Friday, May 21, 2021

Genesis 20: Turn It On Again

Barely a year after Phil Collins had compiled his own hits collection, Genesis got one of their own. Turn It On Again: The Hits sticks very close to that premise, with half of the program devoted to songs from Invisible Touch and We Can’t Dance. (Hey, it says “hits” right in the title, not “best of”.)
The compilers do their best with the space left over, and the first few tracks do provide something of a balance via the “title” track and “Mama”, which, like several selections here, is presented in its radio edit. We get a handful of further songs from the ‘80s, with “Follow You Follow Me” and “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)” the only selections from the ‘70s. The stillborn “Congo” from Calling All Stations is something of a middle finger, only slightly offset by the one “new” track. “The Carpet Crawlers 1999” is a re-recording including the five members of the “classic” lineup, with Steve Hackett getting to add lots more guitar and Phil prominently harmonizing with Peter Gabriel, before taking over the last verse all his own. (Rumor has it the original plan was to have Ray Wilson sing a verse, but he was no longer in the band when they finally got around to recording, so tough bananas on him.)
Longtime Genesis fans would have had all the original albums anyway, but when Phil Collins returned in 2007 for a reunion tour, Turn It On Again: The Hits was expanded to two discs and subtitled The Tour Edition. This time, after starting with that “title” song, they followed the reverse chronological template of 2004’s three-disc Platinum Collection, going backwards from the We Can’t Dance material, adding “Tell Me Why” from that album for some reason. “Illegal Alien” plus further songs from Abacab filled out the picture, while the second disc did a better job of sampling the ‘70s, with such rarities as “Happy The Man” and two tracks from the Spot The Pigeon EP. It’s still a little light on Peter Gabriel, but again, we’re talking hits here. (“The Carpet Crawlers 1999” closed the first disc, while “Congo” was stuck all the way at the end of the second, after the single edit of “The Knife”.)

Genesis Turn It On Again: The Hits (1999)—
2007 Tour Edition: same as 1999, plus 16 extra tracks

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