|The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
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When it comes to making albums of epic proportions, few rival this magnificent production that a trip the band took to New York City inspired in 1973. The underlying story is of a street kid named Rael who, thanks in part to the realities of big city life, undergoes a weird and mystical transformation. Containing extended instrumental sections showcasing the extraordinary talents of Tony Banks, Steve Hackett, and Phil Collins, as well as the expressive vocals and often disturbing lyrics of Peter Gabriel, this is the album that located Genesis truly on the map. --Paul Clark
- Classic Genesis!
A great album! Highly recommended!
- Domenic A. Divito (Park Ridge, IL)...more info
- The best album of all time!
The best album from Genesis and quite possibly the finest rock album of all time. Peter Gabriel is super strong with his vocals and band is super tight. The story which is told through the lyrics and the extensive liner notes, is deep and thought provoking. It blows away Tommy as "the best Rock Opera" It has a dark side which features drug, sex, violence, gangs, isolation and finally redemptions. Please take the time to read the lyrics and liner notes. Music stands very well on it own, but is enhanced by knowing the story....more info
- Genesis at its peak (from Gabriel Era)
This is the most complex and complete musical adventure of Genesis.
In my mind, this is Genesis at its peak, more mature than its predecessor and better production. I just like it from the beggining to its end.
Very interesting to listen at, no filler. A must have for any serious prog cd collector and listener of course!...more info
- WHY YOU WOULD BUY THIS "MASTERPIECE OF 70s"
This cd is a perfect tomfoolery, please listen the bands that really belong to the greatest music: X JAPAN, KISS, LOUDNESS, AC-DC and GUNS ROSES. BYE...more info
- Gabriel's Apex
It's very simple -- this is an all-time great album. It has been a real pleasure to revisit this album over the past few weeks, as I listened to it a ton in high school and then kind of went away from it. It was, without question, the artistic high point for Genesis.
Musically, everyone is in fine form. Keyboardist Tony Banks' playing is inventive and I actually prefer his piano work, especially on The Lamia. As for drummer Phil Collins, we'll get to him in a bit, but forget for a moment that he wrote cornball songs like Another Day In Paradise and You'll Be In My Heart. On this album, his drumming is tremendous, and you can see why people like Eno, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant held him in such high regard.
It's true that guitarist Steve Hackett is left a bit out of the mix here, but it doesn't detract at all from the album's overall brilliance. He gets his moments throughout the album.
It's true that "Lamb" is considered prog, but there are actually several fine pop songs on here: The title track, Counting Out Time, Carpet Crawlers, The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging, and It. Furthermore, songs like The Lamia and In The Cage are simply staggering achievements, and overall this album is a triumph of production. But it's extremely accessible, and remains so nearly 33 years after the fact.
Listening to this album for so long has allowed me to clarify my Phil Collins argument. I think everyone can agree that many people believed the band was completely finished after Gabriel decided to pursue a solo career. I had a neighbor who openly snickered at the band's decision to continue with Collins on lead vocal and chief songwriter. (Many readers of this page would likely join in this snickering.) "How dare they," he sneered.
It seemed like the band, especially Collins, became a bit of an underdog after Gabriel's exit, and I guess I always like to root for the underdog.
The band didn't try to copy Gabriel's style, and that was a smart decision. Rather, they evolved into a more commercial sound, which ultimately led to their descent into total cheese.
But with every successful post-Gabriel Genesis album, I found myself thinking, "They can do it! They don't NEED Gabriel! Good for them!" I regarded them as a feel-good story, and I just kept rooting for them to show the world they could make it without their resident genius to do everything for them.
However, the party was over by Invisible Touch.
Finally, Gabriel's solo output had many commercial similarities to post-'75 Genesis. In fact, it could be argued that Gabriel fired the first "sell-out" shot with Solsbury Hill, which is pure commercial pop (some would say pap). Time has caught up to that song, it seems. Other songs with strong commercial sensibilities are Biko, Shock The Monkey, I Don't Remember....and all of So.
I do acknowledge that So is 1,000 times the album Invisible Touch is, and Gabriel holds a clear edge in the comparison of solo Gabriel to Collins-era Genesis. But Gabriel's solo material wasn't nearly as adventurous as some claim, and Collins' Genesis wasn't total tripe.
This will cost me votes, but I actually argue that Abacab and "Genesis" are both excellent. You just can't compare them to Lamb or Selling England By The Pound. It's a different sound altogether. After Gabriel left Genesis, the band should have changed its name to Exodus or Revelations or Ruth....more info
- One of the top twenty albums of all time
I'd agree that Lamb is the best Genesis album. It's not fair to call it "Genesis' most ambitious work," because all Genesis' work that include Peter Gabriel is ambitious. But Lamb connects through and though, with no dead moments, and as was said previously, holds up over time probably better than most other Gabriel-era Genesis. And, like other great concept albums like The Wall and Supertramp's Crime of the Century and Tull's Passion Play, Lamb is worth staying home for an entire evening and listening to from beginning to end. Any modern equivalents? Perhaps Green Day's American Idiot, and definitely The Mars Volta's Deloused in the Crematorium. ...more info
- I Remember When.
Throughout my years as a fan of rock n roll music, very rarely does listening to an album have such a profound impact on me that I can say I remember when I listened to it for the 1st time, and recall what I was doing at the time.
Yup, "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" is added to that list of around a handful of albums that mostly consist of 1970's era music strangely considering I wasn't even alive back then to witness when those sounds were considered modern.
Don't be fooled by any other concept albums bigger sales, critical acclaim,or more time spent on the charts this is the most seamless story I have ever heard and read in album form to the point where songs become chapters and the album a novel and that line blurs very well, granted you will have to take the time to read the story wrote by Peter Gabriel to truly get a better idea of what is happening, and read the lyrics because at times I can't even tell what he is saying.
I don't have any complaints other than I don't think this record is for everybody, I actually think its genius behind it is going to fly over the heads of people who don't even know Genesis used to have a singer other than Phill Collins and that they used to be progressive instead of pop, and I could keep going with this but I won't, just don't expect to listen to this album for hit songs cause one of the reasons this album is so great is because I don't even think they cared if any songs sounded like hits, this wasn't about making a hit song it was about making an album from begining to end....more info
- This is it!
This is it! This is the only album/performance that is rated with 5 stars by me. Not only is this my favorite, but I believe it to be best collective work of musical art of all time. No other composer or composition has come close to such a comprehensive "concept" within the constructs of a musical performance. The story of "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" is a story represented in the lyrics, and is also a short descriptive story which is contained in the inner cover of this original album and in the CD. The album disk covers contained the songs lyrics and in the booklet of the CD you can also find the lyrics.
I would highly recommend that a new listener of The Lamb that they would read the story first, then play the album (if you are so lucky to have it since the CD's, even the re-mastered, fall short in sonic quality) and read along with the lyrics. Do this once or twice so that your familiar with the story line then you're ready to really listen to the performance in a musical perspective as well as in a sonic engineering perspective. You'll find the emotions of the story are expressed exquisitely music and voice as well as the sonic engineering. I also recommend listening to this in the dark (sensory deprivation) to help open the sonic imaging to the visual dependant. This helps you focus on the auditory senses and not rely upon the visual senses. One part among the many that I love is when the windshield hits the hovering fly, as well as all the ambient sounds utilized here.
I saw this concert in 1974 and this was by far the most impressive concert I ever attended. As the story says this all happens in the blink of an eye, it's about life, it's about death. The very last song It has a line that says "It's Only Knock And Know All, But I Like It", this is a play on the Rolling Stones line "it's only Rock and Roll but I like it". The band tied all the songs together making their transition transparent, and used the theme established in the first song (the title song) progression throughout the album in different variations, just like Classical Composers. This may take a few times listening to to begin to understand and appreciate what Genesis did here on vinyl.
Though Peter wrote the concept and arrangements all members contributed to its creation. Genesis was such an awesome band that they never did solo's within their music; each instrument was a medium in expressing their "Art". The keys, drums, guitars, and all instruments captured the essence. This showed their depth and talent without self-absorbed solos which were common in those days. The genius behind the synthesizer was Brian Eno, on the album Peter called it Enofication. David Hutchins also deserves credit for the quality engineering. I can understand why a few don't get it (concerning "The Lamb") due to the conversion from analog to digital, because nothing matches the quality of the original 200Gram Vinyl, which is still available today.
There are many other great works, but all are pale in comparison to The Lamb.
Many fellow musicians and music lovers consider this album with the same regard as I, and considered it prophetic. "The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging" song is about cloning before cloning was even close to a reality, and The Colony Of Slippermen (A Visit To The Doktor) is about genetic alterations (removing human emotions (like a dogs tail)).
I am still waiting for someone to make a movie of "The Lamb". I've seen excellent quality footage of this concert in a documentary of Genesis and I can't understand why this has not been released on DVD yet along with all the other excellent concerts of the 60's, ,& 70's that were either on Don Kirschner's Rock Concert, King Biscuit, and etc..
By the way things are going; it will be generations before anything will out do what was done on The Lamb. Make sure you get this in Vinyl and try to avoid retailers like Music Direct, I would recommend Acoustinc Sounds inc..
You will find those who won't get it, because they may be to focused on the micro. This is a whole package experience from sound stage, to musicianship, to content, to engineering, to emotional expression in voice, instrument, and context. Enjoy, you'll get it!...more info
- Genesis' best album - A prog classic
When I was a teenager, this my favorite album by far. I pulled it out for another listen and the best songs on here really hold up over the years. Be warned, though, there are some real downer and dirge-like songs on here (people who suffer from depression may want to stay clear).
The great songs are truly great, though, and even though I like Selling England a lot, I think with this album, Genesis really took the next step into a more polished and professional prog classic that almost makes it's predecessor seem kind of stodgy - stronger hooks, some dramatic pieces ala Firth of Fifth and a some excellent musical ideas that are a nice follow up to Dancing with a Moonlit Knight. My take on some of the highlights:
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. A prog rock classic, although it's almost more straight out pop rock. I guess the classical style piano intro and the time signature change in the middle qualify it as prog. Tony Banks and Peter Gabriel just excel here.
Broadway Melody Of 1974. A cynics fun look at the 70's. Pop culture references way before Quentin Tarantino made it cool. It's executed as a dirge, but catchy. My favorite lyrics in the entire Genesis catalog.
In The Cage. Maybe Tony Banks' best effort in the entire Genesis Catalog. If you enjoy keyboards, this one deserves a listen. It got a strong emotive feel, picking up where Lamb Lies Down left off. This one is not pop, though, it's prog all the way.
The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging. A really fun song that sounds like it came from a broadway musical. I could see Rex Harrison singing this one, except for the somewhat macabre lyrics, that is.
Back In N.Y.C. I like this song better than some others. The song variety continues here - this is Genesis' version of heavy metal - heavy synthesizer, I guess. The feel is closer to Metallica than Yes. Offbeat but still a great hook, and Gabriel belts this out like no other song on the Genesis catalog.
Interjection: There is an unbelievable variety in the first 7 songs - Through to Back in N.Y.C. What other band can go from pop rock to dreary dirge to prog to broadway musical on one album side? Jethro Tull is the only other band that could pull this off. This could also explain the lack of commercial appeal - how many listeners enjoy all these styles?
Counting Out Time is a funny pop ditty. Seems very out of place here to me (where did Rael get this sudden sense of humor?) - it would have fit in nicely on either of the first couple of Gabriel solo albums.
The Chamber Of 32 Doors. An interesting, very dramatic take on growing up. I love the metaphors of the chamber and that last line - "I'd give you all of my dreams if you'd help me find the door that doesn't lead me back again. Take me away" I get chills just thinking about it. This song is structured and executed for maximum emotion.
Lilywhite Lilith. This one is right in the vein of the opener - a catchy pop rock song. Nothing prog about it.
Anyway. This is another very catchy song in the manner of Lilywhite Lilith but more dramatic. What a great melodic guitar solo in the middle - is it two guitars? I'm not a player. An essential piece for this album.
The Colony Of Slippermen. I'm very irritated by the two minute intro to this song - kind of a seudo-Chinese background music thing. Why Chinese? Why stick this in? I wish it was a separate song so I could skip it (same with the drum solo on Thick as a Brick).. HOWEVER, after that this song is a great prog rock classic in my opinion. Not sure if I like the scary voice of the slipperman, though - creepy and disruptive.
Riding The Scree. I love this one. I like the playful bouncy intro and the crazy but fun synth bridge that leads into the dramatic hook. I especially love the cascading synthesizer behind the lyrics.
It. Ends the album on the same strong note as the intro. Can't really call this prog - just good pop rock. Excellent guitar work here - one of the few songs on this album where Hackett really shines.
- Genesis before the break up
Very thought provoking, very good musicianship,very confusing,very interesting,not their best. Gabriel's voice gets on my nerves. Good opus for the curtain call. Genesis was never the same after this.....too bad,they could have been much more than history remembers them as:an 80's pop group!...more info
- Banks, Rutherford, Hacket, and Collins Highlight
Strange concept album that manages to capture the atmosphere with it's wonderful music. The lyrics are way out there like Amnesia of the hoax and sometimes bog down the music. The music itself is so creative and inventive that it more than makes up for the sometimes lacking gabriel and his warped lyrical banter. Of special note is the amazing Tony Banks- what a unique player. Buy this one proggers!!!...more info
- esquisite and tasteful melodies and execution, but weird imagery
Genesis' magnum opus is probably this double album.
Their sound textures e melodies are really esquisite and beautiful, their ensemble playing is magnificent.
However the sound effects are quite weird or you may call them baffling - as well as some of the imagery in the lyrics and main motif - Peter Gabriel couldn't get any complicated than that time.......more info
- A nearly perfect musical excursion
I am old enough to remember when this magnificent recording was first released. It was a cornerstone recording much in the vein of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" as far as it signified a change in direction and focus for Genesis although not nearly as drastic as the Pink Floyd recording.
The last album that Genesis recorded with Peter Gabriel and the visible turning point of Phil Collins as a musician, after this effort, Collins would chart a completely different course for Genesis, one that I am still convinced was not really for the better as Genesis went from being innovative ground breakers to darlings of the top forty.
Still fresh after over thirty years, it shames the vast majority of newer rock bands on the market these days. Daring and different even though it is not consistently strong, "The Lamb" is a fine example of how innovative rock musicians can be when they set their mind to the task. It contains some of the finest work ever recorded by Tony Banks, Michael Rutherford and Tony Hackett, who are likely some of the most underrated musicians that I can personally think of. This is a must have for any serious music collection.
- Genesis at their peak
From the first note played until the last is struck, this album is pure genius. It is, by far, the best Genesis album. I feel Genesis was building toward this masterpiece with their previous works 'Selling England by the Pound', 'Foxtrot', 'Nursery Cryme'and 'Trespass'. The album has beautiful continuity and it is hard to listen to one song individually. Once you start this work of art, it's almost impossible not to listen through till the end. One of my all-time favorites. I think Gabriel left at the right time, as this would have been very difficult to duplicate or exceed this brilliance....more info
- wait for the SACD version
The release date for the SACD version is April 18, 2005, at least in Europe. If you have the equipment, waiting would seem the wise decision. If you don't have the equipment now, SACDs will play on a standard CD player. The only issue is whether or not the new version will cost more (I doubt if it will be much more). While there is certainly nothing wrong with the recording quality of the original, the new version will almost certainly to be superior to a thirty-year old recording....more info
- It's hard to think of a title for this one!
A few things. 1, I thought amongst the best songs on this album were the instrumentals. The instrumental work is just breath-taking on this album. Tony/Mike/Steve came up with some really unusual sounscapes. 'Silent sorrow in empty boats' is one of the best Genesis songs ever and is unfortunately titled because it's quite an uplifting piece. The waiting room is also an awesome song. Then there's songs like 'Riding the scree' and 'The supernatural anaethetist' that have a few lines but are 90% instrumental. They are terrific too. I was surprised that the other Genesis album this would most closely resemble is 'Abacab', seen in songs like 'Back in NYC', the title track and 'Colony of Slippermen'. This is due to the albums electronic, hi-tech sounding production and both albums experimentation with odd synth sounds [taken to a greater extreme here]
Actually, there are only three songs I don't like, and that's amazing given this is a very Avante-garde double album set. I do like the first disc better. Gabriel an co. tended towards slow-build-up ballads a bit too much, in my opinion, and although there are some breath-taking ones, like 'in the rapids', some of them are just a bit too much like previous songs to be all that interesting, like 'Awaken'. But that's very minor, considering the sound-scapes, the sheer originality and the story-line. There are also some good melodies.
Best part of the album? Tracks 6-10 on disc one. Incredible. My favourite track, 'The grand parade of lifeless packaging', should have been a huge hit....more info
- Real Genesis
If you want to hear the real Genesis, at its finest, as opposed to the Phil Collins hit machine, look no further. "The Lamb" marked the apogee of Genesis before the split of Peter Gabriel as the trademark Genesis sound died in a morass of top hits after "Trick of the Tail" and "Wind and Wuthering." Both albums are both worth picking up as eventually Steve Hackett left as well, marking the end of Genesis as a progressive rock band that could stand up to Yes, and signaling the end of the creative input to the music by Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford, thus leaving virtually all the songwriting to Phil Collins.
"The Lamb" is as ambitious a musical project as any before or since, and ranks right up with the Who's "Quadrophenia" and "Tommy," Yes's "Tales from Topographic Oceans," and Pink Floyd's "The Wall, although it is probably more ambitious and certainly much more sophisticated musically speaking than the Who or Pink Floyd, without being as ponderous as the Yes effort. The rhythm section of Collins and Rutherford proved that it could easily compete with Alan White and Chris Squire of Yes for sheer rhythmic intricacy and breath-taking bass runs, while Tony Banks and Steve Hackett wove ambitious melodies on top, as Peter Gabriel's vocals and evocative lyrics told a story and created psychic landscapes worthy of De Chirico and Dali. This album is a true must have for any true fan of progressive rock.
- Great remastering job
Have to say I was quite dissapointed with the original cd release of this album because of poor sound quality-namely tape hiss from the original master tape all the way through.Enter new technology to clean that up without losing any of the high end.Add to that a more pronounced low end with cleaner mids and this thing just sparkles coming out of my speaks.Phil's drums sound as if they are set up right in the living room.With an a-b comparison of the two-the originals are now officially tossed....more info
- where is the 5.1 version ?
sheduled for the 2004 30th. anniversary of this masterpiece. today i give the album 4 stars and when it finally comes out in 5.1 surround sound i am sure i will give it 5 stars. i just brought the "video collection" by genesis, absolut fantasic remastered in 5.1. i can't wait to hear the older genesis albums in surround sound, they truely deserve the widescreen effect in sound like pink floyd and yes. bring it on genesis and get back together, i miss these guys...more info
- The Crowning Achievement
Wow! Is it any wonder Peter Gabriel left the band after this? How in the world could they ever top this? I'm sure Gabriel knew not even to try.
In an era of concept albums and rock operas (Tommy, Quadrophenia, Thick As A Brick,) this one outdoes them all. The album actually leaves you exhausted after listening too it, as so much genius is poured into every track. It's incredible that Invisible Touch and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway were made by the same band. But they really weren't. This album was the end of the "real" Genesis....more info
- The neon lights are out on Broadway.
I absolutely was mad for Genesis when Peter Gabriel was the lead singer, but it took me more than 30 years before I purchased THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY in any recorded format, and now I think I know what possibly took me so long. I was suspicious of a British progressive rock band trying to spin a tale about the streets of New York City, and I was right---there's mostly no story here, and when there is it sounds like BORN TO RUN-era Bruce Springsteen shot through with Philip K. Dick. Unfortunately, while the band is all on top of their game chops-wise, the music is shoehorned into this bizarre "epic," and little of what's recorded is enough to sustain one's attention beyond the cursory. Steve Hackett, guitarist for the band at the time, likened TLLDOB to a "breach-birth," essentially saying that Gabriel and the rest of the band rarely got together for more than a few days at a time while recording this album. The whole thing taken together sounds exactly that way.
NURSERY CRYME, FOXTROT, GENESIS LIVE and SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND were all stupendous achievements....THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY is a "nice try." ...more info
- if you think that IT's pretentious, you've been taken for a ride
As the years roll by and more time and distance allow for more and more comprehensive analysis and understanding of Rock's Golden Age (roughly 1966-1974), this emerges as the finest of the genre known as "concept albums" then being produced. Concept albums, like The Who's "Tommy" or "Quadrophenia," or Yes' "Tales From Topographic Oceans," were an attempt to expand the story-telling and presentation vocabularies of Rock, kind of like little operas but with spotty lads with triple-necked Rickenbacker guitars instead of corpulent ladies singing.
What makes this the best of that lot is the fact that the music is so focused and so good that it gathers a momentum that makes the story, on its face entirely obscure and incomprehensible, not just palatable but fascinating. Essentially this is the story of a Puerto Rican proto-punk protagonist (admit it, you are already saying that 5 times fast) called Rael who descends into a kind of parallel reality underneath New York City after being struck by a mysterious, towering cloud of advancing debris on Times Square. Strangely, when the Twin Towers fell and the big white cloud of stuff was chasing all those people down the streets of Manhattan, it kind of made me think of the Times Square sequence that begins "The Lamb".
Over the course of the two records (now CDs), Rael's tale unfolds through some of the most lasting and magnificently cinematic music of the 1970s. "Fly On a Windshield" (with a blistering solo from Steve Hackett), the hysterical "Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging" (with vocal treatments by none other than Brian Eno), the utmost beauty of "Carpet Crawlers" (arguably the best song ever made by this group) and "The Lamia," every song is a gem and they all lock together (no breaks between tunes) to advance the story and bring what could have been a muddied mess into sharp focus, no easy achievement.
In terms of the execution and the ambition, this has to be the best Rock "concept album" because it takes the most risks and therefore can offer the most rewards. No wonder people are still clamoring for these guys to reunite and present this story in its entirety (as they did over 100 times in 1974-5) 30+ years later....more info
- The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
The last album w/ Peter Gabriel great music and lyrics as always w/ Genesis. This is a must have for the Genesis collector's collection....more info
- Peter lies down his microphone while the group is at their peak.
This record is the absolute peak of early Genesis and I always thought Peter was smart to leave while still on top, a very brave thing to do and an artistic move in retrospect. It's pointless to name the highlights here, it's all classic Genesis at the top of their game and being very prog., doing what they do best....more info
- Wild Ride!
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is the best Peter Gabriel-fronted Genesis album. A bizzare story is told through the 20-plus tracks on these CDs. With the opening track, you are pulled into a maze of intricate songwriting heard nowhere else in recorded music. It's a nightmarish (at times) trip to the Big Apple with no stops.
Just get it if you don't already have it. If you have an old copy, get the new remastered version. Most of the unwanted noise has been removed and the dynamic range has been expanded.
- If I Could Give it More Stars I Would.
In my opinion, the greatest album by Genesis. Probably, one of the best albums I've ever heard.
The only thing I would advice is to listen to it a lot before you make a judgement. When I first listened to it, I only liked a select number of songs. And then I put it down for a while, but when I picked it back up again, I grew to love every song on the album.
It begins with Banks entering this album with a piano part that would catch even the most anti-Genesis person. The self titled song is a great entrance, with Gabriel telling the life of young Rael, a Puerto Rican punk on the streets on NYC. I've heard a live performance of this with the Peter Gabriel Band, and it sounds a lot better sped up. Very powerful.
"Fly on a Windshield/ Broadway Melody of 1974" continue this story, begins soft, becoming powerful, and ends with one of the most engenius poetry I've ever heard. I actually read "Broadway Melody of 1974" on the radio when I was on my towns local station.
"Cuckoo Cocoon" is one of the first songs I really enjoyed. The muffled vocals and Hackett's amazing chord work really leave you with a sense and beauty. And the piano behind the song only add to the resonance of this gem. Then comes "In the Cage", which is one of those songs that I liked the second time around. Its a great song, and my favorite part is in the middle where Rael is calling out to his brother.
"The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging" was another first love of mine, with its Eno-esc vocals. The beat and the robotic rythm makes you want to...march! I can just imagine this factory the song is talking about in my head while listening to it.
"Back in NYC" and "Hairless Heart" are great songs, thanks to the efforts of Tony Banks' keyboard. Gabriel carries "Back in NYC" with very angry, powerful words. It gives you more of a sense of character. But it all leads up to "Counting Out Time" which carries a very happy feel with it. This song is the reason I bought a kazoo.
But "The Carpet Crawlers" is my top favorite song of this album. The piano chords and the vocals mesh so well. It all leads up to an incredible chorus, with such a catchy melody. I wouldn't be suprised if anyone bought this whole album for THIS song. This side of the album ends on "The Chamber of 32 Doors", which has a great story, and ends on a very concluding chord.
The second half of the album isn't as good compared to the first. Its mostly filled with unnecessary instrumentals. But the gems in this side make up for the rest. Theres the invigorating "Lilywhite Lilith", the sweet ballad of "The Lamia" and the great story of "The Colony of Slipperman". The song "The Light Dies Down on Broadway" also gives such a compelling story, in which the music build up with the questions Rael is asking in his head: Should he enter the portal and return to his every day life, or save his Brother John, who had recently abandoned him. What comes next tells the tale of all the things Rael has learned from his experiences. The album concluded with "It" which is really not about the story, but about it. Life. Everything. The best way to end any concept album.
The key thing to do is not listen to the story of the the whole album at first. Its confusing, and really hard to follow. They have synopsises on-line, and they barely help too. I'm still trying to get the timeline of events correct. Its only a relic of how genius Gabriel really was.
If you want to get into Gabriel era Genesis, this should be your first album. It combines all these different styles of their past years into one magnificent album. Its only depressing to know that this ends the era that was Peter Gabriel Genesis.
Thats what this album is though, a Relic. Go and buy it....more info
- an interesting concept album
So what's the "concept"? How the heck should I know? Someone tried explaining and I was like "what the heck does that mean???". But the music on here is very interesting, occasionally more so than on others - there's points on which your skin begins to crawl with melancholy/macabre delight. Certainly not a bad album, definitely my personal favorite from the Gabriel era; me being obsessed with nostalgia, I tend to go more for INVISIBLE TOUCH, but this CD is just as good, or almost, perhaps better if "sappy love songs" aren't your thing......more info
- Not as I had remembered
I loved this album as a kid because it gave me all kinds of cool sounds to play in my D&D games with my friends. I am also always attracted to the unique and different.
This work is an attempt at a kind of rock opra and the tallent of the guys that did this make it a landmark work in the history of pop music.
The amazing thing about this album is how rich the music is with so few instruments and so little effects added. The music itself has many marks of genious.
However, the content is void of meaning to me. It is poetic more than functional. If your in a melancholy mood, it makes for good listening, but beware, you might become more depressed!...more info
- Something's changed, that's not your face. It's mine!
Released in 1974, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is THE magnum opus in the Genesis catalog. A sprawling and impenetrably dense concept work, this double album saw Peter Gabriel pulling out all of the stops in the concept department. Interestingly enough, the album was an attempt to move away from fantasy matter and take on a more modern subject which, in this case, involved a Puerto Rican juvenile delinquent named Rael who had a split personality. As an aside, Mike Rutherford initially suggested that the band use the story of The Little Prince as the concept for the album, but Peter felt it was too much like "prancing around in fantasyland". I for one am glad they went in the direction that they did.
Peter's story mixes Rael's recollections of his home in New York with images of a nightmarish world populated by colonies of hideously deformed Slippermen; the deceptive and wily Lamia that are part female/part snake; blind "seers"; factories where people are "made"; and most importantly, Rael's alter ego "brother" John. Ultimately, the differences in Rael's split personality are reconciled at the end of the album, as he saves John (Rael) from certain death in the raging rapids of a large river. Rael is surprised as he pulls John from the river only to find himself staring at his own face. Peter referred to the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway in interviews as his version of a "Pilgrim's Progress", and was ultimately a "transformation" story. Sound intense? Trust me, it is.
The music itself is proportionally intense and features classic Genesis workouts with pieces like In the Cage; The Colony of Slippermen; and the mind-numbing complexity of Riding the Scree. In addition, Genesis wrote very experimental tracks such as the Waiting Room (which was alternately titled "Evil-jam"). Although there are some tracks that may seem like filler, I feel that every single note on this album is absolutely essential. In general, the performances by Steve Hackett (guitar); Tony Banks (Hammond Organ, piano, mellotron, ARP Pro-soloist and 2600); Mike Rutherford (bass, 12 string acoustic); and Phil Collins (drums, backing vocals) are simply breathtaking.
The sheer length of the album stemmed from the length of the lyrics themselves. In fact, it got to the point where the band would finish recording the music, only to have Peter ask them to write more to fit with his additional lyrics. When Peter was finally done writing, he went into the studio and recorded his vocals over all of the music - much to the shock of the band. Based on what I have read, it was assumed that a number of sections were going to be instrumental, so when lyrics appeared everywhere, they were a little irritated. I admit that I have to agree with them. In fact, the medley of the album performed during the 1976-1977 tours (entitled "Lamb Stew") included instrumental versions of certain tracks and the vocal-less tracks were very powerful, especially Fly on a Windshield.
When the album was released, Genesis played it in its entirety to an audience that was expecting concert favorites like Watcher of the Skies and Firth of Fifth - as you can imagine they were completely baffled. To make matters worse, Peter's vocals were sometimes unintelligible, especially when he was wearing the Slipperman costume - apparently he could not get the microphone close enough.
Sadly though, this album was to be Peter's last performance with Genesis and also marked the end of the classic Genesis period.
This album is very highly recommended along with Nursery Cryme (1971); Foxtrot (1972), Selling England by the Pound (1973); and the 1967-1975 box set, which includes a live version of the Lamb recorded at the Shrine Auditorium....more info
- "Dock the Dick..."
This is a terrific album and the whole experience has already been thoroughly documented in these reviews. Top-notch musicianship, daring lyrics, addictive hooks, innovative concept, the whole bit.
I've read lots of speculation about The Lamb's plot, but I think one possible theory has been overlooked. I believe it's given away in the second verse of the first song on the album:
... Metal motion comes in bursts,
But the gas station can quench that thirst
Suspension cracked on unmade road
The truckers eyes read Overload
And out of the subway,
Rael Imperial Aerosol Kid
Exits into daylight, spraygun hid,
And the lamb lies down on Broadway
A few seconds after the introduction of Rael, I believe he's immediately killed by this out of control truck with cracked suspension careening out from an alleyway, and lying dead on Broadway his soul is reborn and sent on this quest through some sort of "purgatory" (?). The album documents Rael's path to salvation with reflections on society, his own life and adventures in the afterlife. Rael has become the sacrificial lamb of societal decay, and in the end he finally does right by regaining his own lost love of self and others - at last discovering the "it." that life and compassion are made of.
One of the most amazing aspects of this album is that it allows a unique experience for each listener. The story lends itself to endless speculation and countless interpretations so it never really gets old. The lyrics are just vague enough and the music layered enough to constantly re-discover it. Once you "get it" it will haunt you for a very long time. Simply an amazing accomplishment.
Buy it, listen to it, listen to it five more times, then try to put it down. I dare you.