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Anthony Phillips

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Anthony Phillips Wise After The Event album cover
3.80 | 227 ratings | 34 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. We're All As We Lie (4:34)
2. Birdsong (7:30)
3. Moonshooter (5:52)
4. Wise After The Event (8:45)
5. Pulling Faces (4:32)
6. Regrets (5:15)
7. Greenhouse (3:00)
8. Paperchase (5:28)
9. Now What (Are They Doing To My Little Friends)? (8:30)

Total time 53:26

Bonus track on CD releases:
10. Squirrel (B-Side) (4:28)

Bonus CD from 2008 expanded remaster:
1. We're All As We Lie (Link) (Romany's Aria Forwards) (1:23)
2. Sleeping On An Interstellar Plane (Greenhouse Demo) (3:04)
3. Paperchase (Instrumental Demo) (5:31)
4. Birdsong (Instrumental Demo) (5:33)
5. Moonshooter (Cottage Tapes Demo) (5:37)
6. We're All As We Lie (Cottage Tapes Demo) (3:53)
7. Pulling Faces (Cottage Tapes Demo) (4:29)
8. Squirrel (Instrumental Mix) (4:28)
9. Wise After The Event (Instrumental Mix) (8:54)
10. Magic Garden (Solo Piano Mix) (1:55)
11. We're All As We Lie (7" Single Version) (3:49)
12. Regrets (Piano Mix) (6:00)
13. Chinaman (Basic Guitar) (4:30)
14. Now What (Are They Doing To My Little Friends)? (Instrumental Mix) (8:14)

Total time 67:20

Line-up / Musicians

- Anthony Phillips / vocals, guitars, keyboards (as "The Vicar"), bass (7-as "Vic Stench"), harmonica, orchestral arrangements (6)

- Perkin Alanbeck / synthesizer (2)
- Jeremy Gilbert / keyboards (7), harp (9)
- Mel Collins / soprano sax (1), flute (2)
- Robin Phillips / oboe
- John G.Perry / bass
- Michael Giles / drums
- Rupert Hine / percussion, drums (7-as "Humbert Ruse"), backing vocals, producer
- Gilbert Biberian / orchestra conductor (6)
- David Katz / orchestra leader (6)
- "Rodent Rabble" / noises

Releases information

Artwork: Peter Cross

LP Arista ‎- SPART 1063 (1978, UK)

CD Virgin ‎- CDOVD 322 (1990, Europe) Remastered by Simon Heyworth, with a bonus track
2xCD Voiceprint ‎- VP433CD (2008, UK) Remastered by Simon Heyworth, w/ bonus track and CD

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ANTHONY PHILLIPS Wise After The Event ratings distribution

(227 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ANTHONY PHILLIPS Wise After The Event reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This record is very graceful & delicate acoustic guitar oriented, although there are conventional bass, drums and keyboards parts. There are some excellent electric guitar solos. This record is not extremely progressive, despite the rather elaborated compositions. The highly pitched & expressive male lead vocals are excellent and fit very well with the miscellaneous delicate acoustic guitar sounds; almost all the tracks are excellent. "Birdsong" has a graceful part made of floating keyboards and expressive lead vocals. There are many beautiful delicate piano parts, like on "Moonshooter". Unlike his "Private parts & pieces" albums, Anthony Phillips made a rhythmic and structured album here; the rhythm is rather slow, so that you can fully listen to the numerous soothing melodies created by the guitars. Only "Wise after the event" is less magic, delicate and graceful: maybe the rhythmic acoustic guitar is too monolithic and repetitive, even slightly approaching the modern King Crimson style!

On the other side, the catchy "Pulling faces" is quite rock, rather having the style and intensity of the "Sides" album; the lead vocals, the electric guitar solos, the keyboards, the bass and the drums form a perfect highly emotive music. "Regrets" comes back with a delicate approach, but without guitars: piano, sublime & elaborated orchestral arrangements, tender male lead vocals: it is ABSOLUTELY beautiful, poignant, mind troubling and slightly romantic: it is one of the best tracks on this album! "Greenhouse" is another gem, full of happy lead vocals between David Sylvian and Richard Sinclair, and not timid rhythmic & melodic acoustic guitars. "Paperchase" is another excellent rhythmic song made of a mix of acoustic & electric guitars. The last track, "Now what", has a VERY subtle, delicate, melodic and addictive mix of piano, intense lead vocals and floating keyboards: the last mellow part sounds a bit like the end of "Dancing with the moonlit knight" on the "Selling England by the pound" album.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Under clubbing

Compared to much of his output this, Phillips second album, plays heavily on the vocals. He assumes those duties himself, which is a brave but ultimately misguided move, as singing is not his longest suit. This probably explains why the singing tends to be well back in the mix, especially on tracks such as "Regrets".

There is something of a Tony Banks feel to the music, I was particularly reminded of his "A curious feeling" album at times, and both he and Mike Rutherford are "thanked" in the sleeve notes.

The music is melodic and pleasant, but generally simple in structure, and unchallenging. The many "players" credited for their contribution do little to assert their individual talents, understandably leaving Phillips to dominate his own album. (The strings on "Regrets" are nice though.)

The sleeve adopts a golf related theme (the following album would be soccer), with a tasteful Peter Cross sleeve. To continue the golf analogy, Phillips at best is just about playing to par here, with a couple of bogeys.

Review by silvertree
5 stars I must say that as a Genesis fan, I was under the charm of The Geese And The Ghost but Ant's second album really blew me out ! I was and still am under its spell. It is completely and utterly romantic. It is similar to Trespass, though not as experimental, with lush keyboards and strings and the songs are very sensitive. I've rated it as a masterpiece for all true Genesis fans who also love the Trespass album. Ant sings. He has a very nice voice which is full of sensitivity. Take out your tissues !
Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Wise After The Event" was more like a singer/songwriter album for Anthony Phillips. Less interesting than his other album at that time, in my opinion, but still worth a listen. It's quite a long time since I listened to this one last time, so I can't make any further opinions on this one currently, but all I can say is; give this one a try if you like Anthony Phillips. Some good tracks, some slighly worse. 3/5
Review by Matti
3 stars In fact the beautiful cover art in Phillips' albums means more to me than the music itself. The instrumental-oriented 'private parts' -compilation "Harvest of the Heart" contains the worst tracks in my LP collection and even the best of it feels somehow very introvert music. Maybe Ant could be nominated for the most introvert guy in rock. Beautiful as his albums are, I think they lack of something, why I would not regard them as "Lost Genesis Masterpieces".

All songs are sung by Ant himself and the album is more 'proggy', open- minded and energic than the rest I've heard. He's certainly no great singer - to some listeners indeed irritating - but it's not TOO big a problem in these nice songs with a kind of childish adventurous spirit - see the fairytale-like cover art by Peter Cross. Some songs are a bit dull (reason not to give 4*) but this album has a lot to enjoy especially for fans of early Genesis. Take a look at the list of musicians!

Review by Proghead
4 stars Second album by the former GENESIS guitarist. Unlike "The Geese & the Ghost", no GENESIS members are present (Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford), probably because GENESIS themselves were likely busy working on "...And Then There Were Three". "Wise After the Event" still is stuffed with familiar musicians. You have drummer Michael Giles, ex-KING CRIMSON, bassist John G. Perry, ex-CARAVAN, saxist Mel Collins, ex-KING CRIMSON and then a member of CAMEL, and Rupert Hine who was best known as a producer for such acts as The FIXX and SAGA. Names not familiar to me are Jeremy Gilbert and Robin Phillips.

Anthony Phillips handles all the vocals and while the album makes it sound like he don't handle the guitars, someone with the name of "The Vicar" is really Anthony Phillips (giving credit to ficticious characters, much like Ian Anderson trying to give credit to kid named Gerald Bostock on "Thick as a Brick" when in reality it was really Anderson himself), after all, the guitar style on this album is unmistakably him.

I find side one (that is if you own the vinyl album) much better than side two. Side two focuses way too much on orchestrated soft-rock ballads that do little for me, and it lacks the progressive edge of side one. Side one, on the other hand, sounds a whole lot like how GENESIS might have sounded like had Phillips stayed with them in the late '70s. "We're All As We Lie" is a wonderful opening, while "Birdsong" is unmistakably '70s, especially the guitar passages. "Moonshooter" is another one of those catchy songs, while the epic title track is without a doubt the highlight for me, especially with those dramatic guitar passages that unsurprisingly remind me of instrumental GENESIS (without Tony Banks' keyboards). Unsurprisingly a lot of side one reminds me of "A Trick of the Tail" or "Trespass", but without Phil Collins or Peter Gabriel handling the vocals.

Unfortunately I think Anthony Phillips really lost it on side two. Some of the music is downright boring, like the orchestrated "Regrets". "Greenhouse" has a more BEATLES-like feel. The rest pretty much escaped me. If the music on side two was on the same quality as side two, I'd give it a full five star rating and rate it as one of the finest solo albums to ever come from a GENESIS member. But still worth having for the first half.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Ant's most coherent solo album

Wise After The Event is Anthony "Ant" Phillips' second solo album. In many ways it is more Genesis-like than his solo debut The Geese And The Ghost from the previous year. While most of Ant's solo albums (and there are a few!) are instrumental, or mostly instrumental, and usually focuses on only a single instrument at a time (normally acoustic guitar, but sometimes piano or synthesiser), Wise After The Event leans heavily on vocals and even features some drums, bass, electric guitars, and keyboards. As such, this album is very unrepresentative of Ant's solo career as it is more of a band album than almost anything else he has done as a solo artist. Another exception though is his next album, 1979's Sides, which has even more of a Rock edge (at least on the second half of that album). I wish he has done more in this rocker vein instead of dabbling in Classical and electronic/ambient music.

As many other reviewers have pointed out, Phillips is not a great vocalist. But I find the vocals acceptable. We have here some Beatles-esque, quirky Pop Rock with some Symphonic leanings. I hear some of Caravan's whimsy and a bit of Van Der Graaf Generator in the sometimes (intentionally?) off-key vocals. There are no stand out tracks, but I think that Wise After The Event is Ant's most complete and coherent album.

This is not a great album, but it is a charming little album that makes a good addition in conjunction with The Geese And The Ghost and (the second side of) Sides.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars The debut album from this little known musician was quite satisfactory for the genuine "Genesis" fan that I am. It was quite close to the wonderful "Trespass" atmosphere and I rated it with four stars.

This sophomore album is quite different.

At times more confidential like during the first two songs, at times more commercial like during "Moonshooter" which sounds at times as "Your Own Special Way". The feel is different while the title track is being played: to me, it sounds as a mix of pop music and "Supper's Ready". Not bad at all, but quite weird.

Still, this work is quite a left down in comparison to "Geese & the Ghost". Long pieces are alien, symphonic moments are scarce, but some prog friends are giving a hand (Giles, Collins).

But some attempts to sound like the Fab four are quite alien to prog to my opinion ("Regrets" or "Greenhouse"). At times, some songs also sound as being written by Jeff Lynne (but he was so close from the Fab four in terms of song writing?).

In all, this album is a good ballad and traditional soft rock one. Nothing too prog here, though. Average should I say. Five out of ten which I will upgrade to three stars since the rating options are VERY limited on this site.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars No one, and no album, captivates the awesome power and beauty of the 12-string guitar so well as this little gem. Yes, the ballad format can start to 'get old' after the fourth or fifth song, but, taken in isolation, each song provides quite a masterful and sensitive glimpse into one man's--a very gifted artist's--very deep emotions. AP has never really received his just desserts despite a career of prolific and fairly constant output--output at a consistently high quality and creativity. Where he has fallen short of fame is in the fact that his music--as well as his stories--has rarely matched the current expectations of pop culture; Ant always seems to come from and occupy a world quite all his own--and is quite content to do so, it would appear. I have always admired that 'devil may care' attitude in Anthony Phillips. This album stands up exceedingly well over time--especially in the newly re-mastered form. Try it--if only one song at a time. I think it will get under your skin and haunt you with its melancholic beauty. Wise After The Event is, to my mind, kind of like a musical slice of Emily Dickinson. Innocent, maybe naive, and, though ever so personal, filled with gems to which we can all relate. Though I find each and every song on this album extraordinary in their unique ways, I would recommend starting with "Regrets," "Paperchase" or "Now What (Are They Doing to My Little Friends)." You may find Ant's tendency to match two seemingly unmatchable parts into the standard ABACAB song format a little grating at first but give it time, you'll get used to it, learn to accept this idiosyncratic song-building approach because this artist's sincere commitment to his craft comes shining through with such stunning, subtle beauty and authentic sensitivity. Even Ant's humor (which can be quite constant) is special. I know I've spent hours of my life just pouring over his album covers--especially the ones created by his incredibly talented friend, Peter Cross. (Who has a career well worth looking into all his own!) It might take some time to get used to Ant's unique voice--and the way it seems to be deeply imbedded within the music--but, again, it is, IMHO, well worth it. A collection of masterful song gems that I can only give four stars because, though it has many prog folk and crossover elements and uses many innovative (for that time) recording techniques, it does not quite fit my definition of what's 'proggy.' Though I love many AP albums, this one is one of my favorites.
Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars I have bought this album just after The Geese and the Ghost, but unfortunately the vinyl was out of shape so I had to return it to the shop and they didn't have another copy, so I took more than 15 years before listening to it on a CD re-edition.

The impression that I initially had on my outshaped vinyl was of a good album still very Genesis-like as its predecessor and more or less I wasn't wrong, but there's more than just Genesis like stuff.

"We're All As We Lie" could be put as bonus track on Selling England By The Pound, but the high pitch 12 strings guitar adds a folk touch to the song.

"Birdsong" starts acoustic in the vein of The Geese and The Ghost but the arrangement is very interesting as bass, keyboard and drums alternate to the acoustic parts. It's properly symphonic prog and a song of a kind on which Phil Collins' voice wouldn't have sounded bad.

"Moonshooter" is too pop and mellow for my tastes. It's a slow sweet song still very acoustic and not too different from Anthony's standard songs, but I find it quite boring. I don't want to say that is bad, only that I don't like it.

"Wise After The Event" was geometrically close to the centre of the vinyl so it was the only track that I have listened on my first approach to the album. It has open chords and a complex structure, like a "short suite". Another Genesis song out of Genesis.

"Pulling Faces" is more rock in the Genesis mean of the word, but it's only a moment. "Regrets" follows it with just piano vocals and a bit of keyboards. I think that the presence of Rupert Hine in the lineup is evident on this song as it sounds similar to Camel of the Breathless period at least before the symphonic orchestral part of this song.

"Greenhouse" brings us back again to the original Genesis mood while "Paperchase" is more specifically an Anthony Phillips song of a kind that will be easy to find on the Private Parts and Pieces series.

"Now What" continues on this line. Genesis fans will surely not be disappointed, I'm not a great fan so I find it a bit boring, but again, it's question of personal tastes only. Each song in this album is good, it's the entire album that I find too long, or too full of similar songs.

In this sense is evident that "Squirrel" is a CD edition bonus track. I'm not sure that the lineup is the same of the rest of the album. Also the song itself is darker than the others, closer to my tastes but misplaced.

My opinion is that the excellent lineup has been a little wasted. This album doesn't differ too much from others that don't feature Giles, Perry, Mel Collins or Rupert Hine. However it's a good album and I can understand why it's rated quite high on PA. A Genesis fan will find here the music and the atmospheres that he/she likes and it's all very well played thanks also to the impressive lineup.

I can't give it more than 3 stars, but I can't say that it's not good.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars Anthony Phillips second album "Wise After The Event" shows him doing a song-based album, a departure from his excellent debut. His management encouraged him to take this route in order to establish himself as a solo performer in his own right. It's interesting that Steve Hackett also moved from that GENESIS album based style on his second release. In both cases I think they pale when compared to their debuts, but that's coming from the mind of a Progressive music fan of course. I do like this album and I don't mind Ant's vocals, but part way through the second half of this record when we get some orchestration i'm done. Cool to see that Michael Giles and Mel Collins both formerly of KING CRIMSON play on here. John G Perry (CARAVAN) plays bass and Rupert Hine has his greasy hands all over this album in producing and playing on it.

"We're All As We Lie" is acoustic guitar a beat and vocals. I like this one because it reminds me of early PINK FLOYD. "Birdsong And Reprise" is more acoustic guitar and reserved vocals. Synths 2 1/2 minutes in then it turns fuller briefly as contrasts continue.

"Moonshooter" is acoustic guitar and reserved vocals. It's fuller before 1 1/2 minutes with drums and piano. "Wise After The Event" might be the best track on here. Atmosphere to start then strummed guitar before a minute the drums followed by vocals. Piano is next after 2 minutes. Nice bass here too. I'm reminded of GENESIS at times.

"Pulling Faces" has some rare energy then it settles some when the vocals arrive. It picks back up as the tempo continues to shift. "Regrets" is my least favourite with the orchestration. "Green House" is again vocals, acoustic guitar and a beat but it turns fuller quickly.

"Paperchase" is mellow as reserved vocals join in. It kicks in after a minute then settles as contrasts continue. "Now What (Are They Doing To My Little Friends?)" has some mellotron on it and themes are repeated.The best song of the second half right here. "Squirrel" reminds me that this morning as I was just getting back from walking the dog my cat was chasing a squirrel off of our front lawn.This is mellow with vocals and piano throughout.

For me this is 3.5 stars on the nose. I debated in bumping it up to 4 stars but I just can't do it right now, especially when I rated "The Geese And The Ghost" with 4 stars and this is a definite step down from that album. Still this is the kind of music that's perfect for a lazy Summer's afternoon.

Review by Warthur
2 stars Like his former bandmates in Genesis were trying at the time, Anthony Phillips attempted to shift over into a more accessible style with this album, though unfortunately the results are rather obscured by dubious production decisions. Phillips takes on the lead vocals himself this time (on The Geese and the Ghost he had relied on a little help from Phil Collins), and unfortunately his singing voice isn't up to the task. Worse yet, to my ears his voice seems to have had some variety of studio processing to it, making his vocals particularly distracting. And overall, the album seems mixed to obscure rather than showcase his guitar talents, which is what we're here to listen to in the first place. Something of a misstep, this one.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Following a promotional tour through several US radio stations, Phillips moved on with the writing and recording process of the ''The Geese & the Ghost'' follow up.His second solo album was produced by Rupert Hine (who also participated in the work) and featured some great guest musicians such as Michael Giles and Mel Collins of King Crimson fame or ex-Caravan John G.Perry on bass.It was entitled ''Wise After the Event'', eventually released in May 78', originally on Arista label for the UK market.

While the new album holds plenty of similarities with Phillips' debut, simultaneously it sees also a turn of the former Genesis mastermind towards more British Folk-oriented orchestrations with limited electric parts and big time acoustic passages from start to the end.However the sound in another Phillips album remains dramatic yet elegant with very rich orchestrations and strong backup instrumentation.His smooth vocals remain definitely a trademark of his musical identity and the music still unfolds a strong GENESIS flavor, as the listener can find huge amounts of piano interludes, dreamy moog synth parts and lovely light symphonic textures throughout.Next to them there is also a strong psychedelic feeling in the vein of PINK FLOYD, as on the long eponymous track, featuring Phillips' incredible singing parts, or the sweet THE BEATLES-influenced ballad ''Greenhouse''.Some tracks lean also towards Orchestral Rock stylings in a late-60's/early-70's style with extended string sections as performed by THE MOODY BLUES or PROCOL HARUM.

Soft Progressive/Art/Folk Rock with impressive lyrical moments is what Phillips chose to perform in ''Wise After the Event'' and, while the album does not match the great inspiration of its precussor, this is still a very nice work of lyrical Art Rock.Strongly recommended, this man was definitely talented and way overlooked back at the time...3.5 stars.

Review by Einsetumadur
4 stars 11/15P.: The original album? A decently-conceived record of folk- and classic-inspired art pop made unlistenable by inadequate vocals and muddy production. The bonus CD of the reissue? One hour of stunning progressive rock, presented in mostly instrumental form and in finest sound quality. The only case I know in which the bonus material makes a record an essential buy!


In 1977 Anthony Phillips - the pockets filled with old post-Genesis and more recent song ideas - intended to release an album in the unusual LP+EP format, consisting of songs linked by short classical/experimental 'link pieces'. Phillips' task was to a) sing all of the songs himself (encouraged by producer Rupert Hine) and b) to transform his classical ambitions into more accessible and contemporary rock music.

Many people complain that Anthony Phillips cannot sing. I rather think that Anthony Phillips in the mid-1970s simply didn't know how to use his singing voice. On this album he tries to sing art pop, romantic ballads, psychedelic surrealistic tracks and operatic storytelling stuff. You learn soon that it's the psychedelic and the art pop material which Phillips nails (in his own special way, of course!). Unfortunately the ballads and the folky and poetic storytelling make up the majority of the album, and Phillips sings all of the lead and backing vocals on all of the 9 tracks. The intention was to give this album more of Phillips' own personality. In a certain way this idea worked out quite well, but nonetheless this album is a tough listen, particularly since Phillips tends to mistake emotional singing with pathetic singing.

Musically, Anthony Phillips - after publishing his pastoral English masterwork The Geese & The Ghost - in 1977 pursued a direction similar to his former Genesis bandmates: shorter songs, more polysynths and string keyboards and more autumnal opacity in sound. All in all Wise after the Event isn't too far away from Genesis' And Then There Were Three..., but progressive rock listeners might feel more comfortable with the former since Phillips wouldn't want to abandon the Bach-inspired chord progressions and his weird twists in rhythm and arrangement. The Genesis correlations are most obvious in the balladesque pop songs like the really good Moonshooter, in fact one of the three genuinely great cuts on this album with a wonderful chorus, delicate electric guitar counterpoints and the kind of 12-string guitar patterns which already graced Trespass. I can really imagine Phil Collins singing this song, but I cannot imagine his voice would fit in better than Ant's.

The title track is utterly successful as a paranoid journey through an apocalyptic ocean, or something like that - the story behind the lyrics is laden with mythological, historic and simply absurd references. A pretty stark contrast to the previous song, indeed. There are huge walls of reverberated electric 12-string guitars, vocals which sound otherwordly and surreal - and best of all some of the vocal parts and the lengthy instrumental middle part are constructed geniously around the kind of music Bach invented with his famous Praeludia for church organ. Listen to it by yourself, the part at 5:36 in which one acoustic guitar flutters around rapidly around the background of timpani and more than four simultaneous electric guitar arpeggios is one of Phillips' most menacing musical statements.

We're All As We Lie is the third of the really good recordings on the album, a pop song with a (positively) unwieldy after-chorus part ('getting wiser, so much wiser') and a chuntering sitar track rolling along in the chorus. It might be the closest Phillips gets to folk during the course of the album, I mean real folk a la Lal & Mike Waterson, because of the relaxed acoustic finger-picking and the rumbling playing of the rhythm section. Mel Collins, at this time playing with Camel, performs a brief solo on the soprano saxophone which succeeds in adding more colour to the track.

Birdsong works really well, too. This time the gentle vocals sound a bit like George Harrison with a slight taste of glam rock; they sound really good, anyway, wasn't it for the tinny sound production in the vocal parts. The sound is, interestingly, muscular enough in the hawk's throne.. parts as soon as the lush string machine pads appear, so it seems that this peculiar sound in the vocal parts was generated on purpose. It does make the listening more strainful than necessary, and again we have an example why this album doesn't savor its resources fully. In the second part of the song Anthony Phillips plays a rare electric guitar solo, and this solo - played from the second third until the very end - is a really tight performance on top of a chord progression which is strikingly suitable for that purpose. Not a lot of good acoustic guitarist are also good electric guitarists, but the timing and feeling in the bendings and hammer-on runs is really good.

There are also not a lot of good guitarists who are also good pianists. Anthony Phillips, as his romantic composition Regrets proves, is. It's a reflective and melancholy piece of English classical music which, in its compositional fundament, is really good. In this piece Phillips has the courage to mix his vocals in the complete foreground, vocals singing a song in which he composed both the music and the lyrics, and vocals subject to any form of positive or negative criticism - this is honesty I appreciate. This time it's the string arrangements which is a bit problematic; it feels as if it was imposed on the grand piano, taking the piano the air or space which it would have needed. Squirrel, the second piano-dominated track, is a different affair. It consists of grand piano and Anthony Phillips singing about a grey squirrel. 'Squirrel, friend, I see you lying and there's nothing I can do to bring you back.'... the lyrics are a drag and pretentious, the vocals are bad, this is a song which I do not ever want to listen to.

Pulling Faces, a nervous but actually quite alright piece, suffers a lot from the production. The most memorable part is the aloudly rising march in the beginning of the song which is repeated from time to time and which is similar in mood to Genesis' Down and Out, but more on the experimental and Wagnerian side. Anthony Phillips is in fine vocal form, but the vocals (as well as, in fact, everything else) are covered by layers of synthesizers and electric guitars. I cannot point out what exactly has been done wrong while producing it, but it just doesn't feel right. As I said, the song itself is pretty satisfying. Phillips again builds the pre-chorus on those Bach-inspired chords, and in fact it's the same towering harmony like in Pink Floyd's Celestial Voices (G-C-A-D-B-e).

Greenhouse anticipates the glam-rock-inspired pop of Phillips' Sides album. To my ears it is too quirky and whimsical for its own sake, but it's okay.

At last there's Now What (Are They Doing to My Little Friends)?, a longer opus criticising seal hunting from the point of view of God. I appreciate green activism a lot, but with verses like I make everything and it all dies in the end it drifts away into a fairly childish pretentiousness. I mean, what's the point in writing four stanzas from the perspective of four different animals which live their lives and then are shot by hunters? Killing animals in order to sell their fur is a dreadful crime, but these naive lyrics don't do this topic any justice. Furthermore Phillips tries (too) hard to put a lot of emotion in his singing and to depict the resignation (in the stanzas) and anger (in the chorus) about the huntsman's actions, but it just sounds whiny and dreary. Even the instrumentally beautiful outro is stuffed all the way through with this type of singing - I can't listen to this track in spite of its good intention.


Until that point this would make a balance of about three stars. But thankfully, Voiceprint Records reissued this album as a 2CD set in 2007. Listening to CD 1 is - at least to me - a really exhausting task because of the strained singing, the frequent and audible incertitude about what the record company wants to hear, the brimmed arrangement and the good compositions ruined by a predilection for bombast and meaningfulness.

Now lay CD 2 into your CD player, relax and allow the music to captivate you.

Similarly to Steve Wilson's recent remix jobs the responsible persons in this case tried to collect kind of an 'alternate' Wise After The Event, presenting every song in at least one different version. In fact, the realization on hand works out even better than The Alternate Crimson King, which sounds a little droughty to my ears. In the case of Wise After The Event 'different' doesn't mean that you get single versions, extended play-out versions or a 'third lead guitar in the foreground' remix. These guys really worked around in the basic substance, prepared and cleaned up demos, created instrumental mix-downs of the album tracks with previously muted instrumental tracks revived and experimented with the conceived link pieces. It seems each little track and each little guitar counterpoint has been listened to and examined carefully in order to guarantee that the alternate versions really allow an as different as possible perspective on the compositions.

A special point of interest for the historically interested listener are the Cottage Tapes, a quarter-hour demo session recorded live in a portable studio by - yes, really! - Anthony Phillips, Michael Giles of King Crimson and John Perry of Caravan, recorded by Rupert Hine of Quantum Jump. They also appear on the original album as Phillips' band, but there you don't recognize their personal styling as well as on these recordings. The Giles-Perry constellation had already proved successful on Kevin Ayers' Confessions of Doctor Dream and Perry's Sunset Wading, and so the music really sounds like a mixture of McDonald&Giles, Caravan (1973 era) and early Genesis. Michael Giles is always on the cue, really upfront and present with his amazing fills; the hi-hat shimmers in every available overtone harmonics, the snare has Giles' characteristic sharp attack, the bass drum rather stays in the background, but still gives the necessary kick - awesome. John Perry plays more restrainedly, but brings in a fair amount of jazz with playful McCartney-like licks in the 12+ frets and a Motownish low end response. Anthony Phillips switches between Spanish (acoustic) guitar in We're All As We Lie and the 12-string electric guitar in Moonshooter and Pulling Faces. Without further beating around the bushes: the sound quality of these demos is many times better than on the original album, the playing is stellar and even without the vocals these three inventive musicians allow an exciting listening experience without any hints of monotony or boredom.

Secondly there are the remixes of the album tracks, and it's the longer or the more piano-based songs which were given this treatment: the title track, Now What?, Squirrel and Regrets.

Wise After The Event in its new mix sounds like another part of the Cottage Tapes - amazing clarity of sound, less mayhem in the arrangements and more clarity to the respective instruments. This time it's not Michael Giles who profits most from the mix, but John Perry and the lots of nice flourishes around his more solid backing track. Michael Giles is engaged in a pretty straight and bottom-heavy drum rhythm in the vein of Ian Wallace's stoic playing on the Islands song; it's fairly unusual to accompany such a piece with such a rhythm, but he nails it - again!

Regrets and Squirrel appear as stand-alone grand piano solos, and both of them are really good - even Squirrel which I didn't like in its vocal version. Regrets is featured sans the orchestra and highlights how both accurate and heartfelt Anthony's piano playing had become. This is genuine classical piano music - it's definitely stuff to listen to concentratedly, and the brilliant sound lets every single note shine - but it's immediate classical music which captivates you without further analysis, simply by feeling it. However good the orchestra might have been arranged (I'm not the right one to judge) they distract from the core of this song. Although I listen to this version more often than to the vocal version, I'm nonetheless glad that the original version exists - the instrumental version is more beautiful, but I still hold the vocal version in high esteem because of its honesty.

The biggest suprise is Now What, which in its instrumental form could be Anthony's most beautiful recording he made using predominantly keyboards. Many people don't know that this track originally featured major overdubs of Mellotron choirs which were (for whatever reason) deleted before release. I suspect that there are also Mellotron strings, but since there are credited string synthesizers it's often hard to distinguish them. A lot of music from the progressive rock genre draws influence from baroque music (Ant's does as well), but you rarely listen to someone making an electrified form of romantic music - apart from Anthony Phillips and Tony Banks. And indeed you find in these piece lots of the guitar and keyboard arpeggios which Phillips (along with Banks and Rutherford) also provided for Genesis in their early years, there are the unusual chord changes played by lovely analogue keyboards and some hints of hammered dulcimer ('zither'), an instrument whose distinctive and brilliant sound - either in its true form or faithfully imitated by a piano - appeared in some Genesis recordings, too. This, along with the instrumental multi-tracked guitar demos of Paperchase and Birdsong, is absolutely the right music for those who enjoyed Genesis' Trespass and Anthony's first Private Parts & Pieces records as much as me. Paperchase is greatly atmospheric, and apart from a neat late-70s organ in the background it's made up of guitar tracks only: acoustic 12-string arpeggios, acoustic guitar strumming, ticking electric guitar counterpoints and a fuzzed Telecaster weeping gently in the intro and the second half of the recording.

I like the Interstellar Plane demo of Greenhouse because of the pretty rough electric guitar which appears somewhere around the middle, but the vocals and the slightly sub-standard sound quality reveal that this is really a genuine demo. A nice addition it is notwithstanding!

The emotional piano piece Magic Garden, the minimalist guitar piece Chinaman and We're All As We Lie Link are rudiments of the link idea which Anthony Phillips had. All three of the tracks were later used for the second Private Parts And Pieces record in different versions, the We're All As We Lie Link (essentially the chorus of the song played repeatedly) in reversed form under a different name. The format of the 'link' is, when you think about it, actually Anthony Phillips' own invention; I'm not too versed in classical music, but a 'link' as a short piece showing a clear musical identity, without being just a filler or a piece subjacent to the surrounding tracks, is something I have never found anywhere else. I do feel reminded both of Brian Eno's ambient collection Another Green World and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, but Phillips' links don't feel like stopping places on a walk through a gallery at all. The links are primarily of historical interest, but they are indeed historically interesting. Adding material like this to a CD release reveals that the person planning the reissue has really thought about the album, its context and the music.

I don't care a lot about the We're All As We Lie single version, but this is only one single version whilst other record labels sell reissues with single versions as the only bonus track. So this shan't even be a slight criticism of the reissuers' work.

Taken together, the bonus material and the wonderful reissue - including liner notes which aren't as extensive as those of the The Byrds remasters, but which are great enough - are able to elevate an exciting, but bulky album of 3-star quality to a total rating of 4-stars. I would only have liked some printed lyrics in the booklet. Friends of the early Genesis and Anthony Phillips' other solo albums should therefore get this reissue at all costs, especially if they did not like the original album.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
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.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nš 442

Given the extended gestation of their debut studio work "The Geese And The Ghost", it's somewhat surprising that barely six months later he was back into the studio to recording tracks for his second studio release "Wise After The Event". His record label and his manager convinced Anthony Phillips that is was in the best interests of his career that his next future album should feature more songs and less instrumental tracks than his debut had. With very few music written between 1973 and 1975, when Phillips was studying music and the time after that was spent almost completing his debut album, tracks for his second album had to be written during the rehearsal and the recording sessions of it.

So, "Wise After The Event" is the second solo studio album of Anthony Phillips and was released in 1978. Phillips invited to participate on this album a very extensive list of musicians including some names very well known. So, the line up on the album is Anthony Phillips (vocals, guitar and harmonica), Michael Giles (drums), Mel Collins (soprano saxophone and flutes), Rupert Hine (backing vocals, percussion, locks, probs, modes and vibes), John G. Perry (bass), The Vicar (guitars, keyboards and sundries), Jeremy Gilbert (keyboards and harp), Robin Phillips (oboe), Perkin Alanbeck (synthesizer), Rodent Rabble (clicks, claps and crampons), Humbert Ruse (drums and bass), Vic Stench (bass) and an orchestra conducted by Gilbert Biberian.

"Wise After The Event" has nine tracks. All songs were written by Phillips except "Greenhouse" which was written by Phillips and Jeremy Gilbert. The first track "We're All As We Lie" is a near perfect opener to the album. Here, he blends the acoustic folk, the high pitch 12 strings guitar, adds a special folk touch to the song, with dreamy vocals followed by Giles' pulsating backbeats and an enduring melody line. The second track "Birdsong" is in the same vein of "The Geese And The Ghost". It benefits from Phillips' reflective vocal and soaring electric guitar coda which tellingly exhibits some similarities between his and Steve Hackett's technique at the time. It was originally written just after Phillips left Genesis and has echoes of Genesis' "Trespass" album. The third track "Moonshooter" is one of the best songs to showcase Phillips' unique acoustic guitar style and reserved vocals. It's a slow song very sweet and very acoustic not very different from Phillips' standard songs. The fourth track is the title track. It's an eerie and lengthy piece with a strange other worldlyfeel. It demonstrates the subtle and perfectly judged drumming of Michael Giles, and such is the unusual nature of this song that in some ways it does brings to my mind, King Crimson. The fifth track "Pulling Faces" has a range that perhaps uncovers some of the limitations in Phillips' singing, but on the whole he handles vocal duties with charm and sincerity. It has some rare energy, more in the rock Genesis' vein that settles down when the vocals arrive. The sixth track "Regrets" is a mournful song of lost love, and most clearly features Phillips' distinctive wistful cracking voice, conveying heartbreaking emotion on the only song on the album with orchestration. Written in 1975, it shows the slow burning nature of his song writing. The seventh track "Greenhouse" brings us back to a more familiar melodic territory with lyrical, musical and vocal hints of The Beatles in their psychedelic phase. It's a short piece that has something to do with the early Genesis' drama. The eighth track "Paperchase" has a trippy feel that is continued by the gossamer thin, floating opening as the song seems to focus positively and supportively on the memory of beautiful summer days from the depths of winter. It's more meandering and less detailed in their arrangement. Still, it remains engaging and containing of enough depth to keep you thoroughly hooked. The ninth track "Now What (Are They Doing To My Little Friends)?", Phillips' plaintive voice perfectly glides over the sad and emotive music, soaring with emotion and restrained anger in the choruses. It drifts away elegiacally before appropriately fading into a dark ominous sounds.

Conclusion: "Wise After The Event" is an album totally different from "The Geese And The Ghost". So, it gave him a chance to select some early material. He was able to release the album in a record time. As Phillips said, this was really his first album, because "The Geese And The Ghost", despite being came out under his name solely, was very much written closely with Mike Rutherford. "Wise After The Event" marks also the only album where Phillips sings as a lead vocalist on the entire album, like Tony Banks did on his second solo studio album "The Fugitive", released in 1983. In my humble opinion, and as Banks, Phillips, despite has a nice voice he isn't properly a vocalist. However, he composed all songs to his voice and I think he made really a very decent vocal work. So, all in all, "Wise After The Event" is a very good album and it's, in a certain way, more cohesive and more uniform than its predecessor is. Still, I sincerely think that it lacks to it some magic. Still, it represents an excellent effort of him and deserves to be listened by all Genesis' fans and by all that simply love the symphonic classic rock music. It's a great addition to any prog decent collection.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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Report this review (#505760) | Posted by 7headedchicken | Friday, August 19, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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Report this review (#243650) | Posted by SonicDeath10 | Thursday, October 8, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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5 stars 9/10 Incredible Far removed from the sound of "The Geese & The Ghost", Wise is still an incredible achievement. The music is very much ttrack by track, and there are no "Henry" runs to be found. Each song, though, is amazing, some greater than others, and the album is overall a total joy t ... (read more)

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Report this review (#48204) | Posted by | Saturday, September 24, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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Report this review (#25931) | Posted by | Wednesday, February 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is another great album from "planet Genesis". It would make a great Genesis album, but alas, that was never to be. However, I am very happy that Anthony Phillips brought out this music. With all it's imperfections, it's still wonderfully warm, playfully tongue-in- cheek, occasionally dark, ... (read more)

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Report this review (#25927) | Posted by | Thursday, December 16, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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