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Released: Nov. 12, 1971

Rating: 3.783 (average of 10 ratings)

Genre: progressive rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. The Musical Box
  2. For Absent Friends
  3. The Return of the Giant Hogweed
  4. Seven Stones
  5. Harold the Barrel
  6. Harlequin
  7. The Fountain of Salmacis

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 1.5


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart --
peak on U.K. album chart 39

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • The Musical Box

Nursery Cryme
“If Genesis truly established themselves as progressive rockers on Trespass, Nursery Cryme is where their signature persona was unveiled: true English eccentrics, one part Lewis Carroll and one part Syd Barrett, creating a fanciful world that emphasized the band’s instrumental prowess as much as Peter Gabriel’s theatricality.” STE

Part of the new focus can be placed on “two new musicians – Collins on drums and Hackett on guitar – [who] put some kick into the band. They were full of ideas, testing extremes of fingerpicking delicacy and rock riffing, expansiveness and compression.” JP

“Which isn’t to say that all of Nursery Cryme works. There are times when the whimsy is overwhelming, just as there are periods when there’s too much instrumental indulgence, yet there’s a charm to this indulgence, since the group is letting itself run wild.” STE “Compared to what Genesis would become, their third album can sound clumsy. But for once in their career, decorum didn’t always matter.” JP

“Even if they’ve yet to find the furthest reaches of their imagination, part of the charm is hearing them test out its limits, something that does result in genuine masterpieces, as on The Musical Box and The Return of the Giant Hogweed, two epics that dominate the first side of the album and give it its foundation. If the second side isn’t quite as compelling or quite as structured, it doesn’t quite matter because these are the songs that showed what Genesis could do, and they still stand as pinnacles of what the band could achieve.” STE

Review Source(s):
  • STE Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide
  • JP Jon Pareles, Blender magazine. (10/07), pp.118-9.

Related DMDB Links:

previous studio album: Trespass (1970) Genesis’ DMDB page Peter Gabriel’s DMDB page Phil Collins’ DMDB page next studio album: Foxtrot (1972)

Last updated March 4, 2010.