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Genesis - Selling England by the Pound CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.64 | 4230 ratings

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5 stars What can I say about this landmark album that hasn't already been said before? After Genesis found their direction with Foxtrot, they became one of the finest progressive rock bands of all time. Selling England By The Pound is the classic line-up of the band doing what they do best: creating long epic songs with many melodic passages and theatrical lyrics.

Instead of rocking out like they did on the previous album, they decided to go back to the pastoral and eccentric tone of Nursery Cryme. This was a welcome change as it allowed them to focus on their songwriting and not worry about trying to make a statement again. But by doing this, they had made another musical statement.

The concept is rather vague but it's there. It is about the current state of Britain in the year 1973. All the references and play-on-words are all very British. It may seem that because of this, the album doesn't have a very wide appeal. However, this is not the case. This album is loved by music fans all over the world. I won't review the album track-by-track but I will go over what I think are highlights. These songs alone are worth buying the album for.

Dancing With The Moonlit Knight: This song starts a cappella and then the instruments slowly build. A great opening with Peter's voice. The piano, lead guitar, bass, and drums are all fantastic. After about 6 minutes, it goes into a pastoral bit with 12 string guitars that sound a little like a ballet. I'm not saying that this part is bad though, far from it, but it is an interesting section. Still very nice sounding, the song ends as gracefully as it began. Overall one of the best album openers I have ever heard.

Firth Of Fifth: Another great opening but this time with only piano. Tony Banks plays a melodic intro which is repeated again at the end of the song. Again the piano, drumming, and synth leads are all great, but the major drawing point to this song is the incredible guitar solo by Steve Hackett in the mid-section. Every note he plays feels like it's coming from somewhere in his soul; and when the chorus returns and the song concludes with the piano motif, it is an overwhelming moment.

The Cinema Show: Great chorus and lyrics in the first half of the song. The lyrics tell something along the lines of a modern day Romeo and Juliet. But I'm not here to talk about the lyrics. I'm here to talk about the second half of the song. This rhythm part sums up what Genesis were all about. Symphonic rock with a classical influence. Tony's synth leads carry the song, Mike's bass playing complements the track, and Phil's drumming is top notch. I don't know why Phil Collins isn't more recognized as a drummer. This is an exceptional groove.

Then the album comes to a close with a reprise of Moonlit Knight's intro and some references to British supermarkets. Overall one of the legendary albums of prog, and one that any prog fan or music listener should have in their collection. Essential.

thebig_E | 5/5 |


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