Genesis – Eruption (Virtuoso 012/013/014)


Eruption (Virtuoso 012/013/014)

Hammersmith Odeon, London, England – June 10th, 1976

Disc 1:  Intro., Dance On A Volcano, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Fly On A Windshield, Carpet Crawlers, The Cinema Show, Robbery Assault & Battery, White Mountain, Firth Of Fifth, Entangled, Squonk

Disc 2:  MC, Supper’s Ready, I Know What I Like, Los Endos, It / Watcher Of The Skies

Disc 3, broadcast master version:  Intro., Dance On A Volcano, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Fly On A Windshield, Carpet Crawlers, The Cinema Show, Robbery Assault & Battery, White Mountain, Firth Of Fifth, Los Endos

The British Biscuit was a short run series produced by DIR to serve as a companion show to the King Biscuit Flower Hour.  This Genesis tape from the Hammersmith Odeon was edited and broadcast several times.  Several songs appeared on King Biscuit compilations and the whole broadcast appears on the vinyl White Mountain (Dansker Fanklubbe Grammofone Kollektiv G 9201) which reproduces the show with rearranged tracks. 

White Mountain U.K. Tour 1976 (69201) and 1976 Live From The Monster’s Mouth are two other vinyl releases.  The radio tape was also released on compact disc on Melody Of 1976 (Highland HL 061#G8) which is good quality but missing “Los Endos” and on White Mountain U.K. Tour 1976.  To further complicate matters, these releases also attribute the wrong date, claiming it is from June 11th and not June 10th. 

Eruption on three discs gathers together both the virtually complete soundboard recording of the entire show and also the complete British Biscuit edit from the reel-to-reel to offer the most complete document of this famous show.  The soundboard recording on discs one and two contains two small cuts.  The first is during Mike Rutherford’s introduction to “White Mountain” and the second cuts out the final couple of notes of “Squonk” and the beginning of Rutherford’s tap dancing speech.  

There is a tremendous amount of detail on the tape and Bill Bruford’s drums have the same timbre as on the King Crimson soundboards from 1973 which adds another dimension of excitement to the sound.  The radio tape on disc three betrays the typical DIR mastering with the emphasis on the high end and the noisy audience noise in softer parts.  Both are excellent but the complete soundboard has more power. 

Genesis began the Trick Of A Tail tour with several shows in Ontario and Buffalo, New York in March and gained confidence in the new set and new line up before playing before the home crowd.  They played two shows at the Hammersmith Odeon on June 10th and June 11th, and this show is important for being the very first Genesis show with Phil Collins on lead vocals.  

The new song “Dance On A Volcano” begins the set before Collins greets the audience by saying, “Good evening London…The next thing we’re gonna play you, if you remember last time you saw us which was probably at Wembley we played you the Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.  And tonight we’ve taken three pieces from the story…and rather casually retitled it ‘Lamb Stew.'”  Phil’s way of singing the title track to the rock opera is notable for his interjections between the words. 

In the Romeo and Juliet story, Romeo is a “forty-five year old, small, unspectacular gentleman who takes Juliet to a Danish doctor on the job at the Pigalle Hounslow West.”  They deliver a good version of the track.  For “White Mountain” Rutherford says, “And in the days during the acoustic numbers the clinking of beer mugs could be heard, we used to plays songs off the Trespass album.  Acoustic songs off the Trespass album.  So we should play one tonight called ‘White Mountain.'”  

Trespass is a great album that was unfairly neglected by the band, and the shows on this tour give a rare track from it.  It is a bit melodramatic but is an effective stage piece.  Steve Hackett introduces his song “Entangled” by saying, “Welcome to the Hammersmith Palais.  The next number is about a recurrent night mare that becomes so bad that he has to seek psychiatric help.”  “WHY!!” someone shouts.  “Because he’s suffering from insomnia, that’s why, you idiot….It’s a waltz, a slow three time so take your partners.”

The second half of the show is dominated by a spectacular version of “Supper’s Ready” which doesn’t actually close the show, but does bring down the house.  The seven minute version of “I Know What I Like” includes the “Stagnation” riff and Collins’ tambourine solo.  Before “Los Endos” Collins announces they’ve been recording the show for an album.  “I suppose since you’re all on it you’ll buy it.”  The encore is the awesome medley of “It” and “Watcher Of The Skies.”  The latter is instrumental and never was sung by Collins live. 

Eruption comes packaged in a fatboy jewel case and is limited to two hundred unnumbered copies.  The label use a very common photo on the front but have rare photos on the inside and the back.  On the inside back they utilize the photo of Collins and Bruford in Central Park, the same photo used by Highland for their release of the the radio tape and adds some measure of continuity.     

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