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Genesis – Genesis DVD Archives Vol. 1: The Gabriel Years 1970-1974 (GEN-73)

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Genesis DVD Archives Vol. 1:  The Gabriel Years 1970-1974 (GEN-73)

BelgiumTV, Pop Stop, March 20th & 21st, 1972: The Fountain of Salmacis, Twilight Alehouse, The Musical Box, The Return Of The Giant Hogweed.

French TV, live at the Bataclan Club, Paris, January 10th, 1973: The Musical Box, interview, Supper’s Ready (excerpt), interview, The Return Of The Giant Hogweed, The Knife.

Shepperton Film Studio, England, October 30th & 31st, 1973: Watcher Of The Skies, Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, I Know What I Like, The Musical Box, Supper’s Ready.

This is a no-label EU release of some very good early Genesis material. The band has much footage from their early years none of which has been officially released. The manufacturers of this title chose footage from each from the Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot, and Selling England By The Pound tours. Genesis initially achieved popularity and success in Belgium and Italy, so it makes sense that the best early footage of the band comes from these countries. The Pop Stop performance for Belgian television sees the band playing the four main “epics” from Nursery Cryme. The execution is very good although the band look very stiff and nervous. Even Gabriel is tame. There are some good shots of Steve Hackett concentrating during “Hogweed” and Collins playing the little cymbals at the beginning of “Twilight Alehouse”.

The Bataclan Club broadcast is a huge contrast to the Belgiumshow. Full of energy, the cameras capture a fantastic show. We see Gabriel in his fox-head costume in “The Musical Box” and in general a very animated band. Peter is all over the place in “Hogweed” and even Rutherford and Hackett stand during the encore “The Knife” (with Peter thrusting the mic stand at the audience). The only negatives is the unfortunate cuts in the tape. “The Musical Box” picks up at the end. “Supper’s Ready” unfortunately cuts out the middle sections (“Ikhnaton And Itsacon And Their Band Of Merry Men” through to the end of “Apocalypse in 9/8″). Also the footage is out of sync with the visuals in “Hogweed” and “The Knife”. The live parts are interspersed with interviews with the band asking the standard questions about the beginnings, etc. The bottom line is, despite the drawbacks, this is great show. The final third of the disc contains the well circulated Shepperton Studio performance. Intended originally to be a concert film that plan was aborted because of the darkness on the film. Even though it is poorly lit it is a great film to watch. Right at the height of their theatricality we see Gabriel’s legendary bat wings in “Watcher Of The Skies”, the Britannia costume in “Dance Of The Moonlit Knight”, and the Satan box in the finale of “Supper’s Ready”. The cameras give ample screen time to all of the members and give a taste of the entire Genesis production (including the creepy eyes staring at you and the fire effects). The menus are very easy to navigate. It is unfortunate that this label chose to use such high generation tapes for this production. Much better quality versions of these shows exists (even the master for the Shepperton footage) so there should be no excuse for not utilizing the best available tapes. It could have been better but this is a very competent collection of some essential Genesis material.

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