The Lamb Lies Down On Düsseldorf (Highland HL139/140#G24)
Philipshalle, Düsseldorf, Germany – April 6th, 1975
Disc 1 (64:02): 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, The Carpet Crawlers, The Chamber Of 32 Doors, Lilywhite Lilith, The Waiting Room
Disc 2 (63:32): Anyway, The Supernatural Anaesthetist, The Lamia, Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats, The Colony Of Slippermen (The Arrival, A Visit To The Doktor, Raven),The Light Dies Down On Broadway, Riding The Scree, In The Rapids, It, The Musical Box, Watcher Of The Skies
The Lamb Lies Down On Düsseldorf is an early release on Highland of the seventh show played in Germany. It is a good to very good but boomy mono audience tape of the complete performance including two encores. “Carpet Crawlers” has a tape crinkle at 4:25 and is cut at the transition into “The Chamber Of 32 Doors,” and there is a cut at 6:44 in “The Colony Of Slippermen” and a cut at the transition into “The Light Dies Down On Broadway.”
Düsseldorf is in the same vein as the other Germany shows. It’s very long, dark and dramatic. Gabriel delivers the narrative in his white-man-singing-soul vocals, but what separates this show is the excessive amounts of sarcasm. It is something he developed during the Selling England By The Pound performances. Most of the time the Lamb is played straight but other times he lays it on very heavy.
It is a good technique for this piece since the contrast between the bombastic power of “Back In N.Y.C.,” which Gabriel belts out, and “The Carpet Crawlers” which has the sarcastic voice, is startling. The audience react to him throughout the show, especially in “The Chamber of 32 Doors” when Gabriel sings “I need someone to believe in, someone to trust” its met by cheers and cat calls.
The tone comes in to good effect later on during the Slipperman episode. On the other hand this show also continues some of the improvisation found on the other German dates. The is especially apparent in the eight minute long “The Waiting Room.” The first half is dominated by Phil Collins’ drums where it sounds like he’s imitating Yes’ “Sound Chaser” from Relayer.
Tony Banks’ keyboard orchestration takes dominance in the latter sections of the piece and drive “Riding The Scree,” “Into The Rapids” and especially the finale “It.” Düsseldorf is treated to two long encores. The first is a heavy version of “The Musical Box” and the show ends with a fluid version of “Watcher Of The Skies.”
This show joins Frankfurt and Dortmund in the Highland catalogue. It is really beyond reason why the label was obsessive about certain eras and not others. They did the same for Yes Topographic Ocean shows by releasing several tapes from the shows in Germany in 1974. The Lamb Lies Down On Düsseldorf is, however, a very good recording and the shows from this part of the tour all hold something of interest.