Phil Collins / Both Sides

Both Sides Of The Story (2015 Remastered)

Philip David CharlesPhilCollins LVO (born 30 January 1951) is an English singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, record producer and actor. He is known as the drummer and lead singer in the rock band Genesis and as a solo artist. Between 1983 and 1990, Collins scored three UK and seven US number-one singles in his solo career. When his work with Genesis, his work with other artists, as well as his solo career is totalled, Collins had more US Top 40 singles than any other artist during the 1980s. His most successful singles from the period include “In the Air Tonight“, “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)“, “One More Night“, “Sussudio” and “Another Day in Paradise“.

Collins’ discography includes eight studio albums that have sold 33.5 million certified units in the US and an estimated 150 million worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists. He is one of three recording artists, along with Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson, who have sold over 100 million records worldwide both as solo artists and separately as principal members of a band. He has won seven Grammy Awards, six Brit Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, an Academy Award, and a Disney Legend Award. In 1999, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010, and the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2012.Despite his commercial success and his status as a respected and influential drummer, music critics are divided in their opinion of his work and he has publicly received both criticism and praise from other prominent music artists.

Both Sides is the fifth solo studio album by English singer-songwriter Phil Collins. Featuring an adult-oriented soft rock based sound, the release came out in November 1993. Collins notably created the album entirely by himself without any collaborations from outside songwriters and performers, and he picked up mixed to positive critical reviews with the release, with Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic stating that the album’s “artistically satisfying” songs feature “troubled, haunting tales”

The Analysis—-

Both Sides Of The Story—-By far and away my favorite Phil Collins release, this track is a prime example of why. The faux bag pipe sounds…the introspective lyrics and the melancholy feel to the songs make this a personal masterpiece. Here Collins abandons the proven AOR recipe and makes a record that actually means something. While the tracks are sad in tone, you find an uplifting tone to the entire thing. This is wonderfully brilliant.

Can’t Turn Back The Years—-Perhaps embracing his own impending mortality at the time, Collins leads us on a journey that we have all taken from time to time. The wish to turn back time…erase mistakes…learn and make ourselves better people. I have nothing but respect for this song. At times, the sound is a bit too syrupy sweet….but the feeling the song projects overcomes the tone. The beautiful saxophone plays its own song…lending to the heaviness of the track.

Everyday—-Beginning with a wonderful sad piano, the song is another classic favorite of mine. This finds Phil at his best…actually singing about things that matter. The melody of the song enters and takes you on a journey that only piano Bruce Hornsby can project. This is a true love song…full of hurt….determination to survive…and the attempts to move on despite the sadness that weighs you down. This is melancholy at its best.

I’ve Forgotten Everything—-A deep mellow sound pervades the track aided by the slow and sad horn that introduces he very, very sedate vocal from Collins. This is a song that just about everyone can relate to….the passing of feelings that come flooding back because of a sight, a word or a smell. The beauty of this record is the damn relatability of it all….who can not understand these types of feelings?

We’re Sons Of Our Fathers—-Taking a break from the very heavy feel of the record, this track enters with a nice happy vibe that even the lyrics can not change. It is great song placement….breaking up the heaviness with a slight intermission. Collins even sounds lighter in voice and we are treated to more keyboard produced Scottish sounds that I just adore. A nice respite!

Can’t Find My Way—-With a really nice guitar intro, this track finds us falling back into a more introspective lean. Perhaps my least favorite track on this release…it sounds rather empty and contrived….it just never seems to meld with the music in the right way.

Survivors—-Beginning with a bit more bombastic feel and a nice sense of atmosphere, this track again, serves up a bit of hit and miss feel. I am still impressed by the vocal prowess of Collins at times….he reaches for higher registers. When the song finally opens up with the tambourines and the nice drum, the song becomes much larger than when it began……really nice.

We Fly So Close—-A slow Spanish style guitar begins the song playing a melody that is slightly familiar and comforting. The song dissolves into the predictably beautiful mellow feel that Collins has offered us on this release. If you feel sad…and you WANT to feel sad…this is a perfect release. The words are so brilliant and vivid…full of their own color and photos. This is a remarkable feat for a songwriter…you can actually form your own photo from someones words……magnificent.

There’s A Place For Us—-Full on 70’s style AOR produced music with horns and a need for constant rotation, this again takes you on a journey of melancholy….longing and want. Collins has a way of penning lyrics that few people have….every word is a photo in time…..YOUR TIME……miraculous.

We Wait And We Wonder—-This track is HUGE…from the intro snare drums to the faux bagpipes that blow out your speakers… the lyrics that leave you on the floor. There is not a single fault with this song…..PEOPLE….this is perfect! I can’t find anymore words that fir it better.

Please Come Out Tonight—- Wrapping up this journey much in the vein it began, I always feel I have learnt something about myself every listen I give this. It always causes me to reflect, introspect and listen to my inner voices. That is what music is all about. This is a genius release!

*****out of 5



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