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Genesis – Lyceum Definitive Master (Virtuoso DVD Series 001)

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Lyceum Definitive Master (Virtuoso DVD Series 001)

The Lyceum Ballroom, London, England – May 6th, 1980

(approx. 141min):  Deep In The Motherlode, Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, Carpet Crawlers, Squonk, One For The Vine, Behind The Lines, Duchess, Guide Vocal, Turn It On Again, Duke’s Travels, Duke’s End, Say It’s Alright Joe, The Lady Lies, Ripples, In The Cage, The Colony Of Slippermen, Afterglow, Follow You Follow Me, Dance On A Volcano, drum duet, Los Endos, I Know What I Like.  Bonus tracks, The Lyceum Ballroom, London, England – May 7th, 1980:  I Know What I Like (partial), The Knife

Along with being recorded professionally for the radio, Genesis’ two Lyceum gigs were also professionally videotaped.  The May 6th gig, the first of two in the Lyceum, has been in circulation for many years and is pressed by Virtuoso on Lyceum Definitive Master.  It is a pro-shot, multi-camera video which has the complete show except for most of “Ripples.”

It is speculated that it was leaked by someone connected to the band since the BBC never owned this footage.  The video quality is just short of perfect.  There is some fuzziness in the brightly lit parts, but othewise it is very clear for a video dating back thirty years.  Two songs, “Ripples” and “The Lady Lies,” were used from this show for the second Archives release many years ago.   

Genesis enjoyed playing in smaller venues in London.  Wind & Wuthering was released in January 1977 with several shows at the Rainbow theater, but since their Earls Court shows that summer their only area appearance was at the  massive Knebworth festival the following year.  The Drury Lane and Lyceum shows made up for that neglect.

The venue also dictates the style of video made.  Watching footage from the late seventies, it’s apparent that the light show takes up as much interest and screen time as do the band.  But this video has many more close ups of the band and the dramatic narrative of the music is emphasized.

“Deep In The Motherlode” is the opening number.  Genesis like to begin shows with a song from the previous album than the one they’re touring for, and this track from And Then There Were Three serves that purpose.  Although it’s a good song, I always felt “Down And Out” would have been much better.  It is faster tempo and heavy enough to bring excitement to the beginning of the show.  They never seemed to pull it off live though and it never made it past the Mirrors tour.

The opening lines of “Dancing With The Moonlit Knight” provide a dramatic link to “Carpet Crawlers.”  Both “Squonk” and “One From The Vine” crawl across the stage as effective pieces of dramatic musical narrative. 

But the weight of the show falls upon the Duke suite.  It was a daring decision to play all of the new music in one set emphasizing Genesis’ art rock roots.  Collins tells the long Albert story before they play “Behind The Lines.”  The following song “Dutchess” is very sad and depressing.  The early favorite is “Turn It On Again” which is played close to the album’s arrangement.  The instrumental “Duke’s Travels” stretches to seven minutes long and the conclusion to the piece “Duke’s End” is moving.  

Collins’ dramatic sensibilities follow in the two songs from And Then There Were Three.  He teaches the audience to respond to his hand signals in “The Lady Lies.”  After the “Ripples” fragment they play an old medley with “In The Cage” and ending with “Afterglow” with a magnificent lightshow which is powerful even in the smaller venue.  

In “Follow You, Follow Me” Banks starts the second half of the final verse four bars early, then fumbles around with the organ chords and stops playing ARP entirely until the next chorus.  But the show comes to a good finale with “Dance On A Volcano” and the drum duet between Thompson and Collins.   “I Know What I Like” is the encore and contains the tambourine solo, the “Stagnation” part and Collins’ revisiting of “The Lady Lies” hand gestures.

The bonus tracks include part of “I Know What I Like” and “The Knife” from the following night at the Lyceum.  The camera is on one side of the stage and is darker, but it’s great to have such bonus material on the disc.  This is Virtuoso’s first attempt at a DVD and it’s very solid.  It’s definitely worth having for the Genesis collector and hopefully more will be coming. 

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Genesis - Lyceum Definitive Master (Virtuoso DVD Series 001), 2.5 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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  1. Avatar of chambau
    chambau says
    March 8, 2010, 6:11 pm

    This same concert has been prior released by a “by fans for fans” label named Genesis Museum (.com). I’ve d/l it a while ago and it really looks great. Are you aware of it? Could you add any comment comparing both, please?

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