The SERIOUS Guide To Phil Collins’ record catalogue. By Alan Hewitt.
With the impending European tour by Phil and his nine serious guys, I thought it was time to take a look at Phil’s prodigious record out put since he began his solo career. I have taken Phil’s UK discography as my material but, hopefully, in a further article I will outloine his foreign releases too.
Phil’s first solo single was released in December 1980 and is perhaps his best known release. The single was: In The Air Tonight which reached number two in the UK charts being held off the top spot by Joe Dolce’s novelty hit; Shaddapa You Face. In the UK the single was issued in two different 7” formats: one with an ordinary picture sleeve and the other which featured a cartoon booklet designed by Phil’s cartoonist brother, Clive. The latter was a limited edition and is therefore quite collectable. Both versions were backed by the album track: The Roof Is Leaking.
February 1981 saw the release of Phil’s debut solo album: Face Value which immediately topped the charts both in the UK and elsewhere. The album spawned several singles all of which are currently deleted although they are still available at record fairs and the like. The next single to appear in the UK was I Missed Again, another highly successful single. Here in the UK it was backed with another album track: I’m Not Moving and this release was issued as both a 7” and 12” single in a picture sleeve. The final release from the album in the UK was I f Leaving Me Is Easy which generated another highly collectable version with initial stocks coming with a fold out poster sleeve. The B side was also of interest to collectors, featuring as it did the “Drawing Board” demo versions of In The Air…., If Levaing Me Is Easy and I Missed Again. A copy of this single in mint condition can command quite a high price.
1982 saw the release of Phil’s second solo album, which was once again preceded by a single. In this case it was one of the most unusual releases by Phil: Thru These Walls, a song about a Peeping Tom! An unusual choice and one which didn;’t lend itself to chart success with the consequence that stock copies in good condition are quite scarce. The B side to the single was another album cut: Do You Know, Do You Care? This single also saw the release of Phil’s first picture disc and this like its ordinary counterpart are quite collectable.
The next single from this album was to bring Phil his first number one hit in the UK. It was the Motown classic: You Can’t Hurry Love which was a hit all over the world. In the UK it was backed by I Cannot Believe It’s True and once again there was a picture disc and also a 12” single which had the additional bonus track of the demo version of Thru These Walls, the aptly titled Oddball.All of these are still quite common although the picture disc might prove hardert to find than the others.
The Hello I Must Be Going album saw a further two singles released, neither of which were quite as successful as the above. Next out was Don’t Let Him Steal Your Heart Away backed with Thunder & Lightning, from Phil’s first solo album. The 12” also included the old Brand X favourite: And So To F… Both versions were available in picture disc editions.
The final release from this album in the UK was Why Can’t It Wait Til Morning? Which is one of the more obscure releases from Phil’s back catalogue and is quite hard to find nowadays. The single only appeared in 7” format in apicture sleeve and was backed by another album track: Like China.
1983 saw Phil occupied with the writing and recording of the Genesis “Genesis” album and the US/UK tour that followed its release and which lasted until the end of February 1984. However, during a day off on the US leg of the tour, Phil managed to throw together a little something that was to give him another major hit in several territories. Against All Odds was a song written for the film of the same name and it was a huge success. In the UK the song was released as a 7” single coupled with a Mike Rutherford song from the same film: Making A Big Mistake. There was also a 7” picture disc version of the single, both of which are relatively easy to find.
1985 saw the release of Phil’s third solo album: No Jacket Required and once again there were several singles released from it all of which achieved varying degress of chart success. As usual, the album was preceded by a single and this time it was Sussudio which reached the top ten here in the UK. It was back with non-album track: The Man With the Horn and that track and a remixed version of the A side on the 12” version which also appeared as a picture disc.
The next release was One More Night coupled with another non-album track: I Like The Way on the 7”. The 12” had an extended mix and the same track as the 7” version for its B side. Again there was a picture disc release, this time it was a limited edition 7” with a stand up plinth etc. It contained the same tracks as the standard 7”.
Take Me Home was the final single to be released from the album in the UK and was quite successful in the UK and elsewhere. At home this release appeared in both 7” and 12” versions which had We Said Hello, Goodbye, another non-album track which did however appear on the CD version of the album. Both releases came in standard picture sleeves.
Phil only released one single in 1986, another composition for a film. This time it was for the film White Nights starring Mikhail Baryshnikoff. The track: Separate Lives featured a duet betweenPhil and Marilyn Martin. It was issued in 7” and 12” standard versions along with a picture disc edition. The B side for the 12” and the picture disc was Only You & I Know from the album itself while the 7” versuon had a remixed version of that song as its B side.
Fans then had a two year wait for Phil’s next release and in 1988 they were rewarded with three singles. Firstly came the remixed version of In The Air Tonight (the ’88 Remix). This was released on 7”, 12” and compact disc versions. The 12” and the CD versions had the extended version of In The Air… as the A side with the ’88 remix and the album version of I Missed Again as the B side while the 7” had the latter as its B side.
Phil’s break into the movie business saw his biggest chart success to date with the song originally released from the soundtrack to the film: Buster. Originally written and recorded by Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders, A Groovy Kind Of Love made it to number one in the UK charts and was a success elsewhere too. Here it appeared in 7”, 12” and CD versions. The 12” appeared in two distnict editions with one being a limited edition gatefold sleeve . Both versions came with the same B side: Big Noise (Instrum,ental) which also appeared on the 7”. The CD had the extra bonus of an instrumental track written by Anne Dudley written for the film.