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Ending it all: Genesis and revelation

Hill, Sarah ORCID: 2013. Ending it all: Genesis and revelation. Popular Music 32 (2) , pp. 197-221. 10.1017/S0261143013000044

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Because of their brevity, many pop songs of the last fifty years seemingly elude the application of narrative theory. But the deliberate lengthening of individual tracks during the early years of progressive rock exposes them to precisely that kind of examination. One such song is ‘Supper’s Ready’, which closes the 1972 Genesis album Foxtrot. This allegorical 23-minute epic, abundant with references to the Book of Revelation, provides an intriguing model for the ‘concept song,’ and confounds the listener’s expectations – lyrical, musical, narrative, structural, and temporal. In this article I explore the seven tableaux of ‘Supper’s Ready’, paying particular attention to the treatment of the apocalyptic theme, apply formalist and narrative theories of interpretation, and consider ways in which the song’s design demands that the listener engage with both its concept and its construction.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Music
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at (accessed 24/02/2014).
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 0261-1430
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 14 May 2023 21:10

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