Foxtrot (album)

Foxtrot (album)

Infobox Album
Name = Foxtrot
Type = Album
Artist = Genesis

Released = 6 October, 1972
Recorded = August 1972 at Island Studios/London
Genre = Progressive rock
Length = 51:08
Label = Charisma, Virgin, Atlantic
Producer = David Hitchcock of Gruggy Woof
Reviews =
* Allmusic Rating|5|5 [ link]
Last album = "Nursery Cryme"
This album = "Foxtrot"
Next album = "Genesis Live"

"Foxtrot" is the fourth studio album by British progressive rock band Genesis and the second from the "classic" lineup of Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, Phil Collins, and Steve Hackett.

Album history

The album was recorded and released in 1972 as the band's career quickly gained momentum. "Foxtrot" was also Genesis' first album to enter the UK charts, reaching # 12 and paving the way for a long and successful chart career for the band. Still, it failed to reach the US charts, as their contemporaries, Yes, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Jethro Tull, and to a lesser extent, Pink Floyd, were more popular at the time. It was not the first Genesis album to appear in the charts: "Trespass" had reached #1 in Belgium in 1971, shortly followed by "Nursery Cryme"'s #4 placing in Italy. "Foxtrot" managed to better its predecessor's performance by attaining the #1 position in the Italian charts.

Both "Watcher of the Skies" and "Supper's Ready" rank among some of the band's most beloved works, and became live favorites. "Watcher of the Skies" and "Get 'Em Out by Friday" appeared on 1973's "Genesis Live", while the 23-minute-long "Supper's Ready" was omitted due to space considerations. Live versions of that track did appear on 1977's "Seconds Out" (with Phil Collins on vocals), as well as the 1998 box set "Genesis Archive 1967-75".

"Can-Utility and the Coastliners" 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", it featured an extended instrumental section in which the haunting Mellotron string sound dominated. Sadly for some, this particular version never made it to the recording stage.

"Horizons" starts with the central idea of Bach's Prelude of the first Cello Suite and then develops its own piece, baroque style. The song accomplishes the function of a prelude.

The title of the album may be a nod to the Mellotron Mark II used by Banks at the time, which included foxtrot as one of the preset rhythms in its tapeset. The 'fox on the rocks' (a phrase itself reminiscent of the works of Dr. Seuss) is mentioned in the lyrics of the "Willow Farm" section of "Supper's Ready", and is featured in the album artwork. This figure in a red dress with a fox's head became one of Gabriel's earliest stage costumes.

A digitally remastered version was released on CD in 1994 on Virgin Records in Europe and on Atlantic Records in the US and Canada. The remastered CD features lyrics to all of the songs in addition to the original album artwork.

A SACD / DVD double disc set (including new 5.1 and Stereo mixes) is planned for release in November 2008.

Track listing

All songs by Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford.

ide one

#"Watcher of the Skies" – 7:21
#"Time Table" – 4:45
#"Get 'Em Out by Friday" – 8:36
#"Can-Utility and the Coastliners" – 5:44

ide two

#"Horizons" – 1:39
#* (Incorrectly titled "Horizon's" on the CD version. )
#"Supper's Ready" – 22:54
#*(I) "Lover's Leap"
#*(II) "The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man"
#*(III) "Ikhnaton and Itsacon and Their Band of Merry Men"
#*(IV) "How Dare I Be So Beautiful?"
#*(V) "Willow Farm"
#*(VI) "Apocalypse in 9/8 (co-starring the delicious talents of Gabble Ratchet)"
#*(VII) "As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs (Aching Men's Feet)"


With "Trespass" and "Nursery Cryme" as warmups, "Foxtrot" was the album that finally showed the full promise of Genesis as a progressive rock band. Book-ended by "Watcher of the Skies" and the 23-minute "Supper's Ready", "Foxtrot"'s sound shares much with "Nursery Cryme" while demonstrating a marked improvement in terms of songwriting, musicianship, and overall production. Rutherford made more prominent use of his bass pedals, for example adding great slabs of bass to the middle section of "Can-Utility and the Coastliners", and using them as the main bass instrument for most of "Supper's Ready". Banks' mellotron introduction to "Watcher of the Skies" is one of the most celebrated uses of the instrument in rock musicFact|date=March 2008 - so much so that the manufacturers of the mellotron, Streetly Electronics, now supply the "Watcher Mix" sound as a mellotron tape set.


*Peter Gabriel – vocals, flute, percussion, oboe
*Steve Hackettguitar
*Tony Banksorgan, guitar, piano, electric piano, mellotron, vocals
*Mike Rutherfordbass, guitar, vocals, bass pedals, cello
*Phil Collinsdrums, percussion, vocals

All releases of Foxtrot on Charisma Records in the USA were distributed by Buddah Records.

U.S. LP Releases

*Charisma CAS-1058 (1972): 1st issue with large "Mad Hatter" label. Gatefold cover.
*Charisma CAS-1058 (1973): 2nd issue with pink scroll label. No gatefold cover.
*Charisma CAS-1052 (1974): 3rd issue with small "Mad Hatter" label. No gatefold cover.
*Atlantic 81848-1 (1982): Reissue with no gatefold cover.

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