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Thread: Why is The Lamb rated so highly?

  1. #26
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Bails View Post
    I always loved how they quoted The Drifters tune there. It's not like they did a whole album of it - it's a coda at the end of one song on a double album.
    It is, however, a recurring theme throughout the album of quoting or referencing other artists' songs: "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," "Runaway," "Needles and Pins," "In the Mood," "It Won't Be Long," etc.

  2. #27
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon's Lawyer View Post
    I've said this before, but ... it almost doesn't feel like a Genesis album. It's an interruption in the basically-continuous chain of development from Tresspass to Wind and Wuthering.
    Yes, totally agree. It really sticks out in their catalog. If you were to do a "Genesis marathon," this one wouldn't fit in with the rest. Whether that's good or bad is up to the listener, I suppose.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

  3. #28
    Member emperorken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon's Lawyer View Post
    I've said this before, but ... it almost doesn't feel like a Genesis album. It's an interruption in the basically-continuous chain of development from Tresspass to Wind and Wuthering.
    Agree 100%.
    I think from Trespass to W&W is the finest run of albums from any band of the 70's, with the exception of The Lamb, which I find mediocre.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by emperorken View Post
    Agree 100%.
    I think from Trespass to W&W is the finest run of albums from any band of the 70's, with the exception of The Lamb, which I find mediocre.
    +1

  5. #30
    Howdy Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    That's not a show tune.
    But there is a show tune on Seconds Out.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rufus View Post
    Not sure it's rated so highly amongst all prog fans per se, obviously Genesis heads love it but more out of blinkered devotion IMO.

    As you state it is a very inconsistent album, varying from moments of brilliance to pure 'filler'!
    Hmm, I remember somebody saying on another thread very recently that this very album got better with age.

    It's a cynical tactic to smear somebody who loves the album as a 'Genesis head' suffering from 'blinkered devotion'. Anybody could do that about any album ever recorded that one happens to dislike. Kind of a pointless argument that goes nowhere.

    For the record I love the album but the album before and the album after are my favourites overall. Still a 5-star classic though by any standards for me. (And 'On Broadway' isn't a Broadway tune.) I took to the first disc instantly, the second one took a little longer to sink in but it did- I think it was 'The Lamia' that was the first one that got me on there, and the big Mellotron on 'Lilywhite Lilith'.
    Last edited by JJ88; 01-29-2014 at 11:52 AM.

  7. #32
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    It's a cynical tactic to smear somebody who loves the album as a 'Genesis head' suffering from 'blinkered devotion'. Anybody could do that about any album ever recorded that one happens to dislike. Kind of a pointless argument that goes nowhere.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

  8. #33
    Member Wounded Land's Avatar
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    I love it. It is very different from the albums that come before and after it, of course, and it did take me a long time to get it, but once it clicked it really clicked. Once I began to understand the flow of the album, both musical and dramatic, it started to worm its way under my skin. And it contains one of my favorite songs ever, period: "The Chamber of 32 Doors."

    Other albums that fall into this category are The Wall and Snow. Dipping in and out of these records makes it hard to appreciate them, IMHO. For example, I always hated "Another Brick in the Wall" because I heard it on the radio out of context. On the record, it makes a lot more sense.

    I always assumed that this album was huge for people who loved Genesis. I didn't realize that so many Genesis fans were lukewarm about it.

    NP: Wagner Gotterdammerung

  9. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Rufus View Post
    Not sure it's rated so highly amongst all prog fans per se, obviously Genesis heads love it but more out of blinkered devotion IMO.
    On the contrary, I like it because it's good. No, the Story of Rael is not conveyed coherently, but another favorite, Subterranea by IQ, also is less than clear. I like it for multiple reasons, primarily, the music. I love the way the themes are constantly being recapitulated from song to song. I love the arrangement and mix that lends the album an air of mystery -- the original, not the remix which I consider an abomination. I even love the lyrics. Not because they tell me some fictional tale of Rael, but because Gabriel takes that story and weaves it with an autobiographical tale of his career, his daughter's birth and his growing dissatisfaction in the band. It is a pretty powerful statement.

    No blinkered devotion here. It's respect.

  10. #35
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    For me, The Lamb is Genesis' version of Tangerine Dream's Zeit. The music isn't similar, but it is an album that I really have to be in the mood for. Then I love it, otherwise it gets on my nerves quickly. It's the story which bothers me. I know it's been explained before but it's still convoluted. Musically, it's awesome. Definitely a one of a kind in their catalog.

  11. #36
    I actually wonder, especially among Genesis fans, why The Lamb is not more highly rated.

    It isn't my favorite, but it sure is good. Yes, there's some less than stellar material on it, but the great material more than make up for it. Some of their best material is in the grooves of this double album.

    But as opposed to many here, I feel an album is made great by the best material on it, not brought down by the weakest material on it.

    I even like that the libretto is vague, it leaves it up to interpretation.
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

  12. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by emperorken View Post
    I think from Trespass to W&W is the finest run of albums from any band of the 70's, with the exception of The Lamb, which I find mediocre.
    Fully agree.

  13. #38
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    I'd rate the album immediately before and after higher, but I get why The Lamb continues to enjoy enduring affection and fascination.

    In a weird way, Genesis managed the feat of stepping outside their safe symphonic prog box while staying within it, if that makes any sense.

    Part of this obviously comes from Gabriel's amazing -- and obviously polarizing -- performance. He didn't necessarily create anything totally new with Rael, but it was a huge step for progressive rock. And the character and performance have aged so well that they give the entire project a luster of modernity and hipness few other prog albums can claim.

    The other interesting thing about The Lamb is that despite being a double album the band somewhat returned to their roots as a song-based outfit, even though there's a conceptual narrative that runs across everything. I'd guess that Gabriel had a lot to do with that, which might have contributed to the tension between him and the others, Tony especially. But I've found that any time a prog band delivers solid work in a more song-based environment the outside world tends to sit up and takes notice.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  14. #39
    Member No Pride's Avatar
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    First of all, if you don't like an album, nobody's going to change that for you by explaining why they do like it. And none of us will ever understand why somebody hates the album we love and loves the album we hate. We can't hear music through somebody else's ears.

    Personally, I think it's a great album. Not all of it, but enough of it for me to rate it highly. There's stuff on there that I don't care about like "Grand Parade" and "Broadway Melody" and sometimes I'm not in the mood for the ambient tracks like "Silent Sorrow." But there's a lot of powerful music on it that really resonates with me. All of those keyboard driven instrumental interludes like the ones in "The Cage," Riding the Scree" and "Colony/The Raven;" that's the kind of stuff I love most about Genesis! "The Lamia" boring? It's beautiful and majestic, both melodically and harmonically! "Anyway" is a very melodic and memorable tune. Another strange thing to me is that so many people think sides 1 and 2 are okay, but not 3 and 4. I think the whole thing keeps getting better as it goes on; it actually took me longer to warm up to the first two sides.

    As far as their conceptual continuity goes... well, I see a parallel between TLLDoB and Yes' Relayer. Both were a departure for the respective bands; they were going for something different: darker and more aggressive than their previous efforts. For me, those were risks that paid off in a big way. Obviously, ymmv.

  15. #40
    IMO there isn't any album I've ever heard that was enhanced by telling a story, so the fact that The Lamb is often dense and ambiguous and isn't great at telling a linear narrative is probably only to its benefit for me. So, with that out of the way, there's the music. I agree that the album often does not sound like any previous or subsequent Genesis album, so in that regard I guess it's fair to dislike it more than any of the previous or subsequent albums. IMO it's their second best album, though.

    I felt exactly as the OP in the first couple of weeks after I got it (it was the last '70s Genesis album that I got and I had only been exposed to some of the material from Seconds Out and Three Sides Live). But I quickly got over that. I like the toughness and heaviness of it. Not so much of the sappy, effeminate stuff that Banks and (sometimes) Rutherford were prone to. I agree that choosing the setting of New York City (especially from a UK band) was somewhat odd and incongruous, but I don't think of this as a major problem or anything. An opportunity may have been lost for the band to explore their native urban imagery and themes, which IMO they doubtlessly would have been better at, though this would have probably resulted in a different story and different kind of album. Maybe the "otherness" of NYC, from their perspective, was necessary to get the most out of what they wanted to do with The Lamb story in particular.

  16. #41
    I didn't really understand the 2nd disc until I saw The Musical Box perform The Lamb live. I think it plays better live, and there's a lot of visuals going on stage.

    I tend to enjoy Foxtrot, SEBTP and first disc of The Lamb equally... I love them all. But, In The Cage - whoa!!! Best Genesis track ever.

  17. #42
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Facelift View Post
    An opportunity may have been lost for the band to explore their native urban imagery and themes, which IMO they doubtlessly would have been better at, though this would have probably resulted in a different story and different kind of album.
    Heh, yep. It's called Selling England By The Pound.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  18. #43
    Progdog ThomasKDye's Avatar
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    I got the story (after a few tries), I got the moods, and the playing is wonderful. Only complaint is the Hackett-less sections .. "Riding the Scree" and the middle of "In The Cage" … ruin the "band" feel for me.

    Still, I can put on "Anyway" through the end of the album and just get lost in that section altogether. "In the Rapids"/"It" still gives me shivers. It's only at the turning point that you find out how you fight.
    "Arf." -- Frank Zappa, "Beauty Knows No Pain" (live version)

  19. #44
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    Great album from start to finish. No matter what or who says against it.

  20. #45
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    ^ Yes, more Hackett! Though the mid section of Anyway is pretty classic Hackett ... Just should've been longer.
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  21. #46
    Cuz its a two album epic by one of the greatest, most innovative bands of all time. How could it not be rated highly, arguments to its actual merit notwithstanding?

    Slightly facetious answer? Yes. But really, when treading in such subjective territory dont look for purely objective answers. All things considered (the band at that point in their history, the line-up itself, Gabriel's last album with them, the sheer ambition of it, etc.) it was always going to be famous / infamous. For what its worth, I agree with a lot of what you wrote. It is certainly NOT superior to Foxtrot or Selling England, nor even Nursery Cryme. In ways it may even be inferior to those albums, especially in sound quality. Moments of it are brilliant, but as a whole it is flawed. Yet, perhaps, the flawed albums by great bands are more fascinating than the good albums by mediocre bands? Either way, I still love it for what it is, a flawed, strange, disjointed epic. Seeing The Musical Box play it all live brought the uneven quality of it home.

  22. #47
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revporl View Post
    In "The Genesis Story" (the extras), Tony Banks says that he thinks that TLLDOB isn't a very strong story and that said, the album doesn't do a very good job of telling that story although he thinks individual tracks are very strong.

    I'd tend to agree with him, it's an extremely inconsistent record compared to the few that preceded it and that follow it. I love Chamber and Lilywhite Lilith but there's a lot of bits that are just stupid noises and I lose the will to live half way through the second disc. There's probably a great single album hiding in there somewhere...

    Also, Peter Gabriel sounds terrible, he puts on an over-exaggerated American accent and just barks his way through most of it. I know, given the theme of the record, that his public school choirboy voice wouldn't be appropriate but he's bordering on the unlistenable for parts of this. I know Phil Collins developed into a bit of a shouter later on, but he was never this bad (and although he forgot how to write a decent tune after leaving Genesis, Gabriels singing was much better on his solo albums, although he still seemed to think that he was American for some reason)

    For a lot of hard core Genesis fans, The Lamb is the peak for them and I'm interested to know why, I think its a trough, compared to the much better albums immediately either side of it.

    InGnosis, NC, FT and Selling are all rated well above The Lamb... all three are well above a 12 average, wheras The Lamb is at 11.8


    I think Tony's right... It would've made a fantastic single lbum, if the right tracks had been chosen...
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

  23. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by emperorken View Post
    Agree 100%.
    I think from Trespass to W&W is the finest run of albums from any band of the 70's, with the exception of The Lamb, which I find mediocre.

    -1

    I don't think they found their comfort zone & made a classic album until Foxtrot. They coudnt compete with their peers up until then.
    Last edited by Rufus; 01-29-2014 at 01:38 PM.

  24. #49
    Member WHORG's Avatar
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    I think the Lamb was a MUCH stronger live experience as opposed to vinyl - - - one of my top 3 concerts ever.

    One can easily see how Phil's voice was featured en-force - and the continuity towards their choosing him as a replacement for Peter.

    I had not listened to the album at all prior to the concert - but had seen Genesis a few months earlier on the Selling tour, so I knew it would be a powerful show and it most certainly was.
    It's always a good night when the "heat" shows up ~Pepe

  25. #50
    whatever... personally, i think it has some of their most beautiful music on it. Lamia, Anyway, Lilywhite Lilith, and more... just gorgeous and heartfelt stuff. the story is suitably surreal and very Gabrielesque which, for me, adds a layer of interest but at the end of the day it's about the music.

    i liked the soundscape things but then i'm into that sort of thing when it's done well. in the service of the live show, which was stunning, they worked perfectly.

    and, for me, Riding the Scree is one of their finest moments. i love the album and side two, imho, is where the whole thing really takes off. as a "concept album", there are ways in which the two sides complement and build from each other and so the sequencing and the flow also work for me. i think side two is less powerful without side one (especially having seen it live). Eno certainly had a hand in that and, i think, did it brilliantly. when this record first came out it blew my mind, as there was nothing else at all like it. it was fresh, original, surreal, majestic, lovely and quite complex and rocking at points (especially the build up to the end). i really loved it. note that i was never a Genesis fanboy (not much of the fanboy type), though i did have all of their records. when Genesis was on, they were brilliant.

    that said, my favourite was always Selling England also - not that it was better than Lamb, however. i think Lamb was a culmination of things they were moving toward and is the most experimental of the bunch, really.

    my two cents worth,

    K
    Last edited by Polypet; 01-29-2014 at 01:44 PM.
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