Wednesday, June 27, 2007

303. Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (1974)

Track Listing

Disc: 1:

1. Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
2. Fly on a Windshield
3. Broadway Melody of 1974
4. Cuckoo Cocoon
5. In the Cage
6. Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging
7. Back in N.Y.C.
8. Hairless Heart
9. Counting out Time
10. Carpet Crawlers
11. Chamber of 32 Doors

Disc: 2:

1. Lilywhite Lilith
2. Waiting Room
3. Anyway
4. Supernatural Anaesthetist
5. Lamia
6. Silent Sorrow in Empty Boat
7. Colony of Slippermen: The Arrival/A Visit to the Doktor/The Raven
8. Ravine
9. Light Dies Down on Broadway
10. Riding the Scree
11. In the Rapids
12. It


This is probably the most ambitious concept album ever made. I wonder if it is a case of Peter Gabriel losing his mind or just being ready to leave Genesis and wanting to leave with a big bang of an album. The most surprising thing here is however that he album really works. I am as surprised as you are. This should never work, the length and story are too ambitious, it is practically impossible to understand what the album is all about and the music runs the gamut from AOR (It) to noise (Waiting Room).

That said the album also has some of the most beautiful melodies ever to be made in Progressive Rock, the Lamia for example is a big stand out. It just sounds lush and beautiful as do many other songs. I do however have some advice on how to listen to the album, firstly ignore the plot line, secondly just let it wash over you knowing that it will sink in eventually whether you want it too or not.

An interesting thing about the album is the fact that Brian Eno is also credited on it with Enossification, whatever that means. The truth is there is something of the Eno touch to it, however, although it is hard to pinpoint, but the use of noises and strangely alluring melodies probably has something to do with him. This is probably the most ambitious album that has ever worked as a masterpiece, and it is definitely the Genesis masterpiece. After this album Peter Gabriel would leave and Genesis would never be the same again. So we are saying goodbye to Genesis on the list today and there is not a better album to do this than the amazing The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. So get it at Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. The Lamia
2. The Light Lies Down On Broadway
3. Carpet Crawlers
4. The Chamber of 32 Doors

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The album tells the surreal story of a half-Puerto Rican juvenile delinquent named Rael living in New York City, who is swept underground to face bizarre creatures and nightmarish dangers in order to rescue his brother John. Several of the story's occurrences and places were derived from Peter Gabriel's dreams, and the protagonist's name is a play on his surname. It should be noted that in an interview Phil Collins remarked, "It's about a schizophrenic." This would make the tale similar in some ways to the film "The Fisher King". Another interpretation comes from Gabriel himself who says it is about a "split personality". In this context, Rael would believe he is looking for John but is actually looking for a missing part of himself. The individual songs also make satirical allusions to everything from mythology to the sexual revolution to advertising and consumerism. The title track, as well as "The Carpet Crawlers" and "In the Cage", were still live favorites for the band into the 1990s.

Most of the music on the album was written by band members Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Steve Hackett, and Mike Rutherford, without Gabriel's participation. Gabriel insisted on writing the story and all the lyrics himself, which caused friction, in particular because Rutherford had originally suggested another project for the band - an album based on Antoine de Saint Exupéry's The Little Prince. Gabriel was absent from the album's writing and rehearsal sessions due to personal problems — his wife was having difficulties with her first pregnancy — which added to the strain. However, Banks and Rutherford wrote the words for "The Light Dies Down on Broadway", as Gabriel could not come up with a linking piece between "Ravine" and "Riding the Scree".

During the album's pre-production, Gabriel was contacted by filmmaker William Friedkin, (at the time enjoying great success with The Exorcist), about a possible film project, after Friedkin read Gabriel's short story on the sleeve of Genesis' 1973 live album. Despite his bandmates' disapproval, Gabriel left them to work on some early script drafts. However the project came to nothing (Friedkin instead working with Tangerine Dream to make his next film, Sorcerer), and Gabriel returned to the band.

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway met with mixed reviews, and reached #10 in the UK, while nearly cracking the U.S. Top 40, reaching # 41 and eventually going gold. The band went on a world tour upon its release, performing the album in its entirety 102 times. The Lamb Tour was slated to begin on October 29, 1974; but due to an injury to Steve Hackett's hand, the tour was postponed until November 12, 1974; days prior to the album's release to the public. Opening night for the tour commenced at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, Illinois; November 20, 1974. The final show on The Lamb tour was May 27, 1975 at the Palais Des Sports in Besançon, France. Early into the tour, Gabriel decided he would be leaving Genesis, although he would finish the tour amicably with the band and not go public until August 1975. The album eventually would go Gold in the US in later years.

A digitally remastered version was released on CD in 1994 on Virgin in Europe and on Atlantic in the US and Canada. The remastered CD's booklet features the lyrics and story that came with the original vinyl although some of the inner sleeve artwork was not re-produced.

A SACD / DVD double disc set (including new 5.1 and Stereo mixes) is planned for release in late 2007/early 2008.

Ok look at this now, a version of Lamia on Youtube, some guy plays it on the guitar very well and some other guy murders it by singing it over the youtube video of the other guy... I think we should take this to infinty, I am thinking of using this video and adding myself with maracas:


Anonymous said...

According to a Genesis FAQ that was floating around several years ago, the track "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats" is almost ALL Eno. Keep up the good work, I'm really enjoying this site!

Francisco Silva said...

Matt: That does make sense, but it does sound like later Eno. From the Another Green World period or even later from his ambient pieces.