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Genesis - Archive 2 1976 - 1992 CD (album) cover

ARCHIVE 2 1976 - 1992

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

2.99 | 145 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Genesis Archive 2: 1976'1992" is a three-disc box set by UK pop/rock act Genesis. The box set was released through Virgin Records (UK)/Atlantic Records (US) in November 2000. As the title suggests it's the second archive in a series, and this release covers the years 1976-1992 with Phil Collins as the band's lead vocalist. The first box set from 1998 titled "Genesis Archive 1967'1975", covered the years with Peter Gabrial as Genesis lead vocalist. "Genesis Archive 2: 1976'1992" is not a best-of type box set/compilation, but rather a rare track/B-sides/live track type box set. It includes most single B-sides from the period, two tracks off the "3x3 (1982)" EP ("Me and Virgil" was left off), two tracks from the "Spot the Pigeon (1977)" EP ("Match of the Day" was left off), some 12" remixes of tracks from "Invisible Touch (1986)" and "We Can't Dance (1991)", a work-in-progress version of "Mama", and quite a few live tracks from various albums from the period, recorded over the years. Some of the live tracks had appeared as single B-sides, while others were previously unreleased.

For fans of Phil Collins-era Genesis, "Genesis Archive 2: 1976'1992" is a bit of a treasure chest. The live tracks feature well sounding professional productions and there are a couple of pretty interesting track choices among them like "Deep in the Motherlode", "Burning Rope", and "The Lady Lies". All three tracks were originally featured on "...and Then There Were Three (1978)", but these live versions are exclusive to this release. As far as I know none of those tracks have been featured on other live releases by Genesis. Other than those three tracks, the two tracks from the "Spot the Pigeon (1977)" EP, and live versions of "Ripples" and "Entangled", which are originally featured on "A Trick of the Tail (1976)", there aren't that many pre-80s tracks featured on the box-set. So the focus is mostly on material or recordings from the 80s, although the late 70s certainly aren't forgotten either.

The 12" remix versions of the tracks from "Invisible Touch (1986)" and "We Can't Dance (1991)" and the work-in- progress version of "Mama" are probably the least interesting tracks on the box-set. They are all great tracks and the remix versions are typically longer and adds more instrumental sections, but it's nothing breathtaking and to my ears the original versions are superior, which makes these 12" remix versions a bit redundant. Including the work-in-progress version of "Mama", that's almost 40 minutes of the 3 hours and 26 minutes total box-set playing time. So it's not something you can see past completely, but on the other hand, it's still quality material. Personally I would much rather have Genesis include "Me and Virgil" and "Match of the Day", which were apparently left off, because the members couldn't find common ground and agree to put them on the box-set.

As mentioned earlier "Genesis Archive 2: 1976'1992" is still a bit of a gem though, as many of the live tracks and single B-sides are brilliant tracks. Some are a bit odd/different and it's obvious why they were left off the album releases (not that they are bad quality tracks or anything like that), while others make you wonder about the album tracklist choices made by the band. The opening track "On the Shoreline", which is a B-side to the "I Can't Dance" single from December 1991, is an example of the latter, as it's an absolutely brillant and catchy track, which could easily have been included on "We Can't Dance (1991)", and could probably even have heightened the quality of that release. Another example is "Evidence of Autumn", which is the B-side track to the "Misunderstanding" single from August 1980. Another quite brilliant track.

"Genesis Archive 2: 1976'1992" is through and through a high quality release, despite a few less interesting choices for the tracklist, but the majority of the material are high class compositions, which may not have fit on the album they were written for, but sure deserve more than just collecting dust in the vault or being hidden on the B-side of a single. The live tracks are also of great quality, and for fans of Phil Collins-era Genesis I'd go as far as to say that this is mandatory listening. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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