Sea Of Tranquility



The Web Source for Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal & Jazz-Fusion
  Search   in       
Main Menu




Phillips, Anthony: Sides (deluxe edition)

Sides is album number four in the Anthony Phillips solo catalogue, hence it's no surprise to find it as the fourth in the lavish, exhaustive, clam shell box reissue campaign by Esoteric Records of the ex-Genesis guitarist's early work. Once again there are three listening options, with a full 2016 remix presented on disc one, while the third disc offers a remaster of the original stereo mix and disc four a luxurious (and sonically impressive) 5.1 surround mix if you have this option, you should take it, this version simply captivating. Add in a disc of instrumental, alternate and 'original' mixes, alongside a demo track and 7" single edit and there's little about Sides left unknown, and what is, is revealed in the extensive liner notes compiled in full cooperation with Phillips himself.

On its release in the midst of 1979 punk, Sides split the opinions of Phillips' supporters in a curious way, some loving the album, some less than lukewarm, others decrying the imbalance between side one the 'pop' side and side two the prog side of the original 'long player'. The advent of CD negated that issue somewhat, the journey from the more straight forward, and excellent, "Um And Aargh" (a riposte of sorts to the punk movement that reminds, oddly, of Genesis long after Phillips left the band) and the dreamy "Lucy Will", through to the more involved and grown up "Bleak House" and "Nightmare" feeling much less sudden without the flip of a record. The feeling at the time was that a full album of the more progressive fare would have resulted in one of the strongest of Phillips' career and it's hard to disagree. However, personally I'd miss the more obvious, blatant strokes that arrive early in this album and while time may have aged the pop-prog attack, hindsight does allow a kinder view of what Phillips was attempting. Even if the most overtly prog moment, "Sisters Of Remindum" is still arguably the best song on show.

One of the constant niggles people site towards Phillips is his vocal technique, or in their eyes, lack thereof, which maybe explains why he shares (under the guise of 'The Vicar') these duties across the album with Dale Newman and Dan Owen. While, as expected, the musician list is top notch, Michael Giles, John G Perry, Mel Collins, John Hackett a flavour of who you can expect to be entertained by. As with earlier CD reissues of this album, the bonus cut of b-side "Souvenir" remains in place, the reserved, pastoral theme (this time with a smoother sheen) one of the constant strengths in the Phillips armoury. Although the previous CD bonus instrumental take on "Magdalen" now finds itself moved, logically, to the bonus/alternate disc. For Phillips fans, this is where the real joy will be, the opportunity to relax into the instrumental beginnings of these songs offering a new perspective and the original mixes of "Lucy Will" (minus congas) and "Side Door" (minus sax) are excellent first time on CD inclusions. Add in the 7" version if "Um & Aargh" and the demo of "Before The Night", which never made the album, and this is one 'extras' disc which really is a revealing journey. However while the original stereo mix disc might just seem like gilding the lily, in reality it genuinely offers a different view on the album from the shiny new remaster. The whole experience more claustrophobic, compact and insular, while still retaining a warmth and inviting nature.

For many Sides will remain one of Phillips' more frustrating, missed opportunities. However this album contains some wonderful music and great musicianship, which, unlike many releases from the late 70s, has stood the test of time remarkably well. It also achieves exactly what it was meant to, the many sides of Anthony Phillips' musical approach displayed for all to see.


Track Listing
DISC ONE: CD: SIDES NEW STEREO MIX
1. UM & AARGH
2. I WANT YOUR LOVE
3. LUCY WILL
4. SIDE DOOR
5. HOLY DEADLOCK
6. SOUVENIR
7. SISTERS OF REMINDUM
8. BLEAK HOUSE
9. MAGDALEN
10. NIGHTMARE


DISC TWO: CD: SIDES DEMOS, OUT-TAKES AND EXTRAS
1. UM & AARGH (INSTRUMENTAL MIX)
2. I WANT YOUR LOVE (INSTRUMENTAL MIX)
3. SISTERS OF REMINDUM (ALTERNATIVE MIX)
4. LUCY WILL (ORIGINAL MIX)
5. MAGDALEN (INSTRUMENTAL MIX)
6. SIDE DOOR (ORIGINAL MIX)
7. UM & AARGH (7" SINGLE VERSION)
8. SOUVENIR (INSTRUMENTAL MIX)
9. BLEAK HOUSE (ALTERNATIVE MIX)
10. NIGHTMARE (ALTERNATIVE MIX)
11. CATCH YOU WHEN YOU FALL (INSTRUMENTAL MIX)
12. BEFORE THE NIGHT (DEMO)


DISC THREE: CD SIDES THE ORIGINAL STEREO MIX RE-MASTERED
1. UM & AARGH
2. I WANT YOUR LOVE
3. LUCY WILL
4. SIDE DOOR
5. HOLY DEADLOCK
6. SOUVENIR
7. SISTERS OF REMINDUM
8. BLEAK HOUSE
9. MAGDALEN
10. NIGHTMARE


DISC FOUR: DVD SIDES THE 2016 5.1 SURROUND SOUND MIX
1. UM & AARGH
2. I WANT YOUR LOVE
3. LUCY WILL
4. SIDE DOOR
5. HOLY DEADLOCK
6. SOUVENIR
7. SISTERS OF REMINDUM
8. BLEAK HOUSE
9. MAGDALEN
10. NIGHTMARE

Added: April 10th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Sides at Cherry Red
Hits: 1337
Language: english

[ Printer Friendly Page Printer Friendly Page ]
[ Send to a Friend Send to a Friend ]

  

[ Back to the Reviews Index | Post Comment ]



2004 Sea Of Tranquility
For information regarding where to send CD promos and advertising, please see our FAQ page.
If you have questions or comments, please Contact Us.
Please see our Policies Page for Site Usage, Privacy, and Copyright Policies.

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all other content Sea of Tranquility

SoT is Hosted by SpeedSoft.com