Genesis Archives, Vol.2: 1976-1992 (2000)

Disc One 1. On the Shorline 2. Hearts on Fire 3. You Might Recall 4. Paperlate 5. Evidence of Autumn 6. Do the Neurotic 7. I'd Rather Be You 8. Naminanu 9. Inside and Out 10.Feeding the Fire 11.I Can't Dance (12'' Version) 12.Submarine Disc Two 1. Illegal Alien 2. Dreaming While You Sleep 3. It's Gonna Get Better 4. Deep in the Motherlode 5. Ripples 6. The Brazilian 7. Your Own Special Way 8. Burning Rope 9. Entangled 10.Duke's Travels Disc Three 1. Invisible Touch (12'' Version) 2. Land of Confusion (12'' Version) 3. Tonight Tonight Tonight (12'' Version) 4. No Reply at All 5. Man on the Corner 6. The Lady Lies 7. Open Door 8. The Day the Light Went Out 9. Vancouver 10.Pigeons 11.It's Yourself 12.Mama (Work in Progress)


Unlike their first box set released a year earlier, this one is too uneven. For starters, this compilation covers not only a larger time frame, but also incorporates more changes of music style within the band. It picks up faithfully where the last box set left off, after the departure of Peter Gabriel, and continues up through the departure of Phil Collins. In this sixteen year time period, Genesis became less of an avante garde art-rock band and more of an evolved pop unit. Depending on the preference of the listener, that's not necessarily bad, it's just presented on this compilation in a mumbo-jumbo style with little continuity.

The three disc set (their first box set was four) contains previously unreleased live material (great), rare b-sides and no longer available material (so-so) and several dance mixes (not so great). What makes it particularly frustrating is that it seems as though little care was taken in mixing these styles together. It would have been better, for instance, to have all the earliest stuff, with Steve Hackett, together at the beginning and then gradually proceed until the end of the nineties, but we're not treated to this. Instead we have dance mixes of nineties music mixed with the arty seventies music. The listening is uneven at best. There's also nothing here to appeal to casual fans, unlike some box sets that are compilations of greatest hits and rare mixes. This was probably all right considering that they had just released a greatest hits CD anyway two years ago. Like the first box set, this was again for the devout follower.

Speaking of the devout follower, he or she will be pleased with the second CD, which is all unreleased live material. Considering the wealth of great live material the band has released since its inception, it's a joy to know they did not feel it necessary to re-release live material to fill up the collection with "hits". Any Genesis fan who loves live material can find little to complain about with the amount they have put out, including the two box sets. Also included are two of the three songs from the under rated EP "Spot the Pigeon" that is no longer available, and four out of the five studio songs from the vinyl pressing of Three Sides Live . The compact disc of that live release added a "fourth" side live making the studio tracks temporarily unavailable on CD. Other highlights include a rough demo of Mama that gives us a glimpse of the writing process the band uses, In and Out which would later be changed to Los Endos and a couple of songs that were not included on albums because of time limitations.

As mentioned earlier, there are four dance mixes of popular singles that are pretty forgettable. Also in this vain is Do the Neurotic, an instrumental from the Invisible Touch sessions. This song was featured as closing music on the video release from that tour. It should be greeted with much joy that the band elected not to include anything from the post-Collins period. Although it was brief, it was a big embarrasment to an otherwise brilliant career.

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