Genesis : Gabriel, Banks, Hackett, Rutherford, Collins. Genesis are rightly regarded as one of the founders of what today is known as progressive rock. Emerging from public school backgrounds and uncertain beginnings under the wing of pop producer Jonathan King, Genesis were signed by Charisma records on the strength of their innovative live shows.
Supported by the label, the band’s music grew in ambition across four albums in the early 1970s, with long numbers and music which appealed to a growing underground market that largely ignored the trapping of the pop chart scene. Not until their fifth album did Genesis have any significant single success with the unlikely top twenty breakout hit “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)”.
Although their longer tracks could be said to encompass the genre, the band only embarked on a proper concept album with The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, released in 1974. Surprisingly, it eschewed the scope afforded by a double gatefold album in favour of shorter songs, connected by linking pieces. The subject of the album also steered away from the band’s normal very English-centric material, and instead focused on the struggles of an immigrant youth trying to come to terms with life in New York City.
Although supported by a lengthy world tour centred on the new album,
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway was not an unqualified success commercially. Yet today, album and tour taken together, the reputation of this ambitious work has grown. In recent years, readers of Rolling Stone have voted it fifth in their favourite prog albums of all time (2012); it also made Uncut Magazine’s recent top ten concept album chart.
Such ambition was not without problems and the group felt more restricted than before having to synch their music to an elaborate stage production night after night. As the main visual focus of the band and their lyricist, Peter Gabriel had also come under increasing pressure and decided to end his association with the band. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway was his final album and tour as a founding member of Genesis.
For almost everyone who saw The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway tour, the show remains etched in their memory thanks to the combination of the clever music and the ground-breaking stage performance. This new book takes a very detailed look at this particular period in the history of Genesis. Through the bringing together of many rare photographs, memorabilia, recollections from people in the audience, band members, designers, photographers and crew the book brings this largely undocumented tour to light in impressive style.
The book’s presentation is large format, high quality printing on archival paper, to ensure the best possible reproduction for the material. The full details of the price and any special editions will be released shortly and you can join an exclusive mailing list to receive news on progress. This book is being sold via mail-order only and in a limited run. Fittingly 2014 marked the fortieth anniversary of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway album and shows (though the tour actually ran through well into 1975 which is what we’re marking).
To keep up to speed on the project, this site will be regularly updated, there will be opportunities for people to contribute to the book over the next few months. The following comes from one person who caught the tour:
“I saw the show in Manchester. I was at college right in the centre of town but the shows sold out so quickly I was unable to get a ticket. It was a big disappointment as I had seen the group the previous year and been very impressed by them live. Then a mate at college told me he’d got a spare ticket, so we went together. My abiding memory of the evening is at the end of the show, we got out of the doors and just leapt in the air, it had been so exhilarating. Everyone I’ve spoken to about it of course remembers Gabriel’s incredible bubble suit, I think it was on the front of the NME too, but so many other aspects of the show stick in the brain. The way they set up Gabriel on a platform on one side of the stage, then somehow moved him right across the stage in an instant was mesmerising. Of course we found out later how they’d done the trick, but on the night it was breathtaking. The use of lasers was also very exciting. I went to my first rock show in 1970, and have seen hundreds of bands since then, but The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway show is easily in my top five gigs of all time.”
Click here to find preview pages of the book. If you would like to be the first to get upcoming information on this book, see exclusive previews, learn about any pre-publication discounts and other advance news, please join our Genesis mailing list. It’s free and you can remove yourself from this list at any time.
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