Foxtrot is the fourth studio album by the English progressive rock band Genesis, released on 6 October 1972 on Charisma Records. It features their longest recorded song, the 23-minute track “Supper’s Ready”. The album was recorded following the tour in support of their previous album, Nursery Cryme (1971), which saw them gain popularity, including a well-received slot at the Great Western Express Festival, Lincolnshire in May 1972. The album was written over the summer of 1972 and combined songs that had already been performed live with new material worked out in jam sessions. Recording began in August with John Anthony, but sessions were prone to tension and disagreements. After a short Italian tour, sessions resumed with Dave Hitchcock taking over production duties. The cover was the final Genesis work to be designed by Paul Whitehead, featuring a fox wearing a red dress. Frontman Peter Gabriel wore the dress and a fox’s head on stage for the following tour, which gathered press attention and greatly improved the group’s profile. Here are all of Foxtrot’s songs ranked.
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“The fleeting guitar instrumental “Horizons” was a good choice to open side two, what with all the Sturm und Drang that came before. Aside from being a gorgeous showcase for the underused Hackett’s classical phrasings (its cadences are quite Baroque), “Horizons” is also a great example of the sheer glorious tone the man was able to get.”
5. Time Table
“Though Gabriel’s utter conviction in his words is, as mentioned, very refreshing, it’s something of a mixed blessing. “Time Table” doesn’t entirely benefit from Gabriel’s emotional force – though the lyrics themselves are good – because with the more ballad-esque piano arrangement the emoting sounds like over-earnest overkill. On the plus side, Banks’ childlike toy piano solo is surprisingly charming. (Surprising, ’cause many of his solos are barely worth an adjective.)”
See more: Genesis Albums Ranked
4. Can-Utility and the Coastliners
“Can-Utility and the Coastliners” is the least structured track on the album; the least whole. It’s bookended by a lovely Medieval-esque organ-acoustic guitar progression in a series of arpeggios, and Gabriel sings it very well indeed — his bursts of power and dynamic fluctuations are in full form. Hell, even the transition into the anxious forest dance part works for a minute or so.”
3. Get ’em Out by Friday
“Get ‘Em Out by Friday” is where they start having some real fun. By which I mean, silly fun. And all the better, too, since the narrative force of the lyrics needs this kind of eccentricity to last for eight-and-a-half minutes. It gets it: listen to the way the inverted keyboard chords compact with the drums in the intro, 25 seconds in; the way everyone hits the ground running as soon as Gabriel hits that first word; the radical tempo and dynamic shifts that make room for the meadowy flute-assisted jangle.”
See more: Genesis Songs Ranked
2. Watcher of the Skies
“Watcher of the Skies”, like many Gabriel-era Genesis songs, feels like the soundtrack to the speech that precedes an epic battle. And it’s not like the band are trying to avoid that image — the constant, jittery one-note guitar backing evokes an oncoming charge, Collins’ cymbal splash at 4:12 (and 5:44) sounds like a soldier firing a gun into the air to underline a point from General Gabriel, whose words craft fantasy/fairytale scenes with an emotional depth that most other progressive rock bands fumbled with (or didn’t bother with in the first place).”
1. Supper’s Ready
“Supper’s Ready” is usually cited as the band’s peak achievement. And it probably is; it’s a 23-minute suite with Tolkien-esque imagery that lyrically recounts nothing less than the history of the world — or, as a progressive rock band calls it, ‘Tuesday night’s practice.’ And in terms of the physical strength of the music and the emotional content in the vocals, you can see why some people call the track the epitome or prog rock.”