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Thread: Why is The Lamb rated so highly?

  1. #1

    Why is The Lamb rated so highly?

    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.

  2. #2
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    I love it. Selling England By The Pound is my fave though.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Rand Kelly View Post
    I love it. Selling England By The Pound is my fave though.
    Being a Genesis fan, I don't like this album! ATOTT is my personal favourite though.

  4. #4
    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'! I've never understood the love for The Lamia either? I was hoping Hackett's Revisited version might have made it more interesting for me but not so, I just hear a very weak melody/chorus & it's suppose to be a ballad. Having said that there are some songs that are top drawer & easily meet the 'classic prog' criteria! I actually like PG's singing on this more than on any other Genesis album, similiarly it was the first album the Collin's drumming made him stand out as being more than just a competent drummer!!!
    Last edited by Rufus; 01-29-2014 at 07:20 AM.

  5. #5
    Yeah, the drumming is really good, maybe the start of the Collins Genesis sound with the heavy toms etc. ATOTT is loads better though, as were Foxtrot and SEBTP. I listened to the whole thing last night for the first time in ages and was surprised that it was more an act of endurance than enjoyment, which was the impetus for starting this thread. There's 5 or 6 really good songs in a sea of half arsed dross and we'll have do disagree about the vox, horrid faux-yank yelping! Bring on The Phil!

  6. #6
    Chronic Overspender zombywoof's Avatar
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    I've struggled with this album since I bought it and have generally had a love / hate relationship with it. Disc 1 is solid, but disc 2 loses me. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that the band's sound does not change throughout the entire two record set. Their older albums had more variety.
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  7. #7
    Ive always loved the Lamb and it is probably the one Genesis I album I occasionally listen to.

    I think the messyness of it gives it somekind of mystery for me. Its multilayered and strange and abstract. Its the opposite of ELPS boogie woogie.

    Also some of their best songs (I love that its more riffs than arrangements and theme stacking) and I think Peter Gabriel has never sung better.

    And the sheer amount of Mellotron 400 makes every Mellotron fan happy...and VCS3 and Eno....hmmm

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  8. #8
    Yes, that's a good point. The later albums had more variety and dynamics too, before the poppy side really took over on Abacab, the Lamb is very monotonous soundwise. Was that Eno's doing do you think? Mind you, his 70's albums are brilliant and sonically a lot more interesting than TLLDOB.

  9. #9
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    It has some utterly amazing 'top 10' Genesis moments on it. "Fly On A Windshield", "In The Cage", "Back In NYC", "Slippermen"... this is top-notch stuff. Collins and Rutherford sound fantastic, and Banks turns in some memorable keyboard work. Some days I don't feel like listening to the interlude pieces like "Silent Sorrow" and "Ravine", other days I really want those. There's a lot to love on this album.
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  10. #10
    The LAMB... let's see... agreed, not the best song writing (lots of filler too),
    agreed, not the best vocal performance by Pete
    agreed, not the best engineered (mixed and produced) by the Lads

    BUT

    all in all, the BEST GENESIS LP with the classic lineup. Perhaps because it was Pete's swan song? Perhaps because it sounds like NO OTHER LP by GENESIS or any other band of the time. Perhaps it was because the lads were peaking and the tour was awesome. Or perhaps its because I have listened to it so many times. Not sure but still my favorite album of all time.

  11. #11
    Love the album.. agree with those who say they "borrowed' bits from Selling England by the Pound though..

  12. #12
    Thematically, I'd agree with Banks, makes very little sense to me. So, if you are a listener who likes to really pay attention to the story, Lamb might leave you cold. In my case, however, I'm much more into the sound f things and the Lamb is VERY strong musically. OK, there are a couple of spots, mainly on the second disc that are a bit unnecessary, though if you ever have a chance to listen to the Empire Pool version of The Waiting room, for example, it is actually much better. Indeed, I now have a strong preference for the live version.

  13. #13
    I like it because in these pick 'n' mix days, it's still one of the few albums I play from start to finish.

  14. #14
    Because its the greatest f'n record EVER!!!!!

  15. #15
    Chronic Overspender zombywoof's Avatar
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    I agree that most of the music on Sides 1 and 2 is some of Genesis' best ("Back in NYC" is probably my favorite Genesis moment). I disagree, however with the opinions on Gabe's voice. I love the raw sound he had on this stuff, I just don't think it was recorded well. Certainly mixed and mastered poorly (but the vinyl sounds better). Sonically it's very dense and musically, contains the best and worst of the Gabriel era. I wonder, though, as an experiment, has anyone tried listening to Disc 2 alone? Perhaps we are all just exhausted by the time it rolls around to "Lillywhite Lilith"?
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  16. #16
    I don't know if I could listen to disc 2 on its own, when I listened to the whole thing there was little that grabbed me towards the end. As I said initially, there might be a really good single album hiding in there somewhere, but there's just too much as it is, and too much that isn't much good.

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    I agree with Tony. The album has moments of brilliance, but the theme is often lost on me. I don't really listen to prog for the vocals and lyrics anyway, however. For me, the voice is more an instrument. I blame Jon Anderson for this...

  18. #18
    Chronic Overspender zombywoof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavgator View Post
    For me, the voice is more an instrument. I blame Jon Anderson for this...
    I blame Christian Vander!
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  19. #19
    never my favorite either. like everybody, i like individual tunes but on the whole it was too gimicky for me. the very first track of the album is a good example. not only borrowing the name from the broadway tune but incorporating some of the melody in it as well. don't need to hear Genesis doing show tunes. Counting out Time is just a silly pop tune and there are definitely too many 'noise' tracks.
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  20. #20
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revporl View Post
    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.
    Wow. I don't get this criticism at all. He "barks?" O_o

    Quote Originally Posted by happytheman View Post
    Love the album.. agree with those who say they "borrowed' bits from Selling England by the Pound though..
    Can you elaborate on this? Not really familiar with any "borrowed bits." I usually love that kind of stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by ca1ore View Post
    Thematically, I'd agree with Banks, makes very little sense to me. So, if you are a listener who likes to really pay attention to the story, Lamb might leave you cold.
    Quote Originally Posted by cavgator View Post
    I agree with Tony. The album has moments of brilliance, but the theme is often lost on me.
    Agree with both of these criticisms. Thematically, it's a mess, IMO, but the music and songs are very good.

    Quote Originally Posted by UnephenStephen View Post
    on the whole it was too gimicky for me. the very first track of the album is a good example. not only borrowing the name from the broadway tune but incorporating some of the melody in it as well. don't need to hear Genesis doing show tunes.
    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.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

  21. #21
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Never have been able to get all the way through it in one sitting. A lot of it bores me. I much prefer Selling and Foxtrot.
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  22. #22
    Howdy Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnephenStephen View Post
    not only borrowing the name from the broadway tune but incorporating some of the melody in it as well. don't need to hear Genesis doing show tunes.
    That's not a show tune.

  23. #23
    As a teenager, I loved it. As a 55-year-old, not so much. It is a good, mostly-solid record, with some excellent moments (on BOTH discs), but doesn't have the magic of the records that precede and follow it.

    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.
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  24. #24
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    Outside of diehard Peter Gabriel-period Genesis fans, it isn't rated highly at all.
    And outside of prog fans, it's usually not even known of and when heard is often called "bloody awful"

    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.
    +1.
    I've never liked it. I rarely listen to it. It sounds like a PG solo album to me.


    Quote Originally Posted by jkleban View Post
    the BEST GENESIS LP with the classic lineup.
    Classic Gabriel lineup.
    SEBTP
    Classic Collins lineup.
    Trick of the Tail


    Quote Originally Posted by revporl View Post
    Why is The Lamb rated so highly?
    Well, actually, it isn't, if you're talking about the music listening and music reviewing public in general. At the time of release very few, including Genesis fans, understood it or liked it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Call me a fanboy if you will
    You're a fanboy

    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.
    EXACTAMUNDO!
    Last edited by PeterG; 01-29-2014 at 11:06 AM.

  25. #25
    Call me a fanboy if you will but jeez I love everything about this album. By far my favorite album of all-time, by any artist, and I have pretty much felt that way about it since the day I bought it, soon after it was released, when I was just 13 years old.

    The tricky part is trying to figure out "why" I like it so much. Well for starters I love Gabriel's voice, so passionate, so emotional, so expressional, so soulful, so dramatic. Although I could never really sing, The Lamb was my Songs from the Mirror album and I've spent hours playing the whole thing start to finish and singing along. How could anyone criticize Gabriel's vocals on this album? Really? Do you even like Genesis? Every note he sings is pure perfection to my ears.

    And then there's the lyrics. I've never been much of a lyrics person, but this album portrays such beautiful imagery. Yeah I never probably truly "got" the story. But who cares? It was mysterious, and haunting, and the words flow wonderfully. It sounds so cool the way they are sung. My mental images of In the Cage, Chamber of 32 Doors, Lilywhite Lilith etc., haven't changed since I first created them way back in 1974. Who can't love a line like "Caryl Chessman sniffs the air, and leads the parade, he knows, in a scent, you can bottle all you made." So friggin cool!!!!!!! Or the humor of Counting Out Time!!! There are so many great lyrical moments on this record.

    Let's add the best damn drumming in the history of music!! Phil shines on this record and his drumming has the same effect as Pete's vocals: Dramatic, Passionate, Inspired, and so perfect for helping set the rather surreal mood of the whole thing. Fun to air drum to, which I see plenty of people doing at Musical Box shows when they play it. (Fly on a Windshield, and Slipperman come immediately to mind)

    Tony is a genuis. I love the texture and the atmosphere of this album. The very sad sounding mellotrons, the synths in In the Cage, and Colony of Slipperman, and Riding the Scree, the very dark and haunting notes that are played during The Lamia; these all bring tears of joy to my eyes. And those 2 mellotron notes at the end of Anyway; does it get any better?

    Hackett is a God. The incredible guitar solo at the end of The Lamia is one of the best guitar parts of all-time, only to be improved (daresay) by adding Marillion's Steve Rothery on the Revisted version. Hairless Heart is another of his masterpieces. The music hits right in the gut, and the notes sing. It's a pretty tune and either you get it or you don't. Supernatural anaesthetist is great too. Subtly, Hackett adds nice texture to most of the album.

    Most importantly, is the music, and it holds up and truly stands the test of time. I never understood the criticism of disc two not being as strong as disc one. I like the 2 parts evenly and prefer to listen to it start to finish. There are so many goose pimple moments on this record, including 2 of my two favorite tracks: Chamber of 32 Doors, and The Lamia. Both very uplifting in a sad kind of way. Take the end of Chamber of 32 Doors, "This Chamber of so many doors, I've nowhere, nowhere to hide, I'd give you all of my dreams, if you'd help me, find a door, that doesn't lead me back again, take me away." Jesus. Just typing that out brings strong feelings. Chilling. Likewise the Lamia, "Looking behind me, the water turns icy blue, The lights are dimmed and once again the stage is set for you." How can you not feel that, right in the inner core of your body, heart, and soul?

    My biggest regret was that I never got to see Genesis perform this album live. I was simply too young (13) and lived too far away for attending a concert in 1974/75 to even be a consideration. Thank God for The Musical Box and their phenomenal recreation which I've probably seen 30 times or more.

    I'm not a writer who can adequately describe the beauty of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. It is a masterpiece. Nothing in this world has ever come close to giving me the same amount of entertainment for such little money (I think the album cost $6 back in 1974). Hours and hours and hours of pleasure and joy. Deal of a lifetime.

    It is only knock and knowall, but I like it.
    Last edited by Richard; 01-29-2014 at 01:50 PM.

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