Anthony Phillips: Slow Dance

Slow Dance - Anthony Phillips.jpg



Listen to composer and original Genesis guitarist Anthony Phillips talk with Big Blend Radio about the release of the newly re-mixed and expanded deluxe 3-disc edition of his classic 1990 instrumental imaginative orchestral album “Slow Dance.” (Note: There is some static about half-way through the radio chat, but it’s still well worth listening to!)


Regarded by aficionados of Anthony’s music as one of his finest releases, “Slow Dance” is a two part orchestral rock suite which showcases Anthony’s music at his most expansive and imaginative. This new 3-disc(2 CD / 1 DVD) digipak Deluxe Edition of the album features a newly re-mastered original stereo mix and a 5.1 Surround sound mix by Simon Heyworth (on an NSTC / Region Free DVD), along with a CD of previously unreleased “Slow Dance Vignettes.” It includes a lavishly illustrated booklet that fully restores the original album artwork and features a new essay by Jon Dann.

Says Ant, “’Slow Dance’ was an important album to me because it represented the first time that was I able to do a full-scale album after all the miniatures of the, for me, thrifty 80s! I had stockpiled a number of ideas during those years and finally, due to the promise of an advance from my then record company, Passport, I was able to realise these on the big canvas, as it were. Alongside those ideas, I wrote a lot of new material, helped by the new gear, most which feature on Side 2.  I was kindly advanced the money by my management Hit & Run and then….Passport went bust….?!!!


“Album all written but not recorded…! What to do …?! Hit & Run were terrific, didn’t pressurise me and I was able to complete the album, secure a publishing deal with Virgin – which led to my catalogue being realised on CD – so the gamble paid off…Phew !!! But it was veritably a labour of love. Seven months very hard work. No road map for that album. Did it make sense …? One long continuous piece, broken up into two sides…?


“I really wasn’t sure and having finished it, found listening to it unbearable ! Yet years on it has its admirers (one who even says he has not been moved thus by an album since…). So I must have got something right – and in the re-release we have tried to really make the re-purchase worthwhile with the improved sound of the main album, the extras CD and the 5.1. I hope the public agree!”

So what does it take to be a successful guitarist and composer? Listen to our Big Blend Radio conversation with Anthony Phillips, and read his answers to our 10 Questions about his career, including the challenges he faces, as well as his inspirations.

1. What led you to a career in the music industry?

Firstly, hearing the group the Shadows and wanting to play the guitar, then the incredible swathe of brilliant bands of the mid-60s. The Beatles, Stones, The Who, Kinks, Animals, Yardbirds, etc. The guys in my early band, Anon, especially Mike Rutherford. A guy called Tony Henderson introducing me to the beguiling sound of the 12 string guitar, and finally foreman the band with Pete (Peter Gabriel), Tony (Banks) and Mike (Rutherford)!

2. What attributes do you have that make you a good fit for being a successful guitarist and composer?

Talent, practice and a fair bit of luck!

3. Who or what inspires you?

All of the above – and many more – in the early days – then a whole host of what we loosely call classical composers, brilliant songwriters such as Paul Simon, Bacharach & David, Stephen Sondheim, many film composers and wonderful film scores. Of abstracts things; anything from a beautiful sunset, to scenes of pathos but I think unrequited love and loss is still probably the most powerful, if painful!!!

4. Describe your ideal audience.

Sympathetic! Doesn’t matter what age.

5. What is your pet peeve in regards to the music industry?

The internet, although a boon in some ways, has helped to create an ethos of people expecting music for free, and Spotify is a baffling concept and one that smacks of absolute desperation on the part of record companies. To cede music at such a pitiful rate of return is akin to an auction where expensive works of art are given away for £1 each……The net result has been bands touring to stay alive but not being able to record new work as it isn’t even vaguely cost effective.

6. What personal changes have you had to make in order to build your career?

Turn most rooms in my house into music rooms!

7. What do you consider your biggest challenge?

Trying to keep up with modern technology! Moving at such a pace, at my age, I’m ‘running to stand still’…..!!!

8. If you could invite any three people (alive or passed on) for a dinner party who would they be?

Gosh what a privilege! Well, they’d need to speak the same language wouldn’t they? SO many heroes across all walks of life… Well let’s go for Gandhi, Oscar Wilde and Stravinsky.

9. If you could switch careers for a day, what would you choose?
Cricketer or Footballer (if I was good!!).

10. What is the most important tip you would pass on to another person just getting started in the world of music?
Work hard, be determined, but be philosophical and don’t expect too much….

National Parks Arts Foundation Song Game -Spontuneous

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