Genesis were an English rock band formed at Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey, in 1967. The most successful and longest-lasting line-up consisted of keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and drummer/singer Phil Collins. Significant former members were original lead singer Peter Gabriel, original lead guitarist Anthony Phillips, and second lead guitarist Steve Hackett. The band moved from folk music to progressive rock in the 1970s, before moving towards pop at the end of the decade. They have sold 21.5 million copies of their albums in the United States, with worldwide sales of between 100 million and 150 million.
Formed by five Charterhouse pupils including Banks, Rutherford, Gabriel, and Anthony Phillips, Genesis were named by former pupil Jonathan King, who arranged for them to record several unsuccessful singles and their debut album From Genesis to Revelation in 1968. After splitting with King, the group began to tour professionally, signed with Charisma Records and recorded Trespass (1970) in the progressive rock style. Following the departure of Phillips, Genesis recruited Collins and Hackett and recorded Nursery Cryme (1971). Their live shows also began to be centred on Gabriel’s theatrical costumes and performances. They were first successful in mainland Europe, before entering the UK charts with Foxtrot (1972). In 1973, they released Selling England by the Pound (1973), which featured their first UK top 30 single “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)”. The concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway followed in 1974, and was promoted with a transatlantic tour featuring an elaborate stage show. Following the Lamb tour, Gabriel left Genesis in August 1975 to begin a solo career.
After an unsuccessful search for a replacement, Collins took over as lead singer, while Genesis gained popularity in the UK and the US. Following A Trick of the Tail and Wind & Wuthering (both 1976), Hackett left, reducing the band to Banks, Rutherford, and Collins. Genesis’ next album …And Then There Were Three… produced their first UK top ten and US top 30 single in 1978 with “Follow You Follow Me”, and they continued to gain success with Duke (1980), Abacab (1981), and Genesis (1983), reaching a peak with Invisible Touch (1986), which featured five US top five singles. Its title track reached number one in the US. After the tour for We Can’t Dance (1991), Collins left Genesis in 1996 to focus on his solo career. Banks and Rutherford recruited Ray Wilson for Calling All Stations (1997), but a lack of success in the US led to a group hiatus. Banks, Rutherford and Collins reunited for the Turn It On Again Tour in 2007. Though Genesis have not been active again since that tour, the trio (along with Gabriel and Hackett) participated in interviews for the 2014 BBC documentary Genesis: Together and Apart, and in 2019, Rutherford joined Collins on stage for the first time in 12 years as part of the latter’s Not Dead Yet Tour.
Their discography includes fifteen studio and six live albums, six of which topped the UK chart. They have won numerous awards and nominations, including a Grammy Award for Best Concept Music Video with “Land of Confusion”, and inspired a number of tribute bands recreating Genesis shows from various stages of the band’s career. In 2010, Genesis were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.