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, the first two Private Parts & Pieces collections 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

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Lana Lane - Garden of the Moon – When one has to crank out fifty or sixty reviews per issue, you pretty much have to be listening to music at every possible opportunity, including hours spent at the so-called day job. Usually it's...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues