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Genesis - Genesis 1970 -75 CD (album) cover

GENESIS 1970 -75

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.51 | 198 ratings

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proghaven
4 stars An audio/video encyclopedia of so-called 'Gabriel-era' Genesis, or, in other words, Genesis of its golden age, classic Genesis etc. First of all, being a diehard, hardbitten and clinically dedicated Genesis fan since my schooldays (honestly!.. I've listened to a few thousands of prog albums from 1960s to 2010s since then, but still nothing can compare to Duke, And Then There Were Three, Selling England By The Pound and A Trick Of The Tail!), I in toto refuse to talk about the sound quality of this CD/DVD box set. I think it's unessential when we discuss the music originally released in 1970s. The only sound to be accepted is old vinyl sound, and basta. Remixes? Remasterings? Oh it's pretty nice, but you have no need to seek for a good digital remastering of Supper's Ready if you own a clean copy of the US first vinyl press of Foxtrot on pink scroll Charisma in wallet gatefold cover. (Yes Foxtrot exists on pink scroll label, this US version is missing on Discogs but I had a mint copy - it sounded extraordinary, incomparably better than the muffled UK orig!) The only thing to be discussed are IMHO ten 'extra-tracks' on disc 6. All the five classic Genesis studio albums are available in hundreds of versions, while those 10 tracks are quite little-known and difficult to find, some of them were first released on 1990s and 2000s compilations, mostly unofficial.

Another nota bene is that in fact there was no 'Gabriel era' in the band's history. I.e. of course there was a period when Peter Gabriel was a member of the band (who will dispute this?), but musically Genesis was never 'Gabriel-dominated'. Until Duke, the band was musically 'Banks-dominated'. The myth about Gabriel as 'main songwriter' conquered the prog world, and when Tony Banks mentioned in a 1990s TV interview that he played major role in the band in 1970s, nobody paid attention, all the more that authorship of the music was not detailed on the band's early albums. But when Gabriel left the band and started a solo career, the things cleared. Even in his earliest solo albums you can hear absolutely no hint of Genesis of his era. Yes he was the band's main lyricist, but as for the music, just listen to A Curious Feeling (Banks' 1979 solo), and you'll clearly hear massive echoes as of mid and late 1970s Genesis so of Selling England By The Pound and even Nursery Cryme.

But let's keep to the point. What about the ten 'extra' songs?

Happy The Man is a non-album track first released in 1972 on 7-inch single. A classic song, though it rather belongs to ballad-type compositions not typical for Genesis of that period. By the way, its title gave a name to one of the greatest US prog bands of late 1970s.

Twilight Alehouse is another non-album track, first released on 7-inch in 1973. A masterpiece. Was written and recorded in the same time as most of the tracks for Selling England By The Pound but didn't fit in the album.

Going Out To Get You is a studio demo from August 1969. Remained unreleased until 1990s. Somewhat raw. Almost 5-minute long but perhaps would better be 3-minute. Sounds as a rejected track from the band's debut album From Genesis To Revelation. (Just to make the things clear: I like the album itself very much!)

Shepherd, Pacidy and Let Us Now Make Love are taken from the 1970 BBC Night Ride and were never released either on albums or on singles but often performed by the band live in 1970-1972. Musically all the three are transitional fossils between From Genesis To Revelation and Trespass.

Provocation, Frustration, Manipulation and Resignation are in fact sketches. All were recorded in London for BBC TV on 9th January 1970 and remained unavailable on the band's official releases until 2007. Most of the themes were later reworked and used in Trespass (Provocation, partially Resignation), Nursery Cryme (Manipulation and a short fragment of Provocation) and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (Frustration). All the four sound quite raw but charming.

Anyway, no matter if the musical material is raw or mature, the sound quality good or poor, production strong or weak etc, all the ten are of great interest as 'unknown (or at least not too well-known) Genesis', and I'd say the disc 6 is a pearl of the box set.

proghaven | 4/5 |

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