As far as I'm concerned it has always been Gabriel who made the difference. This is a good piece of music, I don't question it, but it lacks of the genius stroke, of that one special ingredient that divides the masterpieces from the good. Its not magic, its like Marillion without Fish.
Excellent song from an excellent album. I saw Peter Gabriel Perform the Musical Box live from Nursery Crime and I believe that I can say with some authority that no one on Earth could have sung/performed that masterpiece the way he did.
Steve Hackett and the other instrumentalists are what gave Genesis that signature sound that defined its progressive rock period. Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins were equally important to the band's formula. If you'll notice, all members of Genesis were influenced by each other. The singing on Nursery Cryme or Lamb could have been done by anyone in the band. It was the collaborative writing that made them so good. Gabriel leaving the band and their switch to pop were not directly related. Collins sis not make that decision either. The whole band made that choice, together