Peter Gabriel’s last outing with Genesis is something I’ve heard since I was kid, barely able to comprehend the bizarre quasi-mythological story being told in the songs. Now I’m an equally perplexed adult, still barely able to “get” The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, despite the nice new remastered CD edition which has the complete original libretto and lyrics. And yeah, this is one rock opera which demands a thorough reading of its rhyming, sometimes humorous libretto.
Lamb is ostensibly the story of a Puerto Rican-born street kid named Rael, lurking in the streets of the Big Apple and announcing his name to the world with his can of spray paint. A series of misadventures leads him to an underworld beneath the streets of Manhattan, which in turn becomes a bizarre mixture of seemingly-familiar mythological archetypes and far-fetched ideas from Gabriel’s own imagination.
In short, this makes OVO look tame by comparison.
I like Gabriel’s way with words and the music here, particularly “Carpet Crawlers” and “The Chamber Of 32 Doors”. On their own, several of the songs stand up well. I really only get baffled trying to take in the larger canvas of Lamb‘s surreal storyline – but hey, if the music hits you in the right mood, this double-album is way ahead of its time. And even at its most cryptic, I find Gabriel-era Genesis far more stimulating and thought-provoking than, say, Invisible Touch-era Genesis.
- The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (4:52)
- Fly On A Windshield (4:22)
- Broadway Melody Of 1974 (0:33)
- Cuckoo Cocoon (2:11)
- In The Cage (8:13)
- The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging (2:47)
- Back In N.Y.C. (5:43)
- Hairless Heart (2:13)
- Counting Out Time (3:40)
- Carpet Crawlers (5:17)
- The Chamber Of 32 Doors (5:14)
- Lilywhite Lilith (2:44)
- The Waiting Room (5:24)
- Anyway (3:07)
- Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetist (2:58)
- The Lamia (6:56)
- Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats (3:06)
- The Colony Of Slippermen (8:16)
- Ravine (2:04)
- The Light Dies Down On Broadway (3:32)
- Riding The Scree (3:55)
- In The Rapids (2:28)
- it. (4:15)
Released by: Atlantic
Release date: 1974
Disc one total running time: 45:28
Disc two total running time: 48:41