Genesis - The Gabriel Years: Special 5-LP Bundle - Save Over 20%!
Save over 20% when you buy these classic albums together with this Special Limited Bundle!*
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Genesis - The Gabriel Years: Special 5-LP Bundle!
Here`s a taster from this era, the beautiful The Carpet Crawlers with some great images of Gabriel and the band.....
This powerful collection includes all five studio albums recorded during the halcyon years from 1970 to 1975, when the charismatic figure of Peter Gabriel fronted the band.
1. Genesis - Trespass: The Legendary Album
Trespass is the second studio album by Genesis. The music marked a departure from more pop-oriented songs, as displayed on their first album From Genesis To Revelation, towards folk-flavoured progressive rock.
2. Genesis - Nursery Cryme : The Legendary Album
Nursery Cryme is the third studio album by Genesis, released in November 1971 on Charisma Records. It was their first to feature drummer/vocalist Phil Collins and guitarist Steve Hackett. At approximately 39 minutes long, it is the shortest studio album by the band.
3. Genesis - Foxtrot: The Classic Album
Foxtrot is the fourth studio album by the English progressive rock band Genesis, released in October 1972 and features their longest recorded song; the 23-minute epic Supper’s Ready.
4. Genesis - Selling England By The Pound: The Classic Album Remastered on 180g Vinyl
The fifth studio album by the English progressive rock band, originally released in October 1973. The album was recorded in August 1973 following the tour supporting the previous album, Foxtrot (1972).
5. Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway: The Classic Album, on double 180g Vinyl
The sixth studio album by Genesis and their last with frontman Peter Gabriel before his departure in 1975. It was released as a double album on the 18th November 1974 by Charisma Records.
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is the sixth studio album by the English progressive rock band Genesis. It was released as a double album on 22 November 1974 by Charisma Records and is their last to feature original frontman Peter Gabriel. It peaked at No. 10 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 41 on the Billboard 200 in the US.
While the band worked on new material at Hedley Grange for three months, they decided to produce a concept album with a story devised by Gabriel about Rael, a Puerto Rican youth from New York City who is suddenly taken on a journey of self-discovery and encounters bizarre incidents and characters along the way. The album was marked by increased tensions within the band as Gabriel, who insisted on writing all of the lyrics, temporarily left to work with filmmaker William Friedkin and needed time to be with his family. Most of the songs were developed by the rest of the band through jam sessions and were put down at Glaspant Manor in Wales using a mobile studio.
The album received a mixed critical reaction at first, but it gained acclaim in subsequent years and has a cult following. The songs "Counting Out Time" and "The Carpet Crawlers" were released as singles in the UK in 1974 and 1975, respectively; both failed to chart. A single of "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" was released in the US. Genesis promoted the album with their 1974–75 tour across North America and Europe, playing the album in its entirety. The album reached Gold certification in the UK and the US. The album was remastered in 1994 and 2007, the latter as part of the Genesis 1970–1975 box set which contains a 5.1 surround sound mix and bonus material.
In May 1974, the Genesis line-up of frontman and singer Peter Gabriel, keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist Mike Rutherford, drummer Phil Collins and guitarist Steve Hackett finished their 1973–1974 tour of Europe and North America to support their fifth studio album, Selling England by the Pound (1973). That album was a critical and commercial success for the group, earning them their highest-charting release in the United Kingdom and the United States. That June they booked three months at Headley Grange, a large former poorhouse in Headley, East Hampshire, in order to write and rehearse new material for their next studio album. Upon their arrival the building had been left in a very poor state by the previous band to use it, with excrement on the floor and rat infestations. By this time the personal lives of some members had begun to affect the mood in the band, causing complications for their work. Hackett explained: "Everybody had their own agenda. Some of us were married, some of us had children, some of us were getting divorced, and we were still trying to get it together in the country". Banks later deemed this period of time as his least favourite of all his time in Genesis.
Before discussions were held regarding the album's contents, the band decided to record a double album, for the extended format would give them the opportunity to improvise and put down more of their musical ideas. A single album with songs telling "bits" of a story was an option that did not appeal to them. Banks thought Genesis had gained a strong enough following by this point to put out two albums' worth of material that their fans would be willing to listen to. They had wanted to produce a concept album that told a story for some time, and Rutherford pitched an idea based on the fantasy novel The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, but Gabriel disagreed as he thought it was "too twee" and believed "prancing around in fairyland was rapidly becoming obsolete".
Gabriel presented the group with a more complicated and surreal story about Rael, a Puerto Rican youth in New York City, and his spiritual journey of self-discovery and identity as he encounters several bizarre incidents and characters along the way. Gabriel had first thought of the story while touring North America in the previous year and pitched a synopsis to the group "until they agreed to do the whole thing". It was more detailed and obscure in its initial form, until Gabriel refined it and made Rael the central character. Seeking a name that had "no traceable ethnic origins", he chose the name 'Rael', but later realised the Who had previously used that on The Who Sell Out (1967); this annoyed him at first, but he stuck to the choice. As the band searched for a name, they realised that "Ra" was common in male names in various nationalities. Gabriel was inspired by a variety of sources for the story, including the novel and musical West Side Story, "a kind of punk" twist to the Christian allegory Pilgrim's Progress (1678), the works of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, and the surreal Western film El Topo (1971) by Alejandro Jodorowsky. In contrast to Selling England by the Pound, which contained strong English themes, Gabriel made a conscious effort to avoid repetition by portraying American imagery, with references to Caryl Chessman, Lenny Bruce, Groucho Marx, Marshall McLuhan, Howard Hughes, Evel Knievel and the Ku Klux Klan. He also expressed some concern over the album's title, but noted that the lamb itself is purely symbolic and a catalyst for the peculiar events that occur.
During the writing sessions at Headley Grange, Gabriel found himself separated from the rest of the band, which caused some friction. He insisted that having devised the concept he should write the lyrics, leaving the majority of the music in the charge of his bandmates. This was a departure from the band's usual method of songwriting; lyrical contributions on previous albums had always involved the other members. This situation left Gabriel often secluded in one room writing the lyrics, and the remaining four rehearsing in another. In one instance Gabriel was unable to meet a scheduled deadline to have the lyrics finished, leaving Rutherford and Banks to write words for "The Light Dies Down on Broadway". At other times, Banks and Hackett suggested lyrics they thought would fit their songs better, "The Lamia" and "Here Comes the Supernatural Anaesthetist" respectively, which Gabriel rebuffed.
Further disagreements arose during the writing period when Gabriel accepted an invitation from film producer William Friedkin to write a screenplay; Friedkin had taken a liking to the surreal story by Gabriel that had been printed on the sleeve of Genesis Live (1973). Collins then pitched the idea of having the new studio album be purely instrumental, thinking it would favour the other members as Gabriel had made some of their earlier songs too lyrically dense, but the idea was rejected by the rest of the group. However, Gabriel's offer from Friedkin soon came to nothing and he resumed working on the album. Matters were complicated further when Gabriel spent additional time away in London when his first wife Jill underwent a risky and difficult birth of their first child in July 1974, leaving Gabriel often travelling back and forth. Rutherford later admitted that he and Banks were "horribly unsupportive" of Gabriel during this time, and Gabriel saw this as the beginning of his eventual departure from Genesis.
After their allocated time at Headley Grange came to an end, Genesis relocated to Glaspant Manor in Capel Iwan, Carmarthenshire, Wales, to record using mobile recording equipment from London's Island Studios. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is the band's last recording with John Burns as their co-producer, who had assumed the role since Foxtrot (1972). The band are credited as co-producers, and engineering duties were carried out by David Hutchins. The recording equipment used included two 3M 24-track recorders, a Helios Electronics 30-input mixing console, Altec monitors, and two A62 Studers for mastering. Burns and Gabriel experimented with different vocal effects, including recording inside a cowshed two miles away from their location, and within a bathroom. Rutherford thought the album's sound was an improvement on those of past Genesis albums, for it was not recorded in a professional studio, which benefited the sound of Collins' drums. Collins compared the sound of the album to that of Neil Young's recordings made in his barn, "not studio, not soundproof, but a woody quality". Gabriel said one track was recorded onto a cassette, which was used on the album.
The backing tracks for the entire album were put down in roughly two weeks. Gabriel was still working on the lyrics a month later, and, in one instance, asked the band to produce additional music to fit his words that had no designated section for them. This was the case for "Carpet Crawl" and "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging". Thinking the extra material was to be instrumental, the band later found that Gabriel had sung over their new parts, something that he also had done on tracks on Foxtrot (1972) and Selling England by the Pound (1973). Gabriel recorded his vocals at Island Studios, where the album was mixed over a series of shifts as the band struggled to complete the album in time for its November 1974 release date. Collins recalled: "I'd be mixing and dubbing all night and then Tony and Mike would come in and remix what I'd done because I'd lost all sense of normality by that point".
The album tells the story of Rael, a half-Puerto Rican adolescent living in New York City, who experiences several bizarre situations and characters. Gabriel was influenced by the band's last American tour to set the story in New York City. He used the location as a tool to make Rael "more real, more extrovert and violent", choosing to develop a character that is the least likely person to "fall into all this pansy claptrap", and aiming for a story that contrasted between fantasy and character. Gabriel explained that as the story progresses Rael finds he is not as "butch" as he hoped, and his experiences eventually bring out a more romantic side to his personality. The end of the story is not directly clear; Gabriel deliberately left the conclusion ambiguous. When asked about it, Gabriel does not declare that Rael dies, though he compared the ending to the build-up of suspense and drama in a film in which "you never see what's so terrifying because they leave it up in the air without ... labelling it". Several of the story's occurrences and settings derived from Gabriel's dreams. Collins remarked that the entire concept was about split personality. The individual songs also make satirical allusions to mythology, the sexual revolution, advertising, and consumerism. Gabriel felt the songs alone were not enough to detail all of the action in his story, so he wrote the full plot on the album's sleeve.
One morning in New York City, Rael is holding a can of spray paint, hating everyone around him. He witnesses a lamb lying down on Broadway which has a profound effect on him. ("The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway") As he walks along the street, he sees a dark cloud take the shape of a movie screen and slowly move towards him, finally absorbing him ("Fly on a Windshield"), seeing an explosion of images of the current day ("Broadway Melody of 1974") before he wakes up in a cave and falls asleep once again ("Cuckoo Cocoon"). Rael wakes up and finds himself trapped in a cage of stalactites and stalagmites which slowly close in towards him. As he tries to escape, he sees his brother John and calls to him, but John walks away and the cage suddenly disappears ("In the Cage").
Rael now finds himself on the floor of a factory and is given a tour of the area by a woman, where he watches people being processed like packages. He spots old members of his New York City gang, and also John with the number "9" stamped on his forehead. Fearing for his life, Rael escapes into a corridor ("The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging") and has an extended flashback of returning from a gang raid in New York City, ("Back in N.Y.C.") a dream where his hairy heart is removed and shaved with a razor, ("Hairless Heart") and his first sexual encounter ("Counting Out Time"). Rael's flashback ends, and he finds himself in a long, red-carpeted corridor of people crawling towards its exit via a spiral staircase ("Carpet Crawl"). At the top, he enters a chamber with 32 doors, surrounded by people and unable to concentrate ("The Chamber of 32 Doors"). He finds a blind woman who leads him out of the chamber and into another cave ("Lilywhite Lilith"), where he becomes trapped by falling rocks ("The Waiting Room", "Anyway"). Rael encounters Death ("Here Comes the Supernatural Anaesthetist") and escapes the cave.
Rael ends up in a pool with three Lamia, beautiful snake-like creatures, and has sex with them, but they die after drinking some of his blood ("The Lamia"). He leaves the pool in a boat ("Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats"), and finds himself in a group of Slippermen, distorted, grotesque men who have all had the same experience with the Lamias, and finds that he has become one of them ("The Arrival"). Rael finds John among the Slippermen, who reveals that the only way to become human again is to visit Doktor Dyper and be castrated ("A Visit to the Doktor"). Both are castrated and keep their removed penises in containers around their necks. Rael's container is taken by a raven and he chases after it, leaving John behind ("The Raven"). The raven drops the container in a ravine and into a rushing underground river ("Ravine").
As Rael walks alongside it, he sees a window in the bank above his head which reveals his home amidst the streets ("The Light Dies Down on Broadway"). Faced with the option of returning home, he sees John in a river below him, struggling to stay afloat. Despite being deserted twice by John, Rael dives in to save him and the gateway to New York vanishes ("Riding the Scree"). Rael rescues John and drags his body to the bank of the river and turns him over to look at his face, only to see his own face instead ("In the Rapids"). His consciousness then drifts between both bodies, and he sees the surrounding scenery melting away into a haze. Both bodies dissolve, and Rael's spirit becomes one with everything around him ("it.").
Hipgnosis designed the album's artwork. In a departure from that company's previous album sleeves, which featured more colourful designs, the front cover of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway makes use of black and white and no colour. The band's logo, originally designed by Paul Whitehead and used on Nursery Cryme (1971) and Foxtrot (1972), was replaced by a new one in an Art Deco style by George Hardie. The left picture on the front depicts Rael in the area where "In the Rapids" and "Riding the Scree" are set.
Members of the group expressed some concern about the album's critical reception and expected to receive some negative responses over its concept and extended format. Banks hoped the album would end people's comparisons of Genesis to Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, two other popular progressive rock bands of the time. Gabriel knew the album's concept was ideal for critics "to get their teeth into".
In giving an interview to Melody Maker in October 1974, shortly before the album's release, Gabriel played several tracks from The Lamb to reporter Chris Welch, including "In the Cage", "Hairless Heart", "Carpet Crawl", and "Counting Out Time". Welch wrote, "It sounded superb. Beautiful songs, fascinating lyrics, and sensitive, subtle playing, mixed with humour and harmonies. What more could a Genesis fan desire?" He singled out Collins' playing as "outstanding". Welch's review for Melody Maker published a month later included his thoughts on such long concept albums–"A few golden miraculous notes and some choice pithy words are worth all the clutter and verbiage"–and he called the album a "white elephant". For New Musical Express, Barbara Charone wrote highly of the collection. She summarised The Lamb as a combination of the "musical proficiency" on Selling England by the Pound (1973) with the "grandiose illusions" on Foxtrot (1972) and "a culmination of past elements injected with present abilities and future directions". Charone thought it had more high points than any previous Genesis album, apart from some "few awkward instrumental moments on side three". All members received praise for their performances, including Hackett coming across as a more dominant member of the group with his "frenetic, choppy style", Collins' backup harmony vocals and Rutherford's "thick, foreboding bass chords and gentle acoustics". Colin Irwin wrote a negative review of the "Counting Out Time" single, with its "weary, tepid approach" and a "woeful, dreary three and a half minutes".
Since its release, the album has been met with critical acclaim. In 1978, Nick Kent wrote for New Musical Express that it "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 a special edition of Q and Mojo magazines titled Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, The Lamb ranked at No. 14 in its 40 Cosmic Rock Albums list. The album came third in a list of the ten best concept albums by Uncut magazine, where it was described as an "impressionistic, intense album" and "pure theatre (in a good way) and still Gabriel's best work". AllMusic reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave a retrospective rating of five stars out of five. He says that despite Gabriel's "lengthy libretto" on the sleeve "the story never makes sense", though its music is "forceful, imaginative piece of work that showcases the original Genesis lineup at a peak ... it's a considerable, lasting achievement and it's little wonder that Peter Gabriel had to leave ... they had gone as far as they could go together".
A Rolling Stone poll to rank readers' favourite progressive rock albums of all time placed The Lamb fifth in the list. In 2014, readers of Rhythm voted it the album with the fourth-greatest drumming in the history of progressive rock. In 2015, NME included the album in its "23 Maddest and Most Memorable Concept Albums" list for "taking in themes of split personalities, heaven and hell and truth and fantasy". It was one of two albums by Genesis included in the top ten of the Rolling Stone list of the 50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time. The magazine described it as "one of rock's more elaborate, beguiling and strangely rewarding concept albums".
Banks later thought the album's concept the weakest thing about it, though the lyrics to some of the individual songs are "wonderful". Rutherford said that, while The Lamb is a fan favourite, it was a gruelling album to work on and had a lot of highs, but also a lot of lows. Hackett remarked how his guitar was underutilized in comparison to past albums, but thought the album had a lot of beautiful moments and has grown on him over time. In Genesis: Together and Apart, Gabriel stated the album was one of his two high points with the band, along with "Supper's Ready", Also in that documentary, Collins said the band created their best music on the album. He also cites it as his favourite Genesis album.
To many, the Lamb was the zenith of Genesis performance in this genre and with Gabriel in the band.