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




Symphonic Prog

4.29 | 2736 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

The struggle between artistic freedom and music that makes sense...

There has been a lot of discussion about this album, some claim it to be one of the masterpieces of progressive rock, others say it's the freefall of one of their beloved bands. I would like to add my own on this debatable album.

The lamb lies down on Broadway is a double lp concept album based on a fictional story, which is based on a surrealistic world. The story has no logic, little emotional development and a real clue seems to be missing, though others might argue otherwise.

Genesis had reached a point of compositional quality on the Nursery Cryme album that would last for some years. The music was sophisticated, the instrumental passages important and the keyboard's used were a good representation of the classic prog sound with nice mellotrons and organs. This would change during the recording of this release. The image of Peter Gabriel had grown to be one of an all-important front man, this would eventually lead to him being the most important member on this album. The concept and lyrics were written by Gabriel and music seems to be the second on this album. Like the songs were loosely put together to strengthen the lyrical content, whilst loosing the strong compositional qualities of other members of the band. There's only functional songwriting on this album. This is the reason the album was seen as an artistic letdown at it's time of release.

Genesis used some new equipment on this album, resulting in the use of now dated electronic synthesizers with automatic loops (so it seems). The overuse of electronic equipment and the simplification of the compositions changed the sound of Genesis from a symphonic prog band to a modern pop group. Most songs have a pop vibe, albeit good pop. Some songs stand out as reasonable prog tracks. The cage is a motivated up-tempo progressive track with strong vocals and The Chamber of 32 Doors is a song that has some serious emotional value in it. The latter is my favorite album, it is also the most symphonic track.

The recording of the album is again horrible. Most tracks loose their value because of the blurred sound and the dull vocals and instruments. The guitar has lost it natural sound and the drums are as bad as only Phil Collins could record them (yes, I said Phil Collins is a horrible drummer!). Though Genesis had four years of experience since 1970, Trespass still remains their best sounding recording.

Conclusion. This will never be one of my favorite albums. It's an album with a concept, some great tracks, but to me it sounds like a failed idea. The qualities of the band aren't used, it's too long, it's recorded ugly and it's sounds like it was recorded in tremendous haste. A single album with all of the best ideas of this record would have got a four star rating, but this only get's a small three stars. The departure of Peter Gabriel seems to be a logical step, but it leaves us with a disjointed Genesis that would never reach the quality it had anymore. Those who can join into the artistic freedom thinking of Peter Gabriel could enjoy this album tremendously, those who expect a great symphonic prog album will be left with a big disillusion. Thee stars for me.

friso | 3/5 |


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