Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Anthony Phillips - 1984 CD (album) cover


Anthony Phillips


Symphonic Prog

3.77 | 118 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 1984, was a year that was supposed to herald the "end of the world" by some Orwellian account, where "Big Brother " would rule and where "sexcrimes" would be severely punished. Well, the year came and went without too much doom, just your usual daily superpower confrontations, wars all over the place, hunger in Africa and lots of "sexcrimes"! Post-disco society was rife with coke fueled partying and general decadence and music wise we had Bowie's histrionic "Diamond Dogs", Wakeman's shallow "1984", Eurythmics' ingenious soundtrack for the famed movie "1984". Prog was on the verge of awakening and resuscitation from many years of mediocrity (with the birth of Marillion and IQ both in 1983). New Wave was now old wave and grunge was getting its ass cheeks slapped, giving it a rather ominous future decade of "Nirvana" and Pearl Jam. In 1981, Anthony Phillips was ardently working on a piece of music that would reflect the upcoming period of doom and gloom and that would also stand the test of time, with enough symphonic stylings to soothe the poor, by then despondent progfan. Prog purists are somewhat unanimous in condemning any kind of drum machine or even programming as the antichrist (well what box could hope to rival Peart , Bruford or Moerlen?) and yet there were some interesting attempts at novel sounds (John Foxx , Thomas Dolby, New Muzik..). Ant's opus is without question among his top albums, not as accomplished as his upcoming 1990 symphonic masterpiece "Slowdance" which remains an all-time prog classic, but a scintillating piece of music nevertheless. The synthetic (Richard Scott) and natural (Morris Pert) percussives are way more intricate than your usual "boom-boom" fare, the reptilian bass-synth escalating the melodies to vivid heights with overlapping waves of synthesized spirals, crests and washes. This doesn't sound Oldfieldian, Eno-ish or TDream-like, as it offers up many heavenly melodies with lots of ingenious soloing. Hardly any crafty guitars or vocals, this is an all-keyboard and electronics fest, perhaps most akin to Geoff Downes' lone 1989 "New Dance Orchestra" masterpiece. From the opening fanfare of the brief "1984 - the Prelude", this album just takes off into some very enjoyable horizons, great driving music actually with the two main title tracks (parts 1 & 2) 15 and 19 minute plus epics, pulsating with a hypnotic strength that is simply remarkable, even 26 years later! It ends with the equally short but stunning "Anthem". To his absolute credit, Phillips always sought new musical playgrounds, whether pop, folk, ambient, symphonic, jazz, lounge, etc. adding his own little very personal touch, sometimes successfully , sometimes not. This delightful album remains a solid monument, a musical highlight in the barren birth of prog's renaissance. 4 wickets
tszirmay | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this ANTHONY PHILLIPS review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.