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4 stars The first album that I listened from GENESIS was "Nursery Cryme" in early 1979. The album was lent to one of my brothers by a friend and I liked the album a lot, so I recorded it in a cassette with the idea to buy it later if I could find it in the record shops of my city. That edition of "Nursery Cryme" that I listened to then was an U.S. import without gatefold cover, and even without credits about who were the musicians in the band. It was manufactured by Buddah Records and it had the Pink Charisma Records Label and it even shared the same catalogue number of the original U.K. release (CAS 1052). At that time, most of the albums from GENESIS were not released by a Mexican label, so the only way to buy "Nursery Cryme" and other albums from the band was to buy them as imported albums. Because my father received as a gift each month the monthly Schwann Record and Tape Catalogues (from the U.S.) from a local record shop for a lot of years, I learned then that this U.S. edition of "Nursery Cryme" was really out of print since 1976. Buddah released other albums by the band since maybe 1973, with the others being "Foxtrot" and "Genesis Live". But by early 1976 all those albums appeared as out of print in those record and tape catalogues, and "Nursery Cryme" was re-issued in 1976 together with "Foxtrot" in a two record set titled "The Best" and with a gatefold cover under the Buddah label (not Charisma). Many years later I discovered in the web that the "The Best" title also was used by Buddah in a series of albums from other artists from the record label. "The Best" release by GENESIS was by 1977 out of print too (and I also I never saw it in the record shops in my city), so I knew that all the albums that Buddah released from GENESIS in the U.S. were out of print for some time until Polydor in late 1979 (under the Charisma Records label) also re-issued "Nursery Cryme" and "Foxtrot" together in a two record set in a similar way to "The Best", but with a different title ("Nursery Cryme / Foxtrot") and with a different gatefold cover design also including the lyrics. In the back cover of this re-issue there are some notes explaining that both albums were out of print in the U.S. for several years "due to some problems", and the back cover notes also give some historical facts about the band, also including some photos taken from a concert from 1974 (maybe from the "Selling England by the Pound Tour", I think). I bought this "Nursery Cryme / Foxtrot" 2 LP set in early 1980 because it was a good buy then because it was cheaper to buy an U.S. 2 LP import album than very expensive individual imported LP copies of "Nursery Cryme" or "Foxtrot" from the U.K. So, at last, by early 1980 I could finally listen to these two very good albums from GENESIS included in one package. The sound of both LPs is good. Unfortunately, the Schwann catalogues listed this 2 LP set as out of print by early 1981, so both albums were out of print again in the U.S. until Atlantic Records re-issued them individually again by 1982 (with "Genesis Live" being also re-issued by that label by that time).
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Posted Friday, July 4, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars Review Nº 216

'Nursery Cryme/Foxtrot' is a special compilation of Genesis. This is an economic package including their third studio album 'Nursery Cryme', released in 1971 and their fourth studio album 'Foxtrot', released in 1972, on a double vinyl disc. It included two indispensable works from the band that would be a worth purchase, in those days. These are considered two of the best studio works by them. Both are two masterpieces that can be joined to 'Selling England By The Pound' and 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway', in Gabriel's era. But, for those who have already both albums, like me, this compilation only can be interesting as an addition for those who are vinyl progressive collector's fans.

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': 'Nursery Cryme', has three masterpieces 'The Musical Box', 'The Return Of The Giant Hogweed' and 'The Fountain Of Salmacis', three excellent tracks 'Harold The Barrel', 'Harlequin' and 'Seven Stones' and a good track 'For Absent Friends'. 'The Musical Box' is an epic that became as one of the most central pieces of Genesis, becoming in one of the band's symbols. It was frequently played on their live sets. It includes an accredited writing contribution by their former member Anthony Phillips. 'For Absent Friends' is a short acoustic ballad with beautiful lyrics, a nice guitar duet and good double vocals. It's the first of the two songs from the band to be sung by Collins, in Gabriel's era. 'The Return Of The Giant Hogweed' is the second epic. It's a bombastic track with theatrical lyrics and with all the things that made of Genesis a so innovative group in the 70's. 'Seven Stones' is a beautiful song full of mellotron and is perhaps the best track after their three epic tracks. It shows Gabriel's great and unique voice and Bank's masterful keyboard work. 'Harold The Barrel' has interesting lyrics, is funny, is very rhythmic and provides a joyful moment. 'Harlequin' harmonizes the voices of Gabriel and Collins, providing a very beautiful short folksy piece with nice vocal harmonies. 'The Fountain Of Salmacis' is the great gem of the album. It has great energy, which collapses into an avalanche of emotions. It features everything that was great and unique, in 70's, in that Genesis' era.

'Foxtrot': 'Foxtrot' was the first band's album that reached the top in Genesis' career. It became the album that solidified their career and reputation as songwriters and performers. It has six tracks. 'Watcher Of The Skies' is a great opener for the album that gives a sense of majesty and power to the beginning of the album. 'Time Table' is a beautiful and graceful song, which brings calm, after the great intensity of 'Watcher Of The Skies'. It's about the medieval times, with a catchy tune, a nice piano intro and fairly intense chorus. 'Get'Em Out By Friday' is a very good track in the vein of a mini rock opera with great musicality. It shows Gabriel's amazing vocal versatility and the fantastic skills of Banks on keyboards. 'Can-Utility And The Coastliners' has beautiful vocals by Gabriel, and a great finale by Banks and Hackett, which makes the song very dramatic and melodic. 'Horizons' starts with the central idea of a track made in the baroque style, and is a typical Hackett's classical guitar track. This piece is influenced by the 'Prelude Of The First Cello Suite' by J. S. Bach. 'Supper's Ready' is probably the most known and beloved song by their fans. It's also their most progressive track. This is a track full of amazing musicianship and lyrics, and is one of the most representatives of the progressive rock music. It stands as a testament of how unique and creative Genesis was during the early 70's.

Conclusion: Both are two great albums of the band. 'Nursery Cryme' is very important and represents undoubtedly the beginning of the new line up of Genesis and represents also the starting point, of an absolutely amazing career. Still, I really think that 'Nursery Crime' is a transitional album, being better than 'Trespass', but being slightly less good than their three following albums. 'Foxtrot' was basically the reason why Gabriel started dressing up on stage, in strange masks and costumes. By the other hand, 'Foxtrot' is the album that contains one of the songs that people still talk about with a certain reverence and which inspired many other bands to write lengthy suites, even today. If you have the two studio albums already, you don't need this compilation because it has nothing new to offer, unless, you have a collector's vinyl spirit. In this case, it will be a great addition to your collection. 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 (#2055959)
Posted Thursday, November 15, 2018 | Review Permalink

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