I believe the last Genesis record I reviewed was my least favorite by the band (We Can’t Dance). Well this 1972 recording Foxtrot is without a doubt my all-time favorite recording by my absolute favorite band. I remember first buying this as a twofer budget issue in the cut-out section of my local record store (Check it out! It’s called The Best...(1976), but is just a reissue of Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot). I was blown away from the start with “The Musical Box,” and even more impressed with the bolder and more decisive strokes on the second record, ending with the massive epic “Supper’s Ready.”
Foxtrot does an exemplary job conveying otherworldly fantastical scenes with stories excellently told. Peter Gabriel approaches each of these songs with an actor’s believability. He is dramatic and genuinely sincere, even when using alternate voices as he does in “Get ‘em Out By Friday” and “Supper’s Ready.”
“Watcher of the Skies” sets the new tone powerfully, and would become a staple in their live set for years for its’ ability to move an audience. Following with a quiet, pastoral song could only work with this band, and acoustically minded songs like “Time Table” and later “Can Utility and the Coastliners” are what they built their foundation on the last two albums Trespass and Nursery Cryme. Though the latter tune really starts to build dynamically after a couple of minutes. Coming between these two is “Get ‘em Out by Friday,” a powerful piece that describes a setting where people are shrunk to smaller sizes in answer to the rising population explosion. Perhaps not a bad idea, as the actuality of it all is we are growing larger in stature and more populated as a race. (Do I need a smiley face here?)
Side two begins with “Horizons,” the most memorable solo acoustic guitar piece this side of Steve Howes’s “Mood for a Day” I’ve always thought this to be an introduction to the bands most accomplished and respected work, “Supper’s Ready.” The two are inseparable to me. Reflect upon this: “Close to the Edge,” “Thick As A Brick,” and “Supper’s Ready” were all released the same year! These are all considered among the greatest long songs in the history of progressive rock epics. I still believe “Supper’s Ready” “Closely Edges” out the other two by the “Thick(ness of a tiny) Brick” as the greatest prog epic of all. But of course, that is my personal opinion. Your mileage may vary.
If you don’t own this record, you can’t gain access to my progressive rock club. I’m sorry, I’m just gonna have to turn you away at the door. Well… I might let you in if you have Selling England or The Lamb. You’re relegated to the bar section however, if all you own is Trick of the Tail or Duke. What can I say about Foxtrot but highly recommended!
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on July 23rd, 2012