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4 stars Genesis - The Best... (1976)

Just for your information...

Ok, this is nothing you might have missed! This 1976 double LP released by Buddah Records contains both the Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot album in their original form. Though this release might have come on handy at the time for those who missed the original releases of these two acclaimed masterpieces of symphonic rock, it's only has to offer a nice fold-out sleeve with some nice artwork. The artwork is colorful and the information on the front makes it perhaps look a bit cheap. In the inside there are some news-paper articles about the band.

The reason I took it (somebody I met on vacation offered me to come over at his house and take all his old vinyls I'd liked) was that I often dislike the sound of Famous Charisma lable lp's of Genesis. The high notes on the end of the vinyls are often distorted, and these GRT music Tapes Lp's are thicker and of higher quality. Furthermore I though I would be a nice addition to my collection. I added this box-set (or compilation) to PA just to tell you that. This might be a nice addition for vinyl collectors like me.

The music of Genesis is over-reviewed already, so for information about the music on this compilation I would like to forward you to the many reviews on the pages of Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot. The rating is a bit un-important here, but I'll give it four stars. Both are great albums and for vinyl collectors or Genesis collectors in general this might be interesting.

Report this review (#295768)
Posted Sunday, August 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I knew about the existence of this 2 LP compilation (it really is a re-packaging of "Nursery Cryme" and "Foxtrot" done by Buddah Records in 1976 and released as "The Best") because my late father had the monthly Schwann record catalogues from the U.S., which were guides for the record buyers of albums released in the U.S. and sometimes in other countries (and which were imported to other countries) from several genres like Classical Music, Rock, Jazz, etc., from the early sixties until the early 2000s. This compilation was listed in the "New Listings" section in one of the early Schwann record catalogues from 1976, and if I remember well, it didn`t last for more than a year listed in those catalogues, being put out of print. I never saw a copy of this compilation in the record shops of my country. Buddah (using the Charisma Records label) released three Genesis` albums in the early seventies ("Nursery Cryme", "Foxtrot" and "Genesis Live") all of which were out of print in the U.S. by early 1976, and it seems that in the same year, Buddah replaced the individual releases of "Nursery Cryme" and "Foxtrot" with the release of this "The Best" 2 LP set, which was also part of a series of albums called "The Best" in the same label, as the label also released several other albums by other artists titled as "The Best". The first Genesis` album that I listened to was "Nursery Cryme" in early 1979, in a non-gatefold version released by Buddah on the Charisma Records label, which was lent to one of my brothers by one of his friends. I liked the album a lot, but when I wanted to buy the album, I realized that it wasn`t available in my country, and that it was out of print as an U.S. import and it only was available as an expensive import from England. But in late 1979, Polydor / Polygram released both albums again in the U.S. (on the Charisma label and with a different cover) in a double LP set called "Nursery Cryme / "Foxtrot" which I bought as an import (not very expensive; two LPs at almost the same price of the English version of "Nursery Cryme") in 1980, and again it went of print by 1981. I previously reviewed both albums separately in this website, so I`m not going to do it again. So this review only was written to explain the existence of this Buddah`s "The Best " compilation, a curious release, in my opinion. It was until the early eighties that Atlantc Records finally re-issued in the U.S. in the LP format the "Nursery Cryme", "Foxtrot" and "Genesis Live" albums, all in individual releases.
Report this review (#765166)
Posted Wednesday, June 6, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Review Nº 212

"The Best..." is a very special compilation of Genesis. It's an economic package that includes their third studio album "Nursery Cryme", released in 1971, and their fourth studio album "Foxtrot", released in 1972, on a double vinyl record. This was a very interesting compilation because it included two absolutely indispensable musical works of the band at a very cheap price, what would be a very worth purchase, in those days. "Nursery Cryme" and "Foxtrot" are two of the best studio albums of Genesis and represent two indispensable works, especially for lovers of Gabriel's musical era. However, for those like me, who have already both albums, it might be a nice addition for all vinyl prog collectors.

The art work of the compilation is very interesting and strange at the same time. In the inside there are some interesting articles about the band and the front cover is very colourful and contains the track list of the songs. Personally I don't like particularly of the front cover of it, because it seems to me too much psychedelic for my usual personal taste.

The line up on both albums is the same. So, we have Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins.

As I've already reviewed these two albums previously on Progarchives, in a more extensive way, I'm not going to do it again. So, if you are interested to know, in more detail, what I wrote about them before, I invite you to read those my both reviews. However, in here I'm going to write something about them in a more short way. So, of course, I'm not going to analyze them track by track, as I made before, but I'm only going to make a global appreciation of both albums.

"Nursery Cryme": When Collins and Hackett replaced John Mayhew and Anthony Phillips, the definitive Genesis line up became a reality. The band also became a tighter and much more technical accomplished unit, and they further perfected the sound and style of "Trespass" on their third studio album "Nursery Cryme". The title of the album was derived from the opening track "The Musical Box" where an old nursery rhyme got mixed with a grotesque and surreal tale about a boy who got decapitated by his nurse. The cover art of the album was also clearly inspired by that song. The track perfectly captured absolutely every element of classic Genesis, with lots of passion, theatrical drama, and the variation between beautiful, quiet, melodic parts and much harder and energetic passages with some incredible dynamics. "The Fountain Of Salmacis" and the heavier "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed" showed Genesis' music from their most ancient and fairytale like side. The symphonic progressive rock doesn't get any better than this. "Seven Stones" is a beautiful and melodic little tune, while the cheerful "Harold The Barrel" demonstrating some of Gabriel's best and weird humour and twisted lyrics. So, "Nursery Cryme" is a classic stuff from the beginning to the end.

"Foxtrot": "Foxtrot" was the album that confirms definitely Genesis in one of the leading forces of the British symphonic progressive rock movement. It included, for the most Genesis' fans, the ultimate favourite track in form of the 23 minute, "Supper's Ready". This music suite, consisted of several different parts and compositions that, unlike the title track from Yes' "Close To The Edge", clearly were separated by several ideas that later were glued together to make the whole track. But, despite of that, it all worked superb, and the binding main melody is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful melodies the band ever wrote and the composition stand as one of the progressive rock's ultimate masterpieces ever. And the rest of the album kept the same high level of quality. The opener "Watcher Of The Skies" was an airy and energetic song that for many years would become the opening number at almost all the concerts performed by Genesis. "Get 'Em Out By Friday" was the Genesis song that allowed Gabriel most to really act out with several different characters. And "Foxtrot" also included one of their most overlooked gems, "Can-Utility And The Coastliners". Despite its modest length, the song managed to capture absolutely, every side of the band in some very beautiful themes and melodies. So, "Foxtrot" is just as essential for any progressive rock fan as air and food are.

Conclusion: As "The Best?" is nothing more than a compilation of "Nursery Crime" and "Foxtrot", joined in a single double vinyl disc, we can say that for those who have both original albums they don't need this compilation, unless you have a collector vinyl spirit. We can question the needing of such kind of compilations, unless its release had become important, at the time, for those who missed the two original albums. But, as we can't decide the necessity of its release, we can only analyse the quality of the musical material on the compilation. And in this case, there is no doubt that we are in presence of some of the best material made by one of a greatest prog bands. Both albums are two great masterpieces and represent some of the best things the band has ever made. But, if you don't have these two albums and you own this compilation, it substitutes perfectly well those original albums. So, I'm going to rate it with 4 stars.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Report this review (#2048741)
Posted Sunday, October 28, 2018 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A two LP compilation of two of Genesis greatest triumphs can never be a bad thing. Here are the quintessential Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot in all their glory. The highlights are obvious with Watcher of the Skies and the magnum opus Suppers Ready as an indispensable Genesis 23 minute eargasm.

The Musical Box is always a brilliant journey with Gabriel at his best, as well as The Return Of The Giant Hogweed and Seven Stones. The Fountain Of Salmacis is also a wonderful treat, so if you haven't been graced with the Gabriel era Genesis this is a good start.

The cover art and liner arts are of considerable interest along with the fact this is a rarity on vinyl. Definitely worth sitting in a room with this music defining a wall of sound in perhaps the best era of Genesis history with the definitive line up.

Report this review (#2419367)
Posted Tuesday, July 14, 2020 | Review Permalink

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