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



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4 stars Most Older Fan's usual call this one " The best album". The last album with Peter Gabriel. Its a concept album.The sound quality is average perhaps a bit better with the remastered edition.In the cage is to my taste the best piece on the album but the others are very good as well.It grows more on you with time.
Report this review (#10029)
Posted Tuesday, November 18, 2003 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's the Opera. I think no one can do better than Peter Gabriel on writing these lyrics so oniric and magic. Steve Hackett at his best, and so Collins, Banks and Rutherford. Please someone tells Phil Collins to stop that damn music he sings and return full time playing drums.
Report this review (#10035)
Posted Monday, December 8, 2003 | Review Permalink
4 stars I'm not sure that the band wanted to follow Gabriel all the way with this project. This concept album is consistently good, though lacks absolute standout tracks. In The Cage was the song they liked to play live most of all. Neal Morse clearly liked the album so much that he did his own version; Snow (just joking!).
Report this review (#9958)
Posted Thursday, December 18, 2003 | Review Permalink
5 stars Perhaps is was Brian Eno's involvement, but this album sounds unlike anything else they ever did. The production reveals a 'space' and 'depth' in the sound that was totally lacking on Foxtrot and to some degree 'England'.

The Band get lost mid-way through side 3, but this is still a wonderful record, which sounds as fresh now as the day it was made.

Report this review (#9957)
Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Let me start by saying that this album is definitely a "desert island selection" -- if I were limited to ten (progressive) discs, THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY would have to be one to load into the dugout canoe. (I might even jettison Wilson to make room!)

I originally bought this album in the year of its release, in New York City(so many yellow cabs to be seen from atop the Empire State Building!), as a teen on holiday with my family. When I got home to my stereo and could finally listen to it (no CDs or Walkmans in those days kids, just the old 33 & 1/3 coal-fired, wind-up "hi-fi" stereo, purchased with the earnings from my first summer job), I was delighted to find that it was (initially) set in: NYC! Thus, this recording will always have a special resonance for your humble reviewer....

Anyway, navel gazing aside, THE LAMB is an acknowledged prog masterwork. Largely a Peter Gabriel concept, it was also his swansong with Genesis -- and what a high note to culminate that stage of his career on! This one has an edge and "street" sensibility that was lacking in previous releases, and that would never so forcefully appear again in the band's history. Just listen to the (opening) title track -- it helps if you pretend it's '75, you're still virginally innocent, and this type of music is evolving before your grateful ears -- and tell me if that's not superlative, ground-breaking prog! Other faves include the infectious "In the Cage," the ultra-powerful "Back in NYC," and the beautiful (if lyrically somewhat bizarre -- but then, so is the entire album) "The Carpet Crawlers," which has to be one of the all-time classic progressive rock songs. Listen to this album in its entirety, though, because it's all great, the songs run together, and waiting for "The Colony of the Slippermen" (near the close) is well worth it!

I listened to this album this morning, and then again (louder, on my bigger stereo) tonight. Damn, but this is very, very good prog! Gabriel's vocals are so passionate -- he positively screams some lines! What I wouldn't give to jump in a time machine and see the original tour.... Oh well, CRANK IT!

Report this review (#9949)
Posted Friday, January 30, 2004 | Review Permalink
Marc Baum
5 stars Well, I liked albums like "Trespass", "Nursery Cryme", "Foxtrot" or "Selling England By The Pound" a little bit more, because they were all in all harder and more complex, but "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" was the final masterpiece with mastermind & singer Peter Gabriel and the rest of the superb line-up. I think they reached with this unbelievable work their highest creative level and created one of the best and most important double-albums and concepts of all time! The hit "Carpet Crawlers" shows the forthcoming way of the band, how they will go on later with drummer Phil Collins as singer on more commercial pop/rock album like "And Then There Were Three", "Duke", "Abacab", "Genesis", "Invisible Touch" and "We Can't Dance". After "Lamb Lies Down..." they brang the prog rock-world with "A Trick Of The Tail" and "Wind And Wuthering" the two latest prog albums of the band history. But many old fans of the (together with Yes) best and most important artrock band of all time would found with the band Marillion a new fave in the 80's, and the mainstream-audience were the new fans of Genesis in the 80's and 90's on their commercial trip, but they would never been as brilliant as they were together with Peter Gabriel as singer on unreached milestones in prog-history like "Nursery Cryme", "Foxtrot", "Selling England By The Pound" or "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway"!
Report this review (#9948)
Posted Sunday, February 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars my favorite Genesis album. This concept album was definition for the neo progressive bands. it's actually one and only Genesis album I can say it's perfect from the first to the last song. Great work with the best of band's vocalists. Many touching moments we have as well. A must for every prog rock fan.
Report this review (#10043)
Posted Friday, February 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars Although a giant of a cocept album, this would've gained being just one disc as there are some pretty vacant tracks especially on the second disc. For me the real Lamb LDOB starts with the astounding Windshield On The Freeway and is a no-fault until the end of disc one Chamber Of The 32 Doors. For those who saw the shows at the time (or The Musical Box shows recently), they will know that the tracks preceding and following The Lamia were filler for the Gabe to dress up into and out of that weird and pustulous costume.

For me the Silent Sorrows, Supernatural Anaesthesit and and Waiting Rooms could've been added in concert but not in the studio record for I get fed up of these ambiance as they are way toooooooooo long . Lamia and Sipperman are great but the last four tracks bother to the point that I generally avoid playing side 4 altogether. Maybe I will just one day play that side 4 alone to see if it will go down easier on its own . Had this been a one disc affair it would've been another 5 stars.

Report this review (#9940)
Posted Monday, March 1, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars The band lies down for Peter

"The lamb.." is seen by many as the best Genesis album, but for me, it was and is rather disappointing. Up until this point, the band had matured together, their music gaining a growing confidence and maturity This cumulated in "Selling England by the pound" where both Tony Banks and Steve Hackett contributed outstanding performances on keyboards and guitar respectively.

Peter Gabriel was however becoming restless, possibly in part as a result of the lengthy instrumental passages being incorporated into some of the band's tracks. It appears the band therefore decided to pander to his frustrations, and allowed him to dictate the direction of their next album. Gabriel wrote the story for this concept album, together with all the lyrics. The band maintain to this day that musically it was a collective effort, but it seems clear that they were nonetheless, under Gabriel's leadership.

"The lamb lies down on Broadway" was certainly an ambitious album. Originally released as a double LP, it was thus priced higher than its peers, a brave move at a time when album prices were pretty much fixed. With Gabriel having by far the biggest influence on the album, it is heavy on vocals, and light on the instrumental side. Tony Banks' keyboard work is largely suppressed, with only "The cage" really letting him off the leash.

There are many good tracks on the album, but they are shorter songs, with little space for the band members, other than Gabriel, to exploit. The story on which the album is based is lightweight too, "Get 'em out by Friday" on Foxtrot says more in 7 minutes than this album says in 80.

Perhaps it would have been more appropriate for this to be a Peter Gabriel solo album, with Genesis developing further the collective energy they had found on previous albums. I acknowledge I am being perhaps overcritical of this album. There is much to enjoy on it, with strong melodies, and first class performance by Gabriel. My comments really reflect my frustration that it could have been so much better, had the whole band contributed equally.

Report this review (#9942)
Posted Friday, March 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This represents the 6th release from GENESIS and a major milestone in the field of Progressive Rock. This concept heavy prog classic delves into the dark world of metropolitan life to which GENESIS help transform the listener into. This album works well on several different levels and is quite detailed upon examination. Song writing is exceptionally high here and seems to take on the greatest significance on the entire package. Songs are well pieced together and seem to build on each other as Rael's experiences in the modern world is uncovered. "The Lamb..." is a dark recording in many ways and runs very much as a movie soundtrack. In fact at one point in time Peter GABRIEL had debated creating a movie to go along with the music. This was a very ambitious recording at the time and was really the highest point in my opinion for GENESIS.
Report this review (#10026)
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars A masterpiece of Genesis. I think is the only album in the history of rock that anyone can believe belongs to 21st century or 20 century. Its sound and tecnology gotta thanks the Brian Eno`s devices and Tony Banks keyboards is really wonderful. The amazing Hackett`s guitars, the Rutherford`s basses and Collins druming not only in studio album besides in live performances belong completely to another dimention of music. Finally the imagination of Gabriel.....a perfect story about the real world...the corruptive society where still we live.
Report this review (#9950)
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is an album that often seems to get mixed reviews. Overblown, pretentious, bla bla bla. It's awesome! This is a rare case of a concept album where the songs, although they tell an interesting story together, also work very well on their own. Disc one is immediately likeable. 'In The Cage' has some of Tony's most adventurous keybord work and Phil's drumming is out of control! 'The Grand Parade...' has you scratching your head saying "How do they do that?!?" and 'The Carpet Crawlers' is arguably their most beautiful song. The biggest complaint that I hear about this album is that it's 2nd disc isn't as good. I disagree. It takes a few more listens than the first one to get into it perhaps, but it is every bit as good as the first one. 'Lilywhite Lilith' is probably their rockiest song since 'The Knife' (although 'Back In NYC' rocks pretty good too.) Also, 'Anyways' and 'The Lamia' is as good as anything they've ever done. Check out the keyboard work in 'The Colony Of Slipperman' and 'Riding The Scree' and Peter's hillarious Mick Jagger impersonation on the closing song 'it' is an excellent way to end the album! My second favourite album of all time and let's not forget, this is a double story-telling concept album that came out 5 years prior to 'The Wall' "It's only knock and knowall but I like it!"
Report this review (#10024)
Posted Friday, March 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars A turning point in the long and varied career of Genesis. Many will consider this to be their Tour de Force while others will consider it to be the beginning of the end for Genesis as a true progressive rock act. A combination of personal and creative reasons ushered Peter Gabriel out of the band after this one although fortunately one final tour materialized. Most of the album was concieved by Gabriel himself and features some of his more emotional and powerful contributions as a Genesis member. Listen To Carpet Crawlers and Back In NYC respectively, and you will see what I mean here. It also seemed that the rest of the band wanted to stay within the old formula which had finally been established on Foxtrot but the more ambitious Gabriel had other designs. The Cage is a standout piece and more in the tradition of the material on the earlier selling England and Foxtrot records at over 8 minutes in length while other little gems such as Fly On A Windshield and Broadway Melody of 1974 are not even given the chance and could have been developed into much longer explorations musically and thematically. All in all there is just a little too much here and could have been edited down to a 40 minute concept piece. At over an hour and a half in length you almost have to make an appointment with yourself in order to listen to it through in it's entirety. After this record Genesis sodiered on into a uncertain future with Phil Collins taking over on vocals while Peter Gabriel embarked on a splendid solo career. Personally this reviewer's favourite from the early Genesis era because of the Gabriel aspect of it, it should be appraoched precariously by those who are already familiar with earlier work from these progressive pioneers.
Report this review (#10027)
Posted Tuesday, March 30, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well honestly the right score should be 4 stars, as it is a bit prolix, but is absolutely essential thanks to a lot of reasons, as the first concept and theatrical work, regarding the dark "alter ego" character of Peter GABRIEL, Mr Rael, the main character of this theatrical piece and also as the most influential work ever!!

In fact this album is very important, a great reference for the authors-unfortunately a few ones - of concepts nowadays (listen for example to the recent album by SPOCK'S BEARD "Snow", totally inspired by this one), even though we should appreciate a shorter version of the original "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" still today. Highly Recommended!!

Report this review (#10028)
Posted Thursday, April 1, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I listened recently this album after about 15 years. I remembered it as being not the best one. It's a decent album, but many things I do not like; here's why: Enossification: the influence and contribution of the keyboardist-composer Brian ENO on this record. Look, after the best all-time record "Selling England By The Pound" and before the outstanding, the unique, the marvelous, the unbelievable "A Trick Of The Tail", GENESIS produced an album entitled TLLDOB; well, it is expected to be rated 5 stars and belong to my top 20 all time records. NO!! Even not 4.5 stars for that!! Because of what? Because a keyboardist named Brian ENO f**ked up all the things for maybe one of the best GENESIS albums!! On this album, almost everything sounds easy prog pop or randomly experimental. We are very far from "Foxtrot" or "Selling England...". Sometimes I find some bits BEATLE-esque! There was an important loss of essence here, some kind of prog dilution. BANKS is not in his element. We notice he is not familiar with those experimental keyboard sounds. I dont know... it sounds a bit amateur! The moog is played with a slight randomness, abandonning a bit all the structure that was the strength of the group in the past. On "The Battle Of Epping Forest", the moog was well supported by the bass, the drums and guitars, but here, it seems all alone. We can see it in waiting room (what a bad song!!), "The Colony Of Slipper Man", "The Light Lies Down On Broadway". Fortunately, the moog is well accompanied on "In The Cage".

"The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging"!!?? What the hell is that garbage!! On "Counting In Time", what is that modified mood at the end? Totally unwanted!! Plus, the song is really in the "I know what I like style", but much worse. "The Chamber Of 32 Doors" has really a beatle-esque bits! Sounds so pop and so unsignificant in some bits! Good, but I expect more. "Fly On A Windshield? Well, it has a bad dissonance. It's a dull song. "Broadway Melody Of 1974"? Well, it is so dull, but fortunately, I is not very long! "In The Rapids"? How can they do such ordinary song??!!??

Well, TLLDOB is very unequal! And more: there are no songs on it that I consider outstanding as it is the case for other albums: one for the vine, "Supper's Ready", "Get Em Out By Friday", "Ripples", "Mad Man Moon", "Los Endos", "Entangled", "Cinema Show", "Moonlit Knight", "Epping Forest", "Fountain of Salmacis" and so on... Fortunately, there are very good bits and songs, like anyway, "The Lamia", "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats", "Hairless Heart", "Cuckoo", "In the Cage", "Carpet Crawler", "Ravine" (but how bizarre!)

I wonder, if "Lamb..." was a single album, how fans would have reacted? good question!! Maybe I would have dropped it to 3.5 stars!! There is another popular prog band who made, that time, a flop album during their top career: YES with their "Topographic Oceans": quite worse!! To be honest, I think I like "And Then There Were Three" more than "The Lamb..."!!

Report this review (#9939)
Posted Friday, April 9, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars I know people who say this album is briliant and I know people who are more temperate. The opinions are different, but I like this masterpiece of Genesis. Listening to the first disc is a great experience. Al the songs are very good. It begins with some strong themes like The Lamd Lies Down On Broadway and Fly On A Windshield. Beside those, I think Cuckoo Cocoon and In The Cage are also great songs. The rest of the songs fits perfectly into the whole. I would have given this CD 5 stars if it includes only disc one. But there's also a disc two, which is in my opinion clearly weaker. The first three songs Lilywith Lilith, The Waiting Room and Anyway are of the same top quality, but after that the songs become worse and that's a bit pity.
Report this review (#9943)
Posted Monday, April 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars GENESIS history is full of contradictions and "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" is one of them. Following the development of their music, after the absolutely dark and imaginative "Foxtrot" came the softer and friendlier "Selling England..." so the logical evolution would have been an even softer album closer to HACKETT/COLLINS era than to any previous release. But Mr. GABRIEL had a surprise, an aggressive conceptual (somehow Kafkian) album designed by and for him, that became the icon of progressive rock.

The songs are shorter but very complex and the concept is hard to understand (Still some fans are discussing what's the central point of Rael's story). It's hard to mention best songs because the whole album is important for the logical sequence of the story and can't be separated into parts without having the risk of loosing the main point of the album.

I believe the claustrophobic "In the Cage" and the tittle song are highlights of this masterpiece that cost me so much time to understand and love.

Report this review (#9955)
Posted Monday, April 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars I do not agree: this album couldn't be reduced to a single, 40-mins. concept vinyl - this album should've been TRIPLE! The most part of its beautiful themes should have been further developed, suffering from a 4 minutes restrictions (that progressive music never, never adopted). This album has to be heard in its entirely, for only few tracks lives on they own (Carpet Crawlers, The Lamb, In The Cage, The Lamia); not to mention that it has an excessive rock flavour. Maybe it suffered from the very complex story of Rael - too much sung parts, no great instrumental fugues (as on Cinema Show, Firth Of Fifth, Apocalypse In 9/8 and so on) except for a little keyboard freedom on The Cage, The Slippermen and Riding The Scree. All songs are beautiful, but prog fans may find it difficult to recognise the celebrated, romantic Genesis style.
Report this review (#9965)
Posted Thursday, June 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Never understood why this album is rated so highly. Musically I find it to be of variable quality; In The Cage, Carpet Crawlers and Lilywhite Lilith are my favourite tracks. Apparently Gabriel threatened to do this as a solo album if the other's wouldn't accept it for a Genesis and in my opinion the playing feels half-hearted in places .

Patchy, I only give it three stars as I believe it is best to aim for the stars, even if.....

Report this review (#9966)
Posted Friday, June 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album hasn't aged very well, I feel. It was quite a sensation when it first came out, but the album is thirty years old now and you can hear that too. Even Selling England sounds (technically) less dated than The Lamb, and compared to the Lamb it looks as if the band made some giant leaps forward to Trick of the Tail and Wind & Wuthering (IMHO).
Report this review (#9967)
Posted Monday, June 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Double concept albums are notoriously difficult to pull off but Genesis have as good a go as anyone on this.the concept is about ...well.... difficult to explain.I think it is a surreal trip through the mind of an individual called Rael.Is it really happening at all? Is it a parallell universe? Will England beat France at the weekend? Who knows?! MAybe if Sol Campbell can shackle Henry and Owen has his shooting boots on, then maybe.And so what has this to do with the music.Well not a lot really. Suffice to say that this is a 'game of two halves Brian'.I was over the moon when I heard 'Carpet Crawlers' and 'Back In NYC' but sick as a parrott when Collinsy nutmegged Banksy on the 'Waiting Room' before missing an open goal before being Hacked down.Blatant penalty ref!Gabes sticks it over the bar though and with penalties and extra time looming .. 4 stars is about right.
Report this review (#9969)
Posted Thursday, June 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I consider this album the peak of the mountain for Genesis. It is really a must-buy CD for every prog music fan. The first CD is very good, but the second one is better. My favorite songs are: Fly On A Windshield, The Chamber Of 32 Doors, The Waiting Room (Closing section), Anyway, Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetis, The Lamia,.... and so on (the whole second CD). I think that every band member do their best in this CD: PG with the flute and singing, TB with the keyboards (extraordinary), SH with the guitars (amazing), MR with the bass and PC with drums (perfect). Just buy it and listen to it loudly and with the lights off.
Report this review (#9970)
Posted Tuesday, June 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Actually this is the last masterpiece of GENESIS, the last concept album of the band and the last one with it's "head" (mean Peter Gabriel). See, this is a very complex album, a more theatrical one than anyone before or after, the very thin line in between the early and the late Genesis. A story of a guy, a vision of Gabriel's mind, a journey through light and darkness, a great instrumentalisation, organized around the long lyrics, a very important album. This is still a trademark sound in the band, a point of evolution in it's sound but keeping that magic surrounding their fellowship. A great farewell from the group to one of the greatest musicians of our time and the last record to be composed in its entirety by the band as a unity. Consider this as the last brick of a great foundation, a peak point in the band's career and a mark in time for next generations to learn.
Report this review (#9971)
Posted Sunday, June 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars What can one really say about this LP? It is a unique vision presented in a unique manner by a very unique band. It is unlike any of their other fine albums and yet, very connected to them all. The songs here are aces and the way they flow together is flawless. It is a grand scale sculpture this one and it manages to succeed on it's own terms. While it always did start to lose me by around side 4 of the original LP, it does hold up rather well. The first half of the thing in particular is brilliant. "Lamb", "Fly", "Cuckoo", "Cage", "NYC","Carpet"...all classics. It captures the true nature of "progressive" rock in that by this time, they had progressed beyond the scope of the previous few years. They were not re-writting "The Kinfe" over and again. If Gabriel had to "go out on a high note", this certainly fit that bill.
Report this review (#9972)
Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars 90 minutes of pure Genius. Although the band put contribution five ways I firmly believe that Gabriel was the main influence on The Lamb. Musically OK it has all of them giving input but between the sheets Gabriel conducts a masterpiece seldom reached by many other bands. This is psychedelic progressive music at it' s best and I'll debate that till the cows come home. Side 3 for me probably the strongest but you would have to be nuts to dismiss any songs as they all play such an important part in the overall picture.' Fly on a Windshield', ' Chamber of 32 Doors', ' Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats',' The Carpet Crawl' and the epic ' The Lamia', need I go on? I would put WYWH from Pink Floyd on a musical par with this.
Report this review (#9973)
Posted Tuesday, July 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars You would call it a masterpiece, and I would probably agree with all of you. But this album is most the boundary where Gabriel begins to be himself and Genesis ceased to be. The sound of this concept work has nothing to do in comparison with previous works like Trespass, and the celebrated Nursery's, Foxtrot and Selling. This is most Gabriel (more or less if you hear The Wall form Pink Floyd, is most a Waters work), but it doesn't mean is quite a bad album or not as good as the previous is just the sensation of hearing in a row a bunch of excellent records and hearing this that hasn't got too much weird things, but certanly this is the most symphonic Genesis album, something that makes this album worth the buying and including in your prog album shelves. Recommended tracks like the title, The Lamia (probably the best), The Carpet Crawlers, The Chamber of 32 Doors. If you are a fan of Gabriel's solo work this album is a must have.
Report this review (#9974)
Posted Saturday, July 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of the best concept albums of all time music and maybe, the most influencial and mostly imitated. Coherence, originality, musicianship and lots diverse arrangement can be found inside it. A must have for any prog fan. Don´t mind if you have listened to any other Genesis album being disapointed, this one is their greatest. I don´t really like Genesis but I love this album. No doubt, it´s a masterpiece
Report this review (#9975)
Posted Thursday, August 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars 'The Lamb lies down on Broadway' was a creative triumph for Gabriels Genesis. Although not selling as well as 'Selling England by the pound' only achieving a chart position of 10, this ambitous album is now widely regarded as a classic. It should come as no surprise that Peter Gabriels writing talents were noticed by Exorcist director William Friedkin.

The Lamb was an ambitious project, a four sided concept album in which a young Peurto Rican man is sucked into a alternative reality through some portal in Times Square, NYC, and has his senses pulled and stretched to their outer limits. The Sci-Fi element of the concept may not have appealed so much to those who liked the eccentric, English side of Genesis. However, musically, the lamb is a force to be reckoned with. Rich in memorable melody, mystery and a vast variey of moods and soundscapes. For Tony Banks, Steve Hackett and PG the Lamb is a masterpeice.

High points on this album, for me, are 'In the cage', a masterpiece; driving and tense and riddled with Tony Banks genius, a riffing Hammond organ, and dramatic keyboard solo. 'Fly on a Windshield' and 'Broadway melody of 1974' merge an almost dreamy Egyption feel, into a classic Mellotron based tune, as PG poetically namedrops numerous American cultural icons into the mix. 'Lillywhite Lillith' has an almost Beetle-esque feel, a great song that should have been longer!! 'The Lamia' and 'Silent Sorrow in empty boats' close, what would have been the third side of the vinyl album. These two two tunes are haunting, melodic and are blessed with classic Gabriel lyrics. The only thing that arguably lets the album down is the poor production.Of course, it's by no means the worst production Genesis had in the early years.

As a teenager this was my favourite Genesis release. These days I favour Foxtrot and A Trick of the Tail, but it's always going to be a close call. The Lamb is one of the best, if not the best prog concept albums ever released, in terms of feel and atmosphere alone IMO.

Report this review (#9976)
Posted Thursday, August 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Surprisingly, this was the album that got me into Genesis, seeing as how it is an album that takes much patience to listen to. But if you have the patience, this is definitely the album for you. Filled with beautiful and complex compositions, and brilliant writing by Gabriel, this album is one of the greatest prog albums ever made.

This album has a different sound than Genesis' previous albums, with the music being dominated by keyboards rather than guitar, and it being the first Genesis album I listened to, it was hard to hear how wonderful of a guitar player Steve Hackett is. But, Banks is even more brilliant than usual which makes up for it.

If you love Genesis with Peter Gabriel, then this is the most essential album.

Report this review (#9977)
Posted Monday, August 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Alot of Genesis fan have buried this album under loads of praise that is just not warranted. I've heard "best concept album" and "best double album" both of which are not the case. Don't get me wrong I think this album is great but when you compare it to other PG/Genesis albums it cant bear its own weight. It does contain many essentials(In the Cage,Slippermen,Anyway,title track), but some tracks are so boring I just skip them everytime,something I never imagined doing on a PG/Genesis record.Gabriel bit off more than he could chew here. No prog collection would be complete w/o this album,but it is not for everyone.
Report this review (#9979)
Posted Friday, September 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Keep your fingers out of my eye!

While I type I like to glance at the butterflies in glass that are all around the walls. This album is pinned to events I recall pretty clearly in my mind, as I just bought it yesterday after extensive research online. It is lacking in production, but it gave an introduction to theater rock as a prog selection. Should really be 4 stars, the extra one is for concept. It's about a fully biodegradable being slapped together and categorized as "Rael": he's a Puerto Rican-American punk from the N.Y.C. who acts all tough to hide his true feelings. Anyway, if you got this album and the story doesn't stand I might lend a hand, you understand? (i.e., the liner note quote was planned, dummies.)

The flickering needle jumps into red. New Yourk crawls out of its bed. And the lamb lies down on Broadway.

That out of the way, I'll begin the review in earnest. The title track is very nice, but unfortunately I find it hard to describe the instrumentation to you. The album mainly revolves around piano/synthesizer/mellotron tunes, with the traditional rock instruments accompanying. But this album is not bought to rock with. GENESIS has never seemed to me a true "rock" band. They are further removed from tradition than that of YES and PINK FLOYD and especially DREAM THEATER. But that is not necessarily bad. The album's concept is deep, complex, practically impenatrable. Read the liner notes and research online before or while you listen, otherwise it may fail to capture you.

Now then, after the medium-rock song (medium-rock being "rocking" in relation to GENESIS standards) title track, we enter the softer, mellower "Fly on a Windshield." While the title track describes Rael's current position in a realistic N.Y.C, with him spray painting graffiti and the social commentary of the times, this one is the beginning of the weirdness (Aside from the metaphorical "lamb lies down on broadway" which I think represents the sad sacrifice of Rael as he dies because of society's ills. Lambs represent sacrifice, in a Biblical sort of way.) Anyway, a huge wall of black descends from heaven to sweep slowly down the streets of broadway as everyone but Rael ignores it (or doesn't see it). It soon gets to Rael, encasing him in a cocoon.

Broadway's past is remembered in "Broadway Melody of 1974" as Rael exits our world. What is happening to him? It is most likely that he dies of malnutrition or overdose or something and is sent on a journey through purgatory so he can finally learn love or be trapped in purgatory forever. That gives the album true meaning and a purpose. And now, back to the songs...

"Cuckoo Cocoon" is Rael waking up from unconsciousness to find he is trapped in a cocoon (which could be a metaphor for his rebirth from our world into the next). He falls back asleep and wakes up in a vast cavern of constantly decaying and forming stalactites and stalagmites in the song "In the Cage". He tries to find a way out by using self-control, but abandons this when a rotating cage of stalactites and stalagmites forms around him, closing in on him and trapping him. This cage represents humanity tied to earthly things and the restriction it brings: yet another reality of life Rael must come to terms with before he can move on. He also sees other people's cages forming outside to make a massive network of infinite cages in the vast cavern.

It is at this point that Rael sees his brother John outside the cage. He tries to talk to John (who is in reality Rael's true self: Rael just doesn't know himself well enough metaphorically to recognize this), but John ignores him and instead cries a single tear of blood to mourn the incapability of Rael to see the truth. John leaves and just as the bars of Rael's cage close in on him, and the cage dissolves finally. Rael is left spinning on the floor of what is now a large modern hallway. Overall, "In the Cage" is a masterpiece song. Excellent example of GENESIS' power.

"The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging" is a beeping and clanking but catchy tune about the aisles of inhumane factorylike shells of people. Brother John is there as a motionless shell (which means Rael is there as well). But soon Rael tires of this and his mind drifts into memory of his life "Back in N.Y.C.". This gives us some background of Rael's life and ways in a rocking sort of song. Then his hairy, masculine heart is shaved in "Hairless Heart" and in "Counting Out Time" he remembers his first romantic experience. This song is also a classic rock tune with some catchy bass grooves.

Rael soon returns to his current situation. He is in a long hallway in "The Carpet Crawlers". This hallway represents a journey. The crawlers are those searching for a way out but cannot find one. Now then, the music for this song is VERY beautiful. It is smooth, relaxing and meaningful to the story. This song and the next are closely related to the writings of C.S. Lewis where he says "any of the rooms is better than remaining in the hall", a metaphor of finding religion and true faith. "The Chamber of the 32 Doors" is a fairly good song about Rael wandering around in a massive room outside the hall where tons of people are giving him directions. Only one door will take him out.

And "Lilywhite Lilith" supposedly shows him this way at the start of the second disc. This song sounds a bit BEATLEish, and it rocks pretty hard in comparison to the other songs... But anyway, she leads him to a pitch-black room of fear, where he sits and waits. "The Waiting Room" is a haunting, dissonant fusion of spooking instrumental songs which ends in a jam session. Very good stuff in this section of the disc.

Anyway, "Anyway" fires back up in a rock piano sort of way, with Rael lamenting the strange position he is in. "The Supernatural Anesthetist" song is about Rael's short meeting with Death. Then we come to "The Lamia", where Rael is lead into a romantic encounter with snakelike woman creatures. The falls in love and unfortunately they die. Supposedly. In reality, they are temptresses which regenerate and seduce everyone who enters their lair. Rael is depressed in "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats," an ambient instrumental song in the vein of Brian ENO.

"The Colony of Slipperman" always makes me a bit queasy. The song is good, with purposefully awkward music which bounces about. But it is the meaning of the song which bothers me. Rael is castrated because that is the only way he can leave the colony. He had fallen in love with the Lamia and the only way out was to no longer love them. The only way to do this visit a castrating doctor. Ouch! This song is painful enough without the ripping sound halfway though it...ugghh... I'm sure this one is a metaphor as well, I just don't want to talk about it right now...

After this, his schvinger is put in a yellow tube which is promptly stolen by a raven. Bad luck again for Rael. This guy never gets a break! He chases it to a "Ravine", and his brother John (who he met in the previous song) deserts him again, saying he doesn't want to help because it would put him in danger. This is the second time John deserts poor Rael!

Rael stands and looks over the ravine into a rushing rapid river where his recently- dropped-a-raven yellow tube floats. He sees a portal which seems to go back to New York City open in "The Light Lies Down on Broadway" just as he sees John trapped in the rapids, unable to escape. Here he makes a descision to jump in and save John even though John never saved him. He makes his own choice and commits a selfless action. The music here is a more psychadelic version of the title track.

"Riding the Scree" is a great song as well. It is Rael jumping into the sides of the slope as he makes his way down to the river. He jumps in and tries to save John in the softer "In the Rapids." This song is mellow like "Fly on a Windshield". Rael grabs John and pull John out of the river. John is unconscious as Rael looks at his face... and realizes that it isn't John's face he is look at. It is his own!

At this realization, the music cranks up into a full-blown wonderous ending in "IT." Amazing here. The album never tells you what "it" is, but I assume it is love. Or maybe not. Anyway, Rael is finally at peace with himself. The end.

The album is an amazing concept. 4-star music but it definitely deserves extra points for being so historical and literarily inspired. It is less accessible than "The Wall" (PINK FLOYD), but this album is much deeper. Not the best song for rocking to, not the best for a beginner to prog either. Listen if you liked "The Wall" or are somewhat experienced in prog. A major trouble I have with the album is the fact that the second disc lags in comparison with the first, especially "side four" and the three instrumentals placed on that disc. It seems like GABRIEL ran out of ideas and had to fill it in with something...but still, it's a good album nonetheless. It's over to you.

Report this review (#9981)
Posted Thursday, September 30, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars "The number of times our names were mentioned in reviews, apart from Peter, you could count them with the fingers of one hand. The reviews only focused on Peter, the lights, the stage, the show, and Peter" -Tony Banks (In a 1982 interview, more or less as I remember).

I listened to this album for the first time in December 1980 (four days after Lennon`s death). I liked it, I recorded it on 2 cassettes, and I bought it six months later. Now, nearly 24 years later, I consider it as a good album, but I can`t understand why so many people considers it as GENESIS`best album. The story of this concept album is sometimes confusing, and the end of the story leads to nowhere. For me, the best thing in this album is the music. Gabriel`s vocals also sound more mature, more like his voice sounded in his solo career. Gabriel reached a point where the next step was to be himself and to leave the band and being a soloist. There were still conflicts in the band. In the same 1982 interview, Banks/Collins/Rutherford said that Hackett was "left out a bit in this album, with the 3 of us mainly writing the music, and Peter wrote almost all the lyrics alone, a think we didn`t like". Gabriel also had personal problems which forced him to chose to leave the band, apart from some frictions with the band. There are some very good songs in this album: "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway", "In the Cage" (I prefer the live versions sung by Collins), "Back in N.Y.C.", "Counting Out Time" (an humorous song), "The Carpet Crawl" (again, I prefer the live versions sung by Collins), "The Lamia", "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats", "The Colony of Slippermen", "Riding the Scree" and "it". It`s a shame that there are not full videos of this tour as the story could be better understood aided by images (like Pink Floyd `s "The Wall" with the movie of the same name).

Brian Eno`s contribution for this album was only some distorted vocal effects for "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging". There is a credit for Graham Bell for "choral contribution". Graham Bell was the singer of a band called "Bell and Arc" in which YES`s drummerAlan White also played briefly in the early 70s (but I never have listened to this band, which also recorded albums for Charisma).

Report this review (#9982)
Posted Friday, October 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Quite simply, Genesis' tour-de-force.When the band were at their very best, in my opinion. The tale of Rael (Gabriel's word play rubs off on us all), the shizophrenic hero of the piece, who takes the listener on a fantastic journey of self -discovery. I suspect, even allowing for his troubles at the time, that Peter Gabriel knew in his heart of hearts ,that with this exceptional album, the band had reached a peak, and as far as he saw it, could not better it. Along with Foxtrot and Selling England By The Pound; an album essential for any collection.
Report this review (#9984)
Posted Friday, October 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
5 stars For me this is one of the most magical and compelling progrock albums of all times. You cannot compare it to any other early GENESIS record, mainly because it's Peter GABRIEL's 'thing'. Looking at the lyrics it seemed that Peter was lying on Sigmund Freud's sofa, telling the most famous shrink his subconscious world. If you step into the world of "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" you will discover an unusual variety in the 23 tracks. First the music: it's not just progressive rock but also rock, pop, punk and electronics. Second the lyrics: no science fiction or mythology but a blend of 'down to earth' problems and psycho-analytica. Third the factor emotion: you can experience a wide range of emotions and feelings like sex, aggression, fear, alienation, insecurity and hope. When the 2-LP was released in '74 many GENESIS fans were disappointed because it was not really music in the vein of "Selling England By The Pound" or "Foxtrot". But gradually "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" got more appreciation and nowadays many prog heads considered it as a masterpiece: from the sparkling piano intro in the title track, the menacing "Fly On A Windshield", the scary "In The Cage", the aggressive pre-punk in "Back In NYC", the romantic "Carpet Crawlers" and wonderful build up in "Anyway" to the funny "The Colony Of Slippermen" and the cheerful "It", GENESIS succeeds to make captivating prog rock, so unique for that era. The band was hit by many problems but often then the best music has been made in the past, the frustrations were sublimated into music would Freud have analysed! So enjoy the intense volume-pedal guitar play and the Mellotron duets, splendid runs on the ARP Pro solist synthesiser, strong and dynamic drum work by COLLINS, powerful bass play by RUTHEFORD and emotional vocals by GABRIEL. Despite the fact that some songs on 'side four' tend to sound a bit less inspired, "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" is one of the best prog rock albums ever made. I hope you can watch the world tour of the GENESIS cover band The MUSICAL BOX when they perform the original The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway show, including the more than 1000 slide projections and the Slipperman costume!
Report this review (#9986)
Posted Wednesday, November 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the classical albums of all the times.One of most interesting albums because of its lyrics, one of most incredible works.Amazing thing.Even if there was nothing before that, The LAMB would anyway be the best ever.But still I think, everything they did before was like a way to make the music better and The Lamb is the result of that work.Still, after 30 years, its the music, that is a bit hard to understand for newbies, but, anyway, people who really feel they need these tunes, will understand them...I love this album...Everything is so perfect here.(Well, some people say, the second part is a bit boring, I dont agree)...The intro..The outro...Gabriel's voice is flying somewhere in the clouds.This is the other dimension, but the real side of us...This is the story of Rael...
Report this review (#9988)
Posted Tuesday, November 9, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars If you average Disc 1 which gets 5 stars, with Disc 2 which gets 3 1/2 stars, you come up with a solid 4 stars. Half a great album. I always have loved Disc one, but Disc 2 has always come across as very good filler. There are some great classic songs on Disc One, particularly the title track, Cuckoo Cocoon, In The Cage, Back In NYC, The Hairless Heart and the Carpet Crawlers. Disc two, while good, seems to lose direction, and is more filler, without any truly great songs; in fact It seems like the finale, it was taken straight from Brain Damage and Eclipse from PINK FLOYD'S Dark Side of the Moon finale. Overall, still far better than 99.99999% of the dribble out there pretending to be music, and still better than anything done post Hackett.
Report this review (#9990)
Posted Friday, November 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Why is this my favorite progressive rock album of all time? ....... (Note: I was already a big fan of Genesis when this was released)........ Is it because of the concept, with all of its attendant metaphors and references? Is it because of the superb performances, or the wonderful contrasts between delicate and thunderous? Or perhaps the exceptional compositional skills on display? Could it be the production values, or the artwork, or something as esoteric as the very mood the album conveys? Is it the fact that, unlike so many other progressive rock albums, this one cannot be accused of being "too sterile", "too academic", or "too wimpy" (these are complaints I get from friends who are into metal or alternative rock)? No. It's my favorite because I like more songs on this album than on any other progressive rock album I've ever heard. The only track that I don't like is "The Waiting Room", which is just too static and repetitious to justify its length. It's like they laid down the rhythm tracks, then forgot to add any kind of melodic element (I know, I know...THAT was their intention). Also, "Lilywhite Lilith" before it seems a bit subpar compositionally. That still leaves about 80 minutes of wonderful, top-of- the-line music that can be appreciated again and again and... (about 30 years worth, so far, and I have NEVER had to set this album aside for awhile because I became sick of it)....
Report this review (#9993)
Posted Tuesday, November 16, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars Well, at the risk of inciting a riot among Genesis purists(I consider myself one of them), I consider this album one of the band's weaker moments. I am by no means an expert on Genesis trivia, but to me this sounds like Peter Gabriel's aural masturbatory fantasy put to vinyl. Perhaps if I had experienced the show live, I would feel differently, but it just isn't classical Genesis to me. Steve hackett's influence seems to be missing, and I am a big fan of his. He and Tony Banks have always been what made this band special(even tho' I liked some albums after Steve left-TTWT and Duke). This album sounds disjointed to me. Maybe I am wrong, but I know what I like!
Report this review (#9994)
Posted Wednesday, November 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Lamb Lies Dow On Broadway - This massive adventurous concept album that was released a year after their brilliant "Selling England By The Pound" album received very bad reviews when it was released. Even Genesis themselves, notably Tony Banks, was disatisfied with it because it was a very hard album to make. "The recording started out great, but turned into hell at the end" said Banks in an interview I read a couple of months back. Still, this album is considered as their best along with "Foxtrot" and "Selling England".

The concept of this album is about Rael, a puerto-rican street punk who lives in NY and experiences strange things in the underground streets of Broadway. It's a well written story by Peter Gabriel and the music that the rest of the band contributes is mostly excellent, despite a few unfocused spots as well as a couple of "filler" songs. It's a patience required album, and newcomers to the band should start with "Foxtrot" or "Selling England" before this one. Otherwise, it's a very good album, some flaws, but overall 4 stars.

Report this review (#9996)
Posted Friday, December 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars As far as I'm concerned it is just as good as the earlier 2 Albums "Selling England" & "Foxtrot." The band retains most of the same instruments & sound from them as well. The themes are slightly changed though parts of the album do retain the fantasy/mythology lyrical story telling style mainly on side 3 (1st half of disk 2).

The first thing that I would have to express the most about this album is the live show. Unfortunately when Genesis performed the Lamb live in 74-75 there was very little video footage (about 10 minutes worth) recorded mainly due to problems that the band would sometimes have with the show (slide synchronization, equipment, etc...). It was the most complex show that the band had done to date. If you get a chance to see THE MUSICAL BOX perform the show live, do so. You will not regret it. They have all the licensing, slides, props, & costumes from Genesis & Peter Gabriel. Be sure to immerse yourself in the story of Rael before you helps.

You cannot compare just listening to this album to seeing it done live. The whole aspect of the show will give the album a whole new meaning. The lyrics & the story of Rael became much more clear to me after seeing the show twice so far. The lyrical point of view that Gabriel puts forth on the Lamb is from a very existential point of view. Gabriel has never revealed much in interviews about the Lyrics. As the last lines of the lamb story state "IT's over to you."

The "urban" flavor represented in the music & lyrics gives the band a semi-new sound. A few tracks have some great extended keyboard solo sections mainly on In The Cage & Riding the Scree. They can be somewhat reminicent of the way some of the earlier jams on Selling England. Tony always sounds great on the ARP soloist with organ in the background. His mellotron sounds practically make the walls feel like they are breathing during Fly on a Windshield (creating images of Pharohs going down the Nile), and the mellotron on Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats has to be the most angelic sounds that have ever been recorded on this awesome prog essential instrument.

I think that Steve Hackett's best guitar solos reside on side 3 of the album. Though the most obscure point of the album. Many people seem to miss that there are some great guitar solos on tracks like Anyway, The Supernatural Anaesthetist, & The Lamia. His solo on Hairless Heart kind of reminds me of the Firth of Fifth solo. A lot of people discredit Hackett's writing on the album, but you can hear his influence. He does some really cool guitar synth effects on in the cage if you listen very closely in the background of the verses.

Phil's drumming & harmonies are by far the most complex ever on the Lamb. He sings more on this album then any Genesis album to date so far. He adds some great new drum sounds to this album and even plays a little bit of vibraphone on tracks like Chamber of 32 doors. I love the percussion break down that he does on Riding the Scree. He uses new sounds (sounds like monkey skulls) that are somewhat ethnic in nature. A sound that Gabriel embraced on his early solo albums. Phils drumming dynamics play a very important sound on the album. He takes us to new heights on Fly on a Windshield, Riding the Scree, & The Waiting Room (evil jam at the end). Another element that sets this album apart from previous Genesis albums is the use of some odd timings on a few tracks. Though Genesis had used odd timings in previous albums, they only seemed to be in certain parts of the song/jam. For once we have complete tunes like Back In NYC, which is in 7/8 for almost the whole song, or Riding the Scree in the ever popular 9/8 time (A Genesis favorite).

One of my favorite things about the album that I saved for last is Mike Rutherford's use or should I say overuse of the Moog Bass Pedals. They are all over the place on this album. I think they could have been more pronounced in the actual recording. I'm sure they did it for a reason. There were probably not many stereos back then that could actually make the bass sound good & deep. Once again, if you see the show live you will really notice the bass pedals. They will slam you in the face. Mike is like the glue on this album that holds everything together. Also when you see this show live you will notice how much 12 string is played by Rutherford. A lot of times when I thought it was bass it was 12-string with the pedals. Mike is the master of the two combined, more than any other musician of the prog era.

To sum it up, It is one of my favorite albums of all time. The band's direction begins to change after the Lamb with Gabriel leaving. I think it was the height of the Gabriel era. The band seemed to skyrocket into success following this album. Do your self a favor. Go see the show live! It will change your perspective.

Report this review (#9997)
Posted Thursday, December 9, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is a stupendously brilliant musical creation, which can still amaze me. Part of it surely beckons to the young tense high-schooler in me which could still gawk slack-mouthed at its pseudo-insights into psychology and clever fantasy & metaphor scheme. But a grand part of it is still love for the music, for the pieces and especially for the whole. Something which has to be taken in doses, and not to be overstated. It pulls off a symphonic evolution and conclusion in rock matched perhaps by Dark Side of the Moon. But it also doesn't seem to me to be the kind of creation which could interest someone not already willing to soak up the entire album.
Report this review (#9999)
Posted Saturday, December 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I just can't tell you just how many non-Genesis Rockers had told me this double-Masterpiece had knock them right out of their socks. For those who like the spacey instrumentalizations of Yes - to those who get blown away by highly electric, extended jams by any band - and like to elevate to a different level with it all, THIS is a Must-Have.

It's often said that "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" was an Excess by Peter Gabriel and the primary catalyst for him leaving the group shortly thereafter. But this Lp cannot be accurately classified as "overkill" by Gabriel simply because Tony, Steve, Mike and Phil experimentally jam in such an unrestrained fashion on this Lp. All four sides are liberally interspersed with artisitically colorful and/or brilliant and loud instrumentals - these also sounding much more spontaneous than on the previous albums.

"The Supernatural Anaesthetist" is essentially a lovely, flowing and prolific electric guitar solo by Steve. "Riding the Scree" is Tony all over the keys in an (uncharacteristically) uninhibited but very coherent fashion; loud and cosmic. The Title Track opens the album with an icey punch that also has Gabriel shouting his verses with extreme authority - and this is the case with a few of the other vocal tracks as well. A dazzling departure from the Birdsong warblings he whimsically chirped on the previous 3 Lps. This is also the Genesis album that Phil begins to first formulate his confident Big Drum sound on...Roto-Toms and all.

Genesis' Landmark composition, as weird as it is.

Report this review (#10001)
Posted Saturday, January 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars An often underrated masterpiece. It's a long double concept album, and in spite of that, I don't find any weak song anywhere! This is their best album. Some of the highlights here are the title track, "Fly On A Windshield", "Cuckoo Cocoon", "In The Cage", "Counting Out Time", "Carpet Crawlers", "The Chamber Of 32 Doors", "Lilywhite Lylith", "Anyway", "Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetist" and "The Lamia", amongst others (that's a huge list!). CD 2 is a bit weaker than the first but even the worst songs here are just "average".
Report this review (#10004)
Posted Sunday, January 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars What can I say about this album that you haven't already read here? It's the best album ever made, for me. I just love every song here, maybe the second CD is not so powerful and mind blowing like the first one, but you'll love it anyway. Specially thanks to masterpieces like "The Colony of Slipperman" or "It". I _love_ *every* song on the first CD, maybe the only weaker song is "Cuckoo Cocoon", but it's perfect too. You have to buy this album NOW, you'll never regret it. I can't stop listening "Back in N.Y.C." or "Counting Out Time", even after so many years.
Report this review (#10005)
Posted Monday, January 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album deserves a book, not a freakin' little record review. There's so much going on here, musically and conceptually, it will take a lifetime to figure out. This is one thick album. It succeeds because it's not only a massively complex listen as a whole, but you can also take each song on its own and still enjoy it as an album full of lots and lots of great songs. It doesn't lose itself in the conceptual insanity if you don't want it to. If you do want to read into the lyrics and have fun with the concept, you have an infinite number of conceptual possibilities to consider. It's weird, man, weeeeeiiiiirrrrrrd.

Only the tension that was happening in Genesis at the time could've produced a work this eventful. Gabriel unfolds a most bizarre tale while the musicians-all putting in career performances--run through a dizzying variety of moods and tempos, from the epic ("In The Cage") and the simplistic ("Counting Out Time") to the fiery and innovative ("The Waiting Room", "Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetist"). It's like they know this is the end of a very special era, and they do everything their massive talent-pool can to go out with a bang.

You hear some stuff occasionally about how the second half of this double-album isn't as eventful or memorable as the first half, but I've never heard it that way. For all its consistency, you get some of the deepest Genesis journeys in the final half, including "Anyway", "In The Rapids", "The Lamia", and a song that dates back to the band's beginnings, the gorgeous "Lilywhite Lilith". No, I don't hear the album faltering at all in the second half. Maybe it's people's attention spans failing? I don't know. All I know is if it seems sad that the Gabriel-era of Genesis didn't last a little longer, at least they left us with this mesmerizing and always-enjoyable monument, because this is as good as prog gets.

Report this review (#10006)
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars A masterpiece! The whole TLLDOB concept is a delight to both ears and brain, and will not wear out after decenniums of repeated listening. Some of the previous reviews discuss each song, which in my book seems odd for a concept album. So set aside 1.5 hours of your life and share it with Rael and his mysterious "travel". The music is extremely strong on this classic album, and the lyrics unpredecessed -- and afaik, no one have come close since either. A resource for the inspiration for the lyrics, check out George MacDonald's books "Phantastes" and "Lilith".

In short - this album is mandatory to anyone visiting this site.

Report this review (#10007)
Posted Friday, January 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Peter Gabriel Productions Presents . . ."THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY" A Peter Gabriel Film: Written and Directed by: Peter Gabriel Starring: Peter Gabriel & Tony Banks - Co-Starring: Phil Collins & Steve Hackett - and introducing: Mike Rutherford.

An excellent first "solo" project for the avante gard Mr. Gabriel. He assembles a first rate supporting cast. Notable among them is Mr. Tony Banks, who turns in arguably his best performance to date. A fair argument can be made though, that the talents of co-stars, Mr. Collins & Mr. Hackett, are under utilized. Mr. Rutherford does a yeomans job on his small, but important role. The storyline and screenplay are A+. The cinematography and soundtrack are B/B+ respectivley. Peter parted ways with this troupe after its release. Both he and the remaining cast would go onto greater crtical success in scores like SECURITY, and UP, for Mr. Gabriel, and A TRICK of the TAIL for Collins, et al. Nonetheless, it's a rolicking good time. Be sure to pick this one up, the whole family will thank you.

Report this review (#10013)
Posted Saturday, February 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This was the thrid album I got by Genesis (after NC & Foxtrot), and I was immediately struck by how modern it sounded by comparison to earlier efforts. Especially, Tony's keyboards and synths seemed to take on a whole new spectrum of ominous textures to go along with his already famously ominous Mellotron sound. Think "Fly On A Windshield" and "Back In NYC" here.

I love Mike's bass playing, especially on the title track, which is one of my favorite "poppy" Genesis songs. He sounds like a dead ringer for Chris Squire on that song in particular, which is not a bad thing at all IMO.

I think it's safe to say this is the most puzzling concept album of all time lyrically. I'm not sure if it's really supposed to mean anything or if Pete may have played a big joke on us all, but it is filled with compelling imagery and atmospheric drama, even if you haven't a clue what the heck is going on.

While I wouldn't recommend it as a starter to anyone's Genesis collecion, due to it's heavy mood and baffling lyrics, there are enough moments of epic grandeur and majesty to make it quintessentially and unmistakeably Genesis.

I look at this album a lot like Pink Floyd's The Wall: both double concept albums with a lot of great music, but only about a single album's worth. The rest ranges from good to pure filler. That being said, those great moments make it my third favorite Genesis album, after Selling England... and Foxtrot.

Report this review (#10015)
Posted Friday, February 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars The greatest genesis album ever? well maybe not, but it really is an amazing album. Some people get put off but the complex story line. I have always said just listen to the music and enjoy it, you can spend time analizing later. The album mostly consists of shorter songs that form the lamb concept. The band show they have a great sense of melody (a perfect example being the Lamia on disc 2). While this album may not be for everyone, it is certainly worth a listen.
Report this review (#10017)
Posted Friday, March 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Without any doubt, this is one of the masterpieces of world progressive. This last work by Genesis in five (Gabriel, Collins, Banks, Hackett and Ruterford) is the "happy ending" of the careere of Peter in the band. Really the work is amazing, without doubt is the best Genesis work (with "Selling England by the Pound"). The words can't explain what this amazing concept album have to say. Buy it in CD, but if you find it in LP format is really another world. Higly recommended to all.
Report this review (#10020)
Posted Tuesday, March 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars So you've got this band...pretty damn good band too. The lead singer's one of the best in the business...everybody's pretty much rounded out in this band. But as everyone who's been a band member is sure to have experienced at some point will tell you, we've arrived at an era of internal conflict. To further re-reiterate (as it were) what I'm trying to convey here...picture Jim Bruer's stand-up excerpt concerning 'When Tequila Enters The Party In My Stomach.'

I just bought it yesterday, this is my first listen. To be fair, my first taste of Genesis was "Selling England By The Pound" and that one had to grow on me. But I could not help but think while listening to this theatrical drama of a double album, that something IS missing...A feeling I got when I listened to the latest A Perfect Circle Album (13th Step)..."IT" is missing.

That's what's going on in The Lamb Dies Down on Broadway. Genesis is sick. I would even go so far to venture that on a level Genesis IS the embodiment of the Rael/John entity. Gabriel's only the mouthpiece.

On the track entitled, "The Light Dies Down..." It seems that Gabriel is telling you exactly what's going on- In a way, he's left the band already in that he's seen the window of opportunity and his heart has left...but his brother(s) are drowning, and so he decides to muster up what's left of his heart and go back and help in anyway he can - even though he knows that when he leaves, he leaves solo (as is the case with Rael and John). Sadly, as with most situations with an internal conflict there is a loss and there is a victory. In this case, I will speak what I perceive about the is found wanting in some respects, there are points on this release where I hear the cohesion expected of Genesis, and other points where, clearly the music is as tense and divided as the group were.

I am no expert, but it's my opinion that this is NOT a Genesis release. It's too "Gabriel- heavy", in like manner much of what is proffered now by the band calling themselves Genesis today is too "Collins-heavy."

I will say no more as this was my first listen and my knee-jerk reaction-review, I have more research to do on this release and the environment that gave birth to it. This seems to me to be one of the albums that layed the groundwork for groups in the vein of Dream Theater to build upon. The groundwork mind you, not necessarily the foundation.

I would not recommend that the neophyte start here - try A Trick Of The Tale Foxtrot

Report this review (#10022)
Posted Thursday, March 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars l liked this concept double album quite much as a teenager, and though I haven't listened it for ages, I still have warm memories about it. The possible symbolic meanings of this epic tale never got very clear to me, but as the music works so well, such inferior details do not matter. When thinking afterwards, maybe Peter is singing about himself been lost to the pretentious illusions of commercially successful progressive rock spectacles, and preparing to venture to his own musical and socially responsible solo career. My own highlights of the record are "Fly on a Windshield", "Broadway Melody of 1974", "In the Cage", "The Waiting Room" and "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats", though the two LP's spin pleasantly without unnecessary moments. There are also some nice live recordings from the tour of this album, which I have liked even yet more than this fine epitaph for an era ending here.
Report this review (#10023)
Posted Friday, April 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars We don't have to discuss wether this album is worth listening. It is. The quarrels between the two camps "First side good second side bad" is misleading to potential audiences. This concept album has to be heard right through till the end. In my ears the second Part is even more dense and is culminating.The most important aspect to review this record in my opinion are the atmospheres and bizarre sounds used. This recording is so well arranged so beautifully designed that you can feel the breeze of genious in it. It is poetry come to notes and strange sounds. It's sometimes harsh, sometimes sweet and very sad. You don't expect that by a rock group, don't you. Peter Gabriels voice is more than a singing instrument. It is merging with other instruments, developing, shifting and changin sound even in the span of one single word. I never heard something similiar in pop. This is marvelous and shows that the engeneering crew was very inspired. Tony Banks didn't like this album. But I think it's another planet of modern music. The hardest Punk band can't beat "Back in NYC" and the softest german space people can't produce a "Hairless heart". This are the two poles. And in between - all you need is ears. An album - one of a kind. Five stars. We don't have more available.
Report this review (#10042)
Posted Monday, April 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I am certain that everything more or less important of this album have been already written. So, I will add a personal remembrance: it was late night, 1987, and I was sitting by the radio like a wallflower in my room, in a town in the communistic Czechoslovakia. I was waiting for the broadcasting from the Polish radio where they used to played in a serial the whole discography of Genesis. My brother constructed a sophisticated anthen to recieve the stereo signal over the High Tatras. I was ready. However, perhaps 3 minutes before the beginning the anthen-radio conection had suddenly got broken (secret service?). Alas! That was no time to play around, so I clutched the contacts in hands. And I was sitting by it with my hands getting steady and numb nearly two hours, but I succeeded. Finally, I had recorded that fantastic album and for a long time it was only this cassette whereform we could listen it. And now to the album, I am sure it was worthy my hard effort. It is definitely on of the most important achievements in rock music. One who is interested in music cannot ignore it. Genesis sailed here onto the depth. Actually, it is an opera, with a plot brought by Peter Gabriel. In opera you do not judge libreto or plot per se. It is a complex work, including musical, lyrical and dramatic sides. And everything is here. It is musically very influential and unique, even in the context of the Genesis albums, some tracks are simply marvelous (Hairless heart, silent sorrow..), one-two tones, one-two intervals, nothing but magic. You find yourself in the magic world (like during Magic flute of Mozart). Lyrics are very nice and poetic again as always in Genesis. Very metaphoric. The story plot may be a bit naive and simple but it must be like that in opera. You must not be withdrawn by words and thoughts too much. Highly recommended for all, especially for teenagers who can find here what they are looking for.
Report this review (#10046)
Posted Tuesday, April 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I've always considered this album to be the one in their catalog to sort of be an island unto itself. I find it hard to 'link' it to any other part of their output like you could compare, say, "Foxtrot" and "Nursery Cryme". I have always unabashedly loved this album from just about any angle. It's the most complex songwriting I have ever heard. The emotion with which Gabriel sings these lyrics gives you a sense that he treated his words with very high reverence. He knew he had something epic on his hands and every inflection in his voice seems to say "I'm doing everything I can to give these ideas the respect they deserve". Collins' drumming is just magnificent. I couldn't imagine another drummer's style meshing with this material. The only criticisms I have are 1) The Waiting Room. Interesting the first few times I heard it, but has been relegated to filler now. I've never seen a track ever get the odd glances that this one gets from my friends & family. 2) The Light Dies Down on Broadway. The lyrics seem to be a bland array of words thrown together to fill space (This was the one written by Banks, wasn't it? Thought I heard that somewhere....). 3) The Lamia fadeout. Interestingly, there was a time that this was one of my least favourite songs on the album. It is now my favourite. Go figure. It seems to me that the final minute of the song where Hackett fires up the solo sends the song soaring. The band seems exceptionally tight during this section, and then, when it can't sound more beautiful, the absolutely gorgeous staccato-styling flute comes in. Heaven. But then four seconds later....FADEOUT! AARRRGGGHHH!!!! I often wonder how far they went with this tune and what it sounded like before being edited. Oh, well...maybe it was trash and they did us all a favour.... Truly,truly, one of a kind.
Report this review (#10049)
Posted Friday, May 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I think it's correct if I say that this is one of the best progressive albums ever recorded. Great amount of musical details of every kind and surrealistical lyrics but philosophical, are just a few reasons to have this album. The past week I had the oportunity of watch with my own eyes a tribute band called "The musical box" playing and performing "the lamb lies down on broadway". It was like a dream, cause this album is not just a great cd to listen and enjoy, it's also a world to introduce yourself, to think, and to reflect....
Report this review (#10056)
Posted Monday, May 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Peter Gabriel's last album with Genesis is a masterful work--perhaps the best concept album of the era. Because others have done a commendable, thorough job of reviewing the music on the album, I will focus my comments on what I believe to be the central theme of the album. Although the story is at times oblique, ultimately "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" is a celebration of free will, as well as a call to put others before yourself. Anticipating a later Gabriel solo song, it is a message to the listener to D.I.Y. Rael, the main character in the story, blames a host of outside sources for the plight in which he finds himself (Rael is trapped in an alternative, underground universe that is the mirror image of his New York home). This tendency to blame others--society, his mother and father, women with whom he has failed romantic adventures, the notorious Dr. Dyper, The Raven, and in particular his brother John-- provides a ready-made excuse for his plight, but also makes it impossible for Rael the escape the bonds that have entrapped him. Only when Rael ignores an opportunity to escape the world that imprisons him, choosing instead to attempt to save his brother, does he find deliverance. Choosing to risk his life to save Brother John, Rael dives into a cold, rapid river, managing to pull both he and John to safety. He is shocked, however, to find that as he drags his brother to the shore and turns his brother's body over, the face he sees is not that of John, but his own. At that instant, Rael realizes that it was really himself, and not his brother John or anyone else, who had made the choices in the past that had left him stuck in "this foresaken place." The album then closes with a soaring tribute to the threats and opportunities that come with living a life that is characterized by free will. Gabriel's message is to embrace the here and now and to take responsibility for yourself and for your life, as reflected in the last line of the album- -"Cos It's only Knock and Knowall, but I like It!"
Report this review (#10062)
Posted Tuesday, May 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of the few concept albums in the running for the label of "definitive". Not only do the music and lyrics tell a seamless tale, start to finish; the packaging comes into play as well, with the folks at Hipgnosis doing their usual stellar job. This is a unique album in the Genesis pantheon, owing to many factors: shorter songs, cohesive story line, a matured band, and music developed out of jam sessions held by the band at a pub while Peter Gabriel tended to his sick daughter. Adding further sonic interest, Brian Eno was involved in the production of the album, putting his distinctive sonic stamp on the recording. Eno's influence did wonders on "de-murking" the previously dense keyboard sound on Genesis albums. The result is a much more open and spacious sounding recording, with some truly lovely passages - particularly Ravine and Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats, both on disc 2. This is easily the peak of the band, and an essential album in any self-respecting prog-head's collection.
Report this review (#36089)
Posted Saturday, June 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Warning: This is NOT a review - it's an experience sharing .

Why? It's because there has been so many excellent reviews about this album. For detailed review you can read what my colleague collaborator Dex F. has put it in about this album. I also agree with what Ivan has written that the claustrophobic "In the Cage" and the tittle song are highlights of this masterpiece that cost me so much time to understand and love- on first listen many many years ago (my case). This masterpiece has created great memories throughout my study as well as work career.

About a week ago I had a discussion with the senior executive of Indonesian Progressive Society (IPS) on the plan to release a debut album of another new prog band in my country at the end of this month. He said that the release will be celebrated with the live show of the new band. And I asked him on how come conducting a live show an album that has not been released yet? He answered me calmly: "Gatot, don't you remember The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis? It was released when the crowds were expecting the band to play the tunes they had had been familiar with. But the band did not play any single tune from their previous album. That represented the launch of the album". So inspiring answer, don't you think? That suffices for me to have another spin again of this very very legendary and masterpiece album! I also listened to the entire live that he mentioned during my conversation with him: the disc 1 & 2 of Genesis Archive box set volume 1. I love both versions even though I prefer the live one. Awesome!

For me this album was the pinnacle of Genesis career in prog rock where the music, the lyrics, the overall concept of this concept album are really great. The tracks that always create a stimuli for me to repeat are: Fly on a Windshield, In The Cage, Back In NYC, Hairless Heart, Anyway, and The Lamia. It does not mean the others are not excellent tracks. Fly On A Windshield is a great composition song with powerful and heavy voice of Peter Gabriel "There's something solid forming in the air ." oh man . this opening part stabs my heart at every spin of the track. The lyrics continuation that says: "The wind is blowing harder now, Blowing dust into my eyes. The dust settles on my skin, Making a crust I cannot move in.." is also memorable part. And it turns quite until Gabriel sings this beautifully: "And I'm hovering like a fly, waiting for the windshield on the freeway." JRENG! Wow . man .the music that follows is killing me man ..!!! (I used to call it in my locality language as "nggeblak" which roughly means like: I'm stunned and my mind is paralyzed hearing this wonderful musical harmony!).

The music is continued with an exploration of keyboard, howling guitars and dynamic drumming followed with continued singing: "Echoes of the Broadway Everglades, With her mythical madonnas still walking in their shades: Lenny Bruce, declares a truce and plays his other hand. Marshall Mcluhan, casual viewin', head buried in the sand. Sirens on the rooftops wailing, but there's no ship sailing. Groucho, with his movies trailing, stands alone with his punchline failing." "Klu Klux Klan serve hot soul food and the band plays 'In the Mood' .." I like the way Gabriel sings "Klu Klux Klan ." .

Note: I always grab the CD sleeve and sing along with Gabriel while reading the lyrics whenever I listen to Fly On A Windshield. No wonder that I can remember on top of my head some verses of the lyrics - especially the opening part and those that mention Winston ciggarette. Actually I confuse about this track as if we look at the lyrical coverage, the part that starts with "Echoes of the Broadway ..." is actually already part of The Broadway Melody of 1974 - but, the CD version track still include this as Fly on A Windshield. Well, it does not matter, actually - it's a manufacturing issue, I think.

How can I not repeat this killing melody music? It's so wonderful. Other songs - except the Waiting Room - are excellent as well. Hairless Heart and Fly On A Windshield have influenced many neo prog bands music - at least on the nice melody these tracks offer. Super Highly Recommended! Keep on Proggin' ..!

Progressively yours,

GW - Review #319

.. And as the song and dance begins, the children play at home with needles; needles and pins.

Report this review (#36530)
Posted Tuesday, June 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars If this isn't a masterpiece I don't know wich record is! If you love prog. you cannot around this one. This 2 cd concept album is one of a kind, with all members of the early Genesis on their top. Slightly experimental but stands as a rock! It is a great journey from beginning to the end and it's never boring and will always surprises you! You can hear that Peter Gabriel has got a lot of infuence on this one and that would also be one of the reasons that Peter finely left Genesis. This album is worth every star of this five!
Report this review (#36554)
Posted Wednesday, June 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well, let's see. After the much accomplished Selling England By The Pound, Peter Gabriel decided that he would make one more album with Genesis, do a tour, and then quit the music business for a while to raise his expecting daughter. So, he came up a short story after William Friedkin approached him to do a screenplay for a film, although I'm not too certain that the short story was for the film Anyway, the short story would become the basis for Genesis' upcoming album, entitled The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. After writing lyrics for some music that Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Steve Hackett, and Mike Rutherford had been jamming around with, they began to record the album with the Island Mobile Studio with John Burns as the co-producer and with some help from ex-Roxy Music member Brian Eno.

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway was released on November 18, 1974, and Genesis embarked on a tour that would center around the album. For the course of a year or more, they played the album live every night, with fantastic light shows and bizzare costumes courtesy of Peter Gabriel (who, by that point, had been very notorious for costumes). Many of the fans were puzzled over the performances, and the album would become their most notorious and controversial throughout their entire career.

Now, when it comes to reviewing an album like this, it's important to have some sort of handle on it. A double-concept album, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is quite a lot to swallow. It's most likely that more than just a couple of listens are required. It's also important to note that this album is not for everyone. Falling under the category of progressive rock, it's a very acquired taste. Most people that appreciate the work of Genesis from 1970-1977 ( Trespass to Seconds Out) have become Genesis fanatics and devote their admiration and loyalty to them. It's extremely imperitive to recognize that Genesis (mainly Peter Gabriel) is one of the most eccentric musicians that the rock and roll industry has ever had, and their work could very much come across as very pompous or over-the-top with complex arrangements and strange, yet at times, very silly vocals/lyrics. Now, with that said, let us review this sprawling, difficult, complex, and eccentric piece of music.

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is a double album, split up into four parts (or sides). For the most part, the songs are connected to make four lengthy "suites." I must say that they did this very well, and this would be the only time in their entire career that they would do something like this. With that said, it's important that the album be played all at once, despite the fact that the running time of the album exceeds ninety- four minutes.

The first side begins with the title track, beginning with a very well-played piano intro. by Tony Banks. The song would have to be one of the most accessible songs on the album and in the entire early-Genesis catalog. It has some great lyrics that really set the scene and gives a nice introduction to the heroine of the album, leather-clad Puerto Rican gang member, Rael. After the final verse and Peter singing "They say the lights are always bright on Broadway/They say there's always magic in the air" a couple of times, the track dissolves into the first 12-string chords of "Fly On A Windshield." Now, the story begins to unfold with the forming of a violent dust-storm which wraps Rael in a cocoon of dust. After "And I'm hovering like a fly...," the band blasts through with a gritty instrumental led by the exceptional drumming of Phil Collins. Then, the song transforms into "The Broadway Melody Of 1974," a commentary about Howard Hughes, the Ku Klux Klan, Caryl Chessman, bitter almonds, Winston cigarettes and things of that nature...more or less the city of New York in which Rael is leaving to depths and worlds unknown. "Cuckoo Cocoon" is next, and Rael finds himself inside a cave after a long sleep. A little ditty of sorts, the short piece is led by the bittersweet flute-work of Peter Gabriel. Not quite as talented as Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson, but truly exceptional indeed. Rael notices a grouping of particles forming around him, closing in on him. "In The Cage" is next, and we are first introduced to Rael's brother John. With a tear of blood, John takes no caring for Rael's cries of help, and leaves him to face the surrounding cage around him. Fortunately, the cage dissolves, and Rael is left spinning like a top. Rael moves on with his journey and finds himself in some sort of factory, with people on a conveyor belt with numbers on their foreheads, including John with the number 9. "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging" is the final track on side one, and leaves the satisfied listener wanting more.

Side Two begins with "Back In N.Y.C.," a reminiscence on the gritty New York life that Rael once knew. A synthesized masterpiece, the painful lyrics and glorious keyboards are revolved around a 7/8 measure by Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford. The first instrumental, "Hairless Heart," follows with beautiful synthesizers and classical guitars by Steve Hackett, and is followed by the quirky "Counting Out Time." Now, Rael is faced with the pressure of satisfying a woman sexually, with his trusty book of errogenous zones by his side, for he is a virgin and has never done such a thing. Of course, disappointment follows, and Rael is faced with a long hallway with "Carpet Crawlers" on the floor, making their way up a spiral staircase, which leads into "The Chamber Of 32 Doors." These two songs are wonderfully played and serve as the conclusion to not only the end of side two, but disc one as well.

So, let us remove the first record from our turntables and place the second record (remember to listen to side three before four for all the dummies out there!). The first song is "Lilywhite Lilith," which enters with a pretty good bang. Another fairly accessible song from the boys of Genesis, this one introduces us the the character of the same name, a bold blind woman who helps Rael through the mass of people out of the chamber into a cave, where he is seated to wait for Death. "The Waiting Room" is an instrumental drenched with Eno-inspired oddities which make way to a glorious-turned-strange workout by the band. "Anyway" follows, a song about Death and how Rael hears it approaching. Apparently, it's in the form of an anaesthetist in "Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetist," with some nice guitar chords by Steve Hackett. Following is "The Lamia," and Rael finds himself in another chamber with the lamia, a three-headed serpent-woman that caresses him for a while, then begins to try to eat him, but his blood kills her, and he eats her instead. The instrumental "Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats" serves as the conclusion of the third side with a quiet, euphoric glory.

Side Four begins with "The Colony Of Slippermen," where Rael is greeted by slippermen, people who have met the same fate as he, only displaying the aftermath (their figures). Rael has to see Doktor Dyper for a castration in order to avoid turning into a slipperman. His penis is placed in a tube, which is snatched by a raven, who carries it towards a ravine. Rael chases after it and sees the raven drop the tube in the ravine and float away. The instrumental "Ravine" follows with the same quietness of "Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats," but it sounds more eerie with the synthesizers. "The Light Dies Down On Broadway" is the reprise of the title track. Here, Rael sees a gateway which leads back to the New York streets. Of course, he is met with a dilemma after he sees John drowning in the ravine. He chooses to save John, blowing his chance of leaving the insane world he's been so unfortunate to be in. "Riding The Scree" follows with a reggae-like 9/8 rhythm that soars with the spectacular synthesizers of Tony Banks. Here, Rael jumps into the raging river to save his drowning brother John. With "In The Rapids," he reaches John and grabs onto him, riding the river out to safety, only to find that the face of John is, in fact, his own. " it" is the last song on the album, and is very confusing. I believe that it is the self- actualization that Rael has acquired at the end of the album for saving John, who is actually himself in the long run. Of course, I could be wrong, but I guess I'll have to be satisfied with this assumption.

On the whole, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is one of the finest albums ever made, and without a doubt the best concept album ever made ( Sgt. Pepper isn't really much of a concept album). It has a really intriguing story and is played very well. I would easily place this album in my Top 20 of all-time favorite albums, and I would say that this is my favorite progressive rock album. Not many other artists made albums as involved as this...only albums such as Tommy and The Wall come to mind. But The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway beats out those albums by a country mile...maybe even two.

One of the few albums that have perfectly crafted songs. 10/10 for all the songs, and a perfect five star rating with a bullet!

Report this review (#37034)
Posted Monday, June 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well ahead of its time and still sounding fresh today, this album is moody, dark, mysterious and humorous in one exceptional package. TLLDOB provides the listener with a truly unique soundscape: a double album that never seems too long; and a concept album, yet without being too repetitive or pretentious. It is totally emotive, ranging from sadness to euphoria, mourning to anger, desire to impotence. In its own surreal and beautiful way this album deals with the dilemma of humankind struggling to assert its identity in a commercial era. The story of Rael, the protagonist New Yorker, is difficult to comprehend and yet a joy to experience. This was the last album Peter Gabriel made with the band and IMHO is simply one of the best things both he and Genesis have ever done.
Report this review (#38238)
Posted Friday, July 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars ok, You have to know. this album is a masterpiece. but i know that this idea was very controversial in 1974. you have to know. as many reviewer has say already. this album is the finest hours for genesis. the top quality in songwriting that mr. gabriel could offer. this is amazing to see such perfect evolution in their career (gabriel period)

often, people say that this album is most a peter gabriel project instead of genesis project. this is false for me. each member bring a piece for the puzzle

when I listen the cd, I thought what genesis would have become if peter would have stay with the band.

You have to know, this is not the first album for start with genesis (gabriel period) i recomend, in order, (1) Selling England By The Pound . because this is the most accesible of all. all song are perfect and the melody are easy to cath. (2) foxtrot or Nursery Cryme , as you want.(3) trespass , very good album but this is the begining. and after that and only after that you can hear the perfect worl of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway I think that the main problem for new listener is the difficulty to cath the meaning of melody. the subtil atmosphere. and the fact that the album is very long. this is not easy

you have to know that this album is amazing in melody and amazing in atmosphere. so, go and buy the cd and learn, if you are ready.

take the time,................and you will not be disapointed


Report this review (#41489)
Posted Wednesday, August 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars 4.5 Stars

After their absolute masterpiece, they had to decide if they will try to play it safe and release a similar album, or use the talents in another way. They used the latter, and created a compelling story and sacrificed instrumentation for singing. The album suffers one main flaw : the second disc has some poor musical moments. I am certain that if they tightened the album into one single 50 minute disc, they could have made their strongest album. The first CD is perfect for me, if only their second had the same quality ... songs like Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats, The Colony of Slippermen and The Waiting Room hurts the quality of the album. Actually, the songs are not as excellent as in their previous two albums taken separately, but when connected in the story, they are much better.

The album starts with a great melodic tune full of great and accessible musicianship and classic vocal hooks. It is followed by mellotron, gorgeous vocal melodies, and perfect (and simple) playing (a high point of the album). Cockoo's Cocoon is a harmless pop tune with a nice flute solo. In The Cage is the most known track of the album mainly because of the desperate sounding keyboard riffs and the virtuosic moog runs. Side two has the same high quality beginning with the bizarre 'The Grand Parade' that builds itself into dramatic close. Then, it is followed by my favourite track of the album : Back in NY City.The song sounds very dated, but it is a very powerful song with punk-like qualities on Gabriel's vocals. Gabriel's vocals are not the only good thing of this song. Tony Banks' riffs are very entertaining. Hairless Heart is an instrumental of exceeding beauty. Counting Out Time is a lighthearted pop song with good guitar riffs and nice melodies. The Carpet Crawlers is another well-known track from the album. It is a ballad with pedal guitar improvisations in the background. The Chamber of 32 Doors is a moderately long track that does not feel long, thanks to the strong vocal melodies and playing. Perfect Disc!

1. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (9/10) 2. Fly on a Windshield (10/10) 4. Cuckoo Cocoon (6/10) 5. In the Cage (9/10) 6. The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging (8/10) 7. Back in N.Y.C. (10/10) 8. Hairless Heart (9.5/10) 9. Counting Out Time (8/10) 10. The Carpet Crawlers (9/10) 11. The Chamber of 32 Doors (9/10)

The Second Disc has some disappointments though and while it isn't much weaker instrumentally, its melodies are not as memorable and interesting as in the first disc. Lilywhile Lilith is a good rocker that is made better with the 'fly on a windshield' reprise. The Waiting Room is an avante garde piece that gives a very nervous mood. Anyways is a ballad with good piano melodies. The next track is another good (but not great) track. Fortunately, Lamia arrives and shows itself to be a highlight of the album. It is a very dark, myseterious, and captivating number in which all musicians shine. Silent Sorrows is a low point. It cries filler and seems only to be created so that Peter changes his custom into the mutant in the last long track of the album. Unfortunately, there is filler in the first 2 minutes where the artists just noodle around on their instrument without a sense of melody. The track itself is pretty good, but it does not achieve to be of the quality found in songs like 'In The Cage'. The next few tracks are mostly instrumental and not very interesting. Riding the Scree is worth talking about though. IT is a synth-driven piece with flying moog solos in the beginning. AFter so much filler, the album ends in a high note that leaves you satisfied. It is 'It'. A rock&roll number with fast acoustic guitars, and a powerful adn fun electric guitar melody.

1. Lillywhite Lilith (8/10) 2. The Waiting Room (6.5/10) 3. Anyway (8/10) 4. The Supernatural Anaesthetist (7/10) 5. The Lamia (9/10) 6. Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats (4/10) 7. Colony of Slippermen (7/10) 8. Ravine (6/10) 9. The Light Dies Down on Broadway (8.5/10) 10. Riding the Scree (8/10) 11. In the Rapids (6/10) 12. It. (9/10)

I still honor this album and give it 5 Stars (well, 4.5). It is one of the early 70s successful concept albums, and this album influenced greatly Neal Morse.

My Grade : A/B

Report this review (#41967)
Posted Sunday, August 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A pretentious but worthy double album!

In 1974 Gabriel was messing around with film director William Friedkin, which might explain Peter's obsession with writing an epic drama about a young Puerto Rican New Yorker wandering thru the underworld of the megapolis and presumably searching for his true identity or whatever, who cares?! I must admit I never passed the few first sentences of the album story liner notes because it was soooo boring and pseudo-intellectual text. "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" is definitely a GENESIS' "topographic oceans" trip trap. Musically, however it is a very good effort with almost flawless Disc 1, where "Broadway melody 1974", "In the Cage" or "Carpet Crawlers" rank among the band's best moments. Disc 2 is much weaker and apart from jolly "The Colony of Slippermen" does not offer many memorable moments. This album has very dark atmosphere stressed by some horror odd sounds and electronics courtesy of Brian Eno. Gabriel's voice is often stressed and agressive without necessity and in retrospect it is clear that he was giving his last bit of energy to the band before quitting and going solo. It may sound controversial, but I would still recommend this album not only to the fans, because there is enough musical quality and musicianship.

Report this review (#42707)
Posted Saturday, August 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tony Fisher
4 stars After a quintessentially English album (Selling England), this is their American album. It was also Gabriel's swansong and he wrote all the lyrics to keep the concept coherent. And, for a double album, it is remarkably free from fillers and rubbish. It's not completely consistent, some tracks being magnificent (Fly on a Windshield, Hairless Heart, Carpet Crawlers,The Lamia) whilst others don't quite make the grade (Back in NYC and Lilywhite Lilith) but there's nothing that's actually bad. Banks' keybards are majestic throughout and Hackett finds some inspired guitar work whilst the rhythm section is tight and inventive. Gabriel produces some of his best work on both flute and vocals; how they missed him! The only thing that let's it down a bit is the story. I do not empathise with Rael, the archetypal New Yorker, whose adventures the album charts. So to summarise, great music, slightly silly story. Worth buying? Definitely yes, but not quite a masterpiece - a damn close run thing though.4.5 stars.
Report this review (#45646)
Posted Monday, September 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars The prog-rock era sort of toppled under its own weight when every band had to do their double album. Genesis were no exception, and it was predictably overblown and overstuffed. But they managed to keep their dignity and produce an album that was at least good, if not quite on the level of their best works.

The concept, 100% Gabriel's baby, is totally incomprehensible, and it wouldn't at all surprise me if lots of drugs were involved. At least it strives for a quirky surrealism, as opposed to the cheesy sci-fi and heroic fantasy concepts most prog-rock acts go for. And Side One is some of the best Genesis music ever, the pieces flowing together masterfully, reaching a fever pitch with the intense "In The Cage".

It's round about Side Three that things begin to unravel, with some rather less than inspired throwaway numbers ("Lilywhite Lilith", "Anyway") and obvious filler (the jam piece "The Waiting Room"), but they never find themselves as deep as TALES FROM TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS. Even at its weakest, the album remains listenable, but at 90+ minutes it sometimes feels more like a marathon than an album.

Still, it's good that they managed to retain their integrity on a project that was probably a mite overambitious. Definitely one of the more successful and enjoyable of these types of albums, but still not a patch on FOXTROT in the end.

Report this review (#46276)
Posted Sunday, September 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Every big 70's band, it seemed, had to do a double, concept album, one that stretched the group's ambitions and sometimes their fans' tolerance. Yes had the controversial "Tales"; ELP had Works Volume 1; Pink Floyd had "The Wall"; and Genesis had "Lamb"; outside Prog, Led Zep did "Physical Grafitti" and so on. The format was in large part decreed by the limits of vinyl, about 20 - 25 minutes, at very most 30 minutes each side. Typically you ended up with 2 shorter discs, a format that as Rick Wakeman observed about "Tales", if CD had existed, you'd have had it on one disc, and been able to leave out the padding. So the double concept album is largely dead - Tool managed to fit all 70+ minutes of Lateralus on a single disc, ditto lengthy albums from The Mars Volta, or Sigur Ros, and numerous other recent bands.

My point being that the double concept album was very much a 70's thing; you couldn't stop at three sides of music you had to have four, with the result sometimes, as Wakeman noted, lots of padding. But the grand concept that allowed scope beyond what the group had previously achieved - aah, now that was a noble goal, if potentially a dangerous one; a successful band, so powerful that it could oblige its record company to indulge it; and such arrogance to think the public will always follow you whatever you do - although of course that was what the public largely did.

So to the album; to my ears, LLDOB is the most successful of any of the prog giants double affairs, and I think its largely because the guiding light behind it, Peter Gabriel, is ultimately a man who has great taste in music, and whose ambition was not such that he rode roughshod over his fellow musicians like Roger Waters seemed to on "The Wall". Gabriel set the band members a challenge they rose to, and it is a very different sounding Genesis to the band playing on its predecessor, Selling England by the Pound. Throughout the album Gabriel leads and the rest follow - in particular Tony Banks rises to the challenge of providing some great melodies and arrangements, although Steve Hackett does sound strangely subdued here.

The album weaves the story of Rael and his bizarre series of adventures during a day in New York. The concept itself it leaves me a rather cold, but I can appreciate that it does set the band a theme to work around, although inevitably you then end up with having to find musical pieces just to fit the concept - the "padding".

However the padding is kept to a minimum here (but I would mention "Riding the Scree" as an example of it!) Although some tracks hover around the 6 - 8 minute mark, there's no one single epic track here, the story moving from song to song, sometimes with an instrumental bridge, like "Hairless Heart" or the atonal "The Waiting Room".

Unsurprisingly for me most of the better tracks are on the 1st disc /CD - the title track; Chamber of 32 Doors; Back in NYC; and Carpet Crawlers, a sublime track - musically and lyrically, one of Genesis' very best. The quality dips a bit on the second album but there are still fine, strong songs to be found like "The Lamia" and "it".

It may be easy to say with hindsight but you can almost sense Peter Gabriel is starting to move away from and outgrow the band. It's a great swansong for him with Genesis, but whereas previous - and subsequent - albums were group efforts, this is Peter Gabriel's baby and it shows.

Report this review (#46536)
Posted Tuesday, September 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Not all the tracks in this double album are great works. But when you are listening, you are listening to a tale and thereby accept the ups and downs. There are so many things to explore in this album that you can always find something new upon replay. Stylistically this is one of the very rare kind of albums and a must have for all prog-fans.
Report this review (#47624)
Posted Wednesday, September 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Pretty overrated album. Some people think that this is so great as a concept album. What concept? There might be an empty lyrical concept about some guy in New York, but musically, we can't talk about a concept album. Most of the songs are separated from each other and they could be listened in a random order. Some songs are connected but the bridge section is usually very forced (for example, think about that one keyboard note holding on between The Light Dies Down On Broadway and Riding The Scree or the obscure and quiet sound between Cuckoo Cocoon and In The Cage. This way practically any album could be forced into a concept form). The only exceptions are Hairless Heart/Counting Out Time and In The Rapids/It. The album is not such continuum as Dark Side Of The Moon or any real concept album. There are no necessary repetitions of certain themes, only forced ones. And the stuff itself is mostly filler. I can mention only few memorable songs: the title track, In The Rapids/It and In The Cage (which is ruined by Gabriel's weak vocals, Collins does it much better). The Carpet Crawlers would be a fine pop song but the endless repeating of the same things irritates me. And to the top (or the bottom?) of it all, Gabriel does quite neutral job here. No such vocal performances as in Willow Farm or The Musical Box that you can either love or hate are accomplished here. Only the title track has a couple of good screams and other funny things.
Report this review (#50960)
Posted Sunday, October 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This might be unusual, but "The Lamb" was actually my first Genesis album. I had previously heard a few tracks, like Watcher of Skies and Dancing With the Moonlit Knight, but these songs just didn't do anything for me. I never understood the hype over Genesis, and Peter Gabriel.

That all changed, as soon as I bought this album for 10 bucks at a used CD shop. I put it on shuffle, and my cd player skipped to track five. In The Cage was the first song I heard on this album.....and any doubts I had about Genesis, instantly vanished upon hearing Tony Bank's flying keyboard solo.

I love this album more and more each time I listen to it. As many have said before, there is some filler, some unnecessary passages (The Waiting Room ticks me off, and the first minute and a half of The Colony Of Slipperman is basically nothing) but the strong moments on this album far outweigh the weaker parts. The album is 94 minutes long. I happen to LOVE 83 minutes of it. There is a ton of good music on this alum.

While the album long, the individual songs are not. Tracks range from 33 seconds to 8:13. You don't have to sit down for 18 minutes and suck it all in (while I love Close to the Edge, and Supper's Ready etc. it can be very hard at first to take it all in.) The songs on this album had an immediate effect on me, and thus this album was a great introduction to a great band.

After listening to "The Lamb," I finally appreciate Genesis, and I have delved into other albums such as the spectacular Selling England By the Pound and Foxtrot. Genesis were amazing, and these albums show it. However, the Lamb holds a special place for me, and if you have not heard Genesis before, this might be a great place to start.

Report this review (#51057)
Posted Monday, October 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Many prog-heads considering this one as the pinnacle of GENESIS, and thier Masterpiece! I do not!! I like The Lamb... but to me drags to much, I have never listened to it completly on one session! and, I always found myself skipping songs! Anyway, this maks the end of an era for GENESIS-PG and should be part of your Collection from any particular point of view.. 4 1/2 stars.....
Report this review (#51790)
Posted Friday, October 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Musical diversity and complexity is the trademark of this album and thus ranks it amongst the greatest albums. Needless to say it is perhaps 'the' concept album with an intricate, original, and creative storyline. Following Rael from the streets of broadway to the rapids really is a musical journey if anything is.

Aside from the positive gestalt the album can be discussed by songs. Because of its length and density it is important to conscientiously listen to all the music on the album. Although I like virtually every song on this album some I prefer over others. This is inevitable considering the spectrum of sounds showcased during the album.

After a good introduction with 'Lamb Lies Down on Broadway," the album shifts into a rocking feature with 'Fly on the Windshield'. Gabriel's vocals are particularly strong at the end of the song when he speaks/sings several verses. (The original LP attributes this part to 'Broadway Melody' but the CD considers it 'Fly...'.) Next comes thirty-four seconds of bliss in 'Broadway Melody of 1974.' This filler track is so melodic and agreeable I'm surprised it hasn't been written before in a more classical tradition - or maybe it has? 'Cuckoo Cacoon' follows.

Now, as mentioned by nearly all LLDOB fans, 'In the Cage' showcases Genesis like few other tunes of theirs. Especially phenomenal is the Banks keyboard solo in the early to middle part of the tune. 'Grand Parade of Lifeless Packing' is alright, as is 'Back in N.Y.C', although I must say I never really took to 'Back in...'.

Following a pretty 'Hairless Heart' Genesis provides us with some top shelf pop-rock in 'Counting Out Time'. A shorter and simple-to-listen-to song that I must say I love. It was an elusive like-it-the-first- time prog song. 'Carpet Crawlers' is solid, and is followed by one of my favorite tunes on the album: 'The Chamber of 32 doors'. The sincerity vocalized by Gabriel is atypical for all prog music because of the nature of most prog lyrics. However, the musical harmonies accompanied by the singing present a theme refreshingly life-applicable.

The second half of the album is terribly underrated. I encourage people to listen to it first sometimes if they cannot get into it, as listeners fatigue may be at work (although I never do this because I like the whole thing). 'Lilywhite Lilith' rocks solidy and then we have 'The Waiting Room'. This song unfortunately embodies much of what non-prog listeners fear in prog music; enough said. 'Anyway' picks up the pace awesomely lending itself to mint piano and a jamming solo a little later on.

'Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetist' is a little softer and allows room for featuring the variety of facets Genesis has to offer. This vein of constructively constrained - albeit by large bonds - variety endures through 'The Lamia' and 'Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats.'

Next we have an album core in 'The Colony of Slippermen,' which introduces significant plot (Rael finds a whole community of others who have also eaten from the Lamias and have turned rather - to Rael's shock - grotesque.) as well as musical creativity. This song certainly takes several listens. Just when we'd thought we'd heard it all from Gabriel, 'Colony' permits him evermore vocal liberty which he uses effectively, if not oddly.

The rest of the album always felt real connected to me both in its plot and music. Genesis saves their most breaking and creative songs for the end of the album (although not necessarily best). True devotees appreciate this final push that carries from 'Ravine'; through the reprise 'Light Dies Down on Broadway'; 'Riding the Scree' - a superb showcase of Banks; 'In the Rapids'; and finally the mesmerizing and bit confusing 'it.'

My favorite Genesis album and the pinnacle prog album.

Report this review (#52294)
Posted Wednesday, October 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A brilliant first half cannot save a contrived second half in the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Genesis' concept extravaganza. The final album to have Peter Gabriel as an active member of Genesis, he leaves with the proverbial bang and captivates the listener throughout the entirety of Rael's incredible journey of the mind and the depths of New York City. Hackett, whose appearances are short and far between, is excellent. Rutherford is at his best playing cohesively and creatively with Collins, who carries the band throughout the story musically. What this album really is musically is a Tony Banks bonanza, with Banks taking the melody duties, most of the lead duties, etc. But Gabriel is what makes this album so strong. Emotive and captivating vocal performances take the listener to another level.

I would rate the first half a 4/5. The Lamb Dies Down on Broadway opens with anxious synths that fade in with the rest of the band. This is where Rael, a Puerto Rican street kid, begins his journey. Instrumental breaks (not spectacular, but good)lead us to Cuckoo Cocoon, which has some awesome riffing from Hackett. Then the story progresses to In the Cage, which has some nice organ work from Banks and a strong vocal performance from Gabriel. Throughout the rest of the first half, the quality of the songs only gets better, with stand outs like Back in NYC, The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging, Counting Out Time, etc.

The second half is nothing short of uninspired and contrived. Musical ideas are there, but aren't really expressed 100%. The story takes bizarre twists at this point, when Rael goes to the Colony of Slippermen and has to be castrated. The strongest song in this half is In The Rapids/It, which concludes the album.

Overall, one half genious and one half bizarre, this album is often revered as a masterpiece. While it is quite good, there are better Genesis albums. 3.5/5

Report this review (#55106)
Posted Monday, November 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I remember the first time I saw this album. I thought it was some kind of christan rock album made by a band called Genesis, and I was thinking "What is a Christan rock band doing in the pop/rock section?" That was about a year ago. I bought this after listening to A Trick of the Tail. I didn't realize that this had nothing to do with Christianity at all. This is my second Genesis album that I had listened to, but the first I had bought (ATotT was gotten from the public library-more power to the library!)

Since are two discs, I will review the first. The second disc was good, but not nearly as good as the first.

Disc 1

1.The Lamb Lies Down on Braodway- Good song. It's a good way to open an album, but certainly not the strongest.

2.Fly on a Windshield- A "what the hell?" songs. It's okay, but it isn't the greatest on the album.

3.Broadway Melody of 1974-There isn't much to comment on this one, other than it isn't the best filler instrumental I have ever heard, but it's none the less a filler.

4.Cuckoo Cocoon-This is really where the album starts to get good IMO. The guitaring for this is quite good, the singing, although a little distorted, is good, and this is the first time I heard Peter Gabriel play the flute. I really enjoyed his flute playing, but it isn't anything like Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull.

5.In the Cage-The gem of this album! Tony Banks' keyboarding is awesome! Everything in this song is incredible. I absolutely love it. Probably one of Genesis' finest pieces.

6.The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging- Ah, man! What a cool song! I really like how they manipulated the microphone for Peter. This is a great song!

7.Back in N.Y.C.-"You must think I'm crazy...I'm full of [&*!#]!" Yes, that is how I think about it when I say that this is a gem! It's truly a great song.

8.Hairless Heart-Good interlude. I have heard better, not many, but still, this is a great song.

9.Counting Out Time-My favorite song! I didn't realize what the words were about, but still, I love it! Especially the sound effect used upon Steve's guitar during his solo.

10.Carpet Crawlers- Another gem! The keyboarding by Banks is again, incredible. I really also like the words to it.

11.Chamber of 32 Doors-"I'd rather trust a country man, than a town man." Yep, and this a good conclusion to the first.

I can't give you my opinion on the other disc because a.)I don't listen to it often and b.)I don't like it.

In conclusion, another great Genesis album. Also, the last of Peter Gabriel. This album is not the best way to be introduced to Genesis because of the complexity. Anyways, I hope you have liked my reviews (so far).

Report this review (#56334)
Posted Monday, November 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Seeing only by the musical point this work is uneven since it blends good songs (some are great) with forgetable songs appearing mostly like fillers. Seeing by the theatrical point and after watching the show of cover band The Musical Box the work is correct with the 'weak' songs running well together with the 'strong' songs to describe Rael's odyssey (I hadn't the chance to see Gabriel's Genesis playing this work and never saw a VHS or DVD with the original show) .

Returning to the musical view there are at least 2 prog-classics: 'In the cage' and 'The Lamia' and some other songs always remembered: 'Back in NYC', 'Anyway', 'Countig out time', 'Cockoo cocoon' and the beautiful 'The carpet crawlers', probably the most known Gabriel-era song for a non-prog fan. The title-music is also remembered by many.

Unlike other people I like Disc 2 although I have to recognize that Disc 1 is better but the distance between both is not so crashing. Disc 2 contains the classic 'The Lamia' and also 2 other songs I appreciate too much: 'Silent sorrow in empty boats' and the final track 'it'.

On the other hand I'll never recommend this album for a Genesis beginner or a prog beginner. This work is for people that 'ate much dust' within the prog-scene.

Minus 1-star for the weak songs (since this review is musical). Total: 4.

Report this review (#56385)
Posted Tuesday, November 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is my favorite Gensisi album easy its the only one i think is worthy of 5 stars, no other of theire albums have hade such impact on me this music is serius. everything is fantastic not one filler all songs are great! Therefore i will not go through all the songs there are to many of em and all are good ones. I have read some people say that side 1 is beter then 2, i disegree completly side 2 is yust as good as side 1. And i dont realy see it like that i see the allbum as a whole. All in all the ultimate Genesis album, thire epic and a great swan song for Gabriel. I think it was only good he left after this they whuld never have been abel to improv upon this landmark. If you dont got it allready, its a must have.
Report this review (#56418)
Posted Tuesday, November 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars There are very few albums that hit me on an emotional level. The first (and last) album to do this was Pink Floyd's The Final Cut. With brilliant lyrics and haunting music, Final Cut was one of the few album I felt had a MOOD. It twisted my emotions in me and nearly brought me to tears it was such a depressing (yet totally brilliant) album.

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway does the same thing, but in a different way. Rather than making you think of all the tragedies of war as the Final Cut manages, The Lamb Lies Down makes for FEEL for the PERSON that is Rael. In most of my reviews I'll do a track by track summary of the songs, but there would simply be too much information to be said about this brilliant masterpiece of not just prog, but ALL music. The story behind it, the shifts in mood from the thriving Back in NYC to the beautifully sad The Lamia so the cheery sounding (yet clearly not) final tracks, the album grips your attention and won't let you go until you realize what you're lstening to. What that is is up to you to decide, but every MUSIC fan should at least give this album a few spins while reading the outstanding, magnificent lyrics.

Report this review (#57350)
Posted Monday, November 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Like all good prog, the first time I listened to this album, I scratched my head and thought "What the heck is this crap?!?" And though I still haven't figured out what all the crap on this album is, I have grown to appreciate the music enough to give The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway the highest rating that this site allows.

It seems that most hardcore Genesis fans have a hard time liking The Lamb compared to Foxtrot, Selling England, etc. However, I much prefer this album. I am a sucker for concept albums (even if I don't always understand exactly what the concept is). There are so many unforgettable passages in this two-disc experience beginning with the opening piano solo.

While I do recognize that the album isn't perfect due to some "less than musical" moments ("The Waiting Room" and "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats"), there are so many great tunes packaged in The Lamb that it would be wrong for me to give this anything less than five stars. Songs such as "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway", "In the Cage", "The Carpet Crawlers", "Lilywhite Lilith", "Anyway", "The Lamia", "The Colony of Slippermen" and "It" are all great songs. Some of them are haunting in their solemn melodies and some are thought-provoking with their anguished lyrics, but all are great music, in my opinion.

I highly recommend this album.

Report this review (#57729)
Posted Thursday, November 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'll spare you of another lengthy review by simply stating a few words:

This is it, the album which introduced me to prog. This is the album which sparked my interested in progressive and experimental music in general.

As far as the music goes, it has everything which I could ask for in a prog album. It's very keyboard and synth dominated, which is actually an asset that I prefer (keyboard fan).

Read some of the previous five-star reviews for a more in-depth look at the details of this album.


Report this review (#57741)
Posted Thursday, November 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Often you think this album has got duff tracks on it so how is it possible to rate it 5 stars. Well as with In the Court of The Crimson King (which contained the indulgent Moonchild) the answer has to be that the peaks on such albums represent some of the best prog rock ever made. Here for example we have In the Cage, Carpet Crawlers, Counting out Time, Back in NYC etc . This allows you to excuse the odd weakpoint. Yes Gabriel is dominant here but I dont think that spoils the album to a significant extent. Its 1974 prog was ki ng and Genesis were top of the pile.
Report this review (#57934)
Posted Friday, November 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Like all Concept Albums, this one is hard to review. The first listen is always akward, but once you understand the story, and link all the pieces, it starts to make sense.

After 20 listens, i can review it. And it basically comes down to disk 1 and disk 2. Disk 1 is a masterpiece. As good as anything they have ever made. Starting with the title song, which has some of the best singing in Gabriels career, to the masterfull Carpet Crawlers, this disc nails it. In the Cage and Back To NYC make you feel on the streets of NY. The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging, Counting out time and Cukoo Cocoon are more happy oriented, and give you another feel to the story of Rael. Musically its aweosme, and all five musicians give their best performances posible.

The second disc is another story. It starts out a little weak with Lilywithe, then has some noisy tracks that dont give that much to the whole story... Anyway, is not that good of a song, but The Lamia, The Colony of Slipperman, and In the Rapids, save it from being ho hum. Slipperman and most of disc two has some of the strangest lyrics i have ever heard, and the story is very debatable to the day.

Overall its a masterpiece. Even with its shortcomings, TLLDOB has classic Genesis songs everywhere that will be rememeberd forever.

Give it a chance like i did. I didnt like it at first, but now i absolutely love it

9.0 out of 10.0

Report this review (#58847)
Posted Thursday, December 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Personally I think this is the greatest album of all time. Clocking in at more than 94 minutes it gives you more : more emotion, more complex lyrics and more atmospherics with great playing form Banks , Hackett and Collins and diverse vocals, moods and concepts from Gabriel.

The title track opens with a brilliant complex piano solo and as the cutain rises Gabriel is away. This track should have benn released as a single. As the first track fades the haunting Fly on a windshield comes in followed by the brilliant lyrics of Broadway Melody of 1974.Watch out for the drumwork in the bridge between these two. Then the poppish Cuckoo Cuckoon embellished with Gabriel's flute. In the Cage is regulatly voted as the best ever Genesis track and is certainly explore powerful emotions. The epilogue of this track when Rael is released from the cage is possibly the best atmospheric conclusion to a song ever.The first side ends with The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging a Brave New Worldish track in which people have become cogs in the machine . How prophetic.

The second side starts with Back in New York City often considered Genesis best track and more punk than punk . I'm not sure Gabiel got the voice right here and think that Jeff Buckley did it better. Hairless Heart is a beautiful instrumental. The two singles follow next the humourous Counting out Time and the ever popular Carpet Crawlers. The first disk finishes with the Kabbalish Chamber of 32 doors. It is a nice song but it is the last fifteen seconds which are most memorable. This would have been the place to have the intermission in the Movie with the audience breathless

The sequencing into the second disk is brilliant as we thunder back with the Rocking Lilywhite Lilith. Even those who don't like prog will tune into this one,The waiting room is a jam and Anyway is a short but thouroughly enjoyable rock piano piece. The Supernatural Antheitist is Hackett's moment and he doesn't disappoint. The Lamia is another frequently rated Genesis best.You'll love the lead break at the end. Silent Sorrow is a filler .

Colony of Slippermen is another comic piece where Gabriel's vocals star.Ravine is a filler. The Light is a somewhat pointless reprise but the ending is magical.Riding the Scree is Tony Banks at his best.In the Rapids builds up to the riff driven It which is something a bit different to finish up with.

This is the mother of all concept albums which puts the punk Rael in the prog world of Lamia and Slippermen. It is thus also prophetic as punk supplanted prog.At times it may seem to lose momentum but it always comes back and it is thouroughly so it can be listened in it's entirety is one siiting. This was prog's finest hour

Report this review (#58990)
Posted Saturday, December 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars A Fitting Swansong For The Gabriel Era. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway Is A Stunning Package. Genesis Never Seemed To Be Running Out Of Ideas, The Two Albums Beforehand "Foxtrot" And "Selling England By The Pound" Are Magnificent, And The Contrast Between These Three Records Is Astounding! Here They Seem To Have Almost Re-invented Themselves. I For One Would Have Absolutely Loved To See What The Next Record Could Have Been If Gabriel Had Not Left, (Though I Do Really Like A Trick Of The Tail) But As I Have Said, It Is A Fitting Swansong. Like The Wall, To Go Through Every Song On The Record Would Be Too Long And Tedious, There Are Many Highlights. The Title Track Which Opens The Record Is Fantastic, Barrelhouse Piano Building To An Excellent Guitar Riff And One Lively Rock Song. The Odd, Yet Gentle "Cuckoo Cocoon" In Which Gabriel Introduces A Strange Effect To His Vocals, Which Makes It Sound Slightly Eighties, Is Effective None The Less. "In The Cage" Is The Longest Track On The Record, Its Edgey Rhythm Added To Gabriels Lyrics Make It Seem Slightly Claustrophobic, With Hackett Sounding Almost Like Fripp In The Background. "Back In NYC" Is Another Enjoyable Song, Telling The Tale Of A Tough Kid On The Streets Of New York, Who Doesn't Care Who He Hits! Gabriel Lets Himself Go On This Track, Shouting Some Of The Lines As The Song Seems To Build And Build. The Most Radio Friendly Song On The Record "Counting Out Time" Shows That The Band Were Well Capable Of Writing Short Effective Pop Songs As Well As They Could 20 Minute Epics. The Most Melodic And Maybe The Best Song On The Record Follows, "Carpet Crawlers" In Which Gabriels Voice Carries Beautifully Alongside Banks Keyboard Runs And Hacketts Gentle Guitar Lines, Stunning. It Is True That Disc Two Does Not Hold As Many Stand Out Tracks As The First But It Can Be Just As Enjoyable "Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats" And "Ravine" Are Small Instrumentals That Have Simple Melancholy, Droning Melodies. However, Some Tracks Are Simply Classics "Lilywhite Lilith" And "It." Are The More Livelier And Enjoyable Songs On Side Two, The Latter Finishing The Record On A High Note. Some Songs On The Record Do Sound Dark, Similar To The Wall In A Way. "The Lamia" Is A Perfect Example, And I Do Find It Hard To Listen To. Overall There Is Great Ideas, A Wonderful Story And Great Playing. Gabriels Lyrics Do Not Seem As Whimsical As They Do On Previous Records But He Is Just As Adventerous. One Of The Most Important, Double Concept Albums Of The Decade.
Report this review (#60311)
Posted Wednesday, December 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of the best prog albums ever! A different, new sound for the Gabriel-era Genesis, and an astounding and mind-bending concept album. The only real comparisons as concept albums are Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and, to a lesser extent, the Who's "Tommy." Simply put: brilliant (and I don't hand out 5 stars lightly).

The true tragedy is that gabriel left after this, and we will never know what other astounding prog rock they may have made. Gabriel went in a very different direction in his solo career, and Genesis put out two more good, but not great, prog rock albums before transforming to a pop band. in other words, it was all downhill from here.

Only one weak point, in my mind. Too bad the album ends with the weakest track. "It" just isn't that great a song, either lyrically or musically, so one of the best albums ever made ends with a wimper rather than a bang. Truly too bad. But does real perfection exist? I doubt it.

Other than that, the album features truly masterful musicianship and real innovation at each position. Every member of Genesis shines on this album, but in true Genesis fashion they manage to wed them into a seamless, coherent whole, rather than succumbing to the dangers of virtuoso solo wankery, which so many other pro rock bands fell into (most guilty: Steve Howe in the post- CTTE era). This is true teamwork, rarely matched in any branch of rock music.

What's not to love?

Report this review (#60318)
Posted Wednesday, December 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the greatest concept album ever made. Songs are brilliant and the mood alters from song to song. Also there is a wonderful pop-prog song 'Counting out time', which is one of my favorites though this is a prog album. And also songs like 'In the cage', 'Carpet Crawl', 'It', 'Anyway', 'Lilywhite Lilith', 'Fly on a windshiedl', 'Back in NYC', 'The Lamia' and 'Colony of slippermen', which all are masterpieces. Superior album indeed.

Report this review (#60336)
Posted Wednesday, December 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars What goes up must come down.

After pulling off their brains 4 exquisite pieces of history, Genesis finally stepped into the hall of fame with none of it's members over 25 years old. Try to beat that!

Despite some incredible songs like Carpet Crawlers, Anyway, In the Cage and The Lamia, the thing has the strenght to stand up on it's own legs. The story is although suffering of severe cohesion lacking, whatever that guy Rael's going thru...we don't give a hoot. This story is written so fast and Gabriel's ego really went thru the roof, we have proof. Did he thought he was all that? Who knows. Tony Banks said in the Genesis Songbook: 'I don't know what people's got with the Lamb, I believe we could've done much better...'

I guess the Lamb really could take off ON STAGE, with the lights and the crazy, goofy costumes of Gabriel. This would've made a great single record...maybe the best? Come on, when this record's good, it is pure gold.

To me, this shares a lot with Pink Floyd's The Wall: outrageaous talents backstabbing eachother in studio, creating the unhealthy environnement that kills a record.

It's just too sad way to say goodbye, but with they did it with a bang.

Report this review (#60346)
Posted Wednesday, December 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars ok, i had great expectation about this album. i'd heard so much about it. when i finally got it, the first listens were a little weird 'coz it's not the kind of album Genesis had gotten us used to. so many tracks and two discs. But after a few listens more i found that this is a great album.

The olny thing i really miss in this release is the long instrumental passages, there's a lot of vocals more than ever (ok, the man is telling a story). My favorite tracks in this marterpiece are: The Lamb, In The Cage, Back In NYC, The Lamia ( is one of the bests Genesis songs ever), Colony of Slippermen and Riding The Scree (I love Bank's Keyboards!). so overall great album not as good as "selling..." but great! . so get out and get it!.

Report this review (#60499)
Posted Friday, December 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Lamb, absolutely the best concept album ever created. The idea, the music, the vocals, lyrics... all are almost perfect. goddamn I love this. Greatest songs from disc 1: all except 9th Greatest songs from disc 2: anyway, lilywhite lilith, lamia, supernatural anaesthetist, colony of slippermen and the last two. all wonderful piece of music. not only prog, there is some punk, pop and jazz included. LOVE
Report this review (#62224)
Posted Thursday, December 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars How do you start to review an album which guided you through your early years and sti ll seems relevent today but STILL receives mixed reviews from Genesis fans ? Easy really----if you first got into them around the Trespass period, grew to love Foxtrot, marvelled at the musicianship on Nursery Cryme and then thought the songs , and structure of them, of Selling England couldn,t be bettered, then you were right! The Lamb is a classic, absolutly enchanting, and provided a role model in RAEL for every 15 year old to hold on to--only problem is i,d never heard the early stuff, so when P.G left i veered towards his career-loved it, still do, the man,s the man is too good to be knighted. In the late seventees i decided to track down the early stuff and was absolutely amazed at this body of work which Gabriel / Genesis had produced, and can now appreciate it as classic prog . It,s understandible that the early years fans feel negative about The Lamb as it really isn,t a classic Genesis era album--that ended with Selling England, Gabriel needed new challenges----can you imagine him singing HOGWEED these days!! So, accept The Lamb for what it is... an astonishing concept for it,s time, immaculately played and unbelievably memorable, probably one of the best albums in prog rock history, but incomparable to classic Genesis
Report this review (#62267)
Posted Thursday, December 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars im may the youngest genesis fan in the world! i am 14 years 5 months, im also probably the only genesis fan who likes every single genesis album. This is my 2nd favourite genesis album no doubt! superb, strange and sublime! Everyone has different tastes but i agree with anyone who has given this album 5/4 stars! WELL DONE! Musically its is amazing, lyrically it is even better! Tony Banks Excells himself, (once again). Disc one: In the cage really stands out, but overall disc one is really good. other good tracks include: back in N.Y.C, counting out time and the carpet crawllers. Disc two is probably one of the most bizzare collection of music ever compiled! Its cool though! For example: The waiting room is probably the strangest peice of music in the world, but, Lilywhite Lilith and The Lamia are brilliant. Overall:A bit strange and a bit dul in places, but where its not dull its superb. An amazin Album!!!!!!
Report this review (#64237)
Posted Wednesday, January 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This has been probably one the records most difficult to rate for me in some time. While its two predeccesors were two albums whose direction, spirit and structure were armonic and well established and clear, it is not the case with this effort. The last album from the Gabriel's era was a myriad of abruptly direction changing songs. When you have gone to some extent into the album, you know that after having listened to one song you don't know what to expect from the next. That is, the sense of balance present in the two previous albums is completely lost here, although this is precisely what gives this record an aggresive and solid perspective. This album is wild, dangerous and independent, all of this as mellow, melodic, friendly and cheerful was "Selling England by the pound". Probably Peter Gabriel wanted it that way and, as the very Phil Collins once mentioned, "The Lamb Lies down on Broadway" must have been an interesting and challenging musical creation.

Then, this album is quite diverse. This is more obvious in the first disc, which starts with a melodic and high intro song, the one which gives title to the record, and it is followed with darker counterparts sometimes, like in the case of "Fly on a Windshield", mellow and subtle nocturnes like "Cucko Cocoon", a very sweet song, probably one of my favourites. We can also find some psychedelic elements, something not very usual in Genesis. An example of this can be found in "Back in N.Y.C". "In The Cage" is a very well done mini-epic, with an excellent mix of organ, mellotron and guitar, recalling passages from "Supper's ready", for instance. Another excellent song. "Counting out time" plays with distortion and gives a somewhat comic and cheerful touch to this part of the album, although it is also true this is not the first time Peter Gabriel had done that. Then we find another exotic change in "Carpet Crawlers", which is actually a ballad, something also not very usual. This disc ends with "The Chamber of 32 Doors", the most guitar based song of this disc, with the company of very subtle notes of organ again.

Then, in the second disc we start in a similar way that we ended the previous one, with Steve Hackett in action in "LilyWhite Lillith". "The Waiting Room" is an strange mix of sounds coming from glasses and other mundane objects, lots of distortion and short guitar and synth touches at the end of the song, one of the weirdest we can find. Then the album changes into a more melodic mood with "Anyway" 's piano loops, and "Here comes the Supernatural Anaesthetist" magnificent guitar riffs. Then two slow and very mellow songs "The Lamia" and "Sillent Sorrow in Empty Boats" (probably the weakest songs from the album). After that, the time for farewell begins to set in motion with "The Light Dies Down in Broadway", a quite similar song to the opening piece, "Riding the Scree", with its synth solo and drums energetic beat, an interlude in "In The Rapids" and the final piece of the cake, "It", in which Steve Hackett and Tony Banks prove how a good team they used to be in the early days.

So, probably this is one of the most complex and less straightforward works from the Gabriel era, although it served as an excellent farewell from an excellent leader and composer. Probably an icon of conceptual albums of the last forty years. This is certainly what the most demanding Genesis' fans could always desire.

Report this review (#64867)
Posted Sunday, January 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm going to keep this rather short...

I appreciate everyone's comments regarding 'Lamb', both for and against. I agree that it's both different from the group's earlier works (which is still love!), plus perhaps, 'Trick of the Tail' - after that, I frankly think things went downhill for Genesis.

At the time the original vinyl two-album set was released (I've still got my original mint copy in my collection) it was considered a very ambitious work, with a lot of Los Angeles' FM rock music stations having trouble picking a track for airplay - a few were brave enough to actually play a single side or even all four sides, which is how I first heard it.

While I'd agree it is an uneven work compared to something like 'Selling England by the Pound', taken as a whole, I believe it is a true prog classic.

If you'd seen the group's concert at the Shrine Auditorium in L.A. (as I did the following week after hearing the whole LP played on the radio), you'd have been blown away with the complete package of Gabriel's lyrics and storyline, the group's excellent arrangements and musicianship, and the effective, yet-simple stagecraft - you'd understand the need for some of the 'filler' (as the detractors call it) for PG's costume changes. Some three decades-plus on, it's still fresh in my memory.

I'd only wish that the concept had been developed into a full-on musical, as the live show felt like some kind of abridged 'highlights' concert. Gabriel and Co wrote a work that Andrew Lloyd Weber(writer of cheesy-pop-tunes-without-plots disguised as musica theatre) has never had the skills or talent to create! The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, for all its faults deserves to be concidered a classic, and a must-have for anyone's music collection.

Report this review (#64869)
Posted Sunday, January 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The band's Sgt Pepper and Gabriel's Tommy...sortof...I don't think Genesis ever sounded as experimental as they did on here. Cuckoo Cuckoon is probably one of my favourite songs but I've never heard any talk about it ever. Better than the previous album and its succeeding one but not as good as Foxtrot, although I think The Lamb may become my favourite. It's exceptionally dark in the same way some of Nursery Cryme is...but more so. Brian Eno hardly has any contribution at all so whoever's got upset about that needs to know more about how the album was made. Tony Banks has never played a better album...apart from Trick Of The Tail maybe where he seemed to be playing everything he possibly able to on a keyboard/piano/synth. Lost myself to this many times.
Report this review (#67107)
Posted Friday, January 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars So Selling England By The Pound is No1. Do not be fooled by this. Genesis did 3 albums worthy of 5 stars: Trespass, Foxtrot & The Lamb. The Lamb has musical depth as well as lyrical. It is light years better than Selling England. Is this a prog site? Or is this a place for people congratulating themselves over predictable, commercial, easy going, middle of the road mediocrity. Do not let any fashion, fool or lazy notion get in the way of strong passions. Much of The Lamb (eg The Lamia) engages your emotions to a very high level. Peter Gabriel uses his full range of feelings on this album. This is one of the classic prog albums. Selling England is just okay.
Report this review (#68036)
Posted Thursday, February 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars A brilliant concept double album, which would in turn be the last album done with Peter Gabriel. Genesis was known for having a story behind their music in this era, and, if you were to look, I'm sure that many citations would be taken directly from this album. The concept of this work was a story of Rael, a Puerto Rican street kid, on what seems like an endless quest to find his brother, John, and his perils along the way. This is a spectacular work of art that is nothing short of a Prog-Rock masterpiece. Not to mention it contains my all-time favorite Genesis song, "Carpet Crawlers," among others within this extraordinary album. Every angle of Prog is pretty much covered (and mastered) within this album, and it must be enjoyed non-stop from beginning to end. By now you can pretty much tell I'm a huge Genesis fan, so believe me when I say that no Genesis, or for that matter, Prog collection is complete without the archetypal concept effort that Gabriel had to offer before his departure. I only wish I could've been alive then to see the live concerts.

On a side note, I found this cool website a while back that provides a bit more info on this album, entitled "The Annotated Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" ( Give it a look.

Report this review (#68184)
Posted Friday, February 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars I find it difficult to find the words to express how big my disappointment is of this album, especially as it follows SEBTP. It is soulless, from the opening keyboard intro to the patched-on final piece. Hacketts solo's are boring, uninspired,limp, meandering. Gabriel's lyrics are tepid and pandering, and ludicrous beyond belief.. Banks shows his usual restraint and is the only saving grace on this dire effort. I have tired of trying with this, and oh how I've tried. 1.5 stars rounded up purely down to the review warning of giving star..
Report this review (#68638)
Posted Monday, February 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars When I first bought this, I listened to a couple of times through, and then put it on a shelf for almost a year. I didn't get it. I was very dissapointed after hearing the amazing Genesis Live album. This probably should not have been my second Genesis album that I ever heard. Over the year after hearing it, I got Selling England, Foxtrot, Nursery Cryme and Tresspass. These were all so good, I figured I'd better pull out the Lamb again. Well, the first time through after the year of not listening to it, I began to appreciate it for what it was. After a half dozen more listens I came to the conclusion that I still hold years later: This is a great concept album. It is not a masterpiece, for the reason that seems to have set the tone for many modern prog bands double albums..........that is, some material seems like it was put in just to fill up space to make it double (or, in the case of Genesis, to give Gabriel time to change costumes). Having said that, I actually enjoy most of the interludes, and am that rare person that actually likes The Waiting Room. But on the whole, I think CD2 tends to drag a bit, with only a few tracks really standing out as being very good (Lamia, Slippermen). But even with that, I still love the album. The bizzare story of Rael works well for me because it doesn't really have a fixed interpretation (that I know of), allowing the listener to interpret it however they wish. Plus, it avoids the cliches of bands like Floyd, who are a bit to obvious in their "concepts". CD1 is great in every respect for me, and I often find that I will just listen to that one and not the second. I've also always disliked the song "IT", and find that it kind of spoils the ending for me (I would say I like pretty much all the rest of CD2, even though only a couple songs are great).

So, overall, a milestone in prog that many have tried and mostly failed to duplicate. For me it ranks as about 3 stars in comparison to the other Gabriel Genesis albums. But on the whole, especially considering it's historical significance for prog, it deserves no less than 4 stars.

Report this review (#68676)
Posted Tuesday, February 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars With songs like 'the Lamia', 'In the Cage', 'Carpet Crawlers', 'Chamber of 32 Doors', and 'Anyway' this album begs to be listened to. The music on this album is incredible. I'd probably select it for my desert island pick. What an incredible variety of music that sounds like so little other music. This is the double albums to beat them all. Don't need the Wall, Physical, White, or any of the other sub-par double albums. This here's the one.

And if you think the second record lacks, you've just not listened to it enough. I'm persoanlly partial to the first lp's B-side, but come on: Anyway? Light Dies Down? In the Rapids? Superb. Clearly essential.

Report this review (#68723)
Posted Tuesday, February 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.4/5.0

I would like to give a higher rating to this album, but sorry I can't! This is simply an overrated album, period! I just LOVE Genesis, from Genesis to Revelation, Trespass, Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot, Selling England by the Pound... But sorry The Lamb lies down on Broadway is just not as good as many of those album. Sure, it is a great addition to any collection, but the feeling is not there anymore, the show is over, this is the end of the track, Gabriel is now preparing his exit...

I had a hard time deciding between giving 3 or 4 stars to this album (actually, I was hesitating between 3.4/5.0 or 3.5/5.0), but after some thinking I decided that 3 stars is not bad anyway, and it just shows that this is not as strong an album as the previous ones.

Another question: is this prog anymore? I mean, there clearly are some prog songs there, but where is the feeling, the emotion? I enjoy very much the end of the second side, with lot of emotion, but very often there is some "filling" there and there because the album was made so it could be played theatrically and the musicians had to give some time to Gabriel for changing his costumes.

This is a good album, probably essential if you want to understand how Genesis imploded, but 3.4/5.0 seems like a far rating to me.

Report this review (#70442)
Posted Friday, February 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars well this album is somewhat overrated, I think. Not bad, but it should not be allowed near the top 10. It is by no means a masterpiece, and while it has some very good stuff, it is largely disapointing after the four previous albums.

Disc One is pretty good, as one disc it is a little less good than Selling England. It has lots of strong tracks, including the uplifting (if somewhat poppy) title track, Fly on a Windshield, which is an awesome Egyptian synth dirge, similar to Kashmir by Zep. In the Cage is another great one, listen to it on here if you want, classic dark Genesis. Back in NYC I guess you could call proto punk, because of the verse melody and lyrics, but it doesn't sound like punk to me very much. All in all, very good song, especially the chorus. Hairless Heart is a haunting, melancholy instrumental. Very good. Carpet Crawlers, everyone knows it is great, fantastic melody. Chamber of 32 doors is a nice song as well, combining sections of what sounds like Trespass-era Genesis, Beatles, and... America? Of one of those southern-esque American rock bands. Still, very good.

Now the duds of disc 1... Broadway melody of 1974 is the same little chord progression for 30 seconds, it's pleasant, but pointless, and should have been part of Fly on a Windshield. Cuckoo Cucoon is another somewhat pointless song which does little for me. It's pretty much just a catchy regular song, not quite pop. Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging isn't really a dud I guess, it's strange and catchy and I like it, but all these puny short songs ruin it for me. That was what I didn't like about the Wall. Give me somethig epic! Oh well. Counting Out Time is a terrible pop song in the style of I know What I Like. SKIP!

Disc Two fares less well with me. There are very few incredible tracks, while there were a handful on Disc One. it starts off with the semi-straight forward hard rock of Lilywhite Lilith, which is an enjoyable song.

The waiting room is terrible for the most part, but about 3 minutes in, if you could handle 3 minutes of pointless noisemaking, then some cool riffs come in, and it is kind of uplifting.

Anyway is an underrated little gem on here, it really reminds me of Trespass. Dark, and catchy, and great mellotron interludes. Good stuff.

Here comes the supernaturl anaesthetist... Starts off with a terrible poppy melody: Check. Overtly bright and poppy instrumental parts: Check. Pointless filler: Double check.

The Lamia is an alright song, if a little boring. The melodies are all alright, none are outstanding. The best part is this Zelda esque synth line Banks plays a couple of times. Kind of a sad, melancholic song, maybe too much so.

Silent Sorrow is cool and ambient, but too long. FILLER!

Slippermen starts off strangely, pointing to the world-music direction Gabriel would take in later years. The main verses are alright, but the goofy voices make me want to die. Most of the melodies are pretty good, really a fairly enjoyable track, but the subject matter kills it. Rael, the main character must be castrated to escape the Colony, and there is much innuendo and such. Bleah.

Ravine is the best filler I have ever heard. Haunting, dark, scary, original. That said, it is two minutes of the same thing over and over, therefore, Filler.

The light dies down is by far the best song on Disc 2. Kind of psychedelic, same great melodies from the first song of the album. Good song. Slower and more haunting as well.

Riding the Scree is alright, but is largely filler. Strange rhtyhm, which is kind of cool, but for the most part is pointless keyboard wankery, although parts are noteworthy. The lyrics and melody are nothing special, and the goofy voice here always makes me cringe.

In the rapids is an alright song, sounds like Gabriel solo to me though. Alright melodies, slow and pleasant. Alright track, nothing that special.

It is a somewhat disapointing ending to a somewhat disapointing album. Give me something epic guys! The only traces we had of epicness were on Disc One, and even they were few and far between. Anyway, It is not really a bad song, somewhat poppy for my tastes, but its alright I suppose. I think they should have made a suite to end the album, combining all these songs dealing with Rael struggling in the river.

So this could have been an alright album with just disc One, but Disc Two is largely filler or no goodness. Cut out all of the filler on both discs and you probably could have filled one LP full of amazing material. So this is a somewhat disapointing album from a great band, and it has great moments, but it also has the worst moments this band ever had (in the classic lineup). And the story isn't anything special either.

Highlights: Title Track, Fly on a Windshield, In the Cage, Back in NYC/Hairless Heart, Carpet Crawlers, Chamber of 32 doors, Anyway, Light dies down.

Lesser good songs: Grand Parade, Lilywhite Lilith, Lamia, Slippermen, In the Rapids, It

OK filler: Broadway melody 1974, Cuckoo Cucoon, Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats, Ravine, Riding the Scree.

Complete duds: Counting out time, Waiting Room, Supernatural Anaesthetist.

That said, 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

Report this review (#70534)
Posted Sunday, February 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The greatest concept album of all time. Not for the beginners - it was hard for me to get into it, but when I got explanations of lyrics, searching through all these web-zines and Genesis-related sites, when I got photos of live perfomance of The!!! Stunning work, while considereded by somebody to be the weakest from Gabriel-era... why? Because of weird ENOssifications? Or controversial lyrics, sometimes based on sexual experience? Anyway, awesome work - just listen to "In the Cage" or "The Chamber of 32 Doors". The deepest Genesis album, and the last to be clearly understood by me. I'm still getting into it. Wish me luck :-)
Report this review (#71219)
Posted Monday, March 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Lamb is a concept album and that´s why it is not fair to compere it for excample Selling or Foxtrot, which are more collection of different kind of songs. Lamb must confider as a whole album, one long song, you can´t pick songs out of the album and say this is good and this is terrible. It is a piece of music and you must listen it that way, like symphonies or movies. And it is a kind of theatralic musical drama, a progrock opera, composed novel. And it works fine! Perhaps it´s more pop than earlier albums but it is more mature and less raw than Selling or Foxtrot. Peter´s role is very dominate, perhaps too dominate but still it works very well. It was double albums and concept albums time then, allmost every progband made they own and Lamb is one of the best double album ever! And you can hear which direction Peter was going to and it was good decision that Peter left the band, for both, Genesis and Peter. Peter was ready to do something more simply and different but Genesis wanted to continiue in same line, for few years anyway. Peter was lost few years and found his style in his third solo album. Genesis made great albums after Lamb, Trick and Wind and after Steve left the band, their style changed more pop. Lamb was and is one of the best Genesis albums ever, in the same line with Selling England and Trick. It was the top seasons of Genesis and notice that it was not depented of Peter, they made great albums after him! Peter´s role is a little bit overrated, he was frontman of the band but did not made the music alone, Tony and Mike made most of the songs and Peter and Steve some. Great album of the great band.
Report this review (#71483)
Posted Thursday, March 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a much harder album to locate in stores than the other classic-era Genesis albums. Is that because of the record label or something? I know the producer in Eno. Anyway, this is my favorite Genesis album. Man, it takes awhile to warm up to the album, but understanding the plot can greatly expediate that process. Rael's far-out and imaginitive trip is one of the finest narratives in musical form. Certainly my favorite.

On top of the story, the music is Genesis' most advanced. It was never eclipsed on later albums. Taking the variety of styles that Genesis attempted in this album - including some styles never before attempted - was an ambitious endeavor that fully succeeded. A shame it was Gabriel's last.

Other have disected the album into individual songs which is fine, but I'll just say some things that I think of a lot when I listen to the album. First off, my favorite track might be Chamber of 32 doors. The sincerity in Gabriel's voice and the words he sings touch home for some reason. Very genuine considering the progressive genre that is filled with abstract thoughts and tales of fantasy and the cosmos. I also love the lyrics in 'The Light Dies Down on Broadway' even though they weren't written by Gabriel. I liked them a lot before realizing this, but stuck with the sentiments. Finally, In the Rapids is the most underrated song on this album. It falls into the emotional sincerity category like Chamber and the chords are plain beautiful.

Obtain this album!

Report this review (#72003)
Posted Thursday, March 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Genesis reorients their ambitions. In fact Gabriel at one point decided to leave the band prior to this album because of numerous side projects. None ever panned out and he came back. Convincing the group to let him write the lyrics to the whole album he devised the outrageous and exceptionally imaginative tale of Rael. The band wrote much of the music before Gabriel agreed to return. Gabriel lyrics lagged behind the music. Eventually the Lamb was born in 1974. The tour that ensued was a crazy swan song for prog's best band. Gabriel made it official he was to leave the band after only a few months on the road, although agreed to stay on tour for the whole seventeen months. Kind of a strange episode for the rests of the band. The tour finishes and the world must say goodbye to the beloved classic-era Genesis lineup. Except for a one off 1982 concert to get Gabriel out of the red.

But enough history; the music and story are phenomenal. Possibly my favorite album of all time. Certainly my favorite album presently. No progressive rock fan may call themselves that without thorough knowledge of this work.

Report this review (#72366)
Posted Monday, March 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I thought long and hard before writing this review because this album still continues to change and evolve in my mind even after over three decades of listening to it. I've come to think of it as I do a great impressionist painting. It speaks to the subconscious more than the listener is aware of. Lyrically it is existential, following a pattern that started back with Suppers Ready and then The Battle of Epping Forest. The images and wordplay that Peter invokes throughout this epic are magnificent, bringing up different scenes in my head every time I indulge in this prog opera. And the music is beyond great. For the first time the band was allowed to expand beyond the 40-45 minute limits of the single LP and the result is nothing short of genius. They move from the delicate "Cuckoo Cocoon" to the thrilling ride of "In the Cage" with amazing ease. The humor of "Counting out Time" keeps the mood light when it needs to be, then segues into the thought-provoking "Carpet Crawlers." Just when you think you've got a handle on the story line you are confronted with the all-encompassing theology of "It." The total package may be the most challenging conceptual piece in all of modern musical history. I must mention that I've always had a problem with the flat sound of the original release but I wanted to concentrate on the music and words in this review so I'll only say in passing that the live version from the excellent Archives I set resolved all of my fidelity conflicts in one fell swoop. But no matter which recording you happen to be in the presence of, there is no finer example of progressive music in existence and the visuals you take from it will last you a lifetime.
Report this review (#72551)
Posted Wednesday, March 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I think this is Genesis' best work ever, and it's taken time to realize it. What I love about it is how edgy & urban their sound is here. Some do not give enough credit to the 4 non-costume wearing musicans who contributed to this recording. Granted, Gabriel is nothing short of brilliant here, but if you really listen to this masterpiece you realize the work of Banks, Rutherford, Hackett, & Collins is just sublime and they are at the top of their game here. I often wonder what their next album would have sounded like had Gabriel not left the band.

The best track on the album to me is "Back in NYC". I saw The Musical Box perform this in LA last year and it made my socks roll up & down!!! There are so many other great tracks like "Hairless Heart", "Carpet Crawlers", and "The Chamber of 32 Doors". Some say that sides 1 and 2 are stronger than sides 3 & 4. I get what they are saying in that if I could only choose one album, I would take the first one. But I think on sides 3 & 4 the band really push themselves musically like never before (or after). When I saw The Musical Box perform "The Waiting Room" for example, the audience was really freaked out! It felt like being inside a carnival fun house, a little creepy & spooky but really interesting & cool as well.

This album has so many layers, textures, & moods that are wonderful. Overall, it's strength is in it's ecclectic quality. I wouldn't call it their "St. Pepper" but rather their "White Album".

Report this review (#74462)
Posted Sunday, April 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars It may seems unoriginal to review this masterpiece but it worth it! The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is to me, one of the most important release in rock history. 2 discs of continous amazing songs well writting, lyrical and musically. Plus the 2 records seems never-ending because of the great succession between each of the tracks. I don't think you'll be able to skip anything on this! From the start until the end, Genesis last album with Peter Gabriel is the best "good bye" we, wanted or not, could of had.
Report this review (#75172)
Posted Sunday, April 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Lamb, the lamb, the lamb .. My favorite, so good !

It is, and I'm sure I'm not the only one to think that, the best album of Genesis ever done (my tast) with its grey style and its incridible weird story in New York. Yes, I know, of corse Peter Gabriel took more place on this album and the instrument are more in background. However, it is still my favorite because of its unique stile that we didn't see and never saw again on Genesis, which is my favourite progressive rock band for its unique weird style .. I like the signing, the instrument, the story .. Well, all on this is pretty good, except some songs that I almost never listen.

Some people say that it should on only one disc but I really think that the fact that it is about 95 minutes on two disc make this creation more ''grandiose'' and after listening to the whole album, which I have never done in one shot he he, I'm not telling my selt ''It was to short, I want more !'' like I do with Wind And Wuthering, Selling England By The Pound and some others that I really like to even that.

In conclusion, it is almost a perfect album with unfortunatly some imperfection but somehow some extraordinary songs like Fly on a Windshield, In the Cage, Hairless Heart (WOW, the keyboards !), Carpet Crawlers, The Chamber Of 32 Doors !, The Lamia and Silent sorrow in empty Boats (those are my tast, he). My favorite, so good ..


Report this review (#75452)
Posted Wednesday, April 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I really took me a while to completely understand the album in all its music arrengements and lyrics. But now that I know how to appreciate the music I really liked thhis album, particullary the first disc with ''The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway'', ''In The Cage'' and ''The Carpet Crawlers''. This album has a really good progressive but not as goog as on the other Gabriel's era' albums so this is why I didn't liked it when I listened to it the first time. But now that I appreciate it, I'm not saying that this is a perfect masterpiece, but this is a must-have for every real progressive fan.
Report this review (#77055)
Posted Wednesday, May 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Yes, it's a classic. Yes, it's an essential purchase for anyone who wants to understand progrock in even the slightest bit, if only for its historical importance. But that doesn't necessarily make it a good album. To be honest, I'm not a fan of Peter Gabriel. I appreciate much of his work with Genesis but don't care at all for the egocentric puppetry on stage and his silly voices on record. He could have been a great singer but chose to be a lousy actor instead. For people who like Gabriel for what he is, The Lamb might well be his finest moment. To me, who never liked the theatrical aspect of prog, this is a mixed bag. There are some terrific songs on here, enough to earn this album three solid stars, but there are also more than a few bad ones, enough to make me dam sure that I don't want to give more than those three stars. Some of the good songs could have been better if only they had been a bit shorter. The pretentious, actually rather ridiculous, "story" doesn't do any good either. It all starts very promising, the opening track is fantastic, but the promise isn't kept. Actually the first disc is mostly OK, but the second disc is spoiled by some of the worst songs Genesis ever recorded, until the 1980's of course when what was left of the band did things that were even worse, and a rather disgusting story about eating rotting flesh, slimy men and cutting off penises. You'd at least expect a good ending to all this, but instead the closing track It is just nothing at all. Like there was supposed to be a third disc. Throw out the bad stuff like Lifeless Packaging, Anaesthetist, Slippermen and It and shorten the Cage, Crawlers and Lamia, and you get a 45- to 60-minutes masterpiece worthy of five stars.
Report this review (#78458)
Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars After reading a lot of great reviews on this album, I decided to get it, and boy am I glad I did. This is one is the last studio album with Gabriel but I must say it is simply brilliant from start to finish. Rael's story is quite bizarre and I really don't get what a lamb has to do with any of it....but who cares!!. The musical ideas throughout the album are original, captivating and very pleasant. Special mention goes to Banks, his performance is simply mindblowing.

Every song is great IMO but my favorites are "Fly on a windshield", "Cuckoo cocoon", "In the cage", "The chamber of 32 doors", "Lilywhite lilith" and "The colony of slippermen". "It" almost made me cry.

There are also amazing instrumental tracks spread out through the whole thing. Some people may say they're nothing but boring filler, but I loved everyone of them. In conclusion, a Masterpiece of progressive music!!!

Report this review (#82108)
Posted Tuesday, June 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Instrumentation: 5 Stars Vocalization: 5 Stars Lyrics: 5 Stars Structure and Composition: 5 Stars


So here's yet another review of one of the key staples of the progressive movement, but nevertheless I feel compelled to review this truly essential work. "The Lamb..." is a pure concept ablum, in fact it is more of a rock opera. Having listened to most of Genesis' other works before this one I eagerly awaited the long bus ride home to listen to this one. My first impressions were that this was much more 'electronic' sounding as compared to earlier works such as "SEBTP" or "Foxtrot". In fact those first few listens were greatly disappointing, but certain tracks caught my ears so I continued to listen, thankfully. This is definitely a hard collection of music to get used to and I would never suggest this as a first listen for those wanting to embark onto the world of Genesis.

After nearly 12 years of listening to this album I'm still enthralled beyond that of any other. The story concept is somewhat difficult and abstract to grasp especially when trying to decipher from listening only (note: I generally only care about lyrics and such after about 50-60 listens). The first CD (I'll call it Act 1) runs nearly continuously giving the feeling of an epic with 11 movements and an astonishing epic it is. This opening concerns with the main hero, Rael, being submerged into a sort of crystalized world, during this initiation he is generally rendered immobile and reflects upon his somewhat tormented past all the while he is coming to grips with the reality that is set before him. I still marvel at the depth at which the pieces are played and how 'full out' the band seems to be going the whole time. This opening is highly charged and difficult but extremely rewarding if you give it a chance there is not a weak point the whole way through. Act 1 ends sublimely with Rael having an opportunity to escape this surreal prison, so to speak.

The second CD (Act 2) starts out like the first, that being with the heavy charged upbeat 'Lilywhite Lillith' but as the hero Rael escapes the prison he is brought to an even more surreal world whereby the worthiness of his character is brought to the test. The story becomes quite abstract here and I will not comment to much from here on in. Musically Act 2 is much harder to aquire a taste for. "The Waiting Room," is somewhat avante-garde to start with and leads into a wonderfully powerful riff. Seeing this live proved this song to be even more hauntingly powerful than on CD, with the various sounds resonating throughout the entire music hall and through the body, quite an experience. From there we go to the quircky "Supernatural Anaesthetist" which although very short is also equally very timeless. The core of Act 2 is Rael's dealings with the Colony of Slippermen and the Lamia which spans 7 tracks. Again I'll reiterate that upon listening to this the first 10 times or so I did not find much here, but as time wore on I've come to find this perhaps the highlight of "The Lamb.." Having escaped the Colony, not without enduring some farily horrific experiences (e.g. castration) Rael comes to a point where he is given the opportunity to save himself and escape back to NYC or save his brother John. Amidst this part is the wonderfully crafted keyboard solo by Tony Banks on "Riding the Scree". At this point of the concept the music and story seem to wain a bit, however this is not enough to sway me from giving this effort top marks.

Overall this is my FAVOURITE of musical works spanning any genre of music (including styles outside of prog). It is unfortunate that Gabriel left after this album as it was here that Genesis was starting to leave all other bands in the dust, including the masters Yes and Pink Floyd. If you are into progressive music at all, this album is absolutely essential.

Report this review (#87636)
Posted Saturday, August 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars A huge masterpiece, and one of progressive rock best efforts ever. Difficult to discuss about this album, but some major points must be highlighted here. The arrangements are much more electrified and the main structure of the album are very tight and polished, making this record a delightful listening experience. Despite the excellent production, all members worked at their best and the instruments are sounding quite great, including Collins hard-beat drumming and Rutherford airy-basses. Banks dominates the album in some way, creating really atmospheric moments on synthesizers, an ideal "carpet" for Gabriel´s metallic and sometimes acid vocals. Altough too long, and almost boring, the recording is able to rescue the listener from the mud with TOO MANY catchy moments to call this album a lost of time.

An obligatory listening.

Report this review (#88240)
Posted Saturday, August 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Lamb is quite a killer, 1 & ˝ hour of stunning music and including a story with not only one, but infinite numbers how the story goes, it's all about your point of view! (You could sell this album in the TV-Shop commercials :))

Everything has been said about this wonderful album, it contains many different kind of music; prog (In The Cage, The Lamb Lies.., Fly On A Windshield etc.), pop (Counting Our Time, Liliywhite Lilith) and even some proto-punk. All extremely well done.

My point of view about the story is that when Rael dies in the beginning of the album, NY City goes to total chaos and Rael struggles his worst fears (klaustrofobia in 'In The Cage' for example, or his first time what went completely wrong in 'Counting Out Time') in the afterlife, to save his brother John. There is so much to talk about it the story, but I don't have the time to say every little aspect of the story. But I will say that if you have not heard this album, you don't know what you have missed, yes it requires lots of listen to get into! And oh! Sides 3 & 4 are as good as 1 & 2!

Report this review (#88997)
Posted Tuesday, September 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was, of course, the last album with Peter Gabriel on board, and what an album he chose to leave after! Without a doubt, this is not only my favourite album from my favourite band, it is still, after all these years, my favourite album full stop! I am not going to review each individual track as pretty much everything that could be said about it has been said about it. Rather, I would mention the unique atmosphere that pervades the record, from the dark and subtle humour of some tracks to the wonderful, eerie, almost ethereal soundscapes that run through many others. Gabriel didn't want the band to be known as Peter Gabriel and Genesis, which is what was beginning to happen. Although many people thought he was the main lyricist, this was only true on this album; he conceived it and wanted to write it all himself. Indeed, he came close to doing that, but found himself struggling in the end, and asked Mike and Tony to help him out. They did this on a couple of tracks, notably 'The Chamber Of Thirty Two Doors'. The sound on the album is tremendous, a natural progression from the previous 'Selling England' album. Banks shines here with his playing, supplying some stunning solos on tracks such as 'In The Cage', 'The Colony Of Slippermen' and 'Riding The Scree'. He also plays some wonderful mellotron and piano on the quieter tracks, and he is only matched on the album by Hackett and his wonderful un-guitar-like sounds. Collins is a rock at the back, helping to produce that definitive Genesis sound, whilst Rutherford adds some lovely 12 string sounds to the mix, along with his ever smooth bass lines. Stand out tracks? Too many to mention, but worthy of special mention are 'The Waiting Room' (a superb, slowly building jam with weird cat-like noises at the beginning, leading into a tremendous wall of sound), 'Hairless Heart' (a beautiful instrumental, with nice acoustic guitar and excellent keyboard work), the entire 'Colony Of Slippermen' (catchy, lyrically clever, with brilliant, bubbling keyboards and dazzling runs) the atmospheric 'Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats' (an almost church-like instrumental, complete with choral voices that come and go in the most haunting fashion) and, my favourite of all, the brilliant 'Fly On A Windshield' with its majestic mellotron led pomposity, overlaid with the most wonderful guitar work from Hackett. Oh yes, the final track, 'It' is no slouch either with its catchy, uptempo melody, good acoustic guitar work, lead guitar work and all round magnificence. I could go on, but I won't. Suffice to say this album has an atmosphere unlike any other I have ever heard, and I have heard many over the years. Yes, it is lyrically obscure in parts, but that is wholly intentional I am sure, as it allows the listener to populate the world created by the music with his or her own thoughts and characters. No weak tracks whatsoever, though if I had to choose my least faves (and I would need a gun at my head to make me choose) I would probably say 'Back In NYC' and 'The Chamber Of Thirty Two Doors', though both of these are very good as well. Without doubt a masterpiece, one of the very few to be honest, and it is the only album I would actually give six stars to if I could. Stunningly diverse, hauntingly beautiful, bitingly satirical in parts, and all wrapped in that unique Genesis packaging. Amazing stuff.
Report this review (#90896)
Posted Thursday, September 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars I don't like this, I found this too hard to listen, too much vocals and very often I get bored listening to it. It doesn't have the same feel and energy from Selling England by the pound, Nursery Cryme or even Foxtrot. Some songs are really great, but some sounds that they are there to fill the blanks spaces.
Report this review (#92017)
Posted Monday, September 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is truly Genesis at their best. Whether it's their greatest album or not, they're definately at their peak here. Peter's lyrics are great and mysterious. The others' music is phenomanal. What's not to love. The album is bashed for having a weaker second half. This is not fair at all. The first disc might be more popular, but the musicality and the songs are just as grear on disc 2. c'mon, "The Waiting Room, "Anyway", "The Colony of slippermen", "It"? These songs are brilliant. They truly match disc 1 and the great songs on it like "Lamb", "In the Cage", "Back in NYC", and "The Carpet Crawlers". I love every song on this album and it is seemingly perfect.
Report this review (#93191)
Posted Tuesday, October 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Sorry, I cannot give the full five stars to this album as I have done to all the previous ones of their classic period. A great album? To be sure. A great listening experience? To be sure. A change of climate towards their fall into mediocrity and then unlistenability? Unfortunately that too. Tension within the ranks had been growing prior to this album, with Peter Gabriel feeling "caged in" and the rest of the band resenting his overwhelming influence on the public's love of their music. I heard a long time ago (11 years) that things got so bad that Gabriel would not be in the same room as the rest of Genesis nor them with him!!! Midway through The Lamb tour Peter disapppeared and then called from a phone booth "I am no longer in the band" he said, never came back, and that was the end of Genesis. There is more dissonance and claustrophobia here than on any of the previous albums, and while that sometimes can work sometimes it is hard to listen to this. Also, keep in mind that a double album without a single weak link is practically or totally unheard of. Had Genesis gone too far? Had they taken on more than they could handle in a bad situation? I personally do not think they went too far, but they cracked under the pressure. After Mike Rutherford's story tale idea for this album was turned down and Peter G. wrote the story about a very disturbed and angry Puerto Rican/New York boy named Rael things were bad enough, but Peter Gabriel as always proved to be right in the end. The storyline he chose gave him a great amount of freedom to write on all kind of subjects he'd not tackled before, and there is nothing wrong with a somewhat awkward and disturbing coming of age story or just an experience of an underdog story as this is. My main complaint here isn't any of the actual songs, it is the group's lack of focus and seeming unwillingness to play well for Gabriel's story. Steve Hackett is at times horrible, the production doesn't hide the unravelling within the group, but instead brings it to the fore. Even Tony Banks doesn't sound focused. In fact, Peter Gabriel and Tony Banks had ended their long best friends friendship by the time of this album, and it was not a pleasant atmosphere at all. I can't say this isn't a great album, it is, but I really miss what was so wonderful about Selling England, Foxtrot, Nursery Cryme, and my favourite Trespass. An essential album in prog rock history and the last album I really enjoy most of by the group, no matter how essential or good this is, it's really very melancholy inducing for me when I have to think that I hadn't even been born when Genesis were such a great force in the music world. Don't avoid this album, pick it up, but keep in mind what I've said here- it's all true
Report this review (#95321)
Posted Saturday, October 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars I have several problems with this record. One is it's incredibly long length, adding unneccessary tracks on the second disc with little to them other than time. The other is the holly jollyness I feel from the record, making it a bit campy for me. Gabriel's voice experimenting makes me cringe in certain parts as well.

The album starts well, with one of the better songs of the record. But through the course, you get the feeling that Peter Gabriel took over too much, making the music stale. It appears too much to me like the band is playing background to Gabriel's vision. The term rock opera would apply well here. I sense no beauty in the notes, the feeling I get is one of a forced monotony, almost like the band members are bored to be there. This seems less Genesis and more Gabriel solo effort. I'm sure that's not a bad thing for some, but for me it sounds all too dull.

Perhaps you are aware that I am one of the few here who was never in awe of Genesis's works. I find many other prog bands far more interesting, in addition to being better songwriters. It seems as though other Genesis's works said more with less, and that's usually a sought after quality in music.

Report this review (#95984)
Posted Friday, October 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Not really being a great fan of Genesis, I can't denie that this is a masterpiece of prog. By far their best in my opinion. The concept of Rael and his story is awesome and if you read the lyrics and story, the album will even be better!
Report this review (#97141)
Posted Sunday, November 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ah, at last. I've finally replaced the old vinyl copy and can listen to this again.

I appreciate the comments from other reviewers about the different sound. It certainly has a harder edge but the old Genesis magic is still there with the 12 strings etc. I also recognise the criticisms of some tracks as fillers to allow Gabriel to do costume changes in the live show but to me these are minor distractions. What's more, with the CD player I can skip "The Waiting Room" entirely. I'll concede that that is a weak moment, an accurate audio depiction of the relevant section of the accompanying story, but not a great musical treat.

I'm not entirely convinced about the overriding Gabriel influence either. Some of Tony Banks' best work is on this album, not least on the magnificent opening to the album. Sounds like a pretty collaborative effort to me.

Anyway for me this was the pinnacle of Genesis. The heavier sound works completely for me. It's a small but important step change from the logical progression of Trespass->Nursery Cryme->Foxtrot->Selling England (all of which I have and still love). And for me it's one of prog's defining albums so no hesitation in giving it the full five stars

Report this review (#98198)
Posted Friday, November 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well I guess I had to review this album because it is a classic, a masterpiece might I add, and because I have personal reasons. I was a 5-6 year old kid when I heard this music for the first time. My big brother would play The Lamb over and over again. I even knew some lyrics by heart ! When I was a teenager, I happened upon a tape my brother made of the album. Oddly enough, he recorded the album except for the last 4th side, obviously because the tape wasn't long enough. So I kept listening to the tape during my teenage years (together with King Crimson's In the Court). Finally, at the age of 16 I decided to buy a copy of the album for myself and what a surprise I had : I discovered that there was a fourth side completely unknown to me ! Well, I must say and agree with what has been already said : side 4 has the weakest track on the album : 'It'. "It" really does seem out of place. But never mind 'It' ! This is a masterpiece and every prog lover should have it in his or her collection.
Report this review (#98307)
Posted Saturday, November 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album receives mixed reviews... mine is a bit mixed too.

This is the story of a guy named Rael (Puerto Rican?), who goes on a surreal journey through blah blah yada yada. I don't really care for the story if the music doesn't get me there. All I can say is that the magic this band recreated on previous efforts is slightly forgotten, and the band has fallen in it's own weight. Of course, the songs are not bad; but this is hardly the Genesis I like, just reworking much on "I Know What I Like", which, whilst is not bad, it's not essencial in understanding what Genesis was about.

I guess making a song-by-song review would make a lenghty day for me, so I'll just take the parts of the album I found interesting.

The title track is catchy and memorable, and the piano intro says it all; the chorus is pop oriented (and good pop at that). A staple to many post-Gabriel concerts (not post- Hackett though).

Then we get to the rap called "Broadway Melody Of 1974", which has thumping rhythm and interesting spoken lyrics by Gabriel (in the same way he did in "Epping Forest"). Cuckoo Cocoon is very mellow, and contains simple yet complementaty flute notes over some keyboard arpeggios. "In the Cage" has one of Banks' trademark solos (also shown in "Riding The Scree" and "Slippermen") and amazing progression, all in the bridge.Then "Hairless Heart" is again simplistic but with the Genesis' feel of previous albums. "Carpet Crawlers" is an arpeggio exercise by Tony Banks, but in the whole it's a good pop song. "The Waiting Room" is pure King Crimson with a more organised climax. "Anyway" has a bombastic bridge and Hackett's showcase of minimalistic yet powerful guitar licks; but again it's a very pleasant pop song with interesting piano melody. "Supernatural Anaesthetist" is purely Hackett's showcasing (a well deseved one, even though not particularly as good as his solo works). "The Lamia" is arguably the best song here, and in the true vein of Genesis; it has simple piano arrangements but it's a song of pure bliss and it's emotionally charged; is the most underrated song on the album. The rest of the album contains the most inspiring songs, starting from "The Colony Of Slippermen", through the amazing Banks' showcase yet again in "Riding The Scree" and the melancholic "In The Rapids". "It" is a pop song, but not as good as the title track.

I'm more fond of the second disc because it's more filled with that Genesis vibe that was predominant on "Foxtrot" and "Selling England". But in the wholesome, the production here appears to be rushed and some things were done for the sake of making a double album. Even so, the story appears sort of incomplete and uneven, despite the length. 3 STARS

Report this review (#98644)
Posted Monday, November 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well, I'll be dashed! Why is this album not in the everlasting Prog Archives Top Five? Surely you cannot deny that its musicianship is superior to any of the things you'll hear on a-certain-album-with-a-fox-in-a-red-dress-on-its-cover? Perhaps some Genesis fans find THE LAMB too wordy? Or are they disappointed by the relatively large number of weak patches on its second disc?

Be that as it may, I believe THE LAMB's first disc (and its original A-side in particular) contains the finest sequence of songs Genesis ever recorded. THE LAMB boasts the most exciting intro of any Genesis album and the most remarkable build-up of tension (yes, all on that same A-side).

I could devote my entire review to a discussion of THE LAMB's felicities, but I'm sure they have already been pointed out by earlier reviewers. Which prog lover doesn't enjoy Tony Banks' synth solos on 'In the Cage' or 'Riding the Scree', Steve Hackett's guitar cadenza on 'The Supernatural Anaesthesist' or Peter Gabriel's ultra-dynamic vocals on 'Back in N.Y.C.'? Who has never sung along with 'Counting Out Time'? And who will deny that with pieces like 'The Chamber of 32 Doors' or 'In the Rapids' Genesis moved into completely new territory? The raw emotionality of such songs is unparallelled in the band's oeuvre; it would take several solo albums before Peter Gabriel so openly revealed his emotional insecurity again. As if all this were not enough, 'The Carpet Crawlers' is simply the most beautiful song in the Genesis canon. Nowhere else did they equal its simple beauty and grace.

But since all of these things have already been discussed on Prog Archives, let me say a few words in praise of PG's lyrics. I'll be the first to admit that, conceptually speaking, THE LAMB is flawed. No matter how you twist or turn it, the storyline doesn't make much sense. Gabriel simply cannot decide if he's on the mean streets of New York City, in a British boarding school ('The Lamia' was based on a poem by John Keats; 'Slippermen' opens with a quotation from Wordsworth), in Lewis Carroll's Wonderland or even in Hollywood... But just listen to some of the lines he wrote! More than on any other album, PG let his imagination run riot here, while his diction remained impeccable. No-one else in prog has such a richly absurd sense of humour; no-one else understands so completely how lyrics ought to SOUND. For example, take the way Gabriel declaims: 'Groucho, with his movies trailing, stands alone with his punchline failing.' Or: 'There's Howard Hughes in blue suede shoes, smiling at the majorettes, smoking Winston cigarettes.' Such lines are not merely entertaining; if you happen to know of more sophisticated use of ASSONANCE in rock, let me know where you found it. As far as I can tell, only Dylan ever was able to match this. Some more examples: 'The fleas cling to the golden fleece, hoping they'll find peace.' And: 'As they nibble the fruit of my flesh, I feel no pain, only a magic that a name would stain'. These final quotations are from songs that evoke a solemn and truly mysterious atmosphere.

No, 'a masterpiece of progressive rock' really doesn't seem exaggerated.

Report this review (#99177)
Posted Friday, November 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Oh lord, what has Gabriel gotten himself into? Composing an epic, four-sided concept album YEARS ahead of its time with an out-of-this-world concept, magnificent vocals, brilliant words, and not to mention completely upright musicianship all around from all five members. I really don't understand why Genesis catches so much flak for this album. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is an album that must be read into to understand. Things that may not seem very "musically pleasing" as it were, always exist for a reason in this album. There are many highlights.

The title track is a fantastic way to bring the listener into the plot. "Fly on a Windshield" has a stellar opening sequence as well as an excellent instrumental break into some incredible poetic vocals."Cuckoo Cocoon" heralds a bright Major 7th pattern, and splendid flute work. "In The Cage" is a dark and vicious epic with excellent keyboard work and drumming.

The entire second side is unbelievable to say the least. Even the cute and simplistic "Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging" works very well with songs like the dynamic "Back in N.Y.C.", the shimmering atmosphere of "Carpet Crawlers", and of course the pleasant pseudo-pop tune "Counting Out Time". The first disc closes with the emotionally charged "Chamber of 32 Doors", a fine and powerful ending.

The third side has some great tunes as well. "The Waiting Room" features a journey into the outer limits of abstract noise solidifying into a powerful climax. The obvious highlights are "Anyway" with its catchy piano melody and excellently implemented Hackett solo, and "The Lamia", a rather psychotic classically-oriented piece with astounding vocal hooks (Rael welcome, we are the Lamia...) and the ever-present thoughtful Gabriel lyrics. "Silent Sorry in Empty Boats" closes this side with a dramatic ambience.

The fourth side, however, wins my vote for this album. It begins with "The Colony of Slippermen". With its quirky rhythm patterns (a la Rutherford, Collins) and virtuosic keyboard passages, this song has nailed itself down as a Genesis classic. "The Light Dies Down on Broadway" is dort of a blend of "The Lamia" and the title piece. It is, surprisingly, a stunning piece of work more introspective and solemn than the former. "Riding the Scree" features an insane keyboard lead and various hard-hitting symphonic movements.

Above all my favorite part of this entire album is its closing sequence. "In The Rapids" is a melancholy and desparate song, with perfect words, and an astonishingly dark mood. Sad to the finish (though much too short). The icing on the cake comes with "It". This song captivates and astounds me with its high energy vocal hooks and excellent guitar riffery. This is perhaps my favorite song on the album, mainly because when I first listened to the album it wasn't what I expected for the ending of this prog masterwork. "It" is much better.

This album is an absolute must for anyone claiming to be interested in prog. All the negativity that has been raised about this album seems mostly based on the conception that Brian Eno's production "ruined it". The production value is not the best, but it is truly the music which will speak for itself. As I said before, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway must be read deeply into to fully understand. I do not regret a single cent on what I spent on this album and I would actually buy it again if I lost my copy (God forbid).

5 Stars, Essential to understanding Genesis, and (for that matter) Progressive Music.

Report this review (#102213)
Posted Friday, December 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars "The Lamb Lies Down" was the first Genesis LP I purchased when it was available in the record stores (November 1974). It is also my unique live experience with the band (12 April 75 - Forest National, Brussels).

This concert was quite unique since Genesis played two encores (The Musical Box AND The Knife - Le Couteau as Peter will mention in his annoucement). The usual encore was either "The Musical Box" OR "Watcher if The Skies". We were very fortunate (maybe they wanted to apologize from their previous concert from a year before - you can read my review for "Selling" for more details).

It is the last album of what is generally considered as the ideal "Genesis" line-up. It might also be considered as Peter 's first solo effort, maybe.

At the time of release, since information was not as widespread as it is now (no Internet, man : can you imagine ?), I had no clue about what their new album was going to be. My first impression when I saw the number of tracks on the sleeve was a kind of disappointment : not a single long track (10 + minutes I mean). But, after all, most concept albums are in the same vein (the reference for me being "Tommy"). Short tracks, with even very short transition moments.

Logically I spun side one then side two etc. following the story with the printed lyrics (thank god !) . What intruigued me at once was the incredible story that is outlined in the inside of the album. Grandiose.

Even after more than 30 years of listening to it, it is not easy to take out songs out of their context and listen them separately (although I did compile "my" version of "The Lamb" taking out the weak moments - especially on side 3 & 4).

For this review I have used some excerpts of the lyrics (I mention it or put them into brackets). I also have used the story printed on the internal sleeve as a base to describe side one.

Here we go !

"The Lamb" tells us the weird story of Rael, the hero and his brother John. Side one is really strong and consistent.

Rael has a "brother" John. A sort of image of himself. But Rael does not like John. (maybe he is his conscience ) ? After spending a whole night in a theater, he is hanging around in the streets of Manhattan. Incidently, out of the steam, a lamb lies down. It just lies down on Broadway. "And The Lamb ..." tells us this intro.

"Fly On A Windshield" describes a strange phenomenon that is taking place : a black cloud descends on Time Square and is transformed in a solid wall. It will soon starting to move slowly. Rael wants to escape the cloud and runs. There is so much dust in the air that Rael is completely covered by it. The dust slowly creates a kind of coat which confines and surrounds Rael to such an extent that he can not move any longer. "The Melodies of Broadway" revive Rael's memories but he seems to be in a kind of "trip" (needles and pins...).

He feels like he is wrapped in a coccon (Cockoo !). Rael thinks, I quote the lyrics : "I wonder if I'm a prisoner locked in some Brooklyn jail, or some sort of Jonah shut up inside the whale".

He realized suddenly that he is in a kind of cave and, resigned, he falls asleep. When he wakes up, the cocoon has gone and stalactites and stalacmites are formed so quickly around him that he will soon be prisoner in some sort of cage. He has the impression that the bars of the cage are moving towards him and begins to press against his chest.

All of a sudden, he sees his brother John and cries for help. But John seems to ignore and turns away, leaving Rael alone with his fears and pains. At the same time, the cage dissolves...

The last track "The Grand Parade..." works very well live but the studio version is not really good (but funny still).

Side two opens with "Back in N.Y.C." it is not really one of my favourite : too noisy, too hard (although I enjoy a lot the Purple & Led Zep), but I do not expect "Genesis" to produce such a number.

The instrumental "Hairless Heart" is short, melodious & nice. "Counting of Time" is a funny song, and will be released as a single. This song has strong sexual content. Rael will discover his erogenous zones.

I quote the lyrics : "Touch and go with 1 to 6. Bit of trouble in zone No. 7". Later on "Getting crucial responses with dilation of the pupils. Honey get hip! It' s time to unzip, to unzip zip, zip-a-zip, zip-a-zip. Whippee". This side ends up with two of the best tracks where our hero Rael is really into big s h i t.

"The Carpet Crawlers" is a marvel of a melody and "The Chamber of 32 Doors" sounds quite desperate (our hero coming always back to square one while he wants to escape and always return to this damned chamber). Peter's voice is really dramatic during this number.

Side three is quite contrasted : three of the poorest tracks (The Waiting Room, The Supernatural Anaestetist and Silent Sorrow...) and three of the best ones (Liliwhite Lilith, Anyway and The Lamia). It is also the darkest side of the story.

Our hero meets the blind Lillywhite Lilith who will lead him out of the Chamber. I quote : "Lilywhite Lilith, She gonna take you thru' the tunnel of night Lilywhite Lilith, She gonna lead you right."

"Anyway" and "The Lamia" are the most melodious and emotional tracks from "The Lamb". "Anyway" starts with a beautiful keyboard intro, and on an acoustic mode. The crescendo will lead to a marvelous guitar break (in the style of "Firth" but shorter, alas).

"The Lamia" is my preferred song : almost lyric and very few solo moments (only some gutar at the end). Our hero Rael, will make love with three half women / half snakes. The song enters into a true erotic novel. I quote : "Putting fear beside him, he trusts in beauty blind He slips into the nectar, leaving his shredded clothes behind. "With their tongues, they test, taste and judge all that is mine. They move in a series of caresses That glide up and down my spine".

Just wonderful. Very emotional while played life.

The last number of side three "Silent Sorrow" is a very weak instrumental. It is said that it was necessary to allow Peter to transform into the Slipperman. Maybe it is true. This would mean that, at the time of writing, Peter already had a pretty good idea on how the show would look like.

Side four is somewhat emotional.

Our hero will learn that his act with the lamias has a price : he will be turned into an awful Slipperman. But he can't believe what he sees although another Slipperman tells him : "We, like you, have tasted love. Don't be alarmed at what you see, You yourself are just the same as what you see in me."

The solution is to go and see the doctor : "Understand Rael, that's the end of your tail". Rael: "Don't delay, dock the dick!"

This is the track where Peter will be dressed up into an awful creature before the metamorphosis took place and he returns then back to Rael. "Ravine" is a weak instrumental and leads us to "The Light Dies Down" which is a nice variation of the opening and title song of this work.

Rael will need to ride the scree and survive the rapids in which he jumped in to save his brother John (I like this one also very much although it is a very quiet tune). In this track he meets his brother John again "Hang on John! We're out of this at last". At this time he just figures out that who he sees is not john, but his own face: "Something's changed, that's not your face. It's mine! Its mine!"

The closing number is a resume of the whole album and quite rocky, hence the final sentence :"Yes it's only knock and knowall, but I like it like it..." And yes, I damn like it !

The lyrics are incredible. The story ambiguous.

I wonder why they never made a movie out of this (Spielberg would have done a good job, I'm sure). Or a musical in ... Broadway ?

The Lamb" is best experienced live. There is unfortunately no live footage of this tour (which will be the last one of this legendary line-up). Since I have seen it, I cannot complain.

On top of it, I have seen the show four times performed by the excellent cover band "The Musical Box" (including a memorable one at the Royal Albert Hall). Altough one can argue about the use of such bands, I really invite you to go and see them to get an idea of a "Genesis" show : they are reproducing every single details of them.

Peter went to see TMB with his children, so that they could figure out how "Genesis" was performing on stage !

The lyric parts of "The Lamb" deserve five stars, but musically it is not my preferred "Genesis" album (there are six weak numbers). So, four stars.

Although it is now regarded as one of the best concept album of all time, it only reached Nr. 10 in the UK (41 in the US).

Report this review (#104935)
Posted Saturday, December 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is the ambitious follow up to the prog standard Selling England By the Pound. Peter Gabriel was becoming increasingly restless with the band's extended instrumental passages, leaving him with nothing to do. Thus, he stopped contributing music ideas and instead wrote all of the lyrics for an ambitious concept. Peter decides to expand upon the method of singing he used for the song "Get 'Em Out By Friday" on the album Foxtrot, where he sang multiple roles.

The concept of this album deals with a man named Rael who embarks on a journey filled with challenges, chief of which is his alter ego, John, who never helps him when Rael is in need. Peter ignores time and space; Rael seems to pop up anywhere without notice.The story loses itself many times throughout the album. I know that Peter put in filler to accomodate his costume changes throughout live shows, but the second disc is ruined by these breaks (Waiting Room, Superantural Anaesthetist, Silent Sorrow). I feel that a masterpeice could have been forged from one disc. Unlike on SEBtP, the album relies completely on the concept; on SEBtP the sngs came off as independent of the concept. Almost no song can be played out of context on this album; it makes Tommy look like an album of individual songs by comparison. Since the concept is too dense and drifts often, the album itself lacks focus.

The band plays well as always, but Peter is the center on this album, and his vocal experimentations sometimes succeed but other times are cringe worthy. I'm torn on how to rate this album. I believe every fan of Genesis and even symphonic prog should have this, but the large portion of filler and Peter's hit and miss vocals. It deserves three stars, but I still recommend this album. Read up on the full concept on websites, even among reviews on this site; that will help tremendously.

Grade: C

Report this review (#104958)
Posted Saturday, December 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Genesis' style took a drastic change, here. On albums like Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot and Selling England, the style of course changed, but not as dramatically as this. They now sound a bit slicker, a bit darker, a bit funnier, a bit more experimental, and a lot weirder. If you're considering buying this album, don't buy it expecting an epic storyline. At times it is very interesting and engaging (Carpet Crawlers - 32 Doors, In the Rapids - It) but in generally, it is just a series of conceptual songs sewed messily together. It is hilarious and disturbing, as well.

The storyline is has defunct meaning. Its detached scenes are tied together by the album, but are essential 23 isolated stories. The story itself is quite unsatisfying, but the underlying meaning is extremely meaningful and interesting. The Gabe can be quoted for saying, "The Lamb [Lies Down On Broadway] is a hymn to the integral innocence of the human spirit meeting the bacon-slicer of a corruptive society." What this album about is good, innocent, moral people being corrupted and forced into sin by the world.

As for music, this album up to Genesis' standards, methinks. There is a lot of piano on this album, compared with previous albums (which is a good thing). Some songs (Title track, Carpet Crawlers, 32 Doors, Anyway, The Lamia, The Light Dows Down) are fantastic, well written songs. But, I find, there are too many short songs. A lot of these should have been combined into a few longer tracks. This would help to distinguish song from song. This would also help listeners become familiar with the album quicker. I got this album for Christmasand have been listening to it regularly since then, and I'm only fully able to rate it now, midway through January - that's a long time for me. The huge amount of songs on this album (23!) is very overwhelming.

So, even though it's not another Foxtrot or Selling England, not quite as epic, it's still excellent.

Report this review (#107754)
Posted Wednesday, January 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars WARNING! This album does NOT work very well as a concept album!

I have listened to this album over and over, and while I think it is indeed mostly a very good collection of songs (especially 'In the Cage, my favourite), think the story arc is extremely shaky in places, and in the places where it does work, the music tends to take a back seat and suffers as a result (although the track 'The Waiting Room', with no lyrics, is awful). And yes, Disc 1 (or sides 1 and 2 of the vynl double album) is much better than Disc 2 (sides 3 and 4), IMO. Its' a widely reported fact that the music and the lyrics were written seperatly, and unfortunatly the album (as a whole) reflects this. Some tracks (the title track, carpet crawlers, in the cage, the chamber of 32 doors) work well because this division is almost unnoticeable, but other tracks where emphasis is put on the lyrics, such as the Lamia, the two seem detached, almost as though the Gabriel was improvising lyrics over the top of some music that he had found. This album may be highly regarded by a lot of people, and maybe they have realised something about the album that i haven't, But i prefer to listen to this album as a collection of songs, some good, some bad, and some that link together,(but never in more than pairs or triplets) and largly ignore the unifying concept, which is actually quite worryingly easy. But in this album the music, for me, overshadows the lyrics in many places, and some of the tracks seem to build up a good sound before some ridiculous lyrics ruin it. So, im summary, i suppose i could say that i don't 'get it', and perhaps that is my problem, but personally i think that many other people also don't 'get it', and that i'm not alone. Above average, but they probably shouldn't have done a double album.

Report this review (#110221)
Posted Thursday, February 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This psychidelic journey across two discs of surreal narrative was to be the last album of Genesis' first era, and a fitting swan song it is. Great stuff mixed with some unbearable instrumental... mmm, no, not instrumental: ambient breaks. The end result is both fascinating and head-scratching... now let's get deeper into the story of Rael.

First disc opens with the title track anthem, great song, but which inside this conceptual monster works merely as an prologue. Things start getting real weird when a black wall shows up over Manhattan Island on "Fly on a Windshield", with necessary lyrics for the story but not very interesting melody. The song segues seamlessly into "Broadway Melody of 1974" which reverses things: this one does have a better melody, but the lyrics are just a collection of Broadway references that if taken out wouldn't hurt the story a single bit. We catch up with poor Rael, trapped inside a "Cuckoo Cocoon" to finally find himself caged in and escape after a painful experience in the second great song of the album, "In the Cage", which features a frenzy-ladden combination between keyboard and drums playing in different times signatures and a great -though short- solo by Banks. A very short ambient passage foreshadows latter wastes of time, before one of the weirdest songs here, marred by unnecesary voice FX by Brian Eno (listen to the FX-less live recording of this song instead: what a relief) "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging". After the linear continuity between the previous two songs, this one comes out of nowhere within the narrative. Never liked it. Things get back on track with this "trilogy" of linked songs: the agressive "Back in N.Y.C" (nice keyboard arpeggio but perhaps too long a song), the absolutely BEAUTIFUL instrumental "Hairless Heart" (one of Genesis' best melodies ever, wish it weren't that short!) and the great "Counting Out Time", happy ragtime song where Rael confesses his failed first attempt at sex. Great stuff. Anyway, narratively this section is filled with tales about Rael's past; it's not until "The Carpet Crawlers" that we find out where the hell in this bizarre subterranean world he is NOW. Gentle melody this one, has become kind of a classic: I think it's a good one, but not really special. Following these people crawling through a carpet, Rael arrives at "The Chamber of 32 Doors", one of the best combinations of music and storytelling lyrics in this album. We really feel Rael is in this strange place, has a conflict to resolve, and is genuinely desperate to know which of the 32 doors is the one to lead him outta there. Very good place to interrupt the narrative and leave us hanging... for the brief time it takes to change a cd/lp, at least.

So disc 2 comes in and filler material starts flooding sections to the point in which I wonder if this wouldn't have worked better as a single album. Don't know. "Lillywhite Lilith" picks up where the previous song left off, with the appearance of a blind lady who offers to help Rael out of the chamber, only to leave him trapped in a jade throne waiting for death herself to come for him. Story's getting better, huh? Too bad it all goes to hell with a five minute pointless jam baptized as "The Waiting Room". I believe it must be one of the most hated Genesis songs (from Peter's era, of course, poor Phil got almost all the hatred afterwards). I generally don't like jams, and this one doesn't even have music, it's a noise & sound festival -almost like a Genesis' version of P.Floyd's "Several Species of Small Furry Animals....". "Anyway"... that's the next one, and a good one it is. Cool piano work and very good lyrics about waiting for death... if only there hadn't been that jam between the first song and this one! So death arrives... and it turns out to be a complete disappointment: "The Supernatural Anaesthetist" is a totally boring affair which fails both musically and within the narrative... this guy is trapped waiting for death and... what? We never understand what the hell happens or how he escapes. Fortunately, his next adventure is a wonderful one: Rael finds "The Lamia" in a pool, three snake-like creatures with a female face, has sex with them and eats their remains as they die from the experience. Yuck. I mean, whoa! The melody is so beautiful (although with too many pauses to build a real momentum) that it helps get caught up with what's happening in the story. But then again, as we were getting involved, an instrumental comes up and we have to wait until "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats" is over to be greeted by "The Colony of Slippermen", a three-part song where Rael finds out he's bound to become a nasty lumpy creature as a consequence of having been with the Lamia, as all men in this colony have. That is, unless he is castrated. And in a Freudian image, a crow steals his... his. Great song, funny lyrics, cool rhythm changes. So, what do you think happens now, as it has been customary during this second disc? YUP! An ambient instrumental!! You got it right. Ideas were dangerously running short here, if you had any doubts about it. After "Ravine" we get a sort-of reprise from the first song in the album, "The Light Dies Down on Broadway", where unfortunately you CAN tell that the lyrics were not written by the same person (this is the only song Peter didn't write lyrics to). Not very interesting or crucial to the story, either. We get in the final section of this adventure with the "Riding the Scree"/"In the Rapids"/"It" trilogy. The first one is a real weird tune that works real good to illustrate the dangerous place Rael is cruising through in order to save his brother John, caught "In the Rapids". Yet when he finds it, he realises that was not John: it was himself.

Hmmm... I've heard that before. Or afterwards, maybe. What the hell it means beats me, but I think the weirdest thing is that after that "shocking revelation" in a very, very quiet song, an up-tempo closer number kicks in where Peter tried to put in as many words that contained "it" in them as he could. What is IT? One of the weirdest conceptual album closers, that's the only thing I can assure.

A guarded recommendation for this one. 3.5.

Report this review (#112452)
Posted Saturday, February 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars A first whole listen of this album i'm sure has always and will always greatly surprise a Genesis fan, Banks,Hackett,Rutherford and Collins are all using different souding instruments to their last 3 albums and everything sounds generally different with weird sound effects and more aggresive with Gabriel pushing hard on the vocals ( first track ). But after a few more listens everybody will recognize the musicians of the last 3 ( 4 ) albums . So the group has taken a different direction and are progressing, wise choice ?

Lyrically you can't get a better concept album: mysterious, obscur, full of allegories, lyrics that have several meanings, 34 years later all the lyrics have not been fully understood but were would be the fun when listening to progrock if you understood all the lyrics at the first listen ^^. The main character is a boy called Rael living in New York who get's suckked in a strange underworld ( the purgatory or is Rael mad and imagining all this ) where meets lots of strange characters( Lamias, The Supernatural Anaesthetist, The Slippermen, Lilywhite Lilith ) and his brother John who keeps abandonning everytime he falls in a dangerous situation. Rael through all this reexperiences his life in the underworld sex, death, religion ( the chamber of 32 doors is suppose to represent the choice of religion with all these different doors leading here and there with a priest pointing there, the magicien there and the parents also pointing somewhere I havn't really understood this song ). I think the slippermen are maybe there to represent the dangers of sex ( AIDS, syphillis etc... ) the Lamias the people who tempt you to it he then has to be castrated not to become a slipperman to have his manhood stolen by a raven a metaphore ? Anyway lyrically this is the best and one of the most complicated albums to understand.

Musically this album is very interesting but interesting is not always a good thing, fortunetely here it is this album his unique in it's music with some really good tracks " Fly On A Windshield", "The Lamia", "Anyway", "Carpet Crawlers", "In The Cage" ,the tracks are nearly always good but in 94 min there are the fillers "Ravine" "The Waiting Rome" " Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats" who add to the musical atmosphere but that many people will find irritating and useless, some songs who are a bit poppy "Counting Out Time" "Lilywhite Lilith" and some with strange sound effects "The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging".

A masterpiece no doubt about it ,the best of the progressive double cd concept albums Musically very good you won't want to go away when listening to this, lyrically well the best album there is to me anyway ;-).

Franco-English sry for the spelling mistakes.

Report this review (#114401)
Posted Wednesday, March 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chris H
3 stars Is this the best album in the Genesis collection? Sorry, but no it is not. The one thing that I enjoy the most about this album, however, is the fact that it is jam packed with over an hour and a half of music to enjoy, and even with all of that music there is not a single song that can be called plain, flat-out "bad". Of course, there are many a song that serve their purpose as filler between the main tracks.

"The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" is the opener to the album of the same name, and it is one of, if not my favorite track on this whole entire album. Unfortunately when you start out on a high and the next few songs don't live up to that, the listener is sometimes turned off. It's a good thing Tony Banks is out of the cage and able to pound away at his keys to produce the perfect sounds and melodies for "In The Cage". "The Chamber of 32 Doors" is really the only stand out track left on the first tape/vinyl/disc, whatever you prefer. It is hard-hitting but not over bearing, and with some nice and subtle vocals.

The second part is virtually an alter universe image of the first part. Where the first part was fairly stable with some remotely related songs, the second part is mellow and ambient at times and then it springs into some driving rock n' roll. Almost no flow at all. Also, on top of that, only a limited few of the songs are worth seeking out. The first side is virtually skippable, with the only interesting number being the incredibly Beatles- esque "Lillywhite Lilith". The second half of part two is a big improvement, with the three-part "Colony of Slippermen" and "The Light Lies Down On Broadway" standing out as incredible songs.

Other than those mentioned, the only other enlightening tracks are the quirky but musically lacking songs like "Cuckoo Cocoon" and "The Supernatural Anaesthetist" . Also, "The Waiting Room" has some good drumming near the end. Besides that, the rest is just filler to provide a build-up for the bigger numbers.

The one big thing that I enjoyed about this album is the fact that it is absolutely packed to bursting with music. With over an hour and a half of playing time, you are guaranteed to find at least some things you like. Other than that fact, I don't see why this album is held at such high standards. I would suggest you find some of the other Genesis albums before this. If you can come across this at a fair price, by all means snatch it up. However, I wouldn't recommend breaking your neck and draining your wallet to get this.

Report this review (#114808)
Posted Saturday, March 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars After the magnificence of 'Selling England by the Pound', with its perfect conceptual conceit, GENESIS fell apart while making this ill-advised, sprawling effort. Not content with charting the demise of the British Empire, here the group went on to explore death, eternity, well everything. And they simply were not up to the task.

Part of the problem was the way it was put together. Usually PETER GABRIEL'S worst excesses were hidden by the band, but here they are obvious. This is what you get if you let the man do what he wants, ubfettered by group control. Fortunately for us all, he realised this himself and never tried anything like this in his solo career. If this album is the triumph others claim, why did he not do something similar again?

And all this after such a promising start. The first two tracks are wonderful: the mellotron moment in 'Fly on a Windshield' and the following commentary is superb. But although what follows makes an interesting collection of good and atrocious ('The Cage', 'Carpet Crawlers' good, 'Back in NYC', the whole second disc atrocious), it simply does not come together as a concept. And I so wanted it to. I still do, 30 years later. If someone could unlock the secret of this album I'd be grateful. (Send me a message from my website at ...)

And that second disc! Oh dear. It's not their best work musically; GENESIS' most die-hard fans don't claim it is. So it stands or falls on the clarity and power of its concept. And, ladies and gentlemen, it falls. Come on, what are we really learning about ourselves here? How can we empathise with the central character? Isn't this just a 'Hogweed' or 'Salamacis'-like romp through classical myth? Out of control. Needs pruning. Needs focus.

Borrow this album and give it a listen. That way you'll save yourself some cash. Harsh? Yes. But this miss sits in the midst of a collection of genre-defining hits, and so its flaws stand out all the brighter.

Report this review (#116374)
Posted Sunday, March 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars (3 stars relative to the better Genesis recordings)

I'm as big a Genesis fan as there is on this earth, but I'm not FANATICAL. I'm not blinded by the double CD packaging or that Genesis is the artist. That being said, this is my least favorite recording from the Genesis Gabriel era.

As some have already noted, Gabriel's vocals are all over the place, appearing WAY TOO FREQUENTLY and some times with the most distorted and ugly pitch one can imagine. Some may call it art, but I call it bad singing. This is not to say that there aren't good vocals on this recording, because there are. But the bad parts are embarrassingly bad. Reminiscent of nails running down a black board. To the point where some songs are flat- out impossible to listen to! I find myself skipping pieces because they are torturous to my ears. That is the case with NO other Genesis recording; or very few recordings in general!

The recording suffers from "Gabrielitis" . The man has chocked the life out of the music. The recording doesn't breath, there is no room for the instrumentalists to make a significant statement. Whenever anything interesting is being developed, here goes PG again, screaming and screeching!

If one listens carefully, the backing music is very interesting and symphonic in nature. I wish there was an instrumental rendition of this recording. I think it'd be more enjoyable.

This is probably Gabriel's worst effort while with Genesis and possibly one of the weakest efforts of his illustrious career. I have all of his solo stuff and have seen him solo in concert and I believe I have a good frame of reference to say that this is him bottoming out.

However, this record seems to be in the top ten on this site among the all-time best prog recordings. IMO, The Lamb is the last record I'd recommend from the PG/Genesis era.

Report this review (#116494)
Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars At long last, the PERFECT Genesis album. With each of the five albums that preceded this one, you could feel the screws tightening and the band bettering themselves with each album. They struck gold with The Lamb.

The long compositions are mostly gone, though the songs on here flow into each other well enough to comprise longer songs. Each disc has one "epic"; "In the Cage" on disc one and "The Colony of Slippermen" on disc two, and these are among the best songs on each disc.

It's nearly pointless to bicker over which songs are best because each of the twenty-three songs on The Lamb, including its instrumental segues, are brilliantly written and executed. There is absolutely nothing to complain about on this album, except perhaps that "It" is an anticlimactic closer and kind of sad because it was the last song Peter Gabriel recorded with the group.

This album has gone down as one of the prog rock classics and as a classic concept record. Believe the hype; every good word you hear about this album is true. If you don't already have this (though if you're on this site you probably do), buy it the very next time you set foot inside a record store.

Report this review (#120913)
Posted Sunday, May 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Oh no, not another Lamb review! "Keep your fingers out of my eye. While I write I like to glance at the butterflies in glass that are all around the walls."

Not quite the ratings king for old Genesis in terms of stars and quantity of ratings. It's hard to believe I've been enjoying this album for nearly 30 years now. I didn't catch it when it was fresh.

I'm rather amused by the reviewers that think this album is overrated or don't get what the concept. For those who go this track or that track is weak kind of miss the point. It's like looking at Dali's Hallucinogenic Toreador and saying "I don't like the little boy at the lower right or there's just way too many venus de milos." The concept is never as explicit as say some of Rick Wakeman's earlier stuff. But I think it is basically a concept album about a very strange dream. It's weird and irrational. Things aren't supposed to be coherent or consistent. I have dreams like that regularly.

One of the cooler facts about this album is that Eno provides "Enossification". Eno gets around.

For whatever the Definitive Edition Remaster did improve on sound quality, the CD booklet only had a good reproduction of the front and back cover art. The inner sleeves on the vinyl version had the lyrics with some cool artwork. Now you just get unadorned lyrics. The artwork that came with the written bit that occurs in the middle of the vinyl cover is also missing. I'm afraid that takes away from it really being a "Definitive Edition".

Report this review (#121347)
Posted Tuesday, May 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album is the last of Genesis' good albums. It is also the last album to have Gabriel on vocals.

This is by no means the best Genesis album, or even one of their best. Its a decent well balanced album that features some great keyboards and some great vocals and lyrics. Normally, I could care less about lyrics, but they are very creative on this album and weave a tale as well as any book could. The album tells a very strange tale about Rael, a young gang member of some sort. However, about halfway through the first album, the concept gets somewhat lost. I fail to recognize how Rael gets from point A to point B, he just kind of shows up there without any reasoning.

There are some points on the album where Gabriel's vocals are almost unbearable. He starts screeching at points and its rather painful. And then there are other parts where he sounds better than ever. Very inconsistant.

The song Back in NYC is the most inconsistant out of all the songs. Starts of with alot of unmemorable singing and melodies, then gets screechy. If the volume is up, it sounds alot like a nail on a chalkboard. Sends goosebumps up your spine and makes your whole body shudder. Then right after that, there is a cool vocal distortion effect used on some really interesting lyrics that are quite bizzare. "As I cuddled the porcupine, he said I had none to blame but me. Held my heart deep in hair. Time to shave, shave it off." It's way out there and makes no sense but it sure sounds cool in the song. I absolutely love the effect used on the vocals. Its so cool. The next song Hairless Heart is a beautiful melody that is soft and quiet. Its delightful to listen too, but the volume is so low that its almost impossible to listen to.

The album has some decent songs, a few gems, and alot of forgetable material. Usually Genesis was a great band that took ideas from every member and mixed them together. This album is all about Peter Gabriel. There is little input from the other members of the band and its almost entirely Peter singing. Nowhere near enough input from the rest of the band. Its just shoved away in the background so you have to really concentrate to hear and enjoy it.

I reccomend this to any Peter Gabriel fans, and of course any Genesis fan should own this, but if your not a big fan of the band, its safe to skip this one. This is certinely a good album, but its terrible by the band's usual standards. I think if any band other than Genesis put this album out, I would give it 4 stars, but they could do so much better, and they did do so much better. Skip this album and get either Selling England By The Pound, Foxtrot, or Nursery Cryme. They are much better.

Report this review (#125590)
Posted Tuesday, June 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars I guess everyone was doing long-winded double-LP concept albums, so why not Genesis? As is customary with these kinds of bombastic and complicated projects, they usually fail to live up to expectations. So along comes The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway...

First, I must say, the story is quite original, certainly a bit weird, and mostly confusing. That I actually do not mind so much. What bothers me the most is the format of the songs, the occasional period of incessant noodling, and the overuse of filler. It clearly seems to me that Gabriel stretched the concept too far so that two whole LPs could be properly filled. Otherwise, the best material on here would take up one LP, or at most 1 1/2 LPs. Generally most of the songs fit a more radio-friendly format, with very little musical inspiration like the 10+ minute pieces that band had done quite well with on previous albums.

Highlights for me are Fly on a Windshield/Broadway Melody of 1974, In the Cage, The Carpet Crawlers and Colony of Slippermen. The rest of the album is mediocre, bordering on good. In my opinion, I think this work could have been so much better if instead of separate short pieces that seem loosely tied together only because of the storyline, they would have consolidated the story into a grouping of maybe four 12-minute mini-epics with a more ambitious musical palette. If they really must have a 2-LP set, certainly Hackett and Banks could have provided some excellent extended instrumental sections.

But alas, Genesis didn't live up to its expectations and Gabriel's farewell was on a mediocre note. Still many consider this work historically important. I thought about giving it four stars simply because of that, but I can't justify it on those grounds. Thus, three stars it is. Good, but not essential. Definitely worth acquiring if you are a Genesis or Peter Gabriel fan.

Report this review (#126456)
Posted Thursday, June 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars "Selling England" and "Foxtrot" being both amazing albums, it's hard to describe "The lamb...". The only thing that comes to mind is : Genesis trying to be something they are not. Don't get me wrong, I learned to enjoy the album more after time but I found that it did not last the test of time very well. Too much filler tracks, Gabriel using harsh vocals with strange just sounds...very awkward coming from these guys. Of course, there are some KILLER tracks like "In The Cage", "Colony Of Slippermen" but for the rest...too much is just like not enough. This album is far more relevant in its live context...on record it's just...bizarre I guess. Still a good record that shows some pretty intense musicianship and songwriting skills. Not for everyone but a very honest effort, above par in most cases. Give it a try!
Report this review (#126628)
Posted Saturday, June 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
5 stars When it comes to Peter Gabriel's lyrics or concepts I don't even try to figure it out, I just kick back and enjoy the music. I agree with others that there is a lot of variety on these two discs, hearing things we've never heard from this band before or afterwards. I want to touch on some of my favourite songs.

The first song I will never tire of "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" it just doesn't get much better than this. What an uplifting song, and check Banks out ! "Fly On A Windshield" features mellotron, acoustic guitar and vocals until the sound almost explodes 1 1/2 minutes in with heavy drums from Collins leading the charge. Hackett shines as does Gabriel. Mellotron is back and it continues to flow right into the next song "Broadway Melody Of 1974". "Cuckoo Cocoon" is too beautiful, just a gorgeous song. "In the Cage" opens with vocals as drums and keys build. Passionate vocals are followed by a keyboard solo. What an intense song. Pulsating keys before 6 minutes. "The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging" has mellotron and builds to a climax. "Back In NYC" has these theatrical vocals from Gabriel and the drumming is fantastic. Pulsating keys from Banks, but it's Gabriel who steals the show. "Hairless Heart" just melts me into a puddle, I can't explain why although the mellotron probably helps. "Counting Out Time" is another incredible song and they are a having a lot of fun 2 1/2 minutes in. "Carpet Crawlers" continues to hit me like "Hairless Heart" did, an emotional beauty."The Chamber Of 32 Doors" has plenty of tempo changes and mood shifts with meaningful lyrics. What an amazing song ! I said i would touch on my favourite songs, well that includes all the songs from the first disc as there's not even one average song in my opinion.

Disc two starts off great with "Lilywhite Lilith" an uplifting song, especially the chorus and the mellotron doesn't hurt either. "The Lamia" has fragile vocals and piano for a minute before we get a full sound and normal vocals, this contrast continues. Nice. "Riding the Scree" is really the Gabriel and Banks show.

The first disc to me is almost on a par with "Selling England By The Pound" there is something very magical and special about it making it my second favourite GENESIS disc. And while disc two may not be as strong, this double album is one of the best double's i've ever heard.

Report this review (#126665)
Posted Sunday, June 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I bought this album several months ago, and I am now just starting to like it. Musically, the sound is great (awesome in some cases), but the flaw of this album has to be the overly obscure lyrics.

Overall, the best song for me was "Fly on a Windshield". The lyrics are actually quite clever here, and that Egyptian-rocking instrumental section is a classic. Other enjoyable songs for me are "In the Cage", "Back in N.Y.C.", "The Waiting Room" (gotta love that "Evil Jam"), and "The Light Dies Down...".

Unlike many other reviewers, I totally disliked "The Lamia". The music was pretty soft and bland and the imagery was too overtly sexual for my tastes. Several of the filler songs were kind of bland, too, but each had some redeeming qualty.

The real problem with this album is that the images and instances totally obscure the central topic of this album. After listening to this album several times, I conclude that this album, like many Broadway show tunes, is about love. At this point, I am not sure if a woman is involved, but I am almost certain this album is a love story of sorts. In my opinion, the lamb in the opening song is a beautiful woman with whom Rael has "love at first sight", or some circumstance that causes him to evaluate what he considers to be love. From that point forward, the album slips into Rael's mind as he wrestles with the concept of love, from the pain and monotony of being stuck with one person forever ("In the Cage", "Colony of Slipperman") to the realization that true lovers will weather rough times and ultimately reflect each other ("In the Rapids"). "It" is love, but the lyrics do not communicate it well, in my opinion.

Overall, this is a pretty good album. Definitely worth a listen if you like GENESIS or enjoy prog in general.

Report this review (#126677)
Posted Sunday, June 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is the finest work Genesis ever produced under the leadership of Peter Gabriel. This is a vivid fantasy story of a street kid from New York City as seen through the eyes of young Englishmen busy breaking musical barriers at each studio session. The time is the late 1960's and early 70's. Overall, this is a tougher town than the NYC of today; so one would expect the music to deal with some darker and richer themes. The music and lyrics here have never been better; take the time to read them. It is important to note that these comments do not cast shadows on the earlier Genesis material, "From Genesis to Revelations" aside. The two following albums by Genesis are fine works, but are not to be compared here; these are projects under distinctly different leadership.

This album is a masterpiece of landmark proportions in progressive rock history; still, it is fresh and alive and accessible to any progressive rocker who approaches it with their biases held in reserve. It is a significant break with past recordings for a reason: growth. It should be made clear though that ".Lamb Lies Down." does not loose individual stylistic continuity. The truly great collaborations always seek to be in a state of growth. There are three logical outcomes that avoid composing in the same mold over and over: a conscious effort by all to continue to explore new musical ideas, a change of personnel, or dissolution. Albeit with the benefit of hindsight, this was as far a Gabriel could lead the band. Peter's departure marked the beginning of an equally defining enterprise for progressive rock with his solo work.

Report this review (#126698)
Posted Sunday, June 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
1 stars Presenting Peter Gabriel's amazing backing band, here is "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway." This reviewer is sensitive to the approach of tragedy and can identify the first warnings of the '80s Genesis on this record, interestingly not perpetrated by everyone's favourite scapegoat...

The simple fact is that the music is much reduced from previous, more democratic Genesis albums, and dominated by Peter Gabriel's singular vision. If only it was a good one, eh? Here we have a muddled concept mired in lyrics which can be painfully vacant. I don't appreciate the way Hackett and company are kept on a leash, only allowed to really PLAY on the instrumentals "The Waiting Room" and "Riding the Scree" - Gabriel still interjects in the latter song but not enough to take the focus away from what Genesis were always so good at doing.

Some of the tracks are enjoyable and catchy - "The Lamia" is fairly luscious and enveloping, and progresses pleasantly with a melody that makes sense and a little playspace for Gabriel's bandmates. The main theme, repeated in a few ways, is of course quite showstopping. From here there is a precipitous drop in quality, as many songs seemingly exist only to further the convoluted Lamb plot. Frequently melodic but unfortunately predictable, Gabriel gets to sing his pick of the lead lines in a voice that gets gradually more irritating as the album unfolds, leaving solo spots few and far between. Sadly, some of these are not really capitalised on all that well - this, at least, is not Gabriel's fault - and meander, or worse, fail to sound new.

I understand that my fellow reviewers see fit to forgive these various tresspasses as the concept's the thing on "The Lamb", but I can't agree - to me, the music is always the most important element on a prog disc. I reward Genesis with the lowest mark possible, not because of the pretentiousness and uncalled-for expansiveness evident on the album, but because the music is unfulfilling and, following the exceptional "Selling England by the Pound", almost criminally disappointing.

Report this review (#127451)
Posted Tuesday, July 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Being a fan of all eras of Genesis, where do you start with The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway? In the whole Genesis oeuvre, it is a totally unique piece of music. There is an obvious progression from Trespass to Foxtrot. Selling England By The Pound was a softer album but the band recaptured some of that spirit on A Trick Of The Tail. There was then another progression through Wind And Wuthering through to Duke, before the onset of the more commercial period starting with Abacab. But The Lamb... is totally unlike anything else the band ever did. Many people have given their interpretations of the storyline, so I won't bore you with mine, suffice to say that probably only Peter Gabriel really knows what it's all about. If I was being really picky, I would admit that aspects of the storyline are simply too bizarre or weird for me. But the music for me is quite simply awesome. I love all the 70s Genesis albums but I feel I know them inside out and nothing really surprises me any more. Not that that's a criticism. But The Lamb... still has the capacity to surprise and amaze me - a guitar sound I hadn't noticed before, an appreciation of Gabriel and Collins vocals in perfect harmony, some fantastic chord sequence by Banks, etc. - even after all these years. It also features a combination of tracks which can be taken out of context to stand alone and still sound good - e.g. the title track, In The Cage, Back In N.Y.C., Carpet Crawlers, Anyway, The Lamia and The Colony Of Slippermen - and tracks that sound great in the context of the bigger picture - Fly On A Windshield, Hairless Heart, Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats and Ravine. Some people refer to the latter two tracks as "filler" but I would dispute that, unless "filler" means "no good if taken out of context". The mellotron sounds on Silent Sorrow... are gorgeous. Fly On A Windshield is amazingly powerful - "Pharoahs going down the Nile" was, I think, Mike Rutherford's description. Hairless Heart is a quite sublime instrumental. Even the cover has a slightly hypnotic quality and when I was a youngster looking through the record racks having only heard "Follow You Follow Me", the sleeve of The Lamb... had a certain undefinable aura. One could ask was it brave or foolish for a very English band to set their story (his story, as the words were almost all Gabriel's) in New York? My answer would be brave and that it succeeded, although your average New Yorker might disagree. However in summary, this album is a must have as far as I'm concerned and is well worthy of the full 5 stars.
Report this review (#128322)
Posted Friday, July 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars let me just say that this album has really grown on me. I got it awhile back ago. At first, I was intimidated by the massive amount of content and the complex storyline, but eventually I grew captivated by it. You really have to give this one several listens before you start to get it at all. It is the story of a young man named rael who lives in new york. Somehow, he ends up in an alternate realm and travels through several strange places. Eventually, he becomes selfless as he saves his brother john from the rapids. In saving john, he finds out that john is actually himself. Complicated I know. Somehow or another, this makes him complete and he becomes a new person. The story, once understood is quite moving. John never helps rael when he's in trouble, but at the end when john is drowning, rael trades his opportunity to slip back through the portal to his own dimension for a chance to save john. Oh yes, and the music is good too! I must admit, there is some of what could be considered 'filler' here, but much of that I think is vital to the story and creating the appropriate atmosphere. This requires the listener to use a bit of their own imagination. there are too many songs here to go over in detail, so i'll just go over the highlights. fly on a windshield is a brooding track, quite mysterious. Gabriel also does some interesting theatrical singing. In the cage is a classic. Awesome organ parts! The lyrics will appeal to just about anyone who has ever felt trapped in some way. Hairless heart is a short, but majestic instrumental. It contains everything that is genesis, well accept gabriel's voice anyway. Carpet crawlers is a very surreal song. A personal favourite of mine. The piano is just gorgeous! Gabriel sings in a low voice on this one, which adds to the mystique of it all. Now for side two! Lillywhite lilith is a short, but awesome rocker. It's the heaviest song on the album, and a solid intro to disk two. The waiting room is another favourite of mine. It's a totally bizarre instrumental. It consists mostly of noises at first, but it turns into a jam halfway through. Play this one loud and scare the neighbours! It's the most experimental song on the album. Anyway is another one of my favourites. It starts with some fast piano and turns into what sounds like it should be the soundtrack to a horror movie! Hackett also gets to show off a bit here. A good solid track. The lamia, this is my downright favourite song on this album, one of my favourite genesis songs period. It's very mysterious, melancholic, and disturbing all at the same time. It is also quite beautiful and contains some of my favourite genesis lyrics "the bitter harvest of a dying bloom"...I love it! Colony of slippermen is the most progressive track, containing 3 movements. It starts with some noises, similar to waiting room and progresses into the main tune. Gabriel does a wierd slipperman voice here that will totally creep you out, really. By the way, the song is about getting castrated, and a giant bird flying away with the goods. Yep, it's a wierd song all right, even by genesis standards. The remaining few songs wrap up the story, bringing the album to a joyful, epic conclusion. This album has one of the most compelling musical stories i've ever heard. It's more than an album, it's a journey, which is what we progressive rock fans crave. You have to give this album much of your time, but the reward is worth it. This is simply a conceptual masterpiece! 4/5 for the music itself and one more for such an ambitious concept and such a dense amount of musical greatness! This album really won me over with its dramatic story and curious music. five out of five!!!
Report this review (#130494)
Posted Saturday, July 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
2 stars An overly-long, over-rated, unexciting, directionless mess of everything that is bad about Genesis; I cannot express how much "Lamb Lies Down" was a dissapointment for me. I admit that the opener has some dynamic energy, but the album as a whole lacks any memorable moments, and spends most of its time fiddling around with theatric psychedelics and a mediocre "story" which fail to impress. There are lots of empty spaces, and the spaces which are filled don't seem to accomplish much other than indulge the group's pretention. This is harder to get through than a 10-minute ELP organ solo. For those who are not currently listeners of Genesis, I highly recommend NOT to start here, regardless of how high this pretentious disaster of concept album rates.

Songwriting: 2 Instrumental Performances: 2 Lyrics/Vocals: 2 Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

Report this review (#130816)
Posted Monday, July 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars I've always thought Yes' and Genesis' track-records were similar (I can find a striking resemblance between each of their respective 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th releases, maybe even further), this one is similar to "Tales from topographic oceans" in that it's a double album, it's very complex, and most people tend to think it's inferior to previous efforts from the band. Well, I for one love "TFTO" but I'm not that fond of Lamb. Not because of its length, but because its length should have allowed for long suites, which isn't the case--this is actually the first prog album from Genesis where most tracks are rather short in length.

There are still a few songs I really enjoy, such as "Hairless Heart", but all in all it's a tough album to sell, for me. I would rate it 3.5 stars, and I'll round it to 3 so that gives me more space to rate their other albums ;)

Report this review (#138799)
Posted Monday, September 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars This is an extremely difficult album to review. As an old Genesis fanatic I much rather hear Foxtrot or Selling England By The Pound. This is not to say I don´t like this CD. I do. I think the story is fantastic, even though I´m not sure if I did really understand the complete concept (does anyone?). The music is what annoys me. Sometimes it sounds like a movie soundtrack: when you´re looking at the pictures (lyrics) it all makes sense. Without them it does not always work. There are some brilliant tunes here and there, and again I still think that if you´re not following the storyline - no matter how hard and confusing it may be - they seem awkward.

So, in the end, if you´re not in the mood to hear the whole story and picture the scenes, there are few songs here that pleases the listener (The Carpet Crawlers and In The Cage are great tunes on their own). Like some reviewers pointed out, it would be a masterpiece if it was a Peter Gabriel solo project. As a Genesis album it really disappoints in many aspects. I was expecting more instrumental parts, and more fine melodies too, from such a fantastic and talented line up.

As a visual show I´d Land Lies On Broadway a 5 star rating (like I saw The Musical Box staging of this piece). As an album, specially as a classic Genesis album, it lacks in melody and more dynamic playing. 3,5 stars.

Report this review (#138947)
Posted Tuesday, September 18, 2007 | Review Permalink

This is it, or damn near close to it. Musical perfection. This a true rock opera, done in true Genesis fashion. I'd venture to say that there are no "highlights," in that the entire album is a huge highlight. The best songs include Fly on the Windshield, In the Cage, Back in NYC, Carpet Crawlers, The Lamia, Anyway, The Colony of Slipperman. Huge props on the William Wordsworth reference on "The Colony of Slipperman." I love it when artists subtly reference past works of poetry/mythology in their works. Speaking of TCOS, I think Gabriel could be the only artist to be able to get away with castrating a character in his rock opera. Right down to the "POP," DAMN. I cringe at that part STILL.

Don't get me wrong, "It" is a great song, but I feel it is a little empty as far as a closer goes. By the end, I always crave something epic. "It" just doesn't do it for me in that respect. They invented reprises for a reason. Oh well, the song still rocks, but... eh, you know. That is just about the only complaint I have for this album.

5/5: Perfection.

Report this review (#139234)
Posted Thursday, September 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I don't where to start on this album, is simply magnific!!! the fiction history in the poetic lyrics over that virtuous music is one of my personal prog albums ever. With a lot variety, like the classic rock style of "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" with that amazing piano intro, or the psychedelic sounds of "The Waiting Room" and the ballads like "In The Rapids" make me crie.... I really don't understand why this album isn't in the top 5, it's a brilliant masterpiece, of the king of progressive bands

A must have albums because of two things: the first one because is the last album of the Peter Gabriel era, a mayestic time for Genesis, and second, because it's great!!! from top to bottom this album has no mistakes, everything is perfect... a real masterpiece

Report this review (#141823)
Posted Wednesday, October 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This will be a pretty short entry as so much has already been said about this masterpiece. Yes, definitely, a masterpiece.

If you're going to go out, go out on a high and that is what Peter Gabriel did in constructing the story and lyric for The Lamb. His magnum opus is perhaps not the best of the PG era Genesis albums but it is nevertheless an essential for any prog collection. I love this album, even the instrumental tracks that many consider to be filler, and still play it from start to finish despite it being in my collection for over 25 years. After all, one of the things that the combined instrumental talents within Genesis do is compose and play wonderful music.

Musically and lyrically, this is a journey of staggering length and breadth and a story that, whilst infused with Gabrielesque strangeness, is complete. Thus, as a concept album, The Lamb is among the few that actually stand up as complete work - which in itself is enough to make this album a classic.

So, those that haven't done so already, should join the "Imperial Aerosol Kid" on his underground odyssey as he struggles to save his brother, John - or is it his struggle to find and save himself?

Report this review (#146483)
Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Like almost every real prog fan I am, too, a big Genesis fan and it goes without saying we are talking about the period until 1977. Within this period there will always be albums you like better than others and there will also be a number last in that range. And I'm afraid for me that's this album, maybe equal with Trick of the Tail. But what's lacking in this album is a real highlight, at least one song because of which you can say: this is a real great one. Another option could be: a great album overall without a special highlight but that's not the case here either, at least not for me. There are too may insignificant songs on this album. Maybe it's strange because it's a double album, so you would think: a real treat. But alas, not for me I'm afraid. Better songs are: The Lamb lies down on broadway, Carpet Crawlers and In the Cage, but like I said: no real highlights. 3 stars.
Report this review (#146968)
Posted Friday, October 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have put off reviewing this set for a long time; I have recently started listening to all over again. As I have purchased the 2009 remaster. I have over the years bought a number of copies on Vinyl.During the 1974-1980 period I wore out 2 copies. To say this is my favourite Genesis record, would be going just a tad to far, as I love all their records up to this release and the two later LP's are certainly well worth a spin very often indeed. I have two copies on Vinyl, one for playing and one to ensure I am never without a copy, still in pristine condition and of German origin. My very first copy was bought on the day of issue, and suffered from a faulty tape, the famous buzz. Even so I was reluctant to part with it, and regret doing so now. I believe it is very like the White Album, in so much as there are more than 3 great sides and it is very difficult to decided what could have been left out. For my money I believe that the strongest tracks are "The lamb lies down on Broadway" which even now gives me goose bumps of anticipation. "Fly on a Windshield", "Broadway Melody of 1974,Cuckoo Cocoon, In the Cage"Even the "Grand parade of lifeless packaging" is entertaining, I simple love the effects on Peters voice. "Back in N.Y.C., was the first track I did not love on first hearing but its great really ", "Hairless Heart " Is a delight. "Counting Out Time " is fun, but at a pinch we could possible lose it? "The Carpet Crawlers", Is simply brilliant and "The Chamber of 32 Doors" Is one of the strongest Genesis tracks ever, just awesome and I really did take its message on board, during the long summers of the late 70's."Lillywhite Lilith " is very Who like, although the String loops are so surreal and powerful, and so very well used, It could only be Banks. As a result I adore this one as well. "The Waiting Room " could possible have been dropped, but even so it is certainly an interesting exploration. "Anyway" and "The Supernatural Anaesthetist" are both faultless, "Anyway" has a great melody, and the Lyrics are so deep, it is hard not to get carried away with praising this work as young Peter was incredibly mature, at such a tender age. The latter track is indispensable to the story and has a flippant sound that is worth many plays. "The Lamia " has a great melody and is one of the highlights of the Album so far. "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats" could be left out, but is still far better than many of the less intelligent posters indicate. "Colony of Slippermen " is OK, If you like "The return of the Giant hogweed" and "The battle of Epping forest" you will love this. I am rather less bothered by any of these tracks, although I do enjoy them when I play them, but this is somewhat less often than the bulk of their material. "Ravine" is only OK, indeed its rather weak really. "The Light Dies Down on Broadway and Riding the Scree" are pretty good, but I have never really warmed to "IT", which also seems Who like. So I stick by my assessment , there are more than three great sides of music. Some tracks that I am less enthusiastic about sounded just brilliant live. In all seriousness I can confirm that this is a classic record. There are very few recordings that come as near to reaching perfection. The new remixed version, is pretty good although if I was going to be picky I might prefer the definitive versions sound, the packaging is certainly an improvement. Both CD versions shed light on the music, and although the original is not as clear, it has the advantage of sounding as intended, when being played on a record deck, and as such is priceless.

Report this review (#147901)
Posted Monday, October 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The last great Genesis masterpiece created.

This album took a while for me to get into, this was not like any other early Genesis album. From Tresspass to Selling i loved those albums right away. But as listened to this over and over i realized this is their greatest piece of work created by this very incredible band. Disc one has some of my faves on it like The chamber of 32 doors, The lamb, Fly on a Windshield, and In the cage. The second disc is great also which features great tracks like Colony of Slipperman,The Waiting room,and The Lamia. Peter,Phil,Steve and Tony create their next best work to Selling England by the pound, and the last album Frontman Peter Gabriel would appear in. Every art rock collector should own this must have album. So much great music on one album, created by great artists. Genesis would create one more classic album, the Lamb gets 5 stars from me. A Prog Classic

Report this review (#150430)
Posted Monday, November 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
TGM: Orb
4 stars

Review 13, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Genesis, 1974


Because four great albums weren't enough for Genesis. A very interesting change in format took place between Selling England By The Pound and The Lamb. There are no really extended songs, although The Colony Of Slippermen and In The Cage are reasonably long, some of the songs move into psychedelic and ambient territory and the album has a much more American feel than anything Genesis had previously done; lastly, the excellent lyrics are always related to the concept, and are often narrative. On the minus side of these developments, I feel that fades are overused, when they aren't generally needed or feel out of place. Overall, an album that is on a par with other Gabriel-era efforts, and certainly not to be missed.

Beginning with a supple piano solo, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is very much representative of the album as a whole. Brief, with compelling drums and a great lead bass part, Hackett sounding suspiciously like a piano (!), clever, small background additions to give it more depth, diverse sections, musical foreshadowing of the later Carpet Crawlers. Great, biting lyrics and vocals from Gabriel, and an acceptable fade.

'There's something solid forming in the air'. Soulful guitar and vocals leads into the powerful, gripping Fly On A Windshield, with Hackett, Banks' and Collins driving right past the ears and into the brain. Intelligent, constructed, and brilliantly-delivered lyrics from Gabriel here. An absolutely stunning track. The highlight for disc 1, and one of Collins' best drum performances. The beautiful Broadway Melody of 1974 is tacked onto the end of this.

Cuckoo Cocoon is decent, but doesn't really stand out. Does what it was intended to do, lyrically and psychologically, and prepares neatly for the driving In The Cage, but doesn't really go beyond it. Also has a weird slightly delayed guitar sound that doesn't work that greatly here. Not bad, but unexceptional.

In The Cage. What to say? No doubt the most widely-favoured track of the album, with a moving bass-and-vocals opening, leading to a driving, powerful keyboard riff, with good lyrics, occasional changes in mood to heavier or more serious-sounding sections, and then to lighter, more frivolous sections and back again. A very strong song, and vital for those who consider Banks' solos and Gabriel's voice the highlights of Genesis.

The Grand Parade of Lifeless packaging is brief, enjoyable, random, mostly mindless music, with a heavy focus on the chaotic distortion by Brian Eno. Acceptable, but not my thing.

Back In New York City is essentially a relatively normal song. Fairly weak, but probably concept-crucial lyrics, near-punk vocals from Gabriel, and a generally amusing main theme, though it gets a bit repetitive after a while. The chorus is great, catchy and quirky, much like Jethro Tull's Locomotive Breath: embarrassing to sing along to, but I can't help it.

Hairless Heart is a beautiful quiet instrumental, led by Hackett (acoustic + electric guitar) and Banks (mainly synths), with Collins providing an appropriate drum beat.

Counting Out Time is, in my opinion, the funniest (though not the best) of the Genesis humourous songs, with a pretty amusing concept and lyrics, whimsical music (held up by a guitar riff and bass) and a hilarious guitar solo. Gabriel's tentative, questioning vocal fits the song perfectly, and the harmonies/fade on 'Without you mankind handkinds through the bluuues...' are delightful every time.

Carpet Crawlers simply doesn't interest me at all. I like the piano tune, I like the music, I like the vocals, but I don't like the song. I don't know why, but it leaves me absolutely cold every time, and occasionally even annoys me. Still, one of the widely liked songs on the album, and perhaps would be the highlight for any ATOTT fan.

The Chamber Of 32 Doors begins with a great solo from Hackett, and superb drumming from Collins, though most of the song is dominated by Gabriel's vocals, Banks' piano and the bass. There are some beautiful lyrics here, 'I'd give you all of my dream...if you'd help me find the door...that doesn't lead me back again...take me away.'. A superb conclusion to the first CD.

The second disc opens with a nice, somewhat explosive pop-rock tune, Lily-white Lillith. Great harmonies, powerful music, a bit of Hackettry, good lush keyboards from Banks, great vocals, and a good echo of the Broadway Melody of 1974 on the end.

The Waiting Room is certainly psych rock, though other tracks on the album and the way the album's constructed as a whole have a psych-y feel to them. A gradual progression with tingling, orderless percussion, screeches on the guitar and synths, with several themes being dabbled with and developed or dropped, explosions and an emergence into a full band piece, which continues to develop and shine. Complete and utter chaos, and something that took me a while to acquire in context, but completely my thing.

Anyway is my highlight for the second CD, with a gorgeous piano part courtesy of Banks, Gabriel's searing, echoey vocals, strong, original lyrics, relating to delirium and death. The sprawling piano on the instrumental break in the middle leads to a truly stellar guitar solo from Hackett and then returns to the main theme with added synths (or possibly guitar that sounds like synths), more vocals, percussion and some organ.

The Supernatural Anaesthetist is essentially Hackett on the loose, with Banks and Rutherford shadowing him. There are a few vocals on the start. An interesting combination of ways to play guitar, and the narrative (see the CD booklet) comment on the events taking place is absolutely priceless.

The Lamia is a soft multi-part song, showcasing Gabriel's vocals and lyrics (beautiful and at the same time advancing the story) and Banks' piano and keys, though Collins and Hackett are both very important in places, and the drumming stands out. A real grower, and a standout track on an excellent album.

Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats is interesting, with some more of that tingly percussion, a single repeated slow riff at various volumes, choral additions (probably done with some sort of synth, I guess) and interesting overlaid music.

The Slippermen begins with a minute and a half of seemingly random psychedelic noodling, and then dims to prepare for the most surprisingly explosive 'bubbity-bub' in the history of rock, followed by an extensive, silly song with great solos on keyboards, some well-concealed additions on guitar, great, eclectic drumming and addictive riffs. Superb vocals from Gabriel, with lots of small harmonies, and whimsical lyrics. A great fade here, and absolutely seamless music. Really good fun to listen to, and the weirdness hasn't grown old on me yet.

Ravine is a somewhat darker continuation of the Silent Sorrow... idea, with the same riff, but very different in its sound.

The Light Dies Down On Broadway is an echo of the album's opener, and absolutely great, with a compelling drum performance. More great vocals, and very strong lyrics (IIRC, from Collins, here). Good organ from Banks, and an enjoyable bass part.

The somewhat dancy Riding the Scree is an oddity, with a great rhythm section (Collins sounds like he's crossed himself with Mike Giles), blaring soloist keyboards, and a nice vocal. Great stuff.

In The Rapids is opened by Hackett, who's a strong presence throughout, together with Gabriel. Rutherford twangs on the bass once or twice, while Collins adds his own style. Essentially an atmospheric lead-up to It.

'It' has very catchy music, and great vocals, with lyrics that only really make any sense in context, but are still enjoyable. Fairly memorable performances from everyone involved, and the synth screech moving to the guitar riff is great. A good closer to the album.

All in all, a very strong four star effort, though it may take more time to get the same position of pride as other Genesis albums. Completely atypical of Genesis at the time, but nonetheless highly enjoyable, with a great mixture of styles. Perhaps too great a mixture of styles for the band's own good, since it seems unlikely that everything on the album will appeal to the average listener. Two discs of great material, and worth getting even at the price.

Favourite Tracks: Fly On A Windshield (disc one), Anyway (disc two)

Rating: Four stars

Edit: Old review replaced with shiny one that I wrote after shaping up a little. Truly Lucassed.

Report this review (#150639)
Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The last Genesis album with Peter Gabriel is a concept album. Allthough I love this album I still think that it is the weakest of the Gabriel albums with Genesis. There are actually some pretty superfluous songs on the album ( The Waiting Room, Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats, Ravine), and personally I don´t like Back in N.Y.C. City at all. With this said, some of my favorite Genesis songs are on The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is not as progressive as the previous albums, and there are no real Epics on the album. What you get instead is a lot of beautiful and unusual songs from Genesis. Luckily not in standard rock radio structure yet.

I´m not going to comment on every song, but pick my favorites from this great album.

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is centered around a Tony Banks Piano piece played at great speed. This is the perfect beginning to this beautiful album. This is a great rock song.

Fly on a Windshield is one of my favorite Genesis songs. Peter Gabriel is really emotive on this one and he delivers one of his best vocal performances. The underlying repetitive rythm is really cool too.

Cuckoo Cocoon is just a lovely light and beautiful song. The flute is so beautiful, and the guitar and the piano plays nice below the great vocal melody.

In the Cage was a song I had to get used to. But it really is very nice and one of the few almost epic songs on the album.

Counting Out Time is one of my favorite Genesis songs. It´s a bit more pop than I usually like, but it always makes me smile. The lyrics are so funny, and evolves around the subject of erogenous zones and the dissapointment sex sometimes can be. It seems totally out of context with the rest of the album, but what a blessing it is. Listen to the bizarre sound on the solo, it´s a real treat too.

Lillywhite Lilith is another favorite of mine. The vocal delivery is again beautiful and the melody just clings to my mind. The rythm in this song is very cool and defining for the track. Note the beautiful backing vocals in Lillywhite Lilith by Phil Collins, they are really something special.

Well what can I say another favorite of mine is Anyway. Another song which is based on a Tony Banks piano piece. This is one of the best melodies Genesis have ever made in my opinion. The song has some great guitar from Hackett too, which I have to mention.

The Supernatural Anaesthetist is a great almost instrumental song. Peter sings a little in the beginning of the song, but the rest of the song is an unusual instrumental track. A really progressive one.

The Lamia is a really emotive song and a beautiful one I must say. It´s subtly symphonic and arranged very well.

Colony of Slippermen is one of the songs I had to get used to. It might be the most progressive song on The Lamb Lies Down of Broadway. Peter sings voices for a couple of characters in this song and it´s really cool. Some great instrumental passages are worth mentioning too.

It. has to be mentioned too as it is a high energy Pop/ rock song. Really a very positive song with the ultimate message that: " it´s only rock´n´roll but I like it" What could be more true ?

I am undecided if this should be ranked as a masterpiece, because as I stated in the beginning of this review there are some pretty superfluous songs on the album and one really bad. On the other hand there are lots of good and beautiful songs on the album as well, so I guess this is a 4 star album after all. It is very essential in the history of prog though.

Report this review (#151721)
Posted Monday, November 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The lamb lies down on broadway is a tale of two halves.

The first disc is incredible, a cohesive unit that moves in sections: the first three tracks, tracks 4-6, tracks 7-9, and the final two. These sections are linked to stages in the narrative. The whole thing is an emotional flow, a conduit of moods far less structured and set than that in Selling England. The blurring of the edges only makes the experience more natural, however. The first disc is perhaps the most perfect of the decade, and is part of what would now be seen as traditional 70's prog. From the opening, through the peacefulness of Cocoo cocoo and the harder edged Back in nyc, to the poignant ending of The chamber of 32 doors, this is hard to fault. The second disc is more experimental, and weaker. So much momentum is created by the opener, Lilywhite lilth, and so much is killed off by the ambient follow-up, The waiting room. Anyway and the Lamia, however, are two of the highlights of the whole Genesis discography. Although there is still a sense of narrative flow, the lyrics often make little sense without the Gabriel-penned narrative in the album sleeve. The final section, from the Ravine through down to It, feels too much like filler. The light dies down on broadway may have been better as the closer of the album, but it would not matter so much had It been less anti-climactic. Only five songs out of the twelve on the second disc live up to the quality of the first. This second disc will grow on the listener, however, and provides the album with more depth. The first disc alone would warrent five stars.

Report this review (#153129)
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Ah, the controversial Double Album that goes too far. This mainly a Peter Gabriel Concoction, as he writes all the lyrics and the band writes all the backing music. This is where fans started to see Genesis as only Peter Gabriel, with the rest of the band just doing background music. He certainly had lost his stage fright from earlier in his career, and was now an all attracting stage presence. The Band was rather annoyed by this, and Gabriel could sense it. this is one of the several reasons why he left Genesis after the tour for this album. And what turned out from all this was, interesting, to say the least. I won't go deep into a song by song review, but rather do an overview of each disc.

Disc 1: Great piano opener, fading in as if it were a dream, which the Lamb is purported to be. Classic track, with RAEL IMPERIAL AEROSOL KID being introduced. Fly on a windshield continues in a dreamy manner, and the second part has good vocals and lyrics perfectly summing US pop culture history. Broadway Melody is a nice short interlude. cuckoo cuccoon does little to forward the story, and leads into the beastly In the Cage. A keyboard track all the way, Tony lets loose on hammond and synth. Gabriel also has some passionate singing here, making it a classic. Grand Parade is a cool silly Genesis song with lots of effects. Back in NYC is a rough rowdy song that tells of Rael's punk days in NYC. Hairless heart is a beautiful instrumental interlude. Counting out time is the first mediocre song, sounding too poppy for my liking, and using an effect i dont like. Carpet crawlers is beautiful with Phil doing some nice backing vocals. Chamber of 32 doors is good, just a little boring. We leave disc 1 wondering where Rael will go next.

Disc 2: Lilywhite lilith is unlike Genesis' usual style, and its not so good. Waiting room is a cool experimental track, but again, unlike Genesis. Anyway has some great piano and guitar from Banks and Hackett, respectively. Supernatural Anaesthetist is the one and only time Hackett gets to let loose, and boy does he. greeat solo. The Lamia contains some beautiful melodies and a pseudo love story, ending in despair. Great keyboard work from Banks here. Silent Sorrow is a spacious interlude, maybe emphasizing Rael's sorrow, as it is mellow and sad-sounding. Colony of Slippermen is not a very good song, i dont think. Its a little repetetive in the Hammond organ section, and it just doesnt go over well with me. Ravine is another spacey instrumental, theyre starting to bother me a bit, but not too much. The Light Dies Down is a great return after a couple of shoddy tracks,using melodies from the Lamia and the title track. It seems to describe an epic choice between life and death. Riding the scree is another mostly instrumental song, but it opens with a great synth solo from Banks, one of the more complicated hes ever done. In the Rapids is a softer, mellower song, which paves the way for IT: the dramatic closer to this Wacky Gabriel Tale, IT is assumed to be love, because Rael loves his brother John.

Overall, not their best, and certainly starting their decline into pop and schmaltz. Gabriel's guiding light would leave, Collins would guide them through 2 more proggy albums, and then Hackett would leave and everything would fall apart. But for all its pop and filler, the Lamb is still quite an interesting excursion in Gabriel's Mind, and a last hurrah for the classic Genesis.

Report this review (#153349)
Posted Saturday, December 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars May I start this review by saying that this is my favourite album of all time, and I think that it always will be. There is so much about this album to love: the music, the lyrics, the incredible concept and story line- you name it, if you're a prog fan, I guarantee there will be something for you in this album. The only double album from Genesis, "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" was to be Gabriel's final effort with the band. There are too many great songs on this album to mention, so I shall list my favourite track from each side. My favorite form side one is "In The Cage". This 9 minute song has more musical styles and influences than you can shake a stick at, as well as mighty vocals from the man himself, Peter Gabriel. Side two's highlight is the infinitely beautiful "Carpet Crawlers", a great progressive ballad that gets me every time. The third side is slightly less spectacular than the first two, but it still has a lot to offer, my personal favourite track being the romantic and surprisingly accessible "The Lamia", which shows real musical diversity from the whole band as well as an incredible closing solo by Steve Hackett. FInally, the higlight of side 4, and in my opinion the best track on the album is another tearjerker-"The Light Dies Down On Broadway". Not much can be said about this track other than there are very few pieces of music that move me to tears, and this is one of them. An absolutely mind blowing album. 5 stars.
Report this review (#155831)
Posted Tuesday, December 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars 'The Lamb' is the most different and probably best Genesis record that they have produced! Its atmosphere takes the listener to a whole new dimension when listening to it with every track as surreal and interesting as the last. Apart from anything else on the album, Tony's extraordinary piano intro must be one of the best introductions found on any Genesis record (as well as the intro to 'Dance on a Volcano' of course!) 'The Lamb' is Genesis at their finest hour - although to this day - I shall never fully understand the story behind it (which makes it even more intriguing I suppose). It should be bought and listened to by everyone everywhere!
Report this review (#157478)
Posted Wednesday, January 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Prior to buying this album, I thought that it would be the greatest album I would ever own.

However, I was disappointed. It has some highlights, but too few. These include The Colony of Slippermen, Supernatural anaesthetist, Counting out Time, In the Cage, Riding the Scree. But they are by far too few.

What I feel this album lacks most is an instrumental focus. At least on the 1994(?) CD-remaster, I feel that the vocals, at all times they are heard, obscure the instruments that on this album I feel have taken the role of back-up rather than show off(?) like I experience is the case for example on SEbtP, which will always for me be a more interesting and simply better album than this.

I think that this album foreshadowed the more pop-oriented years to come, it is too much pop and too much prog, with mostly short, rather flat songs.

When this and Foxtrot were the only albums by Genesis I had heard, I thought that this album suffered from the fact that the members of the band (or maybe just Gabriel?) seemed to have such a flood of creativity that they forced themselves to stuff it all onto one album. Now this has lead to the fact that they do not explore any of the ideas fully. This was, and is, disturbing me. Now when I listened to SEbtP, I found that that that album exists of similar ideas as those on tLLDoB, but they are explored much further and are essentially fewer.

What if Genesis then would have split this one up into several single albums? This for example split up into 4, all released in one year, exploring the best ideas on this in detail. This is just wishful thinking, but I think that they would have been unique in doing so, and it would, done properly, have been a huge success.

But as it is now, it is simply too uninteresting for me. Spoilt genious.

Report this review (#157846)
Posted Saturday, January 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars I suppose this is my third favorite Genesis album after Selling England and Live. It's long and it's full of filler, but the parts that are good make up for it. This album could have been my favorite Genesis album, I believe, if it had packed a little more punch and contained less pretense. I would have made it a single disc with the following tracks: Side 1=Fly on a Windshield, Broadway Melody, Cuckoo Cocoon, In The Cage, Lifeless Packaging, Hairless Heart, Counting Out Time; Side 2=Carpet Crawlers, Lilywhite Lilith, The Waiting Room, Anyway, The Lamia, and Boats --- I really don't like side 4 that much at all. Still worth 5 stars!
Report this review (#163245)
Posted Wednesday, March 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
1 stars I find this album to be utterly unlistenable and am mind boggled by how this can be considered so great by so many. I cannot lie, am not much of a fan of the group GENESIS and find little interesting about the so called masterpieces they rattled off after Nursery Cryme (which I consider, by far, their best work). That being said I recently decided to open my mind and give the band another chance, as it is a favorite band of my father and my most prog minded friend alike, which is when I took to liking Nursery Cryme, making me look forward to the albums which followed. I was disappointed but not suprised to come away from Foxtrot and Selling England By The Pound none too impressed. That is not to say these albums, aside from the occasional cringing from Gabriel vocals (the same vocals that made me steer clear of the band for so long to begin with) , were altogether bad. They were just boring and self indulgent. So when I reached this album I wasn't expecting to be met with such a putridity. This album so offended my ears that I found it impossible to make it the entire way through. Peter Gabriels voice, which isn't great to begin with, is ampt up and used as a weapon against the eardrum on this album. The instrumentals are not intirely offensive but they are hard to make out through the blood pooling in your ears as a result of Gabriels needlessly overblown nails on a chalkboard vocals. There isn't much more I can say about this exercise in annoyance other than due to Gabriel it is as harsh on the ears as the front row at any death metal concert and I'm don't believe thats desirably in a prog album. I can't think of an album more fitting of the only for completionists tag. One battered and bloody eardrum out of five.
Report this review (#163340)
Posted Thursday, March 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars >I'll get my money back from the bookstore right away<.

Has anyone come across more funny lyrics in the world of prog music than the one from COUNTING OUT TIME? Zappa is a contender - but who else?

One of the many masterpieces by Genesis from the first half of the seventies, to me THE masterpiece. When I listened to it the first time 23 years ago I was at once absorbed by the music as well by the lyrics. So my experience of the album differs from what other reviewers are able to report. Now with TLLDOB we have an interesting story going on over four vinyl sides, a masterful vocalist and lyricist - Gabriel's pronunciation and articulation is a thrill itself - and inventive music in a great variety. Yes, they abandoned the long tracks almost totally (the longest clocking in at 8:15 minutes), yes, they sound more >modern< - and yet a non-progger will have trouble with the music.

The first disc (CD and vinyl) is without fail - the highlight being CARPET CRAWLERS, of course. Here Gabriel does some masterly vocals again (just compare the horrible would-be vocals Mr Collins administered to it on the live album Seconds Out).

The second disc can't fully keep up the high level of disc 1. There are a few fillers here, but even those are above average. Other bands would be proud of them. And then we have THE LAMIA - one of the best tracks they ever did, if not the very best.

This is the peak IMHO - the masterful blueprint of any concept album, unsurpassed to this day.

Highly recommended - 5 stars.

Report this review (#163698)
Posted Tuesday, March 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Aaah, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway...What could I say about it ?

First, I hated this double album. It was the first Genesis album I ever listened to (and, more precisely, the first Genesis album of the Peter Gabriel era). I was very disappointed when I listened to the first time, I tried to understand the story (it's a concept album about the adventures of a young portorican punk named Rael, who made a journey in the New York underground and discover a world of strangeness, 'peopleized' by a lot of weird creatures), and can't make it. I tried then to enjoy the music, purely, but the fact I cannot understand the story made all completely boring for me. So, I get out of The Lamb... very quickly, after a couple of listenings (of the entirety of the album, I precise).

One year after, I decided to give this album another chance, and before start the music, I read several times the text Peter Gabriel wrote. I read the story, the script for the album. And listened to the album then. At the end of the last track, It, I spoke to myself 'this is a masterpiece', and then, I listened to it more and more. And then, when I discovered all the other Genesis albums, I put this off and didn't listened to for a year or so.

I give only 4 stars because I don't think this is the best Genesis album, from the Gabriel era, or for the global career of the band. There are great moments here (The Lamia is my fave, among with Carpet Crawlers and Hairless Heart), and one or two fillers (Riding The Scree, In The Rapids, Lilywhite Lilith). It's a great album, I agree. Not my fave, not an album I would take with me on a desert island (If I could make a choice, I would take Can's Tago Mago), but a great album anyway, and I understand all the Genesis fans who elected this one to be their personal favorite.

Maybe I'll listened to it tomorrow. Maybe this night. Well, let's see.

Report this review (#164009)
Posted Saturday, March 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars The Light Dies down on Broadway ////// Thanks to many Collaborators , i had the chance now to improve my reviews to the best i can regarding our opinion in progressive works in general .. About The lamb Lies down now , this double release since 1974 still confusing me up till now . Simply because i've been through many Genesis releases between 1969 & 1974 . So ,,, it was not easy to accept this work after Selling England , Nurcery cryme , Foxtrot . It's a good work indeed , but not after 4 masterpieces , cause in my opinion it's not . Reviewing this double album ( i have it on vinyl) as it must be done , due to many facts . It came to my mind an idea that this album must be called The light dies down on Broadway ,, WHY ........................ A satisfying entrance ( i like it much more on the double live ) This track puts you in the mood of the act . 4 stars . Here comes the flood with Fly on a windshield , one of three best tracks of the album , Peter's voice is taking the right space to deliver the message of the lyrics , but no sign of the group in general . 4.5 stars . The story continue with Broadway melody of 74 , the strings entrance simply magical , but it's not essential in 0.38 seconds . Still , cannot be separeted from the whole work . 3.5 stars Cockoo cocoon , easy going but has a lot of meaning for the story told by peter . 3.5 stars The Cage ( 8.13 mnts ) A very well crafted track , simply the Genesis team in action , progressive at best stages , satisfying keyboard touch fromBanks , Phil at his best on the drum kit , Amazing vocal from Peter . 4.5 stars . Now it's time to divide side one into two stories . Nice & acceptable start with the Grand Parade , by using wisely the Genesis usual march to remind us that they are still performing . 4.5 stars . Back to 1974 , when i first had the chance to discover this album , honestly i could'nt tolerate peter's vocal at that time , but after many times it was OK , after all i love his voice . 3.5 stars Hairless Heart , the same old trick from Genesis to keep you in the mood of their act . Really satisfying keyboards touch , but , instrumental on the first place . 3.00 stars . Counting out time , the Genesis style after 1982 , i can still skip it anyway . 2 stars . The carpet crawl , Peter's dominating again with his superb voice , but no sign for the team as soloist , only some assistance . 3.5 stars . Lily white Lilith , i can also skip it for the sake of the whole work . 2 big STARS . The Waitig Room , progressive rock crossing the high points . But ,,, Just satisfying . 4 stars . Anyway , like many other tracks , but when you love Peter's voice , you have to shut up and listen . Simply 3 stars . Here comes .... In many ways an oriental touch is involved in it . Still , I love this track for many reasons , and , cannot be separated from the concept . 4 stars . The Lamia , is a repetitive touch from old releases from Genesis , nice piano touch & good vocals in it . 3.5 stars . Silent Sorrow ... 2 stars , annnnd , don't ask for the reason please . Colony of slipperman , as always in this album , peter's voice is dominating , , no sign for Hackett or Banks , not even Collins , with some minor exceptions . 2.5 stars . Ravine ................... 2 stars . Riding the scree , it's in fact the only track that belong to Tony Banks in this album . 4 stars . THE LIGHT DIES DOWN ON BROADWAY .............. Exclusively best track on the album . it worth the entire work in general , i even spend my pennies to get only this track . Really Amazing entrance full of feelings , intoducing the band in perfect shape . 5 Stars indeed . CONCLUSION ,,,,,,,,, After all this was a Peter Gabriel 's work . Apparently proggers must be divided in rating this album . Still , it satisfies me more to say that i really liked it , but in my opinion it's not essential work from GENESIS . So Sorry to be honest in this regard .... Tracks Toni ..

Report this review (#166522)
Posted Sunday, April 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The End of an Era

So many different takes in these reviews before this that it is hard to believe that in mine I am going to offer broad insight to this semi-controversial album. I say semi because it remains over 4+ stars after 400+ reviews so I think the consciouses it is a relevently good progressive rock record.

I listened to the album in its entirety again before writing this (OK one bio break and two minutes to heat up some chicken for lunch) to add to the hundreds of times I have listened to it over the years. I am struck how much this album flows together when you eliminate sides and albums. I don't agree songs are filler when they are as well played as some of these like Anyway or even Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats since they move the story along. Even if you do consider them filler they only take up 6 minutes of a 94 minute album. Of course if anyone says Riding the Scree is filler or doesn't have one of the best Tony Banks solos is not listening hard enough or The Waiting Room, initially titled Evil Jam which has the most abstract and experimental sound Genesis ever did. The album contains some standout moments to be sure but the whole thing needs to be taken into context not the sum of its part. This is a narrative of sorts and even narratives have slow moments to set the stage for more momentous. That doesn't make those moments bad in fact they are necessary. A deep breath before the plunge.

To me this album is darker than SEBTP as is the story that it tells. The grit of NYC is felt in the opening track and Back in NYC. The horror of being trapped in the cage is felt. The crush of choice in the Chamber The beauty of the Lamia and the struggle of choice In The Rapids. The redemption of sorts with IT. When I hear it it makes me want more that, no, the story doesn't stop here but in the end it does and so did Peter Gabriel's time with Genesis. The Light Dies Down on Broadway and on Gabriel.

I think this album is beautifully written, played and produced. A lasting tribute to Peter Gabriel and the initial road for all members of Genesis. I have rated the three before it 5 stars and this will be the 4th. and there is still one more to go...

Report this review (#171028)
Posted Wednesday, May 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Fascinating how different and diverse the tastes of human beings can be---even within a group of people with passionate interests in a certain category of music/art. I say this after reading many of the ProgArchives Collaborators' reviews of Genesis' The Lamb Lie Down on Broadway. How I can absolutely adore groups like Focus, Harmonium, Renaissance, Nektar, Supertramp, Genesis, Cocteau Twins, Kate Bush or singular albums by the likes of Uriah Heep, Tears for Fears, Peter Gabriel, Bill Nelson, David Sylvian, doves, U2---all of whom I consider 'progressive' for their sonic and structural innovations, experimentations, and uniquities---how I can like and appreciate King Crimson, Pink Floyd, The Alan Parsons Project and yet detest other revered groups such as ELP, Jethro Tull, and Rush is such a perplexing mystery to me, but, there it is. There we are. We can agree to disagree. I guess the bottom line about these reviews is that we all like to hear our own voices, we all like the opportunity to be able to freely express our opinions, so ProgArchives, thank you for that. Before I go deeper into my personal review, I will put out there that The Lamb is, for me, the single greatest prog album of all-time. Nothing else comes close in terms of seemless quality, story, engaging mood, musicianship, experimentalism, and sheer consistency. Lyrically, Gabe achieves some of the most poetic phrasings and vocal deliveries ever on record. In my years as an audiophile, I have been in constant search for 'the perfect album' or, what used to be 'the perfect side' of an album (33 1/3 LP). In my experience, it is truly a rare thing. The Lamb, IMHO, has not one but two "perfect" sides (Sides 3 & 4). Though I never got to see The Lamb tour, I did get to see Gabe do "The Lamb" as his only encore in a concert in November of 1978 in Nancy, France (with a perky little Kate Bush as his warm-up and Robert "Dusty Roads" Fripp playing from behind the stage equipment and a very able Sid MacGinnis [with David Letterman & Paul Schaffer's Late Nite Band since c. 1980])---makeup, leather jacket and all.

Side 1, song 1: "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway." The distinctive signature of the album, Tony's piano, the bass pedals, Phil finessing the toms and snare, crashing the cymbols, such a great mix/balance of all band members. (Remember: the band recorded the music without Gabe's presence. Let's face it, with 90 mins. of music sans lyrics, they had to be pretty contented and excited with themselves.) Wonderful key, tempo and instrumentation shifts. (9/10)

1.2: "A Fly on a Windshield." A sublime song with beautifully eerie keys, 12-strings, and truly masterful diction/pronunciation with Gabe's singing setting Hackett and Collins up for an unusually relaxed though emotional climax, (10/10) all blending into: 1.3: "Broadway Melody of 1974." A song meant to be carried by the lyrics, I suppose. (8/10)

1.4: "Cuckoo Cocoon." Great Trespass-like music with Gabe's oddly treated voice. Great to here the flute again. (9/10)

1.5: "In the Cage." A later concert fave with odd lyrics you find yourself wanting to learn ŕ la Jon Anderson's Yes lyrics. The confidence to start a song with voice and single bass note! Once it picks up, Phil and Tony must have had fun with this one! (8/10)

1.6: "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging." Takes you for a carnival rollercoaster ride! More fun for Phil and Tony, though the song uses the usual formula of slow soft start as it builds to a crescendo of cacophony (including Steve's "note"). Still, I imagine the last two songs were adrenaline highs for the musicians. (9/10) Side 2, song 1: "Back in N.Y.C." Vocal and musical melodies a little drawn out and repetitive but a great song that builds and builds to the gooseflesh-producing moments of Gabe's scream and the clanging piano chords at the beginning of the second verse and, of course, the bass synth slide accompanying "till I burn it to ash." Yes, the "As I cuddled the porcupine," and "fluffy heart" sections subtract a little from the power and momentum, but, overall a great song. (8/10)

2.2: "Hairless Heart." (9/10) A brief instrumental/interlude with an interesting title, which gives Hackett a small outlet before he has to pick up the banjo for:

2.3: "Counting Out Time." One of Gabe's most amazing lyrics; such a change from the metaphors hidden under cloaks of mythical stories. Love the banjo and Tony's perfectly silly synth sound used for the sound after "Whoopee!" (10/10)

2.4: "Carpet Crawl." What a mood shift! One of those songs whose vocal presentation of aural poetry serves as a balm to the ears and the soul. Brilliant song, brilliantly mixed! God that guy can write and deliver lyrics! Thank god for the musicians' restraint in setting this one up for Gabe. (10/10)

2.5: "The Chamber of 32 Doors." Hackett! Seems like he's been in the background since "Fly on W." Another lyrical gem, this time in true prog showcase, with the musicians contributing equally, with quite complex time and mood changes. Another reminder that thus far this album is void of a lot of instrumental showcasing (solos). (10/10)

Now to the meat of the album. (Who cares what Rael's up to, it's the music ahead which blows me away.)

Side 3, song 1: "Lilywhite Lilith." Boldly opening side 3, Gabe's confidence soaring, Mike's bass and Tony's keys pounding, (9/10) "A blaze of white light fills the air" prepares us as we fall into the eerie emotions conjured up by: 3.2: "The Waiting Room." Very cool experience---especially under the influence. Love the exit---especially Collins mashing away! Awesome! (10/10)

3.3: "Anyway." Exactly! Beautiful key melody setting up another Gabe foray into the realm of Salvador Dali, and then, for a brief, hair-raising instant: HACKETT! (10/10) 3.4: "Here Comes the Supernatural Anaesthetist." One of my favorite Genesis songs: "He's such a fine dancer!" Thank you, Peter, for resigning yourself to sitting back and watching the amazing talents of your band-mates, especially Phil and Steve. Alas, all too brief. (9/10) 3.5: "The Lamia." IMHO Gabe's most amazing performance as a Genesis vocalist. The timbres and pronunciations of his poetry are inimitable; the imagery and mood heart-wrenching. Rael's story becomes, for me, fully engaged, internally sympathetic. An amazing song instrumentally, as well, with subtle but strong and tight performances from every single band member, the end, where Hackett also gives perhaps my favorite solo of his, is a special treat. There's even Gabe's flute joining in at the end! As polished a song as Genesis ever did in the "five" format. (10/10)

3.6: "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats." I LOVE the "enossifications" on this album (as I love Brian Eno's work everywhere). Subtlety, mood; the silence of floating put to music (kind of like his "Julie with"). (10/10) A peaceful, meditative end to one of the most awesome album sides ever put together.

Side 4, song 1: "The Colony of Superman." "The Arrival" provides a mood prep for the transition from "The Lamia/Silent Sorrow" to "A Visit to Doktor Raven." The story is in full gear, we are truly on board with Rael and John, we can't help but "Show some concern" as Gabe takes us through a harrowing ride to self-discovery and rebirth. (9/10)

4.2: "Ravine." Another awesome little instrumental interlude. Wish it would go on forever. (10/10)

4.3: "The Light Lies Down on Broadway." Very cool recapitulation of the opening score in a slowed down, instrumentally varied quilt. Love all the instrumental restraint and electrically treated instruments of this song. Actually like it better than the opener. (10/10)

4.4: "Riding the Scree." Take a ride with Tony! He'll show you what makes a prog keys-man stand out ŕ la RWakeman. Too bad Gabe had to come in so soon, tho' love his "Here I go!" (10/10) 4.5: "In the Rapids." Give me those treated 12-string guitar chords that begin this song over and over: Heavenly. Another AMAZING Gabe lyric and virtuosic delivery. Special thanks to Phil's stellar work on the kit. Progwork at its most emotionally potent. (10/10)

4.6: "It." Lyrically, such an intriguing song, (love all the references to other classic songs). Musically, an amazing finale to an amazing album. Everybody riding on high energy, Steve, of course, loving the tempo and showcase. Brilliant. Like an anthem. (9/10) Every time I leave this album, with this song, I am energized, ready to jetté through my day. Thank you, Genesis Five, for this: The Pinnacle of progressive album rock. (5 stars)

Report this review (#174308)
Posted Wednesday, June 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
The T
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album has so many reviews that, for once, I'll try to just give a quick opinion in only two paragraphs. We all know how an excellent band GENESIS was, we all know how fantastic albums they released, and "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" is one of them.

In my view, the album is slightly long, at more than 90 minutes, and its complexity (especially in concept, but also musically, as the songs are shorter but the tunes less friendly) makes that duration become a burden. With easier concepts like in "Selling England By The Pound" or with friendlier, more accessible melodies as in "Foxtrot" this 90-minute monster would've been a breeze to walk through. But Mr. Peter Gabriel's weird ideas about a Puerto Rican youngster in New York's brightest street are matched with obscure music, simpler in form but darker in mood and catchiness. There are moments that capture our attention ("The Cage", "Back in N.Y.C", among others), but some are rather forgettable and force me to give this album "only" 4 stars.

There you go. My opinion in just two paragraphs. I wished Mr. Gabriel would have been able to do the same and make it shorter when he wrote this flawed masterpiece.

Report this review (#176117)
Posted Friday, July 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4.5 Stars really. As most already know, thiis a double album that contains a few excellent songs. The title track is high on my list of greatest songs of all time. The album tells a story from beginning to end. The only problem is there are parts where things drag and the music is less than inspired. Still an essential album, but flawed.
Report this review (#176934)
Posted Tuesday, July 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm still torn between a four and a five on this one, heres my reasons: It deserves a five becuase: a) its incredible lyrically, the story is fascinating, and followable with a lot of attention, better than PF's the wall. b) It's a double album so total material wise, theres a bunch of excellant tracks. c) Genesis goes where they never have before and never wil again on this album, some people are not thrilled by some of the instrumentals, but I personally love the serenity of Silent sorrow in empty boats and the freaky jam the waiting room as well as hairless heart. These are not fillers to me. It deserves a four becuase: a) Nothing on this album compares to some of the songs of the past, like Cinema show, Firth of fifth, Supper's ready. The album flows well and has no dissappointing parts, but with the exception of Anyway I rarely listen to anything out of context. Regardless, since I'm a sucker, it gets 5.
Report this review (#177122)
Posted Thursday, July 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars The grand parade of lifeless packaging

In my view, the Peter Gabriel-era Genesis peaked with the masterpiece Selling England By The Pound in 1973. The following year they released this conceptual double album with a running time of close to 95 minutes! I think it is fair to say that this album is very different in comparison with earlier (and later) albums by the band. While a few songs, like The Cage, Carpet Crawlers and The Colony Of Slippermen, are in the style of earlier albums, many songs are in a different and more direct and concise style - a precursor to the more commercial direction both Gabriel and the band would take in the 80's? Or maybe a return to the 60's Pop of From Genesis To Revelation?

Double albums are always a tricky business and I'm sorry to say that, despite several very good moments, this album suffers from some incoherence and inconsistencies. It could have been reduced to a single album, possibly making it more unified. But even the best moments here are behind the greatness of earlier (and some later) albums. The story behind the album is very hard to follow and as such it fails to hold the rather disparate music together. As I said, there are some very good moments here, but also some rather weak ones that bring the album down a bit.

There are some very nice guitar dominated instrumental tracks like Hairless Heart and Fly On The Windscreen (the latter is only mostly instrumental), both of which have been played live by Steve Hackett and his solo band in recent years. Other instrumentals like The Waiting Room are ambient noise-experiments that I find totally useless for the most part. I guess that Brian Eno, who contributed to this album, had more than a hand in that one?

Peter Gabriel would leave the band after this album, and they would continue without him, going on to make, in my view, far better albums like Trick Of The Tail and Wind And Wuthering (two of my all time favourites).

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is, in my opinion, the least good Genesis album out of the nine they did from 1970 to 1980 (i.e. from Trespass to Duke). Still good though, but not more than that.

Report this review (#177303)
Posted Saturday, July 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Genius!My review on this album will be simply concrete!This is the best Genesis' album.It is one of the best albums of all time in music history.In terms of progressive music,it is a candidate for the best progressive album of all time.It is one of my bests.This album is quite different from the other releases by Genesis.The quality of the albums between Nursery Crime and Wind & Wuthering are perfect,but this is one level over the perfection.The sound is crystal and completely accomplished, the musicianship is great, the songs are memorable and complicated.This is concept album and rock opera (probably the best one),too.Although,the album is double and long,there isn't weak moment anywhere.The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway contains most of the greatest Genesis' song like The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway,In The Cage,Back In N.Y.C.,The Carpet Crawlers,The Chamber of 32 Doors,Lilywhite Lilith,Anyway,The Lamia,The Colony of Slipperymen and It.I don't mention the other,because thay are short intro and overture-like songs,that make the connection between the truly songs and they make it more than well.The album marks the end of Peter Gabriel's period at the band and it marks it in remarkable way.A magnum opus of everything we have to do on this planet.
Report this review (#178593)
Posted Friday, August 1, 2008 | Review Permalink

Not everybody can succeed making a double album. In fact, very few bands or artists have really achieved a truly masterpiece as Genesis did with "The Lamb". Yes, every album from "Trespass" until "Wind & Wuthering" is really great, but with "The Lamb" they took a different path. It has a darker sound (and really obscure lyrics, as the whole concept is), very different to any other album made by the band, before or after. Peter Gabriel even once said that their previous efforts were more "feminine" and "The Lamb" was more "masculine". Genesis had done some heavy stuff before ("The Knife", for instance), but here you can sense this hard edge more prominently and with a more dense production ("In the Cage", "Back in NYC"), probably the reflection of the inner tension that was growing within the band. The pastoral passages with 12 acoustic guitars that were so important in the classic sound of the band are almost gone here, but there is some space for melancholic moments ("Cuckoo Cocoon", "The Carpet Crawlers", "Anyway", "In the Rapids"). In a way, Peter Gabriel used some of the hard sound from this record in his two first solo albums, but it's symptomatic that after The Lamb Genesis recovered the softer influences from before, maybe because they weren't really happy with this album. Anyway, "The Lamb" stands as one of the most inspired rock records of all time, with dozens of brilliant details that are only revealed after listening to the album several times. And the show they offered in that tour (as could be seen recently thanks to the great job made by the clone band The Musical Box) was really hypnotic, magnetic, different, awesome. Just like the record. JORDI PLANAS

Report this review (#190421)
Posted Tuesday, November 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars 'The Lamb' - without a doubt, the ultimate Genesis album, and simply one of the best albums of all time. Equally without doubt, an album that demands serious commitment from the listener if it is to be fully appreciated. With previous albums, though they are excellent of course, Genesis still stood with one foot in the realm of accessibility - they were fairly short, with distinct standalone tracks to get to grips with individually, offering a relatively easy way into their world of complex symphonies and twisted imagery. But 'The Lamb', seeing their one previous extended piece 'Supper's Ready' as a green light, presents a double concept album of near-continuous music - a complete story told through ninety-five minutes of rich progressive rock by five outstanding musicians at their most energetic and experimental. Just like Yes with 'Tales From Topographic Oceans', you have to accept that the band mean business.

The story that sews the album together, written by Peter Gabriel, appears in prose form in the album's sleeve as a more literal guide for audients, and then of course as the lyrics themselves. Along with most Genesis material of the Gabriel era, the complicated and often fiendishly humorous lyrics have been much maligned over the years, by the journalists determined to label anything prog 'pretentious nonsense' and even by actual fans of the band who nevertheless consider them silly and incomprehensible. While I sympathise with both views, I agree with neither of them and would say it only takes a fundamental grasp of metaphor and the epic allegory to start appreciating just what Gabriel was doing. Much more difficult is the dense catalogue of references to American history and popular culture early in the album, which Gabriel uses masterfully to paint a rich backdrop and help him invest his unsettling, abstract notions with the familiarity of iconic figures and events. Daunting as they may seem at first, understanding the subtle meaning in each of the references proves to be less important than the overall effect of their busy procession, symbols of an era. My one slight niggle here is that the liner notes really are essential in providing a full context for the story, since the presence of instrumental sections and the lyrics (being completely entrenched in Rael's own perspective) leave gaps in the continuity when standing alone. Nevertheless, Genesis do offer this as a complete package after all, and I for one am prepared to take it as such.

One typical bustling night on Broadway, New York City, Puerto-Rican punk Rael (representing the everyman, if a little rough around the edges) is roaming the streets when he suddenly observes a lamb emerging from the steam by the side of the road. Right there on the pavement, amidst the clamour of modern city life, the animal just lies down. The image has an undertone of the loss of innocence, even death - but more importantly it's a creepy, out-of-place herald that something's about to begin... In moments, a vast solid wall materialises in Times Square and starts to sweep across the city, freezing in place and absorbing everyone and everything in its path - Rael watches in horror, but nobody else around him seems to notice or care about the danger (ever feel this way?) As Rael himself is caught in the wall, he is thrust into a surreal journey of self-discovery, through a nightmare world composed of bizarre landscapes, hideous caricatured personifications of common human attachments and dispositions, and memories of his own past. It's a 20th century purgatory where he must come to terms with himself while also seeking escape from the pitfalls of modernity: the growing artificiality and commercialisation of human lifestyle in 'The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging'; absent-minded social inertia in 'Carpet Crawlers'; the tendency to take up a stereotypical role in order to give life some direction in 'The Chamber Of 32 Doors'; seduction and insincerity in 'The Lamia', followed by slavery to one's own sexual desires in 'The Colony Of Slippermen'. How many other manifestations can you interpret?

Musically, 'The Lamb' is as broad and complex as the band would ever go, with each musician really pushing the expressive capabilities of their respective instruments - Gabriel's voice included - to create a restless fusion of complementary forces. It is often said that ideas are spread too thin on this album, but nothing could be further from the truth - 'The Lamb' is brimming with ideas, painstaking composition, and polish. Rock band format it may be, but the tradition of combining styles and aiming for a grander, timeless sound is very much present, and as with all the greats it's impossible to tag this as any genre other than progressive - this is deeply emotional, fiercely cerebral, and truly cinematic music. Totally four-dimensional, there is plenty of dynamic variety along the way, from the full band blowouts of the title track and 'In The Cage', to gentle contemplations like 'Hairless Heart' and 'In The Rapids', to open ambiences such as 'The Waiting Room' and 'Ravine'. It can generally be seen as a much more electric album than before: the 12-string acoustic guitar passages prevalent in the band's earlier works feature only rarely, as effects-laden electric guitars and newer synthesiser tones come to the fore (there are still hefty doses of acoustic piano, though, forming the foundations of 'Anyway' and 'The Lamia'). However, not an ounce of Genesis' classic delicacy is lost in the shift - no walls of sound can stop the searching melodies and powerful chord sequences from shining through, and every part that every instrument plays is tailored for maximum effect.

To match the warped, introspective nature of the story, the music evokes a range of atmospheres from the eerily inviting to the downright unsettling, some of my favourites being the ghostly intro to 'Fly On A Windshield' and the captivating grief of 'Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats'. There are also rare flashes of more accessible hooks, as in 'Counting Out Time', 'Carpet Crawlers' and 'it'. Most difficult to explain in a review is the album's overarching mood... a cloying blend of recognition, layered meanings and close-to-the-edge madness unique to this kind of immersion into a persistent, self-contained, Alice In Wonderland-type world... in many ways it is this which makes 'The Lamb' so special. Some examples of the disturbing images captured would be: imaginary creatures trapped on film at the moment of their birth; Rael's desperate consumption of the Lamia when they appear to die before his eyes; and the eleventh hour where he is finally able to look at the face of the brother he has followed at great cost, only to find that it's his own face staring back at him.

To attempt to counter a few common criticisms of the album:

'The first disc is great on its own, but the second is weaker and has lots of filler': Well, bearing in mind that there is consistently challenging music across both discs, I wonder if most listeners are just more used to the single album format and start struggling to pay attention after the first 45 minutes. Personally I'd find it hard to choose a favourite disc out of the two, and if the length is a problem I think the next fairest way to experience 'The Lamb' is to treat it as two separate albums and make sure each one gets equal, listen-from-fresh airtime.

'The band was breaking up at this point, so the album is rushed and uneven': As has now become well documented, the composition and recording of 'The Lamb' proved quite difficult for Genesis, with most of the band putting the music together in isolation from Gabriel, who insisted on writing all the lyrics whilst also coping with the ill-health of his first child. However, as Gabriel has said himself, sometimes your best creative work can be born in times of unusual circumstances and stress, and I'd say this is definitely true of this album - it sounds confident and exciting throughout, and the lyrics marry so perfectly with the music that it's hard to imagine the two elements were ever dreamed up separately. It is possible for the quality of music to surpass the intention and understanding of its creators, it seems... especially in prog!

'There is no proper ending to the story': Read up on existentialism, then come back.

While by no means the easiest album to get into, being too large-scale to work without significant open-eared investment from the listener, have no doubt that this is a masterpiece of narrative-driven progressive rock music, and a triumphant farewell from the band's first, best and most charismatic frontman.

Report this review (#192724)
Posted Friday, December 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is incredible. In case you don't know much about prog history, this is the last album with Peter Gabriel in Genesis, and let me tell you, he left this ultimate prog lineup with a great last album. The Lamb is a 90- minute concept album, and is arguably the best concept album ever. The lyrics (almost all written by Gabriel) are superb, and tell one of the best stories in all of prog. The story is about a guy named Rael who loses his brother John, goes through many obstacles, then once he finds John he discovers that John is actually himself. It's a long story (90 minutes to be exact), and it really seems weird as a retelling, but on the real album it's great. Now, the lyrics aside, the music's great too with great amounts of skill shown.


The opening to this disc is the title track, which is a great opener to the concept and the great music ahead. FLY ON A WINDSHIELD is a great section to the album, and is one of the best of them all. Skip a couple of sections, and you'll get one of the highlights of the album IN THE CAGE. It has a very dark and superb theme, and has one of Banks's best solos in Genesis. It is also a critical part in the story of The Lamb. Skip some more sections, and you'll get BACK IN NYC. That section to the end of the disc some of the best from the whole Lamb.


The opening to disc 2, LILYWHITE LILITH, is another upbeat section in The Lamb. This is followed by THE WAITING ROOM, which took time to grow on me, but now I like it. ANYWAY is a great darker song, similar to THE LAMIA that appears later in the album. Later in the abum THE COLONY OF SLIPPERMAN appears, and is one of the most incredible parts in the album. However, thebest part is really the ending songs. The keyboard solo is inredible, and the last section, IT, is a great ending.

Really, this is a must own. Everything's great, and it's one of the best concept albums, and one of the best overall albums. A MUST OWN for every prog fan.

Report this review (#192870)
Posted Saturday, December 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars The lamb, in my opinion, is not only the best Genesis album, but also the best prog rock album ever.

The Lamb is a masterpiece, an artform of its own. An unbelievable and breathtaking combination of the finest progressive music ever created and a superb theatrical performance that left a legacy of mythical proportions. The fact that the original live show was never captured on film is a terrible loss for our civilization's art archive; then again, it added even more to the album's myth and mystique.

The Gabriel-era-Genesis had already touched perfection, delivering prog masterpieces such as The Musical Box, Supper's Ready and Firth of Fifth, but up until then not a whole album of prog perfection. Something solid was forming in the air, that culminated in The Lamb. With this double concept album, the Gabriel-led band reached its highest point and went as far in the prog undiscovered country as no band ever had, or did ever since.

When they lost Peter, they lost the front man, the main artist, the inspiration. When they lost Steve, they lost yet another great musician. In the following Genesis works, the great music is still there, but the magic is forever gone, let alone the incredible theatrical aspect of the Gabriel years.

Listening to The Lamb always sends shivers down my spine and evokes all kinds of emotions in me, time and time again - I dare to say that it has made my life richer. So thank you Peter, Steve, Tony, Mike and Phil for having been there and having created this unsurpassable masterpiece!

Report this review (#198543)
Posted Monday, January 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I still don't get a clue what is it about. And You?

I remember when I first heard The Lamb I was really pissed off. Just by seeing the song duration I realized something had changed in comparaison to SEBTP or Foxtrot. And after an hour and a half of appreciation my thoughts had became true.

There are no epic songs on this record , the longest one of them is The Cage clocking at 8 minutes. Moreover , there are no incredible instrumental passages here for musicians to show his talent ( Steve Hackett didn't like this fact of the record) and finally , the concept is a mess. So , If I were to appreciate The Lamb , I knew I was going to have a really hard time dealing with it. And 40 listens after , I can say that this record ain't half bad.

Actually when you get used to the Gabriel's overdose that is all around LLDOB ; you can say that 70 % of the record is a masterpiece. Yes , probably the first LP may be a total hit featuring some of the finest Genesis compositons like The Chamber of... or Carpet Crawlers. Musically I have to say this record features great use of the synthetizers by Tony Banks , specially on that solo on In the Cage or the instrumental part of Fly on a Windshield. The Lamb features some of the best drumming Phil had ever done up to that point ( In my opinion his work on A Trick of the Tail surpasses this)

The second record is not as strong as the first one musically but in turn , features the most interesting and weird part of the story: Rael's meeting with Lillywhite Lillith to then fall in a pool and be seduced by three Lamia... well , and I can go on but that's not the point here. For a more detailed explanation of The Lamb you should check on the net: The Annotated Lamb liesdown on Broadway , there you will find lots of paragraphs about the interpretation of this lyrics to make your Lamb experience much more enjoyable. Back to the music featured on the second LP , there are some weak tunes on here like Riding the scree , Ravine or The waiting room. But there are some really good tunes like the Lamia , The Colony of Slippermen or the closer It.

This record , I consider it essential although I don't find myself giving too much listens like other favourites. But everytime I do it's a marvellous experience. If there was a record that needed to have attached the word GROWER on it's sleeve , that is the Lamb.

Report this review (#200944)
Posted Wednesday, January 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Okay, it's probably heresy, but this classic gets only four stars, in spite of the fact that it contains some of the best music (let alone prog) ever written. Why? Well, as I said in a recent poll on this site, I still, after owning the LP for some 31 years, cannot figure out just what on earth it is all about. I will also probably upset a few visitors to the site by stating unequivocally that it is too long. I seem to recall some years ago Rutherford saying that it would have made a perfect two side LP, but they got carried away - I agree.

If I were just reviewing the first two sides, this would be a no brainer five star work. The Lamb... itself is a fantastic opener, In The Cage a genuine classic with such strong keyboards, backings, and vocals, the ultimate keyboard solo to weep to in Hairless Heart, a fine example of catchy and essential pop/prog in Carpet Crawlers, and Gabriel at his most emotional and heart rending in Chamber of 32 Doors, up there with my all time Genesis favourites. The rest of the first two sides blend together perfectly and there is never a dull moment, with the band itself proving themselves to be consummate professionals and musicians backing Gabriel's story about Rael (whatever it means).

For me, the last two sides are overlong. Lilywhite Lilith, and It are amongst the best works ever recorded by the band, and I especially enjoyed the remix of It on the Archives Boxset. The Light....would, to me, have been a perfect bookend to The much the same way as Aisle of Plenty was to Dancing.....on Selling England.... Here, it just seems somewhat out of place (pardon the pun). A lot of it is disjointed - excellent playing, but not quite right. Colony of Slippermen is a good example of this as parts of it rock with a classic keyboard solo, but others just don't seem to fit into place and noodle for the sake of it.

Don't get me wrong - this is a masterpiece, but it is by no way the finest of the Gabriel era LPs and it is easy to see in hindsight why it was his last. There were interesting times ahead.

Report this review (#201797)
Posted Thursday, February 5, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is an album that creates fanatics everywhere it is heard, the legend from Gabriel-era Genesis. The double-concept album by which they will forever be remembered. An album of very strange concept. To state it in its most literal state, the protagonist, Rael, is swept into a strange land where he has some odd visions, has a sexual experience with three lamia, turns into a slipperman, has his penis cut off and then chases the bird who steals it. He stops his chase to pull his brother from a river, but finds his own body instead. Now of course there's some (okay, a lot of) symbolism here, and Gabriel has said it's really about finding a part of himself. I won't analyze it here, because The Annotated Lamb Lies Down On Broadway has said everything I could possibly tell you, and done so a lot more.... thoroughly.

Musically, the album has some amazing high points. The first five tracks are all stellar, some of the best work Genesis ever recorded. However, this albums grand scale is also its weakness. It spans a little over 90 minutes, and it's very difficult to create a work that long that is solid throughout. There are several tracks that come off as space-filler, the instrumentals, to anyone who knows anything about Peter Gabriel, probably seem like they were put in so he could have time to change outlandish costumes. For the most part, they are rather pretty and well-played, although the experimental Waiting Room wears thin quickly. And others suffer from the cheesiness that Peter Gabriel occasionally inflicted on the music of Genesis by trying to be whimsical or do vocal impressions. However, this is certainly not a bad album, just an uneven one. The first five tracks are all amazing, as are the last few tracks. Carpet Crawlers and The Lamia are both good as well, and Counting Out Time is very catchy, albeit creepy in places.

As a final verdict, I feel this album ranks 3rd in the lineup of Genesis albums. While it's uneven, it's high places soar beautifully.

Report this review (#202026)
Posted Saturday, February 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars While a lot of people call this album Genesis best and greatest masterpiece, I just don't really get this album. To me this is a bit of a disappointment after having 3 great masterpieces previously. This is one of the biggest reasons why I'm not a big fan of concept albums like this and The Wall by Pink Floyd, the plot can just get overblown, confusion or daft and this fits this album perfectly.

This is a big problem when the album heavily relies on you to follow the storyline to get the best enjoyment from the songs, but the plot can get so confusing that if it wasn't for the fact that I did some Internet research about the album, I would be absolutely confused (in fact I don't own the album, but listen to the songs on Youtube, meaning that I don't have the booklet that gives you information on the story, but since of the WMG problem going on that site, Youtube is not a very good and reliable source.)

Music wise, the first half of the album is really good, with the title track, 'Cuckoo Cocoon', 'Carpet Crawlers', 'In The Cage' and 'Grand Parade' really standing up with other great Genesis tracks. But the second half really lets itself down. To me it seems the band was desperately trying to think up ideas to fill in the second half. It is known that the band did not like Gabriel hogging the writing to fit his own ideas and needs. It's like sometimes you can feel that the rest of the band are not enjoying themselves recording the album. This and with live performances that had Gabriel hogging the spot light with his over the top costumes (making the band angry that people were not giving the music credit) cause friction which made Gabriel leave the band.

In the end I give the last Gabriel era Genesis album 3 stars, to be honest I think (which will defiantly cause controversy over Gabriel fanatics) ...And Then There Were Three...' and 'Duke' were better albums. But still on its own it's not a bad album with a couple of excellent songs.

Report this review (#202832)
Posted Sunday, February 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I have a unique relationship with The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway in that I am so absolutely entranced and overwhelmed with sides 1, 2 and 3, that I never could get into side 4. Either the band petered out (no pun intended) for the last quarter of the album, or more likely, it was me who did. Feel the same way about Battle of Epping Forest from the Selling England album - too busy, unfocused and insubstantial to keep my attention for its duration before the tone arm inevitably heads west toward the higher yielding Cinema Show - despite the fact that on its own, Epping, like the Lamb's final side, is really not bad at all!

But what Genesis cooks up for at least three sides of composition and execution is nothing short of a personal best. Just an incredible performance of deftly composed songs presented by a band with its great chops intact, and some melodies that are as timeless as they come - The Lamia and the mellotron-charged Broadway Melody in particular elevate me to another plain.

The storyline of this double album still makes my brain hurt after 34 years, but with songs this strong, I've learned to manage! The band has relatively few nice things to say about this album, probably due to the fractious nature of the writing and recording processes - I just wish they could at least separate themselves from the album's creation periods and just see what a monumental accomplishment was left in their wake.

The Lamb remains a high watermark for Genesis that still rewards with every listen. And y'know, I think I'll try and tackle side 4 once again tonight.

It's 4.5 stars from me.

Report this review (#208834)
Posted Thursday, March 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars A Charterhouse Schoolboy on the Court of the New York Knicks

Having trawled the web hoping to pick up some background to the creation of this very ambitious record, I was struck by just how little consensus there is. Depending on which source you believe, it does seem plausible that either Peter Gabriel left this project for several months before it was completed or most of the music was composed by Banks, Rutherford, Hackett and Collins. It's probably a combination of the two and would go some way towards explaining why the material on the first part is of a significantly higher quality than that of the second.

Steve Hackett is unerringly tasteful on all the Genesis albums he played on and remains so here, but his contribution appears much smaller and less integral to the compositions than before. It seems he was lukewarm about the suitability of Gabriel's storyline for the album and would have preferred to pursue the original plan to adapt Antoine de Saint Exupéry's novella for children the Little Prince. (We should be grateful that Peter's stubbornness prevailed, as it begs the question of what was a compromise solution: Billy Bunter and the Tuckshop Mystery?)

CD 1

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway - This is a much leaner and meaner Genesis than we have come to expect. Gone are the quaint pastoral landscapes of leafy England and replaced by the seamier and steamier sidewalks of the big apple. Retained in this new-found bristling acuity however, is their indelible faith in the craft of classic songwriting. As we have come to expect, there are hooks, nooks and tangential crannys galore which never fail to enthrall the listener.

Fly on a Windshield - Very dramatic and cinematic composition that was an avenue Gabriel was to explore at further length on his subsequent solo career. The gently strummed acoustic and vocal halt momentarily and punningly just before the band enter and the resultant 'thwack' from Collins, Banks and Rutherford evokes precisely the title of this piece.

Broadway Melody of 1974 - Rather aimless and flaccid slowly strummed guitar that has ceased long before I even typed the last word of me describing same.

Cuckoo Cocoon - Beautiful shimmering guitar sound from Hackett on arpeggios, joined by a superb melody and emotive delivery from Gabriel. A rare glimpse of Peter's flute is heard here as otherwise his breathy warblings are conspicuous by their absence on this album.

In the Cage - Quotes rather inexplicably from both My Girl and Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head? during the brooding opening before firing into an irresistible groove over which Gabriel gets into one of his endearing and inimitable flaps. Tempo and meter changes abound but are negotiated without ever appearing to break stride and such is the mastery of this band that you get the distinct impression they could cover 'Hickory Dickory Dock' and make the latter a surreal masterpiece. (and get the mouse to run down the clock)

The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging - Genesis at their most 'avant' sounding and full marks to them for an incredibly innovative melodic construction built from what at the outset seem extremely unlikely building blocks. I only wish they had deployed these more esoteric weapons from their secret arsenal more often.

Back In NYC - The unrelenting gravitational pull of the harmonic progression here tramples everything in its wake and rarely have Genesis sounded so implacable. Clever use of a short compensating delay on Bank's keyboard parts which makes them sound suitably enormous and foreboding. There is a real snarling bile in the throat of Gabriel's creation, who views his fellow creatures with nihilistic contempt. Confronted by an institutionalized corruption and dissolution wherever he rests his gaze, Rael vocalises the plight of those who believe they have no choices:

- "This is your mess I'm stuck in, I really don't belong" -

Let's do a trade here shall we? If Gabriel's accent for a Puerto Rican street punk is credible, then we Brits think Dick Van Dyke is a convincing cockney in Mary Poppins. Done deal.

Hairless Heart - mean like a normal heart guys? Gorgeous short instrumental with that trademark sobbing guitar sound from Hackett on a spectral quieter passage reinforced by the whole band in a sumptuous recapitulation of the main theme. Yumminess unbound.

Counting Out Time - In a genre where nothing is sacred, kudos are due to Gabriel for delivering a vulnerable first person narrative about rock's only lingering taboo (bad sex). Like the nihilist Bazarov in Turgenev's Fathers and Sons the protagonist comes unstuck when he takes a scientific empiricism into affairs of the heart with disastrous results. I think this song was written entirely by Peter and he deliberately chooses a nostalgic Tin Pan Ally format within which to relate his 'rites of passage' tale. The anticlimactic ending mimics perfectly the trauma that is being described. What would the Beatles have been doing if they were still together in 1974 ? This.

Carpet Crawlers - Eye brimming beauty from start to finish and no finer example surely exists in the canon of prog ballads. It is brilliantly paced and starts in Gabriel's lower register before slowly building in intensity until a cloaked but audible anguish is heard from the narrator who starts to identify with the pitiful and futile aspirations of these creatures he is witnessing. Hackett's weeping guitar and Collins plaintive backing vocals are exquisite.

The Chamber of 32 Doors - Huge cinematic tron string swells on a melancholic intro which transitions into a rapid linking narrative before settling down into a slow but ever changing song that lives long in the memory.

If only someone at this point had shouted "It's a wrap, cut it" we would be left with a document representing one of prog's greatest achievements. However, as my soccer coach used to say

- "They don't present the cup at half-time laddies"

CD 2

Lilywhite Lilith - No sign of tired legs at the start of the 2nd half on what is yet another sublime melody mounted on an ingeniously sly accompaniment. The little Fish that nibbled so voraciously on this music would be inspired sufficiently to spawn the neo prog genre. The only problem with the latter being they had deduced the ingredients, but couldn't find the recipe.

The Waiting Room - Reputedly rehearsed and recorded in the dark as an aid to the creation of the intended malevolent atmosphere. Despite their best intentions, this is about as terrifying as unattended milk. Surely not comfortable territory for Genesis, as divorced from the realm of song craft, the lads just sound more scared than we are.

Anyway - Back behind friendly lines on a quietly authoritative tune that carried sufficiently to be subsequently echoed by UK's distinguished Rendezvous. Lovely arpeggiated piano backing from Banks on a number that might presage the death of the protagonist?:

- "Back to Ash now" -

Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetist - A brief duet for Peter and Phil that mutates without any discernible transition into a Hackett led instrumental foray. As accomplished as the individual sections are, this smacks of an unconvincing linear arrangement of unrelated parts. It is widely speculated that this episode denotes death, but I personally think it closer to a depiction of the dangers of recreational drugs ?

The Lamia - Very stately and memorable tune strangely at odds with the sensual abandon and seductive charms of the creatures it describes. Delicious portamento synth motif stated by Banks in isolation towards the end. If there are groupies in the afterlife, then they must be very similar to these mythical scrubbers. After some debauched group sex, our hero Rael promptly devours his lovers (Yuch, you are what you eat)

Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats - You know those sandwiches they sell with a filler that looks like plastic cheese but has no taste, texture or smell? This is what one of them sounds like.

The Colony of Slippermen - The pseudo oriental intro once again exposes their limitations in the creation of authentic moods with the culprit twanging a sitar like an old banjo probably never having ventured further east than a curry house in Essex. Thankfully a very strong song section follows split into Arrival/Visit to the Doktor/Raven and the separate parts are very skilfully arranged and seamlessly negotiated. Tony Banks has always been a very underrated keyboard player and when given a window within which to stretch out a bit more, never fails to steer the music to an attractive destination and always with admirable restraint. Although his chops are not on a virtuoso level like Emerson or Wakeman, he is a perfect fit for the 'team player' required by Genesis. Peter Gabriel has played a blinder up to now, but is starting to 'push my buttons' with his convoluted tale threatening to lapse into smirking and knowing pastiche.

So Peter let me get this straight: the hero and his brother John (hideously disfigured by venereal disease) are both voluntarily castrated by a surgeon but thereafter a large bird carries off their genitalia in its beak, whereupon they pursue this 'Phallus hoarding Magpie' to reclaim said 'shoobedoos' yes ?

Ravine - You know what a piano tuner sounds like right?, well this is what an oscillator tuner sounds like.

The Light Dies Down on Broadway - Banks and Rutherford are thought to have written the lyrics to this one and the music is simply a reprise of an earlier instrumental fragment plus the title track albeit at a slower tempo. Rather redundant but it does provide this sprawling epic with a vestige of structural symmetry.

Riding the Scree - Bustling and bubbling groove that seems to be in either 5 or 10 meter ? Genesis confirm here that even in their instrumental writing, the defining characteristics are the same as their more conventional song compositions i.e lyrical themes over traditional harmonic territory. This track carries strong hints that it was intended to be solely instrumental as the minimal tonsilry from Gabriel appears to have been tacked on at the end as an afterthought and possibly more for the purposes of plot development than anything else.

In the Rapids - A real let-down considering this is the denouement of the narrative. It reeks of desperation by an author in bringing his story to a satisfying conclusion but has neither the method or means to do so. Rael's leap of faith in deciding to save a brother who has forsaken him twice already, is clumsily solved by fusing the two entities into one and is banal in the extreme. Anyone who remembers Patrick McGoohan's portrayal of Number 6 in the Prisoner TV series will recognise this same kitsch device from the final episode where he unmasks Number 1 only to see his own face staring back at him. I suspect the backing track here was recorded long before the vocals, as Gabriel's wretched delivery betrays the contortions of a singer stuck with accompaniment that he knows his collaborators are either unwilling or unable to change.

It - Would have been better as an instrumental as both Gabriel's superfluous melody and sidelong swipe at rock journalists

- "its only knock and know-all but I like it" -

really just plays into their hands. (He protests too much) Once again I suspect that the original musical parts would have been laid down oblivious to the track's subsequent vocal overdub.

There are more interpretations of the 'Lamb' than there are quills on a porcupine, so what are we to make of all this and does it really matter with music this good?

What does seem clear is that it is written in an allegorical style which makes interpretation particularly difficult. I think Peter's agenda is a covert one as it is no accident that authors in repressive regimes utilised a similar technique to avoid their output being censored by the authorities it was cryptically targeting. Judeo-Christian imagery is littered throughout Gabriel's work but we must avoid any messianic conclusions as his hero is certainly a graffiti artist but sure as hell ain't no paint salesman. The references I can detect are Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress (a soul's journey to paradise) Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5 (Billy Pilgrim is dissociated from linear time and experiences his life in random sequence) Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange (where a thug who chooses to be so is preferable to a programmed and brainwashed conformist) and RD Laing's the Divided Self (an existential view on schizophrenia) Yep, tales of simple fisher folk one and all.

Irrespective of your beliefs, 'Lamb' is unequivocally a moral fable about atonement, forgiveness and redemption and if you think that none of the foregoing relates to you, better check your pulse pilgrim.

Report this review (#212446)
Posted Saturday, April 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I'm not even trying to say what's this album about. OK putting it very short (it won't tell you anything anyway) this is a controversial story of guy named Rael. Peter Gabriel should rot in jail for that story but seriously it's a bit shocking and a bit bizarre. Never mind. Everytime I listen to In The Cage I know why it's the best Genesis release. Because it's more dynamic than anything they've ever done. Well to be honest I can find some pretty thrilling elements on Nursery Cryme or Trespass but this time Genesis decided to go further. Back In NYC is so agressive and I almost hear Peter Hammill in that song. Yes, Gabriel had mighty voice. Unfortunatelly he didn't show it too often. But this is thrilling. Hairless Heart as one of the few instrumental pieces on here is probably the best part without vocals on the album. Very good melody. Counting Out Time is Beatlesque pop tune. I really enjoy this one especially lyrics and this catchy chorus. Lillywhite Lilith is amazing short piece of music. It's probably the most innovative track on the album. The proportions are very similar to what hard rock bands did later in 80's. Decade later! Lamia is beautiful pure progressive rock song with really touching lyrics. I love this one. Colony Of Slippermen like In The Cage, complex and very dynamic. I don't really dig last few tunes after the Light that Dies Down On Broadway and that stupid experimental Waiting Room (King Crimson's complex?). The rest of the album is brilliant. The first I bought this album on tape and it was the whole thing on one tape. When I bought 2 CD set I still listened to that tape anyway. To me it sounded better on tape but guess it's the best when listened on analogue album. 4.5 stars.
Report this review (#214083)
Posted Wednesday, May 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Dramatic Climax of the Classic Prog Era

The Lamb Lays Down on Broadway is the most ambitious, lyrically cryptic, grandest project by one of the titans of the genre at their peak in their classic lineup. It is extremely demanding to wrap one?s brain around, and it takes many listens to really sink into your soul. But once it has, it is difficult not to declare this the peak of the genre. Of course, this is the swan song of Peter Gabriel with Genesis, mainly because by this time, the band was being promoted almost exactly in that manner. Over 4 sides of music, there are certainly some peaks and valleys in the power of the music. But to doubt this is one of the masterpieces of prog rock is to say Beethoven's 9th is not a classic. (I happen to dislike the 9th but I am not silly enough to deny its profound importance.) The Lamb holds a similar place in this genre.

The album is a rock opera which really is meant to be heard as a complete work. There are no hit singles, though there are classic moments including "In the Cage" and the ethereal "Carpet Crawlers." The latter contains the best vocal interplay Gabriel and Phil Collins were to ever have, an oddity considering their later careers. Gabriel's lyrics span vast territory mainly involving themes of spirituality, personal transformation, and sexuality. There are some great instrumental passages, but the band is more restrained here than on any other release up to the days of the threesome. As such, this album is much different from albums before or for several after, lacking the extended intricate instrumental passages that were a Genesis trademark. (Probably a reason some like this album less than Foxtrot or Selling England by the Pound).

In general, I like the music better in the first half of the album. However, the characters, storyline, and sheer weirdness are more interesting in the second half. Live, this corresponded to Gabriel's leather clad outfit during the opening songs, and then elaborate costumes in the second half. One exception is the reprise of the title song which is much more satisfying in its darker, more minor version toward the end of the work. Fittingly, the album has a big stage style closer, "It," which releases the long developed tension in an upbeat major crescendo, though the lyrics remain challenging.

The Lamb was not the natural evolution of Genesis' sound at all. Rather it is almost a stand alone work, as the continuity between Selling England through Trick of the Tail and Wind and Wuthering actually makes more sense. But the Lamb was a mighty note to end one of the greatest acts to make rock music. Gabriel was to exit for solo work, and Genesis was to transform time and time again to varied effect. But this exclamation mark remains one of the most important albums in all of rock, let alone prog rock, for which it is perhaps the summit of the vision of what the genre could be.

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Posted Wednesday, May 20, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Again I can't give 5 stars

The lamb lies down on broadway is a mighty Genesis album and one of the best concept albums ever written, relesed in 1974 and the final one with Gabriel behind the microphone. Again not a masterpiece to my ears, and I can't really give 5 stars only because of historical importance or other such criteria. I'm judging this album from musical aproach and I reached to concusion that this album is the most complex Genesis album so far, and one of the most complex albums ever in progressive music. While is a solid album all the way has some fillers on both albums, the shorter tracks, some of them are totaly unintristing to me. Filled with astonishing musichianship and very intresting ideas The lamb is a very solid and entertaining album, who gives some classic progressive tunes like In the cage (brilliant pieces), Counting Out Time , Carpet crawlers from the first album and Lillywhite Lilith,Anyway and Colony of Slippermen from second album, aswell my fav tracks from here. So a big album both in Genesis career and in prog music, desearves a big 4 for sure.

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Posted Monday, May 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Sleepwalker
3 stars The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is the last Genesis album with Peter Gabriel. People seem to have lots of different opinions about this album, one finds it too long with too much filler, and the other thinks the album is perfect because of the emotion and dramatics. I do partially agree with those opinions. Yes, the album is very long and lots of the songs seem to be on the album only to tell the progress of the story, instead of being there for the music. On the other hand, I think the story is pretty good, and the way Peter Gabriel expresses himself as main character Rael, and how he shows us the progress in the story is outstanding. This makes The Lamb a very hard album to rate. I won't be discussing the album song by song, cause quite a lot of the songs don't need to be discussed, as they are only on the album to tell the story's progress.

The album has only a few Genesis classics, those are songs like "In The Cage", "Back In N.Y.C.", "Colony Of Slipperman" and "The Lamia", the latter being a really amazing song. This is only a small part of the songs on the album, while previous albums, like Foxtrot and Selling England, had a much higher percent of those truly memorable Genesis songs. So, that's kind of dissapointing, but luckily the album has a lot more to offer. The biggest part of the album is made up of good songs, no excellent songs, but just good songs. Some of those songs are "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway", "Fly On A Windshield", "The Carpet Crawlers", "Anyway" and "The Light Dies Down On Broadway".

Unfortunately, The Lamb seems not to be able to carry the weight of the concept it has, so there is a lot of filler. Songs like "Cuckoo Cocoon", "The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging", "Counting Out The Time" and "Riding The Scree" just don't do it for me, they are not all bad, but they should be much better as this is supposed to be a very epic album, and Foxtrot and Selling England showed what the band was able to.

The cocept of The Lamb also plays a big role at live performances, of course. Every Genesis fan knows that Peter Gabriel would quite often wear strange costumes on stage, and The Lamb is no exception. The costumes are more extreme than ever before, Gabriel having a rotating cone around him on "The Lamia", and crawling out of an inflatable while wearing the costume of a slipperman while singing "Colony Of Slippermen". On the other song gabriel was dressed up as Rael. Changing these Radical costumes takes a while, of course, so the album knows songs that give Peter Gabriel time to do that ("Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats", "The Supernatural Anaestethist"). I understand those songs have to be played live to give Peter time to change costumes, but why do they have to be on the album? They are the ultimate filler.

It's very hard do choose what rating I will give The Lamb... Should I rate it low because of the huge amount of filler and songs underneath the level of Genesis, or should I rate it high because of the great storyline and the several Genesis classics?

Because I am doubting too much between a very low and a very high rating, I'm going to take the middle path. Three stars for this extraordinary album.

Report this review (#222335)
Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Lamb Lies is a masterwork of a Genesis atypical work. Complex history narrated by the visionary Peter Gabriel who worked a part from the group, deciding leave the show but leaving the footsteps for a new era.... Musicianship is brilliant, dense atmospheres and a lot of good ideas. Perhaps remains a double LP on our old prog minds, but the developed work rules forever!!! What can I say about a work that was my confident friend of childhood? What can i express about sounds and voices that continue reverberating in my head? TLLDOB is a special piece of avantgarde prog. Is Genesis but not at the end of Gabriel era but is the entry to a new world of perfection prog. Perhaps is not absolutelly perfect and round but it continues new!!! Banks composed well with hackett and Rutherford.Collins played damn well the drums and devices and Eno contributed with strange sound....

Peter was there...Rael is him and this was real time!!

It´s only knock and Know all but...i Like it!!!!

10 points...perhap emotionally but RAEL!!!

Report this review (#222354)
Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars For the longest time, the wall was my favorite double disc prog album, but than I heard this unique album. Now its not perfect and in some ways it has bad similarities to The Wall. The bad being that Peter Gabriel is a bit Rodger Waters, but actually this album came out first, I believe, so Waters is a bit Gabriel. Yet I heard the wall first so to me I compare the bad in this to the bad in the wall. Like Waters after him Peter Gabreil insist on writing all the lyrics. Now like the wall the lyrical content on The Lamb is good. There are some really strong lyrics and a few bad ones. Yet like the Wall I can't help but imagine what The Lamb would be like if the other genius band members contributed lyrics. the second thing that relates thos two albums is how the keyboard is treated. I love Selling England by The Pound and I love Wish you Were Here. A big part of the reason why I love those albums is because of the great keyboard and synth work. Tony Banks and Richard Wright both shined on there respective albums, yet on The Lamb and The Wall they're held back some.

Now the comparisons end there, and in my mind The Lamb only has one other weakness, yet its not a completely band thing and I find that I always change my position on this issue. That issue is concept. The Wall is a lot more clear and easier to grasp than The Lamb. Sometimes I am frustrated by the fact that The Lamb is never completely clear, yet it is an album that is deep. The lyrics are full of poetic, cultural, religious, and philosophical references. Other times I enjoy the fact that is is not so clear. It is definetly an album that takes multiple listens to grasp, and each time i understand more but never completely.

Well now for the good. Over all the songs are great both in lyrical content and instrumentation. the album has great time changes, atmospheres and singing. The fact that the first half is cryptic prog rock tunes and the second half is more instrumental is something that I find very cool, unique and enjoyable.

This album is so close to a five. Some say it is overdone, to cryptic, to grandose, silly. Well I find that such has been the case with many prog albums and thats part of the reason why I've gotten into prog. Not everything in this great genre will fit with everyone, but it will strike people in different ways. The Lamb is one of those albums, really good but not for everyone.

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Posted Wednesday, June 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Lamb is THE Prog album for starters, if you don't have it yet, you must, but must buy it. I cannot describe every single song but I just have to say I held a grudge for Genesis cause I was sad how Phil Collins ruined them, but then I got Trespass and was amazed, and went on to my Lamb copy, and it was FANTASTIC!! The album features heavy guitar riffs on some songs, yet many keyboard lines and solos.

This album is perfect in every way. Gabriel sharing vocals with Collins, a story, and almost everything you can ask for from a Prog concept album. The bright side is the fact that the album isn't about maniac solos and super-high falsettos, it's about the music, and that is something alot of other bands and albums can't really accomplish, being about the music!

Go get The Lamb, listen to it repeatedly, and when you finally get it's meaning, you finally got the meaning of Prog.

Report this review (#225359)
Posted Thursday, July 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars What a 5 star album!

First of all, like all good prog, you can't always figure out what is all the stuff in certain album when you listen to it in the first time, and so is with LLDOB. It has lots of passages on disc 1 that become favorites in the exact moment we listen to them, but disc 2 is generally more difficult. I'm not saying disc 2 is bad, but it has songs like "The Waiting Room" and "Ravine" that make the weaker point of the album. Also, there are songs that aren't easy to like when you first listen to them such as "Colony of The Slippermen", "Light Dies Down on Broadway" and "Riding The Scree" but soon became favorites of mine. The disc 2 also as some of the best passages of the album,"The Lamia" and "In the Rapids / It".

There is one interesting fact about the production of the album. "Broadway Melody of 1974" was supposed to begin in the second part of "Fly On a Windshield" at 2:47, but due to a production error I think, the album was released as it is now. So, I consider both songs to be part of one bigger song (ok, only 33 seconds bigger).

With so many excellent tracks to be found here, I will hightlight two of them: "In the Cage" and "Fly On a Windshield / Broadway Melody of 1974". Both of them are heavier than what you could expect on albums such as Foxtrot and SEBTP, but they fit perfectly in this album. Although I give this album a very high rating, it doesn't really have an epic song, being "In the Cage" the song that stays closer to that concept. But come on! This is a concept album, it is supposed to be appreciated as a whole piece, and that piece IS EPIC!

I highly recommend this to every prog and every rock fan, but if you are being introduced to the band (or to the Peter Gabriel era), maybe Foxtrot is slightly better to begin.

5 stars easily

Report this review (#227381)
Posted Saturday, July 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars This is the first Gabriel-era Genesis album I ever heard, although for quite a long time I contented myself to listening to the first five tracks only, practically savoring this work. Gradually, I began to listen to more and more, exploring as it were the lurid world with Rael very cautiously. As a result, the melodies and rhythms and lyrics are all etched upon my mind- I doubt I could ever forget any of them, and yet every time I listen to this album I seem to hear something I hadn't before, almost as if it's growing on it's own?

"The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" The fading in of the piano underscores the dream-like quality of the album as a whole, and then leaps head first into a grand refrain. The narrative lyrics operate over the same melody with the exception being a gentle bridge, the tune of which will be revisited on the listener later.

"Fly on a Windshield" This is an amazing and almost overlooked Genesis masterpiece. Gabriel's eerie voice hovers over a stark and chilling guitar. A haunting Mellotron moves in suddenly, as Steve Hackett graces over it. One of several music motifs is introduced here as Gabriel describes a ghostlike scene, something of a who's who of America.

"Broadway Melody of 1974" The scene described previously was originally meant to be this track, but the CD relegates "Broadway Melody of 1974" to a mere thirty-three second segment. As it is, it's a lovely segue.

"Cuckoo Cocoon" A light, terse song with noteworthy vocals, lyrics, and flute give the listener a rare clear glimpse into the mindset of Rael.

"In the Cage" I count this extended song among my favorite Genesis works. From that creepy opening line over pulsating bass: "I've got sunshine in my stomach, like I just rocked my baby to sleep" to the urgent, almost panicked vocals, from Mike Rutherford's bouncy contribution throughout the song and especially in the instrumental break to the dazzling synthesizer solo from Tony Banks (perhaps among his most brilliant moments), this is one song that is loaded with desperation all the way through, and is a work of art in and of itself. A barely audible yet graceful segment rises up after the song proper concludes.

"The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging" Co-written by Brian Eno, this happens to be one of my less favored tracks from this masterful work, especially at the end with the belch-like vocals.

"Back in N.Y.C." Rael asserts his machismo despite (or perhaps because of) everything he has gone through- he presents himself as the ultimate badass, but his audience knows just how fragile he really is. Gabriel's dramatic vocals and the quirky music are not exactly an oddity on this brilliant menagerie of music, and this stands as a highly enjoyable number in this bizarre rock opera.

"Hairless Heart" For such a gorgeous instrumental, the title (and the narrative concept it entails) is just plain weird, but with swirling keyboard, dashes of powerful Mellotron and Hackett's pleasing electric guitar, this is about as good as it gets in under three minutes, and I'm left shrugging my shoulders and asking "What's in a name anyway?"

"Counting Out Time" I personally don't like how the lovely "Hairless Heart" jumps right into this giddy jingle that sounds like a David Bowie single. The amusing lyrics give way to eccentric instrumentation, and while not a bad ditty at all, it adds to the queerness of the album, which inexplicably adds to the appeal.

"The Carpet Crawlers" This is one of the most repetitive and simplistic songs Gabriel-era Genesis ever recorded, and yet it remains one of the finest pieces in their repertoire even to this day. While the lyrics are at their most unfathomable, they are sung with a stalwart conviction. The inscrutable key is repeated throughout: "We've got to get in to get out."

"The Chamber of 32 Doors" The whole band delivers one of their most poignant and dramatic performances ever. The tempo shifts, the Mellotron, and the fantastic guitar cooperate to produce a breathtaking piece of music. Gabriel's vocals as Rael are full of pleading and desperateness.

"Lilywhite Lilith" The second half kicks off with loads of energy and the very atypical feeling of optimistic hope.

"The Waiting Room" By far my least favorite track on the entire album (and in all of 1970s Genesis), "The Waiting Room" is something of an enigma to me, a time to ask myself, "This album is quite obscure and strange enough, so what were they thinking?" Essentially, this instrumental is Genesis's foray into spooky avant-garde territory. As I recall, the band largely improvised this in the dark, essentially only composing the uplifting section at the end. In fact, it's working title was "The Evil Jam." Oddly enough, this peculiar piece seems to fit the nightmarish atmosphere of Rael's surroundings quite perfectly.

"Anyway" That dark piano run gives way to a sudden vocal, singing some of Genesis's most obscure yet somehow viscerally understandable lyrics. The melody is simply one of their best, not only in accommodating the words, but in garnering awe as music in and of itself. A musical theme is snuck in the middle just before a brilliantly simple guitar solo, but it's that last verse- "And it's good morning Rael-" that echoes inside me in an unexplainable way.

"The Supernatural Anaesthetist" With a short and masterfully quirky vocal bit, the band is off, largely allowing Hackett to have some fun. There is one distinct section, however, that almost sounds like it was lifted off a piece of "The Ancient" by fellow Englanders Yes. Still, it's fabulous either way.

"The Lambia" This hauntingly beautiful piece is one of my favorites from this album. The lonely piano allows for the timid Rael to describe what is going on, to describe the lamia in seductive detail. An abrupt synthesizer introduces the more intense chorus. A gorgeous guitar solo graces the ears of the listener in the end.

"Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats" The title of this piece, which is shamefully dismissed by so many, is taken from a line in the previous song. Sure this instrumental is short and rather uneventful, but it almost serves as an evocative breathing space.

"The Colony of Slippermen" The weirdness continues here, with strange jungle or tribal noises that carry on for about two minutes. Then suddenly the music dives right into traditional symphonic territory, beginning with a great keyboard run and a quote from poet William Wordsworth. Gabriel uses a monstrous voice to growl as the slippermen. Banks uses what might best be described as a slippery tone for his work in the middle just before his solo proper.

"Ravine" This airy track has less going on in it than "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats," but it lends to the atmosphere and sets up the listener for the intense finale the remaining songs contain.

"The Light Dies Down on Broadway" Using the bridge from the title song, this semi-reprise builds in intensity, and while it carries much of the melodies of it, it is a different creature from the first track, and maintains a foreboding atmosphere with quirky synthesizer.

"Riding the Scree" Banks speeds through a solo before playing the main theme of the piece, a piece which is ultimately his show. Somewhat eccentric vocals and outstanding drumming from Phil Collins create

"In the Rapids" This amazing song not only is home to one of the best melodies of the album, but it is also the vehicle by which the climax of album (wherein Rael makes the all-important self-discovery).

"it" A ripping synthesizer leads into the final track, which is like a festival after a long, dark, dank journey. The Rolling Stones had just finished up their album It's only Rock and Roll a few months before this album was released, so it's funny that Gabriel should conclude the album with the line, "Yes it's only knock and know all, but I like it." Lots of speculation has gone into what it could mean, but I kind of think that's just Gabriel's sense of humor. Either way, the glib line does nothing to sum up the fantastical tale spun throughout the course of about ninety minutes, and yet it seems to sum up everything.

Report this review (#228583)
Posted Monday, July 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Concept album of "USA" writted by Peter Gabriel and his story of "Rael" a revolt or a failure to be "New York". Tony Banks and Michael Rutherford offers a splendid music, far ahead of his time. The music is so rich that the album will be released double album. Peter Gabriel would like to 'break' for this album, because the job is important, but members do not want Peter Grabriel makes his break to start a film career as co-writer with William Friedking. Peter Gabriel want to leave the group, he left the group? No, he preferred to finish the album, but I hear no more about this album and the latest titles in their relationships suffer as a member of the group. The son of Peter & Jill Gabriel was born, but the baby has a bad health condition, and Peter Gabriel is exhausted face a problem of the sick baby and problems within the group. The music of the album is theatrical, it's still the best genesis of which is here, adding more problems you get a frenzy. "Lilywhite Lilith" sublime song! "In the cage" is a particularly intense pulls, or "Back In The NYC." "Rael" Punk the burgeoning of 1974, the femmes fatales crosses a body of snakes "lamia". An hour and a half of magic to this album, a listen to one time non stop. "Carpet Crawler" is one of the most beautiful slow directed by genesis. Genesis offers here
Report this review (#228632)
Posted Monday, July 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars An album often seen as ripe for deconstruction, the truth is that whether a comment on 70's western culture, schizophrenia or an alternate 'Alice in Wonderland', 'The Lamb' never fails to intrigue and amaze. From the easily accessible title track and 'Back in NYC' through the sublime 'The Lamia', 'The Carpet Crawlers' and 'The Colony of Slippermen' and on to the experimental improvisation of 'The Waiting Room' 'The Lamb' is a true classic.

Fusing (70's) cutting edge technology, exquisite Mellotron and complex classically tinged arrangements this was the high point of Genesis' creativity. If you are a fan of the bands more recent material then this album probably isn't for you. Peter Gabriel left shortly after they toured with it because the other menbers felt that the theatrical concepts were getting in the way of the music.

If you wanted to dive in at the deep end of creativity then i would recommend side 4 in it's entirety.

For true breathtaking originality and amazing concepts, there is no better album than this.

Report this review (#231423)
Posted Thursday, August 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars "you gotta get in, to get out"

This album is a masterpiece! Extremely Essential! The concept, the lyrics, the music, the emotion put into it, especially Peter, are all simply amazing. This is the greatest concept album of all time. The thought and story behind it (the concept) is crazy-mind-blowing. I like crazy stuff like this, its like art, I love it, so naturally, I was floored when I heard it, when I read the story in the liner notes, everything.

In short, the album is about Rael, a guy searching for a missing part of himself, though not always knowing it. I swear, after listening countless times, there are moments when I think I'm Rael, Rael is me, I can relate to him so much.

The first disc, sides 1 and 2, are FLAWLESS! The music is amazing, the songs are put together perfectly, they're all great. Back In NYC and Carpet Crawlers are all always favorites, another of mine is Chamber of 32 doors, that song reminds me of my life sometimes, crazy I know, but true.

The second disc, sides 3 and 4, are not flawless, but they're very good. There is some filler, some parts that get boring, but still good. I really like The Lamia. I like double albums, so I never say "oh, it should've been cut down to one disc...." like I here some say, (about The Wall usually as well) but defiantly not here with The Lamb.

I am also in agreement that this is a GREAT album for newcomers to prog or Genesis.

"find a door, that doesn't lead me back again - take me away"

Report this review (#232170)
Posted Tuesday, August 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is definitly a great album. Every song on volume one of this album is memorable and great. It contained such great songs as "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway", "Cuckoo Cocoon", "In The Cage" "The Great Parade Of Lifeless Packaging", "Back In NYC", "Counting Out Time", and "The Carpet Crawlers". Unfortunatly the second volume wasn't nearly as good. It was still good, but it also dragged a little too. I give volume one five stars and volume two three stars.

So, I guess you figure out that it sums out to be a 4/5.. A true masterpiece it is not, but yet a great album and the end of an era....


Report this review (#238765)
Posted Saturday, September 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Hi There,

This is my first review in this wonderful website.

I decided to write about The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway first for many reasons. I was crazy Yes fanatic at the time when I discovered this album and it changed my way at looking at progressive music.

I think the biggest difference about Genesis and Yes is the story telling in their compositions. Yes, being very intricate in the musical aspect , they (and I'm sorry to offend anyone) lacked in lyrical content. This is where Genesis and this album step in. Peter Gabriel narrates the story of Rael in such a way you can actually feel the character and the environment he is in.

I don't want to describe each track of the album. I'm sure most of the people in this website know what the story is about. The amazing thing about the story is that is open to interpretation. I've read different version of what people think it means. and how it makes them feel. It is a shame that this is Peter Gabriel's last album with Genesis.

I hope this album gets rediscovered by many generations to come and to move them in the way it moved me.


Report this review (#239310)
Posted Monday, September 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars "The Lamb" is in many ways the ultimate progressive rock concept album, for both good and bad. To the good, it is 94 minutes of sheer escapism from the hurly-burly of 1974 life, helped along by a few landmark tracks. On the downside, it begets a tumultuous disarray all its own, and features more than a typical double album's share of filler. More problematically still, on the one hand I can think of no earlier "neo prog" album, with its emphasis on wordiness at the expense of group dynamics, while on the other hand some of the songs sound like blueprints for some of Genesis' most monumental transgressions that were to reappear many albums later.

The main melodic themes are introduced in the surprisingly conventional title cut, which succeeds because of their sheer strength. Other classics are the mellotronic "Fly on a Windshield", the suspenseful "In the Cage", and two of Genesis' most beautiful ballads - "Carpet Crawlers" and "Lamia", the latter including one of Hackett's best outros. Vocally, these flatter Peter Gabriel, but elsewhere, his pipes and effects flood the proceedings, such as in the lame pop of "Counting Out Time", the developmentally challenged "Back in N.Y.C." and "Colony of Slippermen", all of which bring back the screeching styles and ropey wordplay of "Battle of Epping Forest". Cuts like these seem to rely on one or two impressive organ pumps to carry the day, but they just aren't enough for me. Elliptical references aside, "Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging" and "Lylywhite Lilith" could easily pass for mid 1980s Genesis, nuff said.

Of the instrumentals, the best are "Hairless Heart" and "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats", which actually sound good on their own as well as providing an atmospheric bridge between cuts, or an opportunity to change costumes as the case may be. A generally ambitious yet wildly uneven album, the Lamb was PG run amok over Genesis, which helps explain why the group was able to find its bearings shortly thereafter and why Gabriel's early solo career was so inconsistent. A delectable repast for prog purists, "The lamb" is a trifle woolly for my tastes. 2.5 stars rounded up.

Report this review (#244370)
Posted Monday, October 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Deciding how good this album is probably depends heavily on what you are expecting to get from it. If you are interested in taking a long, strange journey (and I must emphasize "long") that ends up leaving you cold and lifeless (except with a brief positive closing), the Lamb would be a good choice.

If you're primarily seeking interesting, powerful, and integrated music--as I typically am--then the Lamb, at least in its entirety, will leave you unsatisfied every time.

This may be the album I have struggled to rate the most of any I have yet encountered. Here's my basic take: the Lamb starts out (through the end of In the Cage) intense, powerful, and with each of the members of Genesis complimenting each other as only they could. Collins does a wonderful job with keeping the mood intense yet varied, with Banks essentially joining him on the rhythm section. Gabriel's lyrics and delivery also are quite strong here. I usually find his contributions to be uneven, but certainly has a creative turn of mind and an innovative syncopated delivery that can really be powerful when added on top of great music. To me, this is truly a group effort.

After this point, there's much more relatively boring ambiance (i.e., Silent Sorrow), flat-out weirdness (Slippermen) or straightforward pop (Back in NYC). Of course there are moments of musical bliss, such as the majestic closing to the Lamia, but Genesis sure use up most of my patience to get there. I find most of the story fairly ridiculous, though I admit it's largely a personal, subjective opinion. Unfortunately, the music increasingly exists to support the story, and largely does not remain interesting if one is not buying into the storyline.

Of course, there are numerous highlights, such as the dramatic Anyway, the catchy Supernatural Anesthetist, the thankfully energetic closer It, and Lilywhite Lilith, which nicely revisits the catchy Fly on a Windshield closing rhythm/melody. Pair these with In the Cage and the title track, and I've got half an hour of great music, which is more than enough for me.

No offense meant to those who adore this album in its entirety--we're just speaking a different language and will have to leave things at that. In my opinion, this is just another in a long line of double albums that should have been one (i.e., the Wall, Topographic Oceans, etc.). Some truly unique and memorable music, lyrics, performances, and melodies, but no masterpiece here.

Report this review (#244615)
Posted Wednesday, October 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Ah, the Lamb Lies Down of Broadway. To some, it's the magnum opus of Genesis, the ultimate culmination of everything they have done up to this point, and to others, it's too indulgent and pretentious. My opinion lies somewhere in the middle. There are some very nice songs to be seen here- In the Cage and the title track some to mind: the former being a lot like all the great 7-9 minute songs before it, which are my favorites of Genesis; songs like The Knife, Return of the Giant Hogweed, and Dancing with the Moonlit Knight: and the latter being a very cathcy, accessible, yet ever so proggy song. The album's music is very high quality, and I don't have much to say about it. However, this album is simply too much for me, being 90 minutes long. Plus, the fourth side leaves something to be desired in my opinion- I understand that Genesis is art-rock and all that, but Ravine is just two minutes of windy noises- seriously? Anyway, three stars- good, but not great.
Report this review (#247734)
Posted Sunday, November 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars I got it from a friends mom and she told me i should listen to it but it would probably be to weird for me, on the contrary. It is to this day my favorite album ever. My favorite thing about the album is that it actually has its own personality, it will go from silly to somber and trippy to catchy, crazy, adventurous etc.... There really are not that many adjectives that dont fit this album.

The lamb does infact intrap you, pulled in by the title tracks feel good bass riff and foreshadowing nature, you feel like your whole body has been covered in a blanket as soon as gabriel sings "the dust settles on my skin making a crust i can not move in" in "Fly on a winshield". and from that moment on your stuck in peter"s dream land which i highly advice. Perhaps not the best concept, surely one of the best concept albums

Report this review (#248073)
Posted Wednesday, November 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This is probably the essential Genesis album to own, if you are only going to own one Genesis album. The band must have known about Peter Gabriel's impending departure after this album, as they appear to be playing with a fire that they never showed on their previous recordings. The songwriting is mostly sharp, and even Tony Banks plays some actually interesting solos.

Standout tracks are the title song, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, In The Cage, and Lillywhite Lilith. All three of these songs are among my favorites from this band. Unfortunately, the album starts to drag shortly into the second disk (or third LP side, if you have the vinyl version). The airy sound effects, and lighter songs are something of a letdown after the spectacular first half.

3.5 stars, rounded up.

Report this review (#255656)
Posted Friday, December 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars With 500 reviews of this album, my own review is a johnny-come-lately to this party. But I am still putting down 200 words of my own impression of this album because I have been listening a lot to it. I refer you to other reviews for a minute by minute in debt review of this album.

This concept album is the concept album all new concept albums are judged up against. Just ask Spock's Beard. The reviews of their Snow concept album contained a lot of references to The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. Classic Rock magazine devoted one full magazine to this The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. So this album is as important as The Beatles's Sgt Peppers album. To be able to understand symphonic prog, you simply need this album. So, how was it for me ?

I regard it as a brilliant listening experience. But it also has it's flaws. The flaws are some pieces of music that simply does not work for me. But the title track, The Carpet Crawlers and The Lights Dies Down On Broadway is excellent. That also goes for some other pieces of music in the long concept tracks. This album has it's flaws, but they are overshadowed by some fantastic pieces of music.

.........I am reading the rating system here......... Due to it's historic significance, it's role as a the standard all other concept albums are judged against and 90 % of this album containing some excellent pieces of music; I feel I have no other choice of giving it five stars. In 30 years time, I guess I will still give it five stars. The pop up warning is coming, but my conscience is as clean as a virgin in a monastery. Five stars it is.

5 stars

Report this review (#260793)
Posted Thursday, January 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Is Selling England a 5 star album? Maybe, perhaps 4. Is either 'side' of The Lamb as good as Selling England? No Do I like Geness? Yes, very much from from Selling England to ATTW3.

Disc 1 is the weaker of the two. Standout tracks are Fly On A Windshield, Hairless Heart. The rest is average to poor. I find it all rather commercial sounding. 2 stars for disc 1.

Disc 2 is much much better. Standout tracks are: 1. Lilywhite Lilith 3. Anyway 4. The Supernatural Anaesthetist 5. The Lamia 6. Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats 7. Colony of Slippermen 8. Ravine 10. Riding The Scree

But what on earth were they thinking with the Waiting Room? 5 minutes of random noise! 4 stars for disc 2.

So this album does some have Genesis' best material ever, but there is also alot of padding. This would have made a 5 star album if edited down to 45 - 50 minutes.

For a much better example of a double concept album with greater consistency, take a listen to IS's Subterranea. Different eras I admit and Gabriel is the superior vocalist.

As a double album 3 stars For the amount of great material compared to a single album 4 stars

Report this review (#260800)
Posted Thursday, January 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The first Gabriel solo album

And in that context, the best Gabriel solo album as it avoids excessive dance tendencies and world music nonsense. Plus it was his best backing band. Obviously I'm joking a bit but you really can hear for the first time on this Genesis album the future artist Peter Gabriel breaking free from the boys he grew up with. You can hear moments that sound like his early solo albums, though the results are much better here, as early Gabriel solo records were pretty iffy affairs. Reading the words of the band members themselves it is pretty clear that the wheels were coming off the wagon.

"Something changed in the mood between Selling England and Lamb" (Hackett)

"The Lamb was at times a particularly miserable experience." (Collins)

"Of all my time in Genesis, my least favorite period was the writing of The Lamb." (Banks)

Gabriel's wife was having a difficult pregnancy, he was entertaining side projects which was angering the others, members were getting married and divorced, and the pressures of the group were escalating. In a tacky hotel room in Cleveland Ohio, Peter announced he was leaving the band after the completion of the current dates. So given the turbulence running through every layer of the band and creative process it is not surprising the final Gabriel era album is controversial, their own "Topographic Oceans" in some ways. It's a great album but falls just short of masterpiece status in my view.

I'll be brief. It is one of those grandiose epic progressive rock feasts that takes many plays over time to truly appreciate, and while far from my favorite Genesis album I have come to appreciate many parts of it. But to be a masterpiece an album of this length really needs to inspire me on the basis of the music because frankly the overblown lyrical themes are not enough. Topographic blew me away because the music was so phenomenally deep and mysterious but The Lamb can struggle with inconsistency. Had they opted to condense the best material to a single disc I believe it would be another masterpiece but here the killer quotient is just too diluted. Nice melodies emerge from tracks like "Carpet Crawlers", "Lilywhite Lilith," and "The Lamia" and occasionally Banks and Hackett deliver scrumptious lead work. I love a good long, meandering double album for the secrets that they bear out over time. Despite my mixed feelings of some tracks The Lamb is easily a must album for fans of Genesis and also of Gabriel solo. In fact Gabriel fans sampling Genesis for the first time should probably start here. As cool as it is, I believe the execution dropped a bit from the previous album, the masterpiece Selling England, and thus can only go 4 stars. Sometimes band conflict births absolute brilliance but not always. It almost worked here but there is some piece of the puzzle missing and I've not quite put my finger on it yet. Someday.

The version from the remastered box set sounds a bit flat to my ears, and the dreadful packaging of this version is just unforgivable. The discs slide in and out of stiff paper slots that virtually guarantee eventual scratching. When will they learn to stick with jewel cases in boxed sets and leave the paper sleeves to the professionals?

Report this review (#266654)
Posted Tuesday, February 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

The struggle between artistic freedom and music that makes sense...

There has been a lot of discussion about this album, some claim it to be one of the masterpieces of progressive rock, others say it's the freefall of one of their beloved bands. I would like to add my own on this debatable album.

The lamb lies down on Broadway is a double lp concept album based on a fictional story, which is based on a surrealistic world. The story has no logic, little emotional development and a real clue seems to be missing, though others might argue otherwise.

Genesis had reached a point of compositional quality on the Nursery Cryme album that would last for some years. The music was sophisticated, the instrumental passages important and the keyboard's used were a good representation of the classic prog sound with nice mellotrons and organs. This would change during the recording of this release. The image of Peter Gabriel had grown to be one of an all-important front man, this would eventually lead to him being the most important member on this album. The concept and lyrics were written by Gabriel and music seems to be the second on this album. Like the songs were loosely put together to strengthen the lyrical content, whilst loosing the strong compositional qualities of other members of the band. There's only functional songwriting on this album. This is the reason the album was seen as an artistic letdown at it's time of release.

Genesis used some new equipment on this album, resulting in the use of now dated electronic synthesizers with automatic loops (so it seems). The overuse of electronic equipment and the simplification of the compositions changed the sound of Genesis from a symphonic prog band to a modern pop group. Most songs have a pop vibe, albeit good pop. Some songs stand out as reasonable prog tracks. The cage is a motivated up-tempo progressive track with strong vocals and The Chamber of 32 Doors is a song that has some serious emotional value in it. The latter is my favorite album, it is also the most symphonic track.

The recording of the album is again horrible. Most tracks loose their value because of the blurred sound and the dull vocals and instruments. The guitar has lost it natural sound and the drums are as bad as only Phil Collins could record them (yes, I said Phil Collins is a horrible drummer!). Though Genesis had four years of experience since 1970, Trespass still remains their best sounding recording.

Conclusion. This will never be one of my favorite albums. It's an album with a concept, some great tracks, but to me it sounds like a failed idea. The qualities of the band aren't used, it's too long, it's recorded ugly and it's sounds like it was recorded in tremendous haste. A single album with all of the best ideas of this record would have got a four star rating, but this only get's a small three stars. The departure of Peter Gabriel seems to be a logical step, but it leaves us with a disjointed Genesis that would never reach the quality it had anymore. Those who can join into the artistic freedom thinking of Peter Gabriel could enjoy this album tremendously, those who expect a great symphonic prog album will be left with a big disillusion. Thee stars for me.

Report this review (#272386)
Posted Tuesday, March 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the most polished record Genesis did to that time. It is also very strong musically. That is one thing about the band. They don't make junk. Peter Gabriel is again strong and visual. Steve Hackett is right there with the guitar, playing great stuff! Tony banks is also making terrific melodies. Mike Rutherford is always in the pocket and Phil Collins bangs well!

I won't go into every song, but there are some standouts. My first pick is "The Waiting Room," by Steve Hackett. It is an experimental showcase. It alone is worth the price of the record. Very well done. Another fave is "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging." Gabriel and company are having a boatload of fun here and it is brilliant. Also, "Colony of Slippermen" is interesting and long.

"Cuckoo Cocoon" is simply a beautiful piece of music. Then there is "In the Rapids," which begins to reprise what went before. The listener will not be disappointed with this release, if they like other Genesis records.

With that said, I really didn't like "The Lamb" as much as I did their previous albums. I just didn't find it as interesting as what they did before. If I could write it in one sentence, I would say, ''There is too much concept and not enough connection idea wise." I didn't identify with the main character that much, "Rael" I believe is his name, and I didn't care about his dilema. It didn't stand out for me like was intended. It is good, but not essential. I can only give it 4 stars for the standouts. At any rate, it is still a good outing for Genesis.

Report this review (#275969)
Posted Friday, April 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars Weird child loved by some, hated by others, of certain quality, but not shouting appeal. Not as famous as Selling England By the Pound, but for sure better than what will be coming after this album. Last legendary album with Peter Gabriel, however, dull experience for other members. Album page full of tongue-in-cheek & pun titles in collaborators reviews and quite best seller here on PA.

That's ToLLaDeOB.

Except first, title track, this record is rather strange, because there's no other strong track that would attract me. But there's worse thing that bugs me - I don't sense much emotions from these tracks, like life itself was drain from it leaving just cold, emotionless corpse. Perfect, nice and maybe beautiful for some, but fading quickly. However, I understand that there is some kind of concept (and I like concepts), there is also strong Prog element, tracks here are far from being simple and weak, they are strong and complex, but not strong in power impact they are making.

I'm sure it will appeal to many people and that there are and will be fans of this album. Maybe it will be masterpiece for some, Genesis best work, but I'm rather hesitating here, because of mentioned reasons.

However, towards the CD2, situation is getting better, songs are more positive and interesting. I wonder if this is intention. If so, it's good, but anyway, it could have been done differently.

If there is something this album may present as big advantage, it's how rich in themes it is. In these songs, you'll find everything.

4(-), both disappointed and surprised. Weird combination this album creates.

Report this review (#279317)
Posted Sunday, April 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a progressive rock double album from 1974 but unlike "Tales from topographic oceans" (which is actually considerably shorter than this), "The lamb lies down on broadway" doesn't feel like a double album. It's quite easy to sit down and listen to this album whole... and be captivated all the way (Just as a side, is it possible to be subjective and objective at the same time?)

When reviewing double albums phrases like "If it had only been a single album" and "If they'd left this, this and this out..." but not with THE LAMB! Now granted, not every song is a winner, but finding weak points is a difficult task.

The music is very colourful. It's actually very accessible and yet it breaks so much ground. Peter Gabriel wrote a very 'imaginative' tale about a young man called Rael and what is basically an Alice in Wonderland style fantasy, only darker. Some may claim that this suppresses the instrumentalists, but in fact trying to capture this bizarre story pushes Tony Banks, Steve Hackett and others to new limits. The music is mainly based around coourful (if not fanciful) tones and a real science fiction sound in the music. Peter Gabiel's vocals somehow fit into it, though actually as far as the vocals go this album is not too bad.

The thing I love most about this album is that though it is highly ambitious prog, it's full of hooks and is quite catchy. Although the lyrics seem obtuse, sometimes they can go to the heart of the simplest of listeners. Behind all the flashy techincal-tronix are memorable riffs and a touching tale about two brothers, and one eventually sacrifices himself to save the other.

Although not quite 5 stars, I would rate it 4.5 and so I might as well pile it upwards, because it's hard to deliver a double album, especially a double album, of this quality.

Report this review (#282710)
Posted Wednesday, May 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars A vastly overlong monotonous Peter Gabriel monologue. I'm not surprised Gabriel left after this. The rest of the band must have been sick to the back teeth of him dominating proceedings for the 94 minute duration of this double album.

Gone is the playfulness and Englishness of 'Selling England...' - this is 'vocal heavy' from the outset and really doesn't let up until the end.

I'm afraid I find 'The Lamb' extremely tedious and the cryptic lyrics don't really improve matters either. There's no frame of reference, no story, so it's hard to remain involved, especially over such a lengthy recording. Some bloke named "Rael' descending into the New York subway in an attempt to rescue his brother John and subsequently meeting strange creatures just ain't good enough. All future talk of 'Split personalities' as a way of explaining this album simply don't wash. It's pants. Pure and simple.

Now, if I was Peter Gabriel I'd be trying to sue Fish of Marillion into a black hole in space! I've never heard such blatant faced plagiarism in my life! At many points you could be excused for mistaking this for 'Script for a Jesters Tear' from '83.

On the plus side, the double tracking of Gabriel's vocals are occasionally interesting and there's one or two good instrumental keyboard parts around the three quarters mark (by which point I was too weary to take note of the track in question).

Anyone who thought Roger Waters had an all encompassing domination of Floyd ought to listen to this to truly discover the horrifying consequences of what dictatorial power in a band can wrought.

Report this review (#287520)
Posted Sunday, June 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars So we come to the Genesis double album, now obvously the first thing that would come to your mind is 'mann, thats a lot of Genesis for its own good' but of course is it any good? Well yes, actually, the only thing i have against this album really is there is a few filler sounding songs on here, that and its just too long. The obvous great songs include the title track THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY, the epic IN THE CAGE, BACK IN NYC and the singles COUNTING OUT TIME and THE CARPET fact the entire first cd is fantastic, its the second one that it kinda goes downhill for me. There are a few good songs on the second part but a lot of it was just in one ear out the other, like there was no real point for a lot of the album, all in all its not terrible...its just not that great either, but it is still Genesis;

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway - 10/10 Fly on a Windshield -7/10 Broadway Melody of 1974- 8/10 Cuckoo Cocoon - 7/10 In the Cage - 10/10 The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging - 7/10 Back in N.Y.C. - 9/10 Hairless Heart - 7/10 Counting Out Time - 10/10 The Carpet Crawlers - 10/10 The Chamber of 32 Doors - 8/10

Lillywhite Lilith - 8/10 The Waiting Room - 8/10 Anyway - 7/10 The Supernatural Anaesthetist - 7/10 The Lamia - 6/10 Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats - 7/10 Colony of Slippermen - 8/10 Ravine - 7/10 The Light Dies Down on Broadway - 6/10 Riding the Scree - 7/10 In the Rapids - 7/10 It - 7/10

MY CONCLUSION? its not a bad album, on the other hand its (in my opinion) Gabriel's worst album with the band, very overated but still a decent buy..

Report this review (#289698)
Posted Thursday, July 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars In my opinion not Genesis' strongest effort. Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot and Selling England by the Pound are all 5 star albums in my book, but I do not think this one measures up. I've always felt that Genesis' strongest attribute was their ability to write extremely strong individual songs- The Musical Box, The Cinema Show, Dancing with the Moonlit Knight and of course Supper's Ready; even shorter songs like Harold the Barrel were incredibly powerful and musically dense.

Sadly, nothing here is quite as good. While the album as a whole is more musically ambitious than anything Genesis had done up until this point, the sum of the parts just do not add up to create anything as powerful as their previous three albums. I won't do a track by track, because the album is best listened to as a whole, but I will point out some standout tracks:

The Carpet Crawlers: Very beautiful, surreal, sedate track. The melodies and overall atmosphere are just incredibly powerful.

The Chamber of 32 Doors: Great closer for the first disk. Fantastic lyrics and a great chorus.

The Lamia: Easily my favorite track on the album. Changing motif many times, this song contains some of the most gorgeous melodies and harmonies on the entire album. Wonderfully atmospheric, hugely dramatic and containing some of the best lyrical imagery in any song ever.

The Light Dies Down on Broadway: A fairly simple song, but a very good one. A pseudo-reprise of the opening track as well as some themes from the Lamia, this song provides a lot of emotion and some really top-notch singing by Gabriel.

Recommended, but know that this is a very different sounding album from Genesis' previous three. Lots of shorter songs; there are a lot of really good ideas but not a lot of elaboration. A more difficult listen than Genesis' other work but definitely worth hearing.

Report this review (#290364)
Posted Wednesday, July 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Why New York City? Why Broadway? I suppose the Big Apple of the early to mid-seventies has come to exemplify a certain collective, earthly consciousness now apparent in the vehicle we call the Internet. After all, that British expatriate John had chosen with Yoko to make Manhattan his home. On the album Rubber Soul, John encourages us "to say the word, and be free; say the word, and be like me." As we all know, this Manhattan of the seventies would become the final cauldron within which Lennon expressed his reception of the word. Similarly, in The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Genesis and Peter Gabriel utilize the setting of America's preeminent city to flesh out their rendition of the word.

The ever-questing consciousness of the imaginative center or narrator of this work might simply be defined as Gabriel's mind's eye. For this occasion, Gabriel has chosen a New York resident of Puerto Rican background with a predilection for subway graffiti to serve as his hero. Yet, throughout the album as we peel away the various layers of the narrator's "selfhood," we arrive within an internalized quest of Gabriel's imagination known as Rael. (I would like to refer especially to Professor Harold Bloom's essay, "The Internalization of Quest-Romance," which, courtesy of the vehicle the Internet, is easily available to all.) True to any inward exploration, the listener (and, indeed, the reviewer) should abandon linear notions of time and narrative and look for the reality of simultaneity and totality:

All this takes place without a single sunset, without a single bell ringing and without a single blossom falling from the sky. Yet it fills everything with its mysterious intoxicating presence. It's over to you.

Giving the substance to this peculiar tale from Gabriel's mind's eye, Rael's selfhood is a labyrinth:

It's the bottom of a staircase that spirals out of sight.

Musically and lyrically, the first "side" of The Lamb delivers a great segue of observational powers tied to the milieu of the seventies, which opens up to the mythic underpinnings that constitute Rael's quest. As I continue to listen to this album, I find the passage from the opening track to "Fly on a Windshield," to "Broadway Medley of 1974," to "Cuckoo Cocoon," to "In the Cage" to be one of the most convincing passages in the genre of progressive rock. Most notably, Steve Hackett delivers a clandestinely authoritative guitar solo in "Fly on a Windshield" counterbalanced by Tony Banks' formidable synthesizer solo in "In the Cage." And who hovers "like a fly waiting for the windshield on the freeway?" Well, ultimately, we all exist under the shadow of death, but, here, peeling away the layers, we find Gabriel's mind's eye. Consciousness of death ultimately informs the various levels of Rael's labyrinthine journeys:

There's something solid forming in the air, The wall of death is lowered in Times Square. . . . Anyway, they say she comes on a pale horse, But I'm sure I hear a train.

In the genre of the quest-romance, the hero leaves the safety of the castle, engages in a perilous journey through a wilderness, faces down some sort of monster, and perhaps returns to the safety of the castle somehow transformed. In this connection, for example, I'd like to refer to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and George Lucas' Star Wars. These are overtly external quests. In the poetry of Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats, the quest has become "internalized." Monsters such as the Green Knight or, say, Tolkien's Ringwraiths now inhabit the maze of selfhood. The work of Freud may largely be only a historical footnote to modern psychology, but Freud's insights on the sacrifices made by the human animal to live within the norms of civilization show up nicely in whatever transmission of events occurs in The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway: the primacy of sexuality occurs in "Counting out Time," "Lilywhite Lilith," " The Lamia," "The Colony of Slippermen"; the continuing background of death is laid bare throughout the album: "Fly on a Windshield," "Cuckoo Cocoon," "Anyway," "The Supernatural Anesthetist," and "It." Woody Allen wasn't the only one musing on love and death in the seventies (what Freud calls Eros and Thanatos in his Civilization and Its Discontents.)

So, Rael the graffiti artist and the core imagination behind him are very discontent within the boundaries of civilization:

You're sitting in your comfort you don't believe I'm real, You cannot buy protection from the way that I feel.

Foremost, graffiti artists are protestors, and Rael "rails" against all of the compromises required of one to live within our "civilized" confines. In, Civilization and Its Discontents, Freud argues that science (powerful deflections), art (substitutive satisfactions), and intoxicants represent some of humankind's ways of making the compromises collective life requires. Perhaps this album is one confessional, imaginative gesture on Genesis and Gabriel's part not only to lay bare the human condition, but also to suggest an artistic means of embracing our discontent.

Meanwhile from out of the steam a lamb lies down. This lamb has nothing whatsoever to do with Rael, or any other lamb -- it just lies down on Broadway.

Temporarily "setting aside" the great Judeo-Christian symbol of the Lamb, there is one sacrifice evident throughout this album: the revelation of the internal quest of the imagination of the "the narrator." The true sacrifice occurs as Gabriel's mind's eye confronts all of the compromises we make with Freud's great powers of Eros and Thanatos in our need to share a collective life with our fellow humans. Rael is one mask of sacrifice to be worn for this occasion. I think "the answer" lies in the salvific powers of narrating one's internal quest.

So what then could be the reality of simultaneity and totality? Is this a vision of a timeless, ubiquitous reality that, through the imagination, delivers listeners to the word to transcendence? Or is it the peak of human creativity, reflecting the human capacity for self- awareness, the result of an evolutionary process in a universe that just happens to be there? Whatever "the answer" might be, I'd like to return to the image of John Lennon at his piano in Manhattan and to Peter Gabriel and Genesis' peculiar tale of an internal quest as working "models" towards just such a provisional answer.

As a postscript for the year of 2010, we might suggest that "The Lamb Lies Down" via the Internet.

Report this review (#293748)
Posted Sunday, August 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars The swansong for Peter and the rest of the band. While I do understand the ambitious nature of this project, I have never really been a huge fan of THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY. There are some great, powerful tunes here, but some just feels like filler ("The Waiting Room", "Silent Sorrow"). I think if this double album had been pared down to the best songs on one record, it would have been awesome, with or without a coherent story, which is confusing even on a double album. I own the newer CD version, and the sound is still less than great. Sometimes, it is even muddled or "blurred". I can only give this 3 stars. I much prefer TRICK OF THE TAIL, NURSERY CRYME, or SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND.
Report this review (#301192)
Posted Thursday, September 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Maybe this is my favourite Genesis album of all (but it depends I guess). It's an album wich ws giving a new direction to the band while making a summary of their career up to then. There's everything there for a Genesis lover: great rock songs, great ballads, intensity, incredible lyrics, a good storyboard and a finishing song that looks a bit like a japanese anime credit song. There's great material to be perform live (even if we don't have any official DVD of the shows). Peter Gabriel sings his soul out of him in this album. I really enjoyed it.

I think that it's a great start for someone willing to start listening to Genesis.

Report this review (#301546)
Posted Saturday, October 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars Review #536

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and Gabriel takes a final bow

Genesis was in turmoil during the making of this album. It took me a long time to really appreciate this huge concept album from Gabriel era Genesis. It was to be the last time Gabriel would front the band as he was off to greener pastures on a solo career that was not surprisingly successful. He quit Genesis as he was disheartened by the band members, attitudes were at bay and tempers did fray, so this is an emotional album with turmoil driving it at the centre of its black heart. The music pumped life into the band and the concept was inspirational. However the patient on the table was about to draw his last breath. The operation was a success but the patient died.

At first listen I was confused as to what the band were trying to achieve on this. The songs often run together and it runs out of steam towards the end. The vocals are abrasive and aggressive, especially towards the middle of the album. The band seem lost in the overblown concept and it is indeed the most ambitious overbearing album of the Genesis catalogue. Aside from all this the album tends to grow on you like fungus on the lemon tree.

I am not as big a fan of this as others here and part of the album is deliriously tedious for me, marring a masterpiece status. A studio double album is ambitious and Genesis perhaps bit off more than they could chew here. It was akin to Yes' "Tales of Topographic Oceans" in scale. Overlong, bombastic and conceptually heavy. However, somehow this has become an icon of the band and indeed prog in general.

The bildungsroman of self discovery and personal growth of Rael is as much a part of Gabriel's history as anything he put his hand to post Genesis. Peter Gabriel relinquished the fox head in red dress, and concentrated on the slipperman and the forlorn character of Rael on this double album treat. The rock opera is unforgettable, many critics hailing it as the masterpiece of 1974. The double vinyl album is now a double CD and sounds glorious by any standards. The plot is a conglomeration of Gabriel's fantasies and the life story that is laced by hallucinogenics of a Puerto Rican tramp known as Rael and we hear slices of experiences that may be real or simply figments of Rael's stoned mind. Nevertheless the music is the last great prog opera for Genesis.

The lyrics are concentrically focussed on Rael's delusional state of mind that is warped with apparitions of stumbling tramps, cocoons, cages and caverns. There are a myriad of characters caught up in the lunacy including anaesthesists, colonies of slippermen, Greek mythological figures and a plethora of quotes from poets, authors and musical composers. At first listen it may seem all too much and perhaps a tad pretentious, but it soon grows on you and you may grow to love this album. I could never love it as it is simply too sporadically weird and does not gel with my musical tastes, however I can see the appeal. In its day the album must have knocked every artist off their perch as there was nothing like it. And oh, how influential this album has become over the years.

The album cover with subjects jumping out of their paintings and escaping the canvas entrapment is iconic. There are songs from this that have become part of Genesis and prog folklore; they are easy to locate amidst the massive running time: The highlight of the entire album is undoubtedly In The Cage, and it has been surpassed in greatness on the live DVD "Genesis In Rome" complete with animated running man in a cage. The music is incredible here, especially Banks on stunning synth staccatos, with powerful melodies that rise to the heavens. Carpet Crawlers is a definitive track that mauled the charts for some time till it faded as a memory. The song is sheer beauty and an emotionally charged treasure. The Colony of Slipperman is simply quintessential to Genesis and masterful. One can never forget the power of grandeur of In The Cage but there also shining moments such as The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway with its great melody that is easy to listen to.

These are individual gems, however when taken as a whole concept the album presents some concerns, the main one being, what the blazes is this album trying to say? Is it trying to convey the dangers of losing one's mind, or is it one huge analogy of how to cope in a cruel world? Rael seems to wake up in a cage where he soon comes face to face with the carpet crawlers, supernatural anaesthetists and the Slippermen. The events that happen to Rael are superseded by anxiety and confusion, enhanced by confusing alienating lyrics, but it is safe to assume that Rael the protagonist goes through a living torturous hell, getting castrated, and later encountering his brother John who topples over imaginary rapids but he is chased by Rael and ultimately saved from certain death. If all that confuses you the final twist is found in the last track It. You need not speculate what 'It' is, because it is left open for interpretation, and may be anything from sex to beliefs.

I think the real power of the album lies in its compelling structure and storyline. Gabriel is on fire and at his sardonic best on this as the character of Rael, a cyber punk anarchist with a cause. Collins, Banks, Hackett and Rutherford are there somewhere in the distance behind this megolomaniac protagonist in his plastic cinematographic landscape. The domination of Gabriel is almost astonishingly criminal but there is no getting away from the scintillating keyboards of Banks, brilliant at times, and the rhythm machine of bass and drums extraordinaire, Rutherford and Collins. Hackett is a phenomenon on lead guitars as always, and he absolutely sparkles on this album. Time sig changes on In The Cage are innovative and one of the great examples of how to do it right as part of an overall theme rather than just switching tempos for the sake of it.

There are segues and transitions to songs by short pieces such as Broadway Melody of 1974, to prepare us for the majesty of Cuckoo Cocoon. Hackett features on arpeggios and scales making his guitar soar and the return of Gabriel's flute is a sheer delight. It was almost a farewell to the past, as the flute rarely troubled his solo albums.

The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging is one of the avante garde Genesis romps and it will not appeal to everyone for this reason. It is as far removed from the commercialism of the "Invisible Touch" period of the band, that would plague their creativity, as an alien is from the planet earth.The esoteric soundscape is surreal and it even features vocals that belch; perhaps in a cynical fashion Eno wrote this to create an experimental atypical track that would stand out among the rest. He succeeded.

There is a nihilistic foreboding cynicism in Gabriel on Back In NYC. Bank's keyboards have a massive sound that manages to dominate even over Gabriel's egotism. The character of Rael screeches with utter contempt: "This is your mess I'm stuck in, I really don't belong" and we tend to believe him here. He is a fearsome street punk who takes no prisoners; nobody would dare to step in his way. That would all change. The mellotron swirls and sparkles on Hairless Heart, a sumptuous instrumental where Hackett shows his chops on axe. He drives his guitar headlong with spacey flourishes, a tablature to die for, perhaps an underrated classic for Hackett's virtuoso prowess.

Gabriel becomes even more desperate as the album progresses and by the time we get past the prog ballad Carpet Crawlers to The Chamber of 32 Doors, Rael has become a figure of desolation and despair. The Mellotron cries out as Gabriel's Rael pleads for redemption.

So endeth Act 1 and we then move to the second Act on CD2. This CD is where it begins to drag for me, though there are still moments of glory.

Lilywhite Lilith begins it well with beautiful melodies and energetic flow. The optimist declares the best of all possible worlds, and while the pessimist fears this is so, Rael shines with hope for a future at this stage in the game.

The Waiting Room brings things down considerably, with its surreal structure it is as difficult to grasp as Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The mystique of the track renders it some power like The Beatles Revolution 9, but the hyper strangeness makes it inaccessible and one to skip. At first it is chilling and then after subsequent listens it is downright annoying. In context the piece works as a nightmare for Rael's decline into damnation. It was recorded in pitch dark and sounds it. Perhaps the band could not find inspiration with the lights on but I believe the band really lost their way on this without a torch to guide them, and it can never be justified. One listen is certainly enough.

Anyway is next, and is an accessible piece after the last experimental mental collapse of the last track. It is subdued and peaceful with gentle calm guitars and arpeggiated piano. The lyrics are cryptic but generate visual dioramas of the protagonist's plight. There is a wonderful melodic line and simplicity behind the stark arrangement. "And it's good morning Rael".

The Supernatural Anaesthetist has a brief bizarre diatribe of unintelligible lyrics by Collins and Gabriel and then Hackett launches into space and just plays. The piece is supposed to denote the impact of death or it could be the impact of drugs, who knows?

The Lamia is one of the more memorable tunes with anguished sexualised lyrics and symbolism that are open to interpretation. There are portamento synth lines from Banks permeating the atmosphere. The story line goes into dark territory here are as Rael devours his lovers after an orgy.

Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats is really a transition piece to the next big track, which is the hyper weird surrealism of The Colony of Slippermen. There are estranged jungle noises until the sudden detour into symphonic prog heralded by Banks keyboards and a quote from William Wordsworth; classic poet of the century. The sitar makes an appearance generating an Eastern flavour. The slipperman appears on stage as a distorted fiendish globular creature and Gabriel's monstrous growl gives it chilling substance.

The story line becomes a dream tale of no logic whatsoever at this point and you have to give up and allow it to wash over you as nothing congeals: Rael and his brother John, who is disfigured by VD, give themselves over to a ritual castration performed by a surgeon. Somehow the eventual destination of their genitalia winds up in the beak of a 'Phallus hoarding Magpie' who proceeds to carry away their genitalia in its beak. The pursuit is on for the Thieving Magpie and we wind up in the ravine.

Ravine is another throwaway short track that blows the dust out of an oscillator. The Light Dies Down on Broadway brings us back to the original theme and it's a relief to hear it after all the strange going-ons. The album has lost its way here but the reprise of the familiar is so needed at this point.

Riding the Scree is a Banks blaster, where he is allowed to hook into a groove that cruises along at a quick pace. The vocals are as unconventional as ever at the end of this but after a lengthy keyboard solo they feel forced and pasted on in order to continue the main storyline. No doubt this was an instrumental that Gabriel decided to utilise as part of the concept at the last minute.

In the Rapids brings the album to its eventual conclusion and as such should have been a showstopper. Alas, it is anything but. Rael eventually leaps to his death to save his disloyal brother. Is he a hero for doing this? It is such a hackneyed method to end this story that it almost feels like a hurried afterthought. What will we do with this Rael? Oh, let's have him jump to his death to save his brother. Oh yeah, that'll do. His brother is not even loyal having forsaken Rael on at least two occasions. At least the music is brilliant enough to carry this to a satisfying conclusion. So in terms of music it is satisfying, in terms of story it is a disappointment.

Next we have the oft discussed oddity enigmatically called It. Gabriel here is cynical and swipes at sexual gratification, and music journalists. "its only knock and know-all but I like it" is a direct swipe at The Rolling Stones. This is just Gabriel trying to be funny having recorded in the same studio as the Stones. Whether it works or not is open to conjecture but it is certainly a memorable ending to this magnum opus.

The allegory of a declining social structure with metaphorical allusions has been widely discussed by critics over the years and I can add to this speculation as to the meaning of the lyrics here in some form. The story is compelling and is replete with pop culture references and a saturation of symbolism. But what does it all mean? Here's my take on it. It was yet another busy night on Broadway in the big apple, New York City, where a lone figure made his way through the throng of faceless pedestrians and honking traffic. The street wise Puerto-Rican is a punk named Rael who is stopped dead in his tracks when he notices the disturbing image of a lamb slowly making its way towards him through the steamy city streets. As the bustling traffic roars headlong, incessantly moving in eternal perpetual motion, the lamb lies down. It is a surreal image that buries itself into Rael's subconscious. Why does it lie down? Is it dead? Is it tired of citylife? Is it escaping the chop? Where did it come from? Is it lost wagging its tail behind him? The lamb represents all the innocence of Rael that has somehow been purged by a hard life. It wanders lonely as a cloud and finds a place to finally rest amidst the mad rushing world. Rael too has been sheared of his innocence by the hard knocks of betrayal and survival instincts in an antagonistic society. While he is contemplating this a massive wall rises out of the ground and ascends upwards. It then blasts across Times Square and crushes and annihilates anything that gets in its way. The spectacle seems to occur unnoticed by the pedestrians but Rael is aghast as he witnesses this calamity with its devestating holocaustic cataclysm. Rael is swept up by the Wall and embarks on a cathartic journey of self- discovery. On this journey he encounters the fiends of his darker psyche, the slipperman, the Lamia and carpet crawlers, who devour his life that is ebbing towards self destruction. His past haunts him and transforms into personifications of a world where dreams and nightmares merge into a hyper reality. The sense of entrapment is strong and there seems to be no escape from this plagued society. The social structure becomes plastic and fake and reeking of commercial infestation. The putrefaction of modern living is seen as a Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging. The Waiting Room is the precursor to the dark past which will lead to the Supernatural Anaesthetist and The Colony Of Slippermen. Finally in an effort to save his brother who has been disloyal to Rael despite his undying love, Rael makes the ultimate sacrifice and jumps to his death in the ravine. His brother is redeemed from death and Rael is redeemed from a purposeless life. The moral? In order to find yourself you first must lose yourself, and then you are able to discover freedom from your cocoon. Rael was in a cage, a cuckoo cocoon of lost dreams, echoes of the past and wild imaginings of a dystopian world; a prisoner of his own imagination. To escape this diseased planet the beauty of his soul shone through when he saw his brother at the point of death. Jumping to certain death was his only means of salvation.

Well at least that's my take on this.

So in conclusion the flawed opus of Genesis works well on a number of levels. Philosophically; there is much to gain from a close inspection of the lyrics. Musically; there are masterful performances. Gabrielly; it may be among Peter's best work. Gabriel was like Rael on this album. He felt trapped by rock and roll excess and the drug culture. Like Macbeth, Gabriel felt cabined, cribbed, confined, bound by saucy doubts and fears, and he needed to escape. He did escape his cage and Genesis was never the same again. Genesis was set free from conceptual diatribes on modern society, and were able to rejuvenate into a money making machine. Some say they were better but that is open to argument. Nothing like this album was attempted again. Genesis were in the next phase of their evolution. Collins was about to make his presence felt in a way he could never have dreamed. The dawn of a new Genesis was about to take residence.

Report this review (#306094)
Posted Friday, October 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Perhaps one indisputable fact in relation to Peter Gabriel's Genesis is that each of their albums produced between 1970-1974 was different from one another. "Trespass" was calm and folk, "Nursery Crime" was dark and aggressive, "Foxtrot" was dreamy and epic, while "Selling England By Pound" was pastoral and highly symphonic.

This brings us to "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway", the swansong of Gabriel, his final act before leaving the Genesis.This album unlike anything the band had already done, as a blend: epic like "Foxtrot ", folk and pastoral as" SEBP "and" Trespass", but mostly dark as "Nursery Crime ", or maybe even more.

The concept is one of the most famous in rock history: the journey from Puerto Rican Rael (pun Gabriel) for the underworld in search of his missing brother ... or was it himself? What matters is that the letters of Peter are at its best, as if he was creative at the apex of the letters (there were people who thought it was real Rael).

While the letters please me, the music does not suit me. "The Lamb" is completely foreign to me: he was never one of my favorite albums of the band, but I can not give less than 5 sound is difficult for him and bizarre, with trials ever done before in his music represents the weakest point of the album, because I can not stand bull[&*!#] like "The waiting room", "Ravine" (being my most hated songs of Genesis for me ) or the introduction of "The Colony of Slippermen. " Importantly, the CD 1 is far superior to the CD 2.

Despite these criticisms, there are more positives than negatives.These here are the songs I like best:

Disc 1-The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, "" Fly on the Windshield, "" Broadway Melody of 74 "," In The Cage "," Hairless Heart, Counting out time, "" The Carpet Crawlers "and" The Chamber of 32 doors "

Disc 2 - "Lilywhite Lilith, " "Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetist", "The Colony of Slippermen, " "The Light Dies Down on Broadway", "Riding the scree, " "In the Rapids" and "It "

4,5 stars.One of the strangest and most bizarre masterpieces of progressive rock, but essential to hear

Report this review (#319913)
Posted Sunday, November 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Generally I am not a big fan of Genesis music, but this album is good, possibly even the best in my list. Yes, it's very ambitious, long and quite complex (as for them). But I see it as strong side of that release.

Two album's LPs are obviously very different between each other. First one contains shorter, more energetic, melodic songs,recorded under Peter Gabriel influence. Many name it first Gabriel's solo album. I think it still isn't, but for sure the band there does what they play best - melodic,intelligent art-pop and art-rock well structured composition. Peter Gabriel will leave the band after this release and will continue successfully that direction.

Second album's disc is much more experimental, mixing some very average instrumentals with great compositions. Even Brian Eno has put his fingers in that sound. Possibly, second part is more controversial, but it is quite good as well.

In all, album is too long, and I believe there were really enough excellent material for one disc. And I think such one disc instead of double album could be almost masterpiece one. But even double album is enough good and really is much more attractive for me comparing with their earlier classic a bit sleepy works. Yes, this album turned Genesis to their pop-career, but in my opinion they always were kind of art-pop/art-rock band, so they just corrected their course according to the time requirements.

My rating is 4, highest possible I can give to any Genesis album at all.

Report this review (#320106)
Posted Monday, November 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
5 stars This is one of those albums that requires a lot of time getting into, at least that's how it was for me!

Being a huge fan of all the Genesis albums up to this point, I guess that a fan tag is in order here, this time investment wasn't really a problem for me. Although I vividly remember one of my initial encounters where I felt completely exhausted somewhere around the end of side three and actually turned it off all together. What was it that fans saw in this album, I though for myself? The music was far from as good as any of the band's previous releases. Still I pushed on and once I started to explore the lyrical content, it all began to make sense!

So what was it that drew me into the underlying lyrical context of this work? After all, isn't it all just a drawn-out version of any other tunes sang Peter Gabriel? Yes, that's exactly what it is and the mere fact of it mesmerizes me completely! I remember being so influenced by this Gabriel lyrical masterpiece that I actually had somewhat of a midlife crisis, right around my 23rd birthday, when I realized that I would never be able to achieve anything as magnificent as the story of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway before I reach 24. That thought made me feel like I was under a lot of pressure all throughout 2009 and might actually have been the biggest contributing factor to me starting this review streak of a sort. If that's not enough of a motivation behind this album's excellence, then I really have no clue how to please you!

The instrumental arrangements work almost seamlessly with the story arc, which is both a good and bad thing. You see, I can never really listen to any of these passages outside of this album's conceptual content. In The Cageand The Carpet Crawlers might have been an essential part of Genesis live performances through the years and although I do love those compositions, I really don't see them as stand-alone tracks. This is definitely a weakness of a sort, but this also says a lot about the solidity of the concept album.

So is The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway the best concept album of all time? Some people complain that the second part of the album is not as good as the first, which is true considering that the first part has all the hits. Yes, I will go out and claim it to be the best concept album of all time! It might not be one of my top 3 favorite Genesis albums, but that says more about this band, in general, than it does of the album.

***** star songs: The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (4:51) Fly On A Windshield (4:23) Broadway Melody Of 1974 (0:33) In The Cage (8:16) Hairless Heart (2:13) Counting Out Time (3:42) The Carpet Crawlers (5:16) The Chamber Of 32 Doors (5:41) Anyway (3:08) The Lamia (6:57) The Light Dies Down On Broadway (3:33) Riding The Scree (3:56)

**** star songs: Cuckoo Cocoon (2:12) The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging (2:46) Back In N.Y.C. (5:43) Lilywhite Lilith (2:42) Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetist (3:00) Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats (3:07) The Colony of Slippermen (8:14) Ravine (2:04) In The Rapids (2:24) It (4:17)

*** star songs: The Waiting Room (5:25)

Report this review (#346443)
Posted Tuesday, December 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars By 1975 Genesis had acquired a bit of an underground band status in Australia but generally none of my peers could hear what I could hear, but then the closest thing to prog for them would have been Pink Floyd which had saturation air play with Dark Side of the Moon. Reading that The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway was about be released I put in a pre-order to ensure that I would get my copy on day one (not realising that Genesis were not particularly popular and therefore the albums weren't going to be sold out).

Like the earlier releases, Genesis offered a complete package. There is enormous detail in the cover that relates to the album, there are stories to go with the songs as well as the lyrics which are also a narrative and full of word plays and references to history, literature and the like.

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is no different and any many ways is arguably the most complex of any Genesis work .

Again, there have been many reviews of this album and it seems pointless to repeat what has already gone before. So only a few brief points.

The Lamb represents a change in direction for Genesis with the music generally as shorter, darker pieces. Surprisingly a number of tracks are dominated by piano and therefore the closest comparison for style is actually "From Genesis to Revelation" but as is should have been played/made.

This album represents Genesis at their creative peak, bursting with ideas. This is a double album of generally shorter songs. Many of these songs explore several music themes. I think they only just managed to get all the ideas onto a double album and really had they stretched some of the songs like on previous albums this could have been a triple.

Because this is a true concept album in which a story is being told it really has to be heard in order from start to finish to put the songs in context. This is very demanding since the Lamb demands to be listened to rather than be heard in the background.

Although there are some very accessible songs, much of it is complex and difficult for those without an interest in prog to appreciate. This means listening on your own or with head phones. But this also allows a better appreciation of the intricacies of the music.

In fact this is one of the few albums from the 70s that hasn't dated, so inventive was Genesis. As I said this album is packed with so many ideas that it also means that not everyone will like all the offerings that also include experiments in ambience (Silent Sorrow is one of the best examples of mellotron of all time), free form (Waiting Room), etc.

It may take a few listens but once the connection is made there is no better example of a prog concept album.

Overall rating: 5 Stars.

Report this review (#348674)
Posted Friday, December 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars When I first heard The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, I was like a kid on Christmas. I was at the height of my love for Genesis, with their previous three albums nearly defining progressive rock for me. The first day I got the double album from my library, I must have listened to it at least four times and spent half the day reading its story and lyrics. Unlike my beloved Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot, and Selling England By the Pound, however, those first few listens were the most enjoyable I would ever have with The Lamb.

Considering how little had changed in the band since their last offering, it's incredible how different The Lamb sounds from anything Genesis had ever done before. Although the guitar is just as powerful and melodic as ever here, Steve Hackett rarely brings it out, with only a handful of songs having memorable guitar passages. This leaves a gap in the music that the keyboards fill, and become the dominant instrument on this album. Continuing the trend from the last album, Tony Banks is striving for more modern equipment, with synthesizers being his keyboard of choice here. The synth sounds he uses are just a little too bubbly, and end up nagging at me too many times to say that they work well. The piano and Mellotron are brought along for the ride, but the organ that helped craft so much of Foxtrot's sound is nowhere to be found. Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins offer comparable efforts to years past, if possibly less impactful.

Now that we've come to the most prevalent sound found on The Lamb, the vocals, we also come to my first complaint. While Peter Gabriel is still Peter Gabriel here, something has changed in him. His voice has taken on a more raw quality that he hadn't shown before. Maybe it has to do with the characters he's playing, or the nature of the concept of The Lamb, but it's not nearly as enjoyable, and at times reaches levels of annoyance. There are moments of beauty in the vocals, but when I look back on what I've listened to, it's the former that fills my head. The story that Gabriel has crafted is what moves the music along, as we follow its main character Rael from the streets of NYC to a mysterious underground world. The concept is fairly interesting, but ends up being stranger than it is good and compelling.

The second complaint I have with The Lamb applies to the album as a whole: there's simply too much here. I understand that making a double album back in the days of vinyl was an all or nothing deal, but that shouldn't be an excuse for mediocre, and even bad songs. There are some really wonderful songs and passages here, but they are too few, and too interspersed with tracks that just don't cut it. Since getting over the giddiness of my first listens, the music hasn't compelled me enough to make it through in a single listening, which clocks in at just over an hour and a half. This is also a pretty wordy album, and with Gabriel's voice not doing much for me, the fact that there's a lot of it doesn't help.

The bright side of this ordeal is that if Genesis' past work hasn't been your favorite, or you're just looking for a different sound from them, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway offers a very different experience, and could be something fresh and exciting. If you're already a diehard fan, however, you shouldn't expect to love this album like you love their others. It's worth checking out for the good songs, but they're not enough to hold the whole thing together and make this a great, or even a good album from Genesis.

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Posted Wednesday, December 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars This has to be one of the most over-rated prog rock albums in my opinion. This may be heresy to a lot of proggers, but I cannot say that I really enjoy this album enough to give it any higher than 2 stars! I've gone up and down the reviews list, and there are other reviewers on this site who agree with me, so I know it's not just me that believes there are some serious flaws with this album that is rated so highly.

Lets start with the obvious. The story, it's a bit silly isn't it. I wouldn't say that this alone is a bad thing, since Gong proved outright that silly can be great with their Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy. This story though is presented far too seriously. Genesis were always known to be good story tellers, but somehow they get it all wrong here. With '...Hogweed' and '...Friday' you felt they were telling faux-fables, which had a slightly comic air about it. With The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway however, after a few songs your going to be utterly confused as to what's going on here. A man named Rael is transported to a dream world and tries to save his brother John is the simplest way to explain it, but the story is so convoluted with redundant parts and nonsensical parts that it's difficult to keep interested. The Hipgnosis designed cover, while looking very cool, just doesn't fit Genesis music either, making the album look extremely cold and serious. The Paul Whitehead album covers made the albums seem somehow warmer and more inviting. Between the bizarre lyrics and Gabriel's cryptic story in the liner notes, the listener is left to piece together the story for themselves.

Second, there are too many songs! Granted this is a double LP, but there are 11 songs on the first disc, and 12 songs on the second: too many for a band as symphonic as Genesis. This works out at an average of 4:06 per song! I can't help myself, I like longer songs! Dissappointingly, there are no songs over 10 minutes in length; the longest songs are In the Cage and The Colony of Slippermen both being 8:12 in length. But in fact they don't even last this long: 'In the Cage' has a bizarre minute long coda, and 'The Colony of Slippermen' has an awkward 1:48 intro. The short song structure gives the album a rather convoluted feel, which goes well with the convoluted feel of the story.

Most importantly though, the music itself is very inconsistent. I can safely say that no individual song on here is a stunner. There is certainly nothing of the standard of 'The Musical Box' or 'Firth of Fifth'. Thankfully though, there are a few good highlights in this album. The frenetic keyboard solo from 'In The Cage' is the main reason I listen to that otherwise OK song. The lyric I see no sign of free will, so I guess I have to pay! is really clever. Counting Out Time is a great tune, tricking you into thinking it's a bouncy pop tune, but upon close listening revealing itself as quite a twisted dark track. The melody for the song Anyway was actually written as far back as 1969, five years before the album itself, but fits beautifully here. The lyrics and sound of the song are just brilliant and leave you wanting more. This leads into Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetist which has a fantastic yet brief vocal section right at the beginning, before going into a very awkward groove. These are all the really good highlights I can think of.

Parts of the rest of the album sound atrocious. One major point I dislike is the frequent use of effects to change Gabriels voice. Listen to the beginning of 'Dancing with the Moonlit Knight', and you'll hear pure, unadulterated beauty in that man's voice. Listen to the title track of this album and you'll hear something very nasty indeed. The effects make some of the lyrics uncomprehensible, but mostly distort his voice into a very annoying sound. The point where he screams I'M RAEL! is such a case. Probably the best example of where his voice isn't distorted is on the acoustic sounding The Lamia.

Some of the other effects are annoying too. That keyboard sound in Back in N.Y.C. carries on for the whole track and annoys the hell out of me. The only saving grace of the song is that it is in 7/8. The closing track it. is also one of the worst closing tracks I have heard on an album. The dreadful riff used throughout the song really grates my ears. Also the song itself is a bit of a cop-out when you are trying to follow the twisting story. Rael looks down at John, and sees himself, and then Peter Gabriel starts spouting gobbledigook about it whatever it is, leaving me very dissatisfied. The least I wanted from the story was resolution, and since there is none, it's hard to enjoy it that much. The line It's only knock and knowall, but I like it. is NOT GOOD ENOUGH to finish a double LP concept album!

Other parts that annoy me is how there seems to be more filler towards the end of the album. There are several long dull instrumental tracks on the album, most of which are on the second LP, including Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats and Ravine. Most people would say that their least favourite track is the very avant-garde The Waiting Room but in fact this is one of the more enjoyable parts. It's genuinely very creepy, but after about 3 minutes, the band come in with a very strong riff. I can't help comparing instrumentals like Hairless Heart to Pink Floyd's The Great Gig in the Sky, which perform the same function as an intermission between lyrics, but how Pink Floyd pull it off so much better.

With all these negative points about the album, you might be wondering why I give this 2 stars and not 1. The answer is that I don't genuinely dislike this record, but I think listening for the first time under the impression that this is a masterpiece is very wrong. Since there has been an overwhelming amount of praise, I felt that I should make clear the flaws on the album. Out of the seven "progressive" Genesis albums between Trespass and Wind & Wuthering, I regret to say that this is my least favourite. However, if you consider yourself a true progressive rock fan, you should hear this album at least once, as it has become a very important album, much like Yes's Tales From Topographic Oceans. Just don't expect too much, OK?

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Posted Sunday, April 3, 2011 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
4 stars This album has been reviewed hundreds of times and its excellence has been justified - this grand concept album is one of the finest from the classic early 70's Prog boom. The production is rather 'thick' and each band member performs to the maximum of their abilities. So many songs on this release, nary a weak moment throughout. Plenty of inspired weirdness from Peter Gabriel here - the lyrics, the bizarre story within the LP's gatefold, he also contributes a lot more flute than usual. Another facet worth mentioning is Tony Banks' keyboarding ; when you hear him play it's almost like discovering another Wakeman or Emerson (or whichever order you have discovered the 'mainstream' giants...). Even a certain ENO has guested here - my guess is that he contributed strange electronics you can hear on 'The Waiting Room' and 'In The Colony Of Slippermen'. Either way, a superb Progressive journey which lasts over 90 minutes that's worth taking. Not quite the masterpiece after 'Selling England...', but close.
Report this review (#428961)
Posted Friday, April 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is considered another masterwork in the Genesis catalog, but I honestly found this to be one of the least enjoyable albums that they've crafted. I always get a dry-pop feeling from it and not much material is memorable here. I've always wanted to truly enjoy this album, but I always get bored with the material and aggravated and the unreasonable length.

I won't bother going into each of the tracks considering that there are 23 of them running just over 94 minutes in length. This album consists mostly of short songs that seem like the passages from earlier albums that I never found to be gripping in any way.

There are a couple of short songs that I do enjoy. "Fly On a Windshield" is a heavy and symphonic with mellotron and has a short melody that repeats that I find to be really strong. "Cuckoo Cocoon" is a short tune with a nice melody and underwater-sounding vocals followed by a nice flute solo. Similarly enjoyable songs are scattered throughout this very long album, but there is only about 20 of the 94 minutes that I think truly sticks out.

Though I don't really find this album to be enjoyable for most of its duration, this is highly regarded as one of Genesis' best albums, so I'd have to say that I recommend it to anyone interested in hearing a progressive rock classic. Also, this is the last album with Peter Gabriel, which is something that I don't consider to be too significant in the vocal realm as Collins' voice is very similar in my opinion.

Report this review (#429399)
Posted Friday, April 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

After a really considerable amount of time (about eight years) of learning, listening and kind of understanding I have to conclude that there are quite few really important bands whose defined the actual progressive rock, and among them stands Genesis as an eminent influence. Particularly speaking two of their Gabriel-era opus; "Selling England by the Pound" and "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway".

Tough this record has been obscured, even by the band itself, maybe mostly because of the artistic differences between Gabriel and Banks, the number of bands that subsequently used the sound of this album for their entire opus is incredibly wide (most noticeable in the Neo-Prog bands).

This double album featured the incredible and bizarre psychological entropy of one man's fears, doubts and desires. A surreal stomachic yet well-defined trip through his tormented mind full of symbols and a mythology of its own.

Like most Genesis previous and forward works, the lyrics are as important as the musical print. There's maybe a good reason many listeners can't enjoy this like other Gabriel-era works; the entire atmosphere (except only for the conclusive "It") is rather dismal, dark and maddening. Full of panic outbreaks and schizophrenic visions and sounds.

The theatrical force Gabriel prints punch the listener in the guts since the very first track. The interaction among symphonic ethereal sounds, the hard rock riffs and experimental music brought a whole new experience. By then there weren't many 'musical stage scripts' even least any as dim as this one.

There are faults however, it didn't reach the perfection achieved in their previous oeuvre. Some songs feels there like fillers, maybe they are, or maybe they couldn't be completed as they should due the musical quarrelling at those days. Even with these gaps of apparent incongruity or simply void atmosphere (The Waiting Room, Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats, Ravine) there are also magnificent moments that display their powerful strength and potential, delighting playfully among violent desperations as on "In the Cage", "Back to NYC", "The Colony of Slippermen" or "Riding the Scree" and sweet charm melodies as on "Hairless Heart", "The Carpet Crawlers", "The Lamia" or "In the Rapids".

It must be heard as a whole single piece from beginning to end. Close your doors and windows, shut down the phones, lights and clocks. Sit comfortably on your favorite chair and lets the music ride you to an unforgettable travel into an exotic yet familiar psyche.

For many this is not the best Genesis Gabriel-era effort, however it is undisputable that is one of the most influential works in the progressive rock. For me, this is the naked and most personal showmanship of Gabriel's core. And I just love this kind of passion.

Report this review (#432969)
Posted Wednesday, April 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Very good, but in terms of music IT is not a masterpiece.

Obscure, bizarre, pretentious, brainy, pompous. But even brilliant, innovative and intriguing. If there is an album by Genesis able to divide the fans, that's "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway". Indeed, "The Lamb" is part of that category of albums such as "A Passion Play" or "Tales From Topographic Oceans", which is usually either madly in love or hate deeply. I think that the truth is in the middle, "The Lamb" in my opinion is a very good album, that I recommend to all prog fans, but it does not reach the level of quality of the sensationaland unique triptych "Nursery Cryme" / "Foxtrot" / "Selling England By The Pound". When listening to "The Lamb", both positive and negative aspects emerge: in my view the final rating is certainly positive, but it is undeniable that there are weak moments, and they are not few.

Of course, there are many positive and negative elements that might arise from the analysis of such a complex work, and not just those listed below, that however seem to be the most significant. First of all, the most important positive effects in my opinion, are:

1. Without doubt this is an album of a band still in a state of grace. Gabriel is a unique singer, maybe he does not sing like Sinatra, but in terms of interpretative ability, he is second to none. The "Fantastic Four" have gained a great confidence and an amazing professionalism; Banks and Rutherford are the backbone of the band, Hackett has shown with "Selling England By The Pound" is not only a master musician but also be an excellent composer, and Collins was a drummer with a refined touch and a musical sensibility unknown to most of his colleagues. Among the pieces of "The Lamb" there are some immortal masterpieces such as The Chambers Of 32 Doors, The Lamia, Fly On A Windshield, Broadway Melody Of 1974, Carpet Crawlers, and The Waiting Room, one of the most interesting and experimental tracks of band's career.

2. The lyrics of Peter Gabriel are absolute stunning. This is probably the highest point reached by the singer throughout his career, with and without Genesis. Although the story is centered on a Puerto Rican who lives in New York, and then present a character of ordinary real life with which one can easily identify, mythological and classical references are certainly not abandoned. At the same time there is always surreal and ironic tone that is typical of Gabriel's lyrics.

3. The history is murky, perhaps poorly understood, but also incredibly charming and certainly deeply allegorical. Following the adventures of Rael, we're not listening to the story of a Puerto Rican who finds himself in the underground of New York to live incredible adventures with mysterious and terrible creatures. In fact, we are exploring the contradictions of human nature, we are confronted with Jung and our psyche, we face things that have always fascinated us as the dual personality, the Jewish Kabbalah, the purification of the human soul, and (last but not least) we drink of the source of knowledge, and this without reading Ovid and Dante Alighieri.

And now, what's wrong.

1. The original record printed in 1974 had four sides of music. The first three are very good: the music is extraordinary, especially in the second and third side, and it's still good even in the first one. But the fourth ... The fourth and last side of the record is very disappointing. In The Rapids, Riding The Scree and IT are among the worst songs of Gabriel-era Genesis. Probably from a strictly musical point of view has not helped the clear separation of responsibility for the composition of lyrics (mostly written by Gabriel) and music (almost all written from the rest of the group): in the past, even in the songs a bit less successful, the quality of the music had never reached such a low level.

2. The production focuses mainly on the keyboards and synths, while the pleasing atmosphere built with 12-string guitars are rare and seem to belong to a distant past. Surely a more electronic music is more suited to the story of "The Lamb", but a better balance of the dynamics would be advisable: the music of Genesis has always been an alternation of light and shadows, acoustic and electric. In "The Lamb" the cold electronic atmospheres are too prevalent, with superfluous and occasionally pompous use of synth as in The Colony Of Slippermen, Riding The Scree and In The Cage (where, thankfully, the frantic organ pieces are really amazing). These are not Genesis, these looks like ELP, and I don't like that for sure!

3. In some moments I get the impression that the album has been made thinking of future live performances; some instrumental sections seem to be just filler, certainly useful on stage, to allow Gabriel to wear his famous costumes, but unnecessary for me when I listen to the album sitting on the sofa at home.

In conclusion, 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway " is not a work of the same level of" Foxtrot ", it's not a masterpiece. But it is also true that you can not miss in a collection of progressive rock and therefore is highly recommended. Rating: 8/10.

Four stars.

Best song: The Chamber Of 32 Doors

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Posted Saturday, May 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars I'll keep it short but sweet

The lamb lies down on broadway is highly overrated

The lyrics have some enigmatic imagery and are sometimes a lot of fun (gabriel still bringing in his unique sense of humour in some spots) but don't really work as a cohesive story.

The music is fantastic, but would have worked far better on a single-disc album as a lot of the stuff is retread quite a lot.

Overall I prefer A trick of the tail quite a bit more than this. Yes I said that.

People tend to idealize this album I think for what it means historically: Last album with Gabriel, only double concept album from the band etc. and we all WANT to love it, I love a lot of it, but not all of it

nuff said.

Report this review (#453478)
Posted Sunday, May 29, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Not to be confused with the backwoods blue movie of the same name, the band's 6th studio album is simultaneously a logical progression from the developements of Selling England By the Pound and a look back to the other leanings of the earlier albums. As much as other double albums are called rock operas, this one strikes me as more of one than any of them. Yes, reading the story helps, but I think the story is better told through the lryics, sung super- emotionally by a now master of expression, Peter Gabriel. The music provided by the band is just as emotional, with many different styles emerging unexpectedly at key points in the story and dramatic effects and chord changes employed distinguishedly. I've heard many interpretations of the story, including meaninglessness, but I've always connected the excellent album art by Hipgnosis to the id/ego/superego correlation between the main character(s) that I seem to get from it, as well as being a possible spiritual allegory. There are moments of superb playing to be found here, namely in "In the Cage", "The Colony of Slippermen", and "Riding The Scree", (Phil Collins does a good John Bonham on the eerie "Broadway Melody of 1974", or "Fly On a Windshield" if you have the Genesis Definitive Edition Remaster CD), but the music as a whole focuses more on emotionally resonant dramatics like "The Chamber of 32 Doors", "The Lamia", and the closing "In the Rapids"/"it.". The sound and production also foreshadow some of the direction the band would take on the next few albums. Some wonder why this epic wasn't made into a movie, but I think the recording was pulled off so well that any attempt at recreating it visually would actually take away from the experience.
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Posted Friday, June 3, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Overrated. That's what i felt after listening to this album for the first, second, third and fourth time. To me, it suffers like alot of double albums do (The Wall) it has too much filler. Yes songs like the title track, In the Cage, Carpet Crawlers, Colony of Slippermen and It are fantastic tracks but it just feels just too long and too drawn out. It has a weird hypnotic feel that would encompass some of Peter Gabriel's solo material(all be it much better). Do I hate this album, no i don't but I think it's ok. Not the best album but let it pass. 3 stars. Highlights: The Lamb Dies Down on Broadway, In the Cage, The Carpet Crawlers, The Chamber of 32 Doors, The Colony of Slippermen and It.
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Posted Sunday, June 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Although The Lamb Lies Down In Broadway is undeniably a significant Genesis album - their sole double studio album, and their final effort with Peter Gabriel - I have to say I consider it rather overrated. The band seem to have taken the album as an opportunity to reposition their music and edge very slightly away from the pastoral style of their previous works to appeal to a broader rock audience, and to break the States. This is most evident in the concept, which asks the listener to accept the rather baffling casting of Peter Gabriel as a New York street thug who undergoes a spiritual crisis (and might possibly have raped someone if you read between the lines of some of the songs), but it also crops up here and there in the music - which regularly backs away from the complexity of earlier works to embrace more mainstream material and even novelty songs (such as Counting Out Time).

Brian Eno helped out in the producer's seat this time around, with the consequence that the sound of many tracks - particularly instrumentals such as Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats - doesn't quite sound like the Genesis of old. That's fine, but I'm not sure the collaboration is completely successful either - at points there seems to be an irreconcilable clash between the prog majesty of Genesis and the increasingly ambient leanings of Eno.

In addition, the album is rather overindulgent in several respects. Gabriel allows his whimsy and theatricality to run free, but in truth the imagery he uses is barely coherent - are we dealing with a nightmarish allegory or a fairytale, Alice In Wonderland journey? Is Rael a naive and sensitive spiritual searcher or an abusive individual who's coming to recognise the danger his lack of control of his sexual impulses poses to those around him? In the context of a novel ambiguities such as this might well be explored in a meaningful manner, but as far as concept albums go Gabriel doesn't really have time to explore all the different dimensions he tries to include in the story - especially since there are plenty of instrumental stretches where he doesn't sing at all - and therefore none of the alternatives quite manages to fit together. This has an impact on his vocal performance, where at one point he's expressing the agony of Rael's tortured soul and the next he's off on some twee little tangent, and he doesn't really sound sincere in either mode.

On top of this, Gabriel's perchant for goofy, twee, whimsical songs is indulged mightily on this album, with The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging, Here Comes the Supernatural Anaesthetist and (especially) the tedious Colony of Slippermen being particularly irritating unless you are in just the right mood for his flights of fancy: imagine Supper's Ready if Willow Farm dragged on for five minutes. But even the more serious tunes occasionally seem to be padded out - I have never been able to fathom the popularity of The Carpet Crawlers, Cuckoo Cocoon could be dispensed with entirely without really hurting the concept, and the last five tracks of the album pad out the ending of the story to an almost ridiculous extent. (Seriously: Rael and John walk along by a ravine and they both end up in a river, Rael comes to a dramatic realisation. That doesn't need 16 minutes and five songs to relate.)

On the whole, I feel that The Lamb Dies Down On Broadway is one of those double albums which would be an absolutely top-notch single album if the musicians involved had just trimmed down the fat and crammed as many of their musical ideas as they could into the more limited running time. There's some great songs on there - the title track is great, In the Cage is a trip, Back In New York City is one of the Gabriel-era's bands most successful attempts to grow beyond their pastoral prog base, and The Lamia is a beautiful track with imagery which is in equal parts charming, sensual, haunting and disturbing - it's the point on the album where I would say Gabriel's lyrics are at their best, establishing the strange "Lewis Carroll meets Sigmund Freud" atmosphere of the concept's supernatural/subterranean elements better than any other track. It's just that there's so much clutter bulking up the album to no good purpose.

At the same time, it's undeniably a significant experiment on the part of the band, as well as providing a host of great sounds and moments. If you're in just the right mood, it's great listening - but I find that that mood doesn't involve wanting to follow the story of a street tough from New York called Rael so much as it is wanting to have some pastoral prog prettiness turned spooky by Brian Eno's production affectations. As an actual rock opera or concept album, I maintain that it's a failure, but as a collection of songs it's strong enough for me to give it a solid rating anyway. I'd still take more or less any of the other Gabriel-era albums (and, for that matter, several Phil Collins-era albums) over the Lamb any day.

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Posted Thursday, September 22, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway marked the end of an era. The era of concept albums. Of rock operas. After it has never been the same.

Peter Gabriel knew what he was doing. He knew what would be his last work with Genesis. He wrote a short story and from what we wrote the lyrics. It was not a clear and simple conception. The other band members were tired of the predominant figure of Peter. He wanted to write all the lyrics. He was stubborn. It was his story. The last bastion of a part of life. Then everything would be different.

The time is dilated. It took a long time to write this masterpiece of rock music. We can say that the music is beautiful. New. Superbe. The Genesis Foxtrot or Selling had gone well. Farther on. Instrumental pieces made of sounds and effects. The construction of a world. Strange. Imaginary. Broadway is there but is elsewhere.

There are songs that are unrepeatable. The Lamia is a masterpiece. Music and words that you agree to something just wonderful. Carpet Crawlers will remain forever. Anyway the same. Sweetness in the midst of absurd visions. The Colony of Slipperman where the voice becomes hoarse by Peter Gabriel and assumes the appearance of those incredible beings have turned into monsters after meeting the Lamia. You have to imagine this long trip. Imagine that the old woman Lilith shows Rael the way out of the room from 32 doors. We must imagine The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging as a factory of clones of human beings. Copies of human beings built according to specific customer information. The Supernatural Anaesthetis must imagine as death. Mr. Death.

Imagine that The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway has almost become a real thing. The world today is that Peter Gabriel is pictured in the story written almost forty years ago. For all this we should now listen to The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. To understand what we can do in our society on the road to destruction. Destruction of values, ideals, ideas ... A society where human beings were lost. We need to find people like Lilith. That give hope. One way to go. One way to find. If forty years after The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway can send something like that means a lot. We should listen to it again because of what we can transmit. Besides the wonderful music of Genesis in their training better and beyond words difficult to accept by Peter Gabriel.

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway marked the end of an era. That of the great rock operas. And the decline of a society. But we did not know then that.

Report this review (#555097)
Posted Sunday, October 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is an album that grabbed me from the off to be honest. It beconned me in, spoke to me and felt I understood it....More so than any album before or after. It hits on all the buttons like a prize-fighter: it's soft; such as Cuckoo Cocoon and it's raw and rocky on In The Cage and every station in between. It has brilliant linking music between its lyrical sections and has just about every musical form possible: The Lamb (classical in places), Broadway Melody (proto rap), Slipperman (eastern instrumentation), Chamber of 32 Doors (country and gospel), The Waiting Room (avante garde). Time signatures galore, well recorded and fantastically played. It's original, brilliant and barking mad! The lyrics and music follow about every human emotion possible: Love, loss, pain and death = all the big ones! This was Genesis at their most experimental and playful best. I understand it's not an everyman album and as Phil Collins stated a 'record company' album: Thank God! However this album goes on to be influential and is heavily name-checked still by many musicians today. Perhaps that may be it's appeal but I have NEVER heard an album with as much scope, breadth and depth and MUSICAL IDEAS. I heard this over 20 years ago and it still impresses today. This is a pulitzer prize winner for the musical form. STANDING OVATION! BRAVISSIMO!!! Only one draw-back..... Why can't I give it 6 Stars. THE BEST ALBUM EVER MADE BAR NONE!
Report this review (#597553)
Posted Wednesday, December 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars The last Genesis album to feature Peter Gabriel on lead vocals. In my opinion it is the best album that Genesis created. I absolutely love Foxtrot and Selling England By The Pound, but I just think this is the most refined album of the Gabriel era.

Its definitely not an immediate album to "get into", only after many listens does the music start to unravel its beauty to the listener. And my God it is beautiful... I truly believe this is some of the finest music ever committed to disc, regardless of genre. This just happens to be progressive rock!

That isn't to say there aren't flaws with this album. I think the general consensus with most Genesis fans is that the album is around 10-15 minutes too long, mostly on the 2nd LP. However I'm glad they released this as a double LP because there are some fantastic songs on the 2nd LP.

It is a very different album to previous Genesis releases, with much more emphasis on vocals and lyrics than before. Gone are the long instrumental passages such as on The Cinema Show. The instrumental sections are there, but they are more refined and held back than before. This is still very much a progressive rock album and still shares many similarities with previous Genesis albums.

The subject matter within the Lamb' is perplexing. At times I think I "get" what Peter Gabriel was trying to say, and at other times it makes no sense to me! Take whatever meaning you can get out of the lyrics and don't think about them too hard is my advice! The imagery and emotions that the lyrics conjure up is what is important to me. It is very emotive, and a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows throughout the 90 minutes!

The highlights of the album are many, and trying to list favorite songs would have me listing most of the tracks on the album! I do think "The Chamber Of 32 Doors" and "The Lamia" are absolutely stunning tracks though. The emotion of these two songs is brilliant, Gabriel really is a fantastic vocalist, and it really shows in these two songs...

A quick word on the rating. Yes, it got 5-stars from me. I had to think long and hard about this, because yes there are flaws on this album. There are 4 or 5 songs I could quite easily live without. But frankly the rest of the songs are so good that anything other than 5-stars would be an injustice.

Report this review (#603606)
Posted Thursday, January 5, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars If you think that it's pretentious, you've been taken for a boring ride.

There are several definitions of the word "classic". When it comes down to this album, I don't see it as "a standard of excellence", though in the prog rock world it definitely has a "recognized value" and it is certainly historically memorable. If you want a general picture of "The Lamb", here it is.

It's a double album that does not feature a whole lot of elaborate music like that on 'The Lamia', 'Riding the Scree', and 'Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging'. (Fortunately, Peter Gabriel did some good singing on those tracks.) That means that the album is mostly loaded with numbers that don't work for me personally. In addition to that, the strategy of listening to the album in its entirety without interruptions (as some fans of the album would suggest for greater appreciation) didn't cut it for me.

In other news: Tony Banks is using synthesizers with dull timbres a lot. No more washes of Mellotron sounds. No more hardcore organ. No more emphasis on tone from one of my favorite keyboardists. Mikey Rutherford does an OK job as a bass guitarist, but Phil Collins is not too shabby on only a few moments, and Steve Hackett's guitar parts are so meager that it hurts me. There seems to be a lot more of the emphasis on lyric-writing and rhythm rather than music-writing, melody, and harmony. But that's not it. I also forgot to mention that they mistreat some of their musical themes and variations.

Also, there is quite a noticeable bulk of embarrassing lyrics like "So you think I'm a tough kid? Is that what you heard? Well I like to see some action and it gets into my blood." Wait, it gets better: "It is chicken, it is eggs. It is in between your legs". Seriously? Is that what Peter Gabriel was made of at the time? I mean, maybe the guy was influenced by some famous writers who heavily implemented metaphors and other elements of literature, but this is just an awkward way for Peter to serve his messages. Plus, the concept, a story about an NYC street punk Rael, who embarks on a quest to find his identity and to manifest his freedom, is very confusing. What is this, a parody on punks? Don't even get me started on the whole picture of a Puerto-Rican punk jumping through hoops (escaping the Colony of funny pimple-laden dudes, riding a mountain slope, etc.) only to indulge himself in sexual satisfaction and find out that he has been looking for himself all along. What is it that he was looking for in himself exactly, I don't know. I do know that I haven't learned anything from that story. That really tells me something about those so-called "bad trips" (as some fans of this album dubbed it): they suck. They suck because they don't have a purpose, and that's why they are "bad". Sure, there are references to Greek mythology, sexual revolution, Peter Gabriel's own nightmares, etc., but this only means that the lyrics are just bloating with ideas that don't work together very well. That's why this "one whole lengthy nightmare" does not work, and Mr. Banks could back me up on this one. This is not the Genesis I used to know. This is Genesis in shambles. The album lacks potential in terms of intelligence (that is, the lyrical ideas are poorly slapped together), entertainment, and viscera.

Ratings/comments (if you have to ask):

---------------------- Disc 1:

1. 'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway' - ** ; 2. 'Fly on a Windshield' - *** ; 3. 'Broadway Melody of 1974' - * ; 4. 'Cuckoo Cocoon' - * ; 5. 'In the Cage' - ** ; 6. 'The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging' - **** ; 7. 'Back in NYC' - * ; 8. 'Hairless Heart' - * ; 9. 'Counting Out Time' - ** ; 10. 'Carpet Crawlers' - **** ; 11. 'The Chamber of 32 Doors' - **

---------------------- Disc 2:

1. 'Lilywhite Lilith' - *** ; 2. 'The Waiting Room' - *** ; 3. 'Anyway' - *** ; 4. 'The Supernatural Anaesthetist' - ** ; 5. 'The Lamia' - **** ; 6. 'Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats' - * ; 7. 'The Colony of Slippermen' - ** ; 8. 'Ravine' - * ; 9. 'The Light Dies Down on the Broadway' - * ; 10. 'Riding the Scree' - **** ; 11. 'In the Rapids' - **** ; 12. 'It' - ****

Stamp: "Try it yourself."

Report this review (#613959)
Posted Friday, January 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Genesis has changed, even in the Peter Gabriel era.

Right on the opening notes of the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, it showcases a new Genesis. A less whimsy, more ambient and darker Genesis. Yes, Selling England By The Pound was the best prog album of all time. But doing a Selling England By The Pound part two would be too safe, and I never want that out of a prog band. They made a beautiful concept album, with the help of Brian Eno. Peter wrote the lyrics, while the other members wrote the music. Which resulted that there were no such things as Harold The Barrel in this album. The only thing that comes closer to that is Counting Out Time, the poppiest song on the album.

Many critisise the story line, for being incomprehensible. You don't see the story line like it's told. You can see that as a pregnancy. You can see that as about split personality like Phil Collins said. The album has many significations. But it's story is very imaginative.

Well, the Lamb is excellent.

Report this review (#627517)
Posted Monday, February 6, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Gabriel era of Genesis bows out here and saves its best for the last salvo. It is also, in a way, a culmination, a logical conclusion for that lineup. At this point, singer and lyricist Peter Gabriel's vision had begun to overpower the band (if you listen to their side) or at any rate was not something they agreed with a whole lot.

Much like the hard hitting The Wall stretched Pink Floyd to a point where the rest of the band wanted out, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway just wasn't Genesis enough for the liking of most of Genesis. But as a musical odyssey that narrates the travails of protagonist Rael, it is just fabulous. It may not have been Genesis enough but it was so in ways that arguably added new dimensions and interesting shades of emotion to their sound.

While this website showers much love and affection on Genesis, in prog circles, they are typically seen as the 'least' of the big four or five of prog. One of the reasons for this is they were only fleetingly cutting edge up to this point. Their music is hugely interesting, especially their knack for managing shifts and transitions almost seamlessly. But they are not strongly linked to rock/blues influences and can sound distant to those newly initiated to prog. And while they are fortunately not cold and clinical, they also prefer to sound funny and clever rather than truly stirring your soul (these are just tendencies by the way). They also tend to be on the lighter side, rarely being particularly scary or menacing.

Genesis continue to be theatrically oriented on this album. But they have now added some serious edge to their sound. As a result, it is unlike any Genesis album before or after. There are moments when the music on this album is positively creepy. It is often spine chilling and yet so beautiful you cannot help feeling hypnotized and being drawn into the music. For that reason, it is perhaps the only Gabriel era album as a whole (and not speaking of specific tracks) that doesn't have to be looked at from a more analytical perspective to appreciate.

No, from the moment Tony Banks makes his splendid entrance in the title track, you are set for a Genesis experience like no other. Banks' piano on, say, Firth of the Fifth is beautiful. On Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, it is both beautiful and suspenseful. It builds your expectations and makes you want to hang onto every note just to discover what's next. And Genesis achieve this effect repeatedly on this album.

In terms of structure, it is far less epic than Foxtrot or Selling England By The Pound and yet, in many ways, more unorthodox and more daring. The title track is followed by Fly On A Windshield and instead of rapidly developing passages, you get imposing guitar being re-iterated for effect until you can, quite literally, feel the presence of a monumental wall of sound. In The Cage begins with heartbeats....Floyd-esque, ha!

This willingness to explore more nuanced ways of building a song is also evident on The Lamia. The Lamia belies the popular notion that a track must be heavy and abrasive to convey darkness and evil. It employs utterly beautiful textures but the notes warn you (and Rael) of what is to come. Gabriel''s singing too is largely soft and controlled and it only goes to make the experience more tantalizing. And when Hackett plays the coda, you are left completely at their mercy, hopelessly enchanted.

Brian Eno's 'enossification' also makes a telling impact on their sound, as Banks' tones now communicate and express like never before. The band as such is in top form, Collins being particularly impressive on tracks like In The Cage and It. Gabriel as the narrator of the rather ambitious concept is omnipresent. And even though Hackett doesn't get much time for himself, some of his most memorable contributions to Genesis are on this album.

That could actually be said of the band in general. This album gets flak for the presence of a fair few songs that are not too essential but it also has some utterly hot cuts. The number of tracks on this album alone that could be mentioned amongst the best Genesis tracks is crazy - the title track, Lamia, In The Cage, Chamber of 32 Doors, etc. As I have tried to convey above, Genesis have never before been so purposeful and probably never after either so the better parts of this album absolutely rule.

With this album, Gabriel had clearly crossed over to the other side. A side that has some likeness to his solo album Melt in a very loose sense (so don't go looking for any specific similarities) and a side that the rest of the band may not have been too comfortable with. I would not like to comment on the circumstances of Gabriel's departure from the band but if he had continued, the band would have been saddled with the unenviable task of outdoing this magnum opus. As it stands, it represents a high point in Genesis's career and also a point of departure from which the band necessarily had to change. One of the essentials of not only Genesis's discography but prog in general. 5 stars.

Report this review (#711575)
Posted Friday, April 6, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" is Genesis' sixth album, released in 1974. It's a double album and a concept album that tells the very surreal story or Rael, a teenaged Puertorican-American living in New York City. Rael goes on a strange adventure in search of his brother John. Along the way, he encounters many a strange creature, including The Carpet Crawlers and The Slippermen. At the end, Rael finds John, but is shocked that he has found, not John, but himself. The album, musically, is fantastic, with Genesis at, if not at the top, very close to the top of their game. The songs are composed masterfully, and include many a memorable solo. The production is much more slick and modern than their last albums, and gives the album a rocking feel. The lyrics, all written by Gabriel, are as great as ever, but, as I said at the beginning of the review, very surreal; like, penis cut off, put in a plastic tube, and carried out by a big Raven surreal. At one point in the album, "Counting Out Time", the lyrics ruin an otherwise good song. "Counting Out Time" talks about Rael's first and very disastrous sexual encounter, where he tries to seduce his partner according to a book called "Erogenous Zones", written by "the experts" on sex. Not only is the song completely out of place, but it's just kind of stupid. There are a few other bad spots on the album that are mediocre and/or forgettable. Anyway ((bad) pun intended), "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" is a great album, despite a couple of flaws. It was a very fitting last album for Gabriel, who would leave Genesis after the following tour. Gabriel would begin making some great solo work, as well as start WOMAD, the World of Music, Arts, and Dance festival, and Genesis would continue with drummer Phil Collins as the front man. 4.5 stars out of five.
Report this review (#740200)
Posted Sunday, April 22, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Such an unusual album, not a typical prog album for the early half of the 70's both musically and for its many shorter pieces. The concept is not easy to grasp or make sense of. But without taking that so seriously there is a very relaxed flow and atmosphere. The production is terrific and modern and the songs are plentiful and vary in style. For me it took quite some time to digest but there are many highlights.

Gabriel's vocals and lyrics are interesting, at their most surreal too. The opening track is very memorable, but of the first half, 'Cuckoo Cocoon' is one of the best. A beautiful mellow song with poetic word-play. Also love "In The Cage" and the gorgeous "'Carpet Crawlers' with a nice bass sound and keyboards (I love the keyboards on this album!) and soft harmonies. It isn't a complex piece of prog-rock but still grabs you with its power.

The second half contains a few more experimental pieces such as 'The Waiting Room', but overall I feel because the album remains varied, it flows reasonably well.The piano led 'The Lamia' is just lovely and the sci-fi like 'Colony Of Slippermen' great too.

This music isn't far removed from the previous Genesis albums but the material here stands on its own. Many say it was the band's finest, for me not exactly, it is certainly captivating and without a doubt unlike anything else they ever did. It is an album that many people have a lot to say about and I think everyone should give it a few listens. This and Yes' ''Tales From Topographical Oceans' are much alike, there are things that can confuse you about them but musically they have so many amazing moments and evoke many moods.

Report this review (#762685)
Posted Sunday, June 3, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is as much Peter Gabriel's baby as The Final Cut is to Roger Waters. Gabriel wrote almost all of the lyrics, but that isn't my problem. I like the concept, even if it is a bit odd. However, the music seemed to have taken a wrong turn. There are great moments on the album for sure, but they are buried amongst Gabriel's theatrics. Instrumentally, a lot of the songs go nowhere, especially on disc two.

'In the Cage', 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, ''Back In N.Y.C,' Carpet Crawlers, Here Comes the Supernatural Anesthetist, and the Light Dies Down On Broadway are the highlights for me. But even then, Genesis has done better. I will command Peter though; this is easily his most vocally diverse album as he experiments thoroughly with different styles and emotions. But the rest of the members don't seem to up to par.

Overall, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is just too bloated to work for me. It could have been shortened to a simple 45-minute LP, but then that may have ruined the story. This is something I will listen to rarely, but when I do, I try to pay attention to the story and that makes it more enjoyable.


Report this review (#808818)
Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Every time I listen to the keyboard solo on "In the Cage" its like a lighting bolt hitting the tip of my penis. In a good way. Anyways, with the exception of like 3 tracks, this album is flawless. While there are no 20 min or even 15 min ballads like in most great prog albums, this is more organized traditional songs. In this sense, it is actually very refreshing. The pure variety of songs is also part of what makes this album amazing. Carpet Crawlers is very relaxed and soothing with powerful lyrics. On the other hand, the opening is a chaotic goose bump fest. There isn't much more I can say about this album that hasn't already been said. go buy it. NOW (sorry about the opening line, i was debating if it was too much information but decided i didn't care)
Report this review (#840161)
Posted Thursday, October 18, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars I don't know why it happened that the two most celebrated symphonic prog acts - Yes and Genesis - were taken over in year of 1974 by the vision of their vocalist which in both occasion lead to a double record. The spiritual artistic vision of Jon Anderson made Yes making the four sidefilling epics on "Tales of Topographic Oceans" which is dominated by long atmospheric instrumental pieces and the artistic vision of Peter Gabriel lead to the "rock opera" called "The Lamb lies down on Broadway" which was dominated by his vocal expressions. Both artists seemed to be looking for the zenith in their carreers, but with just limited effect, although some fans do claim they succeeded in it.

In my opinion there is some great material on The Lamb Lies down on Broadway, although not enough to fill two records with. The first side of the first record is arguably the best by containing the great titletrack and the psychedelic "Grand parade of lifeless packaging". On this side the balance between the instrumental parts and the vocal parts is still good. On the second side the first track (Back in N.Y.C.) the vocals are already too dominate for me. It fells like a relief if the symphonic part starts. The second side is still quiet good, but certainly out of balance and with several weak spots. And it only gets worse on the third and fourth side (I must admit I have only rarely listened to them, because I always felt I had listened enough after two sides).

If the thirst side was released as an EP I shoud have given four stars for it. In the form it is actually released I think that three stars is almost more then it deserves.

Report this review (#897341)
Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Given that this album has received a large number of detailed song-by-song reviews, I'll break from my established model here and merely state why this album as a whole is an indispensable entry and critical achievement within the Gabriel era Genesis canon. This was the third Genesis album I ever had the pleasure of hearing (the prior two being Foxtrot and Selling England by the Pound, respectively). It was immediately apparent to me that this was not only a huge departure from its predecessors, but a project largely directed by Gabriel. The fact that this was the last album he recorded with the band was in no way a surprise to me. It's almost as though he knew he was growing tired of being in Genesis and wanted one last chance to flex some creative muscle before his departure. This album was all that and more.

Conceptually, the story follows the main character Rael as he is forced into a strange world vastly different from his native place, New York City, and encounters and battles the sinister forces both in his new environment and within himself. As strange as the story may be, this is an exceptionally strong narrative. Reading the story ahead of time does help though, I will say. I didn't do so until before my third listen, and it really did make the album easier to track and brought new insight into each tune that made me ultimately enjoy them more. Hat-tip to penguindf12 for your review which serves as a wonderfully informative yet accessibly concise guide for the story. I strongly encourage any listeners to give it a look who are unfamiliar with or had a difficult time deciphering the narrative. Actually, even if you do feel you have a handle on the plot, I'd encourage you to look at it anyway. You never know what another listener's perspective can offer in illuminating this intricate story.

This album is exceptionally strong on all levels. Musically, each song and instrumental passage flows very well, segueing seamlessly into one another and balancing the introduction of new ideas with the recollection of familiar motives. The variety between each selection makes a strong justification for its overall length, and giving the listener something every now and them to remind them of where they've been prevents the legitimate concern of "can you sustain a concept for over 94 minutes without seeming like you're just making stuff up after a while?" from cropping up. And even though you I feel you need to experience the album in its entirety to fully appreciate each section, some of the more substantial songs themselves serve as benchmark selections from the band. "The Carpet Crawlers" is one of the most beautiful, calming songs in all of progressive rock that paradoxically still has a lot of energy and drive, and the images evoked by the narrative are simply stunning, augmented by the graceful instrumental work and Gabriel's most stunning vocal delivery in my opinion. As I already stated, I could rave about how much I love each track, assess its own unique merits and contributions to the album, and dissect each one's technical elements, but in the interest of not getting bogged down in a monolith of a review, I won't. What I will say, however, is that each one offers something special, and each listener will likely have their own favorite moments. Mine personally is "It" as of now, but only by a hare and that may change someday, as this is an ever-evolving album with a significance that increases and changes as I do and as I hear it more. But let me tell you, no mater what doubt you may have about the album while you're listening, stick it out to the end. You'll be rewarded with one of the absolute conclusions to a narrative album ever crafted. Possibly even the best. The energy brought by this song is beyond anything the band has ever done in my opinion.

Is this a difficult album to get in to? Honestly, it is. It's not for the impatient, the casual listener, or even the easily disturbed, as this is a very dark narrative, dealing with some very heavy issues that go beyond each song's lyrics. It's difficult to explain, but anybody feeling lost, up against circumstances beyond their control, faced with a decision of living in the past or taking a risk on something new and different, faced with having to make a sacrifice to escape your present circumstances for the possibility of a better future, or who has been in any of these situations before will undoubtedly resonate with the story at least to some degree. These are only a handful of the difficult realities expressed within these lyrics. If you make that abstract connection to your life (as I did), it will surely take on a profound new meaning and transform this from an interesting story to a triumph over adversity and an anthem of redemption. And even if you don't make that connection, I have no doubt you will still find reward in what each song and passage of this compelling tale has to offer.

One of my favorite aspects of Genesis has always been their ability to stimulate all my senses and enable me to conjure up such powerful images within my mind each time I listen to their albums, and this one takes that strength to new heights. I've never experienced a more concrete narrative in any album I've ever heard, and that transforms the listening experience into something so much more powerful and meaningful than I can put into words. "Only a magic that a name would stain." With great risk comes great reward, and in this case, Genesis gave sound validity to this sentiment. A true masterpiece in every way, and for that I reward this album 5 stars without hesitation.

Report this review (#899227)
Posted Friday, January 25, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars I would like to contribute a review that explores an often overlooked dimension of this masterpiece of Progressive Rock. -The dimesnion of religious allegory.

Unlike the transition in recent memory of Neal Morse into the realm of evangelical rock, the Progressive Rock heroes of the 1970's felt free to explore mystical and theological concepts within the scope of their art, without having to subscribe to anyone's version of Orthodoxy, or place a specialized label on themselves.

Already having explored a mystical vision of the fulfillment of time in "Supper's Ready," Genesis offer another vision with "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway."

The Lamb in the title track is a well-known symbol of Christ, placed in the jarring context of a bustling modern city. The Lamb lies down, both an action of peaceful restfulness, but also possibly of death, the action by which Christ is supposed to redeem the world. Nobody knows why the lamb is there, quite out of place in the city streets. He just does what he does.

We are introduced to Rael, an almost sociopathic street thug and vandal. He tries to make his mark on the world through grafitti.

But he is about to have an incredible, life-changing experience. In "Fly on a Windshield," he makes the transition between the surface world that we live in everyday to the "world under the surface of things." In the rest of the album, it is sometimes stated that Rael is "underground," which is a metaphorical way of expressing this.

"Broadway Melody of 1974" relates a series of vignettes from Broadway, all taken out of time and jumbled together. It is a common element of mystical experiences both ancient and modern that they involve a sense of being taken out of time, meeting people who dies long ago, etc. This song is meant to give the sense of Rael being transitioned into another kind of reality.

Rael begins his journey "In the Cage." It is a common theme in Christianity that our souls are in captivity, and need to be liberated.

In "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging," Rael glimpses the sight of flesh without spirit, bodies waiting to enter the world, before they are given breath and consciousness. The lifeless bodies are coupled with marketing language, the voices of salesmen hawking their wares. The image gives rise to Rael considering what more there might be to life- "I see no sign of free will, so I guess I'll have to pay."

Rael revisits his childhood "Back in N.Y.C." Young, tough, free of conscience. The experiences that hardened him and made him the way he is.

"Hairless Heart", though instumental, evokes Biblical poetry about the difference between a heart of stone and a heart of flesh. In this alternate image, Rael's heart being "shaved" so it is "hairless" is meant to give us the sense that his emotions are being uncovered and made vulnerable again.

In "Counting Out Time," Rael revisits his first sexual experiences, as he treated his partner as an object to be mastered with the help of an instruction manual.

"The Carpet Crawlers" envisions creatures like helpless babies crawling on lambswool. This is the second appearance of the Lamb, though this time, the proportions have changed, and Rael is like a flea hanging onto the surface of the immensity of God. The Crawlers need to go somewhere, into life, into birth, to face reality. You've got to get in to get out.

"The Chamber of 32 Doors" offers many directions that Rael and the others could go. But so many of them lead back to the same place again and again. Rael needs someone to believe in, someone to trust. He learns that he would rather trust a country man than a town man, someone who works with his hands, someone humble who doesn't have to self-promote and "shout what he's found."

Instead of happening upon the right door, Rael hooks up with "Lilywhite Lilith." (Lilith was God's failed first experiment with creating a woman in Hebrew mythology) he leads him forward.

He is led to the "Supernatural Anaesthetist" who brings death. While it is interesting to place birth images so close to death images, these belong together in religious allegory. Rael is undergoing an experience of being born anew, but at the same time, many things about him must die.

Rael, after being "anesthetized," meets a series of lost, hopeless creatures. The sensuous "Lamia" seek to erotically devour Rael, but like the mythical Tantalus, pleasure melts away before they can enjoy it. In "The Colony of Slippermen," Rael encounters people who are vague and indefinite, their form always shifting and slipping.

It is strange and slightly disturbing that Rael can only make progress at this point by submitting to castration at the hands of Doktor Dyper. But this echoes ages of writing and thinking about the tension between the spirit and the flesh, and the problematic nature of sexuality. From now on, Rael will wear his "package" in a vial around his neck, to be taken out and used when appropriate, but no longer ruling his life.

Since "In the Cage," Rael has caught glimpses of his brother John. The album art depicts John protrayed by the same actor as Rael, with good reason. Rael and John are different aspects of the same person who need to be reunited. John, by the way, is the name of 2 or 3 writers in the New Testament, one who tells the story of Jesus, and one who offers a mystical vision of the End of Time.

"The Raven" moves the story forward by stealing Rael's phallic vial, and then "The Light dies down on Broadway." Raels sees for a moment a glimpse of the real world, and gets the sense that he may not successfully return.

The resolution of the story comes, after "Riding the Scree," and "In the Rapids," when Rael is reunited with John. Rael, through this transformative experience, has become a whole person again.

"it' reveals the pun at the heart of the story. "It is REAL. It IS RAEL." It helps to know the origin of the name "ISRAEL" in the Bible. A man named Jacob was renamed "Israel" after spending the night wrestling with God. We walked away from the encounter physically wounded, but with a new name, which means, "One who struggles with God." That is exactly what Rael has been doing for this entire album - struggling with God, and being transformed by the experience.

As one of the great works of Progressive Rock, "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" is unparalleled. But part of its greatness is that it is also a work of literature, poetically engaging with ancient mystical truths in a modern, playful, and surprising way.

Report this review (#899337)
Posted Friday, January 25, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Ok, so I'm taxiing down a runway, can't use anything that goes beep or has a back light, what to do? What to do? 'A-Ha!' I said, much to the chagrin of the stranger on my right and my manager on the left. After that, I tried to keep the conversation in my head and quickly decided to listen to something I know inside and out.

'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway' is one of the seminal classic prog albums containing just about everything a fan of progressive rock could want. It is a double CD concept album that details the journey of our hero, Rael from Earth to the afterlife. Or at least that's how many people, myself included, interpret the album. Each song flows seamlessly into the next including the pause to skip CD's (more about that later). Oddly enough, this one took me longer to get into than the remainder of the Genesis catalog, even albums that get only 2-3 stars.

Peter Gabriel has truly matured as a singer by this point and has learned to control an audience's emotions through his voice. We are taken on an emotional roller coaster throughout, starting with the rage and anger in 'Fly on a Windshield' and 'Broadway Medley of 1974' all the way through the final jubilation that comes with reaching the end of a long journey in 'It.'

My favorite song on the album is easily 'The Chamber of 32 Doors'. This is another stop on the emotional 'wheel of fish' showing the pain and anguish of Rael's heartbreaking hopelessness and loneliness. Mr. Gabriel's aria towards the end of the song, illustrated exactly what he's learned as a vocalist, the quiver in his voice is perfect.

As I mentioned, every song flows perfectly into the next, including 'The Chamber', the flipping of the CD after the emotional 'Chamber' gives the listener just to slightest moment to regroup before 'Lillywhite Lillith' recues both the listener and 'Rael', slamming us with a killer Steve Hackett riff.

Speaking of the musicians, everyone is spot on as you'd expect. Two of Mr. Banks more notable synth solos can be found in 'In the Cage' and in 'The Colony of the Slippermen.' Both solos show his focus on both speed and melody.

I want to mention one last song here, 'The Waiting Room' has become one of my favorite songs from the album. For years, I would simply skip it as I didn't care much for the chaotic 'angry cat ghosts in regalia' section. I happened to let it go one day, I was painting, and was able to listen closely to the exit from the chaotic section. Wow, suddenly the song made a lot more sense and became a favorite of mine.

In summary, this is the second in a series of four, five star albums by Genesis (possibly the third, some days Foxtrot is a four star CD, some days it's a five star one). It's a highly emotional album full of fantastic music and wonderfully executed musicianship.

Report this review (#899392)
Posted Friday, January 25, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars Genesis's double album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is considered by many to be an epic tour de force. I'm sorry, But I just don't get it like that. There are a few of the songs that I think are excellent, the musicianship overall is excellent, but the story to me is convoluted and the production is poor.

This time, instead of true collaboration, we have Tony, Mike, Steve and Phil writing the music (except for counting out time - done by Peter) and Peter writing the lyrics (except on The Light Dies Down on Broadway - written by Tony and Mike because of time constraints). To me, this weakens the whole album. There are a number of songs that, if we could just hear the instruments sans vocals, we could appreciate even more but what we get is too dense, which makes for an uncomfortable listen.

As I mentioned, there are some incredible songs on here: The title track, In the Cage, Back in NYC, Counting Out Time, Carpet Crawlers, Colony of Slippermen, It. These all stack up well against all of the other Genesis songs. However, there is an incredible amount of filler, which to me weakens the album without developing the story in a meaningful way, not that it is easy to keep up with the story any way.

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, the production is incredibly muddled, the bass is lost, and the guitar is underused, and practically unheard. All in all, an uneven effort by Genesis, although some consider this their masterpiece. I don't but it is still a meaningful album in prog history.

Report this review (#911263)
Posted Friday, February 8, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars After Genesis released Selling England By The Pound they became quite a sensation and favorites among Prog Rock Aficionados it was their best, most ambitious and strongest effort yet. By 1974, there was tension among Peter Gabriel and the rest of the guys in the band. Peter much preferred to be with his family to take care of his ailing newborn daughter instead of being in the band which eventually led him to leave Genesis and later to focus on a solo career. He also felt that he did all he could so he left after The Lamb tour. Anyways the last album with Peter was one for the ages in my opinion. It is about a young man named Rael a Puerto Rican hoodlum who lives in New York who comes across Carpet Crawlers, Lamias, Slippermen, Big Black Ravens, etc. I will talk about what I like and didn't like about this album. I like the imagery that the album portrays but some of its lyrics are rather meh!!. On with the album right. Time to go, get out!!

Here is the track listing for this double concept album known as The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway released in 1974.

Disc 1 clocks in at 45:34 and it begins with the title track:

1. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway-This one opens up with a quick and very exciting piano intro from Senor Tony Banks(el es De La Oficina de Pasaportes with that sweet mustache, that's another story I'm getting carried away!!, haha) . It has a great rhythm section Mike and Phil work very well on this piece, they practically drive it along with Peter's charismatic persona and his interpretation of our young hero named Rael. At this point in the concept album Rael is on his way to see a show on Broadway but he soon falls asleep which lead to. 5/5

2. Fly on a Windshield-This song is one of the most cinematic songs ever by Genesis(listen to that Mellotron) it hits you right in the face. I really love how they depict New Yorkers as if nobody really cares about anything which I'm sure is true(I know, I know it's sad!!). Good Guitar work from Steve on this song. I really like it a lot 5/5

3. Broadway Melody of 1974-Very short sweet guitar piece from Steve Hackett. 5/5

4. Cuckoo Cocoon- This one is really underrated, I never hear anyone like this one and I don't know why. At this point in the story our young hero is stuck in a Cocoon. Great flute solo from Peter. I don't know why no one ever talks about it!! 5/5

5. In the Cage- This is one of the most intense Genesis songs that there ever was from the band. Our hero Rael doesn't know yet but he is calling out for himself outside the cage, he calls himself Brother John but what he doesn't know is that he is looking at himself. I love Tony's work on this song(his solos are so cool!!!). Overall, I think it is one of Genesis's best ever!!!. It really is a trip to a fantasy land. This is one of their most intense songs. Overall this album has a very dark feel to it and this song contributes to it, it is not like any other Genesis album before it!!!. I like this one a lot. Listen to Mike's bass, Phil's drumming and Tony's key works. 5/5

6. The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging- This one is really quirky and odd but I love it so much "Brother John is No.9" . It's one of the most aggressive songs Peter had ever sung with Genesis. Grand Parade, Grand Parade. I have this image in my head of people acting like sheep or for a better visual think of the kids from Pink Floyd's movie of The Wall. This one is very odd but that's what I like about it. 5/5

7. Back in N.Y.C.- In this one we get to see Rael and more of his background as Peter so accurately portrays " I' m a pitcher in a chain gang and we don't believe in pain" and "they call me the Trailblazer, Rael Electric razor". Rael is apparently a Gangster who likes to cause havoc upon the streets of New York. As far as the visuals go it's tremendous but the concept seems to lose it itself(it doesn't make much sense here, unless it's a dream about his life or something, I don't know nor do I really care, hehe). This one is musically complex and really good. The music is enough to give you chills. I like it!! 5/5

8. Hairless Heart- This one is really relaxing instrumental after the aggressiveness and violence of the past 3 songs. It features great keyboard work from Tony Banks and great guitar work from Steve Hackett(Steve was somewhat restrained on this album which I really didn't like) but he still brings about really good performances.This is just very relaxing and it leads to the next song.5/5

9. Counting Out Time- Our hero finds a girl that he "wanted to date", this song is practically about sex(hehe). It's a really good song though, it reminds me of The Beatles(the later years). I really liked Steve Hackett's guitar riffs on this song. It's just really funny and fun too. Peter don't leave, don't please. This one reminds of me the days of Pete so it really sounds poignant to me even though the song is about sex. They had great chemistry didn't they. 5/5

10. The Carpet Crawlers- Tony Banks really didn't like this song but who cares what he has to say I love it, it's one of those songs that gets even though it's straight forward and rather repetitive(how do they do that). I really don't like repetitive songs but this one is an exception(Oh my!!) what a piece. Just lovely 5/5

Disc 1 ends with the eerie Chamber of 32 Doors which I will be talking about right now:

11. The Chamber of 32 Doors- Like I said, this song is very eerie with some haunting power behind it. It practically talks about how certain people are looking for Rael. This song gives me mad chills(try listening to it while you take a walk down the alleyways of New York City(woah!!) or if you don't live in New York try to picture it in your head. Genesis with Peter and without were always great song writers and this song is a perfect example of that. 5/5


Disc 1 of this epic double-sided album gets a perfect score for me(woah!!!) 55/55

We need to take a break here don't we from analyzing the music and the songs before we get back to it. We can recap the story of Rael. We have seen him go to a show and fall asleep(The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway), he has been stuck inside a Cocoon and Cage(Cuckoo Cocoon, In The Cage), he has been part of the Parade of Lifeless Packaging, we have seen more of who he is and his background(Back In N.Y.C), he has had sex(Counting Out Time) and locked inside a Chamber of so many doors(Chamber of 32 Doors). As we can see the concept is not really great when it comes to a storyline or a plot but I feel it is deeper than that, it's about a young man who is trying to find himself. Many have said that this album is Peter Gabriel's finest moment ever!! as a member of Genesis and as a solo artist. I have to agree with that. Anyway we have to get back to the album review(don't we, damn I never realized I could write so many words, hehe).

Disc 2 of this epic double concept album is really overlooked in my opinion but I feel it offers some really strong moments(if not stronger that Disc 1). It clocks in at 48:49. Here we go again. To quote Peter again: "Here I go"

1. Lillywhite Lilith- Disc 2 opens up with this bone-chilling song(it actually appeared in one of my dreams where I saw a ghost(ahh!!!!)). It really is one of those bone-chilling songs, listen to those keys played by Tony Banks(wow!!!), it's a really dark sounding song(hehe). It's about a blind woman named Lillywhite Lilith helping Rael outside the Chamber of 32 Doors. What a bone-chilling piece( I keep saying that but it is!!!). 5/5

2. The Waiting Room- I guess Genesis decided to take a page out of King Crimson's book with a rather pointless experimental instrumental piece, it sounds like people or whatever the hell it is creating a mess in a room, anyway I like this piece just not really keen on it. I find it rather pointless, really. It's nothing special. This is the first piece on the album that really isn't that great, it takes a while to get going, it's a meh!! piece, that I could live without. 3/5

3. Anyway- In this one we get some of Tony Banks finest playing(listen to that piano!!), it really is another great one, it strikes you like lightning, the dynamics are fantastic!!!! , I love Steve's solo on it. A really dynamic piece. Magnificent!!! 5/5

4. The Supernatural Anaesthetist- This song's lyrics are really silly and don't really make much sense when it comes to the concept of the album but the song is a real Prog Rocker that I just love, it has great work from just about everyone from Phil to Tony to Steve. It's just a fun piece. 5/5

5. The Lamia- Now we get to The Lamia(my goodness!!!!) is this one beautiful. It has beautiful piano melodies and Peter sings with so much emotion(one of my favorites from Genesis, period!!!!!). I feel that this is the song that they have been trying to nail down(I mean I feel this is the song that Tony always wanted to nail down, hehe I'm joking I love the guy,hehe!!!). It really is one of the most luscious pieces of music ever constructed by a Rock Band!!!.At this point in the story we get to see our hero have sex with Lamias and later eat their flesh(wtf???). The song's lyrics are atrocious and even down right embarrassing but Steve's solo saves us all!!!!.Oh my that solo(wow!!!). I have cried listening to that solo of his(one of his very best!!!). The music is great. 5/5

6. Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats- This is just a relaxing instrumental piece with lush heavenly keyboards from Tony Banks. I really didn't like it at first but it has caught on.I like it 4/5

7. Colony of Slippermen- This one takes a while to get started but it's an interesting intro in my opinion. When it gets going, it is yet again another one of Genesis's greatest works of the 1970's. Our hero has his tube(his penis, I think I might be wrong, I know I know it's a WTF?? moment) stolen by a big Black Raven. He spends the song trying to get it back from him, along the way he also comes across a Colony of Slippermen, they want to take him apart or something(I don't know nor do I really care,haha). Musically and vocally one of the bands best songs not just with Peter on vocals but of all-time. It is yet another song that I consider to be Classic Genesis."You're in the Colony of Slippemen", now that's a money shot(wink, wink!!) 5/5

8. Ravine- This one is an interesting instrumental but not as soothing as Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats. I picture Zombies walking(like the Walking Dead). It is a rather eerie piece. Short and Eerie. I like it.3.5./5

9. The Light Dies Down on Broadway- This one sounds like the son or daughter(I hope I don't sound sexist) of The Lamia and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. If those two songs were to have a baby it would be this song. I love the mournful feel to it. Rael is going back home(I think, not sure though???) I know some of you are tired of this album by now and some think that the song sounds tired by now but I'm not I'm still enthralled and awe-inspired by the album. This album presented to me a load of musical ideas I thought would never be possible. Anyways, back to the song. I love it. 5/5

10. Riding the Scree- This one is just fun and funny at the same time. I love Tony's synth work on it. It's just a fun and short song 4/5

11. In the Rapids- With this song Rael starts to realize and find that the person he has been looking for this whole time has been himself"Something's changed that's not your face it's mine, it's mine!!". I know the concept is flawed but still an interesting place to get lost in. Good song but short, it builds up in intensity and it leads to It 4/5

12. It- I love this song because of the guitar riff from Steve Hackett and Peter's emotional vocals. This would be Peter's last song sung in a Genesis album(No!!!!!!). Yes it's only knock and know all but I like it". I love this song one of my very favorites from the album 5/5

With this album Peter Gabriel would leave Genesis and to date he has never returned. His albums with the band to me were truly some of Prog Rock's best and finest. This one a really really great album.

Disc 1 received a 55/55 Disc 2 gets a 53.5/60

The double concept album overall gets a108.5 out of 115 from me. I'm sure that's a very high rating. Hell I'm giving the album 5 stars for the great memories we all had with Peter Gabriel. Damn this review took long, haha. Peace Out!!!

Report this review (#917551)
Posted Friday, February 22, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars "I've got sunshine in my stomach..............................." Damn I love the opening of "In The Cage"! This is Peter Gabriel's last album with Genesis and this album is also very much Peter Gabriel backed by Genesis. A double, concept, album - the concept being a tale that is complicated, so much so that I ignore the story when I listen to this. For whatever the real reason Gabriel and the rest of the band no longer saw eye to eye and classic Genesis as we know it was dealt an almost irrecoverable from knock out blow when he left the band after this album - as far as I was concerned.

I really enjoy the first six tracks, there is magic in the music there. I don't enjoy "Back in N.Y.C. very much at all. "Hairless Heart" brings things back to an even keel for me. I adore "Carpet Crawlers". "The Lamia" to my ears is brilliant. Through the rest of the album I find the music brilliant at times, good at times and I must admit that there is some music that I find to be pointless and even bad at times.

It is a very difficult album, for me, to rate. The concept is strong and very cleverly seen through by Gabriel and the band. A lot of the music soars beautifully. Some of the music could have been cut out of the album because I personally believe that it is there purely to fill the double album record space. I could say that if it were cut down in size to fill a single album that it would probably easily be a 5 star effort but then in a way the music itself would have been compromised, I feel. I love 5 tracks on the album and they are, to my mind, among the best that Genesis have ever done but 5 out of 23 tracks is really not enough. I like the balance of the music except for parts of tracks and tracks that don't do it for me.

This is not a five star rated album for me and neither is it a three star effort so I'll go with that and award 4 solid stars.

Report this review (#946073)
Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" is one of the greatest progressive albums of all time, and holds the strongest concept for me, both through the storyline and music (although going off on tangent towards the end). Genesis finally created their monstrous double album, totally self-indulgent, like it or not, commonly compared to Yes' "Tales From Topographic Oceans", released a year before this. I'm always a fan of music that takes risks, and doesn't regard the audience, and "The Lamb", while not their strongest album overall, is the truest to the ethos of progressive rock.

The title track starts the album, with some excellent chord progressions and great piano playing by Banks on the intro. "Fly On A Windshield" takes you right out of this grand opener, and builds a brilliant atmosphere with soothing keyboards and very emotional lyrics and guitar playing by Hackett. The segue into "Broadway Melody Of 1974" is one of the best, only really comparable with songs from Pink Floyd's "Dark Side". The song is more rocky, maintaining a steady pulse, with very thought-provoking lyrics - probably some of the best of Genesis altogether. "Cuckoo Cocoon" then expands out of the busy Broadway scene, into a more personal and emotional rather than physical piece. The lyrics and chords are very sensitive, and they create a great tension in the atmosphere as with the whole of the album. The advance in the ambience between Foxtrot and The Lamb is just phenomenal. The musicianship on here, too, is just so tight and definite. They've clearly mastered their instruments and can use them to produce so many varied musical statements.

"In The Cage" is slightly more devious musically speaking and very intriguing. The song develops very well, and is undoubtedly a fan favourite. Tony's keyboard solo is one of the highlights of the album for me. "The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging" is delivered brilliantly by Peter, with spine-chilling effects added to his voice (and a low backing vocal that I'm not so sure about!) The lyrics again arouse interest and are simply incredible, although I've not a clue what they mean. "Back In N.Y.C" goes back to a powerful vibe in the exact right place for me. It took me a while to realise the verses were in 7/8 - they make it sound so ordinary, and this talent is carried on throughout the album. The harsh tones emanating from every instrument bring the song alive, and with the lyrics likewise produces an outstanding piece.

"Hairless Heart" unexpectedly draws out of these punches, into a gentle melodic Hackett instrumental joined by some symphonic synths by Banks once again. Sorry for not mentioning Phil Collins to any drummer fans - he's also very consistent and employs great techniques all the way through. "Counting Out Time", a very risque prog pop song enters, with sexual lyrics and guitar solos, emphasises the youthful quality of Rael (the main character) that is, in my opinion, to be empathised with as his vulnerability as a child later on. "The Carpet Crawlers" is of course one of the quintessential Genesis songs. Excellent melodies and lyrics, and just blissful, you know. This leads into the similarly impressive and more symphonic yet emotional "Chamber Of 32 Doors", illustrating a lost Rael in an unforgiving chamber. Gabriel brings this character to life so amazingly here, and is a brilliant song choice to end side 1.

"Lilywhite Lilith": a bit too obvious in its "victory" feel for me. Stands out too much for me, and probably a mistake for an opener. Still a great song though. "The Waiting Room" is not the greatest song on the album of course, but it's something they had to do really. It shows their versatility and variety lots more than on previous albums, and is outstanding on what it set out to do. It symbolises Rael trying to deal with impatience for me, and not quite managing it! Anyway, "Anyway" is probably my favourite song on side 2. I struggle to see how it relates to the storyline as with "Counting Out Time", and like that song it also shows his sexual needs, but in a more mature way now, as though Rael is becoming more of a man. The piano chords and lyrics are just some of the best I've ever heard! I would love to know how they compose songs like this, because analysing it, it's just mind-blowing! Not so sure about Hackett's solo on here though, but the piano backing is "insanity personified" (in a good way).

"Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetist" is almost more of a comedic song, like "The Grand Parade" on side 1. The melodies just seem to work, and the rhythms fit in perfectly with each other. Short but very sweet indeed! "The Lamia" is musically very good, but enough with the you-know-what, Peter. 7 minutes of Rael being seduced by snakes is perhaps too much, but I suppose it is quite essential for the next couple of songs in the storyline. "Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats" is the worst track on the album, and just unnecessary. We don't need the same 6 notes played for 3 minutes with some gentle keyboard backing if there's a cynical 2 minute intro to the next track: "The Colony Of Slippermen". Very interesting musically to begin with, and goes into a very catchy but progressive piece with very descriptive lyrics. My favourite part of the album: "ME, LIKE YOU?!" with the off-beat keyboards. They just outline the shock but sort of hollow/light-heartedness of the album's surreal themes. The lyrics then get a bit weird, about castration and all that, but I'm more than used to it now. Singing along to "yellow plastic shooby-doo" is not something you want to do in public though...

"Ravine" is another ambient, minimal track like "Silent Sorrow", but is musically superior and fits in much better. Very gentle and relaxing, going straight into "The Light Dies Down On Broadway". This song reprising parts from "The Lamia" and right from the opening track "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway", teamed with more emotional and sentimental lyrics, once again delivered magnificently by Peter, especially at "My home!" A great twist on the earlier tracks, and doing a lot of good with little material. "Riding The Scree" goes more rocky and in a brilliantly hypnotic 9/8 timing, with a keyboard solo I prefer even to their sublime "Apocalypse in 9/8". Great lyrics once again, as with the softer "In The Rapids". The track is very sensitive and by now you are absolutely captivated by the storyline, and listening to every syllable so intently. Beautiful, and synths into the final track "It". A bit of a let down for an ending track, but concludes the storyline quite well, although the lyrics aren't quite as symbolic as usual Genesis, just catchy. The music however is exceptional, and I always find myself shaking my leg in time to "it". So sad when it starts to fade out...

A+: Completely essential for any real prog rock fan. One of the greatest most intricate and intimate works ever created by anyone, ever! :P

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway: ***** Fly On A Windshield: ***** Broadway Melody Of 1974: ***** Cuckoo Cocoon: ***** In The Cage: ***** The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging: ***** Back In N.Y.C: ***** Hairless Heart: **** Counting Out Time: ***** The Carpet Crawlers: ***** The Chamber Of 32 Doors: ***** Lilywhite Lilith: **** The Waiting Room: **** Anyway: ***** Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetist: ***** The Lamia: **** Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats: ** The Colony Of Slippermen: ***** Ravine: **** The Light Dies Down On Broadway: ***** Riding The Scree: ***** In The Rapids: ***** It: ****

Report this review (#984612)
Posted Sunday, June 23, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars And the lamb ... lies down ... on broadway. This was an easy 5 star rating for me. After much thinking, it has occurred to me that The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway might be my favourite album. It may not be the best Genesis album but there's just something about it. Maybe it's the fact that they never sounded so theatrical before AND after this. With the classic line-up of the band it was as if they were building up their cinematic quality with each album, and they reached their apex on The Lamb.

Now, what makes it so great? Is it the story? The Music? The answer is in whatever you're looking for. If you are looking for an album with great songs, you will get it. If you're looking for a surreal story that is very open to interpretation, you will be pleased. The story is complicated and doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but it is intriguing. It's about a Puerto Rican street gang member, named Rael, who is living in New York City. He gets pulled into a series of nightmares while chasing after and trying to save his brother John, who, in the end, turns out to be himself; sort of like a split personality.

But the story isn't what makes this album as good as it is, it's the music. The music is very structured and at times gorgeous. Individual songs may not be as impressive, but together it creates a song cycle that is sure to impress. The title track, "In The Cage", "Back In NYC", "Carpet Crawlers", "The Lamia", and "The Colony Of Slippermen" are all highlights. There is no filler anywhere on the record. Every song serves its purpose.

Being a double album and lasting 94 minutes in length makes it a challenging listen, but it's worth it. The perfect concept album in my opinion. *****

Report this review (#1085748)
Posted Wednesday, December 4, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars *Only a magic that a review would stain*

One way that this album really succeeds is the way the emotion (and there's a myriad of emotions that it portrays) is always in line with the instrumentation (one could argue that Van Der Graaf Generator succeeds in quite the opposite way: their emotion often directly opposes it, but that's the schizophrenic feeling they're trying to portray). The tranquility of "Cuckoo Cucoon" blends into the harsh torture of "In the Cage." This is not the only time when two successive songs form an emotional contrast. In "Back in NYC" and "Hairless Heart," we see behind Rael's tough (as Gabriel's vocals make clear) persona a more sensitive, lonely side (this isn't the only time this theme has appeared in a Genesis album, see also "Squonk" on A Trick of the Tail). We see the silly, bumbling naiveté of "Counting Out Time." The delicate beauty of "The Lamia" is contrasted with the exotic and grotesque "Colony of Slippermen." Finally, there's the slowly-building triumph of "In the Rapids."

Another way this album really succeeds is in the subtlety. Unlike Yes, Genesis isn't as in-your-face about instrumental virtuosity and rely more on synergy. Take "The Colony of Slippermen": there's the seamless cycling between three very different themes. The extra beat they put into the keyboards in "A Visit to the Doktor" is carried over into the lyrics ("windscreen wiper" and "countdown timer tick"). Also notice the extra beat they put in after "one hell of a fright" (adding a sound appropriate to the lyric). You can find other examples in their songs, but "Colony" is where they are most apparent.

Let's take a moment to talk about the "filler" tracks on the second side. I think that there's something about "The Waiting Room" and "Ravine" that really "works," whereas "Silent Sorrows in Empty Boats" is a bit too repetitive for me. The instrumental section at the beginning of "Colony" actually does a great job of setting up the scene and is entirely consistent with the feeling they are trying to get.

Report this review (#1094184)
Posted Saturday, December 21, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the best album of all times. I bought the double vinyl album in 1974 and from the first moment I played this album I understood that this is the best album I will ever hear. It is impossible to make an album that is better than this. I played it over and over again and I discovered more and more details in the album. The music, the lyrics, the vocals of Peter Gabriel and the changes of moods all through the album. The genius of Tony Banks. I knew all the lyrics before I was on the concert i 1974 in Oslo where they played the whole album. That was the best concert of my life and nothing will ever exceed that experience when it comes to music. At the end of the show the whole set exploded because they had put too much powder into the firecrackers. And that was it. The album of all times, a masterpiece.
Report this review (#1424115)
Posted Saturday, June 6, 2015 | Review Permalink
4 stars Genesis's 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' is an album which can divide opinion and create debate like no other...Everyone who listens to progressive music probably has their own opinions regarding 'The Lamb', its impossible not to. Judging from the reviews on Prog Archives there are definitely a lot of strong opinions about this particular Genesis album, and I'd expect no less! Unlike 'Selling England' or 'Foxtrot', which are easily identified as masterpieces of prog, with 'The Lamb' it isn't so clear-cut. Is this album a masterpiece? Perhaps...

There have been times in my own life when I have held up 'The Lamb' to be the single greatest piece of music in all of recorded human history. But equally there have been times when I've been far more sceptical about the record and regarded it with only a passing interest. The truth, like so many things, probably lies somewhere in-between these two extremes. In my opinion 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' is the perfect example of the flawed masterpiece.

But in sitting down and writing my review for this oh-so mysterious album I can already feel it tugging at me, calling to me, wanting to be listened to once again. One thing is certain, 'The Lamb' has never been far from my thoughts at any given time. I still get excited when I listen to it - it's intoxicating, not least of all because I still haven't got the slightest clue what its all about! It's almost like a puzzle or a mathematical equation which demands to be solved. The lyrics are clearly a metaphor for something - I've just never figured out what! I've tried reading other people's thoughts on the matter, spent hours digesting notes on the Internet of interpretations and theories, but nothing seems to feel right to me. In a way it doesn't really matter. The biggest joke might be if Peter Gabriel doesn't even know what it means, and the words were just chosen because they made good lyrics and fitted together well...!

But what perplexes me more is why has this album taken up so much of my time, after-all, the previous Gabriel-era Genesis albums are far superior to this one, right?... 'The Lamb' doesn't have the long and highly enjoyable progressive instrumental passages from previous albums, it isn't as experimental or I might argue as progressive as the bands previous records. In many ways its a bit more straight-forward than the previous Genesis records.

In 'The Lamb' all attention is on Peter Gabriel and his vocals, with little room for musical freedom from the rest of the band. Now there are a few songs on the album which buck the trend and allow for a bit more musical exploration, like the track 'In The Cage' or 'Riding The Scree', but those songs are few and far between. What I find even more perplexing, however, is that a good 25% of the album is more-or-less filler, especially on the second disc. In fact I sometimes even find myself skipping the odd track in the second half when I sit down and listen to this. How can this be a masterpiece then? Well as I said its a flawed masterpiece...

...but I wouldn't change a second of it!

I initially set out to write a 3-star review for this album, but how can I? There may be a a good chunk of filler on here, but there are also some absolutely fantastic Genesis songs which deserve, even to this day, to be listened to by everyone. The good on this album more than does enough to wash away the bad. Is this the greatest record in human history? A few years ago I might have said yes, but really its not 'the greatest'... I'm not even sure I'd put it in my top 10, but regardless it is still absolutely essential for any prog fan though... But you all already know that, right? Reviewing this album isn't anything ground-breaking, in-fact I doubt anyone is going to read yet another review for this already over-reviewed album. I'm not going to change any opinions with my review of this album, I just felt like I wanted to add my own voice to the mix regarding this album.

'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' gets a very solid 4-stars from me, as its probably the fairest rating I can think of... Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to listen to 'The Lamb', maybe more than once!...

Report this review (#1434941)
Posted Saturday, July 4, 2015 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of my first prog-albums ever and I still have not grown tired of it. Especially during 80's and half of 90's listened this record in my car over and over again, never getting bored. This album has set bar high for other albums because I still rate them against this one.

The album as a whole is usually considered as a masterpiece and for a good reason. I do agree with some of the reviews that point out that the second album could have been improved in some points but still this does not diminish the over all quality.

What new to say about an album that has been reviewed more than 250 times? Not much I guess, except every time I listen this record "I got sunshine in my stomach."

Report this review (#1475454)
Posted Monday, October 12, 2015 | Review Permalink
Magnum Vaeltaja
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars For me, Genesis has always been about two things, atmosphere and storytelling. On this final Gabriel-era release, they knock one of those out of the park but the other really lacks. What we have hear is a megalith of an album encompassing over 90 minutes of songs telling of the grand spiritual journey of its protagonist, and the reason why I say "songs" specifically as opposed to "music" is because of their content. What we have hear is not 90 minutes of Firth of Fifths or Musical Boxes but a whole lot of Peter Gabriel singing. The lyrics are brilliant and the story is cohesive, no doubt, but ultimately there just isn't enough substance from the rest of the band that I can enjoy this album. For that reason I'll give it 3 stars; there's no doubt that the artistry present here is good but it isn't really essential unless you're a Peter Gabriel fanatic.
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Posted Monday, March 14, 2016 | Review Permalink
5 stars Review nş 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*)

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Posted Thursday, July 21, 2016 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's 1993, I was 20 years old, and I was very familiar with 1980s Genesis, from Duke up to their latest studio offering, We Can't Dance, and to be honest I was frankly sick of it. So I turned to The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, their final album with Peter Gabriel. I was already familiar with the title track, as FM rock station still played that song on occasions even into the 1990s. Other than that, the earliest Genesis song likely heard on the radio would be "Follow You, Follow Me" from 1978's ...And Then There Were Three... which is basically the first '80s Genesis song. What a huge breath of fresh air the Lamb was. No cheesy love songs like "In Too Deep", none of that nasty '80s production values that horribly dated music of all kinds in that decade. No Yamaha DX-7 or drum machines, but instead Hammond organ, Mellotron, RMI electric piano, piano and ARP Pro-Soloist. I have never really followed the story, and it looks like it's next to impossible to follow anyways. The LP comes with a lengthy story that's equally hard to follow along. The title track is the first, it has that same piano introduction I heard from New Trolls on "Studio" from their late 1972 album UT. Was this supposed to be a classical riff I don't recognize, or did Genesis actually steal from New Trolls? Unlike ELP, I don't believe I noticed Tony Banks ever directly stealing from classical songs, so I don't know. What I do know is Genesis were very popular in Italy before the rest of the world really took notice (with the exception of Belgium, who also took notice perhaps even earlier than the Italians). "Fly on a Windshield" is a stark contrast, gentle acoustic, atmospheric song with eerie Mellotron choirs, while the music gets more rocking on "Broadway Melody of 1974", with some great Mellotron playing. "Cuckoo Cocoon" is a mellower piece, with flute from Peter Gabriel (before I heard this album, I never realized he could play flute as his solo albums certainly never featured any, not even "Sledgehammer" which is a sampled Japanese shakuhachi bamboo flute courtesy of a Fairlight). "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging" shows the less serious side of the band, while "Carpet Crawlers" sounds similar to the title track, complete with that same RMI electronic piano riff, but slower pace and more moody. "Chamber of a 1000 Doors" is a generally slower piece with some mid tempo parts. "Lilywhite Lillith" is rather upbeat, sounding undeniably Genesis, one of the rare radio friendly moments on the album like the title track. "The Waiting Room" is an instrumental, rather experimental piece, there are some synth effects, before it turns into your typical 1970s Genesis instrumental. "Lamia" is largely piano-dominated, while "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats" is an instrumental piece complete with Mellotron choir. Back in 1993, it was then I dawned on me that weird choir sound emanated from the Mellotron, as I heard that same choir sound off Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygene (in between Part II and Part III). "The Colony of Slippermen" starts off strange with strange percussion and strange synth sounds, before the song kicks in, I really dig the organ riff and those synth solos. I especially like how the song ends, before going into some strange ambient territory on "Ravine". "The Light Dies Down on Broadway" is, as expected, a variant of the title track, which makes sense given this is a concept album. "Riding the Scree" features some strange bass riffs and synth solos, before the vocals kick in. "It" is the closing song, and it sounds like a closer too.

OK, I know there are many out there who would like to decipher the concept behind this album. I do know it has something to do with a Puetro Rican kid in New York City named Rael who spraypaints walls, and then gets a strange visitation from various characters, but then that's where it loses me.

It's been said plenty of times that Peter Gabriel left after some 1975 tours. The reason was family life, his wife Jill was to give birth to a child (and perhaps raising a child was the big reason it took until 1977 before Peter Gabriel released his first solo album, and he did a version of Strawberry Fields Forever off the All This and World War II album of 1976). It was a big Genesis landmark, but of course not everyone will agree this was their crowning achievement, given all their previous albums have been single albums and easier to take in. Regardless, for some reason, as much as I enjoyed it in 1993, I seem to enjoy it even more now in 2016. It's not an easy listen. Listening to this album, I can easily understand why radio stations would be scared off playing anything off this album aside from the title track. To me, it's a total classic that really gave me a different attitude of Genesis.

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Posted Thursday, October 13, 2016 | Review Permalink
5 stars #17 Review

Finally here, i left the longest, most interesting and probably the best album as my last review for Genesis... well, not quite, there's still one more thing that goes far away into the future.

The Little Prince... i'm glad that this album wasn't about that, instead PGs twisted mind took over and made one of the most theatrical albums ever, he alone made the entire lyrics (except for Light Dies Down) while the rest of the team were making lots of tunes, interestingly a song called "Lilywhite Lylith" was concieved back in 1969 by Anthony Phillips and "Anyway" was also made during that time.

Many credit Peter Gabriel as the only one that made the band great, without a doubt he made the best lyrics, made interesting characters, but what else is to it? The musical part was mostly done by everyone else, and the band changed style progressively in each album, i think that the band got mellow with each release and this album shows it if you compare it with the previous ones. I have always been more about the music than the lyrics, i'm a big fan of only instrumental songs, i listen to jazz and classic music, and i play the piano, i really like Tony Banks even in his worst work i can see what he is trying to do, but if there's something i disagree with him a lot it's about what he thinks about this album, he doesn't like the story, while i really like it, i grew up in the 90s and somehow this story feels right at home as one of the bests. Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford's opinions aside about this album, the band has been trying to bring it back on many occasions, for instance, they tried to make a movie... twice! One when the album was just released and the other in 1994... WHEN I WAS BORN! For the 20 year anniversary of the album that is, and no one wanted to make the movie, also they tried to do a complete tour for this album, Steve Hackett said that recently... WHAT HAPPENED?! And in 1999 they released the awful "Carpet Crawlers 99'" with a video and a missing verse because for some reason Ray Wilson's lines weren't included or recorded i don't remember, everything was recorded separately and badly mixed as well.

This album marks other more important hits, like for example, the ACCIDENT that the band had in one of the tours, it was horrible and that made the band fire the tour crew and almost made them split up completely, it was a disaster worse than the accident on the Abacab tour (That one that PG and Hackett fans always like to bring out). And obviously, this is the last album with PG, were Genesis lost character, PG wanted to follow his own career, the band wasn't his if the members couldn't get along with him, who would want to hang out with a Slippermen that sings bad because his rubber mouth eats the microphone anyways? And even more concerning for PG was his family and a new job that he got offered at that time, working for a movie as a writter, that's when he wanted to sneak up The Lamb, but it didn't happen, the closes thing to The Lamb tho, is the movie "El Topo" from 1970 directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky.

To finish this off, there's a complete story made for this double LP made by PG, + an extended stack of pictures. On the web there's also the complete story of the failed concert by one of the managers that was hit on the head by Tony Banks because Tony wanted to kill him.

This review already has the biggest description i have done, but also it'll be the longest by the cheer amount of songs, and i'll review each.


1.- The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway 10/10 Perfect start, when i first heard it i thought that i was too repetitive, but now i think that is mesmerizing, i love it and it's a really fun tune to play and sing. It really feels like the start of a theatrical spectacle, it fits the artwork of the box, makes me go back 20 years before i was born and it's just magical.

2.- Fly on a Windshield 10/10 The previous song continues on this one, and this is when the plot starts going after the character is introduced. Our protagonist Rael is transported to another version of the previous described place, showing dead people and mythical creatures. The music accompanies the events perfectly, the tension increases and this song has one of my favourites compositions from the band, where it feels like everyone has the spotlight.

3.- Broadway Melody of 1974 10/10 Continuing with the idea of the previous song, a really short tune to describe what the protagonist can see and then a really beautyful piece of music that makes me feel like the protagonist is being transported somewhere else.

4.- Cuckoo Cocoon 10/10 Also starting from the previous song, our protagonist is followed by pretty instruments and falls into some kind of soft spot where he feels better than at home. Props to Tony Banks.

5.- In the Cage 10/10 IN THE BLOODY CAGE, our protagonist is sleeping deep and awakens in a state of cholera, traped inside a cage alongside many people outside in different cages, and outside its his brother Jhon Hack-, Jhon Rael or something, so it's like Rael Bros. or something. I can't describe how incredible this song is, it has been used so many times in concerts and i never get tired, the feel of emergency in this song and specially that incredible Tony Banks solo that i'm still learning, it's surreal, interestingly enough, that part is almost played by only the 3 persons that held the band for many years to come, another reason for what they played it so much on concerts, trying to transform pop fans into prog fans, and for what i know, they succeeded with a lot of them, this, Supper's Ready and The Cinema Show have changed people from prog to pop. The ending to this song it's too beautiful not to mention it, i always imagine Rael getting outside the cave and finding a boat to cruise over into the next destination, instead of imagining a train on the distance for some reason.

6.- The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging 9/10 I really like the progression done in this song, but it feels like a joke compared to the previous segment, it's a little repetitive but it still follows the story well and demostrates perfectly how weird this world is. Also, this song was heavely altered during production and the band was happy with all changes done in distortion and volume of the song, because it goes and shows in a better way the intentions of this song.

7.- Back in N.Y.C. 8/10 At first i completely disliked this song just for the sound of it, but it got stuck in my head once and i really like it, it's a repetitive as well, the lyrics and the performance of Peter Gabriel is really good here and describes Rael as how he really is. About the odd time signature, i have always liked them, since i was little, before knowing what an odd-time signature was, for example, i really liked that song from the movie "The Truman Show" called "Anthem".

8.- Hairless Heart 10/10 A nice instrumental song that really sets the atmosphere, reminds me of Trespass, it continues from the previous song as well.

9.- Counting Out Time 9/10 Continuing from the last song, we touched the dark side of Rael, who he really was in NYC, but now we see the more sexual side, and this song always cracks me up laughing at some points, like when the distorted guitar appears... or i should say "Mr. Guitar", this makes me think that Rael had some mental problems as well, but minor. The bad thing is that this song is a little repetitive.

10.- Carpet Crawlers 10/10 Another Genesis stapple, really emotional, probably the only song that the 3 vocalists of the band have played in concert. It's also a repetitive song, but mesmerizing, everyone does an effort in this song and it's really well done.

11.- The Chamber of 32 Doors 8/10 Rael sees everything and tries to escape, and instead he learns more about people. I really like the atmosphere and lyrics, but again, this song is really repetitive, it feels even more so repetitive than NYC.


1.- Lilywhite Lylith 9/10 Starting the second disc with a bang, an epic song that takes Rael near an angel that abandons him eventually, a little repetitive it is, and this song continues to the next.

2.- The Waiting Room 10/10 A jam at the studio that was "remade" many times in order to represent purgatory in the most accurate way, devil jam. I don't know what else to say here, that's what it is, not even an experimentation or trying to portray what lyrics are saying, just going there to the absolute.

3.- Anyway 9/10 "I'm the mad, mad, mad scientist", aweosome piano piece by Tony Banks, anyway, this song is not that interesting in order to repeat certain pieces, it's not that long tho, but i'll still rest a point...

4.- Here Comes the Supernatural Anaesthetist 10/10 I really like the rythm of this song, Rael finally got what he deserved and we got a really nice song where everybody does it's best, props to Hackett tho... and this is not the end of Rael. Listen this song until the end, the ending part it's really great.

5.- The Lamia 10/10 Rael it's still alive but enters a cave that has 3 lamias inside. The music goes alongside the lyrics perfectly, while i congratulated Peter Gabriel for the lyrics, in this song we can also see how well Tony Banks and Steve Hackett work together, and this happens a lot in many Genesis songs, no wonder why people want them to make music together again.

6.- Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats 10/10 As i said in the begining, i really like soundtracks, and this song shows how aweosome would be a soundtrack made by Genesis, it's simple, yet i can feel what's happening without any lyrics.

7.- The Colony of Slippermen: Arrival / A Visit to the Doktor / Raven 10/10 And after our protagonist traveled through a river of souls, he came under the seawers, and found another mythical race, though this time, this one is less known... enter the Slippermen, a really gross race, stuff from nightmares, they aren't bad "people" tho. This song recreates this with full detail, would you like to hear that? Maybe not, but the song it's a work of art and the lyrics are really well conected, so it doesn't matter if it's gross or frightening, whatever, you're not transforming into Slippermen, don't worry. This song also features what some we call "A Tony Banks Moment" when there's an incredible piano solo, the first time i read about that was in a comment on Youtube.

8.- Ravine 10/10 Another soundtrack like song, done with Keyboards and Accoustic Guitar, a mighty combination, my problem with this song is that i don't understand it's name, the music tells me that Rael is vanishing and getting transported to the next song, but the title is just... ravine?

9.- The Light Dies Down on Broadway 10/10 The only song not writen by Peter Gabriel, but it fits the story perfectly anyways, it feels like a different version from the first song, and i really dig that, giving you a new sense and sitution in the same place, we're back, it's nostalgic, but everything has changed a lot, like when you go to where your local "Blockbuster" was, and now there is just an empty building completely destroyed and filled with rats.

10.- Riding the Scree 10/10 A little part from this song was used in concerts in the solo part of the song "The Cinema Show", and it fits perfectly, but this song also holds a beef on its own, almost completely instrumental, the drumming is really great on this song, as well as Tony Banks. The lyrics near the end add even more atmosphere.

11.- In the Rapids 10/10 A really mellow song to symbolize loneliness, this is like the bad ending of the story, some people believe that it would've been better if the story ended like this, then the song shifts it's tone like half-way and goes into the next song, with the "happy" ending.

12.- It 9/10 And this is the end of this epic journey, this song gets a little repetitive, but it gets the work done, i specially recommend the version of this song in "3 Sides Live", because they mixed this song with "Watcher of the Skies" and it sounds really good.

In total, CD1 gets a 95/100 and CD2 gets a 97/100, giving a total of 96/100, this album obviously deserves 5 Stars, by it's cheer effort alone deserves it, i love albums like these, but there's a problem, this is the only album that it's really like this, Genesis in general is an unique band.

As i said earlier, this is not my final review on Genesis, in that review i'll talk a little more about the band. After that, i plan to do an extended cut of all the reviews i already made and i also plan to continue reviewing other groups, or people, specially the "5" members of the group (Anthony Phillips instead of Phil Collins since he is not on this site).

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Posted Monday, March 12, 2018 | Review Permalink

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