Exposé Online banner

Anthony Phillips — Private Parts and Pieces
(Blueprint BP202, 1978/1996, CD)

Anthony Phillips — Private Parts and Pieces II: Back to the Pavilion
(Blueprint BP203, 1980/1996, CD)

by Mike Ezzo, Published 1997-02-01

Private Parts and Pieces Cover artPrivate Parts and Pieces II: Back to the Pavilion  Cover art

Released in 1978 and 1980 respectively (though recorded earlier), when acoustic music was anything but in vogue, Private Parts & Pieces 1 and 2 set the tone for much of Anthony's career. It was here where he began developing the pastoral delicacy he played so important a role in creating with the Trespass album, pushing it further and further away from the rock idiom. Both of these arrived on the scene following a period of tremendous pressure to write singles, which is apparent by the two albums that immediately precede them. But neither Wise after the Event nor Sides was the commercial success the record company hoped for. Thankfully they got their noses out of his way and let him get on with what he does best.

These two albums were recorded at various times during the mid-70s, along with The Geese and the Ghost, and others. Both come resplendent with Peter Cross' (as always) beautiful artwork. The whimsical humor supports Ant's music and titles in a way that is distinctly English. PP&P I is a collection of mostly solos and duets from 1972 to '76. Here, classically-inspired and introspective impressionist curios invoke scenes of nature, and solitude. "The Reaper" is particularly impressive. There is also a bonus track — "Stranger," a duet with Mike Rutherford, from the Genesis days. Volume II stretches out into a new dimension. Guests, including Mel Collins and Mike Rutherford, plus a drummer, make this a band effort. In contrast, it also sports some synthesizer solos and theatrical soundtrack music written for a production of Macbeth. Some of the material was originally composed to serve as links to the songs on Wise after the Event, at a time when that album was planned as a double. The bulk of the contents dates from 1977, and you can vividly see his composing ability taking a leap forward on this project. If you liked The Geese and the Ghost, this should come recommended, despite the greater diversity of material. "Lucy: An Illusion" is the bonus track. Both albums are prime examples of the romantic lyricism that makes Phillips' music so appealing and refreshing. Thankfully, Voiceprint have been reissuing all the Anthony Phillips back catalog in the last year. If you haven't heard his work, this is a great place to begin. I'd suggest starting with the second.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 11, 1996 releases, 1978 recordings, 1980 recordings

Related artist(s): Anthony Phillips, Mel Collins, Mike Rutherford

Latest news

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Mark Ceccotti - Still at Large – Most will be familiar with Ceccotti as the guitarist and chief composer of Edhels, a band that released a number of LPs and CDs from the mid-1980s right up through 1999. Since that time he has...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues