Thursday, November 13, 2008
In a tiny little english garden, lived a 5-piece band who came from an english public school from Charterhouse and sang about Giant Hogweeds, bizarre fairy tales, greek sex of Salmacis, and erotic liminal female lamia's to be hungry for sex. Genesis's golden-era of the prog movement featuring vocalist Peter Gabriel, guitarists Steve Hackett and Anthony Phillips was one of the most important periods in the history of Progressive Rock. Peter Gabriel's role as a frontman is a tour de force when he was in the band--sense of humor storytelling, the bizarre head shaved in a funny way, and the costumes he wore; The fox's dress, the old man mask, the Sunflower, and the infamous Slippermen costume, and with Hackett and Phillip for their creation with Genesis as guitar players--are superb and virtuoso's they were in their hey day of Genesis's experimentations. On this 6-CD/DVD set including a bonus CD (sixth CD) that features extra DVDs including the Lamb tour while the music from the album plays in the background, the Shepperton performance, Brussels TV program, and the 1974 french Melody TV performance sees Genesis from an underground following to a little mainstream from 1970 to 1974. In 1970, Genesis released Trespass. It was a cross between a catholic church, hard rock, lushful ballads, and an homage to the folk story-telling. Anthony Phillips and original drummer John Mayhew had a real sense of warm sounds to the English countryside when they joined the group with a darker sound. Anthony Phillips and Mike Rutherford take in turns of fingerpicking in the Tolkien related epics of Stagnation and Dusk while Gabriel uses his voice with sadness on Looking for Someone and Visions of Angels then filled with anger in the hard rock marching 9-minute anti-war prog piece The Knife. During that time, Genesis did some BBC sessions after being signed by Tony Stratton-Smith's Charisma label which had Van Der Graaf Generator, Lindsifarne, Audience, and the comedic Monty Python. The BBC sessions feature some piano work and in a darker tone with Shepherd while the folk homage comes up with Pacidy and Let Us Now Make Love. On the sinister tales of the Grimm brothers with Nursery Cryme in 1971, now adding guitarist Steve Hackett and drummer Phil Collins, sees Genesis going Lewis Carroll and reinventing the Prog genre. With Tony Banks keyboard sound including the clavinet introduction to the marching epic The Return of the Giant Hogweed and the ballad sounds of the Mellotron on Seven Stones and The Fountain of Salmacis. The main highlight is the 10-minute epic The Musical Box which has become a live favorite as Peter shows his sexual side wearing the old man mask while Hackett's guitar solo is intensive while doing his pre-Van Halen guitar work and making the piece a magical quality of epic proportions. Foxtrot released in 1972, finds Genesis in the form of Art Rock and Science-Fiction mini-opera's. A cover done by Paul Whitehead who done the Nursery Cryme cover, features a woman in a fox's head has gotten the band and frontman Peter Gabriel to transform himself into the man of costumes. A classic among prog classics including the Sci-Fi epic Watcher of the Skies, an homage to Arthur C. Clarke and the political economic crisis with Time Tabel and Get 'Em Out By Friday, the classical guitar set across the english coutnryside done by Hackett with Horizons, and the famous 22-minute epic that's been also a live favorite among Genesis fans, Supper's Ready. On the sense of humor that Genesis had, Selling England by the Pound relased in 1973, showed the group going a little mainstream press nationwide in America. The album showed the gritty world of England's downfall of the corporation business into a needle in a haystack. The acapella inro to Dancing with the Moonlit Knight starts off with line 'Can you tell me where my country lies? said the unifaun to his true love's eyes.' and then goes into a melodic/upbeat tempo while the hit single going up to no. 17 in the british single charts I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) has a comedic Monty Python rock style, as the daydreamer Lawnmower narrates on what he does for a living to cut the grass and wants to become a superstar. Phil Collins comes in the picture with the beauty folky ballad More Fool Me while the highlights on Selling England by the Pound are the epic trilogies that are a wonder gem. Firth of Fifth starts off with Tony Banks classical piano composition intro and then it becomes a vitruoso take for Steve Hackett's guitar work and Tony's moog. Hackett's solo goes up across the heavens while Gabriel does a folky jazz flute arrangement. The Battle of Epping Forest which was based on a news coverage between two gangs fighting over the rights of the Equal protection rights, is more of a political prog statement than your typical pre-Dungeons and Dragons concept on ice as the time signatures go a little Zappa-related in the tune. The Cinema Show should have been a prequel to Shakespeare's classic to Romeo and Juliet as if they had an X-rated erotic sex between the two, then head to a movie in this moody and arraning epic. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway which was Peter's last album with the band released in 1974, a concept album for the insanity, tells the tale of a Puerto Rican street punk named Rael who lives in the subways of New York City, goes into a surreal fantasy land to find his brother John as he meets various people and creatures that are not your typical Disney bullshit. The album showed Gabriel moving away from a sunflower on Supper's Ready to The punk flying on a winsheild in a futurisitc city of New York. The Lamb shows some amazing highlights: the Avant-Garde experimental keyboard madness of The Waiting Room, the future proto-punk new wave sound of Back in NYC, the crisp ballads of The Carpet Crawlers, Chamber of 32 Doors, and The Lamia. But its the dynamic explosions that comes in that you've never expected on The Lamb. The booming introduction to the self-titled track and the sci-fi pre '80s blade runner taste which would make Gabriel and the band sound like a robotic computer with Riding the Scree and The Colony of Slippermen.