Anthony Phillips – 1984 Reissue Review

Esoteric Arts have just released ‘1984’ the latest album in their excellent Anthony Phillips deluxe reissue series – review by Tim Darbyshire

AP 1984 1

This is a 3 disc deluxe digi-pack edition of the album. Disc 1 contains the new 2016 stereo mix of the album. Disc 2 contains the bonus material and is identical to the second disc of the 2008 Voiceprint version. Disc 3 contains the new 2016 5.1 surround sound mix of the album on  DVD-A. Also included is a two-sided poster and a 16-page booklet with photos and extensive liner notes – including the customary excellent new essay written by Jonathan Dann. There is a short forward written by Steven Wilson, as this is his favourite Ant album.

Originally released in 1981 ‘1984’ is a radical departure from the more pastoral feel of the albums that preceded it – ‘The Geese And The Ghost’, ‘Wise After The Event’,  ‘Sides’, ‘Private Parts And Pieces’, and ‘Private Parts and Pieces II: Back to the Pavilion’. With relatively few audible guitar parts, ‘1984’ is an instrumental electronic album – mostly synth based with some vocal effects and a variety of percussion. It was also the first Anthony Phillips album not to feature the intricate artwork of Peter Cross.

The album itself is based around 2 long form pieces – ‘1984 Part One’ and ‘1984 Part Two’ bookended by ‘Prelude ’84’ and ‘Anthem 1984’. It’s never dull, often melodic and to these ears at least,  has survived the test of time. All synths and drum machine programming is done by Ant, with percussion provided by Morris Pert of Brand X fame. Use of drum machines was becoming de rigueur at the turn of the ’80s, see Genesis and ‘Duke’ for example….

Stylistically, ‘1984’ remains an anomaly in Ant’s back catalogue. ‘Slow Dance’ (released 1990) also contains long instrumental pieces, but these are orchestrally lush. Ant followed up this album with 1983’s ‘Invisible Men’ – a collaboration with Richard Scott which was totally song-based.

Time for a slight gripe; despite being a decent digipack, I’m baffled why Esoteric chose to change the format of these deluxe reissues. All the others to date have been housed in rigid clamshell style boxes – see photo below. ‘1984’ bucks this trend and also looks slightly odd as the thick spine doesn’t have the  artist or title on it.

Track Listing:

CD 1:

1: Prelude ’84
2: 1984 Part One
3: 1984 Part Two
4: Anthem 1984


1: Prelude ’84 (Early Stage Mix)
2: Ascension
3: 1984 Part One (Early Stage Mix)
4: Sally Theme
5: Science And Technology
6: Respect
7: Church
8: Military
9: Power In The Land
10: 1984 Part Two (Early Stage Mix)
11: Anthem 1984 (Early Stage Mix)
12: Poly Piece (Demo)

DVD: 5.1 Surround Mix

1: Prelude ’84
2: 1984 Part One
3: 1984 Part Two
4: Anthem 1984

AP 1984 1AP 1984 2AP 1984 3AP 1984 4AP 1984 5AP spines



King Crimson Announce Live Album


Radical Action To Unseat The Hold Of Monkey Mind‘ is scheduled for release 2nd September, with pre-orders now available from Burning Shed. The multi-disc set will be available as a 3cd/1 bluray set or a limited 3cd/2dvd/1 bluray version.

From King Crimson’s website:

Taken from the 2015 tours of the UK, Canada & Japan, Radical Action represents the most comprehensive release for this incarnation of King Crimson, and will be available as a 3cd/1blu-ray set, and in a 3cd/2dvd/1blu-ray limited edition.

Radical Action features every song and piece performed by Pat Mastelotto, Bill Rieflin, Gavin Harrison, Mel Collins, Tony Levin, Jakko Jakszyk and Robert Fripp and as Fripp commented last month while supervising mixing, “This is King Crimson… re-imagined”.

The details for the 3cd/2dvd/1blu-ray limited edition are as follows.
CDs presented as individually themed “virtual studio albums” with no audible audience & mixed for audio presentation

One Blu-Ray featuring a complete set-list drawn from Japanese concert performances – almost 3 hours of music – in high-resolution stereo & 5.1 surround audio complete with “picture off” mode allowing the music to be heard independently in pristine, lossless audio. (24/48khz as per original recordings)

Two DVDs featuring the full concert performances in stereo & 5.1 surround sound.

Expanded, perfect bound, booklet: 36 pages with additional tour photos.

Six disc set presented in two triple digi-packs with booklet housed in an outer slipcase.

All copies come with a postcard featuring Francesca Sundsten’s striking cover artwork

Audio/Video performances include:

Threshold Soundscape
Larks’ Tongues in Aspic Part One
Pictures of a City
Radical Action (to Unseat The Hold of Monkey Mind)
Radical Action II
Level Five
The Hell Hounds of Krim
The ConstruKction of Light
Scarcity of Miracles
Banshee Legs Bell Hassle
Easy Money
The Letters
Sailor’s Tale
The Light of Day
The Talking Drum
Larks’ Tongues in Aspic Part Two
Devil Dogs of Tessellation Row
In the Court of the Crimson King
21st Century Schizoid Man
Suitable Grounds for the Blues
One More Red Nightmare