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ANTHONY PHILLIPS

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Anthony Phillips biography
MIX OF PROGRESSIVE CLASSICAL ROCK, NEW AGE & FOLK


Anthony PHILLIPS was one of the original founding members of GENESIS featuring Peter GABRIEL, Tony BANKS, and Michael RUTHERFORD. Following "Trespass", GENESIS' second album, PHILLIPS left (purportedly due to stage fright) and was replaced by Steve HACKETT. Nothing was heard again from Anthony until 1977, when he favored us with his first solo, "The Geese and the Ghost", although PHILLIPS wasn't the first member of the band to release a solo album (that honor goes to Steve HACKETT, by releasing "Voyage of the Acolyte", in 1975). A more commercial audience was courted on "Wise After The Event" and "Sides", to no avail, and PHILLIPS spent much of his time releasing instrumental pieces (both old and new) under the "Private Parts & Pieces" series. Steeped in classical, pre-Baroque, and folk influences, he was able to record entire albums featuring only his acoustic instrument. He is one of the world's masters on the twelve string guitar and piano compositions that hark back to GENESIS' original lost innocence. His studio recordings reveal a distinctive character to his compositions on those instruments as well.

Some of his albums are more "progessive" than others, especially "Sides" (INTERESTING CD), "Private Parts and Pieces II" (A MUST! for fans of early GENESIS), "PP&P IX", and "Wise After the Event" (A MASTERPIECE); others are more "classical" in style like "PP&P III", "PP&P V", "PP&P VI" or "poppy" like "Invisible Men" and a few tracks on "Sides". Anthony PHILLIPS' 1977 debut album is one of the best works, but all of them are excellent. This album (1977) by Ant is my second favorite PHILLIPS album after "Wise After the Event". Even more its a jewel for every Rock collection, but in its own particular genre (a mix of those quiet moments of "Trespass" of GENESIS+the medieval folkprog style by GRYPHON). As you well have gathered, "Anthology" (1995) is an album that has a compilation of tracks from his solo career. This album is the perfect introduction to the world of Anthony PHILLIPS.

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Geese & The GhostGeese & The Ghost
Remastered · Import
United States of Distribution 2008
Audio CD$10.81
$8.50 (used)
Wise After the EventWise After the Event
Remastered · Import
United States of Distribution 2008
Audio CD$8.38
$7.95 (used)
Harvest of the Heart: DeluxeHarvest of the Heart: Deluxe
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$81.98
Private Parts of Pieces Xi: City of DreamsPrivate Parts of Pieces Xi: City of Dreams
Import
BGO Records
Audio CD$7.65
$10.95 (used)
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ANTHONY PHILLIPS shows & tickets


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ANTHONY PHILLIPS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ANTHONY PHILLIPS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.04 | 255 ratings
The Geese And The Ghost
1977
3.80 | 135 ratings
Wise After The Event
1978
3.40 | 83 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces
1978
3.03 | 81 ratings
Sides
1979
3.80 | 80 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces II: Back To The Pavillion
1980
3.65 | 74 ratings
1984
1981
3.54 | 56 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces III: Antiques
1982
2.34 | 41 ratings
Invisible Men
1983
3.16 | 37 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces IV: A Catch At The Tables
1984
3.13 | 43 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces V: Twelve
1984
3.21 | 41 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces VI: Ivory Moon
1986
2.99 | 38 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces VII: Slow Waves, Soft Stars
1987
3.40 | 43 ratings
Tarka
1988
3.43 | 25 ratings
The Missing Links Volume 1 - Finger Painting
1989
4.20 | 120 ratings
Slow Dance
1990
3.97 | 44 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces VIII: New England
1992
2.74 | 19 ratings
Sail the World
1994
3.25 | 25 ratings
Missing Links Volume 2: the Sky Road
1994
3.46 | 26 ratings
Gypsy Suite
1995
3.48 | 40 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces IX: Dragonfly Dreams
1996
4.18 | 22 ratings
The Meadows of Englewood
1996
3.84 | 17 ratings
Missing Links Volume 3: Time & Tide
1997
4.00 | 32 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces X: Soirée
1999
3.62 | 13 ratings
Battle of the Birds - A Celtic Tale
2003
4.27 | 74 ratings
Field Day
2005
3.17 | 12 ratings
Wildlife
2007
2.51 | 16 ratings
Missing Links Volume Four: Pathways & Promenades
2009
3.00 | 11 ratings
Ahead of the Field
2010
3.47 | 17 ratings
Seventh Heaven
2012
2.82 | 10 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces XI: City of Dreams
2012

ANTHONY PHILLIPS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.96 | 10 ratings
The "Living Room" Concert
1995
3.81 | 7 ratings
The Live Radio Sessions
1998
3.80 | 6 ratings
Radio Clyde 1978
2003

ANTHONY PHILLIPS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ANTHONY PHILLIPS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.41 | 8 ratings
Harvest of the Heart
1985
3.08 | 11 ratings
Anthony Phillips - Anthology
1995
3.83 | 6 ratings
Legend (1997)
1997
2.77 | 7 ratings
The Archive Collection Volume One
1998
4.00 | 2 ratings
Legend
1999
4.00 | 3 ratings
Soft Vivace
2002
3.00 | 4 ratings
All Our Lives
2002
3.88 | 7 ratings
Soundscapes - An Anthology
2003
3.43 | 12 ratings
Archive Collection Vol II
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Harvest of the Heart: An Anthology
2014

ANTHONY PHILLIPS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Collections
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
We're All as We Lie
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Um & Aargh
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prelude '84
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sally
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Anthem from Tarka (Five Track CD-Single)
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Anthem From Tarka
1988

ANTHONY PHILLIPS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Private Parts & Pieces XI: City of Dreams by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.82 | 10 ratings

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Private Parts & Pieces XI: City of Dreams
Anthony Phillips Symphonic Prog

Review by Raccoon

4 stars If synthesizers are involved, proggers like to steer clear (with some exceptions). Synthesizers usually bring a poppier, giddy approach to their style, instead of truly taking advantage of the vast variety of sounds it's capable of.

Here, Anthony Phillips creates a whole universe of sound. Surrounding you in a flurry of calming and relaxing touches, tones, and keys. The wave of crystalline keyboards, a wall of sound if I've ever heard one. Luckily, this one's multitracked. You can tell time and patience was put into this little beauty. Now, I shouldn't call it 'little' since it's 31 songs, but it has a 'fragile' sound. No, not that Yes album, but a precious and peaceful representation. The title of the album explains the overall feel.

The only tracks I can't get into are the various City of Dreams songs, I-IV and Mystery Train. They're each a little over a minute (or less) so that's a small complaint, they all just sound too similar for my taste. Sure, there's an addition of some new texture or sound, but the lack of a new piece doesn't impress me. I love the variety, and each song is a completely different. A different sense of 'peaceful'. Ambient music has a risk of becoming boring, but this isn't the case. With each song so short, there's plenty of new ideas to present. It isn't Eno-ambient, there's multiple textures going at once. (No offense to Eno, I love his music, but for a different reason. I have to be in the mood. With this, I can listen to it and become entranced that easily.)

Some stand-outs (though they really ALL are remarkable) is: King of the Mountains, Astral Bath, Air & Grace, Sunset Pools, The Deep, Night Train (one of the more lively pieces on here), Sea of Tranquility (introducing the harp makes this possibly the most beautiful song on the album), Realms of Gold (which is a little haunting, though beautiful, which shows that a 'realm of gold' could bring both elegance and danger. Also has a distant, quiet choir in the backdrop), Days of Yore (sounds like an out-of-tune acoustic guitar, a nice change of pace), Act of Faith (reminding me of Soiree, a luscious piano piece. Highly inspirational, and sadly, very short too), Grand Master (sounds like Anthony brought an organ into the ocean and started playing!), Anthem for Doomed Youth (the choir's front- and-center here), and The Homecoming, a great meditative closer to this meditative album.

Since nearly EVERY song is a highlight, I highly recommend that you listen to the previews on Amazon. Since I'm impatient, Amazon's mp3 price-tag of $8.99 was fair, so I grabbed it the first day it was released on here. The mp3 album title is listed as Private Parts & Pieces XI, NOT City of Dreams strangely enough. Those 57 minutes fly by, and it's always a rewarding experience when you turn it on again.

It's not as revolutionary for Ant Phillips as Seventh Heaven was, but it's still brilliant in its own sense. Please, just give it a listen. I used to love Mike Oldfield and his style, until I discovered Anthony Phillips' captivating discography.

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 Tarka by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.40 | 43 ratings

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Tarka
Anthony Phillips Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars An orphan film score

Tarka is a large scale instrumental work consisting of three longer "movements" followed by a shorter "postlude", and is Anthony Phillips's most orchestral work. I think it is roughly comparable in style to the orchestral version of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells. Strictly speaking this is not an Anthony Phillips album, but rather a collaborative work by Phillips and Harry Williamson. The music was inspired by the novel "Tarka The Otter" by Henry Williamson (which I believe is Harry's father).

Originally the music featured here was composed as a soundtrack for a film based on the book. But, as it turned out, the final version of the film (which were finished in 1979) did not include any of this music. Wikipedia states that: "In 1976 Anthony Phillips, formerly a guitarist with Genesis, and Harry Williamson recorded a soundtrack to the film of Tarka the Otter with the support of David Cobham, the producer. Harry had helped to persuade his father to sign the contract, reassuring him that with the music he had composed, the film would be true to the book. When the film rushes were shown, however, it became apparent that there had never been any intention to use this orchestral work in the film." So, apparently the two musicians (as well as the author of the novel) were fooled by the makers of the film.

From the information above it should be clear that this music is a lot older than the release date of the album suggests. It wasn't until the late 80's, however, that this work was completed and finally released in 1988. I find this album a pleasant listen, but isn't anything more than that. Perhaps it would have been excellent as film music, but without the accompanying images this is not strong enough to stand on its own as a work of music.

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 Invisible Men by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.34 | 41 ratings

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Invisible Men
Anthony Phillips Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

1 stars Invisible Prog

Within Anthony Phillips' own discography the closest comparison for the present album is the first side of Sides. Other reference points are the solo albums by other Genesis members, like Tony Banks' The Fugitive for example, released the same year as Invisible Men. This album is also comparable to the very least adventurous and most commercial releases by the likes of Electric Light Orchestra (Discovery), Alan Parsons Project (Vulture Culture), Barclay James Harvest (Victims Of Circumstance), and the poppiest singles by Mike Oldfield.

Invisible Men is a Pop album made up of short vocally driven tunes dominated by thin synthesiser sounds and cheap drum machines. Guitars are rather scarce here, and some horrible brass instruments have crept in. There is not one trace of anything progressive to be found here.

There is however one good song here in The Women Were Watching, a folky Pop Rock song with a strong melody, a good anti-war lyric, and some nice flute (or something that sounds like a flute). Though, I'm sure that this song would have been even better had the drum machines been replaced by proper drums and the rigid, monotonic rhythm had been loosened up somewhat and the instruments had a more organic sound.

Hardly Anthony Phillips greatest achievement

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 Private Parts & Pieces XI: City of Dreams by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.82 | 10 ratings

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Private Parts & Pieces XI: City of Dreams
Anthony Phillips Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Sea of tranquillity

City Of Dreams is the eleventh and, at the time of writing, latest entry in the Private Parts & Pieces collection and also Anthony Phillips' most recent solo album to date. The album features as many as 31 instrumental tracks, all of which are rather short (with running times between just under a minute to just under four minutes). Instead of making up segments of a larger, continuous piece of music, the individual tracks very often fade out to silence before the next one begins, thus emphasising the compilation nature of the Private Parts & Pieces series.

Most of the pieces here can perhaps be defined as ambient or electronic, but there are also some Classical, acoustic guitar and piano pieces that are characteristic of Phillips' oeuvre. There is even a tiny bit of electric guitar, which is unusual, on the track called King Of The Mountains. Some works by Vangelis and Mike Oldfield come to mind (in the case of the latter, particularly recent albums like Tr3s Lunas and Light + Shade).

While definitely an improvement over the previous two Private Parts & Pieces albums, City Of Dreams is not particularly impressive in its own right. Though it is a good addition to the collections of the fans.

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 Private Parts & Pieces VIII: New England  by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.97 | 44 ratings

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Private Parts & Pieces VIII: New England
Anthony Phillips Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars The best Private Parts & Pieces album!

For those who might have followed my series of reviews of Anthony Phillips' Private Parts & Pieces albums, you will have noticed that I am not a big fan of these albums. Many of these albums focus on only a single aspect of Phillips' diverse artistic ambition and skill, and some of them even focus on only a single instrument (most commonly the acoustic guitar, but sometimes piano or synthesisers). This observation can not without justification be extended to Phillips' discography as a whole with albums in many styles including Classical music, Pop Rock, New-Age, Folk, ambient/electronic, etc.

Private Parts & Pieces VIII: New England stands out for me, however, in pooling the respective strengths of some of the previous albums in the series. Like on many previous Private Parts & Pieces albums we have here again some acoustic guitar pieces, some piano pieces, and even a couple of vocal numbers, but the compositions are stronger this time around. It does not just feel like Ant strumming away on his guitar, but that he actually took care to perform some carefully crafted material. There is also a nicer flow to this album that makes it feel like an organic whole instead of just a collection of independent pieces like most other Private Parts & Pieces albums very often do. New England is in many respects Phillips' most consistent album, at least since 1981's conceptual 1984 album (which is very different from the present album in style).

For this album, Ant has relaxed the synthesisers, but alternates between stringed acoustic instruments (mostly guitar, but also some lovely mandolin) and piano. There are several guests appearing on some interesting instruments, some of which are more "exotic" than others, but all of which add to the diversity of the sound palette of the album.

Much of this album, like the three-part title suite for instance, reminded me of Amazing Blondel in its soft melodic approach and Medieval-flavoured, folky, acoustic nature. Other parts are more Classical, some experimental, and yet others are towards easy-listening. The ten plus minute Sunrise And Sea Monsters is an odd fusion of jazzy easy-listening with more experimental passages.

One of Anthony Phillips' more enjoyable albums

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 Wise After The Event by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.80 | 135 ratings

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Wise After The Event
Anthony Phillips Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is really strange. Genesis original guitarristīs first solo album (1977īs The Geese And The Ghost) is so much praised here and elsewhere. Still, I never thought it was all that good. However, his second work alone is hardly ever mentioned at all and when I first heard it recently I just fell in love with it immediately. Ok, itīs a much more "song" oriented work, and he does sing a lot on it. Phillips does not have a great voice, but it fits well his material and is surprisingly pleasant. A big surprise for me, since anyone who knows me is quite aware of how much demanding I am at the vocal department. Besides, the songs are just great, specially the first side of the old vinyl, where the more progressive material lays moslty. It reminds me a lot of early Genesis with its chimming 12 string acoustic guitar and gentle, pastoral feel of stuff from Tresspass or From Genesis To Revelation. A real joy to hear.

"Second side" of the CD is quite different, with lots of orchestration and a more commercial feel on them. That doesnīt mean they are bad, or even in the common sense of the "commercial" tag: they are just a little more accessible then the first side, but thatīs about it. the overall quality is great, and it seems like two very different works put together side by side, even if Paperchachase does still sound like an Genesis out take. There are some outside help from various top prog players like Mel Collins, John Perry and Micheal Giles, but youīll would never know theyīre featured here had not for the sleeve credits. Itīs very much an Anthony Philips solo work all along and a thereīs not much room for long intrumental passages, if any.. This time there is no impout from his old collegues from Genesis either.

I canīt really point ou t a highlight. Maybe the aforementioned Paperchase should be mentioned. But I ended up loving this CD very much from beginning to end. Itīs gentle, itīs fine and all the tracks have its own charm. Production could be a little better, but I guess it was adequate for the time (strangely it has a very similar low quality like all early Genesis stuff).

Rating: I guess itīs closer to 3.5 than to 4. But for personal taste reasons, Iīll give an extra half star. If you like the song oriented material of the Genesis first two albums, this is an excellent pick.

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 Private Parts & Pieces VII: Slow Waves, Soft Stars by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 1987
2.99 | 38 ratings

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Private Parts & Pieces VII: Slow Waves, Soft Stars
Anthony Phillips Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Elevenses

As one can almost derive from the cover art and the album (sub)title alone, Private Parts & Pieces VII: Slow Waves, Soft Stars saw Anthony Phillips returning to New-Age territory after two purely Classical albums in Private Parts & Pieces VI: Ivory Moon (a Classical piano album) and Private Parts & Pieces V: Twelve (a Classical guitar album). The present album is a bit more diverse and varied and it is most similar to Private Parts & Pieces IV: A Catch At The Tables in its pleasant blend of electronic/ambient and acoustic guitar pieces. Vangelis (in his more ambient, relaxing moods) and Mike Oldfield (in his acoustic moments) come to mind while hearing this album.

In my opinion, this album is much more interesting than the previous two entries in the Private Parts & Pieces-series, and I enjoy the present one a lot more than any of those. Yet, it is still not particularly impressive or challenging in its own right.

Pleasant enough, but not exactly my cup of tea.

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 Private Parts & Pieces VI: Ivory Moon by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.21 | 41 ratings

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Private Parts & Pieces VI: Ivory Moon
Anthony Phillips Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

1 stars Tickling the ivories till the moon comes up

Anthony "Ant" Phillips is best known as a guitar player (and, of course, particularly for being the guitar player of Genesis in the early 70's, prior to Steve Hackett). But what few may know is that he is actually also a very competent keyboard player, which is well demonstrated on the present recording of piano pieces.

This music was composed between 1971 and 1985 and features Ant on the grand piano, pure and simple, no other people are involved and no other instruments can be heard. Ant even produces the album himself. This is an album that falls wholly in the Classical music category and it has nothing to do with progressive Rock. Rick Wakeman has more than a few similar albums.

As a demonstration of technical prowess, and even of the ability to compose in (a) certain style(s), this album is exemplary, and I don't mean to say that it is of low quality considered as a Classical album. But personally I just don't enjoy it very much. Even if I do love the sound of the piano, hearing it for a whole album straight becomes a strain on the ear in this case.

This is an album strictly for Anthony Phillips completionists and perhaps for those who have a special interest in Classical piano music. Anyone else is best advised to stay away.

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 Private Parts & Pieces V: Twelve  by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.13 | 43 ratings

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Private Parts & Pieces V: Twelve
Anthony Phillips Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Twelve tunes played on twelve strings

The remarkably prolific Anthony Phillips released even more "private parts and pieces" on this fifth entry in the series. Private Parts & Pieces V is subtitled Twelve and features 12 instrumental numbers all of which are performed on 12 string guitar. This album is even more "private" than most albums in the series as it features only Ant playing only a single instrument and nothing else. As such the sound is rather unidimensional and monotonous.

Supposedly the album is a conceptual one with the 12 tunes representing the 12 months of the year, but it is really hard to hear why any particular number is intended to represent any particular month. The concept appears rather ad hoc and may, for all the listener is able to perceive, be an afterthought rather than something on which the actual tunes were based. Of course, being conceptual doesn't mean that it has anything to do with progressive Rock or with progressive music of any kind.

The music is mostly pleasant and it works reasonably well despite its instrumental simplicity. Sitting through the whole thing in one go is however a rather tedious exercise and it is not particularly memorable.

Like most entries in the Private Parts & Pieces-series, this is recommended only for fans and collectors or for whose with a particular interest in the 12 string guitar.

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 Private Parts & Pieces IV: A Catch At The Tables by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.16 | 37 ratings

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Private Parts & Pieces IV: A Catch At The Tables
Anthony Phillips Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Earth man

The fourth entry in Anthony Phillips' Private Parts & Pieces-series is a bit more towards New-Age territory compared to its more or less purely Classical predecessor. The sound is still mostly dominated by acoustic guitars, but this time there are also some synthesisers and drum machines co-existing with Ant's typical acoustic guitar playing which makes the whole thing a bit more varied instrumentally. The track Earth Man even goes all the way towards purely electronic music, bringing to mind the works of Vangelis. Bouncer is in a higher tempo than most tunes in the Private Parts & Pieces-series and is another decent number. The almost 11 minute Dawn Over The Lake is however a tedious and overly long piece.

Like most albums in the series, Private Parts & Pieces IV: A Catch At The Tables is almost completely instrumental. There is however one vocal number in Sistine.

Overall, this is a decent collection of mostly relaxing tunes that I find moderately enjoyable even if some passages are downright boring. I prefer this album over the first Private Parts & Pieces album as well as over Private Parts & Pieces III: Antiques, but it is still inferior to Private Parts & Pieces II: Back To The Pavilion.

Recommended only for fans and collectors of Anthony Phillips in general and the Private Parts & Pieces- series in particular

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