Anthony Phillips - 1984 (album thread)

  • I love Geese and the Ghost and Wise After the Event, but have never ventured further into Ant's catalogue until today when I listened to 1984.


    What a departure from his pastoral folk acoustic stuff! The album is like a deeper, darker instrumental version of Smallcreep's Day and I love it!


    Anyone else a fan?

  • Apart from the title and the image of the cage on the cover, this instrumental album has no other references to Orwell's dramatic novel.


    Unless we consider the Roland CR78 drum machine that accompanies the nice melodies of polymoog and ARP 2600!


    On the other hand, it was a "dictatorship" that was in fashion. :/

  • Christian

    Changed the title of the thread from “1984” to “Anthony Phillips - 1984 (album thread)”.
  • I listened to this a lot when it came out and liked it very much. I haven't heard it for at least 30 years and wonder how it will sound to my ears now, given the synth sounds are very of their time. Although, there is of course a revival of interest in those sounds now.


    Re the title, I think I recall his saying he did the music with no particular theme in mind and only very late in the day came up with the title, adding the vocoder title phrase at the end.


    The huge difference between this, his preceding albums and the PP&Ps highlight why I like his work best after PG's among the solo stuff - the range he covers.


    Thanks for starting this thread, it's prompted me to revisit 1984

    Abandon all reason

  • Coincidentally I had a couple of gaps in my Phillips collection that I’ve just filled and I listen to him a lot. I haven’t listened to this one in a long while, I’ve been turning towards the first TV three albums and Tarka for some reason so I will give this a spin next

  • This was actually the first Ant album I ever heard, within a year or two of its being released. At the time it seems to have been the easiest Ant album to find, either in the cut-out bin or as a used LP.


    I prefer "1984," both parts, over "Prelude" and "Anthem."


    I eventually got the 2-disc extended version, signed by Ant. It has a nice collection of bonus tracks that aren't just alternate mixes of tracks from the album. Besides the alternate "Anthem," which has a very different feel without the drum machine, I didn't care to hear the alternate mixes again after hearing them once.

    “When the waitress asked if I wanted my pizza cut into four or eight slices, I said, ‘Four. I don’t think I can eat eight.’” -- Yogi Berra


    A soldier survived mustard gas in combat, and then pepper spray from the police. He's now a seasoned veteran.

  • Well. I am a fan of Ant's and I enjoy a lot of his albums. I am also a fan of 80's music and of synth music too. On top, I do have to admit 1984 is actually quite an interesting album by the actual musical composition. But. Nevertheless. No matter what. I just can't get myself wrapped around this game boy sound of this album. I can't listen to it. It makes me feel like I am listening to one of these "8-bit version of Supper's Ready" videos that circulated on youtube a couple years ago.

  • Well. I am a fan of Ant's and I enjoy a lot of his albums. I am also a fan of 80's music and of synth music too. On top, I do have to admit 1984 is actually quite an interesting album by the actual musical composition. But. Nevertheless. No matter what. I just can't get myself wrapped around this game boy sound of this album. I can't listen to it. It makes me feel like I am listening to one of these "8-bit version of Supper's Ready" videos that circulated on youtube a couple years ago.

    I agree! This album is really hard to listen to for the reasons you have posted. I haven't played this a lot and I doubt I ever will.

  • No matter what. I just can't get myself wrapped around this game boy sound of this album. I can't listen to it.

    Wow, interesting to hear how the album sounds to someone else. It sounds fine to me. I guess living through the '80s as a young adult must have made me immune to cheesy synthesizer sounds!

    “When the waitress asked if I wanted my pizza cut into four or eight slices, I said, ‘Four. I don’t think I can eat eight.’” -- Yogi Berra


    A soldier survived mustard gas in combat, and then pepper spray from the police. He's now a seasoned veteran.

  • I was born in 1981, as the youngest of 3 kids in a family in which everybody listened to a lot of different music I grew up with 80s music. I love those 80s synths and I missed them in the 90s; '1984' is too much though. At that time there were other album productions that had better sounding synths.

  • I love Geese and the Ghost and Wise After the Event, but have never ventured further into Ant's catalogue until today when I listened to 1984.


    What a departure from his pastoral folk acoustic stuff! The album is like a deeper, darker instrumental version of Smallcreep's Day and I love it!

    I completely agree with your opinion. Whatever it is, you are definitely thinking correctly. It really is. Although I don't know exactly what is being said in this context, I believe that there is room http://essaypapers.reviews/ in our world for the incredible and the inexplicable.


    Anyone else a fan?

    I'm a fan of his work too! His music has a deep impact on me and I enjoy his various albums including 'Geese and the Ghost' and 'Wise After the Event'. '1984' also left a strong impression on me with its deep and dark atmosphere.

    • Official Post

    I'm a fan of his work too! His music has a deep impact on me and I enjoy his various albums including 'Geese and the Ghost' and 'Wise After the Event'. '1984' also left a strong impression on me with its deep and dark atmosphere.

    I agree with what you wrote, but I do have my problems with 1984, compared to the other albums you mentioned. Will play it again, maybe things are different now ...

    cheers

    Christian


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  • I think this period (1981-1983) is quite interesting in the history of the band :

    - Phil Collins first solo album, totally different from Genesis;

    - Genesis most radical album ever (Abacab);

    - Steve Hackett releasing a "pop" album (Cured);

    - Mike doing the same (Acting Very Strange);

    - Then Tony doing the same (The Fugitive);

    - Anthony Phillips playing pure-synth stuff;

    - Then the same Anthony Phillips playing "pop" (Invisible Men), although it seems he wasn't very fond of it.


    You see what I mean ? At this point of time, it's like all were trying not to even evoke what they were supposed to be (musically, I mean).

  • At this point of time, it's like all were trying not to even evoke what they were supposed to be (musically, I mean).

    I realise you said "it's like..." but I disagree with the notion of what a musician is "supposed" to be doing, other than that they're supposed to do what they feel like doing. All the people you listed are who they are and whatever they've done is formed by that. It sounded very different from 70s Genesis but it still had all the skill, sensibilities and musical DNA of those people.


    Also bear in mind, at that time they'd been professional musicians for 12+ years. They'd aged, the musical landscape around them had changed a lot, and they were from a band that had evolved constantly, from FGTR to Duke. That was because they all looked to move on from what they'd done before, as genuinely creative artists do.


    In a way this is epitomised by AP and this particular album. And when you evolve, spread out and try different things it doesn't always work at the time but gains respect over time. Or as in this case, works at the time but maybe doesn't sound so good later because it's so of its time.


    I do agree it was a generally very interesting phase for the Genesis 'family'. Also of course including PG who was at a very rich diverse innovative stage.

    Abandon all reason

  • This was the era when I got into Genesis and all the solo stuff. It was odd, just as I was hearing how they all used to sound, they really changed. But as Backdrifter said, this is what makes them so good and also gave them their longevity. I don’t think there is another band/family of musicians that could have given me so much rewarding listening over such a period of time and over so many varied albums and styles. Inevitably some will sound and then age better than others and then even go on to gain a little veneer of antiquity which adds to them. FGTR sounds good to me precisely because it’s the hesitant beginning of a very long journey by a naive bunch of earnest and talented youngsters. I need to listen again to 1984 but the bits I know well have the Philips hallmark of being interesting, explorative and good to listen to, mainly because it’s what he wants to do at that time and that may not be like anything else he’s done. In general (I know this one is instrumental) his voice is weak, some instrumentation irritates me (eg much of the artificial percussion on Slowdance) but there is always more to keep me coming back. I’ve always felt I’d have preferred it not to be called 1984, but I’ll think about that when I have another listen this week.

  • I realise you said "it's like..." but I disagree with the notion of what a musician is "supposed" to be doing, other than that they're supposed to do what they feel like doing.

    Actually, I agree with you. While writing this post I was wondering "Should I write "musicians were supposed to", implied by some fans' POV, or rather "Some "old" fans expected them to sound like..."?" I finally chose the first option because it felt simpler to write, maybe I should have gone with the second and reformulate. :)

    EDIT : And you're right, I forgot Peter and his WOMAD stuff, for example...

  • Always loved this album. It shows another of his talents, his abilities as a keyboard player. For me, it's a top five Ant album. I used to speculate, years ago, what it would have been like in some alternate universe where, instead of Ant leaving Genesis, Tony had left. I then imagined what it could have been like if Ant had moved on to keyboards and Steve had still come in on guitar. It could have been very interesting indeed! (They could also have played duel guitars on some tracks too).

  • . I used to speculate, years ago, what it would have been like in some alternate universe where, instead of Ant leaving Genesis, Tony had left. I then imagined what it could have been like if Ant had moved on to keyboards and Steve had still come in on guitar. It could have been very interesting indeed! (They could also have played duel guitars on some tracks too).

    It would definitely be a very different Genesis. To me, Tony has always defined Genesis' "sound". I don't doubt that the band as imagined above would have put out some good music, but it would have been radically different from what Genesis became.