I have been a huge fan of Genesis since 1980, The first song that I heard from them was Abacab. I bought the album of the same name and have enjoyed them ever since. Yes, even Calling All Stations.
Here is a list of their most underrated songs.Please note that this is purely subjective and is not a definitive list by any means!
1. Heathaze (Duke): This is a typical effort from Tony Banks in that it takes a while to get into the song. But once there I felt the loneliness from the lyrics. The beautiful arrangement gives the song a kind of longing, a sense of someone on the outside, longing to join in…but can’t. It has an soaring chorus and is sung very well by Phil Collins. It starts out slowly and takes a while to get going but once it does you want the song to continue on and on. The best and most emotional song on Duke.
2. One Day (From Genesis to Revelation); This first effort from Genesis is largely ignored from Genesis fans. But this one song although very innocent and sounding very Bee Gee(ish) just screams that Genesis would be a force someday. Musically, it stands up against the better commercial Genesis efforts. It sounds like it was made for the sixties…it was in fact done in 1969. A solid effort for a first time out and a really nice love song.
3. One Man’s Fool (Calling All Stations): The much maligned Ray Wilson fronted version of Genesis. Calling All Stations was better than We Can’t Dance. It was better than Abacab and it was better than Duke. The title track could be on this list too. One Man’s Fool starts out slowly (ah Tony Banks again) and indeed, the opening 5 minutes of the song are not as strong and the closing 6 minutes. Those final 6 minutes soar with passion and purpose. The lyrics are very powerful during the last 6 minutes and it’s their best played music on the album. It’s a crying shame that they did not continue with Ray Wilson. He more than held his own and I like the direction they were going in. I still have my ticket stub from the cancelled show in Montreal. Too bad…and maddening when you consider that the album did well in Europe but couldn’t penetrate here. Typical North American ignorance of music. Note: Calling All Stations is their 4th best selling album…good on you, Ray!
4. Hairless Heart (The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway): To pick out a two minute instrumental from a classic double album says something about the music. But it encapsulates everything that was good about the Gabriel lineup of Genesis. A true gem.
5. Living Forever (We Can’t Dance): This song did have some commercial success but it is overshadowed by No Son Of Mine or I Can’t Dance. It is the last song from them to have an old Genesis feel. I know that Fading Lights has the same feel in terms of old sounding Genesis but Fading Lights just isn’t as good. Interesting Lyrics with a great sound and a nice finish to boot.
This is not to say that all other Genesis songs are not that great. This list is for the under appreciated songs in their catalog.
Honourable mentions: Calling All Stations, Undertow, Many Too Many, Counting Out Time. Your Own Special Way, Not About Us, Me and Sarah Jane.