Trespass is the second studio album by Genesis and was recorded and released in 1970. Their last with guitarist Anthony PhillipsTrespass had a folk-flavoured progressive rock sound that was a marked departure from their earlier work. This album served as the band's debut in the USA, as From Genesis to Revelation was not initially released there.

The compositions were generally much longer and more complex than those on Genesis's first album, and the recordings have a muted, pastoral sound. The band was unhappy with John Mayhew's drumming skills and replaced him with Phil Collins following Anthony Phillips' departure.

Trespass was the first of several Genesis albums to be recorded at London's Trident Studios. Although the album was not a commercial success in the UK, it eventually reached No.98 for one week in 1984. However, the album fared much better in Belgium, where it reached No. 1, leading to the band's first overseas concerts in that country in March 1971. (For some unknown reason, ABC Records initially issued the album on their jazz imprint, Impulse!, in the United States.)


 [hide*1 Background


After a year of Genesis playing shows almost nightly during 1969 and 1970 since the band left DeccaTony Stratton-Smith approached Genesis and signed the band to Charisma. By mid-1970, Genesis had written and performed enough songs to fill over two full-length albums. The songs that the band felt were not strong enough to fit on Trespass, such as "Everywhere is Here," "Grandma," "Little Leaf," "Going out to Get You," "Shepherd," "Moss," "Let Us Now Make Love," and "Pacidy," were discarded by the time lead guitarist Anthony Phillips left the band.[1]

Though most of Genesis's songs were composed by the group as a whole, in a 1985 interview Mike Rutherford said that Trespass was the only Genesis album where every single song was composed by all the band members equally; every other album by Genesis had at least a few songs which were chiefly written by one or two individuals, with only minor contributions at most from the rest of the band.[2]


The album cover was painted by Paul Whitehead, who also did the covers for the band's next two albums. Whitehead had finished the cover and then the band added 'The Knife' to the running order. Feeling that the cover no longer fitted the mood of the album, they asked Whitehead to redo it. Reluctant to do so, Whitehead was inspired to slash the actual canvas with a knife.[3]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [4]
Rolling Stone (unfavorable)[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide [6]

Trespass was largely ignored by the music press at the time of its release. Rolling Stone printed an extremely brief but unambiguously negative review of the 1974 reissue, saying "It's spotty, poorly defined, at times innately boring, and should be avoided by all but the most rabid Genesis fans."[5] Allmusic's later retrospective review was only slightly more forgiving, summarising that the album "is more interesting for what it points toward than what it actually does." They also commented that the guitars are so low in the mix that they are almost inaudible, leaving Banks's keyboard instruments to prominence. They considered this troublesome because Banks having a noticeable role "isn't the Genesis that everyone came to know."[4]

Track listing[edit]Edit

All songs written by Tony BanksPeter GabrielJohn MayhewAnthony Phillips and Mike Rutherford.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Looking for Someone"   7:06
2. "White Mountain"   6:45
3. "Visions of Angels"   6:51
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Stagnation"   8:50
2. "Dusk"   4:13
3. "The Knife"   9:00



  • John Anthony – Producer
  • Robin Geoffrey Cable – Engineer
  • Nick Davis – Mixing (2008 release)
  • Tony Cousins – Mastering (2008 release)

Release history[edit]Edit

"Trespass" was first released in the UK on the Charisma label in October 1970, and reissued on the same label in 1974. In the United States, Trespass was first issued on ABC's Impulse! label. It was reissued by the main ABC Records label in 1974; then, after MCA Records bought out ABC, it was reissued on the MCA label. In 2003, MCA was absorbed by Geffen Records, formerly Gabriel's solo label in North America. Virgin Records, who have ancillary rights to the album and all Genesis output since outside the US and Canada, is now sister to Geffen at Universal, making Trespass the only Genesis album with the same distributor worldwide.

SACD/DVD double disc set (including new 5.1 and Stereo mixes) was released 11 November 2008.

UK LP Releases[edit]Edit

  • Charisma Records CAS 1020 (1970): 1st issue, scroll label, gatefold cover with art and credits. Separate lyrics sheet enclosed.
  • Charisma Records CAS 1020 (1974): Reissue, Mad Hatter label, gatefold cover with art and credits. Separate lyrics sheet enclosed.

US LP Releases[edit]Edit

  • ABC/Impulse AS-9205 (1970): 1st issue, gatefold cover with art, lyrics and credits.
  • ABC ABCX-816 (1974): Reissue, black label, gatefold cover.
  • ABC ABCX-816 (1976): Reissue, rainbow label, gatefold cover.
  • MCA MCA-37151 (1981): Budget reissue. No gatefold cover.
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