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




Symphonic Prog

4.64 | 4296 ratings

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3 stars Genesis - Selling England by the Pound (1973)

This is one of the highest and most rated album on PA. It is an icon of the progressive movement in general and point of reference. But what about me? What does this album do for me? Actually, very little. I've owned it for years, and I have a very good quality vinyl, but I had to pull myself together to listen to it some times the past few weeks.

When I bought it some years ago my expectations were high...- I mean - this album is presented as the ultimate symphonic prog album. In reality it turned out to be a mixed bag with some of the best of genesis like the eight exciting minutes of Dancing With The Moonlit Knight and almost ten minutes of amazing melodic Firth Of Fifth. This could have been a perfect side one for a record - but no! - Genesis had to put two poppy songs on it. I Know What I Like is a commercial affair and More Fool Me doesn't sound that good because of it's place on the vinyl record (a record is supposed to have 20 minutes a side).

Side two then. The Battle Of Epping Fores and The Cinema Show are both good progressive rock epics of more then ten minutes of length. However, the commercial sound begins to sneak in the back-door in these epics and it seems Genesis is forgotten it can rock (like on Nursery Cryme). The concept of the songs has become to important and I really don't have a good word for all the strange voices of Gabriel on The Battle of Epping Fores. These songs have some quality in it, but they just fail to amuse me. After The Ordeal sounds like a middle section of a good epic, but it has no epic around it. A bit strange.

Conclusion. Now, don't take me wrong. This album has some amazing moments that rightly deserve the status of representative of the progressive ideals. But I find the thought of commercial (slightly cheesy & romantic) albums like this one leading in our charts a bit disturbing. This albums just isn't as brave as many other genre defining masterpieces. This album doesn't do much for me and it's too long, which was especially a problem on the vinyls. I prefer my albums of 40 minutes in length. Well.. Three stars.

friso | 3/5 |


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