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




Symphonic Prog

4.63 | 3825 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Let me just start out by saying that five stars is indeed not enough stars to express my personal message of love to anyone interested in giving Genesis a listen for the first time. After listening to this album for, well, nearly three months straight, bringing myself almost to tears (particularly during The Cinema Show.) Yes this is an amazing progressive rock album, but it is fine to look past the prog aspects and just appreciate the album for everything else it achieves, which is a lot. Where to even begin, it's so hard to even start to dissect this album let alone pick a favorite track. Genesis' fairy tale atmosphere keeps on rolling following the masterpiece that is Foxtrot, and it is a fitting theme that never fails to captivate listeners into their own fantasy world.

1. Dancing with the Moonlit Knight - "Can you tell me where my country lies?" Only Peter Gabriel's famous dialogue could open this album. Don't let the chitter chatter dialogue fool you, this song rocks incredibly hard, both in prog and rock aspects. Gabriel's angelic vocals set the tone for a quasi laid back opener. Jazzy interludes progress the song towards an explosion of organ stylings courtesy of Banks, progressing to the even more jazzy guitar harmonics of one Mr. Steve Hackett, not afraid to tap and mix in a little arpeggio here and there. Don't forget about Phil, either, consistent as always. Gotta love the sitar effect as well. After another jazz interlude, the song winds down with a nice harp melody, closing out the song with the familiar soothing qualities found on within Genesis.

2. I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) - "Me? I'm just a lawnmower. You can tell me by the way I walk." A filler track? Yes and no. Yes because it is much shorter in length than many other songs, but no because it is not filler, it is a short but sweet style composition, full of rich harmonies on keys and great lyrics, compliments of the mind of PG. A very fun song, and pleasant on the ears.

3. Firth of Fifth - "The mountain cuts off the town from view, like a cancer growth is removed by skill." Oh boy, the first of the great trio. what have you created? Only one of the most memorable keyboard intros the world has ever known. Banks dominates this song with his powerful organ keys and the traditional yet tedious bass riffs of Rutherford. This is the full appreciation of Tony Banks, as he has proven that he can conquer the keyboard in any styling. After great vocals by PG in another angelic type dialogue, we are rewarded with the beautiful stylings of PG's dynamic flute playing, rare but always appreciated. This is followed by rich and colorful keys and complex guitar riffs. Firth of Fifth winds down with a long arrangement "solo" from Hackett, leading into the reprisal of the beginning lyrical section. Although it is hard to describe in words, this is truly one of Genesis' finest moments with the original lineup.

4. More Fool Me - "Too long have I laid alone, I know not which way to turn." A great filler track featuring Phil on vocals and acoustic riffage. A great filler track, beautiful in both sound and meaning.

5. The Battle of Epping Forest - "And Harold Demille, who's still not quite sure, fires acorns from out of his sling!" The second of the Great Trio. Where to begin? This almost twelve minute epic is straight from the mind of PG, telling the tale of mobsters in a Robin Hood type fantasy world. As like the rest of the album, the keys dominate the song, featuring great melodies including the organ, and old standby, with ragtime elements thrown in the mix. PG always makes me chuckle with his humorous characters, like Bob the Knob. Although this song is great and stands out, this is my least favorite song of the Trio, but nonetheless does not fail to entertain. The end of the song is the only real complex guitar part, and ends the song on the right foot, never slowing the song down for a minute.

6. After the Ordeal - A fitting name following such an epic song. Banks and Hackett play simultaneously in this very soothing interlude track, featuring acoustic stylings by both respectively. Very fitting for what is to come.

7. The Cinema Show - " 'I will make my bed with her to tonight', he cried. Can he fail armed with his chocolate surprise?" My favorite Genesis track ever, and the epitome of classic Genesis. Soothing from start to finish, the dialogue of Romeo and Juliet ensue to reassure the title. The band works together to create an amazing introduction; acoustic genius from Hackett and Rutherford, the always intriguing Banks working the keys to the maximum, and Phil jazzing up the song with his freakish rhythm and stamina, not to mention the lovable lyrics only PG could conceive. Following the lyrical output and approaching the climax, the song takes a turn into the atmospheric tones of Tony Banks, overflowing your speakers with harmony after harmony of luscious mellotron and Hammond organ melodies. At this point, it is impossible to concentrate on anything else besides the pure ecstasy flowing from your speakers. After almost 6 minutes of incredible melodies and dazzling drumming, the songs winds down in Genesis styling. It is over, and you have just witnessed one of, if not the, best masterpieces of contemporary music, not only progressive, but in any style. A true awe inspiring piece.

8. Aisle of Plenty - "Thankful for her fine fair discount, Tess cooperates." The end of the greatest progressive album ever created. Small talk dialogue and low tone organ harmonies fade out in 1:32 outro, leaving you breathless and wanting more.

SEBTP crosses all boundaries in terms of musicianship and sheer lyrical genius. It was, is and always will be one of my favorite albums of all time, not just as a prog rock album, but throughout all genres of music. It is the apex of music for me, and satisfies everything I am looking for in music. The best of the best.

Naglefar | 5/5 |


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