ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 17, 1998
By Steve Newton
Before paying the hefty list price for this boxed set, you’ll want to make sure you’re a big fan of Genesis’s 1974 double album, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, because a live version of it—recorded at L.A.’s Shrine Auditorium in January of ’75, when tickets were $5.50—takes up two of Archive: 1967-75’s four discs.
The lineup for that show—vocalist Peter Gabriel, guitarist Steve Hackett, keyboardist Tony Banks, guitarist-bassist Mike Rutherford, and drummer Phil Collins—was arguably the strongest of the band’s lengthy career. The same formation had previously won me over with Selling England by the Pound, so I was happy to see included from that ’73 prog-rock epic live versions of “Firth of Fifth”, “Dancing With the Moonlit Knight”, the Collins-sung “More Fool Me”, and the band’s first hit single, “I Know What I Like (in Your Wardrobe)”.
For the hard-core Genesis aficionado, the fourth disc gathers very rare demos, rough mixes, and BBC recordings from the earliest incarnations of the band, featuring original guitarist Anthony Phillips. The set comes with an 80-page booklet that sports some fascinating archival photos of the band frolicking outdoors and messing about backstage, plus extensive biographical material, including Gabriel’s press statement explaining why he left the band in ’75. His reasons include “to do a ‘Bowie’ ”, “to do a ‘Ferry’ ”, and “to do a ‘Furry Boa’ and hang myself with it”.