My Top 1000 Songs #44: The Musical Box

Ah, yes, prog rears its complicated little head at last...

I wrote a page or two in my book about my teenage discovery of Peter Gabriel-era Genesis and the wondrous 1971 album Nursery Cryme. Not gonna rehash it here, but my first spin through this 10-minute-plus opus, traversing from gentle folk-tinged beauty to acidic, room-shaking rock and back again, transporting me to some mythical place, made clear that more could be done with rock & roll than my earlier forays into radio-friendly classic rock suggested. The lush sound of the intertwined 12-string guitars made a particular impression on me.

The song still feels like a mad adventure to me, Gabriel's plea to "brush back your hair, and let me get to know your face" in the suite's closing section a reminder of the magic in his voice.

The band in all their live glory circa 1973: