"There are two versions of Genesis' 1982 mostly-or-fully live release, "Three Sides Live." The *original US release* of this double-album is, indeed, 3/4 live recordings taken from the band's 1981 tour for "Abacab," with the fourth quarter comprising of five studio leftovers from the "Duke" & "Abacab" sessions (including the Top 40 hit, "Paperlate"). Europe, however, got the five studio tracks released on a separate EP (also called "Paperlate"), with THEIR fourth quarter of "Three Sides Live" filled with more live stuff taken from the "Duke" and "Trick Of The Tail" tours. Got it? Good.If you're a diehard Genesis fan, then both versions of "Three Sides Live" are worth having in your collection. The first 3/4's live that *everybody* gets is an excellent document of the band in 1981, and shows just how powerfully Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, and live co-horts Daryl Stuermer & Chester Thompson can rock in concert, and how commanding a singer & frontman Collins certainly is. GREAT performances are everywhere of Genesis favorites such as "Turn It On Again," "Abacab," "Dodo/Lurker," "Follow You Follow Me," "Misunderstanding," and the Peter Gabriel-era classic "In The Cage." If you buy the original US version, then the five studio songs comprising the last quarter of the album will greatly impress: "Paperlate," "You Might Recall," "Me & Virgil," "Evidence Of Autumn" & "Open Door" are all fantastic Genesis songs. These are no inferior outtakes, and they were only left off the original "Duke" & "Abacab" albums simply because there wasn't room for them. If you buy the European version of the album, then the fourth quarter has brilliant, barnburning concert performances of the Genesis prog-rock classics "One For The Vine," "Fountain Of Salmacis," and a glorious two-in-one rendition of "It" & "Watcher Of The Skies" (closing section). So, for the devoted Genesis fan, "Three Sides Live" is a can't-lose purchase either way.Sadly, "Three Sides Live" appears to be temporarily out-of-print (and I DO hope it's only temporary). Still, there are some used copies of both versions that are still available and floating about. Happy hunting, and long live Genesis."
Genesis' overlooked live album
Manny Hernandez | Bay Area, CA | 07/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Somehow, this album always manages to slip under the radar. Other live Genesis recordings make it to the top of the stack, and so we've got 'Seconds Out', the two volumes of 'The Way We Walk' (otherwise known as the last breath of life that Genesis exhaled on the stage) and even the classic 'Genesis Live' from 1972. Yet the oddly named 'Three Sides Live' always falls through the cracks and hardly ever makes it to the top of anyone's "live recordings" list. Yet it's an extraordinary compilation of their live work with an impeccable sound and production. Let me tell you a small story about it, so you'll be left with some treasure hunting to do.
Here's the scoop: two version of this album were released. The review you're reading is for the US version, which had three sides (out of the four in the double vynil album) recorded live. The fourth side was recorded in the studio. As it stands, this version is very solid, and it captures Genesis at its live best (1982), right before they turned into a more commercial band (early eighties) and Phil Collins started sounding more like a TV Show host than a frontman for the band. However, if you somehow manage to get your hands on the UK version (which has all "four sides" recorded live), you will appreciate my advice: it comes loaded with a soup for the soul of the classic Genesis fan. Besides the mindwarping "In The Cage Medley", and the best from the 'Duke' and the 'Abacab' albums, it carries "One For The Vine" parts 1 and 2, and a medley of "Fountain of Salmacis", "It" and "Watcher of the skies". It really doesn't get any better than this... well, maybe... but still you ought to get a copy."
Really, the best Gensis concert ever. Mindblowing.
"Ok, I have not heard all Genesis' concerts, but I have heard a great many, and none of them surpass the November 29 1981 Nassau concert, which delivers the majority of the material for this live release. Granted, the songs might not be as good as those included on the 1977 'Seconds Out' release, but then again, they might be - more justice might be done by saying that these are just a different kind of songs. Because songs like 'Behind The Lines', 'Duchess', 'Abacab', 'Dodo/Lurker' and 'Me And Sarah Jane' are masterpieces in their own right, as they are delivered here.The change that has come to songs like 'Abacab', 'Me And Sarah Jane', and 'Dodo', as compaired to the studio versions, is none less than incredible. Frankly, the Abacab album was a rather miserable experience in my oppinion, with the title track containing an absolutely pointless and longwinded instrumental outtro and the nearly off-tune keyboards of Dodo/Lurker [not to mention that this album spawned everybody's most hated Genesis song, 'Who Dunnit?'!].But in this live recording, thesse songs are completely transformed. The band plays with all the energy they lacked on the studio recordings, 'Abacab' roaring into it's completion (which was faded out on the album version!), delivering master double-guitar work as well as keaybord play and drumming. Suddenly the keabord parts of 'Dodo' swings like nothing else. 'Me And Sarah Jane' suddenly grooves along with reagae feel and a charm and at the same time loneliness the album version was completely devoid of.Similarly, 'Behind The Lines' is delivered with an energy that leaves you quite breathless once it fades into 'Duchess', which is delivered with an intensity that is impressive. On both tracks Phil delivers his very best vocal performance, and even though both tracks were great on the Duke album, these versions outrank them in any way. Also the version of 'Turn It On Again' is very impressive - somewhat different than the album version in arrangement, Phil's vocal isn't perfect, but this is compensated by the explosiveness of this performance of the track. Also 'Misunderstanding', never a favorite, is presented in a version better than the album version. Also, the only song from ... And Then There Were Three ..., 'Follow You Follow Me' is played in a lovely version (recorded in 1980).The only older song on the regular set of this recording is the medley featuring 'In The Cage' and keyboard solos from 'Cinema Show', 'Riding The Scree', 'The Colony Of Slippermen (Raven)' and finally a complete version of 'Afterglow'. This is by many considered on of the best live performances from the entire Gensis career, and not without reason. 'In The Cage' is one of Phil's trademark vocal performances, from the frantic, panicked sound of the main part of the song, to the soaring mid section. Anyone who have watched the concert video from the 1983/84 tour (sadly deleted) will remember the stage at this point being covered in a bright white light, focusing on Phil standing on a glass platform above the scene - most spectacular, and performed with a power and intensity I have experienced from no other band. The instrumental medley is crafted with and incredible skill, one breathtaking solo flow into the next, and you won't notice the transition if you fon't know the tracks. Finally, the frantic 'Raven' solo fades into the beautiful 'Afterglow', here delivered in probably the most beautiful version ever. Phil's vocal is beyond believe, and the musical outro is much more powerfull than the old version. I would give almost anything to have experienced this myself!A note on the track-list. The show has been partly re-mixed, as the original set-list was as follows: Behind The Lines / Duchess / The Lamb Lies Down On Boadway - Dodo/Lurker - Abacab - Carpet Crawlers - Me And Sarah Jane - Misunderstanding - No Reply At All - Firth Of Fifth - Man On The Corner - Who Dunnit? - In The Cage / Cinema Show/Riding The Scree/Raven / Afterglow - Turn It On Again - Dance On A Volcano/Drum Sole/Los Endos - I Know What I Like.Sadly, they've left out so many highlights from the show. 'Firth Of Fifth' and 'Dance On A Volcano/Los Endos' from this show are among the best versions ever (the former available on the somewhat rare compilation 'Turn It On Again - best of 1981-83' (NOT the new compilation, an old release, CD from 1991)). 'Man On The Corner' has become available on the Archive 2 (and is stunning), 'No Reply At All' is available from the Savoy show the following night on the same boxset (and is superb). 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' was played in probably the best version ever on this tour, but is not available, the same is sadly true for 'Carpet Crawlers' and 'I Know What I Like'.A note on the recording dates. The major set is taken from the Nassau Colliseum november 29 show. 'Follow You, Follow Me' is probably recorded in the Lyceum, London, may 7 1980, and 'Turn It On Again' might be recorded in Birmingham, december 23 1981.There exist two versions of this recording, why Amazon only list the original U.S. version (featuring 5 superb B-sides) is a wonder to me; in Europe the remaster version (similar to original UK release) is available everywhere. I can recommend both versions, but the remaster includes a stunning recording of 'One For The Vine' (from Drury Lane, London, may 5 1980), a fantastic recording of 'The Fountain Of Salmacis' (from 1978, possibly from Houston) and a medley of 'It' and the instrumental parts of 'Watcher Of The Skies'. All live recordings I wouldn't miss."
Get the British version!
Michael Slusher | NM, United States | 02/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The UK releases is still in print and if you only plan to get one of the two, that is the one to get. I had that version on cassette (I borrowed it from a girlfriend and forgot to return it after we broke up - how SHE got the import is still a mystery to me) and wore the thing out! I had to track down the CD and it was easier than I thought: Go to http://www.amazon.co.uk and enter your normal login that you use for the US Amazon site. Then search on "three sides live" and presto! They take your regular credit card, and although free shipping is not an option to the US, the conversion rate brings the total to about $26 - still a bargain, since you can't even GET the US release anymore and you are getting FOUR sides live with this one anyway ;-)"
The second disc (sides 3 and 4) make this album worth it.
Michael Slusher | 08/07/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a rather schizophrenic album--the stark differences between the "pop" Genesis and "prog" Genesis are most apparent on this double disc live album. The first disc is all devoted to 1978--1981 material, with some of the better "Abacab" songs and good "Duke" songs making better live appearances. (The title track is much improved from the sterile studio version, and "Dodo/Lurker" is excellent.) However, to an old Genesis fan like me, the second disc is absolutely thrilling--after starting with a bland version of "Misunderstanding," it goes into a full blown version of "In the Cage," an extremely energetic reprise of instrumental Lamb sections and the end of "The Cinema Show," ending with "Afterglow." And the brilliant rendition of "One For The Vine" is worth the price of admission alone, as well as the tight performance of "Fountain of Salmacis." All these progressive songs were sung at Phil's vocal peak, where he finally was confident enough to deliver to goods, which makes Peter's raspy vocals pale by comparison . . . it's sad that many of these songs were never heard from again in a live Genesis performance."