Genesis: Seconds out [DOUBLE gatefold] LP Live. s-
Seconds Out is a live double album by Genesis, released in October 1977. It reached #4 in the UK, remaining in the charts for 17 weeks. The performances were recorded in Paris in 1976 and 1977 on their tours in support of A Trick of the Tail and Wind & Wuthering. At the end of several songs the crowd can be heard encouraging the band to play another song by chanting “Une autre!” which literally means “another one”. This is the final tour to feature long-time guitarist Steve Hackett.
Seconds Out is the bands second live album following Genesis Live in 1973. While the earlier live set had been released by the bands label to mark time while they recorded Selling England by the Pound, Seconds Out was planned as a major release, an authoritative document of Genesis’ sound with Phil Collins as frontman and lead vocalist. The recording includes former Weather Report drummer Chester Thompson at the start of his long tenure as concert drummer for the band. Former Yes and King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford, the first drummer to take over for Collins on the stage after Gabriels departure, is featured on “The Cinema Show”. Guitarist Steve Hackett left the band during mid-1977 as Seconds Out was being mixed. A critical and commercial success, the album hit #4 in the UK and #47 in the US, where their popularity was still gaining steam.
Seconds Out is commonly regarded as the end of Genesis’ progressive rock era, as they would begin exploring shorter and more direct song formats beginning with their next studio release, And Then There Were Three, which would prove to be their American breakthrough album. To many fans, this live set is notable for its combination of classic Gabriel-era songs redone by the musical virtuosity of the later Genesis, mixed with favourites from the first two post-Gabriel releases.
Until Genesis Archive 1967-75 (1998), Seconds Out contained the only official live recording of Genesis concert staple “Suppers Ready”, a 23 minute long opus which many have considered the bands signature piece. As the band would slowly phase out this intricate quasi-orchestral piece, and lose Hackett while this album was being mixed, this album marks the end of the ‘classic’ Genesis lineup. Perhaps ironically, this album also prominently features Steve Hacketts live guitar work in a manner that overshadows his recorded solos (see for example, the live version of “Firth of Fifth”).
The albums title has a double meaning. The phrase seconds out!’ is used by some boxing (and wrestling) officials to indicate that the fighters’ ring crew (their seconds’) must leave the ring because the next round is about to begin e.g. “Seconds out! Round 2”. Also, the album is the second Genesis live album i.e. recorded out of the studio. It has also been suggested that the title refers to Hacketts departure because he is the second significant member to be out of the band. This is clearly incorrect, as both Banks and Rutherford regard Anthony Phillipss departure in 1970 to have been more significant in Genesis history than Gabriels departure in 1975. This would make Hackett the third significant’ band member to leave, and the sixth in total.
On the Genesis A History video (1990), Banks dryly jokes that, after Hackett announced his departure from the band, “we just mixed him out of the rest of the album and that was it, really.” Thanks to this quip, it has been rumoured among Genesis fans that Hackett was, in fact, “mixed out” of Seconds Out, although, by listening to the album it is possible to hear Hacketts guitar along with the other instruments. Hackett later said that Banks’ remark was simply “British humour”. As Banks’ joke was made in the context of a longer, more serious discussion about Hacketts departure, that would seem to be the case. However, Hackett has been quoted as saying he was not happy with the sound on the album, but, having already decided to quit the band, did not want to fight to have input during the mixing sessions.
The albums credits include details of which drummer(s) are playing on each song. These include statements like “drums Chester, keyboard solo Phil.” These have been misinterpreted as saying that Phil plays the keyboard solo, but in fact they refer to his playing drums during the keyboard solo.
“Firth of Fifth” is performed here without the piano introduction, beginning immediately with the lyrics. A similar recording appears on Genesis Archive 1967-75. Tony Banks stopped playing the piano introduction in concert during the Selling England by the Pound tour, as there were no electric pianos in existence at the time which were sensitive enough to allow Banks to recreate the “classical” feel of the introduction.
This albums version of “I Know What I Like” includes an extended instrumental section which makes more or less subtle references to “Stagnation” and “Visions Of Angels” (Trespass), “Dancing With the Moonlit Knight” (Selling England by the Pound) and “Blood On The Rooftops” (Wind & Wuthering).
Like many of the bands studio albums, this live album also features a “book-end” effect where musical themes and ideas used in the beginning reappear at the end of the album (such as on Selling England By The Pound, A Trick Of The Tail, Wind & Wuthering, and Duke for example). The ending of “Los Endos” features themes from the live albums opening track “Squonk”.
All songs by Tony Banks/Phil Collins/Peter Gabriel/Steve Hackett/Mike Rutherford, except where noted.
“Squonk” (Banks/Rutherford) 6:39
“The Carpet Crawlers” 5:27
“Robbery, Assault and Battery” (Banks/Collins) 6:02
“Afterglow” (Banks) 4:29
“Firth of Fifth” 8:56
“I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)” 8:45
“The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” 4:59
“The Musical Box” (Closing Section) 3:18
“Suppers Ready” 24:33
“The Cinema Show” 10:58
“Dance On A Volcano” (Banks/Collins/Hackett/Rutherford) 4:24
“Los Endos” (Banks/Collins/Hackett/Rutherford) 7:14
Phil Collins – Vocals, drums, Percussion
Tony Banks – Electric Piano, Hammond organ, Mellotron, 12 string guitar, Backing vocals
Steve Hackett – lead guitar, 12 string guitar
Mike Rutherford – 12, 8, & 4 string bass, 12 string guitar, Bass pedals, Backing vocals
Chester Thompson – drums, percussion
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion