Simon Phillips - early days

drumbent

Member
Mike Rutherford (Genesis bassist / guitarist) recorded his first solo album in 1979, and the drummer he chose was Simon Phillips. I had heard of Simon at the time but not yet heard his playing. This track shows just how tight and precise he was, which for that time was a bit of a revelation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP1xVtfiXHA

The whole album is pretty good, naturally somewhat resembling late-70's Genesis, and Simon's playing is stellar throughout.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Playing at this standard would represent the pinnacle of most careers, & to think this was just the early days. Astonishing!
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I think just that same year Simon recorded on the Jeff Beck album that had "Star Cycle" and "Space Boogie" on it - I remember US Radio playing a lot of Star Cycle on FM when I was a kid then. It seems like yesterday.
 

FreDrummer

Silver Member
The album was "There And Back." According to the credits on Wikipedia, Jan Hammer (keyboardist) played drums on the opening track, Star Cycle. Simon Phillips is listed on tracks 2-7.
 

supermac

Senior Member
Yes, that's right apparently. Despite being an utterly brilliant player - then and now - Simon couldn't quite get the groove Jeff Beck wanted for the track Star Cycle, and Jan Hammer ended up playing the drum part.

The album was "There And Back." According to the credits on Wikipedia, Jan Hammer (keyboardist) played drums on the opening track, Star Cycle. Simon Phillips is listed on tracks 2-7.
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
Jan Hammer wrote Star Cycle, and he's an incredible drummer, so he played on it. It had nothing to do with Jeff feeling that Simon wasn't cutting it.

As for Smallcreep's Day, I remember reading that he used Black-dots on the toms and was disappointed with how the record ended up sounding. He felt it was sounding better during the sessions and the final master left a lot to be desired. I love that record. I got it when it came out way back then.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OieZn8Ko5uY
 

Brian

Gold Member
I thought Simon Phillips on "Dissident Aggressor" was pretty good! He had quite a bit of energy and also really great chops, plus made-for-record sound at age 19.
 

supermac

Senior Member
I very clearly remember reading this. I wouldn't make it up. Jan Hammer played on the album track, and Philips had to learn that version when they took it out live.

Jan Hammer wrote Star Cycle, and he's an incredible drummer, so he played on it. It had nothing to do with Jeff feeling that Simon wasn't cutting it.[/url]
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
I very clearly remember reading this. I wouldn't make it up. Jan Hammer played on the album track, and Philips had to learn that version when they took it out live.
I'm not disputing who played it on the record. I'm just saying that Simon could have easily played it as well or better than Jan. Don't get me wrong, Jan Hammer is one of my favorite drummers, let alone keyboard players. If you listen closely to Star Cycle, you can hear the "white noise" sample playing behind the snare drum hits. Very cool groove and tune. Jan is playing everything on it aside from guitar.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I think just that same year Simon recorded on the Jeff Beck album that had "Star Cycle" and "Space Boogie" on it - I remember US Radio playing a lot of Star Cycle on FM when I was a kid then. It seems like yesterday.
Indeed Matt, He also did Stanley Clarke's "Rocks, Pebbles and Sand" that same year, astonishing drumming on both albums.

Simon did make a name for himself quite early in his career, with 801, Whitesnake, Judas Priest, Jon Lord , Gary Moore, Gary Boyle and Ducan Browne just to name a few.

Here's a few samples of Simon's early work:

Stanley Clarke, Story of a Man and Woman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoHkVlPUzzU (the last third of the song is amazing)

Duncan Browne, Camino Real (Parts 1, 2 & 3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKpDxJvKCCI

Jon Lord, Bach Onto This https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9OFZ9Mh7GA

801, Tomorrow Never Knows https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkGXUn0Kuuw
 

drumbent

Member
As for Smallcreep's Day, I remember reading that he used Black-dots on the toms and was disappointed with how the record ended up sounding. He felt it was sounding better during the sessions and the final master left a lot to be desired. I love that record. I got it when it came out way back then.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OieZn8Ko5uY
The producer / engineer was David Hentschel, who had previously done work on, amongst others, George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass" and Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road".

He has taken some flack over the increasingly murky sound of Genesis albums after the initial sonic success that was "Trick of the Tail" (in which you can hear that Collins's cymbals in particular had a doubling effect on them for thicker sound). For instance: http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/wow-who-recorded-duke-by-genesis.254555/

The album after ToTT, "Wind and Wuthering", was muddier, and "And Then There Were Three" was even worse. Rutherford's album came out after that one, and yeah, the mix is Ok in parts but listen to what happens to the drum sounds as the track I linked to gets fuller and busier.
 

supermac

Senior Member
As I said, I very, very clearly remember reading - and was highly surprised to do so - that Simon's groove for Star Cycle was not quite to Beck's liking, and Jan Hammer played instead. I have no motive to make this up. Simon Philips is one of my idols. But no problem, we'll agree to disagree! Great track though. Cheers.

I'm not disputing who played it on the record. I'm just saying that Simon could have easily played it as well or better than Jan. Don't get me wrong, Jan Hammer is one of my favorite drummers, let alone keyboard players. If you listen closely to Star Cycle, you can hear the "white noise" sample playing behind the snare drum hits. Very cool groove and tune. Jan is playing everything on it aside from guitar.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Here's what he's doing these days, I need to go see these folks if they come to Blighty again!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kR8HinFaQhk
I clearly remember how I felt watching them perform this track live. One of those musical jaw hitting the floor moments. 3 players who clearly don't have to push themselves to make incredible music, yet doing so because they should. To have achieved so much, yet still have the hunger & buzz to take risks, is a gift to us all.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I clearly remember how I felt watching them perform this track live. One of those musical jaw hitting the floor moments. 3 players who clearly don't have to push themselves to make incredible music, yet doing so because they should. To have achieved so much, yet still have the hunger & buzz to take risks, is a gift to us all.
I've really got into Hiromi's stuff since you put that link up a few weeks back to the Soundbloom project. Haven't stopped listening to it.

I haven't listened to the new trio album though yet, just a couple of tracks.

Good music should be risky, which is probably why it's getting harder to find!

Si Phi is one of those players who can put ridiculous chops into a groove tastefully and nobody accuses him of over-playing.

Back on topic, what amazes me is his drum sound hasn't changed at all from the 70s.
 

steadypocket

Gold Member
I've really got into Hiromi's stuff since you put that link up a few weeks back to the Soundbloom project. Haven't stopped listening to it.

I haven't listened to the new trio album though yet, just a couple of tracks.

Good music should be risky, which is probably why it's getting harder to find!

Si Phi is one of those players who can put ridiculous chops into a groove tastefully and nobody accuses him of over-playing.

Back on topic, what amazes me is his drum sound hasn't changed at all from the 70s.
Not only has his signature sound changed very little, his configuration has remained largely unchanged as well, even the crossing boom arms.
 
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