Genesis – A Trick of the Tail – CD + DVD with both DTS 5.1 mixes and 5 videos – Atco/Rhino
Published on June 8, 2007
This is the 40th anniversary of the founding of the UK progressive rock group Genesis – they are among the top 30 best-selling recording artists of all time. Their song structures were complex, with elaborate instrumentation. Some of their concept performances were Supper’s Ready (on this album) and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Original group member Peter Gabriel left as lead singer in 1975 and was replaced by drummer/vocalist Phil Collins. (During the Reissue Interviews shot for this album the three present band members talk about the challenges of replacing Peter, and trying out another singer who didn’t work out.) A Trick of the Tail was their first effort without Gabriel.
Rhino has reissued a boxed set of 6 CDs and 6 DVDs which is the first of three such sets to eventually cover all the studio material of Genesis. Each album is also being made available as a double album: 1 CD + 1 DVD. Unfortunately – and a big Boo to them for that – in the rest of the world the first disc is not a standard CD but a hybrid surround sound SACD! Only in North America was it determined to issue standard CDs instead of SACDs – ostensibly because SACD doesn’t sell as well here. Well – no wonder – it’s often not offered here, and it’s never been properly promoted to consumers!! Also, Atco is part of Warner Bros. and Warner has been in the DVD-A camp – not SACD. Grump, grump…
East album features new stereo remixes of the original LPs and each DVD disc includes both DTS 5.1 & Dolby 5.1 surround mixes of the entire album plus video content extras. The first of the boxed sets includes nearly four hours of previously unreleased videos. The videos in A Trick of the Tail – which I’ve selected as a preview of the whole series – are three in number: actual 70s music videos of Robbery, Assault and Battery; Ripples…; and the album’s title tune; plus the Reissue Interviews and an entire concert film: Genesis In Concert 1976, in Panavision and color. The latter incorporates old silent film footage of a group of characters chasing a giant inflated world globe thru a city. Phil Collins circa 1973 is certainly a major contrast to Phil Collins circa 2007 (in the interviews) – and not just the hair… Entangled is a lovely lyrical tune offering a change from the more uptempo mood of the rest of the album. The final track – Los Endos - is a jazz-flavored seven-minute instrumental improvisation which reminded me of Area 43 by Country Joe and the Fish; making a terrific finish for the album! There is also a page-by-page visual display of the “White Rocks Premiere Program” of 1977.
The DTS surround mixes are great, with a most exciting immersion in the music. I was hoping the DTS or SACD audio would aid understandability of the rather complex and involved lyrics of many of the songs, but they don’t. The lyrics are reprinted in the enclosed booklet along with some of the old-English-looking artwork from the original LP, but since they are in blurry old-English-looking script they are just as difficult to read (for me anyway) as they are to hear. [If you demand the imported SACD + DVD set, it is available online.]
TrackList for CD: Dance on a Volcano; Entangled; Squonk; Mad Man Moon; Robbery, Assault and Battery; Ripples…; A Trick of the Tail; Los Endos
TrackList for DVD: 3 Music Videos: Robbery, Assault and Battery; Ripples…; A Trick of the Tail; Reissue interviews 2007; Genesis in Concert film 1976; White Rocks Premiere Program 1977.
– John Henry