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




Symphonic Prog

4.64 | 4296 ratings

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3 stars After the strong and consistent Foxtrot, Genesis goes back to the inconsistency of Nursery Cryme with this album. This is a long single album from the days when vinyl was king. That's part of the problem. Compared to Foxtrot, there is filler here and some songs drag on in parts. This marks a beginning for this band in several ways: this went to #3 in the UK charts, now they rub shoulders with Tull, ELP and Yes; this contains the groups first hit single(top 20); and Tony Banks starts using a synthesizer for the first time (an ARP Soloist I believe).

There is one area where this is an improvement over Foxtrot: the sound and production. Much better than any previous album, The Lamb will also sound good but Trick will be an improvement even over it. "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight"(ha! get it?) has a theme which gets reprised at the end of the album. This song doesn't really start to pick up until the Mellotron choir comes in. The organ work and drumming is great. Hackett does some of his best guitar playing with Genesis on this album, including this song. Nice synth playing over halfway. Love the organ going back and forth in the stereo spectrum before the last section comes in. Nice guitar and other sounds in this section. Gabriel's vocals are good here but this is no "Musical Box".

"I Know What I Like" is a good catchy pop/rock song, but not much more; Genesis never sold out: they *always* had a pop side to them. I was never big on the piano intro to "Firth Of Fifth", always thought it went on too long. The main vocal part of the song is great however. Nice phased guitar at one point. The long instrumental section is one of the best things Genesis ever did. Nice flute solo, followed by good synth and organ. "More Fool Me" is pure filler; what a waste of recording tape. "The Battle Of Epping Forest" is too long for it's own good. I've always loved the beginning though, with the drums mixed low and the flute. Never liked the main song too much, always felt it just drags on. Some of the organ work is pretty good. I like the synth and handclaps near the end.

"After The Ordeal" is a great instrumental, I especially like the guitar soloing in the last half after it changes. The flute and synth is a nice touch as well. I never really liked the beginning of "Cinema Show". Must be one of the few times Peter and Phil sing in harmony. Gets a lot better when the rhythm section enters. The 'nah nah' part is pretty good. Approxiamately 5:55 begins one of the greatest instrumental sections in the history of Genesis. Absolutely fantastic, although it does sound like they are trying to compete with Yes and ELP here; nothing on their earlier albums sounded like this. Reprises "Dancing" at the very end. "Aisle Of Plenty"(ha! get it?) reprises "Dancing" as well. Has some cool overdubbed Peters floating in and out of the mix.

I cannot believe this album is so popular when, to my ears at least, both Foxtrot and The Lamb are clearly superior. This was actually my first Gabriel-era Genesis album; I can understand why so many would like it at first. After hearing Foxtrot and Trick over the years, my appreciation for SEPTB has dropped considerably. "I Know" and "More Fool Me" are in no way, shape or form "prog". "Battle" would have been better if it was half it's current length. The most frustrating thing about this album is that it actually contains some of the bands best musical moments(Dancing, Firth, Cinema). Overall, I feel this deserves a 3.5 but I'm going to round it down to 3 stars.

zravkapt | 3/5 |


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