Genesis: Three Sides Live

June 1, 1982 – Genesis: Three Sides Live is released.
# Allmusic 3.5/5 stars
# Rolling Stone (see original review below)
Three Sides Live is the third live album by Genesis, released on this date in June 1982. It reached No.2 in the UK and No.10 in the US. “Paperlate”, from 3 X 3, became a Top 10 UK hit and a smaller US success.
The title for this album comes from the original world release, which contained three sides of live material from the band’s 1981-82 tour, and a fourth side of studio tracks, three of which formed the British 3 X 3 EP and two of which were B-sides from the sessions for Duke. The studio side is no longer issued as part of the album. Only the UK release featured a fourth live side, consisting of performances recorded during previous tours.
The three live sides focus mostly on material from Duke and Abacab. The third side contains the centrepiece of their last few tours, the “Cage” medley. The medley starts with “In the Cage” (from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway), follows with an instrumental which combined motifs from “The Cinema Show” with a changing set of melodies from Wind & Wuthering and The Lamb (in the case of the album version, a few seconds of “Riding the Scree” and a rather more substantial section from “The Colony of Slippermen”), and finishes with “Afterglow”.
It stemmed from Phil Collins’ riffing on one of the lines of their 1973 song, “Dancing with the Moonlit Knight”. According to Tony Banks on the 2007 CD and DVD reissue of Abacab, “You Might Recall” was to appear on Abacab, but Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegün suggested that the band leave the track off in favour of “Who Dunnit?”
Live albums generally are a retrospective of a band’s career from the beginning, but Three Sides Live stands as testimony to what Genesis has become only very recently. Unlike Seconds Out, where the concert versions of Genesis’ songs were shrouded in virtuosic bluster, this album offers incisive, sharply focused performances uncluttered by theatrics or instrumental tedium. Where once Genesis represented art-rock at its most fatuously spectacular, they now show how lean and compelling such music can be. At the center of this change is singer Phil Collins, whose husky vocals no longer merely adorn the instrumental tracks but provide them with direction and pacing. Although Collins is hardly versatile, he is remarkably adept at projecting personality into Genesis’ music, which in turn keeps the instrumental excesses in check.
While all of this might have easily been expected after the leaner sound of last year’s Abacab, it’s still worth noting that Genesis has applied its new perspective to older material, even shrinking such songs as “The Colony of Slippermen” and “The Cinema Show” into a single, concise medley. Too bad that the fourth side of Three Sides Live, comprising unreleased material, is flat semipop that was better left in the vaults. (RS 375)
~ J.D. CONSIDINE (August 5, 1982)
All songs by Tony Banks/Phil Collins/Mike Rutherford, except where noted.
Side one
“Turn It on Again” – 5:16
“Dodo (including Lurker)” – 7:19
“Abacab” – 8:47
Side two
“Behind the Lines” – 5:26
“Duchess” – 6:43
“Me and Sarah Jane” (Tony Banks) – 5:59
“Follow You Follow Me” – 4:58
Side three
“Misunderstanding” (Phil Collins) – 4:06
“In the Cage (Medley – The Cinema Show/Slippermen)” (Tony Banks/Phil Collins/Peter Gabriel/Steve Hackett/Mike Rutherford) – 11:53
“Afterglow” (Tony Banks) – 5:14
Side four
“One for the Vine” (Tony Banks) – 11:04
“The Fountain of Salmacis” (Tony Banks/Phil Collins/Peter Gabriel/Steve Hackett/Mike Rutherford) – 8:37
“It/Watcher of the Skies” (Tony Banks/Phil Collins/Peter Gabriel/Steve Hackett/Mike Rutherford) – 7:22
The North American edition and some European editions of Three Sides Live had originally featured a side four containing “Paperlate”, “You Might Recall”, “Me and Virgil”, “Evidence of Autumn” and “Open Door”. The album was re-issued identically only on CD worldwide with the live performances in 1994.


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