The Geese and the Ghost

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The Geese and the Ghost
Studio album by Anthony Phillips
Released March 1977/1990 (CD Release)
Recorded August 1973 – October 1976 at
Argonaut Galleries, Island Studios and Send Barns Studios
Genre Folk rock, progressive rock, symphonic rock
Length 47:19
Label Passport Records
Producer Simon Heyworth, Michael Rutherford, David Thomas & Anthony Phillips
Anthony Phillips chronology
The Geese and the Ghost
Wise After the Event
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

The Geese and the Ghost is the debut solo album from former Genesis guitarist Anthony Phillips. It was originally intended as a duet between Phillips and former bandmate Mike Rutherford, but Rutherford's difficulty in devoting time to the project ultimately mandated that he be dropped from co-billing with Phillips to guest musician status. The album was released in 1977 on Passport Records in the US and Hit & Run Music in the UK.


In 1969, just prior to an extensive tour for Genesis, Phillips and bassist Mike Rutherford wrote a good deal 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. Phillips at this time became more interested in his musical studies and work on the material 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 and 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.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Anthony Phillips except where indicated.

  1. "Wind-Tales" – 1:02
  2. "Which Way the Wind Blows" – 5:51/5:15
  3. "Henry: Portraits from Tudor Times"(Phillips, Mike Rutherford)* – 14:02
    1. "Fanfare" – 0:56/1:03
    2. "Lute’s Chorus" – 2:00/1:37
    3. "Misty Battlements" – 1:15/2:22
    4. "Lute's Chorus Reprise" – 0:52
    5. "Henry Goes to War" – 3:36/4:02
    6. "Death of a Knight" – 2:33/2:10
    7. "Triumphant Return" – 1:46/1:52
  4. "God If I Saw Her Now" – 4:09
  5. "Chinese Mushroom Cloud" (Phillips, Rutherford) – 0:46
  6. "The Geese and the Ghost" (Phillips, Rutherford) – 15:40
    1. "Part I" – 8:01
    2. "Part II" – 7:39
  7. "Collections" – 3:07
  8. "Sleepfall: The Geese Fly West" – 4:33

* Second song length denotes times published in liner notes of 2CD Reissue, where different from original release.

2008 reissue bonus CD[edit]

  1. "Master of Time" (demo) – 7:37
  2. "Title Inspiration" – 0:31
  3. "The Geese & The Ghost – Part One" (Phillips, Rutherford) (basic track) – 7:46
  4. "Collections link" – 0:39
  5. "Which Way the Wind Blows" (basic track) – 6:25
  6. "Silver Song" (Geese sessions) – 4:22
  7. "Henry: Portraits from Tudor Times" (Phillips, Rutherford) (basic track) – 5:37
    1. "Fanfare"
    2. "Lute's Chorus"
    3. "Lute's Chorus Reprise"
    4. "Misty Battlements"
  8. "Collections" (demo) – 4:14
  9. "The Geese & The Ghost – Part Two" (Phillips, Rutherford) (basic track) – 7:30
  10. "God If I Saw Her Now" (basic track) – 4:15
  11. "Sleepfall" (basic track) – 4:22
  12. "Silver Song" (unreleased single version, 1973) – 4:14

The Lutes Chorus Reprise section of Henry (which was edited from the original release of the album) is only included on the 2 CD re-mastered edition.
The 1990 Virgin CD re-issue included the demo version of "Master of Time" (recorded in August 1973) as an extra track.


  • Anthony Phillips - guitars, bass guitar, dulcimer, bouzouki, synthesizer, mellotron, keyboards, piano, celesta, drums, percussion, vocals (track 7)
  • Mike Rutherford - guitars, bass guitar, keyboards, synthesizers, drums, percussion
  • Phil Collins - vocals (tracks 2 and 4)
  • Rob Phillips - oboes (tracks 11, 12, and 14)
  • Lazo Momulovich - oboes, cor anglais (tracks 3 and 11), organ
  • John Hackett - flutes (tracks 9, 13, and 14)
  • Wil Sleath - flute, baroque flute, recorder, piccolo (track 3)
  • Jack Lancaster - flutes, lyricon (track 14)
  • Charlie Martin - cello (tracks 10–12)
  • Kirk Trevor - cello (tracks 10–12)
  • Nick Hayley - violins (tracks 11 and 12)
  • Martin Westlake - timpani (tracks 3 and 10–12)
  • Tom Newman - hecklephone, bulk eraser
  • Vivienne McAuliffe - vocals (track 4)
  • Send Barns Orchestra and Barge Rabble conducted by Jeremy Gilbert
  • Ralph Bernascone - soloist
  • David Thomas - classical guitar (track 15)
  • Ronnie Gunn - harmonium (track 15)


  • Produced By Anthony Phillips, Mike Rutherford & Simon Heyworth
  • Engineers: Simon Heyworth, Anthony Phillips, Mike Rutherford
  • Mixing: Anton Matthews
  • Mastering: Greg Calbi



Year Chart Position
1977 US Album Chart 191

External links[edit]

  • "The Geese and the Ghost" at discogs: link (Note: Discogs has the album listed as "Anthony Phillips with Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins".)
  • "The Geese And The Ghost" at Voiceprint Records: link


  • Dann, Jonathan (2008). liner notes to The Geese and the Ghost, Houghton Le Spring: Voiceprint.