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Story of the Ghost

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Audio CD, October 27, 1998
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Dawes Dawes

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Ori. Release '98 the ninth album from neo hippieville's most proficient and clever players is their most commercially accessible offering to date

The only ones more ardent and fanatical than Phish lovers are Phish haters, and of course, both parties support their opinions based on the exact same criteria. However, as the band matures and their sound ripens, the naysayers' stance becomes increasingly difficult to defend. Ghost, their seventh studio effort, is the quartet's most balanced and well-rounded studio collection, one that finds the middle ground between their wild stage forays and their more recent toned-down records while intensifying their ever-growing "cow funk" elements. Along the way there is room for concise song craft and angular complex journeys; thick funk, high-tempo romps, and quiet reflective passages; nuggets of lyrical wisdom floating in the usual sea of nonsense; cerebral prog-rock majesty tempered by visceral one- chord grooves; simplicity and psychedelia; instrumental precision and loose rambling. The twists and turns of "Guyute" will be familiar to the congregation as will the deep funk of "Meat" and bookends "Ghost" and "The Moma Dance." "Water in the Sky" takes a classic country progression and infuses it with a propulsive, almost Latin rhythm. Early-period albums may have better (and lengthier) jams, later albums may have better songs, but no other Phish album blends both aesthetics as well. --Marc Greilsamer

1. Ghost
2. Birds Of A Feather
3. Meat
4. Guyute
5. Fikus
6. Shafty
7. Limb By Limb
8. Frankie Says
9. Brian And Robert
10. Water In The Sky
11. Roggae
12. Wading In The Velvet Sea
13. The Moma Dance
14. End Of Session

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 27, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B00000DD25
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,992 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By tanner llewellyn on August 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
As far as Phish studio albums go, I guess I place them into 4 chronological categories: the early years (Junta, Lawn Boy, Picture of Nectar), the mid-years (Rift, Hoist, Billy Breathes), the later years (Story of the Ghost, Siket Disc, Farmhouse) and the post hiatus period (Round Room, Undermind). Story of the Ghost may not be the one Phish album I would take with me to a deserted island, but it's definitely the best of the later period and beyond. Granted, most of these songs were enormous live, especially in the summer and fall of '97 when they were brand new and awesome, but Phish somehow managed to contain these songs in the studio in a manner that doesn't seem stale or over-produced. These songs exist in two realms: one as a short concise cohesive studio entity...and in another as monstrous live improvisational jams that have no relation to this album.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. MacAyeal on May 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is it. The Phish centerpiece. This CD is the studio CD equal to a live set peak. It was this recording that clarified for me all that Phish was about...much more so that any online reviews or books or phan discussions could ever do. I'm sure I could be argued out of saying this is their greatest recording, but let me say that it truly is a masterpiece. Listen to song samples or find other reviews for song-by-song advice. I'll just say that GHOST, GUYUTE, ROGGEA, MOMA DANCE and LIMB BY LIMB are incredible. They juxtapose and speak to Phish's back cataloge of music as well as referring to their own former selves as if they walk side by side with who they were and who they will become. They even refer to their next CD (JIBBOO). THis CD is a hub, musically, personally, and spiritually for the band.

But to at least be fair, since anyone reading this might want to actually get a specific idea...think of Story of the Ghost as a tale of how the band experiences their creative soul and artistic muse through music and how it gets lost in the shuffle of life and how it is one's hope to "find" it again (GHOST). It goes on to describe how the everyday realities and oppressive people and elements of life (BIRDS, MEAT) will alter and bury their own search for meaning, even going so far as to describe a state of artistic mute and/or hell (FIKUS, SHAFTY) from childhood (GUYUTE) through the present (ROGGAE)and the process of separating from these unwanted elements (LIMB BY LIMB)to finding you OWN reasons (BRIAN AND ROBERT) and inspiration (WATER IN THE SKY)to a resolve of confession to their audience (VELVET SEA) to a tandem final awareness that audience loves them even if they don't understand them (MOMA DANCE..moment ends...get it?) The GHOST theme...
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "jovaldo" on March 11, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This album has some of the strongest recordings Phish has ever done, but some of it is pretty mediocre (hence the four star rating instead of five.) Having seen over 20 Phish shows I feel I can say these things objectively. "Ghost" is a fantastic song that shows the band's growing love for 70's funk (although its definately done 90's Phish-style), bassist Mike Gordon really adds the thump to this song. "Birds of a Feather" is an extremely catchy song that will attach itself to you immediately...but not so catchy that'll it'll be tiresome after repeated listening. Guitarist Trey Anastasio has a short, sweet and blistering solo in this song, which works extremely well on album. Not only does it prevent the album from sounding like a concert, but it leaves the songs open for more unique jamming in concert. If they orchestrate a big jam on record, it stifles their creativity at live shows (which is where the real Phish is found anyway!) Another wonderful inclusion is the long-time fan favorite (and once oft-neglected in concert) "Guyute." Other songs like "Fikus," "Meat," and "Shafty" just don't have much direction and pale in comparison to such strong songs like "Water in the Sky" (a country-ish tune with great percussion), "Limb by Limb" (with its anthemic finish), and "Wading in the Velvet Sea, which in my opinion is an amazing song and contains one of Trey's most passionate guitar solos on record. It also shows they can write great slow songs. The album wraps up with the wonderful tune "The Moma Dance," which has a deep groove that really opens up in concert (and is captured nicely on album.Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By spiral_mind on February 16, 2001
Format: Audio CD
If you regard Junta as the pinnacle of all things Phish, save your money and don't buy this album. If you liked Billy Breathes, give it a listen. The same Phish sound is still here: the melodies that glide along in a groove, the lyrics that range between listenable and inane, the upbeat hummable tunes, the mix of styles and influences from rock to funk ("Moma Dance," "Ghost") to reggae ("Limb By Limb") to bluegrass ("Water in the Sky") to soft rock bordering on ambient ("Brian & Robert," "Velvet Sea"). The songs are simpler than we're used to from Phish; I think this is the main problem most people have. "Guyute" aside, each song uses a straight-ahead verse/chorus tune instead of twisting and turning all over the place a la "You Enjoy Myself." The tone is more relaxed than usual, more suited to late night listening than a sunny afternoon outdoors. Phish albums usually seem to have a couple weak tracks, and this is no exception - check "Shafty," "Meat" and "Fikus" - but the rest is definitely worth a listen.
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Jam Bands 101
Highly recommend listening to "A Picture Of Nectare" by Phish
Nov 26, 2010 by Guababy |  See all 2 posts
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