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4.4 out of 5 stars89
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 11 February 2013
I don't want to go into technicalities, but this remastering is not bringing anything good to this wonderful music. Those who believe that the separation between the various instruments is bettered - are - to my belief, just overwhelmed by their first impression - because such a heavy compression WILL give you that impact... But if they listen long enough I do believe that they would also realise that the depth of the music - the depth of the overall sound-picture is disturbed. Some things isn't meant to be as loud as other things - some instruments is actually meant to be in the background - and so is also some of the vocal parts. This is all lost with such a heavy compression. Volume isn't everything - and if do you want it loud, you would get a much better result just turning up your stereo.

Now this is an older recording, which possesses its own natural charm - and also limitations in the dynamics and clearness - this is 1971 and the sound recording industry did improve rapidly in those years, but trying to force this production into a present sounding recording, just by making it incredible loud, isn't - in my humble opinion, doing anything for the musicality - so personally I do prefer the "Definitive Remasters" to this 2008 remaster.

One can argue that it is a matter of taste - and even more maybe also a matter of how good your stereo are - I personally don't miss any details in the original recording and I believe, as mentioned earlier, that it has its own charm, which is nice.

It hard for me to say if the remix is good or bad - it is probably very fine - but not the remastering. Remastering is meant to bring balance and clarity and not just volume and what's even worse is that they haven't noticed the almost ever present booming and muddy bass frequencies - and that's an remaster engineer's fore and most priority if you ask me.

Other productions has hit the nail on the head - such as for instance The Who album "Who's Next" - that 1995 remix/remastering was like a revelation, which brought out the best in the music - it gained much more punch and clarity without loosing the openness, dynamics and headroom - and that is also a recording from 1971! I also believe that the recent Gentle Giant remasters are very good.

So all I say is; don't throw out your "Definitive Remaster" right away - turn the sound up so it matches the 2008 remaster and then see which one you like best.
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on 22 October 2009
When remastering came along in the 90s, I assumed that vaunted technical improvements were cut and dried - a remastered version surely had to be better than the old out-dated technology version. So I lost no time in acquiring the new, supposedly improved editions, and dispensing with the old ones. Then along came the Genesis 2008 remasters.

By now I'm starting to wonder if remastering is all it's cracked up to be. Is it really improved audio or just a marketing ploy? I was initially excited by the release of the Genesis box sets, especially the 1970-75 one, as this is my favourite Genesis era. However, having become increasingly aware of criticism of the sound achieved through modern remastering techniques: too compressed, undynamic, too loud, too wearing on the ears, too bright, too EQ'd etc I was reluctant to part with the cash for what would after all be my 4th round of Genesis album purchasing (original vinyl, original CD release, 1994 Definitive editions, 2008 remastered editions). Just listing that makes me feel like a sucker!

But curiosity has got the better of me, so I've gone and got a couple of the new releases - Selling England By The Pound and Nursery Cryme - so I can hear for myself whether it's a worthwhile improvement. Have the golden-eared audiophiles got a point, or are they just being grumpy old fusspots? I no longer have the original CD releases of the Genesis albums for comparison, but I still have the remastered so-called `Definitive' editions, so I can listen to these and the latest versions side by side, back to back, back to front, and draw my own conclusion. Now, I do appreciate good quality sound reproduction, but I'm not an overly analytical high-end audiophile. For example, rather than dwelling on the chocolately overtones and cheeky aftertwang, I'd be more likely to be thinking `hmm, sounds good/OK/rubbish.'

So I did my experiment, playing both versions of both albums on my nothing special car stereo while driving along, and also on 2 different and pretty decent home systems. Cloth ears may come into it, but at least my findings can't be blamed on the stereo.

The verdict? Whether due to the remixing or remastering, the sound of the 2008 version is indeed different, seeming louder, brighter and clearer. I perceive more separation between the instruments and between the instruments and vocals. The latter are occasionally more prominent than on the older version. On the downside, the brightness and loudness combine to give the impression of a harsher, perhaps more tinny sound. On the upside, the sense of spaciousness and clarity present the music in a more modern-sounding way, and may add to the appreciation of some musical subtleties.

So it comes down to a matter of taste, and perhaps, habituation. Overall, I'm not so enthused by the new sound to want to rush out and replace all my `definitive' versions with the newer ones, but would have no hesitation to acquire the new versions if coming to the music for the first time.

NB The 4-star rating I give here is for the new sound, not for the quality of the music itself. No collection of classic 70s music or English progressive rock would be complete without these essential 5-star albums.
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on 16 December 2009
How did this random situation occur? 3 chaps from Charterhouse Public School, a child actor and the ubiquitous quiet bearded one, get together and write and record a record of breathtaking imagery, originality and structure? I happened over this album by liberating it from a friend's record collection, it had such an affect on me and still does to this day. I can't think of another album (even from the Gabrielesque period of Genesis) that is like this. It sounds like one would imagine a rock band would had it been armed with electric instrumentation at the turn of the last century.

Ok, so the cover is very Victorian in style, the logo for Genesis for the period being taken from a cocoa tin from the period, but I think this has been produced to compliment the recordings and not the other way round. The first track `The Musical Box' was played right up to Gabriel leaving and was still occasionally played as a medley right up to the band's demise. The subject matter could be described as weird at best and is all the better for it. A dark and delicious seam of humour lay at the heart of Genesis from this period and it is apparent in spades on this album, from a child removing their peer's head with a croquet mallet and a man eating plant to a man who cut's off his own toes and serves them in a restaurant; if this sort of thing offends, stay away.

Nursery Cryme can also be acoustic and delicate (For Absence Friends, Collins and Hackett's first penned effort), loud and aggressive with big fat chords (The Return of the Giant Hogweed) or deal with myth and legend (The Fountain of Salmacis), it's range is wonderful, as is the use of the Mellotron they bought off King Crimson - an early string, flute and brass reproducing keyboard one once described as a `sampler in a drinks cabinet', it's icy and eerie sounds really add to this album. Also of not is Steve Hackett's wonderful guitar work, jumping effortlessly from nimble and deft picking to loud and dazzling, he is a very much under-rated played in this day and age. Mike Rutherford also does some wonderful re-tuned 12 string work, and starts his career with bass pedals played by one's feet and giving a warm rich tone (check out 'Seven Stones' for a good example of this). The real star on this album is Tony Banks, who really was the engine-room for Genesis throughout their career, seemingly effortlessly writing chordal progressions that as so his. Collins provides crisp and intelligent drumming (no brainless tub-thumping here) and Gabriel's slightly rasping vocals and wonderfully strange lyrics make for giving the album a strongly defined feel and flavour.

I return to this on album a regular basis and find it a wonderful and diverting piece of music. Those who write this sort of thing off as pretentious (a label given by ignorant journalists in the late 70s) are clearly missing some fantastic writing and very original music, and in an age where originality is mostly either totally missing, or an excuse for poor material. If you are unfamiliar with this record, I strongly suggest you snap up a copy.
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on 28 April 2007
Couldnt agree more with the previous reviewer. This album and others like selling england were what genesis were all about. The creepy sound and long song lenths 22mins on suppers ready on foxtrot. Weird lyrics and great guitar playing. The more modern genesis got the worse they got appart from no son of mine thats a great song. The peter gabriel albums are stronger and more imaginative and this album is one of their best. Ive got nearly all genesis albums apart from foxtrot ive only just listened to it and its brilliant, but this sticks out, why? because of two songs The Musical Box and Return Of The Giant Hogweed, both creepy and a joy to listen to. The last song on this album is odd but a good ending to the album. If you want to start collecting genesis albums start with either this or selling england as they are both two of the bands best work. Genesis now on tour is great and many people say its not fair that peter gabriel isnt going to be in it. But there was a rumour going round that Peter Gabriel didnt want anything to do with the new tour, but despite that he did create a great band.
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`Nursery Cryme' was recorded at Trident Studios in 1971 and released by Charisma Records the same year. It is the first to feature Steve Hackett and Phil Collins, so kicking-off the classic-era Genesis lineup which continued unchanged until the departure of Peter Gabriel in 1975.

The album features seven pieces, the best-known being the opener `The Musical Box' during which Gabriel exercises his bizarre imagination to weave a sinister horror story of child murder, a back-from-the-dead spirit and repressed sexual urges set in an Edwardian-era country house. Musically however it's a near-masterpiece, one of the band's all-time greats. The album's title and archaic B-horror-movie cover-artwork are inspired by this song.

The rest of the music is technically good, even adventurous and interesting, but (for me, anyway) has always lacked the memorable hooks which made so much of Gabriel-era Genesis output truly great. Other high spots are the closer `The Fountain of Salmacis' and Phil Collins' first outing at the mike, when he sings `For Absent Friends'.

Chris Jones once observed: "Genesis virtually invented their own genre of Edwardian rock", encapsulating precisely the mood of this album and period theme of the songs.

Some controversy rages among Genesis fans as to whether the 2008 remaster is an improvement over previous releases of NC, notably the 1994 Definitive release. For what it's worth, I prefer (as with 'A Trick of the Tail') the Definitive version. Though the sound is brighter on the 2008 release, it suffers from too much `loudness' and excessive compression makes for a soundscape too hollow and shrill; at the same time the drumming is muffled, and the bass too `muddy'. So the 1994 `Definitive' release of this album with better overall dynamics would be my recommendation. True audiophiles (who have the high-end sound equipment) are likely to go for the excellent SACD.
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VINE VOICEon 7 June 2006
"Nursery Cryme" was a significant improvement on the fine "Trespass", but Genesis' manager Tony Smith declared on hearing it that it wouldn't be enough to break the band in the UK. Even though "Trespass" had already topped the charts in Belgium and classical-loving Italy, Smith was right. But it's one of those albums that, once you've discovered Genesis, you have to own, a classic by hindsight.

Where "Trespass" was tentative, "Nursery Cryme" was confident. Acquiring a drummer, Phil Collins, who could propel the band

helped, while Peter Gabriel's penchant for the theatrical emerged here. "The Musical Box" is the prototype for Gabriel's macabre and surreal storytelling, a unique musical structure that unfolds from the nursery lullaby to the dramatic crime. The significance of finding a suitable replacement guitarist for Anthony Phillips is clear here. Steve Hackett recognised that this band didn't need a blues-loving virtuoso, but a team player, someone with the ability to use tone and colour sensitive to the song. Genesis might have been recording long, sometimes mainly instrumental pieces in the 1971 fashion, but they retained a clear focus.

"The Musical Box" is clearly the album's flagship, right down to the album title and cover art, but "The Fountain Of Salmacis" and the triffid-inspired "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed" are almost as prominent. The remaining four tracks, of which "Seven Stones" is the most substantial, are a mix of extremes, the romantic, the comic and the philosophical. The album as a whole though is a triumph.
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on 26 May 2003
I might be slightly biased reviewing this album,with it being one of my all time favourites. Everything from the artwork on the album cover, to the 7 excellent tracks make up this album. The opening track The Musical Box starts off nice & melodic and then bursts into an excellent instrumental,it must be heard.Then there is Harold the Barrel, another 5 min + track who (cut off his toes and served them all for tea), Great Lyrics Great Song.Last but not least is The Fountain Of Salmacis, another 5min + track is Genesis at there very best. It really will be a cryme if it is not in your collection.
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After being sucked in by the wonderful `Foxtrot,' album I thought I'd try another Genesis CD to make sure `Foxtrot,' wasn't just a one off. Well it wasn't; `Nursery Cryme,' is simply marvellous, a rock monster with a few folk passages thrown into the mix. For fans of Yes or King Crimson I can't recommend this album highly enough, with all the mellotron and complex song structures, instrumental talent and lyrical mastery you'd expect.
The opener, and possibly best song `Musical Box,' is amazing, possibly greater even than the fan favourite `Suppers Ready.' With great acoustic intro similar to `Meddle,' era Floyd and a huge energetic section full of great melodies, epic organ and vocal genius.
Another highlight is the classic `Return of Giant Hogweed,' a heavier song about plants destroying humans, musically brilliant of course.
Every song however is wonderful, with a varied mixture of moods from the chilling `Seven Stones,' to the fun `Harold the Barrel.'
If you like prog, heck if you like music... buy this album.
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on 25 May 2013
This is just a review of the DVD 5.1 surround sound version of Nusery Cryme, as I haven't got round to listening to the remastered cd version yet and like most people I don't have a surround sound capable SACD player. But when the DVD sounds this brilliant who cares. Although I don't think Genesis ever made a bad album, I've always rated the Gabriel years as being the best of Genesis, and hearing them in 5.1 surround sound just reinforces that belief. I have maintained from the first 5.1 surround sound disc that I heard that this should surely be the medium of the future and while this doesn't appear to be the case, so it was with immense pleasure that I discovered that the entire Genesis back catalogue had been re-released with the SACD discs now accompanied by the DVD audio discs. So if you like Genesis, or are just a fan of well written songs brilliantly played, and you've got access to a 5.1 capable sound system then this is the Nursery Cryme for you and like me you'll be back in the nursery thinking its a cryme it's taken so long for it to sound so good.
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on 5 February 2006
This is the first album which features the classic line-up of Gabriel, Hackett, Banks, Rutherford and Collins.
The 'public school sound' of Trespass is peppered with working class additions and this brings their creativity to a new height.
'Musical Box' is an extremely imaginative piece, changing in arrangement from acoustic to electric brilliantly and seemlessly. Apparently the lyrics of this piece inspired the excellent(if bizarre!) cover. From the start of the track Gabriel appears to have leadership and his voice rings with a subtlety and passion which seems curious when you reflect on his age at the time. Tony Banks' swathes of dramatic organ are wonderfully effective with Steve Hackett's lead guitar. Something that is also ofetn missed is Gabril's lovely flue playing which goes so well with the Genesis 12-string signature sound.
Throughout this album there are some original moments of brilliance.
Phil Collins does his first ever lead vocal slot for the band on 'For Absent Friends'. Perhaps this was a sign of things to come!
'The Return of the Giant Hogweed' is a wonderful story and is extremely melodromatic and is led by electric guitar (courtesy of new-boy Hackett who clearly shows his ability here).
'Seven Stones' has Gabriel sounding more public school than ever with his lyric 'The old man's guide is chaarnce'. I particularly love the instrumental arrangemntsin this piece. The whole band get a good chance to show off their individual talents and it works so well in the 'whole'. The thing I like most about this song is Tony Banks's effective and swirling mellotron at the end.
'Harrold the Barrel' is a wonderfully eccentrically-delivered song about a guy standing on a windo-ledge thinking of jumping off.
'Harlequin' is an endearing song, but I think it is the least creative on this album(I suppose there had to be one).
However,the real linchpin on this album is the beautiful 'Fountain of Salmacis'. Mchael Rutherford's bass stands out for me as the best thing about this, Genesis' most wonderful of songs. In spite of this, the story, the vocals, the lead guitar, the excellent drumming and Tony Banks' brilliant keyboard playing make it even better and add to the dramatic and overall effect.
Buy this album - you will not regret owning a recording of such magnificence and subtlety.
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