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Genesis - Selling England by the Pound CD (album) cover

SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.64 | 4467 ratings

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spookytooth
5 stars I think this has been said enough: This is one of the best albums ever made. We're not only talking about one of the best albums in the prog realm, but within the realm of modern music (hell, make that 20th century music). This album is full of hits, and no miss is seen in sight.

The opener, Dancing With the Moonlit Knight seems to set the mood for the album. Starting with an a cappella opening from the great Peter Gabriel himself and with pastoral-sounding guitars coming in seconds later, the song later becomes heavier, and after a few minutes, all of a sudden Steve Hackett comes with his double tapping technique! The song also is full of witty lyrics, being a critique on the Americanization of England.

The second song, I Know What I Like, is also a great song, but it has to come after the epic Moonlit Knight, so it would be inevitable that this song would be looked down upon slightly. The Song is still great, and I like their use of the electric sitar. The song almost seems to reach in pop territory, especially when the chorus hits (this could perhaps explain why it was their top 20 hit song in England or anywhere else for that matter).

The third song, Firth of Fifth, is probably my favorite song on the album. That amazing piano intro always gets me, and it is one of many examples why Tony Banks is up there with the ranks of Rick Wakeman, Jon Lord and Ray Manzarek in the greatest rock keyboardists ever. The lyrics are a bit weird, but many other great aspects of this song make up for this, one being the epic guitar solo from Steve Hackett. The solo is a bit slow, but every note is amazing. The flute solo is also very cool and unique (not that often do you hear flute solos in rock music).

More Fool Me is also a great song. The second song ever sung by Phil Collins, too. He does a great job at vocals, and it is certainly no surprise to me why he became their vocalist years later. The pastoral sound of this song seems to fit with the rest of the album, so it doesn't run the risk of sound out of place.

The next song seems to bother some people, but unlike most, I seem to enjoy this one. The Battle of Epping Forest is most likely the weirdest piece of music they have ever done. This is the longest song on the album, although the length doesn't seem to bother me. Filled with crazy pianos, weird guitar pieces, and odd lyrics which tell of a fictional gang fight, this song, although very weird (but not to the point where it's uncomfortable), is very satisfying.

The next song is the only instrumental on the album, but it is a great piece of music, might I add. With a great acoustic guitar at the beginning of the song that transitions to an amazing electric guitar piece for the other half of the piece. Also, amazing piano work (as usual) from Tony Banks.

This has to be my favorite song on the album. Forget what I said earlier about Firth of Fifth, even though that song is absolutely amazing, but it certainly can't top something like this. Every part of this song is perfect. The pastoral sounding guitars at the beginning with Peter Gabriel silently singing his lyrics, and eventually it gets heavier and heavier, and soon enough some amazing electric guitar work from Steve is presented from Steve Hackett. At around five minutes, as you're wondering what direction this song is going to go into now, then at random, Genesis cleverly pulls an amazing keyboard solo out of their hat that last well over five minutes and finishes the rest of the song. Another note to add for this song is the great drum work by Phil Collins, especially during the keyboard solo. Steve Hackett also does an amazing job on guitar for this piece, too (what else would you expect from a man like him?). The song later segues into Aisle of Plenty, which recalls Dancing With the Moonlit Knight, and the album finishes on an extremely high note that cannot be reached.

This is not only the best album in prog rock history, but this could possibly be the best piece of 20th century music I have heard. I am glad that more people are coming out and putting this album in "best albums" lists, especially after people like Rolling Stone Magazine keep shunning them. I would recommend this album to anyone, no matter what their taste in music, because no matter what someone's music taste is they're bound to find at least a few things on this album that they would find interesting.

spookytooth | 5/5 |

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