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Genesis - Selling England By The Pound CD (album) cover

SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.62 | 2847 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

1800iareyay
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Selling England By The Pound deserves the praise placed upon it more than any other Genesis album. Like Ghost Rider, this is the only album from the band I would rate five stars, though every Gabriel era album except possibly Lamb would get a high four from me. The concept is dense but rewarding upon unveiling. It deals with the decline of the British Empire and its effect on the common man. However, unlike most concept albums, SEBtP seems to ignore the unifying thread and focus on strong individual works. Gabriel's lyrical genius is to sugercoat very serious and often depressing subject matter, much in the style of John Lennon's Imagine, but not as sweet. The Cinema Show is downright gorgeous. Every member shines on this disc. Peter Gabriel's vox take some getting used to, at least they did for me, being an operatic metal vocalist lover, but he fills the songs with his unique emotions and even melodrama in a way that simply cannot be bettered.

The only song on this album that is not perfect is "More Fool Me." Phil tries to steal the show but fails, though his drumming throughout should be shown to those think that he's a crappy artist (myself included until I learned he plyed drums so well instead of releasing bad pop albums). "Dancing" features more of Steve's pioneering use of tapping (first used in music on his solo on "The Musical Box") and Peter's lead in in haunting. "Firth of Fifth" is stunning, with Tony and Steve displaying their immense talents. "Battle of Epping Forest" didn't immediately click but I've come to love it. "After the Ordeal" is a bit poppy but still very enjoyable. "I Know What I Like" flaunts Peter's weirdness. "The Cinema Show" and the closer "Aisle of Plenty" are insanely good. Supper's Ready is the best Genesis song, but Cinema comes so close to snatching that title away. Tony shines but each member contributes to this stunner featuring some of Peter's best vocals.

The beauty of this record is how the songs seem to be a continuation (they should, it's a concept), but are so strikingly different. Tony, Mike, and Steve blend in with one another yet simultaneously craft their own melodies. Phil's drumming reversed my opinion of him, though I still can't stand his voice or his corruption of this band following Hackett's and Gabriel's departures. This album is a staple of prog rock, though "More Fool Me" keeps it from being flawless.

Grade: A

1800iareyay | 5/5 |

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