Foxtrot (album)

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"Time Table" redirects here. For other uses, see Timetable.
Studio album by Genesis
Released 6 October 1972
Recorded August 1972, Island Studios, London
Genre Progressive rock
Length 51:08
Label Charisma
Producer Dave Hitchcock and Genesis
Genesis chronology
Nursery Cryme
Genesis Live

Foxtrot is the fourth studio album by English progressive rock band Genesis and the second from the band line-up which included Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, Phil Collins, and Steve Hackett.


Foxtrot was Genesis' first album to enter the UK Top 20, reaching No. 12. Still, it failed to reach the US charts. Nor was it the first Genesis album to chart worldwide: Trespass had reached No. 1 in Belgium in 1971, shortly followed by Nursery Cryme's No. 4 placing in Italy. Foxtrot also reached No. 1 in the Italian charts.

"Watcher of the Skies" and "Get 'Em Out by Friday" appeared on 1973's Genesis Live, while the 23-minute-long "Supper's Ready" was omitted due to space considerations, though Tony Banks once said "we felt we couldn't have two records coming out in succession with that on it." Live versions of "Supper's Ready" did appear on 1977's Seconds Out (with Phil Collins on vocals and Chester Thompson on drums), the 1998 box set Genesis Archive 1967–75, and the 2008 box set Genesis 1970–1975.

The 'fox on the rocks' (spelled "focks" on the rocks in the original LP printed lyrics) is mentioned in the lyrics of the "Willow Farm" section of "Supper's Ready", and is featured in the album artwork. This figure in a red dress with a fox's head became one of Gabriel's earliest stage costumes.


The Mellotron introduction to "Watcher of the Skies" was esteemed enough that the manufacturers of the mellotron, Streetly Electronics, now supply the "Watcher Mix" sound as a mellotron tape set.[1]

"Can-Utility and the Coastliners", written mostly by Hackett,[2] is based on the legend of King Canute, who supposedly ordered the seas to retreat to mock the sycophancy of his followers. An early, longer version of the song found its way into pre-album live sets (as heard on certain bootleg recordings); known as "Bye Bye Johnny" or "Rock My Baby," it featured an extended instrumental section in which the Mellotron string sound dominated.

"Horizons", an instrumental solo performed by Hackett, starts with the central idea of the prelude from Bach's first cello suite[citation needed] and then develops its own piece, baroque style.

In an interview with Phoenix FM Hackett stated that some of the tracks on his 1975 debut solo album Voyage Of The Acolyte, particularly the second half of Shadow of the Hierophant, written by Mike Rutherford, were rehearsed by Genesis during the writing and recording of Foxtrot. [3]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[4]
BBC Music (favourable)[5]
Robert Christgau C[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[7]

Retrospective reviews of the album have been largely positive. Allmusic wrote that Foxtrot was "the first time that Genesis attacked like a rock band, playing with a visceral power." They considered this a positive change, commenting that "Genesis has grown muscle without abandoning the whimsy" and concluding "This is the rare art-rock album that excels at both the art and the rock, and it's a pinnacle of the genre (and decade) because of it."[4] BBC Music, in contrast, described the album as largely a by-the-numbers follow-up to Nursery Cryme, with the only major difference from its predecessor being "the production, which suddenly brings all that chiming acoustic filigree up close and personal." They also ridiculed the lyrics of all the songs, especially "Supper's Ready." They considered the album an overall good work due to the musical compositions and performances.[5]

In the Q & Mojo Classic Special Edition Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, the album came No. 2 in its list of "40 Cosmic Rock Albums".[8]


So, I'd hear the lyrics and over breakfast or dinner we would throw ideas around. It was a collaboration... It was a great collaboration!

Paul Whitehead[9]

The cover artwork for Foxtrot was created by Paul Whitehead, a former art director for the London-based magazine Time Out who also created artwork for the albums Trespass (1970) and Nursery Cryme (1971). All three original paintings were later stolen from Charisma Records when it was sold to Virgin Records in 1983. Whitehead has hypothesized that the staff of Charisma got wind of the imminent sale and responded by looting the building.[10] The cover artwork for Nursery Cryme appears in miniature on the back cover of Foxtrot.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are credited to Banks/Collins/Gabriel/Hackett/Rutherford.

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Watcher of the Skies"   Rutherford & Banks 7:21
2. "Time Table"   Banks 4:47
3. "Get 'Em Out by Friday"   Rutherford, Banks, Gabriel, Collins, Hackett 8:35
4. "Can-Utility and the Coastliners"   Rutherford, Banks, Gabriel, Collins, Hackett 5:45
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Horizons"   Hackett 1:39
2. "Supper's Ready"
  • I. "Lover's Leap"
  • II. "The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man"
  • III. "Ikhnaton and Itsacon and Their Band of Merry Men"
  • IV. "How Dare I Be So Beautiful?"
  • V. "Willow Farm"
  • VI. "Apocalypse in 9/8 (Co-Starring the Delicious Talents of Gabble Ratchet)"
  • VII. "As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs (Aching Men's Feet)"  
Rutherford, Banks, Gabriel, Collins, Hackett except V by Gabriel 22:57


A digitally remastered version was released on CD in 1994 on Virgin Records in Europe and on Atlantic Records in the US and Canada. The remastered CD restores the original printed lyrics to all of the songs for the first time since the vinyl LP was released. The inner gatefold artwork and the band photos were not included, however, except on the Japanese mini-LP edition. The original CD release omitted the lyrics and parts of the artwork.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Watcher of the Skies"   7:23
2. "Time Table"   4:46
3. "Get 'Em Out by Friday"   8:36
4. "Can-Utility and the Coastliners"   5:45
5. "Horizons"   1:41
6. "Supper's Ready"
  • I. "Lover's Leap"
  • II. "The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man"
  • III. "Ikhnaton and Itsacon and Their Band of Merry Men"
  • IV. "How Dare I Be So Beautiful?"
  • V. "Willow Farm"
  • VI. "Apocalypse in 9/8 (Co-Starring the Delicious Talents of Gabble Ratchet)"
  • VII. "As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs (Aching Men's Feet)"  

A SACD/DVD double disc set (including new 5.1 and Stereo mixes) was released in November 2008.



  • Producer: David Hitchcock
  • Engineer: John Burns
  • Cover artwork: Paul Whitehead


  1. ^ Mk II Combined Brass tape set
  2. ^ Hackettsongs – Genesis Revisited II
  3. ^ Golder, Paul (2014). "Steve Hackett talks about Genesis, touring and his new album". Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2011 [last update]). "Foxtrot – Genesis | AllMusic". Retrieved 25 July 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ a b Jones, Chris (18 April 2007). "BBC – Music – Review of Genesis – Foxtrot". BBC. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert (2011). "Robert Christgau: CG: Genesis". Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  7. ^ Nathan Brackett; Christian David Hoard (2004). The new Rolling Stone album guide. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 327. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8. 
  8. ^ Q Classic: Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, 2005.
  9. ^ Paul Whitehead interview for The World of Genesis website
  10. ^ The World of Genesis Paul Whitehead interview