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Genesis 1970-1975 (Box Set 3)
Label: Rhino Records
Length: 13 Disc Set/7 CD/6 DVD
Before Genesis was a hugely popular, radio-friendly pop/rock band in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s they were a group of lads who originally formed a band at Charterhouse School in England. They quickly gelled into one of the premiere progressive rock bands in field, and began a stellar musical journey that produced an impressive bounty of music and bona fide superstardom for the band and several well-known members (Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins). This box set focuses on the near-beginnings of the band—their first album From Genesis to Revelation was released on Decca and is not included.
The previous two box sets—1976-1982 (Rhino, 2007) and 1983-1998 (Rhino, 2007) featured Genesis as they morphed from prog/art-rockers to hit-making superstars fronted by Phil Collins. This third Genesis box highlights the bands expansive progressive rock phase led by dramatic front-man Peter Gabriel. For fans of early Genesis this is the box set treatment and much-needed sonic upgrade these albums have long deserved. This set starts with the release Trespass and includes Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot, Selling England by the Pound, and the epic double-album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Each album is gloriously remixed and remastered and features a DVD that includes a complete DTS and Dolby 5.1 surround sound mix as well as bonus concert video and extensive interview footage from all band members (except early drummer Peter Mayhew). There is also a bonus double-disc set that includes some uncommon Genesis gems: the acoustic “Happy the Man,” the rousing “Twilight Alehouse,” and other surprises. There are also four revealing rarities included from an abandoned early project called Genesis Plays Jackson (created for a documentary on painter Peter Jackson). The tracks feature many familiar themes and instrumental parts that would be picked up in later classic Genesis songs.
There is a vast amount of remarkable music here (and a wee bit of filler in parts of _Trespass_, an early album that finds the early Genesis sound still forming and coalescing). The music and lyrical themes on these albums will transport the listener into a world of vivid locales: from the landscapes and lyrics of a rapidly changing Britain on Foxtrot and Selling England by the Pound to the inscrutable words and vibrant big-city images of 1974’s haunting epic The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. These albums contain beautiful bits of instrumental magic (Steve Hackett’s tender acoustic refrain “Horizons”), stunning and memorable musical passages (the gorgeous intro to “Watcher in the Skies”), and rousing rock ‘n’ roll (“In the Cage”) all topped off with excellent musicianship and Peter Gabriel’s emotive vocals. These early Genesis works have held up remarkably well over the years, and this lavish box set features a treasure trove of music and video that will impress and enthrall for hours on end. It is difficult to imagine how this package could be improved on; fans of early Genesis are going to be overjoyed at the superior sound and packaging found in this set. And folk’s young and old that like their music off the beaten path, epic, and transcendent need to listen and absorb the timeless music found on Genesis 1970-1975.
Barry Nothstine hosts Soul Frequency Radio ( http://www.soulfrequency.com), a weekly freeform FM radio show showcasing progressive rock, instrumental rock, power-pop, psychedelic rock, rock classics, blues, and more—great rock for the ages!