Genesis was formed in 1967 and first achieved succes with Peter Gabriel on vocals with a line-up that also had Tony Banks (Keyboards), Mike Rutherford (Bass), Steve Hackett (Guitar) and Phil Collins (Drums). With that formation they became one of the most influential Progressive Rock bands of all time until the mid-70s when Gabriel decided to leave the band, followed by Hackett two years later, in 1977.
After that, the band became a trio with Collins, Banks and Rutherford (That started playing the guitar live and in the studio). In an interview with The Metal Voice (Transcribed by Ultimate Guitar), Steve Hackett compared the two eras.
Steve Hackett talks about Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins eras in Genesis
“People tend to feel that if there’s a lead singer, then he’s responsible for everything. But Genesis was a songwriters collective. So, the fact that we survived Peter’s departure was important… You’ve got the Jagger-Richards thing, that they write it all and that’s how it is; or ELO, where it’s basically one guy. (With Genesis), you’ve got something else, you’ve got a team putting it together. So the teamwork is important.”
“The stuff we did with Pete was, I think, extremely important. Really, really clever, marvelous, lyrical ideas. And I think his sense of theatricality rivaled Alice Cooper at times, once he embraced that totally. What that means is that an audience that might have walked out during an earlier era of complicated music, when you had visuals to accompany it, that made a big difference. Production values, the show itself — that’s what really makes the difference.”
“For me, whatever Genesis became, it’s putting the fire back into Genesis. I think you’ve got to take (each) at its best. You’ve got to say, ‘Okay, What do I love about Genesis? Yes, I love ‘Watcher of the Skies.” ‘Okay, that’s Pete’s era. ‘I love ‘Dance on a Volcano’; that’s the Collins era”.
“But it’s the whole band, putting that stuff together, there’s a band with no passengers… You’ve got to have a band where people have all got their intense desire to do it. And they’ve all got to have their own muse as well. You’ve got to have that fire. Because otherwise, if it doesn’t catch fire for you guys in rehearsal, it isn’t gonna catch fire in front of an audience,” Steve Hackett said.