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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The first Genesis album featuring Phil Collins on drums. There are at times very dark sections, close to hard rock (listen to the giant hogweed and the musical box) but also acoustic tracks such as 'for absent friends'. Overall, this a dynamic album, with grandiose vocals and subtle music (the structure of the song 'seven stones' is as complex as classical compositions). To my mind, the first great Genesis album.
Report this review (#242)
Posted Monday, November 3, 2003 | Review Permalink
5 stars An album full of 'Gabriel' era classics such as The Musical Box and the Fountain of Salmacis. The Return of the Giant Hogweed demonstrates the particular English eccentric quality of the early music.
Report this review (#184)
Posted Sunday, November 23, 2003 | Review Permalink
4 stars One of the better Genesis albums... It found the interweaving of dynamics with The Musical Box and used them in an Maiden-like finale on The Fountain of Salmacis. I thought this was the first real Genesis album, and I doubt I'm alone, as they were using their progressive harmony to develop script-like songs and philosphical-type tales...
Report this review (#187)
Posted Monday, December 8, 2003 | Review Permalink
Founding Moderator
4 stars First, it's "Cryme," not "Crime" (even says so on the cover...). The Musical Box and Fountain of Salmacis are about as good examples of "progressive rock" as have ever been written, and album overall is an excellent, early example of well-conceived "progressive rock." As important, it is also a very good example of the progression of a particular group: it is a perfectly placed pivot between Trespass - which was good, but less "mature" - and Foxtrot, which was better conceived and more "mature." Finally, anyone who is not "grabbed" by the opening of "Hogweed" is probably never going to understand "progressive" music.
Report this review (#196)
Posted Tuesday, January 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars An album that seems to grow on me with each passing year.

It is a lost 'acoustic classic', with the likes of 'For Absent Friends' and 'Harlequin' recalling the mellower momments of Crosby, Stills and Nash.

This is a great, great album.

Report this review (#194)
Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
5 stars All my dear colleagues reviewer did such a fine job to describe this extraordinary chef d'oeuvre that I don't think that there is much more to say except maybe that my fave is Musical Box and that Seven Stones is underrated. Every single one of these tracks is an absolute delight with Collins singing lead (but not credited) for the very quiet Absent Friends.

I just wish they had gotten out this album with an extra track called Happy the Man which came out at the time. Quintessential Genesis!!!!

Report this review (#192)
Posted Monday, February 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars I like this even better than Foxtrot from start to finish; nothing here quite matches Supper's Ready, but I like every track on the disc. The Musical Box is of course one of their major works, complete with lengthy, but never boring, instrumental section, Hogweed has a great opening riff, Harold the Barrel is a great little story, and Harlequin is a beautiful acoustic piece.
Report this review (#243)
Posted Wednesday, February 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Funny thing about Genesis. You could hand a knowledgeable music lover their first nine albums and upon several listenings, he would probably be able to put their releases in order, even with no previous experience with their music. Every album has its place musically and sonically. NURSERY CRYMES is leaps and bounds beyond what TRESPASS merely hinted at, but not quite as seasoned and consistent as FOXTROT. If you can get beyond the overall muddy sound quality, NURSERY CRYMES has a lot to offer,and is worthy of rediscovery every year or two. Highlights include THE RETURN OF THE GIANT HOGWEED, an 8min.+ tune that is 100% pure British progressive. Great keyboard/guitar intro that feeds into a driving keyboard melody and urgent vocals dispensing the true tale of a weed that takes over the English countryside. Brilliant! Beautiful, emotionally charged short pieces,(HARLEQUIN), are interwoven with longer compositions,(THE MUSCAL BOX). By far the best piece in this set is THE FOUNTAIN OF SALMACIS. Swelling mellotrons quickly establish this moody piece of Greek mythology. It'll grab you and won't let go until it's over. Clearly, SALMACIS is one of the all-time greatest progressive tunes by anyone, period. Yes, it's that good! By the way, Steve Hackett did a killer update of this song on his GENESIS REVISITED CD. If you're new to GENESIS, I would recommend FOXTROT and THE LAMB... first, then pick up NURSERY CRYMES once you've become acclimated with their unique sound and style.
Report this review (#189)
Posted Sunday, February 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars By far the most captivating of all the Genesis albums. The Musical box lures you then grabs you and shakes you. You catch your breath with Absents of friends,serene as a Sunday afternoon only to be thrust into the turmoil with Hogweed. The seven stones will catch you off guard with it's light to dark mood changes. Harold the Barrel starts the suptle humour that is so prevelant in so many later Genesis songs. Harlequin again lulls you with its peacefull mood untill you thrown once more into a tempust with Fountain of Salmacis.
Report this review (#244)
Posted Monday, March 1, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Play me old King Cole

The follow up to Genesis first real album "Trespass", "Nursery Cryme" represents a giant leap forward. Phil Collins and Steve Hackett were now on board completing the classic line up.

The opening "Musical Box" is a wonderful mini rock opera, with nursery rhyme influences mixing with bombastic keyboards and drums. It really is a true prog classic, and essential for anyone new to the genre wishing to find the essence of early 1970's prog

The gentle Phil Collins led song "For absent friends" provides a brief breathing space before the wonderfully heavy and menacing keyboard introduction to "The return of the giant hogweed". Genesis collective imagination runs riot on these showpiece tracks, creating sounds and structures which at the time of this album's release were unique.

On side 2 of the LP, "Seven Stones" and "The fountain of Salmacis" both have strong Mellotron played by Tony Banks. "Seven stones" has one of the purest mellotron solos you're likely to hear, while "Fountain.." has an almost symphonic sound complementing a mythical story.

"Harold the barrel" is a brief but amusing interlude about a "Well know Bognor restaurant owner", who threatens to jump from a tall building. "Harlequin" is really the only superfluous track on the album, quaint but disposable.

In all, one of the major albums in prog history, full of enterprise, imagination, and great music.

Report this review (#197)
Posted Saturday, March 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Another simply perfect progressive rock recording from early GENESIS. "Nursery Crime" of course contains fan fav "The Musical Box" (which is again one of my all time fav's, like so many of you out there). Once again songs are very emotive in nature and you will not find more pleasing progressive rock anywhere. Once again Tony BANK's Mellotron/organ sounds create a perfect landscape for the rest of boys to add their brilliant musical additives to. This is essential progressive rock and certainly has been one of my all time most treasured recordings.
Report this review (#193)
Posted Monday, March 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars First of all, let's start with the fact that this album has possibly the coolest cover art ever! Musically, this is also top-notch! 'The Musical Box' is one of the greatest prog songs of all time. There aren't very many albums or movies that evoke as many different moods and feelings as can be found in THIS ONE SONG!! 'For Absent Friends' marks Phil's first vocal for the band and it's still quite good because he kinda still sounds like Peter. 'The Return of the Giant Hogweed' did for prog what 'The Day Of The Triffids' did for literature. 'Harold The Barrel' is probably the most hillarious song ever written about suicide and the orchestra-like intro and outro of 'The Fountain of Salmacis continues to give me chills to this day. I would say that the star of this album, however, would be Steve Hackett's completely original guitar sound. There has been nothing like it before or since. Listen to the guitar work in 'The Musical Box' immediatelly following Peter singing "and I touch...THE WAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!!!" Phenomenal!
Report this review (#169)
Posted Friday, March 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars The beginning of the true "Progressive era" by the early GENESIS, after the first two immature or incomplete albums, this issue was characterized by the original epic number "Fountain of Salmacis" and the powerful "The Giant Hogweed". Anyway you don't have to forget the other songs and, in particular, the mythical "The Musical Box", a stunning mini-suite, whose final crescendo is simply incredible!

This was the first essential issue, even though the production was not at the top (as usual at that time). It never minds once again, your "prog collection" must include this one!!

Report this review (#199)
Posted Thursday, April 1, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars To compare "Nursery Cryme" to the next album "Foxtrot" is very embarrassing, because "Foxtrot" is just simply PERFECT! Well, one thing is sure, I won't give 5 stars for "Nursery Cryme". Nevertheless, fer sure the album deserves a high rate!

The record is full of majestic mellow moments, followed with darker aggressive parts, full of fast drums and incisive guitars. This record is not very shiny, and the sound is rather gross and coarse. The weakest point is IMO Collins' unrefined drums and exaggerated cymbals strokes. I noticed that HACKETT's electric guitar has many strange effects; plus, the keyboards are rather dark. I like the omnipresent delicate acoustic guitars. GABRIEL's voice is very simple, and sometimes he seems to directly sing in your ears! "For Absent Friends" and "Harlequin", featuring Collins' excellent vocals, are strong points of this album: the miscellaneous melodic acoustic guitars sound like the beginning of "Supper's Ready", and the overall sound is less dark, more shiny.

"The Return Of The Giant Hogweed" sounds interesting when the piano begins and when the electric guitar sounds like a violin! I like the early CRIMSON-esque "Seven Stones": WOW! The flute, the floating intense mellotron: the song is VERY catchy! "Harold The Barrel" is the only joyful moment of the record: funny and very rythmic! The only epic track which I really like from beginning to the end is the very air changing "Fountain of Salmacis", despite it is still rather dark and coarse. The bass sounds very bottom and like carton paper at the end (2 consecutive notes). The contemplating backing vocals at the end are excellent.

Rating: 4.5/5

Report this review (#172)
Posted Thursday, April 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I started with Genesis in my quest for mind-blowing prog. You listen their records and you move on. Normal. Lately, I pulled Nursery Cryme from the cd rack thinking:" Okay, they were good but, that good? I mean, the prog world is big and they can be topped easily, it's basic probability..." Well, after many more listens, i'm sorry but THEY ARE THAT GOOD. What were the chances that a great showman with a fond for drama, a cosmic guitar player, a versatile and professionnal bass player, a classical keyboard wonder and a utterly great drummer/vocalist get together? Very low. On top of that, any of those were more than 22 years old! Man, before 22 years old! So creative and mature. Even Yes, Rush or Pink Floyd didn't top that. I'm sorry, but at 22 a guy is still as stupid and spotty as he was at 18. Guys usually don't grow up (mentally) that fast. Good lord, talk about beating the musical odds flat! Genesis founded their definite sound in Nursery Cryme. The sound is strangely complete, even with the new crew. Phil Collins is (to me) the reason why it gelled so well. The same reason why it gelled when Ringo Starr joined the Beatles: humility and good humor. Genesis needed to loose a bit. Hackett is not the type of guy to loose up (maybe with a keg or two). He's a typical Englishman. But not Collins. Bristish accent but Benny Hill attitude. A great mix of talent without the head in the clouds. Musical Box (enough to create a play but only 10 minutes), Giant Hogweed (Dream Theater's great inspiration), Seven Stones ( less known but rewarding) and the Fountain of Salmacis (mellotron grandeur). All over-the-fence classics, at least 5, with even at first, typical Genesis signature. Plus, the album benefits the buzz of 'better producer with new dynamic and new friends', without the money factor that ruins a lot of bands... so there's a lot of place for innocence and the craving for signing behind a mask. Collins-Hackett-Rutherford-Banks-Gabriel...a combination too good to be true and that will probably never be repeated ever again... by kids so young.
Report this review (#175)
Posted Tuesday, April 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first great GENESIS album? They had clearly crawled beyond the pretty cages of "Trespass", fueled by the imagination of fairy-tale-fed minds. And yet for every audible precedent (the role-playing vocals of "Harold The Barrel") is an antecedent (the timid, Trespass-like opening of "The Musical Box"). I've always taken "Nursery Cryme" as an album in transition, sometimes straying far into the woods yet dropping breadcrumbs back to "Trespass" lest they lose their way. The addition of Phil COLLINS and Steve HACKETT does change the sound of GENESIS, but no more than Peter GABRIEL's heightened sense of drama or Tony BANKS' increased use of the mellotron.

The wonder of "Nursery Cryme" is that the band so quickly lost their self-consciousness, diving headlong into their art. Writing a song like "The Return of The Giant Hogweed" took guts as much as talent, as did "The Fountain of Salmacis". It's on these heavier tracks, epic in tone, where a window into "Foxtrot" is found. Listeners will quickly hear elements of "Get 'Em Out By Friday" in the tale of the poisonous plant, while "Salmacis" taps the same rich mythological vein that has provided the setting for subsequent masterworks.

Yet "Nursery Cryme" isn't all elastic nightmares: "For Absent Friends" is one of their prettiest songs, while "Harlequin" is the sort of medieval poesy you'd find on Anthony PHILLIPS' "The Geese And The Ghost". As good as these tracks are, it's the sublime "Seven Stones" that stays with me, a song that would make my short-list of classic GENESIS works. The balance of light and dark tones (and you can credit COLLINS and HACKETT for much-needed contrast) makes "Nursery Cryme" a more ambitious album than "Trespass". Compared to a "Foxtrot" or "Selling England...", this record may suffer from a little stiffness, but it's greatness in the act of creation.

Report this review (#177)
Posted Thursday, April 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first of the four great classic Genesis albums (before Peter Gabriel left) this has several highlights, the finest being the opening Musical Box, a powerhouse effort switching from thundering pulsating instrumental to haunting melodic breaks - fantastic stuff and at the time one of their best live numbers. But then The Return Of The Giant Hogweed is another monster, pounding with life, a great cartoon-style stomper full of high spirits. And to cap it all there's The Fountain Of Salmacis, one of their old-style fairytale-goth-legends-style numbers, soaring and swelling, dated now but full of passion - terrific. The other numbers are mere fillers - buy this album for the three biggies alone!
Report this review (#179)
Posted Monday, April 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars Along with Foxtrot this album shows Genesis at the peak of creativity, the band had already joined the incredible Steve Hackett, and a great drumer but lousy vocalist as Phil Collins.

Even though there's not a dramatic change since Trespass, this album shows a more mature band that had already developed a mysterious and atmospheric sound that was their trademark until W&W (even though this sound was more evident until Foxtrot), mostly because of Steve Hackett's absolutely unique guitar and Peter Gabriel's amazing voice.

The Musical Box is one of the best songs from Genesis catalogue, the music grows in intensity until they reach an explosion of energy, the lyrics are incredibly complex and imaginative. Other masterpieces are Fountain of Salmacis and the sarcastic Harold the Barrel.

The weakest song IMO is "For Absent Friends" a filler sung by Phil Collins, not as bad as More Fool me, but absolutely out of place in this masterpiece.

A true gem that every progressive fan must have.

Report this review (#180)
Posted Saturday, May 1, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album still sounds much like their previous album, except not so somber. And of course, "Nursery Cryme" marked the change in the lineup that will define them for the next few years. And that's the presence of a permanent drummer, Phil COLLINS, and of guitarist Steve HACKETT (since Anthony PHILLIPS had a problem with stage fright). The music is stronger, more upbeat, and full of great classic stuff like "The Musical Box", "The Return of the Giant Hogweed", and "The Fountain of Salmacis". I really can't understand why "Halequin" gets trashed on, because I find it an amazing acoustic ballad. "For Absent Friends" is the first song Phil COLLINS sings lead on, and it's hard to believe what he'll be doing 10-15 years later (like on "No Jacket Required" or "Invisible Touch"). "Harold the Barrel" finds the band having a sense of humor, something they never had on "Trespass". I remembered when I first bought this LP back in 1993, I kept imagining the girl on the cover with the croquet mallet was Peter GABRIEL himself, and the head she was about to strike was Phil COLLINS.

I was awfully impressed with "Nursery Cryme", since I had my fill of '80s GENESIS by that point, and frankly sick of it, and it was refreshing to hear music that was very far removed from the plastic, synthetic, digitized sound of "Invisible Touch", and it was still GENESIS (of course, GABRIEL and HACKETT were long gone by the time of "Invisible Touch"). Classic album, in my book.

Report this review (#188)
Posted Sunday, May 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What more can I add about this legendary album: it made history and is considered among the top that helped pen the term 'progressive rock'. If Lewis Carroll had written horror stories for children and some musicians had decided to put them to music, "Nutsery Cryme" is what they would sound like. The eccentric lyrics, delivered with a child-like innocence by Peter Gabriel, are a bone-chilling experience. And the music, alternating between the melodious and the downright chaotic, is a perfect complement to it. This is the first 'real' GENESIS album in my books. For details, simply read what fellow reviewers say below. As far as I'm concerned, every track on it is a gem.
Report this review (#190)
Posted Sunday, May 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Throughout music history, the wise guys have told us that there were great bands in the 70's, and GENESIS was one of them. This record is a perfect place to start, the compositions goes in a fluid motion from start to end, the impresive coordination of the five members at creating passages of extreme complexity, moments of rest and very stuil nature effects that surrounds our minds, deserves a nice amount of listenings to achive that musical exposure. Anyway, this record shows a fresh band coming from naive records, turning into a success, the opening act, known as "musical box" is a hard canvas of colors and textures that led you to the start of the journey, to the great finale "fountain of salmacis" that end's the "book" with great taste. Let´s face it, the gabriel-era band fits perfectly in our prog hearts, mostly beacuse they had a trademark sound, and a commitment to music. Nevertheless we must pay attention to songs that are nearly "forgotten" by the main public and must be restored at least to the underground level to be noticed again, i mean, hearing is believing, and records like these must be honored as permanent gems all-around the globe
Report this review (#206)
Posted Sunday, June 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Musically this is a big leap from Trespass with the introduction of Collins and Hackett clearly adding greater weight to the proceedings.Served up are 3 classic prog songs in 'Return Of The Giant Hogweed','The Musical Box' and 'Fountain of Salmacis' which show the distinct and highly original Genesis sound already developing apace.However the rest of the album is not quite up to this high standard and with the lifeless production generally dragging things down (horrible drum sound!) I have to give this a 'Scrooge like' 3 stars only.
Report this review (#208)
Posted Thursday, June 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars In 1971, prog doyens Genesis released their third album -- and first true masterpiece -- NURSERY CRYME. The band's sound, songwriting, and lineup had matured and solidified at this point, with definitive Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett steps in for the regrettably stage fright-stricken Anthony Phillips, and superlative percussionist and secondary vocalist Phil Collins replacing John Mayhew on drums. With NURSERY CRYME, the tremendous promise of the excellent (if a trifle uneven) forerunner TRESPASS was now made manifest, and appreciative fans were treated to some of the most imaginative and hard-hitting music to yet emerge from the evolving genre of progressive rock.

The album has the perfect balance of raw, almost scary power and contrastingly airy beauty that makes early Genesis so compelling. For my tastes, each of the seven songs here is a fully-realized winner. Longstanding fan favourite "The Musical Box" (which served as the inspiration for the terrific Paul Whitehead cover art), from its ethereal opening, to its explosive ending some ten minutes later, contains all the necessary elements of a quintessential Genesis track: Hackett's guitar is simply spellbinding, Gabriel's voice is by turns delicate and dauntingly powerful, Banks' church-like organ sound is masterful and moving, and Collins' drumming, especially his cymbal work, is particularly adept. Factor in great lyrics, some nice flute from Gabriel, and Rutherford's room-shaking bass and bass pedals, and you have all that one could reasonably desire in a classic Genesis track!

After the thunderous climax of "The Musical Box," the Collins-sung ballad "For Absent Friends" offers a welcome, calming and nostalgic respite, admirably showcasing the new drummer's considerable vocal abilities. Then, the science fiction-themed "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" witnesses a return to grandiose song structure and creepy, storytelling lyrics, as ambulatory, revenge-bent predatory plants strive to exterminate the human race that had foolishly sought to "enslave" them.

The next track, "Seven Stones," is a dignified and burnished gem of a song which, replete with mellotron, deals with deliverance from earthly danger through the supernatural agency of seeming chance. Collins' drums, and Rutherford's bass are notably good here.

"Harold the Barrel" reveals a Genesis that are able to combine black humour and pathos, as Gabriel and company don multiple personas to tell the tragi-comic tale of a browbeaten restaurateur who manages to retain his dignity only through effecting his own demise.

The following song, the lovely and sparkling "Harlequin," has long been a personal favourite. This shorter piece finds Gabriel and Collins harmonizing in very nice fashion atop a simple and pretty tune founded upon twelve string, and tastefully understated bass, keyboards and drums. Beautiful!

Finally, on "The Fountain of Salmacis," the band delve into the fertile inspirational ground of Greek mythology, relating how, through divine intervention, the demi-god Hermaphroditus and a lustful naiad (or water nymph) were "strangely merged -- forever to be joined as one," thus explaining the origins of the dual-sexed biological oddities known to science as hermaphrodites. The lyrics are pure poetry, while the music, with sweeping mellotron and percussive bass, imparts a fittingly epic feel, and brings this terrific recording to a majestic close.

Thus, I give NURSERY CRYME the highest possible rating of five well-deserved stars, and exhort all fans of classic progressive rock to experience (or re-experience) one of the stellar works of the art form. NURSERY CRYME represents Gabriel-era Genesis at its resplendent best, and is, in my considered opinion, every bit as essential as the more frequently-cited favourites FOXTROT and SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND. Brilliant!

Report this review (#209)
Posted Monday, June 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the first Genesis album to feature the "classic" line-up (Gabriel, Banks, Collins, Hackett, Rutherford), and builds upon the sound they had developed on the previous effort, Trespass, and adds a few new twists.

'The Musical Box' basically encapsulates what they were doing musically on Trespass in 10 and a half minutes, with the alternating between folksy passages and heavy guitars and organ bits. In later years, only the closing section of the song would be played in concerts, and in retrospect, it probably stands the test of time more than the song does as a whole.

'For Absent Friends' is significant in that it features the first Phil Collins lead vocal on a tune written primarily by Steve Hackett. It's pleasing but not that exciting.

'The Return of the Giant Hogweed' is one of the high points of the album, a bizarre fable about England being overrun by vengeful plants. Musically, it showcases the swirling rhythms that were the trademark of the band, and ends with one of their heaviest sections ever.

'Seven Stones' is a somewhat underrated little song about the role of fortune in human life. Some particularly nice mellotron, as well as tasteful guitar playing by Hackett.

'Harold the Barrel' is the band's first (of many) attempts at writing a comedic piece, and actually one of the more successful, though Gabriel's vocals are particularly hard to understand on many of the lines. Basically, it's about a parody of a community's reaction to the scandal of a restaurant owner going mad and committing suicide.

'Harlequin' is another short folksy piece, with nice vocal harmonies.

'Fountain of Salmacis' is probably the strongest overall piece on the album, drawing upon Greek mythology for the story of the nymph Salmacis and her unrequited love for Hermaphroditus. As with 'The Cinema Show' and 'The Lamia' on later albums, Genesis had a habit of drawing upon some of the most sexually-charged stories in Greek mythology for lyrical themes, and this is one of the most powerful.

Report this review (#210)
Posted Thursday, June 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars A close second to the genius that is "Foxtrot". Every song here is a winner and this is where they really found their identity. "Musical Box", "Return Of The Giant Hogweed" and "Fountain Of Salmacis" are all stellar tracks. Beautful arrangements and a great varitey within these songs. From the cover art to the gatefold to the songs, it was a defining slab for Genesis and for "art rock" in general.
Report this review (#211)
Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The Musical Box and The Fountain of Salmacis alone give this album a five star rating, but it a remarkable prog album in every sense of the word. Absent Friends shows what talent the voice of Collins has. Hackett's guitar contribution so much more inventive than Anthony Phillips. Harlequin is beautiful too. A really consistent effort even taking into account the bombastic Hogweed track.
Report this review (#214)
Posted Monday, July 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Finally Hackett enters Genesis and the rest is history, the best band that ever existed began (until WIND AND WUTHERING of course). The first tapping ever recorded is in here, in the intro of "Return Of Giant Hogweed", "The Musical Box" is a total masterpiece and a glimpse of the soon-to-come "Supper´s Ready". The track that I like the most is "Harrold The Barrel", which is a short track with a lot of different movementes, kind of a mini-opera.
Report this review (#215)
Posted Sunday, July 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
James Lee
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I'll never forget hearing "Nursery Cryme" for the first time- I went to a high school classmate's house after classes on a typically grey upstate New York late-winter afternoon and smoked pot (for the third time, but this was only the second time I actually 'felt it'). Devouring half a bag of pizza-flavored 'Combos' was most likely not the album's fault, but the memorable, transcendant experience wasn't solely caused by the THC.

No need to restate what everyone knows; "Nursery Cryme" is where the 'classic' line-up of the band and the resulting development of GENESIS' characteristic musical signatures happens. It's not the quantum leap that we saw between their first and second albums, but more akin to the difference between YES' "Time and a Word" and "Fragile"; the new members brought enough inspiration and skill to hasten the pre- existing development of the others' musical explorations. To put it simply, it was the difference between 'good' and 'great'.

"The Musical Box" singlehandedly shows us what the new line-up had to offer; while the opening minutes seem like a honed continuation of the best parts of "Trespass", once the harder section kicks in it is unlikely you'll further mistake the two albums. The band has obviously shed some of the timidity that veiled most of the previous album in mist- the lyrics are also more direct, and conversely more adventurous. Gabriel is still hiding in the mix more often than not, but to his credit he's more likely to make a dramatic and emotional outburst like the demanding plea in the song's climax- which Hackett's double- tracked guitars punctuate nicely. Not only an impressive percussionist, the newly added Mr. Collins demonstrates his admirable vocal work on "For Absent Friends". Though brief, it is a fine example of the sometimes buried emotional capabilities that let GENESIS rise to the top of the progressive pack- another facet being the unsettling but contagious humor that we first see clearly in "Harold the Barrel". "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" is another daring (and often succesful) attempt at a long musical tale, which also contains some interesting guitar experimentation among the generally harder sounds. The tenderness that begins "Seven Stones" is but one of the evocative moods that the band sketches in the song's duration; the more truncated "Harlequin" furthers the pastoral quality and achieves in less than three minutes what much of "Trespass" had stuggled to portray. Finally, "The Fountain of Salamacis" links a number of disparate elements, from the jazzy drumming to the symphonic crescendos, into a cohesive and flowing whole. Oddly enough, while it brings the album full circle with the approximate style of the opening tack, the piece itself seems to lacks some closure; the final rolling climax sounds a bit like an add-on.

This exemplifies my only real concern with the album; like the other two that make up classic GENESIS trio of albums, the musical moments are stellar but somewhat interchangeable; there are many passages on "Nursery Cryme", "Foxtrot", and "Selling England by the Pound" that feel like they could be extracted from their respective songs. I can imagine the band coming up with a musical idea and throwing it into an existing song, or needing to fill a section and shuttling through various ideas to see what will work. That's relatively standard practice, especially among the more democratic bands, but for some reason it seems more apparent here than elsewhere. Minor misgivings aside, this is almost an essential disc- perhaps slightly less so than the two that follow, but still highly recommened for any comprehensive progressive rock collection.

Report this review (#216)
Posted Sunday, July 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have always found it hard to choose the best GENESIS album. You have the enigmatic "Trespass", the lofty "Foxtrot", the utterly sublime "Selling England..." and the damn near perfect "The Lamb". Depends on what day of the week you ask me, I guess... but let me say that, despite the plethora of excellent albums that GENESIS have released over the past 35 years, this one will always be a definite contender for the top spot.

Why is that? What makes this album so good? The songs; the musicianship; the atmosphere; the lyrics; the eclecticism... there is no one factor that makes it great, but rather a combination of all the above. Each song has a special "niche" on the album and can be listened to seperately or all together as a whole.

There is a special sort of atmosphere on this release that wasn't really present on the others. I can't really put my finger on what that is, but it's there, pervasive throughout.

Don't listen to any criticism of this album, for, in my opinion, music this good is beyond it. Play me my song...

Definitely essential.

Report this review (#219)
Posted Sunday, August 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars What an album! Yeah ... this album represents my first introduction to the band as my big brother, Henky, at that time in 70s gave me a tape of this album plus a local music magazine AKTUIL that featured the band. He told me:" This is the music that you should listen to. Enjoy this tape while you're reading this article!". WOW ... what an instruction man! I followed his instruction ... and ... ghuszzzz .... "The Musical Box" BLEW my mind man! What sort of music these guys were playing? I just didn't get it, really. But I was amazed with the organ intro of this track. Even though this track was bit hard for me to absorb, it's not an upbeat music probably, but I did appreciate the uniqueness of music this band had produced.

That was not the end. The more I played the tape, my ability to absorb this album had grown significantly and I did enjoy almost any single track but "For Absent Friend" (as it was not rocking). "The Return of The Giant Hogweed" was really strange kind of music for me at that time. But I appreciated the composition. One track that made me CRY was "The Fountain of Salmacis" uuugh .... mannnnnn .... brilliant songwriting!!!

Am so fortunate that my brother had taught me the "right" direction of the kind of music that I should love. Once I love this album, I can enjoy many many albums in the vein of progressive rock. It's a MASTERPIECE. It's not a question of whether I'm too generous or not with rating, but definitely this album is FIVE STAR. Rating 5/5. Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

Report this review (#220)
Posted Tuesday, August 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Sitdown and make yourself comfortable, put the lights out and play this record. Go along with the journey! You will make a journey into a huge trip through a land never seen before! I own this album for about 15 years now and enjoyed it lots of times. This album is so brilliant and complecated, after a 100 times listening it is still an interesting and breath taking record. The album start with the legendary song "The musical box" followed by a short song "For absent friends". After that you can hear "The return of the giant hogweed" wich is a beautifull song with powerfull lyrics from Peter Gabriel. I realy like "Seven stones". After that you can hear rather short songs but not minor of quality. The last song is really stunning, it starts really great with a dosed loudness level. If you don't have this record in your collection yet, I wonder what you are doing on this beautifull site anyway?
Report this review (#221)
Posted Saturday, September 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was the first GENESIS` album that I have listened in early 1979. This album has a better recording than "Trespass", with a better sound for the drums, particularly. This album is strong and energetic. There is a good balance between the music of the band and the stories and the theatrical vocals of Peter Gabriel. My favourite songs are "The Musical Box" (one of the heaviest songs from Genesis), "Seven Stones" and "The Fountain of Salmacis". This album has a stronger presence of the Mellotron, which is used very well in "Seven Stones", and particularly in "The Fountain of Salmacis". Phil Collins shines in this album. This line-up sounds very good. The band sounds as a whole team by contributions of all the members. A very good album.
Report this review (#222)
Posted Thursday, October 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Once upon a time someone happens to come across an old scrapbook.

Chilling, heartpounding, reflective, hysterical, and seriously affecting, Nursery Cryme could very well be Genesis's greatest concept album. One thing the pre-Three line up always managed to succeed at was to create a consistent, unified mood across each album. Whether it's the colourful street theatre support to Supper's Ready, or the collection of fond farewell songs which make up "Wind & Wuthering", Genesis always seemed to know where each note fitted in respect to the entire piece. IMO, Nursery Cryme is the best example of this. The haunting, sepia tinted atmosphere it generates across 7 beautifully crafted songs is both powerful and moving. Thousands of just words have been written about the album's three heavyweights, so there is no more I feel I can add to them (only to say: NASA, if you're building another Voyager and you need some proper examples of recorded excellence.).

Discerning listener, listen closely for there are other gems here.

For Absent Friends. Phil Collins's vocal debut in the canon is one of his most tender readings. Two characters find comfort in the most uncomplicated things; things easily taken for granted. I especially love the line "the roundabout still turning, ahead they see a small girl on her way home with a pram". Who indeed knows where the time goes? Mike Rutherford provides a suitably gentle 12-string accompaniment in this short pensive moment. It's placement between two mighty juggernauts only adds to it's poignancy.

Seven Stones. A simple descending mellotron introduces this fable of chance and random events, themes very close to Peter Gabriel's philosophy. Like "For Absent Friends" it is a song about underestimating the seemingly innocuous. The Tinker, the Captain and the Farmer place their fate in "the old man's guide". But the old man has no more idea than they do. Faith in chance is the only chance they have. The old man may be the instrument of this, but he is just as subject to it as everybody else. A respectful Hackett and Banks battle it out for the coda in appropriately brooding fashion. Until the last drifting mellotron chord gives way to some gloriously sizzling cymbal.

Harold the Barrel. More so than Tommy or Joseph and his Technicolor whatever, Harold the Barrel is the most successfully executed rock opera ever put to vinyl. It's mercifully short, all of it's dozen or characters are sympathetic and hilariously portrayed with complete gusto by the cast, it hurtles along at a breathless pace, is witty, inescapably charming and black, and finishes with a bang (literally). To these ears it also contains the absolute highlight of the whole album. When Gabriel and Banks break into "If I was many miles from here.." grown men weep. Quite simply this is most fun packed 3 minutes you can have with your clothes on.

Harlequin. Just before the merry funsters chuck you into the Fountain, along comes Harlequin, a tinkering 12-string fest that initially sounds like Crosby, Stills, and Gabriel. Collins is prominent too offering some sweet accompaniment on percussion and falsetto. This is a delightfully unassuming number of rekindled memories and far off summers. It complements "For Absent Friends" perfectly both in subject matter and placing, by being it's more direct and surreal half brother. The undying image of the Harlequin dancing in the character's memories is colourful, inventive, joyous and very evocative.

Very much like the album itself.

Report this review (#226)
Posted Thursday, November 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of the all time classic albums. It may not have an alltime masterpiece song such as Supper's Ready from Foxtrot or Firth of Fifth from Selling England by the Pound, but the Fountain of Salmacis is pretty close, and there is not a weak song on the album. You start with a great song with the Musical Box, followed by the interlude of For Absent Friends into the darkly, humorous Return of the Giant Hogweed. Side 2 starts out with Seven Stones, IMHO a truly under appreciated song, that doesn't get near the credit it deserves. More humor with Harold the Barrel, and then another under appreciated song in Harlequin. However, the masterpiece of the album is the aforementioned Fountain of Salacis. This is the first classic line up Genesis album, with Phil Collins on drums and Steve Hackett replacing Ant Phillips on guitar. While Ant was a great musician, and Genesis' s previous album Trespass was a very good album, it was the addition of Hackett that turned Genesis into the greatest band of all times. Genesis survived the loss of Peter Gabriel, and still turned out a couple of great albums after his departure with Trick of the Tale and Wind and Wuthering, but Genesis IMHO did not survive as a great progressive rock band with the departure of Hackett. The interplay between Hackett and Tony Bank's keyboards on this and their subsequent albums together have never been surpassed. This, along with the subsequent Foxtrot and Selling England by the Pound are absolute requirements for any prog collection.
Report this review (#227)
Posted Tuesday, November 9, 2004 | Review Permalink
The Prognaut
4 stars Since everything has pretty much been said regarding this thirty-three year old chapter in the pages of prog history now, far beyond my desire of describing what I've been listening to in here for a long time, I rather tell you about how I discovered the sound of GENESIS. Certainly, "Nursery Cryme" was my first revelation to the never-ending world of magic and imagination of the British quintet guided by chameleonic Peter GABRIEL. Back in the early decade of the nineties, when I was barely 16 years old and still getting indoctrinated to the study and appreciation of progressive rock, I got this 1971 production as a "B" side to a mixed tape that contained several of the so-called "best of prog rock" prologues to those days and the enchantment of GENESIS upon me irremediably started from the moment when I flipped the tape over and into the cassette recorder and "The Musical Box" kicked off. The feeling still lingers on and even still, I get the creeps, just like the first time I ever played it.

That opening scene, went on for over ten minutes, which I enjoyed one by one. Ever since I listened to Peter GABRIEL's voice for the first time, it got carved in the back of my mind instantly. I even tried to impersonate the peculiar pitch of his voice. And even though, my English wasn't all that good back then as I presume it is today, I managed to learn the lyric to the song by heart. From the first set of strings played in the beginning to the last chord twanged off here, my senses got sucked in the execution entirely, leaving no room for me to move or to completely understand what I just gambled on to listen to, and I knew moments later, that I lost the musical challenge by winning over a whole new sensation.

Then, very softly, "For Absent Friends" came and went, throughout the melodic sound of tuned up guitars, preparing the expectation for the upcoming track on the tape. And some entrance I must say, "The return of the Giant Hogweed" has never gone out through the door in my head ever since. The flabbergasted and compassed sound of the electric guitar held in hand by master Steve HACKETT cages the sound of what appeared to be a drum kit struck by Phil COLLINS. The song follows a lineal, devouring stream just to the point where a soft piano, displayed marvelously by skillful Tony BANKS, breaks into the scene and everything becomes mighty challenging to the listener from there and onwards the end of the road for the song.

So far, the album was running exquisitely intriguing to my ears I must say. Then, "I heard the old man tell his tale.". Imperturbably, while ventilating the remaining air in the room, "Seven Stones" took the fourth step onto the next episode of this album. The sacred sound of a lonesome mellotron revealed what was going to be quite an epopee. Like depicting the sound of breaking waves through the story carefully described over the lyric to this piece, the shyness of GABRIEL's hiding flute develops the plot right in the middle of the song, gathering together the notes of an impromptu organ and a blindly perceived bass, mystically handled by Michael RUTHERFORD. The instruments are maneuvered simply delightfully, and each one of them provides the proper amount of solemnity the entire composition claims for. Unrepeatable display of accompaniment, just like that.

"Harold the Barrel" is the suitable opportunity for Peter GABRIEL to finally go into character. Throughout the three lasting minutes that describe this playful relate, the anchorman of the band experiences ten different changes of costume. A fresh act that deserves nothing but complete appreciation. The instrumentation here is rapidly distilled, where the impatience and desperation of a drum kit that keeps the beat, the piano that's stricken incessantly and a guitar that shows up every now and then, are the proven facts of how enjoyable a short composition could get. At its turn, "Harlequin" balances the frame with notes of tranquility that detach from the strings of a beholding acoustic guitar.

The epilog to this marvelously composed and arranged masterwork, provides the proper disclosure for the last six chapters related in here. "The Fountains of Salmacis" describes, in one single take, what this third album by GENESIS is all about. Providentially, every instrument collapse into an avalanche of emotions, discharging such energy that can barely be put into words. It was until this closing scene, where I could wrap my senses into some musical voraciousness. I got completely blown away the first time, and I still get to this day where I'm here before you in the shape of an undeserved review to a majestic piece of work. The fact of me acting so viscerally and daring to rate it four stars only, is due the lack of understanding I had back then towards the band to the conception I've got now, built through the years of listening to the sound of GENESIS. Meaning, I could've numbered it five starts, given it the masterpiece feature, but back then I didn't know there were such incredible albums to come after "Nursery Cryme", making GENESIS surpass all the possible expectations they might've set upon their reaches and upon themselves as prominent musicians. This album certainly has been projected as an incentive to so many generations, to so many bands and to so many side genres besides progressive rock. Proudly, an excellent addition to any musical collection.

Report this review (#229)
Posted Monday, November 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An improvement over their previous "Trespass" album. Anthony Phillips and John Mayhew quitted after "Trespass" but was greatly replaced by Steve Hackett and Phil Collins. Like on "Trespass", the production remains muddy and thick, but the music is highly enjoyable and impressive. "The Musical Box" is the best track here along with the closer "Fountain of Salmacis". You can cleary tell here that Genesis have found their true style here, and the dynamic songwriting and the excellent musicianship is great throughout.

Peter Gabriel's theatrical lyrical style also had came more clear here, with tracks like "Harold The Barrel" and "The Return of The Giant Hogweed" being excellent examples of this, and together with the strong and adventurous melodies it's clear here that this band was something unique at their time. There are no really weak spots on this album musically, all of the tracks are enjoyable, though the shorter tracks might be considered as "filler" for some people, but I think those tracks add a very nice charm to the album as well as being good breaks after the more violent styles of the longer tracks. The only thing that I truly don't like with this album is the production. 4.5/5

Report this review (#230)
Posted Thursday, December 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars It´s funny how the time developes the taste of music. I´ve been a Genesis fan for twenty years and my all time favorites where Supper´s ready and Selling England By The Pound (the record in whole). When I first heard Nursery Cryme I thought it as a odd piece of music. The songs just were too disturbing in my taste. Recently I began to listen to the old Genesis production and I found this record to be most satisfying musical experience of all Genesis albums. Anyone who likes anything that Genesis made with Gabriel, will love this one.
Report this review (#231)
Posted Friday, December 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
el böthy
4 stars An absolute must have in any prog rock collection!

At first I really did not get this album. Yes, I thought it had a few good songs and yes, Gabriel does sing very good. but "what's so special about it?" I asked myself. Well, it took me some time, but one day it just made click and .woooow!!! Great feeling, fresh ideas (for the time anyway), terrific lyrics, superb singing but also something else. Musical Box! Talk about a SONG! My absolute favorite Genesis song, it has everything, great ideas, the vocal melodies, and although the instrumentation was not polished enough, at least not as we know Genesis would get, I really like the rawness of it, and of course every time I hear Gabriel siings "and I touch the waaaaaaaaaall" uuuh. goose bumps all over. Absolutely, positively THE song of the album and their career.

The rest of the album is also very good; I specially like the shorter For Absent Friends and Harlequin, but no song some close to the Musical Box!

Report this review (#233)
Posted Monday, December 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This one ranks in my top 5 favorite albums. The Musical Box is one of the most creative works I have heard. The mix of bass pedals, keyboards, and of course HACKETT! make this a great song.

For Absent Friends- this song is really amazing in its own. Quite emotional and creative. Good intro for the next song.

Hogweed- At one time my favorite song (until I heard Fountain of Salmacis). The dynamic atmosphere here is entertaining.

Fountain of Salmacis- this honestly is my favorite song. I have heard all of Genesis, all of Yes, most of ELP, and much other prog, and this one still stands out. This is probably the most emotional song I have heard. It can actually bring a tear to my eye at the climax of the hammond organ to the release of the chorus. What an amazing transition. Transitions like this make songs for me. Close to the Edge (Yes) has this feature, and that makes it my second favorite song. It feels like your body is pressed of its stress, and you are in musical creative bliss.

Buy this. The last song alone justifies it.

Report this review (#235)
Posted Saturday, December 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Indeed the beginning to what was going to come(Prog Rockwise) Unfortunatley this sound would disappear w/Gabriel and then they will be rememberd as a pop group. The album is a great dark nursery rhyme. with the dark feel of The Musical Box andthe terror of Return Of the Giant Hogweed. The album has some beutiful light tunes like 7 stones and For Absent friends. Recommended for the early Genesis fans. Invisible Touch era fans, BEWARE!
Report this review (#236)
Posted Monday, January 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Somehow the entire vibe of 'Nursery Cryme' evokes the weird underbelly of Victorian culture, a little of which is depicted in the artwork. It's definitely got an "old-time-y" feel, while also being a shining example of a band pressing nowhere but forward. A true prog masterpiece that I can't find any fault with.

The addition of Phil Collins on drums and Steve Hackett on guitar brought the band to a whole new level, Hackett's wide array of effects only beginning to reveal themselves on this album. In Collins they gained an effective back-up vocalist as well as a stellar drummer. It's him on "For Absent Friends", is it not? It's rarely discussed or revealed, more people claiming 1973's "More Fool Me" as his first lead vocal for Genesis, but this song seems to show otherwise. (He's also all over "Harlequin".) "For Absent Friends" is an innocent enough track, a mild rest-stop between the ultra-dramatic intensity of "The Musical Box" and regal "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed". "The Musical Box" is to this era of Genesis what "The Knife" was to the 'Trespass' era, a definitive piece, perfectly written and totally convincing. Gabriel takes on the characters with ease, and I much prefer this studio version over the way the vocal was treated live--I feel like Gabriel went too far with the old man's cracking, croaking voice in the song's final moments. Sure, he was getting totally into character, but it seemed to be at the expense of the magnificent melodies he creates here.

Other gigantic Genesis epics are here in the form of "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed" and "The Fountain Of Salmacis". Tony Banks really lays down solid foundations on these awesome tracks, getting the most out of his limited keyboard arsenal (which exploded in size in the band's next phase!). The synergy of the Rutherford/Hackett team takes off marvelously inside these songs, Rutherford owner of one of the best bass sounds in prog at this time.

Solid and slightly more sensible (less manic?) tracks appear too. "Harold The Barrel" is a fun and nutty romp, Gabriel at his eccentric tale-telling best. "Seven Stones" is an underrated song, one they should've played long into their career, a stirring tune that recalls the melancholy of 'Trespass' in the best way. "Harlequin"'s vocal harmonies carry an almost Crosby, Stills & Nash tone to them. "Yuck!" you might say, and I might too if the song didn't expand outward to add another comforting bit of color to this already well-rounded album.

It's strange that Tony Banks says they were disappointed with this album once they'd completed it, feeling they hadn't progressed far enough from 'Trespass'. While the link between 'Trespass' and 'Nursery Cryme' is closer than that of 'From Genesis To Revelation' to 'Trespass', the tunes are all brighter and more dynamic, everything just a little more involved and complex. The instrumentation is allowed to shine thanks to their ever- improving skills and the lift in production quality--still raw at this point, but there's such charm to John Anthony's work, it suits the material well. So I'll have to disagree with the master, this is no let-down, just one of the best Genesis albums you'll ever hear.

Report this review (#237)
Posted Friday, January 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The wonderfully original and bizare album cover alone, with Cynthia playing Croquet, should be enough to get you into this LP. The record itself continues with bizare themes with some wierd and wonderful tracks. Musical Box sounds as good now as it did then! Essential to all Genesis collections.
Report this review (#238)
Posted Saturday, January 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Genesis shows us the real guts on this album with Phil Collins and Steve Hackett on the team! Many of the songs are just perfect and great examples of early 70's Prog-rock. "The Musical Box", "The Return of The Giant Hogweed" and "Fountain of Salmacis" is easily the best pieces on the album and is one of the best Genesis songs in their entire Discography. Unfortunately, she shorter songs are not THAT good, but still OK! Highly recommended! 4.5/5.
Report this review (#246)
Posted Monday, January 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well, though i've been a devoted Genesis fan for most of my 25 years, only recently have i obtained "Nursery Cryme" on CD. Previous playings of the vinyl LP left me unimpressed, but with the remastered quality of the digital format, i'm finally hearing what so many fans have raved about! This LP is epic and every song showcases the instrumental and lyrical prowess of the band in this first edition of the "classic" lineup: BANKS, COLLINS, GABRIEL, HACKETT, and RUTHERFORD.

Clocking in at a short 39:30, the bulk of the record is composed of three classic live tracks: "The Musical Box", "Return of the Giant Hogweed", and "The Fountain of Salmacis". Each of these tracks builds and evolves over their 8-10 minutes, allowing the individual musicians' to shine in their own ways. They display a harder sound than the previous TRESPASS LP, and the beginnings of the muscular guitar and mellotron combo that would be used so successfully in later years.

The lesser-known tracks are still gems in their own light. "For Absent Friends", features affectionate vocals by young PHIL COLLINS, some two years before his next solo vocal on "More Fool Me". He displays the lilting delicacy that would figure prominently on 1976- 77 LPs as a quartet. "Harold the Barrel" is a comedic romp, with a tempo and overall sound that Genesis seldom employed.

A few words should be made of STEVE HACKETT'S guitarwork. He's said that he felt unsure of this, his first effort to fill the role of founding member/writer ANT PHILLIPS. But he succeeds on every level in making his unique mark. The tapped intro to "Hogweed" and the crazed solos of "Fountain of Salmacis" hold up very well to this day. In fact, though Tony Banks has said this is not one of his favorite LPs, i think it does show significant growth over its predescessor and along with "FOXTROT", it represents the classic Genesis sound and subject matter.

Report this review (#247)
Posted Tuesday, February 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars My favorite Genesis album so far, no matter how good are Foxtrot or Selling England, no matter Supper´s Ready or Firth on Fifth, Nursery Cryme has been the album that caught all my attention and made me fall in love with this band (obviously Gabriel era).

The music here is excellent all te members playing really well and making a more mature sound than Tresspass, maybe this is the album that started all, i mean the one that woke up the monster and shows the band in their highest and most beautiful moments.

The Musical Box is a magnific song simply amazing, where Hackett´s guitar is simply outstanding, this is the first song and my favorite, imagine that the first songs shows a promising album, here is true, the album as a whole is magnific, the other songs i love are "Giant Hogweed" and "Fountain of Salmacis" both are memorable songs, the shorter ones are also great songs, a masterpiece.

Report this review (#252)
Posted Monday, March 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars I am rather surprised that this album has recieved so many 5 star reviews. Each album from Nusery Cryme to Wind and Wuthering has such a distinct sound that I find it impossible to acurately rank my favorite ablums of this era. They all achieve a musical level of creativity and sensible virtuosity that is hard to find. The one exception in this era would have to be Nusery Cryme. It sounds like they have the basic foundations of their progressive and melodic aspects of their music formed, but are not quite able to bring them together nearly as effectively as they would do on Foxtrot. "Fountain of Salmacis" was the first Gabriel-line up song I ever heard. It is certainly an interesting song and is fun to listen to the first few times through, but it just doesn't hold together time after time like "Get em out by Friday" or "Battle of Epping Forrest." Songs like "Harold the Barrel" and "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" sound like they're on the right track, but don't have the cohesion and flow that later Genesis songs would capture so well. Probably the only reason I even gave this album a three is because I know what these rough songs would later mature into. If you have the other prog Genesis albums you should pick this one up, but its probably not a good idea to introduce someone to Genesis or progressive rock in general with this album.
Report this review (#253)
Posted Thursday, March 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars To me this is the second best album by this band along with the "Trespass". I simply love the aesthetics and moods they have managed to create to the best peaks of this album. The highlight for me is "The Fountain of Salmacis", maybe the best song they have done. There's great mellotrons and bass lines on it, and the composition is wonderful, describing the Greek tale of Naiad Salmacis attempt to rape Hermaphroditus, evoking divine intervention to merge both characters to entity of both genders. There are some pretty unique arrangements in it, like two similar verses with different lyrics (this effect was pioneered on their first album). "The Musical Box" and "The Return of The Giant Hogweed" are also marvelous tunes, holding some calm sequences and mostly roaring with aggression. The themes for lyrics are also quite personal, album cover design reflecting this quasi-Victorian feeling. Especially the inner part of the gatefold sleeve with lyrics and decorative illustrations is in my opinion really beautiful. As an album wholeness, there are some shorter song slightly unbalancing the overall quality ? an observation I believe many enthusiast Genesis listener might not agree.
Report this review (#254)
Posted Friday, April 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
con safo
5 stars An essential album for any genesis fan. After Trespass, Genesis had taken many leaps forward, and though not fully matured as they would become on later albums, "Nursery Cryme" is still an exceptional album with a couple minor quirks.

The album opens with one of my favourite Genesis songs "The Musical Box." Everytime i hear this song my mind is blown. It starts slow, eventually reaching an almost orgasmic climax that words fail to describe. Hackett's guitar work is unparralelled, and Gabriels original writing style and rich voice are fantastic.

The next track is probably the most unneeded on the record, "For Absent Friends" is a short ballad featuring Collins on vocals. Nothing Spectacular. "The Return of The Giant Hogweed" opens with some of the coolest keyboards ive ever heard, immediately engaging. The story behind the song is a far fetched tale of giant plans exacting their revenge on the human race. Classic Gabriel.

"Seven Stones" is one of the most under-appreciated songs on the album. I personally really like the song, and the chant like vocals are very chilling. Great drum work by Collins in this one. "Harlequin" is another softer ballad featuring some good vocal melody. Again, nothing groundbreaking.

The final track, "Fountain of Salmacis" is an atmospheric track that truly takes you to another world. Very intense buildup, and an awesome concept.

Overall a great album with a couple quirks, but definitely worth your money.

Report this review (#255)
Posted Wednesday, April 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars What a difference two musicians make. After the sublime "Trespass", with the addition of two new artists, Genesis breaks out with the blueprint for neo-prog and the Italian movement. One gets the feeling when 'The Musical Box' starts up that it's more of the same. Wrong! When Hackett's guitar kicks in it's a whole new sound for the band. Sure, there are leftovers from Trespass, (For Absent Friends, Harlequin; both beautiful btw) but the rest broke new ground and they didn't look back. Banks mellotron work on the album is extraordinary. On 'Seven Stones' it's beautiful and sad, on 'The Fountain of Salmacis' it's majestic and on 'The Return of the Giant Hogweed' it's thunderous. I'm sure by that time (1971), the mellotron wasn't used as magnificently since 'In The Court of the Crimson King'. Funny, I've been listening to this album for years and I just now noticed how much Phil Collins sings, be it backing Peter or totally up front. It's the true beginning of their signature sound; theatrics, aggressiveness, and beauty. So many other bands tried to emulate them, but they compare? And for some, their best work is still ahead...Folks, this album is monumental and important. It deserves the five stars easily.
Report this review (#256)
Posted Friday, April 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars What would be the prog world without "The Musical Box"? I couldn't imagine, but fact is that this track is a revolution for the genre. Definitely one of the most memoriable tracks ever! "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed", the beautiful, poethic ballad "Seven Stones" (often overlooked jewel of the Gabriel-era) and the epic prog-masterpiece "The Fountain Of Salmacis" are the other highlights, which are all on the same high level. It's clear that the rest can't follow this, but it fits somehow to the record. "For Absent Friends" is a short, slow song, sung by Phil Collins (showed very early, that he ever was a far better drummer than singer), "Harrold The Barrel" is a interestening, short story about a restaurant-owner, perfectly interpretated by Peter Gabriel and well performed by the band. "Harlequin" is in the similar vein as "For Absent Friends", only better in my oppinion. Genesis would be on their absolutely peak on their forthcoming albums "Foxtrot", "Selling England By The Pound" and the rock theatre "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" (whom I tell that?), but "Nursery Cryme" is the very important step to their most astonished period. A must- have for any collection!
Report this review (#262)
Posted Wednesday, May 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars After the 60´s with its fantastic, revolutionary music it seemed as if everything had been done musically; and then along came Genesis. After two albums of relatively high standards came the first of three masterpieces, and in my opinion the master of these masterpieces - Nursery Cryme. The album is protected at the front by the outstanding The Musical Box and at the back by the epic The Fountain Of Salmacis. In between the rest of the album flows along beautifully. An album for the those who love the sound of music!
Report this review (#265)
Posted Tuesday, May 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Symphonic Prog at its finest. Peter Gabriel and Company really had improved since their introduction into the music world. Gaining two crucial members on this album, Steve Hackett and Phil Collins, this is the beginning of the most popular Genesis era. The playing is solid by everyone, but the sound quality mars the album from total perfection.

The album opens with a fan favorite, the Musical Box. Going through many different shifts and tempos, this song is one of the best songs Genesis has to offer. The keyboards and guitar create a perfect blend that set a great mood. This is one of the first Geneis albums to feature the classic Genesis sound. Heavy keyboard usage and incredible vocal lines create the ultimate Genesis songs. Other songs worthy of mention are the Return of the Giant Hogweed and the intricate and immaculate Fountain of Salmacis. Steve Hackett is a great addition, he would provide some of the best ingredients into the Genesis mix in the years to come.

Overall, this album is a landmark achievement for Genesis. The musicianship is great, the lyrics are great, the artwork is great. The only problem I had when I first approached the album was the sub-par sound quality.

Report this review (#267)
Posted Sunday, May 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Absolutely quintessential Genesis. The first album of the legendary lineup: the band has found two virtuosos in the form of Steve Hackett on guitar, and Phil Collins on drums. In fact, one gets the subtle impression that the band is far more confident as a whole (they've found their feet as it were). There is the emergence of PG's theatrics (in "The Musical Box"), and given the further exposure they had through almost constant gigging and media exposure, things were certainly up for the group. If you're a Genesis fan you should already own this, if you're a prog fan you should seriously consider it...

The album opens with "The Musical Box", which is a serious contender for Genesis' greatest song of all time. The whole band is in top form, and the song constantly shifts themes and tempo, and challenges the listener. Of particular note are PG's story-telling, TB's keys and SH's first chance to prove his ability on electric guitar. The song's final crescendo is one of those magical moments which keeps me a Genesis fan!

The next track is PH's vocal debut, and a pleasant enough ballad. It is however, just that...a pop song. Fairly generic and bland when compared with "White Mountain", "The Musical Box" or even Trespass' equivalent, "Dusk". Fans of short delicate songs may be pleased, but prog fans may find themselves yearning for something meatier. On the other hand, it acts as an effective short buffer between "The Musical Box" and the next track...

"Return of the Giant Hogweed" is another great early Genesis epic. Sort of, an H.G. Wells 'Day of the Triffids' if you will. What stands out for this track is the electric guitar work, which almost harkens back to Genesis' hard sound on "The Knife" from Trespass. The anger and urgency really seep out of this song, and it is worth checking out the much more raw version found on the Genesis Live album!

This is followed by "Seven Stones", which is a nice melancholy song driven by PG's vocals and TB's organ-playing. It's comparatively short (5:11), but not too short luckily. PG also plays some lovely flute in parts...slow and mellow.

Next, we have one of the first of Genesis' fun and happy songs: "Harold the Barrel". The lyrics are somewhat disturbing ("Harold the Barrel cut off his toes and served them all for tea"), but the upbeat tempo and piano playing act as a contrast and help to make the song more comical than frightening. This track foreshadows later work such as "I Know What I Like", and again is characterised by PG's story-telling, as he gives us a tale of a man who is preparing to jump from a building to end his life ("take a running jump!") ...hilarious!!

Next, we have an even shorter song - clocking in at just less than 3 minutes, "Harlequin" is a pleasant group ballad, characterised by some nice guitar and keyboard work, and get this - almost no percussion. Quite a nice gentle interlude to prepare you for one of my favourite Genesis tracks...

"The Fountain of Salmacis" is a fantastic end to a Genesis masterpiece, and makes great use of the mellotron (I'm a fan). Great story culled from Greek Mythology, with some great vocals, electric guitar and mellotron work = magic. I would dearly have loved to hear this on the Genesis Live album, but sadly it was left off due to vinyl limitations - but it still didn't appear on the 1967-75 Archive! If a Gabriel-era live copy of Fountain exists, I would dearly love to hear it.

This is quintessential early Genesis, and compulsory listening for anyone who is a fan of the Genesis sound. A prog masterpiece. With the classic lineup fully formed (although in my opinion, the Anthony Phillips lineup is underrated), the band would move on towards higher things...FOXTROT.

Report this review (#268)
Posted Sunday, May 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
4 stars When Steve Hackett joined Genesis the sound of the band dramatically changed. Hackett has always been a fan from Mr. Fripp so he decided to put a more agressive element to the more acoustic sound on "Trespass" on which Anthony Phillips does a good job but Hackett has lots more to offer. On the opener "The musical box" Hackett delivers a fiery guitar solo in the end that suits perfect to the dramatic climate in the final. So welcome Mr. Hackett, there you are! Other great songs are "The return of the giant Hogweed" (who dare to say that Genesis sound like softies..?), "Seven stones" (wonderful keyboards, vocals and shifting moods) and "The fountain of Salmacis" (one of the best tracks ever recorded). I rate this album for five but four stars because not every track is at the level of aforementioned top notch compositions, I prefer "Foxtrot" as their best record in those years (69-73). Nonetheless, on "Nursery cryme" Genesis prooved their hugh potential.
Report this review (#36471)
Posted Tuesday, June 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Maintaining the same fairy-tale feel found on their previous masterpiece, Trespass, here we have a less dark album but still magic and more pleasant to listen to. The cover art reflects exactly the content of the album, it has that story book feel and is a travel to the land of phantasy. Did anyone realised that the ground here also appears smaller on the Foxtrot cover? And that the opening track is quoted on Willow Farm? Actually, Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot are my absolute GENESIS' faves, both deliver top quality emotional music in an amazing epic delivery, something that only good old 70's symphonic prog could magically deliver to us.

The album opens with "Musical Box", an embryo of "Supper's Ready" in terms of structure. This song contains several different faces, from the mellow parts until the quasi-metal middle section being exciting and relaxing at the same way. This is the first REALLY amazing GENESIS' song, and thing tend to only get amazing from here too. "Return of Giant Hogweed" follows a short Collins' sung ballad and is also a great epic with a sci-fi theme attached to it. Once again Gabriel shows how versatile he can be with his voice, at the same way he did on "The Knife". With its classical music influenced intro, the song has fantastic parts and shows a high level of maturity of the band members in terms of compositions. "Seven Stones" kicks in and it is the most moving moment of the album. It has a tear-producer mellotron solo at the ending courtesy of amazing Mr. Banks and, like "Harlequin" (a short acoustic piece placed before the closing epic), shows great vocal harmonies by Phil and Peter. "Harold the Barrel" is an embryo of "Willow Farm" and "Battle of Epping Forest", a funny trakc with a ironically tragic content within it. A cool song that has a nice piano part at the ending to flow well on "Harlequin". The closing song, "Fountain of Salmacis", is literally a class of mellotron and guitar. The band mates are playing their instruments amazingly well and Gabriel shows nice levels of voice here. It has a groundshaking guitar solo at the middle with clearly strong classical music accents, and this song apparently inspired ANGLAGARD on the second song from their album Epilog.

Overall a fantastic album that makes an excellent sequel to Trespass and shows how strong the band's ideas could become. For me, Trespass, this one and Foxtrot work as one full album together, all magic and honestly don't have one single minute of weakness in them.

Report this review (#38718)
Posted Wednesday, July 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars On the occasion of my 100th review I want to pay tribute to my first prog album I ever listened and adored.

Yes, it is "Nursery Cryme" and I can still remember the pure magic it radiated from my cheap cassette player of that time and even cheaper Chinese tape on which this album was recorded. Actually it was only 30 minutes side of a C-60 tape, featuring only "the best of" NC: The Musical Box, Giant Hogweed, Harold the Barrel and Salmacis, chosen by a friend who owned the LP record. It was amazing experience and I was immediately taken by the odd silent-loud passages and emotional voice of Gabriel in "Musical Box". It was around 1980-81 and I was about 16 years old.

Later on I would slowly discover the rest album songs and the genius of Hackett's guitar solo screaming, the pastoral 12-string and fuzzed bass of Rutherford with Collins' backing voice and jazzy drumming, and the eerie Mellotron and Hammond with strange Hohner keys by the virtuoso Banks. What a music!

The Gabriel's lyrics are the subject of their own. Although not a native English speaker, I could still feel and sense (albeit not entirely understand) the poetic, epic, satire and horror of his tales that were just like taken from an ancient medieval myths and fairytales.

This is very close to the classical music played with electric instruments. GENESIS arguably recorded subsequent better produced and composed albums with stronger concepts, but for me it all started here. From then on I dived into the exploration of wonderful world of different styles of "progressive" and "avantgarde" music and I still keep myself busy!

I am aware this is rather personal review and maybe not so "objective", but nevertheless all the beginners in prog research are very much advised and highly recommended to approach this timeless masterpiece.

Report this review (#40266)
Posted Monday, July 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars The masterpiece from a vivid title work of the contrast of the response and motion to a symphonic masterpiece of ending with which the story of the mystery and the fantasy is filled. A graceful melody crosses with violent instrumental, and the world of unique music. The expression of dramatic is a fit exactly work. Lyrics are extremely eccentric. It is likely to have become a dynamic work to surpass the former work.
Report this review (#41797)
Posted Friday, August 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the first Genesis album with the classic lineup, and the album in which they have found their sound. The moments of boredom (at least for me) of Trespass are not found here, and Steve Hackett provided great guitar playing that was not heard in the previous album.

Musical Box Begins the album strongly and is in my opinion the best Genesis song until Selling England By The Pound. It starts softly, serene, and atmospheric with Nursery rhyme (hence the title of the album) influences, and later starts transforming into many different styles and moods including an amazing hard rock explosion. The finale is majestic, legendary, and has what I would call the Best Peter Gabriel vocal workout ever. 10/10

For Absent Friends is a short pretty piece used that helps the album flow.

The Return of the Giant Hogweed is an dynamic symphonic epic in which Tony Banks does his best to dominate the music with good organ riffs and Hackett is prominent with an electric guitar. 8.5/10

Seven Stones is a pretty, yet not too memorable song that recalls the Trespass album. 6/10

Harold The Barrel seems like a little play with Gabriel doing the character voices about a man about to jump off a building. The lyrics are amusing, yet the song feels out of place. 5.5/10

Harlequin : Another pretty yet not that memorable song, but it prepares you for the last track. 6/10

Genesis ends the album with one of their most creative and intense songs in their catalogue. They can create glorious moments with just that simple organ riff and its mellotron washes, and they composed smartly like that in all the rest of the song. The end result is a glorious emotional, and superb epic that finishes the album in a strong note. 9.5/10

Get this album just for the 3 epics only, that is already enough. Unfortunately, this album is a little spotty for me, and I skip a few of the tracks sometimes. They will get better in their next 3 albums.

My Grade : B+

Report this review (#41966)
Posted Sunday, August 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars During a long time, I thought I hated Genesis. I just knew Collins' stuff. This is my first step into the universe of the "real" Genesis... Absolutely great!

I already ordered several other ones. Hope I can find "The lamb lies down..."

Report this review (#44330)
Posted Friday, August 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is one of the first albums of Genesis I came to knew since my dad own copy. It isn't until recently I have listened to it more intensively though. I bought my own CD copy of this this spring just before they released the new better remaster. The record starts with one of their earliest tour de force: The Musical Box. This song contains a lot of atmosphere, sometimes spooky (It can be described as Ghost Story.) and sometimes mourning with Hackett's wonderful guitar. He does good on his first album altough most of the material, if I'm not wrong, was written before he joined the band. 5/5 For Absent Friends is a shorter piece with Phil doing his first vocal appearence. A softer song wich suite Phil's voice. Good, but maybe a bit misplaced between The Musical Box and The Return Of The Giant Hogweed. 3/5 Next on is as said The Return Of The Giant Hogwed. It begins with keyboards sounding like an old Nintendo game, but this is at least 10 years older than the TV-game music. Somewhat funny but thats more the credit of the music than the lyrics. It becomes really good in the instrumental ending section. 4/5 Seven Stones is again a softer song and it would hav been better if Phil got to sing it. He is better than Pete on that. We would learn that the hard way later... In my opinion the worst song on the album. Still better than most of their 80s pop songs. 2.5/5 Harold The Barrel is funny. Peter does good narrating the different characters of the song. Funny lyrics like like "If your father were alive he'd be very, very, very upset". 4/5 Harlequin is another short piece and like For Absent Friends it feels like a filler. Beutiful. peter shows that he can sing ballads too (Doesn't matter if Ballad-king Phil would sing it instead.) 3.5/5 The last one is Fountain of Salmacis. It recreates the myth of the boy Hermaphroditus and Salmacis the nymph. Very good lyrics, very good music. Second only to The Musical Box on this album. I fisrt heard this song as a more stompy live version of this for the belgian television back in the early 70s. That one is more rock but missing the fine narrator chorus of the original. The instrumental parts are also better here. 4.5/5 Conclusion: An album that starts and ends very good but in between it have some up and downs. 3.7/5 = 4/5
Report this review (#44704)
Posted Monday, August 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a masterpiece of progressive rock. Any fan of prog-rock knows or should know that. From the first notes of the Musical Box (this song should be included in any top ten songs of any prog fan) to the last ones in The Fountain of Salmacis, everything is absolutely perfect. A definition of prog-rock should include this album as an example of the best this music can offer. Personally I like it more than Foxtrot, though I know that lots of Genesis fan won't agree with me. People normally highlight The Musical Box or the Return of the Giant Hogweed from this album but my point is: listen to Seven Stones as an example of an overlooked but terrific song; the way Banks makes his mellotron sound from 3:47 to the end of that song is superb, amazing. The intro of the Fountain of Salmacis is also fantastic... Well I ran out of adjectives. If you have never listened to this album (if you visit this web site it's almost impossible) do yourself a favour and buy it, you will never regret it. This is a must. Essential.
Report this review (#44840)
Posted Tuesday, August 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Nursery Cryme was the first Genesis abum I ever got. I write about it as if it were some years ago, really it was only a few months. After hearing The Fountain of Salmacis- I knew I had to get more, my ears had fallen in love with the song and since then, my love of Peter Gabriel-era Genesis has only grown more! This album is *almost* as good as Selling England by the Pound. In some parts- it's even better (I'm thinking of Return of the Giant Hogweed in comparison with the Battle of Epping Forrest). Therefore I still have their 1973 album as their highest in my ranking; this 1971 one is down by ONE step. But I cannot emphasize what a slight and shallow step that is.

The Musical Box: Does it not strike you as odd that one of the best songs in the history of Progressive Rock just so happens to be about the rape of a little girl by an old man? In fact- the story's more complex than that: 9-year-old Cynthia chopped 8-year-old Henrys' head off with a croquet mallet then, when she found his music box which played 'Old King Cole'- his spirit appeared from it and turned into an old man. He then proceeded to rape her till his Nanny found them both and killed them by hurling the Music Box itself at them....good grief, WHAT a *screwed-up* idea! It's the best of its' kind I tell you- you can almost hear the Police inspecting the Genesis' band-practice- room for drugs. Such a disturbing theme for a song...and yet, I wouldn't mind playing it to my children. Peter Gabriel has the golden gift of being subtle, NOT explicit in his lyrics. The piece begins with an eerie acoustic guitar and Peter Gabriel's 'old-man' voice...or at least it seems he's putting on another kind of voice: if one listens carefully, they find there's a whiny and croaky touch to it. The playful flute, in duet with the guitar, give the music an old-fashioned taste and also suggest the conventional music heard by children when they hear a nursery rhyme sung at pre-school. A childs world is what the song conveys. Hence the song-name. Hence the album-name too. The flowing guitar is heard till drums, flute and guitar strum a few chords together in the same slow, changed rythmn and there's no other way to describe this certain chordal progression that's used apart from, well, VERY 1970s! It's fantastic and it has an air of romance about it, or a comforting air: as the chords have changed from low and minor (the "sad" key) to high and major (the "happy" key). After this sudden change in time-signature and melody, we have Phil Collins drums pick-up on a more complex and ever-changing beat, Tony Banks on his organ and the electric guitar: these three instuments build-up the song together for a while. Aah- the guitar riffs in this song- this part is really all about how cool Steve Hackett is!- A member we don't pay enough attention to. Not forgetting Mike Rutherford either, of course. The guitar riffs have an orgy (so to speak) for a long time- so lets all jump around as if we're in a mosh-pit again! Suddenly, everything is calm like the start of the song- only an acoustic guitar and Gabriel's voice to charm us. "I've been waiting here for so long...and all this time has passed me by..." The organ and drumbeat gradually lead up to what is essentially the 'catharsis' of the whole song: "Why don't you touch me? Touch me, Touch me, TOUCH me NOW! now! now! now! NOW!" If you know the song, you find it hard to get that bit out of your head for a while after even thinking about it. How can a song about a rape be so good? I don't know if this has ever made you wonder but it's certainly got me thinking.

For Absent Friends: This song is just plain CUTE. It's more a song for children than us. A song I can play to my fundamentalist-christian neighbours WITHOUT offending them in one way or another. This is the first example of Phil Collins and his simple-formatted songs that I ever heard. Therefore: I like Peter Gabriel-era Genesis MUCH more. This song probably has a deeper meaning behind the lyrics but Honestly! It takes more than an acoustic guitar and a repeated melody to emphasize that meaning, let alone be 'progressive'. Pretty pop-tune but not very catching. More fool Me is his better effort.

The Return of the Giant Hogweed: This is another one of the best songs on the album. The very START is memorable- Steve Hackett strikes you with a solid and fact-paced guitar-riff. Tony Banks plays the havard-organ at its coolest (I don't think I've ever heard an organ stretched to that extent before- synchronised beat and stacatto chords hitting the keyboard.) The melody is rather jazzed-up and with good use of falsetto in Gabriel's voice too. Especially when the Giant Hogweed are taking out their revenge on the Londoners who stole them from the Russian Hills: "Mighty Hogweed is avenged. Human bodies soon will know our ANGER.... Kill them with your Hogweed hairs, Heracleum MantegazziANI...." and here is my favourite bit: all instruments change chords at the same time as one another in the most powerful, head-banging, changing-beat and complex chordal progression Genesis will ever use! Nothing can top it, and if anyone sees the Belgian TV 1971 studio-concert of Genesis- you'll see how infatuated the gorgeous young Peter Gabriel is, himself, with this part! So much that he pretty-much dances with the microphone-stand, as you do.

Seven Stones: This song actually took time to grow on me but when it did- I saw how it was one of the most peaceful songs in the world. The idea of there being 'seven' of something is such a cliched-convention- seen from both a biblical view and in greek mythology and elsewhere. At first this sounds like a beautiful love-song but, listening to the lyrics, it's about an old bastard. And he is one HELL of a bastard! He laughs at the worlds' despair and steals money from the farmer- for crying out loud! "The old man's guide is chance'. I suppose the point of the song is to show that the man is 'old' but he acts as if he's 'young', or vice versa. This is a melancholy song that adds up to crescendoes and changes key everytime the chorus comes round. The line "and the changes of no consequence will pick up the reigns from nowhere." adds a pleasant element of surprise to the song, in the way that it's presented. Watch out for the mellotron with the angry-sounding guitar at the end. The swinging-of-moods in this song sounds fantastic.

Harold the Barrel: This song is rather Broadway with the piano playing hony-tonk style. It's the 'comic-relief' of the album- not one of my favourites but still enjoyable. Amongst the up-beat dance of it all- the piano does a few peaceful and slow, almost eerie solos. I mentioned before that this song was comic-relief but I just had a good look at the lyrics and now I'm beginning to it appears to be about a restaurant owner who served up his own toes for tea, got hunted down by the police and is, by the end of the song, about to commit-suicide by jumping off a building...or maybe about to turn himself in to the police as there's nothing else he can do. Now, I have no idea what story Genesis based this one on but, either way, drama is incorporated into this song and done very well. This is one of those Genesis songs in which the band members sing as different characters in a plot: "We're all your friends- come on down and talk to us son." "You must be Joking!!" "Take a running jump!" The soft and echoing piano chords, almost depressing in a way which makes up empathize with poor Harold, are great for leading on to the next song..

Harlequin: For a while I thought Phil Collins did the main vocals for this as falsetto is used all the way through. This song is dreamy, floating, ethereal- the lyrics take us to another world and they set a calming scene for us. Arpeggiating guitars and gentle hi- hat drumming used. There's also a guitar chordal-progression and rythym during the chorus which is so 70s and reminds me of Battle of Evermore by Led Zeppelin (hopefully I'm not alone in thinking this). A Harlequin is an actor with a mask- not that it has much to do with the actual song but I thought I may as well point that out. This song is not legendary but it does make a good lullaby.

Fountain of Salmacis: BRILLIANT!!! This is the first Genesis song I ever heard and it still gives me ear-gasms when I hear it: I don't think the spell will ever wear-off! The rising- falling-rising crescendo-decrescedo-crescendo-catch that Tony Banks has on his equipment have our attention immediately as does his jumpy keyboard-riff. Mellotron- use is excellent. Collin's drumming and Rutherford's bass are reminiscent of 60s jazz during the verse- and that's the kind of Jazz I actually *appreciate*. Greek Mythology! This song tells the story of Hermaphrodite- a young man who was lusted-after by a nymph called Naiad and who eventually became part of her in a fusing-of-the-genders miracle brought about by the gods. As a university student with Classical Studies as a major: I'm all for the story behind this song ("Hermaphrodite- son of gods!") Therefore, one of the first songs to get me into Prog has one of my favourite things written all over it- extremely exciting! Again- Genesis have put their theatrical talent into one of their songs and sung as different characters in a plot. Hermaphrodite: "Away from me cold-blooded woman, your lust is not mine." Naiad: "Nothing will cause us to part! Give me your guide.." (sorry if any of those lyrics were inaccurate- corrections are more than welcome) And Steve Hackett shows his gorgeousness at the transition from song to typical-progrock-dance-sequence. The whole songs slows down at "Both had given everything they had.." This is a classic. Admit it.

Remember- if you don't give music the chance to grow on you them you're not a very good listener of Progressive Rock. But this isn't the type of album that has to grow on you: this album BEGS you to listen! Apart from S.E.B.T.P,and possibly The Lamb Lies down on Broadway, no other Genesis album has quite matched this masterpiece.

Report this review (#45032)
Posted Wednesday, August 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album starts with one of the great prog tracks of all time (The Musical Box) and ends with a display of virtuoso keyboards on the Fountain of Salamacis. Everythig else in between is very good, Harold the Barrel being typically quirky and the Return of the Giant Hogweed slightly bizarre, but it's all very listenable. Gabriel's voice on the Musical Box conjures up real menace and shows why he is the no 1 vocalist in prog history. Hackett lays down some wonderful solos and the keyboards are sublime. Definitely one of the top 10 albums of all time - but still only the third best by Genesis.
Report this review (#45602)
Posted Monday, September 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The band continues on their forward course of progress. This one benefits from fresh blood. There was nothing wrong with Anthony Phillips' guitar playing, but Hackett's guitarwork is much more rock-oriented and authoritative. And he could do the folk-classical thing like Phillips, too. Collins, with his intricate jazzy leanings, was a marked improvement over the more pedestrian stylings of John Mayhew. And his distinctive backing vocals would become an important ingredient in Genesis' sound.

Genesis' full-blown prog rock sound arrives fully-formed here, with the epic-length "The Musical Box" and "The Fountain of Salmacis", plus the mini-opus "Seven Stones", all stone classics. Much of the rest of the tunes are cameo folkie numbers resembling the works on TRESPASS. The exceptions being "Return of the Giant Hogweed" and "Harold The Barrel" which are more comical tunes. Unlike ELP's joke tunes, which feel forced and phoney, these songs show a lot of the band's personality just as much as the more "serious" ones.

This was the first full-length Genesis album I ever heard, and it was an unforgettable experience. Definitely the start of the big things for them.

Report this review (#46271)
Posted Sunday, September 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of the best Prog records ever.Based on English tales & children's folklore songs,it is incredible for its little prog-songs as touching "Harlequin" or humoristic "Harold the Burrel"."The Musical Box" & "Fountain of Salmacis" are Prog masterpieces (am I extraordinary in my opinion? :-) ).My favourite place here is the first track's solo.What else can I add?If you never hear this record,you're NOT a Prog-fan.Shame on you! Come & Get It!!!
Report this review (#47799)
Posted Thursday, September 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a great Genesis's album, as it was recorded as the first one with Collins and Hackett, two of the five guys of the best formation of Genesis ever.

The Musical Box is one of my favorite songs from Genesis, it talks about the story of two children, the nurse and the Old King Cole. It's wonderful, and Collins and Hackett show all they can do.

For Absent Friends is a good song, sung by Phil Collins, although it's short, and not so well- developed.

The Return Of The Giant Hogweed: good, quite good. It's the second best in the disc, only losing to The Musical Box.

The other ones after, are quite good, too. Worthy of mention are Harold The Barrel and The Fountain Of Salmacis.

Report this review (#48182)
Posted Saturday, September 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album would probably be more fondly regarded if it was not followed by Foxtrot, SEPTP, and LLDOB. Although not perfectly consistent, some of my favorite Genesis segments come from Nursery Cryme. Aside from talent exhibited in Musical Box and Return of the Giant Hogweed, this album first convinced me that filler tracks don't have to be used to simply lengthen albums. Harlequin, and especially For Absent Friends are softly mesmorizing and add considerably to the album. For Absent friends is a great link between the aforementioned full-length showcase pieces.

Also of note are the vocals on Seven Stones which grow on me every time I listen and Harold the Barrel. Who writes songs like Harold the Barrel? That song proved to be an elusive like-it-the-first-time listen on a prog album.

Report this review (#49693)
Posted Saturday, October 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars The album has the perfect balance of raw, almost scary power and contrastingly airy beauty that makes early Genesis so compelling. For my tastes, each of the seven songs here is a fully-realized winner. Longstanding fan favourite "The Musical Box" (which served as the inspiration for the terrific Paul Whitehead cover art), from its ethereal opening, to its explosive ending some ten minutes later, contains all the necessary elements of a quintessential Genesis track: Hackett's guitar is simply spellbinding, Gabriel's voice is by turns delicate and dauntingly powerfull, Banks' church-like organ sound is masterful and moving, and Collins' drumming, especially his cymbal work, is particularly adept. Factor in great lyrics, some nice flute from Gabriel, and Rutherford's room-shaking bass and bass pedals, and you have all that one could reasonably desire in a classic Genesis track!
Report this review (#49795)
Posted Sunday, October 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars An absolute prog rock classic (hence the five star rating). This is actually my favourite album from my favourite band.

The Musical Box - A stunning opening and a sign of what is to follow. The intro has three acoustic guitars playing (Tony Banks joins Hackett and Rutherford) which provide a perfect backing to Gabriel's understated vocals. This whole song contains some wonderful uses of acoustic guitars to provide some contrast with Hackett's solos. Speaking of which, this song is a guitar player's dream - three magnificent solos from one of the most underrated and revolutionary guitarists ever. The only other song I can think of with three substantial solos is "Dogs" by PINK FLOYD, and that's twice as long. Brilliant, Mr. Hackett.

For Absent Friends - Some people may see this as a chilling forerunner to what was to follow with Collins taking lead vocals. What this short song really serves to do is give the listener a bit of a rest before "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed". It may not be a classic, but it does add something to the album as a whole. Nice, but little more.

The Return Of The Giant Hogweed - The album gets back into business with another mini-epic, telling the story of plants taking over the world. Why not? This song is actually an unrecognised landmark in the history of music, particularly that of guitar playing, as it contains the first known use of the guitar technique "tapping" in popular music, having only been previously used by a handful of classical composers as a violin technique. This is normally credited to VAN HALEN, but should actually be credited to STEVE HACKETT - a travesty of justice!

Seven Stones - An interesting little atmospheric song that breaks the album up a little. Probably the album's only flaw is the little run of filler songs that this one begins - I would have preferred to lose one and extend "The Fountain Of Salmacis". It would probably be this one that I cut - it's still pretty good though.

Harold The Barrel - A fun little pop song (not derogatory!). This is actually a very good little song, with Gabriel showing off his impressive vocal range.

Harlequin - Music hall type harmony between Gabriel and Collins on vocals. Not a lot happens in this song, but it's quite impressive lyrically, so is worth having.

The Fountain Of Salmacis - Just when you thought the album might be slipping of the rails a bit! GENESIS really pull out all the stops with this one - it's probably the most complicated musical arrangement they have ever done. The vocals and most of the instruments are double or triple tracked - I believe they used every space on their 16 track recorder between the five of them! A brilliant song telling the story of a Greek legend, which few bands would attempt. Is to the end of the album what The Musical Box was to the beginning - brilliant. I would really like to hear how Phil Collins did this one on Three Sides Live, having quite enjoyed some of his performances on Seconds Out.

Report this review (#51179)
Posted Monday, October 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album has been reviewed on many occasions, so there is little that I can add to the chorus - except that some of the reviews of Harold the Barrel make me wonder if the reviewers have listened to the song. There are very few "light and witty" songs about committing suicide. Well, OK, Elton John did one... The song is understated, a talent that the band showed on most of their albums (Even after the Gabriel years, proving what he said about the credit for their efforts not being divided properly to be correct.). A great piece of bleak/black humour (sp deliberate).
Report this review (#51183)
Posted Monday, October 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars With Collins and Hackett on board this sill be the golden line up of the GENESIS that all of us will love for ever!!!!!!!!!!!!! This one started the golden era for them. Progressive, Progressive, Progressive!! This one was the second album I bought, and "Musical Box" has been a track that always has been in my heart, becoming one of the classic GENESIS songs!! For some fans, not the prog-head, will require several listen to digest.
Report this review (#51785)
Posted Friday, October 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars the sound of genesis is really impresionant... they was a awesome group of the simphonyc prog of 70's and the all england music... This Album, NURSERY CRIME is the third in his musical journal and i thnik is the first where they exponed in a magistral nivel the work that after they do with FOXTROT, SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND and THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY... songs like The Musical Box, The return of giant hogweed and the fountain of salmacis are the peak's of the album, and just for this three songs the cd must calificated a masterpiece of the progresive music, is essential for any lover of the simphonyc prog.... sorry my english, i'm chilean,...
Report this review (#52277)
Posted Tuesday, October 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Brilliant epic - "The Musical Box"- if the rest of the album held up to this- 4 stars!! "Harold the Barrel" is not a great song at all!- I dont know what they were thinking!!! "The Musical Box" is another decent song. The album runs flat though- is fails to keep my intrest all the way through. One of the better Genesis albums- not bad at all!

Good lyrics and great musicianship make a good album here.

Report this review (#52879)
Posted Saturday, October 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The "second act" of my prog-mania was Nursery Cryme. Again on vinyl. I was already a fan of Peter Gabriel, and I knew Genesis only for they pop releases (Genesis - 1983, Invisible Touch - 1986.). NC was, indeed, a "punch" in my stomach! Well, with Phil Collins as a great drummer, Hackett, Rutherford and Banks, talented musicians, also. Musical Box is, for me, one of the greatest progressive works ever made. The album is solid and mature, but the production could have reached forward. A great record, but not a masterpiece. However, highly recomendable.
Report this review (#53504)
Posted Wednesday, October 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars A CLASSICAL work! I bought the vynil near Xmas 1972 (after saving hardly) as a gift for myself and never regret it.

The four longer tracks are amongst the best prog-rocks ever:

'The musical box' must be classified simply as unforgettable. If some distracted souls seek for a real progressive piece, show them this song. The engagement begins with the first chords and crosses the track in its entirety, ending in a surprising way. Singing and playing combine to make an almost perfect piece.

'The return of the giant hogweed' contains all the darkness we should expect from a classical Genesis work. The way the music and lyrics flow make us think about the smallness of beast-man. Awesome!

'Seven stones' is the crown's hidden jewel; but also shining and splendid. Probably the easier-to-hear of the album's longer songs but always keeping inside a good surprise like a gold insertion into a diamond. Brilliant.

'The fountain of Salmacis', also the ending song, is one of the best finishing acts of a progressive album ever. There remains a sensation of emptyness after the farewell, a never ending will to get more and more and more...

For the shorter tracks 'Harold the barrel' is amazing and also frightening and 'Harlequin' is quite pleasant.

Gabriel continues in his peak (due to last for the next 4 years) and other band members are almost in the same level. Hackett and Collins (as a drummer) were real fine additions.

Minus 0.25 star for 'For absent friends', only a filler. Total: 4.75 => 5; consequently reaching the masterpiece realm.

Report this review (#56092)
Posted Saturday, November 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well let me say this. While this album is good, it is a bit disapointing after Foxtrot and Trespass (my first Genesis albums.) Perhaps I expected too much- since many people said that Trespass was not that good, and I was blown away by it, I must have had it in my head that Gabriel-Genesis could do no wrong. Although, I think I like Trespass better because it had more fantasy themes, and maybe because Gabriel didn't do any of those goofy voices he became fond of later. Maybe Genesis lacked identity or something on Trespass. But I'm not reviewing Trespass (which is awesome by the way). I'm reviewing Nursery Cryme.

It starts off with one of the best Genesis songs I've heard, the Musical Box. I've heard all the tracks on here, along with everything on Trespass and Foxtrot. The only Genesis song that surpasses this one IMO is Supper's Ready. So this song features many awesome and emotional melodies, and a couple of very heavy interludes in which new members Hackett and Collins get to shine. It all flows quite nicely, and the lyrics are very cool (albiet the story is a bit weird). But anyway, if you have listened to this song on this site, its the best song on the album. 10/10 awesome song.

For Absent Friends is a short little acoustic number sung by Phil Collins, which is not bad. It's pleasant, but short and forgettable and really not necessary.

The Return of the Giant Hogweed is where the problems with this album really started for me. I expected, after all the reviews said so, that it would be awesome. Let me say, it has grown on me a little, its just not my cup of tea. It is very heavy, which I usually like, but it lacks really good melodies. It reminds me sort of of a less good Get 'Em Out by Friday, but I don't know. Some might like it. However I believe this may be the first Genesis song to feature a goofy voice from Gabriel. Although the section doesn't last long, it is not very good. But the instrumental breaks in this song, especially the outro, are for the most part awesome.

Seven Stones is an underrated little gem, with many nice melodies, and a fairly relaxed feel about. It has some great keyboards and vocals. The mellotron at the end is awesome as well.

I found Harold the Barrel surprisingly good. When I read that it was supposed to be a goofy little song, I expected a goofy throwaway ala ELP's joke songs. However, this song features some good melodies, and it isn't that goofy, although Gabriel does his voices, they are all pretty good here.

Harlequin is another acoustic ditty like For Absent Friends, and it is not all that great. It is pleasant and relaxing, but the melodies aren't that great. It also really reminds me of a less good Lover's Leap (The beginning of Supper's Ready) so its pleasant enough, just a little boring and not very memorable.

Fountain of Salmacis is an awesome song I think. Second best on the album after Musical Box. The mellotron intro is awesome. It features good melodies, both dark and pleasant, along with good lyrics and an interesting story about how Hermaphrodites first came into being. A little weird, but it retains some of the fantasy themed characteristics of Trespass. So all in all an awesome song.

So this album is pretty good, I think. Its not as good as either Trespass or Foxtrot, but the Musical Box is almost the best song by Genesis that I have heard. The fountain of salmacis and Seven Stones are good as well. But For Absent Friends and Harlequin are two pleasant, though unneeded and boring acoustic songs. The return of the Giant Hogweed is an OK rocker that lacks good melody, and Harold the Barrel is a slightly goofy song that features good melodies and an interesting story. So, if you like other Gabriel Genesis then I suggest you get this, as it has some great songs, but get either Foxtrot or Trespass first.

Report this review (#56320)
Posted Monday, November 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Nursery Cryme is the second album I have purchased and the third I have listened to. This album is incredible! I love this more than any of the other ones I had listened up to that time. I purchased this and Foxtrot at the same time in Philly (my favorite city!).


1. Musical Box- Nothing short of a masterpiece! The words are good, playing is surperb, and Peter's singing is incredible.

2.For Absent Friends- It's a nice mellow song sung by Collins. It's good none the less.

3. Return of the Giant Hogweed-This is second only to the Musical Box. The intro is awesome, and it also reminds me of some kind of classical music (though I can't put my finger on it) and the drumming during the intro is unbelieveable to me. Anyways, moving on, the words are good, and the solo (both flute and guitar) are great.

4.Seven Stones-This, again is a nice,mellow,and relaxing song.

5.Harold the Barrel-A very quirky song, IMO. The words are cool, and the song, overall is very light and uplifting. "We can help, We can 'elp you!" is probably the funniest part of the song, other than the "oye,oye,oye,oye" part.

6.Harlequin- I don't remember much of this song, so please forgive on this.

7.The Fountain of Salmacis-A great song, however, I hate the fading in and out, or at least, on the remastered version. It fades away so much that you can't even hear. It gets on my nerves.

So, as always, another great Genesis album. This is the album to have for any Genesis fan/prog lover. Enjoy!

Report this review (#56336)
Posted Monday, November 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is really interesting. At one side, it contains some of Genesis' greatest moments and definitely some of their most exciting ones. At the other side, the sound on this album in general is quite hard to swallow. The sound just doesn't feel [i]sharp[/i] enough. Still, I think this album really captures some of Genesis' magic. I do not think it lines up side by side with Foxtrot and Selling England, but it's close. Therefore it deserves 4 out of 5 stars.
Report this review (#56957)
Posted Friday, November 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars There is not a lot more to add when it comes to Gabriel-era Genesis. This album marks the second prog release from the band and an incredible one at that. Many people consider "Nursery Cryme" to be the bands first progressive monster album (see my future review of Trespass for my opinion on that.)

This album opens up with "The Musical Box." A beautiful album opener (as we know how good Genesis was at opening albums. It starts off with Gabriel singing quietly and very emotionally ("All your hearts now seem so far away...) The song follows the quiet and very emotional feel until the instrumental break at about 4 minutes. The song explodes as Hackett solo's perfectly to embody the emotional buildup. The next part ("The clock, tick tock..") is even quiter than the beginning until Gabriel sings "the wall" powerfully. This instrumental break is long and inspiring. The final buildup begins after this instrumental break. This is one of the most emotionally powerful conclusions (if not, the most) of any song that I've heard. Hearing Gabriel sing with all his power "Why don't you touch me, touch me" and repeating "NOW" gives me chills everytime. The song was based on a young girl Cynthia (9) who "gracefully" removed Henry's (8) head while playing a game of croquet. The story of the song begins with Cynthia discovering Henry's musical box that included the figure "Old King Cole" when she opened it. Cynthia saw the lifetime of desires go by as Henry aged with nothing but a child's mind and vision. Henry was attempting to have Cynthia persue his romantic desire when she threw the musical box at the elderly looking child and destroyed them both. (This story can be found in the inside booklet of the "Nursery Cryme" album.) The album cover is also a depiction of this song and story. You can also find the album cover of Nursery Cryme imbetted in the back of Foxtrot if you look carefully (with a few interesting tweaks.)

The follow up to the Musical Box is "For Absent Friends" sung by Phil Collins. This is the one song sung by Collins that I can actually say that I enjoy. It's very short but is emotional and a well written, piano driven song (though many fans tend to dismiss it.)

"The Return of the Giant Hogweed" is yet another Genesis masterpiece. It's a rather guitar-bass heavy song and comes in very strongly vocally. This is a great example of how Genesis' use humor in their music. The giant hogweed either depicts a set of corrupt rulers or the media-damaged people from society (could be interpreted in many ways but that's the direction that I tend to lean.) Gabriel's singing really stands out in this song. His quiet singing and heavy vocal during the verses contrast very well and keep the song very interesting. The piano break by Banks a little more than half way through the song also adds a lot to the song.

"Seven Stones" is, in my opinion, a very under-recognized (I will not say underrated) Genesis song. The sea in this song (as Gabriel likes to use a lot) represents emotion (the sea and water is an old symbol for emotion, and we know how Gabriel is with symbols.) This song has some of the best melodies that I've heard (my favorite being "Despair that tires the world, bring the old man laughter...")

Next we have "Harold the Barrel." Many people consider this song a "joke." This couldn't be farther from the truth. They are using the Genesis humor that is present in a lot of songs, but the song is by no means a joke. It is a very complex and well written song with a brilliant melody. It talks about a man that is contemplating suicide and the news makes a big story of it where they tell Harold "We're all your friends, if you come on down and talk to us son." It really is interesting how Genesis is depicting the media's effect on suicide. This is definitely a standout track that fits well and adds some diversity to the album.

My personal opinion is that "Harlequin" is the weakest track on the album, though it is still far from weak. Gabriel and Collins sing this song together in it's entirety and the harmonies are done well. The album concludes with "The Fountain of Salmacis." This song really defines the "Symphonic" part of Symphonic Prog. The buildup is very strong (even from the very beginning) and reminds me that there are more than just 5 guys playing here. The lyrics are brilliant (as always when talking about Gabriel-era Genesis.) This song talks about Hermaphrodite (a flower/person/animal containing both male and female organs) using the Greek mythology where it was originated. It was interesting to learn where the word hermaphrodite came from, since I had no idea until reading this song. The emotion for Hermaphroditus is very strong and displayed well by Genesis vocally and musically.

This is an essential masterpiece of progressive music as is every Genesis album from Trespass to The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. They will stand as the most intelligent and emotional band in my book and everyone should at least give them a listen even if you only have a remote interest in progressive music.

Report this review (#58850)
Posted Thursday, December 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Some people tend to forget also Tresspass, which is the album where Prog-Genesis began. Well about NC, this one is a masterpiece though there are songs some might not like. Like For Absent Friends (which is a nice song but it sucks because it is right after The musical box which is many times considered the best song of Genesis). The mood of this album is kinda dark but it is perfect for this one. Songs like Return of the giant hogweed, Seven stones and Fountain of salmacis can't be forgotten. They all are masterpieces which reflects PG:s style awesomely. Like it? Yes I do
Report this review (#60337)
Posted Wednesday, December 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Genesis' Nursery Cryme is not often given the amount of praise that the two suceeding albums Foxtrot and Selling England by the Pound do. Nursery Cryme is a slightly different composition from Foxtrot and Selling England by the Pound, but is no less of an album.

Nursery Cryme has three Genesis classics, Fountain of Salamics, Return of the Giant Hogweed, and of course The Musical Box, which will forever be a reigning classic of the Progressive Music world. The shorter songs like Seven Stars and Harlequin also add to the quality of this album. It's in the shorter songs that proove an album's value. Nursery Cryme may not have the twenty mintue epic of Supper's Ready, but the overall song to song quality of Nursery Cryme is something to be recognized.

Report this review (#61704)
Posted Sunday, December 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Nursery Cryme, the first essential masterpiece from Genesis (though Tresspass is almost 5 star album). Including songs like The Musical Box, which might be the best song from Genesis, The Fountain of Salmacis, The Return Of The Giant Hogweed and Seven Stones. The only bad thing in this album is that it starts with Musical Box, it just explodes your mind to another dimension. Then is the short song from PC, which is not bad at all, but the contrast between first two is quite big. Return of the giant hogweed is a great song, a lot like Battle of Epping Forest, but a little more dark. Fountain of Salmacis is a great ending to this album, slow and beautiful. Great album indeed.
Report this review (#62228)
Posted Thursday, December 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars A fantastic album with a broad range of good compostions. Musical box is certainly the best song on the album. One of best first songs on any album. I also love Seven Stones, Harold the Barrel and Fountain of Salmacis. The final track the most sophisticated after Muscial Box or maybe even more so. The story line is great. One reason to love or hate prog is the content of songs like the Fountain of Salmacis. Certainly nothing like its predecessor Harold.

Although I'm partial to trespass, Nursery Cryme is of superior quality. The songs are more distinct and memorable. And the first and last tracks surpass significantly anything on the previous album. And this paved the way for some of my favorite albums of all time. Namely Foxtrot and even better the Lamb.

Report this review (#62270)
Posted Thursday, December 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Nursery Cryme, Genesis' first notable masterpiece with Phil Collins and Steve Hackett. Amazing music, wonderful lyrics, great singing by PG. All in one package. The album starts with The Musical Box, well what can I say. It its a something you should not miss in your life. The vocals, the music.... Absolutely stunning song. Then is this short ballad by Phil Collins, great work again. It fits very nice here after Musical Box and it is enough short! This is the great epic from Genesis, reminds me lot of "Battle of Epping Forest" slightly bad sounds though... Next songs are both great, great short songs which shows that Genesis could do amazing work with shorter songs. And the Fountain of Salmacis... Damn what a stunning song again 4.8 overall..
Report this review (#65623)
Posted Friday, January 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Never have dynamics been used so effectively by a rock band!!! All the songs are fragile little nuggets that almost reduce me to tears. It seems a very wonderful approach at combining the innocence of fairy tales and pretty poetry and corrupting it with Greek mythology and perversity (hence the name Nursery Cryme). Bookended by its two best songs (a great way to make an album) I love it. The guitar solo to Fountain of Salmacis is progtastic. How does someone not love this? I'm also interested in I've often suspected it...on "For Absent Friends" I'm sure thats not Peter Gabriel singing...I know they all sound like mirrors of him but I think its one of the other 4.
Report this review (#67090)
Posted Friday, January 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first top tier Genesis album. I apologize to all who have a soft spot for 'Trepass', I'm one of them, but this is where they matured some and took off. You can understand the origins with Trepass, but this exceeds any previous effort. Hacket and Collins are now rocking the band and the classic era line-up is in full swing. Sadly, only for four utterly amazing albums.

How about those vocals on 'Seven Stones'? A beautiful story also. In fact this album may be the most fantastical of Genesis album. What with - well all the songs. The story lines are pretty out their, but they also breed fanaticism from those who like it. Like myself.

Not to mention that 'Fountain of Salmacis' rocks in a way that no other prog songs do. Essential.

Report this review (#68727)
Posted Tuesday, February 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I must admit - my first Genesis album was... We Can't Dance, and the next one was Invisible Touch. I liked that, and actually, I still do... Because I enjoy to listen they as pop albums, not as prog albums. However, Nursery Cryme was the first prog album in my music collection. I found it in a CD-store in Germany, and my first thought was "hey, this must be another record with good love songs..." I listened it there in the shop, and it turned out that this was the absolutely weirdest thing I've ever heard... But from the first seconds from on, I knew that there is something special. So I bought it. I went home and listened the entire disc at first time. It all was very strange, especially the weird melodies. I listened it 10 more times. It was very very good. And I listened it another 10 times, and I realized that it's not very very good, but just ingenious. After that I bought all other Genesis albums, and started to listening other prog bands too.
Report this review (#68744)
Posted Wednesday, February 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars 4.5/5.0

I would like to add something new, but what more to say about this masterpiece? This is a classic, along with Foxtrot and Selling England by the Pound. Personnaly, my favorite track is NOT "The Musical Box" although this is a great track. I prefer the rest of the album, as it is more soft and less commercial, with great keyboards and everything. That said, the whole album is great, from the beginning to the end. I do not consider this to be as good as Camel or Caravan, but this is a matter of taste at this level of music quality. Highly recommended!

Report this review (#68821)
Posted Wednesday, February 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars For me, this is a perfect Genesis album. The only track that is somewhat weak is For Absent Friends, but I find it charming and it is short enough to avoid being annoying. Harlequin has outstanding vocal harmonies which make it a very worthy song in my opinion. Harold The Barrel is a much more interesting song than might be apparent at first, though it does have a somewhat whimsical, thowaway approach to it. The rest is, of course, classic PG Genesis. Musical Box is probably the song that best embodies everything I love about the early Genesis. Hogweed is a more experimental number that worked better live, but is still great here. Seven Stones is a simpler yet still classic number with some great vocals. And Salmacis is one of my favorite Gensis numbers of all time. A perfect prog epic condensed into 7 minutes. And those mellotrons......beautiful. Great album, great band. A masterpiece for me.
Report this review (#68871)
Posted Thursday, February 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the first of the great Genesis albums. It opens with the incredible "The Musical Box" one of my favorite songs by Genesis. And goes through several stellar tracks many of them humorous lyrically. The only song hear I find remotly boring, and only remotly mind you is "Fountain of Salamicis."
Report this review (#69068)
Posted Saturday, February 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Expanding on the style of the great 'Trespass', Nursery Cryme saw a band getting into its stride, helped of course by the entry of both Phil Collins and Steve Hackett. Phil Collins brought in his excellent drumming talents and his soft, melodic vocals. Hackett on the other hand, may have had an even bigger impact on the bands sound,his guitar playing could switch between delicate and beautiful to heavy and aggressive. By now the band had become great composers and very much worked as a whole. The lyrics are very imaginative and fairy tale like, and may produce many hidden meanings. Banks mellotron now takes a very important role in the atmosphere of the music and his keyboard and piano playing is fantastic.

The albums opener 'The Musical Box' is regarded as one of the best tracks Genesis wrote. Although it suffers due to shabby production, it still has a certain timeless quality about it,Its melodic, medieval sounding first few minutes to its heavy middle section and its screaming finale justify the praise it gets from Genesis fans and deserves a place in the list of greatest progressive rock tracks of all time. 'For Absent Friends' is a short but sweet interlude between 'The Musical Box' and 'The Return of the Giant Hogsweed' that sounds similar to 'Old Friends' by Simon and Garfunkel. 'The Return of the Giant Hogweed' is another epical sounding track, the lyrics depict a sort of battle sequence and the music is excellent, though of the 'epic three' of the album, I find this one to be the weakest.

'Seven Stones' opens side two, nicely orchestrated and some nice vocals from Gabriel, nothing spectacular but a more relaxing moment on the album due to the mellotron and gentle guitar parts, though the drumming still sounds strong. 'Harold the Barrel' seems like a sort of lively, comedy number yet the lyrics seem to be about a man that is planning to commit suicide, and the melancholy of the last few seconds make it seem like he has! Certaintly an odd track but a good one none the less. The following track is one of my favourite on the album 'Harlequin', a beautiful typical medieval sounding track that is led by Hacketts 12 string guitar. Wonderful vocals and melody and some very thought provoking lyrics 'Came the night a mist dissolved the trees, and in broken light colours fly, fading by'. 'The Fountain of Salmacis' is a very interesting track and the perfect way to end the album, the lyrics do seem slightly barmy yet the music matches 'The Musical Box' easily and contains wonderful flute from Gabriel and again, nice mellotron. It also has strong bass lines from Rutherford as does 'The Return of the Giant Hogweed'.The haunting vocals throughout the track are some of the best on the album, delightful.

Nursery Cryme is well orchestrated and wonderfully executed. Gabriels vocals are powerful, however, he does struggle at some points but the emotion and delivery in his words make it seem barely noticable. The album does have shabby production and the sound does suffer as a result yet the strength of the songs often overcome it and the bands unique sound can be heard without any problem. A classic by all means, but still not a masterpiece.

Report this review (#69094)
Posted Saturday, February 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
The Crow
4 stars Well, well... Maybe this will be sound strange for many people, but I have to say that I think that "Nursery Crime" is weaker than "Trespass" in my humble opinion. Reasons...

First of all, I think that Steve Hackett was not yet totally adapted to the sound of this band. The contrast with Anthony Phillips is evident, and if I had to choice between the guitar sounds of "Trespass" and "Nursery Crime", I prefer "Trespass"... Of course, Steve Hackett made a great work on "Nursey", but sometimes is a little too strong and less variated than the Phillips's work, and he was not able to use the acoustic guitars so well. It has very much experimentation and heaviness, but for the style that Genesis were offering in the beginnings of the 70's, I think that the work of the previous guitarrist was more idoneous, more soft and with strong contrasts. This thing changed with "Foxtrot", fortunately. But on the contrary, Phill Collins is obviously better drummer than John Mayhey, so the band improved in this way.

But after that, I have also to say that I love this strange sounds that Mr.Hackett's got from his guitars here... Like in The Musical Box, the solo in the middle of the song Is just great, strange, experimental... The use of distorted guitars is magnificent. And the end of this song has also another great guitar tune, with a solo that remerbers me to Brian May! Possible influence here?

The general style of "Nursery Crime" is stronger than "Trespass", following the steps of The Knife. Is a less delicate, more direct album. And maybe less intrincated too. The song Harold the Barrel is a good example for that. Simple and direct symphonic rock act, offering a glimpse of what Genesis will do in the future in their short tracks. The guitars have a great protagonism in this album. While in "Trespass" the keyboards and Gabriel's voice were the keynote, Steve Hackett had the most relevant role in the album. I miss a stronger presence of Tony Banks and Mike Rutherfod here...

Another memorable pieces of this album are The Return of the Giant Hodweed (is a tapping what I hear in the beginning of the song?) a definition of rock progressive in it's purest form. And Seven Stones and The Fountain of Salmacis are good too. For absent friends and Harlequin are good transition songs too... But sorry, I can't find here a song as good as Stagnation, with it's marvellous keyboard solo. Maybe The Musical Box is in the same level, but don't surpasses it.

Conclusion: an obligated album if you like the 70's prog, but in my opinion, "Nursery Crime" is a transition between the great efforth of "Trespass", and the marvellous things to come...

Report this review (#72965)
Posted Friday, March 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars I must admit that I am not a symphonic prog guru- and who knows- I probably never will be- but over the last few months I have added a lot of sym prog to my collection- That being said- Genesis is a band im trying to get into- and I must say I have some mixed feeings. I am beginning to love SEBTP- I can see how it is a 5 star album- no doubt

I would not put NC in the same league- not even close actually. !st of all, the production- and sound quality is horrible! Its really tough for me to get past the muddy sounding, well, everything. I know it was produced and recorded in 1971- but c'mon! Other albums from that time sound MUCH better.

I'm not one for long reviews- or song by song reviews- so I'll keep this short- "Musical Box" in my opinion, is a horrible song- I tried listening to it about 10 times- and it just sounds bad- the guitar parts- melody- (or lack there of) just doesnt work for me- being a 10 minute song (and 1st)- it just doesnt set a good tone for the rest of the album. The other tracks are decent- but very forgetable- SEBTP stick with me- where as this album fades away moments after I listen to it.......

I can see this album possibly at 2.5 stars- but I can't give ut that- 2 stars for me.

Report this review (#73706)
Posted Friday, March 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars First, the good news. The creativity and imagination on this album is without peer, intriguing and surprisingly original for 1971. There are different sounds and rhythms on every song and the lyrics are wildly fantastic and deceptively intricate. The bad news is that the production quality is very low and embarrasingly juvenile. Even with the newer remastered cd I just got it sounds muddy and overly disjointed at times. I take into consideration that this was only their 3rd studio album and it featured two new members in Collins and Hackett and I give them a lot of leeway because of it. But there's really no excuse for the awful engineering and the producer's overseeing of the album as a whole. Yes put out "The Yes Album" and ELP released "Tarkus" at the same time and both of them are outstandingly tight arrangement-wise and truly high- fidelity. So where do I rank this one? It still possesses some of the best tunes in prog rock, especially "Musical Box," "Giant Hogweed," and "Fountain of Salmacis." Peter was still finding his voice but his artistic enthusiasm still shines through and Phil's amazing drumming keeps the album on the up and up througout. But, again, the sound is amateurish and puts me off every listen and it's not something I can totally hold against the band members. It just seems like someone in their organization could have realized that other bands in their niche of music were turning out records that were revolutionizing studio techniques at that time and they could have sought out better producers and engineers to work with. Still a classic, but nowhere near SEBTP, The Lamb or even TOTT. Take this one with a grain of salt.
Report this review (#74235)
Posted Thursday, April 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Nursery Cryme" is truely a great Genesis album. The band may not be as sophisticated in their sound as in their later albums Foxtrot and Selling England By The Pound, but the rawer, harder edges make up for this a lot.

"The Musical Box" is my favorite Genesis song - it's got almost everything from mellow parts to almost metal guitar soloing to a breathtaking emotional climax where Gabriel seems to scream his heart out. All this is wrapped in thoughtful lyrics. Just this song alone makes worth the whole album.


"For Absent Friends" is a short, quiet piece in between the heavy Musical Box and Return Of The Giant Hogweed. The vocal melodies here are truelly magnificent.


And then comes "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed". This song's a bit harder to get into, but is great too. Gabriel sings in a raw manner here, but also very plain in the interludish parts. The instrumental sections aren't as great as in other parts, and Gabriel's fluteplay reminds me a bit of Jethro Tull. The piano that comes in near the end sounds really nice, and at the end there are really great second vocals that lift up the song. Nice.


"Seven Stones" is really put well together - the choruses and verses are repeated each with a different feel to them which adds a bit of variation. Hackett plays some good guitar on here that really gives the song a special ambience, being slightly in the background, yet quite distorted.


With "Harold The Barrel" we hear the story of a "Bognor Resturant Owner" who wants to commit suicide (and succeeds). The line "You Must Be Joking" has a very poppish feel to it, but because it's not sung again right afterwards like I expected, this song's surprising. The Guitar during Plod's chorus wails of Harold's despair, the effects with sound that are used throughout the song are sublime and the pianoplay at the end makes clear what's happened with Harry.


"Harlequin" has some nice instrument parts and the vocals overall are nice, but nothing special.


I don't really get all the fuss about "Fountain Of Salmacis". Yes, there are nice parts (especially the rhythm section!) but it's not extraordinary.


Report this review (#75887)
Posted Saturday, April 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The very first album I've heard from Genesis was 'Genesis Live', the year was 1973 and I have to say that untill that time I didn't pay much (if any) attention to this band. But first track on the side two of the record impressed me so much that I immediately started hunt out for the album on which had it been originally released. The name of the track was 'The Musical Box' and the album 'Nursery Crime'. I think that almost everything important and of significance has been said about this work; I will only say that I am looking at this album as a masterpiece opener of Genesis brilliant trilogy - 'Nursery Crime', 'Foxtrot' and 'Selling England By The Pound'.
Report this review (#76365)
Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is, for me, better than any other Genesis recording, even ''Foxtrot'' and ''Selling England By The Pound''. I really fell in love with it the first time I ever listened to it for several reasons: First, there is the guitar solo in ''The Musical Box'' which is, and I don't think that I'm exagerating, the best guitar solo in any Genesis song. Second, the beggining of ''The Return of the Giant Hogweed'' is really great with the keyboards and the tapping guitar riffs and I also really like how Peter Gabriel sings on that song. Third, the melody in ''Seven Stones'' is the best on the album and I think that the lyrics are also great. Finally, the last song on the album, ''The Fountain of Salmacis'', is also the best on all the album with the keyboards and all the stuff.

My conclusion is that this album is a real symphonic prog masterpiece and any prog fan who dosen't have it should go get it immediately.

Report this review (#76588)
Posted Friday, April 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Genesis takes an enormous song-writing jump from Trespass to Nursery Crime, greatly due no doubt to the acquisition of Phil Collins and Steve Hackett. The sound changes from the more folk heavy sound of their second album to the classic symphonic breed of music that Genesis would pioneer and be loved for producing.

Genesis attains an aggression on this album that they would fail to achieve on any other release thereafter. This occurs due to Gabriel's dramatic and heartfelt singing containing a certain necessary rasp in his voice on Nursery Crime pivotal in the delivery of songs such as "The Musical Box" and "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed". Also, Hackett's soloing adds a high energy edge to the songs that wasn't possible with Anthony Philips. The two together create some downright raw and powerful songs that wouldn't be seen again in Genesis' career. The remaining songs are symphonic masterpieces hinting toward the sound that would be further developed on following albums.

Even on the remastered edition of the album, the production is slightly muddy which greatly takes away from its enjoyability. It particularly hurts Mike Rutherford who is often lost in the mix due to the poor production. However, this still stands as a one of a kind Genesis album and an excellent footnote in prog history.

Report this review (#76927)
Posted Tuesday, May 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I first learned of Genesis by the time Peter Gabriel left already - the first Genesis album that hooked me to them was 'Trick of the Tail.' After I got into them, I purchased 'Nursery Cryme' for the first time in 1977 (Hackett was getting ready to leave by then as well). For almost thirty years, this album has continued to mesmerize me. The opening with 'Musical Box' is what I now term classic prog, with all the style-change elements that make for a great prog song. Phil Collins' drumming techniques are far superior to the drummer from 'Trespass,' and that is most noticeable in the first track. Steve Hackett's bowing of the guitar in the middle solo section of 'Giant Hogweed' is the most interesting musical feature of that piece (Jimmy Page did that for a few tunes with Led Zeppelin as well). My favorite song on the album - and perhaps my favorite Genesis song of all time - is 'Fountain of Salmacis.' The mythical lyrical genre, mixed together with the musical shades in guitar and keyboard harmony, make for a prog song of excellent, everlasting quality. Collins' drum fills in this song certainly add to the musicality, and do not detract from it, making this one of their most musically and instrumentally inspiring pieces. As this album was the prelude to 'Foxtrot' (1972) and 'Selling England by the Pound' (1973), they were coming into their own unique Genesis prog sound with this album. An excellent addition for all who enjoy early Genesis.
Report this review (#78294)
Posted Monday, May 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow! What a beautiful album! I can't stop listening to it. It has got some kind of magic, magic of Genesis. If you will understand it, you will feel and love it! The first song is one of the best I've ever heard. Upbeat, flutes, acoustic guitars, everything you can expect from Genesis. Althought the next is very short, it is unbelievably enjoyable, like the rest of the album. (The Return Of The Giant Hogweed IMO seems to be strange, but again very very good.)

Recommended for everybody, and again five stars:)

Report this review (#78743)
Posted Friday, May 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Not one of Genesis' mature masterpieces, perhaps, (I always fall asleep during HARLEQUIN and THE FOUNTAIN OF SALMACIS, in spite of those mellotron crescendos) but still a fascinating album. THE MUSICAL BOX is one of the most powerful pieces in the Genesis canon, but I'm in two minds about its original (unremastered) version. On the one hand, I'll agree with some reviewers that the performance on GENESIS LIVE sounds rawer and more powerful; on the other, it's lovely to hear part of the piece played on acoustic instruments. When I bought the remastered version of this album a few years ago, I hoped Peter Gabriel would be turned up in the mix during the MUSICAL BOX finale, but alas, I just don't get it, he is STILL drowned out by Tony Banks's organ - why? why? why? why? why?
Report this review (#78941)
Posted Sunday, May 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first Genesis album I listened to, and the one that completely got me into prog.

There is not a single weak track on Nursery Cryme. I just couldn't believe my ears the first time I listened to Musical Box. This one is an absolute Genesis classic.

Then Collins comes in on vocals with "For Absent Friends" which is a soft and lovely song with some great acoustic guitars. "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed" has a very powerfull intro and is one of my personal favorites.

"Seven Stones", "Harold The Barrel" and "Harlequin" are also great and very interesting songs to listen to. Some people may find Harold or Harlequin rather weak compared to the rest of the album, but I simply love them.

Which brings me finally to what truly must be one of the greatest compositions of our time: "The Fountain Of Salmacis". I can't even describe the feeling I get everytime I listen to this song. The instrumental section in the middle makes want to throw myself to the floor and go into convulsions. Pure perfection!! A great way to close a magnificent album.

5 stars all the freaking way!!

Report this review (#79326)
Posted Thursday, May 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars magic, fantastic, great!!!In my opinion the best work of Genesis, maybe a little unexperienced at the time (they reached the maturation with selling england), but it contains all the elements that made it a can just listen to musical box to understand the great power of the band and of Gabriel's skills..a singer that influenced lots of the following vocalists (Fish for example or the singer of Citizen Cain). Musical box is a 10 minutes suite that express perfectly Genesis typical sound. ...listen also to Harold the Barrel...and pay attention to the voice of Gabriel (he seems to play a part in a comedy at the Theatre eheh)...This magical sound and the lyrics of gabriel create the sound of a band that won't never die (I mean the band with Gabriel!!!!)
Report this review (#80374)
Posted Monday, June 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is an album that you keep coming back to. I don't think there is another album in their catalogue that so perfectly sums up early Genesis. if you could take 'Englishness' and condense it on to a CD this would be the result.

You have everything from the symphonic grandeur of 'The Fountain of Salmacis' to the delicacy of 'Harlequin' via the outright silliness of 'Harold the Barrel', to say nothing of the progressive masterpieces that are 'The Musical Box' and 'The Return of the Giant Hogweed'. You immediately notice the presence of newcomers Steve Hackett and Phil Collins, and despite having even poorer sound quality than even 'Trespass' (not easily achieved) the album is far ahead of it in musical terms.

I'll go out on a limb here and put it ahead of Foxtrot, I simply think it's a better album. Not by much of course, and it's not as good as "Selling England......', but then again, nothing is!

Report this review (#80496)
Posted Tuesday, June 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars A good album by Genesis, yet not great. The main problem with this album, in my opinion, is that there are too few realy standout tacks. "The Musical Box" and "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" are the only really GREAT tracks on this album, the rest are just good. Not to say that the band doesn't seem to be trying on the tracks, for this album really does sound like pre-"Lamb" Genesis, however, maybe it's TOO pre-"Lamb" Genesis. That is to say, the music doesn't sound as risky on this album as it does on other later Genesis album. They seem to be playing it safe. I find that that gives this album it's own individual sound in the Genesis discography, however, and is a very good album.
Report this review (#80795)
Posted Friday, June 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Great Album!

Well well, an excellent album and IMO much better than Tresspass, even though the music here is not as "mature" as in foxtrot or selling england, They really did a great job. First of all, THE MUSICAL BOX, that legendary song that hooked me up to Genesis so much starts with an acoustic arrangement with guitars and hackett's peaceful playing adding the perfect sound to gabriel's sweet voice. Then the song features a musical and soft interlude with the flute and phil collins excellent backing vocals... Then the heavy parts with the great organ riffs and hackett's tapping add up to make one of the best genesis songs... The final part of the song where gabriel's voice is the most improtant thing almost brought me to tears when I heard the song after 6 months of being away from my cd's... Hackett's final solo is just too emotive and full... I've seen many live versions of this song but IMO no one gets close to the emotion I get when I listen to the album... The way they close the song is magnificent in my opinion.

Well, I think it's definitely clear that the musical box is my favorte track on the album, but it has some other great tunes like the hogweed and the fountain of salmacis, the first one starting with a great synchronized tapping intro by hackett banks and rutherford.. and featuring some weird voices somewhere in the song... The fountain on the other hand, is a more laid back tune in the musical sense, more calm and less powerful, but also a great demonstration of teamwork, specially in the instrumental section. GREAT SONG!

We also have the sweet songs "for absent friends", "Harlequin" and "Seven stones", being the first of these my favorite. Gabriel's voice is the most important things on these kind of tracks. Some people dislike his way of singing. I personally, love it. And finally, HAROLD THE BARREL, the "weird" track of the album is the story about this guy who wants to kill himself by jumping from the top of the building. The funny voices are the most important things on this song, it surely is a weird and very fast paced track.

I can't give this album a full 5 stars because some of it's tracks, even though they are great, are far from being masterpieces of prog. This album still deserves no less than a 4.5 that I'm rounding up to 5.

Report this review (#82290)
Posted Friday, June 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well i was very skeptical of getting Nursery Cryme by Genesis since i already spoiled myself and got Selling England by the Pound and in my head i was thinking....could this album be as good. well honestly i don't think its as good BUT Nursery Cryme is another grand album by one of the pioneers of prog rock. This album is absolutly another fine point in the career of Genesis as they were developing there sound from the last album Trepass. There are some weak tracks in NC but there are also some awesome tracks that were a sign of things to come starting with The Musical Box a grand opening to a great album. It totally took my breath away at how heavy it was EVEN FOR GENESIS i couldn't believe it from the soft vocals of Peter to the intense guitar riff of Steve along with the awesome drum playing of Phil as well as the tight bass of Mike. both Steve and Tony give awesome solos in this 10 minute prog masterpiece. Oh yea i forgot this also marks the debut of Steve Hackett on Guitar and Phil Collins on Drums and vocals on For Absent Friends which is a nice vocal acoustic song. This addition of Steve and Phil really help shape up the signature sound and style of Genesis. Then after FAF its off to The Return of the Giant Hogweed which is another fine song by Genesis and its also pretty heavy as well with the cool guitar/bass riff at the begginning to some nice mellotron rhythms. But then after these first three we go into more of the weaker tracks. first off Seven Stones is not bad in fact i do enjoy it the nice mellotron by Tony along with some nice melodic harmonies from the band a very melodic track (could this be a sign of Neo prog ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!). BUT then they had to ruin this album with that ridiculous dumb track Harold the Barrel. Its cool to have a sense a humor but this kind doesn't really hit me too well i just don't like this track for some reason. then its to Harlequin which honestly is not bad a nice mellow melodic track with Peter having some luch vocals i mean its not there best but its good. Then comes probably my second favorite track on this album and one of my top favorite Genesis songs THE FOUNTAIN OF SALMANIC. A song i think is so underrated except on this site very much appreciated Thankx Prog Archives. i mean this song is amazing great symphonic sound awesome keys and DANG WHAT A GREAT rhythm section the bass and drum duet rocks my face off i love. My favorite part has got to be the end with that melodic screeching guitar solo by Hacket that just OOOOOOOOH brings goosebumps in my arms. So the players are good the music is good but weak overal its not a bad album a definite sign of things to come in my mind. it is worth a shot of having it in the prog collection.
Report this review (#82988)
Posted Thursday, July 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars In comes Hackett and Collins.

Althoug a terrific album its not completely perfect but yet has a certain charm to it that other Genesis albums lack, Anthony Phillips had left, but in some ways this album has more depth to it than Trespass, I think this is largely due to Steve Hackett's fantastic guitar skills. His work on the Musical Box is just fantastic. The song starts like a nursery rhyme with beautiful acoustic and 12 string acoustic guitar, Gabrials voice sounds ghostly (actually one the song's characters is a ghost) the touches of Hacketts guitar and Collins voice are ucannily perfect and nice flute by Gabrial, there is a kind of tension and building up in the song whic musically describes the desire Henry Hamilton has for Cynthia (the two characters of the song) that then leads to Collins excellent drumming skills and Hacketts brilliant guitar screatching and crying and then interwining with Banks great Mellotron, all very impressive. I think Genesis only went strength two strength with inclusion of Hackettt and Collins. I could go on for hours explaining the magic of this song, but I'm writing a music review not a novel, but basically there is that typical magic, refinement and genius of Genesis in this track. A marvellous beginning for the album.

For Absent Friends is a charming little folksy piece, nice backing vocals by Phil Collins.

THe return of the Giant Hogweed has a fascinating inro, and then is rocking, but in all fairness it isn't perfect, although great sounding its a little too repetitive and feels like part way through the song that they lost their way a little bit, but the instrumental is greatly welcome and adds some much needed diversity to the song. Hogweed also has a brilliant rocking ending.

Seven Stones, is a nice piece and has some excellent moments, nice mellotron work bt Tony Banks, a little boring though but still good, just not perfect.

Harold the Barrell is probably my favourite track on the album, a tragicomedy, it has the same kind of vibe to it as Willow Farm. I think this song is often overlooked by Genesis fans, but for a while I couldn't get enough of it. Short but very technical yet very catchy fast and witty, a sure winner I couldn't see any prog fan not liking it.

Harlequin is another folksy track,has high pitched singing by Gabrial and Collins very peculiar lyrics.

The Fountain of Salmacis is another idiosyncratic piece, it has all the beginnings of what Genesis will do on Foxtrot,great musicianship by all throughout this song; Rutherford's bass, Collins hyperactive drumming and Tony Banks colourful mellotron etc. Great ending with Hacketts guitar.

Being objective I can't give this album a five star review, I think they were still devloping their ideas, I think it came to full fruition in the next album, but all the talent was all there, a must have for Genesis fans and it wouldn't hurt to pick up a copy of it if you are non fan.

Report this review (#83300)
Posted Monday, July 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Nursery Cryme is my 2nd favorite Genesis album after Foxtrot. This album was also the hardest for me to get into of any of their classic lineup albums. I have always loved The Musical Box but it took many listens for me to enjoy the rest of the songs. With so many reveiws of this album there is little to add, but I think that this should be the 3rd album new Genesis fans should buy, go for Selling England and Foxtrot first then discover this gem. Highlights of this album are The Fountain of Salmacis which is one of Genesis' best songs, the lyrics and Gabriel's delivery of the story embodies everything I love about 70s prog, not to mention the power of Tony Banks and the other instrumentalists. Harlequin and For Absent Friends are more commercial pieces which fortell songs such as More fool Me, I could picture either of those two songs being a part of Wind and Wuthering.

I give this album 4 - 4.5 stars not quite as essential as Foxtrot but very very well done and some very memorable moments. Anyone remotely interested in Genesis should own this album.

Report this review (#84033)
Posted Monday, July 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Play me my song. Here it comes again..."

The Musical Box... what more is there to say about The Musical Box. Well for one thing it's Hackett's best performance on any album, since the guitar dramatically kicks in with a building riff at least 3 times (don't make me count, please)... each of these riffs build to a frenetic orgy of instruments that also showcase the wonderful *drummer* Phil Collins on occasion. These incredible insturmental portions are the loudest Genesis ever gets, with the possible exception of the end of "The Knife" from Trespass. Even in the quieter parts, however, Hackett and Collins prove brilliant nonetheless (Rutherford doesn't show up much on this song).

In addition, my persoal favorite... anything... by Genesis is the part around 5:45 in The Musical Box... "And I know, and I touch, and I feel... her WARMTH!!!" which is positively nailed by Gabriel and then the entire band shows us how it's done. Ow... it just gave me a headache. It's too good!

The rest of the album? Pretty damned good. Second is For Absent Friends, a wonderfully contrasting quiet ditty sung by Collins. For anyone who thinks they're put off by Collins' singing, never fear: I didn't even know it was him for the first 20 times I listened to the song. The lyrics fit the music well.

The Giant Hogweed is a genius song lyrically, while the music seems a bit calm compared to Gabriel's fevered singing and wild stories. I still don't know what a hogweed is, but I don't think I'd like to find out. It gets old after a bit, but not by too much.

Seven Stones is not a very noticeable track, sandwiched between two equally fervent songs that clamor for attention. Still, it's usually the case that when I have a Genesis lyric stuck in my head that I can't place... it's usually from Seven Stones. A beautiful, subconsciously catchy song that works well here on the album but might have worked better elsewhere (maybe after Harlequin?).

"You must be joking! Take a run and jump!" Strangely funny... almost like it shouldn't be. Harold the Barrel is slyly funny from its title right through to the end, with amazing lyrics, from the witty: "The crowd was getting stronger, and the Harold getting weaker" ... to the pensive: "if I was many miles from here, I'd be sailing in an open boat on the sea / Instead I'm on this window ledge with the whole world below me..." His mother tells him he can't jump because "your shirt's all dirty / there's a man here from the BBC" and says "If your father were alive he'd be very very very upset." Gabriel is a good satirist because Harold jumps at the end. He's a good songwriter because the lyrics don't tell you that. Only the out-of-place slow fading echo at the end... which sound like someone falling. People miss that part of this song and think it's all "fun" -- the guy dies! Listen next time!

After finding out that Collins sings For Absent Friends, I thought he sang this one too. You really can't tell Gabriel and him apart on this album. Harlequin is commonly pointed out as the album's weak song... and it is. It's not bad, there's just nothing to recommend it. The same goes for another song many Genesis fans swoon over, The Fountains of Salmacis. It's very good, more than up to the standards of the album. There's just not much to it. The acclaimed rising/falling noise employed often in the song are beautiful, but the instrumentation is run-of-the-mill in most other spots (except for an ELP-esque keyboard solo (there you go, Rutherford... I finally mentioned you)). The singing is good, but it doesn't draw me in for some reason and I get bored with this song easily.

Nursery Cryme should be 5 stars just for The Musical Box, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. The Musical Box is certainly one of the best progressive rock songs ever made, if not THE best, but the rest of the album does not follow suit. There are some very good songs here, but there are also a few that don't interest me, and to me that's not what 5 stars should be.

Report this review (#84723)
Posted Tuesday, July 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Nursery Cryme would is in danger of being completely defined by 'The Musical Box'. This song is perhaps the greatest single work in the entire prog rock canon. An extended song but not long winded, powerful but at times gentle, dark but not hokey. The ending may be the single greatest of all time. The song really set the mold for all of Genesis' later Gabriel-Era work as well as setting up the rest of the album. One would have the feeling that the album could be called The Musical Box and other Nursery Crymes (The album coverart is directly inspired by this song). Oh Wait! The rest of the album is awesome too! ' For Absent Friends' I think is one of early Genesis' best short tracks. So simple and quaint but really honest and decidedly British. 'The Return of the Giant Hogweed' is a slice of spot-on, but perhaps a bit silly, progressive bombast that I always felt had similarities to ELP. 'Seven Stones' sneaks up on you. Not long, but not short, it just sort of sits in the middle of the album and doesn't grip you the way 'Musical Box' does, but you find it being the one you're singing in your head after you listen to the whole album. It also has some of Gabriel's best lyrics. Unfortunatly, 'Harold the Barrel' and 'Harlequin' start to make me loose interest. "Harold' sounds funny, but is actually about a suicide. It's good, and I don't mind the cynical lyrics, and it's also quite catchy. However, it breaks up the feeling of granduer that the album conjures so I find myself skipping this and the following track, a just-this-side-of-a-throwaway acoustic Phil Collins number, to get to "Fountain of Salmacis'. "Fountain' really gives 'Musical Box' a run for its money. This song features one of Genesis' best choruses, the sound practically shimmering out of the speakers like a waterfall. Purely beautiful. I think my favorite aspect of this song is that it has that mythical progressive quality and lyrics but, at it's heart, is a solid love song; albeit one sided love. And who said Love Songs couldn't be a little disturbing. It is, afterall, the Greek mythological story of the creation of the first Hermaphrodite. All in all, 'Nursery Cryme' is right up there with everything else produced in the Gabriel-era. It also is the first album to feature Phil Collins and Steve Hackett. In short, it is as the rating signifies; an absolute essential masterpiece. Pure prog, pure enjoyment, pure Genesis.
Report this review (#85097)
Posted Saturday, July 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The third album from the band, and the first to feature the 'classic' line-up of Gabriel/Banks/Hackett/Collins/Rutherford. This is one of my favourite Genesis albums. Every track is a gem and worth listening to. All the melodies and atmospheres are incredibly strong here, and the classic Genesis Olde English timelessness is present in copious amounts. The Musical Box became an instant classic, starting with the beautifully subdued guitar work of Hackett and intense vocals of Gabriel. The piece builds wonderfully, moving from the sort of tune you may indeed find in a musical box, to a full blown power stomp at the end with Gabriel in his best form, singing over wonderful keyboard work from Banks and nicely inserted guitar lines from Hackett. And this is just the opener! The brief but beautiful 'For Absent Friends' is another superb piece, evocative of the era, and also noteable as being the first Genesis song Phil Collins was to sing lead on. In fact the vocal harmonies on here are very strong indeed and the lyrics are very poignant and powerful. 'The Return Of The Giant Hogweed' was, for a long time, the closing song at Genesis shows, usurping 'The Knife' if my memory serves me correctly. A typical humorous piece from the band, it is one of those tracks they were able to effortlessly throw into the mix to diffuse any accusations of too much pomp and prog. The keyboards here are intricate, and work well with the likewise intricate guitar work. Hackett and Banks were starting a symbiotic relationship here that was to help define the band's already tight sound. The build up is performed in mock-serious mode and one can't help laughing, once one realises the jokiness of the lyrics. 'Seven Stones' is a more concise song, and probably more indicative of the period than most, with wonderful organ and mellotron work, and a memorable melody sung by Gabriel. Again, it is almost humorous, but at the same time, can be construed as poignant. Brilliant stuff. (Again, nice guitar from Mr Hackett, who took over Ant Phillips's role seamlessly). 'Harold The Barrel' is probably my fave track on here. Steeped in the old music hall tradition, it is best listened to through good speakers, or headphones, as there is much going on here in both channels vocally. It is very, very funny, with both Gabriel and Collins obviously enjoying themselves. And the ending, with Tony Banks's brilliantly restrained piano notes dropping into the song as it finishes, is just perfect. 'Harlequin' is another favourite of mine, and maybe the least known track on here. But it is a lovely short piece, with nice guitars from Hackett (and Rutherford I suspect) and nice harmonies again from Collins and Gabriel. A lovely melody this one, and one that brings out the feminine side of the band. Finally comes the magnificent album closer, 'The Fountain Of Salmacis', another track best heard through good speakers or headphones, as there are two different lines sung in each channel at various times. This is grand pomp, but very enjoyable. The mellotron really comes into its own here, adding oodles of atmosphere behind Gabriel's impassioned voice. Already his storytelling ability was incredibly strong. And the end is, of course, very memorable for the wonderful closing orchestral-like keyboard chords, overlaid with a very unique (for the time) guitar line from Hackett. Or course, like all early Genesis albums, this one is not the best recorded. I have the remastered version, but even on here the drums are not the loudest or clearest, though Phil's ability on them is obvious. And the bass is sometimes a little murky, or punchy. Nevertheless, this is another seminal album from a classic band. And the cover is one of the best covers they had too. One of my two faves in fact. (The other being 'A Trick Of The Tail.) A must have for prog fans. Not quite a masterpiece, but damn near it.
Report this review (#85112)
Posted Saturday, July 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was my first Genesis album, and was the first Gabriel-era Genesis I had heard(having likely heard a bit of the Collins-era material on the radio). I loved it. The contrast between quiet, lyrical sections and heavy rock resulted in what was almost a life changing experience for me. Steve Hackett's guitar soloing and duel with keyboardist Tony Banks in "The Musical Box" is breathtaking. That song also features a soft, majestic opening, as well as one of my favorite non-segue song endings ever. The next track, "For Absent Friends" is a nice folky number sung by Phil Collins, which I think is very good and quite underrated, in addition to being a nice period of calm after the epic preceding track and the following "Return of the Giant Hogweed". The aforementioned song is rather heavy and loud throughout, which I enjoy, and has some great soloing, as well as a classic performance by Peter Gabriel. I will admit that I often get "Harlequin" and "Seven Stones" confused, although I'm not sure why, as I like "Seven Stones" quite a bit. It is a more down to earth, less dramatic, yet memorable piece. "The Fountain of Salmacis", i think is rather overrated, particularly, as it's compared to "The Musical Box", it is nice, and it is understandable why it's so well loved, but The Musical Box is much different, more diverse and more dynamic.
Report this review (#86509)
Posted Thursday, August 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow a masterpiece

The musical box: 10/10 --> I love this song, All is perfect

For absent friends: 7/10 --> I dontt listen often this song but it's good. - First Phil Collins with Genesis.

The return of the giant hogweed: 8/10 --> Very good but i prefer the version of the genesis live.

Seven stones: 10/10 --> My favourite song of the album! Magical. Perfect. The mellotron part is .... No words to describe.

Harold the barrel: 9/10 --> I think a lot of people doesn't like a lot this tune but i like it a lot, Very cool riff and voice!

Harlequin: 8/10 --> Very beautiful voice.

The fountain of salmacis: 10/10 --> I put 10 but not fot this version. I don't like a lot the studio version. I prefer the live version. When peter begin to sing, his voice his very not loud.

A masterpiece

-- Seven stones --

Report this review (#87168)
Posted Sunday, August 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Nursery Cryme is a genesis masterpiece: the musical box, the return of the giant hogweed, the fountains of salmacis are the best songs in the LP; they are truly PROGRESSIVE, I am also a Genesis fan (and almoust all prog rock...) so I like all of they're song: from Gabriel's era to Phill Collins, but this album MUST BE in a collection of PROGRESSIVE ROCK; its a MASTERPIECE of progressive rock, even if 30% of the lp is not very intensive music, but still goood! Belive me...
Report this review (#87479)
Posted Wednesday, August 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
Crossover / Prog Metal Teams
5 stars Nursery Cryme is the first Peter Gabriel era Genesis album I listened more than 10 years ago. After having listened only to pop-rock era Genesis, Nursery Cryme was the most pleasant surprise, the album totally blew me away. It's one of the greatest, best things I have ever heard. The Musical Box is one of the most impressive songs ever; I didn't know (when I first listened to it) that Collins could play drums so brilliantly. Hackett's solos all over the album are simply amazing, outstanding (I'm lacking superlatives to describe his guitar playing on The Musical Box, Fountain of Salmacis or The Return of the Giant Hogweed). Tony Banks superlatively plays piano, mellotron and organ. Another thing I didn't know at first was that Rutherford was/is such a great bass player. Last but not least, Peter Gabriel deserves being called "the Voice" of prog.

My favourite songs are The Music Box, Seven Stones, Fountain of Salmacis and Return of the Giant Hogweed; not that the others arn't good, but the mentioned above songs are masterpieces of prog, music at its best.

The Peter Gabriel era Genesis albums are "easy" to be reviewed, one word is enough:masterpiece(s).

Report this review (#87725)
Posted Sunday, August 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Nursery Crime" is in many ways an advancement of Genesis's previous album 'Trespass', and in terms of musician ship "Nursery Crime" is slightly more advanced. I believe this extra touch is brought by guitar noir Steve Hackett who displays his amazing talent on this album very well. Anthony Phillips is in no way a bad guitarist, and I wonder what would have become of Genesis if he had stayed in the band. Anyway let's not think what might have been and look towards the future, and past.

"Nursery Crime" has the same epic concepts which are characterized by song lengths, lyrics and instrumental passages as Trespass. The epic nature blossoms forth here on songs such as "The Musical Box", "Return of the Giant Hogweed" and "Fountain of Salamics." There is also a slight quirky fell to some of the other songs, the track that comes to mind as being most prominent is "Harold the Barrel." This sensation is not bad, as it provides something different thought the course of an album.

The opener to "Nursery Crime", "The Musical Box" has gone done as one of the best symphonic songs around with its quiet, floating melodies which can quickly change to retribution and thunder. The song opens quietly with a beautiful floating melody accented by acoustic guitar, flute, a keyboard line and airy vocals. The tempo soon increases as the tension beings to mount, it just keeps increasing before the giant crash happens and chaos ensues. Steve Hackett shows in this loud section why we regard him as one of the best. There is a lull in the music as Peter Gabriel sing of the blues artist King Cole before the loudness re-occurs. The ending of "The Musical Box" is something to be envied, its hard to describe. Next up is a short tune called "For Absent Friends", the song is played on guitars and it is an effective interlude between long songs.

"Return of the Giant Hogweed" is one of the more interesting songs on "Nursery Crime", whether it is the name or the fun beginning- it is a catchy song. It is about animals called "Giant Hogweeds", one day an explorer captures one and the other Hogweeds go looking for revenge. The story sounds viable and proggy, but the way the band executes the plot is very interesting - a good listen. Up next is "Seven Stones", a song which I started off hating and is now my favorite from the album. The song is full of lush melodies and the harmony vocals and keyboards enhance the song that extra mile. The last minute or so is one of the best moments of "Nursery Crime" - very epic.

Following "Seven Stones" is another great and catchy song, "Harold the Barrel." The entire song - especially the chorus melody sticks like superglue, it is just a very entertaining song. It is similar to Return of the "Giant Hogweed" in its sound, but "Harold the Barrel" is less chaotic. Next up is "Harlequin" which is reminiscent of "For Absent Friends" in my opinion. The whole song consists of quiet guitar and keyboard backing and floating vocal harmonies. It is a very effective song and when listened to in the right mood is very meaningful. Last of all is" Fountain of Salamics" which is one of the epic structured (not in length) songs on "Nursery Crime." The song opens with string Mellotrons and synthesizers before going into a positively haunting vocal and instrumental passage - a very good closing song which ends "Nursery Crime" on an epic note.

1. The Musical Box (4/5) 2. For Absent Friends (4/5) 3. The Return Of The Giant Hogweed (4/5) 4. Seven Stones (5/5) 5. Harold The Barrel (5/5) 6. Harlequin (4/5) 7. The Fountain Of Salmacis (5/5) Total = 31 divided by 7 (number of songs= 4.42857 = 4 stars Excellent addition to any prog music collection

"Nursery Crime" is without a doubt a classic Symphonic Prog album and harbors all elements of the genre. For me it is one of the very best Genesis albums and indeed one of the best in all progressive rock - not as good as 'Trespass' though! I'd recommend "Nursery Crime" to all Symphonic prog fans and secondly to everyone else, it's a good listen. The secret, as with most Symphonic albums is to not over listen the material.

Report this review (#88772)
Posted Saturday, September 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Nursery Cryme was the first album featuring Steve Hackett on guitars and Phil Collins at the drums. It features some Genesis classics like The Musical Box and Fountain of Samalcis, but the other songs are good, too. For Absent Friends is the first song with Collins at the vocals, a very soft song, but it sounds better than More Fool Me on SEBTP. The sound quality is not as good as on later albums, and the overall sound is very rough for a Genesis album. In sum, it's the worst album of "classic-Genesis", but still very good.
Report this review (#88919)
Posted Monday, September 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The magic begins in the cover. Nursery Cryme in time was perfect. Ideal for all genesis fans. I still remenber the first day that I listen this work. I was very young and the magic begans in my spirit until today. Musical box, fountain, giant, 7 stones etc, all great moments of pure poetry and music. I to remenber to see in Tv(rare, in portugal) a documentary nursery crime-tv belguim, and to analogie it with the music I understood all the beautiful associate to PG. My first excepcional album.I really think that it´s a pure progressiv album and never mind the quality of the sound in time. It´s perfect. I think it´s a classical of music and maybe Pg was touched by the Hand of God. 5 stars and gabriel are one of then.
Report this review (#89171)
Posted Thursday, September 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is, to my eyes (and ears) Genesis' first real album. This is where their general sound was discovered (for the most part) and the first seeds of future masterpieces are planted here. I wouldn't quite consider this a masterpiece in itself, however, but it does have its moments. The Musical Box is a nice tune, but far from the album's best as it is said to be. For Absent Friends is very much a filler, not much passion there. The Return of the Giant Hogweed is a great electric song, with a fantastic introduction and ending (the last 2 minutes are spectacular!). Seven Stones is a little softer than the previous track, with moving keyboards. Harold the Barrell is simply decent. Harlequin is a very fun piano-led, up-beat rocker. The album ends on a high note with The Fountain of Salmacis (my favourite song off this album). It's a very original piece that always stirs the listener.

Not necessarily essential, but looks great in a collection, and certainly for a Genesis fan, a must-own. A level of sophistication found on later albums is not yet attained, however, a good album regardless.

Report this review (#89966)
Posted Monday, September 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Nursery cryme was one of the purest progressive rock best examples. In fact, there were only a few albums more by 1971 that could match the progressiveness of Nursery cryme. With this, I don't mean that being more progressive is being better. I mean that Genesis somehow captured in the most interesting way all those factors that make Progressive rock so great; Creativity, originality, complexity in the composition and in the playing, imagination, different textures and moods. Every desirable element of great rock is present in this album, with the exception only of top of the line production. However, you'll find great playing of The musical box and hogweed in Live '73.

Something I love in Genesis music is that true and sincere, restless passion. Always full of conviction. Just like in every note of that superb classic "The musical box". Hogweed is largely underrated, especially for that incredible middle section that seems to relate to nothing ever heard before in the history of music. So full of innovation, original style and sound. The same for Seven stones which has an impressive depth and a fantastic songwritting as well, considering its short lenght.

Harold the barrel might be overlooked but be careful, pay attention to the amount of ideas in this song. The music here keeps flowing and flowing never allowing a single moment of monotony or repetitiveness. It is only 3.5 minutes and contains enough material to fill out some "epics" by some bands of that time.

Salmacis is not easy to get into, mainly because of its weird style. However, it is interesting from the very first note. It is definitely an overlooked song within the prog rock catalog. Where some way more conventional and simplier songs get much more credit.

This is a titanium solid 5 stars album in every aspect.

Report this review (#91040)
Posted Friday, September 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Brush Back Your Hair And Let Me Get To Know Your Flesh. Touch Me! Touch Me! NOOOW!!!" Yeah, the lyrics were far out for the time in "The Musical Box," but they still are coming from some place unique and known only to Peter Gabriel, but let's wind back the clock a bit to before this album..... Genesis had released two previous albums, the underrated From Genesis To Revelation and the masterpiece of nightmare music Trespass. With a near split occuring when Anthony Phillips (guitar) left, the group replaced him with Steve Hackett, previously a member of the lightweight progressive/psych pop christian group Quiet World. Hackett was joined by (err yes) Phil Collins to replace drummer John Mayhew. With the new line up Genesis had to consider two things (A) They had just made a masterwork (B) what would this new line up sound like? Nursery Cryme is among my most beloved albums ever recorded, and a large part of that is in the freshness and inventiveness that came across on the album, with each member contributing something extraordinary to the tracks. For that reason this could be my favourite Genesis record, but I can't be pressed to choose one favourite. This certainly is different from anything else that was being done at the time. The production, playing, lyrics, and vocals still sound advanced and otherworldly. Peter Gabriel's strong, passionate voice and bizarre tortured lyrics are at their most extraordinary on "The Musical Box" and the brilliant closer "The Fountain Of Salmacis," but every track here is a masterpiece. Collins is, as much as I hate him, a brilliant drummer and a huge improvement over the clumsy Mayhew. Steve Hackett's best performance on a Genesis record for the duration of an LP is here, and Mike Rutherford plays an inventive bass and some of the signature 12 string. In the louder sections guitar and mellotron battle out against jarring time changes, while in the quieter parts there is an olde English pagan mysticism that is pure Genesis, copied many times, never equalled. This was the first album I became really enamored of by the group, and it along with their other Gabe era records changed my lifestyle, for the better. All different elements come into play here, from late flashes of the late 60s to hard rock ("The Return Of The Giant Hogweed") to Brit pop/folkrock shorter tracks- a trilogy in fact of "For Absent Friends," "Harold The Barrel," and "Harlequin-" a really beautiful track with some amazing harmony work. Genesis wouldn't sell very many records yet, and for the whole period with Gabriel they simply were too sinister for the mainstream. This is what makes an album like Nursery Cryme essential and what makes their 80s output doggerel. For anyone who hates people who are narrow minded especially towards prog rock, I suggest you do what I do and let a wide grin come across your face every time you play this album and imagine you are torturing them with good music. Back to the album, the whole record is full of greatness, but the most exemplary track may be "The Fountain Of Salmacis" where after dazzling changes and sharp soft/hard contrasts a soaring guitar solo goes into the stratosphere and takes off and never comes back down to earth. A gem
Report this review (#93275)
Posted Tuesday, October 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Considered one of Genesis's first masterpieces by many, and the first with the traditional lineup, Nursery Cryme offers us a mixture of styles that shows them becoming creative songwriters. Some of the songs range from a typical prog sound, to an almost prog metal sound in "Return of the Giant Hogweed" to more or less playful "nursery" music, almost folk like in songs like "Harold The Barrel".

I am satisfied with around half of this album, as unfortunately their are some being fairly mundane and uninspiring. The tracks that interest me the most are the opening track, 'Hogweed, and the ending of Seven Stones. The beginning of Hogweed instantly reminded me of Classic Nintendo, a la Megaman. Don't ask me why I get that feeling, I just do, you'll understand the connection if you are familiar with the game.

However, their are parts of this album which I'll never understand, and it's probably because I am not a Genesis buff and didn't grow up around the band. Harlequin is so lukewarm it's almost impossible to like. Salmacis is a song which just never really drove home with me, and I don't really get what everyone sees, or rather hears in it. It's pretty typical prog, but nothing too special in my book.

Overall a better Genesis album than Foxtrot, but lacking in some of the more cultivated songwriting of SEBTP. Bass on this album is really hindered by poor production, a word of caution to those like me in the high-tech era.

Report this review (#94168)
Posted Wednesday, October 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I struggled with what rating to give Nursery Cryme. It is really a great album. The epic The Musical Box is a very strong album opener and one of Genesis' best songs. The song is sung from the viewpoint of a ghost that came out of the musical box. Lyrics are great and the musicianship is high and interesting. Great guitar solos from Hackett.

Return of the Giant Hogweed is another highlight with its hard rocking intro, ingenious lyrics, and interesting solos. This song also has a great ending representing the attack of the giant hogweed. The next highlight is Seven Stones which is not as complex as the previous two tracks, but is still immensely enjoyable with the mellotron being the standout instrument. Last highlight, and my personal favorite from the album is Fountain of Salmacis. This song has great mellotron, guitar, drums, and everything else. Also the the story told is one of Hermaphroditus from Greek mythology. The retelling of the myth by Gabriel is brilliant. Also, the battle between Hermaphroditus and the water nymph Salmacis is represented by the music, which is done very well.

The remaining tracks are not bad, but just not as good as the previously mentioned tracks, and I find myself skipping over them. I am going to give this on four stars because the following Genesis' albums were even better than this one. At the same time, I think that if you enjoy symphonic progressive rock, then you should definitely own this album. So, it is essential for fans of this subgenre.

Report this review (#95337)
Posted Saturday, October 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars A truly majestic album - for me the best of Genesis (Trespass is close) - a mixture of peace and quiet building to raw power. There's something magical about it all the way through that the later albums didn't seem to have - maybe they became too soft. Don't get me wrong - Genesis were great until Duke, then it was mostly pop -but you all know that.

Highly recommended, and it's 35 years old!!!!

Report this review (#98873)
Posted Wednesday, November 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Nursery Cryme" really is the groundbreaking album people say it is. Steve and a much needed Phil join here making the band complete. They waste no time in creating magic here. Is "The Musical Box" the greatest song or what? If not, it's up there. "For Absent Friends" utilizes Phil. It's awesome to see how far he came as a singer. He's good here, but his voice is so young and undeveloped. He's only 19/20 yrs old here. They all are. That is the most impressive part. I'm sixteen and I get scared to think that they were doing this when they were only three years older than me. "Giant Hogweed" is a funny little tune. Very dark. "Seven Stones" is very underrated/overlooked. Ha, Oh "Harold the Barrel". How you make me laugh. Pure geni(s)us. "Harlequin" is the perfect song for the feel of the album. It's light and mystical. "The Fountain of Salmacis" is such a great finish. Steve is absolutely on fire here. Don't miss this album please. It almost defines the term "Masterpiece".
Report this review (#98996)
Posted Wednesday, November 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Just great. My elder brother introduced me to Genesis with this album after he'd been to see the band live. 35 years later I still listen to it regularly. As others have mentioned, it's an evolution of their style from Trespass and the first time the 'classic' Genesis lineup appear on an album. Hackett and Collins just add that extra something that's lacking on the earlier release.

There are other Genesis albums I prefer- It's not flawless but contains so many great tracks (Musical Box, Hogweed, Fountain of Salmacis, Seven Stones) that I can't think of any reason not to give it the full 5 stars. It's essential to an appreciation of the development of prog generally, and symphonic prog in particular.

Report this review (#100944)
Posted Wednesday, November 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Genesis are still babies at this point, working out their sound and trying to establish some strong footing. This is the album that did it, not unlike Yes with The Yes Album.

Musical Box is the highlight of the album, foreshadowing what greater things were to come. a 10 minute epic about, if my memory serves me right, a little boy entering the afterlife. The beginning leads to a effective, explosive climax. "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" is a pretty fun canterbury'ish peice. Fountain of Salmacis is nice, but it bores me a little..

The remaining tracks are not worth mentioning.

Go to Foxtrot, Selling England, then return here for optimal enjoyment.

Report this review (#101435)
Posted Saturday, December 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The real standout tracks here for me are The Musical Box, The Return Of The Giant Hogweed and The Fountain Of Salmacis. The rest of the album is just ok but doesn't do much for me. Still the album as a whole has a sort of ''magical atmosphere'' that makes this a very unique one. The production is poor but that fact can't prevent Nursery Cryme from being a must.
Report this review (#102865)
Posted Tuesday, December 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Beautiful. After the release of Trespass it's a huge step forward but in a logical direction. Every song on this album is great, but my favourite is The Musical Box. First song where we can hear the voice of Phil Collins ("here it comes again"). Then The Return Of The Giant Hohweed ia an all time Genesis standard. Harold The Barrell - a short but very intense track. Only three minut it is, but I wish every new group such three minutes on their lp. And The Fountain Of Salmacis. A really beutiful ending to a beautiful album. Masterpice of progressive rock. Masterpice of music.
Report this review (#104850)
Posted Friday, December 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Like a few other Genesis albums, I purchased the vinyl version of this one in 74. There are important changes in the line-up : Steve joined on the guitar and Phil on drums and backing vocals.

The opening song "The Musical Box" is one of my top three favourite from the band (together with "Watcher of the Skies" and "Firth of Fifth"). It is also one of my fave all time all genres. It inspired the layout for the cover sleeve.

The universe of the band is all there : intriguing text (sexually oriented), smooth passages, brutal guitar solo from the new guitar player Steve Hackett. They will, little by little create a world of weird characters in some of their songs. On this one, little Henry's head was cut off by Cynthia. And, ooops, he died.

Little Cynthia found a Musical box playing "Old king Cole" two weeks after the event. Little Henry reappeared but was ageing quickly. Till the moment that he was physically an old man, a strange temptation grew into his mind (and elsewhere). He tried to rape her. The screams alerted Nanny from the Nursery and when she saw the scene she threw the musical box at Henry and destroy both of them (Henry and the box).

This track will allow Peter to develop his wonderfull acting skills on stage (with the simulation of the sexual act in the finale : Now! Now! Now! Now! Now!). A brilliant and splendid song.

The short "For Absent Friend" is the only weak number. Phil is the lead vocalist. Since it lasts only for less than two minutes, it is OK (even if I always press next while listening to "Nursery Cryme" now).

The last track of side one "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" is a great song (specially on stage). It is another "war" track in the same style as "The Knife". Quite hard rocking music with dark lyrics "Mighty Hogweed is avenged. Human bodies soon will know anger. Kill them with your Hogweed hairs". It is indeed a very mighty song. The closing section is just awesome and extremely powerful. Superb, really.

Side B opens with "Seven Stones" which is IMO one of the most underrated amongst Genesis repertoire : nice flute passages, beautiful melodies and fantastic mellotron. It is one of my fave from this album (in my top four to be precise). I quite often listen to it, even now.

"Harold the Barrel" is a rather strange track. The universe of Genesis with his strange characters is building rapidly. It's the story of a restaurant owner that left his family of three alone. The crowd is chasing him and Harold only wish he would be sailing to avoid them.

Scary text : "Harold the Barrel cut off his toes and he served them all for tea" ! The song is quite brutal, but at times very melodious. Full of humour, fantasy and strenghts.

"Harlequin" is a little acoustic and naïve number. Nothing fancy. It is the second weak track of this album. I also have the tendancy to skip it while listening to this great album.

The closing number "The Fountain of Salmacis" is the second best here IMHHO. It is a fantastic prog song with the most brilliant mellotron section I have ever heard. The story is is bizarre, filled with several characters as well: the narrator, Salmacis and Hermaphroditous (son of Hermes and Aphrodite).

Some nymphs were growing him in secret. During a walk, Hermaphroditous got lost and "his strenght began to fail". A fountain then appeared to him. "A liquid voice called : son of gods, drink from my spring". Salmacis desperatly wants them to only make one : "Unearthly calm descended from the sky , And then their flesh and bones were strangely merged ,Forever to be joined as one".

This description of the song is based on the lyrics.

There is a lot of symbolic and beauty in "Fountain". I have always be in love with the huge mellotron played in this song. It is quite phenomenal. I was quite happy to see it played live during their 1977 tour (while they were four).

I rate this album 5 stars.

This review has been edited on 28th October, 2009.

Report this review (#104880)
Posted Friday, December 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Its astounding to think that the band could come up with such a masterpeice when they had just replaced both their guitarist and their drummer. but they did, and in my eyes this is a album just as good as 'Foxtrot' and 'Selling..', i.e. an instant classic. The Album heavily leans on its triad of mini-epic tracks, 'The Musical Box', 'Return of the Giant Hogweed' and 'The Fountain of Salmacis'. using the remaining tracks to fill in the gaps. But i don't mean that the rest are filler! far from it. Once the intense drama of 'the Musical Box' are over, we are treated to the sublime melancholy of 'For Absent Friends', a charming double 12-string ballad that is a welcome interval. Then, after the 2nd drama of the invanding '..Hogweed', there is 'Seven Stones', with its excellent use of the mellotron, an intrument that really only makes its' mark on one other track ('Fountain', obviously). there is then the groovy black 'Harold the Barrel', an enjoyable comedy (the 'silly voices' don't bother me at all) that works quite well. Then there is 'Harlequin', another quiet double 12-string similar to '..Absent..', but more uptempo, and the little electric guitar fill is just perfect. then, of course, is 'The Fountain of Salmacis'. After i had first listened to this, i realised I didn't really have clue what the hell Gabriel was on about, but i didn't really care, because the music was so good! So, in summary, just as good as the more popular albums that came after, lacking the productional polish of 'Selling..', perhaps, and the CD i have is a fairly bad mix (you can hardly hear the vocals in parts, and the keyboards tend to overpower the rest of the band), neither are big enough problems to spoil this incredible partial debut. Oh, and i think everyone should know this is the earliest recording of 'tapping', by Hackett, far outdating EvH. ;-)
Report this review (#110194)
Posted Thursday, February 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars It starts with a very good song "The Musical Box." This song is very appealing and beautiful up until the harder instrumental section...then it loses its magic. However, the first couple minutes are among Genesis' best in their entire history. I love Peter Gabriel's uneven, emotive singing on this. Phil Collins does some good backup vocals on this as well...-"here it comes again"

It moves into the very short and sweet little english folk tune - "For Absent Freinds" this song is very breif and features Phil Collins on lead vocals, so short and sweet it leaves you wanting more but satisfied with what you heard. Something about this song that gets me smiling, great guitar work by hackett and Banks.

I am not very into the third track..."Hogweed" just doesnt do it for me. The intro sounds like a badly recorded version of Muse. However, I know there are those of you who enjoy it, I personally think it unnecesary.

"Seven Stones" is a delight with great mellotron in it. Peter Gabriel really works this one over on the vocals and you gotta love the chord arrangment. This is a great one with good - classic Genesis lyrics.

"Harold The Barrel" - thought this one was atrocious on first listen, the more I tried it, the more I liked it. It is a fun song that gets to you. The thing is quite odd but definatly original and great fun!

"Harlequin" isn't fantastic, but doesnt take away from anything either, the standard 12 string based song is there. It isn't neccesarily innovative but it is nice and peaceful.

"Fountain of Salmacis" is an interesting piece, it has some great keys and guitar in it. Pretty well layered singing and some nicely played percussion in the middle of it. I love the organ played by Banks. Good ending as well.

Collins does some top notch drumming, good singing. Gabriel isn't at his best vocal wise, but does well. Banks is his usual solid self. Hackett has some intricate guitar work but will come to do better on later albums. Rutherfords bass playing is very good and fits Genesis perfectly.

The recording quality isn't all that great, especially for listening to in the car but the good songs are there. Genesis fans, this is a must have, other proggers, this wouldnt be a bad one to start with but...This one will not grab at first listen - as I have found with most Genesis releases, with time it will grow on you.

I would recommend it!

Report this review (#111122)
Posted Thursday, February 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Welcome Phil and Steve! The band starts to show the musical glory it would display in the following years, yet as a whole, this album bores me a bit. Yeah, honestly.

"The Musical Box" has always been hailed as a Genesis masterpiece, but I only enjoy bits and pieces from it... it goes into instrumental-mode too quickly for me, and I prefer the bombastic ending to the heavy middle section (amazing playing there anyway, that goes without saying).

"For Absent Friends" is just a innofensive little song before the second monster, in more than one sense - providing the subject matter: "The Return of the Giant Hogweed", with its lyrics placed within 50's sci-fi territory. Kind of a quirky military march, this one... I've never liked it very much.

Ahhh but then comes "Seven Stones". GORGEOUS song. Emotional and complex, yet simple-sounding, a real pleasure.

"Harold the Barrel" is a funny tune with a very british sense of humor. Many times I share that kind of humor (Monty Python, for instance), sometimes I don't get what they were trying to do. This is sort of in the middle. It's an ok song for me.

And finally, what I consider the real masterpiece here: "The Fountain of Salmacis" and its musical version of the hermaphrodite myth. Extraordinary song and a story well told.

So all in all, for me it comes down to half a good album and half a boring one.

Oh darn, I forgot "Harlequin". That one balances the album towards the boring side. Sorry! My 2.5 will have to fall into a 2. Don't throw stones at me yet! I love the following albums! :P

Report this review (#112350)
Posted Friday, February 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chris H
5 stars Love at first listen. Not something you hear too often is it? Well I haven't said it very often. "Nursery Cryme" is one of the very few albums that captivated me right from the first time I have ever heard it. This was the first album to be made with the full "classic" line-up on board, and that made for an excellent show here.

What better way to open up an album with one the best songs of your career? There is no better way. Genesis do that right here with "The Musical Box", the 10 minute mini- epic that starts this journey into a musical heaven. The opening is an amazing quiet, subtle piece of music with great flute playing and a real nice chord progression. The vocals continue in a soft manner until around six minutes in when everything breaks loose and some organized chaos ensues. Banks uses his keyboards as sort of a staircase on which the climax rises. Truly an impressive track. "For Absent Friends" is a solo vocal by Phil Collins, and although i do detest the man's voice I have to admit this song is a very guilty pleasure for me. It has a very 'old days of Britain' feel to it and there is some great work on the keys. "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" is a much heavier song than its predecessor, and this is evident right from the beginning. It opens up with Steve Hackett and Tony Banks 'racing' their respective instruments and soon slows down for an amazing vocal performance by Gabriel. One of the best of their career actually.

"Seven Stones" is the concept song of all concept songs. The mellotron creates a nice opening atmosphere while the whole song is played purposely out of tune. It makes for a nice and energetic number that somehow manages to fall into place perfectly. "Harold The Barrel" is when they first unleash their terribly tricky humor on the masses, and although many don't understand the underlying message this is probably the most accessible song on the album. It is also one of my personal favorite Genesis songs of all time. "Harlequin" is the next song, and every time it starts I think it is Jon Anderson singing a song off of Yes' debut album. This is an amazing harmonization between Gabriel and Collins and everyone seems to miss the importance of the 12 string in there, which really brings the song together. "The Fountain of Salmacis" ends the album with a bang! Steve Hackett is at his very best here in the album closer, and he delivers one of the greatest studio solos of his career with Genesis. This one song is worth buying the album for, let me put it that way.

Usually I end my reviews with a paragraph to sum everything up or justify my rating or something of that sort but I really can't do that with this album. This is a masterpiece beyond words. You cannot even begin to describe what is projected on this album. The only way to understand to listen for yourselves.

Report this review (#112768)
Posted Monday, February 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Nursery cryme for me is a great album.

MUSICAL BOX - EMM, this song for me is sometimes great and not so great. Before i didnt really like it i felt it was too long and when it got loud the recording was kinda bad. But now i feel its great especially the loud parts HACKETT was great. 7/10

FOR ABSENT FRIENDS - This song is a good song its nice but short.6/10

HOGWEED - Great song Banks does real well as usual, hackett good as as usual phil great as usual you get the picture. 8/10

SEVEN STONES - For me the 2nd best song that they did its so emotional and it really gets to you. Gabriel on vocals was great. Excellent drumming by the best drummer phil collins! 9/10

AROLD THE BARREL - Good song at first i thought it was crap but it grows on you and now i like it. first you think its just a funny song then the ending gets you. 6/10

HARLEQUIN - Once again good song nice and peacefull great work from HACKETT. 6/10

THE FOUNTAIN OF SALMACIS - Great song Rutherford at his best. 7/10

Overall a GREAT album.

Report this review (#113045)
Posted Wednesday, February 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator

If someone were to ask you that old chestnut "What is Prog?", well, here's the perfect answer.

No other album so succinctly gathers together all of the "elements" and packages them into such a cohesive and genre-defining form as this. As a whole, it's darker than "Trespass" right from the cover - a young girl in Victorian dress playing croquet with human heads.

While "Trespass" came almost as a bolt out of the blue, with King Crimsons' and Genesis' own debut offerings as the only real precedents, "Nursery Cryme" is the full-on realisation of the potential of "Trespass" - it fills in the blanks, dots the i's and crosses the t's.

Much of this is thanks to the drumming and vocal contributions of Phil Collins - and yes, his vocal contributions really do make a difference for the better here. The addition of Steve Hackett brings a new "bite" to the music - although it's on later albums that he produced guitar work that stands out as innovative and technically thrilling, his leads here range from the achingly sublime to the snarling and intense, and his rhythm work adds a heavier and darker edge than "Trespass" ever had. As a consequence, the music rocks as hard as "The Knife" more often.

Everything else is down to the development of the three remaining founder members; Mike Rutherford's rhythm and bass section drive like never before, Tony Bank's restrained and melodic keyboards verge on the wizardly - yet still showing the massive potential that would be realised on later albums - and Peter Gabriel takes his already masterful style to the next level, with a greater range of vocal styles and characterisations.

But above this, above the individual skills of the players, lies something far greater.

In Barbershop quartet singing, there is the concept of the "Ringer", otherwise known as the fifth voice. This is produced when the 4 vocal parts combine successfully - the music that is produced takes on a character all of its own, dependent on the feeling and teamwork of the singers.

And THAT is what makes Nursery Cryme so great.

It's like Genesis took big lumps of music, as a tangible material, moulded it all together, then each pulled and stretched their own invidual mouldings and created an ensemble that comprises a perfect whole. Nothing is there for its own sake, as filler, or an excercise in ego - it's all an essential part of a greater cause.

It's a real pity about the production, which is little better than on "Trespass", and some might find the occasionally ragged execution annoying BUT, what really stands out, is that the 5 musicians produce this "Ringer" - a 6th voice, if you will, that IS Genesis.

As a concept, the album works really well - you can see it as simply a collection of somewhat adult nursery rhymes, you can explore the intricate lyrical relationships between the songs, or you can analyse the individual songs to see their parts in the overall suite - it's all there, but, for a change, I won't do that for you :O)

One of the most striking thing about the music as a whole is its purely organic nature - one tends not to hear the individual sections, but an unfolding musical journey that makes some mysterious kind of sense.

"Musical Box" is, perhaps the pinnacle of this style of writing, everything else on the album paling very slightly in its wake.

The wonderful, impressionistic musical painting of the underlying story that relates exactly to the cover is simply gripping - if you've bothered to take the time to familiarise yourself with the grisly yet tenderly emotional details of this story - and the musical transitions showing passage of time and intensification of feeling are virtually perfect for what they are - not a note to change. Maybe I'd be a bit more restrained with the panning of the lead guitar, and quite a few other production details, but never mind the production, listen to the MUSIC.

After the sheer intensity of "Musical Box", "For Absent Friends" fits the overall musical scheme as a gentle transistion. Lyrically, we are taken away from the domestic drama in a single household to a village community at large. Of course, like the layers of the onion, there's more to it than that, so I won't spoil your fun!

Kinda like a symphony structure, the slow 2nd movement is followed by a much faster and heavier 3rd movement that closes side 1 of the vinyl. Continuing the lyrical perspective, "Return of the Giant Hogweed" pans out again to a more global story. In case you were wondering, Heracleum mantegazziani is the latin name for the plant of the title...

"Seven Stones" is a slower respite from the intensity of "Hogweed", but is crammed full of subtleties and nuances, and simply packed with beautiful, arcing melodies with a strongly nostalgic feel. Things tend to happen slowly in this song, so if you're looking for an adrenaline-fuelled ride, look elsewhere. For those who are prepared to invest the patience and just relax, this song opens up like a flower (a flower?).

"Harold the Barrel" is the oft-commented on melodrama, a very, very clever piece of writing, with pseudo-leitmotifs musically interpreting the characters and their states of mind perfectly. It's a mini-masterpiece in itself - I've heard many albums with fewer musical ideas than this song.

"Harlequin" would seem, on the surface to be insubstantial - but again, it fits the overall structure; We've had a mellow introduction to the 4-part suite on side 2, followed by a hectic rush of drama, and now we chill for a few minutes before the big event. This song carries echoes of some of the "From Genesis to Revelation" material, and is a song of hope.

We finish with "The Fountain of Salmacis", whose domain lies, appropriately and ultimately with the Gods. A fitting conclusion to such a great album, the instrumental section is a marvel of musical engineering.

Trouble is, once it's finished, you just want to hear "The Musical Box" again...

Truly great, should be #1 all the time. Even though it's not the best produced, executed - or even the best Prog Rock album ever made, it's still the best composed Prog Rock album, and the most representative of the genre.

If you don't already own it, what are you waiting for?

Report this review (#113693)
Posted Tuesday, February 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars NURSERY CRIME has been the first album with the classic GENESIS line-up made up of PETER GABRIEL (chant, flute), PHIL COLLINS (drums/background chant), TONY BANKS (keyboards), MIKE RUTHERFORD (bass, some guitar) and a new guitarist who had come for ANTHONY PHILLIPS who had left the band after the its second album TRESPASS: STEVE HACKETT, one of the world's finest guitarists, if you ask me.

NURSERY CRIME may be GENESIS' most melancholic album, maybe that is the reason why I like it that much, I do not know, however, it contains some of the finest Genesis-songs like "The Musical Box" (Genesis' first true epic song, I think), "The Retrun Of The Giant Hogweed" or the very, very beautiful "The Fountain Of Salmacis". The demanding lyrics and the usually complex music fulfill a symbiosis on this CD. What comes out of this all is a stirring, very emotional album with many peaks and many calm songs. Each epic is followed by one or two shorter songs, for example the beautiful title "Harlequin" really hits the spot after such a hectic, crazy, but very cool song like "Harold The Barrel". As you will hear, the tracklist could not have been chosen better, this one has truly become my favourite GENESIS-album.

I strongly recommend you this album, it is a true masterpiece, get it! Five stars!

Report this review (#115351)
Posted Friday, March 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars There isn't much I can say about this album that hasn't already been said. It is excellent, the drums are spot on. Collins and Haackett do a fantastic job fitting in with the bands sound. My personal favorite tracks from it are Fountain Of Salamacis and Return Of The Giant Hogweed. Why not a 5 star rating you ask? Well the band's musical maturity and artistic expression later found in albums like The Lamb and SEBTP, was still growing. It also still retained the style and sound quality of the previous album Trespass, which was decent IMO. Overall a great beginning (sort of) for a great band.
Report this review (#115404)
Posted Friday, March 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Just a brief (by my standards) review. First the classic track - The Musical Box & the Fountain of Salmacis stand among the top of the prog popular standings with good reason. They represent peaks of a burgeoning scene that most of us still look back with a wistful memories. But to detract from its' generally accepted status of masterpiece, I must point to Seven Stones & Harold the Barrel as respectively being well done & amusing, but while I don't always hit the skip button on my remote when I play this CD, they don't stand out in the Genesis myth. And for this, is I could just have 3.5 stars, I would rate it so. but 3 is closer, even if I play most of the rest of the album more than most in m collection
Report this review (#115755)
Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars With this album GENESIS signaled to the world that they were capable of music worthy of anyone's time. Certainly this album is worthy of yours.

Melodic themes of beauty intertwine with moments of drama: driving rhythms counterpoint quiet acoustic and keyboard sections. But 'Nursery Cryme' is greater than the sum of its parts. It exhibits all of the necessary ingredients of the progressive sensibility. These are melody, complexity, meaning, quirky humour and consideration of the shape of the album. This last idea is crucial: albums without progressive sensibility were merely a collection of songs. Progressive albums took care in the placement of tracks, as the album was designed as a single listening experience. Humour is also an essential part of the progressive sensibility, acting as a balance to the pretentiousness of many of the musical and lyrical themes. Melody and complexity need no explanation.

This album does have flaws, however. The overall playfulness and zaniness obscures many of the serious messages in the lyrics, which is a pity. While GABRIEL remained a part of the lineup, GENESIS never found an appropriate balance: on every album there are times when the lyrics made listeners cringe. 'Hasn't got a leg to stand on,' GABRIEL sings in 'Harold the Barrel'. Doesn't work for me, sorry, though I enjoy the playfulness of the song.

'The Musical Box' is regarded as a classic, and rightly so. This track alone ensured the album would be a success. The other 'epic' tracks, 'Fountain of Salamacis' and 'Return of the Giant Hogweed', do not reach the same heights. It is left for the shorter tracks to carry the album, and I find beauty in each of them. I particularly treasure the maligned 'Seven Stones'.

The other serious flaw is the production. This is the first album with the classic line-up, but they are not equally treated. PETER GABRIEL and TONY BANKS stand out in the mix, while the other three are muted. Even the recent remastered version doesn't deliver sound quality of the standard the music requires.

An album already in the collection of every fan of classic progressive music. It's not quite essential that all others listen to it, and this is not the one GENESIS album you need. But I'm sure you'll enjoy much of what you hear.

Report this review (#116243)
Posted Saturday, March 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Nursery Cryme, was the album that started my intrest in progressive rock music. Music Box is a true masterpiece. Music Box is so powerful, that every time i listen, it blows me away - into the twilight zone. All the other songs are also very good, but for me Music Box is the one that stands out - this is why the rating is essential. If you ever have the chance: The Nursery Cryme was also played live on Belgium TV - its great to see the geniuses at work. This recording is although pretty hard to get - but good luck trying - its worth it.

Report this review (#117686)
Posted Monday, April 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars I've been trying really hard to 'get' into this album but I just can't see the 'masterpiece' everyone here is talking about. It is so full of over-the-top theatrical vocals by Gabriel and cheesy lyrics that I just can't take it seriously. Musically, it's good, but not impressive. Mellotron dominates the record far too much, there are some good guitar parts but nothing really imperssive. The three 'epics' here - "The Musical Box", "Return of the Giant Hogweed" and "Fountain of Salmacis" - are of course the highlights. All have some memorable moments, but none of them is up to the standard of the following albums and I mean it - "Can-Utility and the Coastliners" in my book is a much better song than the hailed 'masterpiece' "The Musical Box". The remaining 4 shorter tracks are all throwaways, though . This is a transitional album, a bit (but not much) better than "Trespass" but still much weaker than "Foxtrot". Not essential by any means.
Report this review (#123260)
Posted Thursday, May 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars "Trespass" was such a placid and tranquil album with Gabriel playing the flute more than he ever would again. His vocals didn't vary much either. Enter Phil Collins and Steve Hackett and I think we see a more confident band. Gabriel suddenly is very theatrical with his vocals, and we get a lot of bombastic passages that are usually contrasted with the mellow ones. "Trespass" was fairly consistant while I find "Nursery Cryme" has some better songs but also songs i'm not thrilled about. Overall I have to rate the latter album a notch higher than "Trespass" mainly on the strength of "The Musical Box" and "The Fountain Of Salmacis". What I love about this record is how intricate and complex it is. It really requires your full attention in order to enjoy all the delicacies.

"The Musical Box" is such a triumph for the band. The fragile vocals, delicate guitar work and warm flute, all give weight to the words "Play me my song...". 4 minutes in we get pulsating synths as the soundscape explodes. Check out the amazing guitar ! And the passionate vocals after 9 minutes. "For Absent Friends" has Phil on vocals. This is such a reflective, heart warming song with intricate guitar melodies to go along with the touching vocals."The Return Of The Giant Hogweed" has harsh vocals at times and bombastic instrumental workouts. It all settles down and this contrast will continue. Some incredible piano 5 minutes in as the song ignites a couple of minutes later and rages on until it's over. I confess to not being a fan of this one,not enjoying the vocals and loud sections at all. The mellotron is nice though.

"Seven Stones" is where Collins' presence is really felt behind the drum kit.The floods of mellotron only add to the melancholy of this underated tune. "Harold The Barrell" is an uptempo, silly song, with fast paced vocals. Don't like it. "Harlequin" has reserved vocals and such an intricate and delicate soundscape. Brilliant ! "The Fountain Of Salmacis" has a really good melody with waves of mellotron. Great synth work later. It's like this song slowly builds to a climax several times as it plays out. I still can't pick which one I like more between the first song or the last song. Both are masterpieces !

4.5 stars for the album.

Report this review (#123281)
Posted Friday, May 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Trick of the Tail" and "Duke" were played at my house constantly when I was a child. But when I was about 12 or 13, I saw a piece on Peter Gabriel on the old VH1 show "Before They Were Rock Stars." Outlandishly dressed and menacingly shouting "you stand there with your fixed expression," performing the desparate climax of "The Musical Box"on dark stage with thick organ chords oozing out the speakers. The clip must have been 5 seconds long but it stayed with me for a couple years until I got the album. I would not be disappointed. "Nursery Cryme improves on the promise of Tresspass, and with the entrance of Collins on drums and Hackett on guitar, they lay out 7 different futures in just as many tracks on this scattershot masterpiece. From the alternating acoustic melancholy and electric absurdity of "The Musical Box" to the King Crimson goes music hall of "Harold the Barrel" to the widescreen mythology of "The Fountain of Salmacis" the band provides a fascinating snapshot of 1971 in the world of Genesis. After years of listening, it is the artistic dead ends I keep returning to. "For Absent Friends" is a very English take on the folk pop in miniature that Simon and Garfunkel laid claim to in the sixties, with a beautifully innocent vocal debut by Phil Collins. "Harlequin" is a gentle duet between Gabriel's gravelly and soulful vocals and Collins more smooth style over a pastoral backing track with interjections of Hackett's electric guitar. For the next 7 years or so, Genesis would explore the paths set by the more substansial epics on this disc. But this album provides an addictive and enjoyable "what if" in the careers of one of prog's most beloved bands.
Report this review (#124702)
Posted Tuesday, June 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first song on this album is the definitive Genesis song. Everything they did after this song was, in a way, an extension of what was done in this song. It has everything: the hypnotic acoustic guitar and flute playing that had become the trademark of Genesis with Anthony Phillips, Mike Rutherford and Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins excellent drumming and angelic backup singing, Steve Hackett's wickedly impressive epic guitar playing, Tony Banks complex chord structures, and Peter Gabriel's dark, powerful, and intensely emotional voice.

It is no surprise that Phillips, Gabriel, Banks, Collins, Hackett, and Rutherford were all involved in writing this song. It all just seemed to come together so seemlessly with The Musical Box. It is also probably one of the creepiest songs ever written, and the emotional ending to the song is possibly the best Genesis moment ever. It was the song that marked the arrival of Genesis as a force to be reckoned with and established their distinct sound. The definitive five man lineup was completed with this album.

Although the departure of Phillips was a major blow to the band, the replacement they got for him, Steve Hackett, proved to be more than they could have hoped for. He contributes heavily to the humorous Return of the Giant Hogweed, and The Fountain of Salmacis, two of the best Genesis mini-epics ever written. The addition of accomplished drummer, Phil Collins, was also a major boost to the bands sound. His drum technique is top notch, and his high pitched voice was a perfect counterpart to Gabriel's lead.

The rest of this album is also truly great. Seven Stones is a fantastic song about an old man's method of making decisions. Harold the Barrel is probably the funniest song they had written about a man threatening to jump from a building's window ledge. For Absent Friends is a nice little song featuring the debut of Phil Collins as lead vocalist. And Harlequin is a beautiful song featuring all five members voices harmonizing beautifully. This album is an essential masterpiece.

Report this review (#125264)
Posted Saturday, June 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
Crossover Team
5 stars If you read through all of this album's reviews on Prog Archives, you'll find one thing that most reviewers have a common opinion about: that this is nothing less than a five-star masterpiece. This is the album that brought Steve Hackett and Phil Collins into the fold, thus completing what is considered their classic line-up. Although Phillips and Mayhew were quite wonderful musicians, they are clearly overshadowed by Hackett and Collins.

Following the multiple movements in Trespass' "The Knife," Genesis includes three songs in this style on Nursery Cryme: The Musical Box, The Return of the Giant Hogweed, and The Fountain of Salmacis. These three songs were ground-breaking in 1971 and are now considered hallmarks of symphonic progressive rock. Indeed, very few bands have approached the emotion, musicianship, and originality of these three classics.

But what about the shorter songs on Nursery Cryme? Well, they're quite wonderful in themselves, making this album such a treat to listen to. From the Mellotron-drenched Seven Stones to the hilarious Harold the Barrel, Nursery Cryme has got something for every symphonic prog lover.

Nursery Cryme is simply an essential masterpiece. Just read the other reviews here. Easily five stars.

Report this review (#125929)
Posted Friday, June 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Nursery Cryme is where the gods truly smiled upon Genesis and blessed them with it's greatest lineup. Drummer Phil Collins and guitarist Steve Hackett join the fray and waste no time proving they belong. Gabriel's lyrics range from depressing to silly, often within the same song. Rutherford and Banks shine once again. Gabriel has one of the best voices in prog, and he proves it throughout.

"The Music Box" is the highlight of the album, and Steve Hackett makes history by pioneering both tapping and sweep-picking in the solo. Eat your heart out Eddie Van Halen. The lyrics sound like like the words to some burlesque tavern song, as Gabriel displays his twisted wit. "For Absent Friends" is a filler track that allows Phil to take center stage. The Return of the Giant Hogweed" is Peter's take on environmentalism, where plants rise up to take revenge against their human slave masters. "Seven Stones" features great vocals from Peter. "Harold the Barrel" is this album's multiple character song, with Gabriel going through dfferent roles rapidly in its brief span. Tony has some great piano here. "Harlequin" is a very minimalistic song with a great harmony between Gabriel and Phil. The light 12 string, bass, and keys make this a lovely tune. The album closes with another mini-epic, "The Fountain of Salamcis." Tony's mellotron and Phil's incredible drumming are the defining aspects of this song, but it features great performances from everyone.

Nursery Cryme set in motion Genesis' classic era that would go on to influence countless progressive bands of all sub-genres. It isn't as stunning as Selling England By the Pound, but it comes close and is, to me, better than the resulting Foxtrot. You're not a fan of prog without this album.

Grade: B+

Report this review (#127123)
Posted Friday, June 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is Genesis's most overrated album. Sure, it's good. Some of the songs border on greatness. But there's nothing that's truly essential here, let alone a masterpiece. 3 stars for the first effort from the classic lineup.

The Musical Box (4.5/5): I'm always happy to hear Peter grab the flute. This is the kind of mini-epic that Genesis usually does well on. This is a well executed attempt, and their songwriting will mature. Steve and Phil both do an excellent job of showing why they should be considered upgrades here.

For Absent Friends (3.5/5): This always struck me as filler, but as really GOOD filler. Some nice lyrics and a rare fondly sentimental vocal performance.

Return of the Giant Hogweed (4/5): Together with The Musical Box, this is the other reason to listen to the album. An earlier reviewer has said that if you don't "get" the introduction to Hogweed, you don't "get" prog. Certainly this song stretches all kinds of limits.

Seven Stones (2/5): I don't like this one much. It's a plodding song that seems to lack a lot in creativity and relies far too much on the keyboards.

Harold the Barrel (3.5/5): This one is hardly a masterpiece, but it's a witty performance and really shows The Gabe's versatility.

Harlequin (1/5): The world didn't really need to hear this song. The ensemble vocals just don't work here, and that and the guitar work is what this song is all about.

The Fountain of Salmacis (3/5): There's a lot of nice subtleties to listen to on this track, but the song just doesn't grab you like The Musical Box does.

Report this review (#128668)
Posted Sunday, July 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Why dont you touch me?!

I consider this album to own the very first Progressive rock epic, and also lay down the first path that would shape prog for decades. Really, this is not Genesis' best album, but is absolutely essential, to any/everyone who takes their prog seriously.

The musical box- Maybe the most important ten minuetes of progressive music out there. This song shows PG's creativity to it's full extent, absolutely no boundries. Starts very simple, but like all great Genesis songs, it has many climaxes, ending in a guitar solo each time, but the greatest moment is the glorious and triumphant closing section. Peter plays himself as an old man and talks aout how frustated he is with a girl until the point of screaming in frustration. 5/5

For Absent Friends- Filler. vocals by Phil, and guitar by one of the three twelve string players. Pretty, but nothing to shake a stick at.3/5

Return of the giant hogweed- At first I could not take this song at all, I thought Peter's voice with Tony's driving organ was very stupid sounding. After a couple more listens though, I found the instrumentation fun to listen to and Peter's lyrics being very creative, especially with his otherwise angry sounding voice. Alas, the recording quality ruins any hope of a perfect listen. 4.5/5

Seven Stones- A very underated song, with very nice mellotron and vocal harmonies. Just about everything fall's into place, the chorus' is particularily catchy, and the lyrics are typical Peter Gabriel. PG's voice can be much more... convincing though.4.5/5

Harold the barrel- Good filler. Funny and with a jonty piano. Not much more though.4/5

Harlequin- Filler? I dont actually pay much attention to this song actually, good vocals, good guitar harmonies. Not much else once again. 3.5/10

Fountain of salmalsis- Very nice song, kinda inconsistent, but very experimental. It has some Jazz, some organ, some Tapping, and everything under the sun. The instrumental section is very good, especially the drum's.4.5/5

One song with a five star rating, but still absolutely essential.

Report this review (#128725)
Posted Sunday, July 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first Genesis record to feature Collins and Hackett as members. The tracks are exciting and at times heavy, The musical box is marvelous epic with fine singing from Peter Gabriel and heavy passages showcasing Steve Hackett´s leads and energetic drumming from Phil Collins, we also have a lovely acoustic shortie (For absent friends), the band playing cohesive and realy tight (another marvelous heavier number Return of the giant Hogweed), Tony Banks dominated okayish, somewhat monotonous ballad (Seven stones), a fast short filler song that is charming even if not very melodic (Harold the Barrel), another slower, moodier filler (Harlequin) and another Banks dominated ballad, one of the highpoints together with the opener, the melodramatic The fountain of Salmacis.

Points in songs order: 5+3.5+5+4+3+3+5=28,5:7=4 points


Report this review (#129129)
Posted Wednesday, July 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars When I started listening to music semi-seriously, Genesis were in their 3-man era producing some good music some of the time. Nursery Cryme was the first Peter Gabriel era album I heard - albeit in circa 1985 - and it blew me away on first hearing. For me, the standout tracks were - and are still - The Musical Box and The Fountain Of Salmacis. I think these two tracks are amongst the greatest album "bookends" of all time. There are times when I think The Musical Box is Genesis' best track, even ahead of the might Supper's Ready. If there is one miniscule criticism of the latter, it's that it can sometimes sound like 7 individual tracks glued together, albeit quite seamlessly. The Musical Box, however, never sounds anything other than a single ten and a half minute epic. The start is a glorious mix of three 12-string guitars - Tony Banks is playing guitar too at the start. The awesome middle section lets you know the new boys - Steve Hackett and Phil Collins - have arrived, with superb guitar work and drumming. It then goes quiet again before the immensely powerful closing section with Peter Gabriel pouring his heart out. This section was reprised admirably with vocals by Phil Collins on the Wind And Wuthering tour and was captured on the Seconds Out album. But Collins never quite matched the gut-wrenching emotion of Gabriel. The Fountain Of Salmacis starts with some gorgeous mellotron sounds and ends with a typically understated but excellent guitar solo by Steve Hackett. To these ears it still sounds fresh today. The Return Of The Giant Hogweed is the other epic and whilst I think it's a notch down on the afore-mentioned tracks, it is still excellent. And the ending is the hardest and heaviest the band ever sounded. The other tracks? Well Seven Stones is a very good track, drenched in mellotron sounds, that doesn't often get a mention. Harold The Barrel is almost pop, but the quirkiness and surreal lyrics are enough to keep the listener interested. Finally, For Absent Friends and Harlequin are gorgeous little tracks with great harmony singing by Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins. In fact Collins is the uncredited lead singer on the former - maybe a sign of things to come? So to sum up, this is quintessential progressive rock and cannot be awarded anything less than 5 stars.
Report this review (#130145)
Posted Wednesday, July 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
3 stars A genuinely well-done and entertaining album that features everything that everyone likes about Genesis and is a great snap-shot of progressive rock's early years-- an unlike some of the band's later albums, is actually played with enthusiasm. Gabriel's dramatic lyrics and trademark vocal deliveries shine throughout, with the instrumentalists turning out understated but well-executed performances. The proto-typical feel to this album goes over well, with its mood and vibe carrying its momentum where the member's playing ability might sometimes cast doubt on the group's early ability to put together a cohesive album. Although very dated , "Nursery Crime" has enough fun to please most anyone who enjoys a classic sound, but to be fair it is not as well composed or elaborate as some of the band's later albums. Three solid stars.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 2 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Report this review (#130798)
Posted Monday, July 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars Maybe if I had heard the balance of this album as often as I heard "The Musical Box" before I "got it", I would rate this as the best album ever, but that isn't gonna happen 30+ years on. Familiarity is just as likely to breed contempt, and my main issue with early Genesis was the general tweeness of the lyrics as well as the production values which resulted in certain passages exploding and others retreating beneath base white noise levels.

So we have the Musical Box, one of the most perfectly constructed and powerful songs in prog history, featuring vocal passages mostly low and mysterious, and instrumental breaks increasing in intensity until finally even Peter Gabriel has to cut loose at the end. The wordless sections are so refreshingly dominated by Mr Hackett's quirky expressions rather than the overused organ, and the ending is a master stroke.

Then what? Not much frankly. The best sections of "Hogweed" seem patterned after the Musical Box but not as effectively, and from there it's mostly downhill until the "Fountain of Salmacis", which sufficiently redeems the recording to place it firmly in the three star band. Salmacis features the best mellotron on the album and is also more poetic than most of the intervening songs, but it is far from a classic.

With Nursery Cryme, Genesis began to lay the foundation for a whole school of symphonic progressive rock, a school in which some pupils would surpass the teachers, in short bursts of quality if not in longevity. Several later albums would show improvement on multiple levels and, although few individual works can match "The Musical Box", this album would not be my first recommendation to younger prog fans or older ones who have lived under a rock since 1968. It's not a cryme, but more of an imperfect work of philanthropy to the musical world.

Report this review (#132217)
Posted Tuesday, August 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Somehow Nursery Cryme never really caught my imagination. The first album to have the classic Genesis line up that included Steve hackett and Phil Collins is, songwriting and performing wise, a masterpiece. However, the recording quality is poor and the group would deliver much better material in the forthcoming years. So, compared to Foxtrot or Selling England By The Pound, Nursery Cryme pales. Ok, it does inlcude some of their all time classics, and at least one song, The Musical Box, that is worth the price of the CD alone.

Still I don´t hear it from beginning to end with the same pleasure as any other of their records of the time, including From Genesis To Revelation and Tresspass, A Trick Of The Tail and Wind And Wuthering. Again, this is a personal opinion. Most of the songs are great. And maybe if I hear a remaster edition I may change my opinion a bit. My original LP and the CD copy I have contains the original recording mixes which I think sucked much of the tunes life.

And yet it is a essential buy for any prog fan. Genesis with Peter Gabriel had something magic all the time, even when they were not at their best.

Report this review (#132942)
Posted Monday, August 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is where Genesis really became Genesis.

"The Musical Box" is hilarious, chilling, and kick ass, all at the same time. Immediately one is transported to a the world of Peter Gabriel and Genesis. This could be my favorite performance by Steve Hackett. "Play me my song"!

On my first listen, I thought the shorter songs were really just filler. On closer examination, and several more listens, I like them. Yes, even Collin's song. There really isn't one weak track on Nursery Cryme. The inside booklet is great, it really adds to the album.

"The Return of the Giant Hogweed" is ridiculous. You simply have to hear it with a lyrics sheet in front of you to believe it.

"The Fountain of Salamacis" is my favorite song on this album. It's got the whole package. Cryptic lyrics, epic guitar parts, and a consistent atmosphere.

5/5: Necessary.

Report this review (#139233)
Posted Thursday, September 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars An incredible album and in my opinion, musically their best. Collins' introduction to the band brings a much thicker and more diverse sound to the percussion than on the previous two albums, and Tony Bank's powerful rock 'n' roll mellotron driven anthems (notably Return of the Giant Hogweed) are welcomed with open arms, along side Steve Hackett's intelligent guitar riffs and solos throughout. An excellent album, and a must have for any fans.
Report this review (#142319)
Posted Friday, October 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars For the third Genesis album the line-up changed once more.Drummer John Mayhew quit (and little had been heard around him until his death in 2009) and he was replaced by the talented figure of [Artist721], while guitarist [Artist5520] also left the group because of his stage fright during the lives and Genesis welcome [Artist3555] of [Artist17426] in the most succesful line-up of the band.The new members even contrivuted both compositionally and with singing parts in ''Nursery Crime'', which was released in November 71' originally on Charisma, featuring again an eccentric cover by Paul Whitehead.

Genesis developed their style even further with ''Nursery crime'' and the album opens with the fantastic ''The Musical Box'', actually the first complete epic of the band, an incredible journey through the world of Acoustic Folk and Progressive Rock, highlighted by the mellow acoustic passages, the powerful organ runs and the theatrical performance of Gabrierl next to his delicate flute parts.The short ballad-esque ''For Absent Friends'' features the first ever vocal performance of Collins with Genesis, while ''The Return of the Giant Hogweed'' became an all-time classic, having a sound close to ''The knife'' with more evident symphonic sections.Plenty of incredible organ flights, grandiose Mellotron waves and piano interludes by Banks with dominant guitar riffs by Hackett offer again a unique exprerience.''Seven stones'' is an underrated piece of high-quality music in Genesis' books, a lovely mix of flute-based lyrical music with dramatic organ/Mellotron-based breaks and a superb atmosphere towards its end.The humurous ''Harold the Barrel'' has sort of a Cabaret feeling, a welcome addition to soften things a bit before the entrance of the folkish ''Harlequin'' and its dreamy all- British atmosphere with the excellent vocal lines of Genesis' members.The closing ''The Fountain of Salmacis'' is just another example of how good Genesis were on producing long and imaginative music pieces.Smooth Symphonic Rock with great guitar work by Hakett and (yes, again) another monumental performance by Banks on Mellotron and organ along with a superb rhythm section.

''Trespass'' was just so beautiful but with ''Nursery Cryme'' Genesis moved a step closer to perfection.High-class musicianship, among the most valuable treasures in Progressive Rock's history and a band finally establishing its name among the greatest of the style.Extremely highly recommended and a must-have for any prog fan's collection.

Report this review (#144594)
Posted Sunday, October 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the start of the great Genesis albums we all know. The album starts off with the magnificent song The musical Box. You can not really say nothing bad about this song it just to great. Steve Hacketts guitar just roars and Peter Gabriel vocal are just so emotional. The best track on the album with out a doubt and a genesis classic. For absent friend is Phils first time on vocals and kind of a poppy song but like it. Then comes the Return of the Giant Hogweed, great musicianship from all the guys on this track, Tony Banks steals the song with great organ playing. Seven Stones is a great Genesis song and a great vocal performance by Peter. Harold the Barrel and Harlequin are good shorts you could call them fillers. The next song is The fountain of Salmacis this one could be favorite on the album but not as epic as the box. Nursery Cryme shows Genesis getting more creative with song structures and with the addition of Phil Collins and Steve Hackett the classic lineup starts here and they only get more amazing from here....the best is yet to come. 4 stars
Report this review (#146612)
Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Although Genesis showed signs of great things to come on their previous album Trespass, it was Nursery Cryme which also heralded the arrival of Phil Collins on Drums that they really began to make their mark. In fact without Collins Genesis may not have developed into the dynamic band that they are here. Despite the musicianship and compostional skills of the other members it was Collins explosive drumming that gave them that extra edge to develop their Symphonic Prog into the complex structures on this album.

What we get here is three long pieces and four shorter tracks. It's the longer tracks that are the album highlights starting in fine style with The Musical Box, amongst the favourites of many fans, myself included. The song starts quietly, moody and atmospheric with some nice guitar arpeggios until Hackett chimes in with some powerful chords followed by Banks on Keyboards and the band explode into the fantastic instrumental mid section before taking it back down for Gabriels next vocal part and then we're off again. The ending has a beautiful slow build and some fantastic vocals from Gabriel. Can it get any better than this? Well not quite but they have a good try.

The very short For Absent Friends is next and is pleasant enough evoking the mood of a cold Sunday early evening in England very nicely. Quickly we're into another highlight, Return of the Giant Hogweed which is one of the bands heavier moments but it still leaves plenty of room for the band to display (what was to become) their trademark dynamics and has a very powerful ending.

The next three tracks aren't quite as memorable but still worthy of inclusion, particularly Seven Stones with some lush keyboard sounds from Banks but the final epic, The Fountain of Salmacis closes Nursery Cryme in fine style with it's mythological lyric content and more superb dynamic playing from the band. Awesome stuff!

Report this review (#149877)
Posted Saturday, November 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Nursery Cryme! What a wonderful album. This is the first Genesis album featuring the classic seventies lineup of Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Michael Rutherford and newcomers to the band Steve Hachett and Phil Collins. These five musicians would create magic over the next couple of years. A magic that hasn´t lost it´s flavour even though these albums are 30+ years old.

Nursery Cryme even though considered by many to be inferior to Foxtrot and Selling England By the Pound is a great album. Personally I don´t find it inferior. The production is not very good, but the song material is as strong as on the other two albums.

The album starts with the great epic The Musical Box which starts out as a very emotional song and ends with an inferno. This is one of my favorite Genesis songs as it has anything I wan´t from them. Mellow passages, beautiful melodies and a great progressive touch. Note that both Tony Banks, Steve Hackett and Michael Rutherford plays 12 string acoustic guitars on this album. It is heard on The Musical Box.

For Absent Friends is a nice mellow short track, where if I am not mistaking, Phil Collins sings lead for the first time in Genesis.

The Return Of The Giant Hogweed is another great epic with some really great lyrics about how the Hogweed came to England. It is the most heavy song on the album, and a song I enjoy very much.

Seven Stones is a beautiful song which is build around a great Piano riff from Tony Banks. Note the beautiful ending with the mellotron, it´s just a moment of pure bliss for a prog head.

Harold the Barrel is one of my favorite Genesis songs ever. It only lasts for 2:55 minutes which is really short, but so much happens in this song. It changes mood several times. There are some great lyrics too. I find them so funny and full of life. The scene where Harolds mom comes to the townhall and shouts at him that "if your Father was alive he would be very very very upset" is just hilarious.

Harlequin is a mellow song with a lot of choir arrangements, and I find it very pleasant allthough it might be the weakest track on Nursey Cryme.

The last song on Nursery Cryme "The Fountain Of Salmacis" is the third epic the album, and what a great song it is. The lyrics are clever and the music is beautiful. Lots of mellotron on this one. Peter delievers one of his best vocal performances ever on this song. It really moves me.

It´s so hard to really describe me feelings for this album, because I worship it so much, but I hope my excitement shines through. I find Nursery Cryme to be a masterpiece, and a one of a kind album.

Report this review (#150958)
Posted Thursday, November 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Still they're invincible

I'll take the deepest of the breaths: if ever an album was balancing between four and five stars, this is the one.

Seven tracks, three of them absolute masterpieces, four of them highly enjoyable. The masterpieces are, of course, "The Musical Box", "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed" and "The Fountain Of Salmacis"- it's not a coincidence they are also the longest tracks here, the epics. But I don't love them just for the sake of being epics. They're delicate yet powerful. They are telling a story. They ARE a story. I used to wave my hands (I still do), alone at home, listening to my MP3 player cranked up to the maximum, imagining I am each of the band members, playing with role in the band will change with the next musical passage. And that's all I'm going to say about it. I'm not going to describe you my brain washed with the tides of Mellotron, the gurgling guitars, sincere drumming, tear-jerking Gabriel's vocal delivery or the lyrics, although I could knit a story just about the lyrics...but I'll move to the next paragraph, and give a word or two to the other four songs.

Let's use the coinage "non-masterpiece" instead of "weaker", shall we? Alright then. The four non-masterpieces are gorgeous in its shortness and great in its gorgeousness "For Absent Friends". "Seven Stones" and "Harlequin", nothing short of beauty and memorable guitar passages. And some pseudo-madrigal vocal section. Incredibly catchy "Harold The Barrel"; it could easily fit next to the QUEEN or ELTON JOHN back in a day. I admit, the piano riff borrows (coincidentally?) a chord progression of that LOVIN' SPOONFUL thingie "hot town, summer in the city" but what the heck, it's entertaining anyway.

As I've said this one is balancing perfectly between 4 and 5 stars. As this facility is not supporting 4,5 ratings, I will go (sigh) for four stars, but this reflects more the reviewing policy and the overall tensions of the site and my personal opinions about it (less than about the album itself).

The album is essential for any serious music collector. Not having it in your collection is a cryme :)

Report this review (#152559)
Posted Saturday, November 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Simply stunning from end to end, this is the first example of why Genesis occupy the top spot of the prog tree. Nursery cryme is as advanced lyrically and compositionally as anything you will hear. The musical box, a song about libido and age, shows all the emotional power that would later be so influential to neo prog bands, and is among Genesis' best. The other two long compositions, The return of the giant hogweed, and The fountain of Salmacis, are similarly advanced. The fountain in particular, with the recurring theme of sexual desire, a tale from Ovid's Metamorphoses, is stunning in style for its time. The whole album is harder than Foxtrot, and the opening of The return almost sounds like prog metal. The shorter songs are all extremely well crafted, and not just filler. Harold the barrel deserves a special mention for superb satirical lyrics. Overall, this is the start of something special for Genesis.
Report this review (#153012)
Posted Wednesday, November 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Okay, let me start by saying that I LOVE Genesis forever, and I am generally reluctant to criticize any good musicians making a sincere artistic effort (the music biz is tough enough without people trying to shoot you down). That said, I have to disagree with the general consensus on here that this is anything close to a 5 star album. Let's face it, Genesis were still very young and immature when they made Nursery Cryme, and frankly it shows on every level. The appalling cover art should serve as the first warning to anyone considering buying it. Musically, I suppose the highlight is the Musical Box, which remained a staple of their live shows for many years. But frankly, I always found even that song to be musically awkward and the lyrics are just disgusting. Peter's nervous vibrato doesn't make them any more palatable either. I come away from this album feeling like I've just been molested.
Report this review (#153998)
Posted Tuesday, December 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the first Genesis release containing the classical lineup. It also includes one of my all time favorites Genesis song: The Musical Box. This song is definitely genial and perfectly played. It contains a story of two young children Cynthia and Henry. Cynthia is also the main personage from the album cover (realized by Paul Whitehead which worked also for Van Der Graaf Generator or Le Orme). She is killing Henry with a croquet mallet by removing his head (which is for me really strange and weird). I would say that the story line is fantastic and the way the musicians are playing it really make you feel like being an observer of the story.

We have here also a classic Genesis song - The Fountain of Salmacis - which is dealing with Greek mythology themes (the story of the nymph Salmacis trying to rape Hermaphroditus). Tony Banks's mellotron and Steve Hackett's guitars sounds sumptuous.

Interesting to mention that this album contains a song (For Absent Friends) which is sung by the drummer Phil Collins (later, after Peter Gabriel departure, he will be the group singer and I'm afraid that everyone knows the musical approach the group had after Peter Gabriel had left).

Genesis was always very poetic and the lyrics from this classic album are really enjoyable.

In 1971 some of the best albums of the progressive genres were released and this is for sure one of the best Genesis albums and indicates the direction the band took during the next few years. This is really recommendable for everyone interested in the history of progressive genre. If one fails to understand a song like "The Musical Box" I would say that he will also fail most probably to understand something about this kind of music.

The other songs are also good but probably not with the same level as the first and the last epics. Nevertheless I will give 4 stars (more like 4.5) but I would like to think of this as an highly influential album. I consider it a cornerstone of the symphonic progressive style and music in general.

Report this review (#159365)
Posted Sunday, January 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars n absolute gem, often ranked as Genesis third best album, after Selling England By The Pound and Foxtrot. But Nursery Cryme is absolutely just as good as the following two albums... It's just a bit rawer in style.

Five stars from me means that it is one of the best albums I have heard in my entire life. This means that i cannot give away five stars to just anything, it has to be something really special, the fact that the album is a masterpiece is not enough. It has to do something for me, touch me in a way that no other album has ever done.

This applies to Nursery Cryme. The first album Steve Hackett appears on as well as Phil Collins, and you can notice the difference between this one and the album before, Trespass. The drumming is much more complicated, and there are many not only mindblowing, but also very moody guitar solos. Hackett was certainly the master of blending his virtuoso skills with the actual music in the background. I can't think of many guitarists who could do it the same way he does.

The opener Musical Box, widely regarded as one of their best tracks, was the foundation of Peter Gabriels... Theatrical behavior. The lyrics are somewhat different from what other bands would write, heres the meaning quoted from the inside liner of the album: While Henry Hamilton-Smythe minor (8) was playing croquet with Cynthia Jane De Blaise-William (9), sweet-smiling Cynthia raised her mallet high and gracefully removed Henry's head. Two weeks later, in Henry's nursery, she discovered his treasured musical box. Eagerly she opened it and as Old King Cole began to play a small spirit-figure appeared. Henry had returned - But not for long, for as he stood in the room his body began ageing (sic) rapidly, leaving a child's mind inside. A lifetime's desires surged through him. Unfortunately, the attempt to persuade Cynthia Jane to fulfill his romantic desire, led his nurse to the nursery to investigate the noise. Instinctively Nanny hurled the musical box at the bearded child, destroying both.

As you can see it was quite something. The song itself switches from light to heavy, during the light sections, Peter Gabriels vocals are accompanied by an acoustic guitar and during the instrumentals, he plays his flute. During the heavy parts, the song transforms into something very heavy, metallike, totally drenched in distorted guitars, including Hacketts amazing double-tapping solo. The song itself ends in kind of a climax, when the organ kicks in the song gets very emotional, and Peter does som of his most amazing vocal work at the end of the song.

Absolutetly a classic song. But enough about the box, let me get to the rest of the album... The band sees a lighter side at the following, according to many, throwaway track but For Absent Friends is actually a nice tune. You do wish it to end though, as the amazing The Return of the Giant Hogweed is next in line. It is, as The Musical Box, a very different song (sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between Guitar and Organ here), with whimsy lyrics and amazingly progressive structure. Seven Stones is an underrated piece, a short soothing track featuring some beautiful work on the Mellotron. Harold the Barrel is perhaps one of the most progressive 3 minute tracks I have ever come across, and Harlequin is nice as well.

The closer is another one of my favourites on the album. The Fountain of Salmacis flows very well throughout the whole song, in the intro there are many instruments building up in intensity before briefly dissapearing into quiet void, only to build up again, three times. Absolutely stunning, as is the rest of the song, including the absolutely wonderful ending.

I can't find any reason to give this album a lower score than the highest. It is one of my alltime favourite albums, it seems flawless, the only flaw at all I can find is perhaps the song For Absent Friends and the production (which is pretty crud), but I'll forgive the production, because the music is still amazing, and Nursery Cryme stands as one of the highest points in rock (yes, not just prog) music ever.

Report this review (#159395)
Posted Monday, January 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Very good but not the masterpice many seems to want you belive, The musical box is a grand opener yes but its not perfect, some parts can get a bit boring. The best parts of the song are the amazing hard rocking ones with hacketts nice guitars. For Absent Friends is a sweet litle phil collins sung ballad. The Return Of The Giant Hogweed, woooow now things get downright creapy the song thats about evil plants taking over the world might be the best one on the album, genesis dident rock this hard very often. Seven Stones is a personal favorite of mine, very nice melotrone palying and Gabriels singing is on top great melody. Harold The Barrel, ehhhh.. the abomination of the album this song is simply wierd and not very good probobly some leftover they put on to fill out time, yeah its a filler. Harlequin very good and sweet ballad one of gensis best. And so the grand ending mini epic The Fountain Of Salmacis which i like very much ecpesialy the opeing section, but as with the opener Musical box its far from perfect and got some flaws here and there. In the end yust as with Foxtrot its a very good album but not a masterpice, pretty close tough. 4.5 albums.
Report this review (#161826)
Posted Friday, February 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
TGM: Orb
5 stars Review 10, Nursery Cryme, Genesis, 1971

Another very strong album with weak moments, and a mixture of progressive giants (The Musical Box & The Fountain of Salmacis), interesting softer pieces (Harlequin & For Absent Friends) and a couple of lighter more amusing ones (Return of the Giant Hogweed & Harold The Barrel). With Collins on the drums and Hackett on guitar, the classic line-up is complete, and the use of Collins' vocal skills on The Musical Box and Harlequin is inspired.

The Musical Box is my favourite Genesis song, from the hypnotic acoustic interplay of the opening to the final flourish it stands out. The lyrics are 100% Gabriel's style: innovative, somewhat fantastical and very refreshing. The opening is a relatively delicate acoustic thing, with the vocals done by Gabriel and Collins (with possibly the rest of them) providing harmonies and additional vocals throughout. After the first 'Play me my it comes again' chorus, it moves into another slightly more complete acoustic part with more flute, building up to a repeat of the 'Play me my it comes again'. Suddenly, Hackett's guitar and then a powerful organ riff. Dominant drums, cymbal clashes, a shriek, amazing guitar solo, and suddenly quieter again, yet keeping all the build-up and power. How the hell do you make something like that? Gabriel's vocals enchant and drive the song at this point with music essentially provided to support him him, and then the power returns, the guitar bursts into control, the drums break loose, yet stay perfectly under control. Everything continues to build up, and then turns quiet again, seamlessly, delicate guitars, counter-harmonies mesh with Gabriel possessively, and then the organ returns. Almost church-organ, this time, building up and driving in cooperation with the drums, the song's concept builds to its climax ("Now now now now now!", Hackett slowly works his way into the mix, ending up with a part every bit as dominant as those already there, and the finale is somehow enough to end this amazing song with absolutely no feelings of disappointment. As you may have guessed, my obsession with this is unhealthy. Both very prog and very rock. I love it. Also, it's a great song for air organ...

For Absent Friends is a short, quiet song, with a soothing vocal from Collins and tasteful acoustic guitar interplay. Lovely.

Return Of The Giant Hogweed is perhaps the best example of how Genesis shifts between brilliant and unconvincing to me. The concept is utterly silly, which works quite well, but I generally don't like the vocals. Hackett shifts between frequent additions over the top, and a nice fuzzy guitar . Similarly, Banks here is difficult to stomach, since his organ additions shift between brilliant background work and a gaudy form of dominant bombastic vaguely Rush-like thing that becomes repetitive throughout the course of the song. In the end, it seems that Banks is responsible for both the great and the annoying sections of the track, with his piano making the second half of the instrumental section and leading up to the great end, and his over-the-top organs being too much for me.

Seven Stones has a very strong mellotron-and-bass start, with vaguely folk-ish lyrics about the vagaries of fortune (sound like Banks lyrics to me, but I'm not sure), tasteful bass, excellent drumming from Collins, a powerful chorus with a soulful vocal. Very good solos from banks, good flute parts, memorable keyboards throughout. Hackett's contributions are pretty typical of his style: not dominant in the mix, but always adding something special. A very good track.

Harold The Barrel is great fun for me. What I think is Hackett sounds more like a sax than a guitar, Banks' piano shifts between amusing to a prettier, more reflective tone at the right moments. Collins fits in perfectly, moving between standard beat-drumming to something a little more energetic whenever he can. The bass additions are great, and the mixture of Gabriel's sarcasm and vocal dexterity and the harmonies and the various vocal effects. Probably my favourite of the lighter, supposedly humorous Genesis pieces.

Harlequin is something different again, a very moving Gabriel-and-Collins duet with surreal lyrics and some subtle vocal interplay, the acoustic part changes frequently, and has a lot more direction, in my mind, than that on Dusk, while Hackett's few additions on the electrics are perfect. In my mind, an experimental and enjoyable piece, which grows on me with every listen. An unsung masterpiece.

The Fountain Of Salmacis is another progressive beast, though in a different vein to the album's opener, not necessarily less of a rocker, but somewhat more sweeping and grandiose, with more vocal effects and a more consistent style compared to The Musical Box's build-up. It begins with the keyboard theme of the piece, fading out into a lush soundscape and a bass-and-Gabriel-backed vocals with a mythical theme. Mellotron chords or melodies changing constantly in the background, occasional Hackettry, vocal effects that drive home the theme, powerful guitar and keyboard solos and a surprisingly effective expression of the two-part conversation, the story, the battle of wills between Hermaphroditus and Salmacis, and the final merged creature. A powerful emotional and musical triumph.

The end result of this album is an extremely good impression after every listen, and though I'm reluctant to allow my third-favourite album by a group, and one with a large, weaker song, the fifth star, I have to admit that the overwhelming majority of great material is a match for Selling England By The Pound and Trespass. Furthermore, I keep finding new aspects of the music, or noticing effects and background parts that I didn't really notice before, something not evident on Trespass. Although on a personal level, Trespass and Selling England By The Pound touch me much more deeply, they don't really challenge me as a listener like Nursery Cryme does.

Rating: Five Stars (the extended flaw that is Return Of The Giant Hogweed has some great moments, and there are, in my mind, four six-star tracks here)

Favourite Track: The Musical Box

Report this review (#162271)
Posted Wednesday, February 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
The T
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars It took me more than a few listens, but finally, I had to concede. There's a song on this album that really defines progressive rock, that really stands out of almost every other song ever made (with the exception of a few, including one by this same band), and that's enough to make this record 5-star worthy.

And yet, there are 6 more songs in the album, most of them brilliant. Isn't Nursery Cryme a perfect album?

Something weird happens to me whenever I listen to it. I always get the feeling that I'm listening something I have to like more for historical reasons than because I actually like it. Yet, paradoxically, I hear the songs one-by-one and just can't find one that is weak. I can't even find one that's average! All of them are excellent!

And there's "The Musical Box."

If you haven't heard this song and album and want a description, scroll up (if you're on the album's page) or go to the album's page if you read this on PA's home page. I'll take the easy/lazy way out and only tell you my feelings towards the music. And I'll be very brief, too.

"The Musical Box."

There. I said it.

One of prog's (and rock's, and music's) highest zeniths, highest pinnacles. Everything falls into place. The playing by all members, the melody, the tension, the spectacular structure where themes grow and extasis is created, and Gabriel... I used to be a Gabriel detractor... After listening to this song carefully, I just think I should've shut up and be quiet, as the master was singing. All his followers, the Fishes, the Collins', the neo's, all learned from this song. Drama, passion, art.

This is not a song that you'll like the first time you hear it, especially if you're a young prog fan who's more into metal or more modern genres. The sound of the album is atrocious, even for its day. Give it time. Hear it. LISTEN to it. This is the opposite of background music. This is foreground music. You, yourself, will recede to the back of the stage when the box opens...

Salmacis and Hogweed are highlights, Seven Stones is brilliant. Every song has something to offer.

But it's in The Musical Box where I found justification to give five stars to this album. GENESIS's best song, surpassed only, in my view, by the perfect one they created a few years later for their Selling England By The Pound album. And, as such, one of the best songs ever.

Intelligent music, artistic music, heartfelt music.


Report this review (#163138)
Posted Tuesday, March 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
5 stars This Genesis album was the first one to really change my opinion about the band! Since I already previously heard Selling England By The Pound and Foxtrot I only listened to Nursery Cryme as my last farewell to Genesis. In result I became a huge fan of the band! The Musical Box is my all time favorite song, only Cinema Show comes close. It has such a great flow and the story gives me goosebumps practically every time I listen to it! After listening to Nursery Cryme I decided to give the other albums another shot and I changed my opinion about them as well, even to the extend of Selling England By The Pound becoming my favorite Genesis album! But it was all thanks to the brilliance of Nursery Cryme!

***** star songs: The Musical Box (10:24) For Absent Friends (1:44) Seven Stones (5:08) Harold The Barrel (2:59)

**** star songs: The Return Of The Giant Hogweed (8:09) Harlequin (2:53) The Fountain Of Salmacis (7:54)

Total Rating: 4,52

Report this review (#163761)
Posted Wednesday, March 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars My third favorite Genesis album after Wind & Wuthering and A Trick Of The Tail. I think also that this is the best album from the Peter Gabriel era. Except one song I hate (The Return Of The Giant Hogweed, I just like the end of the song), the remainder is marvellous : The Musical Box, The Fountain Of Salmacis, For Absent Friends (performed by Phil Collins, uncredited on vocals, and for the first time drummer in Genesis - this is also the first album with Steve Hackett on guitar), Seven Stones...I just love this release ! The sound is somewhat a little cheap, but the songs are great - except one...
Report this review (#163992)
Posted Saturday, March 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Favorite Genesis album for sure. It's actually quite interesting I never got into Genesis before. I had listened to all the essential albums and found (quite quickly) that it just wasn't my cup of tea. A couple of years later, I listened again to the same albums I once found boring and dull. Probably the best thing I did. Now, all I do is listen to Genesis. All the albums from 1970 to 1976 are mandatory for any prog lover but 1971's 'Nursery Cryme' in my opinion is unbeatable. Check out the opening track along with The Return Of The Giant Hogweed and The Fountain Of Salmacis. These songs are just masterpieces. You'll also find other cool tunes like Harold the Barrel. Overall a kick ass record with all the elements of a good prog band. Definetly check out the other albums if you like this one. Cheers
Report this review (#164880)
Posted Monday, March 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This the 400th review here! :-) I dont know if they've said everything about the crime in the nursery, but I won't read them all! :-) First af all, if you are to start with Genesis now, don't start with this. Its a really hard-to-swallow easy-to-vomit album. I was 19 when I first heard it and still remember the shock when heard Gabriel singing on three-four different voices in one song, when I heard him shouting Why dont you touch me NOW, NOW, NOW? and realized that Genesis actually not produces music but mini rock operas with dramatic stories, horror and blood. I remember when I saw the first photo of PG wearing the masks of a fox, old man, bubbles (not Jacko's ape!!!) for Lamb and I thought c'mon, this guy is mad, deranged. But of course he was not. He was just an actor and the bandmates just served the purpose. Maybe that's why they split years later when the Genesis theater reached its mad peak with the Lamb... Unbelievable, how matured these guys were at the age of 20. They must have become some celestial help. These songs are complete small dramas loaded with tons of honest passion and true emotion, silent sorrow and malignous humour. Just listen when PG keeps long the word running juuuuuuuuuuump at the end of Harold the Barrel expressing that poor Harry jumped down. Even the raw sounding fits the rough guitar phrases. (The Musical Box and the Hogweed goes heavy metal sometimes.) Not any other music can touch these songs in prog history. So go ahead, this is gonna be one of your greatest musical experience.

I found some interesting facts about the album on the net, I wanna share them with you. Of course, I dont know if they are true or false... - A guitarist guy, Mick Barnard wrote most of guitar parts. Hackett arrived too late to change it so he just studied and played the already prepared tunes. - The Musical Box was originally wrote partly by Ant Phillips much before. Interesting that he was not credited on the sleeves. - Giant hogweed is a REAL poisonous plant omitting its poison only when the leaves are illuminated. - The band purchased a mellotron for Banks from King Crimson to help creating the new sounding.

And finally, it was the greatest idea to hire Phil Collins. He is one of the biggest drummers, he can express whatever he wants with so few phrases used in the right time and right place. He will change much more afterwards...

Report this review (#165474)
Posted Tuesday, April 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Although most Genesis fans like to put The Lamb or Foxtrot as their second best album, I like to put this down as my second favorite album from Genesis. Something about Nursery Cryme sticks out more and makes it better than the previous two I mentioned. Maybe it's the heaviness of the music, something that appeals to me, a big metal fan. Maybe it's because it has the most rock in it than any other album. Or it could be Steve Hackett, with his innovative double-tapping techniques and unusually sounding guitar (at the time) that is filled with distortion. What the hell am I saying, it's all of these qualities! Every song on here is great (even Harold the Barrel!), and the fact that they made this in 1971 is amazing in itself. It sounds so ahead of its time. Honestly, was anybody close to doing songs in the early seventies that were about the human race dying out from a plant? Okay, maybe Black Sabbath came close, but even they couldn't stand up to the virtuosity of each Genesis band member. The ending of Return of the Giant Hogweed is probably the heaviest material they've ever done, with the distorted guitar and the mellotron (I presume) hitting low, heavy sounding chords. After listening to that, I wouldn't be surprised if someone said this album is heavy metal. They would make an even better case by pointing to the Musical Box and the Fountain of Salmacis. Even the lighter songs on this album are great. I enjoyed For Absent Friends and I thought Harlequin was pleasant, too. Seven Stones had a great mellotron opening, and the rest of the song is also great, too. Harold the Barrel may seem stupid to some people, but I even enjoyed that tune, and I thought it was very catchy. Overall, this is their second best album, with Return of the Giant Hogweed being the best song IMO and Harold the Barrel being the weakest song (but it is still a great song). If you are a very big metal fan, you would like this album, even if you didn't like other Genesis material. However, this should also be recommended for every single prog fan in the universe and for people who would like to expand their musical horizons.
Report this review (#165810)
Posted Sunday, April 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Compositionally speaking, this is a mixed bag. Definitely a transition album since Trespass stands on its own, but Foxtrot and Selling England By The Pound refined and perfected the formula on Nursery Cryme. _Fountain Of Salmacis_ is probably one of the finest examples of the use of the mellotron. The only thing that holds this LP back from exploding is the muddy sound and production, which was corrected on Foxtrot.
Report this review (#166395)
Posted Friday, April 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars There Was no Stars available for Nursery Cryme without the Musical box & the fountain of salmasis in this album . This was my problem with Genesis all the way , since i've got Foxtrot & nurcery at the same time . From 1971 till 1974 . 4 releases , 2 masterpieces & 2 excellent works , BUT , i have always to skip some tracks that i couldn't find satisfying to my ear . with the exception of Selling England . No doubt that , without the Musical Box , this album belongs only to collectors & fans only . So i can't review all tracks as it's only satisfying for my taste in progressive . A 5 Stars for the musical Box , a powerful track full of greatness . 4 Stars for the return of the giant hogweed , full of harmonies & grandiose . 5 Stars for the Fountain of salmasis . A conclusion about my opinion in Nurcery cryme . it was the first appearance for Phil Collins & Steve Hackett at the same time , it was a step forward for the main line-up to be more productive in future releases , the proof was 3 masterpieces in 3 years . And maybe because i'm not an Englishman , i was not capable of discovering things between lines in this concept . Still this album was my companion for the last 36 years , and really love it . 3.5 to 4 Stars without hesitation . Tracks Toni
Report this review (#167683)
Posted Wednesday, April 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Nursery Cryme, often considered Genesis' first great album and the first with the classic lineup of Gabriel, Collins, Rutherford, Hackett and Banks.

I like this one because it shows glimpses of all that was good about the Genesis sound. You could argue that symphonic prog began with this and a few other albums of the era. In a historical sense, this is a VERY important record.

1. The Musical Box (10:24): The opening track doesn't do it for me. I understand what Gabriel was trying to do(based on material he wrote on subsequent records) but it just doesn't work for me. It's a good piece, but way too long. The band could have made the same statement in a much more concise manner. This one actually hurts the album, getting it off to a somewhat dark and creepy mood with harsh sounding guitars. Certainly not my favorite Genesis opener. Seems to me they were practicing for things to come.

2. For Absent Friends (1:44): Complete and utter filler material of the worst kind.

3. The Return Of The Giant Hogweed (8:10): Surprisingly this is VERY STRONG song, even though the lyrical material is quite goofy. The music and vocals work very well. Once again, showcasing the signature Genesis symphonic sound.

4. Seven Stones (5:10): An excellent piece, that weaves in and out of pastoral passages with flute, acoustic guitars and strong vocal harmonies. Nice to hear this type of piece in a symphonic rock album. One of the highlights of this record.

5. Harold The Barrel (2:55): What appears, at first, to be a silly song(makes you want to skip about) is quite strong and well composed, arranged and performed.

6. Harlequin (2:52): A nice pastoral piece that showcases harmonic vocalizing and Collins' child-like vocal range. Honestly, this is more filler than anything else.

7. The Fountain Of Salmacis (7:54): The most progressive and intense piece on the record. Hackett was in fine form on this one, exploiting his legato and tapping technique to the hilt. Banks shows flashes of things to comes, as well.

This is a VERY GOOD Genesis album, but NOT a masterpiece by any stretch. The song writing was starting to get there and they got there rather quickly, as their NEXT album, Foxtrot, is IMO, their best work.


Report this review (#167777)
Posted Thursday, April 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Let me introduce our new members"

Following up the well conceived Trespass Genesis now has to solve a couple of problems first. The first one being finding a better drummer one who will drive the band to be more powerful. Exit John Mayhew and enter Phil Collins. Check! Next to replace departing guitarist Anthony Phillips. What to do? Look in the Melody Maker and find Steve Hackett. Check! Ok that is out of the way one the album.

The album carries some of its melancholy moments from Tresspass but now they become more dark emotions as in the opening prog rock classic The Musical Box. The moment this song hits its first instrumental break you know we are on to something. Collins drums kick in and Hackett's guitar wails while Banks organ gives the impression something wicked this way comes. The second song shows Phil can sing as well as he and Peter reverse roles and Phil takes the lead and Pete the backing. Very short at 1:44 nothing to write home about. Next comes the great opening of Return of the Giant Hogweed. Genesis makes this weed seems like it the most sinister monster ever conceived (Ok maybe conceived over a couple of joints again). Great song and I especially like the "dance" section. Seven Stones sounds something left off of Trespass. A nice airy feel that has an explosive ending with Phil and Steve flexing that power again with Tony's mellotron setting the tone. Harold The Barrel is a nonsensical Monty Python Beatles style song. It reminds me of ELP's songs like The Sheriff. Harlequin is much like Seven Stones and then we get to The Fountain of Salmacis. This is dusk with stronger themes and powerful sections that drive this haunting story to its conclusion.

All in all this is great album a huge historical prog statement and the open door to more greatness to come. To some it may sound dated and for sure could use a remaster but this is what it is all about. 5 stars

Report this review (#170926)
Posted Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Sweet smilling Cynthia raised her mallet high and gracefully removed Henry's head.

That's what it felt like listening to this album. I feel like I have no head. This album is a fantastic display of progressive music.

The Musical Box, is easily, one of Genesis's best songs. It's obviously one of their most recognizable songs. Everyone remembers Peter Gabriel clutching the microhpone stand as if it was another human being. The beginning is obviously slow, creating this weird mood, with the help of Gabriel's story telling voice. Then the hard rock begins to start, that's when Steve Hackett pulls the rabbit out of the hat. His soloing was SO ahead of its time. His techniques were so different. Then it shuts down again to explain the story of the old man. Then the band comes in blazing again. Phil Collins drumming is so...different. In a good way of course, his playing style is so unorthodox it baffles me occasionally. Then, like a angel descending from heaven, the hammond organs come in. They almost bring a tear to my eye, they're so beautiful. Then the classic Gabriel line WHY DON'T YOU TOUCH ME!?, then the classic soloing from Hackett. This is eloquent, beautiful and epic. This is a pinnacle of progressive music. (10/10)

For Absent Friends, reminds me a little bit of a church song. Very memorable. (9/10)

The Return Of The Giant Hogweed, starts off pretty heavy (for Genesis) with a unison between Banks and Hackett. Then the song goes off into this story of a plant like animal brought back from the Russian Hills, by a Victorian Explorer. Then the plant began to kill anyone that touched it and then multiplied. Like some sort of science fiction story. Prominent hammond organs and great guitar playing make this one a great listen. (9/10)

Seven Stones, should've been on Trespass, it's so quiet and eloquent. The song is pretty basic, other than grandiose vocals and great flute playing from Gabriel. (8.5/10)

Harold The Barrel, I found rather interesting, a little bit funky. I really liked it, it looks like it took all of the British Invasion style songs and melded them into one. Very quirky. (9/10)

Harlequin, I found somewhat repetitive, but the singing is so beautiful, I began to like it. (8.5/10)

The Fountain Of Salmacis, returns with this beautiful Mellotron beginning. It just strikes my heart, it's so beautiful. Like an orchestra, these guys are pure genius. When the song gets intricate with the hammond organ blaring in your eyes and the guitar ringing, I noticed something. Phil Collins turned off his snare. Great move, it sounds great. These guys are geniuses in every way you look at it. The song ends a little like the Musical Box, but I liked this ending much better. (10/10)

These guys were ahead of their time in these regards. Symphonic Prog bands of the time wren't releasing records of this grandioseness and cleverness. I really have come to fall in love with these guys, they're all geniuses. Creatively, they work like an orchestra, they feed off of each other's energy. 5 stars.

Report this review (#174359)
Posted Wednesday, June 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars The first album with the classic line-up

With this album Genesis fulfilled the promise of their previous album, and what in improvement it was! The wonderful guitar playing of the amazing Steve Hackett is here heard for the first time and so is Phil Collins expressive drumming and some wonderful vocals as well. The Musical Box is a masterpiece with very interesting Neo-Classical guitar and keyboard work. For Absent Friends is a very nice ballad sung by Phil. The Return Of The Giant Hogweed is this album's The Knife (or a better comparison: Battle Of Epping Forrest). Seven Stones is probably the song here that is most similar to the Trespass material in both sound, style and quality. Which means good, but not more than good.

Harold The Barrel is the only song on this album that I don't like very much. I find it a bit silly to be honest, and though it is clearly meant to be silly, I just don't seem to "get" it. Harlequin is a short and mellow song, it sounds a bit like a nursery rhyme. The album closer Fountain Of Salmacis it took me a long time to get into, but now I really like it.

Overall, a very good album. Highly recommended for any Prog collection.

Report this review (#177297)
Posted Saturday, July 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars 3.7 stars, rounding to 4!

The Genesis' albuns (in their Progressive phase) possess a relative and interesting particularity: it is one of the few bands that had adapted the lyrics themselves with their presentation in shows. The famous vocalist Peter Gabriel always receives many prominences exactly for that reason. He tried to do of the presentations a true musical work-excel (always centered in the plots of the letters).

Spoking about the '' Nursery Crime '', I have the freedom of expression of saying that he passes a little far away from being my favorite of the band, in spite of it is still very good. Relevance for the music '' Musical The Box '' and '' The Return of the Giant Hogweed ''. The first can be considered one of the most famous music of the band, in such a way that was one of the segments more acclaimed that the band reproduced inside of an adaptation of the old music denominated '' Old Meddley '' in the tour '' The Way We Walk '', in 1993. It is really a creative and well built music , but I can't see the meaning of so much success. The prominence inside of the second music is the interesting construction of Tony Banks' synthesizers, mixed with Peter Gabriel's good vocal presence and the brilliant guitar master, Steve Hackett.

To finish, an intermediate album for Genesis (nor so strongly good, nor unluckily bad). However, if you are fan of the band, I advise to have it in home. It can be worthwhile...

Report this review (#177842)
Posted Tuesday, July 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars One of the first prog rock albums that I bought. After listening to Yes it seemed as though nothing could really compare until this. The first time I listened to this on the computer I instantly fell in love with the beautiful melodies and impressive instrumentation that Genesis had come up with. It was brilliant! This album is really an excellent one when first getting into progressive rock because it is not too complex and very listenable. So the songs:

The first track, The Musical Box is a great opener and the harpsichord sounding intro really creates the mood and atmosphere of things to come. Great jams and guitar solo and one of the best songs on the album.

For Absent Friends is a suprising acoustic track from Collins and Hackett and creates an interesting interlude before the next song which is very dramatic in comparison.

Return of the Giant Hogweed was such a suprise; very different and has both soft melody parts and strong guitar and drums driven sections.

Despite its popularity, Seven Stones never really appealed to me. Maybe I just didn't give it enough listens but it seems too slow to me and feels like it doens't really go anywhere.

Harold The Barrel, an interesting piece and by far the most theatrical on the album. Nice melodic parts and energized, high tension parts as well.

Harlequin, really nice acoustic track which contains some of the better melodies on the album. Almost folky and proves that Genesis explored many different genres with success.

The Fountain of Salmacis, Probably my favourite song on the album for several reasons: Its melodies are very beautiful and delicate with excellent vocals by Gabriel. But also, there is a harder rock section in the middle with Mike Rutherford's bass and Tony Bank's organ which creates a great instrumental part.

Overall, great album ranging from harder rock, to theatrical, dramatic pieces, a folky song and downright progressive songs as well.

Report this review (#177863)
Posted Tuesday, July 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars First of all,This is my very first Prog cd.My parents gave it to me as a christmas present. You begin this with ''The Musical Box'' a ten minute tale about a love or someone in love but the other isn't and then it ends in murder.Its starts out very quiet and ends with a bang.

Then ''For Absent Friends'' comes in(with Phil collins on lead vocals) to mellow you out after the excitment of ''The Musical Box''.It talks about two widows who visit church.It kinda has a folk feel more than Progressive.

After that,''The Return of the Giant Hogweed'' which has a heavy start,very similar to ''The Knife''. This tells another story about how innocent gardeners plant the deadly Hogweed. The Hogweed then comes to terrorize others. Which leads to a battle at the end. Where the townspeople beleive they won but it then turns out the Hogweed is alive and well ready to seek revenge.

Like the pattern of this album,it goes to another ballad.This one called ''Seven Stones''.It tells of an old man telling his tale.I don't have too much to say about this song.Not very exciting if you ask me.

We then go to another story about a crazy person who chopped offf his toes and served them all in tea.''Harold The Barrel'' is a very good track.Which Gabriel humourously keeps changing voices. But it goes tragic in the end with Harold either jumping from the window ledge to the whole world below or he gets arrested not a very good ending.But a standout track.

''Harlequin'' is abit of weak track because its just not really exciting.Not very memorable.

''Fountain of Salamacis'' goes to Greek mythology telling a tale.It tells of Hermaphroditus who is seduced by Salamacis drinking her water.which they then join and Hermaphroditus becomes two genders.Very good track.Even if the lyrics are a little odd but then again Genesis has always been odd.

In Conclusion,this album is very good.With two weak tracks. Its a very up-down album due to the constat switching of to faster songs to ballads.


Report this review (#177965)
Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Genesis - Nursery Cryme: 100%: This is the first album I have ever listened to by Genesis, and I must say; I am amazed! From the beginning to the end this is a masterpiece within itself. The Musical Box and the The Fountain Of Salmacis are the best songs on this album. I can not decide which is better. Both being very climatic and epic. This whole album is progressive, inspired, and done beautifully. The same can be said for the musicianship and musical composition. The only weak part that might bother some, but not the majority is the quality of the recordings. This album would sound breathtaking with today's audio technology. On with the album... The Musical Box and The Fountain Of Salmacis are the true epics of the album that need to be heard by all progressive ears. For Absent Friends and Harlequin are two mellow tracks that are beautiful and well inspired. Seven Stones is also more mellow, but a bit more on the epic side. The Return Of The Giant Hogweed is another amazing song that is upbeat and starts with a classical intro. Harold The Barrel being also on the upbeat though I found the other songs to be better; still amazing. Though a progressive masterpiece, I'd say any listener would have to know a thing or two about music. I would not have enjoyed this album if I did not otherwise. As a whole album it is memorable, but for the life of me I don't really remember any specific musical passages that caught me except the intro to The Return Of The Giant Hogweed, and that's just because I like classical. One last thing I almost forgot to mention: the lyrics are amazing! (They are basically awesome poetry.) Each of the songs are a story as The Musical Box goes more on the conceptual side. Making this album thus forth more amazing!

Report this review (#178017)
Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Finally great Genesis!Huge progress from the previous release - Trespass.Nursery Cryme set the beginning of one perfect progressive rock band,that will last till the departure of Steve Hackett.For me it is stupid to seek a big difference between the albums from Nursery Cryme to Wind and Wuthering.I believe that at this time the quality is almost the same and it is the highest possible.All albums in that period are masterpieces.And this begins from here.The first perfect album by Genesis,followed by five more.That's why we call Genesis great band - because it has six diamonds in its discography.There aren't many other bands with that achievement. The tradition for making long epic songs already begins with Nursery Cryme.Songs like The Musical Box,The Return of the Giant Hogweed and The Fountain of Salmacis show this.First of many 5 marks fro Genesis.
Report this review (#178681)
Posted Saturday, August 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars I'm going to offend alot of people with this review, but here goes:) First of I am a major Genesis fan, always have been, but how this album gets 2 stars nevermind 4 is way beyond me!!! This album is so badly recorded it is almost unlistenable!!!! IMHO Trespass has far superior production values:) The ideas and songs on this album get 4 stars, the execution gets none from me sorry:) I don't know what John Anthony was doing in the studio on this one, but someone was asleep at the controls. This album sounds like a dull noise with no highs or dynamics, which might appeal to post rock fans but not to symphonic rock fans! All the instruments are buried in the mix in this plodding mess! If the original group re-unites they really should re-record this album and give the songs the treatment they deserve(just look at how great Fountain of Salmacis sounds on Three Sides Live:)) Sorry to offend but this album in my opinion is their worst!
Report this review (#178765)
Posted Sunday, August 3, 2008 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Phil Collins? Didn't he do a lot of stuff for Disney?

Long before Genesis hit the 80s, and long before Phil Collins went off on his own to do... various things... Genesis recruited some new blood to perform on their third album. Most people know that their first album, From Genesis To Revelation, flopped miserably and their second album, Trespass, is considered one of progressive rock's pinnacle albums, and actually put them on the road to... making money, so this third album was going to need to be even better than their second. And it was. Playing no small part in this act is the two newest members of the band, Steve Hackett and Phil Collins, whose presence (and lack thereof) would be blamed for the later progressive shortcomings of the band. Strange that they'd joined at the same time, no?

For many people this is where Genesis really came into their classic era, and I'm one of those people. Trespass may be one of the most important prog albums in the history of the genre, but it still sound like a band searching for a sound to call their own. While that album had moments of sheer brilliance, this album simply is sheer brilliance. Every song on here is simply wonderful, and it has some of Genesis's finest moments in their discography. It may not be their absolute pinnacle, but they were nearing the peak with this release.

One of the songs that really needs noting right off the bat is the song that made many many people wonder over the years how this could possibly be the same band that released Invisible Touch. The Musical Box is a fine piece of progressive music that, at 10 minutes, can compete with any of the pomp-prog epics that would come out over the next decade. A slow start finally kicks into gear with emotional vocal work from Gabriel and soaring instruments from every angle. The story itself is highly amusing as Genesis recites the story of Old King Cole as depicted on the cover art.

The other songs on the album are also great, to different degrees. Some of the more comical (in an eggheaded way) songs serve as the other main pieces to the album. The Return of The Giant Hogweed features wonderful keyboards and incredibly serious vocals, considering the subject matter, from Gabriel. The Fountain Of Salmacis uses greek mythology and progressive rock to tell the story of Hermaphroditus and the nymph with a certain degree of humor. Harold The Barrel is the start of a long line of songs from the band attacking society, this one highly comical and yet somehow disturbing nearing the end. Fast and frantic, this is one of the better, shorter songs from the band. Harlequin is a beautiful piece with delicate melodies from every member and Gabriel's soft voice taking charge to make for a very pretty song while Seven Stones is another beautiful piece that has a very melancholic tone to it.

An excellent album, and definitely one that should be in just about every prog rock collection. Genesis had some better moments, but this is really where the classic era began for them, so if you fancy any of their masterpieces this one will appeal to you without a doubt. If you're hesitant about starting with the band this is also a fine place to start since it is quite approachable. 4.5 stones out of 5! Excellent prog rock.

Report this review (#181254)
Posted Sunday, August 31, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album has so many reviews that is hard for me to come with more information and thoughts that is already said before, but because i have this album for quite some time and most important thing, i enjoy it very much , why not a review. The real start for Genesis is this album, the line-up now is completed and remains this way for more than 4 years. Enter Steve Hackett on guitar and Phil Collins on drums and ocasionally backing vocals. What a choice Banks and Rutherford made when they announce the new members, excellent of course. The music is more mature like on Trespass more symphonic, more everything than the previous album. The ideas and arrangements here are worthy of having this album because is among the best Genesis records ever, and maybe the best with Gabriel on voice, at least for me. Three pieces from Nursery cryme stands as ones of the major contribution to progressive music and i mean:The Musical Box, Return of the giant hogweed and The Fountain Of Salmacis (personaly among my favourite piece from Gabriel era, and from Genesis music in general), the rest are also simply great. This is a Genesis classic no doupt, and a classic of prog music in general. 4 stars, not a masterpiece but close enough. I remain to Trick of the tail to be the most accopliced, chalenging and intristing Genesis album of all time. Recommended
Report this review (#182076)
Posted Tuesday, September 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album should definitely be in the argument for the best progressive rock album ever, right up there with Close to the Edge and Thick as a Brick! In fact, I am somewhat surprised at the number of people who are willing to put this album below SEBTP, Foxtrot, and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway in their rankings of Genesis albums.

These songs make me cry, laugh, rock out, and experience every emotion in between. Every melody is perfect, every transition is perfect, and the overall sound of the album is unlike anything I have ever heard--in my opinion, Nursery Cryme is the most cohesive Genesis album. Being a fan of Anthony Phillips, I enjoy hearing the influence he left on the band; it is my understanding that he still played a large part in some of the compositions. I also urge anyone who hasn't heard Trespass to check it out as well (the only album with Phillips on guitar), as it is highly underrated!

The Musical Box is a notorious fan favorite, and reasonably so. Gabriel gives one of his best vocal performances ever. There is definitely a nursery rhyme or fairy tale quality to the piece that goes way beyond the literal recitation of Old King Cole midway through. This is more than just a song--it is a narrative, a tale, a full production in itself. It contains a powerful message similar to Time by Pink Floyd, but goes the extra mile musically and vocally.

For Absent Friends is loaded with more meaning and emotion than any other 1 minute, 47 second-long track ever created. Phil Collins delivers a fantastic vocal, and the music subtly incorporates church chorale-like elements that complement the lyrics to perfection. This piece has an incredible amount of imagery, just as effective as great literature--I dare you not to envision two little old ladies buttoning up their coats and walking across the grass to church! So simple and yet so amazing.

The Return of the Giant Hogweed is the story of a vicious plant that was stupidly removed from its natural habitat by an explorer figure; the hogweed then sought its revenge by menacing the citizens of London. Only in prog will you get ridiculous, fabulous lines like They all need the sun to photosensitize their venom! I also love the instrumental section The Dance of the Giant Hogweed which begins at about 5:30. This track, aside from being one of the pioneering Genesis tracks, also has its place in the history of rock in general, as the beginning of the track is one of the first recorded cases of tap guitar. Way to go, Steve!

Seven Stones, as a few others have pointed out, is a very underrated track. The vocal melody and accompanying progression are heart-wrenching, as Gabriel tells the story of men both protected and exploited by apparent acts of chance. I myself thank Providence for letting me hear it and the album.

Harold the Barrel is similar to a great short story, short and in-your-face, with subtle point-of-view changes and the like. The music feels a bit more poppy than the other tracks, but this is by no means a pop tune! To me the real highlight of the track is the interplay between the tone and phrasing of the music, and that of the different characters portrayed by Gabriel.

Harlequin is Genesis at its most beautiful, with plenty of lush 12-string guitar arpeggios, and great melodies and counter-melodies. Nothing that will change the face of music forever, but a great track nonetheless.

As if nursery rhymes, church altars, science-fiction plants, hazardous seas, and suicidal restaurant owners weren't enough, Genesis explores Greek mythology with The Fountain of Salmacis, and in doing so creates an album-ending track worthy of Zeus himself. Hackett produces some great guitar work, Collins shines on drums, Banks delivers his signature organ, Rutherford drives his bass like a semi-truck, and Gabriel gives another absolutely magnificent performance.

Some fans say that this album, like Trespass, was great because it showed us hints of the great things to come with their next three albums. Personally, I think this is as great as it gets, and Genesis was THAT good, that they were able to continue to deliver three equally unbelievable albums thenceforward.

Report this review (#188007)
Posted Wednesday, November 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars One of the few Genesis albums I still had to review and one reason for this is that I've been in doubt for the rating for a long time now. The choice is between 3 and 4 stars once again. There's only one way to solve this problem and that's certainly not push it forward in time constantly. I will have to deal with it and that's by rating song by song and see what the average is.

The opener (Musical Box) is one of the first songs I got to know of this band and is the highlight and that will be no surprise. Always felt this is one of their very finest and I noticed almost every reviewer feels this way. Simply a case of 4,75 stars to me.

Second (For absent Friends) is a short and insignificant song and gets no more than 2 stars for the effort.

Third song and second epical one is a classic once again and one I have a soft spot for because it was on Genesis live and I always liked that entire album. Good symphonic composition. 4,25 stars.

Next in line is Seven Stones, a more than average song for Genesis standard with nice melodic inventions but not an outstanding song (3,5*).

Harold the Barrel is an up tempo fast and short track, accessible and nice but again no highlight (3,25*).

Harlequin is even slightly shorter but different in style, more of a ballad. Ok but less in quality to me (3*).

Fountain of Salmacis is the third longer song of this album and also the least of this trio. Still one of those songs Genesis is expert in, both in composing as in execution. But this one is a bit sloppy compared to most of their epics through the years (3,75*).

Ok, I'm not kidding here but it's exactly 3,5 on average but I will have to be fair: the longer tracks are the best and are strongly above this average and fill almost 2/3 of the timespace of this album. So I can only round this up to 4 stars but this is obviously not one of my very favourite Genesis albums.

Report this review (#195061)
Posted Friday, December 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is where the magic/theater truly begins... Peter Gabriel's lyrics are coming to their full expression on this record. The title Musical box is beautifully described with Genesis' (often) pastoral mood-using acoustic 12 string guitars. As for Gabriel,he sings his lyrics so convincing,so you can really get in the right mood while listening... Of course,this is after all rock&roll, so the song has its parts where you have a steady beat,and the band goes wild... The song culminates at the end with the catchy refrain - Why don't you touch me NOW!!!! and Hackett close the song with layered guitar solo... You can fully experience this song only by watching them perform it live back in 1973.... The story of Old Michael and his costume really give this song the theatrical aproach that everyone is talking about when it comes to Genesis...

For absent friends is a mellow track-the first song sung by Collins,and already here you can hear the difference between him and Gabriel...

The return of the Giant Hogweed - Hackett is showing us his tapping technique which he also uses in the musical box,as well as in the later albums...Great song.

Seven stones takes me back to their first two albums in sound...It has its moments but it's the most flawed number from this album (if you can even say it that way) has two organ sounds-the mellow whistly sound on the second verse,and full drawbars on the chorus,then the mellotron kicks in...ou yeaa...nice culmination and a calm closure...

Harold the barrel - Very energic number...What I like the most is the smart use of the piano on this one...It has a steady rhythm through the whole track (with the exception of that B section at 1:13...) I like! Again,the music nicely depics the lyrics-constant confusion,panic and dialogues...

Harlequin - again,a pastoral mood...this one has a calming effect after the disturbing Harold the barrel... It's a very relaxing number,which also takes me back to their previous releases.AND it serves nicely as a bridge to the closing epic of this masterpiece album...

Fountain of salmacis - Maybe the most dramatic song made by Genesis...It's so alive...every single note is at it's place...the whole band works beautiful,every member of the band is showing what they've got... The lyrics are mesmerizing.the object of the fountain is described in a genius way-with the strings of the mellotron... Collins is at his best on this track....his drumwork is odd and it's suits the ethereal atmosphere of this track...all in all,a breathtaking epic with many, many chord changes and smart use of instruments.

As I clearly said at the beginning - This is where the magic/theater truly begins...

Report this review (#195277)
Posted Saturday, December 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Genesis has its first masterpiece of Progressive Rock with Nursery Cryme. Not only that but it was also the first Genesis album with Steve Hackett and Phil Collins. Although I have always wonders how the group would do if Anthony Philips stayed with the group, I have always loved Hackett's skills.

The album starts with 'The Musical Box' which personally is one of my favorite Genesis songs ever. Starting with 12-string guitar before going into a more aggressive tone with a great guitar performance from Steve and wonderful organ from Tony Banks, this is what every artist should look for inspiration, a wonderful masterpiece.

Next is 'For Absent Friends', which is a nice folksy ballad. It may be a good thing that this song is only 1 minute and 45 seconds long because it doesn't have that much going for it. But still at its short length it is a nice break from the chaotic previous song.

Then the bombastic 'The Return of The Giant Hogweed', with aggressive guitar, organs and vocals it shoes us Genesis great exhibits in storytelling. This is about a rebel group of hogweed who start taking over humanity by spreading their seeds throughout England, a wonderful aggressive track.

'Seven Stones' is a good song, but for my taste it tends to drag a bit for too long. It can get a bit too boring at certain times. But I must give credit for the wonderful mellotron introduction that is very mystical and exquisite!

Genesis also displays their humor side with 'Harold the Barrel', a fun little track that has the right length and lyrics that fit the mood of the music very well. Defiantly one of my favorite Genesis songs.

But now for the worst song of the album. I'm sorry but 'Harlequin' is just boring, boring, boring, apart from the duo lead vocals of Gabriel and Collins, the actual music just sounds repetitive and but the 1st minute I'm skipping the next song. Luckily this song is not terrible bad and so does not harm the albums credit.

Finally the last song 'The Fountain of Salmacis' again is another lengthy epic with wonderful organs by Tony Banks and thumping bass by Mike Rutherford. Also throw in Hackett's guitar skills and you have a wonderful closer to end such a masterpiece.

In my mind every Prog fan must at least listen to this album once in their life.

Report this review (#196685)
Posted Wednesday, December 31, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a masterpiece, and fully deserving of five stars. I remember with great affection buying the vinyl LP with the fantastic gatefold sleeve and pouring over every detail - just the personnel names in print were enough to send one into rhapsody. And then to the music itself.

Musical Box remains for me the finest Genesis song of any era, and whilst Phillips was undoubtedly missed, any doubts about Hackett were blown away by his performance on this and subsequent tracks. Gabriel's masterly evocation of a love unfulfilled, why don't you touch me plaintively bemoaned, still has the power to move and shock.

I really like Phil's vocals on For Absent Friends, a lovely portrayal of times gone by. Hogweed is simply great fun, something that could only come out of England/Britain, I think. Wonderfully quirky and, certainly at the4 end, menacing.

I still get blown away when I hear Gabriel singing the Despair that tires the world passage on Seven Stones, featuring some excellent mellotron work by Banks, the finest performer of most peoples favourite instrument!

Harold the Barrel is again a wonderfully quirky and amusing song which tells a story in unique fashion.

Harlequin is another beautiful ballad - by God, Gabriel has a lovely voice and is used to full effect here, backed by some lovely acoustic guitar work.

The album closes very strongly with Fountain of Salmacis, featuring the strongest burst of guitar work I think ever recorded in the middle of a song. Hackett's solo is simply stunning, and is, again, backed up by excellent keyboard work by Banks. Greek myths are timeless, which is why, I think, this track still entertains and informs.

All in all, an absolute classic and an essential purchase for any progessive rock collection.

Report this review (#197549)
Posted Tuesday, January 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars If there is one candidate for the top three of the best Genesis albums, then its definatly this one.....I often think which one I like more Selling ot this one....since both have such a collection of extremely beautifull numbers. The Genesis absolute masterpiece...and in my eyes the best album ever made...but the Quality of Nursery Cryme is...not far behind....NC is however also the album that made Genesis was during this tour that Peter suddenly turned up on the stage with a fox head that eventually brought them on the front of Melody Maker.......

It was the second album that I brought from Genesis. After Selling, it was the next stop....totally hooked as we were to Selling, it was already a month later and another payslip from a parttime job allowed us to to buy the next album in a row....Right from the beginning we were totally hooked..and The Musical Box soon grew out in our favorite Genesis song (and that stayed like that for a very long time). We even named our Prgressive Rock radioshow after it, that I did for 5 years on the local radio.

The Musical Box is a song that rather starts out softly displays some very beautifull and touching flute, and 12 string guitar till around 3 min, we hear the Phil for the first time.......after that the refrain kicks in and 1/2 min later we hear Hacket coming on loud introducing himself with great bravoure......and turns the song into something that scatters all the softness Genesis ever had or sometimes pretends to be...especially cool is the guirat sneer at 4.10......eventually the cviolence calms down and Gabriel takes over again before again....violence breaks out out again.......Some fantastic guitar and druming interplay in this part of the song....till eventuaklly calms down and the last part of the song this part has been played so many times after Gabriel left...most recently in in the Old the 1992 tour I think this part is the most famous part....of the song...however in my opinion..not a strong as the things we heard before this....

For Absent Friends is just a very short song sung by Phil Collins (I think his first one ever)...guided by some nice guitar from Hackett (once again)......

The Return Of The Giant Hogweed is another rough song...that this time blows out completely after a very short intro of Steve....some great drumming and guitar, once again....while some extremely theatrical vocals of peter again...something he will repeat again one year later With Get Em Out By Friday.......On Genesis live this is guided by some amazing distorted guitars of Steve....but here not so obvious and only heard very far in the background untill 4.15 where the guitar takes over the mainstage together with the flute......untill it goes over in a nice piece of piano of tony.....that eventually ends in an amazing bridge.......with some absolutely amazingly guitarwork from hackett.....soon joined by some great drumming from Phil. Eventuallly Gabriel comes back once again to sing a few lines untill the song eventually comes towards a climax uf music......Great, great song...

Seven Stones is a truly underestimated song.....that needs alot of time before it is noticed amomst all this great giant pieces of music....Only performed 2 times, as far as I has some absolutely fantastic vocals of Peter.......that are almost constantly guided by some great Mellotron.....that gets a more prominent role while the rong goes along.....along with Steve's guitarsound.....eventually evolving in some absolutely drewing mellotronplaying. that start around 04.00, and what now makes this song so amazing......

Harrel The Barrel is a song.....that is funny, cute and I think more ment as a reliever and to show a more humorous side of the a seperate song the song does not work out so we'll......but as a song as part of the album its great. It gives some rest to Steve's playing....and draws attention to some other members....Peter in particular...who gives another theatric performance here.

Harlequin is another soft song with some great twelve string playing....I think from Tony and is a great song that evetually leads us to one of the other 3 highlights The Fountain Of Salmacis....A song that is characterized by extreme mellotron violence and now I think about it.......really reminds me alot of the song In The Wake Of Poseidon of King Crimson.....that also had the same over blowing melltron sound/use........The Melltron kicks in...right from the beginning........and totally overblows you...During the chords this mellotron moves to the background....while during the refrain its coming back again....eventually evolves this in some great guitarplaying....and up to a really great climax that eventually is a worthy closer of a classical album.

Report this review (#200910)
Posted Wednesday, January 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars If you ask me, Genesis managed to create two masterpieces of progressive rock: Selling England by the Pound & The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. The rest of the music from Gabriel's era is either great or above average. Nursery Cryme is above average. Please keep in mind I have the remixes from 2008, and only then I began to fully appreciate this album. I'm one of those who think that music has to sound good, and in this aspect the version I used prior to -08 failed miserably. I would've been ready to rate NC with two stars because the sound quality was so muddy, but luckily now I didn't have to go there...

The group starts the album with one of their greatest achievements: The Musical Box. Though I think the instrumental section in the middle doesn't come out as powerful as it should, the vocal parts more than make up for it. All of these parts are gorgeous and they clearly serve a purpose. Notice the band never go back to a movement once it's presented. The piece literally progresses from start to finish. Some of the themes are so good you hope they would return, but you can always listen to the song again! When Peter cries out for your touch, wouldn't you touch him if you could?

For Absent Friends, Seven Stones and Harlequin are all gentle and beautiful ballads. They lack the personality of the four other songs, but they're all good and should be enjoyed by every fan of early Genesis. The Return of the Giant Hogweed was a grower. It still isn't one of my favorites, but I like parts of it. I suppose it was more spectacular back when it was made, but it's a decent prog track.

Harold the Barrell, at first, I always skipped. When I started to pay closer attention to the story and digested the quirkiness, I realized how much fun the song really was. And the story is crazy: a guy is planning to jump from a window ledge while the whole town is looking. Can't go wrong with a plot like that!

The final track, Fountain of Salmacis, is the second strongest song on the album. The obvious characteristic of the piece are those two chords. A fast crescendo on the first, a fast diminuendo on the second. This little trick is executed nicely, really adds to the experience, and gives Genesis' first album with the classic line-up an emotional and large closing!

Report this review (#201526)
Posted Tuesday, February 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Nursery Cryme is considered by many to be Genesis' first masterpiece, but a lot of people seem to have a problem with the sound quality. For me, the sound quality does not begin to take away from the overall quality of the album. The three long songs on this album (The Musical Box, Return of the Giant Hogweed, Fountain of Salmacis) are all excellent and among my favorite genesis songs. The shorter songs also make good additions to this album. For Absent Friends gives a short calming break between the two epics on the first side of the album. Seven Stones is a beautiful softer song with great vocals and mellotron. Harold the Barrel is a humorous story about a man who is threatening to jump off a roof told through the many voices of Peter Gabriel. This may not sound like a funny idea, but you would just have to listen to the song. Harlequin is another short pleseant break before the final song, which closes the album with a bang. Sometimes listening to The Musical Box I think that it might have made a better close to the album than opening, but The Fountain of Salmacis is still an excellent close to the album.

If you are thinking about getting this album, just listen to The Musical Box sample on this site and you can decide for yourself if the production quality detracts from the music, but I think you will find that it does not and that this is an excellent album. In my opinion, Foxtrot is the only album that would ever surpass Genesis' first masterpiece, Nursery Cryme. This is an essential album for any prog music collection, five stars.

Report this review (#205317)
Posted Tuesday, March 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars This was my least liked of the Gabriel albums , I couldn't see why it was so highly rated on the site. The production is muddy , the long songs aren't that good and on top of that there are some short numbers that seem pointless. Luckily , listen after listen I started to realize that this record is as good as any Genesis prog record , and if I am in the right mood I may consider it the best the band has recorded.

Nursery Cryme is probably the most agressive record Genesis has released ( by Genesis standards) The drumming here is powerful , and the guitar riffs are quite unusually loud for Hackett. Of course the best song of the bunch is the opener , The musical box which may be one of the best 5 songs this guys created. Gabriels characters are very well performed , and there are some strong mood variations alonside the 10 minutes this mini epic lasts. From subtle vocal harmonies , to cruchy riffs this song has it all. "For absent friends" is the first song Phil Collins sings with the band , but unlike "More fool me" the tune does not feel out of place in this album. Then we have the second long number of the record: "Hogweed" continues the fairy tale-like mood "Nursery Cryme" has right from the very beggining with a typical Hammond riff and then it builds up based on very steady drumming and it has an impressive ending , probably the most powerful in any Genesis record.

The fourth track is my favourite of the record and a sadly forgotten number. "Seven stones" features strong Mellotron lines by Tony Banks which fit really well with Gabriel's dramatic vocals , his singing here is one of the highlights of the record. This song alone is worth the price of 5 epics at least even if it's really short by progressive rock standards. Right after that we have the much maligned 3 minute tracks " Harold the Barrel" and "Harlequin". Both tracks , while not masterpieces , ain't bad at all. The first one is hilarious and really cynical , while the second one is really gentle , very PFM like. The record closes with another mini epic called "The Fountain of Salmacis" . Lyrics here are based on greek mythology. Starts with a sudden burst of the old Mellotron , more or less announcing the epic climax this song has. Good old Melle won't go until the song is over , and that can't be a bad thing. When the nymph merges with Hermaproditus the tune becomes more and more dramatic. Phil Collins does his part delivering a really solid performance behind the kit.

Overall , "Nursery Cryme" is a very good record once you get used to the weak production it has. It may even be a masterpiece... who knows?

Report this review (#210487)
Posted Sunday, April 5, 2009 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Genesis was becoming a more formidable progressive rock act, but they would reach their zenith over the span of the next three albums. With this album, they established quite a bit a credibility, and while I was unimpressed the first two or four times I heard it, the music gradually weaved its way into my subconscious, and I found myself needing to hear this grand achievement again. I would compare this album to Yes's Fragile simply because there are a few long and essential Genesis pieces on it, but they are interspersed with somewhat weaker material. What's more, this album has one of the worst productions in progressive rock music. The vocals are swamped in the mix, and "muddy" is an adjective most often used to describe the sound. At times the vocals sound isolated, but perhaps that is to good effect given some of the themes of the songs. Any fan of Gabriel-era Genesis should get this album in his collection, although he probably already will have it.

"The Musical Box" Layers of gentle guitar and quiet vocals begin this bittersweet masterpiece. Steve Hackett's weepy guitar sets the tone for the song as Gabriel sings the haunting words. The story behind them is ridiculous at first glance, but something about them resonated with me on a visceral level. There's a menacing change of pace after a while as the sound fills out: Tony Banks comes in on organ, the bass rumbles, and the guitar is heavier and shrieks into a solo. There's a brief soft section that bridges the harder rocking ones, masterfully inserted as the protagonist sings a haunting nursery rhyme. The part that follows the second torrential segment is hands down one of the best moments in all of Genesis. The inflections in Peter Gabriel's vocals are perfect given the context of the song, and as the organ rises back in, he begins singing so pleadingly, its impossible to not feel sorry for the character. "Why don't you touch me?" he cries.

"For Absent Friends" Under two minutes, this little ditty is a quaint acoustic piece with Phil Collins on vocals. It's a pleasant enough song.

"The Return of the Giant Hogweed" Things get a lot heavier, with this alarming track that has two lead guitars, one low and one high, panned on both sides. Gabriel sings with a fair bit of vitriol as he tells a bizarre story about a hogweed that takes over the country. The riff during the verses is extremely inventive, and Mike Rutherford does a remarkable job in the background. The soft tinkling of the piano provides an excellent backdrop for the bass and lead guitar to work over during the instrumental section. After a short vocal bit with some of Gabriel's strangest vocals, there's a fiery and thunderous conclusion.

"Seven Stones" This beautiful song reminds me very much of good Seals and Crofts. Despite his youth, Gabriel's voice sounds aged as he reaches in the falsetto range and even as he sings naturally. The strings at the end are mesmerizing and gorgeous.

"Harold the Barrel" Here's a frantic song with amusing lyrics and giddy piano playing. It describes a restaurant owner who has apparently had enough of goes up to a window ledge. As a last resort, when his mother comes to the scene, she tells him his shirt is dirty and there's a man there from the BBC.

"Harlequin" Another gentle folk song, this one is nothing incredible, but it is at least very pretty and warm.

"The Fountain of Salmacis" The other great achievement on the album is this amazing song. Swells of Mellotron wash over a stark organ three times before the singing begins. The story is that of Hermaphroditus (son of Hermes and Aphrodite in Greek mythology), who unwillingly blends with the naiad Salmacis, thereby explaining the phenomenon a person displaying both male and female sex characteristics. This piece has Rutherford at his absolute best; I often find myself focusing on the bass line during the verses. But the singing is so very hard to ignore also! This is probably my favorite song on the album, even though on some days I find myself yearning to hear the first one more.

Report this review (#218833)
Posted Friday, May 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Slow Burner that will Eventually Capture You with its Brilliance

I went into this review fully expecting to give this album 4 stars and talking about how it was basically Foxtrot's little brother. Foreshadowing greatness, but still undeveloped. Fortunately, as is my habit before reviewing an album as complex as this one, I take several deep, fresh listens. It was only when I did this for this particular review that I realized what a treasure this album is. My main experience with this album was in my first rush of prog about 15 years ago, and at that time this one just didn't grab me in the same way SEBtP did. Now, my experience is quite a bit broader, and more importantly, I've become very familiar with the excellent album Trespass.

Nursery Cryme is not the lesser version of Foxtrot, but rather is the transition between Trespass and Foxtrot. Again, the presence of Anthony Phillips was a huge part of the Trespass sound, and he played a part in the songwriting for Cryme. At the same time, Phil Collins and Steve Hackett are now on board, and the band seems to be brimming with excitement as both members' performances are full of energy, and both are given quite a bit of room to shine. Hackett's powerful leads dominate "Return of Giant Hogweed," while Collins' jazzy virtuosity is all over the entire album but is especially impressive on "Hogweed" and "Fountain of Salmacis."

Thinking of the album looking backward instead of forward, the ethereal voices on "Seven Stones" are the last sign of the debut album's feel. But what is also preserved is some of the best melodic sense of the Peter Gabriel era. "The Musical Box" sounds more like later albums with Gabriel following his characteristic melodic contours while spinning his story telling. But "Harold the Barrel," "Return of Giant Hogweed," "Fountain of Salmacis," and the Collins vocal piece "For Absent Friends" all have hummable melodies that are distinct to the individual songs. Collins' vocals are used to better effect than any album up until he takes over the lead on Trick of the Tail. The short "Harlequin" sounds like it was taken straight off of Trespass.

In fact, the only weak part of the album (which unfortunately affects everything) is the production. Collins' vocals are recorded and mixed very poorly. The whole mix is a little muddy and dull, leaving the band sounding a bit amateurish. At the same time, the low-fi recording makes the disc sound almost live, like a good soundboard recording rather than a true studio disc. The looseness and energy are captured despite the sound being less than sharp.

If you read through the reviews here, the theme I've brought up recurs fairly often. That is, a somewhat weak first impression but deepening appreciation with multiple listens. I do admit that there is nothing here that totally transports me to another world like "Supper's Ready," "Carpet Crawlers", or "Firth of Fifth" but this is an album with very consistent high quality, incredible energy, and deserves its place among the Genesis masterpieces.

Report this review (#222506)
Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars What a magical album Nursery Cryme is! Genesis are a band that is very near and dear to my heart since they are one of the first prog bands I was introduced to when my dad was getting me interested in progressive rock. This is in fact the first Genesis album I ever heard (my dad liked to go through the albums chronologically and he didn't have a copy of Trespass). It was a magical experience, and because of it, I'll always view this album in high regard. I'm going to keep this review short since so much has already been said about it, but I'll point out some highlights.

"The Musical Box" is one of the greatest Genesis songs, and it is 10 minutes full of highlights. It goes from the two different Genesis extremes, starting with a calm pastoral passage where the focus is on gentle tinkling acoustic guitar and flute before becoming a high charged powerhouse with Phil Collins pounding away at the drums. One of the reasons this band was so special was because of the character that Peter Gabriel put into his vocal performances. I'm not sure I'm a huge fan of the tone of his voice, but the character and emotion more than makes up for it. "For Absent Friends" is a pleasant acoustic number that gives Phil Collins a chance to sing. I really like his vocals and feel they are a good compliment to Peter Gabriel.

"Return of the Giant Hogweed" shows the bands tendency to delve into more fantastical lyrics. This is one of the heavier Genesis songs, and it is always a lot of fun to listen to with some great keyboard work from Tony Banks. "Seven Stones" is another pleasant ballad, this time sung by Peter Gabriel. It is beautiful and fits the tone of this album brilliantly. "Harold the Barrel" is a more whimsical song that has a bouncy beat and is a lot of fun to listen to. "Harlequin" is another brilliant acoustic ballad that fits in nicely with the other two on the album. Very beautiful and nice to the ears.

Opening with beautiful mellotron is the brilliant "The Fountain of Salmacis". Steve Hackett does some brilliant guitar work in this album as the buildup occurs to the grand finale complete with choir and magnificent mellotron. This song is absolutely astounding and a brilliant closer to a brilliant album. I love this album because it shows a very young band already coming into maturity. I am impressed with both this album and Trespass because of the amount of complexity and originality this band had right from the beginning of their career.It is magical and there is not a bad moment on the whole album. It is a necessicity for all prog fans.

Report this review (#226696)
Posted Tuesday, July 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Here I am, reviewing old after the new (Flower Kings) - 1971 was a long time ago now, I was six years old - Man had only just been on the moon several years previously....and Symphonic progressive rock was in it's infancy. When I was a child I loved the art-work of the gate-fold sleve vinyl version my brother would have owned in the early seventies and which I bought in 1977 ish - The cover inspired by the all-time classic - The Musical Box - a track that mesmerises with ace twelve strings and then gets rocky...and the clock...tick tock - Gabriel at his best - Then the finale - and I still love the hammond chords building up as the old man with the childs head tries to seduce that victorian minx...Ace.

Then the weakest track - For Absent friends - but it's still got a feel of the home-counties about it which I like - Phil Collins sings of course...

Track 3 - Return of the Giant Hogweed - Science Fiction Opera - coupled with excellent use of organ and guitar - Another victorian themed story - with ace Gabriel lyrics.

Side 2 track 1 A true undervalued gem - Seven stones - I love this track and the Mellotron solo and again Gabriel tells us a fine tale. Track 2 Gabriel gives us a modern bit of Gilbert & Sullivan with Harold the Barrel - the lyrics "Harold the Barrel cut off his toes and he served them all for tea..." Marvellous. Track 3 Harlequin - some nice twelve strings and again this is a peaceful melodic piece of music

Track 4 My personal favourite - The Fountain of Salmacis - The start sends shivers down my spine I love the mellotron and arpegios on the guitars and organ... Then the Greek mythological lyrics told by students of a top english school who were fascinated by their classics teachings - I love the Hackett solo at the end - Peach of a solo If you haven't got this gem - Buy it - FIVE STARS of course.........

Report this review (#229919)
Posted Tuesday, August 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wish all album ratings were so easily ruled on.

I remember when way back, a friend of mine had to work quite hard to convince me into trying vintage Genesis. I thought they were probably overrated, like some object of some cult following that would just not meet the expectations of most people like me. How badly wrong was I. And as I am writing this, I realize that it requires of me much humility to confess such erroneousness so openly.

My first experience with Gabriel-era Genesis happened to be Foxtrot. It did not take long to floor me down, and led me straight to Nursery Cryme short after.

There are many old albums in my collection that I still enjoy listening to from time to time, but none older than Nursery Cryme that I still enjoy this much. Despite the drums and keyboards which have yet to peak, the quality of the moving compositions, their sheer originality at the time, as well as the gripping melodies and movement transitions are jaw-dropping even today, and have easily withstood the test of time.

I need not elaborate on the greatness of The Musical Box, The Return of the Giant Hogweed, Seven Stones or The Fountain of Salmacis, as everything has already been said about them.

There is no better example of a masterpiece of progressive rock music than Nursery Cryme. A true classic.

Report this review (#235296)
Posted Wednesday, August 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the third album from my favorite classic prog band, Genesis. I love this album dearly, but they still had not perfected their sound with all this new talent that entered at the release of this album. Being the first album with Steve Hackett and Phil Collins, they sure had an excellent lineup at this time through "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway". True this is my least favorite album of Genesis' classic lineup, but considering every other one I gave 5 stars, that isn't saying too much.

With that said, this album is awesome! With 7 tracks, it contains some short and longer pieces. It is noticeably more geared towards folk at times, as well as containing some of Genesis' most hard rock sections. The general breakdown is, this contains 3 masterpieces, one great song, and 3 sort of unmemorable ones. Considering the three masterpieces take up the bulk of the album, this is an excellent album.

The only real problem is that the recording quality is Genesis' worst. They were never known for having great recording quality, but this is exceptionally bad for them. It was recorded on 8-track, so I shouldn't expect too much anyway. Here's an in-depth summary of the songs, but I'll try to keep it short, being that there are so many other reviews on the site.


"The Musical Box"- A classic progressive rock song. When people think of Genesis, or even prog rock in general, this song is what they think of. It starts as a beautiful acoustic section with light vocals from Peter Gabriel. It later has distorted guitars, mad drumming, and heavy organs. In one of the guitar solos, it is actually one of the first references of the guitar technique "tapping". The ending is awesome, as is this whole song.

"For Absent Friends"- A short little acoustic song with Phil Collins on vocals. Nothing too memorable, but it's alright.

"The Return of the Giant Hogweed"- This starts out with a nice riff that makes for a nice opening. This is kind of a mix between heavier bands like Deep Purple, and the Genesis we all know. It does have some heavy use of organs and distorted voices by Peter Gabriel. The use of flute actually gives this almost a Jethro Tull kind of sound at times. An excellent song!

"Seven Stones"- Somewhat of a ballad, but a beautiful song. The strings ad a nice touch, and Peter Gabriel's voice sounds great here.

"Harold The Barrel"- A lighthearted almost ragtime song. It is very piano driven and has some catchy melodies.

"Harlequin"- Another more folky acoustic song. It's not particularly great, but it's a good enough song.

"The Fountain of Salmacis"- The closing masterpiece of the album. The use of Mellotron is superb here, as is the organ. I really love everything about this song, from the contrasts between dark and light and the excellent jam session near the middle. It has some great use of the flute among some pretty heavy guitar, organ, and bass playing. A masterpiece of progressive rock!

This is full of memorable songs, but has a few songs that are pure filler. Sure it's not as good as Foxtrot or The Lamb, but then again there are few albums that are. If you are looking to get into early Genesis, this is a great album, but I recommend Foxtrot first. This is still an excellent album with some of Genesis' best work.

4 stars.

Report this review (#239806)
Posted Thursday, September 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
5 stars I like this one, that's for sure. But there's one thing about it. It's not instant catcher, or at least is not for me. I first heard "Selling", then "Foxtrot" and that was it. I was satisfied and wasn't seeking more these days. This album is not as melodic and attractive for normal listener (I mean that it is attractive, but not as much. It's hard to compare anything with "England By..", because almost everything will be over-shaded), but it has solid structure. As shown in Musical Box (OK, add "The" before it), this song is tender, with many calmer parts. It's tender, but not fragile. After repeated listens, you'll probably start loving it, as I do now.

And these ideas. Maybe it wasn't good idea to start with their best material before moving to previous records, but that's it. I think that a lot of people did the same, at least those who weren't living in these times. As I can see, there are three, mid-length epics. Funny thing is that when you compare two songs with similar style (to some extent) and name, "The Musical Box" and "The Cinema Show", even total count of chars is the same. The Return of the Giant Hogweed is true epic and perhaps the most well known song from "Nursery Crime". Or tremendous song Seven Stones (in fact, just six of them are tremendous, the last one is shocking, rebellious and completely insane). OK, it's not insane, but I know one song that is, Harold the Barrel, which reminds me much of certain parts of "Suppers Ready".

5(-), these things are here. And I'll probably listen this album as much, or even more than previously mentioned two more famous brothers. Because it's not so well known by me, it's something I still didn't get tired of. This is like almost grown child that will mature with Selling Foxtrot.

EDIT: After repeated (many, many, many) listens, I found out that this record is even better than I thought before. And that it's unfair to compare it with their best ones, because I wasn't assuming that they can do for example 4 masterpiece rated albums. I do know and must admit that it's right.

To the hell with pessimism, let's enjoy musical ecstasy of late part (minute or two) of Cinema Show, what a masterpiece.

Report this review (#240252)
Posted Saturday, September 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Genesis finally carved their niche with their third album. It's a most original and wide-ranging affair with excellent vocals, intense playing and the best album cover of the year.

The success is for a great deal accomplished by the new recruits Hackett and Collins. On the preceding Trespass Genesis showed great promise but lacked the technical skills and energy to make their music come alive. Here, Collins and Hackett injected the music with the required power boost and added impressive dynamics into the stew. The quiet parts are soft and fragile; the loud parts rock your socks off. Especially on the Musical Box and the Giant Hogweed, we find Genesis radiating with enthusiasm and sheer pleasure at what they are doing. Also Seven Stones and the Fountain of Salmacis do not disappoint. Soaked in mellotrons they provide a nice romantic counterbalance against the forceful tracks that preceded it.

Unfortunately, to reach the 40 minute mark they added some filler. With just one other accomplished track instead of those 3 dreary sketches they might have got themselves a 5-starrer. But no fuss, that was just around the corner.

Report this review (#240306)
Posted Saturday, September 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Touch me Now, Now, Now, Now!!! And through many years this masterpiece does not get any older, and for many ideias or reviews, one thing is for sure: Nursery Cryme is a landmark on the progrock universe and a major influence for all his conteporaneans. For those who still didn´t hear this piece of art it´s obviously a must have in any proghead collection. On Nursery Cryme we can feel the new blood ,of Steve Hackett and Phill Collins, running through the music machinery of Genesis. There is a evolution in two points for the band: firstly- the creativity and the tecnic of Phill Collins provides the band with a drumming that flows perfectly in the musical landscape of Genesis giving them a more carefree but also complex rytmique structure of the music, on the otherside we have Steve Hackett that continues with the so traditional 12 string guitar trio but adds a more agressive side to the guitar . Secondly, on " Nursery Cryme", Tony Banks had purchased a mellotron Mark II ( From King Crimson) wich is used all over the album, in addition Michael Rutherford had also purchased the electronic bass pedal, Dewtron Mister Bassman that would also give a envolving sound within the band. This two points would give a tremendous push in the right direction for the band. So the album starts with one of the most known masterpieces of the band: The Musical Box. For sure one of the most known pieces of the album, a ten minute epic about love, reincarnation and lust, it opens with a cynical pastoral theme ( here credits for Anthony Phillips, few may know but the Musical Box, also known as F Sharp, was partially written by the former member) once more we have the 3 guitar intertwined game that crashes in a agressive new theme with the organ and the guitar riffing. Somewhere in the middle we are introduced to Steve Hackett landing with a magnific solo, using the tapping technique, the music ends with a perfect climax that concludes perfectly the song. Troughout the album we can feel the evolution of the band, there´s still that beautifull and melodic themes that can show us the capability of composing something complex and simple at the same time like: For Absent Friend and Harlequin. We have moments of virtuosity complexity : The Return Of The Giant Hogweed ( And i swear i can hear some heavy-metal riffs here). A python-esque moment with and incredible musical flow: Harold The Barrel( credit here to Phill Collins drumming). A beautifull and touching composition with and incredible and memorable mellotron lines: Seven Stones. And to finish an amazing song such as Fountain of Salamacis with a fantastic contribute from Steve Hackett with a touching final solo that ends this masterpiece. In conclusion we are in front of a masterpiece of prog rock, in Nursery Cryme we can feel the echoes of the pastoral Trespass, yet there´s also a felling of a more consistant band that is always evolving and in my personal point of view is a perfect album in a way that here we can feel that Genesis are going in the righ direction, their pastoral themes will continue to marvel the older Genesis fans ( Trespass fans) and the new complexer, harder, and more mature compositions will marvel those who were not still convinced, so its perfect in everyway and a must have for any real progrock fan
Report this review (#245282)
Posted Monday, October 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The classic line-up begins

From Trespass through The Lamb, legendary proggers Genesis laid forth a 5-album streak of some of prog's most beloved classics. Trespass was their breakthrough masterpiece and established the band's lush sound built around guitar and keyboards, and lead by the dramatic and passionate voice of Peter Gabriel. Unfortunately, guitarist Anthony Phillips, who was the heart of the band at this time, was having unbearable issues with stage fright. It became so bad that he felt he had to leave the band. It's a shame because as good as they were anyway, they were a better band with Phillips in the fold. The band used the departure of Phillips to shop for a new drummer figuring they would handle both personnel issues at once. Enter Steve Hackett and Phil Collins....and so begins the next chapter which was a continuation of their most significant creativity.

Several changes occurred in the sound between Trespass and Nursery. First and foremost was Banks stepping to the forefront with much more emphasis, the folksy medieval charming-ness of Phillips no longer in the way. Hackett brought with him a more confident and somewhat heavier lead in the rock sense, the bold leads of "Musical Box" are melodic and powerful. Second was the undeniable control and finesse that Collins brought to the kit. As great as I feel Mayhew was, and I personally prefer his style, there is no doubt that progressive rock fans enjoyed what Collins brought to the sound, let alone the eventual vocal prowess. Nursery Cryme would keep the English whimsy of Trespass but feel more Victorian than Middle Ages, more rock than woodsy, more feisty than breezy. "Musical Box" was and remains an absolute high point of the band with its top notch songwriting and good fun. "Hogweed" is another step upward in rock intensity with furious bashing by Collins and chunky fuzzed out guitars melded beautifully to Banks keys and even occasional remnants of Gabriel's flute. "Seven Stones" is a grand vocal piece that recalls Trespass in mood and softness, with flute and pastoral ambiance. Here's a prime example of Collins overplaying though, a song where I'd prefer Mayhew's style. "Harlequin" is another luscious but mellow track that could have been on Trespass, with glorious vocal harmonies, serving as the perfect introduction to the third classic of Nursery Cryme. "Salmacis" is another fan favorite with imagery of water that is mimicked in the sound, the dreamy part from the beginning which recurs sounds exactly like a dark pool of rippling water would look to the eye. Brilliant concoction!

I love the confidence Tony Banks exhibits here and I feel with Phillips departure it was his show despite the more popular and acclaimed Peter Gabriel in front. Cryme is another classic album that leads the competition of the day: easily a better album than Meddle and a bit stronger than The Yes Album.

Report this review (#250256)
Posted Thursday, November 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Meh.

This is the first album by the complete "classic" Genesis lineup. And I'll have to admit, the songwriting is very good. But as usual, the performances always leave me wishing for more. I just don't hear the band pushing the music to the stratosphere. That's why this band will always be second tier prog to me. It doesn't appear to be for lack of trying. Banks and Hackett put in their fair share of solos. They just leave me flat.

The Musical Box has some nice sections, but kind of lame lyrics (maybe they're just too British for me). The Return Of The Giant Hogweed is memorable. Harold The Barrel is a listenable uptempo song. The Fountain Of Salmacis I like the most on this album. It's a good closer, as it almost makes me forget the shortcomings of the rest of the album.

Report this review (#255792)
Posted Saturday, December 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Sleepwalker
5 stars Nursery Cryme is Genesis' third studio album. New to the band are two members that would be very important to the unique sound of the band: guitarist Steve Hackett and drummer Phil Collins. Nursery Cryme is often said to be inferior to future releases like Foxtrot and Selling England By The Pound, but I think this album shows the band at their best. The album features several epic pieces and also some shorter pieces. These shorter pieces often are described as "filler" by many people, but I feel that they contribute to the album's quality by adding some softer moments between the epics.

"The Musical Box" opens the album with a gentle intro. This epic song features many different parts, so it's no surprise that after several minutes the power of it gets unleashed. The striking and fuzzy guitar soloing by hackett, the powerful organ by Tony Banks, Phil Collins magnificent drumming, it all sounds fantastic. Peter Gabriel's vocals are very emotional as well, and the sum of these things makes "The Musical Box" an absolute masterpiece. "For Absent Friends" is a soft and brief break, sung by drummer Phil Collins. The song gives the listener a chance to calm down after the epic opener and before another epic piece, "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed". Though not as overwhelming as "The Musical Box", this song still is fantastic. The intro is one of the most convincing intros I've ever heard, having an intense strength. Also, the piano part and the guitar solo after the five minute mark are absolutely lovely. "Seven Stones" is another great song, though it's not one of the short songs and not an epic as well. It's a calm and pretty accesible song, very rich of organ. This is definitely not the best song on the album, but it's a very good one indeed.

"Harold The Barrel" is an unusual piece. Peter Gabriel narrates the story of a man that's on the point of jumping down from a building. Just like Gabriel would do in the future, on Selling England By The Pound, he makes use of different kinds of voices in the song. This isn't a masterpiece obviously, but a fun song definitely. "Harlequin" is a soothing and lovely song, serving the same use as "For Absent Friends". The albums closer is the third epic, the astounding "Fountain Of Salmacis". The song opens with mysterious mellotron sounds, followed by a verse, which is full of Mike Rutherford's excellent bass playing. Everything about this song sounds so good, making it one of my favorite songs ever. The song is fairly straight forward for its length, though the second half features a superb organ and guitar climax. Also the ending of the song is incredibly powerful.

Nursery Cryme is a masterpiece for sure. It features some of Genesis' best moments and because of the shorter, softer songs the album has a very fine flow. The three epics on this album are among my favorite songs ever made, and in my opinion are superior to songs like "Firth To Fifth" and "Watcher Of The Skies", which are favorites among many Genesis fans. This album deserves nothing less than five stars.

Report this review (#257414)
Posted Wednesday, December 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Genesis - Nursery Cryme (1971)

My favourite Genesis effort!

Well.. this is actually the only Genesis album I would give the five star rating. Genesis isn't quite my favourite prog-band. Instead of the symphonic camp Yes-Genesis I've always been more attracted to the eclectic triangle of VdGG, KC and GG. Nevertheless Genesis is one of the most important bands of the symphonic genre and I own most of their progressive albums (I still got to find a good vinyl copy of The Lamb). The recording of this record has had some critics complaining, but the vinyl version has an acceptable sound for an album of 1971. No vinyl = no complains about the recording. Futhermore I'd like to say this is essential mellotron listening.

The musical box is the first epic on the album. It's melodic, tense, bombastic, theatrical, atmospheric and dynamic. This is Genesis at it's best! For Absent Friends is a short, but still impressive song. I like the fact that it cuts the first halve in two parts. It's directly followed by my Genesis favourite: The Return of the Giant Hogweed. Some crazy story put on progressive music like never seen before or after. The aggressive first halve is intense and the bombastic symphonic ending section (including. the song of the Hogweed themselves) is memorable. I love this track!

Side two has shorter pieces that are nevertheless masterful. Seven Stones is another story songs with impressive symphonic structures. Harold the Barrel is an sophisticated storyline track with lot's of different people represented. One should not judge about this song before reading the lyrics with the information required to understand this song. Harlequin and Fountain of Salmiacs are both great symphonic tracks with some catchy vocals and bombastic mellotron driven chord progressions.

Conclusion. An hell of an achievement by Genesis! One of the most important albums of the symphonic genre, and not just because it's widely known. No, this is true quality that deserves to be celebrated. Five stars without hesitation!

Report this review (#260806)
Posted Thursday, January 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars On Nursery Cryme, Genesis's best-loved lineup was together, and while they haven't quite perfected their sound, they still manage to make a very good album with interesting, powerful songs. The Musical Box comes right out of the gate with one of the kind of songs Genesis would later achieve notoriety for making; long, theatrical pieces, with good use of soft, quiet parts built around vocals, and hard, climatic guitar-led parts. For Absent Friends isn't much, less than two minutes and not all that good, but that's forgivable. After that is one of the best Genesis songs ever, Return of the Giant Hogweed. It's got power and energy, and hiding behind the silly-looking lyrics is actually a nice metaphorical description of invasive species, highlighting the Giant Hogweed, which came into Britain from Russia and grew uncontrollably. Seven Stones is a nice, catchy song, enjoyable but not particularly amazing. After that is Harold the Barrel, a short (by Genesis standards), lighthearted story, which is probably Genesis's best song under 4 minutes. Harlequin is, like For Absent Friends, not all that great, but not particularly nad- just overshadowed by the rest of the music here. Fountain of Salamacis concludes the album, and I think this is a very nice song, it reminds me of a shorter version of Supper's Ready, in that the lyrics seem to have a message but they're too abstract for one to be pulled out easily, and that there are many changes and shifts going on. So, Nursery Cryme is a very good album, probably my second favorite from Genesis. If you are interested in them and want to get some of their music, start with Foxtrot and SEBTP, then Nursery Cryme, and then Lamb. For Nursery Cryme, 4 stars- excellent addition to any collection.
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Posted Tuesday, January 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Nursery Cryme - Genesis (3.56 stars) Original Release: 11/26/1971


The Musical Box (4 stars) The story behind this song and the lyrics are so distant from one another that it requires some imagination to connect the two. To appreciate this song you must find out the story from the album liner or some other source. Also, I have heard that the onstage performance that accompanies this song live probably aids very much in making meaning of these lyrics. I will probably want to find a youtube video of a live performance of this song sometime and watch it. The song starts after a murder (the "nursery cryme") has occurred. The music is calm, even sedate but its tone inhabits somewhere in the vicinity of a quiet madness. Very gradually the melodic themes pick up more intensity for a time and then relax again. There are extended instrumental sections and an aggressive fanfare on guitar and organ which coincides with part of the stories' drama where the concentrated passion of a lifetime is released. The song comes to a conclusion with a more joyful energy that detracts a little from the mythic horror of the rest of the song and even ends on a kind of a joyful, "happy" note. This song requires a lot of work to get its full value but if you meet it half-way it is rewarding.

For Absent Friends (3 stars) After the horrors of the previous song I tend to see shadows of the former song in this seemingly innocent one where a girl is seen passing by alone. Also the song mentions that once there was four but now only two into which I find myself thinking of the couple and their murdered son and institutionalized daughter. It is as likely that this song has no relationship to the former and is simply a stark contrast with the former placed for maximum effect. Quiet, layered guitar and gentle vocals relax the mood nicely.

The Return of the Giant Hogweed (3 stars) Intentionally silly song anthropomorphizing an exotic that has taken over the British landscape. Guitar and organ play a semi-comical war march to the lyrics. There is an instrumental section called "The Dance of the Giant Hogweed" which I imagine abstracts the work of the ill-tempered weed to bring their plot to "fruition". The venomous oath of the Hogweed is finally sung and an ominous guitar and organ and mellotron passage announces the chaos of war thereby concludes the song. To me the lyrical joke runs on a bit long in this long but entertaining song.

Seven Stones (4 stars) Cases of individuals following their hunches or suspicions or intuitions are presented in the guise of the wise old man's stories. But the wise old man turns a trick in the end. A sometimes awkward rhythm section underlies this simpler composition. But the lyrics and the mellotron pump in mystery and passion to bring to this song a timeless mysticism.

Harold the Barrel (3 stars) Clever dark comedy about a man who is living out the last unbearable moments of his life before taking the plunge from a tall building. Presented in a play format the protagonist is obviously surrounded by a society who seems insanely unprepared to rescue him. The instruments play an upbeat, light tone until the very end where profoundly sad piano chords escort poor Harold into the next world.

Harlequin (3 stars) I'm not able to make sense of the lyrics; they seem to describe a scene and to explain something... Otherwise the instruments play in a straight-forward, syncopated way. The song has a quiet baroque feel with gentle harmonies and delicate sounds the never escape their calm demeanor.

The Fountain of Salmacis (5 stars) This song compellingly tells a story that could be right out of Ovid's _Metamorphoses_ lending the ancient story a beautiful soundtrack. The pace never lets up as various musical ideas play out in time with the tale. In the moment of transformation the supernatural transformation is uniquely represented instrumentally but seemlessly with the song's overall flow. Instrumental sections keep the story moving without lyrics and lyrical sections progress elegantly and imaginatively. After making a full circuit the song returns to its original theme before moving into a glorious coda. Although this coda also aims at a "happy ending" it has a better fit to the song overall and features a sumptuous guitar passage that has a beauty all its own. One of the first great progressive rock songs.


In some ways this album, which has been referred to as a transitional album in many reviews, spells out a transition within the order of its songs. "The Musical Box" seems to harken back to the bitter darkness of _Trespass_. The middle songs reveal the humor and more straight-forward song style that would be present going forward. The dialogue of voices in some songs would also make very significant (in the history of classic prog rock) appearances later. "The Fountain of Salmacis" would tie the musical complexity of _Trespass_ back into this Genesis' greater song compositional skills and be a bar set for later highly instrumentally imaginative rock. In some ways the hard rock edge of _Trespass'_ "The Knife" is more present here as if that last song on the previous album anticipated this one. As with Jethro Tull's work during this same time period I find that my overall rating of the album declines slightly even as I can see a progression in the band's compositional abilities. But for all the great prog bands the next few years would be a sort of climax time of progressive rock as the greats of the genre seemed to peak more or less together in their ability to produce timeless music.

MP3 recommendation:

Nursery Rhymes (4.25 stars) 1. The Musical Box (4 stars) 2. Seven Stones (4 stars) 3. The Fountain of Salmacis (5 stars)

Report this review (#266961)
Posted Friday, February 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yeah, this one is impeccable! An extremely theater Genesis!

Instrumental parts like hole "The Musical Box" or the middle part of "The Fountain of Salmacis" - both are one of the best songs of the band! We also found short songs, relatevely simple, like "For Absent Friends", "Harlequin" and "Harrold the Barrel" - the first two are wonderful and the last one extremely funny. "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" is also funny and has a keyboards riff that catchs and a great instrumental passage. "Seven Stones" review is missinig... ok, is a well balanced song: intrumental, vocal and theater parts are all great!

This album is a trip to a tales land, tales that leads you to the music. This concept together with the best instrumental genesis make an almost perfect album.

Of course is a masterpiece!

Report this review (#269005)
Posted Sunday, February 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars First of all, there are no bad tunes on this. I say "Tresspass" was the transition to what is contained herein. I dearly love "The Musical Box." It is not only well played, but very magestic and moving. The whole song is a masterpiece. "For Absent Friends" is a beautiful and quiet song, most probably written by Steve Hackett. Phil collins sings well also. Another fave is "Return of the Giant Hogweed." Killer prog tune! The last four songs," 7 stones, Harold the Barrel, Harlequin, and the Fountain of Salmacis," are just wonderful. Like I said before, there is nothing weak to take away from your listening pleasure. Peter Gabriel becomes a part of his lyrics and the rest of the band are fully committed to a superior effort! I have about three favorite Genesis albums that I like, and this is definitely one of them! 5 stars no question about it!
Report this review (#274612)
Posted Saturday, March 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars ''The Musical Box'' ought to be one of those songs one person must be required to have listened to in order to earn ''prog fan'' credentials. It's one of the first prog pieces I've heard way back when I was first getting into the genre; that classic soft intro to hard and heavy middle to epic conclusion sounds great to me even if countless other bands make this structure sound terribly forced.

''The Return of the Giant Hogweed'' and ''The Fountain of Salmacis'' are nothing to scoff at either; the subject matter might be corny, but the grandiose majesty of the instrumentation more than makes up for it. Rutherford and Collins really let their instrumental talents known on these pieces, but to most proggers, Hackett's spider-like guitar work and the mellotron infestation of the ''Salmacis'' are the highlights (and I certainly can't disagree).

''Harold the Barrel'' is a massively overlooked track that manages to cross a wicked sense of humour with a spellbinding musical performance that takes many twists and turns. ''Harlequin'' and ''Seven Stones'' are nice tunes, but practically unmemorable. ''For Absent Friends'' does it for me better for its relatively short length and Phil Collins's vocals which are quite restrained here.

Magnificently epic barring slight production faults, but the compositional quality is what makes NURSERY CRYME one of those elite classic of progressive rock.

Report this review (#276330)
Posted Sunday, April 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was the first major step forward for Genesis, and in my opinion, it was by far the best. It gave us Phil Collins on drums and Steve Hackett on guitar. Sure, Phil Collins would later turn the band into his own self-owned pop solo career, but the reward in return was worth the punishment.

Nursery Cryme gave Genesis the distinct sound they're famous for today, and for this and more it's deservedly one of their most highly-acclaimed albums. It starts with one of my favorite openers ever (The Musical Box) and keeps going gem after gem until the intense classic closer, The Fountain of Salmacis.

This is a good way to get to know classic Genesis and as such I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone who loves prog. Check it out now if you haven't already.

Report this review (#278776)
Posted Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars 9/10

"Nursery Cryme" is one of the great albums of Progressive Rock.

In 1971, Genesis release their first masterpiece, "Nursery Cryme", an album that went down in history as one of the finest Symphonic Prog releases ever. After 40 years, the album has not lost any of it's magic, and continues to stun new and old fans.

"Trespass", the sophomore LP, gave a much more clear vision of how Genesis will become: it's melodies, it's atmosphere, were typical of the band's style that is known today. But with "Nursery Cryme", the maturity level is complete, giving a wonderful mix of atmospheric passages and beautiful, haunting melodies. What clearly improved compared to the sophomore LP is the musicianship, much more precise and detailed, without ever having any goofs. "Foxtrot", the next album released the following year, will have some of the best and most original musicianship that has been heard in any piece of music, so it's just wonderful knowing that "Nursery Cryme" Genesis have barely started in stunning the audiences. The slower passages are very present in the album, very frequently accompanied by Peter Gabriel's intimate vocals, or some additional instrumentation such as flute or mellotron. These calmer moments are kind of a trademark for this album in particular: the enlivened moments are here, but they still have a somewhat similar feel to the slower ones.

"Nursery Cryme" might just be the most delicate, intimate, playful album Genesis have ever released: however, like it was previously mentioned, the maturity is here, so the innocence is exquisitely mixed with haunting, beautiful moments, that suggest quite the opposite, especially in the opening track "the Musical Box", now regarded as one of the great tracks of the band. "Nursery Cryme" is a dare-to-open box of toys, that any child can open, but his innocence will be gravely endangered, as there is in it the adult world. It's almost like a coming-of-age album: You will not be the same, when you have properly listened to this masterpiece.

The magic seems to never end in these 39 minutes, but they pass so quickly, you wish they were more. The ten minute opener "The Musical Box" is probably the most haunting, complete, and eclectic song off the entire album, featuring slow, mysterious moments, and bursts of guitars, keyboards, and intense drumming. It simply has it all, with an incredibly thought provoking structure. "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed" is the most theatrical song off the album, very brave, with enchanting melodies, and a gigantic sound as well,that will even terrify you in some moments. The shorter songs, from the interlude "For Absent Friends" to another perfect song, "Harold the Barrel" and the gentle "Harlequin". "The Fountain Of Salmacis" and "Seven Stones" are other complex, seven minute songs that provoke and move at the same time, making both of them, like all the other songs here, priceless experiences.

The power of Progressive Rock is that an album itself can bring you to a fantastic, surreal world. The universe of "Nursery Cryme" is one of the most vivid and credible ones: one of the great albums of Symphonic Prog, a masterpiece that hasn't aged a bit, and probably never will be.

Report this review (#279589)
Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars **A monster unleashed** The musical box starts off this album a lot like Trespass, gentle acoustic guitars, Peter Gabriel singing nicely. This goes for three minutes, then things start to change. Eventually we hear some very fiery lead guitar solos and the mellotron is as every bit present in the mix, as if competing with the guitar parts. This was the unleashing of two of the most formidable instrument platers on the progressive rock scene, of the 70's and probably for many years to come. That is Anthony Banks (Tony) on keyboards and Steve Hackett on guitars. Those two have laid down some very ambitious instrumental music in this song.

The song itself is a well written masterpiece, with many twisting and turning parts. Other notable features are Peter playing his flute and Phil Collins on backing vocals. It's not really one of my personal favourite Genesis songs, I've always thought the lyrics didn't mean anything. It's like "let's write a story with some blood and guts in it. You know, some beheading, some rape, that sought of thing" only there's no real story. But the music is good and you do get the view-point of a frightened child in a nursery "Play me my song...."

There is also another masterpiece track called "The return of the giant hogweed". This is a much harder rocking track and has some stunning lead guitar duets and other good instrumental music. It's a quirky eccentric song with theatrical vocals, it's about nature regaining the upper hand over mankind. The brief "Harold the barrel" is an uptempo, humourous piece with plenty of theatrics, including impersonations of various town-folk.

I thought these were the only three stand-out songs on "Nursery Crymes", the others are a bit average, including the epic "Fountain of Salmacis", which doesn't really expand on the ideas already presented in "The Musical Box". This song just meanders without much point and Peter Gabriels vocals are buried deep in the mix.

That's another point, this album has quite a weak production, very flat sounding.

I think the album is worth about 3.5. The other songs are average, but not BAD or anything. Phil Collins was definitely making a difference on backing vocals, and his drumming is also very good, while Banks and Hackett certainly made their point on the keys and guitar respectively.

Report this review (#282279)
Posted Sunday, May 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Given the historical significance and the sheer creativity that went into this album, I think it has to be either a 4 or 5 star album. Given the production limitations and some unevenness in content, I'm going to be conservative and go with 4 stars, though I could also support a "must-have, essential" classification.

Great albums often start with great cover art, and the illustration of a girl croquet-ing heads about a field is one of the best in prog in my opinion.

How about the music? Well, it's certainly creative and ambitious. In other words, quintessential prog. However, it sometimes comes across a bit disjointed. Take The Musical Box: there's plenty of good melodies, and you have to love the rousing finale, but the stops and starts tend to hurt the song's momentum. My favorite here would be Salmacis, with blissful mellotron, a well-told story, some nice guitar-work, and some great stuff by Collins. A true team effort, in writing and performance. This is what I would look for more of in subsequent works, and fortunately I would get it!

The bottom line is that once you make the crossover into prog, it's only a matter of time until you pick this up, and when you do, you won't regret it. Nursury Cryme certainly led to more greatness and even higher highs for the band and individual players, but does not quite reach masterpiece status.

Report this review (#285340)
Posted Sunday, June 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
5 stars A pandora's box of prog delicacies; Mother Goose laid the Golden Egg

Third time for Genesis and they finally got it right. Everything that was great about "Trespass", namely their classic album closer 'The Knife' was captured on every track. "Nursery Cryme" is the first Genesis masterpiece and what an incredible improvement it is from the first two albums; the band hit their peak with amazing compositions such as 'Musical Box' and 'Seven Stones' or 'Fountain of Samalcis'. The Genesis lineup here is the most revered with Gabriel, Rutherford, Banks, Collins and Hackett. The production is wonderful with intricate mixing of instrumentation and Gabriel's vocals are kept back blended in with the music rather than overbearing as on "Trespass". Each track tends to create an atmosphere and tell a story that is captured by the beautiful iconic cover illustration that is an enigmatic collage of all things Genesis.

'Musical Box' is a marathon of dark and light shades, a consistent pulling of tension and release, with musical virtuoso as never before heard by the band. 'Musical Box' is a dynamic exploration of symphonic pomp prog. They are undisputed on this track and it remains one of the all time treasured masterpieces of Genesis and indeed prog history. The chord progressions are intricately executed with a dozen or so melodies and time sigs pastiched over one another to create a soundscape montage. Gabriel pleads, "Play me Old King Cole, That I may join with you, All your hearts now seem so far from me, It hardly seems to matter now.... Play me my song, here it comes again". The references to Lewis Carroll echo the album artwork, and there are huge dollops of black humour and an enchanting Gothic mystical fragility. The flute is sweet and beautiful, and it plays over a dark tirade of Rutherford's heavy bass and Hackett's guitar. Gabriel is pastoral with flute and gentle vocals for the first section and then it builds to the dramatic blast of fire that explodes and rains down over shadowy volcanoes of molten mellotron. The time sig changes as a swell of organs and Hackett shines in the lead break, the sound cascades down from speaker to speaker teasing the ears, like an aural torture device. Then it settles as the 'Old King Cole' nursery rhyme is sung. It could be pretentious but it sounds moody and serious. Gabriel gets intimate on, "The clock tick tock on the mantelpiece and I want you to feel... and I know how to touch the wall." The music detonates into huge bombastic phased organ waves that crash down on the beach as a thunderclap of drums and bass blast the hemispheres. It lulls into an unnerving quiet guitar picking as the vocals state, "she's a lady and she's got time, brush back your hair, and let me get to know your flesh." The church pipe organ presents a religious feel and the drums tend to build and then a huge swell of pipe organ drowns out Gabriel begging us to touch him now. This completes an absolute blitz of song structures within songs and it coincides with the final paroxysm of energy from Hackett and Banks trading off perfectly with stop start ruptures of sound. This track is, in a word, unparalleled.

'For Absent Friends' is a short ballad or transition between two brilliant tracks. Phil Collins takes the driver's seat with warm vocals as lead singer in a prophecy of his later involvement when he would transform the sound of Genesis. The lyrics are full of religiosity, and obscure twisted dogma; "Inside the archway the priest greets them with a courteous nod. He's close to God. Looking back at days of four instead of two. Years seem so few. Heads bent in prayer for friends not there." It makes a nice resting place for tranquillity and a stream of calm waters before the storm rages.

The clouds of thunder roll as 'Return of the Giant Hogweed' crashes in. It begins with a mesmirising angular riff and then the wondrous chord structure to signal in the verse; "Turn and run, Nothing can stop them, Around every river and canal their power is growing. Stamp them out, We must destroy them. They infiltrate each city with their thick dark warning odour" . Gabriel is passionate and sneering as he belts out the verses and utters chilling warnings such as, "Waste no time, They are approaching. Hurry now, we must protect ourselves and find some shelter, Strike by night, They are defenceless. They all need the sun to photosensitize their venom." Only Genesis could include words like 'photosynthesize' in their lyrics. The Hammond sounds are articulated by bursts of energy ignited from Hackett's blazing guitar. It lulls in to a quiet passage that builds gradually into a heavy riff. The time sigs are all over the place and consistently change in this exploration of progression. There is a repeated pattern of song structure verse to verse and the instrumentation finally drives into a break with some complex patterns with flute, organ, corrosive fuzz bass and striking guitar in a fractured musicscape. The piano chimes in as all goes quiet and the threat of more chaos is imminent. There is a lovely keyboard solo here with a quirky rhythm and distorted lead guitar. The melody is transformed into dark textures and the sound becomes aggressive and more intense. The threat of the music is echoed by the threat of the Giant Hogweed on it's spiteful quest for revenge against the human race. The nightmarish imagery taken from a B grade sci fi movie perhaps, is perfect fodder for Gabriel to showcase his theatrical abilities; "Botanical creature stirs, seeking revenge. Royal beast did not forget. Soon they escaped, spreading their seed, preparing for an onslaught, threatening the human race." In concert of course he would have a ball dressing up as botanical semi-crustaceous metamorphosed lunatic creature and he revelled in the unreality of his psychotic altered universe. The music mimicks the horror tale alarmingly, even to the point of retelling its own story with funeral marches and music hall waltzes, a sound of ridiculed terror. Looming metrical changes make dark clouds cover the landscape with shadowy clouds as we draw to a close this masterful piece of music.

'Seven Stones' has lovely melodic passages with Gabriel taking control over the thickly layered organ and guitars. The music is allowed to breathe as instruments die down and a piccolo sound is heard and Gabriel on flute. His story telling qualities are exemplary on this track; "Tinker, alone within a storm, And losing hope he clears the leaves beneath a tree, Seven stones Lay on the ground." As the song progresses Gabriel tells the strange tale of the "Sailors, in peril on the sea" and "The Captain turns the boat" and the "Farmer, who knows not when to sow" . It is a nursery style again in line with the thematic title. This song truly grows on you with each listen, especially the wordless chorus sections. The way the vocals augment the music is incredible and the instrumental break here is alight with sweeping mellotron creating an uplifting atmosphere that dominates and builds higher into the clouds to meet the sun rays of very emotional string orchestrated sounds. It is a majestic quality that only Genesis can maintain. The mellotron ends this and the final product is one of the most beautiful Genesis classics.

There is still a tongue in cheek thread on songs such as 'Harold The Barrel' which paved the way for such storytelling epics as 'Supper's Ready'. The honky tonk piano will remind one of ELP's 'The Sheriff', equally out of place as this. Gabriel is delightful as he shoves it up the suits of an organised criminal inquest. A "Bognor restaurant-owner disappeared early this morning" and the hunt is on giving Gabriel license to channel all sorts of whimsical characters, such as the Man-in-the-street who suggests "it's disgusting, Such a horrible thing to do, Harold the Barrel cut off his toes and he served them all for tea..." It would be crude if not for the biting satirical delivery. Gabriel is truly sardonic on lines such as "You can't last long, Said you could'nt trust him, his brother was just the same." Gabriel continues to mock the stereotypes of autocracy and Harold's demise is never determined but we hear from his wife, the man on the spot, man on the council, lord mayor and the ridiculous Harold who states "If I was many miles from here, I'd be sailing in an open boat on the sea, Instead I'm on this window ledge..." Will he jump? We never find out. This is reminiscent of all the Gabriel fuelled parodies on the English idyll, no longer a pastoral pastiche but a worldly attack on how the English behave; even with mocking phrases, "we can help you... you must be joking, take a running jump" , Gabriel sneers. It reminds me of 'Willow Farm' section of 'Supper's Ready' or especially 'Get 'em Out by Friday'.

'Harlequin' is more like the pastoral folky feel of "Trespass", a style that would be shed completely as the band matured thankfully as they were always better heavy and bombastic with Gabriel unleashing his fury and antagonism. Here Gabriel is withdrawn and gentle and harmonious with other voices blending in a dreamy way. The lyrics are sugar sweet and balladic but there is an edge that things are surreal and dreamlike. "harlequin, harlequin, Dancing round three children fill the glade, Theirs was the laughter in the winding stream, and in between. From the flames in the firelight." If this were not so short I would have thought it would feel like a filler or throwaway but it is a nice change in direction. I would not rate it as a highlight but there is nothing wrong with some acoustic picking and harmonies from Genesis occasionally in small doses.

'Fountain of Samalcis' is another outstanding track and begins with a beautiful volume swell of mellotron ominously building like a jet plane swooping past, perhaps like a fountain rising and falling. Gabriel tells the weird surreal story and the track builds with glorious mellotron orchestrated in a symphonic crescendo by Banks. The story is a retelling of the Greek myth about an Hermaphrodite and yet it is captivating to reinvent the age old tale, a musical theatrical powerhouse. Gabriel brings the story to life with his excellent vocal prowess, perfection of intonation and pronounced tone that is stirring and evocative; "As the dawn creeps up the sky, The hunter caught sight of a doe. In desire for conquest, He found himself, within a glade he'd not beheld before... Where are you my father, Then he could go no farther, Give wisdom to your son, Now lost, the boy was guided by the sun". The violining of Hackett's guitar is masterful and he plays some angular riffs in this that are repeated as a hypnotic motif camouflaged by Banks soft key pads. Gabriel chimes in with "as he rushed to quench his thirst... A fountain spring appeared before him And as his heated breath brushed through the cool mist, A liquid voice called Son of gods, drink from my spring" . The bassline is notable of Rutherford. An interlude of soaring guitar ensues, with strong rhythmic shapes from Collins on percussion, a strange brew of bombastic glory. The bassline pulses stronger and some cathedral pipe organ is heard. I love this part and it continues to build to the next verse and the music answers Gabriel in turn. Pipe organ flourishes follow and a staccato organ that sweeps across a layer of frenetic bass and chaotic drumming. It fades for a time and builds with the huge organ swells like sunlight bursting through dark clouds, rays of light across the horizon. There is a grand finale with simmering elegance that shoots rays of light at the end to culminate in an apocalyptic crescendo. Masterpiece track to complete a masterpiece album.

In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen this is a classic legendary album that raised the bar for 70s prog, and subsequently this led to "Foxtrot" and "Selling England By the Pound" which are even better by comparison. Genesis were at the peak of their powers with this lineup and they were to enjoy some incredibly prolific years in the music scene until the final decision for Gabriel to seek out greener pastures. The grass has never been greener though with the 70s Genesis sound; an indelible trademark style and a lineup that could be termed as lightning in a bottle.

Report this review (#285843)
Posted Thursday, June 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars The majestic "Nursery Cryme"! An album that will resonate for many years to come, that's for sure. Such an amazing set of songs, approaching perfection of music. One of the more overlooked albums of the Gabriel era, I'm afraid, often cast in the shadows by "Foxtrot" and "Selling England by the Pound". This is one for the ages and definitely a must-have for all prog fans obviously. The band experienced the first of their four peaks, in my opinion (the second, third, and fourth ones being the next three albums, chronologically). I won't rally on too much here but indeed, one of the masterpieces of all prog, with some dents, mind you, but overall, a very satisfying record that will continue to do just that, satisfy.

1. "The Musical Box" - 10/10

2. "For Absent Friends" - 10/10

3. "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" - 9/10

4. "Seven Stones" - 9/10

5. "Harold the Barrel" - 9/10

6. "Harlequin" - 10/10

7. "The Fountain of Salmacis" - 10/10

67/7 = 95.71% = 5 stars, but I caution, listen to sparingly and the satisfaction shall be greater.

Report this review (#287919)
Posted Tuesday, June 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Hmm, the first Phil Collins Genesis album you say? This was the start of the Genesis that everyone knows and loves so well, so was it as good (or even better) than their fantastic debut? well not really, it opens off with the epic THE MUSICAL BOX which is nothing short of a mini journey through the very mind of one Mr Peter Gabriel, the cooler songs i think are some of the shorter ones FOR ABSENT FRIENDS and HAROLD THE BARREL are almost stories in themselves and the final song THE FOUNTAIN OF SALMACIS is nothing short of brilliant . As with every Genesis album the musicmanship is out of this world and of course Peter Gabriel's voice is awsome, all in all great album;

The Musical Box - 10/10 For Absent Friends - 9/10 The Return Of The Giant Hogweed - 9/10 Seven Stones - 8/10 Harold The Barrel - 8/10 Harlequin- 8/10 The Fountain Of Salmacis - 10/10

MY CONCLUSION? this is a great, great, great album and a must own for all prog fans.

Report this review (#289553)
Posted Wednesday, July 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm not sure what intelligence I could add to all the reviews of this classic that hasn't been said before by others. But, what the heck... This, along with Trick of the Tail, are my favorite Genesis releases. On this prog monster we have 3 classic long tracks, "The Musical Box", "Giant Hogweed", and The Fountain of Salmacis" (Peter knew his Greek Mythology!) mixed in with some wonderful shorter tunes. "Hogweed" and, another classic from TOTT, "Squonk" may be the top of the list of all Genesis IMHO, at least. "For Absent Friends" is the best short composition to come from this band. Touching lyrics and beautiful guitar work mean I never tire of this tune. Not even 2 minutes long!!!! I WISH it was 10. "Harold the Barrel" is in the same vein as "Get em Out by Friday", kinda weird vaudlvilian (spelling?) Prog! Cool. As is everything on this album. Is there a proghead out there without this release? Maybe, but a rare beast!
Report this review (#289596)
Posted Wednesday, July 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars As a fan of Genesis, Nursery Crime is a great album for me, but not into the top ones of the band. We have two great classic, the rest are good too, but in an inferior level. In addition the sound and mixing is not good, and that is really a problem, unless in the original recording.

Musical Box and The Fountain of Salmacis are the best of the album. The first one is a classic progressive rock number, which represents the atmosphere of the album and is associated with the cover art (one of the best cover art ever). Great lyrics and an alternation between peaceful parts and aggressive instrumental sections. All with an underlying violence. The closing section is grandiose, combining the powerful voice of Gabriel with a superb organ tunes and this great electric guitar solo. The Fountain of Salmacis was development from a Banks idea, and in my opinion is the best track of the album. The track tells a history (a greek mythology story), which fits really well with the music constructing a great atmosphere. The song includes an incredible keyboard solo and a guitar one at the end.

The album has two more long tracks. The Return of the giant hogweed is an 8 minutes progressive track with a really symphonic feel, in a strong way. On the other hand, Seven stones is a progressive song but based in beautiful and peaceful melodies. The song ends with a fantastic mellotron solo. The album completes with three short songs, with I could call fillers. For absent friends is the best of the three, and the first one sung by Phil Collins. The other two, have not much to offer.

Four stars

Report this review (#289613)
Posted Wednesday, July 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
1 stars I am done with Genesis! No matter how much recommendation I recieve I will not purchase anymore Genesis. This is the third album I have listened too and nothing is impressive about any of it! Genesis fails to create any climax of musical ingenuity! Genesis is certainly not the band for me. I feel that Genesis has the talent to be great, but the music they write is very lacking of passion., and this album is another example of this. Individually, I like the members of Genesis, but somthing about there composition of work seems off and lackluster. It will be a long while before I attempt to get into Genesis! Hopefully then, I will learn to appreciate and change these reviews.
Report this review (#289842)
Posted Saturday, July 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Actually I'd give this album 4,55 stars if I could. It's not exactly perfect, but compulsory reading for anyone who wants a good picture of progressive rock history or simply writing good rock music. This album does not redefine the genre, nor is it the most experimental one, but it is very clever and inventive, imaginative and simply very good songwriting and composing - as is with Genesis generally.

I'd say that this isn't the best Genesis album however - the classical quintet of Gabriel, Banks, Rutheford, Hackett, Collins got a lot better in subsequent releases. However after re listening the album fully over many, many months, I have to admit that it is a lot more accomplished than I had given it credit for previously.

The album starts with one of the more stronger tracks. "The Musical Box" conjures up medieval themes in the acoustic sections of it's music and lyrics. The story is very abstract and does not make a whole lot of sense (at least to me) generally and many would attribute this to the pretentiousness of Genesis, but the lyrics certainly provide some unforgettable and passionate moments. And so does of course the music. The start of the song resembles the previous album - "Trespass" in mood, however the arrangement of the music is much more dynamic and provides more interesting moments in the pastoral section. The more "rocky" guitar solos in the middle are actually less interesting to me. They take a new turn for Genesis, so far, but I feel that their new guitarist Hackett got more melodically inventive later on. The song concludes unforgettably of course, however. Certainly a classic.

"For Absent Friends" is a filler track. But not a bad one at that. It certainly compliments the whole album and again portrays Genesis' ability to simply write very good songs.

"The Return Of The Giant Hogweed" contains very quirky and moody music that does a very good job at conjuring up different sorts of emotions and landscapes. The story itself doesn't move me as much, but the track contains memorable solos, motif's and engaging music.

"Seven Stones" is very symphonic and passionate in it's mood. Dominated by the Mellotron strings. Melodically strong, but not very memorable for me.

"Harold The Barrel" however is, for me, very memorable. It is a very cleverly written little song. The most upbeat tone in music and the short length makes you think that it is a filler track at first, however paying attention to the lyrics and the sudden ending makes you realize that it is in fact a song about suicide. A good example of how in-depth early Genesis actually was about their songwriting. The music compliments the plot perfectly.

"Harlequin" is another filler. Mellow and quiet and a welcome addition to the album's general picture, but as a separate track it is forgettable.

"The Fountain Of Salmacis" is definitely my favorite track from the album however. It is a perfect example of symphonic prog rock. Almost operatic in nature, the rendition of a mythical story in rock is nothing short of perfect. A very dynamic arrangement, that indeed imitates what an orchestra can do very well and the thematic progressions are perfectly handled and thought through. Emotional climaxes are also not absent and Gabriel's singing is very expressive, as always.

An album with it's strong points and weak points. I can imagine it not being that interesting to everybody, but from a musicians standpoint it is simply a very, very worthy effort.

Report this review (#295813)
Posted Sunday, August 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars ANT has left the building, but not his music, not his sound, not his spirit.

Welcome, Phil! Welcome, Steve! Won't you please stay for a while? I think we can do some interesting things. We may not make a lot of money or become very famous but we'll definitely show them something . . . different!

. . . I hope . . . I think.

Five star songs: The flawless and dramatic, "The Musical Box"; the gorgeous and poetic "Harlequin" (my second favorite Peter Gabriel vocal next to "The Lamia"); and the epic mythological tale, "Fountain of Salamacis."

Four star songs: "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" and "Seven Stones."

Three star song: "For Absent Friends" and "Harold the Barrel."

Overall rating: four stars; an excellent addition to any progressive rock music collection.

Report this review (#299366)
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars One of my first Genesis albums, Nursery Cryme was released in late 1971, and it was the first album by Genesis to consist of the lineup with Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett, and Rutherford. This album is not too stylistically different from Trespass, but it rather, like others suggest, refines the style. Trespass was more of a diamond in the rough; the production was pretty weak, and the music was not very tame. Nursery Cryme has much better production, albeit not perfect, and it features some of the band's finest songs.

The album starts with The Musical Box, a fan favorite. This song features everything for which Genesis is known: excellent keyboard melodies, dramatic vocals, bizarre lyrics, ethereal instrumentals, and a memorable, sublime culmination. This song is definitely one the highlights of not only the album, but Genesis's career. Following the song is the filler For Absent Friends, but since it's just less than two minutes I can overlook it. Then comes The Return of the Giant Hogweed, which is a fun song, featuring even more bizarre lyrics than The Musical Box. This song is not exactly a classic, but it nonetheless is superb. Seven Stones is not exactly genius, but it's not the low point of the album either. This song is fairly good in its own right; it just isn't as fantastic as some others on the album. Harold the Barrel is another fun song, and it's really entertaining. Vocal melodies abound, this song is pretty simple compared to others on the album. Harlequin follows and features some excellent vocal melodies. This song perfectly segues into the following song... The Fountain of Salmacis. This is another classic on the album. Featuring amazing melodies, an interesting story based on a Greek myth, and an overall fantastic performance from every band member, this song is practically faultless. The ending of this song I'd say is one of the best outros Genesis has done, ranking up there with As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs.

I'd have to say that this album is a necessary addition, yet not quite perfect.

Report this review (#300596)
Posted Sunday, September 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Like many of the classic Genesis albums, I was not blown away by this one on the first listen. That started to happen by the third time through. The only question that remained was; how did it stack up against Foxtrot and SEBTP, which had quickly bacome favorites of mine. A year or two later I got my answer when I found myself reaching for Nursery Cryme rather than the other two when I needed my Genesis fix.

To begin with, the Musical Box is another great album opener. It actually gives Watcher and Moonlit Knight a run as the best opener on any Genesis album. I love the frantic nature of the latter half counterbalanced against the more pastoral nature of the beginning. It has most everything I love about Genesis, interesting composition, whimsical and clever story line, grand moments and of course the interesting vocal stylings of Peter. Phil's drumwork also helped elevate this album from its predecessor, Tresspass.

For Absent Friends makes a perfect foil for both the Box and the Hogweed that follows. Return of the Giant Hogweed may be the most underated of the entire Genesis catalogue, not because people do not like it, but because it is initially difficult to take a song that seems so patently silly seriously. But serious prog it is and just an absolute joy to listen to.

Seven Stones is a beatifully constructed song and again reminds me of why I love this band.

Harold th Barrel is the most disapointing song on the album. Not because it isn't great, but because it isn't long enough. I guess it ended because the lyrics ran out, but it seemed so ripe for more twists and turns and to have been the best of the bunch. No such luck. Oh well.

Harlequin is another nice transitional piece leading into Fountain of Samalcis another great closer. Probably not on par with Suppers Ready or Cinema Show, but certainly not all that far behind. So yes this is my favorite Genesis album right now (although that could change). Accordingly, I must give it a 5.

Report this review (#302297)
Posted Tuesday, October 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Nursery Cryme is the first album to be recorder by what is now considered the "classic" lineup. When compared to their earlier release, Trespass, one could easily see that the band evolved as songwriters, lyricists and musicians. Phil Collins, who would later become the lead vocalist for Genesis when Peter Gabriel quit, sang "For Absent Friends" a short, mellow song. Changes in Genesis' sound can be attributed to their new guitarist, the talented Steve Hackett, who managed rather well to make parts of songs like "The Musical Box" and "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" harsher, while maintaining the melodic sound Genesis were known for. On this album one can see the last folk elements Genesis would incorporate in their songs. The album was recorded in Trident Studios, which had 16-track equipment, which was state of the art in 1971.

Nursery Cryme was not a concept album. However, each of its songs had a story of its own. In general, the sound varied among its seven songs.

In an album full of good songs, "The Musical Box" still manages to stand out. In typical prog tradition, the song isn't afraid to completely change its sound a few times. Hackett plays a couple of tasty guitar solos and Banks adds excellent keyboard sounds, ranging from dreamy to sounds comparable to guitar in overdrive. The story of this song is very surrealistic and became the basis of the album's cover.

I would recommend this album to anyone wanting to get into the prog rock scene, as it is rather accessible. It would also be a good album to start with for anyone who wants to get into Genesis. Actually, I would recommend this album to anyone, because it is excellent.

PS. Not even mentioning "Harold the Barrel" would be a... cryme. A highly energetic song with witty and sarcastic lyrics, and only 3 minutes long, so no excuses for anyone not to check it out.

Report this review (#307415)
Posted Saturday, October 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Nursery Crime", the third album by Genesis, was the album that defined the band's style, which began with his previous album, "Trespass." This is an album of fan favorites such me.Are seven tracks really greats- There is no weak song here.The first, "The Music Box" is one of the best-loved songs from the band: their first three minutes are smooth, without drastic changes, but then the organ of Banks leads a hard-rock section guided guitar by Hackett (in their opening band). The final highlight is the powerful. "For Absent Friends" is a song which I really like the vocals by Phil Collins (also debuting in vcais, besides being his first album in the band) are beautiful. "The return of giant hogweed" is another song pretty quick, the best is at the end: a powerful solo mellotron of Banks. "Seven Stones" is a little gem, and has the best chorus on the album . "Harold the barrel" is quite fun, while "Harlequin"is a good folk song (like" For absent friends ")."The fountain of Salmacis"is another classic track well and is perfect, finishing the album magically.

(10/10) -The Music Box -For absent friends -The return of giant hogweed -Seven Stones Harold the barrel- -Harlequin -The fountain of Salmacis


5 stars!

Report this review (#319915)
Posted Sunday, November 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is most definitely a remarkable classic prog album. For me, and like some other fans of early Genesis, it wasn't love at first listen. It's an album that may well need some time to grow on you, although initially it is still very intriguing. I remember digging it out having not heard it for a very long time before I finally remembered how good it was.

It was the third album by the band and the first to feature the classic line up including Phil Collins on drums and Steve Hackett on guitar. "Musical Box" is a favourite for most fans and lyrically it tells a dark story set in the Victorian days. Hackett's guitar helped to display an aggressive sound on this record. Bank's excellent keyboard work also created a punch when needed. Another track on this level is "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" which is also quite interesting being about an onslaught of hogweeds against the human race. There is also some exceptional mellotron work by Banks on "The Fountain of Salmacis" and "Seven Stones".

A folky feel is retained on songs such as "Harlequin" and "Absent Friends". These tracks are very gentle and nicely break up the variety of the album. The sound and feeling of the album is very original and it's especially a marvel when you realise that the music and imagination all came from bunch of young lads in thier early 20's. Great stuff, although the sound quality isn't quite as substantial as on the following releases. 4 stars.

Report this review (#332797)
Posted Wednesday, November 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars My purchase of Nursery Cryme (along with Trespass and Foxtrot) was from an import shop in Melbourne (Australia), circa 1975. Unfortunately Trespass and Foxtrot were the US imports and did not have the gatefold cover and therefore none of the lyrics and stories that would have helped put some of the songs in context. But at least I had a 12" cover to explore. Whereas Trespass had a medieval feel which also came through the songs ... the theme for Nursery Cryme was clearly Victorian.

I had already heard The Musical Box and Hogweed from the Genesis Live album so my expectations were very high.

Was I disappointed? No!

Nursery Cryme has already been reviewed in detail on this site and there is not much that I can add. The standouts are of course Musical Box, Hogweed and Salmacis but the other tracks are equally as good...there are no fillers here.

The real surprise for me is "For Absent Friends". This is one of the shortest Genesis tracks ever (at 1:44) and yet it conveys so much with its quirky lyrics and simple structure. I just love it, and give it a courteous nod.

4.7 Stars. The vinyl sound (US pressing) is not the best but is improved on the remastered CD and again on the Box Set

Report this review (#346830)
Posted Wednesday, December 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The band's third album but first with Collins and Hackett. Like the previous two, the production here is not too good. In all three cases it sounds like the band were on a low budget and had to rush the recordings. All the live versions of the songs here sound better than their studio counterparts. It is often claimed that Genesis were a big influence on many French and Italian prog groups. To some extent maybe, but I think that influence is exaggerated. One place this album was an influence was in heavy metal. Hackett was one of the earliest guitarists to do finger-tapping, and his playing in general is closer to what you would hear in '80s and '90s metal than in '70s rock. Banks also puts his electric piano through a fuzz-box creating a guitar sound. The twin guitar attack(with only one real guitar) was an influence on later bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.

"The Musical Box" is probably the single best song Genesis ever made. I haven't heard a live version that was not better, however. Anthony Phillips co-wrote this song before he left the group. Beginning with organ and the part that goes "I've been waiting here for so long", starts one of the best moments in all prog. Truly classic stuff there. "For Absent Friends" = filler. "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed" is another classic. Great dueting of Hacket's guitar and Banks' electric piano. Everything about this song is just great. I like how near the end Gabriel's vocals are recorded at a different speed, giving him a deeper voice.

"Seven Stones" is perhaps the most underrated / undervalued / underwhatever song Genesis ever did. I like the part with harmony vocals and bass pedals. That part leads up to one of the greatest Mellotron solos ever. "Harold The Barrell" is a good song. Almost has a late 70s/early 80s New Wave-ish type vibe. A rare glimpse of humour from this band at this early stage. The piano at the end reminds me of the first album for some reason. "Harlequin" is better than "Friends" but not by much. Sounds like a leftover from Trespass.

"The Fountain Of Salmacis" begins very majestic with good organ and the Mellotron. I love what the rhythm section is doing when Gabriel starts to sing. Later Collins does some jazzy drumming. A rare example of a jazz influence in Genesis' music. This song features some metal-like guitar soloing from Hackett. A really good album overall, but the superior live versions of these songs almost makes this album obsolete. They really found themselves on this album but would go on to write better songs and have better sounding albums. 3 stars.

Report this review (#351567)
Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars The second album of the prog-era of Genesis is in my opinion one of the best albums ever. The opening number, the 10-minutes epic The Musical Box worths the money you can spend to buy the album. But there's more than this. "The Return of Giant Hogweed" is an heavy prog number, while "The Fountain of Salmacis" shows the dreamiest mood of the band led by the intricate keyboards by Tony Banks and the guitar of the (then) new guitarist of the band Steve Hackett. Arlequins is one of the sweetest songs the band ever wrote, driven by the intricate 12 strings guitars by Hackett and Rutherford. Wonderful 5-stars album.
Report this review (#358438)
Posted Monday, December 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars With Haackett and Collins in line-up finally Genesis was Genesis. Because, true or not true, finally Gabriel was Gabriel and the magic was here. "Nursery Crime" is, still today, fresh, innovative and magical.The seven songs are all examples of true die hard Prog. In some moments the songs of "Nursery Crime" have strong connection with the future Italian Prog. This is the big defect of Italian Prog. But this is not the correct place for this discussion. This is the place for the discussions about "Nursery Crime", a beautiful album, aged too well. It is only my opinion (only my?) that with "Nursery Crime" the power of Genesis is at the top, without compromises. The songs are great examples of Symphonic Prog and in my opinion the perfect mix between Symphonic Prog and Classic Rock in this album is perfectly balanced. "The Fountain Of Salmacis" present Symphonic Prog parts and Classic Rock parts. But without the power of Symphonic Prog pats and the light moments of Classic Rock this song not had the same power and the soli section without this perfect mix not had the same magic. It is a strange sentence for me to explain, since I am not a musician. But I wrote this sentence various times. This is true also in other songs of this album ("The Musical Box", "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed" and "Harold The Barrel", especially). The music is not so complicated. In fact the melody is easy and the insertion of virtuosism are in function of the final result of the song... five men, one orchestra... And not for emphasize that they knew play complicated things, as other Prog bands. This is another magic of Gabriel, Hackett, Banks, Rutherford and Collins line-up.

Probably "Nursery Crime" is a true Prog Masterpiece. But I have a strange sensation with this album: something missing. And so I can not call it masterpiece.

Report this review (#377496)
Posted Monday, January 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Play me Old King Cole. But please, be careful!

"Nursery Cryme" is the third Genesis album. The record contains genuine "pearls", songs are clearly intended to enter the classical repertoire of the band.

One of the highlight, The Fountain Of Salmacis opens with a riff from Tony Banks organ, backed by a symphonic arrangement obtained by the use of a mellotron. The song continues in a magnificent way: the voice of Peter Gabriel suddenly burst from a dark dense forest of pine trees where the Mount Ida rises solitary. Hackett plays guitar sounds never heard before, like creaks and squeaks, and Rutherford-Collins supported all this with a jazz rhythm-style (and sometimes almost "funky"). The story narrated by Gabriel was the famous union of Hermaphrodite and the nymph Salmace told by the latin poet Ovidio (Metamorphoses, Book IV), only one of many examples of how the group loved to draw, as regards the lyrics, from classical mythology. Hermaphrodite, the young son of Hermes and Aphrodite, was delivered by his father who brought him to the nymphs in the caves of Mount Ida. Hermaphrodite is master of both sexes. The myth tells of the encounter between Hermaphrodite and the nymph Salmace, and the union of the sexes that takes place upon contact with water, dissolving element par excellence (Ovidio, in contrast to other like Vitruvio and Strabone does not speak of a "fountain", but a "pool"). Hermaphrodite is extremely reluctant to union, but he is unable to resist the temptation to dive into the water. The conjunction with Salmace is experienced by Hermaphrodite as a cancellation of the sexes and an absolute disgrace: he tries to save himself calling his father and mother, and asking them to curse the water. Immediately, the curse falls on the pond of Salmacis: all those who touch the water will also became hermaphrodites.

Another notable song is the beautiful Seven Stones, with an impressive final crescendo: the roller by Collins on drums first opens the road to Hackett and then to Banks who plays one of the most exciting and romantic mellotron section in progressive rock history. Without doubt one of my favourite songs of Genesis.

There were also acoustic songs, mainly based around the 12-strings, such as Harlequin, that Genesis played since the time of Anthony Phillips, perhaps the less beautiful track of the album, and as the brief but lovely For Absent Friends where the lead vocalist is (surprise!) Phil Collins.

The other three tracks on the record are three extraordinary masterpieces, revealing to all the genius and the imagination of Peter Gabriel. The Return Of The Giant Hogweed was inspired by real chronicle news: a Caucasus plant, the 'Heracleum mantegazzianum" when imported to England (according to Gabriel, by a fearless "victorian explorer") had rapidly caused dramatic damage to native vegetation, flooding rivers and gardens. From here Peter Gabriel imagined the bloody revolt of the plant species against the human race. The lyrics of the song is sung beautifully and with deliberately alarmed tone: "Nothing can stop them / In every river and canal their power is growing". The first part of the song is constructed in this way, to emphasize the man's attempts to defend his race from the botanic aggression, ("Strike by night / They're defenceless") and the consequent growing fear in acknowledging the futility of these actions ("But they are invincible / they are immune to all of our herbiciding batteries"). This first part of the song is frantic and obsessive, because he has to draw the incessant human activity to counter plant invasion. By contrary, in the second section of the song, called "The Dance Of The Giant Hogweed", there is a sudden slowdown: first of all we can hear a beautiful piano solo by Tony Banks that for about twenty seconds holds the stage almost alone. Slowly, with a disturbing sense of inevitability, a guitar solo by Hackett and a following crescendo evokes the anxious waiting of the 'Heracleum Mantegazzianum". Finally, the thunderous final celebrates the triumph of Giant Hogweed (who, according to the dramatic atmosphere evoked by the music, should have been extremely bloody!).

Harold The Barrel is the story of a restaurateur, who "cut off his toes" and has served to the people of his village as if they were butter cookies! This causes a real popular uprising that forces our hero to find refuge on the ledge of a window, and threaten suicide. Gabriel's art is to bring the denunciation of an injustice to a level of a grotesque situation, in some ways even comic. Gabriel and Collins interpret the various characters acting in the course of the song (Harold, his mother, the Mayor, Mr. Plod, the crowd) here inaugurating the form of "song-theater" that Genesis will resume with great success both in "Get'em Out By Friday" and in "The Battle Of Epping Forest ". The song ends with the suicide of Harold, exasperated by the crowd. In terms of music, "Harold The Barrel" is a song very well built (and sadly underrated by many): it seems in every way a comic song, but it is not: it's a tragic story, the most cruel and terrible moment in Gabriel's poetry, far more than "The Musical Box" or "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed".

The song for the history, however, is The Musical Box, a long and complex extravaganza on which Genesis worked for some time. The structure of the piece is similar to a previous song of "Trespass" album called "Stagnation": a time dominated by the sound of strictly acoustic 12-string is followed by another more aggressive and mark by thunderous instrumental full. The amazing final section is one of the most exciting moments in the band's career. The music is perfectly in tune with the story narrated by Peter Gabriel, a sort of creepy fairy tale centered on two children, Henry and Cynthia, and an act of violence occurred during a croquet game. The inspiration for the creation of the lyrics was the victorian house of Peter's grandfather, by which the author felt the hidden violence that then tried to express in the song. The story is familiar to all Genesis fans: during a game of croquet, which seems to refer to "Alice in Wonderland", Cynthia decapitated little Henry with a club. A few days later Cynthia played the precious Henry's musical box and the spirit of the little child appears. Suddendly he begins to age rapidly, and so wanting to satisfy all those desires that did not have in life. Of course the sight of Cynthia increased his sexual appetites ("Bring back your hair / And let me get to know your flesh") and quickly the brutal and inevitable request is made: "Why do not you touch me, now?".

In conclusion, we can certainly say that "Nursery Cryme" is one of the best record of the entire progressive rock scene, an album where the music is so powerful and evocative that you can not only hear, but actually "see" the songs, and where the lyrics, in marvelous balance between fantasy and reality, certainly bring an added value of incalculable importance. In Genesis discography only "Foxtrot" is better than "Nursery Cryme". "Selling England By The Pound" is also a masterpiece but I think it has "only" the bronze medal. Absolutely 5 stars and a final rating of 10/10. Long Live Harold.

M.M. (Dark Nazgul)

Best song: The Musical Box

Report this review (#404769)
Posted Monday, February 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first Genesis album to feature Phil Collins and Steve Hackett opens with The Musical Box, which is a fantastic showcase for both performers' unquestionable musical skills, and then continues in a louder, more confident, and more daring mould than Trespass. The acoustic pastoral style of the previous album, with its medieval atmosphere, has developed into a strange style which retains its pastoral roots (especially on songs like For Absent Friends) but adopts a more Victorian atmosphere, with musical boxes, malevolent hogweeds acquired by long-ago explorers, explorations of classical myth (as on the Fountain of Salmacis) - a favourite subject for the Victorians - and a bit of Dickensian social commentary on Harold the Barrel all contributing to the strange atmosphere of the album.

Another unique album from Genesis in a style they'd never quite revisit, which is both highly satisfying in its own right and points the way to the approach they'd take from Foxtrot to The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Nursery Cryme deserves to be part of any prog collection.

Report this review (#424561)
Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Nursery Cryme is the first Genesis album that displays their true classic-era sound that was still in development on Trespass. Like most all Genesis albums, I found this album to be an amalgamation of good and bad. Personally, this is one of my least favorite Genesis albums, but there are still some nice tunes here.

"The Musical Box" starts out the album on kind of a boring note, with just Gabriel's voice accompanied by light keys and guitar. But then a mash of manic rock suddenly rushes in and seems very abrasive to my ears. This is one of the most random sounding tracks in the Genesis catalog.

"For Absent Friends" is a nice acoustic ballad that reminds me of something by John Denver, but obviously less country influenced. Otherwise, I'd probably hate this track, but it comes off as sounding very soothing. But, it doesn't offer up enough in structure to be significant in any way.

"Return of the Giant Hogweed" is a classic track in the Genesis catalog, and the first impression of this track is always good, but I always feel this track goes downhill whenever Gabriel starts singing. I feel like this would be much better as an instrumental. This track is overall quite heavy and wouldn't sound out of place on Trespass, and is very bass heavy.

"Seven Stones" is a quaint and softer styled track, and it doesn't really offer much variation other than a speeding up temporarily. This is one of the most forgettable track on the album, though there is some nice mellotron atmosphere near the end.

"Harold the Barrel" is one of the best tracks on the album, and starts off with a fun and bouncy rhythm accompanied by Gabriel's vocals that come off sounding like someone's senile grandmother. I really enjoy the staccato keys throughout the song. Short, but sweeter than most on this album.

"Harlequin" is a pretty and quirky sounding tune with Gabriel's outrages vocals being far more subdued than normal, and it sounds nice. This song would be way better if there was some kind of variation, but nothing really develops. It's still beautiful though.

"The Fountain of Salmacis" is without a doubt the best track on this album, which makes this album the ultimate save-the-best-for-last example. With a strong mellotron intro that forshadows "Watcher of the Skies" on the next album, the track soon sets off with rhythmic bass thumping and fantastic mellotron lines. There is a very aggressive keyboard solo in the middle of the song that gives way to another fantastic few lines of bass. There is soon a random theme that appears that gives off a haunted house kind of feel, but it actually works fairly nice on this track.

I've found that the classic Genesis albums generally have at least one track that is absolutely great, which happens to be "The Fountain of Salmacis" on this album. Unfortunately, every other track has always been highly forgettable in my opinion. I've come to assume that Genesis' brand of quirky symphonic prog is just not something I enjoy as much as most reviewers on this site, but this is a classic album by a classic band and I suggest that anyone interested in prog at least give this a listen for good measure.

Report this review (#429396)
Posted Friday, April 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars The entrance of Phil Collins and Steve Hackett did change the sound a little bit, but the style of songwriting is the same with the exception of the presence of a sense of humor in some songs. There's not only a perfect balance of acoustic and electric material, but also of surreal weirdness and serious introspection. The opening "The Musical Box" is quite a dark tale, and the band play together like a seasoned orchestra, with Steve Hackett contributing one of the first guitar solos to utilize the hammer-on arpeggios that influenced modern heavy metal, and the 32nd-note hi-hat playing that Phil Collins does in the "Old King Cole" section shows that he wanted to make his mark on the music as a virtuoso right away. If you like Peter Gabriel's "rough" voicings, that can be found on this album, especially in the awesome- intro'ed "Return of the Giant Hogweed", but he's also singing beautifully throughout, and in harmony with Phil and the rest on the lovely "Harlequin." There some very Crimson-like Mellotron and drumming in "Seven Stones", but the best is probably "The Fountain of Salmacis", where Greek mythology meets early 70's prog soundscapes complete with Bach- inspired organ riffs and soaring guitar solos. The album was engineered to have a very muffled, murky sound, but if you are listening to it on an old vinyl copy with enough weed and a view of the sunset, this is a plus!
Report this review (#451602)
Posted Tuesday, May 24, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars This collection of songs we have here is very pleasant and deserves special attention from a Prog listener, mainly because it carries a very heavy influence from medieval music, which is a peculiar characteristic of few Progressive bands (e.g. Gentle Giant). Let's follow, song by song:

Seven Stones: a slow song, with good lyrics and melodies throughout. Nothing special, but a nice try from the band. 4,25 stars.

The Fountain of Salmacis: great song, nice vocals and arrangements on it. The rhythm is also cool. The part beginning at 3:15 is very exciting. The song becomes more rhythmic and fast, with good drum fills by Mr. Collins. The guitar is great on this one, congratulations to Mr. Hackett. 4,5 stars.

Harold The Barrel: this is a good example of how to do a great progressive song within 3 minutes ! I love it ! It has a great rhythm, with good arrangements from all the instruments and the vocals by Gabriel are funny. The lyrics tell an interesting story ! 5 stars.

The Return of the Giant Hogweed: This is one the Genesis songs I've never liked too much, but listening to it again while reviewing this album I started to like it ! It's very well structured and melodic, while the lyrics are amazing and funny (not to say apocalyptical!) ! It now stands as one of my favourite from this very band !! 5 stars !

The Musical Box: I think it needs no comment? really ! A long medieval piece telling a very intriguing magical story? softness and kindness for the first minutes and aggressiveness, in an almost heavy-metal way of playing, for the last minutes? WHY DON'T YOU TOUCH MEEEE ?!?!? NOW ! NOW! NOW ! Just fantastic ! 5 stars !

Harlequin: a soft piece sung in a double harmony by Gabriel and Collins, which sounds very calm and peaceful ! Just love it ! 5 stars.

For Absent Friends: I think this is the first song sung by Collins in Genesis, and he does it very well ! It's the sweetest song on the album ! It makes me have memories of something I've never lived ! 5 stars.

So, although I think it's not a masterpiece AS Foxtrot, Selling England By The Pound and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, it IS a masterpiece of Progressive Music. 5 stars.

Report this review (#470338)
Posted Sunday, June 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first Genesis album to feature Phil Collins and Steve Hackett opens with The Musical Box, which is a fantastic showcase for both performers' unquestionable musical skills, and then continues in a louder, more confident, and more daring mould than Trespass. The acoustic pastoral style of the previous album, with its medieval atmosphere, has developed into a strange style which retains its pastoral roots (especially on songs like For Absent Friends) but adopts a more Victorian atmosphere, with musical boxes, malevolent hogweeds acquired by long-ago explorers, explorations of classical myth (as on the Fountain of Salmacis) - a favourite subject for the Victorians - and a bit of Dickensian social commentary on Harold the Barrel all contributing to the strange atmosphere of the album.

Another unique album from Genesis in a style they'd never quite revisit, which is both highly satisfying in its own right and points the way to the approach they'd take from Foxtrot to The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Nursery Cryme deserves to be part of any prog collection.

Report this review (#485774)
Posted Monday, July 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Voice from a passing workmate: "Hey, I did not know that you like hymns !".

That kind of sums up this album. This album has been a long time favorite of mine. Mainly because of the basis on pastoral hymns this album has. Yes, I know that Musical Box has some heavy melody lines too. But even they are pretty pastoral and church hymns like.

The Musical Box, The Return Of The Giant Hogweed and The Fountain Of Salmacis is the big classics from this album. But I really think the other songs are great too. The pastoral sound also plays a big part on my enjoyment of this album.

In short, this album is one of the reasons I am such a fan of Genesis, the symphonic prog band. Nothing but full marks will suffice.

5 stars

Report this review (#491137)
Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars In 1971 Genesis had just added their new guitarist, Steve Hackett, and were also still getting used to drummer Phil Collins, who'd joined shortly before Hackett. However, now that the band was all together, they began rehearsing and recording for their next album, which turned out to be this album. "Nursery Cryme" is a very good album, but to me it is lacking a certain feeling.

To start with, "The Musical Box" has a very interesting story, and good instrumentation, but to be perfectly honest, for most of the song I sit in boredom. To be even more honest, I usually skip it. They're all playing at their best, and Gabriel's lyrics are very good, but for me this song just never really gets off the ground. The tune itself isn't wonderfully appealing, and some of the time the vocals can be annoying. Especially, the beginning is rather below par. However, parts of this song live up to it's fantastic reputation, because although a lot of it can get boring, a good bit of it is wonderfully chaotic. Don't worry though, they'd improve it on "Genesis Live" (but that's another review). The next track is the beautiful quiet acoustic song "For Absent Friends". This is the first time they seemed to understand that their drummer had quite a voice, and so Phil Collins sings lead on this track, and he sings beautifully. Although it's very short, I feel like the mood of it would be ruined if it was longer. It's a beautiful tune overall; a close to perfect song. Following that comes the manic "Return Of The Giant Hogweed". One of their very good tunes, it has an interesting apocalyptic story, and while the beginning isn't absolutely amazing, the rest definitely is. The second half takes off and is what truly makes this song. It switches between themes and solos, and also has a creepy-but-wonderful vocal effect on Peter Gabriel's voice to end the song as the hogweed. This is one that, overall, will not disappoint you. Up next is the low key "Seven Stones". Although not the best song on the album, it's a wonderful tune, and the vocals and instruments are especially charged. They seem to add something every time a theme is repeated, such as Phil singing with Peter, or a flute part, to keep the song going and to keep it interesting. They succeed greatly, and this is a very, very overlooked song. The quiet majesty of "Seven Stones" is followed by the fantastically manic "Harold The Barrell". It's a quirky rocker, and it shows very little hint of it being by a symphonic prog band like Genesis. However strange this song is in their catalog, it is definitely one you'll be coming back to again and again. It has Gabriel at his storytelling best, and it has some wonderful vocals by Peter Gabriel, and some equally wonderful doubled vocals by Phil Collins. To balance out the crazy "Harold The Barrell", they follow it with the short, light acoustic number "Harlequin". Some beautiful harmony vocals by Phil and Peter, and a wonderful melody to go along with if. The lead guitar lines from Steve Hackett and the electric piano from Tony Banks are like icing on the cake. And here is the end. "The Fountain Of Salmacis" is a powerful song, with an interesting story, and spectacular use of mellotron. Probably the only epic song on this album that is truly great from start to finish.

Overall, this is an excellent album. Although it has certain parts that suffer from the transition of the new lineup, the other parts shine out in ways that showed what was to come.

Report this review (#546694)
Posted Sunday, October 9, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars So, "Nursery Cryme." Oh, I've got some stuff to say about this album. Believe me, it took me about two and a half years to get this album. That's a long time. I know. I'll do my best at not writing something that sounds a lot like a synopsis of the album as I usually do. This is an epic review, so do not eat the whole sandwich; find the ingredients that you think you would like.

What is the essence of the album? Well, I have some breaking news for you: there is not a single sucker on this album, except for, maybe, the silly 'Harold the Barrel.' I mean, it has nothing to do with the loud, rocksy side of Genesis, nor does it have anything to do with the soft, ambient side of the group. At least Peter Gabriel's vocal melodies are very much acceptable along with the piano coda. And the whole song is so fast it's just funny, but it in a good way. I don't think the music in it, nor the lyrics, need to be taken seriously. It's just there for fun, especially since some of Peter's brief comic vocal outtakes are audible.

Other than that, the album is simply delightful unless I once again feel this indirect (i.e. indeliberate) pressure from the prog rock fans, George Starostin, and John McFerrin, who love 'The Return of the Giant Hogweed.' Under such psychological circumstances I usually experience the awakening of this instinct inside me that says: "OK, find something you hate about this album." Time has told me that now I just can't find anything dismal. I just hate that counter-acting (or reacting) instinct. But sometimes I just keep following it. I don't know why. But enough of me and back to the album. I just wanted to point out a significant factor that affects my judgement.

To the really good parts of the album now. Oh, we are looking at six tracks out of seven here! 'The Musical Box' is nothing short of a deeply emotional, schizophrenic piece. Why schizophrenic? Well, it is two-sided. On one hand you have this gentle and pretty ambient side maintained with a bunch of excerpts like the intro, the part about Ol' King Cole's fiesta, and the fugue "She is a lady, she's got time", penned by Tony Banks. I think those ideas sprung up somehow from "Trespass" and paved way for something that would become the coda to "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" and the whole of "More Fool Me." On the other hand, you have a freaking powerhorse making its way like the wind through time as Phil Collins is hitting his butt off on the drums, aptly backing Steve Hackett and Tony Banks. All of that is topped off with a cherry in the form of a sexual coda: "Why don't you touch me?! Touch me?!" Peter Gabriel wanted sex and violence (particularly violence a little similar to that on 'The Knife'), and he got it. He wanted something in the spirit of The Who, and he got something more powerful than anything I've heard from The Who's catalog. Hear that bad girl at least once in your lives. Spoiler alert: it has a Hackett solo that is mixed too low. But that's the only rough spot on the track. Other than that, you have to mark the following words: the whole thing is one of the best things, if not exactly the best thing, that I have ever heard in all of prog rock. I'm not taking a dogmatic stance here! How about that?

After that we have the underrated "For Absent Friends", Collins and Hackett's first shot at songwriting for the group. I have some other breaking news for you: this is a one fine mighty ballad. For me it works like decent ambient music. In my opinion, decent ambient music evokes images in my head to complement the sound; it does not leave me with a choice to come up with some images myself. Same can be said of this song. You have an afternoon with an overcast sky, with people walking out of the church and "leaving two-pence on the plate." Then "they wait to board the bus that ambles down the street." Here I could consider Phil Collins as a "vocal twin" of Peter Gabriel. That just almost reduced me to tears. There is just something about this kind of atmosphere that acts on my deepest senses. Maybe it's because I was born and partly raised in St.-Petersburg, Russia. We St.-Petersburgians are used to kind of thing almost every day, that is the overcast sky and the rain. I have some positive psychological thoughts about rain. I suppose it has something to do with my personal nostalgia, but I may be wrong.

OK, enough melancholy, because the next track is something different. Get this: it's about a plant conquering human race. Can you dig it? That Victorian explorer sure was clueless about the hogweed. Here is the group's another chance to demonstrate their taste in good music, if not just some instrumental prowess. It sure has a weird plot, but that does not act as a turn-off to me. Wait a minute; don't miss that one-minute coda where the band is just flipping out! Without that coda the track definitely would have earned an okayish four from me. If you think about it, again, it seems like some of the ideas from "Trespass" are recycled into Genesis' later works, like the ending. The ending sounds somewhat like the ending of 'Visions of Angels' - long and moody. I just had to give 'Hogweed' a five for that coda, no matter how sophomoric in terms of music-writing the rest sounds.

The next track, which was a five-star nominee in accord with my judgment, is 'Seven Stones.' Moody and dramatic, it keeps me enthralled throughout its entire time. However, the excessive references to The Old Man wiggle my patience a wee-bit (like Gabriel's singing about mortar and trees, although the mentioning of nature is, actually, better.) What is the thing that almost earned it the fifth star? It's the moving Mellotron solo that starts at 3:58. Don't miss it. Is this white music at its absolute best? Probably. Not that Katy Perry and Justin Bieber fans would care much; but if you like serious music that is not as serious as that from two-three centuries ago, give it at least one listen.

Since we have discussed track number five, let's get to something that in a matter of about ten minutes made its way out of the two-star status into five stars after having the low rating for those two and a half years. I do have a little reservation about 'Harlequin''s quality. That is because the harmonic complexity of the verses manages to lose me every once in a while. "But, hey, man! How did it get a five?" The answer is simple: the chorus. Every time I hear the first words of the chorus, evocatively sung by Peter Gabriel, I'm ready to hear Hackett's guitar supplying some darn fine moodiness, to which I would add one more note of my own. "That's it?" Well, yes! It's that guitar that turned me on to the entire song that lit up like a light bulb. Talking about magic, huh? Overall, the song is very pretty, but it's the chorus that was the hit for me. Then "Though your eyes are dim, all of the pieces in the sky" clicked with me. After that the music of the verses was no longer a problem.

Last, but not least, "The Fountain of Salmacis" is another four-star victor in my Windows Media Player. Time did not allow me to grasp the beauty and power of this puppy right away, as in the case of the rest of the album. I remember writing a bad review on it inside my head about four months ago. But things had finally happened for the two of us, starting with that tense instrumental clip that begins at 3:15. Then Gabriel's melodies became pure delight, which followed by Banks' Mellotron and Hackett's guitar in the end of the piece. Unfortunately, the guitar is too low in the mix (a-gain). Well, what can I do?

"I have one question for you, sir. If you have so many reservations about the album, why are you giving at a five?" I gave the album four and a half stars, actually. It is in accord with the general impression the record made on me, granted that it took a long time to be fully appreciated, so it's close to prog perfection. It also makes sense as an arithmetic average. But how did I rate each track individually?


'Musical Box' - *****

'For Absent Friends' - *****

'The Return of the Giant Hogweed' - *****

'Seven Stones' - ****

'Harold the Barrel' - ***

'Harlequin - *****

'The Fountain of Salmacis' - ****

Stamp: "I like it" (i.e. not for modern pop lovers.)

Report this review (#613957)
Posted Friday, January 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4.2 stars

I really enjoy this album, and it contains some of my favorite Genesis songs, including "The Musical Box" and "The Return of the Giant Hogweed". Anyone who doesn't enjoy those songs should just not bother with listening to Genesis, ever. After their steps towards "proginess" furthered after Trepass, this album proves that Genesis knew what they were doing.

"The Musical Box" is absolutely gorgeous in so many ways. Hackett's guitar is beautiful, and the song has a sense of movement. There are no dull parts. Phil Collins, believe it or not, was at one point in time a fantastic drummer, and that really shows on this track. The ending organ chords really make the song cohesive, in my opinion. 5/5 stars.

"For Absent Friends". ...............3/5 stars.

"The Return of the Giant Hogweed" may contain, if I'm thinking clearly, one of the coolest guitar- tapping parts ever recorded, and probably one of the first. The tapping is used tastefully here, and that's the most important thing. Hackett's guitar solo is a high point of the song. GREAT lyrics! 5/5 stars.

"Seven Stones" has interesting parts, but unfortunately nothing that holds my attention or makes me want to hit 'replay'. I still like the track a lot, though. 4/5 stars.

"Harold the Barrel" doesn't need a lot of conversation about it. It's a weak track, to put it plain. 2/5 stars.

"Harlequin" isn't as bad as "Harold the Barrel", but also doesn't have a ton of substance, in my opinion. 3/5 stars.

"The Fountain of Salmacis" has a great bassline. I really like this track a lot. It has the same sense of movement as the other two long songs, but isn't quite as harsh. I very nice way to close the album. Great lyrics, as is most of the time with Gabriel. 4/5 stars.

A really great album, especially considering the longer tracks are the great ones on the album. A fantastic album for any progger, and I would suggest it to fans of symphonic prog.

Report this review (#652902)
Posted Saturday, March 10, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a really good album. It shows the style genesis would take on thier next couple albums. It has the masterpiece the Musical box which I believe is one of the most epic genesis songs. The guitar solos on that song are also fantastic. Then we have The return of the giant hogweed. This song is good but it isnt amazing. The vocals are too harsh and it has some weak points. Seven stones is fantastic, Peters voice sounds great! The fountain of Salmacis is another masterpiece. Great sweeping keyboards, awesome tapping solos, and peter at his best. All these songs are great but there are some weak songs. harold the barrel is a filler song and has nothing going for it. harlequin and for absent friends are nice but are nothing special. Therefore the album doesnt get a 5/5 because these songs take away from the experience. Overall its still a great album if you can get over the weaker songs. Buy it.
Report this review (#749629)
Posted Sunday, May 6, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Nursery crime marks the beginning of the true Genesis sound. The folk of Trespass is still present, but the band has incorporated more of the style and technique representative of their core period, as well as the influence of Hackett and Collins. The album, like Trespass, suffers from some pretty bad production, but the songs more than make up for this.

The album begins with which is easily one of the band's most admired songs, 'The Musical Box.' (10/10) The Musical Box is perhaps the band's most structurally and emotionally diverse song in their catalogue. It has loud parts, soft parts, folky parts, and full on prog parts. Peter Gabriel is at his best here as well, exploring the whole emotional spectrum with some really amazing vocals.

'For Absent Friends' (4/10) is a short song written by Hackett with Collins on vocals. I view this song as kind of a good welcoming to these two integral band members, though the music is rather simple.

'Return of the Giant Hogweed' (10/10) is the "rocker" of the album. It showcases Hackett's guitar abilities especially in the tapping intro. But everyone else is just as instrumentally proficient.

'Seven Stones, (5/10) 'Harrold the Barrel' (5/10) and Harlequin (5/10) aren't terribly interesting, but are nonetheless fully bathed in the new Genesis sound. 'The Fountain of Salmacis' (9/10) concludes this album in an epic fashion. The beautiful crescendos and abundant Mellotron really make this song, as does Collin's crazy drumming throughout.

Overall, this is a very good album to stat off a new Genesis period. Unfortunately, there are some weaker songs on here, and the production doesn't do justice to the stronger songs.


Report this review (#771385)
Posted Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Nursery Cryme starts right from where the previous album Trespass left off. While the previous album was primarily composed of lush and lavish acoustic soundscapes only to end on a much harder note with "The Knife". a setlist staple for the band in their earliest years, this album develops a rough, harder sound with the addition of Phil Collins to the drums and Steve Hackett to guitar. Songs like "The Return of the Giant Hogweed", "The Musical Box", and "The Fountain of Salmacis" certainly show the much harder, "rough-around-the edges" side of the band that could potentially compete with contemporaries like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. That's not to say that this album is without it's softer moments, "Harlequin" could definitely fit in perfectly fine on the previous album and "Seven Stones" is a pleasant ballad in the middle of the album. Of course Genesis being a highly eccentric rock band in their early years, there is also moments of distinctly British whimsy with "Harold The Barrel" being the clearest example of that. The songwriting is solid all-around and will only improve with the next offering. The performances are all great, while even though Gabriel's vocals are technically unrefined and "adolescent" so to speak, it perfectly fits in with the atmosphere of the music surrounding him, creating a uniquely "whimsical" environment. The mastering could be better (less "raw" and "bare-bones"), but for what it is, the production still highlights everything where it needs to be in the mix and it still sounds really good. A wonderful addition to any prog collection.
Report this review (#779809)
Posted Friday, June 29, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Nursery Cryme is a very good continuation of Trespass. The songs get harder and the drums are precise and innovative.

There are two things important here: One. The music, from The Musical Box (a classic) to The Fountain of Salmacis, you'll hear a band whose sound is developing, obviously, but, in a mature way. Two. The artwork is amazing, full of symbolisms that are correlative to the lyrics.

My favourite songs here: The Musical Box (it passes through many changes of tempo and rhythms that make it incredible, so look the middle riff of the song, moreover and the dark feeling is amazing) and Seven Stones (it's a good and slow song, almost ballad. it's beautiful)

Nothing more to say, a classic for those who want to get into Progressive Rock!


Report this review (#807226)
Posted Sunday, August 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Anthony Phillips left to pursue a solo career (and, yes, you should check out some of his albums), and was replaced by Steve Hackett on guitar. John Mayhew was replaced by Phil Collins, and the classic Genesis line-up was complete.

Where they had ventured into progressive territory on the previous album, with the skills of Hackett and Collins and the songwriting talents of Peter Gabriel and Tony Banks the band was able to expand their musical reach. Focusing more on the stories, we have the vengeful ghost of "The Musical Box", mutant plant life ravaging London in "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" and the origin of hermaphrodites in "The Fountain of Salmacis". All three songs are standouts, but the band also shows what they can do in short form with "Harold the Barrel", as a put-upon business man decides to end it all, and "Seven Stones", which tells the tale of a fake wizard.

"For Absent Friends" and "Harlequin" are barely filler, but it doesn't matter. Musically and lyrically this album proved what the band could do and, for the next few years, they would only improve upon it.

Report this review (#856797)
Posted Sunday, November 11, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Review #5 Nursery Cryme was the 3rd studio album recorded by Genesis, and it was released on the 12th November 1971. This is the band's first album, including Phil Collins on drums and Steve Hackett on guitar. (Phil Collins replaced John Mayhew and Steve Hackett came as a replacement of Anthony Phillips) This classic, five-piece line-up of Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford, and Tony Banks, will remain unchanged until the departure of Peter Gabriel on 1975.

Nursery Cryme signifies a major change in the band's sound, by moving away from the folk-oriented sound of 'Trespass', and getting into a more aggressive guitar-driven Progressive Rock style. Upon its release, the album received mixed reviews and wasn't commercially successful. It became famous only in Italy, reaching at No.4 in the album charts. (Italy always had - and still has - a very big local Progressive Rock scene). The album begins with one of the band's most famous songs; The Musical Box, with the bizarre and kind of twisted lyrics. The story is written by Peter Gabriel and is taking place in Victorian England, concerning two brothers (a boy and a girl) that live in a farm. The girl (Synthia) kills her brother (Henry), by chopping off his head with a cricket bat. (That's the picture on the cover actually). After his death, Synthia discovers Henry's Musical box. When she opens it, Henry returns through it as a ghost, and he starts aging very fast. As he had already grown, he tries to persuade Synthia to have sex with him. At that point his nurse grabs the musical box, throw it at him, and they are both destroyed.

The next song, 'For absent friends' is a ballad, about two widows that are going to church and pray for their dead husbands. That is officially the first song where Phil Collins is taking the role of the lead singer, and that is something he will do a lot later on, after the departure of Peter Gabriel.

The lyrics in 'Fountain of Salmasis' are taken from the Ancient Greek mythology. It is the story of the nymph Salmasis, who tried to rape Hermaphroditus. In this version of the myth, Salmasis and Hermaphroditus are becoming one in the end.

Another very interesting (lyric-wise) song is The Return of the Giant Hogweed, in which, Peter Gabriel tells the apocalyptic story of a "regal Hogweed" being brought from Russia by a Victorian explorer to the Royal Gardens at Kiew. Later, after being planted by country gentlemen in their gardens, the Hogweeds take on a life of their own and spread their seed throughout England, preparing for an onslaught. The citizens attempt to assault the Hogweeds with herbicide, but the plants are immune. After a brief instrumental (subtitled "The Dance of the Giant Hogweed"), the song ends in a crashing climax where the Hogweed reigns victorious over the human race.

(Did I mention that one of the reasons I love Genesis so much is because of their lyrics)? In my opinion 'Nursery Cryme' is a brilliant album and a very good example of Progressive Rock of the 70's. It's not an easy album to listen to, cause it is kind of "raw". But if you discover its hidden pleasures, you will love it for the rest of your life. (As I do for the last 20+ years now).

My Personal Rating: 5 stars.

Report this review (#858056)
Posted Tuesday, November 13, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars While not the first explosion of creativity from the band (this award going to "Trespass") Nursery Cryme was nevertheless a huge accomplishment for Genesis. It gave them their first whiff of true stardom, especially in continental Europe. It rose to number 4 in Italy and was also popular in Belgium, France, and their home country. And boy, did it deserve it.

As with my older reviews on this site, I will assign each song up to 2 points, and put the album's score out of the total possible points.

The Musical Box originated from an acoustic piece by Anthony Phillips, who left after recording Trespass. After being tinkered with by every band member who could use a guitar (Phillips, Mike Rutherford, Mick Barnard, Steve Hackett, and Tony Banks), it eventually grew from a minor 3 minute passage to a 10 minute monstrosity of emotion and suspense. 2 points go to this epic.

For Absent Friends is a short break to ease the tension between the first and third songs on the first side. Written by Hackett and Phil Collins, it was an "initiation" of sorts to prove they could provide input musically. The acoustic pastoralism coupled with a very British feel and Phil's first vocal with Genesis make a nice little ditty. 1 point.

The Return of the Giant Hogweed often contested with The Knife for the encore spot in Genesis concerts. It is a very similar song. It is by no means repetitive, however. Based off a news report on an invasive plant species in Canada and Europe, this number gets you head banging for eight straight minutes. 2 points go to the highlight of the album.

Seven Stones begins the second side on a moderate note. I have absolutely no clue what the lyrics mean, but I could say the same for The Lamb anyway! This minor Banks piece is a nice touch to the album. 1 point.

Harold the Barrel is the one track technologically most similar to Trespass, with no extensive usage of the 16 track recording (which was given to Genesis at a time when 8 tracks was excessive), bass pedal, or mellotron. Even so, it is the farthest from Trespass in practice, simply due to the over the top energy and bounce put into it. It isn't a very "art rock" piece, and I respect it more for it. 2 points.

Harlequin is similar to For Absent Friends, only this time a duet between Gabriel and Collins. They mesh perfectly; the song sounds almost perfectly double tracked. But no, that's two different people! It's a haunting melody, although the lyrics are almost undecipherable. 2 points.

The Fountain of Salmacis is a Rutherford-Banks piece, with the historical lyrics fitting in nicely with Mike's repertoire. Based off the mythical story of Hermaphroditus (let's just say there's a reason that name sounds familiar), it is a wonderful mystical ending to this monumental album, with the keyboard introduction and the haunting ending attesting to the ingenuity of the quintet. 2 well deserved points.

12/14 points gives this album about 86%, or about a 4/5. This achievement of humanity deserves your money and your attention.

Report this review (#876055)
Posted Saturday, December 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars After Trespass the band known as Genesis went through a couple of changes in their line-up. Phil Collins took over as drummer in place of John Mayhew(the band was actually unhappy with his performance on Trespass) so they let him go. Anthony was afraid of the stage so they had to replace him with a man named Steve Hackett. The classic Genesis line-up was now in tact, it consisted of Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins. The album cover has a little girl with a croquet mallet with rolling heads in the background(say what!!!). On with the album right

Here is the track listing for this album:

1. The Musical Box - This piece opens with a nice guitar intro I think it's played by Mike Rutherford, then Pete comes in with the vocals it sounds rather quiet and then it explodes with Tony's organs and the blistering guitar solos from Steve Hackett(he makes his presence known on this song). This song's dynamics are fantastic "The clock, tick tock On the mantelpiece And I want And I feel And I know And I touch The wall". This song is classic Genesis one of my very favorite of theirs. This marks the beginning of Phil Collins and Steve Hackett in Genesis's music and they make their presence known immediately, listen for Hackett's two-hand tapping.A really great example of early Genesis and their jam sessions 10/10

2. For Absent Friends- This is a short and cool piece sung by Phil, it was written by both Phil and Steve and it's a nice a little ballad that is actually quite lush, just magnifico. 9/10

3. The Return Of The Giant Hogweed- The song begins with Steve's newly employed technique in the rock world known as two-hand tapping it plays along with Tony's keys(it's awesome), this is about the taking over of Hogweeds in England. "Giant Hogweed is avenged, human bodies soon will our anger, kill them with your Hogweed hairs Heracleum Mantegazziani"(ahhhh). The Hogweeds are ready to attack. I love Steve's solo on this song, it's a perfect song. A great example of early Genesis and their jam sessions. 10/10

4. Seven Stones- This is yet another great song from this album , the way Peter puts emotion into the lyrics is beautiful "Seven stones lay on the ground within a seventh house a friend was found" it's just so beautiful. I like the wordless chorus and it makes for an interesting listen, I love the drumming from Phil on this song along with the mellotron played by Tony.That mellotron that Tony plays is so chilling. Everyone is spot on here. Another perfect track. 10/10

5. Harold The Barrel- This one is just good silly fun, I like how the lyrics paint a picture in your head with Harold, his mother and everyone else in town. "Take a running jump". I like the piano at the end of the song it spells doom for the character known as Harold The Barrel.This song is just good silly fun. 9/10

6. Harlequin- I like this piece a lot it sounds so beautiful with Peter and Phil singing together(now that's a band, folks). This one is just a lovely little ballad, I love it. 10/10

7. The Fountain Of Salmacis- We now reach the final track on the album, this one is just really clever it is about the gods named Hermaphroditus and Salmacis and her giving birth(I think I don't know nor do I really care), I like how Phil and Peter respond to each other "Where are you my father, give wisdom to your son"(awesome!!!!!), this song is yet another example of a great early Genesis jam session. That organ and those bass and guitar solos, wow. Yeah, Mike has a little bass solo(really!!) and the solo to end the album from Steve is just classic, this is classic Prog Rock and classic Genesis. Perfect song. 10/10

Overall this album gets a 68/70 which out 10 is almost perfect but since it ends so memorably I will give this album 5 stars, it is one of those essential Prog Rock albums. I will give the album 5 stars, yet another great early Genesis album, this was my first Genesis album so with that it has a lot of meaning to me, and I highly recommend it as your genesis(hehe) to Genesis. Peace out!!!!!!

Report this review (#905357)
Posted Saturday, February 2, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Genesis' third album, Nursery Cryme, features our first look at the classic Genesis lineup of Peter Gabriel (voices, flute, precusion), Tony Banks (keyboards, 12-string guitar, backing vocals, Mike Rutherford (bass, 12-string guitar, bass pedals, backing vocals) and newcomers Steve Hackett (guitars) and Phil Collins (drums, percussion, harmony vocal, backing vocals, lead vocals on For Absent Friends). This lineup is the one that gained Genesis the exposure and fame that they strove so hard for.

The Musical Box, The Return of the Giant Hogweed, and The Fountain of Salmacis are all classics of symphonic prog. In fact these songs practically define progressive rock. They are some of the strongest songs in Genesis' repetoire, with the Musical Box still making appearances in concert.

This is not to say that the other songs are not anything much; au contraire! They arequite decent, especially Harlequin and Seven Stones. The most interesting thing about For Absent Friends is that it has Collins taking the lead vocal for the first time, and he does quite well. Harrold the Barrel is a humerous but sick piece about a man committing suicide by jumping off of a building.

All in all, this album is a potent harbinger of things to come from Genesis. It is a definate step up from Nursery Cryme, and points proudly to the future for the upcoming Foxtrot album.

Report this review (#911260)
Posted Friday, February 8, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars With two new members onboard - Collins (drums) and Hackett (guitars) Genesis were about to totally change the face of rock music with this release. Looking at the album cover you do get an idea of what kind of music will be involved. If someone had told me that Lewis Carroll had come back from the dead and was now a member of Genisis I wouldn't really have been all that suprised after listening to this album. The music is a progression from the previous album "Trespass" and where there were weaknesses in the band - particularly relating to the drums - those weaknesses are forgotten here. The amazing thing to me relating to this album is that the Genesis members were really young to have displayed the ideas and musical maturity that clearly shows through - I think that they averaged around 22 years of age here. To the music -

"The Musical Box" - this track tells a very weird tale involving murder, rape, a musical box, croquet, an old man, a child and a nanny. The track goes through many moods and nuances and although there are many different soundscapes throughout the track it works out to be a very cohesive whole. A giant of a track and I absolutely love it.

"For Absent Friends" - after the dramatic first track this is a short quiet piece that serves to break the drama, the angst and the musical beauty of the previous track.

"The Return of the Giant Hogweed" - Killer plants seeking revenge against humanity. A quirky track that doesn't hold a place among my favorite Genesis tracks on this album however it sets out to achieve what it was meant to.

"Seven Stones" - Very good softer track. Very nice Mellotron sounds. I like the drums and the bass through this track especially.

"Harrold the Barrel" - Fun track - dark humor, though, gives the jovial sounds a sharp edge.

"Harlequin" - Short, soft, sunny track. Gabriel and Collins harmonise very well here.

"The Fountain of Salmacus" - The tale of the first hermaphrodite - from Greek mythology . The music flows like waves over the listener, in parts hard and in parts gently fragile.

This album is a more adventurous album than was Trespass, it is also a more technically proficient work which was to be expected as both Collins and Hackett brought a more technically experienced edge to the band. Do I prefer it to Trespass? In some ways I do and in some ways I don't - I loved just about every track on Trespass and I can't say the same for this album. "The Musical Box" is a giant track and it, in my own opinion, was the best thing that Genesis had ever done up to this point. The rest of the tracks on this album don't really cause me to squirm in ecstacy other than for "The Fountain of Salmacus" which I find to be brilliant in parts. As a whole I enjoy the Trespass album more than I do this one and if I remove the title track of this album from the equasion then I can understand why. From me a very worthy 4 star album.

Report this review (#944997)
Posted Tuesday, April 16, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Nursery Cryme is the album where the most illustrious lineup of Genesis comes into being, with the arrival of drummer Phil Collins and guitarist Steve Hackett. This is the album where they begin to find their voice and despite poor production produce many moments of brilliance.

The new arrivals certainly have a significant role to play in the transformation of the band. Collins and bassist Mike Rutherford hit it off right away and combine superbly to add much needed meat to the rhythm section. The difference is most evident on the seriously groovy Return of the Giant Hogweed. While the track swings delightfully, it is also heavy and crunchy and Hackett's guitarwork accounts for this. Over the years, Hackett's fondness for King Crimson and, especially, Robert Fripp's approach to the instrument, has been evident and on this album too, he lends some bite and menace to the band's sound. And, being unable to yet (or at any time) truly impose himself on the band, his fascination for heavy music is curbed such that it fits into Genesis's generally playful approach. There is early evidence of his partiality to tapping as also his ability to play shimmering leads that touch the soul (Fountain of Salmacis).

All of which also opens up options for the band in terms of composition. Genesis are now able to shed their somewhat meek, muted approach and confidently forge their own sound because Collins and Hackett have the wherewithal to execute it (well, at least THEIR parts anyway). It is a sound that could be described as 'very British'. Though there are moments where they evoke Jethro Tull (Hogweed again) or Black Sabbath (Musical Box), both of which are blues based bands, Genesis's music is essentially very un-American. Whatever elements of American music they may have internalized are also fused with classical music and filtered through British theater until their style appears to bear a very limited, if any, connection to American music. They are probably unique in that sense among the big prog rock bands, in contrast to Yes's fondness for Simon & Garfunkel or Emerson's for jazz. And probably more like the less popular Van Der Graaf Generator.

Indeed, like VDGG, they rely heavily on drama and, in turn, on lyrics. Whereas Yes, ELP or Jethro Tull necessarily allowed plenty of room for soloists to show off their skills, Genesis's tracks give the appearance of being very tightly composed with the lyrical theme dictating the flow of music. Where they differ from VDGG is in avoiding dissonance, having more direction and being more light hearted. It is thus not difficult to see why the two bands had a close association for some time in the early 70s; they both enacted theater while the rest played to big American arenas.

Speaking of theater, Peter Gabriel too differs in many respects from his namesake Hammill. He tends to be less overwrought and relies more on humour. He also has greater limitations in terms of range or power. At this point, he has perhaps not fully realized his potential and lacks the assurance with which he commanded the ambitious material of Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. The band too have not yet fully aligned the music to Gabriel's strengths.

How much of this is his own doing is hard to tell but a track like Musical Box just seems to be a bit beyond his reach. He attempts valiantly to summon up a crescendo on emotion on the climax "Why don't you touch me now?" , but I feel largely unmoved because his voice doesn't seem to obey his command other than getting to the notes correctly.

The production too drags down the band, despite their best efforts to rise above it. I don't mind the relatively thin sound so much, but even the mix sounds, well, confused. The saving grace is the simply awesome dynamic range but that again is largely the band and less on account of the recording quality.

Still, consideration has to be made for the consistent quality of composition and performance on this album. Though I could do without either of the three short tracks, they are not bad. All the longer tracks are good and Musical Box, Salmacis and Hogweed are quite brilliant, if not all the all way through then surely in patches. Even as the band explores diverse styles, the overall sound is unified and cohesive and conveys the feeling of listening to an album rather than a collection of tracks.

Four stars for a rocksolid effort that marks the beginning of a wonderful streak of great prog albums from a great prog rock band.

Report this review (#967795)
Posted Friday, May 31, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Nursery Cryme" is the album when Genesis began their true progressive rock ethos, producing a string of sophisticated, prog rock masterpieces, this being the first one. After recruiting Hackett and Collins, following the departure of Anthony Phillips (one of their main driving forces), they began to knuckle down and their new style began to take shape on this album. Whilst not their best of the "Classic era", it marks a cornerstone from the more juvenile "Trespass". Yes, "Trespass" is my all-time favourite album but it's just because of a connection due to the previous line-up - more of a coincidence - but this is where they began writing better songs, all 7 of which on "Nursery Cryme" told a very specific fantasy story, which you could so easily get lost in.

"The Musical Box" is a classic Genesis piece, and an excellent opener to the album. It contains Hackett's new guitar style and tone, giving you an idea of what's to come on the album, and the overall zeitgeist of the album. The story, as depicted on the iconic album cover, is about a young girl (Cynthia) who creeps up behind a boy during a game of croquet and decapitates him with her mallet. Already, it is quite sinister (emphasised too by the sound of the musical box). After being rejected from heaven, the boy comes back down to Earth inside a musical box which, when opened, he will reappear as a spirit and age very quickly undergoing all of the sexual desires a man feels in his life at once, whilst still essentially a child. Anyway, musically and lyrically, to track is extraordinary. Great areas of light and shade, plus some strong climaxes. "And the nurse will tell you lies, of a kingdom beyond the skies" is such a great line and delivered so beautifully by Peter's vocals on here. The album on a whole however is quite badly produced (as with the previous 2), which is always a shame for me, because there is no real atmosphere. Overall, some great chord progressions too with some nice little lines underneath the whole thing, and my favourite song on the album (probably because it's the longest and allows enough time to indulge into it). The song was written by Anthony and I think it would have more suited his tastes and playing than Steve's (apart from the solos), so it was quite a shame that the early 60s Genesis had disbanded for me. Nonetheless, awesome.

"For Absent Friends" is quite a contrast to the heavy ending "The Musical Box". Phil's vocals are very sensitive, and Hackett's acoustic guitar brings a certain pastoral quality to the song - suitable for the story. The story itself can be interpreted in a few different ways so I won't say what I think in case I disrupt your ideas of it. I like the lenience of these kind of stories, because the way you interpret it makes it more personal in my opinion. "Return Of The Giant Hogweed" is pretty self-explanatory story-wise (just read the lyrics) but very detailed. I think that this is where Hackett comes into his element on the album, showing his early tapping techniques (very basic compared to what he does on "Selling England" and "The Lamb"). Gabriel also has very great harsh lyrics in the verses (i.e. "Turn and run!" which suit the power of the music very well. Not so sure about the ending vocals though (with the high pitched latin singing), perhaps too far into the story? Very clever and catchy on the whole, and one of the best songs on the album. Also, the ending chord progressions really shouldn't work when you look at it, but they just seem to. Does go on for a bit too long though (they could have cut out the last 30 seconds or so).

"Seven Stones" also has quite intriguing lyrics, which have lots of symbolism that can be found behind them. Again, I won't state this because I don't want to corrupt your view of the song. Tony Banks introduces the mellotron into here quite beautifully - very fitting - and Gabriel's vocals are excellent here. None of their other albums sound quite like this one vocally, as Peter makes a transition between the more immature (in a good way) to a sophisticated approach. Of course, there are some rough patches found on "Nursery Cryme", where he doesn't seem to do either, but on the whole excellent. Such a relaxing song (well sequenced between the 2 more active pieces on the album), and very underrated from the output of Genesis (as is the album itself). "Harold The Barrel" is right up there for me next to "The Musical Box". The story is so detailed and you really feel as if you're in it, plus you can feel very empathetic towards "Harold" for some reason. The song moves on at a very quick pace (how I like it), so it takes a couple of listens to get to grips with the whole thing but superb! Love the odd rhythms, all of the melodies just thrown together, and the tightness of the musicians, and their talent on here. Really holds the essence of the album in this little 3 or 4 minute piece. Furthermore, it sounds quite well produced compared to the rest of the album. To be honest, it's completely flawless - really can't find a fault with it, and possibly my favourite song on the album.

"Harlequin" is probably the worst song in the album, but only because the others hold the bar so high. Very sweet and gentle, with some underrated acoustic playing by Steve Hackett once again. There is really a strong storyline on it; acts more as an interlude between "Harold The Barrel" and the last track. Some great little sections and falsetto harmonies by Gabriel and Collins. On the whole, just a brilliant song. The final track "The Fountain Of Salmacis" is quite a big closer, but probably one of my least favourite really. The melody never really worked for me, and I didn't really like the 2 voices singing - at times they sort of clashed together in rhymes. Not as good as the sort you hear on "The Mountain" by Haken which is more structured, mature, and thought out. I still love Hackett and Banks working together on here. They bring a very powerful atmosphere on here, and some interesting chord progressions pop up every now and then. You can never really get bored of it, but I do believe it goes on a bit too long. They could have cut it back to about 6 minutes, and even added some new material into it to fill it back out. These are just all of the negatives but, for such a long song, there is so much good in there - especially in the guitar playing. Just heavenly, and easily Steve's best on the album - the only real competition being "The Musical Box". The solo at 3 minutes something is just incredible too, plus the keyboards and little flute section Gabriel adds in. Anyway, the album definitely ends on a very big and bold statement (similar to what "Caress Of Steel" is to do in 1975), and sums up the whole thing brilliantly.

A - The beginning of excellent things for Genesis, this being the first and paving the way to even greater albums such as "Foxtrot".

The Musical Box: ****** For Absent Friends: ***** Return Of The Giant Hogweed: ***** Seven Stones: ***** Harold The Barrel: ***** Harlequin: **** The Fountain Of Salmacis: ****

Report this review (#984607)
Posted Sunday, June 23, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album by Genesis is sure among their best efforts for me. Gabriel's voice is shining all along the tracks for every listener's delight. It has a kind of classical prog. flavour that makes it sweet and exciting, but power and range are the most remarkable offerings. In terms of composition, we have here a collection of high level songs, especially the opener the musical box and the final and title track the fountain of salmacis. Banks did a great work and the keyboard sounds fiery and dynamic with fine classical and edgy arrangements. Rhythm section provides a perfect ground for the songs to be developed, and the instrumental parts are very well acomplished. This album has a sweet balance between a symphonic/orchestral sound and I find it quite enjoyable for each and everyone out there, proghead or not. highly recommended.
Report this review (#1013400)
Posted Thursday, August 8, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was the first album featuring Phil Collins and Steve Hacket, and the second Genesis masterpiece. Hackett guitar playing style is very similar to early Philips at Trespass, and Hackett finally stamped the real Genesis kind of guitar feeling with his presence here. The atmospheric development by the guitar work is superb. Phil Collins knew how and the right time to do his things ond drums, he was a true prog drummer. He is not the kind of Neil Peart, I can't remember any technical drum fills from Collins, but his progressive way of follow the tune is just perfect to Genesis. Tony Banks fits very well here too, and his works are amazing, especially at The Return of The Giant Hogweed intro and The Fountain of Salmacis (two classic songs, and both favorites of mine) . Rutherford bass lines are very funny to listen to, mainly at the most fast sections. And about Peter Gabriel... What could I say? Anybody knows a better frontman? His storyteller skills are unquestionable, since his voice to his personality and representation at stage.

The cover art concept, together with the album title (Nursery Cryme) and the first track, The Musical Box, is parodying a famous nursery rhyme, and the booklet brings a short comic horror tale including the Old King Cole rhyme and the girl who killed the boy removing his head with a croquet mallet. The atmosphere of this song is dark, it starts slow and gets angry with time, with an incredible crescendo. The structure of the song is well elaborated, as any other track here. My favorite track is The Return of The Giant Hogweed. The plot / lyrics and the music in itself is awesome! The lyrics and stories here are seriously the best from the whole Genesis discography. Maybe everybody knows the classic tracks, like the epic musical adaptation of a greek myth at The Fountain of Salmacis, but just take a look at Seven Stones and other non- hype tracks, they are all great too. You should listen to Harold the Barrel following the lyrics at the booklet, where you will find the phrases named for every character of this theatrical piece (like Get'em Out By Friday at the Foxtrot album).

A complete masterpiece! I love everything about Nursery Cyrme (but Harlequin, a short uncatchy and irrelevant track).

Report this review (#1022355)
Posted Friday, August 23, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars 9/10, because of a couple of reasons.

Classic Genesis, there is not to much new t be said about it. It is a real masterpiece, I mean, some songs are. And you might know which ones I'm talking about. And due to this two, to be accurate, songs, this is not very versatile and easy, one of the main problems of Genesis. Well, it is a problem depending on your point of view.

The Musical Box - 10/10

The ultimate Genesis song, but it was beaten latter, only 'cause the winner is double its length...

For Absent Friends - 6/10

Only guitar and voice. Very weak.

The Return Of The Giant Hogweed - 9/10

Outstanding number, band in full flight.

Seven Stones - 8/10

Normal one, nothing wrong.

Harold The Barrel - 8/10

An engima. That's weird.

Harlequin - 8/10

Interesting tune, with acoustic.

The Fountain Of Salmacis - 9/10

Yet another long great band song.

Just a awesome album that only adds to the Genesis career and history. The strange songs don't spoil the other ones, that is really remarkable for life.

Report this review (#1026909)
Posted Sunday, September 1, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Happy birthday! 42 years!!!

Nursery Cryme was released in November 1971 and was the first album recorded by the band with the line up that gave birth to rock music immortal masterpieces such as 'Foxtrot' and 'Selling England By The Pound'.

Analyzing the cd image and text of the opening track The Musical Box, it includes everything: the design, made by Paul Whitehead, depicts a little girl-playing croquet ... with human heads! The commentary to the lyrics of this song in the liner notes of the release, speaks of the "pretty" beheading of a child (Henry Hamilton-Smythe) by its contemporary (Cynthia Jane De Blaise-William).

Amazing don't you think?

Genesis show a great progress compared to the two previous releases, developing experimental sounds, more complex and sophisticated that envelop the listener; sound very deep atmospheres are alternated with more rhythmic incurred great overall effect.

'The Musical Box', one of the warhorses of the British group, is a sort of mini suite of over ten minutes; the persuasive voice of Gabriel enters a perfect symbiosis with the magical guitar sound of Hackett; effective use of choirs and Woodwinds, the great pathos of the final part of the song, with the unforgettable words spoken out by gabriel!

The explosive 'Return Of The Giant Hogweed "' where Tony Banks's keyboards are strong and deep the high impact intro and closing strongly epic, with tangles of electric guitars and piano, create a jewel of progressive rock music.

'Seven Stones', from fairytale yet trend, but at the same time arcane, is well chiselled by the voice of Peter Gabriel.

'Harold the Barrel' is a funny and ironic that song will exalt the Genesis theatricality in live concerts.

'Harlequin' is a slow and lovely song, in which the voice part is assigned to a chorus of Gabriel-Collins.

The album closes with the poignant "The Fountain Of Salmacis', inspired by the myth of the nymph Salmacis and Hermaphroditus, in which we talk about an impossible love; memorable opening entrusted to the Mellotron, and Steve Hackett's solo!

Nursery Cryme is the breakthrough album for the band, and one of the cornerstones of the progressive movement!

the glory was initially obtained in countries such as Belgium, Holland and Italy, which has always been prone to progressive sounds, contributing to the affirmation of the group throughout the rest of the globe.

Report this review (#1076184)
Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Genesis was for a long time the band my friends liked in the 80's. I could never see the appeal, though "Mama" was kind of cool for its uniqueness among Top 40 pop tunes. I had no inkling of what Genesis had been in the past. If I had, I surely would have become a fan of the band a least for this album and the follow up, "Foxtrot". As it stands now, nearly thirty years since I first became familiar with the band, Genesis, "Nursery Cryme", "Foxtrot", and "Selling England by the Pound" stand out as a trio of some of the greatest examples of classic progressive rock, in my opinion, and are as essential as the trio of Yes albums, "The Yes Album", "Fragile", and "Close to the Edge".

Imagine a song with a background story, where the lyrics of the song are the events that occur at the end of the story. A young boy and a young girl approaching puberty go out to play croquet and she knocks his head off with the mallet. She calmly returns to her room and opens a musical box that played his favourite song, "Old King Cole". As she does, his spirit appears as an adult version of the boy and the spirit confesses his love and lust for the girl. Though he has only just been struck dead moments before, his spirit has waited the equivalent time of many years for the moment to be able to get to know her flesh, as it says. The song lyrics are entirely the words of the spirit. What they don't tell us is how the story ends. The nurse comes in, sees the spirit, and throws the musical box to the wall, destroying it and making the spirit vanish. What a concept!

The music to this story, "The Musical Box" is an adventure in itself. A very delicate beginning with clean electric guitars and Peter Gabriel singing softly, almost as if trying not to disturb a still water's surface with his voice and words. There's a beautiful part where a flute comes in and joins the guitars while Phil Collins keeps the percussion swift but soft. The shadow of a cloud passes over the music before it returns to its delicateness. "Play me my song," sings Gabriel and Collins adds, "Here it comes again." Then the music assumes a build in aggressive tone; the real drums and Tony Banks' organ warns that things are about to go crazy and with a scream, Hackett's guitar tears into a solo with the rhythm section galloping along. The song truly rocks here and it's no surprise that young future guitarists such as Edward Van Halen went to see Genesis live back in the day.

At this point we are hardly halfway through the first track and it continues with abrupt changes between the sad, unrequited desire of the boy's spirit and the more menacing aggression of its attempt to fulfill that desire. The song concludes with the aggression of a heavy prog band and the flourish of a symphony. A remarkable composition!

I also immensely enjoy "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" not only for its bizarre tale of Russian hogweeds threatening the existence of humanity on the British Isles but also for yet another example of a rock ensemble achieving fantastic things with their music. Here we are introduced to Hackett's finger tapping technique that he would use on a few Genesis songs, perhaps to greatest effect on "Supper's Ready" from "Foxtrot", a technique that the above mentioned young Van Halen would rework and turn into a classic guitar solo on his future band's debut album. "Hogweed" also features some premier music of this era of Genesis, including flute and piano, a beautiful classical piano break by Banks, some truly awesome music for guitar, piano, and drums, and Gabriel's theatrical vocal style which captures the mood of the story.

"The Fountain of Salmacis" is the third song in this mould of story told to incredible music. Though I personally don't enjoy it to the level of the two previous songs, it is still nevertheless a grand composition and once again features the finger tapping of Hackett, this time more pronounced as a guitar break.

The rest of the album is rounded out by shorter songs of varying appeal. "For Absent Friends" is a short and sweet and very English tune about an old couple who step into a church on a Sunday afternoon, a simple vignette of a moment in the lives of two English folk. "Harold the Barrel" is a vigorous and action-packed song about a restaurant owner who causes much calamity in town when he stands on a window ledge in preparation to jump. The music is fast and involved, and Gabriel and the band's vocals used to great effect in capturing this frantic tale. "Seven Stones" features lots of keyboard work on organ and Mellotrone by Banks. Gabriel seems to have some difficulty reaching the high notes here but this is still a very good example of a shorter progressive rock song, and I see this as being the precursor to "Can-Utility and the Coastliners" from "Foxtrot".

The only track that eludes settling into my memory is "Harlequin". Though I've heard it several times I can never recall the tune later. And "For Absent Friends" I don't usually choose to hear when selecting songs for mixed playlists. But the rest of the album is truly fantastic. I know many people see "Nursery Cryme" as the least impressive of the three albums, with the Genesis genius culminating in "Selling England"; however, I hold this album as my favourite and only just barely above "Foxtrot". A truly brilliant piece of work this album is and a must have!

Report this review (#1281243)
Posted Monday, September 22, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars Genesis is a band that I've found myself coming back to occasionally, but simply cannot always enjoy. I acknowledge their musicianship, but find that I'm just not entirely satisfied by their musical style and compositions. Nursery Cryme at its best, for me, is a fairly enjoyable album with a bit of filler that drags it down. At its worst, I can only get through half of the album. The production does not help it, either.

Musical Box is a fine piece, and I can see why some might find it not only one of the album highlights, but also one of Genesis's finest songs, but I cannot listen to it often, or else I find it to drag at parts. Fountain of Salmacis, for me, is the album's highlight, and one of my favorite Genesis songs. At times soaring and cathartic, I really enjoy the compositions and the musicianship present.

Nursery Cryme is not really my favorite Genesis album, but it by no means is a bad album. I do not understand some of the praise it receives, but I respect it and I acknowledge its influence in prog circles. I feel like 3 stars is a fine rating to give it.

Report this review (#1286046)
Posted Monday, September 29, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars Imagine that you attend a major sport event not with the usual 35.000 onlookers but you alone on the grandstand and even the whole arena. It's unclear how the cheering section affected the outcome of the game. The speaker urges the audience to remain calm to hamper a tumult when the away team scores, and to avoid an undulation in order to save the porous stand floor. Does it sound like taken from a scenario in a Stephen King novel? No, this occurred in reality in a soccer game; last round, the rain was coming down in buckets, an unimportant match. A TV reporter tried to track down the spectator in question but he (?) managed to escape. What has all this to do with Nursery Cryme, you might rightly ask? Well, a whole lot actually. Genesis toured in God's year 1970 and experienced the same remarkable event, that is a gig with one single hearer. Any requests, was the one-headed audience adequately asked (why not 'A Place to Call My Own'?). The beer sales didn't break any new records that night. What about a bitter in the bar, mate? The drinks are on me, one could inform oneself about. "We want more" (me, myself and I) echoes when the band has left the stage and are given a curtain-call. Possibly the band members could've asked the persevering listener for his much sought-after autograph. You who always have wondered where and when Gabriel's stage diving started can be enlightened on that it wasn't here. As we don't know the build or life-size of the spectator, it was just as well saved for a later occasion. Ant Phillips, who had been highly influential in the bands edification, declared officially that he had had enough. He put the rucksack with 12-string sets on his back and run away. Without the risk of treading the amassed audience on the toes. The decent fellow in front of the stage was chosen to witness Anthony play live. Many a man had hankered for that position as it soon became a collectible rarity. Who knows, perhaps the lone ticket buyer is telling stories today for his grand children about his odd and historical event.

Phillips didn't leave for this single peculiar reason; there was about a handful. Unfortunate health problems, stage freight when there was a capacity crowd (at least exceeding two ordinary sized individuals). Incessant disputing between adolescent band members; four up-and-coming writers all moulded in a strict educational environment where future decision makers are called forth. No woodwork lesson taught about how to plane a joint tray. Stained in a nuance that pleases everybody. Four writers were one too much. The youngish gentleman among the brethren had a vision for the future Genesis where he was everywhere but here. Ant joined Genesis as teenager, and left at the same tender age. John Mayhew's (R.I.P.) days in Genesis were also numbered. He did perform a couple of guitar-less gigs with Banks-Gabriel-Rutherford before following Ant out through the backdoor. Phillips' defection caused naturally a breaking-up atmosphere where all components were inspected. Mayhew was by no means a low competent drummer (otherwise, why was he chosen in the first place?). Even Phillips himself approve of this reasoning. In other words, if Ant had played on Nursery he could possibly have been accompanied by a somewhat slow progressing Mayhew. But that's far from self-evident. Before anybody could say Jack Robinson, there was a Phil Collins in everybody's mouth. Phillip didn't replace Phillips, but he did nonetheless some guitar overdubs on Both Sides. It would still take some time before anybody could utter Steve Hackett. Even more musical mathematics; had Anthony P. voted for Collins or any of the many other deft percussionists at the audition? Banks/Gabriel, The Garden Wall, were both totally convinced that Phil was the right choice whereas Rutherford glanced more than once at one of the competitors. Buddy Phillips in The Anon could just as well have joined camp one like camp two in this delicate matter. Don't forget that the original guitarist was no 1 ranked composer at the time with likewise right of determination. A private detective could come up with such insinuations as ' - why didn't Collins overdub the few drum parts (of demo character) on The Geese & The Ghost? But that's very far-fetched, unrealistic and of course without substance. Once Rutherford got acquainted with a chosen newcomer he had nothing but praise for his first class rhythm colleague. Why would Phillips act differently? Still of interest; Genesis lover and biographer Armando Gallo claims in his book 'I Know What I Like' that Collins ALSO sang on Geese. That's not true; he ONLY sang. Gallo is so convinced that Collins played drums that he doesn't even bother to study the instrumentation list. Understandable. How many albums have Phil attended where a drummer is needed, where there is no other drummer present, and finally; where he still didn't play on it? This was a side track from Nursery.

Collins, in turn (we're not through yet with the brushy path that led to the classic line-up), had never allowed Hackett to enter the gates of the Genesis social gathering. The temporary replacement after Mr. Phillips departure found no mercy from other three members but was appreciated by the drummer at the same age as the short lived guitarist. Collins experienced two line-ups, or even three, before Nursery Cryme was recorded. Himself, just like Mayhew, alone with the core Banks/Gabriel/Rutherford onstage plus with just mentioned guitarist Mick Barnard. You may dub Barnard an unnoticed veteran in Genesis. Actually he lasted for many months but isn't more well-known than guitarist Bob Close from another prog giant. If you take Ronnie Caryl into consideration and why wouldn't you, then the ramification goes even further. Phil's two year junior guitar chum from Flaming Youth auditioned with Collins and was for a while hanging in a twilight zone. One single gig in Aylesbury, says his list of qualification. One gig with Genesis is one more than most of us have ever done. Ronnie Caryl rejoined Collins on the latter's solo career in the eighties.

Stephen Hackett entered the congregation with diploma in hand showing if not a rectorship so still a mission to take Genesis to the upper echelons of Britannia's prog elite. Sitting down on a chair with full-beard and dark black frames, playing with solicitor dry tone of prototype Fripp. This is what the world had waited for. Strict rock n' roll and free classicism. Almost a hundred (!) guitarists tested and failed before Hackett joined the ranks. Logically the aim was to find a co-writer on the same wave-length as the others. They don't live next door to your grandma's lady friend. Many played well but couldn't match Phillips composing skills. Steve Howe was already a Yes man; Fripp had his own unit; so where could this unattainable object be found? Mike Oldfield was just like Caryl only 17 at the time but already active at high level. Solo motet 'Exsultate jubilate' was written by composer Amadeus at the age of 17 (plus operas at 14), so age doesn't have to be decisive. A motet is a piece of choral music without Fender jazz bass but with angelic castrato voices. Andy Latimer wasn't yet booked by what was to become Camel. Any undetected whiz kid behind the marvelous walls of the Charterhouse School? If there were unlikely four why not a fifth in an adjoining batch? Maybe too good to be true. Something said that the void was to be filled by Steve Hackett. That was predestined. Everything else is a lie. Hackett was the last link in the chain, and just like pal Collins he choose the smart way to become a permanent member of the band. A well-documented fact in its fragments but no one has noted the unison between the pair. Both of them were of course qualified for the job but that doesn't guarantee success. Collins arrived early (deliberately too early) and could listen and learn from the other drummers at the audition. He pretended to be 'swimming in the pool'. Hackett turned down an audition and invited band members Banks/Gabriel (two out of four are missing) to his parent's house. Had the most talented of the 81 or 82 previously tested guitarists done the same thing there wouldn't have been any Hackett visit. In this manner not only one brother Hackett was able to impress but two. One on guitar, the other on flute. There was no need for an additional flautist in Genesis but John H. took part of the display of his elder brothers composing. Steve could play what he wanted on his own terms, at an audition you're instructed what to do and not to do. That was a bright idea. From now on Gabriel knew where to turn when he needed to borrow from a newly found flute colleague. - 'This is my brother John' Steve pointed out to the visiting couple. A family structure that was to be repeated on the double LP years later. Who said that The Lamb story was abstract and diffuse? Hackett / Collins couldn't have chosen a better moment to join the band. What was going on around 'em was if you name it a phenomenon you're either ignorant or too shy. Gentle Giant, Yes, Pink, ELP, Jethro, Generator. Plus the established acts from previous decade without visible decline in popularity. Add to this half a dozen of groups who compared with mentioned here were rated as second division but everywhere else would've belonged to the top ranked. Plus just as many talented acts that for one reason or the other have fallen into oblivion today. This is not a progressive wave, it's a progressive torrent. If the creator above us didn't have a finger in it that means he's completely unmusical and probably doesn't care if 'Visions of Angels' was played on Radio Luxemburg or not.

With Hackett's entry were the guitar lines resurrected in its true intention. If Banks performed guitar parts on electric piano on stage (you can study this on any informative Wikipedia site), then the question remains; who did the keyboard parts? It's almost impossible to manage multi-layered keyboards and an additional work task simultaneously. Like the exquisite interplay between organ / piano on studio version 'Looking For Someone'; plus Ant's lead. The electric doesn't dominate Trespass in any sense but then remains the many 12-string parts? So the new guitarist didn't only bring the guitar, he brought the keyboards as well. Rutherford's role playing during the four piece concerts isn't as obvious as Banks'. The instrumentation list on Trespass gives hint about his abilities but doesn't unveil if he matches Greg Lake when it comes to it. Logically Mike did at least what can be noticed during the recurring quintet era. The unaccompanied bass-pedal solo on Live had its origin in the exacting four-piece period. The intro and first part of 'The Musical Box' doesn't need anything but 12 string and electric guitar though. The year is -71 but the choice of century is more unclear. Jon Anderson once talked over the subject about bringing music into the seventies; what he logically meant was 1870s. If it creeps to close to you just put the clock another century backwards. No disturbing industrial revolution, no lorry traffic with exhaust pipes belching out burnt gas. No time clocks that directs your existence. Only the eternal still peace on the cover of Cryme. The mood of 'The Musical Box' will enhance your chances to attain your goal. A friend of mine once asked me why Genesis didn't go the whole way to become a fully classical unit? There is no reason to become something they already are. A futuristic, highly eccentric sounding unit from times long past. It just happened to occur in our so called chronology. Great art doesn't count seconds and minutes. To some extent my idea bringer was fully correct. He regarded Moody Blues as pop / classical but Genesis classical / pop, so the distance is closer. Partake of the straight and undiluted beauty of Mozart's 'Concerto for Flute and Harp KV 299 (second movement)' and just muse over what could've been. The 12-string sound on title 1 is as evocative as one can desire. Much cleaner and clearer than further into the seventies. What the 12-string is trying to evoke in the 20th century is what the concert harp did during earlier time. At least in the tonal language of Genesis. The arpeggio chord on the harp has no less multitudinous effect on the 12-string. No other musical entity has used the 12 as current band, simply because it doesn't serve the same underlying purpose. It's just another instrument with another sound; in the case of Genesis it's as indispensable as the trowel for the construction of the church tower. The reverberation reaches the steeple directly under the navy blue sky.

Both Phillips and Barnard's fingerprints are visible on the opening track. Phillips' mind and matter regarding the basic track and the second to some extent in the sharpening. A third, Hackett, developed it even further. The penetrating solo is somehow repetitive between 4: 32 - 4: 38. It leaves a minor question mark behind. Let's state that this particular section is one reason why Nursery is lower ranked, or rather more uneven, than Foxtrot. It's unimaginative no matter from which angle you regard it. Yes and Howe managed to repeat a similar thing on 'To Be Over' ca. 1: 34 - 1: 50 three years later (we have no indication on that Mick Barnard ever played in cousin band). Both tracks are top class despite these dubious seconds. A limited slice of human error may be tolerated, and even charming. The return of the meek and melodious 4:48 immediately after the solo knows no quality limitations though. If you listen to 'Musical Box' for the very first time and for some reason wasn't hooked yet you'll definitely be by now. The gale has lulled and stillness surrounds you. - "Old King Cool was a very old soul yes a very old soul was he"? A contemplative passage worthy of any musical degree. The fortissimo, head first loud and strong, is hiding behind the corner ready to attack when the tender turns tough. The very first track to feature Hackett is actually one of his most hard hitting. It takes off where 'The Knife' ended on Trespass, but in a more unabashed phrenetic manner. 'Twentieth Century Schizoid Man' is a corner-stone for old and new in the recently assembled team. Collins the co-vocalist appears before the drummer and his voice leaves an indelible trace on the 10 min song. Just like Hackett Collins is given a warm welcome in form of generous space / mix on Cryme. Everybody is enjoying a stabilized line-up after a long and messy time of uncertainty. No other Gabriel album gives Phillip similar outcome in the vocal compartment. The drum stool is occupied by Buddy Rich, Michael Giles and John Bonham and that sounds like everything is within reach. Ringo Star is also present for the extensive magical misterioso tour through Italy. Collins has both will and ability to impersonate multifarious drum characters. Rutherford is, like on 'Moonlit Knight', handling a rhythm / bass pedals on your telly screen. An element that seems just as fitting for the bassist. Rhythm isn't always the same as anonymous second guitar. It takes more skill than so. He does have some experience from The Anon times.

The total Victorian drama of 'The Musical Box' would never be accomplished without a theatrically skilled frontman. Costume and properties, charisma and vocal resources. The spell-binding story telling. Straight out of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Gabriel's coiffure (pre-Rael period) is a chapter in itself. Shaved fringe and part of the head. It wouldn't fit anybody outside this particular group ( Ozzy, Rod the Mod, Tom 'Tiger' Jones !?!?), and probably not even if they had chosen another vocalist. Possibly a brother Shulman for their idealistic way of issuing their music but still not achieving Gabriel's natural aura. No, Aristotle points his index upwards and proclaims mentioned quality to current Genesis line-up. Gabriel turned the audience into an idolatrous host and what they saw as the bands gift became a matter of what the singer did or didn't do. The foursome weren't really a backing band, but had they evolved a decade earlier some crazed record company executive had done his utmost to turn them into a Gabriel & the Four Disciples. Then prompted on an un-plugged cloister tour. Plus 90% of the collection. Banks' keyboard set on 'Musical Box' (and album) is at least partly due to what was available. The electric piano was influential on 'Stagnation' (Trespass), and as the more dominant and much higher ranked acoustic piano unfortunately couldn't be brought on stage logically the electric found a place alongside organ/mellotron. The electric became even more important when the guitar disappeared. 'The Fuzz Box' suddenly filtered 'The Musical Box' from the el. piano out through the speakers. A specially invited audience from the times of 'King Henry's Madrigal' can't see the logic with the fuzz but will relish in the entry of the old man. Before their return to the superior Tudor dominion. Compared with Emerson, Wakeman or other wizards, Banks' number of instruments is somehow limited. No harpsichords / cembalos, synthesizer / clavinet or church organ / harmonium. Bearing the primitive standard of the initial synths in mind it's not much to bewail. The same story with the guitar strings. The lack of nylon passages from Hackett gives the album a much harder edge than most of the other recordings he's been involved in. Queen prided themselves upon 'No synthesizers used' on seventies albums. A Night at the Opera was released less than 10 years before Hot Space. It differs more than 10 years musically / sound wise. Nursery Cryme is ranked higher than Abacab; far from only on account of the lack of the high-tech sound waves, but partly therefore. While we're in Queen territory pay some extra attention to the massive vocal delivery in 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. Mike Stone from the recording team on Nursery has a strong influence in the construction of the multilayer of voice overdubs. Stone passed during the early noughties.

Some people complain about the production of Nursery. Some complain a lot; both when the album once was released and still today. ? "Most of the songs were only recorded on 8-track", says one penetrating analysis. - " The godawful production?" expectorates another. Wasn't the audio engineer brought back for further collaboration later on? Rock journalists, to some extent, are nothing but failed rock musicians. They have to assert themselves and take revenge on someone or something. For sure it's allowed to have opinions; one recording is never exactly like the other. The studio facilities, producer(s), mixing etc. This is 1970 plus a year or more (okay 1870..). Deduct some time and move backwards before -70 and see what happens. Is it a four channel? Just go a little bit further and find yourself in a mono world. The vocals from one direction and the tied up music from the other. Now we can start talking production, or rather the lack of such. To complain about the outcome of Nursery isn't only remarkable it's also ridiculous. The murky production, if it is murky, is rightly placed behind a bank of mist. ? "The production isn't great; even though the remaster cleans it up a bit". Just like the painting 'The Resurrection' of Piero della Francesca. Just head for the museum and ask if it's possible to clean up with disinfectant to make it sparkle. ? "The track structure, musical aptitude and songwriting would all be perfected in years to come" utters one philosopher on your internet. Good day axe-handle! 'The Fountain of Salmacis' needs a 60 degrees dry-cleaning before it becomes the strongest prog composition ever. Don't forget to add washing- and bleaching powder! But okay, for the good of the cause, if you have a functional record player why not invest in a half-speed remastered and reissued 180 gr. virgin vinyl with anti-static sleeve? Your old copy is probably around 125 gr. If you're aware of the source material you'll certainly find one or two improvements. Like the treble / midrange, chord sustain. It's disputed whether the weight in itself has any influence on the sound but let's state that the sturdy piece remains flat and won't get warped. The use of virgin vinyl seems like a faultless move but it may be sensible to include some recycled vinyl too in the manufacturing process. If it's of good quality it improves sound in the same way as the lesser good recycled vinyl has a negative effect.

'For Absent Friends' has the same position on Nursery as 'White Car' on Drama. Not a filler or an interlude; it's a section of the album defined as music. Albeit in the shorter format. A well-known fact that the lead vocalist is Collins and not Gabriel, but unlike Selling England and 'More Fool Me' there's no information on the album. As a consequence many listeners were and still are today unaware of the fact. The difference between the voices of Gabriel / Collins is not as tangible as Gilmour / Wright or Howe / Anderson. Caravan's excellent Back To Front could be a hard nut to crack with its many vocalists (still it's indicated in the track list). 'For Absent Friends' is an integral part of the album's flow, compared with 'More Fool Me' which feels more like a deliberate attempt to include a contrast. The line-up is the same for both songs; lonesome guitar / vocals, but there's considerable difference in mood and performance. While 'M. F. M'. feels relaxed and casual then 'F. A. F'. belongs to the stricter school. Collins vocal timbre is, of the two occasions he got during the Gabriel era, of differentiated nature. I hold the first Cryme try higher than Pound. It's perfectly possible to rearrange or if you prefer transcribe the less than two minutes song into an uplifted church organ hymn. The melody is endowed with all qualities which the widowed pair need to contribute to the ongoing collection. Lyrically it's a stroke of luck in its scene of ordinary elixir of life. As chief lyricist isn't present here you have to search for a similar 'Lead a Normal Life' scenario from another time. In between there was a 'Blood On the Rooftops' which in spite of its title's felonious tinges proved to be as plain as the one in question. Gabriel would never have written such an unpretentious ditty in those days. That's quite understandable; in his role as frontman he's supposed to entertain and the lyrics are an inseparable part of the show. Just imagine that a fire-eater at a circus where you paid entrance suddenly started to blow out match fire. This artist would soon be jobless.

Those were the days when Gabriel / band complemented each other with sometimes flamboyant and sometimes minor down-to-earth pieces. Out of 10 cases five or six are on the lead vocalist's writing desk and the remainder to be worked out by the quartet. Waters didn't appreciate when the others interfered in what he saw as his private sphere. Gabriel did appreciate exactly the same principle as the Floyd bass man. Share it fairly but don't take a slice of my pie. Rick Wright's voice is desolate on The Wall. There's no picturesque double-decker that ambles down the street on The Lamb. But would Shakespeare himself have let Vicar Geoff Mann contribute to the conclusive verses of comedy 'Twelfth Night'? Rutherford is the instigator of the 'More Fool Me' and also penultimate track 'In the Rapids' on Broadway. So why is this remarkable? If you weren't informed about Hackett / Collins why would you deny Rutherford's involvement here too? Until I learnt the correct I took for granted that it belonged to him. There's at least one internet source that names the bass player / drummer alone, but probably founded on the same mix up of the relation as I did myself. There's no excuse to make light of the subject on account of their disregarded and minimized position on respective -71 and -73 albums. Like someone said; it's impossible to say how much Hackett influenced the others or how much he was influenced by them. 'F. A. F'. is by no means a Hackett prototype; there's not really anything like it from him during his time in the band. Rutherford, the writing partner of Phillips, regarded Hackett more like a competent / original guitar player than composer. On the other hand; did anybody have the ability to take on the standard of the Trespass guitarist's writing?

'The Return of the Giant Hogweed' isn't high church it's power plant. Jimmy Page's ghost is present in Hackett's electric outlets here and on Nursery in general. Before he fully adapted to required Genesis sound. Steve admits that his playing was once more forcible in the school of the Zeppelin string bender. The Who is prevalent as a source of inspiration for certain band members. A more abstruse fact for the undersigned here to grasp. It might be a generation gap. Didn't The Who members break their instruments to pieces after a gig? There's a tune called 'Hackett to Pieces' but in a more symbolic depicting manner so stay calm. The occasions when Tony Banks used to jump up and down on his Mellotron Mark II in a fit of rage are easy to count up. Just as often as Glenn Gould played 'Roll over Beethoven' accompanied by a Chuck Berry in pure style. Hackett's tapping playing (in the manner of a keyboard) was later used by Edward Van Halen. Another continent both literally and figuratively? Oh no, Eddie was a member of Genesis in 1972. He never played on Foxtrot but the very same band name was utilized before his unit learned about the tea drinking Britons on the other side of the Atlantic. They became Van Halen in the mid seventies. The meaning of the term 'Edwardian rock' is easier to figure out when you know the full story. Van Der Graaf Generator had a Van full of instruments / equipment that was stolen in early -69. This has little to do with Van Halen. Yngwie is another player who used the tapping technique. This guy has an elder sister who happened to have albums like Selling England By the Pound in her record collection when he grew up. For one reason or another, there were titles like ' Icarus Dream Fanfare' and 'Sarabande' from this direction. IV was by the way released the same month as Cryme. Track one could compete with Track four in clever structure and build; let's appoint 'The Musical Box' to the 'Stairway To Heaven' for the faculty intellectual. The abrupt changes to and from el. / acoustic-, the soft spoken and the bombastic -, link the two leading bands in respective genre. A cargo of sealed music export to foreign coast isn't contemptible for the balance of trade, as The Beatles proved during an earlier decade. Let's pretend that Nursery had sold as well as IV then Maggie Thatcher the milk snatcher hadn't been compelled to cut down on the milk rations of Cynthia and Henry in their school meals. In terms of commercial boom the boarding school boys were still overshadowed by the hammer of the gods. Despite the diametrical different circumstances; the merger arrived when Collins' drum pedal work was to adorn solo album Pictures at Eleven. But that's another story.

Track three on Nursery and second lyric from Gabriel, and not less prominent than the initial. Rush gave us an alternative piece of forestry on 'The Trees' where the maples and oaks turn on each other. The hogweed had even bigger plans than so; it challenged humanity. It's believed that plants in common with living creatures are able to communicate with each other. Why shouldn't they? (Blue) whale talk ranges over hundreds of miles or even across an ocean in their submerged conversations. So beware of your own and your neighbor's sun flower plantation. They might be about to conspire against their bullies who insolently placed them in the backyard shadow and let the cherry tree blossom in sunlight. If not the flower union do something they have to take measures themselves. The lyric of 'Hogweed' is just as sharp and pungent as the shared keyboard / guitar intro. The hogweed started its ravages in the Royal garden at Kew where it was brought from Russia (I was here at Kew myself in Oct. - 66 sitting in pram and fully prepared for an onslaught from the vegetable kingdom). My second visit in -07 went smoother knowing very well that the human guards had defeated the fomenters of rebellion. They are as civilized as chrysanthemum. 'The Return of the Giant Hogweed' isn't just another fictional story; it was taken here just like described in the lyric. It does have a streak of lust for power as it spreads at the expense of other more timid plant families.

The instrumental section between 4:13 - 4:54 is maximized collective execution of the current, fresh line-up. It's as close to half-brother Gentle Giant as it'll ever be. Everybody is working shoulder to shoulder with excitement and pioneer spirit. Willing and impressed by each others abilities. It's a musical grid with a wiring-diagram that will be replaced by other keen moments but this is not to be repeated. One of the strongest moments of polyphony in the story of the band (another is 'Looking For Someone'). Not least is the flute doing a splendid job. Don't forget that this is a period of "embryonic compositions" according to some knowledge. Everything Mozart did before the age of 36 was likewise immature. The solo piano on 'Hogweed' puts a stop to a fabulous part and continuous on its own. Colorful in the bud but repetitive (the second remark on the record), repeated 28 times in a row. Nursery doesn't own the consistency of Foxtrot and it would be unrealistic to ask for it. The creation of N. C. evolved during an extended time span with a number of earlier mentioned line-ups. Therefore it's almost inevitable that there are some minor ups and downs. One instrumental section succeeds the other. As Nursery is the shortest issue 'only' 39 min. (still above average for vinyl), it's possible that 'Hogweed' deliberately was stretched out a bit to fill out the album. An alternative is to enter the final vocal bit at 5: 35 and then, let's say, let the mello break free. The band showing, followed by the piano / guitar plus the mellotron outro become one too much. It doesn't become more progressive the more one extend, prolong or add sections but the more planned, thought-out and well-balanced in proportion to each other. First course, main course, afters. Not dessert after afters. Just pretend that producer John Anthony came up with the bright idea to remove portions of the concluding part to 'Harold the Barrel'. Then everybody who regards 'Harold' as filler material would all of a sudden find it highly progressive. Without really understand what they're talking about. This is a storm in a teacup or rather in a thimble if one regards the album as a whole. 'Hogweed' was a rightful mainstay in the live repertoire for a long time, whereas much of the sublime Trespass material went out of the door as the seventies progressed. Both Trespass / Nursery are more equable than Selling England / The Lamb, so it might just as well depend on their associations with a certain time era than pure quality. Had the latter couple been recorded simultaneously with the croquet blows on the cover of Cryme neither of them had been ranked higher in any camp. Rather deemed as in "a stage of development".

Side B opens in the more conventional time format five minutes with 'Seven Stones'. A strong pastoral feeling cut in the same mould as 'White Mountain' and 'Dusk'. A production taken directly from Dame Nature without an ounce of pesticide on the billowing corn field. Banks is mainly in charge both regarding song structure and text. The lyric is stronger than 'Watcher of the Skies' and 'Firth of Fifth'; actually there are no substandard at all on present recording. Maybe the meaning of the digit seven is a British thing. I remember that the father in a host family in Eastbourne was possessed by the same number. There were seven in everything belonging to his history he claimed. I never got the opportunity to study his record collection. The knowledge about Seven Stones Reef is perhaps limited for the non-Britisher. Let's presume that it's a part of the story, just like the biblical connection. In common with previous song 'Hogweed' there's actuality interspersed with poetry. If you happen to approach England in your private yacht from south-western direction look out for the treacherous Seven Stones Reef before you disembark on Land's End (not the prog outfit but part of the country). Otherwise you may become a sailor in peril on the sea. Many are they who have succumbed to this deadly obstacle through the centuries. More progressive undertones; a Wakeman fan is by nature historically interested in King Arthur. Just like Atlantis or Xanadu (Canadians once more), there was once a Lyonesse above the sea level in the area of the reef. The single survivor Trevelyan who escaped the innumerable tons of water was the raconteur to believe or not to believe. Maybe he was just spinning a yarn. Merlin the Magician is perhaps more reliable than Trevelyan in an alternative ending. It was he who flooded the land in an attempt to drown King Arthur's fugitive soldiers. It's unclear if King Canute came to their rescue or not. Halted the water and regulated the new level. Someone said he's Jesus Christ and we will care. Why did the Lamb story triumph over The Little Prince do you think? Simply because there was already enough, was it considered, of "Circles and rings, Dragons and kings".

The mellotron is adjusted to another sound than on 'Hogweed". It's a matter of taste what one prefers but it's hard to imagine a more well-suited and incorporated field of application for the mellotron than on 'Seven Stones'. Could be the finest use ever of this particular instrument. Naturally put in relation with the class of the composition. 'In the Court of the Crimson King' wasn't a misplaced try either. Anybody can technically seen play a mellotron, it's the keyboard equivalence to the strumstick 3-string guitar. But the more challenging to come up with something original. It's hard to be as simple as Bach, as someone said. The instrumental mid section feels both folky and classical in its thickly wooded greenery. Open airy approach as in folk, complex and irregular as in classical. Of particular interest is the flute and its seeming indolent sound. Just like the mello the flute doesn't enjoy being over-treated. It's more at home in the barn with ample hayloft than in the 48-channel studio. Nursery didn't produce any singles of note, not even a posthumous vocal-friendly remix of 'White Mountain' backed by 'Harold'. We have 'White Satin' and 'Whiter Shade of Pale', this is not an ounce less worthy. Charisma obviously wasn't on the alert here. 'Seven Stones' became the B-side of 'Happy the Man'. It's not even the most self-evident choice. The single didn't really belong to Nursery but came in between this and next album Foxtrot. The A-side contains the most simplistic lyric the band has ever produced (with 'Who Dunnit?') and has a flavor of throwaway item. Logically it wasn't included on any regular album. When Foxtrot appeared later that year, companion John Anthony was merely a memory.

'Harold the Barrel' isn't less valid than anything else the band has achieved. It could easily have found place on side D of The Lamb (with adapted lyric content) or B-side Selling England. Not only found room but also enhanced. It owns a snappy and nimble character that is unique for Gabriel's writing during his all together too short tenure in Genesis. 'Willow Farm' is another dazzling example. A non-instrumentalist thinks in general in terms of melody / song-basics and that's the reason why these songs exist. In the same manner as the foursome contribute with alternative lyric themes Gabriel isn't less effective when it comes to the musical side. As someone uttered; 'Harold the Barrel'? (and 'Musical Box') are unique elements in British music history. Still there's nobody who has pointed out how it was recorded and the importance of it. The live in the studio feel is just as obvious as on other parts but the recording differs. The piano is in one speaker and the guitar in the other. In your two speakers at home you have consequently one to the left and one to the right. Only the final piano chords are performed in stereo. It creates an effect that is too simple to comprehend. The idea with anti-stereo is to give an alternative sound pix and to accentuate the mentioned final of the song. Suddenly the 'horrible' mono recording and primitive production has gone the other way and given strength to the song. Why do something less good when you have the possibility to just let loose? Why is it less good to split up the sound picture in separate compartments? Luckily the production on the record is as pristine as it is. It wouldn't work to treat every song in this manner but as an occasional feature it's nothing but strengthening. Collins has by now more than halfway into the album become a household name on drumkit / vox. His vocal on 'Harold' isn't as obvious as on first or second title as it's compressed with Gabriel's. Collins is singing on Nursery in a lot of disguises, and this is one of them. Some people didn't even notice Gabriel's exit due to the resemblance with Phil's voice, so how can they possibly be aware of the drummer's vocal entry here?

Lyrically it's no. 3 and final for songster Gabriel. That means less than 50 % and that's a paltry allocation for the frontman. Not really appealing to return to after the story of adventure The Lamb. In Hackett's description; - 'to return to the pulpet desk after being out working'. It's a tragic-comic story about the father-of-three Harold. If you study all three lyric contributions from Gabriel do you find a main thread through these titles? Harold met his quietus, and so did the children by the musical box thrown at them. Banks used the word sameness when it came to the writing of Gabriel. That's a relative description and not absolute. It's not only the words / stories themselves but also insight, expression, ardour and passion. It's easier for a vocalist to engage in his own train of thoughts than in somebody else's dreams. So, instead of being diminished to a four-piece group why not let the prime writer answer for all the lyrics? Banks' knowledge about his close partner is advanced enough to realize that a compromise will sooner or later lead to a split. Gabriel is far too qualified to play with in this area. Just like Banks is in his own. Bryan Ferry solved the dilemma by combining solo / Roxy. It worked perfectly well in this case. Another colleague of Banks, if only temporary, Derek W Dick, had the privilege in Marillion that Gabriel missed in his group. Namely to be at the head of all lyrics himself. Still when album Seasons End was released at the tail-end of the eighties there was no sign of any Fish. Possibly he went out for a refreshing ramble along the mighty Firth of Forth.

N. C. was an unexpected hit in Italy reaching no. 4. Was it unexpected? Not if you consider the very different artistic climate on these latitudes. Arlecchino appeared in Italy before Harlequin in England. Like a script for a Harlequin's tear. The characteristic checked costume, all belonging adornments. The lithe body movements just cut out for inclusion on the symph album. If you mention Drury Lane, any Genesis fan versed in the seventies scene will prick up his / her ears. The culmination of the Selling England tour in finest possible surroundings. In the year of 1800 at the same Theatre Royal made the successful Harlequin his entry. The audience was just waiting for Genesis return. In the 1860s / 70s were the pair Harlequin / clown in vogue. The song 'Harlequin' by Rutherford shows that he stood the test even without a defected Phillips. The song offers a pleasing vocal mixture from the writer himself plus the obvious Gabriel / Collins. You won't notice Mike's voice like on solo album Acting Very Strange though, neither here or on any other Genesis recording. He's a less prominent singer than Steve Howe or Richard Wright, so there might be a reason. The composition though is on the same phenomenal standard as the rest of the album. Just like on Rutherford's own 'Ripples' there's no instrumental intro but instant vocals. Collins is surprisingly high in the mix, if one considers how much else he does on the record. Even more so if one considers how low Gabriel is in the mix of the total lyric distribution. The backlash came forcefully on Foxtrot where there's one lead vocalist and one drummer. On 'Entangled' five years later Collins rules the roost alone and did the three-part voices himself. Still one lead vocalist and one drummer but in this case the same person. 'Harlequin' didn't gain much exposure live neither did 'Harold the Barrel'. It could've been differently.

Why didn't the -71 album chart in the U.K. or many other parts of Europe? When a product like Nursery Cryme gains as little attention as it did there's reason to halt and take stock of the situation. The Italians were receptive of Cryme but the colder parts of Europe weren't. The gruesome competition from the many other top acts? Limited marketing? No, the situation was similar down south and here it was as mentioned a huge hit. The artistic vision of Genesis was simply too atonal on the northern sphere at the time. It's like using Piero della Francesca's 'The Resurrection' in an advertising campaign for car tires instead of a scantily clad Malaysian university girl. The central perspective from Francesca is delightful but so are the soft body parts of the other mentioned. Great art shall grove slowly on you and not hit you in the abdomen. There's a strong spiritual connection between the 1465 painting and the one in front of you on your adorable gatefold sleeve. The Italians knew this instinctively. The Charisma label mates Van Der Graaf Generator experienced the same development as Genesis. Megastars in Italy but almost invisible elsewhere. Within less than a month in -70, both bands went from five-piece to quartet format. Nic Potter and Ant Phillips jumped ship but in the Generator case the replacement came in form of bass-pedal playing by keyboardist Hugh Banton. Phillips found a successor in Hackett, whereas Potter had to wait till the second half of the seventies before a new face entered. He looked exactly like Nic Potter, simply because it was Nic Potter who returned. Nordic band Kaipa also experienced an upheaval in the bass compartment during the same era. Bassist Mats Lindberg succeeded bassist Mats Lindberg. In this case they didn't resemble each other. They were not one, they were two.

Last, but definitely not least, comes another section that emanates from previous Trespass line-up. In theory, Ant could've been given writing credit even here. Just imagine that the same thing had occurred on Trick or Three albums. Writing contributions from a defected member in form of Gabriel or Hackett. Would you ever see this happen on a Genesis album? Just as likely as if there had been a guest violinist / cellist. Or a cover version of a Leiber / Stoller. The strict order of this band procedure doesn't allow such excesses. A curious person could rightly ask for Phillips' royalty check, after all there's economy involved (what about 'The Knife' on Live?) Anyhow, for the outside listener the main thing is your own listening experience besides Ant's wallet. If you complain here what do you possibly have left? Even among all high quality tracks here it still stands out. There's a feeling of isolation, it doesn't really belong anywhere; like descended from another dimension. The timelessness is more obvious than ever before. Everything on 'Salmacis' is direct and unmistakable. If there's any piece of music written in any century by any composer, of let's say the same running time, then why would 'Salmacis' get behindhand? All the so called classical pieces were composed by one single writer no matter how talented he was. The united immense power by five players who manage to co-ordinate their strength with maximized inspiration, creativity and talent ought to have a chance to reach an inch further. Is it possible for five or six authors to write a common novel? Under perfect circumstances yes but most likely no. 'Fountain of Salmacis' is perfect circumstance yes. There are no separate sections just an immense flow, or rather the countless sections on 'Salmacis' turn into one immense flow. It's only possible for a team of idea makers to achieve this once, and it occurs right here. It's the finest moment ever in the genre, and therefore one of the strongest in history. If you had been contemporary with Schubert (who past at an even younger age than Mozart and ranked just slightly below), some sprightly music journalist would have called him 'one of the best of during this decade'. Hackett's guitar playing is superhuman throughout. Just as much heart as brain, it's impossible to conceive or plan a similar feat. Just like pianist Glenn Gould, again, expressed that every take of a piece must be performed like it never has before. All senses must therefore be on the alert.

The diversity of sounds from the guitar strikes you all the time. They are not created from the soundboard but from the player. The earlier mentioned harp-effect on 12-string is now transferred to electric as Steve says himself ? 'a very subtle playing'. The end solo is the culmination of the journey. Daryl Stuermer plays the same solo on Three Sides Live in a very technically skilled version. But it's quite some distance from the original script. 'Salmacis' is the track where both newcomers more than on any track distinguish themselves, where you feel the alteration from previous line-up. It's unfair though to tell Anthony P. that the classic formation appeared after he had left. With due respect for John M. but his replacement Phillip C. is in his element. It wouldn't be of interest if not the other half of the rhythm section had followed his pattern. Rutherford's bass playing isn't only a result of rapidly improved technique but also his writing ability of bass lines. The bass is often considered to be arranged rather than written because it's not a melody instrument. Like a Paul McCartney Mike went from rhythm guitar to the 'low status' bass and not only learned to handle it but also produced some immemorial playing. It's fully possible to appoint the Beatle to a composing player as well.

Collins is competing with Bruford, Palmer, Barlow and other phenomenal percussionists and there's little doubt if he's up to it. His most interesting playing on the album says some reviews but the question is where on any other Genesis album? If you're interested in his jazzier stick work you have to search outside the boundaries of the band, like on Unorthodox Behaviour. Tony Banks changes from Hammond to mellotron because the conductor gives the green light. Or is it the sheet music? 'Salmacis' is made up of sparse instrumentation and this is one of the few exceptions. Luckily it wasn't recorded at a later time and inflated by greasy over-production. Engineer David Hentschel steers the volume from the bottom of the well up to the purest squirts of water. Swedish band Anglagard took notice and learned from the tutelage. To the hilt. Banks writing and playing is nothing but divine. It's real symphony rock and no supermarket fake. E-minor Opus 16 KV 299 (Seventh Movement). Gabriel is rendering a chanson d'amour that isn't an outcome from the singers own quill pen. It happened on Trespass as well. While his own lyrics deal with domestic matters then 'Fountain' is remote territory. There will come a time when things are the opposite. Genesis spent the summer of -71 in Crowborough rehearsing Nursery Cryme. This goodly country town in Sussex has a Café Baskerville. With the magnifying glass in hand you will find it on The Broadway.

Report this review (#1394702)
Posted Monday, April 6, 2015 | Review Permalink
4 stars Genesis had some internal struggles after recording Trespass, which resulted in John Mayhew and Anthony Phillips leaving the band and their respective positions would later be occupied by drummer Phil Collins and guitarist Steve Hackett. Nursery Cryme was released in 1971 and marks the debut of the classic Genesis line-up: Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford, which is most people's favorite incarnation of Genesis, and for good reason.

The Musical Box (10:30) - ★★★★★

Probably my favorite opening track from the Peter Gabriel era of Genesis, the new Genesis line-up shows that it means business now and brings us a dynamic song that seamlessly segues between a relaxing acoustic number with only Gabriel and Hackett on the lead and a rocking full band work, some of the heaviest material from Genesis there and Hackett's guitar work is breath-taking. Gabriel's vocal performance is also amazing, especially in the closing section of the song when he sings "Why don't you touch me? TOUCH ME! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW!", bringing life to the rather creepy lyrical content about a girl who cut a boy's head and now his ghost posessed his musical box and wants to have sex with her.

For Absent Friends (1:48) - ★★★★☆

Written by no less than the two new guys, Collins and Hackett, this one is somewhat special because it also is the first song to feature Phil Collins on vocals, and his vocals are beautiful here, kinda similar to Peter Gabriel, but more soothing. The song itself is a simple, short acoustic number that serves more as an interlude after the intense ending to The Musical Box and the next track, and the lyrics are just about two widows visiting the graves of their lost loved ones. Short, but very sweet, I like this a lot for what it's worth.

The Return of the Giant Hogweed (8:09) - ★★★★★

Right after that, the album starts to rock again, I love how Steve Hackett's guitar work and Tony Banks' organ work perfectly well together, Mike has a great bassline, Gabriel sings in a rougher tone than normal, making the song sound more threatening, and Phil Collins' drumming also kicks ass, especially his pedal work near the end. What makes me like this song as well is that it does sound all serious and intense while the lyrical content about giant hogweeds growing up, eating people and dominating the country is kinda comical or at least absurd in a way.

Seven Stones (5:08) - ★★★★☆

This feels a bit like something that would come out of Trespass, but not in a bad Visions of Angels or Dusk way, but more like White Mountain instead. Banks' keyboard gives this track a pretty bleak atmosphere compared to the ones before it, especially near the end when he uses the mellotron he got from King Crimson, it's pretty haunting stuff. But that's not all of it, Gabriel and Collins sing the chorus on this one together near the end and their voices harmonize perfectly with each other, this has always been one of my favorite things about this Genesis line-up. I don't really understand what the lyrics are about, though, I guess it's about an old man telling stories about how he escaped life and death situations by mere chance, I dunno.

Harold the Barrel (3:01) - ★★★★☆

The poppiest track from this album, Phil's drumming sounds funky as hell and he once again dual sings with Gabriel as they're accompanied by Banks' piano and Rutherford's bass, Hackett's presence is kinda subtle this time around. But this bouncy, seemingly happy track tells the story about Harold, a restaurant owner who's about to jump off the top of a building and commit suicide as a mob, the guys from BBC and even his mother convince him to not do so, all of these being interpreted by Gabriel, who changes his vocal tone as he incarnates all the different characters. This is more or less the contrary of The Return of the Giant Hogweed, with a slightly serious lyrical content accompanied by happy-sounding music, and I like it.

Harlequin (2:56) - ★★★☆☆

Well, this one is my least favorite track here, you might say it's filler, but it does have its charm, another acoustic number, but this time with Peter and Phil singing together, although I do think Phil's voice is much more audble than Peter's... maybe it's just my imagination, but oh well.

The Fountain of Salmacis (8:02) - ★★★★★

Closing Nursery Cryme with aplomb is this fantastic track with some of Phil's best drumming in the band being complemented by Mike's pulsating basslines, Banks' mellotron work is even greater than before and Hackett has some of his strongest guitar moments here and Gabriel performing some falsettos are my favorite moments here, especially in the "Nothing will cause us to part, heed me o gods!" part. Lyrically, it's based off Greek mythology, telling the story of Salmacis' attempt at raping Hermaphroditus.

Nursery Cryme is not as widely regarded as the three albums Genesis would release later on, but I love it, the more I listen to this album, the better it gets. But I would advise you to listen to the 2007 remaster, the original one has a very muddy production and the actual music does suffer from that, which made some critics dislike Nursery Cryme back then as well.

Report this review (#1451773)
Posted Tuesday, August 11, 2015 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars Another album, another major change for GENESIS on their third release NURSERY CRYME, however this one was significant. This was the album that saw Phil Collins replacing John Mayhew on drums and likewise Steve Hackett replacing Anthony Philips due to his stage fright. As can be expected with 2/5 of the band having changed the guard, a new band sound also emerged. While "Trespass" was a very ethereal album with only one track really rocking out, NURSERY CRYME takes on the characteristics of a fully developed symphonic prog sound complete with acoustic guitar intros and plenty of contrast with more bombastic rock on some tracks. While this album was not very successful upon its release, it has become a major prog staple and deemed one of the best GENESIS albums. This is one of those albums that everyone else in the universe seems to love but for me personally i have never been able to get into it no matter how hard i try.

So just what's going on here for me to dislike one of the most classic and beloved prog albums of all time. Well, just about everything here seems off. While i absolutely love "Trespass," i just don't feel like GENESIS really got a consistent sound together with this lineup until "Selling England By The Pound." This album starts out beautifully with the gorgeousness called "The Musical Box," a Victorian fairy story about two children in a country house where a girl cleaves off a boy's head with a croquet mallet and ultimately gets her comeuppance when she discovers the boy's musical box which upon opening it is haunted by the boy's spirit and begins to age quickly. Cool dark stuff and all and after wondering why this song pleases much more than the rest of the album i found out that this tune was actually written as an instrumental called "F#" by Anthony Philips and simply adapted to the fairytale. This one works brilliantly for me but the rest of the album doesn't as much. So this is really the only track that i absolutely love.

I just can't stand the slower tracks like "For Absent Friends," "Seven Stones" and "Harlequin." The other tracks i do like are "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed and "The Fountain Of Salmacis." The remaining track "Harold The Barrel" is OK but really doesn't set my world on fire either. Overall, this is an unbalanced mix for me. The songs i really like are excellent but the rest just leave me feeling let down to varying degrees. While Peter Gabriel takes a more theatrical stance on this album and rock elements are more prevalent, it's really the songs themselves that seem lackluster. The lyrical content seems to be ok, but i can't connect with the musical compositions. While most of the time i can listen to an album enough and connect to it merely by hearing it from the band's point of view, on NURSERY CRYME i just keep finding certain elements irritating and wanting to change the chords and song structures. It doesn't help that the production is below brilliant but that isn't really an issue for me if the music itself is of a highly entertaining value. Sorry fans of this album. This is really one of the few prog classics that i dislike more every time i hear it save the few tracks that really do hit me the right way. Give me "Trespass" over this any day.

Report this review (#1469230)
Posted Wednesday, September 23, 2015 | Review Permalink
5 stars Review Nº 28

In my humble opinion, Genesis had various musical periods. The first period includes their debut studio album "From Genesis to Revelation" in 1969. It's a kind of a pre-record of them with the following line up: Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Anthony Phillips, Mike Rutherford and Jonathan Silver. The second period includes their second studio album "Trespass" in 1970. It had the same line up with the exception of Silver who was replaced by John Mayhew. We can call it Phillips' era. The third period known by Gabriel's era corresponds to their golden progressive age. The line up was Gabriel, Banks and Rutherford with the replacement of Phillips by Steve Hackett and Mayhew by Phil Collins. It includes their third, fourth, fifth and sixth studio albums, "Nursery Cryme" in 1971, "Foxtrot" in 1972, "Selling England By The Pound" in 1973 and "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" in 1974, respectively. The fourth period begins when Gabriel left the band and includes their seventh studio album "A Trick Of The Tail" in 1976, which is for some the first neo-prog album in history, and includes also their eighth studio album "Wind And Wuthering" in 1976. This was Hackett's era. The fifth period begins when Hackett left the band. It includes their ninth studio album "...And Then There Were Three..." in 1978. I call it Banks' era. The sixth period was Collins' era. It begins when they turn into a more or less a pop group. It includes their tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth studio albums, "Duke" in 1980, "Abacab" in 1981, "Genesis" in 1983, "Invisible Touch" in 1986 and "We Can't Dance" in 1991, respectively. The seventh and last period begins when Collins left the group, and the remaining band members Banks and Rutherford decided to release one more studio album, the fifteenth and probably last studio album, "Calling All Stations" in 1997.

"Nursery Cryme" has seven tracks. The first track "The Musical Box" is the lengthiest track and is the first great song on the album. It's an epic, which became as one of the most famous musical pieces of Genesis, acquiring the status of one of the band's symbols. It was frequently featured, in their live repertoire, even when the band has become less progressive. Curiously, it includes an accredited writing contribution by their former member Phillips, because begins with an instrumental piece written by him, when he was a member of the group. The album cover is also a depiction of the story of the song. The music begins calm, and grows in intensity until reach an explosion of energy, accompanied by excellent lyrics. The second track, "For Absent Friends" is the smallest track on the album and is the first of the two songs from the band to be sung by Collins, while Gabriel was the lead vocalist of the group. The other is "More Fool Me" on "Selling England By The Pound". It's a short acoustic ballad with beautiful lyrics, a nice guitar duet and good double vocals. This is a great song but weaker than the rest of the album. The third track "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed" is with "The Musical Box" the two great epics that dominate the first side of the album. It's a bombastic song with theatrical lyrics and with all the things that made of Genesis a so innovative group in the 70's. These two musical pieces became two of the major attractions of their live performances. The fourth track "Seven Stones" is a beautiful song full of mellotron and it's also, in my humble opinion, the best track after their three epic tracks. It shows Gabriel's great and unique voice and Bank's masterful keyboard work. The fifth track "Harold The Barrel" is a song with interesting lyrics, is somewhat funny, is very rhythmic and provides a joyful moment on the album. It's a fantastic tune, sounding slightly like a medieval British folk song. The sixth track "Harlequin" is a song that harmonizes the voices of Gabriel and Collins, providing a very beautiful short folksy piece with nice vocal harmonies. It's a beautiful song, at least pretty, in the Genesis' vibe. The last track "The Fountain Of Salmacis", is for me, the great gem of this album. It's one of the songs most played live by the band, or by their members when they are performing as solo artists. The theme is around a story, based in the Greek mythology. Musically, it's a song with great energy, which collapses into an avalanche of emotions. It features everything that was great and unique, in that Genesis' era.

Conclusion: In my humble opinion, "Nursery Cryme", has three great masterpieces "The Musical Box", "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed" and especially "The Fountain Of Salmacis", three excellent tracks "Harold The Barrel", "Harlequin" and especially "Seven Stones", and a very good track "For Absent Friends". I really think that "Nursery Cryme" is a transition album, being better than "Trespass", but being slightly less good than their three following albums. Compared with "Trespass", it has better production has some better musical pieces and has also the presence of Hackett on it. So, "Nursery Cryme" is a very important album to the group. It represents undoubtedly the beginning of the new line up of Genesis and represents also the starting point, of a real absolutely amazing career.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Report this review (#1478650)
Posted Friday, October 23, 2015 | Review Permalink
Magnum Vaeltaja
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Following the charming, enchanting release of "Trespass", Genesis found themselves looking to forge on forward after the departure of subdued guitar personality Anthony Phillips. With the addition of Steve Hackett and Phil Collins, Genesis had created their classic lineup that we know and love and "Nursery Cryme" is the first document we have to show off their prowess and ability. Although Hackett's style is far more flamboyant and dynamic compared to Phillips', Nursery Cryme once again finds Genesis right in their prime element, painting idyllic pictures of quaint English scenes based in domestic reality, but with a slight fantasy twist, with Peter Gabriel delivering melodramatic storytelling over top. And on Nursery Cryme, all of these elements fall into place absolutely perfectly in one tight little 10-minute package: "The Musical Box".

Genesis' career tour-de-force, I don't believe that there is any one track in the band's canon that captures what they were capable of more fully and effectively. An oddly dark track, it's hard to believe that a mini rock opera about pedophilic ghost rape can be pulled off so convincingly, let alone become a classic of the genre. Let me just say that it's a good thing that it was only lighthearted Genesis that tried to tackle this idea, and not King Crimson or Van der Graaf Generator! Talk about traumatic experiences... Anyhoo, even if the subject matter of the song is a bit morbid, you wouldn't think it with the way that all of the classic Genesis elements play out. The song opens with the delightful Hackett fingerstyle work that would grace the string of albums to follow. Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins exchange gorgeous vocal harmonies, and a touch of flute is thrown in now and again, never to wow or demand your attention, but to serve the timbral blend of the song. Magical as those first 4 or so minutes are, it's not until Hackett cranks up the ol' electric that "The Musical Box" truly attains its legendary status. While Genesis can never be accused of being unable to write pretty acoustic pieces, they've never really had any strength in writing bombastic or energetic music. But "The Musical Box" is a true exception to that rule; Hackett's two solos in here may very well be one of the hardest rocking sections of symphonic prog ever put to record. The same can be said for the song's rousing, cathartic crescendo, but there's no sense in trying to put it in words. You simply have to hear it to appreciate the power.

After one of the most dynamic openings in prog, the band takes an about face for the Collins-led "For Absent Friends". Most people discredit this song as "filler", probably because it's short, but it really is a delight. Genesis were really at their strongest when they were writing softer acoustic music, and this is a prime example. A quaint musical daydream, there's nothing awe-inspiring about this little tune, but it's actually quite a beautiful, contemplative piece that doesn't demand a whole lot. And within the context of the album, it serves as essential breathing room before the first side's closer, "Return of the Giant Hogweed". The album's "heavy" track, I feel that the song is actually quite a step down in terms of energy from "The Musical Box", and certainly compared to "The Knife" off of "Trespass". But then again, does music always need to be so serious and heavy? Certainly not, and "Hogweed" retains a certain sing-along characteristic to its sound, even while Hackett plays some of the most distorted licks of his career. And while the bulk of the song is actually quite tame, the dramatic ending does stand out as a particularly exciting piece of Genesis' catalogue that would go unmatched on future albums.

After a very strong first side, side two is a bit of a step down, but enjoyable nonetheless. "Seven Stones" is a song that Genesis fans try to validate as much as they can, calling it the most "underrated" or "underappreciated" or "overlooked" song on the album, but if it really were as good as the fans claim, then it would be just as famous as "The Musical Box" or "Hogweed". In reality, it's just a decent, short ballad that isn't especially moving, unless you're a total sucker for the mellotron, in which case the ending should be quite a delight. Afterwards is "Harold The Barrel", which I will skip each and every time I put the album on. It's not necessarily an awful song, but it might just be the most infectious earworm I know of, so unless you want it stuck in your head for weeks at a time, it's probably expendable. It also gets the infamous credit of being the first Genesis "comic relief" track, the scourge of Gabriel-era albums. Unlike "The Battle of Epping Forest", though, at least "Harold The Barrel" has the benefit of being only 3 minutes long, so it doesn't bring the impact of the album down quite as much. Following ol' Harry, though, is another track that I really do believe is overlooked. "Harlequin" is a return to the style of "For Absent Friends", except Gabriel and Collins harmonies are even more exquisite on this number. As I've always maintained, Genesis' forte was in their acoustic work, so while my interest for the extended symphonic tracks on "Nursery Cryme" has waned over time, the grace and charm of numbers like "Harlequin" has only grown.

The album closes with one final long song, "The Fountain of Salmacis". Once you get past the gimmick of the mellotron volume swells, there is still quite a bit to enjoy here. It seems that Genesis really put all their eggs in one basket with "The Musical Box", so the energy level is quite low by this point in the album, but that doesn't mean they were uninspired. Peter Gabriel's lyrics here are taken straight from Greek mythology, and his way with words really makes what would be an otherwise forgettable piece of instrumental music shine as a piece of fantasy magic.

So while it's not a perfect album, "Nursery Cryme" is still a piece of the Genesis discography that I feel can make itself at home in any prog fan's collection, if not just for "The Musical Box" alone. I would also highly recommend either this album, along with "Selling England By The Pound", as the perfect introduction to the band's music. In all, this may not be a genre-defining masterpiece, but it is a symphonic prog classic. 4 stars.

Report this review (#1539515)
Posted Monday, March 14, 2016 | Review Permalink
4 stars Very Good

This album gets very high reviews, and as a Genesis fan, I am glad about that. However, I don't put this album in the same league as Selling England or Foxtrot. Nursery Cryme is a natural evolution from Trespass, which although it has two great tracks, saw Genesis stretching to find their voice, and in the process making a number of the compositions sound forced. Nursery Cryme is better than Trespass, good enough to garner four stars, but just enough. Like Trespass I find some of the transitions (between themes within the same song) still under-worked out and awkward (and thus, less musical), including the shifts from quiet to loud, which can be quite jarring. This is most notable on "The Musical Box". Even though it is a decent song, with some great passages, the transitions and some of the lyrics seem immature and the way the different sections are knitted together is not so musical (unlike "Suppers Ready" on Foxtrot, which manages the flow wonderfully). For me there are really (just like Trespass) two great tracks here: "Fountain of Salmacis" and the amazing "Return of the Giant Hogweed". These are the two compositions for which the music flows most naturally, and which push this album into four-star territory. There are a few other shorter pieces here too, which are mostly forgettable ("Harold the Barrel" is the best of those, a short burst of fun). On balance, I give this album 7.9 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which is the minimum required to achieve a 4 PA star rating. So, low 4 stars.

Report this review (#1696054)
Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | Review Permalink
5 stars #10 Review

I wanted to do this album later or maybe at the end, because this is like my favorite from Genesis and that takes some of the point of making reviews right away, it's like hard to make a review where you're going to score everything perfectly, but this also doesn't take away from other songs that this band has produced.

This album is really important to me, it's one of the 4 albums i first listened from Genesis when it was love at first sight, it's incredible the power that this album portrays, the amount of emotions that it expresses and the technicality of it all, incredible sound at the time, it should've been number one everywhere.

As always i'll review by song.

1.- The Musical Box 10/10 This 10 minute piece goes everywhere and really changed my life the first time i heard it, this is one of the songs that made me get hooked with this band, how this song keeps building tension at every note and how eerie it feels at many times, representing the artwork of the cover, it's just an amazing experience, it's hard to pick a favorite part, but i want to point out that small part where the song goes pretty low in volume and where there it sounds like trumpets. This song made me travel in time, made me imagine lots of things dedicated to the lyrics and the cover art, it showed me a hole new perspective of a world that i never experienced and everything felt so real just by entering through my ears.

This. Song. Is. Genesis.

2.- For Absent Friends 10/10 A really abrupt change of pace, this song makes me miss all the friends that i've lost, there are none. I believe that this was the first song that Phil Collins ever sang completely.

3.- The Return of the Giant Hoghweed 10/10 And another abrupt change of pace, probably one of the most hardcore songs from the band, i can imagine the humans or whatever planing to destroy the Hoghweeds, and at the end i can see how they destroy an entire city, with that brutal final instrumental part. Shoutouts to that solo leading to the instrumental part played by Tony Banks, then Steve Hackett and finally all of them join.

4.- Seven Stones 10/10 Continuing with the abrupt change of paces in this album, this song is pretty melancholic, and it gets me pretty depressed. I imagine me being old and completely alone remembering people, and if i continue like this, i'm not far from that. Perfectly done atmosphere. I really hope that "by chance", more people will hear this music as i do.

5.- Harold the Barrel 10/10 Another abrupt change, this time for a more joke song, and contrary to all the other joke songs they make later, this one is the best of them all, really well made and another character for the Genesis Mythology. It's funny that they said a joke involving the BBC and then played this song live at the BBC. Interesting sad ending played by Tony Banks.

6.- Harlequin 9/10 Another change of pace, this one is pretty sweet and tranquil, it's a nice song but i really feel it like an average song, it feels like a song that should've been in Trespass, curiously enough, i don't know if this song was made back then, but i know that the first song in this album was. It's short but still a nice song, if the song where longer and the same, it could've gone down as far to a 7/10.

7.- The Fountain of Salmacis 10/10 And to end it, we went back and forth in change of paces, and i'm glad about that, this album could've made me really depressed or too excited. This song is pretty epic, and has an incredible solo where it really shows the strenght of all the members of the band.

This is the highest ranked album from me, scoring a 99/100 wich obviously translates into 5 stars, absolutely recommended, this album makes Genesis worth all... and other albums as well, obviusly, but this one is perfect.

Report this review (#1866481)
Posted Saturday, January 13, 2018 | Review Permalink
5 stars One thing that has always struck me with this album is its use of nuances. It is truly amazing how forte and piano live together within this LP in stunning ways. I think that the ''Theatrical'' aspect of Genesis, in its musical form (not its live interpretation), reached its peaked with this album. The Musical Box is one of the greatest piece of music Genesis ever produced and is a stunning example of the power of progressive rock. Going all over the place, in a narrative structure, with complex yet accessible music. Every other songs are great and the general flow of the album is amazing. There is a continuing mood throughout the album with high points of intencity (Hogweed) and calm serenity (Harlequin). Yet it is conducted marvelously. An essential to any progressive fan and a great introduction piece to the art form.
Report this review (#1867516)
Posted Thursday, January 18, 2018 | Review Permalink
3 stars I am surprised that this album has so much consideration here in PA (number 12 of Top Album ever!). I think it's the worst of the Genesis classic period (and even Trespass is much better).

The famous "The Musical Box" (vote 7.5 / 8) is a song that starts slowly, subdued, intimist and remains in that mood for almost 4 minutes, sometimes monotonous; then comes the instrumental rock part, where the musicians show off their virtuosity, and Collins (more than Hackett) demonstrates what it's worth, characterizing the sound of Genesis with its jazz beat. The song continues up to 10 minutes alternating beautiful instrumental progressions with stunted pieces sung. Overall, it does not take off, it never reaches the climax.

"For Absent Friends" (6.5) is an acoustic piece of less than two minutes, nice in the singing, but without development. "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" (vote 8) finally begins with a nice rock rhythm where Banks and Collins give their best. A melody is missing, everything is based on rhythm that continues very pompous; after 5 minutes the song take a break, the rhythm become slower and the sound intimist; but then start again a pompous final. End of Side A.

"Seven Stones" (vote 7,5/8) is a ballad of 5 minutes with a good progression that alternates romantic epic moments to rock moments, with a lot of changing of the rhythm. "Harold the Barrel" (vote 7+) is a pop song, with the mood of a variety show song. It shows the ironic/satiric vein of Peter Gabriel. The three minutes song "Harlequin" is the worst of the album, being cloying (vote 6+). The last song, "The Fountain of Salmacis" (vote 7,5) close the Lp. It is the third long song (8 minutes) after Musical Box and Giant Hogweed, and as the other two is pompous and magniloquent. The voice of Gabriel is strangely in the background, the keyboard of Banks, as usual, lead the music (again more rhythm than melody); in the instrumental parts we can listen to bass solo.

The album is not very inspired, at a melodic level it is definitely inferior to Trespass, it requires a very attentive listening. On the whole it does not remain in mind, it is too elaborate and forced in many parts. There are good songs but they are not remarkable (not even Musical Box). The technical expertise, expecially in the instrumental parts, partly compensates for the poor melodic vein. I think this record is very overrated, probably because it is the first one with the line-up most loved by Genesis fans.

Medium quality of the songs: 7,29 Vote album: 7,5. Three stars.

Report this review (#2077412)
Posted Wednesday, November 21, 2018 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars While not as much of a stark jump in terms of sound and quality from 'Trespass' compared to the difference between that and 'From Genesis To Revelation', I do find this album to be in some ways, more significant with what steps were taken. The most apparent change is the increase of musicianship present here, with a great deal of it due to this being the album in which both Steve Hackett and Phil Collins made their first appearance. Along with this, while similar in sound to 'Trespass', this album is much more mature in general. Each song feels more distinctive, and it's clear that this is a much more ambitious effort in general, with 3 songs clocking in at over 8 minutes, each without a moment wasted. Furthermore, there is definitely a sense of comfort here, no uncertainty that you could find in parts of 'Trespass', allowing the band to sound more fun in the process, while still maintaining high quality.

The album opens boldly ad powerfully with 'The Musical Box', which is just as great as is generally considered by fans of the band, that is to say, this piece is amazing. I love the opening few minutes of it, with its absolute beauty, with Gabriel's voice sounding excellent, especially during the chorus. The constant build up past these first few minutes is what really impresses me though, with what begins as a light, folksy melody developing into a highly energetic instrumental passage, all dying down before crescendoing a second time, this time even more spectacularly until the song explodes. 'Return of the Giant Hogweed' is the other song that I would consider to be the high point of the album, taking a slightly heavier, more energetic approach in the vein of 'The Knife', all the way down to an intro that sounds fairly similar, this one just containing more guitar. Despite the fact that the sound mixing is quite thin, and that 'Genesis' in general is a light sounding band, this song still manages to contain an incredible amount of intensity and power, but still manages to be such a fun track at the same time. This also features some of Gabriel;s more interesting lyricism that borders on absurdism at points, and while this is explored more later, I do find this to be one of my favourite examples of it, mostly because of the somewhat amusing imagery it provides. The final epic on the album, the closer 'The Fountain Of Salmacis', while not quite as amazing as the other two, still manages to be an excellent track. It's a much more beautiful track in general, with the instrumentation at points being much more focused on creating particular soundscapes or capturing emotion. This provides sections of the song in which I feel as if I could just melt and be carried away by the music. The one other track which I find extremely noteworthy is the short, amusing 'Harold the Barrell', which is the song that accentuates the fact that the band was finally becoming much more comfortable with their music and was finally able to have some of their personality shine through. Unlike the consistently awful and often talked about humour pieces by 'Emerson, Lake and Palmer', this feels much more natural, as if it is a part of the band rather than something just tacked on. This isn't even mentioning the fact that it's wonderfully catchy and generally enjoyable to listen to, and while not the best composed, I do love what it represents in terms of 'Genesis'' evolution.

Despite the absolutely immense praise I have for the high points of this album, I can't overlook the few flaws this album has. For one, 'For Absent Friends' and 'Harlequin' are throwaway filler without anything particularly special about them. I also find the song 'Seven Stones', while overall very pretty, to simply be somewhat unmemorable and bland. As a final note, I do find the mic in general to be quite uneven in parts, with the bass almost always being barely audible, along with the sound for the majority of the tracks ('The Fountain of Salmacis' being a big exception) being quite thin.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is a great album, with some tracks being nothing short of breathtaking, and these high points made this album a hard one to score for me. On one hand, there were so many moments which blew me away, but on the other hand, there were certain tracks or moments which felt unnecessary or dull. In the end I've gone with a 4 star rating as opposed 5, simply because I do find that the album's listening experience is somewhat centred around waiting for the next amazing track, rather than simply taking in and enjoying what is going on, leading to the conclusion that while cohesive in sound, the album isn't as tight a listening experience as it could have been. I absolutely love this album, and I highly recommend it if you're one of the few who hasn't delved into the work of 'Genesis'.

Best songs: The Musical Box, Return of the Giant Hogweed, The Fountain of Salmacis

Weakest songs: For Absent Friends, Harlequin

Verdict: This is where Genesis definitely began to gather steam, with more refined and ambitious compositions, along with allowing their personality to flourish, all with great instrumentation. While I personally find it it be slightly patchy, I still find this album to be well worth listening to.

Report this review (#2133472)
Posted Saturday, February 2, 2019 | Review Permalink
3 stars As guitarist Steve Hackett and drummer Phil Collins had recently joined the band, Nursery Cryme is the first Genesis album with the classic lineup. So it's not much of a surprise, at least in retrospect, that this album far surpasses Trespass, their prior effort.

But while the opening number (and fan favorite) "The Musical Box" makes this clear almost immediately, it's also evident - - again, in retrospect - - that the new Genesis is still a work in progress. "The Musical Box" is an early highlight of the band's discography, but it would be surpassed several times over the next two albums. Like "The Knife," the standout track on Trespass, "The Musical Box" is nicely noisy and ragged, and this seems to be part of an evolution toward a more symphonic sound they will approach on Foxtrot (1972) and achieve on Selling England by the Pound (1973). That sound would still employ plenty of dissonance, but with a bit more polish.

Nursery Cryme's closing number, "The Fountain of Salmacis," is similar to "The Musical Box" insofar as its production on record doesn't quite match its ambition.

But the sci-fi of "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" and the drama of "Harold the Barrel" represent substantial improvements over Trespass, not only in composition and performance, but in variety. "Hogweed" even bests the similar "Get 'em Out By Friday," which would be released the following year on Foxtrot. Similarly, whatever the band would aim for on "Time Table" (also from Foxtrot), they seem to have already achieved here, far more elegantly, with "For Absent Friends." What makes "Time Table" and "For Absent Friends" similar goes beyond their nature as relatively placid songs, at least compared to the songs before and after them. They're both also commentaries on the passage of time - - something that doesn't seem necessary more than once per album.

Nonetheless, two more such songs are included on Nursery Cryme in the forms of "Seven Stones" and "Harlequin," and neither is nearly as good as "For Absent Friends."

On the whole, Nursery Cryme is a good, though uneven album, a record of a rapidly-improving band.

Report this review (#2151392)
Posted Saturday, March 2, 2019 | Review Permalink
5 stars The beginning of my love of Prog, appropriately enough, started with Genesis. A friend introduced me to them in 1972 with the album Nursery Cryme. I must have spent a good 15 minutes just looking at the cover. I had never seen artwork like this before and it appealed to my somewhat warped sense of artistic appreciation. I wanted to know what was inside ' what stories were going to be told. Opening the cover, I knew instinctively that I wasn't going to be disappointed. Seven distinctly different stories, each one as beautiful in its own way as the others. Now let's delve inside. I have to confess that the first song that really grabbed me was Harold the Barrel, because I just had never heard anything quite as bonkers as this before. There is sense of warped reality to most of these songs. Many of them I had to listen to a number of times before I could begin to get inside them. The second song that appealed was Seven Stones, I guess because it is a fairly simple song but very atmospheric at the same time. Peter Gabriel's voice was a major factor in forging my love of Genesis (and indeed Prog). But at the end of the day, it was the songs, which transported me away from my daily life into another world, in much the same way as Star Trek and The Twilight Zone did through television. Then of course there is the mellotron! I had never heard anything like it and it was life-changing. Probably the next track I got into was The Fountain of Salmacis. Again, the mellotron and the story, as well as Gabriel's singing, drew me in, as Hermaphroditus was drawn to the spring. Even today, just looking at the lyrics sends shivers down my spine. Next we get to The Musical Box, which is possibly the song I look forward to most when attending my yearly Steve Hackett gig (but that could also be Supper's Ready, I'm getting ahead of myself!) The story which accompanies the lyrics on the inside sleeve of my treasured album copy of Nursery Cryme intrigued me then, and still does. No one in the music industry was writing things like this in the early 1970's! This is a song best listened to live, more than any other on the album. Chilling! The Return of the Giant Hogweed! Who could visit Kew Gardens without thinking of this song! The introduction explodes onto your consciousness and you are sucked into this dark and murky Victorian world. Gardeners amongst you may look at pictures on the internet of Japanese Knotweed and shudder. Just remember the magic words 'Heracleum Mantegazziani'! The two remaining songs are Harlequin, followed by For Absent Friends. Harlequin is a very sweet acoustic number, melodic and pleasing on the ear. Who couldn't like this? This one doesn't so much tell as story, as set a scene. The lyrics are beautiful, leaving you feeling very mellow and relaxed. For Absent Friends is my least favourite song on the album but nonetheless lovely and bucolic in nature. It tells a sad little song and who could not relate to the tale of sadness and loss. This start to my musical journey has given me a lifelong love of Prog, which endures today.
Report this review (#2231090)
Posted Sunday, June 16, 2019 | Review Permalink
5 stars In Nursery Crime, Genesis´third album, Steve Hackett and Phil Collins joined the group with the guitar and the percussion, respectively. With them, the arrangement of the group that made the most iconic disc of Genesis was complete. Hackett and Collins´ incorporation was vital to hone the band´s musical proposal. The lyrics, at once mythic and fantastical, worked out primarily by the prolific Peter Gabriel, took Genesis to the progressive rock Olympus.

The album initiates with the monumental Musical Box, a fiction of the Victorian England in which Henry´s spirit (an 8- year-old child murdered by 9-year-old Cynthia) returns to haunt his murderer. The song is undoubtedly among the greatest Genesis creations: a 10-minute symphony of diverging rhythms that concludes with an exuberant ending. The album continues with a respite: For Absent Friends, a slow ballad sung by Phil Collins. Nonetheless, Nursery Crime surprises us yet again with the amazing The Return Of The Giant Hogweed, a song about a carnivorous plant that breaks havoc in London.

The album continues with Seven Stone, a demonstration of the mastery of the mellotron by Tony Banks. Despite being a great song, it hasn´t transcended as much as other compositions. After that, both the suicidal Harold The Barrel and the ballad Harlequin are interesting pieces that don´t surpass the 3-minute mark. Further down the album, The Fountain of Salmacis is a fine portrayal of Hermaphrodite´s origin. It is an excellent closure for Nursery Crime, a must- have album in the musical library of all the Genesis admirers and all the progressive rock listeners.

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Posted Wednesday, July 29, 2020 | Review Permalink

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