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File:The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway 7030.jpg

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is a Concept Album released by Genesis in 1974. It is their last album with Peter Gabriel.

The story follows a young half-Puerto Rican street kid from New York City named Rael as he embarks on a fantastical journey to find his brother John. Or something like that.... Seriously, there's an entire book that contains various interpretations of the story.



 The cheerleader waves her cyanide wand

There's a smell of peach blossom and bitter almond

  • Breather Song: "Hairless Heart", "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats"
  • Body Horror: The Slippermen.
  • Concept Album
  • Fake American: A half-Puerto Rican street kid from New York City would be unlikely to refer to money as "notes and coins". But he does anyway. And in the next song he says "progressive hypocrites" instead of "liberal hypocrites" — "progressive" wouldn't become a common term in America for another fifteen or twenty years.
    • At least he got trucks and gas stations right. Any reference to "lorries" or "filling stations" would have raised a red flag.
  • Gainax Ending/Mind Screw: Admittedly, the whole album is a giant Mind Screw, but the ending...well, "it" doesn't seem to be about anything clearly related to the story, but the end of the story in the liner notes is pure crazy. Rael saves his brother John's life only to discover that he and John are actually the same person, they have an out-of-both-bodies experience, they are "outlined in yellow," and they and the scenery melt into purple haze. Figure that one out.
  • Meaningful Echo: Several musical cues reappear throughout the album. Most notably, the melody from the bridge of "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" is reused as the intro of "The Carpet Crawlers".
    • Not to mention a full blown reprise of the title track in "The Light Dies Down on Broadway".
  • Mind Screw: AND HOW. Case in point, the main character's emasculation is a major plot point. Also, pretty much everything else.
  • Mind Screwdriver: the story that Gabriel wrote for the liner notes. It still doesn't explain everything, though. For that, see this site.
  • No Ending: See Gainax Ending above.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "I'M RAAAAAEL!!!!"
  • Ravens and Crows: A raven plays a pivotal role in the story when it flies off with the yellow tube containing Rael's genitals.
  • Rock Opera: One of the most famous.
  • Sequel First: For some reason, the American leg of the The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway tour was scheduled to happen before the album itself had even been released in the US. The band ended up playing the entirety of the album to audiences who hadn't heard it yet and certainly weren't expecting anything like that.
  • Sex Changes Everything: The Slippermen are an extremely literal example of this trope.
  • Shirtless Scene: Peter Gabriel during the The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway tour.
  • Take That: Apparently, on various legs of the tour, Peter Gabriel (jokingly) compared the Slippermen to either guitarist Mike Rutherford or drummer Phil Collins.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: We discover at the very end that Rael and his brother John whom he's spent the entire album chasing are actually the same person.

 Hang on, John! We're out of this at last

Something's changed, it's not your face

It's mine! It's mine!

  • Troubled Production:
    • For starters, Peter Gabriel insisted on writing all of the lyrics himself, feeling that a consistent story would be necessary. At the time, his marriage was in trouble and his newborn daughter was in an incubator. This led to most of the music being written in his absence by the Banks/Rutherford/Collins trio.
    • Arguments over included songs and lyrics. The other members of the band would occasionally rewrite lyrics to better fit their music, and Gabriel wrote several songs on his own (to bridge already-written sections) without the rest of the band's input (one of them, "The Carpet Crawlers", would be a live staple for the post-Gabriel band). Gabriel also ran into writer's block with "The Light Lies Down On Broadway", leaving Banks and Rutherford to write the music.
    • In the middle of the album sessions, Gabriel received an offer to work with William Friedkin on a movie screenplay, and couldn't see why the rest of the band thought leaving in the middle of an album session might be a bad thing. Genesis' manager Tony Smith had to call Friedkin and get him to back off, which led to discontent on Gabriel's part. Gabriel made it clear he was leaving the band, although he stayed to do the live tour.
    • Due to stress from being creatively sidelined on the album and his own failing marriage, Steve Hackett snapped a wineglass in his hand shortly before the start of the tour, injuring his hand and delaying the start of the tour. This meant the first wing performed was the American wing, where the album hadn't been released yet. Ticket sales went "meh." Hackett would record his first solo album shortly after the tour, and leave the band within two years.
    • The live show was troubled by faulty equipment (including the slides meant to visually display the story). The band performed the entire double album, and only performed older, more recognized material in encores. Gabriel eschewed his trademark costumes for most of the show, and when he donned them for the second half, the overly elaborate designs prevented him from getting a microphone near his mouth, rendering the lyrics incomprehensible.
  • Two-Person Pool Party: Or in this case, Rael and the three Lamia.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Rael is practically made of this trope.
  • Wham! Line: "Something's changed, it's not your face! It's mine! It's mine!"
  • What Could Have Been: Mike Rutherford reportedly suggested the idea of writing a Concept Album based on Antoine De Saint-Expuery's novel The Little Prince, but Peter Gabriel wanted to use a grittier, less fantasy-tinged, more American concept.
  • What Do You Mean It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Both the album itself and the surreal, fantastical stage show that resulted. Genesis, as (mostly) former boarding school students, were in fact one of rock's least intoxicated bands of their time, and were not normally followers of the rock and roll lifestyle (though they were possibly not entirely untouched by drugs or alcohol in their lives). Gabriel often jokes of the band rebelling by "removing the paper covers of the soap at the hotel" in the middle of the night.
    • Phil Collins claims that as the Lamb tour dragged on and on, he eventually took to getting stoned backstage before going on — he specifically chose to smoke grass because, unlike booze, it had no noticeable effect on his drumming.
      • Phil helped write and arrange some of the music for The Lamb along with the other Genesis members, but Peter Gabriel (by his insistence) wrote all of the lyrics and concept, save for "The Light Dies Down On Broadway", which Tony wrote the words for as Peter had no time to write them. Gabriel was, for the most part, drug-free.
  • What Happened To The Lamb?: It's mentioned only once, and then...
  • Wipe That Smile Off Your Face: Rael is shown like this on the back cover.
  • "You Are Number Six": "Brother John is number nine", from "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging".