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FOXTROT

Genesis

Symphonic Prog


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Genesis Foxtrot album cover
4.61 | 2386 ratings | 314 reviews | 71% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music


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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Watcher of the Skies (7:19)
2. Time Table (4:40)
3. Get 'em out by Friday (8:35)
4. Can-Utility and the Coastliners (5:43)
5. Horizons (1:38)
6. Supper's Ready (22:58)
- I Lover's Leap
- II The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man
- III Ikhnaton and Itsacon and Their Band of Merry Men
- IV How Dare I Be So Beautiful?
- V Willow Farm
- VI Apocalypse in 9/8 (featuring the delicious talents of Gabble Ratchet)
- VII As Sure as Eggs is Eggs (Aching Men's Feet)

Total Time: 50:33

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Tony Banks / organ, mellotron, piano, electric piano, acoustic 12 string guitar, backing vocals
- Phil Collins / drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Peter Gabriel / lead vocals, flute, tambourine, bass drum, oboe
- Steve Hackett / electric guitar, acoustic 12 string guitar, acoustic 6 string guitar
- Mike Rutherford / bass guitar, bass pedals, acoustic 12 string guitar, cello, backing vocals

Releases information

LP Charisma CAS1058 (1972)
CD Atlantic 82674 (1994)
CD Virgin Records CASCDX 1058, 7243 8 39779 2 5 (1994)*

*Remastered at The Farm and Abbey Road by N.Davis, G.Callingham and C.Blair

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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Turn It on Again: The HitsTurn It on Again: The Hits
Atlantic 2007
Audio CD$1.81
$1.09 (used)
Selling England By The PoundSelling England By The Pound
Remastered · Import
Atlantic 1995
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$4.99 (used)
Lamb Lies Down on BroadwayLamb Lies Down on Broadway
Import
EMI Europe Generic 2009
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FoxtrotFoxtrot
Remastered · Import
Wea Int'l 1990
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Trick of the Tail (CD/DVD)Trick of the Tail (CD/DVD)
Rhino 2007
Audio CD$14.19
$13.70 (used)
Seconds OutSeconds Out
Atlantic 1994
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TrespassTrespass
Fontana Mca 1993
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Wind & Wuthering [Bonus DVD]Wind & Wuthering [Bonus DVD]
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Audio CD$8.57
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And Then There Were ThreeAnd Then There Were Three
Remastered · Import
Wea Int'l 1994
Audio CD$6.04
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GENESIS Foxtrot ratings distribution


4.61
(2386 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(71%)
71%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
20%
Good, but non-essential (6%)
6%
Collectors/fans only (1%)
1%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

GENESIS Foxtrot reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by 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.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#77) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 02, 2004

Review by 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.

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Send comments to Marcelo (BETA) | Report this review (#63) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 19, 2004

Review by 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!

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Send comments to Peter (BETA) | Report this review (#74) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 28, 2004

Review by 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!

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#68) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 05, 2004

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER Honorary 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...!

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#75) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 15, 2004

Review by 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"!!!

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#39) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 08, 2004

Review by 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.

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Posted Thursday, April 22, 2004

Review by 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!!

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Posted Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Review by 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).

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Posted Saturday, May 08, 2004

Review by 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."

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Posted Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Review by 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.

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Posted Thursday, June 10, 2004

Review by 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.

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Posted Sunday, June 20, 2004

Review by 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!

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Posted Monday, July 05, 2004

Review by 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.

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Posted Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Review by 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.

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Posted Friday, September 03, 2004

Review by 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.

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Posted Sunday, September 05, 2004

Review by 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.

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Posted Friday, October 08, 2004

Review by 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!

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Posted Thursday, December 02, 2004

Review by 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?

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Posted Friday, January 14, 2005

Review by 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?!

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Posted Saturday, February 05, 2005

Review by 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!!

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Posted Friday, February 25, 2005

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
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.

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Posted Friday, April 01, 2005

Review by 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

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Posted Thursday, April 14, 2005

Review by 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 by 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.

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Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Review by 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.

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Posted Saturday, April 30, 2005

Review by 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.

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Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Review by 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!!

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Posted Saturday, June 25, 2005

Review by 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?..

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Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Review by 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-

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Posted Sunday, August 07, 2005

Review by 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.

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Posted Sunday, August 07, 2005

Review by 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.

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Posted Friday, August 12, 2005

Review by 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.

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Posted Monday, September 05, 2005

Review by 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.

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Posted Sunday, September 11, 2005

Review by 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.

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Posted Sunday, September 18, 2005

Review by 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!!

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Posted Friday, October 14, 2005

Review by 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.

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Posted Sunday, November 06, 2005

Review by 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).

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Posted Saturday, November 12, 2005

Review by 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.:)

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Posted Friday, November 18, 2005

Review by 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

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Posted Sunday, November 27, 2005

Review by 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?

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Posted Saturday, December 24, 2005

Review by 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

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Posted Monday, January 23, 2006

Review by 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.

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Posted Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Review by 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.

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Send comments to chessman (BETA) | Report this review (#85288) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, July 31, 2006

Review by 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

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Send comments to bhikkhu (BETA) | Report this review (#87785) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 21, 2006

Review by 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.

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Send comments to OpethGuitarist (BETA) | Report this review (#88590) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, August 31, 2006

Review by 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.

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Send comments to Chus (BETA) | Report this review (#96895) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 02, 2006

Review by 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.

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Send comments to The T (BETA) | Report this review (#97558) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Review by 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).

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#104882) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, December 29, 2006

Review by 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.

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Send comments to Ricochet (BETA) | Report this review (#104902) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 30, 2006

Review by 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+

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Posted Saturday, December 30, 2006

Review by 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.

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Posted Sunday, February 25, 2007

Review by 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!

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Posted Friday, March 16, 2007

Review by 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.

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Posted Saturday, March 24, 2007

Review by 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.

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Posted Thursday, May 24, 2007

Review by 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.

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Posted Thursday, May 31, 2007

Review by 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.

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Posted Monday, June 18, 2007

Review by 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!

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Posted Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Review by 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

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Posted Monday, July 30, 2007

Review by 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.

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Posted Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Review by 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.

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Posted Thursday, October 04, 2007

Review by 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.

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Posted Friday, October 19, 2007

Review by 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: *****

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Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
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.

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Posted Sunday, October 28, 2007

Review by 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

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Posted Sunday, October 28, 2007

Review by 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.

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Posted Thursday, November 15, 2007

Review by 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

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Posted Sunday, March 02, 2008

Review by 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

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Posted Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Review by 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.

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Posted Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Review by 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.

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Posted Monday, July 07, 2008

Review by 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

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Posted Saturday, July 19, 2008

Review by 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.

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Posted Monday, September 22, 2008

Review by 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.

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Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Review by 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.

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Posted Friday, December 12, 2008

Review by 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.

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Posted Sunday, January 25, 2009

Review by 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??

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Posted Saturday, January 31, 2009

Review by 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!

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Posted Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Review by 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.

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Posted Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Review by 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.

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Posted Monday, June 22, 2009

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover and E&O Teams
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.

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Posted Monday, August 03, 2009

Review by 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.

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Posted Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Review by 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.

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Posted Sunday, November 29, 2009

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion 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.

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Posted Friday, December 11, 2009

Review by 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.

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Posted Thursday, January 14, 2010

Review by 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.

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Posted Thursday, January 14, 2010

Review by 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.

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Posted Monday, January 18, 2010

Review by 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.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#280315) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 02, 2010

Review by 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!

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Posted Friday, May 21, 2010

Review by 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.

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Send comments to ExittheLemming (BETA) | Report this review (#304399) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 16, 2010

Review by 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.

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Send comments to Sinusoid (BETA) | Report this review (#315891) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, November 12, 2010

Review by 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.

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Posted Sunday, November 14, 2010

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Post 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.

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Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Review by 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.

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Posted Saturday, February 12, 2011

Review by 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.

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Send comments to colorofmoney91 (BETA) | Report this review (#429397) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, April 08, 2011

Review by 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.....

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Send comments to thehallway (BETA) | Report this review (#457720) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, June 06, 2011

Review by Andy Webb
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Admin / Heavy Prog Team / Math Rock Team
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?

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Send comments to Andy Webb (BETA) | Report this review (#465053) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, June 19, 2011

Review by 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.

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Send comments to Starhammer (BETA) | Report this review (#473433) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 01, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 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 and Nursery Cryme 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 The Battle of Epping Forest from Selling England more), 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.

Still, it's a very, very fun album - I'm just one of those heretics who wouldn't put it at the peak of the Genesis canon.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#500237) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 08, 2011

Review by 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.

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Send comments to seventhsojourn (BETA) | Report this review (#512058) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Review by 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.

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Send comments to EatThatPhonebook (BETA) | Report this review (#596050) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 25, 2011

Review by 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.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#696677) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Latest members reviews

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1147134) | Posted by MorandiV8SH | Thursday, March 13, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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 m ... (read more)

Report this review (#1085750) | Posted by thebig_E | Wednesday, December 04, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 se ... (read more)

Report this review (#1058244) | Posted by VOTOMS | Friday, October 11, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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") t ... (read more)

Report this review (#1047394) | Posted by LakeGlade12 | Sunday, September 29, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 S ... (read more)

Report this review (#1026870) | Posted by Ethelred7 | Sunday, September 01, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 sup ... (read more)

Report this review (#1004915) | Posted by oldcrow | Wednesday, July 24, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Foxtrot is simply a musical 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. ... (read more)

Report this review (#984608) | Posted by Xonty | Sunday, June 23, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#945603) | Posted by sukmytoe | Wednesday, April 17, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 tu ... (read more)

Report this review (#939195) | Posted by BillyShears | Thursday, April 04, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 ma ... (read more)

Report this review (#914225) | Posted by ProgMetaller2112 | Saturday, February 16, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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. ... (read more)

Report this review (#911261) | Posted by wehpanzer | Friday, February 08, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 spec ... (read more)

Report this review (#876059) | Posted by genesissinceseven | Saturday, December 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 t ... (read more)

Report this review (#873764) | Posted by ebil0505 | Saturday, December 08, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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, ... (read more)

Report this review (#807227) | Posted by mau | Sunday, August 19, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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. Gab ... (read more)

Report this review (#786899) | Posted by PinkYesGongMachine | Thursday, July 12, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 pla ... (read more)

Report this review (#781154) | Posted by Norbert | Monday, July 02, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 bo ... (read more)

Report this review (#779811) | Posted by Codera the Great | Friday, June 29, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#772430) | Posted by Glucose | Saturday, June 16, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 t ... (read more)

Report this review (#771386) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 amo ... (read more)

Report this review (#757084) | Posted by Per Köhler | Wednesday, May 23, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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