Friday, November 14, 2008

Genesis Box Set 1970 - 1975 Released

At last this set has been released. It must be around 4 years or so since the first surround mixes of the Genesis catalogue were being talked about. The first to be re-mixed was actually “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway”, which Peter Gabriel didn’t think was radical enough. Hence the start of delay after delay after delay. But here is the third box set and although it represents the bands least commercially successful period in terms of record sales it is for many their creative peak. In saying that it appears from pre-order sales this box set is outselling the other two box sets added together.

I haven’t heard the surround mixes or watched the DVD material yet, but as regards the stereo mixes and the mastering the results are nothing short of astonishing. There were some criticisms over the sound of the first box set, which I can sort of understand. It did sound a bit harsh and not the sonic wonder which it should have been. No problems here, which is a bit strange as the recordings are much older and it’s the same team who were involved in the mixing and remastering. So I am not sure why these sound so much better. I will actually go as far to say these remasters are a revelation. The new mixes have subtly yet profoundly brought out nuances in the recordings I have never heard before. The details that can be heard are breathtaking, especially in Gabriel’s voice which sounds much earthier and extremely present.

I am pleased to see that all the original artwork has been re-instated in the booklets. The Definitive Editions were highly lacking in that regard. So you now have Paul Whiteheads painting from the inner gatefold of Foxtrot and the full George Hardie graphics for “The Lamb”. In fact “The Lamb” is presented in a very nice hardback book which houses the 2 CD’s and DVD inside inner sleeves.
This is a truly excellent box set. They have got it right at last. The very favourable reviews I have read so far seem to support this. For me some of the best remastering I have heard in many years can be heard on these discs. A triumph!


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