Selling England by the Poundby Genesis
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.
- Release Date:
- Emi Europe Generic
Performance CreditsGenesis Primary Artist
Phil Collins Percussion,Drums,Vocals,Background Vocals
Peter Gabriel Flute,Percussion,Oboe,Vocals
Steve Hackett Bass,Guitar,Electric Guitar
Tony Banks Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,12-string Guitar
Mike Rutherford Bass,Guitar,Sitar,12-string Guitar,Electric Sitar
Technical CreditsPhil Collins Composer
Peter Gabriel Composer
Genesis Producer,Audio Production
Steve Hackett Composer
Tony Banks Composer
John Burns Producer,Audio Production
Rhett Davies Engineer
Mike Rutherford Composer
Betty Swanwick Paintings
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
From the lyrics to the arrangments, this work is among the best thematic albums ever made. Didn't have the audience The Wall did, but its not because of its quality, but due to the timing. Pick this one up!
Genesis is in top form here and this album is a absolute classic. A must have CD.
One of my favorite albums by Genesis. "Dancing With The Moonlit Knigth", "Firth Of Fifth" and "The Cinema Show" are one of the greatest Genesis songs i ever heard in my life, Extremely Recommended!
This is by far my favorite Genesis material. I am a Guatemalan and a non-musician but I understand this album. Although I admire Gabriel and Collins (the drummer, not the post-Gabriel band leader), not enough credit has been given to Banks. In my opinion there is no ''Selling England..'' wihtout Banks. Another thing, please listen to the last two minutes of ''Dancing with ..'' (tack 1) really, really loud.
Listen to this album, or any album made by Genesis before the 80's, when they were corrupted with sappy pop tunes like, Abacab, Invisible touch or Illegal Alien. The instrumentation and notes are a work of art, especially - I know what I like (in your wardrobe). I picked up this CD yesterday, only to be reminded how good they were. Its a shame they had to change with the times.
If the subsequent ''Lamb lies down'' was intended as a transatlantic work both in terms of style and lyrical content, then ''Selling England'' is a culmination of their hitherto quintessentially English style. Gabriel's lyrics, ever descriptive, take in Olde English heraldry, garden lawnmowers, East End London gangfights and Peak Freans Family Assortment biscuits. PG himself performed the numbers live in a Queen Boadecia costume at the time. The music itself is at turns both atmospheric / bombastic / highly melodic, with surprisingly little in the way of extended instrumentals, the exception being ''The Cinema Show''. Also noteworthy for Phil Collins' vocal debut on ''More Fool Me'', in which the similarities between his and Gabriel's voice are readily apparent. Overall then, a well crafted, excellent album which has dated well and deserves to be right up there in the Genesis canon. But don't take my word for it !
The first Gabriel era album I picked up was ''Selling England by the Pound'' and I could not believe what I had heard, so maybe I have a bit of a soft spot for this album, but when compared to the rest of their work, I still feel it is the best album they did with Peter. The reason I feel this album is superior to the ''Lamb'' is that it seems to reflect everybody's input, not just one or two people (While the ''Lamb'' is certainly Gabriel's most audacious conceptual undertaking to date, I think the trials and tribulations of creating the album was a major factor in his split). Almost every song is a gem on this album, my favorite is ''Dancing with the Moonlit Knight.'' I could even see ''The Battle of Epping Forest'' as the lyrical predecessor to the ''Lamb'' with its attempts at depicting more down-to-earth occurrences, such as gang fighting, etc. I don't think Steve Hackett ever played better on a Genesis album than on this one, his ''Firth of Fifth'' solo is amazing, as is Tony Banks's solo. Everybody really shines on this album, and this one was a launching pad for their success with the chart success of ''I Know What I Like.'' If you know what you like, than definitely pick up this album.