Selling England By The Pound - 45th Anniversary

  • Favourite Genesis album although I hadn’t played it for a few months, but the lure of seeing the whole album played live persuaded me to get tickets for Steve Hackett’s next tour.

  • anniversaries of things that came before i was born don't impress me, because i've always considered them old.


    'selling england by the pound' is definitely one of the best genesis albums. firth of fifth is a masterpiece, i know what i like is a great live number, and the cinema show is simply my favourite genesis song. i'm not crazy about the battle of epping forrest, but lately i enjoy it more than i used to. more fool me and after the ordeal aren't exactly masterpieces, but they give the listener a breathe.

  • I don't mind them on this magnificent album, but I could do without IKWIL & MFM (very easily in the case of the latter). On the other hand, I can't do without After the Ordeal - it's a baroque mini-epic, highly tuneful and even joyful, and a perfect lead-in to Cinema Show - always loved it.


    Mr. Roine Stolt seems to agree :)



    Edited once, last by Lazlor ().

  • It's still far from my favourite album but when it's good, it's very good. Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, I Know What I Like, the instrumental section from Firth of Fifth, More Fool Me and The Cinema Show have always hit the right note with me. Superb musicianship (although I do agree with Mike Rutherford who felt that they were in danger of sounding too clever by half with some of the songs) and some top-hole lyric writing from Mr Gabriel.


    However, I've never liked After The Ordeal and consider Aisle Of Plenty to be the worst song they've ever done. Seriously, you end your previous album where the climax of the song recalls the Revelation of St John and the return of the Almighty, dragons coming out of the sea and all that and then you follow it up by closing your next album with a song about the price of groceries in your local supermarket? Give me a break.


    One song I didn't like to begin with and now love to bits is The Battle of Epping Forest. I always felt there was simply too much going on in the song to be digested easily. Maybe it's Nick Davis's remix, I don't know, but it's certainly won me over after all these years.

  • Aisle of Plenty is mostly meant to book-end the album with Moonlit Knight... including its lyrics, that illustrate the piecemeal auctioning off of Old England - until
    Brexit finally came to right all such wrongs, that is (erm - sorry about that :D)


    I like it - love it, actually - although half the time I find myself expecting the Seconds Out Cinema Show ending - which is great too.

  • I knew that Aisle Of Plenty reprised Moonlit Knight musically but I never saw any deeper meaning in the lyrics. Is that your interpretation, Lazlor or has Peter mentioned it in an interview?

  • Seriously, you end your previous album where the climax of the song recalls the Revelation of St John and the return of the Almighty, dragons coming out of the sea and all that and then you follow it up by closing your next album with a song about the price of groceries in your local supermarket? Give me a break.

    For me, ending the previous album with the Revelation and the return of God is exactly why the next should end with supermarket grocery prices! Everyday prosaic normality is the perfect counterpoint to the melodrama of the previous finale.


    I agree it's just there for bookending. I'm not sure about all the stuff regarding the auctioning off of England etc though. I think the track is too slight. And while I don't especially mind the track - the presence of Scenes From A Night's Dream in their canon makes the question of Worst Genesis Track moot - "fine fare discount" and "Tess co-operates" are bloody awful.

    Abandon all reason

  • I knew that Aisle Of Plenty reprised Moonlit Knight musically but I never saw any deeper meaning in the lyrics. Is that your interpretation, Lazlor or has Peter mentioned it in an interview?

    Hey SCD, sorry I took my own sweet time to answer this.


    It's mostly my interpretation of the whole album's theme, in fact (not just Moonlit Knight/Aisle of Plenty). The commodification of just about everything in life that might lend itself to some form of trade, our world's overarching religion.


    Pretty visionary of PG, if you ask me :)

  • Hey SCD, sorry I took my own sweet time to answer this.


    It's mostly my interpretation of the whole album's theme, in fact (not just Moonlit Knight/Aisle of Plenty). The commodification of just about everything in life that might lend itself to some form of trade, our world's overarching religion.


    Pretty visionary of PG, if you ask me :)

    You may yet be onto something. Although sometimes a Grecian urn is simply just that.

  • Am I right in thinking that Hackett used to not participate in live renditions of the Cinema Show instrumental?

    If you refer to the second half (meaning all of the synth solo) then you are right. After the guitar solo, when the 7/8 starts, Steve and Peter would always leave the stage and the remaining song was performed by the trio. The reason for this was neither Steve nor Peter had anything to do during that part.

  • currently reading book by Mike Omer...apologies if this one come up before, but came across this section..


    “I like Genesis,” Zoe said, feeling satisfaction that Tatum’s attempt at patronizing her musical taste was foiled. “I had the cassette of Invisible Touch when I was younger.”

    “I’m sure you did. But I’m talking about Genesis before Peter Gabriel left and everything went to hell. This is Selling England by the Pound, and it’s a masterpiece.”


    While i wouldn't argue with the album being a masterpiece..i may have to take issue with author about everything going to hell! 😂

  • I came across this rather unqique review here:


    I'd say I only agree with half of it, but it made me think. Was Foxtrot a better album, as a whole, i.e. better balanced, as the reviewer writes? Does Selling only stand out due to its three all time classics Firth of fifth, Cinema show and Dancing with the moonlit knight? Did it really mark the end of a era?


    Open for debate ... still think it might be their masterpriece

  • I came across this rather unqique review here:


    I'd say I only agree with half of it, but it made me think. Was Foxtrot a better album, as a whole, i.e. better balanced, as the reviewer writes? Does Selling only stand out due to its three all time classics Firth of fifth, Cinema show and Dancing with the moonlit knight? Did it really mark the end of a era?


    Open for debate ... still think it might be their masterpriece

    I think the band doesn't really have a definitive masterpiece, Mike said it once, they have a string of very solid, strong albums but there isn't an equivalent to The Dark Side of the Moon for Genesis.

    Fans' opinions are split on the subject and even band members' opinions rarely converge on the topic. Trick, is my favorite. not because it is necessarily better, I just developed a connection with that album. Trick though, even being a much more even effort, doesn't have the peaks of SEBTP and those peaks alone are able not only to conceal the weaker parts of the album but to push it up there. Last time I checked on progarchives it was ranking second, after Close to the Edge, as best prog album of all times. In a way in could be seen as the end of an era, it is probably the last album on which the band worked as a unit.

    Edited once, last by Fabrizio ().

  • I came across this rather unqique review here:


    I'd say I only agree with half of it, but it made me think. Was Foxtrot a better album, as a whole, i.e. better balanced, as the reviewer writes? Does Selling only stand out due to its three all time classics Firth of fifth, Cinema show and Dancing with the moonlit knight? Did it really mark the end of a era?


    Open for debate ... still think it might be their masterpriece

    Again, I have to disagree with yet another harsh dismissal of After the Ordeal. But yes I know loads of fans dislike it so anyway, there it is.


    Personally I think SEBTP is far superior to Foxtrot and much more consistent, with Battle being the only weak point for me.

    Abandon all reason