The Last Domino?
Atlantic Catalog Group
Something made me very nostalgic about this – a Genesis compilation that no one actually needs, and maybe hardly anyone wants. This material is available already and has been compiled several times over. But this exists to plug the farewell tour, for it is – basically – the setlist. In the order the band will be playing it.
It is basically all the hits from the commercial years – and so it’ll be met with a few old bores going on about how the Peter Gabriel years were better. And there are some nods to that. The band plays instrumental sections of the Gabriel tunes in concert – but here the full tracks are included.
These days I prefer the Gabriel years, sure. And I love to hear Collins on the drums – and back when it was interesting, not just the big concert toms working overtime. But there’s no denying the mega-success of Genesis across the 80s and early 90s, and there are some killer album tracks in and around all those monster hits. Here we get to hear Fading Lights in the glory it deserves – bittersweet perhaps, given this was a fit-as-a-fiddle 40-year-old Phil telling his band he was leaving. Here at 70, and barely able to stand, he croaks through it on tour as a sadly self-aware very final ‘victory’ lap. But to hear the studio version front and centre rather than bunged onto the end of an overlong record is to hear it almost anew.
And if you’re sick to death of Invisible Touch and In Too Deep and – jesus christ I hate I Can’t Dance – there’s something magical forever, in my mind anyway, about Home By The Sea, and even more so its palinode, Second Home By The Sea. There’s something, too, about Throwing It All Away, even Hold On My Heart, for that matter. These are immaculate conceptions of pop music. There’s musicianship, there’s economy, there’s melody. And to hear it all now again, and in this order, and to imagine it as a setlist – to shows I’ll never get to see – is to imagine a form of closure.
I rolled in and out of Genesis love – and for a time there I had all the albums, and focused mostly on the very early ones in recent years, but I always loved the We Can’t Dance album and the best bits of the other “commercial” records.
I guess The Last Domino? arrives at the right time for me. It’s basically tour merch for the tour you don’t get to see – if you live on the other side of the world from the planned Europe and American shows only. And I’m not sure I would want to see it anyway, I saw Phil Collins on his farewell tour, and I’m glad I did. But he only just made it. So I’ll stick with the studio versions. And this gives me the vital studio recordings of the songs I best loved on previous live compilations.
It shouldn’t mean as much as it does. But it does. That’s how nostalgia works. Push that last domino down and roll a new dice…