|CD Cover||CD Back||CD Tray|
|CD Cover Inside||CD 1 Label||CD 2 Label|
Selling Equipment By The Pound
May 4th 1974
Academy Of Music, New York City
|Tony Banks||Keyboards, 12 Strings & Vocals|
|Phil Collins||Drums, Percussion & Vocals|
|Peter Gabriel||Lead Vocals, Flute & Percussion|
|Steve Hackett||Lead Guitars & Effects|
|Mike Rutherford||Bass Guitars, Guitars & Vocals|
It was May 4th 1974. Genesis had spent many months on the road since September 1973. The 'Selling England By The Pound' tour was now drawing to a close, with only three more shows left to perform. Much has been said about this classic Genesis album and tour, and of the band's three-day stay at the Academy of Music in New York City. May 5th would see Genesis fall victim to equipment theft, forcing them to cancel that night's gig and perform a double-header on the following day. No complete recordings of these last two shows on May 6th are known to exist. The last complete recorded performance of a 'Selling England By The Pound' show comes from May 4th, and it is this recording which we bring to you now.
In terms of sound quality, this show stands out as perhaps the best audience recording from the whole tour. The balance is almost perfect (Steve Hackett's guitar sounds a little distant at times) and the overall sound is crisp and clear. Bass lines have excellent depth while higher frequencies reveal every tiny percussive detail, something quite rare in audience recordings. The lead vocals are well balanced in the mix, with every word and intonation clearly heard. One can almost visualise Peter Gabriel pulling away from the microphone as he always did when he had to push his voice to hit the higher notes. The quality of this recording suggests that the taper had excellent equipment while the overall balance shows that he was very well positioned in the hall. The acoustics of the Academy of Music were outstanding.
As for the performance, May 4th 1974 saw Genesis in fine form, despite the fatigue of the long tour and the frustration of having to deal with annoying technical problems. The in-between song banter shows just how patient and inventive Peter and Phil could be when they needed to inject some humour into the proceedings to relieve the tension caused by those nerve-wracking gaps. This kind of spontaneity always created a real bond between the band and their audience. A solid connection with the audience has always been one of the band's strong points, and this night was no exception. As was so often the case, it was Mike Rutherford's equipment which was the source of the trouble, but the big man's performance did not suffer and he was, as usual, solid as a rock.
Steve Hackett was his classic self, delivering a perfect mixture of raw aggression and emotional, delicate licks. Tony Banks, perhaps the least demonstrative of all star keyboard players, also offered one of his finest performances of the entire tour, despite a strange mellotron hiccup during the instrumental section of 'The Cinema Show'. He soon made up for that one by offering a spotless rendition of the piano intro to 'Firth Of Fifth', not an easy feat on his old electric piano. Peter Gabriel's voice was in fine form on the night, though surprisingly he did forget one verse towards the end of 'Supper's Ready', a rare occurrence indeed. Peter went into the next verse quite quickly, throwing his band mates for a second or two in the process.
Someone once said that a band is only as good as its drummer, and we believe this is very true. Phil Collins once remarked: “A bad band with a great drummer will sound better than a great band with a bad drummer.” Well, Genesis were truly blessed by being a great band whose world-class drummer made them sound even greater. One cannot emphasise enough the quality of Phil's drumming over the years. He was, and still is, one of the most inventive and musical percussionists in rock. His work on Genesis studio albums was always immaculate but his performance on stage could propel the music to new heights. That night in New York City, Phil was on fire, tight on every beat, each fill and roll as perfect as the last.
So, despite some minor glitches, this was an exemplary performance from Genesis, one of the best of the entire tour. With only two more shows to be performed at the same venue, the 'Selling England By The Pound' tour was coming to an end, leaving messrs Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett and Rutherford to move on to the complexities of 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway'. No-one knew at the time of course that these last few shows would be the fans' final opportunity to see the classic five-piece line-up performing the 'Selling England' material live on stage, as well as 'Horizons' and, sadly, 'Supper's Ready'. Two years later, when Genesis reinstated some of these songs in their live set, Peter Gabriel was no longer with the band and the music itself had been rearranged somewhat. As for the piano intro to 'Firth Of Fifth', Tony would never play it again on stage after the 1973-74 tour. This concert stands as a perfect example of the lasting legacy left by these five great musicians who played together as the magical entity called Genesis. Enjoy!
The Bethnal Green Butcher
The most obvious problem with this recording was the speed error. It is unclear if this error was initially present on the master or on the 1st generation source for this remaster. Either way, the speed error was very noticeable and followed a predictable pattern. Once identified, it was easy to correct. Tonality was then adjusted to balance the sound. Dynamics were altered to emphasize the dramatic nature of the music. There was crackle heard intermittently which was reduced as much as possible. The show was then re-tracked.
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