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Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.29 | 2737 ratings

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5 stars It's 1993, I was 20 years old, and I was very familiar with 1980s Genesis, from Duke up to their latest studio offering, We Can't Dance, and to be honest I was frankly sick of it. So I turned to The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, their final album with Peter Gabriel. I was already familiar with the title track, as FM rock station still played that song on occasions even into the 1990s. Other than that, the earliest Genesis song likely heard on the radio would be "Follow You, Follow Me" from 1978's ...And Then There Were Three... which is basically the first '80s Genesis song. What a huge breath of fresh air the Lamb was. No cheesy love songs like "In Too Deep", none of that nasty '80s production values that horribly dated music of all kinds in that decade. No Yamaha DX-7 or drum machines, but instead Hammond organ, Mellotron, RMI electric piano, piano and ARP Pro-Soloist. I have never really followed the story, and it looks like it's next to impossible to follow anyways. The LP comes with a lengthy story that's equally hard to follow along. The title track is the first, it has that same piano introduction I heard from New Trolls on "Studio" from their late 1972 album UT. Was this supposed to be a classical riff I don't recognize, or did Genesis actually steal from New Trolls? Unlike ELP, I don't believe I noticed Tony Banks ever directly stealing from classical songs, so I don't know. What I do know is Genesis were very popular in Italy before the rest of the world really took notice (with the exception of Belgium, who also took notice perhaps even earlier than the Italians). "Fly on a Windshield" is a stark contrast, gentle acoustic, atmospheric song with eerie Mellotron choirs, while the music gets more rocking on "Broadway Melody of 1974", with some great Mellotron playing. "Cuckoo Cocoon" is a mellower piece, with flute from Peter Gabriel (before I heard this album, I never realized he could play flute as his solo albums certainly never featured any, not even "Sledgehammer" which is a sampled Japanese shakuhachi bamboo flute courtesy of a Fairlight). "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging" shows the less serious side of the band, while "Carpet Crawlers" sounds similar to the title track, complete with that same RMI electronic piano riff, but slower pace and more moody. "Chamber of a 1000 Doors" is a generally slower piece with some mid tempo parts. "Lilywhite Lillith" is rather upbeat, sounding undeniably Genesis, one of the rare radio friendly moments on the album like the title track. "The Waiting Room" is an instrumental, rather experimental piece, there are some synth effects, before it turns into your typical 1970s Genesis instrumental. "Lamia" is largely piano-dominated, while "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats" is an instrumental piece complete with Mellotron choir. Back in 1993, it was then I dawned on me that weird choir sound emanated from the Mellotron, as I heard that same choir sound off Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygene (in between Part II and Part III). "The Colony of Slippermen" starts off strange with strange percussion and strange synth sounds, before the song kicks in, I really dig the organ riff and those synth solos. I especially like how the song ends, before going into some strange ambient territory on "Ravine". "The Light Dies Down on Broadway" is, as expected, a variant of the title track, which makes sense given this is a concept album. "Riding the Scree" features some strange bass riffs and synth solos, before the vocals kick in. "It" is the closing song, and it sounds like a closer too.

OK, I know there are many out there who would like to decipher the concept behind this album. I do know it has something to do with a Puetro Rican kid in New York City named Rael who spraypaints walls, and then gets a strange visitation from various characters, but then that's where it loses me.

It's been said plenty of times that Peter Gabriel left after some 1975 tours. The reason was family life, his wife Jill was to give birth to a child (and perhaps raising a child was the big reason it took until 1977 before Peter Gabriel released his first solo album, and he did a version of Strawberry Fields Forever off the All This and World War II album of 1976). It was a big Genesis landmark, but of course not everyone will agree this was their crowning achievement, given all their previous albums have been single albums and easier to take in. Regardless, for some reason, as much as I enjoyed it in 1993, I seem to enjoy it even more now in 2016. It's not an easy listen. Listening to this album, I can easily understand why radio stations would be scared off playing anything off this album aside from the title track. To me, it's a total classic that really gave me a different attitude of Genesis.

Progfan97402 | 5/5 |


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