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Genesis - Three Sides Live CD (album) cover

THREE SIDES LIVE

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

3.46 | 534 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Three Sides Live" is a live album release by UK pop/rock act Genesis. The album was released through Charisma Records (UK)/Atlantic Records (US) in June 1982. The album title refers to the fact that the original double vinyl version of the album featured live tracks on side A, B, and C, while side D featured five studio tracks. Three out of the five studio tracks are outtakes from the "Abacab (1981)" sessions ("Paperlate", "You Might Recall", and "Me and Virgil"), and had already appeared on the "3x3" EP from May 1982. The remaining two were recorded in 1979 during the sessions for "Duke (1980)" ("Evidence of Autumn" and "Open Door"). None of them appeared on "Duke (1980)", but were instead chosen as B-sides to the singles for "Misunderstanding (1980)" and "Duchess (1980)" ("Evidence of Autumn" was also featured as the B-side to the "Turn it On Again (1980)" single).

Not all versions of "Three Sides Live" features the five studio tracks as side D, but instead omit those tracks in favor of live versions of "One For The Vine", "Fountain Of Slamacis", and a medley of "It / Watcher Of The Skies". The live tracks from side A, B, and C, were all recorded during the bandīs 1980 and 1981 tours, while the live tracks on side D, were recorded between 1976 and 1980. The live tracks were recorded at various locations (some on the same date and at the same venue). The tracks from side A, B, and C, are naturally mostly culled from "Duke (1980)" and "Abacab (1981)", but Genesis do not deny their progressive rock past and have also included "In the Cage" and "Afterglow" on side C. If you have a version with live tracks on side D, thereīs actually a respectable number of progressive rock tracks featured on the album. So itīs up to the listener which version they should purchase. The version which features most pop/rock oriented tracks or the version which features a higher number of progressive rock tracks.

The live material is not surprisingly well performed and very well produced too. All details are audible and placed at perfect volumes in the mix. While itīs audible that these are live versions of the tracks, they arenīt far removed from the original studio versions. The early progressive rock tracks of course sound different with a more clear sound quality and because of Phil Collins vocals, but other than that, everything is more or less true to the originals. The older progressive rock track "One For The Vine", "Fountain Of Slamacis" are a real joy listening to in these versions, but tracks like "Behind The Lines", "Turn It On Again", and "Duchess" from "Duke (1980)", all work very well too. What Iīm most surprised (and happy) about is how well "Dodo / Lurker" and "Abacab" from "Abacab (1981)" work. The sound production on "Abacab (1981)" always left me a bit cold, so itīs nice to hear those tracks come to live on this release.

The five studio tracks are to my ears pretty typical outtakes/single B-sides. They are either not catchy enough compared to the material which ended up on the album they didnīt make it unto, or they are a little too different sounding, which meant they were chosen as single B-sides (which is the case with a track like "Evidence of Autumn"). That should not be read as if these five tracks are bad quality song, because thatīs certainly not the case, as even less interesting Genesis songs are better than most other music out there. But itīs probably not the studio tracks, which most people will purchase "Three Sides Live" for.

Upon conclusion "Three Sides Live" is a high quality live (and partially studio) release by Genesis, which well demonstrates how incredibly skilled performers they are, and how well material from different periods work. Itīs always up for debate if the track selection on a live album is right, and personally I could have wished for a couple of other selections from "...and Then There Were Three (1978)", than the relatively limb ballad "Follow You, Follow Me", but other than that I have few complaints when it comes to the tracklist. Many of the bandīs early compositions had already been featured in live versions on "Genesis Live (1973)" and on "Seconds Out (1977)", so to demand more old material on "Three Sides Live", could ultimately be perceived as a bit spoiled. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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