Six of the Best Reunion (2/10/82)

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All the Help I Can Get, 29/9/82 (Hammersmith Odeon)

Six of the Best, 2/10/82 (Milton Keynes Bowl)

FAde 003, 2/10/82 (Milton Keynes Bowl)

Live in Milton Keynes (TM Productions), 2/10/82



All the Help I Can Get


1-1 Back in N.Y.C. (5:57)
1-2 Dancing with the Moonlit Knight (intro) (4:02)
1-3 The Carpet Crawlers (5:45)
1-4 Firth of Fifth (9:03)
1-5 The Musical Box (10:46)
1-6 The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (6:38)
1-7 Fly on a Windshield/Broadway Melody of 1974 (4:38)

2-1 In the Cage (9:21)
2-2 Supper's Ready (24:06)
2-3 The Knife (3:48)
2-4 Solsbury Hill (Take 1)(1:52)
2-5 Solsbury Hill (Take 2)(3:25)
2-6 Solsbury Hill (Take 3)(5:04)

Type/Quality: Soundboard/Very Good

Comments: At the Hammersmith Odeon in London, this historic recording became available in early 2008. This is an actual soundboard recording of the band rehearsing for their famous Six of the Best reunion concert. This recording has clearly been edited, and the sound is a bit hissy, but as others have said, the quality is much better than the audience recordings of the actual reunion gig (below entries), and it is miraculous to have this soundboard record of such an historic event.

"Back in NYC" starts a bit in. "Moonlit Knight" consists of two takes: on the first take Peter is unclear how to end the altered, short version of the song, saying "This is new to me." The second take starts from the "unifaun" line. Indeed Peter is understandably rusty on quite a few of the songs--he messes up one or two things in "Carpet Crawlers." During the Lamb tour, the last time he sang the song, he had Phil backing him up on the chorus and singing high while he sang low. This time he sings the chorus high, as Phil usually did. Not only does Peter have to remember the words to the old songs, he also has to get used to the new Genesis way of doing them--so he does indeed need all the help he can get.

One of the high points of the rehearsal is "Firth of Fifth," which sounds excellent from the board. Unfortunately Peter is particularly rusty on the lyrics for "Musical Box," even screwing up the dramatic ending section--on this number the band keep him company in rustiness, since most of them haven't played the whole song in years and some of them have never done so! Phil can be heard joining in on the "She's a lady" bit--one of the first times his vocals are audible on the recording.

On to disc 2! Peter screws up the first verse of "The Lamb"! I can understand him being rusty on some of the older numbers, but this one at least should have been a bit more familiar to him, since he performed it solo as an encore on his first couple of tours. He does make it through the rest of the song okay. The band redo the end of the song before moving on to "Fly on a Windshield."

"Cage" starts a bit in, then falls apart at the "raindrops keep falling on my head" line; the band restart at "Outside the cage..." "Supper" also starts a bit in. The song goes along pretty smoothly until one of the most exciting moments, near the end of "Apocalypse in 9/8," where the band break down. The song then picks back up again and gets to the end. When Peter finally gets to the last line, he draws out the last syllable in "Jerusalem" for a loooong time.

Some of the more interesting moments of the recording are at the end of the second disc, where the band perform multiple takes of Peter's song "Solsbury Hill" (which, ironically enough, is about Peter's departure from the band). You can hear the guys getting used to the song. The first take only gets through the first verse. The second take is pretty much the whole song. The third gets all the way to the end. Afterwards someone can be heard playing around on the drums.

I think it's pretty clear that someone carefully chose the songs that got onto these two discs, and that there is a lot more material from these rehearsals that could be hanging around somewhere. I've also heard that this version could have been taken from a lossy format such as mp3s, and is therefore not exactly first generation. Nevertheless, getting to hear this at all, and at as good quality as it is, is very cool. This remains quite a gem in my collection, and a very nice accompaniment to the reunion show itself.

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Six of the Best



1-1 Introduction by Johnathan King/Back in N.Y.C. (8:37)
1-2 Dancing with the Moonlit Knight (beginning) (1:39)
1-3 The Carpet Crawlers (6:48)
1-4 Firth of Fifth (9:33)
1-5 The Musical Box (12:10)
1-6 Solsbury Hill (5:18)
1-7 Band Introductions/Turn It on Again (6:50)
1-8 The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (7:45)

2-1 Fly on a Windshield (3:01)
2-2 Broadway Melody of 1974 (1:41)
2-3 In the Cage (8:06)
2-4 Supper's Ready (26:57)
2-5 I Know What I Like (in Your Wardrobe) (10:14)
2-6 The Knife (featuring Steve Hackett) (4:33)

Type/Quality: Audience/Fair

Comments: (See next entry, a better version of this gig.) Another must-have bootleg for the Genesis collector. For those of you who don't know, I'll fill in the back story (Pete also does this on the bootleg itself): in 1982 the (then) current line-up of Genesis (Phil, Tony, Mike, Daryl and Chester) reunited with Pete for one concert to help him make some money back from the recent financial failure of the WOMAD concert--Pete was so much in debt that he was receiving threats against his life. He came on stage in a coffin, by the way, which is probably why it took them so long to start "Back in N.Y.C." At the end Steve Hackett also appeared to play on the encores (so technically by the end it would have been "Seven of the Best"). It rained, and they were a bit rusty (not having all played together for about seven years), but it must have been pretty incredible to be there, all the same.

There are many, many versions of this show from which to choose. Later remasters have surpassed this, but for a while it was one of the better ones, apparently from a first generation recording (my title of this show is misleading as Six of the Best is the name of the Highland release, which this is not!). The sound is very crackly and the crowd noise is somewhat intrusive (in fact, they almost totally drown out the infamous Johnathan King's intro speech). However, all the songs are audible enough, and it's not muffled or low. Also, having the crowd there is really a great addition to the recording, since you can hear them (on several occasions) sing Happy Birthday to Mike Rutherford, and scream "SUPPER'S READY!!" and generally react to Pete's wonderful stories, which are all on here. Pete does not tell the typical stories, and I believe he developed some totally new ones for this performance. Steve Hackett most likely (according to McMahan) was on the last two songs. The version of "The Lamb" on here is--in my opinion--totally bitching.


FAde 003



1-01 Introduction by Johnathan King (1:55)
1-02 Back in N.Y.C. (8:37)
1-03 Dancing with the Moonlit Knight (intro) (1:39)
1-04 The Carpet Crawlers (6:48)
1-05 Introduction by Pete (1:44)
1-06 Firth of Fifth (9:40)
1-07 The Musical Box (12:29)
1-08 Solsbury Hill (5:20)
1-09 Band Introductions/Turn It on Again (6:53)
1-10 The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (7:41)
1-11 Fly on a Windshield (2:57)
1-12 Broadway Melody of 1974 (1:38)
1-13 In the Cage (8:20)

2-1 Supper's Ready (30:05)
2-2 I Know What I Like (in Your Wardrobe) (12:37)
2-3 The Knife (5:52)

Type/Quality: Audience/Good

Comments: It was very long in coming, and often delayed and decried, but here it is--the "definitive" edition of the Milton Keynes Bowl reunion gig, "Six of the Best." (Though see the TM Productions version, below, which is even more definitive!) From what I understand, the remastering of this show was arduous, as those involved had to splice together material from SEVEN different sources to get the best bits all together! There were definitely multiple audience members taping this, as I'm quite certain that the audience sounds I hear in this version are almost totally different than those heard on Six of the Best. This is definitely an improvement on that previous version. This version also features more of the canned music that was playing before Johnathan King got on stage, and more of the ending of the show. Sometimes there is an audible hiss--the level of it may vary, because of the different sources this was taken from. I applaud FAde's choice in the area of tracking--though the intros seem a bit haphazard, I like the fact that all of the Lamb tracks are on one disc and the second disc starts with "Supper." It's a nice way to break up the show, since they had to. The audience is pretty great, as I said above--in this version, someone near the recording mic asks someone else what they think of the show after "Supper's Ready." "Christ, it was stunning!" he replies. You're darn right.

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Live in Milton Keynes (TM Productions)


1-01 Introduction by Johnathan King (1:16)
1-02 Back in N.Y.C. (7:38)
1-03 Dancing with the Moonlit Knight (intro) (1:41)
1-04 The Carpet Crawlers (5:13)
1-05 Introduction by Pete (1:58)
1-06 Firth of Fifth (10:46)
1-07 The Musical Box (12:13)
1-08 Solsbury Hill (5:44)
1-09 Band Introductions/Turn It on Again (7:39)
1-10 The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (5:47)
1-11 Fly on a Windshield (2:46)
1-12 Broadway Melody of 1974 (1:58)
1-13 In the Cage (8:00)

2-1 Tube Story (2:48)
2-2 Supper's Ready (26:42)
2-3 I Know What I Like (in Your Wardrobe) (12:39)
2-4 The Knife (4:49)
2-5 Closing Words (0:56)

Type/Quality: Audience/Good-Very Good

Comments: When I listened to this TM Productions remaster for the first time, I was driving to work on a Friday. I had taken off of work the day before in order to be able to take advantage of the internet presale for tickets to US shows from the 2007 Turn It on Again tour. It had been a tense morning and a disappointing afternoon, as the official web site was knocked out and no presale codes were being given out. However in the evening with help from a fellow fan I was able to get to a page on the site and get my code, and get tickets. Even then I was paranoid and not ready to celebrate, afraid the order would be cancelled somehow. On that Friday morning I was still trying to wrap my head around the idea that it was really happening: I was finally, after over twenty years of listening to their music, going to see my favorite band live.

It was the right time to listen to this show. I got an inkling of the magic that was in the air at the Milton Keynes Bowl that rainy day. Like the previous recordings, this is audience-sourced (combined like the FAde version from multiple sources) and is still a bit rough around the edges, but the music is incredibly powerful and loud and sounds fresh and alive. I was struck this time around with the idea that for almost this whole performance there were two drummers on stage, presumably drumming simultaneously. I had just been listening to 2007 tour press conferences where Mike Rutherford (the birthday boy on this date) was talking about the exciting Genesis double-drum sound--it's all here, in spades. The drums sound fantastic, adding lots of power and vitality to this recording.

Some other interesting moments: I noted that the first few numbers of the set exactly matched the early shows of the 1980 tour. Peter playing drums on "Turn It on Again." When they play "The Lamb," they play the 1981 version which reprises the "Rael imperial aerosol kid" lines and then comes to an end, but then they follow it up with "Fly on a Windshield," which originally segued in. The final, strange, ironic farewell from Phil: "See you next time."

As has been said by others, until the soundboard is released (if it is), this is the best version of this classic gig.

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