Tuesday, May 4, 2010


5-4-10 Genesis box

I recently mail-ordered a Genesis CD boxed set from England. The idea was to get the first 5 x Charisma albums as SACD’s.

I first heard Genesis on KPFK-FM about summer / fall of ’72 – probably something from “Foxtrot” (“Watcher Of The Skies”? Willow Farm”?) and I was impressed – something between The Moody Blues – King Crimson – Procol Harum – hey, they were really using their mellotron!

It was easy enough to find an LP of “Foxtrot” when I went looking – it was at the first hippie record I went to. I poured over the cover…and I liked the label (Charisma UK), which I had not previously encountered. A little digging around proved that the band had other albums – all easy enough to find – back then.

The next blip on the Genesis radar for me might’ve been either “Genesis Live” or “Selling England By The Pound” – both of which got a U.S. release. To be honest, in ’72 / ’73, I didn’t have too many people to discuss music with – maybe just my brother and a friend or two from school. Genesis seemed like a “secret”, I suppose. They certainly weren’t being written about anyplace that I was looking (the U.S. music press) – and I didn’t get to buy Melody Maker / Sounds / N.M.E. every single week, so I would have missed the British press that they were getting.

I never got “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway”, but…I was having a problem with “concept albums” by that time – I also never fully got interested in “Quadrophenia” or “Tales From Topographic Oceans” – double LP’s were too expensive, and “too much info”. Truth is, I had moved on to European music, by the end of ’73 and 1974 – no longer just interested in English-language music exclusively.

I went to work in my first hippie record store in 1976, with a manager who was really into Genesis – “A Trick Of The Tail” was played often, but…I was uneasy about the transition of vocalists that had happened in Genesis. I don’t mind some of the songs on that album, but…I never really got behind Phil Collins as a vocalist.

Flash forward 30+ years – when vinyl died, I got inexpensive UK LP’s of nearly every Charisma label Genesis LP ever issued. I got CD’s of the ones I liked, and then got re-mastered CD’s of 4 of the first 5 x Charisma albums. I got super interested in SACD last summer and so…the first Genesis SACD box seemed a natural purchase for me – of course, the US Rhino copies were not SACD’s. And PAL DVD’s – no problem for the likes of me.

There are certainly bigger Genesis fans than I. I’ve never seen them live. And I still have to work on my appreciation of some of their material. Maybe the SACD format will help this situation.

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