Genesis: The Sum of the Parts is a documentary that initially ran on the BBC. It follows the band’s history from their formation at Charterhouse school in 1967 all the way through to the present and reunites the original classic lineup of Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Steve Hackett, and Mike Rutherford, bringing them together for new interviews and to reminisce on their time together in the iconic band. Necessarily, the material is heavily weighted to the Phil Collins era; frontman Peter Gabriel left the band after their breakthrough 1975 progressive rock album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. If anything interesting is revealed in this documentary, it is that Phil Collins’ famous laugh on the band’s single “Mama” from their self-titled album Genesis was inspired by Grand Master Flash. In the grand scheme of things, however, this is a very shorthand version of the history of Genesis, with little mention of the band members’ solo careers, other members outside the definitive lineup, and gaps in the narrative.
Sum of the Parts comes to Blu-ray in a 1080i AVC encodement from Eagle Rock. The quality of the image varies widely depending on the source, given this is a documentary about a band that spans decades going all the way back to the 1960s. The modern HD interview segments looks crystal clear and crisp as do many of the freshly scanned photographs, while some of the older film and video footage shows its age.
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) and LPCM 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/24-bit) soundtracks are provided. The 5.1 mix provides ample ambience and musicality for Genesis’ music and live performance clips while also providing very clean dialogue. The 2.0 is less spacious but no less effective at conveying the material for this documentary.
- Booklet with liner notes by Crag McLean, credits, and photos
- Bonus Interviews (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:27:46):
- Phil Collins in Costumes
- Phil Collins on the Future
- Mike Rutherford on America and “The Lamb”
- Mike Rutherford on the Double Neck Guitar
- Mike Rutherford on Phil the Writer
- Tony Banks on the Loss of Anthony Phillips
- Tony Banks on Peter and Phil
- Tony Banks on His Classical Work
- Peter Gabriel on His Teenage Years
The Definitive Word
For longtime fans and collectors this may be a treat, but for everyone else, this documentary is not a must. If you want to see it, try catching it on television.
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