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




Symphonic Prog

4.64 | 4296 ratings

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The Sleepwalker
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Selling England By The Pound is probably Genesis' most respected work from their progressive era, the first half of the 70's, when Peter Gabriel, a fantastic lyricist and songwriter was the frontman of Genesis. This album is pretty much always in the top three of the Porgarchives top rated albums list, and I can't understand that. I'm not saying this album is bad, no, it isn't bad at all, but I think the album is far from perfect.

The album starts with "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight", which is in fact a fantastic start, I absolutely love this song, the great acoustic riff in the first verses, the powerful and catchy chorus and the absolutely stunning guitar solo, this is one of Genesis' best creations. The song starts out quite soft, but after the first chorus a very dark guitar riff will be heard and Steve Hackett plays a marvelous guitar solo. After the chorus is repeated for the second time the dark riff plays again, this time there is not a powerful guitar solo, but a great synth solo, a fantastic song.

Next is "I Know What I Like", one of the flaws of this album, it isn't a bad song, but it's not a very memorable prog song. The song is pretty poppy and happy and I don't think it comes close to being a Genesis classic, which the previous song definitely is.

The third track is "Firth Of Fifth", a track that is loved by many prog fans, and I understand that, it's a great track. The song starts out with the piano intro, which is beautiful. Gabriel's singing comes in, which is as good as always, and three lovely solo's are heard, a flute solo, a synth solo and one very long and very good guitar solo. This song is pretty diverse and I can enjoy it very much, though it's not as good as "dancing With The Moonlit Knight".

The next track is "More Fool Me", by far the worst track of the album, it's a Phil Collins pop song, don't get me wrong, Phil Collins is good in what he does, but I don't like pop songs, definitely not when I'm listening a true prog rock album.

"Battle Of Epping Forest" is next. The track is quite entertaining with Peter Gabriel stepping into the roles of several characters. The biggest flaw of this song, I think, is that is lasts eleven minutes, which is pretty long for a song such as this. If it would last only three or four minutes it would be a nice one, but after a couple of minutes the song gets boring already.

Next up is "After The Ordeal", a nice instrumental. I don't think it's a great song, but it definitely is a good one and it shows the great skills of Tony Banks and Steve Hackett.

"The Cinema Show" is one of the true epics of this album, just as "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" and "Firth Of Fifth", the song starts out with great guitar playing, not great in the way of the playing being incredibily hard, but it does just sound very good and I think the guitar playing characterises this song. After the first part of the song, the vocal based part, we get a lengthy synth solo, which is very nice and enjoyable. Though "The Cinema Show" is a nice song, I think it lacks something, it just feels a bit incomplete, nevertheless it's a great song.

"Aisle Of The Plenty" is a decent ending of the album, it reprises the acoustic guitar riff from the first song, but apart from that it's not a very special song.

I don't understand why this album is rated above other Genesis albums like Foxtrot, which I think is much better. I'm rating this album just three stars, it has several great songs, but also some pretty big flaws, which screws the album up for me.

The Sleepwalker | 3/5 |


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