I won't swap official releases with you unless for some reason you are unable to find them through normal means (if they're not on Amazon.com, for instance). They are organized by type/media and then (mostly) chronologically within that category. This page catalogues my officially released video material; for bootleg videos, click on one of the two video pages above. As always, see anything you like, email me. All boots are on Audio CD-R unless I say otherwise. Click on the text links below to scroll directly to the entry you're interested in.
You might think that this page would contain studio outtakes and demos and things of that sort. It does not, because I have incorporated those recordings into the main tour pages above. Since demos/outtakes, soundchecks/rehearsals, and interviews (many of which are tacked as bonus tracks onto the end of live shows) can be hard to track down on the tour pages, I have compiled a list of them here with links to the pages where their full entries are located.
1 The Carpet Crawlers 1999 (5:38) 2 Follow You Follow Me (3:58) 3 Turn It on Again (3:48)
Comments: A German (?) import single in advance of the Turn It on Again best of collection (Genesis themselves prophesied that the release of a best of collection would signal the end of their band). A new mix by Trevor Horn of the original song, with new vocal tracks from Phil and Peter; the closest thing we'll get to a "new" Genesis song (I also have the video for this song on DVD in my videos section--though it is now officially available on The Video Show DVD). I think it's quite good and sounds very slick and professional; it revels in the chorus and variations on the chorus. If you've heard this song so many times that you're just sick of it, this version might breathe some new life into your musical boredom. Keep in mind the last verse of the song about the porcelain mannequin and the tickler who takes his stickle back has been cut from this version. The other two tracks are just the original studio tracks which were featured on the best of collection (interesting songs to run as b-sides, considering their chart history!). I assume they're the versions from the remastered albums. This single is available to order on Amazon.com as of this writing.
1 Interview w/band, WNEW 8/3/73 including Supper's Ready clip (6:16) 2 Interview (telephone) w/PG, Los Angeles 1/75/Interview 1 repeated (22:13) 3 Interview w/PG, Earth News 6/78 including 11/3/70 Roundhouse clip (5:44) 4 Dave Herman's Rock and Roll Vault (WNEW) including Me and My Teddy Bear (2:32) 5 Australian Promo, Advertisement for Ripples Fan Magazine (1:40) 6 Interview w/SH, WNEW Baltimore 9/3/77 (11:07) 7 Interview w/PC, MR, WNEW NYC 22/2/77 (9:05) 8 Interview w/SH, Radio Clyde 1980 (20:30)
Type/Quality: Radio/Very Good-Good (varies)
Comments: This is an interesting compilation of interviews from a fairly wide range of years, not entirely in chronological order. Some of the info in the track list is taken from Simon's entry for this disc; most of it jibes with what I was able to glean from the recording itself. The interview on track 6 I also have tacked on the end of my Baltimore '77 show as a bonus track, but other than that this is all material that I have nowhere else. The major jewel in this collection is the excruciatingly brief clip in track 3 which is believed to be from an incredibly early Genesis gig on 11/3/70 at the Roundhouse in London. In fact, if this date is accurate, this approximately 20-second clip of "Twilight Alehouse" is the earliest available live recording of the band (apart from the 22/2/70 material from the BBC Sessions)! It is also possible that the band even had video shot of their performance that night, though there is no solid evidence of this.
Admittedly the Roundhouse clip is the main reason to get this CD, unless you like listening to interviews. The first track does feature a clip from a live performance of "Supper," only the Willow Farm section. The date for the interview I lifted from Simon's entry. The second track ends with a reprise of the first interview, but that version sounds better than the first one (I don't know why this was done).
The beginning of track 2 I found incredibly difficult to listen to. A DJ is trying to interview Peter Gabriel in 1975 about the Lamb album and about things in general, but the conversation they have is very uncomfortable. The DJ apparently had a late night the night before and Peter really wants to go and eat lunch, so neither of them are very communicative, and to most of the DJ's questions Peter replies with "Uhhhhh....Uhhhhh...." Not much fun.
Track 3 is a program called "Earth News" with DJ Lew Irwin. Here, the much more intelligent DJ interviews a much more lucid Peter Gabriel about his time with Genesis and a bit about his second solo album, but begins by mentioning Peter's career with Genesis and playing the incredibly valuable Roundhouse clip. Irwin's information is not entirely accurate as he claims the Roundhouse gig was "circa 1967" and calls the current Genesis album "Now We Are Three."
Track 4 is a very small clip, not an interview at all. The DJ, one Dave Herman, has Peter Gabriel in the studio, but the clip centers around Herman entering the "Rock and Roll Vault" (complete with canned sound effects of giant creaky doors being opened) and pulling out a short clip of Peter's b-side "Me and My Teddy Bear" (which, incidentally, I have the full version of on my solo page for Peter).
Track 5 is a very short radio promo which is basically an advertisement for the Australian Genesis fan magazine called Ripples. The time period is unclear, though clearly it must be some time after 1977, since the DJ refers to Steve Hackett as a former member of the band.
Track 6 is a radio interview of Steve Hackett by a Baltimore DJ on the night of the Genesis gig at that location (he's being interviewed after the show). As I mentioned above, I already have this as a bonus track at the end of the audience recording of that gig. It's interesting to hear Hackett's attitude toward the band and descriptions of the state of things at this time period.
Track 7 is a radio interview with Mike and Phil on 22 February 1977, the day before their big gig at the Madison Square Garden in NYC. The interesting thing that I found on this interview is that they get to talking about the band's first gig in America, the famous show at the Philharmonic Hall in New York, and the DJ goes and looks at the radio station's "concert calendar" to check the date for that gig and finds that it took place on 13 December 1972. I was very glad to hear this confirmation of the date, as it has been a questionable date for a long time in trading circles. (By the way, I have a partial recording of that famous '72 gig here!)
The final track, 8, is a nice interview with Steve Hackett from 1980, a few years after his departure from the group. The DJ is doing a very detailed, track-by-track review of Steve's then-new album Defector. The DJ offers his comments and Steve reacts. The songs themselves have been mostly edited out. If you're a fan of the album it will be very edifying.
1 Interview w/PC, WRPI Troy NY 11/12/74 (?) (21:38)
Type/Quality: Radio/Good-Very Good
Comments: I have been unable to find any information on the Movement about this particular radio interview, which definitely comes from the band's initial US leg of the Lamb tour, and which the trader I got it from dated at 11 December of 1974. This seems likely, as the interview is in a New York radio station studio and 11/12 would put it as the same day as their Albany show at the Palace Theater (that venue is mentioned on the recording).
This is an interesting interview because it catches Phil before he was even remotely well-known, and when Peter was still the lead singer but very near his departure. Phil talks about the early days of the band, and the time is so close to when he joined that he has a different perspective on the Gabriel songs than he would in later years, and his opinions about them are interesting. He discusses "Twilight Alehouse" (which the trio of DJs interviewing him do not seem to know anything about), and even mentions the band's 4-piece period, which happened during the first months after his joining. For once, Phil discusses his audition without mentioning the story of swimming in the pool beforehand and learning the parts.
It's funny to hear Phil trying to deal with questions about the band dynamic and recording style, and his plainly inaccurate answer to the question about audience response to the tour. There is a pause, then: "Good!" he says. He quickly mentions that it has been hard playing the complete new album to audiences, but his response is ironic considering later complaints he made about audience reaction on this tour.
Other interesting comments: Phil mentions that Peter's flying on stage during the end of "Supper's Ready" only happened in New York and London during the SEBTP tour. He claims that the original idea for the Lamb was for it to be a three-side album, but the record company forced the band to push it to four sides (since a three-side album is not very sellable!). Phil also says that the idea for Peter's story upon which the album is based came to him in a dream!
Phil has a somewhat interesting answer for what kind of music the different band members like to listen to (King Crimson is mentioned, and Phil admits his own predilection for "commercial jazz").
Unfortunately the interview is incomplete. Phil is answering a question about the content of the live gig to happen that evening, and is just mentioning that there will be no intermission when the sound cuts out. The sound quality is perfectly listenable but the volume is very low. At one point the station does play "Lilywhite Lilith" from the new album, but the song cuts off after a few seconds and the interview continues.
1 Interview w/MR, WYSP Philadelphia PA 28 or 29/5/87 (45:30)
Comments: Here is another interesting interview which I have been unable to track down on the Movement. The radio station mentioned above is identified during the recording. The period is definitely the Invisible Touch tour, and mention is made of a show at the Vet in Philadelphia, which would seem to date at least the recording of the interview at the end of May of 1987. The quality unfortunately leaves a bit to be desired: the show seems to have been aired in two installments, and though the first one is all right, the second part has reception problems which make it somewhat difficult to make out what Mike is saying.
The interview is really a retrospective on the band, with the DJ taking Mike through their musical history album by album. Snippets from various songs (never a complete song as far as I can tell) are played to break up the talking. They actually spin "When the Sour Turns to Sweet"! Also "Visions of Angels" is heard. Not all of the song bits are studio tracks: there is a live bit of "Musical Box" which is probably from 1977.
Mention is made of the band's live American debut in New York in 1972--the DJ, whose name is unknown to me but who apparently can be seen for a very short part of the backstage scene in the Three Sides Live tour movie, says he was at the '72 show. Mike comments that a lot of radio people that he meets seem to have been there, and mentions the band's lukewarm perception of their performance that night.
Mike complains about the sound quality on their early studio recordings. His comments about some of the albums I found surprising. Selling England, for instance, he calls "Inconsistent," and says that "Epping Forest" has too much in it to work. He regrets that the Lamb was a concept album--he thinks the music was very strong, but isn't so crazy about the story arc. He mentions that Trick was almost all done before Peter had even officially announced his departure from the band! He says Wind and Wuthering is not one of his favorite albums (though it is one of Tony's favorites). Another of Tony's favorites, Duke, is brought up by Mike as an example of the band beginning to become a caricature of themselves (he mentions "Cul-de-sac" as an example of this trend).
Before the recording cuts off, Mike is talking about the b-sides for Invisible Touch, so he has gotten up to the (then) present time and it's likely that the interview was nearing its end. Of course because IT was a new album at that point, Mike is very enthusiastic about it (though he can barely remember the titles of the non-album tracks!). It would be interesting to hear his opinion of the album twenty years later.
Studs and Stetsons: Misfits from the Archive Years
01 Me and Virgil (6:17) (excellent) (studio, 1981) 02 Match of the Day (3:24) (excellent) (studio, 1977) 03 Bye Bye Johnny (9:54) (fair-good) (14/4/72 and 9/4/72) 04 Going Out to Get You (4:23) (good) (18/4/72) 05 Only Your Love (3:04) (good) (studio, 11/73) 06 Silver Song (4:14) (good) (studio, 11/73) 07 Seven Stones (5:24) (good-fair) (22/8/72) 08 The Light (11:43) (poor) (7/3/71) 09 Say It's Alright Joe (7:57) (very good) (7/5/80) 10 Me and Virgil (6:52) (good) (27/9/81) 11 Like It or Not (5:11) (good) (30/11/81) 12 Eleventh Earl of Mar/The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway/Firth of Fifth/The Musical Box (10:23) (good) (3/2/84)
Type/Quality: Varies; quality is labeled above.
Comments: This is the perfect CD for those of you who want those weird songs that didn't make it onto the Archive sets; also a nice starter for beginner bootleg collectors, with a good sampling of stuff. However if you would prefer to have the full show from which any one live song is taken, please click on the corresponding date listed above to go directly to my entry for that show on the appropriate tour page (I have multiple versions from a few dates, but have tried to link to what I feel is the best version from each date--which does not always correspond with the version source of these tracks).
I put this collection together from a CD that another fan was nice enough to send me and from one converted mp3 from the now-defunct "The Path" web site (track 12). I also messed with the version of "Bye Bye Johnny" a little. The title of the compilation comes from a statement Tony Banks made (a "Bankstatement") in the introduction to Archive #2: "No studs or stetsons, the line had to be drawn somewhere." Well, I was not satisfied with where the line was drawn.
Tracks 1 and 2 are leftovers from (respectively) the 3 x 3 and the Spot the Pigeon EPs that didn't make the Archive cut (although they were later released as tracks on the bonus disc included with the "1976-1982" box set of 2007, so they're not as valuable as they used to be!). Track 3 is an early version of "Can-Utility and the Coastliners," which Peter introduces by the title listed above, and which includes more music and different lyrics than the studio track. This version's ending, recorded at Pavia Italy, faded out. I didn't like that, so I tacked on the ending of the song as performed at the Lem Club several days earlier (I think it sounds pretty smooth), which is the same song but was introduced instead as "Rock My Baby." Track 4 is live, and is basically a different song than the studio track of the same name featured on Archive #1; the chorus is the same, but the other bits are utterly different, and there is much more aggression. This is from the 18/4/72 performance in Rome, one of the best shows from the NC tour. Tracks 5 and 6 are actually Anthony Phillips songs featuring Phil on vocals and Mike on guitar. They were demos for a single (a-side and b-side) which (for some mysterious reason) was never released. See my Mysteries page for more on that. Track 7 is a very, very rare live recording of "Seven Stones," played in Genoa near the end of the NC tour. Track 8 is an old, long live number that is actually a very early version of what would one day become "Lilywhite Lilith." It also contains bits from a much, much longer instrumental piece called simply "The Movement," which included a lot of bits of music that were used in later Genesis songs (for more on this, see Scott McMahan's discography--and in my objective lists section under Non-Album Tracks). This version is from one of the inferior boots of this gig that came before the much better HW12 remaster.
Track 9 is from the London Lyceum show of 7/5/80; Phil really milks his dramatic pauses on this track. This is the only song missing from the famous Musicabootleg (though that material has now been remastered by various people and multiple versions of the radio broadcast exist with SIAJ included). The remaining tracks are various live songs that weren't performed very often (for more info on these and other rarely played songs, see my lists section: rarely played live). Track 10 is the very rarely played "Me and Virgil," which was (as far as I know) only played the first two nights of the Abacab tour, both in Spain. "Like It or Not" (track 11) I have compared with my Landover show and they seem identical (the copy from the Landover show actually sounds much better). This song was only played very very rarely on the Abacab tour. The last song (track 12) is the final form of the rare "Eleventh Earl of Mar" medley played during the Mama tour, which Phil described as a trip down memory lane. The medley went through three other versions before settling on this one. By the way, all of the non-studio tracks on this compilation come from audience recordings, except of course the Lyceum track, which comes from a radio broadcast.
1 Keep it Dark (5:00) (very good) (27/11/83) 2 In the Cage/'...in that quiet earth.'/Apocalypse in 9/8 (20:41) (very good) (14-15/10/86) 3 One-Handed Drum Solo (3:11) (good) (18/4/72) 4 Fly on a Windshield/Broadway Melody of 1974 (instrumental) (2:43) (good) (10/6/76) 5 The Carpet Crawlers (6:00) (fair) (23/10/92) 6 The Waiting Room (Evil Jam) (9:35) (good) (15/4/75) 7 It (4:17) (good) (24/1/75) 8 Mama (6:51) (fair) (9/5/92) 9 Your Own Special Way (6:37) (good) (16/2/77) 10 All in a Mouse's Night (6:35) (fair) (2/1/77) 11 Keep it Dark (demo) (4:16) (very good) (studio, 81)
Type/Quality: Varies; quality is labeled above.
Comments: More rare and/or rarely-performed live tracks, plus a demo of "Keep it Dark." Please note that I have better-sounding versions now of quite a few of these tracks--to go to my best full show for each date, click on the date listed above. All of these were mp3s I got off "The Path," except tracks 2, 5 and 8, all of which I took from the next collection (after Scrambled Eggs). In fact, I have learned that all the mp3s on "The Path" correspond exactly with the track list of a compilation bootleg called "Rarities Through the Years 1971-1998," which I found on someone's website. Which came first, however, I don't know. My bootleg compilation is slightly different. I'd like to stress that none of the tracks on this CD are in mp3 format; that's just the form they were in when I first got them. I converted them to tracks that play on any CD player.
Track 2 is definitely from a KBFH show, since you can hear the announcer at the end of the track saying they'll return with more King Biscuit Flower Hour. I've had a heck of a time dating these tracks, and this is one of several that I've had to change. Track 3 also includes the intro story to "The Musical Box" at the end of it; I could have removed it, but it's an OK story. This track is again from the famous Rome show on 18/4/72. Track 4 is actually from 1976, not from the Lamb tour; it's a hearty chunk of the "Lamb Stew." I have the full radio broadcast from which this was taken. Track 6 is a great version of "The Waiting Room," much more interesting than the version on Archive #1 (this one is from the Empire Pool show, which was broadcast over the radio and bootlegged mercilessly).
Tracks 7 and 9 used to have additional bits on them; "It," for instance, had Pete introducing the encore song ("Musical Box") at the end. This version of "It" is from the Shrine Auditorium show of 24/1/75, the same show featured on the Archive box set; however, the box set replaced this live version with an alternate studio take. In the box set booklet, Tony says the tape had run out by this song, but if this is dated correctly, it clearly didn't. (I checked up on this with the knowledgeable David Dunnington, who believes that the whole show actually was taped with two overlapping recordings; it was once believed that KBFH held the recording with the end of the show on it, but Dunnington now believes the KBFH does not have Shrine at all, and that if anyone has it it's the management of Genesis--why it was not available for the box set I don't know!) I have this Shrine Auditorium material in multiple places--the linked entry above is one, and it is also here and here. "Your Own Special Way" included Phil introducing Steve Hackett, who then (they did it this way during the W&W tour) announced the next song, "Firth of Fifth." I removed all of that junk because I didn't see any reason for it being there, especially since the songs they introduced do not appear on this collection. These mp3s came with names that seemed to include the dates of their performances, but as I've said they have caused me a world of trouble, as most of them were faulty. I am now fortunately able to correctly identify the date for this song as 16/2/77, since I have the boot for that whole show and was able to compare.
Tracks 5 and 8 are from the WCD tour, and they're both songs that weren't played very often on that tour. "Crawlers" is probably the one and only performance of the song during the entire WCD tour. However, the recording for both is the worst kind of audience recording. I had thought that The Way We Walk Volume I: The Shorts had a version of "Mama" from the WCD tour that sounded much better than this one, but have since learned that the WWW version is actually from the IT tour (as are one or two other cuts off that album; see McMahan's discography for more info on that--also thanks to Jeff Blehar for pointing this out to me!). So this song, even though it is low quality, is still fairly valuable. Some might not appreciate the demo of "Keep it Dark"--it's only the instrumental part, and some might find it very repetitive and boring. Track 10 is from the 2/1/77 radio broadcast.
As for original sources: tracks 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, and 10 are all from radio shows. Tracks 3, 5, and 8 are audience recordings. Track 11 is a studio recording. Track 1 was supposed to be from 3/2/84, but it's not. I believe I have found a match in the Spectrum show of 27 November 1983.
01 The Musical Box (11:40) (24/1/75) 02 Follow You, Follow Me (a-side remix) (3:15) 03 Mama (7:10) (30/6/90) 04 Throwing It All Away (6:11) (30/6/90) 05 Supper's Ready (soundcheck, from end of "Willow Farm"--possibly by cover band) (9:56) 06 The Knife (3:49) (24/6/77) 07 Afterglow (3:31) (Fisher Lane Farm, 2000) 08 Submarine (4:28) (studio, 81) 09 Deep Green (Phil) (5:02) 10 I Know What I Like (in Your Wardrobe) (Pete, Mike and Steve) (5:59) (28/1/83) 11 Here Comes the Flood (Pete) (5:12)
Type/Quality: Varies, see below
Comments: This is my third and hopefully last self-made compilation album, put together from some mp3s I got on a CD plus a few I transferred from several tapes. Click on the linked dates above (or sprinkled through this comments section) to go to my entries for full versions of those shows. The first eight tracks are Genesis tracks, the last three are solo songs. Track 1 is the encore played at the Shrine Auditorium in LA on 24 January 1975; it also appears on the boot Twilight Alehouseand on A Living Story. And I have a couple tracks from it on Lamb Stew. Track 2 is from a US remix of the single that was backed with "Inside and Out;" it is supposedly longer than the UK single. Tracks 3 and 4 are from the Silver Clef charity concert held at Knebworth Park on 30/6/90. Both Phil solo and Genesis performed at the concert; these two tracks from that performance were transferred from a tape (as was the "Follow You" remix). I have the full Knebworth '90 performance on audio CD and on DVD. Track 5 is an incredibly high quality instrumental bit of "Supper's Ready" played during a soundcheck, but I have no idea what date it's from; I have heard on good authority that this track may actually not be by Genesis at all (!), but by a tribute band of some kind. If so it doesn't really belong on this disc, but it's an excellent version of the song nonetheless.
Track 6, "The Knife" is probably from 24 June of 1977, one of only three nights on the '77 tour when that song was actually played (as an encore)--they were all in a row at Earls Court, from 23-25 June, but 24 June was the only show that was broadcast in good quality on the radio. "Afterglow" (track 7)is the beautiful version from the Songbook DVD, my personal favorite version of this song. "Submarine" (track 8) is the original studio b-side, which does not fade out like the version on Archive 2--it may also be different than the other studio version of this song that I have on Abacab Complete, which on that bootleg forms a sort of segue between "Lurker" and "Naminanu." (The version of "Submarine" on the bonus disc included with the "1976-1982" box set, released in 2007, also does not fade out and probably is identical to this version--except that it sounds better.) "Deep Green" (track 9) is a very interesting song, the history of which Scott McMahan details in his discography. Apparently it was written by a man named John Lancaster for an album called Skinningrove Bay, but mislabeled as "Save a Place For Me." It was not written by Phil, and all he did was the vocals. There were also a few other bits of misinformation that apparently confused everyone about the origins of this track, but as far as I know what I've told you is correct.
"I Know What I Like" (track 10) was labeled as a version of the song done live by Peter Gabriel during a solo tour of some kind, with Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford making guest appearances. Help from a fellow fan and some research of Alan Hewitt's indispensable book revealed the correct source for this track: a charity concert in aid of Tadworth Children's Hospital at the Civic Centre in Guildford, UK, on 28 January 1983. It was actually Steve Hackett solo, but for the charity concert he reunited with Mike and Pete, and they did a few songs. They did "Here Comes the Flood," "Reach Out (I'll be There),""Solsbury Hill," and the song featured here. Mike and Pete didn't come in until the end of the show. I have since found that Hewitt's date of 29/1 is incorrect and 28/1 is the correct date. I have also since acquired the complete recording of this gig, which can be found in the "Solo" section. Track 11 is the "quiet version" of this song, from a Robert Fripp LP called Exposure, on which Peter Gabriel did a lot of work. It includes some kind of sound byte on the beginning with some old guy talking about how there will be another ice age soon; in the background there is some electronic music that sounds very much like some bits from the song "Exposure" from Pete's second LP (very fitting, considering the name of the collection this comes from, and also the fact that Fripp himself produced Gabriel's sophomore outing). This music used to remind me very strongly of a song called "The Heavenly Music Corporation," done by Robert Fripp and Brian Eno on their album No Pussyfooting. Fripp also played variations on this song which were usually called simply "Walk on (No Pussyfooting)," during King Crimson concerts in the 70s. Just some trivia there for you--I guess what I'm trying to say mainly is that it sounds very Frippish. This is a good version of this song, better than the original but still not as good as Gabriel's piano/vocals only version on his best of collection, Shaking the Tree. I feel that version of the song puts more emotion and poignancy in it than any other one, and hits you right in the gut. Also I think I'm a sucker for really simplistic, stripped-down versions of songs. The quality level on most of these tracks is astoundingly good; some exceptions are tracks 2-4, which were transferred from two different tapes, and track 10. I would say that no track's quality ever dips below Good.
1 In the Cage/'...in that quiet earth.'/Apocalypse in 9/8 (20:38) (very good) 2 Mama (6:53) (poor) 3 The Carpet Crawlers (6:00) (poor) 4 Nowhere Else to Turn (4:33) (very good) 5 Small Talk (5:33) (very good) 6 That's All (4:54) (poor) 7 Hold on My Heart (6:03) (poor)
Type/Quality: Varies; quality is labeled above.
Comments: Another unprofessional photo of an album cover, again by yours truly. All of the tracks on this CD got split up and put on other CDs earlier in this section. Tracks 1-3 are on Odds, Ends, and Insturmentals (above), and tracks 4-7 are on After the Ordeal, on the CAS tour page. This disc was put together by a bunch of people from the Paperlate mailing list. It was the last of a 5-disc series of what they saw as essential bootleg tracks spanning the whole career of the band. I think that my Studs and Stetsons disc is probably composed of tracks from the other discs in this series.
Allow me to take you back to the dark, distant early nineties, to that time of tumultuous change and upheaval that came after the release of WCD but before the release of CAS--when the future of Genesis was very uncertain (as it always was between albums!) and some of us had a bit more hair really. Not me, though, I always had this much hair. Anyway, there I was, on something called the Internet (this is around 1992), and I came across what was an early unfinished version of Scott McMahan's Genesis Discography. Up until that time, I had judged the completeness of my Genesis collection by the stock of whatever record store I happened to go into. I was rather satisfied at that time that my collection was about as complete as you could get (I don't remember if this was before or after I realized that they had an album called Wind & Wuthering), just scrolling down the list of entries for fun, when...What the heck is this? A song I don't know! And another one! Another! AAh!! They all seem to be called...B-sides. What the heck is a b-side?! I read up, and found out what a b-side was (which is, for those of you who don't know, one of the extra tracks on a single release, which was often a non-album track--probably put there by the record company so that even those fans who had bought the album and thus had the "a side" track would feel the need to buy the single). I needed to know how to get a hold of these phantom tracks. But how? It seemed impossible.
However, if anyone knew, it would be that all-knowing force, Scott McMahan. I sent him a letter (for some reason email was not very active back then), and he graciously sent me a floppy disk (for some reason they were floppy back then). It contained a text file listing a series of names and addresses, and for each name and address there was a corresponding couple of tapes. Apparently a group of Genesis fans had gotten together, compiled some rare tracks, and put together a bunch of very eclectic tapes, and each member of the group had the master tape for only two or three volumes (actually this was a project undertaken by the Paperlate list members and was an attempt to compile ALL of the existing rare, limited release or totally unreleased Genesis and solo member material). So it was a wonderful network, through which (ideally) beginner fans could send any person on the list blank tapes and return postage (and one additional dollar to cover the cost of wear and tear on the recording equipment) and eventually receive some great bootlegs. I'm not sure whatever happened to this mailing list. I don't think it's active anymore, and no one with boot lists on the web seems to have any volume from this series, except one guy I found who had volume one. I believe that when Scott dropped out of the Genesis world, and CD trading became much more popular, the list died out and became defunct. There were ten volumes of rare tracks, plus a WCD Companion, a WWW Companion, a Rarest Live, and a few other tapes. I know I had more than these four volumes pictured above originally--I had volumes one, two, six, eight, the WCD Companion, and the Rarest Live collection. There were even a couple more that I tried to get (one of which contained tracks from Flaming Youth's album Ark 2), but couldn't, because the guy who had them had changed his address and not told anyone (which still bugs me!). (However, I did eventually obtain Ark 2.) Some of the guys on the list were more reliable and responsible than others; whoever gave me volume 2 and the WCD Companion, for instance, labeled them with nice printed inserts that mentioned source and year for each track. Whereas the guy who sent me volumes 6 and 8 just gave me the tape, and I had to provide my own crude labeling (see above shot).
But I never really listened to the tapes very much for some reason; I guess I wasn't prepared for the low, low quality of most bootleg recordings. Also I was much more into CDs than tapes, which were unreliable and had a tendency to sound really bad after you left them in a hot car. And over the years I just stopped listening to them altogether, and what with me moving from college to home to college and then to my new apartment, the Rarest Live and volume one tapes got lost somehow (fortunately the Rarest Live tapes resurfaced after I discovered them at my parents' house, and they are listed below).
Then a little while ago I looked back into the tapes. At around the same time, I happened to find an article in Macworld magazine about how to transfer one's old cassette tapes onto CD. Listening to the tapes again, I realized I had some pretty darn rare/good songs that I had nowhere else. So I borrowed some equipment from my dad and made some CDs from the tapes, then made some inserts, and here they all are for your consideration.
(As a postscript, someone later posted the information for this Paperlate network on the genesis-trades list, and I have been able to update some of my information as a result. The network is no longer viable, but the posts for it still exist: posted to the genesis-trades list was a 1995 update on who had which tapes and some details about individual tracks. It was a nice network and it's good to have these details in print. Genesis-trades built upon the success and generosity of programs like this.)
1 Firth of Fifth (live) (9:22) 1981 2 Me and Virgil (6:17) 1982 3 Mama (extended) (7:13) 1983 4 It's Gonna Get Better (extended) (6:06) 1983 5 Tonight, Tonight, Tonight (edit) (4:18) 1987 6 Throwing It All Away (live) (7:04) 1987 7 Invisible Touch (live) (5:03) 1987 8 Invisible Touch (reprise) (0:57) 1987
Type/Quality: Varies (see below)
Comments: The tape from which this came originally had way more tracks than this, all of which I removed because they were either b-sides or 12" remixes that ended up on Archive #2. The tape also included the same live version of "Man on the Corner" that was on the box set (though the tape version was taken from the MTV video). The ones that remained here are almost all b-sides to limited edition single releases of one sort or another (which I discovered while flipping through Alan Hewitt's excellent book, Opening the Musical Box). "Me and Virgil" is of course from the Abacab sessions and was originally featured on the 3 x 3 EP, later on the original US release of Three Sides Live (this version is no longer easily available), and later still on the 1976-1982 box set. The extended version of "Mama" is exactly the same as the album version, but has more of Phil telling his Mama not to go at the end of it. Track 4 is the studio version of the song with an extra verse mixed in, as it was performed live on Archive 2. These two tracks were the a and b-side (respectively) to a single that was released in several different forms (7", 12" and CD), but according to the tape these versions are originally from the 12". Track 5 is the single edit of that song, without the instrumental section, from the 12". Tracks 6 and 7 are from the IT tour--I believe they were taken from a cassette single released after the tour, with the live version of "Throwing It All Away" as the a-side and the live version of "Invisible Touch" as one of the b-sides (along with "I'd Rather Be You"). Track 8 starts with the end of the studio version of the song, then fades into Phil and Mike and Tony singing the end chorus without accompaniment. This comes from the end of the promo video for the single--it's a humorous little tidbit and a rather good way to end the disc. Track 1 actually appears on another CD later on in this section, which was an import release but which doesn't seem to be in print anymore. Rather than use the lower quality version from the tape, I took this track from the CD. The performance is from 1981, but this particular song has an interesting history: it was first released in May of 83 by the Genesis Information fan club as a one-sided vinyl "flexidisc." It was also later released as a b-side on a 12" "That's All" single, and finally on the collection that I got it from. Finally, it has appeared on various radio shows and I think on the 3SL video, but in most of those incarnations it was missing part of the last verse--this version is complete. Track 2 I also took from a CD quality source rather than the tape version. The two well-labeled tapes in this series (this volume and the WCD Companion) both have a disclaimer on them that reads as follows:
"This collection of Genesis songs is not for sale or profit. While the band won't see any royalties from this, neither will the people who market and sell the original recordings for large sums of money. This tape is made especially for all the great people on the Genesis mailing list."
Following that on this volume was the message "Compiled September, 1991." I imagine this was the time when most of the volumes were compiled. I copied most of this message onto the insert of the CD, to keep the concept behind the thing alive. As to quality of the recordings, these all came from sources which were at one time or another official releases, so the sources were all excellent. However, this CD was transferred from an old cassette tape, which was probably recorded from another master tape, which probably came from the original sources. I didn't play it much or put it in the sun, so it's in OK condition, but the volume level may be a bit low, even though I tried to fix this by normalizing the levels before burning the tracks onto a CD. Compared to most live bootlegs, it sounds fantastic.
Peter Gabriel 1-1 Sledgehammer (dance remix) (5:19) 1-2 Shosholoza (5:00) 1-3 Biko (live) (6:07) 1-4 No More Apartheid (6:47) 1-5 Walk Through the Fire (3:46) 1-6 I Have the Touch (85 remix) (4:48) Tony Banks 1-7 This is Love (5:49) 1-8 Charm (5:11)
Tony Banks 2-01 K2 (3:44) 2-02 Sometime Never (3:28) Mike and the Mechanics 2-03 All I Need is a Miracle (remix) (6:03) 2-04 Too Far Gone (3:58) 2-05 Nobody's Perfect (6:03) 2-06 Nobody Knows (3:08) 2-07 Revolution (3:47) Steve Hackett 2-08 The Air-Conditioned Nightmare (live) (3:56) 2-09 Time Lapse at Milton Keynes (live) (3:45) Anthony Phillips 2-10 Erotic Strings (1:04) 2-11 Trail of Tears (5:16)
Type/Quality: Varies (see below)
Comments: As you can see by the track list, this volume is composed entirely of solo members' work. I did not originally have any info on where these tracks came from, but thanks to some research on my part and some uncovered info on the details of these releases, I can now state pretty confidently the origin of each. For the Peter Gabriel tracks: the "Sledgehammer" remix is not quite as bad as the Genesis 12" remixes, and was released as a single (in MANY different forms; in fact, this may be the "extended mix" of the song, not the "dance mix" as it was labeled). "Shosholoza" was a b-side on various singles, mostly on the back of "Biko" (this is in fact from the 12" of "Biko"). The live version of "Biko" is probably from a single that had the b-sides "No More Apartheid" and "I Have the Touch ('85 remix)." "Walk Through the Fire" was on the soundtrack to the movie Against All Odds, and also appeared as a single. This version is probably from the soundtrack, but "I Have the Touch" is actually the b-side from the "Walk Through the Fire" single. All of the Tony Banks tracks are different versions than the songs by the same titles that appeared on his album The Fugitive. These tracks are interesting if only for the fact that the non-instrumentals feature Tony on lead vocals (what some might consider a tortuous listening experience). "This is Love" and "Charm" come from the "This is Love" 12" single. The other two Banks tracks were apparently only on the CD re-release of the album.
The Mike Rutherford tracks 2-03, 2-05 and 2-06 appeared (in another form) on studio albums. 2-03 is definitely a remix, from the 12" single for the song. "Nobody's Perfect" is an extended remix, from the 12" single for that song; and "Nobody Knows" is the single edit, from that song's 12". "Too Far Gone" is an instrumental track which was one of the b-sides on a 12" single for "Silent Running." "Revolution" is a hideously awful cover of the Beatles tune, and probably comes from a promo CD released in connection with the soundtrack to the movie Rude Awakening. The Hackett tracks are live performances; they are both b-sides to a 12" single whose a-side was "Cell 151." The Phillips tunes ended up as bonus tracks on his CD releases ("Erotic Strings" ended up on the CD re-issue of Private Parts & Pieces IV, and "Trail of Tears" was a bonus track on Invisible Men), but I doubt they were on any original studio albums, simply because of their inclusion on the original tape. According to info on the Rarities volumes, the first song comes from the Harvest of the Heart LP, while the second is labeled simply "Anthony Phillips, LP." I'm not sure what this means--apparently the taper was not sure of the source LP's name, or they thought it was self-titled. This tape wasn't in quite as good condition as the last one, plus the sources may have been older than in the previous volume, so the quality is not quite as good. The sound can be wavery at times, and the volume level is low. There is also some tape hiss.
Genesis 1-1 Illegal Alien (edit) (4:32) 1-2 Turn It on Again (damn) (9:23) Marillion 1-3 I Know What I Like (in Your Wardrobe) (5:58) Phil Collins 1-4 ...And so to F... (live) (8:52) Steve Hackett 1-5 Hercules Unchained (2:36) Phil Collins 1-6 Tomorrow Never Knows (3:19) 1-7 Please Don't Ask (4:08) Anthony Phillips 1-8 Silver Song (4:02)
Genesis 2-01 Back in N.Y.C. (5:59) 2-02 The Carpet Crawlers (5:16) 2-03 Watcher of the Skies (7:08) Anthony Phillips 2-04 Souvenir (3:30) (featuring) Phil Collins 2-05 Island Dreamer (4:05) Phil Collins 2-06 Groovy Kind of Love (3:32) 2-07 Two Hearts (3:15) 2-08 In the Air Tonight (2:07) Genesis 2-09 Billboard Introduction (0:50) 2-10 No Son of Mine (6:21) 2-11 Behind the Lines (Part 2) (3:23) Phil Collins 2-12 That's How I Feel (4:59)
Type/Quality: Varies (see below)
Comments: This is basically a very eclectic mix of Genesis and Phil Collins, which also features one track each from Marillion and Steve Hackett and two tracks from Ant. I could have reorganized the ordering so that tracks from the same people stayed together, but I decided to stick with the tape's eclectic listing, in the assumption that there was some reasoning behind the structure. The first track was originally from a rare 7" promo single. The second was taped from a 12" single of "Illegal Alien." I actually took the tracks used here from CD cuts that were identical to those on the tape (the source CD was the same one used for the first track on volume 2--it's called Turn It on Again, and its entry is three after this one). "Illegal Alien" is the studio album version, but for the fact that the line of lyric in the bridge of the song about his sister who will be "willing to oblige" has been cut out. "Turn It on Again" is the live "damn" medley version of the song, which mixes a bunch of classic rock tunes together; the result is why some fans have labeled it "damn." This performance was their last night in Philly during the Mama tour; the CD I took it from was identical to the tape version, except for the fact that the tape version had a longer bit at the end with Phil saying "Thank you, good night!" So I added that bit on to the end of the CD version for this track. "I Know What I Like" is a very crude-sounding bootleg recording of Marillion covering the tune; they put a few lines from "The Lamb" and even "Counting Out Time" in there, and generally mess around until the song seems to break down and devolve into an argument amongst the band members. The source is basically unknown. "...And so to F..." is a great song. It was originally recorded by Brand X, but a version, released as the b-side to a 12" single of "I Don't Care Anymore," actually had Phil's live band performing the song. In fact the source for this particular version is a radio broadcast, not the single--it may not even be at the same performance as the single version. The performance is from 1983 at Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. I can even give you the band line-up: Daryl Stuermer, Chester Thompson, Peter Robinson, Mo Foster, and the famous Phenix Horns.
"Hercules" is the b-side to the 1980 single "The Show." It's a very energetic song, and a lot of fun. Tracks 1-6 and 1-7 are both demos that were played on radio shows. The recording (1-7) also includes some dope coming in at the end and saying "That's my favorite song by you, that and 'In the Air Tonight.'" The fact that they are grouped together here, and that the announcer seems to be talking solely to Phil, and that "Please Don't Ask" was written by Phil, leads me to believe that both demos were performed only by Phil; thus, they both go under the heading of just him instead of "Genesis" on my track list, even though "Please Don't Ask" became a Genesis song. Then there's "Silver Song." I have multiple copies/versions of this song elsewhere, but this is a somewhat unique recording, as this one was definitely taped from the radio: an announcer comes on at the end (actually I have this version of the song taped from the radio complete with an interview on my Worcester '83 show, of all places).
On to disc two. The first three tracks are definitely live Genesis with Pete, and the first two are definitely from the Lamb tour. The original info on these tracks claimed they were all from the "first public performance of the Lamb, recorded from a radio auction of the original tapes," but I doubt the authenticity of this claim very much. I assume that this version of "Watcher" is one of the rare times they played it as an encore at the end of a Lamb show. The quality here is only so-so. (I can now pretty confidently date these first two tracks: 15/4/75, the Empire Pool show, which I have on many different bootlegs--the corresponding tracks are identical to these. "Watcher" however does not match the "Watcher" on my Empire Pool boots, so I don't know where that's from--it may or may not actually be from a radio tape.) "Souvenir" is a beautiful song that was eventually released on the CD re-issue of Ant's album Sides--however this version is supposed to be the b-side from "Um & Argh," 1979. "Island Dreamer" actually comes from the album Scenario by Al Di Meola (I looked it up and tracked it down! and was also later confirmed in my opinion by the Paperlate post giving info on these releases). His band for that album included, among many others: Bill Bruford, Tony Levin, and Phil Collins (on drums only--the song is an instrumental). This particular song sounds very tropical and world music-ish, and kind of dinky, really, placed in the context of all this rock and pop. The next three Phil tracks are actually from a performance he gave on (of all places) the Phil Donahue Show in 1988. They're some nice, stripped-down versions of the songs, especially "In the Air," which is just him and a piano--very cool. The next two tracks are from a performance at the Billboard awards of 1991. Track 2-09 is just some guy (actually Paul Shaffer of David Letterman fame--I didn't know it was him until I got this performance on VHS) announcing the band by focusing on the individual members' solo success. He has a loud, grating voice, and to some he might be very annoying, especially on repeat listenings, until you just want to find out where he lives and knock on the door and--when he opens it--punch him in the gut!! So I put him on a separate track from the song--you can just skip him if you want. Amazingly, I have this Billboard performance on this disc, on VHS, and on DVD. I believe the date of the performance is 9 December 1991, long before the tour began. "Behind the Lines (part 2)" is really just an edited version of the album track, missing the instrumental intro (and, of course, fading off before it goes into "Duchess"). It was the b-side to the 7" "Turn It on Again" single. Finally, "That's How I Feel" is a standard Phil Collins track (from the But Seriously sessions) that for whatever reason never made it onto an album--instead, it was one of the many b-sides linked with the a-side "Hang in Long Enough" (to be more specific, the German b-side release from 1990).
The original tape had one additional track--the 12" remix of "Invisible Touch," which is not very good and is also already featured on Archive 2; so I omitted it here.
01 Prologue: Very Private/Really Great Pop Song (1:14) 02 Invisible Touch (live) (4:58) 1991 03 Interlude 1: Only Son (0:42) 04 Interlude 2: Full Up (0:30) 05 Interlude 3: Exactly That Way( 0:42) 06 I Can't Dance (Liebrant mix) (6:01) 1992 07 That's All (live) (4:57) 1992 08 Interlude 4: Slippery Chord Changes (0:29) 09 Home by the Sea/Second Home by the Sea (live) (12:21) 1992 10 Interlude 5: Navvies (1:39) 11 Driving the Last Spike (live promo edit) (4:15) 1992 12 Interlude 6: Chiseled Hunks (0:49) 13 I Can't Dance (live) (4:43) 1992 14 Interlude 7: Tony is Upset (0:36) 15 Interlude 8: Fires Still Alight (0:48) 16 Land of Confusion (rehearsal) (5:01) 1992 17 Interlude 9: The Elephant (0:38) 18 No Son of Mine (rehearsal) (6:52) 1992 19 Interlude 10: Tony Plugs His Album (0:32) Tony Banks 20 Still It Takes Me by Surprise (edit) (3:23) 1992 21 Epilogue: The Vultures Circle (0:36)
Type/Quality: Varies (see below)
Comments: This was a very interesting tape, in that in addition to the songs it included a series of what I ended up calling "Interludes," with interviews with the band members and snippets from songs and some talk from narrators about the progress of the album. Most of it is from one or two "behind the scenes" shows about the WCD album (one of which was called "No Admittance" and was aired on the show "In Concert"--I have it on VHS and DVD in my bootleg video section), but some is from an MTV interview, and "Interlude 10" is from Good Morning America. I won't go too much into the Interlude tracks; suffice it to say that they are amusing and interesting historical records. It's also worth noting that I have the full programs from which all of these interludes are taken from on DVD as volumes in my "TV Appearances" series. Track 2 is a b-side from the first single off the album, "No Son of Mine." Track 6 is what is usually called "the other mix" of "I Can't Dance," but it was made apparently by a Ben Liebrant (or possibly Liebrand). (It is not the 12" mix featured on Archive 2, which was AKA "the sex mix.") It was released on several singles, but this version is probably from the "Jesus He Knows Me" single which also had "Hearts on Fire" on it. Tracks 7 and 9 also appeared as the b-sides to various singles (there were tons of singles released for the WCD album). Track 7 was the b-side to "We Can't Dance," along with a live version of "In too Deep" that ended up on the The Way We Walk CD. Track 9 was the b-side to "Hold on My Heart," along with a live version of "Your Own Special Way" from the Australian portion of the tour (featuring a string section), which ended up on Archive 2. Track 11 was a one-track promo single given only to DJs; it features the ending portion of the song. Track 13 is from a VHS recording of the "Fox Summer Preview" show, which showed this number from their concert at the Foxborough stadium in Massachusetts (28/5/92). Track 16 is a b-side to another single version of "Jesus He Knows Me." Track 18 is from something called Rehearsal Rockline, according to the tape; probably a TV airing or radio broadcast of the band rehearsing in Texas Stadium before the start of the tour (6/5/92). I believe this is where track 16 may come from as well. Track 20 is the single edit of a Tony Banks song from his album Still; it is presumably included on here because his album was released (in the US) in conjunction with WCD.
The original tape for this volume had many more tracks. There was the same live version of "No Son of Mine" from the Billboard awards that was featured on volume 8. There were the b-sides "On the Shoreline" and "Hearts on Fire," which ended up on Archive 2. There was the sex mix of "I Can't Dance" and the live version of "Your Own Special Way," also both on Archive 2. There was also a live version of "In Too Deep" which, after lots of careful listens, I decided was identical to the one on TheWay We Walk (as mentioned above). I dumped all of these tracks to avoid having doubles, and because they're mostly officially available. Some of the Interludes would make more sense with those songs in, as the Interludes are often segues or introductions to the next track--but what can you do. At least it fits on one CD now!
A lot of the tracks on here were not taken from the US singles, but actually from a limited edition thing called "The Invisible Series." In the US lots of these b-sides were all on the regular singles, but apparently in England some were missing and were instead released as limited edition "Invisible Series" single material. Strange, but according to the Paperlate people, true. This does not make any of the information that I wrote above untrue--it simply means the actual sources for these songs were slightly different.
Side A 01 Going Out to Get You - 18/4/72, Palasport, Rome 02 Looking For Someone - 22/2/70, BBC Studios 03 Intro: Stagnation - 28/6/72, Watford Town Hall 04 Stagnation - 22/2/70, BBC Studios 05 Happy the Man - 28/6/72, Watford Town Hall 06 Intro: Twilight Alehouse - 28/6/72, Watford Town Hall 07 Twilight Alehouse - 25/9/72, BBC Studios (probably) 08 Seven Stones - 22/8/72, Teatro Alcione, Genoa 09 One-Handed Drum Solo - 28/6/72, Watford Town Hall 10 Harlequin - 4/3/72, Watford Tech (?)
Side B 1 Harold the Barrel - 1974 (?) 2 Bye Bye Johnny - 14/4/72, Palasport, Pavia 3 Can-Utility and the Coastliners - 20/8/72 (early show), Piper 2000 Club, Viareggio 4 Eleventh Earl of Mar - 24/6/77, Earls Court (?) 5 Intro: Inside and Out - 24/6/77, Earls Court 6 Inside and Out (Studio) 7 Lilywhite Lilith/The Waiting Room/Wot Gorilla? - 1/1/77, Rainbow Theatre, London 8 All in a Mouse's Night (incomplete) - 2/1/77, Rainbow Theatre, London
Comments: Unlike the great majority of entries catalogued on my lists, this compilation and the next (both from the "Rarities" series) are only available on cassette tape. The reason for this is threefold: 1) I have all of these songs on CD already, just scattered across different shows (to get to those different shows, click on the dates above); 2) the tape versions have sound problems in some places; 3) I didn't feel like transferring to CD. Still, I have it, and I think it's an interesting collection, so I'm going to put it here.
This really is a pretty good smattering of the really rare live stuff. My tape has some songs with scratches on them: "Seven Stones," "Harlequin," "Harold," "Johnny," and off an on from then to the end of the tape. However, I have clean versions of all of these, so if I wanted I could make a nice CD set.
The BBC tracks (2 and 4) on side A are probably pulled directly from The Shepherd, as they have that fake applause at the end; they are both early versions with slightly different lyrics. "Alehouse" I think is also the BBC session version rather than the B-side, though I'm not positive. I'm also not entirely sure whether "Harlequin" is the actual live version from Watford Tech or the BBC session version--some time I will listen to it again and settle this question. There are some songs whose origin I was unsure of, as you can see--unfortunately I do not have access to dating info for this compilation, so I'm working mainly from memory and from my own notes and music.
On to side B. "Harold" is live, an audience recording, but it is not the one from 1972, because the band play the ending as it was played on the Selling England tour in 1974. However the song was played about a half dozen times in '74, so I'm not sure which one this is. "Bye Bye Johnny" must be from Pavia, however, and "Can-Utility" is definitely the version from 20/8. "Mar" I'm not so sure about; it's definitely a radio recording, but really it could be from '77 or '78. Phil can be heard counting in on the beginning. I guessed it was from the Earls Court radio show of '77 because the story for "Inside and Out" is definitely from there; however the compilation sort of contradicts itself by not providing us with a live version of "Inside and Out"--this one is just the studio version.
"Mouse's Night" is probably only on here due to a recording error--it was really supposed to be at the beginning of the second volume of live songs (see next entry). The song cuts off before it reaches the end.
Side A 1 All in a Mouse's Night - 2/1/77, Rainbow Theatre, London 2 Down and Out (rehearsal) - 26/3/78, Reunion Center, Dallas Texas 3 Down and Out (live) - 1978 (?) 4 Ballad of Big - 1978 (?) 5 The Story of Albert - 1980 (?) 6 Me and Virgil - 27/9/81, Velodromo Anoeta, San Sebastian Spain 7 No Reply At All - 23/8/82, Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, New York 8 Paperlate - 23/8/82, Forest Hills Tennis Stadium,
Side B 1 Mama - ?? 2 Back in NYC - 1980 (?) 3 Horizons - 21/4/74, Montreal?? 4 Supper's Ready - 20/10/73, Rainbow Theatre, London
Comments: This second volume of rare live Genesis songs is slightly shorter than the first, but left me more confused as to correct dates. I'm even kind of guessing on the first song, though it makes sense to me that in the early '90s they (meaning the compilers of this tape) would not have much to choose from other than 2/1/77 for radio source versions of "Mouse's Night." The "Down and Out" rehearsal can pretty much only be one version, but the live audience recording is much harder to pin down, as the band played that song quite a few times in Europe in '78. Phil does tell a short story explaining the song, mentioning a man with a big cigar. Probably if I listened to a few of my versions I could match this one up. The same goes for "Ballad of Big," a rare number, but not so rare that I can tell what date it's from.
The Albert story is even less rare, as Phil told the story pretty much every night of the tour. I can tell this one comes from an audience recording, and my guess is that it's from their US leg, as Phil has a picture of a lady and a picture of a television set to show the audience. "Me and Virgil" is definitely the live version from Spain--they only played it live in Spain, and this is the only complete recording. "No Reply" and "Paperlate" are consecutive songs from the same gig, played with the Phenix Horns. According to my notes these come from 23/8, since that is the gig where Phil says they have "done this once before," as he says at the beginning of "No Reply" before introducing the Phenix Horns.
"Mama" sounds like an audience recording, but other than that I have no idea where it comes from--if it truly deserves the "rarest live" label, then I would assume it is from the WCD tour, but I don't know for sure. "NYC" is definitely from 1980, since Phil is on vocals. "Horizons" could be from almost any of the SEBTP gigs it was played on (there were a few), but based on the sound quality and the audience clapping afterwards, I took a stab at a date. The tape ends, as it must, with "Supper"--the typical live "Supper," from 20/10/73. At the very end of the tape we hear Phil's "a little less like a painter with a jacket on" line from the same date--cute.
All in all, these two volumes show a pretty good look at the rarest live performances from Genesis. Some that I think should also have been included: "The Light," "Like It or Not," maybe "More Fool Me," and perhaps a nice version of "White Mountain" from '76. Then one could make another volume devoted solely to medleys...but I could go on and on. It's not a bad collection, and some day I will sit down and have fun figuring out some more of these dates.
1 DJ Review of 16/12/74 Lamb Show (3:12) 2 Strawberry Fields Forever (Peter Gabriel)(2:40)
Type/Quality: Radio-Vinyl/Very Good
Comments: This CD has some interesting, rather odd artifacts on it. The first is a radio DJ's review of the Genesis Lamb show of 16 December 1974 at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. What he describes sounds like a typical playing of the show--he doesn't go into specifics, but does mention Steve Hackett's hand injury and how it seemed to affect his style of play. He talks about the fact that Pete's costumes were actually downplayed on this tour, to help showcase the other members of the band and their particular talents (he vaguely describes the Rael outfit and Slipperman costume). He also mentions that the encores were "Box" and "Watcher" (there is a boot of this gig but it does not seem to feature either encore) and that the audience were very attentive and appreciative (which does not seem to fit with at least Phil's general impressions of audience reaction on that tour, and is rather impressive coming from a crowd who couldn't possibly have been that familiar with the album--seeing as how it had only been released about a month before). It's nice to hear someone being effusive about this tour. This was taped from the radio and the quality is very good.
The other track on the disc is a Beatles cover by Peter Gabriel, transferred from vinyl. The quality is very clear and good except for the inevitable vinyl pops in the background. The song is rather strange, as Pete seems to have been trying to sing like someone else instead of in his normal style, and it seems as though a verse has been knocked out of the song. His vocals are very much to the fore and the strings (provided by the London Symphony Orchestra) in the back don't really get a chance to do anything. This seems to have been his first real solo recording, which on one site I saw was supposed to have been recorded in November of 1975, but was probably released in 1976 for the soundtrack of a very strange movie called "All This and World War II," which featured various artists covering Beatles tunes to accompanying video footage of the war. Don't ask me. This soundtrack featured the slightly more famous Elton John cover of "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," among many other things. On a search on the internet I came up with a nice scan of an original 8-track tape of this recording. Certainly a curious one-off thing, special for its being one of his very first solo endeavors, rare since the soundtrack does not seem commercially available, and interesting to know that Pete covered the Beatles before Phil did (though in all honesty I think Phil did a better job covering "Tomorrow Never Knows" than Pete did with this song). I also have this song available on a collection of Peter Gabriel studio demos in my Solo section.
Turn It on Again Best of '81-'83 (originally from 1983, CD 1991)
01 Mama (6:03) 02 Home by the Sea (4:45) 03 That's All (4:21) 04 Illegal Alien (4:33) 05 Paperlate (3:14) 06 No Reply At All (4:34) 07 Takin' It All Too Hard (3:56) 08 Man on the Corner (4:15) 09 Misunderstanding (live) (3:57) 10 Follow You, Follow Me (live) (4:39) 11 Abacab (live) (8:35) 12 Turn It on Again (live, oldies medley) (9:03) 13 Firth of Fifth (live) (9:22)
Comments: This is NOT the more recently released best of collection of the same name (which spans far more years in the band's history). I believe that I found this CD in the summer of 1995, in a record store in Rhode Island. It's an import, possibly from Germany. I bought it mostly for the copy of "Paperlate," which at the time I only had on tape. I assumed this was a fairly common CD that was still officially available, until I tried to look it up on the web in order to catalogue it on this site. Turns out it's not to be found anymore! Though most of this stuff appears on other official albums that are still extant, some of it is interesting (most of the interesting tracks appear on the Rarities entries above). "Mama" is the single edit, missing some of the opening among other things. "Home by the Sea" is the version from the album, except that the end fades out. "That's All" is the album version. "Illegal Alien" is the single edit, missing a line from the bridge. The "Paperlate" here fades out slightly quicker than its counterpart on Three Sides Live (US) and Archive 2. Likewise for "No Reply At All." "Takin' It All Too Hard" is the album version. "Man on the Corner" fades out a full 10 seconds earlier than the album version. Tracks 9-11 are directly from Three Sides Live. Track 12 was performed at the Spectrum on Daryl's birthday (as Phil mentions in the band introductions on this track), and features bits from the following songs: "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love," "Satisfaction/The Last Time," "All Day and All of the Night," and "In the Midnight Hour." Phil's intro into this oldies section is really quite humorous; the idea that Philly could ever be their "home town," as Phil calls it, is in itself pretty funny. This track (as mentioned above) was also released as a b-side to "Illegal Alien." Track 13 is also a b-side on the 12" "That's All" single.
Comments: Since these are both official releases, I'm going to try not to explain too much about them. Archive 1 has an entire show of the Lamb from 24 January 1975 at the Shrine Auditorium in LA--the sticker on the cover of the shrinkwrap (which I maniacally kept) says the performance is from April 24, 1975, but this date is incorrect (the booklet that came inside the set has the right date). This is one of many inconsistencies in the Archive set, but more on that later. The other two discs in the four disc set are various previously unreleased live cuts from the Gabriel years (1967-1975), plus a bunch of demos and b-sides from their very earliest days--and a few tracks from the first album without the strings on, to give you an idea of what if might have sounded like without Johnathan King's meddling. Disc three is mainly a 1973 show from the Rainbow Theatre, with stuff from the SEBTP tour.
Some overdubs were done on both the Lamb show and the Rainbow show, to fix up some (perceived) glitches. Many of these dubs were on Pete's vocals, but some other work was also done--for instance, the FoF solo was redone by Steve Hackett. The original radio broadcast of the Rainbow show is thus still valuable, since it is the original show, without overdubs. The music site Wolfgang's Vault boasts a complete, undubbed soundboard recording of the Shrine '75 performance. This is a bit surprising, since the box set version has neither of the encores and its "It" is in fact an alternate studio take from the period, supposedly because the tape ran out somewhere before the end of the live show (the Wolfgang's Vault version is not the only one that gives the lie to this claim; see Twilight Alehouse and my third compilation's comments above).
As a promotion for the release of this first set, all of the original members of Genesis from that time period (except for drummers Chris Stewart and John Mayhew and guitarist Mick Barnard--did I miss anyone?) reunited in London's Heathrow airport and had some photos taken of them.
This is a really great collection of rare tracks with excellent audio quality that I highly recommend to any fan of Genesis. While the Shrine and Rainbow performances lose some vitality and believability with the addition of the overdubs, they still shine through as classic Genesis performances and it is fantastic to have them in official-release quality. Also I feel the real value of the first box set lies in the collected b-sides and demos, which give an interesting look into the band's formative period and a welcome glimpse into the vault of never-before-heard Genesis tunes (this is by no means all the non-album tracks they could have dug up; see my list here).
I also recommend Archive 2, which is composed of a lot of b-sides and unreleased live tracks from the Phil Collins years (1976-1992). I don't think Archive 2 is quite as interesting as the first box set, but this is probably mostly personal opinion--while I find the b-sides from the first set a very interesting style of music and a fascinating historical picture of the early band, I find the b-sides on the second set somewhat mediocre. After all, there was a reason these tracks never made it onto studio albums. (Moreover, a good deal of these b-sides--even a couple not included here--are now available in new mixes and better sound quality on the 1976-1982 reissue box set.) I wish the tracks were organized in a way that makes more sense--they're not in chronological order, or even grouped by album session, and b-sides are mixed on discs with live cuts. Also, the 12" remixes are really quite terrible. (Admittedly, I do tend to lean more towards Gabriel than Collins.) However, the live tracks on Archive 2 are excellent and mostly unavailable elsewhere, with highlights like "Duke's Travels," "Entangled," and "The Lady Lies" (but sadly no "Say It's Alright Joe," which I think was done particularly well live). Also I absolutely love "Mama (work in progress)," as a look at Genesis messing around in the studio, and a glimpse into how lyrics take shape ("ah, can't har, joo mama..."). Of course, the quality of a Genesis song has nothing to do with whether or not I want it (the test for that is: "did they record it?" If they did, then I want it), so I'd be very happy with the sets no matter what--but the quality is, in most cases, very good.
My main problem with the sets, in fact, is with the way they were packaged/put together. The beautiful full color booklets in each one, for instance, while very well-designed with lots of interesting photos and various bits of memorabilia, were cleverly bound with a glue that makes them fall apart if you look through them more than once. Also, the type inside, while being on the whole intelligently written essays by various critics, promoters, or roadies, was edited very badly and probably averages one typo per page. The back of Archive 1 does NOT include the track listing, which is very irritating, since every time you want to know what's on each disc (mostly disc three or four, since most fans who buy this box set will be familiar with the track ordering of the Lamb on disc one and two), you have to get out the book and flip to the last few pages--the only place anywhere on the packaging where the tracks are listed. In addition: the CDs are held in the box by inset jewel case cradles. This is all very well, until the day you open the box set and the first two discs (stuck on the inside front cover of the box) fall out into your lap, or onto the floor. I found that eventually even opening the box a crack would cause all of the CDs to jump out of their holders and slide around, generally creating situations in which they could easily get scratched or damaged. The product designers should have taken a page from the book of the designers of box sets like The Velvet Underground: Peel Slowly and See, or King Crimson's The Great Deceiver, which both include a separate standard jewel case for each disc in the set. The added advantage of this packaging method is that you can then, if you choose, store the discs in a normal CD shelving unit, instead of having to find room for the oversized box set in some cabinet or other. Another error (which I only noticed long after purchasing the set) is a mis-tracking; the songs "Fly on a Windshield" and "Broadway Melody of 1974" (whose tracking seems to be constantly confused by people everywhere) are both almost entirely grouped onto track 2; only the last half minute of "Broadway Melody" is what actually makes up track 3. This is similar but less disastrous than the mis-tracking debacle on the remastered version of Three Sides Live (the four sides live version), and rather disappointing; I myself on my home computer can do a better job of tracking a CD than was done on these two "official" releases.
There; had to get that off my chest. That having been said, I still think these are worth the buy, even for less rabid fans than I. When all is said and done it's the music that's the crucial part, and the music on here is pure Genesis. And Genesis is Genesis, as sure as eggs is eggs.
Contents: A Trick of the Tail (1976), Wind and Wuthering (1977), ...And Then There Were Three... (1978), Duke (1980), Abacab (1981), Extra Tracks (1976-1982), full-color book
Each album included on audio CD and DVD, with bonus DVD items: Promo videos, Reissue Interviews 2007, Live video clips, Tour Programmes
Comments: In 2007 (mid-May in the US, a few months earlier in the UK), Genesis management released the first in a planned three-installment series of box sets reissuing the studio back-catalogue of the band (official live albums and the band's first studio release, FGTR, were not included). The reissuing was done in conjunction with the band's reunion tour. Engineer Nick Davis went back to the original multi-track tapes (he found most of them!) and created new mixes of all the albums from 1970-1997. The first installment covered the years 1976-1982, and at the same time the box set was released, the five albums from that time span were also offered for individual sale, replacing existing CD releases. The box set offered an additional disc with non-album tracks and a full color book, in addition to the fancy box-shaped package shown above. In the United States the albums were provided in a 2-disc CD/DVD package: a new stereo mix on audio CD, and a DVD containing the album in 5.1 surround and bonus video clips (in Europe the album was in the Super Audio CD (SACD) format, a little-used format in the US--and of course the bonus video clips were in PAL format instead of NTSC).
Buying another copy of five Genesis albums I already had in multiple forms (some in as many as three different versions), in addition to b-sides that had already been released on the band's second Archive box set, was not the best Genesis-related purchase I could think of. I had long ago overplayed my studio albums to such an extent that I had all but stopped listening to them, and my Genesis listening consisted entirely of live recordings--a release from the live soundboard archives at The Farm was what I would have preferred.
Still, it was true that the studio catalogue was in need of sprucing up. The original CD releases (the format of most of my albums) were tepid at best from a production standpoint, and the remastered versions, released around 1994, had not delivered all they promised sound-wise, had had some notorious artwork reproduction problems and errors, and had provided no bonus material. And anyway, new Genesis releases, especially of this calibre, were few and far between. I heard very good things about the new mixes from European fans and those in the US who purchased their sets ahead of time from Canada. So naturally I found myself anxiously awaiting the US release date and pre-ordering the box set on Amazon.com.
When the box finally arrived, I was not disappointed, and in fact found myself very excited by all its contents. There's a lot to review, especially given my obsessively detailed style, so I have broken up my comments into sections, starting with the most important part.
The Music - The music is of course what it's really all about. Let me preface this section by mentioning that I do not have surround sound equipment in my home and so my review is based on the stereo mixes only. I'd long thought the Genesis albums of the 70s suffered from bad production. But I was very pleasantly surprised when I popped 1980's Duke into my car CD player and was blasted with the very powerful opening chords of "Behind the Lines." My previous version of the album was the original CD release. I did not do a direct comparison but I'm certain the new mix is greatly superior. I did have the opportunity to compare the new A Trick of the Tail with the original CD version and the new Wind and Wuthering with the 1994 remastered edition. The results were very satisfying: at the same volume level, the new versions have much more power and drama than the old, and some of the vocal effects on Phil are more accentuated. The drums throughout are very powerful, as they should be. It's great to hear the heavier songs on And Then There Were Three, like "Down and Out" and "Deep in the Motherlode," blare out with the driving energy they really deserve. The album that I felt had the least obvious improvement was Abacab, and that was only because I felt the album was already well-produced, having been the first to be recorded in the band's own studio. As the band members themselves admit, most of the new mixes from 1982 on were not as impressive, since recording techniques and technology at the time were pretty much up to scratch.
One minute detail that jumped out at me, which may or may not be considered a negative: there appears to be a vocal layer missing in one line of "A Trick of the Tail." I always liked the line at the end where Phil sings "Hello friend, welcome home." In the new version, it sounds almost like a different vocal take to me, or perhaps a different layer has been mixed up. The interviews in the box set stress that the new mixes are not supposed to sound altered from the originals, just an improved version of the original mix--I definitely felt this to be the case, except in this one tiny instance. It's possible an even more detailed listen will glean other changes of this kind.
To revisit my previous comment (approximately some fifteen years later), it is true that later listens to the remasters have revealed other aspects that bother me. Specifically the ending instrumental sequence of "Entangled," which I think has suffered in the remixing. To my ears, that passage has always been beautiful and particularly dreamy, and very melodic. But somehow I have found that the remix has left the main melody muddled amongst the layers of instrumentation, difficult to pick out and, frankly, ruined. I don't know that anyone else feels this way but it bothers me.
I was very happy to find that the bonus disc of audio tracks (called, rather obviously, Extra Tracks) included the two non-album tracks from the period which were omitted from previous box sets: "Match of the Day" and "Me and Virgil." Even some more die hard fans might not have missed these particular songs too much ("Match of the Day" really doesn't work for me, though I'm sure that like any Genesis song it has its rabid supporters), but I'm a completist, and plus I've always found something touching in "Me and Virgil," which others might find ludicrously sappy. One thing that has always annoyed me about these kind of compilation CDs is how chronological accuracy is sacrificed on the altar of musical pacing. Even the three tracks that compose 1977's Spot the Pigeon EP are scattered to the four winds, apparently in order to alternate hard songs with lighter songs. I for one think the songs would sound more genuine flowing in chronological order, showing the progression of the band's musical style steadily from the layered romanticism of the 70s to the stripped-down abstraction of the 80s, rather than having one's ears slapped with the jarring transition from "Naminanu" to "Inside and Out," for instance. On the other hand, being constrained to the 1976-1982 year range made the spectrum of styles narrower than on the Archive discs, and in some few places (particularly near the beginning) I found the ordering of tracks to work fairly well, and almost give you the illusion of listening to a carefully-assembled album.
All in all, the albums have been given a much-needed and very rewarding face lift, as have the b-sides; this in itself is definitely worth the purchase. Even if you have CD versions of the albums, and even if you don't have fancy audio equipment, if all you were getting in the box set were these new mixes, it would be worth the purchase. But that's not all you get!
The Book/The Packaging - The box set comes with a full-color book filled with reviews of each album in the set, written by Michael Watts. I don't know who he is, but his comments are fairly knowledgeable and give a good historical context for the albums and the developments going on in and out of the studio. I do disagree with some of his assessments. I find it hard to agree with his reading of the band's debut album as being "a long way from prog rock," considering that it was a concept album about the history of mankind. I also strongly disagree with the following assertion: "Statistics demonstrate the truth that, for all their early, experimental years...they never totally lost sight of the basic pop song." What statistics exactly is he referring to? Their lack of a hit single on their first eight studio releases? But generally Watts very snappily sums up the time period and the band's state of mind when writing the albums. I found it interesting that he portrays them as being "brave" to release the heavily-progressive Wind and Wuthering in 1977, when the punk movement was beginning to sweep through England. He sees the band as not just ignoring popular music movements but defying them, and changing more to meet their own musical growth than to keep up with the times. This may or may not be an accurate depiction, but it's an interesting way of looking at the band nonetheless. Near the end of the book he takes some time out to discuss the remastering process, and we learn that the multi-track recording for "Say It's Alright Joe" was the only one that was not found--Nick Davis had to "fake" the remix, as it were. A few rather critical words are spared for the non-album tracks, giving us a bit more input into their creation than we get on the video interviews.
The design of the book is slick. There are some cool album-art-related graphics and various photos of the band, including shots of live performances. Unlike the pretty but badly-constructed booklets that accompanied the Archive box sets, this one has a nice hardcover binding and a thick spine with heavy paper stock on the outside pages--hopefully it will hold together better than the other books. This leads us nicely into a discussion of the general packaging of the set, and one of my main pet peeves with the product. Because part of the reason the book is so thickly-bound is that its inside front and inside back covers have cutout sleeves to hold the Extra Tracks CD and DVD. The other albums' CDs and DVDs are nicely contained in full-size jewel cases, just as they would be packaged for individual sale, with nicely-printed artwork that is much more faithful to the original LP art than previous CD releases. This nicely avoids what I thought was a major problem with the construction of the Archive box sets, namely the fact that the discs were loosely set into cradles on the boxes and fell out very easily (clearly they must have read my review of the Archive sets before producing this one :). Supplying the albums in their own cases gives the owner the option to store them in a normal CD storage unit, or keep them nicely displayed in the pretty-looking box they came in. With the Extra Tracks discs, however, unless you go out and buy your own jewel case, you're stuck lugging around either the entire box or the fancy hardcover book if you ever want to take the discs anywhere. I find this to be a pretty inconvenient arrangement. Even if you do get your own jewel case to put the bonus discs in, you can't fit the case in one of the slots in the box without removing one of the other items. Other than that, the packaging is perfectly functional and very pretty, making good use of the original album art: I must confess to a tendency on my part to admire the box and its contents, both visually and tactilely (does that sound too creepy?).
DVD Bonus Items - Ahem. To return to the actual content of the set: the real wealth of the product in regard to bonus elements is not in the full color book, but in the DVDs. Apart from the live video footage scattered throughout the DVDs, which I will defer discussing until last, the bonus DVD items include promo videos, digital tour programmes, and 2007 interviews with the band members about the remixes and the albums. To anyone who already owns the 2005 Video Show DVD, the promo videos will be entirely redundant: even the audio mixes are (I think) identical, since the Video Show DVD has the audio in Surround sound. However, if you don't already have that release, it's nice to have these videos, grouped with the albums they promoted (even the Extra Tracks DVD includes a promo video, for "Paperlate"--though curiously, even though A Trick of the Tail has three promo videos, none were produced for the follow-up Wind and Wuthering). The tour programmes are just scans of the pages of the printed books, placed on the DVD so that you can "flip" through the pages. In most cases there's no way you can read the microscopic type at the shrunken size in which the pages are presented, but it's nice to see the pictures and the layout anyway, and to get the sensation of owning virtual memorabilia. Each album's DVD has one tour programme, except And Then There Were Three, which has three.
The interviews I found very rewarding. Each DVD has interview footage relating to the album it accompanies, allowing for assessments of the music that are more detailed than the running time of bio movies allows. Each band member was interviewed separately and it's interesting to hear their differing opinions on the albums and how their opinions have changed now that they are looking back years later. Tony was the most involved with the new mixes and always had the most invested in the band and its music (if you didn't realize that before watching the interviews, it will become clear once you have), so he often has the strongest recollections and best comments. But each of them has their own side and their own viewpoints to put forward. Appropriately, all of Tony's interviews were filmed in the studio, with Tony sitting in front of the mixing board. Phil, who had the least input in the mixes, is sitting comfortably at home (or in someone's home, at least). The comments do stray into more personal areas, and the Trick of the Tail interviews necessarily deal a lot with Phil becoming the lead singer, just as the And Then There Were Three interviews dwell heavily on Steve's departure. There are also a few comments about what songs from the albums worked well live, or how the albums were taken on the road (Phil still vividly remembers the infamous "booing" concert at Holland in 1981, for instance).
Surprisingly, there are often a few comments about the artwork chosen for the album, and close-up shots of the album artwork are interspersed with the straight interview footage. Not surprisingly, recollections can get somewhat hazy and a lot of the comments are along the lines of "I think such and such was happening when we made this album." Phil seems to (incorrectly) decide that the band visited Japan in 1977 (it was actually the following year). Mike comments about one song not having worked well live, when in fact the band never even performed it in front of an audience. However the real highlights of the interviews for me are in the band's memories of how particular songs were written. Tony for instance remembers an "Oh shit!" moment after composing the song "Afterglow," when he thought he'd accidentally ripped off "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"!! If you didn't know before, you learn who was the driving force behind various classic tunes. Everyone has a go at explaining the infamous "Who Dunnit?" There are very few comments about the b-sides on the Extra Tracks interviews, which instead focus on the new mixes, what was done to create them, and what the various band members thought about how they turned out (Phil provides only one sentence to these discussions). Though it may be a bit self-serving from one point of view, I found it gratifying to hear mainly positive comments from the guys about their past work, regardless of who was the main writer--it's nice to know they haven't become embarrassed about what they've done, and really feel the band did something special (unlike some other previous band members I could name).
Live Video Clips - The focal point of the box set for the die hard fans (read: traders), and the source of a lot of the negative criticism I had heard beforehand, was the live video extras. My reaction to them was mainly positive, probably because my expectations were not high. A Trick of the Tail's bonus DVD gives us the 1976 In Concert film, a much-bootlegged item originally shown in theaters in 1977. In fact, I had twoVHS versions, twoVCD versions, and one other DVD version of this clip before watching the "official" version. Nevertheless, this version is by far the best one for quality. In the opening shot I was able to discern the stage curtain behind the roadies, which had always appeared to be total blackness before. During "Fly on a Windshield" I could actually make out three skull heads projected on screens behind the band, where previously I had seen nothing. I also found myself noticing the many members of the film crew who wander into the shots, which I hadn't noticed before. There are probably bootleg versions of this footage out there that are at least as good quality as this one. Regardless, this is simply the best version I have seen of this valuable footage of Phil's first tour as frontman, and the stereo sound on it is pretty fantastic.
In contrast, the 1977 bonus "live" video is easily the worst footage on the set. First we get the band's appearance on the Michael Douglas show (on 29/3/77), which I had seen before but did not have in any form. This shows the band miming to the studio recordings of "Your Own Special Way" and "Afterglow." "Special Way" has had the bridge edited out. In between Phil introduces the band and says a few words to the host, and after the second song the band shake hands with Michael (actually this happens as the song is in the process of fading out, which doesn't help the illusion of its being a live performance!). The audio soundtrack of the songs has--I think--been replaced with the new mix, but the video quality is not good. The clip is labeled "bootleg" on the packaging, and with good reason: there is picture roll and lines and all the things you can expect of a bad bootleg.
An even worse example of video is the "Japanese" clip that follows this one. I had never seen or heard of this one before (in that sense making it a valuable clip), but I wasn't missing much: this blotchy, dark, but nevertheless pro-shot footage catches the band at the Rainbow Theatre in London on the very first night of 1977 and the first night of their tour (this date comes from The Movement), apparently pretending to perform live. The equipment looks set up for a real live show, but the soundtrack is heavily-edited studio versions (probably also replaced with the new mixes, since the audio sounds much better than the video looks). I wondered if the band had actually played the songs, with the studio audio dubbed over after the fact, but Mike actually pretends to sing a vocal layer from Phil on "Mar" which was never present in the live version, and there is a part in "Your Own Special Way" where Phil clearly thinks it is time to begin singing but has to wait for the soundtrack to catch up--he gives an amused sidelong glance to Mike when this happens. There is one part of the footage where some Japanese characters flash up on the screen, confirming the source as a Japanese television broadcast.
And Then There Were Three's bonus footage is the well-known (to most traders, anyway) Three Dates With Genesis documentary, which follows the band on three of their European gigs of 1978. The show is quite dated and deals more with the infrastructure of the live show than the actual music, but it's a fun watch, and this clip was in good quality. You might be fooled into thinking it's going to be awful at the beginning: the clip is prefaced with a warning about the low quality of the source tape (why wasn't this warning at the front of the 1977 footage?), and the documentary itself starts with some high-generation footage stolen from the Seconds Out promo, which looks awful. However the actual 1978 footage looks fine and is better than my best bootleg version--and my best version was from a pretty good source.
The Duke DVD gives us another much-bootlegged clip, the Old Grey Whistle Test footage from 7 May at the Lyceum. It looks suspiciously identical to my Epping Forest bootleg version. It is great quality and showcases some of the more powerful live numbers from the 1980 show. If you're looking for just straight, unadulterated live music, this footage and that from 1976 are the best video clips to be had in the set. I also find the 1978 documentary to be very entertaining, and we manage to learn something about the band at that transformational point in their career (ten years after their creation) almost in spite of the film's intentions. There is one particularly ironic scene where the interviewer asks Tony if he thinks he will still be playing live when he's 40, quite humorous when considered in the context of the box set's release.
Really I think that for each album/tour, considering the available footage that I know of for the specific period, the video clips chosen are good ones. They are perhaps not the rare, pristine archival footage that bootleg collectors could hope for, but for the fan without bootlegs they are real gems. The one place where I think the band's management really dropped the ball was on the Wind and Wuthering bonus clips, which do not document real live performances and are in terrible quality--perhaps there's some good reason why they could not get a hold of the Seconds Out promo footage, which I think would have been the best choice. It's too bad that no live clips were provided for Abacab, but on reflection the only 1981 live footage I know of that isn't the band miming to studio songs is the Three Sides Live movie, which was probably a bit long to put on the DVD.
To sum up, then, I think this box set is a priceless addition to the Genesis catalogue. New life has been breathed into the studio recordings that made the band what they are, and with the reviews in the book and the interviews on the DVDs, we get a better idea than perhaps ever before of what exactly that is. The live video gives an inkling of the powerful juggernaut the band could be out of the studio, and leaves us anticipating further accomplishments in that vein. I myself, in conclusion, am looking forward to writing an equally lengthy review for the next box set installment.
Contents: Trespass (1970), Nursery Cryme (1971), Foxtrot (1972), Selling England by the Pound (1973), The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974), Extra Tracks (1970-1975), full-color book
Each album included on audio CD and DVD, with bonus DVD items including reissue interviews and classic video clips
Comments: I suppose I had intended to write a review of this box set not long after purchasing it, but life, as they say, got in the way. I write this in the futuristic year of 2023, many many years after I stopped updating this website. I have another child and two different cats than I did when I last updated this website, and Genesis has reformed and toured twice since this box set was released! I'm sure a few other things managed to happen as well (though, as you may be able to tell from comparing the photos of the two remix sets, I still have the same rug!). But I never wrote this review, and for some reason I now feel compelled to do so. So here we are. I hope you've all been well.
Funnily enough, I think one of the reasons I didn't bother including a review of this product (aside from the whole "life" thing) was that I figured it was an official release and something other collectors would just naturally have; but fifteen years later and it has become much more difficult to find and would require quite an outlay of cash to obtain at this point. Of course part of the reason for that is the media chosen for this release (DVD audio) has gone the way of the dodo (not Dodo/Lurker mind you). Even having music on audio CDs now feels quite absurd . . . in order to write this review, I had to pull this set out of a drawer in my entertainment system that I very rarely venture into anymore, having long ago ripped all of this material onto mp3s and put it onto my iPod. (You could also argue now that listening to music on an iPod makes one a bit of a dinosaur, but let's not start that conversation.) Suffice to say, the world has moved on, and made this set a bit of a rarity. I suppose it would be inaccurate to call this music "timeless," but I would still say it has stood the test of time, regardless of what form it is found on, and deserves to be heard.
Coming back to this after such a long time, I don't feel particularly inspired to dig into as much detail as I did with the 1976-82 set. The design and the packaging are very similar to that set. The book is very pretty and has writings from various people (including I believe Queen drummer Roger Taylor!) about the band and the music. I have a unique ability at this point to measure their endurance and ability to stand the test of time, and I have to say that the jewel cases have not done a good job of withstanding. Except for The Lamb (which comes packaged in a very nice little bound book), all the cases are built with a hinge, and I found in reopening the cases that every single one of the hinges is now broken. I don't think it was me treating them badly that caused this!
The albums are the albums. Before this set was released, there was a lot of excitement over getting to hear a from-the-ground-up remix of these classic records. I don't think it's inaccurate to say that this set was the most anticipated of all of them, as these old recordings had the most room for improvement, and because I think a lot of the die-hard fans and collectors will always lean towards the Peter years over other eras of the band. So yes! It's fantastic to have remastered versions of these things and they sound fantastic. There's no reason to keep your old CDs after you get a hold of these.
. . . Except . . . There are some interesting touches in these albums that a close listener, or one very used to the original mixes, will notice and perhaps find upsetting or at the least surprising. For instance, moments where Peter does different voices or shifts tone have had some effects put on them that I don't think were in the originals. One specific example would be the "announcement from Genetic Control" in the middle of "Get 'em Out by Friday." Another that comes to mind is some of the wolf dialogue in "White Mountain." Oddly enough, one of the parts of the set that I remember being particularly interested in hearing has remained one of the more jarring changes for me. I'm speaking of the ending refrain of "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway," with the beautiful layering of Peter and Phil's vocals. In the original mix, all the layers blend together smoothly to make a magical whole. In the remix, each vocal track is distinctly audible - which you'd think would be an improvement but in practice has the effect of highlighting a less-than-ideal vocal performance in the back.
The bonus disc of material has a first half that is mostly unspectacular for the collector, paired with an incredible second half. The opening tracks ("Happy the Man," "Twilight Alehouse," "Shepherd," "Pacidy," "Let Us Now Make Love," "Going Out to Get You") are old B-sides that had been kicking around for years and had already been released on the first Archive set. Of course it's nice to have them in this high quality re-release, but it's not earth-shattering. In contrast, the second half is devoted to "Genesis Plays Jackson," their hitherto entirely unreleased (apart from a tantalizing preview which I have detailed elsewhere on this site) soundtrack for a documentary of a painter. This is quite an eye-opening historical artifact and indicates just how many bits that were eventually thrown into later albums and used to fill out The Lamb were, in fact, written years earlier.
Every DVD audio album is accompanied by some kind of video extra, consisting at the least of interviews with the band, filmed just around the same time the remixes were made (2007). The interviews are surprisingly in-depth; I popped in the one that comes with Trespass and was treated to a track-by-track analysis by many of the band members (Peter, Tony, Anthony, and Mike), who were also all very willing to address their own shortcomings at the time and the many stresses of being young, overly earnest musicians in the late sixties.
The DVDs for Foxtrot, Selling England, Lamb, and the bonus disc all provide classic old video extras. None of these reveal anything half so eye-opening as the "Genesis Plays Jackson" tunes, but in sum they comprise pretty much every bit of pro-shot footage that has ever surfaced of the band during this period. Again it's nice to have these in "official" release form, even if any collector will find all the clips very familiar (a glance through my VCD and DVD pages will reveal multiple copies of all this footage). It's hard to judge whether some of them actually look much better than their bootlegged forebears. Foxtrot includes the Belgian footage from 1972, which I refer to elsewhere on the site as the "white room" footage or the Pop Shop clip, as well as the short black-and-white clip from the same year, at Piper Club in Rome. This clip I have on a GMDVD release; it shows a few band responses to an interview backstage, followed by a very edited passage from "Stagnation," set to some un-synched footage of the band playing before an audience. Selling England's DVD gives us another copy of the Shepperton Studios footage from '73, as well as the Bataclan clip from earlier the same year. The Lamb DVD has the French Melody program from 1974. My descriptions of these clips can all be found elsewhere on this site, and aren't worth repeating here.
It's worth noting that while the years for the footage match up with the release years of the albums each clip accompanies, in most cases the performances were actually made during the tour for the previous album. For instance, both of the clips on Foxtrot were technically filmed before that album was recorded, and feature no songs from that album; and the Melody footage on the Lamb disc was clearly recorded during the Selling England tour. Blatantly missing from the video clips is any pro-shot footage from the Gabriel-era band's final tour, though we know that some exists (see for instance this or the following entry). It may have been felt that what was available was too low in quality to present - though based on the quality of some of this footage, I find that hard to believe! It would have been nice to get some kind of unearthed video gem like this: some Lamb stuff, or perhaps the not-quite-mythical Sunrise Music Festival footage from March 1970. But I don't want to sound belittling of what's here! It easily replaces any other versions of this footage I have laying around my house.
The Extra Tracks DVD has some additional, fittingly weird artifacts. It includes the VH1 special made in what must have been around 1998, in conjunction with the release of the Archives 1 box set (another item which I have and have described elsewhere). One can hear the familiar dulcet tones of Ray Wilson narrating. Also included is the Midnight Special footage from 1973, which I have to admit I confused with the Shepperton Studios film (people, it has been a few years since I had my head into all this stuff!). This clip only has most of "Watcher of the Skies" and most of "The Musical Box," and then we get sent back to the menu screen.
All in all this is a wonderful collection of material showing a band evolving from a bunch of school kids who thought they were songwriters, to a touring machine with a disillusioned lead singer; a group of fellows who would some day be regarded as a prog rock legend.
Contents: Five discs, full-color book, bonus lithograph
Comments: In the year 2023, for no particular reason that I know of, Genesis released a collection of BBC broadcasts spanning their entire career. Perhaps it was felt time to put a final period on the band's story, coming as it did just after the close of their second reunion tour "The Last Domino?" in March of 2022 - a tour that the band seem to have publicly admitted will be their last. I have to admit to not having seen the band on this tour. Some of it was COVID jitters; some of it was looking at clips of Phil, who was a physical wreck and had to hobble out on stage with a cane and sit in a chair during the entire performance. I wasn't sure I wanted to witness my favorite band reduced to this state of decrepitude. Of course I regret it now. In a sense this release presents the band in more vibrant, energetic times, since the most recent recording on it, though taken from the tour for their last studio album, is 25 years old. But it may be meant as a sort of final statement of what they have achieved as a live act.
Really nothing about this set should have worked, or been particularly appealing to any but the most faithful fans. None of these tracks are new releases; some of them have been released and re-released many times in official form, while others have been bootlegged relentlessly for decades. None of the live performances represented here are in any way complete, some of them even removing song intros that would have been nice to hear. In particular the uncut Paris 1972 recording, heard only in part on disc one, features a memorable story from Peter which would have made for a fun example of his live persona from those days had it been included. The breaking of performances across discs is in some places jarring (the first two numbers of the Wembley '87 performance are slapped onto the end of disc 3 after a set from 1980), in others chronologically puzzling (the paltry two tracks from the '97-'98 Ray Wilson era are placed before the 1992 songs). The tracks begin far back in the band's most naive days of psychedelia in 1970, when they were singing about mermaids and were lucky when they could get a gig at someone's birthday party, and end at the lumbering zenith of their pop stardom, when they were filling massive arenas and used as the soundtrack to beer commercials. In theory the musical styles are disparate enough to produce whiplash, and plot a journey which many fans refused to follow to the end.
And yet . . . somehow, this set is amazing. Somehow, the public school boys boldly requesting to "make love 'till the end of time" and the middle-aged rockers admitting their inability to dance are the same people, and somehow, on these recordings, you can believe it. The band have stated more than once in interviews, with regard to their transformation to a pop powerhouse, that they always wanted to write top 40 songs, and just got better at doing it. That protestation has always rang a bit false, or at least been hard to believe. Listening to this recording, somehow I found myself finally believing it; at the least, I can finally hear a single creative voice traveling throughout these songs. The power and longevity of a bunch of incredibly talented musicians are on display here, and it is simply a joy to experience.
I suppose some details are worth giving out here. Disc one is the "Peter disc," and collects many bits of BBC sessions from quite early in their career. Very few of these tracks are actually from before-an-audience performances, perhaps only the two cuts from Paris '72 and the ending track from '75. Though (as I noted earlier) any chance at hearing a classic Peter story has been quashed, we do get some of the announcer intros from the Paris '72 clip. Rather than arranging the performances truly chronologically, or even grouping the songs by album, the curators have opted for what I suppose was a storytelling approach, taking us through the different tones of early Genesis: from the pastoral sounds of "Stagnation" and "Harlequin" to the darker, surreal satire of "Get 'em Out by Friday" and "Harold the Barrel." Some of these session numbers have been released before, but some have only been available for traders and collectors previously. The closing number, appropriately, is the oft-heard "Watcher of the Skies" encore from the Wembley performance of 1975 - one of the last numbers from the last tour with Peter. "Watcher" has always been an example of one of their most dramatic numbers, and is a great way to close out this disc and this section.
Disc two jumps us well into the Phil years and deep into the Genesis live act, giving us an excerpt from the Knebworth festival broadcast of 1978, which will be pretty familiar to traders but (I was surprised to find after some research) doesn't appear to have been made available before officially. This excerpt only includes the first couple of songs from the broadcast, followed by the ending numbers of the show and broadcast. The majority of discs two and three are devoted to the oft-oft-oft-bootlegged AND officially released Lyceum 1980 gig. Several of these tracks were already released on the Archive 2 set, and the video from this performance was released as a DVD extra on the 1976-82 box set. And I think it's one of the most commonly available bootlegs of all time. This version of the performance is not complete, since (to avoid repetition with the Knebworth set) they have chosen to omit "Squonk" and the "Volcano/Endos" medley. Again Phil's intros are largely gone, though the radio announcer can be heard once or twice.
The end of disc three and most of disc four present the Wembley '87 show, part of the set of shows that was used in the Invisible Touch tour video and which has been available for years as a traded radio show. "Brazilian" from this performance was released on the Archive 2 set and one or two of the tracks from this show were probably used for The Way We Walk live album. Again, this is not the complete show or the complete broadcast; missing are "Abacab," the "In the Cage" medley (probably to avoid repetition since we had the one from Lyceum), a couple of cuts from Invisible Touch, and that dang "Turn It on Again" medley. What is on display is the band's impressive instrumental prowess, from the throbbing tropical heat of "Brazilian" and the spooky melodrama of "Second Home by the Sea," to the pure driving fury of the "Drum Duet." Up until this point, some care has been taken to avoid repeating of songs, but this second version of the drums and "Los Endos" must have been deemed worthy of inclusion. About a decade has passed, after all, between this and the one heard in the Knebworth festival.
The end of disc four gives us the tiniest glimpse of the Ray Wilson era, with two tracks from the 25-26 February 1998 performance at the NEC in Birmingham. If you had to choose just two songs from this line-up of the band, these are probably two of the best; "Not About Us" has a lot of nice little acoustic flourishes in it, and "Dividing Line" was always one of the most muscular showcases of the group's abilities, harking back to their prog roots. It would have been nice of them to give a little more play time to poor Ray, but obviously if you want to hear Genesis playing any of the other songs from this broadcast, you'd rather hear Phil singing them, so it's not all that surprising that we only got these. More embarrassing is the discovery, after flipping through all the full-color photos and memorabilia in the included booklet, that any depiction of Ray is entirely missing. Oops!
Given this tinge of embarrassment for the 1997-1998 tour, it's again not surprising that the compilers of this set have chosen to end it not with a Ray Wilson whimper, but with a Phil Collins bang. Thus, disc five takes us back to 1992 and back to Knebworth, for a powerful set of songs from the We Can't Dance tour. The entire show was broadcast, but the compilers opted to only pull out songs from the then-current We Can't Dance album (curiously leaving out "Jesus He Knows Me," which perhaps has not quite stood the test of time) and the huge "Old Medley." I believe that elsewhere on this site I've disparaged this medley as being bloated, but listening to it again on this set was quite a joy. It is a powerful performance and manages to tie together a ton of favorites, bringing back a couple of songs already heard on this set but also reminding us of a few classics not otherwise featured here. It's a clever way of bringing us back around to the earlier iterations of Genesis, reminding us where this all came from and breathing fresh life and power into the oldies.
Sure, there's a lot more that could have been presented on this set. But don't worry about what's not here. Instead, appreciate that this selection of songs has been carefully curated to avoid repetition and to tell a compelling story. Take a little trip back, and enjoy. Listening to this collection made me remember all over again why I love this band, in all its iterations. Thanks, guys.
The following is just a look at all of the officially-released Genesis videos on VHS and DVD that I have. I purchased all of these with real money, and with the exception only of the History video, they are all available to buy on the internet. Initially the NTSC version of the WWW DVD was only available through the official website, but this situation has changed. Also, in order to buy an NTSC version of the IT DVD I had to visit Amazon.ca, the Amazon internet store of Canada, but that DVD is now also available in the US.
Anyway, what I'm saying is that these entries should be treated as a self-serving cataloguing of my own Genesis possessions, and also some reviews of these items for those interested in hearing my opinions on these products. These are as a rule not the kind of items I would be willing to trade. Since you can buy them from the band, trading them is taking money directly out of the band's pocket. This kind of morality may seem misplaced or even ridiculous coming from a guy who has hundreds of unauthorized live recordings (and who also has obtained copied versions of many of the official videos transferred to DVD)--but I do draw the line somewhere, however irregular a line it may be.
Genesis Videos Volume 1 (VHS, 1988)
Comments: TheVideos Volume 1 is just what it sounds like; a bunch of music videos to studio Genesis songs. There are two volumes, but I don't intend to buy the second one--the fact that this one had terrible picture roll through the second half the first time I played it probably dissuaded me from getting the other one. It's also one of the many reasons I prefer DVDs to VHS tapes. This particular version is now more than a bit of a relic, especially given the recent release of the "Video Show" DVD (I have both original videos volumes on DVD, as well as the History video, transferred from VHS; they look great, but are all somewhat dated at this point). The videos on this volume are in random order, the oldest and most interesting being "Robbery, Assault & Battery"-- where Steve Hackett once again gets the shaft, as the camera is never pointed at him for more than a split second at a time. Mike Rutherford has a wonderful death scene however.
Comments:Historyis what the title suggests, and includes some rare footage from the Gabriel era (all the usual suspects to experienced traders: Bataclan, Shepperton, etc.), some nice interviews from band members, and a little look into the solo careers of nearly every member. It only goes up to Invisible Touch, however (the frame story of the video is their performance at the Knebworth Festival of 1990), which may be one of the reasons why it's not really available anymore. It's a nice look into the band, though, and a nice collection of footage on them. The stories on here are pretty much copied by most other bio pics on the band.
Comments: Another reason for the current unavailability of the History video is probably the release of theSongbookDVD, which covers a lot of the same history in much the same way. The Songbook DVD covers more ground (up to and including CAS), with newer interviews, but with a focus on the creation and development of specific songs. Interviews are with the band members (even John Silver!), but also with Armando Gallo (in the early days their main photographer and biographer), Chris Welch (a rock critic who was among the first to get into their music), Tony Smith (the manager) and Alan Hewitt (editor of the Genesis fanzine The Waiting Room and author of an excellent book about Genesis featured on my Sources page); on the extra features there are some interviews with Daryl and Chester, including a particularly humorous story from Chester about how the band thought he hated their music because he kept saying it was "bad." Another wonderful extra bit comes in the form of new performances (from 2000 I think) by Phil, Mike and Tony of some of the old songs. They are very stripped-down versions, just keyboards and bongo drums and acoustic guitar (if that), and in still sounding as good and strong as they do, they go a long way towards proving just how good the songwriting was in this band--especially the new version of "Afterglow." Since Phil is not playing to a huge concert audience, but instead just singing in the Farm studios, he doesn't feel he has to make his vocals all flashy, and they thus come out sounding much better and purer than they might have (I have this song on CD, above). There is also a nice version of "Horizons" by Steve Hackett--he'll play that song at the drop of a hat!
Genesis The Way We Walk Live in Concert (DVD, 2001)
Comments: The Way We Walk DVD is a recording of one show from the WCD tour, probably put together from the various gigs played at London's Earl's Court (November 2-4 and 6-8, 1992)--the exact venue and date(s) are not mentioned anywhere on the DVD (the packaging seems to have been put together in rather a hurry, at the expense of certain rather crucial information--for instance, I can find no copyright information anywhere on the box). It features the ability to switch to different camera angles at any time, so you can focus on different members of the band as you wish (and as they become available, as there are only a maximum of 4 angles for any one track, and one is taken up by the director's cut). This interactive bit can make for a different viewing almost every time. There is also a tour program, some repetitive interview questions about the tracks on the show answered by each member of the band separately, what I'm told is excellent sound quality, slide shows featuring various pictures of band members, and the dreaded commentary track. The commentary track was recorded by the band right before the DVD's release--almost ten years after they had actually performed the show. Also the whole thing seems to have been recorded in one take. The combination of these two facts makes for an incredibly boring commentary. They can't really remember the neat little behind the scenes stories that would make it interesting, and they don't say much. When they do say something, you can hardly hear it, and if you do hear it, it ends up being something like: "Pass the tea, will you?" So the main thing we learn is that apparently the band had tea while watching the DVD. There are a few good bits, but they are few and far between. Except for the commentary, I love this DVD, as it is always nice to have video footage of the band, it is an excellent performance, and it has great extra features (though the inclusion of the promo videos from the WCD singles might have been a nice touch). The camera angles are really cool; it's a shame that they probably won't be able to add this function to hypothetical future DVD releases of other, earlier concerts, since footage from multiple angles will most likely not be available. Frankly though, I'll be happy if I can get any other Genesis DVDs, no matter what their functionality.
Comments: Released in November of 2003 by the band's management (and heralded by the updating of their official web site), the Live at Wembley Stadium DVD is nothing more than a digital version of the old Invisible Touch Tour video. Of course, now it's on DVD, which makes it better--and also makes my previous amateur-transferred version of the VHS tape onto DVD fairly useless. You get a nice clear picture for this compilation of the sold-out shows at Wembley from July '87 (which is still missing the "In the Cage" medley, to many people's chagrin), and as bonus material you also get a digital reproduction of the tour program, an OK photo gallery, and (my favorite bit, and one which also makes some of my previous bootleg DVD material redundant) an old tour documentary made early in the '86 leg of the tour, when they were still playing the "Cage" medley with a section of "Supper's Ready" in it. You even get to see some video footage of some of their early shows--tantalizing stuff, the complete versions of which will probably never see the light of day. It's interesting to see this artifact, as you see the band as they were then, and the look and feel of the whole thing is very '80s. Still, it might have been nice if somebody had sat down with the band in 2003 and asked them about their recollections of the tour, to at least get a more contemporary perspective on the show and make this release feel like more than just a rehashing of old material in a desperate attempt to squeeze more revenue out of an aging group of prog rockers (though we should all be grateful they didn't bother to add a commentary track to the footage!!). The inclusion of the album's music videos might have been nice to have also (though I already have these elsewhere, it still seems to make sense--note that the WWW DVD also did not take the opportunity to put onto DVD the videos from the WCD album, even though those had yet to be released on any form of commercial video).
On the up-side, this is a much slicker and more professional production than the WWW DVD--the packaging is very well-designed (though it does make use of some unavoidably grainy still frames from the video) and included in the case is a nice booklet which, while not providing a lot of fascinating information, still has some nice pictures and the song credits.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this section of the page, for a long time I did not think there was a version of this DVD that was viewable by people with NTSC video equipment. All info on the official site and on Amazon.com led me to believe that the DVD was simply not being sold in the US and only PAL versions were available (even though this is an all-region encoded DVD, video format is still an issue unless you have a fancier TV than I do). Luckily, I was informed by a fellow trader and fan that the NTSC version was available and could be easily purchased from Amazon's Canadian branch. I have no idea what it came to in US dollars, but I bought it anyway. That's the kind of guy I am. Turns out if I'd been just a bit more patient I could have bought it from Amazon USA, as it is now easily available to buy in this country.
Inside Genesis 1975-1980: An Independent Critical Review (DVD, 2004)
Comments: Released around August 2004, this DVD probably will get a lot of its popularity (if it has any) from the fact that it is controversial. It includes both interview and live video footage of the band in 1980 that has never before been released officially and which I hadn't even viewed in bootleg form before (though I now have multiple copies of it; it is from a documentary detailing the band's gigs in Liverpool on their 1980 tour--see my best complete version here). It is definitely not authorized by the band or its management--however at the time that I got it it was available on Amazon.com, which is my main litmus test for legality. Meanwhile, the people who made this DVD have also released another one covering the Gabriel years; which, not having heard anything spectacular about it, I have avoided purchasing.
The DVD is surpisingly short, weighing in at almost exactly one hour. The big draw of the video, namely the interview and live footage of Genesis, is interweaved with a bunch of contemporary interviews with a handful of people with vague connections to the professional music business. The only recognizable name among them is Hugh Fielder, one of the few music critics still around today who will admit to liking Genesis. Credits and backgrounds for the other interviewees are available on the inside of the insert for the DVD--some of the session musicians involved have some impressive recording credits. At least three of the people come from the band Mostly Autumn, which I am not familiar with. Some of the people look and talk like college students, and one of them looks like he just got rudely awakened from trying to sleep off his hangover.
Yes, one might desire more prestigious names and faces for the commentators, but do so-called "experts" really know anything more about the (at best) pseudo-science of music criticism than anyone else? Then again, one might wish for someone with a larger vocabulary than some of the people involved here.
Regardless: together, these interviews take us through an interesting phase in the band's career, one which is often dealt with in biopics but rarely given so much detailed consideration. 1975-1980 at first glance may seem a rather arbitrary date range to restrict oneself to, but one of the things that the film makes you realize is that these were the key metamorphic years in the band's slow progression from prog to pop monster.
1975 marked of course the departure of Peter Gabriel (indeed the Gabriel era is only mentioned in passing in this video as the foundation for the real story, that of the band's development without Peter) and the beginning of the twenty-year "experiment" which put Phil at the helm. Trick of the Tail and Wind and Wuthering, the "four-piece band" period albums, remained in the progressive vein, but with Steve Hackett's departure, the songs got shorter and the sound started shifting. For the interviewees, the culmination of this shift is Duke, which saw the band's rebirth as a pop/rock collective with compositions born out of democratic jam sessions. The story is told in a format similar to the Songbook video, with the interviewees making comments on the band through the analysis of particular songs. "Dance on a Volcano" is the obvious choice for the first to come under the microscope, but I found "A Trick of the Tail" an odd choice. Since the song was never played live, and a tacit rule seems to have been made by the producers not to use Genesis studio recordings in the soundtrack (perhaps for legal reasons--though that doesn't seemed to have stopped them in other regards), all we ever hear of the song is someone playing the keyboard riff from the beginning over and over again.
The whole album Trick of the Tail is focused on rather heavily--probably because it's an album that a lot of musicians like to talk about, as most Genesis fans agree it is among their best efforts. While nearly all the songs from that album are "featured," only three songs from Wind and Wuthering and only two songs from ATTW3 are discussed in any detail.
When a song is discussed in detail, it is very cool to hear the analysis of Iain Jennings. Iain is apparently the keyboardist for Mostly Autumn, and indeed he has his Korg with him for the interview and plays the main chords for a lot of the songs mentioned. This is very informative and interesting, and gives amateurs a real insight into what it is that makes Tony Banks' compositions technically original and noteworthy. (However, Iain should really get his hair cut, because he looks like a girl, for God's sake.)
But the analysis is not all about Banks; some talk of Phil and Chester's drum duets is in there, as well as Mike's increasing responsibility as the sole guitarist on ATTW3 and the band's successful alienation of Steve Hackett. We also get a lot of still photos of the band, not all of them chronologically accurate (for instance, there seems to be more than one photo from the WCD tour), along with some written quotes from Rolling Stone magazine.
So though they are no "experts," the people who put together this film study a smaller period of Genesis than most videos have the luxury to scrutinize, and really make you think about the band's musical evolution through the study of the psychological and emotional changes they went through in addition to the more purely objective breakdown of chord progressions. Not all the people involved are as verbal as they could be and too often resort to lame comments such as "it's just a really great song," but I have to admit I would probably enjoy it if a bunch of ten year olds talked about how great Genesis was for an hour. Plus, we also get some nice interview footage of the band themselves talking about themselves in 1980, and of course the 1980 live stuff, from the Liverpool gigs of 2 and 3 May, that all the fuss is about (there's also some short but great backstage footage from right before the performance begins). Personally, I think this is more than worth the watch, as it makes you really think about what makes the band tick more than most other glossy, more professional video treatments, which have to rush through about thirty years of band history in just a little more time than is taken here to deal with five years of band history. For me, it raised interesting questions about when exactly Genesis really did drop its last progressive vestiges, or give up Peter's ghost, if you will. It's interesting to note, as a random final comment, that the 1975-1980 range specified ends just before the release of Phil's groundbreaking solo debut Face Value, which would change the band dynamic forever (at least in the eyes of the public) and may well have been the actual harbinger of the steadily more accesible Genesis.
As bonus material, there are a couple of live Steve Hackett tracks ("Please Don't Touch"--the song that was part of why he left the band--and "In That Quiet Earth") from his 1991 Nottingham video, which I already have elsewhere.
Included: No Son of Mine/I Can't Dance/Hold on My Heart/Jesus He Knows Me/Tell Me Why/Invisible Touch/Throwing It All Away/Land of Confusion/Tonight, Tonight, Tonight/Anything She Does/In Too Deep/That's All/Mama/Illegal Alien/Home by the Sea/Second Home by the Sea/Paperlate/Abacab/Keep It Dark/No Reply At All/Man on the Corner/Turn It on Again/Duchess/Misunderstanding/Follow You Follow Me/Many Too Many/A Trick of the Tail/Ripples/Robbery, Assault and Battery/Congo/Shipwrecked/Not About Us/The Carpet Crawlers 1999
Comments: Released mid-September 2005 (the USA region-encoded version, that is; the British version was released quite a bit earlier), this DVD finally compiles all of the Genesis promo videos from their whole career--though they only started doing videos like this in '76, unfortunately excluding the Peter Gabriel era from this collection. This DVD simply blows away the previous "Videos" volumes, which were only available on VHS and stopped at the Invisible Touch era. The original volumes seemed totally random in their ordering; this one is still a bit strange in that sense, since it goes in reverse chronological order from 92-76, then the Ray Wilson-era videos are tacked on the end, along with their most recent "Carpet Crawlers 1999" video. This was actually my first time seeing the videos "Tell Me Why" and "Not About Us," neither of which were very good, so I can understand why I never caught them before.
The packaging of the DVD is very nice, with a cardboard sleeve and foldout case which has information and pictures for each video (and the cover has a very cool, though misleading, collage of images from various Genesis album covers--misleading because Peter Gabriel-era album covers are represented). The animated menus on the DVD are very cool, and it allows you to choose the song you wish to play or play all of them. (Incidentally according to the DVD menus the collection is actually titled The Cinema Show, which is a cuter title but was probably changed at the last minute for marketing reasons.) Also included is a version of "Paperlate" recorded for the BBC. Finally, each video has an information screen that can be accessed on the DVD, supplying basic information about the video's production and release. It's a very cool thing, because even though I had the original video volumes transferred to DVD, they were obviously not complete, and though I have been able to acquire some transferred versions of videos from the WCD and CAS years, they have not been of ideal quality and are scattered throughout my DVD collection. So it's very nice to have everything here and in great quality--surround sound, too, though my entertainment system cannot make use of this audio gimmick.
Interesting to point out that the 1976-1987 videos presented here are not exactly identical to those on the original VHS releases. "Turn It on Again" on here is the studio version video, with the band playing in a studio setting and Phil backlit with a very bright spotlight; but the VHS volume used the live version taken directly from the Three Sides Live movie. Also for "Man on the Corner," the original VHS video used a live version of the song, from the same 1981 gigs taped for the Three Sides Live movie (though in the movie version all you see is the last minute or so of the song). While the video footage on the DVD is the same, the audio has been replaced on here with the studio version of the song. This makes for a bit of an odd viewing, since Phil's lips do not always synch with the audio. Incidentally the live audio recording from this song was used on the second Archive box set. The 1976-1982 videos featured here are also available as bonus DVD footage on the 2007 1976-1982 box set.
Included: Concert video on 2 DVDs, with extra features; documentary Come Rain or Shine on third disc; full-color booklet
This is a very nicely produced concert video from the band's Turn It on Again reunion tour, specifically documenting the final date of their European "selection of shows," on 14 July 2007 at Circus Maximus in Rome. I will now proceed to describe the product in nauseating detail, as is my wont. I'll start with the physical contents, specifically the full-color booklet, since that will be easy to get out of the way: there is almost no content in it except for a bunch of very nice full-page photos from the concert. The middle of the book has a surprise fold-out spread with a nice look at the stage and video screens, and the very last page (the inside back cover actually) provides the track listing and details for the DVDs. The packaging is tasteful, sturdy cardboard with an outer shell to hold the gatefold case, which includes some overlapped inset jewel cradles for the discs; the third documentary disc comes in its own separate paper sleeve tucked into a side flap. I was amused to find that I kept the paper slip advertising the 1970-1975 box set ("COMING THIS FALL!"), included in the box.
Now onto the concert. If you didn't see the band on this tour or (like me) your memories of the experience are already growing hazy, this is a great exemplar, with some extra special touches that give it some additional emotional weight. As I say, it was the last night of the European tour (though the band would head to North America in the fall of that year), and it took place in Italy, long a fanatical stronghold for the group. It is a free concert at a huge venue, and it shows: the most staggering thing about the video is not the band or the impressive light show, nor the huge screens with their fancy graphics, or even the towering gouts of fireworks at the finale: it's the crowd. The Circus has a capacity of 500,000 and it appears from the various views of the audience that that capacity has been reached. At times one gets the sensation of staring into an endless corridor of humanity: quite breathtaking.
As for the actual show, it does provide its own visual treats, starting from the cool floating television sets on the backdrop screen at the beginning. The TVs form into a map of the world, which zooms to "ROMA," and the music kicks in. The band play the typical set from the tour, which was very consistent and which I've listed elsewhere; but I'll go over the visuals and in-betweens here. (NOTE: though I've described the show elsewhere on the site, partly on my DVDs page in the Dusseldorf '07 entry and partly in my own concert reviews on my Goodies page, I'm going to do it again here because it's been about 15 years since I last wrote about this!) In the first few numbers there isn't a lot of video accompaniment: some clock images for "No Son," a few reminders of the "Land of Confusion" promo video's Spitting Image puppets. The "In the Cage" medley features the first big graphic, of cagelike red lines and a trapped and then running human figure. "Home by the Sea" is enhanced with the obligatory haunted house picture and some scary faces coming out of walls. During "Second Home by the Sea" we get an impressive look at the flexibility of the lighting rig, when its huge towers extend up in the air. During "Follow You Follow Me" Phil takes the rare opportunity to sing from his drum kit, while on the screens we see animations of various characters from their album covers through the years. There's the cartoonish man from We Can't Dance, good old Albert from Duke, various members of the ensemble from A Trick of the Tail, the occupant of the park bench from Selling England (Jacob?), and even a cute-but-gruesome animation of Cynthia repeatedly flicking Henry's head along the ground with her croquet mallet.
In between the numbers Phil of course engages in his usual patter with the crowd, though he is somewhat hindered by the language barrier: he very clearly has a few large-print (probably phonetic) Italian phrases written on sheets of paper, which he occasionally resorts to. He still manages to get the crowd to raise their arms and go "wooooo!" before HBTS.
"I Know What I Like" features some nostalgia-inducing bits: the graphics are a photo and video montage of older incarnations of the band, performing the song that is also happening live. There is even some old footage of Phil doing his tambourine dance, all while he is doing the same dance live on stage! During the theme from "Stagnation" which comes in the instrumental passage of the song, Phil rotates his mic around and the crowd obliges by singing along, a very special moment. Another emotional number is "Ripples," which has only become more meaningful with the passage of years, and is accompanied with a visual of a lush, pretty woodland scene.
A lot of the required elements of the Genesis live show appear. We had the ghost noises in HBTS, and we get the underlit evil laugh from Phil in "Mama." "Throwing It All Away" gives Phil another chance for some audience participation, with the usual "Dee-dah-day" singing. To get closer to the crowd, he has to walk well off to the side of the stage and then come back around in front. Meanwhile huge shots of the crowd are projected on the big screen. There's a funny moment as well where he leans on Daryl's shoulder and gives his head an overly affectionate stroke.
"Domino" is another big showpiece number for the visuals, and it begins with the time-honored "Domino Effect" crowd participation. Phil has been taking photos of the audience throughout the show, and does it again before this number: "Everyone put your hands in the air and say 'Domino!'" he says, snapping away. The song itself features a cool "warp tunnel" video effect, where they're even able to stick Phil's head into the center; and at the end we get some falling dominos.
One of the more unique parts of the show, which I really enjoy, is the beginning of the drum duet. This is because Chester and Phil begin the exercise by whapping on two stools set between their kits, and gradually transition over to the full drums (the track is literally named "Conversations with 2 Stools"). You can hear Phil yelling some random vocalizations during the harder bits: always a fun time watching the two of them banging away.
Coming into the home stretch of the set, there are more fun visuals: a liquid lava-lamp-type pattern for "Los Endos," some Physical Graffiti-esque building facades for "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight," and some particularly colorful lights leading into "Invisible Touch." The guys (Daryl, Mike, and Phil) jump up and down together during the instrumental break, and Phil even makes as if he's going to mosh into Daryl; then he runs back up to the front of the stage to get in some crowd participation. This is the "last number" (though everyone knows they're in for some encores), so it finishes with a big, impressive shower of fireworks off the back of the screen.
The first encore of "I Can't Dance" has the de rigueur funny walk - both by the real, live Phil and playing on the screens behind him. He gets Daryl and Mike to follow him along the stage (another familiar bit from their last tour together), and puts in some movements to make it look as if his leg and arm on each side are linked together by invisible strings. Phil even shows off his tap dancing skills at the very end of the song, which for me elicited memories of the tap dancing he did way back in 1976 before "Supper's Ready."
Just before the very last song, Phil introduces Daryl and Chester. He says what are no doubt some very touching things to the vast and very appreciative audience (though I understood very little of it since it's in Italian), and then sings a moving rendition of "Carpet Crawlers" to close it out. Over the credits, the very appropriate studio recording of "Fading Lights" plays - they didn't play this song during the show, but they would pick it up for their next reunion tour, where its theme of endings would be even more fitting.
It's great to have this show, especially now in 2023 when the concert has had a few years to become a fond but faint memory that could use some refreshing; it's also very nice to have this special show from the end of the European tour, when the band was thoroughly comfortable with their set and confident with their performances.
Next let's talk about the documentary, Come Rain or Shine, which is included as a bonus on the third disc. As I say it's now 2023; I assume I got this in 2007 or 2008, around when it came out. I believe my viewing of this disc in preparation for this writing was the first and only time I've ever watched this footage - it somehow didn't warrant my interest until now. I have to say it was an unexpected gem, an interesting filmmaking artifact, and I took a ton of notes while watching it; so settle in.
The video is one of those candid, behind-the-scenes documentaries, the majority of it detailing the lead-up to the opening leg of the Turn It on Again tour. There are also a few clips of the band actually setting up and playing for the earlier shows in Europe. Genesis has had some "candid" documentaries shot of them in the past, memorably during the recording of their We Can't Dance album; but this one is unexpectedly and grittily real, with some embarrassing and confrontational moments. There are also a surprising number of moments that seemed to channel This Is Spinal Tap.
We begin with the tour just about to open in Helsinki: the stage is set, the band is together, the sun is shining (for the moment). Mike and Phil run to the bathroom one last time, but then they are ready to go! But how did we get to this point? The director cleverly plays an old clip of Phil from 1986, talking about sex, drugs, and rock and roll, to segue us back in time to when the concept of the reunion began. There are some intriguing moments caught of their first meeting and conversations: the band listening to a studio recording of "Cinema Show," with Phil contemplating it and experimentally singing along with Peter. I guess they were actually considering doing the full song, though the idea must have been quickly scrapped. Phil also makes an (ultimately aborted) attempt to sing one of the higher lines of "In Too Deep" (a song that didn't make it to the final set), this time while Tony provides the basic chords on the keyboard. (A later brief glimpse of an early set list shows "Jesus" in brackets, indicating that "Jesus He Knows Me" was another song considered but ultimately abandoned.) Afterward the camera points at Phil while he's driving a car (I believe a lot of the rehearsals took place near his own home in Lausanne Switzerland, so presumably he's commuting back there), and he relates the internal realization he had during their playing: "We could be really good if we were just a bit more talented!"
There are several montages early in the film of press tour interviews and photo ops and so on, some of which can get quite surreal. The questions range from the bizarre ("How do you feel about Sting's lute album?") to the offensive ("Do you think your fans are all just lonely old men?"). A sound man, apparently unable to use a boom to pick up the sound, assumes a weirdly intimate supine position at the guys' feet, holding up a fuzzy microphone. We get a window into the difficulties of being Phil: constantly being approached by people to sign things or answer one more question. The balance of his work and personal life are a subtle theme running through the discussions.
Of course the reunion itself was originally an attempt to get the classic five-piece back together, so there are some questions from the press about Peter and Steve, prompting some classic Lamb footage to play while Phil explains the scrapped attempt to do a small number of Lamb performances. When the band and management sit down to try to hammer out the real details, Phil expresses his reluctance to extend the tour beyond 20 shows, and there is even some push and pull about the sizes of the venues they should play in, which reminded me of similar discussions in the recently released Beatles Get Back documentary.
Some of the early staging plans have some out-there ideas more in the vein of a Peter Gabriel solo show. One of the creative minds spends a lot of time describing the idea of putting the entire band into a pod structure, which could be driven back and forth or even lowered or raised during the show. Tony: "I suffer quite badly from vertigo." A dreadful pause. The guy suggesting the idea (I'm afraid I failed to learn the names of any of the staff) says "we'll come back to that;" they never do.
There are several occasions where we are treated to a quick history lesson in past Genesis stage shows and lighting; though I question the accuracy of the dates that are put up on some of the footage. One Gabriel shot claims to be from "1971," which I find highly unlikely, since to my knowledge no pro-shot footage of the band from that year has surfaced. The contemporary discussions that the band has with regard to lighting effects do not seem to include Phil; Mike and Tony have the responsibility of throwing around ideas and opinions relating to lasers and fireworks.
We do see Phil in the process of resurrecting his tambourine dance, and then actually playing some music. Phil sits down at the kit for what I believe is a chunk of "Duke's Travels;" it doesn't go well. He gets angry, to the point of throwing things around. We cut to a one-on-one with Daryl, where he points out that he (and probably Chester) plays and practices on his own all the time, but that the other guys maybe don't. Other later footage of the band rehearsing candidly reveals some friction and bickering between the guys, though there is also plenty of laughter and camaraderie, and some heartfelt comments from Phil and Tony about how they get along better now than they ever have. (Tony points out that he himself used to be a lot more uptight and is now much less so; but describes he and Phil as "crossing each other" on opposite trajectories. In other words, Phil is becoming more uptight.)
The stage and its graphics and effects develop slowly, with some often conflicting opinions from the guys. There is a very Spinal Tap-like discussion where Mike mentions that he feels the stage area they will be playing on is tight and restrictive, and manager Tony Smith laughingly asks him what the hell he's talking about - the stage is huge! A later visit to the actual stage in constructed form prompts some more critique from Mike, and the camera captures a stony reaction from Smith. In a follow-up one-on-one, Smith observes of the guys (in ironic counterpoint to one of their most oft-played songs): "They don't know what they like, but they know what they don't like."
We see the band also making comments about the graphics being developed for the screens, particularly the running man who ends up in the "Cage" medley; and assessing the pyrotechnics. Tony in particular seems very iffy on the subject of fireworks and the use of flame jets. There is a great scene where the band are watching fireworks go off: the camera points entirely at their faces, so that we get only their reaction to the display, and see none of the display itself. In a later scene Tony is very derogatory towards using flames, saying they are not tasteful, that they are over the top; he associates them with Ozzy. "Is this Genesis?"
At one point in the development of the staging, Phil volunteers to have himself raised incredibly high, above the back screen, during a dramatic moment in "Domino." We see him being put into a lift while the music runs; then he appears, well off to the left, his tiny head popping over the rim of the screen. The general reaction is amusement and laughter, and the idea is tossed.
Each of the individual band members gets some focus treatment at one point or another during the video. Phil's fame and work/life balance is discussed (we see some footage of him from 1978 talking about how much of his life is spent on tour); Mike's writing abilities are praised; Smith calls Tony "the conscience of the band" and we get the usual discussion of his lack of solo success, and how the band is more his baby than anyone else's.
One of the main stories running through the film, which turns out to be surprisingly hilarious and again hits strains of Spinal Tap, is the Saga of the Stools. The story begins innocently enough, and quite enjoyably, with Chester and Phil jamming on some grooves using the stool in a hotel room, trying to work out their drum duet while watching footage of themselves drumming together in tours past. Then Phil has the idea of bringing the stool on stage, the broaching of which concept evokes a bark of surprised laughter from Tony. The discussions of how to get a stool between the drum kits, and what stool should be used, grow and extend: meanwhile, we see shots of Mike yawning and Tony staring stonily into the distance, waiting for it all to end. There are shots of Phil riding in the back of a car, on the phone to someone about the stool from the hotel room: "There's a man with a lazy eye," he says, apparently attempting to hunt down one of the hotel's staff. The climax is an absolutely hysterical passage where Phil's assistant and his drum tech fumble with an unhelpful GPS assistant to make their way to a big box furniture store, where they whack a bunch of stools with drumsticks and eventually purchase several, then immediately determine they have been given an incorrect stool and apparently are unable to exchange it - resulting in a tirade of profanity from one of the men, who can't believe he has been tasked with such a ridiculous assignment.
At another time, Tony conducts an interesting history lesson in the band's lighting innovations, particularly their development of the Vari-Lites and how those have evolved over the years. We get a nice year-by-year look at how the light show has grown and changed. This leads tangentially into another major theme of the documentary, which is the incredible difficulty that is had with getting the graphics for the video screens to come on at the correct times during the show. The difficulties run through the film, with Tony Smith becoming increasingly frustrated. What is needed, they decide, is one man who can just push the buttons at the correct times. Thus, with 3 days to go until the tour is to begin, we are introduced to a new hire whose title is given as "The Button Pusher." He has to coordinate with the ostensible manager of the visuals, an unfortunate young man who seems to have a stammer and becomes the focus for much of Smith's ire. Even after the Button Pusher arrives, the cues problems continue, and the "BP" is forced to write his own script with all the song lyrics ("This is version twenty-two") to keep track of when to push which button.
The technical issues seem to continue right up to the very beginning moments of the first show, though in the event everything seems to go all right. There are several predictions of rain, which for the first show at least prove groundless. We get to hear a very edited portion of the performance of "Turn It on Again," and a backstage pep talk from the head stage manager to his crew; then we see the visuals for "Domino," a particular focal point of the challenges during the days before, seemingly come off without a hitch.
Having come this far, it seems the film should be pretty much over; but then a new title screen appears: "Part 2 - The Rain." Shows 3 and 4 are completely drenched with torrential sheets of rain. The day of Show 7, in Poland, starts off sunnily enough, with the crew tiredly pointing hair dryers at various bits of gear and assessing the damage to lighting rigs; but then another storm, bursting with lightning, rolls in. The crew is warned to vacate the stage immediately at the first hint of lightning; the band is harder to get rid of, it seems: speaking with someone else on a walkie, a road manager says, "I've told them - twice!" Phil asks a local how to say "fucking rain" in Polish. Eventually his real frustration at the delays begins to seep out. The band do finally play, wearing caps and jackets, with seemingly very little cover in the open-air venue, while the water pours over them.
By the end of the show, however, the rain has stopped, and there is some really nice footage from the end of "Carpet Crawlers," the camera giving us a cornucopia of closeups of audience members, ranging over many years in age, singing along word for word.
The epilogue comprises some quick shots jumping well into the future, to the day of Show 22, the big Rome concert which is the subject of the other two discs. Then we get a fun closing montage of extra behind-the-scenes bits set to "Behind the Lines;" Mike is running about backstage for no discernible reason, Tony is playing table tennis (badly), and other hijinks. The credits, appropriately, are set to "Duchess."
But what about the bonus features? Well! The first disc gives us the tour programme in digital form, which is nice (not to brag, but I have the real, physical one as well). Also, each song has its own little bonus scene, accessible from the concert itself or through the Extras menu. They appear to all be footage recorded for the documentary but cut for time, one possible exception being the clip accompanying "Turn It on Again," which actually shows some backstage talk from the band's VH1 Rock Honors performance of December 2007 (most of it centers around the band discussing why their performance of "Turn It" didn't go to plan). Each clip has some relationship to the corresponding song from the show: just some cute little extra stuff. Some of it is the guys discussing how to play the song during rehearsals (for instance, we hear the discussions leading up to the decision to have Phil play the drums during FYFM); some of it is related to the staging or is just silly (for instance, the "No Son of Mine" footage revolves around someone mishearing "clocks," the actual visual used during that song, as "cocks"). I won't describe them all in detail (believe it or not), but they're fun.
Disc two's bonus features consist of a tour photo gallery (with some nice close-ups of the guys), more of the song-related documentary clips, and a "deleted scene." There are a particularly large number of clips related to "Mama." We see that it was considered as the right moment to use the flame jets, as well as the conversation leading to the decision to nix the flame jets altogether. (Amusingly, in a later scene the band considers bringing the flames back for "Los Endos," only to discover that the flame guys have packed up and left.) There's also a fun bit where they're testing the light that shines on Phil's face for the "ha-ha! ha!" For "Ripples" we get a nice acoustic rehearsal of the song in a hotel room, reminiscent of those on the Songbook DVD. A running theme in the clips is how many tones they are going to bring down the songs for Phil (as compared to a story Phil has about Elton John), and how this somehow relates to the position of his balls. After all my talk of Spinal Tap while describing the main documentary, it was funny to hear Tony Smith bring up that very thing during the clip for "Domino" (I believe in reference to the memorable Stonehenge scaling snafu). Tony also happens to mention that his original inspiration for the song was the city of Beirut. An extended chunk of Phil and Chester working on their drum duet on the famous hotel stool is included. There are some other little gems.
The final "deleted scene" is just another clip from the documentary cutting room floor, I suppose placed under its own menu since it is not directly related to a particular song. Titled "Did You Do Your Homework?", it centers around the band members' assignment to write a paragraph each for the tour programme. Tony turns out to be the naughtiest one of the three, as he is the only one who still has not written his part by the end of the clip.
Anyway, I can't imagine anyone having hung around through that entire review, but if you have I congratulate and thank you. I just enjoy watching and discussing any material about the band, and it was nice to have the chance to go through this. I was somehow not in the mood to enjoy it at the time it came out, but now find it a valuable record; I suppose time has a way of doing that.
Thirteen years after their 2007 Turn It on Again tour, the core trio of Genesis decided to go out and do it again; but then a global pandemic ground them to a halt. It's unclear whether they would have produced this video if that were not the case. The documentary reads almost as a promotional gimmick, to prove to various venues in the UK and elsewhere that it would be worth it to open their doors to a potential super-spreading event for a special performance by this last incarnation of the legendary group. It's true that there is a history of Genesis doing behind-the-scenes tour and album-making documentaries, so I may be off-base here. Interesting to note, however, that there is no pro-shot footage officially available of the band playing before audiences for this tour - this is it.
I saw Genesis twice for the 2007 go-round, but I chose to stay away for this tour. There's a point in this video where Daryl says it was important for the band to "go out on a high note," and he believes this tour represents that; but to me, seeing and hearing clips of them (most especially Phil) in 2021, it didn't feel that way. While I did not shell out for tour tickets, I was happy to incur the relatively minor $15 expense to see the band on this DVD. (Full disclosure: I didn't even have to spend that much, as this was purchased as a gift for me!)
The video begins with a montage of clips and narration about the band, including some of Ray Wilson's narration from an earlier documentary. There is an explanation of what prompted the previous 2007 tour, which leads to the band members' decision to do that again in 2020 - one proximate cause being the reunion on stage of Phil and Mike during Phil's last solo tour. Phil's son Nic played drums on that tour, where both Mike and Tony got to see him play, and prompted his inclusion in the band's first rehearsals in January of 2020.
Interestingly, though the video features plenty of personal disclosures and intimate details, no mention is made of the non-appearance of longtime live drummer Chester Thompson. Nic mentions him once, and if you look very hard you can catch a split-second glimpse of him on one or two bits of older live footage, but that's about it. I was not familiar with the background here and had to employ Google to learn that Phil had essentially fired Chester and they haven't spoken for years - which is sad. In a recent interview, Chester has evinced no hard feelings; and indeed much of the video presents seemingly placid elder statesmen of rock, drama and petty squabbles far behind them; but the Chester issue is a glaring omission here.
Of course, not long after the rehearsals began, COVID-19 reared its ugly head and made things difficult. There was a question as to whether the band would continue with the tour preparations, or just put everything on hold for a year; but the decision was made to push forwards. The band was keen to tour the UK again, their home territory, as they had only done a couple of shows there in 2007. There is a lot of one-on-one interview footage sprinkled throughout the film, mostly with Tony, Mike and Phil, but also with manager Tony Smith, Nic Collins, and Daryl Stuermer. For some reason a lot of that is in black and white, presumably an aesthetic choice. The interviews are intercut with the band playing, and when we don't hear recent live music there are sometimes older performances or studio recordings for a soundtrack.
We get to see some day 1 rehearsal footage, with the band trying "That's All." We also hear some rehearsals of "Carpet Crawlers." Phil's voice sounds very rough, very tired. He seems to struggle even to keep up to tempo with the rest of the band. I noticed this in clips from the actual tour as well, and it was a big part of what convinced me to not see them. Phil talks about his voice and how it's nice to have backup singers Daniel Pearce and Patrick Smyth to support him. Mike and Tony, while listening to a playback of the "Carpet Crawlers" rehearsal, facetiously announce their retirement as backup singers, Daniel and Patrick having made them redundant (and their voices never having been one of their musical assets - though one should always remember that each of them, Mike and Tony, recorded a solo album with themselves on lead vocals!).
There are several good interviews in here dealing with the relationships between the band members, how they get along better now than they ever have. Chester issue aside, the guys do seem very mellow, beyond any creative battles or historical disagreements. Surely it helps that they are no longer trying to make new music together, but are able to comfortably rest on their laurels. Phil shows a trace of acerbity, albeit mostly in fun, when he describes the group as "a democracy, as long as you agree with Tony." Even in the 2007 documentary there were some rough patches, particularly at the beginning when they were struggling to relearn the old numbers; but here they seem past all of that.
Day 8 of the rehearsals sees the band already in full production mode, with a light show and screen graphics set up behind them. They perform "Mama." Phil still sounds tired but the rest of the guys seem fine with it; in fact, there are some comments around this point from Mike, saying that he thinks if Phil put in the time he could even do some drumming. "But it has to come from him," says Mike, who doesn't want to push Phil to do anything. Nic says that Phil is not drumming "for now," as though it could be something that is added later. To my knowledge it never was.
We get a segment about the light show and how Genesis have always been pioneers in this area: remarks that will sound familiar to those versed in Genesis tour shows. There's an interview with the lighting guy, who says that different bands have different levels of involvement with the light show, and Genesis are very involved, but that they also understand the craft better than some other groups (in other words, what is possible and what is not).
There's a very nice chunk of the "Cinema Show" instrumental section, with the tiniest ending bit of "In that Quiet Earth" leading into the opening strains of "Afterglow," which then fades out. On tour this would be part of a medley with "Fading Lights." Tony talks a bit about the chore of rehearsing, something they never had to do in the old days when they were constantly touring. He points out that there is no "new" music in the show, which he believes will come as a "relief" to those coming to see them.
"Land of Confusion" is the next live song we hear; Phil's rough-edged vocals somehow fit well with the song, which also features plenty of backup singing assistance. Tony points out that the song comes across as very topical and pertinent, even though it was written for the Reagan era; and the new visuals to go with it are very COVID-tinged, with empty streets, masked figures, and falling toilet paper rolls.
Phil claims that he would be OK if things "were always going to be like this" - i.e., lockdown with no more touring. He mentions that he has had some very public airing of some very unpleasant personal issues, and some news headlines are flashed on the screen to give people background (mostly some ridiculous sparring with his ex-wife).
Next comes "Domino," a great showcase both for the still-vibrant instrumental capabilities of the band and the visual technology. We get to see/hear most of the song from the bridge to the end, with some cool domino-related effects which I admit are difficult to describe, so I won't try.
Tony discusses how luck is a big factor in the success of any band, and that they've had their fair share, though it took them a very long time to have a "hit" song. They were actually fortunate (he opines) to be an "underground" band for a good ten years before they really went worldwide.
"Throwing It All Away" is the next song, yet another plucked from the multi-platinum Invisible Touch. The backup guys help with the call-and-response vocals at the beginning of the song. Unlike many of the other tracks, we get to hear the great majority of this one, intercut with various interviews and other sound bites. It's another chance to hear where many of Phil's regular vocal flourishes or repetitions have been dropped or greatly simplified.
As a sort of coda, we get a montage of older clips of the band playing live or in promo videos, mixed with various current statements from the guys. Phil mentions that this tour is likely the last one; Nic and Tony talk about the addicting high one gets from being cheered at by an audience (though Tony says it's more fun to have the memory of it happening than it is to actually experience it in real time); Tony Smith says, "What else are we going to do - gardening?" Phil says, "They should thank me for putting up with them, and I should thank them for putting up with me."
It's not a very long video but it's pleasant and it does remind anyone who might have needed reminding just how great a live act this band was - and (mostly) still is. It was a bit hard watching Phil, though he clearly has the desire and the will to keep going and he did, in fact, hang in there for the full tour, which is commendable in its way.
There are no other extra features or options on the disc, apart from a short trailer for the film, which is just cobbled together from bits of the film itself. There is a part of me that would have liked to see the full performances of these songs, having been given this teasing peek; but I'm willing to be satisfied with what is here. Even if this really is the last domino . . . ?
Autographed Abacab CD insert (2001) and Autographed Band Photo (1997?)
Comments: Here is where I've put together all of the memorabilia that I've happened to find from Genesis. I'm not much of a collector in this area, since I prefer the music to anything else, but when I come across easy opportunities to get this stuff I usually get it. On the left above is a CD insert booklet signed by Mike, Tony and Phil. This one I got from the official Genesis website (www.genesis-music.com); it was one of an initial batch of (I think) 300, which was later expanded by an additional 200, making a grand total of 500. It was first made available at the end of 2001, but only to fans who purchased $25 or more worth of CDs, including Abacab, over the website. The purchase came with an unsigned copy of Abacab along with an additional insert booklet with the autographs on it.
On the right we have a photo of the last incarnation of the band, autographed by them. Having never actually seen or met any member of the band in person, I didn't actually get this autographed myself. I found it at a rock and roll weekend convention/fair type of thing in Red Bank, New Jersey. They had a bunch of booths with various products, and one was selling autographed photographs. This one cost $45 and was sealed inside of a plastic bag along with a certificate of authenticity. The bag was taped closed, so I didn't open it to take this photo. The guy who sold it to me mentioned how the band's autographs just weren't worth as much anymore, since Phil left (duh!).
Comments: Next, the fake pound note produced by Charisma records in promotion of the Selling England by the Pound tour. I believe it was given out at various concerts at that tour. It was printed on textured, off-white paper to make it seem more like real money. I got this one off of e-bay for around $30. Since the paper is in fact textured and the design is very complex and matches others I've seen on the web, and since the person I bought if from has a very high rating on e-bay, I'm as certain as I can be that this is the real thing. And it's in mint condition.
From top left: '77 tour picture book, '78 tour foldout "postergramme" (UK version?), '80 tour book (UK/US version), '81 tour book (US version), Reunion show book, '83-'84 Mama tour programme.
Comments: I picked all of these up in one trade. Some good quality official tour programmes (or programs, depending on how you feel like spelling it) from about a 7 year period (1977-1984). Though they are not perfectly preserved (there are noticable scuffs on the covers in places), there is no severe damage to the bindings and no rips in the pages. Though most of these are not particularly rare (according to the Genesis Museum), they're probably still worth something, and regardless it's nice for me to have these, since as I've said before I never went to a show. The '77 book is really all pictures; the only information it includes is the band's equipment list and some credits for the tour managers and road crew. The '78 foldout program is nice, as the whole thing unfolds into a giant poster and on the other side there's some info about the band, some photos, and some excerpts from one of Gallo's books (again, nice for me, since I don't happen to have any of Gallo's books right now). The other '78 book is from the famous Knebworth Festival of that year, and features info on many other bands besides Genesis (including Brand X), a map of the festival grounds, and even an ad for Anthony Phillips!
The '80 book has a lot of info, including tour dates, equipment lists, a discography (up to that point, of course), some ads for the band's solo albums at the time (just the first album each from Mike and Tony), lots of ads for other products, lots of full color photos of the band, and another large excerpt from Gallo. '81's tour program is much like that of '77--almost entirely pictures of the band on tour. The graphics used in the layout cleverly mimic the Abacab album cover. At the very end there's an equipment list and instructions for ordering merchandise. Then I have a nice thing, the program for the Six of the Best reunion gig. It has a nice big spread with the history of the band and its various formations (as reprinted in one or two other books over the years), some interesting comments from each band member about the gig, some old shots of the band, some "new" shots of the band (rehearsing for the gig at the Hammersmith Odeon on September 29, apparently), and some meagre one or two page features on the other bands appearing there (John Martyn, whose picture depicts him with a ridiculously over-done puppy dog expression, The Blues Band, and Talk Talk). There are no pictures of the actual gig, as the program necessarily had to be completed before it took place.
The last program is the official one from the Mama tour of '83-'84, which is perhaps the most curious (in my opinion) because it features some of the strangest photo shoots of Genesis that I have ever seen. Apparently someone got the idea that they'd look great dressed up in various sports outfits. So we see shots of the band competing against each other in football (the American kind), football (the "real" kind), basketball, baseball, and even tennis. This is a mostly picture-based book, with lots of nice big tour photos and also a nice bunch of shots from the set of the video for "Illegal Alien." There's also some photo credits of the road crew and managers so you can put faces with the names. At the end of the book is a nice spread with all of the band's albums up to that point, and all of the solo albums from Mike, Tony and Phil. This has given me the opportunity to actually see what the cover of Mike's second album, Acting Very Strange, looks like (it's just a geeky picture of Mike with various, more distorted photos of him set in the background). Also shown is Tony's out of print (or perhaps back in print??) soundtrack, for the movie The Wicked Lady.
Comments: This is one of the only pieces of memorabilia I own that was purchased at a concert I attended--my wife nicely picked this up for me as a surprise (I also have a mug and a keychain, which I have chosen not to catalogue on this site for some reason). I have no idea how much it cost and I'm not sure I want to know (considering that the cheapest T-shirts were $40 a pop!); and, unless most of the people who purchase one go right home and burn their copy, I doubt it will ever grow appreciably in value; but I'm very glad to have it, as it helps commemorate my first ever Genesis concert.
The book itself is a two-part affair, with one half devoted to a timeline of the band, and the other a series of very nice messages written by each band member, with their feelings about the tour and about getting together again.
The timeline has some great old pictures of the band, and is well-designed. It covers the history of the band fairly accurately. I thought the year ranges they chose to break up the spreads rather awkward. "Paper Late" is written as two words, and the album Three Sides Live is called "The Three Sides Live." Typical inaccuracies from official sources! I'm not surprised but am still disappointed by the fact that there is not a single picture of Ray Wilson nor of the CAS album cover (though every other album cover is depicted), and only a grudging mention of him.
The "tour" part of the book is quite nice. There are some great shots of the stage with the graphics up on the big screen, and it's really quite touching to read what the guys have to say about each other. It's also very funny to read Mike's description of Tony's "who-did-that?" look. There is an extensive list of credits at the end (though the band's gear does not seem to be listed). I also thought it was very cool that they included a collection of the snapshots Phil took from the stage while on the European leg of the tour. A cool thing to have!
Comments: For your consideration, above are depictions of several Genesis enamel badges. The picture at top left is a photo taken by me of my "combi" style badge; that on the top right is taken from Simon's site. Bottom left is the artist's initial rendering of the "I Know What I Like" lawnmower badge (very like the final version--I didn't bother to photograph my badge because I just don't have the right equipment or expertise to photograph the things very well), and bottom right is the "green" version of the "Magog" badge (there is also a version with red dragons). The middle image is the original art for the Genesis "Live" badge, one of the more recent pieces. These are several out of a larger series of Genesis badges produced by Peter Wood. They're pins that you can pin on something to show your Genesis pride!
The combi one in particular is very cool for the sheer number and variety of Genesis references included. Let me count the ways: the batwings from "Watcher" hover in the background, while beneath everything is the croquet lawn from Nursery Cryme. On the sides you can see silhouettes of Rael from the cover of tLLDoB. The middle three heads are of course various costumes that Peter wore: the flower mask, the "Magog" head, and the fox mask (with low-neck ball gown in evidence). Cool, eh? Of course, I myself don't really wear or use pins in everyday life, but these are just so neat that I had to collect a few.
Other badges by Pete include full-body representations of the flower head, the fox, and the Slipperman. All are made in limited editions, so don't blame me if he's run out! If you do want to purchase one, just click on Peter's name above to contact him (he has pictures of the other badges that he can show you). Peter also has a limited run of Genesis playing card decks titled The Chamber of 52 Cards, each card with original artwork by him. It is an amazing piece of work--I have a deck, and it is beautiful. You can spend hours finding all the little references he makes to various songs and albums. Great stuff!
Comments: Above is a photo of my very own vinyl sticker of the old school Genesis logo. This was made for me by Gareth Hogan of Australia, who used the .eps file that I created by tracing over a scan of Paul Whitehead's artwork with Adobe Illustrator. I feel so cool driving around in my car now! This is not exactly the kind of item that everybody else has on their vehicles. It's almost one of a kind--except Gareth made one for himself too.