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Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Turn over the LP and go for a cup of tea

This is the second of the "Inside" DVD rockumentary series dedicated to Genesis. It picks up the story after Peter Gabriel's departure and takes us through to the release of Duke in 1980. This was of course a period of great change for the band which included the leaving of Steve Hackett (which for many fans was far more significant than that of PG) and the start of their abandonment of prog.

The format for the programme is the familiar one of wonderful live footage being interspersed with expert comments. The usual suspects of journalists, critics and members of Mostly Autumn(!) are rolled out, their contribution varying from the interesting (if already known) to the blindingly obvious. Michael Heatley for example tells us that the track "A trick of the tail" was important because the band named the album after it. He also has to be corrected when he suggests that Gabriel was the band's (sole) lyricist, and tells us that we had to turn LP's over to hear the second side. If the first track on side two did not hook us, we would "go off for a cup of tea or a beer" (did we?).

Iain Jennings, keyboard player with Mostly Autumn, provides some technical detail of the chords and keys used on some of the songs over the period, and while at times this can seem like a draconian music lesson, it will probably be of interest to those with a bent for music structure.

Unlike some other programmes in this series, the live clips are actually of a decent length here, although occasionally the producer has to revert to ambient pictures of clouds etc. where footage is unavailable. Film of a Steve Hackett gig is also included, with him playing "In that quiet earth" (from "Wind and Wuthering") and "Please don't touch". Genesis rejection of the latter (reportedly Phil Collins simply gave up on it) is cited as contributing to Hackett's leaving and using the piece as the title track for his second solo album. The two Hackett clips are added as bonus features where the songs can be heard in full.

Among the highlights of the programme are extracts from archive interviews with the band during the period. The same interviews are cleverly used to cover various periods, the answers being suitably generic.

With just 5 albums ("A Trick of the tail", "Wind and Wuthering", "Seconds out", "And then there were three" and "Duke") being covered, adequate room is available for each album to be discussed at length, and unlike the Gabriel era programme, each album receives a rough equal time.

In all, a reasonable entry in the "Inside series" marred only slightly by some of the choices of pundit (was Heather Findlay even alive in 1975?). I think we can safely assume that this is as far is it goes for Genesis in this series.

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Posted Tuesday, March 3, 2009 | Review Permalink

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