Review Summary: Slowly wandering towards a purpose.
Before the name Genesis became associated with poppy love songs sung by Phil Collins, it stood for one of the genre-defining progressive bands of the 70’s. And before the band earned that status, they recorded a debut pop album. Collins had nothing to do with it; he would only join the group two years after they made their first recording, as would guitarist Steve Hackett. Genesis initially consisted of vocalist Peter Gabriel, keyboardist Tony Banks, bass player Mike Rutherford and guitarist Anthony Philips, and experienced somewhat of a slow, directionless start before discovering their actual potential.
Fans of pop Genesis are unlikely to have even heard about it, and their progressive followers probably won’t care about From Genesis to Revelation
. Fact is, this often unmentioned debut is neither worth knowing nor caring about, and doesn’t fit in with anything else in the remainder of their discography. Producer Jonathan King, who gave the group the opportunity to record their first LP, even after they released two low-charting singles, is also partly to blame for the unimpressive result. His hand in the recording process had the inexperienced band compose songs based on Biblical subjects (clarifying the origin of their name), which he later ‘enhanced’ with orchestral sections, further pushing back their own input.
The eventual result offers little excitement, going through thirteen tracks at a consistently dreary pace. The arrangements here are built on little more than piano/organ and vocals, with some acoustic guitar, and are forgotten all too quickly. There’s some historical value to be found, at least: Banks would of course ensure a leading role as keyboardist in Genesis’ unique progressive brand, while a recognizable but very timid Peter Gabriel gives little indication of the vocal strength and extravagance that would soon make him into a truly unique singer. The band’s musical talents remain mostly hidden below the surface of this forgettable debut, proven no more than a stepping stone for one of the most remarkable forces in progressive rock.
Genesis Mark I:
Peter Gabriel – Vocals, Flute
Anthony Philips – Guitar, Vocals
Tony Banks – Organ, Piano, Vocals
Mike Rutherford – Bass, Guitar, Vocals
John Silver - Drums