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Genesis - Foxtrot CD (album) cover

FOXTROT

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.61 | 2532 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Like "Trespass" & "Nursery Cryme" I purchased "Foxtrot" in 74 (at the age of 15). What a lucky young guy I was ! Discovering the repertoire of the greatest band in Prog rock history in only a few weeks ! The opener "Watcher of the Skies" is one of my top three favourite of the band. The mellotron intro is gorgeous. It is only superseded in "Fountain Of Salmacis". The closing section is just superb. This song will open their concerts for quite a long time. A great, great number. "Watcher" is probably one of the songs that has been "canibalized" the most by current neo prog bands (take Fruitcake, for instance, on "Intelligence" from the album "Man Overboard"). The tempo has been countelessly re-used but the "master tape" will always be the best one.

"Time Table" is a very pleasant song narrated by a carved oak table (so say the lyrics). Telling us a story of ancient kings and queens. Almost the round table. It is full of mystic and nostalgia of past (British ?) grandeur. It is not one of their most memorable song but it is quite melodic (even popish).

With "Get 'Em Out by Friday", we get some brilliant lyrics as well as a very sad story from Peter's mind. A couple of new Genesis characters enter the scene : John Pebble (the boss of Styx Enterprises), The Winkler (an employee of this company), Mrs.Barrow (a tenant) and Mary (her daughter). The story is really scary.

A construction company, Styx Enterprises, wants to kick out all the inhabitants of the road to build more profitable houses but Mrs. Barrow is so attached to her place that she is even willing to "pay double the rent". But there is nothing to do; Pebble insists to "Get them out by Friday" ! The wonderful play on words technique available in several "Genesis" songs also starts with this song : "When a flash of intuition is a gift that helps you excel-sell-sell-sell."

So, Mrs. Barrow agreed to leave and settle in a new place, but later on the rent was raised again : "Oh no, this I can't believe. Oh Mary, and we agreed to leave."

Somewhere in the future (September 19 of 2012 - which is not far away from now...) in a special TV flash the Genetic Control announces "that people will be shorten in height, so that "they can fit twice as many in the same building site". In the meantime "Sir" John De Pebble (being now a noble and wealthy man), just bought another dozen houses. He is speculating and believes he can buy at 5 and sell at 34. He will send The Winkler again. The end of the song finishes like this : "Land in your hand you'll be happy on earth, Then invest in the Church for your heaven".

It is quite remarkable how this song is premonitory. If you look carefully, today's appartments and houses are significantly smaller than before. And also much,much more expensive. Think also of the millions of Chineese people throwned away from their homes to get new skyscappers being built instead... Peter was really a genious in song-writing (but must have been quite disturbed mentally to write such lyrics) ! This song is rather complex and maybe one of their most difficult to approach. A great track IMHHO.

"Can-Utility and the Coastliners" is not categorized as a Genesis classics, but I like it quite a lot. It starts like a nice little acoustic song with good fluting. It builds crescendo with a very melodious mellotron middle section. It ends up with strong and heavy keyboards. Tony's play here is gigantic. I consider this song as one of their most under rated one (together with "Seven Stones"and "Stagnation"). Very good and quite wild at times.

Each of them is quite interesting and deserves better recognition.

Side B opens with the instrumental "Horizon's" which gives already an indication of Steve's solo career to come.

When I first looked at the vinyl B-side which is for 90% dedicated to "Supper's Ready" I could see the different sections of the track "painted" on the vinyl. Actually, different tints of black are noticeable, each of them corresponding to a section of the song.

For lots of fans this is the absolute Genesis number, but not for me (still I rank it amongst my top 5). I must have heard it tons of time and I know every bits and bytes of it. The only negative point is that it is quite wordy (very strange story again coming out Peter's brilliant mind) and that too few instrumental passages are available.

Except of course during the monumental "Apocalypse" part. One weak moment as well with the short "How Dare I Be So Beautiful?", but hey, this is very little compared to the whole. "Supper's Ready" is a brilliant track that will pave the way (togheter with "Close To The Edge") for lots of epic songs later on (but from other bands, since "Genesis" would not produce anything comparable after this one).

The finale is also quite bombastic and ends in a fade out (although there is a previous version that ends in a different way).

I guess that you have understood that we are facing another masterpiece here. This album is really a gem of music. I can only rate it five stars (even if Horizon's is a bit weak).

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |

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