The latest instalment of Anthony Phillips reissues – courtesy of Esoteric Recordings (Cherry Red) – features the more obscure ‘Private Parts & Pieces V – VIII’ and include a bonus 5th cd – ‘Private Parts & Extra Pieces II’. All the albums have been newly remastered and are housed in a high quality clamshell box. The package is once again adorned with stunning artwork by Peter Cross and an informative 24-page booklet with insight from Ant in conversation with Jonathan Dann. …….Review by Tim Darbyshire.
The albums included are ‘Private Parts & Pieces V: Twelve’ (1985), ‘Private Parts & Pieces VI: Ivory Moon’ (1986), ‘Private Parts & Pieces VII: Slow Waves, Soft Stars’ (1987), and ‘Private Parts & Pieces VIII: New England’ (1992).
‘Private Parts & Pieces V: Twelve’ is the first cd in the ‘Private Parts & Pieces’ series to feature just one instrument. All twelve pieces, named after the months of the year, are performed on 12-string guitar. There’s some lovely parts of course, but ‘Twelve’ was never a favourite of mine back in the day due to its one dimensional approach, and listening to it again now after a long absence, my feelings haven’t changed.
‘Private Parts & Pieces VI: Ivory Moon’, subtitled ‘Piano Pieces 1971-1985’ is a collection of piano based material gathered over the years. Interestingly, these include ‘Winter’s Thaw’ and ‘The Old House’ from 1971 which were among the demos Ant played to Mike Rutherford in 1972 with the view to making a solo album. Also included is a version of the Genesis song ‘Let Us Now Make Love’. The band never recorded the song in the studio, but a radio session version from 1970 has subsequently appeared on two Genesis box sets.
‘Private Parts & Pieces VII: Slow Waves, Soft Stars’ reverts to the more broader palette commonly associated with Ant’s ‘Private Parts & Pieces’ series. ‘Slow Waves, Soft Stars’ includes a number of improvised synthesizer soundscapes – partly due to the acquisition of a Roland Jupiter 8 – and the album did generate some interest in the emerging New Age genre. It’s an atmospheric collection, but a more pleasant and balanced collection than the previous two with guitar and keyboard sharing the workload.
‘Private Parts & Pieces VIII: New England’ was originally released in 1992, 5 years after ‘Private Parts & Pieces VII’. This is – in my opinion – the best of the albums in this set. It’s more like a traditional solo album, with two tracks containing vocals – ‘Unheard Cry’ and ‘Sanctuary’ – and saxophone complimenting the guitars and keyboards. Ant’s career at this stage had been bolstered by his signing to Virgin Records. Virgin were issuing his entire back catalogue on CD for the first time and the impressive ‘Slow Dance’ had just been released. ‘New England’ also differs from other ‘Private Parts’ releases in that all the material was written specifically for the project.
This set is completed by ‘Private Parts & Extra Pieces II’, which once again sees Ant delving into his seemingly endless archives. All 19 tracks on this cd are previously unreleased, and are a nice mix of guitar and keyboard pieces.
‘Private Parts & Pieces V-VIII’ is available now from Burning Shed.
Hopefully ‘Slow Dance’ will be the next in this excellent reissue series……..
My review of ‘1984’ is here.
My review of ‘Sides’ is here.
My review of ‘Wise After The Event’ is here.
DISC ONE:PRIVATE PARTS & PIECES V:
PRIVATE PARTS & PIECES VI: IVORY MOON
SUITE: SEA-DOGS MOTORING:
1. (I) SUNRISE OVER SIENNA
2. (II) BASKING SHARK
3. (III) SEA DOG’S AIR
4. (IV) SAFE HAVENS
5. TARA’S THEME (FROM MASQUERADE)
6. WINTER’S THAW
7. THE OLD HOUSE
8. MOONFALL (FROM MASQUERADE)
10. LET US NOW MAKE LOVE
PRIVATE PARTS & PIECES VII: SLOW WAVES, SOFT STARS
1. (I) FLIGHT OF THE SNOW PETREL: GLACIER BAY
2. (II) FLIGHT OF THE WHALE-BIRDS: BLIZZARD MOUNTAIN
3. (III) FLIGHT OF THE ALBATROSS: ICE ISLAND
4. (IV) WHITE HEAVEN
5. (V) CATHEDRAL OF ICE
7. END OF THE AFFAIR
8. THE GOLDEN PATHWAY
9. BEHIND THE WATERFALL
11. THROUGH THE BLACK HOLE
12. PLUTO GARDEN
15. GOODBYE SERENADE
16. BUBBLE AND SQUEAK
17. VANISHING STREETS
18. SLOW WAVES, SOFT STARS
PRIVATE PARTS & PIECES VIII:
2. INFRA DIG
4. LA DOLOROSA
5. NEW ENGLAND SUITE (I)
6. NEW ENGLAND SUITE (II)
7. NEW ENGLAND SUITE (III)
8. LAST GOODBYES
9. SUNRISE AND SEA MONSTERS
11. CATHEDRAL WOODS
12. IF I COULD TELL YOU
13. JAUNTY ROADS
15. PIECES OF EIGHT (I) PRESSGANG
16. PIECES OF EIGHT (II) SARGASSO
17. PIECES OF EIGHT (III) SEA-SHANTY
18. IN THE MAZE
19. UNHEARD CRY
20. NOW THEY’VE ALL GONE
PRIVATE PARTS & EXTRA PIECES II:
1. CATHEDRAL WOODS LINK
3. SANCTUARY (PIANO MIX)
4. EMERALD FOREST
5. UNHEARD CRY LINK
6. SKYLARKS OVER THE WATER
7. SIR ISAAC (FROM MASQUERADE)
8. ACROSS THE FORBIDDING HORIZON
9. END OF THE AFFAIR II
10. AUTUMN FALLS
11. BEACHRUNNER II
12. HIGHLAND DAWN
13. SANCTUARY LINK
14. UNHEARD CRY (GUITAR DEMO)
15. MOONFALL (FROM MASQUERADE) (DEMO)
16. PLUTO GARDEN (ALTERNATE MIX)
17. CATHEDRAL OF ICE (ALTERNATE MIX)
18. A PLACE TO REST
19. THE RIDDLE OF THE SANDS