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

SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.63 | 3774 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Review Nš 1

In the first place, I must say that this is my first review on Progarchives. In the second place, I decided that "Selling England By The Pound" would be my first choice. This wasn't by chance, because it was my first purchase and I bought it in 1975. Unfortunately, I have no longer my first vinyl copy, because I offered it to my then girlfriend, in 1977. Today, I think that probably my noble act had only the effect of lose the first record of my musical collection, an album so important to me that would become a real mark in my future taste by progressive music. Now, I'm sincerely convinced that my noble act probably failed to bring one more soul to our beloved progressive universe.

So, this is the album and the band, which brought me to the universe of progressive music. So, Genesis was my first love, and even today I still listen to their music, still thinking that they're probably my greatest music love.

And what an album I choose to rate in the first place! In my humble opinion, this is the best Genesis studio album and it's also one of the best albums ever made. It belongs to a very rare type of albums of which very few can belong. It's also interesting to note that this is an album consistently positioned in the first four places in the Top Prog Rock Music Albums List of Progarchives for so long, which is an honour for me to have the same opinion. Ok, I know that this is one of the albums most reviewed on Progarchives, but I also need to give my opinion about it, urgently.

The line up of "Selling England By The Pound" is undoubtedly the best of the band with Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins. This was their fifth studio work and was released in 1973. It was also their biggest seller to date, reaching number 3 in England, where it remained on the charts for 21 weeks, and number 70 in America, who went gold in 1990.

All songs were written and composed by all band members. The album combined a collection of short stories, fables, and fairy tales, retaining the ambient and the yearning of the ancient medieval England. It contains several pieces of music that would become central to Genesis live performances, even for the band members and ex-band members, when they performed on live concerts a solo, or on new versions of the original songs, like Steve Hackett usually do.

"Selling England By The Pound" has eight tracks. The first track "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" is a song that begins with Peter Gabriel's voice very calm and that progressively gets louder and more upbeat. The final result is a very powerful song. The second track "I know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" was the first charting single by the band. It's a very funny song with some characteristics of a pop song. This is also a great song. The third track "Firth Of Fifth" is one of the best songs from the band and one of the most representative progressive songs of the group. Despite the song be credited to the band, it's essentially a Tony Banks' song. The fourth track "More Fool Me" is a ballad and is the simpler song on the album. It's made only with vocals and acoustic guitars. Curiously, it's the second song sung by Phil Collins in the band, until that date. The first was "For Absent Friends" from their third studio album "Nursery Crime". The fifth track "The Battle Of Epping Forest" is one of the two longest tracks on the album, and has a great vocal work by Gabriel, changing voices for different characters. It has also very different musical changes throughout the entire track. The sixth track "After The Ordeal" is an instrumental track clearly made with Steve Hackett's hand. The song has something that reminds us the medieval times and is a very simple and beautiful ballad. The seventh track "The Cinema Show" is the other long track on the album and that became as the great epic track of the album and one of their best tracks ever. The eighth track contains the final song from the album "Aisle Of Plenty". It's the shortest song on the album, and it's a reprise of the opening track "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight".

Conclusion: "Selling England By The Pound" is a perfect concept album with wonderful lyrics, powerful symphonic music and great vocal work. It remains to me as one of the most solid albums in progressive history. It also remains to me as my favourite album from them, despite their previous studio album "Foxtrot" was maybe a more emotional album and their next studio album "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" was maybe a far more ambitious album. Sincerely after all those years have passed, I still prefer listen to "Selling England By The Pound". My favourite song on the album is "Firth Of Fifth", which is also one of my favourite songs from the band and one of the best and most progressive songs made by them. In my humble opinion, the two tracks, "Firth Of Fifth" and "The Cinema Show" are clearly the two best tracks on the album and two of the best songs ever made. As a final conclusion, we can say that "Selling England By The Pound" belongs to a very rare class of albums.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 5/5 |

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