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Genesis - Genesis Live CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.98 | 863 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars An intense dynamic performance captured on one excellent album

The year was 1973 and Genesis was required to produce an album with Charisma Labels. The problem was there was no new material so some bright spark came up with the idea of releasing a live album. It was designed to count down time until the subsequent release of the next studio album. Ironically the album would become a masterful interpretation of a live concert experience in the 70s and indeed the only legitimate vinyl release of Gabriel live with Genesis. In this regards the album is an important Genesis release, and essential at the time to contribute to the growing success of the group. The set list represented the recent "Foxtrot" as well as material from "Nursery Cryme" albums and a track from "Trespass". There was material recorded for the 'King Biscuit Flower Hour' syndicated radio show and the band agreed that this material would be sufficient and it would serve as a budget release. How wrong they were; the album is a triumph.

The sound on this album is Genesis at their best, particularly the accomplished organ and mellotron of Banks who is captured in time. Hackett's guitar flourishes are crystal clear and Rutherford is dominant on bass pedals. Collins' percussive work is incredible and consistent. The showmanship of Gabriel is compelling and enchanting, he is absolutely in his element on the live stage.

Overall the album has become a quintessential product, not a throwaway or filler between albums, moreover a highly polished testament to the complexity of the music that Genesis generated in the prog-soaked 70s. The performances on "Watcher of the Skies," "Get 'Em Out By Friday," "Return of the Giant Hogweed," "The Knife, and, "The Musical Box," are excellent compositions, remarkably similar in structure to the studio releases, but distinctly dissimilar in sound, indeed perhaps even better than the original versions.

Gabriel is a theatrical powerhouse performing many facets of his persona and spitting out the lyrics with venom and cynical grandeur. "The Musical Box" is a wonderful full blown exploration of Gabriel-fuelled whimsy and as dark as the studio release. "The Return of the Giant Hogweed," is also dark and ethereal with some amazing virtuoso guitar and keyboards embellished by an off beat percussive rhythm. "The Knife" is the only "Trespass" track and it is a killer with staccato blasts of keyboards and shimmering guitars, that absolutely buries the original version in terms of sheer intensity and dynamism.

The energy of the band is incredible, they were a force to be reckoned with in the 70s and it is all captured on this live release that fits neatly on one CD. It is an absolute tragedy that "Supper's ready" was omitted, due to length issues and the fact that it would cost too much, as this would have been the piece de resistance and may have escalated the album to masterpiece status. However, versions of this track from the 70s have surfaced on box sets so it all is not lost. Overall "Genesis Live" is a delightful rendition of all that made Genesis great in the early 70s; an historical live document of progressive excellence.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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