In the beginning, music was a formless and empty void. Then God created Genesis.
And God said, “Let there be Phil Collins,” and there was Phil Collins. God saw that Phil Collins was good, and he separated Phil Collins from the other members of Genesis. God called Phil Collins “Phil Collins,” and the rest of the band he called “The other members of the band, I think that one guy’s name is Tony?” And he was a drummer, and he was a singer— he was both, for he was Phil Collins.
And God said, “Before Genesis may rise to greatness, there must be another, a singer, to create inter-band conflict.” For God knowest all great rock bands must overcome personal drama. So God created Genesis’s first singer and frontman, and he called the singer “Peter Gabriel.” And there was Peter Gabriel, and He placed Phil Collins under his dominion.
And God said, “Let Peter Gabriel put on some weird costumes.” And it was so. God chose a grand cape fitted with bat wings and anointed Peter Gabriel’s face with fluorescent paint. God fashioned a giant suit of pustules called “Slipperman” to clothe Peter Gabriel’s unadorned image. And God bestowed these presents upon Peter Gabriel’s willing anatomy, guiding him to get really weird with it.
Then God said, “Let them find strife while working on a double concept album.” And it was extremely so, for the band bore grudges against Peter Gabriel’s showboating and his massive laser light displays. And they rose up against Peter Gabriel’s authority with cries of “Buttmunch, you cut off my 20-minute guitar solo” and “What’s your DEAL, man??” until at last Peter Gabriel announced he would leave Genesis to spend more time with his family. And God saw that it was good — for they were now truly Genesis.
Almost. Because God, in His infinite wisdom, said, “Let them audition singers, for they know not what they have in their drummer.”
For God knew Prog Rock is born of a long, endless, overly drawn-out process, so they could not just get on with it.
He placed his will upon all auditioning to sing like baloney, and Genesis proved mighty in their disappointments. Once the band felt all was lost, God proclaimed, finally, “It is time.”
He brought forth his favorite son, Phil Collins. And Phil Collins raised his voice to the heavens, singing golden light and angelic glory into Genesis’s song “Squonk.” And all rejoiced in sweet merriment and high fives, for Phil Collins was good.
So God proclaimed, “Let Phil Collins sing, and let no man be untouched by his groovy rhythms.” But it was the mid-’70s, and the band was opposed to disco, so God blessed them and said, “Fine, whatever then.”
And God said, “Go forth and produce many tours” And it was so. God made the wild animals dance and scream alongside Genesis, and all the creatures that move along the ground bopped and shimmied to the sounds of Prog Rock being born and remade in sonic ecstasy night after night. And God saw that it was rock ‘n’ roll, baby.
Then God said, “Let the twelfth Genesis album be called Genesis, for though I made Genesis so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, I have not given them a self-titled album, for which that is so crazy.”
And it was so.
And to please their god, Genesis created Genesis, an album in their image. And God was mightily pleased by their creation, saying “This is truly sassy songwriting here, fellas.”
So God blessed them and their success, and said unto them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; go forth now and pursue your own solo projects, especially you, my beloved Phil Collins, who bears Disney’s Tarzan Soundtrack within thous’t mind."
And God saw all that Genesis had made, and it was very good. And there was Phil Collins, and there was his solo career. And God could feel it coming in the air tonight. Oh Lord.