How Dare I Be So Beautiful? (Golden Eggs EGG-137)
Palasport, Rome, Italy – January 22, 1973
(77:30) Watcher Of The Skies, The Musical Box, Peter Talking, Fountain Of Salmacis, Peter Talking, Supper’s Ready, The Return Of The Giant Hogweed, The Knife, Post Show Ambiance
It may have taken nine years but we finally have the follow up to A Bedtime Must (Godfather Records G.R. 654/655), the excellent title documenting Genesis’ first of two Italian dates during the Foxtrot tour on January 20, 1973. The band played two dates in Italy as part of the Charisma Festival, the first date being in Reggio Emilia, the second was in Rome and is the subject of this new release from the Godfather Records offspring, Golden Eggs.
The second concert in Italy took place at the 15,000 seat Palasport and features a line up of Genesis, Capability Brown, Peter Hammill, and Lindisfarne. There are two recordings from this concert, an incomplete average audience source and a very good almost complete near excellent source that is referred to as a mixing desk tape yet is certainly an excellent audience recording, its main issues are the vocals low in the mix. After listening I can assume the taper was very close to the stage and picks up more of the instruments coming from the stage, the vocals would come from the PA hence being a little lower in the mix. A fan production did a matrix of both sources to provide the best sounding and most complete version available. There have been a few releases from this concert, vinyl titles Moonswept Paradise (Clean Sound Records CS 1004) and Charisma Festival 1973 (Orange Records OP-9) and only one source on CD, the very old Double Watchers (Highland HL 636-637).
I’ve got neither of the previous versions listed above, from what I can make of Gerard’s excellent review of the Highland title, it was from the second, better source. Certainly the sound on this new Golden Eggs title is excellent for the time. The second and better recording is a little bass heavy but that is not a flaw but an attribute. The matrix using the first source helps to provide clarity to Gabriel’s vocals, while a bit low in the mix, are certainly audible. The deep bass Gerard describes gives a brutal sound, this is an accurate description. The sound is very clear with the instruments being clear and well balanced, there is a perfect amount of audience present to provide the atmosphere.
Watcher Of The Skies is quite aggressive, Mike Rutherford’s bass is an integral part of the sound and the throbbing bass runs begin the devastation. The chord progressions of the song give it a complex feel one would expect from Yes. It should be noted that the deep bass is less after Watcher, there is still deep bass but it is much more clear and the vocals are much louder as we enjoy the excellent Musical Box. Steve Hackett’s playing is superb, his dissonant leads bring the lyrics to life in a non spoken way. Fountain Of Salmacis seems like a mellow interlude after the two aggressive and dramatic opening songs.
As GS states Supper’s Ready doesn’t have its Story introduction just a somewhat comical one that is just as entertaining. It’s a shame the vocals are not a bit louder as this sounds a bit more instrumental, but it is certainly an excellent rendition. The concert finishes as it began with two heavyweights beginning with Return Of The Giant Hogweed. Love the way the song builds, again Hackett’s guitar is instrumental in giving the song that almost Crimsonesque feel, then the heavy aggressive sequence bowls you over and the audience erupts in appreciation. The encore is the equally excellent The Knife, like Hogweed, its ending borders on avant garde Heavy Metal and based upon the audience response the concert was a triumph.
The packaging is the gatefold sleeve commonly used by Golden Eggs, of course the Eggs adorn it with relevant and excellent pictures with both the front and back featuring Peter Gabriel, the rear picture is in his Foxtrot guise. The interior features liner notes as well as ticket stubs and concert advertisements. In his review of the A Bedtime Must title, GS referred to that title as being a tremendous release, I would put this title in the same category.