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Genesis - Genesis Live 1973 - 2007 CD (album) cover

GENESIS LIVE 1973 - 2007



Symphonic Prog

3.81 | 105 ratings

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3 stars After releasing all their studio albums in three luxurious box sets, not surprisingly Genesis have now turned their attention to the live albums. The 1970 - 75 box set in particular was a masterclass in how to repackage your back catalogue with the albums sounding better than ever in both stereo and 5.1 mixes and wonderful DVD footage capturing the band at their artistic peak and interesting interview footage giving an insight into the making of the albums. Sadly the same can't be said for the Live box. Oh sure, there's some excellent music here, but the overall package short changes the Genesis fan.

I'm not going to get into in depth reviews of individual albums here, there's plenty already under each albums own heading. This review is intended to address the worthiness of the box set as a whole. Most fans of the band will no doubt own most of the material here already, so with the lack of unreleased incentives to entice the buyer it's a tough call on if it's worth shelling out around 80 for or not. There have been a few poor decisions made here about what and what not to include, more of this later.

Genesis Live, their excellent 1973 release and only live album released whilst Peter Gabriel was in the band has been polished a bit and sounds fine, though there's not the noticeable sonic improvements clearly audible on the studio albums of this era. An opportunity has been missed to expand on the original album. For example I'm sure most fans would have welcomed the addition of Suppers Ready from these shows which in known to be in the vaults. The reason for its non appearance is apparently because as a version by the Gabriel era line up appears on the Live At The Rainbow disc which is supposedly better it was not deemed worthy of inclusion. I'm sure I'm not the only fan who would have liked to have been given the opportunity to have made my own mind up and welcomed both versions. Instead the album is padded out with five tracks from The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway 1975 tour and whilst they're very welcome and are very good versions they do seem a little out of place. A bonus disc would have been a better option. This disc also appears as a 5.1 mix which I can't really give a valid judgement on due to my ancient TV's 5'1 system not being up to the job.

Of most interest to classic era fans here will no doubt be the Live At the Rainbow 1973 disc. For me this is the ultimate Genesis live recording, the band putting on a particularly stunning and powerful performance brimming with energy and it sounds fantastic too. You will of course already have some of this show if you own the Archive Volume 1 box set. However it now includes very worthy extra material but again poor decisions have been made. The extras are The Cinema Show, The Battle Of Epping Forest, Watcher Of The Skies and The Musical Box, all brilliant versions by the way. The only problem is the latter two frustratingly only appear on the 5.1 disc. The reason for this decision is apparently because of running times and it would have been required to make it a double cd. So what! I can handle that and wouldn't have minded paying a little more.

Moving onto the Phil Collins on vocals era Seconds Out is rightly regarded as a classic album, many fans of the band citing this as their favourite live release by the band. With the exception of the revamped Live At The Rainbow I'd probably agree with this and its been nicely packaged in a book style cover and also appears as a 5.1 mix. I'm very happy with the remastered sound of the stereo version but again I'll reserve judgement on the 5.1 mix until I have the opportunity to hear it on a decent 5.1 system.

Three Sides Live appears as a stereo mix only as the 5.1 mix will appear on the DVD version to be released in the final box set of the series later this month. Hmm, would have been nice to have that included here. I can't put hand on heart and say it sounds any better than my original album vinyl version to be honest. In fact my initial impression as Turn It On Again comes from the speakers is that it sounded a little flat compared to my vinyl copy.

The Way We Walk for the same reasons as Three Sides Live also only appears as a stereo mix. It's the weakest of the bands live albums here relying heavily on the bands more lightweight and commercial eighties output. The older material that does appear sounds far inferior to earlier versions, to a large extent down to Tony Banks keyboard sounds. Ironically his more up to date eighties synths just don't cut it. A decision I do agree with is that the track listing has been reversed to the original running order where originally the album was released as two separate Cd's divided between the long and short tracks.

Another wise decision was not to include the 2007 release Live Over Europe. Being so recent understandably no audio improvements were deemed possible. However, space has been left to insert your copy if you already own it. I didn't and have been enticed to buy it just to complete my box set so maybe they're boxing clever there after all.

I'm sure most people's biggest gripe is going to be the exclusion of live video footage here. Okay, they've already released a fair bit on previous box sets but I'm sure they could have dug up something and it would have been a nice gesture to have included the Three Sides Live and The Way We Walk DVD versions as part of this package instead of in another box set.

The Live At The Rainbow is an essential Genesis live album and my biggest incentive for buying this even though I already own the Archive box set version. Also prior to owning this I only had the Live albums as vinyl versions. If you already own them on cd you will have to think long and hard as to whether it's worth such a hefty expense for them all again, particularly with the lack of bonus material.

Nightfly | 3/5 |


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