Phantom Power is a soundtrack Album but not in the usual style. The album consist
of full blown songs and it is as if the film was added to the soundtrack instead
of vice Versa. In fact the recent video for Queen’s "Heavens for everyone"
would be a good example of the way the film is presented.
Phantom Power – The film
My first impression on watching the film was that although the soundtrack fits
the film on a minute by minute basis I was not quite so sure about a scene to
scene basis. The instrumental passages certainly follow the film. My favourite
example is a piece where the Phantom is playing an Organ and the music is shown
as being Don Juan Triumphant. Rick starts this section on an Organ sound and
when the phantom stops he switches to synths. When the Phantom continues again
he adds back the Organ.
In general it is the songs which made me wonder most about weather Rick was
doing and album or a soundtrack. But even these have bits that directly tie
to the film. For instance in "Heat of the Moment" there is an organ
solo which again starts as the phantom plays organ but this time it carries
on when the phantoms stops. A few seconds later the phantom gets angry and hits
the organ and this is reflected by the song.
After I had watched 30 minutes of the video I had got used to the presentation
and enjoyed the film and really enjoyed the music. After viewing the film once
I rewound it and watched it again. I felt like I had been to a concert and did
not want it to end. I also made a soundtrack copy to cassette so that I could
listen to the music properly.
Rick wrote the soundtrack in a style that I found instantly appealing. I am
normally very slow at making my mind up as to weather I like a piece of music
so I guess other people might find it a bit shallow.
I decided I would let a friend watch the film and see what he thought. If I
like something Rick does he usually dislikes it and Vice Versa. I prefer the
full band presentations he likes the ambient and piano styles. As I expected
he thought the film a bit odd and did not get on with it. I also tried my OAP
parents with the film and they did not complete the film since the music was
"too modern". Both commented it was confusing having songs sung at
the same time as words were displayed in the film.
Phantom Power – The Album
Over the years I enjoyed the music so much that I wanted a copy on CD. Unfortunately
I had difficulty finding a copy and bought the last one Yes Music Circle had
as soon as I decided to give the fanzine a look. It has greatly annoyed me that
President have not seen fit to re-release this album (It is out again now!).
I think they have re-released every other album Rick put out on Ambient with
the exception of Black Knights at the court of Ferdinand IV. Another excellent
album despite the Italian vocals.
Now that I have a copy of the CD I decided to compare it with the film and
see what had and had not been used.
Phantom Power – Live
The only time I have heard anything from Phantom played live was on the Classical
Connection II tour. I saw this at Chatam on 24/11/91. Rick played a Phantom
medley consisted of at least Phantom Power, Heaven, You Can’t Buy My Love and
One Night Of Love. Although I am normally deaf to bass work I have to say I
really enjoyed the bass playing of Alan Thompson on this night.