I don’t know why, but I almost totally forgot to write about Genesis. For some reason, none of their songs made the original “Certain Songs” playlist from which this whole mess is derived, and while I have processes in place to try to make sure I don’t miss anything, I was distracted by my new job and would have missed them if Tim hadn’t brought it up.
Outside of “Close to The Edge,” (and maybe the first part of “Thick as a Brick,”) this is my favorite of all of the sidelong prog-rock epics.
Which, well, isn’t that huge of a category, but “Supper’s Ready”has always been the wittiest and the most light on its feet of any of them, as evidenced by the segment titles, things like “The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man” most especially “Apocalypse in 9/8, (Co-Starring the Delicious Talents of Gabble Ratchet).” which manages to take the piss out itself while calling attention to the musicianship contained within.
And in fact, it’s the long, winding organ solo played by Tony Banks against the weird-ass beat being supplied by Phil Collins during the “Apocalypse in 9/8” segment that drew me to “Supper’s Ready” in the first place. Then I noticed Peter Gabriel, whose vocals are alternately anthemic, romantic, and utterly hilarious.
Unlike nearly other vocalist in prog-rock history, Gabriel is having fun.
And that sense of fun permeates “Supper’s Ready.” Things like the Steve Hackett / Tony Banks duel during “Ikhnaton and Itascon and Their Band of Merry Men,” or the entire “Willow Farm” section, and of course
And despite being a bunch of disparate songs basically stitched together until the last segment comes back around to musical themes that had been established earlier, “Supper’s Ready” feels far more organic. Probably because it’s so self-aware.
“Supper’s Ready” performed live in 1973
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