Genesis’ Tony Banks picks his 10 favourite songs

Tony Banks is best known for his work as the keyboard player in Genesis, the band in which he was a founding member. Banks formed the band with Peter Gabriel when they had both been studying at the Charterhouse school. Some years back, the music icon ran through some of his favourite ever songs.

Banks opens the proceedings with Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘America’. He said of the duo: “I was a big fan of Simon and Garfunkel throughout the 1960s, I suppose. This came from the album Bookends, which is considered their classic album. The combination of the two voices was always wonderful, and Paul Simon wrote some great songs.”

As for Otis Redding’s version of ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’, it is one of those truly nostalgic tracks for Banks. He said: “This takes me really back to the school days when Peter Gabriel and I were doing things together. We were good friends. There used to be one piano in the dining room [at school], which we used to rush to see who could get there first.”

“If I got there first, I would be playing it and Peter would come in and realise that he wouldn’t be able to play the piano, so he would sing,” Banks added. “We used to do all this old soul stuff. It’s an era of music I loved; I loved the combination of soulful singing with a slightly more interesting background. People like Otis Redding, Nina Simone, you know. It moves me a great deal.”

Banks then noted the ingenuity of 10cc and their single ‘Art for Art’s Sake’. He said, “After the 1970s was 10cc. Very imaginative writing, sometimes too imaginative, some people would say. An incredible number of singles with all sorts of bits and pieces going on in the middle. Some fantastic singers in the groups. Wonderful voices. I think ‘Art for Art’s Sake’ was their best single, although they did some great other ones. Great little riff.”

The former Genesis member then paid his respects to The Kinks’ ‘You Really Got Me’. “Well, I’m back in the 1960s now, obviously,” he said. “I remember the first time I ever heard this song; I was on holiday with my parents. They wouldn’t normally listen to pop music, but they switched on the radio, and by mistake, it was pop. I heard this song. I thought it was fantastic. I still think it’s the best guitar riff.”

Check out the complete list of Tony Banks’ favourite songs below.

Genesis’ Tony Banks’ favourite songs:
Simon & Garfunkel – ‘America’
Otis Redding – ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’
10cc – ‘Art for Art’s Sake’
The Kinks – ‘You Really Got Me’
Four Tops – ‘Reach Out I’ll Be There’
The Beatles – ‘I Am The Walrus’
Dion – ‘The Wanderer’
Gerry Rafferty – ‘Baker Street’
The Animals – ‘House Of The Rising Sun’
The Beach Boys – ‘Surfs Up’

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