Hank Williams (September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953), born Hiram King Williams, was an American singer-songwriter and musician regarded as one of the most important country music artists of all time. Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that would place in the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one.
Born in Mount Olive, Alabama, Williams moved to Georgiana, where he met Rufus Payne, a black street performer who gave him guitar lessons in exchange for meals. Payne had a major influence on Williams's later musical style. During this time, Williams informally changed his name to Hank, believing it to be a better name for country music. After moving to Montgomery, Williams began his career in 1937 when WSFA radio station producers hired him to perform and host a 15-minute program. He formed as backup the Drifting Cowboys band, which was managed by his mother, and dropped out of school to devote all of his time to his career.
When several of his band members were conscripted to military service during World War II, Williams had trouble with their replacements and started drinking heavily, causing WSFA to dismiss him. Williams eventually married Audrey Sheppard, who became his manager for nearly a decade. After recording "Never Again" and "Honky Tonkin'" with Sterling Records, he signed a contract with MGM Records. In 1948 he released "Move it on Over," which became a hit, and also joined the Louisiana Hayride radio program. In 1949, he released a cover of "Lovesick Blues," which carried him into the mainstream of music. After an initial rejection, Williams joined the Grand Ole Opry. He had 11 number one songs between 1948 and 1953, though he was unable to read or notate music to any significant degree. Among the hits he wrote were "Your Cheatin' Heart," "Hey, Good Lookin'," and "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry."
During his last years Williams's consumption of alcohol, morphine and other painkillers severely compromised his professional and personal life. He divorced his wife and was dismissed by the Grand Ole Opry due to frequent drunkenness. Williams died suddenly in 1953 at the age of 29. Despite his short life, Williams has had a major influence on country music. The songs he wrote and recorded have been covered by numerous artists, many of whom have also had hits with the tunes, in a range of pop, gospel, blues and rock styles.
In July 1937 the Williams and McNeil families opened a boarding house on South Perry Street in downtown Montgomery. It was at this time that Hiram decided to change his name informally to Hank, a name he said was better suited to his desired career in country music. During the same year, he participated of a talent show at the Empire Theater. He won the first prize of $15, singing his first original song "WPA Blues". Williams wrote the lyrics and used the tune of Sonny Boy Williamson II's "Dissatisfied". He never learned to read music, and for the rest of his career, he based his compositions in storytelling. After school and on weekends Williams sang and played his Silvertone guitar on the sidewalk in front of the WSFA radio studios. His recent win at The Empire Theater and the street performances caught the attention of WSFA producers, who occasionally invited him to perform on air. So many listeners contacted the radio station asking for more of "the singing kid" that the producers hired him to host his own 15-minute show twice a week for a weekly salary of US$15 (equivalent to US$229.5 in 2011). In August 1938 Elonzo Williams was temporarily released from the hospital. He showed up unannounced at the family's home in Montgomery. Lillie was unwilling to let him reclaim his position at the head of the household, so he stayed only long enough to celebrate Williams' birthday in September before he returned to the medical center in Louisiana.
Williams's successful radio show fueled his entry into a music career. His salary was enough for him to start his own band, which he dubbed the Drifting Cowboys. The original members were guitarist Braxton Schuffert, fiddler Freddie Beach, and comedian Smith "Hezzy" Adair. James E. (Jimmy) Porter was the youngest, being only 13 when he started playing steel guitar for Williams. Arthor Whiting was also a guitarist for The Drifting Cowboys. The band traveled throughout central and southern Alabama performing in clubs and at private parties. James Ellis Garner later played fiddle for him. Lillie Williams became the Drifting Cowboys' manager. Williams dropped out of school in October 1939 so that the Drifting Cowboys could work full time. Lillie Williams began booking show dates, negotiating prices and driving them to some of their shows. Now free to travel without Williams' schooling taking precedence, the band could tour as far away as western Georgia and the Florida Panhandle. The band started to play in theaters before the start of the movies and later in honky-tonks. Williams' alcohol problem started during the tours, on occasion spending an important part of the show revenues. Meanwhile, between tour schedules, Williams returned to Montgomery to host his radio show.
The American entry into World War II in 1941 marked the beginning of hard times for Williams. All his band members were drafted to serve in the military, while he got a 4-F deferment from the military draft after falling from a bull during a rodeo in Texas. Many of their replacements refused to continue playing in the band because of Williams' worsening alcoholism. He continued to show up for his radio show intoxicated, so in August 1942 WSFA fired him for "habitual drunkenness". During one of his concerts Williams met backstage his idol, Grand Ole Opry star Roy Acuff, who later warned him of the dangers of alcohol, saying: "You've got a million-dollar voice, son, but a ten-cent brain."
He worked for the rest of the war in a shipbuilding company in Mobile, Alabama, as well as singing in bars for soldiers. In 1943 Williams met Audrey Sheppard on a medicine show in Banks, Alabama. Williams and Sheppard lived and worked together in Mobile, Sheppard later told Williams that she wanted to move to Montgomery with him and start a band together and help him regain his radio show. The couple were married in 1944 in a Texaco Station in Andalusia, Alabama, by a justice of the peace. The marriage was declared illegal, since Sheppard's divorce from her previous husband did not comply with the legally required sixty day trial reconciliation.
In 1945, when he was back in Montgomery, Williams started to perform again for WSFA. He wrote songs weekly to perform during the shows. As a result of the new variety of his repertoire, Williams published his first song book, Original Songs of Hank Williams. The book only listed lyrics, since its main purpose was to attract more audience. It included ten songs: "Mother Is Gone", "Won't You Please Come Back", "My Darling Baby Girl" (with Audrey Sheppard), "Grandad's Musket", "I Just Wish I Could Forget", "Let's Turn Back The Years", "Honkey-Tonkey", "I Loved No One But You", "A Tramp On The Street", and "You'll Love Me Again". Williams became recognized as a songwriter, Sheppard became his manager and occasionally accompanied him on duets in some of his live concerts.
On September 14, 1946, Williams auditioned for the Grand Ole Opry but was rejected. After the failure of his audition, Williams and Audrey Sheppard traveled to Nashville, to intend to interest the recently formed label Acuff-Rose. Williams and his wife approached Fred Rose, the president of the company, during one of his habitual ping-pong games at WSM radio studios. Audrey Williams asked Rose if her husband could sing a song for him on that moment, Rose agreed, and he liked Williams' style. Rose signed Williams to a six song contract, and leveraged this deal to sign Williams with Sterling Records. On December 11, 1946, in his first recording session, he recorded "Wealth Won't Save Your Soul", "Calling You", "Never Again", and "When God Comes and Gathers His Jewels." The recordings "Never Again" and "Honky Tonkin'" became successful, and earned Williams the attention of MGM Records.- From Wikipedia
1964: Sam Cooke Shot In Los Angeles Motel
Samuel Cook, (January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964), better known under the stage name Sam Cooke, was an American gospel, R&B, soul, and pop singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. He is considered to be one of the pioneers and founders of soul music. He is commonly known as the King of Soul for his distinctive vocal abilities and influence on the modern world of music. His contribution in pioneering Soul music led to the rise of Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and popularized the likes of Otis Redding and James Brown.
Cooke had 29 top-40 hits in the U.S. between 1957 and 1964. Major hits like "You Send Me", "A Change Is Gonna Come", "Cupid", "Chain Gang", "Wonderful World", and "Twistin' the Night Away" are some of his most popular songs. Cooke was also among the first modern black performers and composers to attend to the business side of his musical career. He founded both a record label and a publishing company as an extension of his careers as a singer and composer. He also took an active part in the American Civil Rights Movement.
On December 11, 1964, Cooke was fatally shot by the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 33. At the time, the courts ruled that Cooke was drunk and distressed, and that the manager had killed Cooke in what was later ruled a justifiable homicide.
Cooke was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He later added an "e" onto the end of his name, though the reason for this is disputed. He was one of eight children of Annie Mae and the Reverend Charles Cook, a Baptist minister. He had a brother, L.C., who some years later would become a member of the doo-wop band Johnny Keyes and the Magnificents. The family moved to Chicago in 1933. Cooke attended Wendell Phillips Academy High School in Chicago, the same school that Nat "King" Cole had attended a few years earlier.
Cooke began his career singing gospel with his siblings in a group called The Singing Children. He first became known as lead singer with the Highway QC's as a teenager. In 1950, Cooke replaced gospel tenor R.H. Harris as lead singer of the landmark gospel group The Soul Stirrers. Under Cooke's leadership, the group signed with Specialty Records and recorded the hits "Peace in the Valley", "How Far Am I From Canaan?", "Jesus Paid the Debt", and "One More River", among many other gospel songs.
Crossover pop success
His first pop single, "Lovable" (1956), was released under the alias "Dale Cook" in order not to alienate his gospel fan base; as there was a considerable stigma against gospel singers performing secular music. However, it fooled no one - Cooke's unique and distinctive vocals were easily recognized. Art Rupe, head of Specialty Records, the label of the Soul Stirrers, gave his blessing for Cooke to record secular music under his real name, but he was unhappy about the type of music Cooke and producer Bumps Blackwell were making. Rupe expected Cooke's secular music to be similar to that of another Specialty Records artist, Little Richard. When Rupe walked in on a recording session and heard Cooke covering Gershwin, he was quite upset. After an argument between Rupe and Blackwell, Cooke and Blackwell left the label.
In 1957, Cooke appeared on ABC's The Guy Mitchell Show. That same year, he signed with Keen Records. His first release "You Send Me", (the B-side of a reworking of George Gershwin's "Summertime") spent six weeks at #1 on the Billboard R&B chart. The song also had mainstream success, spending three weeks at #1 on the Billboard pop chart.
In 1961, Cooke started his own record label, SAR Records, with J.W. Alexander and his manager, Roy Crain. The label soon included The Simms Twins, The Valentinos, Bobby Womack, and Johnnie Taylor. Cooke then created a publishing imprint and management firm, then left Keen to sign with RCA Victor. One of his first RCA singles was the hit "Chain Gang". It reached #2 on the Billboard pop chart and was followed by more hits, including "Sad Mood", "Bring it on Home to Me" (with Lou Rawls on backing vocals), "Another Saturday Night" and "Twistin' the Night Away".
Like most R&B artists of his time, Cooke focused on singles; in all he had twenty-nine top-40 hits on the pop charts, and more on the R&B charts. In spite of this, he released a well received blues-inflected LP in 1963, Night Beat, and his most critically acclaimed studio album Ain't That Good News, which featured five singles, in 1964.
Loss of son
In 1963, Cooke's 18 month old son, Vincent, wandered away from his mother's supervision and drowned in their front yard pool while Sam was away from the home. With their marriage already in trouble largely due to extramarital affairs by both Sam and his wife, Barbara, the distance between them deepened as Sam blamed Barbara for their son's death. Cooke retreated into a deep depression, and asked that no one wear black to the child's funeral. He found his escape in out-of-town performances, which he agreed to at every opportunity.
Cooke died at the age of thirty-three on December 11, 1964, at the Hacienda Motel at 9137 South Figueroa Street in Los Angeles, California. Bertha Franklin, manager of the motel, told police that she shot and killed Cooke in self-defense because he had attacked her. Police found Cooke's body in Franklin's apartment-office, clad only in a sports jacket and shoes, but no shirt, pants or underwear. The shooting was ultimately ruled a justifiable homicide. His funeral was held in Chicago at A.R Leak Funeral Home, where thousands of fans had lined up for over four city blocks to view his body. Cooke was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.
Some posthumous releases followed, many of which became hits, including "A Change Is Gonna Come", an early protest song that is generally regarded as his greatest composition. After Cooke's death, his widow, Barbara, married Bobby Womack. Cooke's daughter, Linda, later married Bobby's brother, Cecil.
The details of the case involving Cooke's death are still in dispute. The official police record states that Cooke was fatally shot by Bertha Franklin, manager of the Hacienda Motel, where Cooke had checked in earlier that evening. Franklin claimed that Cooke had broken into the manager's office-apartment in a rage, wearing nothing but a shoe and a sports coat demanding to know the whereabouts of a woman who had accompanied him to the hotel. Franklin said that the woman was not in the office and that she told Cooke this, but the enraged Cooke did not believe her and violently grabbed her, demanding again to know the woman's whereabouts. According to Franklin, she grappled with Cooke, the two of them fell to the floor, and she then got up and ran to retrieve her gun. She said that she then fired at Cooke, in self-defense, because she feared for her life. Cooke was struck once in the torso, and according to Franklin, he exclaimed, "Lady, you shot me," before mounting a last charge at her. She said that she beat him over his head with a broomstick before he finally fell, mortally wounded by the gunshot.
According to Franklin and the motel's owner, Evelyn Carr (whose last name is identified by some sources as Card, rather than Carr), they had been on the telephone together at the time of the incident. Thus, Carr claimed to have overheard Cooke's intrusion and the ensuing conflict and gunshots. Carr called the police to request that they go to the motel, informing them that she believed a shooting had occurred.
A coroner's inquest was convened to investigate the incident. The woman who had accompanied Cooke to the motel was identified as Elisa Boyer, who had also called the police that night shortly before Carr. Boyer had called the police from a telephone booth near the motel, telling them she had just escaped being kidnapped.
Boyer told the police that she had first met Cooke earlier that night and had spent the evening in his company. She claimed that after they left a local nightclub together, she had repeatedly requested that he take her home, but he instead took her against her will to the Hacienda Motel. She claimed that once in one of the motel's rooms, Cooke physically forced her onto the bed and that she was certain he was going to rape her. According to Boyer, when Cooke stepped into the bathroom for a moment, she quickly grabbed her clothes and ran from the room. She claimed that in her haste, she had also scooped up most of Cooke's clothing by mistake. She said that she ran first to the manager's office and knocked on the door seeking help. However, she said that the manager took too long in responding, so, fearing Cooke would soon be coming after her, she fled the motel altogether before the manager ever opened the door. She claimed she then put her own clothing back on, hid Cooke's clothing, and went to the telephone booth from which she called police.
Boyer's story is the only account of what happened between the two that night; however, her story has long been called into question. Inconsistencies between her version of events and details reported by other witnesses, as well as circumstantial evidence (e.g., thousands in cash that Cooke was reportedly carrying was never recovered, and Boyer was soon after arrested for prostitution), invited speculation that Boyer may have gone willingly to the motel with Cooke, then slipped out of the room with Cooke's clothing in order to rob him, rather than to escape an attempted rape.
Such questions were ultimately deemed beyond the scope of the inquest, whose purpose was to establish the circumstances of Franklin's role in the shooting, not to determine precisely what had transpired between Cooke and Boyer preceding the event. Boyer's leaving the motel room with almost all of Cooke's clothing, regardless of exactly why she did so, combined with the fact that tests showed Cooke was inebriated at the time, provided what inquest jurors deemed a plausible explanation for Cooke's bizarre behavior and state of dress, as reported by Franklin and Carr. This explanation, in conjunction with the fact that Carr's testimony corroborated Franklin's version of events, and the fact that police officials testified that both Boyer and Franklin had passed lie detector tests, was enough to convince the coroner's jury to accept Franklin's explanation, and return a verdict of justifiable homicide. With that verdict, authorities officially closed the case on Cooke's death.
Some of Cooke's family and supporters, however, have rejected Boyer's version of events, as well as those given by Franklin and Carr. They believe that there was a conspiracy to murder Cooke and that the murder took place in some manner entirely different from the three official accounts. In her autobiography, Rage to Survive, singer Etta James claimed that she viewed Cooke's body in the funeral home and that the injuries she observed were well beyond what could be explained by the official account of Franklin alone having fought with Cooke. James described Cooke as having been so badly beaten that his head was nearly separated from his shoulders, his hands were broken and crushed, and his nose mangled.
No concrete evidence supporting a conspiracy theory has been presented to date.- From Wikipedia
1968: Stones Rock 'N' Roll Circus
The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus is a film released in 1996 of an 11 December 1968 event put together by The Rolling Stones. The event comprised two concerts on a circus stage and included such acts as The Who, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull, and Jethro Tull. John Lennon and his fiancee Yoko Ono performed as part of a supergroup called The Dirty Mac, along with Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell, and Keith Richards. It was originally meant to be aired on the BBC, but the Rolling Stones withheld it because they were unhappy with their performance.
The Stones contended that they withheld the film's release due to their substandard performance, because they had taken the stage early in the morning and were clearly exhausted. Many others believe that the true reason for not releasing the video was that The Who, who were fresh off a concert tour, upstaged the Stones on their own production. The Stones had not toured recently, and were not in top playing condition to match The Who.
Concept and Performance
The project was originally conceived by Mick Jagger as a way of branching out from conventional records and concert performances. Jagger approached Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who had directed two promos for Stones songs, to make a full-length TV show for them. According to Lindsay-Hogg, the idea of combining rock music and a circus setting came to him when he was trying to come up with ideas; he drew a circle on a piece of paper and free-associated.
The Stones and their guests performed in a replica of a seedy big top on a British sound stage - the Intertel (V.T.R. Services) Studio, Wycombe Road, Wembley - in front of an invited audience. The performances began at around 2 p.m. on December 11, 1968, but setting up between acts took longer than planned and the cameras kept breaking down, which meant that the final performances took place at almost 5 o'clock the next morning.
By that time the audience and most of the Stones were exhausted; Jagger's sheer stamina managed to keep them going until the end. Jagger was reportedly so disappointed with his and the band's performance that he cancelled the airing of the film, and kept it from public view. This was the last public performance of Brian Jones with The Rolling Stones, and for much of the Stones performance he is inaudible, although his slide guitar on "No Expectations" remains clear.
Some of the footage of the concert was thought to be lost until 1989 when it was found in a trash can in a cellar. A significant segment of footage of The Who from the production was actually shown theatrically in the documentary The Kids Are Alright (1979), the only public viewing of the film until its eventual release. The Stones' film was restored and finally released on CD and video in 1996. Included on the recordings are the introductions for each act, including some entertaining banter between Jagger and Lennon, expressing mutual friendship and admiration.
This concert is the only footage of Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi performing as a member of Jethro Tull; he was a member for this show only as a favour to Ian Anderson while they looked for a replacement for Mick Abrahams. The band mimed to the album version of "A Song for Jeffrey" and 'Fat Man' as the Stones told them to cut their time down and it would save time on rehearsing," Fat Man' never made the final release. This footage also included some of Ian Anderson's first attempts of his now famous flute-playing position, with one leg in the air.
In 2004, a remastered DVD was released, with audio remixed into Dolby Surround. The DVD includes footage of the show, along with extra features which include previously "lost" performances, an interview with Pete Townshend, and three audio commentaries. Of particular interest in the Townshend interview is his description of the genesis of the Circus project, which he claims was initially meant to involve the performers travelling across the United States via train (a concept used for a short concert series in Canada that was later documented in the feature film Festival Express). The remastered DVD also includes a special four-camera view of Dirty Mac's performance of The Beatles' "Yer Blues" (showing Ono kneeling on the floor in front of the musicians, completely covered in a black sheet).
According to Bill Wyman's book, the Stones also performed "Confessing the Blues", "Route 66" and an alternative take of "Sympathy for the Devil" with Brian Jones on guitar.- From Wikipedia
1972: Genesis Makes US Debut
Genesis are an English rock band that formed in 1967. The band currently comprises the longest-tenured members Tony Banks (keyboards), Mike Rutherford (bass, guitar) and Phil Collins (vocals, drums). Past members Peter Gabriel (vocals, flute), Steve Hackett (guitar) and Anthony Phillips (guitar), also played major roles in the band in its early years. Genesis are among the top 30 highest-selling recording artists of all time with approximately 150 million albums sold worldwide.
In the late 1960s, with the release of their first album, Genesis's music was initially regarded by the band and the fans as a pop experiment, referring to then-popular melodic pop. They then (beginning with their second album) quickly evolved into a progressive rock band with the incorporation of complex song structures and elaborate instrumentation. Their concerts became theatrical experiences with innovative stage design, pyrotechnics, extravagant costumes and on-stage stories. This second phase was characterised by lengthy performances such as the 23 minute "Supper's Ready" and the 1974 concept album, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. In the late 70s and early 80s the band's musical direction changed once again, becoming more pop oriented and commercially accessible. This resulted in their first top 40 single in the US with "Follow You Follow Me", their first number one album in the United Kingdom, Duke, and their only number one single in the United States, "Invisible Touch".
Genesis has undergone several personnel changes throughout its history. Stage fright forced founding member Anthony Phillips to leave the band in 1970. In 1975, Collins, then the band's drummer, replaced Peter Gabriel as lead singer after a lengthy search for a replacement. To facilitate Collins's move to lead vocals during concerts, Bill Bruford and Chester Thompson played drums for the band as they toured, with Collins joining in briefly during lengthy instrumental passages. In 1977, guitarist Steve Hackett left the band. After Phil Collins left the band in 1996, Genesis recruited Ray Wilson (formerly of Stiltskin). Wilson appeared on the 1997 album Calling All Stations, after which the band announced an indefinite hiatus. However, in 2007, Banks, Collins and Rutherford reunited for a 20-city tour of Europe and North America, which included a free concert at Rome's Circo Massimo in front of 500,000 fans. Genesis were among five bands inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. The future of the band remains uncertain with Collins's retirement from the music business and the other members' solo work.
1967–1970: The beginning
Genesis was formed in 1967 when Peter Gabriel and Tony Banks were students at Charterhouse School in Godalming. Formed out of school bands Garden Wall and The Anon, Genesis's original line-up consisted of Peter Gabriel (vocals), Anthony Phillips (guitar), Tony Banks (keyboards), Mike Rutherford (bass & guitar) and Chris Stewart (drums). The group (minus Stewart) originally formed as a songwriting partnership with no intention of performing, but with more and more bands writing their own songs, there was no demand for a team of young and inexperienced songwriters.
Charterhouse School alumnus Jonathan King attended a concert at Charterhouse in 1968 while the band was still in school. Following the concert, another student gave King a tape of songs the band had recorded and King thought enough of them to sign them to a recording contract. King was a songwriter and record producer who had a hit single at the time, "Everyone's Gone to the Moon". King named the band Genesis (after previously suggesting the name Gabriel's Angels), recalling that he had "thought it was a good name... it suggested the beginning of a new sound and a new feeling."
The resulting album, From Genesis to Revelation, was released on Decca Records in March 1969. During the sessions, Stewart was replaced by John Silver on drums. The band recorded a series of songs influenced by the light pop style of the Bee Gees, one of King's favourite bands at the time. King assembled the tracks as a concept album, and added string arrangements during the production. Their first single, "The Silent Sun", was released in February 1968. The album sold poorly but the band, on advice from King, decided to pursue a career in music. King holds the rights to the songs on the From Genesis to Revelation album and has re-released it many times under a variety of names, including In the Beginning, Where the Sour Turns to Sweet, Rock Roots: Genesis, ...And the Word Was and, most recently, The Genesis of Genesis.
Silver was replaced by John Mayhew before the recording of Trespass. Genesis then secured a new recording contract with Charisma Records. The band built a following through live performances which featured the band's hypnotic, dark and haunting melodies and Gabriel's numerous eye-catching costumes.
Trespass, which was made from many of the songs the band had written during their earliest live shows, was the template for the band's albums in the 1970s – lengthy, sometimes operatic pieces resembling the style of progressive rock bands such as King Crimson, Yes and Gentle Giant, along with the occasional shorter and more accessible, sometimes humorous, number. Trespass included progressive rock elements such as elaborate arrangements and time signature changes, as in the nine-minute song "The Knife".
Ill health and recurring stage fright caused Anthony Phillips to leave the band in the summer of 1970. Phillips would later record many solo albums, sometimes in collaboration with other Genesis members. Phillips's departure traumatised Banks and Rutherford, causing the band to doubt whether it could continue. However, the remaining members decided to carry on, replacing Mayhew and Phillips with Phil Collins on drums and Mick Barnard on guitar in the autumn of 1970. Barnard's tenure was short-lived, and the band brought in Steve Hackett, formerly of Quiet World, on guitar in January 1971.
1971–1975: The classic era
Collins and Hackett made their studio debut in 1971 on Nursery Cryme, which features "The Musical Box" and Collins's first lead vocal performance in "For Absent Friends", the song was also the first written by new members Collins and Hackett within the band. Two engineers were hired and then quit before John Burns took over during the recording of their next album, and this began a successful three-album collaboration between Burns and the group. Foxtrot was released in October 1972 and contains what has been described as "one of the group's most accomplished works", the 23-minute multi-part epic "Supper's Ready". Songs such as the Arthur C. Clarke-inspired "Watcher of the Skies" solidified their reputation as songwriters and performers. Gabriel's flamboyant and theatrical stage presence, which involved numerous and elaborate costumes and surreal spoken song introductions, made the band a popular live act.
Cholmondeley's coffeehouse, commonly referred to as "Chums," is located in Brandeis' Usen Castle. Chums is a popular site for student performances and concerts, including Tracy Chapman, Joan Baez, Matt Pond PA, and Genesis (notable as their first American performance). Cholmondley's is named after a notoriously ill-tempered Basset hound that was the on-campus pet for Ralph Norman, the campus Photographer during the first years of Brandeis.
Genesis Live, was recorded on the Foxtrot tour in 1973, shortly before the band's upcoming album was released.
Selling England by the Pound was released in November 1973 and was well received by critics and fans. Gabriel insisted on the title, a reference to a current Labour Party slogan, in an effort to counter the impression that Genesis was becoming too US-oriented. The album contains "Firth of Fifth" and "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)"; these songs became part of their live repertoire, with the latter becoming their first charting single, reaching No. 17 on the UK singles charts.
During this period Hackett became an early user of the electric guitar "tapping" technique, which was later popularised by Eddie Van Halen, as well as "sweep-picking", which was popularised in the 1980s by Yngwie Malmsteen. These guitar techniques were incorporated in the song "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight". At the same time, the band signed with new manager Tony Smith, who published all subsequent Genesis songs through his company Hit & Run Music Publishing.
In 1974, Genesis recorded a double disc concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway which was released on 18 November. In contrast to the lengthy tracks featured on earlier albums, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is a collection of shorter tracks, connected by a number of segues. The story describes the spiritual journey of Rael, a Puerto Rican youth living in New York City, and his quest to establish his freedom and identity. During his adventure, Rael encounters several bizarre characters including the Slippermen and The Lamia, the latter being borrowed from Greek mythology and influenced by a poem by Keats.
The band embarked on a world tour to promote the album, performing it 102 times in its entirety, with Gabriel adding spoken narration. This choice of set was soon regretted by the band members, since it lacked the variety of playing material from throughout their career and compelled them to perform songs which didn't work well live. During their live performances, Genesis pioneered the use of lasers and other light effects, most of which were built by the Dutch technician Theo Botschuijver. A customised handheld unit was used to channel laser light, which allowed Gabriel to sweep the audience with various light effects.
Creating the ambitious The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway album strained relations between band members, particularly Banks and Gabriel, who were good friends. Gabriel was the album's lyricist, while the other band members (chiefly Banks and Rutherford) wrote the music, with the exception of "Counting Out Time" and "The Carpet Crawlers". "The Light Dies Down on Broadway" was co-authored by Banks and Rutherford. The other-worldly, blurbling, sequenced synth sounds and shattering glass loops in the track "The Waiting Room", as well as the vocal effects in the track "The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging" coined "Enossifications", were produced by the ambient composer Brian Eno.
During the Lamb tour, Gabriel announced to his bandmates that he had decided to leave the band, citing estrangement from the other members, and the strains of his marriage and the difficult birth of his first child. Nonetheless, he saw his commitment through to the conclusion of the tour. In a letter to fans, delivered through the music press at the end of the tour, entitled Out, Angels Out, Gabriel explained that the "...vehicle we had built as a co-op to serve our songwriting became our master and had cooped us up inside the success we had wanted. It affected the attitudes and the spirit of the whole band. The music had not dried up and I still respect the other musicians, but our roles had set in hard." Collins later remarked that the other members "...were not stunned by Peter's departure because we had known about it for quite a while." The band decided to carry on without Gabriel.
Gabriel's first solo album, Peter Gabriel 1977, features the hit single "Solsbury Hill", an allegory that refers to his departure from the band.- From Wikipedia