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Genesis - Inside Genesis The Gabriel Years 1970-1975 CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.90 | 41 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Great old clips, same old critics

This entry in Bob Carruthers' "Inside" rockumentary series focuses on the Peter Gabriel era of Genesis. Five studio albums are thus covered, with the Jonathan King debut being given a passing mention and "Genesis Live" being overlooked altogether. One can understand the omission of "From Genesis to Revelation", as there is probably no footage of the band during this period. Leaving out "Genesis live" however does seem strange, and is inconsistent with other entries in the series.

This particular programme is frustratingly good and bad. Taking the good first, the footage of Genesis from this period is extensive and superb. We see the band with Gabriel as lead singer performing classics such as "The Musical Box", "Supper's ready" (Banks, Rutherford and Hackett all on acoustic guitar), "Stagnation", "Watcher of the skies", and many more. For someone like myself, who had the honour of seeing the band live on more than one occasion during this period, the wonderful memories come flooding back. The clips are reasonably lengthy for this type of production too, although no tracks are played out in full.

On the downside, the experts who offer their opinions had, without exception, nothing to do with Genesis during this period. While others in the series have a fine selection of current and former band members, producers, etc., here we simply have the usual rota of journalists and critics. Their comments offer little insight into the music beyond the normal fan-speak. I find Michael Heatley's comments particularly unhelpful and indeed inaccurate at times (The "Moonlight" knight?). For no obvious reason, a member of Mostly Autumn is brought in to offer a musical dissection of a couple of songs.

The balance of the programme in terms of the albums is particularly poor. "Nursery cryme" is afforded about 21 minutes (which is wonderful), or a third of the programme, but "The lamb lies down of Broadway" is lucky to get a mere 2 minutes! This results in a rather abrupt and unsatisfactory ending to the production after less than an hour. "Selling England.." gets a sparse 10 minutes, with no mention or footage at all of "Firth of fifth", the highlight of the album for many.

Going back to the earliest footage of the band performing tracks from "Trespass", the line up in the film includes Collins and Hackett, who did not play on that album. Little is made though of the early contributions of Mayhew and Phillips. Personally, I would liked to have seen a bit more of Peter Gabriel's spoken introductions to the songs, the only one we get is a short intro to "Dancing with the moonlit knight".

An interesting aside for the train-spotters is the song credits shown. During this period, the songs were simply credited on the albums to "Genesis". Here though, the band member's names are shown individually, with Phil Collins being omitted from some he was involved in recording.

As a documentary about the Gabriel years Genesis albums, this is a pretty mediocre offering. As a source of rare footage of the band during the period, it is absolutely essential.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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