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I really love the '71-'77 period, from the opening organ stabs of the Knife to Hackett's rapid fire arpeggi on *Inside and Out*--a great body of work, for sure. I'm going to pick up Davis' reworking of the studio albums for that period, but not this. Like most rock bands, I don't see the point of listening to the live concerts, which will, by definition, be inferior to the studio albums (exceptions: King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Henry Cow) But even Daryl Stuermer commented on how every Genesis live show was done trying to re-create the albums, note-for-note, that there was no room for musical creativity (i.e., Stuermer insinuated that it didn't satisfy him musically, given that there was no room for improv, and every note was accounted for). I guess the visual concerts as opposed to pure audio, maybe a different thing, as the band wound up becoming, a la the Floyd, a heavy big budget *light show* dependent group. And having caught the Musical Box perform the Lamb with Armando Gallo's original slides, what a treat that was! So, as Mr. Kelman duly notes the band's strengths as (1) songwriting; and (2) theatricality, it seems that one should look to the (1) the studio albums and (2) the DVD videos first and foremost before thinking about picking this set up.
I guess I would have to disagree that live concerts are, by definition, inferior; certainly not by my definition as while the benefits of a perfect environment and overdubbing are not there, live shows have an energy that often is not captured in the studio. Not better, not worse, but different, so I see live shows as absolutely valuable as studio efforts.
To be clear: my focusing on the songwriting was not to diminish the live performances, only to point out that, as I said in my 1970-1975 box review, the line that runs through Genesis' entire career is something that has differentiated them from some of the other big name prog acts.
I am, of course, also eager to see the DVD box but, with no disrespect intended Navdeep, I was absolutely NOT suggesting the conclusion you have come to. I think every group that's around long enough needs to have its live shows documented, and there are a lot of groups for whom I would prefer to listen to the live shows over studio. Or, at least, some of the time, depending on mood and what I'm looking for at the moment.
I'd agree that a live collection of Genesis performances from one tour would be pointless - they are very rehearsed and there is, indeed, little variation from show-to-show. But the group cannot reproduce what they did in the studio, so live shows from different tours reveal different things than the studio counterparts, and this box, documenting as it does six different tours (if you throw in the 2007 set), has plenty to make each set stand on its own with plenty of individual merits.
But thanks for writing...and disagree we may, but that's one reason we're here: to discuss, no?
I would just like to thank Mr. Kelman for such an in-depth review of this boxed set. I thought his review of the previous Gabriel era box was excellent as well. Regardless of his opinions, of which I do agree with mostly, to find such a robust analysis of this material is a welcome treat and hard to find elsewhere.
As for the set itself, being a long time Genesis fan I feel compelled to pick it up, however it is disappointing that they decided to go with the two releases instead of an all encompassing audio/video box. It does scream of a last chance cash grab of sorts. I never thought money was an issue with anyone in this group?? Of course record companies are always interested in new sources of revenue. My real hope is that Nick has not brightened up the mixes too much and over compressed them as he had done with previous sets. Even on my all tube stereo system, the remastered Trick if the Tale and Wind and Wuthering are so bright, I find them listenable. The 5.1 surround mixes will be fun to listen to once but the stereo versions are what I am hoping will be able to replace the old original CD releases.
Jane Ira Bloom
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