Scratching “Seconds Out” Genesis

Posted: Mei 2, 2011 in Tinjau Album

This is one of my Genesis favorites album ever.It’s the transition between Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins era.Collins,no doubtly,do his the best performing on this albums.It’s great live albums.
Held by many as the best of Genesis’ live entries, this album certainly cements Genesis’ live reputation. Arguably containing the definitive performances of several Genesis classics, this album to me captures the beast that Genesis is live better than most of the other albums. Most of this album was recorded over five nights at Paris’ Palais des Sports, June 11 to 15, 1977, and includes several Genesis classics. On to the songs:

Squonk- The set opener from the Wind &Wuthering album tour gets things going in fine form. Chester Thompson, on his first tour with Genesis, propels this song along like he was the one that recorded it. It breathes a little more in a live setting, and Phil sounds great on vocals. It’s easy to see why this was the set opener. Squonk definitely starts it off right.

The Carpet Crawlers- For whatever reason, I’ve never been a fan of this song. Me, I would’ve left it off in favor of In That Quiet Earth going into Afterglow. Phil sings it well, it’s just I’ve never really liked this song. To me it doesn’t go anywhere. Plus, I think it sounds out of context being plucked from the Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (1974).

Robbery Assault and Battery- I’m sure Phil felt a little awkward on those first few tours having to be up at the front of the stage as opposed to being in the back behind his drums. This song’s middle section provides him with the chance to get behind his drums and rock out. I would’ve loved to see this song live to see Phil act out the lyrics, as I think they are among the funnier in Genesis’ catalog. Phil does a good job of getting into the characters, and it does translate to tape. I really love how Tony brings the mellotron into the mix at the 3:00 mark. That’s such a smooth fade in, and I love the transitions between Tony and Steve taking the lead line. I also like the double drumming after the “God always sides on the side of the bad man” section. It obviously didn’t take Phil Collins and Chester Cortez Thompsons long to find common ground.

Afterglow- The only song on Seconds Out that comes from the album they were touring for. This version is alright, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the version found on Three Sides Live. It’s still a great song, though. Tony’s mellotron work is subtle but adds the right amount of melancholy.And surprisingly,Chester Thompson took some of his fill-in drumming part from his Frank Zappa live era.It’s amazing folks !

Firth of Fifth¬- I’ve always thought it interesting that 5 songs from this album would show up on The Way We Walk in the form of the Old Medley. Here we get the full version of Firth of Fifth, one of my favorite Genesis songs, and they certainly do it justice. My only complaint is the lack of real piano, but hey, it’s Firth of Fifth! I like how Steve Hackett treats Gabriel’s flute solo. Steve Hackett has always been good at playing in a haunting manner, and proves it here. I also like how Phil drives the keyboard solo section, and he plays it similarly on the Old Medley 15 years later. Steve Hackett’s classic guitar solo is buried in the mix a little bit. This is really the only instance where I feel he gets buried in the mix on this album. Perhaps he shouldn’t have quit Genesis during the mixing sessions. This guitar solo is one of my favorite Genesis moments, and it would’ve been nice to have him a little more up front. Still though, this is a classic Genesis song and it is performed rather well here.

I Know What I Like- The hit single gets jammed out on Seconds Out, featuring bits of Stagnation, Dancing With the Moonlit Knight, and a few other Genesis songs. Again, there are similarities between this performance and the Old Medley, including Phil’s tambourine bit. I like how Chester gives this song a funkier vibe. I know it’s kinda funny to say funky when talking about Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford, but this is about as funky as Genesis got until No Reply At All.

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway- This song, unlike The Carpet Crawlers, works well as a stand-alone song out of the context of the Lamb. You can hear Phil starting to put his stamp on the PG era songs in terms of the vocals. Since Phil always did a fair amount of singing with Gabriel in the band, it makes sense that he would quickly find his own identity with some of these songs. As Gabriel told Phil, “you sing them better than I do, but you’ll never sing them like I do.” That’s a fair evaluation, I think.

The Musical Box- The transition from The Lamb to this is really effective, and highlight’s Genesis’ collective arranging abilities. What makes this great for me is the colossal roundhouse fill that Phil pulls off towards the end. That’s how you make an entrance on the drums!!

Supper’s Ready- Peter Gabriel once said that watching Genesis perform Supper’s Ready after he left was like watching someone “dressed up in my entrails.” Despite the absence of Gabriel here, I think this is the definitive performance of Supper’s Ready. Phil delivers the goods vocally, and the double drumming on Apocalypse in 9/8 is incredible. Phil really goes out there on the drums, while Chester, Steve and Mike keep that “bum bum dat bum dat bum bum bum dat” riff going. The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man sounds more dramatic here, and Willow Farm, which to me is quintessential Gabriel, comes off well with Phil handling the vocals. I also really dig the guitar work throughout this song. Steve Hackett’s playing sits perfectly throughout the song. And finally, I love how they fade it out at the end.

The Cinema Show- This is the only song featuring Bill Bruford on drums. Recorded during the 1976 tour, I sense a little bit of a clash between Phil and Bill when they play together. Phil chose Bill because they did have very similar styles, and I would agree with that sentiment, but it doesn’t seem quite right here. Obviously, Phil was trying to find his feet within the double drummer frame, and Bill was as well, even though he had already worked with Jamie Muir in Crimson a few years earlier. This must have been a highly educational experience for both Phil and Bill, because they both went on to define double drumming in a rock context with other drummers. I would like to find a few boots of the 1976 tour to further investigate this. But back to the song, I love this version. Everyone is in fine form here, and the keyboard solo is still one of the greatest moments in all of Progressive Rock.

Dance on A Volcano/ Los Endos- This is how you end a live disc. Clearly pointing to the future of Genesis live, this is notable for the first example of Phil and Chester’s drum duet. While not the burly monster of the Invisible Touch and We Can’t Dance tours, the drum link between Dance on a Volcano and Los Endos here proves to be a fast and furious little brother to the later examples. Los Endos clearly captures the intensity of Genesis live, and it seems to me that Genesis always gives Los Endos a little bit extra live. Spine tingling performance here.

So that’s Seconds Out. I think it’s the best of the four Genesis live albums. Not as slick as The Way We Walk and not as rough as Genesis Live or Three Sides Live, this album serves as a great representation of the live Genesis experience. It manages to successfully pay homage to the past (half of this album is PG-era tunes) while giving strong clues to the future (the double drumming). In all, an awesome album, and definitely one of my favorite live albums.Surely folks !


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