Fans of Atlantic recording artists Genesis can often be divided into two camps: Those who like the band’s exploratory art-rock, and those who favor the hit singles.
A light bulb went off in a marketer’s head when the question was posed whether to release the first Genesis live album in 10 years: wouldn’t it be great to cater to both tastes? And better still, to make additional money from fans who like Genesis in both flavors?
Thus was born the idea for “Genesis Live: The Way We Walk,” which is divided into two releases. “Volume One: The Shorts” is currently on the market and features in-concert versions of such hits as “That’s All,””Invisible Touch” and “Land of Confusion.”
“Volume Two: The Longs” hits on such extended pieces as “Home by the Sea, “”Domino” and “Driving the Last Spike,” along with a medley of the band’s music from the ’70s. The second volume will be available only from Jan. 19 to April 30 , and will be teased with an insert in Volume One.
Mike Rutherford, the band’s guitarist (who shares duties with Daryl Stuermer on the live discs), says that unlike many other supposedly live albums, the twin album set isn’t a collection of extensive overdubs, although there is some patching.
“We do get a choice, recording certain songs over three or four nights,” Rutherford says. “One night may be technically perfect, but the other has more spirit and fire, but someone made a technical blunder. We’ll choose the night with the big hole and maybe just repair the wrong notes. What’s the point of redoing it all? Then it will be a studio album if you do too much of that.”
Unlike many bands that issue live albums as the final installment on their contracts, Genesis still has a long run ahead on Atlantic. “We built up so much material, it was just the right time to do it,” Rutherford says. “If you wait too long, then you have so much you don’t know what to do with it.”
Genesis appears on the Fox TV broadcast of the 1992 Billboard Music Awards Dec. 9, culminating a yearlong concert stretch. Afterthat, the band will go its usual way: Rutherford to his career in Mike & The Mechanics, Collins into acting , Banks into whatever phase of a career that has spanned live performance, film and television scoring he chooses.
Then another Genesis album will likely be birthed in a few years, Rutherford says.
“If you asked me in 1980 if I’d still be here talking about a live album after having had a good tour, I would have said it’s very unlikely,” says the 42 -year-old guitarist. “It became very apparent on this tour that the rock world doesn’t know how to deal with this situation. When it all started, it was music for young kids. And now these young kids are my age, still buying records and enjoying music.”