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

SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.62 | 2885 ratings

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Warthur
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Genesis' previous albums in their pastoral-prog style had all to one extent or another traded heavily on nostalgia - even Foxtrot, which I thought was a somewhat uneven attempt to get all modern on their part, had Time Table, whose lyrics pine away for a romantic medieval era which never really existed in the form the song talks about. On Selling England by the Pound, the band turn the nostalgia theme on its head by asking us to consider whether the "good old days" ever really went away - and whether they were even that good in the first place.

Juxtaposing icons of modern British life (as of 1973) with medieval and fantastic imagery on the title track and in The Battle of Epping Forest (which I've grown to like more and more over the years), Peter Gabriel's lyrics are at their finest on this album, which features some of the most clever wordplay and even cleverer allusions and imagery of his tenure with the band. Musically, the rest of the band blend past with present with all the adeptness prog audiences had come to expect from them, tracks such as Firth of Fifth and The Cinema Show presenting some of their greatest instrumental workouts ever. Even the two more commercial songs on the album are a joy - Phil Collins' vocal performance on More Fool Me might be romantic and sappy, but it's a nice refresher after Fifth of Fifth, and I Know What I Like is too silly and self- parodying to dislike.

This album was my very first Genesis purchase, and I've kept a close hold on it ever since; it turned me on to the band, and nothing they've done before and since has ever quite displaced it from my affections. I think it's easily the best thing to come out of the group's pastoral/Peter Gabriel era.

Warthur | 5/5 |

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