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Selling England by the Pound is the fifth Genesis album, released in October 1973 on Charisma Records. It reached number 3 in the UK and number 70 in the U.S. A single from the album, "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" was released in February 1974 and became the band's first top 30 hit in the UK.
The album was recorded in August 1973. The band set aside a short period of time to write new material, which covered a number of themes, including the loss of English folk culture and an increased American influence, which was reflected in the title. The album cover is a painting by Betty Swanwick titled The Dream. Swanwick had designed posters for London Transport between the 1930s and 1950s. The original painting did not feature a lawn mower; the band had Swanwick add it later as an allusion to the song "I Know What I Like."
All of the songs are fantastic but Firth of Fifth is my favourite. Soaring, almost church-like, holy music with a guitat melody which transcends it is 100% joy. Hackett has spoken favourably about his contributions to the song, saying "it'll always be twinned with me, and I still enjoy playing it. It's a great melody for guitar." What a record.
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