Anthony Phillips’ transition from Genesis, the band he’d co-founded, into a quieter solo career was smoothed along by the presence of both Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins on The Geese and the Ghost.
A return to that 1977 debut, as part of a definitive three-disc reissue, hasn’t changed Phillips’ mind about things, though.
In fact, Phillips — who appeared on Genesis’ debut and the follow up Trespass — brushes aside the idea of ever mounting a full-fledged Genesis reunion, in an exclusive Something Else! Sitdown. Having originally left because he wasn’t interested in their ever-more-aggressive touring schedule, Anthony Phillips remains steadfastly solo.
"My experience on the road during the last terrible six months with Genesis was so traumatic that I think it would be the last thing I would do," Phillips tells us. "Yet, I have a lingering affection for the songs from before Trespass. I recently came across one called ‘Everywhere Is Here.’ It’s hopelessly steeped in the 1960s, but I thought: What a gas it would be to do it with [Genesis keyboardist] Tony [Banks] on piano, Mike on bass, me on guitar and [original frontman] Pete [Gabriel] singing. Those, for me, were the good times."
The Geese and the Ghost grew out of writing sessions between Anthony Phillips and Mike Rutherford prior to Phillips’ departure from Genesis in 1970. Ultimately, two tracks — "Chinese Mushroom Cloud" and the two-part title composition — were credited to both, as sessions for Phillips’ debut took place off and on throughout the ensuing six years. Phil Collins would contribute vocals to "Which Way The Wind Blows" and "God If I Saw Her Now," while John Hackett (the younger brother of Phillips’ successor in Genesis, Steve Hackett) added flute to a trio of songs.
The Definitive Edition reissue of The Geese and the Ghost, due March 9, 2015 via Esoteric Recordings, includes a remaster of those original songs, a disc of demos and a DVD featuring a new 5.1 mix. The extras include a pair of previously unheard Phil Collins collaborations, on "Silver Song" and "Only Your Love." This new set follows a five-disc Anthony Phillips anthology titled Harvest of the Heart, which sampled 90 songs from his career away from Genesis — including 10 previously unheard tracks.
© Something Else Reviews, by Nick DeRiso