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Genesis - Foxtrot CD (album) cover

FOXTROT

Genesis

Symphonic Prog


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4 stars While their sound was a bit grey still, the richness of the compositions more than compensates. Variously quite theatrical and intricate at times, then sparse and elegant, or humourous and dark. A must from the early period.
Report this review (#57)
Posted Thursday, November 6, 2003 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
5 stars One of those great early prog albums that were doing something totally new. The production is a little raw, but the creativity of lyrics and music is outstanding. Watcher of the Skies is a great opener, whilst the Supper's Ready goes down as one of those classic prog tracks which combines committed lyrics, changing and recurring themes, varying time signatures and a great climax. Apocalypse in 9/8 is one of my favourite titles for a section of music. Phil Collins shows what a fine drummer he is, whilst Steve Hackett provides early examples of big prog electric guitar themes.
Report this review (#82)
Posted Thursday, December 18, 2003 | Review Permalink
5 stars In my opinion the only MUST HAVE Genesis album,it starts with the epic Watcher of the Skies which sets the high standard, Time Table is a lost gem with a catchy chorus that just begs you to sing along. Get 'em out by Friday folows with Gabriel adopting a number of character voices (as he did on Harold the Barrel on their previous album) as he tells us the story of greedy landlords and their attitudes to their poor tennants. Can-utlity and coastliners follows but that and the short instrumental Horizons are overshadowed by the mammoth magnum opus that is Suppers Ready, if anyone can make head or tail of the lyrics they are a genius but having said that Gabriel sings them beautifully as he takes us through the most astounding twists and turns of the music. The song builds and builds but does not end on a crescendo but fades out and you are left spellbound. How could the band follow that? I feel this album was the peak of Genesis it built on the previous album but with the next album selling England by the Pound that although a good album it has noting to match Foxtrot and by the Lamb I feel that this version of the band had gone as far as they could. But Foxtrot is an absolute stunner and if anyone ever derides Phil Collins just point to Foxtrot.
Report this review (#53)
Posted Saturday, January 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Most notable for 'Supper's Ready', one of the key pieces of seventies progressive rock, and so a must have for any prog rock collector, this epic piece demonstrates great creativity and musicianship, and si one of the most adventurous pieces in progressive rock. Watcher of the Skies is a key early piece, including some ethereal organ playing by Banks; it can be heard that the band improved their sound considerably for the following 'Selling England', as there is something of a mediness to the recording as one other reviewer noted. Beyond these two pieces, much of the album is only solid, Get 'Em Out by Friday being the best of the remaining, but this remains esential for Supper.
Report this review (#55)
Posted Sunday, January 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
5 stars Everything and its exact opposite have been said elsewhere in this page so I will point out a few personal remarks: I am sick of Watcher of The Skies (I heard it simply too much) and I love Get them Out By Friday and Supper's Ready. Only Timetable is slightly weaker.

But here , there is one overlooked gem: CAN UTILITY & THE COASTLINERS: in a little more than 5 min Genesis shows us everything they can do in a very concise manner and this is probably the best track on this album.

Report this review (#77)
Posted Monday, February 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
Marcelo
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars There are too many reviews about this album, but I just want to tell my personal sensation when, in 1975, I heard it by the first time. I put the vinyl, side A, in my record player and... upsss! I was involved in an incredible mellotron opening the album, soon in a softly emotional piece ("Time Table"), I heard the most fascinating and emotive Gabriel's voice in "Get' Em Out By Friday" and, at the end, the beautiful melodic energy of "Can-Utility and the Coastliners". In the middle of my ecstasy, I put the side B, supposing I never would listen anything so perfect again, but when the acoustic peace of "Horizons" finished and "Supper's Ready" started, I understood I was in front of a magical masterpiece. I didn't believe music could be so fantastic! Well, time goes on, but I heard this suite again and again by almost 30 years, and each time is more fresh and exciting than the last. Beside "Selling England By The Pound", "Foxtrot" is -IMO- not only the quintessence Genesis' music; it's one of the most important chapters in the whole progressive rock history.
Report this review (#63)
Posted Thursday, February 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
greavesstocke
5 stars Another essential album for any discerning prog rock fan! I saw the band perform it live in Newcastle in 1973. It is far and away the best of the early work (Lamb Lies Down can be a little daunting to listen to all the way through). Side 2 of course is miraculous, musically they 'new' band gelled, Gabriel's voice was emotive and powerful. The lyrics had a social signifcance perhaps not touched by prog rock bands before. The classical allusions throughout Supper's Ready showed an lyrical intelligence rarely equalled. Not as pretentious as some of their contemporaries, and more accessible than most. Gabriel's stage persona(s) were magnificent theatre (Bowie could have learned something from him). A superb package from start to finish.
Report this review (#64)
Posted Friday, February 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Ok I'm going to be contraversial here. I agree that the production is muddy, but am I the only person thinks Get'em out by Friday is overlong and boring and Suppers Ready (enjoyable in parts) is disjointed and I feel overstretches Gabriels voice toward the finale. Best song here for me is Can Utility and the Coastliners. All that said, still a good Genesis record but the live versions that appear on Genesis Live/Seconds Out are much improved. The next album Selling England would be a big improvement.
Report this review (#66)
Posted Friday, February 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
Peter
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars FOXTROT is nothing short of a masterpiece, and easily earns its place as one of my ten all-time favourite progressive rock albums. In fact, this is the disc that led me into the genre in the first place, gloriously expanding my musical tastes beyond the confines of "hard" rock. What was it about this magical recording that lured me, at the tender age of thirteen, away from Alice Cooper, and that still moves me so today? Beyond the obvious answer of "the great music," I think that it is the sheer sweeping grandeur of scope, imagination and execution that FOXTROT embodies that enthralled me then, and still appeals to me so strongly now.

The album starts with the powerful "Watcher of the Skies," and there is a sense of power and majesty in Tony Banks' opening mellotron and "church" organ lines that sets the tone for the superb material that lies ahead. Collins' drums and Rutherford's bass then insistently rise up through the mix, the song really begins to move, the inimitable early Hackett electric guitar adds what is perhaps the most essential element, and the often imitated, but seldom-equaled Peter Gabriel passionately addresses an obsolete God whose human creation has outpaced him, and no longer needs or acknowledges him as it extends its dominion to the stars.

The following, graceful "Time Table" offers a balancing respite from "Watcher"'s intensity, as Banks' lovely piano and some truly poetic lyrics that ponder the seeming impermanence of honour and beauty form an interlude that sets the stage for the masterful "mini epic" that is "Get 'Em Out by Friday." This eight and a half-minute "prog opera" proffers a delightful example of why Genesis were arguably first among a select company of early progressive rock acts who were demonstrating just how far this new music could go, as Gabriel changed roles to tell a tale of a bleak Orwellian future where an all-powerful government controls every aspect of its subject-citizens lives -- even down to their very size. A wonderful song, and as good as any in Genesis' superlative early catalogue!

I won't say much about the often overlooked jewel that is the strangely-titled "Can-Utility and the Coastliners," beyond the fact that I listed it as my "favourite song" in my high school yearbook, and it still has the power to make my jaded old eyes misty today. (The lyrics tell the story of the medieval English king Canute, who, legend says, tried to command the tides, only to learn the limits of his earthly power, and the folly of his pride.)

Next, the listener's ears are soothed by a short but beautiful example of Hackett's mastery of the classical guitar on "Horizons," before the album's (and quite possibly, the band's) magnum-opus, the magnificent, mind-blowing twenty-three minute suite "Supper's Ready" gets off to a dignified start. This is the song that many Genesis fans cite as their all-time favourite, and deservedly so! Here Gabriel and company, in as fantastic a piece of prog as was ever laid down, tackle no less a "work" than the final, obtuse and apocalyptic chapter of the Bible, the Book of Revelations. Gabriel and his band mates, like electric "angels" (Revelations says that the "archangel Gabriel" will herald the end of this world, and the battle for the next! Hmmm....) lead us through the "Christian Ragnarok." With "the guards of Magog swarming around," 666 (the Beast, or antichrist) joins the fray, until Christ, "Lord of Lords, King of Kings" returns "to lead his children home, to take them to the new Jerusalem." As the song comes to its emotional close and Hackett's haunting guitar echoes on the fade-out, you might be forgiven for thinking "If that's the apocalypse, bring it on!" The end of the word never sounded so good!

If you own a copy of FOXTROT, I urge you to re-experience its overwhelming artistry soon! If you've never heard this terrific disc, but have a taste for classic progressive rock, you can't do much better than buying a copy. This is an album to take into the bomb shelter; a fitting soundtrack for the end of the world. FOXTROT is a luminous exemplar of the lofty heights of its genre's greatest works. Not to be missed!

Report this review (#74)
Posted Saturday, February 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars A flower?

As the follow up album to "Nursery Cryme", "Foxtrot" showed that Genesis were continuing to mature and to develop their collective talents. The LP was remarkably long considering the normal limitations of that format, with 4 lengthy tracks on side 1, and a total running time of around 50 minutes.

"Watcher of the skies" kicks of the album, as it did the live set at the time, with a dramatic mellotron introduction being joined by bass and drums to lead into Gabriel's almost chanted vocals. The space/alien fuelled lyrics are complemented by a strong vocal performance by Gabriel, and some excellent mellotron playing by Tony Banks.

"Timetable" is the softest track, with a lovely melody. It's probably just me, but I've always felt this track has an affinity with Yes' "Turn of the century". "Get 'em out by Friday" ups the tempo in the form of a mini rock opera (with Gabriel playing all the parts!), telling a bleak, but original story set sometime in the near future. The people of Harlow in England haven't got much to look forward to! "Can-Utility and the coastliners" round off the first side. With its many time and melody changes it's a 20 minute track in 5 minutes!

Steve Hackett's brief acoustic guitar piece "Horizons" softly leads into "Suppers Ready", and could in fact have easily formed an integral opening section to that piece. While rightly regarded as one track, "Supper's ready" is in fact a plethora of short tracks knitted together. Individually they might sound lightweight, collectively however they form a masterpiece. Gabriel is clearly in his element, with his vocals dominating most of the sections. The loose theme was apparently inspired by the alleged possession of Gabriel's wife.

And so a pivotal, indeed seminal, album ends over 20 minutes later, fading gradually and majestically. As an aside, for those who have not come across it, Marillion's track "Grendel" is either a complete rip off of "Supper's ready" or a cleverly constructed partial clone, depending on your point of view!

Report this review (#68)
Posted Friday, March 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This record, together with The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, can easily be classified as the best of Genesis in their golden years, I find myself always going back to these two (well three!...) records and never do I get tired of them. There are always new elements you notice, new sounds hidden away in the mix. Depending on your hi-fi equipment you'll notice one or another subtlety each time you listen. Then there's the grandious music! Banks really gives his best on this masterpiece, Hackett gets a bit more space and even an intro track for the Opus Magnum that is Supper's Ready. The lyrics, all the way through, are pure genius and very interesting reading too. Some tracks have sections that are so beautiful that you can't listen to them without losing your breath, for example Can-Utility and the Coastliners has an instrumental section with Tony Banks leading that really blows me away, every time! I just have to listen to it at full volume to feel it with all my senses... wow... you just say "it's great to be alive to enjoy this musical treat!". That's how the whole record is, you enjoy it all, there are no soft spots, no duds, all top notch prog. Whoever doesn't appreciate this is either deaf, dead or just trying to be obnoxious :-)
Report this review (#69)
Posted Friday, March 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Without a question one of my all time favorite progressive rock recordings. Brilliant song writing and outstanding musicianship in a very thorough album. I love (as I am sure most of you also feel) every song from this highly influential release. This album contains of course one of my all time fav's "Supper's Ready". BANKS delivers organ/mellotron led keyboard passages in which HACKETT's guitars, RUTHERFORD's Bass and Phil's percussion get to help GABRIEL explore the vast boundaries of the most brilliant progressive recording ever? Essential...!
Report this review (#75)
Posted Monday, March 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the one that started me on prog. Prior to this, the only Genesis album I owned was "Invisible Touch' (*shutters) and upon telling my friend that "Domino' was the best song I had ever heard at that time he proceeded to play "Can-Utility and the Coastliners' to me. Well, that did it. "Watcher Of The Skies' has one of my all-time favourite song intro's. Banks' captivating mellowtron sucks you in immediatelly. Then that morse code bass-line kicks in with the drum accompaniment, you can't help but crank that stereo. 'Time Table' is an excellent pop ballad (sort of) that proved that Genesis was capable of putting together superb short songs. 'Get 'Em Out By Friday' besides being tons 'o fun to listen to, has Rutherford's best bass work ever. I feel that 'Can-Utility' is probably their most underrated song, but that could be simply because of the effect it had on me personally (as stated above.) I love Hackett's beautiful little 'Horizons' which I feel is far from simply being filler. And then of course, 'Supper's Ready' My favourite song of all time!!
Report this review (#76)
Posted Friday, March 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars MASTER ALBUM... "Foxtrot" is the second best album of GENESIS, not far behind "Selling England By The Pond" . Well, this album is not for the common people, because romantic style is not at the rendez-vous! You have to be intellectual to appreciate all the genius behind. The lyrics are really not simple. Everything on this album is complex. Tony BANKS keyboards are absolutely outstanding. He really mastered it on this record. Keyboards have surprisingly different styles and sounds for the year. HACKETT's guitar is not made of sentimental solos as on "Selling..." or "Wind and Wuthering", but his contribution is more than obvious. Lots of excellent classical guitar parts, which gives the album a different style, maybe more baroque. The drums are well played, as always, and COLLINS does not focus, like on "Trick of the Tail", on cymbal performance and fast parts. This probably helps to enhance BANK's keyboards and HACKETT's classical guitar. Have you noticed RUTHERFORD's impressive bass playing? Especially on "Get Em Out By Friday" and "Watcher of the Skies and Coastliners", he really demonstrates that he is a huge talented bass player!!

Sincerely, I've never seen better bass playing parts than on "Get Em Out By Friday"!! Simply perfect!! GABRIEL's voice give a big character to this record: he is everywhere on this album. The voice is never dull, very dynamic and fits well with the whole. Actually, "Foxtrot" is probably the most representative album of the term "progressive rock"!!!

Report this review (#39)
Posted Thursday, April 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
daveconn
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars There are rare occasions where words fail; to call "Foxtrot" "sublime" or attach any series of suitably descriptive words to it merely traps in an ordinary jelly jar what was meant to exist outside of it. Hearing "Foxtrot", really hearing it, will change the way you look at music altogether. "Nursery Cryme" was an inspired record, but not a perfect one, as this is. It's one thing to aspire to art through music, but quite another to turn each instrument into an individual paintbrush, as happens here. Perhaps "camera" is the better word, since it's from five separate vantage points that the scenery takes three-dimensional shape.

From the first moments that Tony BANKS heralds "Watcher of the Skies," it's clear that this is a different GENESIS. Peter GABRIEL inhabits the songs like a foot in a well-worn shoe, wiggling into different characters with ease and aplomb. With Mike RUTHEFORD's bass providing the foundation, Phil COLLINS' drums are free to add delicious commentary throughout the record, underscoring gentle passages with a well-placed tap on the bell, ushering in stormclouds of sound with dexterous rolls on the drums. And of course there's Steve HACKETT, his electric guitar sliding in and out of the music like sunrays through clouds.

Although the nearly side-long "Supper's Ready" is the album's focal point (and perhaps their magnum opus), every song on "Foxtrot" is stellar. Conjuring the past in "Time Table", scrying a bleak, not-too-distant future in "Get 'Em Out By Friday", inventing new gods on "Watcher of the Skies" and "Can-Utility And The Coastliners", these songs are at the heart of what progressive rock can accomplish. There are precious few albums that transcend music to become epics in their own right ("Close to the Edge" and "Minstrel in the Gallery" come to mind). GENESIS duplicated the magical feat on "Selling England By The Pound", but it detracts not one iota from Foxtrot's achievement. This record, to my tastes, represents one of the great musical works of the 20th century.

Report this review (#83)
Posted Thursday, April 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
georgej.robin
5 stars This has to be Genesis at their peak, a truly classic album dominated by the astounding Supper's Ready, a patchwork of short pieces stitched together into one fabulous tapestry, Gabriel's vocals mesmerising throughout and complemented by some wonderful instrumental work from a group of creative musical geniuses who were young enough and fresh enough to scale new heights. I also remember Watcher Of The Skies being a common room favourite at college, where we'd stick the album on, crank the volume way up and wait for that fabulous driving bass riff to kick in. Years on and it still kicks ass - another favourite that I never tire of playing is Can-Utility And The Coastliners - was any five minutes crafted better than this?
Report this review (#84)
Posted Monday, April 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
lor68
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This album represents the sound of the best early Genesis!! How you can forget the fantastic intro at the Mellotron by Tony Banks in "Watcher of the skies"?! This personal style created a crowd of imitators, emulating his majestic introduction at the keyboards,which still today is often regarded as one of the most important references within the Progressive scene!! The production was a bit weak in the early seventies, but thanks to our modern technology in the sound engineering,now you can appreciate the re-mastered version more and more!! Another splendid version (with orchestrations) is included in the recent "Genesis Re-visited" by Steve Hackett (featuring also John Wetton), which along with the definitive version of "Fountain of Salmacis" are true must-have...but coming back to the present issue dated 1972, it contains also their most famous suite "Supper's Ready" (nowadays it sounds a bit dated and regarded as prolix as fundamental anyway), whose performance live on stage was so much theatrical and absolutely unforgettable.Then you can listen to the interesting "Get 'Em Out By Friday " or the delicious "Can-Utility And The Coastliners", whose final section is splendid! I still remember the famous keyboard solo by Banks and his group of arpeggios every three notes: well this harmonic solution is simple and stunning in the same time... moreover He was not helped by any odd time signature for instance, and this fact leads us to his magical world,a personal imprinting within his original music territory!! Actually He has been always underrated as a keyboardist, in comparison to other "monsters" such as for example Keith Emerson, Eddie Jobson or Rick Wakeman, but my enthusiasm for his melodic approach has never come to an end (by forgetting his work within such ironically called "Phil Collins Band", being not true Genesis!!). At the end I like to remark the original and much pretty cover picture of the album, "depicted" by Paul Whitehead, such a great illustrator, whose Exhibition in Milan two years ago was fantastic...however I'm not sure whether I like to deserve the maximum score or not...but for sure this is the third best progressive album by Genesis and this is enough!!
Report this review (#40)
Posted Wednesday, April 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
5 stars This great Genesis album is my personal favourite, maybe I think it's the best progressive album ever. It shows much progression as the follow up of Nursery Cryme. This disk shows a self-confident group with great talents. Watcher Of The Skies is a fabulous song, with that mellotron. Time Table is a beautiful more queit song. Get 'Em Out By Friday is even better than the opening song and it's not boring, the 8:38 minutes long. Can-Utility... is also a great song and Horizons is the short song, as usual for prog rock. When you listened to the first 5 songs it's for sure you're already browbeated. But the climax has still got to come. Supper's Ready is simple a great progressive masterpiece. Different mood changes, from serious to corny. The needed rythm changes. And maybe the most beautiful, a very sensitive flute part, like we will hear again in Firth Of Fifth on the following studio album. This is one of the CD's with the great formation Banks, Hackett, Collins, Gabriel and Rutherford. Every Genesis disk with this formation should be in the collection of each prog rock listener. Of those disks this one is clearly my favourite.
Report this review (#42)
Posted Friday, May 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Flawed Diamond

I was a little hesitant about awarding the full "Masterpiece" Rating to this album, because it has flaws. It remains, however, an essential part of any collection of prog - I'd go as far as to say a cornerstone - one of the first to buy if you are new to prog, and one to get if you have been into it for a while.

So where are the flaws?

Well, most lie with Gabriel's vocals: "Watcher Of The Skies" squeezes in far too many syllables per note in what we might take to be the chorus sections, and ends up feeling slightly lumpy and uncomfortable. This is counterpointed with beautiful bridge sections and wonderful instrumental sections - including that fabulous introduction, which produces a starry, timeless feeling followed by a glorious build up. The music to the "chorus" passages tends to follow the lumpiness of the voice, and is littered with further build ups. It makes me think of "Battle of Epping Forest", which is one of Gabriel era Genesis weaker numbers, IMO. Fortunately there is more of that wonderful keyboard to counterpoint the lumpy sections, and this song is almost redeemed.

So there must be something way beyond "Watcher" to push the album up to masterpiece status, right? You bet! It starts with "Time Table", which is just sublime, in that both music and words conjure up days of chivalry long gone. It's almost worth buying Foxtrot just for this song.

But you get more - much more! "Get 'Em Out By Friday" is a wonderful little melodrama, lovingly characterised vocally and musically, using a kind of Leitmotif technique. Utterly masterful!

"Can-Utility and the Coastliners" is a masterpiece of song-writing, but I find the way Gabriel's voice strains on the high notes irritating. The quality of the music is the redeeming factor - and the instrumental middle section is this side's high point. Superb percussion from Collins drives a solid rhythm section below dreamy keyboards towards muscial nirvana!

"Horizons" should, in my opinion, be considered the introduction to "Supper's Ready". A haunting piece of guitar playing utilising harmonics. "Supper's Ready" is not really a single piece, but 5 pieces and 2 variations, with the main theme from the 1st piece re- utilised occasionally to give a feeling of continuity, and the music from "The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man" re-used for "As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs". Again, the problem lies with Gabriel, but it's the lyrics of "Lover's Leap" which are wrong and have been oft-discussed ;0)

These holes in the lyrical continuity may have irked me for 31 years, but they do not spoil the overall wonderfulness that is "Supper's Ready", one of the 7 Wonders of the prog world. The "All Change" section of "Willow Farm" makes up for everything.

I have concentrated on the flaws so that it becomes obvious that they are minor, and the album deserves its masterpiece status. It is like a rough diamond - still highly valuable, and a thing of beauty that you will treasure forever, but imperfect. Like any other true masterpiece, the more you listen to it, the more you get out of it.

Also recommended, if you like this album: "Selling England By The Pound" and "A Trick Of The Tail". If you find the sound slightly old-fashioned (and it does sound a little dated, but only in the "they don't write them like that anymore" sense), I would recommend "Script for a Jester's Tear" by Marillion (24-Bit Remastered version).

Report this review (#43)
Posted Saturday, May 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
billyshears'67
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars "Foxtrot" was my introduction to Genesis. I bought the album without hearing any of the songs, prior to purchase. When I first listened to it I was travelling on a sunny day amidst a beautiful northwest evergreen forest and countryside. This is what I envision when I listen to this album. The album is introduced by a beautiful mellotron from "Watcher of the Skies," which has great rhythm by Mike and Phil. In addition, the always interesting lyrics of Peter. The next song "Time Table" is about a time of honor and valor long since past, lyrically medieval. Perhaps my least favorite on the album, but still being a great song. "Get 'Em Out By Friday" is a magnificent rollercoaster composition. Having that Genesis staple of drifting from loud to soft so effortlessly. Interesting lyrical concept and great playing all around, especially Mike. Mike really gave a unique pulse to the music. "Can-Utility and the Coastliners" is another great song that drifts in and out of sound. Great vocals in this song also, very atmospheric. "Horizons" is an excellent classically inspired steel string acoustic instrumental by Steve. At last, "Supper's Ready." The title really made sense, in the manner that it was the last meal for ears on the album and it's a fantastic meal to digest. Basically 23 minutes in duration, this song is so incredible in its range of emotions, styles, and its brilliant vocals and lyrics. In essence, it's one song, but is split into 7 parts that most of the time sound like entirely different songs. It's amazing that they were able to reproduce "Supper's Ready" in its entirety in a live setting. A pefect starting point for seekers of essential prog artists.

Highlights are: "Watcher of the Skies," "Get 'Em Out By Friday," "Can-Utility and the Coastliners," and "Supper's Ready."

Report this review (#46)
Posted Wednesday, June 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars I wouldn't say that "Foxtrot" is Genesis best album. I prefer the lyrical "Selling England By The Pound", the commercial "Duke", their great performance of "Seconds Out" or the masterpiece of "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway". The album starts with "Watcher Of The Skies". I really don't like the bass sound that appears when Peter Gabriel starts to sing. I would choose the version from the album "Genesis Live". The next cut is not a bad song. It could be better. In my opinion the best part of "Foxtrot" are the last three songs. "Can-Utility And The Coastliners" has a very strange and special atmosphere. "Horizons" is a beautiful guitar work executed by Steve Hackett but very short. "Supper's Ready". the pinnacle!
Report this review (#47)
Posted Thursday, June 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
4 stars A key point in the history of the band... a moment of thoughts and impressions of the future. The awaited next album that led genesis into the Super-bands status, not as good as their previous effort in terms of freshness and creativity as a whole, but a great in massive composing. Like a rural path, this album shows up and downs, however, this consistent "sights" evolves into the masterpice song "supper's ready", a jewel of all time prog music. Of course the sound in here is more clean, studied and precise, with a little bit of magic from the interaction of the five players creating an ensamble. At the end, FOXTROT seems to be the bridge in between "nursery" and "selling england", and the meaning of a lot more things that came very strange a few years after. In here we see the peak point of Genesis, and they celebrated that with a live record short after. A very important record that shouldn't be missed by the "conosieur" and the casual prog listener, this band is a very important bond in music history till today
Report this review (#92)
Posted Sunday, June 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
richardh
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Suppers Ready is the reason for buying this album.Probably the greatest prog track ever recorded.The lyrics are plain barmy (even by prog standards) ,if Monty Python had written a prog song then this would be it.But that is all part of it's endless charm! I just never tire of hearing it with all its intricate moods ands tempo changes.The band of course are exceptional throughout ,one of the greatest ensemble performances on record ever.The rest of the album is near faultless and arguably this is a masterpeice just for Supper's Ready alone but you have to ask yourself whether this is the masterpeice that defines what Genesis were all about. The answer is yes,no... maybe.Perhaps what is lacking is a descernible theme covering the songs that would bind it all together.Maybe there is one and I simply don't get it but overall my feeling is that this is a collection of individual peices.But it is an ESSENTIAL work, no question about it, and despite having some reservations I must still give this 5 stars.
Report this review (#94)
Posted Thursday, June 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I don't want to dwell into detail review of this prog classic album. For those of you are new to prog music, this album is a MUST have. Well, at least three tracks that make this album worth buying: "Can-Utility And The Coastliners", "Horizons" and "Supper's Ready". Despite the popularity of "Watcher of The Skies" as the band legendary song, I even personalyy don't like this track. It's too long mellotron sound at intro and it has a poor melody. However, as I consider "Horizon - Supper's Ready" highly, so I still conclude FIVE STAR for this album.

"Can Utility .." is really a beautifully crafted song with Gabriel heavy voice and Hackett acoustic guitar touch at intro. This track is my favorite in addition to "Supper's Ready".

What do you think? - Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

Report this review (#95)
Posted Sunday, June 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
5 stars If not their most important album, Foxtrot certainly contains the most important Genesis song. This is one on which the band finally hit their stride, with the five classic members integrated into a powerful unit. The unifying theme of the album seems to be the passage of time, of the relationship of the present to the past and the future, and of humility in regards to our position in the grand scheme of things.

The mellotron/organ opening to 'Watcher of the Skies' is a classic, and the song itself, a sci-fi tale of an alien explorer visiting an Earth on which human civilization has vanished (the reasons for which are left uncertain), while a somewhat artificial basis for social commentary on the human condition, is nonetheless effective.

'Time Table' is another commentary on vanished civilizations, lamenting the tendency of each era and each generation to presume that they are superior to all who have gone before. A fairly gentle tune overall, it is nonetheless rather powerful.

'Get 'Em Out By Friday' is a mini-rock opera about tenants being evicted and the landlords who care more for profits than for the welfare of their renters. The second half of the song takes the story into a future era where genetic engineering is used to maximize the efficiency of fitting people into the available amount of space, and the basic idea is that the same practices continue throughout history. The final line of the song, 'Land in your hand you'll be happy on Earth, so invest in the Church for your Heaven', seems to put the Earthly concerns of all parties into perspective.

'Can-Utility and the Coastliners' is one of the best shorter Genesis songs, about the legendary King Canute and his famous boasts of his ability to control the sea. All that's left of the great king are 'the scattered pages of a book by the sea'. A folkier sounding beginning part of the song gives way to more uptempo mid-section and conclusion, and overall the dynamics are especially effective.

'Horizons' is a little solo guitar exercise by Hackett, probably his most famous guitar piece, though more because of its inclusion on the band's album than because of any intrinsic merit.

And finally... 'Supper's Ready'. This is what all the fuss is about when it comes to Genesis. In seven sections, it tells an allegory of the battle between good and evil, drawing upon actual mystical experiences by Gabriel, as well as the Book of Revelation and Greek mythology. It opens with a fairly mundane scene of two lovers in a sitting room, and as their story is gradually interwined with Apocalyptic visions, their love becomes a metaphor for the divine love for humanity. This song is what makes the album a essential masterpiece. Brilliant!

Report this review (#96)
Posted Thursday, June 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
5 stars This is one of the greatest albums of all time. I have never tired of it. "Watcher Of The Skies" is simply amazing! "Get Em Out By Friday"...fantastic! "Supper's Ready"...there are not enough words to describe how amazing this song is. From start to finish...and that's a long time...22+ minutes!...it is a mind blower. This song in particular to me represents the greatness of Genesis and why I have never lumped them in with the boring stuffy bands like ELP or the meandering nonsense of post "Fragile" Yes. Genesis were a band based on songs...not musical prowess and technical crap. "Supper's Ready" may be a 22 minute tour de force of "prog rock", but look again...it's a bunch of amazing 3 minutes songs woven together in a totally original and captivating fashion. Truly brilliant from start to finish. It captures it's era and trancends it at the same time...what more can you ask for in a recording. On top of all that, Gabriel, at this time, was one of the most brilliant front men in rock & roll. If they never made another record, this one would assure their place in music history.
Report this review (#98)
Posted Tuesday, June 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
bohemian19111
5 stars This was the album that got me turned on to Genesis. From the beginning to the end of the album, there is not one song that is bad, they are all amazing. This is also the album, genesis finally started to notice the true talent they had. With banks organ's and melltron, Rutherford's bass and bass pedals, Steve's guitar riffs and the way he used the volume pedal with his guitar, also the way he fingered tap to make his guitar to sound like a snyth, then phils great drumming skills...YES HE WAS A GREAT DRUMMER and then you have peter Gabriel with his weird ways and weird lyrics. The most important song on this album, of course is "Supper's Ready" which is a 23 min. Masterpeice, maybe my favorite song of all time. This song is like going on a trip and back, it takes you to another world and back again with 7 different parts. My favorite part is the "willow farm" which begins with a simple "A flower?"..whenever i hear this part, i just think of seeing him live with the flower mask. This is a classic album, with 6 Great songs on it, any progressive rock lover should drop what they are doing right now, go to the nearest record place and buy this.
Report this review (#100)
Posted Saturday, July 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I echo 99% of all the reviewers in that this is a stunning masterpiece. It stands with a rare few albums above the rest and it is distinctive in it's uniqueness and precious work of craftmanship. A classic in every sense of the word. ' Time Table' encapsulates the essence of what this is all about!
Report this review (#101)
Posted Monday, July 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I'm much more of a music lover than an audiophile; as a kid I loved my 2nd and 3rd generation cassette copies of vinyl RUSH albums, so I have a good frame of reference and unusual tolerance for poor sound quality. This paid off when I discovered GENESIS' first few albums; "warm and wooly" is a charitable description of the quality of the recordings, "muffled and distant" is perhaps more to the point. On "Trespass" it added to an already antique character, but "Foxtrot" and "Nursery Cryme" are slightly more marred by this "warmth". It isn't so muddy, however, that I can't hear the occasional rhythmic fumbling on "Watcher" and "Supper's Ready", or Gabriel's clumsy lyric phrasing throughout.

"Watcher of the Skies" has a strong resemblance to "Yours is no Disgrace" in drive and texture; both are memorable openings to their respective albums, but "Watcher" takes a bit longer to get going. Once it does, there are high and low points; Hackett's plump fuzz is more appealing than Banks' organ, which only sounds good here when layered with the mellotron. Gabriel is more effective on the quiet verse than the strained, clattering chorus, a characteristic shared in "Time Table" (and, to be honest, most of his work). The latter song is very pleasant at times, but less memorable; "Get 'em Out by Friday", on the other hand, is neither consistently pleasant nor as praiseworthy as many would have you believe. The organ again sounds characterless, and Gabriel approaches camp territory with his vocal characterizations. Neither pathos nor protest is effectively generated here; the piece seems like abstracted, overdramatized social commentary, despite Gabriel's very personal difficulty with his landlord.

"Can-Utility and the Coastliners", however, is a lovely piece which I haven't the heart to criticize (beyond saying that Gabriel's last vocal yelps are regrettable). Even the organ here has a better delivery, not unlike classic KANSAS. And "Horizons" is a perfect example of Hackett's early best...and much more at home on this album than Howe's solo pieces were on "Fragile" or "The Yes Album". Finally, "Supper's Ready" is the main reason we're here. A flowing, beautifully constructed work filled with wonderful moments, and only a few (easily forgivable) missteps, such as the "Willow Farm" silliness. The sweeping musical and lyrical scope belies the fact the the inspiration for the lyrics was largely autobiographical! The lovely, understated flute work is more "I Talk to the Wind" than "Thick as a Brick", adding texture without virtuosity- in fact, one of the best aspects of the album is that they often sacrificed showcasing their musical skills in order to create cohesive pieces.

Yes, I'm exaggerating the negative and serving as devil's advocate here; the album is undoubtedly a band landmark and an essential purchase for anyone with the slightest desire for a comprehensive prog collection. Even if you're underwhelmed on first listen, "Foxtrot" will grow on you- it can be appreciated on many levels. If I seem overly critical, it's only because I firmly believe the album doesn't completely warrant the gushing praise that is usually heaped on it within the prog community; 1972 (and the band themselves) gave us several albums with more exploration, emotion, and musicianship. But you will have to listen to "Foxtrot" eventually (it's a prog commandment!) and when you do, you will certainly discover many things to enjoy.

Report this review (#102)
Posted Tuesday, July 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
5 stars This is a real brilliant cd, it al is so technical from a musical point of view I love the song "Can-utility and the coastliners" also because of it's complexity but to be honest I love every song on this one. "Watcher of the skies" (wich you can download on this page) is a real strong opener on the cd/lp. And just when you think that the cd has almost come to an end, you will get "Supper's ready". A view compositions where melted together as one and so this masterpiece was born! This is an essential album to every cd-collection, maybe the most essential work you can have. It should be great when this one will be released on "Super Audio Cd" SACD, I would be the first one to buy it. It is worth every single penny. If you don't have this one yet, buy it now (the remastered cd)!!!
Report this review (#103)
Posted Wednesday, July 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
4 stars An icon in the progressive world, the first track is introduced by a thriller violin sound mellotron opening to a very fast, agressive, stylish music. The second track losts power and goes in a pop ballad way with a chorus that i simply dont like it. The third one is another great prog classic and with the first one are the best on the record. Can utility get hot only in the end, horizons is acoustic piece and then comes their epic supers ready, a song that to me sound they made it in the obligation to make a long track, by this reason, it seems uninspired and without a face or personality, sounding funny sometimes and great in others, to me, people who compare it with karn evil 9 are totaly mistaken.
Report this review (#104)
Posted Saturday, July 31, 2004 | Review Permalink
macal.progroc
5 stars Supper's Ready is the best part of the album,arrangments on the whole album are great but sometimes band loses a melody, anyway very good album with brilliant 23- minute "Nursey Cryme" and "Selling England" are better, but I love this album as well. I was a little disappointed to learn much of "Supper's Ready" was written as separate little songs and not as one epic piece conjured up from Gabriel's wild imagination! It takes a little away from it, but overall, you have to be awed by it. Is it true that this is the first song ever to fill an album side? (I know, "Horizons" is there too, but I think of that as a necessary prelude, and remember being disappointed learning they didn't precede Supper's Ready with it in concert). I know it precedes "Close to the Edge" and "Gates of Delirium" by Yes and "2112" by Rush, but am not sure if there are others out there made before it of which I'm unaware. Anyway, fantastic album - and for those of you that think "Get 'Em Out by Friday" is no good, man.....what an unbelievable lyric! How can you think that? There's sooo much going on in that song! Maybe one of their BEST lyrics. Like "Hogweed" on "Nursery Cryme", the premise is wild to begin with, but there is so much underlying jabs at government and politics that it makes it even more unbelieveable. It took a while for me to get into "Can-Utility" but learned to love it. Great album.
Report this review (#105)
Posted Saturday, July 31, 2004 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
5 stars Genesis represents the pinnacle of progressive rock, and this early output represents the band in full swing. The musicianship is second to none, and the arrangements tastefully restrained. Tony Banks shows himself to truly be the major player of the genre and Phil Collins proves himself as a top-notch drummer. Peter Gabriel's voice is as compelling and enchanting here as it ever is. The genius of Genesis here is not hidden and not overblown, and it is all backed up by the mastery all five possess of their instrument.
Report this review (#106)
Posted Friday, August 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
3 stars The most ingeniuous and original song these guys ever composed happens to open this 1972 Lp. "Watcher of the Skies". For some reason I think this number was written in a rather serendipitous manner - Tony and Mike not realizing the (future) musical impact of it. Let's be frank here, alot of Gabriel era Genesis seemed to be contrived mimicry of itself. 'Cos Peter wanted it that way. Therefore, "Watcher of the Skies" is truly remarkable. Electric, cosmic and just totally unique. And THIS is the only Rock track that one can be enveloped by a truly Astral mellotron piece...thanks to Mr. Banks. (Rick Wakeman? Robert Fripp? Heck no. This one is BOLD!)

Actually the whole Lp has some of Genesis best Musical Compositions, riffs and solos. PROBLEM: the sound quality is thin as tissue paper. The louder you play it the more shrilly it sounds. It's a crying shame and I don't know why these guys let it slip through the cracks like this. (Time era is no excuse, for bands who were not yet well-equipped, in 1972, like J. Geils Band and Steve Miller Band were able to put forth really life-like sound recordings).

Everybody raves about the 20+ minute "Supper's Ready." It's good. It's good. In spots anyway. That daisy-licking stuff that Peter keeps getting into, in the middle of otherwise captivating songs, does crop up unfortunately on this epic. Overall a quality track though.

Oh, if only this album wasn't plagued by that negligence of recording production it would be a 15...on a scale of 10.

Report this review (#107)
Posted Monday, August 16, 2004 | Review Permalink
Blacksword
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is one of those classic albums, that in many ways, defines the genre, and doesn't have a single bad track to its name. For me its the quintessential Gabriel era album. As musicians Genesis were starting to tighten up. They hadn't quite got there, in fact Tony Banks believed that 'Selling England by the pound' was the first time they played well on record. Foxtrot is certainly no dissapointment though, from a listerners perspective. The album is conceptual, varied in feel and consistently high in quality. It opens with 'Watcher of the skies' a great concept song about an alien visiting Earth and despairing at finding that 'life had once again destroyed life' Tony Banks plays one of his most memourable mellotron chord sequences at the beginning of this song, and the live rendtion on 'Genesis Live' (1973) is very moving. 'Time table' muses on the passing of time, with classic Genesis melancholy and a beautiful piano part. 'Get em out by Friday' is a masterpiece of social comment, unusual for Genesis at this time. It deals with the then growing trend of New Town developments in Britain, and where the trend may have led us! The song starts with a family being evicted by the council so the street can be demolished and redeveloped. They are moved to block of flats and have difficulty adapting to the change after losing their home. The song is tinged with sadness, but also agression as Gabriel skillfully plays the part of the agent sent to move the families on - the winkler. The song moves through time to a future world where the trend of stacking people on top of one another has got so out of hand that 'genetic control' impose restrictions on humanoid height to squeeze as many people into one building as possible. Thankfully the 'high rise revolution' never got that far!! Far fetched, but what a brilliant story!

'Can utility and the coastliners' follows. This is a little talked about song, and much underated. This is one of my favourite Genesis songs of any era. It combines everthing that made the Genesis formula brilliant and unique, into 6 minutes of excellent music. The classical guitar intro perfectly sets the scene and gives way to Phil's crashing drums and Tony's bass pedals. Very Dramatic and very melodic.

'Suppers Ready' is just a classic. Plain and simple. We could pick this work to pieces over a number of pages and still not do it the justice it deserves in any review. Genesis tell of an epic struggle between good and evil in this masterpiece. Chapter by chapter your attention will never falter. Genesis had almost certainly mastered the art of telling stories with music, although much of the lyrics are clearly closer to poetry than prose. Within the whole 'Suppers Ready' suite there are a number of sections which could have been plucked out and presented as singles, but thankfully they weren't. Suppers Ready needs to be listerned to in its entirity and savoured for the epic it is. There have not been many moments in rock music as tense and exciting as the 'Apocalypse in 9/8' section, or as imaginitive or eccentric as 'Willow farm'

Foxtrot is a gem of progressive rock, and one of the best albums this band ever recorded.

Report this review (#109)
Posted Friday, September 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
penguindf12
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This album is often heralded as the greatest in prog. I don't know about that, but I can see where they're getting the idea. It's a masterpiece of symphonic rock, and in true GENESIS form lacks any trace of the blues roots of rock. This makes it harder to get into than say, YES or PINK FLOYD. But if you keep at it it, you might find that you like it.

"Watcher of the Skies" opens with a sci-fi keyboard soundtrack intro, creating a spacey, alien sort of feel. A driving moog line emerges from the sci-fi drone, and never quits. The song weaves up and down, becoming sharp then searing and fuzzy. The lyrics seem to be about an alien who descends to earth and laments, or ponders, over the state of humanity. It could be interpreted any way you like, however. The ending to this song is simply beautiful.

"Time Table" is a shorter, piano-oriented song which compares the honor-driven days of valor and "truth thru lance and sword" to modern days by way of a table in a medieval castle. The guitar here is sharp and very stately, matching the lyrics perfectly. The lyrical point here is that "the more things change, they more they stay the same -- but it shouldn't be that way."

Following is the expected mini-opera, "Get 'Em Out By Friday" (GABRIEL always has one of these per album). The music changes for each character that speaks. It opens with a fast-talking business man telling his associate to drive a family out of its home against a fast, in-and-out bass-driven beat. Then it slows down as the associate tells the family they must leave. Then the businessman speaks again, then the matriarch of the family speaks, lamenting the strange position they are in. The family agrees to relocate, but then they realize too late that they have been conned. The music speeds up, then slows down as time passes and we are taken into the future. As it turns out, the businessman was relocating the families to smaller houses so as to reduce their height and make it so he can fit "twice as many in the same building size." Absurd, yes, but chillingly close to reality when you think about it. This sort of absurd stuff could become not-so-absurd very easily, if we don't watch out.

"Can Utility and the Coastliners" is very HACKETT-oriented, with the etheral guitar standing out. It is about a king who thought himself a god, but he soon dies and the people realize what a phony he was. A repetitive guitar solo sits in the middle of the piece, and may appear annoying at first but it grows on you.

The next song is "Horizons," a short HACKETT acoustic guitar piece in the vein of Steve HOWE's "Clap". It's fairly simple, but beautiful -- a great song to play at a church offertory.

But by far the greatest song here is "Supper's Ready," a long epic based firmly on the book of Revelations. It opens with "Lover's Leap," another etheral acoustic HACKETT song. Multiple overdubbed guitars create a sort of echo effect. This part of the song is inspired by an actual experience by GABRIEL, who was in a strange upper room of his mother-in-law's (I think). He and his wife (or girlfriend, one of the two) felt a strange presence and felt as if they were transported to another world. In the song, two lovers are taken to another world after a strange experience in which they see "six saintly shrouded men" and a "distance forms around their bodies."

After a short, haunting interlude, "The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man" builds up into full song. The lovers find themselves in a village, with two main personalities living there: a benevolent farmer and a "fire man who looks after the fire." The former is a metaphor for Jesus Christ, and the latter is a con man, the Antichrist. He gets others to sell his soul to him by signing a lease and guaranteeing salvation. The lovers too are conned, and sign up for his "services." The music comes to a halt, and a strange childrens' song enters, promising to keep a snake "snug and warm."

The lovers are taken to a battlefield to fight in the name of the GESM in the sarcastically titled "Ikhnaton And Itsacon And Their Band Of Merry Men." This is one of my favorite moments in the song, in which HACKETT delivers an excellent guitar solo in which he uses some pre-Eddie Van Halen tapping. The battle is fought, and evil has apparently won. The troops of the GESM are ordered to celebrate, but the lovers sneak off to find a large mountain of the dead in "How Dare I Be So Beautiful?" They find a plateau in which a young person marked for death sits transfixed by a pool of water. The music is painfully slow, with only a slow synth separating us from complete silence. The quietness is rudely interrupted however, after GABRIEL asks, "a flower?"

Now the lovers are swept into the pool into a strange world in which everything is changing constantly and randomly at a whistle's blow. The music is insane, recalling the BEATLES in their weirdest stages. This movement has nothing to do with the song's link with the book of Revelation whatsoever. It's almost as if it were thrown in to throw us off...and it was. The lyrics at the end of the movement seem to mock the listener confused at what he hears. The narrator agrees to just get on with it, saying "we'll end with a whistle and end with a bang, and all of us fit in our places."

Another interlude follows, a very "Stairway to Heaven" guitar and flute bit. This steadily builds as horns are added, and a sharp guitar enters to begin "Apocalypse in 9/8." The lovers are returned to our world in time to witness the apocalypse of St. John in full swing. The GESM has cleared the way for Satan's rise in the lovers' absence, and the final battle between good and evil has begun. A long organ solo laid over a strange 9/8 beat begins as the battle is fought. Then we hear a reprise of "Lover's Leap" as bells ring to herald the end of the battle. Good, of course, has won, and the lovers have been allowed to return home.

"As Sure as Eggs is Eggs" reprises "The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man" in an epic epilogue. Humanity, as well as the lovers, has been allowed to "get back home." Heaven is wide open.

Report this review (#110)
Posted Sunday, September 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
paulsjackthed
5 stars At an early age I was exposed to the wonders of prog rock. this gave my an insight to how emotions and other feelings could by felt and manipulated, controled with desires and love in a way that is now so important that it's like having a belief in something. It take a sertain type of personality and mind to be able to really take in what prog rock is (and it's not a concept album like they said on the top ten prog rock bans - it can be the smallest of songs).

The first albums I was introduced to by my Dad was, Foxtrot and Close to the Edge. I was sat down and advised to read the words on the album covers and sleves ,I was 10 or 11 years old. They both blew my mind and change my direction in life from there on. You see there is alot of music out know that's very boring and undemanding also. There is nothing much in what we are being given out at pressent that can stand up to the masters who have done the work already and it's going to be very hard to.

Foxtrot opens up a world that exists in my mind that I wish would be a reality too. With story telling and a wonderment of emotion this is truly a classic piece of music that sets itself apart from the albums produced (after Peter Gabriel left the group) which turned into more of a commercial band for the none understanding (of prog rock) audiences.

So get a drink or lots of drink, dim the lights and get comfortable, disconect any phones and be well away from any distractions, have the music turned up but not to loud as to hurt the ear drums (very important you have to enjoy it you see), close your eyes.

Now you can enter a new world were everything is good.

Peter Gabriel has still got it too.

Report this review (#112)
Posted Sunday, October 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars For me, this is GENESIS`strongest album with Peter Gabriel. As "Close to the Edge", also from 1972, this is one of the best Progressive Rock albums that I have heard. "Foxtrot" is full of imagination, fantasy. It creates a "world", with a lot of mystery. "Watcher of the Skies" has a very good mellotron/organ introduction. "Time Table" is nostalgical, and here the piano is the main instrument. "Get `em out by Friday" is a futuristic story, with also a social comment, as previous reviewers wrote, about some non ethical businessmen."Can- utility and the Coastliners" is one of the best songs in this album, with very good 12 string guitars, and Banks` "orchestral keyboards", plus "dramatic" bass pedals, and a very good final section. "Horizons" shows Hackett`s skills as classical guitarist. "Supper`s Ready" creates "sound atmospheres", being the best parts of this song "Apocalypse in 9/8" (with a great organ solo and drums), and "As Sure as eggs is eggs", with a very good mellotron and several lead guitars by Hackett.
Report this review (#113)
Posted Friday, October 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars I am not one to add to the frenzy of 5 stars given to this album. Suppers ready is a must listen, the bands Magnum Opus, and it grows on you. Can-utility is also a great little track. Watcher of the Skies is a little overrated although Banks Mellotron work is very good and the track has an addictive atmosphere. Get em out by Friday is a fun track but nothing outstanding as is Time Table. The creativity of lyrics and music is outstanding however and this was a very infuential album.
Report this review (#117)
Posted Wednesday, November 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars One of my first Genesis albums listened, and still remains my favorite with them many years on. Actually, I can with no doubt say that this one is among my personal favorite albums of all time, together with Supertramp's "Crime of the Century" and Gentle Giant's "Octopus". This album also was another step forward for Genesis to progress furhter with their music, this one being a clear improvement over their previous "Nursery Cryme" both musically and technically, which saying quite much. This album has an adventurous style and feeling to it that Genesis never quite reached again, and together with Peter Gabriel's wonderful lyrics, this is in overall an unique and hugely creative release, especially for it's time (1972). Very competent and confident song writing with some of the best musical ideas Genesis ever did, and there's no really weak spots here, just great quality progressive rock all the way.

If you're new to prog, this one is an excellent starter. It's definitely essential in any prog collection, and you can't really go wrong if you purchase this one. I'll give it a perfect 5 star, hugely recommended!

Report this review (#135)
Posted Thursday, December 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars The best (but not the only) reason to buy this album is because the best song Genesis ever made stands on this album. Supper's ready, the last track on Foxtrot is a 23 minute suite. It's, although you don't hear this, just individuel songs glued together. In my opinion this is the best song genesis ever made. It combines all the wonderfull things Genesis stands for. It has beautifull athmospheric guitar parts, wonderfull vocals and a great and astonishing climax. If you don't have this album, and you call yourself a proglover, buy it!
Report this review (#119)
Posted Thursday, December 9, 2004 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
5 stars A terrific album, Foxtrot is one of those must have albums. The great thing about Foxtrot is that every member of Genesis is equally brilliant on this album, there's no power shifted to one or two people. Every song is strong, but the album reaches it's climax at Supper's Ready, a 22 minute epic that sounds more like 5 songs fit perfectly together. This is definitely an album I recommend, it's one of my favorites.
Report this review (#121)
Posted Wednesday, December 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
slipperman
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Any fan of this album knows the welcome chill-up-the-spine when "Watcher Of The Skies" comes a-creeping, a grand entrance to one seriously mandatory album. A dramatic, sometimes foreboding track, this song is the apex of the early Genesis catalog, revolving around an odd groove and flowing mathematical syncopation. Even in the first couple minutes, it's clear this lineup is enjoying the kind of musical chemistry that is so rare. There is hardly a better example of PRIME GENESIS than this.

"Watcher Of The Skies" climaxes in a very moving ending, and we're introduced to "Time Table". This song stretches backward to the band's beginnings, sounding like the missing link between their first and second albums. It's the only song on 'Foxtrot' that is neither excessive nor progressive, maintaining an easy and likeable flow throughout. Next up, rounding off the first half, are two gems. "Get 'Em Out By Friday" recalls "Harold The Barrel" in some ways, Peter Gabriel playing roles and using distinct voices for each part. The song's unusual subject matter (landlords who make restrictions on humanoid height so they can pack more people into their buildings) is a great vehicle for Gabriel's eccentric side. Tandem-acoustic guitar melodies, lilting flute, soul-crushing bass rhythms, Hackett's quiet-but-crucial approach, and incredibly smart drum work from Collins clatter away with a unique momentum. "Can-Utility And The Coastliners" is much heavier, feeling like a 10-minute epic despite being only 5:43. There's a wide range of emotion and color here, all of it serious and majestic. The highlight is Michael Rutherford's authoritative bass repetitions and Tony Banks' layers upon layers of keyboards. Instrumental mastery is flown in from everyone on this song, they make it sound so easy. One of the best-ever Genesis tracks, often being overlooked in favor of the more common (ie. live) tracks.

Side Two is dominated by the 23-minute "Supper's Ready", introduced by Hackett's acoustic "Horizons", a mighty composition itself, despite its brevity. "Supper's Ready", then. This song is spoken of with total reverence by the band's most serious fans. When getting into Genesis, I had trouble comprehending why. It seemed constructed of way too many parts, way to many mood changes ("All change!!!"), nothing stuck right away. But, as with many complicated prog pieces, its true form reveals itself only after many dutiful listens. Now I hold this hallowed song on an impossibly high pedestal along with just about every other fan. It's useless to dissect it completely, that's been done better by others, but I would point out that the part subtitled "Apocalypse in 9/8" is the only title this piece could've carried, as that is the exact odd-time fright in conjures. Chilling. Like the whole of 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway', "Supper's Ready" runs through the gamut of Genesis tricks and techniques, nothing is left out, everything is considered, but.nothing is used for the sake of it. Collins' versatile drumming, Rutherford's adept 12-sting guitar and commanding bass, Banks' ever- delightful arsenal, Hackett's intriguing and innovative guitar work, and of course, Gabriel's monolith-size charisma, they all work toward the success of the whole. And they do not leave us wanting after this song concludes.

'Foxtrot' is only helped by the huge leap in production quality. It's not perfect, but it carries its own strengths and its own charm. "Perfect" productions can be cold and lacking character sometimes, and 'Foxtrot' has too much character to have its edges rounded off. This album never fails, even after 100 listens. If someone unfamiliar with progressive rock asks you to recommend a prime example of the stuff, could you name a better album than this?

Report this review (#124)
Posted Friday, January 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
davidlevinson
5 stars What began with Nursery Cryme, continues great with Foxtrot!! From the opening synth of Watchers... to the powerful symphonic-like feel of Suppers Ready!!! This indeed is a must for all Prog-Rock enthusiasts!! Besides the (then)in concet favorites, you also have a nice little ballad called TimeTable. Steve Hacket sure proves that Steve Howe has a rival in the classical guitar dept. with Horizons! a terrific album. Sadly they will only be known as a pop band by mainstream listeners. I say this lineup should reuinite and tour again!!!!
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Posted Saturday, January 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
Fitzcarraldo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Audio channel 9 (Classic Albums) on British Airways flights this month features this album. It's good to know that someone at BA has good taste! The brief description in the in-flight magazine points out that this album was the first to chart for GENESIS and the album that brought the band into the limelight.

I remember lying on my bed listening to 'Supper's Ready' for the first time in 1972, especially the train whistle followed by "All change!", and thinking this stuff was marvellous. And I still do today. To me, this album is quintessential and, if I had to choose but one album to play to someone to illustrate the genre, this would be it.

Unfortunately I'm not a fan of GENESIS, and certainly not post-Gabriel GENESIS. I do like a few of the songs on other GENESIS albums, songs such as 'The Musical Box', 'I Know What I like' and 'Lilywhite Lilith' (well, even 'Ripples' is not too bad!). So I suppose it's strange in a way that I fell for "Foxtrot". To me, though, it's a whole quantum above the rest of the band's work. For thirty years none of the people I met who knew of, or were fans of, GENESIS rated the album ("Selling England By The Pound" seemed to be a favourite) and I just could not understand why "Foxtrot" was neglected: was I so out of sync? Then, to my relief, some ten months ago I discovered this Web site and saw that "Foxtrot" is not only considered the top GENESIS album, but also one of the top albums of the genre.

When I decided about eight years ago to start buying CDs to replace my long lost Progressive Rock LPs "Foxtrot" was, if memory serves, the very first CD I bought. If you are new to the genre or to the band, I strongly recommend that you do the same. I'm not going to review the tracks in depth because so many other reviews on this site cover them already, but I will say that the music itself is full of subtleties and twists and extremely pleasing, the poetic lyrics bizarre and fascinating, Gabriel's rendering passionate and captivating, and the band's playing top-notch. This is symphonic Progressive Rock at its best. People tend to focus on the 23-minute 'Supper's Ready' but I thoroughly enjoy all of the tracks on the album - they're all excellent. I have read criticism of the album's sound quality on several occasions but the 1994 remastered CD on my HI-FI sounds fine to these ears. An absolutely essential album for fans of the genre. If you haven't got it, what are you waiting for?!

Report this review (#133)
Posted Saturday, February 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I recall a bright summer's day in 1974, on the front porch, discussing the music of Genesis with a girlfriend. I had recently aquired "Selling England by the pound " and was busy expounding it's virtues in gushing expletives, but she cut me short: "Forget it! - Foxtrot" is SOOO much better!" Then she left me to get a milkshake.

Of course, I promptly bought it, listened to nothing else for about a month, and had to admit: She was spot on. Selling England was incredibly good, but Foxtrot was the stuff that dreams are made of..I remember thinking there was NO way ANYONE could make music as exciting and inventive as this for ALL ETERNITY to come!

That was 30 years ago. I still think Foxtrot is the best album - ever. There has been some great music in a variety of genres since, but this magic box of tricks has never been surpassed. Its the only prog album I carried with me into my "punk rules OK" period later on, when I sold off much of my prog-collection to buy Clash albums.

I can only marvel at the rich variety of musical landscapes filling every tiny piece of every single tune on Foxtrot. The opening track "Watcher of the skies" spins me reeling around the universe with Peter Gabriel as a High Priest calling to the Maker from a stone age-monument. Next, "Time table" pushes me gently into a romantic rumination of the Middle Ages. "Get 'em out by Friday" on the other hand, is like a superb radio- play, with a very Orwellian taste. Frightening stuff. "Can-utility and the coastliners" I could never decipher the lyrics of, but Gabriel is the Player-King supreme in this. And the tune is so colourful, with instrumental breaks of immense skill and invention. Where did they get the inspiration for music as original as this?!

"Horizon" - Steve Hackett - like floating on luminous air...before the cascading ebb and flow of "Supper's ready" with it's convoluted musical themes and very vivid lyrics describing notions of Britishness, the Divine Being and imminent Apocalypse.

"Supper's ready" was and remains my fave prog composition. Close to 23 minutes, and thus totally unplayable on commercial radio, it's something else. I remember listening to Radio Caroline back in 1979, when listeners rated this THE best song of the 70ies.

OK - the sound is thin and one can only wonder what it sould have sounded like if recorded and engineered with better technology. Doesn't take anything away from this being my desert island disc, though! Listen to this before you die...or else....:o)

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Posted Sunday, February 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album has some of Genesis' best tracks but I feel has also has a strangely eerie atmosphere to it (possibly the same eerie atmosphere which inspired Peter to write Suppers Ready perhaps....)? So much so that out of all Genesis albums it is the one I would least likely reach out and play. Yes it has one of their grandest pieces - Suppers Ready - but I think the Seconds Out version is more easy on the ear- sorry!
Report this review (#136)
Posted Monday, February 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Second Genesis album I bought (after Nursery Cryme) but the first that I fell in love with (I came to appreciate NC much more throughout the years). Tony's keyboard work in Watcher Of The Skies sends shivers down my spine, as does the middle and end section of Can-Utility And The Coastliners. This was the last Genesis album to have that weird, semi- crappy production that one other reviewer referred to as "gray"; I like the rough sound very much. Interestingly, Supper's Ready is probably only my 3rd favorite track on the album (after the afore-mentioned two songs), though it is one of those things that has grown on me over the years.

Personally, I rate this album a close second to Selling England... in the Genesis catalog.

Report this review (#139)
Posted Friday, February 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
soundsweird
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I'd give it 5 stars if not for the fact that, after thirty-plus years of listening to the album, I still feel that "Time Table" and "Can-Utility..." are (compositionally) not first-rate songs. I agree that there was a big jump in sound quality after this album, but the ears adjust after awhile. let's make it 4 & 3/4 stars!!
Report this review (#140)
Posted Friday, February 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Thank you so much to progarchives.com for getting me into Genesis! A friend of mine showed me Selling England a few years ago, but at the time, it was over my head. Last year I stumbled upon this site in my search for a new (or old) band to get into. My interpretation of 'prog' at the time was defined by the hard rock vein. i.e. Rush, Dream Theater, Liquid Tension. Of the old school prog bands that I sampled on this site, Genesis really stood out to me. Now I love their stuff...and Foxtrot has become my second favorite album of all time!

What an album! No filler at all. Can-Utility and The Coastliners is outstanding; I can't believe that some reviewers brush this one off...it's amazing! It's cool to see that Foxtrot is so well appreciated by everybody who frequents this site...it really is a masterpiece. When I hear all the 'scene' music of today, I'm just glad that Foxtrot exists, for the sake of my ears and mind.

Report this review (#141)
Posted Friday, February 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars To complete my reviews of the four "classic line-up" studio albums; another masterpiece of prog. This album deserves 5 stars if for no reason other than Supper's Ready which is with the possible exception of Firth of Fifth, the greatest prog song of all times. Supper's Readyis an absolute masterpiece. The interplay between Hackett and Banks is incredible, and Rutherford laid down some of his best bass lines ever in this piece. And of course, Gabriel's vocals and flute fit in perfectly. I had the pleasure of hearing this work done twice live (Unfortunately without Gabriel in the first 2 post Gabriel tours), and live, Hackett's guitar work in this piece may have been the best live guitar I have ever heard. Then, you have an incrdredible openner in Watchers of the Sky. This was the song that got me into Genesis. Another piece of brillance in Get Them Out By Friday, and Hackett's beautiful accoustic work in Horizons. There are no weak songs here. While I prefer both Selling England By The Pound (the greatest album of all times) and Nursery Crymes (just slightly) to Foxtrot, this album is an absolute must for any proghead, or any music lover. I try not to give too many five stars, and some of my favorite albums have not been given five stars in my reviews, Selling England By The Pound, Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot all are easily five stars.
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Posted Thursday, March 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Foxtrot is simply incredible and deserves its abundance of 5-star reviews, mine included. I tried Foxtrot soon after first visiting this site having never really listened to the Genesis of the seventies. Supper's Ready alone justifies Foxtrot's standing as one of the greatest ever progressive rock albums. I particularly like the sanctuary man and the apocalypse parts, but the entire epic draws you in from its gentle yet appealling beginning and holds you through its majestic conclusion, never faltering along the way. But, Supper's Ready does not stand alone. Watcher of the Skies is quite memorable with its kind of heavy, menacing mellotron. Timetable is a beautiful, with simple yet exquisite piano, and is very effective in transporting the listener to days of old. Those, Supper's Ready, Watcher and Timetable, are my favorites and I will stop there as there are so many other reviews. Suffice it to say that there are no throwaways and all songs on this masterpiece are justifiably somebody's favorite. Highly recommended to anyone who has yet to discover early Genesis. Like me, I suspect you'll be very happy that you did!
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Posted Tuesday, March 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album introduced me to the music of GENESIS, and maybe due to that it brings up feelings of nostalgia. I wouldn't still give it a five stars, as there are some duller moments in it too. But the B-side of the LP with short acoustic intro and the main epic is very fine and fun. "Watcher of The Skies" is also a pure gem. I recall Peter Gabriel told about the birth of the lyrics to the "Supper's Ready", that they were having "a weird evening" at the attic, and suddenly he got a visual hallucination of his girlfriends face morphing to something else... Hmm.
Report this review (#146)
Posted Friday, April 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
5 stars Stunning. Lifting. Transporting. This album is one of the few recordings ever created by humankind that can just take the inclined listener to another place, show them an alternate view, complete with excitement and relaxation, and then transport them safely back to their easychair. If the Creator were to sprinkle time with gems of music, this would be one of those gems. Who can say what gives artists their talent? Or what brings them together? Or what sparks their synergy? Now and then, some are born, they come together, fulfill their purpose, and part. This album is a result. What else can be said?
Report this review (#147)
Posted Friday, April 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
5 stars An excellent album! It's quirky, epic, and beautiful. "Watcher of the Skies" commands your attention, then "Time Table" is like a peaceful cooldown. I like how "Get 'em Out By Friday" plays out like a mini opera. It's amazing how Peter Gabriel plays several characters in this piece, like a one-man theatre show. And the story is quite out there, which is pretty much expected. I love it anyways. The musical performance in "Can-Utility" in my opinion is the best out of the "shorter" songs, which are pretty much the first 5 songs. As for the song that follows the sweet little number "Horizons", what can I say about "Supper's Ready" other than it's a 23-minute sensational masterpiece. I enjoy all seven parts of this song, but my favourites are IKHNATON AND ITSACON, WILLOW FARM and APOCALYPSE IN 9/8. The song never bores me, neither does the rest of this awesome album.
Report this review (#148)
Posted Sunday, April 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
themadhatter1
5 stars What a mesmerizing album!!! It's fantastic! I think it's better even than "Selling England By The Pound"... Here you can here a truly prog rock sound, without compromises. The epic Supper's Ready, wonderful song, the Genesis's best to me. The guitar interlacement of Horizons, the medieval tune of Time Table, the spectacular Get'em Out by Friday and Can-utility and the Coastliners. I just don't like so much Watcher of the Skies, but all the album is great. So let's enjoy this prog album, one of the best... Simply wonderful!!! Buy it twice!!!
Report this review (#149)
Posted Sunday, April 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
con safo
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars As soon as I heard the beautiful mellotron intro in Watcher of The Skies, I was hooked. An amazing album, and in my opinion, Genesis' finest hour. The opening song, "Watcher of The Skies" is a bit of an odd track, but repeat listens unveil its true brilliance. Rutherfords work in this track is great, his bass riff is immediately catchy. Beautiful washes of mellotron and guitar give this song a lot of character, it stands out as one of Genesis' most adventurous (and rewarding) songs. "Get em Out By Friday" is another killer track with Gabriel playing different vocal roles and showcasing his versatile vocal style. Great organ work by Tony here. Can-Utility And The Coastliners is a great symphonic track that builds to a rich and breathtaking climax, Hackett and Banks' instruments weaving in and out of one another overtop a beautiful orchestral mellotron.

The real treat on this album is the albums centerpiece "Supper's Ready," this magnum opus travels through many different moods and reaches several awe inspiring climaxes. The song blends perfectly the emotion of Gabriel's performance and the power of the band supporting him. Many great parts in this song, and lots of lush instrumentals. Very melodic and rich, the composition flows perfectly through each musical motif. Some standout passages are Hackett's intense solo in the movement "Ikhnaton and Itsacon and Their Band of Merry Men", and Bank's crowning moment "Apocalypse in 9/8". Once the first movement is reprised, you WILL be in utter awe. This album is no less than a masterpiece, and an essential record for anyone who even remotely enjoys progressive music. 5/5

Report this review (#150)
Posted Thursday, April 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars My 2nd Genesis album. I picked this one after reading many of the reviews praising this album, and Watcher of the Skies was the 1st Genesis song I had heard. I had bought Nursury Cryme before this, and was plesantly suprised by it. However, Foxtrot takes everything that was great bout Cryme and ups the ante, and suceeds wonderfully. from the opening moments of Watcher to the closing reprise of Supper's Ready, there's not a single bad song album on this album, and everyone puts forth a powerhouse performance (Collins, who was audibly restrained on the last album, is the driving force on a few of the songs,) and Gabriel continues to stun vocally, Especially on Get em' out by Friday, in wich he takes on the roles of many different charachters. Highly reccomended.
Report this review (#152)
Posted Sunday, April 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
Yanns
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I remember when I realized I had to start checking Genesis out. I was familiar with 70s acts from ELP, Crimson, Jethro Tull, and Yes to the Moody Blues, Kansas, and Supertramp. Pink Floyd, I believe, was the band that came before Genesis for me. All I knew was that everything I read everywhere said that Genesis was one of, if not the, best prog band of the 70s.

So, at the store, I find two albums, entitled Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot. I looked at them, examined them, and thought, "Which do I get?" Well, Foxtrot was my pick. Why? Because there was something I spotted on the album. Supper's Ready. A 23-minute epic. Bam, the album was mine.

And here's how it went down.

Watcher of the Skies: OK. It makes me laugh now. But I remember on the ride home, I put it on, and was, well, confused. Weird vocals, strange music unlike any I'd heard until then. Honestly, I thought "I guess Genesis isn't for me." Hmmmmm. Right. That's why it makes me laugh now, seeing as they are one of the top bands in my collection. Watcher... is one of the towering Genesis songs. Basically the anthem of the band in a way. The opening keyboard work sets the stage for the mind-blowing bass riffs and verses to come.

Time Table: First listen: OK. Average song. Well, I know recognize that it is a fantastic song, not average in the least bit. Piano, followed by Gabriel's voice, perfect. As a small side note: Tony Banks, if you don't already know, is a very different breed of keyboard player than, say, Keith Emerson or Rick Wakeman. Each are great in their own way, but Banks stands alone in terms of, dare I say it, knowing when not to play. Granted, Emerson is my favorite keyboardist. But Banks does have that different quality about him.

Get 'Em Out By Friday: Now, probably my favorite song on Side 1. From that blasting intro, to the first verse with the insane Rutherford bass below it, to the extremely soft section towards later parts of the song, the whole thing stands out as a strange, haunting, but in a way, beautiful track. Also, the story behind it (if anyone can fully figure it out) seems to fit the context of the album. Go ahead and read them, and you will, most likely, see where I'm coming from.

Can-Utility and the Coastliners: Of course, there's the sleeper song. My first listenings did not let this song stand out. It just blended with the album in a way. But, of course, things emerge, and I realized. This song is on the same level as every other song here. In it's own way, it's special. I've yet to see a song that can change so smoothly and so frequently in under 6 minutes.

Horizons: Simply the (great) guitar intro to Supper's Ready. Hackett does a nice job setting an atmosphere, in a way, also showing his own tastefulness.

Supper's Ready: Yup, the song of all songs. I think it's most likely Genesis' best song (along with Dancing with the Moonlit Knight). My father can't seem to get into Genesis that much, but he loves this song as much as I do. I don't want to go into it too much, because that can ruin it for the first-time listener. Just keep in mind that it will be one of the best songs in your collection, in all likelihood. Everything from Willow Farm, Apocalypse, everything.

All in all, one of the best albums of the 70s. And a top tenner for me. So far, it ranks above Selling England (although I've already stated that Dancing with the... is one of if not their best song). If you enjoy prog, it is a landmark and foundation album. Diverse, unique, out there, yet beautiful. To Foxtrot, I award 5 out of a possible 5 stars.

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Posted Monday, April 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album is a reference in the progressive world, if would be a sin if you havent heard it, like it or not you must hear it, i say its a reference because genesis is one of the most representative bands, and because of one simple thing called Suppers ready.

Without any doubt, Suppers ready is what brought me to this album and the band, it is a memorable track i can say its one of the best songs ever and probably the one who explains better the meaning of progressive rock, that only song makes this album special, but i dont give it 5 stars because there are other songs that are not the best, maybe the album with its 6 tracks makes only one, but separating them i think time table and maybe can-utility are not the best songs, that is why i say 4 stars, though the most of the people say 5 stars, maybe someday i can change my opinion.

Report this review (#154)
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is one of the best albums to ever come out in the 70's. Every track is perfect. I cannot stress enough how Genesis hit the ball into the goal. Every member offers a superb performance. Tony Banks' keyboarding is always on top, adding many layers and textures to the already superb guitar, bass, drums, and flute.

The opener Watcher of the Skies is a brilliant track, starting off with simple yet harmonius keyboards. It then develops into a rollicking, rolling tune. The next track, Time Table, is really just a filler track, but it is a VERY good filler track. Get 'Em Out by Friday is a very engaging track, with Gabriel changing personas in and out. A fan favorite Can-Utility and the Coastliners is an epic in 5 minutes, a condensed masterpiece. The next track is in my opinion an underrated one, Horizons. All it is is simple guitar, but it is really very beautiful and harmonius, one of my personal favorite Genesis songs as a guitarist. The stand out track, the one that will go down in history as the greatest epic is the very next track. Supper's Ready begins with 12-String guitar from both Rutherford and Hackett, but quickly evolves into a unforgettable tune. The most memorable section is Apocalypse in 9/8, with a very straightforward yet memorable rythym.

In the end, this is an album no fan of progressive rock should be with out. One of my highest recommendations.

Report this review (#155)
Posted Saturday, April 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ahh, the incredible Foxtrot album. Here, we have another great album in the early Genesis canon. After acquiring their 2 virtuosos on the last album, the band went on to create this: some consider it their masterpiece, and others (such as myself) consider it one of many great works the band would produce.

The album opens with the menacing "Watcher of the Skies", with its characteristic mellotron intro. This is certainly a fan favourite (and it would open many Genesis concerts). With such a captivating opening, the band demands the listener's attention. The track is almost totally dominated by TB's keyboards!

Next, we have the somewhat weaker piano piece, "Time Table". I feel it doesn't hold up in the same way the other songs do, but it's still passable at least. There is some more than able keywork here, and PG's vocals complement these quite nicely. The song is relatively short, clocking in at just under 5 minutes.

The next track, "Get 'Em Out by Friday" bears the mark of PG's eccentricity (bizarre subject) and once again works as a vehicle for his theatrics. It has quite a grabbing beginning, with a juxtaposition of guitar and keyboards, and it moves on to a slower tempo (temporarily..hahaha!).

The next song, I believe, is a great underrated Genesis masterpiece: "Can-Utility and the Coastliners" starts off with gentle acoustic guitars accompanied by PG's vocals, but just before 2 minutes in, the tempo changes (to an almost urgent level), and the guitar is backed by some great drumming and mellotron. One could say, and I'm sure some have, that it's almost a condensed Genesis epic.

"Horizons" is a short interlude which ends the Side 1 and showcases SH's great acoustic guitar playing. One could easily compare it to Steve Howe's "Mood For a Day", except, while I enjoy Steve Howe's playing, "Horizons" seems more pleasant and relaxed. It also acts as a short buffer between the 2 sides, for what a side we have to come...

"Supper's Ready"! That 23 minute epic beloved by Genesis fans young and old. Very little is wrong with this track - the band plays as one; PG delivers some great vocals, backed by PC who also gives his best on the drums, TB's keyboards are present and compliment the others but don't intrude, MR's bass provides a stable foundation, and what I think really makes the track shine, SH's guitar...oooh. The song is almost a working definition for prog rock - gentle interludes, angry guitar, tinkly keyboards, folky flutes, evolving musical themes and tempos...it has it all. To top it all off, PG used to dress as a flower on stage!

Foxtrot represents some of the best of Genesis' early work. The band is obviously very confident, and the compositions are tighter than ever. I would recommend this to almost anyone.

Report this review (#160)
Posted Sunday, May 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
zorroelsalvad
5 stars I recently discovered this album and I must say that it changed profundly my vision of genesis music. Before I heard this album, I tough that Trick of a Tail was good. But after I discovered how Gabriel era Genesis was richer at all points of view. This album is excellent and I must say as a big genesis fan that I think that Foxtrot is a lot better than Selling England by the pound because of the specific sound of this album (wich as been, I must admit, very badly recorded), the concept and for the two master pieces of Genesis repertory : watcher of the skies and suppers ready.

I must say that this album is a part of me. I listened to it so many times that maybe I ll be able sing it entirely with the same intonations, like gabriel, but not with the same voice. It represents me.

One of the best albums of all time.

Report this review (#36885)
Posted Saturday, June 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
NetsNJFan
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 1972 is a contender for the greatest year in rock music ever...in Progressive Rock at least. Yes released both FRAGILE and the genre defining masterpiece CLOSE TO THE EDGE in 1972. Jethro Tull released THICK AS A BRICK, the greatest album of their career. Genesis released their fourth album that year, FOXTROT. Simply put, FOXTROT is a masterpiece of Progressive Rock, and the best the band would ever do.

Watcher of the Skies is one of the most haunting songs ever recorded, especially the introduction. Tony Bank's masterful mellotron is simply amazing. Collins' drums and Hackett's guitar slowly enter the ominous keyboard textures, until the song finally peaks, and Peter Gabriel begins singing. Watcher of the Skies features excellent lyrics telling of an alien race visiting the earth after humans have departed. Overall, and excellently rousing track, a Genesis classic. The next track is more traditional, and is mainly a vocal showcase for Peter Gabriel. Time Table is quite good, with great lyrics reminiscing on the days of yore, (all very English of course). Nothing quite prepares you for the song Get 'Em Out by Friday. Like all great Genesis songs, this piece tells an extended (and bizarre) story of tenants being manipulated by their landlords, climaxing in a "four foot restriction on all humanoid height" in the future, so the landlords can fit more people onto lots. Gabriel aptly portrays no less than four characters over the course of the story, with his typical emotion and liveliness. Hackett and Banks playing is especially great here. A great song. (Check out the live version, which rocks a bit harder, on GENESIS-LIVE). Side One closes with Can Utility and the Coastliners, a much underrated Genesis gem, featuring incredible synthesizers by Banks and pretty (but powerful) melodies throughout.

Side Two begins with Horizons a delicate solo acoustic piece by Hackett. This was also the first piece he wrote for the band, a milestone in Genesis history. This gentle song offers a perfect introduction to the 'magnum opus' of Gabriel-era Genesis, Supper's Ready. This twenty three minute epic is Gabriel's tale of the apocalypse, as viewed by himself and his wife. Perfect Genesis. It features clever and challenging lyrics by Gabriel (as always) and wonderful playing by all involved. The instrumental segues between the nine plot sections are well done, but the lyrics are really the show case on this song. The zany section "Willow Farm" (surprisingly a single release!) is especially entertaining. This is definitely a song to hear, at least once.

FOXTROT marked the first real success for Genesis. It was their first album to have 'somwehat' decent production and engineering, with tolerable sound quality. While 1971's NURSERY CRYME was a great album, FOXTROT blows it away, with better compositions, and better integration of the new members Steve Hackett and Phil Collins. Genesis had matured at this point, finally finding their groove, understanding how to balance loud, complex sections, with delicate acoustic passages, and how to have virtuosic musicianship and theatrical vocals complement one another. While Yes is amazing, their music is a bit to micromanaged, with everything being perfectly arranged in the studio, sterilizing it to a degree. Genesis does not have that problem here, as Peter Gabriel helps create some of the most emotional songs in Prog, especially Supper's Ready. FOXTROT also marked Genesis's commercial breakthrough, though not on the large scale pop sense of the 80's.

5 STARS! Not a weak track to be found.

P.S. Check out the awesome cover art by Paul Whitehead.

Report this review (#37251)
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars GENESIS-FOXTROT ***** Genesis their fourth record is one of those legendary Seventies albums the whole progressive rock scene is build on. My fellow reviewers have written so much about it that I would like to focus on "Supper's ready" in order to express my musical appetite and, very important, my emotions! In "Lover leap" (part 1) Peter Gabriel starts to sing "Walking across the sitting-room, I turn the television off ... ", accompanied by beautiful interplay from the twanging 6 - and 12-string acoustic guitars, played by Mke Rutherford, Steve Hackett and Tony Banks. In "The guaranteed eternal sanctuary man" (part 2) the climate becomes dramatic featuring a powerful organ sound, a howling electric guitar and strong vocals: "He's the guaranteed eternal sanctuary man. Look, look into my mouth he cries". In "Ikhnaton and Itsacon and their band of merry men" (part 3) bombastic organ, agressive guitar, sparkling flute and emotional vocals colours a very compelling climate. In the end Peter Gabriel sings "Today's a day to celebrate, the foe have met their fate. The order for rejoicing and dancing has come from our warlord". The contrast between his cheerful vocals and the gruesome lyrics is obvious, it gives the music a captivating, cynical overtone. In "How dare I be so beautiful?" (part 4) the music is build upon Tony his soaring, slightly psychedelic organ and Peter's almost whispering voice. It evokes a kind of 'silence before the storm'. Peter sings "We watch in reverence, as Narcissus is turned to a flower." Then a short silence to continue with the famous question "A flower?". In "Willow farm" (part 5) the music sounds ebullient and Peter continues his singing with "If you go down to a willow farm, to look for butterflies, flutterboys, gutterflies .. " (splendid 'Newspeak' from the creative Peter Gabriel!). This part features many exciting musical ideas and a pumping Rickenbacker double-neck bass guitar by Mike Rutherford. In the end the climate turns into mellow with Peter's delicate flute-play and lush twanging acoustic guitars. In "Apocalypse in 9/8 (part 6) there's a sudden change of atmosphere: menacing with a propulsive rhythm and powerful, dramatic vocals (the legendary words "With the guards of Magog, swarming around ..."). After "You'd better not compromise. It won't be easy" Tony Banks starts his famous organ solo that starts classical and gradually turns into psychedelic, MINDBLOWING!! Then Peter sings "Six, six, six .. " (the Anti- Christ!) and soon majestic Mellotron waves can be heard after "In blood, he's writing the lyrics of a brand new tune" and "And it's .. . hey, babe, with your guardian eyes so blue ..", what a compelling blend of music and lyrics! In "As sure as eggs is eggs (aching men's feet)" (part 7) there's a flowing continuation from part 6 and contains the grand finale with a howling electric guitar and powerful organ. In the end he sings "This is the supper of the mighty one. Lord of Lords, King of Kings, has returned to lead his children home, to take them to the new Jerusalem" (this is a metaphore for the victory from Good over Evil) and the music fades away.

IN MY OPINION THIS IS 'THE EPIC OF ALL EPICS'!

This review is dedicated to the Canadian Genesis-imitation band The Musical Box. I would like to thank them on behalf of many Dutch progheads for visiting The Netherlands and making dreams come true by performing an exact copie of the "Selling .. " and "The lamb .." tour. IT WAS OVERWHELMING!!

Report this review (#37600)
Posted Saturday, June 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars It is a work very enhanced. The melody and the ensemble like classics come out everywhere. You may say one of the starting points of the genre named Symphonic Rock. The perfection of every one tune is wonderful and high. It seems to form this music as all tunes have the meaning. The beauty of the melody that colors the detail in addition to the weight feeling similar to the work of the group named JETHRO TULL and PINK FLOYD and the power of the ensemble at the keyboard center are wonderful. It is a most important work of this group. Blockbuster "Supper's Ready" that decorates ending is a fantasy story that represents Prog Rock.
Report this review (#38738)
Posted Thursday, July 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars An essential record from Prog Daddies, "Foxtrot" now serves as a perfect example for any Neo/Retro-Prog album: a powerful opener, a short song, a mini-epic, another song and a closing big thing, usually over 20 mins. What can be better than a trail-founder? A paragon of beauty and a sacred cow for almost every Progger, "Foxtrot" gets what it deserved over the years. Should I even recommend it?..
Report this review (#40336)
Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
marcosvrljica
5 stars All prog fans i know started with this album (so as I). The sound is encredible, and it's very well produced. The formation in this period is the best Genesis ever had: Gabriel, Hackett, Phil, etc. No song is similar to another, and they're all amazing. It could be one of the most important prog albums ever produced.

The guitar takes a big part in this album, more than in any other Peter Gabriel's era album. The oposite thing happens with the keyboards (excluding 'time table'). The is not much drums and percution, as usual.

ESSENCIAL!

Report this review (#41326)
Posted Tuesday, August 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Supper's Ready, how do I love thee ...

This is one of the most loved albums by the band, and I agree. Genesis has finally reached a musical period in which they all found their sound, and focused on all their strengths, allowing a strong disc with no flaws. They have also attempted (and did well) on creating an epic that is closer to Abbey Road than Close To The Edge or Thick as a Brick.

1. Watcher Of The Skies 8.5/10 : Soaring, majestic, haunting, powerful ... those words describe this song. It begins with possibly the best mellotron driven section in the history of rock and the band slowly begins entering the music with an odd rhythm. A classic.

2. Time Table 9/10 : This song is a very relaxing, overly beautiful, and rather simple piano ballad. Songs like this should be on the radio. Its melodies surpass almost anything from the radio nowadays. The instrumental break contains gorgeous piano playing.

3. Get 'Em Out By Friday 8/10 : A opera-like mini-epic, with Peter Gabriel doing voices of many different characters, telling a story about a bleak future. He will keep writing this style of music later in the next Genesis Albums.

4. Can-Utility And The Coastliners 9/10 : This is the best of the short tracks of this album in my opinion. Genesis shows their superior songwriting abilities and creating a short tight song with many changes in melodies. The instrumental section in the middle is extraordinary.

5. Horizons 8.5/10 : A very short acoustic guitar composition. I like it as much as the ones Steve Howe has done in Yes (in union, fragile, the yes album). IT serves as a prelude to ...

6. Supper's Ready 9/10 : The band's epic, and it succeeds in many levels. The song is a group of decent short songs glued together like in Abbey Road, and it is as good (or maybe better) than the Beatles epic. The range of musical ideas, themes, and moods is enormous from the beautiful acoustic finger-picking of the beginning to hard rock music on 9/8 ... this song has it all!

If you like Genesis, or even if you never have heard that band ... You should hear this album. While they got better in 'selling england by the pound' ... this is an essential album of progressive rock.

My Grade : A-

Report this review (#41938)
Posted Sunday, August 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
el böthy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Too good...my God its just too good!!! Watcher of the skie is the opener, and I always fing Genesis albums opening song to be their best...and this is amazing...but how can it be the best if you have Suppers Ready?...That song, this album...Gabriel ( as always ) perfect, but this time even more perfect...I really feel that Suppers Ready is 90% Gabriel 10% the rest. Awsome!!!

There is absolutly no "flaw" in thins one, Foxtrot is King Crimsons In the court of..., Yes Close to the Edge and Jethro Tull´s Thick as a Brick...and they were all realesed the same year, all but In the court of...1969.

It is sooooooooo good...if you dont have it, go and buy it or jump of a cliff, because its not just Gnesis best...it´s definitly in the top 5 of all prog albums.

Report this review (#41958)
Posted Sunday, August 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars As you know, this is arguably a top 100 prog album. But, if it contains a masterpiece of progressive music along with undeniably great songs, how could its acclaim be so debatable? Because, my friends, all of the songs are not 'undeniably great'. Let's have a look: Watcher Of The Skies: A most excellent song, in a musical and technical sense. It's all been said before, the Mellotron opening is spectacular and unforgettable. The musicianship is exceptionally tight; but to some it is jerky and disjointed. I thoroughly enjoy the song now, it is a avourite from this album, but on first listen I was horrified. A definite grower. 8/10. Time-Table: I do NOT like this song. In a poppy sense it is wonderful, but would sound more at home on an Elton John album in my opinion. It's definitely not for all Genesis fans. 4/10. Get Em Out By Friday: Ah, here we go. This song is amazing. Marvellous, tight musicianship, fantastic organ work from Tony Banks and brilliant narration-style vocals from Peter. Mike Rutherford's bass playing on this track is outstanding and unbelievably skilled. This is my all-round favourite track on this album, and the one I listen to the most. This really must be heard, honestly. 10/10. Can-Utility and the Coastliners: Most people love this song, but I hate it. To me it seems forced, rushed and disjointed. At 5.45, people call it a mini-epic. I call it terrible. But, I am in the minority, so you should give it a listen. After all, you can probably tell I don't like this album as much as anyone else. 4/10. Horizons: Thoroughly pointless but beautifully played guitar solo by Steve Hackett. Should really have been part of another track to have more of an effect. The album's sole 'folly'. 6/10. Supper's Ready: Well, I can't say much about this track that hasn't been said already. You HAVE to listen to this song even if you listen to no other, as it sums up Genesis' many moods in 23 minutes. Even if you know little about Genesis and have no intention of listening to them, this track must be heard; it will expand your image of progressive rock by many miles. 10/10.

The only reason I have rated this album as highly as I have is because of Supper's Ready. Before that, it would have been 3 stars from me. And trust me, I think this review is reliable because I rarely do negative reviews at all. Enjoy the highlights!

Report this review (#42262)
Posted Tuesday, August 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A flawless masterpiece!

Not knowning really what new could I add to review this fave album, I listened it thoroughly again after many years of abstinence. This is definitely a defining moment of progressive rock and if asked to single out an album in order to explain to an alien what prog is, "Foxtrot" would probably be a choice. True, the sound and production is not perfect, but the overall musical concept, performance and idea are very strong. Apart from all the band members being at their best, actually it is M. Rutherford who gave his probably the strongest contribution to a GENESIS album, with his melodic solo bass lines and firm 12-strings rhythm guitars throughout the album. Absolutely recommended not only to prog rock fans but to all lovers of epic and ellaborate musical art.

Report this review (#42550)
Posted Friday, August 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
slack4justice
4 stars Foxtrot is actually my second venture into Genesis. This album precedes the album I reviewed before this, Selling England By The Pound, which I found to be an odd mixture of great and bad. Reviewing Foxtrot, from 1972 (arguably prog's finest year), I hope to find a more consistent album from the legendary Genesis.

Watcher of the Skies is a good song, but the transitions and melodies aren't strong enough to make it memorable. Tony Banks' keys are in the forefront, and fit nicely, but nothing seems to fall together well enough. (7/10)

Time Table is really nothing more than just a decent song. It's not particuarly thoughtful or interesting, but moreso something you'd hear on a classic rock radio station. (5/10)

Get 'Em Out By Friday has more going for it than the others, it has excellent musical interplay, but a lot of it is droning and Gabriel's vocals are too busy. (7.5/10)

Can-Utility And The Coastliners, interesting name and interesting song. Definitely a stronger song melodically and keeps you interested throughout it's entirety. Nothing too serious however. (8/10)

Horizon's is a Hackett acoustic solo, it's pretty nice and it molds into the next song quite well, but I can't help but to say I've heard much better out of Howe's acoustic spots. (7.5/10)

Supper's Ready is simply Genesis in a song, all the moods and low and high points of Genesis is in this song, rating this is like rating the entire band. Simply it's like a Genesis record in itself. (8.5/10)

Well, in the end, Foxtrot is a collection of good songs, some a bit better than good, one of them a bit below. It's more of an art-pop record than most because of it's conventional manner, some moments very proggy, such as Supper's Ready. Nothing it's on too high of a great level here, but nothing here is bad. Selling England By The Pound has better moments than this record, but also worse moments than anything on this record. All in all this album has a bit more meat to it than the other. (7.5/10)

[OVERALL SCORE: 7.3 or 3.5 stars, rounded to 4 stars]

Report this review (#43467)
Posted Friday, August 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars I'm sorry all you genesis fans but if this is the best they've got I'm not impressed. I'm not sure what it is about this album that I don't like but when I go to pick an album to listen to I think "ohh I cant be bothered trying to listen to that". I'm a guitar lover and perhaps that is the reason I don't like genesis, they have a lead keyboardist.

I don't hate this album. All I can say is if you listen to the mp3's here and arent really impressed, I wouldn't take it any further because to me it all sounds the same. Sorry.

I've rated this a 2 not for "collectors/fans only" but just that I don't like this style of music.

Report this review (#43616)
Posted Sunday, August 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Foxtrot is one of my favourite Genesis albums (second to Selling England By The Pound), and thus one of my favourite records over-all. It so clearly showcases what Genesis stood for during the brilliant Gabriel-era. Supper's Ready is one of music history's best compositions, and it contains music history's fourth best vocal achievement (after The Battle Of Epping Forest and VDGG's Arrow and La Rossa). The whole album is a true work of art and genious, but if two songs really stand out, it is Supper's Ready and Get 'Em Out By Friday. These two songs also shows an aspect of Genesis that they could not manage to achieve without Gabriel (although most of their post-Gabriel records still are very good). Theatrical, super-intelligent yet highly emotional, progressive rock.
Report this review (#43708)
Posted Sunday, August 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars this is wthout ANY DOUBT one masterpiece of progressive music, one of the best albums in rock history!it is just AMAZING!!!with songs such as supper's ready,get'em out by friday,watcher of the skys and an incredibly UNDERater song: Can-Utility And The Coastliners! God I wich this was a 20 minutes long track with the same melody.The middle instrumental section is for me, one of the most beautifull and emotional melodies I ever heard in my ENTIRE life, among others, like hackett's final section on "shadow of the hierophant" from the "voyage of the acolyte" album(wich I highly recomend as one of the best progressive records ever).Anyway, Foxtrot is among selling englan and nursery cryme,the bests albums of genesis.By this time, I'm still 14 years old, but I know I'll listen to this album forever!
Report this review (#44535)
Posted Saturday, August 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is special,brilliant,terrific!A journey to the magic/apocalyptic world of Peter GABRIEL, Phil COLLINS, Steve HACKETT, Tony BANKS and Mike RUTHERFORD.

This journey begins with the powerful mellotron intro of "Watcher Of The Skies", which lyric talks about the end of earth,observed by the "Watcher Of The Skies", and has some parts as "for though you ship be sturdy, no mercy has the sea,will you survive on the ocean of being?", and was influenced by writer Arthur C.Clarke. This song is one of the GENESIS' s better ones, and also is one of the first I heard, and made me look for more and more songs from that band.

"Time Table", right after,talks about "a time of kings and queens", and is a mellodic and great song, with good piano on the beginning,showing all BANKS's power.

"Can-Utility And The Coastliners", with good indtrumental and emotional parts, is also an excellent song.

After this, we have "Get'em Out By Friday", talking about a story where the following characters take part: John Pebble,The Winkler,Mrs.Barrow. At 2:00, when Mrs. Barrow "talks", we have the better part of this song,with a fantastic flute.

"Horizons", an acoustic and beautiful song, where HACKETT shows what he can do. This song is one of the better GENESIS's instrumental songs, and is almost an introduction to...

..."Supper's Ready", 22-minute over, magnum opus song,for me, the better GENESIS's song. This masterpiece is divided into seven parts:

I- Lover's Leap: a romantic beginning, talking about a story of a couple.

II- The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man: after COLLINS say that he knows a farmer, we have this excellent part of the song,talking about (??) a guaranteed eternal sanctuary man.

III- Ikhnaton And Itsacon And Their Band Of Merrymen: this part of the song talks about a battle, warlord, this kind of things.

IV- How Dare I Be So beautiful?: this sort section is almost an intro to part V, and talks about Narcissus.

V- Willow Farm: this part has humor and good vocalizations, and then,everything gives palce to parts VI and VII, the climax of this song.

VI- Apocalypse In 9/8: this section really touches me, with its flute, guitars, apocalyptic lyrics (one of the better lyrics ever from GENESIS).

VII -As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs: the masterpiece ends brilliantly, saying that the " king of kings has returned to lead his children home, to take them to the New Jerusalem. "Definitively, a good end for such a great album.

Surely, FOXTROT deserves 5 stars(maybe 6...), and is as good as the famed SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND,and can be put on top 5 of progressive rock, even maybe as number one...

Report this review (#44548)
Posted Saturday, August 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tony Fisher
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is an album that truly deserves its top 10 rating. It is a masterpiece from the start of the brilliant Watcher of the Skies to the fade out of Supper' Ready. These two tracks form the bookends of the album but there are gems in between: Can Utility and the Coastliners is one of their most underrated tracks and Get 'em out by Friday is another bizarre story of corporate greed, with associated silly voices from Gabriel. Supper's Ready is over 20 mins of bliss and Apocalyse in 9/8 is my favourite bit - a simple bass line and guitar chords form the basis for Banks' wonderful keyboard work. The lyrics throughout are wierd and wonderful; no other band could have done this. An absolutely essential album, comparable to Selling England in quality which says it all.
Report this review (#45635)
Posted Monday, September 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
Progbear
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The pearl in the Genesis shell. My, but 1972 was a banner year for progressive rock!

The 23-minute "Supper's Ready" song cycle is Genesis' crowning achievement. Never before or since have they created such an epic work that played to all their strengths as much as this. Elsewhere the band's individual members get to stretch out on the shorter pieces: Collins displaying some of his most intricate and memorable drumming on "Watcher Of The Skies", Banks adding some gorgeous piano to "Time Table", Hackett stretching out on "Can-Utility and the Coastliners" and the acoustic showpiece "Horizons" and Gabriel performing at his theatrical best on "Get 'Em Out By Friday".

Some will point to other albums, but for me they peaked early with this. It wasn't exactly "all downhill from here", but the band never quite managed such a unified, bold statement as this anywhere else in their career. The one to get if you can only get one.

Report this review (#46274)
Posted Sunday, September 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eclipse
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This album is another one of my three favorite from all times, together with FLOYD's WYWH and Vangelis' Conquest of Paradise - all absolutely perfect masterpieces of music!

First, it is obvious from my comment above that i consider this album GENESIS' most amazing and inspired work. Selling England by the Pound comes very close, but it does not have the MAGIC that Foxtrot carries within itself. There's something with this album that makes me feel literally addicted to it. It has so many great melodies built, so many remarkable moments that make it remain intersting from the opening mellotron of "Watcher" until the fade-out of their magnum-opus, "Supper's Ready".

I remember that i disliked "Watcher of the Skies" a lot when i first listened to it. I couldn't stand its beating melody, i found it too repetitive and annoying. In fact, this is the album that took me the longest to get into. The only songs that i started enjoying soon were maybe "Get'em Out by Friday" and "Time Table", since the rest i found too hard to swallow. But as it happens with most of the most awesome progressive masterpieces, after some time and repeated listenings i discovered the album's true face, and became more satisfied with it. Things only went better when i read the really intelligent and creative lyrics by TONY BANKS and PETER GABRIEL. Both write very well, and when you mix such perfect lyrics with superb music then what we have is a heck of an awesome album. The opening song is now one of my all time favorites, the intro is great, it announces one of the most unique experiences you'll ever have with music. The outro of this song is also excellent, in a touching kind of melody rarely found on this side of symphonic prog. This moving fashion continues on "Time Table", with its inoccent style being not a prog tune at all, but very important to the album's substance. The third song, "Get'em Out by Friday" brings back the upbeat tone found on GENESIS' classics like the middle part of "Musical Box" or the strong closing track from Trespass "The Knife". The subject of the song is very unreal, though still maintaing a message using intelligent weirdness in the story. A mini-opera at its best, with amazing bass work by RUTHERFORD and again a superb keyboard playing by TONY BANKS. What we have after three masterpieces? Another one, and even better than the ones that came before. "Can..." shows that in six minutes GENESIS is able to top some of prog's classic epic long suits like "Close to the Edge", "Tarkus" and several other longs but not so great classics as this FOXTROT's 4th monster. And this is indeed a monster! It ends the album's first side with glory, containing dreamy lyrics (again being very well crafter), BANK's classic and moving keyboard solo and strong arrangements. But the best is still to arrive. "Supper's Ready" follows a short instrumental piece on the second side to prove that the guys can really let loose when it comes to epics. This is the band's only one, and neither KING CRIMSON's "Lizard" can compete with this piece of art. Each part is important, even the silly for some people "Willow Farm". Each one of them build this experience very well, i specially love the instrumental section on "Lover's Leap", it is very atmospheric and dreamy and shows that GABRIEL plays flute very well. "Apocalypse in 9/8" shows TONY BANKS best solo and it is one of GENESIS' most amazing moments, shivering our spines to no end. The experience ends with "As sure as eggs is eggs" with some of the beautiful words i've ever heard in music, leading to a moving fade-out.

This is GENESIS' perfect masterpiece. In my opinion Selling England is not even close to the greatness of Foxtrot, and i consider SEBTP the band's second best. I strongly recommend this, it may take a while to grow, but be patient and you'll few rewarded, since Foxtrot is symphonic prog at its best and deserves the unique 6 stars rating.

Report this review (#47230)
Posted Sunday, September 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a brilliant album. But like Thick as a brick of Tull, the sounds themselves do not represent the musicianship of Genesis here. May be this has something to do with the original recording. Or may be the band was still transforming from the sounds of the sixties into the seventies. Because in the very next album, they sound so modern. Supper's Ready had been my top favourite long-piece for a long time.
Report this review (#47411)
Posted Tuesday, September 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Everyone seem to have an opinion in what his or her favourite Genisis CD is , for me its FOXTROT. Why you may ask? well just be patient and I`ll tell you ! This is the CD that shows us just what a great lyricist and voice Peter Gabriel is and it gives us Supper`s Ready and many other classic genesis songs like Get em out by Friday , Watcher of the skies, infact the whole CD is fantastic and so consistant , from the beautiful Horizons by Steve Hackett to the amasing percusion by Phil Collins . get this CD its worth remembering .
Report this review (#47986)
Posted Friday, September 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Genesis was about to put it all together with Foxtrot, which I personally find to be my favorite album of the Genesis canon. Yes, they would follow with their tightest album yet, but as of Foxtrot, Genesis blends their symphonic progressive music together at a grand creative peak. Granted, Foxtrot clocks in at just over 51 minutes, making it longer than many other albums of the early 1970s, but not a note is wasted. Unlike some of their other contemporaries, Genesis did not pack in a lot of solos...more often Tony Banks and Steve Hackett tended to play a melodic lead instrument part compared to rip-roaring solo sections. I first heard this and really got into it...after I heard four other Genesis albums from the progressive period; that means something that I left it passed so long. Banks' mellotron opens the album, as the song "Watcher of the Skies" kicks into gear. It sounds a bit less raw than Selling England by the Pound would, but more polished than Nursery Cryme, which actually works out quiet nicely. The opener is very punchy, and my favorite track on this album, as all the members are very hypnotic, including Peter Gabriel vocally ("wat-cher-of-the-skies-watcherofall..."). "Time Table" is piano-driven piece, with Hackett's distorted guitar and Rutherford's upper-register bass section helping carry the piece along. This feels somewhat McCartney-esque in melody, but you know it's Genesis...much more complex lyrically and musically. "Get 'Em Out by Friday" is outstanding. At the beginning, it rocks very hard, with Phil Collins' drumkit driving each of the time shifts...the cymbals are very crisp here. Gabriel, like he would proceed to do on The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, takes on many different characters in one song. The man has one of the most unique voices to ever embark the rock atmosphere. "Can-Utility and the Coastliners" has an excellent acoustic line, and it is a very descriptive piece in terms of mood, which Genesis did not always attack. Hackett masters the classical guitar with "Horizons," which might not be as technically sound as Steve Howe's "Mood For a Day" on Yes' Fragile, but there is more warmth in "Horizons" in my opinion. Sorry to make a comparison of two great interludes from two classic albums, but it was valid. The number is a great 98 seconds of peace, more than filler but a build into the great number about to be addressed. What else can be said about THE Genesis opus, "Supper's Ready" has probably already been said, so why should I rehash it. I can only say that this and "Revealing Science of God" are the only two prog epics I know that immediately open with a vocal part ("walking across the sitting room..."). Still, it's a complicated story, but once you get it, it's a masterpiece in itself, and it flows like one number. My only complaint is that I feel the piece faded out too soon. Regardless, those 23 minutes are something else. Foxtrot was a great accomplishment to turn Genesis into a giant among the genre, and one of the first names in progressive rock. The quintet performs at their peak, looking for a musical perfection that they certaintly have accomplished.
Report this review (#50273)
Posted Thursday, October 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
Prognut
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Few bands during this time, consistently achieved success by success!! GENESIS was one of those!..They continued their line of creation..and FOXTROT gives all the magnificent "Supper's Ready" almost clocking at 23'!! My favorite, however has always been "Can-Utility And The Coastliners" where GENESIS shows how a relativly short track can still develop and be Progressive!! A must!!
Report this review (#51787)
Posted Friday, October 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Foxtrot is a masterpiece, an epic of prog, avant-garde in complexity of this that and the other, etc... Not too much else to be added on top of the other reviews. Interestingly Foxtrot took me longer than any other Genesis album to get into (although I still haven't come fully into Trepass and post A Trick of the Tail).

The album is largely driven by the regal composition that is "Supper's Ready." And so I begin my discussion here. Moving through seven movements it is a veritable briefcase of styles and exploration. Peter Gabriel's vocals resonate more monumentally in this piece than any other Genesis song. (Well, maybe 'Musical Box' or 'DWTMK'). Parts of the song that I look particularly look forward to include part (ii)The Guarenteed Eternal Sancutary Man, the flute segueing into orchestral movement leading up to part (vi) The Apcalypse in 9/8, and finally ,the reprise of part (ii) where Gabriel sings "Lord of Lords, Kings of Kings... Jerusalem." (but permit me to regress briefly: what other music sounds anything like part (v) 'Willow Farm' when Genesis sings 'mum to mud to mad to dad' and the like)

'Watcher of the Skies' is a strong intro tune with easily agreeable riffs. 'Time Table' breaks into a softer more melody driven song. On a whole I think these two and 'Horizons' are the less noteworthy tracks although still strong.

'Get 'Em Out by Friday' is one of the first songs that I recognize as showcasing Gabriel's vocal ability. The variety of voices used during the song - including the theatrical - all stand out in my mind. In ways I feel some of the styles incorporated in 'Get 'Em' were later used in 'The Battle of Epping Forest,' which also indulge Gabriel. The dynamics contrasts are also timely and well executed.

'Can-Utility and the Coastliners' offers a lot in under 6:00 minutes. Some of my favorite Banks keyboards are featured near the end of this song. But one of my all-time favorite Genesis moments occures at time 1:08 of this song when Gabriel sings 'far from the north overcast ranks advance...' The vocal melody here strikes such a chord in me that I feel nostalgic and reminiscent for a past time - a mythical age somewhere in England emboldened by ramblers and wanderlust. And that is a bit odd considering I'm a university-aged American.

At the end of the day, Foxtrot is a masterpiece, an epic of prog, avant-garde in complexity and sophistication.

Report this review (#51850)
Posted Friday, October 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars A mate of mine lent me this album as i was expanding my Prog musical taste. I had already listened to a few Genesis songs and thought they were pretty good. So i listened to this album and enjoyed it. 1. Watcher Of the Skies - Well to be honest I don't like this song, I think it's the weakest song on this album. I think it's something to do with the vocals, i like Gabriel's voice but as an introuduction on this album it was hard to swallow.

2.Time Table - I really like this song, even though it has a melancholy feel to it. The nice mellow guitar riffs, the soft vocals and the slow piano introduction. This song has a very appealing feel to it for me and is probably the one song by Genesis that i know all the lyrics to I've listened to it so many times.

3. Get 'Em Out By Friday - A very diverse song for such a short time period. The intro is complettly different to the rest of the song and the tempo, the volume and the tune changes many times. Gabriel's voice is fantastic especially when he says "Get 'em out by Friday!" He changes to suit the style of the music being played and it works very well.

4. Can-Utility And The Coastliners - The introduction again is a brillaint guitar opening which leads onto the general feel to the song. Probably the least progessive song on the album but it's still damn good. Again excellent vocals by Peter and I would say the most radio friendly song from the album with runner up going to Time Table

5. Horizons - How can you not like this short guitar instrumental? Sounds very melodic and peaceful. Just a very good song to listen to, my only complaint is that it's a bit short but then again maybe if it was longer i would say it's too long.

6. Supper's Ready - Well what can I say about this song that hasn't already been said? A very very very good prog song, every time it comes on I always listen to the whole song because it's hard to top it by changing to a different song. Everything on this song is brilliant and everything about this song is brilliant. A great way to end the album with the best track and most probably the best prog song but having to fight off the likes of Close To The Edge and Thick As A Brick which equally as good.

All in all this is my favourite Genesis album and for that i have to give 5 stars, even though Watcher Of The Skies does let it down a bit.

Report this review (#52014)
Posted Sunday, October 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
5 stars Foxtrot Is One Of The Most Unique And Thrilling Albums I Have Ever Heard. It Is Debatable Whether This Or Selling England By The Pound Is The Greatest Genesis Album With Peter Gabriel, It Is A Very Hard Decision To Make (As Close As Trilogy And Brain Salad Surgery For Elp). The Opener 'Watcher Of The Skies' Is Simply Amazing, The Eerie Mellotron Intro Is The Perfect Build Up For Collins Motorik Drums And As Gabriel Steps Up The Song Lifts To Becomes One Of The Most Exciting (And Oddly Catchy) Songs Genesis Ever Produced. I've Had Foxtrot On cd For Months And Recently Found It On Vinyl And It Sounds Even Better!! Time Table Changes The Mood Dramatically, Although The Song Is Soft And Melodic It Is The Weakest Song On The Album. Get 'Em Out By Friday Is Great And Goes Through Many Changes To Keep The Listener Interested, The Social Commentary That Gabriel Speaks Of Is Perfectly Executed, Witty And Strong, The Song Afterwards I Feel Is One Of The Most Underated And Untalked About Songs Genesis Has, 'Can Utility And The Coastliners' Is Amazing, Led By Steve Hackett For The Most Part. Rutherford Includes Some Very Strong Basslines, Sometimes So Fast I Would Be Surprised If imitators Wrists didnt Break. 'Horizons', A Short Acoustic Guitar Solo From Steve Hackett Is Impressive And Is The Perfect Prelude To The Epical 23 Minute 'Suppers Ready' Which May Be The Bands Finest Achievement. It Sees All Members Of The Group In Top Form, The Most Exciting Vocals From Peter Gabriel I Have Ever Heard (The 'New Jerusalem' Finale) Are In This Piece. The Lyrics Are So Different To Any Other Band, Who Else Could Have Thought Of This?? The Music Is So Atmospheric It Is Hard To Not Get Lost In It Every Single Time You Listen To it (Thank You Mr. Tony Banks). Peter Adds His Soft Flute Playing In All The Right Places. Steve Hackett Steals The Show Though, His Many Giutars Bringing To Life The Whole Piece And Complementing Peters Vocals At The End. It Is The Perfect Genesis Album For Me And I Highly Recommend It To Any Prog Fan Who Hasnt Already Heard It.
Report this review (#53178)
Posted Monday, October 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
ttaylor102003
5 stars Well, this is quite a highly reguarded album, and after many listens, I can tell you that it easily ranks up there with the best prog albums. Also, other than the tracks on this website, this was my first forray into the wonderful world of Genesis.

The album opens up with the lush, beautiful mellotron riffing of Tony Banks on the rousing opener, Watcher of the Skies. This song features some heavier parts, and some quiet parts, and lots of upbeat melodies and lyrics about the end of the world or something. Also, while the keyboards dominate the mix here, they are not overused like in *ahem* ELP. (Don't get me wrong, I love ELP.) A great opener which sets the tone for the album.

Time Table is pretty much a forgettable song, although it features good melodies and lyrics, and some good piano, and the chorus is very good and catchy. This song reminds me of the Beatles in a way. A good song, but overshadowed by the sheer awesomeness of the rest of the album.

Get 'Em out by Friday is awesome. It features some heavy organ rokcing parts that remind me of Uriah Heep, and some beautiful emotional melodies reminiscent of King Crimson on their first couple of albums. Great flute in the long instrumental interludes. Gabriel is at his most theatrical here, employing many different voices for the different characters, but it is not goofy at all like it might seem. A great song.

Can-Utility and the Coastliners is another awesome one, which goes through many little sections to form what some call a mini epic. It starts off kind of folky, and after a while goes into a moody instrumental interlude featuring lots of acoustic guitar, mellotron, and organ. It ends after some upbeat, rocking emotional melodies, all sung with great power by Gabriel. A great song. Also, everyone always says this is overlooked and underrated (on this site anyway), but it seems to me that every single Genesis fan on here likes this.

Horizons is pointless maybe, but it is nice and relaxing. Just Hackett playing some nice classical-esque melodies on his classical guitar. Short and not drawn out as well. A good little song, but the weakest on the album.

Supper's Ready is the song you will be buying the album for (although the rest of it is really awesome too). It features the most emotional and beautiful melodies and the best playing from all the members, and it has great lyrics. It starts off hypnotic with Lover's Leap (with the best chorus ever) with lots of overdubbed acoustic guitar. Then comes the soaring synth and mellotron riffing of the Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man, which is short and really good, really spacy. This segues into Iknhaton and Itsacon and their Band of Merry Men, which tells of a great battle. This section is really upbeat and happy sounding, despite the grim subject matter. It also features a great guitar solo from Steve Hackett. How can I be so Beautiful follows, with only Hackett and his volume pedal guitar and Gabriel singing some weird lyrics. The worst part of the song, but still good. It leads into the Willow Farm, one of the most interesting passages ever. It has some darker melodies and lighter melodies, and Gabriel is once again very theatrical. This is very catchy stuff. This goes into Apocalypse in 9/8, which has some awesome lyrics, along with a reprise of the excellent chorus from Lover's Leap and one great organ solo. Awesome. This leads into As sure as Eggs is Eggs, a reprise of the sanctuary man, with some lyrics about how the lord of lords will lead his children to the new Jerusalem. Very spacy and soaring, and emotional, and powerful all at the same time.

SO this is a great album, from the beginning to the end. If you like any symphonic prog at all, you will probably love this. Very moving melodies all the way through.

Report this review (#53242)
Posted Monday, October 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Everyone knows by now that this album is essential and a very important album in the world of progressive rock. I just felt that (Genesis being my favorite band) I should really get around to reviewing all of their albums (up to W & W.)

The organ sounds as the albums begins. The bass starts to gradually get louder playing an odd tempo in 6/4. The first track is "Watcher of the Skies." The lyrics are very interesting talking about man's long union with earth and how it has ended. Everybody has heard this track by now and it goes down as one of the better known Genesis tracks, with good reason.

Next we have "Time Table." What people seem to forget sometimes when reviewing "Foxtrot" is how important the supporting tracks are to arguably the best Genesis song that has been written "Supper's Ready." A lot of times "Watcher of the Skies" and "Supper's Ready" are the only songs mentioned for praise while the shorter songs such as "Time Table" and "Can-Utility and the Coastliners" are just as important and are what makes the album a true masterpiece. "Time Table" depicts the power and attitude of Kings and Queens and how legends are born from fighting wars (as the first verse is entirely sarcastic.) The melody during the verse is very well written and Gabriel sings as emotional as usual. The "chorus" is also very catchy and very meaningful.

"Get 'em out by Friday" starts abruptly and rightfully so. The concept to this song is very original and equally powerful. This same type of abuse of people occurs in today's world all the time. For example, about 20 minutes from where I live there are houses that have about 10 or so Mexican people that live there, in a small apartment created by the homeowner. They are charged a ridicules amount of money for such poor living conditions (10 people in a room, sometimes no bathroom, ect.) They came straight from Mexico, do not speak a lot of English, and came to America because they were poor and wanted the "opportunity" to send money back to their families. They do not know any better and do not know an alternative. This song is great at conveying the hardships that these people have to go through. The satire that is present in this song is very powerful and making fun of the whole system of abuse. "It is said now that people are shorter in height, they can fit twice as many in the same building site (they say it's alright)." This song also depicts the value of money. These people are treating other people poorly just so they can make more money (as if they don't have enough.) The last line "Land in your hand you'll be happy on earth, then invest in the Church for your heaven" is a great phrase to end to song and briefly mention how many churches are also corrupted and that people go to church for the wrong reasons (to make themselves feel better for wrongdoings. They pay the church a good amount of money so they can feel better about themselves.) Overall, this is an explosive track with a lot of energy and an equal amount of meaning behind it.

"Can-Utility and the Coastliners" brings up the King and Queen topic again that Genesis seems to like a lot. They talk about how everyone bows down to the King because of his power and who he is. They also bring up that the little man's (who bowed to the King and was afraid to laugh) face turned red, and that his story is often told even though you can tell that he is dead. This is a very powerful statement. It is saying that if you are already dead if you are bowing down to other people such as a King or Queen. This topic is also brought up again in "Supper's Ready" ("You're deep in the soil..." talking about the people in Willow Farm or the fictional land where the real stars are still to appear!) It is a very melodic song and is sung perfectly by Gabriel. "Horizons" is a beautiful classical guitar piece by Steve Hackett that acts as a great prelude to "Supper's Ready."

I don't think I could say enough about this last, monster of a track. I find it to be the best track I've heard to this day. Lyrically it is unmatched and very complex using some great analogies for the decaying condition of society as a whole. It conveys so many emotions musically and couldn't have been played better in my opinion. "Willow Farm" has a great feel to it and sticks in your head days after listening. "Apocalypse in 9/8" includes what I find to be Tony Banks best keyboard solo (he solo's in 4/4 over the 9/8 beat.) Collins also does a great job during this section of the song. I also believe that "Foxtrot" is a concept album. Each song represents a certain depiction of the present society (of 1972) and "Supper's Ready" sums it all up. I won't go into complete analysis because that will take pages but look for it in the forum once I get a chance to type it all out (if you're interested.) The concept album concludes with the movement "As sure as eggs is eggs" which brings all the emotions of the entire album together to formulate what I find to be the most emotional part of any song I've heard. Every time I hear Gabriel sing "To take them to the new Jerusalem" I get chills just thinking of all that is conveyed through that statement.

If you haven't yet picked up "Foxtrot" I highly recommend it (as almost anyone would.) It is a progressive masterpiece and should be heard by everyone.

Report this review (#53641)
Posted Thursday, October 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
progaeopteryx
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Since this album has received a very large number of reviews in which nearly everything that can be said about Genesis' Foxtrot has already been said, I really can't add much of significance. It's considered one of the best progressive rock albums ever released by one of the foundational bands of this genre. It contains one of the most memorable and possibly greatest 20+ minute long songs a rock band has ever composed, the now infamous Supper's Ready.With the exception of the filler instrumental Horizons, every song on this album is of significant historical importance for not only Genesis, but the genre as a whole and has inspired numerous bands in the genre's extensive genealogy.

This is a must-have and should be in every serious prog rock fan's collection.

Report this review (#54911)
Posted Sunday, November 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars A MASTERPIECE. Probably the best prog-rock album ever containing certainly the best prog-rock epic: 'Supper's ready'. Fortunately the other songs are fantastic even the short 'Horizons'.

I still have the vinyl marked with the date "2/5/73" (May, 2, 1973) and I am very proud of it always showing it for my kids and friends (when they ask for).

The matter is that whenever I hear some of the recent stupid and awful 'songs' (for instance at the subway or on a tv show) I run quickly to listen avidly to any of the songs in the CD (I have a copy at home and another in my car) as an antidote. Then I remain cool, calm and collected.

The epic 'Supper's ready' is a complete work and shall be included in the hall of the great contemporary musical plays. The beginning section, 'Lover's leap', is a soft ballad preparing our souls and minds for the varied emotions that flow all along the track. There are many worthy and splendid parts but those bells announcing the big revelation and pushing us to the final act simply crush the listener. The final fading is remarkable, the sensation of loss and solitude is ever-present. How can a single song provide such exciting feelings?

But my heart also pumps frenzily for the other songs: 'Watcher of the skies' keeps the Genesis tradition of strong opening acts; the mellotron intro is formidable. 'The time table' is pure, bucolic, pastoral, but the lyrics content is also amazing. 'Get'em out by Friday' tells a dismal story and Gabriel's vocals are simply astonishing. The sometimes forgotten 'Can-utility and the coastliners' is truly a mini-epic where instrumentation and singing reach the best moments in the album (let alone 'Supper's ready'). 'Horizons' is a soft piece that provides a real intro for the big epic.

Final grade is obvious: 5 (it is a shame there are no more stars to apply).

Report this review (#56093)
Posted Saturday, November 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Not just (as has been said by almost everybody else) an excellent example of iconic 20th Century music but also the wearer of a superbly surreal wraparound cover by painter Paul Whitehead. Paul is still alive and well (now moved from England to California) and painting covers for the latest generation of prog rock denizens - seek him out on his website for a Foxtrot giclee print, or even a combined painting of all 3 early Genesis album sleeves.

Foxtrot was indeed a record that looked good and felt good as well as sounding good. :)

Report this review (#56424)
Posted Tuesday, November 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
Starette
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Don't let the three-star rating put you off, I do like this album but the rating comes more out of sheer disappointment than anything. In comparison with the surrounding Genesis albums of it's time, this one just doesn't have the same innovative melodies and composition- the type to strike one with awe. It comes as a bit of a surprise..a BAD surprise after what most other people have told me in their opinion ("Supper's Ready is the best song ever!" etc..) However this album does have it's strong points, despite its apparent lack of energy in the melody-section. The rhythms, the beats, the different time-signatures (and yes, I'm pretty much referring to the same thing here) in some certain songs, which I will highlight later, are probably the most inventive thing about this album.

Watcher of the Skies: Though the intro seems to go on a bit, this is a fun pop-song with a very 'atmospheric' beginning. The complex beat of the bass-line once we really get into the song is quite catching. The voice, melody and lyrics are 'happy feel-good' style ("From life alone to life as one, Think not now your journey's done.") Could this be the album in which they let their mind relax and soak in pop? However- one must admire the funky guitar and organ solos. The melody thumps and repeats like an over-used anthem. The song ends rather depressingly, in contrast with the overly optimistic tune of the whole thing, with Hackett's guitar-whine and then a very solid, banging chord.

Timetable: A really CUTE piano solo to start with- reminiscent of my own little sisters practising in the next room. Then Pater Gabriel sings and the piano changes to block chords. Sure this is a bit of a pop-song but it does have its good points, such as it's complex chordal progression and melody. Even the dynamics (loud to quiet) around the chorus give it a nice touch. The lyrics could be better.in the verse they aren't so bad but the chorus just seems heard before, many a time. (Eg: "Why, Why can we never be sure till we die or have killed for an answer?") Sounds like the kind of thing that I'd write if I were trying to hit some kind of sublime moment but just couldn't make it.

Get em out by Friday: This has a very catchy beginning but I think the organ running up the keyboard after each electric guitar strum is more annoying than enjoyable. Then the organ bangs chords reminiscent of 'Giant Hogweed' and the bass-work in the background is very snazzy. But Peter Gabriel's voice.could be better. He seems to be sadly lacking in strength. However acting is seen in the changing of his accents: the story being of tenants who are kicked out of their flat/apartment. "Oh no, this I can't believe. Oh Mary, they're asking us to leave." I love the flute in this. The story of the song matches the changing of tune as it depends of the changing of moods due to which character is represented by Peter Gabriel. Depression and Stress- the flute is my favourite tool to bring emotions out here. Probably my favourite line: 'This is an announcement from Genetic Control: "It is my sad duty to inform you of a four foot restriction on humanoid height." A sexy guitar solo from Hackett leads to a complete change in the tune and we're stuck in a gentle meditation.Flutes! Then back to thumping organ and previous melody The ending is ethereal but a bit too much like that of 'Watcher of the Skies' for my liking.

Can-Utility and the Coastliners: This has beautiful guitar-work at the start but I can never remember it when I think of the name of this song.which is bizarre, because the verse is just plain cute in the melody but when he sings "For from the north overcast ranks advance, fear of the storm accusing with rage and scorn." the melody becomes deeper and is gorgeous. Things get even better when Hackett strums and Collins drums pick-up and the mellotron builds up, altogether. Gabriel sings and we're lead into this great organ solo- gaining adrenaline again. Then the bass flicks like mad and a high organ (how typically early Genesis) dances away. then GUITAR! (Progitty-prog-prog indeed. It's great when the song changes so suddenly like this.) What's wrong with Peter Gabriel?! He's not at his best in this whereas the other musicians certainly are. A catharsis occurs at the end with all band members contributing: "See a little man with his face turning red, though his tale's often told, you can tell he's dead."

Horizons: This is a gentle guitar instrumental, good enough for putting the babies asleep to. Anyone heard a certain Irish folk-song called The Currah of Kildare? I used to sing that when I had a celtic harp (Alas- I don't anymore.) Anyway, I SWEAR Hackett heard that at least once and it came back to him in the composition of this. I say this even though it's music which is apparantly 'borrowed' from Bach or so Hackett said himself.

Supper's Ready: aHA! A twentythree-minute epic from Genesis that almost everyone seems to love and yet it's not what I expected. It's definitely a love-song at the start, and some say it's based on a certain event in Gabriel's first marriage in which his wife believed she was possessed. As is the case with twenty-minute epics, this is divided up into different sections. Lovers' Leap: "And it's Hey babe, your supper's waiting for you. Hey my baby, don't you know our love is true." My mind is divided on this one. I am a woman and I love Progressive rock. I get f***ed-off when people point out that prog is a very guy- thing so therefore I'm an odd creature. The fact remains that not all women are the same and I resent always being placed in a particular 'category', so to speak. I'm pointing this out here because this is a prog song and a very *blatant* love song. If you think of such other prog love-songs, such as 'Cinema Show' for example, the desirable object of the singer is not sung to so directly as here in Supper's Ready. As a woman, it's somewhat comforting to have this change- the reason being that women do tend to want just *some* romantic attention in a relationship.otherwise it's just not stable enough to them. (Somebody..save me.) But as a moderately devoted Genesis fan.this change just doesn't do it for me. If the subject matter is love then being blatant kills the feeling a bit- I prefer poetic subtlety: 'Cinema Show' takes the cake! The guitar changes at "It's been a long, long time. (spoken) Hasn't it?" Then they all sing, using their voices as instruments (and I mean "Aah!"s) and the keyboard joins in with the building up of the guitar- which is a precursor for 'Cinema Show' in what it does. The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man: "You, can you see he's fooled you all.." sounds rather 80s, don't you think? Collins picks up with an amazing beat on the drums and, all of a sudden, Peter Gabriel's voice is in much better form. Ikhnaton And Itsacon And Their Band of Merry Men: Children's voices! They're chanting.but whatever they're chanting.I do not know. And I HOPE you don't either- otherwise I believe I'm missing out on something essential here. An eerie chord plays.mixing with the little kiddie's voices so it sounds quite spooky, then (MY FAVOURITE!!) a flute and guitar duet play the starting tune with the keyboard to back them up. Gabriel sings with great animation "Wearing feelings on our faces while our faces took a rest, we walked across the fields to see the children of the West." and the organ dances away- building up adrenaline again. Genesis sing altogether "The fight's begun, they've been released, Killing foe for peace.bang, bang, BANG!" so again it's anthem-style singing, less authentic than the usual Genesis style but we all need a pub-style manly-man-man song once in a while. Hence 'Twilight Ale House'! Ooooh- an eargasmal (sorry- had to fit that word in here somewhere) fast-driven guitar from Hackett with Bank's keyboard in the back play a melody which is copied later after they sing! This gradually sinks down to delicate strumming. How Dare I Be So Beautiful?: Eeriness again with the synth playing slow chords, each with a slight crescendo, as Gabriel half-whispers and half-sings the melody. Probably the scariest lyrics are herd here (not that it's *easy* to hear them): "A young figure sits still by a pool, He's been stamped 'human bacon' by some butchery tool, (spoken) He is you." Once again , as is the case with Genesis' lyrics, Greek mythology is seen at this point- as he mentions Narcissus...then the immortal two words: "A FLOWER?" Willow Farm: smash, smash, Smash, SMASH "If you go down to Willow Farm." This is the bit that everyone loves to sings along to as it's so off-the-top. It's got fairytale conventions, history.general craziness. In my opinion- it's meant to be what comes out of the mind of a very imaginative, if not extremely deranged, child. "The frog was a prince, the prince was a brick, the brick was an egg, the egg was a bird." Now some English midget says "Fly away you sweet little thing, they're hard on your tail!" and WHO IS THIS ENGLISH MIDGET??? I have a strange feeling it's Tony Banks but I *could* be wrong. This section is a deep contrast with what we've heard so far. Then a whistle blows. ALL CHANGE!: Different singing solos from everyone- it's very clever actually so it must be admired. Apparently "Dad diddley office" "Mum diddley washing" and everyone's "full of ball." You'd think Willow Farm was trippy enough, but no. What does this mean? Some kind of satire on the typical nuclear family? Watch out for the up-down plucking of the guitar- which we first hear at the end of Willow Farm. Tell you one thing though- this bit definitely reminds me of the circus. A long guitar strum down and the keyboard retains its riff then and echoing electric guitar come out of nowhere like an alarm. Apocalypse In 9/8 (With Gabble Ratchet): Twinkling guitar and flute duet, but this is a different melody from what we heard before. It's lullaby-like and very gorgeous. It repeats about four times round then the guitar and drums pick-up while Peter Gabriel brings us back into a fantasy world: "With the guards of Magog, swarming around, The Pied Piper takes his children underground." The organ is probably at its peak here. Afterwards, the flute takes over. Then we find ourselves in a constant army-march beat, I guess you could call this the climax of the song. "666 is no longer alone, he's getting out the marrow in your back bone," A mellotron comes down and bells are heard! The two melodies from the start are heard again- the first being "And it's hey babe." As Sure as Eggs is Eggs: And the second being "Can't you feel our souls ignite?." However these tunes are much more smashing than the beginning, as is the case with the end of a rather long song. Don't get me wrong, this IS a good epic from Genesis but ,unlike The Battle of Epping Forest/ The Music Box/ Dancing with the Moonlit Knight, these different sections just don't melt into one another. Willow Farm is great but it's like a streak of red on white when matched with the rest of the song. To me, good prog is when a song has time-signature changes, melody-changes and etc. But if the theme changes.well.it can get a tad too pretentious for my liking. Especially if the different sections have titles that are a little *too* off the top. (As sure as Eggs is Eggs? Come ON Gabriel!!) All these changes in tone seem to suggest..what? Intimacy after a bad LSD trip?

1971= a damn good Genesis album. 1972= a damn experimental and NOT so good album: This one! 1973= a damn LEGENDARY Genesis album. In conclusion I'd have to say that this album has its strengths, and Phil Collins is definitely at his best- what with the awesome beats that we hear. The tune that really matches my desire is Can-Utility and the Coastliners. However, this album is lacking, definitely not in creativity, but in the intricate melodies. Their minds seemed to have melted in the generic pop-realm, yet oh-so slightly, when they put Foxtrot together..Foxtrot? Where on earth does 'Foxtrot' come from??? I can't say the name of a crappy old jazz dance attracts me that much. Genesis could do better! And they did. Oh they certainly did.when Selling England by the Pound came round the next year.:)

Report this review (#56782)
Posted Friday, November 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
5 stars Talk about a fantastic album! I just bought Genesis' Foxtrot, and I've got to say this is some fantastic work. The whole album will keep your attention the whole way through. Just wonderful, and it is about time I bought it, and you should.

Watcher of the Skies - 10/10 - This is a classic Genesis song, it is enjoyable and fast moving with cool lyrics, one of the many highlight tracks of the album. You can check it out here on Prog Archives!

Time Table - 6/10 - Good one on this album, but there are better. Its pretty good and I like it. Not much else to say.

Get 'em out by Friday - 9/10 - Intresting sounding vocals, and there is clearly some sort of anti-something to it. Really cool song although I cannot tell you exacatally what it is about. It's great.

Can-Utiliy and the Coastliners - 7/10 - A yummy track for the album. Good. I alos like it.

Horizon's - 3/10 - Just some smal guitar thing p for the most part. Not really intresting, I kind of don't like this one, becuase nothing is going on.

Supper's Ready - 10/10 - This is probably why I purchased this album. I wanted to hear this song really bad. This is a 20 mintue +, mutli-part song. It's some-what inconsisitant (I spelt that wrong), and I love it. It doesn't dissapoint. Lovely.

Overall, this great album is a must have for all proggers. Go get it now.

Report this review (#57075)
Posted Saturday, November 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars While there is some very good music on this album, I just don't see it as being that essential to a prog enthusiast. I refuse to agree with the majority that Supper's Ready is one of the best epics ever. In my opinion, it's dull and offers very little substance both lyrically and musically. I think that Can-Utility and the Coastliners is the highlight of the album, with Time Table and Horizons offering some good stuff in smaller packages. Watcher of the Skies doesn't do much for me. It starts off slowly and never seems to go anywhere. Get 'em Out By Friday is fun and is a nice change of pace on this album. While I like this album, I cannot in good conscience give it more than three stars. It's good, but it's just not "essential."
Report this review (#57340)
Posted Monday, November 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
FishyMonkey
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This was the first Genesis album I heard. I requested it as a birthday presetn from my sister, not knowing what to expect, but hoping for the best. I ripped it to my MP3 player and put it on, and began to listen. I decided to skip to Supper's Ready first, as that was apparently the best Genesis track ever made. After hearing it through several times, I rather agree, and the rest of the album is nothing to sneeze at either. Let's get one thing straight though; I don't really like Genesis that much. I find their music and melodies to be uninspired and boring, their vocals cheesy and overdone, and their soudn is really tight either. As for composition, not bad, but not great. However, Supper's Ready almsot manages to single-handedly brush all that away. Let's start wit hthat song then.

Clocking in at a collosal 22:52, I came int othis song hoping my attention wouldn't fade like it did during the last "prog masterpiece" I listened to, that one being CTTE. However, after hearing Lizard and TAAB, I had some faith classic epics could be good. The piece opens with some of the best singing I've ever heard Gabriel do, and goes on for about 4 minutes of the same quiet melody. Somehow, it doesn't get boring, and this whole section is rather surreal. Lovely stuff. At around 5 minutes it begins building, and my attention is still completely there. 7 minutes, the song bursts into a rather noisy part, complemented by some great drumming, and some great acoustic in the background. Keyboard work isn't perfect, but very nice. The song cools down at around 8:10-ish, and hears where my attention starts to fade. It's a nice section, but after the greatness of the last seven or so minutes, I expected more. The song continues settling down until around 10 mintues, where it almost completely dies. Then a soft part with just Gabriel and some light keys work comes in. This part starts to lose my attention, reminding me painful of the five minute quiet interlude of CTTE. At around 11 minutes, Genesis goes into a sorta shuffle section ,with some bad singing by Gabriel and this part reminds me of why I don't really like Genesis. Then around 12:30 more of a shuffle groove, almost a Broadway feel here. Theatrics, more of why I don't like Genesis. 14 minutes another quiet part with a flute, real nice. God, I'm such a sucker for well done flute. Then we go back into the shuffle feel, more lame theatrics the Genesis sucks at doing, all sucky. This is what made Dancing With the Moonlit Knight falter, and Firth of Fifth, and The Cinema Show. These damn ho-hum shuffle type moments with stupid theatrics. About 18 minutes in, it starts getting better, starts retaining some of that epic feel that genesis is actually good at...then it dies. Gabriel yells 666, and I perk up, since not many bands yell 666 in a squealy whine in the middle of a song. Then I realize it still is kinda lame, and settle down. This part isn't overly bad like the parts at around 10 minutes to 16 minutes, but eh. OMG! FINALLY! The main theme, at 20 minutes in. But it kinda isn't that cool. Mostly ruined by Gabriel's singing. Another shuffle section. The song ends like that. Meh, bad ending.

So, in case you're too lazy to read my thoughts on Supper's Ready, here it is, condensed. Starts out good, goes excellent, then good, then ehh, then bad, then good, then pretty good, then bad.

How about the rest of the album? Well, Watcher of the Skies isn't bad. A little on the lame side in that lame Genesis way, but not bad. That mellotron solo goes on WAY too long, though. And the main melody isn't to ofantastic at all, but it's ok. Gabriel sounds ok here. Time Table is ok, as is Get Em Out By Friday. Suffers from more lameness, but eh. I guess I should be used to it with Genesis. Can-Utility... however, is excellent, and on of my favorite Genesis songs, and sadly it is so often overlooked. I love the guitar part on this song. Horizons, short guitar intro to Supper's Ready. Whatever, I suppose every epic has to have one of those, or so it feels like.

So, if I were to pick a favorite Genesis album, no doubt this one. It doesnt' suffer from the lameness nearly as much as SEBTP, and has some genuinely awesome moments. 4/5

Report this review (#58347)
Posted Sunday, November 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars i'm so proud to write this review about foxtrot because i'm so entangled with it.This Masterpiece of music remind me all softness and intimacy of thoughts about my melancholic relantionship.I looked at this music in a sentimental way but i believe that someone else could appreciate it too.For me the essential of genesis is Peter Gabriel's pathos and keyboard melodies,while he's singing my senses float away.
Report this review (#58630)
Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Foxtrot is the album that introduced me to Genesis. From the start to finish it leaves me astonished. The thing with Foxtrot, is that a single song makes it a lot better that it could have been, even if the other five songs are great too... Of course im talking about Supper's Ready. The story behind this song leaves me speechless, its evident that they had a lot of influence over bands of the time and contemporary bands like Dream Theater, The Mars Volta and Spock's Beard. Rush took some out of them too. And even though they are in the same genre, Yes and Genesis couldnt be more far apart.

Watcher of The Skies is a strange song at first (like most of Gabriel era Genesis songs). But after 5 or so listens, it instantly becomes part of your head, only to realize that its become one of the most played songs in your playlist.

Time Table is a beautiful song about old kings, and it gives you the exact mood it wants you to get in to.

Get Em Out By Friday is another of Genesis great epics, and only a listen could explain why it is.

Can-Utility has a great bass line in the middle followed by brilliant keyboard playing that will forever be copied by guitarists and keyboardists..

and of course Supper's Ready, ... i cant give you details, because it could spoil it if you havent listened to it, but you must do it..... The Frog was a prince!!!

9.5 out of 10.0

Report this review (#58848)
Posted Thursday, December 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Although here on this site "Selling England by the Pound" gets the highest scores, and I admit it is another five stars album, I have to say that, even though I'm severely confused about which of the two is better, I think I will pick "Foxtrot" for the winner (but again with little difference).

In terms of the genre of symphonic prog, this album is probably one the best examples (along with the previously mentioned "Selling England by the Pound" and probably some of the Yes albums, like "Close to the Edge", for example). The work shown here includes lots of organ tunes (something I'm not used to and I have to say that Banks' work here is simply outstanding), subtle touchs of piano, flute (again in a quite unusual way). Pieces of this can be found in the first tracks, like "Watcher of the skies" or "Time Table". Surprisingly enough Hackett's guitars fit in the puzzle flawlessly, and contributes to give richness to the compositions. We can even find an entirely based guitar song in "Horizons", a really short legend by itself. And, to finish, we have another classic, one of the best epics probably composed, "Supper's ready", a song that should be listened again and again if we want our ears to get used to pure musical nirvana (maybe I'm exaggerating, but this song has really gotten into me). In this epic we can find a collage of all the musical work shown in the rest of the album. As a final note, Peter Gabriel's voice contributes to give the cake an special and personal flavour, like in the rest of the albums where he was in charge of vocals. So sad he left, really.

So, maybe those who are afraid of the 'rock dinosaurs' are prone to avoid records like this. The only thing I have to say about it is that they don't know what they are missing. Even myself I had not listened to records of this kind until recently and I had no problem in enjoying them. And this is one of my favourites, for sure.

Report this review (#60253)
Posted Tuesday, December 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars What a dissapointing album! Watcher in the Skies never deliver is just not good enough in any way. Can- Utiltiy... is just bad and Get'em out... is sporadicly good but on the whole average. Tim table is a good song but a bit bland! The album begins to pick up with Horizons which is an exellent bit of intrumental. But what saves this album is Suppers Ready possibly the best prog song ever! Excells in every way and on every level with each musician outdoing themselves.It earns most of the rating itself. However one track no matter how epic cannot save an album. Their is much better Genesis, symphonic prog and music out there! Download Suppers Ready if you can dont waste money on this!
Report this review (#60921)
Posted Tuesday, December 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
5 stars I've enjoyed this album since buying it - used - my first year of college (1974) from a disaffected fellow student. (Why else would he have sold it?) Tremendous accomplishment, and holds up extremely well over the years. Precocious and thoughtful; always challenging and absorbing. Alas, they don't make 'em like this anymore. With apologies to "Selling England by the Pound," (especially "Cinema Show"), my favorite Genesis creation. I'll be turning my kids on to this one.
Report this review (#60950)
Posted Tuesday, December 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars An evening at the theater.

Althought lots and lots been said about Foxtrot, nontheless this is a monument of rock and roll history. Famous actor Jack Black (King Kong, School of Rock, High Fidelity) stated that he has a weak spot for this old record, althought he knows that this type of music is way outdated. Well, I don't agree that much. Au contraire, this album aged so well, you could almost pinpoint where it influenced so many other bands.

The gentle flowing of the songs within each other is almost considering it as a concept album, but I know it wasn't meant to be like that. Considering the fact that the keyboards are not super varied (Hammond, mellotron...is there any Moog?) and it could use more volume for the flute at many moments, the music is dramatic but not depressing (unlike VDGG), the feel is pastoral but not pretentious (unlike Yes). In itself, Supper's Ready is showing the humility (the constant humor in the lyrics), the potential and the exquisite talent of the band to make us imagine what's going on without pushing it.

I'm not listening to it anymore, but at the time it really gave me a good ear training to get me acquainted with more complicated music.

Does anyone have a picture of Winston Churchill dressed in drag?

Report this review (#61511)
Posted Saturday, December 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
belz
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 4.7/5.0

Genesis' best album! I can hardly see how I can add anything to what have already been said, so I will simply say that I believe this album has it all. Genesis were at the peak of their career, mastering their art in a way they would never master again later. "Supper's ready" alone is a probably one of the best english prog song ever. "Watcher of the Skies" is the song you want to start any prog party, or the theatrical song which Genesis themselves would start most of their shows after that.

You can't go wrong with this album, especially if you like "Selling England by the Pound" or "Nursey Cryme". 4.7/5.0

Report this review (#66216)
Posted Monday, January 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I think this is everything I look for in progressive rock really...the floatiness...the epic sweep...that very indirect lyrical touch of beauty (the lyrics i never understood but always sang along to with such robust passion)...I won't speak too critically about anything...because this is my favourite example of prog-rock, my favourite album by Genesis and is definitely within my top 5 albums all time. You get the feeling when you stick on the album (whether on mp3, cd or vinyl..ive listened to all three formats for this) that Genesis are THERE. I can't explain it but when the organ/strings sound on Watcher Of The Skies starts you feel this real strength, groove and feeling. Which is odd when this is supposedly passionless, contrived, over-thought music and they end up sounding so natural.

Lyrically...I fell in love with it. Musically...lost myself. Peter Gabriel communicates the feeling behind the words so well that you don't need to be a fantastic critic of words to understand it means something. I'm sure he'd hate to have people ananlyse it anyway...he's supposed to be that sort of bloke.

I understand that Selling England is supposed to be better produced and much more diverse, the lamb is supposed to be far more musically relevant now...but I just enjoy listening to Foxtrot so much. I have only just got the Lamb though, so there's still time to change my mind.

But this? I'll remember this is the soundtrack of my adolescence probably...that and some Pearl Jam albums he he.

Report this review (#67078)
Posted Friday, January 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
5 stars I think its needles to say anything about this album. WHA? in one word! Foxtrot starts with ah so amazing Watcher of the skies, man who this song just takes you to another dimension or something. I just get angry when somebody disturbs me when I'm listening to this, Gabriel might have improved vocals a bit, but the lyrics just comes and comes very fast out, almost impossible to sing. Then comes 'Time Table', an amazing piece of music, "the catchiest song" here, Gabriel sings so beautiful. Then 'Get e'm out by friday', Very much like "Battle of Epping Forest" but even better, the music is outstanding. Tony Banks shines and Hackett just blows away. One of the first great epics from Genesis. Then "Can-Utility and the Coastliners", some might say it is not a good song, but after a few listens it just blows your mind. The musicianship is just something unusual, I mean all of the members from Genesis were some kind of masters in their own instrument. 'Horizons', the "must-have-Hackett-acoustic-song", which is just perfect, beautiful opening for Supper's Ready, well which is... the best prog epic ever, almost everyone here agreeds that! From the calm 'Lover's leap' to the agressive Willow farm, is just that there is now flaw in this song. Drums, guitar, synths, especially vocals and even bass is just amazing! A must have if you listen to prog.
Report this review (#67586)
Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
5 stars Another perfect Genesis album. Two words sum it up though Supper's Ready! This would becom a live favourite and probably the one song that shows off Prog Rock the best. Watcher Of the Skies is a brilliant dark opener full of Banks keyboards. Time Table and Can Utility are two over-looked gems here also and Get Em out by Friday is like a sequel to The return of the giant Hogweed. Overall worth buying with Selling England By The Pound.
Report this review (#68318)
Posted Saturday, February 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
3 stars My first Genesis album was a compilation I purchased in 1975, which featured music from their early albums including Watcher of the Skies, Get 'em Out by Friday and Supper's Ready. It was two lps for 3.49, quite a steal. The only songs I really liked off the album were the Foxtrot tracks. This album and Trick of the Tail were my introduction to the band. Trick of the Tail is still one of my favorite Genesis albums. I actually enjoy the two albums for the guitar work, which is the influence of Anthony Phillips from what I understand. In Progressive Rock Reconsidered, the author quotes Phil Collins stating that even after Philips left the band they kept his guitar sound. I enjoy thenlush arpeggios and clean harpsichord-like guitar work. The author also states that Genesis always held a special place in the English progressive rock community and the ability to perform Supper's Ready was the sign that any cover band was ready to gig. This may be why most of the neo-prog bands tend to owe a lot to Genesis' sound.

There is no doubt that Genesis has made an important contribution to early progressive rock but they have been so over-rated by members of this website, it is hard to be objective in a review. I suggest that anyone who thinks that Genesis was somehow unparalleled in their ensemble playing listen to ELP Karneveil#9, Second Impression, Yes, Perpetual Change or Gentle Giant, Proclamation. Great ensemble playing was exemplary of most of the progressive rock bands and Genesis was not exceptional in anyway that the other bands were not.

The lyric writing here is generally superior to much progressive rock fare. But since you have to listen to Gabriel croak out the melody, it sets a four star album back at least one star. Progressive rock is about the ability to play your instrument after all.

The type of relentless elation that greets Genesis reception seems to be indicative of what one would expect from pop music, the kind that Genesis was associated in the 1980s. I think that one needs to understand that Genesis did not hold a special place in everyone's heart. Though they were the most English sounding of the progressive rock bands, The Moody Blues and Yes were actually quite commerically successful while still sounding very English.

This is one of my favorite Genesis albums but garners no more than three stars for no other reason than it is not as special as people have made it out to be.

Report this review (#68690)
Posted Tuesday, February 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
5 stars I think 'Supper's Ready' says it all. This is a prog masterpiece because of that song by itself. The ol' going through song by song is a rather flawed method of determining an album's quality. Now, first of, I like all the songs on this album. But getting back to the point. Why is Foxtrot so much better than an album like 'Red', 'A Trick of the Tail' or 'Moon Madness'? I'd probably agree they're more consistent. But I'd trade any of the later three songs for 'Supper's Ready' by itself. No one can even pretend their prog collection is decent, let alone complete is it doesn't contain 'Supper's Ready'. Epic.
Report this review (#68719)
Posted Tuesday, February 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
4 stars Well, I actually heard Supper's Ready on a bootleg before ever hearing this album and I have always prefered the live renditions to the one on here (if you have the Archives Vol. 1 box then you know what version I prefer, as it is on CD3 of that set). I also heard Watcher and Friday on Genesis Live prior to owning this, and my feeling is the same. Still, three classic songs that I consider great in Genesis' catalog on one album helps me to rate it pretty high. As to the other songs, I have always disliked Time Table. I find the song overly simplistic and boring, and the lyrics a bit lame and goofy. Can Utility is much better, if a bit disjointed, but still a decent song that does not reach the level of greatness that the first three I mentioned do. Horizons is a pleasant, if unremarkable, solo Hackett piece that points the way to his later and much better classical interests. It does provide a nice intro to Supper's Ready though. The only real drawback to Supper's Ready in its studio version is that it has that disjointed, pasted together in the studio feel that Close To the Edge on Yes' album of the same name has. This is of course due to the fact that these tracks were recorded in pieces and put together at the end, hence my preference for the more seamless live versions. But this is understandable considering the length of these songs and the different atmospheres and sounds that were used in recording them. So, all in all, another winner from the early Genesis. I rate it 3 1/2 stars, but will give it the extra half star for the archives (because it really is an excellent addition to any prog music collection, even if I don't rate it as excellent on the whole).
Report this review (#68869)
Posted Thursday, February 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
hannu.vierula
3 stars Is this the second best prog record ever made? Like it was in Mojo´s list? No, absolute not. It is not even second best Genesis album, far away from Selling England, Lamb or Trick. It has one masterpiece, Supper´s Ready, but that´s it. First side is not so great, Watcher or Friday are overrated Genesis songs. Band left those songs quite soon out of the concerts list. Time Table is beautiful song but it´s not enough. Foxtrot is little better than Nursery but not much. One star better. But they were going to right direction...
Report this review (#71324)
Posted Tuesday, March 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Actually I have not reviewed one of my favorite albums. So, Foxtrot: This album, from start to the end is full of surprises, wonderful melodies, great improvising and, of course, lyrics & vocals. Peter Gabriels dark voice here is something unusualy, like in Watcher of The Skies (damn it's hard to sing it). 1. Watcher of The Skies, very catchy pure prog-song in fact. Starts with one of the most beautiful intros ever, played by Banks. Then comes the drumming and other instruments, all in right time. Vocals are stunning, lyrics are somewhat weird. But the whole package is just unforgettable. 2. Time Table, beautiful song, shortly put. At first listen it might be boring, but when I listened this album few times, I got it. I love it. Whyyyyyy!!? =) 3. Get 'Em Out By Friday, true Genesis song. The synthsounds and Hackett's guitar. The vocals, lyrics. All works perfect. One of the songs I love, and others don't (underrated?). 4. Can-Utility And The Coastliners, another masterpiece. I don't know how this is so good song. I can't describe it. BEAUTIFUL. The vocals? don't know. Stunning Song 5. Horizons, "the intro to Supper's Ready", well yes. Hackett's muste-have-instrumental song here, again. In one word: amazing. I mean, the athmosphere in this song is just beautiful. 6. Supper's Ready, the epic. If somebody asks me what is the greatest song ever, I would answer that this (maybe). It has ALL in it, and this ALL is done perfect. It has the most fascinating lyrics, damn good vocals, stunning synths, guitar, drums, bass. The timing is perfect in every second, I cannot find a flaw in it. All in all 5/5, a true masterpice of progressive rock.
Report this review (#71333)
Posted Tuesday, March 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Quite possibly Genesis' best, this album does not have a single song that truelly is weak. Time Table and Horizons may not be such great tracks as the others, they still have touching melodies and beatiful harmonies - Horizons is a great acoustic guitar piece to listen to, Time Table is a more simple song but the piano that silently plays what Gabriel sung before is truelly excellent.

"Watcher Of The Skies" is a song with a superb mellotron opening, and although the vocals are a bit bland at times, they also get very good at certain moments (Do they play elsewhere/do they know more than their childhood games?). The backing music is more rhythmic and the organ doesn't really do much to me, but at other moments like the brief interlude it's put really good. The guitar in the ending is just terrific. 4.5/5

4/5 for Time Table

"Get 'Em Out By Friday" starts really good, with a very short walking bass line. Then the real main theme comes in which starts quite bad really, but when it ends you realise it's completely superb. The chorus is nice, the last few chords really add a desperate atmosphere to the song. It features different vocal styles by Gabriel, and in a certain quiet section near the end it reminds me a bit of "The Trial" of the Wall by Pink Floyd; there's a very deep, dominating voice and a squealy, high one. These two are followed by the best moment of the song, where "Jack Ordinary" is in the pub talking about Genetic Control's latest move. These lyrics bring forth a sort of apocalyptic view of the future, where "Genetic Control" is charge of almost everything. 4.5/5

"Can-Utility And The Coastliners" is an incredibly varying song for it's short length. The vocals are beatiful, and I love it how Gabriel is accompanied by a flute during "praise him, praise him". The vocals are repeated in the same manner after this, but the music is completely different. This is one of the best, and most varying songs ever. 5/5

3.5/5 for Horizons

Last there is Supper's Ready. This song is great, from beginning to start, and certain motives are repeated in other places quite subtely. I love the vocals on "Willow Farm" and they're what got me hooked. Gabriel's more raw vocals near the end are superb. 5/5

27.5/30

An absolute masterpiece.

Report this review (#71410)
Posted Wednesday, March 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
5 stars The album is superb. Clearly a masterpiece of prog. And clearly essential. Who can say they love prog without knowing the names of all seven parts of Supper's Ready? The song by itself makes it essential. But we've been told over and over the glory that is Supper's Ready.

The album transcends just the final track. The first side is incredibly good. Many of us know that, but other ney-say and call it a one track album (which would still be five start if that's the case). But the whole A-side rocks. In fact by the time Supper's Ready starts I'm a little shocked because I got one of the 'oh, awesome, the next track is this..." feeling - not that I've just bored through five tunes to get to the end. Can-Utility is a wonderful song. When Gabriel sings 'far from the north, the overcast ranks advance...' it's wonderful. And all the others are great also. Can't say enough about Foxtrot. Second best prog album of all time, second to Genesis' effort two albums later. (hmm, well and excluding Floyd).

Report this review (#71906)
Posted Tuesday, March 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
5 stars This is one of the most remarkable albums I've ever encountered. I remember first buying it along with Selling England by the pound (another fabulous album I'll soon review) last May. It was my first Genesis and it took painstaking listening discipline before I ever really listened to the album. Suffereing throw Get 'Em Out and Supper's Ready took focus, and I thought I'd never like them.

Soon enough I came around. On Supper's Ready it began with Willow Farm, grew to the end (which I now love whole-heartedly as one of my favorite expressions in any music) and finally the whole song. The devotion to perfection that Genesis must have put into this composition are greatly appreciated by me. This might be my favorite song of all time.

Once I began to love Supper's Ready, I'd put the album on more and more and eventually I came to love all the songs. Many of them are easy to enjoy like Timetable and Horizons.

I strongly recommend this album to anyone who likes music.

Report this review (#72001)
Posted Thursday, March 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
sweatboard321
5 stars Genesis at it's pastoral and story-telling height. Not perfectly polished and refined like Selling England, but the compositions are just a little better. Well, Supper's Ready is a helluva lot better. A little unfair because it's 23 minutes and offers such epic, eloquent, and virtuoso performances.

We've had endless threads on Supper's Ready. Hard to tell if their is much meaning to it. The most I ever figured out was the plot, which was the result of a program brochure they released at a 73 concert.

Two lovers are really distant with one another in our world (their's and presumedly ours) and then get pulled into alternate realities where they adventure together meeting scientists full of malice, an army spawned from the ground, narcissus, and many others. Eventually they fall subject to narcissu's very own weakness and are pulled into their reflections in a pool and switch to yet another world where everything is mindlessly busy. Sounds a but like Britain or the States if you ask me. Their actions are arbitrary and at a whistle everything changes instantly. More mindless ensues. Afterwards a quiet section occurs where I assume the lovers are comtemplative. Or something. Eventually the are taken back to the world from which they originated to find that an apocalypse is in procession. Many apolocalyptic references burn true until it comes to a climax... The lovers once again find each other in one anothers arms as they first had at the beginning of their adventure. It feels like forever since they've been in each other's loving arms. The distance that once separated them has vanished. Their souls ignite and the love courses like a river and grows like a seed. An angel arrives and lets them know that supper is ready and to prepare to be taken to a place of peace.

Report this review (#72365)
Posted Monday, March 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Really a well done album. My favorite Genesis from what I've heard, I prefer Foxtrot to SEbtP. The weakest track IMO is the pening "Watcher of the Skies". Although it is good, the rest of the album is even better. Time Table is a solid work, as well as Get'em Out By Friday which only has one weak part-Gabriel's voice changing around 6:00 in annoys me. The next part of this album is nothing short of Brilliant. Can-Utility and the Coastliners is wonderful: "Singing praise him!" beautiful. The long solo in this song is as good as the solo in Apocalypse in 9/8. Horizons is the perfect bridge between the brilliance of Can-Utility and Supper's Ready. Supper's Ready changes so much it is amazing, I find myself thinking how did it get here as the track progresses. My favorite part is the vocals/lyrics to Willow Farm, and the solo in Apocalypse in 9/8. Easily one of prog's finests albums 5/5

A flower? Brilliant.

Report this review (#72591)
Posted Wednesday, March 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Foxtrot" is my favorite album by Genesis and probably my favorite album of all time although I also like in an equal but different way: "Minstel in the Gallery", "Dark Side of the Moon", and "Mirage".

From the first moment to the last I'm glued to it "watcher of the sky" to "horizons" is amazing, the variaty and power of the first side is alone a good reason to own the album but "supper's ready" is an entirely different reason, it would be worth buying twice if each side were sold separately (maybe I'm being dramatic and maybe I'm not).

The album is a semi-concept album of the events leading to the end of time and eventually going home, and the music is dramaticly fitting of such an epic concept.

The recordings seem a bit raw but some mite like that(I do). Technical problems are not artistic problems but even with this rawness it gives an almost reallity to the idea that the end could be here now or at any moment and interpretted in any way.

All and all a must have album for any progger unless you can't stand Genesis. Perfect 5.0.

Report this review (#75295)
Posted Monday, April 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Incredible Album. This was my first Genesis album and now one of my favorites albums. It starts out with "Watcher of the Skies", a nice 7 minutes opener beginning with long organ chords which slowly get louder and the guitar bass and drums come in with a nice rthym, as can be heard on this site, Though the bginning is a bit long. Next is "Time table" which is a 'good' track with good vocals from Peter Gabriel and intereting lyrics. This is the ballad of the album, get certainly not in the least bit as cheesy as many ballads.

Next is "Get 'em out by Friday" which is a splendid tale about a big company evicting people from a British apartment complex!!! This song is one of my favorites from the album (next to "Supper's ready") and Gabriel does some nice characterized vocals for all the different thesbians.

Next is "Can-utility and the coastliners" which is a short 6 minute track and is (In my personal opinion) underrated because it features many great elements including very nice bass lines by Mike Rutherford!!! And on to "Horizons", which is a soft extremely short intrumental with nice acustic guitar by Mr.Hackett!!!!! This is a great prelude to the magnum opus that is the masterpiece Supper's Ready!!!!!!!!!

What to say about "Supper's ready". It starts off quickly with nice vocals and harmony talking about how a guy missed his 'babe' but! What I tended not to notice was the poetic talk about the saintly men moving across the field, which is nice touch between verses. After that a nice melodic soft section dominated by lush key chords and harmonized vocals. Next is the Sactuary man part which is very nice and melodic with climactic work with the chorus. After a nice upbeat section it sends you into a nice soft section about human flesh, figures by pools, and flowers. Leading directly into the willow farm part which is one of my favotites. After a wierd lyric section ("mom-diddly-washing" etc.) It goes into a dark section about the end of the world in 9/8. After a slightly long instrumental section in the middle, vocals come back in and the momentum builds. This leads right back into a more dramatic section of the biginning lyrics, leading into one of the most climactic incredible endings of any epic i've heard!!!!!!!! And it ends, one of the greatest prog epics next to Close to the Edge. Very great. If you are new to Genesis first listen to all the mp3s on this site and then buy this. You will not be dissappointed.

Report this review (#76832)
Posted Monday, May 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars 4.8 Review of the Virgin 1994 release. The recording quality on this version is clear and no sign of ‘tinnyness’. The quality remains even at high volume.

Yet another masterpiece, naturally. The music is easier to listen to than that of ‘Selling England…’ not meaning to say that the music lacks activity. Very few faults are apparent, the only possible one being parts of ‘Get ‘Em Out by Friday’. From the attention grabbing ‘Watcher of the Skies’ to the coruscating magnificence of ‘Supper’s Ready’, every musician is in top form, whipping up listenable music at a virtuosic standard.

It took me a few listens to grasp a hold on the flailing ‘Watcher of the Skies’, creating dubiety about purchasing the album, but I can now never tire. The throbbing bass is mesmerising and the rhythm draws you in, trapping you in its merciless vortex; hypnotising, dizzying, maniacal. However, I prefer ‘Time Table’ and ‘Can-utility…’ and the spectacular ‘Horizons’, as these have a more melodic approach.

Trying to analyse each individual song is tedious and near impossible; it has to be listened to. This album is essential to a prog collection, evident by the copious number of 5 star reviews.

Report this review (#77298)
Posted Saturday, May 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
sleeper
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The test of time is one of the hardest things for an album to pass. Is it possible for an album that was adoured 30 years ago to sound just as good today or again in 10 years time. Well with Foxtrot Genesis seems to pull iy off, though we'll have to wait 10 years for second bit.

From the intro of Watcher Of The Skies to the outro of Suppers Ready there isnt one dull moment on this record and that is quite impressive. As everyone knows, Watcher Of The Skies, Get Em Out By Friday and Suppers Ready are the celibrated pieces and to be honest they rightly should be, all three are fantastic tracks and the strongest on the album. Suppers Ready inparticular has influenced many bands since as it is the ubiquetus epic weighing in at 23 minutes it mianders through up tempo passeges and slow, quiet sections all the time being held together by a fantastical story and the reguler returns to the acoustic oveture that gives this song a backbone that all other sections are based around. Specific mention should go to the tracks last five minutes, parts 6 and 7. Apocalypse in 9/8 is a truly evil passage that raises the hairs on the back of the neck like few others and it quitly segues into As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs witch finishes the song witht the anthemic Jerusalum, a passage that just begs the listner to sing along.

However there are parts of this album that get overlooked at times, most noticably Time Table. Now i know that many people on this site have called Time Table the albums weakist track and to an extent their right, but that shouldnt be held against it as it still holds me rapt. Can-Utilaty And The Coastliners is a wonderfull track that sadly has the misfortune to be the follow up to Get Em Out By Friday, so has resulted in it being overlooked by some people. When you listen to this album, be sure to give Can-Utilaty... your undivided attention, you wont be sorry. Finaly Horizons is a very nice, short acoustic track that shows Steve Hackets abilatys and acts as a really nice interlude before the magnum opus of Suppers Ready.

In short, this is one of the greatest albums I have ever heard, it is essential to all prog fans and must be given the time it deservs to be fully apreciated. 5 stars.

Report this review (#78356)
Posted Tuesday, May 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album kind of underwhelmed me the first time I heard it. There had been so much hype aobut this album on this site and others, along with magazines that mention it. I thought it was going to be much better than it was.

But that's not to say that this album is BAD, however. Far from it. It's one of the most unique albums I've ever heard. The opening "Watcher of the Skies" is an amazing track. Those opening keyboard notes give the song an amazing feel. "Can-Utility and the Coastliners" is also a favourite track from here. But I think the biggest problem with this album is that "Supper's Ready" is so good, so amazing, so grand, that the rest of the album seems inconsequential. "Supper's Ready" is simply one of the best prog songs ever made, period.

Some say this is the height of Gabriel-era Genesis. I have to disagree. "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" will always be the best, in my opinion. But "Foxtrot" is an amazing album nonetheless, and must be added to any prog fan's collection.

Report this review (#79830)
Posted Tuesday, May 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well, quoting the king's word from Disney cartoon movie Mulan : You don't find album like this every dynasty!! For me, this is still and I think will always be the best album that God's creature human being ever able to create.

Don't get me wrong, this album was released on 1972, I was still 2 years old that time. First time I listened to it was when I was already 19 years old. 17 years after it has been released. Some years after I knew Genesis the first time form their self title album on 1983.

Yet it still kicks, and goes right to heart and stay there forever.

You maybe will see Gabriel sang more beautiful even in his solo album, Banks and Hacket played better in Selling England by the Pound, Collins hit his drums more creatively in the 80's albums, or even Mike which has to explore him self even much more after Hacket left on 1977/8, but you won't found them ever compose such beautiful epics song like Supper's Ready (which I refer as the best song human being ever created), or how they make you weep with the Get 'em out by Friday.

The synergy that this five best line up Genesis ever has, put into this album is just amazing. If you are not able to love this album, then there is something wrong with your life. :-)

Rgds, Bayu ps. looks like that I have put the review in the wrong album previously, I put it in Wind and Wuthering, how to take it out? :-)

Report this review (#80147)
Posted Friday, June 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars To me this is the album where Genesis cemented their sound, Steve Hackett and Phil Collins are now well established and any fear that Genesis couldn't carry on without Anthony Philips has been dispelled. Also Peter Gabriel has been wearing his bizarre suits for a while and so the theatrical aspect of Genesis has been born. To me this album has an interesting contrast in its music I don't know if anyone else can pick this up, or If Genesis had tried this consciously, but as the album begins with Bank's classic Mellotron on Watcher of the Skies, the music sounds to me as if this is the beginning of creation (In the Beginning...), as if the world and life on it has begun, the Seven days so to speak, and with that birth you hear a beginning of the the rest of the bands pounding a rythm getting louder and louder building up life, it sounds as if the mist has dispersed and the new creation Genesis has come out its shell. This is a contrast with the end of the album, in Supper's Ready in which the biblical apocalypse and end of the old earth is dealt with in which heaven and earth , and God and man are reunited, in my opinion the music; both the introductory mellotron and ending of Supper's Ready deal with a kind of renewel, which I think is both marvellous, touching and powerful. Gabriel has a great voice idosyncratic, dramatic and powerful. Hacketts small guitar solos on Watcher of the Skies, is touching and powerful, but also in its great uniqueness give the listeners a sense of dizzying heights against the fantastic backing bass of Mike Rutherford and keyboards, which is appropriate since this song is about The Skies, Hacketts guitar sounds like a plane trying to cope with turbulence. The song ends just as powerfully as it begun, In my opinion Genesis were the masters of ending songs with powerful emotive endings with Hacketts masterful powerful guitar work giving dramatic emotional endings. Time Table is a delightful piece reminiscent of A Little Tine Soldier by the Faces, but high quality, Genesis made a potential filler sound like a classic masterpiece, for any other prog act (perhaps other than Yes) this song would be considered a classic. Its just that Genesis have such a group of gifted talented people that anything they touch musically turns to gold, a great piece as well. Get Em Out by Friday is both bizarre musically as well as lyrically. With great imaginative keyboard work by backs, my favourite keyboard parts are when Gabrial sings "I represent a firm...", Banks work on that part of the song is subtle emotional and genius, and directly explains to the listener why he is one of the most important Keyboard players in Progressive Music as a whole. Again you hear Hacketts great guitar work soaring like a jet , Gabrial plays some beautiful flute. This song is a Genesis classic, completely unpredictable and bizarre, yet so elegent and beautiful at the same time. The band in this song manages to condense Humour, insanity, meloncholy and beauty, in the work of genius. As for the lyrics they are so imaginative and unique, about kicking tenants out of their flat because they are going to be replaced with genetically engineered midgits. The building company believe they can fit more tenants in the flat this way thus generating more revenue. I don't know if this song is to be taken as some political metaphor or not, I just love the bizarre lyrics. The song Can-Utility and The Coastliners, is another bizarre piece I have no idea what the heck Gabriel is singing about, but boy! what a great ending, unpredictable and bizarre again, which just proves why Genesis is flat out one of the best Progressive acts of all time. The song has a strong cerebal feel to it with crashing keyboards, and beautiful classical touches to it. Horizons is a lovely classical guitar piece performed solely by Hackett that prepares the listener for the Progressive Juggernaut Supper's Ready. I think Horizens is based on a famous classical piece but I don't know the name of the song nor the composer but I heard it before. Ahh Supper's Ready arguably the greatest twenty minute epic in all of Progdom. Great atmospheric guitars by Hackett, fine keyboard by Banks, well to sum up Just a perfect performance by all of Genesis, with a really powerful ending. An extremely entertaining piece in it called Willow Farm that delights both adults and children alike. The beauty and humour combined make it one of the greatest musical masterpieces ever, this song is incredible. I could say more but this review is overlong as it is. Basically you cannot call yourself a fan of Prog if you do not own this album, its in the top ten on this website for a reason, it is perfection and is amazing and delightful I love all the tracks no fillersl...well... what are you waiting for go and pick up this album at the store.
Report this review (#82001)
Posted Sunday, June 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is an excellent album! The 23+ minutes supper's ready is definitely the most notable track on this album. All has been said about this great song, so there's really not too much to be added. All I can say is that I fell in love with this song last year when I was working at the United States, and this song really gave me something to be happy about when I was missing my family and my country back in Peru. Leaving all this emotions apart, musically this is definitely a masterpiece of prog, including great mood changes, excellent acoustic work in the intro, a specially emotive and entertaining peter gabriel and a weird story that, at least in my case, had to be explained to me in order to understand it. I specially like the intro and apocalypse in 9/8 (Y).

About the other tracks, Watcher of the skies is a great demonstration of "teamwork" in prog, where at some points of the song no one tries to show off and they just play to make the overall sound perfect. Can-Utility and the coastliners is also great, as well as the acoustic piece "Horizons" by hackett, one of my favorite acoustic tracks. Watcher of the Skies ***** Time Table **** Get 'Em Out by Friday **** Can-Utility and the Coastliners ***** Horizons **** 6. Supper's Ready ******

Report this review (#82335)
Posted Friday, June 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I was expecting to give this album a 4 star rating because well i did the same with Nursery Cryme since Genesis were still finding their sound. But man I just can't seem to do it for Foxtrot CAUSE IT DEF. DESERVES more than 4 stars. Genesis really out did them selves on this on as the songs were really getting stronger and more mature with each album they make and definitley this one is much stronger than both Trepass and NC. They are good albums but this really hit it off for the prog world of Genesis. the album starts off strong with one of my favs. Watcher of the Skies. A great rocker with awesome rhythm section from Mike and Phil as well as amazing Mellotron by Tony. then we go to in my opinion maybe the weakest track on this album but its really good with Time Table as it kinda reminds me of Seven Stones from NC with some nice melodic music by the band great vocals from Peter. Then on to another awesome longish song with Get 'Em Out by Friday. i love the rhythm on this song with Tony backing up with organ and everyone just going so fast is also like they just blew right by you then it gets soft AND THEN FAST again. just a great track. Next we go to Can-Ulity and the Coastliners which i say is an awesome short Genesis song WITH AN AMAZING RHYTHM SOLO BY MIKE man this album really showcases him alot i mean dude Levin, Squire, and Lake are great bass players but ya gotta give credit for Mike Rutherford as he definitely can hang with the best. Then off to a lovely short acoustic piece by Steve called Horizons but then comes the grand finale with 23 minutes of nothing but classic prog with a song that's divided into eight pieces so getting cause your SUPPER'S READY. this epic got me into a lot of great 70s epics like 2112, Close to the Edge, Starless, Karn Evil 9, Shine on you Crazy Diamond, and just recently Thick as a Brick. But man Supper's ready really blew me away with Peter Gabriel nice soft and somewhat aggressive vocals. He does get to where he sounds a little funny in the zanny section of this song but its not quite as bad as Harrold the Barrel (thank god lol). Steve and Tony GOOD lord they have great solos here especially the organ solo by Tony one of the best i've heard just absoulte awesome stuff. well of course the rhythm is gonna be good as Mike does it again with his awesome rhythm bass. and PHIL COLLINS man he does so much stuff i can barely understand how his rhythm pattern works. Not to mention i think he does some mean double bass around the Apocalypse of 9/8. So all in all this CD is a must have if you like Selling England by the Pound dude trust me its worth it.
Report this review (#83192)
Posted Saturday, July 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This LP is simply GEORGEOUS. Arrangements are imposing and beautiful.

1. "Watcher of the Skies" : What an introduction ! The rhythmic section makes very good stuff and Gabriel sings very dynamically. I love the use of the mellotron in this song.

2. "Time Table" : A nice and short song to precede the next.

3. "Get'em Out by Fryday" : A very eccentric excursion at the theater... The lyrics are amazing (even if they are a bit terrifying) !

4. "Can-utility and the Coastliners" : The middle part of the song is magic (Genesis at his best !)

6. "Supper's Ready" : This song is the reference for anyone who asks for a coherent progressive suite. The finale is wonderful.

5/5 is my verdict :) !

Report this review (#83497)
Posted Wednesday, July 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Genesis's 'Foxtrot" really considered today as one of the best progressive rock albums ever. Conspectually, It continues "Nursery Cryme", their previous album. "Foxtrot" was known for the B-Side of the vinyl record, "Supper's Ready", which is Genesis's absolute inalienable asset - a true wonder of inspiration & performance, with perfect structure, accurate emotional balance, brittish humor, brilliant dramatic delivering & excellent production.

The classic structure, so called sircular and satisfactory (aspecially emotionally), of the album, is mainly because of the first & last chapter. Theyre both have the same composition, but the grand finale is much more grandiose & ends in a very pleasing harmonic victory. "Supper's Ready" is dealing with different subjects: The horrors of war, humanity's stupidity and more. Peter Gabriel is a good player of the dramatic characters, and he do it with a lot of talent.

The desicion to put "Supper's Ready" in the B-Side of the album defines the commercial thinking of that era, which said that the listener would not listen to a 23-minute long track, right in the beginning of the album. In 1972, Half-record epic was an unusual sight. 1973 and the years to come, was the beginning of a new way of thinking: Many bands have started to write double albums, such as "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway".

Although Side-A is not that bad, it's not as glamorous as "Supper's Ready". The opening track, "Watcher Of The Skies", they tried to build a chart hit which sounds a little bit more complicated than a usual hit. Anyway, It is suitable to a opening act, a melotronic prologue, which gives the album a symphonic taste.

The early Genesis fans cannot miss "Foxtrot". Peter Gabriel fans simply adore this album, with a lot of justice. The album is not perfect as a unit, but it fills a progressive milestone that inspirated many other young bands, and represents an interesting phase in the evolution of a young determant band, that was lucky to have such a charismatic & funny lead singer. 5 stars are suitable.

Report this review (#83670)
Posted Thursday, July 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
chessman
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars So much has been made of this album, there is not really much I can add to the comments. Most people vaguely interested in prog will know about it. Considered by many to be one of the greatest prog albums ever, the evidence on record can certainly back that claim up. 'Watcher Of The Skies' was an instant classic. The tremendously powerful opening of the song, played on the mellotron by Tony Banks was a jaw dropping way to start a concert in those days. And the way the band builds up and joins in is nothing short of spectacular. I have always loved the bass line and drums on this song. 'Time Table' is a lovely, melodic, almost medieval piece, with nice piano from Tony and great atmosphere. Nevertheless, if I had to choose my least favourite track on here, this would be it - and yet the song is wonderful! 'Get 'Em Out By Friday' is in the classic humorous vein that Genesis tapped so easily in their earlier days. A bit like 'Harold The Barrel' off Nursery Cryme, it is like a miniature musical, with multi parts for various voices, the instruments staying more in the background, and to great effect as well. Good stuff 'Can-Utility And The Coastliners' used to be my least fave track, but repeated listens soon showed to me just how good this song is. Again, the mellotron is featured strongly, and the acoustic guitars slot in perfectly. Also, the classic Banks organ sound is omni-present on here. Superb. Can't say much at all about the next two tracks. Two of the best known pieces in the history of prog. Firstly, the wonderful acoustic piece of Steve Hackett's - 'Horizons', which gives us a glimpse of some of his beautiful later work as a solo artist. (My favourite solo artist in fact!) And then: 'Supper's Ready'. A true epic over twenty two minutes long, that never flags, always entertains, runs through the gamut of emotions, has gorgeous quite moments, superb loud moments, brilliant lyrics, some excellent humour, and ends with the finale of all finales. There can't be many prog fans who haven't heard this, but for those who haven't, especially newcomers to the genre, I urge you to listen to this track, indeed this album, at the first opportunity. The sound, of course, is not the best, even on the remaster, a trouble which blighted all the early Genesis albums. However, that can't detract from the music. Nevertheless, after all this praise, I only give this album 4 stars. I think Nursery Cryme is just as good really, and Trespass too. It would be all too easy to give 5 stars for all the classic Genesis albums, but, even though they are my favourite band of all time, I insist on being fair. However, Foxtrot is still a must have.
Report this review (#85288)
Posted Monday, July 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Albums tagged masterpieces are usually done so in a subjective manner. Of course, it is impossible to critique an album wholly objectively: or, perhaps impossible to write a decent review by being entirely objective. But this subjective - personal, if you will, way of reviewing albums should not be discouraged at all. Part of a good album is its ability to bond something of a relationship with the listener, and linger within him or her. Genesis' Foxtrot, to me, is one of the most personal albums ever concocted, and when I hear its name mentioned, I can't help but feel some form of an owner's pride rise in me.

This gem, sitting comfortably between the first album to feature Collins and Hackett, where the new Genesis direction was found, and their dubbed masterpiece Selling England by the Pound, is a treasure that seems to be overlooked at times. Foxtrot is truly a magnificent piece of music, exploring many levels of intensity, but always epic, always gripping, always special.

The entire album is flooded with beauty: whether it's interesting/quirky/strange lyrics, or absolutely epic soundscapes. Musical perfection is impossible, yes, but the nearest an group had come can be seen on the track Supper's Ready. It flows seamlessly from many different segments. Indeed, many people argue that it is disjointed and jumps from part to part rigidly, but I find it all very coherent, and extremely related. It begins softly, with a naive love song, but then the love is lost when war comes. Insanity and madness ensue soon afterward, but after it is shaken, and the final battle is fought, we return to the beautiful love song for the final climax. All sections are musically complex, and Apocalypse contains some of the most exhilarating, and utterly gripping climaxes to be found in modern music.

Every song is very fascinating and compelling, and the overall intrigue of this album is undeniable. It jumps from soft, sweet parts, to complex, powerful segments. It's Genesis' best effort, methinks, and should be owned by every proghead. When Apocalypse comes, there's this unmatched sensation that accompanies it every time. It's so captivating, so epic. I've always said that Apocalypse in 9/8 to As Sure as Eggs is Eggs is, without a doubt, the best 9:13 you can spend on planet Earth.

Report this review (#86335)
Posted Wednesday, August 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Foxtrot is one of those albums that grow on you. At first, I didn't like it very much, and was disappointed as I had bought Nursery Cryme(the band's second album) and fallen DEEPLY in love with it. It took a while, but now I enjoy it quite a bit. It isn't exactly as heavy and guitar oriented as Nursery Cryme(something I missed very much at first), but is very rewarding in other areas.
Report this review (#86507)
Posted Thursday, August 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow.. Wow... A masterpiece! A perfect album.

Watcher of the skies: 10/10 --> The beautiful mellotron intro and the special riff after. A live song.

Time Table: 8/10 --> Beautiful melodies

Get'em out by friday: 8/10 --> I like the intro and love the middle of the song - getenic control -

Can-utility and the Coastliners: 9/10 --> A beautiful song but i think at the end of the song, the peter voice is too loud, it's annoying.

Horizons: A magical guitar pieces. -->9/10

Supper's Ready: There's no words to describe... Perfect. Magical. A lots of good moments.

I think it's the one of the most perfect album of the world.

Report this review (#87165)
Posted Sunday, August 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Masterpiece tag!

Genesis' most loveable album. A fan-favorite, and it has a lot to do with the last track's popularity among prog-fans. This album has it all: great lyrics, absoloutly amazing arrangements and melodies... Yeah, that's it, and it's all needed to create a work of such genius. The highlights are: EVERYTHING! But if I have to choose, i'd say: "Can-Utility And The Coastliners" and "Supper's Ready". I really can't describe the magic of this album. You just have to get your lazy ass to the record store and get it... NOW!

Report this review (#87741)
Posted Sunday, August 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yet another masterpiece by Genesis. Wonderful album, one of the best, surely five stars. Right off the bat, "Watcher of the Skies" lives up to its legend, for it was a trademark on stage first. The beginning organ chords of Tony are the envy of every other prog band. The song kicks off in 6/4 and the lyrics are so mysterious. "Time Table" has got to be one of their most underrated songs. It is a great song. How can you not enjoy Peter Gabriel's fantasy of "Get Em Out By Friday". Pure imagination. Once again, "Can-Utility" is underrated, even called by some to be "a clear attempt at a pop hit". How could this be considered pop? It is as Genesis as any other song. Steve Hackett shows what a mastermind he is in "Horizons". And, "Supper's Ready" is "Supper's Ready". It is one of the greatest compositions and is amazing.

THE SUPPER'S READY, ARE YOU?

Report this review (#87750)
Posted Sunday, August 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
bhikkhu
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Prog Team
5 stars This is the one. It is the album that made me love prog. I had heard some Genesis before. There was a copy of "Wind and Wuthering" in our house, and a friend even had "Foxtrot" playing when I was around. It wasn't until he had me sit down and listen closely, that I got it. I was already a staunch Beatles freak, but I had no idea that I was about to discover my next favorite band. Playing the cello had given me a better appreciation of music, and I suppose I was at the right age to define my tastes.

My friend was quite a talented musician (percussionist), and took me through the album, bit by bit. I'll never forget him pointing out the coolest bits of "Watcher of the Skies." He would just gesture in the air, in perfect sync with the music.

The piano of the intro to "Time Table" took me by surprise, as well as the delicacy of the song itself.

"Get 'Em Out by Friday" had such an odd feel, but it was so engaging. Being socially conscious, the story appealed to me right away. And the bass demanded recognition.

"Can Utility and the Coastliners" deceptively seemed like another soft number. Soon it grew into symphonic grandeur. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. What was that sound? I heard it before, on the opening track. That's not an orchestra (it took me years to discover what a mellotron was). By the end, Tony has taken off, accompanied by Mike, and Gabriel is reaching a fever pitch. It all winds up, ending in abrupt perfection.

"Horizons" astounded me. I had never heard a rock guitarist play like that. It was so beautiful. The only thing I could compare it to was the likes of Andres Segovia.

Nothing could have prepared me for what came next. "Supper's Ready" was indescribable. A rock band actually composed a piece with different movements. How wondrous! It worked too. All of the different moods flowed, even the humorous parts. The ending in all illuminating power, with those bells ... was absolutely incredible.

To my best recollection, that was my experience when I first heard it. That was a very long time ago, and it still remains very powerful today. My appreciation of it has not diminished. This is a masterpiece. It is prog at its best. Go out and get a copy. You will be glad you did.

H.T. Riekels

Report this review (#87785)
Posted Monday, August 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
OpethGuitarist
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I'll preface this review by saying that I am generally not in awe of GENESIS's work. Most of their early work(aka before the pop sound) is good, but it doesn't hold interest for me for the most part. I'll call Supper's Ready the most overrated song in prog, 2nd only to Another Brick in the Wall.

Creative for its time? Most definitely. There are many sections here that are very entertaining, and my favorites here are the often ignored songs like Get em out and Can Utility. Can Utility is prog excellence through 4 minutes, especially at around the 3 minute mark with wonderful chord layers backed by soft guitars. However, the end is well, overblown and doesn't fit.

A major drawback throughout most of the album is the overuse of the mellotron. Similar to the way DREAM THEATER will often wear out songs with extended solo sections, Foxtrot wears out the intrigue of the mellotron in many sections.

Supper's Ready is more or less not that good. Many will like it because of its overall scope and mission, however, what we have is a hodge podge of sounds. I'm usually not a lyircs person, but I can't stand the lyrics here, as it sounds much too overblown and mainstream, as if they are trying to prove something. Similar to when a band like Green Day would discuss political affairs, you feel like calling them idiots.

It isn't GENESIS's best work, although their are many sections that are really great. I'd say this is a bad song(in overall), however it has many many parts that make it worthwhile and fun. Most of the interludes and "transitions" as I would call them, are really amazing and well done.

This album has hits and misses, so take what you can from it, and move on, maybe to an album like VDGG's Pawn Hearts.

Report this review (#88590)
Posted Thursday, August 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
psychospaces@
3 stars Good Album but..

Don't let the three-star rating put you off, I do like this album but the rating comes more out of sheer disappointment than anything. In comparison with the surrounding Genesis albums of it's time, this one just doesn't have the same innovative melodies and composition- the type to strike one with awe. It comes as a bit of a surprise..a BAD surprise after what most other people have told me in their opinion ("Supper's Ready is the best song ever!" etc..) However this album does have it's strong points, despite its apparent lack of energy in the melody-section. The rhythms, the beats, the different time- signatures (and yes, I'm pretty much referring to the same thing here) in some certain songs, which I will highlight later, are probably the most inventive thing about this album.

Report this review (#89894)
Posted Sunday, September 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
[email protected]
5 stars Best album ever? No. Best prog album? No. But this album contains the best song ever: "Supper's Ready". All parts that emerge to this whole and complete body of song are just perfect and fit into place. It is simply the epic of epics. ("Close to the edge doesn't come near that - in comparison the Yes song is just another long song and Yes produced a lot of those extended pieces of music.btw "Gates of Delirium" is much better than CTTE.) But the album doesn't stop with that (in fact it does, because SR is the last song.) "Watcher of the skies" has a brilliant intro and it is a great song in itself. "Can-utility and the coastliners" is probably one of the best "shorter" songs Genesis did in that era and beyond."Get 'em out by Friday" is a nice dystopian song."Timetable" is also no let down. I have to give five out of five stars for this brilliant effort, due to the fact that "SR" is and will be the milestone for proggers throughout the ages! (p.s.: "Horizons" is not my piece of cake though)
Report this review (#89945)
Posted Monday, September 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wonderful essential magnificent trail blazing magical, and near perfect. I saw Genesis play this on their foxtrot tour before I bought the record. Such and important LP has of course been reviewed many times. This was their breakthrough LP and remains a classic. Has it got faults ? a few the production could be better. Has it got any poor tracks ? No the closest it gets to a bad track is the excellent"get them out by Friday" what are its highlights ? Suppers Ready remains it best track.
Report this review (#92254)
Posted Wednesday, September 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
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5 stars Foxtrot came after Nursery Cryme, and this meant Genesis had a lot they had to prove this time around. Gabriel had become one of THE GREATEST frontmen in the history of rock already- wearing bizzare costumes and cavorting around the stage like a madman. The group now had a great drummer, and they sounded extremely confident about their direction on Nursery Cryme. I've always looked at Foxtrot as something of a departure and a continuation at the same time on their past work. There is less really really heavy tracks and more melodies, more complexity, nothing demonstrates their ability to lump every genre of music imaginable and unimaginable together than "Supper's Ready." How many bands can cover a side with a suite and not get boring at least for a small section of it? Not many, and Genesis are THE BEST. My only complaint is Steve Hackett's unneccessary whining guitar at the end of "Watcher Of The Skies." I've always thought it was a dumb inconsequential ending to a great song. That said, there is nothing here I would change and out of all the Genesis records I consider masterpieces this one is the one that will probably be in my memory as a tear jerking representation of a happy time in my life. With that time long in the past and with the music still something I listen to I can say that Genesis together with (don't laugh) Uriah Heep have aged the best of bands from this era. There simply isn't a datedness about the music, and with Peter Gabriel how could there be. Side One contains two tracks that are overlooked even by afficianados of the group sometimes- "Timetable" about Medieval England and many other things and "Can Utility And The Coastliners." The latter song is astonishing both lyrically and musically. I actually am always asking the same question after I hear it: "How Are They Ever Gonna Top This?" Well, "Supper's Ready" comes and covers all of side two and Genesis take off into some strange universe known only to them. I have tried to write like this song, with all the subtleties and all the most vulgar elements too- rarely do I succeed and rarely does anyone succeed. I still don't quite know what the story is about, but I don't think you are supposed to know: it's Gabriel's secret. I believe that this is Tony Banks' best performance for a whole record and also Mike Rutherford's. Gabriel's voice is just splendid. Foxtrot also is a special album because Genesis would enter a slightly new phase on their next studio album Selling England By The Pound. That would be a switch to something for the most part much mellower and dreamier. This isn't to say that they would never be intense again, just that the kind of intensity heard on Trespass, Nursery Cryme, and parts of this album would take a backseat to some of the softer elements of their sound. This album represents a special place in time when anything was possible. I treasure it.
Report this review (#93277)
Posted Tuesday, October 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I don't consider any Genesis album my favourite. This would be it if instead of Watcher and Get 'em out by friday, it had Musical box and Hogweed. However, the first two are still two great songs very representative of the prog rock movement. Watcher of the skies moving you from one mood to another before you notice, keeping that strange yet very interesting style that could well be an obvious example of what prog was all about; originality, complex composition and out of the ordinary concepts.

Time table is a simplier song yet really enjoyable with interesting changes in the melody and excelent evolution of strings and piano.

Get 'em out by Friday has to be listened carefully to appreciate the best of it. Few people may really be aware of the tale behind the lyrics here. While Gabriel is singing a very peculiar song, the music behind it is telling a story of its own, being very complex, full of diversity. Never just playing as a complement to the voice. That is an outstanding feature in this song since there is practically no space in the track without the voice. Now, about Gabriel's singing. I can't think of any vocalist that could or can show that many characters in such a consistent manner and with such conviction. Gabriel was simply the master of interpretation.

When it came down to the writing and composition of songs, no one could stand a chance against Genesis. While other bands needed of 15 to 23 minutes to present a concept, Genesis would only need 5:43 minutes to do it, and do it in the highest of the standards. The middle instrumental section is wonderful, not only for the way it developes and ends, but also because of the passion and depth in every note. Genesis definitelly made clear they had a trademark no one could match in their standards of originality and imagination.

Horizon's is a short guitar tune just preliminar to the greatest epic of all time in the Rock history. Supper's ready is a space of time where imagination, creativity, originality, fun and passion work restlessly. Before you notice you are listening to the minute 3, 5, 7, 9 etc. and the interest is the same. You may have heard 5 or 6 different melodies, moods, dozens of different combinations of sounds and may have never noticed the change between every section of the track. And the best part and one of the greatest strenghts of Genesis, it always sound natural, never seems to be pushy or writen against the will of any member of the band. No matter what other fans think of other so called epics, this one is the best. It is definitelly not the best in terms of technical playing, compared to Tarkus or even Thick as a brick and Close to the edge. But it is definitelly the best when it comes to songwriting, diversity and creation of styles and moods. The outstanding presentation of textures in this track is amazing. No one could dare saying this track is not the best when it comes to creating an alternative world, listening to it takes you somewhere outside this dimension. Puts you inside a book, with colours, smells and flavours in the sharpest and brightest presentation.

And the end of the track...Wow !!. The best ending to any epic ever. So tight, exciting and intense that makes you wanna cry in those "small and big" moments of climax here and there. With excelent composition never leaving a space for monotony, never feeling repetitive or dull. The sounds, so strange, yet so inspiring and original that makes you feel pride for the progressive rock genre as a whole.

This album, is not only essential, this could easily be the very first reference to the progressive rock genre. 6 stars hands down.

Report this review (#93569)
Posted Friday, October 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of the best records of progressive rock by one of the best progressive bands ever to exist! With loads of grandeur with the sweeping mellotron-textures by Tony Banks, amazing solos by the genius Steve Hackett, the exciting dynamics of Collins and Rutherford this album never seizes to amaze me. Watcher of the Skies was the first track I heard from the record and it blew me away! Their are so many dynamics and it has a wonderful build-up (it's also a real showoff in musicianship). Time Table has a nice and calm atmosphere to help relax after the pounding of Watcher... and give you a break before the next grand masterpiece: Get 'Em out by Friday! The storyline of the song is funny yet sad and the music is just fantastic. Going from the fast beats and themes of the intro to the soothing melodies later in the song. Can-Utilty and the Coastliners has the same qualities as Get 'Em... and has fantastic ending! Horizons is a very beautiful guitar-instrumental and again shows off Hackett's amazing feel for the instrument. Everything has been said about Supper's ready and I agree with everyone. This is music that deserves to be preserved as long as there is a human race!

Foxtrot is not just Prog. rock, it is music that speaks to your heart and your mind. This is an album that will always have an specially important place in my collection along with Selling England by the Pound and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.

Report this review (#94639)
Posted Sunday, October 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Maybe slightly less than 5 stars but definitely more than 4!

Now here's a tricky one. As a moment in the development of prog it's undoubtedly a classic outing from the Genesis of that era. Watcher of the Skies and Supper's Ready are two outstanding compositions.

And yet.having grown up with this album and having replaced vinyl with CD version a few years ago, I listened to it again recently and thought: . Some weak stuff (not being a huge fan of Can Utility and the Coastliners, or Timetable). Even Get 'Em Out by Friday didn't appeal as much as it once did. . Gabriel really stretching to hit the notes (I remember reading years later Mike Rutherford saying that it had taken them a long time to realise that sometimes they should change the key they played in to accommodate the singer). At the end of Supper's Ready it really works. On some of the other tracks maybe not so much.

I was about to give it 4 stars but now I find I can't! It has to be 5 regardless of how I view it now. It should be in every classic prog collection.

Phew!

Report this review (#96094)
Posted Saturday, October 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
Chus
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars No fillers, as usual...

From beginning to end, this one even tops SEBTP. It was the first album I'd heard from them (apart from occasional classic radio standards), and surely still the best of all their catalog.

First: you don't have to listen to Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford sneaking to the studio through the back door in the middle of the night (when the rest are apparently sleeping) to record a simplistic and boring pop song like "More Fool Me", which they probably threw in the LP behind everybody's back.

Second: Horizons is probably the one and only contribution in songwritting the great Steve HACKETT aported to Genesis (they probably heard "Fragile" and thought "maybe we should Steve compete with the other Steve, since the other did that Mood For A Day thing"). Simple yet beautiful; apparently it's a reworking of a composition for cello by Bach.

Third: SUPPER'S READY. practically puts Close To The Edge to shame with all of it's seriousness, and it's a demonstration that an epic doesn't have to be ULTRA-SERIOUS to be great (although I enjoy "The Revealing Science Of God" much more than "Close To The Edge", as far as I've listened from Yes). Tied with Lizard as one of the best epics ever made in progressive rock.

Fourth: The rest of the album holds attention in every way: from the amazingly bombastic "Watcher Of The Skies", through the mellower and pretty "Time Table", the humorous "Get 'Em Out By Friday" with some baroque sparks in the bridge and a PA announcement about shrinking mankind to fit more into one building, and the mellotron exercise in "Can-Utility and the Coastliners"; everything glitters here (and of course the aforementioned Horizons... or "Horizon's" as it is mispelled).

In conclusion: THE MASTERPIECE. a must-have for every "prog" fan.

Report this review (#96895)
Posted Thursday, November 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Well, I tried, I tried hard enough not to give this album a 5 star rating... At that time I didn't like Gabriel's vocals that much.... I've always thoght Genesis to be too quiet at times....I don't know, I just couldn't GET Genesis...even their much-admired Selling England by the Pound didn't completely work for me... and, besides, every other reviewer has given this album a high rating....so off course I tried to be the dissonant key in the score.... you see, it's really easy to find fault in any record, even the best ones...

...I couldn't.

This album is a masterpiece.... Now, don't get me wrong: I think it's impossible for an album to be flawless (as in NO FLAWS at all)... but when we give 5 stars to one, it's because it's almost there, or because the music is so great that we let go any minor complaint we could have....

What else can I add besides my feelings for the record, if there are already like 300 reviews that described the music and each of the songs? Well, almost nothing. just why i consider each song a great achievent....

Watcher Of The Skies (9/10), a marching-like rock tune, very upbeat, with a fantastic, quiet but fantastic intro (one of the best in prog)...you really get the idea of being in the clouds... watcher of the skies...

Time Table (9/10), another fantastic track.. a lovely piano introduction sets the stage for one of Gabriel's better moments (and the one that finally did it for me).... a great, outstanding melodic chorus, a cry for help against the forces of...stupidity

Get 'Em Out By Friday (9/10), a marvelous track if only for the screenplay-like lyirics, and excellent lyrics at that! The irony that Genesis had when dealing with many subjects was a main factor in their greatness... here power crushes the weak... forced to leave home...forced to sell... and when that is done, forced to..dissapear? Dealing with corporate power and genetics at that point in time...Great...the song has a quiet interlude that fits the music and lyrics very well...

Can-Utility And The Coastliners (10/10), an acoustic, mellow track, with Gabriel turning dramatic but keeping the singing part very much alive...the acoutic interlude signals the start of a much more powerful, really hard-rock energetic part...the mood quiets down and Gabriel reappears, only to fade before a great keyboard statement in full force, with a clever bass solo by Rutherford in between....perfect

Horizons (10/10), maybe insignificant, maybe too short, but for the few seconds that it last, Hackett does a wonderful job of melody acoustic guitar playing here.... it's simple, yes....but is it? Such a heart-filling melody, sad melody, played with so much feeling, make for a great interlude before...

...Supper's Ready (10/10), not only Foxtrot's best song but THE epic by Genesis...what an amazing song (or suite of songs)....this is the one I tried to find fault within in order to give this album less than 5 stars...but not...the first section is Genesis' best EVER....wonderful, wonderful....the dialogue between the acoustic guitar and Banks' piano is nothing short of breathtaking... if this song would've ended after this, it would've still got a 10 by me... but not...The second, mellotron driven section, leads to another acoustic-at-first, hard-rockin'-second part....Collins marching rhythm is so simple yet effective...the fourth section is the quieter one...you can barely hear it, but nis beautiful, so soft, so classy, just a few keyboard chords and Gabriel almost whispering (Hogarth learned from this I tell you)...the fifth section is has the use, for just a few measures, of Gabriel's recorded voice at double speed... the noise calms down and another ethereal, pastoral-like moment arrives, with Gabriel playing a pretty little tune in flute over guitars...GREAT, JUST GREAT!!.... Finally, another powerful, fat-chords section starts in crescendo...the music grows restless...every musician plays at his best...Gabriel reappears yelling a little, with good dramaticism...the melody form the begininng makes his return... the song ends...musical Climax is reached...

For the few of you who still haven't read any review of this album, for the more of you who don't own this record yet, for you only, my advice:

GET IT. NOW.

And learn. Learn why this band is so loved.

I just did.

Report this review (#97558)
Posted Tuesday, November 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of this albums that everyone should have. Even if you don`t like it!!! There is a few people who can deny the majesty of the album. This is the one which made Genesis so great. Even if they had released just this one, they still would be a great band. What makes this album so great? Three songs (or two if you consider Horizons and Supper`s Ready as one piece) beside these there is Can-Utility and the Coastliners which is the best Genesis short song. Supper`s ready along with Horizons constitute one of the best musical pieces ever made.

When I first listened to Foxtrot I wondered what is so impressive in this album, I really couldn`t get into. Now I wonder how dares it be so beautiful...

REGARDS FROM POLAND

Report this review (#101413)
Posted Saturday, December 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Genesis' best album, only for Side two.

If the album was 23 minutes long, this review would be a star higher.

The first five songs are typical, average, boring Genesis songs. A highlight is Horizons, a beautiful Hackett composition. Other than that, the other songs are nothing to write home about.

Now.. Now.. You flip the record and are thrown into a mess of euphoria and musical perfection! Genesis have never since, or before, topped this masterpeice of a song. It has everything a prog epic needs. I won't get into detail, I'll leave that for you to discover.. Happy listening.

Report this review (#101414)
Posted Saturday, December 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars There are some albums that simply defy belief. When you listen to them, you are forced to wonder how anyone could sit down and write something that good. Take, for example, Thick as a Brick. In less than 20 days, Ian Anderson produced a staple of progressive rock. Or take Fragile and Close to the Edge. How could a band release a masterpiece early in the year, and then come back, by the end of the year, with one of the best songs ever recorded on their next album. Foxtrot falls in this category. It is Genesis's defining moment, and for good reason. Every note here is impeccably place, the lyrics are incredible, and it blends wit and humor with amazing power effortlessly, even within one song.

Before I get too deep into this album, let me give you a brief history of how the band got here. As you have probably read by now, Genesis released From Genesis To Revelation in 1969, which I have not heard, but which I've read was a disjointed effort that went essentially nowhere. Well, things changed entirely within the next year with the release of Trespass, which featured wonderful progressive rock pieces and of course, the concert staple The Knife. In 1971, Genesis released their first masterpiece (of two), Nursery Cryme. The album alternated between longer songs (The Musical Box, The Return of the Giant Hogweed, and The Fountain of Salmacis) and shorter songs (For Absent Friends, Seven Stones, Harold the Barrel, Harlequin). The Musical Box was and still is a defining song of progressive rock, building up from quiet symphonic rock to - count them - three, yes three, climaxes, each one incredible. So then comes along 1972, one of the greatest years prog would know, featuring Thick as a Brick, Fragile, Close to the Edge, Darwin!, Storia Di Un Minuto, Per Un Amico, Octopus, Argus, Trilogy, Uomo Di Pezza, Grave New World, and many, many more. But what must not be forgotten here is Foxtrot, Genesis's contribution to progressive rock in 1972.

On Foxtrot, there is a level of consistency not found on the Genesis albums surrounding it. Both Nursery Cryme and Selling England By the Pound featured Collins sung numbers, which, in Nursery Cryme's case, was unimpressive, and, on Selling England by the Pound, downright embarrassing. On Foxtrot, however, Gabriel takes all the vocals, which is an improvement on a scale that is simply hard to express in words. Suffice it to say that he is more dynamic a vocalist, more skilled a vocalist, and he wrote the lyrics, and so is better able to convey them with the proper emotions at the proper times, which adds to the effect of the songs.

Musically, this is one of the best sounding albums released at any time in any genre. It is straight symphonic progressive rock, which is, for me, the best kind (whether Italian or normal symphonic progressive rock) of music. It is complex without sounding complex for complexity's sake (a la Gentle Giant). It is at times witty, but it never reaches a point where you cannot take it seriously. It makes you feel, it evokes images in your mind. In short, it does everything progressive rock is supposed to do for you.

The album opens with the extended intro of Watcher of the Skies. The first two minutes of the song are devoted to this intro, which slowly builds in speed, bass and organ interplaying perfectly until the excellent vocals come in, giving life both to the song and to Gabriel's excellent lyrics. The lyrics tell of an extra-terrestrial (ET) being that comes to the earth, finding only lizards and other such animals, as the human race has destroyed itself. It is in 6/4 time, giving it a very nice feel. The keyboard and bass carry this track (and Gabriel's wonderful voice). It is unfortunate, though, that many people forget about every other track except for Supper's Ready off of this album, as, while Watcher of the Skies may be great, an excellent intro to the album, every track that comes later on the album (Horizon's doesn't count for reasons I'll explain later) is better. Which says a lot about those later tracks. On that note, I will move on to the second track on the album, Time Table.

Time Table is one of the most beautiful songs you will ever hear. The piano intro really gets to me (in a good way. no, in an indescribably excellent way). Then the lyrics/vocals start to come in, and they're somehow even better than the great intro. This song talks about an antique table that has survived the course of human history. While kings and queens come into power, then fall from power, this table remains unchanged. And when the kings and queens die off, leaving "tarnished silver" to lie "discarded upon the floor" in their wake, still the table remains. The way Gabriel uses a simple table to model human history is a feat of poetry that simply baffles me with its brilliance every time I listen to this song. His use of irony is also a strong point, as he says, "and the weak must die, according to nature's law, as old as they," immediately after he finishes talking about the demise of the human race. The strong have fallen, while it is the weak, the "rats" being Gabriel's specific example, that have survived the test of time. And then there's the chorus. The chorus of this song is, and this is coming from a person who hates choruses with a passion, one of the most incredibly intelligent lyrical works I've ever heard, especially the second bit of it, the "why, why, do we suffer each race to believe that no race has been grander." The implied connotations of this line is that of great civilizations, and how each one feels that it is the best history has produced. It is this sort of arrogance, Gabriel implies, that leads to the destruction he describes. Everything about this track oozes perfection, and while it may not be particularly progressive (though it is symphonic), it stands as one of the greatest short songs to have ever been written.

In stark contrast to Time Table is the stage-play Get 'Em Out By Friday, in which Gabriel plays all the parts, from the landlord to the worried woman to everyone in between. It is a social commentary on both Big Brother and the hypocrisy of CEOs and their capitalistic selves. The basic plot of the story is that several tenants are forced out of their homes by two members of a company known as Styx enterprises, which wants to force all humans to be smaller so that more people can fit into one building, potentially doubling their profits. This is the Big Brother aspect of the song. At the very end of the song, however, a "saint" with some shady connections to Styx Enterprises exploits the weakened state of these tenants who have just been forced out of their homes, asking them to invest in the Church so that they can go to Heaven. Everything, even the holiest, is subject to the laws of capitalism, which Gabriel sums up perfectly in the following line, "I've always said that cash cash cash can do anything well." Musically, it alternates between faster parts and slower parts, the slower parts generally featuring excellent flute work from Gabriel, and the fast parts featuring lyrics, which are, of course, excellent. It's often bombastic, but that's not at all bad. If your music holds up, it's okay to be bombastic, and Genesis's music here holds up in every respect. This is the third amazing song out of three so far, a rollicking good start for an album that somehow only manages to get better.

I like to think that this album has two 20-minute epics on it. There is, of course, Supper's Ready. And then there's also Can-Utility and the Coastliners, a five-minute track with enough tempo changes to be a 20-minute, full-blown prog rock epic. Lyrically, it tells the tale of King Canute (from which I am sure Can-Utility derives) who orders the sea to retreat in order to impress his followers (the coastliners). Rather than the sea retreating, however, a storm comes, which causes a flood that "drowns" his throne, killing him, rather than glorifying him. Musically, it starts softly for a short while, a subtle beauty in simplicity. Then, with the lyrics "far from the north," the song adds a level of complexity with some especially symphonic touches added, creating a perfect feel for what the music is conveying. Soon after, yet another layer is added, and this layer alone builds up beautifully to become an incredibly beautiful instrumental symphonic passage. The lyrics "but he forced a smile" bring this layer to a head, giving meaning to the name progressive rock. Tony Banks' keyboards come in marvelously to create a very nice semi-solo, which leads into a beautifully sung vocal portion, followed immediately by an aggressively sung portion, and then a brief closing section (not more than five seconds), and it's over. As far as I am concerned, Can-Utility and the Coastliners is quite simply the best track there is under 10 minutes in length, a truly stellar song that has no rivals.

Next up is Horizon's, an acoustic guitar number that is quite beautiful, and mostly serves as the introduction to Supper's Ready. Now, Supper's Ready is widely considered to be Genesis's defining song, and for good reason. This song perfectly blends wit and seriousness, along with one of the most powerful (emotionally) endings there is. It has a little bit of everything without a single boring moment, a single misplaced note. Gabriel's lyrics are top notch, and are some of his best. It is loosely based on the book of Revelation, I believe, but the concept isn't very important here. Rather, the method in which this song carries itself is the star, the very essence of what makes this one of progressive rock's finest epics.

Supper's Ready opens with some calming acoustic guitar and lovely singing by Peter Gabriel. This part, known as Lover's Leap, sets the stage for the song, and really strikes me as being similar to the intro to Thick as a Brick in that it is a classic soft intro that gives only a taste of what good fun is to come, but still somehow stands on its own. I admit that I was turned off at first by the lines "hey babe, with your guardian eyes to blue, hey my baby, don't you know our love is true" (I have a thing against love songs), but once I really started listening to the song I realize that it is all a part of the magic, and that magic is really something to behold.

Things only get better with The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man, which starts about 3: 45 in with the lines, "I know a farmer, who looks after the farm." It features some absolutely classic lyrics, such as, "I know a fireman, who looks after the fire." This part is slower (not a bad thing), building up perfectly to the excellent keyboard work that comes in immediately after the fireman line. At this point, the song is dripping with energy, simply unrestrained symphonic progressive rock at its very finest.

Ikhnaton and His Band of Merry Men comes in next, around the 6:15 mark. The lyrics are classic ("even though I'm feeling good, something tells me I'd better activate my prayer capsule" is one of my favorite lyrics from any song), and this part never fails to amaze, no matter how many times I listen to it. After the prayer capsule line, we get a wonderful instrumental period that is majestic, frenetic, and perfect. There are a couple lines of lyrics that follow, and a short instrumental that transforms this section into the next.

How Dare I Be So Beautiful, the forth part of this song, comes in around the 9:45 mark, and contains perhaps the very best lyrics of the song. "Wandering through the chaos that battle has left/We climbed up the mountain of human flesh/To a plateau of green grass, and green trees full of life/A young figure sits still by a pool/He's been stamped 'human bacon' by some butchery tool/ Social security took care of his lad." As you can see, this section beautifully talks about the problems with war and social security. Musically, this part is very soft, toned down, in order to create a grand effect.

What is that grand effect, you ask? Well, after the line, "we watched in reverence as Narcissus is turned to a flower," someone questioningly asks, "a flower?" and then there is an abrupt and quite invigorating change in music into the fifth part, Willow Farm, which happens to be my favorite (though As Sure as Eggs Is Eggs - the last part - is quite good as well). This part seems to go out of its way to be completely ridiculous lyrically. For example, here are some lines you'll find in here: "Open your eyes, it's full of surprise, everyone lies, like the focks on the rocks, oh, and the musical box," or "The frog was a prince, the prince was a brick, the brick was an egg, the egg was a bird, fly away you sweet little thing, they're hot on your tale," or "Mum to mud to mad to dad, dad diddley office, dad diddley office, you are full of ball." But my very favorite has to be "There's Winston Churchill, dressed in drag." But, despite the silliness (amazing, awe-inspiring, top-notch, first rate silliness, that is) of the lyrics, this doesn't come across as one big joke. Well, actually, the whole song is one big joke, which is part of the allure, but it is still possible to take it seriously. Musically, this part is as bombastic and over the top as the lyrics, and like the lyrics, is top notch, first rate, amazing, and awe-inspiring. Some parts of it sound like the Knife (from Trespass), others simply sound like nothing you've ever heard before. In the middle of this part, with the line "feel your body melt," the music changes, becoming more keyboard dominated, but still upbeat and bombastic (I cannot stress enough that bombasticity backed up by musical talent and good songwriting skills is a GOOD thing). After the line, "and all of us fit in our places," there is a soft instrumental bit with some wonderful flute courtesy of Gabriel, which leads into the next part of the song.

Apocalypes (in 9/8) is, of course, in 9/8 time, and it begins with the lyrics, "with the Gods of Magog swarming around." This section is incredibly upbeat, and the use of 9/8 time is simply enthralling for someone with as little musical knowledge as me. One thing I did notice is that the 9 from 9/8 is carried in the following manner (if you can follow this): 3-1-2-1-1-1. What this means is that there are three beats, then two beats, the one beat, all separated by single beats. The keyboards here are wonderful, and while the lyrics aren't quite as fun as those from Willow Farm, they do have their moments, such as, "666 is no longer alone." This is yet another of my favorite parts (I have seven from this song that really strike me as standing high).

With about 2:45 left to go in the song, the final part, As Sure as Eggs Is Eggs (Aching Men's Feet) comes in. This part begins with a short reprise of "hey babe, with your guardian eyes so blue, hey my baby, don't you know our love is true," and then it really kicks off. This is probably the best ending to ANY song that I know, above even the power of Close To the Edge's final three minutes or The Hangman and the Papist's (Strawbs) last 30 seconds. Gabriel's singing here is timeless, and the overall power of this section is unmatched. This is a perfect way to close a perfect song. And I mean perfect. There are no weaknesses to this song. There is no way it could be made better. And for that, it is among my favorite songs, a lesson in the essence of perfection.

On that note, the album ends, and a sad time it is when that happens. I personally believe that cd players have repeat buttons for the sole purpose of not having to experience this album end. But end it must, and end it does. A clear masterpiece. Chances are that if you are on this site, you already own this album, but just in case you don't, I cannot recommend this album highly enough. Everything about it is just right, whether you prefer the radio hit, the softer ballad, the song that is really a stage play, the epic five minute song, the brief acoustic interlude, or the most magnificent of all songs. Whatever your cup of tea, you can find it here, and this stands as one of progressive rock's defining moments, a masterpiece through and through. 4.5 Stars.

Report this review (#104475)
Posted Monday, December 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Like "Trespass" & "Nursery Cryme" I purchased "Foxtrot" in 74 (at the age of 15). What a lucky young guy I was ! Discovering the repertoire of the greatest band in Prog rock history in only a few weeks ! The opener "Watcher of the Skies" is one of my top three favourite of the band. The mellotron intro is gorgeous. It is only superseded in "Fountain Of Salmacis". The closing section is just superb. This song will open their concerts for quite a long time. A great, great number. "Watcher" is probably one of the songs that has been "canibalized" the most by current neo prog bands (take Fruitcake, for instance, on "Intelligence" from the album "Man Overboard"). The tempo has been countelessly re-used but the "master tape" will always be the best one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Each of them is quite interesting and deserves better recognition.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Report this review (#104882)
Posted Friday, December 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
Ricochet
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars It's nearly two relative years (and counting, beyond any hint of doubt) since I listen and admire Foxtrot (implicitly Genesis too, with the particularity of what they have best); an allure of old experience; with an unchanged opinion since that first hearing, an opinion telling me I hear something excellent, that I like it terribly, that the grandeur of such musical ideas is beyond me (slightly in a contrast with Genesis, which at the beginning had a bit of a slowness); of impressionistic vivacity. "Ladies and gentleman", I don't wish my appreciative as possible presentation to be among many articles saying that the album is of ultimate reference, neither even one from the same compulsive idea that Foxtrot has the un-equitable value in front of many others. Moreover I only intend, as I've said already, between the lines, to appreciate something I regard as more than a reputable effect of progressive rock music, without forgetting naturally its importance of musical gesture or its caliber of a pretended work, in words from which the essential will still break away, staying in the music, the experience, the impression as most powerful. Or maybe only to compliment an album whose lacks are incredibly few or dissolutive.

So a piece de resistance in our artistic genre, in splendid features, of style charisma, up-holding gentle crosses of extreme, soft, vintage , classic, priceless, entertaining and mystifying harmony, with all the continuations of those idea, from the too simple reason that Genesis have reached their felt perfection. Or the special nuance and the eccentric inclination in years and accomplishments that aren't less of a great thing (or cannot, in the most blurry accent, be that much low). In the verve of a class style and of anyhow but not usual defined interpretation, after the poetic Trespass and the dark-specialized Nursery Cryme came "naturally" an even bigger schwung. Foxtrot is for me the wholesome of the generic Genesis figure, in the colors of full progressive (though, I assume, this "label" talk should be least used), of abstract, of esthetic nature concept, of symbols that catch that grace moment. In pondered words and in un-adverse hopes, a successful logic. In the specific and acceptable (or accepted) consensus of progressive music as one for the mind and the soul, Foxtrot leads to fullness complex revolutions, from their own (Genesis, that is) outtake in front of performance, to a show of hands not at all pompous by themselves (though it would be a strength) and to a great effect towards dazzling and "in a flash" overleaping listening. No reason to not live in the classic, when such a manifest like Genesis's one exists.

Neither the instantaneous superlative, neither the pressuring "compulsory". The great success means the great pleasure, the great distinction. Without the magic expression and without the sensational epic, after all, the consistent frames of the album can be bit thinned and fragile in echo. Referring finally to some critic (that I did not call absent, but incredibly benefic and nuanced), the album is individualist in effects and changing colors, mounting scenes from rock to subset art, from simple to that extravagance we can share, from intentional to incidental, from captivating to in the "free-form" virtue; from blown minds to fallen cliques. At the co-worked impression can only be an unpronounced concept or an "exaggerated" abstract. The style, shape, creation and imagination are in permitted ways remarked, thus to some of the finest insignias. At a paragraph's end, my conclusion is that Foxtrot's merit is one of my most non-superficial. Because the possible sensation of a "simple" and "up-made" (again, without the 24 minutes surprise) can't be vague. And so, from a contrast of albums maybe more spirited, this one sounds unusual and convincing, behind all definitions, in passion of all emotions.

Six moments of more or less genius; from which an epic scrambles the entire Genesis known or unrecognized at all mentality (and to which I'll reserve separate words). From the "rest", three distinguish as referential, one finds not only prettiness in the obscure melody, but also a little passivity (Time Table) and Horizons remains at a discrete tasty intermezzo. All five are in the try-out of both contrast and the final example and the solid rebound. Words stay short to the impressions of emotive and "beatitude" measures. Watcher Of The Skies is my soul piece, given some uplifting lyrics and, why to not mention, a catchy leitmotiv (percussion, ABAB., other things). The piece has a high idea placed on an inventive dynamic and on some sharp features. The sensation is drawn and dramatic, thanks to susceptible gestures of sensible, easy, poetic senses exploding or, by all contrary means, imploding; nothing truly easy, not a banal rhythm and a small talent, but instantaneous as a hit of healthy perspective; "musically shameless". Get 'Em Out By Friday complicates similarly in worthy burn of typical unleash, by an instrumental that here and there isn't sane at all, in a lucid emotion made by word epithets, with also a forte hand on the usually loose esthetic (clear, acid in moments then softened for contrast's sake, music) and with techniques and undergoes, being of recognizable too fictive moment magic. With a much more weakened appeal, Can-Utility and the Coastliners can just as well be in the penumbra of the mentioned standards, but I will mention it as top quality, as of a totally progressive composition; even surprising in the flash of expecting little. Having its own part of drama in musical notes and "corporeality" in the minded lyric, the piece shines and is difficult to pronounce.

Though I've already unfolded abnormally in the album's presentation, Supper's Ready, the most necessary example, after me, in showing the classic geniality of Genesis and the most blissful, even denatured, culminant point they've reached, has its shared chapter. I don't announce myself as the person to understand and over-understand the concept, because I'm mostly not at all; so it happens many times that I let go in the listening virtue and let pleasure prime; catching some succinct preferred moments or finding no ideal in accepting simple fragments from a multitude. Of an easily decipherable material goes mentioned the challenging and hallucinating abstract (the sole entire abstract, after all, that determines the abstract Foxtrot), the more or less obvious originality and the self-figure of heavy methods (suspended complexity, in other words). Otherwise, a sensational and imaginary curiosity can portray the act: simple (by paradox) to follow, or difficult to swallow; ironic, active, avanting, firm, constructive, musical, as a symbol of the persuasive, set in its narrative wire - or - in a lost mind, incredibly unstable, experimental and fantastic, moody or dropped-heavy; of vital lyric fun, sarcasm, dramatic, uncertainty - or - by the eloquent essence of a moving composition. Strapping or loose, dazzling or only uplifting, groundbreaking or only 24 minutes as a spirit and much unreal concept agony. The most interesting musical joke or the most powerful collapse of forces and sensations. Hat's off.

Finale. An eulogy effort, by each step and unknown suspense. Never a sure thing that Genesis focused and played with art in none of their moments. But that is certainly what resonates. Being a wonderful thing. I've avoided and do still avoid rigid terms, still at the minor detail of recommendation, Foxtrot's nothing but the special and superb example of progressive rock. My favorite; my kind of essential; the word of classic, unusually; the masterpiece taste, in whatever corner of though you find it.

Report this review (#104902)
Posted Saturday, December 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars The most ingeniuous and original song these guys ever composed happens to open this 1972 Lp. "Watcher of the Skies". For some reason I think this number was written in a rather serendipitous manner - Tony and Mike not realizing the (future) musical impact of it. Let's be frank here, alot of Gabriel era Genesis seemed to be contrived mimicry of itself. 'Cos Peter wanted it that way. Therefore, "Watcher of the Skies" is truly remarkable. Electric, cosmic and just totally unique. And THIS is the only Rock track that one can be enveloped by a truly Astral mellotron piece...thanks to Mr. Banks. (Rick Wakeman? Robert Fripp? Heck no. This one is BOLD!)

Actually the whole Lp has some of Genesis best Musical Compositions, riffs and solos. PROBLEM: the sound quality is thin as tissue paper. The louder you play it the more shrilly it sounds. It's a crying shame and I don't know why these guys let it slip through the cracks like this. (Time era is no excuse, for bands who were not yet well-equipped, in 1972, like J. Geils Band and Steve Miller Band were able to put forth really life-like sound recordings).

Everybody raves about the 20+ minute "Supper's Ready." It's good. It's good. In spots anyway. That daisy-licking stuff that Peter keeps getting into, in the middle of otherwise captivating songs, does crop up unfortunately on this epic. Overall a quality track though.

Report this review (#104945)
Posted Saturday, December 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
1800iareyay
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Foxtrot is the follow up to Genesis' superb Nursery Cryme. It's the second to feature the classic lineup, and the pressure was on to deliver. Foxtrot shows the band's maturation and thheir coming of age. As always, the musicians combine their instruments into a beautiful whole yet still create independent rythmns and melodies.

"Watcher of the Skies" opens the album. Immense praise has been heaped on this album, but I think it's pretty overrated. It takes almost two and a half minutes to get going. That can be tolerable if yuo're listening to an epic, but if the song is 7 minutes long, that's a lot of time wasted. Once it gets going, however, the song is a classic, dealing with aliens landing on Earth only to find animals as humanity has finally destroyed itself with war. Some of Peter's most serious lyrics along with The Knife, another anti-war song.

"Time Table" bores me stiff. It's beautiful, but it doesn't move me. To be fair, I'm a fan of the heavy bleak stuff (Opeth, Ayreon, Operation Mindcrime) so perhaps I'm not the best person to evaluate this track.

"Get 'Em Out By Friday" redeems the last track with the tale of a greedy land developer who mercilessly ejects the residents of a small town. Peter masterfully plays several roles. Mr. Pebble (the owner of Styx Enterprises) and Ms. Barrow (the lady who is willing to pay double rent to stay in her home) stand out, the fromer's coldness and the latter's desperation are the pillars of the song. Peter intended for the song to be set in the future, but I can imagine such an even happening then or now (of course, now is the future from Peter's view then; if you can follow what I just said, congradulations;). The brilliance of the multiple roles later resulted in the praised Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, though it would be blown up to a huge scale and Peter wouldn't keep it together, but that's for another review.

"Can-Utility And The Coastliners" is the sleeper hit of the album. It crams as many twists and turns in less than six minutes as Supper's Ready does in 23. Mike's bass is the centerpiece of this song, leading the rythmn as the rest of the band follows his direction.

"Horizons" is a brief acoustic interlude leading into the highlight of the album. Steve's solo piece is simple yet moving and beautiful.

"Supper's Ready" is Genesis' signature song. It is 23 minutes of pure perfection. It sets itself apart from just about every other epic ever written because it begins with vocals. Every epic I've ever listened to has at least 2 minutes of instrumental lead-in (or, in the case of Pink Floyd, annoying near silence). This alone grabbed my attention the first time I heard it. Peter's vocals on this song I would say are his finest; he is all over the place, imbuing the song with emotion. His lyrics switch from serious to witty in an instant. Each section offers something new. The ending is one of the most beautiful pieces in rock.

Overall, this album is very strong, but it isn't a masterpiece. Watcher takes too long to start and Time Table is filler. Still, no collection of symphonic prog is even basic without this record. Owners of the original vinyl have complained of the poor sound quality. Let me explain why that is. Foxtrot is an exceptionally long album for LP. The more space that is taken up on vinyl, the less the quality of the recording. I recommend buying the CD remasters of Genesis' catalogue.

Grade: B+

Report this review (#104955)
Posted Saturday, December 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Let me start by saying that Foxtrot is one of my favorite albums of all time, and my second favorite by Genesis.

"Watcher of the Skies" is the one of the most majestic pieces of music ever. Hackett's influence thruoghout the piece with his driving guitar leading the song. Banks' intro to the piece is very powerful and gives a feel of the presence an otherwordly power. Gabriel's vocals are very energetic and the lyrics are very thought-provoking.

"Time Table" is a soft contrast to the album's opening song. The piano is the dominant instrument and Banks plays with much grace in the piece and also incorporates many syncapations and toug rhythms. This is a very good song and Gabriel's lyrics shed some light on the lives of people in medeival times.

"Get 'Em Out By Friday" is a very clever mini-epic. It gives a slight warning of a totalitarian-like state where people's heights puts them at a disadvantage. Gabriel is showing his talent for portraying many voices in just one song while telling the story of tennants being forced to move because they "can fit twice as many" in their stead. He also shows his skill of showing multiple viewpoints of the same event. Hackett's guitar also plays a big role in this song.

"Can-Utility and the Coastliners" is an extremely good song about the VIking English King Canute. It tells of how he was tired of all of his ollowers praising him and sayin he was all powerful. He hated praise and was very modest. To teach them a lesson, he asked them if they thought he could stop the sea. They said that of course he could, so he sat on his throne on the beach. He yelled at the waves to stop when they were approaching his throne, but he could not. Some versions of the story tell that he almost drowned waiting for his followers to admit he wasn't all powerful. Hackett's acoustic guitar is the main instrument for most of the song. During the powerful instrumental section, Collins' drums are simply amazing.

"Horizons" is a very good classical guitar song, showing his skill at composing classical music.

"Supper's Ready" is the defining Genesis song. The first section is a beautiful 12-string guitar passage with very good lyrics creating a vivid image. The second section is a very upbeat section and where the drums start in this song. This segues into a very fast part of the song with some good gutar rriffs. The next part is very soft and depicts the after effects of a battle. The next part is called Willow Farm, and is very energetic. Gabriel 's voice is very lively and the lyrics are very poetic and strange. He makes good use of anaphora and other literary techniques in this section. There is a short flute and guitar segue into my favorite section: Apocalypse in 9/8. The rhythms for this section are very complex and it is sung with much energy. The lyrics are very vivid and dark and the keyboard solo in the middle is very complex and very good. The drums in that section are also amazing. The guitar and keyboard leads very successfully into the last section which is a reprise of the first two sections. This last section has a very good guitar melody and Gabriel sings with as much energy as i have ever felt. This song is Genesis' best song, even though it is not my favorite song by them.

Foxtrot is a wonderful album and should be bought by anybody who wants to start listening to prog.

Report this review (#105455)
Posted Wednesday, January 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I feel that genesis is the defining prog rock band in history. each piece or rather musicion is ridiculously talented. in the "genesis" of progressive rock symphonic prog rock was the original defiinition. this has no effect on the value of prog rock in any of it's vast relativity today. essentially my point is that when "prog" was coined it meant this band. Progressive rock has an undenieabale focus on instrumental virtuosity which creates the "symphonic" aspect of bands like genesis. Genesis as it was in the early seventies would still be revered if their songs were instrumental but i think that many of the members (if not all, excluding collins only because how he changed the band) (I want to be clear that i will not bash collins. his drumming entrances me it is a mature intelligent exercise that is wholey his. His background vocals became a signature of the band. It became his band after gabriel and he was able to do what few people can do when taking over a band. so repect to phil but thats not what were talking about right now is it?) The distinct difference genesis has is the scholarly lyrical (if i may say) genius of peter gabriel's lyrics. also his vocal stage presence allowed him to put on the show that ultimately provided the cinematic expereince that many prog bands attempt to achieve but sometimes fall short. Foxtrot specifically is a gorgeous album. Music tells a story but if it is paired with words executed effectively it reaches a new and untouched level. all the songs on this album could be discussed but essentially this album is "suppers ready". well that is not true but i believe that "suppers ready" is the best song on this album and easily the best song in the career of genesis. more or less i'm pokin at the fact that this epic song is what you will hear about in this review. Suppers ready is essentially a chronological journey through time in which the music and lyrics appraies the battle between good and evil. in a secondary and equally important sense the tune describes the relationship between man and women within this epic good/bad battle and the importance of a male/ female existence to be able to reach any point of furfillment. This is the most interesting part of this piece. Specifically Gabriel suggests that the realization of an existence of a joined male and female is the only entity that can truly investigate their happiness and search and possibly find a certain happiness. The reason that genesis is so important and specifically in this song is that instrumentals paint a picture and this image maybe enough for some hardcore instrumental prog fans but supper's ready would be far less impacting without the narration that gabriel provides. lyrical viruotsity is sometimes put to the side in prog rock creations and this is because usually (a guitarist) sings and plays as well. Because of the intense detailed scoring of guitar parts, this hinders some prog rock vocalists. Gabriels lyrical presence allows him to explore a vocal experience that is unmathced by any prog band!!. With gabriels inventive exposition, genesis was able to perform a true cenematic experience that no band has been able to create except for the incredible canadian cover band "The Musical Box". If you are a fan of genesis as i am, Supper's ready should be listened to untill every sound is known inside and out. I will wake up in the middle of the night with gabriels lyrics rolling in my head as i sleep. If any one who reads this lives in, especially New York City but anywhere please contact me about genesis, prog rock or any music.
Report this review (#105510)
Posted Thursday, January 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ok, so I'm writing reviews for the Genesis albums at a steady pace and now come into the "golden era". What's to say that hasn't been said again and again about this wonderful piece of musical history?

Let's make it quick and right-to-the-point:

"Watcher of the Skies": Astounding mellotron beginning, energetic percussion over a 6/4 melody, a sci-fi story and a breathtaking instrumental ending. Phew.

"Time Table": Gentle and beautiful tune that Freddie Mercury must have heard.

"Get 'em out by Friday": They're nuts. Peter playing different characters in a musical dialogue that suddenly jumps into the future to continue the same story about business relocating people, down to the detail of adding ambient noises of people talking to the "announcement" section. The rock world didn't know music could go this far. Astounding bass work, as well.

"Can-Utility and the Coastliners": Nice song, somewhat overlooked.

"Horizons": A 1:43 song right before a 22:50 long one. And it's so beautiful one would want it to go forever.

"Supper's Ready": One of the first 20 minute monsters I ever listened to. Great song, though I tend to appreciate epics that feel more cohesive better than this one, which jumps all over the place. Diversity is a great thing, but in this one sometime it feels more like schizophrenia :P

Quick and right-to-the-point... yeah, right. Hats off to the guys for this wonder.

Report this review (#112357)
Posted Friday, February 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I was a late arrival at the Genesis party, right along with millions of others here in the states. That's because this talented band received very little promotion or radio play during the first half of the 70s (if any) and, while I had many friends who were deeply into Yes, King Crimson, Jethro Tull and ELP not one of them owned a Genesis album. It wasn't until late '75 when the manager of the Sound Warehouse I started working at loaned me a copy of "Selling England by the Pound" (her favorite LP) that I really even knew they existed. Of course, I was very impressed with that two-year-old album and then the next thing I knew "A Trick of the Tail" hit the store and I became an instant devotee of the "new" lineup. (Bear with me, I'm going somewhere with this.) So in '77 Genesis came around on tour. I procured a date, purchased tickets and went to see these guys in person. It turned out to be one of the most memorable concerts I ever witnessed. They performed a long, epic tune during that show I'd never heard before that absolutely galvanized my soul. The song was "Suppers Ready." I still consider it to be the best single composition in progressive rock history. The next day I bought "Foxtrot."

"Watcher of the Skies," with its infectious, riveting guitar riff and sci-fi lyrics lets you know right away that Genesis never did sound like anybody else. Peter Gabriel's unique and expressive voice takes a while to get accustomed to if you've never heard him previously but it isn't a turn-off by any means. Plus his singing was steadily getting better with every album. The up and down dynamics of the song keep it from ever getting overly repetitive. "Time Table" is a quieter tune with a lot of nice changes scattered around. Tony Banks' piano playing at the beginning is very good. "Get 'Em Out by Friday" has many intriguing moods and creative blends of different instruments with the rhythm section of Michael Rutherford and Phil Collins keeping the ship firmly anchored. "Can-Utility and the Coastliners" is just as odd as its name but Michael's deep, resounding bass pedal effects and Tony's deft Mellotron work cause the song to rise above the rabble. "Horizons" is a drop-dead gorgeous acoustic guitar piece performed solo and unadorned by Steve Hackett that also functions as the perfect lead- in to the incredible "Suppers Ready." Rather than try to dissect it section by section I'll just tell you this. The musical and vocal performances, the arrangement, the phenomenally sublime lyrics and the overall imagination that went into constructing this amazing achievement sets it apart from all pretenders past and present and bestows upon it immortality. I know that's saying a lot but as far as I'm concerned it sits on the very top of Prog Mountain and you can quote me on that.

However, there is still an odorous elephant standing in the control room when it comes to this album and that same animal was there on "Nursery Cryme," too. It's the substandard and masterpiece-tarnishing poor production, engineering, mixing and mastering of the music. If those essential ingredients would have been even close to approaching the standards set by other progressive groups of that era the album would surely have been more widely accepted by the public (in spite of the fact that there were no track listings or acknowledgements of any kind on the LP cover). The inclusion of "Suppers Ready" alone makes this a great addition to any decent prog collection but, to be honest, both of the readily available live versions (with and without Gabriel) are far superior to this studio recording simply because they sound so much better. My overall feeling about "Foxtrot" is that there is a lot of truly fantastic music here but it's a shame I have to listen so hard to hear it.

Report this review (#113473)
Posted Sunday, February 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Hello this is the first ever review written by the Herring, hope you will enjoy my writing as much as I enjoy Foxtrot a true masterpiece, I love all the tracks it might just be my all time favourite album, at least my favourite Genesis album. Watcher of the Skies is a awesome track full of energy. Time Table is the worst track but still it's nice of course. Get em out by Friday is a great song, i love the lyrics of the song and the fact that Gabriel is singing as different characters gives the song much more spirit. Can-Utility and the Coastliners is as all great as well I don't like the middle part it's kind of boaring but the beginnig and end are fantastic. Horizons is a fine song it's a nice classical contrast to the prog tracks. Supper's Ready is my favourite track on the album.This is Very Good!
Report this review (#114017)
Posted Friday, March 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Foxtrot can be summarized in one word: Perfection. i'm not exhagerating, this album really is perfect. Foxtrot is part of the trilogy of perfect albums Genesis made, together with Selling England by the Pound and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. He was the first of that sequence to appear,and is in my opinion, the second best Genesis album, losing only to TLLDOB. It shows the whole band playing wonderfully, specially Tony Banks and Steve Hackett. Mike Rutherford showed wonderful bass lines and he did an excellent work on the rhythm guitar, Phil Collins did a perfect drumming and Peter Gabriel sang on a terrific and theatrically way. The songs on this album are extremely good, so, bring' em on!

Watcher of the Skies: Perfect song, and a beautiful opening. The introduction with the continuous keyboard song and the drum warming up is just wonderful. Good lyrics and a excellent guitar work from mr. Hackett. 10/10

Time Table: this song is very good. Musically speaking, this song is the lowest on this album, but lyrically speaking, this is one of the best lyrics ever written by Genesis. 8/10

Get'em Out by Friday: This isn't just a song, this is also an play, on which Peter Gabriel plays many characters. The rest of the band plays perfectly, and the guitar solo in the middle is very good. The lyrics are excellent, and I believe they talk about modern society. 9/10

Can-Utility and the Coastliners: Genesis show all their musician-ship on this one. This song is short, but it's very complex, and very nice to hear. The keyboard and the guitar lines are terrific, and Phil Collins drumming is very good. 9/10

Horizons: This little intersection is an Steve Hackett's classical guitar solo. Short, but excellent. This is also the introduction to the monstrous song that comes next. 9/10

Supper's Ready: EXCELLENT, WONDERFUL, PERFECT, ASTONISHING, are some of the words that come to my mind every time I listen to this gigantic song. This is the best Genesis song, and quite possibly one of the best songs ever written on music history. Supper's Ready is divided in seven parts, all of them containing different themes but all of them connected by one main theme. one of the best moments in all if music history is the Apocalypse in 9/8 section, with Peter Gabriel singing on a dramatic way, and Tony Banks going crazy on his keyboard solo. 10/10

overall: 5 stars

Report this review (#114903)
Posted Monday, March 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's really hard to write a review about this album here, because everything has already been said. Anyway... to me Foxtrot is one of the highest peaks in all Genesis carreer, and it gives you an example of how a perfect symphonic prog band should sound. The album itself is really inspired, very well arranged, not to mention that it contains the most beautiful epic ever in modern music : the 23 min long MASTERPIECE "Supper's Ready" : a sheer work of art and genius, an experience apart, a song that begins with two lovers in a living room and ends with the Apocalypse (something not of this earth). The songs are great, the prophetic "Get 'Em Out By Friday", dealing with an Orwellian city landscape in a future society where "restrictions to humanoid heights" are absolutely common. Good also the quite short classical guitar piece by Steve Hackett: "Horizons". Good also the other songs as well. Foxtrot should be considered, along with other several albums, "In The Court Of The Crimson King", for instance, a pillar to the genre, not only symphonic prog, but Progressive rock generally speaking, in fact it defined several characteristics, that today are considered as clichès, in positive way of looking, of this kind of music: arrangements, complex tempo signatures, classical music influences, apocalyptic- poetic lyrics. From a certain point of view if you haven't listened to this album yet, then very probably you don't know what Prog is.

A must have, a truly proof of genius, a Progressive rock masterpiece, that is essential to every prog collection on the planet.

5 stars by far!!!

Report this review (#115172)
Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chris H
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This album has been called everything from the greatest progressive recording ever to the most overrated. It has also been compared to God and to Dream Theater, and everything in between. Although what has needed to be said about this piece has most likely already been said, I hope I can interest you with my own personal vision on this album.

To be blunt, straight up, in your face, and most importantly to tell it like it is, I can start by saying that this is easily not the best thing in the Genesis archives. The big plus to Foxtrot is that it is incredibly consistent, with none of Phil Collins's vocal experimentations. The downside is, ironically enough, the fact that it is almost too consistent sounding. Scratch out "Supper's Ready" and then you can analyze and tell that all of the songs are very similar sounding, and they all contain an almost illegal amount of mellotron.

"Watcher Of The Skies" opens up the album, and I feel that it really does serve it's purpose here. As the album opener, and nothing more. The intro to the song is a nice intro to the whole album, in which it builds slowly in speed and tempo, and the musicians join in one at a time until the eventual climax. "Time Table" is next in line, and the ballad that everyone raves about. Not so great, but it gets the job done as a nice and short, however cliché and non-prog, ballad. The rowdy and exploding, yet melodic and atmospheric, "Get 'Em Out By Friday" is Peter Gabriel's ode to the government and corporation pigs that go for the cash and nothing more. As you may have guessed from my previous statements, it alternated between some ballad-ish flutes and some bombastic guitars. One of the best 8 minutes Genesis has ever given us! "Can-Utility and The Coastliners" just screams overrated to me. It tells the tale of an almost God- like king who wished to regress the sea, and if that isn't the cheesiest thing I have ever somebody pinch me. Everybody and their brother has a song along these lines. The music is okay, but still nothing spectacular. And now what is left to be said about the album's epic, "Supper's Ready"? Not much, as it has all been covered sixty times over, but here goes. It's half and half to me. A lot of excellent parts, but you have to wade through the bad parts to get there, almost overdosing on mellotron on the way there. I honestly think it's not worth the listen if you aren't into keyboard driven musical atmospheres.

The best word to sum it all up? There is none. It certainly is an excellent album standing alone, but when it is looked at in comparison to the amazing catalogue it comes from, mediocrity is a perfect fit for this album. The one thing that may strike big with a lot of people is that every song on here is a different gear. Ballads, epics, everything but the kitchen sink. They sound relatively the same, but it all comes with the territory.

3 stars, buy some other early Genesis first!

Report this review (#115407)
Posted Friday, March 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well, I'm finally getting around to reviewing this gem. Although I did not realize that it was a gem at first. This album for me actually took awhile to get into. Even now though, there are a couple of tracks that still don't impress me. I know that some of you will disagree with this, but I think that an album can deserve a 5 star rating, and still have some weak tracks. If everything else on the album is so outstanding that it carries the album to essential status, then this trumps the presence of weaker tracks, at least in my mind.

With that said, I do not care for Watcher of the Skies. It does start out with some atmospheric mellotron, but once the drums and bass kicks in, its all a mess for me. It sounds like they were trying to be so different from what was on the radio, that they made something that sounds unnatural and flat. The guitar solo in this song is one of the worst from Hackett, who is an amazing guitar player. Next is Time Table, which has some nice moments like the piano interludes, but otherwise the song just doesn't warrant repeated listenings. The good news is that things get much better from here on out. Get Em' Out By Friday took awhile to grow on me, but once I got it I found that there were great rhythms and melodies here, and I really find the track to be quite haunting with its dark view of the future. Can-Utility and the Coastliners really is as good as people claim on this site. It feels like such a big song squeezed into less than 6 minutes, but it really works well. Listen for the swelling mellotron representing the storm that cannot be calmed. Great guitar solo as well in this song.

Side-two starts out with a short but sweet acoustic guitar piece from Hackett, Horizons. Being a guitar player I had to learn to play this one shortly after hearing it. This is really a beautiful piece of music and it nicely sets the stage for the main attraction. Supper's Ready actually took me awhile to really enjoy. After about three listens I was about to give up, but then all of the sudden something clicked and I found this to be not just a song but an amazing journey that is haunting and atmospheric. Just a couple of thoughts about the track. I like how the song just starts with no introduction. Instruments and singing begin simultaneously and paint a picture for the listener. The whole track is very descriptive and visual in its lyrics. One can tell that there are shorter songs here strung together, but the way they are strung together is genius. You feel as if you are rapidly being transported from one scene to another. During the first couple of listens, I thought that the Willow Farm part was ridiculous with its character voices, but now I love that part. It works well withing the context of the song and has a very dark undertone to it, even though it sometimes sounds bouncy and upbeat. I love the keyboard and flute solos during Apocalypse in 9/8. Also, during these solos, Collins does some really cool stuff on the drums that make the song even heavier. As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs brings us back from our journey, back to the starting point, only to find that it is the end of the world! The end of this song will absolutely floor you with Hackett's unusual, interesting, mind-spinning guitar work and Gabriel's hard, emotional singing. The other instruments are equally as powerful and support each other to create a sonic dream unlike any other. Supper's Ready is truly one of the great epics in progressive rock and it elevates this album to essential status completely on its own. The other amazing tracks are just icing on the cake.

With all that said, this album is probably not the best place to start for Genesis material. If you want to try out Genesis and are looking for a good starting place, in my mind the best one would be Selling England by the Pound, which is equally as good as Foxtrot.

Report this review (#115820)
Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars 666 is no longer alone, he is getting out the marrow in your backbone!!!

Wow, what an album! This one is simply a masterpiece. Let me explain why.

GENESIS' fourth album is a bit more sophisticated than their previous ones and I guess it is not easy to digest for everyone. FOXTROT combines complexity with a lacing of crazyness and fantasy (especially concerning the peculiar lyrics which are distinctively sung by PETER GABRIEL). But that's nothing new as we know at the latest since NURSERY CRIME. Well, you may ask, what is so special about this album then? FOXTROT is a work of art which demands a great deal of the listener, it is likely more multisided than all of the other works of GENESIS' and for some people it may sail close to the wind where pomp is concerned. This album is nothing to listen to in the background, you better dim the light in your room, light some candles, close your eyes, lean back and concentrate on the music if you really want to enjoy this CD.

My favourite songs of this album are the atmospheric "Watcher Of The Skies", the sad "Time Table" and the incredible "Supper's Ready", a song that keeps up with such masterpieces as YES' "Close To The Edge" or EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER's "Karn Evil 9". There are only few songs that are as sweeping as "Supper's Ready", the apocalypse in 9/8 is a true firework of emotions and one of the best moments of rock music ever, in my opinion. GENESIS has made rock music come to a new dimension with the help of this album (so as other bands did too). Many people may consider this new type of music as "too far away from the roots of rock music", I do not, it is still rock music and it has nothing to do with inferiority complexes of the musicians who want to show that they are better than any other musician. It is pure art, but many people do not seem to realise that. However, I am digressing, I am sorry, dear reader.

I could go on with writing for hours, but I will stop now because I do not want this review to be too long. Now it is your turn to buy this album and enjoy this indigestive, but ingenious work and experience this new kind of music. Foxtrot is definately one of my favourite GENESIS' albums and I strongly recommend you this CD.

Report this review (#116031)
Posted Thursday, March 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I refuse to give this album five stars. An album has to be excellent from start to finish to be given five stars, and Foxtrot just doesn't do that (not in my opinion anyway).

'Watcher of the Skies' is an excellent track, and the perfect choice for an album opener. I don't think i really need to say much about it; I'm going to take it as red that you've heard this song many many times (as I have) and enjoyed it immensly (as I have).

'Suppers' Ready', the bands only track over 15 minutes, is an excellent epic, no doubt because of the song medley method of constructing an epic, which works a hell of a lot better than trying to write a 20 minuter all at once (eg. Close To the Edge, 2112 & Hemispheres as opposed to Tales of Topographic Oceans). It works magnificently, and leaves you with such a good feeling afterward.

Now, I had heard these tracks before i owned the album as a whole; spurred on by all the positive reviews here, I thought the other songs would be just as good. Well, 'Watcher..' and 'Suppers..' overshadow the rest so much that I couldn't help but be dissapointed. It seemed to me as though the othes were just to fill the gap between them. Now, I realise that this is probably quite an unfair way to judge an album, but I am just being honest.

'Time Table' is a nice song, its piano intro a precursor, I think, to 'Firth of Fifth', found on the following album. It strongly reminds me of 'Seven Stones', from 'Nursury Cryme'. 'Get 'em Out by Friday', another nice song, is kind of a parallel to 'Harold the Barrel' on 'Nursury Cryme'; the song serves as a kind of comic releif, at least lyrically, by not being as serious as the other songs. 'Can-Utility and the Coastliners', kind of repeats the mood in 'Time Table', with a slightly faster tempo, but makes much more impact that the other two, and behind 'Suppers' Ready' and 'Watcher' is the third best song. 'Horizons', I thought, is a bit pointless, and should really be on one of Hacketts later solo albums rather than here, where it smacks strongly of filler.

Normally i don't do TbT reviews, but I felt it important that people knew what they were really getting, because 'Watcher' and 'Suppers' are so popular. Don't get me wrong, I think it is a good album, It's just that the 'sag' after 'Watcher' lets it down as a whole. But a very well deserved four stars, and I would reccomend it to others without hesitation.

Report this review (#116082)
Posted Friday, March 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
russellk
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars What's wrong with this album? Only one thing: production. It simply wasn't possible in 1972 to squeeze 50 minutes of rock music on to vinyl without sonic compromises.

That's it. Everything else about 'Foxtrot' is indescribably right. The pacing of the album is right, from the opening mellotron to the closing fadeout of 'Supper's Ready', with moments gentle, achingly beautiful, comedic and dramatic in between. Ignore those who label certain tracks as 'filler': they are placed deliberately to separate the dense walls of sound.

The artistry here is unquestioned. I don't hear a mis-step anywhere. Lyrically, there could be a small question over 'Get 'em Out by Friday' and 'Willow Farm', both studded with PETER GABRIEL'S absurdist metaphorical poetry, so reminiscent of the margins of schoolboy notebooks. I don't mind it so much here, as it is reserved compared to 'Nursery Cryme'. Musically this album is GENESIS' finest moment in the GABRIEL era.

Are you tired of being told how marvellous 'Supper's Ready' is? Well, here we go again. A world-encompassing subject, the lyrics are summarised in a series of beautifully sculpted scenes. The song threads disparate fragments together, and from about halfway in builds inexorably to an unbearably bright climax. If you are a listener to music you'll be familiar with its cathartic power: 'Supper's Ready' is truly cathartic. The return to the main theme in the last section, after the furious 9/8 rhythm, is all the more majestic for the slightly slower tempo, adding an accent to the already familiar, so that even on first listen you know something spectacular is taking place. True drama, true theatre, entertainment beyond price.

There will be those, raised on a different sound and song structure, who will wonder what the fuss is all about. Sorry, I can't help you hear it. Music is subjective, after all. All I can tell you is what it's like for me. The earth moved, that's all there is to it. And it still does after all these years.

Report this review (#116246)
Posted Saturday, March 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well a lot has been said about this album already. Genesis is a legend of progressive rock and this album along with ¨Selling England by the Pound¨ are considered their best. ¨Foxtrot¨ is powerfull and melodic, every single element that made Genesis a legend is here, ¨Peter Gabriel´s¨ vocals and lyrics are at their best here.

The album starts with ¨Watcher of the Skies¨ and damn, this song is fantastic everything is working perfect here, one of my favorites Genesis songs. Second song is ¨Time Table¨, this was the first song i ever heard from Genesis, i was a fan ever since, i think this is a very emotional song. ¨Get em out by Friday¨ comes next an intense and beatifull song. Track four is ¨Horizons¨, a short piece by Steve Hacket, what a great guitarrist he is, the song fits perfectly with the feel of the album. ¨Can-Utility and the Coastliners is next¨, thank you Genesis for this song. Until now this album has been amazing, actually a lot more than amazing, but then comes ¨Supper¨s Ready¨, what a song, this song alone could make an album gain 5 stars. Masterpiece!! long live Peter Gabriel

Report this review (#117615)
Posted Sunday, April 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Together with Yes Close to The Edge and Renaissance´s Ashes Are burning, Foxtrot is one of the top ten prog records of all time and a must have in any prog collection. A perfectly crafted album, with no fillers, and a rare combination of mature songwriting, superb musicanship and sheer inspiration. No wonder this album is so influential even today. The only flaws I can point here are minor ones: maybe the production (could be better) and some lyrics that are a bit dated. Nevertheless, some are great and still relevant, specially Get ´em Out By Friday. I also like thed the words on Time Table and Watcher Of The Skies. So, if it is not totally perfect (what is?), Foxtrot has come very close to that.

The simple fact that it has one of prog´s biggest epics of all time ( Supper´s Ready) plus a very classic instrumental like Horizons on the same side of the vinyl is a testimony of its greatness. The best line up ever reached their heighest here.

I´m still amazed how well those songs go together, with each note fitting perfectly on tasteful, surprising arrangements. The band never sounded so complex before and still so fresh and exciting. An excellent combination of simplicity and great musical technique. A true gem that, fortunatly, received most of the attention it deserved. This is Genesis at its peak. the next albums (Selling England By The Pound and The Lamb Lies On Broadway) would be great effords and equally essential,as well as its precedor Nursery Cryme, but none could be as perfect as this one. A classic, timeless and beautiful piece of music. A masterpiece in the truly sense of the word.

Report this review (#123219)
Posted Thursday, May 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I will admit: they don't make em like this no more. Still, I find it a bit surprising that this album has received so many five-star ratings. Sure, I understand that many reviewers on this forum are partial to the nostalgia of their youth, but I just can't seem to grant this album the default five stars that it very well may have deserved in its time. Yes, "Watcher of the Skies" is a gripping classic. But it also doesn't stand up as well after several listens, am I wrong? Certainly, "Time Table" features a beautiful melody, but doesn't the song also come off as a tad bit, dare I say, cheesy in the 21st century? And indeed, "Supper's Ready" remains a timeless gem that should forever be protected from honest criticism, right? Wrong. No piece of art should ever be above criticism, and I am willing to step upon the gallows and argue that the song, regardless of its overall brilliance, can often come across as patchy and maybe a little incoherent.

Despite these criticisms, this is undoubtedly an excellent album. Hackett's work on the guitar is showcased in the beautiful acoustic "Horizons," and Rutherford's keyboard work immediately stuns the listener in "Watcher of the Skies." Finally, regardless of its tendency to wander, "Supper's Ready" is a work that combines the contributions of each band member into a magnificent whole that at times sounds nothing short of orchestral in its development and release. Personally, I prefer the more pastoral sound created by Hackett and Rutherford in SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND, but there's certainly nothing wrong with this brilliant release.

Report this review (#124000)
Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I feel there isn't much to choose between this record and "Nursery Cryme". I suppose "Suppers Ready" is the difference maker as it has to be one of the greatest Prog tracks ever written. One thing I think we all can agree on is that this is the album that really put GENESIS on the map.

"Watcher Of The Skies" was a concert opener for many years.The mellotron in the intro is legendary as the drums start to build. The vocals and synths deserve special mention as well. "Time Table" is the least complex track. I like the mellow sections with guitar and piano. "Get 'em Out By Friday" is song about a developer who is trying to kick out this old couple. Gabriel plays the parts of the couple as well as the developer. Of course the passages featuring the elderly couple are mellow while the other parts are bombastic. Tempo shifts abound in this one. The flute is a nice touch.

"Can-Utility And The Coastliners" opens with acoustic guitar and is quite mellow. It ends heavier with organ,bass and drums. This is one of my favourites off of this album. "Horizons" is a beautiful Hackett piece. It's an instrumental of acoustic guitar. "Supper's Ready" is a side long suite. It really is the joining together of seven songs. It works very well though. I particularily like the beginning and the ending of this epic.The acoustic guitar dominates for the first 4 minutes. Some great guitar 8 minutes in as theatrical vocals come into play around the 12 minute mark. The final section is so uplifting and emotional, I can't help but wish there was a whole long song made up of this incredible passage.

If I had to pick between this one and "Nursery Cryme" I would have to pick "Foxtrot" although I would take "Selling England By The Pound" over them both.

Report this review (#124033)
Posted Thursday, May 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm not normally a fan of Genesis but this is their best album, a true masterpiece. I love every song on the album. Especially Supper's Ready. That is the best Genesis song of all time. Amazingly unique instrumental sections, delightfully strange lyrics, and lots of differant time signatures. This song is the embodiment of progressive rock. Without Suppers ready, I would only rate the album about a 4 out of 5.

The album is very strong, but Suppers Ready really kicks up the quality of the album alot. Its worth buying this album just for that one song.

Report this review (#124300)
Posted Friday, June 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars In the 35 years since the boys from Charterhouse handed this one in to Charisma, it has had an incredible impact on Symphonic rock. From the mellotron introduction and morse code rhythm of "Watcher of the Skies," to the cut and paste compositional style, jerky time signatures, and soundtrack worthy climax of "Supper's Ready," this album was a rosetta stone to many a prog group. And as long as there are bands who are trying to make their keyboards sound like strings and their guitars sound like keyboards this album will be influential. But just like the early Buzzcocks singles that prompted an army of DIY punk bands, there is just enough hesitance and compositional naivity to spur on another generation who think they could do a little better. But how many of them will craft a climax with the majestic subtlety and apocalyptic power of the last 7 minutes of "Supper's Ready?" I'm still looking.
Report this review (#124701)
Posted Tuesday, June 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars At this point Peter Gabriel's stage persona was becoming increasingly unpredictable. Genesis had the reputation of being one of the darkest and twisted progressive rock bands of the time. It's on this album that we get the staples of their amazing live performances.

Watcher of the Skies had actually been the show opener for some time, but did not make it onto Nursery Cryme because of time constraints. The studio version makes its glorious debut here. While this version is wonderful, I must admit that the live version available on Live is much better. The same goes for their stunning magnum opus, Supper's Ready, an epic of biblical proportions. This song is dark, humorous, and glorious. It is also the best Genesis song in concert, and had been a show closer for many shows. Nothing can really top the big finish of Supper's Ready.

The rest of the album is also great. Get 'em Out By Friday is a pessimistic view of the future and over population. Time Table is a bit of yearning for medieval times (with plenty of their signature medieval sound to go along with it). Can Utility and the Coastliners is probably the shortest epic Genesis has written, and features some excellent guitar and keyboard playing by Mr. Hackett and Mr. Banks respectively. Hackett also gets a beautiful solo moment on the classical guitar piece, Horizons.

But Supper's Ready is where the strength of this album truly lies. But still, I actually don't think the studio version did the song much justice, it really does stand up much better live (which can be heard on the Archive box set).

Report this review (#125263)
Posted Saturday, June 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Here Genesis are bascially in charge, showing they can make better music than everyone else and lead to the creation of the metrosexual, thanks to Peter Gabriel's costumes. Foxtrot is a cornerstone album in the progressive rock movement, essential for anyone remotely interested in anything worthwhile. Dominated by Tony Bank's keyboards, the whole album exudes a symphonic feel which doesn't fare well with Hackett fans, but whatever. "Watcher Of The Skies" opens with the classic mellotron line and Genesis shows they can rock out in odd time signatures. And don't forget "Supper's Ready"- the insanely classic prog epic that inspired a zillion rip-off neo-prog fans. There's too much to write about this album, so just get it.

Standout songs: "Watcher Of The Skies," "Supper's Ready"

Report this review (#125489)
Posted Monday, June 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars There are a ton of reviews on Prog Archives stating how essential a work Foxtrot is for a progressive rock collection, most of them hailing the mighty Supper's Ready epic as the definitive prog rock epic. I wholeheartedly concur with this opinion. But keep in mind, that the other songs on this astounding work, although overshadowed by Supper's Ready, are also significant contributions to early symphonic prog rock, and it is the entire work of Foxtrot that makes it the masterpiece it is. Peter Gabriel in his younger years was clearly a genius.

Although I was just starting to grasp the concept of the Latin alphabet in 1972, I imagine many of the listeners of Nursery Cryme thought that that album could not be topped. Maybe my perception of this is false, but if my perception is true, Foxtrot must have been stunning when the music world first heard it. Even to this day Foxtrot is groundbreaking and I would argue has no contemporary comparison. Even though many in the neo progressive genre were deeply inspired by Foxtrot, none to my knowledge have come close to the musicianship, writing abilities and originality of this masterpiece.

Although I don't care much for ranking musical works, Foxtrot should be in everyone's prog rock collection. It truly is that essential and historically important to the genre. Five stars.

Report this review (#126244)
Posted Monday, June 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
Dim
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Well, I should probably say that Peter Gabriel is my fivirote song writer of all time, and he was having a very uneasy 1972, if you know what I'm talking about.

The dark side of the album- Watcher of the skies starts with some pretty mellotron, giving you the false image of a good song to come, then the bass line comes in... thats it for the whole song, everything playing the bassline, nothing else. Besides Pete's otherwise very good vocal showcase, a very disappointing opener. Time table is another weak song filled with some piano and corny lyrics, this song also points out the bad recording quality that plagues the Gabriel era of Genesis until the end of the decade. Get em' out by friday is in my opinion the weakest song Genesis recorded with Peter. Nothing in this song "does it" for me, it's a very bland song trying to convert faster more organ driven parts into slower vocal sections, but not making it. Very gross first half of the album, yet light shines!!!!!!!!

The light side of the album- The most underated Genesis song ever: can utility and the coastliners, is a beautiful five minuete long breath of fresh air from the death star(=D) of Foxtrot, Giving us gorgeus vocal harmonies and a wonderful instrumenal section in the middle. Horizons is one of the only two, YES, two guitar solo's on the whole album (shameful). Anyways it's very pretty and emotive (though I cant help if Hackett made this song just to keep up with his prog rock rival, Howe). SUPPERS READY, the magnum opus of prog epics, nuff said.

If it wasnt for those last three songs, I think this album would be a straight up one star, thank god for supper being served then!

Report this review (#126357)
Posted Tuesday, June 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars 5 stars all the way!

Foxtrot and Selling England are perhaps the only truly essential Genesis releases...Selling England was a masterpiece for its consistency, its beautifully arranged music and its relevant political message. On the other hand Foxtrot is a masterpiece due to a more virtuosic type of playing, a more grandiose sense of theatricals and....Supper's Ready!!! One of the truly perfect epics...and there are not many! I'll briefly list the standout tracks

"Watcher..." is the perfect opener, very theatrical and a classic mellotron intro...chilling! "Get em out..." showcases Gabriel's multiple talents in acting several characters...the old lady that's being evicted is a classic! Horizons is a BEAUTIFUL acoustic track...on par with "Mood for a day" by Yes! And finally the epic to end all epics..."supper" is truly a song for the ages...the timeless battle between good and evil, straight from "six saintly shrouded men" on your lawn all the way to the apocalypse (in 9/8 no less...THAT is prog...ending the world NOT in 4/4)

A must get for any prog fan

Report this review (#126497)
Posted Thursday, June 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars While there is some very good music on this album, I just don't see it as being that essential to a prog enthusiast. I refuse to agree with the majority that Supper's Ready is one of the best epics ever. In my opinion, it's dull and offers very little substance both lyrically and musically. I think that Can-Utility and the Coastliners is the highlight of the album, with Time Table and Horizons offering some good stuff in smaller packages. Watcher of the Skies doesn't do much for me. It starts off slowly and never seems to go anywhere. Get 'em Out By Friday is fun and is a nice change of pace on this album. While I like this album, I cannot in good conscience give it more than three stars. It's good, but it's just not "essential."
Report this review (#126613)
Posted Saturday, June 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A great show of symphonic composition and exciting performances, Foxtrot is one of the few Genesis albums worthy of its praise and actually delivers on its reviews. The songs are finely crafted and feature lots of outstanding instrumental moments and vocal deliveries-- everyone here is on top of their game and playing as a very tightly as a group with no one member dominating. The seminole "Supper's Ready" holds up as one of the great prog-epics, and the energetic "Watcher of the Skies" and "Get 'em Out by Friday" fill the intersteces excellently. Most enjoyable perhaps are Gabriel's vocals and the group's laid back vibe. I've often said that Genesis' instrumentalists are boring and tepid, but here the group holds the mood and momentum together nicely. A near flawless buy for any fan of the classic progressive sound.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Report this review (#130803)
Posted Monday, July 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
The Pessimist
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is by far my favourite Genesis album of all time. Here, at their peak (along with Selling England), each of the musicians - Tony Banks especially -give out great, great material. There is not a single bad song on the album, and I recommend it to all prog fans out there. It sees to the dawn of the epics (Supper's Ready), the operatic (Watcher of the Skies), the theatrical (Get Em Out) and the nice short classical solo pieces (Horizons). Every bit of this album is pure genius, the strongest being Supper's Ready (Gabriel gives a truly exceptional performance) and it is, in my opinion, one of the greatest prog albums ever, up there with Close to the Edge, In the Court of the Crimson King, Hemispheres and Thick as a Brick. A really magnificent album.
Report this review (#131036)
Posted Wednesday, August 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars this is a true progressive rock album! 6 tracks, one most epic of epics, and plenty of imaginative lyrics. Mellotron is the first thing you'll hear when you put this one on, a good sign indeed! A masterpiece of progressive rock awaits, a pure and solid genesis album.

'watcher of the skies' is quite a catchy track. Prog isn't always catchy, but this one sure is! It begins with some mellotron sounds setting the stage for the entire album. It sounds quite romantic, a bit otherworldly. The melody in this song is rather simple, but it is this simplicity that makes it prog. sounds paradoxical I know, but really it isn't. The simple, repetitive melody of this song sounds quite fresh and original, sounding different than anything you've heard before. You know it's a prog song because it sounds so dreamy and out there! The lyrics help too. It's about the watcher of the skies. It's very enigmatic. It makes me think of staring at the evening sky looking for something, but you're not sure what you're looking for. It's an attractive, solid opener.

'time table' is the weakest track on the album, but that's not to say it is weak. It is difficult for most songs to stand up to the rest of this album. The only problem with this song is that it lacks a strong melody. The music, lyrics, and everything else are just fine, but this track is simply overshadowed by the towering tracks around it, one of them towering above the entire album...this one never displeases though. I think it is quite cleverly placed in the album though. It is sandwiched between the opener and the next track, which happens to be one of my top three favourite genesis tracks. As an opener it may have failed, but as the second track it holds up just fine. In no way does it detract from the album, but it just doesn't stick out at you like the other songs do. It's somewhat of a transition track.

'get 'em out by friday' is a genuine masterpiece! It has a strong instrumental hook and some excellent lyrics and vocals. It is also quite lengthy, containing all the theatrics and quirkyness of genesis, but this time delivered in a very dark way. It's about genetically altering people so that they may be no more than 4 feet tall, so housing can be made smaller to fit more people in one building. It shows how greedy landlords can be. This is really quite a deep and meaningful track, pure genius I say. This is prog at its finest! I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this song. It is heavy, beautiful, complex and simple all in one track. this track alone makes this a must have album, but even greater things are to come...

'can-utility and the coastliners' is is a very emotional track, still maintaining the heaviness of the previous track and adding a classical touch to the mix, something that is a genesis trademark. It opens with some of hackett's trademark 12 string guitar and some chimes. its has lyrics that seem to be religious, pertaining to the underlying theme of the album. it soon becomes quite epic sounding with some powerful bass and mellotron sounds to really get things going. The keyboards pretty much steal the show for the rest of the song, but that's a good thing in my book! Hackett also lays down some of his patented solo work that adds one of many special touches to genesis' overall sound. an excellent track indeed, if only it were longer!

'horizons' is a short classical guitar solo piece by hackett. It's a nice track to give you a breather before the monster epic that comes next. enjoyable and well placed, this one serves as a perfect transition track. It adds to the album in that it further establishes the classical influence on hackett, as well as the rest of genesis. somehow, fits perfectly.

'supper's ready' is one of prog's most widely recognized epics. This song always leaves me feeling amazed at how theatrical genesis is. It's more like some sort of epic story, or film than a song. there is some stunning musical imagery to be found here! The theme is good versus evil, a perfect set up for an epic. It is also the perfect song to close the album. It sums up all that is genesis and all that is foxtrot. This is simply a prog staple! several distinct movements, all with their own distinctive themes and melodies, all perfectly interwoven to create prog heaven! Chills run down my spine when I hear the epic conclusion to this musically journey! It is magic! This song itself could practically stand up as an album! Everything else is just like a wonderful bonus! This album is sooo absolutely essential! I could almost give it a 6, but no such rating exists. You see, it is off the scale! extraordinary! Thank you genesis for giving us one of the greatest prog albums of all time!!! 5/5+

Report this review (#131631)
Posted Friday, August 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Supper's ready... It is one of the best Long song I've ever heard. Of c ourse, everybody will think about this surprising 9/8 apocalypse... Other songs are all very creative, varied, melodic, but I miss the global spirit of "selling". But for their master piece, and other very interesting songs (one of them one this side), I give them 4 stars, no doubt, no regret.
Report this review (#133547)
Posted Friday, August 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Given that this album has ID #2 in the album database (who got ID #1? I'll probably never know, it seems to have been removed...), it must be one of these albums you first think of when you say "prog", right? Right. And it's a perfect example of progressive music. It's long, complex, original, inventive, and it doesn't reveal itself to you until after a few good listens. Then you start getting the thing, and you can't get it off your head. You're in for a treat. You're pretty much done.

"Supper's Ready" is a 22-minute masterpiece that swims between bliss and, well, whatever the opposite of bliss is. It has singing flowers, Narcissus, organs in Hell, strange visions, it even has a short vocal section that bears a striking resemblance to Randy Newman! Wow. "Watcher of the skies" has pretty much the definitive Mellotron introduction. I'm sure these machines sold like cakes after the release of the album. If they ever needed to. "Can-Utility" has some fascinating melodic lines between 2'30 and 4', and "Get 'Em Out By Friday", a great song in its own right, has some of the most interesting lyrics in Genesis' history. I've been listening to this CD in my car's CD player for weeks now, and I still don't feel the need to switch to another CD. I must be crazy. Or this must be because Foxtrot is one of the definitive prog albums. Amen.

Report this review (#138807)
Posted Monday, September 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the album that made me understand what Genesis were, and also my love for them. I must admit that I really love only 3 (or maybe 4) Genesis works, and all of them feature Gabriel, but they are sufficient to let me say that the first line-up was simply genial. "Foxtrot" contains all superb tracks: my fav are "Time Table", "Can-utility..." and obviously "Supper's ready", the most creative and moving suite Genesis ever made. I must say that this is not like "Thick as a brick" or "In the court..", that can't never bore me. If I exceed with this, I can't stand it. But 2 times a month it is a perfect entertainment. My votes:

Watcher of the skies: 8,5 __ Time table: 9 __ Get 'em out by friday: 8,5 __ Can-utility...: 9 __ Horizons: 9 __ Supper's Ready: 10.

No doubt about the five stars.

Report this review (#138933)
Posted Tuesday, September 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The fact that Supper's Ready is just barely the best song on here speaks volumes of the strength of this album. The formula for the climax of "As Sure as Eggs is Eggs" has been repeated many times in progressive rock.

Horizons is one of my favorite guitar pieces. It compares to Yes' "Mood For a Day." Hugely underrated.

Genesis' storytelling is often over the top, but it serves it's purpose. The tales take you to another place, while subtly commenting politically. As a fairly secular person," Supper's Ready"'s take on the apocalypse even makes me wish I were a Christian. Hackett really is given a chance to show off his versatility as a guitarist. From serene and epic (As Sure as Eggs is Eggs), to aggressive (Apocolypse 9/8), to dynamic and exciting (Ikhnaton and Itsacon and Their Band of Merry Men). The same can be said with Banks throughout the song. All in all, one of the greatest pieces ever written on one of the greatest albums ever put together.

5/5, easily a masterpiece of music.

Report this review (#139231)
Posted Thursday, September 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars That's Genesis perfect masterpiece! Nursery crime, Trespass, Selling England by the Pound, and even A Trick of the Tail are also very good ( I must add that). But few are the albuns that come near Foxtrot. I'm telling you, it´'s very hard! Foxtrot was my first Genesis's album, and one of my first prog rock albuns ever. Maybe that's why a have a special love with it. I think all people that live with me are kinda sick of listenning it so much like they do. But it won't work out, I will never get sick of prog rock (mainly of Genesis' Foxtrot).

Just when it starts, in ''Watcher of the Skies'', keyboards start to act. When the Guitar comes with the bass and drums, it only gets more perfect. ''Time Table'' is a fantastic sound in that the star of Tony Banks shine with Gabriel's voice. ''Get 'Em Out By Friday '' is another good miscelaneous-kinds-of-sounds track ( simply great!).''Can-Utility and the Coastliners'', my favourite with the epic ''Supper's Ready, is responsable of mixing all the band habilities and qualities (all instruments shine). To finish, it comes to the epic, already mentionated, ''Supper's Ready. This is 23 minutes of perfection. Guitars get mixed with the keyboards, that get mixed to the drums in the right moments, that get together, in a harmonic way, to the bass lines.

As I told, a Perfect Masterpiece!, I would recommend to each person that considers himself a true Prog Rock Fan.

Report this review (#141368)
Posted Monday, October 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars AND IT'S ......

Splendid, magnific!... HOW DARE THEY BE SO GOOD!??

The best album ever, made by the best prog-band ever. Absolutely essential. Actually, THIS is the essence of progressive rock, and in a most acurate meaning, Supper's Ready from head to feet is the complete demonstration of how must prog-rock be. The finest music, the creative lyrics, the effects, the contrasts, the reprise of The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man in the ending, and what an ending!, the most glorious ending that i've ever heard (including those majestic bells)... all these elements conform the best epic song in the history of Music, along with Close to the Edge, but if i had to choose between those two I would stay with Supper's Ready, because it gives the impression of being a most serious song. For the people who hasn't heard this song yet, and are trying to enter the prog-rock colorfull universe I tell them that this is the higher point in the prog music mountain. You will hear a lot of excellent bands and songs, but this is the creed of the prog fan. The structure of the song is perfect, the musical work is amazing, the greatest instrumental section (apocalypse) of the song is something that I never become bored of. There are so many things to analyze that the repetitive effect of this song never shows up, I mean, every time i listen to it , is like the first time!... it something very hard to get but being GENESIS is the only way to reach that point.

The rest of the songs of the albums are beautyfull too. They make this the best album ever. Watcher of the skies, the perfect beginningof the journey, the mellotron gives the aspect of a warm sound (for me) you cant imagine nothing but the sky with this song. Time Table is an adapted balad to keep this majestic album with its feet on the ground. Get'em out by friday is a great song, i like the organ in this one, specially in the beginning. Horizon's, a demonstration of the huge talent of Steve Hacket when playing classical guitar is the deal.

There is no doubt that this is the greatest progressive rock masterpiece of all times, I wish that it appears this way in the rankings....

Report this review (#141908)
Posted Wednesday, October 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
progrules
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars My first encounter with Genesis was with their live album Genesis Live (1973). I liked all the songs and was convinced of their great class. The first two songs of that album are on this album and I have a very soft spot for those two. They are not even the best of this album because that's of course the ultimate epic: Supper's ready. This will be in my top 25 of all times for ever simply because it's one of the greatest compositions ever. An unbelievable song with lots of variation and each part is fantastic and form a great whole with each other.

The three shorter songs are not really my favourites (except for Can Utility..) so I come to the conclusion: 4.5 stars and since we only give the 5 to the true exceptional ones I have to round down to 4.

Report this review (#141938)
Posted Thursday, October 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars After thinking whether I should write another 5 star -review of this magnificent album, I came to the following conclusion: This album can't be praised enough! It's definitely no surprise, that this album is still one of the most popular prog albums and a must-have for every prog fan out there. Once again, without further introductions, I'll review this album song by song.

Watcher Of The Skies The legendary opener of a legendary album. Beginning with a beautiful mellotron intro by Mr. Banks, the track flows forward logically with a rather happy feeling. A very keyboard-driven song, all the time you'll hear either mellotron or hammond organ. Of course Steve Hackett isn't totally forgotten, since you'll also hear some brilliant guitar solos here and there. A very energetic song, and it also works perfectly when played live.

Time Table A relaxing ballad with rather corny lyrics. It's different than the other tracks, but I like it. A quite typical song with nice piano interludes and melodic basslines. Simple, but beautiful. Not one of the best songs on this album, but I wouldn't say it's a filler either.

Get 'Em Out By Friday Immediately after the fade-out of the previous song, Get 'Em Out By Friday starts off with a very "proggish" riff. A typical Genesis song with very powerful singing by Gabriel and a quiet section in the middle.

Can-Utility And The Coastliners WOW! A true mini-epic with plenty of progressivity and more sections than some side-long epics..! The song starts slowly with a folky section with medieval atmosphere, and slowly evolves into a magnificent masterpiece with symphonic hammond organ melodies and lots of mellotron. This song features one of the best vocal performances by Peter Gabriel, and also great drumming by Phil Collins. This is what progressive rock is all about: beautiful sounds and melodies over constantly changing sections. One of my favorite songs ever and probably the best song on this album.

Horizon's A great acoustic instrumental, a fine intro for the forthcoming highlight of this album.

Supper's Ready And here it is..! The masterful epic which everyone always talks about. And I agree with them, but that's all I've got to say about this, because if I was any more specific, this review would never end! Along with Can-Utility And The Coastliners, this is definitely the best song on Foxtrot. The ONLY negative thing about this is the ending, because I'm not a big fan of fade-outs and especially epics shouldn't end like this.

However, at this point I'm stunned by the brilliancy of this album. It's 51 minutes long, and not a single filler?! Is that possible? Well, I guess it is! Once again Genesis proved that they are the masters of progressive music. Recommended for EVERYONE!

Report this review (#145370)
Posted Wednesday, October 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is quite simply one of the greatest ever recorded. Supper's Ready is one of the most outrageously over the top songs ever and I love it. It has everything from ultra-fiddly guitar parts to ultra-freaky time signatures, not to mention Peter Gabriel's trademark humour and sense of majesty. Watcher Of The Skies is intense and wonderfully bouncy, Time Table is a slice of medieval magic, Get 'Em Out By Friday is a very dark serving of satire, and Can Utility And The Coastliners is an all too often forgotten gem (another of my all time Genesis favourites). As for Horizons, well, every time I here it I wish I had a fraction of Steve Hackett's talent - it's short and sweet but beautifully haunting and makes a perfect, if unintended, intro to Supper's Ready. Foxtrot is the Genesis album that everyone should own.
Report this review (#145965)
Posted Friday, October 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Genesis reaches new Horizons!

While the debate about which is superior (Selling England or Foxtrot), I'd like to add to the fray by suggesting that they are complete equals! And while I always come back to Foxtrot simply for the extrodinary tracks SUPPER'S READY and TIME TABLE, Selling England has Dancing With The Moonlit Knight and Firth of Fifth, but for some reason Foxtrot has always kept my labelling as favorite, likely because I bought it before Selling England... and have heard it more times, who knows. Anyways, to me they both deserve high merits, but this one is, perhaps, just a fraction better in my opinion.

Onto the review.

While obvious tracks to quote here are the bookeneding masterpieces, I'm going to ignore them until later. Other, more overlooked songs on the album are increadible to say the least. TIME TABLE has always been my favorite track off the album, often overshadowed by surrounding tracks, this short, beautiful song has a lot to say in the time it's given, with wonderful instumentation and vocals with some strong melodies this song is a must for any progger, especially those who doubt the power of the four minute song. CAN-UTILITY AND THE COASTLINER is another great song, and while it's good from beginning to end it's good to note that the ending solos are easily the best part of the song. GET 'EM OUT BY FRIDAY is a great song that carries on the tradition of knocking the British-higher-ups set down by Harold The Barrel and continued later by The Cinema Show, another good song, if frantic at times. HORIZONS is a great, if too short, instumental track performed by the wonderful Mr. Hackett, proving that he's more than just a guitarist, if you didn't already know that.

Now for the main course. WATCHER OF THE SKIES opens the album with one of the bands most powerful tracks, an ominous, if apocolypic, story accompanied by a great mellotron intro and bizzarely sung lyrics that thows off just about anyone the first time they hear Gabriel belt out "Watcher of the skies, watcher of all! His is a world alone, no world his own." But as great as this opener is, it too is overshadowed by the side-long collossus that is SUPPER'S READY (Curiously, Genesis's only side long track). While each section has it's own charm, especially WILLOW FARM with it's increadable quirk, LOVER'S LEAP, the perfect intro and APOCOLYPSE IN 9/8 with it's... well, apocolypic sound, but all around it's just a perfect song. While a bit dissorienting (perhaps) the first spin around, what with the silent breaks between many parts (not at all similar to a track like Thick As A Brick or Close To The Edge), it's a track that requires age to grow on you, you may listen to it for the 10th time and finally think to yourself, "Holy crap! What a song!". Anyways, there's not much more to say about this one (after all, look at how many reviews this album already has), just note that this is definately Genesis's first defining moment, despite how good Trespass or Nursery Cryme was.

While this is not a necissary review (more of a praise, actually), this definately is a necissary album. Listen to it again right now if you already own it, or go buy it if you don't have it.... just do it. A masterpiece that deserves no less that 5 stars. Perfect.

Report this review (#146037)
Posted Friday, October 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
The Crow
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The band was totally consolidated, and you can hear it...

This is one of the best albums Genesis made... Everyting here sounds allright. Every instrument is perfect and on its place... And Steve Hackett has improved his playing since "Nursery Crime", making you to forget the marvellous Anthony Phillips's work on "Trespass". His guitar playing here is softer and full of details, more precise and clearer than in "Nursery Crime", where his playing was a little dirty (but still great...) But this album is maybe less guitar oriented than the previous one... Tony Banks keyboards are very prominent, making you dreaming with his marvellous solos and melodies. Not as good as in "Selling England by the Pound", but great anyway... Peter Gabriel is also softer, singing even better than before, with mellow vocals and some chilly shouts.

Best songs: Watcher of the Skies, Get 'em Out by Friday, Can Utility and the Coastliners... This album is plenty of good songs. No flaws here. The whole album is just brilliant... And of course, the mastodontic Supper's Ready is here. The best song Genesis ever made? Maybe yes, maybe not... But it's still an incredible tour de force, an epic that any prog-love is obligated to hear. The influence of this song through the years is big... You must only hear epics of some bands like Spock's Beard and The Flower Kings!

Conclusion: the best Genesis work along with "Selling England By the Pound" in my opinion... And Supper's Ready ist just marvellous, obligated for every music lover.

My rating: *****

Report this review (#146796)
Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars By the time this album was released Genesis were already an established name in progressive rock music, with "Trespass" alerting a few more attentive progressive rock followers, and "Nursery Cryme" further boosting this following, with the aid of new members Steve Hackett and Phil Collins. "Foxtrot" however, was the first Genesis album that really turned heads in the world of rock music. The mellotron intro to the opening track "Watcher of The Skies" is legendary amongst Genesis and prog fans alike, however I disagree, personally thinking that this song is the real weak spot of the album. This however, cannot be said for the second track "Time Table", which is my favourite short song on the album, with it's light instrumental section really leaving Gabriel's vocals to work there magic on the listener. The nect track "Get 'em Out By Friday" is at first glance a lovely sounding prog song with a few intelligently placed aoustic guitar breaks, but upon closer inspection, the listener will realise that besides being instrumentally powerful, the song's lyrics tell a disturbing Orwellian tale of humans being controlled, which i personally find very disturbing. The next track "Can-Utility and The Coastliners" sounds quite similar to "The Musical Box" with a similar timbre and tempo change, although being shorter and frankly, not quite as good. Nonetheless, this is a great example of Genesis' progressive skills, and definitely of better quality than a filler. The penultimate track "Horizons" is a short strings solo from Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford, and because of it's delightful sound and bare timbre, a song I usually think of as being the introduction of the albums final track, "Supper's Ready. "Supper's Ready" is an incredible song indeed, being a benchmark in progressive rock music and an iconic song for Genesis fans. This twenty three minute long epic is the perfect ending to an album, with an incredible amount of musical diversity shown throughout, and a heartwarmingly emotional story accompanying the music. All and all this is a seminal prog album, and a must have for any fan of symphonic prog.
Report this review (#146801)
Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's almost impossible to add something original to all the reviews of this album so I won't try. Yet there is something that strikes me. Many reviewers focus on the unbelievable 'Supper's ready' and right they are. It is, also for me, the best epic that has ever been written and performed, albeit that it is not my favourite Genesis track (although it comes close!). Yet this album offers so much more. There is simply no weak moment. The classic opening of 'Watcher of the skies' still gives me the shivers. The different moods in that song are still great, from expressive just following the intro towards very soft and mellow in the middle section. Absolutely devastating. 'Time table' seems more simple and it is. And that is probably one of teh reasons why this track is also outstanding. The only small criticism may be that it should not have faded out after only 4:40. It should have lasted another two or three minutes but I assume that it wasn't possible given the limitations of vinyl. For me 'Get 'm out by Friday' is the weakest track of the album. The music is not that appealing to me but I find the lyrics simply great and arty. It has a totally different mood from the preceding song which strengthens the variety of the album. 'Can-Utility' is probably the most underrated song Genesis ever recorded. It has such a romantic melody and such a superb atmosphere in the song that I can not imagine that anyone can dislike this song. Why it has not become one of their classic tracks is a big puzzle to me. And then: who dares to precede an epic by such a small instrumental track as 'Horizons' is? That's what I call 'genius'. It works and it works perfectly. The fact that Steve Hackett still performs it live is the best illustration that this little piece of acoustic guitar music is absolutely a classic. About 'Supper's ready' everything has already been said: it was never any better and it would never be improved.

A masterpiece from beginning till the end.

Report this review (#146916)
Posted Thursday, October 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars What I can say about Foxtrot? Almost everything that I think about this album was said in previous reviews (for good or bad) and in other prog pages and music history books... No one can deny this album is one of the prog masterpieces of all times (like it or not) and one of the highlights into Genesis discography (anyway, my favourite still is SEbtP). Contanis a lot of inspirated moments and at least two songs that I consider part of the Top 10 into my personal Genesis I-Pod track list: the legendary Supper's Ready and the underrated Can-Utility and the Coastliners.

It's hard to find an epic like Supper's Ready: awsome solos, athmospherical and quiet sections, an amazing drum/keyboards duel during the Apocalypse in 9/8, Gabriel's vocals in their best moment, extraordinary symphonic sections and an epical grand finale... It's hard to find a beautiful acoustic guitar piece like Horizons... It's hard to find a mini epic like Can-Utility... full of amazing short epical sections, with this dark and overwhelming keyboard middle section... Really it's hard for me to find an album fulll of symphonic delicatessens like this one, a truly prog masterpiece of the 70's.

Give Foxtrot just 4.5* cos the 5* are deserved to SEbtP... But, man, this is an album which deseves to stay in any decent prog discography and you have to listen at leats once a month to remember how great was the 70's Prog...

Report this review (#147486)
Posted Saturday, October 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars It is known that Charisma never heavily promoted Genesis' ''Nursery crime'', even so the album succeeded good sales in Italy and Belgium to become the band's best selling record so far.Inbetween, during the live concerts of the group Gabriel started to develop his endless masquerade of costumes and characters in a unique experience for the audience.As a result, he press became more and more interested in Genesis.In 1972 the group records its next album ''Foxtrot'' at the Island Studios in London, produced by David Hitchcock.It was again released on Charisma in October and on Atlantic for the US market.

The album meant to be an instant Genesis favorite among the Prog community fans and there were multiple reasons for this.The majestic Mellotron in the opening seconds of ''Watcher of the skies'' will haunt every prog listener for the rest of his life.With impressive bass lines and sinister organ parts, this is one of the excellent Genesis poetic deliveries with nice tune changes and a dramatic, symphonic atmosphere all the way."Time table" insists in the symphonic-inclined side of the group, although now in a much lighter way, led by Banks' lovely piano lines and Gabriel's superb vocal chords with Hackett's crying guitars in the background.''Get 'em out by Friday'' is the starting point of Genesis' more complex approach.The composition contains plenty of shifting moods and a variety of climates with great organ and guitar parts and propably the main reason for this is the presence of three different characters in a storytelling line, where Gabriel constantly alternates his voice.Folk references are again present through the flute parts, while the closing Classical-influenced theme is absolutely brilliant with melodic flute and organ parts and Gabriel's dramatic vocals in the forefront.''Can-Utility and the coastliners'', mostly written by Hackett, refers to the story of King Cnut the Great, and reveals a rural atmosphere with an excellent combination of acoustic textures, flute and tambourine and a grandiose Mellotron-based middle part, leading to the organ smashes of Banks.Stunning and underrated piece.

Second side opens with the short ''Horizons'', a superb acoustic instrumental ala GORDON GILTRAP, with a strong Classical aura.This works as the perfect intro for one of the best epic suites ever written by a Prog band, the 7-part ''Supper's Ready'', clocking at 23 minutes.While the music comes close to perfection, it is also one of the monumental performances of Peter Gabriel, who's voice along transforms this piece into a theatrical play.Instrumentally it contains multiple diverse sections of a mix of Folk Rock and Symphonic Rock with strong Classical textures, full of organ and Mellotron nuances, sensitive guitar lines and a fair amount of acoustic washes.The principles of Progressive Rock, variations, time signatures, clever breaks, are presented here in full mode.Music that can be thrilling, dramatic and dark at the same time due to Genesis' impressive ability to blend so nicely different tunes and influences.Complex, intricate but also melodic music of the highest calibre.

When you guess that no album can reach perfection, ''Foxtrot'' is there to dissaproove you.Words are really poor to describe one of the milestones in the history of Progressive Rock.Extremely essential, this as close as it gets to the peak of inspiration.

Report this review (#147736)
Posted Sunday, October 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
Fight Club
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Wow. I don't even know where to start with this album. Genesis was just one of those bands that defined the glory days of prog. For classic proggers they are often the defining band. There were a few classic albums during the early 70's such as Thick as a Brick and Close To the Edge that would later be known as masterpieces for years to come and Foxtrot just happens to be one of those releases. Though some could argue that Genesis had stronger records such as Selling England By the Pound or The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway no one can deny the utter importance of Foxtrot. Foxtrot is what really jump-started Genesis' success. This was the the time in which Peter Gabriel started dressing up in bizarre outfits and began his trademark stage theatrics, something that would get the group just the amount of attention they needed to achieve the status of progressive rock gods.

The album is essentially a masterpiece of early symphonic style progressive rock, it can't be denied. So if you're into that (which you probably are or else you wouldn't be reading this) and haven't heard this album, get it right this instant. If you have heard it and haven't gotten into it, give it a few more listens, trust me. Surprisingly, Genesis is one of those bands that didn't instantly "click" with me. I put off listening to them for a while because I thought "wait, wasn't Phil Collins in Genesis? Why would I want to listen to him?" Sadly I missed out on some high quality music for a long time because of this. I will tell you right now, if you have ANY preconceptions about Genesis due to their 80s pop-rock, REMOVE THEM NOW. This is not the same band at all!

OK, I get it, Foxtrot is important, but why is it so good?

For a number of reasons of course. At the time Genesis was one of the most unique bands the world had ever seen. They were very complex without the complexing taking too much away from the overall songwriting quality. Some of the most powerful and majestic tunes ever written are to be found on here. Right at the beginning of the beautiful mellotron opening of "Watcher of the Skies" one can already tell he's in for something special. Speaking of "Watcher", this is one of the biggest prog classics you'll find. Many fans will cite this as one of their favorite Genesis songs and that's no surprise considering the intro, which is over 2 minutes of mellotron drenched bliss. From there it moves on to quite a tricky 6/4 rhythm. "Watcher of the Skies" is an odd track to me though, because I love it and hate it at the same time. It's beautiful, groovy, and compositionally excellent, but I find it to be extremely overrated. Honestly, it's really repetitive, using the same rhythm for the entire song with rarely any variation. It's still a great song though, just not as great as most people seem to say it is.

The rest of the album is much better in my opinion, actually. "Time Table", "Get 'Em Out by Friday", "Can-Utility", etc. are all great. "Can-Utility" is actually probably my favorite song on the album. Everything about the track is top-notch. If you've happened to read my review of Anglagard's Hybris, well, this is one of those songs that causes one of those near traffic collisions.

Anyways, there are great grooves, complex structures, and of course Peter Gabriel's divine voice, all here. Peter of ProgArchives once said "Peter Gabriel passionately addresses an obsolete God whose human creation has outpaced him, and no longer needs or acknowledges him as it extends its dominion to the stars." I couldn't agree more.

Also, who can deny the greatness of "Supper's Ready"? Even though I find the song is a little redundant at times and doesn't really flow that well, it's still an extraordinary track. Especially at the time! I'll save the spoilers though, this is simply one of those albums that can barely be described. You have to hear it yourself. This is timeless music that only gets better with repeated listens. After over a year of owning this album I am still discovering new things about it. It's not perfect, but still essential progressive rock music.

My rating: 9.5/10

Report this review (#147864)
Posted Sunday, October 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I know every reviewer who knows anything about prog has reviewed this album, but I must put in my two cents anyways. I don't view this as a masterpiece, nor is it Genesis' best. Those titles belong to Selling England. Foxtrot, for me, is too heavy overall. I do like the heavyness, but after the amazingly beautiful guitar and organ work on trespass and Nursery Cryme, I expected more of the same, but it got overall a little to heavy for my tastes. Watcher of the Skies is good, but gets a little repetetive. Time Table is rather boring, interesting lyrics, but rather boring. Get'em Out by Friday is Great, awesome organ and acting by Gabe. Can Utility is a very interesting piece, it seems to pack a lot in to 6 short minutes. of course horizons is great, and obviously Supper's Ready is a masterpiece. The very best song the band ever did ( second only to Dancing with the Moonlit Knight). Foxtrot is great, but they needed one extra step to reach masterpiece.
Report this review (#150614)
Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Foxtrot is number two in the line of masterpieces from Genesis in the seventies. On Foxtrot the band has developed their sound and the production is a lot better than it was on Nursery Cryme. If you like symphonic prog it doesn´t get much better than this. I always fear that I get tired of albums and therefore don´t play the good ones too much. It a whole other deal with Genesis. I have played Foxtrot so many times it should be criminal and I never get tired of it. This is the first indication that this is truly a masterpiece.

The album starts with WATCHER OF THE SKIES which is an epic song. Listen to the beautiful mellotron intro from Banks. I get goosebumps and chills down my spine. It seques into a very heavy riff which is the main riff of the song. This is a classic Genesis song.

Time Table is a beautiful song which is centered around a piano motif from Tony Banks. It is rather melancholic and very enjoyable. Beautiful melody.

Get 'Em Out By Friday is the second epic of the album. It is a pretty unusual song in terms of structure and one of the most progressive songs Genesis have ever made, Peter´s flute playing is very much on display here. Beautiful stuff. The lyrics are really clever and concern the greed of people building houses. The bad guys wan´t to make people smaller so that "they can fit twice as many in the same building site". This is so inspired and a good example of what Peter meant to Genesis.

Can-Utility And The Coastliners is a great song too, allthough it is not a song people often speak about. It is a very progressive track though, and have some beautiful melodies and a great ending which always remind me of ABBA ( this should make you laugh, but I really mean it in a good way)

Horizons is a beautiful Steve Hackett solo guitar piece. Very Classical inspired and very melodic this is a great little breather before we go into the ultimate epic from Genesis: "Supper´s Ready".

"Supper´s Ready" is the greatest epic from Genesis, both in terms of length and in terms of how well composed it is. I must say I have never understood the lyrics as they are quite strange, but they fit the music very well. As with most long epic songs "Supper´s Ready" is subdivided into shorter parts, but I still feel the songs are one long track.

Foxtrot is without a doubt a masterpiece of symphonic prog. Fortunately Genesis were not through making masterpieces yet, and the next one would soon arrive.

Report this review (#150962)
Posted Thursday, November 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is an album I didn't want to like. (There have been a few of those) I didn't think the cover was very good, the name of the album was nowhere as good as "The Lamb..." "A Trick" or "Selling" all of which have very good names. Seeing as I have been on a bit of a Genesis kick I went out to the record store and picked up this lp. I started to listen to it and found it somewhat good to a point but it took me a while to get into. Suppers Ready took a while but really turns out to be as good as everyone says it is. My favorite thing about this record is the overall sound to it, the organs, mellotrons, slightly overdriven guitars...everything just adds up to a very organic and original sound. The first song is a good opener with a very well done melody line that is very unpredictable on first listen, this one works especially well live with Gabriels visuals. "Time Table" is one heck of a good medieval type song that brings to mind "Seven Stones" from the previous album. It has some amazing instrument in the middle that just gets your heart and tears it out. "Get Em Out..." really rocks in a bizarre sort of way, a classic song with a catchy tune and very moving organ riffs. "Can Utility and The Coastliners" is a mini-epic, a sort of mini "Suppers Ready" that is consistent, possibly one of the best songs Genesis has ever done, it is so well put together with not a second to waste. "Horizons" is a pretty guitar piece that leads well into the biggest track of the album. "Suppers Ready" has been described enough times that I will just say it is well worth the time it takes to get into it. Non-formulaic and haunting, this epic is a masterpiece. On the whole, the album is basically good all the way through, without a weak track, it is one Genesis' best work, if not the best and absolutely essential.
Report this review (#151487)
Posted Saturday, November 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars i guess theres no point in going into detail as to why this album is so great, its all been said before i the countless reviews prior

so ill keep it short and simple...

firstly, i think this album desurves to be ranked above "selling england by the pound", why? i just feel its a better album... Supper's Ready is quite possibly one'a the greatest "epic" prog songs out there (by epic i mean the steriotypical 20min+ song that most prog bands do eventually)

funnily enough, when i first got this album and put it onto my mp3 player, it for some reason never transferd "watcher of the skies" so for weeks i listend to the album without it, falling in love with it, so when i eventually found out i had been missing it, i was'nt to fond of it, i felt it took away from what the other songs had brought to me alone as one group

anywho, great album, defo must hear if not just for Horizens and Suppers Ready

Report this review (#151836)
Posted Tuesday, November 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Get 'em out by friday apart, I'm afraid the first five songs don't do too much for me anymore. Foxtrot does, however, contain one of the greatest songs of all time, Supper's ready.

Get 'em out by friday is along similar lines to Harold the barrel lyrically, with Gabriel doing the police in different voices, and some great social observation alongside emotive style: the mood of the music fits the lyrical theme amazingly.

Supper's ready is, as I have said, one of the greatest songs of all time. Loosely based on the book of Revelation, and generally on the topic of the Judgement, this is among the highlights of modern music. The lyrics are definitely the best in English-language modern music. The opening in itself is a masterpiece. The rest of the songs let these two down, however.

Report this review (#153014)
Posted Wednesday, November 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars First of all let me introduce myself, as this is my first revue. I'm 41 years old and i'm a prog fan since my 16. I lost track to prog music around my 25 and 3 years ago I found prog archives and my interest for this music reborn. I always love the bands from the classical era of prog, but after discover bands like Anglagard, Spock´s Beard, Porcupine Tree, Harmonium and many others I became a truly, unconditional fan. Hats off to PA!!!

I will start my revues with those records I think are truly master pieces and deserves 5 stars. After 2 rough gems (Trespass and Nursery Crime), Genesis publishes what is in my opinion the best prog album ever: Foxtrot. It's a flawless album with every note made perfect for every moment. At that time all the elements in the band became true perfectionist in their instruments, and play like a chamber music group. Can-Utility and the Coastliners is a perfect example of this. The melodies, harmonies and arrangements are so perfect that it could be composed by any classical musician.

As any super prog band, Genesis composed a long epic: Supper's Ready. Unlike epics from other bands, this one is composed like a rhapsody since it's a group of uninterrupted independent songs. 22 minutes of superb music, from mellow to swing to rock and roll.

If you are a fan of prog music, or even just a fan of good music, this is the must have in your record collection.

Report this review (#156083)
Posted Thursday, December 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Foxtrot is my personal MASTERPIECE favourite.

This album has my altime best song 'Supper's Ready', I can listen to this over and over.

All the songs are excellent, Watcher .. being a great opening song. Time Table is the softest on the LP. but great. Get 'Em out by Friday is an excellent story/fantasy where you can imagine many concepts of what the song is about. CAn Utility is a typical Old Genesis song. Now, Horizons I always feel is part of Supper's Ready. I love the way that it leads right into with the guitar sounds. I can always enjoy all parts of Supper's Ready, through its many changing riffs.

This LP I would hang on a WALL as a picture, hum maybe I will.

Report this review (#157383)
Posted Tuesday, January 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Definitely my favorite Genesis album. An intense and rocking record, as well as being very literate and sophisticated, whimsical, and even sometimes silly (in the best way possible). Also avoides some of the sappier new agey keyboard flourishes on the last two Gabriel era records.
Report this review (#158130)
Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
TGM: Orb
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Review 11, Foxtrot, Genesis, 1972

StarStarStarStar

This is a rare example of an album where the tracks are divided very neatly into songs that I love and songs that I hate. Even after many listens spent trying to acquire the supposed greatness of Watcher of the skies and get past that hollow percussion sound on the chorus of Time Table, I still don't think of them as anything more than mediocre, or even annoying. Nonetheless, there are three absolutely classic prog songs on here, taking up most of the album, as well as a decent classical guitar solo from Hackett, and it'd be stupid to miss them.

The general consensus here seems to be that the thick mellotron opening of Watcher Of The Skies is majestic. Unfortunately, it goes on much too long for me, and then launches into something of much the same vein: lots of seemingly random components just thrown together with a couple of highlights. Gabriel's voice and style carries the song's softer 'From life alone...to life as one...think not now your journey's done' sections superbly, but when he's rushing to fit ten words into a second, it's hard to appreciate it, particularly when the lyrics don't seem that brilliant. I don't get lots of the changes from Hackett's screeching guitar to more organ, and the tune as a whole seems a little poorly constructed. That said, after about six minutes with vocals and mellotron opening left behind, it soars up into a powerful, trademark Genesis tune, with a great crescendo ending.

Time-Table has two features that annoy me: one is that annoying hollow sound on the first why of the chorus. Literally three notes on a random barely-featured instrument that manage to wreck an otherwise perfectly acceptable short song. WHY?! Secondly, the vocals are a bit more of a mixed bag than I expect from Gabriel. Not poor, per se, but it doesn't seem like the lyrics or style of the chorus fit him very well. I have to say that every other feature of the tune is excellent, but those two obscure all of the others. Ugh.

Get Em Out By Friday is one of the best, in my opinion. The perfect combination of riffs and musical changes, with tapping, militaristic drumming that suits the concept perfectly, a crisp, ferocious bass sound, dark, fluid organ and the best example of Peter Gabriel's ability to voice multiple roles in one song while still sounding very Peter Gabriel. Superb, somewhat sarcastic lyrics about an interesting reversal of the traditional genetic control to produce super-humans idea, with haunting echoes that haven't yet grown old on me. Not to mention, great shifts between guitar not-quite-solos and atmospheric additions. The instrumental middle section is powerful and tense, and its quietude doesn't actually remove any of the force that has been built up before it. The shift back to the story is handled perfectly, atmospheric chatter and all, and the ending no less so. Masterpiece. Probably my favourite moment for the Genesis rhythm section.

Can Utility And The Coast Liners is also brilliant, from the guitar interplay with added keyboards, occasional taps on percussion and Gabriel's voice on the opening to a mocking, not louder, but more powerful section to the beautiful mellotron-drums-and-guitar trio and a searing vocal ('but he forced a smile even though his hopes lay dashed where offerings fell.../Where they fell!') back to a slightly more flippant section, to another even more flippant section in the space of ten seconds, to the vocals' return, with a guitar echoing Gabriel skilfully to a random and mostly unrelated end section. Musically, this just won't stay still, and that's part of the charm. A six-minute song which is as complex and intricate as many of the much-lauded 10-20 minute epics. Occasionally I wish the stunning mellotron-guitar-drums section would last longer, but that's about it.

Horizons is a charming classical guitar solo piece from Hackett, which both fits quite nicely as a break in the album's mellotron-heavy work, and as an enjoyable listen in its own right.

Supper's Ready is another masterpiece, in my opinion, though views about it seem strongly polarised. The guitar interplay is taken to another level on the opening here, while the developing keyboards are managed very tactfully, as backing, but as an integral component nonetheless. Gabriel's lone vocals, as well as the duets with Collins, are handled soulfully, individually and originally. The occasional harmonies are very strong, and the throwbacks to the main theme of the song during connecting sections are handled very well, switching into diverse styles without a hitch. The Hackett-and-Banks combination on Ikhnaton and Itsacon and their band of merry men is particularly brilliant, and manages to both be great music and sustain and advance the concept. Through a fade, this moves on to How Dare I Be So Beautiful, which really displays how much emotion Gabriel can put into a vocal, even when only backed by a shimmering mellotron.

A Flower? And then it shifts to the bizarre Willow Farm, with a surprisingly intricate combination of instruments, including a few moments on the piano, for such a seemingly light and flippant song. But the real darkness is underneath this, the biting 'You've been here all the time/Like it or not, you've got what you've got/You're under the soil' completely changes the song's feel. It seems to me like the band is expressing both lyrically and musically an illusion of innocence over a much darker reality. Thought-provoking stuff.

Apocalypse in 9/8 turns up after some echoes of earlier themes. The bass-and-drumming backbone with occasional additions over the top is enjoyable, and the vocals are perfect, though it really only

takes off as it continues escalating up and up, building more and more musical savagery to powerful cymbal clashes, driving organ and more vocals...then it slowly shifts back to positive bells and drumming crescendo 'And it's...hey babe'. The final section Sure As Eggs Is Eggs section is perfect, with Hackett's guitar unleashed, amazing drum-work from Collins and optimistic vocals and lyrics. Overall, I think that this song is more connected that it's generally given credit for, a genuine, excellent epic, and a great way to annoy die-hard Relayer fans.

If you don't own this album, you should almost certainly get it, since it'll allow you to vote in those 'greatest epic' polls with Supper's Ready by making ad florem attacks or dribbling like a true Genesis fan. Furthermore, you'll then own another 3/4 of a masterpiece album. Not recommended for those new to Genesis, just because I personally found it very difficult to get past the first couple of songs.

Rating: Four Stars

Favourite Track: Get 'Em Out By Friday

Report this review (#163057)
Posted Sunday, March 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a fantastic album. Why? Maybe because it has one of my favourite Genesis songs on it: Can-Utility And The Coastliners. If you want to introduce Genesis to anyone who has never heard anything from their Gabriel-era you should really pick this brilliant song! But why not start with the whole album? Because all songs on it are great. There's no bad song on it, even the weakest song Time Table is very listenable. Horizons is a great instrumental song. The songwriting is great and absurdist (It is my sad duty to inform you of a 4ft restriction on humanoid height. or The frog was a prince, the prince was a brick, the brick was an egg, the egg was a bird, Hadn't you heard?). The absolute highlight is, of course, the 23-minute epic Supper's Ready. A great diverse song from very sad parts (note the great flutework that gives you shivers, guaranteed!) to very corny parts (Willow Farm). This album doesn't get bored.
Report this review (#163755)
Posted Wednesday, March 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Another great album by the early (and only) Genesis. I know that I will get in trouble for giving Supper's Ready four stars but after hearing many different live versions of this great magnum opus I have to say that the album version is not all that great *Sorry*. Well now that we got that out of the way let's talk about the greatness! Well actually forget it, I'll let the ratings speak for themselves.

***** star songs: Watcher Of The Skies (7:21) Time Table (4:45) Can-Utility And The Coastliners (5:44) Horizons (1:39)

**** star songs: Get 'Em Out By Friday (8:36) Supper's Ready (22:54)

Total Rating: 4,38

Report this review (#163763)
Posted Wednesday, March 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Foxtrot...This beautiful cover art, this incredible last song (Supper's Ready)...Probably one of the best Genesis albums, but there a two songs here that I don't like : Get' Em Out By Friday (the live version on Genesis Live is better) and Can-Utility And The Coastliners. But the album opening, Watcher Of The Skies, is marvellous (what an introduction, it heards like the 'sound of the sea' you can hear in a shell !), Time Table is pretty, and could have been a good single. Horizons, first track on side B, is a short instrumental, really beautiful. And there is Supper's Ready, almost 23 minutes of pure prog rock genius. I can't find the words when I speak about this song. Just : hear it. But in its globality, I found Foxtrot a little overrated. For example, the previous album, Nursery Cryme, is largerly better. So, only three stars for Foxtrot, but taken separately, almost each song deserves 4 or 5 stars.
Report this review (#163955)
Posted Saturday, March 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Songs:

5 Star: Can-Utility and the Coastliners. This is the best Genesis song ever. Tasty acoustic guitar and vocal melodies leading into the guts of the song. Lots of sounds, interesting guitar work, nice organ playing, drums and even good bass for Genesis. A tricky piece with different sections and some odd timing bits make it clever yet tasteful. Seriously, this is their best song ever (though not by much).

4 star: Supper's Ready. Not a fan of big long songs that mush different songs together to try and be clever, but Supper's Ready has strong enough sections to make it a classic. The piece really takes off at the 9/8 section and into the reprise at the end. It can give some goosebumps.

3.5 Star: Watcher of the Skies. It is a bit of a strange piece, with some haunting parts. I feel they could have done a bit more with it. Theres a lot of empty space. Certainly worth having in your collection of prog songs.

3 star: Horizons. yes, the short acoustic guitar piece, surprisingly enjoyable.

3 Star: Get 'em Out By Friday. Fun song. Some good playing and interesting sounds. The minimal Genesis requirement for a song.

2 Star: Time Table. Never cared much for this song. I like the chorus where it is a bit more aggressive, but the rest is a bit slow to me. For some reason the ending piano (or whatever keyboard that is) really annoys me as they keep changing keys as the song fades.

Overall I guess I have to give it a 4 Star as a prog album. A tough choice considering my fave Genesis song is on here, but some of the other material drags the album down a bit in my opinion.

Report this review (#165187)
Posted Thursday, March 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ah, my favorite Gabriel era album! A masterfully written and performed symphonic progger. In fact, this record can be used as an introduction to symphonic prog, since it covers most every aspect and nuance of the genre.

I would not be offended in the least if Foxtrot tops the list of THE GREATEST prog records of all-time. You'd have a difficult time finding a more complete and sublime progger.

Many years ago I used to think that Selling England By The Pound was a better record, but as time went on I realized that Foxtrot is TRULY THE Genesis MASTERPIECE. I find this one MUCH MORE consistent than Selling England By The Pound and MUCH BETTER than Nursery Cryme; not even in the same league. The songs on Foxtrot display a very even flow with none of the nonsense and pop filler of the aforementioned follow-up. The mood is consistent throughout, painting a dark, yet positive picture with many, many colors.

Foxtrot's claim to fame may very well be the balance between all of the band members. It's nearly impossible to point out where ONE member takes over on any one piece. A team effort if there ever was one.

Highlights are(really EVERYTHING!):

1. Watcher Of The Skies (7:19): An EXCELLENT opening track. One of Genesis' very best pieces. Rocks out in the signature Genesis symphonic style. Some of Hackett's best work.

3. Get 'Em Out By Friday (8:35): A piece that showcases time signature changes a plenty and some of Genesis best keyboard-guitar counterpoint.

4. Can-Utility And The Coastliners (5:43): This is one of my favorite Genesis pieces. Probably one of Gabriel's best vocal performances showcasing some of the band's virtuoso moments(check out Rutherford shredding on the bass. Amazing!)

6. Supper's Ready (22:58): Well, ya'll already know about this one. It's a prog epic and one of the highlights of the genre. Must be listened to with patience and.....a cup of tea!

An EASY FIVE STARS. One of the SHOWPIECES of the prog world.

Report this review (#167776)
Posted Thursday, April 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yes, it's a classic. Yes, it's one of my favorites. Genesis would later outdo themselves with Live and Selling England by the Pound, but this album is more intense than any Genesis albums that preceded it. However, it's not quite as magical as the few that would follow it. Supper's Ready is a classic, and for me, the first half of the album is equally strong; the only track that never completely gripped me was Get Em Out By Friday; it just doesn't fit for me.
Report this review (#170245)
Posted Thursday, May 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
Garion81
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A well conceived supper!

Perfection in art is very subjective and it comes in varied forms depending on the artist doing it. Sometimes what some perceive as perfection is scoffed at by others. On the last two albums Genesis put all of its parts in place and developed its sound. In a progressive rock world all things considered Genesis conceived their perfection on this album and would maintain for the next 3 albums. Of the hundreds of reviews already written I certainly won't have many new insights to add except to say this CD is one my top treasures.

From the opening mellotron strains of Watcher of the Skies to the fade out of As Sure as Eggs is Eggs this CD is brilliant. It has never lost its luster for me. Even songs like Time Table which reach back to Trespass the sound has matured and is more confident. Steve Hackett's Can-Utility and the Coastliners is majestic and tongue in cheek at the same time. Of course Watcher of the Skies and Get Them Out by Friday are such strong numbers and prog classics in their own rights. To Hackett's opening of what was side two showing his prowess on classical guitar with Horizons to one of the most beloved epics in prog Suppers Ready the album really ahs no weakness.

This is Genesis hitting the big time if not in popularity but in artistic achievement. This is the second of 5 straight 5 star albums.

Report this review (#170929)
Posted Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow, Foxtrot. Another Genesis epica.

Starts off with the haunting, majestic Watcher Of The Skies. The bass playing really starts to shine on this record. This a wonderful complex song, very well written. (9/10)

Time Table, honestly, should have been released as a single from the record. It's a great short song. Piano driven, good singing and overall beautiful sounding. (9/10)

Get Em Out By Friday, I didn't really find all that interesting. Sort of slow and boring. (6/10)

Can Utility And The Coastliners, completely makes up for the last song! This song satrs off very nice, a little like For Absent Friends. But the singing in this song is beautiful and the guitar playing is very majestic. The instrumental section blows me away. It was very great, especially the synth going into it. (10/10)

Horizons is a short classical guitar interlude. Nothing more than that, it's wonderful. (9/10)

Now, the big one. Supper's Ready. I'm going to go by sections.

Lover's Leap, starts off very folky with the 12 strings ringing. The singing is beautiful and I love the chorus. Hello babe, with your guardian eyes, so blue. Hey now baby, don't you know our love is true. It kills me, it's poetic, it's magical.

I know a farmer, who looks after the farm

The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man, is the more heavier section of the first ten minutes. Beauitful soloing by Hackett really caught my ear. Especially the unison near the end of the section.

To be quite honest with you, we all know it's a good song. To be even more honest with you, I'm lost at what point some of the sections start and end. I just want to say this:

I was listening to Love (60's band) a lot a few years back. I can remember the magic of listening to their records. I whipped one out the other day, I listened to it. The magic was gone. Last year, there was a section of a few months where all I would ever listen to was Genesis. The magic was always there. Last night I pulled out Foxtrot and Selling England By The Pound. The magic is still there. Shows what kind of band these guys are. They have stood the test of time for me. They are all amazing geniuses, and Suppers Ready pulls a tear to my eye at each ending. It's breathtaking. (15/10)

This record is a landmark in prog, because it was one of the first prog records to make an epic song that long. These guys are trailblazers and they have earned their rightful place in the hall of progressive rock.

Report this review (#174376)
Posted Wednesday, June 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars [Review 4] Genesis – Foxtrot

Well, there may not be much of a point in writing an actual review because there is no doubt mine will just be lost in the shuffle of the hundreds of reviews this album has, but because it is one of my favorite albums, I still feel a duty to write at least something.

What I love about this album is how packed with emotion it is. Apparently people criticize prog rock because it is out of touch with the real world and doesn't speak to its listeners; it's a bunch of fantasy/ sci-fi stories that have no bearing on real life (like pop or punk do). Genesis shows them that they could not be any more wrong. Genesis stories are fantasy/sci-fi, but the lyrics are so well-written you can't help but feel sympathy for the characters the band portrays in its numerous dramas.

I had one listening to Foxtrot a few months ago that was my first listening of the album on vinyl. I sat in front of the record player, locked myself in my dorm room, held out the lyrics sheet and let myself be absorbed by the music. Every song had me teary-eyed as I imagined myself in the characters' places. What would I think if I came to Earth and all I saw was what humans had left behind after some kind of tragic death? “Why do we suffer each race to believe that no race has been grander?” What would it be like to be kicked out of your house? What would it be like if I were praised and praised to the point that I come to believe what they say, but it turns out I'm just a let down? (It is hard to imagine one's self in Supper's Ready, I think, but the way Gabriel sings at the end is emotion reincarnated).

These questions show that sci-fi stories can have bearing on real life, much like the parables of the Bible. There is something to learn here, it just isn't as in your face like a typical pop song (which is partly why I think Genesis is so brilliant).

Genesis is the prime example of what a band should sound like. At no point during the 40-minute album does a band member try to outshine another. Like certif1ed said in his review of Nursery Cryme, “the music that is produced takes on a character all of its own, dependent on the feeling and teamwork of the singers.” Genesis is a testament to the statement “the sum is greater than its parts” and Foxtrot is what proves that.

Foxtrot is not cold and mechanical. It is very warm, and it is very organic and real. This may sound meaningless, but once the album is heard, you'll know exactly what I mean.

Highlights: Watcher of the Skies, Time Table, Get 'Em Out by Friday, Can-Utility and the Coastliners, Horizon's, Supper's Ready

Report this review (#176164)
Posted Saturday, July 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
The Whistler
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The Apocalypse in 4.5 (With the Delicious Talents of Gabble Ratchet)

You always have to take a certain reverence when reviewing the classics. Or, you can just tear 'em a new asshole, much like I famously did with Close to the Edge (AND Thick as a Brick...in a way). This is, by and large, where the Genesis blood clot sticks, and it's up to me to tear it down. Gabriel and Friends still had a tiny bit to go before growing into masterfully intelligent songsmiths.

Still, I really do like this album a lot. I mean, I really dig the cover, with all the tiny whales and crap. Hmm. That's not terribly philosophical and album-delving, is it? Best move into the songs...

Once again, and as usual, I love this album for all the wrong reasons (take THAT "real" Genesis fans!). For example, opener "Watcher of the Skies?" Some call it a masterpiece. I call it annoying. The mellotron intro isn't majestic in the least (this is just me, but it sounds like proto-synth pop, and that ain't a good thing), and the start-n-stop riff gets a tad on the silly side halfway through the piece. Not to mention that it's about aliens, but I suppose we should come to expect that from Pete by now. I've come to expect child-like charm from Mr. Gabriel in the past, but this number is just childish.

Strangely enough, the next piece takes a very different path. The intro to "Time Table" is pure baroque piano, and it develops into a stately medieval ballad of sorts. Literally medieval too; dig the pompous- but-silly-but-maybe-thoughtful-? lyrics. It's cute, but not exactly jumping out to getcha.

Now, it's on "Get 'Em Out By Friday" that we REALLY get cooking. Another miniature sci-fi opera in the style of "Hogweed," but probably better. It's a constantly shifting piece, and every part is entertaining, from the boppy fun of the title refrain, the moaning of "Oh, no, this I can't believe," and the weird beauty of the announcement of Genetic Control. "Can Utility and the Coastliners" is a little less fun to listen to (plots to shrink people are replaced with medieval stylistics), but no less well crafted, and is one of the best places on the album to hear the band gelling instrumentally, particularly in the latter half.

"Horizon's" is probably the most interesting piece on the album; less than two minutes, it's a wonderful, simply wonderful, piece of Back-inspired classic guitar. No over the top lyrics or synths or sound effects, just...gorgeous guitar. And I love it. Some people view this as just an intro for the epic that follows. Ignore them; this is practically the best song on the album.

Still, the definitive song of the album, if not Genesis' entire career, is "Supper's Ready." It probably contains the lowest points on the album, but it easily takes the highest parts too. Take the opening medieval ballad "Lover's Leap," for instance. Pure beauty that one, both melodically and lyrically, probably the best part of the suite. It slides flawlessly into the stirring, anthemic "Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man," which raises a few less emotions, but is still cool.

Things pick up a tad with "Ikhanton and Istacon and Their Band of Merry Men," in which Genesis tries to rock out. Heh. Well, they do a nice attempt, mostly driven by Phil's booming drum kit, although Hackett's guitar and Bank's synths get a nice workout too. This eventually fades into "How Dare I Be So Beautiful?" which is nothing more than slow ambience, and never ceases to bore me. Least it's short...

Oh well. "Willow Farm" more than makes up for it though; this has got to be one of Pete's most psychopathic tunes. It starts out as an eerie, somehow compelling march. But halfway through, it mutates into some kind of bizarre take English music hall, complete with classic Gabriel vocals bursting from every direction. And catchy as hell too.

"Farm" dissolves into a strangely pretty instrumental break (dig the flute!), which in turn builds into the "Apocalypse in 9/8 (co-starring the delicious talents of Gabble Ratchet)" (GODS I'm getting sick of writing all these titles out). That one is gnarly, and pretty much lives up to the title (both in the "Apocalypse" part, AND in the "Gabble Ratchet" department). The instrumental sections are a little long, but dig those spooky-ass noises Hackett's producing with his six string. And the closer "As Sure As Eggs is Eggs (Aching Men's Feet)" is no slouch either; a soaring anthemic retake of "Lover's Leap," it ends with a whistle, a bang, and absolutely fits. Nice job.

So, as I hope I've indicated, these are all pretty solid tunes. They're all pretty memorable, mostly fun, and occasionally even...well, pretty. They're also fun. They're also headbanging! Well, maybe nothing REALLY rocks my socks, but when Phil and Steve get cookin', everything bounds along with an even tread.

But it's not the instruments that cut the album for me. The instrumental parts are all very well thought out and flow nicely, but they still lack a certain...oomph. I dunno. If you have to pinpoint something that really makes the album, it's Pete's flopping and gasping around like a dying fish. It's his weirdness that holds everything together and makes you want to keep listening.

This would be solved on Selling England next year, where Pete's weirdness would be evenly competed with his bandmates skill, but for the moment, it's still Pete's show, and Mr. Gabriel is a master showman here. Selling England is probably better in the end, but Foxtrot is one of the most consistent albums the band ever produced, and will always have a special place in my heart.

Report this review (#176262)
Posted Monday, July 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars Great, but hardly insupperable!

Foxtrot is often held up among Genesis very best works, and although I basically agree with that, I can name at least four other Genesis albums that I prefer over Foxtrot. Indeed, I think that only Watcher Of The Skies and Horizons are truly up to the masterpiece standard here. The 20 minute plus Supper's Ready is usually considered a masterpiece, but though I find it very good, I consider it somewhat overrated! There are certainly great bits and pieces in it, but overall it lacks the unifying structure needed for such a long piece to really work. It is by no means up to the standard of masterpieces like Yes' Close To The Edge, Jethro Tull's Thick As A Brick and ELP's Karn Evil 9.

Time Table is a nice but pretty straightforward piano driven song. Get 'Em Out By Friday is this album's Return Of The Giant Hogweed or Battle Of Epping Forrest and as such a very good one. The strangely titled Can-Utility And The Coastliners is another good mini-epic with several great passages. Horizons is a wonderful Steve Hackett acoustic instrumental that Steve has since played live a million times. It is brief and rather simple, but extremely effective.

Not the very best of Genesis, but a great album and clearly an excellent addition to any Prog collection

Report this review (#177301)
Posted Saturday, July 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars My favorite album by Genesis.Its exciting,innovative,and fresh.

We open up with ''Watcher of The Skies'',the keyboard intro is exciting then you have that progressing guitar riff from the excellent Steve Hackett.Then Peter makes his entrance.This song is just exciting. Just the opening track makes it so exciting.If they had just that track I would still give it five stars.But,alas this isn't the only great track.

We go to the fantastic ''Time Table''.Which starts with a little piano playing from the excellent Tony Banks. Its a very simple but great song.IMO,the best prog ballad of alll time.Peter Gabriel sings this like its actually happening in front of you.Thats the magic of Foxtrot.

''Get Em' Out by Friday'' is such an excellent prog song.If you looked up prog in dictionary you would find ''Get Em' Out by Friday''.This talks about eviction.You have the greedy John Peeble kicking out the humble residents for money.Mrs.Barrow is an innocent person who just can't beleive what's going on. At 8 and a half minutes,Genesis sums up why they are prog legends.

''Can Utility and Coastliners'' is very good but probably the weakest but still an excellent track. Its great with the keyboard and Phil's drums are really showing on this.Steve's guitar tapping in the last two minutes is great.Peter uses this seducefulness he's had through the whole album.It still is something I stop and listen to.

''Horizons'' is very humble its kinda like relax take a break you've had too much excitement we'll bring you down a level.Steve Hackett's ''Horizons'' is brilliant.He really showcases his guitar work.

I could spend a long time talking about ''Supper's Ready''.Lover's Leap is trying to keep the humble part of ''Horizons'' going.It then goes into The Guranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man.then it goes into something similar to ''Can Utility and Coastliners''.But not quite its a very moving section of the song.Peter's vocals and Tony Bank's playing makes this section so powerful.But then you go to Ikhnaton And Itsacon And Their Band Of Merry Men and it talks about a battle.Peter's vocal once again and Phil's backup vocals are superb.Then bam here comes Steve Hackett who dominates this part of the song.And then Peter,Tony,and Steve all harmonize.Which is so moving.How Dare I Be So Beautiful? is probably a little weaker then the other sections it tells the aftermath of the whole battle.Peter sings this part in a grim voice.But here comes Willow Farm.Whoah,my favorite section.Its so odd.It just makes me think of him in that flower head thing on stage.Its a little comedic.Peter once said he was screaming for his life on this track.I can see why Peter really just screams in this section.Then you hear Peter say ''All Change!'' It brings in some voice elements.Peter seduces you again.Apocalypse In 9/8 is a darker section.It talks about a living hell.Peter sings in terror.Its so brutal.As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs (Aching Men's Feet) is really a reprise of the beginning of the song which is excellent.He comes in with that signature line ''Its hey babe with your guardian eyes so blue''.We end ''Supper's Ready''with Steve Hackett just doing what he does best.

This album is a masterpiece every person should have this one in their collection. This is an album that would influence others. Its an album that should be celebrated. No bad song at all. So its easy what i'm going to give it. Defnitly,a five star prog album.

Report this review (#178060)
Posted Thursday, July 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is very exciting on the first listen and is quite different from the last album, Nursery Cryme. Watcher of the Skies has a great intro, but in my opinion didn't go anywhere once it had built up a bit.

Time Table, however, is a great track with a melody that I loved on my first listen. As much as Genesis can really rock, their softer stuff is also really impressive.

Get em out by Friday, starts off somewhat quiet but when it finally comes to the first singing verse, it enters a really heavy rhythm! The different characters that Gabriel channels also adds a quirky edge to the overall preformance.

Can-Utility and the Coastliners, is one of my favourites on the album and starts off with a great acoustic melody with really nice vocals. This doesn't last long though because soon Phil Collins' Heavy drumming comes in with Gabriel's echoeing vocals overtop. After this the band enters a suprisingly modern sounding jam section with the same rhythm guitar part continuing with more heavy drumming and a moody mellotron. Great track overall!

Horizons, is a nice bit of solo guitar work from Steve Hackett. Since it is a solo track, not as strong as some of the other numbers but still good in its own right.

Finally comes the long ambitious work we all know called Suppers Ready. Right off the top, great melody with the vocals and atmospheric guitar work. Then this work goes into some very moody passages, with a whole plethora of mini-songs. These range from the silly, such as in Willow Farm, to the dark, in Apocalypse in 9/8. Ends off very powerfully, and in my opinion stronger than their next album, Selling England by the Pound.

Report this review (#178087)
Posted Thursday, July 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of those albums that, when you hear it for the first time, you can never really forget about. From beginning to end it is a subtle yet energenic masterpiece, full of tapping guitar solos, keyboard suites and strange drum signatures. Nonetheless, this album shows the tru creativity of the band thus far, and shall remain. When Watcher of the Skies first kicks in, it's awe inspiring, with breaks and drum fills in perfect rythm with keyboard harmonies and great guitar licks. The song itself shows the more serious side of the album, far away from Supper's Ready, but that will come later. Time Table again shows a straightforward rock piece, with nice harmonies. Get Em' Out By Friday on the other hand displays Genesis' more immature side, which is not a bad thing by any sense. The song itself is a conversation between different people, but sung thus in a song form. Some parts song by P.G. have those kiddie tones to his voice (i.e. Return of the Giant Hogweed.) Moving on, Can-Utility and the Coastliners is yet another symphonic song full of energy. Acoustic guitars make the song much more soothing for the ears, although still full of energy, especially towards the end.

Now i have to seperate from the rest for the next section, because it deserves its own paragraph or four.

Horizons, the perfect introduction to an actual 20th century masterpiece. Acoustic 12 strings bring the mood just right in play and get you prepared for what's next...

SUPPER'S READY marks the pinnacle of Genesis for me, with so many different varieties of harmonies, rythmic suites and absolutely genius lyrics. Lover's Leap starts out nice and soft, like most Genesis songs, with a serenade of 2 12 string guitars from Hackett, Rutherford, and Banks, as well as Mellotron, and of course, Peter Gabriel on flute. With a 2 minute interlude, we are introduced to The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man, the first part with drums and a continuation of Mellotron. The range of melodies in this section really stands out because the amount going on at once makes his vocals stand out more than they really do, thus seeming very ryhtmic. Next, Ikhnaton and Itsacon and Their Band of Merry Men, the introduction of electric guitars and organ, one of the most energenic parts of the whole song (along with Willow Farm and Apocalypse in 9/8.) As Steve Hackett and Tony Banks work their magic on a layered keyboard/guitar solo, the music fades eerily to only the voice of P.G. How Dare I Be So Beautiful? is a quiet interlude, with subtle keyboard keys. Until the end, P.G. says, We watched in reverance as Narcissus was turned to a flower, but questions himself in the process, and this is the most energenic and imaginative section, Willow Farm. Organs, Bass, Drums, high pitched vocals, mini characture voices, silly vocals, this section has everything you could ever want from Genesis!!!!!! As hard as it is sitting here explaining it to you all, this section is only easier by listening to it for yourself. Once the festivities of Willow Farm end, the keyboard harmony sounds reminiscent of the alarms from the movie Alien, but seeing as this was before that, it is just a coinidence. Flute is again introduced to the listener as a sort of relaxer. But as the music picks up once again, you are introduced to the abstract but amazingly chaotic Apocalypse in 9/8 (featuring the delicious talents of Gabble Ratchet), the true test of virtuosity for the band, and it shows. As the title suggests, the suite is in 9/8 time signatue. Fantasy lyrics and one long keyboard solo are reflected in this truly awe inspiring section, and as the title suggests, it sounds somewhat like an Apocalypse. After the end, we reach the end, with a reprisal suite; As Sure as Eggs is Eggs (Aching Men's Feet). The keyboard on this song is always prevelant, which makes it 20 times better for me, as symphonys are the backbone of prog rock. I hope you all can appreciate the technicallity and true heart that went into making this album, not only by P.G., but everyone else as well.

Report this review (#180869)
Posted Tuesday, August 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I will describe this album in fiew words, my opinion about Foxtrot. While is a big album in progressive music, i never considered this one the best Genesis album, is even less enjoyble, i'm not mentioning weak, in places than Nursery cryme. The music is as every one has figer it out so far very symphonic with a lot to offer like the opening track Watcher Of The Skies, Get 'Em Out By Friday and the smooth instrumental one made in Hackett - Horizons, the rest is good no doubt but less enjoyble than on previous one. Many consider that the Supper's ready is the magnum opus of Genesis music, the best overture they made, but to me is only good, why??, because is to divided in many small pieces, and as a whole is not quite on par. Of course lyrically is great, Peter Gabriel shows his talent here, but musicaly is an almost usual symphonic prog piece. Many bands from that era done it better than this, example are many, one of them is Jethro Tull - Thick asa a brick. So in the end i will give 3.5 rounded to 4, and only because of the 3 tracks mentioned above, not for Supper's Ready alone as almost every body said. Recommended but only if you listned some other Genesis albums before this one, like Nursery cryme or Selling England.
Report this review (#183219)
Posted Monday, September 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars One of the essential Genesis' albums.It is not very aggressive album and I think that it is more gentle than most of the prog era Genesis albums.The music is superb and makes you want to dream!It is a type of album that you cannot speak a lot of.It is an album that you cannot listen to very often.Foxtrot is full of grief and shadows,without containing dark music.I would like to mention the creative composition called Supper's Ready.It is very characteristic of progressive rock music as whole.Contains lots of ideas,changes in tempo and changes in mood.Excellent musicianship in addition to highly theatrical vocal by Peter Gabriel.Not a everyday album,but really perfect.
Report this review (#184166)
Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album Genesis the first of early albums of this collective whom I have listened. It was opening of the new worlds. This miracle - absolutely another, rather than that I listened before. Each sound, each movement of a melody it is counted to trifles. Magnificent arrangements, absence of a blues component - all it has so shaken perception that has made this album one of the greatest for me for long time. Foxtrot it is possible to listen every day, and every day to take pleasure. Certainly 5 stars, the best album of programs-fates, together with Selling England and Nursery Cryme, the unsurpassed classics pure Prog-Rock.
Report this review (#187922)
Posted Tuesday, November 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars 6,5/10

After discovering Genesis recently and bought three albums who have certainly my five stars I purchased Foxtrot. The first song give me a very bad premonitory feeling I must admit.

Well despite the great intro of Watcher of the skies, who sounds very melancholic the repetitiveness of this so kitch way of singing. And despite the quality of the lyrics I really can not appreciate this song, it makes me sick. I'm maybe to young to understand the quality i twas in the 70's but I'm a kid born twenty years laters as it was released.

The three following songs are of higher quality and much more intensive than the energic opener even if i'm not a huge fan again, I only remembered Time Table. I didn't understand the next short-lenged song which consists of an acoustic play.

Here comes the epic, I'm not disapointed, you can smell that composition is well-built. There are some very exciting moment where you can't wait for the next seconds. The general feeling about this album is not such enthusiastic as i have read of the other review. I must be an exception.

There's no doubt that it is an album you have to listen to, even if you're not a huge fan of Genesis but I though it would be of the same quality as Trespass or Selling England by The Pound.

DandyWalker

Report this review (#188539)
Posted Sunday, November 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Arguably the best album of all time in my mind. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this essential masterpeice of prog. While the 23-minute epic SUPPER'S READY is the highlight of the album, everything else is solid as can be too. Every song is one of the best ever written, every lyric is one of the best ever spoken, and every musician is absolutely perfect on this album. A must own for everyone.

The songs:

The album kicks off with the incredible WATCHER OF THE SKIES. It is the perfect way to open an album, and Tony Banks' opening is incredible. It contains easily one of the best openings ever, and the rest is strong too.

TIME TABLE is one of the shorter songs by (early) Genesis, but still manages to be great. It has a great melody and I particulary like Gabriel's lyrics and singing sound here.

GET 'EM OUT BY FRIDAY is the third song on the album, and really highlights Mike Rutherford's bassist skills that aren't shown as much as the rest of the band. The bassline is really incredible, though Steve Hackett's guitar is also great here too.

CAN UTILITY AND THE COASTLINERS is the last song on side one and is a great closer to a great side. It is laid out like a mini-epic, and is really incredible. I love the ending the most, and once again Steve's acoustic guitaring is amazing (probably the best acoustic guitarist ever).

HORIZONS. This is much more like an opening to the epic SUPPER'S READY. They needed something to really show Hackett's ability and they showed his amazing dynamics and sound on an acoustic on this short classical piece. The arrangement and recording quality are also really great on the whole album, but show the most here.

SUPPER'S READY is the 23-minute epic, highlight of the whole incredible album. Fom the beautiful acoustic opening to the rocking 9/8 section with Tony's incredible keyboard solo, this song is amazing. The closing is one of the best ever, but my favorite is probably is the awesome 9/8 section. Trust me, I've tried playing along to this and I can't. It's really hard. The solo's in 4/4, but the rest is in 9/8, so not only do you lose time with the rest of the band, it's difficult by itself too. Trust me, this solo's hard and it's really incredible too.

So basically, I can't think of one prog fan I wouldn't recomend this to. Between the incredible shorter songs, Hackett's acoustic song, and the long epic, this is a masterpiece that should be owned by anyone.

Report this review (#192732)
Posted Friday, December 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars The music we love does not exist as such, before we allow it to. When we live our lives to a soundtrack chosen based on our mood, location, or the people we share our most precious moments these things and people become imbedded in our perception of the music just as our brains forge connections between memories and associated feelings.

When we go somewhere or do something memorable or meaningful with someone we care about, we leave an imprint in that place and with that person. Impulses fire across new synapses, and we grow. These memories become linked directly to that music.

Such associations may be obscured, dulled, or transformed over time, but never destroyed. It may hurt to listen to certain music for years at a time, because of its ability to remind us of the things we loved and the things we lost. When we rediscover those things and realize they were never gone, but only sleeping, that music suddenly springs back to life and takes on the meaning it once had -- except this time around, you never take a single note for granted.

Foxtrot is one such album for me. Yes, yes -- the songs are indeed wonderful, but all of you know I feel that way when you see my five-star review. Instead of doing a track-by-track critique and analysis, I'd rather illustrate just how special this album is if you allow it to be. This is just one in a series of albums by Genesis that deserve the highest rating based on my experiences, but have been sitting in an audio cocoon in my collection because of its power to make me pine for happier days. And Foxtrot in particular does that more for me than any other Genesis record.

And now I've cleared the dust from its jewel case, and put it on.

And I say to you out there (you know who you are. Yes, you. ), I have listened to this album for the first time in a long time and I am happy to sing this song to you once again:

"Hello babe, with your guardian eyes so blue [brown, really]... Hey my baby, don't you know our love is true?"

I've spent two years simmering in life's Crock-Pot, and now I can safely say that supper's finally ready.

"I've been so far from here, far from your warm arms. It's good to feel you again, it's been a long long time... Hasn't it?"

Five healthy f**king stars.

Report this review (#197258)
Posted Sunday, January 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Another towering achievement of the Classical Line Up....a fantastic record that was eventually the album that made Genesis famous (Their first breakthough in Italy, where Genesis got famous more earlier than in other partsof the mainland, which resulted in playing the songs Can Unility and Seven Stones only in Italy and after that never again).

The album opener was user for many years as a concert opener and was played during the The Lamb tour as an encore together with The Knife (only occasionaly) and the Musical Box. The song should be abble to count as an equally perfect opener as Pink Floyd's Shine On 1. The slow build up.....beginning with a mellotron, then phil's drumming, Mike's base, Steve's guitar and ultimatly Peters vocals.....really take you to another world. The song is now mainly legendary for the excesive use of the melltron, but we should also not forget other contributions...beginning with Peter's voice.....yes, but also Steve's guitar is contributing some nice and harsh moment.....the song ends in a fully blown out all playing together....that is nothing short but stunning.

The second great song on the album is...get Em Out By Friday....that is showing one of Peter's greatest role playing on stage. Like mentioned before...he is playing 3 characters at the same time...and all have their own voice....All of that is as usually guided by some great music....Get Em Out By Friday...long came to me as rather agressive but eventually I began to really aprececiate this album.

The biggest chuck of music on this album and also the band's most legendary and anticipated song is Suppers Ready....by the band itself regarded as their absolute magnus opus...and if played in the early years usually played as last song because after this the band had nothing left to order that was worth playing.....A fantastic journey...that takes you through very much different styles and moments...theatric to bloodpumping emotion.....where all members are contributing an equal share that cumulates in one of the greatest achievements in Progressive Rock....If there was a Hall of Fame for sogs this one should be in itwith no doubt.

Now..that leaves is the beautifull composition Horizons from Hackett that I always regarder as a really good intro into evetually SR, but because of the quality og the last song, this one failt short a bit.....it works much better as a stand alone piece.....the way Hackett is often playing it....on his tours now.

The other song worth mentioning is Can Utility Coast Liners.....the middle intrumental bridge keeps on blowing me away time after time.....so bad that this song is never performed again.....after these few times in Italy......One of Genesis more underestimated songs for sure.

Report this review (#199289)
Posted Friday, January 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
crimson87
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars One of my favourite Genesis albums.

This album , alongside post Gabriel's Trick of the Tail , could qualyfy as the group's masterpiece. Of course the highlight of the record is the epic Supper's Ready but the other four songs are spectacular as well. This record seems to continue in the same style of Tresspass and Nursery cryme with their fantasy lyrics and a harder sound that was lost on the following albums.

Genesis , in general , knows how to wonder you with their openers and Watcher of the Skies is no exeption , here Gabriel's vocals and Tony Banks mellotron stole the show. But don't worry , Foxtrot manages to keep you in awe during the whole 51 minutes of duration , there is much more on the record. The second song , Time Table features some of the best lyrics of the band and is driven mainly by Banks gentle piano. It's quite notable how the song develops lyrically from a dusty table to remind the medieval ages.

Get em out by Friday while it lasts just 8 minutes has enough material to build a terrific epic. This is how I like PG to use his theaetrics . the story itsely is really weird and somewhat dystopian about clones and greedy businessman. Musically it features several sections and mood changes to keep the listener hooked enough. Can utility is a perfectly composed song.PG's flute playing is really good as well. Steve Hackett delivers some fine guitarwork on here. But if you wanna talk about Hackett just give a listen to the lovely Horizons. that short tune could be a modern piece of classical music and serves as a perfect interlude to the one of the landmarks on progressive rock.

That landmark's name is Supper's Ready: This 23 minute song is what Genesis is all about , they weren't the best technically speaking but they knew how to compose a majestic song. My favourite sections on here are Willow Farm , Apocalypse in 9/8 and Lover's leap. All the members of the band play at their best and create a magical climax all over this epic.

I won't recomend this record to anyone since you ' ll eventually come to it. It's one of the most popular releases of the genre. But if you happen to live in a nutshell then my advice is to give several listens to Foxtrot. You won't regret it.

Report this review (#200625)
Posted Sunday, January 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
lazland
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars A masterpiece and one in a series of epitomes of English rock by the greatest exponents of the art in history. This is a masterpiece, and one never gets tired of hearing it.

Watcher of the Skies is an exceptionally prescient piece of music dealing with a potential Earth catastrophe, which we now know as global warming. Banks' mellotron set the standard amongst all '70s prog bands.

I love Time Table, which is another example of Gabriel and the band looking back in history for inspiration in a period of huge upheaval. Beautifully played and sung, it is an underrated track.

As for Get 'Em Out by Friday, I lived in Harlow as a child, and this song always brings out some memories in me, but, more than anything else, it was a great track which dealt with avarice and greed before the world ever switched on to such ideas. Some excellent guitar work and storytelling make this far more than a filler.

Can Utility and the Coastliners is another underrated song, with Gabriel especially giving his all in the final sequence with Banks' mellotron in strong support.

Horizons is the moment when, as much as you admire Anthony Phillips, you realise that Steve Hackett is much more than a worthy successor. Hackett plays a lovely solo which can be played in any personal mood.

As I write this review, Suppers Ready is playing on the PC. What can be said about this piece that hasn't already been said? Pretty impossible really! An exceptional work which, I believe, has unfairly been described as a precursor to The Lamb - it isn't - it stands up on its own merits more than enough.

We walked across the fields to see the children of the west. I am listening to Banks ploughing his mellotron and Gabriel shouting bang bang bang - I want this potion!

The start inspires pictures of love and other worldly activity. The end makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as you imagine the light rising from the darkness.

This is an absolutely essential addition to any prog rock collection. What a pity it only gets five stars.

A flower??

Report this review (#201260)
Posted Saturday, January 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars A really good piece of symphonic prog. Though I think all lovers of classic 70's prog should hear this one, it doesn't achieve the masterpiece status many think it does. I'd be happy if this album would stay as a point of reference, a band in blossom, before Genesis' true masterpieces: SEBTP and TLLDOB.

The beginning is known by now: 90 seconds of hollow mellotron chords, which don't particularly move me, but the dramatic build-up of the rhythm section is great. My favorite from Foxtrot, with a great vocal melody and delivery, Watcher of the Skies is a joyful way to start the album. Phil is executing a rather tricky drum pattern throughout and Tony is creating nice soundscapes to make it sound really beautiful. Still Peter leads the group in this piece, a true succes! Time Table is easily the weakest link. It has a safe feeling to it and to me sounds really bland! I can't connect with the lyrics at all, and dare I even say the song seems like filler... Now it's not like there's anything wrong with it, except no risks are taken. This leaves only the piano and voice to carry the song, but it's nothing of interest. Get 'em Out By Friday's my second favorite. This is one of those you have to listen to a dozen times before you even begin to realize all the things you're hearing. A nice storyline and great storytelling within the music! There's also incredible performances from all the members, and the song is basicly a proggers wet dream. One of Peter's early and most succesful experiments with characters. The next track isn't as good, though it's fine too. I like the first half quite a lot, but the keyboards that dominate the second half aren't to my liking. Hence the song feels uneven, which is a shame because there's some really great parts hidden in it. Unevenness (I think that's a word) is a theme that runs through the album, actually, most notable in you-know-where. Hackett's Horizons is like a newborn puppy: simply adorable but so small. One of my favorite parts on Foxtrot, but it doesn't change the overall rating much. Still a near five-star piece as it is...

Supper's Ready: the monster epic in seven movements! Or... seven songs rolled into one? Either way, it's pretty impressive! The way the track is built for me is quite bizarre, but the parts are really strong. But there's a danger when you make a song by using this technique: all it takes is one part you don't like to break the rhythm! Apocalypse in 9/8 was the part that I didn't go for, and a masterwork became a flawed masterwork. A really good piece of symphonic prog. 3,5 stars.

Report this review (#202140)
Posted Monday, February 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars My original review of this album was a very short checklist of how I rated each song. Thankfully we can edit reviews now so I can write an actual review of this album.

This was the second Genesis album that I ever heard. Every Christmas I ask for new cds from my mom, and those cds are chosen from this site. I look for high rated bands/albums I have never heard before and hopefully I come across a revelation. Christmas of 2007 I asked for Genesis SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND among others, and I was thoroughly impressed. In fact, I loved it so much that it took me nearly a year to move on to any other Genesis! Whenever I thought of trying out a new Genesis album it would always remind me of how much I loved SEBTP, and I would then find myself listening to that again.

After several months a friend of mine was still raving about Foxtrot, and I finally got myself to turn it on. That was still tough for me because I was still thinking about SEBTP! So, after another month I was finally able to listen to it with open ears, and I was addicted. For about a month I listened to it every other day.

From the start it was "Get 'Em Out By Friday" and "Can-Utility And The Coastliners" that stood out the most. Get 'Em had some keyboard lines in the middle that reminded me of SEBTP and the song would only grow on me from there because of the lyrics.

It is not immediately obvious while listening to Get Em that the song is a story between various characters. Once I read the lyrics and knew all of the different verses between all the characters the song opened up to a whole new level. With each verse there is a different character talking, and the song takes different tones based on the character. With Mrs. Barrow you have a sad quiet guitar which builds into Mr. Pebble yelling to have Mrs. Barrow removed from her tenant. It is also worth mentioning that the bass work through Mr. Pebble's verses is amazing, and can hide under the words and guitar if you're not listening. The attention to detail in the song to reflect the story is amazing, and should be experienced by all.

I could go into great depths about each song on the album, but I hate writing direct summaries of songs as much as I hate reading them. Hell, I could probably go on for pages on all the intricacies of Supper's Ready alone, but rather I'll say to give it time. The song is long, and goes through a ton of transitions, and it is pretty hard to digest at first, but letting it settle and knowing how all the pieces fit the whole is worth the effort, as this song is now in my top 3 favorite Genesis songs of all time with "The Cinema Show" and "Firth of Fifth" (don't ask me to order them).

Even though "Time Table" is a rather generic song, it isn't bad, and considering how excellent the rest of the album is I feel that it still deserves a 5 star rating. If you're still hung up on SEBTP like I was then give it time, or if you're new to Genesis then you're better served starting off at SEBTP as that album is more accessible, but try not to catch the bug that I did.

Report this review (#203739)
Posted Thursday, February 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Foxtrot' - Genesis (8/10)

This was the first album I ever bought solely on the recommendation of prog archives users. I was checking out HMV (I went there initially to see if their selection was still terrible) and I noticed they had some Genesis CDs lying about. The high acclaim for the band from members of this site suddenly came to mind, and I found myself looking through. I had honestly listened to very little actual Genesis before buying 'Foxtrot,' so as far as my personal enjoyment of it would go, buying 'Foxtrot' was a total shot in the dark. Going home, I slipped the CD into my sound system and I listened.

What a pleasant surprise. Because I am firmly rooted in the metal world, I haven't listened to too much Symphonic Prog, but I am so happy I purchased this. The first few listens of 'Foxtrot' however, I knew that it was excellent, but I wasn't quite sure whether or not it was up to par with the overwhelming appeal people seemed to harbour for it. After about ten or eleven spins though, I realized that the vast majority of the material (especially the highlight 'Supper's Ready') was still fresh as ever, and though I was able to predict everything that was coming next in the music while listening (even prog can be memorized) it had a very fresh sound to it, and especially for a year like 1972 when prog music was basically in it's infancy, the chronological context of the work only exacerbates it's designation as a classic.

While I'm generally used to heavier music such as Dream Theater and Opeth, I found Genesis' 'Foxtrot' anything but boring. A mere hour of music has validated (in my eyes) calling Genesis one of the greatest prog bands of all time. From now on, anytime I go music shopping, I'll keep an eye out for the Genesis section. A great thanks to this band for making such inspirational, intelligent and epic music!

Report this review (#207589)
Posted Tuesday, March 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The First in a Trio of Masterpieces

Genesis' Foxtrot is among the albums mentioned for THE example of classic prog rock. Though I have a few other choices for that honor, this album certainly is among the top 10 prog albums of all time, and contains the ultimate multi-part narrative epic, "Supper's Ready." It is on this album that the classic lineup reaches their full stride, really never letting up until Peter Gabriel's departure (and then only slightly).

There are only six songs on this album, and one (Horizons) is a solo acoustic piece by Steve Hackett that actually serves a prelude to "Supper's Ready." Though less adventurous, Hackett's piece is better executed than any of contemporary Steve Howe's solo acoustic works, and it is no surprise that this was a large part of his future career after Genesis.

"Watcher of the Skies" is a true prog rocker, with Michael Rutherford's bass ostinato driving the band and Tony Banks' mellotron creating a defining sound of the genre. "Time Table" is a existential piece harkening back to Trespass, a great foil for the more extended story telling of the other tracks. "Get Em Out by Friday" has Gabriel employing multiple character voices in a strange alien takeover story over the top of a variety of odd time syncopation and grand key beds. "Can-Utility and the Coastliners" is a bit more whimsical at first, but continues in the storytelling and theatrical tone set earlier in the disc. All are wonderful songs, no low point to my ear. All of the players are at the top of their form, and each get plenty of space to play, all the while complimenting each other splendidly.

But the climax to the work is one of the grand summits of prog. "Supper's Ready" is the prog epic to rule them all. While "Close to the Edge" is a remarkable achievement in successfully creating a 20 minute pop song, "Supper's Ready" is a multi-part suite telling a story of love, war, spiritual transformation, the brutality of nature and man, the epitome of both the brilliance and pretentiousness of the genre. No fan of the genre really cares much about the latter, and for many of us "Hey baby, with your guardian eyes so blue" is enough to bring a tear time after time.

This album is a must have for all prog fans, and I'm sure I'm already preaching to the choir. It is beyond masterpiece and Genesis' most consistent work start to finish. If you don't have it, get it.

Report this review (#211402)
Posted Wednesday, April 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Somehow I made it through the sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties all the way through to 2009 without discovering Genesis. I was there for early Tull, Yes and most of the other late sixties and early seveties golden era of prog without anyone even raising my curiosity about this band. Ironically, my desire to aquaint myself with this music arose from reviews of more recent artists whose work caught my attention. Such was the case, after reading several reviews about a new band Edensong whose music was repeatedly likened to early Genesis. I now understand why and have found a treasure trove of new (old) music, which has quickly taken over the slots in my cd player. Not that it was love at first sight, but by the second or certainly the third time around I was hooked. Having noticed hundreds of reviews on this site detailing the individual songs, there is no need to address each one. What I love is the complex musical composition, the intelligent, if somewhat obtuse lyrics and the somewhat unorthodox voice and emotional (and delightfully awkward) vocal stylings of Peter Gabriel. Like most of the prog that I am drawn to, there is a great mix of interesting melodies and epic moments here. Even though I love Suppers Ready as a collection of great little songs, strangely, I don't find it to be the Epic that most here find it to be. Similarly, I find "Time Table" to be a better listen than most here, even though it is less proggy than the rest. In any event, the album continues to grow on me no matter how many times I listen. A true FIVE in any sense and the best of the early Genesis albums!
Report this review (#211748)
Posted Sunday, April 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
Dobermensch
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Inherently there's not much wrong with 'Foxtrot' from a technical point of view. It's played well enough, It's produced well enough, the lyrics are ok, the cover is great.... it's just that... it's boring... I've always had a soft spot for Peter Gabriel - he has a very distinctive singing voice that I could recognise anywhere. I'm always amazed that no one really gave Fish from Marillion a hard time over the obvious plagiarism that took place over their first three albums from '83 to '85, although in my opinion Marillion were far better.

Basically if I was inviting a girl round for dinner, this is one of the last albums I'd play because of the stigma that 70's Genesis have in the world of music. It's all a bit too 'poncey' and 'airy fairy' for my liking with nothing that really sticks out. In a word... unmemorable.

Report this review (#218917)
Posted Friday, May 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Sleepwalker
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Foxtrot is often seen as an improved and more complete album than Nursery Cryme, and a slightly weaker album than Selling England By The Pound. I'm not a big fan of Selling England at all, and I really don't understand why people love it more than Foxtrot, a truly perfect album. Foxtrot is a lot like Nursery Cryme I think, but it's better. Where Nursery Cryme had some filler, Foxtrot only has good tracks, and all of them do have a big role in making the album what it is.

"Watcher Of The Skies" opens the album with beautiful and at the same time powerful mellotron chords. This goes on for a while and powerful drums and a bassline come in, Peter Gabriel's vocals on this song aren't my favorite, but they are good. The song is completed by Hackett's great guitar playing and Bank's lovely organ during the verses. "Watcher Of The Skies" is the perfect opener for this album.

"Time Table" is my least favorite of the songs here, and the only one I now and then skip. It is the most accesible of the songs on Foxtrot and lacks the power and passion that the other songs on this album have, it is an enjoyable song however, and it's not bad at all.

The next song is "Get 'Em Out By Friday", a short mini-epic that makes us listen to a Gabriel singing about a short and not very comlicated story in a not too distant future. The song opens pretty powerful and the vocals change between agressive and soft constantly (Peter Gabriel moves himself into the different people in the story), which makes the song an unique experience. The song also has a very soft mid section with some beautiful flute playing. "Get 'Em Out By Friday" is an amazing song with lots of different moods in only eight minutes.

"Can-Utility And The Coastliners" is next. The song start with great vocals by Peter Gabriel over some acoustic guitar playing. What starts as sounding like a nice little song turns into everything beyond your expections. Mellotron comes in and the song gets epic and very powerful. The second half of the song contains amazing istrumental playing and Gabriels powerful vocals, this song really is a true masterpiece.

The next song is a short one. "Horizons" is a classical acoustic guitar piece by Hackett. The piece is very soft and calm, it gives you a short break between the epic "Can-Utility And The Coastliners" and the 23 minute long "Supper's Ready".

"Supper's Ready" is the longest song Genesis has ever made, being a seven part suite. The seperate parts all aren't really special, with the exception of "Lover's Leap" and "Apocalypse In 9/8", but combined they all are incredibly epic. As it's a 23 minute suite, it takes us through several different moods. The love of "Lover's Leap", the roughness of "Ikhnaton and Itsacon and Their Band of Merry Men", the eccentric "Willow Farm" and the rise of doom in "Apocalypse In 9/8". Apart from Gabriel doing a wonderful job making you feel the emotions of the song, some fantastic instrumental parts are heard. For example a great fuzz solo by Steve Hackett, a truly amazing organ solo by Tony Banks and of course Phil Collins is a master of the drums. "Supper's Ready" is often said to be Genesis' best song, I think it isn't, I like songs as "Can-Utility..." more than this one, but "Supper's Ready" definitely is the most epic made by Genesis ever.

What can I say? Foxtrot is Genesis' best album made, it has no weaknesses (though "Time Table" isn't as strong as the other songs) and everything about this album just feels good. Because of Foxtrot being such an outstanding album it deserves absolutely nothing less than five stars, it's a true masterpiece of progressive rock.

Report this review (#222300)
Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars What can I say about this album? Is probably my favorite album, even slightly better than SEBTP. First of all, this album as no weak track or filler. Another thing that makes me like so much this album (besides the undeniable quality of the music) is the order of the tracks that is just perfect. It almost seems they made each song thinking in the previous one and preparing you for the next one.

I´m gonna do a track by track preview:

1. Watcher of the Skies - There couldn´t have been a better beginning to this album than Watcher of the Skies . When you listen to this song, the first thing that comes to mind is "THIS IS GENESIS!" without hesitation. The song begins with a majestic mellotron and at 1:30 the mellotron and the bass begin to create a climax that explodes with the Peter voice, which fits just perfectly in this song (and in all the others in Foxtrot). This song has all aspects that are good in prog, and describes perfectly the mood of the album.

2. Time Table - This is a more calm song that does the transition between Watcher of the Skies and the other epic prog song Get 'Em Out By Friday . A very good song in that job, though; alone, it is also a good song.

3. Get 'Em Out By Friday - Another prog epic by Genesis, this is a song where Peter shows how well he plays the flute. There are lots of different moods in this song that are achieved through Peter Gabriel singing. The song is introduced by a wonderful guitar riff and then we can hear a mellotron along with Peter voice. The flute really shines in the second part of the song. All in all, another excellent one by Genesis.

4. Can-Utility And The Coastliners - This song is simply a masterpiece of prog and one of the highlights of the album. This song begins with beautiful chords of an acoustic guitar before Peter Gabriel starts to sing with his magnificent voice "Scattered pages of a book..." that leaves tears in my eyes. Then a more dark mood begins when he sings "Far from the north...". After this singing part, it leads to an instrumental part played in the piano and in the organ, followed by a transition section played mainly in the synthesizer and in the bass. Then there is a singing part again that ends song. Amazing! A most hear to all of those who enjoy real music.

5. Horizons - Another great song, calm and relaxing, preparing you for the ultimate song of the album. This song is played in the acoustic guitar by Steve Hackett. I think I've heard this song years ago, but I can't remember where. Was it being played on the radio or in a TV program? I don't know.

6. Supper's Ready - This song is one of the best songs in prog. Is undeniably a masterpiece and one of the best songs Genesis ever made along with maybe Firth of Fifth . This song is too long to make a complete review, so I'm going to talk only about the parts I liked the most.

i. Lover's Leap - This first part, named Lover's Leap , is really amazing. It begins with Peter singing "Walking across the sitting room, I turn the television off." in a very beautiful and somehow melancholic voice and with Steve Hackett playing his acoustic guitar. After this beautiful singing part, here is the magnificent instrumental part played by Banks on the keyboard and by Steve on the guitar, both helping to create the climax that ends on the following part. No words to describe it!

ii. The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man - After Lover's Leap comes another of my favorite parts, The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man . The climax created in the end of Lover's Leap reaches is peak with a magnificent keyboard playing and a majestic voice from Peter. When all this settles down, we can hear a chorus of children singing, followed by Peter playing in his flute the beginning of Lover's Leap , leaving me wordless.

vii. As Sure as Eggs is Eggs (Aching Men's Feet) - This is the best part of the album. The beginning is similar to Lover's Leap with Peter singing "And it's, hey babe...", although you can notice some differences (Christmas bells, I think), before Steve Hackett begins playing is guitar. The climax that begun in Apocalypse in 9/8 has reached is maximum level in As Sure as Eggs is Eggs , making it one of the most memorable moments in music history.

6 stars out of 5!

Report this review (#229058)
Posted Thursday, July 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have reviewed SEBTP - My favourite Genesis album, now it's another fabulous effort from the band that sparked my love of prog in the mid to late 70's. I have heard this album hundreds of times - and it;s not aged IMO. Suppers Ready - the track that is the epitome of the Symphonic prog genre. It has been copied many times by later prog bands who have been heavily influenced by this masterpiece. I still love the lights down low and listen to the twelve strings as Gabriel relates the strangeness of his girlfriend on the fateful night he describes, I love the ambience he sets as I umagine him & Jill settling down in some large home-counties house, the metronome click of some grand-father clock *Nursery cryme imagery" as the distant sounds of the modern world (motor cars) are fading to be replaced by the horror-genre girlfriend face-change...The song takes me back to the 70's - and it;s brilliance evolves into gast-flowing organ and guitar interchanges - the quirky willow-farm, the haunting Hackett guitar and then the finale with it's religious pomposity that echoes throughout the ages and is still revered by the modern prog world. What about the opener - Watcher of the skies? - again this is a much copied track - and the Mellotron & Organ still makes me tingle to this day. Can Utility and the coastliners - another UNDERATED classic - sort of a compacted epic, and these three tracks take Foxtrot easily into FIVE STARS - Get em out by friday has interesting historical and social overtones and Gabriel sees the future quite clearly - The Piano ballad Time-Table isn't bad and Horizons is one of my favourite classical guitar mini-solos. A true classic and I may listen tonight as I've whetted my own appetite to revisit 1972.
Report this review (#229390)
Posted Saturday, August 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Errors and Omissions Team
5 stars Seems like favourite album to me. Both to public prog rock community and also to me. But it's not so good feeling that my review will probably be to no use. There is already hundreds of them, so what difference can I make ? (I know, I've read "even 210th review can be useful). So I'm gonna say some personal feelings about this album, because it should be original. They're mine in the end.

It's strange how I realise bass guitar right now in "Watcher of the Skies", after many listens. I used to listen to this album almost every day, untill I started to be fed up with it. Especially "Timetable" intro. But not now, little bit time and everything is allright, same as with Dark Side of the Moon. "Coastliners" are remarkable track with great guitar solos. After few songs, each of them with it's on story we are confronted with epic tale - Supper's ready. How typically English. It's interesting to look for example on wikipedia to story of this track. It's written to every detail and explanation is long here.

And to rate Peter Gabriel's vocal style is meaningless. Love it or hate it, I like it. A lot. 200 words ? Could be worse. Yeah and why 5 stars ? There's reason, really. I can explain it. But when talking about this album, words are meaningless. Almost. Most of us know this album, so what.

Report this review (#229668)
Posted Monday, August 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars Can one think of a better way to celebrate September 8th with a review of one of Genesis's greatest masterpieces, Foxtrot? While much of the music, particularly the final epic, took me a while to fully appreciate, I eventually did, and I am happy to consider this album one of the cornerstones of progressive rock music.

"Watcher of the Skies" The opening of this song represents the power and presence of the lofty Mellotron, that airy analogue behemoth that served as both a staple of progressive rock music and a roadie's worst nightmare. Tony Banks's combination of that Mellotron and the regal organ, working through a majestic chord progression, quickly fades to give way to a rising, battering rhythm of bass, drums, and guitar. Phil Collins cements himself as a great drummer with this varied performance. Peter Gabriel maintains exceptional control of his voice, with gorgeous yet subtle inflections. The lyrics poetically describe a cosmic seer beholding planet Earth, the inhabitants of which have died or fled. The music after he vocals fades in and out, but soon explodes into a robust layer of keyboard-dominated sound. Soon, the music wanes, and Steve Hackett's guitar sings a few bittersweet notes before the splendid pieces ends.

"Time Tables" Lovely simplistic piano and thought-provoking lyrics make this an oft-ignored but wonderful piece with a compelling melody. I have wondered if the Christian song "Give Thanks," written by Henry Smith and recorded by Don Moen (first released in 1986), was partially inspired by this song, since the main theme that bridges the verses in the Genesis piece serves as the melody of the refrain of the religious song.

"Get 'Em Out by Friday" One of the most creative narratives of all time, with that well-orchestrated opening, this is a dystopian tale of how human height is genetically restricted in order to accommodate more people in apartments. I often feel Mike Rutherford is the star of this bizarre show. The music is varied and never gets stale- yet another brilliant work from an amazing (and amazingly wry) British band.

"Can-Utility and the Coastliners" This overlooked gem is a precious and sometimes unnoticed jewel in the career of Genesis. It tells the legend of King Knut, his moving the waters out of his way, and his sycophantic following. It is probably my son's favorite song (at the time of this writing, he is two), and it delights might heart to see his face when those first few, recognizable notes are played. In about five short minutes, it shows the breadth and depth of this wondrous quintet.

"Horizons" Hackett performs a calm and peaceful acoustic guitar solo.

"Supper's Ready" One of the great epics of classic progressive rock, with that heartfelt opening, "Supper's Ready" may not be the most coherent or comprehensible, but it stands out as what Genesis was capable of producing. My favorite part is "The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man" along with "As Sure as Eggs is Eggs," which is a glorious climactic interpretation of the former segment. Honestly, one of my least favorite parts is "Apocalypse in 9/8," but I feel it serves the overall theme of the song with its dissonance and relative complexity. "Willow Farm" is indeed humorous and witty, showing the almost Vaudevillian side of Gabriel. But I still remember where I was when I first registered those last lines: "Lord of lords, king of kings, has returned to lead his children home- to take them to the new Jerusalem." I almost felt I had to pull over to let it all sink in. Sometimes I still do. As sure as eggs is eggs, this album is marvelous.

Report this review (#238171)
Posted Tuesday, September 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Mona Lisa of music

I can no longer delay posting a review of this one-of-a-kind timeless masterpiece. Once a band pulls out an album as great as Nursery Cryme, one would think that the album that comes after could only disappoint. Oddly enough, Genesis managed to surpass their original masterpiece with Foxtrot. Fifty minutes filled with unsurpassed creativity, non-stop melodical prowess and stunning compositions.

I do not intend to make a lenghty review as I believe that this kind of album speaks for itself better than I would and that everything as already been said and done regarding it anyway.

Often, progressive music does not take hold before a few runs. It grows and at some point, it just becomes great. In the case of Foxtrot, though, I find that this album is great on the very first listen, and it just keeps on getting better until it becomes almost unreal.

I would not let go this single opportunity to review Foxtrot without addressing, at least quickly, the mighty Supper's Ready. I do believe that this is one of the top 5 best progressive songs ever (if not #1). A composition in classical style with 7 movements as different from each other as can be, and yet magically coherent together and making perfect sense at the end after the whole 23 minutes which go by like 10. Its melodies grip the listener from start to finish, and what a finish !

I also agree with some reviewers who pointed out that Can Utility and the Coastliners is a sleeper hit. Relatively short at under 6 minutes, yet manages to show each band member at his best. The keyboard part of Tony Banks after the "where they fell" pitch is simply mesmerizing.

If you do not have this album in your collection, you don't have a progressive rock collection! Foxtrot is at the pinnacle of modern music.

Report this review (#238750)
Posted Saturday, September 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars 5-- stars. Together with A Nursery Crime, my favourite Genesis album. I was 15 when my uncly bought me this album. I was used to listen only Pink Floyd, Beatles and Queen, i wasn't used to the real Progressive Rock, this new sound enchanted me immediatly, it was so dense of emotion, so full.The start of the album with that morse code drumming, the sounds of Banks keybords, the wonderful voice of Gabriel, it was love at first listen. So i can say this album introduced me in progressive rock world. The album have no weak, maybe Can-Utility And The Coastliners is not on the same level than the other composition but still a great song.
Report this review (#251170)
Posted Tuesday, November 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "By our command, waters retreat..."

With an album under their belt, Hackett and Collins were now important pieces of the Genesis puzzle. Nursery Cryme had changed the sound a bit from the pastoral beauty of Trespass and Foxtrot would continue this sound. In many ways Foxtrot is a sibling to Nursery Cryme in the sound and feel, and even down to the artwork. They form an amazing one-two punch that grounds the classic-era Genesis. Many feel the band would soar even higher on their next 2-3 albums, while some of the Gabriel purists believe this is really as good as it got. Particularly within the movements of the epic "Supper's Ready" which to some prog fans is the single greatest progressive rock track.

Just as Nursery Cryme satisfied me a hair less than Trespass, so does Foxtrot continue the downward trend to me, being just a hair less pleasant than Cryme. There is a parallel here for me to Yes. In '72 they had their first big side long epic in "Close to the Edge" which is nice but these days does not hold up as well as some of the 10 minute tracks from that album and the previous two. "Supper's Ready" is the Genesis zenith for many fans but I tend to appreciate the double-team of "The Musical Box" and "The Fountain of Salmacis" from the previous effort. And as far as Foxtrot goes, it is also the shorter tracks that make me enjoy it as much as I do. "Watcher of the Skies" is a strong opener with those amazing keys, and just as they did with realizing the water imagery on "Salmacis" they do here creating sound to visualize a skyline. It just soars, pure magic. The power of the opening and the kick-in are breathtaking. "Watcher" is without question one of my favorite Genesis moments. "Time Table" and "Can-Utility" are those shorter classics of great character and storytelling warmth. "Horizons" is a lovely acoustic piece by Hackett and one he was pleased they chose to use. He had actually toyed with leaving Genesis as recording for Foxtrot began, convinced he wasn't a good fit and already very tired from the pace. Thankfully this didn't happen. Gabriel continued to escalate his weirdness factor, walking on stage in Ireland in foxhead and a dress to the shock of his bandmates. Knowing they would have vetoed his expression if put to a vote he simply did it without asking. As he says, these days such actions wouldn't raise a single eyebrow, but back then this was pretty daring.

Foxtrot is a classic despite my personal feelings about Supper and worthy of the rating. The next album would see the band perfecting and tightening their sound and presentation.

Report this review (#253506)
Posted Sunday, November 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars I have tried and tried and tried to get into this band. Starting in the mid-seventies, I purchased some of their albums. And they have some very good songs. Some songs I like a lot. But somehow they couldn't come close to my top ten bands of their era. Maybe not even top twenty. Why? It's not Peter Gabriel. Despite his thin, buzzy voice, he manages quite a bit of expressiveness to make his vocals interesting. It's actually the rest of the band that just seems to make them second tier in seventies prog. Phil Collins has shown himself to be a great drummer, particularly on Brand X albums, but on Genesis recordings, he lays back too much. The rest of the band too. They never come through with that soaring solo that a Fripp, Wakeman or an Emerson might display. Particularly Tony Banks. I'd put him on a par with Tony Kaye of Yes. He's okay with arpeggios, but he rarely plays anything with that "wow factor". Rutherford is capable of playing a nice bass line, but the great lines are all too rare. And Hackett disappears in the mix all too often.

That said, Watcher Of The Skies is very good song, and Supper's Ready is a nice epic suite, albeit nowhere near as goos as, say Close To The Edge or Tarkus. Sorry, Genesis fans. That's just the way it is.

Report this review (#255654)
Posted Friday, December 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Of the conventional 'big three' giants of the symphonic prog sub-genre (K.C, Yes & Genesis), Im pretty unabashed at rating the latter above the other two. In large part because of this album which is the pinnacle of their achievement, a brillient unsurpassable masterpiece. Following this logic: if Foxtrot is Genesis's best work, if Genesis is the perfect symphonic band and if symphonic prog is the 'queen' of the progressive sub-genres then it stands to reason that Foxtrot is the epitome and paragon of progressive music. Hows that for throwing down the gauntlet?

Why you ask? Its quite simple. The unified and flawless nature of Foxtrot put it in a class shared by precious few other albums. Unlike Nursery Cryme and Selling England, there are no throwaways on Foxtrot. All the tracks are tight, strong and see the band playing at the peak their powers. Above all, Gabriel and company now sound markedly more confident and assertive showng the Hackett and Collins have gelled seemlessly with the rest of the band. Secondly, Genesis has a talent for creating warm and inviting music whch I believe stands at odds with the remoteness of bands like Yes. Foxtrot fully displays this character, continuing the feel of Nursery and Selling E. Thirdly, Foxtrot actually rocks! Witness the opener Watcher of the Skies and Can-Utility, both of which see Rutherford's bass come to the fore. Thirdly, the lyrical content of Foxtrot is the strongest of their career, most songs displaying a nihilistic bent about the futility of human achivement and a mixture of admiration and nostalgia for times gone by.

The final track, Supper's Ready, the epic of all 20 min epics, is not as much a song as an incredible journey. At times delicate, at times tense, at times silly it is at all times gripping and entertaining. Ultimately, its the story of one man's spiritual awakening based on the real life experience of Peter Gabriel. The genius of Supper's Ready is it makes the metaphysical content warm, theatrical and inviting. The majestic climax with Gabriel singing like a modern-day messiah, Banks' keyboard washes and Hackett's souring guitar is indeed a one-of-a-kind experience. This powerful blend of religious ecstasy and sonic bombast fills my eyes with tears of joy.

Report this review (#260408)
Posted Monday, January 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Genesis - Foxtrot (1972)

These were the glory days of progressive music. First we have the great Nursury Cryme in 1971 and then the good follow-up Foxtrot. Genesis continued in their symphonic mellotron driven style with story-like lyrics of mister Gabriel. The music is intense, theatrical, bombastic and sometimes intimate. Though Genesis wasn't an eclectic experimental band, they did do a great deal of inventive composition in the symphonic genre. The recording of Foxtrot was less good then Nursury Cryme (It might be a lonely view of mine) and not everything is as perfect as modern symphonic music. But hey, here lies the strength of the music. At least they had to play their keys themselves and not some silly programmed midi-synthesizer.

Side one begins with Watcher of the Skies with it's memorable ancient (spaceship approaching) heavy mellotron chord-progression. Great opening! The song in 6/8 time signature is very well composed and very interesting to listen to. The chord-progression in the bridges before the refrain are very enjoyable. Time Table is a down-tempo song that's less interesting but still emotionally and attractive. Get 'Em Out by Friday is one of my Genesis favourites with is crazy story with real emotions. Gabriel is at it's best here, though his bad microphone technique fails to give us a clear recording. Every part of the story is put very well to music and the composition is great throughout the songs. The great lyrics on the ending section about halve sized humans that would make fit twice as much humans in the same building site are both funny and alarming. Can-Utility And The Coastliners is a nice symphonic track with some interesting twits, but it isn't as interesting as the song that came before it.

Side two has one short opening song and the famous Supper's Ready. I must admit that I never really got into the concept of this track. I find side two to be the lesser of the two. After side I've always get the feeling I've heard enough Genesis for today. I don't want to offend any-one, but that's just the way it is for me. I can tell that the composition is again great and the use of key instrument interesting. The bombastic moments are strong and the emotions intense.

Conclusion. This album deserves to be recognised as one of the important symphonic prog albums of the seventies, but isn't an essential recording for all progressive music collections. Therefore I give it four stars. Not completely my taste, but still an album I wouldnt want to miss.

Report this review (#260810)
Posted Thursday, January 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
CCVP
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Masterpiece?

Like it or not, Genesis is one of the most important and iconic progressive rock bands ever to come around, despite having poor sales, media support and fan base back in the early and mid 70's, the period were they put out their most important and relevant albums, as long as progressive rock is concerned. One of those very important albums is Foxtrot. The second album with the talented drummer Phil Collins is widely regarded as Genesis best album, along with Selling England by the Pound, as one of progressive rock's best album ever and one of the most important and influential albums by this band.

Indeed, the importance of Foxtrot is incontestable. Countless bands (mostly of neo prog) have tried to recreate and mimic its atmosphere and, as some say, its somewhat intoxicating ability to amaze, but (most) just ended up being a poor copy of it. Even more bands have used Foxtrot as an influence to their works or noted or cited the album somehow as an homage to its great importance to the genre.

Unlike the importance of the album, however, is the music awestrucking? I mean, is it really good? I say it is not. Foxtrot, and the following Genesis albums for that matter, were unable to reach the same level as their past two albums had (Nursery Crime and Trespass) and this album is the one who failed the most in that part. That is because Foxtrot, like so many other albums around the world, have more hype and reputation than actual quality.

Because of that, Foxtrot grew into a big deception. I realized that other albums from the 70's itself were much more interesting and could still sound fresh, something that Foxtrot failed to do. When compared to the whole picture, when put in perspective with the other things around it, the album became, at least for me, increasingly less interesting. I also realized that a lot of people just judged and rated this album based on its reputation instead of what is behind the wonderful cover and inside the disc, something that contributed heavily with this review and made me rethink the way I looked and though about this kind of album, resulting in thorough reevaluations of the so called classics, causing major disappointments such as this one.

All in all, Foxtrot is an album that now leaves me cold. If it were not for its importance for progressive rock, it would be really forgettable and would have an ever smaller grade, but due to its incontrovertible importance I am forced to grant the album two stars.

Report this review (#260842)
Posted Thursday, January 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars I remember I've heard this one a lot years ago (actually more than 20 years). Slow mellotron start on WOTS nailed me down to chair and made me stay there the whole LP. It was great musical experience and I have to say nothing change on it even in these days. When I put down cd or sacd on my equipment I always enjoy this record immensely. I won't review every song in detail, I'll write only a few incoherent words about them:

WOTS is great song, one of Genesis best. Then goes Time Table, which is fine song in short Nothing exceptional though, but lovely one. Get 'Em Out By Friday is one of Genesis strange or weird songs or how could I express myself. It's the same style of song like Harrold The Barrel, The Battle Of Epping Forest or Robbery, Assault & Battery are. GEOBF isn't the best one from those I named, but it's fine nevertheless. First LP side ended with great piece Can-Utility And The Coastliners. In the middle mellotron passage of this song I've got always goose bumps. Second side on LP started with short Hackett piece Horizons (great start!) and after it there comes true gem of progressive music: Supper's Ready. Especially the first part Lovers Leap and sixth Apocalypse in 9/8 are fantastic. But this "song" in whole is definitely among three/four Genesis songs I love the most.

The only problem for me was always to choose, if I like this record the most or if it's the next one - Selling England... After all those years I ended by understanding of fact I like both these Genesis records the same.

And my verdict? Definitely a "must" for true prog rock fan. One of base stone of all the genre. Five stars without hesitation!

Report this review (#260871)
Posted Thursday, January 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Foxtrot is often held up as either the best Genesis album, or one of them, but I personally prefer it SEBTP and Nursery Cryme. Foxtrot isn't bad at all, I just think it's a bit overrated, especially the nearly side-long Supper's Ready. I understand that it's one of the definitive records of prog and whatnot, but everyone's gonna have albums that just don't appeal to them like they appeal to others. Watcher of the Skies is a very nice song, but I don't think it's exactly great. Time Table is okay, but not really all that special. Get 'Em Out By Friday is again quite good, but it's not as great as similar songs like Return of the Giant Hogweed before it and Firth of Fifth after it. Can-Utility and the Coastliners is also a good song, but it's not great. And then, after a short guitar piece called Horizons, comes Supper's ready, the centerpiece. This song has been praised endlessly by fans of prog rock, as an epic masterpiece and one of the better stories ever made, but I think that this song has a bit of, not exactly filler- however, there's not enough really good, meaty material to fill 23 minutes of music- while parts 3, 5, 6, and 7 are very good, part 1 is only okay to me- however, I don't usually like soft, love-oriented songs, so your mileage may vary. Part 2 is good, but not as good as the rest of the song. Part 3 is a very good, energetic piece, but part 4 is one of the things that I simply don't understand- it's a soft, quiet piece, that I don't find all that interesting. Willow Farm (part 5) is a quirky, very good part, followed by the great Apocalypse in 9/8 (part 6) and it's legendary organ solo. Part 7 concludes the song well, with some great vocals from Gabriel. So, for the most part, Supper's Ready is good, but not excellent- 3.5 stars, rounded down to three.
Report this review (#261300)
Posted Sunday, January 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars In my list of favourite Classic Prog, Genesis sits comfortably in third position after VDGG and King Crimson. (Pink Floyd plays in another league really and Wilson hadn't evolved much beyond talking his first words) Basically, everything Genesis released from 1970 till 1974 had that perfect balance between musicianship, composition and passion: Collins and Rutherford made it rock, Banks added texture, Hacket lyricism and Gabriel gave it meaning.

Foxtrot is Genesis' finest hour. About every track is a prog classic, also the often overlooked Can-Utility and the Coastliners. All musicians were at their prime and operated as a tight unit. It were the days before Banks lost his focus to expensive new synth toys. Here he dashes through the album with tasty organs and mellotrons. Hackett is marvellous as always, but the most eye-catching feature would be the prominence of the drums and the bass that create a very powerful sound.

Foxtrot was the last Genesis album that still had that rough edge. From Selling onwards Genesis gradually mellowed out till they finally digressed into the sticky smoothness of A trick of the Tail. Of course Foxtrot is not entirely perfect. Perfection is boring, this album isn't. It's exciting, daring and bold and a deserved PA top 10 album.

Report this review (#261401)
Posted Monday, January 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Along with other Peter Gabirels Genesis albums, "Foxtrot" tells stories. The instrumental Genesis - not virtuous but not banal and too characteristic - is found throughout the course of the album.

I'm giving only four stars because i think the first side of the vynil is kind of boring and a little part of the theater magic of Genesis is lost.

But there are a lot of interesting things on this album: The bass line on "Get'em out by Friday" is just spetacular, Horizons shows Steve Hacket and his erudi knowledge at its best, "Can- Utility and the Coastliners" is one of my favourite Genesis songs and the giant "Suppers Ready" is a 22 minutes song that i can act and laugh all the time - the funniest suite of all time!

This album is a must just because is a Peter Gabriels Genesis. But don't be flustered, it is not a masterpiece.

Report this review (#267292)
Posted Sunday, February 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well... How do you start with an album like this? Undeniably an essential in any progressive rock collection. I'm sure most people won't need this review to make up their mind. If you like progressive rock, chances are you'll already own "Foxtrot" by Genesis.

But there is something about this album that makes me just have to write it off. Perhaps it is the crisp sound quality, still today sounding rather fresh.. Or maybe it's Gabriel's strangely moving lyrics, that are always up for interpretation... Or maybe, you'll have to listen to find out.

Because from the opening mellotron note of "Watcher of the Skies", you know something big lies ahead. Surely enough, old Phil Collins delivers a surprisingly groovy 6/4 beat, and after two minutes or so the song takes off like a bat out of hell. A very good and moving song, with a steady bass guitar doubling on the unusual drum rhythm to give it an unusually powerful drive. Gabriel is sharp as always, you either love that mans voice or hate it.

"Time Table" is a more mellow affair, piano-based at that, with great lyrics. The band play on their keen sense of dynamics, not only within songs, but also with how the order of songs is played out. First Watcher, and now this gentle song. And surely enough, after this comes the amazing "Get 'Em Out by Friday" which again is a perfect Genesis song. Loud, sneezy vocals overlap the astonishing musicianship. Lots of varied sections, and rather amusing lyrics.

"Can-utility and The Coastliners" starts out acoustically, and very mellow similarly to Time Table. But halfway in or so, it takes a turn for the familiar Genesis. Organ seeping all over the place, groovy and steady drums and very tasteful guitar licks. "Horizons" is a short, beautiful acoustic guitar song, figuring as a sort of prelude to the grand epic of the album...

"Supper's Ready", at 23 minutes in impressive lenght, could possibly be the finest composition by Genesis. I mean, I could try to detail every part and explain why it's so good, but it's been done by at least a hundred reviewers before me, and Jesus Christ! Go out and buy this amazing album already!

Thank you for reading! /Axel Dyberg

Report this review (#268079)
Posted Thursday, February 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Here is one that is generally known as a "classic". Is it worth the price of 5 stars ? What a monstruous effort to review this complex CD ! Fortunately, others have done it before... I just want to go for humble additions that could help understanding this opus.

There are very diverse styles of prog masterpieces, when one takes a look at the Top-100 : Genesis being all-around instrument specialists, P. Floyd being more atmospheric and guitar-oriented, Yes being very complex and also all-around, Harmonium being more melodic and folk-oriented, etc. Some reviewers prefer more guitar, others like diversity, more "ensemble". That's good, everywhere. I personally prefer this present genre of Genesis. Where does stand this one ?

Answer : at the top !

Tracks like 'Watchers of the Skies', 'Get 'em out' and 'Can-Utility' are extreme complex musical writings, with very typical prog notions, such as rhythm changes, surprising turn-arounds and moods, power and intensity moments, very artistic sections, the very particular voice of Peter, very original stories. They are all superb, different. I just love greatly 'Can-Utility', which has everything in a relatively tiny 'epic'. Fantastic. Now, 'Time table' is more poetic ans classical, still beautifully complex, with the main theme being played back in other tones, having a few energic passages that lead to poetry again. A nice gem. The short 'Horizons' is known by a lot of non-prog guitar learners, and is still beautiful in 2010 ! Very sensitive. Another example of the dexterity of S. Hackett. Well recognized as an 'old Genesis' simple and very good track, but very different than the big epics, which brings another 'plus' (if neaded ?) to this CD. And... 'Supper's ready' ! Wow ! Here is the prog favorite 'single' of a vast number of prog-fans. It is in fact... a 'reference', brilliant, intellectual, genius, dominant, breathtaking by moments; it 'chills' you ! A 'once-in-a-lifetime' accomplishment. This suite has everything. I suggest you to read the interesting and complete other analysis of my reviewer-colleagues here that went for a '5-stars' note. Everything has been said, and I agree completely ! ... Just to add that the 9/8 section is an absolute climax, a curiosity for the musician beginners, especially in percussions, coming after ranges of emotions and styles, just before the ending bringing elements from the start. Majestic; unsurpassed; sublime. Last year, I saw a group playing that song 'live', and it is something ! You are transported elsewhere litteraly !

Why 5 stars ? Because everytime you listen, you discover something new, super-nice. Because there are no weak sections whatsoever (when this happens, it is 5/5 automatic). Because it is the best representative of symphonic prog. Because it lasts since 1972 !

I add another 5.0 note to this 'merveille'.

Report this review (#273153)
Posted Saturday, March 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was the 2nd Genesis album that I had gotten( "Genesis to Revelation" being the first one), and I was really impressed by how much better the band sounded. Actually there is no comparison. The recording of "Fox Trot" is light years beyond their first release. It is funny that when a band makes an album, for the most part they are not trying to make history.They just want to express their talent musically and hopefully enough people will be interested in buying the fruits of their labor. Genesis, like so many other bands in the past, were not trying to father any type of music. It is us who have put Genesis, or any other band for that matter up there with God, so to speak. We go ahead and analyze what is done and who it influences and then we cannonize or villianize whoever because of the band's music. I have to ask why?

Anyway, to the music. Fox Trot is wonderful from the first frantic tones of "Watcher," to the last graceful fading verse of "Supper's Ready." There is at least one weak song, music wise, but the words are so powerful that you should enjoy the song anyway. "Time Table" doesn't sound that hard to play, but there is one line that I will never forget and always cherish. "Why, why oh why, must we suffer each race to believe that no race has been grander?" Pure genius! I have forgotten the title before, but I will never forget that one line. It says a great deal about how vain the human race is. Peter Gabriel's voice is simply superb and genuine.

"Get Em' Out by Friday" clearly reveals just how greedy our governments are capable of becoming if we let them. Very visual and compelling to hear.

"Can-Utility and the Coastliners made me think of some 50's vocal band, until I heard it. The song is magestic and captivating. It provokes feelings of admiration, at least in me. It keeps your attention throughout.

Steve Hackett thrills with his first, and thankfully not the last, original classical piece, called "Horizons." It is still amazing to this day.

The last tune is the looooooong one, entitled appropriately, "Supper's Ready," giving the impression that all that went before were just appitizers. That would be consistant with Peter Gabriel's sense of humor. And what a feast it is! I might as well say it is a real prog event to be sure. Warning, one should listen to it a few times to begin to get the full effect. It gets better with use.

All in all, the only song that doesn't have too much going on is "Time Table," but even at that the listener will not go away disappointed if they get this one. For myself, I give "Fox Trot" 4.75 stars, which nets it 5 stars for the archives.

Report this review (#275613)
Posted Tuesday, March 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars My own experience about listen this album for a first time was incredible. The intro of Watcher of the Skies was to me something never equaled in rock music. Something unique, pompous, mystical? Banks said that the rest of the song never reached the same level of the intro. That's true, but it's just a fantastic track. Of course the main thing on Foxtrot is the epic of the epics into the prog rock history: Supper's Ready. The kind of lyrics and the way in which those lyrics fits with the music are simply great. And of course the music is superb and varied. The hightlights are Lover's leap (a perfect combination of 12 chords guitars motive with unique Gabriel voice) and Apocalypse in 9/8 with a monstrous symphonic keyboard solo over an aggressive bass drum line, that reaches the peak y in the "666" verse. This peak is something unequalable, unless you listen the live versions. In my opinion the live versions of this song, specially Apocalypse, are better and more dramatic than the studio one, specially when they were sung by Phil Collins. Behind of those two tracks, we have other great tracks like Get them out by Friday, Can utility and the coastliners and Time table. Finally al little gem by Steve Hackett, the eternal Horizons. If you are looking for the best exponents of the golden age of progressive rock, here you can find it. Five stars without doubts.
Report this review (#278297)
Posted Saturday, April 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is more like it.

Foxtrot is my second-favorite Genesis album (the first will always be The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway) and probably the one I'd recommend if you're just getting to know Genesis. It's beautiful, poetic, and dazzling, to say the least.

Every song, from the epic opener Watcher of the Skies to the criminally underrated Can-Utility and the Coastliners to the EPIC closer Supper's Ready, never fail to satisfy in sheer brilliance. Phil Collins has never been better on the drums, and Peter Gabriel's voice has a certain amount of passion here that only he could beat with The Lamb.

Overall, this is just a classic must-have. I fell in love with it the first time I heard it and I've never grown tired of it since.

Report this review (#278774)
Posted Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
5 stars Hearing is believing... "Foxtrot" is an immortal treasure to unearth in the goldmine of progressive rock

Lightning in a Bottle or just a Light Bottle? 'Foxtrot' is a much hyped up Gabriel-era Genesis album unlike any other you will hear, as Gabriel sings, "taking risks oh so bold". It has been revered here in the PA receiving rave reviews with collaborator reviewers gushing over it stating: "one of the cornerstones of progressive rock music"; "obligated for every music lover"; "one of the most consistent albums the band ever produced, and will always have a special place in my heart"; "arguably the best album of all time in my mind"; "THE example of classic prog rock"; "pure genius"; "prog at its best"; "a must have"; a perfectly crafted album, with no fillers"; "without a doubt a masterpiece of symphonic prog"; "essential"; "of incontrovertible importance"; "one seriously mandatory album"; "one of the great musical works of the 20th century"; "it sits on the very top of Prog Mountain"; "one of the greatest albums I have ever heard"; "exciting, daring and bold and a deserved PA top 10 album". Whew, where do you go from there?

What is "Foxtrot"? A Genesis album that exploded on impact and all other prog bands were hit by the shrapnel. It features the essential classics of the Gabriel era 'Supper's Ready', 'Watcher of the Skies', 'Can-Utility and the Coastliners' and 'Get 'Em Out By Friday'. I heard these live on "Genesis Live" and "Seconds Out" before the studio versions and was pleasantly surprised at how they sounded on "Foxtrot", that I only got hold of in 2010. I feel like a gatecrasher to the party, but better late than never. I had heard the epic song 'Supper's Ready' from "The Platinum Collection", so I wasn't in a hurry to get "Foxtrot", but there is more to this than one mammoth epic. Much more.

The front cover is one of the definitive icons of prog; a fox in a red dress balancing on the water as a troop of foxhunters gallop onto the beach. The plaintive fox is safe in isolation on her floating iceberg and the dolphins celebrate as they skim the waves in joyful, triumphant sagacity. The beach is peaceful masking the terror of impending capture as the iceberg melts, it is inevitable, the fox will have to swim to shore and the snarling dogs prepare to devour their prey. The mood is set, on goes the music and it is headphone bliss from point A to B. It is simply galvanised to submerge yourself in.

OK, let's get it out of the way; this IS a masterpiece. Any way you slice it, there is no denying the incredible influence of this album and its musicianship and structure is as good as Genesis gets. The quintessential treasure of 'Supper's Ready', all 23 minutes of it, are here in all its prog glory and definitely the ultimate Genesis song, capturing the Gabriel era beautifully. It is worth getting hold of for this track alone; an astonishing epic showcasing the early brilliant, influential prog era. But the other songs are incredible too. What can I add to the hundreds of reviews here that will enhance the album's reputation? Well, no one has gone into painful details on the lyrics so perhaps it is time to do that. Allow me to elucidate and perhaps expose the greatness of this album by lyrical dissection. Let's look at these tracks in detail. 'Watcher of the Skies' has a languid, lengthy mellotron intro by Banks. Then there is an intricate time sig dominated by a driving divine bassline from Rutherford. The sharp sporadic drum beat is a portent of the chaos to come.

The lyrics are typical of Gabriel, snappy and cliché driven nonsense that fits perfectly the estranged rhythms of Hackett and Collins. The absurdist lyrics are alienating but sincerely dark and foreboding: "Creatures shaped this planet's soil, Now their reign has come to an end, has life again destroyed life, Do they play elsewhere, or do they know more than their childhood games? Maybe the lizard's shed its tail, This is the end of man's union with Earth." Questions, questions, questions... no answers but a myriad of unbridled purpose driven ruminations about life and death. The melody juxtaposes a bright tune to this darkness, and it works exceptionally well. The tale of alien invasion is perfect for the satirical nature of the music.

You can really feel the tension in the way Gabriel delivers; he must be one of the legends of prog for his contribution. Banks flies off the deep end with the keyboards and the rhythm is driving in 6/4 rhythm, and bombastic sounds dominate. Listen to it on "Genesis Live" for a real experience in instrumental genius. The mellotron is wonderfully played and adds to the surreal fantasy soundscape. The dynamics are a collision of guitar and drums with a multi layered keyboard wave of sound.

'Timetable' features Banks on nursery rhyme (or is that Cryme?) piano melodies and then Gabriel sings paradoxical sweet, nasty lyrics told from the point of view of a carved oak table the tale of ancient kings and queens: "Why, why can we never be sure till we die, Or have killed for an answer, Why, why, do we suffer each race to believe, That no race has been grander, It seems because through time and space, Though names may change each face retains the mark it wore." More unanswerable questions about time and space, or is it just an anti-war theme? It is thematic certainly and has a medieval feel to match the opening lyrics. It is not the best song on the album and a bit forgettable, but there is enough here to treat this as a spirited transition point to the masterpieces to follow.

'Get 'em out by Friday' is a masterful song that is hailed as one of the best from this lineup. The intro is infectious with guitar and keys competing to take control. There are organ staccato chords banging along with polyrhythmic metronome swinging bass and guitar shapes. Peter Gabriel's vocal performance is strained and a bit weak on this but he is a theatrical performer and this was the early period, and he would develop his acting voice to perfection by the time "Selling England By The Pound" or "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" reared its head. There are moments of untainted beauty including floating flute solos and Hackett's soaring guitar. Gabriel has multiple progressive disorder in his multi personality performance; Mr. Pebble (the self important owner of Styx Enterprises), Mr. Hall, the entrepreneur, and Mrs. Barrow (the lady who desires to pay double the rent in order to remain in her abode). He takes on each persona with admirable aplomb: there is the section"18/9/2012 TV FLASH ON ALL DIAL-A-PROGRAM SERVICES: This is an announcement from Genetic Control: "It is my sad duty to inform you of a 4ft. restriction on humanoid height." and this is promptly followed by the extract from a conversation of JOE ORDINARY IN LOCAL PUBORAMA: "I hear the directors of Genetic Control have been buying all the properties that have recently been sold, taking risks oh so bold. It's said now that people will be shorter in height, they can fit twice as many in the same building site... in the interest of humanity they've been told they must go-go-go-go." After this the flute chimes in beautifully before another chaotic passage of music breaks it apart in fractured rhythms. The voice of SIR JOHN DE PEBBLE OF UNITED BLACKSPRINGS INTERNATIONAL is heard "I think I've fixed a new deal, A dozen properties - we'll buy at five and sell at thirty four, Some are still inhabited...." Following this, a memo from SATIN PETER OF ROCK DEVELOPMENTS LTD. Is recitated: "With land in your hand you'll be happy on earth, Then invest in the Church for your heaven.. The religious laced theme is one of the aristocratic rich fat suits having control over the little people, who are literally the short people unfairly evicted due to their size; a biting satire on the upperclass versus the working class injustice; a stab at the idealism of working class social pressures. Or is it just a vivacious lark?

'Can-Utility and the Coastliners' continues the trend with Hackett's tremendous guitar and a rhythmic drum metrical pattern from Collins. The lyrics are rather harsh and remarkably ominous: "For from the north overcast ranks advance, fear of the storm accusing with rage and scorn." The mellotron rises to a crescendo with fortissimo basslines. The time sig changes are massive, completely driving the track headlong into different directions, in almost unrecognisable passages, like a different song. A very imposing sound powers the song along and it is a bonafide Genesis classic. The time shifts are so varied and complex it is as good as those 23 minute epics you hear that take up an entire side of vinyl in the glorious 70s. Genesis prove they can do as well in 6 minutes. It is vibrant and innovative; quintessential prog. Of course side two will prove their epics are awesome too.

'Horizons' is a quaint short little guitar instrumental from the incomparable Hackett, that is dreamlike and easy on the ears, and really prepares us for the onslaught of 'Supper's Ready'. He loves to play this in concert as you will see if you YouTube this, it is a nice guitar oriented piece that any guitarist would love to play.

'Supper's Ready': THE best Genesis song ever? Why not when you have a twenty three minute epic from Genesis with the legendary effervescent Peter Gabriel at his sinister best. It is quintessential to the band and indeed is a prime example of what prog is.

I would say from my prog experience that there are 7 wonders of the prog world in the way of songs: VDGG's 'Plague of Lighthouse Keepers', Yes' 'Close To The Edge', ELP's 'Karn Evil 9', King Crimson's '2ist Century Schizoid Man', Pink Floyd's 'Shine On', Rush's '2112', and Genesis' 'Supper's Ready'.

The seven wonders of the prog world in the way of albums are similar as far as I am concerned: VDGG's "Pawn Hearts", Yes' "Close To The Edge", ELP's "Brain Salad Surgery", King Crimson's "In The Court of The Crimson King", Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of The Moon", Jethro Tull's "This As A Brick", and Genesis' "Foxtrot".

What makes 'Supper's Ready' such a masterpiece juggernaut? There are a number of factors to take into consideration. First and foremost is the music. A tapestry of interludes, signifiers, climaxes, crescendos and majestic outros. It moves in so many directions and shifts time signatures that it is hard to keep up. There are many styles of music integrated within the structure. It is not easy to integrate songs together into one huge epic but this is a perfect example of when it works as a multi movement suite; a magnum opus of music. Other perfect examples are Caravan's 'Nine Feet Underground' and as mentioned Van der Graaf Generator's 'Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers' and of course Yes' 'Close To The Edge'. These epics are also seamless multi-movement suites where a number of songs at different tempos and styles are integrated into one huge epic, and if you know anything about prog you should know that these are the best examples of the genre. It allows the band to utilise all their talents into one package and they do this in spades in an impulsive feat of dextrous impetuosity. It is a blitzkrieg of virtuoso instrumental intensity.

Secondly, the performance of Peter Gabriel as the actor/ storyteller is incredible. His vocals are extraordinary and hammered the nail in the coffin as the master frontman of prog rock. I saw Genesis do this live in an ancient 70s filmclip kicking around YouTube in three parts and Gabriel metamorphoses into various costumes and masks, a fox, a flower?, an impish child clown, a magician, an alien Pied Piper, a Pythagoras pyramid, to tell this epic tale of the apocalypse, or whatever it is. Which brings us to the third reason why this is a masterpiece.

The lyrics. They are strange, dark, mystifying and downright intelligently written. Once heard, the lyrics have an uncanny ability to hide in the dark shadowy corners of the subconscious where your mind makes irrational connections to the real. The song begins with the impetuous weird lyrics of 'i. Lover's Leap'. Is it about suicide? Or is it about lost love? Or something more sinster? Or merely portentous twaddle? "Walking across the sitting-room, I turn the television off. Sitting beside you, I look into your eyes. As the sound of motor cars fades in the night time, I swear I saw your face change, it didn't seem quite right." It is definitely a love song, albeit a jaded romance, something is wrong and we sense it in the almost cynical, farcical manner Gabriel spits out the words. The song actually puts the reader off the scent of what is about to unfold. The Red Herring of romantic interludes "Hey my baby, don't you know our love is true" is unsettling because the song will soon detonate into some unnerving passages of music. The lyrics signify the darkness coming over the mocking sunshine music, listen to the alliteration on "Six saintly shrouded men move across the lawn slowly. The seventh walks in front with a cross held high in hand... And it's hey babe your supper's waiting for you..." hence the name of the song is mentioned, which is still a mystery to me. What is the supper, who prepared it, and who is waiting for it? We may never know, I don't think Gabriel even knew. And I don't think he cared as long as he had a chance to stalk an unprepared audience. The enigmatic lyrics are part of the progressive off kilter essence of the song. It segues seamlessly into the very bizarre 'ii. The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man'.

Here the harvest is about to begin, a biblical term for revival but what is its meaning here with contemptuous lyrics such as, "He's a supersonic scientist, He's the guaranteed eternal sanctuary man. Look, look into my mouth he cries, And all the children lost down many paths, I bet my life, you'll walk inside, Hand in hand, Gland in gland, With a spoonful of miracle, He's the guaranteed sanctuary man."

The sexualised mockery continues and transfixes, and it is daunting to hear the lyrics that will years later become the quintessence of a Queen classic, "We will rock you, rock you little snake." 'iii. Ikhnaton and Itsacon and Their Band of Merry Men' is a build up of scornful ideas that make less sense than the previous material. We hear the fabricated sound of children's voices that are chanting something rather bizarre but the music really goes pitch dark as a staccato chord clangs loud. A soft flute and guitar trade off each other as a keyboard is stroked delicately. The derisive lyrics become alienating and menacingly cold, "Killing foe for peace...bang, bang, bang. Bang, bang bang... And they're giving me a wonderful potion, 'Cos I cannot contain my emotion. And even though, I'm feeling good, Something tells me, I'd better activate my prayer capsule." So the religious overtones from the debut album, "From Genesis to Revelation", are being revisited, in fact the theme is becoming blatant at this point; "Today's a day to celebrate, the foe have met their fate. The order for rejoicing and dancing has come from warlord." It is apparent that an apocalyptic battle is about to ensue and this may be the end times as in the apocalypse in the Bible's book of Revelation, though it is unclear with the lyrics masked behind poetic metaphors, pseudonyms and psychedelic symbolism.

'iv. How Dare I Be So Beautiful?' is interesting lyrically speaking, about "Wandering in the chaos the battle has left, We climb up the mountain of human flesh, To a plateau of green grass, and green trees full of life." Do we really understand the meaning here and to be honest can we ever comprehend where this song is going? The answer is a resounding 'no', though many have attempted to interpret this and it perhaps rests on personal explanation rather than straightforward meaning explained. "We watch in reverence, as Narcissus is turned to a flower. A flower?" questions Gabriel. Perhaps we are seeing here a transformation or metamorphosis of an evil being, Narcissus the Greek mythological creature, changed into a pure being and Gabriel gets a chance to don his flower head gear and, with barefaced arrogance, prance around the stage.

During the concert performance of 'v. Willow Farm' Gabriel is a figure in black with flower head stalking the stage as sinister as he can get, leering and sneering with disdain. He marches in time to the stabs of music; 1, 2, 3, 4... The menacing figure of Gabriel is confronting and the lyrics are absolutely chilling, "If you go down to Willow Farm, to look for butterflies, flutterbies, gutterflies, Open your eyes, it's full of surprise, everyone lies, like the fox on the rocks, and the musical box." It's interesting that he mentions songs of the band to come such as 'Musical Box' and a close reference to "Foxtrot". Winston Churchill gets a mention and a frog that was a prince, that became a brick, then the brick became an egg, and the egg was a bird. It is like the world of Dr Seuss; perhaps the writers read "Fox In Socks" prior it penning this. Gabriel adopts a supercilious attitude as he muses that we are all as "happy as fish, and gorgeous as geese". It's fiendishly childish and pretentious and even precocious but undeniably ferocious in its original approach. Gabriel sounds pompously English as he babbles gobbledygook about the father in the office and the mother in her domestic role, "Dad diddley office, Dad diddley office.... Dad to dam to to dum to mum, Mum diddley washing, Mum diddley washing... Ooee-ooee-ooee-oowaa" , you get the point. The song itself is one of the most memorable pieces of the epic. But nothing comes close to the wonderful next section.

'vi. Apocalypse in 9/8 (featuring the delicious talents of Gabble Ratchet)' is nothing short of brilliant. The amazing time signature in 9/8 is superb with mind bending guitar and keyboards, the rhythmic bass and drums are outstanding. The audacious lyrics are as dark as Genesis gets, "With the guards of Magog, swarming around, The Pied Piper takes his children underground. The Dragon's coming out of the sea, with the shimmering silver head of wisdom looking at me. He brings down the fire from the skies, You can tell he's doing well, by the look in human eyes." There are definite references to Revelation here, shrouded in typical symbolism but nevertheless undisputable, especially the reference to "666 is no longer alone..." and "the seven trumpets blowing sweet rock and roll". A parody of Revelation in a sense, something that many heavy metal bands adopted during the great late 80s revival of metal. So as Gabriel bellows and croons with sledgehammer delivery lyrics such as "Pythagoras with the looking-glass, reflecting the full moon, In blood" , the music begins to settle down into another section and in fact bookends the opening "Hello baby" lyrics and melody, and another familiar melody is heard, and we may suspect that the song is going to end, but it is a false ending; there is one part left of this colossal beast.

'vii. As Sure as Eggs is Eggs (Aching Men's Feet)' is the disorientating finale and what a finale! The amazing ending is replenished with huge fortissimo orchestral sections, mellotron style, and Gabriel's ruthless voice soars into the stratosphere. "There's an angel standing in the sun, and he's crying with a loud voice, "This is the supper of the mighty one", Lord Of Lords, King of Kings, Has returned to lead his children home, To take them to the new Jerusalem." It sounds like a Neal Morse song here. So we end with a reference to the New Heaven and New Earth in the book of Revelation. The supper is not the last supper of Jesus, it is not an ordinary supper, it is the feast of triumph when the Lord returns to take his children home in the rapture an then as the earth burns to a cinder, God will create his New Jerusalem. Well, that's my interpretation; you will have your own that will be equally as valid. ELP returns to this theme of Jerusalem, it seems the Biblical theme was one of prog bands favourites. It is the unmitigated majesty of the music and the triumphant and glorious crescendos that lift the spirit on this; it ends on a high note and it ends on a memorable lyric, this is why it is a gargantuan masterpiece. Stop reading now and put this tour de force on.

And so at the end of this 3,611 word review, I can only conclude with 9 bold words that can be quoted; "Foxtrot" is the must have album of the century.

Report this review (#280315)
Posted Sunday, May 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars I can't believe Genesis didn't have a synthesisier by 1972. The most appealing quality of Genesis' music is their amazing instrumental music. This album, from 1972, called Foxtrot, is one of the least appealing in that regard.

I mean you have the intro into "Watcher of the skies", that wonderful mellotron solo from Tony Banks. This music is reprised in the outro. The song itself is a nicely paced "rocker", with some interesting lyrics and a good beat. The other really good song on this album is the 20+ minute opus "Supper's ready" which is also a grand achievement, it features a fair amount of interesting instrumental music but was still a brilliant effort to go for twenty minutes. That siad my personal favourite song from the album stands as "Watcher of the skies".

The other three songs are not bad at all, just a little on the average side. "Get em out by Friday" sounds great at first, but after a while it becomes clear this song is a knock off of "Return of the giant hogweed" from Nursery Crymes. Still, it's a worthwhile as it's quite a catchy song, though the instrumental bit is a bit weak, and near the end the song meanders without being interesting. The other two songs are competent ballads, with a nice medieval feeling coming through, but they fall short of brilliance.

That said, the production on this album is good, and Peter Gabriel's singing is good and his voice is fitted properly into the music, so it's easy to understand what is being said. The instrumental passages on this album do fail to inspire, to a degree, and not every song is a masterpiece, so I have taken the liberty to remove two stars from the rating, making it a good album. It is an essential album to collect for any prog fan, due to it's place in history. That said it isn't the most amazing Genesis albums, well it wasn't for me, but if I could, I would give it 3.5/5.0. It is definitely worth that much.

Report this review (#282290)
Posted Sunday, May 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I've spent the better part of the past few years debating whether this is a masterpiece or a simply very good prog album with numerous transcendent moments.

Then two things happened. First, I put the year, 1972, in context, with others of that time, including Thick as a Brick, Close to the Edge, Octopus and Per Un Amico. In terms of musicianship, creativity, and legacy, Foxtrot runs neck-and-neck with all of these.

Second, I saw some of this music performed live, and that's when I realized how great some of this music really is, and by extension, how the production of this album hurts it in places. For example, Watcher of the Skies never really hit me until I'd seen/heard it performed by later Genesis or by others. It's a killer song, even if it doesn't always sound great on this album. For another example, I never realized how much versatility went into creating songs like Can-Utility and Supper's Ready. Multiple band members are working the bass pedals and 12-strings at different points, and it's hard to fully appreciate the adventurousness of it all--at least for me--until you've seen it live.

And that ending, from Apocalypse through Eggs? Spine-tingling! As good as it gets for me, and my best definition of epic. Gabriel blows his chords, Hackett lets it rip, and that vintage, brassy, slightly-out-of-tune mellotron--here the sketchy production actually improves the overall effect--all combine to take me to the new Jerusalem.

Creative, unique, timeless--a progressive rock masterpiece after all!

Report this review (#282906)
Posted Friday, May 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Now this is the album with the EPIC 22 minute SUPPER'S READY a fantastic journey as Genesis always do with at least one song in every album they make, but is the rest of the album as good as this one epic? well yes and no the inteo WATCHER OF THE SKIES is a briliant example of a song that is just as strong (in my opinion) as Supper's Ready, well not totally as strong but would be if Suppers Ready was cut down to about 7 minutes. Another great song and highlight for me is GET 'EM OUT BY FRIDAY basically all the longer tracks seem to be the strongest part of this release with the rest all bing the first time Genesis have used filler songs, so its really not as good as their first two albums, but Supper's Ready really makes up for it;

Watcher Of The Skies - 9/10 Time Table - 7/10 Get 'Em Out By Friday - 9/10 Can-Utility And The Coastliners - 8/10 Horizons - 7/10 Supper's Ready- 10/10

MY CONCLUSION? this is still a great Genesis album, and as i said the epic Supers Ready really makes up for the slightly 'filler' songs that really make the album.

Report this review (#289595)
Posted Wednesday, July 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Another highly rated Genesis album. and again I fail to see how it is essential! Genesis is just not the band for me. The music is just very boring to me. The only song that rises above the mirk is the "epic" of Supper's ready (being Genesis' only song over 15 minutes). however, this still seems to me only mediocre work of Yes! I was very un-immpressed with this album and I think i will stop buying Genesis for now! I will give this album 2 stars however because fans of Genesis will love this album and I did listen to suppers ready a few times I will admit!
Report this review (#289837)
Posted Saturday, July 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well, it seems all the bases have been pretty much covered talking about the music on this classic album. Certainly I can't think of much more to add, so I'd rather go over Foxtrot from another perspective. Back in the year of its release, 1972, Genesis were still a band who had not yet attained anything close to the success they were to achieve just a few years later. As a result, the recording budgets, techniques, and resources available to them up to this point were still somewhat rudimentary. Yes, things were getting better, but time and money really limited what could be done. The original Foxtrot album and CD issues have always been a bit lacking as far as sound quality and mixing go, so when the word came that a new version was being re-mixed for release in the Gabriel era box, I enthusiastically put it on my list as a must buy ! Now I have it, and wow, what a great job was done. The band sounds tighter, and the vocals are much cleaner and warm. Rutherford's bass provides a much fuller, rounder bottom end that connects a lot better with Phil's kit. The drum sound alone, is worth the price of admission now, and where before there were times where it appeared that Collins was beating on a set of cardboard boxes, now there is a rich full drum kit. On the original release there is a split in Supper's Ready where two sections were recorded out of key with each other in error, but 21st century digital tools have allowed correction of this difference, and it has been repaired in this edition. Yes, I have heard criticism about compressions that have been applied, and that perhaps this makes all the instruments "too loud" and the final result modern and monochromatic. I disagree with this judgment, and really believe that what was done to Foxtrot is a definite improvement. The change is dramatic, which may not be popular with everyone, but from my standpoint it was due, and I'm glad we now have it.

At the time of this review the Gabriel period re-mixes are still only available in the 1970- 1975 Box Set. Individual album releases are still pending.

Report this review (#290008)
Posted Monday, July 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Genesis show us their colours as a prog ROCK band, and ya know, why is this so much better than something by Uriah Heep?

Genesis - Foxtrot (1972)

Overall Rating: 11

Best Song: Horizons

Oh yea, because where Genesis were just a band growing into their msuical maturity, experimenting with the vastness of British life and juxtaposing it to the ferocity of an (admittedly imperfect) rocking band, who had many more tricks up their sleeve, Uriah Heep just sucked major nutsacks all over the place. Was that too 'off the cuff' for your feeble minds? I'm afraid to hear that, if you would redirect your anger in the form of faceless emails, I'll cry myself to sleep on your hateful words.

Peter was still finding his voice, and it definitely ain't worth a damn compared to what all he'd do on ....well, jus' you lissen, here, foo, he was still a damn fine singer, even at this 'embryonic' stage. I sure would take him over that sick ducker, Jon Anderson. Banks' synths are silly, the guitars are light, fluffy, kinda menacing, and the drumming is coolio, sho. Still, it sounds as if it were recorded in a pie factory, taking the guts out of everything. They aren't Black Sabbath, now, why not spring for a better recording area, hm? It would make the punch of Get 'Em Out By Friday much more worthy, because this song would totally rule in a more luscious light. As it stands, it's still great, with oodles of personality and subtlety mirroring the progressive excesses.

There are some major flaws with HorseTrot that irk me, gratuitously. Firstly, the band absolutely sucked at songcraft, and were only spreading their proverbial writing wings. The hooks are hardly e'en noticeable, and if you do notice them, chances are, you'll not even give half a damn. Seriously, I can't remember half of what went on, here, and memorable is something a great Genesis album just HAS to be. If it's not memorable, it might as well be brushing your teeth.

Guess what? Can-Utility And The Coastliners is the best song on here. Yeah, it's not life affirming, but I like 'er, sumthin fierce, honey. It showcases the pop (yah, you heard me) pop sensibilities that would undoubtedly finagle itself into their work, from this point on. I definitely prefer the pop Genesis to the rock Genesis, because if I want complex hard rocking, sans melodies, I'll go and bludgeon my poor brain with big, boorish Rush records or something. Naw, I look to Genesis for that vibe, man, and when they don't gimmie dat vibe, dey ain't doin' dere job, mahn.

Christ, these synths suck total nard! Who allowed that jerk Tony Banks near the studio? Keith Emerson makes him look like Cindy Lauper, and Rick Wakeman makes him look like David Bowie (what?). So, at any rate, if he could just be shot on sight, thank you very much. Really, they're just these offensive little keybored 'stabs', and don't ever develop any real musical poignancy, unless their sole purpose was to be complete and utter garbage meant only to cause grief. Okay, enough ragging on the guy, what about the other material?

You know when I said Can-Utility And The Coastliners was the best song? It was a dag-blasted lie! Supper's Ready really is the bee's knees, buddy. The vocal melodies are actually, really striking, and this is progressive rock with actual emotional resonance, which is suitably rare. It's only plausible that such an esoteric genre would have esoteric approaches, those ignorant pig humping pop-ignoring elitist teabaggers. For a 22 minute long epic, it's still way too long to even begin justifying such a monolithic running time. Still, it's purty entertaining. Hell, Foxtrot is pretty entertaining all the way around, but not perfect by any means. I wish there were less rocking moments, more attention to pop sensibilities, a more idiosyncratic atmosphere, and fewer Banks stabs(or just none at all). Not Genesis at their best, but not half bad.

Wait, you know when I said Supper's Ready was the best song? That was another lie. It's really Horizons, which is the prettiest moment the record's got to offer. It's only two minutes, but sometimes good things come in tiny packages, like genitals.

****

Report this review (#294306)
Posted Friday, August 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is definitely a prog classic. Each song is masterfully crafted and has some of the genre's best and most well-known moments. Two tracks in particular, the opener Watcher of the Skies and the closer Supper's Ready, are two of prog's most famous songs. There is no filler on this album, nor is there really a dull moment. Each song is inspired, captivating, intricate, and at times even beautiful. The intro to Watcher in the Skies is one of my all-time favorites, and Get 'Em Out By Friday perfectly depicts the eviction problems that existed (and might even still do) in England

The album flows seamlessly, boasting both complex and catchy tunes. This album deserves a perfect rating not only for its influence, but also for its rich substance. It contains some of the band's best work.

Report this review (#296439)
Posted Friday, August 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR
Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team
4 stars I avoided listening to "Supper's Ready" for years because I was afraid it would never be able to live up to the hype I had built up inside my own head. I've just listened to it. Twice. "Supper's Ready" is, without a doubt, the greatest achievement in progressive rock music ever. It is epic in the tradition of The Bible, WAGNER's Ring, The Illiad and Odyssey, and Song of Roland. It contains the soul of humanity--of human struggle and human potential and aspiration. It contains virtuosic performances from some of prog rock's most adventurous, theatric and yet melodic participant/performers. Even so, "Foxtrot" has never been a masterpiece to me. As much as the band loved "Watcher" and "Get 'em Out by Friday," I never liked them (and I have given them both so many chances/re-listens). "Can-Utility and Coastliners" has always been one of my favorite prog and Genesis songs--and I am glad to see it getting so much love here on ProgArchives. I used to love "Horizon's" but am now sick of it. Good song the first 1000 listens. Gets old, though. Despite "Can" and the greatest prog epic of all-time, this album only gets four stars from me; it has flaws. Some will call it essential because of "Can" and "Supper." They may be right. The two do help constitute over 60% of the album. But I can't reward the "album" which has two poor--yes, I've said it--poor songs with 5 stars.

1. "Watcher of the Skies" sounds old, overfull, and poorly recorded. I never liked it--always skipped it to get to "Can-Utility." HACKETT's "Revisited" version is ten times better. (4/10)

2. "Get 'em Out by Friday" is too over-the-top bombastic. Another "Knife" crossed with "Hogweed," previewing "Robbery, Assault and Battery" and "All in a Mouse's Night." (5/10)

3. "Can-Utility and the Coastliners." Prog perfection in six minutes or less. This is the song I would play if someone asked me to introduce them to that which is quintessential to progressive rock music in one song. (10/10)

4. "Horizon's." Go solo, Steve. (He did!) (6/10)

5. "Supper's Ready." "IT" DOES NOT GET BETTER THAN THIS! (10/10)

Report this review (#299363)
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of my all time favorites. I I had to pick a favorite song, off the top of my head it would be supper's ready. It has it all, Love, spirituality, violence, and even some humor. Aperentlly Gabriel wrote it about a strange experience he had with his wife getting "posessed", or having a fit or something like that. That's what I've heard anyway, freaky. The last part, eggs is eggs, is the most heartfelt vocal performance I have ever heard, just great. Watcher, and Can utilaty, are my other two favorites. I'm not to big on get um' out by friday but the thing with Genesis is that there albums are so long compared to there contemperarys that it dosen't matter if you don't really like a song. If I took out Friday from the album, and I wouldn't, It'd still be 42 minutes of brilliance. Five stars all the way!
Report this review (#300767)
Posted Tuesday, September 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Who can't pass by Genesis when they never heard Foxtrot. The first tracks are like a splendid town linked to a great castle (Supper's Ready) by a cute little bridge near a magical forest where it's always calm (Horizons) if I can afford myself this cheep metaphor. I was absolutely delighted by this fine album but I must say that my favourite track is Supper's Ready. It's hard to make a really good long song but Genesis, like many others, have achieved into making this song one of progressive rock's herald.

Even if you don't know Genesis at all, you must run to buy this album. It's one of the absolute must-have I recommend to any lover of prog rock.

Report this review (#301543)
Posted Saturday, October 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
ExittheLemming
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Fox hides both chickens down the front of his frock and outfoxes the pack

'Steve, I actually saw God at the end!' Genesis fanboy

Well, I was just trying to get the notes right. Steve Hackett

Were you to nominate those albums that have come to be considered definitive of the Prog genre, then Close to the Edge, Tarkus, In the Court of the Crimson King and Foxtrot would certainly find themselves pushed brusquely to the front in your queue of thoughts. Yes I know, it is ironic that all four do not sound remotely like one another to the extent that their creators only common ground is being carbon based lifeforms with a predilection for dreadful sleeve art-work and track lengths that resemble expected hold times for a customer service call centre outsourced to Neptune. Is there any other genre that is demarcated by characteristics that none of the pivotal creators share?

The two greatest leaps that Genesis made in their career were between Jonathan King's idea of 'clever pop music' on the début via the fumbling ambition and pilgrim's progress of Trespass to this remarkable document that I cradle in my butterfingered paws right now.

Watcher of the Skies - has come to represent a tie-dyed and bell bottomed Jenna Jameson for those with a Mellotron fetish over the years. A very stirring intro where Tony Banks' dusty majesty is given centre stage on some astringent symphonic harmonies that always conjures up images of a considerably more long sighted and haired Elgar. Although the composition is deliberately melodramatic it never lapses into gauche rhapsodic blather and we have come a very long way indeed from the quaint pastoral jestery of the Phillips era. Hackett's contribution and approach is significant to this new found muscularity as his parts have an illuminating rock edge that blows away the cobwebs from those neglected furthest reaches of Genesis sound world. His volume pot 'violining' technique as heard towards the track's conclusion is one of the most beautiful moments in Prog full stop.The exploitation of 'odd' or so-called 'difficult' time signatures is a bug-bear many people have about this type of music e.g. the 6/4 single note staccato section works because the mimicry of a morse code distress signal achieves the requisite mood of disquiet and foreboding intended. When such devices are used badly, we are left congratulating the culprits ability to span the compass of 6, 7 or 9 but wonder if the resultant spastic contortions were in fact designed to convey the immutable and impervious calm of the Indivisibility of the Cosmos Part 1? Genesis have clearly taken great care to avoid these pitfalls and deploy such meters as 5/4, 7/8, 9/8 and 8/4 seamlessly to make such phrase lengths breathe naturally and enhance the music accordingly. The lyrics were reportedly inspired by a line from a Keats poem but remember that it's called On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer (Doh!) and Peter's 'who looks on life itself?' theme is clearly not one for simple fisher folk like us:

For though your ship be sturdy, no mercy has the sea will you survive on the ocean of being?

Time Table - An unadorned conventional ballad in the Trespass style but the writing is far more assured and they wisely resist the temptation to clutter this effective simplicity with spurious instrumental distractions. At surface level it appears nostalgic for a more chivalrous age but the mood turns darker towards the end:

Gone the kings and queens now only the rats hold sway and the weak must die according to nature's law, as old as they

A very beautiful song ushered unhurriedly along by some gorgeous electric guitar arpeggios from Hackett but stretching the hookline chorus over a word as short and unforgiving as 'why' was ill advised methinks.

Get 'Em Out By Friday - Quite possibly one of the very few credible contestants in Rock's shrinking queue to finally audition successfully as credible opera. It certainly confirms the sustained efforts of Pete Townshend and Ray Davies as overreaching bravura and Gabriel understands what the former two didn't i.e. you can make this work brilliantly for 9 minutes but will suffer the fate of a deaf, dumb and blind lion-tamer over 40. Peter inhabits the characters of an unscrupulous property developer, his hired muscle 'the Winkler' and a young couple feckless enough to rent a unit from these palpably unattractive individuals. As a denunciation of human greed it works very well but the caricatures Peter embodies are no more than Dickensian fictions of cartoon evil viewed from his own privileged perspective. However, the music and narrative are ingeniously plotted right down to the last regional glottal stop and Gabriel's vocal and textural ranges are nothing short of a tour de force. I suspect that even his unacknowledged mentor Arthur Brown would nod his noble brow in appreciation at his young student's handiwork here. The instrumentation is superb throughout and the band conspire to mirror uncannily the appropriate mood and pace of the lyrics to best effect. Similarly to Watcher of the Skies, this is completely uncharted waters for anyone employed in popular music circa 1972 and kudos to Genesis for boldly traipsing through that door marked 'Commercial Suicide This Way'. It still sounds fresh today and ends on a sentiment that has even more resonance in our libertarian infested age now than it did in 1972:

With land in your hand you'll be happy on earth Then invest in the church for your heaven

Can Utility and the Coastliners - It's initially tempting to dismiss this as a lapse back into the meandering uncertainty of Seven Stones from Nursery Cryme but the track has a latent structural depth and detail that only reveals itself after several listens. The imagery points towards the cover art where a coastline is depicted with presumably a cross dressing fox substituting for King Canute, still upright but perched precariously on a little island? (That's correct, I have no idea what this song is about) Very strong melody that dips and soars in all the right places and Gabriel sounds at last like his '6th Former' gonads have finally descended from their precocious pubescent sac.

Horizons - A rather superfluous solo vehicle for Steve Hackett on acoustic spanish guitar. Brilliantly played and mighty purty yes but erm...why?

Suppers Ready - This has much in common with the Beatles Abbey Road medley, and is easily on a par with that much revered touchstone of popular music. Quite why the Genesis fanboys get themselves into such an indignant lather about seeing this masterpiece quite appropriately being described as such is beyond me. Are medleys the preserve of horrid girly cabaret groups in jumpsuits or summat? It's been described as (cough) sonata form by some commentators but what the hell's wrong with 7 conventional song sections being brilliantly arranged and segued into a multi layered thematic suite? Although it's not remotely psychedelic it is in places a kaleidoscopic welter of uniquely British reference points. From the Flowerpot Men who inspired PG's sunflower suit, Monty Python, music-hall, Winston Churchill, Gabble Ratchet, white collar commuters, blue collared ruddy cheeked farmers and finally a stroll through the Book of Revelation as though set in leafy suburban Kent. This is as rich a source of cultural and religious allusions to be had in the entire gamut of Progressive Rock. (and just might contribute to the long held but ultimately erroneous view that the genre's cradle was solely the UK) The music is almost unremittingly magnificent for its entire 23 minutes save those rather fidget inducing episodes re the lads stubborn affection for ornate guitar arpeggios doused in fondant flutey twitterings that never actually go anywhere. But let's not be picky on a creation as enduring and inspiring as this shall we?. Just point your browser at: thingsthatmakelivingworthwhile.com and indulge yourself with a generous serving of all the ingredients that make Progressive Rock such a satisfying dish fit for both serfs and kings alike when it's prepared by master-chefs.

BTW I think the title references death without the succour afforded by spiritual faith (you become just a bedtime snack for worms without it) On the other hand we protesting atheists cling to the secular belief that the diet of worms should include a vegetarian choice.

Never mind the afterlife, salvation can be glimpsed through wondrous art like this in the here and now.

Report this review (#304399)
Posted Saturday, October 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Required listening for all progressive rock fans if only for ''Supper's Ready''.

I must say my history with FOXTROT is jagged to say the least. I initially bought this album more than a year ago on vinyl, took it home and after listening to Side 1, something strange happened. Even though I flipped the record over, Side 1 started playing again. I picked up a rare, broken copy of FOXTROT and was denied ''Supper's Ready'' for over a year. I have since listened to the piece, and have come to realise it's the key piece in the album overshadowing the first side.

''Watcher of the Skies'', ''Can-Utility and the Coastliners'' and ''Time Table'' are all pretty much blurs to me; all are rather pretty dry and not the most entertaining of sorts. ''Get 'Em Out By Friday'' picks up the tempo after starting out with a goofy premise, but its pomp carries the first half even if it seems too stretched for time. Still, the opening mellotron of ''Watcher'' is one of the signature prog sounds, even if I feel it's a bit superfluous.

''Supper's Ready'' is the big highlight. I'll admit the first section has some awful falsetto accompaniment vocals, but the epic really gets going on ''Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man''; I already feel euphoria here with the grandiosity overall and Gabriel's vocals, then we get Hackett's guitar solo not long after. ''Willow Farm'' is rich in its theatrics, and can get a bit over the top, but the final two sections are well worth sitting through. ''Apocalypse'' and ''As Sure as Eggs Is Eggs'' are two of the most powerful ideas in all progressive rock, and listening to the whole of ''Supper's Ready'' as opposed to those sections individually really brings out the true nature of the epic piece.

I'm very torn on this as FOXTROT realised the ideas of TRESPASS and NURSERY CRYME with better production, but the first side drags the overall quality of the album down. No doubt ''Supper's Ready'' is a real masterwork of the genre and to a lesser extent, ''Get 'Em Out By Friday''. One epic will not carry and entire album, though.

Report this review (#315891)
Posted Friday, November 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I listened classic Genesis albums for some decades, and good it or not my opinion didn't change much during that time. Foxtrot is one between few best their releases, I can agree with that. What doesn't mean I like it much.

Musicians are great there, sound is very balanced, and songs are melodic and complex at the same time. What else I need to enjoy the music?

I don't like Gabriel's vocals there, his singing is far from really great (I really prefer his voice in his best solo albums). Bass line is great and it add some spices in too comfortable and polished sound. I feel really comfortable when listening this album once again, but it never really worked for me. Too self-closed ( almost said -too British). Good music without being too original, too different,enough interesting...

I believe it more my taste, millions of fans love this album. Still 3 for competent musicianship.

Report this review (#319632)
Posted Sunday, November 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Foxtrot" is the best album of Genesis for me (next to his successor "Selling England by pound") and is undoubtedly one of the masterpieces of progressive rock .Hundred of reviewers have commented this album, for better or for the worst.Then what can I say?

"Watcher of Skies" is a powerful opening track, the kind of music that the genesis boot to open your album: strong, powerful and magistral.This introduction with Mellotron(a mellotron darker and heavier than usual) is one of the best of all times.The bass of Mike Rutherford is beyond expectations.In the end, mellotron returns dramatically to an end apotheotic.

"Time Table " is a song ballad.This is sadder, but still very pretty.

"Get'out in by friday" is a sort of mini-epic.The music kicks everything from the beginning, but it seems to wane, when the voice of Gabriel enters with force then we have small sections melancholy (my favorite part of music), but the music alternates between a rock a little heavier and lighter sections.

"Can-utility and Coastliners" is a track underestimated.Her starts simple but then the guitar enters, accompanied by the mellotron.Lá 3:40 minutes, the music changes shape to a final more cool.My only criticism is in relation to the cries of Gabriel in the end, but nothing that spoils the song.

"Horizons"is the kind of guitar solo that I love (thanks, Steve Hackett!). Some say that this song is the introduction of the next track, but I do not see it.

And then it comes: "Supper's Ready".There is a consensus, almost universal, that this is the masterpiece of Genesis (that's what i think also, though I think she shares the post with "The cinema show "). This is a song composed by other music minor ("patchwork. ") But several themes are repeated throughout his nearly 23 minutos.Lirically the music speaks of the Apocalypse, but according to Hackett that was just for the money .

These are my words about this masterpiece of rock in geral.A album that should not receive less than 5 stars

Report this review (#319916)
Posted Sunday, November 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars I can well understand why Genesis fans consider this album a mantelpiece. "Watcher of the skies" kicks us off with some eerie and spooky Hammond playing by Toby Banks, then gives way to Mice Rutherfords throbbing and insistent Bass, before crashing into the main body of the song with Peter Gabriel sounding at his most spikiest.

Timetable is not really my cup of Genesis tea, but is pleasant enough and i would imagine would be best listened to curled up on a sofa with your girlfriend with tea and rich tea biscuits.

Get 'em out by friday is about an old couple being offered a new home in a tower block and how they have to be out of their present abode by Friday at the latest. Musically it is not far removed from "The return of the giant hopweed" from Nursery Cryme, albeit in a less menacing vein.

Can utility and the coastliners is about scattered pages of a book by the sea and has a distinct Debbie Dowding feel to the instrumentation. Again Gabriel is at his spikiest conjuring up images of being late for work and deciding to sign on the dole instead. The ending section rocks out a lot more but i can't help feel let down by the "teasing his classmates" vocals of Pete at the end of this song.

Horizons is a simply beautiful instrumental from guitarist Steve Howe and leads us very neatly into the tour de force........

.....Suffers Ready - What can be said about this song which probably hasn't been said a million times before. You can feel the despondency in Peter Gabriels vocals as he walks across the sitting room to turn the television off - Probably because there are far too many reality shows on. The song goes through many changes of mood before it all ends off with Jesus taking us all off to the new Jerusalem ( What's wrong with the existing one? ) Again Peter is at his most spikiest vocalwise and the whole band takes us to the end on an ocean of emotion.

Highly recommended and will deffo be enjoyed by fans of Genesis, Marillion, Citizen Cain and Hermans Hermits

Cheers Chit

Report this review (#341707)
Posted Friday, December 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Perhaps the music that you hear as a teenager stays with you forever?

In rather quick succession in 1974/1975 I had purchased a number of Genesis albums - Selling England by the Pound then Live and then in a single outlay in what was really extravagant for a working class boy from the outer suburbs of Melbourne (Australia) - Trespass, Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot.

Although eventually I would grow to 100+ vinyl LPs (no singles) and more recently 500+ CDs, I still find these early Genesis recordings (through to W+W) amongst my favourites. The reason being the originality in both the song writing and the lyrics which were always at a consistently high standard. I still hear lots of the ideas in this early Genesis being reference in later bands.

My purchase of Foxtrot was the US pressing from an Import Shop. Like Nursery Cryme this was not a gatefold sleeve so the lyrics and stories were missing but I was unaware of this at the time.

Expectations were again very high given the I had already heard of SEPTB, Live, Trespass, Nursery Cryme (although the production quality on Trespass and Nursery Cryme were poor - which I put down in part to the poor quality vinyl on the US pressing).

Again, there is no need to repeat in detail what others have said about Foxtrot. Foxtrot represents a natural progression from Nursery Cryme and displays a band with confidence and strong musicianship to now match the song writing.

Watcher is the classic concert opener and is performed at its best on Live. Timetable is a beautiful song balanced by lyrics that tell a story (tale). And perhaps this is what makes Genesis very different to almost all other bands. The lyrics convey a story with a start and a finish, as demonstrated on the following tracks "Get 'Em Out by Friday" and "Can-Utility and the Coastliners".

Side 1 completed . 4 almost perfect songs. What more could be expected?

Side 2 opens with Steve's short acoustic guitar piece "Horizons" which for a long time I thought was the actual introduction for the tour-de-force of Supper's Ready. Full of time changes, booming bass, hypnotic organ, word plays and biblical imagery. Play it loud, play it soft, play it in the dark, in the light, in the morning, in the night...the magic is always there. If Genesis had only produced a single track like Supper's Ready they would be in a Prog Hall of Fame. That almost each track on each record - Trespass, Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot, Selling England by the Pound are of comparable quality is outstanding.

And perhaps what is even more outstanding is that whilst "The Lamb" goes in a different direction it meets, and arguably passes, the high standard already set.

4.9 Stars.

Report this review (#347092)
Posted Wednesday, December 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Welcome to the great supper of the Lord!!!!

This is my first review and this is my fav album of all time in the world of rock music. Foxtrot is truly a masterpice, probably the best album Genesis ever made. In 1972 Genesis reached finally the complete maturity, and realized an amazing record, sure a step forward compared to "Trespass" and also to the previous, fantastic, "Nursery Cryme".

Watcher Of The Skies is the opener, with a great mellotron introduction. Written during a tour in Italy, the song became an absolute classic of the Gabriel era. The voice of Peter tells a story of an alien who reached the Earth and find no human life at all but only the ruins of our civilization. The "morse code" rhythm of Collins and Rutheford is perfect and Hackett shows his distinctive technique on guitar during short but very powerful passages. The final climax is one of the highlight of the album, with great energy and brilliant mellotron outburst.

The second track, Time Table is very different, much more melodic and simple. I think this song is a little bit underrated by many people but for me it's simply splendid. The voice of Gabriel reached here one of the peak of his career. The melodic piano-line at the end of the song is another great moment and in my opinion is unforgettable.

After the calm, another prog mini-epic, Get'em Out by Friday(with a sensational interpretation by the singer and a great effort by the band), Can-Utility And The Coastliners (the story of King Canute) with folky passages that evolve to much more complex forms of music, and the short Hackett solo guitar Horizons lead the listener to the main event: the most incredible suite ever made by a prog band.

Supper's Ready is not only a suite. It's a sort of boarding pass: when you appreciate it, you can say without doubt "I'm finally entered in the world of Genesis". Both experimental and melodic, with incredible instrumental moments ("Apocalypse in 9/8 is really amazing!) and an emotional performance by Gabriel, this 22 minutes epic is the masterpice of Genesis career. The lyrics (written by Peter Gabriel) are, I think, very introspective and it is not simple catch the real meaning of the song; for sure the inspiration move from a real thing (The trance of Peter's wife, Jill Moore) and evolved in a bigger motif, the battle between Good and Evil (with a lot of references to the Bible - particulary the book of Revelation - and mythology in general).

I think Foxtrot has a fantastic balance between acoustic and electric moments, incredible organ and mellotron parts by Tony Banks, with no "synthy" sounds at all, stunning rhythmic variations by Collins, amazing lyrics and incomparable atmospheres......A 5 stars rating album of course!!!

Highly recommended. Maybe the best prog album ever. Rating: 10/10.

Best song: Supper's Ready

Report this review (#354153)
Posted Wednesday, December 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars I am pleased to contribute my high rating to this amazing album. It is definitely a masterwork although I must admit it took me a very long time to like it as much as I do now.

It is very much like its predecessor "Nursery Cryme" in sound, although I'd agree that the songwriting, musicianship and production is better. "Watcher Of The Skies" is a fantastic start. I've always particularly loved the mellotron intro and the way it dramatically returns near the end of the song. Rutherford's bass seems to be more prominent than before. "Time Table" is very touching, and "Get 'Em Out By Friday" top notch stuff. I can't find faults anywhere.

The only track that I found hard to digest for such a long time was "Supper's Ready" but I always liked it. There are many different parts to the piece so repeated listens are required. Now, I would sincerely say it is without doubt a magical, mesmerizing work that holds an important place in musical history. In all, Foxtrot is one of those records that grows on you. Like a fine wine gets better with time. It's definitely not overrated! Five smacking stars for sure.

Report this review (#363848)
Posted Sunday, December 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Post/Math Rock Team
5 stars When I first heard this album, I was not listening to Genesis. Read that again. I got a used CD copy of this and it turned out, for whatever reason, that the music on the disc was actually the album Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space by the band Spiritualized. Eventually I bought a new copy all wrapped in plastic; got the correct music too. Most people refer to this album as Foxtrot. I like to call it 'All Killer, No Filler!" Compared to all their other early albums, there are no weak moments here. This was the band's first album to make the UK Top 20. It wasn't until The Lamb that Genesis were even close to being as popular as Yes or ELP.

"Watcher Of The Skies" is of course, one of the greatest openers to any Genesis album. The loud/soft dynamic near the end is great. "Time Table" is the most mainstream song. It's still better than "I Know What I Like" and "Counting Out Time". Great chorus. "Get 'Em Out By Friday" is my favourite song after Supper's on Foxtrot. Nice bass playing from Rutherford. I like the balance of faster and slower sections. Interesting lyrics about landlords. Love the middle section based on 5 notes. Gabriel's overdubbed vocal parts are well done. "Can-Utulity And The Coastliners" has some great bass pedal sounds. The instrumental section with Mellotron is nice. Love the fast bass around 4 minutes, followed by great organ playing and a guitar solo. "Horizons" is as close to filler as you get here. It may have been based on a piece written by Bach, but it's still a good acoustic instrumental.

"Supper's Ready" was influenced by VDGG's "A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers", but the end result sounds more like the Long Medley from Abbey Road. The 'Lover's Leap' part gets reprised throughout the epic. The children singing the "little snake" part were apparently found in the same building as they were recording. 'Ikhnaton And Itsacon...' has great guitar playing and organ. 'How Dare I...' has interesting faded-in piano chords with Gabriel singing. 'Willow Farm' is almost poppy. These guys always had a poppy side to them. I like the sped-up vocals here. After a cool atmospheric section followed by guitars, organ and flute. I like how this leads up to 'Apocalypse In 9/8'. Gabriel's echoed vocals are good in this part. The great organ soloing sounds very VDGG. 'As Sure As Eggs...' has good use of bass pedals. Nice guitar work from Hackett. "Los Endos" will later feature Collins quoting some of the lyrics during this last section.

This was an early peak for Genesis. Later albums may have better production and may have sold more copies, but they never got this consistent again. The sound and production is a step up from Nursery Cryme but would get even more of an improvement with the next album. There is no filler here like "For Absent Friends" and "More Fool Me". "Time Table" is the best attempt at something commercial until later in the decade. Genesis' only studio masterpiece but The Lamb and Trick come close. 5 stars.

Report this review (#383412)
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
baz91
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Ahh Foxtrot. Without a doubt my favourite Genesis record. This album has pretty much everything going for it in terms of prog: the fancy gatefold cover, the amazing 23 minute album closer, the complex time signatures, the lyrics that could be described as pretentious. Upon listening to the album, you can hear that the band had expelled most of the quaintness that made songs like 'For Absent Friends' and 'Harlequin' less memorable than the longer more aggressive songs on Nursery Cryme. To start with the album artwork is one of my favourites, where you can stare for minutes just trying to work out the story behind it (surely worth getting the vinyl for this!).

-Watcher of the Skies- The album starts (rather progressively) with a 2 minute mellotron solo. This droning solo definitely needs a few listens before being fully appreciated as part of the song. At around the 1:40 mark, Collins and Rutherford slowly fade in with an extremely complex sounding 6/4 groove. In fact, I first heard this song on 'Genesis Live' and the studio version has a much higher tempo. When the band are all at equal volume, Gabriel starts singing. Whatever its about is anybody's guess. The vocal section is very tight, and there are no significant instrumentals. In fact it is rather repetitive, and until you listen to the song very carefully, it is hard for the mind to work out the structure of the song. After the vocals have ended at about 5:50 the band sets into one of the most wonderfully orchestrated outros I can think of, reprising the opening theme. All in all a fantastic opener, and definitely an underrated Genesis classic.

-Time Table- After the frantic, though structured, chaos of the opening track, Time Table is definitely one to calm down to. At only 4:46, one might imagine that this song wouldnt be too progressive (although it can happen!). This very acoustic song seems to conjure up images of medieval knights. The song has a very simple structure, verse-chorus-verse-chorus. The second half of the song is essentially a copy of the first, with different lyrics. A very cute song, although nothing particularly special to remark.

-Get 'Em Out By Friday- Now Genesis decide to turn the prog up to the max. From the first 10 seconds, you can tell its gonna be one of those sort of songs. Time signatures and mood changes abound. However this song is much more interesting than your average eight and a half minute prog song for one very simple reason: it has a cohesive story! Indeed, one of my favourite things about Genesis songs is that some of them have a very carefully considered (and comical) story. This song is no exception, with Gabriel singing of an evil Council Housing company known as Styx Enterprises. A very enjoyable track indeed!

-Can-Utility And The Coastliners- Probably Foxtrot's best kept secret. Upon first inspection the song seems too short to be of much worth, but in fact it is very interesting and unique. A song about the king Canute, the instrumental which takes up most of the song (from 1:45 to 4:56 with a very brief lyrical interlude to spice it up) is without a doubt very progressive and rather unpredictable. This song seems unmemorable, but is in fact extremely worthwhile. A good song to dip into on occasion.

-Horizons- Side 2 of the album starts with the very brief Horizons, an acoustic guitar piece by Hackett. On one level, it is quite pleasant to listen to. However this song feels totally out of place on this album, and leads me to wonder why they included it at all. Apparently Hackett himself was surprised that the band allowed him to include this on the album. This song, much like 'Clap' on The Yes Album, feels like it should have been included on a solo record.

-Supper's Ready- If you're like me and get excited when you see that a track's length is over 20 minutes, you will probably listen to this first. This track is definitely one of the pinnacles of progressive rock, with very little to fault it on. If I'm being fussy, I'd say it doesn't have quite as many odd time signatures as I'd like (although the famous 9/8 section is definitely enough to satisfy any hunger) and in my mind, the ratio of quiet parts to loud parts is a bit too high; they could have been more aggressive. As it stands though, this is one of the best examples of epic symphonic prog ever. The song is split into 7 sections, and these sections sound like individual songs by themselves, although with recurring themes. Do not expect to like this song on the first listen. I found that I only truly enjoyed this song after understanding all of the sections individually. Some of the parts grow on you quicker than others, like the comical 'Willow Farm' with hilarious lyrics and interesting vocal interplay. The 'Apocalypse in 9/8' section is also an amazing example of Tony Banks' keyboard wizardry. So much can be said about this song, and its legacy in progressive rock history, but I will leave it by saying that Supper's Ready is definitely Genesis' magnum opus, and one of the best progressive songs of all time.

And there you have it. If you think that Genesis were just some cheesy pop group from the 80s, you will have your opinions turned upside down by this album. It may not be 100% perfect, but to rate the album which sports 'Supper's Ready' along with classics like 'Watcher of the Skies' and 'Get 'Em Out By Friday' anything less than 5 stars would not do it justice. Required listening.

Report this review (#399301)
Posted Saturday, February 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Though not my favourite Genesis album, this was generally regarded as Genesis' finest hour. This album is a classic and contains the masterpiece 'Supper's Ready' which stands at 22 minutes long and takes up most of the second side of the album. Other tracks include the majestic 'Watcher Of The Skies' and 'Get 'Em Out By Friday', a grim vision of the future. The music is typical prog-rock and the cover art by Paul Whitehead reflects the diversity of the music within. All songs on this album were sung by Peter Gabriel, and most of the lyrics were also written by him. Some of the lyrics to Supper's Ready were based on the experiences of Gabriel and his wife and other parts of Supper's Ready are based on the book of Revelations. The lyrics to 'Can-Utility And The Coastliners' are based around the story of King Cnut. The lyrical content of Genesis albums is without excption excellent and this album is no exception. Horizons, however, is a classical guitar piece written and performed by Steve Hackett and although it has no lyrics, it is one of the best points of the albüm Overall, this is a fine album. It is not the best Genesis album in my opinion but it is possibly their creative peak and contains more passion than the 1973 follow-up 'Selling England By The Pound.' Supper's Ready and Can-Utility And The Coastliners are the standout tracks whereas 'Time Table' is by far the weakest track. Overall, a great album.
Report this review (#424544)
Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Foxtrot by Genesis is one of the very first progressive rock I albums that had every graced my hears. Though I liked it when I first heard it, over time it has become one of my least favorites. I'm not really a huge Genesis fan, and I've always found Peter Gabriel's voice to be grating, but his lyrics has always been very above-par. Fortunately, the rest of the musicianship throughout the albums is utterly fantastic and often very beautiful.

"Watcher of the Skies" is a classic track, and the build-up at the beginning that progresses into a marching rhythm is one of the best build-up examples in all of progressive rock. This whole track comes off as sounding very majestic or imperial, and is quite beautiful and powerful. The way the song is structured reminds me of "Roundabout" by Yes because it only progresses within the context of a couple themes, making this one of the most recognizable and memorable tracks from Genesis' classic era.

"Time Table" is a slower, simpler track that is basically a ballad with a nice vocal hook. The keys in this song sound like a music box to me, but it actually pleasant. This song never did much for me, especially after the previous track.

"Get 'em Out by Friday" this track starts out sounding heavier like something from Genesis' album Trespass, but quickly varies its sound a bit with a softer section with quirky sounding vocals. One thing that stood out in this track is the bass playing that sounds spastic at time, but always works terrifically with what is going on in the music. This is mostly another track that I always found uninteresting.

"Can-Utility and the Coastliners" is a more softer song that starts off very slow, but the middle passage features beautiful acoustic guitar strumming, doomy bass pulsing, and ethereal mellotron. It's absolutely beautiful and too me sounds like it could be a pt.2 to "Watcher of the Skies". One of the best tracks here.

"Horizons" is a beautiful classical guitar solo by Steve Hackett, and was one of the first songs I learned how to play in the classical style on guitar when I was in training. It's extremely beautiful and some parts are very reminiscent of baroque-style writing. This is one of the tracks that really makes this album for me.

"Supper's Ready" is the epic track at almost 23 minutes in length. I never thought Genesis really had a talent for writing tracks this length because the sections always seem random to me. This track packs in plenty of different moods and feels, but the only passages that I ever really thought were nice were the beginning passage and the passage following Gabriel's famous "a flower?!" moment, with its bouncy attitude. I know some people think this track is absolutely wonderful, but I always found it a struggle to get through it.

I suppose that this kind of quirky symphonic prog just doesn't really cut it for me; I prefer the overall seriousness of Yes music. I can't, however, disagree that this album isn't a classic in the genre, being both important to the genre and one of the best albums by this incredibly theatrical band. Even so, it doesn't do much for me, but anyone interested in progressive rock should at least give it a listen to decide for themselves. I only found half of the album enjoyable, so I feel compelled to give the album two stars.

Report this review (#429397)
Posted Friday, April 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars The reason why this is my favorite Genesis album is not easily explained briefly. Many elements combine in many different ways to make this a thouroghly engaging listen from start to finish, from the haunting opening Mellotron chords to the tears of joy-inducing resurrection ending to "Supper's Ready." The Mellotron intro to "Watcher of the Skies" is just long enough to let you know that you're about to listen to something different, and the decrescendo right before the band VERY gradually joins in and builds up to the hammering odd-time main section is beyond suspenseful. Steve Hackett throws in some wild stereo- panning whip-like sweeps in this story of the reign of our species being taken over by a new one, an interesting anti-thesis to what's on the other side of the album. The coda to this song, like "The Musical Box" from the previous album, shows exactly why many call this band "symphonic rock." The next song, "Time Table", is an excellently produced pop ballad with moving lyrics about our tendencies to forget about equality. Again, Tony Banks uses just the right amount of notes to set up the moment when the band comes in to play a chord that sounds as if they had their briains wired together when they recorded it. There's some very delicate playing on this track, especially the plucked piano string solo that moves over an ever modulating chord sequence. On "Get 'Em Out By Friday" Peter Gabriel turns the role of lead singer into a one-person musical, playing multiple parts to tell a satirical story about greed in real estate over a groove that takes the Uriah Heepishness of "Return of the Giant Hogweed" and adds more jazz elements. The quiet, unison part in the middle is very tasteful, as is Steve Hackett's sparkly turns over the word "heaven." Following is "Can-Utility and the Coastliners", a song that may be hard to grasp upon first listen, but reveals itself to be a very excellently written and played cornocopia of the band's many sounds up to this point. I really like the strong, vivid sunset-like visual atmosphere conveyed in the part where Tony Banks' Mellotron floats over the acoustic guitar harmonies of Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford while Phil Collins dances like a Neptunian martial artist over the kit, and at the end of the song, Mike plays some lightening fast upper-register notes leading into a very jazz-rock heavy unison outro that's very impressive. On side two, we have "Horizon's", one of Steve Hackett's best instumentals, solo and Genesis material included. The harmonics are genial, and the tone of the guitar is again, very strong and vivid, invoking sunset moods, something very common to this album. And I don't think I can explain "Supper's Ready" well enough to do it justice, but if you have not heard this multi- part suite, you're missing out, especially if you have any hope of living in a better world someday. Some things I will mention: the combination of criticizing organized religion while honoring God himself is pretty unique in rock, at least being as overtly stated as it is here, the rhythm of "Apocolypse in 9/8" is even more complex and probably more difficult to solo over than it sounds, and the ending section "As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs" is without question the best ending to a song and album I've ever heard. An absolute masterpiece.
Report this review (#451614)
Posted Tuesday, May 24, 2011 | Review Permalink
thehallway
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Over-enthusiastic mellotron, one-dimensional song-writing, thick production without breathing space, and the whining of a yet-to-mature Peter Gabriel is what characterises Foxtrot as a Genesis album that has less to offer than many people would make out. Although 'Supper's Ready' is a special song and an achievement for the band, little else on this album jumps out as being very progressive; most of it is listenable, some of it is enjoyable, but nearly all of it is forgettable.

Side one relies heavily on the thick chords from Banks' organ or mellotron, accompanying Peter Gabriel's strained vocal delivery of his [mostly] crude lyrics. This combination is nice during 'Watcher of the Skies' but becomes dull soon after (and although the mellotron sound is supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread... I find it to be rather muddy and un-dynamic). The songs on this first side all sound rather similar apart from the wonderous 'Can-Utility and the Coastliners', which has a good structure and some varied instrumentation. Hackett only seems to be audible during his soaring guitar solos, which are the best moments on Foxtrot. His absence the rest of the time is unfortunate for him, and me, as I feel like smashing that Hammond over Banks' head by the end of the album (although he is good at writing epic chord sequences, I wish he would ease off the "fullness" once in a while. His apparently-Emerson-influenced solo in 'Supper's Ready' is the only moment where he actually plays melodies, and this is an uninspiring, rather clunky solo).

Even after a pleasant but pointless minute-and-a- half of acoustic serenading, I am left feeling flat and unimpressed by the first half of this much-loved album. I rely therefore on the multi-part epic to deliver. And it does! 'Supper's Ready' starts off with a simple verse-chorus love song, seguing into some 12-string beauty with electric piano noodling, some more rocking moments a la Queen (but of course, before Queen were around), and a quiet moment of reflection where Gabriel's lyrics start to sound serious for once. As soon as he says "A flower?" the lyrics go right downhill again.

However, musically, Willow Farm is my favourite part of the song. It has vaudeville sections and crazy effects, with some actually interesting developments and a nice swing feel to it. Shame it's over so quickly. What follows is a much-built-up, incredibly anti- climactic solo where Banks' merely seems to play some staccato arpeggios over a time signature he either can't understand or is too bored to follow. But we end on a high note as the band close the suite with what is possibly the most epic way to end a song ever. The last 3 minutes of 'Supper's Ready' are in fact the one place on Foxtrot when the mega- chords, the bass pedals and the Christian wailing actually sound good!

Hence, Foxtrot is an album that is over-loved in my eyes, though it picks itself up in the end. Like most of Genesis' output before Selling England by the Pound, the compositions lack maturity and depth, but occasionally hit the spot. If the band had varied their instrumentation a bit, and their playing techniques, Foxtrot would be less one-dimensional and would have a bit more character; proper character, not the "I like to imitate a cockney accent" kind of character.....

Report this review (#457720)
Posted Monday, June 6, 2011 | Review Permalink
Andy Webb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Retired Admin
5 stars Review #277: It's all been said before...

...so this will be brief. Genesis is one of the true masters of Progressive Rock. That's all I need for a bio, because I'm sure every member on this site knows very well who this legendary band is. Producing a spectacular string of albums from 1970 to 1977, the band is easily one of the most influential bands in progressive rock history. Foxtrot, the band's fourth studio release, is easily the band's apex of composition, before they slowly began to decline into the pop-dominated 1980s. The album contains an incredible tracklist; each of the six tracks being true wonders of classic progressive composition. Although each track on the album has been dissected more than a medical school laboratory pig, I'll go over the basics. There's a reason this music is considered "Symphonic Prog." The band has wonderful experience in classical composition, with masterful proficiency in counterpoint, harmony, and melody, as well as fantastic experience in the dynamics of a rock song, and a superb ability to mix the two. On top of this, the guys are no strangers to their instruments; they own the music they play, and they play very well. Each of the songs are killer, and easily are masterpieces of progressive rock.

Other than that, I don't want to say much. The album is one of those rare real "perfect" albums that are also rated very high, and truly deserve it. Each track has such a wonderful dynamic, and the each composition is truly a wonder of modern music. And Supper's Ready.

That's all I'll say about that song.

Oh no, I'm kidding. Supper's Ready is what really makes this album above anything else that the band has made. I think this album is far better than anything the band had made before, with Supper's Ready really at the forefront of the showing. The track is spectacular. It's perfect. It is easily one of the greatest songs in Progressive Rock history. The longest song in the Genesis discography, the 22 minute epic is truly amazing. I'm at a loss for words. I just love that song.

Overall, the album is perfect. It is truly essential. If you are a fan of progressive music and do not own this album, shame on you. It is a masterpiece of progressive music. 5+ stars.

Now I end my rant. But I have one more thing to add:

A flower?

Report this review (#465053)
Posted Sunday, June 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars My first reaction after hearing this album was this: DAMN! seriously after hearing this album front to back the first time i couldn't believe what i just heard. I feel this is the quintessential Gabriel-era Genesis album IMO. Every track on here is just amazing. Watcher in the Skies is a great odd song that became a signature song even after Peter left. Time Table is a nice mellow song that is like a rest between Watcher and Get 'em out by Friday which might be my favorite track of the album because i love the way it twists and turns and feels almost like a perfect 8 min track. Can-Utility and The Coastliners is another good one but not as great as the previous ones. Horizons is a nice acoustic break by Steve Hackett who's song writing abilities were criminally underrated during his Genesis time. Lastly, Supper's Ready do i need to say anything about this track cause no matter what i say it's probably been said but i will come out and say it. Supper's Ready is overrated. Now that being said, it is a good song that really does symbolize Genesis in their Prog days but it's not the grand awesome song everyone perceives it to be. It has great parts in it but as a whole song it does kinda go on a little but is deserving of at least one listen. But i just can't stand the just constant blind praise of this song. I like it but not great. Overall, a GREAT album that any prog fan should have in their a collection. Must have. 5 stars. Highlights: Watcher of the Skies, Time Table, Get 'em out by Friday and Horizons
Report this review (#465066)
Posted Sunday, June 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
Starhammer
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars "Mum to mud to mad to dad..."

Boosted by the success of Trespass and Nursery Cryme, prog legends Genesis release what would become one of their most celebrated works.

The Good: Supper's Ready is easily one of the greatest songs ever recorded. Each movement oozes perfection and seamlessly flows for 23 minutes which seem to pass in an instance. The lyrical content, though somewhat bizarre at times is also engaging and typically excellent of this Genesis era. The album opener is also a favourite of mine with the timeless mellotron introduction performed by Tony Banks. A special mention goes to the superbly intricate Can-Utility and the Coastliners.

The Bad: Whilst the remaining three tracks are far from bad, they still pale in comparison to the rest of the release. I find Horizons in particular to be just a bit bland.

The Verdict: Outstanding, but not consistent enough to be considered a masterpiece in my mind.

Report this review (#473433)
Posted Friday, July 1, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars To be honest, whilst I would be the first to admit that Foxtrot is a great album, over the passage of years I've found that I've ended up prizing Trespass, Nursery Cryme, and Selling England By the Pound above it. The album jettisons a certain amount of the gentle, pastoral approach of the past two albums (though there are quieter moments here and there) in favour of adding a bit more bombast and theatricality to the sound, with what I find to be mixed results; Get 'Em Out By Friday, in particular, I find to be one of the less successful of Gabriel's theatrical songs, though I've come to appreciate it more over time, whilst Supper's Ready has many undeniably wonderful qualities, but at the same time seems a bit calculated - like the band were going out of their way to produce a twenty minute epic simply because it was the done thing at the time, and you can see the filler here and there.

Still, I do like it more than The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, which I think has substantially more filler than this, and it's overall a very, very fun album - I'm just one of those heretics who wouldn't put it at the absolute peak of the Genesis canon. Even so, over time I've had to admit that even the less entrancing moments are still pretty decent, and with a bit of tightening up here and there I could have given it five stars without qualms.

Report this review (#500237)
Posted Monday, August 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
Rik
5 stars Foxtrot is, in my opinion, the more solid album from Genesis. Undoubetly Selling England by the pound contains some of the Genesis' top classics but, in general, I think Foxtrot works better as a whole. There are some well done dramatic scenes all along the record, a great rhythmic work, nice harmonic progressions led by the keyboard and a solidness in the composition which is obvious on its longer track, Supper's ready. I can hear this record on and on from start to end and I never get tired or bored of it. When I hear Selling England (one of my favorites too) I get a little out of mood when Phil's voice sings 'More fool me'. So, if I've got to choose just one record from Genesis, Foxtrot is my election.
Report this review (#501934)
Posted Friday, August 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RPI
5 stars I remember seeing the cover of 'Foxtrot' for the first time during a summer holiday in 1972. It was hanging in the Woolworths window in Luton and I recall being seduced by its now-iconic artwork, so much so I rushed straight into the shop and bought it (along with Pink Floyd's 'Relics') without having heard a single note of its music. When I got home I think I must have played it continuously until my old machine overheated and finally cut out.

Those days seem as distant as the moon and nowadays when I look in shop windows my chief emotion is one of shock at the aged reflection staring back at me. While the memories of my youth will probably be worthless to others, they're of great importance to me and 'Foxtrot' has left enduring images in my mind. It's so much more than a mere collection of musical pieces; it's the relationship it foments with the listener and 'Foxtrot' has been with me like old faithful for nigh on forty years now. (Pause here while I extract my head from my intergluteal cleft!)

After decades-long veneration I tend to only listen to the album 'in my head' these days. Despite the fact that I haven't actually played 'Foxtrot' in a long time it visits me every day and I never prepare a meal for my good lady without singing 'Hey babe! Your supper's waiting for you-hoo.' True story.

In my opinion 'Foxtrot' is the fountainhead of all symphonic prog and is the album that guarantees immortality for Genesis. I doubt that anyone here is ignorant of the album but in the unlikely event you haven't heard it you're in for a wonderful awakening when you do. 5-stars of course, although I think that calling 'Foxtrot' a masterpiece of progressive rock music is akin to saying that a circle is round.

Report this review (#512058)
Posted Tuesday, August 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars No doubt one of the best prog albums ever released. It however starts with pretty average tune Watcher Of The Skies but Time Table shows its brilliancy. This is a softer tune but with a lot of emotional package. Get Em Out By Friday one of the most important Genesis songs reminds me of Nursery Cryme album and its obviously a proggy masterpiece. I also like Can Utility which brings shivers up and down my spine at the end of the song. The opus magnum of Foxtrot is of course 23 minute long Supper's Ready. Personally I think it's the finest Genesis song and one of the progressive cornerstones. This brilliant epic tune is filled with emotions and sense of humour (like Jethro Tull's Thick As A Brick). Some parts are soft some really dynamic, Genesis at their peak and not such boring as Yes at the time.

A must have album for all progressive rock fans. I can't believe how much I was disappointed with their next release. But that's a fact. It's nowhere near Foxtrot.

Report this review (#543960)
Posted Thursday, October 6, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Though this is my least favorite of the classic PG-era Genesis albums, I cannot give it anything less than five stars. The quality and impact of the music is unquestioned. Most of the songs do not grab me personally, and Hackett's presence is relatively subdued. There are few standout moments and few good solos. Rather, the album comes as a consistent whole; the songs represent a full band approach at almost all times. All the classic characteristics are here: intricate arpeggios, high drama, intelligent lyrics, great playing, etc. In place of solos are what I would call extensive instrumental passages. No single individual is prominent for long, but the sections always move along well with plenty of passion and feeling. Every song itself is a classic, not the least of which is Supper's Ready, one of the greatest of all prog epics. Sonically, it is much better than its predecessor, Nursery Cryme. Clearly, Genesis is progressing as a band, and this is good to hear.

For decades I had a cassette tape of this album, which a friend generously donated to me sans Get 'Em Out by Friday. The album was just too long. Indeed, it times out at over 51 minutes. No one could fault the band for not giving their fans their money's worth. The recording quality of that tape was not the best, but the music always was. Now I have a copy of the Definitive Edition Remaster. The sound is so much better of course, but I find it odd that I do not hear any new dimensions to the music. Everything I hear on this new version I also hear on my old tape, which to be honest is a little disappointing. Really, though, there is no cause for complaint. Foxtrot remains a great album, and the improved sound is definitely a step up.

The subjects of the songs are definitely not butterflies and bunny rabbits. Get 'Em Out is about forced eviction. Watcher of the Skies represents quite a mystical view, while Time Table questions the conceit of entire civilizations. Can-Utility and the Coastliners is about hybris. And what is Supper's Ready about? Many things. One characteristic of it is it contrast between the grand and the mundane. Its apocalyptic scope is inextricably connected with the intimate. I mean, after Apocalypse in 9/8 runs much of its course with lines like "666 is no longer alone," we get references to "Sweet rock and roll," and the utterly ironic, "And it's hey babe, with your guardian eyes so blue/Hey my baby don't you know our love is true." Nothing monumental means anything without some connection to the individual. All great stories are best told in terms of the people who occupy them, who make them happen. This is a theme that actually runs throughout the entire album. Supper's Ready is not only the climax of the entire album, it represents almost everything else the rest of the album is and then some. But don't listen to Foxtrot just for that one track. Listen to the rest of it as carefully and you will be well rewarded. Absolutely, unquestionably, beyond a shadow of a doubt, essential Prog. I think that should be clear.

Report this review (#558540)
Posted Friday, October 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well, time to review one of mu favorite albums ever. No big deal really. XD Anyway, I've only been into prog about a year and one day last summer, my grandpa told me he would order me 3 CD's. Those three were Close to the Edge (which, I'm actually listening to now), Selling England By the Pound, and Foxtrot. You can imagine my anticipation as I waited. And finally, Foxtrot shows up first! Sadly, though, the one defective track was Supper's Ready, but fear not, I got it fixed.

So, I finally listened to it, and this was the most amazing thing! From the opening to Watcher all the way through the end of Suppers Ready, never a dull moment.

Watcher of the Skies, one of the most iconic openings ever. Sadly, it has worn off a little bit, but is still an amazing track! The verses are really great and the ensemble playing of the band is superb. That main rhythm is something that I'll tap on my desk or just start singing as it is so catchy! 4.25/5

Time Table, I actually like this song. Sadly, the ending goes on a little long, but it has a beautiful chorus and divine piano playing. 4/5

Oh yeah, time for Get Em Out by Friday! The second best song here without a doubt. Those heavy verses with the manic organ playing almost makes me wanna take John Pebble's side! But, if there is one thing that really sticks out, it is Rutherford's bass playing. My god, this is one of the best bass performances I have ever heard! On par with YYZ and Roundabout, in my opinion. Even during the soft parts, he does better fills than Steve, who contributes a really good middle solo which should have been MUCH longer. Definite 5/5

Can Utility and the Coastliners took me a while to get into, but once it sunk in, it was amazng! When Pete sings "Far from the north...",. the hairs on the back of my neck raise I really enjoy that two chord jam in the middle which leads into a fast little bass solo. Steve actually does a hell of a solo near the end which is honestly hardly ever talked about. Fantastic track! 5/5

Believe it or not, I really enjoy Horizons (as a young, Hackett influenced guitarist myself). Its so relaxing and perfectly leads into the grand opus of this album... 4/5

..."Walking across the sitting room, I turn the television on..." The classic opening to the greatest epic of all time! Once Pete hits the second chorus, we know that the audience is now completely enthralled. Near the end of the first piano solo, it gets very solemn and I can just imagine all of the them standing reverently. Its nearly impossible to imagine this song without some image of the story line or of Pete walking around stage, spinning the tale of the 2 lovers throughout the rest of the song. I absolutely love Steve's solo near the middle (I can actually play it!!!) and he and Tony are so great on those tapping arpeggios. Willow Farm always has me singing and getting strange looks from people! Haha, its really great and segues into a relaxing instrumental bit before the true intensity begins. Apocolypse in 9/8 creates nightmarish images, even as Tony Banks does his amazing solo. When Pete comes back in (in the magog costume, of course) the song truly gets scary, but leads to the light, as Pete throws the costume off and is dressed as a pure white angel. When I saw the live version from Shepperton, I was nearly crying, as the lord had come to saver his people and take them to the new Jerusalem. You cannot help but feel something when listening to the end, and as Steve fades out, you sit and think about what you have just heard, completely dumbfounded.

If there is one album that should displace CTTE, it should be this one, as I see them as equal, but Foxtrot has Suppers Ready and is probably, no, definitely, the greatest album of all time. But I'm still young, so what do I know!

Report this review (#569072)
Posted Wednesday, November 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have somehow managed to forget to review this album. An album which is one of my alltime favorite albums. What can I say to get to 100 words here and not to waste anyone's time ? This album is full of pastoral, weird beautiful symphonic prog which other bands and scenes (the Rock Progressivo Italiano scene in particular) has copied. This album has one of the best vintage keyboards sound in the annals of ProgArchives too. Peter Gabriel is brilliant here. Hackett and Collins too are brilliant. The songs are in their own class. But Supper's Ready is in it's own class. It is one of the best 20+ minutes epics ever to be created.

In short; Foxtrot gives ballroom dancing, foxes and progressive rock a good name. It is a masterpiece and one of the best albums in ProgArchives.

5 stars

Report this review (#579039)
Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
rogerthat
COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
5 stars Genesis could be well be called the masters of time signatures. Not because they accommodate the oddest of odd time signatures and 'show' that they can 'play' it. But because they have unusual control over time signature changes. You can see this is a point that other reviews have noted too. I cannot think of very many other bands who could slip in time signature changes so effectively and so intuitively, that you sometimes do not even notice the change! Genesis dextrously switch time signature without upsetting carefully built up momentum and this is no doubt noticeable on this symphonic prog masterpiece too.

Another noticeable aspect of the album is a sprinkling of the Gustav Holst composition, The Planets. You have heard references to the famous suite in so many science fiction. monster and action films by now that it is as ubiquitous as the works of older and more revered classical composers like Mozart or Beethoven.

Genesis, by contrast, apply a more original twist to the matter. Or maybe, they are also drawing on the work of other classical composers, in which case I couldn't spot and I don't know quite know my classical anyway. At any rate, a distinct Genesis flavour is very much intact on Watcher of the Skies. I hear shades of the composition being evoked again in Can Utility and the Coastliners and parts of Supper's Ready. I cannot say The Planets feels especially British to me but it blends easily in the soundscape of an album that certainly sounds very British to me.

The Planets flavour may also be part of why this is considered one of the more rocking Gabriel-era albums. The mysterious, tense flavour of said composition does seem to have got embedded deeply in the fabric of this album. In saying this, I have perhaps paid a tribute to Genesis's own compositional skill. I can't make up my mind over which of this and the next one, Selling England By the Pound, is the better Genesis album. But I do consider this the more cohesive album. The compositions seem to flow out of a homogeneous and holistic musical concept, the mark of which is recognizable somewhere deep in the musical elements but is not obvious or apparent.

But a little bit on the rocking flavour again. This is also because of the terrific rhythm section of Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins. Much is said about the more illustrious Bruford-Squire pair of Yes. But the Genesis pair enjoyed terrific chemistry too and bring forth an irreverent contrast to Banks's stately, ponderous flavours. This is particularly noticeable on Can Utility and the Coastliners. As Banks plays some stately mellotron, Collins and Rutherford are absolutely rocking and the overall flavour of the passage is thus inimitably Genesis. Collins also plays a very important role in ensuring Genesis's deft time signature changes are indeed effected seamlessly.

In the midst of all, Steve Hackett sneaks in whenever he can in a Banks dominated album. He contributes some shrieking electric guitar when the band are searching for some meat in their sound and is ever the master of lovely acoustic. Speaking of which, the way he doubles with Rutherford's 12 string also adds to the warm, pastoral flavour of the music.

Imposing theatrical eccentricity over it all is singer Peter Gabriel. I confess Gabriel makes me regret listening to music on speakers rather than earphones. Because much as I am fond of his vocal contributions to Genesis, listening to them and other bands on speakers does not put his voice in the most flattering light. But he tries very hard and manages to please. Not only that, with all these wonderful musicians around, he manages to steal the show. And whatever you can say about the limitations of his voice, the very British flavour of these tracks wouldn't be there but for the way he sings them.

Even the relatively short Timetable is very good. This is for once a tight Genesis affair with no throwaways, no inconsequential moments. The only unflattering aspect is the production. Then again, in comparison to the music I grew up, this would actually be considered a good recording, so no complaints for me. Besides, I wouldn't want to stop myself from totally enjoying such a delightful album for reason only that the production isn't that great. Five stars without hesitation.

Report this review (#595378)
Posted Saturday, December 24, 2011 | Review Permalink
EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 9/10

With "Foxtrot", Genesis have already a reserved place in the Olympus of Rock bands.

There are a few albums in the history of Progressive Rock that, whether you like them or not, are absolutely essential: one of these is Genesis' "Foxtrot". It is almost a revolutionary album for the time, and it helped define Progressive Rock as we know it today.

If the atmospheres of "Nursery Cryme" were intimate and cozy at all times, here Genesis manifest a love for wide open sounds: the spacey instrumentation is anything but cozy, it reminisces of almost an open, cold field, everything sounds so large. It is not a coincidence that there are some quasi-futuristic themes in the lyrics. Once again, Genesis relies much on guitars, vocals, drums and keyboards. Together, they are perfectly arranged with amazing musicianship, as a matter of fact, one of the best musician albums ever recorded. But the melodies are also almost revolutionary, for how much original they always sound: much of Prog Rock's future albums will somehow be influenced by this, but nevertheless no album sounds quite like "Foxtrot", in any way.

From the lyrical point if view, like mentioned, there are quite a few moments that are almost futuristic, like the groundbreaking "Watcher Of The Skies", or the mini play "Get' Em Out By Friday", one of the most original lyrics of Peter Gabriel. Lyrics reminiscent also from the past are of course present as well, like "Time Table" or parts of "Supper's Ready". "Can Utility And the Coastliners" is another beautiful song from the lyrical point of view, almost biblical in it's watery theme.

"Foxtrot" seems to have nothing but solid tracks: it has the powerful ones, which really gives emphasis to the more Rock side of the music: "Watcher Of The Skies" or "Get 'Em Out By Friday" have power, as well as beauty. Especially the first one, the opening track; it has become a classic for Genesis, thanks also to it's mellotron driven intro that has inspired much more than one or two artists in following years, but also it's outstanding musicianship, structure, and melodies. "Get 'Em Out By Friday" is much more dramatic, melancholic, but it can also be very fierce. An emotional, at times gorgeous piece, just like "Time Table", the second track of the album. "Can Utility and the Coastliners" has a lot of mellowness around it, but it happens to be one of the most shape-shifting pieces of the album, as if it were a mini-suite. "Horizons" is a beautiful acoustic interlude that opens the magnum opus of the band's career: "Supper's Ready", the longer than twenty minutes epic suite, that contains wonderful, delicate passages, extremely original melodies and songwriting for the more lively moments, fantastic musicianship, and finally, great lyrics by poet Peter Gabriel, who makes this song almost like a fairy tale. It's content makes "Supper's Ready" a world of it's own, separate from the rest of the album, as if it were as long, but haunting fairy tale, with fantastic places, bizarre situations, but also love. A beautiful work that has went down in history as one of the finest Prog Rock tracks ever written.

An outstanding album as a whole, a masterpiece that to only a few albums it can be compared. However, songwriting-wise, nothing beats the originality and innovation of these songs, combined with some of the greatest musicianship you'll ever hear. Thanks to this and to the following album, which is easily one of the best albums of all time, Genesis have a reserved place in the Olympus of Rock bands.

Report this review (#596050)
Posted Sunday, December 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars I tried. I swear I tried. I gave that album a year or two. Then I was listening to it while playing "World of Warcraft" (no matter how insane this may seem to you.) It worked for 'Musical Box' and 'The Return of the Giant Hogweed." It did not work for anything on "Foxtrot", and this is what I have come up with - a lousy three.

The first time I heard the intro to 'Watcher of the Skies', I thought: "That is a one freaking tight intro." I did not care for what followed it and gave the song four stars. But time went by and I became more mature about the matter of critical evaluation. I did not like what followed that intro. The main body of the song is so devoid of emotion and taste no matter how much Peter Gabriel would scream. The screaming just seems to be in the wrong place. I didn't like the way Peter sung those lines: "Co-onve-entio-ion chi-ildre-en, hu-uman's sake!" What is this? And I don't like his embarrassing sense of humor: "Fo-or no-ow the-e li-iza-ard shedded its tail; this is the e-e-e-end of man's long union with ea-ea-earth." It doesn't do anything for me, but it may do something for you. And I couldn't care any less for the "complexity" of the song (4/4 + 2/4 or 6/4 or whatever; I have trouble discerning alternating meters from a single truly weird meter.) Why? Because the song is not entertaining at all, as opposed to, say, 'The Battle of the Epping Forest', which has so many delicious melodies and ways of working with that 7/8 meter. Yes, that's another major problem with the opener of "Foxtrot" - it lacks good melodies. And the ending just doesn't move me at all. Nonetheless, it's not very bad. It's more like a three than a two.

'Time Table' is one of those many tracks that are historically insignificant. Nor does it work very well on the emotional level. That melancholy just doesn't do enough for me if that's what it is. The melodies are half-dead. At least the mood is there and the chorus is just a wee-bit convincing. But it's not very bad. Oh! Do you remember that intro to 'Firth of Fifth'? Mark the complexity of that thing. You can say just the same thing about the intro of 'Time Table.' One sounds like a recycled version of another, doesn't it?

'Get 'Em Out By Friday' is by far the worst offender on the entire record. The music is lousy because it's dead and I don't feel anything from it. Maybe the focus is on the lyrics? Maybe. Actually, it seems that the essence of this song lies in the lyrics. But the lyrics suck too. I don't know anything about real estate speculation, and the way Peter Gabriel is educating us in this matter is nothing short of boring and futile. Do I really have to struggle that hard to get the song? And it lasts for eight minutes. I find it such a torture.

'Can-Utility & The Coastliners.' The title sounds like a name for a match between two soccer teams or a contest between two bands, which it's not. The first third of it is cute, but boring and insignificant. The second third, however, is nothing but real dynamo. The last third is classic Genesis, with Tony Banks doing some nice noodling on his keys. But in general, the whole thing does not sound like a crowd-pleaser, even if it actually is. If you asked me what is my favorite part, than it's the last five seconds of it. Not because the song is over, but because I like the music in that time range.

'Horizons.' I don't know anyone who would argue that this instrumental sucks. It's very classical, in the style of Bach, although I like Steve's melodic sensibilities better than those of the "great." And Hackett's playing style is remarkable with those harmonics and the two-finger arpeggio-strumming technique. It's difficult to play, but the outcome is very promising, somewhat moody. I did not want to go overboard with a five, so as not to lie to myself about the quality of the composition. Four is enough. Maybe 4.5 will do.

Ahoy comes almost-everybody's favorite, the mastodonic 'Supper's Ready.' Gee, what can I say about a piece that lasts 23 freaking minutes long? It has a poor flow from one musical idea to another on some occasions, not to mention the fact that I'm used to having instrumentals rather than songs sown together. Also, some of its flaws are musical, some are lyrical, yet this considerable amount of flaws cannot push the track's overall grade of four back to three.

a) 'Lover's Leap' is a love song, and I'm allergic to love songs unless the music, including vocal delivery, is enamoring, which it is in this case. I also like pretentious and meaningless symbolism, believe it or not: "Six saintly shrouded men move across the lawn slowly. The seventh walks in front with a cross held high in hand. And it's . . . ". I really like the way Peter sung those lines. ***

b) 'Guranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man.' Granted my knowledge that this band was influenced by King Crimson, they obviously ripped off one of the latter's titles. How about '21st Century Schizoid Man'? Rings any bells? That's just silly. The music is OK.

c) 'Ikhnaton and Itsacon' is one of my personal favorites of this "suite." I like the guitar and the keyboards. Simply delicious and, on some occasions, dynamic! They really blow that fuse at 6:34. ***

d) 'How Dare I Be So Beautiful' is a really bad butcher that contains perhaps the words lyrics Peter has ever come up with. Usually I ignore the lyrics if the music is really good and grabs my focus. Unfortunately, this section is not the case here. But that is not to say that I don't like the music. I think I would really enjoy if Peter just didn't sing on that bit. **

e) "A flower?" Yeah, 'Willow Farm' isn't something to be taken seriously. So, sink your teeth into Peter Gabriel's idiosyncratic and healthy sense of humor. "The frog was a prince. The prince was a brick, the brick was an egg, the egg was a nose!" "[With a hilarious voice] And then we change you into a human being, huh!" Awesome. ****

f) Along comes another one of my favorites. I don't really know to which section the guitar-keys-and-flute-driven interlude really belongs, but who really cares. I really like it. It's better than the silly 'Coastliners'. As for the main body of 'Apocalypse in 9/8', it's nothing short of entertaining. It sometimes has some keyboard parts in 4/4 dubbed onto the relentless rhythm in 9/8, which is pretty clever. But none of it really matters if you mark the dynamo of the whole section. Man, how I wish Phil Collins' drums were much louder at the 17:14-17:15 time range! However, I do really like the way Tony Banks cleverly put together that chord progression for the triumphant breakdown of all things, though I do think it sounds better on piano than on the Mellotron. Also, I really do think that the band did a much better job on the relentless dynamo and repetition of the second half of 'Cinema Show' than on the 'Apocalypse'. Nonetheless, I like this section for Banks' competent keyboard noodling and, yes, for the relentless repetition and little dynamo that give this section a good drive. ****

g) The last section is a brief, but dynamic, rehashing of the first two sections. This is like the fifth time I'm saying this: don't mind the lyrics! Enjoy the vocal and the dense instrumental tension that closes the "suite." ****

To sum up, the whole thing is a mess as well as a crowd-pleaser, but only if that crowd is full of exclusively Genesis fans, mayhaps.

Ratings/comments (if you have to ask):

'Watcher of the Skies' - ***

'Time Table' - ***

'Get 'Em Out By Friday' - *

'Can-Utility & The Coastliners' - **** (a rather weak four, but good enough)

'Horizons' - ****

'Supper's Ready' - **** (I'm being generous here and give this song-composition a four for its overall grand spirit of entertainment that makes the track the best song on the album.)

Stamp: "I like it." I kid you not, I actually do like the album for the sufficient amount of its potential, even though it does sound like I've really butchered it.

Report this review (#613958)
Posted Friday, January 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Started his review with a quote that describes my opinion of Foxtrot, being that it doesn't have my favorite GENESIS song (The Musical Box) neither is their more mature album, but each time I listen this masterpiece, I notice that there isn't any note that I would delete without ruining the balance achieved by the band.

Foxtrot starts with Watcher of the Skies and it's famous Baroque intro with Mellotron and Organ, the mysterious sound achieved by Tony Banks is a perfect introduction of the dark atmosphere of the album, but that's only the beginning. The solid bass and percussion passage announces the entrance of Peter Gabriel, who may not have the bast voice in the market, but knows how to transmit a message of the audience. The radical changes and accurate organ describe perfectly how the remains of a society can be viewed by an external being. Simply the best opener for a magnificent album.

Time Table may not be the most elaborate song, but the soft combination of piano and vocals relaxes the listener after an epic opener and prepares us for the rest of the album. This what i refer to when i talk about balance, GENESIS has better songs that could had replaced Time Table, but this is the right song for this moment of the album.

Some bands try to achieve complexity to demonstrate how good they are, but Get 'em Out by Friday shows us that complexity must not be searched, it must flow naturally when a song requires it. In Get 'em Out by Friday the band combines not only Sci Fy with greed and every day tragedies, but also strong feelings such as violence, strength, fear and acceptance.

But the merit is that they add all this sentiments not only by the short dialogues from the perspective of STYX Enterprises, the Winkler and the old couple who has to leave their house, but also with the choice of instruments that go from aggressive guitar and keyboards to sweet nostalgic flute and of course the versatile vocals. Dramatic from start to end, they combine

Can-Utility and the Coastliners tells us the story of King Knute, who's followers believed could order the ocean to retreat. Normally GENESIS tracks were famous for their lyrics, but in this case the incredibly beautiful music leaves. I know that many fans consider keyboardists as Wakeman or Emerson the peak of the crop, but the humble Tony Banks demonstrates how a member of a band has to play without letting his ego, despite this fact, his organ solos give me goosebumps each time I play the album. In my opinion the highest point of Foxtrot.

Until now I hadn't mentioned the name Steve Hackett, not because lack of skills, by but because he sacrificed his personal interests for the sake of the band, playing as a piece of a well oiled machined instead of a soloist searching for glory, but in Horizons he has e chance to show us a bit of his talent. This calmed interlude between two epics is one of the most delightful guitar pieces I ever heard, not complex, not pompous, but precise and beautiful.

The album ends with the 21 minutes super epic Supper's Ready, almost a mini opera with different characters all performed by Peter Gabriel, a fight between good and evil that ends after the breathtaking "Apocalypse in 9/8, where GENESIS does one of the best instrumental passages of history, but I won't go deeper, because words can ruin the musical experience.

I always believed that Trespass", Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot are the great trilogy of Gabriel's GENESIS, because after this point, the dark and dense atmosphere was lost., so we are talking about an essential masterpiece that marks (in my opinion) the peak of GENESIS, and the reason why I give this gem 5 stars, as a fact if I was allowed to rank only one album with , it would be Foxtrot.

Report this review (#696677)
Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars I will just say it, NURSERY CHRYME is my favorite early Genesis album, not FOXTROT, like the mojority of fans. But this is still a great album, and deserves all its high reviews on this website. FOXTROT has just never connected as solidly with me as NURSERY CHRYME. I think the basic problem is that I enjoy the shorter tracks on the latter much more than I like them here. Of course, "Watcher of the Skies" and "Supper's Ready" are classics. Also, "Get em out by Friday" is good but not great in my mind. Still, this is a cornerstone of prog music and should be owned by all.
Report this review (#733616)
Posted Friday, April 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the album where Genesis first showed what a talent they really were. Not one track is throwaway here and the best ones include "Watcher of the Skies". This classic is superbly atmospheric and its opening sounds like modern trance music. Gabriel's voice has clearly matured and provides some in depth character performances on numbers such as "Get 'em out by Friday,". "Time Table," is suitably melodic and has some great piano riffs in it. "Can utility and the Coastliners," has some great guitar solos from Hackett and has stood the test of time well. "Horizons," acts a melodic filler before the superb "Supper's Ready," which features great work from all the band members and is as good as any other equivalent prog-rock compositions of its time. An essential recording by Genesis - one of their best, if not the best.
Report this review (#745792)
Posted Saturday, April 28, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars 1972 wasn't exactly a year of bad harvest in progressive rock. Just have a look; Close to the Edge, Trilogy, Octopus, Thick as a Brick, Islands - Meddle (late 71), and Foxtrot. Even if you have a favorite in this collection you can't really talk about 'better' than the others, rather 'the best among the best'. Why isn't this year better than any other? Foxtrot is one out of six albums I've ever heard people mention as their fave Genesis record. Foxtrot is balancing on the keen edge where innocence meets proficiency. This will last for a swift period of transition, and then it's replaced by something else. Released in a fold-out sleeve with theological paintings by Paul Whitehead (all religious objects are a creation by the observer). Had 'Lord of the Rings' evolved some millenniums ago it could've been a Sunday ritual today. What about symphonic rock? Why not let Foxtrot become your cathedral city, where the boy is dean, and the choir-girls are witty?

On the LP there are photos of each and every band member on the inner-sleeve, all in black/white. Like taken by some box camera from the infancy of photo art. Foxtrot is unique, it's the one and only seventies studio album with this quality. The individual group member is aesthetically modeled, fitting the mood of the record. It ought to be a memorable moment worthy a continuation on the cd issues. The younger cd generation isn't even aware of their existence. They are relentlessly removed for no defensible reason. Is this a curse in the face of the reverend? Yes it is. Where mammon enters, art goes out. We will return to the cd layout but let's move on to a more tolerable subject, the music. You can ask any middling music fan about the name of the singer or the drummer in Genesis. They know about Selling England by the Pound and maybe even its subsequent scene show. They don't know about 'Can-Utility and the Coast Liners'. This is your own private property. You are allowed to carry out your analysis regarding its background, story and lyrics without outer disturbances. I spoke to a well-educated Englishman in mature age once, he just shook his head. This is not an obvious task, even with all available dictionaries and reference books. And when you've come to the conclusion that a certain King Canute is the target, there is still little comprehensible link to the title in literal meaning. At least from available information. This only enhances its value. For a Scandinavian observer there's reason to be attentive. His roots and kingdom included a large portion of the northern hemispheres. Still, for whom is this composition intended? The reason to why the final song on side A is relatively anonymous is because it goes beyond people's apprehension. It's placed between two chairs. The so-called serious listener can't take it with its loud and yelling instrumentation. Can the rock listener grasp its grandeur? You don't have to cudgel your brain.

During his lifetime, Bach was reputed as organ virtuous. Today some people even claim that he's an okay composer. You don't see anything where you stand. There are two band members who stand out here. They take no credit for their show, deeply embedded in the band formula as they are. They are authors and composers. Rutherford and Banks, 12-string and mellotron. Steve isn't necessarily excluded from the writing; the intro is related to what later became The Hermit or Entangled. But there are various claims to who exactly did what. Even from band members themselves. There is no stronger piece of music written for these two instruments, individually and/or in unison. Rutherford plays 12-string (with pal Hackett) accompanied by his bass pedals. His bass guitar comes in later with much distinct tones. Banks starts primly with organ pirouettes, catches his breath, and returns with a celestial chord progression on the mello. There's a combined organ / mello. section with some prominent percussive from the drummer. This is the definite display of the symphony orchestra outside the symphony orchestra itself!! The string sounds in 'Can-Utility'. Song four is not really a song, rather an album of its own. It's the record's evident focal point, together with its outstretched sibling on the other side. In two hundred years time 'Can-Utility' is a celebrated and fairly assessed item. It's not included on any official live album, I've only heard it once on a bootleg with dubious sound quality. An earlier version encompasses an even more extended instrumental section. Water, cloud, wind from times long past.

Why is a song 4,20, 7,35 or 12,52 long? Or even past 20 min.? Is it just a coincidence or a planned measure? In the case of Supper's Ready it wasn't composed or intended to cover an Lp side. It just happened to be that way! S.R. is the odd jewel in Genesis career with its mighty length. Floyd and in particular Yes returned to this pleasant format a number of times. Not even the most devoted fan of the genre would call S.R. a coherent song or even suite; its division in various subtitles is merely a collection of independent songs. It's rather the high quality of the compositions that ties them together, than an intentional affinity. With a less talented band it wouldn't work out, here it is turned into a lengthy, smooth and melodramatic 23-minute tour-de-force. The unrealistic is achieved; the sentiment of a suite is here. It's direct and spontaneous, Lovers leap, the vocals are running from first nano second of the song. Just like it had already done a previous section before your entry. It's accompanied by the trademark of the band, the 12-string guitars. They come from every possible angle. A clerical backing vocal from the pulpit followed by an electric piano. This electric piano is so self-evident, just like every tone had been written and placed here by a directing hand not long after the beginning of time? This is the true description of a timeless masterpiece. Just like Leonardo's Mona Lisa where the depicted moves her fingers. They come from position A, you see them in B, are immediately removed to C. You are only a fleeting onlooker. The same phenomenon applies to S.R. Had Aristotle been asked about its running time, he would have come up with an exact answer. T.G.E.S.M. (we save space here) is taken from Banks' chest of drawers. Hadn't the song ended up as a part of S.R., we have no further knowledge about its destiny. Maybe shelved in the manner of song A Trick of the Tail?

The second sub title is as solid as an ice sculpture preserved by a faint and distant polar sun. Now we know that it stops abruptly, and enter the children voices. Who they are, how the recording was done, the idea? You will not find any info on the album. They must, after all, be regarded as guest artists (like the case on The Wall). This is a dim and vague tale. Part 3 contains some sharp/up mixed Hammond. Collins renders a drum pattern solely constructed for the S.R. listener. The Hammond is not to be overlooked. Foxtrot is the last recording to feature this raw and earthy keyboard. You can find it on every single seventies album but in a totally different role. Some or quite a few people regard the keyboard stack as one single unit. To compare a Hammond with a synthesizer is like the case of an electric guitar and a banjo. Foxtrot marks the end of an era in the choice of keyboard textures. Yes was with the arrival of Wakeman two years (two albums) ahead of Genesis in this regard. I can't see it as a lost period. A synthesizer is a marzipan cake (with frosting) at a birthday party. You want one or two good slices and then stop. A Hammond may not be as sugary and sweet but it draws nourishment from all parts of the diet circle. It's a matter of mixing/arr. of course but the synth has a tendency to place itself above other instruments. The Hammond is playing together. Banks started as pianist, went from here to the organ. These two, plus mello. were predominant on trio Trespass, Nursery and here. On third try Foxtrot, above all S.R., Banks is taking command of the roaring beast. Had the synth been attendant, not only would it have sounded differently, but most likely it had been played differently! The technique differs, on a synth it's tempting to speed up, as it is meant as a solo instrument. Therefore it affects the outcome of the final product, the music. In principle all solos after Foxtrot are performed on synthesizer. You can state that the Hammond organ, in its capacity as a diverse and multi-colored sound source, stayed on the mythological Foxtrot album. The gods were satisfied and saturated.

Back to life, an (intellectual) hard rock solo from Steve Hackett follows. Is this his most explosive moment during the Gabriel era? Or on the whole? There's not only one guitar but two competing for space. This is normally found in harder bands but certainly an unwonted case in Genesis. It has a lot of aggressiveness in it, as a total contrast to the gentle Horizons (which also on occasions was performed on electric live). Willow Farm is a snappy and shrewd piece of the puzzle. The same tongue in cheek lyrics as Harold the Barrel and just as ingenious. Added sound effects give it a look of a pure Monty Python sketch. Almost all subtitles on S.R. have a streak of irony and playfulness, W.F. is a true jugglery with words, it is hand woven and fitting a British art rock band. It's rhythmical and steady, and unsurpassable in originality. The acoustic piano part is the only (untreated) to be found on S.R. Gabriel even mentions Winston Churchill; possibly did he inspire Waters to say Maggie a decade later. In any case, Willow Farm is fully possible to cut out from its context and be offered a space of its own. It became the B-side of the lone single. Despite these praises, it's hereafter that the tension starts to rise, like the entrance of phase two. Willow Farm was preceded by a meditative and transcendental section. It comes as no surprise as a 23-minute piece is meant to comprise the complete circular tour. An instrumental piece with electric guitar, flute and organ is next in the queue. Even an acoustic six string is slunk in, its second appearance on the record. Compare the electric on Seconds Out to the original and notice that several tones are missing on the live version. Now the crescendo is closing in. The introducing vocal on Apocalypse is in its short presentation the most under-developed you will encounter, in proportion to its sheer excellence. It is rich but could have been richer. Not the easiest time signature to sing in, just how to cut off last word "easy". You can rightly ask yourself, did all involved here contemplate its mega potential? Yes, probably they did, the remaining part of Apocalypse is on a par with the few melody lines included. It implies that one irreplaceable part has to give in for the other.

Just repeat what was written earlier regarding the Hammond and the instrumental part of Apocalypse in 9/8 is in your hand. This is the harlequin dance in the mist of the moonlit night. If you're not in complete ecstasy when six, six, six (still 9/8) are cried out you are among the eternal lost souls. For us faithful, the curtain rises! The lyrical side, which is central, has been eyed and evaluated similarly to The Lamb story. The difference is that the title from '72 is condensed to one side and not four. The characters are found in the underground and not in the subway. The instrumentation on S.R. includes a rare cello display by Michael Rutherford. Not that it's dominating in strength or length, but it has a vast symbolical value. The will to do something outside the "basic" instrumentation is crucial. The same story with the backing vocals. The entire band (minus Hackett) is mentioned here. 5-10 seconds are an eternity more than an empty space. From the halls and dining-rooms hidden behind the massive castle walls echo laughter and hilarity. Time Table is a noble and aristocratic effort by Tony Banks. The instrumentation is basic and could almost have been recorded live in the studio. This is typical for the period 71-72, where simplicity in sound pictures walks hand in hand with their more bombastic counterparts. It's not only a planned outcome; it's just as much a result of the limited recording facilities. Five years later there was everything in the studio, that is the loss of the naked/simple tone. The piano intro is so classical sounding, not impossible for the decent amateur to copy if you're able to play two handed. It's antiquated in its splendid melodious genuineness. Gabriel's vocal is adapted to its palatial environment. The audience consisting of ladies-in-waiting with grease-painted faces is a worthy setting. You wouldn't mind being a part here yourself, to become knight for a day. And when the mini-concerto is over just take your chosen duchess by the hand for a stroll in the well-tended garden.

Yet another swirling Hammond piece (what else?) is offered in Get 'em out by Friday. This is a stark contrast not only on Foxtrot but to all previous stories written by Gabriel. I believe this is the sole lyric by the lead vocalist on side A. Quality wise this is one too little. Get 'em out is probably a try to widen the groups lyrical side. A more down-to-earth approach instead of the usual fairy tale- and histrionic story. If you like...Maybe it's based on a real event. No extended instrumental flights, a minuscule guitar solo but not much more. A steady and firm musical piece in a much unified way. Also it has a tendency to grow from the first couple of listenings. I wasn't a true believer myself, with its almost 10-minutes running time and belonging narration dressed in a musical costume. But I soon learned how to tackle it. Get 'em out is about the exposed person. Years later we'll find the same character in Not One of Us. Both cases could happen right next door to you. You have to cross an elongated bridge to reach other titles here? Watcher of the Skies is one of the definite examples of how to utilize the mighty mello. to the limit. The initial part runs for slightly more than 1,30, fades out slowly, the band enters in an all but ordinary time signature. There are more notes per bar than you have fingers on your hand. There are other things to be pointed out as well, the execution and originality of Rutherford's bass playing. In a contrapuntal environment with a multiple of lead instruments it's not unusual that the bass is buried in the ears of the listener. Its presence is just taken for granted. That's a pity because a shallow study doesn't say much about its possibilities. There are many great bassists in progressive rock, there's only one Mike Rutherford. Perhaps he hasn't reached his peak technically on Foxtrot, he is after all occupied with 12-string/rhythm, but the actual bass arrangements are worth a page for themselves. Just like on previous two albums, they are superior everything in the way of bass composing.

Is the instrumentation on Watcher obvious? There's an oboe playing alongside the guitar on a couple of short passages. Watcher was the show opener, what else would've shaken the concrete walls to crumbs? The lyric is a non-Gabriel poem, not a wasted feat but the most average element on the whole record. An abandoned alien figure watching the skies. There's word repetition; the front man would have done it a lot better (compare to side B). The single version of the work is worth your attention, the added end vocals/guitar is not to be missed. So what about Phil Collins and his vocal talents on his second outing with Genesis? Here is no For Absent Friends or More Fool Me, not even a Colony of Slippermen. Foxtrot is the drummer's least salient album as second- or co-vocalist. You can hardly distinguish his voice anywhere. And guitarist Hackett? Nobody wants to question his presence and embellishments on Foxtrot but you can't avoid the thought of how the various pieces of the vinyl disc had turned out if Anthony Phillips had stayed (provided that the other composers did the same, of course!).

Ant who was highly contributing to the band's writing would naturally have developed in harmony with Banks, Gabriel and Rutherford. Not a low creative quartet. It's almost scary, but is it realistic with an even sharper Supper or Coast Liners? Phillips was a more prolific writer than Hackett, at least during these early days, so the question is not irrelevant. Would Ant have widened the bands instrumentation in the manner of his long awaited solo album? No not really, but in capacity as co-founder and a principle writer he could've put more emphasis on his musical visions than Hackett was able to. This is a music review; it will escalate into a university paper if we continue. And the vinyl itself will end up as a full-bodied double-Lp! None of the cd issues can compete with the Lp. If it's not a nice price tag there's something else disturbing. The cd has garbled the original ground-plan. Bearing in mind that we're dealing with one of the absolute highest ranked, why not the highest, it adds only more indistinctness to its framework. The remastered cd may have improved sound; it has a supermarket-like campaign with complete discography (in colour). W&W is placed before Trick...Artwork has the same priority as the lyrics. The music is most important but if other components are deteriorated it will affect the final outcome, namely your listening experience. The back cover mentions all names of the five band members. This is informative on a big white strangely unfolded area covering the artwork. What would Paul Whitehead himself or responsible photographers utter? Don't they own some sort of copyright? Are they outfoxed by the record company executives?

Report this review (#757084)
Posted Wednesday, May 23, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Foxtrot sees the band finally setting in with a comfortable sound and a songwriting inspiration that was partially missing in their previous efforts. The album is more consistent than Nursery Crime, and doesn't suffer from the shoddy production which hampered the albums before it. This is arguably their heaviest and most energetic album, for which there is also a slight absence in their more folky sound.

The album opens with perhaps one of the greatest intros in all of prog. 'Watcher of the Skies' (10/10) is a perfect example of Mellotron use at its best. It's also amazing what they can do with a simple sounding riff in 6/4.

'Time Table' (6/10) is a slightly medieval sounding song littered by Tony's great keyboards. 'Get 'Em Out By Friday' (7/10) is one of the band's quirkier songs, relying on mood contrasts between some more melancholic sounding passages and the light and fun passages with Gabriel's extravagant vocals.

Can-Utility and the Coastlines' (10/10) shows what Genesis can do in such a short song format. The song is jam packed with great melodies, but never feels bloated. The Mellotron is especially good here.

Horizons is a beautiful song, but I treat it, as do many others I'm sure, as part of the following epic. With that said, 'Supper's Ready' (10/10) is simply one of the greatest moments of Genesis, if not THE greatest. Supper's Ready takes the structural complexity and emotional greatness of The Musical Box and takes it to a different level. Every section is so different from the others but they are all strung together flawlessly. You get the beautiful acoustic intro, the keyboard dominated Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man, the rocking middle section, the beautiful flute driven Willow Farm, and the chaotic apocalypse in 9/8. The song is as perfect as you can get, and will remain one of the greatest epics in prog history.

Foxtrot is Genesis at their creative peak. It is a must have for fans of prog or just good music in general.

9/10

Report this review (#771386)
Posted Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Who would not in Foxtrot? I truly do. It's something completely different from my beloved Van der Graaf's Pawn Hearts, but comparatively great in its own way. A masterpiece from the second end of the line.

It seem to me like if the genious child doodling randomly on the paper created a beautiful painting. Of course Genesis were not doodling, they knew what they were doing (or sometimes the band din't know what would be Peter's next clothes, but you know what I mean). It's colorful, playful music with interesting kinks and with unforgettable moments. If I could ever write songs, I would write them like Supper's Ready, with lots of short ideas and short tunes. Oh yes, Supper's Ready...one of that >20 minutes masterpieces. It's as sly as the fox on the cover, isn't it?

Report this review (#772430)
Posted Saturday, June 16, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars With Foxtrot, Genesis at last develop their most fully realized sound and perhaps the pinnacle of their career. The songwriting and flow is the most consistent and thoroughly impressive display of their career thus far. From the grand mellotron introduction with "Watcher of the Skies" to the epic bombast of "Supper's Ready", there is very little to find fault with on this album if anything. The band has improved as a single unit and Peter Gabriel's vocals have certainly gained more confidence and strength when portraying the various characters he brings life to. The production and mastering is a lot more fresh and crisp than it potentially was on Nursery Cryme, though still retaining the harder edge that made that album very prominent in stature. This is the result of a fine-tuned band showcasing their strengths and putting it all out on the table for us to take in and enjoy. By all means, an essential masterpiece of the progressive rock genre.
Report this review (#779811)
Posted Friday, June 29, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Foxtrot is the fourth studio album by English progressive rock band Genesis and the second from the most celebrated band line up(at least among progressive rock fans) which included Peter Gabriel on the vocals, Tony Banks on keyboards, bassist Mike Rutherford, drummer Phil Collins, and guitar player Steve Hackett. The artwork might be not the best by this band, but I think it is still pretty good, and one that surely catches people's attention. In their best days Genesis surely knew how to start their albums and Foxtrot is not exception. Actually I think that Watcher of the Skies which starts with a classic Mellotron intro followed by an excellent bass/drums interplay before the vocals enter is the best possible way to start this legendary album. It features quite complex rhythms and great dynamics, crowned by very good lyrics. Time Table is the most simple track of the album, but it still a very nice piano driven song. Get'em out by Friday manages to tell a better anti-utopian story in 8 and a half minutes, than other artists in a double album... This track is also quite complex, features time signature and mood changes. Peter Gabriel performs all characters involved in the story from the poor old couple losing their home to the evil guys of Styx Enterprises. Can-Utility and the Coast liners a superbly intricate and beautiful piece, all band members give an excellent performance, but the organ solo by Tony Banks is maybe the best part of this classic track. The second side starts with a wonderful acoustic guitar piece by Steve Hackett called Horizons, and it leads to the highlight of the album, the highlight of the entire career of Genesis, and one of the biggest highlights of the entire history of progressive rock: Supper's ready. This wonderful almost 23 minute long epic is very loosely based on the Book of Revelations. Foxtrot was released in 1972, I heard it first sometime in the 90-s, but it us still a very special album, and probably not only for this reviewer.
Report this review (#781154)
Posted Monday, July 2, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars After listening to and reviewing Genesis' "Selling England By The Pound", I kind of knew what I was getting into, but I truly enjoy the music of Genesis, so I wanted to give "Foxtrot" a shot. If Genesis was an instrumental band or had a less bubble-throated vocalist, I could get into them more. Gabriel is a solid lyricist and conceptual artist, but I cannot for the life of me understand his appeal vocally.

Anyway, on to "Foxtrot" ...

Watcher has a killer catchy riff, Gabriel's voice is better than usual. The song is a great opener, much better than the "can you tell me where my country lies?" wailing.

Time Table is about as pretty/boring as you can get and then add Gabriel's vocals and it gets less interesting.

Get Em Out begins sort of like a Yes track (which is very intriguing), and then Gabriel's bubble whine comes in to take away from it. Frankly, the vocal patterns and different voices he uses is more of an irritation. The music is super, as usual. The musical change-ups in the song are fantastic and around 16.27 the song breaks down into a Yes-feel again. This awesomeness continues until around 18.16 when Gabriel's silliness returns. The coda to the song is amazing though.

On Can-Utility and the Coastliners, Gabriel isn't so annoying and actually compliments the music. It is sort of a mix of a modern Genesis feel with the prog Genesis. There are parts where Gabriel sounds like Collins. I will piss off some folks here, but as much as I can't stand Pop Genesis, I like Collins as a vocalist much more. The instrumental interlude in this tune is solid and penetrating.

With the song Horizons you get a nice, short instrumental piece that has a very pastoral feel to it and brings to mind something Steve Howe may put together - a very classical piece. One of the better tracks on the album, in my opinion.

The epic Supper's Ready was not too impressive to me in the beginning and other than some really incredible music and effects, the song failed to do much for me. I was extremely fatigued after about 12 minutes in ? and I am a lover of long epics and suites. As I said, the music is superb, but Gabriel just does cut it for me, personally.

Overall, about the same as "England" - the music saves the album and enough to capture 3 stars, but no more.

Report this review (#786899)
Posted Thursday, July 12, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Along with Selling England by the Pound, the best albums of Genesis (for me, obviously).

It's difficult to me express my feelings about this one without talking of Supper's Ready before. I think is one of the best progressive rock songs of all time (if not the best).

You're going to here all, from progressive folk, to hard rock and classic music. All is perfect, from Watcher of the Skies (an immortal classic) to Supper's Ready (an omega immortal clasic).

The sound is melodic, dramatic and sad at some times, with the acoustic guitar having protagonism on several parts (Horizons, the intro of Supper's Ready, Can-Utility, etc) The artwork is wonderful. Peter Gabriel dressed the Fox figure in the concerts at the time. That's why so many people call this Art Rock and not Progressive Rock at all.

Unquestionable classic

10/10 (i wish i could put 11/10)

Report this review (#807227)
Posted Sunday, August 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was my first exposure to Genesis and has my favorite song of all time, so of course I'll write a review. Though I'm not very good at reviews. Anywayyys

Watcher of the Skies was, for me, the best example of how music can grow on someone. I did not care for this song when I first heard it. I thought it was repetitive and boring; more fool me. I soon realized what was truly behind this song besides a complex driving rhythm. The lyrics offer an interesting story of an alien visiting earth after humankind's demise. There is more to this song than meets the ear and it's a fine example of Genesis in their prime.

Time Table is a pleasant little song written by Banks I believe. While not as epic or complicated as their other songs, this one sends a good message I think. It's an excellent bridge between Watcher and Get 'em Out.

Get 'em Out by Friday is like Harold the Barrel 2.0. Musically, there is so much going on during the chorus that it highlights the much quieter guitar riffs and vocal storytellings. To be honest I don't give this song enough credit. Whenever I listen to it I keep realizing it's better than what I keep thinking it is, if that makes sense.

Can-Utility and the Coastliners is (IMO) their most underrated work. They never really played it live which makes me sad because it's full of musical flourishes that are prime examples of why we love Genesis. I also love their use of rhythm guitar behind Banks' solo. Also the ending is rather tragic but again, that's why we love Genesis.

Horizons is, as Gandalf would say, "the deep breath before the plunge" and honestly it's a fine piece of music from Hackett. As short as it is soothing, this acoustic track prepares you for the grand masterpiece that is to come.

Supper's Ready is my favorite song of all time; surprise! Yep, there is so much to be witnessed here from dancing flowers to apocalyptic foreshadowing. Instrumentally speaking, this song is not only epic but also rhythmically complex (Apocalypse in 9/8) which is refreshing in and of itself. The change in mood brings a memorable and interesting perspective on song writing. And to top it all off they reprise the beginning melody at the end which I just love to death (in any song really).

Well, those are my thoughts. Thanks for reading if you actually did :)

Report this review (#873764)
Posted Saturday, December 8, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is the peak of Gabriel's Genesis as a collective. After this, culminating in the Lamb, the band was divided into Mike and Tony's camp and Gabriel's camp, with Steve and Phil generally going along with the former. They became even more marvelous following this album, but it holds a special place in my heart as it was their peak as a total group effort. It got them relatively high into the charts of their home country, and had them touring in France, Italy, Belgium, and, for the first time, the United States.

My usual method of rating albums is to give each song a score out of 2, add each song up and put it out of the total possible score.

Watcher of the Skies starts with the second most recognized mellotron passage in music, rivaled only by the Beatles in Strawberry Fields Forever. It was first written by Rutherford and Banks during the summer of 1972 while on tour in Italy. The mellotron passage was meant to embody a tale of an alien civilization visiting Earth after the end of mankind and viewing the ruins of civilization. It quickly evolved into the 8 minute concert opener of 72-74 that is known and loved by so many. The introduction is only 1 1/2 minutes long, though; afterwards comes the crashing drums, the biting guitar, the elegant keys, and most of all their combination into a great track. 2 points.

Time Table is an underrated classically inspired piece mostly by Banks. The lyrics tell of a longing for "times when kings and queens sipped wine from goblets gold," acting as a precursor to Selling England by the Pound. 1 point.

Get 'Em Out by Friday is essentially another Return of the Giant Hogweed, but just like Hogweed with the Knife, it does not give an air of repetition. The story meant to be essentially a British Jon Stewart bit; the humor and social commentary blew over the heads of Americans, though, and even the English soon forgot that the song was funny. Even so, it's a long, great, biting piece. 2 points.

Can-Utility and the Coastliners was originally a longer instrumental from before even Trespass, but eventually Genesis got to putting it on an album. It tells a variant of the story of Canute, the Viking king who conquered England in 1016. It is said he was so tired of his followers praising him that he sat his throne on the coast and ordered the sea to part for him, hoping to show his men he wasn't perfect. In this version, he actually thinks it will work. Even worse, he does it at the start of high tide! 2 points.

Horizons is Steve Hackett's sole major contribution on this album, save for a few guitar solos in Supper's Ready. It is quite the opposite of Supper, though - a 2 minute acoustic piece based off of a Bach song. It isn't much of a side opener, but it transitions nicely with the acoustic first section of the following encore. 1 point.

What can I say about Supper's Ready that others haven't said before? It's arguably the band's magnum opus. 2 points.

10/12 adds up to 83%, or about 4/5. I know I rated Trespass higher, so my method might not be exact. Trust me, though. I love this album. I'm sure others will too.

Report this review (#876059)
Posted Saturday, December 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Foxtrot, Genesis' fourth album is a must for any collector of progressive music. The signature song, Supper's Ready, is a magnificant opus taking up almost 23 minutes of side two of the LP. The sewing together of the disparate parts of this album as seemlessly as they do is a marvel to this day. From the quiet, pastoral opening of acoustic guitars (Mike and Tony on 12-string guitars and Steve on a six-string guitar) into the robust middle section and finally onto the climactic end (Apocalypse in 9/8), Genesis breaks all bounds, switching keys and time-signatures practically willy-nilly, and yet playing perfectly and uplifting the listeners spirits with the denoument of As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs. This is a piece of work aspired to by many, but achieved by very, very few.

This is not to say that the rest of the album is chopped liver - it's not. In fact it is the rest of the album that pushes Foxtrot into the masterpiece collection of prog. Watcher of the Skies from side one is one of the best opening songs to any album, from any time, there has ever been. The opening mellotron riff, building to a crescendo with the entire band is incredible. The sound collage on this track influenced many people in progressive rock still to this day.

Another seminal piece on this album is Get 'Em Out By Friday, whose lyrics detail how they planned to make people smaller so that more people could fit into the apartment blocks, and how some of the older people didn't want to move, even being willing to pay twice the rent. My only problem with this song, and a few others on the album, is that Genesis tries to squeeze in too much information in too short a time period allowed by the song - it almost becomes sensory overload as Gabriel sings a mile a minute to get all the lyrics in.

Still, this is one of the best prog albums of all time, in my opinion. You can't go wrong here. If possible, pick up the newly remixed and remastered version, you'll really enjoy it. 5 stars.

Report this review (#911261)
Posted Friday, February 8, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars So after Nursery Cryme, Genesis would gain a neat cult following. The guys were offering something in the music business that was indeed very unique and original. The guys came up(especially Peter) with Theatrics that were really weird and quirky at the same time. Peter would wear an old man's mask on stage during the Musical Box, he and the band created the stage presence that they were noted for early on in their career. After Nursery Cryme came Foxtrot which took things further and they created yet again another great recording in my humble opinion. This was their best album up that point for me.I will go over what I liked and didn't like of the album.The classic line-up of Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins were at it again.So on with this one, right!!

Here is the track listing for Foxtrot(1972)

1. Watcher Of The Skies-this piece begins with a very odd Mellotron played by Tony Banks, it is so off-key but yet so great and haunting. When you hear it, you are thinking in your head "I'm in for a ride". It quickly builds up in dynamics. I love how the bass, guitar and drums are all dialed in.Peter's vocals are so emotional(he really knows how to barrel in) It is Genesis growing into better players before our eyes. They have always been great songwriters but here they get a little showy and they pull this off so well. I love Steve's guitar playing on this song, it is classic Genesis. I love this piece.10/10

2. Time Table- I love this one it is so relaxing(listen to that piano intro). Again Peter puts in a great effort on the vocals(you can really feel what he is singing) . Musically it sounds like a rather easy piece but it's still good. I like to sit back and relax when I listen to it. It's one of those beautiful tunes that just gets you. 9/10

3. Get 'Em Out By Friday- This one is a masterpiece, it evokes the evils of landlords of the world.Once again, Pete puts this one into perspective. It sort of reminds of ELP but not really but Tony still plays the organ on this one and it sounds really really good. I love how it is loud then it decrescendos then Pete announces "This is an announcement from genetic control: It is my sad duty to inform you of a four foot restriction on Humanoid height". It just creates a weird atmosphere and I love it. Peter plays a fantastic flute solo that reminds me of some classical music, it's just an overall great and haunting early Genesis piece. 10/10

4. Can-Utility And The Coastliners- Initially I really didn't like this one but oh my I love it now. It sounds very mythical and then it hits you(listen to that Mellotron played by Tony) it is so dramatic and cinematic. Now I love just about everything about it. Steve's playing, Phil's drumming, Tony's keys it 's all there, even Mike shows off a little(he never gets his dues, don't know why). It is one of my favorite Genesis tunes that no one really talks about at all. 10/10

5. Horizons- This little guitar piece from Steve Hackett is just brilliant it sets to the mood for the next piece which I'm gonna get to soon enough. It's a haunting little classically inspired guitar piece. A great piece 10/10

Now we get to side 2(if it were on vinyl). The epic song of Genesis and hands down one of Prog Rock's greatest epics ever. I'm of course talking about Supper's Ready, to quote Pete from the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway:" Here I Go"

6. Supper's Ready- I will now dissect all the part to this massive epic

i. Lover's Leap- This section sets up the song for you, there is some tasty and complex playing through(Oh my!!!). Those backing vocals from Phil really do send shivers down your spine don't they "Six saintly shrouded men move across the lawn slowly"(wow!!!) what vocals. It builds up and heads to The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man

ii. The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man- This portion of the song is the awe inspired verses that we all know "Can't you see he's fooled you all'. It really is of epic proportions. I love it that section which leads to Ikhnaton and Itsacon and Their Band of Merry Men

iii. Ikhnaton and Itsacon and Their Band of Merry Men- This section has that great Steve Hackett solo and it just plain rocks "Bang, bang,bang"(Ha). To me it sounds like The Who(woah!!). I just think it's really rocking nothing more to say about this section.

iv. How Dare I Be So Beautiful?- This is the weird section wear it calms down and decrescendos Here are the lyrics: "Wandering in the chaos the battle has left,We climb up the mountain of human flesh,To a plateau of green grass, and green trees full of life. A young figure sits still by a pool,He's been stamped "Human Bacon" by some butchery tool. (He is you) Social Security took care of this lad. We watch in reverence, as Narcissus is turned to a flower. A flower?" Nothing much needs to be said there.

v. Willow Farm- This is the funny yet scary portion of the song "Mum diddly washing, Mum diddly washing'(haha). It's just a playful, odd, scary section. I like it a lot

vi. Apocalypse in 9/8 (featuring the delicious talents of Gabble Ratchet)-You thought the song was epic by now you haven't heard anything yet here is the climax to me. Tony plays those organ solos with so much precision(it is here where he starts to show what he is capable of doing). I love the rhythm section.The drums, the guitars and bass it's all there(let this be a lesson in Polyrhythmics to all you!!!!!). Then it just sends chills down your spine when Pete sings "666 is no longer alone"(Oh my!!!!). This is probably the best Genesis song!!!!!!!

vii. As Sure as Eggs is Eggs (Aching Men's Feet)- This is the legendary ending where Peter screams out " To take them to the new Jerusalemmmmmm"! . I mean it ends the way an epic is supposed to end. I love it. Overall The Entire Suite gets a 10/10

This album is one of my very favorite Prog albums, not my favorite Genesis recording but it's damn close. This album gets a 59/60. Which of course translates to a masterpiece.Buy it!!!! Highly recommended. Peace out!!!!

Report this review (#914225)
Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars I think Foxtrot represents the moment in which Genesis understood their own potential. Nursery Cryme is surely a masterpiece. But the quality shown in Foxtrot is something pretty close to perfection. The songs are organized in kind of magic way, and the naivety of Nursery Cryme and Trespass turns into a complex/romantic/weird awareness of every single moment. Musically it really represent a step forward. And lyrically too.

1) Watcher Of The Skies' legendary Melltron intro sets the scene for a great apocalyptic scenarios. Music is so much violent but never turns into hard rock cliché (s. "The Knife").

2) Time Table is the demonstration that Progressive music has got to be sweet sometimes. And I think that creating a sweet melodic tune in a Progressive way is one of the most difficult things to do for a Progressive Band. Epic Lyrics.

3) Get 'Em Out By Friday shows Gabriel's fantasy in distopian matters. Just like a The Lamb prelude. Drawing reality and mankind's basic instinct ("Mors tua, vita mea") separating the Marxist layers of society. Wolves and lambs. Musically great, ritmically outstanding. Collins "controtempos" are so much clever!

4) Can Utility and the Coastliners is a little pearl. Nobody really knows how this song could be wonderful. Probably non so well recorded, according to Tony and Mike's biographies. Great lyrics by Steve Hackett!

5) Horizons is the best filler ever existed on Earth. Great influence by Bach Sonata in G. Class, elegance and pathos.

6) Supper's Ready IS the masterpiece. Conceived as a filler (!?!??!?!) it started to take a proper shape in the end of Foxtrot's sessions. Musically outstanding, lyrically PERFECT. There are so many references from Qabbalah (FOX-trot... take a look at Ghematria!), myth, literature, holy stuff and magic. All this shaken to make the greatest progressive piece of music of all time. Spending too much words for this number would be ridicolous. You'd better buy the record and play it again and again.

See you folks!

Peace!

Report this review (#939195)
Posted Thursday, April 4, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is a giant. It is one of those albums that I could never imagine being without in my collection of favorites. The band had matured here into a pure progressive rock and rock force that few could or in future would be able to match. Spooling this album up to listen to is like having one of your oldest and dearest friends over for a couple of drinks. The emotions and musical tides that run through this music are phenominal. At times the music is delicate and fragile and at times it is bombastic and full of sound. I was at a crossroads with the previous album as to whether to award it 5 stars however on listening to this album I understand really what the 5 star rating is for. I'm not going to do a track by track analysis of this album as, to me, that would be a pointless exercise. From the mellotron and church organ opening the album to the bombastic, Hackett laced, ending this album is a full on masterpiece. There are no throw away tracks here, A very very solid masterpiece that every lover of music should own irrelevantly of what type of or genre of music he or she prefers.
Report this review (#945603)
Posted Wednesday, April 17, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Foxtrot is just a masterpiece, not just in prog rock, but music as a whole.

Beginning with the instantly recognisable "Watcher Of The Skies", you are immediately transfixed by Banks' mesmerising mellotron. A very symphonic track in its entirety, but a little clustered during the verses. Without a doubt though, absolutely magnificent and a great opener. "Time Table" is beautifully relaxing with intriguing chorus lyrics and chord progressions (as with the whole album), and a blissful melody. "Get 'Em Out By Friday" tells a very detailed story that you really have to listen to yourself, with each musical refrain belonging to a certain character - very well structured, a quality that is often underestimated is these long songs, and an overall outstanding piece. "Can-Utility And The Coastliners" contains outstanding lyrics that seem to fit with the music almost perfectly, and echoes back themes from "Time Table". Probably my favourite song on the album, because every little melody is so subtle and excellent, flowing right from one into the next.

Flipping over the record, "Horizons". A heavenly little interlude from the offset - the tone of the acoustic guitar when those harmonics enter is just tremendous. Brings a very baroque/classical vibe to the album, especially as it is based on a Bach cello suite. I don't like people saying that it acts as a prelude to the next song; it's simply wonderful as it is.

Then, going on to the next song (and what a song!), "Supper's Ready" - Genesis' magnum opus. The 23-minute epic is strung together by 7 sections, and reminds me of "In Held 'Twas In I" by Procol Harum. The piece is just mind-blowing when heard as one. It contains big emotional climaxes; areas of extreme light and shade; hammering chords; a distinctive 9/8 section; ancient biblical and mythological references; mysterious, regal and almost depressing lyrics (in a good way); feel-good interludes; bizzare and wacky costumes; a vaudeville-style ode to Narcissus; and ends with an epic reprise of how it all began in a slow majestic symphonic atmosphere, ending in New Jerusalem. Exactly what you'd want in a prog rock epic, and drives the whole album home beautifully.

A(*). Genesis' most excellent work in terms of musicality. Easily in my top 5 albums, and a must-have for every rock and prog rock fan.

Watcher Of The Skies - ***** Time Table - ***** Get 'Em Out By Friday - ***** Can-Utility And The Coastliners - ***** Horizons - ***** Supper's Ready - *****

Report this review (#984608)
Posted Sunday, June 23, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have to give this 5 stars simply because of 'Supper's Ready' - if this is not essential for anyone claiming to like prog then I can't think what is. Gabriel's voice, Hackett's guitar, Banks' keyboards combine to make this a defining long track. The other tracks do serve only to provide a supporting role here , but that doesn't matter! Overall, 'Selling England...' is perhaps the more consistent album and there were so many goods songs later in their career, but 'Supper's Ready' represents the band delivering a unique piece of magic, never to be bettered by them in a prog context
Report this review (#1004915)
Posted Wednesday, July 24, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars 10/10

I think I can add nothing about it, just my personal feelings on each track it, that is surely my favourite album and my favourite band. And Genesis on this record seems to me as the ultimate band, perfect performance, interplay, flow... So we go to the individual songs:

Watcher Of The Skies - 9/10

Archetypical "electric band song", summarizes the essence of Genesis, each of the five men shine, and, plus, Hackett is very present and easy to recognise, extra points for that.

Time Table - 8/10

Still good balance and band experience, some more focus on piano and acoustic guitars.

Get 'Em Out By Friday - 9/10

Just as fantastic as the first one, so complete. I can't choose which I prefer the most.

Can-Utility And The Coastliners - 8/10

When you think the well has run dry, another gem shows up. It goes through acoustic, Mellotron, electric... Everything they could do.

Horizons' - 7/10

A short song with only Hackett on acoustic guitar. Simple, nothing wrong with it.

Supper's Ready - 10/10

Well, what can I say about it? What else would want from it? The ultimate Genesis experience, just listen to it.

The system I used to rate the songs is like: 10 - The best song on the album; 9 - A highlight; 8 - A great song; 7 - Average song or a different format; and lesser rates which don't apply to this particular album.

The only problem I can identify on it is that Banks still overshadows Hackett, as he does in most of Genesis. Anyway, that's it, the best album ever, for me (and many other I guess).

Report this review (#1026870)
Posted Sunday, September 1, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars 5.0 Stars. The Genesis of my Progrock journey

I'm going to dedicate my first 3 reviews to those albums that have had the biggest impact on me and have permanently changed my musical tastes. My first review is dedicated to the album (or more specifically the 23 min epic that is "Supper's Ready") that got me into prog in general and turned me from someone who was meh about music into a real music lover!

But first things first I need to cover the other 5 songs found on Foxtrot! "Watcher of the Skies" starts with a blast of Organ and Mellotron which lasts for around 2 minutes until the drums come in and the song really starts. If I was forced to pick the weakest part of the album then it would this part as it's just too repetitive and droning. The rest of the song however is great and it has lots of bouncy and catchy tunes. In fact once I hear this song it's often stuck in my head for the rest of the day!

"Time Table" is a underrated song which is probably because it's much slower and quieter compared with the majority of this album (although the chorus still has some energy). It's a very reflective and nostalgic song (both musically and lyrically) and I often find myself daydreaming when I listen to it (in a good way!)...

"Get Em Out by Friday" is the "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" or "The Battle of Epping Forest" of Foxtrot. It's the boldest and wackiest song here and it gives Peter Gabriel his chance to show off his silly (but kind of funny) accents. It's a fun prog song, but my favourite part is the middle section where there is a lovely flute solo and more serene atmosphere.

"Can-Utility and the Coastliners" is for me the second best song here and is a mini masterpiece in its own right. There are a lot of sections packed into this song that come in at a fast paced rate, but they have been wonderfully intertwined so that there is real momentum in this song which climaxes at the end. One of Genesis best songs IMO!

"Horizons" is a tranquil acoustic interlude by Steve Hackett that leads on to...

"Supper's Ready" is my favourite song of all time so it's very difficult for me to be objective about this song. Its not like most 20+ epics as there aren't as many extended solos and it is driven much more by a lyrical storyline. I think it's the focused structure along with lyrics that don't sound out of place with the main theme (Revelation is full of strange symbolisms) that let me listen to this song without ever losing focus. I have to say that the euphoria ending is for me the greatest piece of music I have ever heard and probably will ever hear!!! The only other thing I can add is that my 2008 Remaster version is 23:06 long not 22:58. The extra 8 seconds are just an extension of the fading outro.

Because of "Supper's Ready" Foxtrot is possibly my favourite album of all time, only Yes's Relayer rivals it (my next review...). However outside the epic the rest of the album is strong 4 star material. If you want Genesis at their most consistent then Selling England by the Pound is your best bet! But for me this album is essential for the sake of owning "Supper's Ready".

Report this review (#1047394)
Posted Sunday, September 29, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Maybe the best from Gabriel era Genesis. I can't choose between Foxtrot and Nursery Cryme. Actually, I can't choose a favorite from Trespass~The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. I must admit, Foxtrot was the hardest listening from my Genesis albums. But after a few times, Foxtrot made perfect sense. My first contact with Foxtrot was my old and only CD version of the album. It has a nonsense, ugly censored version of the enigmatic cover art. I can't understand why. Aside the mediocre alternative cover, this album has a special place in my collection.

Foxtrot includes the all time favorite track for most of Genesis fans: The 23 minutes suite Supper's Ready, which was made of several parts, one different than each other. Distinct ideas, but when glued together as a masterpiece of the progressive rock. Peter Gabriel's presence on stage performing the Supper's Ready is an essential pride for everyone who have seen his show. Gabriel used to change clothes for each section of the song, appearing dressed as a flower, or wearing something strange in the head. According to some members of the band during an interview, they never knew how Gabriel would came back on stage. Generally speaking, the lyrics and concept for Supper's Ready has something to do with biblical themes, such as false prophets ("The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man"), and revelations illustrations and prophecies ("Apocalypse in 9/8 (featuring the delicious talents of Gabble Ratchet)", and what a beautiful time signature here).

But Foxtrot offerings are much more than a Side B full lenghty track. Initially, Watcher of The Skies is the perfect opening theme for a progressive album. The symphonic intro crescendo til the climax is amazing. Congratulations for Tony Banks, who gives me the greatest chills. The first time I have heard this track, I automatically thought of Arthur C. Clarke's "The Childhood's End". Even some saying it has nothing to do with the book, every line of the lyrics fits perfectly well with the story of the book, including some hidden spoiler. Being a hardcore sci-fi follower, my interpretation for Watcher of The Skies will always have to do with the Childhood's End. The dark and deep atmosphere of this song can really make me feel inside Arthur C. Clarke's plot, and I love this way. The second track, Time Table, has a similar feel to Seven Stones (the fourth track from their previous album, Nursery Cryme). I actually prefer Seven Stones, but Time Table is an enjoyable track, which the lyrics always makes me think of the knights of the round table. The third track, Get 'em out by Friday, is my favorite moment of the whole Foxtrot. Just like Harold The Barrel, from Nursery Cryme, this song is like a mini-opera, each line of the lyrics is previously marked with the name of the character whos speaking. Actually, Peter Gabriel assumes the whole plot, sometimes differentiating his own voice, sometimes not. Mike Rutherford bass lines for this track are really stronger and absolutly rises the level of the album. The track has a lot of variations and the story telling method is very entertaining.

Phil Collins seems not so proud of his cymbals, but maybe it was an upgrade for him and for the sake of the band. I never felt annoyed by his use of the cymbals in the previous album, but some of my drummer friends curse him a lot because of that. Personally, I always thought all Genesis members knew how to act full of discernment. Foxtrot is not any exception. I will highlight Steve Hacket for Can-Utility and the Coastliners, and Horizons. Well, Can-Utility and The Coastliners is very progressive and deep for a five minutes track from a symphonic prog band. You should not despise any track from this album because of the lenght. Foxtrot has no fillers.

Foxtrot is the definitive "essential album for any prog collection".

Report this review (#1058244)
Posted Friday, October 11, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first time Genesis truly sounded like a band. They had been writing music before this but Foxtrot is the first statement. "Watcher Of The Skies" starts with mellotron chords for about 2 minutes and gets rolling with an unusual rhythm. "Time Table" is an underrated song that tells a story about medieval times.

"Get 'Em Out By Friday" is a mini-drama in a song. The story is about a couple who can't afford to pay rent and somehow references a genetic control organization that will shorten people to feed more. "Can-Utility And The Coastliners" is also underrated. It is symphonic prog in its simplest form. "Horizons" is a pleasant acoustic guitar tune by Steve Hackett that serves as an appetizer for the big one, "Supper's Ready".

"Supper's Ready" is the most excellent Genesis song as it gets their humour, musicianship, and thematic storytelling down to perfection. It has Romance, War, Drama, and the Apocalypse all in one song. Gabriel's singing is the most emotional it has ever been, especially in the ending segment "As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs (Aching Men's Feet)". I challenge you to not be moved by it.

So there it is, an album well worth listening to and owning in your collection.

Report this review (#1085750)
Posted Wednesday, December 4, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Being that this is my first review, I'd like to set a standard on how I'd like these to work out or else my OCD will forever haunt me. I want to start off each of my reviews with a summary of my thoughts of the album in question. Then afterwards look at the individual tracks, give them each a rating out of 5, and finish everything off with my final thoughts as well as a final rating. So now that this is out of the way, I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope this all goes well.

So what can be said about this album that hasn't already been said a million times? Every Progressive Rock fan has spoken their mind about this album, and rightfully so. This album is well over 40 years old and still stands strong to this day, possibly even stronger now than the day of its release. This album marked the peak of Genesis' sound and future albums would show similar results, thus marking a brief but ever so powerful period of near-perfection in Progressive Rock. While some might credit Selling England by the Pound as Genesis' best work, I find that Foxtrot holds a special place in my mind, as well as many other people's minds, as their best album. That being because Foxtrot was my first album by Genesis. So that shows that this album holds a lot of sentimentality on my part, as well as even more bias.

The album starts off with the haunting mellotron chords of Tony Banks in Watcher of the Skies. This immediately grabbed my attention at first listen and still does to this day. Then after 2 minutes the band fully enters and shows why this track still stands as a classic in Genesis' discography. 5/5

Things slow down with Time Table as it starts off with a pretty piano intro and an even prettier vocal melody by Peter Gabriel. He hasn't sounded better and captivates me throughout the entire track. While this track is quite enjoyable, it can be seen as weak in comparison of the following tracks. So it loses a point in that regard. 4/5

Then comes Get 'em Out by Friday which seems to be very highly acclaimed by fans. Honestly I never understood why at first, but a few more listens really helped make this song grow on me. The wordplay on this track is stellar, and Gabriel's delivery of said lyrics is truly awe-inspiring. This song alone would be enough to justify why Peter Gabriel stands as one of the greatest vocalists in music. Also keep an ear out for Mike Rutherford's bass lines, they're outstanding! 5/5

Can-Utility and the Coastliners is a personal favorite of mine, as well as many Genesis fans. This serves as a good contrast in comparison to the previous track. Because while Get 'em Out by Friday shines as especially powerful in the lyrical department, this song excels in its instrumental work. Everyone gets their moment in this track and shows the chemistry between them all with such clarity. 5/5

After all of the energy put in the past 2 tracks, one might grow weary and without breath. That's where Horizon's comes in and serves as an intermission to said energy. Based after a piece by Bach, Steve Hackett gives the listener a good minute or so to breathe and relax to a quite nice guitar interlude. This could be seen as a throw-away, but I always find the time to listen to it again and again. 4/5

Then comes Genesis' most advantageous piece, the near 23-minute epic "Supper's Ready". This track is their magnum opus as it has everything. It's powerful, it's weird, it's humorous, it's melancholy, it's triumphant, it's just...sublime. I would rate this 10/5 if I could. It can be considered a crime for fans of Genesis to not find something to love in this track. Every minute of this song is nothing short of breath-taking. 5/5

With all these stand-out tracks, it's no wonder why this album still stands today as one of the best Progressive Rock albums of all time. Genesis was truly ahead of its time and could have just released this album and nothing else, and we would still be just as happy with them as we are now. This album easily makes my Top 10 albums and will be there to stay, as well as for many other people. This is an absolute essential.

4.6/5

Report this review (#1147134)
Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars Foxtrot not only is the second Genesis album with the classic line-up, but it's also my all-time favorite Genesis album. Yeah, I said it, this is where Genesis peaked to me, the sound they've been developing since Trespass has been perfected here, this isn't considered one of prog rock's milestones for nothing. And no, I'm not saying this just because of Supper's Ready, Foxtrot in its entirety is a terrific record, with Supper's Ready being the highlight.

Watcher of the Skies (7:23) - ★★★★★

The result of Tony and Mike taking a look at a desert landscape during Genesis' staying in a hotel, this is a song about an alien who comes to Planet Earth only to find out that there's no life in it at all. Did everyone die? Was this the result of another nuclear fallout? Did Earth become impossible to inhabit and the human race left to find another planet? Who knows... But what I certainly know is that this is an absolute classic Genesis track, the mellotron intro gives way to a rocking number with one of Phil's best drum patterns and Mike following it with his pulsating bassline, I also love how well Tony's organ blends with Steve's guitar here, and the way it all fades into a mellotron outro is the icing on the cake. The only thing I can say it's kinda like a downside is that you may find this song structure a little repetitive, especially on the chorus, but eh, I didn't mind this at all.

Time Table (4:46) - ★★★★☆

The weakest track off this album, but still very good, a piano-oriented song with a highly melodic bassline from Mike and a rather catchy chorus, Peter sings this one very well. Though I don't really understand what the hell is this song about, the lyrics don't make much sense to me even considering that Tony's lyrics are usually more about imagery and metaphors and less about storytelling.

Get 'em Out by Friday (8:36) - ★★★★★

Speaking of storytelling, here's the first Genesis song to contain social criticism, basically a humorous look at how british landlords were greedy and oppressive the british landlords were back at the time, one of my favorite Peter Gabriel lyrics by far. There's a lot of characters and Peter uses different vocal styles to incarnate them, just like he did with Harold the Barrel from the previous album, and the song has another great bassline by Mike, Hackett's guitar solo here is very King Crimson-esque and Phil's drumming is very jazzy.

Can-Utility and the Coastliners (5:45) - ★★★★★

It's impressive that a song that lasts for 5:45 minutes have so much going on, lots of different sections here, an acoustic intro, a 12-string guitar sectiong leading to a mellotron-oriented mid section, a tasteful keyboard solo that seamlessly segues into a guitar solo... Damn, this song is mind-blowing! Did I mention Peter's absolutely passionate vocal performance near the end? Yeah, there's that too.

Horizons (1:41) - ★★★★★

A beautiful acoustic Steve Hackett track, bringing in a much-needed relaxing mood after all the bombast of the previous track and serving as a perfect transition to Supper's Ready.

Supper's Ready (23:06) - ★★★★★

The epic 23-minute prog suite that many consider to be Genesis' finest moment ever, and I'm part of those many people who do that. Supper's Ready is kinda hard to describe, really, the best course of action would be to listen to the song and let it speak by itself, it starts with a calm acoustic intro and then becomes much more chaotic, with every single one of the band members giving their absolute best, my favorite part has to be the ending section, As Sure as Eggs is Eggs, just for Peter Gabriel's vocals alone. The lyrics are basically Peter Gabriel's take on the Apocalypse, yeah, even that is actually hard to describe, so really, just listen to Supper's Ready if you haven't already, it's one hell of a ride.

It's been almost 7 years since I discovered Genesis, my opinions on a lot of their work, be it the Gabriel or Collins eras, have changed dramatically over these years, but my favorite album the band has ever put out still is and probably will always be Foxtrot. Tony Smith from Charisma was moved to tears by this album, and even critics agreed it's an absolute masterpiece, this is THE album Genesis deserves to be remembered for.

Report this review (#1451774)
Posted Tuesday, August 11, 2015 | Review Permalink
5 stars Review Nº 19

As I wrote before, in some other reviews, Genesis was my first love, and still is. In my humble opinion, Genesis is with Pink Floyd and Yes, the three best progressive bands who ever existed, and they are also the most influential groups in the universe of the progressive rock music.

'Foxtrot' is the fourth studio album of Genesis and was released in 1972. For me, it's the second best album from the band, after their fifth studio album 'Selling England By The Pound' released in 1973. 'Foxtrot' belongs to the golden musical era of the group, which started with their third studio album 'Nursery Crime' released in 1971, continued with 'Foxtrot' and 'Selling England By The Pound' and ended with their sixth studio album 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' released in 1974. These four studio albums are the only ones that have the best line up of the group, which are, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins.

'Foxtrot' was the band's album, which quickly reached the big moment in the musical career of the group. It was the first album from the band to enter to the UK Top 20, reaching the 12th position, and this was only the starting point of a long and very successful chart career of Genesis. The album also reached the 8th position in the Italian charts and Italy has become a country with a big Genesis fan base. 'Foxtrot' represents the turning point in Genesis history. It became the album that finally solidified their musical career and reputation as great songwriters and performers.

The line up on the album is Peter Gabriel (lead vocals, flute, oboe, bass drum and tambourine), Steve Hackett (electric guitar and 6 and 12 string guitars), Tony Banks (backing vocals, organ, acoustic and electric pianos, mellotron and 12 string guitar), Mike Rutherford (backing vocals, bass guitar, bass pedals, cello and 12 string guitar) and Phil Collins (backing vocals, drums and percussion).

The cover artwork for the album was created by the London based magazine Time Out. It has happened before, with the art covers of their two previous studio albums, 'Trespass' and 'Nursery Crime'.

'Foxtrot' has six tracks. All the tracks were written by all band members. The first track 'Watcher Of The Skies' is one of the most popular and beloved songs by their fans, and one of the most played live by the band. Even Hackett, plays often this song on his live concerts. This is a great opener to the album and gives a very sense of majesty and power, to the beginning of the album. The second track 'Time Table' is a very beautiful and graceful song, which brings calm, after the great intensity of 'Watcher Of The Skies'. It's a song about the medieval times, with a catchy tune, a nice piano intro and fairly intense chorus. The third track 'Get'Em Out By Friday' is a very good song, in the form of a mini rock opera, with great musicality and singing, showing Gabriel's amazing vocals versatility and the fantastic skills of Banks on the keyboards. The fourth track 'Can- Utility And The Coastliners' is another song with very beautiful vocals by Gabriel, and a great finale by Banks and Hackett, which makes the song very dramatic and melodic. It has some lovely bass pedals and mellotron musical sections, and it also features one of the few guitar solos on the album. The fifth track 'Horizons' is the smallest track on the album. It starts with the central idea of a track made in the baroque style, and is a typical Hackett's classical guitar track. It's absolutely superb. This piece is influenced by the central idea of the 'Prelude Of The First Cello Suite' by the baroque composer J. S. Bach, of whom Hackett is a great fan. The sixth track 'Supper's Ready' is divided into seven parts: 'Lover's Leap', 'The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man', 'Ikhnaton And Itsacon And Their Band Of Merry Men', 'How Dare I Be So Beautiful?', 'Willow Farm', 'Apocalypse In 9/8 (co-Starring The Delicious Talents Of Gabble Ratchet)' and 'As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs (Aching Men's Feet)'. It's the lengthiest track on the album, it's probably the most known and beloved song by the fans, and is also their most progressive track. This is a great track, full of amazing musicianship and lyrics, and is one of the most representatives of the progressive music. It stands as a true testament to how unique and creative Genesis was during the early 70's.

Conclusion: 'Foxtrot' is, in my humble opinion, a much more mature album than their preceding work, 'Nursery Crime' and is less balanced than 'Selling England By The Pound' is, which is by far, my favourite Genesis album. Some of us may say that Genesis made more significant albums than 'Foxtrot' like 'Selling England By The Pound' and 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway', but 'Foxtrot' was basically the reason why Gabriel started dressing up on stage, in strange masks and costumes. By the other hand, 'Foxtrot' is the album that contains one of the songs that people still talk about with a certain reverence and which inspired many other bands to write long suites, even today.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Report this review (#1467578)
Posted Monday, September 21, 2015 | Review Permalink
Quinino
COLLABORATOR
Errors & Omissions Team
5 stars My ALL-TIME Greatest #21

I LOVE Selling England, I LOVE The Lamb, but I simply ADORE Foxtrot, one of the few albums I (still) know all the lyrics by heart.
And with 2 copies of the LP nearly destroyed, this says much about the hundreds of times the needle touched the vinyl till the CD form arrived in 1985, one of the first I bought back then.

Global Appraisal

Genesis during its golden age from 1970 up until 1976 (with and without PG) created a body-of-work with an uninterrupted level of quality of legendary proportions: 7 albums in a row of musical bliss.
Need we prefer this to that one? NO, absolutely not, take them all and rejoice!
I could, in fact, pack them all together as one of my all-time greatest choices (and maybe include the ATTWT from 1978 as a curiosity bonus)

Goodies

Everything.

Report this review (#1497227)
Posted Monday, December 7, 2015 | Review Permalink
Magnum Vaeltaja
COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Try as I might, I just can't bring myself to truly love this fourth effort by prog giants Genesis.

This is a favourite of many and I can see why; it has just about everything Genesis is renowned for. The big issue I have with this album, though, and it may have to do with the production, who knows, is that it's simply not as interesting as the two albums that bookend it, Nursery Cryme and Selling England By The Pound. The first three songs just put me to sleep completely, the instrumental accompaniments sounding dull and uninspired and Peter Gabriel's alright singing not really helping. Can-Utility picks up the energy a bit, but even then it still pales in comparison to the material off of the albums before it.

Side two is considerably better than the first. "Horizons" is pleasant but little more, like "Harlequin" off of Nursery Cryme. It does serve its purpose as an interlude quite effectively, though. Following it is the reason that many consider this album to be a masterpiece, and certainly the reason why I've raised its rating from 2 to 3 stars: "Supper's Ready".

Initially I had my reservations about this song, feeling that it went on for too long and that some of the sillier sections could have easily been cut out. In all, I didn't appreciate it as I didn't find it "serious" enough to be a prog epic. But if one considers it in a more lighthearted fashion, it becomes quite an enjoyable experience. In a sense it can be likened to the "Bohemian Rhapsody" of classic prog, something not to be taken seriously, but respectable, and definitely enjoyable, nonetheless. While sections like "Willow Farm" are more or less silly head-bobbing music to sing along to goofily, the "Apocalypse in 9/8" section does feature some technically tight performances and segues very well into the over-the-top (in a good way) ending "As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs", which pulls out all the stops to include every ballad epic finale cliche in the book. But it works really well. Every time Peter Gabriel sings "to get back HOOOOooooOOOME!" on the resolving chord and Tony Banks gives those sumptuous keyboard sweeps, you can't help but rock along. After a disappointing start, the ending definitely compensates.

Ultimately this is a good album, if not exclusively for "Supper's Ready". However, I wouldn't consider this to be an essential Genesis release, or a starting point for discovering their discography. The roles of Genesis 101 would lie in either "Selling England By The Pound" or "Nursery Cryme" in my opinion, but this is definitely one to move onto once you've worn those two out and are starving for more.

Report this review (#1540728)
Posted Thursday, March 17, 2016 | Review Permalink

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