Your favorite PHIL COLLINS studio album

  • I was listening to Both Sides the other day and I can see why Phil is so fond of this album. I believe, in all honesty most of the songs are quite good, he has a point when he says this album doesn't get the credit it deserves but in hindsight I think there two major factors contributing to this:


    The decision to play al instruments was, I believe, a very brave but ultimately misguided one. Personally, I find songs like Turning Back the years and I've forgotten everything, suffer terribly from it, more, much more could have been done with them. Those casio sounding keyboards sound atrocious and amateurish.

    Secondly and wholly unrelated to the music, it wasn't simply the time for that kind of record. Die-hard fans aside, the rest of the public was still saturated from the ever-present Phil and labelled him as a strictly 80s artist. I don't think it could be helped, at hat particular moment in time but having other musicians playing on it would have imo helped re-evaluate the album after the dust had settled.

  • Regarding Both Sides you can read some of my comments earlier in the thread. Regardless of how 'personal' an album is to the artist himself, it isn't necessarily going to come over that way to the fans. To me it just sounds like the same songs he had already written, which were more powerful, more angry & far superior musically. I have tried & tried to put myself in his shoes while I listen to it & I just can't. But I can do that for the first four albums, especially Face Value.


    Regarding the 'anger' stuff - those songs, such as Do You Know, Do You Care & I Don't Care Anymore are far more effective than the weary resignation of I've Forgotten Everything., If that says more about me than it does about Phil, it can't be helped. He did something unique with the earlier songs - and ITAT, of course. He doesn't do that with the Both Sides songs.

  • Regarding the 'anger' stuff - those songs, such as Do You Know, Do You Care & I Don't Care Anymore are far more effective than the weary resignation of I've Forgotten Everything., If that says more about me than it does about Phil, it can't be helped. He did something unique with the earlier songs - and ITAT, of course. He doesn't do that with the Both Sides songs.

    You got a point here

    But ... stuff like We're Sons Of Our Fathers and Survivors wasn't something I was expecting at the time. I like both tracks because they are quite unique.

  • Regarding Both Sides you can read some of my comments earlier in the thread. Regardless of how 'personal' an album is to the artist himself, it isn't necessarily going to come over that way to the fans. To me it just sounds like the same songs he had already written, which were more powerful, more angry & far superior musically. I have tried & tried to put myself in his shoes while I listen to it & I just can't. But I can do that for the first four albums, especially Face Value.


    Regarding the 'anger' stuff - those songs, such as Do You Know, Do You Care & I Don't Care Anymore are far more effective than the weary resignation of I've Forgotten Everything., If that says more about me than it does about Phil, it can't be helped. He did something unique with the earlier songs - and ITAT, of course. He doesn't do that with the Both Sides songs.

    I believe it would be very hard for any fan to maintain that he has ever reached the peaks of ITAT again. That is a classic and though he has written some very good songs, I don't think he was ever able to replicated that kind of intensity and uniqueness but obviously that's me, There was another point I didn't bring up because it was even more subjective than the ones I mentioned, I might as well though. Someone said love songs are the easiest to write, good love songs though, are the most difficult ones. I'd agree and the reason is simple: they work better when they are heartfelt. Phil was going through some changes in his life and felt the need to pour his heart out on a record, I can totally see why for him the thought of going back to Genesis and sing Tony's lyric had become unbearable but IMO and it really is a personal assessment, as a writer, he lacks the depth needed to make those songs really compelling. So, you are a middle-aged pop star, going through another divorce and rekindling an old flame. I can see why it is important to him, others might not relate.

    You listen to something like Please don't ask and anybody who went through a divorce knows exactly what he is singing about. It's straightforward, plain but it works because it's heartfelt and that is palpable, it works with his angry songs too btw. as long as they are real. Phil, as far as I'm concerned, cried wolf too many times in his career, too many sappy unrequited love ballads made ME less receptive when it was finally about something real. I never really rated him as lyricist, I must say and for me it only worked when he was really angry: I don't care anymore or really down: You know what I mean otherwise he would mainly write cliches-ridden stuff and it would apply also when he would have a go at social issues: Another day in Paradise or tragedies: Singe I lost you.

  • I believe it would be very hard for any fan to maintain that he has ever reached the peaks of ITAT again. That is a classic and though he has written some very good songs, I don't think he was ever able to replicated that kind of intensity and uniqueness but obviously that's me, There was another point I didn't bring up because it was even more subjective than the ones I mentioned, I might as well though. Someone said love songs are the easiest to write, good love songs though, are the most difficult ones. I'd agree and the reason is simple: they work better when they are heartfelt. Phil was going through some changes in his life and felt the need to pour his heart out on a record, I can totally see why for him the thought of going back to Genesis and sing Tony's lyric had become unbearable but IMO and it really is a personal assessment, as a writer, he lacks the depth needed to make those songs really compelling. So, you are a middle-aged pop star, going through another divorce and rekindling an old flame. I can see why it is important to him, others might not relate.

    You listen to something like Please don't ask and anybody who went through a divorce knows exactly what he is singing about. It's straightforward, plain but it works because it's heartfelt and that is palpable, it works with his angry songs too btw. as long as they are real. Phil, as far as I'm concerned, cried wolf too many times in his career, too many sappy unrequited love ballads made ME less receptive when it was finally about something real. I never really rated him as lyricist, I must say and for me it only worked when he was really angry: I don't care anymore or really down: You know what I mean otherwise he would mainly write cliches-ridden stuff and it would apply also when he would have a go at social issues: Another day in Paradise or tragedies: Singe I lost you.

    Yes. Well said. Those later songs, 'real' though they were, didn't SOUND 'real'.

  • You got a point here

    But ... stuff like We're Sons Of Our Fathers and Survivors wasn't something I was expecting at the time. I like both tracks because they are quite unique.

    I do like both of those songs, but the line in We're Sons Of Our Fathers about wondering if there was more 'respect' when Phil was younger made me cringe somewhat. 'It was better in my day.... those young ones don't know they're born' etc. It made him sound like the Tory voter people accused him of being.

  • Yes. Well said. Those later songs, 'real' though they were, didn't SOUND 'real'.

    Not the first time an artist feels strongly about an album and fans don't respond to it equally enthusiastically. When Phil released I can't stop loving you which is not his but he thought it was a good idea to cover, I remember thinking that if he had released that song in the 80s, at the peak of his success, when I was in my 20s, I would have probably loved it. After all, who hasn't had a teary good-bye at a railway station? When it came out though, I simply dismissed it, it simply wasn't for me anymore but apparently as far as Phil's music was concerned, time had stood still. As I sad, too many sappy love songs can make you deaf and insensitive, even when it's real.

  • I actually lost interest with...But Seriously. It just seemed like more of the same at the time. Years later when I went back and listened to what came later I found that I really enjoy Both Sides and I also find it relatable. I think it has some of his best songwriting. The keyboards did bother me at first but now I don’t care.

  • Not the first time an artist feels strongly about an album and fans don't respond to it equally enthusiastically. When Phil released I can't stop loving you which is not his but he thought it was a good idea to cover, I remember thinking that if he had released that song in the 80s, at the peak of his success, when I was in my 20s, I would have probably loved it. After all, who hasn't had a teary good-bye at a railway station? When it came out though, I simply dismissed it, it simply wasn't for me anymore but apparently as far as Phil's music was concerned, time had stood still. As I sad, too many sappy love songs can make you deaf and insensitive, even when it's real.

    The only thing I would say about I Can't Stop Loving You is that I would rather listen to it than the Motown stuff. Peculiar choice of a minor song.

  • Honestly I go back and forth all the time with this one-I go in phases, based on the one I'm "feeling" at the time. I had just gotten over a multiple month kick on Both Sides...but I'd say I'm currently into NJR right now!


    If I had to look at the overall picture over time though, I'd say NJR or But Seriously seem to always remain most strongly in my rotation...

  • I've always liked the first three and have made my peace with But Seriously. Still trying to get into Both Sides and still failing. Never bothered with anything that came after, except the first Hits collection.

  • Hey everyone!


    I just joined and was interested in reading the reviews of other members and their favorite solo albums. So many interesting perspectives and after reading these four pages, I feel like listening to some of his albums I have not listened to in awhile. The two albums I voted for were Face Value and Both Sides. I know a few months ago I would not have picked Both Sides. But some major life changes occurred and I felt more reflective and I guess even sad and recalled this album being more supportive. So I put Both Sides on and listened again.


    I'll say this that I remember when Both Sides came out in the 1990s and in all honesty I enjoyed Phil Collins music off and on when he was really big. Both Sides of the Story was a song and video I remember seeing on VH-1 and MTV and sort of remember Everyday. But really I felt like Both Sides ended my interest in him until "I Can't Stop Loving You" came out and gave him another chance. I was only 12 when Both Sides came out and I think was closer to college or in college when I Can't Stop Loving You came out I believe?? Anyway when Phil started his campaign for remastering and re-releasing his albums I started opening myself to his music much more. I'm a huge vinyl fan and I bought Face Value for sure as well as But Seriously which to me is one of his best albums and would have been my vote. I remember I also bought the extended vinyl version of The Singles which I listened to non stop and got much more interested in the HIMBG album. I have always enjoyed But Seriously... Live as well which I had on cd and eventually got on the recent re-release version. Currently I have The Singles, Face Value, HIMBG, NJR, But Seriously, But Seriously Live, and Both Sides. I have listened to the extended versions of these albums through Spotify and have enjoyed the extra live tracks he included. But I guess for me I kind of gave up after Both Sides and can tolerate the songs on The Singles album that included material from Dance into the light, Testify, and Goin' Back. But I can't seem to convince myself that these albums are worth purchasing on vinyl. I welcome and have read reasons for why I need to reconsider these albums!


    Anyway enough with that... back to Both Sides. So I'll be honest I always liked Can't Turn Back the Years and got to see Phil live in Boston a couple years ago where I was impressed he actually did this song. Sadly many people got up and left but I really sat there and took it all in as he tried to sing it the best he could. Listening to the first side of Both Sides I loved and I liked We Wait and Wonder. The rest of the album I didn't give much of a chance until recently. As I said with some life changing situations that occurred, I listened more to side 2 of record 1 of Both Sides and really got intrigued with I've Forgotten Everything as well as Can't Find My Way. Although the lyrics as some have mentioned are well odd and awkward for me, the music is what fascinates me. I totally agree with some who said it would have been amazing to see how these songs would have sounded much fuller with a bigger band. But I really enjoy those two musically. Similarly, I really enjoy musically "We Fly So Close". I don't understand the song at all but I really enjoy the music. I read his autobiography and understand all the crap he was dealing with at the time and thus the reason for all the down songs. I heard in an interview that he was thinking of calling the album Blue but chose not to because of the Joni Mitchell similarly titled album. So this album has been on my turntable a lot during this month and just enjoying the music in comparison to the lyrics.


    I'll just throw this out there to see what people's opinions are or what they know exactly. Is the song Everyday more about the relationship he had with the girl he loved from high school?? Also was Survivor written for his second wife Jill? Because of the amount of listening to Both Sides, I have googled and found different things on YouTube which include live shows from that tour and intrigued as to why Phil performed Everyday for some of the tour and dropped it and did Can't Turn Back the Years instead? Just curious if anyone knows much about that as well.


    Thanks for letting me share about how Both Sides has moved up in being played frequently in my home and of course voting for Face Value.

  • Also was Survivor written for his second wife Jill?

    Survivors was written for his daughter Lily. I think if you re-listen to the song, knowing who it was written for, the lyrics will make a lot of sense in the context of what was happening in Phil's life at the time.


    During promotional interviews for the album, Phil skirted around a lot of the grisly details for the sake of everyone involved but, since, events took their course and his marriage to Jill ended, he has revealed the truth behind the more personal lyrics on the album.

  • Quote

    Survivors was written for his daughter Lily. I think if you re-listen to the song, knowing who it was written for, the lyrics will make a lot of sense in the context of what was happening in Phil's life at the time.

    Thank you so much for the insight. I really never considered that and will listen to the song again. I think the line "Please forgive me" I just assumed was to Jill but that is really interesting.

  • Thank you so much for the insight. I really never considered that and will listen to the song again. I think the line "Please forgive me" I just assumed was to Jill but that is really interesting.

    Yes, the review in Q magazine at the time also presumed it was about Jill, describing the sentiment as "dutiful" rather than sincere. Overall, the magazine gave the album a good review (they described I've Forgotten Everything as "nearly perfect" if I remembr rightly), they just didn't like the political/social stance on some of the lyrics, describing Phil as "not a naturally political cove".