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Foxtrot – A Creative Masterpiece

Our second album review of #ProgLoopGenesisWeek is the 48 year old masterpiece: Foxtrot. When it comes to Foxtrot, except for its instrumental piece Horizons, all of the songs seem to tell an original story: Watcher of the Skies talking about the reign of man on Earth, Time Table the kingdoms now and before, Get’ Em Out By Friday the day to day struggles of men, and several different stories in Can-utility and the Coastliners, and Supper’s Ready, which can’t be possibly explained in a single sentence. The distinctive lyricism of Peter Gabriel can truly be felt in this album. The line-up includes Tony Banks, Steve Hackett, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Peter Gabriel: the list of instruments is better off not included as there are quite a few different ones used. But it’s clear that the unique atmosphere of Foxtrot was created via a wide range of instrumentation stretches from the mellotron and organ to the oboe and tambourine. When it comes to the musical aspect, Foxtrot consists of intricate time signatures, a mix of both traditional folk-rock influences, and classic prog-rock jams. Supper’s Ready, both a fan favorite and a game changer for the genre of progressive music, could be one of the most powerful musical pieces ever created by the band. The 23 minute long song consists of seven different sections with varying key signatures, moods and times. The whole song is “a personal journey which ends up walking through scenes from Revelation in the Bible” as Gabriel puts it. Though every member of the band was given credit for the lyrics, Gabriel had written most of them, and Phil Collins had done most of the arrangement of intervals.

The live performances of Foxtrot were also spectacles with the costumes of Peter Gabriel and the scene descriptions before concerts. An excerpt from one of these descriptions captures the beauty of the album quite well: “At one whistle the lovers become seeds in the soil, where they recognize 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…”

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