12 O'Clock Track: Genesis, "The Carpet Crawlers"



The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
  • The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
Let's be real here: there's pretty much nothing cool about tribute acts. But seeing a 70s-era Genesis show re-created, over-the-top stage props and theatrics included, actually sounds really cool to me. The Musical Box, a Genesis tribute act from Canada, has been paying homage to the lofty progressive-rock age of Genesis for almost 20 years now. The band is basically always on tour, and happens to be in Chicago this weekend. I managed to get a couple of tickets to Sunday's Musical Box show at the Vic, and because I'm a huge Genesis fan, my inner nerd is beaming with excitement. Actual excitement over a tribute act—who would've thought?

Today's 12 O'Clock Track is "The Carpet Crawlers" from Genesis' 1974 concept record The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, which the Musical Box will be covering front-to-back on Sunday. Up until this point, the band had been writing and releasing elaborate prog-rock epics, with songs at times longer than 20 minutes. On this tune they visit the more accessible side of progressive rock; despite the complex keyboarding, whimsical lyrics, and complicated rhythms, this is a pop song at heart. It features a beautiful vocal harmony between Peter Gabriel (who left the band after this record) and drummer Phil Collins (yes, the future soft-rock champion). Notice the glossy airiness of the recording; this is the result of a postproduction process called "Enossification," which was provided by, you guessed it, Brian Eno. After The Lamb and Gabriel's departure, Genesis lost their flair for prog, and over the course of a couple decades they somehow devolved into the fucking "I Can't Dance" guys.

Speaking of questionable postprog decisions involving the members of Genesis, did you know that Mike from Mike & the Mechanics is Michael Rutherford, the bass player for Genesis?

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