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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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Private Parts & Pieces V-VIIIPrivate Parts & Pieces V-VIII
Box set · Import
Cherry Red 2016
Audio CD$20.93
$20.92 (used)
Private Parts & Pieces I-IV: 5cd Deluxe ClamshellPrivate Parts & Pieces I-IV: 5cd Deluxe Clamshell
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$25.62
$32.55 (used)
Wise After the Event: Deluxe EditionWise After the Event: Deluxe Edition
Import
Cherry Red 2016
Audio CD$22.62
$19.80 (used)
19841984
Import · Remastered
Cherry Red 2016
Audio CD$15.65
$20.87 (used)
Sides: 3cd/1dvd Deluxe Boxset EditionSides: 3cd/1dvd Deluxe Boxset Edition
Import
Cherry Red 2016
Audio CD$19.83
$19.82 (used)
The Geese & The GhostThe Geese & The Ghost
CD+DVD
Esoteric Antenna 2015
Audio CD$18.49
$16.27 (used)
Private Parts & Pieces 1 & 2Private Parts & Pieces 1 & 2
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2010
Audio CD$9.95
$11.95 (used)
Private Parts & Pieces 2Private Parts & Pieces 2
Import
Blueprint UK 1997
Audio CD$29.99
$19.99 (used)
Harvest of the Heart: DeluxeHarvest of the Heart: Deluxe
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$36.87
$219.99 (used)
Private Parts And Pieces VII: Slow Waves, Soft StarsPrivate Parts And Pieces VII: Slow Waves, Soft Stars
Import
Blueprint UK 1997
Audio CD$19.61
$4.75 (used)
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Geese & The Ghost [Definitive Edition] [Box] by Anthony Phillips (CD,... USD $24.36 Buy It Now
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Sides [Deluxe Edition] [CD & DVD] by Anthony Phillips. USD $28.60 Buy It Now 56m 45s
1984 [CD/DVD] by Anthony Phillips. USD $31.98 Buy It Now 56m 52s
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17h 50m
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ANTHONY PHILLIPS (GENESIS) SIDES, 1979,USA PRESSING, VG CONDITION USD $11.38 [0 bids]
20h 24m
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1984 by Anthony Phillips (CD, Jun-2016, 3 Discs, Esoteric Recordings) USD $17.04 Buy It Now 2 days
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INVISIBLE MEN Self Titled [Vinyl LP] Passport PB 6023 Anthony Phillips USD $4.00 Buy It Now 3 days
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Slow Dance Anthony Phillips CD album (CDLP) UK CDV2638 VIRGIN 1990 USD $15.81 Buy It Now 3 days
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Anthony Phillips 2 CD album (Double CD) Soundscapes: An Anthology UK SMDCD458 USD $19.61 Buy It Now 3 days
Anthony Phillips Gypsy Suite Austrian CD album (CDLP) VP189CD VOICEPRINT 1994 USD $15.81 Buy It Now 3 days
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Sides Anthony Phillips vinyl LP album record UK SPART1085 ARISTA 1979 USD $20.19 Buy It Now 5 days
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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)

4.02 | 303 ratings
The Geese And The Ghost
1977
3.81 | 144 ratings
Wise After The Event
1978
3.35 | 87 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces
1978
3.04 | 88 ratings
Sides
1979
3.73 | 89 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces II: Back To The Pavillion
1980
3.75 | 82 ratings
1984
1981
3.55 | 64 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces III: Antiques
1982
2.34 | 43 ratings
Invisible Men
1983
3.14 | 40 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces IV: A Catch At The Tables
1984
3.13 | 45 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces V: Twelve
1984
3.32 | 41 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces VI: Ivory Moon
1986
3.01 | 41 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces VII: Slow Waves, Soft Stars
1987
3.40 | 43 ratings
Tarka
1988
3.44 | 26 ratings
The Missing Links Volume 1 - Finger Painting
1989
4.23 | 138 ratings
Slow Dance
1990
3.94 | 49 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces VIII: New England
1992
2.75 | 20 ratings
Sail the World
1994
3.24 | 27 ratings
Missing Links Volume 2: the Sky Road
1994
3.46 | 28 ratings
Gypsy Suite
1995
3.63 | 38 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces IX: Dragonfly Dreams
1996
4.16 | 27 ratings
The Meadows of Englewood
1996
3.84 | 22 ratings
Missing Links Volume 3: Time & Tide
1997
4.04 | 33 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces X: Soirée
1999
3.50 | 16 ratings
Battle of the Birds - A Celtic Tale
2003
4.21 | 77 ratings
Field Day
2005
3.23 | 13 ratings
Wildlife
2007
2.51 | 18 ratings
Missing Links Volume Four: Pathways & Promenades
2009
2.82 | 11 ratings
Ahead of the Field
2010
3.77 | 22 ratings
Seventh Heaven
2012
2.93 | 14 ratings
Private Parts & Pieces XI: City of Dreams
2012

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

4.00 | 13 ratings
The "Living Room" Concert
1995
3.82 | 8 ratings
The Live Radio Sessions
1998
3.67 | 9 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 | 10 ratings
Harvest of the Heart
1985
3.08 | 12 ratings
Anthony Phillips - Anthology
1995
4.14 | 7 ratings
Legend (1997)
1997
2.77 | 7 ratings
The Archive Collection Volume One
1998
4.50 | 4 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
3.75 | 4 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
 Seventh Heaven by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.77 | 22 ratings

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Seventh Heaven
Anthony Phillips Symphonic Prog

Review by Trollheart

4 stars Ah yes, Anthony Phillips, the "forgotten man" in the Genesis story. With them from the beginning, he played on both their debut album, From Genesis to Revelation, which was quite a long way from the prog-rock masterpieces they would later turn out, but a nice little album, and also on their first "real" album, 1970's Trespass, but then he developed a severe bout of stage fright. This is not a good thing to have in a band, and his doctor advised him he should quit the band for the sake of his health, which he did. We all know what happened to Genesis of course after that: under the guidance of Peter Gabriel they became one of the most important and influential and loved progressive rock bands on the 70s and early 80s, but after Gabriel left and Phil Collins took over they drifted more towards a commercial/pop sound, eventually losing it in 1982 when they released Abacab. They recovered slightly with the next few albums but eventually Collins himself left and the band more or less imploded under the pressure of trying to keep pace with the demands of the charts.

As for Anthony? Well, whether he recovered from his stage fright or not I don't know - though I haven't seen any evidence of him touring ever - but he certainly did not give up music. Far from it. After leaving Genesis -and worldwide fame, had he known it - behind, he released his first solo album in 1977, and has pretty much put out one a year since then. He's also guested on other albums, most notably ex-bandmate Mike Rutherford on the guitarist's first solo album, and again with ex-Genesis guitarist (but not bandmate, as he was not there at the same time) Steve Hackett's Out of the Tunnel's Mouth. In addition, he has collaborated with figures in the world of classical and soundtrack music, like Joji Hirota and Harry Williamson. In total, he's recorded, played on or assisted with over fifty albums. Not bad for a man who was too scared to get up onstage with Genesis!

After a somewhat disastrous attempt at breaking into the world of commercial, chart music in 1983, Anthony swore to concentrate on film, classical and instrumental works, and in that sphere he has been rather wildly successful. This is his latest collaboration, a partnership with composer Andrew Skeet, and it's a double album.

There are thirty-five tracks to get through here, but most stay within the 2/3 minutes mark, with one or two under 2 minutes, and just the one clocking in at almost seven, so it shouldn't be too hard to get them all reviewed. It opens, rather annoying and unsettlingly for me, with an operatic vocal. I personally have no time for opera (other than rock opera!): I just can't stand the high-pitched voices and the fact that it's a story you're supposed to follow while being written - and sung - in a language foreign to me has always made it totally inaccessible to these ears. So opera is not what I want to hear as my first impression of this album. Still, like most of the tracks on this album, "Credo in cantus" is short, just over two minutes, and the music is certainly nice. Mostly driven on violin and guitar, with some nice plinky piano played by Andrew Skeet, it's not as harsh a vocal from Lucy Crowe as I often hear in the few operatic pieces I've been subjected to, and it's a slow piece, which gives way to "A richer earth", a sumptuous strings arrangement carrying the melody, which gets a little heavier and more dramatic and builds to a crescendo, very film-like, and very moving.

Some nice rolling drums, as there often are in pieces of this nature, quite little in the way of guitar I have to say, but then although he made his name as mostly a guitarist, Anthony Phillips is a multi-instrumentalist, and plays at least eight different instruments on this album, many of them guitars but also piano, bazouki, oud and fylde. It's in the next track though, "Under the infinite sky", that we hear his expertise on his instrument of choice, and though there is a lot of strings backup on the piece, it's mainly taken on the guitar melody, reminiscent of Steve Hackett's "Horizons" from Genesis's album Foxtrot. It gets a little frenetic, of sorts, halfway through, but then drops away into a heavenly, celestial strings melody that itself falls away to leave Anthony solo on the acoustic guitar to take the song to its end.

Nice harpsichordical opening to "Grand Central", and though we're really reviewing this as an Anthony Phillips record, praise must also be given to his partner, who not only composes almost all of the album with him, but also plays the lovely piano melody on this track. Great violin attack too, taking the whole thing up a notch, then softer violin and classical guitar takes us into the lovely "Kissing gate", very pastoral and relaxing, evoking memories of summer days and lazy warm nights under the sky. The strings swell here too, but the main melody is carried by the guitar and the violin, while "Paquinade" has a very Mozart feel to it, with pizzicato strings and oboe, a slow stately piece with some lovely sighing violin coming in.

There's much more lively violin on "Rain on sag harbour", a very short piece, just over a minute and a half, but it bounces along nicely, then another short track and a chance for Phillips to shine on the piano in "Ice maiden", a beautiful little almost intermezzo on the keys, a solo piece for the composer, while lush strings carry "River of life" alongside his gentle acoustic guitar lines, but he really breaks out the classical guitar for one of the longer tracks, close to four minutes of "Desert passage". Almost a solo spotlight for more than half of the song's length, it's eventually joined by percussion and flute and strings, with a definite ELO-style feel near the end, and taking on a very Arabic texture. It's followed by the second vocal piece, this time voiced by Belinda Sykes, with an ominous strings melody as "Seven ancient wonders" continues the eastern-styled music with more of a chant really than singing from Ms. Sykes, very effective.

This takes us into the second-shortest track on the whole album, just three seconds over a minute, with "Desert passage reprise" carrying on the Arabic/eastern influence and then some lovely acoustic guitar leads in "Circle of light", again recalling some of Phillips's best work with Genesis, particularly "Stagnation" and "Dusk": very introspective, and again a solo performance from the composer. It takes us into "Forgotten angels", which seems to start on a glockenspiel melody, joined by strings and very nursery-rhyme or music-box themed, with choral vocals sounding like a flock of angels (what is the correct collective term for angels, anyway?), some lovely oboe and something that may be a harp. Very celestial, very ethereal, very relaxing.

"Courtesan" on the other hand borrows just a touch from the melody of "Speak softly love", the theme to the movie The Godfather, by Nino Rota, and travels on soft acoustic guitar aided by lush strings and perhaps some mandolin: always hard to know when a full orchestra is involved. Great sense of space to this piece, evokes images of staring out to sea over a high cliff in some Mediterranean locale. Strings drive "Ghosts of New York", accompanied by some soft piano and some tenor saxophone, or possibly clarinet. There's a sense of drama, urgency, even panic about "Shipwreck of St Paul", rising strings building the tension along with some low brass, then there's a suitably grave tempo and mood to "Cortege", which closes the first disc. Very funereal, very stately, low bassy strings are joined halfway through by high, soaring ones, and the two meld to create perhaps hope out of despair. I must say, this reminds me of nothing more than the theme to Anne Rice's Interview With the Vampire movie.

And so we come to the end of the first disc, and I feel like I've already reviewed a full album, but there are seventeen more tracks to go. And with quality like this, I'm glad it's not over yet. Disc two opens with the full instrumental version of the piece that began disc one, "Credo in cantus", and without the vocal it's possible now to appreciate fully the nuances of the piece. It's very grand, very expansive and has a lovely violin and cello melody complemented by piano, with Andrew Skeet again behind the keyboard, reprising the role he played in the vocal version. An upbeat tune then for "Sojourn", with happy violins and cellos, guitar adding its own special flavour courtesy of Anthony, giving the piece at times a very Genesis flavour.

Anthony is back at the keyboard though for a piano solo piece in "Speak of remarkable things", another short track, just over a minute, then "Nocturne" is one of the longer pieces, just under four minutes, again recalling Hackett at his best as Anthony puts in a beautiful performance on the classical guitar, backed by some swelling strings that only complement his playing, never seeking to take from it. "Long road home" is another piano piece, again backed by powerful strings with some intense percussion that really helps up the drama, then gentle flute or clarinet reduces it all back down to basics again, this theme maintained for "The golden leaves of the fall", driven on quiet piano backed up by soft strings then some cinematic style rolling percussion ups the drama level in a melody that's, to be fair, not a million miles removed from John Williams' theme from Jurassic Park. Sorry, but it's not. There's a short guitar piano and cello piece then for "Credo", then rolling thunder effects start off "Under the infinite sky (Guitar ensemble version)" - the parentheses being there to separate it from the version on disc one - which is, not surprisingly, a showcase for Phillips's guitar talents on the acoustic, while there's far more of a full classical, even chamber feel to "The stuff of dreams", mostly led by clarinet and flute; reminds me a lot of "Neptune, the Mystic," from Holst's The Planets Suite opus. It gets a little heavier though with that rolling drumbeat and some bassoon (?), then slips back into the lighter groove it began on, almost ethereal with some lovely full strings coming in.

That takes us to easily the longest piece on either disc, "Old Sarum suite", which is almost eight minutes long, and is broken up into eight separate movements. As a suite, it changes and evolves as it goes, and is perhaps the most versatile of the tracks on the album, showing a breadth of experience, expertise and talent in the different moods, themes and tempos used. It seems to be concerned around some sort of battle (see track listing) but I'm not familiar with it. I'd go into it in more depth, but there are still seven tracks to go before we close, so moving on, next up is "For Eloise", which I have to admit I thought would be an adaptation of the Beethoven classic, but seems to be an original guitar piece.

The next track puts me in mind, uneasily, of the old kids' scary TV show Children of the Stones, but it's actually called "Winter song", and is a solo for cello, gorgeous and breathtaking thanks to Chris Worsey, with Michela Srumova providing the soprano voice at the beginning that gave me the willies. She comes back in near the end again, after the piece has jolted into something of a Russian folk song melody, but it slows back in and ends on sad cello, taking us into "Ghosts of New York". I know we had this already, but this is a piano solo version, with Skeet again showing his prowess on the Steinway, then "Daniel's theme" is another classical guitar piece, with horn and low violin backing, another slow, melancholy tune, with some powerful strings coming in, while "Study in scarlet" is led by horns and violins, evoking images of Sherlock Holmes, which I would assume it's intended to. It is in fact the shortest track on the album, exactly one minute. It ends on sudden powerful dramatic strings, and then everything eases back for "The lives of others", a soft violin-and-piano driven piece, and we finally close on the shimmery piano of "Forever always", a lovely, slow, soothing piece which closes an album that really evokes that kind of mood. Some absolutely wonderful musicianship, some amazing compositions, a fine melding of two fine talents, even if neither are that well known in the world of commercial music.

An interesting aside, before I finish: the artwork on the album cover (at least, the layout and design) is by one Mark Wilkinson, best known for his work with Marillion and later Fish, and most recently on Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman's The Living Tree - nice to see there's some some prog rock linkage to be had, even if Anthony is no longer really working in that side of things, mostly.

This is a long album, there's no denying that, but with the tracks all so short, it really doesn't seem like it runs for the over an hour and a half that it does. It's great for background music, or to listen to as you fall to sleep (hardly any, if any, surprises in sudden fast/loud tracks) but it's also an album that deserves to be listened to in depth, paying attention to all the little tunes and melodies and idiosyncrasies of the full composition. As a collaboration this is a real triumph. As an album it's great value for money: where else are you going to get one with over thirty tracks? And as a reminder to those who knew him in the early years, it's proof that Anthony Phillips, though he missed out on the "big time" with Genesis, has quietly and determinedly forged his own path through the music world, playing the music he likes, and following his own dream.

Over forty years after he left them, Genesis are now gone as a band, and Anthony Phillips is releasing yet another new album. Doesn't that say something about the man?

 The Geese And The Ghost by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.02 | 303 ratings

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The Geese And The Ghost
Anthony Phillips Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

4 stars Review Nº 95

In those times, almost all members and ex-members of Genesis released solo albums. Mike Rutherford released "Smallcreep's Day" in 1980, Phil Collins "Face Value" in 1981, Steve Hackett "Voyage Of The Acolyte" in 1975, Peter Gabriel "Peter Gabriel (1 ? "Car")" in 1977, Tony Banks "A Curious Feeling" in 1979 and Anthony Phillips "The Geese And The Ghost" in 1977.

However, all these albums are very different musical proposals. "Face Value" is a non- progressive album totally guided for the pop sound with the usual quality of the hand of Collins. "Peter Gabriel (1 ? "Car")" is almost a progressive album with many other musical influences, a real crossover album. "Smallcreep's Day" is a half-progressive album, with the A side progressive and the B side guided for the pop sound. "A Curious Feeling" is, for me, in contrary to most of the views of my colleagues on this site, is an album almost progressive with its sound very close to Genesis, with some other less progressive tracks. "The Geese And The Ghost" is an album totally progressive that it sounds very close to the sound of Genesis on "Trespass", more acoustic and with clear influences from the Middle Age music, with the usual quality of Phillips. "Voyage Of The Acolyte" is another truly progressive album with the sound very close to the golden era of Genesis, "Nursery Crime", "Foxtrot" and "Selling England By The Pound", more experimental and also very close to what would be the solo works of Hackett, in the future.

Like most ensuing albums of Phillips "The Geese And The Ghost" didn't become a hit. What is most curious about this album is that not even various stickers that pointed out the very close musical collaboration with his Genesis' colleagues could change that, and unfortunately, even many Genesis fans ignored the album for a long time. It was quite a surprise because all Genesis' references are present on it. Most of the songs were written while Phillips was still in Genesis or shortly after his departure, and so, their concepts and music pick up where "Trespass" left off. Had it been released two years earlier and it would probably have gotten the real attention that it truly hardly deserves.

On "The Geese And The Ghost", largely instrumental and largely acoustic, Phillips takes the English pastoral countryside feel for the music that he helped develop, with the two other boys from Genesis, and makes a work of breathtaking beauty. It's deliberately an atmospheric and a largely instrumental album in an orchestral Baroque style. Phillips had began composing the album in 1969 and has recorded a demo with his band mate, Rutherford. Following his departure from Genesis in 1970, advised to quit for health reasons by his doctor after the recordings of the band's second album "Trespass", he continued to write and shape the medieval themed music until he finished it only in 1976.

"The Geese And The Ghost" was, in a certain way, a Phillips and Rutherford duo project. The album was completed in 1976, but didn't find its way until Phillips unearthed the project in 1977. Considered by many to be among Phillip's finest moments as a solo artist, it has some elements and instrumental pieces that could almost fit seamlessly on Genesis' albums like "Nursery Cryme" or "Foxtrot". But it still manages to be a distinctly Phillips' work. So, you have a very telling collection of music almost outlining what Genesis may would have been like, if he had not left the group. Of course, the fact that Rutherford makes an appearance and Collins provides some vocals certainly doesn't hurt the comparison of this effort and the early works of his former band. Probably, if Phillips hadn't left Genesis, they wouldn't have been half a successful as they were, but they would have also made some beautiful music along the way.

Conclusion: "The Geese And The Ghost" is like "Voyage Of The Acolyte", in many ways, almost a lost Genesis album, especially because it features Collins and Rutherford and also because it has many similarities with the musical sound of "Trespass" of Genesis. Part of the songs recorded on this album, in fact, seem to have been derived from musical pieces composed together in Genesis' early days, even because as I mentioned earlier, Rutherford also shares the composition credits with Phillips, on the major parts of the album. "The Geese And The Ghost" is a beautiful acoustic classic album clearly influenced by the medieval music and where its music flows together as a continuous piece of music. It's also a real trip back into the journey of time. Phillips' guitar work is exceptional, Collins on vocals is superb and John Hackett on flute is absolutely delightful. "The Geese And The Ghost" came to be a real reference of a wonderful classic piece of music from the 70's that all Genesis' fans must have. It also marks the beginning of the journey of Phillips in his extensive and solid musical career as a solo artist. Sincerely, I only just wish that Phillips receives the credits as a great songwriter and a great guitarist, that the general quality of his works really deserve. It's true that it isn't a masterpiece but it's, for sure, an essential album in any serious progressive musical collection.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 The Geese And The Ghost by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.02 | 303 ratings

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The Geese And The Ghost
Anthony Phillips Symphonic Prog

Review by Replayer

4 stars There's a saying that you prepare for your first album or novel your entire life. While Anthony 'Ant' Phillips had released two albums with Genesis in 1969 and 1970, The Geese and the Ghost is his first solo work and took the better part of a decade to complete. Originally envisioned as joint project with former bandmate and schoolmate Mike Rutherford, the album had to be delayed due to Rutherford's touring and composing duties while Phillips was also occupied with studying classical guitar, which only allowed for sporadic recording sessions. Thus, while the album had its genesis (pun intended) back in 1969, with a lengthy 12-string guitar duet which eventually became the title track, it was mostly recorded in 1974 and 1975. However, it wasn't completed until 1976 and not released until 1977. By then, Phillips wrote a few more tracks and released The Geese and The Ghost as his first solo album.

Rutherford is listed as a co-composer on the two longest tracks and the short interlude Chinese Mushroom Cloud, which is actually reprised in the title track. Phillips and Rutherford play various guitars and keyboard instruments, but it is their 12-string acoustic guitar work that really shines. Genesis drummer Phil Collins sings on two of the songs. John Hackett, younger brother of Genesis' guitarist Steve Hackett, plays flute on a few tracks. Ant's brother Rob contributes oboe.

Wind-Tales is a very short orchestral instrumental that sets the album's pastoral mood. The album includes some guest musicians contributing classical instruments such as cello, oboe, cor anglais, flute, recorder, and violin, but they are not credited for this track, so I assume it's just Ant playing it on Mellotron.

Which Way the Wind Blows is sung by Phil Collins and he does excellent job, imbuing the lyrics with just enough emotion. Interestingly, Phillips revealed that he played electric guitar in the style of classic guitar on this track. Ant also plays Mellotron at the track's end.

Henry - Portraits from Tudor Times is the album's highlight for me. It is one of the album's two epics that Phillips co-wrote with Rutherford. It is an instrumental multi-part song that aurally depicts Henry VII's incursions in France due to French support of Perkin Warbeck as pretender to the English throne. The fact the several themes are reprised adds to the track's cohesiveness. The Henry Goes to War section is the album's most aggressive and Ant even rips a few electric guitar licks. The Lutes Chorus reprise was cut from the original album, but restored in the 2CD reissue.

God If I Saw Her Now is a duet between Vivienne McAuliffe and Phil Collins dealing with the male character reminiscing about his unrequited love for another girl. Phillip's introductory guitar passage reminds me of Bach's Prelude in C Major from the Well-Tempered Clavier.

Chinese Mushroom Cloud is a short and ominous instrumental is reprised in the middle of the title track, so I'm not sure why it's listed separately as a standalone track.

The title track is another lengthy instrumental. The focus is on the acoustic 12-strings, but it also contains a bit of more traditional rock instrumentation, such as electric guitar, bass guitar and drums. The song's title derives from two ARP Pro Soloist synth effects that are fairly buried in the mix. The geese honking effect is encountered at 4:40 and 13:20 and the ghost at 4:55 and 13:40. Part two starts at the 8 minute mark and includes a reprise of the Chinese Mushroom Cloud melody at 8:10. Part II is livelier than Part I.

Collections is a piano ballad played and sung by Phillips. It features lush orchestration, but according to the album credits, only John Hackett is featured of the guest musicians, which implies the orchestral accompaniment is mostly provided by Ant on the Mellotron.

Sleepfall: The Geese Fly West is a melancholy tune played on piano with flute, oboe and Mellotron accompaniment. The geese synth effect is featured here, as well.

The CD reissue includes a bonus CD, the bulk of which consists of demo/basic tracks for all the proper songs on the album (i.e. all except for Wind Tales and Chinese Mushroom Cloud). However, there are two previously unreleased Phillips songs included as well. The first is Master of Time, sung by Phillips, which was intended for the album. The other is Silver Song, a song written by Phillips and Rutherford as a farewell to former Genesis drummer John Silver. There is an instrumental demo version and a vocal version, featuring Phil Collins' singing and drumming. The vocal version was intended to be released as a single in 1973, but was never released by Charisma Records. It's a catchy and enjoyable song, though I find it somewhat ironic that Phil is the one singing of missing a drummer whose role in Genesis he occupied at the time.

The album also has beautiful cover art that suits the music perfectly and references several songs: medieval imagery (Henry: Portraits from Tudor Times), the sunset (Which Way the Wind Blows), a ghostly apparition (The Geese and the Ghost), geese (The Geese and the Ghost and Sleepfall: The Geese Fly West). The back cover's armored goose makes me smile every time I see it.

I recommend The Geese and the Ghost to fans of early Genesis and of acoustic guitar music, such as performed by Gordon Giltrap and Blackmore's Night.

 1984 by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.75 | 82 ratings

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1984
Anthony Phillips Symphonic Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars To Anthony Phillips is primarily associated with gentle progressive folk/pop/rock with an added sense of baroque music. At least I thinkt that's correct when speaking of his 70's output with what I am mostly familiar. Being a very gifted guitarist and possessing a mild mannered voice the music on "1984" comes across not as a schock but rather a surprise. Now, surprises can be sweet as sugar but also unpleasant in a myriad of ways.

There's a serious 80's sound on this album that cannot be denied and definately not ridiculed. One has to remember the time in which the music was recorded. Given that the electronics of the late 70's and early 80's might come across as cheezy, one must approach this album bearing that in mind. Gone are the guitars (for the most part anyway) and enter all sorts of electronic instruments, including drum machines. I love this approach and find it not only charming and endearing but also great in so many ways.

The novel "1984" is quite something. Dark and foreboding. The words of Orwell may be quite the challenge to transform into theater, movie or music. Some say it can't be done but I beg to differ. The darkness in the novel transforms beautifully into music, especially when conducted in this very much modern (for it's day) and electronic, futuristic fashion.

There is a deceptive gaiety in this opus similar to the songs in the book, made by machines and sporting a cold joy that is lacking in heart and soul. I suppose I really want to say "artificial joy". In the novel Big Brother supplies the citizens with supposedly everything needed, from chocolate to music. It is depressing but extremely evocative and exciting piece of literature. The music of Phillips is, however, not without heart. It is brilliant and manages to portray this false smile of totalitarianism to a degree of perfect splendour. And while the music is cold and futuristic, one feels the love Phillips has put into this project. The result is a very melodious and engaging experience, sporting a multitude of melodies one can't wait to hear.

This is truly the audio companion to the novel and I find it to be one of the finest examples of early 80's prog. While instrumentally lightyears away from his previous work, the essence of Phillips genius is there. Easily 4 stars.

 Slow Dance by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 1990
4.23 | 138 ratings

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Slow Dance
Anthony Phillips Symphonic Prog

Review by branchranch

5 stars This album is phenomenal! I have listened to some of Mr. Phillips other work, and I think his presence really elevated Genesis' Trespass album. The pastoral sound which he brought to that group was sorely missed by me when he left. His music has always been peaceful and enjoyable to some degree. However, the only other recording by him that I own is Geese and the Ghost, which I like but not nearly as much as this one. But suddenly, out of nowhere, nearly twenty years later, the hand of God falls on Ant, and he creates this masterpiece. The equivalent of two side-long epics in the tradition of Thick as a Brick, this is an instrumental composition of incredible magnitude. And most surprisingly of all, his incredible guitar takes a backseat on this one. This recording is so filled with orchestral instrumentation, it could easily be classified as semi-classical, although comparisons to Michael Oldfield could easily be made, as well. The record starts out with one of the most enchanting themes I have ever heard. This theme will reoccur throughout the recording, and provides the glue which holds the entire piece together. A harp sound sets the mood, and then the orchestra enters bringing warmth and power to the main theme. Simplicity seems to be the key in this masterwork. Much of the record is spent is soft reflection between a couple of solo instruments playing counterpoint with the current melody line. Although there are a few segments where percussion takes center stage, the recording is so soft and pastoral, it is hard to classify it as rock at all. (after all this is a progressive-ROCK site) Transitions between musical passages are almost seamless, which is hard to fathom in a nearly 50- minute composition. The repeating main theme serves its purpose well here. Part two is a bit less interesting than part one, but only a little. On the downside, there are some cheesy-sounding synths and sampling from time to time, but that was a reflection of the time it was recorded. If you are a fan of classical or semi-classical music, Michael Oldfield, soft instrumental music, even easy-listening, you will find a lot to like here. If you insist that your music always have a driving beat, you will miss a real hidden gem. Final score: 4.75, rounded up to 5 stars, no doubt.
 Slow Dance by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 1990
4.23 | 138 ratings

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Slow Dance
Anthony Phillips Symphonic Prog

Review by Thandrus

5 stars This is a wonder album. Many people know who Anthony Phillips is, yet few actually know his music well. Apart of the conventional, pastoral prog albums early in his solo career (recalling the music of times when he was in Genesis) to many acoustic albums devoted to piano and his beloved guitar. Other than this, he had a few unsuccessful pop flings and some shots for orchestral/synthesizer music. The album in question belongs to latter territory and what an album it is!

Being surrounded with such amount of film (and new age) music, there's very much to compare it to, but only very rarely this type of music has achieved such an emotional effect. A two-part composition is presented, with alternatiing amazingly beautiful, magical themes with endless, interesting variations. Sound is bright but very, very deep and massive at moments (e.g. the beginning sequence).

This is one of my all-time favourite albums. This is for everyone that puts beauty first.

 Private Parts & Pieces II: Back To The Pavillion by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.73 | 89 ratings

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Private Parts & Pieces II: Back To The Pavillion
Anthony Phillips Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator 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.

 Private Parts & Pieces XI: City of Dreams by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.93 | 14 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.

 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.

 Invisible Men by PHILLIPS, ANTHONY album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.34 | 43 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

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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