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Genesis – Selling England by the Pound (1973) & The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)

July 5, 2021

[Albums 902 & 903 / 1001]

“I’ve been a big Genesis fan ever since the release of their 1980 album, Duke. Before that, I really didn’t understand any of their work. Too artsy, too intellectual…Phil Collins’ solo career seems to be more commercial and therefore more satisfying, in a narrower way…But I also think Phil Collins works best within the confines of the group, than as a solo artist, and I stress the word artist.”
– Patrick Bateman (American Psycho)

I could listen to Patrick Bateman pontificate about Phil Collins all day.

But unlike Bateman, could I become a big fan of pre-Duke Genesis?

Would I be able to understand their work?

Would I find it too artsy, too intellectual?

And although I’m quite partial to several solo Phil Collins hits, would I agree that Phil works best within the confines of a band?

.

.

I’ve been quite lucky when it comes to finding Phil on vinyl.

No Jacket Required (NJR) for $1? I’ll take that deal at Face Value!

With Selling England By the Pound (SEBTP), I had the good fortune of finding the LP at a flea market for a toonie; which, given current currency exchange rates, would be somewhere in the ballpark of 1 British Pound!

As of yet, I haven’t been able to track down a vinyl copy of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (TLLDOB), and I stress the word yet.

Because after streaming TLLDOB a couple of times, it’s now on my radar.

Or since we’re already swimming in acronyms, due to the strength of the album, Genesis has convinced me all the way up to the ‘Action’ stage of the AIDA (Awareness – Interest – Desire – Action) sales formula.

.

.

If you’ve seen the film, American Psycho, you’ll know Patrick Bateman gets many, many things wrong.

However, in the memorable monologue quoted above, he makes a few valid, if somewhat pretentious, points about Phil Collins & Genesis.

Listening to solo Phil is likely more immediately satisfying. You don’t need a PhD in fine arts to be able to enjoy Sussudio: I agree with Patrick, it’s a great, great song, a personal favorite!

I also don’t think that I fully understand early Genesis; there’s a lot going on within these albums and I’m not sure I always follow.

Perhaps that makes the more complex arrangements heard here less immediately satisfying, but also in a less narrow way?

Or maybe more rewarding in the long-term, because Phil’s skills are optimized when being a part of a group?

In any event, even if SEBTP & TLLDOB are overly artsy or intellectual, that didn’t preclude me from enjoying them.

If anything, being a bit lost while listening makes me want to revisit them both that much sooner.

.

…..

Verbalize the Positive

According to my spreadsheets, I have now heard each of the ‘1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die’ at least twice.

My challenge over the next few months? Find something to say about them!

And a huge thank you to the team at KFLAPH, I was fortunate to receive shot #2 last week as well.

Throw in summer vacation & there’s no shortage of positive to be verbalized!

From → 1970s

28 Comments
  1. My Boss is going to see Genesis in Montreal this fall Geoff. So hopefully that comes through for him. Enjoy your summer my friend as between you adjusting to online teaching as well as you and Wendy online schooling/teaching the kids at home a well needed break is is well earned.
    Cheers as well to the second shot!

    • Much appreciated, Deke – we both really enjoy teaching. But in the summer, we both don’t mind not teaching as well!

      • Everyone needs an inspiration break Geoff. Enjoy your downtime…

  2. jprobichaud permalink

    American Psycho was quite the film and book. I’ll leave it there… except to say I also enjoyed Bateman’s theories on Huey Lewis.

    • Agreed – and although I’d probably choose The Power of Love as their ‘undisputed masterpiece,’ he makes some good points about Hip to Be Square!

  3. That bit from American Psycho made me laugh out loud when I first read it (people miss how funny a book it is, I think) because he’s so wrong and I think is meant to be so wrong in that bit. Add in the bit where a guy gets an axe in the head when he’s sounding off about how he never used to like Iggy Pop and I think BEE is a great rock critic!

    • I haven’t read the book yet – but in the film, if you can get past the gruesome murders, I agree, it’s often hilarious!

  4. Two of my favourite albums

  5. I like Foxtrot best because side-length song about the apocalypse and less drifting instrumental passages, but these two are great too.

    • I could see why Patrick Bateman might consider ‘Supper’s Ready’ to be “too artsy” – but that sounds right up my alley!

  6. I love that scene in American Psycho, I remember laughing out loud at that one, but agreeing with him at the same time.

  7. I read the Bret Easton Ellis book long before I saw the movie, both had impact (different, but still). I hope you find TLLDOB on LP soon. And wait, you’ve heard them all now? Does that mean it’s all over except the final posts? WHAT WILL YOU DO AFTER?

    • I suppose I’ll listen to music from 2005-the present, apparently artists have continued recording!

      • I know, it’s wild! Or maybe there’s an updated book and you could fill in the blanks that way?

      • They’ve done a few revised editions since the 2005 list that I’m going through. I’ll check them out once I’m done, see what I should listen to since 2005 and also learn what apparently no longer has to be heard (the albums that got removed to make room for new ones, while keeping the list at a brand-consistent 1001)!

      • Isn’t that maddening, like, I know music goes forward and new great stuff has been made, but they sell you a book saying “these are the 1001 you need to hear” and then down the line it’s “no, THESE are the 1001 you need to hear…” Haha it’s a perfect job, really, just keep that definition loose, swap things out, and keep selling books!

  8. I’m surprised there’s not a Bateman music blog out there (or maybe there is). It was Bateman that got me checking out Genesis and Huey Lewis & The News… still haven’t completely been bowled over by either, but there’s plenty time.

  9. I liked it when the American Psycho would pontificate about music better than the film itself. I’ve been curious about going back to earlier Genesis since reading Phil’s book. I found A Trick of the Tail on CD for $2 but I haven’t listened to it yet.

    • And apparently these two are Genesis albums #5 & 6 – so the even earlier ones may be even more, to borrow a Patrick Bateman-ism, artsy & intellectual!

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