Disc one contains staples of the Gabriel era, including prog rock standard “Supper’s Ready”, a 25-minute epic in 7 parts; “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)”, a live favorite that was their first single to make the charts, and “Carpet Crawlers”, a track from Gabriel’s last album with the band, the two-disc “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway”. The sound quality is excellent, but the tracks are nothing that hasn’t been released already on other collections. The final track on the disc is “Ace of Wands”, an excellent solo track by Steve Hackett that fits in well with this era. Fans who haven’t followed Hackett since he left the band will find this as a nice surprise.
Disc two deals with the late 70’s-early 80’s; it was during this time that Hackett left the band, but only two tracks from his final albums are included, “Ripples” and “Afterglow”. After that, the band started to write more pop-rock oriented songs, and achieved some chart success with tracks like “Follow You, Follow Me”, “Turn It On Again” and “Abacab”. They also scored a hit with “Mama”, a darker song that showed the band could stay true to their prog roots with more popular material. Individual members began to have success on the charts as well; Gabriel scored major success with “Biko” and “Solsbury Hill”, two excellent songs influenced by music from across the world, particularly Africa. Collins began releasing successful albums on his own. Included here is the iconic “In The Air Tonight”, “Easy Lover”, Collins’ duet with Phillip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire; and “Wake Up Call” from his recent Motown tribute album. “Silent Running”, a hit single from Rutherford’s band Mike & The Mechanics, closes disc two.
Disc three has three tracks each from the massively successful “Invisible Touch” and “We Can’t Dance” albums. The title track from the post-Collins “Calling All Stations” album is also here, marking the only appearance from Ray Wilson, who sang lead for this one album. Mike & the Mechanics biggest hit, “The Living Years” is here, as well as the more recent track “Over My Shoulder”. Banks, who has never been able to achieve much chart success on his own, has three tracks in “For A While”, “Red Day on Blue Street” and “Siren”. Banks’ writing has always been excellent, and his more recent work has more directly been showing his classical influences. His skills on the keyboard are unmatched, but his solo albums have always been musically simpler, more pop than prog.
The Genesis tracks on this set were chosen by the group as a whole; each member also chose three tracks from their solo projects for inclusion. With the massive catalog the band and each member has amassed, this could easily have been four discs, or more. But three seemed to be the magic number; each member chose three songs of their own work, an early song, a more recent song and something from somewhere in the middle. Some of the solo tracks might come as a nice surprise to those who haven’t followed them, but even these are available elsewhere. It seems the package is a bit too beholden to the concept, so it fails to take into account the audience. If you are thinking of diving into the world of Genesis, this might be a good start. But if you are already embedded in it, there is just no need forIfhis set.