Genesis - Foxtrot
I got into this album after I saw a video of Phish playing "Watchers of the Skies" at Genesis' induction to the Rock "n" Roll Hall. The song (and record itself) opens with a lengthy mellotron solo (which keyboardist Tony Banks claimed to have written by stringing together the best sounding chords on the touchy Mark 2 model). By the time Phish began singing, they had already panned over several shots of Phil Collins looking very angry that they opened with a Peter Gabriel era Genesis tune as well as Eddie Vedder, Meryl Streep, Bruce Springsteen, and other TOTALLY classy celebs looking bored and confused as shit. " Forward in the song, the band goes into a tight single-note staccato pattern in a 6/4 time signature (reminiscent of the 5/4 rhythmic pattern from "Mars" in Gustav Holst's The Planets suite) played over a pattern of sustained organ chords. Phish played it extra tangy and bouncy (they later played "No Reply At All") In the song Peter Gabriel eventually declares:
"Judge not this race by empty remains
Do you judge God by his creatures when they are dead?
For now, the lizards shed its tail
This is the end of mans long union with earth.
From life alone to life as one,
Think not now your journeys done
For though your ship be sturdy, no
Mercy has the sea,
Will you survive on the ocean of being?
Come ancient children hear what I say
This is my parting council for you on your way.
Sadly now your thoughts turn to the stars
Where we have gone you know you never can go.
Watcher of the skies watcher of all
This is your fate alone, this fate is your own."
The strength of early-Genesis as a band as far as this record tells is a tight jazz-fusion ensemble floating between Pink Floyd/Queen-esque progressive art rock and more fantastical Yes/Rush-esque runs and feels, though the ascetic is exclusive to the ensemble itself. Their songs are incredibly self contained, floating through a lot of drastically different music within a short span of a record. Peter Gabriel's bizarre cross of imaginative, science fiction lyrics are offset by his super-naturally erotic content; with a distinct folk-prog delivery, sometimes in character. Phil Collins sings tight backing vocals; not to mention phenomenal jazz-rock grooves, lefty; carry the whole sound to a second level. Not to be secondhand is the incredible guitar work ("Horizons" is a Satiesque 12-string guitar exhibition comparable to Yes' "The Clap"), never to take any superfluous licks or play lead lines that don't entirely support the tight dynamic. Genesis has an incredible talent for taking difficult leaps artistically, meshing long medleys with quick (if not instantaneous) transitions with far less pastiche or kistche then the likes of Yes or King Crimson; achieving a long cinematic line of imagery the listener can follow without any noticeable pretension.
The gem of the record is the epic "Supper's Ready," just short of twenty-three minutes long in seven parts). An extensive prog-workout with a variety of varying styles and dynamics, some nasty Steve Hackett guitar solos, lots of sweet keyboard work, and Gabriel proclaiming "The fights begun; they've been released! Killing foes for peace! Bang bang bang. Bang BANG bang. And they've given me a wonderful potion because I can not contain my emotion! But even though I'm feeling good, something tells me I better activate my prayer capsule." The narrative follows the story of a couple's bizarre erotic experience to a small town inhabited by a farmer and the head of a highly scientific new religion (The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man) all the way to Revelation from the bible. The liner notes describe the story as:
In which two lovers are lost in each other's eyes, and found again transformed in the bodies of another male and female.
The lovers come across a town dominated by two characters; one a benevolent farmer and the other the head of a highly disciplined scientific religion. The latter likes to be known as "The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man" and claims to contain a secret new ingredient capable of fighting fire. This is a falsehood, an untruth, a whopper and a taradiddle, or to put it in clearer terms; a lie.
Who the lovers see clad in greys and purples, awaiting to be summoned out of the ground. At the G.E.S.M's command they put forth from the bowels of the earth, to attack all those without an up-to-date "Eternal Life Licence", which were obtainable at the head office of the G.E.S.M.'s religion.
In which our intrepid heroes investigate the aftermath of the battle and discover a solitary figure, obsessed by his own image. They witness an unusual transmutation, and are pulled into their own reflections in the water.
Climbing out of the pool, they are once again in a different existence. They're right in the middle of a myriad of bright colours, filled with all manner of objects, plants, animals and humans. Life flows freely and everything is mindlessly busy. At random, a whistle blows and every single thing is instantly changed into another.
I saw an angel standing in the sun. He cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the sky, Come! Be gathered together to the great supper of God.
Above all else an egg is an egg
'And did those feet ............' making ends meet.
Jerusalem = place of peace.