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Imperfect Albums: Selling England by the Pound

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Hemis View Drop Down
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    Posted: June 22 2016 at 08:06
There are amazing albuns and shi*ty ones. It's always arguable but i guess everyone can agree there are no perfect albums. But what is missing for an amazing album to be perfect? If that would be possible of course. What makes Selling England by the Pound imperfect?

For me it's the concept of the album. I don't understand why is More fool me on the album. I enjoy it but it has nothing to do with the concept (a supposed cryptic to England's society). 
I love how the album is filled with references to things most of us have to search in order to fully understand what they are saying, but More fool me it's a filler for me
I even get confused sometimes when I think about it! Cinema Show is my favourite on the album alongside Firth of Fifth. I love the instrumental and dynamic of both songs (more Cinema Show) but then again i don't see it fitting the album, in terms of concept. It could be that I don't yet understand it. If so, tell me. Firth of Fifth is one in the alnbum that supports and enriches the concept. 

I really love every track on SEbtP. I just think the concept should be better portrayed. Tell me what you think of my analyses and tell mw what do you think makes This album imperfect.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TerLJack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 22 2016 at 10:39
I don't think that much thought was really given to a "concept" by the guys.  It's just a super cool line from one of the songs.  More Fool Me was another song to prove Phil could always handle lead if given a chance.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progaardvark Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 22 2016 at 11:15
I'm not sure the album actually had a concept. From what I've read, it sounded like it was pieced together from various ideas from the individual members, with compromises made. If it has one, it's not an obvious one. I agree that "More Fool Me" was the weakest track.
 
Also agreed, no album is really perfect. Every time I listen to one, there are sections of songs (or whole songs) where I think about how I'd do that differently if I had the talent to. But that's just me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 22 2016 at 13:17
I agree with the two comments above.....I never thought of it as a concept album and More Fool Me is my least favorite track on the album. I would have left it off and included a piece more in keeping with the general tone of the other tracks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The.Crimson.King Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 22 2016 at 14:33
Never have considered it a concept album but agree More Fool Me is what makes it imperfect...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DDPascalDD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 22 2016 at 14:55
I agree that an album cannot be perfect, so I tend not to ask the question whether or not music is perfect or not because it's art; perfect - and how close to perfect - is not a term which describes the quality and is not something one should aim for, then it would become more of a commercial product.

Anyway, I do think Firth of Fifth and The Cinema Show are the two best off the album indeed. I play both of them on piano and must say that it's incredibly complicated/sophisticated, where ultimately the intro of Firth is almost too complicated, so that it is nearly impossibe to follow (which is maybe a good thing as a highlight on an album).
More Fool Me on the contrary is indeed a skip every time I spin the album, can't stand the vocals.

Talking about the concept, the first track fits it perfectly, I really love the medieval feeling in the beginning. Though a lot of the rest is not really about the loss of the good ol' Englishness (I Know What I Like until The Battle Of Epping Forest). Actually I don't really care because I like the lyrics anyway except for most of Firth.

Just my thoughts
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dellinger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 22 2016 at 22:24
I don't know about the concepts, but for me "Battle of Epping Forest" is the song that brings the album down from being perfect... I could actually tolerate "More Fool Me" because at least it is much shorter, and even if it's a weak track, at least it isn't as annoying as Epping Forest.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Blacksword Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2016 at 01:31
I never considered it a concept album and have never heard any member of the band refer to it as such. It's also the case that if a handful of songs on an album relate in some way that actually doesn't make it a concept album, as Iaian Andersn argued regarding Thick as a Brick. A conceot is more than a theme; it's pretty much a story.

In any case SEBTP for me a 4 star album. It's very good. Their best performances of that era, their best production job, and some of their best classic songs. I don't enjoy it as much as The Lamb or Foxtrot though.

EDIT: The phrase "Selling England by the pound" came from an election manifesto from either the conservative party or Labour party at the time.

Edited by Blacksword - June 23 2016 at 01:33
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ALotOfBottle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2016 at 03:42
I would like people to understand (because some still don't get it) that the "perfection" of the album is not objective and is more or less formed by history and culture. The same way that major seems "happy" and minor "sad".

Anyway, as to the album, it is not perfect, but it is a five-star work for me. Lower five stars, but still five. And while I might enjoy Foxtrot more, SEBTP is undoubtedly Genesis' crowning work and the fruit of their creative peak.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DDPascalDD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2016 at 04:07
Originally posted by ALotOfBottle ALotOfBottle wrote:

I would like people to understand (because some still don't get it) that the "perfection" of the album is not objective and is more or less formed by history and culture. The same way that major seems "happy" and minor "sad".


Could you elaborate?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ALotOfBottle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2016 at 04:29
Originally posted by DDPascalDD DDPascalDD wrote:

Originally posted by ALotOfBottle ALotOfBottle wrote:

I would like people to understand (because some still don't get it) that the "perfection" of the album is not objective and is more or less formed by history and culture. The same way that major seems "happy" and minor "sad".


Could you elaborate?

Of course. It is rather obvious that "beauty" is subjective. Well, even your likings. There isn't any music that you like naturally and even if you say "Wow, this song is everything I want from a musical piece", it is not because you were born that way and it perfectly fits your liking, no. The culture you were raised in shaped the way you consider music and it is the same way with  minor and major harmonies.  And with perfection! Of course, different moods in music might fit your personality (calm, agressive etc.), but your sense of what the musical character is was shaped by the western culture. If there was another culture somewhere, fully isolated from the western world for many, many years, SEBTP would do nothing to them! Even in its most moving moments! Hell, they would not even feel the moods that it is supposed to create. And this is because the culture they would have been raised in, would use different harmonic qualities to describe different feelings and such! Hindi music (I think) uses quater notes, which to us, Europeans and Americans, might sound like singing out of tune. Hindi use four distinct modes to "describe" different times of the day - morning, afternoon, evening, night. This is called raga. Does their music suggest any time of the day to us? No! I got a little off-topic, but I hope examples I've given will help you with understanding what I tried to get across. In a nutshell, everything is a perception.

Please excuse my imperfect language.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote POTA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2016 at 14:23
Originally posted by Dellinger Dellinger wrote:

I don't know about the concepts, but for me "Battle of Epping Forest" is the song that brings the album down from being perfect... I could actually tolerate "More Fool Me" because at least it is much shorter, and even if it's a weak track, at least it isn't as annoying as Epping Forest.

I think Battle of Epping Forest is incredible.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pianoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2016 at 15:13
I love Epping Forest, love More Fool Me...I may be in the minority, but I think After the Ordeal is super lame. It's my least favorite on the record. I think the front half of it is fairly cliche classical and medieval melodies and progressions. And the second half...not my favorite guitar solo. Unlike a lot of Genesis tracks, this one has not aged well. Just my opinion.

Edited by pianoman - June 23 2016 at 15:16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The.Crimson.King Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2016 at 16:30
Originally posted by POTA POTA wrote:

 
I think Battle of Epping Forest is incredible.

Same here...I think Gabriel portraying all those different voices - along with some great Banks organ parts - is one of the high points of the album Wink 


Edited by The.Crimson.King - June 23 2016 at 16:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2016 at 23:37
Hi,

Perfection is an illusion, caused by folks that always think that the grass is greener on the other side!

Sorry ... the album is as perfect as any of you are, regardless of silly opinions, including mine. 

So, Picasso's Guernica is not "perfect". Neither is the "Mona Lisa". Neither is any Rembrandt. Neither is Beethoven's 5th, or Mahler's 3rd, or Mozart's 69th!

So tired of that idea and attitude. Perfection is its glory in its own existence, not your ideas or mine! You don't sit here discussing the perfection of a tree, and then post for us to discuss it!

Sorry to sound cross, but it makes the comments seem like they can not appreciate art for what it is ... just another person!

Progressive music is OVER, if all we can discuss is the so-called perfections of a socially unsatisfied society. Think of it on a larger scale!


Edited by moshkito - June 23 2016 at 23:40
... none of the hits, none of the time ... now you know what the inner art is all about!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2016 at 03:06
I can't even imagine Selling England By The Pound without More Fool Me.  Selling England By The Pound is NOT a concept album.  I find it to more a collection of concept songs.  More Fool Me balances it all out.  

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway IS.  And I have seen people disregard it by saying that parts of it are filler.  Ugh!  Some people just do not get IT.


Edited by Slartibartfast - June 24 2016 at 03:14
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