Sunday, July 12, 2009

Genesis - Live at London (1976) (mp3, 128kbps)

In 1976, Peter Gabriel had left Genesis at the very moment that things started to look like they were going to break in favor of that band. He had lead them to the promised land, but, apparently, couldn't go in with them. This was cause for concern. The band did not want to miss out on the opportunity. Keyboardist Tony Banks clearly sensed that they could get to the next level, and he secretly relished the thought of becoming the boss after Gabriel departed. Various singers were auditioned, but it soon became clear that the solution to this problem would have to come from within the organization - Phil Collins.

And while Collins went on to multi-platinum success, he was terribly insecure about taking over as front man. Gabriel had a mysterious rapport with the audience. He was other-worldly with his outrageous stories and mind-blowing costumes. There was no expectation that Phil would attempt that same shtick. His workingman's roots led to an entirely different front man persona.

But Phil was a perfectionsist, and he was acutely aware of his contribution to this beast thus far. One of the most remarkable aspects of Gabriel-era Genesis is the interplay between Collins and Banks during the longer instrumental passages. Although these are described by the fanboys as keyboard 'solos', they are, in fact, very composed passages that happen to feature the keyboard. But with Collins, Banks was very generous and Collins' work during those keyboard solos is some of the most fearsome drumming this side of Art Blakey.

So, how do you protect that legacy? It's no problem in the studio, thanks to the miracle of multi-track recording. But what about the tour? Genesis had just cemented its reputation as an extraordinary live act - even in America. Now they had a great album ('Trick of the Tail') and the best way to sell that sucker was to go out on the road and make some noise. Without Gabriel's outrageous costumes, all focus would be on the music and the new singer. Collins would not be able to play drums the whole time. His parts are simply too complex to sing the whole show from behind the kit. Plus, he was expected to be out front - that was still Genesis. So they would need a touring drummer. But, how do you make sure that in the heat of a live performance, with all that adrenaline flowing, when there is no margin for error, that it's going to be all the right notes played as if 'off-the-cuff'?

Simple. You hire Bill Bruford.

June 10, 1976
Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK

GASP 014

1-01. (cut) Dance On A Volcano 6:01
1-02. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway 5:15
1-03. Fly On A Winshield 2:46
1-04. The Carpet Crawlers 5:27
1-05. The Cinema Show 12:28
1-06. Robbery Assault and Battery 7:22
1-07. White Mountain 7:22
1-08. Firth of Fifth 9:35
1-09. Entangled 7:45
1-10. Squonk 6:42

2-01. Supper's Ready 25:29
2-02. I Know What I Like 6:18
2-03. Los Endos 7:50
2-04. It/Watcher Of The Skies 6:17

The link is in the comments.

1 comment:

MPomy said...