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

THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.30 | 2765 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Review nš 79

As all we know, Genesis is a British progressive rock group formed in 1967 when Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford were students at Charterhouse School at Godalming, in Surrey. The band reached their highest point when they saw joined to them Steve Hackett and Phil Collins. After the recording of three studio albums "Nursery Crime" in 1971, "Foxtrot" in 1972 and "Selling England By The Pound" in 1973, which are, in general, considered their best studio works, Genesis decided to make a new studio album, "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway".

"The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" is their sixth studio album. It's a very ambitious album, a double conceptual album, which was recorded and released in 1974, and it marked the culmination of the group's early history, and which became a landmark in the progressive rock music. It's a conceptual album with a very involved story and a large cast of characters. The album tells a surrealistic story of a young Puerto Rican delinquent named Rael who lives in New York swept to an alternate dimension with bizarre creatures and other hazards to rescue his brother John. The story describes his spiritual journey and his quest to establish his freedom and identity. Several events and places described are derived from Gabriel's dreams, and the protagonist's name is also a pun of his own surname.

Although, despite all the songs have been signed by all band's members, the music of most of them were only written by Banks, Collins, Hackett and Rutherford, without the participation of Gabriel, who wrote the story and all the lyrics alone. This fact created a very strange situation with Gabriel writing apart from the others. On their previous albums writing music has always been a group's effort and the lyrics always were written by various members of the band. That fact caused great tension in the group, especially and particularly because Rutherford had suggested originally a conceptual album based on "The Little Prince", a famous novel by the French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

"The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" marks also the strained relations between the band's members, particularly between Banks and Gabriel. So, it wasn't a completely strange thing that during "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" live tour, Gabriel have announced to his band colleagues that he had decided to leave the group. However, he fully fulfilled his commitments with the band to the conclusion of the entire live tour.

In contrast to the other albums made by Genesis, "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" is a collection of short tracks. Originally, the album was released as a double vinyl disc with four sides and twenty three tracks. The album is set up in a remarkable fashion, with the first LP being devoted to more oriented rock songs and the second being largely devoted to more instrumental tracks. So, the first LP is without any question, far more direct than the second. It contains a number of masterpieces, such as the eponymous first track "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway", the fifth track "In The Cage" and the tenth track "The Carpet Crawlers". These three tracks of the album are some of the most favourite's songs for the band and were frequently performed by them, on their live shows even as solo artists.

"The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" is a massive monolith among the works of Genesis. It's their only double studio album, it's their only true conceptual album, it's their last release with Gabriel and it's their only album that was played in full on the accompanying live tour. So, many things about this album are remarkable. The music is ethereal at times and groovy at others and the lyrics on the album are very polished. It also has already been mentioned by some that describes this album as the Genesis's most American work. This is a very special album in their entire musical career.

Conclusion: "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" is a colossal and a fantastic studio work. It's largely a Gabriel's conceptual album, and it's also unfortunately, his swansong with Genesis. Despite the conceptual and musical differences, "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" is for Genesis at the same level as "Tales From Topographic Oceans" is for Yes. Who've read my review about "Tales From Topographic Oceans", knows that I love that album too. However, the mainly difference between these two pieces of music is that "Tales From Topographic Oceans" is a very controversial album and very few consensual for fans, prog heads and even for the band's members themselves. While with "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway", it isn't the same thing. But above all, it's a pity that after this extraordinary album Gabriel had to leave the band. However, in every way, this is a considerable and lasting achievement work and it will be always a milestone in the entire band's work. They had gone as far as they could together, and the simple question is this. What would have been Genesis, if Gabriel remained in the group? We will never know, really. The true is that with his last participation on "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway", Gabriel left the band through the front door.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 5/5 |

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