Genesis

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Re: Genesis

Postby C » 28 Aug 2021, 17:31

slightbreeze wrote:Such a pity Foxtrot and Nursery Cryme had such dreadful artwork.


:o






Incidentally, sometimes I think Foxtrot is my fave...

Then I play Hogweed or Salmacis and realise my error





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LMG wrote:Everyone I have ever met was at Baker's Airforce show where it was recorded. My boss, various ex-girlfriends, my postman was reminiscing about it the other day. My Mum went, my Dad and both sets of grandparents. I got stuck at home with a babysitter!

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Re: Genesis

Postby C » 28 Aug 2021, 17:40

Can we get the Battle of Epping Forest debate out of the way now please?

I used to run through a part of Epping Forest on an almost daily basis - Highams Park, Woodford Green, Buckhurst Hill and of course Theydon Bois* and I never caught the bastard that got me framed


* - a gold star if you know how to pronounce 'Bois' - The Two Ronnies will help you...





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LMG wrote:Everyone I have ever met was at Baker's Airforce show where it was recorded. My boss, various ex-girlfriends, my postman was reminiscing about it the other day. My Mum went, my Dad and both sets of grandparents. I got stuck at home with a babysitter!

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Re: Genesis

Postby slightbreeze » 28 Aug 2021, 18:06

C wrote:Can we get the Battle of Epping Forest debate out of the way now please?

I used to run through a part of Epping Forest on an almost daily basis - Highams Park, Woodford Green, Buckhurst Hill and of course Theydon Bois* and I never caught the bastard that got me framed


* - a gold star if you know how to pronounce 'Bois' - The Two Ronnies will help you...





.

I thought the debate was going to be about whether the track was one of the worst they ever recorded

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Re: Genesis

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 28 Aug 2021, 18:09

trans-chigley express wrote:I read that Paul Whitehead showed the band samples of Pogany's sketches and they liked them and wanted something similar.

Did not know that, interesting.
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Re: Genesis

Postby Matt Wilson » 28 Aug 2021, 19:01

Okay, I know when you guys start pontificating on albums I haven't even reviewed, it's time to get to work, so here's 1973:

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Live 1973
With not the impact of the bombastic extravaganza of Yessongs or Welcome Back My Friends to the Show that Never ends..., this modest in-concert release is easily their equal and arguably the best live Genesis to be found. Many actually prefer these versions to their studio counterparts and the LP serves as a nice souvenir to a time when the band was still playing smaller venues instead of arenas. And it's live Gabriel-era Genesis, what more do you want? This review will be quick as I've already touched upon all the songs. From our good friends at wiki: "Genesis Live is the first live album from the English rock band Genesis, released in July 1973 on Charisma Records. Initially recorded for radio broadcast on the American rock program King Biscuit Flower Hour, the album is formed from the recordings of shows at Free Trade Hall, Manchester and De Montfort Hall, Leicester in February 1973 during the band's tour supporting their fourth studio album Foxtrot (1972)."

Peter Gabriel – lead vocals, flute, tambourine, bass drum
Tony Banks – Hammond organ, Mellotron, Hohner Pianet, 12-string guitar, backing vocals
Steve Hackett – lead guitar
Mike Rutherford – bass guitar, Dewtron "Mister Bassman" bass pedal synthesizer, 12-string guitar, backing vocals
Phil Collins – drums, percussion, backing vocals

All songs by Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford, except "The Knife", by Banks, Gabriel, Anthony Phillips and Rutherford.

1. "Watcher of the Skies" 8:34
Now this is definitely one that I do think trumps the original. From the moment the mellotron starts and the crowd goes crazy in recognition, you can feel the anticipation in the hall. Nice clean sound too, they got a good recording out of these performances. Pete's voice could be a tad more forward in the mix though. "Watcher" is an immense opening number, is it not? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5NOV0-EH0c

2. "Get 'Em Out by Friday" 9:14
Another song every bit as good as the Foxtrot version. These cuts so far are just a bit longer than their studio brethren as well, so that's one more plus. Gabriel's tale of a futuristic government controlled rent-increase only gains power being performed in front of an audience. Love it when everything slows down after the five-minute point. The dynamic nature of the songs is something the group did well. Everything with Genesis is that sense of controlled outbursts. Almost a genteel approach to performance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFnNXGRGIzQ

3. "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" 8:14
As good as "Watcher in the Skies" really, and a highlight of this record. Did they really cram over 26 minutes of music on side one? Tony would complain about the length of Selling England, but they did it here too. Still, there's a sense with this LP that it could have been a double, or that maybe they could've waited and released it after Selling England. You want more, you know? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4q7-wZmn-Q

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4. "The Musical Box" 10:56
I love watching the live videos of this song on youtube. It seems to come alive in an in-concert setting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFBY4dvoISc

Wiki: "Starting with a performance in Dublin, Ireland on 28 September 1972, Peter Gabriel wore a fox head and his wife's red dress while performing the last verse, resembling a character on the cover of their album Foxtrot. The fox costume would be replaced sometime in later 1973 by a mask resembling an old man, as Gabriel would portray the character of Henry, emerging from The Musical Box and apprehending Cynthia. "The Musical Box" was featured in their live repertoire right up to Phil Collins' departure after the We Can't Dance tour in 1992, albeit with only the closing section being included as part of a medley. Between 1972 and 1975, on stage, Tony Banks plays 12 string acoustic guitar during the 'Old King Cole' section, in duet with Rutherford who plays an electric archtop 12 string Rickenbaker guitar that he will keep until the end of the song. Hackett is playing electric guitar during the entire song. There is no bass guitar part in the entire piece.

The song was played live during the Trespass, Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot, Selling England by the Pound, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Wind & Wuthering, Genesis (1984 dates only), and We Can't Dance (as a medley) tours.

5. "The Knife" 9:47
Perhaps my fave cut on this album. There was always a sense of theatricality to the band in this phase of their existence and if you're gonna pick a number from Trespass, this has to be it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFN5JwUrPqI

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Selling England by the Pound 1973
And here we have it - my fave Genesis album. The culmination of their upward trajectory over five LPs. Pretty much perfect, I mean - I wouldn't change anything or leave a song off. And to my ears, the first time since Trespass in 1970 where they released a better album than Yes. Peter wrote his lyrics in only two days and the cuts seem to have a loose concept of "looking at Englishness in a different way." Themes of American imperialism, decay, or a longing for times past populate the tracks. It contains their only UK hit in the Gabriel-era, "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)," and though none of these early Genesis albums sold real well, Selling England has at least gone gold in both the UK and the US. It's also Steve Hackett's favorite record by the band. More consistent than Foxtrot, which I feel is dominated by its first and last songs.

Peter Gabriel – vocals, flute, oboe, percussion
Tony Banks – Hammond organ, Mellotron, Hohner Pianet, ARP Pro Soloist, piano, 12-string guitar
Steve Hackett – electric guitar, nylon guitar
Michael Rutherford – 12-string guitar, bass, electric sitar
Phil Collins – drums, assorted percussion, lead vocals on "More Fool Me", backing vocals

All tracks written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford.

1. "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" 8:04
This exquisite tracks begins with Pete's nuanced and sensitive vocals and Steve's gentle guitar combining to form a nice melody before the rest of the band come in slowly. Not the opening bombast of "Watcher in the Skies," but a more reflective tone. By 2:30 the tempo has increased, and Tony is off riffing by 3:00. Hackett's guitar comes in and the riffing hits hard. This is prime Genesis and by this point they were pretty much unbeatable in the prog rock universe. If Dark Side of the Moon is the top-selling LP, progressive or otherwise, of 1973, then Selling England is its equally worthy by less-celebrated brother. The last few instrumental minutes of this cut are beautiful. Some of my favorite music by this group.

Wikipedia: The song was developed from several brief piano pieces composed by frontman Peter Gabriel, which were later combined with some of Steve Hackett's guitar figures to make up the song.

Gabriel contributed English-themed lyrics to "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight", because the music press thought that Genesis were putting too much effort into appealing to the American audiences. He also included some references to Green Shield Stamps in the lyrics. Rolling Stone wrote that the song was an "epic commentary on contemporary England".

The song's ending, which contains a number of 12-string guitar figures, was originally supposed to segue into "The Cinema Show" (another song on the album) to make a song of around 20 minutes in length. This idea was scrapped, because it was too similar in length to the 23-minute song "Supper's Ready" from Foxtrot, the band's previous record.

In an interview, Hackett said of the song:

"That tune started off with the influence of a Scottish song, then it moved into something that I think of in a more elegiac way — something nostalgic and wistful, and common to a lot of Genesis tunes. Then it bursts forth, it fights off its shackles, really takes off like a rocket, into another section, which seems to borrow from something that sounds more Russian in a way. It’s European, but then at times, it turns into the jazz that I liked originally — but big band, with the accents."

2. "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" 4:10
I've actually heard this on the radio so it must have made some kind of impact here, though slight. There's always been Ethel, right? Catchy, with nonsense lyrics in the grand surrealist tradition of something like "I Am The Walrus" or something -I don't know.

Wiki: "The song's lyrics concern a young man who is employed as a groundsman and who says that he does not want to grow up and do great things, being perfectly happy where he is, pushing a lawn mower. Betty Swanwick's painting The Dream, which was used for the Selling England album cover, alludes to the song; Swanwick added the mower to the original painting at the band's request.

The song, inspired by the Beatles, has a psychedelic rock sound, using hand percussion rhythms and a riff from Steve Hackett that originated from a jam between Hackett and Phil Collins. Keyboardist Tony Banks used a note played on the low end of the Mellotron during the intro and ending to imitate the sound of a lawn mower.

Reviewing the song in The Guardian in 2014, Stevie Chick said "Clocking in at a shade over four minutes, "I Know What I Like" rises with a heat-haze shimmer, before locking into a groove akin to Traffic’s "Hole in My Shoe", a hippy reverie that fits the song’s slacker vibe like a pair of tailored bell-bottoms. The song’s anti-hero is a misfit, like all the others in the Gabriel-era songbook, a drop-out happy with his lawnmowing life, despite the disapproving whispers of his suburban neighbours. His rebellion is soundtracked by a nagging, lazy sitar lick, a woozy singalong chorus, and a flute solo that Pan's People doubtless interpreted through the medium of dance when the song appeared on Top Of The Pops after reaching No 21 in the charts."

3. "Firth of Fifth" 9:40
My fave song from the LP and the longest on side one (Remember what I said about the relationship between long Genesis songs and quality?). Lovely piano from Tony before the song starts proper after the minute-mark with Peter's voice and the rest of the band kicking in. Should we acknowledge what a wonderful singer Peter Gabriel was? Without an operatic approach like Jon Anderson, or the baritone of Greg Lake, his dynamics impress me more than any other progressive rock singer of the time. Equally impressive in louder rock songs and delicate passages, I've always preferred his voice to Phil's - and Collins is a great pop singer as well. One has to acknowledge that. At about the four-minute mark the beauty of this number is in full effect - and it's all Tony Banks. The piano and synth work is in complete harmony with the band (Phil especially acquits himself well here). Then Steve comes in with a David Gilmour-type solo which I love. Steve was rarely a flashy guitar player, but much like Harrison's role in the Beatles, everything he played was perfect for the song. By six-and-a-half minutes he's equalled Tony's contributions to the song. This is literally my favorite song for Hackett's playing. Possibly Tony's too.

"The title is a pun on the estuary of the River Forth in Scotland, commonly known as the Firth of Forth. Though the song is credited to the entire band, most of the music was composed by keyboardist Tony Banks. He had written the bulk of the song by 1972, presenting it as a candidate for the album Foxtrot (1972), but it was rejected. He redesigned the piece, which the group accepted as a candidate for Selling England by the Pound. Banks, who worked on the lyrics with Mike Rutherford, later dismissed them, saying they were "one of the worst sets of lyrics [I have] been involved with."

This leads into a flute melody played by Peter Gabriel, followed by a synth-driven instrumental section which restates the opening piano theme. Hackett then plays the flute melody using violin-like guitar tones. Peter Gabriel sings a brief section of lyrics before Banks concludes the song on piano". - Wikipedia

4. "More Fool Me" 3:13
Phil's moment in the spotlight. Sometimes I think he sounds like Peter, but not here. He's reaching for the higher notes in this love song. Nice melody but it still is my least fave track so far. The shortest cut on the original album as "Aisle of Plenty" was appended to "the Cinema Show."

Wiki: "More Fool Me" is the second of two songs, the other being "For Absent Friends" from Nursery Cryme, to feature Collins on lead vocals before he became the band's lead singer in 1975. Uncharacteristically for the group's output at the time, the song was a tender, romantic ballad. It was written quickly by Collins and Rutherford while sitting on the steps outside the recording studio. Gabriel considered the pair's contributions "quite a breakthrough".

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5. "The Battle of Epping Forest" 11:43
The longest song on the record gets flak in some circles for some reason. It's another great Genesis epic to me, but I've read that some take issue with the plot line or something. Kind of a Clockwork Orange vibe to the gangs (droogs?) in the story, I just chalk it up to Peter's imagination and you can't miss the humor in the situation. Regardless, I don't feel it mucks up the proceedings and when Tony's synth starts filling in the sound at around 3:30 I'm in heaven. Another one where Gabriel tries out different voices for his characters.

Wikipedia: ""The Battle of Epping Forest" was inspired by a news story that Gabriel had read several years previously about the territorial battles by two rival gangs in the East End of London that would fight in Epping Forest. He placed an advertisement in The Times and looked through library archives in attempt to find more about the story, but was unable to find any further information, so he created his own fictional characters, including "Liquid Len", "Harold Demure" and "The Bethnal Green Butcher". Upon hearing a rehearsal take of the song in July 1973, reporter Chris Welch wrote: "'The 'Battle' has a catchy march theme with typical Genesis drum and bass lines, clean and precise". The lyrics have since been praised for their humour and wit, but the band later said they did not gel well with the music and made the piece complicated for the sake of being so. Gabriel thought its ending, which had each gang settling the issue over the toss of a coin, tied up the story well but is too much of an anti-climax."

6. "After the Ordeal" (instrumental) 4:15
Another pretty melody with a medieval feel. I love Peter Gabriel's voice but like Yes, it's the instrumental passages I dig the most. Here's wiki: "After the Ordeal" is an instrumental written by Hackett; the song originated as more of an electric piece but neither he nor the other band members could adapt it into something that they felt worked, so it was transformed with an acoustic introduction with an electric guitar solo to finish. Hackett mentioned in a homemade video capsule that this was the first Genesis track on which he ever used a nylon guitar. Banks and Gabriel did not want to include the song on the album, but Hackett insisted it should be kept; Banks expressed little interest in its "pseudo classical" style. It was ultimately left on after Gabriel and Banks argued about the length of "The Cinema Show", which meant everything was included as a compromise. Banks later said the compromise led to the album overrunning its desirable length on vinyl, resulting in a sound quality he thought came out as "pretty rough".

-Ouch! Don't listen to Tony, folks, it's great. But I'm not playing the vinyl version either, so there's that.


7. "The Cinema Show" 10:41
Another perfect song to bring an almost-perfect LP to a close. This has some of the phantastic feel of "The Musical Box" to me. One thing that really opened up the sound of these old Genesis albums for yours truly was getting the 1970 - 1975 SACD box with the 5.1 mixes. Progressive rock was tailor-made for surround sound, and I was never impressed with the sound of '70s Genesis on CD in stereo. The 5.1 mixes, while not demonstration-worthy, are still preferable to the CDs. Can't speak for the vinyl. Some more of Tony's best work is on this track. In fact - this is my favorite LP for his playing. Did I already say that?

"The Cinema Show" is divided into two sections. The first section is a 12-string guitar-based piece, featuring vocal harmonies between Gabriel and Collins, as well as a short flute and oboe solo. The song concludes with a four-and-a-half-minute keyboard solo on the ARP Pro Soloist, with Rutherford and Collins playing a rhythm in a 7/8 time signature. The lyrics, written by Banks and Rutherford, draw much of their inspiration from the T. S. Eliot poem 'The Waste Land'."

8. "Aisle of Plenty" 1:58
This was combined with "The Cinema Show" on original LPs as the eighth track, so you may remember it that way. This really should be attached to the previous cut as it's clearly part of the same song. Wiki: "The album closes with a segue from the end of "The Cinema Show" into "Aisle of Plenty", a reprise of "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" which gives the album a book-end effect. The track uses word play such as "Easy, love there's the safe way home" and "Thankful for her fine fair discount, Tess co-operates", referring to British supermarkets."

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Last edited by Matt Wilson on 28 Aug 2021, 20:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Genesis

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 28 Aug 2021, 19:34

Great write up on Selling
Agree on everything, glad you like Epping, always loved that one.
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Re: Genesis

Postby Lord Rother » 28 Aug 2021, 19:53

I like Steve Hackett’s guitar work well enough but I always found the solo on The Knife on Genesis Live to be an absolute mess.

Last night I watched a live version recorded a few years ago and was similarly underwhelmed. It just seems like a random string of notes and flashy hand movements without any sense of melody to my cloth ears.

Shame because the studio version is great.


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Re: Genesis

Postby mudshark » 28 Aug 2021, 20:31

For me, they made 2 half-decent albums: Selling & Trick.
Track #1 on Selling is their best ever, I think.
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Re: Genesis

Postby slightbreeze » 29 Aug 2021, 00:04

Live album is fine. Remember buying it. Think it was cut price promotion. As for "Selling England", I just don't like it. It's too smooth, too bland musically for me. It's too perfect, similar to Roxy's " Avalon" when we all really wanted "For your pleasure". There's no quirkiness of the previous albums and Gabriel's lyrics are forced and, at times, embarrassing. The song construction can be haphazard to say the least eg Epping forest sounds like ten separate ideas moulded into one song. I know I'll be in the minority with my views as it's regarded by many as the pinnacle of their career, but give me the previous albums any day.

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Re: Genesis

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 29 Aug 2021, 09:52

Forgot to say that I agree on Genesis Live, it is their best live album.
Seconds Out for me is too smooth, there is no edge.
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Re: Genesis

Postby C » 29 Aug 2021, 17:26

Matt Wilson wrote:Okay, I know when you guys start pontificating on albums I haven't even reviewed, it's time to get to work, so here's 1973:

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Live 1973


My favourite live Genesis album

Full of music

"That was an......."







.
LMG wrote:Everyone I have ever met was at Baker's Airforce show where it was recorded. My boss, various ex-girlfriends, my postman was reminiscing about it the other day. My Mum went, my Dad and both sets of grandparents. I got stuck at home with a babysitter!

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Re: Genesis

Postby trans-chigley express » 30 Aug 2021, 08:27

Lord Rother wrote:I like Steve Hackett’s guitar work well enough but I always found the solo on The Knife on Genesis Live to be an absolute mess.

Last night I watched a live version recorded a few years ago and was similarly underwhelmed. It just seems like a random string of notes and flashy hand movements without any sense of melody to my cloth ears.

Shame because the studio version is great.


I liked it. Good and thrashy

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Re: Genesis

Postby Mike Boom » 30 Aug 2021, 17:48

The Live album is great, I think I play Seconds Out more often because it casts a wider net, but it just shows what brilliant live band they were.

Selling England is one of those perfect albums where everything fits everything works and seems to come together in a cohesive whole , they playing the concept the album cover , brilliant from start to finish, I love it. The Lamb is more experimental and inventive, I think they perfected their early sound with Selling England and anything else in that style would have been treading water. One of my favourite albums ever by anyone. And Epping Forest is a masterpiece just as it is, verbose lyrics , funny voice, wacky storyline and all.

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Re: Genesis

Postby Mike Boom » 30 Aug 2021, 17:54


Selling England interviews

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Re: Genesis

Postby Matt Wilson » 02 Sep 2021, 02:06

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The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway 1974
Strange to see a bit of division here regarding this record. Opinions range from it being their best work to overrated tosh. While I prefer the conciseness of Selling England, or Foxtrot, to deny the epic sweep of this project seems a bit random to me. This music is dense, and for years I admit I did have issues with its complexity. I recall listening to a number and not being able to remember the melody right after the song was over. I no longer have those problems though. Something happened along the way and everything clicked. I mentioned earlier that the illustrated video on youtube seems a good entryway into the LP, so is reading the lyrics on the page (the words are also in the video). Regardless, it's a major progressive rock album and as such should be afforded the respect we'd give records like Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Wish You Were Here, or Thick as a Brick.

Anyway, here's the youtube vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JszTrQdL314&t=127s

For some reason when I hit that link it starts after the beginning. If that happens to you, merely go back to the start.

The real progenitors of something like this would be Townshend's Tommy or Quadrophenia, double-concept LPs which tell a story. Seen in that light, The Lamb sits comfortably in that company and amidst the criteria one would use to evaluate those albums. Even Davies' Preservation offerings would fit that category I guess.

Wiki: The album tells the story of Rael, a half-Puerto Rican adolescent living in New York City, who experiences several bizarre situations and characters. Gabriel was influenced by the band's last American tour to set the story in New York City. He used the location as a tool to make Rael "more real, more extrovert and violent", choosing to develop a character that is the least likely person to "fall into all this pansy claptrap", and aiming for a story that contrasted between fantasy and character. Gabriel explained that as the story progresses Rael finds he is not as "butch" as he hoped, and his experiences eventually bring out a more romantic side to his personality. The end of the story is not directly clear; Gabriel deliberately left the conclusion ambiguous. When asked about it, Gabriel does not declare that Rael dies, though he compared the ending to the buildup of suspense and drama in a film in which "you never see what's so terrifying because they leave it up in the air without ... labelling it". Several of the story's occurrences and settings derived from Gabriel's dreams. Collins remarked that the entire concept was about split personality. The individual songs also make satirical allusions to mythology, the sexual revolution, advertising, and consumerism. Gabriel felt the songs alone were not enough to detail all of the action in his story, so he wrote the full plot on the album's sleeve."

"Gabriel presented the group with a more complicated and surreal story about Rael, a Puerto Rican youth in New York City, and his spiritual journey of self-discovery and identity as he encounters several bizarre incidents and characters along the way. Gabriel had first thought of the story while touring North America in the previous year, and pitched a synopsis to the group "until they agreed to do the whole thing". It was more detailed and obscure in its initial form, until Gabriel refined it and made Rael the central character. Seeking a name that had "no traceable ethnic origins", he chose the name 'Rael', but later realised the Who had previously used that on The Who Sell Out (1967); this annoyed him at first, but he stuck to the choice. As the band searched for a name they realised that "Ra" was common in male names in various nationalities. Gabriel was inspired by a variety of sources for the story, including the novel and musical West Side Story, "a kind of punk" twist to the Christian allegory Pilgrim's Progress (1678), the works of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, and the surreal Western film El Topo (1971) by Alejandro Jodorowsky. In contrast to Selling England by the Pound, which contained strong English themes, Gabriel made a conscious effort to avoid repetition by portraying American imagery, with references to Caryl Chessman, Lenny Bruce, Groucho Marx, Marshall McLuhan, Howard Hughes, Evel Knievel and the Ku Klux Klan. He also expressed some concern over the album's title, but noted that the lamb itself is purely symbolic and a catalyst for the peculiar events that occur."

Peter Gabriel – lead vocals, flute, varied instruments, "experiments with foreign sounds"
Steve Hackett – acoustic and electric guitars
Mike Rutherford – bass guitar, 12-string guitar
Tony Banks – Hammond T-102 organ, RMI 368 Electra Piano and Harpsichord, Mellotron M-400, ARP Pro Soloist synthesizer, Elka Rhapsody string synthesizer, acoustic piano
Phil Collins – drums, percussion, vibraphone, backing vocals, second lead vocal on "Counting out Time", "The Supernatural Anaesthetist" and "The Colony of Slippermen"

Additional musicians
Brian Eno – Enossification (vocal treatments) on "In the Cage" and "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging"

All tracks written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford.

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1. "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" 4:52
From Tony's fleet-fingered opening piano notes, you know you're in for something special. This is the only Gabriel-era Genesis song I can recall hearing on the radio in the '70s. Peter gives us a rare sing-along chorus and the music is terrific. Dare I say my favorite track on the album is the first? Perhaps it is... Magnificent!

"The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" is the first song from Genesis's 1974 album of the same name. The song was released as a single in the U.S.. Although it did not chart, it was frequently played on American FM radio stations.

Like other songs on the album, the music and lyrics in "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" are partially derived from 1960s soul songs. The end of the song features the words "They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway. They say there's always magic in the air" from The Drifters' song "On Broadway". The studio recording features a variation on the former lyric ("They say the lights are always bright on Broadway"), but subsequent live recordings feature the original.

The bass-playing on the song by Mike Rutherford has been described as having "connotations of aggressive energy" that fits in well with the concept album's angry and defiant character Rael.

After Gabriel's departure, the Phil Collins-fronted incarnation of the band performed the song often during their first few tours, usually segueing into the closing section of "The Musical Box". A live version appears on Seconds Out from 1977 as well as part of the "Old Medley" on The Way We Walk, Volume Two: The Longs from 1993. The song was also played in full during the 1998 Calling All Stations tour, with Ray Wilson on vocals. - Wiki

2. "Fly on a Windshield" 2:45
A short piece which story-wise, gets Rael moving, musically. There's a lengthy Hackett solo which doesn't utilize too many notes. And before you know it, it becomes...

Wikipedia: "Fly on a Windshield" originally came about through a band improvisation sparked by an idea from Rutherford, who suggested the idea of "Pharaohs going down the Nile" and proceeded to play two chords. Banks said: "Instantly the rest of us would conjure up that particular mood." Banks was particularly fond of the part when the drums and guitar come in, calling it one of the band's best ever moments. Hackett chose to play "Egyptian phrases", and noted that the group used a similar modulation to that of the end section of Boléro by Maurice Ravel."

3. "Broadway Melody of 1974" 2:11
Another minute moment where Peter gets to name drop Lenny Bruce, Marshal McLuhan and Madonna, like '65 Dylan or something. Go, Pete! If you've got a difficult time following the surreal proceedings, don't worry - I don't think it matters. Everything slows down while Rael contemplates his existence and soon we're on to...

4. "Cuckoo Cocoon" 2:12
All of these smaller numbers are in service of the story, but I quite like this one. Our hero is wrapped in some kind of cocoon supposed to represent... fuck if I know. His isolation from urban reality perhaps? Nice flute by Gabriel. I always thought he should have played it more.

5. "In the Cage" 8:13
One of the major cuts on the LP starts off slowly before the familiar synth notes start the song proper. More images of Rael being smothered by his reality which link it to the previous cocoon imagery. Pete sings "In the caaaa-eeege." The best cut on side one after the title track. Great Tony synth solo too. The video shows the character in a straight jacket in a padded cell. Images of brother John which will come into play later on in the tale. There is a disconnect between the brothers.

6. "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging" 2:49
Train noises begin this last song on the first side which seems to be some kind of statement on factories and packaging. It might be my least fave for the first fourth of our story, but it's not bad.

"During the mixing sessions at Island Studios, Brian Eno was working on his album Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (1974) in the adjacent studio. Gabriel asked him to add synthesized effects on his vocals on several tracks, including "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging", which on the album's credits are dubbed "Enossification". As a repayment, Eno asked Collins to play drums on his track "Mother Whale Eyeless". - Wikipedia

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7. "Back in N.Y.C." 5:46
Cool number with a nice little Tony riff finds our boy in the big Apple again for some reason. I wonder what Gabriel thought he knew about urban life in the mid seventies to make him write this stuff? Impressionistic images abound. What's with the porcupine? Something to do with Rael's conscience, I'd wager.

"Back in N.Y.C." sees Genesis adopting a more aggressive sound than in past compositions, and includes Gabriel singing an expletive in the line "I'm not full of shit". - Wiki

8. "Hairless Heart" 2:10
Nice Hackett guitar lines in the beginning. The 'hairless heart' is the porcupine, I'm assuming. I'm really free associating, but the music encourages this. Instrumental, which is good because the words were becoming overwhelming. Tony adds texture as usual. He needs to play more on these cuts.

9. "Counting Out Time" 3:42
One of the best-known tracks on the record sounds like it could have been a radio staple. Wonderful. When they do a number as good as this one Genesis were way ahead of the prog crowd circa 1974. Peter loves to sing about sex in a cloaked manner like he does here. The character is reading about it in a book.

10. "Carpet Crawlers" 5:16
Some say this is the greatest song on the album, and it's hard to disagree. Also one of Genesis' best on any album. Side two has reached a sublime peak it seems. Great chorus: "You got to get in to get out..." If Peter could have made his lyrics more accessible, this could have been huge.

"Carpet Crawl" developed at a time when Gabriel had written some lyrics, but no music had been written for them. The band put together a chord sequence "in D, E minor and F-sharp minor with a roll from the drums flowing through it". Gabriel spent "hours and hours" on an out-of-tune piano in the house of his then-wife Jill's parents in Kensington to develop it. Jill later spoke of Gabriel's particular fondness of the track." - Wiki

11. "The Chamber of 32 Doors" 5:46
Steve gets to play a bit here, which is welcoming. They never did utilize his strengths all that much. Gabriel is pontificating on the nature of society again,and his lonely character feels closer to the rural folk than the city people.

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12. "Lilywhite Lilith" 2:50
Rael is in distress again in this side three rocker. Lilith is some kind of savior figure for our hero and he clearly sees her as some kind of angel, here to save him from his darkness. What he really needs to do is face his fear though.

13. "The Waiting Room" 5:18
He's drifting around in the waiting room with weird, psychedelic effects. When the band starts playing in unison again like it's the end of "Supper's Ready," you feel you're in for some kind of culmination of Rael's pain. Not as interesting as other instrumental passages on this LP.

A personal highlight for Collins is "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats" and "The Waiting Room" which developed as a "basic good to bad soundscaping" jam while it was raining, before they stopped and a rainbow formed outside. Collins said that "Steve [Hackett] played these dark chords, then Peter [Gabriel] blows into his oboe reeds, then there was a loud clap of thunder and we really thought we were entering another world or something. It was moments like that when we were still very much a unified five-piece". - Wikipedia

14. "Anyway" 3:18
He seems no more cognizant of his condition in this song than he was before, but I enjoy the music more. I'm paying more attention to the words of this record than I usually do because the album seems to demand it. Gabriel's narrative is the focus here, more than the actual music - at least in most of these cuts. I do like this one though.

15. "Here Comes the Supernatural Anaesthetist" 2:50
Nice Steve chords and a better-than-usual melody make me realize side three isn't as strong as sides one and two. They're even allowing Hackett some solo time which is kind of them. Lol

16. "The Lamia" 6:58
By this point we're about an hour into this song cycle and "The Lamia" is one of the more interesting songs. Siren-like females seduce our boy into the water and Peter's fear of women is a theme here. Banks' piano is nice and I wish more time was devoted to the music and less emphasis placed on the story - which is nothing but science fiction with a dose of social commentary anyway. Nice Hackett parts towards the end.

17. "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats" 3:02
Nothing much going on with this third-side closer. If they're going to lose the lyrics for a track, I'd like said number to be more intriguing than this or "The Waiting Room."

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1. "The Colony of Slippermen" a. "The Arrival" b. "A Visit to the Doktor" c. "The Raven" 8:20
All manner of musical weirdness in this last long track - oriental motifs open the number and then a standard pop song emerges with Pete singing about sexual deviants assaulting our Lamb as he negotiates his way amongst the Slippermen who get Rael's manhood in their 'little plastic shoobedoob.' It's a good thing Gabriel never fully explained this sordid tale to anyone's satisfaction, because I doubt it would stand up to scrutiny. When the raven takes off with the hero's vial we can almost feel his angst.

Wiki: "Much of the music developed through band improvisations and jams, often after setting a single idea, which Banks found particularly enjoyable. Examples of this are what he described as a "Chinese jam" which ended up as part of "The Colony of Slippermen", one named "Victory at Sea" which was worked into "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats", and another known as "Evil Jam" which became "The Waiting Room". Though the album is written to a story concept, Gabriel described its format as being split into "self-contained song units". He thought the album contained some of the group's best material and songs that he was most proud of during his time in Genesis."

2. "Ravine" 2:05
More spacey sound effects as the tube rushes down the rapids. Rael's manhood is being flushed away, ya'll, what will he do?!

3. "The Light Dies Down on Broadway" 3:33
By this point most listeners are probably wondering where it's going to end, and how. This is a decent song and the return of the New York images are at least more welcome than more surreal scenes in the boy's imagination. Brother John needs help though, and Rael needs to lend an assist even though John didn't earlier in the tale when Rael needed him. The light is dying down on Broadway fellow progressives, how will it all end?

4. "Riding the Scree" 4:08
Hey, what do you know, they pull another good tune out of their collective asses before the record ends. I recall glomming on to this one eons ago when I first heard the LP. Nice Tony tuneage on his keys and the absence of vocals for the first half of the cut means the story can be put on hold while we listen to the band. Eventually, as we hoped, Real jumps in the water to help his bro because blood is thicker, you know? I wouldn't know as I've never had a brother.

5. "In the Rapids" 2:23
Uno mas short piece which brings to light that a lot of these songs probably wouldn't work out of context as the lyrical concerns are in service of the greater whole.

6. "it" 4:20
Ah, but it ends on a high note! "It" is one of the best things on the over-an-hour-and-a-half movie for your ears. It is here, it is now folks - music, life, sex, whatever you want 'it' to be. Get into it children, this is Peter Gabriel's last message to you as a member of Genesis, and I'm digging it!

If you can stomach fuzzy visuals, then here it is live https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKS9np3GoWc

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trans-chigley express
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Re: Genesis

Postby trans-chigley express » 02 Sep 2021, 05:38

Matt Wilson wrote:
17. "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats" 3:02
Nothing much going on with this third-side closer. If they're going to lose the lyrics for a track, I'd like said number to be more intriguing than this or "The Waiting Room."



I like this one, very ambient. I can imagine this would fit nicely on an Eno album.

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ConnyOlivetti
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Re: Genesis

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 02 Sep 2021, 06:03

Great write up Matt
As I wrote before, the album is a masterpiece.
Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats, one of my favs.
Bought it upon its release and played it every day for a year.
Rarely play it now, as any Genesis albums, but when I want to liste to them,
this is the album I go for.
Charlie O. wrote:I think Coan and Googa are right.


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Positive Passion
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Re: Genesis

Postby Positive Passion » 02 Sep 2021, 09:03

C wrote:Can we get the Battle of Epping Forest debate out of the way now please?

I used to run through a part of Epping Forest on an almost daily basis - Highams Park, Woodford Green, Buckhurst Hill and of course Theydon Bois* and I never caught the bastard that got me framed


* - a gold star if you know how to pronounce 'Bois' - The Two Ronnies will help you...





.

I claim my gold star.

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slightbreeze
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Re: Genesis

Postby slightbreeze » 02 Sep 2021, 10:40

My third fave behind "Nursery Cryme" and "Foxtrot". It is half brilliant, quarter very good and final quarter, ok. However, for a double album, that's a pretty good return. Thank God Gabriel got his imagination back in gear after the safe "Selling England"

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Neige
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Re: Genesis

Postby Neige » 02 Sep 2021, 12:26

Lord Rother wrote:I like Steve Hackett’s guitar work well enough but I always found the solo on The Knife on Genesis Live to be an absolute mess.

Last night I watched a live version recorded a few years ago and was similarly underwhelmed. It just seems like a random string of notes and flashy hand movements without any sense of melody to my cloth ears.

Shame because the studio version is great.



I agree, 100%... but that was Anthony Phillips .
Thumpety-thump beats plinkety-plonk every time. - Rayge