"Another trip to the attic" - Anthony Phillips' Archive Collection Volume 2 reviewed by Alan Hewitt.

So, here we are again with a second helping of archival material from Anthony's attic. Well… not quite the attic, but certainly from Anthony's considerable tape archive.

My opinions of this collection will certainly be biased, because I was involved in the initial and final selection of material for inclusion here although it is Jonathan Dann's considerable detective work that certainly led to the difficulty of deciding which pieces to leave off this collection and which ones to edit, especially as it was originally envisaged as a single disc and Jonathan presented Ant, myself and the members of the "August Listening Panel" with enough material to easily fill THREE discs!

Having opened up the "musical box" so to speak with the first edition; this time thanks to Jonathan's intrepid researches, we were able to bring a balanced mix of old and not so old material together and in some cases; present material which might otherwise never have been heard at all. The Scottish Suite II and the extracts from Fantomas being two prime examples; although I make no apologies for being responsible for the drastic editing of the latter - quality control has to dictate that some pieces had to be pruned and that piece just did not work in its entirety without its accompanying visuals. . Oh, and for those fans who besieged me with requests for the inclusion of a certain Pennsylvania Flickhouse in the set; the ultimate decision for that track's omission from the final track listing was Anthony's own… so blame him!

Once again, demos and alternate takes of existing songs/instrumentals, help to broaden the picture of a particular track's development and the likes of Sally, Tregenna Afternoons; The Anthem From Tarka and Sistine all serve as excellent examples of just how much a track can change from initial idea to finished recording.

There are also several historic recordings here including appearances by Mike Rutherford, John Silver and these include the delightful Deep In The Night featuring Mike Rutherford and dating back initially to 1969. Also included is the lovely but sadly still incomplete Child Song another refugee from the early 1970's.

There are also the first official appearances of any of the material which Ant and Richard Scott wrote for the Alice musical along with several more examples of Anthony's early library music compositions.

Really there is a little something here for old and new fans alike - and with almost two hours' worth of music on offer you certainly get great value for your money!

Disc One
Guitar Song (Demo 1973)/The Anthem From Tarka (Demo 1988)/Deep In The Night (Demo 1977)/Bleak House (Instrumental Mix 1978)/Our Man In Japan (Library piece 1979)/Old Wives Tale (Solo Version1976)/Scottish Suite II (1973/76): LeapingSalmon-The Witching Hour-Two Truths-The Letter-Walpurgis Night-Sweet Reaper-Why Sinks This Cauldron?-Her Last Sleepwalk//Sally (Instrumental mix 1982)/Windmill(Demo1973)/Tregenna Afternoons (Demo 1973)/Lofty Vaults (Library Piece 1979)/Variation On A Theme Of Fantomas (Demo 1973)/Picardy Pictures (Demo 1972)/Polar Lights (Library Piece 1979)/The Ridolfi Plot (Demo 1978)/Falling For Love (Instrumental Mix 1982)

Disc Two
Highland Fling (Library Piece 1979)/Prelude (1981)/Siesta (1983)/Bubble & Squeak (1981)/Guru (Instrumental Mix 1982)/Shady Arbours (1974)/West Side Alice (1983)/Vic's Tango (Demo 1983)/Seven Long Years (Instrumental Mix 1976)/Romeo & Juliet (Library Piece 1976) /I Saw You Today (1978)/The Anthem From Tarka (Alternate Mix Of Demo 1988)/Quadrille (From Alice 1983)/Desert Suite (1980): Sand Dance-Pipeline-End Theme/Fantomas Opening Theme (Film Music 1973)/Sistine (Instrumental Mix 1982)/Sisters Of Remindum (Basic mix 1977/78)/Will The Last Man Off The Ice Rink (Please Turn Out The Lights) (1973)/Finale (Instrumental mix 1982)

Anthony Phillips - Archive Collection Volume 2

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Blueprint Records BP360CD