Genesis — 1976-1982
(Rhino Records R2 125436, 1982/2007, 6CD+6DVD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2008-01-01
Even though this box set covers the post-Gabriel years from 1976’s A Trick of the Tail through 1981’s Abacab, it was actually the first released. As with the other sets, each album comes individually packaged, plus an extra hard cover booklet is included with notes, essays, and other information, along with two additional disks of rarities and B-sides. Each studio album is offered as a two-disk set. The first hosts the album on CD in standard stereo, and the second disk is a DVD that includes the album in DTS 5.1 channel surround stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 channel surround sound, and Dolby Digital stereo. Note that this applies to the U.S. and Canadian versions only. The European and Japanese versions feature hybrid SACD/CD disks rather than standard stereo CDs. All of this just goes to show how hard the band (keyboard player Tony Banks, mainly) and their producer Nick Davis have gone to optimize the music for as many audio equipment options as possible.
As compared to the 1970-1975 set, the mixes here are relatively unchanged compared to previous versions. The levels overall have increased, and the sonic range has expanded for the most part, with details appearing with greater clarity. Phil Collins’ drumming gets the largest enhancement throughout, which only goes to reinforce the more rhythmically dynamic character of these albums compared to the band’s earlier releases.
The other enticement to purchase this set is the bonus material, and here it does not disappoint, though in truth it doesn’t rise to the heights of the ’70-75 set. A Trick of the Tail includes the 1976 In Concert film (though I wonder why this wasn’t saved for the live box set), three promo films, and contemporary interviews with band members. Wind and Wuthering also includes interviews, bootleg live footage from Japan, and the band’s 1977 appearance on The Mike Douglas Show (clearly sourced from bootleg VHS.) ...And Then There Were Three includes interviews that cover Steve Hackett’s departure, plus the intriguing documentary Three Dates with Genesis that profiled the band during their 1978 European tour. Duke includes interviews, promos plus great live footage of the band at The Lyceum in 1980. Abacab includes interviews as well as the album’s four videos that were a part of MTV’s early play lists. The bonus disks include studio tracks that comprised side four of the North American release of 3 Sides Live, the Spot the Pigeon EP from 1977 that included Steve Hackett’s last work with the band, and “Vancouver" and "The Day the Light Went Out,” which constituted the double B-side of the “Many Too Many” single from 1978. Clearly, these box sets are aimed only at serious fans, though each of the studio albums is available for individual purchase, and each represents a great deal of effort on the part of Genesis and Nick Davis to produce what must be now considered the definitive versions of these albums. Until the next big media format comes along.
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more