The difference between Genesis, the group, and Phil Collins, the solo artist, is quite large. But not nearly as large as the difference between the early 1970s Peter Gabriel-fronted art-rock iteration of the group and the Phil Collins-fronted pop juggernaut that the group became in the '80s.
It's the trio version of the group with original members Collins at the mike stand and behind the drums, guitarist/bassist Mike Rutherford and keyboardist Tony Banks that is currently touring North America. Genesis' Turn It on Again Tour will stop at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Saturday night.
The current reunion tour began as an idea that would have sent the early era fans into orgasmic art-rock fits and left the hit lovers out in the cold.
A few years ago, the classic quintet version of Genesis (with Gabriel and guitarist Steve Hackett) were in talks to get together to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band's 1974 concept double album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Gabriel's final album with the band.
(It was during that tour that Gabriel, in an orange room at the famous old Swingos Hotel in Cleveland, told the rest of the group he was leaving, which left the door open for the Collins era to begin.)
However, Gabriel, who expressed interest in the reunion idea, said he was too busy at the time recording and planning a new album and tour.
"Here it is four years later, and there's still no new album and no tour," Collins told the Ottawa Citizen last week.
"We weren't surprised, actually. I think Peter would like to do it, but he just won't commit to it."
Gabriel's absence automatically eliminated Hackett from any reunion plans. Despite being a part of the band's first post-Gabriel album the popular Collins-fronted A Trick of the Tail its follow-up, the less popular Wind & Wuthering and the live Seconds Out albums, the idea of taking the quartet version of Genesis on the road was never a consideration by fans or the band.
The remaining three had more commercial success than any other version of Genesis, pushing the band's records-sold numbers past 150 million and unleashing a string of hits that peppered the airwaves throughout the '80s.