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From Genesis to Revelation - 1967–69: Formation, early demos, and From Genesis to Revelation

The founding members of Genesis, singer Peter Gabriel, keyboardist Tony Banks, guitarist Anthony Phillips, bassist and guitarist Mike Rutherford, and drummer Chris Stewart, met at Charterhouse School, a private school in Godalming, Surrey. Banks and Gabriel arrived at the school in September 1963, Rutherford in September 1964, and Phillips in April 1965. The five were members in one of the school's two bands; Phillips and Rutherford were in The Anon with singer Richard MacPhail, bassist Rivers Jobe, and drummerRob Tyrell, while Gabriel, Banks, and Stewart made up Garden Wall.

In January 1967, after both groups had split, Phillips and Rutherford continued to write together and proceeded to make a demo tape at a friend's home-made studio, inviting Banks, Gabriel, and Stewart to record with them in the process. The five recorded six songs: "Don't Want You Back", "Try a Little Sadness", "She's Beautiful", "That's Me", "Listen on Five", and "Patricia", an instrumental. When they wished to have them professionally recorded they sought Charterhouse alumnus Jonathan King, who seemed a natural choice as their publisher and producer following the success of his 1965 UK top five single, "Everyone's Gone to the Moon". A group friend gave the tape to King who was immediately enthusiastic. Under King's direction, the group, aged between 15 and 17, signed a one-year recording contract with Decca Records.From August to December 1967, the five recorded a selection of potential singles at Regent Sound Studios on Denmark Street, London where they attempted longer and more complex compositions, but King advised them to stick to more straightforward pop. In response Banks and Gabriel wrote "The Silent Sun", a pastiche of the Bee Gees, one of King's favourite bands, which was recorded with orchestral arrangements added by Arthur Greenslade. The group exchanged various names for the band, including King's suggestion of Gabriel's Angels and Champagne Meadow from Phillips, before taking King's suggestion of Genesis, indicating the start of his production career. King chose "The Silent Sun" as their first single, with "That's Me" on the B-side, released in February 1968. It achieved some airplay on BBC Radio One and Radio Caroline but it failed to sell. A second single, "A Winter's Tale"/"One-Eyed Hound", followed in May 1968 which also sold little. Three months later, Stewart left the group to continue with his studies. He was replaced by fellow Charterhouse pupil John Silver.

King felt the group would achieve greater success with an album. The result, From Genesis to Revelation, was produced at Regent Sound in ten days during their school's summer break in August 1968. King assembled the tracks as a concept album which he produced, while Greenslade added further orchestral arrangements to the songs, something the band were not informed of until the album was released. Phillips was particularly upset about Greenslade's additions. When Decca found an American band already named Genesis, King refused to change his group's name. He reached a compromise by removing their name from the album cover, resulting in a minimalist design with the album title printed on a plain black background. When the album was released in March 1969 it became a commercial failure, because record shops put the album in the "Religious" section upon seeing the cover. Banks recalled the album "after a year or so, had sold 649 copies". A third single, "Where the Sour Turns to Sweet"/"In Hiding", was released in June 1969. None of the releases were commercially successful and led to the band's split with King and Decca. King continues to hold the rights to the album which has seen numerous reissues. In 1974, it peaked the US chart at No.

When the album was recorded, the band went their separate ways for a year; Gabriel and Phillips stayed at Charterhouse to finish exams, Banks enrolled at Sussex University, and Rutherford studied at Farnborough College of Technology. They regrouped in mid-1969 to discuss their future as their offers in further education would result in the group splitting up. Phillips and Rutherford decided to make music a full-time career as they were starting to write more complex music than their earlier songs with King. After Banks and Gabriel decided to follow suit, the four returned to Regent Sound in August 1969 and recorded four more demos with Silver: "Family" (later known as "Dusk"), "White Mountain", "Going Out to Get You", and "Pacidy". The tape was rejected by each record label that heard it. Silver then left the group to study leisure management in America. His replacement, drummer and carpenter John Mayhew, was found when Mayhew looked for work and left his phone number "with people all over London"

1. Where the Sour Turns to Sweet 0:00
2. In the Beginning 3:14
3. Fireside Song 7:01
4. The Serpent 11:20
5. Am I Very Wrong 15:59
6. In the Wilderness 19:31
7. The Conqueror 23:01
8. In Hiding 26:42
9. One Day 29:20
10. Window 32:42
11. In Limbo 36:16
12. The Silent Sun 39:46
13. A Place to Call My Own 42:00
14. The Silent Sun (Single Version) 43:59
15. That's Me 46:14
16. A Winter's Tale 48:53
17. One Eyed Hound 52:25
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