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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » Collins, Phil - 1985 No Jacket Required
 
Collins, Phil - 1985 No Jacket Required



ARTIST: Collins, Phil
ALBUM: No Jacket Required
LABEL: Atlantic (USA), Virgin (UK)
SERIAL: 7 81240-2, CDV 2345 (CD), V 2345 (LP)
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: Reissue List..

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Phil Collins - vocals, drums, keyboards, synth bass * Daryl Stuermer - guitar, keyboards * Lee Sklar - bass * Nick Glennie Smith, David Frank - keyboards * Gary Barnacle, Don Myrick - saxophone

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sussudio * 02 Only You An I Know * 03 Long Long Way To Go * 04 I Don't Wanna Know * 05 One More Night * 06 Don't Lose My Number * 07 Whao Said I Would * 08 Doesn't Anybody Stay Together Anymore * 09 Inside Out * 10 Take Me Home

WEBLINKS: www.philcollins.co.uk


Background
In 1985 trying to escape from Phil Collins was nearly futile, unless you happened to be living in space or on a deserted island. The man was everywhere, as a solo artist, Genesis kingpin, on movie soundtracks, on television screens on 'Miami Vice'.. he even found time to perform at 'Live Aid' in London and Philadelphia in the same day. The pinnacle of his mammoth 80's success was undoubtedly this album however, a slick slice of AOR pop perfection which represents the man at his commercial peak. The amount of singles culled from this album have been thrust into the public consciousness ever since, but sometimes I don't think it's given its due as a melodic masterpiece. If you overlook everything about Collins' ubiquitous presence and the overkill of radio play, this is something to behold, with a seemingly endless parade of classic compositions.


The Songs
Needless to say just about everyone is familiar with the majority of the album, classic rock radio having driven them into the ground since the day of its release, but it doesn't dilute the clinical AOR precision. Drum machines and synthesizer programming are on overload, but the fantastic melodies and guitar work rank this with the best of the decade. Collins claims to dislike 'Sussudio' in a 2016 interview, but the chorus is undeniable, along with the prominent horns and keyboards all over the place. The energetic 'Only You And I Know' throws everything it can at the listener, the synth touches and various melodic interludes a work of art. The guitar solo is the icing on the cake. Commercial AOR was never better. The haunting tones of 'Long, Long Way To Go' were tailor-made for 'Miami Vice' where it featured that year and this is a highly effective ballad of sorts, relying almost entirely on keyboards and a superb vocal performance from Collins. For AOR purposes I don't think Collins ever bettered 'I Don't Wanna Know' and its melodic twists. A truly great song, the guitar work is on a grand scale, with tasty fills dominating the track, not to mention a sax solo straight out of the textbook. This rivals the best of Journey, Michael Bolton or whoever else can be cited as an AOR giant. 'One More Night' was another number one and again one of Collins' most enduring tracks, another glaring example of where radio was at in 1985.

'Don't Lose My Number' was yet another hit and another well-crafted piece of AOR by Collins. The man's ear for a hook must have been unrivaled at the time and again the guitar work distinguishes itself, the solo being the culmination of some intense build-up. 'Who Said I Would' adds to the growing list of classics, the horns at the forefront vying for attention with the keyboards, which is more satisfying than it sounds. It straddles the fine line between pop and AOR, a blend beyond compare. The dourly titled 'Doesn't Anybody Stay Together Anymore' is more upbeat than it sounds, this one recalling the early 80's Genesis albums more than the majority of the album. 'Inside Out' is another lost gem, sounding a lot more organic on the drum side and throwing in more sax for effect, something Phil seemed to be a huge fan of. The iconic 'Take Me Home' is remembered for its video depicting Collins around the world in various locations and also featured on 'Miami Vice,' which as the most successful show of the day gave even more traction to the albums success.


In Summary
The enormous success of this album made Collins even more of a household name than he already was. This was eventually one of the biggest selling albums of the decade, which is saying something, considering the multitude of iconic type albums produced back then. Collins could even afford to release songs like the brilliant 'Easy Lover' with Phillip Bailey and not include it on an album. By the time Genesis released 'Invisible Touch' a year later it was almost inconceivable Collins could be more prominent. However with the passing of time it's become obligatory to knock Collins and scoff at music like this, which never fails to amaze me. Even Collins said recently 'No Jacket Required' is one of his least favorite albums. He claims it wasn't recorded to his liking, a touch too technical. Whatever the case it's something he never topped himself, solo or with Genesis. [word count 737]


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Tags: Phil Collins 
 
Comments
#1 | Eric on March 14 2016 20:59:34
A touch too technical? What about 'Invisible Touch'? Eegads. Nice review Alun.
 
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