Records That Made History

Genesis – Selling England By The Pound

todayJune 8, 2024 6

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Selling England By The Pound is the fifth studio album by Genesis, released in October 1973 by Charisma Records. It reached No. 3 in the UK and No. 70 in the United States. In February 1974, the single “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)” was released and became the band’s first UK top 30 hit.

The album was recorded in August 1973 following the band’s tour in support of their previous album Foxtrot which had been released in 1972. The band took a short period of time to write new material, which covered various themes such as the loss of English popular culture and the increased American influence, which is reflected in the title. After the release of the album, the group went on tour, where they received an enthusiastic reception from their fans.

Critics and the band gave mixed reviews of the album, although guitarist Steve Hackett said it was his favorite Genesis record. The album went gold in both the UK and the US. Several of the album’s tracks became fan favorites of the group and were included as staples in their live shows in the 80s.

The album was not recorded in a single recording studio or location. The group had some difficulty coming up with musical ideas as keyboardist Tony Banks has admitted. However, the extra studio time Charisma Records gave them allowed the band to take a more leisurely pace by revisiting all of their ideas. The band’s first meetings were held in what journalist Gerry Gilbert described as “a rambling old manor house” in Kingston Upon Thames, Chessington, specifically in the living room, causing neighbors to complain about the noise. Phil Collins recalls that there was no particular difficulty in gathering the material for the album, admitting that the Chessington sessions formed the basis on which the excellent “The Cinema Show” was created.

He had heard the Mahavishnu Orchestra which influenced him to play more complex drum combinations for “Dancing With The Moonlit Knight” as well as elsewhere on the album. Rehearsals then moved to London in a space below the Una Billings School of Dance in Shepherd’s Bush where they further developed “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)”.

Guitarist Steve Hackett had not contributed much to the album due to the breakdown of his first marriage which took place around the same time. He just sounds like he’s playing guitar riffs, which give the album a jazzy feel that’s still very English.

Through this excellent album we I select the beautiful “Dancing With The Moonlit Knight”.

Tracklist

1. Dancing with the Moonlit Knight (8:04)
2. I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) (4:08)
3. Firth of Fifth (9:38)
4. More Fool Me (3:10)
5. The Battle of Epping Forest (11:46)
6. After the Ordeal (4:16)
7. The Cinema Show (11:06)
8. Aisle of Plenty (1:32)

Written by: Dimitris Sigalos

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