After much delay, Atlantic will release "Genesis Archives Volume I: 1967-1975" June 16. The four-CD set concentrates on Peter Gabriel's tenure as lead singer of the seminal rock outfit. The collection was originally slated for release in late 1996, but publishing issues contributed to its postponement, as did the band members' schedules.
"We realized we were going to have a new Genesis studio album and Phil Collins had a record, and we didn't want the box set to clash with those," says Tony Smith, who manages the group and Collins. Additionally, the band members, including Collins and Gabriel, reunited to record a new version of an unnamed tune from "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway." "We went in with [producer] Trevor Horn and cut the track," Smith says. "We're still working on it. It's still waiting for Tony [Banks] to do some more keyboard overdubs and for Peter to do new vocals." With recording of the single having started more than 18 months ago, Smith says with a laugh, "It may well hold the record for being the longest time ever spent recording one track." The tune, which is not on the boxed set, may be used, as originally planned to push the collection, or for another project. The bulk of "Genesis Archives" is devoted to "Lamb," the band's 1974 masterwork. The first two CDs are a recording of "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway," taped in its entirety April 24, 1974, at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium. The other two discs contain previously unreleased live material, rare singles, demos, rough mixes, and BBC recordings. As the title would indicate, future volumes are on the drawing board. "We were loosely planning `Volume II' for autumn of this year," Smith says, "but I think it will probably come out about this time next year. Obviously, there's a lot to think about because it covers such a wide period. It will cover all the Phil years as lead singer." As far as the current Genesis lineup, Smith admits he was deeply disappointed in the U.S. reception to last year's release, "Calling All Stations," the first with new lead signer Ray Wilson. "We ended up selling 1.2 million copies worldwide," Smith says, "not bad for what is, in a sense, a new band. We did very well in Europe, but radio killed them in the U.S. Radio didn't even give the record a shot." Genesis will return to the studio after Mike Rutherford records a new Mike & the Mechanics album. Meanwhile, Collins will bring his big-band tour to the U.S. in June. The tour will feature Oleta Adams on vocals, with Collins opting only to drum and not sing.