Platinum Collection

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Platinum Collection Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Platinum Collection is a triple disc covering the biggest hits and anthems from Genesis' career. Not a bad idea for a set, especially because it does contain the relatively rare non-LP single "Paperlate," but it's not necessarily executed as well as it could be. First off, there are the inevitable omissions, highlighted by such Genesis standards as "Man on the Corner" and "No Reply at All," but also extending to such smaller '80s hits as "Just a Job to Do" and "Anything She Does," not to mention various album tracks, particularly from the Peter Gabriel era. Nevertheless, Platinum Collection handles the Gabriel years better than 1999's Turn It on Again: The Hits, primarily because it has the space to stretch out and serve up a full disc of early Genesis, and while "Watcher of the Skies" is missed, it's hard to argue with any Gabriel comp that includes "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway," "Counting Out Time," "Carpet Crawlers," "Firth of Fifth," "The Musical Box," "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)," and a full-length "Supper's Ready." Actually, that's not entirely true -- there is one complaint that can be lodged against the Gabriel disc and that can be lodged against Platinum Collection as a whole: it's sequenced in reverse chronological order (with the notable exception of the post-Phil Collins cut "Calling All Stations" being tucked away at the end of the first disc, since there's absolutely no way that even the most devoted Genesis fan would stick with rest of the comp if it began with that tune). While it's not a fatal blow to the value of the compilation -- this does, after all, contain most of the songs casual fans would want in one handy little set -- starting with We Can't Dance and slowly rolling back over the years makes for some uneasy listening, since the reverse order not only prevents the album from gaining momentum, it doesn't provide any new insights to the band's work, the way that Jimmy Page's nonchronological sequencing on the Led Zeppelin box did. If the entire set was flipped around, beginning with "The Knife" and ending with "No Son of Mine," it would be a better listen as an album, but as a clearinghouse for most, but not all, of the big Genesis songs, Platinum Collection is worthwhile for casual fans.

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