Anthony Phillips

Private Parts & Pieces, Vol. 1

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A very pleasing and at times surprising collection of Anthony Phillips' odds and sods, leftover tracks and demos, some derived from the best early compositions by him and Michael Rutherford, and a few Genesis footnotes (a farewell song, in a pop vein, to original drummer John Silver, and snippets of pieces from unrecorded early Genesis songs), mostly played on electric guitar, classical acoustic guitar and 12-string, in enough varied styles, tempos, and moods to make this a highly enjoyable collection. One needn't even be a fan of Genesis to like it, although it would help to be amenable to art-rock. Phillips sings in a couple of places, and while he's no Peter Gabriel, he's not bad, either, considering that none of this stuff was ever really supposed to see the light of day. His main strength is on the guitar, however, and he does dazzle there, particularly on the 11-minute "Flamingo," a first movement of a projected guitar concerto that is one of the finest classical guitar showcases to come out of the whole art-rock scene. There are also some keyboard-based pieces on both synthesizer and acoustic piano, among them "Autumnal," a sweet impressionistic piece that is oddly inventive, despite its obvious (and inevitable) debt to Debussy.

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