The Knife

Genesis

About The Knife

"The Knife" is a song by progressive rock band Genesis from their second album, Trespass (1970). As the final song in their set, the song was performed often in the band's first five years (a live version appears on the Genesis Live album from 1973) and has appeared sporadically in the band's concerts through 1982. 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 heavy, progressive rock style of the song was a marked change from previous Genesis songs; it showed the band pioneering a new direction. 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 fast drumming. (Peter Gabriel said he wanted to write something that had the excitement of "Rondo" by the Nice, and the song's working title was "Nice".) In the lyrics of the song, Gabriel, influenced by a book on Gandhi, "wanted to try [to] show how all violent revolutions inevitably end up with a dictator in power". Gabriel's flute solo gave the song a peaceful interlude amid the aggressive rock elements. The song is in the key of A♭ minor, a difficult key on the flute, so in concert Gabriel would pull the two pieces of his flute apart slightly to lower its pitch by a semitone, then transpose the fingering up a semitone to A minor. Tony Banks tried to remind Gabriel to adjust the flute before each performance, but occasionally the flute solo was performed in the wrong key. 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. 


Year:
1970
8:55
197 Views

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Tell me my life is about to begin
Tell me that I am a hero
Promise me all of your violent dreams
Light up your body with anger
Now, in this ugly world
It is time to destroy all this evil
Now, when I give a word
Get ready to fight for your freedom
Now 

Stand up and fight, for you know we are right
We must strike at the lies
That have spread like disease through our minds
Soon we'll have power, every soldier will rest
And we'll spread out our kindness
To all who our love now deserve
Some of you are going to die 
Martyrs of course to the freedom that I shall provide

I'll give you the names of those you must kill
All must die with their children
Carry their heads to the palace of old
Hang them high, let the blood flow
Now, in this ugly world
Break all the chains around us
Now, the crusade has begun
Give us a land fit for heroes
Now 

Stand up and fight, for you know we are right
We must strike at the lies
That have spread like disease through our minds
Soon we'll have power, every soldier will rest
And we'll spread out our kindness
To all who our love now deserve
Some of you are going to die 
Martyrs of course to the freedom that I shall provide

We are only wanting freedom
We are only wanting freedom
We are only wanting freedom
We are only wanting freedom (Freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom)
We are only wanting freedom (Things are getting out of control here today)
We are only wanting freedom (OK men, fire over their heads!)

We have won

Some of you are going to die
Martyrs of course to the freedom that I shall provide

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Genesis

Genesis are an English rock band that formed in 1967. The band currently consists of its three longest-tenured members - Tony Banks (keyboards) and Mike Rutherford (bass, guitar), who were founder members; and Phil Collins (vocals, drums), who first joined in 1970. Past members Peter Gabriel (vocals, flute), Steve Hackett (guitar) and Anthony Phillips (guitar), also played major roles in the band in its early years. Genesis are among the top 30 highest-selling recording artists of all time, with approximately 150 million albums sold worldwide. more »

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Written by: Anthony Banks, Anthony Phillips, Michael Rutherford, Peter Gabriel

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, CARLIN AMERICA INC

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