Here is the inside text fromthe program. The rest of the text is a reprint of the Rael story from thealbum.
Back in the late sixties progressive music seemed all but dead,barely kept alive by the faint spark of a lingering mellotron. Rock audienceshad overdosed on loud electric psychedelic riffs and gentle acoustic flower-powertunes, wondering all the time if there was anything more to progressivemusic than strobe lights, incense and the odd synthesizer. Just when adventurousrock seemed forever moving backwards, Genesis began flirting with multi-mediaconcepts. The sixties had taken rock music through a natural evolutionwhere technical equipment and musical proficiency had been developed toit's sophisticated best. The obvious goal for forward moving seventiesrock bands then, was to fuse the two together in a working relationshipwhere music, words, lights and visuals would ideally come together forminga unified whole.
Respected today for albums of surreal musical tales and a strikingstage act Genesis began strictly as songwriters determined to sell- theirpop masterpieces to open ears. While at school Peter Gabriel, Michael Rutherfordand Tony Banks began a song writing relationship that to this day formsthe bulk of the Genesis fantasy. Confident that these early tunes wereideal top forty material, success eluded them. Left with no other alternative,performing the songs themselves became the only solution.
Enter the bubblegum gun Jonathan King who bestowed upon them a nameGenesis, and an album, From Genesis to Revelation, which sounded more likea Moody Blues/ Procol Harum synthesis than the usual Top of the Pops onehit wonders. Despite the early recording effort, the group's surrealisticfeel comes through the vinyl.
After securing a record deal with Charisma in 1970, Genesis recordedTrespass, an album that spurned the stage favourite The Knife one of thefew Genesis compositions to resemble anything remotely similar to rock'n roll. Trespass is a frustrating album to listen to in retrospect, forone can easily see and feel the direction the band were moving towards,and the difficulty they were having getting there. The bands present strengthin both popular acceptance and artistic accomplishment is no accident forthe group have evolved gradually.
From their earliest concerts and records, the group stubbornly insistedon doing everything their own way, an individuality that today separatesthem from other 'progressive' groups. Genesis were the naive rockers whobrought tea and toast to sleazy backstage concerts as Gabriel began mimingto some of the more story-book lyrics in a last ditch attempt to reachthe audience. Record companies demanded traditional single releases thatthey refused to create. Genesis headlined before they reached headliningstatus as a problem quickly evolved, what kind of band could they possiblyopen for? This same problem was to plague them during their first few Americanvisits, where a relatively unknown group found themselves in the uniqueposition of headlining concerts Whether there were 400 or 4,000 peoplein the audience, Genesis worked hard, hypnotically pulling the listenerinto their own formless world. As the lyrics began to take on a more animatedform, as the music became a soundtrack for a film that was happening onstage,a clear direction evolved for the group, merging theatrical stage visualswith the music. Seventies rock was at last moving forwards.
After Trespass, drummer John Mayhew and guitarist/songwriter AnthonyPhilips left the group. Phil Collins arrived at a time when Genesis badlyneeded a healthy injection of fresh blood and revitalized energy. His musicaladeptness and percussive proficiency on drums made it that much easierfor Genesis to create the time changes so integral to their world. Enteralso Steve Hackett, a guitarist capable of playing with a band, capableof colouring various passages and textures instead of only being able toplay the archetypal guitar solo. With Rutherford on bass and acoustic guitars,Banks on keyboards, mellotrons and synthesizers and Gabriel onstage anoccasional flute, Genesis had gone through a necessary transformation,emerging unscathed as one of the few seventies bands moving towards tomorrowinstead of being merely content to recall what was once yesterday.
From this transitional 1971 period, Genesis began moving closerto bridging the gap between theatre and music> both onstage and record.Yet the bands visual attempts at clearing u p Lyrical discrepancies createdsome dire misconceptions which followed the group like the plague, andbegged for clarification. The most common problems revolved around thegroup's position in the rock 'n roll hierarchy, for both fans and enemieswere confused about just where Genesis fitted in the rock family tree.And it came to pass that people wrongly assumed that Genesis bore a strongresemblance to bands like Yes, ELP musically and people like Alice Cooperand David Bowie visually. Musically all that bound those groups t~ "etherwas the keyboard based instruments used to colour different sounds. Timechanges, chord structures, song construction, vocals and Lyrics differbetween them so much so that no obvious similarities exist. Visually Genesisshare no bonds with other popular rock posers of our time. Unlike his contemporaries,Gabriel's stage movements bear a direct one to one relationship to thelyrics.
From the start Genesis have operated on the basic principle thatthe visuals, while often entertaining are merely a vehicle to make thesongs themselves more easily understood and accessible. To this day theband insist that they are primarily songwriters who play at being musiciansand then only later play at being presenters. The songs are most important,the visuals only an aid in emphasizing the songs themselves. While manyof their contemporaries incorporate visuals in a purely transitory nature,content to elicit a round of oohs and aahs with various images and stageantics that are totally divorced from the song, Genesis strive to makethe two one, to use the Visuals to expand and explain the song.
"We're closer to cartoons than the conventional rock band", Gabrielonce said. "As far as other bands go, I think we're in a little puddleall by ourselves". Genesis are working towards something closer to theRed Buddha Theatre than the rock bands they are so often compared with.
Nursery Cryme was the first album created by the present line-upand from the first disturbing notes of 'Musical Box' right through thelast grandiose mellotron chords of 'The Fountain of Salmacis' the differencebetween this and past albums is apparent. For the first time the band'screative intentions had been captured on vinyl and it became easier tounderstand exactly what the group was working towards. From the album camestage classics 'Return of the Giant Hogweed and The Musical Box' a definiteattempt to fuse storybook fantasies with moody accompaniment. Both lyricsand music began to take on unique qualities; the stories were slightlyvague and subtly weird while the music added to the uneasy eerieness ofthe tune. The group was progressing both as songwriters and musicians.
Not content to remain stationary, the Foxtrot album made fanaticsout of fans and friends out of disbeliveers. The album contained an impressivetwenty minute futuristic opus entitled 'Supper's Ready' that quickly becamethe centre of attention of their much talked about stage show. In the beginningGabriel would don the cover painting fox-head but that caricature was onlyvaguely connected with the albums lyrical themes. Eventually the band presentedthe whole piece onstage capturing the rock star as the second coming musicallyand visually much to the delight of the audience. With gentle, sweet voices,flashing strobe effects, searing mellotron orchestration, and animatedvisuals the piece would build to a spine-tingling crescendo, crashing toa surprise ending. Genesis were becoming immensely popular, for 'Supper'sReady' transcended the standard four minutes of decorated visuals, becominga definite theatre piece-complete with recurring passages and themes.
The band's following quickly spread to the Continent and across theAtlantic where Americans were particularly fascinated with their peculiarEnglish surrealism. A transitional period followed, allowing the groupto catch their breath and further develop the technical side of productionand musical adeptness. Albums were months in the making, as they were aproduct of not one mind but five, and group equality was always stressed.'Selling England By The Pound' confirmed suspicions that Genesis were becominga self-contained unit, capable of creating and sustaining musical imageryboth visually onstage and lyrically on record with the musical accompanimentintegrated into the proceedings so that the whole equaled a solid, animatedfantasy. On this album the stories took a back seat to the music whilethe group concentrated on developing playing styles. Hackett's guitar weavingsbecame an integral part of the moody atmosphere, as Banks wisely kept hiskeyboard playing melodic and Lyrical instead of succumbing to the obviousdesire to create a Third World War like so many of his peers and contemporaries.
With the release of the album and the subsequent stage show thatfollowed, lighting and sound systems took a giant leap forward and oneexcitedly wondered what futuristic delights lay ahead. While the 'Foxtrot;tour featured an all white stage backdrop that added to the feel of themusic, this tour injected backdrop projections and the use of slides, againcoming closer to merging various medias into one. In the beginning theslide show occasionally resembled a family what we did on our holidays'approach but, quickly grew more sophisticated.
Which brings us presently up to autumn 1974 and a new Genesis stageshow based around their new double album 'Lamb lies down on Broadway'.Not a terribly wealthy band, Genesis continually feed profits back intothe stage show. To convey the complex story line of the new album, visualaids will be used on three backdrop screens. hinting at three dimensionalillusions, slowed down slides will also add to an animated feel. As always,these new technical improvements will serve as painted landscapes addingto the fantasy and clarifying the story line. While the emphasis remainson the music and players the show will be theatrical and exciting, themusic and imagery will not be separate, but whole, working together topull the listener into the Genesis fantasy and out of everyday street realities.What Genesis are working towards is the future and their present flirtationwith multi-media concepts is only the beginning of a whole new world. Welcome