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Selling England By The Pound

Genesis Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)

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The Genesis of the Seventies was a very different group from the Genesis of the Eighties and the Nineties - although not as different as some people would like to think.

Most of those who picked up on Genesis during the Eighties as their succession of hits encircled the globe had only the haziest idea of what had gone before. “In the later years there were people coming to our ... Read more in Amazon's Genesis Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Aug 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Charisma
  • ASIN: B000024E9M
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  Blu-ray Audio
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,102 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Dancing With the Moonlit Knight
2. I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)
3. Firth of Fifth
4. More Fool Me
5. The Battle of Epping Forest
6. After the Ordeal
7. The Cinema Show
8. Aisle of Plenty

Product Description

BBC Review

Following the critical success of Foxtrot, and having the live reputation to secure them gigs aplenty in medium-sized venues, the one thing Genesis lacked was a really successful album to put them up amongst their peers like Yes, and King Crimson. It was time to up their game once more.

Strangely they did this by backtracking. Their work had always contained a pastoral yearning and a sense of wanting to return to past times. Undoubtedly their adherence to this surreal form of nostalgia sprang from their public school backgrounds at Charterhouse, but following Foxtrot's rather obtuse statements about the end of the world, it was a sense of loss for the old order that informed Selling!Hence its title.

The album's opening track 'Dancing With The Moonlit Knight' gives the perfect snapshot of what Genesis were about at this point. Its folk roots gradually morph into Elgar-esque, jazz rock grandeur as the band finally captured their true sound on vinyl. It still retains the creepy sense of Edwardian ghosts in there too.

By this point Collins' jazz-rock drumming was transforming their set pieces into much sprightlier offerings such as the second part to 'Cinema Show' where Gabriel's love of T S Eliot also comes to the fore. It's all much cleverer, and still manages not to be too overbearing, despite the use of words like 'undynal' in ''Firth Of Fifth'' (the puns still kept coming). It also allowed Gabriel to don even more outrageous stage garb. Hackett's work on the latter is awesome, his sound now fully his own; a really rare feat in rock. Even Gabriel's flute now sounded polished. Only 'The Battle Of Epping Forest' seemed out of place, with its comedy values at odds with its violent subject matter.

Banks here plays far more piano and synthesizers were now getting a look in as on the aforementioned 'Cinema Show'. To cap it all, single ''I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)'', with its narrative about small town eccentrics, finally cracked the singles chart for the band. It seemed that the world now finally ready for Genesis. --Chris Jones

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Product Description

GENESIS Selling England By The Pound (1995 UK Definitive Edition Remaster CD issue of the classic 1973 8-track album including I Know What I Like Dancing With The Moonlit Knight Firth Of Fifth & The Battle Of Epping Forest picture sleeve booklet with full lyrics & discography information CASCDX1074)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New to Genesis? Start Here! 21 Sep 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Genesis are on record as saying that they feel they have never produced a definitive album. Maybe, but 'Selling England' is as close as they get. This is their 'Dark Side of the Moon'.
All the elements of Genesis, old and new, are present on this record. Gabriel's voice and quirky, pun filled lyrics are much in evidence. It has Steve Hackett's finest hour in the magnificent solo on 'Firth of Fifth', and Tony Banks similarly shines in the awesome instrumental section of 'The Cinema Show'. Mike Rutherford's powerful rhythmn playing drives 'Cinema Show' and 'Dancing With the Moonlit Knight', and Phil Collins, whose drumming is staggering throughout, has a vocal debut on the light, romantic ballad 'More Fool Me', perhaps a sign of things to come.
This is a powerful, complex yet amazingly accessible and melodic work, lyrically loosely based on the theme of England, past and present. For me personally, Genesis hit their peak with this album, and sustained the quality for 'The Lamb', 'Trick of the Tail' and 'Wind and Wuthering' before starting to balance their art with simpler, more radio friendly ballads and anthems. One of the great rock albums of the Seventies.
Interestingly, Radiohead fans listening to this will hear quite a sizeable influence from this record - the mellotron choirs, 7/4 timing and guitar figures all crop up in 'OK Computer'!
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69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genesis' absolute peak 2 Mar 2007
Format:Audio CD
This is the very peak of Genesis' output. Gabriel's lyrics, the instrumental arrangements, the incredibly clever song structures, the great melodies, all combine to create something utterly moving and magic. The whole mood of this album is quite unlike anything else - a mixture of mythical, medieval and modern; bombast and humour, but above all, beauty.

This is the album on which Tony Banks creates his most magical keyboard soundscapes (but not forgetting to add plenty of fresh, exciting piano), Hackett gets the biggest chance to shine that he ever would on a Genesis album, and Gabriel writes some of his funniest, cleverest and most interesting lyrics, delivering them as only he can. There are some of the most emotionally devastating instrumental moments here on any Genesis album - any album FULL STOP, in fact - for example; Hackett's gut-wrenching guitar solo in 'Firth of Fifth', and Banks' extended keyboard solo at the end of 'The Cinema Show', where his keys create a swirling mass of colourful sound that envelops the listener and seems to come straight from the heart. And amongst all this, Gabriel draws you in with his commentaries on the degeneration of modern England, as well as transporting the listener back to the mythological England that never was.

Nowhere is this more apparent than on the opening track, 'Dancing with the Moonlit Knight', a song with so many twists and turns that you're left gasping for breath at the end, or at least you would be if there were not a two-minute outro of soothing, plucked acoustic guitars and textural sounds from the keyboards and flute.

Next we have 'I Know what I Like (In your Wardrobe)', with another winner of a lyric from Peter and a stomping beat, giving the band its first minor chart success.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surreal, funny and musically brilliant 16 Feb 2004
By Touring Mars VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Produced before Genesis were a singles band, 'Selling England By The Pound' hasn't got as many (if any) really well-known songs (with the possible exception of 'I Know What I Like'), but don't let that put you off. At times, this is Peter Gabriel's Genesis at their best. Note-perfect throughout and full of Gabriel's surreal humour, the lyrics are a real strong point... infact the album's title was taken from a Labour Party manifesto, which claimed that the Tories were 'Selling England By The Pound', and this theme is taken up (immediately) at the beginning of 'Dancing With The Moonlit Knight' (which is effectively the title track)... it begins the album brilliantly, with Gabriel singing unaccompanied "Can you tell me where my country lies?"
Ironically, "I Know What I Like" was Genesis' first 'hit', but didn't pander to popular taste (as they later would do frequently). Rather, it's as eclectic and weird as anything that Gabriel's Genesis are famous for. With crazy lyrics ("There's a future for you in the Fire Escape trade...") and an incredibly catchy chorus, it remains a staple favourite of Genesis fans. But at a mere 4 minutes, (a more conventional song length), it was unusual territory for a band still prone to 8-10 minute tracks.
"Firth Of Fifth" showcases the talents of the musicians in the band, specifically Tony Banks on piano (and keyboards) and the brilliant Steve Hackett on guitar. For me, this is the stand-out track on the album, and summarises what pre-Collins Genesis was all about. "The Battle of Epping Forest" is a typical Gabrielesque tale, but is a tad overlong and takes away some of the impetus of the album. "More Fool Me" is a prelude of things to come, with Phil Collins coming out from behind the drums to lead vocals.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true classic, not to be missed 17 Nov 2007
By Gentlegiantprog TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
All of the first five Genesis albums have a magical quality to them, they all have their own unique personality, and of course, top quality progressive music.
Selling England' is perhaps one of the greatest prog albums ever recorded, and certainly one of the most loved. From the absolutely epic vocal intro of 'Dancing with the Moonlight Knight,' until the full circle ending of 'Aisles of Plenty,' you are enraptured by some great storytelling, and some astounding music.
Selling England contains one of the coolest Genesis songs ever written: 'After the Ordeal,' a short instrumental of ridiculous quality. It also features some of Genesis's most loved material like the keyboard classic 'Cinema Show,' and the long and crazy 'Battle of Epping Forest.'
As far as prog albums go, you'd be hard pressed to find a more popular one, and there's a reason for that; its marvelous! Buy Now!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The high point of Genesis' time with Peter Gabriel
I am listening to Genesis' studio albums in order to trace how their style changed over the years. This to me was the high point of the years in which Peter Gabriel was the... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Bacchus
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
grat
Published 18 days ago by Donald R Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars Their Finest Hour
Their finest hour, sublime album and this blu ray audio is fantastic.
Published 19 days ago by Mr. Richard Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Wardrobes & moonlit knights
I was born in the same year as Peter Gabriel, but it's taken me till now to listen properly to Genesis. Read more
Published 20 days ago by GlynLuke
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As I remember it all those years ago but better!
Published 1 month ago by Paul James
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of Blu Ray Pure Audio Disc format only
I'm assuming anyone interested in this disc is going to know the music already so this is simply a review of the first of the new format that I bought. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Neil Pedliham
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wanting for ALL the others (1970~1977)
Published 1 month ago by Victor Humberto Costa
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Classic album. Nuff said.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It has classical music type tracks
Published 1 month ago by spangles
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Audio
Very good disc from Genesis from 1973 nice sound in HD on this blue-ray audio only disc and over 50 minuets of music
Published 2 months ago by A. Ruffell
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