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68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary debut from a highly underrated composer, 22 Mar. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Geese and the Ghost (Audio CD)
Anthony Phillips was one of Genesis founding members, their first guitarist, and one of the main responsible for the band's earlier sound. After Genesis second album "Trespass" (1970) Anthony Phillips left the band due to physical problems coming from stage fright. Having abandoned completely the musical scene, only in 1977 Phillips returned to studio to record his first solo album. This was mostly due to the insistence of his friend and also Genesis co-founder Mike Rutherford, with whom Phillips had a long lasting musical relationship started even before the Genesis days. Both guitarists' fond of 12-string, classical and other acoustic guitars, and their joy to explore different sound textures, originated "The Geese and The Ghost" an album that was, at some point, intended to be released as a duo effort, but that Rutherford, strongly committed with Genesis, preferred to leave as his friend's solo album. With Rutherford's strong presence, and Phil Collins voice in two songs, it's not odd to think of this album as a Genesis lost work, or to guess from it which way the Genesis sound would have evolved, had Phillips stayed in the band. The sound is predominated by acoustic guitars, and medieval atmospheres. Rutherford is most of the work, except the short overture "Wind - Tales", three beautiful and melancholic songs, two sung by Collins: "Which Way The Wind Blows" and "God If I Saw Her Now" (this one a duet with Viv McCauliffe), and the third "Collections" by Phillips himself; and the relaxing piano orientated coda "Sleepfall: The Geese Fly West". Two long and exquisite suites dominate the album. The first is "Henry: Portraits From Tudor Times", that in 6 parts sets the medieval historical context. Phillips and Rutherford explore the pastoral environment with the use of different guitar tonalities and a small orchestra, making it a highly enjoyable and surprising piece. The short "Chinese Mushroom Cloud" works as a prelude for the two-part suite "The Geese And The Ghost", where Phillips and Rutherford, in my opinion, reach the album's highest point. Again starting with acoustic guitar sounds, the composition evolves, through complex textures, towards a more classical progressive rock sound. A brilliant piece that showcases the two guitarist's abilities and compositional skills. The CD version of the album also includes the extra track "Master of Time" a nice demo song sung by Phillips, who despite having a rather limited voice manages not to lower the level of the remaining album. Overall a great album, relaxing, delicate and imaginative, starting a trend, some rock guitarists have, to explore renaissance sonorities and classical music influences. A spirit faithfully illustrated by the beautiful painting that is the album cover. Surely one of the best works in Anthony Phillips' long career. A good complement for those who enjoy the "Trespass" Genesis period, acoustic guitar in general, and the best way to start to discover a talented and underrated composer.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Midsummer Knight's Tale, 23 Dec. 2003
This review is from: Geese and the Ghost (Audio CD)
Well, let's cut to the chase and the bit you want to know - should I buy it? Yes. It's not for everyone but if early Genesis tickled your fancy, I think you'll like this.
One of the things that attracted me to Genesis is the wonderful spangly chords (the musical sort rather than the 70s flares they wore) played out on majestic 12-string guitars (that we seldom see these days) and here they can be found too. All that delicate guitar work is here as you would expect from one of the founder members of Genesis a'la Trespass.
Expect ethereal storylines that weave medieval/madrigal tapestries of yesteryear with all the benefits of modern instruments. I'd also recommend this album to Mike Oldfield fans, in that although I believe this album was written and recorded a few years earlier than Mikes (or at least the ideas for the songs were) it's very much in the same vein as Tubular Bells. A good album and a nice introduction to Anthony's work.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lost prog Rock Classic, 19 April 2004
By 
Spinalpap4u (Monmouth, Wales) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Geese and the Ghost (Audio CD)
Most people who know of Anthony Phillips will do so from his "Private Parts and Pieces" series and these albums are a fantastic collection of largely ambient instrumental pieces demonstrating AP's guitar/keyboard and piano prowess.
To go back in time to his very first release (indeed Private Parts and Pieces 1 - probably the best in the series - was originally given away as a freebie with this album)is to see what might have been with AP having produced a real prog classic.
In some ways it is closest in tone to Steve Hackett's Voyage of the Acolyte but is much more pastoral and gentle in tone. Featuring Phil Collins on drums and vocals and Mike Rutherford on some tracks this is almost a Genesis album that never was but I think there is sufficient distance from the Genesis back catalogue in approach for this to deserves its place as a classic in its own right.
The stand out piece is arguably "Henry - Portraits from Tudor Times" - a multi-sectioned quasi classical piece in many ways with numerous changes in tone and texture. My favorites are, however, the two Phil Collins sung tracks - "God if I saw her now" and "Which way the wind blows", probably the two most wistful pieces Collins has ever sung and far more sincere than any of the later ballads he bacame famous for, excepting his first solo album.
"Geese and the Ghost" and the closing track (on the original LP) "Sleepfall, The Geese Fly West" are lovely instrumentals and, again, match anything by Hackett or Genesis (and I regard myself of a major fan of both).
This will be a real find for anyone who likes early Genesis and Steve Hackett and will act as a great (albeit not necessarily representative) introduction to Anthony Phillips.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sun Will Shine Again, 30 Sept. 2008
By 
Anthodisiac (Cathedral Woods) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Geese & The Ghost (Remastered / Expanded) (2CD) (Audio CD)
This re-master is akin to the restoration of the Sistine Chapel, completed in 1999. That team was headed by Colalucci, Rossi, and Bonneti. The Geese and The Ghost restoration team was headed by Simon Heyworth. In both projects, the restorers scraped off years of accumulated ambient grime to return two veritable masterpieces to their original magnificence. If you'll permit me one more analogy, the difference is like going from watching your favorite movie on a 12" color TV, with rabbit-ear antennas, to a 52", flat screen, high definition set, with surround sound. He wasn't lying. The sun did shine again!

The original version of TGATG is just so amazing; this only increases the enjoyment of it. But the real "un-covery" is on Disc Two. Finally, after years and years of cajoling, Ant released the proper version of "Silver Song", complete with Phil Collins on vox and drums, complemented by a ballsy bass line, and a trippy synth.

Makes you wonder . . . doesn't it?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential purchase for fans of early Genesis, 19 April 2008
By 
Gregory Spawton (Bournemouth, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Geese & The Ghost (Remastered / Expanded) (2CD) (Audio CD)
The Geese and the Ghost is an essential purchase for fans of early Genesis. Some of the material was written by Phillips and Rutherford during Phillips' stint with the band and there is a lot of twin 12-string guitar playing on the album, a style which was originated by Phillips and Rutherford and which became such an important part of the Genesis sound from Trespass through to A Trick of the Tail. Additionally, Collins sings on three songs and plays drums on one.

But this is more than just an album for Genesis completists; the Geese and the Ghost is a terrific release in its own right, beautifully re-mastered and re-packaged in a 2 CD version.

At the centre of the main album are two lengthy instrumentals, the title track and Henry: Portraits from Tudor Times, which benefits from the inclusion of a recurring theme which was edited from the version on the original release. Both of these 15 minute pieces are superb compositions, mainly featuring acoustic guitars but with plenty of drama and additional instrumentation. As well as some shorter instrumental pieces there are also a number of strong songs. Of particular note is the heartbreaking God if I Saw Her Now, a sort of folk duet, sung by Collins and Viv McCauliffe.

The bonus disc features many of the basic backing tracks from the main album, allowing a closer listen to the interplay between the guitars of Phillips and Rutherford. It also includes two gems, the much bootlegged Silver Song with Collins on vocals and drums and Rutherford joining him on bass, and Master of Time which is a demo version of a lovely song with a strong chorus.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First class re-issue of ex-Genesis guitarists debut album., 18 April 2008
By 
Dr. D. B. Sillars - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Geese & The Ghost (Remastered / Expanded) (2CD) (Audio CD)
This remastered re-issue of the ex-Genesis guitarists first and best solo album has been available for a year or so only as an expensive Japanese import. Now thankfully Voiceprint are releasing this and the following "Wise After The Event". Much has been made about the connection between this album and the last Genesis album Anthony Phillip's appeared on "Trespass". Some have even claimed it to be what Genesis may have sounded like had Phillips stayed in the band. There is no question that Phillip's contribution to "Trespass" was important and some of the quaint pastoral English feel of that album pervades "The Geese and the Ghost". However, here Phillips is more interested in purely acoustic instrumentation to make for an even more gentle, elegiac soundtrack to times long gone. Part of the success of the album is in the two part 12 string guitar playing of Phillips and Genesis bassist Mike Rutherford, who makes such a vivid contribution to the album, that this may be seen as more of a collaborative effort rather than a solo album. The music is lilting, delicate, but never soporific. There is a beautiful depth to the arrangements, especially on the title track and lengthy "Henry: Portraits from Tudor Times".

The Genesis credentials are further enhanced by the vocal contribution of Phil Collins on two tracks. Note is also to be made of the inclusion on the second disc of bonus tracks of the song "Silver Song", recorded by Philip's, Rutherford and Collins. This is a lost treasure of a song and is far better than "More Full Me" from Genesis's "Selling England by the Pound" which was recorded around the same time.

Regarding this issue, the remastering by original album producer and engineer Simon Heyworth is as expected, beautifully subtle and detailed as befits the music. Heyworth is one of the best mastering engineers in the business and does this recording so much justice. The reproduction of the original artwork, credits, lyrics and the thoroughly informative and detailed notes throughout the 20 page booklet is exemplary. There is even a quote from Rosanna Arquette about her love for the album! What is it about her and Genesis! With a second CD full of worthy bonus material this is a first class re-issue and cannot be faulted on any level. Shame the recent Genesis remasters weren't up to the same standards!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare gem. Don't hesitate to buy this, 9 Feb. 2011
This review is from: The Geese & The Ghost (Remastered / Expanded) (2CD) (Audio CD)
You are likely to come across Anthony Phillips' work through being a fan of Genesis, more specifically "early" Genesis. If so I cannot give enough of a recommendation for you to buy this immensely beautiful album, and even if you are completely unaware of the huge influence Ant had on the Genesis sound you should still buy this.

In common with Genesis, there are some pacy, punchy tracks intertwined with some wistful beautifully observed ones. Intelligent composition and textures are truly mood enhancing, in my view exactly what music is for. I have to mark out Which Way the Wind Blows for particular credit, I regard this song with the affection I might afford a friend!

Ant missed out on being a central part of a 150,000,000 selling supergroup through a medical condition, but this album confirms his musical genius and you really should add this hidden gem to your collection. I have a huge diverse musical taste, but The Geese and The Ghost is comfortably in my top 5 albums. Thanks Ant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Look, see how the world goes round..., 6 Feb. 2015
This review is from: The Geese & The Ghost (Remastered / Expanded) (2CD) (Audio CD)
If lost prog-rock classics are your thing; look, see how the world goes round and then look no further.

The Geese and the Ghost is a beautiful collection of music. There is an atmosphere unique to this record, it's like a world within itself which I guess is what a lot of us liked about prog back then. The Geese and the Ghost is a lot less showy and grand than your average prog epic though. What we have here is something more natural which manages to sound older than it's time, of it's time but also ahead of it's time. Timeless. This may, in part, be due to the superb choice of instrumentation; mandolins, bazoukis, guitars, dulcimers, string quartets, recorders and lots of wonderful hand played magical stuff. Occasionally the sound is sparse in a way that suggests the rest of the band didn't show up. It always gets away with it though and that sparseness is an essential magical ingredient. I love too the manner in which themes, motifs and chord progressions are re-visited, you want more of the album and it keeps on giving.

I first heard The Geese and the Ghost at a party in the late 1970's, yes I went to 'those' sort of parties! It never left me though I only re-discovered it recently. It reminded me in spirit, atmosphere and production of a much more contemporary album called Mohribold by Andrew Taylor (one for your search engines folks). I guess that's testament to how timeless Anthony Phillips music was.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Trespass with new ideas and new twists and more acoustic work., 5 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Geese And The Ghost (MP3 Download)
Even more fascinating in retrospect than it was "back in the day" Lots of moods and nuances, hardly a rock album in the accepted sense but not lacking in moments of drama. "God if I saw her now" is a typical Genesis type story, if not exactly in their style as the lyrics are more romantic than most of their stuff up to and including that time. Vocal performance from Phil Collins provides an interesting twist and the writing credits also reveal the albums heritage. Not all of Ants stuff will appeal to your average Genesis fan of the "prog" (pre 1983 era) but this one certainly will I suspect. Probably unfair to labour too much on the Genesis comparisons simply because of Ants career history as this is a fine album in its own right and stands on its own merits.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely album from ex-Genesis guitarist, 18 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: The Geese & The Ghost (Remastered / Expanded) (2CD) (Audio CD)
Anthony Phillips, ex-Genesis lead guitarist, certainly took his time to deliver this gorgeous debut album (3 years of toil and much delay, with former colleague Mike Rutherford struggling to find clear windows in his busy schedule with Genesis to collaborate on this project). The end result was well worth waiting for - the Phillips/Rutherford compositions, especially the 15 minute title track, are supremely crafted and there are plenty of other lovely moments especially the sweet ballads 'Which Way The Wind Blows' and 'God If I Saw Her Now' which feature the excellent Phil Collins on vocals. If you love pastoral, folk-influenced progressive music, then this should suit you down to the ground. Recommended.
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The Geese & The Ghost (Remastered / Expanded) (2CD)
The Geese & The Ghost (Remastered / Expanded) (2CD) by Anthony Phillips (Audio CD - 2010)
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