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The Geese & The Ghost

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Album Review

Anthony Phillips' first post-Genesis solo album was an extension of the pseudo-medieval folk elements found on Trespass, the last of his Genesis albums. Much of this recording sounds like a lost Genesis album, understandable since Phil Collins does a lot of the singing, and Michael Rutherford is present on guitar, bass, and keyboards, and also shares composer credits with him on major parts of this album. Portions of the material here, in fact, seem to have been derived from pieces they composed together in Genesis' early days that proved unsuitable for performance on-stage. Thus, The Geese & the Ghost comes off as a sort of throwback, picking up stylistically where Trespass or Nursery Cryme (check out the second part of the title track) left off nearly six years earlier. "Henry: Portraits from Tudor Times" can still hold the patient listener's attention, as it moves from bold synthesizer-generated fanfares to intimate classical guitar passages into soaring movements for electric guitar, flute, and oboe no less (there are three flutists here, plus one violinist, two cellists, and a pair of oboists, Bob Phillips and Laza Momulovich, who often get placed very prominently in the mix, probably a first on a rock album). The 15-minute two-part title track is very arty in an early-'70s manner, midway between early Genesis and Amazing Blondel (note that neither of those groups still existed in their progressive rock incarnations in 1977), and although it lacks the vibrancy that the former could generate or the impressive musical language or vocalizing of the latter, it is pretty. The CD reissue (which is devoid of instrumental credits) has a demo, "Master of Time," as a bonus. That song, a fey mix of sci-fi and faux-medieval sensibilities, is played — on acoustic and electric guitars, with piano and no classical musicians added — with some effort at excitement and vibrancy. [Voiceprint's 2008 two-disc edition included bonus tracks.]

Customer Reviews

Ant Phillips' best

The first Genesis guitarist captures the whimsy, melancholy, and mirth present from the Peter Gabriel years of his old band. Ironically it's Phil Collins who does the vocals. This effort trims back the excessiveness of production that compromised Phillips' last album with Genesis, Trespass, and comes up with a perfect balance of elegant guitarwork, progressive structure, emotive mixing, and even my favorite album cover ever (you have to see it up close). While it doesn't rage like "The Knife," it satisfies the somber side well. The way it's packaged you do have to buy the whole album, because the shorter versions of the major pieces sold separately don't contain the brilliant, rich yet subtle accompanyment that are this album's hallmark. For those that love the tender side of prog, an absolute must.

The Geese & The Ghost

This album is a strong introduction for many to the classic, progressive acoustic music of Anthony Phillips. Probably the most popular and well known of his solo works, it has set many a person on a quest to acquire the Private Parts and Pieces series. For many years it has been one of my favorites to listen to when I can relax - and dream.

...about time...finally

Well...nice to see these added, at last. You could go into this long drawn out review about this walking the edge of progressive rock and Renaissance madrigal, or, you might just want to keep it simple and listen to these and let your mind wander a bit...I'll do that again,'s beautiful stuff and if you don't feel a bit of a pang when hearing "God if I Saw Her Now" and "Which Way the Wind Blows" then, it's possible you never had a paint-by-numbers unicorn & castles picture when you were barely a teen...


Born: December 23, 1951

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Anthony Phillips was one of the founding members of Genesis, having attended the Charterhouse School in Surrey with Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, and Michael Rutherford. Phillips and Rutherford (who had played together in another band before linking up with Gabriel and Banks), were the principal composing members of Genesis during their formative years, right into their first recording venture on English Decca ("Silent Sun," etc.) under the aegis of Jonathan King. Much of Phillips' and Rutherford's...
Full Bio

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The Geese & The Ghost, Anthony Phillips
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