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

SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.63 | 2980 ratings

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imoeng
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Selling England By The Pound

Well, firstly, I don't really know how to review this album, because I just got it from my dad and it is my first Genesis album. So I listened to it and try to grab every aspect from the album, the emotion and musicianship of the artists also those little things that tickle your soul :P.

Just a little history about my father. He once said Genesis was at its best when they were still with Phil Collins, and Selling England By The Pound was their best album. As a younger generation of progressive rock, and because I was introduced to progressive rock through metal music (such as Dream Theater), I just listened to my father anything he told me. Well probably he is my main source to older progressive rock, such as Genesis, so when he said this is the best album, then I believe this is the best album.

For me, I generally look at an album from two main aspect, the emotion and the musicianship, or musical skills. Now when I listen to the songs in the album while closing my eyes, they are indeed a bunch of beautiful songs, there is no doubt about it. Every single song is a truly masterpiece, and I have chosen my favourite, which is the first track, Dancing With The Moonlit Knight. The song begins with Phil Collins' nice vocal tone, "Can you tell me where my country lies?", followed with also beautiful guitar and keyboard tone. I'm sitting here in my bedroom at 10 in the morning, looking through the window while listening to the song, what an amazing moment. Then the song progresses to the highest energy, "The Captain leads his dance right on through the night." What an amazing feeling. The final solo is pretty similar to Yes' Close To The Edge, with a beautiful nuance from the keyboard and rapid drum lines, yet the guitar lines provide a nice harmony.

I Know What I Like has more of an easy-listening tone, especially when it hits the "I know what I like, and I like what I know" line. This song has more mainstream aspect of Genesis. One thing that should be pointed is the bass lines throughout the song, very groovy and nice. Indeed, while the keyboard provides the nuance (again), the bass seems singing together with Collins, truly great. The song is also around 4 minutes, as I said before, more mainstream that the other songs.

The next track, Firth Of Fifth begins with a beautiful harmony from the keyboard, although the beat is quite fast. Then the vocal starts, which reminds me of something similar, and I am still trying to find what it is. At some point, I am like listening to Fish from Marillion. It is just me or what, I don't know, there is something similar between these two vocalists. The most interesting part, and also my favourite part is the instrumental part at around fourth minute, where all instruments got together with odd time signatures with a very significant tone from the keyboard. The drum is also worth hearing, because it offers an incredible feeling and virtuosity, just like the guitar.

More Fool Me really emphasizes the beauty of Collins' vocal sound. The track only contains his vocal and nice guitar sound at the back (maybe more, pardon me), but it is a really nice song with high emotion. Also a short song, only three minutes in length.

The Battle Of Epping Forest is more or less similar to Firth Of Fifth, with a somewhat fast beat. Also, the instrumental part of the song offers a nice virtuosity with also nice emotion. This track is also the longest song in the album, almost 12 minutes. When I look at this song, and compare it to other songs, Selling England By The Pound's songs are arranged in "long-short-long-short" songs, or maybe "more prog-more mainstream-more prog" arrangement. Then it is followed by a nice instrumental song, After The Ordeal. Simple, yet profound. That is how I describe this song.

Now comes another epic song, and more progressive song, The Cinema Show. I actually have heard this song before I bought this album. Guess who introduced it to me? Dream Theater. If you have heard Octavarium, the lyric contains, "day for nightmare cinema show me the way to get back home again". So when I bought the album and looked at this track, I thought, "aha! This is the song!". And without any doubt I know why Dream Theater included the name of this song into their lyrics, because it is a real masterpiece (just like each one of the songs), and ended with a cool outro instrumental as well. The virtuosity of each one of the personnel is undeniable. Then at the end we can hear the same theme as Dancing With The Moonlit Knight.

And just like last song, Aisle Of Plenty, it has a pretty similar theme as Dancing With The Moonlight Knight. I consider this is an ending song, because besides the fact that this is the last song, this short song seems to conclude everything in the album, by also returning to the same theme.

In conclusion, after a quite long review, I gave this album five stars, because of the emotion and the musicianship of the artists (goes back to my first words, just like the album). This is my first Genesis album so I don't know how to relate this album to other Genesis albums. However just by looking at this album, I now know that it was such as great band (at least in Phil Collins era, just like my father said).

Join the dance - Imoeng

imoeng | 5/5 |

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