The first days of Genesis spoke of relentless touring across the UK, performing nearly 300 shows in 1970 and 1971 alone as they built up a following on stage and on album. Their first US performances were in late 1972, but it took another year before they finally made their US chart debut. When did that happen Sell England by the pound, released on October 12, 1973, bowed out on the Billboard 200 on December 15.
The group had missed the charts at home with the 1970s Intrusionand the following year Nursery Crimea did not make bestsellers until 1974, by which time they were much better known. But Foxtrot was a No. 12 hit in the UK and the Genesis Live set became their first domestic top 10 album, at No. 9.
So the expectations for Sell England were high in the UK, and it did not disappoint, entering the chart at its peak at No. 3 behind Slade’s Sladest and Gilbert O’Sullivan I’m a writer not a fighter. The Genesis album spent four consecutive weeks in the top 10 and 21 overall.
Pretty voice and verbal images
Its American release was more low-key, but the band had media followings and rock FM radio support from KSHE in St. Louis, Missouri; WHCN in Hartford, Connecticut; WRAS in Atlanta, Georgia and KAFM in Dallas. “This popular English band’s premiere for their new label features their lovely vocal and text images of life in England,” wrote Billboard. “Pretty [their repetition] the piano playing, which leads to an organ crescendo with undulating guitar leads, highlights…”Firth of Fifth”.
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All of this helped Charisma’s release debut on the charts at No. 167, and Sell England continued to climb to No. 70. After touring the United States in the spring of 1973, Genesis was back to accompany the US album release, with a college and theater tour and no less than six shows, two per night , at the Roxy in Los Angeles.
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