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Genesis - Archive 1967-1975 CD (album) cover

ARCHIVE 1967-1975

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.26 | 194 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

infandous
4 stars I was quite pleased when this came out, and very excited to get it. On the whole, I think it is a good set, but let's start with the negatives.

Why, as another reviewer pointed out, waste almost half the disk space of CD1 and CD2? Why not fill CD1 to the brim, then put the rest of the Lamb on CD2 and use the remaining space for more archive live footage or alternate takes or unreleased songs or SOMETHING? What about the encores? Those would have been nice to hear, even if they were not of the highest quality (I'm assuming the encores were missing from this particular live performance since the tape ran out during the song IT and they rerecorded it for this box set). Next, couldn't they have found some better material to fill out the last CD? As Sean Trane mentions, the first half is quite listenable and worth hearing. The second half is poor quality demos that should have been left in the vault. Finally, the booklet is not very well attached to the cover and pages started falling out after the first couple of times I leafed through it.

Now, for the good, and there is much more of that in my view. Firstly, CD3 is worth getting the box for by itself. I still have the live recordings from the Rainbow Theater on a bootleg I bought at a local CD shop back in 1991. At the time I was excited to have a live version of Suppers Ready (in fact, I hadn't heard the studio version yet). The sound quality on that bootleg is just short of horrible, however. At the time, I figured it was the best I could hope for to hear such a rare live document. Now, thankfully, I have an excellent quality recording of the same performance. The only difference is in some of the vocals, which were obviously rerecorded (I know they announced that they had rerecorded them for the Lamb material, but I'm not sure they said they did for the Rainbow performances...........either way, I can tell a distinct difference in the vocals between my old bootleg copy and the one on this box). Aside from that, the box leaves off Watcher, which is on my bootleg copy. I assume this was done because it is on Genesis Live, but the version of my bootleg has a bit different drum part that it had no the album or on Genesis Live, so might have been interesting to include here. But I understand why they didn't. The song order is different here too, and I think it was correct on the bootleg as that ended with Supper's Ready, which was the case in their actual performances on the Selling England tour. We also get a live in studio recording of Stagnation which is interesting since it has Phil and Steve performing on it (I'm reasonably sure of this because of the drumming, though it isn't mentioned anywhere on the packaging). Twilight Alehouse is a song I'd heard of but never heard before, and is an excellent song very much of the same caliber of anything on Nursery Cryme. Odd then that the A side of the single it was a B side of, is the fairly ordinary Happy The Man. Still, not a bad song by any means and it has some interesting lyrics (incidentally, this is not where the band Happy the Man got their name from.......they had never even heard of the song until this box set came out). Finally, we have a somewhat anitclimatic unreleased single version of Watcher (probably the other reason they left out the live Rainbow version), though somewhat interesting in that it isn't just an edit, but a different version altogether.

The 4th CD has some good stuff from their early days, this time without the nauseating orchestrations pasted on to their debut. It's interesting to hear how humbly this band started out and how quickly they matured (as evidenced by the inclusion of Stagnation, one of the best songs on Tresspass).

The Lamb performance is good, but aside from some story explanations between tracks are variations in the vocal performance, varies almost not at all. It does come across a bit more powerfully to my ears though, and The Waiting Room is not identical to it's studio counterpart. Still, I would have loved the encores to be included or some other live tracks (Cinema Show would have been nice).

Aside from the above mentioned gluing problem with the pages of the booklet, the packaging is nice with some good essays by various associates of the band, great archive photos and nice montage artwork. More technical information would have been nice though.

Overall, a worthwhile boxset. I would say this is really only for fans of the band, obviously, but if you like the early material at all it is worth having. So my 4 stars is really my personal feeling as a longtime PG Genesis fan, but applies to all Genesis fans really. Everyone else should consider this a fans only purchase.

infandous | 4/5 |

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