excellent video. Strong effort from beginning to end! A must own!
very good video. A few low points but, overall, a decent effort.
good video. Several weak points detract from the release, but it's still
mediocre video. Unless you're a real fan, you might not like this
release very much.
poor video. Stay away from this one unless you are a hardcore fan!
- The Way They Walk DVD (2001)
Scheduled for release on November 26, 2001, The Way We Walk (TWWW)
has the distinction of being the first Genesis concert on the DVD
format. That being said, expectations are high. Especially, with the
hype around getting Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, and Tony Banks back
together to dish out some fresh commentary on the show, not to mention
the technological break-through of adding multiple camera angles as
chosen by the viewer. After weeks of waiting (courtesy of the recent
terrorist attacks and Anthrax mail scares in the U.S.A.), my promotional
copy finally arrived from the fine folks at Gut Vision, the
manufacturers of the DVD.
Here are my thoughts on this product:
Despite what you may have read elsewhere, the video quality is
surprisingly good. The images are sharp and the coloring is excellent.
The menus are animated and, while they are a little basic looking, they
are easy to use. On a high-end television, the stage lights, musicians
and audience appear in rich accurate tones. At times, the picture is a
tad dark, but this is a concert video after all, and that has nothing to
do with the film's transfer to the DVD format. The video is maintained
in the original 4:3 screen configuration and is not available in a
The audio is available in both standard stereo and 5.1 surround sound.
The standard stereo version is moderately better than that of the
original 1993 video release, but the improvements are almost
unnoticeable. That being said, the 5.1 surround sound track is
incredible! It is, by far, the best sounding live audio (fidelity-wise)
I've ever heard for Genesis or on virtually any concert DVD for that
matter. The surround sound is so lavish and crisp, you really tend to
almost lose yourself in the video, which is something I can't say about
the old VHS version. In fact, if I had a few drunken idiots
yelling, "Play 'Invisible Touch!!!'" when the "Old
Medley" starts and spilling beer on me while I watched this DVD, it
would be just like being at the concert!
Multiple Camera Angles
For me, one of the more exciting features of this DVD was the ability to
select from multiple camera angles while watching the performance. In
addition to the main view (which appears to be the same as the original
VHS release), on most songs, the viewer can choose between two or three
other camera views. This is definitely a cool feature, but if you think
that you'll be able to watch one band member through the whole show (eg.
you're a keyboard player and you just want to watch Tony Banks) you will
be disappointed. This is not possible, but you can obviously watch more
of certain members as the camera angles permit. Another major
disappointment is that the drum solo (a.k.a. "The Drum Thing")
with Chester Thompson and Phil Collins is only available from the main
vantage point. So, you can't flip to watch different angles at all
during this performance. Still, over all, I thought this bonus footage
was a welcomed addition, and if certain angles were not filmed or
mastered for video release, you certainly can't fault them for not
including something that they don't have!
Commentary With Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks
I had heard that the commentary tack wasn't that stellar before my DVD
even arrived in the mail. After listening to it, I can tell you that
these people were being incredibly kind. It is without question one of
the worst commentary tracks I have ever heard! With the possible
exception of the guys goofing on each other and some comedic anecdotes
by Phil, this track is severely lacking. Despite the scattered failing
attempts of Nick Davis and Tony Smith to spark some interesting dialog
between the band, very little is shared. So, if you were hoping that you
would hear some interesting comments about this concert, the We Can't
Dance Tour, about specific songs they played, or backstage antics,
you can forget it. You're not getting it here. As I said, there are a
few chestnuts of funny banter and chit-chat, but that's about it. As a
fan, I was certainly hoping for more in this area. Hopefully, if they do
any more commentary tracks on future DVDs they will come in prepared to
share a little more insight about things.
As a nice added bonus, the DVD features interviews done with Phil, Mike
and Tony at Earl's Court prior to the concert. The DVD viewer has to
read the question from a menu and then press play to hear the answer.
This isn't a major hassle, but it is a little annoying. I suppose, the
band would have had to pay the interviewer had they included them in the
final package, so this was a way of avoiding that. Who knows?
Each DVD offers a slide show of rare pictures from the tour. While
viewing the slide show on DVD 1, you can hear an instrumental version of
"Way of The World" in the background. On DVD 2, an
instrumental bed of "Living Forever" is playing.
Original Tour Program
Another great touch on this DVD is the addition of the tour booklet on
video. I've never seen a band do this before, and it's an excellent
idea. I hope Genesis does similar reproductions on future DVD reissues.
THE COMPATIBILITY ISSUE:
Compatibility is no longer an issue if your country's video format is
NTSC or PAL since both will be available for sale, but if you live elsewhere where these formats don't
work (like in countries who use the SECAM video format, for example),
this section is for you. The two versions of this DVD that are being released are Region 0 (which
means that they can be played in any region on the planet as long as you
can utilize the PAL or NTSC formatting). The promotional copy shipped to
me was in the NTSC/Region 0 format, so it worked perfectly here for me
in the States.
The Way We Walk is an excellent first outing into the DVD world
for Genesis. The 2 DVD set offers plenty of extras and certainly shows
the band's commitment to releasing a quality product. Despite a few weak
points, I don't think any Genesis fan will be disappointed with this
release. In fact, most will find that it exceeds their expectations in
To purchase the reissued
pressed NTSC/Region 1 DVD (playable in North America)
- Songbook DVD (2001)
A documentary on Genesis was probably not the first thing that fans had
hoped to get on DVD. Still, promise of an updated and seemingly complete
video biography on the band was a welcomed item. Particularly, when it
features new interviews with every member of the band in addition to
Chester Thompson, Daryl Stuermer and Bill Bruford who toured with the
Genesis. Combine that with the news of the inclusion of the first new
performance from Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford in a
decade and, suddenly, this video release takes on a whole new level of
interest. The "angle" of this video was a slightly different
approach from your traditional biography. On Songbook, more
emphasis is placed upon the band's favorite songs and why these tracks
have a special place in Genesis history. Still, how does Songbook
stack up against the old Laserdisc and VHS documentary, A History?
Read on and find out!
The animated menus are really clever and extremely well done. As you
might expect, since most of the interview footage is new, the video
quality is generally superb. Some of the archive footage is less than
perfect, but that has more to do with the age of the clips than it does
with the transfer to DVD. The one piece of archive footage that is in
surprisingly bad quality is the music video for the song
"Misunderstanding," which is extremely grainy. I find this
completely puzzling since the music video has been released on video in
the past and appears in mint condition. There are plenty of awe
inspiring clips (both audio and video) in this documentary including
vintage live black and white video from 1970. Plus, it marked the first
time that North American fans could see a snippet of the "Not About
Us" music video from Calling All Stations, which was
released as a single, but completely ignored by music video channels in
this part of the world.
Not surprisingly, the information discussed in this documentary is
fairly common knowledge for the most part. There are a couple of
interesting factoids, but I'd rather not say what they were since, in my
opinion, that would take a lot away from someone who watches it for the
first time. Interview segments with Steve Hackett, Anthony Phillips and
Ray Wilson are very limited. The funniest moment is the caption under
Ray Wilson when it lists him as a "Musician" and not as
"Former Genesis Vocalist." I'm sure Ray found that a little
offensive, but at least they let him speak (albeit briefly)!
The audio is presented in Dolby Digital Stereo and in Dolby Digital 5.1
surround sound. The sound quality over all is very good, but as this DVD
is primarily interviews, I would say that the fidelity of the video is
probably par for the course when compared to other DVDs. Where the 5.1
surround sound really sounds excellent is on the new performances by
Collins, Banks and Rutherford, which to me is clearly the highlight of
Included as an added bonus, Songbook features deleted interview
clips with Phil Collins, Steve Hackett, Chester Thompson, Daryl
Stuermer, and more. For the most part, the deleted footage talks about
when various people joined the band (in whole or in part), including
Phil Collins, Steve Hackett, Chester Thompson, Daryl Stuermer and Bill
Bruford. Also included is talk about "The Lamb Lies Down On
Broadway", "Firth of Fifth" and writing "Supper's
Ready." Most importantly; however, is the addition of new live
material including Steve Hackett's new version of "Horizons",
Collins and Banks performing "Afterglow," and Collins, Banks,
and Rutherford performing "No Son of Mine" and "Follow
You Follow Me."
COMPARING A HISTORY TO SONGBOOK:
Personally, I thought the old documentary had a lot of really good
material that was not included here, including some fantastic archive
clips, but both are outstanding over all. Since the old biography only
went up to about 1993, Songbook is obviously a more complete
story. Where A History really shined was briefly incorporating
the member's solo efforts and how they became part of the whole Genesis
mythos. Still, in a way, it's like comparing apples and oranges. Songbook
takes a different approach, and certainly offers some excellent footage
that A History neglects. It's like reading two different books on
the same subject. If they are well done, they compliment each other
nicely, but they are not definitive individually.
The Genesis Songbook is an excellent documentary on the band -
although not exactly what I expected.
Although some issues are overlooked, it is as detailed as can be
expected in a short biographical film. This package offers a nice
overview of the group's career with some excellent archive footage to
satisfy the fans (or leave the fans licking their chops, depending on
how you look at it). The reuniting of Collins, Banks and Rutherford to
perform new semi-unplugged versions of old favorites makes this DVD a
must own for any fan, despite the fact that some songs are interrupted
with dialog and alternate footage.
To purchase the Region 1/NTSC version of the Genesis
Songbook DVD (playable in North America),
Genesis - 1981-2007 The
Movie Box (BOX SET) (2009)
The Genesis 1981-2007 The Movie Box collection finally sees the
release of the much sought after concert videos for 1984's The Mama Tour
and 1982's Three Sides Live along side of the previously released
DVDs for and The Way We Walk and Live at Wembley along with a
bonus DVD featuring an updated "Remastered" version of VH-1s Behind The
Music, a few other video extras (described below) and an empty 5" case to insert the discs for Genesis' When In
Rome 2007 3-DVD set (which was released the year prior and must be
Here are my thoughts on the DVDs in this box set:
THREE SIDES LIVE - First time on DVD and exclusive to this box set!
First off, the 5.1 audio on this release is superb! Nick Davis does an
outstanding job on the audio for this release. WOW! As an added bonus (and
probably because many people complained about the failure to include it on
Genesis Live 1973-2007
box set), you also get some bonus 5.1 surround sound audio on this DVD taken
from the actual Three Sides Live album (but not all of it). The video
quality is only so-so at best. Apparently, the video master was lost, so the
quality is only as good as the old VHS tape you may have lying around -
although at least you have it in a relatively current digital video format
THE MAMA TOUR - First time on DVD and exclusive to this box
set! Again, the new 5.1 surround mix on this one is fantastic! Once again,
great work by Nick Davis on the mixes. Sadly, like Three Sides Live,
the original video master was lost for this concert film, so the video
quality is only mediocre with moments that are surprisingly grainy in
picture quality. I'm glad to have it on DVD, but I'd be lying if I wasn't a
little disappointed. Its watch-able mind you, but not as crisp and clean as
you might hope it would be. There is a great addition on this DVD worthy of
mention, the bonus footage taken from the making of the self-titled album
(also known as Mama) in 1983. Phil Collins, using his first video
camera (new technology in 1983), shot footage of the band recording the
studio sessions from the album which is fascinating to watch as a fan. You
see the creation of what are now Genesis classics and get a "fly on the
wall" look at the band in the creative process. Again, the video quality is
not perfect, but its as good as you can expect from a home video from 1983.
Its worth the price of admission for this footage alone if you ask me!
LIVE AT WEMBLEY - Unfortunately, this is a straight copy of
the commercial release put out a few years ago on DVD. If you already
purchased it, you won't be too excited with re-buying it here. The video
quality is a clone of the prior version. The surround mix is still very good
and the video quality is fine, but the picture is not as good as you might
expect from an HD video source (keep in mind that it was shot on now
outdated equipment and the band struggled to even find a machine that could
transfer it to digital, so it appears to have lost some quality in the
transfer process). As a bonus, you get a tour documentary that was
originally released in 1987 on a VHS/laserdisc called Visible Touch.
THE WAY WE WALK - Again, the video is identical to the old
2001 DVD release, except there are a few minor changes. First, there is a
new DTS audio track (in addition to the Dolby Digital option on the old
version), and they actually REMOVED the multi-camera angle option available
on the older edition. Why? It ensured that it fit on a single DVD (the old
version on Gut Vision in Europe and Pioneer in North America was a 2-DVD
set). It does have a great 5.1 remix by Nick Davis, and to be honest, losing
the multi-camera angle option is not a major loss. While its a cool feature
when you first watch the DVD, after playing with it once or twice, it loses
its novelty anyway.
WHEN IN ROME 2007 - Although not included in this set, it does
include packaging to transfer your old When In Rome 2007 3-DVD set
into this box set (which saves you from needing you re-purchase it all over
again). This was necessary, because this box set has the DVDs packaged in
standard 5" CD style cases (and the old When In Rome packaging which
is in a standard DVD sized box, would not fit in this collection).
BONUS DISC - Probably the biggest disappointment of the entire
box set. The bonus disc is an updated version of VH-1's BEHIND THE MUSIC
documentary (later aired as Genesis Behind The Music - Remastered) on
the band. The original broadcast version originally aired on TV in 1999.
This updated version is only modestly different from the original, but they
added new footage to the end that takes it through the 2007 Genesis world
tour. Frankly, this documentary is among the more bland documentaries ever
done on Genesis. I understand why it was chosen - it needed the least amount
of work since it was only done a few years ago. That being said, the
Genesis - A History documentary from the early '90s is far superior (but
it would have required far more time and money to update and complete).
What's missing? First off, the documentary on the bonus disc is just over
and hour, so there was plenty of space for additional bonus features. Some
pro-shot quality items that immediately come to mind that could have added
to this release are the Genesis Songbook DVD from 2001 that is
mysteriously missing, the 1992 Genesis We Can't Dance Tour TV
documentary called Opening Night 1992 (which aired on Fox TV in 1992
and was made by Tony Smith Productions - so the band definitely has the
master copy!), the 'Making of' documentary on the "I Can't Dance" Music
Video (which was previously released on laserdisc), and the "Carpet Crawlers
'99" music video (since all of the other videos appear on the other box
sets, this would have been nice to complete the set) and a few widely
circulated pro-shot quality bootleg clips like the Burt Sugarman owned
Midnight Special footage from the early 1970s. All in all, a nice
collection and certainly worth owning as a Genesis fan, but there are a few
things that could have been done to make this collection of professional
videos a bit better. Honestly, its a bittersweet ending to the series of the
five remixed and remastered box sets. Fans will want to own this one, but
don't be shocked if the product is not as 'perfect' quality and content wise
as you might think it would be based upon the other four CD+DVD (and/or
SACD+DVD as the case may be) box sets. For more information on the other
four box sets, please check out the
Genesis Album Reviews
section of this site.
Genesis - The Movie Box 1982-2007 (NTSC/Region 1),
HERE TO RETURN TO THE REVIEWS INDEX.