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Selling England By the Pound

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Album Review

Genesis proved that they could rock on Foxtrot but on its follow-up Selling England by the Pound they didn't follow this route, they returned to the English eccentricity of their first records, which wasn't so much a retreat as a consolidation of powers. For even if this eight-track album has no one song that hits as hard as "Watcher of the Skies," Genesis hasn't sacrificed the newfound immediacy of Foxtrot: they've married it to their eccentricity, finding ways to infuse it into the delicate whimsy that's been their calling card since the beginning. This, combined with many overt literary allusions — the Tolkeinisms of the title of "The Battle of Epping Forest" only being the most apparent — gives this album a storybook quality. It plays as a collection of short stories, fables, and fairy tales, and it is also a rock record, which naturally makes it quite extraordinary as a collection, but also as a set of individual songs. Genesis has never been as direct as they've been on the fanciful yet hook-driven "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" — apart from the fluttering flutes in the fade-out, it could easily be mistaken for a glam single — or as achingly fragile as on "More Fool Me," sung by Phil Collins. It's this delicate balance and how the album showcases the band's narrative force on a small scale as well as large that makes this their arguable high-water mark.

Customer Reviews

Quintessential music comes to life

This album is timeless, and this remake is outstanding. More subtleties of these talented geniuses come to light in this epic that should be counted in the greatest albums of all time. This is perhaps the last collective work of the Genesis members before they began to seek their individual paths, and accordingly it brings all of their extraordinary musicianship together!

A beauty of an album

Gabriel-era Genesis... oh, the nostalgia. If there's a cultural zenith that reaches beyond recordings like this, then I've yet to find it. Nothing, and absolutely nothing entertains quite like Gabriel and company did on these earlier forays into their undeniably unique sound. Tighter musically after several albums under their belt, Genesis is able to do here what some groups struggle an entire career to produce consistently: a polished prog rock approach, with a sincerity and origianlity that make the listener feel..."comfortable" is really the best way to describe it. Each track generates a specific feeling within the observer, a great example being the classic "Firth of Fifth". Also contained here is the delightful "I Know Wht I Like (In Your Wardrobe)", arguably one of the most "fun" early Genesis tracks. A great album with the ranks of "Nursery Cryme" and "Foxtrot", "Selling England by the Pound" is a treasure cache of prog rock pleasures, with the musical prowess of one of the genre's most endearing and timeless bands backing it up.

Selling England

A great piece of artistry. Now let's see Lamb Lies Down... Be put in it's proper place - on iTunes...


Formed: 1966 in Godalming, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Genesis started life as a progressive rock band, in the manner of Yes and King Crimson, before a series of membership changes brought about a transformation in their sound, into one of the most successful pop/rock bands of the 1980s and 1990s. In addition, the group has provided a launching pad for the superstardom of members Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins, and star solo careers for members Tony Banks, Michael Rutherford, and Steve Hackett. Their roots go back to 1965 and a pair of rival groups,...
Full Bio
Selling England By the Pound, Genesis
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Arena Rock, Prog-Rock/Art Rock
  • Released: Nov 1973

Customer Ratings


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