Neha Patil (Editor)

The Geese and the Ghost

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Released  March 1977
Artist  Anthony Phillips
Label  Virgin Records
Length  47:19
Release date  March 1977
The Geese & the Ghost wwwprogarchivescomprogressiverockdiscography

Recorded  October 1974–October 1976
Studio  Send Barns Studios, Woking, Surrey Argonaut Galleries, Little Venice, London Island Studios, London
The Geese & the Ghost (1977)  Wise After the Event (1978)
Genres  Progressive rock, Folk music
Producers  Anthony Phillips, Mike Rutherford
Similar  Anthony Phillips albums, Progressive rock albums

The Geese & the Ghost is the first studio album by the English guitarist Anthony Phillips, released in March 1977 on Hit & Run Music in the United Kingdom and Passport Records in the United States. It was originally intended to be an album by Phillips and his former Genesis band mate Mike Rutherford, but Rutherford's difficulty in devoting time to the project ended the idea. The album reached number 191 on the Billboard 200.



In 1969, just prior to an extensive tour for Genesis, Phillips and bassist Mike Rutherford wrote a collection of music, committing the material to tape to preserve a record of the work. Among the tracks was a piece entitled "D Instrumental", a song that would eventually become the album's title track. Following his departure from Genesis in 1970, Phillips wrote many of the songs that would ultimately constitute the rest of the album. He started to take a greater interest in classical music. At one point he listened to a piece by Jean Sibelius and had "one of those strange revelations - I was terribly limited" and felt "narrow as a musician". His guitar playing, he thought, also lacked enough technique. To further develop his musical abilities, Phillips spent time learning to play the piano, classical guitar, and orchestration, which lasted for four years. During this time, Phillips kept in contact with Rutherford. At one point, the two agreed to produce a joint album of music based on pieces the two had developed on 12-string guitar before and during Phillips's time in Genesis.

Development for the album was put aside until 1973 when he re-connected with Rutherford to work on small projects including a prospective single release, "Silver Song"/"Only Your Love", that included Genesis drummer Phil Collins on vocals. This material convinced Genesis label Charisma Records to front the money for initial work on an album to begin.

Always intending the album project to be a collaboration with Rutherford, Phillips found it difficult to schedule time when the two could work together, as Rutherford's Genesis schedule was proving hectic during the recording of their double album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. In 1974, an injury to Phillips' Genesis successor, Steve Hackett, provided the opening Phillips and Rutherford needed and a great deal of work on the album was recorded in October of that year. While Rutherford rejoined Genesis, Phillips continued work on the album until another break allowed them to continue work on the album in the summer of 1975.

With the album in a nearly-finished state in 1976, Charisma Records ultimately decided against releasing it, leaving Phillips without the financing to complete recording. After meetings with Virgin, Phillips put the material aside and concentrated on his burgeoning career in library music and other projects. In October 1976, however, word came that US record label Passport Records was interested in releasing the album. This gave Phillips the impetus he needed to complete The Geese & the Ghost. Still unable to find a UK distributor, Phillips and Genesis manager Tony Smith created the "Hit & Run" label to secure a UK release for the album.


The album was first released on CD in 1990 by Virgin Records. This original CD release contained the bonus track "Master of Time" (demo).

On July 20, 2007, a remastered 2CD version of the album was released in Japan by Arcangelo Records as a limited edition mini-vinyl sleeve. Disc 1 contained the remaster of the album (with "Lute's Chorus Reprise" added as shown below). Disc 2 contained the tracks listed below. On April 14, 2008, a standard jewel case version of the 2CD remaster was released in the UK by Voiceprint Records.

On April 7, 2015, Esoteric Recordings (a Cherry Red Records label) released a 3-disc deluxe edition of the album. Disc 1 contains a 2015 stereo remaster of the album. Disc 2 contains the bonus material (as on the 2007/2008 release), with one more extra track: the previously unreleased 1973 recording of "Only Your Love", originally intended to be the B-side of "Silver Song". Disc 3 contains a 2015 5.1 surround sound mix of the album on a DVD. The deluxe edition also includes a poster and a 24-page booklet with photos and extensive liner notes.


Credits are adapted from the album's 1977 and 2008 liner notes.

  • Anthony Phillips – acoustic 12-string, 6-string, classical, electric 6 and 12-string guitars, bass guitar, dulcimer, bouzouki, synthesiser, Mellotron, harmonium, piano, organ, celeste, pin piano, drums, glockenspiel, timbales, bells and chimes, gong, lead vocals on "Collections" and "Master of Time" (Demo)
  • Additional musicians
  • Mike Rutherford – acoustic 12-string, 6-string, and classical guitars, bass guitar, organ, drums, timbales, glockenspiel, cymbals, bells
  • Phil Collins – lead vocals on "Which Way the Wind Blows", "God If I Saw Her Now" and "Silver Song" (Unreleased single version, 1973)
  • Rob Phillips – oboe on "The Geese and the Ghost" and "Sleepfall: The Geese Fly West"
  • Lazo Momulovich – oboe, cor anglais on "Henry: Portraits from Tudor Times" and "The Geese and the Ghost"
  • John Hackett – flute on "God If I Saw Her Now", "Collections" and "Sleepfall: The Geese Fly West"
  • Wil Sleath – flute, baroque flute, recorder, piccolo on "Henry: Portraits from Tudor Times"
  • Jack Lancaster – flute, lyricon on "Sleepfall: The Geese Fly West"
  • Charlie Martin – cello on "Chinese Mushroom Cloud" and "The Geese and the Ghost"
  • Kirk Trevor – cello on "Chinese Mushroom Cloud" and "The Geese and the Ghost"
  • Nick Hayley (with "friend") – violin on "The Geese and the Ghost"
  • Martin Westlake – timpani on "Henry: Portraits from Tudor Times", "Chinese Mushroom Cloud" and "The Geese and the Ghost"
  • Tom Newman – heckelphone, bulk eraser on "Master of Time" (Demo)
  • Vivienne McAuliffe – vocals on "God If I Saw Her Now"
  • Send Barns Orchestra
  • Jeremy Gilbert – conductor
  • Barge Rabble – voices of several friends
  • Ralph Bernascone – soloist
  • David Thomas – classical guitar on "Master of Time" (Demo)
  • Ronnie Gunn – harmonium, piano on "Master of Time" (Demo)"
  • Production
  • Anthony Phillips – producer, engineer
  • Mike Rutherford – producer, engineer
  • Simon Heyworth – producer, engineer
  • Anton Matthews – mixing
  • Greg Calbi – mastering
  • Nick Blyth – equipment
  • Tex Read – equipment
  • Geoff Banks – equipment
  • Peter Cross – cover design
  • Charts



    2Which Way the Wind Blows5:54
    3Henry: Portraits From Tudor Times12:11


    The Geese & the Ghost Wikipedia