For years I thought FYFM on 3SL put the SO version to shame, same with Afterglow. I guess I got carried away by Phil's newly found vocal power but in time I came to realize that delivering a song is also about mood and nuances, not necessarily power. The perks of aging, I guess but again, it's a mood thing, I can listen to the two versions equally, depending on the moment.
About Misunderstanding, one of the songs I started skipping, I agree that it is incredibly overrated, same with Abacab but I understand why the former is always played live.
FYFM on Seconds Out???? I get your point though, and I agree. It's the light and shade, power and delicacy that you get from those earlier songs and performances which appeals to me. In the 80s (and evident on 3SL) it was "BAM, we're here, we're good at what we do, take that, and that...and that" whereas in 77 it was more about the range and getting the most atmosphere from each piece. I think much of this was down to Steve Hackett still being in the band. Daryl might be technically more proficient but Steve had atmosphere in spades. Also, Tony was still using the Mellotron, which might have been a nightmare to maintain but the sounds it produced were perfect for classic Genesis and never matched by his synth efforts in later years. And although Hugh Padgham's production, with its very immediate sound, was perfect for the 'newer' numbers on 3SL, David Hentschel captured the feel of the bands 'older' numbers proportionately better on Seconds Out (despite SH being too low in the mix in places). In my view of course.
I've said enough!