Genesis – Ultimate Lamb (Virtuoso 051/052)

 Ultimate Lamb (Virtuoso 051/052)

Lakeland Civic Center Concert Hall, Lakeland, FL – January 11th, 1975

Disc 1 (49:19):  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’s Story (part 1), Back In N.Y.C., Hairless Heart, Counting Out Time, The Carpet Crawlers, The Chamber Of 32 Doors

Disc 2 (66:39):  Rael’s Story (part 2), Lilywhite Lilith, The Waiting Room, Anyway, Here Comes The Supernatural Anesthetist, interlude, 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

Virtuoso have been plumbing the Genesis Lamb soundboards the past year and Ultimate Lamb is the latest.  Using the second of what are called the Mike Rutherford soundboards, this captures the Lakeland Florida show on January 11th, 1975.  It was utilized on From One Fan To All Others (Stonehenge STBX 016/STBX 017/STBX 018) and The Lamb Lives (Backstage BKCD 033/034) in varying degrees of quality.  Virtuoso   

“For nearly 20 years, avid ‘Lamb’ fans did not have much to rejoice about as far as live recordings were concerned. One of the Los Angeles performances was recorded by the King Biscuit team, one of the Wembley shows was recorded by the BBC, but in both cases only highlights of the concert ever reached the airwaves. As for audience recordings, only a handful (and often not the best) emerged as bootleg LPs, none of them offering a full ‘Lamb’ show, complete with encores. Patient fans had to wait until the mid-nineties for some full ‘Lamb’ live recordings to finally surface. The two most notorious shows to appear on bootleg CDs at the time were soundboard recordings of two Florida concerts: West Palm Beach, recorded on January 10th 1975, released by the Oxygen label under the title of ‘The Lamb Descends On Waterbury’ (???), and Lakeland, from January 11th 1975, released on the Backstage label under the title of ‘The Lamb Lives’. It is now known that both these recordings were doctored with patches used to fill in some missing segments but, at the time, the release of both CDs came as a welcome surprise for all Genesis fans. For the first time, fans could finally hear a full ‘Lamb’ performance presented in fantastic sound quality.

“In the years that followed the release of these CDs, many other ‘Lamb’ shows have seen the light of day, each one as interesting as the next but, for its great quality both in sound and performance, the Lakeland show has remained a favourite among devotees. A few years ago, a lower generation version of this recording began to make the rounds in trading circles, giving birth to a couple of excellent remasters from SAB and BURP. A still lower generation recording was discovered recently and it is on this version that PRRP has based this brand new remaster. Purists will most likely frown a little, but we have decided to use segments from another show to fill in the missing sections and offer a more complete listening experience. We have drawn the line at Peter Gabriel’s story to introduce ‘The Musical Box’, however. Since he tended to vary the story a little from one night to the next, it would have been inaccurate to use the introduction from another show. Enjoy!

“Fans of Genesis have been quite blessed recently with the release of so many Soundboard and Open Air Microphone recordings of the Lamb. For this remaster project we began with a FLAC version of GASP 016, the Genesis Lakeland ’75 show. This recording has always had a reputation for high quality and now, with the release of the master from the GASP group, the audio experience is made even better. Still, analysis of this recording did reveal flaws that required correction.

“As usual with recordings of this age, many clicks, pop and other tape imperfections were found and corrected. A simple channel imbalance was also present and corrected as were the overall dynamics of the recording to provide a consistency of volume for both the quiet and loud sections of the show. But the most obvious problem with the show was the tape speed. It is clear that two tapes were used to record the show and each had its own speed error. Now corrected, the recording truly shines not only as a good audio capture but also as a great performance of the Lamb. Sections of the show were unfortunately missing but were patched to provide the full show for your listening pleasure. The final step was to track the show in accordance with known standard references.”

The result of such a careful remastering is to make another wise dry and hissy soundboard sound much more dynamic and lively.  Tony Banks in particular takes command throughout the show to the point where the guitar becomes almost irrelevant.  He leads them through the tricky arrangments with interesting variations  on the strong, moody mellotron in “Fly On A Windshield” and takes any opportunity to introduce new themes in well known songs.  Gabriel also tends to add great amounts of hostility to his vocals in the louder numbers “In The Cage” and “Back In N.Y.C.”  At the end of the abstract piece Phil Collins introduces “The Musical Box” as a very old song and is the only encore played that night.  They give an almost “modern” interpretation of the piece with Henry returning at the end as the old man-Slipperman.  Ultimate Lamb is another solid Genesis effort by Virtuoso with many great pics from the famous tour on the artwork. 

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