Three Sides Live

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Genesis' second double live LP set in less than four years was originally a kind of a hybrid work, and has appeared in several different editions. There was confusion from the start because, despite its title, Three Sides Live in its British version, as Charisma GE 2002, had four concert sides. The U.S. version, which determined the title, was made up of ten live cuts recorded on-stage in Germany in 1981, with Daryl Stuermer and Chester Thompson in the group's lineup, doing the leaner, more pop-oriented repertory that constituted the group's sound by the early '80s, off of the albums Abacab and Duke. The resulting album offered lean, crisp, and generally bracing accounts of the group's then-current sound -- a mix of pop/rock highlighted by some prodigious musicianship -- and a four-minute glimpse of its progressive rock past in the guise of the "In the Cage Medley," containing "Cinema Show" from Selling England by the Pound. Phil Collins is in good voice throughout and the playing is often impressive, achieving some excitement and intimacy despite the arena-sized audiences to which the group was now playing. The original U.S. version filled out the hour's worth of live 1981 material (ending with "Afterglow") with the Top 40 hit "Paperlate" (which had appeared in England on the EP 3 X 3) and other recent single/EP cuts. Those sides were eliminated when the album was remastered for CD reissue in 1994. Curiously, neither Three Sides Live nor Seconds Out had found room for a live version of the hit single "Your Own Special Way."

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