The idea of Bryan Ferry fronting Genesis might seem like an utterly ludicrous one; a step beyond even Ian Gillan taking the mic in Black Sabbath and more recently Axl Rose replacing Brian Johnson in AC/DC, but a source very close to the band has revealed that the former Roxy Music man was in contention for the job following Phil Collins' departure in 1996.
Speaking exclusively to eonmusic, the person who eventually landed the job; former Stiltskin singer Ray Wilson made the astonishing revelation whilst discussing how he came to join the band.
Says Ray: "They were looking for a replacement, and they went to the record company who was Virgin Records, and said; "do you have any ideas"?
It was then claims the Scotsman that Virgin executives heaped a number of suggestions upon the remaining members - keyboardist Tony Banks and guitarist Mike Rutherford, and that list included the former Roxy Music man: "They sent them every artist they had on their books", says the Scotsman, continuing: "Mike and Tony were just listening to endless tapes and CDs of singers; everyone from Bryan Ferry, believe it or not, to more obscure artists like me".
Whilst it's not known how close Ferry came to contention, Wilson further revealed that the final choice came down to a select few: "They listened to my voice and they heard a bit of that [original Genesis front man] Peter Gabriel thing, so they invited me down", he says, continuing: "I think there was a couple of other guys they invited; the singer from It Bites [presumably, Francis Dunnery], and the singer from Cutting Crew [Nick Van Eede]."
As well as the relatively well known faces, the public school educated band also tried out a more surprising angle to find their singer: "There was also another guy who was a school teacher. He wasn't a rock star or anything - he just sounded like Phil", reveals Ray. When prompted that the idea of auditioning a school teacher was 'very Genesis', the amiable Scott laughed; "it is a bit, aye".
Raw Wilson fronted Genesis from 1997 - 1999, touring the world with the iconic act and writing and recording the album 'Calling All Stations' with them.
The singer has recently announced details of his fifth solo studio album ‘Song For A Friend’. Dedicated to his much missed companion James Lewis who passed away in 2015, the record will be released on 3rd June 2016.
Watch out for eonmusic's exclusive interview with Ray Wilson coming soon.