Few acts experienced more success in the closing decades of the 20th century than Genesis.
Record after record racked up respectable numbers for the band, which started life as a progressive rock act but evolved over time into a pop/rock powerhouse.
By the time the band’s star had begun to fade almost everybody in the line-up had established a successful solo career.
Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel fared particularly well, achieving a level of success as solo acts that almost equaled that of the band they sprang from.
Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks and Steve Hackett also fared well, although their success paled in comparison to that of Collins and Gabriel.
Of the latter three, Rutherford had perhaps the best track record, scoring three major hits in the mid-to-late ‘80s with Mike and the Mechanics.
Silent Running and All I Need Is A Miracle both broke top 10, while The Living Years went all the way to number one.
The success of the band and its many parts is being celebrated this month with the release of R-Kive, a three-CD anthology that spans 42 years, bringing together 37 tracks from the Genesis years and the respective solo careers of band members Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett, and Rutherford.
What’s to celebrate, some less enamored scribes might say.
Fourteen chart-topping records and more than two dozen others which reached the top ten.
Together their group and solo recordings represent sales of more than 300 million albums.
For Genesis fans the anthology features tracks like The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Afterglow, The Invisible Touch, I Can’t Dance, Turn It On Again, Abacab and Follow You Follow Me.
In addition to group tracks each member of the band was allowed to choose three songs from their solo recordings for this set.
Collins’ solo career is represented, not surprisingly, by cuts like In The Air Tonight, and Easy Lover, his duet with Philip Bailey.
Gabriel chose three gems, Solsbury Hill, Biko and Signal To Noise.
Rutherford is represented, as fans might expect, by The Living Years and Over My Shoulder, plus Silent Running.
Banks fans will find Red Day on Blue Street, Siren and For Awhile.
Hackett, who though widely respected by his peers was the least commercially successful member of the band as a solo artist, counts in with tracks like Ace of Wands and Nomads.
Given the very different paths these guys lads chose to follow outside of Genesis the offerings are, to say the least, very eclectic.
Then again so too are the offerings from Genesis, given the transition the band went through over time.
The opening track, The Knive, a zippy prog/rock song written before Collins and Hackett had even joined the band, is worlds apart from fare like Afterglow or Follow You Follow Me.
When all is said and done R-Kive is an interesting listen.
Interesting in the sense that you see both where they came from and where they ended up, individually and collectively.
As someone who followed Genesis from their early years right on through their respective solo careers this set takes me back in the most pleasant of ways.
Them too, apparently.
Phil Collins had this to say about the record.
"This album jogs memories about old albums, things people might have missed the first time around," Collins said.
"Most of the time, the singles always seem to be the things that are remembered from albums. Sometimes the lesser-known tracks deserve better than to be forgotten."
Mike Rutherford offered these words.
"I’m a songwriter first of all. When you put these songs together, it’s a wonderfully impressive array and variety of songs. It’s an interesting combination that doesn’t normally get put on the same page."
The release of this boxed set will be followed by the accompanying reunion documentary ‘Genesis: Together and Apart’
© The Guardian, by Doug Gallant