Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Anthony Phillips - Private Parts & Pieces II - Back To The Pavillion CD (album) cover


Anthony Phillips

Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
5 stars This minor progressive masterpiece is probably the best of Ant's Private Parts & Pieces series, very creative and interesting, the album largely flows as once piece, with well written and performed acoustic throughout by Ant, good keyboards, and not too much singing from Ant, which in excess can pull his music down at times on some other recordings, but here is 'just right'. I think this challenges Geese and the Ghost as his best work. Ant's best 'head' album.
Report this review (#25946)
Posted Sunday, January 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars this is my favorite album. if you like sensitivity, this is your record. the perfect combination of sweet guitars, gentle keyboards and a delicate piano, make of this master peace a very emotional album. this is a record of melodies, not complex structure,whith exeptions of course. this melodies are almoust allways made by the keyboard. phillips have an exeptional talent for creating this melodies. all the songs are quiet and slow. the music calls to nature, to the moon or a winter tree... this album is what I call an orgasmic record!
Report this review (#25948)
Posted Saturday, April 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I like this one of the series "Private Parts and Pieces". He added here some further instruments (piano, keyboards, electric guitars) to enhance the beauty of the compositions.

With the piano, keyboards and guitar effects here, it sounds sometimes like Brian ENO, or even GENESIS' "Trespass". Mike RUTHEFORD plays the bass on couples of tracks. There are couples of tracks containing wind instruments too. The songs are often mystic. Anthony PHILLIPS is really talented to produce very good piano parts and keyboards ambience.

Report this review (#25949)
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Another hodgepodge of old and new material, featuring a return (of sorts) to "The Geese & The Ghost". PHILLIPS acknowledges the similarity between the opening "Scottish Suite" and "Geese"'s "Henry", and fans of his first work will enjoy the encore. Recorded in the summer of 1976, the suite actually pre-dates the release of "Geese", with "Salmon Leap", "Electric Reaper" and "Amorphous, Cadaverous and Nebulous" again picking up where "Trespass" left off (MIKE RUTHERFORD and ANDY MCCULLOCH support PHILLIPS' arsenal of guitars and keyboards). The rest of the record is a continuation of the music found on the first "Private Parts & Pieces"; instrumentals featuring PHILLIPS on keyboards or guitar, sometimes incorporating a flange effect, other times playing tracks backwards, with a homespun sense of studio experimentation. Ever the sentimentalist, PHILLIPS stoops to conquer our hearts in some instances (none more annoying than "I Saw You Today", in which PHILLIPS croaks out maudlin lyrics), but there are some pretty and wistful pieces to be salvaged, such as "Spring Meeting" and "Nocturne." Most surprising is an excursion into Eno's ambient world on "K.2." that recalls Discreet Music; this song and "Heavens" suggest that PHILLIPS might have a very good album of fuzzy keyboard music up his sleeve. Given the fact that many of these songs date from 1976 and 1977, it's no wonder Back to the "Pavilion" sounds like a cross between "Geese" and "Private Parts". Due to PHILLIPS' uneven and occasionally unrewarding catalog, some critics have pegged "Pavilion" as a worthy successor to "Geese", which it's not. That said, it does rank among the more substantive of the "Private Parts & Pieces" archival digs, and will prove more amenable to fans of "Geese" and the first PP&P than his "pop" albums, which have sent more than one listener into synthetic shock.
Report this review (#25950)
Posted Monday, May 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars It reminds me of some of the more mellow momments on Hackett's Defector or Spectral Mornings. It's just great stuff.

Very 'understated' but still manages to pack the odd punch - well, ruffle, at least!

Report this review (#25951)
Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Like "PP & P VIII", this album has several great tracks and a good bit of variety. Of the 10 or 20 Ant albums I've owned or heard, this is one of my favorites. First I bought the LP, then I got a cassette, and finally the CD when it was released. This was an all-too- common method for me as I made the change to the modern technological age....
Report this review (#25952)
Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I think that Anthony Phillip's music is very underrated. This LP is a very well-composed piece with many different parts and styles influenced by the Genesis' school but you can find the Phillips' sound in every note. "Scotish Suite" is a masterpiece of prog-rock and the prog-ballad "I saw you today" is a powerful song. Phillips is a great example of a musician who doesn't need to sell himself to the system. This LP sounds clean and sober and it's a great opportunity to know the music of one of the best composers that I ever heard. Please, keep you ear on the short songs. The arrangments are awsome. Ah! and great piano solos.
Report this review (#39829)
Posted Tuesday, July 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars From start to finish, Back to the Pavillion is, like the best of Anthony Phillip's work, an escape for the listener, a minor journey into enchanted whimsical realms. Although Geese and the Ghost (actually named after two sounds on a keyboard being used at the time) is typically considered his finest effort, PP&P 2 deserves similiar recognition, with this being among his most creative recordings (the playing is uniformally superior throughout Ant's body of music). One can dim the lights on a cool Fall evening, put this disc on, and find a very private and satisfying retreat into one's self. As is the case with Phillip's discs in general, there are hardly any 'stand-out' tracks, with others occupying a more secondary position within the contect of the album; rather, the recording functions more as a seamless whole, with each ensuing track taking the listener just a bit farther down the path traveled while enjoying the music. Along with 'Geese', this is a must have for those interested in Ant's work, as well as fans of early Genesis.

Report this review (#68418)
Posted Sunday, February 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is probably the best single sample of "what's going on inside the head of ANT PHILLIPS". It's really a "best of" album from him, before he ever released one. PP&PII is an eclectic collection of musical ideas out of the head of one of Genesis' and Prog's great visionaries. ANT includes only one full-up suite on this CD (Scottish Suite) and then favors us with a sample platter of thought, and emotion-provoking songs, bits, and progessive moods, very similar to what he later did on FIELD DAY. Notable among the tracks is the ethereal synth-poly-moog piece called K2. The major difference is that all the songs on FIELD DAY are played on various guitars and other stringed instruments, while on BACK TO THE PAVILLION he incorporates guitars, piano, synthes, bass and even (a little) drums. His old mate MIKE RUTHERFORD sits in on bass for four sections of Scottish Suite. However, by the time this album came out, his former band, now down to Collins, Banks, and Rutherford, were getting ready to crank out ABACAB. It's painfully obvious that a decade prior to this, Ant's ideas could have been turned into great Geneis songs, with the input from the fuller line-up. But by 1980-81, his pristine prog/folk sensibilites would have been roundly rejected by the band in favor of their musical doggerel like "Who Dunnit" or "Like it or not". Well, thanks to this treat from AP, you don't have to subject yourself to that! On BACK TO THE PAVILLION you can experience the un-adulterated progressive genius of the man who made STAGNATION, WHITE MOUTAIN, THE KNIFE, and yes, even THE MUSICAL BOX such classics. Come back to the pavillion and see where it all started.
Report this review (#119090)
Posted Friday, April 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
2 stars Amorphous, cadaverous and nebulous

In light of the facts that (1) the first Private Parts & Pieces album was initially a free give-away that came together with the Sides album in the UK (and only later got a separate release), and (2) that it consisted of an assorted collection of guitar and piano solos, duets and ensembles from 1972 to 1976, I think it is fair to consider this second Private Parts & Pieces album subtitled Back To The Pavillion as the proper beginning of the series.

This album is certainly an improvement over the first one, but the real interest here lies in the opening five-part Scottish Suite. It is here, and only here, that we find anything that deserves to be counted as Prog on this album (and indeed these moments are very rare it Anthony Phillips' Private Parts & Pieces-series). The rest of this album is again an assorted collection of further Classical guitar and piano solo pieces plus some ambient, electronic numbers. Ant would later develop his electronic side further, but at this stage it is fair to consider these numbers as experimental. The nine minute K2 is overlong and uneventful. I Saw You Today sees Ant taking to the microphone, otherwise this album is entirely instrumental.

While Back To The Pavillion is the natural starting point when it comes to the Private Parts & Pieces-series, it is not all that impressive in its own right. It is recommended to fans of Ant's debut The Geese And The Ghost to which it bear some occasional resemblance.

Report this review (#257850)
Posted Saturday, December 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars This second leg of these "Private Parts & Pieces" has little to share with the average first one. You can read the details of the birth of this album in the good review from my fellow review Dave; so I will start immediately with the music.

When the epic suite which opens the album starts, I was submerged with such a great feeling: grandiose and bombastic intro ("Salmon Lead"). I was rather charmed and curious to listen more of it. Unfortunately this long suite is more a collage of short parts with no real liaison between them. Still, after a weaker "Parting Thistle" the artist plays a softer prog section with fine acoustic & electric guitar moments (but not only).

The longest part from this "suite" is a chance to discover Anthony's maestria on the acoustic guitar. It almost sounds as ?I guess you know who. This track is really a marvel of delicacy and it is sooooo melodic. My fave part from this work probably. "Trespass" atmosphere is fully reconstructed. And that's so great!

The "Scottish Suite" ends up on a quiet and relaxing note (piano mainly). If I had to rate this part only from this album, four stars would be definitely granted.

The songs that complete the album are quite different: from very short "interlude" tracks that are not really necessary to splendid and ambient passages like during the emotional "K2" which is very much Schulze oriented (or TD is you prefer). The same sort of music can be experienced during the well named "Heavens".

Some usual and obvious acoustic guitar track are of course featured ("Spring meeting" or "Nocturne"). The last few songs are not memorable ("I saw you today") but I rate this album with four stars thanks to the great "suite" as well as a few very fine tracks (four or five).

Report this review (#312258)
Posted Wednesday, November 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars The nice and colored painting on the sleeve let's intend that this album doesn't have anything to do with the poor "Sides". And effectively this is a prog album.

It starts with an epic in 5 parts, what more prog than this? Scottish suite sounds very Genesis, even if the piano parts remind sometimes to the Wakeman of Six Wives. What I find bad is the excessive use of tapes, often played reverse as in part 5. Playing at the countrary to obtain what you want when the tape is played reversed, is a good mathematical excersize, but one minute is enough, or at least, let me joke, add a hidden satanic message.

On the good side, the piano parts are very good. Not that Anthony Phillips is a Wakeman or a Keith Emerson, but he plays good enough and is a good composer, so a track as "Lindsay" can be interesting. I think the inspiration comes from Chopin or similar, but even with the classical mood tgere are clues of The Geese and the Ghost.

"K2" is quite a newage track, slow and repetitive with the echoed guitar adding an oriental touch. It's an excellent ambient track.

What is a 35'' track for? The guitar harping is quite good but...

"Heavens" is another instrumental track with a neo-classical mood very close to Genesis. Relax and enjoy.

Back to classical guitar with "Spring Meeting". If you have present some Steve Hackett's tracks like "A Cradle Of Swans" , this is the genre. In terms of passages in some moments it strongly reminds to The Geese and the Ghost.

Unfortunately Ant restarts playing with tapes for 48 useless seconds, then other 41 seconds of acoustic guitars before a real track starts again.

I have previously mentioned Chopin, so why don't insert a "Nocturne"? A very nice one, but made of classical guitar instead of piano. Technically is nothing more than a studio, but the composition is good.

Back to piano again for less than two minutes. I think this album is made of a lot of non- developed ideas. This could have been the intro for a long track like "Henry" but remains just a short piano track. Same for the 45 seconds of the following track which feature the Oboe of Rob Phillips.

"Will Of The Wisp" is a bit longer but also it seems to be no more than an "idea". "Tremulous" features the former King Crimson and Camel Mel Collins at the flute and it's just a flute solo with a bit of acoustic guitars in the background for a couple of minutes.

"I Saw You Today" is the first song with lyrics. Anthony sings and this is a pity. The song is not too different from "God If I Saw Her Now", but Ant's voice is everything but nice.

"Back To The Pavilion" is the (sub)title track. It's a piano solo, again very melodic and with a classical flavor.

As usual when reviewong old stuff, I can't comment on the bonus track because it's not present on my vinyl copy

It's a good album, light years better than Sides, but it doesn't reach the level of the first PP&P. Considering the weaker parts I think that 3 stars is a honest rating, just a little generous.

Report this review (#501533)
Posted Thursday, August 11, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars What a unique album! There may be some other albums out there that have consisted of nice, relaxing short intrumental pieces of a mininalistic nature, but none I know of that begin with such a charged progressive sky-opening-up moment as the first part of "Scottish Suite", "Salmon Leap." Furious drums and piano arpeggios join the most "Kinfe"-like electric playing Ant had displayed since the Tresspass song. He even rivals (and sounds a little like) Steve Hackett in his urgent expressiveness here. The piece quickly gives way to an acoustic section, "Parting Thistle", then the majestic "Electric Reaper", the very spacey "Amorhpous, cadaverous and nebulous", and the last part "Salmon's Last Sleepwalk" is reminicient of the end of "Now What" from Wise After the Event. The suite is very atypical of the album, and somewhat leaves one longing for more once it's clear that the album is not going to return to this type thing. However, the rest of the album is nearly all good and often great, consisting mainly of extremely short instrumentals, some being like "samples" of longer songs, like "Romany's Aria" and "Chinaman." These "parts" could logically seem useless on an album, but the way they are presented, they function as little gimpses into far away worlds and musical dimesions, and the album has very much a feel of strolling through a galactic hub of sorts. Anthony Phillips shows that he's every bit as talented at keys as he is at strings, with the graceful piano of "Linsday", not to mention the various virtuostic piano parts throughout the album, and some great minimalist keyboard work on both the glittery and glistening "Heavens", and "K2", a masterpiece of soft layered synth atmospherics that is up there with the best space music. There is some very pleasant acoustic guitar playing on this release, as well as some interesting psychedelic touches (phlange and backwards tape-playing are common on a lot of tracks), but there are some moments when you may feel like you're listening to the soundtrack for The Weather Channel. That is not neccessarily a bad thing, but it makes for an album you need to be in the mood for to really get into, and while I myself can find many an occasion for setting this music to an evening of quiet meditation, some prog fans may crave more dynamics to want to listen to it frequently. The only song with vocals, "I Saw You Today" is not one of the best examples of his usually very emotionally expressive singing and compelling songwriting, but it's still pleasant, and the album's title track closes things out with a very calm relaxed feeling, the whole experience being one of refreshed renewal. Worth checking out if you have an appriciation for creative and varied instrumental music.
Report this review (#507722)
Posted Tuesday, August 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars The second Private Parts and Pieces collection suffers from a lack of focus - only to be expected considering that it's a grab-bag of bits of music assembled for other projects. The highlights of the album are the epic Scottish Suite, representing some of Phillip's most aggressive and spooky progressive rock composition, and K2, a dreamy new age synthesiser piece. The remaining tracks, however, whilst often pretty are also a bit of a mixed bag - there's some rejects from Wise After the Event which aren't that much better than the pieces that made it onto the album, some classical guitar and piano pieces which seem more like first drafts than finished works, and a lot of forgettable material. A mixed bag, then.
Report this review (#565531)
Posted Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars No this is in fact not 'private parts and pieces'. It's a full-fledged concept album belonging to the notorious PPP series just formally. It's refined and sophisticated sympho prog of highest level. It's one of the very best solo albums ever made by Anthony Phillips. And the heavy artillery of 1970s prog is involved: Andy McCulloch (King Crimson circa Lizard, Fields) on drums, Mike Rutherford (guess no need to remind where he's from...) on bass, Mel Collins on flute... and Anthony Phillips on guitars and keys. The album starts with majestic Scottish Suite which causes noble associations with almost all classic epic suites of 1970s prog but stands by itself due to Phillips' unique approach to arrangement and melody making. Indeed, what started with Trespass and continued with The Geese & The Ghost reached a glorious peak with Scottish Suite. The musical action further develops with Lindsay, a slow piece for piano, and K2, an ethereal fantasy for synth. The second half of the album is a sequence of short etudes, mostly for guitar, sometimes with flute and oboe, and for piano, including the short sketch previously used in The Geese & The Ghost, plus two songs with vocals. These tracks more or less conform to the idea of 'private parts and pieces' but are sequenced so cleverly that they seem to form another suite in total.
Report this review (#1057377)
Posted Thursday, October 10, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Come 1980 and Phillips would again return to the memories of the past, releasing an album with compositions originally written for other projects and some leftovers from the ''Wise after the event'' sessions.The album was titled ''Private parts & pieces II: Back to the Pavilion'' and was originally released for the US label Passport in June.Phillips is the main figure on this work, playing electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, piano and singing, while his only regular assistant was ex-King Crimson drummer Andy McCulloch.Mike Rutherford appears on bass on ''Scottish suite'', Rob Phillips plays the oboe on ''Von Runkel's Yorker music'' and Mel Collins enters in ''Tremulous'' with his flute.

Special mention should be given to the 15-min. excellent opening ''Scottish suite'', described by Phillips as ''a collection of Scottish Salmon farmer's songs and 12th century Paraguayan tin-miner's threnodies''.This belongs among Phillips' most genuine, sophisticated and progressive compositions, a meld of late-70's Symphonic Rock with bucolic British Folk, dominated by excellent handling of classical guitars, dark keyboard flavors and melodious symph-based textures in an all instrumental majesty very close to his days with GENESIS, at least during the acoustic lines.Definitely a highlight of his career with a nice balance between acoustic themes and electric energy and a charming combination of dramatic and gentle musicianship.Cut off the ''dramatic'' and ''electric'' words from the previous description to follow the storyline of the rest of the album, which is filled with romantic piano lines, acoustic crescendos and embryonic pre-New Age flashes with Phillips being the absolute officer, passing through stylistic variations, which have all in common the mood for sentimental, heavily acoustic and ethereal soundscapes.The material here is not bad at all, but falls short compared to the impressive opening opus.This comes indeed as a collection of short pieces and different sources of inspiration with Folk, Classical and minimalistic Music as the guidelines, leading to instrumental isolation, always led by Phillips' lovely tunes and accomplished skills on guitar and keyboards, but leaving much to be desired regarding a richer and more progressive side.

An uneven release, which somehow manages to keep a high level of musicianship.Maybe too mellow and experimental for the casual prog listener, but the acoustic tracks have a nice and attractive atmosphere, while ''Scottish suite'' is a real stunner and a good enough reason to purchase the album.Recommended.

Report this review (#1323886)
Posted Sunday, December 14, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars One of the last typical progressive rock attempts by AP. The album start greets us by brilliant warm emotional electric guitar, piano and synth lines a la Genesis.

The suite called "Scottish Suite" is an excellent composition consisting of sonically different parts, acoustic ones being also very inspired. The first and four parts are dynamic and belong to my favourites. "Lindsay" may be a love track derived by the name and gentle piano notes. "K2" may be a premonition of the heavy-synth "1984" from the next year, however the textures are calm. The symphonic spirit is represented by "Heavens" with great synth chord sequence.

The remaining tracks are either acoustically guitar-based or piano-based but always peaceful.

3.5 stars deserved and I round it up to 4 this time.

Report this review (#2242783)
Posted Saturday, August 10, 2019 | Review Permalink

ANTHONY PHILLIPS Private Parts & Pieces II - Back To The Pavillion ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of ANTHONY PHILLIPS Private Parts & Pieces II - Back To The Pavillion

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives