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Steve Hackett live 2019
Rated PG
Not Dead Yet live

Standing on its own two feet

The stereo teaser – the new Genesis mixes on the stereo promo CD

The 5.1 promo DVD has been available for a while, now there is a different version – as far as the cover and the DVD design (label), the content is identical. As great as the new 5.1 mixes are, many fans are still listening in stereo and want to know what the new mixes have to offer for those who do not have surround sound. Here are some answers, because there is a “normal” promo CD for the first box…
Cardboard sleeve promos are usually sent out to announce a release. The DVD promo that contains a selection of the 5.1 mixes was no big surprise, but this promo CD came a bit unexpected. Audiophile fans will be treated to a surround sound sensory overload with the new SACDs and DVDs, but these also have a “normal” CD layer which is the normality for fans without surround equipment.

The track list

Turn It On Again
Follow You Follow Me
Abacab (edit)
Match Of The Day
A Trick Of The Tail
Robbery, Assault And Battery
Your Own Special Way
Many Too Many
Keep It Dark
Man On The Corner
Inside And Out (part 1 - edit)
Inside And Out (part 2 - edit / instrumental)

Nick Davis has not only produced 5.1 surround mixes, but also stereo mixes of the complete back catalogue of Genesis studio albums. This means that he had to work “by ear” a lot – differences between the Definitive Edition Remasters and the new re-releases are more than likely. These are new mixes with a more refined and sophisticated remastering process.

CoverThe stereo mixes do not offer the same space as a surround mix to bring out what was hidden before. The Platinum Collection proved, however, that careful work makes an audible difference on a stereo mix. Not all the songs on the CD promo sampler were released previously as a remaster version, and most have improved over the Platinum Collection. Match Of The Day and Inside And Out are from the Spot The Pigeon EP and appear remastered for the first time. All other songs have been remastered before in the Definitive Edition Remaster program, except for Paperlate which was released as a remaster on the Platinum Collection.
Some of the songs (Turn It On Again, Your Own Special Way, Follow You Follow Me, Many Too Many and Abacab) were already on the DVD sampler. The version of Abacab on the CD sampler is edited. These songs are less spectacular than in 5.1, but their overall audio quality has much improved; on Follow You Follow Me one can hear (as on the Platinum Collection) far more percussion than on the Definitive Edition Remaster.
The first eye-opener is Match Of The Day, a song that was not even released on the Archive #2 3CD set. The overall sound is much clearer, and a number of “new” details can be heard now, mainly percussion, but Mike’s rhythm guitar sounds more varied than on the EP-CD.
Percussion is the first thing you will note right away on A Trick Of The Tail, particularly because they could hardly be heard before (the same goes for Robbery, Assault And Battery). What is most striking about these songs is how fresh and natural they sound. Only Phil’s voice betrays the age of the songs.
Afterglow is truly magic with a full body of sound that has never sounded so intense before. Most of the improvements on Duchess and Ripples had been achieved on the Platinum Collection; it seems that Nick Davis has done only some fine-tuning now.
A breath of fresh air is the powerful drum sound at the end of Man On The Corner. The sound of the Roland drum computer is much more intense than on the remaster version.
The end of this promo CD is an annoyance. At first you revel in the great sound of Inside And Out – then it fades out right before the instrumental – and continues immediately as the “next” track. Fortunately the track list of the bonus SACD reveals that such idiocies are not to be expected there. A promo CD is, after all, a collector’s item that will sit proudly in the display case, so such nonsense is easier to bear.
The anticipation of the re-releases produces one superlative after the other. All fans without any surround equipment will definite enjoy the new mixes, too. Many songs may have been upgraded only slightly, others offer an impressive new sound experience in stereo – perhaps reason enough to consider getting yourself a 5.1 surround sound system!
by Christian Gerhardts
translated by Martin Klinkhardt