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Phideaux Ghost Story album cover
3.63 | 204 ratings | 8 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Everynight (5:14)
2. Feel the Radiation (4:02)
3. A Curse of Miracles (6:25)
4. Kiteman (4:30)
5. Wily Creilly (5:24)
6. Beyond the Shadow of Doubt (7:45)
7. Ghostforest (5:45)
8. Universally (5:45)
9. Come Out Tonight (5:52)

Total Time 50:42

Line-up / Musicians

- Phideaux Xavier / vocals, guitars, bass, co-producer
- Mark Sherkus / organ, piano, synths (Minimoog), guitars
- Rich Hutchins / acoustic & electric drums, gongs, co-producer
- Gabriel Moffat / Fx, mixing

- Sam Fenster / bass (2-4,6,8,9)
- Naomi Uman / "maniacal laugh" (7)

Releases information

CD Bloodfish - ZYZ-1618 (2004, US)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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PHIDEAUX Ghost Story ratings distribution

(204 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PHIDEAUX Ghost Story reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by JLocke
3 stars Wow, what a great Crossover Prog artist!

I had only just heard of Phideaux Xavier and his 'Gothic Pop-Prog' stylings when I decided to place an order for the coolest-looking album in his discography. GHOST STORIES is a fantastic mixture of traditional pop music that should appeal to the masses well, and that complex, deep, emotional Prog music that we have all come to love. With appeal like that, it isn't too difficult to see why someone would go for this album right away!

The only real set back I feel is that, while catchy and easy to get into, the more starightforward tracks (Which outnumber the true 'Prog'' songs by quite a margin) will undoubtedly become tiresome eventually, leading to my initial excitement coming to a slow halt, ultimately stagnating my overall enjoyment experience. But, this is great music while it lasts, and while I do feel that it's Pop-Rock tendancies will cause it to be an every now and then type of album, the quality of the music lyrically and technically is quite high.

I do plan on getting more of Phideaux's albums, as I enjoyed this one immensly. It just isn't an epic, nor is it essential. It's bubble-gum Prog, and while it may not compare to the work of the past luminaries of this vast genre, I don't see any reason not to enjoy it for what it is; fun music. It isn't prolific, indulgiant or intelligent per say, but who said that all Prog must contain these elements to be worthy of a listen? Crossover Prog fits this type of music perfectly, as it reminds me very much of Peter Gabriel's solo work in that the song structure and such is quite simple and straightforward, while not losing the originallity that is truly Progressive. Good stuff. Simple, but enjoyable. Three stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I guess you could call this a concept album, or at least say there is a theme that runs through this record. All the songs have subtitles including the title of the album which is "Ghost Story (A Lullabye In Nine Movements)". At the end of the final track Phideaux says "This story dedicated to my sister, Jeri,who has forever heard my haunting...with love, Phideaux." What I love so much about Phideaux's early records are the well crafted songs that he creates. And this album is full of them, it's just a great listen. Besides the great lyrics, the incredible music here is a blend of Psychedelic and Rock, with the bonus of a fabulous singer of course. I'm one of the few who prefers this album along with "Fiendish" and "Chupacabras" more than his latest "Doomsday Afternoon".

"Everynight (After Dark,The Wild Things Roam)" opens with a brief instrumental section before whispered vocals arrive. A good beat with normal vocals follow a minute in. I like the fuzzed out guitar that comes in. Nice. Just a good catchy tune. They just seem to jam after 3 minutes. Great section. "Feel The Radiation (Ignorance Is Bliss,Or Is It Abys ?)" opens with drums that get heavier and some snarly bass. Vocals join in, at times they're processed. The guitar makes some noise 2 minutes in and gets even better after 3 1/2 minutes. "A Curse Of Miracles (The Fool On The Hill Who Never Sees The Gift, Wanders Aimlessly...)" opens with strummed guitar as Jagger-like vocals come in. This is one of my three favourites on this album. The guitar sounds amazing and the bass is deep. Vocal melodies come and go. Nice guitar solo 4 minutes in. It ends with one final outburst of instrumental music and vocal melodies. The guitar isn't bad either. "Kiteman (A Boy Who Discovered It Was Possible To Get Too High)" is my favourite track. The acoustic guitar from Xaviar is joined by the electric guitar and it sounds fantastic. Vocals come in. More chunky bass as Phideaux sings so beautifully. Awesome tune. I really like the Krautrock style guitar playing in this one. Check it out, especially 4 minutes in.

"Wily Creilly (The Monster Speaks, The Body Snatcher Pleads...)" has a pastoral intro. Organ after a minute. It kicks into gear 1 1/2 minutes in with vocals and some excellent bass. I like the instrumental interlude 3 1/2 minutes in, and the chunky bass a minute later. Great tune. "Beyond The Shadow Of Doubt (A Result Of Some Unpleasant Premonitions)" is the longest and proggiest track but the one I like the least for some reason. Kind of spacey to open with distant sounding vocals. Drums, vocals, bass, piano and strummed guitar lead the way. The sound does get fuller with guitar. "Ghostforest (The Smoke Of A Thousand Souls)" opens with samples and processed vocals before it kicks in with a fantastic driving beat with vocals. A top three track for me. The vocals, bass, drums and guitar all sound amazing. "Universally (Gardening By Moonlight)" opens with processed vocals and acoustic guitar. Reserved vocals follow as guitar continues. Emotional track. The organ is a nice touch. The guitar starts to rip it up 4 1/2 minutes in as drums pound. This should also be in my top three. Haha. "Come Out Tonight (A Quantum Hayride From Outer Space To Inner Peace)" opens with a guitar line repeated over and over as reserved vocals come in. Bass and synths join in, then drums and organ. Love the organ runs. Beautiful sound 3 minutes in.

Highly recommended to those who simply love great songs.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars I wasn't enthusiast about Phideaux's prior releases and again, the patience paid!

This third work (if you take into consideration the pre-historical "Friction") is finally a good one. The music is much harder and catchier than usual. It is actually a second attempt to release earlier songs. The whole was remixed and re-recorded with a fine result, to be honest.

The first two songs are really excellent in this aspect. "Every Night" is a very much alternative rock- oriented. Heavy guitar and drumming were quite unusual on a Phideaux effort so far. "Feel The Radiation" holds some psyche sounds and it is not too far from a PT track. Excellent start by all means.

But of course, this is no hard-rock music. Phideaux just combines harder elements with more subtle (at times even close to folk) ones. This conveys a really nice feeling ("Kite Man").

The man is also quite melancholic at times. A song as "Beyond The Shadow Of Doubt" is a real highlight on this album. It combines again a soft and light intro and evolves towards a heavy beat and scary mood. All things come back to where it all started: softer and more relaxed.

The new-wave oriented "Ghost Forrest" is probably a reminiscence of the times during which Phideaux played with "Sally Dick & Jane": the band even played in both temples of the new-wave / punk New-York scene: the CBGB and Max's Kansas City! Rather a strange debut for a prog artist. Anyway, this is another excellent song. But this album holds plenty.

It is a very nice surprise to listen to such a good effort (especially after the disappointment of his earlier works). There are no weak songs, and the symphonic closing "Come Out Tonight" is another melodic jewel. Highly recommended.

Four stars.

Review by CCVP
3 stars Good, but still far from great

As most people here in Progarchives, i was introduced to (or, even better, i introduced myself to) the Phideaux Xavier band by their magnificent latest release, called Doomsday Afternoon, which is both Phideaux best and most popular album ever, and from Doomsday Afternoon i went back, discovering the previous album this band made prior to Doomsday. One of those discoveries was this album, called Ghost Story, released in the same year as Fiendish.

Both album, besides being released in the same year, have another characteristic in common: neither is able to catch my attention effectively nor have songs that truly stand out (there are only two notable exception in this album, which are the songs Beyond The Shadow Of Doubt and Come Out Tonight). So, besides the nice production and mixing, songwriting and instrumental and vocal work, nothing exceeds the average. This is nothing but a good folk / pop rock album with a bit of considerable progressive influence, nothing more. The instruments that truly stand out here are the vocals, which basically carry the album by themselves, and the few, but meaningful keyboard parts.

This album also gets better towards the end, because, in the beginning, there are just some simple pop songs and towards the end things get more serious, specially from the song Beyond The Shadow Of Doubt onwards, though the opening track is not a pile of rubbish. The highlights are Everynight, Beyond The Shadow Of Doubt and Come Out Tonight.

Grade and Final Thoughts

As i said before, Ghost Story is, in my opinion, just an average album. The songs are not exactly brilliant, there are some songs that are just dull, like Feel the Radiation, and it feels like the album has way too many songs, having only 18 minutes of good music in an album that is 50 minutes long. Because of that, i believe Ghost Story deserves the 3 stars grade.

Review by kev rowland
3 stars Although back in the day Phideaux Xavier sent me his second, fourth and fifth albums to review, I had never previously come across his third release, 2004's 'Ghost Story'. With him making his complete back catalogue available free as digital downloads I felt I ought to correct that and listen to this album some 16 years on from when it was originally released. One of the things I noticed, even before playing it, is that this is very much a group album instead of the rather larger ensembles which often appears. Here Phideaux (vocals, guitars, bass) is joined by the ever-present Rich Hutchins (acoustic and electric drums, gongs), Mark Sherkus (organ, piano, synths (MiniMoog), guitars), Gabriel Moffat (Fx) and guest Sam Fenster (bass). This is a small line-up indeed yet is the perfect size for a wonderful collection of songs. At times we find Phideaux channelling his inner Lou Reed, while at others it is incredibly psychedelic. Take "Kiteman" for example, it is really only the production that lets one know this is not from 1968 or 1969. In many ways this makes me think of Jeremy Morris, another musician who seems to be at home in whatever genre takes his fancy.

Vocals are very much front and centre, while acoustic guitar is also a mainstay of the songs, and it could almost be Cat Stevens with other instruments kept to the rear, so the emphasis is on the man behind the microphone. Rich is always there, providing the correct emphasis, which may be dramatic drum fills, a hard-hitting snare, or just sitting there doing nothing which at that moment is the proper accompaniment. The electric guitars, often fuzzed and distorted, are the ones which take us into more progressive territory, making us think at times of Pink Floyd and at others of Gong, with the overall result being an album which appeals across the board. Looking at the reviews on PA it is something of a shame to realise that there has not been a Collaborator/Expert review of this album for some 12 years, and given the amount of exposure the more recent releases have been getting I am quite surprised. This may be different in many ways to what he is now more well known for, but this is a delight and one which progheads need to rediscover, especially if they enjoy shorter more psychedelic material as opposed to more drawn out affairs.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Xavier Phideaux introduce himself to prog fans. This is the first album by Phideaux that I find really interesting. "Fiendish" contains some ideas for the future and experimental proto-songs; "Ghost Story", instead, is the real first Phideaux album of songs that it could be consider well-pack ... (read more)

Report this review (#450315) | Posted by Dark Nazgul | Friday, May 20, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Working backwards can be difficult sometimes. The first Phideaux album which I heard all the way through was Number 7 (TADRDACB). Then I got Chupacabras and Doomsday Afternoon in fairly short order. These three albums are totally stunning. Naturally as a new fan of Phideaux, I decided to explore ... (read more)

Report this review (#254819) | Posted by R-A-N-M-A | Tuesday, December 8, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a wonderful album blending PHIDEAUX's varied folk, prog and psychadelic influences into a consistently stellar set of well-crafted songs. Apparently much of this music was originally written when PHIDEAUX and drummer Rich Hutchins were in the band Satyricon in the mid 1990s, and properl ... (read more)

Report this review (#94037) | Posted by rpmartino | Wednesday, October 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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