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Genesis - Seconds Out CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.32 | 909 ratings

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4 stars Genesis - Seconds Out (live) (1977)

Genesis playing light and tight symphonic progressive rock in a big stadium.

This is Genesis' second live album, dating from the period of the 'A Trick of the Tail' & 'Wind and Wuthering' period. Strangely enough, the album hasn't a single track from the latter (except for the short 'Afterglow'). As many will already know, the mic was handed to Phil Collins and the drums we're done by good 'old Bill Bruford and the lesser know Chester Thompson.

Though it took me some time to get into this live album, I must admit it is actually quite good. The sound of the band in this phase is modern, professional and Phil Collins' vocals have always worked very well in the bombastic stadium-rock setting. I'm however glad he doesn't play drums too often, because his muddy and in-accurate drum style has always been my main complaint on most of Genesis albums (I do prefer the drums on Trespass). The synths are all very modern, but don't expect to hear a lot of (distorted) organs, mellotrons and moogs, because these are modern synths that have quite an impact on the sound of the band. The band's sound is lighter, just like on the 'Wind and Wuthering' album.

The recording of this live album lives up to what can be expected from this period. It's however a pity that both the guitars of Steve Hackett and the vocals of Collins could have been a bit louder in the mix. The stadium sound (big speakers, natural reverbs) works well for a lot (of more modern) songs of the band. Though this type of recording can be perceived as a bit blurry (the notes are less articulated and the louder parts can evoke the 'wall of sound' feel), it also sounds as a 'lager then life' concert. This of course gives us a feeling of being part of something big.

The set-list of the band has its ups and downs. Opening with 'Squonk' with a silent audience isn't the best entry into what will become a much anticipated live concert. Moreover, on side one you can hardly hear this is a live concert. 'The Carpet Crawl' benefits from live aesthetics, but 'Robbery, assault and battery' still doesn't impress me. On side two the band gains momentum with 'Firth of Filth', 'I know what I like' (extended with some crowd interaction) 'The Lamb' and the moving ending section of 'The musical box'. On side three the steam is still on pressure with the complete version of 'Supper's Ready'. This epic both suffers and benefits from the new sound of the band, but the end-result is very rewarding. Phil Collins might never be my favourite figure of prog history, but I have respect for how he manages to replace Peter Gabriel. On side four the band reaches its highest peak with the subtle 'Cinema Show' and the very impressive and energetic versions of 'Dance on a Volcano' and 'Los Endos'. The crowd now becomes a part of the music the sound of the band is fully in line with the songs played.

Conclusion. A well-deserved strong live album for fans of the band. Though I myself prefer the early progressive sound of the band, I must say I'm quite impressed by the 'light and tight' sound, the good (but not excellent) set-list and the stadium vocals by Phil Collins. Recommended to fans of the band. A solid four stars.

friso | 4/5 |


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