"Definitely Dancin'" - The Genesis Archive #2 Box Set 1976-1992. Review by Alan Hewitt.So, at last the much talked about second Archive set by the band has been put together, taking the band's story through their most prolific and commercially successful era.
If the first set gave the Gabriel era fans their first genuine "fix" of the material they had been hankering after for so long, then this set is the same for fans of the Collins era band. OK, to sad old farts such as myself who invested in this material when it was originally released on vinyl (remember that format, folks?), this set doesn't hold quite the same appeal as its predecessor. Nonetheless, in terms of finally packaging most of the band's B-sides from the period immediately post-dating Peter's departure, to Phil's last studio album with the band in 1991, this is surely a Godsend for fans looking for those elusive tracks that formed the B-sides to the plethora of singles that the band released during this period.
Covering such a massive and prolific period over a mere three discs may seem to be an impossible job but frankly, the mix of material covers just about all bases. The first disc opens with a salvo of tracks beginning with the neurotic pop of "On The Shoreline" and the catchy "Hearts On Fire". Rubbing shoulders with these are classics such as "Inside & Out" and the grossly underrated "Feeding The Fire" and a personal favourite in the atmospheric "Submarine" which rounds off the disc nicely.
Disc Two takes up the cudgels for the band's live output during this period achieving a difficult balancing act between classic live performances of material such as "Your Own Special Way", "Burning Rope", "Entangled" and "Ripples" with newer live material such as "Illegal Alien" and "Dreaming While You Sleep". None of the performances on this disc have ever been released officially before with the possible exception of "Your Own Special Way", a live track on one of the "Invisible Series" back in 1991/92.
Further live material is interspersed between the remaining B-sides and re-mixes on the third disc although this is my favourite disc out of the three because it contains for me, three of the band's best tracks: "The Day The Light Went Out", "Vancouver" and "It's Yourself", all of which I have waited a long time to have on CD and they will be regularly played from now on and greeted like old friends! The last track on the set, "Mama ( Work In Progress)" brings an interesting peek behind the creative process that went toward shaping this classic track and this is perhaps my only regret about this set; there should have been more material such as this on here, perhaps on the missing fourth disc which this set was originally supposed to contain? That however, is a minor quibble. There never is a way to please everyone with these sets, but I think for fans of the Collins era band, especially those who may not have purchased the multitude of singles, then this will certainly complete your collections nicely.
The advance set I have received does not contain the booklet which means that I cannot comment on the contents of that, but it is the music that matters; and I am sure that fans old and new alike will welcome this as a vital addition to the Genesis catalogue.
Check out the TWR Competition page to win your free copy of "The Genesis Archive #2 Box Set 1976-1992" sampler... and more!