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Genesis - Nursery Cryme CD (album) cover

NURSERY CRYME

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.42 | 2887 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Review Nš 28

In my humble opinion, Genesis had various musical periods. The first period includes their debut studio album "From Genesis to Revelation" in 1969. It's a kind of a pre-record of them with the following line up: Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Anthony Phillips, Mike Rutherford and Jonathan Silver. The second period includes their second studio album "Trespass" in 1970. It had the same line up with the exception of Silver who was replaced by John Mayhew. We can call it Phillips' era. The third period known by Gabriel's era corresponds to their golden progressive age. The line up was Gabriel, Banks and Rutherford with the replacement of Phillips by Steve Hackett and Mayhew by Phil Collins. It includes their third, fourth, fifth and sixth studio albums, "Nursery Cryme" in 1971, "Foxtrot" in 1972, "Selling England By The Pound" in 1973 and "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" in 1974, respectively. The fourth period begins when Gabriel left the band and includes their seventh studio album "A Trick Of The Tail" in 1976, which is for some the first neo-prog album in history, and includes also their eighth studio album "Wind And Wuthering" in 1976. This was Hackett's era. The fifth period begins when Hackett left the band. It includes their ninth studio album "...And Then There Were Three..." in 1978. I call it Banks' era. The sixth period was Collins' era. It begins when they turn into a more or less a pop group. It includes their tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth studio albums, "Duke" in 1980, "Abacab" in 1981, "Genesis" in 1983, "Invisible Touch" in 1986 and "We Can't Dance" in 1991, respectively. The seventh and last period begins when Collins left the group, and the remaining band members Banks and Rutherford decided to release one more studio album, the fifteenth and probably last studio album, "Calling All Stations" in 1997.

"Nursery Cryme" has seven tracks. The first track "The Musical Box" is the lengthiest track and is the first great song on the album. It's an epic, which became as one of the most famous musical pieces of Genesis, acquiring the status of one of the band's symbols. It was frequently featured, in their live repertoire, even when the band has become less progressive. Curiously, it includes an accredited writing contribution by their former member Phillips, because begins with an instrumental piece written by him, when he was a member of the group. The album cover is also a depiction of the story of the song. The music begins calm, and grows in intensity until reach an explosion of energy, accompanied by excellent lyrics. The second track, "For Absent Friends" is the smallest track on the album and is the first of the two songs from the band to be sung by Collins, while Gabriel was the lead vocalist of the group. The other is "More Fool Me" on "Selling England By The Pound". It's a short acoustic ballad with beautiful lyrics, a nice guitar duet and good double vocals. This is a great song but weaker than the rest of the album. The third track "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed" is with "The Musical Box" the two great epics that dominate the first side of the album. It's a bombastic song with theatrical lyrics and with all the things that made of Genesis a so innovative group in the 70's. These two musical pieces became two of the major attractions of their live performances. The fourth track "Seven Stones" is a beautiful song full of mellotron and it's also, in my humble opinion, the best track after their three epic tracks. It shows Gabriel's great and unique voice and Bank's masterful keyboard work. The fifth track "Harold The Barrel" is a song with interesting lyrics, is somewhat funny, is very rhythmic and provides a joyful moment on the album. It's a fantastic tune, sounding slightly like a medieval British folk song. The sixth track "Harlequin" is a song that harmonizes the voices of Gabriel and Collins, providing a very beautiful short folksy piece with nice vocal harmonies. It's a beautiful song, at least pretty, in the Genesis' vibe. The last track "The Fountain Of Salmacis", is for me, the great gem of this album. It's one of the songs most played live by the band, or by their members when they are performing as solo artists. The theme is around a story, based in the Greek mythology. Musically, it's a song with great energy, which collapses into an avalanche of emotions. It features everything that was great and unique, in that Genesis' era.

Conclusion: In my humble opinion, "Nursery Cryme", has three great masterpieces "The Musical Box", "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed" and especially "The Fountain Of Salmacis", three excellent tracks "Harold The Barrel", "Harlequin" and especially "Seven Stones", and a very good track "For Absent Friends". I really think that "Nursery Cryme" is a transition album, being better than "Trespass", but being slightly less good than their three following albums. Compared with "Trespass", it has better production has some better musical pieces and has also the presence of Hackett on it. So, "Nursery Cryme" is a very important album to the group. It represents undoubtedly the beginning of the new line up of Genesis and represents also the starting point, of a real absolutely amazing career.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 5/5 |

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