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Genesis - Live - The Way We Walk Volume One - The Shorts CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.13 | 366 ratings

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Symphonic Team
1 stars Oh Mama!

In the process of releasing the recorded live material from the We Can't Dance tour in 1992 they came up with the "brilliant" idea to separate the longer and more progressive tracks and the shorter and more commercial tracks and put them on separate albums. This resulted in The Shorts and The Longs albums. The reasons behind this decision are unclear; did they want to please their early fan base with The Longs album? Did they not want their Pop fans to hear the - older and newer - more elaborated songs? Did they think that they could please everybody by "splitting their personality" in this way? Regardless of the underlying reasons, we should ask ourselves if this was a good idea? And even if I gave The Longs album a high rating, the answer should probably be 'no'. For those wishing to hear (and see) the whole show, there is also a DVD called simply The Way We Walk holding the whole set list over two discs. In my opinion, the DVD is preferable over the CD albums partly because this was just what the audience heard that night and partly because these shorter, more commercial, songs sound so much better side by side with the longer, more progressive, songs.

While The Longs album should interest any fan of progressive Rock, The Shorts has much less appeal. I was surprised to find on the present album some songs that are not also on the DVD. My first thought was that, contrary to my previous belief, the DVD did not feature the whole show. But it does (at least, I still think that it does). Those songs present here that are not also on the DVD were actually recorded on the previous tour and added to this album! These songs are Throwing It All Away, Mama, That's All and In Too Deep. This was a weird and confusing move and you get the feeling they were trying to make a kind of live greatest hits album! Almost needless to say, these songs do not add much value to the album. Mama is a good song but since it wasn't even performed on the tour this live album purports to represent it is out of place here. What becomes even more strange is that not all songs from the DVD are featured on the two live albums! Turn It On Again has been dropped as well as Dreaming While You Sleep, both songs being better than the songs that are actually here!

Since those songs that made up The Longs were the best ones from the show, there is not much good stuff left for The Shorts. But this album is not entirely without its merits. We get here good live versions of the band's major hits of the 80's and early 90's. Most of the songs sound better live than they do on the studio albums. The sound is a bit less "artificial" and the songs have a bit more of a Rock edge when performed live. I enjoy the opening duo of Land Of Confusion and No Son Of Mine but after that the material is considerably less exciting. The only other highlight is Tonight, Tonight, Tonight. I have learned to accept Jesus He Knows Me and I Can't Dance, but Invisible Touch, In Too Deep, Hold On My Heart and Throwing It All Away I find hard to appreciate particularly in the present context and in the absence of the songs they put on The Longs album.

To sum up, this album is very strange. First, it is incomplete both in that it omits short songs that were actually played and that it represents only the Pop side of the band and thus misrepresents the actual set list of the tour. I understand that they indented this album to represent the show only in tandem with the (extremely much better) Longs album, but still I find this one very one-sided in a very bad way. Second, it is confusing in that it holds tracks that were not even part of the set list of the tour. It is sad if people are led to think that the present album is representative for what Genesis were like live in 1992. It is certainly not! Surprisingly perhaps, these songs work so much better in their proper context and only the DVD offers them that way.

From a Prog perspective, The Shorts is a kind of "worst of"-album and ought to be avoided by all even as a companion to The Longs. The best "way to walk" is to go for the DVD (which is highly recommended) or if you can't find it or prefer a CD, then go for the very good The Longs (also highly recommended, but you don't need it if you get the DVD) and forget about the present album.

SouthSideoftheSky | 1/5 |


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