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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

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
5 stars My goodness! Have I been waiting to get the CD version of this masterpiece, a very long delay tainted with despair and agony, fearing that the majestic beauty of the Peter Cross artwork (the first of a prolonged future collaboration) and the splendor of the music inside will somehow be a disappointment. If I ever come across another reprint matching his marvel by Voiceprint, I will inform everyone I know! Magical work done here, far beyond he call of duty as every detail has been addressed and pushed to include an extra CD loaded with additional material, demos, reprises, unreleased pieces, lengthy bios etc?.This debut remains a timeless classic , much adored by progfans worldwide , a gentle diversion that has unlimited appeal even after 33 years of existence, recorded at the same time as Genesis was launching the Lamb on Gabriel's last stand , band members like Mike Rutherford being free due to a sliced Hackett hand (allegedly crushing a wine glass at a reception) that put everything on a temporary pause and Phil Collins being remembered here mostly as lead vocalist and not as drummer, his first full sortie as singer and the stepping stone towards a controversial yet highly successful future career.

The first CD reproduces the original vinyl album, with the same wondrous sequence of 12 string acoustic-led musical histories, such as the achingly poignant Collins' take on "Which Way the Wind Blows" and the highly progressive 7 part masterpiece suite "Henry: Portraits of Tudor Times", where Anthony Phillips true talents came to the fore: a stellar acoustic guitarist, a colorful keyboardist, a deft composer of very English pastoral prog, seasoned with heady doses of oboe, cor anglais , mellotron, violins and cellos, a dash of his usual eclectic electric guitar tossed in for occasional effect. No other conventional rock artist has managed to create such a lovely sound and Ant certainly laid down the foundation of an unparalleled original style that remains such to this day. The vocal collaboration on "God if I Saw Her Now" between Uncle Phil and Viv McCauliffe is perhaps the finest prog male-female duet ever recorded, a sensually fragile interface that is both crushingly gorgeous and infinitely fragile. "Chinese Mushroom Cloud" has an ominous title but clearly defines the specific route 46 second route that Phillips will enjoy in his future career: unprecedented surprise! Then we have the title track, another 15 minute + suite of incomparable savvy, dual 12 string guitars tingling, ringing, jangling and prancing in tight euphoria, a form of crystalline prog that few have dared and no one has succeeded with quite like Ant. When the flutes, reeds and pianos add to the orchestrations, we are in the presence of sheer instrumental magic, easily on par with the canonic Genesis masterpieces that are consecrated as eternal prog monuments. When halfway in the glorious main theme kicks in, your ears will tell you that your are in prog heaven, somewhere between the Musical Box and the Cinema Show , which proves the depth of Phillips's legacy within Genesis even after his post-Trespass departure from the band. Simply magnificent piece of classical-tinged prog, period! "Collections" is a brief affair where Ant takes his tender voice into a personal realm that will be oft repeated in his nascent career. "Sleepfall: The Geese fly West" puts a final touch to this opus, a sincere orchestral piece that parallels the previous cut's lyricism and curtsies with modest elegance and grace. The second CD is a true pleasure to behold, a rich collection of pieces that wholly encompass the true musical character of this unique artist, perhaps the most natural prog icon ever, the polar antipode of the corporate formula that once poisoned the mainstream progressive universe. Again Voiceprint is to be warmly applauded for not skimping on the fans patience and thirst for exceptionality, delving deep into the finest details. The exceptional demo of "Master of Time" features friends David Thomas and Ronnie Gunn is a case in point , a 7 minute affair that could have made the album grade but was set aside because of time limitations (hence the title I guess!). Also included are all the basic raw tracks for the original disc, plus a couple of versions of Silver Song to boot, all wondrously pure exaltations of a man's craft and an artist's vision. As good as the original album was, the long awaited CD release has been well worth the wait, a consecration of one of the finest debut recording by a prog solo artist, certainly on par with Hackett's Voyage of the Acolyte, Squire's Fish out of Water or Hillage's Fish Rising. At the risk of repeating myself, the artwork is splendidly revamped and lovingly kept within the pastoral framework of the original package. Few albums come as highly recommended from this reviewer, a prog lighthouse bravely glowing in the dense fog of contemporary music. 5 fowl phantoms

tszirmay | 5/5 |

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