The Story Of Genesis compilation album reviewed by Jonathan Dann.
This album fits in nicely with two of the main items in this issue (the 1978 period of the group’s history and compilations of the band’s recorded output), and also has interest for those of you who collect the band’s records.
For those of you who are unaware of this album, it was originally released in 1978 in Japan to appeal to a new Genesis audience. It is interesting as it is not only a foreign release but also a well selected compilation of the band’s output between 1970 and 1978.
As far as the presentation of the album is concerned it seems hat the Japanese record company was full of people with plenty of creative ideas. The album is a double and the inner gatefold includes a biography, discography and some photographs of the band. The biography is in Japanese as you might expect but this does not detract from the appeal of the album as a whole. Perhaps more interesting is the photo booklet that comes with the album. This includes some excellent Armando Gallo pictures several of which have not been seen anywhere else. This is joined by a lyric sheet for the songs in both English and Japanese (interesting to note the phrases in the lyrics that couldn’t be translated such as “bang, bang, bang” in Supper’s Ready and “Holy Mother of God” in Dance On A Volcano).
And now on to the music. It’s good to see an imaginative selection of tracks being used here, and songs that represent the musical development of the band get a look in. The first side opens with The Knife and The Musical Box - a shame that space doesn’t allow the inclusion of The Fountain of Salmacis. The second side features Supper’s Ready in its entirety, but at the same time I Know What I Like has been slotted into give bit more value. Side three opens with The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway - interestingly this is the album version of this song which fades out without the segue into Fly On A Windshield. This is the only track from The Lamb… which is a bit of a shame as Carpet Crawlers would have fitted in well here, especially as three tracks are featured from A Trick Of The Tail.
Side four includes a couple of highlights from both Wind & Wuthering and, And Then There Were Three - Follow You Follow Me being the obvious choice from that album although it is joined here by Burning Rope, one of the more under-rated tracks the band has recorded.
As I said at the start this album is now a collector’s item and is quite rare. It is difficult to put a value on it but I would say a price of around £20 -25 would be in order. Having said that, I have seen it for greatly differing prices of between £12 and 50! One point worth mentioning is that if you do come across this album, make sure it has the photo booklet with it - lots of copies seem to have lost theirs, given the high quality of the pictures within it.