HiRez Poll Phillips, Anthony - SIDES [DVD-A]


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Rate the DVD-A of Anthony Phillips - SIDES

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  • 1: Poor Fidelity, Poor Surround, Poor Content

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Forum Curmudgeon
Staff member
Since 2002/2003
Mar 2, 2002
Please post your thoughts and comments on this deluxe 4 Disc issue of the album "SIDES" from Anthony Phillips on Esoteric Recordings/Cherry Red Records which includes a 5.1 mix on a DVD-A





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Woo! I'm #1! I'm #1! I went with a "9" here.
Great package, including DVD-A format. Great value.
Musically, this isn't always my cup o' tea, though I find it stronger than WAtE. It ain't no Geese & Ghost though!
Sonically, it's great. Mix is great. There are a couple of proggy numbers.
My biggest beef is with some of the sappier songs, especially those with well-trodden, clumsy rhymes. Nothing is cringe-inducing, but some is less than thrilling or engaging, for me.
An overall big win and enjoyable listen.
The album starts out with a rather lackluster pop-style track called "Um & Aaargh", but the album does a get little better after that with the ballad "I Want Your Love", a track that sounds like it could have gone on "Wise After the Event".
"Lucy Will" continues on with the same vibe.
"Side Door" brings us back to the same style as the opening track, and after the beautiful pastoral sound of Tracks 2 & 3, it's almost like falling back to earth after floating up in the air, but at least this time, it's a little bit of better song than what opened the album.
"Holy Deadlock" comes in out of nowhere with its slightly caribbean vibe, but "Souvenir" returns us to the pastoral sound that we have come to associate with Anthony Phillips.
Following that we're treated to a fantastic instrumental in "Sisters of Remindum". At times this track almost reminds me more of Gentle Giant than it does of something reminiscent of Genesis.
"Bleak House" and "Magdalen" return us yet again to the pastoral sound before the album closes out with "Nightmare", another instrumental that has a similar feel at times to "Sisters of Remindum", and yet it's completely different too.

All the while, the surround mix is very good. It's not the most adventurous mix, but it does a great job at framing the music in an arc around you. Nothing is too distracting or out of place, and the mix does exactly what it should do. It enhances the music, which is exactly what a great surround mix should do. There's also no complaints about the fidelity as far as I'm concerned, so with all that said, I'm happy to vote this disc as a '9', breaking down my vote this way:

Music: 2/3
Surround Mix: 2.5/3
Fidelity: 3/3
High-Res Disc: 1/1

Since there's no '8.5', I round up to '9'. This disc comes recommended but only after "Geese & the Ghost" and "Wise after the Event". :)
Another fine release in the series. The material gets a solid 'B' from me. It is pretty strong throughout but suffers here and there from the unavoidable commercial pressures (and anti-prog sentiments) of the day. The fidelity and mix are excellent. I'm also a fan of the mini box packaging, as was done with the first 2 releases. All in all I believe it deserves a 9.
Forgot to vote for this one: 9
Content: what isn't to love? Origional mix, 2016 mix, All of the B-Sides & Demos, surround mix
Fidelity: Fantastic - Even more so given that this 1979 title was relatively obscure
Mix: Another quality discrete surround mix - This series has been fantastic.
Music: Ant seems to be trying stretch out and create a more commercial friendly sound. I like it slightly more than Geese/Ghost as it is less repetitive. I am pretty much in agreement with the other characters moments posted here except for the comments on "Um and Arghhhh". I like it - quirky little number that I could have heard Peter G doing something similar on his debut.

The point deduction is really based on my personal taste on the music.
And while it doesn't enter into my voting, it would have been nice to have the B-Sides and instrumentals in surround.
Love this album, always have, even the cheesy tracks to me have a nice feel. This version is superb, lots of content, sounds clear and very very nice, the surround mix is top notch. A 10 from me - I like all the songs (even Um and Arrrrrrgggghhhhh - shoot me!) (although as I've always said, I'm voting on the sound and surround quality only), and the surround mix is excellent.
These Anthony Phillips 5.1's have been another really pleasant surround surprise (I never heard any of these albums before the DVD-A's started coming out) nice and varied from album to album (which I love).. this is such a lovely package to me, I really appreciate the way Esoteric/Cherry Red does it, like The Hawkwind 5.1 set; a CD or 2 (or 3..!) and a genuine in-spec DVD-A that's properly put together and proper Hi-Res surround which "just works" as intended and sounds great with excellent surround mixes, all in a nice little box with approx CD case sized dimensions, with posters and a booklet with nice booklets and stuff.. love, care, thought and hard work has gone into the Anthony Phillips 5.1 sets -- and they are good value for money.

A "10".
Here is another one of those discs that I would never have heard of were it not for QQ. I knew of Phillips from my interest in Genesis, but had not heard his music--man, I was really missing out! Let's start on the outSIDE and work our way inSIDE. I love the box and the cover art. I did have to take out a magnifying glass to fully appreciate Peter Cross's work, though! And how about value: 3 CDs, 1 DVD-A, and a poster that made me laugh about having perused the outSIDE box with a magnifying glass! All I listened to (so far) is the DVD-A (though I will have to check out the original stereo mix to catch the congas and maracas not on the 5.1 mix); two listens through and I'm hooked! What was the first half of the album was initially enjoyable, but the second half struck me as stellar. The second time through, the first half grew on me and my original assessment of the second half was solidified.
"Um and Aargh" works for me--great opening track! Wonderful, playful, wry lyrics setting up the whole experience of the release. No balls? Rather testicular, methinks! The mix works well for me.
"I Want Your Love" is quite a shift--kind of syrupoppy gliss-bliss with lush vocals and percussion washing over me. Good stuff.
"Lucy Will" is another lightweight winner. I wonder how it sounds with the missing congas! Another excellent surround mix.
"Side Door" another sharp shift in tone and style, but worth a listen for some KIng Crimson action in the form of Giles on drums and Collins on sax!
"Holy Deadlock" reminds me of my divorce. I suppose had I heard this song 20 years ago, I might have smiled through the whole ordeal! This track sounds a bit like Genesis's "Follow You, Follow Me"
We then get a non-album track, "Souvenir," which was the B-side to the first single ("Um and Aargh"). Sounds like a winning combo to me.
The proggy bliss of side 2 kicks off with the instrumental "Sisters of Remindum." Another excellent and engaging mix, making elegant use of 5.1.
"Bleak House" follows--wow! The recovering high school Engl-ish teacher in me really digs the take on one of my favorite Dickens novels (the only one with a female narrator!)
Next up is "Magdalen." A wonderful ride through time and tone changes in this prog mini-epic, again making excellent use of surround and showcasing Michael Giles's drumming and Phillips's guitar work.
In the opening song, we hear:
And it's better that you agree
In this best of best industries
I was in the midst of a dream
I felt like shouting something obscene
Well, the album ends with "Nightmare," the type of song the A&R men in "Um and Aargh" did not want to hear on this record, the type of song that is "much too good for the people." Ant was right, though: the people do have minds of their own, and I appreciate the powerful pace of this challenging and sophisticated final track on this 10-er of a release!
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