Archive #2 / The Lambกก
Thank you very much for reading my introductory e-mail, and especially thanks to those who sent encouraging words. As my subject title indicates, there is no single theme to this message, just my opinions on 2 unrelated topics currently being discussed on the list.
First of all I must say I downright love Archive #2. I read the hundreds of old posts on this subject from last year and the Nay-sayers certainly outnumbered the rest. In a way I can understand the viewpoint of those fans since none of the B-sides in this collection was new to them. And I must agree with them in questioning the wisdom of the band for including those dreadful 12'' mixes. I remember at one point someone stated that this boxset did not have a target audience since neither the "Genesis freaks" nor the pop crowd would be interested. When I read that I wanted to shout to the computer screen: "It was designed for ME!" More accurately, it was for those budding Genesis fanatics like me who missed out on the B-sides and in my case, also missed out on all their concerts :( For me it was like Genesis suddenly came out of semi-retirement and released a brand new triple-album! The quality of material in this set was also remarkable. I mean I have heard before that the band was not good at picking B-sides vs. album tracks, now I know what that means! You Might Recall? Do the Neurotic? Evidence of Autumn? Someone explain to me why these were B-sides! On top of all that we have all those great live tracks (Duke's Travels, Ripples...). Since I do not have Archive #1 I really I am not qualified to make the comparison. But all those who lauded Archive #1 and trashed A2 curiously kept quiet about the fact that Pete went back and "studio-enhanced" the live stuff. If my memory serves me right these same people chose to ignore or at any rate downplay this significant flaw even after Jeff Tegart had pointed it out.
I can't believe I am going to discuss the relative merits of the Lamb. Since I am not a native speaker of English I probably could not hope to fully comprehend the deep metaphors behind that story line. But I must thank Peter for writing that story down in the liner notes so that I could at least follow along the plots. I did not dig as deep as some of you in trying to analyze all the details in the lyrics, but overall I find it hard to determine if there is really profound truth behind this or if it is only clever wordplay. Sometimes I feel as if Pete is mocking us and saying "no matter how many layers of meaning you can interpret, you are just a little short of uncovering the whole truth". Which is why I quit and decided to enjoy the album on its face value. There are plenty of great tunes on the album, Cuckoo Cocoon, Hairless Heart, Riding the Scree, it, to name just a few. However, I must say SEBP edges out the Lamb for my favorite Pete era album.