TWO EXCELLENT SIDES on this Charisma Import pressing! This is only the second Hot Stamper copy of Selling England By The Pound to EVER hit our site, and with both sides rating at least A++, it’s a monster! It’s beyond difficult to find good sounding copies of the early Genesis albums, but we managed to pull together enough clean copies to get this shootout going and eventually found a few copies that got the job done. The overall sound is big, open, transparent and tubey.
Anyone who has tried to find good sounding copies of this album knows what a tough task it is. We’ve tried to do this shootout numerous times in the past five years and until this week had only come up with one great copy to show for it. Most of them that we’ve played are just too thin and/or lifeless to let this big production prog work its magic. The domestic copies we’ve heard have been uniformly hopeless, but most Import copies we’ve played haven’t been worth getting excited about either.
Side one is big and spacious with excellent presence. It’s smooth in a good way, free from the edgy quality that wore us out on so many copies. We gave it an A++ grade.
Side two was even better, with the same qualities described above but adding some extra punch to the bottom end. The vocals are breathy and sweet and the overall sound is unusually clean and clear.
This copy was dramatically better than most of them we’ve played. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be a stunning Demo Disc along the lines of the titles in our Top 100 list. I’ve yet to hear a Genesis album that could compete sonically with the best Neil Young, Cat Stevens or Pink Floyd records and this one is no exception. That said, if you’re a fan of this music and you’re tired of dealing with mediocre copies, I imagine you will find this one quite impressive.
Dancing With the Moonlit Knight
I Know What I Like
Firth of Fifth
More Fool Me
The Battle of Epping Forest
After the Ordeal
The Cinema Show
Aisle of Plenty
Genesis hasn’t sacrificed the newfound immediacy of Foxtrot: they’ve married it to their eccentricity, finding ways to infuse it into the delicate whimsy that’s been their calling card since the beginning. This, combined with many overt literary allusions — the Tolkeinisms of the title of “The Battle of Epping Forest” only being the most apparent — gives this album a storybook quality. It plays as a collection of short stories, fables, and fairy tales, and it is also a rock record, which naturally makes it quite extraordinary as a collection, but also as a set of individual songs… the album showcases the band’s narrative force on a small scale as well as large that makes this their arguable high-water mark.