Genesis is the 12th studio album by Genesis. It was recorded and released in 1983. Most fans, as well as the band themselves, refer to this album as the "Mama" album. In some cases, notably amongst the Genesis online community, it has been referred to as the "Shapes" or "Gold Shapes" album because of the front cover artwork.
Building on the advancements of Abacab, Genesis (so named for the fact that all three band members composed every song on it together for the first time), was a further example of Genesis' evolution in the 1980s. The album also marked the beginning of Hugh Padgham's formal production assistance after engineering Abacab.
The drum machine, used to startling effect on lead-single "Mama", was central to the song's atmosphere, and was responsible for further opening up songwriting possibilities within the band. One of their most uncommercial releases, "Mama", a song about a young boy's obsession with a prostitute, became Genesis' biggest UK hit, reaching #4 upon release, although the song did not do well in the US singles chart.
Further successes "That's All" (which became the band's first US Top 10 hit), "Illegal Alien" and "Taking It All Too Hard" ensured thatGenesis was well received, and it consequently reached #1 in the UK where it remained in the charts for 51 weeks. It also reached #9 in the US, eventually selling over four million copies there alone.
Among fans, the album has a generally favourable, yet still mixed reputation.
A SACD / DVD double disc set (including new 5.1 and Stereo mixes) was released in October 2007 in Europe and as a CD and DVD double disc set in the US and Canada a month later.
The shapes on the cover are from the Tupperware "Shape O Toy Ball." The toy consists of a blue and red hollow ball with different shaped holes cut into the surface, into which the shaped pieces can be inserted.