Mike Rutherford has been quietly busy as of late. Although Genesis has released no less than six box sets and two “best-of” collections in the past two decades (and only one album of original material during that time), the band is readying the release of R-Kive, a three-CD set that spans the group’s career.
It will be the first Genesis collection to include songs from the principal members’ solo careers. And while that may have been a bit of a bigger deal in the days before fans could create their own Spotify or iTunes playlists which include “Cinema Show” and “Turn It On Again” alongside “In The Air Tonight” and “Biko,” Rutherford is frank in admitting that the collection serves as a companion to a forthcoming documentary on the band commissioned by the BBC, and airing in the U.S. on Showtime (part of the CBS family, as is Radio.com).
The documentary, Genesis – Sum of the Parts, features interviews with all the members of the band’s classic lineup: bassist/guitarist Rutherford, keyboardist Tony Banks, singer Peter Gabriel, guitarist Steve Hackett and drummer/singer Phil Collins.
At the same time, Rutherford is preparing to re-launch his other band, Mike + the Mechanics, in the U.S. The band has been active in England for the past three and a half years, and they’re about to return to the U.S. for the first time since the ’80s. Although it’s a very different version of the band: the classic lineup included singers Paul Carrack and the late Paul Young (not the “Every Time You Go Away” guy). Now, the singers are Andrew Roachford (who had a top 40 hit with “Cuddly Toy” in 1989) and Tim Howar.
Radio.com caught up with Rutherford in his New York hotel, where he was glad to talk about both of his bands, and some of his former bandmates whose initials are “P.C.”
There are a lot of Genesis compilations at this point. Why did you guys decide to put out R-Kive?
It started with the documentary. My friend Terry Shand, who runs Eagle Rock Entertainment [he’s the CEO], he wanted to make a documentary on The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway [Genesis’ 1974 double album, and their last with frontman Peter Gabriel]. I said, “Hang on: maybe one day we can do that. But there’s a better documentary, which is the story of this school band [Genesis], which led to Peter Gabriel’s career, Phil Collins’ career, the Mike + the Mechanics’ career… and all of these songs, ‘In The Air Tonight,’ and ‘Turn It On Again’ and ‘Biko’ and ‘The Living Years.’ That was an interesting story. So that’s how it started. The BBC did it, and that drove this project.