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 inambition 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 (2102); 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.