Universal Music Catalogue (label)
20 January 2014 (released)
26 January 2014
High Fidelity Pure Audio was launched by Universal last year as the new high quality way to listen to albums. You can play these on Blu-ray, so you will need a good speaker set-up to benefit. For those music fans that have lived through all the new-improved formats, the message here is nothing new. Ironically, the increased access to music that downloading has introduced has also come at a price, with the automatic loss of quality, through compression. Only time will tell if this proves to be 2014's CD (which transformed music buying) or MiniDisc (which didn't!).
However Genesis fans are a perfect, slightly geeky, bunch to try this on. Offering superb clarity for one of the band's best loved albums will mean a certain amount of commercial success. And you certainly have a better listening experience than on MP3.
As for the album itself, it shows Genesis at their folky-prog rock best, highlighting Peter Gabriel's wonderful vocal and the intricate musical structures. The opening track's title - Dancing With The Moonlit Knight - tells you all you need to know. It couldn't be more 1973 if it tried. The excesses and indulgences of the era produced some over-blown, awful albums with wonderful covers. Here there is just the right balance between over-indulgence and musical merit. Firth of Fifth and The Cinema Show are particularly impressive still - and everyone gets a chance to shine across the eight tracks (even Phil Collins gets an early singing credit on More Fool Me).
With Pink Floyd producing Dark Side of the Moon at the same time, this album has been overshadowed over the years - but it deserves its place amongst the exhibits that defend prog-rock's bad image.