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Genesis - Nursery Cryme CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.42 | 3250 ratings

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5 stars The beginning of my love of Prog, appropriately enough, started with Genesis. A friend introduced me to them in 1972 with the album Nursery Cryme. I must have spent a good 15 minutes just looking at the cover. I had never seen artwork like this before and it appealed to my somewhat warped sense of artistic appreciation. I wanted to know what was inside ' what stories were going to be told. Opening the cover, I knew instinctively that I wasn't going to be disappointed. Seven distinctly different stories, each one as beautiful in its own way as the others. Now let's delve inside. I have to confess that the first song that really grabbed me was Harold the Barrel, because I just had never heard anything quite as bonkers as this before. There is sense of warped reality to most of these songs. Many of them I had to listen to a number of times before I could begin to get inside them. The second song that appealed was Seven Stones, I guess because it is a fairly simple song but very atmospheric at the same time. Peter Gabriel's voice was a major factor in forging my love of Genesis (and indeed Prog). But at the end of the day, it was the songs, which transported me away from my daily life into another world, in much the same way as Star Trek and The Twilight Zone did through television. Then of course there is the mellotron! I had never heard anything like it and it was life-changing. Probably the next track I got into was The Fountain of Salmacis. Again, the mellotron and the story, as well as Gabriel's singing, drew me in, as Hermaphroditus was drawn to the spring. Even today, just looking at the lyrics sends shivers down my spine. Next we get to The Musical Box, which is possibly the song I look forward to most when attending my yearly Steve Hackett gig (but that could also be Supper's Ready, I'm getting ahead of myself!) The story which accompanies the lyrics on the inside sleeve of my treasured album copy of Nursery Cryme intrigued me then, and still does. No one in the music industry was writing things like this in the early 1970's! This is a song best listened to live, more than any other on the album. Chilling! The Return of the Giant Hogweed! Who could visit Kew Gardens without thinking of this song! The introduction explodes onto your consciousness and you are sucked into this dark and murky Victorian world. Gardeners amongst you may look at pictures on the internet of Japanese Knotweed and shudder. Just remember the magic words 'Heracleum Mantegazziani'! The two remaining songs are Harlequin, followed by For Absent Friends. Harlequin is a very sweet acoustic number, melodic and pleasing on the ear. Who couldn't like this? This one doesn't so much tell as story, as set a scene. The lyrics are beautiful, leaving you feeling very mellow and relaxed. For Absent Friends is my least favourite song on the album but nonetheless lovely and bucolic in nature. It tells a sad little song and who could not relate to the tale of sadness and loss. This start to my musical journey has given me a lifelong love of Prog, which endures today.
Ladyprogger | 5/5 |


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