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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
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There. Now that's out of the way, we have the box set where Phil Collins more than capably replaced Peter Gabriel, to the surprise of most, including his band mates. His voice is perfectly suited to 'Trick of the Tail' and this album is so good, it is like Genesis reimagined. 'Wind and Wuthering' follows suit and is the last masterpiece the band produced. Well, I could see adding 'Duke' to my essential Genesis list. All 3 of them are here. After that, there were some very good songs on albums that were just 'good'. For example, "Home by the Sea" and its instrumental sequel on the album that also has "Mama" (next box set please...). Rhino has done a very good job with these reissues though I am jealous that outside North America this box is available in Hybrid SACD. Don't understand why not here but the sound quality is still very good and the 5.1 mixes interesting. Some nice video bonus material, especially on "Trick" with 2007 Interviews. All in all, nicely packaged with a bonus disc of mostly already available material that is at least all in one place to round out the package. Docked a star because it is just not essential. That label goes with 3 of its discs though, so worth a look.
I should include a word about the visual elements included on the CD/DVD's. They, too, are excellent. I've read some negative things about the older filmed material, particularly that which came from American and Japanese TV broadcasts. Granted, they don't look all that great but, nonetheless, I'm really glad they're there. I'd much rather be watching a bootleg sourced from a worn VHS tape of an old performance than watching nothing at all and, to top it off, I thought that the less-than-perfect quality of the material added to its intrigue. Those VHS "age lines" are reminders of just how long these guys have been around, just how much road time they've logged, and just how many stages they've graced. Truth be told, I wish there was more of this type of material to watch and enjoy.
If one needs a cure for so-called "buyer's remorse," spend your money on this set and just see if you don't forget about its cost within the first three bars of Track 1!
Most recent customer reviews
So glad I bought my set for $79.99 a few years ago.