While everyone seems to be downloading music from various legal (and sometimes illegal) sites or streaming from the likes of Deezer and Spotify there is now another higher quality option, for real music fan out there. New kid on the block ‘High Fidelity Pure Audio’ uses Blu-ray technology to deliver an ultra-high quality experience. Just as we thought that the physical product was disappearing it looks as though we’re being asked to reconsider our options.
Towards the end of last year most of the major record companies started to re-release a few of their classic albums on the new ‘High Fidelity Pure Audio’ format. The Velvet Underground’s ‘White Light/White Heat’ and The Rolling Stone’s ‘Let it Bleed’ were both released by Universal last week and this week it’s the turn of the classic Genesis album ‘Selling England by the Pound’. At GIGsoup we’ve decided to re-visit some of these releases and share them with you.
‘Selling England by the Pound’ was the fifth LP from prog-rock group Genesis. It was originally released back in 1973 and was at the time the bands biggest success. It followed straight off the back of the critically acclaimed ‘Foxtrot’ and was the album that enabled them to make the leap from small concert venues to larger audiences where album tracks such as the baroque “Firth of Fifth” and the epic “Cinema Show” became increasingly popular live favourites. More importantly the album also yielded the group’s first British hit, “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)” and from that the success of follow up album ‘The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway’ was inevitable.
The album was released via Charisma Records in Europe and managed to climb to number 3 in the UK charts. It’s a heady mixture of mythical, medieval and modern but above all contains moments of rare beauty and stunning melodies. For many, it is the defining album of the early Genesis years.
Opening track ‘Dancing with the Moonlit Knight’ begins with Gabriel’s incredible acapella before gradually transforming into a momentous rock track. Theatrical storytelling and a frenzy of instrumentation.
‘I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)’ for me is the most timeless track here. From it’s spoken word introduction ‘It’s one o’clock and time for lunch…’ it’s 4:10 of beauty and as fresh today as it was in 1973. The percussion and vocals are so strong it demands to be listened to time and time again and simply hasn’t lost any of its beauty and magic.
‘The Cinema Show’ sounds wonderfully atmospheric and listening to it in this format is a real blessing. The hiss and crackle of old vinyl is replaced by the purist audio and it’s simply quite wonderful. The instrumental increased my heart beat ten-fold and you start to get a real feeling of how it would have sounded in the studio, and at that time. I dare you not to fall in love with Tony Bank’s keyboard skills.
Albums such as ’Selling England by the Pound’ deserve this type of release. It’s classic music that real fans of this genre should own. This album is the basis for so much of what is popular in today’s music scene and it will continue to inspire. If you’re new to it then take your time, enjoy each track and you’ll fall in love with this album. I have, all over again.
The track-listing for ‘Selling England by the Pound’ is as follows…
1. Dancing With The Moonlit Knight
2. I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)
3. Firth Of Fifth
4. More Fool Me
5. The Battle Of Epping Forest
6. After The Ordeal
7. The Cinema Show
8. Aisle Of Plenty
‘Selling England by the Pound’ is available on the new ‘High Fidelity Pure Audio’ format, via Universal Music.