Hit Parade

Hit Parade: The Invisible Miracle Sledgehammer Edition

Meet chart overachievers Genesis: ’70s prog rockers turned ’80s pop juggernaut, spinning off multiple careers, countless hits, and thundering drums.

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When a band member leaves to go solo, usually it means the band’s best days are over. That’s what everybody thought when Peter Gabriel left Genesis in the ’70s. Except not only did the band survive—fronted by drummer-turned-singer Phil Collins, it got bigger. Then Collins went solo … except he didn’t ditch Genesis. In fact, his success made it bigger—it became one of the definitive pop bands of the 1980s, as Collins’ monstrous drum sound took over pop music. By middecade, current and former members of Genesis—even side projects from its guitarists—were all competing head to head on the Billboard charts. On Hit Parade, we explore the knotty family tree of Genesis, the unlikeliest group ever to become a Hot 100 juggernaut.

Email: hitparade@slate.com