Genesis, during their last few months with Peter Gabriel. The release of their 2-disc magnum opus The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway brought a mixed reaction from press and audiences alike. Hailed by many as the penultimate Genesis album, it was slammed by others as being bloated, not-well-thought-out and tedious. At almost 2 hours, this concert, made up of the entire album, does require some patience. Not only because it’s musically drawn out, but because this particular recording isn’t what it needs to be in order to grab and sustain attention. For one thing, Peter Gabriel’s vocals are mixed curiously distant, suggesting his mic channel just wasn’t brought up enough. Second, the band don’t sound all that enthusiastic. It could be the knowledge the others had that Peter Gabriel would be leaving and this was pretty much it for Genesis as most people knew it cast a pall over the proceedings. Whatever the reasons or circumstances, this isn’t a stunning recording. And there are a lot of hums, crackles and grounding problems from the instruments.
So why am I posting it? Because this is one of the rare concert recordings by the band during this pivotal time – when Peter Gabriel would leave and pursue a solo career and Genesis would continue on and take a decidedly commercial road as a result. It’s significant in that it’s one of the rare concert recordings featuring The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway in its entirety, and it’s also one where the sound is decent enough and not compliments of someone with a cassette recorder and microphone hunched over a nearby monitor, or on a balcony, sitting next to a consumptive.
Genesis early on had their die hard fans and their hard core retractors. They were, above everything else, an extremely influential band and one of the keystones of the Prog-Rock movement. When Gabriel left and the band regrouped, with drummer Phil Collins taking the vocals, something was lost to many. With news of a reunion in the works, it will be interesting to hear how the passage of some 40 years has changed perspective by the band. That will all remain to be seen.
In the meantime, here is that concert from Rochester New York, recorded on December 17, 1974, a little under two hours.