Genesis, one of the longest-running rock groups ever, started in 1966 when the founding members-vocalist Peter Gabriel, keyboardist Tony Banks, and bass player Michael Rutherford-were still teenagers. At the start, they released singles and an album, From Genesis to Revelation, of a psychedelic rock style, not unlike the progressive rock of the Moody Blues or the Bee Gees' psych-pop sensibility. Their following record, 1970's Trespass, better reflected the operatic, poetic aesthetic they would assume under Gabriel's guidance. Steve Hackett would join the group shortly prior to the release of 1971's Nursery Cryme, for which Rutherford played most of the guitar parts and Phil Collins, later the group's frontman, had joined as the drummer.
The band really began to come into their own with 1972's Foxtrot, which marked a major leap forward in songwriting. Their live prowess was documented on 1973's Genesis Live, but it was with 1973's Selling England By the Pound that the group solidified their reputation among prog-rock enthusiasts as one of the genre's greatest bands-it scored them a UK hit with "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" and showcased a folksy, eccentric, and virtuosic style all their own. Gabriel's ambition reached fever heights with 1974's The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, a double-LP concept record showing the band at their most theatric in its fanciful story of Rael, a New York street hustler who undergoes a surreal, transformative experience. They played 103 shows in promotion of the album, getting strong show attendance and charting top 10 in England, but after the tour, Gabriel left the group in 1975 to pursue a solo career.
After auditioning many potential vocalists, they settled on Collins, with whom they recorded 1976's A Trick of the Tail, which continued within the progressive art-rock vein the group had been recently exploring with Gabriel. After 1977's Wind and Wuthering, Hackett departed, and the three remaining group mainstays began to shift towards a more overtly pop sound, scoring a hit with ...And Then There Were Three, which earned them a hit in the US with "Follow You, Follow Me." The following two records, 1980's Duke and 1981's Abacab, were drastic departures from their earlier work, crystallizing their sound into a slick pop sound. Rutherford started leading Mike + the Mechanics in 1985, seeing his own solo success with hits like "Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)" and "All I Need Is a Miracle" in 1986. Genesis' 1986 album, Invisible Touch, became their best-selling record ever, and despite the group's complete severance with their earlier sound (which coincided with Collins' rising star as a solo pop artist), they managed to hold onto a loyal fan base that stretched back to their earliest days. Their success continued into the early '90s with 1991's We Can't Dance, after which Collins departed the group and their activities became relatively dormant, with the exception of 1997's Calling All Stations, which featured Ray Wilson of Stiltskin as the group's replacement vocalist. After a cool reception, the band was put on ice until 2006, when the Collins-Rutherford-Banks lineup got back together and staged a successful reunion tour the following year.