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Genesis - The Platinum Collection CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.19 | 98 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is probably the best one-stop career retrospective yet assembled for Genesis: three packed-to-the brim CDs spanning the band's entire de-evolution from Progressive music pioneers to stadium rock sell-outs. Each disc concentrates on a separate era, oddly enough arranged in reverse chronological order (more about that below). So the first disc begins with selections from the horribly commercial "We Can't Dance" (1991); the second disc continues backwards into the 1970s to the rebirth of "Trick of the Tail"; and the final disc catalogues the classic Peter Gabriel years, wrapping up the entire package (nearly four hours later in real time, but twenty years earlier historically) with "The Knife", their rousing early signature anthem off the 1970 "Trespass" album.

Too bad the actual aesthetic growth of the band didn't follow a similar trajectory.

Collections of this sort typically lean toward a group's more popular hits, so you can expect to hear radio fodder like "Follow You Follow Me" and the early embarrassment of "Your Own Special Way", not to mention all those post-"Abacab" blockbusters that earned the band a fortune while ruining their critical reputation. Listening to Disc One of this set (under duress), it's hard to believe Phil Collins was once an ace session drummer for hire, contributing to albums by cutting edge artists like JOHN CALE and ROBERT FRIPP.

But I digress. The good news here is that the band's best years are well represented, including nearly half of the classic1973 album "Selling England By the Pound", plus the entire, uncut masterpiece of "Supper's Ready", arguably the most influential Prog Rock epic ever written. And the bulk of Disc Two, covering the transitional post-Gabriel era, is at least shaded more toward the twilight Prog epiphanies leading to the "Duke" album.

Collectors won't find any non-album rarities here, unless you count the 1982 single "Paperlate", an "Abacab"-era outtake (ho hum). The anthology seems to be aimed instead at casual fans of the later, superstar pop trio, with the retrograde arrangement of tracks designed perhaps to lure unwary listeners gradually into the more subtle wonders of the band's back catalogue.

But it can also provide a decent stopgap purchase for long-time aficionados who can't afford to replace all their Famous Charisma Label LPs, and who don't mind at least one disc of crappy '80s fluff in their music library.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |


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