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81 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly my favorite album of all time
I've owned over a thousand albums at one time or another. I can't say for sure which is my favorite of them all, but the 1972 album "Foxtrot" is a strong contender. The songwriting was more consistent than on the preceding album "Nursery Cryme", and the band had a year's more experience playing with new members Phil Collins (drums) and Steve Hackett...
Published on November 10, 2003 by woburnmusicfan

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars There was a cut in the sleeve just like way back when
At one time,in the late 70s, this album ( vinyl) was impossible to find. Then the market was flooded with low quality cut outs, and I believe that is what the album I received came from. There was a cut in the sleeve just like way back when. The sound quality is poor compared to other vinyl I recently bought, so the flaw is not in my system. I love old Genesis and this...
Published 4 months ago by hankrearden


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81 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly my favorite album of all time, November 10, 2003
By 
woburnmusicfan (Woburn, MA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Foxtrot (Audio CD)
I've owned over a thousand albums at one time or another. I can't say for sure which is my favorite of them all, but the 1972 album "Foxtrot" is a strong contender. The songwriting was more consistent than on the preceding album "Nursery Cryme", and the band had a year's more experience playing with new members Phil Collins (drums) and Steve Hackett (lead guitar). The mediocre production and lack of synthesizers keep the album from having as good a SOUND as some of Genesis' later works, but the overall songwriting and musicianship were at their all-time peak here. You can't consider yourself a true Genesis fan and not have this album.
The centerpice is Genesis' masterpiece, "Supper's Ready", which is undoubtedly my favorite song, a 23-minute epic in seven acts that begins on multiple 12-string acoustic guitars, moves on to Peter Gabriel's hilarious "Willow Farm", and ends big with the ominous "Apocalypse in 9/8" (Tony Banks playing a 4/4 organ solo while the rest of the band repeats a 9/8 riff) and a cathartic ending that reprises earlier themes in widescreen Technicolor. It's awe-inspiring, and far better than the "Seconds Out" version.
The other songs are all good, though not in the same league as "Supper's Ready". "Watcher of the Skies" sounds the most dated today -- its opening wall of Mellotron string chords doesn't sound as big and powerful now. But the song's unique 6/4 rhythm and sci-fi lyric, about an alien coming to Earth only to find humans have moved on to other worlds, are both strong. "Time Table", a rumination on medieval times, is the most straightforward song, with piano ballad verses and a swelling chorus. "Get 'em Out by Friday" is surprisingly relevant today in a time of gentrification and soaring housing prices. The interplay between the musicians is the best of any song on the album, and the song pauses in the middle for a slow duet of Gabriel on flute and Banks on Mellotron flute that is held together by Collins playing behind the beat. Hackett has referred to Genesis' music as "songs that started out at point 'A' and occasionally ended at around point 'Q'", and "Can-Utility and the Coastliners" is a perfect example, a 6-minute microcosm of what early Genesis was all about. The song starts with Hackett and Mike Rutherford on 12-string acoustic guitars and moves through a series of unexpected changes, including Banks playing a rare solo on Mellotron strings and one of his trademark arpeggio solos on organ, and a fine guitar solo by Hackett. "Horizon's" is a brief Hackett 6-string acoustic solo piece that functions as an intro for "Supper's Ready".
(1=poor 2=mediocre 3=pretty good 4=very good 5=phenomenal)
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once upon a time ......, October 21, 2000
By 
Solo Goodspeed (Granada Hills, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Foxtrot (Audio CD)
.... long, long ago (okay, we're talking early '70s, so maybe not THAT long), an uppity bunch of European rock enthusiasts, mostly college buddies, introduced us culturally starved Western yahoos to a new realm of music which became known as Progressive. It broke away from the standard of much popular stuff of that day, incorporating elements of jazz, classical, and generally abstract deviance from your basic 4/4, 1-4-5 blues progressions that permeated a musical form which, back then, only got really exciting whenever somebody took an extended solo. And sometimes even that didn't work ......
Enter Genesis. A five-piece, electro-symphonic ensemble fronted by Peter Gabriel, a quirky storyteller who shaved the middle of his head and dressed up in nightmarish costumes. On the surface that would seem a cheap gimmick. Then you really listen to the music. The opening, soaring chords of Watcher of the Skies suggest anything from a panoramic view of a vast canyon to hurtling through space at the speed of infinity. The song relates the tale of your everyday God-Man who is doomed to witness the folly of mortal beings as they come and go over the ages, with no recourse but to ponder on the meaning of it all. Timetable diminishes the energy level, brings us a bit more down to acoustic Earth, with the melancholy observation "Why must we suffer each race to believe that no race has been grander? It seems because through time and space, though names may change, each face retains the mask it wore."
Get 'Em Out By Friday envisions a society which imposes a four-foot restriction on humanoid height - we're running out of all that time and space! Can-Utility and the Coastliners (an enigmatic title if there ever was one) leaves the listener with the impression that mortal leaders, whether political, holy or whatever, are ultimately born to disillusion and disappoint; "See the little man with his face turning red! Though his story's often told, you can tell that he's dead" And we are once again the Watcher, overseeing the folly of it all. End of Act One.
Act Two starts off with a serene, melodic view of further "Horizons", a solo guitar watercolor sketch of the promise of a new day, a new vision born of the previous disillusioning images of societal ruination. And just as we've digested the resonance of the final gentle chord ...... Supper's Ready. This 23-minute work is a seven-course Apocalypse served hot, so bring a hearty appetite and remember to activate your prayer capsule. This significant piece epitomizes what the group Genesis was all about (emphasis on WAS), runs the gamut of earthly view through all the absurd distortions that reality can manifest, pulverizes it entirely when all the Antichrists of the ages get together to party in 9/8 (yes you CAN dance to that beat) before flinging the doors open to a blinding white warm Heaven, the promise of illuminating our true way home.
No, this is not just another normal rock album. Not even for Genesis. It is hard to believe nowadays that they used to be THIS group. I think these guys really died and were replaced by impostors. No matter. The fact is, FOXTROT got recorded, it is a work like no other, the kind of album one listens to when they want something not as background music, not as lifesyle reinforcement, but as literature. It is The Bible as written by Lewis Carroll, set to the music of, oh, Ravel or Stravinsky, played on guitars (Steve Hackett, Michael Rutherford), drums (Phil Collins), and '70s state-of-the-art electronic keybords (Tony Banks). And like progressive rock in general, it's not for everyone ..... just the few true Watchers. Like Yes' "Close to the Edge", it is a journey. Indispensable Genesis, with a very visible touch. You could almost forgive Phil Collins for his reworking of "Groovy Kind of Love" ......
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genesis at it's breathtaking best., March 31, 2004
By 
Mike (Philadelphia, PA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Foxtrot (Audio CD)
The 3rd of a string of underrated albums by the great classic lineup of Genesis. Contains classic songs, classic performances, probably classic Genesis at it's best.

"Watcher Of The Skies" is probably one of Tony Banks's best moments on any Genesis record, if not on any record he's ever played on. The combination of string/brass and bass accordian sounds of the Mellotron Mark II, and touches of Hammond Organ, make for a stunning intro to an amazing song, if not an amazing album. The rest of the song starts with an interplexing 6/4 rhythm that follows with Mike Rutherford playing distorted Rickenbacker basslines over Phil Collins's pulsating drumline. Steve Hackett copies Rutherford's part on guitar but provides short stacatto leads a la his volume pedal at other times. The song itself actually could be related to '2001; Space Oddyssey', whereas aliens probably made humans intellegent, and Peter Gabriel's lyrics perfectly illustrate that picture. When this song was performed live, Gabriel wore batwings on his head, with glow-in-the-dark paint around his eyes.

"Get 'Em Out By Friday" shows an interesting concept story. Genetic control has limited human height to 4 feet, and everybody has to move into smaller, more expensive apartments. Peter Gabriel takes the point-of-view of different protagonists and antagonists affected by this. Features interesting Flute and Mellotron Flute duets in the middle section.

"Time Table" is an interesting song done by Genesis. It's probably the greatest piano feature since "Visions of Angels", but before "Firth Of Fifth". It seemed to provid a little comedy and seriousness at the same time.

"Can-Utility and The Coastliners" represents all sides of Genesis at this point in their career. It starts out with Hackett & Rutherford on 12-String Acoustic Guitars, then switches to an interesting Mellotron Solo while Rutherford's bass pedals blow your speakers. During the last section, Banks & Collins play a couple fast moving Fifths and Sevenths to give Hackett & Rutherford time to switch to 6-string electric and bass.

"Horizons" is basically a 'calm-before-the-storm' kind of piece. A nice little 6-string acoustic intro to the masterpiece of this album...

"Supper's Ready" is a true masterpiece on it's own. A tale about the battle between good and evil, intertwined with themes about 2 lovers, Farmers and Firemen, Narcissus, and Winston Churchill in drag (which I believe to be the genesis [pun intended] of "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" and "Selling England By The Pound").

It is featured in 7 parts:

"Lover's Leap" starts as 2 lovers recognize something changing in the world, something not for the better. It features a Gabriel and Collins duet, with Hackett, Rutherford, and Banks all playing 12-string guitars. Banks takes off his guitar and switches to Hohner Pianet, which sound almost unmistakably like a Fender Rhodes (an instrument Tony Banks hated).

"The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man" continues the story as the 2 lovers encounter the leaders of evil, which give you false promises. "Look into my mouth, he cries...". Obviously, he wants to eat you.

"Itknatod and Iknathon and Their Band Of Merry Men" is the start of the battle between Good and Evil. It features Collins providing a Horse-Like Gallop on his snare drum, not dissimilar of The Beatles' "Get Back", and it's that horse gallop that lets Gabriel and Collins get away with singing "Bang Bang Bang!".

"How Dare I Be So Beautiful?" is the aftermath of the battle, where the 2 lovers are stuck underground and are trying to get back to the surface. It's a nice short piece of studio wizardry, with the volume slipping up and down on Banks's grand piano like vibrato. Gabriel delivers more unwhimsical Mad-Hatter-esque phrases like "Human Bacon" & "Social Security" (political pun intended).

"Willow Farm" has no musical or storyline tie to the rest of the song. But it adds a nice comic relief before the real seriousness of this happens. Gabriel's voice changes from a helium-high to a slowed-down roar during the middle section for some odd reason.

"Apocalypse in 9/8" is the beginning of the end basically. It starts out chaotic, gets calm a little bit, and picks up speed. Basically this is where the whole religious theme comes into place, as some events spoken in the lyrics are written in the book of Revelation (ie Gabble Ratchets, Guards of Magog, 666, 7 trumpets, etc). This part is of course known for Tony Banks' well played organ solo, backed by Collins' inconsistent 9/8 drum pattern, and Hackett and Rutherford's dueling 6 & 12-String Electrics and a solid staccato E on the bass pedals. Basically the whole piece gets too scary, and somehow a heavily reverberated Mellotron Brass-String signal (similar to 'Watcher Of The Skies'), what seems to be salvation.

"As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs" starts with a reprise of the chorus & Bridge of "Lover's Leap" and a newly revamped and slowed down "Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man" theme with new lyrics, and Gabriel sings his heart out on this one. This of course is pretty much how the Book Of Revelation ends. Heaven & Earth are reformed and a new Jerusalem comes out of the sky to be put in it's place for humanity. For some odd reason, when they performed this in concert, they always changed the key of this section from A major to G major. Why did they do that? Could Gabriel not handle the high notes? When Collins took over as lead singer in 1976, they still played this and he really couldn't handle the highnotes. But Gabriel definitely could. If anybody finds a copy of this song in concert where they don't change key at the end, I'd like to find out.

Well what else can I say, but if you like Genesis, buy this album. It pretty much made them, that's all that there is to it.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genesis gives prog rock a new meaning..., November 20, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Foxtrot (Audio CD)
This is the second Gabriel era album that I had purchased when I became a Genesis fan (the first being Selling England by the Pound), and it was also the first one that I totally liked on the first listen from that era. I had up to that point SEBTP, and NC. The thing that was great about this is that the group was starting to click and they were in sync with each other musically. Such songs which later became classics like Get 'Em Out By Friday and Can-Utility and the Coastliners showed their knack for storytelling (Pete's lyrics in particular) had begun to reach new heights. Watcher of the Skies is a true show opener, with its menacing Mellotron introduction. Tony Banks was definitely on to something there. And Steve was becoming more confident in his playing in the group...especially with Horizons. Phil Collins' druming showcased a jazzy type feel that gave the band an edge that had not been really showcased in other bands since Bruford left Yes.
And the creme de la creme, Supper's Ready...well, words can't express how I feel when I listen to that. That song, despite it's 22:51 length, is a song that I just have to stop what I'm doing and listen to every time I hear it...just like Styx's "Come Sail Away" does for Eric Cartman. This is definitely an album for anyone who considers themselves a fan of the band, past and/or present. One of the true signs of being a Genesis fan is that you can sing the ENTIRE Supper's Ready song..without missing a beat. Don't worry about that...you may have your work cut out for you in that sense, but it's a great tutorial nonetheless.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A defining moment in English Progressive rock, February 13, 2006
By 
Jeffrey J.Park (Pennsylvania, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Foxtrot (Audio CD)
Released in 1972, this was the second album from the classic 1971-1974 lineup and will forever remain as the album that got me completely and hopelessly addicted to Genesis. Right from the start, with the atmospheric mellotron/organ overture to Watcher of the Skies played by the great keyboardist Tony Banks, to the closing moments of the cyclical 22'58" epic Suppers Ready, this is amazing progressive rock. The pieces on the album cover a wide dynamic range, and span from the delicate Steve Hackett solo acoustic guitar piece (Horizons), to the charming piece Time Table, through the thunderous and highly syncopated 6/4 workout on Watcher of the Skies and finally, the incredible epic Supper's Ready, which cycles between loud/soft passages. In fact, Tony Banks was always big on sharply contrasting quiet and loud bits for a dramatic effect and this pattern crops up throughout the album. I really should not forget Can Utility and the Coastliners though, which features a great workout on the drums by Phil Collins over which Tony lays down some nice mellotron pads, and another personal favorite is the mini-epic Get Em' Out by Friday. As was characteristic of Genesis during the classic period, the ensemble work and individual virtuosity is staggering (the standard time Hammond organ solo over the 9/8 rhythm section in Suppers Ready is a good example) and there is the abundant use of pivot chords that make the transition between sections in different keys seamless. The subject matter is deeply "cosmic" with surrealist touches, and is wonderfully delivered by vocalist Peter Gabriel - based on what I have read, Peter premiered the pieces on Foxtrot by marching out wearing a fox head mask and a red dress (in a Dublin boxing ring no less). One last note - David Hitchcock (rather than John Anthony) produced Foxtrot and the production quality is much better than that on Nursery Cryme, although the sound quality of Selling England by the Pound (1973) would blow both out of the water. All in all, Foxtrot belongs to the canon of progressive rock albums released in the early 1970s and is certainly one the early high water marks of the classic period of Genesis. Very highly recommended without hesitation.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! That's all I can say., May 1, 2000
By 
C. Boros (Cleveland, OH United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Foxtrot (Audio CD)
This could be the best recording in the history of, not only Genesis' career, but possibly in all of rock and roll. Am I stretching a bit? Well, maybe--but this is simply one of the best.
Some reviewers of this album have written that the other songs on "Foxtrot" besides "Supper's Ready" are boring and dull. This is FAR from the truth. "Super's Ready" is clearly the stand out track at 23 minutes. Some might cringe at a song of that length but this epic song never gets boring. It changes when you want it to change. It goes where you want it to go. It starts right when you want it to--not taking 4 minutes to get to the first word. It is simply brilliant.
Now, to the other tracks. They are all great. I could go in detail on each but I will only comment on possibly my favorite song of all time: "Can Utility and the Coastliners." This song does exactly what a song should do. It takes you to a different place with its lyrics and melodies. I don't think I've ever heard a song as powerful and emotional as "CUATC."
"Foxtrot" was the album that made Genesis a household name in my world of music. If you're looking to get started with Genesis--this is the start. If you like other Gabriel Genesis albums--this is one to add. If the Phil Collins era is more your style--I think this album will still be accessible for you. To put it another way--buy this album.
It may change your life.
Am I stretching a bit? Well, maybe--but in a little, subtle way, it changed mine.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to utterly weird realms, March 18, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Foxtrot (Audio CD)
A friend of my dad's gave me a tape of this when I was 9. It totally befuddled and fascinated me. I found much amusement in the utter weirdness of the singer, Peter Gabriel. I played it over and over again. I couldn't wait to come home from school so that I could play it again. Along with "Tom Jones' greatest hits," it was my favorite record. At around the age of 11, having worn out many tapes of "Foxtrot," I stopped listening to it and switched to "hard rock" to avoid being called a "wus" by my "friends." Later on, I rediscovered it again and again while I went through different periods of listening to different types of music. While records like "Sgt.Pepper" and Pink Floyd's "The Wall" lost their charm for me, this one never did. Recently I played it for my sister's 7 year old kid and he was immediately drawn to it, so I gave it to him as a present; all his little friends like it too. Let me tell you, if there ever was a better record to introduce kids to sophisticated musical salads and transcendent aesthetic realities this is it. It is totally accessible and deceptively "cheesy" sounding, yet never trite or stupid. It is far from the bombastic macho posturings of most rock bands. And as they grow older, they will discover for themselves, like I did, that they can dig as deep as they want to, that this utterly weird music is balanced to quite a high standard, and is actually better than most of the music they're "supposed to listen to" as respectable adults.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genesis at its best, November 4, 2004
This review is from: Foxtrot (Audio CD)
OK - this album got me at "hello", which in this case is the first major 7th chord on the Mellotron in "Watcher of the Skies". That passage with Phil's high hat figure (heard more clearly on Genesis Live) is just indelible. "Get Em out By Friday" is a 21 year old Gabriel at his playful and cheeky best as a lyricist. But the album really comes down to "Supper's Ready", the immense multi movement 22 minute magnum opus about Gabriel's then wife Jill being possessed by something (hmm. . .) and the ensing battle for her soul. I actually found out only the other day that the "guards of magog" are really mentioned in the book of Revelations as guardians of an evil place, and the gabble ratchets are mythical howling dogs believed to conduits for, would you believe, the angel Gabriel. It is wonderful stuff and he, Tony Banks and Collins, especially have really fired on all musical cylinders here. The Apocalypse in 9/8 (if you haven't figured it out, its 1,2,3! 4,5! 6,7,8 9! - brilliant) is still so fresh after 32 years. Buy it, and listen again, and again. I did.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget The Complainers Of Minor Setbacks Of Foxtrot, March 2, 2007
By 
This review is from: Foxtrot (Audio CD)
It's awesome from back to front, especially for a group of 21 year olds. What do we get today from groups who's members are that age or even older? California accented lyrics that whine about their jobs at Taco Bell that belong in movies like American Pie? You have to consider how young these guys were along with the restrictions of their budgets and not having a super studio to record in. With what they did have, they made the most of it with this album, hands down.

Also consider who young Genesis were up against...ELP's Pictures At An Exhibition, Yes' Close To The Edge and Floyd fixing to give us their opus, Dark Side Of The Moon. No doubt these folks ran in similar circles and knew what their slightly older more experienced pals in the same field were up to before the rest of us did. Genesis were freshmen competing in a field full of graduates and they caught up with amazing speed with this album.

You can also tell that Gabriel's grateful by making the most of it all giving it a thousand percent while maintaining the image of being a working class art-house average Joe and not getting sucked into the super-ego trappings that Keith Emerson or Jon Anderson possessed. Call him the Ozzy or Springsteen of English Prog, if you will. The man put forth immeasurable effort to put on a show and milk it for all he can. He still continues that hard working ethic to this very day.

Phil Collins does just as well here too. Forget that he wrote "One More Night" and "Do You Remember" years later. He busted his butt on this album big time.

The whole group shines with the low man Rutherford holding down the fort to keep Banks, Gabriel, Collins and Hackett from heading too far off into space.

The songs brim with imagery, color and warmth from back to front where it plateaus with Supper's Ready's strangely titled "As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs" where Gabriel sings his heart and guts out.

Of course, this album doesn't have the radio friendly sound of prog that Yes and Floyd possessed at the time and if you're just getting into Yes or ELP or Floyd, you might want to hold off on Foxtrot.

But if you've digested those three groups while still holding their songs dear with glowing admiration, then go ahead, dive on in and swim in Foxtrot's mix of pop, rock, dead stop-and-start sound orgies.

If you're not yet a fan of Peter Gabriel, this album will see to it that you will be.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you could ever want from a progressive rock band, December 23, 2003
This review is from: Foxtrot (Audio CD)
Genesis' "Foxtrot," like "Nursery Cryme" and their first "Live" album, certainly lacks the production gloss that characterizes their recordings from "Selling England by The Pound" onward. But what the album lacks in polish, it more than makes up for with raw energy, bold performances, and brilliant compositions. This is progressive rock played without a safety net: always taking risks, and nearly always succeeding.
"Watcher of the Skies," with its portentous Mellotron intro, opens the album with organic, elemental power; it's as if the song existed from the dawn of time. Indeed, all of "Foxtrot" possesses this timeless quality - one reason the album has held up so well over the years.
The nostalgic "Time-table" evokes a room filled with dust-covered tomes, waiting for their secrets to be discovered. "Get `Em Out by Friday," a whimsical commentary on predatory landlords, finds Genesis in social-commentary mode. "Can-Utility and the Coastliners," my choice for "Most Underrated Genesis Song Ever," crystallizes the band's early Seventies style into six action-packed minutes. There's also "Horizon's," a lovely solo acoustic piece by Steve Hackett.
And then, last but not least, there's "Supper's Ready." Words fail when trying to describe this beautiful and bizarre epic. It simply has to be heard to be believed. Suffice it to say that it's 23 minutes of everything you ever wanted in a progressive rock song, and more.
In my opinion, "Foxtrot" is easily the best of the Gabriel-era records, and, with the possible exception of "A Trick of the Tail," arguably Genesis' best album ever.
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Foxtrot
Foxtrot by Genesis (Audio CD - 1990)
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