Wednesday, December 24, 2014

from genesis to revelation

Genesis woke up to the silent sun and found a place to call their own where the sour turns to sweet on this cardinal Charterhouse creation.    At the Charterhouse public school, students Michael Rutherford and Anthony Phillips (who were in the group Anon) asked classmate Tony Banks to play piano with them.  Banks insisted on bringing his songwriting partner Peter Gabriel (they their group Garden Wall) to record a song.  

Phillips professes:  "I was the driving force in Anon, not exactly the leader, though. Genesis, in its inception, was very much two sets of composers — the keyboard lobby of (Tony) Banks and (Peter) Gabriel, and the guitar one — myself and Mike. All were equals, though Peter eventually probably dictated band directions more because he was, oddly enough, the more practical, realistic one who would sit for hours on the phone, calling to agents and getting gigs whilst the rest of us were totally absorbed in our art ... The original line-up, it was the four guys at Charterhouse.”

Everyone agreed that Gabriel should be the lead singer and they recorded a demo that got the attention of Charterhouse alum Jonathan King, who had a pop hit with  Everyone’s Gone To The Moon. and was interested in promoting the band.  A songwriting deal with Jonjo Music had to be signed with the teenage boys' fathers present, who insisted on only a one year contract. The band was renamed Genesis by King and they immediately recorded two singles.  The buzz was enough for King to sponsor an album.  

'From Genesis to Revelation' features Tony Banks on Farfisa and Hammond organs, acoustic and electric pianos, and backing vocals;   Peter Gabriel on lead vocals and flute;   Anthony Phillips on acoustic and electric guitars, and backing vocals;   and Mike Rutherford on bass guitar, acoustic and electric guitars, and backing vocals.  John Silver played drums on everything except "Silent Sun"; which was recorded with Chris Stewart.  Strings and horns arranged and conducted by Arthur Greenslade and Lou Warburton.  the sessions  at Regent Sound Studios in London were recorded and engineered by Brian Roberts and Tom Allom.  

Banks admits:  “I have quite a lot of affection for ‘From Genesis To Revelation’.  I don’t love it or anything, but it was part of my childhood...‘From Genesis To Revelation’ was really a composite of the best tracks we had up to that point.  It felt easier to hide behind a big story…In the early days, we tended to use myths and legends as a way of writing.”

Gabriel says:   “For many musicians it’s all about playing rather than writing, whereas for us, writing was the center of it all...The recording was done very quickly.  We had no real control over the way things sounded, although you can hear where we were starting to explore things melodically...The concept of the album was broad enough to allow us to include all kinds of songs."

Rutherford reflects: "Yeah, it was happy. Sitting there with the others, listening to Pick of the Pops for an hour on Sunday nights. It was incredibly important. You try and describe to people today how important it was, and they just don't get it ... At that stage, pop music was a symbol of the revolution, about to overthrow the establishment ...Jonathan King, for all his faults – he has a funny reputation in England – did give us a fantastic opportunity. Because in those days, in England, you couldn't get in the studio. I mean, now a new group can very easily get a chance to go and record a single, just something, you know, to show there's something going for them. In those days, to get any sort of record contract, was really magical. And he gave us a chance to do a whole record. You've got a bunch of musicians who were really amateur, could barely play well, were barely a group, and were able to go in one summer holiday and make a record."

The album only charted at one hundred and seventy in the US.  King confesses:  "I had this brilliant idea to call it ‘From Genesis To Revelation’, and not have an artist’s name on it.  This was a terrible mistake! It got bumped into all the religious bins of the record shops and nobody ever heard it.”

'From Genesis to Revelation' 
full album:

All songs written by Genesis. 

1. Where the Sour Turns to Sweet 0:00
2. In the Beginning 3:14
3. Fireside Song 7:01
4. The Serpent 11:20
5. Am I Very Wrong 15:59
6. In the Wilderness 19:31
7. The Conqueror 23:01
8. In Hiding 26:42
9. One Day 29:20
10. Window 32:42
11. In Limbo 36:16
12. The Silent Sun 39:46
13. A Place to Call My Own 42:00

14. The Silent Sun (Single Version) 43:59
15. That's Me 46:14
16. A Winter's Tale 48:53
17. One Eyed Hound 52:25

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