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


Anthony Phillips


Symphonic Prog

4.02 | 336 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album has been on my "to get" list for a long time, but since it was out of print I didn't hold out much hope of ever getting it. That is until it was recently re-issued.Thankyou ! Anthony Phillips was of course one of the founding members of GENESIS and their lead guitarist. His fear of performing on stage led to his leaving the band, and as Tony Banks once said, it was the closest the band ever came to breaking up. Ant played his last show with GENESIS in July of 1970. Within ten days of that time he had composed three of the tracks that are on this album. So why then did it take seven years for this record to be released ? While this is without a doubt Anthony Phillip's project, it can't be under-estimated the important and huge role that Mike Rutherford had in this project. He co-wrote well over half the album with Ant, and part of the reason for the un-ending delays were that Phillips had to keep waiting for Rutherford to get some free time. Consider that Mike was either touring, writing or recording with GENESIS, which didn't leave him much time for Ant did it ? Was it worth the seven year wait ? You bet it was. The adjective I keep reading again and again to describe the music on this album is "beautiful". This record could also be described as pastoral, gentle and acoustic music. Much like the mellow pieces on GENESIS' "Trespass" album, which shouldn't be too surprising considering Ant started to write these songs the same year "Trespass" was released in 1970. The music is very lush with a vast array of instruments too numerous to even think about listing.

"Wind-Tales" is a one minute intro track of orchestral sounds played backwards. "Which Way The Wind Blows" is so intricte and delicate as Phil Collins sings tenderly. Beautiful and moving. It becomes fuller 3 minutes in as bass and strummed guitar are added. "Henry:Portraits From Tudor Times" is a 14 minute instrumental that's divided into seven sections. I prefer this one more than the longer title track. I'm not even going to describe this one, it's beyond beautiful and words seem to have little meaning compared to what I hear when I listen to it. I like the fact there is some aggressive guitar in it at times. And my favourite part is from 11 minutes to 12 minutes. "God If I Saw Her Now" is Phil Collins at his best on vocals. Another heartbreaking song for me. The words and the music just melt me. Viv McCauliffe sings female vocals on this track as well. John Hackett's flute play 2 minutes in is breathtaking. So is Phillip's acoustic guitar work. My God. "Chinese Mushroom Cloud" is less then a minute of acoustic guitar and cello. Amazing !

"The Geese And The Ghost, Part I, Part II" is almost 16 minutes of beautiful progressive music. Dual guitars to end the song from Rutherford and Phillips. "Collections" features Ant on vocals with piano and strings. It's ok. "Sleepfall : The Geese Fly West" features piano, flutes and aboe. In the liner notes they quote actress Rosanna Arquette who heard this album when it was released. She recently listened to it again and had these words to say. "The Geese And The Ghost takes me back personally to a time when I had total freedom and could at the drop of a hat get on a plane to London or Paris which I did frequently just because I felt like it. I guess this record reminds me of that time when I was free of responsibility and it brought me back to a time in my life when I listened to Genesis daily." She also says this about this music "When you made music for the sake of music rather than a single or hit record. It's a whole experience, not just a chapter but the book read cover to cover." I wanted to quote her mainly because I have albums that also take me back to a time in my life when I felt so free and alive. Never been on a plane though. Haha.

Not a masterpiece in my opinion but a solid 4 star record that deserves to be in every GENESIS fans collection.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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