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    Phil Collins - The Singles

    Almost all singles on 3 CDs, without a single single version


    Speculations and hopes abounded in the fan community when it was revealed that Phil Collinsí albums were to be re-issued. There were dreams of lovingly made boxsets, of various outtakes, all the B-sides, 5.1 surround sound mixes and much more. What has been released so far has been deeply disappointing. Except for the idea to re-shoot all the album covers with todayís older Phil Collins there has been nothing outstanding in the re-issues as far as quality is concerned. The digipaks contain all albums. Some of the albums have been remastered quite well, others not so well, and all had a bonus disc with extra material lumped together carelessly. There are many gaps, and the quality of some of the live recordings was abysmal, despite the fact that there have to be soundboards of the performances in existence. In at least one case the audio has evidently been ripped off a Youtube video. With such a poor performance it does not matter that the extras are hand-picked. We have reviewed all the albums in the Take A Look At Me Now series, where you can read up on details.

    The show goes on. Besides his autobiography Not Dead Yet (set to come out in October 2016) we also have a new compilation of Philís hits. Unlike Serious Hits Ö Live, Ö HITS and Love Songs, this time all single releases are supposed to be united in one set. Since they fill three CDs a reduced 2CD set has also been made available.  So far, so good. Vinyl fans are offered a 4 LP set, but why on earth has it been based on the 2CD set selection?

    Let us look at the various sets and their content:


    Track list of the 2CD version / 4LP version
    CD 1 / LP1
    01. Easy Lover
    02. Two Hearts
    03. Sussudio
    04. I Missed Again
    05. Wear My Hat
    06. Don't Lose My Number
    07. You Can't Hurry Love
    08. Something Happened On The Way To Heaven
    09. We Wait And We Wonder
    10. Can't Stop Loving You
    11. Dance Into The Light
    12. It's In Your Eyes
    13. Hang In Long Enough
    14. Thru These Walls
    15. I Wish It Would Rain Down
    16. Both Sides Of The Story
    17. (Love Is Like A) Heatwave
     
    The Singles 2CDCD 2 / LP 2
    01. Going Back
    02. In The Air Tonight
    03. Against All Odds
    04. If Leaving Me Is Easy
    05. One More Night
    06. Separate Lives
    07. A Groovy Kind Of Love
    08. That's Just The Way It Is
    09. Do You Remember?
    10. Everyday
    11. True Colors
    12. You'll Be In My Heart
    13. The Least You Can Do
    14. Look Through My Eyes
    15. Another Day In Paradise
    16. Take Me Home

     
    Track list of the  3CD Deluxe Edition
    CD 1

    01.  In The Air Tonight
    02.  I Missed Again
    03.  If Leaving Me Is Easy
    04.  Thru These Walls
    05.  You Canít Hurry Love
    06.  I Donít Care Anymore *
    07.  Donít Let Him Steal Your Heart Away *
    08.  Why Canít It Wait ĎTil Morning *
    09.  I Cannot Believe Itís True *
    10.  Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)
    11.  Easy Lover
    12.  Sussudio
    13.  One More Night
    14.  Donít Lose My Number
    15.  Take Me Home


    CD 2
    01.  Separate Lives
    02.  A Groovy Kind Of Love
    03.  Two Hearts
    04.  Another Day in Paradise
    05.  I Wish It Would Rain Down
    06.  Something Happened on the Way To Heaven
    07.  Thatís Just the Way It Is
    08.  Hang in Long Enough
    09.  Do You Remember?
    10.  Who Said I Would *
    11.  Both Sides of the Story
    12.  Everyday
    13.  We Wait and We Wonder
    14.  Dance Into The Light
    15.  Itís In Your Eyes

                                               

    The Singles 3CDCD 3
    01.  No Matter Who *
    02.  Wear My Hat
    03.  The Same Moon *
    04.  True Colors
    05.  Youíll Be In My Heart
    06.  Strangers Like Me *
    07.  Son of Man *
    08.  Two Worlds *
    09.  Canít Stop Loving You
    10.  The Least You Can Do * 
    11.  Wake Up Call
    12.  Look Through My Eyes
    13.  No Way Out *
    14.  (Love is Like A)  Heatwave
    15.  Going Back

    * only available on the 3CD-set



    Selection of tracks / completeness / design


    The 3CD set contains all relevant singles. It should be noted that some songs, such as This Must Be Love or It Donít Matter To Me, were released only in selected countries. Other tracks, e.g. Canít Turn Back The Years, were only radio singles and could not be bought in shops. One thing that is definitely missing is the í88 remix of In The Air Tonight. It was a version of its own that became a hit in its own right. Apart from that the tracklist of the 3CD set is okay. The songs have even been put in their chronological order Ö well, almost. We will get to that in a minute.

    The 2CD set drops mainly the more recent songs. That makes sense. After all, Phil has enjoyed much more success in the 80s and early 90s than later. The 2CD set sorts the songs in a different fashion. CD1 contains the ďpower songsĒ, CD2 contains the ballads.

    The 3CD set comes in a nice, fold-out digipak Ö not. It is a big jewel case, like those that multi-CD sets would come in until the early 90s. Nowadays they have become a rare sight. The three CDs are safe there. The booklet offers only the basic information, the artwork of the singles (except for I Cannot Believe Itís True, which shows the vinyl, as it only had a real cover in Brazil anyway) and a couple of promo photos from 1981 onwards. They could have made a bigger effort with the package. Compare, for example, Queenís Greatest Hits series: A booklet chock-full of text to accompany all singles, with information on the development, the authors, chart positions and so on.

    The cover shows the 33 single covers as a poster on a wall. Various colours are used for either version. Certainly a different collage could have been used for the 3CD set. But not all of the 33 covers are correct: The 2CD set, for example, contains Canít Stop Loving You and The Least You Can Do, but the cover shows the single cover of Wake Up Call which is only on the 3CD set. This could have been avoided. The 3CD booklet shows all covers of the set in their chronological order.

    Vinyl fans get the reduced selection on the basis of the 2CD set. Since vinyl is expensive to make they should have gone all the way and produced a proper set based on the Deluxe Edition.


    The Album Versions Of The Singles I Released

    This is what the compilation ought to have been called: The versions included are always from the album. There are loads of single edits that differ a lot from the album versions, some of which are simply shorter. But if you look at the Tarzan album, for example, the songs Strangers Like Me, Son Of Man and Two Worlds have spawned probably much better, stronger single versions Ė they were not used. Two songs from the Serious Tour appeared as live version singles. Do You Remember was also released as a studio version in the U.S, but this issue shows the artwork for the live version single. Do You Remember and Who Said I Would are included with their album versions. This is particularly annoying with Who Said I Would: One, it can be argued that this song, which was not released everywhere, should have given way to In The Air Tonight remix í88. Two, it is strange to hear a No Jacket Required song in the end of the But Seriously singlesí series.

    Some of the songs that have not become a part of the Take A Look At Me Now remaster series have been remastered for this release. This includes Against All Odds, Separate Lives, A Groovy Kind Of Love, Two Hearts and True Colors. The Disney songs and Easy Lover have not been remastered, though. The question is: Why not? Easy Lover in particular could have benefited.


    All in all

    The Singles continues the list of Phil Collins re-issues that have been put together without much love and care. Besides the logical flaws (cover artwork, studio versions instead of live versions) the most annoying aspect is the idea to use the album versions instead of the proper single versions. Joe Average will not care when he buys this Collins compilation, but it would have been a real treat for the fans had this set been done properly with the single versions. The packaging lacks an eye for details. This set is a missed opportunity. It proves once more that doing something for the fans is on absolutely nobodyís agenda in the Genesis camp. This is disappointing and regrettable.


    by Christian Gerhardts, English by Martin Klinkhardt

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