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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Genesis

Three Sides Live

Review by Gary Hill

There are actually two versions of this double disc set out there. Unfortunately, this is the harder one to find. I’ve reviewed it here because it’s the one I have. Besides that, this is the equivalent of the actual LP and fits the title. The other rendition replaces the handful of studio tracks with other live recordings. Personally, I am not overly crazy about the studio numbers here, but the live recordings are well worth having – and for completists this is a “must have” anyway.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Turn It on Again

The droning intro seems stretched out here and the keys take their sweet time on the intro. From there, though, they turn it out into the song proper and this is definitely familiar territory. Not full on prog, but also not fully pop, this is a good tune despite its fame and this live rendition is strong. Collins gets a bit theatric on this at times. He also takes it to a powerhouse soulful section on the repeating chorus.

Dodo
Yeah, I know this is rather funky and stripped down. Still, there’s some cool keyboard textures and somehow I’ve always liked this a lot and this live rendition holds up well. This also has a theatric segment.
Abacab
Another of the pop rock songs from the band, this is still substantial in my opinion, though. I like this song a lot – always have. This live rendition is probably closer to the studio version than the rest of the material. I do especially like the instrumental section and accompanying guitar solo here, though. 
Behind the Lines
Of the later era of the band this is one of the most proggy pieces. It’s still catchy and quite accessible, but there’s a lot of meat on these bones. This has always been another I’ve been fond of. It works quite well live, both the instrumental portions and song proper. 
Duchess
The extended introduction on this makes up almost half the track. It moves from rhythmic prog atmosphere to some fairly soaring music. The song proper is catchy and quite tasty. This another I’ve always enjoyed and this live rendition is quite effective and strong.
Me and Sarah Jane
Of the more modern Genesis songs this is one of the more purely progressive rock numbers. In fact, it wouldn’t be a big stretch to imagine this track coming from the Gabriel era of the band. It’s a strong and quite dynamic cut and covers a lot of musical territory. This live rendition is perhaps even stronger than the studio take. 
Follow You, Follow Me
For many this song was the beginning of the warning signs that Genesis were headed into the pop music genre. Personally I’ve always liked this track, although I have to say that this version is a bit too funky and not quite up to the standards of the studio rendition. 
Disc 2
Misunderstanding
One of the more pure pop songs in the Genesis catalog, this is still a cool tune. Collins gets a bit theatric on the vocals later and the guitar seems especially inspired here. 
In the Cage Medley: Cinema Show/Slipperman
This medley from the Gabriel era of the band is a great piece of music. I’m sure those who want to hate this lineup of Genesis will probably complain that they should have done more than this medley, but I personally like this number a lot – even as delivered here. And of course, this is still almost twelve minutes in length. 
Afterglow
Evocative and powerful, I’ve always loved this track – and this version is every bit as good as any other rendition I’ve heard. 
Paperlate
Gad – horns on a Genesis song? The first studio cut here, this might as well have been a Phil Collins track and is one of the worst examples of Genesis turning pop.
You Might Recall
Still not the most proggy thing I’ve heard, this is less about the pop drivel than “Paperlate” and is not a bad track. It feels like it could have fit on the Duke album. 
Me And Virgil
Moody and yet a bit playful and bouncy, this is sort of an average song. That said, the instrumental section – with its nod to the Byrds – is quite cool and lifts this up beyond mediocre. 
Evidence of Autumn
Now, this is more like it. This feels a lot like something from Duke or And Then There Were Three… It’s lush and pretty and I like it a lot.
Open Door
Another that seems as if it could have fit quite well on And Then There Were Three… or even Wind and Wuthering, this is powerful and pretty in balladic format.
 
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