TotW 11/24/2018 - 11/30/2018: GENESIS - The Lamia

  • What do you think about "The Lamia"? 14

    1. 15 points - outstanding! (6) 43%
    2. 11 points - good (4) 29%
    3. 14 points - very good (3) 21%
    4. 13 points - very good - (1) 7%
    5. 12 points - good + (0) 0%
    6. 10 points - good - (0) 0%
    7. 09 points - satisfactory + (0) 0%
    8. 08 points - satisfactory (0) 0%
    9. 07 points - satisfactory - (0) 0%
    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 point - poor - (0) 0%
    16. 00 points - abysmal (0) 0%

    GENESIS - The Lamia

    Year: 1974

    Album: The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway [album review]

    Working title: unknown

    Credits: Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett, Rutherford

    Lyrics: Yes

    Length: 6:58

    Musicians: Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford

    Played Live: 1974/1975

    mp3 downloads:

    Cover versions: none


    Notes: Prising invididual songs out of this concept album is still a tricky job. It works well with the title song or The Carpet Crawlers, but also with The Lamia. The latter was very important in their stage show. The Lamia also indicates how good Genesis are in setting the perfect stage for a song.



    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.

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    ...cried a voice in the crowd.


  • A favourite track from my favourite Genesis album. Very nice piano line, great controlled vocal, stirling work by PC as ever, Rutherford's usual subtle effectiveness, and particularly good stuff from Hackett at the end in one of his finest and most dramatic Genesis moments.


    I really like the shifting dynamics and moods, how the feel switches between serenity and tension.


    And of course it gives us one of Gabriel's daftest lines - in case you're in any doubt, the one concerning garlic and chocolate fingers.


    It's a top 10 or at least top 20 Genesis song for me as all the above make it such a good example of so many of the things I love about their work. There's a maturity about this track that belies their still young age, all still early 20s.


    I've never bought into this idea, perpetuated even by some of the band, that it's so hard to isolate Lamb tracks in their own right. Even Banks once said he'd have liked them to have carried on playing this one but it "wouldn't have made sense". What?! For heaven's sake I'd have loved them to have done this in later years. The idea it wouldn't have made sense doesn't make sense.


    Am I right in thinking that musically this is solely or primarily a Banks composition? With Hackett contributing the solo?

    Abandon all reason

  • A sad and beautiful track, integral to the story but also a key moment of emotion, wistful and melancholy. All play their part, with Phil’s sensitive drumming, Pete’s soulful voice and Steve’s epic and aching lines making this a centre piece of the latter stages of the Lamb

  • Excellent comments by both of you. I can't improve on either, except that I agree with BD that of course the Lamb tracks work separately, or some of them. If they could play Carpet Crawlers & In The Cage they could have played this. It's a beautiful song.

  • Am I right in thinking that musically this is solely or primarily a Banks composition? With Hackett contributing the solo?

    Yes, reportedly "Tony bought this one in", the lyrics were Gabriel's of course. For Hackett's solo, most likely he will have been given a blank space to fill in a solo in whatever way it would suit the song.


    The Lamia is a good song no matter what but as with the vast majority of The Lamb I always find myself struggling. The mood is just so depressing. My favourite part in that song is the little interlude right before the last verse where Tony doubles the piano line with the ARP and puts Hammond chords behind.

  • One of the highlights of the album for sure, for all the reasons stated, it's also on my favourite "side" (speaking LPicaly)

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile

  • I also love Steve's version with Nik Kershaw.

    I don't know this one.


    I saw a snippet of a Hackett live show where they did this track with Steve Rotheray doing the solo. It ruined the song, really noodly and the complete opposite of what makes so much of Hackett's work so good ie its economy.

    Abandon all reason

  • That's the one:




    Glad you enjoy that but personally Kershaw replacing Peter is more than I can stomach.

    Well; I always likes his voice and was curious what it would sound like on a song like that. And he did very well, in my opinion


    I also wonder how Peter would sing this nowadays...

  • Glad you enjoy that but personally Kershaw replacing Peter is more than I can stomach.

    While I quite like Nik Kershaw (Saw him live in Dec 1984, The Riddle tour, Manchester Apollo), his vocal on this song, both the GR2 and live version, are simply far too nasally to take seriously.

    Ian


    There is a church bell

    That rings on the hour

    Filling the streets

    Stopping the world awhile

  • Overall, LAMB is a problematic album for me. On the one hand, the music is incredible, with the band at or near their peak. On the other hand, the story -- however cleverly told in the lyrics -- just doesn't do much for me. At best, it's surrealistically strange in a way that doesn't quite capture my imagination. At worst, I find it rather unappealing. "The Lamia" may be the one track that best represents my mixed feelings toward the album.


    On another note: LAMB gives me the impression that the listener is invited to come up with their own interpretations of it (though I'm sure this was not Peter's intention at all). Given that, I have my own interpretation of it which (1) is not thoroughly thought out, and thus is subject to variation; and (2) is not anything I would attempt to convince anyone else of. Part of that interpretation is this: that certain parts of Rael's experience/hallucination/drug trip/whatever are symbolic of various past events in his life. In the context of that, the Lamia/Slippermen sequence would represent a set of circumstances that was not, shall we say, the high point of his life.

    Most of what I really needed to know in life, nobody ever told me, and reality had to force it into my skull slowly and relentlessly until I couldn't ignore it any more. And, indeed, most people who had it explained to them to would angrily argue against it.

  • While I quite like Nik Kershaw (Saw him live in Dec 1984, The Riddle tour, Manchester Apollo), his vocal on this song, both the GR2 and live version, are simply far too nasally to take seriously.

    I quite frankly never thought much of him as a singer, I find his tone quite nasal as you said and rather unspectacular, not much character in that voice imo.

  • Overall, LAMB is a problematic album for me. On the one hand, the music is incredible, with the band at or near their peak. On the other hand, the story -- however cleverly told in the lyrics -- just doesn't do much for me. At best, it's surrealistically strange in a way that doesn't quite capture my imagination. At worst, I find it rather unappealing. "The Lamia" may be the one track that best represents my mixed feelings toward the album.


    On another note: LAMB gives me the impression that the listener is invited to come up with their own interpretations of it (though I'm sure this was not Peter's intention at all). Given that, I have my own interpretation of it which (1) is not thoroughly thought out, and thus is subject to variation; and (2) is not anything I would attempt to convince anyone else of. Part of that interpretation is this: that certain parts of Rael's experience/hallucination/drug trip/whatever are symbolic of various past events in his life. In the context of that, the Lamia/Slippermen sequence would represent a set of circumstances that was not, shall we say, the high point of his life.

    Your thought and sentiment on the Lamb are, I believe, shared by many fans and most of the members of the band. Phil said that in terms of musicianship it certainly was his peak, together with his Brand X albums and the others are not too shabby either. The general story has been widely criticized and rightly so imo. Tony said on more than one occasion that it never did much for him, the single lyrics however are imo brilliant and the Lamia is an example of that.

    It is obviously embedded in the story but it is, generally speaking, about sex and Peter said it based on a wet dream he had when he was ''farm'' boy.

  • Absolutely love this track. 15.


    Peter's last line works perfectly to introduce Steve's brilliant solo ('The lights are dimmed and once again the stage is set for you').

  • I voted 'outstanding' without hesitation (but, then, I love The Lamb so I'm biased - you could have put Ravine up for nomination and I've give it the same vote). Peter's lyrics are sublime; as a teenager, the lyrics prompted me to find Keats's poem of the same name and boy was I disappointed. Musically, everything works, building oh-so-gently to one of Steve's finest moments in the band and easily his stand-out moment on the album. Simply epic.