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Thread: Is Genesis "Selling England by the Pound" the most perfect Prog album ever?

  1. #1

    Is Genesis "Selling England by the Pound" the most perfect Prog album ever?

    Inspired by recent discussions on Prog, last night I sat down to listen to "Selling England..." After listening to the entire LP, beginning-to-end, I found myself marvelling at this masterpiece. I wasn't able to find a single weak moment on it (okay, maybe Phil Collins's singing at the end of side one). Everything sounded perfect, perfectly composed, perfectly played, with lot of conviction and passion. A rare bird indeed.

    Not only that, but the overall sound of the LP is so magnificent, so sweet, with stupendous bass and crushing drums. I don't care much for Steve Wilson's remaster -- sounds bleached when compared side by side to the original LP.

    I struggle to recall a Prog album in my meagre collection that would be as perfect as this one. Curious to hear what others have to offer as the most perfect Prog album (there will no doubt be a huge disagreement with my choice).

  2. #2
    Nope

  3. #3
    Don’t blame SW for the remix/remaster, he had nothing to do with it !

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    I don't recall Wilson getting his hands on any Genesis albums.... But yeah, this is about as perfect a prog album as you can get. One of them...

  6. #6
    It doesn't have to be "perfect" to be regarded as magnificent and certainly one of the cornerstone progressive rock albums of all time. I don't understand this need to talk in absolutes, both negatively and positively. It has some weak spots--More Fool Me, the way too wordy,busy and meandering Epping Forest. I think Trick of the Tail is a stronger overall album. Lets just enjoy the greatness without the burden of claimed "perfection".
    Last edited by DocProgger; 08-29-2018 at 12:51 PM.

  7. #7
    Yes. I would put it at the top of the very best prog albums ever.

    I'm not too sure about Epping Forest though. Too wordy, and doesn't really have a good high point of anticipation.

  8. #8
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    Nah, really really good though.

    Close to the Edge ( even the Wilson-ified )
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
    -- Aristotle
    Nostalgia, you know, ain't what it used to be. Furthermore, they tells me, it never was.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Man In The Mountain View Post
    Yes. I would put it at the top of the very best prog albums ever.

    I'm not too sure about Epping Forest though. Too wordy, and doesn't really have a good high point of anticipation.
    I used to think Epping Forest is a dud. But then listening to it intently last night, well, it is just perfect. Everything on that album is very musical, melodic, rich, elaborate, executed with passion. My personal favourite is "After the Ordeal". I can't recall ever hearing music like that, from any composer/band.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by markwoll View Post
    Nah, really really good though.

    Close to the Edge ( even the Wilson-ified )
    Yeah, I was thinking about Close to the Edge too. It appears very close to perfection. Not a weak moment on it.

    Still, doesn't do anything for me. Laves me totally cold. Go figure.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by DocProgger View Post
    It doesn't have to be "perfect" to be regarded as magnificent and certainly one of the cornerstone progressive rock albums of all time. I don't understand this need to talk in absolutes, both negatively and positively. It has some weak spots--More Fool Me, the way too wordy and meandering Epping Forest. I think Trick of the Tail is a stronger overall album. Lets just enjoy the greatness without the burden of claimed "perfection".
    Oh c'mon. Throw me a bone here. Can't a guy have a little fun without being constantly reminded how everything realistically has to be fully relativized? I wanna have my absolutes!

  12. #12
    The answer to your question is: sure, why not? It is a matter of taste obviously, but this album belongs to the core of 20-30 albums that one can refer to as the most defining, influential and "perfect" of the genre.

    But, taking in mind what you've been writing in the other thread you started, I would suggest you avoid three common mistakes that at least I - and I believe many others - have made in the past.

    1. Progressive rock is not just symphonic-prog. The range is far, far wider than what Genesis or ELP did. This is just a slice of the pie.

    2. Progressive Rock is not just a UK phenomenon. There were huge musicians in other parts of the planet, actually all over the planet, that were equally good.

    3. Progressive rock did not stop in 1976. There is a continuity in ambitious, adventurous rock music that reaches our own days.

    But the main misconception is the first. If you are determined to explore progressive music in this wider sense, you'll be surprised to discover a lot of music that reached the same heights that Genesis did. Stick around, there are people here with immense knowledge and passion for the music, who can help you in such an exploration. Obviously if you are willing to do it.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    I don't recall Wilson getting his hands on any Genesis albums.... But yeah, this is about as perfect a prog album as you can get. One of them...
    Whichever is the 2008 remaster (I thought it was Wilson, but could easily be wrong), I find it bleached and devoid of the grandiosity that the original LP has. Yes, sounds clearer, cleaner, instruments and vocals are more etched, but to the detriment of the musical substance.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    The answer to your question is: sure, why not? It is a matter of taste obviously, but this album belongs to the core of 20-30 albums that one can refer to as the most defining, influential and "perfect" of the genre.

    But, taking in mind what you've been writing in the other thread you started, I would suggest you avoid three common mistakes that at least I - and I believe many others - have made in the past.

    1. Progressive rock is not just symphonic-prog. The range is far, far wider than what Genesis or ELP did. This is just a slice of the pie.

    2. Progressive Rock is not just a UK phenomenon. There were huge musicians in other parts of the planet, actually all over the planet, that were equally good.

    3. Progressive rock did not stop in 1976. There is a continuity in ambitious, adventurous rock music that reaches our own days.

    But the main misconception is the first. If you are determined to explore progressive music in this wider sense, you'll be surprised to discover a lot of music that reached the same heights that Genesis did. Stick around, there are people here with immense knowledge and passion for the music, who can help you in such an exploration. Obviously if you are willing to do it.
    Good points. I took extra care to emphasize the fact that I've reached this conclusion based on my meagre collection of Prog music. Obviously, other unexplored gems abound. Which is why it's great to be the member of the community of knowledgeable people who can show us how the other side lives.

  15. #15
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    I don't recall Wilson getting his hands on any Genesis albums....
    Ste'-ven Wil'-son, n.: Synonym for "remix."

    Quote Originally Posted by Bartellb View Post
    I love Epping. One of my favorite Gabriel vocal performances. It's "wordiness" and the overall "business" and energy of it is a good balance to the mostly mellowed out and mostly instrumental remainder of side two.
    Ditto. That busyness and overegged punny verbiage is a feature, not a bug.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Bartellb View Post
    The album is not perfect but FoF is as close to perfection as anything they did.
    I love Epping. One of my favorite Gabriel vocal performances. It's "wordiness" and the overall "business" and energy of it is a good balance to the mostly mellowed out and mostly instrumental remainder of side two.
    The music on Epping is phenomenal. Super inventive containing high dosage of extra beautiful melodies that keep chasing each other, much to listener's delight

  17. #17
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feldman View Post
    Is Genesis "Selling England by the Pound" the most perfect Prog album ever?
    It obviously is for you!
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    It obviously is for you!
    So far. But I remain open to finding an album I've not heard yet that could top Selling England. Hence this thread...

  19. #19
    Epping Forest is brilliant.

  20. #20
    I can see how some might feel it is. I'm not a big fan of More Fool Me, Epping Forest, or even After the Ordeal. They're OK, but I tend to lose focus during this stretch. I have a CDR that omits these tracks and it is probably my favorite Genesis album with these tracks gone. The stuff I like on this album, I LOVE! But for most perfect Prog album, I personally look to other albums.

    Bill

  21. #21
    Member zravkapt's Avatar
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    Nope. Any album with "More Fool Me" on it is far from perfect...IMO.
    The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off

  22. #22
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    Not my most fave album, I'd rate Trick and Wind higher but that's just me!

  23. #23
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feldman View Post
    So far. But I remain open to finding an album I've not heard yet that could top Selling England. Hence this thread...
    Once you pronounce something as 'the most perfect', that mindset alone will likely prevent you from finding something else you like as much.

    'How can xxx possibly top Selling England, the album I have chosen as my most perfect album ever? ....'
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  24. #24
    I rate UK - Danger Money higher

  25. #25
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    IMO its the best Genesis album, but prog is a broad genre, and symph is only one of the directions.

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