Genesis Releases "From Genesis to Revelation"
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, who discovered them 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" written specifically 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 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. 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. Indeed, between the songs 'Fireside Song' and 'The Serpent', there is a brief instrumental interlude from the song 'Twilight Alehouse', which would become - in its full, seven-minute version - a live favourite throughout the early seventies before being recorded by Genesis in 1972 and later issued as the b-side to 'I Know What I Like' in 1973. Tony Banks has often hailed "In the Wilderness" as the album's standout track, despite the intrusive strings - for example on the interviews which accompany the 2008 reissues of Genesis' other albums with Peter Gabriel.
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 650 copies. However, once the band began achieving worldwide success, From Genesis to Revelation briefly dented the US charts in 1974, peaking at #170.