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In 2005, Genesis – The Top 200 Worldwide Rarities appeared in just 200 copies. It was published, compiled and made by Peter Vickers from Wales who had also published the more extensive book Genesis Collectibles in a similar form a couple of years ago. While the latter book listed more or less everything you could collect about Genesis (without solo projects), this new book covers the 200 rarest items. The fact that the list consists of various record formats only may be due to the fact that this group does indeed produce the rarest of rare items. There are, however, a number of things like tour posters, tour programmes and books so rare and valuable that they were good candidates for the top 200 list of Genesis collectibles. Well, perhaps we will see one day have volume 2 of the Top Rarities covering these areas. The British magazine Record Collector has incidentally released part of the list (the top 50) of the top 200 list in their #309 in April, 2005.

Vickers-BuchThe book comes in A5 format (14.8 x 21.0 cm) and it is handmade. It consists of some 200 pages printed “only” by an inkjet, but they are good quality. A ring binding and laminated front and back pages provide functionality and durability combined in pleasant appearance. Layout and graphical elements are witness to much enthusiasm, but they do not always help the clearness. The space on the pages was not used to full extent, but not as extreme as on the preceding Genesis Collectibles.

Every copy of the book is numbered and signed by the author. After a table listing all 200 rarities there is an introduction in which Peter Vickers writes a bit about himself and his collecting passion. A brief bibliography offers a CV of Genesis and, mainly, their album releases. Since this book will likely be bought by fans and collectors only one could have dispensed with that part. The rest of the book consists of 200 pages, one filled with information about a single rarity. Peter has sorted them by value beginning with the very rarest item.

open bookPeter Vickers has put a lot of effort into this book, and every Genesis collector will enjoy thumbing through the finished product. Some will also buy and read it and set out to find some rarity or other. It may, however, turn out that few collectors will have much use for the information given in the book or actually employ it to extend their collection. For one thing, the facts about these rare items are well-known to avid collectors. Another thing is that the price given is a high-water mark rather than a value because it just gives the highest price such an item has ever reached in a sale of auction. It would perhaps have made better sense to sort the items by another system, maybe one to five stars for rarity, leaving the price open or mentioning a range or simply describe what the values given are: the highest prices paid world-wide on ebay or elsewhere. These prices do not describe the amount of money that changes hands when a rare item switches owners from one fan to another. They are the result of two or more collectors wanting a very rare thing no matter how much the cost and making the seller very happy. Unfortunately, by quoting these prices, the book supports such a development rather than showing the decent price range. Apart from that the book is a fascinating read that shows once more just how many fine Genesis things there are to collect. Add to this list the other rarities (posters, book etc.) and the band members’ solo projects you never need think long on how to spend your leftover money.

by Helmut Janisch

translated by Martin Klinkhardt