Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway


Wikipedia: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is a double concept album recorded and released in 1974 by the British rock band Genesis. It was their sixth studio album and the last album by the group to feature the involvement of lead singer Peter Gabriel. The album tells the surreal story of a half Puerto Rican juvenile delinquent named Rael living in New York City, who is swept underground to face bizarre creatures and nightmarish dangers in order to rescue his brother John. Several of the story’s occurrences and places were derived from Peter Gabriel’s dreams, and the protagonist’s name is a play on his surname. In an interview Phil Collins remarked, “It’s about a ‘split personality’. In this context, Rael would believe he is looking for John but is actually looking for a missing part of himself. The individual songs also make satirical allusions to everything from mythology to the sexual revolution to advertising and consumerism.

Daryl Easlea: The Band’s Final Album with Gabriel is a Conceptual Masterpiece

It’s no wonder that Peter Gabriel left Genesis after this album. It’s the sound of a leader moving sharply in the opposite direction to their band. A showman onstage and a painfully shy man off, he’d been approached by The Exorcist director William Friedkin, impressed with short story Gabriel had written on the back of Genesis Live, with regards to him writing a screenplay. Gabriel took himself away from the rest of the group, who retreated to the country to write the music for what was to become The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. Although the film idea came to nothing, the resulting album is occasionally confused, yet frequently brilliant.

Jason Finegan, Scott McMahan and others: The Annotated Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

One of the most frequently asked questions by any Genesis fans is “What is the Lamb about?” Most people are baffled by the subject-matter of the Lamb, since it is one of the most dense and obfuscated works of art ever created. […] This is an “annotation”, not an end in itself. It does not give you an explanation of what the Lamb is about. It does, however, arm you with the tools you need to form your own ideas. The Lamb is packed solid with some of the most obscure literary and cultural references, things that all of which even a well-read and well-educated person would probably not have encountered.

Wikipedia: Hipgnosis

Hipgnosis was a British art design group that specialized in creating cover art for the albums of rock musicians and bands, most notably Pink Floyd, The Pretty Things, UFO, 10cc, Bad Company, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Scorpions, Yes, The Alan Parsons Project, Genesis, ELO and XTC. Hipgnosis consisted primarily of Storm Thorgerson, Aubrey Powell, and later, Peter Christopherson. The group dissolved in 1983, though Thorgerson still works on album designs, and Powell works in video, most notably with The Who.

Hipgnosis LP art for The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.

Wikipedia: The Musical Box (band)

The Musical Box is a prominent Genesis tribute band. […] In 2000 The Musical Box purchased the rights from Peter Gabriel and Genesis to re-create The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Genesis helped The Musical Box greatly with this show staging by giving them copies of the 1,200 original slides. They also had access to the original slide operators who helped them put them back (more or less) into the correct order. In addition the band was granted full access to the original album master tapes so they could correctly reproduce the sound live on stage, even though Genesis themselves did not do this. […] Genesis has supported The Musical Box in many ways. […] Drummer Phil Collins watched the Lamb show in Geneva in 2005, and joined the band onstage to play drums during the encore of “The Musical Box”. He watched the entire show and told reporters afterward that “they played it better than we did.” Peter Gabriel, meanwhile, has taken his children to a show so “they could see what their father used to do.”

The Musical Box: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.  Clip from 21 November 2009 performance. [Daily Motion]

Wikipedia: ReGenesis

ReGenesis are an English progressive rock tribute band of Genesis. ReGenesis perform mostly material from Genesis’ Peter Gabriel era. […] In 2001 at the G2 convention ReGenesis performed, for the first time in the UK in 25 years, the entire The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway album.

ReGenesis: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Two hour performance from 31 March 2001. [google video]

See Also:

  • Genesis Movement: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway live recordings November 1974 – May 1975.  Genesis Movement also has video of Genesis performing Lamb, stitched together from the small amount of film and photography made at the time.
  • BeatlesNumber9: Review making connections between Lamb, The Beatles, Genesis P-Orridge and much more.
  • Herb Leonhard: Paintings Inspired by The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.
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