THERE'S ALWAYS MAGIC IN THE AIR
Apr 3, 1975 (Jahrhunderthalle -Frankfurt, Germany)
1-1. Intro 1:09
1-2. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway 4:54
1-3. Fly On A Windshield 4:50
1-4. Broadway Melody Of 1974 0:35
1-5. Cuckoo Cocoon 2:29
1-6. In The Cage 7:47
1-7. The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging 3:21
1-8. Story Of Rael pt. I 1:37
1-9. Back In NYC 5:58
1-10. Hairless Heart 2:29
1-11. Counting Out Time 4:01
1-12. The Carpet Crawlers 5:43
1-13. The Chamber Of 32 Doors 5:57
1-14. Story Of Rael pt. II 4:04
1-15. Lilywhite Lilith 2:58
1-16. The Waiting Room 7:38
1-17. Anyway 3:30
1-18. The Supernatural Anaesthetist 2:40
1-19. Interlude 2:14
2-1. The Lamia 7:113
2-2. Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats 3:44
2-3. The Colony Of Slippermen 8:54
2-4. Ravine 1:52
2-5. The Light Dies Down On Broadway 3:33
2-6. Riding The Scree 4:15
2-7. In The Rapids 2:29
2-8. It 4:05
2-9. The Story Of Henry And Cynthia 2:52
2-10. The Musical Box 11:13
2-11. Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins Interviewed by Andy Peebles, Piccadilly Radio, (Manchester, England April 28, 1975) 23:12
The Last Great Adventure
The writing and recording of ‘The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway’ took place over the summer months of 1974. It was a troubled time for Genesis, with Peter Gabriel briefly leaving the band to take up an offer of working with acclaimed film director William Friedkin. When this project failed to materialize, Gabriel returned to the group to complete work on the album, though the reception he received from the other members was understandably subdued.
Upon its release that autumn, Gabriel was justifiably proud of ‘The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway’. “This album has spirit,” he declared. “It’s a much wider album than past efforts. In the past, our records haven’t come off as strong as I would have liked; it’s been down to live performances. But this has the best the band has to offer. On the right wing there are conventional pop songs and on the left wing more sound pictures drawn by the music which we’d only done before in rehearsal, never on plastic.” ‘The Lamb’ remains the most controversial of all the Genesis albums and the accompanying stage show was the band’s most visually ambitious. Building on their use of slides during the ‘Selling England By The Pound’ tour, the show had now been expanded to feature three screens onto which were projected hundreds of slides, timed to coincide with and enhance the masterful music. Unlike the ‘Selling England’ tour, Gabriel would portray just one character on stage : Rael, the New York street punk, clad in blue jeans and leather jacket. But the costumes used during ‘The Lamia’ and ‘The Colony Of Slippermen’ still remain two of the most breathtaking and cherished images of Peter’s days with Genesis.
All too aware of the criticisms thrown at them, Genesis were at pains to reinforce the importance of the music over the visuals. “There are people who believe that the costumes, props and slides we use are crutches to hold up the crippled music,” explained Gabriel. “They think we had to resort to things like that. They don’t realize we actually prefer it.
Visuals are rubbish unless they are integrated with the continuity of the music. You can’t put layers of make-up on a beautiful face unless the features are there in the first place.”
Tony Banks endorsed this opinion: “We’d never dismiss a piece of music if we thought it inadequate for visual presentation. Visuals come after the music. Visuals are only considered once the piece is finished.” Putting the case more strongly, Steve Hackett stated, “You hate to think of the overall concept of Genesis being visuals. I don’t want people thinking they’re going to see a glitter band.”
Recognizing the possible pitfalls of employing rock ‘theatrics’, Gabriel added: “The first time people see us they think of us only as a visual act. But to us it’s all music. The visuals only succeed if the music is satisfying as well. It’s a mean to an end with us. The only reason you’re there is to communicate and you’re better able to do that with movement. Still I’d like to think of myself more as a writer than a performer. That’s what I derive more satisfaction from.”
Kicking off in America in November 1974 and finally drawing to a close in Europe in May 1975, the tour saw Genesis perform ‘The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway’ in its entirety an estimated 102 times, achieving the perfect synthesis between music and visuals. But reaching this creative pinnacle came with a price. Within the band, there was a growing resentment towards Gabriel, the other members concerned that the increasing emphasis placed on visual presentation, and the attention that was being focused on the singer, was overshadowing their musical contributions. Acutely aware of the bad feelings directed towards him and uncomfortable with his position as ‘rockstar’, Gabriel announced to the others his intention to quit the band at the
end of the tour.
While his decision inevitably cast a shadow over the rest of the tour, the fact remains that with ‘The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway’, Genesis scaled new artistic heights, both musically and visually. Thirty years on, the album is firmly established among fans as the band’s masterpiece and the live show, captured here in Frankfurt in stunning quality, a powerful statement from the greatest and most innovative progressive band of all time.
Notes from the Re-Master
This show was provided to us as a CD copy of the master tapes. Initially, the encore was missing but was provided from another source. Together, the complete show is here. The recording was sub-optimal from a number of points of view. First, there was a great deal of Hiss present which masked many of the subtle features of the show. Multiple techniques were needed to reduce the hiss without removing any of the musical signal. Excessive bass rumble and ultra-high frequency treble needed to be attenuated in certain sections to bring those components into balance. Brief bursts of high treble such as cymbal crashes were a bit piercing and were selectively attenuated using a dynamic filter. Occasional single channel dropouts were found and
repaired. Audience noise was attenuated and dynamics of the whole show were adjusted to increase the dramatic effect of the music. Dialogue sections were enhanced by tonality adjustments to make Peter’s monologue more understandable. Even though we were told that the source was a CD copy of the master tape, a few edits seemed to be present. One whole line from the song “Back in NYC” was missing and needed to be repaired. A line was also missing from “A Chamber with 32 Doors”. This was also repaired. Another edit as suggested by the presence of a duplicate guitar sound during “The Waiting Room”. This brief segment was removed. Finally, a large segment of “The Colony of Slippermen” was missing and patched from another source.
The speed of the recording was checked against multiple sources and found to be accurate. The interview section was provided as a separate cassette source. This was the original cassette used to record the interview off the radio April 28th, 1975. The interview section had a radio transmission ring that was removed with a notch filter. Tonality was also adjusted to make the dialogue more clearly understandable and hiss noise was reduced. The dynamics of the interview were also adjusted to match the concert section.
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