Genesis
Selling England by the Pound


5.0
classic

Review

by e210013 USER (121 Reviews)
July 17th, 2015 | 27 replies


Release Date: 1973 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The peak of their musical career and one of the best albums ever made.

“Selling England By The Pound” is the fifth studio album by Genesis and was released in 1973. The line up on the album is the best of the band, with Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins.


Following the critical success of their previous two studio works, “Nursery Crime” and “Foxtrot”, the only thing that lacked to Genesis was a real successful album to put them up amongst their peers like Yes and King Crimson. While “Foxtrot” had still sounded as if the band was yet searching for a certain direction, and although the album contained their all time masterpiece “Supper’s Ready”, on “Selling England By The Pound” they presented as a very solid band. You could feel that the band had grown and matured during their five years of existence and how the music had evolved from the gained experience, especially if we compare it with their debut, “From Genesis To Revelation”.

“Selling England By The Pound” is a great album where practically all the things are perfect. We can find on it a confluence of atmospheric, bombastic and yet clever lyrics (although usually Gabriel’s lyrics are in general a bit incomprehensible), catchy melodies, complicated song structures and gorgeous arrangements.

Banks playing on this album shows is virtuosity. He uses synthesizers for the first time, but despite that, he still manages to incorporate more piano on this album than in other works in Genesis catalogue. Hackett playing a major role in the sound of the band turned it into the most guitar heavy album in all Genesis career. Gabriel reached the pinnacle of his vocal work in the band. Finally, Rutherford and Collins formed a very solid foundation to the album on the bass and drum sections, complementing perfectly well the solo works of their remaining band companions.

The album combines a collection of short stories, fables and fairy tales, who retaining the ambient and the yearning of the ancient medieval England. It contains several pieces of music that would become central to Genesis live performances, for the band members and even for ex-band members themselves, when performed on live concerts of the band, as solo live shows or even on new studio versions, like Hackett usually do.

Despite being a well balanced album there are some tracks that deserve special mention such as “Dancing With The Moonlit Knight”, “Firth Of Fifth” and “The Cinema Show”. These are the three best tracks on the album, are some of all time favourite Genesis songs, to fans, critics and even for the band members themselves, and are also some of the most performed live tracks by them. They’re all very consensual tracks for everybody, about whom much has already been written before, and so I’m not going to write more about them.

“I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)” and “The Battle Of Epping Forest” are the following tracks in the next quality level. Despite the first be a consensual track like the three previous, although not as good, “The Battle Of Epping Forest” isn’t. Many dislike and consider it one of the weak points of the album. I sincerely don’t share that opinion. I think “The Battle Of Epping Forest” attempts to have a go at a more realistic and modern topic, namely gang wars, and Gabriel pulls out a legion of gangster voices, making on it a truly impressive vocal work.

“After The Ordeal” is a delightful track and it’s clearly a Hackett track. It’s a very calm and serene piece based around a beautiful acoustic guitar work that brings a beautiful medieval inclusion onto the album.

“More Fool Me” represents Collins’ second lead vocal performance in Genesis after “For Absent Friends” on “Nursery Crime”. This is for many the Achilles heel of the album. But, I sincerely think that this is a pretty acoustic love ballad with a distinct memorable melody that doesn’t spoil the general quality of the album.

“Aisle Of Plenty” is the shortest track on the album and basically is the “Dancing With The Moonlit Knight” reprise with the intention of closing the album with the same initial mood.


Conclusion: “Selling England By The Pound” is a very special album in all Genesis discography, and for many, it represents the pinnacle of Genesis musical career. It became also the favourite Genesis album of Banks. For me, it stands as a solid rock in progressive rock history and is a perfect companion to other classic progressive rock albums such as “Close To The Edge” of Yes, “Wish You Were Here” of Pink Floyd, “In The Court Of The Crimson King” of King Crimson and “Thick As A Brick” of Jethro Tull. Although their previous album “Foxtrot” is perhaps a more emotional album with more feeling, and has also “Supper’s Ready” on it, and their follow up album “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” is a far more ambitious work, I still prefer listen to “Selling England By The Pound”.


Best tracks: “Dancing With The Moonlit Knight”, “Firth Of Fifth” and “The Cinema Show”.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



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user ratings (1519)
4.5
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
miketunneyiscool123
July 17th 2015


5523 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Why another 5? Why another review? We've got plenty of those around here, and yours isn't any different and written half as good.



Have a neg.

miketunneyiscool123
July 17th 2015


5523 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Let's get to that mothafuckin' bat mobile SoccerRiot.

JWT155
July 17th 2015


14440 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Albums been around for decades and some of the reviews on it are years old, who cares if someone wants to review it again and put their 2 cents in?

MrSirLordGentleman
July 17th 2015


12745 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, there's nothing wrong with another review for this, but still the review is pretty bad. Still don't get the whole tracklist paragraph thing

e210013
July 17th 2015


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

In the first place, this is my first review in this site or in any site. In the second place, this is a very special album to me. It was my first purchase in the distant year of 1975, probably an year when many of you weren't born yet. In the third place, it was my only album during several months because I had no more money to buy another album. So, it was listened during many months, several times per day. Remember that at the time there was no internet. So, I reafirm that this is and always will be a very special album to me. Despite thousands of reviews about it, I couldn't begin by colaboration on this site without beginning with it. So, my apologies for my review be so emotional with the album that brought me to the world of great music.

By the other hand, I know that this is a generalist site and so I don't expect everyone to like what I love and what I write. My only intentions are to spread the good muisic during the times, in my opinion, by as many people as possible, where they agree or not with me.

In relation to the track list, it's mentioned above and al the tracks are briefly mentioned during the review, as you can see.

My intention on almost my reviews is mention the line up, the track list, a kind of an introduction to band and to the album, a shortly mention about the tracks, track by track, and finally my conclusion of it.

I hope that you can understand what I'm intended to do in this site. My intentions are to review almost of my two thousand records of my collection, at the time, and if I get someone interested for some of them I'll be very happy and I will give my time for weel spent.

JWT155
July 17th 2015


14440 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'm assuming either English is not your first language or your are full of BS about purchasing this back in '75, no way your writing is that bad if you are 40+ years old and English speaking and literate. That being said, if English is not your first language then your review is not that bad, God knows i couldn't put together 2 sentences in Spanish let alone a music review and I took Spanish for 8 years.

MrSirLordGentleman
July 17th 2015


12745 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

People in Sputnik love this album so don't worry, you're not alone in that.



Just try to fix a little bit the format, there's no need for a tracklist paragraph since there is a tracklist button for every album, also, if you want to list the band members there's is no need to list every single instrument they play on each song for example. Since you seem to prefer longer reviews (which is fine, it is your style ) try not to add these things that will only make an already long review to seem tedious to read for most people.



Also, as an advice, try not to talk about how every track sounds, you can talk about the best or worse moments of an album, of course, but also try to focus more on how the album flows as a whole instead of reviewing track by track.



Finally, try to do just one review per day, it is like an unwritten rule in Sputnik, since more of your reviews could push other people's reviews out of the front page too quickly and we all want our reviews to be checked



If english isn't your first language, don't worry, it isn't mine either, just keep practizing and you'll do it better next time. Try reading other people's reviews, specially the staff ones, they might help you to write even better



But in the end of the day you have a nice musical taste and it seems that you really love music, so you already have what's more important. More practice is the only thing you really need, good luck ;]

elcrawfodor
July 17th 2015


1264 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, there are lots and lots of grammar mistakes here that don't sound like they're coming from someone who grew up with the language. Like JWT said though, if your first language isn't English it's understandable and much better than anything I could write in Spanish.



Actual constructive criticism since they're not giving it to you: abandon the track by track format and talk about the album as a collective whole. Imagine if someone reviewed a movie by just describing each individual scene. Aside from the whole spoilers issue, it would be like hearing a fourth-hand account of the film instead of actually seeing it. Reviewing should never be summarizing. Also, while including the line-up is understandable, the site already has the track list up that users can click on (right below your score on the review) so don't worry about including that.

Ryus
July 17th 2015


17821 Comments


gd album

JWT155
July 17th 2015


14440 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I haven't written many reviews (I'm pretty critical on my writing) but I tend to listen to a record, see what emotions, events, people that it resonates with me and then write a review with this in mind. For instance, i love Third eye blind's self titled record, it reminds me of summer, nostalgia, the 90's, long lost friends, past relationships, etc. I would try to incorporate these emotions and themes not only with the music but how it affects me, the listener. Remember, a review isn't just about the album/band and the music, it's how it affects you as well.



This album reminds me of my Uncles who grew up with this stuff. I'd prob begin a review of this by talking about how when I was young (8 or 9) how i stumbled into my Uncles basement, found his old dusty record collection, was fascinated by the vinyl artwork and this event was my first exposure to Genesis.

e210013
July 17th 2015


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for your help. Yes I've more than 40 years, and yes my first language isn't surely English. I'm a latin guy, Portuguese, and so, my mother tongue is very different from English. In my school time the English wasn't either the first foreign language to be learned in the school, and for so many years I didn't have much contact with that language. So, patience with my writing and I expect to be beter all over the time. However, my intents are to spread the good bands and their albums, especially for those who don't know them, yet.

JWT155
July 17th 2015


14440 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Personally, use that point of view in your reviews! A review isn't just about the music but yourself as well. it seems like you've has a vast different experience, both in age and geographical location in regards to music and your exposure to it. A good review/piece of writing should create good imagery. Maybe you bought this on vinyl in 75, why don't you share being 13 years old in a small latin town waiting for this on vinyl to appear at your local record store. you have a unique point of view, share it!

SCREAM!
July 17th 2015


15756 Comments


It's a review not an autobiography

elcrawfodor
July 17th 2015


1264 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you're looking for how to incorporate yourself into a review, read through mynameischan's reviews or SowingSeason's review of Deja Entendu. That being said, be limited in how you use it and make sure you have a good grip on talking about the music before you seemlessly put yourself in there, too.

argonaut
July 17th 2015


818 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@e210013, I agree with many of the others' complaints about the review. There's good stuff here though, so take the advice to heart and your reviews will improve over time. Great choice on this album though, I think this one may be the greatest prog rock album ever.

JWT155
July 17th 2015


14440 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'll agree that a review should always be about the music, but in cases like this where it's an album that's been reviewed a ton, putting some personality into a review does separate you from the pack and can make your review more interesting.

Pch101
July 17th 2015


115 Comments


A gentle suggestion: If this album is part of the soundtrack to your life and you bought it when it was relatively new, then it might be interesting to hear how this fit into the world around you during that point in time. We don't need to necessarily hear about every gory detail of your personal life, but knowing how the music shaped the world around you and/or your place in it could be engaging.

As an alternative, you could provide a sort of now/then comparison, contrasting how it seemed back in the day versus how it looks now. Is it more relevant? less relevant? the same? different? etc.

And you get credit for writing in a second language.

sonictheplumber
July 17th 2015


10471 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i know what i like

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
July 18th 2015


19068 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it's one o'clock and time for lunch



Digging: Lightning Bolt - Sonic Citadel

argonaut
July 18th 2015


818 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

da dum da dum









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