ANTHONY PHILLIPS - Invisible Men - 2CD review

  • I don't even own that album. Maybe it's time to give Ant's work another chance. I know most of Geese and bits of Sides and some of his later stuff. Any recommendations where to start?

  • I found it quite difficult to dig into Ant's music. The best way to start for me actually was The Geese And The Ghost. Since you have that, the compilation Harvest Of The Heart could be interesting.


    https://www.genesis-news.com/c…-5CD-box-review-s587.html


    Invisible Men is also interesting, but very different. The Private Parts & Pieces collection is library music, a bit extended to build an album.

  • I think this album is hugely underrated. I don't quite know why I like it so much, but I genuinely think some of Ant's best melodies are on this album. Also amazed at how good the bonus CD is, some really lovely music here (and yes, more varied than the original album). They clearly had a follow-up in mind as some of the extra tracks were recorded a few years later. Shame it didn't happen. I guess the original wasn't successful enough. I wonder if it would have been more successful if they'd just called themselves Invisible Men - and I wonder if this was the original plan, as the first American release was just called "Invisible Men" with no artist details except for a sticker describing it as "the new Anthony Phillips band". Anyway, I do like this more than many other of Ant's albums, including Slow Dance - which is pleasant enough but doesn't really go anywhere interesting enough for me.

  • After some hesitation I have purchased the 2CD INVISIBLE MEN. I hate repurchasing material I already have (i.e., the 1st CD), but I was able to get the set for a price that I wouldn't have minded paying for the 2nd CD alone.


    Based on the little samples I can hear online, it sounds like almost all of the tracks on the 2nd CD are either backing tracks or sung by Richard Scott. This should be interesting.

    "I don't belong here," said old Tessa out loud...

  • Got it in the mail. Haven't had a chance to give a listen yet, but I've observed a couple of things:


    - "It's Not Easy" is faded out more than 20 seconds earlier on the remaster than on the original CD. (BTW, the credits say the backing vocals are by "Uti Koofreh", but I'm pretty sure they're sped-up vocals from Richard. We all know how Ant's credits are sometimes!)


    - The printed lyrics to "The Ballad of Penlee" on the remaster make the (frankly dumb) mistake of writing "Tater-Dhu" as "tatterdoo."

    "I don't belong here," said old Tessa out loud...

  • Quote

    BTW, the credits say the backing vocals are by "Uti Koofreh", but I'm pretty sure they're sped-up vocals from Richard. We all know how Ant's credits are sometimes!)

    In this instance this is a genuine credit - Uti Koofreh is a real person and is not Richard Scott at the wrong speed.


    The lyrics for Ballad of Penlee were taken from the original Virgin CD booklet, where the name of the lighthouse is written as Tatterdoo. It should actually be Tater Dhu - this was amended in the booklet for the 1996 Blueprint release, although it's not actually written correctly there. I typed out all the lyrics using the Virgin CD booklet as my source and didn't spot that variation between editions, so I guess that makes it my 'frankly dumb' mistake :) In any case, the transcript of the lyrics used on the Virgin release was supplied by Ant so he is equally to blame for the original error!


    I did however correct the name of the Solomon Browne, which was missing the 'e' on the previous editions.


    Perhaps I should mention that the sleeve notes, credits and lyrics for Invisible Men came to a total of 6500 words - I would hope that one misspelt name amongst all of that does not really detract from the CD as a whole.

  • "Uti Koofreh is a real person" - It figures. Next thing I know you'll be telling me that Ralph Bernascone is also a real person! ;) (I'm kidding of course... I already know he is.)

    Actually, if I'd read through the booklet before posting, I would have already known Uti was a real person, and that she (?) is also credited for backing vocals on another track. Oh well.

    (Side note: According to what I find with Google, Uti has been part of a couple of vocal trios, and her (?) last name is sometimes given as "Koffreh" or "Kooffreh.")


    "I guess that makes it my 'frankly dumb' mistake" - Oops, sorry. I had assumed the mistake was on the part of someone at the record company who wasn't particularly familiar with Ant or his music.


    On another note, do you know why "It's Not Easy" is shorter on the remaster? And are there any other such revisions that I might not have observed yet? (I'm aware that "Alex" on the remaster is a different version than on the original CD, so that's two reasons to hold on to the old CD in spite of having the remaster.)



    "I don't belong here," said old Tessa out loud...

  • Thoughts following a full listen:


    While there's nothing on the 2nd CD that's likely to end up on anyone's "best of Anthony Phillips," it's still worthwhile, with some nice moments, and it fills a long-vacant hole in Ant's released work. Ant said somewhere that he and Richard had worked on "some 30 different tracks"; sure enough, there have now been 29 distinct "Invisible Men" songs released -- 18 vocal tracks and 11 backing tracks/instrumentals.


    I suppose it's no surprise that all of the previously unheard vocal numbers on CD 2 are sung by Richard. Anyway, in combination with "Ballad of Penlee," these show that the original LP didn't represent his vocal abilities fully. BTW, if I'd heard "Gimme Love" played somewhere without being told what it was, I would have assumed it was some '80s single by someone far removed from Ant!


    I compared the track times from CD 1 from the remaster to those on the original CD, and most of them are either several seconds shorter or longer. The review from the first post says nothing was remixed, but clearly something has been done differently.


    "My Time Has Come [instrumental mix]": Ant likes to use backing tracks from vocal numbers as bonus or archive tracks, but I rarely find these to be of much interest.


    "Finale [Atmosphere Studio version]": The drummer is rather out of step when he first comes in, almost amusingly so.

    "I don't belong here," said old Tessa out loud...

    Edited once, last by DecomposingMan ().

  • (from the review) "Ant’s voice is better than ever before on the album – taking singing lessons apparently paid out better than it did for his former band mate Rutherford (they had the same teacher)."


    After a recent listen to ACTING VERY STRANGE, I couldn't help but think... Mike must have taken his singing lessons after this album was made...

    "I don't belong here," said old Tessa out loud...

  • While there's nothing on the 2nd CD that's likely to end up on anyone's "best of Anthony Phillips..."

    After a couple more listens, I have to say that "Something Blue" may be the best track on the 2nd CD. If I absolutely had to pick one track from the disc for an AP compilation, it would be that one.

    "I don't belong here," said old Tessa out loud...

  • After a couple more listens, I have to say that "Something Blue" may be the best track on the 2nd CD. If I absolutely had to pick one track from the disc for an AP compilation, it would be that one.

    That is actually my favorite track on the tribute album by Rocking Horse Music Club

  • That is actually my favorite track on the tribute album by Rocking Horse Music Club

    I'm still listening to the RHMC album on a very regular basis - fantastic versions of classic AP tracks.