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Genesis - Genesis Live CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.99 | 960 ratings

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5 stars "One of the most exciting and pivotal live albums in progrock history!"

Of course Genesis Live (the 1973 UK Foxtrot tour) should have been a double LP, including Supper's Ready, the 'epic of all epics'. Also because the front cover picture showcases Genesis performing Supper's Ready, during Apocalypse In 9/8 with Peter Gabriel and his magical octagonal red mask. Unfortunately the record company Charisma decided that Genesis Live had to be released as a low budget LP, due to several reasons. But still without that mindblowing epic Supper's Ready this pivotal live Genesis album is one of the highlights in progressive rock. Because from the very first minute with the majestic soaring Mellotron waves in Watcher Of The Skies to the heavy and bombastic grand finale in The Knife it's a captivating, compelling, varied and exciting 'Old-School-Symphonic-Rock- Extravaganza' that rules on Genesis Live!

1. Watcher of the Skies (8:34) : The majestic soaring keyboard intro is played on the Mellotron Mark 2, this model features a split keyboard. Tony Banks on the Internet: "It was intentionally melodramatic to conjure up an impression of incredible size. It was an extraordinary sound. On the old Mellotron Mark 2 there were these two chords that sounded really good on that instrument. There are some chords you can't play on that instrument because they'd be so out of tune. These chords created an incredible atmosphere. That's why it's just an incredible intro number. It never sounded so good on the later Mellotron." The development of this composition is awesome with great tension between the dreamy and bombastic parts, inventive and varied guitar work by Hackett, and a dynamic rhythm-section, topped by Peter Gabriel his distinctive vocals. The compelling final part delivers glorious Mellotron.

2. Get 'em out by Friday (9:14) : Again a great tension between the mellow parts (with soaring organ, Mellotron flute and twanging guitar), a catchy mid-tempo with a growling Rickenbacker bass and bombastic parts with howling electric guitar. Peter Gabriel shines with his unique vocals, using different accents and tonations, unsurpassed. Halfway a slowdown to almost silent, the atmosphere is very ominous, then a strong build-up, culminating in an outburst and finally a subtle conclusion, the interplay is amazing.

3. The Return of the Giant Hogweed (8:14) : From a swinging rhythm to a heavy bombastic eruption, this composition generates so much excitement! Banks his Hammond and Hackett his powerful guitar colour the music strongly, in the end a sumptuous outburst with majestic Mellotron brass and thunderous drums from Collins, goose bumps!

4. The Musical Box (10:55) : This is the realm of the 12-string guitars, a main feature of early Genesis their sound. Banks and Rutherford play on it while Hackett delivers subtle volume pedal driven guitar. Gradually the music turns from dreamy into more lush, halfway culminating in a bombastic eruption. This is topped by an agressive guitar solo with varied techniques, like the' hammering' (way before Van Halen). In the second part an exciting build-up, alternating between dreamy and bombastic, from twanging guitars and almost whispering vocals to a final eruption with sumptuous churchy Hammond organ, howling electric guitar runs, a propulsive rhythm-section and Peter Gabriel singing his legendary "now, now, now", goose bumps, this is why progrock was invented!

5. The Knife (9:46) : The main difference between the studio - and the live version is the live contribution by Steve Hakett, who replaced Anthony Phillips after the Trespass album (1970). Phillips played wonderful guitar, in a strong pastoral tradition, but Hackett was more inspired by Robert Fripp his fiery and biting electric guitar work. That agressive guitar sound matches perfectly with the dark subject of this song, endless wars and killings in our history: howling, fiery, biting, culminating in a long and heavy guitar solo, in the vein of Jimi Hendrix who imitated a machine gun, Hackett also sounds like a gun. An interesting fact: on the Internet I read that "in the middle of this song, the band dramatizes the 1970 shootings at Kent State University in Ohio, where four students were killed by members of the United States National Guard." The final part is very compelling and emotional, like a marching army (drums and Hammond), in the end the music sound like stabbing with a knife, until the victim no longer moves, breathtaking!

What a pity that this kind of mindblowing and pivotal progressive rock cannot be awarded with six stars, there should be a kind of super category for albums like this (and CTTE by Yes or DSOTM by Pink Floyd or PAAE by ELP, to name a few)!

TenYearsAfter | 5/5 |


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