Nursery Cryme by Genesis

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Nursery Cryme by Genesis
Nursery Cryme by Genesis

Album Released: 1971 (Chart)

Nursery Cryme ::: Artwork

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1.The Musical Box10:30
2.For Absent Friends1:47
3.The Return Of The Giant Hogweed8:10
4.Seven Stones5:10
5.Harold The Barrel3:00
6.Harlequin2:56
7.The Fountain Of Salmacis7:54

Reviews

Steve Hackett joined the group at this point, not that the previous guitarist Anthony Phillips was terrible, he just couldn't handle the stress of live performances.

Genesis also acquired a new drummer, Phil Collins (not recognizable with a near-full head of hair), who later went on to become one of the most popular stars of the 1980's. Just how a major 80's popstar came from rock'n'roll's geekiest band is one of the world's more tantalizing mysteries.

And so Genesis now had what would be their classic line-up. So although this progressive medieval-Folk album sounds much like Trespass, it's about a billion times better! The band not only hit their stride as a collective unit, they also started to write more consistently interesting melodies, had a better handle on instrumentation, and figured out how to write more engaging lyrics. In other words, Nursery Cryme is a bona fide Prog Rock classic.

Phil Collins is awesome here, in ways that were completely unrelated to his 80's career. The way he was able to expertly throw in complicated fill after complicated fill is enough to make my head spin. In particular, listen to his work on “Fountain of Salamacis”.

One of my favorite things about Trespass was Genesis' constant ability to connect parts of a song with a series of crescendos. Genesis hadn't given up that art on Nursery Cryme, but they used it more gracefully. “The Musical Box” is a 10-minute song that only has a couple of major build-ups, but each one seems very well-deserved, usually getting me on the edge of my seat. The first few minutes of that song consists of medieval Folk with sweet pastoral textures and a haunting melody, gently delivered by Peter Gabriel. But Steve Hackett ups the ante somewhere in the middle by delivering some gruff electric guitar passages, then Tony Banks comes forth with some bouncy organ chords. In short, its ups are exciting and its downs are gorgeous.

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by Reviewer: Don Ignacio (blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews)
8th November 2014


Although Genesis had humble beginnings, by the time they decided to take the 'progressive' route they had almost everything they needed to succeed ... the brains, the creativity, and the ideas. And Nursery Cryme marks the point at which they gained another important factor in their development - professional playing.

Tony Banks was an extremely competent keyboardist, and thus was able to move the band forward, but it was the arrival of Phil Collins and Steve Hackett on drumming and guitar respectively, that represented the biggest improvement. Such newly-acquired instrumental competence enabled the band to develop their wildest musical ideas, and that - combined with Peter Gabriel's inclination for mystical sometimes absurdist motifs - resulted in Nursery Cryme, the breakthrough Genesis album.

The whole Prog schtick is mostly reserved for three of the seven songs here - the 'longer' ones. Firstly, there's "The Musical Box", a psychological thriller of sorts, whose story is told in the liner notes, where - apparently - the girl kills the guy with a croquet mallet, and he comes back from the dead to get his revenge as she finds his musical box.

Whatever, it's a nutty story anyway, but the lyrics merely paint the background to the story - it's the music that captivates me most ... everything starts slowly and quietly, but the guitar picking and basslines are truly ominous, and Gabriel wastes no effort in making things seem even more ominous. Then soon enough, the band takes off during a couple of faster rocking sections, which constrast heavily with sudden quiet sections again. All in all, the song is fantastic, and when it reaches its inevitable finale, I'm completely astonished.

Before the other 'epic', there's a short acoustic ballad called "For Absent Friends" with lead vocals by Phil Collins, whose singing is often maligned for reasons I've never understood. But as far as acoustic ballads go, this one is a definite beauty. Even so, it's not acoustic ballads we're here for ...

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by Reviewer: Fernando Canto (blogging at Sir Mustapha's Album Reviews [Defunct])
25th March 2016


Genesis’ third album, which - like their previous two - had no chart success (except in Italy, where it reportedly went to No.4 in the charts), continues with long story-telling songs of the kind developed on their previous album Trespass.

Like most progressive rock albums, I found this album a bit difficult to warm to, more so than Trespass (which I still prefer), but there's much to like here, such as "The Musical Box" (about a girl in Victorian times, who cuts off a boy's head with a croquet mallet, only to find the boy return through a music box), "The Return of the Giant Hogweed (supposedly about the spread of a toxic plant brought from Russia to England by a Victorian explorer), and the concluding "The Fountain of Salmacis", with lyrics taken from Greek mythology, all of which contain some lovely passages, although only "Salmacis" really grabs me consistently.

On the other hand, the more straight-forward "Harold the Barrel", which tells of a man threatening to jump off a building, is delightfully catchy.

This album also sees Phil Collins’ debut with the band (and that of Steve Hackett too, completing the classic line-up), and he has his first track as lead vocalist with the short and gentle “For Absent Friends”.

As can be seen, the song topics are a bit grim in a fairytale sort of way, which was really the style of Gabriel-era Genesis, amd I don't consider this to be the best the band has done overall. Still, although it doesn't always grab me, there's much to like on Nursery Cryme.

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by Reviewer: The Doctor
1st May 2016


Nursery Cryme was the first album with Collins and Hackett onboard, both put to excellent use on the opening "The Musical Box".

The track is a strange epic tale that makes great use of dynamics. Collins' driving percussion and Hackett's unique guitar tones serve the loud portions especially well, particularly the driving section following Gabriel's line and I touch ... the wall!. Hackett even beats Eddie Vedder-Halen to the punch on the two-handed guitar tapping thing on this one.

"The Return of the Giant Hogweed" is the other epic highlight, thanks to its 'aggressive' mood. And there's also a couple of notable short tracks in "For Absent Friends" (probably intended as a throwaway, but it's actually quite a nice acoustic piece with surprisingly prominent Collins vocals), along with "Harold the Barrel", a great story-song featuring Gabriel changing his voice to imitate the various characters in the story.

The only problem is that the album ends on a rather flat note. "Harlequin" is okay, but doesn't really do anything (at least "For Absent Friends" was less than 2 minutes long), and "The Fountain of Salmacis" is a dull exercise in Greek mythology that should've been left in the history books.

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by Reviewer: Cole Reviews
21st April 2017