Genesis
Selling England by the Pound


5.0
classic

Review

by sonictheplumber STAFF USER (107 Reviews)
December 13th, 2011 | 2080 replies | 44,384 views


Release Date: 1973 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The pinnacle of the group's career.

17 of 19 thought this review was well written

Everything before Selling England By The Pound was simply build-up, stepping stones if you will. While Genesis had indeed released some great albums that were unlike anything else being released at the time, it seemed as if they were inching closer and closer to perfection yet never actually reaching their goal. Their debut was a complete dud, with Trespass being pretty good, and Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot were great. The band's fanbase was steadily growing larger and larger with each album, and their live shows were gaining increased attendance due to the elaborate and bombastic stageshow. It seemed that Genesis was on the verge of becoming one of the best acts in music, and with Selling England By The Pound, they reached their peak.

Selling England By The Pound more-or-less represents everything that was great about the art-rock/progressive rock movement of the early 70's, combining all of the genres strongpoints into one album. It is filled with flash, bombast, and pomp, yet it never onces becomes pretentious - the lyrics are witty, filled with wordplay and commentary on the band's homeland of England, and the music itself is incredibly tasteful. Whereas in the past the group would often go overboard with its playing style, dipping into the territories of "wankery," on this album they play tastefully and even beautifully at times, yet still manage to reach new levels of complexity and a classical touch as well.

Steve Hackett proves himself as one of the best guitarist of all-time on this record. From his unique finger-tapping style, to his dulcet acoustics, to his solo on "Firth of Fifth," he plays masterfully and always surpises. There are no repeated riffs or over-used techniques, as Hackett is always exciting. Mike Rutherford makes his presence very much known on this album, playing complex and great-sounding basslines all across the album. While on previous albums Rutherford's bass was often something in the background, on tracks like "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" and "The Battle of Epping Forest," the bass is as audible and apparent as Banks' previously dominating keyboards.

Banks' keyboards are still one of the main components of Genesis' music, often leading the songs, yet never dominating them like they had in the past. While other prog keyboardists like Keith Emerson were often too over-the-top and eclipsed the other members of the band, Tony Banks plays tastefully and tactfully, always giving other members a chance to shine, and considering the other musicians in the band are virtuosos of their instrument, this is a good thing. In fact, this tastefulness and style is what separates Banks from many other prog keyboardists - he's obviously great at playing, but he doesn't rub it in the listener's face. Instead, his playing compliments the songs, as opposed to the often assaulting style of the aforementioned Emerson. Yet when time comes for solos, such as in "Firth of Fifth," he knows how to play with the bombast of the genre's other keyboardists.

Peter Gabriel's voice is in top form on Selling England.... His range and distinct style separate him from other prog vocalists of the time, many of which did nothing but sound British. His voice was one of the most unique voices in rock at the time. He demonstrates how subtle and beautiful he can make his voice on tracks like "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" and "The Cinema Show," yet he can burst into bouts of energy and bombast and make his voice as theatrical as he wants to. His stage persona is very much apparent in the recordings themselves, with his voice often being over-the-top, yet he changes tones and styles very quickly, and his vocals always fit the music.

Gabriel isn't the only vocalist though - Phil Collins shows his talent on "More Fool Me," and on each track he displays his drum prowess. By this point, he'd become one of the best drummers in rock, and his fills and rolls are complex and crazy, especially on the lengthier tracks.

Selling England By The Pound isn't just one of the best albums of the progressive rock subgenre, but it transcends its label and ranks as one of the best as all-time. And when you listen to it, it's not hard to see why. It's unique, it has a great sound, it has catchy songs, ("I Know What I Like..." may be the band's first well-written pop song) and it's everything a band should strive for when it makes an album - it takes all of the strongpoints of each preceding album and expands upon them and perfects them. And that's what makes Selling England By The Pound so great.



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user ratings (881)
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Jethro42
December 13th 2011



12052 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

DIGESTING ENGLAND BYYYY THE POUND!!!

BigHans
December 13th 2011



26455 Comments


Dude this review is way too normal

BigHans
December 13th 2011



26455 Comments


its a great review though. Its just that your South of Heaven review is like the best of all time. pos anyway.

Jethro42
December 13th 2011



12052 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Another extremely quality review! Awesome discog to date sir. ProgJect hires if ever you're interested.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 13th 2011



16025 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sweet review

Digging: Katatonia - Kocytean

KILL
December 13th 2011



67177 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

oh dude gonna read this hard just gota eat then

verdict: best review ever made

Jethro42
December 13th 2011



12052 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I strongly suggest you to read it, sonic!

Jethro42
December 13th 2011



12052 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'd rather trust a country man than a townnnnn man
You can judge by his eyes, take a look if you cannnn
He'll smile through his guard
Survival trains harddd

MO
December 13th 2011



17382 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album is phenom, this is a side of sonic I've never really seen but you're dishing out some good reviews. Nice.

Digging: Soundtrack - Turok 2: Seeds of Evil OST

jefflebowski
December 13th 2011



6846 Comments


this is clearly one of sonic's parents writing reviews on his account or something

DarthMann
December 13th 2011



13467 Comments


this album is god

pizzamachine
December 13th 2011



12568 Comments


haha god?

tarkus
December 13th 2011



5560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fuckin great review dude, pos

seedofnothing
December 14th 2011



3425 Comments


Album is so m/

def at least a 4.5/5

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
December 14th 2011



18270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review sonic.

Steve Hackett proves himself as one of the best guitarist of all-time on this record. From his unique finger-tapping style, to his dulcet acoustics, to his solo on "Firth of Fifth," he plays masterfully and always surpises. There are no repeated riffs or over-used techniques, as Hackett is always exciting.


^Fuck yes, Hackett rules.

Digging: Benoit Pioulard - Hymnal Remixes

Xenophanes
Emeritus
December 15th 2011



10556 Comments


This is like, my mom's favorite album



awesome review man

Digging: Saintseneca - Dark Arc

KILL
December 15th 2011



67177 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ur mum rules

KILL
January 18th 2012



67177 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

dude sweet, deserved hard

fsharptrit0ne
January 18th 2012



4628 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ugh dancing with the moonlit knight

KILL
January 18th 2012



67177 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

firth of fifth is the best song ever crafted



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