The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (April 2015)|
|The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway|
|Studio album by Genesis|
|Released||18 November 1974|
|Studio||Island Mobile Studios, Wales|
|Producer||John Burns and Genesis|
|Singles from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway|
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is the sixth studio album from the English rock band Genesis, released as a concept double album on 18 November 1974 on Charisma Records. It is their last studio released with Peter Gabriel as lead singer.
Following their Selling England by the Pound tour, the band went on retreat to Headley Grange to write and develop their next album. Used previously by Bad Company and Led Zeppelin, this was where the band hoped living together away from other distractions would help inspire creativity and develop unity between the members. The house, however, was in poor condition and infested by rats. Several band members had difficulty sleeping, believing the house was haunted.
Peter Gabriel was absent from the album's writing and rehearsal sessions due to personal problems – his first wife was having difficulties with her first pregnancy. Gabriel was contacted by filmmaker William Friedkin (at the time enjoying success with The Exorcist), about a possible film project after Friedkin read Gabriel's short story on the sleeve of the Genesis 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 score his next film, Sorcerer), and Gabriel returned to the band. One of the influences Gabriel had was the movie El Topo ("The Mole") by Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky. For this reason, most of the music was written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett. Gabriel insisted on writing the story and all the lyrics himself which caused some friction as Rutherford had originally suggested an album based on The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry.
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 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 (Rael=Gabriel). In reference to the live performance of "it.", Phil Collins remarked that the entire concept was about 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 mythology, the sexual revolution, advertising, and consumerism.
"Fly on a Windshield" originally came about through a band improvisation, sparked by an idea from Mike Rutherford. Keyboardist Tony Banks said, "We used a lot of moods (on the album), at times things were little more than improvisations on an idea. For instance, Mike would say, 'Pharaohs going down the Nile', and he would just play two chords and instantly the rest of us would conjure up that particular mood. That one ended up on the album as 'Fly on a Windshield'." Gabriel's then-wife Jill noted that he wrote the main melody for "The Carpet Crawlers", of which he is especially proud. Tracks like "Anyway" and "Lilywhite Lilith" were developed from earlier unused 1969 compositions ("Frustration" and "The Light" respectively) which were likely to have been group efforts.
Banks and Rutherford wrote the lyrics to "The Light Dies Down on Broadway", as Gabriel could not come up with a linking piece between "Ravine" and "Riding the Scree". In addition, when Gabriel put lyrics to a piece of music written by one of the other band members (such as Banks' "The Lamia" and Hackett's "Here Comes the Supernatural Anaesthetist") the composer would often insist on adjusting the lyrics to better fit the music, an action Gabriel did not take kindly to.
The album's cover art, designed by Hipgnosis, depicts Rael in a number of situations from the album in a comic strip that graces the front and back. Rael has walked out of the last strip and is looking back at the others, displaying a concept of self-realisation.
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway was released on 18 November 1974, reaching number 10 in the UK and number 41 in the US.
|BBC Music||(very favourable)|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Writing in the NME in 1978, Nick Kent claimed the album "had a compelling appeal that often transcended the hoary weightiness of the mammoth concept that held the equally mammoth four sides of vinyl together."
In 2012, the album ranked fifth in Rolling Stone's "Readers' Poll: Your Favorite Prog Rock Albums of All Time".
The album's dense lyrical and musical complexity is the subject of a book authored by Kevin Holm-Hudson, a professor of music theory. Holm-Hudson writes, "...The Lamb emerges as one of the richest creative works of the 1970s."
A digitally remastered version of The Lamb was released on CD in 1994 on Virgin in Europe and on Atlantic in the U.S. and Canada. The remastered CD's booklet features the lyrics and story that came with the original vinyl, though some of the inner sleeve artwork was not reproduced.
A re-recorded version of the song "The Carpet Crawlers," titled "The Carpet Crawlers 1999", was released on the compilation album Turn It On Again: The Hits, with both Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins contributing lead vocals.
A SACD/DVD double disc set (including new 5.1 and Stereo mixes) was released in November 2008.
Genesis supported The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway with a 102-date tour of North America and Europe, playing the album in its entirety. A hand injury suffered by Hackett delayed its start; the tour began on 20 November 1974 in Chicago, Illinois. The tour ended on 22 May 1975 in Besançon, France. The last two scheduled concerts on 24 and 27 May in Toulouse and Paris, respectively, were in fact cancelled due to poor ticket sales. Early into the tour, Gabriel informed the band of his decision to leave Genesis at its conclusion. Gabriel's decision was made public in August 1975.
The tour became the high point of Gabriel's use of theatrics, masks, and costumes, which he initially used to help his on stage shyness. He dressed as Rael in a leather jacket, t-shirt and jeans. During "The Lamia" Gabriel was surrounded by a spinning cone-like structure decorated with images of snakes. For the last verse, the cone would collapse to reveal Gabriel wearing a body suit that glowed from lights placed under the stage. One of Gabriel's most notorious costumes was the Slipperman, a naked monster covered in lumps with inflatable genitalia that emerged onto the stage by crawling out of a phallus-shaped tube. Gabriel recalled having a difficult time in placing his microphone near his mouth while in the costume. For "it.", an explosion set off twin strobes lights and the audience was faced with both Gabriel and a dummy dressed identically, clueless as to which was real. "it." also featured an alternate ending where Gabriel would vanish from the stage in a flash of light and a puff of smoke. At the final concert, roadie Geoff Banks wore nothing but the dummy's leather jacket and acted as Gabriel's double on stage for the intro to "it.". During the show, three screens behind the band projected images to accompany the story. Banks recalled the slides only came close to working perfectly on four or five occasions.
The rest of the band became frustrated with press who focused on Gabriel's theatrics and not on their musicianship, something that made them think they were merely Gabriel's backing band. Collins later said, "people would steam straight past Tony, Mike, Steve and I, go straight up to Peter and say, 'You're fantastic, we really enjoyed the show.' It was becoming a one-man show to the audience."
No complete performance of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway has been released; the majority of 24 January 1975 show at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles was released as part of the Genesis Archive 1967–75 box set with some re-recorded vocals and guitar parts by Gabriel and Hackett and a re-mixed studio version of "it.", also with re-recorded vocals. The remastered edition of the album released in 2008 features a visual reconstruction of the concert using the original slides, audience bootleg footage, and photographs.
Genesis considered reuniting for a The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway tour. The five members met in November 2004 to discuss the idea, but Gabriel bowed out to his solo commitments. In 2007, Banks, Collins, and Rutherford completed the 2007 Turn It on Again: The Tour, playing "In the Cage" and "The Carpet Crawlers".
|BPI – UK||Gold||1 February 1975|
|CRIA – Canada||Gold||1 May 1978|
|RIAA – US||Gold||20 April 1990|
|1.||"The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway"||4:55|
|2.||"Fly on a Windshield"||2:47|
|3.||"Broadway Melody of 1974"||1:58|
|5.||"In the Cage"||8:15|
|6.||"The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging"||2:45|
|1.||"Back in N.Y.C."||5:49|
|3.||"Counting Out Time"||3:45|
|4.||"The Carpet Crawlers"||5:16|
|5.||"The Chamber of 32 Doors"||5:40|
|2.||"The Waiting Room"||5:28|
|4.||"Here Comes the Supernatural Anaesthetist"||2:50|
|6.||"Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats"||3:06|
|1.||"The Colony of Slippermen"
|3.||"The Light Dies Down on Broadway"||3:32|
|4.||"Riding the Scree"||3:56|
|5.||"In the Rapids"||2:24|
- Tony Banks – Hammond T-102 organ, RMI 368x Electra piano, Mellotron M400, Generalmusic Elka Rhapsody synthesizer, ARP 2600 & ARP Pro Soloist synthesizers, acoustic piano
- Phil Collins – drums, percussion, vibraphone, backing vocals
- Peter Gabriel – lead vocals, flute, oboe, tambourine, experiments with foreign sounds
- Steve Hackett – electric guitar, classical acoustic guitar
- Mike Rutherford – bass guitar, 12-string guitar, bass pedals, fuzz bass
- Additional personnel
- Brian Eno – enossification (vocal treatments) on "In the Cage" and "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging"
- Collins, Phil; Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett (2007). Genesis: Chapter and Verse. New York City: St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0312379560. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- Genesis (1991). Genesis: A History (VHS). PolyGram Video.
- Daryl Easlea (23 April 2007). "Classic Pop/Rock Review – Genesis, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway". BBC. Retrieved 31 December 2008.
- Platts, Robin (2001). Genesis: Inside & Out (1967–2000). Collector's Guide Publishing. ISBN 1896522718. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- Fielder, Hugh (1984). The Book of Genesis. New York City: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0312088809.
- Bright, Spencer (1999). Peter Gabriel: An Authorized Biography. Sidgwick & Jackson. ISBN 0283061871. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2011 [last update]). "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway – Genesis | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 25 July 2011. Check date values in:
- Easlea, Daryl (23 April 2007). "BBC – Music – Review of Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway". BBC. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
- Christgau, Robert (2011). "Robert Christgau: Album: Genesis: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- Nathan Brackett; Christian David Hoard (2004). The new Rolling Stone album guide. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 327. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8.
- Nick Kent: "Gabriel: The Image Gets a Tweak". NME. 10 June 1978
- Q Classic: Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, 2005.
- Uncut magazine, May 2007, Issue 120.
- Greene, Andy. "Readers' Poll: Your Favorite Prog Rock Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
- Genesis and the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Kevin Holm-Hudson. Ashgate, 2008. ISBN 978-0-7546-6139-9.
- The 1994 CD remaster of the album tracked "Fly on a Windshield" at 4:23 and "Broadway Melody of 1974" at 0:33. The songs merge together seamlessly and, in fact, the "Broadway" song actually starts at 2:45 of "Fly on a Windshield", an error by the manufacturer. Several other editions of the album repeat the error. The printed lyrics, however, give the division between tracks correctly.
- Stone, Greg. "Tony Banks Interview April 1978". YouTube.