Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Phil Collins 2: Hello, I Must Be Going!

This was the part of music history where it began to become impossible to avoid hearing Phil Collins. Months after touring behind the last Genesis album, he was back working on his second solo album. Hello, I Must Be Going! went further to establish him as Mr. Entertainment, balancing shameless pop with more substantial material, sometimes with the speed of a ping-pong match.
“Those drums” begin the album, as “I Don’t Care Anymore” angrily throws boxes all over the place. Then it’s a major mood swing to the horns-heavy “I Cannot Believe It’s True”, one of several songs that does not need to exceed five minutes but does anyway. Successful despite itself is “Like China”, a terrific, almost sweet tune not ruined by his Cockney accent. “Do You Know, Do You Care?” goes back to the darker sound, with those drums again, angry vocals and guitars used like loops. Amazingly, and a sad commentary on the record-buying public, his too-cute cover of the Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love” became a massive hit, hyped by yet another promo video wherein he played all the parts.
Keeping things upbeat, “It Don’t Matter To Me” layers extremely syncopated horns over a very simple sequence. “Thru These Walls” begins in “In The Air Tonight” territory, right down to similar scenes in the video, but he errs too far on the side of creepy. Then it’s back to the ultra-sweet “Don’t Let Him Steal Your Heart Away”, which relies solely on voice, piano, guitar, bass, drums, and strings to convey the equally simple sentiment. Right out of nowhere comes “The West Side”, a near-fusion instrumental that still manages to clear the palette for “Why Can’t It Wait ‘Til Morning”, which displays his uncanny ability to write heartbreakers.
Ultimately, Hello, I Must Be Going! is a better album than Face Value, mostly because it was designed as an album, rather than a collection of enhanced demos. He even took it on his first solo tour, yet the eventual expanded reissue offers only a handful of tunes from that era (including covers of “It’s Alright” and “People Get Ready”), along with performances from later tours. Two demos cap the Hello! Extras disc, wherein we can hear him “doo-doo” and “no-no” his way through the yet-to-be-completed lyrics for “Do You Know, Do You Care?” and “Don’t Let Him Steal Your Heart Away”.

Phil Collins Hello, I Must Be Going! (1982)—3
2016 “Take A Look At Me Now” edition: same as 1982, plus 11 extra tracks

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