JKash texted me yesterday asking, “what % of people our age would you expect to know the name of Phil Collins’ band before he was a solo artist?”
“10%. 15 tops.”
So before I go on to give my thoughts on this topic, let’s take a poll (be honest):
Should You Know This Band?
People in their 30’s were born in the early 80’s if you don’t know how old I am. Genesis, the band in question, first released an album in 1969. Believe it or not, I watched some documentary on Genesis and their early music was, for lack of a better word, weird. The band didn’t take shape until Phil Collins, the drummer, started taking a bigger role with the release of Duke in 1980. If this sounds oddly familiar, Patrick Bateman in American Psycho did a great synopsis of Genesis/ Phil Collins career arc which you can watch below. Around this time, Collins went solo and produced monster hits like In The Air Tonight, You Can’t Hurry Love, Easy Lover, and Sussudio over the coming years. This is why most likely every time you hear the slamming drum solo of In The Air Tonight at a sporting event, you know of Phil Collins but have probably never heard of Genesis.
Did you know that Peter Gabriel is in Genesis? Once again in solo fashion, you’ve probably heard of In Your Eyes and Solsbury Hill and have heard the name Peter Gabriel. So how come more people don’t know Genesis? I could be way off on my prediction (and I’m writing this before the poll ((which will have such a small sample size that it won’t matter anyway)), but I don’t think their hits are worth playing which is why no one has heard of them. Let’s break it down.
Invisible Touch – The top song on Spotify and I would classify it as nice, but not a song I’m looking to jazz up a party with. I should add though that I’ve probably played the song a hundred times when I first heard it because I enjoyed it so much.
I Can’t Dance – I like this song and can relate to not being able to dance. It’s not a song though that I’m ever playing with a group of people and I’m not sure when I would want to listen to it myself.
Land of Confusion – Odd music video for a song in between Classic Rock and 80’s synth. Fine song.
Jesus He Know Me – Never heard it.
That’s All – The best song by Genesis.
In Too Deep – Not a bad song if I want to cry myself to sleep.
These songs have been listened to between 5 and 25 million times on Spotify. Phil Collins’ In the Air Tonight has 110 million listens. Even You’ll Be in My Heart, the cheesy Tarzan song that I like, has 62 million. As such, you probably have heard of Phil Collins, but never of Genesis. I was surprised I knew as many songs by Genesis as I did but I never find myself actively seeking music from Genesis. Was I wrong with my 10-15% guess?