• Tony Banks - keyboards, vocals
  • Phil Collins - drums, percussion, vocals
  • Mike Rutherford - guitar, bass, vocals
  • Earth, Wind & Fire - Wind Instruments

Abacab is the eleventh studio album by British rock band Genesis. It was released on September 14, 1981 on the Atlantic label and documented a stylistic transition phase in the work of Genesis. After Steve Hackett left the band in 1977, the three remaining members of Genesis, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks as the more commercial rock music turned to.


On Abacab you got propagated to hear radio-friendly pop music for the first time. Especially the singles No Reply at All, Man on the Corner and on the EP 3 x 3 published song Paperlate gained a big one for former Genesis ratios popularity. The other album tracks are significantly different from earlier Genesis material, but they are still not easy radio song. Sonically, there is a departure from the typical dense lush impression to the previous albums, which gives way to a more space- stressed and textured production. Abacab also represents an improvement to the Collins - typical gated reverb drum sound, which is characterized by Hall, volume and compression effects. Responsible for this is to a large extent the producer Hugh Padgham, the Phil Collins had met during the recording of Peter Gabriel's third album in 1980 and until 1986, all Genesis and until 1996 all Phil Collins albums co-produced.

According to Mike Rutherford, the name Abacab from the structure of an early version of the song of the same name has been created. The arrangement consisting of three parts that are denoted by a, b and c. Since the band members could not think of a suitable title for album and song, they added the sequence Abacab together for a made-up word.

Abacab shows a band in search of new ideas and new ways of working. So this is the first album where the majority of the songs originated from improvisations and jams. Also come here for the first and only time since the debut album, From Genesis to Revelation guest musicians for use: The brass section later as " Phenix Horns" occurring the group Earth, Wind & Fire, Phil Collins had met during the recording of his first solo album Face Value. This was not well received by many fans as the two songs No Reply At All and Paperlate them too much sounded by Collins ' own music. Another Genesis ratios unusual song is Who Dunnit? , Which is characterized by monotonous keyboards and minimalistic text.

The deliberate departure from convention continues with the presentation of the album, whose cover an abstract color collage shows, the color selection was varied in the course of various publications in the different countries and the different media. It was the first on the inside of the casing, a large-format photograph of the three musicians, but however the lyrics were not printed. The declared intention of the band was to let the music speak for itself.

The recording sessions, the first in her outstanding at the time still under reconstruction own studio "The Farm", yielded enough material for a double album. For commercial considerations only half of the song was released as the album, the rest fell into place on single B-sides, EP 3 x 3 and the fourth page of the Three -Sides live album.

In Genesis fans, the album is considered to be controversial. For many followers of pop phase of Genesis Abacab presented, however, the first contact with the group.

Title list

DVD Extras (2007 Release)


Between September and December 1981 completed the Genesis concert series for the album Abacab. The first concert of the Abacab tour was held in the Spanish city of Barcelona. For published in the following year the live album Three Sides Live recordings from New York and Birmingham were used.

Sample Setlist



  • 09 /1981: Abacab (GB # 1 (2 weeks), D # 6 U.S. # 7)


  • 08 /1981: Abacab (UK # 9, U.S. # 26, D # 28)
  • 10/1981: Keep It Dark (UK # 33)
  • 03/ 1982: Man on the Corner ( U.S. # 40, UK # 41)

3 x 3

The EP 3 x 3 (UK # 10) was released in 1982 only in the UK, in other countries there was instead an ordinary single under the title Paperlate without the third piece Me and Virgil.

Other titles of the Abacab Sessions