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Genesis - 1981-2007: The Movie Box


The Genesis 1973-2007 Live CD/(audio-)DVD boxset had only just come out when another box got ready to follow it on its heels. They decided to release two live boxsets probably because the available video footage that was not used as bonus material for the studio boxsets was too good and maybe also too long to be used only to adorn the live album rereleases. Many an argument has sprung up about this strategy even before the boxes had come out. The biggest argument against this is the fact that none of the live boxsets offer anything remotely interesting new footage. The Movie Box came out in Germany on 13/11/2009. The release had to be postponed for a week at the last minute for logistical reasons. It is not the first time this has happened, either.

The grey and white boxset contains five DVDs plus a placeholder for When In Rome 2007 (3DVD set). The box is the same size as the other SACD/CD boxsets, which means that all the DVDs come in jewel cases normally used for CDs. An empty jewel case with a booklet has been provided for When In Rome 2007, or, more particularly, for the two concert DVDs. The bonus DVD Come Rain Or Shine can be put in the digibook along with the other bonus DVD that will be in the boxset.


cover TSL

Contents of the Movie Box:


Three Sides Live

Remastered video / remixed audio (2.0 / 5.1 dts / 5.1 Dolby Digital)

Bonus: 5.1 mixes of songs from the Three Sides Live album (only in 2.0 in the audio boxset)


The video of the 1981 tour had been released before, though only on VHS and laserdisc. The DVD is nearly the same as the VHS original, i.e. there still are the interview bits that were cut between the songs, and some of the songs are cut off. The 5.1 mixes are based on the original master tapes, except for In The Cage which comes in fake surround because the master tapes could not be found and a 5.1 mix Nick Davis created from other master tapes was out of synch with the images.

● Behind The Lines

● Duchess

● Misunderstanding

● Dodo/Lurker

● Abacab
● 
No Reply At All

● Who Dunnit?
● 
In the Cage (Medley: Cinema Show, Colony Of Slippermen)
● 
Afterglow

● Me & Sarah Jane

● Man On The Corner
● 
Turn It On Again

The sound is undoubtedly much better than on the VHS original. The biggest advantage is the medium itself – the DVD is quite superior as far as handling, sound and archiving are concerned. The trebles are more precise, the bass is stronger. The sound seems a bit muddy at times, though it is difficult to judge it properly because the songs are not played out.

The video quality is peculiar. If you have hoped for astonishing improvements you will be disappointed. It preserves the flavour of the original recording, to be sure, but it makes you wonder if the original tapes really cannot offer anything better than that. The image is marginally better than the original – many bootlegged versions of Three Sides Live do not look worse.

Bonus (only Audio - 5.1):

Behind The Lines

● Duchess

● Me & Sarah Jane

● Man On The Corner

● One For The Vine

● The Fountain of Salmacis

● Follow You Follow Me

The bonus tracks were added to the DVD because the original video captured only a comparatively small part of the show. These bonus songs are audio only, albeit in 5.1 sound. Nothing much to complain about here. The sound is good, the surround effects fit to a live concert. The songs are out of context, of course, but this was apparently acceptable. It is peculiar that there should be no video footage for the songs, particularly regarding Behind The Lines, Duchess, Me & Sarah Jane and Man On The Corner. Though it is fun to listen to, it has to be said it is a pity that there is no way of listening to Three Sides Live in 5.1 in one go.



mama tourThe Mama Tour
Remastered video / remixed audio (2.0 / 5.1 dts / 5.1 Dolby Digital)
The video of the 1984 tour was available only on VHS video and Laserdisc. There are many DVD bootlegs of this release, some of them in decent quality. The biggest complaint was that this show recording was far from complete. The Mama Tour DVD in the boxset does not have any additional footage from the show. There is, however, a home video about the development of the Mama album from Phil Collins’ personal archives.

The content of the DVD, or the tracklist of the show:

● Abacab


● That's All


● Mama


● Illegal Alien


● Home by the Sea

● 
Second Home by the Sea

● 
Keep It Dark

● 
It's Gonna Get Better

● 
In the Cage

● 
The Cinema Show

● 
In That Quiet Earth

● 
The Colony Of Slippermen


● Afterglow


● Drum Duet


● Turn It On Again (Medley)


● Everybody Needs Somebody (To Love) 
- Satisfaction
 - Twist And Shout
 - All Day And All Of The Night 
- Baby Let Me Take You Home
 - Karma Chameleon
 - Every Breath You Take
 - Pinball Wizard
 - In the Midnight Hour
 - Turn It On Again

As far as the concert is recorded one could copy the comments about Three Sides Live from above. The sound is improved; dts has a tendency to do that. One has the impression that more could have been made of it. The footage is a bit better than on VHS but, again, it seems as if the footage was only transferred again, as if the low-effort method of creating a DVD was used. The biggest minus is the lack of additional songs from the show. The Mama Tour video was only an excerpt of a concert that was almost an hour longer.


Bonus material:

The Mama album documentary by Phil Collins

This “fly on the wall” documentary is an hour and twenty minutes long (!) and based on recordings Phil Collins made with his then newly-acquired private camera during the recordings of the Mama album. In a hilarious introduction Collins tells of the technological achievements of 1983, batteries that weighed a ton and telephones the size of a brick. His camera belongs in the same category, and so we get to see Genesis working on new songs at the Farm studio. It resembles the No Admittance video, though that was a professional documentary about the development of We Can’t Dance. The footage at hand is completely spontaneous, banal, embarrassing at times, lengthy, but actually very very interesting for fans. You get to see musicians lose their tempers, joking rock legends, hard-working technicians, roadies. Nothing is planned, nothing is whitewashed, and the hair is never alright. The clothes, too, indicate that this is antediluvian footage. At least the guys hit the right note now and then. A unique document.

wembley dvdLive At Wembley Stadium

Audio (2.0 / 5.1 dts / 5.1 Dolby Digital)

No surprise that this live DVD is part of the set. The DVD is identical with the DVD that is available separately!

● Mama
● 
Abacab
● 
Domino (Part 1. In The Glow Of The Night)

● Domino (Part 2. The Last Domino)

● That's All

● The Brazilian

● Land Of Confusion
● 
Tonight, Tonight, Tonight

● Throwing It All Away

● Home By The Sea
● 
Invisible Touch

● Drum Duet
● 
Los Endos

● Turn It On Again (Medley)
 - Everybody Needs (Someone To Love)
 - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
- Twist & Shout 
- Reach Out and I'll Be There 
- You've Lost That Loving Feeling 
- Pinwall Wizard
 - In the Midnight Hour
 - Turn It On Again

● Do the Neurotic (credits)

There is not much to complain about, it is simply the same thing that was available before in a new package. The most annoying bit is that the DVD will not play in some DVD players (but EMI replaces them without any fuss) and a serious mistake in the layout. Some things have slipped out of place in the booklet and a lot of information is simply not there, particularly the second half of the track list. Again one wonders why it would have been impossible to include the In The Cage medley in the DVD. Apparently it was not filmed, but how likely is that?


Bonus material:

Visible Touch: Tour Documentary

Good and entertaining – this is the documentary about the Invisible Touch tour. The Supper’s Ready snippet makes you quite nostalgic…


twwwThe Way We Walk - Live In Concert

Audio (2.0 / 5.1 dts / 5.1 Dolby Digital)

This (former) double DVD set was originally not released by EMI, but now it is part of the EMI boxset. The news: It is a single DVD. This means that the multi-camera angles are gone. The dts mix on the other hand is new and was not part of the original release. A completely new mix has not been created, though. The commentary track from the original DVDs has also gone.

● Land Of Confusion

● No Son Of Mine

● Driving the Last Spike
● 
Old Medley 
- Dance On A Volcano
 - Lamb Lies Down On Broadway 
- The Musical Box
 - Firth of Fifth
- I Know What I Like
 - That's All
 - Illegal Alien
 - Follow You, Follow Me
● 
Fading Lights

● Jesus He Knows Me

● Dreaming While You Sleep

● Home by the Sea

● Hold On My Heart

● Domino Principle
● 
In the Glow Of The Night
● The Last Domino

● The Drum Thing
● 
I Can't Dance

● Tonight, Tonight, Tonight
● 
Invisible Touch

● Turn It on Again
Without bonus material or additions The Way We Walk is more or less unspectacular. The footage has been released for a long time. Obviously a lot of effort has gone into this repackaging – not.

wirWhen In Rome 2007
There is a placeholder in the box for this 3DVD set (just like the spaceholder for Live Over Europe in the CD/DVD boxset), that is, the DVD set is not part of the box when you buy it. The box contains a jewel case equipped with inlays and a new booklet in jewel-case format.

● Duke's Intro
● 
Turn It On Again

● No Son Of Mine
● 
Land Of Confusion
● 
In The Cage 
- The Cinema Show
 - Duke's Travels

● Afterglow

● Hold On My Heart

● Home By The Sea
● 
Follow You, Follow Me

● Firth Of Fifth (instr.)
● 
I Know What I Like

● Mama

● Ripples
● 
Throwing It All Away
● 
Domino

● Conversation With Two Stools
● 
Los Endos

● Tonight Tonight Tonight

● Invisible Touch
● I Can't Dance
● 
Carpet Crawlers

A full review of When In Rome is available here.


coverBonus DVD

The documentary VH-1 broadcast in 1999 in their Behind The Music series has achieved cult status amongst fans, maybe because of Tony Banks quoting the Duchess lyrics (and tearing up) and because Ray Wilson was the narrator.

The 2009 version has been reworked completely, and Ray Wilson is no longer the narrator. The documentary is entertaining but also a bit kludgy. The period after 1995 is presented with a negative bias as usual – nothing on the success in Europe, instead they keep mentioning that the album flopped in North America. At least Tony Smith admits Ray may have been right in thinking that it would have taken a second album to decide whether this project worked out. 

 

boxsetAt the end of the day..

Three Sides Live and The Mama Tour finally on DVD in 5.1, a new documentary as a bonus and an interesting fly on the wall documentary about the Mama album – our thanks for that. The rest, however, does not stand up to critical scrutiny. There is no recording where the video has improved significantly, the concerts are incomplete, bonus material without video footage was added. The last two DVD sets were inserted in a careless fashion, with no additions, in fact, without some of their original features – and then shrunk to jewel case size. Quality control was nonexistent, otherwise the faux-pas in the Live At Wembley Stadium booklet could not have happened, and neither the faulty DVD. The box has been kept as simple as possible. Using the TV from the Duke design to indicate the video content is a nice touch, but that is all – there are no transparent covers.

The Movie Box is a collection of missed opportunities. It could have offered the fans a couple of nice extras that “normal” buyers of the box would not have minded. We will have to hope that one day video footage appears that contains the highlights that are sorely missing in the set.

Tony Banks talked about both live boxsets in an interview with genesis-news/it. The interview took place on 30/09/2009 and can be found here.


by Christian Gerhardts
translated by Martin Klinkhardt

Genesis - 1981-2007: The Movie Box - order from: amazon.de | JPC

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