Genesis Plans Archive Concert Releases
Not unlike the Grateful Dead's Dick's Picks series of live releases, storied U.K. rock act Genesis is planning to mine its own archives for a series of limited-edition albums. Through its recently estNot unlike the Grateful Dead's Dick's Picks series of live releases, storied U.K. rock act Genesis is planning to mine its own archives for a series of limited-edition albums. Through its recently established genesis-music.com Web site, the group expects to make the first concerts from its more than three-decade career available to fans in the near future.
According to the site, Hit & Run -- the management and production company that handles Genesis, Phil Collins, and Mike & the Mechanics, among other artists -- is going to take "a major trawl through their sound and video archives in order to identify historic live recordings that may be suitable for special release." The company has already "identified over 200 concert bootlegs of the band and the solo projects available on the Internet -- and, if they are of suitable quality, we are hopeful that we can develop a release schedule in the coming months."
Genesis -- which has counted 10 members through its history, most notably drummer/vocalist Collins, vocalist Peter Gabriel, guitarists Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett, and keyboardist Tony Banks -- has released five albums of live material through a career that saw it evolve from a progressive art-rock band into a pop hit machine. The first, 1973's "Genesis: Live," was a five-track affair featuring the band's earliest material, while 1977's "Seconds Out" followed the first two studio albums without Gabriel, and documented the struggle to bridge the gap between the differing incarnations of the group.
The 1982 double-vinyl "Three Sides Live" culled the beginnings of Genesis' hit-oriented material, while the U.S. version also boasted an extra side of studio material, including the hit "Paperlate." "Three" was also the most successful live release for the group, peaking at No. 10 on The Billboard 200. In 1992, the band issued "The Way We Walk, Vol. 1," followed the next year by "Vol. 2." Those career-spanning compilations of live material peaked at No. 35 and No. 20, respectively, on the album chart.
Launched last August, Genesis-music.com features an online shop with an extensive line of the band's recorded output broken down by era, as well as solo and side project efforts from Collins, Rutherford, and Banks (a section for post-Genesis releases by Hackett and founding guitarist/keyboardist Anthony Phillips is promised). Among the first unique items currently available through the store is the band's 1981 studio set "Abacab," autographed by Collins, Rutherford, and Banks.
Genesis' last studio release -- and first since Collins was replaced by Ray Wilson -- was the 1997 Atlantic set "Calling All Stations," which debuted at No. 54 on The Billboard 200 and has sold just 109,000 copies in the U.S. to date.
As far as new material from any incarnation of the band, things don't look promising. While promoting the release of the band's "The Way We Walk" DVD last November, Rutherford told the London Standard, "There's nothing really going on, but we are all good friends. It's a tough business out there now. We had a fantastic time, but to play the game you have to play now, well, I'm not sure."