Seconds Out is a live double album by Genesis, released in October 1977. It reached No.4 in the UK, remaining in the charts for 17 weeks. The performances were recorded in Paris in 1976 and 1977 on their tours in support of A Trick of the Tail and Wind & Wuthering. At the end of several songs the crowd can be heard encouraging the band to play another song by chanting "Une autre ! " which translates as "one more".
Seconds Out is the band's second live album following 1973's Genesis Live. While the earlier live set had been released to mark time while they recordedSelling England by the Pound, Seconds Out was planned as a major release, an authoritative document of Genesis' sound with Phil Collins as frontman and lead vocalist. The recording includes former Weather Report/Frank Zappa drummer Chester Thompson at the start of his long tenure as concert drummer for the band. Former Yes and King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford, the first drummer to take over for Collins on the stage, played drums on the band's 1976 tour, from which the recording of "The Cinema Show" was taken. Thompson replaced Bruford on the band's 1977 tour, which was the source of all other songs on the album. Guitarist Steve Hackett left the band during mid-1977 as Seconds Out was being mixed. Phil Collins recalls that one day he was driving to Trident Studios in London and saw Hackett walking, so he stopped and offered him a lift, to which he declined. When he got to the studio, Banks and Rutherford told him he just phoned to tell them he was leaving the band. Hackett later recalled that he thought if he got in the car, Collins would have been the one person to talk him out of leaving.
On the Genesis – A History video (1990), Banks jokes that, after Hackett announced his departure from the band, "we just mixed him out of the rest of the album and that was it, really". In actuality, Hackett's lead guitar is clearly audible in the released album. During a radio interview right after the album release, Phil Collins stated that most of the 1977 sections were taken from the third of the five-night run at the Palais des Sports in Paris from 13 June 1977, which was also recorded and broadcast in part by French radio RTL.
The album's credits include details of which drummer(s) are playing on each song. Mixed in with these credits are the notes "Robbery Assault & Battery – keyboard solo Phil" and "Cinema Show – Bill Bruford, Phil keyboard solo". This should be read to mean that Collins played the drum kit (along with Thompson or Bruford) during that solo, not that Collins played keyboards, hence the misinterpretation.
A critical and commercial success, the album hit No.4 in the UK and No.47 in the US, where their popularity was still gaining steam.
The album's title has a double meaning. The phrase 'Seconds out!' is used by some boxing (and wrestling) officials to indicate that the fighters' ring crew (their 'seconds') must leave the ring because the next round is about to begin e.g. "Seconds out! Round 2". Also, the album is the second Genesis live album, i.e. recorded out of the studio.
"Firth of Fifth" is performed without the piano introduction, beginning immediately with the lyrics. A similar recording appears on Genesis Archive 1967–75. Tony Banks stopped playing the piano introduction in concert during the Selling England by the Pound tour, as electric pianos of the time were not sensitive enough to recreate the "classical" feel of the introduction.
This album's version of "I Know What I Like" includes excerpts from "Stagnation" and "Visions of Angels" (Trespass), "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight" (Selling England by the Pound) and "Blood on the Rooftops" (Wind & Wuthering).
A digitally remastered version was released on CD in 1994 on Virgin in Europe and on Atlantic in the US and Canada. Both this and the earlier UK CD edition mistrack the transition from 'Dance on a Volcano' to 'Los Endos' a few minutes late. (The original LP banded them together as one track) The version included in the "Genesis Live 1973–2007" box set corrects this error. Longtime Genesis producer Nick Davis completed a 5.1 remix of this and other Genesis live albums which were released as a box set in September 2009. In November 2012, a 35th Anniversary Vinyl Edition was pressed using the 2009 remasters.
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Rolling Stone praised the contemporary incarnation of the band, noting they had "less reliance on theatrics and an added dollop of jazz-rock inclinations" than before Peter Gabriel's departure. However, they criticised the album for being nothing more than a recreation of their studio recordings, making it an essentially pointless release.
In their retrospective review, Allmusic wrote that Genesis's renderings of songs from A Trick of the Tail and Wind & Wuthering surpass the studio recordings, chiefly due to Chester Thompson's drumming, which they described as "at least a match for Collins' best playing." They considered the tracks from earlier albums to be weaker, however, finding Collins' vocals inferior to Gabriel's.
|2.||"The Carpet Crawlers"||5:27|
|3.||"Robbery, Assault and Battery" (Banks/Collins)||6:02|
|1.||"Firth of Fifth"||8:56|
|2.||"I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)"||8:45|
|3.||"The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway"||4:59|
|4.||"The Musical Box (Closing Section)"||3:18|
|1.||"The Cinema Show" (Pavillion de Paris – 23 June 1976)||10:58|
|2.||"Dance on a Volcano" (Banks/Collins/Hackett/Rutherford)||5:09|
|3.||"Los Endos" (Banks/Collins/Hackett/Rutherford)||6:20|
- Tony Banks – RMI Electra Piano, Hammmond T. organ, Mellotron 400, ARP Pro Soloist synthesizer, Epiphone 12-string guitar, backing vocals
- Phil Collins – lead vocals, percussion, drums on "Robbery, Assault and Battery" (during keyboard solo), "Firth of Fifth", "The Musical Box", "Supper's Ready" (during "Apocalypse in 9/8" section), "Cinema Show"(during keyboard solo) & "Los Endos"
- Steve Hackett – Gibson Les Paul lead guitar, Hokada 12-string guitar
- Mike Rutherford – Shergold Modulator doubleneck 12-string electric guitar/4-string bass guitar, 8-string bass guitar, Moog Taurus bass pedals, backing vocals