Opening yesterday’s Live Earth concert in London, Genesis greeted the thousands of fans in Wembley stadium and the tens of thousands watching on telly with…a seven-minute long instrumental.
Not, perhaps, the most engaging or inclusive approach to an international charity initiative. Especially as the instrumental in question was over 25 years old.
It did give Phil a chance to work up a bit of steam on the drums, or “the kit” as he’d no doubt call it, even though there was another drummer on stage at the same time, presumably in case Buster missed a beat or got a bit tired. Well, seven minutes is a long time without any vocals. Just ask the audience.
It was, however, a bit lame of Sir Collins not to essay a few lyrics while wielding the sticks. Ringo Starr always did his singing and drumming simultaneously, perhaps so the one could better distract from the other (or vice versa).
Anyhow, in the vague chance of folk being mildly intrigued by what the lads got up to before they became Phil Collins And His Backing Band (i.e. before they went shit), here are five essential Genesis songs. Giant fox head and accompanying red dress not included.
1) Selling England By The Pound
State-of-the-nation epic from 1973, with Pete holding forth on Green Shield Stamps, Wimpy and Old Father Time, plus beautiful ambient noodling tacked on the end for good measure.
2) I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)
The hit. Some Neil Tennant-esque “rapping” and an oboe-led wig-out. “Me, I’m just a lawnmower, you can tell me by the way I walk.”
3) The Carpet Crawlers
Eerie perambulation through the recesses of Pete’s mind accompanied by the sublimest harmonies ever.
4) Mad Man Moon
A Collins-voiced tribute to Gabriel, the saddest song the group has ever done, and that’s even with a brief burst of Cockernee Phil in the middle.
5) Blood On The Rooftops
The Yom Kippur War, late night discussion shows with David Dimbleby, and the joys of making a cup of tea. What more do you need?