Monday, August 15, 2016

Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway - 1974


To quote John Cleese....  "And now for something completely different!"

When I purchased Peter Gabriel's So album back in 86 or 87, I became obsessive of anything and everything that PG ever did.  Once I discovered that he was in Genesis, I was told that this would be the album to get.

Being a 16 year old boy, I popped my tape player on and put my headphones on and sat back on my bed with the latest issue of X-Factor (original X-Men).  I listened to the first song, then the second, and by the third, I pulled my headphones off and stared at them with a frown.  What the fuck was this?  This oldies sounding shit?  What the hell?  I thought I had made a big mistake.  I had purchased it with my first check from my first job at McDonalds, and I felt I had wasted my money.  I was sad and mad and ready to throw the double-cassette set in the garbage.  But, I didn't, and I put the tapes in my collection and moved on.

So was my first exposure to Progressive Rock.

Later on, I pulled it out, probably a month or so later, and tried it again.  I made it through the first tape,  but couldn't put in the second.  The third time I tried, I listened to the entire double-cassette from beginning to end, and then again, and I haven't turned back since.

This album is utterly fantastic.  What makes it fantastic isn't so much the melodies or instrumental performance, but the lyrics.  This album is a story about a man named Rael.  What happens in the story is near impossible to try and describe here, but I can tell you that it is intriguing, creative and surreal.  There's a host of characters that include the likes of the Carpet Crawlers, the Lamia, the Slippermen, Lilywhite Lillith, Brother John and, of course, the Lamb.  There's a factory that packages people up, a parade down broadway that includes cyanide wands, a race down some rapids, flys being smashed, a chamber with 32 doors, and a host of other concepts that are mindblowing.

"They say she comes on a pale horse, but I'm sure I hear a train.  Oh boy!  I don't even feel no pain! I guess I must be driving myself insane... Damn It All."

One time I got ripped and listened to the album and I swore I was going to write a Vertigo comic book about Rael.

When people talk about story albums, they tend to talk about Tommy or The Wall.  Very rarely do people mention The Lamb.  That's unfortunate, because I myself find it to be more interesting than either of those other two.  Music-wise, yes, The Wall is better, but I feel that The Lamb is way better than Tommy.

PG pulls off a stellar creative performance, as does the rest of the band.  Phil does a great job on vocals, as he does, on several of the songs and his percussion is traditional Collins.  He's great.   Rutherford and Banks are good too, I would assume, as I've never followed them individually.  Together, the team does a wonderful job.

SO...

This is probably the first album that I've posted that dramatically breaks from the 200+ albums that I've posted so far.  If you like what I've posted, and if I've introduced you to groups you haven't tried before, then have some faith here.  It's a good album, you'll like it if you keep an open mind about music as a whole.
If you have issues with it, just wait until Mainstream Pop Week, the first week in September, and Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Week the first week in October.  That ought to loosen your testicles a bit.

Remember - Open Mind.  Broaden your library.  Diversify your tastes.  Try something different.




6 comments:

  1. Excellent choice. I've had a copy of this ever since it's release. It's not everyone's cup of tea... but everyone should give it a listen

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  2. Oh dear! Let me say first up nice to see a new blog and someone putting some effort into it with more than satisfactory results. But Genesis! No thanks! Of course I respect your views and see where you are coming from and understand the backward Peter Gabriel interest angle. But me I come from the other end. As a 14 year old all we had were the likes of Genesis, or the more poppy glam, Christ I ever trundled off to Wembley to see Yes. But luck was on my side having been born in 1960 I was 17 and living in London in 1977. Yes year zero, it really did change everything, for me and many others. No 1977, no Joy Division, no New Order, no Happy Mondays, of course you know this. From my point of view it's still a big no for me as far as Genesis are concerned. Don't get me wrong I listen and love loads of stuff per watershed year, I"m even partial to a little Van Der Graff Generator, and get my rocks off to Black Dog / Rich 'n' Roll (what a high voltage opening duo), Saturday's average, I dig authentic blues big time, I still get that adrenaline rush on hearing the opening chords of Teenage Kicks, all this to say, hey we might have some differences but love what your doing but please not too much down Genesis lane.

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    1. Lol! Like I said, to each his own! I've raced through that whole Prog genre and can really only find 6 or 7 bands worth listening to. With this one, if PG hadn't been in it, who knows if I'd still given it a try...

      I will say, I do have quite a few albums though, but only because they always had these really kick ass covers. I'll have to post some of those later on....

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    2. Another note, though. This post is my 4th highest viewed post for the month, and it's only been up two days. At least SOMEONE out there likes them. Or I'm disappointing a whole slew of people instead...

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  3. Disc 1 links seems to be dead?

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