Genesis members: Who has been in Genesis? From Phil Collins to Steve Hackett

Genesis say they are in rehearsals ahead of September shows

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Genesis started out in 1969 after a group of young people met at school and found a passion for music. Later, this evolved and with it, the line-up chopped and changed until it was left with the trio fans know and love today. So who have been the members of Genesis in all its years in the music scene?

The founding members of Genesis were Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Ant Phillips, Mike Rutherford and Chris Stewart, who all met at Charterhouse School in Godalming, Surrey.

The members were originally part of two different bands until they split and formed together as Genesis.

After writing and recording some demos, they teamed up with a former schoolmate of theirs, Jonathan King, who had gone on to release his own music and become a producer.

With him on board, they signed with Decca Records while still at school.

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They started recording and soon started releasing music, but early into the project, drummer Chris left the band to keep studying and was replaced by John Silver, who was also at school with the group.

Their first album, From Genesis to Revelation, was released in 1969 and when it was not successful, the group left Decca and parted ways with Jonathan, while John Silver also left the band to move abroad.

The band retreated to a cottage to rehearse and take their ambitions seriously and started playing at small venues, before landing a residency at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, where they were recommended to Charisma Record.

They signed with the label and began recording their second album, Trespass, which was more successful than the previous, though still not winning them many fans.

Stage fright and ill health meant Ant left the group, and it looked as though Genesis may be over altogether.

Differences in the group also meant John Mayhew left, meaning they needed to find a replacement drummer – and Phil Collins was given the job.

A short while later, they hired Steve Hackett to replace Ant, and he made up the line-up from 1971.

From 1970 to 1975, things slowly became more strained in the group between the members and in 1975, Peter left the group.

Tony, speaking in the band’s autobiography, said of his departure: “Pete was also getting too big for the group. He was being portrayed as if he was ‘the man’ and it really wasn’t like that.

“It was a very difficult thing to accommodate. So it was actually a bit of a relief.”

By the time of his departure, the band had grown in stature and success, while Peter’s stage presence and style had become more exuberant and surprising, consisting of wild stage outfits and concept albums.

The band initially tried to hire a replacement for Peter although eventually Phil took on the role of lead vocalist, but by this time Steve had recorded a solo album, thinking Genesis would be no more without Peter.

As Phil’s lead vocals became more and more successful, Steve began to yearn for the creative control of his solo work, and in 1977, left the group.

Daryl Stuermer was brought in as a touring replacement for Steve, then in 1978, Genesis went on hiatus and Phil made his debut as a solo artist, having gained prominence as a singer during his band days.

Soon drummer Bill Bruford began touring with them, to free Phil up at the front.

While Peter’s departure was at first considered an incredibly worrying prospect, Phil’s stint as the lead singer was hugely successful and saw them break America in a new way.

Genesis came back together for another album in 1981, after which Phil released his second album, Hello, I Must Be Going!.

In 1996, Phil left Genesis and was replaced by Ray Wilson, but in 2000 the band announced it would no longer be making music.

In 2006, a reunion took place with Phil, Mark and Tony, who are the current line-up of the group.

Phil has since dipped in and out of retirement, but in 2020, the band was expected to go on tour once again, however the COVID-19 pandemic delayed this.

Instead the tour will take place in September 2021, with Phil’s son Nic playing the drums.

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