I start back working at the office this week and that means a dramatic change in my current training schedule, namely – *gasp* – early morning workouts beginning with this mornings 15.75k run. Fuck. So, I figured it was going to take something particularly special to capture my attention and keep me awake enough to avoid running into a ditch or into early morning traffic given I hadn’t had my morning coffee yet. But then I thought, do I really want something so, so, so…kick ass so early in the morning prior to the sun being up? So I opted for a happy medium with ‘The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway‘ album by Genesis.
‘The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway’ (often shortened to ‘The Lamb’) is a double concept album recorded and released in 1974 by the British progressive rock band Genesis. It was their sixth studio album and the last to include frontman Peter Gabriel before Phil Collins got in there and completely fucked things all up.
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 (Rael=Gabriel). In reference to the live performance of “It” (where Gabriel appears onstage with an identically dressed mannequin), Phil Collins remarked that the entire concept was about 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 mythology, the sexual revolution, advertising, and consumerism. The title track, ‘The Carpet Crawlers’, and ‘In the Cage’ were live favorites for the band and both were included in 2007’s ‘Turn it On Again: The Tour’. My favorite however is the amazing ‘Counting Out Time‘.
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 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.
For my purposes this morning it was beautiful backdrop to a gorgeous sunrise over the lake, lots of bunnies and deer as well as a pair of brilliant orange orioles. Unfortunately this call of nature was rudely interrupted by my own desperate call of nature and I had to make a sudden pit stop in the nearby woods along Nigh Rd.
Mental note to self: ALWAYS bring toilet paper on these early morning runs.
(Edited on 11/09/16):
HRH (we) has now added this album to her (our) growing vinyl collection. Remember the girl loves her Prog Rock, what can I say?
I’m typically a bit loathe to purchase any record that I already own on CD but this is a bit different. This is one of those albums that you really should have and listen to on vinyl.
Sorry to get all snobby about it, but it is one of my Desert Island albums.
Besides, it’s something that we can play LOUD! now that mommy has gone to work.