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

  • This is one of my favourite tracks. I do have a few quibbles with aspects of the studio and live versions, but the many strengths obliterate these minor imperfections.


    First of all, I really see this as two pieces of music that have been stitched together and have no discernible relationship with each other. The first portion is anchored by Mike's amazing 12-string part, with its odd tuning that has pairs of strings tuned to different notes (as opposed to the usual octaves). The intro section alone is worth the price of admission, but I also love the quiet instrumental section before the "Na na na na" bit. Just gorgeous and magical. The verses and the "Take a little trip back..." refrain are fine, though not the most remarkable.


    Then we get the second section in 7/8, which clearly evolved from a jam between Mike, Tony, and Phil. It's hard to discern if Steve has any significant role here (and later live versions show that the trio can do it just fine). The main almost-singable melody (the part in A) is one of the most beautiful that (presumably) Tony has come up with.


    The studio version has its strengths. The first section is subtle, pristine. The jam section pales in comparison to the live versions, but there is still something to be said for Phil's subtle and complex ghost notes on the main melody section. Also, the studio version has some lovely overdubs by Tony that add a lower harmony line to the main melody when it repeats. Also in the section after the rapidly ascending quadruplets and triplets, he adds a countermelody that is actually a variation of the main melody in A.


    Live, the full versions benefit from much stronger dynamics in the 7/8 instrumental section. The Seconds Out version benefits from still having mellotron, particularly in the repeat of the main melody with heavy bass pedals. That section is just glorious. The downside of this version is lack of a polyphonic synthesizer, so the lead lines can't be harmonized and sound kind of weak. I also dislike the forced-sounding ending


    The 1978 versions still have the mellotron but now have a polyphonic synth for the harmonized lines. This is the first appearance (I think) of the Riding the Screen snippet, which I really like. The drumming is now very aggressive, which is great in a different way. The segue into Afterglow is still a bit forced, but better than the previous ending.


    After that, we are into the excerpts as part of medleys. Tony loses the mellotron (sigh) and replaces it with mainly poor alternatives. He also changes to less interesting lead sounds. Mike also loses the 12-string to do it on 6-string, at least for the Mama and IT tours I think. The drumming remains great through the 80s versions. The versions on the TIOA and the Last Domino tours suffer from Tony deciding (inexplicably) to lower the main melody by an octave and use a limp lead sound. Of the live medley versions, I most like the early 80s era.


    Can you tell I listen to this song a bit too much?

  • Can you tell I listen to this song a bit too much?

    Nah, probably most of us here have listened to these songs for decades and have a molecular knowledge of them!


    I'm one of the (I assume) few who like the pitched-down keyboard line on the last two tours. But yes the loss of a decent choir sound has taken something away from that great transition into the repeated segment. I love how the choir 'recedes' after that bit in the original and the 76. I liked the reintroduction in 07 of the choir build-up in the passage immediately after the Scree snippet, mirroring the original. And yeah the Scree quote itself (which did indeed first appear in 78) is nice.


    The other subtle features in the original you refer to are great touches and well described.

    Abandon all reason

  • I'm curious why you like the octave down version. The original higher version has an effortless, soaring, flying feeling. The lower version is warmer admittedly, but but feels heavier to me.


    I forgot to mention how I like the oboe snippets in the original studio version (in the quiet section after the first refrain). I don't remember if we have heard Peter play oboe on anything else. Someone will have to refresh my memory


    One other thing to note is that in the live medley versions, Tony skips a whole section after the main melody. He just goes straight to the ascending quadruplet and triplet run. I'm guessing this is because the section omitted is actually quite hard to play. I have never heard him perform this section live in a way that is faithful to the original studio version.

  • in the live medley versions, Tony skips a whole section after the main melody. He just goes straight to the ascending quadruplet and triplet run. I'm guessing this is because the section omitted is actually quite hard to play. I have never heard him perform this section live in a way that is faithful to the original studio version.

    Where is this section in the original track (i.e., from X:XX to X:XX)?

    “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

  • Where is this section in the original track (i.e., from X:XX to X:XX)?

    About 08:10 - 08:50. I always assumed it was cut out simply because they didn't want to over-extend the medley, but perhaps in looking where to shorten it they removed that bit for the reason Dr. John suggested.


    I'm curious why you like the octave down version.

    I'm not sure I can explain why. As soon as that bit started when I was at the Manchester 07 show, I was very struck by it and immediately liked it. I can say I don't really get that sense of the higher version having that 'soaring' feeling you referred to. Either way it's a strong line that for some reason sits better with me in the lower octave.

    Abandon all reason

  • The Cinema Show is one of my Top 5 Genesis tracks. It’s quite a good example for the prog style of the early Genesis era. They Rarely sounded heavy, technical, they always had this loose atmosphere, they sounded fresh and accessible, no matter how complicated the tracks were.

    15 points

    cheers

    Christian


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BlueSky

    Deutsch? Check our German Website

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Check out our brand new WhatsApp Channel!

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • The Cinema Show is one of my Top 5 Genesis tracks. It’s quite a good example for the prog style of the early Genesis era. They Rarely sounded heavy, technical, they always had this loose atmosphere, they sounded fresh and accessible, no matter how complicated the tracks were.

    15 points

    Well put and I fully agree. Other prog bands went for complexity and the music got lost in the process. Genesis retained balance and their material was stronger for it.

  • Thank you for this wonderful post!

    For me, this is without a doubt one of their top 3 tracks. 15pts.


    In addition, I must say I really enjoyed Steve's version on his "Selling" tour!

    some are wise ... and some otherwise