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Phish The Story of the Ghost  album cover
3.34 | 33 ratings | 6 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ghost (3:51)
2. Birds of a feather (4:15)
3. Meat (2:39)
4. Guyute (8:26)
5. Fikus (2:20)
6. Shafty (2:21)
7. Limb by limb (3:32)
8. Frankie says (3:06)
9. Brian and Robert (3:03)
10. Water in the sky (2:28)
11. Roggae (2:59)
12. Wading in the velvet sea (4:29)
13. The Moma dance (4:28)
14. End of session (1:54)

Total Time: 49:51


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Trey Anastasio / guitar, vocals, horn arrangements
- Jonathan Fishman / drums, vocals
- Mike Gordon / bass, pedal steel guitar, vocals
- Page McConnell / keyboards, vocals

Guest musicians:
- Dave Grippo / saxophone (2)
- James Harvey / trombone (2)
- Jennifer Harvey / trumpet (2)
- Heloise Williams / backing vocals (2-6)

Releases information

CD Elektra E 62297 (1998)

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Buy PHISH The Story of the Ghost Music

Story of the GhostStory of the Ghost
Elektra / Wea 1998
Audio CD$8.13
$1.88 (used)
Story of the Ghost by Phish (1998-10-27)Story of the Ghost by Phish (1998-10-27)
Elektra / Wea
Audio CD$32.48
Audio CD$60.24
$10.88 (used)
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PHISH The Story of the Ghost ratings distribution

(33 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PHISH The Story of the Ghost reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Phrankie says "relax"

This 1998 follow up to the acclaimed "Billy breathes" saw Phish indulging themselves even deeper in the studio jams from which their album tracks would emerge. In this instance, not only did the sessions lead to this album, but also to "The Skillet disc" released a year later. The process this time involved the band listening to playbacks of the lengthy jam sessions, and composing songs based on parts which appealed to them.

The opening "Ghost" reminded me of the 70's bands Hot Chocolate and 10cc, with a soft funky beat and dual lead vocals combining to create a highly commercial piece of pop. "Birds of a feather" continues the 10cc style, the added brass intermingling with lead guitar and repeated vocal harmonies in an ever increasing cacophony of sound. Things take an unfortunate but marked dip with "Meat", a Steely Dan like jazz funk number.

The longest track on the album by far is the 8 minute "Guyute". The track sets out as a light pop orientated piece before bizarrely breaking into a Fairport Convention like guitar led jig. From there it mutates again into a retro style guitar thrash, somewhere between "Orange blossom special" and "Sabre dance". While certainly the most interesting track on the album, for me it only works up to a point, perhaps because it falls into the old 10cc trap of clever for clever's sake.

Unfortunately, there are just too many of the understated soft pop outings here for my tastes, "Fikus", and "Limb by limb" being further examples. "Frankie says" is presumably some sort of tribute to "Frankie Goes to Hollywood", the word "Relax" being prevalent in this song. The link is purely lyrical though, the song being far more downbeat than the target of the homage. "Brian and Robert" is a strange title for more of the same.

"Water in the sky" moves into distinctly country rock territories, but it does at least lift the pace and offer something with a bit of spirit for a couple of minutes. "Roggae" is presumably a clever amalgamation of rock and reggae or something like that. In the end though, it simply returns us to the bland pop.

"Wading in the velvet sea" has a pleasant soft refrain, but the over-repeating of the title is unnecessary. "The momma dance" is a further indulgence in repetitive light funk, the album closing with the brief "End of session".

In all, a disappointing Phish album, which appears to indicate that the band have had all the vitality sucked out of them. This is nothing more than a collection of bland songs with primarily funky foundations. The only exception of note is "Guyute", but even this is below par.


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Latest members reviews

2 stars By the late 90s, Phish was more focused on their incessant touring....as a result, their studio output suffered greatly. 'Story of the Ghost' is the first real evidence of that. What you get is 3 or 4 decent (not good or great) tracks ("Ghost", "Birds of a Feather", "Limb By Limb", "Guyute") ... (read more)

Report this review (#118282) | Posted by Disconnect | Friday, April 13, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I have to agree with the above review. This is definitely the best studio album Phish has put out since Rift. Guyute alone is worth the price of the cd and is one of the most progressive songs they ever wrote. The rest of the album is also very good, but not quite as progressive. It's more ... (read more)

Report this review (#72556) | Posted by Gianthogweed | Wednesday, March 22, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Brilliant, my favourite Phish album. Many key tracks here excellent work on behalf of every member. My favourite is Guyute, really a prog gem. The song progresses from overly cheery to incredibly dark and frantic. Creative vocal work by Trey is present here as well as his always up excellent gui ... (read more)

Report this review (#72523) | Posted by trevormontana | Tuesday, March 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is probably Phish's most progressive album, in that it's the closest they've come to making a "concept" album. You know they're telling some kind of story here, but Tom Marshall's bizarre lyrics make it difficult to understand exactly what it is. Musically, there are some great moments. ... (read more)

Report this review (#43031) | Posted by Harry Hood | Monday, August 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a band that is too often overlooked in the prog world. As a group that is better known for their live performances and loose jamming, Phish are rarely recognised for their exceptional studio work. The Story of the Ghost is an incredibly strong album with plenty of progressive element ... (read more)

Report this review (#41875) | Posted by SonicTemple | Saturday, August 06, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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