Genesis: Inside Genesis; The Gabriel Years 1970 – 1975
I had never seen any video from the Gabriel years, and was always on the lookout. I came across this DVD, and decided to give it a chance. The commentary is very insightful, and the video footage is a real treat. As you might guess, the attention is focused on the most beloved songs.
For “Trespass”, “The Knife” gets a thorough investigation. They mark this as where the ‘classic sound’ truly begins. Another in depth study is done on “Stagnation.” This came as a bit of a surprise, but it reminds you of what a truly remarkable piece this is.
“Nursery Cryme” is given the biggest time slot. Steve Hackett’s mark on the band’s sound is particularly highlighted. “The Musical Box” is practically drooled over. It contains some great scenes of Tony Banks playing guitar, and Peter Gabriel playing the old man. “Return of the Giant Hogweed” gets the full treatment, and Steve’s unusual solo is the highlight. “The Fountain of Salmacis” wraps up this segment.
The “Foxtrot” segment is represented by “Watcher of the Skies” and, of course, “Supper’s Ready.” Here is where we start getting into trouble. This was a monumental album for the group. It deserves more attention. Granted, these are the two key numbers, but there is much more. They don’t even mention that Steve did his first classical guitar number on this album (although, “Horizons” is played over the ending credits). There also isn’t even that much time spent on “Supper’s Ready.” This was a huge prog epic, and they barely scratch the surface.
“Selling England by the Pound” is given a five star rating, but once again only explores two songs. “Dancing With the Moonlight Night” gets its due, and “I Know What I Like” is treated with a nice objectivity. There is no mention of Phil having a lead vocal (yes, I know, some of you will think that is a good thing). Was there anything else that may have made this a five star album? I guess “Firth of Fifth” and “Cinema Show” are just filler.
Now we come to the real travesty. The grand epic, double album, “The Lamb lies Down on Broadway” gets two minutes. That’s it! Then the film is over. And it’s not as if this program was running long.
For me, if you are going to do film about this era of Genesis, you should go more in depth. Especially when it comes to their most ambitious effort. It also would have been nice to talk about “From Genesis to Revelation” just a little bit. They could have at least done enough to show the tremendous leap they made to “Trespass.” If you didn’t know the band, this film might give you the impression that “Trespass” was the debut.
The good moments here are very enjoyable, but it is obviously lacking. I’m sure there are better Genesis films out there. Clocking in at under an hour, the $20 price tag also seems a bit much. This one is for collectors only.
Tony Banks – organ, mellotron, piano, electric piano, 12 string guitar, vocals
Phil Collins – drums, vocals, percussion
Peter Gabriel – lead vocals, flute, tambourine, bass drum
Steve Hackett – electric and 12 string guitar
Mike Rutherford – bass, bass pedals, acoustic and 12 string guitar, backing vocals