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Genesis - 2005 - "Platinum Collection"

(235 min 3CD, Rhino)

TRACK LIST:                             
Disc 1 (78 min) 

1.  No Son of Mine 6:35 (1991)
2.  I Can't Dance 4:01 (1991)
3.  Jesus He Knows Me 4:17 (1991)
4.  Hold On My Heart 4:38 (1991)
5.  Invisible Touch 3:28 (1986)
6.  Throwing It All Away 3:50 (1986)
7.  Tonight-Tonight-Tonight 4:30 (1986)
8.  Land of Confusion 4:46 (1986)
9.  In Too Deep 4:57 (1986)
10. Mama 6:49 (1983)
11. That's All 4:25 (1983)
12. Home By the Sea 5:08 (1983)
13. Second Home By the Sea 6:06 (1983)
14. Illegal Alien 5:17 (1983)
15. Paperlate 3:24 (1982)
16. Calling All Station 5:45 (1997)


Tony Banks - keyboards
Mike Rutherford - bass, guitars
Phil Collins - drums; vocals 
Ray Wilson - vocals (16)
Nik Zidkuyahu - drums (16)

Disc 2 (77 min) 

1.  Abacab 6:55 (1981)
2.  Keep It Dark 4:35 (1981)
3.  Turn It On Again 3:51 (1980)
4.  Behind the Lines 5:43 (1980)
5.  Duchess 6:07 (1980)
6.  Misunderstanding 3:13 (1980)
7.  Many Too Many 3:35 (1978)
8.  Follow You Follow Me 4:08 (1978)
9.  Undertow 4:47 (1978)
10. In That Quiet Earth 4:56 (1976)
11. Afterglow 4:08 (1976)
12. Your Own Special Way 6:19 (1975)
13. A Trick of the Tail 4:35 (1975)
14. Ripples 8:08 (1975)
15. Los Endos 5:47 (1975)


Tony Banks - keyboards
Mike Rutherford - bass, guitars
Phil Collins - drums; vocals
Steve Hackett - guitars (10-15)

Disc 3 (79 min) 

1.  The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway 4:49 (1974)
2.  Counting Out Time 3:36 (1974)
3.  Carpet Crawlers 5:01 (1974)
4.  Firth of Fifth 9:29 (1973)
5.  The Cinema Show 10:49 (1973)
6.  I Know What I Like 3:53 (1973)
7.  Supper's Ready 22:52 (1972)
8.  The Musical Box 10:24 (1971)
9.  The Knife 8:53 (1970) 


Tony Banks - keyboards
Mike Rutherford - bass, cello
Phil Collins - drums; vocals
Peter Gabriel - vocals; flute
Steve Hackett - guitars
Anthony Phillips - guitars (9)
John Mayhew - drums (9)

Prolusion. Genesis's "Platinum Collection" was released last November via the US major label Rhino Records and is a set of three CDs packed in a box and featuring a rather extensive booklet. I don't think there is the barest necessity even to briefly sketch the history of the most influential Art-Rock act of all time here. I also won't touch the group's personnel and will not work out in detail the stylistic and compositional aspects of each particular song. I'll only express my overall opinion on them while briefly describing the content of the collection. Although this review is certainly destined above all to novice Prog lovers, for Genesis bio etc they should visit the band's website, where there is much essential information (please check Related Links below the review). Those interested to know how I value each of Genesis's studio albums, please click here.

Analysis. This 40-track compilation includes representatives of each of Genesis's studio albums, except their debut release "From Genesis to Revelation" (1969). Instead, one of the songs, Paperlate, does not concern the band's principal discography and was taken from the second of their two EP's, "3x3". I am not sure whether it's a good replacement, not counting the mere fact that the EP is of a hard-to-find category. DISC 1 finds the band playing in the pop-Art style, which brought them to megastar status, but even these very accessible songs are definitely Genesis in all their originality and are still full of magnetism, which is so typical for them in general. From my personal standpoint, the highlights include the first four tracks from the Genesis eponymous CD of 1983: Mama, That's All Right, Home By the Sea and Second Home By the Sea, the latter two being definitely progressive, though almost all of the other songs also contain interesting instrumental maneuvers, as well as effectively contrasting combinations of vocal lines and the music as such. In fact, that rare Paperlate, with its flashy brass section, is the only track in the entire set that doesn't satisfy me, while the highly emotional Mama is one of my most beloved of their works ever, which certainly does not depend on the level of the song's progressiveness. While moving towards the more accessible forms of Prog, Genesis have retained everything essential to keep their creation at the highest artistic level and which still makes it attractive to anyone grasping good music in general. Only two out of the fifteen tracks on DISC 2, Keep It Dark and Misunderstanding, sound somewhat slight for the mid-period Genesis, in my view, but they have their own merits, too, as have Turn It On Again and Follow You Follow Me, which aren't notable for any particular diversity either. All the other songs are remarkable in all senses. The excellent Abacab features plenty of exciting instrumental arrangements and has rather much in common with the Home By the Sea two-part suite, while Many Too Many, Undertow and Ripples are simply magical, being perfect just as they are, and I would lie above all to myself would I say that I love them less than the two instrumental pieces: In That Quiet Earth and Los Endos, although these are definitely the most diverse, intricate and just progressive tracks here. DISC 3 is a culmination of the collection, at least from a progressive viewpoint. The band was at their most adventurous in the first half of the '70s, stably delivering brilliant albums from year to year. The music is classic symphonic Art-Rock in all its glory, often in confluence with Classical-like forms. At the time, the profundity and beauty of Genesis' music were inseparable from each other, coming hand in hand, and most of the disc's contents just establish the fact, the songs: The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Firth of Fifth and The Cinema Show being especially striking in this respect. Just like the latter two, Supper's Ready, The Musical Box and The Knife are multi-sectional compositions (suites) and are among the all-time favorites of anybody really acquainted with the concept of Progressive Rock.

Conclusion. Nothing supernatural will be said here. This is the most complete collection of Genesis's songs ever, touching every important aspect of the band's creation, and this matter is eloquent already in itself. What is also significant is that the album is compiled in the way that the songs are placed almost religiously in a reverse chronological order (the only exception being Calling All Stations taking the last position on Disc 1). So each of the further discs contains a more complicated material, which will certainly be of help to the untried listener to move step by step in comprehending Genesis' music. As to traditional Prog lovers, here I am, one of such. There are only classic progressive Genesis albums in my collection: from "Trespass" to "And Then There Were Three". But now I feel really happy having the opportunity to hear their later works again, re-discovering them for myself, because there is a lot of magic here, as well as the hidden things that I could not get into before. Highly recommended, with no age or taste limitations.

VM: January 18, 2006

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