50 years of “Foxtrot”: the consecration album for Genesis

50 years of «Foxtrot”: the consecration album for Genesis


Eleven months after the release of Nursery Cryme, British band Genesis released an album and a 23-minute track which quickly became a classic of the progressive rock movement. This album, Foxtrot, celebrated its 50th anniversary last Thursday.

Genesis' fourth studio album , Foxtrot was released on October 6, 1972.

A 51-minute album featuring the tracks Watchers of the Skies, Time Table, Get 'Em Out by Friday, Can-Utility and the Coastliners, Horizons and the anthem Supper's Ready

After a long series of concerts after the release of Nursery Cryme , Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford moved to Blackheath in South London and then Una Billiings School of Dance in Shepherd's Bush to work on their next album.


Weaken from 400 shows, guitarist Steve Hackett nearly quit Genesis, but the band members convinced him not to jump ship.

Watcher of the Skies, which opens the album, was already part of the Genesis repertoire. So does Can-Utility and the Coastliners.

After thanking the directors John Anthony and Tony Platt, Bob Potter enters the set and he will also be shown the way to the door.

The director, who did not like the music of Genesis , almost sabotaged the title Watcher of the Skies which has become a key piece and a classic of the British formation. He compared the mellotron introduction to the soundtrack of the 2001 film, A Space Odyssey. He wanted to remove the Tony Banks keyboard sounds.

Producer Dave Hitchcock, who had worked with Caravan on the In the Land of Gray and Pink album, took the rises and turned out to be the right choice.

The extraterrestrial

In the biography Genesis, the whole adventure , Tony Banks says the mellotron used in this piece belonged to Robert Fripp of King Crimson.

Written by Mike Rutherford and Banks, Watcher of the Skiesis a sort of sci-fi lyrical fantasy loosely based on Arthur C. Clarke's short story Childhood's End

It tells of a vision of an alien observing an earth empty and abandoned.

“I don't think the song lived up to what its intro promised, but it was a great way to start a gig. We arrived on stage. There was smoke from the ultraviolet rays, which still wasn't too cliché at the time, and when Watcher of the Skies was starting, we knew it was a Genesis concert,” said keyboardist Tony Banks in this book published in 2007.

During the work sessions, the members from Genesis discarded a few songs suggested by guitarist Steve Hackett, including the title Shadow of the Hierophant, which later ended up on his solo album Voyage of the Acolyte >.

The Anthem Supper'r Ready

Supper's Ready, which covers almost the entire second side of the vinyl, has become Genesis' signature piece. A title that the group interpreted during these visits to Quebec in 1973, 1974, 1976 and 1977.

Steve Hackett was far from convinced that such a long piece, 23 minutes, was for be appreciated. 

“The audience would definitely think we were high,yet we did not take acid or do drugs. […] I thought it was all over, that nobody was going to like it, that the record company would target us and we would disappear into a black hole. I was wrong all along, and I've never been so happy to be wrong. This piece ended up becoming the band's anthem,” said the guitarist in the book Genesis, tout l'aventure.

Hackett then integrated this title into his many solo tours. She will be on the program during her appearances, on November 29 at Salle Wilfrid Pelletier at Place des Arts, and on December 4 at the Grand Théâtre de Québec.

When the owner of the Charisma label and manager Tony Stratton-Smith heard the album, recorded at Island Studios in London, calling Foxtrot a landmark record.

“I had to wipe away a tear that flowed. Everything I believed in about this band was coming to fruition,” he told Richard Macphail, a friend and member of the tech team around Genesis on the road.