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

SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.63 | 2981 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Selling England By The Pound is considered as one of Genesis' masterworks. I've been less satisfied with with Genesis previous releases and I think this album is far superior, but I don't think it is anywhere close to perfect though some great tunes are included here.

"Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" starts the album off kind of bland, but eventually enters a very powerful rock-oriented riff accompanied by a shreddy-turned-melodic guitar solo that really sets a nice atmosphere for the center of the track that reverts back into the rock riff. There is a short motif that recurs in this track often and it is one of the best that Genesis have worked with. There is slight dissonance at the end that works well, but I still consider this track to be unimportant.

"I Know What I Like" is an absolute prog classic and one of the best in the Genesis catalog. It's playful but not goofy, and features a nice sitar-sounding effect that seems unique for Genesis. The chorus is iconic and the bass line during is supremely funky and dance-able. This whole song is very fun, but it is unfortunately a little bit on the short side.

"Firth of Fifth" is another classic and has been covered multiple times by various bands in different genres. I've personally never cared for it, though it is a nice song with a beautiful piano intro. There is a softer passage near the middle featuring a flute solo that I feel is the best part of the track, along with the fantastic Steve Hackett guitar solo that takes up most of the second half of the track.

"More Fool Me" is a short and beautiful folk song that is very pleasant to listen to, but is ultimately insignificant, though I personally would never skip over it. I think Genesis has always had a knack for writing folky acoustic ballads like this.

"The Battle of Epping Forest" is another classic Genesis track. I always notice the fantastic bass playing first, but the song as a whole I always find forgettable. There is a ragtime-influenced ditty that appears not far from the beginning and again later in the song that I find kind of random.

"After the Ordeal" is a very pleasant instrumental track with some beautiful and strong guitar and keys playing. It's very mellow and serves as a great interlude after the random hodgepodge of the previous track.

"The Cinema Show" is one of the best tracks on this album and includes some fantastic light melodies that make me imagine a music box. The second half of the song especially follows a nice groove enhanced by soaring mellotron that recalls "Watcher of the Skies", which is always a good thing. The second half of the track also features some fantastic solos on the keys.

"Aisle of Plenty" is a basically purposeless end-cap for the album that recalls the main motif used on the first track.

Though I like this album more than the previous two, I still find most of the music here to be forgettable besides "I Know What I Like" and "The Cinema Show". I also like that this album overall seems more serious than the previous two, which I always considered to be too goofy and quirky for their own good. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm apparently just not a fan of Genesis' brand of symphonic prog, but this album stands out a little bit more than others in their early catalog and is definitely worthy of an occasional listen.

colorofmoney91 | 2/5 |

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