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Genesis - Genesis Live CD (album) cover

GENESIS LIVE

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

3.98 | 867 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 45

In the early of 1973, Genesis allowed the taping of a couple of live radio shows, most of them were taken from their albums up 1972, and where their previous fourth studio album "Foxtrot", released also in the same year, was represented. A few months later, their record label Charisma records, in the mid of 1973, persuaded the band to release a live album, from that same taped performance, as a title to mark time while the group was recording what would be their new fifth studio album "Selling England By The Pound", to be released in 1973. However, the group had no plans to release a live album at that moment, especially because all the band members were somewhat extremely busy preparing their new studio work. Anyway, they agreed with Charisma records and the result was this debut live album.

"Genesis Live" became a cult album for Genesis fans, especially for those who consider that the group ended with Peter Gabriel's departure from the group. "Genesis Live" is the first live album released by Genesis and is also the only official live document from the group with Gabriel still in the line up of the band, until the 1998's release of "Genesis Archive 1967-75". "Genesis Live" was recorded in the "Foxtrot" live tour of 1973, shortly before the band's upcoming new studio album, "Selling England By The Pound" see the light of the day.

"Genesis Live" is a live album composed by only five tracks. The first track "Watcher Of The Skies" and the second track "Get'Em Out By Friday" are both two live versions of two original songs recorded on their third studio album "Foxtrot" released in 1972. The third track "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed" and the fourth track "The Musical Box" are both two live versions of two original songs recorded on their third studio album "Nursery Crime" released in 1971. The fifth track "The Knife" is a live version of an original song recorded on their second studio album "Trespass" released in 1970.

In relation to the track selections chosen to be included on "Genesis Live", I'm going to write some lines about them. I'm going to analyse the album's tracks following the chronological order of the songs and not the order which they were presented on the album. "The Knife" is an excellent choice because is the best song recorded on "Trespass" and is also, in my humble opinion, the first masterpiece made by the band. Compared with the original studio version, we can say that it's a killer track, because is much more aggressive than the original version. It's the track with a more significant rearranging, probably due to the new band members' participation. Steve Hackett and Phil Collins played the song, replacing Anthony Philips and John Mayhew, respectively. This track is without any doubt, one of the highest moments on the album and represents a great closing to it. "The Musical Box" is another great choice because is one of the best themes composed by the band and is also my second favourite song on "Nursery Crime", after "The Fountain Of Salmacis". This is also one of the Genesis' songs most played live by the group and by their band members when they are playing as solo artists. "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed" is also a very good choice and is my third favourite song on "Nursery Crime", although isn't as good as "The Fountain Of Salmacis" and "The Musical Box" are. However, this live version is also very interesting as always they are. "Watcher Of The Skies" is also another great choice because is one of the best songs of the group, and this live version is, in my humble opinion, better than the original version. It's also one of the favourite songs from the band and it's also one of the songs most played live by the group and their band members, when they play as a solo artists. "Get'Em Out By Friday" sounds even more theatrical here than it does on the original version. It's really fascinating listen to Peter reinventing his vocalizations in such a clever manner. He overdoes the pronunciation a bit and obviously he gets a lot of fun to himself doing it.

Conclusion: As I wrote before, "Genesis Live" isn't properly an original album recorded live by the band but a series of live tapings taken from a couple of live shows for a broadcast in America as part of the King Biscuit Flower Hour. Therefore, "Genesis Live" don't have the consistency of a true live album. On the other hand, despite the group and their record label are conditioned to the existing live tapes, I believe that they could have replaced "Get'Em Out By Friday", which is my less favourite song on this album, by other song. The original King Biscuit broadcast included their great epic, the most famous and the best song made by Genesis, "Supper's Ready". Anyway, "Genesis Live" remains, without any doubt, a very interesting and important live document from the band, especially because it's one of the rare pieces of music where we can listen to Gabriel singing live in Genesis. However, I'm not able to rate "Genesis Live" as a masterpiece. So, for the reasons explained before by me, I've rated this album with only 4 stars.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |

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