Phillips, Anthony - The Geese & the Ghost 2 x CDs + DVD-A box set (expanded / remastered / 5.1 hi-res)
Anthony was a founding member of Genesis and was a very important part of their formative years; when he left due to stage fright, the rest of the band was very unsure he was replaceable. After a number of years, he came back with this, his first solo album, which is extremely good in a pastoral progressive type way and also very much like Trespass in a lot of ways as well, and which includes guest shots by Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins. This new 2015 version includes a newly remastered version of the original album, a second disc of 13 demos and work-versions and, most importantly, a 5.1 hi-res version by Andy Myles and Simon Heyworth!
"Released in 1977, this debut by former Genesis guitarist Anthony "Ant" Phillips presents a fine collection of largely acoustic and pastoral pieces. As a long time Genesis fan, it became clear to me exactly what Anthony contributed to the early Genesis sound, as I can hear elements of Trespass (1970) throughout. This is not too surprising in that The Geese and the Ghost was written sometime around 1970. I should note that although Anthony left before the release of Nursery Cryme, he had worked on a few of the tracks that eventually turned up on the album. As such, the quieter sections of Nursery Cryme (1971) pop up here and there. On the Geese and the Ghost, Anthony (acoustic, classic & electric guitars, basses, dulcimer guitar, bouzouki, piano, organ, synthesizers, Mellotron, harmonium, celeste, pin piano, drums, glockenspiel, bells & chimes, timbales, gong, vocals) is joined by Genesis members Phil Collins (vocals on three tracks) and Mike Rutherford (acoustic, classic & electric guitars, basses, organ, drums, timbales, bells, glockenspiel, cymbals) along with a host of supporting woodwind, string and percussion players. There is some nice playing on the album, which is generally very delicate, tasteful and restrained. The eight tracks on the album include a few long pieces (The Geese and the Ghost 15:40) and shorter, more atmospheric tracks (Chinese Mushroom Cloud 0:46). The album is loaded with delicate and dreamy 12-string acoustic textures and soft, discreet washes of mellotron and synthesizers that are subtly layered in. The supporting musicians really fill in the cracks (there are very few) and lend the music a richly textured feel. I especially like the way Anthony has arranged these pieces and the use of dynamic contrasts is surprisingly wide for what is essentially an album dominated by acoustic guitars and other acoustic instruments. Lastly, the melodies are very nice and at times, fairly haunting."-Jeffrey J. Clark