TotW 01/15/2024 - 01/21/2024: GENESIS - The Cinema Show

  • Your rating for "The Cinema Show" by GENESIS 34

    1. 15 points - outstanding (28) 82%
    2. 14 points - very good (3) 9%
    3. 13 points - very good - (2) 6%
    4. 12 points - good + (0) 0%
    5. 11 points - good (0) 0%
    6. 10 points - good - (0) 0%
    7. 09 points - satisfactory + (0) 0%
    8. 08 points - satisfactory (1) 3%
    9. 07 points - satisfactory - (0) 0%
    10. 06 points - sufficient + (0) 0%
    11. 05 points - sufficient (0) 0%
    12. 04 points - sufficient - (0) 0%
    13. 03 points - poor + (0) 0%
    14. 02 points - poor (0) 0%
    15. 01 points - poor - (0) 0%
    16. 00 points - abysmal (0) 0%

    We invite you to share interesting facts and tidbits about this track. Let's look at the track in the context of the band's / the artist's history, at the music, the songwriting and all other aspects that are relevant for this track. Please do stick to the discussion of the track above. Comparisons to other tracks are okay, but remember that the other track you may be keen to talk about has or will have its own Track Of The Week thread. If you spot a mistake or if you can close a gap in the fact sheet above please feel free to contact martinus or Christian about it; we will gladly add and improve!

    GENESIS - The Cinema Show

    Year: 1973
    Album: Selling England By The Pound
    Working title: ?
    Credits: Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett, Rutherford
    Lyrics: Yes
    Length: 10:41
    Musicians: Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford
    Played Live: 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 2007, 2021, 2022
    Cover versions:

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    Notes: The Cinema Show became one of the long-running favourites in the live set - even if it was only played in parts on later tours (the tour documentary Come Rain or Shine explains why quite clearly). The Cinema Show is also something like the prototype of the modern Genesis Long song; later songs such as Home By The Sea, Tonight Tonight Tonight, Fading Lights or There Must Be Some Other Way had a similar structure.




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  • I'm not sure if the 'played live' entries above are correct. 78 and 81 are missing, and 80/86/87 (and 77?) shouldn't be included. I think 78 was the final tour on which the whole song was played.

    On the original I've always loved the first section and not been wholly convinced by the instrumental. Live, the instrumental really took off. Even though they ditched the vocal parts, the instrumental bits always made sense in the various medleys and were an exciting moment.

    Abandon all reason

  • Great track, one of the Genesis classics for most fans I should think. It worked better live than in the studio, to my ears anyway, and the Seconds Out version is outstanding. Great as a medley piece as well. I only wish Tony could have properly emulated the Mellotron choir on later tours, but that’s personal bias because I loved what the ‘tron brought to the band’s music.

  • A classic that I love. I can't say much more.

    I agree with Backdrifter, I think I like the studio acoustic part more than the live version of it (the 12-string-guitars sound a lot better, but I have to say that both Hackett and Bruford make interesting sounds just before the "Na-Na-Na" bit in Seconds Out, it carries a lot of the atmosphere). The 7/8 part has much more energy in the live versions, which is a really good thing. My favourites are 1976, 1978, 1981 concerts. I don't like the 2007 version that much (a bit less energetic but it's ok, it's because of Tony's main synth sound that I don't like at all). I prefer the 2021-2022 version. It retains a lot of the 2007 one (including the horrible synth sound), but the overall context of the tour makes it better, and Nic was so powerful there.

  • Easy for me, 15.

    One of the greats. I agree the tail end of the studio version is improved upon by some of the live versions but it is still always one of my top Genesis studio tracks.

  • My favorite track on my favorite Gabriel-era album. Unlike others, I prefer the studio version to any live version I've heard, and the extended instrumental is my favorite part.

    I think the acoustic intro has a bit of an Ant Phillips feel to it.

    BTW, where does the listed time of "10:41" come from? That seems to be a bit short. Is that counting the start of "Aisle of Plenty" to be at some point before "I don't belong here"?

    “When the waitress asked if I wanted my pizza cut into four or eight slices, I said, ‘Four. I don’t think I can eat eight.’” -- Yogi Berra

  • I listened to it just now and enjoyed it more than I thought I would based on the long-standing impression I've held. I always thought it was a bit bloodless and lacking in character compared to their other epics, and the second half entirely too "noodly". I was pleasantly surprised, although the keyboard solo bits are still a bit too busy and fussy for me. I think the real reason I don't rank it as a masterpiece is because I just don't love the album it's on that much, and CS is at the end. Hearing it in isolation after a long absence yields a much more favorable experience. 13.

  • A real Curate's Egg. First 2 minutes are boring, then it takes off, for 1 minute! It then flags again until 4m 30s, when it finally gets going properly. Some great guitar, Mellotron and drumming make it a gem from that point on, but frankly, I think I prefer Battle. (tbh, most of my interest in the lyrics, when I really got to know the album in the mid 80's, came from the fact I was orbiting around a spectacularly beautiful girl called Juliet. :* )

    Given the amount of time that it drags for me, I'll say 8.


    Putting the old-fashioned Staffordshire plate in the dishwasher!

  • I understand too. Firth of Fifth, strictly in terms of composition, is much more coherent than Cinema Show. Cinema Show works because its end is linked to Aisle of Plenty which resumes the album (first time they did that, they would do it again on Trick (Los Endos), Wind (Wot Gorilla and In That Quiet Earth), and Duke (Duke's Travels / Duke's End). It's one of my favourite things from Genesis).

    In concert, CS worked quite well with Afterglow (1978), but thinking back about it, I don't find the 1976 Seconds Out ending particularly convincing ("A couple of fast runs... Da-Da-Daaaaah. Finished !!!").

  • I don't find the 1976 Seconds Out ending particularly convincing ("A couple of fast runs... Da-Da-Daaaaah. Finished !!!)

    I agree. I think some of their live endings are terrible, but they had to do something due to their over-reliance on album track fadeouts (although it wasn't so prevalent on the earlier works).

    Abandon all reason