45th Anniversary! The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway - album thread

  • Continuing the album threads. For those not yet acquainted with these, we already have threads on the following albums:


    FGTR

    Trespass

    Nursery Cryme

    Foxtrot

    Selling England

    ATTWT

    CAS


    For some reason the Nursery Cryme one is seriously lacking replies. Very few of us seem to want to discuss the first album to feature the "classic" line-up! The busiest of these threads so far is CAS, followed by FGTR. Interesting...


    Anyway, to return to chronologically posting the album threads, we come now to The Lamb.


    Could it be the most divisive Genesis album among fans? Possibly other than Abacab? If so, it says something about my own Genesis tastes as those are the two albums I like and listen to the most. When I first really got into Genesis in the late 70s, the most recent albums were W&W and Trick, and ATTWT was just coming out. But the album I listened to incessantly was The Lamb. I didn't think about it in any sort of analytical way, it was simply the Genesis music that I most liked. Now as a grown-up I do tend to analyse the crap out of stuff, and think of The Lamb as being a darker, edgier Genesis that I like very much - actually no, to hell with it, that I absolutely love.


    And if The Lamb is possibly quite a contentious album among fans, I'd go further and say that the track that really caught my attention at the time and excited me was The Waiting Room. Again, I never thought "how strange they should do something like this", I simply knew that I loved it. The second half when it shifts into that fuzz-bass-based rock groove is still one of my absolute favourite pieces of rock music. It has a powerful atmosphere for me, there's something slightly skewed about it and it has a sort of dirtiness to it, yet it has unmistakable Genesis ingredients. In that sense, those couple of minutes sum up the album for me as that description can apply to the whole thing.


    This is the one Genesis album on which I like every single track. There's no other that I can happily sit down and listen to all the way through. I'll do that with Abacab, and I like everything on it but it's weaker towards the end. That reminds me of something that fans and the band themselves have said, that the second half of The Lamb is weak. Yes I know they made it but they are wrong! In fact 'side 3' is for me the strongest part of the album and serves as an excellent representation of not only the album's scope, but of the range and depth and richness this band were capable of. How many other bands have ever produced whole albums, or even whole careers, with such breadth of texture and colour as that one side has?


    The story inevitably comes up when discussing this album. I've never had any hang-up about it, in fact I don't especially care about it. Lyrics aren't a focus for me with any of the music I listen to, though I appreciate when there's a good one. Despite this being a story-based album, I don't find it necessary to pay attention to the story in order to enjoy the songs. From previous discussions I recognise that some here do find it necessary, which I'll never really get, but hey we all appreciate stuff in our own way. I read the story once, when I was about 15 or 16. What i got from it was, bloke who's a bit of a miscreant gets trapped in a fantasy world reflecting bits of his life and he discovers there's more to him and he's more caring than he/we thought, and oh by the way we're a bit hypocritical about sex. Beyond that I'm really not fussed and am not bothered if I've completely missed the point of the story, I just love the songs.


    I've seen it said on this and the previous forum that if you "dare" to criticise The Lamb, its fans pile on. It has its critics here but I've never seen that pile-on happen; I'd certainly never do that and I absolutely get why some fans don't rank the album highly. It's very anomalous in the album sequence if you go two albums either side of it, and I've seen some here say that on its own puts them off it a bit. I get that if you like a band to have continuity, the Lamb being a bit of an anomaly might prevent you from warming to it. Personally, I usually like when bands go off on a tangential or right-angled path. If that's what Genesis did in order to produce this album, I just wish they'd done it more.

    Abandon all reason

  • The Lamb has always been one of my favourite albums, simply because there is so much great music on it. However, I do tend to agree with many of the common criticisms Backdrifter refers to. I do think the story is weak, although I find the story weak for most concept albums. If the narrative can't engage me and create characters I care about, then the songs ultimately have less emotional weight. I also find Peter's lyrics sometimes more clever than meaningful, a weakness he didn't entirely sort out until into his solo albums. All that said, I was never into earlier Genesis because of the lyrics, otherwise I wouldn't listen to songs like Firth of Fifth.


    The music is amazing for the most part and everyone is playing at the top of their game. I not only love the grand classics that everyone loves, but also the shorter and sometimes slighter numbers such as Here Comes the Supernatural Anesthetist. I also like how musical themes are recycled in various songs, providing some musical continuity through the album. I am a bit mystified by the appeal of The Waiting Room. The first 3 minutes might be fine as the background for a film scene, but for me are tedious for repeated listenings. The last couple of minutes is a lackluster jam on a single chord.

  • I never really understood what ran through Peter's mind when he came up with this story. I was not even born when they went on tour with that so I was very happy when The Musical Box recreated that show years ago. I felt the magic and understood why this show was outstanding in Genesis history.


    I still have my problem with the whole piece, but it always ranks among my favorite Genesis album. So does Abacab. The difference is, I have no problems with Abacab. Never had.

  • Ahead of its time and a landmark in the band's career. And it's one of those albums were the story of how the album was made is as interesting as the album itself.


    If I was forced to only choose one Genesis album to listen to for the rest of my days then The Lamb would be it.

  • Ahead of its time and a landmark in the band's career. And it's one of those albums were the story of how the album was made is as interesting as the album itself.


    If I was forced to only choose one Genesis album to listen to for the rest of my days then The Lamb would be it.

    I agree 100% with this. It's essential Genesis for me.


    Not that I'm too bothered by those Greatest Ever Album type polls but it's notable that no Genesis albums ever feature in them (I'm talking about the general ones, not the prog-specific ones). I think The Lamb deserves a spot in those polls but while some prog rock gets "reappraised" it seems Genesis will always be the band its never 'cool' to like! (Fine with me, I've never been nor aspired to be cool).

    Abandon all reason

  • it seems Genesis will always be the band its never 'cool' to like!

    So uncool, they're cool. I was there in 92 at Knebworth when Phil praised the crowd for having no cool people in it. What is cool anyway? And who decides who or what is and isn't cool?


    Genesis launched more solo careers than any other band. They had two distinctive front men and managed to be successful in two genres. At their peak they could play any sized venue in the world and be guaranteed a sell-out crowd. Personally, I think that's pretty cool.

  • ok, here it is :)

    I may write more later about The Lamb.


    It was a trick one to dive into. cd1 was quite easy to access, but cd2 was strange for me. standout tracks for me are fly on a windshiels, carpet crawlers, lamia, riding the scree and it. waiting room is special as it's so unique. in the cage was better live, especially on later tours. counting out time is fun, a bite like happy the man meets just a job to do.

    overall it's the number of tracks, the mystery of the story and the fact that you won't find the usual prog suspects, instead you get bits and pieces of prog. and a lot of songs.

    ... make tomorrow today!

  • Christian

    Changed the title of the thread from “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway - album thread” to “45th Anniversary! The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway - album thread”.
  • I did not find a thread dedicated to the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway album so I'll post here.

    if the administrator wishes to move it, that's fine by me. But let me know if moved please.


    So, coincidentally yesterday I walked in a local CD/DVD store in Dartmouth Canada and not only found this T shirt but also a double CD bootleg of the Lamb concert in Rochester recorded from a FM broadcast at the Auditorium Theater on December 17, 1974. And that is roughly two weeks after I saw this same show at the Montreal Forum! So I gladly purchase both (rather pricey though). The CD seems to be legitimate and sound quality I would sayo is B+


    Huge The Lamb Fan