First We Were Five: Remastered [Rock Calender Records 1CD]
Live at Tufts University, Medford, MA, Nov 17, 1973. Ex SBD? stereo. Microgaps? NOT FOR TRADE

The sound quality is a little on the distorted side, but there’s no faulting the quality of the performance here, one week into Genesis’ second American tour, at Tufts University, Medford, MA, on November 17, 1973 (the disc itself erroneously states November 7). With Selling England By The Pound still very fresh on the racks, it’s no surprise that that album devours the majority of the set, from the opening "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight," through "I Know What I Like" and (an annoyingly clipped) "Firth Of Fifth," and onto the LP’s two epics, a plaintive "The Cinema Show" and a frenzied "Battle of Epping Forest." But older fans are catered for by a stunning "Musical Box," while the evening ends with one of the finest "Supper’s Ready" on record.

You do, of course, have to deal with the raucous reveling of a nearby audience member, and some seemingly abrupt cut-offs (hands up who remembers turning off the recorder between songs, to save tape?). Also, the louder passages can get a little unlistenable as the sound melds into a muffled mess. But still, First We Were Five can stand proudly alongside any other Genesis performance of the age, at least until the band reveals what they have hanging in their own wardrobe. - Dave Thompson

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November 23, 2007