"Live Over Europe" - The new Genesis live album reviewed by Alan Hewitt.
So, the Genesis money-making machine continues to roll on. The band have already released official 'bootleg' recordings from every gig on this tour and its US counterpart, so why have they decided to release this recording at all?
Well, if you are of a cynical persuasion, the answer I suppose, is that it is yet another example of EMI/Hit & Run/TSPM/the band's desire to give the udders of the Genesis cash cow one final squeeze. If you are not quite so cynical, you could argue that this release may catch a lot of the 'floating voters' who went to one or more of the recent gigs out of curiosity more than anything else, and who just might want a 'souvenir' of their day out. Either way we have a new live album to explore and one which, unlike any of its predecessors, presents an entire set from the tour.
It is interesting to see exactly which show each trac is tacken from this time round, unlike previous efforts where a lot of guesswork and detective work were involved - and in some cases are still ongoing! Anyone who has already got hold of any of the "Encore" series recordings will already know exactly how each of the gigs sounded, especially if you were at the gig(s) in question and so it makes for an interesting 'compare and contrast' exercise listening to this album.
Nick Davis' work on the bands' studio output has been impeccable and, once again, he is behind the knobs here on this album. Mixing down from so many different gigs with so many acoustic dynamics can't have been easy and I am not technically minded enough to even begin to explain the nuances behind it all, but what I can say is that the end result is as polished as any previous live album by the band.
To the purists and the die-hards that, in itself may be the problem. The production is "too clean" and especially where the one glorious cock-up made by Tony is obscured by being 'dubbed' in from another gig! It is precisely such displays of mere mortality which are part of the charm of the bootlegs and the "Encore" series that should satisfy that urge amongst the completists.
What we have here is "Genesis for the masses"; a perfect souvenir for the punters who don't worship and the shrine of The Lamb or Trick soundboards and hey, if it brings in some new converts to the cause, all well and good. For me, this will be filed under the "occaisional listening" section - not a bad album, just one rendered rather obsolete by all the live 'product' already available for this tour.