstream. Also, ex-Yes drummer Bill Bruford signed on.
An interesting side note: "A Trick Of The Tail," produced during this period, was the late Princess Diana's favorite Rock album.
Genesis (The 80s)
Genesis, whittled down to a trio, was headed by Phil Collins (with his "cabbage patch doll" looks). After years of not making money with Gabriel, they rode Collins to the hilt.
With "Abacab" the title track's Prog-Rock was countered by the more straight-ahead, horn-drenched "No Reply At All." Collins launched a commercially successful solo career starting with a couple of break-up songs, "In The Air Tonight" and "I Don't Care Anymore." He even sang the title track to the film "Against All Odds. Of course it was a ballad. Collins hit his commercial peak with the decent "No Jacket Required." His influence was so pervasive it was hard to tell Genesis from Phil Collins' solo stuff. Tony Banks worked on film soundtracks while guitarist Mike Rutherford busied himself with Mike & The Mechanics. This outfit's self-titled debut with "Silent Running" and "All I Need Is A Miracle" was the best CD produced by any Genesis member either individually or collectively in the '80s.
Genesis (The 00's)
The demand for classic bands is amazing - especially ones with a ton of hits. The Phil Collins led edition of the Genesis (with Rutherford and Banks but no Gabriel) embarked on hugely successful world trek in '07. The Turn It On Again Tour took its name from a song on the '80 "Duke" album. It was the first time this line-up performed together since '92.
The European leg started in Helsinki and concluded, 21 shows later, with a mammoth free concert in Rome. The North American leg began shortly thereafter.
Genesis fans with $100 lying around could spend it on "Genesis 1970-1975." The '08 box set had five Genesis albums from the Peter Gabriel era ("Trespass," "Nursery Cryme," "Foxtrot," "Selling England By the Pound," and the double album "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway." Produced by founding members Banks and Rutherford along with Collins, there were expanded DVD/CD editions in 5.1 Surround Sound, rare audio/video and interviews.
Hall of Fame
Genesis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during a '10 ceremony in New York. Collins and Rutherford were there but not original frontman Peter Gabriel - he was preparing for a European tour.
As part of the induction ceremony Phish performed "Watcher Of The Skies," a song that kicked off early Genesis shows.
"It's impossible for me to overstate the impact this band had on me as a young musician and I'm forever in your debt," said Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio during his Genesis induction speech. "When I hear Radiohead's "Kid A," with its odd time signatures and spacious visual arrangements, I hear Genesis, and I hear them in the sonic islands My Bloody Valentine plays between their songs."
"The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway," "Selling England By The Pound and "Foxtrot" are the outstanding Genesis albums with Peter Gabriel. Following Gabriel's departure Genesis rolls on with "A Trick Of The Tail" being the most significant. The group striped down to trio in the late '70s with Rutherford, Banks and Collins remaining until the end. "Duke," Abacab," "Genesis" and 'Invisible Touch" albums are from this period. "Abacab," with the title track, "No Reply At All" and "Man On The Corner" is the group's strongest '80s work.
Of the principles Phil Collins ("No Jacket Required") and Peter Gabriel ("So") had major solo success. Rutherford started Mike & The Mechanics but after a strong self-titled debut the group opted for MOR self-actualizing numbers and, while achieving some pop success, lost any real drive. Tony Banks spent his non-Genesis time on solo and soundtrack projects.
There are live recordings with and without Gabriel. But these, like the vast majority of concert recordings, are only for the true fan.