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Mario Giammetti
Random Hols Website Special
The Last Domino? Tour

[The long overdue "Best of P.C." sampler, or, the unanswered question what the "..." stand for]

Every year when the trees shed their leaves and when the fog covers the land in grey, when the mushrooms come out and the birds travel south, many musicians release compilations of their best-known songs. It is a safe bet that the Christmas season approaches when shops put up their seasonal decorations and the shelves in record stores are full of new “best of” and “greatest hits” releases. These are, of course, not aimed at the real fan, but at the casual listener who may not even have an album by that artist or band, but likes the hits they have heard on the radio. And then there it is, the CD full of all these radio hits, and there is no way around buying it. There is nothing to be said against this marketing strategy, but what is in it for the real fan?

As far Phil Collins’s …Hits album, which came out on October 5, is concerned, the answer is: One new song, hits from several soundtracks and a rough rundown of Phil Collins’s solo history on one CD. An almost identical compilation (with an overlap of twelve songs) called Serious Hits … Live! has already been released in 1990, but the new Hits album has the studio versions, of course. It also saves the listener the permanent switching between the ten different albums from which the songs on …Hits were taken. It is up to you to decide what the dots in the album title stand for. Depending on what you think about the tracks “some” or “greatest” oder “bloody” may do the trick.

Cover HITSThis CD is of course not meant to be a comprehensive review of Phil Collins’s solo work – there would be not enough space for that on a single CD. Still, almost all the hits, mainly from No Jacket Required and …But Seriously, are present. The only new song is a cover version of Cindy Lauper’s 1986 hit True Colors. The point of cover versions is certainly debatable. At any rate you can currently be quite popular and successful if you do not write new songs but make a new recording of an existing hit. One cannot accuse Phil Collins of following the trend, though, for True Colors is by no means his only cover version – and it isn’t the only cover on …Hits: You Can’t Hurry Love and A Groovy Kind Of Love are covers, too). Phil was supported on True Colors by Babyface who provided the backing vocals and produced the song. True Colors came out on September 21 as an advance single (WEA 3984 24774-2) but it is not worth getting because the song is only backed with the well-known versions of In The Air Tonight (’88 remix), Don’t Lose My Number and I Missed Again.

A word about the design of …Hits. The cover artwork shows some rather abstract paintings that paraphrase the artwork of Phil Collins’s six previous studio albums. These six paintings are repeated in full size in the booklet. The booklet itself is a folded poster of ca. 24x48cm with credits for all songs but no lyrics. In the end what we have here is an unspectacular compilation album with little attraction for the real fan that presents itself as a good Christmas present – you cannot go very wrong here unless the person you give it to loves only classical music or hip hop or heavy metal.

by Helmut Janisch
translated by Martin Klinkhardt
first published in German in it magazine #25 (fall 1998)

Phil Collins

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Dance Into The Light (CD)

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Soloalbum from 1996.
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Beggar On A Beach Of Gold (CD)

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Mechanics-Album from 1995, contains the Hits Over My Shoulder and Another Cup Of Coffee.
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