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Platinum Collection - Genesis

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Genre: Rock - Progressive Rock / Artist: Genesis / Box set / Audio CD released 2004-11-29 at EMI

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      10.07.2006 18:05
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      All their greatest hits on a 3 disc box set

      The Platinum Collection from Genesis is a three CD boxed set of all their best songs. It's really the story of Genesis told backwards. The third CD ends with their first ever release and the first CD begins with their last hit before they stopped recording. It's really quite hard to review this CD, as its 40 odd songs long and takes about 4 hours to listen to properly, and a track by track analysis would take forever to write and be extremely tedious to read. So what I thought I'd do is tell you the short version of the story of Genesis and throw in a bit of commentary on the best tracks as I go along...otherwise this review will end up being longer than the original Book of Genesis.

      ~~~ THE LATE SIXTIES/ EARLY SEVENTIES ~~~
      The origins of Genesis date back to around 1967 at Charterhouse Public School. A group of schoolboys formed a band known as From Genesis to Revelation. In those far flung days the band consisted of Michael Rutherford (bass guitar), Anthony Phillips (drummer), Peter Gabriel (vocals) Tony Banks (keyboards) and Chris Stewart (drums). The newly formed group had no dreams of becoming wildly successful; instead their initial aim was to write music for other bands. The group came to the attention of Jonathan King (yes, him of the "Everyone's Gone to the Moon" and young male "callers" fame), who secured them a recording contract with Decca in 1968. Their first album sunk without trace in 1969 and they subsequently lost both the interest of Jonathan King and Decca. They continued to tour, perform small gigs and write music. In 1970, they shortened their name to just Genesis and signed up with Tony Stratton-Smith and his label Charisma Records. They released their second album in 1971 "Trespass", lost two founder members and recruited two new ones. Enter stage right, Phil Collins (a former child star from the film version of "Oliver") as the new drummer and Steve Hackett as the new guitarist. The new line up now remained intact for the next five years and saw the release of some of their best albums - "Nursery Cryme" (1971), "Foxtrot" (1972), "Selling England By The Pound" (1973) and "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" (1974). They also toured incessantly and built up a huge cult following with their art-rock style shows. Unfortunately, despite their huge cult following, commercial success for Genesis remained largely out of reach. Their albums did OK sales wise but chart success was purely limited to one song that reached number 21 in 1974, "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)".

      *** CD THREE COVERS THE YEARS 1972 to 1974 ***
      [1] The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (from the album "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway")
      [2] Counting Out Time (from the album "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway")
      [3] Carpet Crawlers (from the album "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway")
      [4] Firth Of Fifth (from the Album "Selling England by the Pound")
      [5] Cinema Show (from the Album "Selling England by the Pound")
      [6] I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) (from the Album "Selling England by the Pound") (Charts = 21 in April 1974)
      [7] Supper's Ready (from the album "Foxtrot")
      [8] The Musical Box (from the album "Nursery Cryme")
      [9] The Knife (from the album "Trespass")

      This CD is most entertaining and well worth a listen. You don't need to be sporting beard or wearing a cheesecloth shirt/tie die T-shirt to enjoy the music (but it may help you undertstand some of the lyrics). This CD could really be called the Peter Gabriel years. Highlights for me are the "Carpet Crawlers" and "The Musical Box". There may only be a scant nine tracks on it but they're all lengthy musical showcases. In the 70's rock songs were L O N G. They had a beginning, a ten to fifteen minute crescendo with a long instrumental interlude and then a gradual descent to the end. All the tracks on this CD are characterised by long musical sections, the vocals tell some kind of bizarre story, they move into a long instrumental crescendo and then fade away. Some of the sounds are experimental, and take a bit of getting into. In this era Genesis were known for their elaborate stage shows and costumes (hence Peter Gabriel's odd appearance as a flower on many a stage). Many of their best known tunes from the 70's like "The Musical Box" (11 minutes) or "Supper's Ready" (23 minutes) ramble on somewhat. Most of the songs could be described as soft rock and they are all dominated by Peter Gabriel's vocals. They're not the sort of songs you could dance around to, they're the type to lie back and appreciate in a darkened room with some headphones on. The lyrics can be a little strange and it's really hard to know what Genesis are banging on about in places, but then they are all taken from albums that most likely told the entire story.

      The best known track here is "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)", which starts off with the famous line "It's 1 o'clock and time for lunch...tum te tum te tum" and progresses into a really catchy chorus (though, again, the lyrics are most bizarre). This CD is seventies progressive-art-soft rock at it's best - you won't understand a word of the lyrics, but they sure knew how to spin out a musical interlude.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      ~~~ THE LATE SEVENTIES/VERY EARLY EIGHTIES ~~~
      1975 saw the departure of Peter Gabriel (for personal reasons). Despite auditioning for a new lead singer, this was the point at which Phil Collins took over as lead vocalist, whilst continuing as the drummer. At this stage of their career, the band were over £150,000 in debt and still without much commercial success. However, the band now moved away from the art rock style songs and long rambling intervals and started to write and produce songs with catchier themes. Albums such as "A Trick of the Tail" (1976), "Wind and Wuthering" (1977), "And Then There Were Three" (1978) and "Duke" (1980) just got better and better and their sales increased with each subsequent release. After a successful world tour in 1977, Steve Hackett left the band and the original line-up became just three (hence the aptly titled album "And Then There Were Three"). Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford were the final lineup and it stayed that way for the next 15 years. They finally crossed over into mainstream success in 1978 with the single "Follow You Follow Me" and built up a huge new army of fans. Despite accusations from their former fans of selling out, Genesis were now on a roll and each subsequent album from 1978 onwards spawned at least 3 or 4 hit singles for them throughout Europe and the US.

      *** CD TWO COVERS THE YEARS 1976 TO 1981 ***
      [1] Abacab (from the album "Abacab") (Charts = 9 in August 1980)
      [2] Keep It Dark (from the album "Abacab") (Charts = 33 in October 1981)
      [3] Turn It On Again (from the album "Duke") (Charts = 8 in March 1980)
      [4] Behind The Lines (from the album "Duke")
      [5] Duchess (from the album "Duke")
      [6] Misunderstanding (from the album "Duke")
      [7] Many Too Many (from the album "...And The There Were Three...)
      [8] Follow You Follow Me (from the album "...And The There Were Three...) (Charts = 7 in March 1978)
      [9] Undertow (from the album "...And The There Were Three...)
      [10] In That Quiet Earth (from the album "Wind and Wuthering")
      [11] Afterglow (from the album "Wind and Wuthering")
      [12] Your Own Special Way (from the album "Wind and Wuthering")
      [13] A Trick Of The Tail (from the album "A Trick of the Tail")
      [14] Ripples (from the album "A Trick of the Tail")
      [15] Los Endos (from the album "A Trick of the Tail")

      This has got to be the best CD in the collection. The tracks from the early 1980's are full of driving beats and punchy vocals and you feel you can now take off your headphones, turn up the lighting and have a good bop to the music. Phil Collins is in evidence as the main vocalist, but he hasn't yet made the band too commercial. There are some fine songs on this section. Highlights for me are "Undertow", "Follow You, Follow Me" and "Many Too Many" (....in fact any track at all from my favourite Genesis album "And Then There Were Three"). The songs became much more commercial in the early 1980's and it's this CD that really highlights the progression of Genesis from little known soft rock band to the huge commercial megastars they became in the 80's and 90's. They're starting to cut down on the huge instrumental build ups and interludes and beginning to concentrate instead on much more of a melody and chorus in their songs. There are some lovely soft and gentle love songs on this CD such as "Ripples", "Your Own Special Way" and "Afterglow" all characterized by the soaring emotional vocals that Phil Collins does so well.

      The best known songs on this CD will be "Follow You, Follow Me" from 1978 (with it's soft backdrop beat, yet oh so lovely lyrics) "Turn It On Again" and "Abacab", both from 1980.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      ~~~ THE EIGHTIES AND NINETIES ~~~
      Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford continued to record albums on a sporadic basis as well as tour the world with huge sell out shows. However, there were long periods between the Genesis albums of the late 80's and 90's as all three of the remaining members were now pursuing successful solo careers. Mike Rutherford had his Mike & The Mechanics and everyone knows how successful Phil Collins became with his solo stuff. Nonetheless, all the Genesis albums of the late 80's and 90's ("Genesis" (1983), "Invisible Touch" (1986) , "We Can't Dance" (1991) and lots of live albums) went platinum and spawned many chart successes. In 1996, Phil Collins left the band, not through musical differences, it was simply a matter of geography (this was when Collins moved to Switzerland). Rutherford and Banks decided to carry on without him and in 1997, they announced that Collins would be replaced by ex-Stiltskin vocalist Ray Wilson. In September 1997, Genesis released what would be their final studio album "Calling All Stations", but it was not met with much acclaim and the tour received a lukewarm welcome.

      *** CD ONE COVERS THE YEARS 1982 TO 1993 ***
      [1] No Son Of Mine (from the album "We Can't Dance") (Charts = 6 in Nov 1991)
      [2] I Can't Dance (from the album "We Can't Dance") (Charts = 7 in Jan 1992)
      [3] Jesus He Knows Me (from the album "We Can't Dance") (Charts = 20 in July 1992)
      [4] Hold On My Heart (from the album "We Can't Dance") (Charts = 16 in April 1992)
      [5] Invisible Touch (from the album "Invisible Touch" ) (Charts = 15 in May 1986)
      [6] Throwing It All Away (from the album "Invisible Touch" ) (Charts = 22 in June 1987)
      [7] Tonight Tonight Tonight (from the album "Invisible Touch" ) (Charts = 18 in Mar 1987)
      [8] Land Of Confusion (from the album "Invisible Touch" ) (Charts = 14 in Nov 1986)
      [9] In Too Deep (from the album "Invisible Touch" ) (Charts = 19 in Aug 1986)
      [10] Mama (from the album "Genesis") (Charts = 4 in Sept 1983)
      [11] That's All (from the album "Genesis") (Charts = 16 in Nov 1983)
      [12] Home By The Sea (from the album "Genesis")
      [13] Second Home By The Sea (from the album "Genesis")
      [14] Illegal Alien (from the album "Genesis")
      [15] Paperlate (from the EP "Paperlate" - 1981)
      [16] Calling All Stations (from the album "Calling All Stations")

      This is the CD with the Genesis of the top 20, they'd finally hit the big time. The sound is nothing much like their earlier stuff, it's much more a mix of pop rather than rock songs. Personally I find their sound in this era far too bland and far too middle of the road. In my opinion it's the worst CD in the set; all the tracks are dominated by Phil Collins and I really didn't rate Genesis in this period at all. This is where I started to lose interest in Genesis a bit and I only own one Genesis album from this whole era - "We Can't Dance" (1991).

      There are some tracks on this CD that I actively dislike such as "Illegal Alien", "Paperlate", "Land of Confusion", "Invisible Touch" and "That's All", they're just too happy clappy and silly for my liking. They're just bubblegum pop music and I tend to skip over them if at all possible. Genesis redeem themselves somewhat with the tracks from the "We Can't Dance" album such as "No Son of Mine", "I Can't Dance", "Hold On My Heart" and "Jesus He Knows Me". Likewise, "In Too Deep" is a lovely, lovely love song with some really meaningful lyrics, and I'm quite fond of "Throwing It All Away" - both big Phil Collins type ballards. However, on the whole - I'll take CD 2 or 3 in preference to this one any day of the week.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      ~~~ TODAY ~~~
      There is unlikely to ever be a Genesis reunion. Former band members such a Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel have such successful solo careers nowadays, there would be little in it for them. Nowadays Genesis remains largely inactive as a band despite sporadic releases of their hits in new packaged DVD, video and CD formats, such as this Platinum Collection. I do like the CD but I wish they'd formatted it differently. I wish that they had started off on CD 1 with their first ever recording and then progressed to CD 3 ending with their last one. It seems a bit out of kilter, but maybe that's just me. Personally, I would have preferred to listen to them from the very beginning, right until the end so I could listen to their development musically. However, if you like Genesis then you will love this CD; it tells their story from beginning to end, and really, it's got something for everyone on here. It's got all the best Genesis songs on it and they've all been digitally remastered for optimum performance.

      ~~~ OTHER STUFF ~~~
      This is a three CD set packaged with an accompanying booklet giving the full Genesis discography as well as a written commentary and lots of quotes from Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford.

      This CD can be bought online at:-
      www.cd-wow.com £10.99 inclusive of postage and packing
      www.101cd.com £8.99 inclusive of postage and packing
      www.amazon £9.97 plus postage and packing

      Further information on Genesis can be found on their official website at:- www.genesis-music.com or have a browse on www.worldofgenesis.com

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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 No Son Of Mine
      2 I Can't Dance
      3 Jesus He Knows Me
      4 Hold On My Heart
      5 Invisible Touch
      6 Throwing It All Away
      7 Tonight Tonight Tonight (Edit)
      8 Land Of Confusion
      9 In Too Deep
      10 Mama
      11 That's All
      12 Home By The Sea
      13 Second Home By The Sea
      14 Illegal Alien
      15 Paperlate
      16 Calling All Stations

      Disc #2 Tracklisting
      1 Abacab
      2 Keep It Dark
      3 Turn It On Again
      4 Behind The Lines
      5 Duchess
      6 Misunderstanding
      7 Many Too Many
      8 Follow You Follow Me
      9 Undertow
      10 In That Quiet Earth
      11 Afterglow
      12 Your Own Special Way
      13 A Trick Of The Tail
      14 Ripples
      15 Los Endos

      Disc #3 Tracklisting
      1 The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
      2 Counting Out Time
      3 Carpet Crawlers
      4 Firth Of Fifth
      5 Cinema Show
      6 I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)
      7 Supper's Ready
      8 The Musical Box
      9 The Knife