Foxtrot – A Retrospective

So, as previously discussed, I have been going through Genesis‘ discography. Prior to this adventure, I never gave Genesis its real due. I think the only time I had heard Lamb was when I was on my big tearing through lists project. At that time, I enjoyed it, but it didn’t stick with me like some of the other records.

Not sure why. I was listening to a ton of different stuff doing that, so maybe it blended in a bit for some reason.

Cut to today. Going through Genesis beginning to end seemed like a really good idea. And, my feelings leading up to this record confirmed that. I had enjoyed what I was hearing and got a few personal favorites out of the thing. Then I get to this record…

This experience is becoming rarer and rarer the older I get, but you know that feeling when you hear something really revolutionary for the first time. As recently brought to my attention, it’s like that scene in SLC Punk. You hear something for the first time and it just blows you away. It’s new.

That’s how I felt about the first track on Foxtrot.

It’s just like an immediate, “What the fuck is that?” Total hook. With context, I can now say, I think Genesis needed time to form. Needed time to figure out what they wanted to do. And it all culminated with this album. I think The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is the sound of art going in a new direction (totally not surprising Peter Gabriel left after that). Foxtrot, in my opinion, is the sound of a band gelling.

This is going to be a controversial statement. This album made me realize how good of a drummer Phil Collins is. Holy shit the music on this thing. This is that prog shit done real well. Multiple movements. Complex ass layers. It is something special.

As far as lyrical content, are we ever in fucking prog territory. You know that old saying about listening to the artists that inspired the artists you like. For as much Rush as I listened to, you would have thought this record would be in the conversation for the big inspirations for 2112, Farwell to Kings, etc.

Prog rock city. All dystopian all the time. And not necessarily put together. I think what I love about a track like Get Em Out By Friday is that you don’t necessarily need to explain it all in the song. Leave that for the nerds who read the liner notes. The band was smart enough to focus on the composition and the emotional impact they wanted to leave in the listener.

And, lets journey to the big track here.

Genesis’ Dark Star. And I think this is better than that track. In a way, this is the top of the mountain for this type of work for the band. Like sure, there are a million ways to argue that Lamb is a better record. And I think some of the songs on lamb are better.

But this to me. This is something fucking special. They broke something here. Like I feel like they touched their golden ring. This has the best the band has to offer in one track. The best composition. The best organ work, drumming, lyricism, execution. It’s all one package. Hell this could have been its own record.

It’s ethereal but not unapproachable. They managed to do something every fucking prog rock band tries to do and fails. That most damnable word. Immersion. It is easy to get lost in the world of this song. And you don’t need drugs to do it.

Overall, I am shocked…fucking shocked this isn’t in that conversation of greatest albums of all time. Like it may not be yours, but I am surprised this isn’t as highly regarded. Like when I went through the Rolling Stone 500, you know what was on there. Fucking Don Henley’s End of Innocence. And I fucking hated that album. I still think its the worst record on there. You know what WASN’T on there? A single Genesis record. Fuck you.

4/4 – This joins that rare category of albums that I wish I could wipe my mind and hear for the first time all over again. It’s that fucking great. Check it out.

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