Genesis - Archive #2

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Virgin
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 00:00:00

GenesisIn a recent interview, Phil Collins said that a new collaboration with Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford could well be on the cards in the near future; not under the Genesis banner but under a different name. Pity he only says this right now as the material on this new 3CD box set is in no way a continuation of the "old" Genesis we prog diehards love so much.

When Peter Gabriel left in 1975, the rest of the band looked for a replacement among a diverse group, such as Allan Clarke from The Hollies; Mike D'Abo; Steve Gould from Rare Bird; Mick Rogers, ex-Manfred Mann's Earthband and later in Aviator; Bernie Frost; Paul Jones; Andy Fraser to even David Dundas, who once had a hit with his single "Jeans On." Even Jess Roden and Nick Lowe auditioned! Either the voice was right but their attitude stank, or the attitude was great but the vocals sucked. In the end it was Bill Bruford who, during some sessions with Brand X, turned to Phil and said: "why don?t you sing and I'll play the drums," when Phil told him how difficult it was finding the right singer to go on tour. So Phil left his drumstool, being directly accepted by the fans, as he was an original member of the band. Even his voice was at times a little hoarse just like Gabriel's. Sadly, as we refer to the Collins output on this boxed set, the arrival of Phil Collins as the frontman also meant the fact that Genesis was saying goodbye to their symphonic heritage altogether. One chapter ended and a new one began, hence my thought they should have taken on another name right then, as the Genesis we then got to listen to delivered completely different music. It changed even more once Steve Hackett left to make sure the And Then There Were Three title was very appropriate.

GenesisDon?t get me wrong, A Trick Of The Tail Wind And Wuthering and And Then There Were Three are splendid albums, yet at one particular time in the band's history, they got stuck in between Collins' search for solo recognition and the more accessible side of Brand X. In the end we got Genesis songs which could easily have featured on Phil's solo outings whilst both Banks' and Rutherford's solo escapades were also very commercialy inclined. Although I do confess not being a Genesis diehard, I'm convinced this set could have been much more interesting had it included a better selection of rarities. There is no way we can find "Me And Virgil," "Match Of The Day," "All In A Mouse's Night," all of "Duke?s Travels," the Lamb '76 medley, the rumoured Hackett songs that didn?t make it on Wind And Wuthering - in other words, both rarities previously only available as obscure B-sides and also completely new material never heard before! A band that has been going on as long as Genesis surely must have tons of unissued material regardless whether they are demos or half-finished mixes. The fans are out there and you will get more respect out of them by adding these new "finds" rather than recycling the same stuff over and over again.

This new box set also highlights Collins' new toy, the drum machine, which pops up loads of times resulting in a much more predictable yet uninspiring rhythm. Sometimes though the band delivers superb compositions such as "You Might Recall" with its soft fills and typical Banks keyboards. The fascination for horns creeps in "Paperlate," a weird combination which works rather well here, but is it still Genesis, one may wonder? One of the better tracks certainly has to be "Evidence Of Autumn" with it?s warm Banks arrangement. "I?d Rather Be With You" proves the lack of inspiration resulting in the most bland song of the set. Proof that the difference between Genesis and Brand X can be very minimal can be found in the semi-instrumental "Naminanu" with its nice Canterbury-like piano and Byrds guitar. Suddenly the magic is back with the wonderful "Inside And Out" leaving behind all those boring danceable beats and getting close to the better Yes, where both guitar and bass are concerned. The first disc ends with another great tune called "Submarine." This strong bombastic instrumental somewhat reminds me of Floyd's "Welcome To The Machine."

Genesis - Archive #2Whereas disc one consisted only of studio tracks, the second disc contans ten live recordings recorded in 1976, 1978, 1980, 1984, 1986, 1987 and 1992. Augmented with Chester Thompson on drums and Daryl Stuermer on guitars, most of the material here is once again very rhythmic, less complex with "Ripples? and "Your Own Special Way" as standout tracks. A special mention for "Entangled" which dates from 1976 sporting Bill Bruford on drums and Steve Hackett on guitar. A lot of fans wanted to hear more live material with Bruford behind the kit but sadly this is the only track on the entire box set.

The final disc kicks off with three prolonged 12" versions remixed by John Potoker. That?s where things go wrong if you have been a Genesis fan since day one: asking a dance producer to remix a song for the 12" market! The drum machine is back again during "No Reply At All" and "Man On The Corner" which come here in live version. I still can't understand how a wonderful Rutherford composition like "Open Door" did not make it on the Duke album. Two years earlier, another great gem was omitted from the then new album. Indeed "Vancouver" didn?t make it on And Then There Were Three, although this is yet again a great example of the right track Genesis was taking at that particular time, as it still holds all of the early magic, focusing mainly on the vocals nicely embedded in a blanket of keyboards. The swinging "Pigeons" reminds me of Lyndsey De Paul's hit "Sugar Me." Rumours have it that "Match Of The Day" was omitted from this box set because of the fact it was just about football and wasn?t great musically and that "Me And Virgil" got the boot because Phil found it "lyrically unfortunate." What about "Pigeons" then Phil? The box closes with "Mama (work in progress)" which is a rough demo lasting for about ten minutes in which you can hear Phil?s uncertain singing. Right at the very end Phil shouts "you have to press the button." It will certainly not be my repeat button!

Genesis, Splitting ImageWhilst bands like Talk Talk and now Radiohead steer their commercial career towards a much more complex direction, Genesis did just the opposite. Clearly The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway marked the departure of Peter Gabriel and also meant the start for a quest towards more compact songs, more direct, with a more commercial approach as a result. Some of the "old" fans left the band for what it was but the fanbase grew with new fans who liked Genesis for exactly that new sound. It is true that we prog enthusiasts are a minority, which is once again given proof by means of this release, as I?m sure Archive #2 will find it's way under many a Christmas tree as opposed to the previous Archive #1 set. Maybe the fan of this new box set doesn't have the same patience as the ones liking the more symphonic direction. Maybe that's the reason why this box contains 3 discs and not 4 like the previous one. Maybe that's why the box is also referred to as "The Phil Collins Years." For me it's either a Genesis box or a Phil Collins box. Therefore I'm not really convinced, as this one could have been done better. Maybe we will one day be compensated by that long rumoured box set containing all of the band's singles on tiny little 3" discs in replica sleeves. Now that would be a treat for the REAL fan!

CD One: On The Shoreline / Hearts On Fire / You Might Recall / Paperlate / Evidence Of Autumn / Do The Neurotic / I'd Rather Be You / Naminanu / Inside And Out / Feeding The Fire / I Can?t Dance 12'' / Submarine

CD Two (All Tracks Live): Illegal Alien / Drealing While You Sleep / It?s Gonna Get Better / Deep In The Motherlode / Ripples / The Brazilian / Your Own Special Way / Burning Rope / Entangled* / Duke's Travels

CD Three: Invisible Touch 12'' / Land Of Confusion 12'' / Tonight, Tonight, Tonight 12'' / No Reply At All (Live) / Man On The Corner (Live) / The Lady Lies (Live) / Open Door / The Day The Light Went Out / Vancouver / Pigeons / It's Yourself / Mama (Work In Progress)

Phil Collins - vocals and drums
Tony Banks - keyboards
Mike Rutherford - guitars
Steve Hackett - guitars (1:9, 2:9, 3:10, 3:11)
Daryl Stuermer - guitars (all live tracks except 2:9)
Chester Thompson - drums (all live tracks except 2:9)
Bill Bruford - drums (2:9)

From Genesis To Revelation (1969)+
Trespass (1970)
Nursery Crime (1971)
Foxtrot (1972)
Live (1973)
Selling England By The Pound (1973)
Lamb Lies Down On Broadway(1974)
Wind and Wuthering (1976)
Trick of the Tail (1976)
Seconds Out (1977)
And Then There Were Three (1978)
Duke (1980)
Abacab (1981)
Three Sides Live (1982)
Genesis (1983)
Invisible Touch (1986)
We Can't Dance (1991)
The Way We Walk: The Shorts (1992)
The Way We Walk: The Longs (1993)
Calling All Stations (1997)
Turn It On Again - The Hits (1999)
Archive #1 (1999)
Archive #2 (2000)

The Genesis Songbook (2001) (DVD/VID)
Live At Wembley Stadium (2003) (DVD)

+aka When The Sour Turns To Sweet

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: October 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1854
Language: english


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