Phil Collins – The Singles – A Missed Opportunity ?

Phil Collins delivered in the first six months of this year a rather conservative remaster project across all of his studio albums. This was announced with great fanfare as a deluxe project, nonetheless sadly the word deluxe transcribes into stereo remasters and bonus tracks which are not always worthy of the title of bonus. It happens often in the music industry and is an unfortunate downside as it leaves fans feeling exploited at worst, or cheated.

Some of those demos and rare B sides have not been heard, and are the highlights of the bonus material, whilst some of the live tracks have already surfaced via radio broadcasts or because people have heard them via bootlegs.

With news that there is a singles collection being released the assumption is that every single is being released with B Sides, demos, live versions, etc. Looking at the track listing for all formats and versions (note: there is a deluxe version of the singles as well) it would seem that Phil and his management took the safe route to just include the A Side’s which for the most part features the hits or tracks made up from the studio album’s.

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Hit’s from 1998

Disc: 1
1. Another Day In Paradise
2. True Colours
3. Easy Lover
4. You Can’t Hurry Love
5. Two Hearts
6. I Wish It Would Rain Down
7. Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)
8. Something Happened On The Way To Heaven
9. Separate Lives
10. Both Sides Of The Story
11. One More Night
12. Sussudio
13. Dance Into The Light
14. A Groovy Kind Of Love
15. In The Air Tonight
16. Take Me Home

In short it feels completely like a lost opportunity as though Phil’s record company or management are clueless about what people want, Phil Collins released a Hits package across one CD in October 1998 and a Love Songs double CD that came out around 2004 (which had been delayed). Hits was an interesting release compiling hit songs such as Against All Odds (which was only released on CD in Japan) and Easy Lover amongst others and bringing them into the digital domain, thus making them easy to listen to but The Singles is not strictly true to it’s name because it lacks the full content of the singles.

PC the singles 2 cd

Front cover of the 2 Disc version

Track list of the Deluxe 3 Disc version:

Disc: 1

1. In The Air Tonight (2015 Remastered)
2. I Missed Again (2015 Remastered)
3. If Leaving Me Is Easy (2015 Remastered)
4. Thru These Walls (2016 Remastered)
5. You Can’t Hurry Love (2016 Remastered)
6. I Don’t Care Anymore (2016 Remastered)
7. Don’t Let Him Steal Your Heart Away (2016 Remastered)
8. Why Can’t It Wait ‘Til Morning (2016 Remastered)
9. I Cannot Believe It’s True (2016 Remastered)
10. Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) [2016 Remastered]
11. Easy Lover
12. Sussudio (2016 Remastered)
13. One More Night (2016 Remastered)
14. Don’t Lose My Number (2016 Remastered)
15. Take Me Home (2016 Remastered)

Disc: 2

1. Separate Lives (Love Theme From White Nights) [2016 Remastered] – Phil Collins And Marilyn Martin
2. A Groovy Kind Of Love (2016 Remastered)
3. Two Hearts (2016 Remastered)
4. Another Day In Paradise (2016 Remastered)
5. I Wish It Would Rain Down (2016 Remastered)
6. Something Happened On The Way To Heaven (2016 Remastered)
7. That’s Just the Way It Is (2016 Remastered)
8. Hang In Long Enough (2016 Remastered)
9. Do You Remember? (2016 Remastered)
10. Who Said I Would (2016 Remastered)
11. Both Sides Of The Story (2015 Remastered)
12. Everyday (2015 Remastered)
13. We Wait And We Wonder (2015 Remastered)
14. Dance Into The Light (2016 Remastered)
15. It’s In Your Eyes (2016 Remastered)

Disc: 3

1. No Matter Who (2016 Remastered)
2. Wear My Hat (2016 Remastered)
3. The Same Moon (2016 Remastered)
4. True Colors (2016 Remastered)
5. You’ll Be In My Heart
6. Strangers Like Me
7. Son Of Man
8. Two Worlds
9. Can’t Stop Loving You (2016 Remastered)
10. The Least You Can Do (2016 Remastered)
11. Wake Up Call (2016 Remastered)
12. Look Through My Eyes – Brother Bear
13. No Way Out (Theme from Brother Bear) – Brother Bear
14. (Love Is Like A) Heatwave (2016 Remastered)
15. Going Back (2016 Remastered)

The Singles Collection could have been so much better what with demo materials in extreme abundance especially with Phil Collins’s known reputation as an archivist even when he was with Genesis, it is patently obvious that something far more impressive could be achieved with such material as follows:

CD 1 

  1. In The Air Tonight (Demo)
  2. I Missed Again (Demo)
  3. Hand In Hand (Demo)
  4. Please Don’t Break My Heart (Demo)
  5. The Man With The Horn (B Side)
  6. I Like The Way (B Side)
  7. Life Is A Rat Race (Miami Vice)
  8. Sussudio (12 Inch John “tokes” Potoker mix)
  9. In The Air Tonight ( “88” Ben Liebrand Mix)
  10. Around The World In 80 Preset’s

CD 2

  1. Something Happened On The Way To Heaven (One World Remix)
  2. Hang In Long Enough (Pettibone Dub Mix)
  3. Do You Remember (Live)
  4. Doesn’t Anybody Stay Together Anymore (Live)
  5. Inside Out (Live)
  6. The Roof Is Leaking (Live 1990 version)
  7. Both Sides (Demo)
  8. Rad Dudeski
  9. Deep Water Town (Demo)
  10. Don’t Call Me Ashley
  11. Watch The Clock (Demo)

CD 3

  1. You’ll Be In My Heart (Demo)
  2. Rhythm Piece (Trashing The Camp – Demo)
  3. Do Nothing Til You Hear From Me (Montreaux 1996)
  4. Loco In Acapulco (Live 1997)

and so much more……….

This barely scratches the surface of what Phil Collins has in his archive, some of which he showcased on his website during the Going Back promotional campaign from around 2010 until 2012 when it looked like the record company lost interest in the Phil Collins Club, which it wound up when members were told there would be no updates yet be expected to continually pay for content they all received in year one.  That cynical behaviour towards the fans and members of the Club was nasty and most likely a decision Phil Collins was not aware of.

You could if you had the access and an ounce of knowledge, as well as the ability to place things into a chronological order, create a box set in excess of 25 Discs in length from the material purporting to be in Phil’s archive. So, why are the singles such a lazy attempt to just rehash the widely available material? Some fans have already been seen to comment that it’s just as lazy as the Genesis R-Kive collection which was a cynical cash in on the back of the Sum Of The Parts televised documentary.

One would assume that the artist, the staff who work for him, and the manager that works for him would have a strategy to release new material from the archives or to place material released on vinyl as a B Side etc out on the digital domain. The Singles collection is very lazy and this off the back of the Deluxe editions which were cheaply put together, remembering how the same manager (Tony Smith) and producer / engineer (Nick Davis) got it so right with the Genesis remaster / remix / placement into surround sound campaign back in 2006 to 2010 yet here we are with Phil Collins’s albums and archive being served up in stereo with one or two gems per release rather than the torrent of material that could be attached to the releases a rather sad way to highlight the incredible career of Phil Collins.

Of course nobody would expect 25 CDs worth of material to be put out from the archive, some things are not exciting in some cases it would be repetitive or worth listening to, but there is easily a box set of good material in the archive that fans would be more than willing to hear.

Prices for The Singles range from £12.41 for the 2 CD version right up to £53.86 for a large vinyl edition.

2 Comments on "Phil Collins – The Singles – A Missed Opportunity ?"

  1. Why would you assume that a release titled The Singles would include anything other than the singles? Phil is a populist artist and as such he recognises that his appeal is to mainstream audiences. That’s why, when he embarked on his Farewell Tour, he played the songs he believed the people who come to his shows wanted to hear. Ergo, the hits.

    If you want rare tracks, B sides and demos they’re freely available on Genesis The Movement. The key word there is ‘freely’. Phil and his management know of the site’s existence and allow Simon to continue to make this material available to the fans. Would you rather Phil had the site closed down so that he could release all that stuff on CD and charge us for it?

    Sorry, but it seems that with this article you’re being negative simply for the sake of it.

    • Stefan, You raise some valid points but I have to say that whilst my suggestion for the 3 CD box set contains material that Phil only released through his fan club on the official Phil Collins website, some material has not seen an official release.

      I also add that some fans commented that they though B Sides like the Man With The Horn would have either accompanied the respective album as part of the deluxe mantra or at worst appeared on a Box set spanning 3 discs which is how this release was told to me by those in the know.

      Whilst I am aware of The Genesis Movement, having put it to good use on more than one occasion at this juncture I would not be seeking its closure. Whilst I am aware that “the management” (Hale and Pace not applicable) are aware and permit things to be in a grey area thus permitted.

      The Final Farewell tour, yes I get what your saying and in part I agree with it but even I was somewhat surprised when Phil himself confessed that his record company wouldn’t permit him to work with The to release a series of live recordings from that tour. I always thought Phil or his management were in charge of his destiny not his record company.

      If Phil / Record Co / Management were looking to please his mainstream audience then perhaps a rehash of Hits or Love Songs would have been more ideal, Again I refer to the fact I was told through sources that the B Sides and other materials that were once released back in time where going to be packaged up and released, seems the record company or someone else changed their mind.

      Going back to the movement, the management have released material that was once torrented on their and the owners / moderators have since had to remove it so I think the suggestion that the movement could be closed down is a little anxious.

      There is no negativity applied for no reason, the reason I shall give is there are plenty of people myself included who could have been drafted in to provide a much richer list of material that could be released rather than this collection of material.

      Regards – The Editor

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