TotW 4/1/2019 - 4/7/2019: PHIL COLLINS - Like China

  • What do you think about "Like China"? 10

    1. 15 points - outstanding (4) 40%
    2. 14 points - very good (3) 30%
    3. 12 points - good + (2) 20%
    4. 09 points - satisfactory + (1) 10%
    5. 13 points - very good - (0) 0%
    6. 11 points - good (0) 0%
    7. 10 points - good - (0) 0%
    8. 08 points - satisfactory (0) 0%
    9. 07 points - satisfactory - (0) 0%
    10. 06 points - sufficient + (0) 0%
    11. 05 points - sufficient (0) 0%
    12. 04 points - sufficient - (0) 0%
    13. 03 points - poor + (0) 0%
    14. 02 points - poor (0) 0%
    15. 01 point - poor - (0) 0%
    16. 00 points - abysmal (0) 0%
    PHIL COLLINS - Like China
    Year: 1982
    Album: Hello, I Must Be Going! [review]
    Working title: unknown
    Credits: Phil Collins
    Lyrics: Yes
    Length: 5:05
    Musicians: (tba)
    Played Live: 1982, 1983, 1985
    Cover versions: none

    Notes: Daryl Stuermer's unmistakable guitar intro starts off a song that is quite different from the rest of the album as far as the subject matter is concerned. There is no heartache, no pain of separation, no anger, no sorrow, and the song is not about the People's Republic of China, either. It is a teenager trying to seduce his girl-friend and promising to handle her as gently as china porcelain.
    From Phil's very first solo concert at The Hague, Netherlands, in 1982 to the end of the No Jacket Required tour this song was a fixture in the set. After that, it was shelved for a good reason: A Phil Collins that was nearly 40 at the time of the Serious tour could not really convincingly present these lyrics (not to mention any later tours). How well the song, its music and its subject matter, have aged, is up to you to assess now.


    We invite you to share interesting facts and tidbits about this track. Let's look at the track in the context of the band's / the artist's history, at the music, the songwriting and all other aspects that are relevant for this track. Please do stick to the discussion of the track above. Comparisons to other tracks are okay, but remember that the other track you may be keen to talk about has or will have its own Track Of The Week thread. If you spot a mistake or if you can close a gap in the fact sheet above please feel free to contact martinus or Christian about it; we will gladly add and improve!

    ...cried a voice in the crowd.


  • LOVE this song! Easily my favorite of his poppier songs. Why? Despite being a bit more accessible in subject matter, the song also has distinctive elements.


    Phil’s singing in a Cockney accent is unusual, and Daryl’s guitar playing (both the continuo and the solo) couldn’t be more non-pop in its sound. And yet it all works in the end.


    One of the songs I look forward to hearing the most when I listen to HIMBG.

    Stepping out the back way, hoping nobody sees...

  • The vocals remind me a bit of Lazy Sunday Afternoon by The Small Faces. I've always loved this track but when performed 'live' with The Phenix Horns it was a whole lot better.


    The song is indicative of Phil's attempt to try some different things on this, his "difficult" second album and I think it succeeds.

  • I love that track. And Phil sings that in a one really outstanding way. Which also means that chances he'd throw that in during his current tour are rather slim...

  • 15 - Outstanding. This song and I Cannot Believe It's True are the top two songs off the album and some of the best work that Phil has done

    “Without music, life would be a mistake”

  • I know this sounds unlikely but it's true.


    When this came out, my friend Chris was appalled when I said I liked it. When I asked why, he said "Well obviously, you know... it's disgusting." Disgusting??? I was now truly baffled. Even if he didn't like it, this seemed a melodramatic way to say so.


    With a bit more querying from me we got to the bottom of his overreaction. It transpired that he was hearing the refrain "I'll hold ya like china" as something else entirely.


    Given its about someone offering to relieve a girl (we assume) of her virginity maybe the

    mis-hearing is intended.

    Abandon all reason

  • I loved the freshness of Like China from the first time I heard it. The loveable Cockney yobbo is a character that suits phil down to the ground. he alluded to it in Whodunnit, but it wasn't as accessible as in Like China. HIMBG is my fave Collins album, just ahead of But Seriously, and this is definitely one of the reasons why!