Genesis, Three Sides Live (10/10)

10 all-time favorite albums (as if I could limit it to ten), in no particular order. Albums that really made an impact and are still on your rotation list, even if only now and then.


A live album? And not a particularly well-regarded one? What gives? Well...we'll get to The Real Reason shortly. For now, let's just consider it for what it is: A well-curated greatest (recent) hits album with some performances that surpass the studio versions. Genesis were an unusual band in that their two live-only members (guitarist Daryl Stuermer and drummer Chester Thompson) added tremendously to their overall sound. The extended instrumental section of "Abacab" is a perfect example of this-it's a much bigger, fuller song than it is on the studio album.

The original U.S. version of this record featured a non-live side consisting primarily of the U.K. EP release "3x3". "Paperlate" was an extremely Phil Collins-ish single, which is great, but it's "You Might Recall" that really stands out among the studio tracks. The U.K. release, which is the only version still available, had four live sides, but the fourth was confusingly from an earlier tour. For once, it's the U.S. version you want.

Ok, so why is this album so important to me? This was the, um, genesis of my love of the sound of synthesizer-based melodies, especially with huge drums behind them. "Behind The Lines" and "Dodo" blew my mind, but it's the medley between "In The Cage" and "Afterglow" that still gives me chills:

The life-changing bit starts right at 8:00 but hey, it's all good. 

This album sent me down a long, expensive, frustrating, but ultimately thrilling path of "trying to learn to play synthesizers". I'm still not good or anything, but that's not really what it's about. I love playing with these marvelous toys, and it's all because of this album.

P.S. If you think I'm stopping at 10, you don't know me very well, do you?