On the occasion of Genesis' 40th anniversary, Rhino begins a complete upgrade of their catalog, to be grouped into three CD/DVD boxed sets. This first installment contains five Phil Collins-fronted albums A Trick Of The Tail, Wind & Wuthering, ...And Then There Were Three, Duke, and ABACAB plus Extra Tracks, a new rarities compilation only available as part of this historic 12-disc box.
Each album is reissued as a CD + DVD edition featuring new stereo mixes of the original album. The sixth double disc, Extra Tracks, presents unearthed gems spanning '76-'82. Each DVD disc includes a 5.1 DTS Surround Sound mix of the album plus bonus video content, photo galleries, images of memorabilia, and previously unseen 2007 interviews with band members filmed just for this historic reissue project. The box includes nearly four hours of previously unreleased video material!
While the five albums chronicled here in new, bonus-rich double-disc editions are neither the most theatrically prog-centric nor pop-focused of Genesis's storied career, they are in many ways the most dramatically triumphant. When colorful frontman Peter Gabriel bolted the band in 1975 for a highly regarded solo career, their prospects seemed dim; coupled with a rapidly emerging U.K. punk scene, Genesis seemed destined for the scrapheap of pop history. Instead, with drummer Phil Collins taking over vocals, the band quickly issued a pair of albums that admirably expanded on their ambitious '70s ethos, the muscular Trick of the Tail
and more delicately refined Wind and Wuthering
. The subsequent departure of guitarist Steve Hackett seemed another fateful blow, yet the remaining trio responded by retooling its sound for ...and Then There Were Three
, then coaxing it into a U.K. chart-topping amalgam of art rock chops and pop savvy on 1980's Duke
before refining it further via the angular, New Wave-influenced intrigues of Abacab
. Singles like "Paperlate" and "No Reply at All" may hint at the slick, R&B-influenced hit machine they'd soon become (in turn inspiring Collins to leave for his own solo career in the '90s), yet as a whole this quintet of releases represents one of the most gratifying musical/commercial balancing acts by a major rock act. The new editions here include newly remastered versions of each original album, each featuring a bonus DVD-audio disc that includes expansive new 5.1 DTS Surround Sound mixes and visual materials that include vintage promotional videos, TV clips, and live cuts, along with new retrospective interviews with the band. Two further bonus discs treat an eclectic baker's dozen of the era's outtakes, B-sides, and EP cuts to the same audio burnishing. --Jerry McCulley