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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Out There!: "When The Heart Rules The Mind" by GTR

Did you know that there were four members of 2010 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductee, Genesis, to have additional success on their own? Of course everybody knows that original lead singer Peter Gabriel became a superstar with his legendary music videos and theme song from the hit movie Say Anything (In Your Eyes). The original drummer and the replacement vocalist who belted out the essential Genesis tunes of the 80's was Phil Collins, who I believe we can say had a pretty fine solo career himself. Lead guitarist Mike Rutherford formed his own band, Mike & The Mechanics in the mid-80's which produced 80's staple songs such as Silent Running, All I Need Is A Miracle, and The Living Years (which was a worldwide smash even holding the #1 spot on the Billboard charts in March of 1989). And then there was Steve Hackett, the original Genesis guitarist who left the band in 1977 to pursue a solo career. Surely you remember GTR, the supergroup Hackett formed with former Asia and Yes guitarist Steve Howe in 1985? No, you don't remember? Well I actually didn't remember either until I was introduced to VH1 Classic in 2000 and saw their music video for their only hit single, When The Heart Rules The Mind, a video I hadn't seen since it debuted in 1985.

GTR were notorious for creating a band with synthesizer and guitar melodies without the use of an actual keyboard synthesizer. It may have worked in the studio, but doesn't sound so hot when they played live. GTW released their self-titled debut in 1985, produced by Steve Howe's friend and former bandmate in Asia and Yes, Geoffrey Downes. You might remember him as the lead singer of Video Killed The Radio Star when both he and Howe were members of The Buggles. GTR's album peaked at #11 on the album charts, and even went gold. The first single from the album was When The Heart Rules The Mind. If somebody asked what music sounded like in the 80's, showing them the music video for When The Heart Rules The Mind would probably give that person a pretty good idea. Just check out the funky dance moves of Max Bacon on lead vocals. It's safe to say that Carlton on Fresh Prince used this video as inspiration. The song was a moderate success sticking on the charts for 16 weeks peaking at #14. A second single, The Hunter, received decent airplay on MTV and peaked at #85. A lot of Genesis and Yes fans were less than pleased with the songs believing them to be filler-material pushed out quickly to capitalize on the success Genesis was having as a trio (Collins, Rutherford, and Tony Banks). GTR continued playing live shows around the world, but Hackett began to lost interest due to artistic limitations and disagreements about financial issues. So he quit the band in 1987. Howe tried to keep the band alive bringing in a new singer/guitarist, but it never panned out and GTR was no more.

When people ask which band was the only to have four members have solo success, usually the answer is The Beatles. But Genesis would also be the right answer even though they can only name Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, and Mike & The Mechanics, but forget about GTR!!!

Ladies and gentlemen... When The Heart Rules The Mind from GTR (no not GNR!)


  1. I had forgotten about this band. I probably still have their first on cassette somewhere. This is still a great song, even with the cheesy lyrics.

    Steve Hackett, when asked about the section with two classical guitars in this song, said, "I've always said there's nothing better than a pair of nylons."

    One minor correction -- The original drummer in Genesis was not Phil Collins but John Mayhew.

  2. Yeah, I forgot that Collins came a bit later on. I still don't "get" the Gabriel-led Genesis from the 70's. Until Collins got there, the music and live performance was way too artsy for me.