Puneet Varma (Editor)

Trespass (album)

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Released  23 October 1970
Length  42:56
Artist  Genesis
Label  Charisma Records
Recorded  June–July 1970
Trespass (1970)  Nursery Cryme (1971)
Release date  23 October 1970
Producer  John Anthony
Trespass (album) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaenthumba
Studio  Trident Studios (London, England)
Genres  Progressive rock, Art rock
Similar  Genesis albums, Progressive rock albums

Trespass is the second studio album from the English rock band Genesis. It was released in October 1970 on Charisma Records and is their last album with guitarist Anthony Phillips prior to his departure, and their only one recorded with drummer John Mayhew in the band's line-up. After several months of touring small venues, Genesis secured a recording contract with Charisma Records and entered Trident Studios in London in July 1970 to record Trespass. Its music marked a departure from more pop-oriented songs as displayed on their first album From Genesis to Revelation, towards folk-flavoured progressive rock.


Trespass was not a success upon release; it failed to chart in the UK and the US and it received some mixed reviews from critics. Following the band's growth in popularity in the 1980s, it reached its peak of number 98 for one week in 1984. Elsewhere, it went to number one in Belgium, which led to the band's first overseas concerts there in March 1971. "The Knife" was released as a single in May 1971.

Genesis looking for someone trespass


In September 1969, Genesis played their first live shows as a professional band, touring the local club and university circuit. The line-up during this time was lead vocalist Peter Gabriel, guitarist Anthony Phillips, bassist Mike Rutherford, keyboardist Tony Banks, and drummer John Mayhew. In early 1970, they secured a six-week residency at Ronnie Scott's jazz club in Soho, London, during which they were spotted by Charisma Records staff, including label owner Tony Stratton-Smith, who wished to sign them.

After several months of subsequent gigs, Genesis had enough material written and, in July 1970, retreated to Trident Studios in London to record a new album. They were joined by producer and recording engineer John Anthony. The group had enough material to record two albums, but felt some songs were not strong enough. Phillips later recalled that songs "Everywhere is Here", "Grandma", "Little Leaf", "Going out to Get You", "Shepherd", "Moss", "Let Us Now Make Love" and "Pacidy" were ones that were not developed further in the studio. In the liner notes to the Genesis box set Genesis Archive 1967–75, Banks claims "Let Us Now Make Love", one of Phillips's songs, was not recorded for the album because the group thought it had the potential of a single, but following the guitarists' sudden departure following the album's completion, it was never recorded in the studio. A live version was released on the box set, performed in February 1970.

Rutherford said that Trespass was the only Genesis album where each track was contributed to by each band member equally; every other album contained songs that were written by one or two individuals, with only minor contributions from the remaining members.


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. When Whitehead was reluctant to do so, the band members inspired him to slash the canvas with an actual knife. The whole thing was then photographed, but came out blue when reproduced due to lighting in the room.

Critical reception

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." 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".

Track listing

All tracks written by Anthony Phillips, Mike Rutherford, Peter Gabriel and Anthony Banks.


  • Peter Gabriel – lead vocals, flute, accordion, tambourine, bass drum
  • Anthony Phillips – acoustic 12-string guitar, lead electric guitar, dulcimer, vocals
  • Tony Banks – organ, piano, Mellotron, acoustic 12-string guitar, vocals
  • Mike Rutherford – acoustic 12-string guitar, electric bass guitar, nylon guitar, cello, vocals
  • John Mayhew – drums, percussion, vocals
  • Production
  • John Anthony – producer
  • Robin Geoffrey Cable – engineer
  • David Hentschel – assistant engineer (uncredited)
  • Nick Davis – mixing (2008 release)
  • Tony Cousins – mastering (2008 release)
  • Release history

    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 jazz label, Impulse!, for unknown reasons. 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.

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

    UK LP Releases

  • 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

  • ABC/Impulse AS-9205 (1970): 1st issue, gatefold cover with art, lyrics and credits. Black label with red ring and four "i!" logos at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock.
  • 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.
  • US LP releases of Trespass list incorrect running times of 7:00 for each of the three songs on Side 1.


    1Looking for Someone7:05
    2White Mountain6:41
    3Visions of Angels6:49


    Trespass (album) Wikipedia