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Anthony Phillips - 1984 CD (album) cover


Anthony Phillips


Symphonic Prog

3.77 | 118 ratings

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4 stars One of the best solo albums by a former member of Genesis. In fact, I think of those solo albums, only Peter Gabriel's third album is better. Even though the last Genesis album Phillips was on was 1970's Trespass, this sounds oddly similar to what Genesis themselves were doing at the time. I think I read once that Anthony borrowed Phil Collins' Roland drum machine for the recording of this album. If that's true, then you are hearing the very drum machine that was used on "In The Air Tonight", for example.

This is an electronic album, very different from most of Phillips' acoustic-oriented material. Besides the Roland drum machine, Anthony uses Polymoog and ARP 2600. He must have had that ARP synth kicking around since the 1970s; almost nobody was using ARP synths in the early 1980s. The sounds of R2D2 in the Star Wars films was made on an ARP 2600, for example. Most keyboardists had moved on to Yamahas and Rolands, or even Fairlights and Synclaviers. Although ARP made some of the best synthesizers in the '70s, the company itself was bankrupt by the turn of the decade.

There is also a little guitar and percussion. Supposedly there is Mellotron here too, but I can't hear it; it must be modified to the point where it sounds like another synth. There are no lyrics but there is a little bit of vocals done on vocoder. There is lots of gorgeous melodies on this album. All the music must have been composed on keyboards because this doesn't sound like something a guitarist would write. "Prelude '84" should have been a hit. I never really cared for "Anthem 1984". It's the shortest and weakest piece on the album. Not a good way to end it.

I don't get the idea of instrumental concept albums, but whatever. The two part title track is the heart and soul of the whole album. Never boring. Lots of variation throughout. The synth playing is really good. A lot of this sounds like symphonic electronic music with a steady beat. But even the drum machine is not just used for time-keeping; it is used to add some percussion effects as well. Overall a really great album, but if you are not into electronic music in general this may not be your cup of tea. 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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