Genesis – German Melody Of 1975 (Highland HL527/528)

German Melody Of 1975 (Highland HL527/528)

Westfalenhalle 3, Dortmund, Germany – April 7th, 1975

Disc 1 (48:08):  Intro., The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Fly On A Windshield, Broadway Melody Of 1974, Cuckoo Cocoon,  In The Cage, The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging, Rael Stories 1, Back In N.Y.C., Hairless Heart, Counting Out Time, The Carpet Crawlers, The Chamber Of 32 Doors

Disc 2 (74:09):   Rael Stories II, Lilywhite Lilith, The Waiting Room, Anyway, The Supernatural Anaesthetist, The Lamia, Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats, The Colony Of Slippermen, Ravine, The Light Dies Down On Broadway, Riding The Scree, In The Rapids, It, The Musical Box

Genesis played close to two weeks in Germany for The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.  The set of dates in late March and early April, spanning from Offenburg to Hamburg, are all interesting for the way the band were expanding the material after being on the road for months.  German Melody Of 1975 is the only silver release of the Dortumund show. 

Highland uses an excellent audience recording that captures the atmosphere of the event perfectly.  There is a cut in the middle of the show that eliminates most of “The Chamber Of 32 Doors,” part of Gabriel’s second Rael narration and all but ninety seconds of “Lilywhite Lilith.”  There is also an abrupt cut between “The Waiting Room” and “Anyway.” 

(“The Chamber Of 32 Doors” exists only in a one minute-fifty-five second fragment.  A recent fan produced remaster called Digital Lambs In Dortmund has it listed as lasting 9:32 which is obviously a typo).

The tape begins with Gabriel giving the introduction in stilted but competent German before the twinkling of “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” starts off the show.  The first part of the set, from the opening song to the first Rael story, serves to establish the setting of the narrative.  The transition between “Cuckoo Cocoon” to “In The Cage” is extremely exciting in this recording.  Collins and especially Banks get into the latter number.  

Gabriel’s narrations in Dortmund are extremely long and detailed sounding as if he doesn’t want to leave anything out.  Steve Hackett’s guitar is especially dominant in “Back In N.Y.C.” and especially “Hairless Heart,” a song he still plays live.  

The second Rael story is even longer but contains a funny exchange with the audience.  When Gabriel is describing how Rael jumps into the pool, he says:  “he jumps into, not the musical box… but into a pool” in response to an audience request.  Most of “Lilywhite Lilith” is missing but there is a full nine-minute “Waiting Room.”  This is the part of the show that seems to have received most attention by the band with experimental improvisations.  There is a backing tape in the middle with a German voice and Gabriel attempts the oboe before switching back to flute.  The whole piece hits, what one commentator states as, an hypnotic groove.

“The Colony Of Slippermen” is a short self-contained drama in this show and the audience respond with enthusiasm.  The only encore for Dortmund is “The Musical Box,” probably because of the request earlier in the evening.  The recording is good for presenting the dynamic and inner tension of the piece clearly.  Highland issued several Lamb shows from this era and Dortmund is perhaps the best sounding of the lot.     

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