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Anthony Phillips - The Geese And The Ghost CD (album) cover

THE GEESE AND THE GHOST

Anthony Phillips

 

Symphonic Prog

4.02 | 340 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 95

In those times, almost all members and ex-members of Genesis released solo albums. Mike Rutherford released "Smallcreep's Day" in 1980, Phil Collins "Face Value" in 1981, Steve Hackett "Voyage Of The Acolyte" in 1975, Peter Gabriel "Peter Gabriel (1 ? "Car")" in 1977, Tony Banks "A Curious Feeling" in 1979 and Anthony Phillips "The Geese And The Ghost" in 1977.

However, all these albums are very different musical proposals. "Face Value" is a non- progressive album totally guided for the pop sound with the usual quality of the hand of Collins. "Peter Gabriel (1 ? "Car")" is almost a progressive album with many other musical influences, a real crossover album. "Smallcreep's Day" is a half-progressive album, with the A side progressive and the B side guided for the pop sound. "A Curious Feeling" is, for me, in contrary to most of the views of my colleagues on this site, is an album almost progressive with its sound very close to Genesis, with some other less progressive tracks. "The Geese And The Ghost" is an album totally progressive that it sounds very close to the sound of Genesis on "Trespass", more acoustic and with clear influences from the Middle Age music, with the usual quality of Phillips. "Voyage Of The Acolyte" is another truly progressive album with the sound very close to the golden era of Genesis, "Nursery Crime", "Foxtrot" and "Selling England By The Pound", more experimental and also very close to what would be the solo works of Hackett, in the future.

Like most ensuing albums of Phillips "The Geese And The Ghost" didn't become a hit. What is most curious about this album is that not even various stickers that pointed out the very close musical collaboration with his Genesis' colleagues could change that, and unfortunately, even many Genesis fans ignored the album for a long time. It was quite a surprise because all Genesis' references are present on it. Most of the songs were written while Phillips was still in Genesis or shortly after his departure, and so, their concepts and music pick up where "Trespass" left off. Had it been released two years earlier and it would probably have gotten the real attention that it truly hardly deserves.

On "The Geese And The Ghost", largely instrumental and largely acoustic, Phillips takes the English pastoral countryside feel for the music that he helped develop, with the two other boys from Genesis, and makes a work of breathtaking beauty. It's deliberately an atmospheric and a largely instrumental album in an orchestral Baroque style. Phillips had began composing the album in 1969 and has recorded a demo with his band mate, Rutherford. Following his departure from Genesis in 1970, advised to quit for health reasons by his doctor after the recordings of the band's second album "Trespass", he continued to write and shape the medieval themed music until he finished it only in 1976.

"The Geese And The Ghost" was, in a certain way, a Phillips and Rutherford duo project. The album was completed in 1976, but didn't find its way until Phillips unearthed the project in 1977. Considered by many to be among Phillip's finest moments as a solo artist, it has some elements and instrumental pieces that could almost fit seamlessly on Genesis' albums like "Nursery Cryme" or "Foxtrot". But it still manages to be a distinctly Phillips' work. So, you have a very telling collection of music almost outlining what Genesis may would have been like, if he had not left the group. Of course, the fact that Rutherford makes an appearance and Collins provides some vocals certainly doesn't hurt the comparison of this effort and the early works of his former band. Probably, if Phillips hadn't left Genesis, they wouldn't have been half a successful as they were, but they would have also made some beautiful music along the way.

Conclusion: "The Geese And The Ghost" is like "Voyage Of The Acolyte", in many ways, almost a lost Genesis album, especially because it features Collins and Rutherford and also because it has many similarities with the musical sound of "Trespass" of Genesis. Part of the songs recorded on this album, in fact, seem to have been derived from musical pieces composed together in Genesis' early days, even because as I mentioned earlier, Rutherford also shares the composition credits with Phillips, on the major parts of the album. "The Geese And The Ghost" is a beautiful acoustic classic album clearly influenced by the medieval music and where its music flows together as a continuous piece of music. It's also a real trip back into the journey of time. Phillips' guitar work is exceptional, Collins on vocals is superb and John Hackett on flute is absolutely delightful. "The Geese And The Ghost" came to be a real reference of a wonderful classic piece of music from the 70's that all Genesis' fans must have. It also marks the beginning of the journey of Phillips in his extensive and solid musical career as a solo artist. Sincerely, I only just wish that Phillips receives the credits as a great songwriter and a great guitarist, that the general quality of his works really deserve. It's true that it isn't a masterpiece but it's, for sure, an essential album in any serious progressive musical collection.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |

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