Genesis Lie Down With The Lamb

November 18, 2017

The album that’s seen by many fans of the classic 1970s Genesis line-up as their finest hour — or hour and a half, to be precise. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway was released as a double LP on 18 November 1974. It played a huge part in making the group the progressive rock legends they became.

With only six weeks on the UK chart and a No. 10 peak, The Lamb, as admirers everywhere know it, was rather short-lived in strictly commercial terms. But it’s the earliest album in the Genesis catalogue that’s certified gold in the UK, and gave them their highest-charting release to that point at No. 41 in America, adding to the band’s growing reputation there. By early in ’75, it was also in the top ten in Italy.

Billboard cutting Nov 74

The golden days of record promotion: from the pages of Billboard magazine in November 1975, famed promo man Steve Leeds plugs 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' — how else? — with lambs, on Broadway

With its complex tale of redemption focused on the subterranean character Rael, widely seen as the alter ego of frontman Peter Gabriel, the album established itself as one of the key concept albums of the initial “prog” heyday — even if devotees, to this day, continue to debate its possible meanings.

In making such an ambitious piece, Gabriel himself knew that Genesis were opening themselves up for vilification from the music press. “We're easy to put down,” he admitted to the NME soon after the album’s release. You can say the characters are farfetched, the music over ornate, that we're riding on my costume success. There – I've done it for you.

“However,” Gabriel went on, “in maybe ten years a group will emerge to take what we do a lot further. I look upon us as an early, clumsy prototype."

Mike Rutherford, talking about The Lamb later in Hugh Fielder’s The Book Of Genesis, was quite matter-of-fact. “It was about a greasy Puerto Rican kid!” he said. “For once, we were writing about subject matter which was neither airy-fairy, nor romantic. We finally managed to get away from writing about unearthly things, which I think helped the album.”

Purchase The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway here.

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21 comments

  1. Jim Dedmon
    Reply

    It is a masterpiece. Musically, lyrically…..and the story….redemption??? Self-discovery, that’s what it is about…and it captures that process in an amazing and honest way.

  2. Randy
    Reply

    I’ve seen and read band interviews regarding conflicts over the lyrics for TLLDOB. Tony Banks thought some lyrics could have been “improved”. Gabriel resisted – wanting to be the sole lyricist because “great novels aren’t written by committee”. I’m sorry, but this wasn’t a “great novel”. It was rock and roll (or knock and know-all).

  3. roberto
    Reply

    O melhor disco do Genesis ! Eles estavam no auge e tocando muito bem ! Vale mais pelo som do que pelas letras. Ouço de vez em quando e o show registrado na caixa ARCHIVE 1967-75 é impecável !

  4. Tom F
    Reply

    My brother gave me this album before I left for college. Wasn’t a big fan but listened to it anyway. By the sixth listening I was hooked and became a huge fan ever since. My favorite album of theirs, In The Cage my favorite song. I still have sunshine in my stomach.

  5. Jimi
    Reply

    To this day, still my all time Fave album and concert. The live show was incredible. Our band went to see the concert in Pittsburgh, Pa. before the album was released in the U.S. I actually think it was better that way. Peace.& Quiet.

    1. Drum Guy
      Reply

      Why put all the blame on Phil? Nobody held a gun to Mike and Tony’s heads. They stayed in the band until the very end and were a part of that change musically. It was a team effort.

  6. Harry W
    Reply

    Amazing album – saw it performed live a few years ago by The Musical Box tribute band. They’re doing Foxtrot and SEBTP at the moment – but their Lamb tour is well worth seeing if they ever do it again. Have always wondered why the protagonist in the Lamb is called Rael. Is it a play on “real”? Was Gabriel being mystical/philosophical?

  7. Scotty
    Reply

    in “74” it became my favorite album, and is still to this day…never had the chance to see it live with the band,,,thank God for the band “The Musical Box” who re-creates old school Genesis concerts, step by step, word for word…they have some of the instruments that were given to them by Genesis members and when they did the Lamb show, they had the original slides used in 1974 and the guy who did it in 1974.

  8. David
    Reply

    A fully highlightning masterpiece. My always favourite is Foxtrot actually, but this album represented something new in prog rock, preannouncing the punk movement. Greetings from Argentina to my fav band!

  9. Michael Bertrand
    Reply

    First off, amazing album. Totally expanded what could be done with music.

    But which song made it to 41 on the US charts, dammit? 🙂

  10. Feasting with Panthers
    Reply

    Simply one of the finest performances I have ever seen or heard – at the Shrine in Los Angeles. The lighting effects took the breath away. Genesis at its finest. A great work should leave you discussing your thoughts & observations into the night. Thank you.

  11. ernesto sosa
    Reply

    para mi gusto este disco es uno de los chingones que se han hecho en el genero del progresivo,un excelente final para peter gabriel con la banda,un discazo en toda la palabra.tenerlo en acetato era una experiencia unica,y conseguirlo importado aquii en guadalajara era casi imposible,gracias a la excelente tienda de discos la manzana verde lo podias obtener.

  12. J.D. Mace
    Reply

    Saw them do this in Columbus, Ohio in November, 1974. Peter Gabriel was awesome, and the music captivating. Encore was a stunning “The Misical Box”. Unforgettable.

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