Going Back (album)
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|Studio album by Phil Collins|
|Released||13 September 2010|
|Genre||Pop, soul, R&B|
|Phil Collins chronology|
|Singles from Going Back|
Going Back is Phil Collins's eighth studio album. It was released on 13 September 2010 in the United Kingdom and 28 September 2010 in the United States, and features covers of 60s Motown & Soul standards. It also was his first full solo release in eight years, Collins having primarily concentrated on soundtracks, compilations, and his extensive touring as a solo artist and with Genesis.
Collins has previously recorded and performed covers of Motown songs in his career. Most famously, his cover of "You Can't Hurry Love" reached number one on the UK charts in 1983. In addition, the Motown-esque "Two Hearts", written in collaboration with Motown songwriter Lamont Dozier appeared on the original soundtrack album from Collins' 1988 film Buster, and Smokey Robinson & The Miracles' "Tears of a Clown" appeared as a B-side on the 2003 single "The Least You Can Do", and a live version of "My Girl" first appeared on the Japanese release Live from the Board in 1995 and later on the 2004 album Love Songs: A Compilation... Old and New. There are two editions of the album; one with 18 tracks and a limited Going Back Ultimate Edition 25-track CD/29-song DVD set. Amazon.com also has an exclusive CD-R 25-track release. iTunes has an enhanced iTunes LP HD format release featuring 26 audio tracks, a music video and other enhanced content. The album was promoted with a series of live shows in the summer of 2010.
Collins indicated in interviews that Going Back would most likely be his final project, and that he was considering retirement from music permanently. This was confirmed in 2011, making Going Back Collins' final work.
Collins reported losing his hearing in his right ear in 2000, and in 2003 announced his last solo tour. He called it the "First Final Farewell Tour", a tongue-in-cheek reference to the multiple farewell tours of other popular artists.
Since releasing his seventh solo album Testify in 2002, Collins wrote the music for Brother Bear and a Broadway production of Tarzan. He remarked in several interviews during this time that he was in semi-retirement and even retired from recording music at one stage. Turn It On Again: The Tour with Genesis in 2007 included Collins on drums and vocals, but involved no new music or songwriting.
In September 2009, it was reported that Collins could no longer play drums, due to a recent operation to repair dislocated vertebrae in his neck. However, a statement from Collins on the Genesis band website said, "There isn't any drama regarding my 'disability' and playing drums. Somehow, during the last Genesis tour, I dislocated some vertebrae in my upper neck and that affected my hands. After a successful operation on my neck, my hands still can't function normally. Maybe in a year or so it will change, but for now it is impossible for me to play drums or piano. I am not in any 'distressed' state, stuff happens in life."
Despite these statements of retirement and the effects from his spinal operation, it was reported in October 2009 that Collins was to record a Motown covers album. He told a German newspaper, "I want the songs to sound exactly like the originals", and that the album would feature up to 30 songs.
At the press release, Collins said the idea behind the album was "not to bring anything 'new' to these already great records, but to try to recreate the sounds and feelings that I had when I first heard them. My intention was to make an 'old' record, not a 'new' record".
Bob Babbitt, Eddie Willis and Ray Monette were the musicians during recording. The three were a part of the famous The Funk Brothers, session musicians who played on several Motown recordings from 1959 until 1972. The album was recorded in Geneva, Switzerland, under the sound engineering of Yvan Bing. Work began on overdubbing 25 songs for the album on 11 January and finished on 20 January. Collins said of having the Funk Brothers available to play on the album, "To be able to have three of the surviving Funk Brothers play on all the tracks was unbelievable. There was one moment when they were tracking 'Heat Wave' that I experienced a wave of happiness and wonder that this was actually happening to me!".
In January 2010, Chester Thompson said that the album had been completed and would be released some time soon. He also revealed that Collins managed to play the drums on the album despite the adverse effects of his recent spinal operation. Collins confirmed he had to tape drumsticks to his hands to play. Bob Babbitt on his forum stated that the album would be released in September, and confirmed that a filmed showcase would take place in Europe and the US during the summer.
Speaking at the 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, where Genesis were inductees, Collins said of the album: "You know, I mean, I started it for fun, really, and just chose all the Motown songs, the darker songs that I liked, the lesser known ones. And I ended up with about 40 of them and finished, I’ve actually finished about 29 of them".
Until early 2010, the album was going to be called 18 Good Reasons with the album cover stylised to recall the Motown era. But the chance discovery of a photograph of 13-year-old Collins playing drums in the Getty Images library caused a change in direction, resulting in the album being called Going Back. In an interview on Today in September 2010, Collins noted he actually had to pay for use of the picture of himself as the cover image.
Promotion and singles
On 10 April 2010 the Phil Collins website was back up and running in anticipation of the album. The site was previously shut down in 2008. The first release of the recordings, "Too Many Fish in the Sea" was given free to new users who signed up to the relaunched website. The title track, "Going Back" started to receive airplay in May and was streamed online on Collins's website soon after.
Collins decided to perform a series of live shows in the summer to promote Going Back. "Up Close & Personal: Phil Collins Plays 60's Motown & Soul" was exclusively devoted to the music from the new album and were not part of an upcoming world tour. The first of these shows were announced on 14 April, to take place at New York's Roseland Ballroom for three nights from 23 to 25 June. Two nights in Philadelphia were then added to the list. On 29 April, it was confirmed that Collins was to be part of the opening night of 2010 Montreux Jazz Festival. Two days later, it was announced that Phil Collins would perform a one-off show in London on 28 June 2010. This show was broadcast live on ITV1 18 September 2010.
|20 June||Electric Factory||Philadelphia||United States|
|21 June||Electric Factory||Philadelphia||United States|
|23 June||Roseland Ballroom||New York||United States|
|24 June||Roseland Ballroom||New York||United States|
|25 June||Roseland Ballroom||New York||United States|
|28 June||Phil Collins...For One Night Only||London||England|
|1 July||Montreux Jazz Festival||Montreux||Switzerland|
Collins was supported by an 18 piece band for the brief six show tour. The band included Funk Brothers bassist Bob Babbitt, guitarists Eddie Willis & Ray Monette, Genesis touring musicians Daryl Stuermer on guitar and drummer Chester Thompson, a five-piece horn section, six back-up singers (Amy Keys, Lamont Van Hooke, Lynne Fiddmont-Linsey, Connie Jackson-Comegys, Terron Brooks and Bill Cantos), percussionist/vocalist Leslie Smith and keyboardist Brad Cole.
Andy Greene, of Rolling Stone, wrote of the final show in New York; "It's very hard not to come off like a glorified wedding band when you play a two-hour concert comprised entirely of Motown and soul covers, but last night in New York, Phil Collins pulled it off".
Towards of the last show of the brief tour at Montreux, record producer Quincy Jones appeared on stage to praise Collins as sounding as if he was from the "south side of Chicago," while Montreux festival founder Claude Nobs said: "He was magnificent. There was a lot of emotion and sincerity. And it's only the beginning of the festival."  Collins admitted himself that performing these songs was terrifying; "Numbers like 'Dancing in the Street' are among the greatest singles ever made, but doing them live was terrifying."
Bob Babbitt confirmed that a live DVD of the last show at the Roseland Ballroom in New York was recorded for a release later in the year.
Both "(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave" and the title track "Going Back" were confirmed as single releases from the album. On 31 July 2010, Atlantic Records unveiled the music video to support "(Love Is Like a) Heatwave". On 24 August 2010, a music video for "Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue)" was released on Phil Collins's official YouTube Channel, confirming it as the next single to be released from the album.
|Los Angeles Times||Positive|
Initial reception to the album has been mixed, as Metacritic gave it a score of 53 out of 100. David Sheppard of BBC Music said "So faithfully have Collins and his confreres recreated the Sound of Young America – shimmering tambourines drowning out drums, bass compressed to a fat, distorted throb – that it's hard not to be swept along". The album was also featured as BBC Radio 2's "Album of the Week" on 4 September 2010.
Martin Townsend of the Daily Express stated "You have to take your hat off to Phil Collins. Expressing the refreshingly modest desire to make an “old-sounding” album of cover versions the 59-year-old singer zips through a selection of mostly-Motown classics like Jimmy Mack and Uptight with the verve energy and wit of a man reborn."
Jack Foley of IndieLondon gave it 3 out of 5 stars, adding "The resulting album is as heartfelt and faithfully recreated as you might expect from an artist of Collins’ calibre...". Donald Gibson of SeattlePI said that "Going Back is an homage, plain and simple, with which Collins honors the songwriters, musicians, and vocalists who inspired him to pursue his own musical path as a young man."
Graeme Thomson of Uncut was not so impressed, giving the album 2 stars out of 5 and stating "You can’t fault the raw material, but Collins brings nothing new to these songs. If you have an overpowering desire to hear him gamely plough through renditions of "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" and "Uptight", step aboard. For anyone else, Going Back is a heartfelt but pointless exercise in ersatz soul." Terry Staunton of the British music magazine Record Collector is even more negative, defining the album a set "of 60s soul covers of baffling irrelevance" and wondering "what possible use could anyone have for weedy-voiced faded Xeroxes of songs readily available in their wondrously uplifting original form?"
Ross Bennett of Mojo gave the album 3 stars out of 5 and wrote "...all are faithful reproductions of the originals. The likes of "Uptight", "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" and "Jimmy Mack" capture the exuberance of those '60s sides, but the slower ballads – particularly "Blame It on the Sun" and a desperately cloying "Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer" – are plain dreary."
Legendary Motown songwriter and producer Lamont Dozier hailed Going Back; "Recording an album of Motown covers can be tricky, but I have to say this album has exceeded my expectations. Phil Collins has truly given us the real thing vocally, instrumentally, and production-wise... It's spectacular, making it impossible to pick a favorite because they're all masterfully done."
Going Back debuted at No.1 in the Dutch Album Charts for the week ending 18 September 2010.
Going Back reached No.1 in the UK Album charts for the week ending 23 September 2010. It was his first UK No.1 in 12 years (...Hits) and his first UK No.1 in 17 years (Both Sides) counting only albums with new material.
|1.||"Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue)"||Norman Whitfield, Edward Holland, Jr.||2:32|
|2.||"(Love Is Like a) Heatwave"||Holland-Dozier-Holland||2:53|
|3.||"Uptight (Everything's Alright)"||Stevie Wonder, Sylvia Moy, Henry Cosby||3:03|
|4.||"Some of Your Lovin'"||Gerry Goffin, Carole King||3:19|
|5.||"In My Lonely Room"||Holland-Dozier-Holland||2:25|
|6.||"Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me for a Little While)"||Holland-Dozier-Holland||2:59|
|7.||"Blame It on the Sun"||Wonder, Syreeta Wright||3:27|
|8.||"Papa Was a Rolling Stone"||Whitfield, Barrett Strong||6:44|
|9.||"Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer"||Wonder, Wright||2:59|
|10.||"Standing in the Shadows of Love"||Holland-Dozier-Holland||2:42|
|11.||"Do I Love You"||Peter Anders, Phil Spector, Vincent Poncia Jr.||2:50|
|13.||"Something About You"||Holland-Dozier-Holland||2:47|
|14.||"Love Is Here and Now You're Gone"||Holland-Dozier-Holland||2:40|
|15.||"Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever"||Ivy Jo Hunter, Wonder||2:48|
|16.||"Going to a Go-Go"||Warren Moore, William Robinson, Jr., Robert Rogers, Marvin Tarplin||2:49|
|17.||"Talkin About My Baby"||Curtis Mayfield||2:47|
|18.||"Going Back"||Goffin, King||4:36|
The Ultimate Edition
Expanded 25-Track CD
The 7 Bonus Tracks on the CD are:
- "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" (Whitfield/Holland) – 2:42
- "You've Been Cheatin'" (Mayfield) – 2:35
- "Don't Look Back" (Robinson/Ronald White) – 3:06
- "You Really Got a Hold on Me" (Robinson) – 3:07
- "Ain't That Peculiar" (Robinson/Tarplin/White) – 3:05
- "Nowhere to Run" (Holland–Dozier–Holland) – 3:06
- "Dancing in the Street" (Hunter/William "Mickey" Stevenson/Marvin Gaye) – 2:44
iTunes has a Digital Download Deluxe Version in the "iTunes LP" HD format which contains 26 (of the 29) audio songs plus the music video for "(Love Is Like a) Heatwave". The "iTunes LP" HD format contains complete song lyrics and a Digital Photo Gallery.
The Ultimate Edition
DVD Bonus Tracks
In addition to the expanded 25-track CD, the DVD contains the complete Going Back Session Recordings – all 29 tracks which can be transferred to your PC as either WAV or mp3 (320kbit/s) files.
The 4 Bonus Tracks on the DVD are:
- "Too Many Fish in the Sea" (Whitfield/Holland) – 2:31
- "You Keep Me Hangin' On" (Holland–Dozier–Holland) (This track also an iTunes Digital Bonus Track) – 2:58
- "Tears of a Clown" (Robinson/Wonder/Hank Cosby) – 3:00
- "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby" (Whitfield/Strong/Janie Bradford) – 3:07
You can also play all 29 tracks with a different replica 7" Vinyl Record sleeve presented for each track.
The DVD also contains the following Video Materials:
Going Back ... The Home Movie – 87 minute documentary narrated by Phil Collins
A Conversation With Phil Collins – 22 minute documentary includes on-camera Phil Collins interview plus behind-the-scenes and additional interviews with other participants.
"(Love Is Like a) Heatwave" – Music Video
"Going Back" – Music Video
A retailer-exclusive version of Going Back was offered at Best Buy in the United States. This includes an additional DVD containing only a 30-minute interview with Phil Collins. The DVD is packaged with the CD in a special 2-disc jewel case, and is apparently the only version of the album with a bonus disc being sold at US retail stores. Other versions containing the bonus tracks and the DVD described above can still be ordered online at the official Phil Collins website by US customers. While versions of the album including the bonus tracks and video material listed above do not appear to be available at any retail store, they are available via online retailers, like Amazon.com.
Collins has previously recorded two of the extra tracks found on the "Ultimate Edition" DVD. "Tears of a Clown" was recorded as a B-side in 2002. In addition, he recorded "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby" as a duet with The Manhattan Transfer on their 1995 album Tonin'. Both these tracks were newly recorded for Going Back.
- Phil Collins – drums, vocals
- Daryl Stuermer – guitars
- Chester Thompson – drums
- Ray Monette – guitar
- Eddie Willis – guitar
- Bob Babbitt – bass
- Ronnie Caryl – acoustic guitar
- Brad Cole – keyboards
- Connie Jackson-Comegys – backing vocals
- Lynne Fiddmont-Linsey – backing vocals
- Jason Rebello – piano, vibes
- John Aram – trombone, handclaps, fingersnaps
- Guy Barker – trumpet
- Tom Rees-Roberts – trumpet
- Phil Todd – baritone saxophone, flute, piccolo
- Graeme Blevins – tenor saxophone
- Menhuin Academy – strings
- Celeste-Marie Roy – bassoon
- Yvan Bing – master engineer
Charts and sales
Science & Faith by The Script
|UK Albums Chart number-one album
26 September 2010
Science & Faith by The Script
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