Six of the Best

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On October 2, 1982, Peter Gabriel joined Genesis on stage for a reunion show at the Milton Keynes Concert Bowl. It was a charity for WOMAD, Gabriel's world music festival whose first happening had lost considerable money. The singer had left his band in 1975 and this was the first time he performed with them again. It was documented by a handful of bootlegs, including Six of the Best (which was the name given to the event). The six musicians in question are Gabriel, the then-Genesis nucleus of Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, and Tony Banks, and regular live acolytes Chester Thompson (drums) and Daryl Stuermer (guitar). Steve Hackett joined them for the encore. This bootleg was recorded from the audience and bears very poor sound quality. Excitement was at its highest and the crowd sang all the songs louder than Gabriel himself, so crowd noises are overwhelming at times -- but it gives the listener the impression to be at the show, far back in the arena. The show is not complete ("Turn It on Again" is missing) and the beginning of "The Musical Box," plagued by feedback, has been replaced by the version from the Live album (only the first minute or so). The set included all the fan favorites from the pre-1976 era, plus Gabriel's solo hit "Solsbury Hill." Only the first section of "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight" was performed and the encore "The Knife" is an abridged version. "The Carpet Crawlers" and "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" are Gabriel/Collins duets and "In the Cage" is performed in the 1980s arrangement (as on Three Sides Live), but without the instrumental medley. Sentimental value and rarity supersede sound quality and performance here -- Gabriel admitted he read the lyrics on the lips of the fans in the first rows when his memory tricked him. For the very serious fan only.

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