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Genesis - The Video Show CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.06 | 76 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars Visible touch

This nicely packaged DVD collection contains no less than 32 music videos of varying quality and interest. Despite the cover art containing characters from the sleeves of Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot, none of the videos are as old as those albums. The oldest footage here is from the A Trick Of The Tale-era, so the purists who loathe anything from the post- Peter Gabriel era need not bother with this DVD. The explanation for this "bias" is, of course, quite natural and justified in this case as the art of making music videos really didn't take off until the late 70's/early 80's. However, they could perhaps have included some live footage from the Gabriel-era to represent such early hits as I Know What I like (In Your Wardrobe) and some others.

The videos are presented in (roughly) backwards-chronological order with the videos from We Can't Dance coming in first, followed by those from Invisible Touch, then the self-titled album, Abacab, Duke, And Then There Were Three and A Trick Of The Tale (sadly nothing at all from Wind And Wuthering). Strangely, the three videos from Calling All Stations (the most recent Genesis album to date with Ray Wilson replacing Phil Collins on vocals) followed by the 1999 re-make of Carpet Crawlers comes in last of all. The latter is the sole inclusion that involves Peter Gabriel. Once again this running order is quite natural and justified due to the much higher production values of the more recent videos. They clearly wanted to present the viewer with the best (production-wise) first. You could perhaps even say that the further back in time you get the worse the videos get (but the better the music!). However, there are plenty of exceptions to that general rule.

The first five videos, No Son Of Mine, I Can't Dance, Hold On My Heart, Jesus He Knows Me and Tell Me Why, are taken from the We Can't Dance album. Of these No Son Of Mine is the best one both musically and visually. This is a very moving and emotional song and the video fits the song well. Jesus He Knows Me and I Can't Dance show the more humorous side of the band and the former is particularly funny. Many people who have not seen the video (or Phil's introduction to the song in live performance) can easily be led to think that it is a religious song. However, as the video makes very clear, it is actually a sarcastic take on the phenomenon of TV-evangelists. The criticism is biting! Many of the videos here actually show Genesis in a humorous and often sarcastic mode. They often make fun of themselves too, and it is very clear that they didn't take themselves very seriously a lot of the time, at least not as far as the visual element goes - they are simply having fun! However, there are also very "serious" videos. Songs like Hold On My Heart are rather boring and the visual doesn't help at all.

The Invisible Touch album is represented with no less than six videos! The only two songs from that album for which no videos were made are the two-part Domino and the instrumental The Brazilian (ironically perhaps these are the two songs from that album that hold the most interest for the Prog fan!). This heavy emphasis on the Invisible Touch album is one of the weakest aspects of this DVD. But this is perhaps understandable since some of these songs are the band's most widely know songs.

Home By The Sea/Second Home By The Sea is the first video that is of genuine interest from a progressive point of view. I really like this two-part song and it can probably be said to be one of the very few songs from the 80's that is up to par with what the band did in the 70's. From this point onwards (i.e. from the early 80's and backwards in time) the videos tend to consist mostly of live footage or footage of the band performing "live" in a studio or a regular room. But this is, of course, true of most bands that bothered to do music videos in the 70's and early 80's (Queen is a good case in point). There are some exceptions here, though, with a few videos actually having "scripts" as such. Misunderstanding and Robbery, Assault And Battery being notable cases in point.

Paperlate is "interesting" as it is not featured on any studio album (but otherwise available on archive releases), but the song is sadly dispensable. The songs from Abacab are mostly quite weak (like the album in general), but I do have a soft spot for the title track! For Prog fans, the real interest (with the exception of Home By The Sea/Second Home By The Sea) begins with the Duke material on this DVD. Duchess is the best track musically speaking, but Misunderstanding is better as far as the video goes. Follow You Follow Me and Many Too Many represent the And Then There Were Three album and, as most people on this site will know, these were the least progressive and most commercial songs from that otherwise strong album.

All the videos up till this point have been from the three-man line-up of Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins. The DVD's last seven videos include other line-ups including Steve Hackett, Peter Gabriel and Ray Wilson. First out are three videos from A Trick Of The Tale including the title track, Ripples and Robbery, Assault And Battery. The music here is indeed of masterpiece quality (A Trick Of The Tale is one of my all time favourite albums), but the visuals are hardly masterpieces. But it is certainly great to finally hear (and see) Steve Hackett. These songs thus come as a relief after so many songs from the three-man-era of the band. Robbery, Assault And Battery is particularly "interesting" with the video setting the lyrics into film. The "acting" here is actually better than in many of the videos from the 80's with Phil playing the robber who shoots Mike and Steve appears as a police officer!

The three videos from the underrated Ray Wilson-era as well as the re-make of Carpet Crawlers are clearly the most expensive-looking ones standing head and shoulders over all the other videos in terms of production values. I actually enjoy the songs as well from the short-lived Ray Wilson-era. The Carpet Crawlers 1999 is probably the closest we will ever get to a reunion with Peter Gabriel, but this remix of this old classic from The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is really not of much interest to fans of Gabriel-era Genesis (as its sounds so "1999"!).

Now, how should this collection be rated? Both the music and the visuals range from fantastic to rather shabby which makes rating a rather difficult matter. The videos from each album have recently been released on the bonus DVD's to the re-mastered versions of the individual albums, so if you have those CD+DVDs, this DVD collection will probably be of no interest to you. If you don't have the new re-masters, however, this DVD might indeed be of some interest to you, but really only if you are a fan and collector of the band. For someone wanting a visual representation of Genesis I would go for a live concert DVD first, like the excellent The Way We Walk DVD, for example, which features many of these same songs in better versions plus other, more progressive songs. Still, The Video Show is a fine addition to any serious Genesis fan's collection.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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