From Genesis to Revelation was the first album by Genesis, released in March 1969 on Decca Records in England (London Records in North America). It was produced by Jonathan King, the man who discovered them back in 1967 while the members of Genesis were pupils at Charterhouse School, King's alma mater as well.
Upon their inception in early 1967, Genesis originally consisted of Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, and Anthony Phillips, sans a drummer. Once one of their demo tapes caught the attention of Jonathan King, he took them under his wing and - with the addition of schoolmate Chris Stewart on drums - recorded "The Silent Sun" as their first single. It was later described by the band as a "Bee Gees pastiche" to win King's approval. Its February 1968 release on Decca Records - where The Rolling Stones were contracted at the time - was not a commercial success. Neither was the follow-up "A Winter's Tale" three months later. Undeterred, King decided that Genesis would be best heard on LP. After replacing Chris Stewart with John Silver on drums, Genesis' producer had them compose an album's worth of songs loosely based on the Bible. This slightly pretentious venture was cut in August 1968 - while the boys were on school holidays - and later overdubbed with strings and horns, much to the band's chagrin. King also sequenced the songs together like a concept album, with no gaps in between the tracks.
The music on From Genesis To Revelation sounds very little like what Genesis would produce even two years later. It is important to note that when this album was recorded in 1968, the ages of the band members ranged from 16 to 18, and none of them considered themselves proficient musicians as they had hardly any studio experience. Still, the band feels that there were some very good tracks and that they already had a knack for melody, even in these embryonic times. Tony Banks has often hailed "In The Wilderness" as the album's standout track, despite the intrusive strings.
From Genesis To Revelation was issued several months later in a black sleeve with its title scribed in gothic gold on the top lefthand side. With little else to go by, the record shops stacked the LP in the religious sections and it was consequently impossible to find. Its initial sales tally was an embarrassing 600 copies. However, once the band began achieving worldwide success, From Genesis To Revelation briefly dented the US charts in 1974, peaking at #170.
Other than being part of the album title, the band's name was omitted from the sleeve because Decca had recently discovered an obscure American act also calling itself Genesis and asked the band to consider changing its name to avoid confusion. Needless to say, King declined. The American "Genesis" in question was probably the LA-based one that released an LP called In The Beginning on the Mercury label in 1968.
Genesis soon split with both Decca and Jonathan King, preferring to strike out on their own musical terms. Although King had more experience and was aiming to present Genesis in a marketable way, they were feeling more and more constrained by King's attempts to curtail and limit their increasingly lengthy and adventurous new compositions. The band went professional in the autumn of 1969, and after replacing John Silver with John Mayhew - Phil Collins' predecessor - on drums, the five-piece Genesis began formulating the music that would lead to Trespass the following year and were soon signed to Charisma Records.
Although initially released on Decca Records, From Genesis To Revelation has since been licensed to many smaller labels, who often issue it with different artwork - even different titles.
Album descriptions on Last.fm are editable by everyone. Feel free to contribute!
All user-contributed text on this page is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.