New York 1974 [Hogweed Remaster 07 2CD Torrent: 79389]

Live at Academy of Music, New York, May 4, 1974. Complete show. Ex- AUD stereo.

What can you say about this performance that has not already been said on so many past occasions? The last-but-one night of Genesis' spring 1974 US tour remains one of the most personable performances the band ever gave, with even the group's traditional bugbear of technical failures elevated to the ranks of bold humor. Gabriel is in excellent form, both vocally (his performance through "Firth Of Fifth" is nothing short of revelatory) and in the storytelling department . Even the most time-honored tales are pocked with ad-libs, including crediting Henry, hero of "The Musical Box," for "the first recorded streak in world history"; and the insistence that Phil Collins was taught to play drums by a Russian spastic. There, and we thought it was just his vocal coach.

The sound quality is excellent throughout, and the odd edits that marred earlier versions of this recording have been repaired. Two discs, therefore, open with "Watcher Of The Skies," before diving headlong into Selling England By The Pound for the four songs that really were that album's live highlights: "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight," "I Know What I Like," "Firth Of Fifth" and "Cinema Show." Onto disc two, "Musical Box" (complete with unexpected funk intro!) is followed by a magnificent "Horizons," a clapalong rendition of "Battle of Epping Forest," and "Supper's Ready," itself prefaced by Gabriel's demand to know whether or not the audience is fond of lettuce. Of such things, of course, classic concerts are made and this one truly is a jewel. - Dave Thompson

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February 15, 2008