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Genesis: Three Sides Live

Turn it on, yet again – their tipping-point tour of ’81.

What goes around comes around again, and again, and again.

Following releases on VHS (1982), Laserdisc (1991) and DVD (2009, as part of The Movie Box set), Three Sides Live finds a ‘fully restored’ home in 2014 on DVD and Blu-ray. Filmed principally at Nassau Coliseum, Long Island, during their 1981 Abacab tour, it marks the precise point at which Genesis pivoted from prog linchpins to pop-rock kingpins, with elements of funk and reggae creeping in to befuddle the hardcore and delight those drawn in by Phil Collins’ early solo work. It’s heavy on selections from Duke and Abacab (an extended version of its title track the only real nod to the band’s heritage). It doesn’t always work: Who Dunnit? is lamentable, and time hasn’t been kind to the forlorn skank of Me And Sarah Jane. Elsewhere, the simpler songs enable the band to focus on feel rather than technical precision, and it’s genuinely fun. Mike Rutherford appears to be having the time of his life, while Collins has come of age as a frontman and is frisky, full-voiced and confident. By the end he’s topless in sweatpants as the smoke billows, the stage bathed in pink light.

Fraser Lewry
Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 36 years in music industry, online for 23. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.