In part I of this review, I attempted–and I hope succeeded–in professing my respect for Genesis, 1978-1983, while admitting my disappointment in INVISIBLE TOUCH (1986) and my nearly complete ignorance of anything the band released after 1986. When Steve Hackett first introduces the [insert positive descriptive] Ray Wilson on one of the Genesis Revisited concerts, I had to google the guy. I had no idea who he was. This, for better or worse, probably tells you how little I know about Genesis’s later history. I also noted that there were a few good things about the documentary the BBC made a year or so ago, Genesis Together and Apart. Some of the questions, the footage, and the memories truly moved me. I’d never heard of one of the talking heads, but, frankly, they were pretty entertaining, and I enjoyed their enthusiasm.
Overall, the BBC narrative just infuriated me.
Some smart guys meet in an elite school. They really like one another, except for Tony, whom everyone simply tolerates because of his talent. Oh, and when there is disagreement, Tony gets grumpy. Rather than backing down, everyone gives into Tony. His moodiness isn’t worth combatting. The friends write music that taps into nostalgia for pre-industrialized, Edwardian England. From there, they create complex, artful tunes and dress in funny costumes. Along for the ride comes some guy–who according to Tony–plays the guitar “stiffly” and another guy who plays the drums fiercely but who also smiles a lot and loves fun and gets along with everyone. Weirdo costume guy leaves the band and becomes happy, even writing a pop anthem. Stiff guitarist guy leaves the band and no one really cares one way or the other if he is happy or not.