• Robert Scovill

Genesis "Seconds Out"

The band that reshaped concert production for the foreseeable future.

"All in all this is a really solid representation of the band’s earlier period even as far back as Peter Gabriel’s contributions."

December 11th, Good morning Christmas shoppers and welcome to “Two-fer-Tuesday where the Live Vinyl Lovefest gift of the day is a look at a double album release. Today I’m gonna dig in on some live Genesis with their 1977 release “Seconds Out”

Even though Genesis has been with us a LONG time now and continue touring to this day, they are a band that have gone through many iterations, as any true fan could readily document. But the transition that happened around the time of "Seconds Out" was probably their most transformative and resulted in a line up that would last for many years to come. Around the release of this two record set we saw the departure of guitarist Steve Hackett who’s performances are particularly “under mixed” on this release and I’m only left to guess this was because of his announced departure during the mixing of the record. This period also saw the arrival of long time Weather Report / Frank Zappa drummer Chester Thompson who would play along side and then soon replace Yes and King Crimson drummer Bill Buford. Both Bill and Chester performed on these recordings allowing Phil Collins of course to move down stage and front the band. The remaining Genesis core of Rutherford, Banks and Collins would remain in place for many years to come and spawn many very successful albums and tours.

The album itself was recorded in Paris at Palais des Sports using the Manor Mobile, although no direct engineering credits are given, and then mixed at Trident Studios in London apparently by David Henschel — who is credited as Producer — along with the band assisted by Neil Ross.

All in all this is a really solid representation of the band’s earlier period even as far back as Peter Gabriel’s contributions. Collin’s singing is a stand out though and goes "next level" on many of the performances compared to the studio takes in my opinion. Although, it would have been nice to hear the band stretch out on some of the arrangements compared to being so similar to the studio releases.

It’s also the first time I would see the name Craig Schertz credited as the band’s concert sound mixer. He would have a great run with Genesis. I vividly remember hearing him mix Genesis in the early 80s. It was the first time I had ever heard the Showco Prism P.A. system and also the first time I had ever seen a show using Vari-lites. It was spell binding and frankly, to this day it’s the best execution of moving lights during a concert I think I’ve ever seen. It's worth noting that that tour, in and of itself, marked a transformative moment in concert production where for the first time, we heard a true “designed concert array” from Showco in the form of Prism in conduction with a 100% moving fixture lighting system design. Live concert production has never sounded or looked the same since that tour. Also an interesting side note on this record for all of us out there in the sound community, is the credit for the monitor engineer. “M.L. — Monitors” I'm left to assume this was our dear friend, the late M.L. Procise who, in all the years I knew him never mentioned he worked for Genesis in any capacity let alone as a monitor engineer.

Now, I ask you … where else can you discover such fun little nuggets like that other than on the “Live Vinyl Lovefest” ??

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