Rock bands are fragile ecosystems, dependent on timing and harmony and dumb luck. And for Genesis, so much of their evolution sprung from a single bout of indecision, with Phil Collins inadvertently choosing one prog-rock band over another.

"A friend of mine used to play in a band with [Yes singer] Jon Anderson, and I heard that they were looking for a drummer because Bill Bruford was going back to Leeds University," Collins told documentarian John Edgington in 2014. "And I actually met Jon backstage at the Marquee [Club], and he gave me his number and said, 'Call me about an audition.' And for some reason, I never did because I figured, with low self-esteem maybe, [that I wouldn't] get it. ... I didn't call; Bill came back, and the rest is history."

Without that hesitation, record buyers may have never glimpsed Collins' sweaty mug on the cover of No Jacket Required. The world is a strange place.

A lot of more obvious career moves shaped the Genesis arc: original guitarist Anthony Phillips bowing out in 1970 due to stage fright; Collins and Steve Hackett joining to form the classic quintet; Peter Gabriel, who felt "part of the machinery," leaving the lineup in 1975; Collins, who'd long been balancing the band with a high-profile solo career, tapping out himself in 1996. And all these choices shaped Genesis' sound in one way or another. Most prog bands faced the proposition of "adapt or die" in the '80s, but none of them navigated that change better than Genesis.

For some fans, they'll always be the long-haired dudes with mellotrons and fox costumes playing 20-minute epics; for others, the group might as well not exist until "Invisible Touch." Ranking their songs is beyond difficult for that reason alone: how to pit, say, the New Wave punch of Abacab against the prog-folk warmth of Trespass?

Some disclaimers are needed: This list includes only officially released studio album tracks, singles and B-sides. That means we avoided live cuts (no matter how interesting), along with compilation demos and rarities that only exist in bootleg form. (So, no "Image Blown Out," "Pacidy," "Going Out to Get You," or "Let Us Now Make Love.") And for the sake of ease, two different song pairs have been combined into one.

With the fine print out of the way, let's dive in: From "Mama" to "No Son of Mine," from "Firth of Fifth" to "Eleventh Earl of Mar," here's our ranking of every Genesis song.

180. "Me and Virgil"
From: 3x3 EP (1982)

If "Genesis attempting a roots-rock song" sounds like a disaster, you share the opinion of Genesis themselves. The track, which first appeared on the 1982 3x3 EP, vaguely chronicles a country boy's attempt to care for his single mother — but nothing about the result, from Tony Banks' clunky chord changes to Phil Collins' hay-chewing vocal delivery, feels the slightest bit natural. ("Pa, you broke her heart!" might be the least convincing chorus in their catalog.) Genesis briefly tried to erase the song from history, leaving it off their 2000 box set Archive 2. Even the hardest of die-hards would struggle to argue the logic.

179. "That's Me"
From: B-side of "The Silent Sun" single (1968)

"From Genesis to Revelation B-side" shouldn't instill much confidence. The naive "That's Me" sounds like a demo from some hippie teenagers after learning their first four chords. Gross.

178. "Papa He Said"
From: B-side of "Congo" single (1997)

"Calling All Stations B-side" shouldn't instill much confidence. The bluesy keyboard lick is nothing to sneeze at, but Christ does this one spin its wheels.

177. "Run Out of Time"
From: B-side of "Not About Us" single (1998)

A ... synth-saxophone? Yet another plodding drum pattern? Goodness gracious. The most interesting thing about this Stations reject is how much Ray Wilson's overwhelming rasp conjures Peter Gabriel circa 2002.

176. "In Limbo"
From: From Genesis to Revelation (1969)

This dopey symph-pop tune squanders its modest promise through a series of perplexing choices: layering in distracting brass, pushing the entire rhythm section into the right speaker and, for some bizarre reason, letting people not named Gabriel sing backup.

175. "Not About Us"
From: Calling All Stations (1997)

"It's not about hate / It's not about pain": It's also not about melody. Or dynamics. Or lyrics. Or any substantive musical idea.

174. "If That’s What You Need"
From: Calling All Stations (1997)

"Hold on My Heart" minus the heart.

173. "A Winter’s Tale"
From: "A Winter's Tale" Single (1968)

"Can you find me, deep inside you?" Gabriel sings, quite creepily, over blown-out organ and barely audible drums. "Let me touch you, let me keep you." Oof.

172. "A Place to Call My Own"
From: From Genesis to Revelation (1969)

The singing is uncharacteristically sloppy, even for baby Gabriel, on this brass-and-string-smothered ballad.

171. "Fireside Song"
From: From Genesis to Revelation (1969)

Banks' minor-key piano intro previews the progginess of Trespass. But from there, it's hilariously hokey, from the monophonic string part to the half-awake unison backing vocals.

170. "Where the Sour Turns to Sweet"
From: From Genesis to Revelation (1969)

... way, way, way too sweet.

169. "One Eyed Hound"
From: B-side of "A Winter's Tale" single (1969)

Goofy psych-era production, sub-four-track fidelity, Gabriel's bleating-goat lead, awkwardly timid backing vocals. The effect is like second-hand cringe, the musical equivalent of flipping through a stranger's middle-school yearbook.

168. "Since I Lost You"
From: We Can't Dance (1991)

Good intentions don't always result in good songs. Proof: this tedious adult-contemporary ballad. Collins wrote the song for his friend Eric Clapton, whose four-year-old son tragically died in March 1991 after falling from the window of a 53rd-story apartment. (Clapton channeled his grief into a much more memorable tune, "Tears in Heaven.")

167. "Shipwrecked"
From: Calling All Stations (1997)

The engine is Mike Rutherford's guitar, which leans into the era's post-grunge/alt-rock landscape without embarrassing itself. But it’s all downhill from there, surrounding that riff with pillowy synths and a flat-lining vocal melody.

166. "Calling All Stations"
From: Calling All Stations (1997)

Wilson has called this his favorite Stations song — a puzzling choice, even on a project with so few obvious highlights. Banks' minor-key synths open the album with an air of art-rock mystery, but the top-line melody starts fizzling after the first note.

165. "In Hiding"
From: From Genesis to Revelation (1969)

Possibly the most boring Genesis song, waltzing from one forgettable melody to another.

164. "Phret"
From: B-side of "Shipwrecked" single (1997)

In another timeline (namely, the '70s), this Stations leftover could have bloomed into a legit prog epic. Instead, the production stifles everything: "Phret" sounds like a lost theme to a mid-'90s fantasy PC game, utilizing dinky keyboard tones and thin percussion.

163. "Match of the Day"
From: Spot the Pigeon EP (1977)

"It was also not our finest hour looking back at it now," Collins wrote in a 2006 message board post, reflecting on this soccer-themed dud. "I wrote the embarrassing lyrics and the track featured an attempt to bring some of the hipper grooves of the day into Genesis, with very suspect results." The band leans into the hamminess, but achieves no moral victories on the field: "There's a few things before we go / That I think you ought to know," Collins sings over bright synth tones. "Obstruction, body checking, heavy tackles."

162. "Hearts on Fire"
From: B-side of "Jesus He Knows Me" single (1992)

Collins pilots the band through a spunky pseudo-reggae groove, but the whole thing feels watered-down, like Genesis covering a rejected Police song.

161. "Alien Afternoon"
From: Calling All Stations (1997)

It's a tale of two songs, neither of which are very interesting. The first is "Genesis gone white-guy reggae," but without the swagger of similar stretches in "Me and Sarah Jane" or "Jesus He Knows Me." In the second, Banks' massive synth pads embody the UFO landing from the title — but unlike "Watcher of the Skies," it makes the concept of alien visitation feel humdrum.

160. "Banjo Man"
From: B-side of "Congo" single (1997)

"I mean, that was a load of shit, to be honest with you," Wilson once said of this Stations leftover, which is carried (or perhaps killed) by Rutherford's twangy guitar tone. It's not gonna top anyone's Genesis list, but "Banjo Man" isn't a total disaster: The bridge, with Banks' dark synth pads, suggests the seed of a spark.

159. "Way of the World"
From: We Can't Dance (1991)

There are just too many ballads and mid-tempo soft-rockers on We Can’t Dance — an unfortunate byproduct of the CD era, when 72 minutes wasn't a noteworthy length. "Way of the World" rivals "Since I Lost You" for the album's most skippable tune, presenting another DOA protest lyric ("That's how it's meant to be," Collins sings. "There's right, and there's wrong." Insightful!) and a mechanical main groove that feels like it was spit out by a computer. At least it's superficially pretty.

158. "Window"
From: From Genesis to Revelation (1969)

Visions of "Visions of Angels."

157. "Small Talk"
From: Calling All Stations (1997)

"I didn’t really like what I did with this, to be honest," Wilson told Genesis News of this generically bluesy rocker, "but it was the best I could come up with." They should have put that on the Stations promo sticker.

156. "One Day"
From: From Genesis to Revelation (1969)

The saccharine teenage love lyrics tilt toward the nauseating: "Birds of the sky, may I borrow your wings?" Gabriel sings. "Very soon I'll ask my love to travel with me to the world outside." But Banks' thundering chorus keys flirt with Trespass majesty.

155. "Uncertain Weather"
From: Calling All Stations (1997)

Wilson's vocal soars to Gabriel-like heights on this workmanlike ballad. There isn’t much meat on the bone, but the steak sizzles fine enough.

154. "The Silent Sun"
From: From Genesis to Revelation (1969)

Hoping to pique the interest of their first producer Jonathan King, Gabriel and Banks whipped together this generic baroque-pop ballad, a flop of a single which Banks later described in Chapter & Verse as "a pastiche of a Bee Gees song." For whatever reason, a lot of people seem to like "The Silent Sun," including Noel Gallagher: "Honest to God, if you’re listening, Peter Gabriel, the law is gonna have to get involved," he told BBC Radio in 2016, "because I am gonna rob that endlessly until I can’t make music anymore."

153. "One Man’s Fool"
From: Calling All Stations (1997)

More honky synth lines, more Titanic-sized tom-tom fills. Hang around until the final two minutes, when the drums catch fire in double-time.

152. "There Must Be Some Other Way"
From: Calling All Stations (1997)

The first half sags with — what else? — a monotonous melody and arrangement. But Banks rescues the piece in the instrumental bridge, starting around the four-minute mark, with an eruption of an early '80s synthesizer.

151. "I’d Rather Be You"
From: B-side of "Throwing It All Away" single (1987)

Collins brings a splash of Motown soul to his breezy, plastic-y pop song. By Genesis standards, it's a throwaway, and the stiff production knocks it down a peg or five. But Collins' melismatic charms (check those pre-chorus "oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh"s) give it a way longer shelf life than it deserves.

150. "Who Dunnit?"
From: Abacab (1981)

Widely — yet unfairly — considered the nadir of the Genesis catalog, this New Wave trifle, like "Pigeons" before it, drills a simple premise deep into the ground. Prog purists unanimously groaned upon hearing Collins' repetitive vocal hook ("Was it you, or was it me? Or was it he or she? / Was it A, or was it B? Or was it X or Z?") and Banks' flatulent Prophet IV tones, but the band relished the opportunity to thumb their noses. They played up the absurdity onstage, as documented on the Three Sides Live video concert, with Rutherford playing drums and Collins decked out in goggles. “It was the most horrible sound ... that we really liked," Collins said in the Abacab reissue interview.

149. "Never a Time"
From: We Can't Dance (1991)

Collins, bless him, can't resist a velvety soft-rock hook. Rutherford, bless him, can't resist a palm-muted guitar riff — a signature that gradually became a crutch in the years following "Follow You Follow Me." Banks, bless him, can't resist the temptation of fancying up the chords. "Never a Time" is all empty calories, but it goes down smooth.

148. "Ravine"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

Hackett chops a tremolo-style rhythm, and Banks works the top range of his synth — a satisfying palette-cleanser in context, especially given how verbose Gabriel can be. But interludes aren't meant to stand on their own: Has anyone ever thrown The Lamb on their turntable and moved the needle toward "Ravine"?

147. "In the Rapids"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

Another atmospheric Lamb linking track, this time with Gabriel shoehorning in some story. Consumed as the first half of the album's finale, the piece contrasts artfully with the surging "It." On its own, it's an afterthought.

146. "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

Yet another instrumental Lamb bridge, with Banks and Hackett creating chrome-plated magic via mellotron and volume pedal swells.

145. "7/8"
From: B-side of "Shipwrecked" single (1997)

Don't let the time signature fool you: Banks' restrained synths and piano never go full-prog. You can tell they couldn't quite figure out where to take this wispy instrumental, which belongs in the intro credits of a '90s courtroom drama or police procedural.

144. "Pigeons"
From: Spot the Pigeon EP (1977)

This lightweight music hall ditty, another widely hated Spot the Pigeon tune, is sort of brilliant in its own deliberately irritating way — pairing Banks' restless keyboard changes with Hackett's lone, clanging, banjo-like chord, which runs throughout the whole piece. "The thing about 'Pigeons' was that it was possible for the band to play a whole note for a whole thing: ding-ding-ding-ding," Hackett told fans at a 2009 event. "And that was unvarying whilst the keyboard changed and [Banks] tried to do as many different chords as possible. It was obviously a send-up, and it was trying to sound like an English musical performer called George Formby."

143. "Sign Your Life Away"
From: B-side to "Not About Us" single (1997)

"How did this not make the album?" is one of the great music-fan cliches, but ... seriously: How did this not make the album? The verses on "Sign Your Life Away" are a highlight of the entire Stations project, with Wilson's expressive verse melody lifted by Rutherford's stabbing guitar. (The chorus leaves less of an impression.)

142. "Tell Me Why"
From: We Can't Dance (1991)

The good: Rutherford's Beatles-y 12-string jangle, the heart-racing chorus ramp-up, the furor with which Collins belts "in my eeeeeeyes!" The bad: the well-intentioned but hopelessly generic protest lyric, which seems to survey every world problem with zero specifics ("People sleeping in the streets / No roof above, no food to eat / Tell me why").

141. "In the Beginning"
From: From Genesis to Revelation (1969)

We’re still in the psychedelic era: Check out the crunchy phaser wrapped around the chorus guitars. It's a production bright spot on one of Revelation's most forceful tunes.

140. "Am I Very Wrong?"
From: From Genesis to Revelation (1969)

Some of the lyrics scream "artsy teenager" (Apparently the "happiness machine" is "trying hard" to sing Gabriel's song, whatever that means), and the janky mix places most of the track in the left speaker. But the foundation is sound: Listen closely and you'll hear a hint of "Twilight Alehouse," the band's future epic-prog B-side, in Gabriel's ascending verse melody.

139. "In the Wilderness"
From: From Genesis to Revelation (1969)

The lifeless lyrics ("Music, all I hear is music / Guaranteed to please") and placid but flaccid strings keep this way out of the Top 100. But there are glimpses of harmonic brilliance here, particularly Banks' melancholy piano chords.

138. "Like It or Not"
From: Abacab (1981)

This sensitive, lovelorn waltz could fit comfortably on an early Collins solo LP, but it was written solely by Rutherford. (People seem to forget how many Genesis ballads Rutherford wrote.) Fittingly, his playing dominates the track — particularly the verses, lifted by guitar arpeggios and a high-octave bass melody. But the momentum slows to a crawl on a somewhat sluggish chorus.

137. "In Too Deep"
From: Invisible Touch (1986)

The entire '80s trio co-wrote "In Too Deep," but it's one of the only Genesis songs to evoke Collins in full-blown solo balladeer mode, with Banks and Rutherford coming across like backing band to their ubiquitous star. And with an equally dinky��drum machine and acoustic guitar, it's also one of their only hits to remain forever time-capsuled.

136. "Snowbound"
From: ...And Then There Were Three... (1978)

Ah, that old chestnut: personifying a snowman! Rutherford's grossly polite lyrics (“They say a snow year’s a good year / Filled with the love of all who lie so deep”) melt faster than Frosty in the Sahara. Too bad, too, because the song's pleasingly wintry arrangement deserved better.

135. "Please Don’t Ask"
From: Duke (1980)

Collins' first divorce shook loose his voice as a songwriter, resulting in a torrent of music that fueled his debut solo LP, Face Value. It also birthed this shockingly on-the-nose piano ballad, on which Collins clings to a family life slipping through his fingers. "Oh, but I miss my boy" hits extra hard, even if the song feels pedestrian compared to the rest of Duke.

134. "Open Door"
From: B-side of "Duchess" single (1980)

Collins may have never sung more sweetly, more innocently, than on this dewy-eyed tale of faded romance. Sadly, the arrangement feels both familiar and undercooked, recalling Duke's "Heathaze" without the emotional range.

133. "Submarine"
From: B-side of "Man on the Corner" single (1982)

This textured instrumental began life as one-fourth of an old-fashioned prog epic — a suite that would have also included Abacab's "Dodo/Lurker" and naggingly catchy B-side "Naminanu." However, in their quest for a clean creative break, Genesis chopped the piece into sections, maintaining "Submarine" as a slice of slow-drifting drama. It feels somewhat aimless without the connective tissue — a post-script to nothing. But Banks' swelling synths tease the glory that could have been, playing out like a lost linking track from The Lamb.

132. "Illegal Alien"
From: Genesis (1983)

At surface level, it's all smiles: a bouncy castle of synth leads and a Collins chorus more sugary than a Fruit Roll-Up. But "Illegal Alien" is an uncomfortable listen, handling delicate subject matter (the plight of Mexican immigrants entering America) with a light touch that comes off as tone-deaf. (Collins' accent and the cringe-worthy video don't help.) "It’s meant to be sympathetic toward illegal aliens," Banks explained to Kerrang in 1984. "It isn’t about any particular race, though in America you hear about the Mexicans coming across the border on the TV news all the time." Despite the good intentions — and expertly crafted hooks — the execution is jarring.

131. "The Light Dies Down on Broadway"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

Gabriel famously handled all the lyrics for The Lamb, the band's ambitious and confusing concept LP. But with the clock ticking toward their deadline, Banks and Rutherford stepped in to finish off this inoffensive but unessential tune, which reprises both "The Lamb" and "The Lamia."

130. "Aisle of Plenty"
From: Selling England By the Pound (1973)

At 54 minutes, Selling England is already quite long — which makes this climactic filler track, featuring a brief reprise of "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight," even more head-scratching. "Aisle of Plenty" does offer the LP a full-circle/bookends feel, but that's about it.

129. "Many Too Many"
From: ... And Then There Were Three ... (1978)

The verses just craaaaaawl on this heartsick love song, which features Banks' final mellotron performance on a Genesis song. The mood perks up during the chorus, though Banks had to convince Collins it wasn't embarrassing to vulnerably sing the word "mama." (What irony.)

128. "Say It’s Alright Joe"
From: ... And Then There Were Three ... (1978)

The rare Genesis song more intriguing on a lyrical than musical level, "Say It's Alright Joe" tells the sad tale of an alcoholic drowning his sorrows at a bar. "I need another drink," Collins sings over a woozy electric piano, "to blow on the glass so I know I'm alive."

127. "Taking It All Too Hard"
From: Genesis (1983)

Are the guitars synths? The synths guitars? Every sound is a bit too shiny and robotic on "Taking It All Too Hard." But there are signs of humanity, notably Banks' fiery chorus hook and Banks' minor-to-major chord changes.

126. "Anything Now"
From: B-side of "Not About Us" single (1998)

Calling All Stations is spotty on hooks and chops, but "Anything Now" has a fair amount of both: Rutherford lays down some echoing riffs and funky fretless bass, and Banks varies his setup with a more naturalistic electric piano sound. Still, Banks has insisted they "couldn't get Ray to sing it right." To each his own.

125. "Your Own Special Way"
From: Wind & Wuthering (1977)

"Sweet Genesis" isn't top Genesis, as evidenced by Rutherford's heart-on-sleeve Wind ballad. As pretty much always, the atmosphere is divine: It's a privilege to pirouette through the waltzing strums and spectral synth. (Bonus point to the chorus section in which romantic pleas tumble out of Collins' mouth in triplets.) But the aroma of cheese is tough to snuff.

124. "Seven Stones”
From: Nursery Cryme (1971)

“'Seven Stones' was very much Tony’s song," Rutherford wrote in his 2014 memoir, The Living Years. "It was a great example of what I’ve come to call Tony’s cabaret chords: his big, schmaltzy music-hall chords which Phil and I struggled with but he loved." An accurate, if unfairly dismissive, view of this borderline-ballad, a come-down of sorts after the full-throttle "Return of the Giant Hogweed."

123. "Hold on My Heart"
From: We Can't Dance (1991) 

A fine example of Banks reshaping a track through chords alone, adding harmonic intrigue to a romantic ballad that would have otherwise felt one-note.

122. "The Conquerer"
From: From Genesis to Revelation (1969)

Former Oasis co-leader Noel Gallagher's drummer, Chris Sharrock, turned him on to this early deep cut while chatting about obscure psychedelia. "'What? Who's not ripped that off before? That's a disgrace,'" Gallagher told BBC Radio 6, recalling his reaction. "There’s at least, I’d say, six great songs on that first Genesis record, which I hadn't even heard of.” He's being a bit generous: Nothing on Revelation is a revelation. But the song's dated '60s-psych flavor works in its favor, with Gabriel unfolding storybook lyrics ("He climbs inside the looking glass") over a reverb-bathed piano lick.

121. "The Waiting Room"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

Rock fans who hate Collins the Pop Star might be shocked to learn about his love for "The Waiting Room," an improvised and often dissonant jam buried on The Lamb's third side. "The highlight of that album to me is 'The Waiting Room,'" Collins said in Genesis: Chapter and Verse. "I remember when we first played the song, it was pissing with rain outside. We were doing this basic bad to good soundscaping as Tony started to play some chords the sun came out. There was a rainbow and the rain stopped. It sounds very cosmic, but it did actually happen."

120. "Alone Tonight"
From: Duke (1980)

Like its album mate "Man of Our Times," "Alone Tonight" is enamored with its hugeness: The chorus payoff is immeasurable, giving an equal spotlight to pleading vocal harmonies, Rutherford's cavernous strums, Banks' fizzy synths and Collins' cascading tom fills. The quieter verses twiddle their thumbs a bit, but the choruses would feel less satisfying without that dynamic shift.

119. "Ballad of Big"
From: ... And Then There Were Three ... (1978)

A Western tale of a hard-living, ill-fated cowboy named Big Jim Cooley who takes on a bet to drive some cattle over a plain. It doesn't go well — for him or, to an extent, us. The lyrics are, indeed, as awful as one might expect, from throwaway lines ("a rancher whose name I forget," "he got mad!") to dense phrases shoehorned into small spaces ("Big and his men were jumped by an all-star Indian tribe!") But if you're able to block out the story, you're left with some riveting prog twists: This track shifts gears approximately 900 times.

118. "Anything She Does"
From: Invisible Touch (1986)

There are eight songs on the blockbuster Invisible Touch, and five were hit singles: the title track, "In Too Deep," "Land of Confusion," "Throwing It All Away" and "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight." If you cross off the two fan-favorite semi-prog pieces, instrumental "The Brazilian" and multi-part "Domino," that leaves one black sheep: the catchy but not that catchy "Anything She Does." Collins sings a daydream about a pin-up model — unusual subject matter for a band that typically sidesteps outright lust. (And no, we're not counting the stage silliness in "I Can't Dance" where Collins, um, adjusts himself to the line "checking everything is in place.")

117. "The Lamia"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

Some sequences of Lamb wither out of context. Take "The Lamia," a keep-the-engine-running track that smothers Banks' tranquil synth melodies with way too many lyrics. At this point in the story, our protagonist Rael (and, well, all of us) are lost within Gabriel's nightmarish labyrinth, when suddenly we encounter "three vermilion snakes of female face." The imagery is worth savoring, but it's also a bit claustrophobic. (Most ridiculous line: "It is the scent of garlic that lingers on my chocolate fingers.")

116. "It’s Gonna Get Better"
From: Genesis (1983) 

Genesis weren't much for sampling, but Banks consulted an unlikely source — the opening cello from an Aram Khachaturian ballet suite — for the warbled intro of this gentle synth ballad. That artful vibe never diminishes, despite the awkwardness of hearing Collins half-croon, "Hands in the air, don't care."

115. "Another Record"
From: Abacab (1981)

Rarely is a song so propelled by the drums — in this case, a speaker-blasting groove built on a triplet kick-tom pattern. "Another Record" tends to be underrated — not as catchy as "Abacab" or "Man on the Corner," not as proggy as "Dodo/Lurker" or "Me and Sarah Jane." But there are fascinating details — the harmonica synth patch, the low unison chorus vocals — at every turn.

114. "Congo"
From: Calling All Stations (1997)

(Sung to the tune of "A flower?" from "Supper's Ready"): "A chorus?" Most of Calling All Stations — even the memorable bits — are light on vocal melody. But the album's lead single proves this black sheep lineup had real potential, with Wilson sculpting a gruff hook over the band's darkly chiseled AOR. Bonus points for the climactic synth solo.

113. "After the Ordeal"
From: Selling England By the Pound (1973) 

In Chapter & Verse, Banks described this studious, Hackett-led instrumental as his least favorite Genesis song, calling it a "weak moment, pseudo-classical without any real spirit." In fact, it only survived onto Selling England following a stalemate with Gabriel over the final track list: "Peter and I both wanted 'After the Ordeal' off. But Peter also wanted to lose the second half of 'The Cinema Show,' and I said, 'You can't put that off; it's great.' So we compromised by leaving it all on which meant that the album ran to about [28] minutes a side, which was much too long and the technical restrictions of vinyl meant it sounded a little weak in comparison." Banks is a being a bit harsh: "Ordeal" is only a weak link because England is loaded with classics. And Hackett's climactic laser-beam electric leads justify the tune's too-slow build.

112. "More Fool Me"
From: Selling England By the Pound (1973)

"God, I had completely forgotten about 'More Fool Me,'" Collins told Prog in 2016. "I think I wrote some of the lyric, but it was mostly a Mike song." It's easy to understand why it slipped his mind: In many ways, this sleepy acoustic ballad is a lesser sequel to Nursery Cryme's "For Absent Friends" — a pleasant little respite from the prog onslaught. (For a real mind blow, A/B Collins' rough-around-the-edges vocal with one of the belty segments from Duke: It's insane how much he grew as a vocalist in just a handful of years.)

111. "Harold the Barrel"
From: Nursery Cryme (1971)

The subject matter — a man contemplating suicide — is an odd match for this jaunty tune, which features charmingly raw unison vocals from Gabriel (the primary songwriter) and newcomer Collins.

110. "Broadway Melody of 1974"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

Gabriel barks out acid-trip images (“cheerleader waves her cyanide wand”) and jumbled pop culture references as the band hammers out a metallic groove centered on one chord. It's the definition of a linking track, but there are many arresting sounds, particularly as Hackett's misty, climactic arpeggios usher us into the womb of "Cuckoo Cocoon."

109. "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

It's like a delightfully deranged stroll through the bowels of hell, with guest tinkerer Brian Eno plastering effects all over Gabriel's disembodied voice. It's a perfect sample of the album's edgier sound — Collins' toms have never sounded so enormous. If only "Grand Parade" had been fleshed out past a measly 2:46: It's a snack that should have been a meal.

108. "Here Comes the Supernatural Anaesthetist"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

Despite its mouthful title, it's easy to overlook "Supernatural Anaesthetist": It runs under two minutes, and it's buried on The Lamb's difficult third side. But it's one of the project's most up spots, floating on the wings of Hackett's fanciful guitar solo.

107. "Vancouver"
From: B-side of "Many Too Many" single (1978)

With those chiming guitars and stacked vocal harmonies, it's so clearly 1978 before you even hear a full verse. The title and heartbroken lyrics (shades of the Beatles' "She's Leaving Home") feel like a direct nod to Collins' real-life relationship turmoil: Around this time, the drummer's then-wife moved to Vancouver with their children, and Collins followed behind, only for the marriage to fall apart.

106. "Living Forever"
From: We Can't Dance (1991)

Genesis are never best in inspirational mode, but "Living Forever" is cheesy in a way that gently strums the heartstrings. Plus, around the three-minute mark, they launch into a tight instrumental jam, with Banks' airy synths gliding over a one-chord Rutherford vamp.

105. "Riding the Scree"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

Prog fans at the 2021-22 reunion shows were likely psyched to hear a triumphant synth snippet from "Riding the Scree," bundled with "In That Quiet Earth" during the "Cinema Show" medley. The rest of the song is more bizarre and less stadium-friendly — a barrage of warped funk featuring some of Collins' most chaotic drumming.

104. "Scenes From a Night’s Dream"
From: ... And Then There Were Three ... (1978)

Like a couple of other Genesis cuts from the late '70s, this frisky little prog-pop tune is too cute for its own good — in this case, with Collins' lyrics inspired by Winsor McCay's early 1900s cartoon-strip character Little Nemo. It's a fun romp nonetheless, but it's hard not to roll your eyes when Collins belts, "Helped young Washington in the garden, cut the cherry tree down."

103. "Afterglow"
From: Wind & Wuthering (1977)

Excluding their famous live drum duets, "Afterglow" is the third most-played Genesis song — a slow, starry-eyed serenade that's never sounded less than regal lighting up a stadium (even if the core melody does strongly resemble "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"). Collins carries the piece on his back, projecting each note with alternating tenderness and force, even layering his harmonies into cloudy chords. On its own, the track is a bit slight musically. But that simplicity feels earned on Wind & Wuthering — the melodic payoff after the jazz-fusion fireworks of "... In That Quiet Earth."

102. "I Can’t Dance"
From: We Can't Dance (1991)

It's possible to write stone-faced, twist-and-turn prog masterpieces and concise, cheeky pop tunes. Genesis mastered that art during the Collins era. But some fans would be happier had "I Can't Dance" remained an unheard studio jam, not a huge single known for Rutherford's detuned guitar crunch, Banks' dopey keyboard effects and Collins' self-referential one-liners. "I remember Roger Waters saying that you'd never get Bob Dylan or John Lennon writing a song like 'I Can't Dance,'" Collins said in Chapter & Verse, referencing a 1992 interview with Musician. "He failed to see the humor in it. I think Roger sometimes fails to see the humor in a lot of things."

101. "Time Table"
From: Foxtrot (1972)

Easily the worst song on Foxtrot, mostly because the verse piano chords just kind of lumber along without any real drive. But "Time Table" isn't a wash, still showcasing Rutherford's Paul McCartney-like skill with independently melodic bass lines.

100. "The Dividing Line"
From: Calling All Stations (1997)

"My time with Genesis was a bittersweet experience, although a lot of fun," Stations co-drummer Nir Zidkyahu told Chapter & Verse. "And I am proud of my performances on tracks like 'The Dividing Line.'" (Banks agreed on the drum front, telling Innerviews the song has a "great rhythm track," though criticizing the lyrics and melody.) The rhythm is all that matters anyway: Zidkyahu’s drums pack a Collins-like punch, his precisely tuned toms springing off Banks' synths.

99. "Harlequin"
From: Nursery Cryme (1971)

In the Nursery Cryme reissue interviews, Rutherford called this 12-string ballad "pretty dodgy" and "not [his] finest moment lyrically." (Sample snippet: "Came the night a mist dissolved the trees / And in the broken light colors fly, fading by.") Even if feels a bit slight compared to "The Musical Box," Mike's being too hard on himself. There's plenty to savor between Hackett's shadowy leads and the squeaky harmonies of Gabriel and Collins.

98. "Hairless Heart"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

In many ways, this two-minute instrumental functions as a bridge between the aggressive stomp of "Back in N.Y.C." and the sex-centric singalong "Counting Out Time." But "Hairless Heart" is a heavenly atmosphere unto itself, pairing Hackett's nylon-string swirl and weeping volume pedal lines with Banks' massive keyboard chords. It's "one of those lyrical moments from Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, which had a very kind of experimental, abrasive thing," Hackett reflected in a video breakdown.

97. "Keep It Dark"
From: Abacab (1981)

Our protagonist gets abducted by aliens, sees a "world full of people, their hearts full of joy" and, assuming he'll be shunned from society, explains his disappearance with a made-up tale about a skirmish with thieves. It's a quirky premise befitting a quirky arrangement, built on an un-fancy drum loop and a shifty guitar riff that seems to continually circle the downbeat.

96. "Naminanu"
From: B-side of "Keep It Dark" single (1981)

Such fun gibberish! The instrumental "Naminanu" would be more fondly remembered (or remembered at all) had it not been cut from the "Dodo/Lurker" suite. Like many Genesis B-sides, it was treated unjustly. "There’s a moment in 'Naminanu' when it takes off and goes into double-time at the end," Banks told Innerviews, observing the song's arc. "The whole thing’s building to that. The track can maybe be a bit irritating and repetitive, but I found it quite exciting."

95. "On the Shoreline"
From: B-side of "I Can't Dance" single (1991)

It opens with the same barfing-elephant guitar sample that drives "No Son of Mine" — a fitting link since they share a lot of musical DNA. Maybe that familiarity sealed its fate, but "On the Shoreline" should have made the album, knocking off one of the average-at-best ballads. Collins' vocal rivals anything from that era in terms of passion.

94. "A Trick of the Tail"
From: A Trick of the Tail (1976)

"It was something I'd written many years before," Banks told Prog in 2019, "but with Peter’s departure, I liked the idea of slipping in something lighter and more quirky." While "A Trick" does help balance out its namesake album, offering a jovial piano hook among the folky strumming the fusion-y instrumentals, it's the closest thing to ho-hum on yet another near-masterpiece.

93. "The Chamber of 32 Doors"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

"It's a very strange track," Hackett correctly noted in a video breakdown. "It's as if you've got these classical influences and rock – and then it gets into a chorus that sounds almost like, well, befitting the lyric, country music." Despite the odds against them, the pieces just about fit together.

92. "Do the Neurotic"
From: B-side of "In Too Deep" single (1986)

It's crazy how much sequencing and late-stage pruning can shape the final feel of an album — switch out the snoozy "In Too Deep" for its B-side, this jolting instrumental, and Invisible Touch suddenly feels much proggier and more muso-friendly. "I think 'Do the Neurotic' is the wildest thing we ever did," Banks told Innerviews. "Given that we were only a three-piece, it’s a very exciting piece of music. Looking back at it, I would have preferred it to have been on the album."

91. "Wot Gorilla?"
From: Wind & Wuthering (1977)

Genesis followed one of their softest tunes with a splash into fusion. Percussion instruments rattle and Banks' synths squiggle out a triumphant top line. For a three-minute instrumental without much in the way of chords, it's exciting stuff — a sonic link with Collins' side-band Brand X.

90. "Lilywhite Lilith"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

Developed from the largely instrumental 1971 tune "The Light," "Lilywhite Lilith" is a welcome stretch of accessibility on The Lamb — a lifeboat amid the violent waves. (Collins' catchy, wordless backing vocals on the chorus could have been piped in from Duke!) But it's also, conversely, hits hard: Rutherford's bass stings like a dull razor blade to the cheek.

89. "Ripples”
From: A Trick of the Tail (1976)

Rutherford's titular image nods to aging and loss, but the arrangement brims with the innocence of youth — even the youth of Genesis. Those rippling 12-strings could have been tracked during Trespass or Nursery Cryme.

88. "All in a Mouse’s Night”
From: Wind & Wuthering (1977)

“I don’t feel it’s my most successful track,” Banks told Prog in 2017, pointing to the "humorous" yet "self-conscious" cat-and-mouse lyric. The track, as Rutherford explained to Melody Maker in 1976, began life as an "involved epic," but Genesis changed course: "We thought, 'Fuck this, and went completely the other way." They should have listened to their original hunch: "Mouse's Night" feels too hammy to sit alongside "One for the Vine" or "Eleventh Earl of Mar." But it's still a monster instrumentally, full of barking bass lines and slithering-snake guitars.

87. "Anyway"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

One of the most overtly classical Genesis pieces (well, for at least part of its run time), "Anyway" originated from a shelved, yet surprisingly cohesive, song called "Frustration," recorded for a planned BBC documentary on painter Mick Jackson. (These recordings, widely circulated via bootleg, were released on the bonus disc of the 2008 box set Genesis 1970-1975.) Searching for music to flesh out the double-LP Lamb, they revived the vocal melody and elegant piano motifs, swapped out its terrible lyrics and added a new section highlighted by a harmonized Hackett guitar solo. They cram a lot of ideas into three minutes, but "Anyway" never feels like TMI.

86. "Silver Rainbow"
From: Genesis (1983)

Originally titled "Adam Ant" after its comically up-front electronic drum sound, "Silver Rainbow" is an oft-forgotten stunner buried on Side 2 of Genesis. It's a unique meld of old and new, of art and pop, weaving a powerful Collins vocal through a maze of tense chord changes and vaguely funky rhythms. Given that experimentation, it's no surprise Banks loves the song: "I have a lot of affection for 'Silver Rainbow,'" he noted in Chapter & Verse.

85. "Just a Job to Do"
From: Genesis (1983)

They never got James Brown funky, but Genesis are underrated in the groove department. A good example is "Just a Job to Do," which piles synth-horns and palm-muted guitars into a caffeinated surge.

84. "Home By the Sea"
From: Genesis (1983)

Inspired by Collins' title phrase (which emerged from early gibberish singing) and some spooky keyboard sounds, Banks shaped this spiky synth-rocker into a haunted house tale about a would-be robber. (Kudos to Banks for keeping up the vibe throughout, adding a dissonant chord as we enter the second verse.) With its up-front vocal and obvious visual potential, it's clear why "Home By the Sea" became a stage favorite.

83. "Second Home By the Sea"
From: Genesis (1983)

It's tempting to not part the "Seas," but it feels necessary: If not for the reprise at the end of "Second Home," they'd have little to do with each other. The largely instrumental Part 2 maintains focus with surprising aggression: Collins pounds out a bare-bones drum groove on an electric kit, and Rutherford's elastic guitars stretch like taffy, peaking with an arpeggiated powerhouse riff about halfway through.

82. "The Lady Lies"
From: ... And Then There Were Three ... (1978)

Collins' everyman charm is essential on this synth-led fantasy prog beast, helping sell lyrics about a man rescuing a maiden from a monster — only to discover she's a demon. His drumming is also next level here: Check his rapid-fire ride cymbal on the chorus.

81. "Undertow”
From: ... And Then There Were Three ... (1978)

The lyrics are laughably cloying: "Laughter and music and perfume linger here / And there, and there / Wine flows from flask to glass and mouth / As it soothes, confusing our doubts." Eek. But "Undertow" is also among the band's most romantic arrangements, layering Banks' keyboards into a monstrous sound worthy of all the world's dry ice.

80. "It’s Yourself"
From: B-side of "Your Own Special Way" single (1977)

Tragically cut from A Trick of the Tail, "It's Yourself" functions like a lost part one to the instrumental closer "Los Endos," even teasing that song's opening guitar melody. But it's a real piece of work on its own, stacking bass pedals and tambourine and Eastern-tinged guitars into a sonic skyscraper.

79. "The Carpet Crawlers 1999"
From: "The Carpet Crawlers 1999" single (1999)

It’s a shame the Gabriel lineup never reunited to perform The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, as they tentatively discussed in the mid-'00s. But at least we got this one-off studio revamp, recorded in 1995 for their Turn It On Again compilation. Fans have voiced some logical complaints about this modernized mix, including an overall lack of Hackett. But it’s spine-tingling to hear Gabriel and Collins as middle-aged men in tag-team mode, trading off lines and harmonizing with richer, more controlled voices. "Peter’s idea was to use [producer] Trevor Horn since he was neutral territory: None of us had ever worked with him," Banks told UCR in 2018. "The vocal, the way it switches between Peter's voice to Phil's voice, is really strong on that. The arrangement I'm not 100 percent crazy about — the little, skippy drums through it — and the chords are a bit unsubtle, but it wasn't bad at all."

78. "Feeding the Fire"
From: B-side of "Land of Confusion" single (1986)

Just like "Do the Neurotic," this robust belter could have changed the overall character of Invisible Touch, offering more bite and organic feel than it currently has. Collins attacks that chorus.

77. "Dusk"
From: Trespass (1970)

The delicately droning "Dusk" suffers due to sequencing, sandwiched between their two most beloved pre-Collins songs, "Stagnation" and "The Knife." But this one's in the same arena of quality: The tangled 12-strings of Rutherford and Anthony Phillips never sounded more in sync, expertly complemented by Gabriel's pastoral flute.

76. "Cuckoo Cocoon"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

Hackett says he wrote most of this dreamy little tune — one that's too long to be an interlude but too short and choppy to rank among the elite. Gabriel's flute and Banks' liquid piano chords create the same out-of-body sensation as the lyrics ("Don't tell me this is dying, 'cause I ain't changed that much").

75. "The Battle of Epping Forest"
From: Selling England By the Pound (1973)

Better known around some stereos as "The One Where Gabriel Does All the Wacky Voices," "Epping Forest" might test your tolerance for fake accents and mile-long lyric sheets. Inspired by a news story Gabriel read about rival gangs duking it out in London's East End, the 12-minute track is ultimately exhausting, spilling out battle scenes and character names seemingly ripped from cartoons: Mick the Prick ("fresh out the nick"), Harold Demure and Liquid Len, among others. It probably would have worked better as an instrumental, letting Banks' Hammond and Rutherford's beastly bass do the talking. Still, it slays.

74. "White Mountain"
From: Trespass (1970)

When Gabriel left in 1974, no fan probably expected Genesis to revive anything from Trespass onstage. But the Collins-fronted crew dug out "White Mountain" (a song that neither he nor Hackett helped record) 61 times in 1976 — rearranging the 12-string tune with mellotron and synths. (Thankfully, they also dropped the awkward drum track that drags down the album version.) Like most early Genesis songs, this would have blossomed further in the Hackett/Collins era. Yet it still highlights the band's growing imagination — like at the 4:00 mark, where we dissolve into half-time and Gabriel's voice is swaddled in fuzz.

73. "Twilight Alehouse"
From: B-side of "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" single (1974)

Few Genesis songs have a weirder history than "Twilight Alehouse," a dark proto-prog piece they reportedly debuted during one of their first gigs in 1969. They played the song sporadically over the next few years (including a memorable live take for Belgian TV), finally recording it during the 1972 Foxtrot sessions. But they shelved the track until the following year, issuing it as the B-side to Selling England single "I Know What I Like." Good on them to stick with it: While the B section's guitar riff is uncharacteristically bluesy, the song's dramatic shifts and forlorn imagery solidify its status as a semi-lost classic.

72. "Cul-de-sac"
From: Duke (1980)

“There was one track on Duke called ‘Cul-de-sac’ by Tony, and Tony’s a very white writer," Collins later told a fan magazine. "As soon as I have trouble playing something, he knows he shouldn't have played it and he should have kept it." Nonetheless, Collins' dismissive attitude doesn't survive into the final mix, never distracting from the winding piano changes and resounding chorus: "You thought you'd rule the world forever / Long live the king, and don't spare the loser".

71. "Happy the Man"
From: "Happy the Man" single (1972)

Genesis joined Van der Graaf Generator and Lindisfarne, two other Charisma label bands, in 1971 on the now-infamous "Six Bob" package tour. None of those groups sound much alike, but it’s fun to ponder the cross-pollination that might’ve occurred in the backs of vans. Perhaps "Happy the Man" is Genesis’ nod to Lindisfarne: a heartily strummed folk-rock sing-along that should have been a hit instead of obscurity.

70. "The Day the Light Went Out"
From: B-side of "Many Too Many" single (1978)

"Artificial light could hardly penetrate the gloom," Collins sings — an apt description of this bleak B-side. Within, a town is plagued by some unseen "parasite" that rids them of the sun, leading to a scene of "looting, pillage, murder [and] rape." Yikes! That concept is the stuff of a great short story, and they nearly write one here — word-wise, it's a mouthful, going neck and neck in that department with "The Battle of Epping Forest." But musically "The Day" wastes not a second, moving briskly from creepy Hammond to fidgety synth hooks.

69. "Counting Out Time"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

"Counting Out Time" continues the lineage of "Harold the Barrel," "Happy the Man" and "I Know What I Like" — all comparatively simple tunes with Gabriel out front. It's a fleeting moment of levity in the Lamb story, with Rael dreaming about his first sexual experience (and the expertise on erogenous zones acquired in an instructional book). Not exactly the obvious makings of a classic pop song, but it might as well be "She Loves You" amid the album's surrealism. Everyone shines at various points, from Collins' wordless backing vocals to Hackett's wonky synth-guitar solo.

68. "Man of Our Times"
From: Duke (1980)

Duke is the most live-sounding Genesis album, capturing the band at their pinnacle of muscle. "Man of Our Times" has the clarity of a studio performance but the intensity of a stadium show, wrapping your ears around each tom-tom thump and china cymbal decay. There isn't much happening here: a handful of vague lyrics ("There's another day done, and there's another gone by"), a see-sawing guitar/synth riff, a threadbare melody and loads of drums. But it needs nothing more.

67. "The Knife"
From: Trespass (1970)

Genesis pivoted away from prog-folk toward prog-rock with "The Knife," a Hammond-fueled showstopper that previewed the wildness of "The Musical Box." If only they'd recorded it for Nursery Cryme, following their major upgrade in technique. Luckily we have the superior stage version from the 1973 Live LP. (Fun fact: The song was originally titled "The Nice" as a reference to that proto-prog band, a critical early influence during the Trespass era.)

66. "Horizons"
From: Foxtrot (1972)

"Horizons" is a deep breath before the mania of "Supper's Ready," a perfectly placed acoustic guitar interlude that feels more substantial than that description. Hackett played the piece during rehearsal and, still a bit sheepish at this early stage, expected it to go ignored. But after being championed by Collins, his classical staple became a crucial point on Foxtrot — it's hard to imagine the grand finale without it.

65. "For Absent Friends"
From: Nursery Cryme (1971)

Hackett was also apparently unconfident when presenting this idea to Gabriel — that'll happen in a group as stiff-lipped as Genesis. But "For Absent Friends" was an ideal first showcase for the guitarist's softer side — and for Collins as a lead singer, as he coos over Hackett's genteel 12-string. Looking back, though, Rutherford would have been fine canning the newbies' breakthrough: “'Absent Friends' was Phil and Steve’s song," he wrote in The Living Years. "I could have done without it on the record but because it was something that the pair of them — the new recruits — had written together, it seemed right to have it there."

64. "Fly on a Windshield"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

There's so much dark ambiance on The Lamb: Take "Fly on a Windshield," which opens with staggering strumming and a gothic mellotron choir that sounds like a harbinger of pure evil. Then comes the moment — the point at 1:17 where the calm becomes the storm, Gabriel's reverbed voice spilling into crunching drums and sweeping guitar contrails. Honestly, the rest of the song need not exist.

63. "The Colony of Slippermen"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

Dissonant synths and guitars scurry around like insects — an intro all but disconnected from the prog-funk grooves that anchor the song thereafter. Gabriel crams in a lot of characters and imagery (look no further than "Slubberdegullions on squeaky feet"), but the main chorus melody balances out the word count. Plus, the band veers off into all sorts of magical ideas, peaking in excitement around the 4:50 mark with Banks' squawking synth solo.

62. "Jesus He Knows Me"
From: We Can't Dance (1991) 

Genesis rarely trafficked in snark, but this satirical single suggests they should've done more of it. Both here and in the song's hilarious video, Collins takes on the role of a Christian televangelist ("Do you believe in God? / 'Cause that is what I’m selling") — exploring the intersection of greed and blind faith. It's among their most hot-blooded later-day arrangements, utilizing some dark keyboard riffs and a snappy reggae breakdown.

61. "Heathaze"
From: Duke (1980)

It takes one minute and 43 seconds to reach the first chorus, as Banks leads the band through slippery piano changes and Collins croons placid imagery ("sleepy calm," "gentle breeze," "rustling leaves"). But the payoff is immense: As the synths woosh upward, Collins triples his intensity, hammering home one of Duke's most moving choruses: "The trees and I are shaken by / the same wind, but whereas / The trees will lose their withered leaves / I just can't seem to let them loose."

60. "Guide Vocal"
From: Duke (1980)

It's tempting to disregard this keyboard-and-vocals passage, which runs a scant 1:16, as a coda for "Duchess" — a ribbon tied around the first section of the abandoned Duke suite. (At one point, that multi-track piece would have also included "Behind the Lines," "Duchess," "Turn It on Again," "Duke's Travels" and "Duke's End.") As it stands, "Guide Vocal" is one of Banks' essential melodies, delivered by Collins with a Shakespearean level of drama.

59. "You Might Recall"
From: 3x3 EP (1982)

Only diehards might recall the 3x3 EP, home of this lost-love groover. But — and tell us if you've heard this one before — it's criminal that Genesis left it off Abacab. Collins rarely sang with more gusto.

58. "Paperlate"
From: 3x3 EP (1982)

Genesis booted this absurdly hooky single, which draws equally from the Beatles and Motown, off Abacab and onto the afterthought 3x3 EP. Perhaps two songs with the Earth, Wind & Fire brass section was one too many? (Congratulations, "No Reply At All.") What a mistake! "Paperlate" still found a modest audience, hitting No. 32 on the Billboard Hot 100.

57. "It"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

So underrated because only the hardcore fans listened deep into Side 4. Here, Hackett, the album's unsung hero, contributes one of his finest themes – a lead line that sprints joyously toward the finish line, all while Gabriel's story crescendos into either cosmic gibberish or the meaning of life: "Any rock can be made to roll / If you've enough of it to pay the toll / It has no home in words or goal / Not even in your favorite hole."

56. "Visions of Angels"
From: Trespass (1970)

Now disinterested in trying to score Bee Gees knockoff hits, Genesis were free to indulge in the folk-prog that emerged on Trespass. "Visions of Angels" could be the album's quintessential tune stylistically, with acoustic instruments and reverb-kissed backing vocals forming, well, a "rippling stream that smiles and then goes by." Despite a few rhythmic glitches, even briefly tenured drummer John Mayhew shines during the rousing climax.

55. "The Brazilian"
From: Invisible Touch (1986)

Genesis picked "The Brazilian" over their other instrumental contender, "Do the Neurotic," and fans have been arguing for years over which is better. "The Brazilian" gets the edge, partly because of how deeply odd it is: the mechanical, clanging percussion; Collins' hilariously digital tom flourishes; Banks' tense synth bends. But the payoff of those chorus keyboards is immense — so much that it's popped up in numerous film and TV projects over the decades, including a montage sequence from the 2020 Hulu comedy Palm Springs.

54. “Deep in the Motherlode”
From: ... And Then There Were Three ... (1978)

David Hentschel's production was never more effective, amplifying the drama in every bass pedal hit and synthesizer note. And unlike some of Three's other story songs, "Deep in the Motherlode" also works as a standalone lyric, documenting a man's travels west "while there's gold in the air." (Still, could have done without "Your mother's milk still wet on your face.")

53. "Misunderstanding"
From: Duke (1980)

It's crazy to think Genesis only reached the Hot 100 a handful of times by 1980, but "Misunderstanding" marked a clear line in the sand. Carrying on the momentum of "Follow You Follow Me," this single hit No. 14 on the strength of a swaying, sunshine groove (inspired by Toto's "Hold the Line" and the Beach Boys' "Sail on Sailor") and a relatable story of communication breakdown. It's a little one-note, but man is that note good.

52. "No Son of Mine"
From: We Can't Dance (1991)

The whole mystique is right there in one sound: a bluesy Rutherford guitar bend processed and sampled through Banks' keys, winding up closer to (yes) a vomiting elephant than a typical riff. And that tension bleeds into the lyric, which Collins developed from his placeholder gibberish into the tearful tale of a young man escaping an abusive home life.

51. "Blood on the Rooftops"
From: Wind & Wuthering (1977)

Everyone in Genesis rightly rates "Blood on the Rooftops" as among Hackett's finest works, a stirring piece that moves back and forth between classical guitar picking and full-band, mid-tempo balladry. It's also a standout Genesis lyric from that era, a subtly cynical look at TV news coverage of world events.

50. "Dreaming While You Sleep"
From: We Can't Dance (1991)

Collins delivers a film-worthy hit-and-run narrative in which the victim winds up in a coma and the driver is haunted "until the day [they] die." It's set to an equally gripping arrangement built on a marimba-like keyboard sound, bluesy guitar wails and drums that, like much of Collins' post-'80s work, punch like a prizefighter.

49. "Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers ..." / "... In That Quiet Earth"
From: Wind & Wuthering (1977)

It's not fair to separate these two, which form a one sweeping instrumental — a bit of flash before the scaled-back sweetness of "Afterglow." Part 1 is merely an ambient interlude, introducing the fusion-y, Hackett-dominated splendor of "Earth." The end section, full of distorted riffs and flailing synth solos, could be the heaviest moment in the Genesis canon.

48. "Land of Confusion"
From: Invisible Touch (1986)

Rutherford's attempt at protest lyrics are generic enough to fit any global turmoil ("There's too many men, too many people / Making too many problems / And there's not much love to go around") — a useful tool but not exactly a riveting message. Still, who cares when the hooks are this sticky?

47. "Fading Lights"
From: We Can't Dance (1991)

The biggest setlist surprise from Genesis' 2021 reunion was "Fading Lights," the climactic epic from We Can't Dance. Building from a twinkly keys-and-drum-machine ballad into a proggy synth solo, it feels like a fitting survey of the full Genesis catalog — and a cathartic close to the Collins era. "I had thought that We Can't Dance might well be the last album we did with Phil, so when I wrote the lyric to 'Fading Lights,' another of my terminal songs, I had the idea of ending the song with the word 'remember,'" Banks said in Chapter & Verse. "And it is very poignant in that context because it marked the end of a large part of our career."

46. "Down and Out"
From: ... And Then There Were Three ... (1978)

“When Chester Thompson came over to start rehearsing for the American tour, he just couldn’t get ['Down and Out'] right at first,” Rutherford told Sounds in 1978. “When we wrote it, Tony Banks and I thought of the riff in a different way to Phil Collins – and Phil couldn’t explain the riff to Chester, which added to the confusion. It’s funny because once you get used to a strange time signature it sounds very natural and you forget that other people will take time to get used to it.” The beauty of "Down and Out" is how its manic drums and glowing synths sound so natural with Collins singing his lungs out over top. Could any other singer make 10/8 catchy?

45. "Evidence of Autumn"
From: B-side to "Misunderstanding" single (1980)

Given Collins' distaste for "Cul-de-sac," it's no surprise Genesis booted "Evidence of Autumn" from the Duke sessions. After all, it's another lush, keyboard-dominated piece. Even Banks had a clear favorite of the pair, which were written at the same time: "It was a choice of which one went on the album," he told the Waiting Room, "and I think we went with the right one really." The real solution would have been cutting "Please Don't Ask," but it's easy to understand the sequencing — by the early '80s, Genesis were starting to move away from lavish arrangements and chord sequences. Still, none of that nitpicking offers any justice to "Autumn," a Banks mini-epic that, in his classic style, balances catchiness and complexity.

44. "The Return of the Giant Hogweed"
From: Nursery Cryme (1971)

Gabriel spews venom like a metal singer on this early epic, a demented tale about a toxic, vengeful plant. Banks drives the piece with his unconventional chord changes, moving around the keyboard in unexpected ways — a glimpse of prog to come. The end section has a classical flair, his piano flowing like water and Hackett attacking his guitar in an almost pizzicato style.

43. "Man on the Corner"
From: Abacab (1981)

Some Genesis songs need to be overstuffed: How interesting would a stripped-down "Firth of Fifth" be? Others, like "Man on the Corner," were destined to be minimal: Collins belts simple snapshots of a "lonely man," backed by the plush tick-tock of a drum machine and a handful of basic synth chords. When the live rhythm section finally kicks in at 2:17, it raises the hair on your neck.

42. "Mad Man Moon"
From: A Trick of the Tail (1976) 

"Some songs are especially demanding," Collins said of his unplanned promotion to frontman in the 2016 memoir Not Dead Yet. "'Mad Man Moon' is one of Tony's, and his melodies are out of my usual comfort zone, especially if you have to learn them on the fly in the studio." It's fair to say "Moon" was outside everyone's comfort zone: It's one of the most whirlwind Genesis songs, barreling through changes in time signature and tempo — from a delicate piano ballad to dense synth terrain to a furious prog-pomp movement in 7/8.

41. "Can-Utility and the Coastliners"
From: Foxtrot (1972)

In its infancy, this light-to-dark piece was named both "Rock My Baby" and "Bye Bye Johnny" onstage — luckily they settled on a less generic title for the final studio version, which remains overshadowed on Foxtrot by "Supper's Ready" and "Watcher of the Skies." It's one of those tracks where you can hear the hand-stitching, but the individual segments are spellbinding: Hackett's volume pedal work, Collins' crashing drum fills, Banks' mighty mellotron. "Those who love our majesty / show themselves!" Gabriel sings. (Insert raised hand here.)

40. "Inside and Out"
From: Spot the Pigeon EP (1977)

It’s essentially two songs, both musically and thematically: The opening "Inside," lazily floating along through dream-sequence arpeggios, follows a character falsely accused of a crime and sentenced to jail; the busy back half, with Banks and Hackett going nuts as soloists, explores the celebration of his exit. "I think it was one of the stronger tracks that didn’t make it onto [Wind & Wuthering]," Hackett correctly told Vintage Rock in 2017. It's enough to make a guitarist feel unwelcome...

39. "Follow You Follow Me"
From: ... And Then There Were Three ... (1978)

In The Living Years, Rutherford described Three as "a funny album" that was "saved" by this chiming, quietly grooving love song — a surprisingly straightforward single that helped the band break out of their pre-conceived prog box, landing at No. 23 on the Hot 100. "It's an up, happy song that makes you smile without being sweet," Rutherford added, accurately. "Not an easy thing to achieve."

38. "Robbery, Assault and Battery"
From: A Trick of the Tail (1976) 

If you've never seen the video for "Robbery, Assault and Battery," please pause now and take a gander. Collins, utilizing his childhood acting skills, hams it up as a robber who cracks a safe and shoots its owner (Rutherford), while the band's shiest members, Banks and Hackett, appear on the sidelines as police officers. The song is nearly as playful, continuing the lineage of "Harold the Barrel" and "Willow Farm," with Collins adopting accents and banging out a disco-like backbeat. But the band's major-key stomp is politely interrupted at 2:35, pivoting into a wildly complex synth solo.

37. "Invisible Touch"
From: Invisible Touch (1986)

"This is someone dangerous and destabilizing," Collins wrote in Not Dead Yet, detailing the magnetic romantic force within this chart-topping single. "Someone who will come in and fuck up your life, man, which is the line I will end up singing onstage, much to the audience's general whooped appreciation and my kids' embarrassment." The song, like the rest of Invisible Touch, originated from jams at the band's Farm studio — in this case, guided by Rutherford's echoing guitar riff and Banks' bubbling synth. Inspired by Sheila E.'s 1984 hit "The Glamorous Life," Collins crafted an instantly hummable top-line hook — the kind one might've heard while browsing for clearance turtlenecks at their local Sears. Genesis were now way past "crossover" and firmly cemented in the mainstream, even if their quirkier deep cuts argued otherwise. But that comes with the territory of writing perfect synth-pop.

36. "Throwing It All Away"
From: Invisible Touch (1986)

It's the other side of the soft-rock coin from "In Too Deep," proving Genesis could tackle heartsick balladry without getting cornball about it. Plus, musically there's enough technique to satisfy art-rock fans willing to look for it: Rutherford's bluesy guitar lick nimbly struts around the track, and the Romantic chorus chordal lift is classic Banks.

35. "Los Endos”
From: A Trick of the Tail (1976) 

Collins goes full Brand X on this fusion instrumental, a whiplash shift after the Beatles-y bounce in "A Trick of the Tail." The opening piece continues the atmosphere of B-side "It's Yourself," gradually cresting into a percussive frenzy with Hackett and Banks wailing over top. There's a bookends quality here, reprising melodies from both "Dance on a Volcano" and "Squonk" — but Collins also slips in a subtle wink to Foxtrot's "Supper's Ready" during the fade-out, singing a tweaked lyric ("There's an angel standing in the sun / Free to get back home") as a tribute to the recently exited Gabriel.

34. "Duke’s Travels" / "Duke's End"
From: Duke (1980)

Is it fair to isolate "Guide Vocal" but not break apart this suite-sealing two-parter? Well, yeah: "Guide Vocal" has its independent structure, but "Duke's Travels" and "Duke's End" are joined at the hip. Who moves straight into one without the other? Madness. However you slice it, the Duke LP closes with 11 dazzling, largely instrumental minutes, tying the whole project together with reprises of "Guide Vocal" and "Behind the Lines."

33. "That’s All"
From: Genesis (1983)

Banks once compared it to the Beatles’ “Rocky Raccoon" — a slight stretch. But there's some Fab Four in the strutting piano riff of "That's All." (With a messier arrangement, it could have made sense somewhere on the White Album.) It's all down to the keys and vocals, from Collins' rasp on "'stead of taking one bite" to Banks' stormy electric piano melody on the bridge.

32. "Squonk"
From: A Trick of the Tail (1976) 

Collins channels his inner John Bonham via "Kashmir," bashing his kit with a restrained but just-ready-to-boil-over force. But no one would mistake "Squonk" for Led Zeppelin. For all its booming tom fills and gargantuan bass pedal pulses, it's still anchored in prog thanks to those ornamental organ melodies and lyrics inspired by a mythical beast. What a pivotal turning point for Genesis: After Gabriel's departure, they auditioned a handful of vocalists but couldn't find a perfect fit; a motivated Collins stepped up the mic to hammer out this cut, and the rest was history. (Think of the implications! Maybe "In the Air Tonight" wouldn't exist had "Squonk" been written in a good key for an auditioning Mick Strickland.)

31. "The Fountain of Salmacis"
From: Nursery Cryme (1971)

Son of gods, what an opening! Banks' mysterious mellotron, crescendo-ing into full-band fanfare, is definitive early prog. As an individual moment, it doesn't get better. The rest of the piece, drawing from Greek mythology and Jethro Tull-like jazziness, nearly matches it. (Strap on those headphones and listen closely to the vocal arrangement, full of doubling and whispers and octaves and counterpoint.)

30. "Burning Rope"
From: ... And Then There Were Three ... (1978)

In the late '70s and early '80s, Genesis often scaled back songs and discarded ultra-prog moves (see: the Duke/Abacab suites). Another example is "Burning Rope," which Banks' decided to chop down, fearing comparisons to Wind & Wuthering's "One for the Vine." (Even with that reduction, it's still the lengthiest song on Three by one minute.) The trio would also eventually sidestep this kind of overt Romanticism, but "Burning Rope" is Banks at his Banksiest, hopping from lyrical melody to lyrical melody. Rutherford, here in the unenviable role of replacing Hackett as lead guitarist, also deserves a shoutout for his climactic solo — a tense, dissonant theme that earns this piece its chef's kiss.

29. "One for the Vine"
From: Wind & Wuthering (1977)

"To me, it’s the best thing I’ve written. Certainly, instrumentally, it’s the most adventurous thing I’ve done," Banks told NME of this 10-minute epic, which seamlessly connects a series of one-shot instrumental themes, climaxing in a "triumphant kind of march." You might not notice, given how tastefully Collins sings them, but these lyrics are also among the band's most ambitious, following a character who rebels against a would-be prophet, slips into a "wilderness of ice" and into a land of "simple" folk who take him for a messiah. In other words: a "guy who’s been tricked by fate into being the god he didn’t believe in the first half the song." The resulting track became a feather in Banks' cap, part of the reason he calls Wind & Wuthering one of his two favorite Genesis LPs, along with Duke. But everyone in the band contributes something special to these blink-and-they're-gone melodies and riffs, including the explosion at 4:39 that ushers in a disco-like groove.

28. "Stagnation"
From: Trespass (1970)

Genesis began life as two songwriting partnerships: the more soul- and classical-leaning Gabriel/Banks and a pair of 12-string nuts, Phillips/Rutherford. The best of the band's early work, like "Stagnation," smooshes all that clay into one sculpture — even if the surgical edits here are a tad distracting. We open in vintage acoustic harmony, only to quadruple the energy with Banks' Hammond and Gabriel's raspy yelps. (Has anyone ever sounded cooler repeatedly singing the word "I"?)

27. "Entangled"
From: A Trick of the Tail (1976) 

Hackett and Banks always made for a strange pair: They were easily the band's most prog-minded members, pushing some of the most ambitious ideas, but they hardly collaborated outside of a full-band setting. One notable exception is "Entangled," a dark lullaby centerpiece from A Trick of the Tail. Hackett entered that album with his idea cupboard cleaned out, having recently stepped aside to record his debut solo LP, Voyage of the Acolyte. (Notably, both Collins and Rutherford — but not Banks — played on that record.) But he did contribute this waltzing 12-string pattern, sparking Banks' chorus and synth solo. The duo feels perfectly in sync here, intertwining their acoustics and choral mellotron into a brooding climax.

26. "Get 'Em Out By Friday"
From: Foxtrot (1972) 

Genesis had five strong characters in the early '70s and only so many songs to share — as a result, they often wound up with densely stuffed tracks like "Get 'Em Out By Friday," where Gabriel's lyrics wiggle around for room within the band's shifting prog landscapes. But that chaos feels like communion: Adopting a variety of character voices, Gabriel spits out a genius politically tinged sci-fi satire in which government overlords shrink citizens to save resources. Behind him, the band ventures from pin-drop quiet soundscapes to jazz-rock grooves — an impressive range.

25. "Abacab"
From: Abacab (1981)

Now leaning into an edgier, more contemporary New Wave style, Genesis hunkered down at the Farm, strung together some up-tempo riffs and wound up with a piece that, early on, spelled out "ABACAB" in its musical sequence (with "A" meaning "A section" and so on). And that placeholder title stayed put, even after they rearranged the song to make the acronym unpronounceable. Funny enough, the phrase "Abacab" feels completely in line with its parent album: less flowery, more modern, and angular, like the abstract shapes that grace the artwork. (Indeed, the words on this throbbing single take on whatever meaning you want: "There's a crack in the mirror / Somewhere there's a hole in a windowpane," Collins growls. "Now do you think I'm to blame?") That '80s Genesis sound is fully formed here, with engineer Hugh Padgham adding widescreen oomph to the drums and synths.

24. "Driving the Last Spike"
From: We Can't Dance (1991)

The last Genesis prog classic, spotlighting Collins in blatant story mode, the 10-minute "Driving the Last Spike" mines an unlikely source: the tragedy and triumph of 19th-century British railway workers. Collins dominates the whole track, bashing the bejesus out of his kit and delivering every word with god-tier drama. ("I'll always remember that night / As they waved goodbye to their fathers," he sings, stretching out the last syllable for maximum impact.)

23. "Looking for Someone"
From: Trespass (1970)

An immediate revelation, roughly one second into Trespass: how much Gabriel's vocals had matured since Revelation. His voice, now wrapped in that signature rasp, yelps out of the speakers like an old soul singer's — no more forced psychedelic baby talk here. "Looking for Someone" is a startling statement of intent, packaging all of the band's early strengths (Banks' finesse on organ and piano, a wide quiet-loud range) into seven minutes. With that voice upfront, it was only a matter of time.

22. "Watcher of the Skies"
From: Foxtrot (1972)

As Hackett enthused in a video breakdown, "Watcher of the Skies" commences with "one of the great mellotron moments" ever — a mysterious, dissonant chord sequence that manifests the lyric's UFO landing. The subsequent climb is equally cinematic, as the band's jittery, staccato 6/4 groove continually throws you off your axis. Even after the melody finally kicks in at the 2:18 mark, Gabriel singing about an astral observer beholding a "planet unknown" (twist: it's an alien stumbling upon a ravaged Earth), they never let off the gas pedal.

21. "Dodo/Lurker"
From: Abacab (1981) 

Banks' synth and Rutherford's guitar cut like buzz saws on Abacab's proggiest track, a delightfully frenzied two-parter that moves from haunted-house rock to grimy funk to arena-sized New Wave, connected by some of Banks' most head-scratching lyrics. "Lurker" famously features a riddle: "Clothes of brass and hair of brown / Seldom need to breathe / Don’t need no wings to fly / Ooh, and a heart of stone / And a fear of fire and water / Who am I?" Some fans speculate the answer is "submarine" — which would make sense, given that Genesis gave that title to a B-side once part of the forgotten suite. But Banks maintains it was all a "joke," telling Record Collector in 1997, "I'm afraid to say really that there is no real solution. ... If you can find out what the answer is, perhaps you can tell me!"

20. "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"
From: Invisible Touch (1986) 

In the old days, one Genesis song might have five streams of ideas, each musician maneuvering to work in his best bit. (This process produced plenty of gold, but it also wasn't sustainable.) In the latter days, a core idea might be skeletal — one member pushing some buttons on a drum machine, another mumbling some melodies, the other adding some basic chords. And that kind of in-the-room writing fostered tracks like "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight," which breathes for every second of its nine eerie minutes. Every choice they make — Collins' Roto-tom-style flourishes, Rutherford's tremolo bar accents — has a noticeable impact, all while leaving space for a gritty vocal that could sell the vibe all on its own.

19. "Eleventh Earl of Mar"
From: Wind & Wuthering (1977)

Inspired by an actual failed Scottish uprising from the early 1700s, Rutherford crafted the lyrics for Wind & Wuthering's temperamental opener. But for all its images of ornately dressed bishops and gold-covered ground, one line sticks out like a sore thumb: Collins channeling his inner spoiled child to cry, "Daddy, you promised!" That funny blemish aside, "Eleventh Earl of Mar" presents quartet-era Genesis at their most majestic: Banks' studious Hammond, Rutherford's galloping bass, Hackett's dreamlike kalimba and nylon-string guitar in the middle section. It "had a tremendous energy," Rutherford told Prog in 2017. Give yourself more credit, guy!

18. "Me and Sarah Jane"
From: Abacab (1981)

It's one of their richest songs, but almost no one — even among Genesis fans — talks much about "Me and Sarah Jane," a black sheep on the band's ultimate black sheep album. In some ways, it exemplifies the trio's shift into brighter New Wave sounds, incorporating drum machines and a twitchy, vaguely reggae groove. But structurally it's classic prog, never staying in one harmonic space for too long. In many ways, it marked the end of an era for Banks: "I had one little moment on Abacab where I could afford to revert to my old ways," he said in Chapter & Verse. "On 'Me and Sarah Jane' I poured all my flowery, beautiful stuff into one song, and for the rest of the album kept thinking, 'Really keep it simple.'"

17. "Domino"
From: Invisible Touch (1986) 

Ah, the infamous "sheets of double glazing" — a line Collins hated so much, he even vented about it during rehearsals for the 2007 reunion tour. "It was amazing how difficult it was still to sing of those obscure Genesis lyrics," he said in the When in Rome DVD documentary. "I've been a kind of direct emotional writer-singer — I say 'I love you' and 'I miss you,' whatever it is. Now I've got to sing 'sheets of double-glazing' and 'nylon sheets and blankets.' I don't know how to do that! I never did know how to do that, and I realize that I was a caricature." True, those lines don't exactly roll off the tongue — but neither did "O Lamia, your flesh that remains I will take as my food." Anyway, even if Collins couldn't wrap his brain around this Banks-led story song, tackling the domino effect as it relates to global affairs, it's still the centerpiece of Invisible Touch — an 11-minute, late-era prog masterpiece that, ironically, features some of the drummer's most expressive singing. (He put every ounce of emotion into "we prayed it would last forever.")

16. "In the Cage"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

You can take the title literally, following Rael as he tries to escape a cage within a cave. You could also treat it metaphorically, focusing on the band's journey — bouncing like a pinball from heartbeat-quiet pulses to suspenseful hard-prog ensemble playing. Gabriel manages to twist his words, pretzel-style, into colorful melodies, with Eno's effects (officially credited as "Enossification") adding just the right amount of grotesque texture.

15. "Back in N.Y.C."
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

The Lamb — and, really, Genesis — at their most primal, even if it's in 7/8 and structured around an arpeggiated synthesizer. Gabriel's vocal is deliciously nasty, a fitting delivery for Rael's proto-punk one-liners like, "So you think I'm a tough kid? / Is that what you heard? / Yeah, well I like to see some action / And it gets into my blood!" Collins' drumming, meanwhile, is an absolute master class: at times flailing around on the toms with triplet fills, elsewhere creating tension by stripping everything back to a ride cymbal and kick. You can get lost in those details, or you can let the story take the wheel. "Back in N.Y.C." works on every level.

14. "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

And so we meet Rael Imperial Aerosol Kid, who emerges from a Manhattan subway with his "spray gun hid" and witnesses the titular animal makes his move — a bizarre but profound gesture that inadvertently launches our avant-garde Pilgrim's Progress. Gabriel never wrote more vivid Genesis lyrics, accentuated with a surprising inner-city edge — and the band's groove, led by Rutherford's distorted bass riff, matches the images blow by blow.

13. "Dance on a Volcano"
From: A Trick of the Tail (1976)

Genesis could have withered under the pressure after Gabriel's departure. Instead, they rallied with renewed purpose: Even before the return of Hackett, who was finishing his first solo LP, the trio lineup reconvened and quickly knocked out the turbulent "Dance on a Volcano." The sleekly harmonized main melody in 7/8, the fusion-y cymbals and tom-tom triplets, the mammoth bass pedals, the intensity of Collins' lead vocal — Genesis were going to survive this major loss, and they didn't even have to tread water.

12. "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)"
From: Selling England By the Pound (1973)

Arguably the first great Genesis pop song, "I Know What I Like" developed from a repetitive, psychedelic guitar pattern Hackett played during concert sound checks. "It was such a good riff," Banks gushed in Chapter & Verse, describing how they deliberately kept the structure simple — in obvious contrast with Selling England's extended prog cuts like "The Battle of Epping Forest." "We didn't over-develop the song," he continued. "I thought that could have been quite a big hit, but the lyric was a little strange." While Gabriel's musings on a happily underachieving lawnmower might have kept the charts at arm's length, the Beatles-y jangle made it a future concert staple — a rare singalong from their early days.

11. "Turn It on Again"
From: Duke (1980)

Genesis didn't have big plans for "Turn It on Again" — in fact, they originally envisioned it as a linking track for the lost Duke suite. But as they jammed two separate riffs — one left off Rutherford's debut solo LP, Smallcreep's Day; one intended for Banks' A Curious Feeling — the idea expanded, with Collins suggesting they ramp up the tempo and energy. His steady drums elevated the whole song, from the main 13/8 attack to the brief section where Banks' synth line somehow calls to mind an Egyptian goddess rising from her tomb. “It’s got a good drum part that makes it sound simple, rather than making it sound as complicated as it is," Collins recalled on the reissued DVD. "That’s one of the reasons it could be a single — if you told the record company it was in 13/8 ...”

10. "No Reply At All"
From: Abacab (1981)

Collins' soul prowess shines on "No Reply At All," the band's peak of funkiness. Having already nabbed Earth, Wind & Fire's Phoenix Horns on his debut solo LP, Face Value, Collins pushed Genesis to take that plunge on Abacab, recruiting brassy guest spots for both "No Reply At All" and 3x3's "Paperlate." They wanted to develop musically, to take risks — and those staccato blasts cemented just how far they'd evolved since the days of Rael. But if you probe deeper, "No Reply" cleverly blends the old and new: Rutherford had certainly never played his bass with such gleeful melodic warmth, but Banks' busy Prophet-5 pattern utilizes the same cross-handed keyboard technique used during the intro of "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway."

9. "The Cinema Show"
From: Selling England By the Pound (1973) 

When your lyrics mingle Greek mythology with T.S. Eliot and Shakespeare, your music should probably match that reach. Check! The 11-minute "Cinema Show" opens in a peaceful acoustic reverie, Gabriel and Collins harmonizing about a possible sexual encounter between Romeo and Juliet. It then, shall we say, crosses between the poles, building to a stunning climax in 7/8 dominated by Banks' ARP Pro Soloist synthesizer. The chirpy melody that appears around 7:01 is a definitive prog moment, for Genesis or anyone else. Wait, what's going on with Romeo? Ah, who cares?

8. "The Carpet Crawlers"
From: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

It feels appropriate that Genesis closed their live career with "The Carpet Crawlers," the encore-ender from their 2021-22 run. It could be the band's prettiest song, certainly among their most vulnerable — the perfect opportunity for a tearful audience singalong. (The only shame is that Gabriel, who was in the audience for their final gig, didn't hop onstage.) The 1999 single is better on a technical level, offering a more precise vocal from both singers. But the Lamb version is still the essential take, colored by Hackett's volume-pedal guitars and Collins' quietly rising hi-hat groove. It's fitting that on an album crammed with crazy words, Gabriel's simplest lyric has outlasted them all: "We've got to get in to get out."

7. "Behind the Lines"
From: Duke (1980)

At one point, Duke's soulful opener would have also launched the lengthy — and later aborted — suite. However, fearing comparisons to their own "Supper's Ready," Genesis broke the songs apart, both structurally and within the track listing. (They did, however, play the suite onstage, with Collins somewhat jokingly explaining the story involving a sad character named Albert, "one of life's failures.") None of that affects the quality of "Behind the Lines," which explodes with a longing that borders between romantic and disturbing. "I held the book so tightly in my hands," Collins croons. "I saw your picture, heard you call my name."

6. "The Musical Box"
From: Nursery Cryme (1971)

The band's first no-doubt-about-it masterpiece, "The Musical Box" has a zig-zagging origin story: It developed from an initial guitar sequence by Rutherford and Phillips (the latter of whom quit before the recording of Nursery Cryme and went uncredited on the sleeve); the piece grew further onstage, with temporary member Mick Barnard even influencing some of the guitar lines. When they finally hit the studio, now with Hackett joining new recruit Collins, they'd workshopped the track a fair amount — and the attention to detail shows. The rookies helped elevate "The Musical Box" to classic status, from Hackett's harmonized guitars to Collins' jazzy drumming and vocal call-and-response with Gabriel ("play me my song" into "here it comes again"). Gabriel's demented Victorian fairy tale is the glue holding it all together.

5. "Duchess"
From: Duke (1980)

The drum machine eventually became crucial to Genesis, coloring many of their most famous songs. But its first appearance was more subtle, with Collins' Roland CR-78 plopping softly in the intro of this Duke shout-along. "Duchess" is famously one of Banks' favorite Genesis songs, and with good reason: It marks the precise sweet spot between their prog and pop sides, a platform for Collins to roar mightily over a dramatic chord progression.

4. “Mama”
From: Genesis (1983)

It's every bit the equal of "In the Air Tonight," a sort of sibling song with a similarly chilling vibe, but "Mama" doesn't quite earn her due respect. A travesty! Like many tracks of its era, it began from a drum machine, with Rutherford banging out a noisy loop on his Linn; Banks added some synth chords, and Collins molded gibberish into a soulfully belted story about a young man's fixation on a prostitute. (The singer's famous chorus laugh, accentuated with a less-famous growl, was inspired by Grandmaster Flash's 1982 track "The Message.") Like "In the Air Tonight," it's all about tension and release: When those gated toms finally kick in at the 3:30 mark, the effect is jaw-dropping.

3. “Dancing With the Moonlit Knight”
From: Selling England By the Pound (1973) 

Hackett described this Frankenstein-ed prog epic as "Genesis at its best" in his 2020 memoir, A Genesis in My Bed — and who could argue? As the guitarist notes, the piece is collage-like in its journey through time, evolving from Gabriel's mournful Scottish melody into classical piano motifs, jazz-rock heroics, and plenty of good ol' fashioned mellotron. It's prog perfection, plain and simple. "I don't think that any other band has written anything quite like it," Hackett added. "It was a quantum leap forward for us." And for rock, period.

2. “Firth of Fifth”
From: Selling England By the Pound (1973) 

"Firth of Fifth" opens with one of prog's most beloved keyboard compositions — a classical workout so daunting that Banks completely stopped playing it live after a while, his RMI electric piano lacking the necessary touch sensitivity and physical range. (Listen, if you dare, to a rare live version with the intro in place. Instead of capturing the album version's dashing grandeur, it sounds like the bumbling theme to a Sega Genesis game.) From there, it's a tumble of beautiful melodic themes, none more famous than a minor-key Banks line played by Gabriel's flute and then Hackett's electric guitar. The latter ranks among the most evocative solos in the rock pantheon, wringing out every emotional nuance through the use of vibrato, volume pedal, slow string bends and a seemingly infinite sustain. "I had the image in mind of a bird flying high above a calm sea," Hackett wrote in A Genesis in My Bed. Mood achieved.

1. “Supper’s Ready”
From: Foxtrot (1972)

A Gabriel-described "dream journey," "Supper's Ready" should be the most divisive Genesis song: It's 23 minutes long, full of virtuoso touches and illusory Christian imagery, assembled from seven largely unrelated sections — unashamedly prog in every sense of the word. But every band member seems to love it, even those who've soured on musical indulgence over the years. Why exactly? All the individual pieces would work if expanded into separate songs, but stacking them on top of each other was a bit of sonic sorcery — the totality winds up greater than the sum of the parts. "Supper's Ready" was a true full-band effort: Banks composed individual sections, including the "New Jerusalem" finale of "As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs," while a university student; he and Rutherford devised the menacing "Apocalypse in 9/8"; and Gabriel added his surreal pseudo-singalong "Willow Farm." The magic, perhaps inevitably, was the result of blind luck: They didn’t know how these contrasts would sound together, having recorded the segments individually. The result is a filmic collage that seems to contain the universe. "It’s a number of contrasts," Banks told NME in 1977. "It’s the loud against the soft and the very romantic against the incredibly stupid. And by doing that, you make the romantic more romantic and the stupid more stupid." Another way of putting it: You make the beautiful feel playful and the dumb feel profound.

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