Genesis – The Lamb lies down on Broadway (sheet music)

Genesis – The Lamb lies down on Broadway (sheet music)

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Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is the sixth studio album by the English progressive rock band Genesis. It was released as a double album on 22 November 1974 by Charisma Records and is their last to feature original frontman Peter Gabriel. It peaked at No. 10 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 41 on the Billboard 200 in the US. It is their longest album to date.

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While the band worked on new material at Headley Grange for three months, they decided to produce a concept album with a story devised by Gabriel about Rael, a Puerto Rican youth from New York City who is suddenly taken on a journey of self-discovery and encounters bizarre incidents and characters along the way. The album was marked by increased tensions within the band as Gabriel, who insisted on writing all of the lyrics, temporarily left to work with filmmaker William Friedkin and needed time to be with his family. Most of the songs were developed by the rest of the band through jam sessions and were put down at Glaspant Manor in Wales using a mobile studio.

The album received a mixed critical reaction at first, but it gained acclaim in subsequent years and has a cult following. The songs “Counting Out Time” and “The Carpet Crawlers” were released as singles in the UK in 1974 and 1975, respectively; both failed to chart. A single of “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” was released in the US. Genesis promoted the album with their 1974–75 tour across North America and Europe, playing the album in its entirety. The album reached Gold certification in the UK and the US. The album was remastered in 1994 and 2007, the latter as part of the Genesis 1970–1975 box set which contains a 5.1 surround sound mix and bonus material.

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The Song

“The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” is the first song from Genesis’s 1974 album of the same name. The song was released as a single in the U.S. Although it did not chart, it was frequently played on American FM radio stations.

The end of the song features the words “They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway. They say there’s always magic in the air” from The Drifters’ song “On Broadway”. The studio recording features a variation on the former lyric (“They say the lights are always bright on Broadway”), but subsequent live recordings feature the original.

The bass-playing on the song by Mike Rutherford has been described as having “connotations of aggressive energy” that fits in well with the concept album’s angry and defiant character Rael.

Record World called it “a theatrical rock event with ahaunting plotline.”

After Gabriel’s departure, the Phil Collins-fronted incarnation of the band performed the song often during their first few tours, usually segueing into the closing section of “The Musical Box”.

A live version appears on Seconds Out from 1977 as well as part of the “Old Medley” on The Way We Walk, Volume Two: The Longs from 1993. The song was also played in full during the 1998 Calling All Stations tour, with Ray Wilson on vocals. On the 2021 ‘’The Last Domino? Tour’’ they play a laid-back version of the song, closer to the Drifters’s song On Broadway.


Peter Gabriel - lead voice
Phil Collins - drums, bell-tree, glockenspiel, triangle, wind chimes, tambourine, timbales, backing vocals
Tony Banks - piano, RMI Electra Piano
Mike Rutherford - fuzz bass
Steve Hackett - electric guitars
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