"Another self portrait" - The first three of the "Private Parts & Pieces" series reviewed by Alan Hewitt.

Private Parts & Pieces - Arista/Passport Records 1979  
This album was originally issued in the UK as a free gift with the initial pressing of "Sides", although it was also released separately at the time in the USA as part of Ant's existing record contract with Passport Records. It has, since then, become one of the most consistent sellers from his back catalogue. Drawing exclusively on the vast archive of material which ha had amassed since his departure from Genesis, this album draws together many different facets of his music into a harmonious whole, although, as Anthony recalls, the album was not part of some grand design... "It was an accident. It was not possible to get any acoustic music released at this time. 'Sides' was being made and there was a lot of pressure to be more commercial. I started the compilation because I had been told that Brian Eno had started a label that might put out instrumental music..." Certainly, for fans, this album contained a wider variety of music and helped fill in some of the gaps in Anthony's repertoire, including several pieces that have become firm favourites such as the beautiful "Tregenna Afternoons", and "Reaper", and also sporting another beautiful cover by Peter Cross. This album is a must for fans of Anthony's music.

Virgin CD 1990 CDOVD 317
Blueprint CD 1995 BP202CD
Extra tracks: Stranger/SilverSong (Demo)
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Private Parts & Pieces II: Back To The Pavilion - Passport Records 1980  
The first of the lengthy series of albums by Anthony which were frustratingly not available to his fans here in the UK or Europe, because the only outlet for his recordings at this time was the US-based Passport Records. Released in 1980, the album continued the trend set by its predecessor in as much as it drew upon existing music rather than newer material including "The Scottish Suite" which was originally destined for a rather ambitious project as Anthony remembers... "'Scottish Suite' was, in fact, music that was originally done for a proposed Shakespearean project using all of the dialogue from the tragedies along with rock music..." Sadly this project never materialised but the material upon the album includes several delightful pieces including the electric version of "Reaper" as well as several more whimsical pieces from Anthony's back catalogue. This album has always struck me as lacking in the cohesiveness of its predecessor although the musical content of it is of a sufficiently high standard that no detriment attaches to the album for that, and certainly it is worth listening to for the acoustic beauty of "Postlude: End Of Season", and the truly awesome "Lucy - An illusion" which appeared on the CD re-issues by Virgin and Blueprint!

Virgin CD 1990 CDOVD318
Blueprint CD 1995 BP203CD
Extra Track: Lucy - An Illusion
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Private Parts & Pieces III: Antiques - Passport Records/RCA 1982  
An album entirely comprised of music for acoustic guitars including the added bonus of the beautiful playing of Ant's friend Quique Berro Garcia, an extremely talented guitarist in his own right. This album is a delightful warm summery affair with a fine line in self-deprecating humour in some of the track titles, although that does not detract from the music which was purely the work of the two musicians... "I think we kept it mainly to two guitars as it were... I was always concerned because his Quique's playing was better than mine; he has better nails than me!" Anthony's ideas soon expanded from the original one of two or three tracks as Quique himself remembered... "He had the ideas first and then we developed them and only a couple of the tracks were entirely his: "Old Wives' Tale" and one other I think... The rest we just did out of playing and playing again. It was meant to be only two or three tracks but it developed into an entire album..." Musically, this album is one of Anthony's most satisfying. There is a warmth and depth to the music that draws you into it and leaves you bathed in a warm glow afterwards; a delightful album, sadly underrated.

Virgin CD 1991 CDOVD319
Blueprint CD BP204CD 1995
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