TotW 02/26/2024 - 03/03/2024: GENESIS - Lilywhite Lilith

  • Your rating for Liliwhite Lillith" by GENESIS 27

    1. 15 points - outstanding (4) 15%
    2. 14 points - very good (4) 15%
    3. 13 points - very good - (0) 0%
    4. 12 points - good + (7) 26%
    5. 11 points - good (8) 30%
    6. 10 points - good - (3) 11%
    7. 09 points - satisfactory + (0) 0%
    8. 08 points - satisfactory (0) 0%
    9. 07 points - satisfactory - (1) 4%
    10. 06 points - sufficient + (0) 0%
    11. 05 points - sufficient (0) 0%
    12. 04 points - sufficient - (0) 0%
    13. 03 points - poor + (0) 0%
    14. 02 points - poor (0) 0%
    15. 01 points - poor - (0) 0%
    16. 00 points - abysmal (0) 0%

    We invite you to share interesting facts and tidbits about this track. Let's look at the track in the context of the band's / the artist's history, at the music, the songwriting and all other aspects that are relevant for this track. Please do stick to the discussion of the track above. Comparisons to other tracks are okay, but remember that the other track you may be keen to talk about has or will have its own Track Of The Week thread. If you spot a mistake or if you can close a gap in the fact sheet above please feel free to contact martinus or Christian about it; we will gladly add and improve!


    GENESIS - Lilywhite Lilith

    Year: 1974
    Album: The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
    Working title: The Light
    Credits: Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett, Rutherford
    Lyrics: Yes
    Length: 2:40
    Musicians: Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford
    Played Live: 1974, 1975, 1977
    Cover versions:

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    Notes: This song is the opening track of the second disc on both the vinyl and CD versions of the album. Lilywhite Lilith is a blind woman with a glowing pale-white face who asks Rael to lead her out of the Chamber Of 32 Doors (the track before). She in turn then leads Rael through a dark tunnel into the Waiting Room (the following track). The figure of Lilith comes from Sumerian mythology and has been used many times in art (e.g. in Goethe's Faust). The song was developed several years before its release and was even played live under the title The Light in 1970. [The same applies to Anyway, which can be found as a kind of early version or demo on the Jackson Tapes under the title Frustration]. But that's not supposed to be the topic here. And of course, as always, everyone from the "old hands" to the new member is invited to give their opinion on this song - even if it is admittedly often difficult to view Lamb songs out of their overall context..

    cheers

    Christian


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  • I love this track. The way it starts suddenly, lurching out of the dark with the full band rocking. I like the change of pace too Galway through, as it descends into what's to follow. It has a gritty edge that Genesis could do very well but often shied away from. 14.

  • A good song from a great album. I particulary like where it transitions at about 1½ minutes in.

    But if I was to rank all the songs on The Lamb, Lilywhite would invariably appear somewhere in the bottom half.

    11 points for me.

  • Good track and nicely positioned after the sadness of '32 Doors. Interesting also that this was an evolution of a very old track (The Light) and so it must have been brought to the table when they were trying to fill out The Lamb as a double album. It doesn't seem like that to me; it stands as one of the stronger pieces on the album.


    I created my own mix of the Lamb ("As It Should Have Been") with the weaker/filler material taken out. This one is still in there, as for me that Side 3 run through to Anyway is easily as strong as the best parts of Sides 1 and 2.


    Shame the band didn't didn't have more of these crunchier guitar-led tracks, particularly while Steve was in it.

  • The first part of this track is great, especially in terms of the chords, melody & backing vocals. It's kind of a shame it doesn't go on longer. If it wasn't for how the song had to be fit into the plot of a story, it might have been written so that it returns to the first part at the end, with the second part basically being a midsection instead.


    "The song was developed several years before its release and was even played live under the title The Light in 1970. [The same applies to Anyway, which can be found as a kind of early version or demo on the Jackson Tapes under the title Frustration]."

    That's actually a little misleading, because "Lilith" uses only a small part of the almost 9-minute "The Light." And there's more to "Frustration" than the proto-"Anyway" section.

    “When the waitress asked if I wanted my pizza cut into four or eight slices, I said, ‘Four. I don’t think I can eat eight.’” -- Yogi Berra

  • I got my first copy of The Lamb as a double cassette around the early 90s. Lilywhite Lilith was the first song that stood up for me in an otherwise obscure album, probably because I found some beatlesque thing going on and I was strong into The Beatles back then.
    I guess it's still counted in the most approachable song set in the Lamb.

    Also, I have a soft spot also for high school orchestra projects, since my kids all where into them at some point. There is a Salzburg school video on Lilywhite Lilith here.

  • I like the change of pace too Galway through

    Although I know exactly what this is an auto-correction of, it's still amusing me. I now want to go listen to Ed Sheeran's popular hit Halfway Girl. Yes I like it for the same reasons as you.


    The first part of this track is great, especially in terms of the chords, melody & backing vocals. It's kind of a shame it doesn't go on longer. If it wasn't for how the song had to be fit into the plot of a story, it might have been written so that it returns to the first part at the end, with the second part basically being a midsection instead.

    Interesting, it never occurred to me the 2nd bit is kind of a middle with no return but I see what you mean. However, I'm glad it didn't follow a more conventional A-B-A and I like that it ends where it does as it feels to me just exactly the length it needs to be.


    For anyone unaware of it, or is but has never heard it: Here is a (not very good) recording of the sole performance of it on the first date of the W&W tour, 01/01/77 London Rainbow and CT's first show with them. They couple it to the only performance of Wot Gorilla they ever did, via a Waiting Room-ish snippet.

    Abandon all reason

    Edited once, last by Backdrifter ().

  • The first part seems fairly straightforward song, the second part quite different and interesting, as a whole not particularly outstanding, but essential to the plot. I've given it 10, the opener to my favourite side of the 4.

    Ian


    Putting the old-fashioned Staffordshire plate in the dishwasher!

  • Interesting, it never occurred to me the 2nd bit is kind of a middle with no return but I see what you mean.

    I never thought of it either until I was writing my post above!

    Here is a (not very good) recording of the sole performance of it on the first date of the W&W tour, 01/01/77 London Rainbow and CT's first show with them. They couple it to the only performance of Wot Gorilla they ever did, via a Waiting Room-ish snippet.

    Yes, I'm familiar with it -- one of many poorly-recorded bootlegged Genesis things that I wish could be heard with better sound quality.

    “When the waitress asked if I wanted my pizza cut into four or eight slices, I said, ‘Four. I don’t think I can eat eight.’” -- Yogi Berra

  • I've mentioned before about this: there's an indistinct bit of vocal far back in the mix, just after the line "by whatever's coming here". Someone suggested it was a bit of PC backing vocal, though it sounds like PG to me, and it has the intonation and cadence of words rather than scatting. And it seems to have been made more distinct in the 08 remaster, but still unintelligible.


    There's also a tiny vocal touch in the background just after "I can see the corner of the tunnel" that makes it sound like "tunnel (ah)". That one could conceivably be an un-tidied-up 'dirty' vocal track but the first one is so prominent it can't be.

    Abandon all reason

  • While this doesn't really stand alone well as a single song, I do like it. The main section is catchy and has some rock grit to it. The second part is a musical recapitulation of Broadway Melody of 1974 (the backing rhythms and chord progression), so I don't think it was intended as a bridge leading back to the main section but was instead meant as a transition to The Waiting Room.

  • The first part of this track is great, especially in terms of the chords, melody & backing vocals. It's kind of a shame it doesn't go on longer. If it wasn't for how the song had to be fit into the plot of a story, it might have been written so that it returns to the first part at the end, with the second part basically being a midsection instead.

    "The song was developed several years before its release and was even played live under the title The Light in 1970. [The same applies to Anyway, which can be found as a kind of early version or demo on the Jackson Tapes under the title Frustration]."

    That's actually a little misleading, because "Lilith" uses only a small part of the almost 9-minute "The Light."

    You can also hear parts of The Colony of Slippermen and The Battle of Epping Forest in The Light.


    The story behind The Light always reminds me of Bad Day by REM (which was wrote under a different title and only recorded as a demo in 1986; released as a successful single in 2003). But more interestingly, you can hear how the original demo morphed into It's the End of the World as We Know It.


    Sorry for the off-topic ;)

  • ...there's an indistinct bit of vocal far back in the mix, just after the line "by whatever's coming here". Someone suggested it was a bit of PC backing vocal, though it sounds like PG to me, and it has the intonation and cadence of words rather than scatting...


    There's also a tiny vocal touch in the background just after "I can see the corner of the tunnel" that makes it sound like "tunnel (ah)".

    It took some close listening to notice those.


    My guess on the first one is that it was a proposed backing vocal part that was ultimately decided against, and it either didn't get mixed all the way out or it bled through to another track. The other one sounds like a background thing that was accidentally recorded but either wasn't noticed or was considered too minor to worry about.

    “When the waitress asked if I wanted my pizza cut into four or eight slices, I said, ‘Four. I don’t think I can eat eight.’” -- Yogi Berra

  • My guess on the first one is that it was a proposed backing vocal part that was ultimately decided against, and it either didn't get mixed all the way out or it bled through to another track. The other one sounds like a background thing that was accidentally recorded but either wasn't noticed or was considered too minor to worry about.

    I reckon those are fair guesses. Whatever the reason for it, I like it. It has a nice cadence and adds a tiny touch of mystery.


    I first listened to the album in the late 1970s, in my bedroom, playing my brother's vinyl copy (that I think had 'Carpet Crawl' listed on the back). The apparent ah after 'tunnel' threw me the first 2 or 3 times as it sounded like my mum calling from downstairs, causing me to go out onto the landing and call down to ask what she wanted. She wasn't even there.


    End of pointless Memory Hole diversion.

    Abandon all reason