The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

by Genesis


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Given all the overt literary references of Selling England by the Pound, along with their taste for epic suites such as "Supper's Ready," it was only a matter of time before Genesis attempted a full-fledged concept album, and 1974's The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway was a massive rock opera: the winding, wielding story of a Puerto Rican hustler name Rael making his way in New York City. Peter Gabriel made some tentative moves toward developing this story into a movie with William Friedkin but it never took off, perhaps it's just as well; even with the lengthy libretto included with the album, the story never makes sense. But just because the story is rather impenetrable doesn't mean that the album is as well, because it is a forceful, imaginative piece of work that showcases the original Genesis lineup at a peak. Even if the story is rather hard to piece together, the album is set up in a remarkable fashion, with the first LP being devoted to pop-oriented rock songs and the second being largely devoted to instrumentals. This means that The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway contains both Genesis' most immediate music to date and its most elliptical. Depending on a listener's taste, they may gravitate toward the first LP with its tight collection of ten rock songs, or the nightmarish landscapes of the second, where Rael descends into darkness and ultimately redemption (or so it would seem), but there's little question that the first album is far more direct than the second and it contains a number of masterpieces, from the opening fanfare of the title song to the surging "In the Cage," from the frightening "Back in NYC" to the soothing conclusion "The Carpet Crawlers." In retrospect, this first LP plays a bit more like the first Gabriel solo album than the final Genesis album, but there's also little question that the band helps form and shape this music (with Brian Eno adding extra coloring on occasion), while Genesis shines as a group shines on the impressionistic second half. In every way, it's a considerable, lasting achievement and it's little wonder that Peter Gabriel had to leave the band after this record: they had gone as far as they could go together, and could never top this extraordinary album.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/17/2014
Label: Rhino
UPC: 0603497896004
catalogNumber: 516782
Rank: 7542

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Genesis   Primary Artist
Phil Collins   Percussion,Vocals,Group Member
Peter Gabriel   Flute,Vocals,Group Member
Steve Hackett   Guitar,Group Member
Tony Banks   Keyboards,Group Member
Michael Rutherford   Bass,12-string Guitar,Group Member

Technical Credits

Phil Collins   Vibe Master
Peter Gabriel   Liner Notes
Genesis   Arranger,Composer,Producer
John Burns   Producer
Brian Eno   Sound Advisor
Hipgnosis   Sleeve Design
Richard Manning   Retouching
Chris Peyton   Sleeve Adaptation
David Hutchkins   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
JohnQ More than 1 year ago
The only negative criticism I have of this album is that it's a bit too long, it could have easily lost a few bits and pieces, but despite its length it is one of the great story albums of the 70's. A profound Progressive Rock album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought I knew what a concept album was all about until " The Lamb " came into my life a long time ago ( 01/75 ).This is still my favorite.In my humble opinion the best ever in this catagory including Sgt. Pepper,Days of Future Passed,Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here.
Guest More than 1 year ago
First things first, I like only Peter Gabriel-era Genesis (with the exception of A Trick of the Tail), and if you're looking for a pop confection like that of Abacab, you're looking in the wrong place. At this point Genesis were still one of the greatest progressive rock bands of the time. Although they had already done Supper's Ready, Peter Gabriel decided that another lengthy masterpiece was in order, creating a double-LP concept album that followed the mysterious travels of a Puerto Rican street kid named Rael, who has been transported to another dimension. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, doesn't it? The amazing thing is, it wasn't. The Lamb is often considered to be the high point of this band's output, and for good reason. Even if the lyrics are immensely important, the instrumental sections are good and intriguing. Most importantly, the story (however odd it may be) holds together surprisingly well, better than Pink Floyd's The Wall (though I love that album too), and The Who's Tommy. Also, if you look for an underlying meaning the first time listening to it, you'll be completely mindboggled. Read the story that comes in the booklet first, then listen to it without trying to find any sort of deep message. After several listens, you may make your own conclusions. Personally I feel it has a religious message (after all, many early-era Genesis albums do - Supper's Ready, for one) that says that Rael dies early on and is traveling through some purgatory which he eventually escapes in the final songs. But please, listen to it before you accept my idea (which was actually stolen from someone else) or anybody else's.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a good record. I don't like it as much as a lot of people I've met, but there is some great material here. The bizarre storyline is difficult to follow without completely emersing yourself in it (though less so than say, Tommy). The first half is great music, start to finish. Every piece is a winner, and a number of Genesis classics are contained therein. The second disc or LP is OK. They had to work a little harder here, digging through some unused material they had written a few years earlier to fill things out (e.g. "Anyway" "Lilywhite Lilith", parts of "Slippermen"). For me the ending is disappointing -- the climax occurs in an unexciting, lugubrious piece called "In the rapids". "Supper's Ready" was a much more satisfying piece of musical drama, IMHO. But this was a daring record to make for them, and the tour, which consisted of them playing the entire album, start to finish with costumes and scenery, was quite bold, though it probably did more for their reputation than for their career! Interestingly enough, Peter got a short hair-cut for this record, and The Lamb's protagonist is a street punk -- so PG was at least trying to *look* like the new angry youth movement that was sweeping England at the time...there *are* a couple of angry songs on the Lamb, but there are a few too many keyboard solos for this to be confused for a Sex Pistols record.
Guest More than 1 year ago
First off, It's hard to believe that this is even Genesis!! After hearing the same few songs that got more airplay then a skydiver. I was shocked to hear them sound a lot more Ambient and Classical. The music is very Complex, And Filled with great Harmony, and very "YES" like storys. With out a doubt this is one of the best album I've ever owned!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am on the road to becoming diehard Genesis fan. And the weird thing is I'm 12 (you thought kids listened to the travesties known as pop and rap). After seceding from listening to the Duke/Abacab period which introduced me to Genesis (the Three Sides Live video gave me the obsession) and starting to know the lineup when they were 5. This is the expertly crafted rock opera about Rael, a New York streetkid who falls through a wall of death and endures tests to see whether he goes to heaven or hell (this is my understanding). Genesis reached their technological apex, because the technology at the time was suited enough to detail the story (Listen to ''The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging). Mike Rutherford's bass booms in certain areas, where Steve Hackett's guitar frequently becomes delayed for a sustained sound, Tony Banks' various keyboards and ARP ProSoloist synthesizer squealing high-pitched, but enjoyable noises, Phil Collins' superb drumming (but I liked it better when he always played drums instead of singing and sequencing drum machines) and last, but but not least Peter Gabriel's complex, soft, but sometimes haunting and disturbing lyrics. The first disc contains some of the group's best songs and the second disc is decent, but with a lot of instrumental bits, probably for Gabriel's infamous costumes (Hey, you know how long it takes to put on a ''Slipperman'' costume?). Overall, my favorite Genesis album. Kudos to Peter Gabriel for writing all the lyrics and writing the story that became a cult classic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Softly, expectantly, “I’m hovering like a fly, waiting for the windshield on the freeway.” BOOM! The full force of the band kicks in, shaking the windows and upholstery of the car you’re riding in. This work by Genesis has the lyrical intensity and range of musicianship characteristic of the early years of the band and so sought-after by loyal fans after the incarnation of the 80s pop group of the same name. Don’t listen to this as background music. It is for a road trip across the plains or for viewing mountain vistas—either in reality or in your mind. While many have derided prog rock as being pretentious and often hard to grasp, the themes in the piece are timeless and, like many early Genesis efforts, have a mythological and psychological undertone that are thought-provoking for anyone who takes the time to break away from the repetitive playlists spoon-fed to radio listeners today.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The last album Peter Gabriel recorded with Genesis, and their only double studio album, is pretty good. I know most Genesis fans rate this as their ''masterpiece'' and ''the swansong of the Gabriel era,'' but while the good songs (''Lamb Lies Down,'' ''In The Cage,'' ''Carpet Crawlers,'' ''It'') are some of the best Genesis have ever done, the weak stuff (particularly the filler instrumentals on Disc II) is some of the weakest stuff they have done. This is what prevents me from giving ''The Lamb'' a five-star rating. It appears that the band had no choice but to put the fillers in to stretch the album out to a double, and to give Peter Gabriel time to change into his outrageous costumes during the tour. Had CD been available in 1974, I think the band could have condensed the album, and left the actual ''songs'' and maybe ''Hairless Heart'' and ''The Waiting Room'' and had a great single album. But as a double, it starts strong and gradually weakens, only to end strong. Either way, a must for any Genesis fan.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just amazing, incredible history for an incredible sound... Peter Gabriel shows that he´s a genius
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway was a break-through for the music world. However, Peter Gabriel decided to sentence himself with the demanding and very complicated storyline of 20+ tracks all dealing with ther same story. There are only about four good songs on the album, the title cut, 'In the Cage,' 'Carpet Crawl,' and ' It.' It was probably better for the band, considering that the band's major success came after Gabriel left the group.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Genesis is the greatest prog band ever to exist. This concept album compares to Dark Side of the Moon. It makes me sad that after this album, phil collins took over and destroyed Genesis, but while Peter Gabriel was there, he took Genesis to its apex. Peter Gabriel is the greatest artist alive today.