– Genesis guitarist about Foxtrot

– Foxtrot of 1972 is a mixture of Revelation, science fiction, theater and the idea of ​​a mythological England, specifies Steve Hackett. On May 16, he will perform the entire album in Oslo.

Photo: Alex Hoel, Musikknyheter.n

Genesis’ fourth album was released in the fall of 1972 and became the quintet’s first major hit. It reached No. 12 on the UK LP charts, topped the charts in Italy, and reached high positions in other European countries as well. – We had the idea that we were a musical community where everyone in the band could contribute creatively. We were a democracy, where everyone’s ideas were welcome.

Fox mask and red dress

In 1972, Genesis consisted of Peter Gabriel (vocals and leader), Steve Hackett (lead guitar), Mike Rutherford (bass), Tony Banks (moog and keyboards) and Phil Collins (drums). Many think it was the best group formation, especially from a creative and artistic point of view.

The title Foxtrot has nothing to do with the music on the disc according to Hackett. – Peter Gabriel donned a fox mask and his wife Jill’s red dress while promoting the album. It’s the kind of thing that got you on the cover of a magazine back then, laughs the 73-year-old musician from Pimlico in central London. – David Bowie was an example of a musician who also dressed up and was an actor. He inspired us with his alter ego as Ziggy Stardust. When we played Supper’s Ready, it became a pure pantomime show, where Peter Gabriel dressed up, not only as a fox, but also as a flower, says Hackett.

– Foxtrot was the record that gave us a whole new audience. When we played Nursery Cryme, there were times when the audience would come out of the gigs and walk into the bar. But when we played Foxtrot live, we had moog synthesizers and a light show, which kept the audience in the room throughout the concerts. The prog audience was mostly male back then, but now thankfully there are a lot more women in the audience, I see some of them singing along to the songs, comments Steve Hackett, who performed Foxtrot live in the UK and the Continent, and now looking forward to visiting Scandinavia. In the fall, he brings Foxtrot “over there” and performs it in the United States and Canada.

Social criticism and biblical references

– The opening title Watcher of the Sky is a pure sci-fi song. The Moog intro is powerful and it was Star Wats before the Star Wars movie. – Get Them Out By Friday is written by Gabriel and a social commentary about unscrupulous house sharks who financially exploit retirees, they are evicted from their apartments and moved to smaller places. There’s a middle part of the song which is kind of a “danse macabre”, a slow waltz, a darker aspect of the song. – There’s also a bit of a sci-fi element here, like the fact that people can be shrunk down so they have more space for more people in apartment complexes, to get the most out of it. best party. You could say he has socialist leanings politically.

Time Table is the only song on the record that Hackett hasn’t performed live in 50 years. – It’s the brainchild of Tony Banks; very harmonious, very nostalgic, like a picture book, a bit childish, romantic, but at the same time not so romantic. Tony’s romanticism at the time tended to be quite “bookish”. It took many years before he could write “I love you” into a song, comments Hackett.

Can-Utility and the Coastliners is the fourth song on the disc. – I wrote this song entirely myself, and the title is meant as a kind of pun. This is the Danish King Knut. He was told he had the power to roll back the waves. He was surrounded by flatterers, but he wanted to show that he had his feet on the ground. Knut. I take it as a compliment that Steven Wilson thinks this is the best Genesis song. Guitar instrumental Horizons is another song composed by Hackett, it is short and forms a nice introduction to the song’s magnum epic, Supper’s Ready, which tops the list of best progressive songs of all time. – – We didn’t consider ourselves progressives in 1972. The word “progressive” was generally only used for free jazz at the time, says Hackett.

Supper’s Ready is Foxtrot’s last song, and also Genesis’ most epic and ambitious work. – It’s a musical odyssey. Peter Gabriel insisted on writing the entire text on Suppers Ready, even though I had the original idea of ​​composing “a long piece with all the sound effects”. Peter Gabriel wanted to personify the song and mythologize Genesis. He based it on quasi-religious, trippy ideas and a reference to Genesis’ first album, 1969’s “From Genesis to Revelation”, and drew inspiration from Revelation in the Bible, among others, and the mixed with a recent experience he had of a bad trip with his girlfriend Jill who became his first wife. It’s about the battle between good and evil, mixed with a little love song and lots of playfulness.

Lennon was a Genesis fan

The land at Willow Farm is very Beatles, – Peter wanted it to be a kind of zen farm where anything could happen. Everyone in Genesis was a big Beatles fan and we knew that John Lennon had our records sent to New York. He once said in an interview that Genesis was one of the true sons of the Beatles. A huge compliment to us in the band, of course, as we were all big Beatles fans growing up. On record, Supper’s Ready lasts 22 minutes, but live I extended it to 25 minutes.

Symbolic coverage

Paul Whitehead, who designed and painted the covers for Trespass (1970) and Nursery Cryme (71), also did the iconic cover for Foxtrot (72). There are four horsemen in the painting, representing The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. They are on horseback and hunt foxes, while the fox in a red robe ran away on an ice floe.

– It’s a mythological England that is depicted, private schools and all that. We see Britain’s upper class on the cover of Foxtrot, says Hackett.

Adele Matthews

"Passionate pop cultureaholic. Proud bacon trailblazer. Avid analyst. Certified reader."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *