Three Sides Live
The third live LP in nine years is also unfortunately, the weakest. Having written that, I still like it, natch. And with the inclusion of Gabriel-era songs, this is the most proggy of any '80s Genesis album. Like always with in-concert platters, I've already discussed each of these songs previously, so comments will be scarce. Steve Hackett and Bill Bruford put in appearances as well.
Phil Collins – drums, lead vocals
Tony Banks – keyboards, backing vocals
Mike Rutherford – guitar, bass guitar, backing vocals
Steve Hackett – guitar on "it."/"Watcher of the Skies"
Daryl Stuermer – guitar, bass
Chester Thompson – drums, percussion
Bill Bruford – drums on "it."/"Watcher of the Skies"
1. "Turn It On Again" (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford) 29 November 1981 at Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York 5:16
The NY crowd is pumped for the concert and the familiar music comes in like a ton of bricks. Slightly faster than the studio version this nonetheless satisfies.
"Three Sides Live
is the third live album by the English rock band Genesis, released as a double album on 4 June 1982 on Charisma Records in the United Kingdom. It was released by Atlantic Records in the United States. After touring in support of their studio album Abacab
ended in December 1981 the band entered an eight-month break in activity, during which they selected recordings from their previous tours for a live album. Three Sides Live
includes recordings between 1976 and 1981; the UK edition contains additional live tracks while the international edition features tracks from their 1982 EP 3×3
with B-sides from Duke
." - Wiki
2. "Dodo"/"Lurker" (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford) 23 December 1981 at National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, England 7:19
I'm not a big fan of this number on Abacab
, so the live version was almost a revelation. It pounds and thrusts its way into respectability and becomes a track I truly enjoy. Wikipedia: "Three Sides Live
received a mostly positive critical reception and was a commercial success, peaking at No. 2 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 10 on the US Billboard 200, where it sold 500,000 copies. Its release coincided with the band's Three Sides Live
3. "Abacab" (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford) 23 December 1981 8:47
Yeah, I was hoping they'd do something special with this one as it lends itself to interpretation in a live setting because of the improvisational aspects. It's fine, of course, but not enough is added to the studio version to warrant recommendation.
4. "Behind the Lines" (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford) 29 November 1981 5:26
The third version of this song to be released in two years following the one on Duke
and Face Value
. Huge, bombastic, just the way you like it in fact. I honestly don't know which version I prefer as all have their positives.
"In December 1981, Genesis wrapped their four-month tour of Europe and North America to support the release of their eleventh studio album, Abacab
(1981). The band then entered an eight-month break in activity, during which they each pursued solo projects and selected recordings from their previous tours for inclusion on a new live album. All editions of Three Sides Live
contain recordings from their 1980 and 1981 tours across the first three sides. The fourth side of the UK edition contains additional live tracks from 1976, 1978, and 1980, while the international edition contains tracks from the group's second EP 3×3
(1982) – "Paperlate", "You Might Recall", and "Me and Virgil" and two B-sides recorded during the sessions for Duke
(1980) – "Open Door" and "Evidence of Autumn". - Wikipedia
5. "Duchess" (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford) 29 November 1981 6:43
About as good as the Duke
version, I guess. This wasn't a hit in the States like it was in the UK, so I haven't burned out on radio exposure or anything. Nice intro and atmospherics galore. I like it! Wiki on Three Sides Live
- "It was certified silver and gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) on 14 June 1982, the latter for 100,000 copies sold. In the United States, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on 4 October 1982 for 500,000 copies sold."
6. "Me & Sarah Jane" (Tony Banks) 29 November 1981 5:59
I'm gonna say this version adds nothing to the Abacab
version. Sorry, folks.
7. "Follow You Follow Me" (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford) 7 May 1980 at Lyceum Theatre, London 4:58
Interesting, but no more than that, version of their first US hit. Played slower than the original too, for some reason.
8. "Misunderstanding" (Phil Collins) 28 November 1981 at The Savoy in New York City 4:06
The thing with live versions of the hits is that you've heard the studio cut so many times that it becomes the 'right' mix in your head. So unless the band do something different, a great solo, an extended section, etc. The live one suffers in comparison. This is the case here. "The song was featured on the U.S. leg of the Duke Tour
of 1980, and was also featured on tours to promote future albums Abacab
. Despite its commercial success, it was dropped from the set lists of all the later tours. However a verse was sung sometimes in the We Can't Dance Tour
's "Old Medley." Collins also played the song in its entirety with a horn section in the U.S. during his First Final Farewell Tour in 2004.
"In a review published in Record Mirror
by Robin Smith, Three Sides Live
received a mixed response. The atmosphere he experienced in concert at one of their Wembley Arena gigs in 1981 was absent from the album, which he deemed "hardly a sparkling addition" to the Genesis catalog. Smith attributed this to the lackluster track selection and the seeming lack of interest from the crowd noise. He praised the performances of "Dodo/Lurker", "Behind the Lines", "Duchess", but picked the third and fourth side as stand out tracks. Smith concluded that he would be listening to Seconds Out
, the band's second live album, "for years to come". - Wikipedia
9. "In the Cage (Medley – Cinema Show – Slippermen)" (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Mile Rutherford) 23 December 1981 11:53\
Well, just when the record needed a pick-me-up, we get it! It's nice to think they were still doing the older material so well at this late date. I have no complaints at all about this medley. I don't even miss Peter's voice as he had moved on by then.
gave the album a rave review, particularly praising Genesis's advancement to more refined and concise material: "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." AllMusic
's retrospective review asserted that the performances were impressive and exciting throughout, delivering nothing but "lean, crisp, and generally bracing accounts of the group's then-current sound." - Wiki
10. "Afterglow" (Tony Banks) 23 December 1981 5:14
We stay with the older songs here, and even if it doesn't trump the W&W
take, I'd still rather listen to this than more recent stuff.
11. "One for the Vine" (Tony Banks) 5 May 1980 at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London 11:04
Now this is another highlight, and worth the purchase alone. These longer numbers are what I listen to Genesis for and I wish it was all like this, frankly. Wikipedia: "In 1994, Three Sides Live
was remastered and reissued with the UK edition worldwide. Four of the five additional studio selections from that out of print release were issued in 2000 on the Genesis Archive 2: 1976–1992
box set (all but "Me And Virgil"), and all five songs have since been included on the bonus disc of the Genesis 1976–1982
The box set is where I have those songs.
12. "Fountain of Salmacis" (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford) 1978 at unknown location 8:37
This one kind of comes out of the blue. Like "really, they're going back to Nursery Cryme
?" Well, why the hell not, right? Love it, obviously - weird that they don't know where this was recorded. Much like Seconds Out
, there's the sense of Building to Something Big here. There's a climax coming (pardon the pun) in other words. These guys knew how to pace a show - or at least a live double LP. Another high light!
13. ""it."/"Watcher of the Skies" (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford) 8 July 1976 at Apollo Theatre, Glasgow, Scotland 7:03
Yes! This record ends almost as well as Seconds Out
. I really enjoyed it today, Not one I reach for often, but that's perhaps because I own everything released before this - but this track is sounding great blasting right now.
I own the British version with no studio cuts, but I will comment on them here for posterity:
1. "Paperlate" (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford) 3:20
Great pop tune in the Collins-R&B category. Wiki - "Paperlate" is a song from the second of two EPs by the British rock group Genesis. The EP, titled 3×3
(for it featured three tracks and the band comprised three musicians), peaked at No. 10 on the UK Singles Chart in mid-1982. The success of the EP led to an appearance on Top of the Pops. In the U.S., "Paperlate" was released as a standard single, backed by "You Might Recall". It was also featured on the U.S. version of the band's Three Sides Live
album, of which all three tracks from the 3×3
EP are included on side four.
"The title came from a line in the 1973 Genesis song "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" ("Paper late, cried a voice in the crowd"), which Genesis rehearsed at a soundcheck, leading to the conception of the song. "Paperlate" is one of two Genesis songs that features the Earth, Wind & Fire horn section, the other being "No Reply at All", also from the Abacab
sessions. Collins has often hired the group for other projects, including his debut solo album, Face Value
. A music video was also created, utilizing the band's 27 May 1982 appearance on Top of the Pops."
2. "You Might Recall" (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford) 5:31
The B-side of "Paperlate" in America, and it sounds like it. Fine, but it's generic Genesis. Could have been on the next album in fact. It doesn't offend, nor does it impress either.
3. "Me and Virgil" (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford) 6:20
One of Phil's little story songs, at least I think he wrote the lyrics. The box is at home and I'm at school now and can't look it up. Apparently someone's heart was broken or something. Don't know if I like it more or less than the previous track. I never play these numbers so I'm not that familiar with them.
4. "Evidence of Autumn" (Tony Banks) 4:57
The B-side of "Misunderstanding," right? I should look these things up before pontificating, but it's another Tony ballad and those have a mixed track record in my estimation so I'm not paying attention like perhaps I should. I don't think this would have added to Duke
in any way. It does change tempo so at least a vestige of prog remains, but it's hardly even worth mentioning, really. All of these slow ones just remind me of Phil ballads, regardless of who wrote them.
5. "Open Door" (Mike Rutherford) 4:06
Look, Mike can write a middle-of-the-road ballad just as easy as the other two. As you can see, my interest in Genesis is rapidly waning by this time so I can't be bothered. I like the UK version of Three Sides Live
(should it have been called Four Sides Live
?) better, obviously. Though "Paperlate" is memorable.