Second Nature (Highland HL042/043#G6)
Fox Theater, Atlanta, GA – March 13th, 1977
Disc 1 (70:23): Squonk, One For The Vine, Robbery Assault & Battery, Your Own Special Way, Firth Of Fifth, Carpet Crawlers, …In That Quiet Earth, Afterglow, I Know What I Like
Disc 2 (65:30): Eleventh Earl Of Mar, Supper’s Ready, Dance On A Volcano / Los Endos, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway/The Musical Box. Apollo, Glasgow, Scotland – July 9th, 1976: Robbery Assault & Battery, It
Genesis played two dates in Atlanta in the penultimate week of the Wind & Wuthering tour. Their last visit to the city was on January 15th, 1975 during the Lamb Lies Down On Broadway tour. Instead of playing the Municipal Auditorium, they booked two nights at the famous Fox Theater for a more intimate setting. Only the first of the two nights on March 13th was taped and is in circulation and has been pressed onto silver by Highland on Second Nature.
It is a very good mono recording of the entire concert. There are several tape flips between some of the numbers and an unfortunate cut 8:26 in “Supper’s Ready” that omits about a minute of music.
Atlanta is a very good and joyful concert with the band in very good humor, seemingly happy to be playing in a smaller venue than was the norm for that tour. “Squonk” and the long “One For The Vine” get the show off to a flying start. Before “Robbery, Assault & Battery” Phil Collins speaks about Harry who is going to steal the weekly earnings of “the very first Burger King hamburger restaurant.”
Mike Rutherford gives the introduction to “Your Own Special Way,” telling the story of it being a “sea shanty about Myrtle the mermaid” with Phil Collins demonstrating the dance and about how the song is roaring up the Venezuelan charts. (Is there any footage of Collins’ “Your Own Special Way” dance?) This song was a minor hit and they would even play it on the Michael Douglas show on TV the following week, but this would be one of the final live performances before it would be replaced when Genesis toured Europe.
Collins gives a long introduction to Steve Hackett before “Firth Of Fifth,” saying that “today, just today we found out is fact the fourth cousin removed from your very own president Jimmy Carter. Would you please welcome Steve ‘Would I Lie To You’ Hackett'” who then dedicates “Firth Of Fifth” to Keith Richard, who was at that time incarcerated in Canada after a drug bust. It is a typical 1977 performance with the dentist drill guitar solo in the middle setting everyone on edge, producing one of the dramatic moments in the show.
“I Know What I Like” reaches nine minutes with the “Stagnation” interlude and the tambourine solo. Rutherford comes back again before “Eleventh Earl Of Mar” and compares the Fox to the Rainbow Theater in London, since “both have stars on the ceiling and both keep closing down.”
The long “Supper’s Ready” is another highlight of the set, which closes with the long “Dance On A Volcano,” drum duet and “Los Endos” medley, sounding very heavy and dramatic in this recording. The encore is the short medley of “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” with the closing section of “The Musical Box.”
As a bonus Highland include two tracks taken from a 1982 radio broadcast with “Robbery, Assault & Battery” and “It,” recorded in Scotland during the Trick Of A Tail tour on July 9th, 1976. They are called outtakes from Seconds Out by the announcer and are in very good mono radio broadcast quality. The beginning of “It” suffers from dropouts and cuts off right at the transition to “Watcher Of The Skies.” It’s a good nice bonus, but the focus is upon the great Atlanta performance. Second Nature was issued in 1997 and is relatively hard to find today, but it’s worth seeking out.