Review Summary: Now having become masters of the art, Genesis release a progressive classic.
was a practice run and Nursery Cryme
merely a first realization of Genesis’ potential, their fourth record shows a power that’s fully unleashed. Foxtrot
is grander in sound and simultaneously manages to rock harder. With a great deal of progressive fans listing it as their favourite within the classic period, it can be ranked among the top three Genesis albums.
For one thing, Foxtrot
carries what is arguably the greatest opening/closing duo in the group’s history. Watcher of the Skies
has a majestic mellotron intro that meets a pounding rhythm section. Banks’ playing is stunning and asserts his dominance as leading instrumentalist, while Rutherford finally emerges as a valuable bass player, driving a forceful foundation with Collins that they keep up throughout the remaining songs.
Peter Gabriel’s creative, often quirky storytelling is once again inescapable on the rest of the material. Get ‘Em Out by Friday
continues the trend set with Harold the Barrel
, the singer voicing a whole set of different characters. The lyrical content itself is a cleverly written social commentary on some of the corrupted British landlords at the time.
’s two shorter songs are interspersed among its more attention-grabbing epics, which makes them pale in comparison, but not free of their own merits. Time Table
’s piano arrangement is positively understated, and Can-Utility and the Coastliners
employs some wonderful acoustic guitars (played by Hackett, Banks and
Rutherford), building towards an increasingly upbeat ending. Eventually though, the entire middle section seems nothing more than a preparation for what’s to come.
The album’s grand finale is the 23-minute Supper’s Ready
, preceded by Hackett’s gorgeous solo piece Horizons
. It remains the longest track Genesis ever recorded, its seven sections flowing into each other flawlessly. Though still predominantly keyboard-led, the entire band’s array of skills and sounds comes forward, growing and waning in intensity. Gabriel once again holds it all together with his trademark narrative and incredible sense of intonation. Whether presented as delicate whispers or with raspy exuberance, his vocals are unmatched in their delivery, leading and defining Foxtrot
as strongly as any other progressive Genesis record. The album’s status as genre classic is well-deserved.
Genesis Mark III:
Peter Gabriel – Vocals, Flute
Steve Hackett – Guitar
Tony Banks – Organ, Piano, Mellotron, Guitar, Vocals
Mike Rutherford – Bass, Guitar, Cello, Vocals
Phil Collins – Drums, Vocals
Watcher of the Skies
Get ‘Em Out by Friday