Movie Review – Genesis: Sum Of The Parts

Genesis sum of the parts reviewThe BBC recently ran a music documentary titled “Genesis: Some Of the Parts, Together and Apart” which was shown on Showtime.   All five original members of the band reunited after many years apart to share stories of their 40 year career.   The highs, the lows, their backlash in the early 90’s, the fights, the triumphs, and ultimately their incredible catalog music which became the soundtrack for many of our lives.    Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, and Peter Gabriel all met in a proper English finishing school.   Similarly their early records were very “safe” and predictable.    When you added in the wild card, Phil Collins, a former child performer with an unpredictable style and a silly personality, the band took on a whole new persona.   Genesis became one of England’s preeminent Progressive Rock bands of the 70’s and the band’s pop/rock explosion both as Genesis and solo artists took off in the 80’s.   Discover some inside information from the band themselves as they share their meteoric rise then decline in the mid 90’s to their farewell reunion tour in 2006 up until the reunion in 2014.

“GENESIS: Sum of the Parts Trailer”

Genesis Makeup 70'sHIGHLIGHTS:  The BBC documentary brilliantly captured the time line of events spotlighting each album’s release and how the band and the public reacted to their musical changes.  Unlike other Genesis documentaries, each group member’s solo work and inspirations was prominently featured.  The film shared rare live footage and let us sneak inside the studio during the production process of albums like “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” and the “Land Of Confusion” video shoot.    Peter Gabriel’s transformation from a shy school boy to an eccentric lead singer wearing costumes on stage to his influence as a human rights activist pioneer was mesmerizing. Phil Collins evil laugh in “Mama” was inspired by Grandmaster Flash’s laugh in the rap classic “The Message”.


Genesis TrioBOTTOM LINE:   Genesis and Phil Collins became huge MTV stars in the 80’s and became reviled for their huge record sales and media overexposure.   They were pop stars who were no longer releasing 20 minute artistic performances. But one film critic nailed it when he said, “They are the one Progressive Rock band that actually progressed and changed over the years”.   Tony Banks said he waited anxiously for the next Beatles single and he was proud that Genesis became a band you could hear on the radio.  Regardless of your overall opinion of Genesis, they are incredible musicians, songwriters, and I’m sure at LEAST one of their songs has emotionally impacted your life.

“THE LIVING YEARS” Mike & The Mechanics

FILM GRADE:      A-    (4.5 out of 5)

90 Minutes / Music Documentary