Wednesday Jan 09, 2008

Art Rocking The House

Chalk up another transitive closure to amazon.com's suggestion engine. While hunting for Yes "Live at Montreaux" on CD, I was presented with the concert mash-up of the last Genesis jaunt across Europe, appropriately titled "Live Over Europe 2007." I ended up throwing a nice Rick Wakeman compliation ("Sixty Minutes With...") and Asia's "Fantasia Live in Tokyo" into my cart. Tuesday provided the perfect chance to audition all of the recent arrivals, as I had a trip to and from Newark airport along with a reasonable ride to a youth hockey league meeting. I'm disappointed that the Asia concert assembly didn't include Steve Howe performing Clap, but on "Live at Montreaux" not only do we get Clap but the condensed game version of To Be Over with Howe on acoustic guitar, no lap steel, no other-Magnification required. It's a great rendition of one of my favorite Yes tunes (I can't further qualify it as favorite on the "Relayer" album because there are only three tracks on the whole thing).

Surprise, surprise, though, was the live Genesis CD. I was a bit disappointed in the Phil Collins vocals -- while they're crystal clear and the enunciation is better than most live recordings, he seems to have lost a bit of his range. The In the Cage medley, drawing on "Lamb Lies Down", the Slippermen section of Cinema Show and the tail out of Duke's Travels is spectacular -- I listened to it three times before even popping in disc two of the set. The segue to Afterglow is very smooth (thank goodness for gapless playback on the iPod, or I won't be able to listen to this one), but best of all, Firth of Fifth shows up, in pieces, with some Hackett-like guitar work by Mike Rutherford or Daryl Stuermer. Only thing missing (besides Supper's Ready): instrument credits per track, to go along with the location credits for each.

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