Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Genesis 22: Live Over Europe

Following ten years apart, wherein Phil Collins did Disney soundtracks between solo albums and Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks twiddled their thumbs, the most profitable lineup of Genesis reconvened for a reunion tour. Not able to convince Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett to join, they called back Daryl Steurmer and Chester Thompson for support and off they went. (The documentary detailing the rehearsals and first shows is particularly hilarious when it’s clear Daryl and Chester know their parts far better than the other three know theirs.)
Following the American leg, Live Over Europe 2007 replicated the setlist on two full CDs. Beginning with “Duke’s Intro”, which melds elements of “Behind The Lines” and “Duke’s End”, they move to “Turn It On Again”, which was the handy name of the tour, and proceed through over two hours of expected hit songs (“No Son Of Mine”, “Land Of Confusion”, “I Can’t Dance”, “Invisible Touch”, and the like) as well as more ambitious epics (the complete “Home By The Sea” and “Domino” suites, an “In The Cage Medley”, “Firth Of Fifth” into “I Know What I Like”) and relative deep cuts (“Mama”, “Ripples”). The requisite dual drum solo is called “Conversations With 2 Stools”, named after the objects Phil and Chester beat for the first three minutes, and after a few encores of later hits, the set ends nicely with “The Carpet Crawlers”.
The performances are impeccable, and drawing from several shows ensures competency if not intimacy. The album was a nice enough souvenir, but it was soon to become part of a larger deal.
Being one of those bands audiophiles liked, it made good business sense for Genesis to revisit their catalog in the 21st century by releasing three box sets over a period of 18 months, each dedicated to a distinct period of the band. Each remastered CD was matched with a DVD containing the same studio album in 5.1 surround sound and other audio-visual content, and each set contained a bonus disc—and matching DVD—of “Extra Tracks”, such as B-sides (including “Match Of The Day” and “Me And Virgil”, which were omitted from the Archives #2 box) and other rarities.
A year after the final album box was released, their live legacy was reassessed much the same way, but not exactly. 1973-2007 Live included a CD and 5.1 surround-sound DVD pairing for an expanded Genesis Live, which added five out-of-order tracks from the Lamb tour, but not the fabled “Supper’s Ready” that had snuck out way back when. Seconds Out was also paired with a DVD, while Three Sides Live—in its all-live, no “Paperlate” version—did not get a surround mix. Neither did The Way We Walk, but that combined volume was rejigged to replicate the actual set lists as opposed to “short” and “long”. Also, “Drum Duet” was now called “The Drum Thing”, while “Mama”, “That’s All”, and “In Too Deep”, plus “Turn It On Again” as a bonus, were moved to the end, having been recorded on earlier tours.
A slot in the packaging was included for consumers to store their separately purchased copies of Live Over Europe 2007, which was nice of the designers, but even more exciting was the disc of extra tracks in the form of Live At The Rainbow, recorded in 1973 at the fabled London theater. Some of this was already on the first Archives box, and the jury’s still out as to how much of the vocals were touched up by Peter Gabriel decades later. (The DVD portion includes another 20 minutes of music from the show, sequenced in context. Also, folks gnashing their teeth about no DVDs for two of the albums only had to wait two months for The Movie Box 1981-2007, which contained five DVDs, plus their Behind The Music documentary and an empty slot for the When In Rome DVD from the reunion tour.)

Genesis Live Over Europe 2007 (2007)—3
Genesis
1973-2007 Live (2009)—3

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