Shocked to find Genesis aren’t awful after all

Selling England by the PoundThis is comedy gold. A punk-era NME-style music journalist straight out of Central Casting writes about Genesis’ “Selling England By The Pount”.

He starts out dismissing their music using as many tired clichés as a bad Pendragon album.

And Prog Enemy Number 1, chief target for my scorn, were Genesis. Bloody Genesis. At least Pink Floyd had the saving grace of Syd Barrett who seemed pretty cool until he had to take a load of drugs to cope with being surrounded by the rest of Pink Floyd. But Genesis? Hackett, Gabriel, Collins, Rutherford and Banks? Just look at them. Not a saving grace in sight.

Before admitting tthat he’s ever actually listened to them. So he goes and plays the record…

And you know what? It’s not awful, some of it is actually really good and a lot of it, even though Banks tries his best to spoil everything, is genuinely brilliant. It’s sort of Merrie English folk mixed with a Lloyd Webber Musical which I know you think is a genre that you don’t think you need in your life but it is. It honestly is. Look at the end for the mark I give it out of 10 if you don’t believe me.

So this is where I am. I really like an early Genesis album, I really like Selling England by the Pound.

All of which rather reinforces my suspicion that a whole generation of music writers have been dismissing an entire genre of music based purely on other people’s second-hand opinions, and haven’t actually listened to any of the actual music.

I’m reminded of tthe time when The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis reviewed a Genesis box set and was amazed to find it was full of tunes.

If you are a grown adult, and you don’t question every single cultural prejudice you held when you were 17, you not only risk being a fool, but you will also miss out on much great stuff.

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7 Responses to Shocked to find Genesis aren’t awful after all

  1. When I was in high school, I had a friend who was into Genesis, but strictly the pre-1980s incarnation. I’d known by then that their earlier incarnation was quite adventurous, and we had a fun conversation about how most everyone today thinks of stuff like “Land of Confusion” or all the other pop material, and would probably faint if they heard stuff like “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.” He had great fun messing with people’s heads telling them that Peter Gabriel — yes, THAT Peter Gabriel! — had once been in the band.

    It’s scary that there are adults calling themselves music critics who are not significantly more advanced than the classmates he used to baffle.

  2. Martin Fitzgerald says:

    Unlike a Prog fan to miss the joke

  3. Tim Hall says:

    If you think I’m missing the joke you may be taking this blog post far too seriously.

  4. Synthetase says:

    Jokes that rely too heavily on fallacy or straight up lies in their set-up, before waddling on to the tediously inevitable conclusion are seldom funny. (And I don’t even like Genesis.)

  5. Tim Hall says:

    As I said in another post, I don’t have much time for humour that punches at it’s audiences out-groups and relies on lazy stereotypes for cheap laughs.

  6. PaulE says:

    Jokes can have unintended consequences. Remember Gerald Ratner ?

  7. Tim Hall says:

    Gerald who?

    Precisely….