Genesis – The Story Of Rael (Highland HL254/255)

 The Story Of Rael (Highland HL254/255)
Hippodrome, Birmingham, England – May 2nd, 1975

Disc 1 (74:09):  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, Peter’s Talk to “Rael Story” #1, Back In N.Y.C., Hairless Heart, Counting Out Time, The Carpet Crawlers, The Chamber Of 32 Doors, Lilywhite Lilith, The Waiting Room, Anyway, The Supernatural Anaesthetist

Disc 2 (60:45):  The Lamia, Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats, The Colony Of Slippermen (The Arrival, A Visit To The Doktor, Raven), Ravine, The Light Dies Down On Broadway, Riding The Scree, In The Rapids, It, The Musical Box, The Knife

The second Lamb show in Birmingham is also the most well known from the tour.  May 2nd is the source of the vinyl title Swelled and Spent (Kornyfone TAKRL 2980), one of the very first Genesis boots available with excellent sound.  The first release used plain white label or “World Record” label.  Later releases used “Spindizzie” label and were pressed on multi-colored vinyl and included copies of the original insert from the first pressing.  Re-issues of this bootleg used different catalog numbers (112/314) as well as different cover artwork and different labels. 

An edit appeared on CD under the title Tales Of Ordinary Madness (Dream Weaver Records DWR 396078-2).  The Story Of Rael is an early Highland title and is the first (and so far only) attempt to produce a complete, definitive version of this show on silver disc.  It isn’t as good sounding as the vinyl.  It’s not exactly clear if this is a second inferior sounding tape or the same source for Swelled And Spent but with twenty years of degradation.  It is still good to very good sounding however. 

There is a cut at the end of “The Chamber of 32 Doors” which omits Peter’s second Rael story, and cut and fades at the end of “Ravine” and the end of “Riding The Scree.”

What would be the final Genesis concert with Peter Gabriel in England (except the 1982 one-off reunion) begins with no word of introduction but right with Tony Banks’ introduction to the piece’s beginning.  It’s more likely the case that it was omitted by the tapers instead of by Gabriel himself.  The first couple of numbers are dominated by Steve Hackett, whose guitar in “Fly On A Windshield” and “Hairless Heart” are inventive.

Hackett again shows wit in “The Waiting Room” when he plays a short bit of the “Dance With The Moonlit Knight” riff, some he did in all of the British shows.  But Phil Collins takes the piece over with heavy jazz/fusion inspired beats in the middle with Banks following along on keyboards. 

Both of the encores are present in the same sound quality as the rest of the tape.  Gabriel gives a long introduction to “The Musical Box” heavy with visual sight gags which are utterly incomprehensible to the listener without the visual cues.  The final encore is an eight minute long version of “The Knife” which was very scarce for this tour.  Overall this is one of the most famous Lamb shows that really needs a definitive release.   

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