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Box Of Wonders,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Genesis 1970-1975 (Audio CD)
I came late to Genesis, preferring Barclay James Harvest, Pink Floyd and Hawkwind in my teenage years. Sure, i was aware of them but with albums being relatively vastly more expensive than now, choices had to be made and i didn`t really get into Genesis until about fifteen years ago when i started buying the Gabriel-era albums on vinyl from charity shops. The music didn`t really hit me between the eyes even then, but gradually, almost insidiously, it worked it`s magic on me and i found myself playing the albums more and more until the realisation dawned that Genesis, particularly their early albums, were a very special band indeed. Reading the reviews and owning an sacd player i purchased this box set for 70 quid from Amazon a couple of years ago. I have had two years of listening to the contents and i feel i am in a position to evaluate and review it now. Firstly, the sacd discs are superb, the clarity and full bodied sound are astonishing, the sound stage seems wider ( i can only comment on the stereo)compared to the vinyl albums. The cd layer and dvd audio are excellent too. There have been comments both in the Amazon reviews and elsewhere about the remixes and the amount of compression used on them, i can only offer my opinion that for the most part, they are a labour of love and a big improvement on previous versions. Yes, there are sections of music on the discs where you think that the remix could have been carried out more sympathetically, but if you think back to how Genesis fans listened to their vinyl in the early `70s when affordable hi-fi was in it`s infancy and most people still had mono record players with ceramic cartridges or caught the odd track on am radio with it`s interference and distortion, record engineers had to mix albums to sound good on these mediums ( i`m not knocking vinyl, i`m a big vinyl fan). Sacd and cd is a quantum leap forward in sound quality compared to early 1970`s reproduction media and deserves the best possible mix, which is why the original master tapes were sourced and new mixes made, both to improve on what had gone before and to create surround sound mixes. Trespass sounds lovely and probably benefits most fom the remix/remaster. Nursery Cryme sounds clear and full,perhaps slightly less dynamic than the vinyl, but thats nitpicking. Foxtrot is smoother and less edgy, which to my ears, is an improvement. Selling England By The Pound has a remix bloop at the end of Dancing With The Moonlit Knight when the lovely intrumental interplay gets underway, Tony Bank`s Mellotron sounds watery and fluttery as if over aggressive noise reduction has been applied. The rest of the album is fabulous. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is a big improvement too. The bonus disc is well worth having, with previously unavailable or hard to obtain tracks. DVD content is impressive, with band interviews about the making of each album, rare live footage of the band and last but not least, the chance to hear Lamb in it`s entirety, uninterrupted, with the original tour slideshow. The box set is expensive now but unless you have vinyl in pristine condition and a top flight deck to play it on, this is the best quality genesis media you can buy. It is worth every penny.