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Anthony Phillips - 1984 CD (album) cover


Anthony Phillips


Symphonic Prog

3.77 | 118 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars This is an album that shocked me when I bought it having never heard it. A big fan of all-things Anthony Phillips, I had never really given his keyboard work much credit until this album (though I had the Camel, Mike Rutherford albums to which he had contributed keyboards). To me he was the God of the 12-string, a guitarist of serious artistry. But, with 1984, from the opening sound of the drum machine to the soon ensuing layers of keyboard synthesizers (with guitars skulking in the background!) Not a lyric or vocal to be found. (Ant's only weakness may be in those laryngeal chords God gave him.) I was blown away! The series of melodic movements Ant carries one through during the 41:23 monster 'song' that he created in honor of the passing of the year that writer George Orwell had made so iconic is incredible. I remember playing this album for weeks with joy and amazement, fully entranced by the journey. It was like Mike Oldfield great epics and Todd Rundgren's "Treatise on Cosmic Fire"--which I adored--but this was somehow better. How could computer drums, keyboard bass, and layers of synthesizer take the place of real rock instruments. I mean, I has heard songs like this but never a whole instrumental album delivered so seemless, so beautifully, so convincingly. (As I listen to it as I write I am reminded of the effect it always has of drawing me into an alternate world--making me feel as if I am floating within the liquid of the musical soundscape. No wonder Ant has found such success in scoring for BBC projects.) The variations of themes with and within each "Movement" is masterful--each revealing a new melodic theme that continues to steer the listener's journey of mystery, of tension and release, tension and release. All while stringing us along on that rather cheezy drum machine (a Roland CR-78)--though the great Morris Pert is along for the ride--providing background percussives. Amazing! And amazing is this album--certainly a long lost masterpiece that has too long flown under the radar and been ignored or dismissed. This is definitely an awesome listen. As good if not better than any electronic album before or of its time (and yes that includes Kitaro, Tomita, Larry Fast, Klaus and TD).
BrufordFreak | 5/5 |


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