Perfect “Three Sides Live” (Highland HL081/82#G13)
Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY – November 29th, 1981
Disc 1 (47:31): Opening rehearsal, Behind The Lines, Duchess, Dodo / Lurker, Abacab, Me And Sarah Jane, Misunderstanding, No Reply At All
Disc 2 (60:49): Firth Of Fifth, Man On The Corner, Keep It Dark, Follow You Follow Me, Turn It On Again, In The Cage/Cinema Show/Slippermen, Afterglow, Dance On A Volcano/Los Endos, ending Genesis dressing room
The only major radio appearance for Genesis during the Abacab tour in 1981 was the “Supergroups In Concert” syndicated broadcast of April 10th, 1982. Produced in conjunction between ABC and DIR (the production company behind the King Biscuit Flower Hour), several shows in New York were recorded including the November 28th show at the smaller venue The Savoy Theater and the November 29th show in the much bigger Nassau Coliseum.
Both shows (as well as the December 23rd show in Birmingham and even the May 7th, 1980 Lyceum concert) contributed the live tracks for the 1982 release Three Sides Live.
Several silver releases in the early nineties protection gap era were released with material from this tape. Perpetual Soundwave (Oh Boy 1-9098) is a one disc title with twelve songs all out of sequence and was copied onto Limbo (Living Legend LLRCD 160). Fiaba (Buccaneer Records BUC 017/2) is a two disc set with with more songs and dialogue from the dressing room at the end of the show.
Perfect “Three Sides Live” on Highland came out several years afterwards. It’s similar to Limbobut adds the opening soundcheck and dialogue and four additional songs, “Man On The Corner,” “Keep It Dark,” “Follow You Follow Me,” and “Turn It On Again.” The sound quality is excellent and sourced from a very clean vinyl copy of the syndicate transcription discs from the early eighties.
Obviously, this does not present a complete Abacab set nor is it all from the November 29th Nassau Coliseum show. The first track starts with the Westwood announcer speaking about the band, calling each Genesis show a “masterpiece” of sound and musicianship. There is a short snippet of the band rehersaing “Into The Cage” followed by the band relaxing before the show. “Phil Collins can be found practicing his trumpet, and Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford could be found playing air hockey.”
The promoter can be heard speaking to the band, asking them to play some ethnic songs. “There are lots of Italians here” he tells them, and asks if they know the “Hava Nagila.”
The opening three numbers, “Behind The Lines,” “Duchess,” “Dodo / Lurker” and “Abacab” are also from the Nassau show.
It is thought the next three songs, “Me And Sarah Jane,” “Misunderstanding” and “No Reply At All” are from the previous evening at The Savoy Theater in Manhattan. There is a short instance of canned cheering (common to DIR productions), the sound sounds slightly flatter and the muted whistles and cheers indicate a smaller venue.
“Firth Of Fifth” is from Nassau. The Savoy Theater performance is notable for Phil forgetting the final verse, but this performance is perfect. “Man On The Corner,” with fade at the end, is from The Savoy Theater just like the version from Genesis Archives Vol. 2.
The following two songs don’t even come from the Abacab tour. “Keep It Dark” comes from one of the two Philadelphia Spectrum DIR broadcasts from 1983. None of the various permutations of this broadcast contains this performance, so it must have been inserted by Highland themselves. It’s a nice performance, but it’s presence is a mystery. “Follow You Follow Me” dates from the Lyceum in London in May 7th, 1980 and is included on several versions of the DIR discs and the Three Sides Live LP.
Afterwards, the recording reverts back to the Nassau Coliseum for the rest of the show. “Turn It On Again” was used for the officially video of the song released with the album and played incessantly on the early days of MTV.
The final track is a three minute candid recording of the band talking about the performance and the promoter congratulating them on a fine show and the closing radio show’s credits.
Perfect “Three Sides Live” is a very good sounding release but is neither complete nor definitive. Hearing good audience tapes from the Nassau Coliseum and The Savoy Theater shows would make a very good release covering these concerts. Despite that, this is the best version on silver disc of these Abacab radio shows and is worth hunting down.