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Genesis - Nursery Cryme CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.42 | 3250 ratings

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5 stars Like a few other Genesis albums, I purchased the vinyl version of this one in 74. There are important changes in the line-up : Steve joined on the guitar and Phil on drums and backing vocals.

The opening song "The Musical Box" is one of my top three favourite from the band (together with "Watcher of the Skies" and "Firth of Fifth"). It is also one of my fave all time all genres. It inspired the layout for the cover sleeve.

The universe of the band is all there : intriguing text (sexually oriented), smooth passages, brutal guitar solo from the new guitar player Steve Hackett. They will, little by little create a world of weird characters in some of their songs. On this one, little Henry's head was cut off by Cynthia. And, ooops, he died.

Little Cynthia found a Musical box playing "Old king Cole" two weeks after the event. Little Henry reappeared but was ageing quickly. Till the moment that he was physically an old man, a strange temptation grew into his mind (and elsewhere). He tried to rape her. The screams alerted Nanny from the Nursery and when she saw the scene she threw the musical box at Henry and destroy both of them (Henry and the box).

This track will allow Peter to develop his wonderfull acting skills on stage (with the simulation of the sexual act in the finale : Now! Now! Now! Now! Now!). A brilliant and splendid song.

The short "For Absent Friend" is the only weak number. Phil is the lead vocalist. Since it lasts only for less than two minutes, it is OK (even if I always press next while listening to "Nursery Cryme" now).

The last track of side one "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" is a great song (specially on stage). It is another "war" track in the same style as "The Knife". Quite hard rocking music with dark lyrics "Mighty Hogweed is avenged. Human bodies soon will know anger. Kill them with your Hogweed hairs". It is indeed a very mighty song. The closing section is just awesome and extremely powerful. Superb, really.

Side B opens with "Seven Stones" which is IMO one of the most underrated amongst Genesis repertoire : nice flute passages, beautiful melodies and fantastic mellotron. It is one of my fave from this album (in my top four to be precise). I quite often listen to it, even now.

"Harold the Barrel" is a rather strange track. The universe of Genesis with his strange characters is building rapidly. It's the story of a restaurant owner that left his family of three alone. The crowd is chasing him and Harold only wish he would be sailing to avoid them.

Scary text : "Harold the Barrel cut off his toes and he served them all for tea" ! The song is quite brutal, but at times very melodious. Full of humour, fantasy and strenghts.

"Harlequin" is a little acoustic and na´ve number. Nothing fancy. It is the second weak track of this album. I also have the tendancy to skip it while listening to this great album.

The closing number "The Fountain of Salmacis" is the second best here IMHHO. It is a fantastic prog song with the most brilliant mellotron section I have ever heard. The story is is bizarre, filled with several characters as well: the narrator, Salmacis and Hermaphroditous (son of Hermes and Aphrodite).

Some nymphs were growing him in secret. During a walk, Hermaphroditous got lost and "his strenght began to fail". A fountain then appeared to him. "A liquid voice called : son of gods, drink from my spring". Salmacis desperatly wants them to only make one : "Unearthly calm descended from the sky , And then their flesh and bones were strangely merged ,Forever to be joined as one".

This description of the song is based on the lyrics.

There is a lot of symbolic and beauty in "Fountain". I have always be in love with the huge mellotron played in this song. It is quite phenomenal. I was quite happy to see it played live during their 1977 tour (while they were four).

I rate this album 5 stars.

This review has been edited on 28th October, 2009.

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |


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