"Tarnished Silver" - A look at the "new" Peter Gabriel demo which has recently surfaced and another previously hidden gem from the Genesis back catalogue.
There has been much discussion on the various forums about the existence of a whole gamut of demo recordings, rehearsals and other material from the band's archive and those of the various solo members. Many recordings are known but seldom heard - usually due to their being held in the artist's own archive or that of their respective record company. Sometimes because the recordings are sadly lost to posterity, or sometimes because the recordings are "hidden" from view in the collections of private individuals who have either forgotten that they even have this material or are retaining it for motives of their own.
The relative merit or lack of merit of "hiding" recordings from fans has been discussed in previous editions of TWR and elsewhere, so I won’t dwell on it again here. Suffice to say, that whatever the source of these fascinating recordings; it is great to have them available for digestion at last!
According to the notes which were published on the site which started circulating this recording; the tracks in question are drawn from the material which Peter had worked on with lyricist/poet, Martin Hall back in 1974/75. The tape box bears the Fuse Music imprint; Fuse Music were the music publishers for most of the band's output prior to the establishment of the Charisma Records publishing arm.
These tracks are a fascinating glimpse at several raw versions of tracks which later became established Gabriel classics. Not least among these are early versions of Excuse Me which is radically different from its final version and a drastically different and to my ears, much more effective, version of Here Comes The Flood. Get The Guns also bears an uncanny resemblance to Down The Dolce Vita and it is fascinating to hear the raw original version.
No More Mickey; a wry tribute to Genesis' long standing friend and early sound engineer Richard MacPhail is a wonderful tongue-in-cheek romp whereas Funny Man is a wry look at the price of being in the public spotlight.
The fact that these recordings survived at all given the fact that the tape box was found in a waterlogged state in a closet really says it all about the lack of care with which the musicians and indeed the record company treated this material - frightening really! The recording has thankfully been cleaned up to remove as much background noise, clunks, clicks and other accretions which are not really that surprising given the age of the tape and its condition!
A fascinating look behind the scenes at the fledgling Peter Gabriel stretching his solo wings for the first time and as such an invaluable addition to any collection - whichever part of the fan "food chain" you happen to belong to. Now if only we could get a tape machine to play the tape currently in Anthony Phillips' archive with the track intriguingly titled "The One That Doesn't Sound Like Genesis" on it, I would be really happy!
Peter Gabriel/Martin Hall: "Before The Flood" Demos 1975. Track Listing: Howling At The Moon/Excuse Me/Funny Man/No More Mickey/Get The Guns/Here Comes The Flood/God Knows.
Another gem from Genesis' vaults has recently been unlocked as well. The band's gigs at The Roxy in West Hollywood in December 1973 are legendary for many reasons and have been sought after by fans ever since. Certain "fans" have always dangled the carrot in front of the rest of us of the final recording from those shows which legend has it is one of the best performances which the band ever gave during Peter's tenure with the band.
Well, at last the rest of us lesser mortals have the chance to judge for ourselves as this recording has finally been unleashed onto the Genesis fan base. It is evident that the band are having a great time from the start despite the usual technical problems. Steve Hackett remembers this gig as a classic and Peter's antics dressed as Father Christmas and taking helium are well documented. The band are definitely in fine form here in front of one of the most enthusiastic of crowds and the end result is fantastic listening experience and one which ALL Genesis fans now have the chance to share!
Genesis: "Roxy 6" Roxy Theatre West Hollywood 19th December 1973 (Evening show). Track Listing: Watcher Of The Skies/Dancing With The Moonlit Knight/The Cinema Show/I Know What I Like/Firth Of Fifth/More Fool Me/Supper's Ready.