The Lamb Lies Down On Empire (Virtuoso 019/020)
Empire Theatre, Liverpool, England – April 19th, 1975
Disc 1: The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Fly On A Windshield, Broadway Melody Of 1974, Cuckoo Cocoon, In The Cage, The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging, Back In N.Y.C., Hairless Heart, Counting Out Time, Carpet Crawlers, The Chamber Of 32 Doors, Lilywhite Lilith, The Waiting Room
Disc 2: Anyway, Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetist, The Lamia, Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats, The Colony Of Slippermen, Ravine, The Light Dies Down On Broadway, Riding The Scree, In The Rapids, It, The Knife
There has been much activity of late concerning silver releases from Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway tour with the pressing of the Phoenix soundboard and the discovering of the previously missing April 14th Wembley show. For their second Genesis release Virtuoso chose to cover the April 19th Liverpool soundboard. This is a very clear recording with the audience pushed well to the back of the balance. It sounds like a reference recording for some future project which never came to realization. The tape misses about ninety seconds of the very beginning of “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway,” most of “Lilywhite Lilith,” and omits the Rael stories.
There are two CDR projects presenting this tape. The Chamber Of 32 Lambs (FL-04) edits the January 24th Los Angeles multi-track at the beginning of the show and for two encores, “Watcher Of The Skies” and “The Musical Box,” neither of which were played in Liverpool. The December 16th, 1974 Toronto soundboard is used for the Rael stories and for most of “Liliwhite Lilith.” Liverpool Lilith (Bataitis Ultimate Remaster Project BURP039) uses the Los Angeles tape for the beginning of “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” but leaves the other cuts alone.
Virtuoso also use this tactic by editing the first minute and a half of the Shrine multi-track at the beginning. This show is after the two big London dates and the band are loose enough to add some experiments into the mix. Gabriel’s flute on “Cuckoo Cocoon” sounds real pretty in this recording. He comes in a bit too early on “In The Cage” but otherwise it is one of the highlights of the show. Hackett delivers a searing version of “Hairless Heart” akin to his solo on “The Firth Of Fifth.” What this show is known for is the almost nine minute “The Waiting Room.” This is a highly abstract piece representing the narrative turn in the piece. The band turn in an ambient soundscape including a recording of a male crooner in the middle before it picks up speed.
The second half of the show ends strongly and the encore is a nine minute version of “The Knife.” Afterwards the closing tape “Old Man River” is audible indicating that this is the only encore of the night with no “The Musical Box” or “Watcher Of The Skies.” The Lamb Lies Down On Empire is a very good release but is flawed. Had this been a complete recording it would be essential to have. The label limits this to two hundred copies.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)