Experience the power of Gabriel-era Genesis
Eddie Konczal | 02/24/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Many remember Genesis live shows as Broadway-esque affairs with laser light shows, smoke machines, medleys, and Phil Collins in chinos shaking his tambourine. Those were certainly entertaining, but in the early days Genesis concerts were an altogether different beast. I'm not old enough to have experienced them, but "Genesis Live" offers a tantalizing snapshot of the band's performances from the Peter Gabriel era (circa 1973).
Gabriel was best known for wearing bizarre costumes during Genesis concerts, to illustrate the whimsical characters from his lyrics (the old man of "The Musical Box," the title character of "The Return of the Giant Hogweed"). The cover gives you some idea of the visual aspect. More importantly, you get the music - a rawer, more energetic brand of progressive rock than that presented on "Seconds Out" or "Three Sides Live."
The song selection is rather stingy, mainly due to the time constraints of the vinyl era. Most notably absent are "Supper's Ready" and "Can-Utility and the Coastliners." But you get a tantalizing sample of songs from "Trespass," "Nursery Cryme" and "Foxtrot." While the live versions remain essentially true to the studio versions, the band infuses the music with new levels of energy, particularly on "Watcher of the Skies," "The Musical Box," and "The Knife."
"Genesis Live" is a great introduction to the band's early years. In terms of running time, it's less generous than the band's subsequent live albums. But in its ability to capture the power of Genesis live, it's unmatched.
NOTE: If you're thinking about getting "Genesis Live," consider looking for the "ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED" version also available on this site."