Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, The Ultimate Record (by Robert Ellis)

Book review by Tim D

Published in late 2014 by The Rock Library, Robert Ellis’ deluxe limited edition hard backed book ‘Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, The Ultimate Record’ is a must for all early Genesis fanatics with 180 pages of colour and black and white images, most never published before. Limited to a worldwide release of 500 copies, this book is a worthy addition to any serious Genesis collection.

In late 1974 Genesis released ‘The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway’, a double concept album based around a Peter Gabriel-penned story centering on Rael, a New York street punk.  It proved to be Gabriel’s swansong with Genesis as he left the band at the end of the accompanying tour in Summer 1975.  Nowadays, ‘The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway’ has attained almost mythical status among fans but in late 1974 the band decided to perform the entire double album to unsuspecting and sometimes bewildered audiences who were still expecting to hear ‘Supper’s Ready’ and ‘The Cinema Show’.

Despite 102 live performances between November 1974 and May 1975, the show was never filmed (although several good audio recordings exist).  Photographer Robert Ellis documented the band at Island Studios during the recording sessions in September 1974 and photographed the live show in the UK, Paris, and Cascais (Portugal) in 1975.

The ambitious stage show was the first rock show to use multimedia to illustrate the story line.  The music was backed up by slides projected onto three large (for 1974/5) screens behind the band.  The slides rarely worked perfectly, lighting was minimal and early attempts at pyrotechnics nearly killed members of the road crew in Oslo!  Despite these unforgiving conditions, Robert’s images accurately record the show for posterity.

Each book is signed by the author, Steve Hackett has added some kind words and each track is treated in turn in the book with images from the stage show.  Also included is a ‘special promotional supplement’, a 24 page booklet of Robert’s photos from Peter Gabriel’s only reunion show (to date) with Genesis  – the ‘Six Of The Best’ WOMAD Benefit Festival in (a very wet) Milton Keynes in 1982.

According to Robert, “I want this book to be seen as a companion to the album, not a critique of the songs, the band, or the show – more an extended super deluxe packaging for a live album that never was.”

This is without doubt a quality production – with a hefty GBP 85 price tag, but worth every penny.  For more information and more sample pages see The Rock Library/Robert’s website.


16th December UPDATE from Robert Ellis via Twitter:

Thanx guys!! only a very few of this numbered edition left. Take a look


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