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genesis. who in the world played bass for them?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by JWC, Apr 17, 2001.

  1. JWC

    JWC Banned

    Oct 4, 2000
    I saw Genesis Behind The Music last night. As far as I could tell, Phillips, Rutherford, and Hackett were all guitarists. Who all played bass during their history? The early Gabriel stuff had awesome bass.
  2. Mike Rutherford played bass; he switched between guitar and bass in concert and often used doublenecks (bass/ 12 string guitar)- including a Rickenbacker and a Shergold.

    later on guitarist Daryl Stuermer doubled on bass as well.
  3. cole


    Sep 14, 2000
    Mike Rutherford played the bass on the albums. live, he switched between bass and guitar (he used a doubleneck frequently) and he also had Moog Taurus pedals to fill out the bottom end.

    I think that in the post-Hackett Genesis, Mike Rutherford and Daryl Stuermer (touring guitarist) both played bass live.
  4. Mike Rutherford is a hugely underrated bass player. On Genesis' earlier stuff he played bass and some acoustic guitar (on the mellow stuff). When members of the band left Genesis decided to hire within the band rather then recruiting outside help. A good example of this is obviously Phil Collins who played drums and eventually took over lead vocals after Peter Gabriel left. BTW, Phil did do the occasional lead vocal even before Gabriel's departure.

    At one point Genesis became a three piece with Phil Collins, Tony Banks, and Mike Rutherford with Mike playing most of the guitar parts and all the bass parts. On tour they brought on Chester Thompson as their primary drummer. Phil would often go back and double on drums during extended breaks (ABACAB, In a Cage). They also had Darryl Stuermer who switched between bass and guitar with Mike Rutheford.

    I actually saw Genesis live in the mid 80's and they put on a great show. A great CD to get that shows what the five of them could do is Three Sides Live which was released around 1985. Originally on vinyl, it had three sides of live music and one side of studio tracks (anyone remember Paperlate?). I think the CD version is actually all live material with classic live Genesis replacing the studio material.

    For you metal heads, Steve Harris sights Mike Rutherford as one of his major influences and often times lists Foxtrot as one of his favorite albums of all time.
  5. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    selling england by the pound is a great album

    there is a touring group of musicians from canada called the musical box that do a genesis recreation of a few of the older, gabriel-era tours. very cool
  6. Yep, Mike Rutherford did all the recorded bass. What a lot of people don't realize is just how much guitar he actually played as well - even before Hackett left. Ther are a lot of extended passages where he played the main guitar parts (mostly 12 string parts) while Hackett was off generally sounding like just about everything but an an actual guitar! On some of the earlier stuff, there are extra overdubs, but they are rare. 'Cinema Show' from 1973 is an example - there are electric bass parts almost throughout on the studio version while Rutherford also had his main 12 string guitar part goin on. Live he would play the bass part on the pedal synthesizer while playing the guitar part. It's actually a great use of restraint - when the electric bass finally does come in during the final minute or so, it is a great climax moment. 'Can Utility and the Coast-liners' is another example where Mike plays the main guitar part until the last minute and half of the tune when he finally jumps on the bass.
  7. Mike was great on No Reply At All.
  8. bziff


    May 3, 2001
    absolutely, Mike Rutherford is way underrated. He has the total "British" bassist thing going. Like Chris Squire and Paul McCartney, he's amazingly melodic while still being able to hold a great groove. Listen to "Counting Out Time" on the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Or listen to "Harold the Barrel" on Nursery Cryme. Both show how great this guy is.

    By the way, I've seen the Musical Box do the entire Lamb Lies Down on Broadway in Montreal. I'm going again at the end of May! I'm so obsessed. But seriously (no Phil Collins reference intended), that show is amazing. I highly reccommend checking that out.
  9. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    If you want to hear Rutherford's bass work, "Abacab" and "Duke" have him up front in the mix. They're not the best of Genesis albums, though.
  10. I agree that both albums aren't the best as far as Genesis goes but they both have some very cool moments.

    "Behind the Lines," "Dutchess," and "The Guide Vocal(?)," are three great songs that open the album "Duke." I also like "Turn It On Again" even though it's one of their more pop-like songs. It flows real well even though it goes through some unusual time changes.

    On "Abacab" I always liked the title song and "Dodo/The Lurker" is also a very cool tune.

    I thought even though Genesis was starting to get more radio friendly at that time, they were still doing some pretty cool stuff that harkened back to their roots. It was the studio album after "Abacab" (I think it was called "Genesis") where they totally abandoned their roots and became a pop band.
  11. Although in concert Mike Rutherford and Darryl Stuermer switched between the bass and guitar, I seem to remember a time or two when they were both playing guitar and Tony Banks covered the bass line on keyboard. I saw them around the Abacab/Three Sides Live era. As they started to get more radio friendly, I wouldn't be surprised if they did that more often but I doubt that it was the norm.
  12. There were a handfull of Genesis tunes that had no bass guitar in them for most or all of the song. In the 'Pop' Genesis, 'Turn it On Again' stands out in my mind as being one with both Mike and Daryl playing guitar - though the bass was provided by Daryl playing pedal synth not by Banks.

    In the early Genesis years there are lots of cases where Rutherford played pedal synth while he played another guitar part along with Hackett - generally not for an entire song, but at least parts of it - 'Can Utility and the Coastliners', 'Dance on a Volcano', 'Supper's Ready' etc. There were also a few tunes where although there was more electric bass overdubbed on the studio versions, Mike would substitute pedal bass so he could play the extra guitar parts - 'Musical Box', 'Cinema Show', 'I know What I Like'.
  13. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    He was excellent on the early stuff. I've always liked to play "No Reply At All"
  14. Are you trying to say 'No Reply..' is early? They started making records 12 years before that.

    Or were you just saying you liked the early stuff AND also liked 'No Reply..'?
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I saw Genesis live in my home town in 1973, at the time "Selling England by the Pound" was released and I did really like the album. The gig was hugely impressive - but really focused on Peter Gabriel and a very complex stage show with back-projections and loads of costume changes.

    The sound was awesome as well and in fact the only thing that disappointed me was the bass playing. As a young aspiring bass player I was disappointed that for most of the set I couldn't hear any bass at all and Mike Rutherford concentrated on 12-string guitar for the most part, with a lot of bass pedals and "organ" bass, presumably from Banks.

    It was a real contrast to the gig I saw a few months later with Yes - where Chris Squire made a huge impact. His bass was really "up front" in the mix and his playing was incredibly different to anything else about at the time - virtuosic, but fitting the song perfectly.

    As Rob says - the bass playing in Genesis was "under-stated" and didn't really grab your attention; whereas after hearing Chris Squire with Yes for about 5 minutes, I knew that I wanted to do that and be the bass player - whereas the Genesis gig was all about the focus on Peter Gabriel, and as such, not that inspiring to someone who wanted to be a bass player.
  16. ...and yet "No Reply at All" has this very upfront, developed bassline. Apparently the 80s woke Mike up a bit.

    Now about Squire...man this guy is big league stuff. While I was still living in Puerto Rico (1999-2000) the local rock radio station played songs from Yes's last album to date, whose name I can't recall. But I could tell Chris still kicks ass on the bass. One song had this bass fill-in so fast I was like NO F**G WAY, THAT IS TOO FAST! I'm still stunned by this guy.
  17. In my mind, Rutherford wasn't necessarily more focused on guitar than bass. To me, from all I've heard from interviews with Mike, it seems like he considers himself a composer/songwriter first. I think that is maybe why he's never felt the need to actively push his bass prowess to the forefront. It's not his only stake in the band - he wears many hats, so he probably never felt the urge to conciously 'show off' on the bass. In many bands, the bass player isn't necessarily the main writer so in order to feel like they are contributing, they often really push their bass playing in order to 'earn their keep' so to speak. This was never the case with Rutherforrd since he and Banks were always responsible for the lion's share of the writing.

    Having said this, he still played some great bass lines throughout their history. I can't think of too many cases where I would have wanted to hear anything different from what he played.

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