"Anthony Philips - The Man And His Music" - A Listener’s Review (Part Two) by Alan Hewitt.

1982: Private Parts & Pieces III: Antiques. Passport Records PVC 8908.

The third in the series, this one returns to the solid base laid down in the first LP with some marvellous guitar work from Ant and Enrique Berro Garcia, an Argentinian guitarist who unfortunately had to return home shortly after the album was completed due to the Falklands Conflict. This is a particularly “summery” album thanks in part to the influence of Garcia, and South American influences and themes are common. Look carefully at the sleeve notes on this one.

LP Running Time: 45 Minutes.

1983: Invisible Men. Passport Records PB 6023.

The title says it all really. This project is based on the precept that Ant doesn’t like to tour, and is therefore “invisible” to his audience. Like Tony Banks’ album; The Fugitive, if Anthony had released it under a different name, it could have been a real commercial success. There are several songs which would have made excellent singles and could have given us some good promotional videos too. In particular, Golden Bodies and Falling For Love. This album also has a couple of unusual tracks - Exocet, and The Women Were Watching, both of which contain a surprisingly potent social comment.

LP Running Time: 41 Minutes, 20 Seconds.

1984: Invisible Men - Street Tunes Records STLP 0013.

Not quite the same LP as the above. Ant had quite a lot of trouble with the American producers of the Invisible Men album and decided to release it on a small independent UK label with a different sleeve and one track which is not on the US LP: It’s Not Easy which actually sits in the framework of the LP better than its US counterpart; Exocet. This LP appears to be quite rare, I have only seen one copy and that is the one I bought!

LP Running Time ---

1984: Private Parts & Pieces IV: A Catch At The Tables. Passport Records PVC 8919.

Yet another outpouring from the Phillips archives, this time a combination of guitar and keyboard work mainly from the 1984 and Invisible Men sessions. Ever given to weird song titles, this one contains a couple of gems: Bouncer, and The Sea & The Armadillo, both of which contain some witty use of guitar and drum box. It is also a showcase for the guitar once again particularly on the track Eduardo.

LP Running Time: 50 Minutes, 33 Seconds.

1985: Private Parts & Pieces V: Twelve. Passport Records PVC 8926.

A welcome return to the thing that Ant does best; 12 string guitar work. The title refers to the fact that each piece is based on one of the twelve months of the year. A very emotive album and not one that everyone will enjoy because it has to be listened to properly but for those who make the effort, the rewards will pay dividends. Peter Cross came back off “holiday” to do the artwork for this one and it is BRILLIANT - particularly the illustration for “The Glorious Twelfth Of August”.

LP Running Time: 62 Minutes, 19 Seconds.

1986: Private Parts & Pieces VI: Ivory Moon. Passport Records PVC 8946.

The most recent album from Ant and this one really is an acquired taste. It features a collection of piano pieces written between 1971 - 1985, and is classically orientated and rather heavy going for anyone just getting into Ant’s music. It is interesting for the inclusion of two pieces from the score for the musical adaptation of Kit Williams’ book; Masquerade which unfortunately never made it to the stage.

LP Running Time: 41 Minutes, 13 Seconds.

All of Ant’s LPs in the Private Parts & Pieces series as well as his first album are available only on import from the US, but don’t let that expense put you off investigating his music which apart from his involvement in the early Genesis, is worthy of consideration in its own right. You won’t regret your choice - I haven’t!