Happy 35th: Genesis, THREE SIDES LIVE
35 years ago this month, Genesis released their third live album, little realizing that kids three-and-a-half decades later would have little or no frame of reference to audio formats involving sides.
When THREE SIDES LIVE was originally released in North America in June 1982, its title actually meant something: sides one, two, and three were – as you might guess – filled with live performances, all taken from Genesis’s 1980 and 1981 tours, while the fourth side consisted of five studio tracks. Three of the tracks – “Paperlate,” “You Might Recall,” and “Me and Virgil” – had originally appeared on the band’s 3X3 EP, while the two additional tracks, “Open Door” and “Evidence of Autumn,” had been recorded for the band’s 1980 album DUKE but had ultimately ended up as B-sides.
In the UK, however, side four of the album contained live tracks. Weird, right? Even more weirdly, they didn’t come from the same tour: “One for the Vine” came from a 1980 gig at London’s Theatre Royal, “Fountain of Salmacis” came from a 1978 gig at an unidentified venue, and “‘it.’”/”Watcher of the Skies” came from a 1976 gig at Glasgow’s Apollo Theatre.
These days, THREE SIDES LIVE doesn’t even exist with the non-live material: those tracks have since been relegated to GENESIS ARCHIVE 2: 1976-1992 and GENESIS 1976-1982. In other words, the title is even more confusing to kids today than it already would’ve been anyway. The album, however, is still great, so if you haven’t listened to it recently, give it another spin.