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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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5 stars It's a shame that, as a long-time listener of GENESIS and a fan of their Gabriel-era albums in my teens, I only recently discovered Phillips' solo debut. He was always like a mystery man from the first two, usually neglected, LP records of the band; the guy who was replaced by Steve Hackett for the recording of "Nursery Cryme" and about whom nobody knew much. However, since "Trespass" was always one of my favorite GENESIS records, it is a surprise that I have not earlier dig out the solo work of a man who was behind those pleasant sounds of that album.

A pastoral, almost a folktale sound of his acoustic guitars (especially his signature 12-string) and other exotic string instruments (dulcimer, bouzouki...) is what immediately connects "Trespass" with "The Geese". But not only that! The multi-instrumentalist Phillips was joined by another multi-instrumentalist from the GENESIS alumni, Mike Rutherford, and this album is actually a work of this duet. They started making and composing tracks that were to become "The Geese and the Ghost" early on, since 1969, but due to Mike's obligations to the group the work was stretched out over years until its final release in 1977. Still, the spirit of early GENESIS (especially a pastoral feel of "Trespass") is omnipresent.

At the time when the mainline progressive rock was loosing its power and creativity faced by the ongoing punk revolution in popular music, "The Geese" brought back and re-affirmed a typical "symphonic rock" style of the album: invocation of medieval, pastoral themes and historical figures ("Henry: Portraits From Tudor Times"); idyllic romanticism and fairytale lyrics, arranged with multi-part compositions, long instrumental passages and changes of tempo and volume typical of a symphonic orchestra. As a result, this album might stand face to face with other classic albums of this genre that characterized the early seventies "progressiveness".

Phil Collins contributed nicely as a lead singer in two gentle ballads - "Which Way the Wind Blows" and "God If I Saw Her Now" (the latter featuring sweet Viv McCauliffe's coupling), thus making a sound similar to the concurrent GENESIS "Tail and Wurthering" works. Along with Hackett's debut "Voyage of the Acolyte" (his brother John is featured here on flute!), "The Geese and the Ghost" presents a sort of extension to the GENESIS "middle period" - a quartet minus Gabriel.

And in many aspects it beats both "Wind" and "Trick"!


P.A. RATING: 5/5

Seyo | 5/5 |


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