Phil And John - Simply Phil And John

Published Monday 17th October 2005
Phil And John - Simply Phil And John
Phil And John - Simply Phil And John

RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 13353-10628
LABEL: Kingsway KMCD2623
RRP: £16.99

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

One of the frustrating things about the Christian record companies is their poor-to-appalling presentation of back catalogue. Either they ignore Christian music classics languishing in their archives completely or they re-release them in such an unimaginative way that one is reminded of those £1.99 cheapo albums one finds in garages and charity shops. Take the 'Simply.' series. There is a derisory sleevenote, nothing to put the music into any kind of historic perspective, no musician or production credits and nothing on the sleeve to explain to potential purchasers that this box set is a straight forward re-issue of three of Phil & John's old Kingsway albums: 'Breakfast At Ruby's' (1994), 'Carnival Of Clowns' (1992) and 'Waiting For Summer' (1985). Musically, there's some delightful stuff here, with 'Carnival Of Clowns' possibly being Phil Baggaley's and John Hartley's best album full of memorable songs and wistful Simon & Garfunkle-style harmonies while 'Breakfast At Ruby's' recorded in the US, has some great stuff too (including a re-recording of "Genevieve", originally on 'Carnival Of Clowns'). Then of course we can't forget their ultra silly comedy classic "Gnome Song". So why not nine squares? Because with packaging as thoughtless and shoddy as this the last thing we want to do is encourage Kingsway to put out more re-issues this badly.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Therese Kean in New Zealand @ 10:39 on Aug 18 2013

we had the tape 'Breakfast At Rubies" Loved it and would love to get a decent copy again. Sadly in all our shiftings around the country we lost it. So is there anyone able to help me out there.
Regards T

Posted by Johannes Föll in Stuttgart, Germany @ 22:15 on Jul 28 2009

my name's Johannes. I got to know Phil & John (not personally) while I was a student doing two semestres abroad in Britain in 93/94. Long time. I really still love their style and music. I've got a very old tape that one of my friends then copied for me with "Carnival of clowns" and the live show on it; unfortunately as a German I find it hard to understand all the lyrics. I sometimes sit in my room trying to play one of the songs, but I can't because I donT now the correct lyrics. Has anyone any idea where I could get the lyrics of "The day the North left town" which is on the live show album? Would be great to get information on

Posted by IoW_Sparky in Shanklin IoW @ 17:24 on Nov 6 2008

I agree wholeheartedly with the review. I had some Phil & John tapoes that I've either worn out or lost and so the chance to obtain back numbers on CD would be good. Unfortunatley for this compilation, I've got 2 of them already! (and they're great!) If only they'd start touring/recording again!!

Reply by Trevor Kirk @ 21:42 on Dec 9 2008

Sadly. my friend, unless John gets deported from Nashville as an undesirable alien, it won't happen - however, Mr Hartley is doing some excellent stuff over there, as is Mr Baggaley via Gold Records in Derby. So we're getting two loads of good product instead of one.

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