E2 Genesis Discography
Title: Seconds Out
Released: October, 1977
Run Time: 84:37 minutes
- The Carpet Crawl
- Robbery, Assault And Battery
- Firth Of Fifth
- I Know What I Like
- The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
- The Musical Box (Closing Section)
- Supper's Ready
- Cinema Show
- Dance On A Volcano
- Los Endos
- Bill Bruford - Drums, Percussion
- Phil Collins - Drums, Percussion, Keyboards, Vocals
- Steve Hackett - Bass, Guitar, Guitar (12 String), Guitar
- Chester Thompson - Drums, Percussion
- Tony Banks - Keyboards, Organ (Hammond), Piano (Electric), Vocals, Vocals (bckgr),
Mellotron, Arp, Epiphone
- Mike Rutherford - Guitar (Acoustic), Bass, Guitar, Vocals (bckgr), Guitar (12 String),
Guitar (8 String), Moog Bass
Recorded during a series of performances in Paris in 1976/1977 and released in October 1977, Seconds Out
is the first live, double album in the Genesis discography
, (they had previously released a single live album, Genesis Live
, in July, 1973). The album reached the no. 4 position in the UK
charts, and a corresponding no. 47 position in the US
Seconds Out is an interesting album in many ways, and very much a transitional one: Peter Gabriel had left the band relatively recently to go solo and his departure left a gaping hole where his huge, theatrical stage presence had once been.
Collins had taken over the role of lead singer and frontman for the group after Gabriel's departure but this caused a logistical problem with live performances - who would play drums? Seconds Out features both Bill Bruford, (Yes), and Chester Thompson behind the kit for various tracks. Collins rarely missed an opportunity to pair up with either of them for lengthy drum solos during some of the longer pieces, (and who could blame him?!). As time went by, Chester Thompson became the drummer of choice, perhaps because his style is slightly more laid-back and jazz-oriented. Indeed, a lot of the material recorded with Bruford on drums was later discarded in favour of the same material recorded at a later date with Chester Thompson playing. Indeed, the sole remaining track featuring Bruford is Cinema Show
1977 was also the year that Steve Hackett quit Genesis. In fact, Hackett left while the band were in the middle of mixing Seconds Out at Trident Studios. According to Collins, he saw Hackett one day before he left for Trident. Calling over to him, Collins asked if he was coming in to the studio. Hackett basically said "'No, it's alright, I'll ring you later". When Collins arrived at the studio he found out that Hackett had just left the band. His departure wasn't a complete surprise to the rest of the band: Hackett had been restless for a while and had been recording solo material for two years before he eventually left for good.The timing of Hackett's exit surely has something to do with the fact that his guitar parts are noticably down in the mix on the final product - a little disappointing.
As you listen to Seconds Out, it's clear that Phil Collins is still getting to grips with the set-list he inherited - you can already detect some of the less-preferred songs which were destined to take a back seat once suitable new material had been written. In fact, there is a strong contrast between the two discs, with the first a little disappointing overall compared to the second.
The album opens with Squonk, originally from A Trick of the Tail. This is a solid, old-school Genesis staple that's rendered lightweight by a plodding arrangement and Collins thin vocals, (all the more unusual for the fact that Collins was the singer for Genesis when Trick of the Tail was recorded).
The Carpet Crawl, ( from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway), sees Collins, and the band in general, much more at home. Perhaps because they'd been playing this track live for a few years by now.
The roller-coaster that is the first disc continues with Robbery, Assault and Battery, also from the recent A Trick of the Tail. Once again, Collins is probably the main culprit here as the song's many talking parts allow him to exercise his full repertoire of hammy regional accents,( which surely must have driven down sales of this album in Yorkshire and certain parts of 'Lahndan'). Subsequent live performances saw this track much more smoothly delivered.
Next up: Afterglow. Destined to become a live Genesis classic, this is the final track from Wind and Wuthering, the studio album released around about the time that the live recordings for Seconds Out were made. Expertly delivered by the whole group and probably Collins best performance on disc 1.
Following on from that is Firth of Fifth, from Selling England By The Pound. This is, in my opinion, a good live version but it's marred by the replacement of Peter Gabriel's flute solo with a 'plink-plonky' electric piano!
I know what I Like is next after Firth of Fifth, in a reversal of order from that of Selling England By The Pound. Collins manages to keep his accents under control this time! There's a noticable lack of 'banter' between Collins and the audience here: During live performances, the crowd normally shout out "Me? I'm just a lawn mower. You can tell me by the way I walk!" at the appropriate point. I guess this is missing because the audience is predominantly French.
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, the opening track of the album of the same name, follows on. A great track which really allows Phil Collins to show off his vocal style.
Disc 1 ends with the closing section of Nursery Cryme's Musical Box, which seems a little out of place and not in keeping with the other tracks on this album. Interestingly, it didn't last too much longer on the Genesis set-list either..
Disc 2 opens with Supper's Ready, the multi-part, almost 'comic-opera' finale from Foxtrot. This is a strong, but epic, track that occupies just over half of the second disc.
Nursery Cryme's Cinema Show follows on, but feels a little synthetic and flat, due to the absence of Peter Gabriel's flute, (again). All in all, not too bad, though.
Any lingering disappointment is quickly dispersed when Steve Hackett's guitar introduces Dance on a Volcano, the opener from A Trick Of The Tail. Finally they're doing this album justice! A great track that includes a 'duelling drums' section featuring Phil Collins and Chester Thompson playing at the same time.
Seconds Out wraps up with Los Endos, the aptly-named last track from, yes, you guessed it: A Trick Of The Tail. A very solid performance and obviously a good choice for the end-piece of this collection. The track fades out as Ethel Merman's 'There's No Business Like Show Business' rings out over the PA.
In summary, Seconds Out is an album worth having in your collection if you're a Genesis fan. As I stated earlier, there is defintely evidence of transition in many areas, not the least of which is the group shaking out what will be the core of their live set for a few years to come. Interesting how a lot of the tracks featured here are either the first or last track of their parent albums.
My own recollections of a long-lost bootleg tape