How did "The Knife" by Genesis impact people?

Why is this song important to society, or just important in general? What impact did it have on its listeners?

1 Answer

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I can tell you what Wikipedia says about it. My bf is a big Genesis fan but he saw them on the Lamb Lies Down On Broadway tour in 1975 and they didn't perform that song.

    Trespass 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".

    The Knife is a song by progressive rock band Genesis from their second album Trespass from 1970. In some ways it is the first "classic" Genesis song as it was performed live often in the band's early days (a live version appears on the Genesis Live album from 1973) and has appeared sporadically in the band's setlists all the way up through 1982 (after 1975, however, they performed an edited four-minute version of the song). The first half of the song was released as a single in May 1971 (with the second half as the B-side), but it did not chart.

    The song was unusually aggressive for Genesis at the time, as most of their work consisted of soft, pastoral acoustic textures and poetic lyrics. It features a bouncy, march-like organ riff, heavily distorted guitars and bass, and chaotic drumming. (Peter Gabriel said he wanted to write something that had the excitement of "Rondo" by The Nice.) The song's lyrics concern Gabriel's reflections on violent revolutions, showing how those who use violence in the name of freedom are often only interested in establishing their own dictatorship.

    "The Knife" was the most popular stage song from Trespass, usually being performed as an encore. During one performance in June 1971, Peter Gabriel became so carried away at the end of the song that he jumped off the stage into the audience, breaking his ankle as a result.

    The cover artwork for the single features (clockwise from top left) Gabriel, Phil Collins, Rutherford, Banks and Steve Hackett. Collins and Hackett did not perform on the track but joined the group shortly after the album was recorded, replacing John Mayhew and Anthony Phillips respectively.

    I found a review of all the songs on the album - here is what they said about "The Knife" -

    "The Knife" soon would become a Genesis concert favorite. This story of a revolutionary on a power trip is propelled by some of Gabriel's angriest vocalizing with snarling fuzz bass, frantic guitar and rhythm section to match. This early version feels a bit awkward only because of John Mayhew's rather tentative drumming, but would later just rip to shreds with great confidence, with Phil Collins in the driver's seat.

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.