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Genesis – Genesis (1983) [Remastered Reissue 2007] {2.0 & 5.1} PS3 ISO + FLAC

Genesis – Genesis (1983) [Remastered Reissue 2007]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 46:19 minutes | Scans included | 2.92 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | 46:19 mins | Scans included | 982 MB

Moments of Genesis are as spooky and arty as those on Abacab — in particular, there’s the tortured howl of “Mama,” uncannily reminiscent of Phil Collins’ Face Value, and the two-part “Second Home by the Sea” — but this eponymous 1983 album is indeed a rebirth, as so many self-titled albums delivered in the thick of a band’s career often are. Here the art rock functions as coloring to the pop songs, unlike on Abacab and Duke, where the reverse is true. Some of this may be covering their bets — to ensure that the longtime fans didn’t jump ship, they gave them a bit of art — some of it may be that the band just couldn’t leave prog behind, but the end result is the same: as of this record, Genesis was now primarily a pop band. Anybody who paid attention to “Misunderstanding” and “No Reply at All” could tell that this was a good pop band, primarily thanks to the rapidly escalating confidence of Phil Collins, but Genesis illustrates just how good they could be, by balancing such sleek, pulsating pop tunes as “That’s All” with a newfound touch for aching ballads, as on “Taking It All Too Hard.” They still rocked — “Just a Job to Do” has an almost nasty edge to its propulsion — and they could still get too silly as on “Illegal Alien,” where Phil’s Speedy Gonzalez accident is an outright embarrassment (although in some ways it’s not all that far removed from his Artful Dodger accent on the previous album’s “Who Dunnit?”), and that’s why the album doesn’t quite gel. It has a little bit too much of everything — too much pop, too much art, too much silliness — so it doesn’t pull together, but if taken individually, most of these moments are very strong, testaments to the increasing confidence and pop power of the trio, even if it’s not quite what longtime fans might care to hear.

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Genesis – Extras Tracks 1983-1998 (2007) [2.0 & 5.1] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Genesis – Extras Tracks 1983-1998 (2007) [2.0 & 5.1]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 45:36 minutes | Scans included | 2.91 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 951 MB
Features 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 multichannel surround sound

The long-awaited high-fidelity overhaul of the Genesis catalog began with a multi-album box set spanning 1976-1982 — the first half of Phil Collins’ reign as lead vocalist, otherwise known as the prog years of when the group was a trio. Instead of moving backward to cover the band’s early, arty years with Peter Gabriel, the next release in this series moved forward, covering 1983-1998, otherwise known as the “pop years” for the trio. To their credit, Genesis doesn’t try to write the 1998 post-Collins Calling All Stations out of their history: it’s right here, alongside 1983’s Genesis, 1986’s Invisible Touch, and 1991’s We Can’t Dance, plus a bonus disc with eight rarities. Going forward to these albums makes sense for two reasons: first of all, there’s the fact that this is the reunited lineup that was touring the world in 2007, but it’s also true that these digital-era productions are better showcases for 5.1 Surround mixes and they’re the records that have loads of video and multimedia material to fill out these DVD-As (in the U.K., this set is available as Hybrid SACDs as well). The video section of each of the albums contains all the video clips from the record, plus new interviews with the bands about the record, then there’s multimedia press kits added to the mix. It may be a more deluxe treatment than either We Can’t Dance or Calling All Stations, but it’s certainly something that will appeal to hardcore fans who will find this expertly produced set irresistible even if the music itself isn’t.

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Genesis – Extra Tracks 1976-1982 (2007) [DVD-Audio ISO]

Genesis – Extra Tracks 1976-1982
Artist: Genesis | Album: Extra Tracks 1976-1982 | Style: Progressive Rock | Year: 2007 | Quality: DVD-Audio (MLP 5.1 96kHz/24Bit) | Bitrate: lossless | Tracks: 13 | Size: ~3.64 Gb | Recovery: 5% | Covers: in archive | Release: rip and authoring to DVD-Audio from SACD Virgin (388057-2-4, EU), 2007 | Note: Not Watermarked

If the grouping of albums on this 2007 box set initially seems a little odd — it is neither a collection of the band’s early work, nor all of their albums after Peter Gabriel’s departure, nor is it their most popular work — it soon becomes apparent why these five albums are grouped together and reissued as remastered double-disc sets, with one disc containing a CD of the album, the other a DVD with a 5.1 mix and extra video material (in the U.K., the first disc contains hybrid SACDs of the albums, raising this question why they aren’t in this format in the U.S., especially since the bonus disc in this box is a hybrid SACD in all territories). These are the key art rock albums from the Phil Collins-fronted lineup of Genesis, the ones that the fans value, certainly more so than the pop-oriented Genesis and Invisible Touch. Collins, Tony Banks, and Mike Rutherford reunited in 2007 for a tour, so it made sense to box up their key texts as a deluxe reissue, because this is indeed the music that the fans will want to hear on the tour. If the remastered sound wasn’t enough of an incentive for hardcore fans (although it often is), the set also includes plenty of supplemental material, highlighted by a bonus disc containing 13 rarities and B-sides, including the single “Paperlate.” That’s not the end of the bonus material, though: there’s also a 48-page book, and each DVD is packed with extra material, including promotional videos, TV appearances, replications of tour programs, and new interviews with the band about the making of the albums. The only drawback to the set is that it’s not available as hybrid SACDs in all territories, but really, that’s a minor complaint because this set is executed with love and care, living up to the high expectations of Genesis’ dedicated fans.

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Genesis – Extra Tracks 1970-1975 (2008) [DVD-AUDIO ISO]

Genesis – Extra Tracks 1970-1975
Artist: Genesis | Album: Extra Tracks 1970-1975 | Style: Progressive Rock | Year: 2008 [2007 original] | Quality: DVD-Audio (MLP 5.1 96kHz/24Bit) | Bitrate: lossless | Tracks: 10 | Size: 2.97 Gb | Recovery: 5% | Release: rip and authoring to DVD-Audio from SACD Virgin (5099951968328), 2008 | Note: Not Watermarked

The last of the three matching box sets of Genesis’ back catalog, Genesis 1970-1975 offers expanded reissues of every Peter Gabriel era album outside of the earliest, From Genesis to Revelation, which has essentially been reduced to a footnote to their catalog (as much due to licensing reasons as musical). So, 1970-1975 offers remastered reissues of 1970’s Trespass, 1971’s Nursery Cryme, 1972’s Foxtrot, 1973’s Selling England by the Pound, and 1974’s double-album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, each presented as a double-disc set containing a remastered CD and DVD-Audio with 5.1 surround sound (in the U.K., these were released as hybrid SACDs instead of standard CDs). All the remastering is exceptional but what makes this set necessary for the devoted is the bonus material — the video added to the DVDs and the whole disc of stray tracks. This supplemental disc has the exceptional B-side “Twilight Alehouse,” the single-only “Happy the Man,” the demo of the terrific “Going Out to Get You,” and the BBC session that produced “Shepherd,” “Pacidy,” and “Let Us Now Make Love” — all tracks that showed up on the 1998 box set Genesis Archives, Vol. 1: 1967-1975, but the real treat is the first official release of the four songs that comprise Genesis Plays Jackson, the band’s soundtrack to a show by artist Michael Jackson. Add to this the video material — limited to interviews on Trespass and Nursery Cryme, but containing full performances on Foxtrot and Selling England, plus the original slide shows used for the stage show of Lamb — and this box turns into something extraordinary: a nearly complete portrait of a restlessly creative band at their peak, whose output only sounds more distinctive with each passing year.

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Genesis – Trespass (2008) [DVD-AUDIO ISO]

Genesis – Trespass
Artist: Genesis | Album: Trespass | Style: Art Rock | Year: 2008 [1970 original] | Quality: DVD-Audio (MLP 5.1 96kHz/24Bit, MLP 2.0 96kHz/24Bit) | Bitrate: lossless | Tracks: 6 | Size: ~3.62 Gb | Recovery: 3% | Covers: in archive | Release: transfer of SACD by Virgin Records Ltd. (50999-519543-2-1), 2008 | Note: Not Watermarked

Genesis’ first truly progressive album, and their first record for the Charisma label (although Trespass was released in America by ABC, which is how MCA came to have it), is important mostly as a formative effort. Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, and Michael Rutherford are here, but the guitarist is Anthony Phillips and the drummer is John Mayhew. Gabriel, Banks, Phillips, and Rutherford are responsible for the compositions, which are far more ambitious than the group’s earlier efforts (“Silent Sun,” etc.). Unfortunately, much of what is here is more interesting for what it points toward than what it actually does — the group reflects a peculiarly dramatic brand of progressive rock, very theatrical as music, but not very successful. The lyrics are complex enough but lack the unity and clarity that would make Genesis’ subsequent albums among the most interesting of prog rock efforts to analyze. Gabriel’s voice is very expressive but generally lacks power and confidence, while the conventional backup vocalizing by the others is wimpy, and Phillips’ playing is muted. Tony Banks’ keyboards are the dominant instruments, which isn’t that bad, but it isn’t the Genesis that everyone came to know. The soft, lyrical “Visions of Angels” and “Stagnation” are typical, gentle works by a band that later learned how to rock much harder. Only one of the songs here, “The Knife” — which rocks harder than anything else on Trespass and is easily the best track on the album — lasted in the group’s concert repertory past the next album.

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Genesis – Selling England By the Pound (2008) [DVD-AUDIO ISO]

Genesis – Selling England By the Pound
Artist: Genesis | Album: Selling England By the Pound | Style: Progressive, Art Rock | Year: 2008 [1973 original] | Quality: DVD-Audio (MLP 5.1 96kHz/24Bit, DTS 5.1 96kHz/24Bit, Dolby AC3 5.1 48kHz/16Bit) | Bitrate: lossless | Tracks: 8 | Size: ~4.31 Gb | Recovery: 3% | Covers: in archive | Release: transfer SACD by © Virgin Records Ltd. (50999 519559 2 2), 2008 | Note: Not Watermarked

Genesis proved that they could rock on Foxtrot but on its follow-up Selling England by the Pound they didn’t follow this route, they returned to the English eccentricity of their first records, which wasn’t so much a retreat as a consolidation of powers. For even if this eight-track album has no one song that hits as hard as “Watcher of the Skies,” Genesis hasn’t sacrificed the newfound immediacy of Foxtrot: they’ve married it to their eccentricity, finding ways to infuse it into the delicate whimsy that’s been their calling card since the beginning. This, combined with many overt literary allusions — the Tolkeinisms of the title of “The Battle of Epping Forest” only being the most apparent — gives this album a storybook quality. It plays as a collection of short stories, fables, and fairy tales, and it is also a rock record, which naturally makes it quite extraordinary as a collection, but also as a set of individual songs. Genesis has never been as direct as they’ve been on the fanciful yet hook-driven “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)” — apart from the fluttering flutes in the fade-out, it could easily be mistaken for a glam single — or as achingly fragile as on “More Fool Me,” sung by Phil Collins. It’s this delicate balance and how the album showcases the band’s narrative force on a small scale as well as large that makes this their arguable high-water mark.

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Genesis – Genesis (Mama) (2007) [DVD-Audio + Audio-DVD]

Genesis – Genesis (Mama)
Artist: Genesis | Album: Genesis (Mama) | Style: Progressive Rock, Pop Rock | Year: 2007 [1983 original] | Quality: DVD-Audio (MLP 5.1 96kHz/24Bit) + Audio-DVD (DTS 5.1 96kHz/24Bit, Dolby AC3 5.1 48kHz/24Bit) | Bitrate: lossless | Tracks: 9 | Size: ~2.91 Gb + 4.22 Gb | Recovery: 3% | Covers: in archive | Release: Virgin Records (5099950382729), 2007 | Note: Not Watermarked

Moments of Genesis are as spooky and arty as those on Abacab — in particular, there’s the tortured howl of “Mama,” uncannily reminiscent of Phil Collins’ Face Value, and the two-part “Second Home by the Sea” — but this eponymous 1983 album is indeed a rebirth, as so many self-titled albums delivered in the thick of a band’s career often are. Here the art rock functions as coloring to the pop songs, unlike on Abacab and Duke, where the reverse is true. Some of this may be covering their bets — to ensure that the longtime fans didn’t jump ship, they gave them a bit of art — some of it may be that the band just couldn’t leave prog behind, but the end result is the same: as of this record, Genesis was now primarily a pop band. Anybody who paid attention to “Misunderstanding” and “No Reply at All” could tell that this was a good pop band, primarily thanks to the rapidly escalating confidence of Phil Collins, but Genesis illustrates just how good they could be, by balancing such sleek, pulsating pop tunes as “That’s All” with a newfound touch for aching ballads, as on “Taking It All Too Hard.” They still rocked — “Just a Job to Do” has an almost nasty edge to its propulsion — and they could still get too silly as on “Illegal Alien,” where Phil’s Speedy Gonzalez accident is an outright embarrassment (although in some ways it’s not all that far removed from his Artful Dodger accent on the previous album’s “Who Dunnit?”), and that’s why the album doesn’t quite gel. It has a little bit too much of everything — too much pop, too much art, too much silliness — so it doesn’t pull together, but if taken individually, most of these moments are very strong, testaments to the increasing confidence and pop power of the trio, even if it’s not quite what longtime fans might care to hear.

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Genesis – Foxtrot (2007) [DVD-AUDIO ISO]

Genesis – Foxtrot
Artist: Genesis | Album: Foxtrot | Style: Progressive Rock | Year: 2007 [1972 original] | Quality: DVD-Audio (MLP 5.1 96kHz/24Bit) | Bitrate: lossless | Tracks: 6 | Size: ~3.12 Gb | Recovery: 3% | Covers: in archive | Release: transfer of SACD by © Virgin Records Ltd. (50999 51552 2 9), 2007 | Note: Not Watermarked

Foxtrot is where Genesis began to pull all of its varied inspirations into a cohesive sound — which doesn’t necessarily mean that the album is streamlined, for this is a group that always was grandiose even when they were cohesive, or even when they rocked, which they truly do for the first time here. Indeed, the startling thing about the opening “Watcher of the Skies” is that it’s the first time that Genesis attacked like a rock band, playing with a visceral power. There’s might and majesty here, and it, along with “Get ‘Em Out by Friday,” is the truest sign that Genesis has grown muscle without abandoning the whimsy. Certainly, they’ve rarely sounded as fantastical or odd as they do on the epic 22-minute closer “Supper’s Ready,” a nearly side-long suite that remains one of the group’s signature moments. It ebbs, flows, teases, and taunts, see-sawing between coiled instrumental attacks and delicate pastoral fairy tales. If Peter Gabriel remained a rather inscrutable lyricist, his gift for imagery is abundant, as there are passages throughout the album that are hauntingly evocative in their precious prose. But what impresses most about Foxtrot is how that precociousness is delivered with pure musical force. This is the rare art-rock album that excels at both the art and the rock, and it’s a pinnacle of the genre (and decade) because of it.

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Genesis – Calling All Stations (1997) [DVD-AUDIO ISO]

Genesis – Calling All Stations
Artist: Genesis | Album: Calling All Stations | Style: Progressive Rock | Year: 1997 [2007 reamastered] | Quality: DVD-Audio (MLP 5.1 96kHz/24Bit) | Bitrate: lossless | Tracks: 11 | Size: ~4.46 Gb | Recovery: 3% | Covers: in archive | Release: transfer SACD by EMI (5038352), 2007 | Note: Not Watermarked

Phil Collins left Genesis following the We Can’t Dance tour and many observers expected Tony Banks and Michael Rutherford to finally call it a day. They decided to persevere instead, hiring former Stiltskin vocalist Ray Wilson to replace Collins. Given that Stiltskin was a European neo-prog band, it isn’t a total surprise that Genesis returned to their art rock roots on Calling All Stations, their first album with Wilson. The music on Calling All Stations is long, dense, and lugubrious, but it’s given the same immaculate, pristine production that was the hallmark of their adult contemporary work with Collins. It wants to be an art rock album, but not at the expense of losing the pop audience — which makes it all the stranger that the group doesn’t really write pop songs on Calling All Stations. That may be because Wilson’s voice isn’t suited for pop, but works well with languid, synthesized prog settings. But even ponderous prog rock has to have musical themes worth exploring, and on that level, Genesis come up dry on Calling All Stations.

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Genesis – And Then There Were Three (1978) [DVD-Audio ISO]

Genesis – And Then There Were Three
Artist: Genesis | Album: And Then There Were Three | Style: Progressive Rock | Year: 2007 [1978 original] | Quality: DVD-Audio (MLP 5.1 96kHz/24Bit) | Bitrate: lossless | Tracks: 11 | Size: 3.45 Gb | Covers: in archive | Release: transfer of SACD by Virgin Records (0946 385050 2 0), 2007 | Note: Not Watermarked

And Then There Were Three, more than either of its immediate predecessors, feels like the beginning of the second phase of Genesis — in large part because the lineup had indeed dwindled down to Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, and Phil Collins, a situation alluded to in the title. But it wasn’t just a whittling of the lineup; the group’s aesthetic was also shifting, moving away from the fantastical, literary landscapes that marked both the early Genesis LPs and the two transitional post-Gabriel outings, as the bandmembers turned their lyrical references to contemporary concerns and slowly worked pop into the mix, as heard on the closing “Follow You Follow Me,” the band’s first genuine pop hit. Its calm, insistent melody, layered with harmonies, is a perfect soft rock hook, although there’s a glassy, almost eerie quality to the production that is also heard throughout the rest of the record. These chilly surfaces are an indication that Genesis don’t quite want to abandon prog at this point, but the increasing emphasis on melody and tight song structures points the way toward the group’s ’80s work.

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