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Genesis Live Over Europe 2007
Let’s start out with some complete honesty. I will never write a
negative review of a Genesis album. It’s not something my DNA can
if you don’t like Genesis, you won’t like Live Over Europe 2007,
no matter what I tell you. Genesis is a taste that most people have or
don’t have. If you don’t take well to breathtaking chord changes,
sonic-speed keyboard solos and muscular drum patterns, I can only hope
the quality of the rest of your life makes up for this deficiency.
That said, the band’s new live album – the fifth of its history – is the
first in which the song selection consists of the entire setlist from
its most recent tour. All 21 tracks performed on the Genesis Turn It On
Again Tour in 2007 – in which they played 46 dates in Europe and North
America – populate the two-CD set in the same order in which they were
played on the tour.
But as the title suggests, Live Over Europe consists entirely of
the best performances from the European leg of the tour, including the
free show in Rome that attracted an astounding 500,000 people.
their late 50s and touring together for the first time in 15 years, Tony
Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford – along with longtime touring
sidemen Daryl Stuermer and Chester Thompson – are remarkably tight in
their playing and ambitious in their arrangements.
The album opens with an abridged version of “Behind the Lines,”
consisting of the instrumental opening section of the song, which segues
naturally into “Duke’s End” and then into the title track of the tour –
the Genesis classic “Turn It On Again.”
This was one of several songs played in a lower key than when originally
recorded – one of the tour’s few concessions to age as Collins finds it
harder than he did in his 30s and 40s to hit the high notes. Other
lowered-key classics include “No Son of Mine,” “Land of Confusion,”
“Home by the Sea” and “Invisible Touch.”
you only know Genesis by recognizing their mega-hits of the ‘80s and
early ’90s, the aforementioned songs will be highlights of the album for
you, along with “Mama,” “Throwing It All Away,” “Hold On My Heart” and
“I Can’t Dance.”
Some who remember the softer sounds of the late 1970s will enjoy once
again hearing the 1978 hit “Follow You Follow Me,” the only song on the
tour performed with Collins singing and drumming simultaneously.
For fans who have ventured to discover the deeper Genesis tracks over
the years, the album features two centerpieces. On the first CD, it is
the medley of “In the Cage/Cinema Show/Duke’s Travels/Afterglow.” It’s
more than 17 minutes of mostly older material, including some of Banks’s
best keyboard work, set against Rutherford’s thumping bass, Stuermer’s
jazz/rock-style guitar and the double-drumming rhythms of Collins and
the second CD, the highlight begins with the drum duet performed by
Collins and Thompson, oddly commencing with the two slapping their
sticks against leather stools before moving to the drum kits proper
where they play the most aggressive and scintillating of the many drum
duets they have performed over the years.
The drum duet segues as per usual into the 1976 classic “Los Endos,” an
instrumental nearing seven minutes in which the five musicians produce
melodies, stunning transitions and dramatic crescendos that would rival
the best performance of any symphony orchestra.
The CD closes with the understated but emotional “Carpet Crawlers” –
perhaps the song that most completely bridges the gap between all eras
of Genesis music and Genesis fans.
Devoted fans will notice a few accommodations to suit the audio CD
format, most notably the editing of “I Know What I Like” to delete the
rather lengthy portion in which Collins dances a tambourine tarantella.
(You try it when you’re 56.) It looked awesome on stage, but to listen
to it, all you’d hear is a repetitive rhythm that would seem to go on
forever. The album is sadly better off for the change.
Most of the material on Live Over Europe has been released on
prior live Genesis albums, but “Duke’s Travels” and “Ripples” appear on
a live album (not counting archive releases) for the first time.
you didn’t see the tour (and if you live in the south or most of the
west, you probably didn’t), it’s all here. For a bunch of 50-somethings
who hadn’t played together since Twin Peaks was all the rage,
Genesis played with skill and fury that will remind listeners why they
have thrived for four decades – in spite of getting little love from
critics – and why you get the sense that if they ever do it again, the
reception will be just as enthusiastic the next time.
© 2008 North Star Writers
Group. May not be republished without permission.
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