October 7, 2022
October 7, 2022
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GENESIS “NURSERY CRYME” (U.S. Atlantic, 80030) 198? Jacket VG++worn along lower spine, corners. Original Atlantic inner sleeve included. Vinyl VG+ with paper scuffs and hairline scratches.

This was the first album featuring Steve Hackett on guitars and Phil Collins on drums. While Trespass was good, this album really began the streak of prog rock perfection (or near perfection at least) for Genesis.

The Musical Box will always stand out as one of their classics, especially because of the theatrics of the live performances. It’s about a girl and some boy, and for some reason, she kills him with a croquet mallet. She then somehow revives him with a musical box, and he starts to age, feeling a lifetime’s worth of sexual urges. He tries to seduce her, and the girl’s nurse throws the musical box at him which captures them both and seals them away. Those first chords let you know it’ll be quite the ride. I think this song is a little overrated, but that probably has to do with the fact that it was played so often live, and it was the first song like its kind, especially since it opens the album. The presence of Hackett and Collins is definitely felt in this piece; Hackett’s whirlwind, heroic passages and solos are complimented by Collins’s emotional playing. Peter’s vocals are superb and give off the state of the characters (especially at the end, during the seduction).

If The Musical Box was a showcase for the band’s new members’ performance skills, For Absent Friends served to show off the other talents of the newest members; Steve Hackett as a composer and lyricist, and Phil as a lead vocalist. It’s about a male and female widow who meet to talk in the park often. A sweet tune with a nice melody. Short, but heart-warming.

Hogweed is about the actual plant called the Giant Hogweed from Russia that actually had become an invasive species after it was brought to England in the Victorian era. Of course, this song exaggerates the plants’ presence by describing them as attacking mankind. This is an awesome song, showcasing Steve Hackett’s revolutionary tapping. The presence of the flute in the instrumental section is questionable, but it’s a quirky tune. After the main exposition of the song, there’s a cool piano break. Love it. Banks is a hero. And so is Hackett, another cool solo. Peter’s vocals are angsty, and a bit comical. This is great, since they know this is kind of a silly song anyway. And what more can be said about Collins? His driving rumbles at the end are triumphant. A high point of the album.

Seven Stones is probably the lowest point, but it’s not even a bad song. It’s about some old man telling stories or something. The organ and flute back-and-forth is nice, and the vocal harmonies are superb. Not bad, just not a stand-out.

Harold the Barrel is a hilarious tune. The lyrics are really easy to understand. It’s about a man trying to commit suicide, while the townspeople try to get him off a ledge. Phil and Peter sing together, and play a myriad of characters. Kind of pop-y in a way, bouncy piano and bass.

Harlequin is a beautiful track. It once came on in my car as the sun was setting. Perfect. Mainly Mike’s tune, he even sings on it with Phil and Peter. This, and a couple of the previous tracks, may be the last time anyone other than Collins and Gabriel sang on a studio piece. Beautiful picking of the 12-strings, nice background organ and guitar in the chorus.

Fountain of Salmacis is sorely underrated. It’s actually a hint of things to come with a rougher, complex instrumental section. It’s about some mythology, or whatever. When that organ line comes fading in, you know you’re in for it. Beautiful. The harmonies on the chorus are great, with that guitar strum right before the phrase. UGH. Very good. And that instrumental section! Hackett arpeggio mastery, bass driving, drums rolling along, flute working better than on Hogweed. Another vocal section, and back to instrumental, with that ORGAN. Banks is a god. And the end, with the harmony lines and Hackett giving us a triumphant good bye on that guitar. Sublime. I love this track. Probably the best tune on here
Track listing

  • A1The Musical Box
  • A2For Absent Friends
  • A3The Return of the Giant Hogweed
  • B1Seven Stones
  • B2Harold the Barrel
  • B3Harlequin
  • The Fountain of Salmacis