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Genesis - Seconds Out CD (album) cover

SECONDS OUT

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.31 | 896 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Review Nš 61

"Seconds Out" is really the album that closes definitely the Steve Hackett cycle in Genesis. Hackett left the group in 1977 after this live album, while his fellow band mates were in the studio mixing together "Seconds Out". It becomes his final release with Genesis. And so, comes to an end what is usually called the end of the Hackett's era on Genesis. However, I need to mention a curious fact to our reflection. To be called the Hackett's era, it leads us to think that he was the main songwriter and the musician most influential in this musical period of Genesis. If it's partially true when we are talking about of one of the most influential musicians in the band, owner of an unmistakable sound with his guitar, in relation to the band's song writing, nothing is more wrong. Hackett had wanted to include a quarter of his own work on "Wind And Wuthering", and that wasn't possible because his colleagues in the group denied him that.

So, let's see it. "A Trick Of The Tail" has eight tracks. Tony Banks wrote two tracks and co-wrote six tracks. So, he participated in all the compositions of the album. Hackett co-wrote three tracks. Phil Collins co-wrote three tracks. Mike Rutherford co-wrote four tracks. "Wind And Wuthering" has nine tracks. Banks wrote three tracks and co- wrote three tracks. Hackett co-wrote four tracks. Collins co-wrote three tracks. Rutherford wrote one track and co- wrote three tracks. All this is to say that the vast majority of the band's compositions during this Genesis' musical period were mostly signed by Banks, while the remaining compositions of the other three band members are almost equal. I always considered that the two greatest composers of the band are Banks and Hackett, which are my favourite band's members, too. So, I always considered unfair that Hackett has had no more importance on the compositions of Genesis, which would be entirely fair. Surely, this was the main reason for his departure from Genesis.

"Seconds Out" is the Genesis' second live album and is also their debut double live album. It was released in 1977. The live performances were recorded in Paris in 1976 and 1977 on their live supporting tours of "A Trick Of The Tail" and "Wind And Wuthering", both albums released in 1976. As far as I can think, this is probably the last classic Genesis' album, because it still features Hackett and it still relies mostly on the old classic tracks. The diehard progressive fans usually don't even want to think of crossing the line between this and what followed. And as this is a live album, of course, it doesn't have Phil on the drums, in almost all of it. Bill Bruford plays on a track, "The Cinema Show", but for all of the rest of it, it's Chester Thompson, who'd previously played with none other than Frank Zappa himself. Needless to say he's really good. He'd played stuff thrice as complex and witty as Genesis' moderately tricky signatures. As an unpretentious drummer, he rules really very hard. It became a Genesis' member in their live shows.

As a double live album, "Seconds Out" concentrates heavily on the classics tracks which the band just didn't had a chance to record, or to release live, while Gabriel was still hanging around. I don't have many complaints about the song selection overall, this is a solid lot of songs. Of course, it's to be expected that the live versions of the songs are going to be inferior to their studio counterparts especially when the band is doing their best to recreate the original songs exactly. However, we can't feel it on this live album. Looking at the track listing, we can see "Firth Of Fifth", "I Know What I Like", "The Cinema Show", "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway", "The Carpet Crawlers", and, of course, a whole side dedicated to "Supper's Ready". There's also a rather pointless, I must say, short excerpt of "The Musical Box", a closing section. We also have plus some of the newer material, like "Squonk", "Dance On A Volcano", "Robbery, Assault And Battery" and "Los Endos", which are all tracks from "A Trick Of The Tail". Strangely, there's only one number from "Wind And Wuthering", "Afterglow", a Banks tune, which closes the original studio album.

Conclusion: "Seconds Out" is clearly the best Genesis' live album and is also, in my humble opinion, one of their few live albums that deserve to be rated as a masterpiece. It's a very well balanced album with a great selection of songs to be played live. It's also very well representative of the group's repertoire at the time, and it has great and magical musical moments. It's without any doubt, one of the most fantastic live albums from the 70's. It sounds loud, powerful and energetic, which is exactly the way that a live release should sound. A Genesis' concert was a very powerful thing of beauty and real awe in the 70's, when Gabriel was still part of the group, and compared with those times, this release stands out, because it shows how the band unleashed their enthusiasm and energy to compensate for the loss of Gabriel. It represents also the definitive farewell of Hackett in Genesis. With his departure, Genesis turns to be a trio and unfortunately they began to lose their progressive references and they turned to be a very successful pop band.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 5/5 |

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