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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 | 257 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars "ANTHONY PHILLIPS" is remembered mostly for his short career in GENESIS, sadly due to the fact that he was replaced by a genius like STEVE HACKRTT. people tend to overlook his contribution with the "Charterhouse School" band, but what is worst, few pay attention to his solid career as a soloist, maybe not as successful as STEVE'S, but also in a superlative level, and quite prolific .

Ant's debut "The Geese and the Ghost" still has strong connection with early GENESIS (remember he was a clue member on Trespass), combining the delicacy of his peculiar guitar with the mystery of songs like "Dusk" or "White Mountain", something that is enhanced with the participation of PHIL COLLINS and MIKE RUTHERFORD.

But Ant doesn't restrain himself to one instrument, he proves the world his abilities as multi- instrumentalist, playing acoustic, classic & electric guitars, basses, dulcimer guitar, bouzouki, piano, organ, synthesizers, Mellotron, harmonium, etc, and even sings in "Collections", but lets stop talking about the artist and lets go to the album.

"The Geese and the Ghost" starts with the short orchestral introduction called "Wind Tales" a track that fulfils it's purpose of placing the listener in mood, because in 1 minute you can hardly do more.

"Which Way the Wind Blows" has too main characteristics, the first one is the surprising selection of Phil Collins in the vocals (I always thought that because of the close friendship, the chosen vocalist would had been Peter Gabriel), but Phil is really outstanding, very few times I heard him singing with such a feeling and variations, he gives one of his best performances, The second highlight is the amazing work done by Ant in the guitar, as a skilled craftsman works with the clay, "Phillips" creates a wonderful sound crafted with amazing skills, a very beautiful song.

What has always surprise me is the inclusion of the pompous and bright "Henry Portrait of Tudor Times" in a pastoral album as "The Geese an the Ghost", but my question is answered in a few second, despite the strong and vibrant moments, the main quality of the song is in the delicate guitars.

Of course there are strong sections like in "Part IV. Henry Goes to War" in which the similarities between his style and Steve Hackett's can be appreciated (Hey even John Hackett plays in the album), the final section of his fourth par sounds incredibly similar to Trespass.

But this multi part epic presents us different styles, moods and atmospheres, all linked together with dexterity, the highlight of the album.

"God if I Saw Her Now" brings PHIL COLLINS back to the microphone, the soft and sweet ballad but this time making team with the beautiful voice of "Viv McAuliffe", maybe too romantic and soft for my taste, but Anthony's work on the guitar and John Hackett in the flute are just amazing.

"Chinese Mushroom Cloud" blends the strength of the introduction wit the delicate work so typical of ANTHONY PHILLIPS, the melody is well elaborate but contagious, again "Trespass" comes to my ears, but less aggressive and mysterious, with an outstanding orchestration and arrangements, again a very interesting song.

"The Geese and the Ghost" is a two part epic, read somewhere that it's inspired in Paul Gallico's "The Snow Goose", but I couldn't verify. In the first part of the song PHILLIPS has a pastoral approach so common in early GENESIS, but unlike the famous band in which the lyrics have a special place, Ant places all the emphasis in the music, please pay special attention to the organ.

The second part is much more vibrant and powerful, absolutely reminiscent of "Trespass" with perfect arrangements and orchestration, unlike along most off he album we find some radical changes and a more elaborate structure, a good change after the soft first part. The closing section is absolutely breathtaking.

Collections is probably the weakest song of the album from a structural perspective, this doesn't mean it's a bad song, because the melody is absolutely beautiful and the piano performance is magnificent, but probably this biggest attraction of this song is to listen Ant singing, and does a pretty decent job.

"Sleepfall: The Geese Flies West" is another a carefully orchestrated song in which Anthony demonstrates his weakness for the beautiful melodies, maybe a bit too soft, but never lost my interest.

"Master of Time (Demo) is an excellent bonus track, but as usual I will only write about the album in it's original format.

I just wish ANTHONY PHILLIPS sometime receives the credit he deserves, as a great songwriter and better guitarist, maybe it won't happen, but at least I will recognize his quality.

Won't say the "The Geese and the Ghost" is a perfect masterpiece, it has a few weaker moments, but I dare anybody to deny that it's a great addition for any Prog Rock collection, so 4 stars is my rating.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |

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