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Anthony Phillips - 1984 CD (album) cover

1984

Anthony Phillips

 

Symphonic Prog

3.75 | 96 ratings

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Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Given my experience with Anthony Phillips has been hit and miss, I avoided 1984, assuming it would be pretty dreadful 1980s stuff. What I didn't expect was a progressive electronic direction he was going here! Imagine Tony Banks recording something more prog electronic, this is what you get. It's obvious that Ant did not shake off the spectre of Genesis, as the Genesis influence can be heard in many of his recordings (Wise After the Event is closest to late '70s Genesis, although side two has a bit of a Beatles thing going on). 1984 was obviously inspired by Orwell, and one might expect something more dark and ominous, he doesn't do that. It has a strangely more "positive vibe". One may complain about the '80s sounding synthesizers, but this is the early '80s, so no DX-7s, and I really like what he does with them here. Apparently he uses a PolyMoog and ARP 2600, just as Tony Banks had around the same time. I swear I hear a short amount of Mellotron flutes on "1984 Part 1". He's been known to use small amounts of tron, even as late as the apparently not-so-great Invisible Men, so I don't believe my ears are deceiving me. Also he uses a Roland CR-78 drum machine, I'm sure inspired by Phil Collins using on one Brand X's Product, Genesis' Duke and Abacab, and Phil's own Face Value. I was a bit put off by the pop-oriented "Prelude '84", sounding like Tony Banks during his more pop-oriented moments, but after that it moves away from that, to some really nice and beautiful passages. This album really took me by surprise. It's not The Geese & the Ghost, but it's a very good album in its own right, and I probably more recommend this for fans of progressive electronic than those used to his more acoustic-based stuff. He pretty much doesn't come near a guitar here, so that might disappoint many, but he's fully capable at keyboards as demonstrated here. Well worth having, especially for fans of electronic music.
Progfan97402 | 4/5 |

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