(All Album Reviews by Chuck AzEee!)
Phil Collins-Lead Vocals, Drums (Disc one:Tracks 1, 3, 4. Disc two: 2).
Mike Rutherford-6 String Electric Guitar, 12 String Guitar (Disc one:Track 5, Disc Two:Track 2, 3. UK version: Track 8), Bass (Disc One: Track 4, Disc Two: Tracks 2, 3)
Daryl Struemer-Bass, 6 String Electric (Disc One: 4, 5. Disc Two: 2, 3)
Chester Thompson-Drums, Percussion
The third live album Genesis released, Three Sides Live is a showcase of the "trio" period prowess on stage with drummer Chester Thompson and first to feature Steve Hackett's replacement Daryl Struemer on guitar/bass. Three Sides Live is a double CD worth of live material from the band's previous three albums (And Then There Were Three, Duke and the their latest at the time Abacab) captured here at their peak, performing as a powerful, cohesive unit.
Genesis has often been maligned for lack of imagination since Peter and Steve defections, but those who stuck around for what the remaining trio had to offer, were treated to a a different persona when this unit went on stage. First of all, Mike whom had been the band's bassist, and occasionally doubled on 12 string rhythm guitar since it the band's inception, was now tackling the chores of not only retaining his usual bass playing but he also became the band's regular guitarist as well (he would also play 6 string guitar on stage of most of the material he wrote, leaving Daryl to play on the songs that Steve played on), Second the band chose to simplify their sound from long winded art-rock classics to more simplified synth funk rocker that suited Mike's riff-like fretwork and Phil's musical taste.
All of the band's greatest songs of the trio's first work are here and all actually sound better (exception of "Dodo/Lurker") then the studio versions. But the highlight of the album is on the second side beginning with the definitive version of "In The Cage" which segues into a mind-boggling medley of the instrumental section of "The Cinema Show" which also has Tony pulling of riffs from, long forgotten classics like "The Colony Of Slippermen" and "Riding The Scree" and to make things better it ends with the definitive version of the anthemic love song, "Afterglow". Stunning.
The album's name no longer makes any sense since the re-mastered version of Three Sides Live came out because upon its original release, The American side was treated to what was originally a UK EP of consisting of the dreaded "Paperlate", wonderful "You Might Recall" and the strange, but cool "Me And Virgil". Those three songs were the only songs (at the time) were released from the numerous out-takes from the Abacab sessions. The last two songs were two leftovers from the Duke sessions.
Now everyone throughout the world with this remastered version, now has the UK version which has three live songs, the first two with the current touring lineup performing two lost classics "One For The Vine" and "The Fountain Of Salmacis" and the last track, a medley holdover intended for the band's previous live album Second's Out, and only the second track at the time from the 1976 tour with Bill Bruford on drums.
This incarnation might not be original Genesis fans favorite, but one cannot take a listen to this album and not wonder what they might have been missing out on.
Album Rating: Four and a Half