Anthony Phillips is mostly known as the former guitarist of the band Genesis. Anthony left Genesis after their second studio album Trespass, making Steve Hackett his successor. After Genesis mister Phillips made a lot of solo albums and also collaborated with other musicians and made guest appearances on different albums from well-known artists like Mike Rutherford and even Steve Hackett. While making different studio albums, Anthony also released collections of (mostly) instrumental music named Private Parts & Pieces. Almost all tracks are written, composed and played by Anthony himself. Some of the tracks are recorded at home and some are recorded in different kinds of studios or other places. There are also demo tracks that were meant for other albums or collaborations, but were never officially released.
This box set is a collection of the first four Private Parts & Pieces albums he released back in the day including unreleased bonus tracks, plus an extra bonus album named Private Parts & Extra Pieces. All CDs are individually packaged in a sleeve that has the original album cover image. I just love the packaging of this box set, this is something you would give to someone for Christmas. The booklet contains everything you need to know about the songs, and I do mean everything. Every album and every song contains its own description and story. It's almost like a book you love to read and I'm sure a lot of fans want to know the story behind the songs Anthony wrote and played. It also contains some pictures of Anthony back in the day when he recorded several songs. I would not recommend to listen to this box set in its entirety because it's over 5 hours long, unless you're a hard-core fan of Anthony Phillips. I wish I could describe every song on this box set, but that means that this review would be extremely long.
Anthony is a brilliant musician and plays a variety of (acoustic) guitars, piano, keyboards and other instruments. The acoustic guitar playing of Anthony sometimes reminds me of Steve Hackett. Ant even sings on some of the songs. Don't expect a very talented singer but he does have a sweet and tender voice. The quality of the songs depends on when, where and how it is recorded. A lot of tracks are recorded with different types of recording equipment and different circumstances, which is all explained in the booklet. There are also a lot of other musicians collaborating on several songs, like Mel Collins, Michael Giles and Mike Rutherford. Private Parts And Pieces III: Antiques isn't a solo album but a collaboration between Anthony and Enrique Berro Garcia.
This is a box set you must have in your collection if you are a fan of Anthony Phillips, or at least early Genesis. Don't expect ready-made albums but a lovely collection of songs and demos. This box set is worth buying just for the booklet because it's clearly written and exposes everything you need to know about Anthony Phillips and his music.
***** Iris Hidding (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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