While I occasionally forget, I know in my heart of hearts that *The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is the best album. Sorry Lifter Puller, I love Fiestas + Fiascos, but The Lamb really takes the cake.
I think I've realized that these days "Back in N.Y.C." is the song I enjoy the most across the album. For a long time it was "Chamber of 32 Doors", but there's something about the thumping bass, synth arpeggio, and the syncopated drums that just do it for me. Gabriel's amplified machismo wail, the bizarre porcupine-cuddling bridge, and it just sounds so amazing! Ugh. Words are dumb, they're not good enough to describe how good this song is.
You're sitting in your comfort you don't believe I'm real,
You cannot buy protection from the way that I feel.
Your progressive hypocrites hand out their trash,
But it was mine in the first place, so I'll burn it to ash.
When you go to download The Lamb from a popular music torrent website, there are a total of 14 versions of this album to choose from. It can be daunting to try to figure out how to choose... Do you get the original release on vinyl? Or the original German vinyl? The 1985 original CD release? The 1986 original Japanese 'Black Triangle' CD release? The 1994 Atlantic remaster? The 2008 Virgin 5.1 or stereo remasters?
Any consensus on which version is "best?"
This guy likes the original releases:
The 2001 Classics LP 24bit has unfortunately sibilance issues...stick to any pre 1994 Remaster. They are all derived from the same master regardless of EAC peak readings...The PBTHAL German rip is good but the 1st CD pressings are superior.
The 2009 remaster is brickwalled, though not to the extent that later Genesis albums in the same remaster series were. Just comparing the file sizes of the CD-quality FLACs will make this clear. The Charisma CDs and pbthal's rip of the original German release are probably your best bets. The 1994 "Definitive Edition Remasters" aren't bad either.
This guy likes Black Triangle:
Firstly I compared the two 1999 Japanese issues, TOCP-53067-68 and VJCP-68096-97:
VJCP-68096-97 sounds pretty much identical in sound to the '94 DE to me (not bad at all but a little "smiley-faced"). The TOCP-53067-68 is a little brighter - too much so for me.
The 1986 Black Triangle is a whole different beast. No smiley-face EQ, solid mids, full bass. I love it.
The 1985 CD issue sounds mid-way between the Black Triangle and the DE in terms of top end + mids, but with rolled-off bass. There's no rumble from Rutherford's bass pedals; very poor.
And on the 5.1:
Is anyone else disappointed by how incredibly bad the 5.1 mixing is on the DVD and SACD releases? It seems to me like they've just put a big reverb on everything and panned it to the rear channels! Terrible!
Personally I grabbed the Black Triangle release and it sounds pretty amazing, much better than the 'definitive edition' remaster I started off with 11 years ago. Although the bass line on "In The Cage" was so pronounced it was driving me a little crazy... but that just might be my headphones.
Anytime anyone writes about The Lamb, this is worth mentioning:
Note that nearly every edition of this album has the wrong division between "Fly on a Windshield" and "Broadway Melody of 1974"; the latter is supposed to start with the line "Echoes of the Broadway Everglades", but due to an error in CD pressing, which has been copied on nearly every subsequent release, nearly everyone gets the track divisions wrong, including vinyl rippers.