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I N T R O

Three years had passed between the first plans for a Genesis box set and the release of Archive Vol. 1 – 1967-75 in June 1998, so everybody expected that work on the second part of the box set would take at least as long. But it was a mere two-and-a-half years later when Archive #2 – 1976-1992 followed its predecessor into the shops. Both the fans and the record company made less fuss about Archive #2. The sources that had provided us with many details about the first box set long before it was released, remained silent. Few fans seriously expected a release date before 2002. It came as a complete surprise when the record company informed us in spring 2000 that the box set was to be released in the same year. The surprise was even bigger when we read their request for help: They wanted us to write a wish list for Archive #2, which was to be one of several criteria for the selection of tracks. A lightning action of our club produced this list which was sent to England via Virgin. On November 06, 2000 the finished product sat proudly in the stores.


M U S I C

The selection of songs for the second Genesis Archive box leaves us with mixed feelings. It is a good thing to hear six single B-sides that are long out of print (It’s Yourself, The Day The Light Went Out, Vancouver, Naminanu, Submarine, I’d Rather Be You) on CD for the first time, but not only completists wonder why Match Of The Day and Me and Virgil were not included. With these songs the list of Collins-era studio tracks that were not included on an album would have been complete. If you want to hear these songs you will still have to look for the CD version of the Spot The pigeon EP (which is difficult to find) or the deleted first (non-remastered) CD pressing of Three Sides Live. It’s a first-rate nuisance not only because there is enough space left on CDs 1 and 3 but also because Tony Banks slightly arrogantly justifies the selection in the booklet: “No studs or stetsons, the line has to be drawn somewhere.” He explains that several members of the band would have preferred to have included a song in an album which made it only onto a B-side or an EP. Despite the confused a-chronological assembly of tracks on the box set one can understand this statement. Disc 1 in particular is a nicely varied compilation (apart from the superfluous I Can’t Dance 12” Mix) and you wouldn’t know that it’s made up from album outtakes. Mike Rutherford once stated in an interview that he regretted that Genesis had never made “definitive” album like Pink Floyd. You get the impression that that may have something to do with the discussions the band had about the selection of songs for an album. They probably went for the easy compromise when they could not agree about a good song.



Archive 2 Cover

Genesis
Archive #2
1976-1992

Virgin CDBOX 7

CD 1

1. On The Shoreline 4:49
2. Hearts On Fire 5:14
3. You Might Recall 5:32
4. Paperlate3:21
5. Evidence Of Autumn4:58
6. Do The Neurotic7:08
7. I'd Rather Be You 3:58
8. Naminanu3:53
9. Inside And Out 6:43
10. Feeding The Fire5:51
11. I Can't Dance 12"7:01
12. Submarine 5:13

total play time: 63:51


CD 2

1. Illegal Alien (live) 5:31
2. Dreaming While You Sleep (live) 7:47
3. It's Gonna Get Better (live)7:31
4. Deep In The Motherlode (live) 5:55
5. Ripples (live) 9:52
6. The Brazilian (live) 5:17
7. Your Own Special Way (live) 6:50
8. Burning Rope (live)7:28
9. Entangled (live) 6:56
10. Duke's Travels (live) 9:31

otal play time: 72:48


CD 3

1. Invisible Touch 12" 5:58
2. Land Of Confusion 12" 6:59
3. Tonight, Tonight, Tonight 12"11:46
4. No Reply At All (live) 4:55
5. Man On The Corner (live) 4:04
6. The Lady Lies (live) 6:08
7. Open Door 4:08
8. The Day The Light Went Out 3:13
9. Vancouver 3:02
10. Pigeons 3:13
11. It's Yourself 5:25
12. Mama (work in progress) 10:42

total play time: 69:44




original releases and leftovers

Erstveröffentlichungen und Überbleibsel


Archive #2



When you compare the versions on Archive #2 with the original releases you will find that some of the non-album tracks sound better than before. No details were made available as to how far the songs were reprocessed for the Archive. Unless Nick Davis, Geoff Callingham or members of the band talk about it we won’t know whether some of the tracks were remastered or if they just had their levels raised. Two of the studio tracks differ in more than the audio quality from their originals. The only version of Submarine that was known before had a sort of proper ending at 4:32 while the Archive version fades out fourty seconds later without any sort of ending. It’s Yourself had been officially released in two different versions and also, unofficially, on the Trick Of The Tail Outtakes bootleg. The version of the box set does not match any of those three. The version on the Italian Ripples 7” single is some 25 seconds longer and ends in a keyboard line that resembles the beginning of Mad Man Moon at the very end followed by two seconds of studio noises. The Archive version fades out before that. The fadeout occurs even earlier on the German Your Own Special Way single. The version of It’s Yourself that is listed as Beloved Summer on the Trick Of The Tail Outtakes bootleg is circa 60 seconds longer. It would have been more interesting than any other official version.
The “work in progress” version of Mama is the only previously unreleased studio recording. It provides a fascinating insight into the jam-based songwriting approach Genesis took in the studio. One wonders why there is not more of this on Archive #2, particularly since it was mentioned several times that Abacab demos were considered as possible material for Archive #2. Tony Banks himself raised hopes for that in a 1995 “it” interview. There would have been no lack of material (Said Banks: “Phil was always good at having a recorder run in the background.”) but perhaps rather a lack of courage to release “unfinished” and possibly less commercial material.

The live tracks on CDs 2 and 3 were picked with more care. Not all of these versions are released for the first time, but most of them are songs that were rarely played live, e.g. Man On The Corner and It’ Gonna Get Better. Nick Davis apparently remixed the songs and he did a great job. He even succeeded in cleaning up Your Own Special Way, a song that was terribly hissy when it was first released on the Hold On My Heart CD single. The booklet does not tell what repairs were done on which songs. Entangled, for example, sound much more like a studio job than like Bingley Hall because Phil is singing in close harmonies with – himself. Bill Bruford’s drumming still makes it a fine version.
It would have been much appreciated, too, if some of the older versions like The Knife and White Mountain that returned to the tour repertoire in ’76 and ’77 had been included on Archive #2. The various live medleys, a couple of songs that were only played on single tours and Phil’s unique introductions to some of the pieces would have enriched the set. As far as sound is concerned, the songs could have done with stronger bass ends. It should also be mentioned that Duke’s Travels includes Duke’s End – an apparent oversight (?). 



T E X T & D E S I G N

A few words before we start. The third use of the I Can’t Dance walk on a Genesis album cover (after The Way We Walk – The Shorts and The Longs) is not all that original. On closer examination of the contours of other album artworks on the cover one might also ask just what the ellipses from Calling All Stations are doing here. They merely indicate that the design was either developed by people who did not know much about Genesis or that it was done in a hurry.
The text in the booklet indicates a rush job, too: There is a short introduction by Tony Banks and an essay by Hugh Fielder that stretches all the way through the booklet. The essay covers Collins’ time as the lead singer with Genesis, and it contains hardly anything new (except for a couple of mistakes). A few words about this era by Steve Hackett and Bill Bruford and certainly by Daryl Stuermer and Chester Thompson would have been much more relevant.
Then there are the credits for each song and brief comments from which album sessions the B-sides were taken and on which concerts the live tracks were recorded. It would have made sense to mention when and where the songs had been released before. A discography and tour dates from 1976 to 1992 would have been a welcome addition. The photos consist mainly of well-known images that have been used too often for all kinds of publications. The handful of unknown photos cannot really reconcile the die-hard fans.
As far a bad choice of images is concerned, the photo on the bottom of page 56 really takes the prize. The quality of the photo is so bad that one cannot even make out who is on stage. One could almost excuse that – but one can clearly recognize the venue. It’s the Waldbuhne in Berlin – and Genesis never performed there!
There was really not much efford to produce an interesting text and design for the box set.



S U M M A R Y

It does not take long to notice the weak points and flaws about Archive #2. More material and a fourth CD would have made the box set more attractive for fans. The booklet has lots of room for improvement. We still owe some thanks to Genesis for putting out this product, though, because Banks, Collins and Rutherford certainly did not need the money, and the box set won’t make the record company rich, either. It is, in fact, a release for us fans. Even if you have a nearly complete collection you will want to buy the box at least so that you have those songs on CD that you only had on vinyl before. For fans with a smaller collection this is a treasure chest. The only sad thought about this box set is the question what will happen with all the material that was not included on Archive Volumes 1 and 2. Since the original plans were for three archive box sets of 4CDs each, there must be loads of material in the area of demo and live tracks – recording we will probably never hear.

by Thomas Morgenstern and Helmut Janisch

translation by Martin Klinkhardt


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