|Song by Genesis|
|from the album Foxtrot|
|Released||6 October 1972|
|Length||22:54 (CD version)|
23:06 (Vinyl and Digital versions)
23:30 (Live Version)
|Label|| Charisma/Phonogram (UK)|
Buddah Records (U.S.)
"Supper's Ready" is a song by the band Genesis. A recorded version appeared on their 1972 album Foxtrot , and the band performed the song regularly on stage for several years following this. Live versions appear on the albums Live at the Rainbow recorded in 1973, Seconds Out recorded in 1977, the compilation Genesis Archive 1967–75 , and the box set Genesis Live 1973–2007 . A reworked version also appears on Steve Hackett's 2012 album Genesis Revisited II and its accompanying live albums Genesis Revisited: Live at Hammersmith and Genesis Revisited: Live at Royal Albert Hall.
In an interview, Peter Gabriel summed up "Supper's Ready" as "a personal journey which ends up walking through scenes from Revelation in the Bible... I'll leave it at that".He was also quoted in the book I Know What I Like by Armando Gallo as saying that the song was influenced by an experience his wife had of sleeping in a purple room, and the nightmares it gave her. AllMusic has described the song as the band's "undisputed masterpiece".
Nearly 23 minutes in length, the song is divided into seven sections. A number of musical and lyrical themes do re-appear throughout. The melody of the verse in section I reappears as a flute melody between sections II and III. The melody of the chorus in section I reappears with new lyrics in the coda to section VI. The song that comprises the majority of section II reappears briefly in instrumental form at the beginning of section VI, and then returns to form the body of section VII, with new lyrics.
One commentator regarded the structure of "Supper's Ready" as a variation of sonata form—a musicological analysis by Nors Josephson proposes that "section VII may be viewed as a Lisztian, symphonic apotheosis" of the "cyclical fanfares that originated in section II". On the other hand, the individual components of "Supper's Ready" are much closer to traditional rock songs than they are to classical pieces, even if they contain elements of both.
The song undergoes multiple changes in time signature, key signature, Leitmotif, instrumentation, and mood.
The song's writing is credited to the whole band (Banks/Collins/Gabriel/Hackett/Rutherford). In various interviews, Banks mentioned that he composed several of the musical progressions whilst still a university student; Gabriel authored most or all of the lyrical content, as well as the "Willow Farm" section; Collins apparently contributed much to the arrangements and segues from one section to another. In Olivier Lecart's book Genesis, Mike Rutherford hints that he was responsible for the rhythm of "Apocalypse in 9/8".
This section features a gentle arpeggiated guitar backing (with Hackett, Banks and Rutherford all playing 12-string guitars), soft electric piano (Hohner pianet), bass pedals, cello and flute, and a section with folky three part vocal harmonies sung by Gabriel and Collins (which omit the third note of the chord). The only percussion used and played by Collins is triangle, cymbals, and bells.
Lyrically it tells of a man returning home after a long time to be greeted by his lover, and mentions supernatural imagery ("six saintly shrouded men"), which Gabriel claims relate to a genuine spiritual experience which occurred with himself, his wife Jill and producer John Anthony. According to Gabriel, during a late-night conversation, his wife began speaking with a completely different voice. Gabriel held up a makeshift cross out of a candlestick and another household item, and Jill reacted violently; (in Armando Gallo's book, I Know What I Like, Gabriel mentions that his wife had reacted badly to sleeping in a room with purple walls, purple being 'very high in the colour spectrum'). Jill was eventually calmed down and taken to bed, but neither Peter nor John Anthony slept that night. On another occasion, also late at night, Gabriel looked out of the window of his wife's parents' house to see what he perceived to be an entirely different lawn, across which seven shrouded men were walking.Gabriel recounted that these experiences led him to contemplate notions of good, evil, and the supernatural, and eventually inspired the lyrics to "Supper's Ready".
Hackett, however, has a different explanation: "I believe there’d been some drug taking going on. I believe she [Jill] was having a bad trip at one point, and that Pete and a friend managed to talk her around and get her out of the horrors or whatever it was. So that’s a part of what the song was about, but in a way there’s a kind of redemption implication that goes with that."
In the programme given out at Genesis concerts at the time, "Lover's Leap" was explained as: "In which two lovers are lost in each other's eyes, and found again transformed in the bodies of another male and female."
This segment was performed as part of an acoustic medley on the group's 1998 Calling All Stations tour with Ray Wilson on vocals.
Banks composed the chord progression whilst still at University. When performing the song live, Gabriel would don a "crown of thorns" headpiece at this point. The piece segues into the next with a "Lover's Leap" reprise.
The programme describes this section as follows: "The lovers come across a town dominated by two characters; one a benevolent farmer and the other the head of a highly disciplined scientific religion. The latter likes to be known as 'The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man' and claims to contain a secret new ingredient capable of fighting fire. This is a falsehood, an untruth, a whopper, and a taradiddle, or to put it in clearer terms; a lie."
This section is much more dynamic than the previous two, with lively drumming from Collins, an elegiac electric guitar solo played by Hackett, and a lot of interplay between Hackett's guitar and Banks’ organ (including a section with fast organ and guitar arpeggios, Hackett employing the "tapping" style of playing). The lyrics refer to a battle of some sort, presumably involving Ikhnaton.
The programme spells "Itsacon" as "Its-a-con". It describes this section as follows: "Who the lovers see clad in greys and purples, awaiting to be summoned out of the ground. At the G.E.S.M's command, they put forth from the bowels of the earth, to attack all those without an up-to-date 'Eternal Life Licence', which were obtainable at the head office of the G.E.S.M.'s religion."
This is a slow and gentle section, the only instrumentation being treated acoustic piano chords, each chord being faded-in on the recording, thus losing the piano's characteristic attack and sounding more like an organ (it was done on Hammond organ live). The title is a catchphrase used by the band's early music-business contact, Jonathan King. The lyrics deal with the aftermath of the preceding battle, and referring to the Greek myth of Narcissus, who turned into a flower.
The programme describes this section as follows: "In which our intrepid heroes investigate the aftermath of the battle and discover a solitary figure, obsessed by his own image. They witness an unusual transmutation, and are pulled into their own reflections in the water."
|Single by Genesis|
|from the album Foxtrot|
|A-side||"Watcher of the Skies"|
|Released||6 October 1972|
|Genre||Psychedelic pop, progressive rock, music hall|
2:57 (single edit)
|Genesis singles chronology|
Live in concert, Gabriel would appear in his "flower mask" (by Gabriel's own admission, partly inspired by the BBC children's programme The Flower Pot Men ). This section features vaudeville-style sections, the Mellotron Mark II's "combined brass" tape set, sped-up vocals, and musique concrète noises of trains and explosions. Lyrically, it has a Python-esque quality, dealing with elements of the absurd in the English psyche, "there's Winston Churchill, dressed in drag, he used to be a British flag, plastic bag, what a drag!" and numerous elements of word play, boarding schools, agricultural depravity and social conformity. The lyrics also reference Foxtrot's cover artwork ("the fox on the rocks") and a song from Nursery Cryme , Genesis' previous album ("The Musical Box").
The programme describes "Willow Farm" as follows: "Climbing out of the pool, they are once again in a different existence. They're right in the middle of a myriad of bright colours, filled with all manner of objects, plants, animals and humans. Life flows freely and everything is mindlessly busy. At random, a whistle blows and every single thing is instantly changed into another."
"Willow Farm" was originally a stand-alone song, with music and lyrics by Gabriel. At one point, while "Supper's Ready" was being written and assembled, Banks or Gabriel had the idea of including "Willow Farm" in the middle of it. Banks commented that this jarring, fast-paced piece prevented "Supper's Ready" from seeming too much like a repeat of their earlier epic "Stagnation".
After the vocal section of "Willow Farm" ends, there is a reflective interlude, not definitely belonging to either "Willow Farm" or the following "Apocalypse In 9/8". It starts with bass pedal, electric guitar, organ and Mellotron drones, then proceeds with soft guitar and flute.
At this point, the drums enter, with the rhythm section striking out a pattern using the unusual metre of 9 beats to the bar (expressed as 3+2+4). 4
4 and 7
8 time signatures against the 9
8 rhythm section), then switching to a climactic vocal from Gabriel, and the Mellotron "three violins" tape set. Banks has said that his approach to writing the solo was to parody the style that Keith Emerson had developed with Emerson, Lake & Palmer.[ citation needed ] In live performances, during the organ solo, Gabriel would don a bizarre "Magog" outfit with geometrical headdress which can be seen on the cover of the band's Genesis Live (1973) album. "Gabble Ratchet" is a reference to the Hounds of Hell; they are usually portrayed as geese, which explains the sound effect heard during this section (18:48–18:53 on Foxtrot). They are also known as "Gabriel's Hounds". The programme for the 1972/3 tour refers to this section as "co-starring the delicious talents of wild geese".
The programme describes this section as follows: "At one whistle the lovers become seeds in the soil, where they recognise other seeds to be people from the world in which they had originated. While they wait for Spring, they are returned to their old world to see Apocalypse of St John in full progress. The seven trumpeters cause a sensation, the fox keeps throwing sixes, and Pythagoras (a Greek extra) is deliriously happy as he manages to put exactly the right amount of milk and honey on his corn flakes."
This segment was performed as a standalone once in 1978 and on the first leg of the 1986 Invisible Touch Tour as part of the "In the Cage"/"...In That Quiet Earth"/"Supper's Ready" medley.
"As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs" is a folklore variation of the logical tautology that "X = X" [ citation needed ] "Apocalypse" segues into this part via a slower section that reprises the lyrics from "Lover's Leap" in combination with the chord progression from "The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man", backed by a pressed snare drum roll and tubular bells. During live shows, a flash charge would be fired and Gabriel would discard his Magog costume to reveal himself in shining white apparel that glowed when exposed to black light. During one gig, he attempted flying on a Kirby wire, and was nearly strangled. From this point to the end, drums, deep bass pedals and Mellotron brass are present, as are Blakean lyrics which reference The New Jerusalem (The Crystal City of God that is established after the death of the Anti-Christ) and the Second Coming of Christ with reference to the biblical Revelation 19:17: "There's an angel standing in the sun. He cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the sky, Come! Be gathered together to the great supper of God."and in this context is a reference to certainty and faith—being absolutely convinced of the ultimate victory of good over evil and that God and Heaven do indeed exist. "Aching Men's Feet" is a play on "making ends meet".
After completing the lyrics in this section, Gabriel would pick up and raise an active blacklight tube, holding it near himself, upraised with both hands, as though it were a sword. Gabriel would be the only one lit onstage at this point and would actually appear to be glowing from the combination of blacklight, his reflective white costume and fluorescent makeup. Gabriel considered this effect to be a theatrical way of symbolizing the victory of good/light over evil/darkness.
The piece fades out on overdubbing cascading electric guitar parts. On the original recording this section is in the key of A, but because of Gabriel's inability to properly recreate the vocal performance onstage from either hoarseness or tiredness, the band regularly had to change the key to G.
The programme describes this section as follows: "Above all else an egg is an egg. 'And did those feet ............' making ends meet. Jerusalem = place of peace."
This segment was performed as a standalone twice in 1978 and on the first leg of the 1986 Invisible Touch Tour as part of the "In the Cage"/"...In That Quiet Earth"/"Supper's Ready" medley.
The final song on A Trick of the Tail , entitled "Los Endos", quotes from this segment near the very end. As the band fades out, Collins can be heard singing "there's an angel standing in the sun" twice in succession, followed by "free to get back home" as the last notes disappear. These are the only lyrics heard in the song, which is otherwise instrumental; this quote has generally been omitted from live versions (except for Steve Hackett's Genesis Revisited: Live at the Royal Albert Hall and Genesis Revisited: Live at Hammersmith in 2012).
Live performances of "Supper's Ready" were preceded by Peter Gabriel telling a story. At the Rainbow Theatre on 20 October 1973 (as released on the Genesis Archive 1967–75 set), Gabriel told a story about "Old Henry" (which sometimes changed to "Old Michael") taking off his clothes and rubbing his flesh into the grass in a park, which attracts a colony of earthworms. The story featured both Gabriel and Phil Collins whistling "Jerusalem" before announcing, "'Jerusalem boogie' to us perhaps, but to the birds, it meant that supper was ready".
On the 1976 tour for A Trick of the Tail, Mike Rutherford told a story to introduce the song. On the following year's tour for Wind & Wuthering , Phil Collins would tell Peter Gabriel's "Romeo and Juliet" story from "The Cinema Show" to introduce the song. In these stories, Juliet wore an "I Love Gary Gilmore" T-shirt and instead of saying "time for 'The Cinema Show'", Juliet said: "I want to go because I'm hungry and 'Supper's Ready'".
During the 1982 tour, Collins told a story before the song. Often this story would tie in to the song itself, but on some occasions he told a Romeo and Juliet story instead. At the 1982 Genesis reunion show, Gabriel told a story about a woman on a subway train (which he had told during the Foxtrot tour, and which had appeared on the Genesis Live album cover), slightly altered to segue into "Supper's Ready".
After 1982, only fragments of this song were played live by Genesis. During the first leg of the Invisible Touch tour in 1986, the band played the last two parts ("Apocalypse in 9/8", "As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs"). During the We Can't Dance tour in 1992, Collins suggested they play "Supper's Ready" in its entirety, but was voted down by Rutherford and Banks. Finally, on the Calling All Stations tour in 1998, Genesis performed an acoustic medley containing the first section.
The song was played live during the Foxtrot, Selling England by the Pound, A Trick of the Tail , Wind & Wuthering , ...And Then There Were Three... , Three Sides Live encore , Invisible Touch , and Calling All Stations tours.
Genesis are an English rock band formed at Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey, in 1967. The band's most commercially successful line-up consists of keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and drummer/singer Phil Collins. The 1970s line-up featuring singer Peter Gabriel and guitarist Steve Hackett was among the pioneers of progressive rock.
Anthony George Banks is an English musician, songwriter and film composer primarily known as the keyboardist and founding member of the rock band Genesis. Banks is also a prolific solo artist, releasing six solo albums that range through progressive rock, pop, and classical music.
Nursery Cryme is the third studio album by the English rock band Genesis, released in November 1971 on Charisma Records. It was their first to feature drummer/vocalist Phil Collins and guitarist Steve Hackett. The album received a mixed response from critics and was not initially a commercial success; it did not enter the UK chart until 1974, when it reached its peak at No. 39. However, the album was successful in Continental Europe, particularly Italy. At approximately 39 minutes long, it is the shortest studio album by the band to date.
Foxtrot is the fourth studio album by the English progressive rock band Genesis, released on 6 October 1972 on Charisma Records. It features their longest recorded song, the 23-minute track "Supper's Ready".
Genesis Live is the first live album from the English rock band Genesis, released in July 1973 on Charisma Records. Initially recorded for radio broadcast on the American rock program King Biscuit Flower Hour, the album is formed from the recordings of shows at Free Trade Hall, Manchester and De Montfort Hall, Leicester in February 1973 during the band's tour supporting their fourth studio album Foxtrot (1972).
Selling England by the Pound is the fifth studio album by the English progressive rock band Genesis, released in October 1973 on Charisma Records. It reached No. 3 in the UK and No. 70 in the U.S. A single from the album, "I Know What I Like ", was released in February 1974 and became the band's first top 30 hit in the UK.
A Trick of the Tail is the seventh studio album by English progressive rock band Genesis. It was released in February 1976 on Charisma Records and was the first album to feature drummer Phil Collins as lead vocalist following the departure of Peter Gabriel. It was a critical and commercial success in the UK and U.S., reaching No. 3 and No. 31 respectively.
Voyage of the Acolyte is the first studio album by English guitarist, songwriter, and singer Steve Hackett, released in October 1975 on Charisma Records as his only album recorded and released while he was a member of Genesis. Hackett recorded the album during a break in group activity in mid-1975 and used guest musicians, including Genesis bassist Mike Rutherford and drummer Phil Collins, to play on the record. It has a loose concept with the title and lyrics of each track inspired by a Tarot card.
The Musical Box are a Canadian tribute band formed in Montreal, Quebec in 1993 who recreate performances by the English rock band Genesis during the 1970s. The current line-up is formed of singer and performer Denis Gagné, guitarist François Gagnon, bassist Sébastien Lamothe, keyboardist Ian Benhamou, and drummer Bob St-Laurent.
"I Know What I Like " was the first charting single by the rock band Genesis. It was drawn from their 1973 album Selling England by the Pound. The single was released in the UK in February 1974, and became a minor hit in April 1974, when it reached number 21 in the UK Singles Chart.
"Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" is a song by the progressive rock band Genesis. It was released on their 1973 album Selling England by the Pound. The song was originally going to be titled "Disney".
"Firth of Fifth" is a song by the British progressive rock band Genesis. It first appeared as the third track on the 1973 album Selling England by the Pound, and was performed as a live piece either in whole or in part throughout the band's career.
"The Knife" is a song by progressive rock band Genesis from their second album, Trespass (1970).
Genesis: In Concert is a 1977 concert film directed and produced by Tony Maylam for the English progressive rock band Genesis. The recording of the film took place during concerts in Glasgow, Scotland and Stafford, England in 1976.
"Watcher of the Skies" is the first track on Genesis' 1972 album Foxtrot. It was also released as the album's only single.
"Get 'Em Out by Friday" is a rock epic on the 1972 album Foxtrot by British progressive rock band Genesis, lasting eight and a half minutes. It also appears on their 1973 live album. The lyrics were written by lead singer Peter Gabriel.
"The Musical Box" is a song by English progressive rock band Genesis, which was originally released on their third studio album Nursery Cryme in 1971. The song is written in the key of F# major. This song is the longest song on the album at 10 minutes long.
"Can-Utility and the Coastliners" is the fourth song on Genesis' fourth album, Foxtrot, released in 1972. "Can-Utility and the Coastliners", written mostly by guitarist Steve Hackett, is based on the legend of King Canute, who supposedly ordered the seas to retreat to mock the sycophancy of his followers. An early, longer version of the song found its way into pre-album live sets ; known as "Bye Bye Johnny" or "Rock My Baby", it featured an extended instrumental section in which the Mellotron string sound dominated.
The A Trick of the Tail Tour was a concert tour of the United States, Canada and European countries by English rock band Genesis. This was the first tour after Peter Gabriel left the band, and the only one with Bill Bruford on drums.
The Wind & Wuthering Tour was an English, North American, South American and European concert tour by the English rock band Genesis.