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5 stars I for one consider this their masterpiece. The sound quality for the first time matches the excellence of the music. Hackett's guitar is given as much prominence as on any album. In contrast, on The Lamb it is all too often buried. Selling is perhaps their most balanced and quintessentially British work.
Report this review (#9784)
Posted Thursday, November 6, 2003 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of the top 5 albums ever. "Dancing with the moonlit knight" must be the best song ever and Steve Hackets famous guitarsolo on "Firth of Fifth" is in itself worth the price if the album. "More fool me" might be one of the best pop-songs ever written. Excellent!!
Report this review (#9807)
Posted Friday, November 7, 2003 | Review Permalink
5 stars This quite simply is the best vocally orented symphonic prog album ever made.Peter Gabriel will always be my favorite vocalist and Dancing out on a moonlit night still sends chills up my back.Fifth of firth has my favorite keyboard part ever Tony Banks has never sounded better.This album will change your life.
Report this review (#9815)
Posted Sunday, November 16, 2003 | Review Permalink
5 stars Without a doubt the best Genesis album ever! Only Collins and More Fool Me could possibly turn me away from shoving this album down everyones throats... Nothing a skip button can't solve, and the rest is just fantastic. If you find a spare moment in the day listen to Dancing with the Moonlit Knight, Firth of Fifth or The Cinema Show and you will feel complete... Better still just listen to the whole album daily... Defines its generation and contains music that will never be equaled...
Report this review (#9825)
Posted Monday, December 8, 2003 | Review Permalink
5 stars A must for your prog collection. Witty, intelligent, musically interesting with strong melodies, varied time signatures and lovely harmonies. Gabriel sings in his unique way, Banks is lyrical and Collins shows strong technique on the drum kit. Stand-out tracks are Firth of Fifth and Cinema Show. I Know What I like was an unexpected single hit.
Report this review (#9785)
Posted Thursday, December 18, 2003 | Review Permalink
5 stars The best album ever made. It has the same strong melodious songs as the other old Genesis-albums, but something is different. The atmosphere is light, very relaxed, there is some humor in it, it has a very strong balance. Difficult to explain: just listen.
Report this review (#9786)
Posted Sunday, December 21, 2003 | Review Permalink
5 stars Can you hear the work of Tony Banks on this record?...It's amazing (along with that that made on A Trick of the Tail) Firth of the Fifth is the best song of the record, the rest are not fillers is really true music for people that loves the good tunes. Thei best record, maybe, but is not as weird as Foxtrot (sorry for the comparison)
Report this review (#9801)
Posted Thursday, January 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Okay: You're all alone on the desert island with your ten essential prog albums. The solar-powered stereo overheats, the hut bursts into flames, and you've only got time to grab three discs before it's just you, the ashes, and "Wilson." Is this one of the three to escape the inferno? Hugh betcha!

Absolutely masterful from start to finish; all meat and no filler. Prog doesn't get any better than this genre-defining recording! Marvelous, majestic, mesmerizing, mighty, momentous and moving must-have music.

Don't believe me? Read some other reviews -- there's a darn good reason why so many people LOVE this album: it's great!

Report this review (#9803)
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars THE quintisential Genesis Album. The one you must have.

The one thats playing when your girlfriend wants to make out...and you say ` Wait ...The Cinema Show is on .....listen to the keyboards ....`

That is the mark of a classic album.

Report this review (#9806)
Posted Monday, January 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Mr. Rideout below has it right: This is the one I'd be sure to save above all others. I might as well go ahead and admit it, but I was a grade-school lad in 1985/86 when No Jacket/Invisble Touch/So came out, and I knew nothing of early Genesis, yet I loved this stuff. Still do. Those three discs in particular still feel the needle in the grooves more than most prog-heads would have me admit. Imagine my surprise a few years later when I became a musician and sought out finer influences and found Genesis 1973. But Seriously, folks, this is the only one you need. This record, like the band itself, is much greater taken as a whole than the sum of its various parts. "Dancing" is a bold way to start a record, as the piece starts out with a capella voice, and creeps up on you from there, mourning the loss of a mythical Old England. Every time I listen to it, I find something new hidden in the texture. "I Know What I Like" is silly, but still far superior to what's to be found on the radio dial, and the band can be seen just having some fun. "Firth of Fifth" is THE masterpiece. Tony clearly has sonata form mastered here. The trick to a lengthy piece is to make sure that if it's over nine minutes long, it feels like four when you're done listening to it, and this one's been pulled off perfectly. (Will commit a major sacrelige here by heaping praise upon Daryl Stuermer for his interpretation of the guitar solo - Steve's version, I always felt, never achieved the level of power and energy that the rest of the song demanded.) Why does everyone hate "More Fool Me?" Whatever you think of Phil's solo career, it's a lovely little tune written by he and Mike, and it suits his voice quite well, and serves as a little relief after the seige of "Firth." "Epping Forest" is one I never quite got. Over eleven minutes, convoluted and wordy, the rehearsals - if you can find them - are much more entertaining. "After the Ordeal" is known by a few friends of mine as "Music to Open Your Veins By" - determined but somewhat discouraged to start, and haunting and majestic to finish, it's a sad but beautiful piece. "Cinema Show" contains much more to it than meets the eye in terms of lyrical content, and I find it interesting that the solos at the end were never varied at all in concert. "Aisle of Plenty" relates to the "Cinema Show" theme lyrically, and "Moonlit Knight" musically, so don't pass this one up! Brilliant use of self-quotation. Were that I could, I'd give it ten stars on a five star scale. You need this record. Go and get it now.
Report this review (#9814)
Posted Monday, February 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
5 stars This is a concept album that ignores itself: the downfall of Great Britain as it loses its empire on which the sun never sets and the effects it has on every day lives of Englishmen, the crisis that they endured and the first oil crisis happening right around that time. SEBTP was the first Genesis non-gatefold and cheap lighter discs as transports and oil-derived vinyl were sending prices through the roof, many ways were considered to cut costs.

Dancing With The Moonlit Knight says it all right from the start singing the loss of greatness of Britain, speaking of the Queen Of Maybe and nostalgia. The Old Father Tames spirit not recognizing its land. The uselessness of the upper class youth is pointed out in IKWIL (In Your Wardrobe), the wish that everything stay the same when you are on top is "eroded by the sea of constant change" in Firth Of Fifth and deception in More Fool Me are many of the hints that Gabriel and consorts develop so wittily

The Epping Forest Battle depicts how lower class Brits hit on each other as they cannot do it on the rest of the world as they did during the conquest of their Empire. The instrumental After The Ordeal is about digesting such a fiasco and it bothers younger Brits to the point that they must build courage just to meet the opposite sex and maybe wishes to be Tiresias (who became both) in Cinema Show. Green food stamps and price folder (Aisle of Plenty ) remind how low the Once Mighty Empire has fallen as the first oil crisis did even more damage to England Sold By The Pound to Arab Sheiks playing fortune with the Old Lady England that lays out the credit cards and plays fortune.

Got that one? Go back and listen to it

Report this review (#9809)
Posted Monday, February 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars The greatest song on this album is "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight", it has the best lyrics a Genesis song could produce with a great sound, I think this song is right up there with "21st Century Schizoid Man" (King Crimson). "Battle of Epping Forest" is comical song where the lyrics involve two working class gangs fighting over gang boundaries with a sour ending, it suggests that they have been controlled by the "blacked capped barons" that represents lords or the higher classes. The music is bouncy, well engineered, apart from the chorus, where the music sounds a bit off beat with the lyrics. All in all, a brilliant song.

Other great songs include "I Know What I Like" and "Firth of Fifth", this song is said by others to be the best on the LP but it's not as good as "The Moonlit Knight". There is superb piano work from Tony Banks in this song, but the lyrics more vague compared to songs like "Epping Forest". I think the Cinema Show is overated, it has one great line where Gabriel sings "once a man like the sea I raged. Once a women like the earth I gave. And there is in fact more earth than sea". Whic suggests to me there is more people in the world who would give up land than cause trouble (more good people than bad). This is a more positive outlook of the world compared to King Crimson's "Epitaph".

I think "After The Ordeal" is a very good musical piece. I think Gabriel took some of the musical outline in this song for his piece "Family Snapshot". I could be wrong but listen to "Family Snapshot" and see if you agree. There isn't a bad song on this album, "More Fool Me" gets the closest but is still a good song, it gives a bit of light relief half way through. It has some nice soft vocals from Phil Collins with a higher pitch voice, maybe he had to do this so people don't Gabriel's voice mixed up with his own. People seem quick to blame Phil for "More Fool Me" being in the album, but at the end of the day they did all write it, not just him.

There second Genesis masterpiece after "Foxtrot" 1972.

Report this review (#9816)
Posted Friday, March 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars I know what I like!

For me, the best of the Gabriel era Genesis albums.

After the excellent cover illustrations on the previous three albums, the uninspired look of the painting here does not bode well. The opening bars of "Dancing with the moonlit knight" however soon dispel any fears over the quality of the music. "Selling England by the pound" generally has a slightly softer feel, with more in the way of choral keyboards by Tony Banks, and highly melodic lead guitar from Steve Hackett. "Dancing with the moonlit knight " sets the scene well, with a slightly folk feel to the opening section, and a "Tubular bells" like ending. In between, Gabriel is on fine form vocally and lyrically, the track incorporating a succession of wordplays and puns.

Hackett is afforded enough space on the album to add a wonderful guitar solo on "Firth of Fifth", a track which must rank among Genesis all time best. From the delicate tinkling piano intro, through the supremely melodic vocals of Peter Gabriel as he works his way through truly poetic lyrics, to Steve Hackett's aforementioned virtuoso performance on lead guitar, the track is the definition of perfect prog. Banks too gets plenty of room to showcase his keyboard skills, especially on the long closing track "Cinema show". The structure and style of this track has similarities with "Firth of Fifth", but the result is somewhat different. There is a relaxed, timeless feel to the piece,

Phil Collins has an (at the time rare) outing on lead vocals on "More fool me". While it's a very pleasant if brief track, there is little indication of what was to come from him vocally.

For me, the only slight let down on the album is "The battle of Epping Forrest". Had this been a brief "Harold the Barrel" type track it could have worked well. At almost 12 minutes however, the joke wears thin. Ironically, had they left the track off altogether, the album would still have clocked in at well over the standard LP time of around 40 minutes (And still longer than "Close to the edge"!).

Also included is Genesis first hit single "I know what I like" This gave the band their first taste of singles success, something they were to crave more and more with later albums.

It's easy to forget with the passing of time, that when this album was released, it was a significant progression both for Genesis and for rock music in general.

Report this review (#9817)
Posted Saturday, March 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This remains one of my all time favorite recordings (I am not alone in this camp I am sure!) Full of rich textures and superb song writing, GENESIS were at their creative peak. "Selling..." moves from pop-like songs (I know what I like) to pure prog-like "Battle Of Epping Forest". This is a very fulfilling album and musicianship is very high here with some incredible song writing. The sound reproduction is much better than previous albums as well. This is an essential recording for everyones progressive rock collection.
Report this review (#9831)
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars THE BEST ALBUM OF ALL TIME...PERIOD. This album is flawless. It contains everything. It opens with Peter's voice unaccompanied before Steve's classical guitar joins in. 'Dancing With The Moonlit Knight' shows the band's flawless musical chops but it's also a great tune to sing along to. 'I Know What I Like' is one of the greatest pop songs of all time (which means that it's actually better than a pop song) That one always brings a smile to my face. Steve Hackett is the star on 'Firth of Fifth' with his atmospheric guitar playing being the highlight of that song. That is not to overlook Tony's opening piano, which may as well have been Beethoven or Mozart or something. (Yes, it's that good!) 'More Fool Me' ... yes, it's a love song, yes, it's Phil on vocals, yes, it's the weakest song on the album but can you really say it's as bad as his Tarzan song. Of course not, and I think it balances the album out well. 'Battle Of Epping Forest' is a constant battle between the music and Peter's vocals but I think that's part of it's charm. It's kinda like Floyd meets Python. Another fun one to sing along to (if you know all the words.) 'After The Ordeal' is not a band favourite (as Tony Banks declares it the worst song they've ever done) but I'm afraid I have to disagree. This is one fabulous classically-tinged instrumental that again, fits the mood of the album. And finally, 'The Cinema Show/Aisle of Plenty' highlights the Banks/Rutherford/Collins musicianship at its best, one of Genesis' finest moments. Tony's keyboard work blows me away and should not be listened to by anyone who has a desire to play the keyboard. It'll only discourage you. This album is a must have in any genre. The perfect album.
Report this review (#9833)
Posted Friday, March 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars When you think 1970-73 Genesis, you inevitably think pastoral England long gone - it's a very nostalgic thing. SELLING ENGLAND is a superb slice of English whimsy, but it's very powerful too, with some of the band's finest ensemble playing featured. THE CINEMA SHOW/AISLE OF PLENTY is one of the most beautiful and uplifting pieces Genesis ever recorded, and the quality of production throughout is exemplary. Sadly underrated, this album is one of th Charterhouse boys' best. Forget ABACAB, INVISIBLE TOUCH et al - Genesis were at their very best in the era of three-day weeks and power cuts.
Report this review (#9834)
Posted Saturday, March 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars THE BEST OF THE BEST... "Cinema Show" reach the quintessence near the end. Everything is excellent on this record. BANK's keyboards are smoother and more subtle than on "Foxtrot"; the piano is more present. He reduced the presence of organ for the profit of gentle moog keyboards. Mellotron choir also appeared on "Moonlit Knight" and "Cinema Show"; that's very appreciated. HACKETT's guitar is for the first time really sentimentally oriented: romantic solos, never agressive are the new trademark on this record. accoustic guitar is still omnipresent. COLLINS drums are just outstanding, never simple, but they do not take too much place; their sound is rather moderate, giving the album a trend to softness. RUTHEFORD's non monotonous bass is omnipresent and gives a good basis for complex songs. GABRIEL's voice is, as always, colorful and never dull. More sentimental, women could prefer this one to "Foxtrot". Actually, it is the case!

Probably my all-time top album! If we admit reasonably that "A Trick Of The Tail" and "Selling England..." are respectively 3rd and 1st best GENESIS albums, can we imagine how good would have been the album between if the presence of Brian ENO has not been there? "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway", logically, should have been better than "A Trick Of The Tail", and even maybe slightly better than "Selling England...". ENO definitely f**ked up all the things in 1974!! LLDOB is very good, but not excellent!

In many prog polls, "Selling England By The Pound" always arrived first as the best prog album, and the second one was far behind it!! The progger who do not have this record is not a real progger!

Report this review (#9841)
Posted Friday, April 9, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars More Fool Phil...

The key to this album - and to all pre 1980s Genesis - is "Firth of Fifth", an incredible piece of keyboard work by any standards, moving subtley through time and key changes, using a wide variety of textures and timbres to produce an 8-minute masterpiece that feels MUCH too short - you just want to reach for that rewind button! Firth of Fifth is a 6-star track (out of 5).

"Dancing With the Moonlight Knights" is a wonderful socio-commentary partially dressed in legend. The music evolves delicately and sublimely - so much so that you get to wondering if the guys just sat around the studio going "I think this would sound good next". The levels of intricacy belie any notion that this is pure improvisation, but for the first 3 tracks, the album mixes the improvised feel with ambiguous but rigid structure producing some of the finest music ever committed to tape.

Then it's all undone in an instant. "More Fool Me" is trash. A pulpy love song sung by a straining Collins to a basic acoustic guitar (by Genesis standards). A track that the skip button was made for. This album loses 2 points for such an atrocious piece of dross (hence I only awarded 4 stars).

"The Battle of Epping Forest" is a wierd one. Personally, I find it very irritating and repetitive. However, it has many Genesis hallmarks, and is obviously carefully thought out (unlike "More Fool..."). I still don't like it though.

Fortunately, "Cinema Show" and "Aisle of Plenty" redeem almost everything - shining examples of why Genesis were one of the leaders and forefathers of prog - and everything that's great about the genre. Beautiful guitar and keyboard solos shine above masterly drumming and solid basslines, negotiating perplexing time signatures and key changes as if they were the most natural thing in the world. The album ends as well as it began, with that same improvised yet carefully structured feel.

One day I'll sit down and tear apart the structure to find out where it all goes - because one thing is for sure - there is no such thing as Sonata form utilised anywhere on this album (althoug "More Fool" and "Battle" both utilise the very boring common song structure - verse, chorus, etc. Yuk!).

If you like prog, this should be in your collection even if only for "Firth of Fifth". Quite honestly, this track makes buying this album compulsory!

Report this review (#9842)
Posted Monday, April 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars One Of The Best Genesis Albums. "Dancing With The Moonligth Knigth", "The Battle Of Epping Forest" And "The Cinema Show" Are The Best Tracks On This Album, And One Of The Best Genesis Tracks Ever. "Firth Of Fifth" And "After The Ordeal" Are Excellent Tracks. "I Know What I Like" Are A Little Overated, But Still Good.

In Sum 5 Stars.

Report this review (#9839)
Posted Sunday, April 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I hesitate a lot when it comes to giving 5 stars to an album. For Selling England by the Pound, I did hesitate for a while. PROS: outstanding writing by Gabriel. The lyrics are of course from a bit of everyone in the band (by that time) but Gabriel gave more of his verve to the album. You kinda know when it's his writing. Genesis is like reading a fairy tale book and images spreads out the pages (Fanfreluche anyone?). Stimulates the mind a lot. Then, the musical performance has to be heard to be commented. Phil Collins is a divine and humble drummer. Gabriel said one day:" people maybe not like his voice or his solo work, but stays the fact that he's an extrordinairy gifted player." He plays fast, very fast (if you don't believe me, watch Live at Wembley Stadium, you'll see!). But also in an almost lazy way. Very 'cool' on the snare rolls and fills. Tony Banks is also giving all he can in his inimitable style. This guy is soooo underrated. He's not in the style of Kaye, Van der Linden or Emerson, but his strenght is giving British class to the song. He gives a good boost to a song with his great solos (end of Cinema Show) or 'riffs' (start of Firth of the Fifth). Banks has a tremendous background in classical playing and, thank you lord, he's using it in almost every song. Also great "dramatic" ending with Aisle of Plenty. Pure musical heaven. CONS: Battle of Epping Forest. I'm not sure where this is going. You get lost in a sea of character switching phrases and bad voice acting from Gabriel. My first Genesis album and still one of my favortie of all-time...Hey by the way if you have a chance to see THE MUSICAL BOX: TRIBUTE TO GENESIS, go and be amazed how 5 guys from Quebec are giving a rock n' roll lesson to all. In my top 5 shows of my life, and one of the cheapest! I cried a bit after the Musical Box, this is exactly like the original show from 1974! With tribute band like these, MY OH MY ROCK AND ROLL WILL NEVER DIE...
Report this review (#9845)
Posted Tuesday, April 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well in coincidence with the first dates in Italy (among other dates:22nd April 2004-Milan) by "Musical Box", the cover band of Genesis, representing such "Selling England by the Pound Tour" in a remarkable way, I like talking about the most important album within the Romantic Progressive scene of all time!!

As a matter of fact this album is almost perfect as well as the greatest reference (among all the references suitable to represent the whole "Romantic Progressive scene" in the UK, in the seventies...). Nevertheless, if I want to be honest, there are a few weak moments, where Phil Collins in a small number of circumstances begins to take part within the melodic composition of the songs. Besides the mainstream song "I know what I like in your wardrobe" (a successful hit single) is totally strident in comparison to incontestable masterpieces like "Firth of Fifth", "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" and the mini-suite "Cinema Show", true "must-have progressive numbers" .However, apart from these considerations, the album offers a variety of situations regarding a true artwork and also a theatrical funny effort like "The battle of Epping Forrest", without forgetting such a good exploration of the harmonic solutions too, which indeed make this work the most important issue by the early Genesis!! For this reason the rate is "5 stars", even though a different score - a bit lower- should be righter . Essential work anyway!!

Report this review (#9840)
Posted Thursday, April 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is my favorite GENESIS album, and thus a perennial member of the imaginary top ten list that rattles through my head from year to year. Not to take anything away from "Foxtrot" or "Lamb Lies Down", but it's here that the band really breaks free. "Selling England..." creates a fictional world (aurally and visually) peopled with musical vignettes sometimes epic in impact ("Firth of Fifth") and sometimes intimate in nature ("More Fool Me"). The advantage over "Foxtrot" comes from a saturated sound on "Selling England" versus its predecessor's slightly brittle tone.

Michael RUTHEFORD plays the bass with actual relish, Steve HACKETT expounds on his guitar with an expanded lexicon of new noises, and Peter GABRIEL's voice has grown noticeably richer. Their progression is palpable on this album; far from slighting BANKS and COLLINS, I'll note that they already sounded brilliant on "Foxtrot". With all five engines firing, BANKS is free to explore sounds that affect the mood of the music: ornate piano introductions, majestic organ chords, and so on. As visible as his keyboards are, HACKETT's guitar often seems invisible, pairing up with the keyboards and bass at different stages to emphasize certain passages. His technique is almost antithetical to a lead guitarist, though it would be impossible to imagine these songs without his contributions.

The opening "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" (the de facto title track) gently lifts the listener into this new musical world, followed by the charming "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)", which became the band's first big single. BANKS elevates the musical discussion with "Firth of Fifth", but the band quickly deflates all trace of pomposity with the ballad "More Fool Me". (For anyone who enjoyed that track, please seek out Anthony PHILLIPS' "The Geese & The Ghost".) The album's most ambitious work may be "The Battle of Epping Forest", the sort of multi-character musical last heard on "Get 'Em Out By Friday". The remaining three tracks are simply sublime. Few albums transport the listener like "Selling England By The Pound"; if you don't own it, you're missing the best part.

Report this review (#9790)
Posted Thursday, April 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Although less accesible than Foxtrot, and softer in tone, this is another masterful album by Genesis at their creative peak. Long spells are taken up with instrumental passages that soar along with such style and flourishes that it brings tears to the eyes. Tony Banks' keyboard work in the Firth Of Fifth is absolutely breathtaking, almost classical in its approach, while the soaring sections of The Cinema Show are simply dazzling. It takes a few plays to get fully into this album, but once you're hooked you'll realise that it is timeless and decades after it was recorded it still stands head and shoulders above most in the world of 'ptog-rock'.
Report this review (#9792)
Posted Monday, April 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars My least favorite GABRIEL GENESIS release, I feel like this album has more relation with the soft and melancholic "A Trick of the Tail" rather than with any other GABRIEL era release. Of course there are some masterpieces like "Cinema Show" and "Firth of Fifth", but the band lost the dark atmosphere that surrounded them in the previous album. "Selling England.." is more cheerful and radio friendly than any other PG release, they even had a hit single with I Know what I Like, a good song but easier to listen.

"Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" deserves a special paragraph, because the acapella intro by Peter GABRIEL is one of the best examples of how great vocalist he is, probably not as natural gifted as Greg Lake or Freddie Mercury but Peter always puts something extra that I like to call soul, remember it's a very hard task ro sing this kind of introductions while the instruments slowly start joining his voice without loosing the right key in any moment, and he does it as a real master.

The weakest point of this album is "More Fool Me" probably the worst poppy ballad in early GENESIS history, absolutely boring and totally out of place in a GENESIS album before 1978, but still Dancing with the Moonlit Knight, Cinema Show and Firth of Fifth make it deserve not less than 5 stars.

Report this review (#9796)
Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
Marc Baum
5 stars It's difficult to choose, which was truely the definitive peak of Genesis: "Foxtrot" or "Selling England By The Pound"? In my oppinion it's "Selling England By The Pound". The production is brilliant, really every single instrument is perfectly in place, Gabriel's outstanding voice, too. Don't get me wrong, I love all of Genesis work from the Gabriel-era up from "Trespass". It's really hard to choose, but I think that "Selling England..." is their most complete record. "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" is hunting, dramatic power prog at it's best (in "Aisle Of Plenty" repeats the intro melody of that track. There are epics like "Firth Of Fifth" (what a guitar solo from Hackett!), "The Battle Of Epping Forest" and the fulminant "Cinema Show" (wonderful chorus!). You get also the first "hit" of Genesis with "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" and a great instrumental with "After The Ordeal". When prog-heads talk about the most quintessential records of all times, mostly falls the name "Close To The Edge", "Dark Side Of The Moon" or even "Selling England By The Pound". The fact, that these three albums and some of the following ones are on top of this page is really good and earned I think. In principal it's not important which is the best, because all are great and must-haves. This album deserves the 5 star rating, like "Foxtrot", "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" or "Nursery Cryme". I love this band for their great work throughout the years '70 - '77 like most of prog fans do, so you know that this is quintessential. If you like it or not doesn't count, because it is truely a masterpiece and you can't change that fact!
Report this review (#9912)
Posted Friday, April 30, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars In case this album needs any introduction, this is the classic of all classics. A masterpiece that showcases some of the most perfect songwriting of the 70's - even the production is flawless - quite a feat for the times. It shows GENESIS at the peak of their musical creativity.

Among the notable tracks are the album opener "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight", whose flute and medieval guitar notes develop into a full-fledged symphonic number, complete with mellotron, choppy beats and soaring keyboards. "Firth of Fifth" (my personal favourite alongwith "The Cinema Show") is as perfectly constructed a symphonic tune as you're likely to hear, thanks to a stunning STEVE HACKETT guitar solo over TONY BANKS' tapestry of magestic, melodious keyboards (if ever you want to give a neophyte a feel of what Prog's appeal is all about, this is the track to play) "The Battle of Epping Forest" is a zany, eccentric 12-minute epic with plenty of theme and time changes; it recounts the tale of two street gangs playing at war - with very tongue-in-cheek lyrics directed at English politicians. Finally, "The Cinema Show" is another true jewel of progressive sound and imagery. With its various musical themes, evocative lyrics and impressive instrumental build-up, this track is simply stunning and guaranteed to blow any progster away.

After over 30 years, this album still delivers the goosebumps and if my house were to catch fire, that's the one I would grab.

Report this review (#9843)
Posted Sunday, May 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm currently listening to the instrumental Jam on "The Cinema Show" and realise that not only is this album amazing, it is truly essential to any fan of quality music. Genesis (and most of the best prog artists) have this epic ability to compress so much into a song that its impossible to absorb everything on first listen. ah yes, i'm now up to the keyboard riff that starts at around 10:12, then segues into 'Aisle of Plenty'. Yes, this album kicksass.

There are times that this album can bring me to tears, probably the harmony guitar part at the end of 'After the Ordeal'. 'Dancing With the Moonlit Knight' does a pretty good job of it too, setting the standard of the album immediately with Peter Gabriels fragile acapella voice, then the instruments coming in. Steve Hacketts medieval riff is just beautiful. The rest of the song is a euphoric journey, ending with such a delicate and haunting acoustic guitar riff. Even the weaker tracks on the album, such as 'I Know What I Like' and 'More Fool Me' aren't 'that' annoying. In fact, 'I Know What I Like' has great vocal harmonies, great music, and its fun, which is rare, but again, this is Genesis. I also see this song as a remedy for the intensity of 'DWtMK', and a preparation for what's to come, 'Firth of Fifth'. Apparantly Tony Banks wrote pretty much most of the song, and godammit it kicksass. Epic lyrics, Epic Music, Epic Epic Epic. Did I say Epic? I think I did. Epic. Now, what's next? 'More Fool Me' thats what. Again, i see this as a remedy for the intensity of 'Firth of Fifth'. It's not too bad, but i think they could've put a much better song than this. 'The Battle of Epping Forest' follow's on, however, not 'til the gold is cold. (Sorry, that was a dancing with the moonlit knight private joke. I thought it was pretty funny. guess not...) and i actually think this song is fantastic. The music is complex and beautiful, and the fact that these are Peter's lyrics sticks out like a sore thumb. i can understand why people would find this a little boring, but i find Peter's lyrics to be entertaining at times, basing most of the song around silly characters in silly situations then having a serious point at the end. Oh, and what's next? 'After the Ordeal', that's what. One of my favourite instrumentals of all time. If i ever get to heaven (which i doubt), this is the music i want played as I'm asending, its that beautiful. Oh, those harmonies at the end, i'm sorry, i need a tissue... ah, that's better. BTW, i thought this song was awful the first time i heard it, so there you go. Oh, and lookie what's next! 'The Cinema Show'! I remember reading a review somewhere saying that "if you can sit through the first part of the cinema show, then you can sit through anything". I hope that reviewer gets syphilis, because this song is just sublime, all of it.

I could write significantly more, but i won't, just let me end with this. Get this album, don't sit there wondering if you should invest with Genesis or not, buy this album, and you will see why an investment in this album (and Genesis), is an investment for your mind and your soul.

Report this review (#9846)
Posted Friday, May 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Not only the greatest progressive rock album of all times, but the greatest album of any type of music. The most amazing thing about the album that even with one weak song, "More Fool Me", the rest of the album is so incredibly strong, that it is still a 5 star album, and the greatest ever. The opening of "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight" is my favorite start of any album. "Firth of Fifth" may be the greatest prog song of all times. Tony Banks keyboards set the stage for Steve Hackett's guitar solo that carries you off into another place. "I Know What I LIke" and The Battle of Epping ForEpping Forest" are both strong musically, with very humorous lyrics. "After the Ordeal" is a mellow lead in fotm Epping Forest into another truly great masterpiece "The Cinema Show/Sisle of Plenty". I have always been a huge Steve Hackett fan, and have always felt when he left Genesis, that should have been the end. However, it is Bank's keyboards which carry "The Cinema Show". The album is full of some of Peter Gabriel's best vocal work. "More Fool Me" has always seemed like a bit of filler to me, giving Phil Collins a chance to step behind the mike. Even though it's a weak song compared to the rest of the album, and a short one at that, the incredible strength of the rest of the album keeps it from diminishing the album as a whole. Any prog collection must start with Selling England. While Trespass, Nursery Crymes, Foxtrot are great albums, each one got progressively strong to the nadir of progressive rock in Selling England by the Pound.
Report this review (#9847)
Posted Friday, June 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars The obvious sequel to their previous efforts, considering the success and the hard work surrounding the creation of a new record. The record stays treu to its roots, to its musical background and to their homeland. Again, the five piece, organize and creates a complex palette of sounds that goes from great to magnificent, and in some point, the double vocals of Peter and Phil join to alter the senses and increase the emotion in it. In here thera aren't "key" or ultra-long songs, beacuse the whole record IS a key moment, is a whole pattern, that actually led the idea to the next record... the last "true" Genesis album. Anyway, with this record the band created a 3th masterpiece in a row, a vey rare consistency in any era, perhaps, that's why they end up doing more comercial music after the departure of the original members, who knows. In any case, we must enjoy and pay tribute to another great album of the 70's era that should be "time-less"
Report this review (#9848)
Posted Sunday, June 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Though not achieving the "perfect perfection" (blame it on 'More Fool Me'), I consider 'Selling England' as Genesis' top achievement and one of the most crucial works generated in the prog genre. Gabriel's a capella entry at the start of 'Dancing with the Moonlit Knight' is one of the most memorable moments in symph prog history. and it gets better as the song progresses through its alternation between lyrical and aggressive passages until its arrival to the dreamy climax, a succession of lead guitar, synth, flute, mellotron and percussive sounds upon a recurrent chord sequence of Mike's electric 12- string. Brilliant! Taking off from the pompous density of 'Foxtrot', 'Selling England' adds a richer pallete of sonic resources in order to explore the band's full compositional potential: you can even tell that Hackett is already fully integrated into the band's ideology, stretching his own styling and skills for the benefit of the album's repertoire. Meanwhile, Banks can't hide the fact that he's overtly enthusiastic with his ARP Soloist and 2600 synths, so his arsenal of keyboards is reinforced in its determining role for Genesis' overall sound. Simultaneously, Collins exercises his jazz-oriented prowess effectively, functioning properly in both the most solemn and the most energetic passages of the repertoire. 'I Know What I Like' is a funny number, something like 'I Am the Walrus' infected with pseudo-tropical touches: the song has a pop feel in it (after all, it was the single) without falling into the traps of easy catchiness. This leads us to the magnificent 'Firth of Fifth', which shows Banks at his best on piano and organ: Hackett once more approaches his electric axe with his special touch of magic, making his solo in the interlude shine over the layers of Hammond and mellotron. 'The Battle of Epping Forest' recreates some of the irony and cynical humour of previous Genesis numbers ('Giant Hogweed', 'Get 'Em Out'), in the spirit of the band's momentum: it is clear how well have the fivesome grown together as a band of performers. One minor flaw resides in the "hyper-abundance" of sung parts - or maybe, the lack of longer instrumental passages -, but it's a great song anyway. Though not as great as the last two songs, 'The Cinema Show' and 'Aisle of Plenty', coupled as a unit. This 2-part suite starts with a pastoral-oriented section; then follows an extended jam articulated in order to allow Banks shine on his ARP adventures, until the reprise of 'Dancing.' resurfaces as a reflective closure of melancholy and social disappointment. What a way to end an album! I can't forget to mention the awesome beauty of 'After the Ordeal', an instrumental piece basically penned by Hackett that serves as a bridge of calmness between the two epics. This album is a masterpiece - I have no doubt about it, and I know for a fact that I am not alone in stating this.
Report this review (#9849)
Posted Monday, June 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have no hesitation in awarding this 5 stars.I know a lot of people complain about 'The Battle Of Epping forest' being a bit silly with all the 'cockney speak' and strange put on accents.However this is wonderfully laconic stuff in my view.Perhaps it helps to be English to appreciate it! And that brings me to the beauty of this album -it has a theme- ENGLAND! Dear ole 'blighty' ,its essentially an ode to the (lost?) traditions and quintessential English character.If this was a beer it would be a pint of warm ale, and I make no apologies to anyone who doesn't understand this! So what of the music you ask?? Well there are classics and then there are more classics -'Dancing With The Moonlit Knight','Firth Of Fifth','The Cinema Show' -what more do you want? Ok not 'More Fool Me' I hear in unison plus that naughty boy at the back of the class shouting 'Battle Of Epping Forest'! Well use the skip facility on your CD for More Fool Me and just learn to appreciate The Battle Of Epping Forest.You will if you try!


Report this review (#9851)
Posted Thursday, June 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I started listening to Genesis around 1980 and eventually bought up everything from Revelation to Abacab. Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot and Lamb are all great, but for me, this album was IT for Genesis. The lyrics, musicianship and production are really in a different league. This album was also a big influence on me as a drummer (thanks Phil!). There's no need to get into each incredible song since this album's already been reviewed to death. I will say, though, the only song i never really cared for was "After The Ordeal". I'd say this a Top Ten prog record for certain, and for me maybe even a Top Ten record, period.
Report this review (#9854)
Posted Tuesday, June 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is like a beautiful sunny day. It's full of smiles and keeps one buzzing along throughout. It is elegant and gutsy and reaches places they had not previously grabbed for. "Firth Of Fifth" is one of the most stunning songs in their arsenal. Hackett's solo mid way through still brings chills. "Moonlit Knight" and "Epping Forrest" are classics and "I Know What I Like" really should have been "the big hit". All in all...pretty damn great.
Report this review (#9855)
Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Dancing with the Moonlit Knight is probably the best beginning on any album of this era. Someone referred to the fact that this album ' smiled' and it is true, generally happy throughout. Another masterpiece. Let's be honest how many groups have consistently notched 4-5 star ratings on consecutive albums between 71-77? Floyd maybe.... Peopel argue that SEBTP was the summit gotr Genesis creatively, other argue The Lamb. Either way you can't fault this album or the next or the next or even the next after that.
Report this review (#9856)
Posted Tuesday, July 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Without a doubt, this is a masterpiece. The sound the band reach in those days (1973) is so great that even today with all the tech advances, it sounds modern. This is one of the best albums ever. The music is great, the voices from Gabriel, his best, guitars, bass, drums and keyboards, all sound so perfectly conceived that it is difficult not to say this is album was helped be someone out of this world. The clasics Firth of Fifth and The Cinema Show are so well done that the album was ok whit them only, but they have The battle, with all its power, the great after the ordeal, even we all have the chance to listen to Phil Collins sing in a PG album. In 2 words Itīs Great. For those of you that have listen to it I guess you will agree, and for those of you havé not listen to it, please, run and do it you will enjoy it.
Report this review (#9859)
Posted Wednesday, August 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Originally I was going to give this 4.5 stars, but finally I decided on 4.75 stars or somewhere in the neighborhood of that number. It's just too good to not give it an essential rating!

It begins without any music, with Gabriel's voice asking "Can you tell me where my country lies?" This album is the reply to that very question, and the reply (while musically mind-blowing) is not very encouraging. This album is really something of a concept album, but the songs are not linked together in traditional concept fashion. There is a repeated riff that can be found in "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" and the last tracks, and it sort of draws the album together.

The first song is about the decay in England. It starts quietly, then slowly becomes louder before going into a faster section which is about as hard as I've ever heard GENESIS rock. The guitar/organ solo is very interesting, which is interrupted for more lyrics depicting England's sad state, and then fires back up. The lyrics offer the listener to "dance with the moonlit knight," or defy the trends which are destroying us.

"I Know What I Like" is a shorter, less serious song which is based on the album's cover, with the lawn mower and all the people rushing into the field. The song is sung from the point of view of a lawn mower, and the lyrics are fairly cryptic. A good shorter song which fits the album well.

Following is the longer "Firth of Fifth," a great piece which is mainly keyboards and a long soft guitar solo in the middle. It begins with a wonderful BANKS overture, using constantly shifting meters. Then it enters a sort of song section, then slows and builds as the rest of the band joins, creating a creamy mixture of sound which flows throughout the rest of the album.

"More Fool Me" is a ho-hum song which doesn't fit up to the rest of the album, but somehow keeps from dragging it down. It is a bit bluesy, but keeps with the general theme. The only song really worth skipping on the album.

Then we come to the longest (and one of the best) tracks, "The Battle of Epping Forest." It depicts a battle between two rival gangs over the boundaries of their territory, and is laced with commentary on the English way of life as described in the first song. It begins with a drum march mixed with keyboards, which fades out and the main theme springs in, along with the lyrics. The big gang battle is made out as a huge media event, with people having picnics and watching the battle while doing nothing to stop the carnage which ensues. Strangely, the song keeps an upbeat, lighthearted tone throughout, reflecting the lighthearted way the people watch the horrid fight. To them, it (like this song) is just entertainment.

When the battle begins, the song suddenly goes back in time to describe the adventures of the Reverend, whose involvement in the event is not apparent. He goes into a sort of strip club, I think, and initially refuses temptation, but I think gives in (Gabriel's writing is not the clearest). He then joins Little John in founding a business called "Love Peace & Truth, Incorporated" which may be part of a gang "business." I'm not very sure, however. Then the song goes back to the present, where the battle is being fought.

Who wins? Nobody. They're all dead. The entire thing was just a huge waste of life, which could have been stopped by the people who instead made it a public spectacle. Even after all this death, nobody can stand with it being a draw. So they flip a coin to decide the winner. They all died fighting when a simple coin flip could've prevented the whole thing! The message here is: War is pointless.

Following this wonderful song is the interlude "After the Ordeal." At this point, I really wish GENESIS had woven these songs together. It would fit perfectly! Anyway, "After the Ordeal" continues the creamy, sugary feel of the album and nicely bridges the two major pieces.

After this is "The Cinema Show," a more instrumental track. The lyrics it has are all at the beginning of the song, and they essentially compare a woman worried about cleanliness and appearance and a man trying to bed the woman. Very English sound here, but some excellent instrumentation. Some of the best by GENESIS ever. And still we find that buttery smooth feel.

After the repeating of the original riff from "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight", the final track "Aisle of Plenty" begins. A lady in a store is confused, and it reprises the first song in a shorter form. The social commentary here is fairly apparent. Then the original riff is repeated and faded out as salesmen tell about their products in monotone drones...

Overall, very good. As good or better than "Foxtrot". A nice album to start with if you want to start on with GENESIS.

It's scrambled eggs.

Report this review (#9862)
Posted Wednesday, October 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album was the first album in which GENESIS began to have problems to record an album. They took sometime to rest and to compose the songs. I have read an interview done in 1982 where Banks/Collins/Rutherford said that this was a difficult album. There were some conflicts in the band, but it is amazing that this album had a high quality. "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" is one of my favourite songs of this album. "I know what I like" is funny, and it also was released as a single, but I prefer the live version released in "Seconds Out".Maybe it is one of the most played songs in GENESIS` tours since 1973 (and like "Roundabout" from YES, an "obligatory" song). "Firth of Fifth" has a very good piano by Banks and lead guitar by Hackett."More Fool Me" is a ballad sung by the sometimes underrated Collins. "The Battle of Epping Forest" is humorous in places ("there`s no one left alive/ it must be a draw") but it is too long, but it is also a good example of storytelling. "After the Ordeal" is a very good instrumental song, mainly composed by Hackett, playing several guitars, one of them a classical guitar. This song shows his style for his future solo albums. The inclusion of this song in this album caused some frictions in the band, and I think that Hackett started to think that he could live as a solo artist, as his music wasn`t always received with enthusiasm by the rest of the band. "The Cinema Show" is the best song of this album, with very good keyboard solos and atmospheres by Banks and very good drums by Collins. "Aisle of Plenty" is brief, and it also reprises some parts of "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight". This album is very good, but not as strong as "Foxtrot".
Report this review (#9863)
Posted Friday, October 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars No doubt : this is the masterpiece from Genesis. The band is at his best, The whole record shows a subtle balance between lyrics (more maturity to me in the unique universe of P. Gabriel, "dancin out...") and music. Every one plays in harmony to explore new grounds. T Bank's piano and organ are gorgeous ("The battle"...), you just can tell how important he is to the band. S. Hackett's guitar work is splendid and unique, Phil Collins drumming reaches peaks in subtility ("Cinema show" !). This is the record of maturity, the last one before "The lamb" 's new direction (a splendid one too, oh yes).
Report this review (#9869)
Posted Monday, November 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Often considered as their best release. Occasionally, I agree, though "Foxtrot" still has a edge on it. Genesis was going through a new era here, but it still captured their unique sound featured on previous releases. The songwriting is as strong as on "Foxtrot", only with one "out-of-place" song; "More Fool Me", which is good taking for what it is, but definitely not up to pair with Genesis' other ballads at that time. Otherwise, there's not much to dislike about this album, and it still stands as one of my favorite albums ever. Peter Gabriel's lyrics are excellently walking hand-in-hand with the adventurous music, which goes from playful and whimsical to epic and delicate without making the album sound unbalanced or failed. The album never looses focus, with the possible exception of "The Battle of Epping Forest" (still a fabulous track, though), otherwise more or less flawless.

One of the most essential Progressive Rock albums. Highly recommended!

Report this review (#9870)
Posted Monday, November 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Despite of all these five stars, genesis is a band sometimes,(including this record) has not my favourite melodies. First of all, i guess their live record, is one of the best of prog rock, but in all of their records, i guess there are great songs and weak songs, what the hell does it work? i dont know, as i make a huge effort to write in english, i try to translate what i think aabout of all these records, to me, selling england is nothing more than the development and improvemnt of all the others records, using sometimes the same melodies of foxtrot, but with something that they dindnt have done, long instrumentals solos of flute, guitar and keyboards, at the same time its a great record its a little bit boring, a bit pop and dancing compared to the others records, four stars is the very best as i guess nothing is compared to brain salad ...
Report this review (#9871)
Posted Thursday, December 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Almost everyone else, here, says "Buy it!", "Essential...". 30 some-odd Rock experts cannot be wrong - and they are not. This album glowingly exhibits the most enjoyably tasteful, intricate, soulful instrumental episodes Genesis had to offer. Yes, Rick Wakeman, et al. were good alright but not 'nearly' as moving as these interludes. The midsection instrumental of "Firth of Fifth" remains a very unique landmark of Rock history.

It's the cornball lyrics and vocalizations in between the (adept) musicianship that's hard for the serious listener to survive through. Either one has to be an extremely partisan Gabriel fan, or, have a cast iron stomach to listen to the entire album and declare it as 'the best', however.

Both the instrumental sections of "Firth of Fifth" and "The Cinema Show" had been (later) greatly amplified and re-energized in Genesis tours...for years to come and jamming harder at each go. "Selling England by the Pound", then, is a must have solely because it is the original studio album that spawned these Concert mind-blowers.

Report this review (#9874)
Posted Thursday, December 30, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars While this is one of the best Genesis albums, and one of the most important monuments in progressive rock, it is not without its flaws. Beginning and ending masterfully, it's the middle of the album where I find some weak spots. "More Fool Me" is the first letdown, a wispy ballad sung by Phil Collins, foreshadowing the kind of stuff he would eventually become possessed by. It's not the fact of a simple ballad I have a problem with, it's just not an enjoyable one. The next point of contention is the total antithesis of a song like "More Fool Me": the 11+ minute alley-clash epic "The Battle Of Epping Forest". For sure, this song holds many moments of magic, but this is a rare instance (the only?) where Peter Gabriel nearly ruins a song. He attempts to cram all these lyrics into the song, and sometimes it seems like they don't fit. It starts off well enough, careening along with Gabriel taking on this character and that (some of the voices are very annoying though, another problem), but as the song becomes more complex, he seems to be sweating it, trying to force it all in. This tends to smother the music, drawing attention away from some brilliant musical moments.

But the rest? Amazing stuff! "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" opens the album with an instantly likeable vocal line and some alternately frantic and gentle dynamics throughout. The synergy between all members on this track is what makes Genesis fans Genesis FANATICS. There's so much being put into a song like this, you can hear something new every time you listen. "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" offers what nearly became Genesis' first big chart hit, and despite being a relatively short and simple song, it is not without its adventurous moments. There's a dark undertow to this one that, aided by the keyboard-generated lawnmower sounds, is completely mesmerizing. It's a great balance between sunny-day sing-along stuff (most of it) and creepy dementia (that subtle undertow).

If you want to know why Steve Hackett is held in such high regard, you need only visit "Firth Of Fifth", a complexly arranged piece that highlights his trademark "wait. then attack!" style of playing. A gorgeous classically-oriented piano piece leads into epic vistas and some beautiful production elements. Gabriel's flute lays down a signature melody, and then, after the 4-minute mark, the band takes off on a series of perfectly interlocking parts, climaxing with a few moments that display Hackett's unique intuition and talent: at 5:45 he constructs one of the greatest guitar figures of his career, a masterwork of flow and natural vibrato, a several-minute phrase of pure genius.

The final three songs seem to melt into one another, beginning with the superb pastoral feel of "After The Ordeal", into the Romeo-And-Juliet styled tale in "The Cinema Show" (a lengthy panorama of numerous musical and vocal highlights), and out with "Aisle Of Plenty", which helps give the album some continuity by reprising moments of "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight", with some highly unusual lyrics thrown in, unusual even for this band. (The reprise concept is something the band would work with for several albums afterwards.) And, is it me, or is there a lot of singing by Mr. Collins' on "The Cinema Show"?

Easily the smoothest recording job on any of the Gabriel-era Genesis albums, 'Selling England By The Pound' can be faulted for a couple musical missteps, but is, on the whole, one of the most intriguing and satisfying journeys in their catalog.

Report this review (#9875)
Posted Friday, January 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Excellent , the best album that there exists on this planet!!!!!!!The quality of this album can't be explained by words...My personal favorite (and I would think the most complete) is the amazing Firth of Fifth, I just love the catchy amd complex piano in the introduction. But this album like it has epic prog songs, it also has a popular song that made it on the charts, its the fun I know What I like. So it is as complete as any album gets, this is a must listened album if ur a prog fan
Report this review (#9892)
Posted Friday, January 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Selling England By The Pound - for me it stands for a high musical standard, wonderful ideas and the greatest progressive rock tunes ever written (beside TLLDOB and Foxtrott). I remember how I got into Genesis a few years ago, I guess I was 19 or so. I know that there was a Band called Genesis, I loved their works with Phil Collins and the "Old Medley" since I was a child but on this god given day I read a german prog-rock magazin I noticed an Interview with the Bandleader of "The Musical Box". Shortly there after I went to my local LP Shop and bought "SEBTP", "Foxtrott", "Seconds Out" and "Nursery Crime". I loved "SEBTP" the most - cause of "I Know What I Like". Later I noticed Cinema Show, "Firth Of The Fifth", "Battle of the Epping Forrest" and others. I was so positively shocked!!! After visiting "The Musical Box" the first time I fell in love with Cinema Show and since that day I listened to the LP mostly every second day. There are just a few LP's that I love so much and for me as a musician Genesis is the best Band I have ever heard beside the Mothers. I know this is a personal not objective review - but who cares? I think there is no one out there who wouldn't feel the same 'bout this LP!
Report this review (#9886)
Posted Saturday, February 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is an album that any human being who even in the slightest way likes progressive/symphonic rock should have in his collection. The songwriting is excellent, Tony Banks is a master as always and the whole band is playing so tight on this one. My favorite songs are "The battle ...", "The cinema show" and, without a doubt the best song on the album: 'Firth of fifth". This last song contains one of the most beautiful keyboard and guitar interludes in the history of music! If you don't already own this album, buy it this week.
Report this review (#9891)
Posted Wednesday, March 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars How could I be a diehard fan of Genesis and not give five stars to this wonderful album?

Some prog purists on this site think this album is a million times better than Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. I disagree, but this album does easily qualify as Genesis's best album. (In fact, if I recall correctly, I believe Selling England By The Pound was placed a LONG way before Let It Be in Virgin's Top 1000 Albums and rightfully so!! Duke was the only other Genesis album in the mix.).

I don't know how to describe this album in a proper context. Every song is well-played and features good musicianship from Gabriel, Collins, Banks, Rutherford and Hackett (who, by the way, plays some great 12-string guitar on the entire album!).

Before Phil Collins led the group into wild success, they scored a hit single off of this album with "I Know What I Like." A great song and certainly one of the three best cuts off the album.

The two best tracks, however, are "The Battle of Epping Forest" and "The Cinema Show." Both showcase Peter Gabriel's talent of keeping the audience awake with Homer-esque lyrics, backed by some of the best prog music ever recorded. The recordings are very subtle and have to be heard to be believed (in fact, download the mp3 of "The Cinema Show" if you don't believe me - I guarantee it'll turn your listening around!)

This is certainly the best Genesis album in the cannon and has a mixture of everything that made them so loved. Glad to see that four stars is the lowest rating on this site, which means everybody on this site really likes it.

Warning: If you only love the three-man line up of Genesis, you are missing out one of the greatest rock albums ever.

Report this review (#9893)
Posted Friday, March 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Just over a week ago i really disliked Genesis. I found them boring. I found the vocals annoying and the music disorganised. A few listens later and i couldn't put them down. I have 6 of their albums now. I dont know why opinion changed so rapidly but i've always felt like i have been missing out on one of the greatest prog bands out there. I still find them one of the weakest prog giants. I much prefer Yes, Pink Floyd and King Crimson, of that era. I am used to the vocals now, and i find them very interesting and original. I still think that Genesis sound like medieval battle music (kind of reminded me of Rick Wakeman's Knights of the Round Table, but on a lesser degree, that album is just ridiculously over the top)! I have been quite nervous about reviewing this album since it is seen as one of the best pieces by one of the best bands on this site

I find Genesis' lyrics to be very good in terms of concept, they seem to tell a story, often using different characters. I always prefer lyrics that reflect real life, much like Dream Theater and Pink Floyd. Their lyrics suit symphonic prog well it seems as i have noticed Yes and King Crimson exploring mythical lyrics. The album artwork of these bands reflects their music and lyrics well!

Selling England is my favourite and most listened to of the Genesis albums i have. I love the vocals on the intro to "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight", even when i disliked Genesis i found it very good, it pulls the listner into the album. This is an excellent example of symphonic prog rock, probably why they are so popular on this site. I love it when the song progresses through gentle acoustic and piano work through to the lively and quite insane middle section. this track flows beautifully, which is why it is such a nice introduction to the album. I find this piece quite relaxing too. I love the way this piece builds down into that soft outro, bringing an epic to a gentle close.

I love the way this album is set out with shorter pieces inbetween each of the longer pieces. It makes the album flow well. "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" is a strange piece, has some really interesting flute, drum and bass work, sounds kind of trippy! i love the vocals on "i know what i like and i like what i know"! This track makes me laugh sometimes, the lyrics are weird. its a really good piece though, it doesn't really seem that immature, its just good music!

"Firth of Fifth" is a piece that i love, the piano work is tip top from the very begining and maintains itself all the way through, a very good example of strong piano work in rock. FoF is a lively piece and is easy to listen to despite its long instrumental based sections. This is pure prog! "More Fool Me" is a very beautiful piece that builds up gently into some powerful and emotional vocal work. The quiet backing music brings Gabriel alive here for his best vocal work i have heard. This a beautiful track that gives a break between the larger pieces and maintains the fluidity of the album.

The longest piece on this album is "The Battle of Epping Forest", sometimes Gabriel uses weird voices on this track which is a bit offputting, he might be trying to emphasise his lines or play a different character though. It is a very listenable piece never the less but i didn't find this the strongest piece on the album, it is really good and displays lots of great musicianship but it can bit a little tedious and repititive, most of the time i have no problem with listening to this though.

"After the Ordeal" is perhaps a filler instrumental but it works well to build up to "The Cinema Show". This instrumental prelude does not work as well as "Horizons" on the previous album. "The Cinema Show" is my second favourite track on the album after the first track. This is a standout piece on the album, it has some beautiful guitar work, again taking a very gentle approach. I especially love it when it flows into the reprise of "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight". The last track continues this reprise with lyrics that close the album the way it began, in true prog fashion, making it seem like there is an interesting concept or story behind this album. It is hard to hear, but according to the lyrics i read, this epic album is ended with the lines "it's scrambled eggs!".

This album is definetly one of the greatest examples of progressive rock, it has most of the tricks in the book and is one of the strongest symphonic rock pieces i have heard. This album may take a while to get into if you are new to Genesis, i found it a struggle. This album is very gentle yet i think it is enjoyable throughout, it has some mild humour to add to this. Definetly worth checking out, i mean look at how many 5 star ratings this album has got!

Report this review (#9894)
Posted Saturday, March 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have to crown this the best album of all times, defenitely. This album has a ll the right elements. Great lyrics and flute by Peter Gabriel (which stands out on Battle... and Dancing...)l, excellent and well thought electric guitar by Steve Hackett (I just find amazing the solos on Firth... and After...), extraordinary organ, mellotron, synthezisers, and piano by Tony Banks (don't you just find excellent the intro on Firth? I sure do...), the great rythmic powerhouse drumming by Phil Collins (he does good on all the tracks, I just can't pinpoint an example at the moment), and always incredible bass lines by Ruthenford (I like the bass he does on Cinema... during the instrumental part in the middle). What more could you possibly ask for, tell me.... Essential for not only prog listeners, but to musicians in general !!!
Report this review (#9896)
Posted Tuesday, March 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I do not grudge giving this album a five star review because it is simply fantastic. I really got into Genesis, after listening to them on/off for a couple of years, after going to see Canadian based tribute band The Musical Box. They do perfect re creations of Genesis shows, and I was lucky enough to catch them on their Selling England by the Pound tour.

I was immediatly blown away by how good the music was, and how well everyone was playing at this time in the bands career. Nearly beats Foxtrot (but not quite ;)) I'd highly recommend this album, and particuarly Dancing With the Moonlit Knight, The Cinema Show and Firth of Fifth. Firth of Fifth remains my favourite Hackett guitar solo of all time, not his best technically, but the emotion and mood in it is amazing.

I can't recommend this album enough, if you don't own it, buy it!

Report this review (#9897)
Posted Friday, March 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I see this as a good but a bit overrated album. There are some fine moments in it, but some elements of it sound also quite uncomfortable to my ears. "Firth of Fifth" is the most memorable track for me here, evoking powerful feelings. Then "I Know What I Like" is quite annoying song in my opinion. As a funny anecdote, the riff of a famous Finnish rock hit "Moottoritie on kuuma" by Pelle Miljoona sounds like a carbon copy of the fast riff of "Dancing with The Moonlit Knight"!
Report this review (#9899)
Posted Friday, April 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Although my personal beloveds are Tresspass and W&W I have to objectively tell that this album is one of the absolute rock peaks. It is brilliant from the beginning to the end. One musical pearl is changed by the next one, music is perfectly balanced, powerful, poetry is really imaginative, the way PG is singing is marvelous. Definitely, for me this album is the best one in the classic band crew era.
Report this review (#9900)
Posted Friday, April 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Well, a strange album. There's not doubt it's good, but I sincerely expected another masterpiece from Genesis, and THIS IS NOT. I feel a lack of something inexplicable, a lack of pure prog. This is the first Genesis's work in which we can hear an approaching to a catchier pop. They left the alternative tune we liked so much, to do something different and I thought it's not so beautiful. And so I don't like The Battle of Epping Forest and More Fool Me, they sound like another group's songs, after the excellent Foxtrot; the only song that worth to be called Genesis's are Dancing With The Moonlight Knight, Firth of Fifth and maybe I Know What I Like In Your Wardrobe, a simple pop song. It's good the intro of Cinema Show, but the verses and choruses are not as good as catchy. THIS ALBUM IS THE GENESIS'S ONE I BOUGHT AND I NEVER HEARD COMPLETELY!!! I don't feel to recommend it, but I know a lot of people like it..
Report this review (#9903)
Posted Monday, April 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tony Fisher
5 stars This is a very English album (as opposed to Lamb Lies Down which was very American) and one of my three favourite Genesis albums (along with Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot). They stretch out a bit on the solos here and it's all the better for that - indeed Steve Hackett's solo on Firth of Fifth isn't as fast and technical as some prog solos, but the musical construction is magnificent and it ranks up with the very best. The rhythm section are tight and inventive throughout and Gabriel's flute provides some lovely moments - how they missed this aspect when he left. Dancing With the Moonlit Knight kicks off the album with quirky lyrics and some great guitar and keyboard work. I Know What I Like was a bizarre single but a very successful track nevertheless and Firth of Fifth is a joy from beginning to end, my all time favourite Genesis moment. The Battle of Epping Forest is the story of two vice gangs fighting for control of protection rackets and lets Peter Gabriel loose to show his full gamut of vocal styles above some fine instrumental work. Silly but fun; a follow on from Get 'em out by Friday? After the Ordeal is a fine instrumental and sets the scene for The Cinema Show, another of their finest tracks ever with Banks' keyboard work supreme. Aisle of Plenty is a strange but effective end, with its incorporation of supermarket names into the lyrics. The only low point is More Fool Me, a weaker song where they misguidedly let Phil Collins sing; all it does is emphasis how much better Gabriel was. Still, there is no way I could give this magnificent album less than the full monty. If you don't have it, your collection isn't complete.
Report this review (#9905)
Posted Monday, April 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Overrated... Genesis released two great albums before this, listenning all the three together with this it's easy to see that this is really overrated... Progressive Rock, no doubt about it, but not as good as the fans want it to be. Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, Firth Of Fifth and After The Ordeal are the only tracks that are truly good. Dancing With The Moonlit Knight has a very nice guitar solo, and a good vocal melody. Firth Of Fifth lasts more than it should, but, again, the solo make it worthy. After The Ordeal is the best here. Amazing keyboard theme, a very pleasant flute work, and, better than anything, NO vocals. More Fool Of Me and I Know What I Like are cheap pop tunes (not every pop tune is bad, but these are), Cinema Show is a extremely boring track, but Battle Of Epping Forest is even worse! Aisle Of Plenty, well... Rather mediocre, getting the melody from the first track. Not bad, but i wouldn't recommend... Get Foxtrot and Nursery Cryme, then get Trespass... Don't mind about the others, unless you really liked those three.
Report this review (#9906)
Posted Monday, April 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album had some of Genesis best ( and a few of the worst) moments of the "classic" Genesis lineup. How such EPIC sonic masterpieces such as "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight", "Firth Of Fifth", "Cinema Show", and "The Battle Of Epping Forest" could be on the same album as the complete piece of crap that is Phil Collins lead vocal debut ("More Fool Me") and the very mediocre and often overrated "I Know What I Like" are completely beyond me. If these two tracks had been deleted, the album would receive 5 stars for sure. This is still one of their best albums ever however, and no Genesis fan or prog fan should be without it.
Report this review (#9911)
Posted Wednesday, April 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This was my first contact with Peter Gabriel's Genesis. It is an excellent album, but it has two main drawbacks : "More fool me" and "I know what I like" which are not essential to me. "More fool me" can be seen as an interlude but it is an uninteresting love song and Phil Collins sings in a voice I don't like (it would have been better to put something like "For absent friends"). "I know what I like" has been a hit ; the song is fun but does not fit in the atmosphere of the rest of the album. That's why I put only 4 stars. "Dancing with the moonlit knight" is one of my favourite songs. The progression is very impressive and the arrangements give a beautiful "medieval" atmosphere that can be heard all along the album (except for the two songs already discussed). "Firth of fifth" is simply amazing, with the piano intro that can't be found in the live versions (what a shame !). "The battle of Epping Forrest" is a funny song, particularly the acoustic part, with PG singing with many different voices...very original, but some might dislike it. "After the ordeal" is a "serious" and beautiful conclusion to "the battle" and then it ends up very softly with "the cinema show" and "aisle of plenty" which take back the theme developped in "dancing with the moonlit knight".
Report this review (#9915)
Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Genesis "Selling England by the pound" is a music jewel. The beggining with Dancing with the moonlight knight is powerful, besides The cinema show, amazing work of drumming and keyboards. No doubt with other songs like The battle of epping forest that has a special war rhytm and finally the classical rock Hackett`s guitar in Firth of Fifth.....Beautiful record to the contemporary rock history.
Report this review (#9921)
Posted Wednesday, May 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's sort of difficult to review this album because to me most of these songs I've heard for years and I consider them prog music classics: "Dancing with the Moonlit Night," "I Know What I like," "Fifth of Firth," "The Cinema Show." And to anyone reading this review who is unfamiliar with these songs, I recommend purchasing this album and spending a lot of time with it. For those who appreciate the guitar, Steve Hackett's contributions are some of prog rock's finest moments-his solo in "F of F" is one of the most sublime moments in modern music history. But what's really noteworthy about this album is that it's the collective contribution of all band members that creates this masterpiece--the sound of the entire band as each contribution intertwine to create that perfectly distilled, distinctive Genesis sound. There is no other band that sounds like this: it's pure top-of-their-form Genesis. In my opinion, it never got any better than this, much as I like some of the band's later albums. "Lamb Lies Down" was of course recorded with the same line up, and while I see it as a masterpiece of sorts as well, the album is too dominated by Gabriel's narrative concept to be seen as balanced group effort, much as "The Wall" is much too dominated by Waters to be judged a truly Pink Floyd album (though really what post-Barrett PF wasn't).

And the difference between "Lamb" and "Selling" is that, on "Selling," the band is allowed the freedom to develop extended instrumental passages that build-out and complete the song ideas and vocal ideas of Gabriel and the other members. And while the band's been doing this since "Trespass," they really achieve an ease and precision on "Selling" that is truly amazing.

After many listenings, the one song that seems to sort of confounds me each time is "The Battle of Epping Forest." Unlike the rest of the songs on the album, this song somehow fails to groove itself into my musical memory. It's too much a narrative and too little a compelling piece of music. In contrast, "The Cinema Show," which is of comparable length, succeeds both lyrically and musically and never fails to satisfy the listener. Maybe it's because I just can't relate to the comical story of this English gangland struggle for power. It seems a rather too contrived to me, much like an extended version of "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" or something; too sing-songy. The other members do their best to flesh out this Gabriel conceit, and there are excellent instrumental passages, but they don't add up to anything more than the sum of their parts. The song fails to achieve the blinding critical mass that almost every other song on this album does.

But, hey, it's the blinding critical mass that really matters to me.

Five stars.

Report this review (#9922)
Posted Friday, May 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars A bit overrated, but a classic nonetheless. There are some great songs here, especially "Firth Of Fifth" which is just perfect, with that amazing piano intro, that amazing Gabriel's flute solo, and that incredible guitar solo where Hackett plays the flute melody again. I don't like "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" as much since it's acoustic coda is a big too long, but it's a very interesting suite anyway, with lots of different sections, joined together to create the best impression as possible in the listener. I also love "The Cinema Show" since it's a melodic pop song with some GREAT synths near the end. I don't like "The Battle Of Epping Forest" as much, however, even if parts of it are interesting. The shorter songs are good but not great. "Aisle Of Plenty" finishes things off on a good way, "More Fool Me" is a good Collins' love song (yep, you heard right), "After The Ordeal" is a good instrumental, and "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)", even if it's catchy, doesn't impress me too much. However, I give this one 5 stars, although it's more like 4.75 stars. It's really good. If you don't like this at first, give it some more listens and it will grow on you until you like (or love) it. I'm not a big Tony Banks fan, but here he plays really well, especially on "Firth Of Fifth" and "Cinema Show", and he doesn't become an obstacle for Hackett's guitar.
Report this review (#9928)
Posted Thursday, May 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Selling of the greatest Prog albums ever without a doubt, and certainly one of the best efforts from Genesis.

The band begins with my favourite (I have many favourites, but this is THE favourite) Genesis track, "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight". Some of PG's best vocals and TB's best keyboards grace this track, and these complement SH's gentle acoustic AND electric passages. This song is one to watch for tempo, as it starts off slow, then speeds up slightly, and then gets even faster with SH's angry electric guitar and PC's swift but tight drumming. The whole band plays with flair that was present but not quite so noticeable on earlier albums.

The next song is Gabriel-era Genesis' only real 'hit' as such. Although pop annoys me a lot of the time, I do like well written and performed pop songs from time to time, and "I Know What I Like" is just eccentric enough to grab my attention and pleasantly entertain me for its 4 minutes. Of note is MR's weird electric sitar which I don't think was present on any other Genesis songs. I read somewhere that the lyrics are about a crossdressing lawn-mower, and although I'm not entirely sure this is true, the lyrics are still pretty amusing ("cuckoo to you" indeed!).

The grand "Firth of Fifth" graces our ears next, with a piano opening played by TB with considerable precision. What stands out in this song is the tight composition: all band members flawlessly play and complement each other, but if the song belongs to anyone, it's Tony. Pianos, keyboards, synthesizers oh my! PC's drumming is tight, SH's guitar is fantastic and PG's vocals are great...when they're there (this track seems to be instrumental dominated).

We follow this up with the album's low point. Another poppy Collins ballad. It's not bad, it's not good. It's not even ok. Whenever I hear it (not often) I suffer from a severe case of indifference. It's perfectly fine if you're into ballads, but I would've preferred another "Harold the Barrel" personally.

The next track, "The Battle of Epping Forest" is another one of those great Genesis epics that utilises PG's story-telling, TB's keyboards and SH's guitar work to great effect. While it's certainly memorable, I find it less enticing than, say, "The Musical Box". Still, it has enough tempo and theme changes to interest the average even has funny voices.

"After the Ordeal" is an extension of Foxtrot's "Horizons" in that it showcases SH's prowess on the guitar. This song is, however, a lot meatier than "Horizons", in that TB also gets his chance to shine on the piano (as if he needs any more). It's an instrumental only, so it gives us a break from the lyrical side of things...

...that is, until we come to "Cinema Show" - one of Genesis' great epics, which tells the story of a modern Romeo & Juliet going to the movies...delightful. It starts off dominated by SH's acoustic guitar and PG's vocals, but gradually the other band members come into play and contribute wonderful keyboard, drum and guitar parts. Quintessential Genesis!

The album concludes with "Aisle of Plenty" (or "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" Part 2 if you will), which continues the first track's musical theme. I was quite delighted to find my favourite Genesis track has a smaller cousin! Both tracks act as bookends for the rest of the album and as a result, the album feels tighter and more complete I feel.

Well...It's a masterpiece. All proggers should own it, or at least have heard it 3 times. For Genesis fans, this goes without saying.

Report this review (#9929)
Posted Sunday, May 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars My no 1 record since first listening to it in the early 80's. It is a complete symphonic prog experience featuring brilliant songwriting, dramatic music, fantastic musicians, humour and the sound/production is of amzing high quality (better than for instance The Lamb or Wind & Wuthering).

Report this review (#9930)
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is THE progressive rock album that should be in everyone's collection.

I have listened to it many times, since obtaining it recently and I cannot seem to drag myself away from it. So what makes it so good? Each song is seamlessly played by the band. Notably, Tony Banks keyboards at the beginning of "Firth of Fifth" and again in "The Cinema Show". Steve Hackett shows tremendous talent in his guitar solos particularly his playing of the accoustic guitar in "More Fool Me". Peter Gabriel shines on vocals but Phil Collins is not far behind and shows why he was a natural choice to replace Gabriel. Both Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins are steady and competent players of their respective instruments but are overshadowed by Hackett, Banks and Gabriel in this album. The music combined with the lyrics makes for a powerful listening experience. To me the album is very much themed around the social and living conditions of the ordinary English person at that time. This is markedly shown in "The Battle of Epping Forest" and "The Cinema".

In summary, I find this album hard to fault - each track is very well put together. I would say it is the best album that Genesis has produced. It is one of the finest progressive rock albums ever made. It would be hard for a true progressive rock afficiendo not to like it. So I recommend it you do not own it, go out and buy it now! Genesis fans if you have not listened to it in a while, go give it another spin and relish in the beauty and power that makes this album without doubt, a five pointer!

Report this review (#9935)
Posted Wednesday, June 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
4 stars "Genesis was my first love and it will be my last"! It was the first progrock band I discovered and this album is the second one I bought from Genesis. One of the most remarkable facts is the omnipresence of Steve Hackett his unique guitarwork: fiery in "Dancing with the moonlit knight", moving in "Firth of fifth" (the #1 guitar solo in progrock?) and delicate in the instrumental "After the ordeal". The lyrics are often strong (many words of play and funny associations) and Peter Gabriel does a great job as the singer. The track "The cinema show" showcases a perfect blend between the vocal and instrumenal part from Genesis, what a pivotal progrock music! Unfortunately I'm not pleased with the songs "I know what I like" and "More fool me", for me it was an omen that came true when "And then there were three" was released" (I threw it out of my window from the fourth floor after a first session..). Yes, music is emotion!
Report this review (#35715)
Posted Wednesday, June 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Now this is what i call and overhyped and overrated album, to only great song on here was the first genesis song i ever heard and its allso the first song on the album and its also still the best genesis song i have ever heard yet, and of course its: "Dancing with the moonlite knight" so my reaction when i heard that song was woow this is great if the rest of the songs on the album are this good or yust half this good its a great album. So i bought it hoping that i was buying one more masterpiece to my album collection but it dident realy turned out that way becaus the monolite knight was easely far and away the best song on the album sadly the rest is good but nothing more and one great song and some good ones and some realy bad ones dont make a great album or a masterpiece in my book. Here is what i think of the songs "I know what i like..." a nice pop tune, "more fool me" a pice of [&*!#] totaly crapy pop tune, "Firth of fifth" is the only song on the album that comes close to the "moonlite knight" but still its miles away. And then there is from what i have heard whats supose to be the epic track of the album "Battle of epping forest" and it has some good parts but the section in the middle destroys the song completly and the rest dosent go anywhere so its only a good song nothing more, After the ordeal is nice, the cinema show leaves me cold i dont feel anything only bad feelings and hoping it to end and the last song is filler. Thats it that what you get no way is this a 5 star album, its realy pity how overrated this record is its a 3 star album nothing more nothing less. So Moonlite knight is problobly the best genesis song i will ever hear allong with some great ones from Foxtrot becaus i dont see much poind in buying many more albums form this lame band. I have Foxtrot and that a much beter album no doubt about that any one who say anything else must be def, but i dont have Lamb lies down on broadway so i dont know if thats a great album or not so that probobly the last album i will ever buy from Lamesis, well if lamb is great meby i buy more but i dont think so.
Report this review (#36356)
Posted Sunday, June 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A True Masterpiece Classic Prog Album

No doubt, this is a masterpiece prog album that set the standards for rock music in the glory days of seventies. This album represented my second in love with the band after I listened to Nursery Cryme album and knew the band the first time from my big bro, Henky, who introduced me to the world of rock music and prog rock in the seventies. Well, by the time there was no such definition of the kind of music Genesis was playing - we just simply said it "a not straight forward kind of rock music" (unlike Deep Purple, Golden Earring, Uriah Heep, Led Zeppelin, Humble Pie, Grand Funk Railroad, etc.). What reallly clicked me back with this album after having listened to Nursery Cryme (and love "musical Bix" and "Harold The Barrel") was when I visited Jakarta and I saw a cassette of this album was being played in my other brother (Jokky) in his VW Beetle when he picked me up at the Jakarta railway station. Oh man . the album's "Firth of Fifth" did really kill me at first listen! I could not even believe what I was hearing from the car's sound system: a never heard and wonderful classical piano intro delivered with full energy and uplifting mood opened a wonderful song ."The path is clear ." oh my God .. The melody and the harmony of this music really kill me since the first time I listened to it even until now. I could not believe that any humanbeing has ever created this masterpiece composition!

There is no such thing as bad track in this album - even though I thought that "More Fool Me" did not fit into the whole album. But, it's okay as this might serve as a break after listening other wonderful and a bit complex tracks. "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" had even become a standard greetings for me and some friends couple years ago when I worked for Price Waterhouse Consulting. As management consultant at the time we usually worked sparsely at client's premises and by the end of the day we gathered at our head office or at classic rock café. It's not the gathering that I want to mention but the greetings we typically used. Unlike "Hey man, how's life?" but we yelled: "Can You tell me where my country lies? ." and the other person who received that yell would respond "It lies with me. Cry the Queen of Maybe ..". That's exactly the opening lyric of Dancing With The Moonlit Knight!!!! Even recently when we exchange messages through our cell-phones, we still use these lyrics. What a rocking vibe man .!!!

The Battle Of Epping Forest(11:43) is also a song with memorable experience. This unique song has even inspired a local cover band based in Malang, East Java, who named the band after pieces of lyrics of this relatively complex and hard-to-understand- at-first-listen track,ie. "Gang Voice". Yeah . the band name was Gang Voice! After The Ordeal (4:12) is also a wonderful instrumental outfit with great melody and harmony. The melody is truly touchy. This kind of melody has inspired, lately, many neo progressive band as part of their composition.

No one will ever say The Cinema Show (11:06) - Aisle Of Plenty (1:31) is a mediocre track regardless their musical taste. I also love the cover version by The Flower Kings in their compilation album "Scanning The Greenhouse". The live version of this track in Seconds Out album is also a great performance with Bill Bruford on drums.

Well, I guess I have to stop it here as I have a lot of good memories about this album and I might probably write a 200-page novel for this album only. But, I'm sure that you are not going to buy that novel because it's too long. Non musical thing, I'm really amazed with the sound quality the album produces - it's really great. I even always use this CD if I want to buy new stereo set. I like the sound of Taurus bass pedal in Firth of Fifth. I don't know how could it happen as the released year was 1973 and the recording technology was not advanced at the time. Super Highly Recommended! Keep on proggin' .!

Progressively yours,

GW - Review #318

Report this review (#36523)
Posted Tuesday, June 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Not as freakin' sweet as most prog-goers would say, but it's better than trash like Britney Spears. But at sometimes it gets a little bubblegum poppish. I obviously don't like that. My favorite on this album is probably Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, because you get into it so much that you can't even notice the great transitions from slow pace to fast pace. More Fool of Me and I Know What I Like are not very good. And from my opinion, I Know What I Like has the worst chorus that I have ever heard. It was poison to my ears.But I Can still recomend this album to anybody who wants to get into prog music. It's a good transition album from regular rock to prog rock
Report this review (#38428)
Posted Sunday, July 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ah- Dancing with the Moonlit Knight was the song that, only a week ago, picked me up off the ground at a time of strange indifference to most pieces of music I came across. To be suddenly inspired (or 'turned on' as you may say) is a sweet thing- which is exactly what this legendary music did to me. It's a real ear-opener to anyone- be they a genuine progger or someone, such as myself, who is still trying to find their feet in the world of music.

The album opens with this piece "Can you tell me where my country lies?- said the uniforn to his true love's eyes." What on earth is a uniforn? Or did he say uniCORN? It all boils down to the genius of Peter Gabriel- playing tricks with the minds of those who dare listen closely to the lyrics! Here I could go off on a tangent and talk about whether Peter is asking us to sympathize with the rapist in The Music Box or not but lets stick to *this* album now. Beautiful acoustic guitar playing from Steve Hackett and watch out for the passionate piano playing from Tony Backs too. Soon Steve begins the recurring guitar theme which is to begin the adrenalin of the whole song. I can't say I'm one for Peter's voice but after "young man says ' you are what you eat', well.." he sings with an emotion that takes over his style, therefore the rest of the song. Sythesized chroal voices, drumbeats and amazingly fast electric guitar riffs are perfect for the likes of me (a head-banger). Surprises all the way through: tempo and key change, new melodies: So far, in my listening, this is progressive rock at it's best! Peter suddenly sings as if he's talking to two different people- as if he's giving them instructions. He is the master of changing tones while singing. The repeated riffs,in both keyboard and guitar, make this an awesome piece for both prog-fanatics and mainstream-lovers alike. It ends with the same melancholy mood with which it began: a beautiful falling chord by a harp-like guitar and sythesized stings slowly rising, falling, rising in the background. Wonderfully dreamy. Two words: Absolutely gorgeous! This has become one of my top ten favourite pieces of music.

I know what I like (in your wardrobe): " It's one o'Clock and time for lunch." It's as if I'm listening to my Dad when he's in a good mood: Fantastic! I love it when artists are 'random' in a way that isn't *too* off the top- which is exactly what Genesis are at times. This is definitely an example. So..the first 'hit' from this album and said to be about a cross-dressing lawn-mower aye? Trust Genesis to use such a theme for a song! Nice sitar playing from Mike Rutherford. Needless to say this is a very poppy song but that didn't make it any less enjoyable for me. I'll sing along to the chorus anytime! The line: 'Me? I'm just a lawn-mower! You can tell me by the way I walk.' is purely unforgettable. High arpeggios in Peter' voice fter the first chorus: I laughed the first time I heard it; I found myself singing along the second.

Firth of Fifth: The Piano starts the almost-all-instrumtental piece in an almost Broadway fashion. That is to say- it's very sing-songy. Vocals, electric guitar and keyboard come in very suddenly and follow the piano's chordal progression but cause the music to move a tad more upbeat. Everything is very singsongy and happyclappy (mind if I use that word?) till the piano and flute do a duet. Suddenly a very melancholy, even depressing melody hits our ears.Thiis lingers on for a while. The original happy melody comes in played by the keyboard and suddenly eveything is upbeat again. (The word 'suddenly' is something I'm going to have to refrain from writing here but it's rather hard for me- this is Prog Rock!) Then the depressing tune is played by the electric guitar again. This piece certainly drifts in and out of moods! One realises that this technique is reflected in one of Peter Gabriel's closing lyrics: 'A River of Constant Change.'

More Fool Me: Phil Collin's voice is better than in 'For Absent friends' but I can see why most other reviewers think this song is a let-down in comparison with the rest of the album. This isn't a piece of proggressive rock at all; it's a gentle acoustic pop song. Phil is singing about his girlfriend who appears to have broken up with him: an over-done convention. Why do I immediately think of Bread? But I'm not going to disregard this song altogether- it's still a very pretty love song. So short- not even two minutes long!

The Battle of Epping Forest: This didn't hold me in it's clutches as much as DWTMLK did but it's still an 'epic' of Genesis: one that tells a story like The Music Box. The start reminds me of a mix of marching toy soldiers and the clapping of a football-stadium's croud. (I have a weird mind.) But the sound of Peter Gabriel with his casual sounding rock-band interrupt and change all that. The chorus dissappointed me a little- it sounds somewhat like a generic 80's pop band, therefore before it's time. Is it the simple melody or the chordal progression? It's hard to tell really- you hear it yourself! Changes in tempo keep all proggers happy. I especially like echo-pedal on Steve's guitar-riff that comes later. Now the Peter tells the others in the band a story to which they respond, and he changes his accents perfectly! Not only is he an awesome songwriter, singer and musician- this man has obviously been to drama class one or more times as well. I'd have to say that this track is electric guitar and honky-tonk keyboard dominated.

After the Ordeal: This is a great instrumental for background music while you eat, drink, get drunk...anything else that's relaxing to you. Harp-like classical guitar does a duet with a swift-playing piano. The Tambourine comes in a bit later to add a bit of tang to the percussion- it almost sounds like Spanish Flamenco Dancing at one point. This is until the electric guitar rings yet again and the flute joins in.

The Cinema Show: A Modern-day Romeo and Juliet go to the movies- now there's a beautiful thought and theme for a song! A slow ballad with dreamy slow guitars that seem to speed-up occassionally. As usual: an electric guitar and drumbeat make the song more upbeat. (Genesis have made this an effective technique in order to pull us out of the song's introduction. We were thinking about Juliet, but now we're thinking about Romeo.) Subtle hints at sex in the lyrics make the song very romantic indeed: "He will make his bed with her tonight." What I also love is the quick reference to a well-known character in Greek myth: Teiresias. He was a woman then he became a man again- and a blind prophet for than matter too. "Once a man- like the sea I raged. Once a woman- like the earth I craved...THERE IS IN FACT MORE EARTH THAN SEA." Is this conforming to the ideology of a woman's orgasm being larger than a man's? It makes you think. On a personal note- I was recently in a production of Antigone (a greek tragedy) as Teiresias' guide: This part of the song was in my head all the while! After this- the flute is heard and all the members use their voices as instruments at one point- making for an atmospheric break. Then back to Steve and Phil with their guitar and drums. Tony Banks does a delightful keyboard solo with using the sound of strings. It's all very fast-paced. This sets the scene for us. (What are R and J up to now? We are invited to use our imagination- if we're really up to it that is!) The piece ends with the first few harp-like chords on which it began.

Aisle of Plenty: "I don't belong here.." hmm- this sounds familar. After hearing the strumming guitar it sounds even moreso. Then incomes that wonderful guitar riff and one realises that it's definitely the other half of Dancing with the Moonlit Knight. Expecting us to know this (how can we not? After such a masterpiece to open the album!) the singers go crazy, meaning that they use their voices as instuments and experiment. Once again, Peter Gabriel at his most passionate (so far- in my listening of Genesis.) A brilliant short ending to a brilliant long opening of this album.

If you're a Prog Rock fan but you don't have this album, you're mad. Utterly mad. Just try it one day and let it melt into you- let the music take you over. It's worth the hassle- trust me!

Report this review (#38830)
Posted Friday, July 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars A masterpiece without doubt. One of the best ever in prog. For Imogen Reid, the previous reviewer: Unifaun, the exact word is unifaun, a mythological animal, metaphorically used here by Peter Gabriel. Not more to say, this is a must for all prog and not prog listeners. A milestone in music and an album that stands today 30 years later with the same power, freshness and intensity of the mid '70's era. Take a particular attention to Tony Banks keyboards solos, Steve Hackett work on guitars and Phil Collins incredible drumming. Bye
Report this review (#38831)
Posted Friday, July 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars An absolute Masterpiece! It only has one flaw. If you are reading this progressive forum and have not this album, don't read this review, just go and buy it!

Genesis at its artistic peak. This is an essential album containing some of the most brilliant musicianship, and melodies put on tape.

1. Dancing With The Moonlit Knight 10/10 : A perfect start to the album and one of my favourite tunes of Genesis. Excelling on any way possible (including lyrics and emotion) ... this is a journey of musical ecstacy.

2. I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) 7/10 : The only flaw of the album. This song while being good and fun, feels very out of place in the album. The drumming is something to pay attention to here which is masterful.

3. Firth Of Fifth 11/10 (masterpiece) : It is my favourite song of Genesis and l consider it a work of art. The piano solo at the beginning is very complex and difficult to play, yet I have spent countless hours to learn to play it myself and use it to impress others with its beauty (actually I learned the whole song). The other important part is the instrumental break containing a piano solo, a flute melody, a synth solo, and the best guitar solo of all times. Prog rock at its best (and a long album).

4. More Fool Me 9/10 : This is a simple pop song with gorgeous melodies.

5. The Battle Of Epping Forest 8/10 : While it should have been cut a few minutes, it still is an impressive epic that doesn't take itself very seriously. Everything sounds playful and you can hear children voices on the background.

6. After The Ordeal 9/10 : What an instrumental! This showcases the abilities of the band without sounding overblown and pretentious like Soundchaser from Yes. It is very melodic.

7. The Cinema Show 10/10 : Very solid climatic song. Starting as a solid ballad about Romeo and Juliet, it then climbs into a bombastic climax full of synths. The drumming is excellent here showing that Collins is a master at his drumkit.

8. Aisle Of Plenty 10/10 : The album can't exist without this reprise of the first song. It is a perfect finisher of the album

My Grade : A

Report this review (#39281)
Posted Tuesday, July 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Just about my favourite Genesis album, includes (IMHO) two great tracks - Firth of Forth and Cinema Show - and several very good ones; also showed the way Genesis would develop towards pop orientated material, with "I Know What I Like".

As with all Genesis stuff it comes across as very middle class and sometimes a bit too "nice" even though "Battle of Epping Forest" is about a gangland fight! For me Genesis were never quite up there with the real giants of prog like Yes or Floyd but sometimes they shone, like on parts of this album; when Steve Hackett gets in full flight backed by Collins et al, they really were at their peak; they stood losing Peter Gabriel well, but not their guitarist.

This album should be obtainable in a bargain bin (where I found it - vinyl copy long gone....) and it's worth rooting out. Whether it deserves this web-sites listing as (at time of this review) second only to Yes' Close to the Edge as the ultimate prog album is a different matter - but then every one is entitled to their opinion!

Report this review (#41297)
Posted Tuesday, August 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wonderful masterpiece of prog rock. I guess that this album has the most hackettīs elements. Anyway this is fight between guitars and keyboards. The bestseller in the Gabriel era. My 3rd favourite Genesis album.
Report this review (#42330)
Posted Wednesday, August 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars WOW... what can I say... A strange thing happened - I've been a fan of art/prog rock for many years now and I'm a huge fan of Pink Floyd, Yes, King Crimson BUT I've never heard that Genesis is one of the greatest prog-rock bands ever (thanks, Mr. Collins for all the years after 1978). Great album. Superb, inventive, captivating etc etc etc. Opening song gives a great start, than goes a bit overrated "I Know What I Like"... after that my fav which is "Firth of the Fifth" - a beautiful piece of music (not just prog!!!). Everything else is great either, especially "The Battle for Epping Forest" and "Cinema Show". Mr. Gabriel does a fantastic job (although I cannot say he has a perfect voice) - I'm not able to imagine anyone else saying "Can you tell me where my country lies??"!!! All-time classic from a great band! Highly recommended!!!
Report this review (#42463)
Posted Thursday, August 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A flawed masterpiece!

Since "Foxtrot" was so a perfect album, almost "too perfect", I could not sometimes listen to it anymore and preferred a better produced "Selling England by the Pound" with its clear sound. Steve Hackett is the one to shine on this brilliantly performed piece of music and I must highlight "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight", "Firth of Fifth" and "The Cinema Show" as being the most accomplished acts in musical history, ranking as classics among the "classical" music. The flaws are nevertheless obvious: "More Fool Me" is a syrupy heart-bleeding Collins weep that makes the BEE GEES look like serious avantgarde, while "The Battle of Epping Forest" is too stretched to handle although it has fine moments. In spite of minor weaknesses, this album is the artistic top of the Gabriel-led GENESIS career and is a must for any music library.

Report this review (#42706)
Posted Saturday, August 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well, it seems I write a lot of reviews in reaction to other reviews, but I just couldn't let the previous 2 star review go without comment. This album is not what I consider a masterpiece, but it is so close as to almost not matter. Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, Firth Of Fifth, and Cinema Show are enough to give this album 4 stars all by themselves. Classic prog rock / art rock with the only flaw in any of them being, IMO, the keyboard solo in Cinema Show. I realized it is sacrelidge to criticize it, but I find it very simplistic and uninspired. It has moments of nice melodic touches and references to other parts of the song, but it is just too weak to really be a finale to the rest of the song. Still the way the underlying music segues into Asle Of Plenty is very nice and a great way to end the album. The two turkeys on this album for me are More Fool Me, a harbinger of lame music to come from the Collins era, and After The Ordeal, a fairly uneventful and uninteresting instrumental. Unlike many people, I don't have a big problem with Battle Of Epping Forest. It has good moments, and even though it doesn't really work as a whole, it is an interesting experiment. I Know What I Like is okay, a decent prog / pop song that works pretty well and has an unusual intro and outro to offset its somewhat poppish body. So, all in all, three classic and truely great songs alone really give this the four stars (they are also 3 of the 4 long songs on the album), with only 2 songs that I would say are really sub par for a band of this quality.
Report this review (#42816)
Posted Sunday, August 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Genesis is actually a realm I have not yet discovered, and the high amount of acclaim for this album definitely sparked my interest, so I had to see what the fuss is about. I must say that I was really impressed at times and maybe let down a bit in some moments as well. Genesis' huge variety to this album is very interesting in my opinion, however sometimes working and sometimes not.

Dancing With The Moonlit Knight is an incredible song melodically, very cool melodies and strong musical interplay from the band and strong vocals from Peter Gabriel. Tony Banks' and Steve Hackett's contributions to this song are amazing musically and the whole structuring is brilliant. The song has it's slow to fast moments and melodic moments, sliding into eachother without a moment's notice. The transitioning doesn't seem to fit right at some moments however, moods and tempos change oddly. Very good show however. (9/10)

I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) I take it is the single from the album, I can see why, it's a significant change in mood from Dancing With The Moonlit Knight. It's a simpler piece, and a more straightforwardly toned one as well. It's a well-textured song and a more-than-decent one at that. (7/10)

Firth Of Fifth completely adds more variety to the album once again, featuring this time the vocals of (the infamous) Phil Collins, and melodically amazing moments from Tony Banks on the keys. The musical interplay and brilliant composing in this song are amazing, not to mention the great vocal work and verses, being touching at times, and a bit different at others. A real trip, and a real winner as far as I'm concerned. (10/10)

More Fool Me is a slower song, a love song maybe, but I think it doesn't reach a level of corniness or too poppy in my opinion because I think that what the song tries to do actually works, the lyrics are straightforward yet thoughtful and the melody is nice in my opinion, it even works well in contrast to Firth of Fifth. (8/10)

The Battle Of Epping Forest isn't a very strong song, it jumps tones constantly, but mostly it's weak melodies wrapping around nearly entirely spoken lyrics, sometimes players drop playing completely. It acts to me as just an over-ambitious long track on the album. Definitely not successful in what it tries to do. Also it has a corny type of dry humor with the vocals that runs out of life very early on in the 12-minute song. (5/10)

After The Ordeal brings up the word "average" to me, it's a transitional piece into The Cinema Show. It's really nothing interesting on it's own, kind of droning in it's repetitive manner. (5.5/10)

The Cinema Show isn't as good as the first or third track but it's in the same "epic" vein, still melodically, instrumentally and structurally it's not very strong, it's sadly passable, but it has some interesting moments. It's definitely a better attempt at a long track than The Battle Of Epping Forest. (6.5/10)

Aisle Of Plenty is a transitional piece, but I really dig the shuffle Collins does at the end, eh, it's just me, haha. (6/10)

Well there you go, the album is surprisingly weak, and it's hard to get a general opinion on the album considering it has it's great moments and it's bad moments, but mostly it's mediocre moments. The songs here just aren't that great, the first and third tracks being an exception. The songwriting is an acquired taste, but the variety in experimenting with more conventional song structure should appeal to more listeners but overall I don't see what the fuss is here. It's not a very fluid album and the good moments seem to have happened on accident while overviewing the album in retrospect. [Reviewer's tilt: (7/10)

[OVERALL SCORE: 7.1 out of 10 or 3.5 stars (rounded to 4 stars)]

Report this review (#43394)
Posted Friday, August 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars An absolute masterpiece, the best progrock album I have ever heard, and candidate for my best pop/rock album in any genre. Not only absolutely essential, but also probably the best starting point for newcomers to progressive Genesis.

1. Dancing With The Moonlit Knight (8:01) What an opener. Genesis weaves a magic spell in this song, using intelligent texts full of wordplay (like "queen of May-be" and "Knights of the Green Shield stamp and shout" - Green Shield stamps having been used extensively in English shops), beautiful melodies and stunning vocal and instrumental performances. Of particular interest is the shift from ballad to energetic rock upon the invitation 'to join the dance', with appropriate changes in instrumentation. 10/10

2. I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) (4:06) The single taken from the album. I don't understand the negative comments many have on this track. It is not a msterpiece, but quite likeable, and certainly not too poppy. 7.5/10

3. Firth Of Fifth (9:34) This song of the sea has to be heard to be believed. One of the absolute progrrock classics. For almost ten minutes, we get drawn into a fantastic world, alternating between Peter Gabriels magnificent vocals,Tony Banks' keyboard virtuosity and Steve Hackett pulling off an amazing guitar solo in the middle section. 10/10

4. More Fool Me (3:09) The only blemish on this record. I have no problem with Phils singing (in fact, I think A trick of the tail is the second-best Genesis album), but the song itself is mediocre at best. Even though some argue that it provides a good rest point between the epic songs before and after, I still think it is totally out of place. 5/10

5. The Battle Of Epping Forest (11:43) Good, but not great. Whenever Genesis exceeds the 8 minutes mark, you hope for a fantastic result, and you often are right. This is one of the occasions where it does not work. The melodies are not remarkable, neither is the instrumentation. 7.5/10

6. After The Ordeal (4:12) This is an excellent example of what does constitue a good rest point between two epic tracks. A deceivingly simple instrumental that is still rewarding in its own right. 8/10

7. The Cinema Show (11:06)/8. Aisle Of Plenty (1:31) I consider these two to be one song actually. Having listened to two absolute masterpieces on side 1, it is amazing to find out that the closing track is even better. The musical introduction with the dominating keyboard is perhaps the finest Genesis have ever produced. This modern day Romeo and Juliet story, interweaved with the story about the wise old Father Tiresias, relies anyway more on the instrumental magic of the group than on the vocals by Peter Gabriel, which are just a bit less convincing than usual. Cinema show flows over fluently in the short Aisle of plenty, and although the tracks are listed separately on the album, they make a satisfying combination. 10/10

There are very few records that can boast to have three songs which I rank as masterpieces (10/10). In spite of More fool me, this disc truely deserve five stars.

Report this review (#43399)
Posted Friday, August 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This IS my favourite record, no matter what category. It is so good, that any attempt to describe its qualities is bound to be incomplete. Side 1 of the album has the masterpieces Dancing With The Moonlit Knight (which has perhaps the all-time second best song introduction I know (the best is The Undercover Man by VDGG)) and Firth Of Fifth (with some of the melodically best flute/guitar-work I know). I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) is perhaps not quite up to the same high standard, but it's not bad enough to ruin my over-all review of the record. More Fool Me I actually like a lot. If I had only heard it as a single, perhaps I would not have liked it so much, but when you listen to it in the context of the whole record, not only does it provide a resting point between the huge masterpieces before and after it, but it also somehow rises in quality itself. Side two is absolutely fantastic. The Battle Of Epping Forest is a prog-theatrical masterpiece. It beautifully combines with After The Ordeal and The Cinema Show, and the totality of it adds up to rock (and music) history's absolutely most superior masterpiece. Aisle of Plenty brilliantly closes the album, and brings forth again some melodical elements from the opening song - making the whole album a perfect unity.
Report this review (#43711)
Posted Sunday, August 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars As I regret the years 70! when existed some bands as the genesis,yes,elp,kings crimson that created some works of art and not simple albums! This album belongs to 100% to this epoch and obviously the result is a masterpiece! fabolous songs ,melodies that cradles you(after the ordeal), but also songs full of rhythm (the battle of epping forest);). in my opinion this album is the best of the genesis! also because with this album I have started to listen to this type of music, and more I hear again it and more I don't get tired to listen to it! boys this album deserves him 5/5 to 100% no discussions;)
Report this review (#43731)
Posted Sunday, August 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Selling England by the Pound represents the peak of Genesis as a band. From the haunting opening lyrics of "Dancing with the Moonlight Knight" one knows they are in for a treat. Next up, the humorous gardener in "I Know What I Like", followed by what I consider the best progressive song ever written: "Firth of Fifth - a truly majestic piece of music. From the beautiful piano introduction through the plaintive guitar solo to the crescendo as the song ends, a complete masterpiece. "More Fool Me" is a slow quiet ballad that for me is the only low spot on the album. Side two opens with the complex "Battle of Epping Forest", a song that transports gang conflict back to the days of Robin Hood, and after that, the nearly heartwrenching guitar in the instrumental "After the Ordeal". "The Cinema Show", track 7, is my second favorite song on the album. Outstanding lyrics presented in a powerful musical arrangement, followed by "Aisle of Plenty", which reprises the opening melody, and gives a bit of an endless loop feel to the album. While Nursery Crime and Foxtrot contain outstanding songs, the writing, musicianship and production on Selling England by the Pound represent the best overall album that Genesis would offer.
Report this review (#43793)
Posted Monday, August 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I wanted to make a different review. This album for me is probably one of the best five prog albums ever made. I would like to put the focus on Tony Banks: he is so delicate to play what the band need in every moment and with different sounds, being the soloist he is terrific and when he has to be a support for their partners is great to, he doesn't change chords he play note by note, you just have to listen carefully every song. This album has the merit to play a very influential rol in most prog bands today with its unique sound. What is very distinctive of Genesis is that you don't see a competition between the band members to be the star. Everyone play what the music exactly needs.
Report this review (#44614)
Posted Sunday, August 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Album announced in 1973 "Selling England By The Pound". It is an elegant, beautiful melody and an exquisite ensemble. It became a work with brightness and warmth. Generally, it may be called an album that listens easily. In the performance, romantic colorfulness is emphasized. The introduction of the synthesizer is enumerated as one of the changes.
Report this review (#45336)
Posted Saturday, September 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars First of all, excuse my english. Iīve never lived in a country where english is the main language. Yet, I make an effort.

I guess reviewers have said it already and better than I could. However, I think that in order to highlight the quality of this album, we should compare it to the so-called greatest progressive albums. First of all, this album is composed of the most desired attributes in progressive rock. Itīs got complex and inteligent song structures, enjoyable tunes and melodies, great playing, originality as far as style goes, energy and a fresh feelling throughout. This album can be called unique since it was never immitated nor improved by anyone within its style, not by Genesis itself either.

On the other hand, "better" than what you ask?. Letīs say, better than "In the court of the crimson king". It may not have a single song as greatly played as "21st. century" but it also doesnīt have a single second as boring and absurd as the 10+ minutes of "moonchild". While "21st. century" is about the only 100% attention demanding on that album, "Selling England" is filled with at least 3 songs full of diverse, inspired and imaginative passages. Furthermore, "Selling England" displays the most ever respected capability Genesis ever had, writing skills. I mean that ability to write music within very different styles, sounds, etc. "In the court" might have been the startpoint to all progressive bands, yet, king Crimson was not succesfull at creating a trully different style other than that. Genesis on the other hand, came from recording a bizarre Foxtrot, nothing similar to the "Selling England" sound and style, and went on to writing a remarcably different "The Lamb". While "In the court" was the raw material to every King Crimson Album to date, "Selling England" was their 5th. album and thatīs it, no more no less, with a personality of itīs own. Would you dare saying "In the court of the crimson king (THE SONG)" is coparable to "Cinema show" ?. I think after the ordeal has much more to stick with.

Compared to "The dark side of the moon". Well, weīd have to ask ourselves wether that album is progressive at all. Is it?. Isnīt it just Classic rock in a fusion with; first, a lot of media support, and secondly, a pretentious desire by the band?. As pretentious as to call this album progressive (a more pretentious genre than classic rock). Anyway, lets consider it progressive. The same way critics and music researchers call Pink Floyd "progressive" as a whole, in a generic way of course, though they are not aware they are. "Dark side" is a great album nonetheless. However, it is great only if listened as a whole. Take "Us and them" as an example. It sure is a very enjoyable song, with hook tunes throughout. yet, the playing is quite simple with no rythm changes nor complex arrangements whatsoever. That canīt be called progressive by no means. Progressive or not, it is a fine song with a great melody depending strongly on mood and atmosphere rather than on trully writing skills as in on, say, "Firth of fifth". Being the last, at least in my mind, a more enjoyable song than "Us and them". Has anyone noticed that the only "tough" and technic demanding song on "Dark side" lies-down on "Money"?. Which by the way has a very simple structure with barely no rythm changes. "Money" is a song that stands out only for one reason, it is the only loud song on the record ĄĄ, and also because itīs received thousands of favourable reviews and because itīs on every single live album by the Floyd. listen to it, you wonīt deny that the only element that gives this song a feeling of complexity, is Gilmourīs strong guitar going from one side to another. If this is to be the most progressive moment on "Dark Side", let me tell you friends, there are no real and authentic progressive elements here. Would you dare comparing "Eclipse" or "Brain damage" to "Dancing with the moonlit knight" and "Cinema show" face to face?, second to second?. "Dark side of the moon" would fail miserably thatīs for sure. Did i forget about "Time"?, is it an anthem?, I like it of course. However, there is nothing beyond itīs "beauty" that really deserve the hundred percent of my attention through the headphones. As a matter of fact, I need no more than a 50%, the one required for listening to the melody.

A Yes Album?. What about their best proposal?, "Fragile". Well, I have to grant on one very important subject on this one, the instrumentation and playing. Although Genesis are no mediocre instrumentalists whatsoever, they are definitely no better than "Yes", whose individual skills are well known for taking the notes to the edge. But thatīs the end of the advantages of "Fragile" over "Selling England". Now. While virtuoso Instrumentation and fast rhythm changes are some of the basic elements of prog, they are not the only ones, and YES made sure to fail on diversity of style and sound in further years from 1971. Whatsmore, they failed at giving diversity within the songs on this album. Also, itīs not that Genesis have no fine instrumentation and rhythm diversity, itīs only that theirīs are featured in a mildly lesser degree. After all, when making a list of the classic prog bands, Genesis is among the first 5 or 6, 7 at the most best instrumentalists, along with YES itself, King Crimson, EL&P, Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull and Van Der Graaf. Sorry Pink Floyd Ą. Genesisī instrumental peak might not be at the same level as YESī, or King Crimsonīs or Gentle giantīs. However, I dare to say Genesis was more consistent on that same field and what is more important yet, they were way more creative at making different styles, sounds, moods and atmospheres within their discography than all those mentioned above. Ok, back to the "Selling England" vs. "Fragile" topic. "Heart of the sunrise" is impressive at first listens, its playing is masterful with an innitial loud, interesting and exciting, yet, repetitive interaction of all the instruments. The sudden pauses between the instrumental parts are something to wonder at. Nevertheless, this "trick" turns too obvious when used over and over throughout the song. Only with a more quiet and lyrical moment to rest somewhere arround the third minute. What does that tell you?. It tells me YES couldnīt afford an 8 minute song with more than two musical ideas (The hard and interesting, yet brief and repetitive playing, and the lyrical and pleasant softer parts). YES required to wear out a great, and their best trick to pull out this song. Had they made it a 3 minute song out of this idea, it would have been the best among the other 5 little songs in the album. This means lack of creativity by YES. Genesis on the same issue, featured songs like "Battle of epping forest" full of lyrical and musical ideas never to be repeated, or for a better match, "Dancing with the m.k.". See why YESīoutput doesnīt stand a chance?. When YES makes a song like "The heart of the sunrise" with so few musical ideas, it seems like they wanted just to impress the audience as mere good performers disregarding anything concerning composition or imagination. After listening to it many times, the same, once interesting and colorful instrumentals, now makes me wonder wether they cut and pasted the same notes all over the 8 minutes.

Now, "Roundabout" is just fine. Some of YES fans say it has a lot of hooks and I agree, those hooks make the song "half-a-pop-song". Now seriously, "Roundabout" still features the great instrumental skills by YESī members, as well as their biggest deficiencies. Like again, their poor writing. The bass is great though. The other interesting song would be "long distance ronaround" which is basicaly the same story as "Roundabout". The other 5 mini songs are just little individual ditties that could well, have been the product of messing around with the instruments during the recording sessions. If this is not enough to making my point, just match one song against another from "Selling England" and see for yourself.

One album that could represent a serious match is "Tarkus" by EL&P. Itīs full of imagery, itīs diverse in terms of style, sound, mood and atmosphere, itīs even fun to listen to. EL&Pīs instrumental skills are flawless also. Why would "Selling England" be better ?. "Selling England" is way more accesible and enjoyable. I mean, I like "Tarkusī" style and kinda-ugly sounds as much as I like Genesisī. But I have to admit that in order to get to that, I had to go through many listens to finaly get an aquired taste for it. Take the next statement lightly; "Selling England" is beautiful while "Tarkus" is a hard bone to gnaw.

I guess itīs a matter of taste anyway, itīs fun making considerations regarding music and thatīs why we all have something to say in this page.

Report this review (#45999)
Posted Thursday, September 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The cracks in the finish are beginning to show through here. First of all, the songwriting isn't quite as strong as the two that preceded it. Second, Banks for the first time uses the weedy, thin-toned ARP Pro-Soloist synthesizer sound. Lots of people consider this instrument part of the "classic" Genesis sound, but to me it just sounds like an electronic mosquito. Banks' synthesizer tones would improve immesurably once he got an ARP 2600, round about the time WIND & WUTHERING came out. Rather a pity that was about the time their quality control took a nosedive.

Cheesy synth sounds aside, this is still a fine album. Any band would be proud to have songs as strong as "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" and "Cinema Show". And of course "Firth of Fifth" is one of the most iconic, and much-imitated, progressive rock numbers of all-time. Banks' solo-piano intro and Hackett's emotional guitar solo are undeniable highlights of the progressive rock era.

Report this review (#46275)
Posted Sunday, September 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I was quite amazed to see that the popular voting in the Progarchives put two of my most favourite albums in the same order I would put them-- the first is Close to the Edge and the second is Selling England by the Pound. Other people ranked it this way, I guess because these two albums have deep appeals. Both of them appear simple, yet both of them are masterpieces. All of the tracks of Selling England by the Pound are extremely enjoyable (even More fool me). But the best of all of them is the Cinema Show for sure, followed by Firth of Fifth, Dance with the Moonlit Knight. Many people don't like the Battle-- but I like this odd ball very much. My only complain about this album is sound level adjustment. Hackett's riff in Dance with the Moonlit night oddly sound louder than other instruments (though this is not really a spoiler). My suggestion is the album could have sounded even more majestic if they tweaked these sound levels a bit.
Report this review (#47030)
Posted Sunday, September 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars For me this is probably one of the most impressive records i ever listen to.This was Genesis at their most creative and prolific days.Songs like Cinema Show and Firth of Fifth, Dancing in the Monnlight Knight, in fact the whole album is fantastic.The first time i listened to this album was on a Portuguese Radio a few years ago and i immediately fell in love with this music.The music is brillaint, the voice of Peter Gabriel fits well in the mood, the guitar of Steve Hackett is breathtaking and the keyboards of Tony Banks are a very pleasant company and of course Phill Collins on drums is great too.I Think i'll never stop listening to this album.It seems one of those albuns that you keep discovering something different in each listening.Yeah it's that great.Buy it and you fall in love with it for the rest of your life.
Report this review (#47390)
Posted Tuesday, September 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars An essential progressivealbum . While 'Supper's Ready' on Foxtrot has its own special place in prog history this album had more maturity than its predecessor and a first hint of commercial tendencies in 'I Know What I Like'.

The album has a 'feel' to it ,and 'Dancing with the Moonlit Knight', 'Firth of Fifth' and 'Cinema Show' all drip with atmosphere. Only track I don't like is 'Battle of Epping Forest' which sounds too old-fashioned and which should have been buried one or two albums earlier. Previously I have used 'Battle...' as justification for the album to lose a star, but that should not be the case given the strength of the other tracks here , so uprated to 5 stars it is!

Report this review (#48312)
Posted Sunday, September 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars After finally buying and listening to this album for the first time a little over a month ago I think I'm ready to reveiw it. 5 star because it is essential to prog, it sounds familiar to a lot of what I like and thats because of the influence this album produced. IMO its a 4 star album for quality but 5 star for influence. Listening to the full album is tiresome and gets dull about half way through, but each individual song is strong.

Track 1 Dancing with the Moonlit Knight is an excellent opener beautiful song overall, the lyrics, the music, everything. 2. Next is I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) and is a great follow up. So far the album is a masterpiece and deserves the credit it gets on this site. 3 Firth of Fifth surpasses every other song on the album, and is my favorite Genesis song. I prefer Firth of Fifth to probably any other song from this era of symphonic prog music. More fool me is a good 4 star song and a good break to the explosion of amazing music that came before, and now the second half of the album starts. The battle of Epping forest is dull and boring, doesn't seem to belong with what came in the previous songs, it is also the longest song which really drains me of desire to continue listening. Although when I put my headphones on and just listen to this track, I enjoy it and would give it 4 stars, with the flow it seems irreplaceable but annoying somehow. After the Ordeal seems to end before I can get into it, but doesn't leave room for complaints. Cinema show is my least favorite track, and is completely overrated. Really doesn't fit with the album, its just a really poor track. Luckily the album ends with Aisle of Plenty, its short and sweet. A good song and a good close to an excellent album.

The album is close to masterpiece, 4 stars IMO because of the lacking Cinema Show, and the average Battle of Epping forest. But 5 stars for the influence made on prog. 4.5 stars rounded up to 5. An album I will probably listen to the rest of my life.

Report this review (#50334)
Posted Friday, October 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Probably the best album of all times. For me it stands in the same line as CTTE from Yes, DSOTM, Animals, WYWH from Floyd, Foxtrot from Genesis. Almost perfect. With couple of weak songs (IMO, I Know What I Like and More Fool Me) it can be rated 9/10. Being the most melodical and most accessible album from Garbiel-era Genesis, it still remains very proggish and complicated in terms of music and lyrics. My absolute favourites are "Dancing...", "Firth of the fifth" and "Cinema Show". Tony Banks does an incredible solo in "Cinema..." - it keeps playing in my head every time I listen to it. What can be said more? 22, 23-year old guys made a VERY MATURE album... Me myself being 23 now cannot imagine how can this be done... simply incredible.. An absolute MUST for anyone who loves great music (not only progheads). Essential Masterpiece.
Report this review (#50340)
Posted Friday, October 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
4 stars Do I like what you know?

There are so much reviews written - is there something to say what another reviewer has forgotten? It is definetely one of the best albums they have ever made (but don't forget the flower of 'Foxtrott').

'I know what I like' - is there a better way to manage a complex song which can also be played on every party? 'Firth of Fifth' without a doubt is an absolutely great song - timeless and without a competition! 'More fool me' - have you ever later heard the voice of Phil Collins in this way? 'The cinema show'/'The battle of Epping forest' - enjoy this ride with Steve Hackett and Tony Banks above every forest and aisle of plenty!

Hard to believe: this was produced over 30 years ago!!!

Report this review (#50651)
Posted Friday, October 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I promised myself that I would try to be objective about this one!! But, I can...this is to me one of the MOTHERS of all Progressive albums, of all times!!! No kidding! It has all the elements, Lyrics and Musically these guys (at least together) will not reach IMHO a higer level. PG voice never sounded better than this!! the whole album concept is mesmerizing!; To me no weach tracks! I always listen to this album from start to finish. Reapeating only maybe "Firth Of Fifth" which always send chills thru my back!! A six star Album!!
Report this review (#51789)
Posted Friday, October 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars I've been listening to this album along with Foxtrot for the past 2 days- and I must say I like what I hear.

I prefer Foxtrot, but Selling is a very good album. I can really tell how prog was started with music and lyrics displayed on this album. The musicians are good- but nothing totaly special.........

The Battle Of Epping Forest- this is a pretty long song- and a let down if I may say so- if this track was better, I would give this 4 stars. I just fealt at times that this song did not take itself seriously- same with other parts of the album.

All in all- a good album.

Report this review (#51853)
Posted Friday, October 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars For the same year of "Dark Side", "Selling England By The Pound. Different, indeed, as the Floyd album is more atmospheric and cohesive. But Selling is perfectly executed, too. The harmony they reached is not usual, although progressive musicians are, in general, excellent musicians. The sound of Hackettīs guitar play in perfection with Bank's Mellotron. Gabrielīs compositions are intelligent and poetic. Collinsīs drum is always in the right place. I believe in perfection, and 1973 was such a good year for prog.
Report this review (#53509)
Posted Wednesday, October 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Definitely a prog.-rock classic. There is a wonderful balance of moods and intensities here. The songs weave through quiet and heavy sections, with everything in between. There are short songs and long songs, intensely progressive songs, and songs more straightforward.

Perhaps the most dominant aspect here is the rich keyboards of Tony Banks. He covers organ, piano, mellotron, and Moog with enormous creativity. Mike Rutherford handles come interesting Rickenbacker bass lines, and rich 12-string acoustic colorings. Steve Hackett provides some soaring electric guitar lines, sometimes reminiscent of Robert Fripp. Peter Gabriel does a great job in the vocal department with his expressive vocals, as well as some good oboe and flute. Phil Collins does well in the drum department, and handles vocals too.

A very bright and colorful album.

Report this review (#53520)
Posted Wednesday, October 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
King of Loss
5 stars Ok, I know this album is perhaps one of the most reviewed albums out there, but I just had to review this album. This album is in fact one of top 20 favorite albums of all time, but I understand that it is not perfect and that one Phil Collins song really lowers the rating for me from a 4.75 to a 4.5, but anyways, here's my judgement on this album.

This is perhaps Genesis' finest album, well unless you are a fan of IMO, their magnum opus and Peter Gabriel's last album, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, but this is IMO their best one disc album.

It starts off with Peter Gabriel singing on Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, and then the band starts playing. The song is a very good start to the album, maybe not as good as The Musical Box or Watcher of the Skies, but gets it done. After a very commercially accessible song, I Know What I like In your Wardrobe. (Which is not that bad)

We find one of the most premier, remembered Progressive Rock tracks ever. The Classic Firth of Fifth is definitely one of the best tracks in Prog history and might be one of my favorites too.

More Fool Me is a track that the now infamous Phil Collins (within the Prog scene of course) starts singing. THe poppy-like theme and of course the song, highly reminds us of what will happen in the 80s, but of course, this song is better than most of Genesis' 3-man output after Abacab.

The Battle of Epping Forest is a very intricate song with a lot of emotions and one theme about a gang battle. Anyways, the song starts off side 2 and I must say this is also one of Genesis' best songs. The 11 minute epic is then followed by AFter the Ordeal, a brilliant, emotional song that enhances my mind. Then from this point on, This album turns into one of the most brilliant Prog sides ever.

The Cinema Show and Aisle of Plenty (Which should be one final ending song) is perhaps the most emotionally felt song that Peter Gabriel Genesis has ever written, well maybe except for The Musical Box. This song has amazingly beautiful synths and guitar melodies weaved together along with one of Gabriel's best vocal performances. Aisle of Plenty alone has more emotions and beauty than some entire 2 sides of a vinyl record combined.

Here is How I rate each individual song:

1. Dancing With The Moonlit Knight 4/5 2. I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) 4/5 3. Firth Of Fifth 10/5 4. More Fool Me 2/5 5. The Battle Of Epping Forest 5/5 6. After The Ordeal 5/5 7. The Cinema Show 5/5 8. Aisle Of Plenty 5/5

Side 2 of Selling England By the Pound is not only one of the best sides in prog, but also one of the most emotional. I love this album very much, it might not be as perfect as a Close to the Edge or A In the Court of the Crimson King, but this album blows them away in terms of emotions.

This album is essential for any fan of Progressive Music, alone with those albums and many others.

Report this review (#54784)
Posted Saturday, November 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars One of the most well-rounded and complete albums ever crafted. Every member of Genesis shines in some way or another on this album, and every song is nothing short of amazing. From the quiet intro of Dancing with the Moonlit Knight to what could possibly be the best keyboard solo of all time in Cinema Show, there is no weak track on this album. Hackett is a guitarist's dream with searing leads on Dancing with the Moonlit Knight and Firth of Fith, but also is melodically brilliant in The Battle of Epping Forest and Cinema Show. Banks is incredible with his amazing work throughout the entire album, he continues to push himself to a creative peak. Phil Collins plays sophisticated drum patterns and gets a spot to shine vocally with More Fool Me (which to some is an awful track, but to me it is incredible). Mike Rutherford plays intricate bass lines as well as guitar phrases and creates swirling atmospheres with Steve Hackett during the "acoustic" sections. Peter Gabriel is at his best with great flute work on Firth of Fith, and he's at his lyrical best with deep songs like The Cinema Show, etc.

Dancing With the Moonlit Knight is an awesome intro that goes through so many different moods it does nothing but dazzle the listener. With searing tapped leads from Hackett and some might mellotron from Banks, this is one of the highlights. Other tracks worth mentioning are Firth of Fith, which features great interplay from all the members, and great solos from Gabriel (on flute, respectively), Hackett, and Banks. The Cinema Show features many different moods throughout the 11 minutes, but the highlight is the killer Banks solo in the 7th minute.

Overall, this is an incredible effort by an incredible band. Although my overview was only over a few tracks, rest assured that the album is one of the top albums in the progressive genre. 5/5.

Report this review (#55105)
Posted Monday, November 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Second best Genesis output ("Foxtrot" is the first) and one of the 10 essential prog-albums.

I am really sure that the trilogy "Nursery Cryme-Foxtrot-SEBTP" will be studied intensely by many people, in the next 100 or 200 years to come. Even today the focus is ever-growing; they will last forever.

In "Selling England By The Pound" all band members were at their peaks as artists and musicians and the final result is almost perfect.

Aside the prog-classics other songs run splendidly, even the sometimes despised 'The battle of Epping Forest', thanks to the flawless production, the great lyrics and specially the skilful musicianship of the quintet. Best songs are:

'Dancing with the moonlit knights', the superb opening with Gabriel singing like doing a prayer. Keyboards and guitars are awesome, also worthy are the sundry themes heard.

'Firth of Fifth', a refined piece, soft and ellegant. Piano intro provides a great moment but vocals and guitar solo part are also amazing.

'The cinema show', is bucolic and poetic, the apparent calmness hiding a big fire inflamed by the ensuing synth solo, all being relieved by the quiet 'Aisle of plenty', a precious one.

'I know what I like', the first Genesis top-chart song is funny and pleasant. Great drumming, odd vocal solo, fair arrangements and exquisite flute compound a very interesting and hearable song.

Doubtlessly a great work; rating is obvious: 5.

Report this review (#56138)
Posted Sunday, November 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Containing three of Genesis' strongest songs in Dancing WIth the Moonlit Knight, Firth of Fifth and my own personal all-time favourite, The Cinema Show, this is an easy pick as one of the band's strongest albums from their entire canon.

The shorter songs are rather good too - the 70s prog-pop of I Know What I Like and the wonderful short ballad More Fool Me show a band that weren't too full of themselves to write chart-friendly material for the time.

Where the album suffers in retrospect is the ambitious Battle Of Epping Forest - ambitious in that it takes around 10 minutes to tell a tale of a gang fight. Lots of vocal characterisation by Gabriel, but it adds little beyond a humourous piece to the album overall but compared to the likes of Cinema Show is overlong filler.

Otherwise, lyrics are by and large excellent, the musicianship of the highest order and the whole composition will add to, rather than detract from, a rock collection irrespective of preferences for prog specifically.

Overall, 4/5, the top rating being reduced because of - yes - that stramash in Epping Forest!

Report this review (#56152)
Posted Sunday, November 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars A great album, but not as great as everyone says. It has some great moments, especially in More Fool Me, I Know what I like, Firth of Fifth, and The Cinema Show, but the opening of Dance with the Moonlit Knight (although it does average out to a good song) starts the album off slowly and Aisle of Plenty isn't a great closing song. Battle of Epping Forest isn't necessarily bad, but it goes on far too long. Overall, however, this is a great album, recommended to prog fans.
Report this review (#57198)
Posted Sunday, November 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well, this is the fourth Genesis album I have bought, behind Foxtrot, Trespass, and Nursery Cryme, respectively. It is good, and I think it is better than Nursery Cryme. But I don't think it's as good as it is often said to be. I like Foxtrot much more, and Trespass a little more as well. Both of those are perfect albums, while this has its weakspots.

So the album starts off with the best song on here, also one of Genesis's best. It features very mythical imagery ala Trespass. The main riff is also one of the greatest riffs ever from a song, both in its clean, acoustic form and in its heavy hard rocking format. This song is pretty much perfect, and when Gabriel shouts 'Knights of the Greenshield stamp and shout!' it signals a goosebump inducing riff from Steve Howe. The heaviest and best song on the album. Very awesome stuff all the way through. 10/10.

I Know what I like is one of the things that ruins the album for me. It has a really goofy sounding spoken word intro/outro, and a bearable verse melody, but the chorus melody literally makes me nauseous. Its very lurching kind of, with very strange rhythm, and its just sickly, in a bad way. A skip button worthy track. 3/10

Firth of Fifth is a great song, one of the best on here. It features an ELP/classical- esque intro, and some epic sounding vocals with some great synthing. Great nautical lyrics too. The flute, piano and synth solos are all great, but not nearly as good as the infamous guitar solo. Very spacy and long, but not boring, and very emotional. All in all, a very good song, but lacking the strength of the melody in Dancing... 9/10

More fool me is a boring song, you will be imaptiently waiting for it to end so you can continue with the album. or you could just skip it, as it is very bland and boring and offers little to no pleasure. Also, Phil Collins sings in his annoyingly fake high pitched voice. 2/10

The Battle of Epping Forest is god, but the worst long track on here. It features a cool military flute intro, and some great melodies, but it is hard to swallow and is so jam packed with stuff going on, you will miss most of it in the blink of an eye. It is probably longer lyrically than Supper's Ready. But anyway, it also features Gabriel's goofiest voices to date, and they are barely bearable sometimes. But for the most part the melodies are strong and the playing is good. 7/10

After the Ordeal is an instrumental, and it is good, very catchy riffs, but it may get kind of boring. It isn't nearly as boring as More Fool Me though, and it actually sounds good, its just... a little boring. 6.5/10

The Cinema Show is tied with Firth of Fifth for second best track on here. It features many progdefining moments, but sometimes I just don't find the melodies that appealing, but they are pretty good, and the sprawling keyboard solo is really good, many different moods. Listen to it on this site, if you don't like it at first, I didn't either, but it has grown on me a lot. Most people love it though, and I do too now. So its a good song, 9/10. It segues into the last track via that awesome main riff from the first track.

Aisle of Plenty is kind of a weird song, the lyrics are all about stuff in the English supermarkets. Very enjoyable though, as the meat of the 1:30 is taken up by the awesome riff from Dancing... Which always makes me laugh, because I always imagining Gabriel or someone saying, 'Well, mates, this riff is pretty awesome, we better stick in 3 of the tracks.' But it works very well and I like this song, even though it is very short. I'm not going to rate it though, because it just goes along with the Cinema Show, and I always listen to them together (whole album, actually.) Anyway long track review for the shortest track, eh? Anyway its good. I'm rambling now.

So anyway this is a very good album, IMO not as insanely good as people act like, mostly because of: I know what I like, More Fool Me, Parts of Battle of Epping Forest, and I also think After the Ordeal should have been put in another song with some vocals or something. I love instrumentals, don't get me wrong. But Gabe is what makes the band for me at least. So the highlights are Dancing with the Moonlit Knight, Firth of Fifth, and Cinema Show/Aisle of Plenty. But Battle... and After the Ordeal are also worth while tracks, so this is very good.

Rating: (not an average)- 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5.

Report this review (#57931)
Posted Friday, November 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Well, we have about 80% of the site proclaiming this as one of the best, one of five or so quintessential prog records, one of the "deserted island" albums, so to speak. The other 15% doesn't like it too much, and there's people like me, who fall uncomfortably in between, recieving flak from both sides. This record, much like ITCOTCK, just doesn't impress me that much. Also like ITCOTCK, I find this to be amazing when it's on, and horrid when it's off. When ITCOTCK was off, it wasn't quite abysmal, besides the last 9 minutes of Moonchild. Simply mediocre. This, however, is absolutely abysmal when it's off, and much more of it is off than on than I'm confortable with.

I had a mini revelation the first time I heard Dancing With the Moonlit Knight. This song blew me away, and instantly, I saw what the fuss over Genesis was all about. Or so I thought. The rest of the album, besides Firth of Fifth and The Cinema Show, which both impressed me, did nothing for me. The Battle of Epping Forest was one of the most overdone songs I'd ever heard, and it still remains that way today.

Let's start with the bad: Four of eight tracks, actually. Aisle of Plenty is a waste of time, and More Fool Me and I know What I like are simply poppy love songs. As for the fourth, it's The Battle of Epping Forest, which is, as I said, one of the most ridiculously overdone pieces ever to grace the genre. 12 minutes of meandering wannabe-cute and funny songs with nary a memorable moment or melody to be seen. Gabrei'ls singing has never been particularily good in my opinion, but here he makes it even worse by fiddling with all kinds of stupid accents and dialects, and the output is atrocious. Already, half the album is skip-button worthy. Not a good sign.

As for the good, it certainly is good. The worst of the good tracks (if that makes sense) is After the Ordeal, featuring floaty instrumentals and wonderful touches here and there, and is overall a nice relaxing piece to listen to. Compare it to Lady of the Dancing Water off King Crimson's album Lizard. A really nice piece.

Another good one is Firth of Fifth, which is basically a kinda cheesy yet delightful example of the whole genre. It opens with a a nice, flowing piano part, then opens up into a very cheesy chorus section. At aorund 3:30, the flute comes in, and I love this part every time I hear it. It's a wonderful melody. The solo at around 6:00 minutes in is absolutely wonderful and complements the flute part quite nicely. At the end, the song is wrapped up in the cheesy main chorus again, which somehow works quite well to finish the song. The actual outro is a piano melody. Nice.

The Cinema Show starts good, then goes pretty good, then excellent, then pretty good. The soft part around 3 minutes is absolutely wonderful, and the jam from 6:00 to the end is also quite fun. I really dig the groove Collins has going here. The rest is kinda like Firth of Fifth's chorus line...cheesy, but acceptable.

My favorite piece is my revelation piece, though. Dancing With the Moonlit Knight has actually GOOD singing by Gabriel. The solo is fun, even though it drags a bit. The outro is great, and the whole piece just is definitely excellent. Not much I can think to say, really.

Well, since only four of the eight songs are acceptable to me, that means I should give this a 2.5/5. I'll round that off to a 3/5, as some moments in this album are excellent. However, the excellence is far too scattered. Oh, the production is also extremely incosistant, even for the 70s.

Report this review (#57935)
Posted Friday, November 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars For me this well themed concept album is my all time prog no.1 record. Here Genesis sounded like the fully mature and complete band. In later records Peter Gabriel as much with his prescient lyrics and his flute playing perhaps even more than his vocals are much missed as is Steve Hackett who never quite bettered his sublime guitar work on this album. There are some moments here such as when Peter harmonises with Phil that are simply outstandingly beautiful. As for Tony Banks his keyboard work was inspired - mellotron choir was used in such an innovative and haunting way - but not overly dominant. Perfect.
Report this review (#57936)
Posted Friday, November 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Alright, after many listens to this album (also my first experience with Genesis) I have decided to write a review.

1. Dancing With The Moonlit Knight (8:01) One of the top tracks on this album, only surpassed by Firth of Fifth, excellent guitar work and one of my favorite all around Genesis songs. Great vocal work by Mr. Gabriel and a great way to start an album. 9.5/10

2. I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) (4:06) The most underreated song on the album, I really dig the vocal harmonies on this song. This song is often called filler, maybe because of its ~4 minute length as opposed to the majority of longer songs on the album. A very solid track, the song that kept me listening to Genesis. 8/10

3. Firth Of Fifth (9:34) By far the best track on this album, my all time favorite Genesis song, and one of my all around favorite songs in general. Awesome guitar solo and great piano/keyboard work by Tony Banks, who I am not much of a fan of. Just plain excellent, like Genesis or not this song remains the same. 10/10

4. More Fool Me (3:09) A song sung by Phil Collins, a slow start to a short 3 minute song, which starts to kick in and get good but dies off. One of the only real filler tracks on the album, but a good one never the less. 7/10

5. The Battle Of Epping Forest(11:43) The longest song on the album. But in my opinion, the worst. Don't get me wrong, I love long songs, I have no bias to length. This song, while it progresses throughout seems just poorly written. The chorus where he says "this is the Battle of Epping Forest" is just bad. The vocals take away from the sound and the band doesn't seem tight on the recording. 3/10

6. After The Ordeal (4:12) Another filler track, mostly a transition from the Battle of Epping Forest to the Cinema show. Nothing special, but it doesn't take away from the mood of the album. 5/10

7. The Cinema Show (11:06) A decent song, not the calibur of Dancing With the Moonlight Knight or Firth of Fifth though, a good epic to "essentially" end the album. Also one of the more "sad" songs on the album. The more funky upbeat Genesis is much better in my opinion. 7/10

8. Aisle Of Plenty (1:31) Short strange track to end the album, sounds kindof like an unstructured vocal + keyboard jam. 6/10

Overall. I'll give this album a 3/5, closer to a 3.5, but too many subpar tracks.

Report this review (#58557)
Posted Tuesday, November 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow! Being a new Genesis fan, i decided to go first with Foxtrot, which i will review later on, but seeing all the hype surrounding this album, i decided to pick it up. Its absolutely one of the best buys ive ever done. Im a fan now. Peter Gabriel is awesome, he acts his songs, sings them, makes some of the best lyrics ever, and most of all, makes listening to Genesis music FUN..

Highlights: The intro of Dancing with the Moonlight Knight is one of the best intros to an album ever.

I know what i like reminds me a lot of John Lennon in his solo career, which is good...

Firth of Fifth has one of the most beautifull Piano solos ever, and the

More fool me is a nice breathe of air before the epic Battle of Epping Forest, which has some very odd harmony, but is very interesting.

The Cinema Show has another great solo in keyboards, with many landmark parts that will be rememberd for the ages...

Its definitly one of the best albums ever, and recomend to any prog fan...

9.6 out of 10.0

Report this review (#58846)
Posted Thursday, December 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I believe this may be the best simphonic prog disc ever. It's lyrics, it's music, everything is just perfect. It's melodies, the creativity of Peter Gabriel in this disc is impressive. From "Dancing with the moonlight knight" to "the cinema show", "firth of fifth" or anyone else, each song has it's own rythm, it's own beauty, but i really want to outline the 7th song of this masterpiece ("the cinema show"), which may, in my opinion, the second best prog song ever (just after "Echoes", from pink floyd)`. Tony Banks and his using the heyboards is something beautiful to enjoy, almost as it is Steve Hacket's guitar.

An impressive disc, full of nice songs. Not just for prog fans, but for everyone. Really a masterpiece

Report this review (#59202)
Posted Monday, December 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars The Good, Bad and the Average

The Good: Firth of Fifth and The Cinema Show

While these two songs are very solid, they do not make this album a masterpiece. "Firth of Fifth" is the third song and showcases some nice instrumentation in the way of keyboards early and guitar late. Banks and Hackett showcase their skills rather nicely in this song and the overall effect is impressive. "The Cinema Show" is an epic which weaves a nice story with a melody that never bores or gets old. The whole band contributes nicely with Gabriel doing some emotive singing which adds some texture to the work.

The Average: Dancing with the Moonlit Knight, I Know What I Like, More Fool Me, After the Ordeal

"Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" starts off well but seems to drag about midway through the song. In my humble opinion, it is long only for the sake of being long. Good progressive rock songs should capture your attention and not let go. This song just doesn't do that for me. After about three minutes, I am ready for the next song, which is..."I Know What I Like" has a catchy melody and is fun to sing along with, but it does not grab my imagination. So while I am glad that the day has broken on the "Moonlit Knight" with this song, I am already looking ahead to the aforementioned "Firth of Fifth". "More Fool Me" showcases Collins' vocals nicely. But other than that, it is a pretty forgettable love (pop?) song which really slows the pace coming in right after "Firth of Fifth." "After the Ordeal" is basically an intermission piece stuffed between the two eleven-minute epics on this disc. It is so forgettable in this position that I can't even think of anything to say about it.

The Bad: The Battle of Epping Forest, Aisle of Plenty

My primary gripe with this album comes in the form of "The Battle of Epping Forest." This is a goofy song that is almost painful for me to listen to. Gabriel seems to have fun with the various vocal jokes that he pulls off when performing this song. But I would much prefer to hear him do the Slippermen than this mess. The song begins with a march beat and flutes and turns into a musical brawl of epic (pun most certainly intended) proportions. Hackett does insert a few fun little guitar riffs, but this song could just as easily be mistaken for a disco tune (in certain parts) as it could for progressive rock. "Aisle of Plenty" is basically a 90 second reprise of the opening of the album with Gabriel adding some non-sensical utterances as the album closes. I'm not sure why the band felt the need to end the album this way, but there it is. A disappointing closure to an otherwise decent album.


I like Genesis and I like this album. So while I would recommend it, I feel I should point out its flaws with this review and three-star rating. The good songs are good enough to carry this album, but I can't for the life of me say that this is a masterpiece of progressive music. I much prefer Genesis' next effort in The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.

Report this review (#59325)
Posted Tuesday, December 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars What else can i say?, i just feel the need to write something about this album. it came to me as a revelation. i was in a classroom and my teacher played it. it sounded good to me at first listen, but when The Cinema Show came through my ears a was surprised!. then i asked hey what's that?, then he said: it's selling england by the pound, so i had no other choise than get it. i personally think that this is one of the best classic prog albums in history and that it has the best prog song ever written; Cinema Show might be the definition of what symphonic prog is!. enjoy!.
Report this review (#59326)
Posted Tuesday, December 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars What an album!!! Brilliant songwriting and musicianship. Dance with the Moonlit Knight is a great song, but the next one, I Know What I Like, is right along side Supper's Ready, The Musical Box, and Salmacis as the greatest Genesis song of all time. Absolutely beautiful vocals. Then comes the heavenly piano intro to Firth of Fifth, followed by the short little tune More Fool Me, sung by Phil Collins. Next, however, is Battle of Epping Forest which although not the sole reason, the deciding factor in giving SEBTP four not five stars. The following After the Ordeal is just a short, and great, little instrumental. Then comes the Cinema Show which is another great one and the album is finished by Aisle of Plenty, which could just be another verse on Dance with the Moonlit Knight.

Highly recommended...9/10

Report this review (#59358)
Posted Tuesday, December 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Ok, this is the most classic Genesis record! One which I should shut up on, 'cause all it's already said and I couldn't be able to add anything new to the discussion. That's undenaiable!

I want then to limit myself in telling you how absolutely delighted I am every time I listen to this stunning piece of art. Psychic consequences are very similar to that ones that occurs me when I take a spin to my Thick As A Brick's cd.a quasi-Stendhal's syndrome!!! This is symphonic prog I like most!!! Great music, inventive arrangements, awesome theatrical structure, "burlesque" vocals provided by Peter Gabriel, all guides directly to the "masterpiece-status"!! That 1973 album really deserves that high rank position!

The most emotional tracks for me are the marvellous opener Dancing With the Moonlight Night and Firth of Fifth while the most exciting and brain-nourishing is the wonderful 11,44 mns The Battle of Epping Forest! Oh, what a pleasure for ears and soul it is!!!

That's all folks!, hope I haven't been too boring.

Report this review (#60050)
Posted Saturday, December 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Here's my two cents. This blows Close to the Edge out of the water! Come on, this is much more digestable, intereting prog music. And while some rear their heads at the fact that it's only around 90% prog, I think this is important in making a prog record. This album is intended to be listened to in one session, unlike the disjointed (yet still undeniably great) Close to the Edge. This is sort of a semi-concept album which doesn't stick to the theme all the way through the record (a lot like the later 'Duke' album). Dancing with the Moonlit Knight: I've said it before and I'll say it again. Genesis really knew how to open an album. And they do it just as well as they did with their previous albums with this excellent song. It really is sheer genius from everyone involved. Peter's lyrics are very cleverly written, using wordplays and references to British lifestyles (the whole quintessentially English thing is strongest here). Steve Hackett's wonderful energetic tapping is amazing and Tony Banks can't get enough of the good old Melltron Choir. An amazing prog song with some great solo spots. I Know What I Like: is a very very good single! Come on, you know you like it (and you like you know it...errr...) It has an excellent simple melody and a cool, fun bassline. It still retains the quaint English sound which we know and love. Fun and not taking itself too seriously, its a nice relief. Firth of Fifth: A staple prog rock track! One of the best ever, with an epic and I mean EPIC in the most epic sense of the word intro played on an acoustic grand piano. Listening to this track is a lot like listening to a piece of classical music (thus making it the pinnacle of symphonic prog). It does, however, have the worst lyrics on the album. They're disjointed and weak, often embarassing (cancer growths removed by skill, anyone?) but they don't detract from the musical beauty of the song. We do of course have the staple Steve Hackett solo which is without a doubt the most beautiful and fluid of his career. An amazingly slow, emotional study using a light fuzz with lots of bass at the neck pickup of his Les Paul is what we are rewarded with for getting thus far. Amazing beyond words. More Fool Me: Is a pleasant relief. This album follows a pattern: ABABABAB (not Abacab!) which is; epic, relief, epic, relief, epic relief, epic relief. I like this format, and the relief tracks are very pleasant. More Fool Me reminds me of the later 'Ripples' with Phil Collins' melancholy and remarkably ethereal voice singing out over a beautiful acoustic guitar track. Quite a haunting track when listened to properly. ie, sit down, turn it up and concentrate. The Battle of Epping Forest: Ahhhh, the controversy. Some hate it, some love it. The band themselves have a split view of it. A lot of people say Peter sings over all of the good bits, but I think that's the idea. Still, the musical side (which is very quirky and sometimes doesn't seem quite right) is very complex and multi-layered. It stretches to just under 12 minutes, making it the longest track on the album. Oh yeah, and I like it. I think its excellent and has many brilliant musical moments. The narrative style vocals are hilarious and embarassing at once. But this is a good thing! A song which can evoke many different emotions at once is quite an achievement. After The Ordeal: A very strange song. It sounds like chamber music to start with, and its layers develop and intertwine with each other to produce a very strangely enjoyable instrumental Hackett-inspired track. The Cinema Show: The absolute pinnacle of symphonic prog. Divided into two halves. the first half is a mellow, acoustic ballad with some fantastically dynamic injections of woodwind from Peter Gabriel and angelic electric guitar from Steve Hackett. Then it ups and changes into the best piece of prog music EVER WRITTEN. A showcase for Tony Banks' ARP Synthesizer (something of a knock-off of the minimoog, which developed character of its own), this part of the song weaves a beautiful picture with Phil Collins marvellously dynamic and professional drumming, Mike Rutherford's excellent rocky rhythm guitar (and eventually his cool bassline), and Tony Banks keyboard department including his ARP Pro, Mellotron choir and some Piano thrown in for good measure. This truly is the majesty of prog and cannot be denied. Aisle of Plenty: is the final 'breather' track. It reprises the theme of the opening track along with a relatively large amount of wordplay for such a short (1:30) song. A nice ending to the album. The best prog album to date. Unbeatable. Genesis rule prog. Yes don't. But they're still good

Cheers! Publius

Report this review (#60536)
Posted Friday, December 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars If we are talking about cornerstones in symphonic rock history or in progressive rock history in general, here we have another one. We can perfectly sense that the band is on its artistical heyday, as they were with "Foxtrot" or "The Lamb lies down on Broadway"

At a first glance we don't find here nothing in particular we couldn't find in "Foxtrot". We have again a delicious set of symphonic pieces ready for us to enjoy them. It is true that although keeping the same spirit of the previous effort, they try to give a new dimension to their sound, in order to not to be so formulaic.

Although we could see this in previous albums, Tony Banks' work here is essential and it reaches probably its top of greatness in this record. A good example of this is present in "The Cinema Show" (probably, in my opinion, the best song of the album), where he provides us with delicious mellotron and piano melodies, all of them in conjuction with Hackett's and Rutherford's guitar and bass touchs. However, this is only an example. The whole record is full of them, like "After the Ordeal" or "Firth of Fifth".

Another detail I have perceived here is that this album is probably less organ-oriented than the previous one, giving more territory to the piano, specially and again flutes, violins and many other air and string instruments.

As well, Peter Gabriel gives a new narrative nature to the compositions in this record, telling evocative, and sometimes funny stories, like in "I know what I like(in your wardrobe)" or "The Battle of the Epping Forest".

Take all of this excellent musical elements and tendencies and add them Phil Collins' energetic drum playing to have a perfect result.

Then, when have another album that every progger should have or at least, take a listen for once.

Report this review (#60560)
Posted Saturday, December 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars How nice it is to listen to an album with real songs and melodies for a change! Of course, with "real" I don't mean normal. The tracks have no limits and take many unexpected turns. The thing about this is that you get all used to these unexpected things and after some time this album is as obvious as any record. I bet many old proggers wish that they could listen to this album again for the first time, to hear these lovely compositions with "new ears". My best moment listening to the album was the third or maybe the fourth time when the songs were beginning to settle, when I still was surprised. At that point this album was almost a revelation, today it's "only" very very good. The opening track is in my opinion still the best of all progressive tracks, in every category there is.
Report this review (#60678)
Posted Sunday, December 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Excellent! No, no not just excellent, a MASTERPIECE!!!!! This is Genesis at its peak, with the best line-up the band's ever had: Peter Gabriel: with his particular voice , which sounds amazing, and fits perfectly in Synphinic prog, and his flute and oboe solos which sound great./Steve Hackett: with his mind-blowing guitar solos , one of finest prog- rock guitarists ever!/ Mike Rutherford : contributing with a very cool bass-playing , making the band sound more complete and really good./ Tony Banks: with his amazing keyboard playing, including pianos, synths, mellotrons , organs and other keyboards. He's one of my favourite keyboard players(I'm talking about this because I'm a keyboard-guy, myself, and I know many other cool keybord-men, but this is one of the best ever!)/Phil Collins: One of the greatest drummers of all times! he also does the lead vocal on "More fool me" and most of the backing vocals and high harmonies. "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" starts with just Gabriel singing "Can you tell me....?".Then, the guitars join , later, the powerfull piano by banks . Suddenly, when the chours is about to start, it all bursts into pure rock . This song has one of the most amazing guitar solos by Hackett in the band ( he had other cool solos like this one on "Spectral Mornings" and "Every Day" in his solo carrer). When the lyrics end, Banks knocks out a really cool solo with an amazing synth. "I know what I like" is one the most well-known Genesis songs. It starts with synth, and Gabriel doing the spoken line " It's 1 o' clock..." then , when the whole band joins , you can really hear Phil's voice singing along with Peter(sometimes you can hear Phil's voice better than Peter's). It's a very enjoyable song ( there's also a live version on " Seconds Out" with vocals by Phil. That version made me love this song). Firth of Fifth is a classic! with a wonderful piano intro. The vocals sound really hard rocking , and it's got an intrumental section which is one of the best Synphonic prog sections ever! "More fool me" is an acustic song sung by Phil and it's a very good song. "Battle of Epping Forest" is the strangest on this album. It's an 11-minute piece featuring really cool organs and synths, guitars( acustic and electric), with bass and drums to complete the amazing sound of the song. Gabriel's vocals sound very strange ( since there are some sections in which he talks and does voices of different characters)."After the Ordeal" acts like a kind of "Bridge" between "Battle.." and the amazing "Cinema Show"( Like "Horizons" and "Supper's Ready" on "Foxtrot"). "Cinema Show" features 2 sections : one with the vocals ( by both Peter and Phil) , soft guitars and a flute solo. The second one is intrumental featuring a really lengthy keyboard solo, with guitar , bass and drums contributing the rythm section. Finally the song becomes slower and slower and turns out to be "Aisle of Plenty" which has the same music as "Moonlit Knight"'s first section , but with other lyrics. This album is really worth having and it's a real MUST for Genesis fans, or anyone looking for a real Masterpiece of Prog-rock with one of the best drummers ever, one of the best guitarists ever, one of the most amazing keyboardists , a very cool singer and a heavy rocking bassist! 5 stars..... a CLASSIC!!!!!!! .....If you still don't believe me, look at how many 5-star raitings this album's got!

Report this review (#61280)
Posted Thursday, December 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the first Genesis album I've ever heard. I think it's fantastic, however this is most easier than any other Gabriel-era albums. It's completly one unit, except the light poppy song with Collins' voice. It's a terrible moment of the album. The place of the Selling album is in the box of the greatest prog-rock music. Collins play drums extra good, Gabriel voice is amazing, soft and hard. Hackett plays the guitar solos a bit long, but it's ok. Banks use his keyboards balanced. Finally this album is very balanced, beautiful with some houmor. Great effort.
Report this review (#61774)
Posted Monday, December 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars One of the best albums in the classic Genesis-catalog, although a little bit overrated by many people. This isn't their best work and as an overall, the album isn't very balanced and they were forced to finish it faster than they wanted, so some songs never got the complete arrangement the members had in mind. The Battle Of Epping Forest is the best example of that.

Anyway, most of the individual tracks are very good. The first three songs are excellent. Moonlit Knight and Firth are high-quality sympho-prog with outstanding keyboard-work and vocals by Peter Gabriel. The following tracks More Fool Me (acoustic, and sung by Collins) and Epping Forest are weaker songs. As you may know, Epping Forest has some good drumming and lyrics, but could have been much better if the band had more time to record it. It should have been much shorter anyway, 11 minutes is way too long for a song like this.

Ordeal is a nice instrumental track, although the band have done better ones. It's melodic and Steve Hackett's guitar-playing does well. The Cinema Show is another 11-minute song. Better than Epping Forest and a great 7/8 part with nice synthesizer and mellotron-parts. Again, not the most stunning work of the band, but at least a classic track. The album closes with the haunting Plenty.

Although this is surely not the best work of Genesis (try Foxtrot and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway for a richer experience and more colourful Genesis) it surely is a classic album that contents some very good prog- songs. A good addition to any prog music collection and essential enough to grant it 4 stars!

Report this review (#61836)
Posted Monday, December 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Many consider 'selling england' as Genesis' peak. Yes it is very reasonable. This might be the best prog-rock album ever created. TOP5 of all albums ever.

Dancing With The Moonlit Knight: 10/10. PG:s voice here is amazing. This performance makes him the top-lyricist-songwriters-singer in prog-scene.

I Know What I Like: 8.5/10, the single in this album. Very catchy and little humorous song.

Firth of Fifth: 10/10, nothing to add. This performance makes (imo) Tony Banks the greatest keyboardist in prog-scene, this song is the best Genesis-song right after Supper's Ready, a masterpiece with very very few flaws.

More Fool Me: 9/10, something like 98% here dislikes this song. I like it, it it a beautifully sang ballad by PC, very good pop-song. Though it is slightly misplaced from this masterpiece.

The Battle Of Epping Forest: 10/10, most underrated Genesis-song I think. This is as good as Cinema Show or Dancing with... PG:s voices emotion changes every ten seconds, it is amazing.

After The Ordeal: 9.5/10, this is the MUST-BE acoustic song from Hackett, mostly. Very entertaining and beautiful song.

The Cinema Show/Aisle of Plenty: 10/10, the most known song from this album. A masterpiece in almost every aspect. This song never reaches the "boring moment." A Gem.

Report this review (#61869)
Posted Monday, December 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars At first, I was not a fan of Genesis at all. Still, I bought this album (as it was cheap) and so it has become my first Genesis album. The first time I listened to it, I put on the "Battle of Epping Forest" as I vaguely recalled someone claiming it was good.

Big mistake.

However, a month or so later, "Firth of Fifth" completely grabbed me with its sublime piano. Not much longer, Dancing with the Moonlit Knight took over my aural surroundings. Some of the other tracks are very skip-worthy (I Know What I Like, More Fool Me, Epping Forest), not because they're bad, but because they aren't as good as the others.

After the Ordeal is a short instrumental break that sounds very good.

The Cinema Show seems like a failed attempt of recreating Supper's Ready, but after the first 5-6 minutes this song because terribly praiseworthy.

And Aisle of Plenty is the epilogue, which copies the prologue from Dancing with the Moonlit Knight in a not-so-subtle way but still is effective.

Get this one if you don't have it, and get Foxtrot too.

Report this review (#62055)
Posted Wednesday, December 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is definitely the best prog album ever. It has everything. Words cannot describe the genius of this album. Really, it is one of those annoying albums because you try to explain the perfectness, and you just can't. One of the very few prog albums that I got hooked on from the first moment, unlike Foxtrot, Fragile, Tales from Topographic Oceans, The Power and the Glory, Relayer, Nursery Cryme, which are all considered to be prog classics and I love them, but they took me a while to understand, and love. This on the other hand was just an easy listen from the start, and I love every moment of it to this day. Infact this is the album that got me into progressive music. It is the essence of flawless music, with undescribable creativity, and groundbreaking genius.
Report this review (#62340)
Posted Friday, December 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars probably one of the most overated PROG ROCK albums, in the Genesis back catalouge!!

I am not a big GENESIS fan so for me thay are a middle satisfactory band!! To be honest I don't see what the big fuss is all about, I find this a bit well, upper class/very indulgent, music!!

Dancing With The Moonlit Knight - nice vocals of Peter Gabriel but the intro is far too slow and doesen't intice you into the track, in other words if you do give it a chance the rock and roll kicks in, but sadly dies out, but the closing is very epic and beauiful composed, like a victorian fairytale, but not my favourite track 2/5 sorry!

I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) - Radio friendly pop music, not to my standards, the worst song on the album, I feel very awkward when this is played, very novelty sounding, far too comercial, there is no solos and that "Lawnmower" line is quite pathetic, sorry I hate this, POP does not belong in the Gabriel era and the worst Genesis track of the 70s mind you, I have heard worse by them!! 1/5, sorry but not a great Prog track, just Gnesis trying to get on the radio (big mistake guys!)

Firth Of Fifth - Wow a lovely piano intro well played by Tony Banks, lasts for about 2 minutes I think, and the vocals and music kicks in and what a great tunes too, dies down when the solos of the flute, then synthesizers and following the guitar solo of hackett kicks in, the best song on the album, ends with a piano with cool weird drone sounds. 5/5!!!

More Fool Me - again! another weak track with Phil on vocals, and he does not put effort into it either, very amateur sounding for a well known vocalist who went on to success Genesis and as a solo artist, the instruments are too quiet, and can't be barely heard, production is also poor, 1/5!!

The Battle Of Epping Forest - an epic masterpiece, very military like if it is based in the old century days, excellent keyboard works, theratical vocals of Gabriel and quite humourous at parts too!! and After The Ordeal is also a great track4/5.

The Cinema Show - well the most best part of the album is and I shouldn't really say it as it is far too self indulging yes the Moog solos, very beautifully composed almost brings tears to the eye, 5/5 for the moog solos alone, probably the lushest Moog playing Gnesis have ever done, in all the entire song is magical, like a story of a kind 5/5!!

Aisle Of Plenty - too me this is just a filler, duplicate the first track and change the words, pointless really, but a nice closer, the song is to short to go into detail 3/5!!

This is a must for all Proggers but be warned, very overrated, Genesis best album though but I have to give three stars because "I know what i like" and "More Fool me" are just bad fillers that spoil the album!!

Report this review (#65409)
Posted Wednesday, January 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars As this is No 1 as I write, I thought I'd put this album in it's place. This is an average Genesis album, no more than that. Some of it is decent Pop music, some of it is very average Prog with synth sounds that have not aged at all well. Maybe it's just my imagination but to me this music lacks the depth of other Prog albums. I bought this album about 20 years ago & quickly became bored with it. If you listen to this music about 10 times you won't want to play it the 11th. There's so much stuff out there with so much more to offer.


Report this review (#66209)
Posted Monday, January 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars As their 4th studio album of importance this will stand forever as their milestone in the contribution to progressive rock. It will allways be discussions whether this or other records from the band is their best. Anyway, this is prog at it's finest and most appreciated. It's been among the best of all albums on lists and in magazins for years now, and will be in years to come. So what is it with this record that makes it climb so high and become one of the most appreciated prog albums ever? Maybe this is the Genesis album with the distinguished sound which a lot of neo prog bands found the inspiration in to carry the spirit onward. Even Phil Collins does the vocal on one of the songs, and indeed there is not so very much difference between him and Peter Gabriel when it comes to singing. The lyrics, as usual, can be hard to understand but supplyes the music in an excellent way. You never know the next key Gabriel going to take in the next verse. The music is sometimes symphonic and great and sometimes very simple and gentle. You will find classical influences aswell as influence from folk music. There is big variations within the songs and between the songs, quite the thing for Gabriel. The "Firtf of Fifth" included here is by many fans evaluated as one of the finest Genesis songs ever. I find this album very intellegent and I honestly believe it will give you many enjoyable moments no matter what type of prog genre you "belong" to. It's a record to be fond of. Enjoy.
Report this review (#66672)
Posted Wednesday, January 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars At the time of this writing, this album is number two on the Most Popular Album List. It is the finest of the Gabriel era Genesis albums. While the earlier albums of this era generally showed great genius, this album didn't seem rushed and sloppy.

This album also has a personal connection for me. My first concert I went to was Genesis at Princeton University during the 1971-1972 school year when I was around 13 years old. I enjoyed the concert so much that I dragged my mother and my younger sister to their return during the following year. While those days are very long ago now and seen through the sands of time, I seem to remember hearing the opening song of the album at one of those two concerts, with slides of a knight being displayed.

As has been mentioned previously, the album is tied together with one theme, that of the decline of the English Empire. But the theme isn't labored by the album. I didn't realize what had tied the album together until I thought about other reviews of the album. But once the theme has been noticed, the theme strengthens the album and the unconscious links between the songs are brought into the light.

Dancing With The Moonlit Knight starts off plaintively, with Peter Gabriel asking (a cappella) "Can you tell me where my country lies." The rest of the album consists of observations of the psychic location of England.

Much has been said (mostly disparagingly) about Phil Collins' vocals on More Fool Me. While the song is an acoustic song, which seems thin in comparison with the stronger orchestrations of the other songs, it provides both a break for the listener, and a potentially commercial song, a requirement for an album both then and now. But as you listen to the song after noting the theme tying the rest of the album together, a reassessment of the song seems called for. Is this a song about being dumped, or is it a song about being left behind by your country?

All in all this is a brilliant album, well deserving its place in the annals of Progressive Rock.

Report this review (#67337)
Posted Sunday, January 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars That '70s Cinema Show.

Genesis' release Selling England By the Pound has been and always will be one of the best definitions of Progressive Rock. With this album, Genesis had fortified their already grand style of Symphonic Prog. The track to track quality of this album is just as good as if not better than any Genesis album before or after it's release. The virtuosity is a signature touch to this album. Earlier Genesis albums featured excellent composing, but with this album Genesis combines there well known composing skills with excellent virtuosity which scarely appeared on earlier albums.

Tony Banks puts in an exceptional performance on this album. This is definately his best performance to this point. Firth of Fift highlights Banks' subtlely showcased chops. After the Ordeal also shows excellent piano skills of Banks. With previous Genesis albums, Banks always left a little to be desired, but he more than made up for his lack of technique on other albums.

Steve Hackett did a an excellent job on creating the signature Genesis atmosphere with none other than keyboardist Tony Banks. The harmonies chosen by Hackett on this album are spectacular and original. A great sense of couterpoint from the guitarist. Hackett had always put on excellent performances on every Genesis album, but here he works much more with the band.

Peter Gabriel's vocals recieve more justice on this album. The production is just so much better on this album. There isn't really much to say about the vocals other than that they are just as good if not better than earlier Genesis albums.

Michael Rutherford disspoints me a little bit. After such amazing performances on earlier albums like Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot, Rutherford isn't showcased as much on this album. Perhaps with Banks occupying more space Rutherford didn't want to overplay and take up more space in the music than he could. Rutherford puts in a solid, but not his best performance.

Collins' work on drums is quite impressive. The beats are not spectacular, but the mroe meticulous side of drumming that deals more with smaller movements on cymbals is quite enjoyable.

The production on this album is better than any previous Genesis album. The guitars and keyboards are both clear. The bass isn't as present, but it has less of a role than on previous albums. Gabriel's vocals are fantastic. Genesis fans love this album and so will any other fans of Progressive music.

Report this review (#67357)
Posted Sunday, January 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars There isn't much to say about this album that hasn't already been said... but I think this deserves a full 5 stars, and I'm also glad to see it finally beating out Close to the Edge! Selling England By the Pound is, in my opinion, not only one of the best prog albums out there, but also one of the best rock albums in general. It is so well rounded, and rich in emotion. The power of the Moonlit Knight, the symphonic Firth of Fifth... the very listenable I Know What You Like, and the balladry of More Fool Me... and then there's the entire 2nd half! The tracks Epping Forest/After The Ordeal/Cinema Show/Aisle of Plenty blend together into a buffet of musical bliss, reprising the opening melody as the album comes to a close. There's something on this album for everyone. I don't know if there is any one single perfect album, but this one gets as close to that as I can think of.
Report this review (#68016)
Posted Thursday, February 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is probably my favorite out of all Genesis albums, with The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway coming in at a close 2nd. This very album is what started my Genesis craze, and is probably the most accessible out of their pre-Pop material. When played, you are greeted with a sort of mellow, folklore tune that escalates into a melodic, up-tempo beat with one of my favorite songs by Genesis, "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight." From there, you are taken on a Prog-Rock escapade with Genesis behind the wheel. This album is truly wonderful to me, and offers a lot of variety to the listener. Also, you notice a lot more keyboard/piano/symphonic work by Tony Banks, which was a bold move and ended up paying off on this excellent album. Another song that prompted me to get this album was the longest song on this effort, "The Battle of Epping Forest." I have no idea why so many people consider this "too long," and/or "drawn out." Whenever I play the drums to this album, it's usually to "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight," and "The Battle of Epping Forest."

Overall, I cannot think of a bad song on this entire effort, making it their definite best. So, in that case, I will have to say that many of my favorite Genesis songs are contained herein. The only song I rarely listen to would be "More Fool Me," which happens to be the only song that Phil Collins does the vocal work for. Coincidence? Perhaps. If you are interested in pursuing Genesis' work, but aren't too familiar to the Prog scene, I suggest starting with this album.

Report this review (#68058)
Posted Thursday, February 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars If you only buy one progressive rock album make it this one. Eberything about the genre is here. From the vocals of Peter Gabriel on the opening piece right through to Tony Banks' solo on Cinema Show everything is perfect. The Battle of Epping Forest is a personal favourite of mine with a story of a war between gangs in England. Overall well worth owning!!!
Report this review (#68315)
Posted Saturday, February 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Selling England By the Pound has Genesis at the height of their creative powers. The band takes their theatrical tendencies that had fully bloomed on Foxtrot's "Supper's Ready" and apply them more thoroughly on this album. Simply put, this is the best set of songs that Genesis had ever recorded.

One only has to look at "The Battle of Epping Forest" an amazing showcase for Gabriel's acrobatic vocal performance, the song thematically reminiscent of "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" on the Nursery Cryme album. While that track was bombastic and gleefully over-the-top, "Epping" takes a more sophisticated and refined approach.

The album's highlights, though, are its bookmark suites. The opener, "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight," is a logical successor to the aggressive "The Knife," filled with infectious melodies and an explosive electric guitar riff that marks the origins of the progressive metal movement. It's one of Genesis' best "heavy" moments, that's for sure. "The Cinema Show" is the song everyone remembers from this album, and for a good reason... It may have Peter Gabriel's best performance.

Look at this album conceptually and it represents a culmination of everything Genesis had been working towards at that time. All of the ideas that the band introduced in Trespass, Nursery Cryme, and Foxtrot are perfected on Selling England By the Pound. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway would follow, and while it matches this album in its greatest moments (and even surpasses them on one or two occasions), it's a sprawling affair and perhaps (if we are to be critical) overambitious. You won't find a better composed Genesis album than Selling England By the Pound... there isn't a single wasted note on it.

The best prog album of all time? Perhaps.

Report this review (#68465)
Posted Sunday, February 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Be forewarned that you may pick up Selling England by the Pound and not like it. It does not mean that you are a stupid, ignorant fool. Genesis albums were written for their fan base and one must respect them for that.

Selling England By the Pound is sold short by the poor singing. Gabriel should have taken a voice lesson, even Bruce Springsteen took some lessons. On this album, he tries to expand his range and vocal prowess and it sounds awful. He is a great lyricist though and I believe that this album struck the nerve to something that people were feeling in England c.1973; but the album does not hold up well and sounds quite dated.

I would assume that what people like in this album is its chamber like ambience, which is quite nice. The songs are madrigals that flow effortlessly from one to the other and there are some magical moments; my favorites are the chorus of "I Know What I Like;" I tend to like Genesis at their most poppy, and "The Cinema Show."

More Fool Me features Phil Collins on vocals. It is a three minute ditty, perhaps an attempt at a single, that proves that progressive rock did not kill the three minute song. Collins voice is so much nicer to listen to than Gabriel's.

I first purchased this album back in 1976 and did not like it; the album has never kept my interest though it is highly rated. Close to the Edge is not one of my favorite albums either; it is not even my favorite Yes album. Selling England by the Pound is a fan's album as most early Genesis albums were. That's why their fans like them so much.

Report this review (#68700)
Posted Tuesday, February 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars First of all, I won't blabber about how this album is perfect or not perfect form a technical point of view (musically speaking). The fact is that very few other genres of music have the ability to convey the power of lyrical storytelling with musical crafstrmanship as progressive rock. And, in that sense, I think this is one of the pinnacles of the entire movement. The clever lyrics, the bombastic sounds, the recapitulation at the end... it has it all. You can listen just for the sheer pleasure of the instrumentality, and then you have phrases like "Young man says you are what you eat, eat well. Old man says you are what you wear, wear well! You know what you are, you don't give a damn... Your bursting your belt that is your homemade sham!" that will leave you short of breath. A true masterpiece.
Report this review (#70375)
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album exemplifies sophistication, complexity, and strong production. For all those who call this album indulgent or pretentious, get over it. It's like telling a novelist to not proofread or an athlete to not condition.

My favorite parts of this album are Tony Banks' keyboards, the lyricism, and the layered coordination. This album is very well crafted.

Firth of Fifth by itself could be an album in all its glory. No part of that song doesn't provide an archetype for symphonic prog. One could decompose it's elements into a handful of quality and refined tunes. Dancing With the Moonlit Knight is another great one. And what an album opener. By the end it has taken turns all over in dynamics, heaviness, lyrics, and melody. 'Cinema Show' is another notable song. And I also admit that I love 'I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)'. An easy song to get along with certainly, but a good one nonetheless.

Report this review (#70391)
Posted Friday, February 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Genesis is getting better and better and now on Selling England they are very close to absolute hightlights of the bandīs recordings. There are unforgetable songs like Firth of Fifth and Cinema Show or I know what I like, but there is still some meaningless songs like More Fool Me and one too theatralic performance, Battle of Epping Forest, which donīt work very well, there is too much everything. Itīs much better than Foxtrot, Genesis is more mature and it is almost ready to make masterpieces like Lamb and Trick are, Selling is very close to those great albums. Excellent album but not the best album of Genesis.
Report this review (#71412)
Posted Wednesday, March 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Like I said, I bought this album last May along with Foxtrot. I grew to like this one much faster. In the end I prefer the other slightly, but it's unfair to compare an album to Foxtrot. I'll judge it on its own content.

Best three opening tracks of any Genesis album (although I'm partial to Lamb, Fly On the Windshield, and Broadway Melody). The fist three tracks on Selling England by the Pound though offer so much to be appreciated. A range of sounds and emotion pronounce the first three tracks.

After these I feel the album lags until the wonderful Cinema Show. Someone once described it as a jounrey from Venus to Mars. Although I'm not sure how one could compare a feeling to something so uncertain and abstract the description stuck in my head. And now I think of it when I listen to the song.

Another beautiful creation by the band Genesis. I recommend this album, too, to anyone who likes music.

Report this review (#72002)
Posted Thursday, March 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Certainly one of the finest albums to come out of progressive rock. People have said a lot of things about it on this site, so I won't repeat much of it.

It's the final album of the mythical and pastoral Genesis before they went in a different direction with the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.

And they do a fine job of it. Get the album for Firth of Fifth and Cinema Show. And then every other track except maybe the Battle of Epping Forst.

Essential Prog Listening.

Report this review (#72362)
Posted Monday, March 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars If prog have a Goliah, this is Selling England by the pound.Great Gabriel in this album, Collins confirm to be a great drummer. Very Excellent Keyboard by Tony Banks and Lead guitar by Steve Hackett. Solid and very good bass by Mike Rutherford, also he play goodly 12 strings guitar!! I think Cinema Show is one of the best Prog-rock songs ever (track 7)..fantastic. Incredible songwriting, and surely, i think, best prog album ever.
Report this review (#72644)
Posted Thursday, March 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Way back in 1973, I can remember being in the local record store and looking around for something new. I spotted the unique artwork (which we all have come to know so well by now) whilst thumbing through the "G" section. I had never heard of Genesis before, but the art coupled with the intriguing band name convinced me to purchase the album without even knowing what kind of music it contained. My god, was I blown away. For me it is the quintessential Genesis album. Sure they made some very good music before it's release, and some good music thereafter, but nothing that rivaled this incredible musical journey. There is a reason this album sits at the number 1 position in the Prog Archives listing.
Report this review (#72996)
Posted Friday, March 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The best album of the entire prog history? Or just the best album by Genesis? Well, neither really. The album starts wonderfully .Dancing with the Moonlit Knight is a masterpiece in itself. The acapella section is incredibly goodland shows well what a masterful vocalist Peter Gabriel is. The song contains a superb guitar solo by Steve Hackett. The lyrics are excellent, too. The almost pure intsrumental Firth of Fifth is truly gorgeous. One of the best performances by Tony banks and Steve Hackett shines again. Very catchy and uplifting track. The Battle of Epping Forest is another excellent track. Very well done lyrics and weird vocals by Peter. How great song can be written about a stupid gang fight! After the Ordeal is a good transition track with nice melodies. The Cinema Show/Aisle of plenty concludes the album perfectly. Great instrumental pasasges and emotional vocals. More Fool me spoils the album a bit. It is sung by Phil Collins, but not this fact is the problem. This song is simply boring. Better to skip. Quite annoying after Firth of fifth. I Know what I Like is significantly better, but it's not a great song either. Summary : The album provides great musicianship and excellent songwriting, it contains many great solos by Steve Hackett(this is always good news.), but because of the two weaker songs, I don't rate it with 5 stars. A must for any collection , though.

Report this review (#73632)
Posted Friday, March 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I zipped thru the reviews for the current number one album on this site just to get an idea on what to say, since there's so many reviews. This is what I garnered: most people dispise "More Fool Me", and the ones who rate the album three-stars or less can't stand "I Know What I Like..." and "The Battle Of Epping Forest". I can understand the hatred of "More Fool Me", it's a ballad and stands out. Yet, if you take it for what it is, it's tolerable. I'm a huge fan of Gabriel's lyrics. There's not another human being who writes lyrics the way he writes them. I adore the lyrics in "The Battle Of Epping Forest". If you can take the time to listen to the words and let the music meld, it works on so many different levels. And quite honestly, it's damn entertaining! (BTW, the last line of the song rings SO true. I'm not going to write it here, you have to listen for yourself....) "I Know What I Like...." I remember hearing on FM radio back in the 70's and it stuck in my head ever since. Catchy, and so English its the perfect type of poppy/prog song to grab your attention and compel you to buy the album. All I can say about the rest of the songs is quite simple, Classic, Classic, Classic....if it weren't for them, there wouldn't be a Neo Prog category, (depending on what you think of the genre, that's a good or bad thing) They honed all they knew from "Tresspass" to "Foxtrot" and made their greatest three tracks. And for my money, "The Cinema Show" is the best they ever created. Everyone absolutely shines, especially Collins drumming and Banks keyboards. Proof in the pudding is on the live album "Seconds Out" when Collins has his drum solo using the middle-to-end section of the song. He shows his stuff on "The Cinema Show" brillantly. My only gripe, which is minor, is why Paul Whitehead didn't grace the album with another stunning cover. It's a decent cover, but I would have loved to have had him try a stab at it. Oh, well, can't have everything. But to sum up, this album runs the gamut of emotions: humor, tears, melancoly, joy. Is it the best prog album ever? Or is CTTE? Depends on your mood, eh. ;-)
Report this review (#73640)
Posted Friday, March 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars If someone asked me which is the greatest album ever created, I think I would answer: Selling England By The Pound. The first time I listened to this I was stunned, the second time I listened to this, I was even more stunned. I'm stunned after 1001 listenings.

"SEBTP" starts with the magnificent "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight", everything has been said about this true gem. It starts with nothing less than a beautiful al cappella sung by Peter Gabriel, then grows to a true symphonic masterpiece. The best part is when I hear the "There's a fat old lady outside the saloon. Laying out the credit cards, she plays fortune". It's unbealiavable, cold flushes everytime. Aarrrgh

"I Know What I like" is IMO the weakest track in this album. But not even close to bad. It's starts with the funny intro and grows to a poppish-prog song. Overall a great song 8―/10.

Is there anyone here who hasn't heard "Firth Of Fifth"? Or the piano intro? No one? I guess so. One of the best tracks ever created, starts with the 1+minute pianointro, which is.. I cannot describe. Amazing. Then grows with the strong vocals to a beautiful instrumental section. Stunning.

Then the "weakest" track here, "More Fool Me". Well if it was released as a single it would blow. BUT it fits here. After the magnificent epic, it goes as a cool down for the next stunning song... Which is "The Battle Of Epping Forest", some may say it's bad. I must correct you: NO! It's pretty theatrical, yes ok but as a whole piece it's amazing. Variying, beautiful and mostly: entertaining. I love this.

"After The Ordeal" is one of the most beautiful tracks I've heard. Reminds me somewhat of todays Post-Rock (Explosions In The Sky). It's amazing. It keeps the athmosphere of the album perfectly with it's beautiful and variying melodies.

The end of the album: "The Cinema Show/Aisle Of Plenty", is one of the strongest songs Genesis did. Starts with Hackett's guitar intro and then comes the vocals. And oh we're in the middle of one of the greatest synth-solos in the history of music. It's amazing.

In overall this album is a must have. I actually find no bad flaws in it. And the climaxes are a pure pleasure to the listener. Five stars is not enough :)

Report this review (#73895)
Posted Sunday, April 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album features two of Genesis concert favorites such as Firth for Fifth and The Cinema Show.

My favorite is Steve Hackett's guitar melodies on Firth for Fith, which are completely stunning.

Overall, the album has complex structures and the poetic touch with fine arrangements.

Report this review (#75300)
Posted Monday, April 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was my first introduction to Genesis (I was working in a record store in '75 and the store manager pulled the LP out and told me "This is probably the best album in the store" which piqued my interest). I found it so different from anything else I had ever heard that it instantly created a separate room in my mind to categorize their music in. And it still occupies that same room today. From the bold statement "Can you tell me where my country lies...?" of "Dancing with the moonlit knight" to the haunting reciting of measurements in "Aisle of Plenty" as the album fades in the end it is a masterpiece. "Firth of Fifth" just may be the defining song of all progressive rock. It has every ingredient necessary and the performance is flawless. I'm one who thinks "More Fool Me" is a wonderful, sad tune about being brokenhearted and in no way detracts from the album. I've always loved it. "Battle" is one strange little song but it works on a subconscious level in that the melodies stick with you and reappear at the most unexplainable times. (Like the phrase "picnic, picnic...") "Cinema Show" is a very clever tune that defines their attitude towards their work so well. They always went wherever their imagination led them and didn't question their muse. And, in this case, they created their best album ever. It doesn't tower over their other great achievements but it does stand taller. And it gets my vote for the greatest prog music ever made.
Report this review (#75777)
Posted Friday, April 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Genesis is a band that I doubt would I ever like it. They are far, far more less technicly skilled than Yes, which made me doubt them. I bought this album only becose it's #2 after Close to the Edge on prog archives (at the time being) and also becose it was so cheap. Widely considired even as the ultimate masterpiece I had to chech this album. Let's say that I don't regret at all buying it.

Dancing With The Moonlit Knight : Exellent start! Beautiful singing (Gabriel has interresting voice) and partly gets very proggy. Good start! 4.7/5

I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) : Pop song and Genesis first hit. Many prog fans seem even to hate it. I like it becose its actually ver funny. 4/5

Firth Of Fifth : Starts with great piano. Not my favorite song thought. Maybe bit too long. It just doesn't fit into my taste, but many others will propably enjoy this. 3.8/5

More Fool Me : Phil Collins doing the vocals on this. Not too good song, not special at all. I often just skip this one. 3.5/5

The Battle Of Epping Forest : The worst song on this album and also being the longest one which doubles it. Too long and Gabriel sound actually stupid when trying to imitate. I have no idea what they tried to do with this, since its too serious and long to be even funny. 2.5/5

The Cinema Show : Exellent mini epic. Beautiful at all parts. This and Moonlit Knight are defindely the best songs on the album. I can't choose which is better. Try this even if you had not heard Genesis before. 4.7/5

Aisle Of Plenty : Short and not special song. Not bad either. The Cinema Show would have been an exellent ending song for the album. This unfortunately takes some points off. 3.8/5

4.7 + 4 + 3.8 + 3.5 + 2.5 + 4.7 + 3.8 = 3.375 = 4 stars.

Overall a good album, in some parts exellent. Propably the best album by Genesis. I advice to buy this to an interrested in Genesis.

Is it good ?... Absolutely. Is it a masterpiece ?... Possibly. Is it better than Close to the Edge ?... Never!

Report this review (#75877)
Posted Saturday, April 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars 4.95

My highest rating so far, but not necessarily better than ‘Close to the Edge’ (or even ‘In a Glass House’). These two albums are of completely different moods and colours. This is a progressive rock album which is difficult for a prog-hater to turn their noses up at, whereas they may scorn at the Andersons vocals (I know someone who has) or just disdain their energetic synthesiser sections or warbling bass lines. Yes, Genesis do include some potentially ‘strange’ parts, but differently, in a more accessible way perhaps. (Of course, there is a lot for prog-haters to say about Gentle Giant!)

All tracks are absolutely stunning. Headphones on and you are instantly part of the music, flowing where it flows and feeling every note. This album can be played whatever mood you may be in, as the songs change so much throughout. ‘Dancing With the Moonlit Knight’ is a definitive Genesis track, and therefore a definitive prog piece. Tempo changes, complicated sections and generally masterful musicianship, delivering brilliant melodies and vocal harmonisations.

‘Firth of Fifth’ and ‘After the Ordeal’ are my favourite tracks most of the time, as they are easier to listen to than the almighty ‘Cinema Show’. ‘Firth of Fifth’ has an extremely impressive piano performance at the beginning, showing immense skill and opening this awesome track in an outstanding manner. Nearing mid-point, Gabriel grants his audience with a beautiful flute solo, developing and passing the main melody to the hands of Banks, who again displays some dedicated piano playing. The rest of the song is a wonderful instrumental with spectacular playing from all musicians.

‘After the Ordeal’ is one of my favourite instrumentals of all time, and makes me cold however many times I listen to it. The track gives the feeling of someone who has experienced the reason of life, total fulfilment and a flabbergasted state of self- achievement. ‘Cinema Show’ has all the elements needed in progressive music, so why not download it from this here website?

Unless you hate Genesis, you will never regret buying this masterpiece.

Report this review (#75981)
Posted Sunday, April 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the quintessentially English prog album, that has polarised prog fans. Many (including me) think that this, along with Close to the Edge, Fragile, Relayer, Court of the Crimson King and Lizard, represents the apex of progressive music. A significant minority can't see what all the fuss is about.

Maybe it's time to try to analyse what we mean by progressive music. Several tracks on this album are not "progressive" in the classic sense - they are not very long, or infused with unusual time signatures or chord changes. Most though do have superb individual instrumental solos, the obvious exception being "More Fool Me," a much maligned piece largely because it's sung by Phil Collins, who over a period of several years managed to turn Genesis into an AOR/soppy ballad band. Yet at this stage he was seen only as part of a supremely talented ensemble, and performed a sweet, gentle ballad, similar to several tracks on Foxtrot or Nursery Cryme. The track wouldn't set the world alight, but was pleasant and lyrical, just like many other earlier Genesis short pastoral pieces.

The obvious barnstorming tracks, Dancing With the Moonlight Knight, Firth of Fifth and the Cinema Show, fall more readily into the prog category - they have astonishing instrumental passages, switch keys and time signatures seamlessly, and tell fantasy sagas. But none of that would matter if behind it all wasn't a strong melody and a good story (Dream Theater et al take note! Great instrumentalists do not a great song make!).

Great music does not have to be complex, it simply has to reach out to the listener and evoke a powerful response. Genesis succeed in doing this on this and other albums; so does Sting with his song Fragile, or Natalie Imbruglia with Torn - or Karen Carpenter singing Goodbye to Love! Many prog fans do not like to admit that other music genres have any relevance - this is a form of snobbery that I was prone to myself until I realised that music in all its forms has skilled performers who can grab you and transport you to another world. (Well, I'm still struggling to find any worth in rap and hip-hop, but maybe that's just me...).

Selling England is diverse, never less than interesting, and lifts the spirit. That's all I would ask of any album, and This one does it more than almost any other album, so I have to give this a maximum rating. In another forum, I would give five stars for Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album, but that's another story... Just enjoy the music, and don't feel guilty if you like something whether it's mainstream or esoteric. Music appreciation is subjective. Whatever turns you on!

Report this review (#76045)
Posted Sunday, April 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars i have to be very honest i for one wasn't much of a Genesis fan back then i mean i love Phil Collins and his singing but i tried to get into the Gabriel years of Genesis which seems to be the band at their prime but i was so closed minded that i couldn't get into them. Well all that changed when one day i was listening to AOL radio and heard THE BATTLE OF EPPING FOREST and to honest i was stunned of well that song went and its not even the best song by Genesis. I found out what album it was on big surprise as it was one in my opinion Genesis best album SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND plus it has become one of my favorite Genesis's ablums as well. their is just so much that can happen in 50 minutes worth of prog and i was able to hear that when i got a remastered copy of this album and each and every song just totally made me realize how much i underestimated this band back in the 70s. well lets go over what we have as we start with a great album opener DANCING WITH THE MOONLIGHT KNIGHT as it starts off with a nice melodic Gabriel accopella intro and the song slowly builds up to a nice Steve Hackett solo along with some tight bass and drums followed by some sweet sythns from Tony Banks while the song quietly slows down to a nice little melodic ending. then comes to the very entertaining I KNOW WHAT I LIKE (IN YOUR WARDROBE) people seem to dislike this track but for some reason i like its not that bad as the band continues with some fine music. Then up comes my favorite Genesis track FIRTH OF FIFTH (hard to say sometimes) as this song has nothing but 9 minutes of greatness with great piano and synths by Banks and dude the guitar solo rocks my face off plus the bass really does well staying with the keyboards during that synth line. Then comes another Phil collins lead singing track MORE FOOL ME not alot i can say about this song other than its just nice have Phil doing some lead vocals. Then comes a song that got me started on 70s Genesis THE BATTLE OF EPPING FOREST as this song is pretty good the middle section is pretty i dunno kiddy like i guess but the Synths and Guitar solos just make up for it. Then comes along the beautiful instrumental of AFTER THE ORDEAL followed by one of the most famous Genesis tracks THE CINEMA SHOW as it displays 11 minutes of great progginess as well all i can say is that is has one of my favorite 70s keyboard solos EVER!!!! oh gah dude you just gotta hear to believe it. Then comes along AISLE OF PLENTY which really doesn't appeal to me but it doesn't take away my 5 star rating i'm giving this album. Now people wanna to hear how great the 70s were dude you must get this album trust me it is worth. Because if it wasn't for this album then i don't know how i would love Genesis so much.
Report this review (#76055)
Posted Sunday, April 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Can You Tell Me Where My Country Lies..." the beginning of the opening track "Dancing whit the moonlight knight", the most famous verses of Progressive Rock start an album that is an authentic masterpiece.

If Genesis with the previous albums had already demonstrated having a very defined style and sonority, here catch up the apex of the perfection. Very elaborate songs, words that reflected the genius of Gabriel, that became a real poet, sometimes dark and ambigous. Nearly all the songs of this LP were riproposed during concerts.

"... Moonlight knight" preannounces, with a simple beginning, its successive musical evolution, apparently not connected to the begin. "I know what I like" is one POP song, then transformed by Genesis, with their unmistakable style, in one of their more famous songs.

It could be made the same speech for all the songs of the album, but they deserve some word in more "Firth of Fifth" and "More Fool Me".

"Firth of Fifth" is a beautiful little suite. Its beginning is a spectacular IMPROVVISO of piano (Banks is a genius!!!), when the piano stops to play Peter Gabriel starts to occupy the scene, singing a masterpiece in verse of difficult interpretation; but the most important part of all song is along musical interval, that it begins with the magical sound of the flaute, and then continue with a long part of sintetizher and a spectacular solo of guitar, that it will carry on to the resumption of the topic begins that will conclude this song, whose only weak point is the fact that soon or later it must end.

"More Fool Me" is a sweet ballad whit romantic tones in which Phil Collins appears as singer, a kind a premonition of the future ruole of Phil.

Report this review (#76333)
Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album for me is very up and down.

The first track: Dancing with the Moonlit Knight is top knotch prog. The beginning of this song is very slow paced and with a very nice line between the keys and guitar. The instrumental section in the middle (and towards the end again) is just awesome.

I know what I like- Vocals in this song make me like it much less, this song is relatively poppy but with some interesting lead piano lines and floating synths.

Firth and Fith- Wow, prog rock at its finest- especially the flute/guitar solos. Keys are stellar in this as well.

More fool me- Not a fan of the vocals or lyrics of this song. Very simple poppy song much like I know what I like but without the quirky keyboard playing. I do enjoy the acoustic guitars on this and the harmonizing vocals.

The Battle of Epping Forest- Not a bad track but not great either. I enjoy the military march sound to the intro of this song. The keys in this song are very nice but I wish the guitar was more present in this song. The vocals in this song get quite annoying at times such as the chorus.. "This is the battle of Epping Forest!" and when Gabriel does the spoken word type vocals, the harmonizations that occur at times are cool though.

After the ordeal- I love the interplay between the guitar and the keys in the beginning of this song and also the lead guitar that breaks in halfway through is very nice. Good leadup to the Cinema Show.

Cinema Show- Again great keys in this song as per usual of Genesis. The vocals in this are also very nice. The instrumental section about 6 minutes through is my favorite part of this song.

Aisle Of Plenty- Good ending to the album. With themes from several songs reocurring in it. Sums up the album well.

So basically this is a great album with 3 tracks which are a bit iffy. If it wasn't for the cheesy lyrics that Gabriel has at times this would probably be a 5 star album. Despite this it is still one that everyone should check out

Report this review (#76380)
Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I like what I know.

Dancing with the Moonlight Knight- is one of the best openings of any CD. The song is rather slow at first then it picks up about 2 minutes into the song with Gabriel being the front of the song with some really good vocals. Being 8-minutes long it keeps you interested and wanting more. True masters piece easily a 5 star song.

I know what I like- is more rock but the if you listen to the lyrics they are ever odd and prog filled. The song has a nice sympathizer playing with lots of percussion instruments playing at the same time. It's a nice song that is lighter that stimulates the mind and is a solid 4 ― star song.

Firth of Firth- starts with a nice little Piano solo for about the first 1 minute of the song then it opens with a slow and kind of boring drum and sympathizer part. It's slow and in my mind the worst song on this album and just doesn't belong in its place with the album. 3 ― Stars

More Fool Me- Phil Collin's voice fits perfectly with this song that is one of the more somber slow song on the album. This is really a love song in some parts that is sweet simple and short. This is a solid 4 star song.

The Battle of Epping Forest- the song first starts like an army march (which later you find really fits the song nicely) before picking up into a nice and fast song with nice vocals fitting with the loudness of the instruments perfectly. At roughly 3-minutes into the song there is a nice keyboard solo. The song then changes at 5 minutes 30-seconds into a more peaceful song that throws you for a loop, but it seems to fit almost perfectly. Then with 4-minutes left it changes back to where it started just for the chorus. Peter Gabriel changes his pitch and tone so much, but it almost always seems to fit. This could be the best song on this album. Easily 5 stars.

After The Ordeal- a nice break from "Epping Forest" that seems to somewhat fold right into Cinema Show. A nice instrumental peice of music a good 3.5 stars.

Cinema Show- this is one of the most beautiful songs that I have heard. Its a nice soft song picking up slightly with some of the most harmonic lyrics I have heard. At about 3 minutes they break it up with one of the most beautiful peices these ears have ever been graced to listen to. You really need to sit down and listen to this part more then once to get full respect for it. At times I just seems to drift away with the soothing sounds. Then maybe one of the best parts comes up that is another more complex instrumental peice. Its more powerful then the other part and really brings the song to a nice closier.

Aisle of Plenty- almost seems part of the "Cinema Show" and some could almost miss it if it didn't sound like it through out the song. Really it seems to be the missing part of "Dancing with the Moonlight Knight" that was just needed to complete the song, and there is no better place then starting the strong begining with a powerful ending. Also a 5 star song that ends the album nicely.

In short this is one of the best albums ever made and is equal to or maybe greater then "Close to the Edge", without a doubt a 5 star album.

Report this review (#76827)
Posted Monday, May 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I believe that the rating of 5 stars should be used sparingly, but this album certainly deserves it. This is Genesis at its best and the sound on the album is so clean.

Dancing with the Moonlight Knight might be Genesis' best song. I love how the song slowly builds from the a cappella opening to the allout jam at the end.

I Know What I Like is not prog but I like it anyway. It has a good groove and its a fun song and in a weird way it fits in with the rest of the album.

Firth of Fifth is a triumphant song with a great piano solo in the beginning and a solid flute solo in the middle, plus great lyrics.

More Fool Me doesn't really fit with the rest of the album, but it is a good mellow song between two epics. Plus, Phil Collins gets to showcase his vocals.

Battle of Epping Forest is an awesome track from the marching drumline opening to the big heldout chord at the end. It also tells a great, very prog, story throughout the whole song.

After the Ordeal is a great acoustic track with very obvious classical influence that also highlights Steve Hackett's slide guitar. A great transition into another epic.

The Cinema Show is another epic that starts out very mellow and acoustic and builds to a huge jam at the end. It starts with a beautiful acoustic section and ends with a great Tony Banks keyboard solo in 7/8 time. So good, so prog.

Aisle of Plenty is a good way to end the album with a good fadeout. It may be my least favorite track on the album, but it is an appropriate end to this masterpiece.

Report this review (#78076)
Posted Saturday, May 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Nice one. Overrated, but nice. Three stars, perhaps three and a half. No, I'm not following the general consensus that Selling England is an absolute masterpiece. It is overrated, but a good one at that. There are no less than four excellent songs here, let's call them Dancing, Firth, Ordeal and Cinema for convenience' sake, all of them classics of the genre, and a few "nice" ones. However, the album has a big weak spot, and it's very bad indeed. No, I'm not talking about the three minute song that Phil Collins got to sing. I don't have anything against that, except that it's only "OK". No, it's The Battle Of Epping Forest that I don't like. It's long and it's boring. Sure, it has some good moments, but mostly when Peter Gabriel keeps his mouth shut. There's some great keyboards for instance. But for a song that last almost 12 minutes, "some good moments" is not enough to save it. Peter Gabriel is doing silly voices again, and that would even bring down the best songs, let alone a lame one such as this. They could have left it off and still have a great record of a decent length. That would have earned it an extra star from me.
Report this review (#79783)
Posted Tuesday, May 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Once again, another slightly (emphasis on the slightly) overrated Genesis album. Like 'Foxtrot', when I first heard it I wasn't as impressed as I thought I would be. The album itself however, is very enjoyable a I listen to it more than the other two Genesis albums I bought with it, 'Foxtrot' and 'Nursery Cryme'.

"Dancing With the Moonlit Knight", the opening track, has always been a favourite of mine. I love the lyrics and the way the song builds up to the wicked guitar sections. Gabriel's voice is in it's prime here.

"I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" surprised me at first. The structure of the song seems kind of poppy, yet it's totally enjoyable and the vocals are brilliant.

"The Battle of Epping Forest" is also a standout for me. The way the story is told and the musical methods in this song really bring and old/new feeling.

"The Cinema Show" is just an amazing track. The beautiful ballad of the first six minutes is a great setup for the wicked extended keyboard solo at the end of the song. The first time I heard this song I was simply blown away by the brilliance of the writing.

I think my main problem with reviewing Genesis albums is that I always compare them to 'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway', which to me is one of the greatest albums of all time. But I also found several tracks on this album not as enjoyable as they should be, but it's still a truly classic prog album.

Report this review (#80794)
Posted Friday, June 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars when i started listening to prog, i mixed an mp3 cd with 10 or more classics such as 'Close To The Edge', 'Animals', 'Thick As A Brick', 'Dawn' and among others was this album... i placed it in my discman and given that i have to take the bus for nearly an hour to go to my work, i had plenty of time to appreciate them...all, but one:SEBTP... i couldn't explain it but sth bothered me about it...still, i wanted to give it more tries..and so i did...and still the same..didn't do much for me...

but what i realised was that i wasn't hearing over and over again just to give it another chance but because i couldn't do otherwise!! soon, i started memorising melodies and lyrics and now i consider it to be one of the best albums ever...

Dancing With The Moonlit Knight is, hands down, the best opening track ever and Firth of ifth the best epic ever... Peter Gabriel's theatrical performance and intriguing lyrics find the best companions in this all star line up... Phil Colins is a jazz drummer in a prog rock band and makes you want to listen to the album just to listen to his amazing parts...Steve Hackett can easily be placed among the pantheon of great guitar players...but allow me to pay my respects to the delicate sound of thu..oops of Tony Banks.. i think his hands are ethereal...excellent orchestration...

in conclusion... a masterpiece....

Report this review (#81615)
Posted Wednesday, June 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars In case anybody's wondering, this happens to be my favorite album in music history. Why? - because it has a bunch of brilliant musical ideas come to life on one single piece of plastic. If there's ever going to be a Genesis reunion, I hope that when they record new material, they take this album as an example.

1. Dancing with the Moonlit Knight - Many reviewers have wrote that this track starts with Gabriel singing a capella and yes, it's true - he does in fact a good job at it. Although Gabriel has always had an edgy voice and also misses quite a few notes, he still keeps the listener interested. This proves why Gabriel is a much better singer than any robot. At some point of the beginning Gabriel stops and Hackett kicks in with a very simple but solid guitar riff with light support from Phil and Mike. Sometimes I wonder if this riff will ever be used in a hip-hop song - still I hope it never happens. Gabriel's vocals join in and the music progresses into something that could be considered as the chorus of this song. This is a very powerful and majestic section of the song much due to the mellotrons humming in the back and Gabriel changing his tone in favour of a more agressive manner. Also Phil and Mike are playng rhythms that seem to have no certain measure at all and Hackett adds more grandiosity with his guitar sounding like a band of trumpets. With the chorus passed, the music advances to a new section never heard from Genesis before - intersting listening to Genesis playing something reminiscent to Hard Rock/Heavy Metal with Hackett blasting his axe like a machine gun, Phil and Mike giving an upbeat support. Then the whole thing shifts up a gear while Hackett tapps away. Here he has a chance for a small solo wich then progresses to a harder version of the simple guitar riff heard in the beginning. The riff is then followed by the grandiose chorus shortly after. This time the upbeat 'Meta'l section after the chorus is stopped by a new weird theme from Banks (the sound is somewhat of an early digital harpsichord) . In this section there are many time changes with odd passages and stagnations. Then just as the listener expects a culmination, the music pulls back to a light atmospheric motion, based on two chords played by a harp??. Then a couple of minutes of this fluidity concludes the first track.

2. I Know What I Like - The big mother of an opening track is followed by a simple and naive second track. I know the lyrics have something to do with a lawn mower and so do the strange sound effects in the beginning. This song reminds me of a late Genesis song "Land of Confusion". These two songs have similar disco'ish choruses I think. There's not much to write about this one I'm afraid. The track is an excellent piece for a live act where the band can execute extended solos and...well...take a brake between the other more virtuosic works they've created.

3. Firth of Fifth - I don't know what the title means and I do not care. This is one of Genesis' best pieces. The intro - Bank's solo on a grand must be the best piano section ever...I mean it. It only takes this short intro to explain why Banks is a genius. Though it might seem there are many changes in time signatures, the measure always remains 4/4. After Banks proves his class, he builds a simple and a logical bridge to link the intro with the following. No hesitation - it all moves on with the same power as Banks left off. It's a very majestic section right in the beginning with few calmer low tides in the middle, but it still gives a colossal impression. The section is then cut off by Banks again (this song must be HIS masterpiece). In this section Banks gives support to a beautiful theme introduced by Gabriel's flute. After that Banks carries on alone with a more upbeat theme while Phil and Mike give slight accent to the beat. The same verse keeps on repeating and Banks keeps developing the theme until the music comes up to an unexpected bridge to...what?? It's the theme of Banks' intro, but now with the whole orchestra of Genesis. Prog just doesn't get any better than this...The biggest credit should go to Mike Rutheford who presents a very active and alive bass support throughout this section. And then Hackett steps in...he presents his most famous solo on the theme first presented by Gabriel's flute. The solo section is very dramatic and a bit melancholy. The same verse is repeated about 3-4 times until it finally solves into major...the emotion is undescribable here. Shortly after, the listener is presented with the majestic section from the beginning (I guess it gives the feeling of a complete piece). The song ends just the way it began...pleasantly

4. More Fool Me - Many have said that this song doesn't belong in this album. I actually don't mind this little piece here. It's only 3' long...It's a simple and a sweet song presented by a duet of Gabriel and Collins supported by Hackett's guitar. It's a kind of song you could hear at campfires and on albums like "Selling England by the Pound". Besides...your head would get screwed if you had complex tracks like "Firth of Fifth" and the following piece next to each other.

5. The Battle of Epping Forest - This is the most complex track on the album. I won't go to details because it's one hell of a difficult piece. So...most people know the story of the gangs...bla-bla...if not - read some other reviews. The piece begins with a cheery march - it fades in, it fades out. Everything, the fine musicians of Genesis do in this song creates a clear picture of what's happening. Big credit goes to Mr. Gabriel and his fantastic characteristics and lyrics in the middle section. It's a part when Gabriel tells a story of a priest who finds himself in some stripclub or something. The section is also a fine moment for Hackett, where he presents a fascinating and mysterious support line. Another great part is the very ending, where Hackett gets a chance for a solo again and what I like about this section the most is Phil's drumming. A sentence is carried out multible times and at the end of each sentence Collins performs a drummroll wich always ends half a beat too late, meaning that in one sentence Phil plays along measure, in the following he plays against it...I really like that one.

6. After the Ordeal - A piece from Hackett, yes? I tend to skip this one if I don't plan to listen to the album as a whole. This instrumental does have it's beautiful moments, but at times it's a piece of crap. The music doesn't seem to go in any certain direction and it's just a mix of some ideas from Hackett put together in a negligent manner. Of course that's only what I think. No, actually I think it's an OK track - a pleasant filler.

7. Cinema Show - The track begins with a beautiful 12-stringer intro wich gives hope for a very good song. And then Gabriel starts singing with a very soft and moving tone. Very romantic...No wonder - it's about Romeo and Juliet. More beauty is added by Gabriel's almost unnoticeable flute. The music then progresses to the chorus of the song wich is taken to a more intensive level while still keeping the sweetness. After that the listener is presented with a guitar section quite reminicient to one in Genesis' "Supper's Ready". Here Gabriel and Collins pick up a little tune singing, wich only adds more loveliness to the song. Then the music progresses to the chorus again. The second chorus is followed by a typical long instrumental section where Banks performs an extended keyboard solo wich finally with a variation of Hackett's riff in the opening song.

8. Aisle of Plenty - This track could be considered as the sequel to the first track. The track is mostly Hackett's now familiar riff repeated over and over again. Gabriel sings a couple of verses and then starts to make odd yodeling noises layered on one another, while the song gently fades away...

Report this review (#82090)
Posted Tuesday, June 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is definitely a masterpiece.

IMO there's no weak track on this album, they all end up to add pretty well to the overall sound. The starter, dancing with the moonlit knight opens the album with the sweet and sometimes funny voice of peter gabriel, being followed by sweet keyboards, an excellent riff and that great tapping style that is very "hackettish". I know what I like may be considered one of the weak tracks, but the singing and that catchy tune are just too good! Firth of Fifth, with the excellent piano intro and excellent lyrics is definitely one of my fav's on the album. More fool me is a nice acoustic track that I like very much even though these guys' talent is not fully appreciated on it. The battle of epping forest reminds me of a middle earth battle but with happy and joyful warriors. funny lyrics and great music. After the ordeal..... excellent! a great instrumental track that combines piano and acoustic guitar in a great way. The cinema show is also one of my favorites. it's a nice melody, gabriel's voice can be appreciated here in one of its "specially emotive" moments. finally aisle of plenty, sort of a dancing with the moonlit knight reprise is a good way to close the album. This is a masterpiece of prog even though it took me several listens before i could fully appreciate it. peace out!

Report this review (#82150)
Posted Wednesday, June 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars A rising force in progressive rock, Genesis' increasing international popularity seems to have caused something of a nationalistic crisis for Peter Gabriel and his band of talented, experimental musicians. Taking their album title from a contemporary slogan of the Labour party, Genesis' focus here is largely, consciously on auld Blighty, a year before Gabriel penned the lyrics to the band's New York-set concept album 'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway' and gave in to the US audience after all.

'Selling England By the Pound' is perhaps Genesis' technical and creative peak, as well as their most commercially successful album of their early seventies output under Gabriel, before Phil Collins turned the band into a bland pop group. 'Selling England' features impressive guitar work from Steve Hackett, the distinctive style of which had a clear influence upon English heavy metal bands of the eighties, especially Iron Maiden. Tony Banks' keyboards are also fully fleshed out for the first time, after a trial period on the previous album 'Foxtrot.' This combination of melodic guitar and synthesiser creates a soothing, harmonious, proggy pastoral sound that lasts almost throughout, exempting the album's two less technical, poppy offerings.

Unusually long for the early seventies at 50 minutes, the album (almost) alternates between lengthy, near-epic songs and shorter, less complex pieces. The exception is 'After the Ordeal,' which is a seamless instrumental conclusion to its previous track. This structure works to satiate the two strands of Genesis fans; those who enjoy the pleasant, tender sound of their simpler, shorter songs. and prog fans. 'Selling England' satisfies both.

The pseudo-title track (in that the album title forms the chorus), 'Dancing With the Moonlit Knight' is a guitar-heavy piece that begins relaxed and a cappella, Gabriel fulfilling the role of the satirical travelling minstrel, and evolves into a speedy rock number. Along with 'Firth of Fifth,' this perfectly showcases the strength of the Hackett/Banks sound, and is extremely progressive in its shifting structure. The lyrics bemoan the capitalist society that England has become, and are thus still relevant today (the exception perhaps being the Wimpy reference). 'Firth of Fifth' remained part of the band's live repertoire for a considerable time, and is a classic song for keyboard fans, starting off with a simple piano hook and developing into engulfing ambience.

'I Know What I Like' and 'More Fool Me' are the album's attempt at pop music, and work fairly well. 'I Know What I Like' is the more successful and impressive of the two by far, the latter being an early, disappointing chance for drummer Phil Collins to handle vocals. 'I Know What I Like' is a lyrical improvisation upon the album cover, depicting mowers, and Gabriel's vocals in the chorus sound quite powerful, even despite issues with the album's production.

The second side of the album, on the original vinyl, is dominated by Gabriel's dramatic re-telling of an incident of London's East End gang warfare in 'The Battle of Epping Forest,' but the concept isn't stretched to the extent of the over-rated 'Supper's Ready' on the previous Genesis album. 'Epping Forest' and 'After the Ordeal,' an instrumental in the same vein, are the only point on this excellent album that the band's ambition perhaps overtakes their talent. The lyrics are nicely unusual, but the dramatisation and mock-acting of the vocals strives to construct a mini rock opera in the space of fifteen minutes, and doesn't really succeed, similar to Roger Waters' less restrained moments in his late Pink Floyd work, notably the melodramatic climax of 'The Wall' album.

The final stand-out song on the album is the excellent 'Cinema Show,' a great piece structurally that's less lyrically intense and complex than its predecessors, the lyrics being more repetitive and secondary to the melodic rock foreground. The song drags on a little towards the end, but the vocal melodies work much better in the small doses here than previously, and are the album's most infectious - try to avoid joining in with the 'take a little trip back.' and 'like a maaaaan.' reprises. 'Aisle of Plenty' is an unimpressive climax and somewhat unnecessary call-back to the first track, though saying that, the subtle return of the 'Dancing With the Moonlit Knight' piano melody is welcome. The lyrics comprise predominantly of a shopping list in a continued lament of the death of community retailers under the rising force of supermarkets.

'Selling England' is very nearly a concept album, and can be taken as such for its running theme of the death of old England under the rise of capitalism. 'Can you tell me where my country lies?' Gabriel asks as the album begins, before attention turns to the rise of fast food restaurants ('you are what you eat - eat well') and consumer fashion ('you are what you wear - wear well'). Genesis' early albums strive to combine the high-tech and the classical, evident in Hackett and Banks' reproduction of traditional folk melodies on electronic instruments, and the subject matter often runs parallel. The notion of class and privilege is explored in 'I Know What I Like,' in which a labourer knows his place. 'Firth of Fifth' and 'The Cinema Show' belong only to their own internal ideas, the latter being a twentieth-century rewriting of Romeo and Juliet, apparently based on something from T. S. Eliot's 'The Waste Land.'

This is certainly Genesis' peak under Gabriel, but won't necessarily be enjoyed by fans of the band's later direction. Gabriel's swansong, 'The Lamb.', would follow a much different style, abandoning the lengthy instrumental experimentation in favour of shorter, story-centric pieces and overt focus on a bizarre concept and lyrics. The previous Genesis albums, especially 'Foxtrot' and 'Nursery Cryme,' sound in retrospect as if they strived to achieve what was finally recorded for 'Selling England By the Pound,' an album as scathingly or subtly satirical as the listener cares for, that significantly developed the sound of melodic guitars and synthesisers in prog rock.

Released in 1973 at prog's commercial and creative peak, Genesis' patriotic, classically-inspired rock symphonies act as a perfect companion to the spaced-out world-weariness of Pink Floyd, the trippy hippy harmony of Yes and the dark, jazzy, 'anti-Genesis' alternative Englishness of King Crimson.

Report this review (#82417)
Posted Sunday, July 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This Is The Greatest album period. Every song on this album is a masterpeice (except mabey more fool me) but its still a really good song and a good break in between Firth and Epping(which I also love btw). Genesis are masters of making music that is very climactic, Take Firth of Fifth for example: by droping back on all the instruments during the flute solo it makes the intro part(with all the instruments) sound so much more powerful and fills you with that Wow feeling, that Wow feeling that doesn't leave you throughout this entire 53 minutes of music. I'll stop there because mostly everything has already been said about this album.

I guess I'll have to give this album only 5 stars.... sigh

And Thank you Genesis for this Most Amazing collection of music.

Report this review (#84042)
Posted Tuesday, July 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I've been coming to this site for a while and have wanted to submit reviews, but never got around to it... until now. So this is my first review and what a way to start ! Simply put, this album has everything which prog is all about(or what it aspires to be, I suppose). At various times, it has been bouncing from 1 through 4 on the Top Prog albums chart- currently it is fourth, but in my humble opinion, it "represents" better than the three albums currently above it.

The Good: And there is much good(yea, even great about this album). "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" blew me away the first time I heard it. "Firft of Fifth" is the song I play for people whenever they ask "What is Progressive Rock ?" And the Keyboard solo on "The Cinema Show" shows why Banks and Genesis understood melody better than most of their contemporaries. "After the Ordeal" is a bittersweet instrumental number which never bores me.

The Bad: OK, "More Fool Me" isn't as bad a Collins ballad as some other reviewers have said. Still, it does seem to be an omen of things to come (ie. Follow You, Follow Me).

The Ugly: I've never really liked "The Battle of Epping Forest." I used to really, really hate it, but now I've made my peace with it after many, many listens in the hope I'd finally "get it." I still don't get it, but I tolerate it and can now listen to the album all the way through without skipping it.

In closing, SEBTP is a must have album if you want to have any sort of completeness to your progressive rock collection.

Report this review (#84532)
Posted Saturday, July 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Selling England by the Pound is my least favourite album from Genesis from their fist (and best) era.

Don't get me wrong, is a good album, but there is only one song that is exceptional and that's the opening track Dancing with the moonlit knight. This song is one of my favourites and it's probably one of the best prog songs of ever time.

The rest of the album is simply good music (Firth of the fifth, Battle of Epping forest, The cinema show), but this album has the first the best and the rest of it is somehow boring and not easy to listen to the end (at least for me).

This album is worth 3 and half stars. But I'm sure mopst prog fans will enjoy it.

Report this review (#84879)
Posted Thursday, July 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars I bought this, along with Foxtrot, to be greeted with a large bit of disappointment. Nursery Cryme, my first Genesis record, has many heavier rock sections contrasted with pastoral folk-like sections, which I loved. This and Foxtrot were almost soft-rock sounding, and generally far too bright for my taste. I will admit that I haven't listened to eirther record very many times, so maybe I should try 'em again. I just might change my mind, but it's not guaranteed.
Report this review (#85512)
Posted Thursday, August 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Considered by many fans to be the best album Genesis released, it is certainly a tour de force of wit, humour,pathos and general compositional brilliance. The sound on this album is much improved over the earlier albums, and listening to it is a rewarding experience aurally. No weak tracks here, the whole lot blends seamlessly together in an olmost effortless way. Probably the most notable thing on this album is Steve Hackett's emergence as a major player in the band. His guitar work is simply beautiful at times. However, he is matched by Tony Banks's magnificent keyboard work. From the opening unaccompanied vocal from Peter Gabriel, the music is just wonderful. 'Dancing With The Moonlit Knight' is so clever, subtle and melodic it is just ridiculous! 'I Know What I Like' is, of course, a classic. It was also a minor hit for the band. The off the wall lyrics are disturbing in a good way. And here Phil Collins lays down the definitive Genesis beat. 'Firth Of Fifth' continues the string of classic tracks, with the majestic keyboards of Tony Banks underlining the hoarse vocals of Gabriel. And, of course, it has the world famous guitar solo from Hackett. Simply a beautiful piece of guitar work, played almost like a violin. (Something Hackett often tried to do in the early days. He was always trying to make the guitar sound un-guitar like!) 'More Fool Me' is another outing for Phil on vocals, and is a simpler piece, with nice acoustic guitar backing his quite gentle vocals. He wasn't sounding here like Peter Gabriel at all! 'The Battle Of Epping Forest' is another classic. (Even my mum, who died in 1987 liked this track. She loved the lyrics!) Based on a gangland fight, it is amusing and has wonderful wordplay, with different voices and accents as required. (Basically, it is a continuation of songs like 'Harold The Barrel' and 'Get 'Em Out By Friday'.) Wonderful stuff! 'After The Ordeal' has long been known to be a Track Tony Banks doesn't much care for. But it is a fine instrumental, with nice piano, before Hackett's fine guitar sidewinds its way over the top. 'The Cinema Show' is yet another classic. Tony Banks shines here, with the sort of playing that dazzles without being overly showy. The ending is a real treat. Finally, 'Aisle Of Plenty' reprises part of the opening track, and has superb wordplay based on local supermarkets and their prices at the time. Nothing else to add really. Definitely a classic and worthy of five stars. Nevertheless, for me it is not their best album. That was coming up next...
Report this review (#85851)
Posted Saturday, August 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Selling England by the Pound- This is a magnificent album from one of the most famous prog bands of all time. I have to admit im not much of a fan of Genesis. I find their music to poppy and less instrumental than other prog bands, but this album is well done. Dancing with the Moonlit Knight is by far my favourite song on this album. It has so much energy and transitions from a medieval sounding intro to a hard rock mid section. I don't have much to say on this one as I don't listen to it all that much. But with my personal opinion aside it is still one of the best prog albums and deserves to be rated accordingly.
Report this review (#86516)
Posted Thursday, August 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars What a fantastic album! The songs are magical and the sound is very good.

Dancing with the moonlit knight: 9/10 --> A very beautiful song. The voice, guitar, mellotron is so good. The end of the song is long... but good.

I know what i like (in your wardrobe): 8/10 --> Funny commercial song. The chorus is cool.

Firth of fifth: 10/10 --> Wow, it's magical. If you remove one instrument, it doesn't work.

More fool me: 7/10 --> I don't listen often this song but the phil vocal is good and the 12-string guitar.

The battle of epping forest: 8/10 --> When i got the album, i don't listen this tune, only after 3 month. It's not a easy-listening tune but it's very good. The worst point it's there are too much vocal.

After the ordeal: 10/10 --> One of my favourite song of Genesis. I love it. The guitar and piano are very good together. Wow.

The cinema show: 10/10 --> Like all the Genesis fans, if you remove supper's ready, it's the best song of genesis. The intro with the guitar and the voice is superb. The instrumental and vocal part at 3:00 is magical and instrumental part at the end of the song is magical.

Aisle of plenty: 6/10 --> I don't listen it often, never. It's the same theme of dancing with... I prefer listen the fisrt track.

It's my second favourite album of Genesis after Foxtrot. It's very beautiful and magical.

Report this review (#87210)
Posted Monday, August 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars In spite of my exalted status as one third of the legendary Symphonic Prog team, I hadn't really got round to reviewing this album yet - perhaps because I thought I would just add some irrelevant information to the hundreds of mostly rave reviews already present on the site. However, even though I will readily admit to not being a big Genesis fan, "Selling England by the Pound" has ranked for years among my all-time favourite albums, so I think it's only fair for me to add my voice to this enthusiastic chorus.

Before gaining fame and fortune in their native Britain and in the rest of the world, Genesis were warmly welcomed and embraced by my homeland of Italy. Their elegant, sweeping, pastoral soundscapes instantly appealed to the optimistic, romantic side of the Italian temperament - much in the same way as Van Der Graaf Generator's left-field, skewed version of prog appealed to its darker, more introspective side - so that the band gained a strong following almost overnight. Peter Gabriel's strong theatrical bent was no stranger to this enormous success either: after all, Italy has one of the strongest theatrical traditions in the world, and could not fail to appreciate Gabriel's stage performances, as well as his unconventionally beautiful, deeply expressive vocals.

Although this statement will certainly earn me the disapproval of many Genesis longtime fans, I've always found this album to be the band's only real masterpiece - having admittedly never been able to get into its predecessor, the equally idolised "Foxtrot". However, in much the same way as ELP's monumental "Brain Salad Surgery", SEbtP is a sort of flawed masterpiece: intensely moving and powerful, with peaks of utter brilliance, but not perfect in the true sense of the word. As a matter of fact, not all its tracks are equally successful, the nadir being reached with the somewhat slushy ballad "More Fool Me" (the song prog fans love to hate, possibly because it is sung by bete noire Phil Collins - a case of the shape of things to come?).

On the other hand, the highlights of this record can easily be numbered among the few real landmarks of Seventies prog, those tracks no self-respecting fan of the genre should miss: this being the case of opener "Dancing With the Moonlight Knight" (my personal favourite), spectacular keyboard-fest "Firth of Fifth", and epic "The Cinema Show" with its instrumental coda, "Aisle of Plenty". The other songs range from the quirky yet pleasant ("I Know What I Like") to the slightly ponderous (lengthy, keyboard-driven "The Battle of Epping Forest"), to the disposable (the aforementioned "More Fool Me"). Instrumental "After the Ordeal" is rather laid-back and easy on the ear, unlike sweeping, tempestuous album closer "Aisle of Plenty", which in its final section reprises the main theme of "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight", having the album (a concept of sorts, though not explicitly so) come full circle.

The three standout tracks are as different as they come. "Dancing...", opened by an almost legendary accapella Gabriel vocal that can give the listener goosebumps, is somewhat brooding, darker and heavier than the other songs, with its subtle indictment of Britain's consumer society. In my very humble opinion, this is possibly Gabriel's finest hour as a vocalist. Majestic "Firth of Fifth" features jaw-dropping performances by both Tony Banks (the piano intro is particularly beautiful) and Steve Hackett - his dazzling solo being rightfully considered a yardstick for prog guitar playing. Banks gets another opportunity to shine on "The Cinema Show", a gentle, erudite piece ispired by an episode of T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" (another favourite of mine, literature buff that I am). It gathers momentum in the instrumental section called "Aisle of Plenty", culminating with an another impassioned Gabriel vocal fading away into nothing.

Report this review (#87683)
Posted Saturday, August 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4.5 really! This is an amazing album. Some would call it a masterpiece. I wouldn't, although it contains some of their best work. Unfortunetly it has som fillers. Obviously the highlights are "Dancing With The Moonlit knight", "Firth of Fifth" and "The Cinema Show". These three songs would probably rate among the 5 best songs of Genesis' career, and "Firth of Fifth" is probably my favorite song of all time! (at the moment). Then there are the mediocre tracks, "More Fool Me" and "The Battle Of Epping Forest", that spoil the chance, of making this album a masterpiece. It does definetly remain a classic album though. No matter how hard they tried, they would never achieve, the same status "Foxtrot" had.
Report this review (#87739)
Posted Sunday, August 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
Crossover / Prog Metal Teams
5 stars After having listened, enjoyed and loved Nursery Cryme, I wanted more so I bought Selling England By the Pound. Another masterpiece in my humble opinion, one of my favourite progressive rock albums. You 've got to be overpretentious not to be able to enjoy this album. Dancing with the Moonlit Knight is a prog-rock masterpiece, brilliantly performed by all members of the band (a collective effort); I Know What Like is a moreaccessible song - nice keyboards and flute on this one. Firth of Filth is the second masterpiece, clearly a collectiveeffort like the album opener - great guitar work, awesome piano and keyboards, very good drumming and last but not least great vocals and amazing flute playing (IMHO). More Fool Me is a short track, performed with acoustic guitars and vocals from Phil Collins. I've never considered this song as disposable or filler, it's quite an enjoyable song. The Battle of Epping Forest is indeed a bit too long - I personally enjoy it because I like the keyboards. I agree to the idea that more guitar would have made the song even better. After the Ordeal is a great instrumental, with an amazing (musical) interaction between Banks and Hackett. Another favourite of mine is the Cinema Show - outstanding keyboards work from Tony Banks. Aisle of Plenty is kind of a conclusion being a reprise of Dancing with the Moonlit Knight. All these being said, I warmly and highly recommend this album to all prog-rock listeners/fans; this album is a Must Have to any progressive rock collection.
Report this review (#87742)
Posted Sunday, August 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is without doubt the greatest prog album ever made. I was only 14 when it was released in 73. I was astounded when I first heard this album in 1973 - I didn't know music like this existed, as all my peers were listenig to all of the glam stuff. I cant understand those who slate The Battle of Epping Forest, because this was the first Genesis track I ever heard, and I am still amazed by the complexity of the lyrics / music. This track is 7/8 with a crazy tempo... Listen to the "it all began when..." section in the middle. Everyone still seems to rate the greenshields stamps higher than the 'Forest', but I don't get it. Epping Forest & the picture show are clearly the ones to go for!! I started listening to Genesis in 1973 and became a huge fan, who's interest was destroyed by the los of Gabriel. When he left, I lost interest!!

My rating of the most important Genesis albums is:

1. Selling England...

2. The Lamb...

3. Foxtrot

4. Nursery Crime

There are no other Genesis albums of any interest...


Report this review (#87747)
Posted Sunday, August 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars What an album! A true masterpiece and Genesis at their best. This album displays a much lighter side of Genesis than shown in Trespass, Nursury Cryme, and even Foxtrot. It's like they sat around Peter with a newspaper and wrote what they read, thus creating political opuses poking fun at England's lost glory, the slothful youth, and gang wars. If I have to pick a favorite song, it is either "The Cinema Show", a beatiful piece featuring a 7/8 time signature with Tony Banks pouring his heart and soul into the keyboards or "Firth of Fifth", a greatly structured and complex song again featuring Tony Banks and the melodic guitar work of Steve Hackett. "Moonlit Knight" is just as amazing. "I Know What I Like" is a funny little complaint about lazy rich kids. "More Fool Me" is Phil being Phil. It is an wonderful accoustic piece, certainly worthy of being on the album. For some reason, Tony Banks does not care for "Epping Forest". He's way too critical, it is a great song. "After the Ordeal" is simply a great instrumental piece that you never hear about. Finally, "Aisle of Plenty" is a great end, reprising "Moonlit Knight". Wrapped up, this is pure brilliance. Truly, a masterpiece!
Report this review (#87748)
Posted Sunday, August 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is one of the best prog-cd's that were ever produced! GENESIS is here at its finest!

The bleak, sad, affecting mood is typical for GENESIS, as well as the very poetical lyrics which PETER GABRIEL not unfrequently let drift into absurdism, so the texts have something interesting and funny coeval. Also blazing for this great album are the great arrangements and of course the quasi perfect work on the instruments by each member of the band. But that's something we are used to by GENESIS.

From beautiful, medieval chant as you can find it in "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" to psychedelic sounds ("I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe"), from melodies that come to your heart ("Firth Of Fith", "The Battle Of Epping Forest" and "The Cinema Show" which may be the most outstanding song on this album, it nearly made me cry) to more catchy (but not cheesy) tunes like "More Fool Me" that is the only song which is chanted by PHIL COLLINS on SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND, you'll find them all on this awesome CD.

This CD is essential, progheads, I usually dare to give 5 stars to an album but this one really diserves it!

Report this review (#87765)
Posted Sunday, August 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The most recognized albums of Prog Rock Genesis and a widely acclaimed release. Many is willing to agree with the ratings I give this.

It begins with its first Highlight. "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" immediately explains the subject of the album and almost works as a summarize of the whole album. Next is "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)", the track that was inspired by the cover art of Betty Swanson and became their first hit single. The third track is "Firth of Fifth", on of Genesis best songs overall. "More Fool Me" is no doubt the weakest track. If something would have prevented me from giving this album five stars, it would have been this song. Luckily it doesn't destroy that much. Another weaker track is "The Battle of Epping Forest". It is not at all as weak as "More Fool Me" though and it seems as a quite essential part of the album plus it fits good with the subject. Last out are mu own two favourites, "After the ordeal" and "The Cinema Show". Wonderful, extraordinary, words cannot express...etc. I can keep going on using superlatives on these two tracks forever. After "The Cinema Show" comes a short piece of wordplays in "Aisle of Plenty". A reprise of "...Monlit Knight" and a good finale.

This album is really an album and not just a collection of songs. Everything - the sleeve cover, the lyrics and the melodies - fits with the subject of the downfall of british culture that this albums deals with. It makes for a complete package and therefore an even better album, despite its weaker tracks.

Report this review (#88838)
Posted Sunday, September 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Selling Enlgand by the Pound is the album that really got me listening to Genesis. This album sucks you in right from the start with Peter singing a cappella. Dancing With the Moonlit Knight is an amazing song that moves from a more classical sound to hard rock and ends with a haunting passage that sounds like a harp (maybe it is) among other instruments. Also, the lyrics grab your attention with lines like "Chewing on your wimpy dreams..." I don't know the exact meaning of this song (I've heard that it has something to do with the economic state of England at the time) but it seems in general to deal with materialism. The next song I Know What I Like is short, but just as good as the first song. This sounds more like a pop song, but still has a prog edge to it. The second time the chorus is sung, there is an instrument in the background that sounds amazing to me. I'm not sure what it is (sounds like a percussion that plays different tones). Firth of Fifth is without a doubt one of the best Genesis songs of all time. It starts out with Tony playing some powerful piano and moves into a sort of hard rock sound that is slower, almost regal sounding. Then there is a mind-blowing instrumental section starting out soft and building to one of the greatest guitar solos of all time by Steve. The song ends by reprising the first part and then fading out with the same piano. Beautiful.

Now, I think that More Fool Me is where the album becomes a little weak. Compared to the first three songs, this one is kind of a let down. Next is The Battle of Epping Forest which is good but not my cup of tea. I don't care for all of the character voices that Peter does here. It is too over the top and doesn't work here as it did in Return of the Giant Hogweed. Plus, it seems that the instruments are not featured as well as they are in other songs on the album. So, I would say, skip past More Fool Me and Battle of Epping Forest.

The instrumental track After the Ordeal is my favorite instrumental of all time. It is beautiful, moving, and uplifting. It features some great guitar work from Steve, who implements both classical guitar in the first part and electric guitar in the second part. Next is another astounding track, The Cinema Show. The first part of the song has lyrics, while the second part is just instruments. I can't really explain what makes this a great song, just listen to it. Last is Aisle of Plenty that is a reprise of Dancing with the Moonlit Knight. This caps off the album and gives it a sense of closure. The album ends with prices for various goods being called out by overlapping voices like in a market square. Again, I think this has to do with the theme of Dancing which has to do with England's economy at the time.

In closing, this is an amazing album that is without a doubt an essential album of progressive rock, even with the weaker tracks More Fool Me and Battle of Epping Forest. To me, the rest of the music is top-notch with strong lyrics and great performances from all band members. If you have never listened to this album, go get it NOW.

Report this review (#88931)
Posted Monday, September 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Selling England by The Pound isn't my favorite Genesis album (I prefer Foxtrot and Nursery Crime). Still I think it deserves a 5 star rating. Dancing with the moonlit knight has a nice intro by Peter Gabriel and the instrumental mid-part is very clever. Firth of Fifth piano intro by Tony Banks is superb and Cinema Show is... I don't know. This song is very complex and good, but it does'nt really works for me. To me, best song on the album is Aisle of Plenty (!) where Collins and Gabriel are singing two different things in a very dramatic way. This song is the perfect song to end an album (only better ending is Crime of The Century from Supertramp).
Report this review (#89722)
Posted Friday, September 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars So, this is the first review I've posted, and very likely nobody will read it since everone on the site has already reviewed this album, but here goes.

Selling England by the Pound is quite possibly my favorite progressive rock album. It was given to me by my best friend for my seventeenth birthday, and it was among the first prog albums I ever heard. I listen to it more frequently than any other album in my possession.

The album begins beautifully with Peter Gabriel's enduring question:"Can you tell me where my country lies?" and continues to get better. The first song, Dancing with the Moonlit Knight, is amazing. It begins quietly, but builds to an incredible climax. Even after it gets loud, it is still quite beautiful. I Know What I Like and More Fool Me are my two least favorite songs on the album, but they are both still quite good. Firth of Fifth is, of course, amazing. I love it when Peter Gabriel plays the flute. The Battle of Epping Forest is a great song as well. The final three songs, After the Ordeal, the Cinema Show, and Aisle of plenty flow seamlessly into one another; this is my favorite part of the album. The opening piano on After the Ordeal gives me chills every single time I hear it.

This is a completely essential album for any progressive rock fan, and I give it five stars unhesitatingly.

Report this review (#89730)
Posted Friday, September 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars 'Nuff said! Pointless of me to say more and more and more of the same about this album so briefly : This album, although slightly imperfect, is about as close to perfection, at least to me! Almost every track is amongst the most moving tracks I've ever heard. from the medieval lyrical intro of Dancing until the beautiful Cinema Show, which shows the only parcel of hope in this whole album, never have I experienced such a perfect symbiose of political engagement, epic songwriting, theatrical performances and emotion in an album. A beautiful epitaph for the Britannia Of Olde...Truly a masterpiece for the ages
Report this review (#92768)
Posted Saturday, September 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars A major change for Genesis came on this concept album about not just the decline and fall, but after the decline and fall of The British Empire. No more tracks like "The Musical Box" and "The Knife," no mindbashingly heavy passages, no likeness to any of the hard rocking groups of the era such as Deep Purple and Uriah Heep. While I have brought Uriah Heep up I would say that this album to Genesis was what Demons and Wizards was to them. A mellowing process, a more mature and more relaxed sound that could draw you in with a welcoming benevolent manner instead of a "hit you over the head and clobber you" one. "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" is such a beautiful song, despite all the unrepressed sadness and melancholia in it. Britain would never be the great power it was again, and here Gabriel mourns the passing of old England to the depression that set in in the early 70s. I've always considered standing inside Whitehall with the Guards and singing the entire lyric (actually, I CAN), but they'd never get it. I cannot choose one album as the greatest thing Genesis recorded, that just would be impossible, but this one is up there. Sadly, this is the last Genesis album I could award 5 stars to, with the majority of their post Selling England work only making a "Good, but not essential." So, you all know what I'm getting at? The Decline And Fall Of Genesis post Gabriel! Actually, and I know this may offend some people, the rot was beginning to set in on The Lamb, but that would still get 4 stars as an "Excellent addition." This album is special, it is the last record they made when there was peace and cooperation in the group, and because of that a gentleness and heartbreaking tranquility is allowed to show in every track. "The Cinema Show" is a wondrous slice of epic melodic prog, and "The Battle Of Epping Forest" is both very funny and also very serious in a Ray Davies alike way. Gabriel reached his zenith as a lyric writer on Selling England By The Pound, and anyone who doubts that Genesis reached their peak as musicians has only to listen to Hackett's solo in "Firth Of Fifth" and the entire instrumental "After The Ordeal" which follow "Epping Forest." Every time I go to England there is a sorrow I find hard to repress, this album captures that, it also captures the fleeting moments of joy that that country can show to you. I think of special people, special places, special memories when I listen to this album. A crisp and pure Autumn day when the future didn't matter to me and all that did is the present turns into a crisp and pure Autumn day when I can see a better future ahead for myself, and mourn the tragedy that has befallen mankind. That kind of sentiment and those kinds of emotions are only brought about by the most impressive art and music there is. This is one of those rare occaisons of something even more than music in the form of a record album. An absolute masterpiece.
Report this review (#93282)
Posted Tuesday, October 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars As I write this, there are nearly 500 reviews of this album on this site, so to think I can really add anything substantial to what has already been said seems a little like hubris. Rather than dissect the album song-by-song, I'll simply say that anyone who truly appreciates good music needs to own this album. This is not like a great metal album, where some people who simply don't like metal would never appreciate it. This is simply great music, and anyone with an ear for quality songwriting will probably appreciate this album immensely. I first heard this album as a teenager, before I had any idea what "prog" was. I loved it then, and I love it now. Probably the best album recorded in the 1970's (though there's some heavy competition, of course), and certainly one of the ten best albums (in any genre) of all time.
Report this review (#93541)
Posted Thursday, October 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Selling England by the Pound is among the most revered progressive rock releases ever, from one of the most prestigious progressive rock bands. To describe it, one word would suffice. Majestic. The orchestral, sweeping, lush atmosphere to the album is unmistakable, with such a romantic disposition, an emotionally epic scale, and a truly majestic presentation. Despite the poor production, and the terrible sound quality (even on the re-master), Selling England by the Pound is utterly majestic, and absolutely essential.

Nothing on this album stands out to be as absolute magic, unlike Supper's Ready did on Foxtrot, but instead, this album stands as a whole, and is in its own rite magical. It took me many listens to fully appreciate More Fool Me, and The Battle of Epping Forest, but suddenly both clicked, and I realized that they simply require a serving of patience to go with them. But the rest of the album is shockingly good. The gorgeous guitar solo and flute lines of the epic Firth of Fifth, the energetic keyboard solos of Cinema Show, the constantly evolving Dancing With the Moonlit Knight, and the melancholic and serene ending Aisle of Plenty: all of it is grandiose.

In the end, the thing about this album that stays with you is not the outstanding skill of the musicians, not the compelling atmosphere, not the remarkable voice of Peter Gabriel, not the delicately meaningful lyrics, not the world that the music carves in the mind of the listener, not even the beautiful and inspired compositions. It is the epic, grandiose, symphonic, mighty, majestic edge that this music drives with. It is wholly unforgettable.

Report this review (#93639)
Posted Friday, October 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars The best that Genesis offered us, SEBTP incorporates great songwriting with their established talents. If an album was to be overrated in their prime this would be the best of them, overrated but still very good.

I'll be brutally honest here when I say that 'I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)' is my favorite Genesis song that they ever wrote. It's simple, effective, progressive, and a very worthy song. Tracks I have real problems with are 'Dancing with the Moonlit Knight' and 'Battle of Epping Forest'. Both are overdone, especially the latter, with lots of unnecessaries, which is maybe designed purposely to make Cinema Show look better, who knows. Cinema Show is a nice track, however, when I compare it to other Prog epics, as indeed this song is often lumped in with other epics, it just doesn't quite measure up.

The best place to go in search of Genesis material, SEBTP is a classic of symphonic prog, the best of the band and a foundation for the genre of Prog. This is also Gabriel's best vocal work.

Report this review (#94344)
Posted Thursday, October 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Collins haters might long lament "More Fool Me" for its pop stylings, and many a prog simplicist might decry "The Battle of Epping Forest" for its masturbatory wanderings, but if there's one sticking point for me, it is that, despite this album's few shortcomings, it is a work of art that both defines and transcends the formative decade from which it came. What we have here is a painting in motion -- one that at first blush might appear formless and pretentious but one whose superficial embellishments gradually give way to the strikingly simple brush strokes beneath. There's a reason why this album is still relevant. That's because there is a fundamental beauty here that is almost impossible to ignore. Are there testaments to the 1970s here? Of course. But just as the middle-aged father continues to spin this album because it still reminds him of his youth, the 26 year-old bachelor turns to it because it reminds him of something that he can't quite put his finger on.
Report this review (#94727)
Posted Monday, October 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is absolutely brilliant! There is not a dull moment and in my humble opinion is the best album Genesis has produced.

Some people think that this album in not deserving of a five star rating because of songs like More Fool Me and I know What I like not being up to the same standard as the others on the album. This may be true but the fact is the songs with the almost unsurpassed technical, melodic and rhythmic brilliance like Firth Of Fifth, Cinema Show and Dancing with the Moonlit Night are in a league of their own. Every song on this album is a gem: some are diamonds and some rubies, but all gems!

This is one of the defining symphonic prog albums by which others will always be compared. A true masterpiece.

Report this review (#95065)
Posted Thursday, October 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars One thing that could possibly be said about this... Brilliant!; I hate repeat all the things that had been said before here (that the only song here not worthy is More Fool Me; the majestic Firth Of Fifth solo; the beautiful climax on "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight"... etc.).

Many people think that the band didn't have virtuosism like Yes or Jethro Tull... They don't need to show it in solos.... they do it in composition: virtually every song on their catalog is rarely below interesting; their songs never tend to drag unlike some of Yes' work (Starship Trooper comes to mind), and if in fact they were mediocre in instrumentalism, I just don't hear how they could measure it... the execution on this album is impeccable; Collins was still the incredible drummer; Hackett with his precise calculated obbligato solos, Banks with his renewed interest in the grand piano, Rutherford's effective bass lines, and even with Peter Gabriel's strained vocals that fit perfectly with every song... I just can't imagine them being sang by another (not even Collins).... all led by superb arrangements and compositions (forgot to mention the tasteful lyrics by Gabriel), which were their forte in those days. I dare to say that "Battle Of Epping Forest" is one of the most amusing songs from their heydays, with Gabriel and his usual gimmicks, a very humorous arrangement and even bits of rap (in a very innovative way at the time); this time they relied on more pastoral soundscapes in contrast to the bombastic organ-mellotron lead "Foxtrot"; but the result is undeniably a work of art...

a well deserved 5 for this fine album.... I can imagine now how they lost their muse in the early 80's.... all the songwritting abilities were worn out excessively between this release and their previous "Foxtrot".

Report this review (#95302)
Posted Saturday, October 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Selling England By The Pound" by Genesis is one of the greatest masterpieces of the prog rock, that even the prog haters can deny it's uniqueness, and it's lyrical & musical power. While the Genesis fan club is always busy with the question "What is the best Genesis album?", the album have contained a mount of compliments from every possible way, and became a music milestone of modern progressive rock.

"Selling England" has two leaders: Peter Gabriel (lyrics) & Tony Banks (music). The other three - Collins, Hackett & Rutherford have contributed a lot to the final result: Steve Hackett added new guitar inserts, Mike Rutherford have enriched the acoustic flavor if the album, and Phil Collins even sang in one of the tracks (More Fool Me), but Peter Gabriel & Tony Banks are definitely the maestros of this orchestra. While Banks wrote here some of his best composings, Gabriel have given a big artistic capacity to the record with the smart & honed texts, that he built throughout the years. When the two learned to work together, the final piece have entered the world prog pantheon.

The first song in the album ("Dancing With The Moonlit Knight") is a Gabriellic lamentation on modern Britain, and the changes it passed in the 60's & the 70's. Gabriel, with his special voice, is using his high rhetorical abillity and his perfect english accent to criticize the turn of his country from a social welfare country to a capitalistic free-market country. The name of the album - "Selling England By The Pound" - is taken from one of the songs, when Gabriel took this line from the Labour party election campaign.

So we have smart lyrics & brittish texts on the one hand, but on the other - what's really good with "Selling England" is the fact that you can really be impressed from the album's quality without even understanding what it's really about. "Moonlit Knight" has some of Genesis' greatest moments: the musical structure is evolving in a progressive way, building heights and breaking them at the end - just like a simphonic poema or a suite; the record sounds incredible, aspecially in the "Remastered" version (which i've purchased some days ago). The great guitar work by Hackett emphasizes the Rock-N-Roll side by Genesis, but not forgoes the symphonic production, lead by Banks, a big fan of Bach.

A very important piece in the album is "Firth Of Fifth". (track no. 3) The piano solo act at the beginning can be written as one of the great achievements by him. It was so great, actually, that even Banks himself had difficulties of playing it live, and in some part he gave up. Although even Banks admitted the text of "Firth" it is very hard to understand (A poetic attempt to create a comparison between the flow of water in the river, to the flow of music, while dealing with the time dimension), the composing & the production are so accurate, that the text is almost marginal. The flute solo by Gabriel, escorted with a beautiful solo act by Hackett defines the greatness of "Firth" and early Genesis.

In conclusion, comparing to other Genesis albums, "SEBTP" is in high spot, mainly between 1 & 2. It is true that "Foxtrot" is a competitor, because of "Supper's Ready", but not all of the tracks there are special like these one. "Nursery Cryme" is also brilliant, without a doubt, but it's production can't really beat "Selling". "Selling England" is one of the best prog albums, that really have re-defined the genre and put high standarts, and it is unmissable till today. It is recommended to take a look at Gabriel's lyrics, and to enjoy the humor & irony of it, with the excellent music, rich polished productions that took the prog music to another level, and really influenced a generation of musicians. You can't get anymore Brittish & Prog than that. 5 stars.

Report this review (#96051)
Posted Saturday, October 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars What else can i really say, all 75% of you who gave this album a 5 star rating have done so well in rating this incredible piece of genious, well done! Being young, i am unaware of any lyrical meaning, i haved to tell it as it is im afraid, im not going to pretend i know what it all means, i love it purely for its musical brilliance.

Dancing with the moonlit knight: Unbeleivable guitar, just perfect, the way it is sang is just magical, mike rutherfords punchy bass is just great, plus tough drumming from phil, the end to the song is so amazingly emotional. 9/10

I know what i like (in your wardrobe): A cool song, really cool sound, reminds me of my family when they are drunk (dont ask me why) overall a good pop/prog song. 7.5/10

Firth of Fifth: Tony Banks is just magical, truly magical, his piano makes me weep, just stunning, then when the song comes in, with all instruments, this wall of atmospheric sound hits you like a boxer would hit his opponent, clean off your feet. 9/10

More Fool Me - Should of expanded more on this song, not too much though, its just a bit too boring in all honesty, but does an important job in breaking up the two big tracks. 6/10

The battle of epping forest - I said earlier that i knew nothing about lyrics, but you dont need to be einstein to know that these lyridcs are something quite amazing, the whole song is just fantastic in each department, tony banks with his amazing keyboard solo's, steve hackett with his fantastic guitar effects, mike rutherford with his punchy basslines, phil collins with his fast textured drumming and last but certainly not least, the front man gabriel, with my 2nd favourite vocal performance ever, (first being great gig in the sky by pink floyd). stunning! 10/10

After the ordeal - some stunning guitar work here from hackett, pure magic, need i say more? 8.5/10

The cinema show - some more amazing stuff from hackett, him and banks really worked there socks off here to pull off maybe the pinnacle track of the album, more superb dextrous drumming from phil and the bass once again is flawless, thanks to mr. rutherford. 10/10.

Ailse of plenty - A brief reprise of dancing with the moonlit knight, unecessary track, with starnge voicing effects that are in my opinion are silly, the weakest track, should of made a better effort with it. 4.5/10

thanx for listening love from mike xxxx

(if you feel you would like to contact me you can get my address from above thank you)

Report this review (#97546)
Posted Tuesday, November 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is an essential progressive rock album to have, despite a couple of flaws.

The overall sound has a somewhat chamber music feel to it, with acoustic guitars, some flutes, and oboes here and there, plus obvious classical influences throughout.

The Cinema Show is the song you need off of this album. I would argue that Aisle of Plenty should be tacked on to it as well. In case you haven't heard the song, it's a pretty quiet piece with acoustic guitars at first. It then leads into an odd time signature section of synth soloing for several minutes. This soloing is not just noodling over the same chord changes. There are new musical ideas as it goes along. Aisle of Plenty finishes it off and makes sense. There are some interesting vocal ideas in Aisle, and it is enjoyable on it's own if you won't edit your mp3s as I like to do.

The Battle of Epping Forest is my pick for next best song. Odd times, many different sounds, changing dynamics and high quality musicianship. It has to be one of the most difficult songs Genesis ever did. It ranks as a prog rock classic.

After The Ordeal is an instrumental piece. The beginning of this piece is very classical sounding. The second half seems to slow down with the drums and electric guitar added. Despite the slowdown, I consider the strong first half to be classic material.

The classics keep coming on this album. Firth of Fifth is a very easy song to like. The instrumental middle section is classic, once again. On this album Genesis have really developed their signature instrumental sound, which they kept for several albums after this one.

Dancing With The Moonlit Knight comes in as my final classic choice off this album. Varying dynamics and lots of ideas in this one.

If you can avoid two songs on this album, they are I Know What I Like and More Fool Me. They are more simple style songs, if not poppy. I have never understood the success of I Know What I Like. I can honestly say it sounds like they recorded it in their garage. The singing is terrible, and the musical ideas are weak. I recall enjoying the live version on Seconds Out better.

Despite two weak songs, the album overall is a classic, it is 5 star all the way, and is essential for your collection.

Report this review (#97922)
Posted Thursday, November 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of the most beloved albums in the Genesis canon, so surely there's no need to add another review?

Let me just point out that, in my opinion, this is virtually a perfect album. It sounds considerably cleaner and more sophisticated than its predecessor, FOXTROT, but not TOO clean (which must be the main drawback of TRICK OF THE TAIL). And although Peter Gabriel's puns sound embarrassing at times, SELLING ENGLAND is full of unforgettable lines, declaimed with just the right amount of theatricality, e.g.:

- There's a fat old lady outside the saloon!

- 'I do my double-show quick", said Mick the Prick, fresh out the nick.

- When poor, 'twas salvation from door to door, but now, with a pin-up guru every week, it's Love, Peace & Truth Incorporated for all who seek...

There must have been a few punks who got annoyed when former English 'public school' (i.e. private school) boys tried to sound like 'East End Heroes' (especially since a few years after the release of SELLING ENGLAND, Ian Dury and Madness were to delight the public with authentic Cockney accents) but I, for one, will happily carry Gabriel's lyrics with me to the grave.

The most mysterious track on this album must be 'Cinema Show/Aisle of Plenty' - especially that beautiful passage where twelve-string guitars are paired with wordless vocals. A true controversy recently raged on this site when one prog-lover complained that 'Cinema Show' was spoiled (for him) by Gabriel's irreverent mention of a 'chocolate surprise'. Oh well, perhaps it will help to bear in mind that 'The Cinema Show' is a light-hearted parody of the dour love-affair described in T.S. Eliot's 'The Waste Land' (complete with obligatory references to the blind seer Tiresias). I simply adore the way Gabriel enunciates the words: 'With head held high and floral tie'...

And what other rock band would have ended their masterpiece so eerily, combining references to 'deadly nightshade' with a menacing recitation of bargains in a local supermarket?

Report this review (#98441)
Posted Sunday, November 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a great album, but overrated.

The musicians in the band weren't too great or talented, compared to some of their rivals. Hackett knew what he was doing, and had a unique and beautiful soaring guitar sound. But he couldn't match Howe. Gabriel had a obsession in personating characters, and turning a music album into some kind of play.. I don't think it comes across very well, just sounding amatuerish and annoying. A mediocre flautist, but he did use it to good effect. Ruthorford, an average bassist. Collins was the group's most talented, and he was a very tight drummer. Tony Banks is my favourite, his keyboard style is so satisfying and groovy you can't help but have an eargasm.

The music, however, is quite good. "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" is a essential peice of scorching progressive rock. I Know What I Like and More Fool Me are pretty bad, and set back the album from being a essential masterpeice, Epping Forest is average, The Cinema Show is beautiful but a bit too long, After the ordeal is nice, and Aisle of Plenty is pointless.

A good 4 star album, not the mind blowing album people make it out to be.

Report this review (#101412)
Posted Saturday, December 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Good album, but TOO overrated.

This is where my prog journey started, the first prog album I ever bought. Now I understand why, this is an easy listen, and because of it never up to the higher standards layed down by Yes and for example Van der Graaf Generator.

This album has a lot of good moments, like Dancing with the moonlith knight, firth of fifth and cinema show, however it also has it's share of weaker moments, like the ending of the first track and the start of Cinema show.

The weakest moment of all is the track "more fool me" a horrible track where Phill Collins is showcasing? his vocal abilities (not so good at the time, they would improve a lot after), why this track is on the album, is beyond me, but I guess all members wanted some contribution.

The album is pretty unbalanced with VERY good moments to horrible moments, I can't see why this is considered as such a masterpiece, we true progheads should be more interested in some more complex prog (obviously the reason this is so popular is that this is easy to listen).

3 stars, no more, maybe a bit less ;)

Report this review (#102057)
Posted Thursday, December 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Not much to add to what so many people have said about this album. It represents Genesis at pretty much the peak of their prog career. This and Lamb Lies Down are probably my personal favourites.

It's hard to believe this came out only the year after Foxtrot. The production is so much clearer and it just sounds more 'modern'. I don;t know whether it's the synths that Banks started using, or the richer bass sound that Mike Rutherford obtained. At least part of it is down to Steve Hackett though. Gone is the scratchy fuzz and in comes a wonderful rich guitar tone, best illustrated on Firth of Fifth.

And lyrically Peter Gabriel was on top form too. Battle of Epping Forest is a prime example. They could never match his humour and characterisation after he left.

And a word for Phil Collins too. I've always thought he was a great drummer, making the tempo and time signature shifts seems effortless. I can forgive him his solo outing on More Fool Me. Actually I don't mind the song.

I really can't believe I first heard this in 1973!

Report this review (#104240)
Posted Saturday, December 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I first discovered this LP at a friend's home (merci Patrick) a few weeks after his "birth" on the market (the album, not my friend). I felt immediately in love with "I Know What I Like" and "Firth of Fifth". A few days after this first experience, I purchased the vinyl album and it virtually did not leave my pick up for several weeks.

The opener "Dancing Out With the Moonlit Knight" is fantastic. The introductory vocal part is one of the most emotional of the Genesis repertoire. The exchange between Young man "You are what you eat" - Eat well" and Old man "You are what you wear" - Wear well" is quite bizarre. The musical section is bombastic and energetic. The first fave of mine from this great album .

Their first mini-hit, "I Know What I Like" is quite catchy and is quite love at first sight due to the beautiful melody. But I must say that you can get a bit bored by the song after hearing it on and on ... This song would probably have ranked higher in the charts if Genesis has accepted to perform it at Top Of The Pop (which they didn't). Still, it peaked at Nr. 21 in the UK charts.

It is not as simple as it sounds : there are a lot of characters acting here : Ethel, Jacob, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Farmer, and Miss Mort. Poppy, a nice pop song after all.

I have already mentioned in other "Genesis" reviews that I considered ""Firth of Fifth" one of my top three fave of the band. This song (almost 10 minutes) is wonderful : great piano intro (which was skipped during most of their live sets) and very good flute playing by Peter.

And what to say about Steve's guitar solo? It is one of most melodic solo I have ever heard : subtle, passionate, romantic and emotional : it could have lasted for ever. It is really one of the greatest moments in music history (all genres considered). Another highlight.

For the purpose of this review, I would consider the fourth track of side one as non -existing.

Side B opens with "The Battle of Epping Forest", a quite complex & long track with lots of vocals. I needed several hearings to enter into this scenario. (I was 15 and not very fluent in English at that time) but since lyrics were printed on the LP (Genesis was really a precursor for this as well), I finished to know it by heart (and I can tell you it is a difficult excercise).

So, Louise is the reverend hard to please? You're telling me ! The story is taken from a news story concerning two rival gangs fighting over East-End Protection rights. There are a lot of characters again here : Willy Wright, Little John, Georgie, Harold Demeure of course, William Wright, Mick the Prick, Liquid Len, Bethnal Green Butcher, Bob the Nob, Jones, Roy, Louise and the Reverend.

The story describes the fight between all these people and their gangs. The last two sentences are hilarous : "There's no one left alive - it must be a draw." "So the Blackcap Barons toss a coin to settle the score". I quite like this track, but it is probably one of the most difficult one to get into (together with "Get'em out by Friday" probably).

The instrumental "After the Ordeal" is a good transition track : ideal to calm down after such a "battle" and prepare the listener to another epic track : "Cinema Show".

This one will become a classic for their life shows, allowing Peter's narrative skills to submerge the audience with this sexually oriented love story (you know, Romeo & Juliet).

The instrumental section will influence lots of tracks to be produced later on by prog followers / clones (some of whom with great talent). While Steve's guitar was the highlight on "Firth", in this one the long instrumental section offers a fantastic cohesion between Tony, Mike and Phil who does a great drumming job.

"Aisle of Plenty" is the real closing part of "Dancing out with the Moonlit Knight" rather than being a track on his own.

With this album, Genesis definetely pleased all their fans. During their supporting tour, there was almost a riot after their Brussels show. While choosing the tracklist for the tour, the band decided that since it was a kind of theatric representation, there would no encores.

The crowd was so excited after the show that they were yelling for more than fifteen minutes after the lights went on refusing to leave the concert hall (Forest National). The police, mounted on horses had the hall evacuated after a long, long time.

At this stage, the band was discussing whether or not they should do an encore. Belgium was special to them. I mentioned in another review that their first concert abroad was in Brussels (in March 1971).Three were in favour, two not. I do not remember who though.

So, there was no encore. This story was published in the review of the concert, because, unfortunately I did not attend to this one in 1974. What I will soon do though is to attend the "Selling" tour performed by the tribute band "Musical Box". This is probably the best "Genesis" cover band.

Steve joined them once on stage at the Royal Albert Hall for an encore ("Firth" I think) and Phil did the same not so long ago in Montreux (on "It" from The Lamb" tour). If ever they are coming close to where you live, I recommend you to go and see them.

They are fabulous and will allow you to discover how "Genesis" was on stage for this tour. Five stars for these fifty minutes of pure happiness (pur bonheur). It is their first album to enter the US charts (Nr. 70, while it will reach Nr. 3 in the UK).

Report this review (#104886)
Posted Friday, December 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Selling England By The Pound deserves the praise placed upon it more than any other Genesis album. Like Ghost Rider, this is the only album from the band I would rate five stars, though every Gabriel era album except possibly Lamb would get a high four from me. The concept is dense but rewarding upon unveiling. It deals with the decline of the British Empire and its effect on the common man. However, unlike most concept albums, SEBtP seems to ignore the unifying thread and focus on strong individual works. Gabriel's lyrical genius is to sugercoat very serious and often depressing subject matter, much in the style of John Lennon's Imagine, but not as sweet. The Cinema Show is downright gorgeous. Every member shines on this disc. Peter Gabriel's vox take some getting used to, at least they did for me, being an operatic metal vocalist lover, but he fills the songs with his unique emotions and even melodrama in a way that simply cannot be bettered.

The only song on this album that is not perfect is "More Fool Me." Phil tries to steal the show but fails, though his drumming throughout should be shown to those think that he's a crappy artist (myself included until I learned he plyed drums so well instead of releasing bad pop albums). "Dancing" features more of Steve's pioneering use of tapping (first used in music on his solo on "The Musical Box") and Peter's lead in in haunting. "Firth of Fifth" is stunning, with Tony and Steve displaying their immense talents. "Battle of Epping Forest" didn't immediately click but I've come to love it. "After the Ordeal" is a bit poppy but still very enjoyable. "I Know What I Like" flaunts Peter's weirdness. "The Cinema Show" and the closer "Aisle of Plenty" are insanely good. Supper's Ready is the best Genesis song, but Cinema comes so close to snatching that title away. Tony shines but each member contributes to this stunner featuring some of Peter's best vocals.

The beauty of this record is how the songs seem to be a continuation (they should, it's a concept), but are so strikingly different. Tony, Mike, and Steve blend in with one another yet simultaneously craft their own melodies. Phil's drumming reversed my opinion of him, though I still can't stand his voice or his corruption of this band following Hackett's and Gabriel's departures. This album is a staple of prog rock, though "More Fool Me" keeps it from being flawless.

Grade: A

Report this review (#104950)
Posted Saturday, December 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars What can I add more? For me it's the best Genesis album. One of the best in prog rock. It's a very special lp for me because here is my favourite song of all times (although Pink Floyd is my favourite band) Dancing With The Moonlit Knight. A great track, shows what's best in progressive world. It's long, catchy with great melodies, great instrumental parts, great lyrics, great Hackett solo, GREAT!. I Know What I Like is weird. Dosen't sound much like Genesis song, but it's really enjoyable. Firth Of Fifth a great progressive composition. More Fool Me... let's skip that one. The Battle Of Epping Forest is a song which doesn't get straight to the head at first. But when it's in it's in:) After The Ordeal has a great melody. One of my favourite Genesis songs. The Cinema Show it's just fantastic. 11 minutes of MUSIC. That one is in the first 5 of the best Genesis songs. And at least Aisle Of Plenty. Closing section which brings back the melody from Dancing With The Moonlit Knight once again. 5 it is. You're not a real prog fan if you don't know this album.
Report this review (#104956)
Posted Saturday, December 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Can you tell me where my country lies?"

Is there a better opening line than that? Not in my world. When these words starts the first song, "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight", on Genesis second masterpiece ("Foxtrot" is the first one) "Selling England by the Pound", you know you are in for something special, something magical. The first time I heard this song I was knocked to the floor. I'd never heard anything that beautiful before. It was my first encounter with Genesis and I was trapped.

A short run through the tracks:

1. "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" Probably the best track on this album. The before mentioned intro, the vocals, the music, the lyrics. Everything is perfect! 5/5

2. "I Know What I Like (in Your Wardrobe)" This is a fun track, very cathcy! Love it! 5/5

3. "Firth of Fifth" Amazing piano work, and of course, Steve Hacketts amazing guitar solo. Another 5/5.

4. "More Fool of Me" The weakest track. A filler between the long numbers. Pretty catchy though. 3/5

5. "The Battle of Epping Forest" I love the lyrics to this one, and especially the reverend part. Gabriel shows what a genius he is! The music is outstanding too! 5/5

6. "After the Ordeal" A nice instrumental. Nothing less, nothing more. 4/5

7. "The Cinema Show" Great keyboards! Epic as hell! Fantastic! 5/5

8. "Aisle of Plenty" A nice closer, but I would like to see it fused together with "The Cinema Show" in one track instead, but nice tune anyway. 4/5

All in all: A masterpiece. Some flaws, but who hasn't? 5/5!

Report this review (#105362)
Posted Wednesday, January 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Okay, I suppose it's my turn to tackle this standard of prog-rock. At its root, my opinion of this album is defined by disappointment. Now that I've raised a few eyebrows, let me explain. Before buying this album, I had also bought and absorbed Trespass. I found the more organic (no pun intended) sound on Trespass inherently more appealing than Selling England's more synth-based sound. Note: Trespass is hardly synth-light; the synth just feels less prominent on the album than it does on Selling England.

Now that that's been said, I really can't penalize a great album on the grounds that I'm not crazy about the amount of synths used. This album is completely lacking of filler tracks. Dancing With the Moonlit Knight kicks the album off to a nice start. I Know What I Like is an amusing tune, if hardly a prog masterpiece. Firth of Fifth sees the album picking up steam. I suppose you could say that this is one of the band's early "hits", though given it's 9.5 minute length, I doubt it saw heavy radio play. It's merely one of the more recognized songs in their musical list. More Fool Me feels like a pop song (read: Beatles-esque pop, not Brittney Spears). It's quite the pretty piece, though as far as (relatively) short melodic pieces go, I prefer Trespass's Dusk. The Battle of Epping Forest is another of the great tune that earns the album its hype. After The Ordeal is a (again, relatively) short instrumental piece that really serves as the last few minutes of Battle of Epping Forest. I really have no memories of the song as a stand alone; however, the last 4 minutes or so of Battle of Epping Forest are quite nice ;). The Cinema Show was the track that sold me on this album, coincidentally the track that is posted on this site. In my opinion, it's the highlight of the album. Much like After the Ordeal, Aisle of Plenty is actually the last minute and a half of Cinema Show if you ask me. It's a nice closing to the album but definitely shouldn't stand alone.

Anyway, my initial instinct was to give the album only 4 stars, but as I was typing the review, I realized that the only bad thing I have to say about the album is that I liked Trespass better. You really can't go wrong with this album and really should already have it in your collection.

Report this review (#107439)
Posted Sunday, January 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well, this album of Genesis arrived at my hands as a result of Relayer of Yes, i gave bad critic him to Genesis by the trio that lamentably was made the trio more popular. In its principle which called to me the attention of this album was the Title, that I consider it very graceful. When I had the anger to listen to the disc and to leave of side my prejudices, it was enough revealer. I consider that this disc allowed me to accept the quality and the power of composition that they have. The virtuosity of Hackett in the guitar and not to forget to Tony Banks in the keyboard, the smooth and acute voice of Gabriel, good in aim until he himself Collins put its quota of creativity in this album. And it is very obvious that the most beautiful quality and force of Genesis s was during the 70' and this single disc could be eclipsed by Foxtrot, that by very graceful which it is Selling England later left a year to Foxtrot. They are really five stars and is one for each one of the members of Genesis.
Report this review (#108877)
Posted Thursday, January 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Today, after 20 years since the first time I placed this record on my turntable, I believe that not only this is the best progressive rock album recorded, but also one of the best music creations of the 20th Century. Mostly, I 'd like to give my rating rather than babble or start analyzing each song separately. This album is a masterpiece from cover to lyrics, from inspiration to performance and from instrumentation to production. The only part that is below the rest of the album's quality is "More fool me", but we can still say that it is just a short transition from one side to the other.
Report this review (#109757)
Posted Tuesday, January 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Quite likely the best classic era effort of genesis. Not for the first time, the band pulls together and makes a cohesive album with a 'sound' that pervades throughout, and yet, each track stands out on its own as an enjoyable peice of music. well, almost all. The album opener, 'Dancing With The Moonlit Knight', 'Firth of Fifth', and 'Cinema Show' all share the same format, generally beginning each peice a singing section, and then finishing off the peice with an incredible instrumental (although 'Dancing..' and 'Firth..' both return to the lyrics breifly at the end, like a 'coda'). 'More Fool Me' and 'I Know What I Like..' have structures more that of an average song. The latter was an excellent choice for the single; It's a shame that the band didn't want to appear on Top of the Pops to promote it. (but then again if i was in a highly respected progressive act i wouldn't really want to appear on a show with 'pop' in the title either) 'The Battle of Epping Forest', well. I just don't like it, personally, and for me it lets the whole album down. It might just have been one of those ideas that didn't work as well in practice as well as it was thought in planning. Fortunatly, the album as a whole still stands up strong despite of this. 'After the Ordeal', a well crafted and enjoyable instrumental, and 'Aisle of Plenty', (both serve to join together the gaps in the concept of the album, musically as well as lyrically) the repition of the musical motif ('Dancing..','Cinema Show', 'Aisle of Plenty') helps to remind people that the album is meant to be a whole peice. I say this because most people, i think, when listning to classic genesis, listen to the music the first time around, and the lyrics don't really pervade the conciousness until later listens (unless you make a point to, of course). This is when, i think, most people realise that this album is a masterpeice, as an entire new layer opens up to you. Not even in 'The Lamb..' does genesis make it very obvious when an album is meant to be a concept, so if you're not particularly literate, you can still enjoy the album even if you never reach that moment of clarity. So, as a summary, yes, this was a good album for me, and yes i do think it is a masterpeice, and yes i do wholeheartedly reccommend it. You may even like '..Epping..', for all i know. Its a good album because you can enjoy it over and over again, and not many albums can do that.

Report this review (#110171)
Posted Thursday, February 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Selling England By The Pound

Well, firstly, I don't really know how to review this album, because I just got it from my dad and it is my first Genesis album. So I listened to it and try to grab every aspect from the album, the emotion and musicianship of the artists also those little things that tickle your soul :P.

Just a little history about my father. He once said Genesis was at its best when they were still with Phil Collins, and Selling England By The Pound was their best album. As a younger generation of progressive rock, and because I was introduced to progressive rock through metal music (such as Dream Theater), I just listened to my father anything he told me. Well probably he is my main source to older progressive rock, such as Genesis, so when he said this is the best album, then I believe this is the best album.

For me, I generally look at an album from two main aspect, the emotion and the musicianship, or musical skills. Now when I listen to the songs in the album while closing my eyes, they are indeed a bunch of beautiful songs, there is no doubt about it. Every single song is a truly masterpiece, and I have chosen my favourite, which is the first track, Dancing With The Moonlit Knight. The song begins with Phil Collins' nice vocal tone, "Can you tell me where my country lies?", followed with also beautiful guitar and keyboard tone. I'm sitting here in my bedroom at 10 in the morning, looking through the window while listening to the song, what an amazing moment. Then the song progresses to the highest energy, "The Captain leads his dance right on through the night." What an amazing feeling. The final solo is pretty similar to Yes' Close To The Edge, with a beautiful nuance from the keyboard and rapid drum lines, yet the guitar lines provide a nice harmony.

I Know What I Like has more of an easy-listening tone, especially when it hits the "I know what I like, and I like what I know" line. This song has more mainstream aspect of Genesis. One thing that should be pointed is the bass lines throughout the song, very groovy and nice. Indeed, while the keyboard provides the nuance (again), the bass seems singing together with Collins, truly great. The song is also around 4 minutes, as I said before, more mainstream that the other songs.

The next track, Firth Of Fifth begins with a beautiful harmony from the keyboard, although the beat is quite fast. Then the vocal starts, which reminds me of something similar, and I am still trying to find what it is. At some point, I am like listening to Fish from Marillion. It is just me or what, I don't know, there is something similar between these two vocalists. The most interesting part, and also my favourite part is the instrumental part at around fourth minute, where all instruments got together with odd time signatures with a very significant tone from the keyboard. The drum is also worth hearing, because it offers an incredible feeling and virtuosity, just like the guitar.

More Fool Me really emphasizes the beauty of Collins' vocal sound. The track only contains his vocal and nice guitar sound at the back (maybe more, pardon me), but it is a really nice song with high emotion. Also a short song, only three minutes in length.

The Battle Of Epping Forest is more or less similar to Firth Of Fifth, with a somewhat fast beat. Also, the instrumental part of the song offers a nice virtuosity with also nice emotion. This track is also the longest song in the album, almost 12 minutes. When I look at this song, and compare it to other songs, Selling England By The Pound's songs are arranged in "long-short-long-short" songs, or maybe "more prog-more mainstream-more prog" arrangement. Then it is followed by a nice instrumental song, After The Ordeal. Simple, yet profound. That is how I describe this song.

Now comes another epic song, and more progressive song, The Cinema Show. I actually have heard this song before I bought this album. Guess who introduced it to me? Dream Theater. If you have heard Octavarium, the lyric contains, "day for nightmare cinema show me the way to get back home again". So when I bought the album and looked at this track, I thought, "aha! This is the song!". And without any doubt I know why Dream Theater included the name of this song into their lyrics, because it is a real masterpiece (just like each one of the songs), and ended with a cool outro instrumental as well. The virtuosity of each one of the personnel is undeniable. Then at the end we can hear the same theme as Dancing With The Moonlit Knight.

And just like last song, Aisle Of Plenty, it has a pretty similar theme as Dancing With The Moonlight Knight. I consider this is an ending song, because besides the fact that this is the last song, this short song seems to conclude everything in the album, by also returning to the same theme.

In conclusion, after a quite long review, I gave this album five stars, because of the emotion and the musicianship of the artists (goes back to my first words, just like the album). This is my first Genesis album so I don't know how to relate this album to other Genesis albums. However just by looking at this album, I now know that it was such as great band (at least in Phil Collins era, just like my father said).

Join the dance - Imoeng

Report this review (#110513)
Posted Friday, February 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The path is clear.

And it brought Genesis very far away, to the very top of prog excellence. Personally I prefer "Foxtrot" to this extraordinary effort, though the concept behind this one puts up a fight. Call it a tie in quality. Let's begin:

"Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" is a very nice song which I think runs of steam in the end... and simply fizzles out. As it stands, it's not until you hear its initial melody reprised in the album's last track, that you understand this is more like a prologue to this british-centered opus. Yet, I find this song too long.

"I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)": Hey, a pop song! Nice percussion, Phil. A simple, catchy tune.

"Firth of Fifth": whoa. The best Genesis song ever? Highly likely. What happens when you have a blistering piano opening, a majestic melody, a beautiful flute solo and an amazing keyboard solo, all in a row? You think "this is too good to be true, end this now before you ruin it!". Then Steve Hackett hits you in the head with one of the best guitar riffs in rock history, and afterwards the whole thing returns where it began, tying things up with a ribbon bow. Kneel before this prog anthem.

"More Fool Me": sweet, short one, foreshadowing Phil's ballads in the future, maybe. Very well placed after the Firth of Fifth monster, makes you catch breath before going on.

"The Battle of Epping Forest": a mini rock opera in the style of Foxtrot's "Get 'em out by Friday", with Peter assuming the roles of various characters. Hard to get into, but valuable in its ambition.

"After the Ordeal": Seems to be there to provide an epilogue to the battle in the previous song, but to me it's not a very special instrumental.

"The Cinema Show": The first half of the song is a very nice melody with myth-inspired lyrics, but it's not until the instrumental half of it kicks in that this song jumps to the status of "classic". Astounding drum work by Phil and one of the most emotional solos by Tony. And then it seamlessly segues into...

"Aisle of Plenty"... the reprise of the beginning of the first track, with lyrics filled with references to corporative Britain.

Two masterpieces in a row... what's in store for this band now? Well, a double album with a twisted story, of course!!! Bring on Rael!

Report this review (#112359)
Posted Friday, February 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This must be my favorite prog rock record. Not that I dig every single note played on this record, but even the weaker moments are very good. On the other hand the best moments are unsurpassed in this genre. Obviuosly the best songs are Firth of fifth and Dancing with the Moonlit Knight ..... both songs have superb instrumentation and I believe the guitar solo near the end of Firth of fifth is the best guitar part EVER. Peter Gabriel's vocals and the lyrics need no comment, it is very public that he is THE MAN here. The two longest cuts are also great, but unfortunately little more generic than those two first gems. Cinema Show reminds me of Supper's ready from previous Foxtrot album a lot, but is much mellower. The Battle of Epping Forest seems to be underrated in the eyes of critics and suprisingly even the band themselves. I think this song is really good and the vocal really dont distract me at all. Also More Fool Me is underated as well, it is a pop song, thats for sure, but a really nice one, the melody is lovely and Phil's singing as well. I Know What I Like has the disadvantage of being put in between the album's best tracks, so that's why I dont enjoy it as much, but still is very good, maybe too short.

Just a remark...I have this album on a vinyl and believe me, the sound is INCREDIBLE...exspecially the drums and the synths...really great LP.

Anyway, when considering the more melodic art rock (with King Crimson and ELP on the opposite side of the spectrum) it doesnt get better than this. Higly recommended.

Report this review (#113093)
Posted Thursday, February 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars All the album is rounded by a charming halo. From the cover to the songs is a pretty masterpiece. The best work like vocalist of Peter Gabriel, more than The Lamb Lies Down In Broadway. Great themes, like Dancing With The Moonlight Knight, Firth of Fifth, Cinema Show, etc. This album is to Genesis what Aqualung is to Jethro Tull, Fragile to Yes or Dark Side Of The Moon to Pink Floyd. No one prog rock listener can not have Selling England by the Pound. If you have not ĄĄBuy it now!!, you're in mortal danger ...
Report this review (#113225)
Posted Thursday, February 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Genesis finest hour?

I still remember the first time I have listened to "Dancing With The Moonlight Knight" on the radio. I was about fifteen and was my first contact with Genesis. I loved this band at that time. Well, I was a teenager and since that years, I had listened to many albums better than this one.

The first three tracks are excellent, and enough to justify the presence of this album in any prog collection. There are frequent changes in style and great instrumental sounds, especially guitar and keyboards, as many reviewers explained in this site. "Firth Of Fifth", is my favorite Genesis song. The music is simply astonishing, and after 4 minutes and 45 seconds, begins a section of about two minutes with one of the most wonderful tunes I ever listened to. The following two tracks ("More Fool Me" and "The Battle Of Epping Forest") are, at least in my opinion, far below the rest of the material. I really dislike this two songs and the reason why I can not give more than three stars to this album. "The Cinema Show" is really good but not enough to make me forget the two previous tracks.

I have something like twelve Genesis albums (vinyls, cassettes and cd's) and I can really assure that some of them are better than "Seling England By The Pound" though I find here two of their best songs.

In my opinion, "Seling England By The Pound" is an overrated album; nevertheless I recommend it to anyone who wants to get in touch with the music of Genesis.

Report this review (#115352)
Posted Friday, March 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's always hard to review album like this avoiding phrases like "what more can I say?" or "you know it better than me, don't you?". I gave myself a promise not to review the albums from Top 100 - there are so many OVERLOOKED Prog Beauties and I MUST NOT waste my time on universal truth - but man, this is GENESIS, my favouritest band, and I reviewed only 3 albums from them (including this one)!

OK, lets pretend that NOBODY EVER HEARD THIS ALBUM and this is my FIRST REVIEW ;) The album of GENESIS begins with "Dancing with the Moonlight Knight" - 8-min epic filled with emotional structural changes yet very melodical and enjoyable. "I know what I like" was chosen as a single (it's simple and whimsy) and it's pretty fun to watch live. "Firth of Fifth" is another epic, more ballad-like, with legendary piano intro and Hackett's solo in the middle. "More Fool Me" is the only weak track here - the cruel Phil shows his voice for the first time, the future creeps in..."The Battle of Epping Forest" (almost 12 minutes long) shows Gabriel's manner of changing voices for each character, and it's great. "After the Ordeal" is a wonderful instrumental piece, almost pastoral in atmosphere. "Cinema Show" begins like a ballad but later turns into powerful and melodical jam in 7/8. It closes with "Aisle of Plenty", reprise of "Dancing..." opening tune.

After all, highly recommended for fans of MARILLION, THE WATCH, RED SAND, IQ, CITIZEN CAIN, RAEL, SIMON SAYS and ANGLAGARD. A Must ;)

Report this review (#115355)
Posted Friday, March 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Because everyone here has read at least 50 reviews of this album, I'll try to make this as orginal as possible, and as detailed as possible, so I'll go song by song...

"Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" (9/10) From the opening gripper line that we all know so well, to the final culmination, this song keeps you gripped till the end. This is the band at their best: HACKETT experimenting with slide picking, BANKS as melodious as ever and PHIL and RUTHERFORD holding the rythm in the background. The middle of the song is definitely the highlght, as it culminates into a crescendo of guitar mellotron and organ only to descend back into tranquility towards the end.

" I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) " (6/10) Not a very serious song, it was definitely put there so that GABRIEL could voice his political opinions in the simplest way possible. It's a funny song, but that's about it. The sitar adds a nice touch, giving the song a (very limited) oriental feel. Simple drumming, simple melodies, mostly just a lyrical adventure.

"Firth of Fifth" (9.3/10) If it were up to me, I would rate this song the second best from GENESIS, very very close behind "Supper's Ready" (Apocalypse in 9/8 is why...). The song begins with a soft piano intro, progressively building and then suddenly ending, as GABRIEL enters. He sings for a while, and then the magic begins. There isan awesome crescendo starting with organ and mellotron then building and building until we get a full fledged orchestration experience for a couple of minutes. Then its HACKETT's turn as he enters with a lovely weeping melody on his guitar that leaves you with goosebumps. What a great song.

"More Fool Me" (2/10) This is just another filler, which really brings nothing to the album and is just overshadowed by the previous song. I usually skip it when I listen to the album, which I usually hate to do, but in this case, it is innevitable.

"the battle of Epping Forest" (7/10) Too long for the lack of melody and the overuse of vocals. After you later listen to cinema show you'll come to this song asking yourself if it's really worth listening to this song. It begins with an army drum roll then flows quite nicely into a vocal hurricane of GABRIEL experimenting with different tones, which is quite appreciable. But there aren't as many breaks as I would like to see: If you look at the sleeve, the lyrics for this song take up about a while page, so you can imagine theres very little room for musical explorations. Not bad, but not great.

"After The Ordeal " (8.5/10) This is the perfect follow-up from the previous song, as it is completely instrumental. The combination of piano and guitar is comparable to the most melodious songs of PFM or BANCO, flowing nicely until the percussive introduction, at which point the song basically becomes majestic. A good segway into the beautiful song which is to come.

"Cinema Show" (9.2/10) A masterpiece this one it: there is nothing wrong with this song, any way you look at it. The lyrics at the beginning are nice but the 6 minute instrumental that follows is the highlight. Amazing keyboard work from BANKS incorporating synths and organs in a marvelous medley of music beaty. There isn't really a point in describing the music here, because it cannot be put into words, it must be heard.

"Aisle Of Plenty " (4/10) A reprise of dancing with the moonlight knight, not really necessary, but enjoyable. Slightly dissapointing as an ending to this album, it would have been more intelligent to end with the previous track.

OVERALL: I'll give this album a generous 4.3/5 stars only because there are 4 highlights out of 7 tracks.

Enjoy your listen, its worth it

Report this review (#116093)
Posted Friday, March 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars A timely 1973 concept album charting the fall of the once-mighty British Empire, making use of a variety of powerful metaphors. That GENESIS were able to communicate this with subtlety and style spoke volumes for their growing confidence. This is how a concept album should work: without the over-laboured excess of 'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway' or the poorly-expressed convolutions of DREAM THEATER'S 'Scenes from a Memory.' Sheer magnificence of concept.

This album is not perfect, however. I find myself irritated beyond measure by 'The Battle of Epping Forest'. Yes, let the Charterhouse boys pontificate about the decay of the upper classes. But I can tell you that almost every sentiment they present about the working classes rings false. Hyperbole, yes, I know. But not eleven minutes of it. I've been beaten by a chain, and it's not all alliteration, let me tell you.

That said, there are moments of true beauty. The daring they show in starting with GABRIEL'S unaccompanied vocal lets us know something great is to follow. 'Dancing With The Moonlit Knight' is a magnificent song, overshadowed only by 'Firth of Fifth' and its oft-mentioned instrumental section. No virtuosity here: GENESIS did what I wish more bands would do - let the songwriting speak for itself, without instrumental over-embellishment. 'After the Ordeal' is a cruelly underrated instrumental piece, providing a breathing space necessary, well, after the ordeal of the previous track. And what an achingly melancholic ending GENESIS have contrived: 'Aisle of Plenty' brings the record to a perfect conclusion.

A couple more things to think about. Production here is so much better than 1972's superior 'Foxtrot'. And, speaking of that album, there's nothing as superb as 'Supper's Ready' here. This was not GENESIS at their best musically. Both 'Foxtrot' and 'A Trick of the Tail' contain better music, in my view. But they never approached this level of insight again.

An important milestone in the history of music.

Report this review (#116373)
Posted Sunday, March 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars As i've attended the Musical Box tribute to "Selling England..." yesterday, i feel it's time to add my stone to the monument! Here is my personal all-time greatest one. Accurately enough, or so it seems, the sole failure of yesterdays faithfull rendition of the concert -and of the wholre album minus "After the Ordeal", was and remains on the record "The Battle of Epping Forest". I like the different characters Gabriel played, i love the "here comes the cavalry..." segments, but then it just seems to long and at time the only part of the album where Genesis haven't reached the nicest balance of their sound under Gabriel's reign as it is otherwise the case for SEBTP.

Does a record can begin and close in a much nicer way than Gabriel's sole voice on "Dancin with the Moonlit knight, and the coda of the end? The medieval inspiration, the pristine acoustic guitars, the dynamic instrumental section and the floating conclusion make of the first one of the most powerful "unsung classic song" of the prog repertoire. After the idiosyncrasic guilty pleasure of "I know what i like" , you go to the great piano overture of Firth of fifth, the fiery keybord flight, and the most sensitive and emotional guitar solo i've esperienced, excuses to mrs Gilmour and Latimer. The Collins singin' interlude and the underrated "After the ordeal" set the table for the greatest song (if not piece of music) of the greatest record of my personal listening experience. These acoustic guitars and vocals harmonies (ni nan na nan, nan na nan na nan... well excuse me here i go again...) letting place to the dual conversation between Collins and Banks, how many times in my life!

To me,never has Gabriel sung and wrote lyrics better than this; this is also the record where Steve Hackett acquired his status, and the one on which i realized all the importance of Michael Rutherford in the overall sound of the band. Their last record as a band under this incarnation and their crowning achievment. The "tossing of the score" at Epping forest can't prevent me to give the highest rate. As for the Musical Box tribute by the way.

Report this review (#116396)
Posted Monday, March 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars For me the best Genesis album slightly above Foxtrot. This album is more mellodic than the previous ones. ĻDancing with the Moonlit KnightĻ opens the album and what a beatifull song it is, one of my favorites Genesis tracks, awesome vocals by Peter and Tony Banks is just superb (as in the rest of the album). Then comes ĻI Know What I Like (in Your Wardrobe)Ļ when i first heard this album i didnīt like this song but with time it really grew on me. Track three is ĻFirth of FifthĻ and the only thing i am going to say about this song is that it is perfect, just perfect. Phil Collins comes in track four to do what he does best BUT his attempt to destroy the album fails since Peter Gabriel steps out with ĻThe Battle of Epping ForestĻ , this is a complex song in which Gabrielīs experiment with different voices and this is a good example to see the creative diference between Gabriel and Collins (when comparing this song with the previous one). Track six is just wow, Hacket at itīs best. Then comes ĻThe Cinema ShowĻ i think there are no words to describe this song, it is just perfect (another one!) And well the album closes beatiful with ĻAisle of PlentyĻ

An album full of all time classics, every song with the exception of Collinīs ĻMore Fool MeĻ is this album is not just a Masterpiece of Progressive Rock, this album defines Progressive Rock.

Report this review (#116913)
Posted Friday, March 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars What can be said about one of the greatest prog albums ever issued by one of the greatest prog bands ever? Selling England by the Pound is the pinnacle of Genesis prog career and with good reason.

"Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" is one of the most thoughtful and beautiful passages ever composed by any band. Exquisite piano follows a solitary opening and a wonderful guitar part by Hackett. "you know what you are, you don't give a damn." The song follows many passages of moods from melancholy to anger and the music follows with tremendous arrangement. "you know the deck is uneven right from the start" summing up the state of affairs in England and the social inequalities inherent..

"I Know What I Like" is another classic song with the wonderful "cuckoo to you" verse, and all things very British might I add. Great percussion in the breaks from Mr Collins...and such great lines as "gambling only pays when your winning" hmmmm..

"Firth of Fifth" is truly a beautiful song drenched in heavy organ that opens into a soaring Hackett guitar solo at about the six minute mark taking the song to new heights. One of the most memorable three minute pieces follow as the band is able to take it down and back up again as the solo leads the listener on a marvelous musical adventure.

Of course the epic "Battle of Epping Forest" runs over eleven minutes in length resulting from a news story about rival gangs fighting over east end protection rights.the songs finish is with everyone dead and a coin toss to decide the winner. In between the band takes the listener in and out of a narrative with typical tongue in cheek humor and all the instruments in exactly the right places,

"Cinema Show" with soft beauty and rich instrumentation tells the story of anticipation of two lovers being taken back in time by a man who has crossed between poles.there is no mystery.more earth than sea.wonderful keyboards fill this mood driven song's middle and it clocks in at over eleven minutes.

All told not a weak moment on this five star essential prog album, a tremendous band at the peak of their musical creativity.

Report this review (#118754)
Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars With songs like Dancing With The Moonlit Night, The Battle Of Epping Forest, I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) and the masterpiece FIRTH OF FIFTH, how couldn't this album deserve 5 stars? Wow! Refined arrangements, subtle irony, perfect vocals, faultless interweaving between music and melody are some of the features of this milestone. This is progressive perfection at all levels. Every progressive fan must have this album!
Report this review (#122874)
Posted Sunday, May 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Definitely my favorite Genesis album. Oddly, there are a couple of songs on the album that I do not care for all that much... More Fool Me especially. The strength of Firth of Fifth and Cinema Show far outweighs the weakness of some of the "lesser" songs.

SEBTP was one of my first "prog" purchases, and it's funny how long it took me to really get into it. Now I find it's a record I tend to go back to every so often just because I "need" to. There's just something about the piano intro to FoF going right into the first chords of the second part of the song that I just have to hear really loud sometimes.

Report this review (#122902)
Posted Sunday, May 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I am only a lawn mower, you can tell me by the way I walk!

The ultimate progressive music album Period! There is nothing this album dosent have to offer. In fact its so progressive, non prog lovers dont even understand it! I own well over 50 prog album (and I'm only fifteen), and I must say that if you want progressive music, you want selling england by the pound!

Every song is a masterpiece portrait hanging in the gallery of Prog. From the commercially acceptable Dancing with the moonlit night and I know what I like, To the classic prog anthems of Firth of fifth and the cinema show. All the musicians are at there best, Tony has discovered synthesizers, Phil's drumming is tight, Steves guitar work is at it's peak, and Gabriels voice, lyrics, and even his Flute are at the top of his talents.

If I were thrown in a deep pit with a stereo and an album of choice, I would choose Selling england by the pound!

Report this review (#124178)
Posted Friday, June 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
5 stars Perhaps the greatest Prog album ever recorded. It's in my top three of all time with "Permanent Waves" and "Dark Side Of The Moon".

"Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" starts off with Gabriel singing all by himself, the instruments are silent. "Can you tell me where my country lies ? Said the unifaun to his true love's eyes...". That is so emotional. Acoustic guitar and piano follow then the mellotron floods in as the song kicks in. Check out the guitar playing of Hackett on this tune ! Things becomes quite pastoral 6 minutes in to the end of the song. "I Know What I Like (in your wardrobe)" was the single released from this album. For me the vocals really steal the show here. Gabriel speaks the words, he also sings the words, and he offers up some vocal melodies too. Some odd metered drumming from Collins as well. "Firth of Fifth" opens with perhaps the greatest piano melody I have ever heard. Gabriel's incredible vocals come in,and the vocal melody before 3 minutes is so emotional. We get a flute melody from Gabriel, a synth solo from Banks, and a dark, haunting, melancholic guitar solo from Hackett as the mellotron flows. The band actually had purchased a new mellotron just before this recording. It's fitting the song would end as it began with some beautiful piano melodies.

"More Fool Me" has mellow verses with fragile vocals from Collins while the chorus is more uptempo with strummed guitar. "The Battle of Epping Forest" is such a journey ! Marching band-like drums and mellotron to open.The vocals from Gabriel are brilliant as he plays different parts.There is a couple of occasions that THE BEATLES came to mind. Synths are fantastic 9 minutes in. This is just an amazing tune. "After The Ordeal" is a beautiful instrumental. "The Cinema Show" opens with 12 string guitar soon to be joined by vocals. The song brightens 2 minutes in. The sound is so delicate and intricate with these textures and shades drawing our attention. It's all too much to listen to just once. There is a vocal melody 4 minutes in that is like listening to sunshine. 6 minutes in the mood changes as we eventually hear Bank's pulsating keys and mellotron. "Aisle Of Plenty" is only a minute and a half long, but it makes you want to start the record all over again because it is sort of like a reprise of "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight".The mellotron is at it's most glorious on this song, and that is saying something because there is a lot of mellotron on this masterpiece.

And speaking of masterpieces, this is album one of the greatest ever.

Report this review (#124698)
Posted Tuesday, June 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is the clearest snapshot of the strange balance Peter Gabriel found in those days between Victorian acid fantasy and contemporary absurdity, with a title ripped from a Labor Party slogan nestled in a track casted by moonlit Knights and unifauns. But where Gabriel's hoarse yet beautiful ramblings are very much 1973, the band fires on all cylinders and creates a timeless panorama of organ, mellotron, and guitar. Banks, Hackett, Rutherford, and Collins, after a couple albums of finding their sound, had coalesced into an accomplished and cohesive recording unit. After Gabriel's strident a capella introduction (obviously not having learned his lesson from "Looking for Someone") the band gives "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" an ebb and flow highlighted by Hackett's innovative and melodic tapping solo. "I know What I Like," the band's first (minor) success in the singles market is a psychedelic spin on a British Invasion vintage descending appreggio describing the scene on the cover painting. After Gabriel's deadpan explanation "I'm just a lawnmower/you can tell me by the way I walk" the band goes into a flute tag that would be stretched into a showstopping jam in their quartet period. The Banks penned "Firth of Fifth," though desecrated with the most banal lyrics of his career is a compositional masterpiece nimble piano work and a jagged synthesizer solo. But once again the highlight is a masterfully fluid Hackett solo that packs more emotion in one minute than many guitarists can in a lifetime. After the gentle and plaintive folk tune "More Fool Me" in which Phil Collins gives a genuine and beautiful reading, the band returns to the epics with "The Battle of Epping Forest," a halfbaked collection of bits and parts which never fully comes together in 11 minutes of gangsters and protection rackets. The bittersweet and earthy instrumental "After the Ordeal" is next, which moves from an acoustic duel of guitar and piano to a weepy guitar outro. The album's key track is "The Cinema Show" a song almost otherworldly in its beauty, as the synthesizer solo becomes solemnly quiet over Collins gentle drumwork. And as only Gabriel can, the album ends with the reading of grocery prices over a calmly fading reprise of themes from the first track. After an album of staggering highs, there seems no better way to end it.
Report this review (#124699)
Posted Tuesday, June 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yep, this is one of the top 5 you grab when the house is burining down. I can't help but think what would happen if someone were to cover some of this material? Would young people (20 something crowd) listen? I have listened to this album at least 100 times and I still discover new bits of music that I did not pick up previously. It is that layered. Would the younger crowd want to listen about rival gangs in England? Or how about a lawnmower's inner thoughts? I think in this day of computerized dance "music", Selling England By the Pound requires too much thought, too much patience on the part of the listener. That's O.K. - I'm a patient person and I will enjoy my next 100 listens of Genesis' best album.

Oh, and another thing - "More Fool Me" is one of the album's strong points, not it's weakness. IMHO.

Report this review (#125108)
Posted Thursday, June 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I know there are more Selling reviews here than patience to read them in progarchives visitors. Anyway, I'll just add some little hints. This is not simply a prog album, this is the main standard album in progressive rock: you'll find something from these songs in virtually each prog rock CD to date. Why this? Because a) this music is FREE, it doesn't belong to any of the previous main genres (rock, pop, jazz, classical...) or maybe it belongs to them all; b) this music follows all the RULES that actually matter in the building of a masterpiece and - most of all - there is a sense of measure and respect for all listeners. So, this album was incredibly new in 1973 and still is, but it sounded (and still sounds) familiar in a deep and mysterious way. The Genesis way.
Report this review (#125228)
Posted Saturday, June 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
Crossover Team
5 stars Selling England by the Pound was the follow-up to their masterpiece Foxtrot. The most notable difference to me is an improvement in sound and production quality, although musically compared to Foxtrot it is fairly equal in skill and composition but not quite as good. In places there seems to be a slight lack of direction and occasional bouts of noodling. More Fool Me and After the Ordeal seem more like filler than previous short pieces the band created. Even so, Selling England by the Pound is easily another masterpiece in the band's catalog with some exceptionally well done extended pieces, like The Cinema Show, Firth of Fifth, Dancing with the Moonlit Knight and The Battle of Epping Forest, each one a complicated mini-story and considered hallmarks of our beloved genre.

Another notable difference is the much better sounding guitar work of Steve Hackett including his soaring solo on Firth of Fifth and some exceptional piano playing by Tony Banks on the same song. I Know What I Like also gave the band some exposure in the British pop charts.

Selling England by the Pound is considered by many to be the band's greatest achievement, although I'm more inclined to lean towards Foxtrot. Regardless of the difference of opinion, this is the fourth consecutive masterpiece the band had created in a short four years. Not many groups have received such accolades. This album is easily one of the most important contributions to progressive rock and is an essential acquisition. Five stars.

Report this review (#126399)
Posted Wednesday, June 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars 5+5+5 stars, *****wow! am hiting the keyboard like the rythm from Firth Of Fifth piano opening...honestly i never got so absorted for 50+ minutes the album runs, from the very first time i heard it a few years ago - until today-hope tomorrow. genesis is THE band and SEBTP is THE aalbum. just fully melodic tracks one after another, excellent interpretation of the songs,very imaginative,superb play, great stories - what a masters, each of them.
Report this review (#126883)
Posted Wednesday, June 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Selling England by the Pound is the only album I own that I want to give a perfect score to, but simply cannot because it does not deserve it. It has a brilliant atmosphere, unparalleled in Genesis's discography, and it has 3 of Genesis's greatest songs ("Dancing with the Moonlit Knight," "Firth of Fifth," and "Cinema Show"), which are good enough to resuscitate an album mired by a mediocre song, but there are blights upon this disc that so blemish its brilliance, it practically hurts.

There are two purely pop songs on this record, "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" and "More Fool Me." Taken purely as pop songs, they are both fairly competent, but slightly grating. The better of the two is "I Know What I Like" for its delightfully odd English imagery and unique (in Genesis's discography) musical introduction. "More Fool Me" is a solo acoustic song with Phil Collins on vocals, and despite having a catchy chorus, the song is totally bland. Strangely, I cannot imagine Selling England By th Pound without these two songs. They both pale in comparison to all other songs on this album, but it feels like their pieces of a mosaic that would not feel complete if they were missing.

Now, the only other song that is not totally glorious on Selling England is "The Battle of Epping Forest." It's quite an odd song; a gang battle narrative. While it does give Gabriel a chance to offer his varied vocal talents by voicing various townspeople, the song drags on a bit and never has anything very interesting to say. Of all the songs on Selling England by the Pound, including the two previously mentioned pop songs, "The battle of Epping Forest" is the most forgettable.

Everything else is almost beyond words for me. If I were writing this for some sort of publication, I'd flesh out my review a bit to describe the other songs in full, but I'm sure the many, many reviewers before me did so to a great effect. The bottom line is regardless of its faults, Selling England by the Pound is absolutely essential, even though the rating I'm giving it now does not explicitly mean "Essential: a masterpiece of progressive music." It is.

Report this review (#126921)
Posted Wednesday, June 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars there is real majesty to be found here. Unfortunately, there are two weak tracks, but the rest is magic. Lets get the bad out of the way; 'I know what I like' is short and boring, apparently being about a gardener or something. It isn't progressive either. Perhaps it fits in with the main theme somehow, but I haven't figured it out. Regardless, the song is weak. The other low point on this album is the ballad 'more fool me'. This one has collins on vocals, which immediately evokes dischord with me. I much prefer gabriel. The music is okay, but it really stands out like a sore thumb against the other songs. Okay, now for the good, which is the bulk of the album. 'dancing with the moonlit knight' is a real treat, a perfect opener. It starts with gabriel delivering some excellent vocals, and then some classical sounding guitar joins him. The song soon takes off, leaving plenty of room for hacket to to do some good soloing. This is a haunting song, which ends leaving you in a strange sort of trance, invoked by a dreamy guitar melody, fading out slowly to the end of the song. 'firth or fifth' is an excellent track, even more majestic than the first. It opens with some good piano work, which soon opens into full blown genesis splendor. The song then quickly becomes even more awesome, eventually leading to hacket's climactic solo, which just goes over the top in a good way. This is a fine moment for genesis. 'The battle of epping forest' is a showcase for gabriels vocal antics. He utilizes at least 4 or 5 different voices! The song is also quite lengthy, leaving room for plenty of good stuff. It's an odd tune, but very genesis. I must admit though, that some of gabriels voices do slightly annoy me. You kind of have to be in the right mood for this one. 'After the ordeal' starts off as a classical piece and then goes electric half way through. It's a beautiful song, and is well placed on the album, it following epping forest. Cinema show is another epic track, clocking in at over 11 mins. It begins with some enticing guitar work that really draws you in. The lyrics are also strangely appropriate. Hard to explain. the song continues into plenty of keyboard soloing, creating a musical journey for one's ears. Another superb genesis song. 'aisle of plenty' is a reprise for the album, repeating the moonlit knight theme in a slight variation. It perfectly closes the album. Aside from the two glaring weaknesses that are 'I know what I like" and 'more fool me', this is a fine album. It is nowhere near perfect like many claim, but it is good nonetheless. I prefer foxtrot slightly, but what is here cannot be missed! All said, it is an essential genesis album, more essential than others. This is worth your time and money!
Report this review (#127835)
Posted Saturday, July 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars My second favorite prog album (excluding the metal area) only slightly topped by Animals. Out of this world melodies, ingenious guitar parts, soulful drumming and just perfectly balanced keyboards ( no look at me I stab my piano with knife coz I'm so goooodddd...). The real jewel of 1973 and the best delivered by the greatest symphonic band. One of my personal favorite is The Battle of Epping Forest. Lyrics doesn't get any better than that really. A great legacy that has been passed on to me by my father. It should remain in the human history forever. At least, I hope.
Report this review (#128050)
Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
5 stars This was my first Genesis LP though not the first Genesis stuff I heard. Foxtrot and Nursery Cryme were getting a lot of play whenever my brother's friends came around. I must confess I don't listen to it much anymore, I know, a heresy for some. But perhaps understandable if you consider I've been listening to it since the late '70's and quite frequently at that during the beginning. Anyway it came up in rotation so here goes:

One of the great things about this album is that it doesn't seem stuck in its time period or dated. Perhaps that has do to with me hearing the music for the first time a few years after it's initial release, but I don't think so. What it cannot escape is that the whole thing is heavily steeped in British culture, which gives it a special appeal to me, since I watched way too much Monty Python growing up.

I love the way Dancing With the Moonlit Kinnnnig-ht(s. We are French, why do you think we have this outrageous accent?) goes through many changes, starts out mellow, takes off, then lets you down gently I the end.

I Know What I Like, skip this one if you don't believe British humour belongs in music. I believe it actually had some success on the pop charts over there.

Firth of Fifth is my favorite song. Beautiful piano opening by Banks and then the song explodes into an epic with the whole band joining in.

More Fool Me has Phil's first appearance for the band doing solo vocals. A nice little love song accompanied by Steve on acoustic.

Ah, The Battle of Epping Forest. This one took a while for me to get into since I had already fallen so much for Supper's Ready. Much more interesting at the time for me for an epic type of song. More of that British humor rears its ugly head.

After the Ordeal. Just an excellent mellow instrumental. Say no more!

The Cinema Show. Take a little ex-lax with Father Tireseas. Just a little twist on one of the lines one of my friends came up with. A better long track than the Battle, from a musical standpoint. Really builds to a nice climax at the end, very energetic.

Aisle of Plenty. Kind of a weird ending to the album. "It's scrambled eggs."

Holy crap! only 587 ratings. Better get mine in before they run out space.

Report this review (#128362)
Posted Friday, July 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of my favourite albums ever, regardless of genre. Great singing from Peter Gabriel, atmospheric playing from Steve Hackett, grandiosity and epic feel (especially on Firth of fifth). Great rhytm section work by Collins and Rutherfort (especially on Dancing with the moonlit knite). A nice instrumental dominated by Hackett (After the ordeal). Great work by Tony Banks (especially on The cinema show). Fabulous singing from Peter Gabriel (especially on The cinema show). A very good pop number with eastern flavour and great work from the Collins and Rutherford (I know what I like in your wardrobe), even if that one has not that much of a melodic hook. The only downers are a lame attempt at acoustic folk rock (More fool me), although Collins sings it fine). The worst number isThe battle of the epping forest which has some nice hooks but runs of ideas during its middle part and becomes repetitive with a fallen apart song structure.

Rating of songs: in order of appearance on the album: 5+5+5+3+2,5+5+5+5=35:8= 5 stars


Report this review (#129127)
Posted Wednesday, July 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars In my opinion "Selling England By The Pound" is a true jewel of English Prog. But not a masterpiece. Very fine and the atmosphere is perfect but in my opinion a little dry. This doesn't allow a "Selling England By The Pound" to receive 5 stars . In any case if this is my judgement is very true that songs like "The Battle Of Epping Forest" or "Dancing With The Moonlight Child" are the highest peak of English Symphonic Prog. Melodic and powerful also near to Classic Music Like few other albums.
Report this review (#129376)
Posted Friday, July 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
5 stars My second favorite Genesis album. It was hard to decide either on this one or Foxtrot as my truly number one, but actually I think the latter is more well balanced, in songwriting terms. Nevertheless, Selling England By The Pound is a masterpiece in many ways. It contains some of the bands most beautiful and sophisticated sutff like Dancing Wtih The Moonlit Knight, Firth Of Fifth and, most of all, Cinema Show. On the other hand we have also some uneven tunes like The Battle Of Epping Forest (a good idea that really did not translate into a good song, it seems like they tried too hard to replicate Supperīs Ready). More Fool Me gives a glimpse of the commercial pop approach the band would follow several years ahead. It was Phil Collins first credited lead vocals and itīs a simple love song (and I like it). After The Ordeal is another fine instrumental tune with Steve Hackett showing off his skills both on classical and electric guitar. I used to like I Know What I Like a lot (excuse the pun) but it was a bit overplayed.

The sounding quality of this album is far superior than previous effords and Gabreil never sang better. Although I still think that Foxtrot is their creative peak, this is also a masterpiece of prog music in any sense, a very influential album and had not dated after all these years. So, even with some faults (at least for my ears), I cannot give this classic anything lower than a 5 star rating. It is a must have for any prog fan and one of the reasons for my love for this kind of music.

Report this review (#130296)
Posted Thursday, July 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
4 stars As much as I dislike most everything else done by this band, I admit that this album is an absolute joy to listen to, and is the only Genesis album that deserves its high marks. The composition is top-notch, production clear, playing dynamic, and songs genuinely interesting and exciting... something which cannot be said of their later works. "Selling England" is the quintessential British progressive rock album. That being said, the quintessential British progressive rock sound is still dominated by Bank's (noodling) keyboards and Hackett's (spineless) guitar, which makes this-- and all Genesis albums-- occasional listens for me. Still, this one is the pick of the bunch, and pretty much a mandatory purchase for the complete progressive rock collection... luckily, it's actually really good.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

Report this review (#130812)
Posted Monday, July 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars My favorite album of all time. When it comes to Genesis it comes close between foxtrot and the lamb. Selling England's songs are alot better. The first song is introduced with brilliant vocals delivered by Peter Gabriel. Cinema Show and Fifth of firth are compositional masterpieces. And throughout the album your setup for the next song everytime. The Brilliance stays, but the complexity takes a break, from instrumental emphasis to songwriting. Much like Foxtrot your really appreciate how great everyone is on this album. Steve Hackett is flawless on guitar, as is Rutherford. Tony Banks shows his true potential here. And Phil Collins is incredible on drums. GET THIS ALBUM IF YOU DONT HAVE IT!!
Report this review (#131570)
Posted Friday, August 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars A quintessentially English album from a quintessentially English group. The immense promise which started with the criminally underrated Trespass and developed through Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot reached its zenith in this mostly brilliant album. It's not consistent; I Know What I Like and The Battle of Epping Forest are songs that perhaps don't impress at first, but their quirky charm grows with time. However, it is the appalling vocal performance of Collins on the mediocre song More Fool Me that prevents this reaching masterpiece status. The other tracks are all out of the top drawer. They really stretch out on solos for the first time, and Hackett in particular steps out of the shadows with breathtaking technical playing on Dancing With the Moonlit Knight and raises goosebumps on the incomparable Firth of Fifth. Banks shows his skills to great effect on The Cinema Show and Gabriel provides his characteristically emotional vocals and some fine flute. Collins, for all his failings as a singer, is a metronomic drummer and Rutherford's bass and guitar fill in the gaps. The lyrics are better than any other album I have ever heard, with a sense of humour and a keen sense of observation on life.

This is an essential album for all prog collectors and is always a wonderful listen. If only they'd missed off More Fool Me it would have got top rating with ease.

Report this review (#131583)
Posted Friday, August 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the pinnacle of Genesis. It's the best songs and the funniest lyrics. I didn't rate this album untill now cause I didn't want my review to be based on just the sense of falling in love with the album. I wanted to see if given time it would remain with me as a masterpiece. As far as I can see this is the only Genesis album that deserves a 5 star rating (maybe Trick of the Tail can qualify as well).
Report this review (#132301)
Posted Wednesday, August 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Five Stars There's an axiom I heard from a friend - "first heard - most preferred". It was 1974 when I first heard "Selling England" and listened among the mound of similar era releases - Fragile, Tubular Bells, Dark Side - this album warmed in my ears with that "special quality" not accorded to the others in quite the same way. It has a lot to do with Genesis ability to stridently rock one moment and then crouch down with a squeaky solemness to hushed, peppery drumming, and delight in holding back. Plateaus in their compositions lead to dynamic break outs, and like any successful group of this period or any other - the vocals are strong and characteristic. I think as well there are few examples in progressive rock where the lines are fully epic - emotional, anguished, defiant - as in Bank's shiveringly brilliant climbing section in 'Cinema Show', and Hackett's celebrated re-telling of the main theme on "Firth of Fifth". Gabriel's soulful singing, his perfect ending of phrases, and his theatrical renderring on 'Battle of Epping Forest', typify this as Prog's most English record - you partake a cuppa and a football match in the lounge before you leave. The sheer level of craftmanship and the qaulity of recording and production put this album in a category above both "Foxtrot" and "Nursery Cryme", the latter in particular suffers from muddy production. The only potentially "weak" point perhaps is Collins' "More Fool Me" which is only slightly out of place musically, and lyrically lightweight, although his vocal is superb. Better to call it a 'breather' before Epping Forest begins. Words do not really come close, it leaves me speechless, it is music that is fully felt and is as timeless a record as has ever been recorded. One for the ages.
Report this review (#132435)
Posted Thursday, August 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Welllll... Only three stars?

I should probably start off by remarking that I am a big fan of early Genesis, and not someone with an axe to grind. However, this is probably (with the exception of "Genesis to Revelation") my least favourite album up until Steve Hackett left. In the process of asking myself why this is, I came to the conclusion that, on a technical and structural level, it highlights a couple of the key latent shortcomings of Prog in general - and that's why I felt moved to put my feelings into words.

Before I get to the tracks themselves, I'll give a short rundown of my conclusions:

1) Sonically speaking, when the rock element of prog rock is toned down, there is a tendency for the ambitious structures of the music to lose groundedness - like a marvellous machine partly-disengaged from its drive mechanism, or a wonderfully-engineered car losing traction because the tires don't have enough grip.

2) Lyrically speaking, in the absence of a darker, more sombre element to the lyrics, prog can have a tendency to whimsy - which is not a Bad Thing in itself, but usually sits uncomfortably with weighty and ambitious musical structures.

3) "Prog" music in general - except when supremely well-done (and quite often the key factors here are unplannable) - can have a tendency to sacrifice musical coherency and totalising structure, in favour of diversity and complexity.

OK, let me flesh out what I mean in terms of Genesis, and Selling England.

Compared with an album like Nursery Cryme, say, it's clear that Genesis' sound became gradually less heavy as the Phil Collins influence increased - culminating in the band's guitarist (startlingly, for any "rock" group, prog or otherwise) actually not being replaced when he left. However, regardless of whether you like the poppier kind of music in question - and for myself, I don't, particularly - it IS noticeable that the lighter, keyboards-based sound suits the (poppier, shortened, simplified) context of the later albums. Musically, it "works".

For me, Selling England is an example of an album which doesn't quite "work", because the ambitious structures don't have enough weight - sonically or lyrically - to anchor them properly. It is, for considerable stretches of the album, almost what I would call Prog Pop - and in my view, that's not often a happy combination. OK, enough with the abstractions, let's look at the tracks.

Moonlit Knight - This starts wonderfully, with a very strong folk-rooted melody beautifully delivered by Gabriel. Develops very well too, as the keys, then guitar, then piano come in. Top notch so far. But after one minute twenty of this, this excellent build- up drops back down (presumably to give it somewhere to rise to for the chorus). The chorus itself works well, but from here on it's noticeable that the sections with vocals seem to sit uneasily with the overall rhythm. Basically, the "song" (perhaps because of its folk roots) works beautifully without the drums, but never seems quite to hit rhythm or tempo bang-on once the drums have entered. And the instrumental sections don't seem to relate strongly enough to the song itself, resulting in a slightly disconnected general feel. But overall, if not a classic, still a very good track.

I Know What I Like ("and this isn't it") - Apart from the lawnmower noise and the flangey guitar riff, I never did really get into this song. Sounds almost too much like a Phil ballad - but with rather more surreal lyrics. However I do love "Me, I'm just a lawnmower, you can tell me by the way I walk", so at this point I'll wink and move on...

Firth of Fifth - Wise programme choice here: we need something to split up the two Phil-type tracks, so let's slot in the best track on the album. No gripes with this one at all - it's musically strong, feels structurally coherent despite the variety in tone-colour of the different sections, and has a couple of moments of magic - "a waterfall / his madrigal / an inland sea / his symphony". And a great, emotionally-engaging guitar solo. FoF has - in spades - a gravitas that is missing on most of the rest of the album. Five star track.

More Fool Me - Heh... yes, I'll resist the temptation for sarcastic comment on the track title. Suffice to say that, for my money, this is not really a GENESIS song. So let's turn to something much more interesting...

Battle of Epping Forest - This track, for me, sums up what I was getting at in my earlier general criticisms: in that it somehow lacks the gravity to hold its structures together. Lyrics too plentiful, and too lightweight & pun-tastic - so that when the Shakespearian conclusion (everyone dead) finally arrives, it feels strangely trite, rather than ironic and moving as it might have been. Musically, there is not enough grit and substance here to anchor the flyaway tendencies of the song, and the digressions of the instrumental structures - and let's face it, if there's anything a track about a pitched battle between London gangs SHOULDN'T be, it's flyaway.

After the Ordeal - Pleasing enough - if slightly insubstantial - instrumental. In fact, placed in a context between two heavyweight- champ album tracks, this might have been exactly what was needed, and I might have been raving about it hitting just the right tone. But in reality, it has the (bitty) Epping Forest on one side, and on the other side it has...

Cinema Show - Now the first time I listened to the album, I had high hopes for this track: I think one of my friends had told me it was a bit of a winner. For some reason - from the title and the Gabriel-context - I had imagined it as being a dark masterpiece about some eerie cinematic halfworld, symbolically pointing up the insubstantial nature of our own reality. Ahem. In fact, it turns out to be a sweet wee song about a bloke taking his burd to the pictures. OK, it throws in a bit of Greek mythology in the form of the Tiresias myth, but there's nothing here that really inspires me. Once again, it lacks that certain "gravitas" for which Prog is sometimes criticised, but without which it tends to unravel and dissipate itself.

And finally - Aisle of Plenty - OK, reprise of the Moonlit Knight to end - and the moody echoey ambience and explicitly bleak outlook on consumer society makes it feel and sound surprisingly modern. In fact it could probably be released today and not seem dated. Good end to a decent album, but one which - for me - has never inspired in the way that Foxtrot or Nursery Cryme do.

However, when I say that Selling England is my least-favourite album of the seven that Genesis produced between 1970 and 1977, the most striking thing this tells us is just how splendid Genesis were during this period

Report this review (#132914)
Posted Monday, August 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of Prog's crown jewels, Selling England by the Pound shows a band truly hitting its stride. Additionally, this 1973 album, rather than the smash 1974 double LP The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, is Genesis' magnum opus. There is a magic about this album, from the cover art by Betty Swanwick to Peter Gabriel's lyrical & vocal excellence to the individual performances, especially Phil Collins and Steve Hackett. After listening to this album from beginning to end, you get the feeling of having listened to a 40 minute tone poem.

Among the highlights are the intense opening track "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight", with Peter Gabriel's haunting a cappella vocals."I Know What I Like...", with its huge organ tones and lawnmower sounds, is a Genesis classic. "Firth of Fifth" features some lovely piano work from Tony Banks, nimble-wristed drumming by Phil Collins, but the real MVP is Steve Hackett and his majestic and atmospheirc guitar solo. "More Fool Me" shows the future of Genesis with Phil Collins taking the lead voice, and "The Battle of Epping Forest" shows Peter Gabriel at his best both as a lyricist and vocalist. It highlights his penchant for multi-role theatrics. "Cinema Show" is perhaps the best track on the album. It features more lyrical/ vocal excellence from Gabriel, strong instrumental prowess from Banks and Hackett, and some of Collins' best drumming ever. His effortless timekeeping during the 7/8 section shows why Collins was one of the very best drummers in rock music, long before he became a pop star.

Selling England By the Pound is an absolute must to own for any fan of Prog. It shows one of Prog's best bands riding high on wave a of momentum that carried through to the next album,The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, and helped make it a hit. However, give a listen to Selling England By the Pound and hear what Genesis fans in-the-know have known for years about this classic album. It is their true magnum opus.

Report this review (#134050)
Posted Tuesday, August 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I just bought this and it is my first Genesis album. I never thought much of Phil Collins (as a solo artist) so I automatically ignored Genesis as well. Silly me. After reading hype for the Gabriel-era Genesis from other artists I like and admire, of course I had to check it out. And hey, it's brilliant stuff!

And so we come to this album. What a great choice. I'd already heard the first two tracks earlier and they had impressed me enough to make this my first Genesis purchase. The record doesn't get boring at any point, there is no filler and the material ranges from the more pop-oriented songs (I Know What I Like..) to the prog epics (The Battle Of Epping Forest, The Cinema Show). Collins actually does the vocals on "More Fool Me" and he sounds suprisingly much like Gabriel, kinda makes me wish I had gone to see Genesis on their tour this year.. (nah, it's gotta be Gabriel :-P).

Absolutely awesome album, most highest recommendations.

Report this review (#134767)
Posted Saturday, August 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I am giving this a 5, even though the numbers say otherwise for the simple reason that no one is expecting albums to be perfect, and that one song IS perfect, and two more are 5-star all the way through, thus making the album essential.

Despite two relative throwaways, 45 out of 53 minutes of this album are gold; 34 minutes are deserted-island-worthy:

The opening track (Knight) is a thriller, beginning with a soft but unforgettsble midieval melody, which soon slightly changes scenery as a riff, tempo and light drums are established, and the sound slowly gains depth as vocals and a cool kind of string sound in the background come into the mix. The song reaches a climax at 2 minutes, and after, a bit of grandeosity, the tempo quickens twofold and the song becomes completely original. At this point, Phil Collins is at his best (possibly only rivaled by his performance in Los Endos), and the strumming of that guitar mixed with a rich bass sound makes for an ideal atmosphere. As this middle section reaches its climax, Tony Banks's awesome Hammond T-102 organ, which is about the coolest sounding thing in the universe, becomes a shining demonstration of perfection in sound. After a versed climax and another versed climax, same as the first in the song, the song becomes drums, organ, and synth in a wierd and intricate series of complex chord changes, ultimately leading into a softer mood and a final plucked loop that completes this song in a Layla-esque bore,exept no drums ore rock of any kind but it works better because of the theme. 5-stars

Wardrone is fun and surreal, but has a nice greenish atmosphere. Its an interesting eccentricity. 4-stars

Not much to say about Firth of Fifth. What can I say? Its a masterpiece. An amazing piano riff becomes an amazing chord progression (with that awesome organ), which then becomes a little flute-piano fest, which becomes the initial riff in sinth form with awesome organ accompaniment, which becomes an almost spacy 3-chord instrumental passage, going from psychedelia in minor to a beutiful scene in major, which then transforms back into phase 2, and ends! 5-stars!!!

MFM=pointless.1-star!!! tle of Epping Forest is wierd. Its good moments (Anything not involving a cockney accent or chords other than B-major) are sweet, but everywhweer else its a little talky and disjointed/uncomfortable. A hesitant 4-stars because od good instrumentation, and Gabriel is a card.

AtO is an example of instrumental soft rock with midieval overtones and prog atmosphere. 3-stars.

Cinema Show is wonderful, with the exception of their choice of synth sound. But I love Phil's performance at the 7/4 section of the song. What begins as a Shakesperian romance becomes a lovely instrumental, taking everything from Knight and prog-o- tizing it still further, with more dramatic, complex beat, and more chords, leading into the next track after a synth-filled while. 5- stars.

A. of P. is a bookend, with the same theme as Knight. Therefore, automatic 5-stars.

Taking a weighted average (with percentage of the whole album in terms of time), we have: 5*0.15+4*0.075+5*0.18+1*0.05+4*.0.21+3*0.075+5*0.20+5*0.03=4.3

...but screw math.

Report this review (#137508)
Posted Monday, September 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ok this is really great, with some perferct tracks; but I also think this is just a little bit overrated. I mean: we have "Dancin with the...", "Firth or fifth", "After the ordeal" (one of my fav from Genesis), but we also have some "not-so-perfect tracks", like "More fool me" (I like it only sometimes), "I know what i like" (maybe the least good). Even "The battle..." is not as good as a "Musical Box". But don't hate me, I still think it is difficult to find some works like this, so I give anyway 5 stars. I listen to it really often, and I'm never bored of it. So... this has the second place in my Genesis' playlist, nearly followed by "Nursery Cryme".
Report this review (#138934)
Posted Tuesday, September 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars SEBTP was the first Genesis album that I listened to. I listened to it after hearing "The Cinema Show" on a long car ride. When it was over, I pressed the "back" button, because I had to listen to it again. I listened in awe. Upon getting home, I obtained the album immediately.

Dancing in the Moonlit Knight is a very accessible song for even non-prog listeners IMO. Great imagery here, as well as clever lyrics filled with allusions and puns.

I Know What I Like is a neat shorter piece. I'm often turned off by Gabriel's quirky voices, but, it's not too extreme here. Decent melody.

Firth of Fifth is a gem. Banks offers a spine chilling performance. The lyrics/vocals are a secondary piece to this song. Genesis is able to show off their versatility here, showcasing Hackett as well in one of his few epic guitar solos.

More Fool Me...... Hm..... Collins' only vocal on the album. I will call this one a fair effort. Perhaps on a weaker album it wouldn't be viewed so poorly, but it certainly is not as strong. IMO, this song does not disrupt the mood or flow of the album, which is essential. It makes sense to me, but could have easily been omitted without much loss.

The Battle of Epping Forest is one song that one that prog-nerds, such as myself, will giz over, but to the common listener will regard as boring and too quirky. Even myself, it took too listens to really "get." I believe this to be a great track, although, I don't feel that it is a track that can really make sense without being listened to with the entire album.

After the Ordeal - Love it or hate it... all it is is a filler transition, some decent work by Banks. Nothing outstanding, but again, it doesn't disrupt the mood/flow of the album.

The Cinema Show: Ah.... at last, the if you aren't convinced that this is a 5 star album, this song should do it. Beautiful opening lyrics. The synth is in full use here. Some non-prog fans are often weary of >10 minute songs, but this song to me feels like a 3 minute song. Like Firth of Fifth, this is mostly instrumental; and however pretentious or mystical the lyrical concept is, one cannot be denied an image based purely on the beautiful crescendo. I often find myself humming the final keyboard notes to myself. Very memorable, very epic. Progs on the mythological reference to Tiresias: the world's most famous transvestite.

Aisle of Plenty wraps this up in an eerie way. A reprise of Dancing in the Moonlit Knight, the listener feels something unfinished about the end, yet still complete. Truly a great clincher, not epic, but just great.... it almost perfectly segues you into a deep thought when the album ends in silence.

One thing I like about this album is the inclusion of instrumentals on the tail end of songs. This album also maintains a consistent mood. When this album finishes, I always get the urge to restart from the beginning. A masterpiece.

Report this review (#139232)
Posted Thursday, September 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is such an amazing album. It has too of the Genesis greats, Firth of Fifth and I know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe). The only thing better than listening to this album is watching Phil dance to I Know What I Like with his tambourine. Back to the album This might be one of my favorite early Genesis albums. I would have to say that every Genesis fan should own this album.This is such an amazing album. It has too of the Genesis greats, Firth of Fifth and I know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe). The only thing better than listening to this album is watching Phil dance to I Know What I Like with his tambourine. Back to the album This might be one of my favorite early Genesis albums. I would have to say that every Genesis fan should own this album.
Report this review (#140799)
Posted Thursday, September 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Simply an amazing album! I must say here that it's got a real and true story/meaning to me. It's one of my first Prog albums (and believe me, I've got many). By that you all can see the importance that this little piece of work to me. And I believe I'm not alone in it. I believe there are a real plenty of people who has basically the same story to tell. And, if it doesn't have a importance like that, I can name you a real lot of people who really love this masterpiece.

But, why say it's not so perfect? Because that's a good reason. All tracks are really great (''Dancing With The Moonlit Knight'' is a good example of how good and involving Gabriel's voice is; ''I Know What I Like'' is a real good music who has a good chorus to sing; ''Firth Of Fifth '', the best Genesis' music in my opinion, has a good mix of piano, keyboards and drums, in a perfect harmonic and melodic way; ''The Battle Of Epping Forest'', a nice kind of novel, has a lot of good rythims and sensations; ''After The Ordeal '' and ''Aisle Of Plenty '' are a good example of ''transition musics''; and, to finish,I gotta say that ''The Cinema Show '' is a music that has a nice lyric, mixed with a some good melodic riffs). But that's one I don't like. ''More Fool Me'', with Collins in vocal, is simply horrible. It has a huge difference from other tracks ( I can't tell why, but that's a fact.)

Whatever, in my opinion, every prog rock fan must have this piece of work. ''Essential: a masterpiece of progressive music''

Report this review (#142284)
Posted Friday, October 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Its hard to imagine what kind of mind makes such masterful recordings a reality.

Selling England By the Pound is elegant, emotional, and entertaining. All performances are flawless and have a certain depth of passion that is exciting in there own little ways. Each song is brilliant, big in their own ways, musically flawless.

I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) is my favorite song, its a bit shorter than the other tracks, but has a cool deepness to it that just gets into the mind, a real winner.

This album is an obvious standard in prog music. What else need I say?

Report this review (#142584)
Posted Monday, October 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars A good symphonic prog album.

'Selling England by the Pound' is possibly GENESIS' greatest work although GENESIS' style of symphonic prog is definitely not for everyone and I happen to be one of those people. There is some definite great music on this album but the main problem I have is the bands' more pop based approach to prog and their often overly pretentious humour and approach to the music.

That said there are some fantastic tracks here, 'Dancing with the Moonlit Knight' is head and shoulders above the rest, with some great symphonic moments and a killer middle breakdown featuring some blistering guitar work from Steve Hackett featuring one of the earliest recorded examples of guitar tapping technique. 'Firth of Fifth' is the most symphonic song on the album with a great classically inspired piano introduction then moving into organ and mellotron laden territory.

Songs like 'The battle of Epping Forest' do drag on a lot though and I loathe the silly accent impersonations that Gabriel employs here. 'More Fool Me' is purely and simply a filler track, as is the lackluster instrumental 'After the Ordeal'. 'The cinema show' does end the album pretty strongly though with some great prog jamming in the end.

'Selling England By the Pound' is a good album on the whole but it is boring and pretentious in a lot of places, most fans of 70's prog will definitely enjoy this though.

Report this review (#146176)
Posted Sunday, October 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars By the time this album was released, Genesis were already recognized as prog giants, having won the hearts of fans everywhere with their mighty twenty three minute epic "Supper's Ready", leaving the band with a high standard to live up to for there next studio album. But Genesis being Genesis, they delivered what most will say is there finest ever album. The album opens with the political classic "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight", which is told from the point of view of Britannia ("The voice of Britain before the Daily Express") as he watches his beloved country fall under the relentless yolk of american globalisation. This track is well ahead of it's time, with Hackett using the sweep-tapping technique on his guitar (a technique which would not be brought to the mainstream until at least five years later). The second track is the famous "I Know What I Like", which experimental introduction, lovable riff and surreal lyrics earned it a place in the UK top 20 chart in 1973. The next track, and my personal favourite of the album, is the powerful "Firth of Fifth". The song begins with a delicate yet up tempo piano introduction from Tony Banks, and then at it's climax breaks into slow yet thick riff played by the whole band. The highlight of this ten minute long piece is Hackett's guitar solo, which many recognise as his finest moment with Genesis. The albums fourth track "More Fool Me" is a benchmark in Genesis history, because it is the first Genesis song sang by Phil Collins. Love him or hate him, with it's melodic sound and touching lyrics, this song is hard to dislike. The penultimate track is "Cinema Show", a splendid piece of music lasting eleven minutes and possibly the most musically technical song that Genesis ever made. This song is complimented nicely by the final track "Aisle of Plenty", a short reprise of "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" and a perfect finisher for the album. This album is essential to any Genesis fan, and one of the greatest symphonic albums of all time.
Report this review (#146802)
Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars During the tour for promoting ''Foxtrot'' Charisma found a good chance to launch the first ever live album of Genesis.''Live'' was released in July 73', the bulk of the album was recorded at the De Montfort Hall in Leicester, while ''The return of the giant hogweed'' was captured at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester.It was around the same time, when most of Genesis members started working on former bandmate Anthony Phillips' solo album ''The geese and the ghost'', a work not released until 1977.Shorty afterwards Genesis revisited the Island Studios with producer John Burns to record ''Selling England by the pound'', an ironic title for those believing that Genesis shifted towards the US market scene.The album was released in October of the same year.

One of the most complete works in the history of Prog Rock, featuring satirical lyrics from the British culture, but also monumental musicianship and an impressive prog value.''Dancing with the moonlit knight'' is a fabulous opener, where shades of Genesis' folky flavors are still around, but well adapted by a highly symphonic sound with loads of Melotron, synths and organ and Hackett delivering his new guitar techniques, this one is swirling around very complex themes and dramatic symphonic breaks.''I know what I like (in your wardrobe)'' is a lovely Pop Rock ballad with charming vocal harmonies and an airy atmosphere, which still retains much of Genesis' sophisticated profile, but ''Firth Of fifth'' is the real deal of the opening side.With Gabriel's excellent vocal alternations from sweet singing to a hoarse lyricism and a masterful instrumental background, featuring smooth but professional grand piano preludes and interludes and Banks' soaring Moog synthesizer flights, the track is slowly led to a majestic outro with Hackett's crying solos and Banks' organ sounding like an orchestra.Absolutely brilliant.''More fool me'' is a short acoustic piece with Collins on lead vocals, somekind of a British lullaby soundwise, pretty sweet and easy going.

Side 2 opens with the 12-min. ''The battle of epping forest'', a symphonic tour-de-force along the lines of the 70's British Prog academy with light rural overtones over an orchestral, complicated instrumental enviroment, interrupted by lyrical parts and melodic lines.One of the most theatrical still flawless vocal performances of Gabriel is featured on the track, which manages to keep an unmet balance between electric, acoustic and keyboard-led themes, with Banks playing nicely the organ and electric piano, while the ending section is again superb with a dramatic atmosphere.''After the ordeal'' has to be one of the most underrated pieces ever written by the band, a light Symphonic Rock instrumental with an ethereal atmosphere, shining through the collaboration between Hackett's FOCUS-like soft electric tunes and Banks' lovely Classical-drenched piano lines, ending with some folky flute by Gabriel and a memorable melodic solo.What an introduction for what has to be one of the best pieces in Prog Rock history, the 11-min. ''The cinema show'', which may sound too bucolic and mellow for its opening half, but structurewise it's one of the best songs ever written.Gabriel at his best, and his best demands a calm, rural atmosphere of acoustic textures, piano, organ and flute, with Hackett entering gently in the process for a soft electric enviroment, soon to break into Banks' Mellotron washes and unforgettable Moog synth soloing, eventually the piece will close in a more complex way, which still is showered by lovely melodic lines on keyboards.The very short ''Aisle of plenty'' plays its role in a sufficient way, a mellow farewell with Mellotron, guitar and soft drumming with Gabriel behind the microphone, brilliant way to close the ultimate prog journey.

Words are poor to describe the inspiration and influence of this album in Prog Rock history.A Symphonic Rock monument, which is pretty complex with all these thematic moves, keyboard flashing and electroacoustic changes, but still keeps a down-to-earth profile.Among the top 10 Prog Rock albums of all times, no doubt, and an essential way to start your collection regarding the genre.

Report this review (#147735)
Posted Sunday, October 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Sublime. Genesis has a hit and all the rest of the catalogue is now selling well. Asda be one of the first prog albums to check out if are new to the progressive movement. Fine fare! indeed starts as it means to go on with a great cut and doesn't let up till the last moment with some lovely puns and word plays. Peter is far far less to the front despite being the front man and he certainly is not at this stage forcing his lyrics on the band. This record is a wonder of controlled elegance, Selling England the first cut is probably the weakest of the important tracks but only because it is a little clumsy, but even so its moves from Trad Folk to Hard rock in an instant of Magick. "I know what I like" follows and of course we liked this track, Genesis score their first single success. A great great single featuring the essential "Twightlight Alehouse" but thats an aside for now. Firth of Fifth has an awesome Guitar solo and a slightly inferior lyric that isn't as essential as the music it sits upon. "more fool me" is the turd on the satin pillow of this release it is a curious thing in retrospect that Phill went on to be so very successful in the 80's. "the battle of epping forest" is entertaining throughout and gives Peter a chance to narrate one of his whacked but less than profound stories. After the ordeal is an instrumental and a very nice one as well. This is Hackett Inspired and well worth an extra listen often. The Record winds to a close via the fabulous "cinema show" a short lyrical section gives way to a monster of great prog which finally gives way to a clever lyrical section that you will have to make your own mind up about. Yes Biscuits costing 37p was an outrage and Britian is clearly on the slide. This is for me the very peak of the Genesis I loved, from here on in the problems started to mount. The Following album was really the last by this band then they mutated passing through a very decent prog period without gabriel and then changing again to become genisnooze, geniside with sparse moments of latter day genius. Its not this record that broke the camels back though and during this period they are clearly still working together and the whole is greater than any of the parts. This is of course a classic record and there are few as perfect in the annals of progressive rock. If you are Buying Genesis for the first time this is as good an album to hear first as you could hope to find. Absolutely essential in every respect, a must own item.
Report this review (#148179)
Posted Tuesday, October 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
5 stars Just another supporter of this AMAZING album. The high rating and number of reviews speak for themselves. I can't really expand on what has been said, as most reviews have already covered the interesting qualities Genesis gives us with this release. I've listened to 'Selling England' often for almost 20 years (wish I was old enough at the time of release) and have not grown tired of it (not like Dark Side, Thick as a Brick, Close to the Edge, blah blah.....). Tony Banks and his newly acquired ARP Synth, Mike Rutherford and his tinkly Rickenbacker bass, Steve Hackett and his unique approach to progressive guitar, Philco on top of his game as a superb Drummer, as opposed to Phil the 'larger-than-life' entertainer he became, and Peter Gabriel's magnificent voice, also adding some lovely flute and oboe to the proceedings. 'Firth of Fifth' has got to be one of the GREATEST prog compositions to grace this wonderful planet. I'd give this 6 stars if it were possible !!!
Report this review (#148637)
Posted Saturday, November 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album by Genesis is on average considered the best Genesis album (along with Foxtrot). I can only partly agree with that because I believe there is at least one better and that is Wind and Wuthering. But of course it's ok we don't all feel exactly the same because that would be pretty dull wouldn't it ?

The part where I do agree with this albums class is of course the two great classics of this album, Firth of fifth and The Cinema Show. I already loved these songs in the eighties (in the seventies I hadn't yet really discovered Genesis) and I still do so that will probably be forever. It's the rest of this album I have a bit of a problem with. The two other "epics" of this album are far less than the two classics and the shorter songs are even less than The Battle.. and Dancing.. That's about 2/3 of the album time so that's why I can't get myself to giving this 5 stars. But of course it's good enough for 4 (4.25).

Report this review (#149193)
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars In the past I would have discussions with other proggers whether YES or GENESIS had produced the best album ever. Fortunately we have the Internet nowadays to judge this dilemma. For me it is still not clear. Since only 5 stars are the max, the choice is easy. Selling England no doubt is one of the best albums ever composed. I have played it ever since it came out on vinyl. It seems that it outperforms Close to the Edge by just a fraction. Of course, after so many reviews, there is no need for me to give more comments. 5 stars for this alltime classic.
Report this review (#149562)
Posted Thursday, November 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'll make this my first review on here, seeing as how it is my favorite album of all time. Genesis was one of the greatest progressive bands ever under the leadership of peter gabriel, and this is the peak of their awesomeness. This album is perfection in every way, shape and form. I know, of course, that every one rates this album 5 stars, and does the song by song review, but, I must do it as well. So here we go.

Dancing With the Moonlit Knight: If the peter gabriel era genesis was one of the best prog bands ever, and selling england is their best album, than this track is one of the greatest songs ever written. The acapella intro is mystifying and sets the tone for the album. the lyrics are absolutely bitlingly critical of Englands Regime and popular culture. The delicate acoustic guitars and piano are perfect for this mood. When Peter sings, "DIGESTING ENGLAND BY THE POUND", i get goosebumps no matter . The build up of this song is amazing. The blasting crescendo into the chorus is amazing, and hair-raising again, and you CAN ACTUALLY HEAR MIKE RUTHERFORDS BASS LINE. AND ITS AMAZING. Following the amazing chorus is the insane instrumental section like genesis had never done and would never do again, the closest they came was the ending of dance on a volcano. Steve Hackett brings finger tapping into mainstream music here, NOT eddie van halen, not to say he wasnt a good guitarist. This solo is only one of many great guitar moments on this album. This solo/solos is followed by another, slightly different chorus, with very imaginative imagery and allusions. This is followed by another instrumental section, this time dominated by synthesizer, very cool time changes and riffs, I like it. This is followed by a gradual slowdown into a spacey outro with acoustic guitars and flute/ mellotron. Its just an amazing song and I am still in love with it, no matter how many times i hear it.

I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe): The beginning is another strange syntehsizer fade in and and a cool drum intro by our man collins. the spoken intro by gabriel is quite good, and it opens into a blatant pop song, but i love it. another great bassline by rutherford, and some sitar-sounding guitar from hackett. The lyrics are strange, but thats a good thing here. The flute/drum solo as the outro is amazing. I hate how when they did it live, they replaced the flute with crappy sounding synthesizers.

Firth of Firth: Piano intro=godly. thats all i have to say. The lyrics come in, authored by banks himself, and are not especially good, but they fit the dramatic feel of the song. The lyrics lead into a gorgeous piano/flute duet, it nearly brings tears to your eyes. this all builds into a reprise of the opening on synthesizer, but with some kick ass drumming from phil collins to back it up. After that comes one of the most famous moments in prog rock history: Steve Hackett's jawdropping, tearjerking, emotional solo that murders me everytime. The change from minor to major key near the end is like a revelation. The reprise of the intro again on piano brings this masterful song to a close.

More Fool Me: this is an ok song, if it had been any longer it would have been bad. I do like the melody, the guitar is good, not all steve hackett guitar has to be jawdroppingly intense. He knows when to let others take the spotlight.

The Battle of Epping Forest: The drum/flute intro on this song sets the mood for the upbeat storytelling goofyness that is to follow. Tonk Banks shines alot on this song, I wont go through it much because it shifts moods so much its ridiculous. The lyrics tell of a gang fight, merging old and new with traditional song title and modern plotline. The mid song tale of the reverend and his adventures is hilarious and perfect. Near the end, they almost pioneer techno with banks' synths. all in all, a plethora of prog

After the Ordeal: Amazing Instrumental showcase, great piano and guitar duet through out, with flute and drums added near the end.

Cinema Show: The deicate acoustic intro leads us into a major league prog workout. The lyrics are great, telling yet another story about 2 lovers, each with different ideas of how their date will go, and the ever present Father Tyresias orchestrating it all. The synthesizer solo is one of banks' finest moments and also is a famous moment in prog. It all slows down and leads into the Aisle of Plenty, reprising Moonlit knight and closing the album in the most perfect way, with shopkeepers yelling their sales up and down the streets of old england.

All in all, on of the best album of all time, fully deserving the 5 stars, thank god for Genesis

Report this review (#150256)
Posted Monday, November 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Flawed though it may be, this album is a downright masterpiece. The peak of Genesis' career is found in the contents of Selling England by the Pound. There are four feature tracks on the album, and each one has an arguable right to be named the group's best piece. "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight," "Firth of Fifth," "The Battle of Epping Forest" and "The Cinema Show" all boast full-fledged Gensis: upbeat and fun, often whimsical lyrics and music juxtaposed with absolutely stunning and/or beautiful passages. There is no use in looking at these pieces in depth; just know that within each piece so many great things happen that your soul won't know how to handle it all.

What about the other four tracks, though? Well, you get two fillers in the first half: "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" and the Collins-sung "More Fool Me." They aren't bad, but to throw them in with those gigantic juice machines is preposterous. In the secnd half, however, the pieces actually compliment the awesome factories. "After the Ordeal" is a nice instrumental and "Aisle of Plenty" beings back a theme from the opener for a captivating close.

If you're reading these reviews because you aren't sure whether or not you want this, please stop. Buy this album. You don't have to be a fan of anything in partciular to love this album, or Genesis' music in general. But regardless of how many Genesis albums you have, you'll listen to this one more than any other. It's simply the best.

Report this review (#150812)
Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is my favorite Genesis album ( along with the rest of the world) and one of the first I purchased. This happened 25 years after Selling England By the Pound was released in 1973. This says alot about the longevity of this album. To think that I find just as much pleasure in this album 25 years after itīs release as the ones who bought it in 1973 is a miracle. Very few albums keep their magic this long.

Genesis were at their peak when they made this album. The classic seventies lineup was still intact, and everyone seems to contribute with the best of their talents. I will have to make a special note here that you should really listen to Tony Banks keyboards on Selling England By the Pound as they have never been so omnipresent in Genesis music before. This has to be one of my favorite keyboard perfomances ever.

Dancing with the Moonlit Knight starts the album in great style with the classic Peter Gabriel a capella opening: "Can You Tell Me where My Country Lies". The song starts of mellow but soon builds into one of the most technically challenging songs Genesis ever made. I love this song and it is one of my favorite Genesis moments. I remember when I heard this one the first time. I was blown away be the fact that Genesis could be something else than the eighties hit machine I knew.

I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) is a good song with a great humour and some nice percussion. It took me a while to like it though, as I didnīt find it that exciting to start with. It grew on me though and allthough I still donīt find it to be the best song Genesis ever wrote itīs really good.

Firth Of Fifth is a great epic song and another of my favorites. It starts out with Tony Banks playing som classical inspired piano and then comes a very heavy riff. The song ends with the classic Steve Hackett guitar lead ( solo) which is maybe his finest moment with Genesis ( there are of course numerous, but this one is very significant).

The weakest song on Selling England By the Pound and the song that almost make this album loose a star is More Fool Me. A useless pop song sung by Phil Collins. This is the worst song Genesis made with this lineup, and a step in the wrong direction. Itīs rather dissapointing on an album that is so great. I always skip this song and never felt it was part of the album. Selling England By the Pound is still a masterpiece though, just donīt listen to this garbage song.

The Battle Of Epping Forest is a great epic with some very clever lyrics. Peter is at his best here, using multible personalities and voices to match them. The song is one of the more progressive Genesis songs in terms of structure. Itīs a great song and an enjoyable listen.

After The Ordeal is a nice intrumental track, and itīs a breather between the two epics that surround it, as it is very mellow an soothing for the ears. Maybe not the best song on Selling England By the Pound, but certainly not a bad one either.

The Cinema Show is another one of my favorite Genesis songs. Itīs really emotive and beautiful. Listen to those 12 string guitars. The song ends with a synth lead/ solo by Tony Banks that is almost in the vein of ELP, just more melodic. Aisle Of Plenty is just an outro song and plays some of the themes from the other songs on the album. OK but nothing special.

My conclusion is that allthough there are 1 weak track and a couple of good but not essential tracks on this album, they are overshadowed by the masterpieces. These songs are the best symphonic Prog rock songs ever made by any band, and I can give this album no less than 5 stars for that.

For me this is simply the most important album in the history of symphonic prog rock and the best place to start for newcomers to the genre.

Report this review (#151071)
Posted Friday, November 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the perfect Genesis album, it represents what they are all about. From the start of Dancing with the Moonlit Knight which is one of the greatest openers of of all time and not to mention Peter Gabriel's vocals are amazing. Next is the radio friendly I know what i like. I like this song alot even though many might think it is the weaker point of the album. And next is the great fifth of the firth, how can oyu not like this song, it starts with Tony's grand piano skills and later on Steve Hackett plays one of the most awesome solo's ever. More fool me is alot like i know what i like, but just phil on vocals, still a strong track. Next is the battle of epping forest a story about gang rivals fighting for territories, some strange vocals by Peter on this one.. After the ordeal is an solid instrumental that leads into my favorite track of the album The Cinema Show. This song a Genesis classic and Tony Banks is shows some of his greatest work on the keyboard,this is such a great epic song and every member shines on this album, no in Genesis ever took over the spotlight. This is the Perfect album . I rate this better than Dark side,WYWH, ITCOTCK, and Close to the Edge any day. 5 stars for this Masterpiece
Report this review (#151743)
Posted Monday, November 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Selling England by the Pound is Genesis' shining moment. The concept is crystal clear and well executed. The lyrics are clever, incisive and Gabriel's voice never sounded better. Steve Hackett's guitar work on this recording is mindblowing. Tony Banks' piano and synthesizer work on Firth of Fifth showed him to be among the best of progressive rock's keyboardists and is probably his best work. Peter Gabriel's flute on the song is stirring in its beauty and simplicity. Collins, who is far from my favorite vocalist or drummer, provides excellent and sometimes subtle percussion work on this record. The weakest link in the whole recording is his thin falsetto on the beginning of More Fool Me, though the song itself (considerably more lightweight than the rest of the material on this album) is a lovely melody, even if it pales in comparison to the rest of the record. Rutherford's bass is the most understated voice on this record but his sense of aesthetics and restraint serve to highlight his (and the band's) overall musicality. While there are isolated tracks on Trespass, Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot and (dare I say, lest I lose all credibility) The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and A Trick of the Tail that may show fleeting moments of higher creativity, Selling England by the Pound is Genesis' most consistent and representative recording and stands as one of the best of the genre. Five stars.
Report this review (#151807)
Posted Tuesday, November 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars A lot of people seem to think that htis is their favourite Genesis album. I'm personally not quite so sure - I find it a bit of a mix.

It starts immensely powerfully with one of my favourite Genesis tracks - Dance with the Moonlight Knight, but then you start to begin to see even in these early days Genesis trying to take a commercial stance with "I know what I like" - a truly great pop song with an inspired lyric, but a diversion for them.

Then it breaks out into the absolute majesty of "Firth of Fifth" - a masterpiece of tremendous power that you can really lose yourself in.

And then... (so sorry to say this), it falls onto "More Fool Me" which is a truly horrible 1970's pop song, and perhaps the beginning of the writing on the wall for Genesis....?

"The Battle for Epping Forest" is OK, but erratic and staggered - it doesn't flow very well and is poor compared to "Firth of Fifth", and somehow the lyrics are annoying.

The album then recovers again for the last three tracks - the "Cinema Show" obviously being the best - a lovely piece, although a little over-soft sometimes.

Some of the music is over-soppy/ wet in places, but is saved by the awesomeness of "Dance with the Moonlight Knight" and "Firth of Fifth" - these two tracks recover it to 4 stars for me.

Not as good as the final Gabriel album "The Lamb...", which hardened up somewhat and was more interesting - and which I really enjoy.

Report this review (#152965)
Posted Tuesday, November 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Obviously one of the best loved of Genesis' releases (maybe in all of prog), SELLING ENGLAND is a hallmark of their sound, yet I find it suprisingly hard to love. It lacks the majesty of FOXTROT, the earnestness of NURSERY CRYME and the grandeur of THE LAMB, and to me it is an uneven mix.

It starts remarkably strong with "...Moonlit Knight" an all out assertion of their power as a band, and we had yet to see them as ferocious as this on album, with the speed and intensity of the playing. "I Know What I Like" is a fanciful sing-a-long, but I have never enjoyed this song. I get it, I just find myself uninterested in it musically or lyrically. Why it is held in such regard, I cannot comprehend. "Firth Of Fifth" is the best thing they've ever committed to vinyl. I am always amazed at how gorgeous this song is with melodious keyboard runs, Gabriel's great vocal and Hackett's unbelievably powerful and controlled solo. I absolutely love this song. "More Fool Me" is often sighted as the blight to the album, and while I have no love for it, boring and slightly out of place, this worst spot has to be reserved for the next song, "...Epping Forest." This is the band at its most indulgent and more the sorry for it. Gabriel's lyrics always worked better when they were subtle, unlike this heavy handed assault where he barely has enough time to spit out the lines, almost rushing each line to the end. Musically it is all over the place, beyond the chorus I can not remember any of the music at all. Nothing wrong with going all out, everything wrong with doing it badly. "After The Ordeal" and what an ordeal "Epping" was, is subtle and attractive, but maybe too much so as it is scarcely remembered. "Cinema Show" closes things well, I particularly like the lyrical content, but i must say I prefer the more muscular versions of this song on their live releases, as this one sounds a bit anemic. "Aisle Of Plenty" while not really a song more a time-filler for the album side, nevertheless gets shut off early by me as it comes off as irritating and pointless.

The performances throughout are superb as expected, but on a couple songs, inspired. I feel as if I've been too harsh, but I feel it is a mediocre album saved by two to three outstanding songs.

Report this review (#152993)
Posted Wednesday, November 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Selling england is possibly the greatest album of all time. Nigh-on flawless from beginning to end, it also has the virtue of being simply longer than a lot of its 70's contenders (15 minutes longer than Close to the edge), which means that there is more to enjoy. The album contains so many references to English and British culture that the american release came with a booklet explaining them. The longer compositions are seperated from one another by the shorter numbers, which allows the listener time to catch breath, because the longer pieces are among the best in prog. Dancing with the moonlit knight automatically establishes the tone of the record, at turns agressive, lyrical, pastoral, and ambient. Firth of fifth is one of the great, classic ternary pieces of prog, emotively powerful and beautiful. The battle of Epping Forest is NOT overlong, as it needs a reasonable amount of time on the main section in order to give the middle 'reverend' section space to breathe. The cinema show is perhaps the best mid-length composition in all of prog, partly inspired by 'the Fire sermon' of The Waste Land, moving from the opening acoustic section through to the middle 'Teiresias' section, and then on to the instrumental, which is actually one long cadence through to a modulation into the original theme from Dancing with the moonlight knight. The process by which this is achieved is one of the most technically impressive in the genre. Overall, this is perhaps the best album of modern music you can hear.
Report this review (#153123)
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars They don't have a 4.5 category so 4 it is. It was the first Genesis album I got to know and for about 15 years was my favourite till I finally came around to Foxtrot. First the negative. I can't give it the full five because of filler like More Fool Me, a so-so pop song in I Know What I Like and a nearly good but unsuccesful Epping Forest.

The Good:

Dancing With the Moonlit Knight - A great opener. Gabriel's vocals are never better, great guitar work, great synth, interesting chord and tempo changes. I'm just a bit disapointed in the ending which just seems aimless, like they tried a lot of their tricks and couldn't come up with anything that worked.

Firth of Fifth - A classic. It owes a lot to In The Court of the Crimson King but that doesn't mar my enjoyment. The piano is captivating, the vocals just burst in, the flute/synth/guitar instrumental in the middle is one of their best, the melodies are great and it's perfectly arranged. They really pack a lot of great mysic into this piece.

Battle of Epping Forest - Parts of this are very good. The opening verses for about 4-5 minutes are lively and interesting and there's a great part starting with the "Its 5-4 on william wright; he made his pile on derby night" piece. Banks has a sort of counterpoint going that works really well with Gabriel's vocals. After that they lose their way. The longish section started of by "They called me the reverend when I entered the church unstained" sounds like they're struggling to, I don't know, keep the song alive, bring it hiome, do something doesn't work for me. If they could have cut it off around the 8 minute mark it would have been another gem.

The Cinema Show - My favourite on this album and in my A+ group of all Genesis songs (along with Supper's Ready and the Genesis Live version of Musical Box). The first part is pleasant enough - a decent song augmented by Gabriel's vocals but then comes prog's, and maybe all of rock's greatest instrumental. Everything just flows on the synth and accoustic guitar piece and Phil's drumming is excellent. The early melody is beautiful and then the synth bass/chorus sound blows it into the stratosphere. After that you have the spacey scale runs bracketed by the struming and drumming and an extended closing of another diminishing scale run perfectly backed up by a slower, Gilmourish-tempo mellotrony (it's probably just a different synth) chorus that gracefully fades into the accountic guitar notes of Moonlit Night. This is a masterpiece and would be the career achievement for any other band. The closing Aisle of Plenty really ought to be considered part of Cinema Show and ends the album wonderfully.

Every prog fan ought to give this album a few listens and then just see if doesn't become part of your permanet playlist.

Report this review (#153315)
Posted Saturday, December 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars My oh my, what an album. This was my first Genesis album that I received almost a year ago, and I'll admit I wasn't too impressed at first listen. After all, I had just gotten into progressive music via Close to the Edge and Fragile, and at first I couldn't understand at all how in the world this album could be rated more highly overall. It wasn't a good album to be introduced to the band, really; it seems more like one of those albums that you come to appreciate more after being introduced to the band from their more accessible albums. I even almost submitted a review giving four stars, and (thankfully) my computer wasn't working quite right at the time, and know after listening to it more closely as well as getting my hands on more early Genesis albums, I finally came to understand why this album truly is a masterpiece. I fell in love with Foxtrot and it's epic Supper's Ready, and found SEBTP to be a bit more delicate and artistic overall, as well as somewhat better produced - and that's saying a lot. The whole album from start to finish is pure musical bliss, the only not so incredible song being obviously More Fool Me, but this is easily made up for and then some. Firth of Fifth and Cinema Show are highlights for me personally. I even came to appreciate The Battle of Epping Forest, which I thought kind of a stupid song at first, but after listening to Phil's futile attempts at theatrics on some of Trick of the Tail I came realize why these obscure lines that Peter Gabriel does are so great, and quite amusing as well. I still feel, while this album, does indeed well represent symphonic progressive music at it's best, it does not quite transcend the genre like Close to the Edge. Nonetheless it (as well as Foxtrot) is for certain one of the essential albums for any progressive listener.
Report this review (#154813)
Posted Sunday, December 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars In 1973, this was my first sound experince to prog/alternate music from the main stream AM POP music. I must have played this over and over until my LP player need to have its needle changed.

The first song opens with a Dancing ... wow what a masterpiece. Leading on into What I Like in your wardrobe... This was maybe my fav at the time. It sounded like fantasy. Firth or Fifth is a long winded symphony, but I always like gettting excited by the musical interlude. More Fool Me is my least fav on the LP. At the time I did not know that Phil Collins was leading up this song. I always felt that this tune just did not fit into the prog music. Thankfully, the 2nd side goes into my most fav side. The Battle ... After the Ordeal .. Cinama Show and Aisle of Plenty are all TOP NOTCH tracks.

This is one of my all time fav, but not a total masterpiece because of Phil's More Fool Me. Sadly, this is the road that Genesis was to take after Peter and later Steve left the band. TOO BAD that there are more POP Genesis CD rather than Prog CD's.

Report this review (#157382)
Posted Tuesday, January 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
5 stars My favorite Genesis album of all time! That mean a lot since they also happen to be my favorite band. The main reason why this album stands out compared to all of the other Genesis golden age-releases is that no matter what mood I'm in I can always turn this record on and it will be an enjoyable experience! That's the most important factor in my music listening.

****** songs: Dancing With The Moonlit Knight (8:02) Firth Of Fifth (9:35) More Fool Me (3:10) After The Ordeal (4:13) The Cinema Show (11:06) Aisle Of Plenty (1:32)

**** songs: I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) (4:07) The Battle Of Epping Forest (11:49)

Total Rating: 4,70

Report this review (#161658)
Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
TGM: Orb
5 stars Review 12, Selling England By The Pound, Genesis, 1973


If there's an album that represents England, this is it. Nostalgia, sarcasm and biting dark atmosphere stand side by side, augmented by (in my opinion) some of the most impressive Genesis lyrics. An absolutely essential and flawless album, and one you should instantly go out and buy if you don't already own it.

'Can you tell me where my country lies?' Gabriel's lone vocal opens the enchanting Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, a song about the search for and loss of identity. Musically perfect, with Collins on drums and the Hackett-Rutherford guitar interplay especially standing out. All eight minutes are outstanding. The stunning, original lyrics take it to another level, and really bring out the tragic and satirical concept.

I Know What I Like is a great, entertaining, light-hearted pop-based song. Magical drumming and good bass here, as well as enjoyably random synths. Perhaps too many pop elements for some people, but it suits me just fine.

The Banks-penned Firth of Fifth is stunning. Great piano solo, great guitar part, great use of various keyboards, good bass part, great vocals, good lyrics and absolutely stunning, original drumming from Collins. At times powerful, at times whimsical, at times moving, very fluid and altogether brilliant. Ten minutes of sheer brilliance.

I actually love More Fool Me, a melancholy ballad sung mainly by Collins (with one or two harmonies) with emotional acoustic guitar and lyrics which suit it perfectly. Perhaps not for every prog-man, but I prefer it to anything on A Trick Of The Tail.

The Battle For Epping Forest is a bright and cheerful account of a gang war, with occasionally amusing and generally tolerable lyrics and Gabriel really letting himself go with the vocals. A mixture of inane cockney accents, which you either will or won't like, musical sarcasm and the general excellence present on the rest of the album. I've grown to enjoy it, though I was dubious at first, but I suspect that this is one of those songs where the experience is different for each listener.

After The Ordeal is, in my opinion, one of the finest brief instrumentals ever, beginning with the best guitar-and-piano interplay I've yet heard and a few taps on the tambourine. As it moves to a slightly more polyphonic track, with a great drum entrance by Collins and organ, flute and synths all making some sort of appearance, there's a gorgeous guitar solo.

The Cinema Show is basically an exercise in going from soft to equally soft but somehow louder to softer so subtly that the listener barely notices. The Gabriel-Collins duet on vocals is great, and there's trademark soloing by Hackett and Banks, as well as great drumming. One of those songs which is mostly indescribable if you haven't already heard it.

To round off the album, we have possibly one of the best conclusions in the history of prog rock. The brief Aisle Of Plenty is essentially a reprise of part of Dancing With The Moonlit Knight with a brilliant fade. The perfect conclusion to a perfect album.

Rating: Five Stars

Favourite Track: After The Ordeal

Report this review (#163056)
Posted Sunday, March 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars If you haven't heard this yet, I don't know why you are here. This is considered by many to be the apex of progressive rock. It's stunning, it's brilliant, it has a mood all of its own. Moods I would describe as whimsical, passionate, intricate, pastoral, and confident. The music invokes more images of the 17th century than it does 1973.
Report this review (#163162)
Posted Tuesday, March 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars THIS IS THE QuINTESSENTIAL symphonic progressive rock album, this is the DADDY. It should be No 1, because it has beauty, complexity and simplicity, it just has so MANY of the best moments in prog, all on the one album/CD. Gabriel's loan intro sends a shiver down the spine and we're into track 1 Dancing with the Moonlight Knight, and the English lyrics are contemporary for 1973, but they echo in eternity...Sublime compositional piano and guitar take us into the Single and again it's quirky English humour might be missed by some! It's a great song and then Masterpeice No 1 - Firth of Fifth, from tingling piano solo to superb flute/synth/piano arpegios, can it get better? Yes - with the finest guitar solo in prog rock history, it's not fast it's not clever but it's got orgasmic qualities that still get me now thirty years after I first heard it! Then the low point, Phil Collins singing a pointless lovesong (sign of things to come). Track 5 , The Battle of Epping Forest, again a topical story about gang-land violence almost cetainly prompted by the Kray's reign in Londons gang-land, Gabriel is sublime and the track works on many levels for me and I still love it. Then The Cinema show and another prog masterpiece what can you say about banks keyboards or the haunting classical guitars, then it's over with another topical ditty at the end. If you don't like this then you aren't a fan of symphonic prog rock, it's as simple as that. And it has THREE of the top 10 symphonic prog tracks OF ALL TIME, i'll let you guess which three they are!
Report this review (#163382)
Posted Friday, March 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Battle Of Epping Forest is too long, much too long and relatively poor. But the other tracks are all great, especially Firth Of Fifth (these solos are so beautiful : flute, keyboards, guitar...) and The Cinema Show. I also love More Fool Me, performed by Phil Collins (credited, for this time) and After The Ordeal. And there is the hit-single, I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe), the most well-known song from the 8 of the album. The cover art is inspired by this song. A Great album, maybe one of the most beautiful albums in prog-rock history. But only 4 stars because of this boring Battle Of Epping Forest.
Report this review (#163993)
Posted Saturday, March 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
The Crow
4 stars The best Genesis's album? I think it has some of the best Genesis's songs... But it's not perfect anyway.

Allthough all the tracks included here are simply excellent, specially the long ones, like Dancing with the Moonlight Knight or The Cinema Show, wich are just one of the best progressive's tracks from the 70's. The "Foxtrot"'s formula is perfectionated here, making a really elegant, catchy and powerful album, with good lyrics, and with every instrument sounding pefect... Steve Hackett makes another outstanding performance, both experimental and accesible, Tony Bank's keyboards playing is just excellent (the solo in Firth of Fifth is great!) and they have even more protagonism than in "Foxtrot", Peter Gabriel's voice shines in the whole album, I little less strident... All the musicians made their best efforth here.

So I think that the long tracks are the best music Genesis has made... But the short ones, being are also enjoyable, like the commercial I Know What I like, and the medieval influenced After the Ordeal... Are not as great as the long tracks, and that's the fact that doesn't allow "Selling England by the Pound" being a perfect masterpiece in my opinion. The whole album deserves a close listening, but the comparision between the short and long tracks is not in the album's benefit. "Foxtrot" has no flaws in my opinion, every song in it was just great... And although "Foxtrot" has not the quality of some "Selling England by the Pound"'s songs, the first surpases the second in terms of homogene quality. This is the reason I give "Foxtrot" five stars, and "Selling England by the Pound" only four.

Best songs: the four long songs are the best of the album... Four precious jewels, and along with Supper's Ready the best Genesis's long tracks.

Conclusion: for me, this album has some of the best Genesis's music, and it's one of the highlihgts of the 70's decade... This album should not be missed. Dramatic, sentimental, complex... But still really accesible! This album has everything that a real music's lover waits... Just the short tracks, although they are also excellent and they give variety to the album, doesn't let the record have the highest rating, because they are a bit under the stunning level of the long ones.

My rating: ****1/2

Report this review (#165237)
Posted Friday, March 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars A Real Masterpiece of progressive Rock , and one of the Top Ten albums of all times . What can you write about a masterpiece except the fact that it is . The funny thing in my review is , that i got the single version ( 45 ) first , three month before the album , the Lebanese market was too slow in getting those stuff from England . so , i was really opset by this work , cause i had in my collection Foxtrot & Nurcery only . I felt that this band is not Genesis . Few weeks later , i had the chance to get the complete album labeled charisma , with its magical cover . From the start i loved it , what a superb lyrics , music , harmonies , instruments settings , and real amazing team work . A complete progressive rock at epic , by all measures . From start with Dancing with ... passing by the best track ever achieved in prog Firth of Fifth , the battle of epping forest , After the ordeal , the cinema show & Aisle of Plenty . it's really a kind of magical fairy tale . AND , to be me mre accurate & sincere in reviewing this greatness , i could'nt figure out what was the lyrics was about in early stages , but , thanks to you reviewers , i got now the right idea behind this noble work . Sooooooo , thank you Progarchieves and Dear proggers for your concern in keeping the Sun of progressive shinning .................... NOW , by having a good idea about the concept behind this favourite work from Genesis , i enjoy it much much more .. YOURS TRULLY .... Tracks Toni
Report this review (#166541)
Posted Sunday, April 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars The process of reviewing the Gabriel era Genesis albums has become a positive, fulfilling and enlightening exercise for me. The process has allowed me to listen to a huge part of my music collection and to REALLY scrutinize the music for WHAT IT IS, instead of listening to it through a veil of prejudice, sentimentality and biases affected by common and popular beliefs.

In other words, I don't care what anyone else thinks. I'm going to review these early Genesis records based on what my heart and ears tell me, not on what is socially acceptable or what is historically significant.

That being said, I should say that Genesis is one of my favorite prog bands of all-time. I enjoy their music IMMENSELY. Yet, I find inconsistencies with their Gabriel era work that it makes me sit back and take a closer look at all of these so-called prog masterpieces.

I'm finding that, after several decades of listening, some of the Gabriel era Genesis albums don't age very gracefully. They have too many holes in them. Too many bad moments that lessen the overall effect of the album.

For starters, SEBTP contains some of THE MOST SUBLIME music ever made; in any genre. On the other hand, it contains some cheesy moments that would make any honest-hearted music fan cringe in disgust.

I typically don't like to do a song-by-song analysis but being that this album is so high on most everyone's list I will go into more detail than usual.

First, the BAD:

4. More Fool Me (3:09): What the! This is MUCH WORSE than anything Phil Collins did after Hackett left the band(up to, and including, And Then There Were Three). Why is this song on this record? What compelled the band to have it come after Fifth of Firth? Who in their right mind would allow this song to coexist with everything else on this record? But it's not alone. Read on...

2. I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) (4:06) : This tune is SO OUT OF PLACE on this record that it makes me wonder if Peter Gabriel era Genesis ever understood how an album is mastered; ie. the flow of one piece to the next. A VERY basic concept when creating an album. Specially when the album is supposed to be a concept of sorts.

The aforementioned tunes are some of Genesis' lowest points, only to be matched by the cheesiness of Collins solo ballads and some of Gabriel's own solo work.

Those two songs are VERY REVEALING and clearly tell me that the band had very little breadth. They certainly could go very deep into some pieces(see the GOOD parts below) but didn't have enough material available to make a flawless recording, needing to add some very bad filler material.

Now, the GOOD. What saves this record is that the good is VERY GOOD to flat-out MASTERFUL.

1. Dancing With The Moonlit Knight (8:01): It's simply one of the most creative and emotional songs ever made. A LOT has been said about the opening voice and how the music kicks in creating a dense and symphonic masterpiece. Certainly, one of the highlights of the prog genre. If the record contained this song and no other, it'd earn four stars. It's that good.

3. Firth Of Fifth (9:34) : Why didn't this piece come directly after the opening track boggles my mind. Anyway, this is another prog classic. The way it FLOWS through various moods is totally sublime. Of course, the much heralded Hackett solo is the highlight of the piece, but the opening classical style piano by Banks should not be downplayed; it's excellent.

5. The Battle Of Epping Forest(11:43) : This is one of the most lyrically complex Genesis pieces ever written by Gabriel. He threw in the kitchen sink and then some. But it works and works very well. The conversation that persists throughout the piece between Gabriel and Rutherford is quite entertaining and paints a VERY convincing picture of the story line. This is theatrical prog at its best. Too bad that The Lamb couldn't achieve this same level of theatrics. This one is a masterpiece.

Finally, 7. The Cinema Show (11:06) : I have to admit to being a hardcore Tony Banks fan. Throughout Genesis' history Banks has been its most consistent force. I don't think any other member has contributed as much to the Genesis sound. The Cinema Show is Tony's place to shine on this record and he takes the limelight quite well, majestically soloing throughout the majority of the piece in a graceful and melodic style that Tony does so very well.

In conclusion.....

Selling England By The Pound contains some of THE BEST music in the history of prog. BUT, the low points are so low that it's nearly impossible to give this one the five star rating. I'm not one to scrutinize every part of every song for sonic and compositional perfection while doing a review. However, I don't expect any one song(or two as is the case with this album) to stick out so prominently that it tarnishes an otherwise flawless record. Filler material is unacceptable from this level of musicianship.


Report this review (#167775)
Posted Thursday, April 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars So, again a five-star rating for Selling England.., who needs it? Well, since I am new in reviewing albums and there are some which deserve ratings, I first try myself at the easier cases. Yes, it is training! (Who does not feel disappointed and provoked shall continue reading)

Selling England by the Pound is considered as a masterpiece by many (including me) and is listed among the highest ratings here. The homeland of the band is shown in a way representing what it was once, and what it is now. Can you tell me where my country lies? asks Gabriel, the answer is pressed in about fifty minutes on vinyl. And it is not a land of hope and glory, is it?

Dancing with the moonlit knight makes the album start with a highlight. From the a-capella start to the end, the angry guitar riffs, the solos, the dynamic and changes make up the perfect song to transport the message. I know what I like (In your wardrobe) tells of the decadence and uselessness which is an upper-class family, living a live old nobles would despair - says a lawn mower. The piano intro of Firth of Fifth gets played more or less regularly by me, and I enjoy it as much as the song. I did not like it that much, but it does not take long to get used to it. With The Battle of ... oh, I forgot More fool me. Calm, silent song I did not even noticed at first, until Phil begins to get loud. It seems to shout 'Come on, take a break, for here comes the long...' The Battle of the Epping forest. What is wrong with the youth? Some do not see that the streets are not for small war. Musically, this delivers most changes in this album, and is so chaotic it will disturb the listener at first. However, why not? Does not a masterpiece grow with time? After the ordeal is a relaxed instrumental, after the next of the highlights is reached: The Cinema Show. Both, Phil and Peter do an exceptional performance as vocalists. Banks does not need to hide. With Aisle of Plenty, the album ends in a recital of the Dancing with the moonlit knight melody. The conclusion of the album: 'I don't belong here'. It mixes in several themes, to end it with a fade-out.

Overall, this is Genesis at their peak. Some people might have noticed that I did not mentioned Hackett once up to now. To make it short: He delivers virtuose techniques, but never forgets melody. Collins seems to be able to do anything he wants with his drums and the rythms are strengthened by Rutherford, Banks switches from background chords to melodies in the forerground. Gabriel seems to reach perfection in his (!!) style, while Collins with the band adds the rest.

Oh, England, do not be sad. After all, some here is just pure sarcasm. And you have a band to be proud of! Five stars, without a doubt.

Report this review (#168199)
Posted Sunday, April 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars So, so very close...but I have to give this one a five. I work of art in many, many ways. Now, I'm not a Genesis fanboy or a homer; this is, in fact, the only album by them that I own (for now). I'm not giving this a perfect score because it is the famous Selling England By The Pound, or because I'm a devoted Genesis fan. This is simple a fantastic album in (almost) all ways.

Is it just me, or do most of the best albums or songs have a dramatic opening that is unforgettable and grabs your attention for what is about to come? Gabriel's opening line Can you tell me where my country lies? sung a cappella performs that duty admirably for this album. Absolutely chilling. The rest of the song, as well as the rest of the album, live up to this moment. This is actually a rather strong contrast to the somewhat lighthearted I Know What You Like. However, the latter song nevertheless provides a very good interlude between the opening track and the excellent Firth Of Fifth. Ah, yes, Firth Of Fifth. Definitely one of the highlights of the album. While Gabriel is his normal excellence in vocals on this piece, the real emphasis is on the instrumental parts. Most of the band members have solos here, from Rutherford's brilliant opening piano section, to Hackett's famous guitar part, to some of Gabriel's flute work. A very complete piece.

Now I set apart the last piece from side one on itself for good reason. More Fool Me is the Moonchild of this album: it is the one piece that seems to fall short of the rest of the album, often the song of most contention when debating between a four or five star rating. Often, it is seen as marring an otherwise flawless album. Personally, I almost always skip this track. So, is it right to give an album a perfect rating when there is a track on it that you always avoid? Well, it depends. In this case, I'm willing to let it slide, and give the album the full five stars. I feel that, while it adds nothing to the album, this song really doesn't hurt it very much. I mean, it really isn't a bad song; it just isn't a good song, either. It's simply there. Don't pay it any mind, and it won't cause you any harm.

After ignoring that one song ol' Phil What's-His-Name wrote, we approach another song of minor contention. I fell that, while it is a bit cheesy, The Battle Of Epping Forrest is still a very good song, with great instrumentation and a rather impressive and amusing vocal performance by Gabriel. Now we come to a song that I feel is somewhat overlooked. That's understandable considering the two mini epics its sandwiched between. Despite such oppressive circumstances, After The Ordeal comes very close to being my favorite track on the album, perhaps falling short of the song that succeeds it. A relaxing, instrumental piece with infectious piano, this really is deserving of more attention than it gets. Not a bad little solo by Hackett either. However, the song that truly makes this album is The Cinema Show. Some songs you can't say much about because of how bad they are; some you can't say much about because of how good they are. Fortunately, this song falls into the latter category. Suffice to say that the instrumental section at the end (or the whole song really) could be one of the greatest moments in prog history. And how do you follow that up? You melt into Aisle Of Plenty, a succinct song that wraps up the album beautifully. Really one of the best ending tracks around.

All around, a magnificent album. Essential in every prog rock collection, five-stars, etc. Definitely listen to the Genesis fanboys on this one.

Report this review (#168711)
Posted Friday, April 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars It should have been impossible for Genesis to successfully follow up Foxtrot and yet with Selling England By The Pound they actually truimph over it. While overall typically British songs like opener Dancing With The Moonlit Knight or The Cinema Show cross over effortlessly into fairy tale territory. There is nothing quite as pounding as Watcher Of The Skies here but intricate arrangements of guitar and keyboards guarantee it is not missed. All of the members have their moment here whether it be the rare self- indulgent guitar solo from Steve Hackett on Firth Of Fifth, the Tony Banks orchestrated outro of The Cinema Show or of course frontman extraordinaire Peter Gabriel and his wonderfully humorous narration on The Battle Of Epping Forest. Some bad puns on Aisle Of Plenty make for a less than perfect finish to the album but more focused shorter pieces like the infectiously melodic I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) or acoustic ballad More Fool Me, featuring lead vocals from Phil Collins, more than compensate. While others come close Selling England remains the ultimate Peter Gabriel fronted Genesis album.
Report this review (#168934)
Posted Monday, April 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Can you tell me where my favourite album lies?

This is the best record that I know. Every note, every chord are in the right place. Selling England is the masterpiece of the masterpieces, a magic album. Unique. Everyone who loves music, no matter which kind, should own it. Along all these years, this music has kept his freshness and his originality. The essence of Prog-Rock is conteined in this tracklist; Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, Firth Of Fifth, The Battle Of Epping Forest, After The Ordeal, The Cinema Show. More Fool Me is the weakest link, but it does not break the magical chain, I Know What I Like is a non-prog song but it fits good. Aisle Of Plenty works very good as the gran-finale. If only I could I would give more than five stars...

Report this review (#169612)
Posted Friday, May 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Chicks are suckers for a man in unifaun

This was one of the first Prog albums I ever bought, and having relocated it pressed into service as a cat mat in the garage, (with the LP cover reduced to a pungent and hairy cardboard Frisbee) must say its contents have aged considerably better than the packaging, (which mirrors uncannily its owner). This was perhaps the last album where Gabriel and his collaborators were on the same page in the hymn book.

And did those feet in ancient time walk upon England's mountains green?

'Dancing With the Moonlit Knight' - Gabriel's voice has an unmistakable texture, that when heard in isolation as it is here on this memorable intro, reveals a cherubic huskiness, like a chain smoking dove. The melody swoops and dives unpredictably during this forlorn spell cast by that most self consciously zealous of all shy magicians.

(You mean you like this bit then?) Yep.

The deliberate use of an English folk song setting is significant as it sets up a nostalgic smokescreen, not for a past he pretends was preferable, but for a stealth raid on the iniquities that Gabriel sees have befallen a once green and pleasant land. There is some real 'bile' in his delivery here which I didn't pick up on 19 years ago, couched in a caustic disdain for the crass and venal aspects of modernity that he perceives will erode all that is venerable.

(You mean he's angry then?) Yep.

Easy now, sit you down Chewing through your Wimpy dreams They eat without a sound Digesting England by the pound (The consolation offered by 'leisure' as a new brand of 'freedom', with the consumer's silence being all the approval that marketing will ever need to foist more and more of this unquenchable junk on us).

It's impossible to fault a creation as well crafted and tightly woven as this. Were we to throw the parts up in the air I'm sure they would land in exactly the same order and carry the same weight. As a social satire of the British Isles in the early 70's it is unmatched in Prog. Perfection.

'I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)' - A glorious and unashamedly simple pop song that Genesis milk for all it's worth on a classic 'camp-fire' sing along chorus. Here alas, PG slips occasionally into that irritating 'method school eccentric' mode of his and should know by having studied closely Arthur Brown, that you ain't ever gonna get 'surreal' out of 'nonsensical' no matter how hard you batter it or who's listening.

'Firth of Fifth' - Contains one of Tony Bank's finest moments on piano in a stunningly inventive and beautifully played lengthy introduction to this track. As for the remainder, we should simply lobby the makers of dictionaries to amend their next versions to include an entry: 'Majestic' - see Firth of Fifth

'More Fool Me' - Can't say I ever signed up for the Revolutionary Workers Party after hearing this track. Phil Collins is undoubtedly a very fine singer, but I could never figure out why he chose to debut a lead vocal on a tune that is obviously out of his comfortable range?. Good acoustic song but the one with the soft center that everyone passes over in the box of chocolates. Pleasant, but so is gluttony.

'The Battle of Epping Forest' - Perhaps the least successful of all the larger scale Genesis compositions. This one suffers from some underdeveloped and arid patches that wobble precariously under the load and let's face it, east end gangsters definitely ain't Peter Gabriel's milieu.

The intro gets precisely zero 'mood setting' points for just sounding like a sloppy and unmemorable marching flute band. (Although I confess to having never heard a tight and memorable marching flute band either)

Some of the sections are really good but you wish they were considerably closer together eg They call me the Reverend etc which has both a memorable tune and displays PG's fine grasp of story telling and embellishing a character by 'speaking on pitch.' The same vocal technique is utterly wretched however, when attempted on the 'thug' accents (which originate from much lower down the social pecking order than the singer), so these bits drag and irritate in equal measure.

'After the Ordeal' - Beautiful instrumental track that displays just what an unerring knack Banks has for playing just enough and no more with which to support perfectly the musical materials at hand. Delightful electric piano arpeggios bubble their way all through this tune and the lead guitars have a sumptuously understated quality enhanced by some slinky snaking flute towards the end by PG.

(You mean you like this one then?) Yep.

'Cinema Show' - Rather appropriately, this utilizes the dual perspective/split screen device of film on the brilliant opening section where the two protagonists are united in intent but divided in motive. What follows is a couple of minutes of those cascading acoustic guitar arpeggios and meandering flute exercises so beloved of Genesis and they seem to lose a bit of focus. But things perk up significantly afterwards and from this point onwards the instrumental writing and interplay is tear wellingly beautiful.

Genesis were one of the most democratic of bands both in their compositional credits and their instrumental writing. This is abundantly illustrated on this track where no single individual dominates as the 'spotlight soloist' over the rest. All the band are employed in the creation of a multi layered and ever changing dynamic 'whole' and this set them apart from so many of their contemporaries. The overriding priority here is always melodic whether in statement or enhancement and of all the prog giants it was perhaps Genesis who were least guilty of virtuosity as a end in itself.

(You mean they don't disappear up their own backsides on the solos?) Yep.

'Aisle of Plenty' - In time honored Prog protocol a little 'tail ender' linking back to the opening. It's purpose is more for structural symmetry than anything else and those Anglophiles amongst you with an affection for clever puns are in for a treat hereabouts. (but the rest of you may be left scratching your heads at the British references)

The production on this record represents a quantum leap from its predecessors. Suddenly there is a clarity on a Genesis record where before they sounded so hard up they recorded in the dark.

BTW if someone can tell me what a 'unifaun' might actually be, please drop me a line.

Report this review (#170810)
Posted Monday, May 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars How did 9% of you rate this 3 stars or less?!?

The third in a string of 5 spectacular albums Genesis has to build on the momentum of the great Foxtrot. Not only did they accomplish it they did it in completely different way. Here instead of the epic Suppers Ready we have a whole album loosely based on the decline of English Society. Each song has a distinct texture and feel from the light hearted I Know What I like to the pompous Firth of Firth to the light jazz feel of The Cinema Show. Some of the best song writing in Genesis career is present here. Also though the caliber of the musicianship as well as the recording quality finally all come together for the band. Peter Gabriel's voice has reached a maturity level that really come alive in Dancing With the Moonlit Knight and The Battle of Epping Forest, sort of a operatic rendition of an English news story with Gabriel assuming several rolls. After the Ordeal is a great example of the fine instrumental jams this band was capable of in this period of their existence.

Highlights for me are the Piano introduction of Firth of Fifth by Tony Banks as well as the great band rendition of the same solo in the middle and of course Gabriel's Flute solo and then Hackett's guitar solo. Huh! All that in one song. I don't have the time to put all my highlights here. See that is what makes this album a masterpiece. Just completely sublime.

5 Stars

Report this review (#170938)
Posted Wednesday, May 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars I think this has been said enough: This is one of the best albums ever made. We're not only talking about one of the best albums in the prog realm, but within the realm of modern music (hell, make that 20th century music). This album is full of hits, and no miss is seen in sight.

The opener, Dancing With the Moonlit Knight seems to set the mood for the album. Starting with an a cappella opening from the great Peter Gabriel himself and with pastoral-sounding guitars coming in seconds later, the song later becomes heavier, and after a few minutes, all of a sudden Steve Hackett comes with his double tapping technique! The song also is full of witty lyrics, being a critique on the Americanization of England.

The second song, I Know What I Like, is also a great song, but it has to come after the epic Moonlit Knight, so it would be inevitable that this song would be looked down upon slightly. The Song is still great, and I like their use of the electric sitar. The song almost seems to reach in pop territory, especially when the chorus hits (this could perhaps explain why it was their top 20 hit song in England or anywhere else for that matter).

The third song, Firth of Fifth, is probably my favorite song on the album. That amazing piano intro always gets me, and it is one of many examples why Tony Banks is up there with the ranks of Rick Wakeman, Jon Lord and Ray Manzarek in the greatest rock keyboardists ever. The lyrics are a bit weird, but many other great aspects of this song make up for this, one being the epic guitar solo from Steve Hackett. The solo is a bit slow, but every note is amazing. The flute solo is also very cool and unique (not that often do you hear flute solos in rock music).

More Fool Me is also a great song. The second song ever sung by Phil Collins, too. He does a great job at vocals, and it is certainly no surprise to me why he became their vocalist years later. The pastoral sound of this song seems to fit with the rest of the album, so it doesn't run the risk of sound out of place.

The next song seems to bother some people, but unlike most, I seem to enjoy this one. The Battle of Epping Forest is most likely the weirdest piece of music they have ever done. This is the longest song on the album, although the length doesn't seem to bother me. Filled with crazy pianos, weird guitar pieces, and odd lyrics which tell of a fictional gang fight, this song, although very weird (but not to the point where it's uncomfortable), is very satisfying.

The next song is the only instrumental on the album, but it is a great piece of music, might I add. With a great acoustic guitar at the beginning of the song that transitions to an amazing electric guitar piece for the other half of the piece. Also, amazing piano work (as usual) from Tony Banks.

This has to be my favorite song on the album. Forget what I said earlier about Firth of Fifth, even though that song is absolutely amazing, but it certainly can't top something like this. Every part of this song is perfect. The pastoral sounding guitars at the beginning with Peter Gabriel silently singing his lyrics, and eventually it gets heavier and heavier, and soon enough some amazing electric guitar work from Steve is presented from Steve Hackett. At around five minutes, as you're wondering what direction this song is going to go into now, then at random, Genesis cleverly pulls an amazing keyboard solo out of their hat that last well over five minutes and finishes the rest of the song. Another note to add for this song is the great drum work by Phil Collins, especially during the keyboard solo. Steve Hackett also does an amazing job on guitar for this piece, too (what else would you expect from a man like him?). The song later segues into Aisle of Plenty, which recalls Dancing With the Moonlit Knight, and the album finishes on an extremely high note that cannot be reached.

This is not only the best album in prog rock history, but this could possibly be the best piece of 20th century music I have heard. I am glad that more people are coming out and putting this album in "best albums" lists, especially after people like Rolling Stone Magazine keep shunning them. I would recommend this album to anyone, no matter what their taste in music, because no matter what someone's music taste is they're bound to find at least a few things on this album that they would find interesting.

Report this review (#171717)
Posted Tuesday, May 20, 2008 | Review Permalink

I'm a huge fan of Genesis. I actually have a local cover band of the Peter Gabriel Era Genesis. I really don't see why this album has such high praises especially in comparison to other genesis albums or prog albums. Let me try to explain why this album isn't the greatest. Here's a break-down of the album

1. Dancing with the Moonlit Knight: Best song of the album hands down. Probably the only reason I have this album. Awesome time changes, different recurring themes, excellent musicianship overall. Love the tune.

2. I know what I like: Yes I do and it's not this tune. This is Genesis gone POP. I don't see anything special here. Pretty much just showcasing Gabriel's vocals. Nothing technical or even remotely prog in this tune. Just some exaggerated prolonged chords and vocals.

3. Firth of Fifth: Decent track. Gotta give it to Banks for the crazy time changes right off the bat. The main chorus is kinda boring but we get a little progressive near the middle of the track. Nice solo by Hackett.

4. More Fool Me: Horrible. Another f****** pop song.

5. The Battle Of Epping Forest: One of the better songs on the album. Love the marching band introduction. The melody is pretty catchy too. Has some dark breaks will Phil's vocals soaring over weird chords. Lots of cool prog going on with this track. Worth checking out for sure.

6. After The Ordeal: Cool intro. Again props to Banks. Rest of the song just seems to drag with boring drum beats and sustained notes from Hackett.

7. The Cinema Show: Alright song with some darkness to it. I personally find this song is too long. They try to get progressive with the song near the middle and I don't really see where it's going. At least an attempt is made.

8. Aisle Of Plenty: Ending track. Trying to bring back the main theme of the album. Just doesn't seem to fit.

To conclude, anyone who knows anything about Genesis or prog will tell you that Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot are their best efforts. Please listen to these albums first if you're new to the genre.

Report this review (#173060)
Posted Wednesday, June 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
5 stars Selling Genesis by the pound

What could I possibly add about an album that has over 300 reviews already? Not much, really. I too think that this is a masterpiece and thus that its status here is well-deserved. This is one of those albums that defines progressive Rock. If you don't know what progressive Rock is (as you surely do if you entered this website) then you should take a listen to this album (in addition to a few other ones by Yes, Jethro Tull, etc.).

The distinctive voices of Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins, the unique and distinctive guitar sound of Steve Hackett, the fantastic keyboard playing, bass and drums by Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins respectively are extremely impressive. These five extremely talented people were all in the same band! Also, all five of them had that certain special something that you might call "star quality" (and as you probably know they all had more or less successful solo careers). Yes is the only other band I know of that could make that claim. Not even The Beatles had as many as five unique talents among their ranks.

Selling England By The Pound was the peak of the Peter Gabriel-era Genesis. It has some of Genesis' very best and most classic material on it. I cannot mention any favourite tracks because I would end up listing them all (possibly apart from More Fool Me which is slightly out of place here, but has its qualities).

A Prog classic if there ever was one. Absolutely essential for absolutely everybody!

Report this review (#177302)
Posted Saturday, July 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I find myself very much at odds with the majority on this one. Being a big fan of the previous year's "Foxtrot", I remember putting "Selling England By The Pound" on the platter for the first time in 1973 with great anticipation, only to be underwhelmed. In fact, I didn't like the album enough to buy it (I had borrowed the LP from a friend) and only finally put my hand in my pocket about five years ago when I happened to see the CD heavily discounted in a high street store.

I hear umpteen nods to "Foxtrot" on this album, but I find "Selling England By The Pound" pales in comparison to its predecessor. Even the nonsense lyrics seem less clever to me. Musically, "Foxtrot" is a million miles from "Trick Of The Tail" whereas "Selling England By The Pound" moves a little closer to the later, more accessible post-Gabriel GENESIS sound; GENESIS' tentative steps towards the mainstream, if you like. And I have to agree with a previous reviewer regarding the sound of Tony Banks' synthesizer on the album: it irritates me at times on several of the tracks; not the playing, which is good, but the buzzy sound of the instrument itself.

'Dancing With The Moonlit Knight' has its moments, I suppose, but just does not excite me, and it peters out rather, evocative moonlight tinkling or no.

The single 'I Know What I Like' charted and had a fair amount of airplay at the time. It's still a foot-tapper, but is hardly stellar Progressive Rock, being rather simple and monotonous (but still, granted, with that early GENESIS quirkiness).

The piano, flute and electronic keyboards on 'Firth Of Fifth' are more interesting, and I think this is one of the better tracks on the album, but again I find it less sophisticated than the tracks on "Foxtrot", catchy and soaring melody or no.

'More Fool Me' is just pure Phil Collins pop; a foretaste of what was to come, unfortunately. Inconsequential musically and lyrically.

'The Battle Of Epping Forest' is another track I can tap my foot to (and indeed like), with plenty of the quirkiness of early GENESIS, but again I feel it does not achieve the quality and energy of the music on the previous album.

The long intro to 'After The Ordeal' initially piques my interest but this track then goes flat and becomes boring.

'The Cinema Show' is a pleasing track but just lacks that extra something to take it from good to great in my book, although it's probably my favourite track on the album and segues nicely into the brief 'Aisle Of Plenty' with its nonsense lyrics playing on UK supermarket names.

Well, what more can I say? In some ways I still can't fathom why this album is so popular. To me it's good but not outstanding and, with the exception of parts of some of the tracks, I find it unmemorable with nothing to make me sit up. Basically, I find the album makes for rather tedious listening. Yes, there's melody; yes, there's variety; yes, there's oddity; but for some reason it just does not do it for me. If half stars were possible I'd award this album 3.5 stars but, as they aren't, I'm going for 3 stars (Good, but not essential). As I mentioned initially, I recognise I'm at odds with the majority, but there are so many albums that I would recommend or buy before this one that I can't bring myself to award it four stars.

Report this review (#177848)
Posted Tuesday, July 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars The third consecutive perfect album by Genesis (from six overall).This album contains one of the strongest long epic songs of Genesis' career - Dancing with the Moonlit Knight,Firth of Fifth,The Cinema Show.This songs have unique instrumental solos and they show highly regarded songwriting skills of the band.
Report this review (#178594)
Posted Friday, August 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first prog album I ever listened to. I remember as a little kid I was listening to ...And Then There Were Three... and I loved it, but that album is closer pop/rock then prog/rock. So one day my dad hears me listening to the record and he gives me a tape of SEBTP. He thought I was going to hate it out of my mind becase at that point I was more into poppy music. So I listened to it one day, and I simply never stopped. I was whistling the flute solo of Firth of Fifth in bed and in the following days I listened to it at least 4 times a day...

It's years later and this masterpeice still charms me. From the heavy guitar riffs in Dancing With The Moonlit Knight to Phil's beautiful vocal in More Fool Me, This album is one of the greatest albums of all time.

Dancing With The Moonlit Knight- 4.5/5 stars, A wonderful harder rocking song of Genesis with a great opening, but the 2 minute downtime ending I never quite understood.

I Know What I Like- 5/5 stars, The song is reletively poppy for Genesis at that time, but nonetheless, a great song

Firth of Fifth- 5/5 stars, Easily one of the greatest songs of all time from the classical opening to the perfectly executed jam session in the middle, a masterpeice.

More Fool Me- 5/5 stars, A great acoustic song with Phil on vocals adds a lot of greatness to this already awesome album.

The Battle of Epping Forest- 4.5/5 stars, a really good opening and ending, but the middle feels too all over the place. Also, I like this song, but I could picture many people saying it is way too acquired taste for them.

After The Ordeal- 5/5 stars, a great folky opening which can easly prove why Steve Hackett is my favorite acoustic guitarist. The second half is highly emotional and Steve sounds great on the electric guitar as well.

The Cinema Show- 5/5 stars, an amazing acoustic opening with Tony Banks' keyboard solo at the end perfectly executed with great sound and playing.

After The Ordeal- 5/5 stars, basically a reprise of the first track, but it such a great reprise that it makes SEBTP easily have one of the greatest endings to an album of all time.

If I haven't said enough yet, just simply buy this album and you will not once regret it.

Report this review (#179150)
Posted Thursday, August 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Would someone tell him where his country lies already!?

Selling England By The Pound is yet another one of those albums that really doesn't need another review stacked on top of it's already hundreds upon hundreds of reviews that already say more about it that any one person could. Of course, like most other 'classic' albums, this is for a reason. When it came to the prog game in the 70s there were few that could match the symphonic power of Genesis at the top of their game. The albums they released with the full power line-up (and even two without) are considered among the best to ever be recorded by the progressive genre in general. This little disc is no exception. Following close on the heels of their freshly released masterpiece Foxtrot, Genesis here decides to carry on the style they'd tinkered with on Trespass and mastered on Nursery Cryme. Larger than life orchestrations backed by clever and inspired lyrics sung by one of prog's great minstrels, a Mr. Peter Gabriel himself.

This albums does not have a monster side long track like Supper's Ready, but the main compositions it does house have just as much power backed into a more concise punch. For those who have not yet heard the album, it contains four main compositions as well as four 'minor' (minor used loosely here) compositions. On the first side all the songs are on the short side (two between 8-9 minutes and two between 3-4 minutes) and each song holds well on its own. The second side has the two songs which break the 10-minute barrier and also two supporting tracks which work in tandem with the rest of the album. Even the layout of the album itself has been well thought out it seems, and while it may remain a mystery if it is so just because of the limit of working on 'sides', it still works none the less.

On side one we have a couple of Genesis's best moments. Opening the fray is Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, a tour-de-force of heavy synths and guitars after a mellow intro which has sometimes been called, ''an unexpected headbanging moment'' as the tone shifts. Less heavy and more on the 'beautiful' side is the other longer composition, Firth Of Fifth. This one with it's swirling synth work and excellent instrumental sections has sometimes been called ''Genesis's best moment'', and some will even argue that it tops the entirety of Supper's Ready. Judge for yourself, but the instrumental interplay in this song is simply wonderful and a joy to listen to over and over again. The other two songs on the first side are sometimes frowned upon, likely because of their relative simplicity. But they still work. I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) has a catchy chorus backed by harmonized vocals. A fun and short song. More Fool Me comes off as rather uninteresting at times, but it still has a kick coming into the song when Collins finally lets loose with the vocals. Somewhat of a sign of things to come from later (and less popular with the proggers) Genesis, but a modest song on the album. But even one modest song cannot stop this behemoth of an album now.

Coming into the second side we're treated with another couple of Genesis's finest moments. The Battle Of Epping Forest is another heavier song with its sharp and pressing vocals from Gabriel backed by war-like instruments to further the atmosphere of the tune which reaches its coda with After The Ordeal, a soft outro. The Cinema Show is another exercise in keyboard wizardry backed by some great vocals and guitars, all around good performances make for a very moody song in the same kind of atmosphere that Firth was in before. It all comes to an end with a medley of all the songs on the album in Aisle Of Plenty.

Chuck this review on top of the already massive pile. No surprise that this one is going to get a blistering 5 out of 5. This is an - if not the - essential masterpiece by a wonderful prog band in their classic era. This is one that no prog fan should be without. Recommended for all! Don't miss it!!

Report this review (#179344)
Posted Sunday, August 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Just to say a few words about this one: Peak of Genesis' creation, this album is not only a timeless testament of progressive rock, but also a remarkable work of art. With it's unique, unmistakable and trademark Genesis sound, Selling England by the Pound is incredibly gentle and subtle, yet powerful piece of music with hunderds of delightful bits, twists and moments; for example, Aisle of Plenty is a minute and a half of musical heaven. There's nothing like it. Not to mention Firth of Fifth or The Cinema Show - I'm getting goosebumps already. It's hard to tell what their secret is: there must be something in Collins' masterful drumming, Hacketts alluring guitar playing, Gabriels characteristic, emotional singing, Banks' keyboard and Rutherfords string heaven. Add some flute and oboe, lots of talent, inspiration and intuition, a bit of a magic and that's it I guess! Very few albums can compare to this beauty.
Report this review (#180613)
Posted Saturday, August 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Hello Progarchives, this is my first review of any album and I decided to write a review of an album I really love. I hope you will read this and get to know my musical tastes better!

So the reason why I think this is one of the greatest prog albums of all time is because of the soul musicianship of everyone in the group. Peter Gabriel has a unique voice as well as lyrics, Tony banks has an excellent taste of writing and synthesizer use, Phil Collins always has a varying fashion of drumming, Steve Hackett creats an incredible atmosphere without using too many notes, and Mike Rutherford always has a solid bassline and always drives the band. Although I barely know the story line of this album, I'm pretty sure I know the music by Its self! I'll start off track by track...

Dancing with the Moonlit Knight you can expect to be a great opener. It starts soft with piano and vocals, eventually closing with an awesome instrumental section (as well as Firth of Fifth and, The Cinema Show). This song has great use of melloton and acoustic guitars.

I Know What I Like I guess you could say is a lot more mainstream than any other of the songs on the album. Although there Isn't too much variety in this song, it has a great hook and lyrics. I Know What I Like is (or was) always a crowd favorite at concerts.

Firth of Fifth No joke, is one of Genesis' greatest songs. It has one of the greatest synthesizer and guitar solos in history. Not one aspect of this song is bad. The intro, verse, bridge, and instrumental sections are all masterpieces in themselves. The guitar solo I think is the best part of the song. I think between this album and Lamb Lies are Gabriels peak at lyrics and singing. Expect incredible things coming out of the headphones when you listen to this bad boy!

Now, I personally love More Fool Me. I think the range of vocals fit Phil's voice alot better than Peter's ever could (well I guess thats why he sang it?). But anyway, Its a kind of quiet song with pretty 12-string in the background with a great chorus. What I find interesting about this song is that I could hear this song on A Trick of the Tail more than on this album. Not saying because Phil sings on this song, but it just has kind of a sound that would fit Trick of the Tail more. Anyway, great song though.

Being the longest song on the track Battle of Epping Forest is probably the most adventerous. It took me about 10 listens to fully appreciate its uniqueness. This song is almost Jethro Tull'ish with the kind of quirky lyrics and acoustic guitars towards the middle. I love this song because of its awesome variation and organ & guitar interplay.

After the Ordeal stands out in an excellent way. It kind of reminds me of Medevel times towards the beginng with the classical guitar and piano. At about 2:14 Steve does an electric guitar melody that kind of reminds me of a guitar riff you would hear off of In the Court of the Crimson King. Anyways Its an awesome instrumental. It also has some of Peter's flute playing which I love.

Now what can I say about Cinema Show. It has the greatest instrumental section of all time in Genesis history. Its defenently the centerpiece of the album also featuring the greatest synth solo of all time. I also love the arpeggiated 12 string at the begginng. The instrumental section being in 7/8 creates a really driving feel for all other instruments especially the drums. The only thing I wish was different about the instrumental section is that it could be more driven and more on the edge like the Seconds Out version. It just seems very calm on the album. I guess that's what the band was striving for but I still can't get enough of this song.

And finally, Aisle of Plenty is brought in by the outro of Cinema show. At the beginning you might recall the guitar riff in Dancing with the Moonlit Knight. Its a short little song but guess what...its still great. Not totally sure what the lyrics are about but hey, Its Peter Gabriel!

I hope you enjoyed my first review! Keep it Prog!

Report this review (#181250)
Posted Sunday, August 31, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars An album with a distinct sound c/f Who's Next. All tracks sit together comfortably making it a great listen through. Earlier albums tend to swing between elegiac twiddly bits and thumping prog. Others have written thousands of words eulogising this album, so I will focus on what's special for me. I love the quintessential Englishness of the vocals and lyrics especially the punning 70's supermarket name-checking Aisle of Plenty, the opening verse of moonlit knight and the mockney voices of the Battle of Epping Forest. There are of course some great waves of Banks' solos in Firth and Cinema The only weak track is More Fool Me, not especially a Collins fault ,it would be weak whoever sang it.
Report this review (#183964)
Posted Sunday, September 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars In 1973, Genesis would release what has now become their most beloved and popular album from the Gabriel era period of the band (1969 to 1975). Selling England by the Pound was the group's fifth album and the group's highest charting so far. This new piece would turn out to be an even match, if not greater one, to their previous masterpiece Foxtrot which contained the epic twenty three minute"Supper's Ready".

The album opens up with the soaring rocker "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight". Starting with a quiet acoustic guitar melody accompanied by Peter Gabriel's soft vocals the album slowly picks up pace before pounding grand piano notes and Steve Hackett's suave guitar performance kicks in. Hackett's musical ability on this track is mesmerizing and his solos are spectacular. I personally find that this album contains Hackett's best guitar work out of their entire discography and it is already noticeable on this first song. Next up is the very popular "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)". This song was the group's first charting single and a concert staple to this day. The song opens with a very strange lawnmower sound effect with a spoken word intro by Gabriel. Much of the song is filled with prominent keyboard melodies, sitar riffs, and some decent bass work from Rutherford. The song ends with a flute solo by Gabriel and a repeat of the unnerving lawnmower effect.

Going into song three, we come across "Firth of Fifth" my favorite song on the entire album. Beginning with a majestic grand piano piece by keyboardist Tony Banks the vocals and other instruments enter creating a very powerful grandiose song. Gabriel's vocals eventually leave to allow a soft keyboard and flute duet enter only for that to exit and let the keyboards take full stride. Hackett soon enters creating one of his most dramatic and emotional guitar solos on the entire album, closing out the rest of this mini-epic leading into the soft "More Fool Me". This is a simple song sung by drummer Phil Collins accompanied by acoustic guitar played by Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford. It isn't the first time Phil Collins handled lead vocals. He had vocal duties on "For Absent Friends" from the album Nursery Cryme.

What would happen next is probably the craziest moment on the entire album as we hear "The Battle of Epping Forest." After a tense military drumbeat, the wild thumping bass, ringing keyboard and staunch guitar run rampant throughout the song while Gabriel sings along trying to catch up to them. Filled with mesmerizing keyboard solos and leaping guitar lines, Gabriel tries out different voices to represent the characters of the song which is a tale of a gang battle at Epping Forest.

After this hyper tune ends we meet up with "After the Ordeal". The only instrumental song on the album, this is a showcase for more of Hackett's glorious guitar work. Beginning with a baroque guitar and piano opener the song leads into Hackett's guitar workout that never fails to satisfy me. Now comes the next epic on the album "The Cinema Show". Starting with a quiet acoustic guitar piece similar to the opening of "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" we have a soft dreamy guitar piece filled with references to Oedipus Rex and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Halfway through the song the vocals end and once again Tony Banks's virtuoso keyboard talent enters with one of his best solos in the entire Genesis canon, not to mention some of Phil Collins finest drum work.

Last we are left with the lush "Aisle of Plenty" which sounds like a leftover coda to "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" but also serves as a nice conclusion to an already lovely album.

The band would then tour into 1974 before recording their sixth and final album with Gabriel, the epic concept album "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway". If you are new to Genesis and new to the Peter Gabriel era of the band, which is completely separate itself, please pick this up. It is an essential not only of Genesis but of progressive rock and something that not just a "prog" fan should own, but a fan of music as well.

Report this review (#185691)
Posted Tuesday, October 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Perfect album-from it's very start to it's very end.

The moment in the 'Moonlight Knight' when the mellotron voices resets the main chord change (c# minor, g# minor, A maj7) is the pinnacle of the song for me.The band is strong here,and Gabriel sings his lyrics with ballz :)

'I know what I like' is a fun song...Phil Collins once said: 'I'm playing like Ringo on this one...' :)) It's nothing special as a song,but it had the most commercial success because of it's pop kind of sound... Later,Collins developed it during his era by throwing in a tambourine kept the audience entertained

'Firth of fifth' - the top 5 Genesis song, it's so clever and so well put together... Banks' piano intro has become legendary by now :) and the way they deliver it again later with the whole playing....Genesis at their best - genius! Hackett's solo is breathtaking,it has a smart production,and it takes us back to the closing verse of the song. Collins plays his best,especially on the solo...

...But then he takes the mic :)) - 'More fool me'... It's the necessary contrast on the album.Very different then the other tracks. Collins reveals himself as a ballad singer with tender approach to his music and lyrics then Gabriel.

'The battle of Epping Forest' - nice epic, a story for itself... Gabriel already had numbers like this: Giant Hogweed,Get 'em out by Friday... in which he uses dialogues and storytelling... This one I like the best...I can really see the cavalry at the opening of the song...the lyrics are faithfully depicted in every part of the song. The song is in a funny form,but it's the result of 'respecting the lyrics'.

'After the ordeal' - I always looked this track as and a instrumental track in a musical to give the actors time to change costumes :)

'The cinema show' - beautiful,storytelling,sensible,mellow,smart....this song is a gem! The guitars at the beginning reminded me on a harpsichord...It's another pastoral mood deliverd by the 12 string acoustic guitars...the song develops later,and it has a long instrumental section in which the spotlight is on Banks...

'Aisle of plenty' - is a short reprise of the first's a logical closure,and while the 'main chords' are played in the fade out,Gabriel tosses prices of all kinds of food-like he's criticizing his own homeland...

One of the smartest albums of all time! Essential at minimum!

Report this review (#195351)
Posted Sunday, December 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is Genesis at it's prime, without a doubt!!!

many details of this album can support this: the book end theme, excellent solo work by Banks and Hackett, lengthy and dramatic tracks, amazing drumming by Collins, and more!

the only two songs i have trouble with are more fool me and after the ordeal. these tracks seem to have a loose purpose towards the album as a whole, being very popish and bland. don't get me wrong these tracks are still enjoyable, they just don't seem to fit in with the other songs.

i just HAVE to give this album five stars! it is definitely a unique work and an experience not to ignore!

Report this review (#197277)
Posted Sunday, January 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars First time I heard Dancing With The Moonlit Knight early in the morning on a 70s AOR station, I got shivers. The music was like stepping through the folds of a dream, coming through the fog to see the boy crying Paper Late by the edge of the Thames. Having bought the album, I was very pleased to find the reprise Aisle of Plenty at the end of the album. It was another goosebump experience. I count it as one of the most welcome reprises in prog rock's history of reprises. It flows back to you like a distant friend.

I first heard Firth of Fifth on Seconds Out and was totally floored by Steve's sliding and looping solo, which is almost note-perfect from the rendition on this album. That this is hardly ever listed as one of the 100 best guitar solos in Rock-n-roll, is a clue that the wrong people are making those lists. (Although, I'd argue that it's since been surpassed by his wondrous solo on 12 from Neal Morse's ?.) Starting it off with one of Tony Banks best piano passages makes it a prog feast. And this is its original home.

The Battle of Epping Forest is an epic of a near-fantastic grotesque of a satire about a gritty reality. Caricatures just spew out of Gabriel's (likely) horn of plenty. It's a strange ride. Like Return of the Giant Hogweed, this one took quite a few listens to become one of my favorite Genesis pieces. The music leaps and cavorts about, setting the numerous tones. From the battle march that begins it, to the strangely discordant folkish pop, to the sing-song ballad-y Reverend interlude, back to the discordant battle, to the plodding dirge that backs the epilogue, to the ascendant outro just seem to frame the various moods of the story. Is it uneven? You could make the case. Does it ramble? You might say that. Is it daring? I think so, and as I said earlier, an epic. Whatever it was at the end They provide you with a lot of interesting musical ideas, and Mike Rutherford's rattly and rhythmic bass is a treat on the faster sections.

I find After the Ordeal to be very much what I came later to expect from Steve Hackett: Half accompanied classical study, half arcing melody played mostly on electric guitar with the exceptional note choice of Mr. Hackett. It's a favorite of mine.

Then there's Cinema Show. Admittedly it is one of their greater and more memorable songs. But I have to say that the enjoyment of the second half of the song is dead from overuse by the latter Genesis. Still fresh when I hear it, though, is the opening song that latter Genesis didn't enjoy playing as much as the bright, rhythmic combination of keyboard runs/drum solo.

So mentally, this splits into two songs for me--but when I think about it, I've often had a problem with what part of the second half sounds anything like the frail vanity hypnotically snaking through the first half. Memorable to me is the gentle opening, the delicate arpeggio-ettes, joined with Peter singing narration and quotes of Juliet and Romeo, and then a dazzling transition to Father Tiresias (with some very enjoyable Hackett fills swirling around infusing energy) growing in tempo, and complexity and interplay of arpeggios. Delicacy, frailty, and vanity (in all sense of the word) flow through the music and story adapted from Eliot's The Waste Land. Tiresias sees the permanent in the temporary in all of its show and bluster, but somehow nostalgic despite its empty promises. (People get confused though: Show is not a simple copy of the typist in Eliot's poem, it intensifies themes of (well) show and Tiresias vision is less empty.)

That The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway was more ambitious, and that they pulled off that task with some success might prompt some to place Lamb ahead of Selling in some people's eyes. But consensus--and I--put this as the cream of the crop in Genesis albums. This is the very definition of an Essential masterpiece, and one of my all-time favorites--5 stars.

Report this review (#197454)
Posted Tuesday, January 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Not Genesis best album...But absolutely their second. An enormous tower of inspiration, creativity, mastership and emotion. I think I never forget the first time I heard Dancing With The Moonlit Knight. I didn't know what was happening to me. It was all the way back in 1993 and after that I market Genesis as my no. 1 band...and it has been ever since.

It was the first album that I brought on CD, which was back then not even the remastered version yet, but just a copy straight from the same mix as the LP. However the first fewlines of Gabriel blew me away completely......Pure Ephoria...I would say...and the quality of the album does stay on a high level till the last notes of Aisle Of Plenty (that Mellotron sound Wow !!!).

The first parts of songs I heard from this album were in the Old Medley that Genesis played during the 1992 We Can't Dance Tour....I recorded the Knephworth show on TV and it made me really curious...however for some reason I never took the next step and listeneded to the original...or better say I didn't even knew that Firth Or Fifth and I know What I like where were from that particular album. That changed a year later when we decide to go deep into Genesis's past.... and Selling was our first stop. I took a few cd's in the local recordstore and listened to them. It were A Trick Of The Tail, Nursery Crime and Selling....Selling was the first one I put on and after Gabriel's first words I knew for sure that this was the one I wanted to buy. And there my journey into the Gabriel era started.

All of the songs grew out to classics in its own sense and all of this songs gained an enormous fame over the years and were played ober and over over the years on several tours. The legendary moments are simply too many to remember but to name a few. Gabriels vocals on Dancing, the Mellotron on Dancing, the guitarsolo (possible the most beautifull guitarsolo ever recorded by any progband) on Firth Of Fifth and the last part of The Cinema Show.....

After this I brought the remaster of it in 1994...but it was dissapointing......and for long I did not dare to listen to it again. So often I rather liked to put on a bootleg, listen a live version from the Collins Era or eventually nothing at all. This all changed last year when Genesis atlast decide to release the last Genesis box....soon I rediscovered Selling again...and finally it was recorded the way it should pure, so tight and so dynamic....I was like a live recording.....If the orginal of Selling was already mindblowing and should deserve 5 stars, then the new remaster (SACD or DVD audio preferable) should deserve a 6th star...and this goes for all the other remasters as we'll.

No Progessive rock fan can efford it not to have this in your collection.

Report this review (#199032)
Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Let's be honest. Although progressive rock lovers recognize this genre as the purest essence of music,very few prog rock albums cross that barrier of reputation to be remembered by the general public as classic recordings, despite how blindly their fans worship it.

Selling England By the Pound managed to do so in a way I'd dare say not even Close To the Edge did. Is it amazing that such a complex and enigmatic piece of music has been able to cross the barriers of time? Probably not.This album has a rare quality: it's deepest music depths and overwhelming complexity can be ignored to the point of hearing it as casually as possible. Those interested in it's stunning musicianship,however,will find here the most theatrical album ever made, nevertheless free of any haunting pretensions.

Peter Gabriel's lyrics are at his best here, poems that are spread beautifully through the music.Unlike some of Genesis best moments,Gabriel's voice and charisma never overshadow the other musicians here.That's particulary noticeable in Firth of Fifth,in wich the band reaches what is perhaps a perfect balance of instruments,to create a symphonic piece that's likely to be unmatchable by all means.From it's wonderfully nostalgic piano introduction,passing through majestic verses crowned with beautiful lyrics(sang by a tear-splattering Gabriel),to it's fading conclusion, this piece is the purest definition of prog.It would all seem less amazing,of course, if it's arrangement wasn't in contrast with a dramatic guitar solo which crumbles it's way to an epic ending.Breathtaking,really.

Firth of Fifth is a masterpiece,but it would be incomplete,hadn't Genesis created the best album opening of all time here,in Dancing With the Moonlit Knight.To the sound of nothing,Gabriel opens the album asking:'Can you tell me where my country lies/said the unifaun to his true love's eyes?'.With a crying guitar chord by Steve Hackett,comes the answer:'It lies with me!Cried the queen of Maybe/for her merchant eyes, he traded in his prize'.The band then softly unleashes an epic introduction to it's music,singing about the decadence of Great Britain, the death of 'old father Thames' and how the fat old lady England was sold by the pound to American culture.The album was conceived right in the height of the first oil crisis in 1973,and the lyrics, although marvelous and poetic,all have a purpose. In usual albums,these would be as good as it gets,but not here.

The Cinema Show is the soft and delicate relief to the album,without losing,nonetheless,the class of previous compostions.Along with the contemplating After the Ordeal(to figure between the best instrumental tracks in prog)and the brief silent despair of the closing song,Aisle of Plenty, it creates the majestic atmosphere of reflection,in constrast with the previous madness and sarcasm of the eleven- minute piece The Battle of Epping Forest and I Know What I Like(In your Wardrobe),the former representing the beloved weirdness of classic Genesis,and the latter being the first hit single in the band's career.

More Fool Me is a brief transition from the opening mood to the deepest reflections of the second half.

The exotic majesty of Genesis, first presented in 'The Knife'(the closing track in the Trespass album),and which from there on was in constant natural enhancement, reached a peak in this album to create a monster which the band wasn't able to tame(what eventually leaded to it's classic formation rupture),a monster which overshadowed the rest of their career from there on,despite the success of the next album(the classic The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway),and which,indeed,has been a quality standard ever since. A monster wisely named Selling England By the Pound.With and without it's charismatic leader Peter Gabriel,the band made wonderful pieces of music,most of them being well- kept secrets in the mists of time nowadays,but make no mistake:this,their best known work, is Genesis magnum opus.

Report this review (#200191)
Posted Thursday, January 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is quite a controversial album for me to review since is the one that holds the number one spot on the site and as it was written in a recent review , one of the few prog albums that are known by the general public ( even my mother seems to enjoy it). However , while not bad , I think it's not the perfect desert island release it is said to be.

One aspect of Selling England that I 'll praise are the lyrics. Gabriel is known for his thought provoking songs but I think that in this album he reached his peak. This record feels so british and cynical ! and I love it for that. Then we have several seminal prog rock tunes like Dancing with the moonlight knight , The Cinema Show and Firth of Fifth. Let me add that the much maligned poppier songs on this album are not masterpieces but not by any means filler songs I enjoy the acoustic ballad and the synth sounds in I know what I like. SEBTP's problems do not lay there. Lastly it seems to be a major improvement on the sound department and production , the record does not sound muddy like their previous releases.

If I have stated all those positive aspects then , why I don't give SEBTP the full 5 stars mark ? Mainly because The Battle of Epping Forest is too long and Gabriel abuses of his theatrics on this tune putting way too much enphasis on dialogue. It's a pity since musically the song is exellent and could have worked better as a 5 minute piece. The instrumental After the ordeal is not as stong as Horizons or Los Endos for instance. Finally the main reason as regards why I do not consider this record as a masterpiece has to do with the fact that sometimes Selling England bores me to death!!! The record is way too calm and pastoral for my tastes. However I can appreciate it when I am in the mood for it.

That being said , this record is a must have for anyone but is not as exiting as other Genesis releases like Foxtrot or the Lamb. And not by any means the best prog album of all times , just one of the most iconic ones.

Report this review (#200492)
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is it. This is the one. This is Prog Rock. If I were to pick one track to demonstrate the all of prog rock, it would be the opener Dancing with the Moonlit Knight. Starting with a capella Peter Gabriel, it builds from pastoral bliss to blistering frenetics with sixteenth note drumming and one of the earliest use of guitar tapping. The perfect prog song. The ultimate.

This track earns this album 5 stars by itself. Now add in Firth of Fifth containing both arguably the best composed key part in prog and the best guitar solo. Then we get Cinema Show which is a grand mini- epic that is as good as any in Genesis' repertoire save perhaps Supper's Ready. Great lyrics, great composition, just amazing music.

Unlike some other prog masterpieces, however, this record is not without flaws. The much maligned More Fool Me is actually more listenable than it's reputation, but in retrospect it does stick out on an album of this high standard. I imagine Genesis had no idea that we'd be debating the merits of this album almost 40 years later (and surely we will be then too), so including a short foray for the guy in the back was not seen as a very critical choice at the time.

The rest of the record is solid prog, ranging from the quirky single I Know What I Like to the odd time Battle of Epping Forest to the instrumental After the Ordeal. All are very good prog, though not the heights that the rest of the album climbs.

CTTE and DSOTM are more flawless, but even they don't quite reach the heights you find here. As many many people have said, if you don't own and know this album, it is pretty hard to call yourself a prog fan.

Report this review (#201299)
Posted Saturday, January 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Okay, everyone else is doing it, so why not me? The next in my series of Genesis reviews, and a great album it is, too. I don't actually think it is their best - that one goes to Nursery Cryme, but this is mighty close.

What I love about this album is the story behind it - the longing and yearning for an England that is passing, never to come back, and the realisation that what is to follow is nowhere near as sweet and as innocent. That is exemplified by Dancing with the Moonlit Knight...Can you tell me where my country lies...? Gabriel almost pleads with his audience. A moving, perfectly played song.

I Know What I like was the first single success in the UK, and is fantastic.

Firth of Fifth is a magnificent achievement, with Hackett towering above all others - indeed, it is his finest moment with the band, and you get goosebumps listening to this solo.

More Fool Me was not Phil's first vocal effort (that was on Nursery Cryme), but it is fantastic. The live version on the Archives Boxset is even better, with acoustic guitars ramping up the tempo.

The Battle of Epping Forest is PG's go at being a punk before the punks were even heard of! This one tells of changes in society from the white working class perspective, and I thought of this today when reading reports of strikes about migrant workers in the UK. After the Ordeal is a fantastic interlude and coming down before The Cinema Show, which is simply a tour de force of a love song told from both genders point of view and featuring a magnificent Banks keyboard solo which is still a live favourite to this day.

Aisle of Plenty is the perfect bookend to Dancing.... and ends the album's theme with a gentle and perfectly played rant against the power of the emerging corporate supermarkets destroying the traditional English town. Thankful for her Finefare discount indeed!

A great LP, and apologies to those who might think it has been reviewed too often, but there is a reason for this. It is an LP that speaks to us all in a deeply unique and personal way. You do not have to hail from Middle England to appreciate the sentiments behind it, and you certainly all marvel at the musical accomplishment. Utterly essential to any prog collection.

Report this review (#201648)
Posted Wednesday, February 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars There are so many reviews for this album that I'm sure not many people if any will read this. I still must review this album briefly because it is truly is a masterpiece of progressive rock and currently is rated #1 of top 100 prog albums of all time. The only problem I have is that this album seems to place Foxtrot and The Lamb is somewhat of a shadow, although I feel they are both better records. This album shows the most jazz influence of all the Genesis records, and probably is the most English sounding of them all as well. This website is responsible for turning me onto most of the classic prog that I still enjoy today and I remember this album has been at or near the top since the beginning. I first picked up Foxtrot, which is amazing of course so I had even higher expectations for this album. I have to be honest, upon first listen I did not get what all the fuss was all about. The Cinema Show is debatable for best Genesis song (most will say Supper's Ready, which probably is their best), but the rest I thought was just good and not amazing. Over the course of time, the album grew on me but I always liked The Lamb and Foxtrot much better. My opinion has now changed due to one thing, the new remixed/remastered albums. I feel that this album (along with Nursery Cryme) is the most improved of all the Genesis albums sonically, and now while still below Foxtrot and The Lamb is not that far behind them. I never got to listen to Selling England on Vinyl so I basically never got to hear what the album was supposed to sound like until the new mixes came out. You can now hear all the little nuances that make this album special. You can hear new things like precussion extras (the pot noise in The Battle of Epping Forest I didn't even know was there), Steve Hackett's guitar(the non-solo sections, finally) and all the interplay between the band members. Bands just don't make albums like this anymore. If anyone actually reads this album review and doesn't have the album already, just go buy it. Just make sure you get the new 2008 remaster, and you will not be disappointed. Yes there is a little clipping, but they sound infinitely better than the DE remasters or any previous editions and people need to be less picky and be thankful that they remastered them again. Look at the 2005 Gentle Giant remasters, which are the worst modern remasters I have ever heard.
Report this review (#201911)
Posted Friday, February 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is more complex to listen to. Listen to The Battle of Epping Forrest.. I think it's a genuine progressive-rock a la Genesis. Strong dramatically lyrical song. A narrative lyrics (poem or prose) took its way in a swirling music. I wish they had that kind of thing little bit plenty.

Well, there was The Firth of Fifth; a masterly sound made by them. A monumental killer melody by a flute and and then a guitar has built the great gig until now! And, a golden track named The Cinema Show. You'll like it even you're in the waterfront, or even in the sea!

A talking lyrics like "I'm just the lawnmower.." is an avant-garde move!

Report this review (#201980)
Posted Saturday, February 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the most classic of all prog rock albums. It is a sure inclusion in the best five of my collection of albums. From the magic opening minutes of Dancing With The Moonlit Knight to the quirky I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) to the majestic Firth Of Fifth with the fantastic flute, keyboards and guitar solos. The Fool song is quirky too, but The Battle Of Epping Forest is pure brilliance. The next song is good before the brilliant The Cinema Show and Aisle Of Plenty ends this album.

I cannot fault this album. I am probably listening too much to it...... but I am only have a short life. The artwork is brilliant and I regard this as a true classic and perhaps the best prog rock album ever. Nuff said.

5 stars.

Report this review (#202053)
Posted Sunday, February 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I have listened to this album many times and I just can't see why it is considered such a masterpiece. This is by no stretch of the imagination a bad album, but in my opinion it is far from being the best prog album of all time, or even the best genesis album.

In my mind this album has three very good songs: Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, Firth Of Fifth, and The Cinema Show. These songs are great and if the rest of the album had been up to this standard it probably would have been the greatest prog album of all time. Unfortunately, in between we have songs that do absolutely nothing for me. I Know What I Like and More Fool Me are short songs with a pop feel to them. The music is fairly simple and the vocals are neither interesting nor catchy in my opinion. The Battle of Epping Forest is another disappointment for me. This is a long song which really doesn't offer much despite its length and while lyrically it may be an important part of the concept of the album, I can't get into the concept if I don't even enjoy the music.

On the weight of the three greats, this album gets 4 stars from me, but if I could give this album one word it would be inconsistent. I would recommend foxtrot and even nursery cryme to someone getting into genesis before this album.

Report this review (#202457)
Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars Quite possibly the most overrated album in progressive rock

Selling England by the Pound is usually regarded as the best Genesis album, both from the band's Peter Gabriel phase (or the progressive phase, as some say), as well as the latter incarnations of this famous English band. Some even consider it to be the best progressive rock album ever. Indeed, to some degree, it is hard to disagree: this was the Genesis best selling album prior to Trick of the Tail and it has great songs, such as Dancing with the Moonlit Knight, Firth to Fifth and Cinema Show. However, this album do have some songs that are simply sub-par , when compared to the rest of the band's progressive output, such as I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe), More Fool me and The Battle of Epping Forest and, for that, I do not think this is the best Genesis.

As I said, this album have both incrdibly beautiful songs as well as others that are quite weak. For that, I believe that the album is considerably uneven and unbalanced, because those weak songs completely break its flow, disturb the song to song musical progression.

Take the first two songs as an example: after the extraordinary, dramatic and powerful opening song, Dancing With the Moonlit Knight, the famous ballad I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) breaks that flow considerably. the songs have completely different emotional tones to them and, to make it worse, they aren't even that much different, so it is not possible to defend this change even for the sake of contrast!

The same thing happens with the two following songs, Firth to Fifth and More Fool Me, but this time it is even worse, because in the first case (Moonlit Knight and I Know What I Like), at least the second song has an artistic outlook to it; instead, More Fool Me is a straight pop tune without any relation whatsoever to the rest of Selling England. In fact, the closet relation this song will have with any other Genesis album will be with Duke, more than half a decade later.

Fortunately, the second part Selling England by the Pound (side 2 on the vynil) actually goes in a crescent, differently from the album's first part. Starting with the seemly endless tune The Battle of Epping Forrest, the album manages to get better and better with each passing song. The mentioned track (Battle) has a decent opening part, but slowly descends into senseless notes being played in melodies that don't make sense in the big picture: one has little relation with the other and they are way too elongated. So, maybe if this song was to be trimmed down a couple or maybe even four minutes, I believe it would sound much better. Don't get me wrong here, this song isn't very good and reducing its length would make it sound better, but it does not mean that Battle would become an actual great song just for making it shorter.

After that point, the songs keep growing and growing in quality. Starting with the simple yet beautiful After the Ordeal, which presents us an interesting duet between the guitar and piano. The whole thing eventually amounts to the second to last song, Cinema Show, which manages to take the album back to the level of excellence it was in the opening track. Nevertheless, I don't believe this song alone could make up for almost half an hour of underwhelming (or dispensable, in the case of Aisle of Plenty) music.

The highlights go to Dancing With the Moonlit Knight, Firth to Fifth and Cinema Show.

Rating and Final Thoughts

Despite having some strong points, Selling England by the Pound cannot escape the facts that it is an uneven album with many songs that are less than exciting. I am also quite sure that ir is not the best album released byGenesis. In fact, I think that progressive rock fans value Selling England by the Pound much more than what it is actually worth.

EDIT 1: After listening to the album again and again recently, I have come to the conclusion that I have been somewhat generous in my review of Selling England. The lack of direction on the opening tune and the stark decrease on the quality of the songs in between the highlighted tracks have made me come to the conclusion that the appropriate rating for this album is three, not four stars. EDIT 2: After some more careful examination wile re-writing my review, I've decided that even the 3 stars rating was too much for this album. Its fundamental flaws in song placement as well as having downright bad songs made me reconsider my rating, downgrading it for 2 stars.

Report this review (#202878)
Posted Sunday, February 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars There are few rock albums I can honestly label as really good music, so to speak. For me, classical music is the ultimate, highest form of music, and genres like rock, metal or reggae, while still being pretty good, pale in comparison to beautiful classical music. That said, Selling England by the Pound is one of those few albums: it is, at the same time, so beautiful and so intelligent: basically, this record can almost be compared to a Wagner piece. The complexity, the lyrics, the arrangements, the composition, everything here is awesome.

Peter Gabriel was clearly one of the strongest members of the band at this point: his influence on the band totally revealed itself on the next record, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, which is almost a Peter Gabriel solo album rather than a Genesis album. On Selling England by the Pound his vocal performance is great, but, most of all, the lyrics he penned are all excellent. The concept of this album is the decay of Britain, with the loss of the old traditions: Dancing With the Moonlit Knight, the opener, speaks about the old pagan dances(with the Moonlit Knight, who seems to be a representative figure of the Gods the people of Britain believed in in the past). Musically, this song is the first highlight, opening slowly and then featuring some of the heaviest musical passages this prog rock group ever penned. The guitar melodies and riffs are, at times, incredibly catchy, and the drumming is obviously top notch.

Firth of Fifth and The Cinema Show are the two best songs though, two of the most beautiful progressive rock songs ever released. The first one opens with some amazing piano lines, leading us to the triumphant beginning with Gabriel singing the brilliant first vocal lines: The path is clear, though no eyes can see. The course laid down, loooong before!. This track is possibly the happiest one of the bunch, so to speak: ttriumphant is the best word to describe this marvellous song really, and it adds a lot of variety to the album, as the majority of the other tracks are a lot darker. The guitar solo, during the middle section, is the best solo I've ever heard in my life: pure emotion. Listen to it, please. The Cinema Show is excellent as well, one of the best love songs I've ever heard. The guitar solo is yet again awesome.

The other long song of Selling England by the Pound is The Battle of Epping Forest, and it is, in my opinion, the weakest of the long tracks, even though being quite epic at times. The track wouldn't sound out of place on The Lamb as it is strongly driven by the vocals and the lyrics. As I prefer much more instrumental passages, rather than songs dominated by the vocals, I don't enjoy the tune as much as the others, but oh well, it still is a pretty good track. I Know What I Like is a very catchy pop piece, yet still maintaining some progressive elements. I like it. After the Ordeal is a sweet instrumental, More Fool Me is yet another pop track, sung by Phil Collins, and Aisle of Plenty closes the album in the good ol' Thick as a Brick fashion, if you catch my drift.

As a whole, Selling England sounds even better. This is definitely one of my favourite albums ever and my favourite Genesis album, even though Nursery Crime is also unbelievably good and quite underrated.

Best Moments of the CD: -the guitar solo on Firth of Fifth.

Report this review (#206314)
Posted Wednesday, March 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is it! THE progressive rock album to own.

Now I've read many of the reviews here, and whinced at some of the comments made but wholeheartedly agreed with all the positive comments. I've known this album since I had it on vinyl back in the seventies and probably know every word off by heart, which is quite easy to do with such a well written an well produced masterpiece.

Firstly I'd like to offer opposing views on the negative comments regarding a couple of tracks that are by no means a let down to the rest of the album (in my mind).

More Fool Me. This is a fantastic song that is sung with sensitivity by Phil, and beautiful guitar work by Steve. Think about it - it wouldn't have suited Peter's voice so well, and was a great showcase for Phil to step up to the microphone. It also provides a welcome and perfect breather after the breathtaking Firth of Fifth, so I really fail to see why others view it as out of place on the album. Don't dare press that skip button, that would be sacrilege!!

Battle of Epping Forest. This is just a work of genius. It has all the elements of a great story - superlative riffs that are played as well as anyone could ever play them, lyrics that are clever as well as humerous, and characters that allow Peter to prove how entertaining he is when at his most creative. Maybe it's easier for the English to take this humour to heart and enjoy it for what it is, but the 'silly voices' and 'bad cockney accents' are just that - silly and bad, but deliberate I suggest. And funny. Peter Gabriel isn't an actor, he's a performer - and a unique one at that.

General comments - this is one of those albums that raises goosebumps, causes shivers down the spine and even brings tears to the eyes (in a good way). Even more so if you were lucky to ever experience any of this music live. I rate every track at 5 stars, apart from the last track Aisle of Plenty at 4 - and this is only because it's more of a fade-out from the previous track and relatively short, so no real problem there. There are many reviews stating this a a desert island disc, and I have no hesitation in following suit - the easiest 5 star recommendation I'm ever likely to give.

Report this review (#206983)
Posted Friday, March 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
5 stars These most rated albums are difficult to rate. You want to have your opinion, but also don't want to be the one who's giving bad rating. And if giving, is this rating true ? Isn't it just your disappointment. Every track sounds epicaly, even when not having epical lenght.

This is probably my hardest one to review. It's because I'm stunned by sheer quality of this. Maybe it sounds foolish, but it would be far easier if it was some lesser known album. It's milestone of Genesis work. I can appreciate lyrics a lot, but only when I understand them. Of course I take this album very differently, than native speaker, for me they're this kind of British style I like. Well and after so many listening (thanks to so easy-to-approach-kind-of-music) I think I understand them.

Little bit lamenting "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight" (Moonlight?), which I take as ironic parody of then-current British Isles (I understand what "chewing your..." means when I read description on wikipedia, it didn't even crossed my mind, because I didn't know what Wimpy means) with great intro, something like a capella, but after just seconds, gentle guitar comes (and synth).

"Wardrobe" is annoying song for me, something like Love to Love You on Caravan's album from similar year. I skip it when I can.

"Fifth of the Firth" with weird lyrics (which I though I'll understand, after reading article on wikipedia about this song - bad luck, no understanding now, they're still same crazy as before), but nice melody. When I wasn't thinking about lyrics (I didn't read them), all song was nicer, but only a little bit. Still it's good one and when I first listen this song, I was repeating first three minutes over and over again. Then, as I was listening (I know this album for about 9 months now, it was my first introduction to Genesis musis), I realise that I can appreciate middle part solo too. And maybe even more.

do you want other tracks ?

EDIT June 2010 - I'll leave this text as it is, I realized that keeping it that way is nice effort to see "how I wrote" when I started. It's my 10th review, so nothing big yet.

5(+), because of because (hehe). And after all these listens, I even like "Wardrobe", even it's not as good as others are.

Report this review (#208461)
Posted Tuesday, March 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Can you tell me where my country lies?. The solo introduction by Peter Gabriel sets the tone to one of the most beautiful themes of the Genesis production. The poetry it implies is adressed to us, far from the efabulations and symbolisms of Foxtrot, Selling England... wants an answer from the audience. 12 string guitars enter in solemn arpeggios, as usual, constructing a nice melody around Gabriel's wor(l)ds. The instrumental part that follows the lyrics is full angular rhythms, odd time-signatures, twists and turns that stretch the boundaries of prog-rock. However, the movement is fluid, nothing seems forced, Phil Coliins and Tony Banks alternate in commentary to the poetic visions of P. Gabriel's visions. I know what I like (in your wardrobe) is the popiest song that Genesis could do. The simple beat and the easy singing chorus are appealing, but it is here that we tend to think that the group was a bit afraid or seduced by the dangers of commercial music. No one will ever know. But the early departure of Peter Gabriel can illuminate some this contradiction that we can feel on this song. Firth of Fifth opens up with a gorgeous piano introduction by Tony Banks and segues into a medieval aroma that reminds us of Nursery Cryme or Foxtrot times. Once again, slower passages with flute alternate with rockier passages where Phil Collins leads the group with his steady and melodic drumming. Tony Banks is always inventive and provides all of the necessary melodies and harmonies that anchor the song. More Fool Me is a ballad sung by Collins. One of the flaws of the record. Even if we can accept Collins' voice and in a way engage with it, the song is too straight forward and the lyrics are far away from anything the Genesis had done until then. Battle of Epping Forest is absolutely brilliant! The 7/4 tempo is not only remarkably set by drums and bass, but also the melodies and the lyrics (about a kind of surrealist battle) are perfectly suited to the pace and mood of the song. Gabriel is full of expression giving us all the colours of the story, Hackett and Rutherford appear once in a while only to confirm the democratic balance of instruments. Banks mainly on organ and Collins are absolutely perfect. The band alternates 7/4 with 4/4 and 6/4 with a fluidity that any jazz-rock group would envy. Phil Collins records here some of his best drumming ever. After the Ordeal is a nice slow tempo instrumental song, with Banks' piano and Hackett's nylon guitar in proeminence, it is a resting song, but nevertheless with a beautiful melody that helps the listener to follow the song that follows: The Cinema Show starts as usual with 12 string guitar arpeggios followed by Gabriel's stories. This time Juliet goes to the movies with Romeo. The theme describes very accurately the timelessness of the lyrics. Hackett has a beautiful work on these song, always discreet, but with a almost perfect sense of balance and melodic wisdom. For the most intricate passages the band chooses again odd time signatures, like the 7/8 at 6.00 with the 12 string guitar vamping with the drums for the moog synthesizer solos. All the orchestration is beautiful. The album finishes with Aisle of Plenty, merely a coda of The Cinema Show, with Gabriel selling England by more than one pound, adressing directly the audience, trying to reach a broader spectrum and to shake off some of the attacks of conformism that the Genesis were beginning to feel. On the whole, a beautiful record, one of the very best that Genesis did. Perhaps the one I still love the most. So, if there's a record where I could give 5 stars it would be this one. However, the problem is the flaws: pop simplessness on I know what I like and simple straightforwardness on More Fool Me makes my rate go to 4,5 stars.
Report this review (#210598)
Posted Monday, April 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Devouring England By The Pound...

My word, what a beautiful album. This has single-handed broke me into Genesis, and with that, all of symphonic prog. Opening with the epic brilliance of Dancing, which has some of the best solo trading, interspersed with melodies that archangels dream of crafting. Speaking of angels, Gabriel has the voice of one. This single song has so many memorable, and evocative sounds that you just want to stop and listen intently. Majestic and bombastic. I recommend buying this album for this track, alone. Although ignoring the other songs would be a pity...

IKWIL (IYW) Is next, and hints at commercial overtones, without losing prog sensibilities, and is a step down from The first track, but still such a great song. The chorus is expertly crafted. Firth of Fifth has some entrancing melodies, and one of my album favorites. More fool me is a short and soft song, and pretty. After the ordeal follows the album suit, and I enjoyed it. The Cinema show is a majestic rapturous finale (well, not counting the DWTMK reprise that is Aisle of Plenty, which is a very beautiful end).

In all, I had never really gotten into symphonic prog, until I gulped this masterpiece down. I concede that this is truly an exemplary album, and I adore it. I highly recommend this to anyone. Five Stars.

Report this review (#211096)
Posted Sunday, April 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Does this site really need another review of this album? Probably not. That said, score another for "Selling Engalnd by the Pound" which is number 2 on my recent list of favorite Genesis albums, a fraction behind Foxtrot. The winning formula again appears, the strong opener, the interesting lyrics, Gabriel's impassioned yet quirky vocals, excellent and varied music throughout and an outstanding epic closer (if you don't count "Aisle of Plenty" which seems to be a reprise of Dancing). Like Foxtrot, it took repeated listens to fully appreciate this one. But that is one of the joys of this era of Genesis; you don't tire of it easily and want to keep it spinning Clearly one of the strengths of Genesis was the compositional skills demonstrated. Music and vocals share center stage as do the various instruments. There is always something interesting (and a little unexpected) going on to hold on to the listener's attention. Not THE best prog album of all time as some claim, but definitely way up there!
Report this review (#211754)
Posted Sunday, April 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars I remember my fascination with Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. It was epic concept with lots of experiments, mood and tempo changes and of course fascinating story. Then I read somewhere that Selling England By The Pound is the best Genesis release and a must have for every progressive rock fan. The beginning of this story is great and I really thought it could be one of my favorite prog albums. Dancing With The Moonlight Knight... if progressive rock can kick it does with songs like that. And it's the only moment I can say something good about this release cos the rest is terribly boring. I couldn't believe when The Cinema Show last sounds said that's it. That's not enough. I don't get one thing. I mean before this album Genesis released pretty good album Nursery Cryme which is maybe not perfect but not so boring as this release. Everytime band tries to break thru some jazz rock convention it meets the wall. There's no chance for rock and roll vibe like Emerson Lake and Palmer's did in Karn Evil 9, no chance for bombastic rock impressions of that same Karn Evil 9. No chance for more vital improvisations. Just boring old fashioned rock strongly flavoured by jazz. Kill me but I'm not gettting it. Maybe people who grew up those days understand this vision. To me it's absolute waste of time.
Report this review (#212112)
Posted Wednesday, April 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Sleepwalker
3 stars Selling England By The Pound is probably Genesis' most respected work from their progressive era, the first half of the 70's, when Peter Gabriel, a fantastic lyricist and songwriter was the frontman of Genesis. This album is pretty much always in the top three of the Porgarchives top rated albums list, and I can't understand that. I'm not saying this album is bad, no, it isn't bad at all, but I think the album is far from perfect.

The album starts with "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight", which is in fact a fantastic start, I absolutely love this song, the great acoustic riff in the first verses, the powerful and catchy chorus and the absolutely stunning guitar solo, this is one of Genesis' best creations. The song starts out quite soft, but after the first chorus a very dark guitar riff will be heard and Steve Hackett plays a marvelous guitar solo. After the chorus is repeated for the second time the dark riff plays again, this time there is not a powerful guitar solo, but a great synth solo, a fantastic song.

Next is "I Know What I Like", one of the flaws of this album, it isn't a bad song, but it's not a very memorable prog song. The song is pretty poppy and happy and I don't think it comes close to being a Genesis classic, which the previous song definitely is.

The third track is "Firth Of Fifth", a track that is loved by many prog fans, and I understand that, it's a great track. The song starts out with the piano intro, which is beautiful. Gabriel's singing comes in, which is as good as always, and three lovely solo's are heard, a flute solo, a synth solo and one very long and very good guitar solo. This song is pretty diverse and I can enjoy it very much, though it's not as good as "dancing With The Moonlit Knight".

The next track is "More Fool Me", by far the worst track of the album, it's a Phil Collins pop song, don't get me wrong, Phil Collins is good in what he does, but I don't like pop songs, definitely not when I'm listening a true prog rock album.

"Battle Of Epping Forest" is next. The track is quite entertaining with Peter Gabriel stepping into the roles of several characters. The biggest flaw of this song, I think, is that is lasts eleven minutes, which is pretty long for a song such as this. If it would last only three or four minutes it would be a nice one, but after a couple of minutes the song gets boring already.

Next up is "After The Ordeal", a nice instrumental. I don't think it's a great song, but it definitely is a good one and it shows the great skills of Tony Banks and Steve Hackett.

"The Cinema Show" is one of the true epics of this album, just as "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" and "Firth Of Fifth", the song starts out with great guitar playing, not great in the way of the playing being incredibily hard, but it does just sound very good and I think the guitar playing characterises this song. After the first part of the song, the vocal based part, we get a lengthy synth solo, which is very nice and enjoyable. Though "The Cinema Show" is a nice song, I think it lacks something, it just feels a bit incomplete, nevertheless it's a great song.

"Aisle Of The Plenty" is a decent ending of the album, it reprises the acoustic guitar riff from the first song, but apart from that it's not a very special song.

I don't understand why this album is rated above other Genesis albums like Foxtrot, which I think is much better. I'm rating this album just three stars, it has several great songs, but also some pretty big flaws, which screws the album up for me.

Report this review (#212674)
Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars With this album I what a perfect song, and there's isn't just one! there are three world changing songs! 'Dancing With The Moonlit Knight', 'Firth Of Fifth' and 'The Cinema Show' are all undoubtedly masterpieces. These songs got everything and are at the same time very unique. This sure isn't 100% perfect, 'More Fool Me' kind of ruins the flow of the album, but it's only 3 minute so it's bearable. The rest is untouchable, beautiful instrumental 'After The Ordeal', incredibly addicting 'The Battle Of Epping Forest'... not much to say that has not been said before, the musicianship is brilliant, amazing solos, fantastic vocal melodies, beautiful and warm ambient, conclusion: absolutely essential to any music fan.
Report this review (#212740)
Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars There is about 80% of the site proclaiming it as one of the best, one of five or so quintessential prog records, and giving it similar titles, so to speak. I don't give any album 5 stars if it has even one song that's entirely unlistenable. Unfortunately The Battle of Epping Forest and Aisle of Plenty are to me, unlistenable, and brings down this album. When I listen to it, I skip and then it is a 4 or 5 star album. The album is unified around the basic concept of the shrinking of the British Empire on which "the sun never sets." This is a reference to how, given the huge size of the British Empire, it is always daytime in some part of the empire. However, Britain is not taking care of itself, and is shrinking, such that the sun will eventually set on the empire. The opener to the album is one of the best openings to any album, ever. It has such power, it sucks you in from the start, and then gets even better over time. Dancing With the Moonlit Knight is one of the few songs I will give a perfect 5/5, and it deserves every single hundredth.
Report this review (#214026)
Posted Wednesday, May 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars While Genesis' earlier albums showed flashes of brilliance - "Watcher of the Skies", "Musical Box" - amidst the flights of twee fancy, "Selling England By the Pound" largely dispensed with the airiness and mediocre production. This resulted in a balanced and captivating effort with several undisputed classics and only one glaring clunker.

The perennials are the brilliant "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight", a showcase for Gabriel, Banks and Hackett in equal proportion; the majestic "Firth of Fifth" with its blueprint guitar solo; and the fanciful but intensely melodic "Cinema Show/Aisle of Plenty", with one of the warmest synth solos committed to posterity. Add in the pleasant ditty "I Know What I Like" and the baroquely beautiful "After the Ordeal" and you have all the trappings of a classic.

The remaining two tracks are the innocuous and lightweight "More Fool Me", which would by itself not spoil a 5 star performance, and the loquacious "Battle of Epping Forest", that is too long and atrocious to be simply ignored. As a result, this one gets docked a full star, still essential but not nearly perfect, due to about 16 ounces of gristle.

Report this review (#214028)
Posted Wednesday, May 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
The T
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A masterpiece of progressive-rock.

The album is not perfect. Some of the long tracks are not up to the highest standard that GENESIS was able to reach in their best moments. "The Cinema Show" and "Battle of Epping Forest" are good, not great, extended songs. Also, some of the little tracks (sandwiched between long tracks in a long-weak format) are just irrelevant (though I tend to like the usually dissmissed "I Know What I Like").

But there are two tracks which make the album a 5-star masterpiece just because of their existence: "Firth of Fifth", arguably the greatest song ever, and "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight", a jewel of symphonic rock that defies description. The piano-intro in the former is superb, the way the song is thematically integrated is perfect, but the absolute beauty arrives in the shape of the solo of all solos, the one Hackett does imitating the already-majestic melody that Peter Gabriel played in the flute near the end of the verse. The cry, the lament that we can hear in the strings, the melodic power that we feel under our skin is too much for a song to handle. Yet this one does, and it concludes brilliantly. The latter track is a masterclass in progressive-rock writing, with the marvelous opening theme serving as guideline for the fantastic estructure to build upon.

Two tracks that don't need more description but that deserve to be heard. Listened to. Discovered. This album, inferior to Foxtrot and A Trick of the Tail, earns its spot as one of the greatest because it contains two of the brightest momnents ever in rock history.

Report this review (#215497)
Posted Wednesday, May 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars Mythological English history is juxtaposed with elements of less Romantic aspects of modern living to make a masterpiece. Peter Gabriel is a genius of the lyrical aspect, and proves himself more than capable as a dramatic vocalist. This by no means makes it his album; each member of Genesis demonstrates themselves worthy of applause.

"Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" Gabriel's almost anthemic voice alone opens the first song. Pastoral guitars and soft keyboard accompany him. The lyrics are full of references to English culture (or lack thereof- referencing Wimpy's burger restaurants and Green Shield stamps). Steve Hackett's electric guitar solo, with his two-handed tapping, swelling, and strange way of playing make this one of the most unique guitar solos of that time. The Mellotorn choir underscoring the heaviest part of the song is at once haunting and awe-inspiring. After the final chorus, the music begins to fall away, become less and less extant until only a strange acoustic section backed by Mellotron ends the piece. All said, this may just be my favorite Genesis song, both for the musicianship poured into it as well as its charming lyrical wit.

"I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" One of the quirkiest songs Genesis ever did, the second song is full of catchy lyrics about a lawn mowing man who has no motivation in life to be anything "greater," as he is perfectly happy trimming grass. Mike Rutherford's crawling bass is the musical centerpiece of the chorus for me. Hackett's guitar effect sounds very close to a motorized lawnmower.

"Firth of Fifth" Tony Banks showcases his talent with the introduction to one of Gabriel-era Genesis's most beloved songs. It goes right perfectly into the verse, with Gabriel's voice at its most majestic, and subtle layers of instrument flowing underneath like a gentle river. Once again, my attention turns to Rutherford's interesting bass lines. Following a short piano interlude, Gabriel treats listeners to a tenderly dark flute bit. Things pick up with Banks's piano, and the introduction is back, only this time it's in full force with the whole band behind it, and Banks using his synthesizer lead for the main melody while Collins batters his snare. Hackett's solo is considered one of the greatest moments of the song, during which he recalls Gabriel's flute line, making the lengthier notes quiver. The way the music travels back to the verse is masterful and a clear indication of what Genesis was capable of compositionally. The fading piano makes for a beautiful ending.

"More Fool Me" Phil Collins sings lead vocals on this short song, which is easily the weakest song on the album. The chorus is catchy, but the verses send me to sleep and are somewhat hard to follow (strange, since it's more of a pop song). This song gives some indication of the simpler direction the band would take after Gabriel's departure (consider "Your Own Special Way"); had this song been excluded in favor of something more interesting, this masterpiece of an album would have been even stronger.

"The Battle of Epping Forest" An underrated song to be sure, "The Battle of Epping Forest" boasts some of Gabriel's wittiest lyrics ever, chock full of double entendre and clever voices. Not only that, but the bouncy instrumentation, compliments of Rutherford's bass and Banks's various keyboards, make this one of the most interesting pieces the band ever played. The acoustic-based section is loaded with cunning words and interesting exchanges.

"After the Ordeal" A Hackett-composed instrumental that for some reason irked Banks and Gabriel, I find this to be one of Genesis's best wordless pieces, if not the best. It blends beauty and sophistication together in a way lost on so many artists. It is certainly strange how this lovely piece of music could be the center of disagreement, particularly part of the reason Hackett would eventually leave Genesis.

"The Cinema Show" Laden with twelve-string guitars, the beginning of this song discusses the romantic involvement of Romeo and Juliet before getting to the more upbeat chorus, which speaks of Tiresias, a man who according to Greek mythology, spent seven years as a woman. The chorus is one of the best choruses ever written, with engaging lyrics and an unforgettable melody. A short flute solo over twelve-string guitar and mounting organ, followed by some vocalizations, bridge the two recitations of the chorus. The second section of the song is a second key place for Banks to showcase his musical talent in a 7/8 time signature. Collins's drumming is equally spectacular here. The denouement is beautiful, as it eases into a reprise of "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight."

"Aisle of Plenty" This is the full reprise of "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" that brings the album back around perfectly, referencing several aspects of modern English living.

Report this review (#216390)
Posted Sunday, May 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I really can't give 5 stars

For many this album gathered all the ingredients and all the musical adventures a prog band must have in that period, I mean this is the peak of progressive music with this album released by Genesis in 1973 entitled very well and full of meaning Selling England by the pound. The story behind the album as already many said here is about the fall of british empire. Now, from the biggining I must say that is not my fav Genesis album, not by far, I prefer Nursery cryme (from Gabriel era) and Trick of the tail to be their best album ever. The music is to me is very well composed, with flaws (sometimes the album is to mellow in places ) and highs, the prestation of Tony Banks here is absolute brillian on every pieces. he remains one of my fav keyboards players ever, very inventiv and very smooth and elegant. The best pieces are all in my ears, all are good and very enjoyble, but with all that I can't give it 5 stars, something is not really working, musically speaking. Anyway this album remains one of the best they ever done and for sure one of the pinacle of progressive music in general. I will give 4 stars, an example of early masterfull work for sure, but not a masterpiece in my opinion, sometimes I have the impression that this album is little overrated.

Report this review (#218122)
Posted Monday, May 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Definitely an album that ought to be one of the first to pop in the mind as THE progressive rock album alongside CLOSE TO THE EDGE and IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING among others. SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND has to be one of the most delicate progressive rock albums I've ever heard as the album is loaded with beautiful acoustic guitar passages and piano interludes. That doesn't mean that there aren't any upbeat moments on the album; in fact, ''The Battle of Epping Forest'' is one of the jumpiest, silliest tunes the band has to offer. Twelve minutes of sheer wit.

My only big concerns with the album are ''More Fool Me'' (a sappy ballad that goes too slow) and believe it or not ''Firth of Fifth'' (some of the solo bits go a little too long for my tastes). However, this is a textbook example of what a great progressive rock album sounds like. Even with the pop hit ''I Know What I Like'', this album is a winner. An undeniable masterpiece.

Report this review (#218720)
Posted Thursday, May 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars The seismic impact felt from King Crimson`s groundbreaking 1969 opus, In The Court Of The Crimson King, by other art-minded bands who were just beginning to find their voices in the early seventies is immeasurable. With exestential cover art, symphonic mellotron colouring, dark medieval imagery and metallic tinctures of jazz-rock it would spawn a number of bands who would harvest these components and formidably meld them into their own unique musical pattens.

One of the most profound aftershocks that emanated from Crimson`s sonic frankenstein were the enchanting musical stylings of Genesis who, after several kicks at the cat, refined the symphonic rock concept both in terms of musical structure and production. Favouring melodic and harmonic thematic developments over virtuosic resplendence, 1973`s Selling England By The Pound eclipsed anything the band had previously recorded and in retrospect can be seen as the Mount Everest in the evolution of progrock in the early seventies. At the same time it could well have been reponsible for driving a proverbial nail into the coffin of the progressive rock movement. With expansive pastoral tones combined with abstruse lyrics it is widely accepted amongst conniossuers as the genre`s finest hour. But on the contrary, it provided all the bombastic flatulence that fed critics for their seathing commentaries. Paradoxically though, the work transformed Genesis into a viable commercial endeavour on both sides of the Atlantic. A catchy and rather philisophically charming single entitled I Know What I Like ( In Your Wardrobe ) almost made the UK top 20 while the album itself peaked at #3. The absurd, yet alluring, cover painting, The Dream, by Betty Swanwick alludes to the single and was even altered to better suit the lyrics of the song by adding a lawnmower at the request of the band! Genesis also began headlining their own shows, a US breakthrough loomed over the horizon and previous albums such as Nursery Cryme and Genesis Live began to climb up the UK charts. This was the happy time for progrock with other bands such as Jethro Tull, Yes and Pink Floyd sharing the limelight.

The splendour of the intricate musical stuctures and outré lyrics on the work cannot be overderstated. The love tragedy of Cinema Show, the absurdity of The Battle Of Epping Forest and the ostensibly classical Firth Of Fifth which loosely follows a sonata model of theme/development/recap/coda all reflect affections for early classical compositional structures and a learned private school education. Although not their strongest lyrical effort, ( aknowledged by members of the band themselves ) a contemporary conciousness prevails over the work using both ancient and coeval English metaphors. This is evident from the onset with singer Peter Gabriel`s opening capella, " Can you tell me where my country lies?" which questions the economical and social strife in Britain at the time. The lyrics become somewhat muddled at times particularily on The Battle For Epping Forest and Firth Of Fifth so it is best to let one`s immagination flow here. Guitarist Steve Hackett even once refered to the album as mad and surreal!

Overshadowed by later commercial successes, early Genesis albums such as this one don`t age well and it is more likely that they will hold more lasting appeal for those who lived through the period and witnessed the visual backdrops and Peter Gabriel`s theatrical characterizations on the live stage unseen on vinyl and CD reproductions. I attended a Genesis concert in the summer of 2007 and when they played some of the earlier material I noticed a look of perplexity on the faces of some of the younger people in the audience!

Passage of time notwithstanding, Selling England By The Pound is without question the most exquisite of the Peter Gabriel phase of the band and although not without flaw, it remains one of the most enduring stylistic elucidations of the early seventies progrock phenomenom.

Report this review (#220503)
Posted Wednesday, June 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is, in my humble opinion, the best progressive rock album ever (followed closely by Dream Theater's Scene's From a Memory, which is knocked down only by the vocals and some unnecessary, though good, filler). Gabriel has such passion in his voice, he not only sang, he played the character of the song. In this respect, my favorite song on the album is The Battle of Epping Forest. Tony Banks has proved himself time and time again with his songwriting chops, you can feel his presence in the music here, the keyboards add a nice roundness to the music that you could not achieve with just guitars. Steve Hackett is the most graceful guitarist I've ever heard (followed immediately by John Petrucci of Dream Theater). He adds a level of beauty and artistry to his solos that you don't see very often in a genre dominated by macho sounding, blues-based guitar solos. Phil Collins is a capable drummer, and has a nice voice suited for back-up vocals, a very good asset for any musical ensemble. Mike Rutherford provides the much needed support with all this crazy stuff going on, underrated, but a necessary component to the classic Genesis sound.
Report this review (#220859)
Posted Saturday, June 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars a classic in the progressive rock history.. what i can say about this?? oh man, everything is already said...with this album they create something different,something magic.. the voice of gabriel fits very well with the hole music.. the start of the album say it all. a lot of mistery , a lot of imagination..and also very no surprise that one of the best albums in the progressive rock scene comes from this year.. itīs like kind of magic..a lot of bands are inspired by this band and this album in general, there are a lot of clones thanks to this..

This is progressive rock in all the senses, amazing work, beautiful moments, the solo in firth of fifth say it all..beautiful melodies..

a five star album without doubt..

Thanks to genesis for create something amazing...


Report this review (#221350)
Posted Monday, June 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars In My Not So Humble Opinion:

"Selling England by the Pound" is one of the greatest progressive albums ever.

Not that I've been single for years, but back in the day . . . I had one of those on again off again relationships. We'd date then get into some moronic fight and break up, then we'd get back together and it'd be all special for a while then we'd drift apart again. I always kind of knew she'd be there when I needed to go back to her and every time we got back together, it was amazing.

"Selling England by the Pound" is that old girlfriend for me. When ever I needed her, she's always been there. (I've now said something new about Selling England, though in all fairness, that's possibly the most disturbing analogy that I've made so far.)

Rather than doing an in depth track by track analysis, which has been done countless times, I'll just throw some of my thoughts out there.

"Dancing With the Moonlight Knight": Gabriel's opening line is one of the most beautiful examples of his voice. There is so much tone and power to his voice, all stuck into the plea, "Can you tell me where my country lies." The last couple of minutes, the mellower part, are some of my favorites of this song; I love the airy feeling that Banks and Hackett's interplay gives me.

"I Know What I Like": ok, I feel a bit sheepish; I never realized that Hackett was simulating the sound of a Lawnmower here until the rerelease with video. There's a video that shows Gabriel mimicking mowing throughout the intro of the song. Yes, it took me twenty or thirty years to make the connection, oh well, more fool me (yep, did you see that, kind of a play on words there).

"Firth of Fifth" is a song that I didn't appreciate until spending time on here. I never quite picked up on the majesty of it, and here's why. The vocal parts sung by Gabriel sound very forced to me, it's almost as if the words and music are constantly tripping over one and other. In addition, I wasn't a big fan of the piano intro by Mr. Banks. In my youth, I'd routinely skip this song in youthful exuberance to get to my favorites. Now, I get it a bit more. While I still think the vocals sound forced and slightly out of time, I truly appreciate the solo sections of the song. Hackett's work here must be one of the most beautiful guitar solos in existence.

"More Fool Me" eh, what can I say, I don't mind Collins ballads, but his voice isn't strong enough at this point in his career to pull this one off well. This is the weakest part of the album (yeah, no surprise there).

Despite the grief it gets, I love "The Battle of Epping Forest". In particular, the run from the four minute mark to about five minutes and twenty seconds is beautiful, the inter play between the notes of Banks and Hackett's runs weave a tapestry of sound that is subtle but stunning once you pick up on it. At random times throughout the bit, random chords appear within the rhythms that each is playing separately, creating a third, independent rhythm. This is one of the most complex and beautiful bits of an all around amazing album.

"After the Ordeal" is a Hackett showcase piece that really shows off his mastery. Even though it's only a four minute song, this one should not be overlooked.

"The Cinema Show" is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written. There are at least three goose bump moments. The first notes of the guitar always give me that creeping feeling of majesty. The nanas at the four minute mark are equally beautiful. Finally, the last half of the song features Collins, Rutherford and Banks at their best. The rhythm section with Banks overtop is worthy of ELP, though without the machismo. Kind of like the quiet younger sister, able to let her beauty shine through without the pomp. Banks solo at the seven minute mark is the piece that taught me how to solo; it's not about the quantity of notes, but which notes you put where. The second half of the solo, a repetition of the first with the powerful choirs adding power behind the lead is truly one of the best choices of keyboard sounds that I know of. Literally, this song shaped my playing more than any other piece of music.

"The Aisle of Plenty" is a haunting closer to this masterpiece, revisiting "Dancing with the Moonlight Light's" main melody.

No, I didn't end up with the girlfriend that I mentioned in the first paragraph, and I'm quite happy with "The Flower Kings" and Frost* and the newer music that I listen to these days, but "Selling England by the Pound" will always be one of those CD's that will always have a soft spot in my heart.

Five stars, easily.

Report this review (#226109)
Posted Sunday, July 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
5 stars 'Selling England By The Pound' - Genesis (10/10)

Well, what do we have here... another 'Selling England By The Pound' review? As one of the highest rated albums on the site, I almost feel obliged to review the album and give my opinion on it.

I can safely say that yes, 'Selling England By The Pound' is a masterpiece, but not necessarily a perfect work. Tarnished only by a few bland moments, and a song that deters from the overall product, it is a powerful trip and a genre-defining album in prog music.

The album starts up with a very powerful and memorable track (and one of my favourite Genesis tracks) 'Dancing With The Moonlit Knight' which starts out not with a bombastic progressive onslaught, but the acapella vocals of singer Peter Gabriel. While I've never been a huge fan of Peter Gabriel, his vocals really shine on this album, and his quirky inflections really compliment the witty lyrics.

Other highlights include 'The Battle Of Epping Forest' (the lyrical highlight of the album) and 'Fifth Of Firth' (which has one of the most beautful guitar solos I have ever heard.)

I don't have too many negative things to say about the album, but one song that did get on my nerves after a fairly short time was 'More Fool Me,' which I think really deters from the album's quality consistency. It's an unnecessary acoustic track, minus the chorus which is tolerable and pleasant.

Another thing that I found a bit distracting was the production of the album. At times it sounds a bit noisy and low-fidelity. I understand that this was the early 70's and the band wasn't exactly exposed to the highest quality equipment, but on another masterpiece of theirs 'Foxtrot' (that in fact, came before this one) the sound quality is much better. It doesn't really hurt the compositional integrity of the albums, but it still robs the album of being 'perfect' in my eye.

Overall, 'Selling England By The Pound' is something every progressive music fan should listen to and own. A true essential, and one of the highlights of Genesis' career.

Report this review (#227200)
Posted Friday, July 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is really a very perfect album. I would say too perfect to be too good. The music is very ellaborated. Even the bad song sung by Phill is good to be here. Otherwise, it is Genesis at its perfection. This is probably what I do not like from this album. Otherwise the album is really good because as already said, it is perfectly done. However, I think that there are other albums from Genesis that are much better than this. For instance, the "The Lamb lies down on Bradway". and not the only one, I think "Tresspass" is better than this album. Anyway, I can recommend this album to anyone and I rate it maximum.
Report this review (#235901)
Posted Sunday, August 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars For a while, this album led the pack in the rankings of this website. I considered that very appropriate. Now there are two contenders placed higher: Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd) and Close To The Edge (Yes). I do think that these recordings are deserving of the highest honors and attention among lovers of progressive rock music. But the remarkable character of Selling England By The Pound, Genesis of the Gabriel era with all musicians performing at unheard of peaks, propels it, I think, beyond these other two fine albums.

Dancing with the Moonlit Knight - already unleashes the sirens.

I Know What I Like - introduces a playfulness - without loss of ernest - that few songs can achieve without being silly.

Firth of Fifth - is a timeless PROGRESSIVE MASTERPIECE. It doesn't get much better than this.

More Fool Me - Okay, I liked Phil back then. More fool me. Or was there a promise that rushed in on A Trick of the Tail, Wind And Wuthering, Duke and a few times more? Absolutely. Within the Genesis oevre, this Phil moment is a second mini-origin.

The Battle of Epping Forest - Is great fun. Gabriel's dialects and fanciful flights are ingenious. I remember reading that Tony Banks felt that there were too many words being sung for the intricately crafted music of this piece (or something like that). I don't find the piece overfrought with wordage, more like a stage performance of an epic event with a perfectly synchonised, driving, galloping soundtrack.

After The Ordeal - Is a beautiful instrumental. Entirely non-pretensious and wonderful.

The Cinema Show and Aisle Of Plenty - Here, the second PROGRESSIVE MASTERPIECE of this marvelous album. Everything comes together in this composition. All of the musicians with their respective sparks whip up fireworks. Gabriel and Collins in delightful unison. The blend into Aisle Of Plenty always halts my breath. Gabriel makes evident what the voice of a minstrel sorcerer can conjure: Visions of the market place of sound and possibilities, singing about selling by the pound - spiting the sell out with visual mimicry. Like that moment on Wish You Were Here: "... by the way, which one's Pink?" Those other two albums are truly great. But in my eyes, they do not manage to release the siren's cry as consistently, dramatically and musically brilliant as this singular album. So I'm hoping to see its rating boosted.

Report this review (#240944)
Posted Tuesday, September 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Probably the BEST work of Gabriel era Genesis. The disc begins with Gabriel praying for his country, 'Dancing with the Moonlit Knight' is what we would call the perfect example of Progressive Rock: great lyrics and great instrumental performance, progressions carefully measures show that Genesis is almoust a perfect band. 'I Know What I Like In Your Wardrobe': pop song structure with a curious point. The interpretation of Gabriel, Collins and Rutherfoord especially given a special flair ... and now comes the gem, the jewel of strange lyrics called "Firth of Fifth ', with a great introduction by Banks and one incredible great Steve Hackett. A masterpiece of Symphonic Rock. 'More Fool Me': many critics do not understand this song, the beautiful voice of Phil gives a twist to an album in which all will look for something is the great masterpiece of Genesis. After the beauty of 'More fool me' come two pieces of progressive cutting those shows because Mr. Gabriel is the best lyricist-singer in the history of Progressive Rock. No rest reaches the sublime 'The Cinema Show' ... The song, as Banks is tremendous and almost always say the other ... pure genius. 'Aisle of plenty' closes this album with a melody almost similar concept to 'Dancing with the Moonlit Kinght'. MASTERPIECE. 5 STARS without thinking.
Report this review (#242738)
Posted Saturday, October 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars The symbol of a genre. Mesmerizing from start to finish.

Can you tell me where my country lies? With this intriguing question sung acapella, Peter Gabriel opened this other Genesis masterpiece at his peak, both vocally and lyrically. Selling England by the Pound might not have been as flashy as Foxtrot, and was not as groundbreaking as Nursery Cryme, but it was the perfect balance.

Overall the most gifted band of their era, especially for their unmatchable composition skills which enabled them to create songs that were all complex, melodical and emotional, Genesis probably reached its top with Selling England by the Pound, and I say this even though my favourite songs from them would probably be on their previous, aforementioned albums. Selling England by the Pound simply was an even more complete, entirely coherent work as a whole - a melodical celebration of symphonic prog rock flowing seamlessly for the entire running time.

As I pointed above, to me Peter Gabriel was at his peak on this album. His vocals are right on all the way, whereas he had a tendency to overdo them from time to time before this. And lyrically, Selling England by the Pound was just superb. Politically and socially engaged as it is mostly a reflexion on 1970's Britain, and yet very subtle, mixing medieval, Renaissance and more modern themes. I am not aware of any other band coming even close to such finesse during their time.

Among the 70's Genesis classic albums, this is perhaps the one which took the longest to grow with me. I have been a long time thinking that this was their weakest effort, but it turned out that it was my own effort which was too weak. Never give up on this album if you are still uncertain of what to think of it - a revelation is waiting around the corner for you.

At the moment this review was written, this album was unexplicably ranked #3 behind Pink Floyd's Wish you Were Here and Yes' Close to the Edge. In my view, the former is nowhere near as progressive or complete as Selling England by the Pound, while the latter is so many steps behind with regard to lyrical and melodical achievement...

Anyway. No need to explain that you do not have a progressive rock collection if you do not own this album. This is the essential among the essentials.

Report this review (#242952)
Posted Sunday, October 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Few will challenge this albums top 5 appearance here. Nevertheless, even fewer might claim this is a flawless album. So why all the praise?

For me it's simply because of Dance With The Moonlit Knight and Firth or Fifth. Those two tracks are easily among the most beautiful pieces of progressive rock ever recorded, especially in the symphonic prog sub-genre. Amazing musicianship that is both muscular and subtle and that never gets in the way of the compositions. Stellar guitar work, great melodies and plenty of chilling and dramatic moments. Oh yes this is prog at its pinnacle.

There are also flaws though. More Full Me is a pretty embarrassing moment and I know for sure that I don't like I Know What I Like. Ok, you might need to read that one a few times. I guess many people won't enjoy Epping Forest all that much neither. Well I sure like that quirky Epping piece. Also Cinema Show is an epic classic with one of the better synth solos in rock. Not that there is much competition (brouhaha). I'll leave you sitting on that for now. If you're curious how I feel about prominent keyboards in rock I have to divert you to my Yes, ELP or other Genesis reviews :)

Well that should do it for this one. You must be bored to death already with reviews about this. 4.5 stars

Report this review (#247292)
Posted Friday, October 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ok this album has pieces that I dont enjoy, 'more fool me' and 'I know what I like' are pretty standard pop songs. Im also not too keen on 'the battle of epping forest' (although i like some sections) which i just think gets too busy and has periods with little melody.

However, dances with the moonlit knight, cinema show, and firth of fifth are all perfect mini prog epics in my opinion. They ooze melody, technical skill (without showing off), interweaving sections seamlessly and don't get boring. For me it is almost instantly a classic, despite it being released a good 12 years before i was born. They simply don't make records like this anymore...

Ive avoided reviewing this for a while due to wanting to be sure that my score was justified, and it turns out that this album has stood the test of time for me.

An easy 5* for me due to 3 pieces that are simply not matched in any modern music and will last forever, and a lovely reprise of dances at the end

Report this review (#249852)
Posted Tuesday, November 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars There's something special and magical about this release that makes it arguably Genesis' finest album, even if their prior two albums FOXTROT and NURSERY CRYME are just as loaded with brilliant tunes. Perhaps it's the enriched production? The fullness of the sound?

For me, this album marks the end of that amazing trilogy. Of course, THE LAMB LIES DOWN contains some brilliant songs (Carpet Crawlers, Anyway, Slippermen), as does TAIL (Entangled, Mad Mad Moon) and WUTHERING (Blood On the Rooftops, Unquiet Slumbers/In that Quiet Earth), but these are less brilliant albums than collections of songs with brilliant moments (as well as moments that don't work).

Newcomers should probably start with this album, and play it over and over until its brilliance becomes apparent.

Report this review (#250271)
Posted Friday, November 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Surely it's a great album, but not the best Genesis. I prefer Nursery Crime and Foxtrot! Selling England by the Pound have absolute masterpiece as Cinema Show, Dancing with the Moonlight Knight overall, but also some songs, that are not bad, but not fully inspired as More Fool Me, After The Ordel and The Battle of Epping Forest. Now i don't want to talk bad about this wonderful album, we are talking about history of the music, but it miss a very little bit that enthusiam i found in the two album before. That's why i don't give 5 stars, but long live to Genesis
Report this review (#251165)
Posted Tuesday, November 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars THIS IS THE SUPREME, ULTIMATE ALBUM! Sorry for the caps there, but most of us do acknowledge SEBTP to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, progressive album of all time. I might even dare and say one of the best albums in the history of recorded music! From beginning to end, SEBTP takes you to a most marvelous place, to the peaks of the Andes or the wonderful land of is purely God-like magic. Get the album if you have not already; this is a great starting point for those even remotely interested in prog. I've already shared this album with some friends of mine and they were definitely most impressed...who wouldn't be?!

1. "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight" - 10/10

2. "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) - 10/10

3. "Firth of Fifth" - 10/10

4. "More Fool Me" - 10/10

5. "The Battle of Epping Forest" - 9/10

6. "After the Ordeal" - 10/10

7. "The Cinema Show" - 10/10

8. "Aisle of Plenty" - 10/10

79/8 = 98.75%...5 stars!

Report this review (#251987)
Posted Saturday, November 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Another review to one of the biggest albums ever recorded in the prog music. Iīd like to say or add something new to this review but its just impossible, i mean all the reviews here contains many differents ratings and many differents opinions to the album but i can tell you the majority of this calls to this one a masterpiece and im one of the majority of course.

Its an amazing opening the first track "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight", because you can hear the vocals of Mr. Gabriel a capella just superb. With this proof you have little clue about what this album means. So you need to sit and close your eyes because all the album is excellent.

Maybe there are 2 songs with a poppy taste, yes the weakest in the album could be " I Know What I like" and "More Fool Of Me" sang by Mr Collins, but all the album is well structured.

Without count this pair of songs we have the rest of the album like a truly masterpiece. And if you hear all the album in one listening you can discover that this one is like a book when it starts with "dancing" and when it finish with a little reprise a.k.a "aisle of plenty".

Maybe is not my favorite album of Genesis but surely my second. Check it out by yourself.

Highly Recommended!! Epic,Beautiful,Excellent,Sweet, Essential in a prog collection... A must- have !!

Report this review (#253489)
Posted Sunday, November 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars

I know that this is probably one of the albums with more reviews in this website....but since this is one of my all time favorites (a bit of a cliché...but I Know What I Like!) I have to review it.... I usually do a song by song review but I don't think it is necessary here.

This is not a "propper" concept album but it has coherence both musically and lyrically...The central theme is England and I think this is the ultimate british album... among the lyrical highlights we have Dancing With The Moonlight Knight, Firth of Fifth, The Battle of the Epping Forest (great narration here) and The Cinema Show (go Gabriel!).... musically almost the entire album is a highlight, being More Fool Me a low point...its not a bad song, it's actually a nice ballad and shows Phil Collins' vocal quality (who would have imagined what would happen later...)....

The musicians are as great as always: Hackett has never let me down (lets forget GTR), Banks is an absolute master of keyboards (lets forget later Genesis here too) and the piano intro for Firth of Fifth is a classic, Gabriel is at his best here with all of the characteristic dramatism and humor that we all love, the highly underrated Rutherford gives a very solid bass foundation to the music (he is one of the best prog bass players ever... neglecting post Hackett genesis) and finally Collins... this is the proof that he should be drumming not singing (he is one of the best drummers ever) when you have someone as Peter Gabriel in the band...well.... More Fool Me proves he is a good singer so he shouldn't waste this talent. Indeed, he is one of the best (with Chris Squire) backing vocalists in prog and Disney gave a good use to his voice (I used to love his soundtracks before I discovered Genesis and Peter Gabriel)... + In my opinion his vocal work with the band after Gabriel left on albums such as A Trick of the Tail and Wind and Wuthering is nothing less than top notch.

There is nothing else to say.... an album in which More Fool Me (a very underrated ballad) can be considered a low point deserves no less than 5 stars... A timeless masterpiece...

PS: An absolute essential...specially for those new to prog rock and / or genesis

Report this review (#254454)
Posted Saturday, December 5, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is THE GREATEST progressive rock album ever.

Now that that's out of the way, let me do a little explaining:

1) Dancing with the Moonlit Knight - Wow, this is an incredible opener. It starts out with Gabriel singing acapella then each instrument slowly comes in, this is all building up to the chorus, followed by a long instrumental passage with a blistering solo by Steve Hackett. The lyrics are wonderful, dealing with the English dream or somesuch, maybe I'm wrong about that but at least they paint an image in your head, and that image will be different depending on who you are, unlike YES, but I'll review that some other day... Some more verses, chorus again, then my favorite part: a 2 minute instrumental passage which is just amazing, the same four or five notes being repeated while layers of percussion, cymbals, fading mellotrons, and plucked strings add some atmosphere. In a word, haunting. 5/5

2) I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) - Now this is really good fun! Starts out with a low synth note, perhaps to represent the "cosmic lawnmower", and a spoken word intro by Gabriel: "It's one o'clock and time for lunch, When the sun beats down and I lie on the bench I can always hear them talk." The lyrics deal with young, English, upper-middle class children who just seem to want to laze about all day and "know what (they) like, like what (they) know". The melody is very memorable, great instrumentation, great playing and singing... this may be the closest they ever came to a pop song in the Gabriel years. 5/5

3) Firth of Fifth - Beginning with a classic(al) piano intro by Banks, the verses are rather simple in structure, and the lyrics maybe a bit pretentious, but it's the instrumental parts that really cook here: It's all based on variations on the original intro, played by Banks, and Collins' drumming is just superb, almost jazzy. Rutherford plays seemingly simple basslines, but they're really almost the heart of the song, nobody could play them better, then after a sort of synth solo by Banks.... a stupendous, moody, wailing (I mean that in the best sense of the word) solo by Hackett. It isn't played fast, but you can hear the emotion he puts into every note. After another verse, the song fades out with another piano melody from Banks. 5/5

4) More Fool Me - Now this is just a complete step away from all the previous songs. A simple love song with an acoustic guitar as its only accompaniment? And yet, it seems to fit in perfectly, I honestly need a break from the epic songs once in awhile and after the first three tracks (especially Firth of Fifth) I could use a breather, which is why I have no problem with it, really. As for the song itself, its actually really sweet and heartfelt (for a Collins ballad) and his voice isn't that bad, though definitely not as emotional as Gabriel's. The lyrics are great, and the chorus very uplifting. There's nothing wrong with this song. 5/5

5) The Battle of Epping Forest - This is probably one of the greatest epic prog song ever written. It fades in with a sort of military-style snare drum pattern and flute accompaniment, (Gabriel is just great here, he overdubs several times to make some great harmonies), then slowly fades out. It's a great way to start, I always feeling like I'm a soldier marching through a field, about to fight in some great battle taking place just over the horizon. The song is actually about a gang fight going on in a residential area of England, and it very cleverly draws comparisons to a real battles between nations ("Here come the cavalry"). Gabriel's singing is just incredible here, with various characters and puns used in the lyrics. The concept is just genius, and the instrumentals are unique for each verse. If you listen to the lyrics you can hear the story of each gang member, it's all very good fun. Then, out of nowhere, a new part: The story of a reverend, who inadvertently solicits a prostitute and becomes involved in the smuggling trade. In all honesty, it's hilarious, which is what I think they intended. Good prog bands should let you laugh at their songs, unlike YES (oh, here we go again). In the end: nobody wins because everybody's dead! They flip a coin to decide who's won; the whole thing was for nothing. I don't understand why even some seasoned Genesis fans tend to dislike this song, but listen to it with an open mind and you will be rewarded. 5/5

6) After the Ordeal - An ordeal that last song certainly was, but a good one. This is an instrumental, don't ask me about the concept, but the instrumentation is great, with each part as complex as the next (no drums, though). It's somewhat medieval in style, bar the guitar, basically just a great song, you can tell they took a lot of time with this one. 5/5

7) The Cinema Show - This is technically the last original song on the album, about a couple destined to meet at the cinema show. Ok, so the plot may be a little silly, the lyrics are fine, but the instrumental bits are what make this song wonderful. Gabriel plays his flute more than in any other track, and he does great. It's mostly acoustic, and Hackett is wonderful on the playing that way. Then in the middle we suddenly have a change of tempo, we go into 7/4, and we get a great synth solo from Banks accented by Collins' drumming, probably his best effort on the album along with "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight", all building up to a climax with the whole band playing, then it all quiets down, we hear the guitar riff from "Dancing", and it fades into the last song... 5/5

8) Aisle of Plenty - A reprise of the theme from "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight", the lyrics have been changed, it shows in the end the dream has been lost, and all it was was crass consumerism, that England has lost its culture in this new world. A salesman starts to recite prices of his various items, and it slowly fades out. A fitting end. 5/5

Final: What else is there to be said. I'll say it again: This is the greatest progressive rock album of all time. Get it at all costs, if you can't afford it, sell an organ on the black market. Just make sure it's a non-important one. Like your appendix. Selling England by the Pound gets 5 stars out of 5.

Report this review (#254656)
Posted Sunday, December 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Today, after 22 years since the first time I placed this record on my turntable, I believe that not only this is the best progressive rock album recorded, but also one of the best music creations of the 20th Century. Mostly, I 'd like to give my rating rather than babble or start analyzing each song separately. This album is a masterpiece from cover to lyrics, from inspiration to performance and from instrumentation to production. The only part that is below the rest of the album's quality is "More fool me", but we can still say that it is just a short transition from one side to the other. Divine!
Report this review (#255176)
Posted Wednesday, December 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This is a very, very good album by Genesis, a band I must admit that doesn't strike a chord with me. But a masterpiece? I don't think this band can approach King Crimson, Yes, ELP, or even Gentle Giant in that era.

Dancing With The Moonlit Knight is a damn good song, one of the few by Genesis that I still like to listen to after all these years (even my favorites, I have listened to so often that I rarely play them anymore, as I have every note committed to memory). But like most Genesis, I wish there were better, and longer solos.

Firth Of Fifth is another highlight in this band's career, and Hackett even provides a nice guitar solo, but here Genesis sound like they are trying to recreate King Crimson's sound. And they do a fair job of it.

The Battle Of Epping Forest has potential, but this recording is marred by a particularly drab Tony Banks performance. His keyboards here are a prime example of why I compare him more to Tony Kaye of Yes than to the truly great prog keyboardists. He has the skills to occasionally rise up and play something spectacular, he just usually chooses not to.

The Cinema Show is another fine prog tune. Worth having in any collection.

A solid four star album.

Report this review (#255977)
Posted Monday, December 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "and all of their hands are playing a part"

The year 1973 was something of a watershed for the English giants in my opinion. One can argue whether Selling/Dark Side/Topographic Oceans were the "best" these bands had to offer. My feeling is that all three works saw their bands taking the last gasp of their original visions and team unity to their most accomplished conclusions. All still contained the spark of original magic, the lack of overt cynicism, the feeling that the bands still believed in the strength of their group creativity. While future works would still be very impressive there would be more division, more cynicism, band members departing, and the realization that what were once friendships making discoveries together were now organizations. As albums from all three would continue to make strides in production and sophistication, Gabriel would later describe in one word the feeling that would descend upon all three: machinery. And yet in the heart of 1973 it was all still so fresh and vibrant for the fan of rock music, progressive or otherwise.

As Floyd did on Dark Side, Genesis would grasp bits and pieces of previous albums and manage to spin them into a work with more cohesion, greater accessibility without compromising extended instrumental excitement, a finer studio ear for arrangements and dynamics, and a superior eye for the overall package as a work of art for the ages. Moments of brilliance were there on Cryme and Foxtrot but here the music is magical start to finish. As with Dark Side we can become a bit spoiled over the decades as these works are damaged by "overkill" within the prog community and thus hammered as being overrated. But in fact this is not the case. From any vantage point I take of Selling England it comes through as completely convincing, extraordinarily warm, charming, and inspiring. The playing on the album has been raised to another level not only by the clearer production, but the voracity in which each member seems to be striving to make every note and word count. We are treated to four outstanding Genesis epics averaging 10 minutes in length, none of which overstay their welcome by even a second. These elaborate pieces are separated by four "glue" tracks which serve as breather moments and cleanse the palette before throwing the listener back into the album's ride. The mixture of the romantic English pastoral vibe with the dynamic rocking sections and vocal passion deliver the fan an amazingly sincere and direct experience. There is no waiting period required to connect with Selling, there is no effort required. You are simply bowled over by the overall care bestowed upon this one, and the melodies within will visit your inner dialogue over time. These melodies come and go in my consciousness without ever thinking about Genesis. They are just there playing on my mind's audio channel. I can't say that about every album I appreciate. And more than a collection of tracks Selling feels like a film that pulls the listener into its midst. You are a part of the story.

While Gabriel would remain for the next album it is here where the band feels the most authentic to my ear, delivering on every front as if their lives depended on it. While "Trespass" remains my personal favorite Genesis album, there is no doubt in my mind that 1973 delivered a masterpiece each from Genesis, Yes, and Floyd.

Report this review (#257190)
Posted Monday, December 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Selling England By the Pound...there are no words to describe this masterpiece. Really, each track on the album is a fantastic representation of the symphonic genre as a whole. Say, hypothetically, you were asked to play someone the ultimate progressive rock'd be a tossup, without a doubt, but this record would undeniably be in the mix. The thing I love about Selling England By the Pound is that, unlike their previous records, it doesn't have any filler songs; although those songs fulfilled a purpose in the past Genesis albums (which were also masterpieces, don't get me wrong), there's no need for them here. Each song is excellent enough to hold up its own weight, none of them prove to be exceedingly 'pretentious', which is often a complaint among those who dislike Genesis. Each song is good enough to be played without breaks necessary in between them, they're all masterworks. This record needs to be played straight through...because skipping one single track, even the so-called throwaways "More Fool Me" and "The Battle of Epping Forest" takes an enormous chunk out of the record's quality.

"Dancing With the Moonlit Knight" - From the first sentences Peter Gabriel elegantly mumbles a capella to the music box-like outro, this song is scrupulously finalized and complete; the constantly shifting arrangement, the rigorous guitarwork, the at times comforting and at times forceful vocalization...there are next to no discernible flaws anywhere in this track's impeccable structure. The only criticism I can give is that the ending drags a bit after two minutes. This is a small complaint, however, and hardly diminishes my high regards. No other opening track in prog history, in my opinion, can touch "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight". Rating: 10/10 "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" - The first thing that caught my attention with this piece was the lyrics, which corresponds to the music perfectly. The 'brand of whimsy' which Genesis is famous for is most distinguished on this song (although "Harold the Barrel" and "The Battle of Epping Forest" give it a run for its money). This track is almost like the group's answer to "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" with its almost psychedelic sound. The quirkiness which Gabriel-led Genesis is so famous for is perfectly embodied by this classic. The unconventional sitar performance from Steve Hackett and Peter's droll flute set the scene perfectly. Rating: 10/10

"Firth of Fifth" - Although it was never commended by the critics, "Firth of Fifth" remains one of the most beloved and well-known songs by the earlier Genesis, and is arguably their most manifestly jazz-fusion-influenced track. The song's highlight is Tony Banks's exemplary piano and keyboard work, most exceptionally at the beginning of the instrumental segment. The sound of the entire piece is quite classically influenced, this is the situation with most Genesis tunes, but it also contains echoing of jazz music (as I'd mentioned earlier), particularly in Banks's piano work. The lyrics aren't as mind-blowing as they usually are (they're commonly described as 'pretentious'), but they certainly don't take much away from the overall effect that "Firth of Fifth" provides. Rating: 10/10

"More Fool Me" - This song is a conventional, somewhat unexciting ballad which contains a few instances of lyrical panache, but not much else. It's most notable attribute is the vocal performance from Phil Collins, which isn't particularly spectacular, but does show off his blisteringly high tenor voice. Rating: 7.4/10

"The Battle of Epping Forest" - Although the song's length certainly isn't reasonable or justifiable, "The Battle of Epping Forest" is a fun song, but not much else. The lyrics are entertaining ("I followed a sign that said beautiful chest, it led to a lady who showed me her best"), but they're also a bit too...plentiful. Most classic Genesis tracks have generous amounts of instrumental work, but "The Battle of Epping Forest" is completely devoid of this characteristic. Had they cut this song down a good 8 or 9 minutes, it would be more diverting and listenable, but the sheer length of the track takes a lot of its listenability away. Rating: 7.6/10

"After the Ordeal" - This instrumental ranks among the best in rock music, without a doubt. It isn't one of the group's masterpieces, but it certainly provides a good chance for taking a breath between "The Battle of Epping Forest" and the concluding masterpiece, "The Cinema Show". Rating: 10/10

"The Cinema Show" - Selling England By the Pound's closing masterwork is not only one of Genesis's greatest achievements, but one of the greatest achievements in the entire prog genre. It begins with the perfect coalescence between Gabriel's mystical voice and Hackett's melodious and distinctive guitar. The melody is then slightly adjusted to better accommodate a more complete and complex composition; Banks's keyboards and Collins's drums come in and add greatly to the song's substance. Their flawless instrumentation continues until the final few measures of the song, which contain a reprise of the guitar motif from "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight". Rating: 10/10

"Aisle of Plenty" Finally, the album closes with this haunting melody; the humorous lyrics, which contain several subtle allusions to British companies, fit the melody perfectly, oddly enough; the album comes full circle with this fantastic and beautiful closing melody. Rating: 10/10


Report this review (#259362)
Posted Monday, January 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Excellent progressive rock!

Okay, I'll be honest, I never really got into Genesis that much. I had listened to a few songs here and there, but didn't really feel that it was something I could listen to over and over. I didn't really see how it was "prog" at all. I wanted to listen to some to see what the big deal was. I was happy when I found this album at the library.

I came home and put it on my CD player. In the next 45 minutes, my previous opinion of Genesis was crushed, and I found respect for these musicians.

Listening to the songs, they sounded fairly simple. I didn't really catch the changing time signatures and complicated rhythms until about my third listen. This came as a surprise, but I soon realized that this showed just how good they are. The band moves easily from one time signature to another, without making it obvious. For example, the instrumental section in "The Cinema Show" sounds rather simple, but when analyzed, it is very complex. It is the same on all four of the longer pieces, which are, of course, the best four on the CD.

Overall, this album is a bit lighter than what I am used to listening to. The drums aren't as heavy as Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer or Gentle Giant. This, however, is not a negative thing! The end of "Firth of Fifth" is incredible. The music can be described as relaxing and light, but the guitar solo is one of the best out of everyone.

While this isn't the best album I've ever had, I would strongly recommend adding this album to your collection!

Report this review (#259686)
Posted Wednesday, January 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
1 stars I had to check out this album, being that it is the most highly rated on prog archives. I was very disappointed! I had already not been a fan of genesis, but i was only familiar with Duke and Abacab, so I thought possibly that Genesis was much better earlier in their carrer and had just tapered off. Maybe thats the case, but this is still not a great album. Nothing about the musical quality of this album, or anything by Genesis for that matter is exceptional. The musical skill is simply average for me, and the songs are very boring with no truly memorable hooks. And some of the longer songs like the Cinema show seem to drag on for much longer than is pleasurable. Not an essential album at all. Possibly 2 stars, because fans of Genesis of course like Genesis, but I was so frustrated by the high ratings and lack of delivery that its a 1 star in my book.
Report this review (#262103)
Posted Saturday, January 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars What to say? To write about the value of Selling England By The Pound is as superfluous as to write about the brilliance of Mozart and Beethoven. Or ingenuity of Leonardo and Einstein. If there is a perfect reason why I like progressive rock music then it is Genesis' Selling England By The Pound. This album has everything - an excellent balance between music and poetry, powerful and dynamic playing and epic depiction, notes which provoke the deepest sentiments and those inducing laughter. Even a hit - the irresistible I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) - a link between older and newer Genesis music. If Selling England By The Pound had been constituted by The Cinema Show, with the rest of the material with average quality, or by Firth of Fifth and a couple of passable songs - it would have still been an unforgettable album. Four years after their first release, the Genesis' five definitely reached the peak of their artistic and musical skillfulness. This fact plus a sort of unexplainable inspiration - that was the formula of magic beauty and attractiveness of this album. My personal jewel within the album is The Battle of Epping Forrest. It is probably the most English song ever made in progressive rock. Nothing could be compared to the eleven minutes of almost continuous, full of unexpected alterations, singing-narration of Peter Gabriel telling us about the ways of solving disagreements "on a gangland boundary". Maybe Supper's Ready, but that is also sung by Gabriel. The part of the song when Peter sings: " ... When poor, 'twas salvation from door to door / But now with a pin-up guru every week / It was Love, Peace & Truth incorporated for all who seek", from my perspective, is probably the most freakish and the most exciting moment of the whole album. I recommend to all who like Selling England By The Pound to get its newest 2008. remastered edition - the excitement will be even bigger. And I think that all those who are fond of this album should put their signature on a petition to initiate Gabriel, Hackett, Collins, Rutherford and Banks to make a reunion tour in 2013. devoted to Selling England By The Pound, with the appropriate dvd as the final seal on their brilliant career in the seventies.
Report this review (#262326)
Posted Sunday, January 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4.5 stars actually!

Another album that tells stories but this time, is too muh serious! The most funny storie here is "The Battle of Epping Forest", a pause to relax.

The album is full of good compositions: the manner that begins and ends, "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" and "Aisle of Planty" are the best moments along with the keyboard solo on "The Cinema Show". "After the Ordeal" reminds "Horizons" but less erudi and more folk - another great Steve Hacket composition.

The reason why I don't give 5 stars for this album is the same as in "Foxtrot": some times is kind of boring and the a little part of Genesis theater magic is lost!

For sure is a must but it is not a masterpiece.

Report this review (#267294)
Posted Sunday, February 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Hello The World ! This is my first review ever. When I was looking at the possibility of reviewing albums, way back, I said to myself that this very CD will be the first... to have this tremendous honor. It is interesting to see the battle of this CD over the other main All-time best CD's, exchanging the number-1 position with other ones (I feel this one is THE no-1, but the battle is OK for me). Here it is ! On the 'Reference'. On 'What is the best example of Prog ?' A promise to myself that is held. The % of 5-star reviews on SEBTP is very high, and this will be another one !

Well... There are masterpiece tracks and more 'average' tracks on this '70's music, but the all-around effect that this type of music has in the Prog-world in monstruous. All the characteristics of Prog are here : complex music, very unpredictable melodies, odd-time signatures and rythms, special lyrics, musicians that are athletes on their instrument, intensities. The epics are responsible, alone, for the high-class scoring : 'Dancing', Firth of Fifth, 'Epping' and The Cinema Show. Everyone of those songs is a classical, being directed to a nice story and being constructed magnificiently with all the members of Genesis participating at what has become the group's specific sound. They became a unity through a few numbers of releases (1971-1974), the climax being this one, mostly because of 'Firth of Fifth' and 'The Cinema Show', that are in my view in the Top-10 individual Prog-songs of all-time. Emotions when you listen to those songs are built in a unique way, either in 'Firth' when the piano gives place to the power of the group, followed by the well-known flute theme and the crying guitar; or either in 'Cinema' by the slow-guitar start, a very nice impro, a nice rythm center part, and the fabulous 7-8 second part that is not equalled in this world. I know this group since a long time, of course, as many here also, but if you are new to the progressive music, with an open-mind on complex music and willing to discover, curious about this classic that has high-ranking, you are not mistaking at all in getting in a hurry this fabulous CD. You will get instantly 'The Best' ! You will discover after each listening elements of beautiful music that will transport you, if you like super guitar work, fantastik keyboard and mellotron play, a very special drum play, if you like to remember forever Peter's voice, and a musicality arising from a group that is different than all individual parts.

Even if some other songs would not each attain 5 stars, the overall rating to give to this CD is 5.0, because of the complexity and the incredible music recorded here. Even a theme in the first song emerges later... Super. The epics balance easily the shorter songs, because they enhance this CD value to the very Top. It is bad that we cannot give 8\5 for 'Firth' and 'Cinema' !!

Well ! Enjoy !

Report this review (#271563)
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is more polished than their previous releases, if I can use the term correctly. The listener will notice quite a difference. I really liked this album with one exception, but I will not take away any ratings because of it. It is just what a person likes or dislikes.

Peter Gabriel starts it off beautifully, I might add, with "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight." Oh man do the rest of the band take off from there! It just gets better and better. One important note. During Steve Hackett's solo he hits this note and I don't know what he does to it, but it is just awesome to hear. I don't think I ever heard anyone do it before that. This is after his trademark frethand tapping, which was being done by him since 1971, as opposed to Eddie Van Halen's version. The song is chock full of prog delight. You have got to hear it!

My next favorite is "Firth of Fifth" which will give you goose bumps, it is so wonderful to listen to. Peter has such a visual quality to his lyrics. He is a true master of the word! Hackett and Banks shine on the solo parts. It's just great.

The last part I like starts from "After the Ordeal" and ends with the last note on the record. Tony Banks is simply killer here! It always slays me. Genesis is one of the best there is!

The one I didn't really care for a whole lot was "Battle of Epping Forrest." It just seemed about five minutes to long to me. With that said, the band is still at the top of their game. Gabriel again makes you feel like you are right there in the middle of everything as the story unfolds. I may end up liking it better some day bacause it is well played and a good song in its own right.

"More Fool Me" finds Phil Collins sneaking one in for the band with a good vocal here.

I can take or leave "I know what I like." It is a good song and well played also. In fact there are no weak tunes whatsoever and I feel this is essential listening, so I am giving it 5 stars, no question about it.

Report this review (#275739)
Posted Wednesday, March 31, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ok, that`s my first review on this site. Being a fan of Genesis, from Trespass till Calling all stations, I wasn't always a fan of the Progressive Rock, but since some years I'am now. So my first review might be from Genesis, and of course for, in my opinion, their best work, and the best work on the progressive rock ever, Selling England by the pound. Not all the album is perfect, but there were three tracks wich are more than perfect, and that is enough for five stars. Many people think or say that Peter Gabriel was the musical leader of Genesis, or overrate the Steve Hackett role, but this masterpiece shows that the true is that the main man behind all is Tony Banks, and then Mike Rutherford.

Firth of fifth: The maximum into the progressive rock. If someone wants to know what is or was the Progressve rock, just listen this track. Is perfect. Acoustic classical piano, stand out keyboard solo, the best guitar solo, and a great drum work. Even a flute by Peter Gabriel. Great lirycs for me too, even when the Genesis guys don't like it. The main composer of this song was Tony Banks, with the principal collaboration of Steve Hackett to evolve the Banks melody into the guitar solo.

Cinema Show: Epic that shows another great example of the progressive rock could be. Composed by Banks, Rutherford and Collins. The acoustic guitar intro by Rutherford is fantastic, and the Banks solo, is maybe the best Keyboard solo in the history of the rock music. Of course, the live versions sounds better than the studio version.

Dancing with the moonlight knight: A complete group effort. Great lyrics by Gabriel, prog guitar solos, mellotron choirs, great chorus, great drum work, etc. Everything is here, in a perfect open for this great album.

The rest are good, but not excelent.

Five stars, and sorry by my writing

Report this review (#276945)
Posted Thursday, April 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars 12/15P.: An essential album with three of the most important progressive rock songs, an album where Genesis' Victorian rock sound is on its peak, but also an example how prog can go wrong if it is overdone

Actually there are enough reviews for this album, but the reason why I still write a short review for it is that I don't understand the big hype around this album, especially regarding the fact that this record has to get 5/5 points simply because it's Selling England By The Pound.

So what I am going to do is try to write about this album critically (as I do see some points of criticism from my side) and probably also write a text which is perhaps enjoyable to read or maybe even a bit informative for the people who know this record already.

Dancing With The Moonlit Knight may be my favorite track on this record: everything fits well here, especially great is the Victorian feeling which the track creates by using masses of 12-string-guitars and distant electric guitars with the trademark swirling, distant Hackett sound: combined with Peter Gabriel's unique voice and in the later progress of the track soft Hammond organ swabs, majestic grand piano and Phil Collins's playful drums the track becomes a typical, or perhaps the typical progressive rock track. Rapid guitar tremolos accompany the third stanza, medieval Mellotron choirs enter and bombastify the mighty chorus-like part where Mr. Collins also shines with his perfect drum play. Still the most impressive part is Steve Hackett's guitar solo in which Genesis come closer to hard rock than ever while Mr. Hackett develops his tapping technique; I always wonder how he creates this percussive sound from 2:45 on in that melody which in its mercuriality reminds me of Bach or someone else from the Baroque epoch. A more enraged stanza follows - after a majestic mellotron choir section - and leads us into the ARP synthesizer solo with Hackett's electric sitar in the background which is so typical for Tony Banks (check the strange rhythms and nearly-as-strange synthesizer melodies which despite that sound great and nearly catchy) which then slowly unwinds with soft Hammond organ chords... You will see: when you love Progressive Rock and you listen to this track you will see that everything is at the right place and leads to sheer pleasure: the music is so perfect that malicious tongues could nearly call it expectable and 'cliche' - if Genesis hadn't invented this often-copied cliche with this song: it could be the most essential progressive rock song ever.

The interesting thing is that from 5:54 on Genesis finish the song with a 2:09 minutes long psychedelic soundscape part in the vein of Trespass (listen to White Mountain to see what I mean) with heavily echoed 12 string guitars, treated Mellotron sounds and - far away - Hackett's lovely electric guitar sounds: balm for the progressive rock listener's ears and a quite untypical, but superb way of ending a fulminant rock track. At the moment I can't think of any other epic which ends in a similar way.

Peter Gabriel's I Know What I Like turns the world of pop music upside down: catchy music, but lyrics about a lawnmower and corresponding sound effects ("There's a future for you in the fire escape trade."; this quote says everything). Like every single, as which the song climbed on rank twenty-one in the British single charts, the compositional focus should lie on the vocals melody and the lyrics, and it also does here: every time I am astonished by this cool 'flow'/groove of the lyrics of the stanza beginning at 1:40 that is rhythmically so exciting that I think about one of the better hip hop pieces. But the infectious catchyness doesn't change the complexity at all: everywhere you find the quirky elements of Genesis that make their simpler pieces that interesting. Dig that Phil Collins solo part from 1:25 where masses of percussion instruments accompany a scat vocalization melody by Collins, but merely as long as necessary, in this case for ten seconds or so - then the music goes on in its usual way. Mike Rutherford is also brilliant at his bass guitar, for example with a playful bass line in the chorus, and the electric sitar which plays the simple main riff/motif of the song. The song fades out with the characteristic hollow-sounding synthesizer melody in the end which finally is overlapped by the lawnmower sounds, essentially (I think) some kind of motor (of a hairdryer or a ventilator) recorded through the pickups of the electric guitar.

Firth Of Fifth is the next classic progressive rock piece on the album which everybody should know. And as everyone probably knows it I probably don't need to write that much about it. Fortunately, Tony Banks plays the famous one-minute piano introduction on a real grand piano and not on this awful electric piano which he used live for these purposes. The odd metres (how about four bars of 13/16 followed by four bars of 15/16 leading into one bar of 2/4 and then returning to 13/16 again?) make the intro not only a real treat due to the nice harmonic progressions but also for rhythmical reasons that are as progressive as they can be. I also do adore the dynamic way of playing: sensitive and restrained passages contrast with more powerful and self-assured ones and the sustain pedal of the piano isn't used for undefinable sound carpets, but for (in my book) fitting articulation. Shorter said: this intro is big fun listening to, especially when you are a keyboarder yourself. The stanzas which follow are often criticized for the lyrics which are seen as 'cheesy', but as English isn't my native language I don't care too much about that; in fact, I believe the sound of the words ("To see reflected there, the trees, the sky, the lilyfair.", for instance) to be quite harmonious and nice. Musically, I enjoy the changes between the sedate stanzas and the wishful, bright ones (2:05) in which Steve Hackett's guitar that just plays a nice counterpoint in the stanzas' background is applied as well - with the Mellotron strings, of course, which are used here the first time on this record (or probably the second, if the sounds at the end of the opener are Mellotron strings). A late-romanticism-piano bridge with etherial cymbal sounds leads into Peter Gabriel's flute solo which is merely backed by a piano and the bass guitar which creates quite a classical feeling like, for example, in a symphony. Afterwards, the grand piano guides the band in a typical upbeat progressive rock instrumental part with odd rhythms and many keyboards swirling around. The following guitar solo uses the melody of the flute solo again, and both - something which astonished me very much - were written neither by Hackett or Gabriel, but by Tony Banks. So, Hackett didn't invent the part of the solo, but interpreted it; and this is a thing in which he succeeded very well. Still there are many parts which sound much like Hackett, but anyway: this solo is marvellous and probably Hackett's best moment ever. And as repeating the solo one more time is probably the only thing that one can do to make it better, Hackett does it exactly the same way; especially live this must be a great experience with full sound volume and subwoofers. A last stanza then segues into the outroduction, a piano motif taken from the introductory piano solo and working as some kind of 'frame' or bookend of the piece.

More Fool Me, the second Genesis track where Phil Collins sings, in fact falls off a bit. But this is not due to the composition, but to the production. Actually, this song is made for being played live. Everytime I listen to this one live, for example on the bonus disc of the live box set, I can't help but calling this an outstanding ballad. Imagine you are sitting in a big concert, for example by the Rolling Stones in the early 1970s, and the band starts off with fast, groovy rock pieces and bright stage illumination, the guitarist plays the electric guitar. Then the band leaves the stage, and only the singer and the guitarist are staying (with the latter switching to the acoustic guitar), the light gets dim. Then they both play a ballad, in my Stones example probably No Expectations. And this change from bombastic grandeur or powerful rock to acoustic ballad-style intimacy is - at least to me - emotionally touching and a great feeling (as far as I know, Genesis played Firth of Fifth before More Fool Me in 1973). But, goodness knows why, this only works when you are sitting (or standing) in a concert hall listening to a band live: not only the music, but also the mood and the atmosphere count and help the song become really good. The studio version therefore pales severely in contrast to the live version due to small details: Collins produces some bad sniveling tones somewhere in the piece, there are vocal overdubs at the most inadequate places and in the chorus Collins pants the word "way", maybe in order to sound emotional, but I am bothered by that. Probably it's really the ambition to make the song sound grand, but in the end it is rather too grand, nearly oversize: the reduced arrangement with Collins on lead vocals and Rutherford on the backing vocal works out much finer, although in my opinion the song itself is well composed. To all those who think that Mike Rutherford is a bad guitarist: he's a bad lead guitarist, but a damn fine fingerpicker.

The Battle Of Epping Forest is the real let-down to me - and unfortunately with nearly 12 minutes the longest piece on this record. A short summary of the writing process the way I reconstruct it: Peter Gabriel writes 795 words about a newspaper article and makes the band put them into music. The bad and sad thing is that this number of 795 is not a rhetorical exaggeration of mine, but the real number of words that my word processing program has counted one minute ago. Even sadder is that the words aren't really bad: they are the typical Gabriel opera dialogues with many rhymes and puns. But turning them into music requires at least 20 minutes of composition. Now the 12 minutes are full of lyrics, the music is unmemorable and lacks the fresh freewheelingness of, for example, Get 'em out by Friday or The Return of the Giant Hogweed. However; there are at least some highlights in the track, but frankly I do not often make it attaining to them because I skip that track after the introduction that with the Mellotron flutes and a nice march rhythm actually is relatively tasteful. Where are these passages which I call highlights now? Ironically, the first kind of highlight is at the places where Gabriel stops singing: the part from 4:04 with the clavinet and Hammond organ arpeggios is very well done, just like the ARP synthesizer melody which the persevering listener may enjoy several times after the Here come the cavalry parts. The second kind of highlight are the parts which always remind me of Jethro Tull and which just consist of 12 string guitar strumming and vocals (like 5:28). But unfortunately, these passages are quite rare, but if they come they won't leave your ears fast: a portion with earworm qualities. I see the rest of the track, including the exerted guitar solo in the end, as rather dull.

After The Ordeal is Steve Hackett's more or less solo track whose structure I actually like very much although it itself is 'only' good and not great, simply because it is short; I am also quite sure that the piece wasn't meant to be great, but rather beautiful. And in achieving this aim the band, or Steve Hackett, has succeeded really well. The first part is completely acoustic and classically influenced and played solely on the acoustic guitar and the piano whilst the second part features the whole band and is essentially an instrumental slow pop/rock song with the electric guitar taking over the lead. The first, joyful part would also fit well on Hackett's Spectral Mornings with delicate melodies and strong influences of classical guitar music, probably Rodrigo or Tarrega; that could also be why Hackett uses a nylon string guitar here. The second part with the slow rhythm, the Hammond organ, two wishful electric guitars and counterpointing flute melodies sounds like a mixture of Focus, Sky and maybe even Procol Harum, but mainly the first two mentioned bands. I always wonder if the track with its title has been placed after The Battle of Epping Forest deliberately; this would give this innocuous and beautiful track quite a cynical tongue-in-cheek meaning.

The Cinema Show is the third classic progressive rock piece on this record and the striking thing for me are especially the keyboard sounds used here. The first, sung part of this epic is completely keyboard-free: several acoustic guitars with several numbers of strings again create this Victorian feel of the album's opener, this time with a strong tension and a close-mesh blanket of different sounds and tones from which Gabriel's lyrics enshroud the listener cosily; when one regards the content of the lyrics, my incidental carpet comparison also gets another dimension because in fact the whole piece deals with romance and sex, employing the archetypal couple Romeo and Juliet. Here, Gabriel's and Collins's vocals harmonize beautifully with each other and the whole first part until 2:00 could be one of Genesis's best 'musifications' of warmth and intimacy. From the third minute on the whole band enters, especially Hackett's swirling guitar melodies are worth to notice. Afterwards, flute and oboe melodies - again only accompanied by acoustic guitars and sparingly used cymbals - return to the Victorian Trespass feeling of the beginning, later also adding wordless vocalizations by Gabriel and Collins, temporarily also in two voices (I don't know if this is by chance, but the melody is quite similar to the beginning of Crosby Stills Nash & Young's Our House). Another stanza follows, reprised instrumentally afterwards by the ARP synthesizer which halfway in the piece leads us into the instrumental part which is the same perfect progressive rock like the instrumental part of Dancing With The Moonlit Knight. Here the several keyboards come into the foreground: the warm sound of the ARP Pro Soloist, Hammond organs and Mellotrons; especially the melody at 6:59 is of extraordinary beauty, and even more beautiful when repeated with great Mellotron choirs afterwards.

The final melody of this nearly five minutes long keyboard solo transforms to the chords of Dancing With The Moonlit Knight and with that to the beginning of Aisle of Plenty which is the bookend or the counterpart to the album's opener: musically very similar to the first stanzas, albeit replacing the piano and several acoustic guitars with Hammond organ arpeggi and one single nylon string acoustic guitar. After this "sixth stanza" of the opener the band takes over one chord progression from this song and Gabriel chants food advertisements until the fade-out over this symphonic background with his voice treated electrically: quite an ironic way of ending this album, but it fits the sociocritical contents of the moonlit knight's lyrics well. And it's an ending which cleverly placates me after some dull minutes, or - to express it more critically - which tricks me into thinking that the album is better than I thought it to be when I was listening it.

All in all I will give a weak 4 star rating for an album with three of the most important progressive rock songs, but also an example where prog is overdone, or where less would simply have been more. In fact, this record is quite long with over 50 minutes and throwing out The Battle of Epping Forest and replacing it by Twilight Alehouse, the b-side of the I Know What I Like single, this could have become an uncanny masterpiece of progressive rock music. But now, this is 'only' an album with three real masterpieces on it - and let down by pieces which simply cannot catch up with side one of "Foxtrot". Nonetheless this record is a highly recommendable and nearly necessary experience for the progressive rock listener.

Report this review (#277175)
Posted Saturday, April 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Although I've never considered myself a cynical man (at least when it comes to music), giving an album with only three songs out of eight that I actually like at all anything higher than two stars would just be dishonest for me, something I can't do. Don't get me wrong, Selling England By the Pound isn't a really bad album by any means, it was just dull and uninteresting to me.

Like I said earlier, there are three standouts. The opening, Dancing With the Moonlit Night, is breathtaking and epic, and while it's not one of my favorite Genesis songs, it's still very enjoyable. Then there's Firth of Fifth, with an outstanding piano intro, and beautiful composition. Then there's The Cinema Show. It's gorgeous guitar work and comforting vocals caught my attention and I instantly fell in love with it. The only problem is, all three of these songs sound thirty times better live and seem more passionate as well.

Now, as for the rest of the songs. Frankly, I can't stand them. Go ahead and throw your tomatos and carrot juice. I just can't stand them. I Know What I Like is a laughable attempt at a pop song that's tedious and annoying, More Fool Me is just kind of...dull, The Battle Of Epping Forest is both dull and insanely long, two things which never go together well, After the Ordeal has some mediocre guitar work but ends up being forgettable, and finally, Aisle of Plenty is just the ending to The Cinema Show, so you can't even judge it by itself.

The only problem with giving such a highly-acclaimed album such a low score is that I can't guarantee you'll dislike it as much as I did. In fact, I'd be pretty surprised if you agree with me. So, I'd suggest you try it out for yourself and if you like it enough, buy it. If not, well, join the minority.

Report this review (#278773)
Posted Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I've never really been able to get into Genesis very easily. There is just something about their sound that irks me half the time. I think it's probably the pretention that turns me off; having said that, they are such a talented group. When I do manage to penetrate the level 10 self importance field I find myself enjoying things. Selling England by the Pound, manages to let me in every now and then to a truly stupendous album, not quite as much as Foxtrot, but much more so than the Lamb.

SEBTP is one of these albums which unfortunately uses up its best work right off the bat. I do not like anything on the album more than the first half of the Moonlit Knight. It is all Gabriel's doing, it's pure poetry; challenging word play great singing and which ebbs and flows with the dark lilting support. The Knight is able to keep it up almost all the way through. By the end though, it gets a little drawn out.

After the Knight is I Know What I Like, one of the very limited selections of early Genesis' songs I've actually heard on the radio. It isn't their most interesting work, but it is one of the easier tracks to get into. It gets a little goofy at times, which Genesis is prone to do. Things take a turn for the classical in short order though on Firth of Fifth. Tony Banks plays one of the most memorable intros. Firth then proceeds to change many times over, sometimes loud, sometimes soft, sometimes jazzy, sometimes rocking. It's a great track even if it doesn't manage to always live up the ear grabbing intro.

More Fool Me is another nice little short piece. The interplay of acoustic guitar and Gabriel's vocals make it a worthwhile listen. It also serves as the calm before the storm. The aforementioned storm of course is The Battle of Epping forest. This is the elephant in the room when it comes to SEBTP. For some it totally breaks things for others it makes the whole sh-bang. I am kind of indifferent. There are parts I like and parts I don't. For starters it really doesn't know when to end. For another kind of goofy piece a la I Know What, it really shouldn't last this long. On the other hand, it's pretty funny in a Benny the Bouncer sort of way and has some excellent instrumental portions.

Following the extraordinary ruckus is After the Ordeal. This is the only total instrumental on Selling England by the Pound. It begins with a classical sort of feel again with the nylon guitar and organ. Just over halfway through it gets more demure with soft drums and a wailing guitar in the distance. As it's closing up shop the keyboards make another brief appearance. All in all, an excellent if short track which leads into the curious Cinema Show. Gabriel is pretty annoying to begin with. Much to all of our good fortune it doesn't remain annoying for long. At nearly 12 minutes that would probably kill the album. Instead, the very good vocal portion morphs into an extended instrumental, which as it turns out is even better. As Cinema Show drifts into the Isle of Plenty the Moonlit Knight's theme makes a return to close the album on a welcome full circle.

Genesis isn't so much my cup of tea, but Selling England by the Pound aside from some inconsistencies is a excellent album. Is it essential? Not to me. Four out of Five.

Report this review (#278934)
Posted Thursday, April 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars 10/10

Amazingly majestic, profound, complex, beautiful, "Selling England By The Pound" is one of the best progressive albums ever made.

After the supreme masterpiece "Foxtrot", Genesis was still able to maintain the same levels as their previous album, thanks to "Selling England By The Pound", not only one of the best progressive albums ever made, but even one of the best albums generally speaking of the 70s (heck, maybe one of the best of all time). Amazingly majestic, profound, complex, beautiful.

The album starts with "Dancing With The Moonlight Knight", one of the best prog songs of all time. It starts very mellow, but then it explodes into a triumphant and glorious piece of music, epic and unbeatable. After, when the song is almost over, the theme changes, one of the greatest song closers ever. "I Know what I like" never really got me, I never really enjoyed listening to it. The chorus is kind of lame, and the general structure of the song isn't very great. My least favorite one from this album. "Firth of Fifth" starts with a beautiful and virtuous piano part, followed by the song's main theme, were Gabriel and co. really demonstrate how good they can be. It's a very melancholy song, especially the main theme, even though the great arrangements and solos in the middle of the song are very cheerful and happy sounding. "More Fool Me" is a beautiful brief ballad with Phil Collins on vocals. It really is a great interlude, a pause between all the long and complex songs. " The Battle Of Epping Forest" is the longest song of the album, and possibly it is the best song in an artistic point of view. It has many themes ( It could easily be a suite), and it shows the bands incredible talent in songwriting and performing as a group. Gabriel's vocals are unusual and original, absolutely an essential song for those who don't like to listen to entire albums all at once ( I personally don't understand them, I find it necessary to listen to an album all the way through and in order.) "After the Ordeal" is the only instrumental piece , a brief and cheerful piece that stands between the two really long songs of the album. " The Cinema Show", despite having many memorable moments, is one of my least favorite songs of the album. Maybe starts to be too complex for my tastes, and you can find some excessive instrumentations. Hwever, it's a really good song, and the intro played with guitar is beautiful. "Aisle Of Plenty" is the shortest song, it's experimental and interesting. Actually, it might be one of the best closers of all time.

What an album, so mind blowing, so great, I still can't believe such an album exists.

Report this review (#279211)
Posted Saturday, April 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Does it get much better than this for progressive rock fans? We all know this album contains a ton of fantastic prog (although many seem nitpicking this one more than others). The key question is whether it is the greatest prog album of all time. The overall ratings say yes, but my subjectivity goes with Close to the Edge.

The deciding factor? Close to the Edge does not have anything equivalent to Epping Forest or More Fool Me. They are nothing for Genesis to be ashamed of by any means, but they are just not top-notch. That's my only nitpick with Selling England--the rest is good enough for greatest of all time status.

Part of the genius of this album is that it can be appreciated on so many levels. Any music listener will be immediately drawn in by the bouncy, infectious intro to Firth of Fifth, and any guitar rocker will dig Hackett's work in Firth and Dancing with the Moonlit Knight. The next level--the intense listening through progressive ears--also rewards, particularly the 7/8 jam on Cinema Show and delicate beauty of the 12-strings and keys throughout. The final level--seeing this stuff performed live (alas, I've only seen this through tributes)--rewards even further. Seeing the Cinema Show done live was one of my greatest musical experiences--I almost soiled myself!

Alternatingly delicate, poignant, creative and powerful, Selling England by the Pound is a masterpiece of progressive rock, and one I will treasure for the ages.

Report this review (#282366)
Posted Monday, May 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Foxtrot is my favorite record of the big three, but Selling England is pretty darn good too. The first three songs are as good as any prog music I've ever heard. Firth Of Fifth is one of my all-time favorites at this point. I wish I could've written just one tune like this in my life. Dancing With The Moonlit Knight and I Know What I Like are also great songs. These three songs, put together, create an outstanding beginning to this record. But I must say the record seems to get a tad slow in places for me after that. More Fool Me and After The Ordeal feel like filler to me. Cinema Show and Epping Forest are mostly excellent but they both feel as if they would been better songs had they been cut down in length. I'm being very picky here, obviously. Epping Forest and Cinema Show are very good tunes as they stand, but I personally would enjoy them more if they were shortened a little (I'm sure Gabriel and his mates are really concerned over my criticisms). By the way, this is my first post on ProgArchives. I didn't know it but I've been a prog fan all my life (I just didn't quite understand until recently what, exactly, prog was). I've always been a big fan of Jethro Tull, Yes, King Crimson, ELP, etc., but I never got the chance to here any Peter Gabriel Genesis in my youth (only the Phil Collins era, ughh!). After finding this site I decided to check Genesis out. Well, it's been an eye opener to say the least. I owe ProgArchives a debt of gratitude that I can never repay. To find more great music from the 70's is absolutely thrilling to me at this point in my life. I never thought that would happen. I can't stop listening to these three records. It's wonderful!
Report this review (#283217)
Posted Sunday, May 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's not hard to see why this record is so highly revered - the whole thing has a unique atmosphere, otherworldly, quaint and occasionally; tremendously powerful.

All the qualities that come to mark the 'progressive decade' of Genesis are present and correct, so to speak, on this disc.

My personal love affair with Genesis began with this album - the wintery English countryside that I live in was the perfect setting for the sound of two twelve-string guitars chiming away together. To this day the middle of the Cinema Show creates that picture again and again. That's the beauty of this music. It allows you the chance to build your own pictures.

'Dancing With a Moonlight Knight' conjures up a mystical, distant England. The opening a capella vocal sounds almost medieval. . The lyrical references are straight out of early 70's popular culture, The Wimpy Hamburger, Green Shield stamps et al, however set against the music it doesn't date, and what is intended as social commentary becomes a whimsical journey - and whether or not you identify with the archaic cultural references or not, it's equally effective. Peter Gabriel effectively future-proofed his lyrics. And set in the context of the album with the Lear-esqe 'I Know What I Like', it can come to mean anything.

'The Battle Of Epping Forest', similarly, becomes almost like a Nursery Rhyme. The East-End gang wars long since having vacated memory of the general public, these peculiarly named characters that populate the song exist outside of the very thing that influenced them. That whimsical take on the then popular culture survives, long after the culture has ceased to be. Brilliant.

Musically, Selling England by the Pound is about the best thing that Genesis did. As a whole piece, and indeed, thought was given into making it play as a single piece, even though the songs aren't linked by anything other than the atmosphere that they create, it ebbs and flows in an entirely unique way. The brilliant ensemble playing at the conclusion of 'Moonlit Knight' may well be the most tricksy thing the band ever attempted. And the contrast between the sections are stark and jarring, and entirely satisfying.

'Firth Of Fifth', a hoary old favourite has all the melodrama of a classical masterwork, and the guitar solo may still be the highlight of Steve Hackett's career.

If you're reading this, and you've yet to hear this record, you're missing some of the most brilliant modern music that has been written. It captures an essence of time as well as existing outside of it, and I would be very surprised if this record is not still being written about and enjoyed another 40 years from now.

There is no other way of putting it. It is a masterpiece, and you simply have to hear it.

Report this review (#284665)
Posted Thursday, June 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Ok, many people consider this to be the greatest progressive album of all time, and I cannot help but disagree to this opinion of the album (personally, I find albums such as "Close to the Edge" by YES and "The Wall" by PINK FLOYD to be far stronger). The being said, this is a really good album, and one that cannot be missed by fans of GENESIS, or fans of prog in general.

The album starts off with "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight", as song that, while it starts on the slow side, once it gets going, it has one of the coolest riffs in prog. The album then continues with the laughably absurd, but enjoyable "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe).

The third track, which is one of the high points of the album (and of prog in general) is "Firth of Fifth". All I can say to this song is "wow". The song begins with an excellent piano intro (although it sounds a bit like a bad sitcom intro). The verses have impressive singing by Gabriel, and excellent organ/mellotron work from Tony Banks. After a flute solo by Gabriel, the listener is spun into a frenzied keyboard solo by Banks, followed by one of the best guitar solos ever in prog. Tony Banks once negatively described the song as "too King Crimson-y", and I agree with this statement. However, I think the comparison to King Crimson should be a positive one (it sounds a lot like KING CRIMSON's "Epitaph"), as the epic Crimson-eqsue mellotron sounds gives the solo an extra edge to it.

The next three songs aren't necessarily bad songs, but I kind of feel that they are lacking and pretty unmemorable. AMong these songs is the weakest of the album, "Battle of Epping Forest". While again, not a terrible song, I find that it drags on way too much and is overall kind of boring.

The audience is then shown "The Cinema Show", another must-listen for progressive rock fans. The first half of the song is what we come to expect from Genesis- a nice acoustic song with some allusions to times of yore- and is overall pretty harmless and reminds me a lot of "The Musical Box" off "Nursery Crime". Had "The Cinema Show" been just those first 6 mins, then "The Musical Box" would easily be the stronger song. However, the second half we are greeted to one of the best synth solos in prog. Seriously, "wow" is all I can say again. It's not easy for a keyboardist to hold a 5 minute keyboard solo, but Banks does it in spades. I can't even begin to describe it- you will just have to listen to it and experience yourself.

Overall, this is a very good album, but I wouldn't put it as the top prog album of all time (top 10...hmmm maybe). If you are a prog fan, do yourself a favor and listen to it- you won't be disappointed. If you can't listen to the whole album, then just listen to "Firth of Fifth" and "The Cinema Show".

Report this review (#284768)
Posted Thursday, June 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is Genesis? Man, I was fooled by their 80's sound I heard when I was growing up. Let me tell you, I think this is the greatest music I have heard in my life. I am thankfull that I have the chance to listen to it as much as I want. And that is basically non-stop since I have bought it. I absolutly love all of the songs on this album. I don't think one of them as inferior. But, my heart goes out to Dancing with the Moonlight and Firth of Fifth. Thank you Genesis for bringing these sounds in my world. But, having listened some of you 80's stuff, I am wondering: what happened to you guys? And now, to discover Foxtrot.

Report this review (#288119)
Posted Thursday, June 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is it, this is the album that totally and truely got me into Genesis and is still my favourite album by them today, everything about this album is simply brilliant i cant say anything bad about this all, even with the Phill Collins led track MORE FOOL ME he sounds like Peter Gabriel, i thought it was Peter at the start. You cant get a better intro with DANCING WITH THE MOONLIT KNIGHT, then of course you have the 2 most popular tracks Genesis fans will know FIRTH OF FIFTH and THE CINEMA SHOW, even the kookiness of THE BATTLE OF EPPING FOREST is just simply devine, as with every Genesis release everything is steller, nothing else left to say only i highly highly reccomend this album to anyone weather you are a prog fan or not, essential;

Dancing With The Moonlit Knight - 10/10 I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) - 10/10 Firth Of Fifth - 10/10 More Fool Me - 10/10 The Battle Of Epping Forest - 10/10 After The Ordeal - 10/10 The Cinema Show - 10/10 Aisle Of Plenty - 10/10

MY CONCLUSION? of course another perfect 10 album, totally vital and essential for any fan of music in general..a masterpiece..

Report this review (#289597)
Posted Wednesday, July 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
5 stars A perfect balance of elements; lyrical sketches, virtuosic instrumentation and theatrical vocals.

Review #966. On "Selling England By The Pound" Genesis prove themselves to be creative visionaries. The entire musical arrangement is tighter and structured with instrumental breaks that are virtuoso on their own merits. There seems to be a stronger cohesion and unification of melodic musical ideas, with each member having a chance to shine as never before. Banks in particular flourishes on classical piano pieces and lengthy synthesizer breaks. There are no lengthy epics but there are long songs clocking around 10 minutes, such as "The Cinema Show", The Battle of Epping Forest" and "Firth of Fifth" that have become classic Genesis tracks, highly memorable due to lengthy instrumental passages, odd time signatures, key changes and mood shifts along with quirky thematic content.

The magical and most loved lineup of Genesis is here: Peter Gabriel, a tour de force on lead vocals, flute, oboe; Phil Collins, magnificent on drums, percussion, and vocals (he takes the lead vocals on "More Fool Me" signifying his eventual ability to be the Genesis front man on Gabriel's departure); Steve Hackett, a master of lead guitar, acoustics, vocals and electric coral sitar (on "I Know What I like"); Mike Rutherford, extraordinary on bass guitar, bass pedals, rhythm guitar, and cello (on "Dancing With The Moonlight Knight"); and the incomparable Tony Banks, on vocals, piano, keyboards, and acoustic guitar (on "The Cinema Show"). Together they are perhaps the definitive Genesis, never to be surpassed for sheer musical excellence and creativity. Every track is fresh, ferociously original and first class.

The lyrics of "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" typify the high strangeness of the album; "Off we go with, You play the hobbyhorse, I'll play the fool, We'll tease the bull, ringing round & loud, loud & round, Follow on, With a twist of the world we go." It features extreme time sig changes and theatrical vocals; Genesis takes the storytelling qualities of previous albums and gives it a vibrant injection of polished instrumental prowess.

The single from the album came in the unlikely form of a song about a lawnmower. That's right the mundane act of mowing a lawn became part of the staple radio diet, "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)". The drone of the lawnmower makes an appearance at the end of the track and it is very effective in making a statement that lawnmowing is part of the English past time, maintaining a healthy lawn is the key. The lyrics are pure whimsy; "When the sun beats down and I lie on the bench, I can always hear them talk, Me, I'm just a lawnmower, you can tell me by the way I walk." The theme is therefore that the inanimate object of the mower is speaking about it's existence, it's life on a farm and it's life in a suburban backyard; "Keep them mowing blades sharp." The track ends on Gabriel's fluttering flute solo and an odd jazz rock beat, but radio stations adored playing this as it was such a curiosity.

"Cinema Show" features a bombastic refrain and some incredible passages of synth and jazz drumming. It has a catchy melody that grabs hold and creates an ethereal atmosphere. Rutherford and Hackett's acoustic guitars begin the piece and the natural progression to fully loaded synthesizer dominates. It has become one of the Genesis masterpieces that are quintessential to the group's long career. Gabriel's infatuation over T. S. Eliot is apparent in the lyrics; "I will make my bed, She said, but turned to go, Can she be late for her cinema show? Romeo locks his basement flat, And scurries up the stair." The Shakespeare references are a nice touch and give the track a mediaeval historical relevance. In the reunion tour the song made an appearance to an enraptured crowd, as did many other songs from the album such as "Firth of Fifth".

In the virtuosic "Firth of Fifth", the piano intro signifies England's greener fields, a similar feel to Emerson Lake & Palmer's "The Gates of Kiev" from "Pictures of an Exhibition". The tempo is a strong rhythm full of grandeur and majestic Hammond; a religious cathedral like atmosphere ensues. Gabriel is at his theatrical best; "Urge the sailors on, till lured by the sirens' cry", and the medieval theme of beautiful sirens luring sailors is mimicked with alluring music. The interlude of synth and guitar embellishments with augmented keys are very emotive. There are tranquil melodies in one of the most celebrated passages of music generated from Genesis. The melody is played live on the DVD "Genesis in Rome" without lyrics and is as powerful and majestic as ever. "Now as the river dissolves in sea, So Neptune has claimed another soul. And so with gods and men" the lyrics continue, presenting a typical mythological theme. The melancholy piano is accompanied by an up tempo synth with a sombre guitar and these tend to blend together to build a solid block of sound. It is a mesmirising track and certainly a definitive Genesis classic.

The epitome of the progressive side of the band is captured in the way the tracks vary so diversely from track to track. There is even a Collins ballad, his first lead vocal for the group, in the song "More Fool Me". Perhaps this prophesises the impact of Collins upon the group in the 1980s and indeed his solo career that was replete with power ballads.

"The Battle Of Epping Forest" is an 11 minute 43 seconds romp through the tale of two rival gangs and the violence of the slaughter is sent up rather than taken seriously. Yet the darkness of the battle royale is embedded in the lyrics; "In with a left hook is the bethnal green butcher, But he's countered on the right by Mick's chain-gang fight, And liquid len, with his smashed bottle men, Is lobbing Bob the Nob across the gob. With his kisser in a mess, Bob seems under stress, But Jones the Jug hits Len right in the mug, And Harold Demure, who's still not quite sure, Fires acorns from out of his sling, here come the cavalry!" It is all over done with a lot of theatrical Gabrielisms but it works as a memorable lyrical sketch of fired up nonsense.

"After The Ordeal" and "Aisle of Plenty" are less memorable but still pack a wallop as part of the overall soundscape. The album ends with the reprise of musical motifs that began the album, a kind of cycle of musical ideas, returning to the past.

Overall "Selling England By The Pound" stands the test of time as a bonafide Genesis masterpeice, undoubtedly among the best the band would create. It is hailed as a treasure among the prog community today, specifically for the three showpieces "Dancing With The Moonlight Knight", "Firth of Fifth" and "The Cinema Show". The single released in 1974 certainly didn't do any harm either as it peaked at #21 in the UK, spending 7 weeks in the charts. The album is quite simply a masterpiece with Genesis at the peak of their powers before they crash landed in the 80s. The album is one of my favourite prog albums due to the consistency of quality and I will always revere "Firth of Fifth" especially due to that amazing instrumental break where Banks takes off into full flight on keyboards. The album is an example of how music can sound when all the elements are balanced perfectly; when everything was working right, Genesis were untouchable.

Report this review (#291206)
Posted Tuesday, July 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars A contradiction upon a contradiction.

I don't like Selling England by The Pound. And this is not just some kind of foreword intended to create the suspense before an "I love it!" statement. I seriously and with all honesty am not emotionally enthralled by the album. Having said that, I contradictorily give it a four star rating. Even more contradictorily, I wholeheartedly believe that "Selling?" deserves more than four stars. Now, how is, that I say and do such dissimilar things? The answer lies within the review.

First things first. Selling England by the Pound is one of the five best albums in progressive rock history. There. That's what everyone would like to hear. This however doesn't change the fact, that it is still modestly overrated for a variety of reasons. Technically, the band have reached their peak during the recording session of "Selling?" But, with great musicianship great melodies should come. They did not. The album's main flaw is that somehow the band steadily manages to avoid memorable tunes. I'm not speaking of catchy, that's not the point. The agenda of music, even progressive rock, is to be centred around a set of notes that are arranged in a way that at least a few people will find alluring, fascinating and absorbing (synonyms courtesy of MS Office Word ;) ). Alternatively, it can be something new added to music, apart from melody itself, or, in some cases, it can be a kind of charisma, which added and stirred up causes a potentially dull song to become The Tune. I am able to find these characteristics in Genesis' preceding and subsequent albums. You know, the feeling you get, when Phil drums out the Morse-code-style beats invocating at the threshold of Watcher of the Skies. And on this album? Not a single nerve strung. The technical mastery of instruments has overshadowed the decency of the flesh of music: the melody. And I, admittedly, am a person who enjoys a well-weaved melody. Let's do a test. Try to hum the intro to Firth of Fifth without sounding silly. What did that just show us? Chiefly, that the piano overture is a masterpiece, which cannot be brought down to a simple structure of melody and chords. And apart from this, that Genesis nearly utterly omitted the melodic part of song-writing. "After the Ordeal" and some of the solos in "Firth of Fifth" are notable exceptions (also add I Know What I like, but only for the simplistic organ riff). Funny, this blasphemy is approximately 4 reviews worth of words, but only gives me rights to cut short one single star from the overall rating. The album is in fact so strong and exhilarating, that with the obvious fault I have named, it still manages to be totally amazing.

And now, If you are a die-hard fanatic of Genesis you may skip reading, because you probably know all those things. Then again, if you're not, you can simply read Gatot's review, which, I believe, is thoroughly comprehensible and more emotionally stable.

The smell and sound of symphonic prog. The core of 'symphonic' itself, the very root of bombastic and over-the-top, Selling England by the Pound. A feast full of sounds, variety of which is simply indescribable. Peter Gabriel's ability of vocal mimicry is put to the highest test. Banks and Hackett amaze us with soloing, which is now put to the very front of songs. That is the main change in comparison with the previous albums. The synth and guitar melodies are no longer an addition to Gabriel's amazing lyrical escapades. They have become more confident and, let's say, standalone. Most songs feature a kind of partnership between the sung and the instrumental parts. In previous albums instrumentals were sometimes still a wee bit of a filler, an interlude to Peter's singing. However Hackett and Banks had tried to make their music visible, it was still Gabriel, who was put in front. Now the roles have changed a bit, in favour of teamwork. And most notably, Peter Gabriel has finally learned to play the flute. And what's more, he uses his skills to perform the one and only true melody of the album. Enter: the flute solo in "Firth of Fifth". Apart from that, Tony Banks uses (but not overuses) his grand piano a bit more than ever and with positive results. The sound of his synth used for soloing sounds a bit cheesy and awkward at times, though. And that's a huge let down.

What is amazing about the album is that each song has it's different, unique structure (starting a capella, voice and guitar only, a pop song structure, an epic structure, a march at the beginning, an instrumental, a coda, a piano overture? simply name it, you'll can be sure it's there). There is even Phil Collins taking up vocal duties on More Fool Me, and boy, he couldn't have sung it higher!

As for one major disappointment ? sometimes parts of the songs are made for the sake of putting a solo in the middle of it. And believe me, it shows. A few spins and you'll be skipping through some of the tunes to get to "your favourite part".

Best song: Dancing with the Moonlit Knight. Worst song: (not falls below 'good' level, so naming one would be despising it because of it's structure ... but The Cinema Show really get's kind of boring until it finally gets to the middle part).

Report this review (#291393)
Posted Thursday, July 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is my first review and I decided to write about my favorite album.

I was in high school when started listening to Genesis and this album was the first one. I wasn't very thrilled with it partly because I didn't like Gabriel's voice and partly because it was my first touch with Genesis. After two months I gave it new chance and it blew me away, I was amazed and couldn't understand how I missed it.

First of all we have five impressive musicians: Peter Gabriel with his heavenly voice, Steve Hackett highly original guitar player who never exaggerates, Tony Banks extraordinary keyboard player, Mike Rutherford with his effective bass lines and amazing Phil Collins who never sounds as an ordinary drummer. Songwriting on this album is great as it was on "Foxtrot" but here we have more tight sound and kind of a pastoral feel through the whole album and that's what makes it even better than the last one.

This album shows what I like most about music: melodies from another world, inventive arrangements, incredible musicianship, great production clean and sophisticated sound and as I said before kind of a pastoral feel. My favorites are "Dancing with the Moonlight Knight", "Firth of Fifth", "The Cinema Show", but there is really no weak point (except maybe "More Fool Me" which doesn't fit well into album but it has it's qualities).

Well, what more can I say? Nothing! I can only give 5 stars to this album, everything else would be sacrilege. This is a true masterpiece of progressive rock and music in general also or at least that's how I see it.

Report this review (#292027)
Posted Monday, July 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I used to think that this album was pretty overrated on progarchives, but I've come to change my mind after many more listenings. While there is some filler (More Fool Me), there are many enjoyable moments on this album. This album also had the classic lineup of Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett, and Rutherford, and it had even better production than its predecessor Foxtrot.

The album starts with Dancing with the Moonlit Knight, one of the finest songs on the album. The song starts with Peter Gabriel singing a capella, until he is joined by some accoustic guitar and keyboard melodies. Around two minutes in, the song becomes more intense, and later segues into some tapping done on the electric guitar by Hackett. Although the last two minutes of the song could've been trimmed down a bit, it's still amazing. Afterward comes Genesis's first radio single, I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe). This song is pretty poppy, yet features some great drumming from Phil Collins. While not a highlight of the album, it doesn't really drag it down either. It's neither great nor terrible by any means. Then comes the classic Firth of Fifth. This song clearly is the gem of the album, and in its entirety does not drag at all. The guitar solo around the six minute mark to the eight minute mark is simply sublime. More Fool Me is pretty bad and uninspired, but I've come to tolerate it. The Battle of Epping Forest is another story song by Genesis, and like the others it has many vocals, which are used to help serve the story. I find this weaker than Get Em Out By Friday and The Fountain of Salmacis, which are similar in that they tell a story with multiple characters. That said, this song is still great, though a little too long. After the Ordeal is a great instrumental with nice guitar work by Hackett. The Cinema Show is another classic. At 10 minutes this song has no real filler. Even the keyboard solo, which is roughly 4 minutes long, does not drag at all. This is the second best song of the album, right after Firth of Fifth. The album then closes with Aisle of Plenty, which features some melodies from the opening Dancing with the Moonlit Knight.

I'd say that Foxtrot and Nursery Cryme are superior, but this album still is fantastic. Without More Fool Me and the Battle of Epping Forest it may well be nearly perfect, too.

Report this review (#296436)
Posted Friday, August 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Selling England by the Pound was my gateway drug to "Gabriel-era" Genesis, having come from the bias of the post-Gabe studio albums Trick of the Tail and Wind and Wuthering as well as concert attendances on both tours. So, Selling England took a bit to grow on me. But it did. The lush recording and engineering style of Trick and Wuthering had me a bit biased when I heard the fairly thin, quiet, and distant sound of the albums of the Gabriel era. But, there was no doubt I was hearing the collective genius of five creative geniuses. The fact that five geniuses could even collaborate and come out with these masterful song tapestries is astounding to me in and of itself. To do it over the course of an entire album is perhaps asking a bit much. And that is where Selling England falls a bit short for me: not every song clicks on all cylinders; some songs or song parts seem to lack cohesion or an objective empathy necessary to click with audiences.

1. "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" (8:01) starts boldly with Gabe's acapella voice before becoming supported by delicate and beautifully interwoven piano and guitars. The 2:09 "Follow on" section, to me, weakens the song but provides the attention-grabbing transition to the album's first sequence of absolutely brilliant instrumental leads, support and interplay. An 'awesome' song in the true sense of the term, for there are here some amazingly bold/daring musical twists, turns, transitions, tricks and trials. The band is so tight! However, the reason for the slowed down "it's over" fadeout section that begins at the 5:48 mark is a mystery to me. (8/10)

2. "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" (4:06) I love this song--the music, the humor, the theatrics. A short classic that happened to get some "pop" attention. (10/10)

3. "Firth Of Fifth" (9:34) The poor recording/engineering of this album comes out some more in this song. Its live versions--even without Gabe's flute--are usually quite a bit superior. However, it is quite a masterful achievement of songwriting and melody-making. Far superior to "Dance" and "Battle." (BUT: The best guitar solo of all-time? I don't know . . . ) (10/10

4. "More Fool Me" (3:09) Phil's gentle voice. I think I like it better big and bold--even cocky. (5/10)

5. "The Battle Of Epping Forest" (11:43) Don't like it, never did. Maybe another example of one of those nice musical achievements that were ruined by lyrics or over-done theatrics. (5/10)

6. "After The Ordeal" (4:12) I love the idea of this song more than the actual presentation. Something sounds just too tinny about Tony's piano, while Steve's classical guitar is beautiful. Then the transition to electric blues guitar solo allows a different form of expression to come through. ("Free Bird!") (7/10)

7. "The Cinema Show" (11:06) Another supreme achievement of progressive music--one that stands up so well over time. (10/10)

8. "Aisle Of Plenty" (1:31) the beautiful, awesome finale of "Cinema Show." I can only rate it as I would "Cinema Show" for I do always consider them as one. (10/10)

Three long 10/10's--27 minutes out of 53. Does this a masterpiece make? I'm not so sure. "Epping Forest" always leaves a bad taste for me when I think of this album. The Lamb is still the best--of Genesis and prog. Close to the Edge and even Fragile are better than Selling England.

Report this review (#299378)
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars While it's arguable that Selling England By The Pound has some of the best individual moments of any Genesis album, as an entire work I think that it's flawed enough that I could only recommend it to somebody who was already avidly into, and used to the sounds of, progressive rock. Unlike some of Genesis' other albums, this is not an album that will transcend barriers easily.

I think the main problem with the album is that the band just didn't know when to call it quits on a lot of their longer tracks. The first song is a fine example: "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight" is positively enrapturing for its first 6 minutes and then, for no discernible reason, trails off into a sedate keyboard solo for the final 2. Similarly, "The Battle of Epping Forest" simply can't carry its runtime. The narrative of the song should be engrossing but the band simply keeps going and going and going, with very little change in the sound or structure of the song, until the listener is practically asleep by the 7th minute. Even "The Cinema Show" falls victim to such indulgences-a song that is charming and witty for the first half becomes a total slog for the second half thanks to yet another long, meandering keyboard solo.

I don't have a problem with musicians showing off their chops when it adds something to the song, but on Selling England these solos do the exact opposite-they take away power and listenability from songs that are otherwise quite wonderful.

Thankfully, the whole album doesn't fall prey to such dalliances. The one song that earns its extended run time is the magnificent "Firth of Fifth" largely because, while it too has a long keyboard solo, it manages to keep its sense of fun and grandeur even through the instrumental segments. It's consistency of tone, operatic lyrics and beautiful musicianship make it one of Genesis' very finest songs, if not their best song period. Likewise, "I Know What I Like(In Your Wardrobe)" is a charming little tune with some very inspired percussion from Phil Collins, "More Fool Me" is a sweet, tender ballad that doesn't come off as hokey, "After the Ordeal" is grand-but-concise palate cleanser between the album's two opuses, and "Aisle of Plenty", even considering its length, serves as a nice way to tie up the album and bring all of its themes full circle.

Overall, I simply wish that Genesis had taken more of a "show not tell" attitude to this album so that I could award it 4 or 5 stars. If even 10 minutes worth of keyboard showmanship had been slashed from the album's total runtime this album may have earned its place as the highest rated on PA. As it stands, it serves as a fine totem for prog enthusiasts but may prove to be too obtuse for those not willing to handle its pedantic, winding instrumental hedge-mazes.

Report this review (#299775)
Posted Sunday, September 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ahhh... Selling England by the Pound, a real good album with one of the best song Genesis ever done in it: Dancing with the Moonlit knight. I really prefer the ballad part of this song when Peter Gabriel is singing with his soul. The album's got some other incredible songs like Firth of the Fifth in wich there is a beautiful flute solo and a great intro. The Battle for Epping Forest where Peter sings like many characters and take different a different voice per character. The Cinema Show, a great song in wich everybody recognizes Genesis in the Peter Gabriel era.
Report this review (#300922)
Posted Wednesday, September 29, 2010 | Review Permalink

Genesis is the only band I know who has two masterpieces (The Yes also be so in my opinion): Your albums "Foxtrot" and "Selling England By Pound" turned it into one of the greatest progressive rock bands of all times.

It is undeniable that say "Selling England ..." is a masterpiece.To beginning to end, their 8 songs have a rock never seen before.Simply perfect! Even though I like their later albums with Genesis, I think this signifies the culmination of the band.

The first song, "Dancing with the moonlight knight," begins with a simple capella of Peter Gabriel, but this will grow until reaching its powerful chorus, which then passes into a guitar solo and even after the chorus is sung again the music starts to decrease, it still retains its beauty. "I know what I like (in your wardrobe)," for that is more accessible, and is still quite entertaining. "Firth of Fifth" is one of the best-loved songs from Genesis-including me. Your introduction, a beautiful piano solo by Tony banks (more present than ever in this album), evolves into a complex and compelling music, especially the memorable guitar solo. "More fool me" is a small music voice-and-acoustic guitar by Phil collins. "The battle of epping forest" is the largest and weirdest of album.Peter gabriel sings falsetto makes, among other things typical of him, yet the music is very good. "After the ordeal" is a very good instrumental song, which I learned to like. "The cinema show" ... what is that song music.and which music! The first 5 minutes are guided by the voice of Gabriel, but the other five minutes they show us the best keyboard solo of all time! Thank you, Banks! The last track, "Aisle of plenty" is a kind of reprise of "Dancing with the moonlight knight," but it's still good.

Conclusion: Like many, I think this album is a masterpiece of prog-rock, I do not doubt it!


-Dancing with the moonlight knight -I know what like (in your wardrobe) Firth of Fifth- -More fool me -The battle of epping forest -After the ordeal -The cinema show -Aisle of plenty


5 stars for sure!

Report this review (#319917)
Posted Sunday, November 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars I don't know if there's anything left to say about this one, but here goes. Selling England By the Pound has some of Genesis's best and worst moments. The best towers above the bad parts, but, the bad parts are still there. I'm talking about more fool me, and the boring Battle of Epping forest. Of course this is just my opinion, and there are plenty of people who like those two songs. For me though, they do nothing, and just bore me. More Fool Me, nothing happens, there's nothing to say about it. Epping, we have some good keys from Banks, but there's not enough melody to carry the song. Because of these two songs, for me, this great album loses one star down from the essential mark.

The good stuff on the other hand, is brilliant and easily essential. Of course people always talk about the lead in Firth of Fifth, and for good reason. The whole song is great, the structure and the motions it moves through are all perfect, and it comes out as my favorite on the album. Of course Dancing With the Moonlit Knight, and the Cinema Show are the other two greats. DWTMK, has one of the first finger tapping solos of all time, and it's a very good solo. What's left is good. I Know What I Like is simply a radio tune, enjoyable and passable. After the Ordeal is a beautiful instrumental, Genesis always new how to pull off instrumental segments. Aisle of Plenty is almost like a "Her Majesty" type of song, which ends the album in a very surreal feeling, and plays it's part mostly as the end of the Cinema Show.

Of course every prog collection needs this one, but it just feels like a four star album now that I have more to compare it to. However, when your getting into prog this is one of the first albums you gotta pick up.

Report this review (#321769)
Posted Tuesday, November 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars The year was 1973 and progressive rock was at its peak. Pink Floyd released Dark Side of the Moon, an album with the rare dual roles of being one of the greatest in Prog history, but also one of the most commercially successful of all time. Yes released their most ambitious album, Tales from Topographic Oceans. An 80 minute concept album in four movements. Jethro Tull, following on from their Prog parody that become one of the signature Prog albums, Thick as a Brick, went further into experimentation, dividing fans just as Yes had, with A Passion Play. King Crimson released Larks' Tongues in Aspic. Mahavishnu Orchestra, Gentle Giant, and ELP also had major releases. Aside from all these great works, there may have been none greater than Genesis's offering that same year, Selling England by the Pound.

According to this site, Selling England by the Pound is the number one Prog album of all time. It appears to wrestle for first place alongside Yes's, Close to the Edge, and Jethro Tull's, Thick as a Brick. And despite having two rather mediocre tracks, being I Know What I Like, and More Fool Me, it excels in its longer tracks, highlights being, Dancing with the Moonlit Knight, Firth of Fifth, and The Cinema Show. Although their previous release, Foxtrot, contained no weak tracks, the quality of the good tracks on Selling England by the Pound more than makes up for these weaker interludes to the real masterpieces.

Musical originality and diversity helps the album reach its revered status. Steve Hackett uses tapping on Dancing with the Moonlit Knight, a guitar technique that wouldn't be fully explored for many years to come. The music gets very complex, with odd rhythms and the use of experimentation with complex time signatures. Firth of Fifth begins with a short classical piano piece. Genesis use their signature harmonised acoustic guitar arpeggios to great effect.

A masterpiece.

Report this review (#333661)
Posted Thursday, November 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of my first album purchases as a teenager in 1974, largely on the merits of review in a local music paper 'Go-Set'(?).

From the opening lines of Dancing to the closing of Aisle this was different to any other music I had heard to this time (OK, my source for new music would have been largely AM radio (no FM in Oz then).

There is really nothing new to add to the previous reviews about this album. This is about as good as it gets for the genre.

4.8 Stars - More Fool Me lowers the score slightly but the ballad does allow the senses to recover from what has just passed (peaking with the guitar solo on Fifth of Firth) in readiness to what is just about to follow.

An interesting minor point...SEPTP has 53:22 minutes of music. This is more than some CDs of today and much more than many contemporary vinyl recordings which were typically around 40 minutes. Close To the Edge (Yes) has only 37:56 minutes.

Report this review (#343175)
Posted Saturday, December 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#357993)
Posted Monday, December 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars This is the most rated album on PA, so why doesn't it work for me? Not being a Genesis fan should make me feel incomplete? Where's the issue?

I have attempted to get familiar with this album several times, always with the same result: I can say that I like each of the songs, except a filler like "More Feel Me". At least I perceive it as a filler, as well as the closer Aisle of Plenty.

When I hear "Can you tell me where my country lies...." it gives me an empotion. It's a great start for the album, very promising. The whole song proceeds well and very progressive but it's like there's something missing.

"I Know What I Like" it's not a bad song. Even if it's Collins' stuff, it's pre-80s. I really liked the cover made by Fish on Suites. So why I don't like the original? What's wrong with me (or with that song)?.

"Firth Of Fifth" is the essence of prog music. I can't say anything bad of this song, and all the good has already been said by hudreds of reviewers, so let's jump this one.

I have a personal story with "The Battle Of Epping Forest" I know that somebody thinks to it as the weakest track of the album, but it's one that makes something for me.

"After the Ordeal" has a good guitar/piano intro, but it's when I start to be tired of the album. I own some Hackett's albums. The first I have bought is "Cured" that I liked. I should like After the Ordeal, but it's like it's leading nowhere. I don't see a reason for this track, specially when the electric guitar starts playing that melody that seems to be partially borrowed by Lynyrd Skynyrd's Free Bird.

So when "The Cinema Show" comes, I'm almost ready to pick the album off of my "stereo" (I still have a stereo for my vinyls). It's not a bad song if I start with that, but at this point of the album I don't have energies to go ahead. Another band that makes me the same effect are Dire Straits. I can like each single song but I've never been able to listen to a whole album except the debut.

What can I say? I am probably ill, my mind may be not progressive enough, but I can't give more than 3 stars to this album. Please forgive me for this eresy. I think "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" is light years better than SEBTP. My opinion of course, and due to the high number of high ratings, my average one won't be vey influent, I think.

Report this review (#366340)
Posted Tuesday, December 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#367629)
Posted Wednesday, December 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Can you tell me where your archive lies?" said the prog-rock fan to his moderator's eyes.

"It lies with this, by Genesis; for our top chart spot, they traded in their lot..."

Until quite recently (2010) this was the album with the highest rating on this website. I find it to be very high quality in places, but lacking the cohesion and consistency of other pseudo- concept albums. It deals with themes of England, working life, history and love, with plenty of variation in dynamics and instruments. Watery organs provide chords for furious guitar licks, while 12-string melodies intertwine across sweet mellotron sounds. The dissapointment for me is Banks' synth patches, which often lack the energy or attack needed for ceratin passages; they are generally uncool and plodding (this is no coincidence; he is probably the only prog keyboard player not to be using moogs). Gabriel's lyrics are poetic throughout and beautifully sung, although half of the puns are not funny or clever and it seems that entire verses are constructed around them. Regardless, this is one of Genesis's better albums and remains a must-have due to two songs alone.

'Dancing with the Moonlit Knight' is a wonderful, exhilarating journey; it has a great structure that keeps you interested all through it. The fast riffing parts are progressive yet catchy, and help Peter's story to unfold. 'Firth of Fifth' is the other gem. It is a majestic, keyboard-led epic with contrasting sections of varying weight and significance, until the Crimson-esque guitar solo appears. This is Hackett's only chance to shine on the album really (yet his guitar still has a rather weak, tinny sound to it). The main themes are reprised to good effect.

The single about the lawnmower is rather silly but a nice song nonetheless, while 'More Fool Me' is forgettable and 'After the Ordeal' drags on but gets nowhere. 'Aisle of Plenty' is merely a reprise of the opener's main theme but has a point, which is to bookend the album, unlike these other short songs. 'Epping Forest' has odd time signatures, but they are only that way to fit around Gabriel's awkward lyrics with loads of syllables to fit in, and these lyrics go on for days [it seems]. 'The Cinema Show' is a better song but I fail to see how the synth solo is linked in any way to the first half; it's all good music anyway, apart from the tones used.

So, more of a mixed bag than I expected for such a praised album. The unnecessary nature of some of these tunes is emphasised by the fact that if they were removed, the album would still be of sufficient length, and would have better flow and no filler. Consider the end result to be the product of a band that was disintegrating due to their inability to agree with each other and make creative, progressive decisions. With that in mind, some of the fantastic music here is an achievement for it's writers. It should have been called 'Padding out England by the Pound'......

Report this review (#373364)
Posted Wednesday, January 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars At the time bands such as Yes, ELP and King Crimson were trying to bring something new to rock'n roll. Genesis with this album succeeded to do something both virtuose and very melodic. The band was composed of Tony Banks, master of keyboards, Phil collins a dynamic drummer, Steve Hackett guitar god and tapping pionneer, Mike Rutherford an inventive bassist and Peter Gabriel a charimastic and thetrical singer.

The album starts with "Dancing with the moonlight knight" which contains the a cappella introduction of Gabriel,beautiful harmony, powerful Collins drums and bright dialogue between Hackett guitar and Banks synthetisor. This announces one of the most important album in rock history. after, comes the hit song "I know what I like (In your wardrobe)" with Rutherford sitar riff and Gabriel theatrical voice. It's pleasent but not as good as the prvious and the next tracks: "Firth of fifth". It starts with a bright Bank's piano solo, then Gabriel sings few lyrics before playing a flute theme. Then Banks replays the intro on keyboards, during Rutherford and Collins dynamic sections, before the best Hackett guitar solo ever. It sounds really great. After Gabriel sings a final chorus with Banks piano conclusion. After, there is "More fool me" wich includes Collins vocals and accoustics guitars. It's pleasent but it's the weakest song of the album. It concludes side A.

Side B starts with "The battle of Epping Forest" the longest track or the album and the wordiest Genesis song. It shows Gabriel hability to sing as many characters, the solid rythm section Collins-Rutherford, and the final Hackett solo. It's one of the most theatrical song ever. Then comes the instrumental "After the ordeal" which includes another Hackett solo. After, comes an epic song "Cinema show" which begins as a love song with Hackett accoustic guitar and Gabriel vocal harmony and finish as an instrumental track with jazz inspired Collins drums and Banks sensible synth solo. It's really brillant and some fans consider it as best Genesis Song. "Aisle of plenty" is a reprise of "Moonlight knight" harmony and concludes the album.

Genesis with this album confirmed his Prog Star statute reached with "Nursery Cryme" and "Foxtrot" and announce another masterpiece "The lamb lies down on Broadway". "Selling England by the Pound" inspired another artists such as Marillion, Camel and Supertramp.

Report this review (#397074)
Posted Wednesday, February 9, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After the strong and consistent Foxtrot, Genesis goes back to the inconsistency of Nursery Cryme with this album. This is a long single album from the days when vinyl was king. That's part of the problem. Compared to Foxtrot, there is filler here and some songs drag on in parts. This marks a beginning for this band in several ways: this went to #3 in the UK charts, now they rub shoulders with Tull, ELP and Yes; this contains the groups first hit single(top 20); and Tony Banks starts using a synthesizer for the first time (an ARP Soloist I believe).

There is one area where this is an improvement over Foxtrot: the sound and production. Much better than any previous album, The Lamb will also sound good but Trick will be an improvement even over it. "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight"(ha! get it?) has a theme which gets reprised at the end of the album. This song doesn't really start to pick up until the Mellotron choir comes in. The organ work and drumming is great. Hackett does some of his best guitar playing with Genesis on this album, including this song. Nice synth playing over halfway. Love the organ going back and forth in the stereo spectrum before the last section comes in. Nice guitar and other sounds in this section. Gabriel's vocals are good here but this is no "Musical Box".

"I Know What I Like" is a good catchy pop/rock song, but not much more; Genesis never sold out: they *always* had a pop side to them. I was never big on the piano intro to "Firth Of Fifth", always thought it went on too long. The main vocal part of the song is great however. Nice phased guitar at one point. The long instrumental section is one of the best things Genesis ever did. Nice flute solo, followed by good synth and organ. "More Fool Me" is pure filler; what a waste of recording tape. "The Battle Of Epping Forest" is too long for it's own good. I've always loved the beginning though, with the drums mixed low and the flute. Never liked the main song too much, always felt it just drags on. Some of the organ work is pretty good. I like the synth and handclaps near the end.

"After The Ordeal" is a great instrumental, I especially like the guitar soloing in the last half after it changes. The flute and synth is a nice touch as well. I never really liked the beginning of "Cinema Show". Must be one of the few times Peter and Phil sing in harmony. Gets a lot better when the rhythm section enters. The 'nah nah' part is pretty good. Approxiamately 5:55 begins one of the greatest instrumental sections in the history of Genesis. Absolutely fantastic, although it does sound like they are trying to compete with Yes and ELP here; nothing on their earlier albums sounded like this. Reprises "Dancing" at the very end. "Aisle Of Plenty"(ha! get it?) reprises "Dancing" as well. Has some cool overdubbed Peters floating in and out of the mix.

I cannot believe this album is so popular when, to my ears at least, both Foxtrot and The Lamb are clearly superior. This was actually my first Gabriel-era Genesis album; I can understand why so many would like it at first. After hearing Foxtrot and Trick over the years, my appreciation for SEPTB has dropped considerably. "I Know" and "More Fool Me" are in no way, shape or form "prog". "Battle" would have been better if it was half it's current length. The most frustrating thing about this album is that it actually contains some of the bands best musical moments(Dancing, Firth, Cinema). Overall, I feel this deserves a 3.5 but I'm going to round it down to 3 stars.

Report this review (#397140)
Posted Wednesday, February 9, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars It would be a prog crime to give this music less than 5 stars, and I won't, I unbelievably just heard this music for the first time last week, first on vinyl, then the down load. what struck me was how contemporary it sounds, 1971 ? , way ahead of it's time in style and craftsmanship. all the rough edges are gone , smoothed out, All the Phil Collins sung albums late,r really fall right into place, in sound at least. The melodies, and up beat mood of Lamb are breathtaking. particularly in contrast to the story itself. I recently have been into some of pat metheny's latest music,and some of the world music styles used in lamb are similar in his music, just astounds me that lamb is from 1971, it sounds nothing like the year. 5 big stars.
Report this review (#413252)
Posted Wednesday, March 9, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars A flawed gem from Genesis. Not a step up from 'Foxtrot', but more prolific and varied in regards to long-form compositional excellence (and a continuation of that trend from "Supper's Ready" on 'Foxtrot'), with masterpieces like "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight", "Firth of Fifth" and "The Cinema Show". The "Firth of Fifth" in particular is one of the band's greatest compositions, and the piano intro is stunning. Filled with clever analogies, allusions to mythology and superb musicianship, this triumvirate of songs marks the apex of Genesis' songwriting collaborations.

"I Know What I Like (In My Wardrobe)" and "After the Ordeal" are pretty standard Genesis fair, fair-to-middling tunes which clutter any number of their albums. 'More Fool Me' is a foreboding omen of later Genesis albums (sans Peter Gabriel) that have Phill Collins singing moony pop love songs, although the triteness of Collins sentimental journeys was still several albms away, and the song retains its homely appeal.

But the rambling wreck of "The Battle of Epping Forest" (which wastes almost 12 minutes and accounts for 20% of the total album time) is the only deterent in rating this album higher. The eccentric (some would say inane) composition represents the depressing trend that continued on 'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway', wherein the second half of the album is marred by excessive nooodling about to no end in particular, with any good musical idea abbreviated as if Peter Gabriel were an absent-minded bee flitting about from flower to flower and forgetting the nectar. As another reviewer noted previously, if had been the length of the equally silly "Harold the Barrel" (at under 3 minutes), it would have been a forgivable flight of fancy, an eccentricity that those who enjoy Peter Gabriel would find acceptable. Unfortunately, it is a giant pink elephant squatting on an otherwise superior album.

Report this review (#416226)
Posted Tuesday, March 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Genesis (with Peter Gabriel) is commonly know as one of the greatest progressive rock bands out there. After you listen to this album, it will be difficult for you to disagree. "Selling England by the Pound" is Genesis' fifth studio album, and was a large step forward for the band. Out of the eight tracks on the album (clocking just over 50 minutes), only one comes to mind that is a bit of a let down, being "The Battle of Epping Forest" (there is such a thing as TOO much jamming). Each member of the band has grown as a musician, and the band itself has grown much tighter. You can really tell these guys know each others styles and easily make all of their parts fit wonderfully with each other. It's very rare that you hear a band that is this close together in terms of sound. This album has a ton of great songs, and many of them you will want to listen to again. The great thing about them is that they're constantly moving. Often a song ends in an entirely different way then it started, and this constant change really makes the music interesting to listen to. From the flute solos, to the guitar solos, to the piano solos, this band really pulls off great music. The music is catchy, while at the same time being interesting and techinically complicated. In terms of actual instrumentation, Genesis is no let down. Tony Banks, the pianist / synthist, begins to play a more dominant part in the band, having more complex solos and parts in the songs. His playing has definitely gotten even better from the last album, and even when his part isn't as important he manages to make it sound amazing. Phil Collins does a fantastic job on drums, able to keep up with strange time signature while still keeping things interesting and moving. Steve Hackett's guitar playing is also nearly flawless. He is able to acheive a very amazing tone, and while for the most part his guitar playing is not overly complicated, the feeling and emotion in it can really be heard. It may be strange to say, but I almost felt like there wasn't enough guitar however.. Other than that though, the guitar is fantastic. Mike Rutherford's bass is good.. when it's there. When he plays, he plays beautifully, but there could definitely be a lot more of it. Many songs feel slightly lacking without a powerful bass part. Finally, Peter Gabriel's flute parts are breathtaking. They fit in perfectly with the style of song and sound amazing. So basically, this album is great. The band obviously consists of very talented musicians who know what they're doing and do it well. There are a few downsides, including some of the extended jamming and lack of guitar solos and bass, but these are relatively minor when compared to all of the good parts.
Report this review (#419633)
Posted Tuesday, March 22, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was one of the first progressive rock albums that I ever listened to at the tender age of 18, and still remains the standard by which I judge all other prog albums (at the wizened age of 23). I hesitate to use the word "perfect" to describe anything crafted by human hands, but this album at the very least comes as close as any album I've ever heard.

Here we see every member of the band's classic lineup at the height of their powers, both instrumentally and in terms of songwriting. Banks and Hackett stand out particularly well (particularly on "Firth of Fifth," the best song in a collection of exceptional ones).

I've heard a few people dismiss the shorter tracks on this album as "filler." In my mind, nothing can be further from the truth. While the album's four lengthy epics do indeed command the listener's attention (and deservedly so), these shorter pieces are not only absolutely essential to the "flow" of the album - most significantly "Aisle of Plenty," which brings the album to a satisfying close thematically, revisiting (and deflating) the quixotic dream first presented in "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight." It makes the album feel cohesive, well-structured, and symmetrical. They also (with the exception of the aforementioned "Aisle of Plenty") hold up very well as standalone pieces.

I could go on longer, but there are really no superlatives I can use that haven't been used already. To such a deservedly acknowledged classic like this, I have nothing to add.