Testify (Phil Collins album)

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Testify
Studio album by Phil Collins
Released 12 November 2002
Recorded 2000–2002 (Switzerland and United States)
Genre Pop rock
Length 57:16
Label Face Value / Atlantic
Producer Rob Cavallo
Phil Collins chronology
Tarzan: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack
(1999)
Testify
(2002)
Brother Bear: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack
(2003)
Singles from Testify
  1. "Can't Stop Loving You"
    Released: 28 October 2002
  2. "Come With Me"
    Released: 2003
  3. "Wake Up Call" / "The Least You Can Do"
    Released: 2003
  4. "You Touch My Heart"
    Released: 2005 (Promo for First Final Farewell Tour)

Testify is the seventh solo studio album and final album to feature original material by English singer-songwriter Phil Collins, before retiring in 2011. The album debuted at No. 30 on the American Billboard 200 albums chart, which was also the album's peak position. It was also the second Collins studio album where no track peaked within the American top 40 singles chart. It was also his lowest charting album in the UK, becoming his only solo effort not to reach the Top 5. However, the album achieved success in some countries of Continental Europe.

Meat Loaf's album Couldn't Have Said It Better was originally to be titled "Testify", but was retitled in anticipation of Collins' release.[citation needed]

Despite the shortage of success the album achieved, his subsequent First Final Farewell Tour proved to be very popular.[citation needed]

Production[edit]

Testify was crafted over a two-year period at Collins' home in Switzerland, and was recorded in France and Los Angeles. Most of the album's twelve tracks are derived from demos Collins made in his bedroom studio and finished off with the help of producers Rob Cavallo and James Sanger, engineer Allen Sides, guitarist Tim Pierce, and bassist Paul Bushnell. Collins worked extensively with computers during production, work that can be seen throughout the album. After Collins made Dance into the Light without any drum machine, he returned to the device for Testify.[1]

The album begins with an up-tempo "Wake Up Call". It was based on a 16-bar doodle Collins wrote, and only began to formalise when he brought it into studio. The title track, the longest and most complex sounding song on the album, is according to Collins "one of the most direct and most personal love songs I have ever written". Another up-tempo song, "Don't Get Me Started" follows a tradition of critical statements about politics and society Collins began with "That's Just the Way It Is", "Another Day in Paradise", and "Both Sides of the Story" in his previous albums.[1]

The soulful "It's Not Too Late" refers to lost faith in dreams – "It's never too late to make your dreams come true. We all should try it". "Driving Me Crazy" is another upbeat track. Collins said the song is about the narrow path between love and dangerous obsession.[1]

Songs such as the aforementioned "Testify" and "This Love This Heart" were inspired by Collins' then-wife, Orianne, while their first child, Nicholas, was the main inspiration for tracks "Come with Me" and "Swing Low". "Come with Me" was originally a lullaby Phil sang to his daughter Lily when she was a baby when on tour in 1990, Seriously Live! and the lyrics were developed when Nicholas was born.[1]

Collins collaborated with longtime associate, Daryl Stuermer, for "The Least You Can Do", providing the lyrics, arrangement and lead guitar on the track. It is followed by "Can't Stop Loving You", a cover of Leo Sayer's 1978 country hit. Collins heard the song on the radio and brought a modern feel to country song "I heard Leo Sayer's version of "Can’t Stop Loving You" on vacation and I was impressed by the fantastic melody. I have attempted to breathe new life into this song and change its feel." It was the first single off the album, hitting No. 1 in the Adult Contemporary Charts. The album ends with "Thru My Eyes" and "You Touch My Heart", another song inspired by his son. ("Thru My Eyes" is not to be confused with "Look Through My Eyes", a song recorded by Collins for the Brother Bear soundtrack in 2003.)[1]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 34/100[2]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[3]
Blender 2/5 stars[2]
E! Online C[2]
Mojo 1/5 stars[2]
People (mixed)[4]
Q 1/5 stars[2]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[5][6]
Uncut 1/5 stars[2]
USA Today 3/4 stars[7]

Aside from a smattering of reviews which wavered on ambivalence, the album was released to a generally scathing reception. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 34, based on 7 reviews, which makes it joint sixth on the site's worst ever reviewed albums.[2] The album debuted at No. 30 on the American Billboard Charts, which was also the album's peak position. To date, the album has peaked the lowest of his seven solo efforts. Following Dance into the Light it was the second Collins studio album where no track cracked the American Top 40 singles chart.

In the United Kingdom, it peaked at No. 15, his only solo album not to make the Top 5. It was, however, a much greater success in Continental Europe.

In France, the album even peaked at No. 2 in early 2003 and remained at that position for three weeks. It became his biggest-selling album since ...But Seriously.

In Australia, it went no higher than No. 96 in November 2002 on the ARIA Albums Chart.

The lead single from the album, "Can't Stop Loving You", had success on the Adult Contemporary charts and minor airplay overall. The single peaked at No. 76 on the Billboard charts while hitting No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary charts. Other singles, "Wake Up Call", "Come with Me" and "The Least You Can Do" did not enjoy much success either. The last single, "You Touch My Heart", was released in 2005.

Collins said at the time that this was to be his last studio album, but has since recorded a new CD entitled Going Back, a collection of covers of Motown and other soul songs. It was released on 13 September 2010.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Phil Collins, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Wake Up Call"   5:15
2. "Come with Me"   4:34
3. "Testify"   6:31
4. "Don't Get Me Started"   4:41
5. "Swing Low"   5:08
6. "It's Not Too Late"   3:59
7. "This Love This Heart"   4:04
8. "Driving Me Crazy"   4:37
9. "The Least You Can Do" (lyrics: Phil Collins, music: Daryl Stuermer) 4:21
10. "Can't Stop Loving You" (Billy Nicholls) 4:17
11. "Through My Eyes"   5:07
12. "You Touch My Heart"   4:42
Japanese and Australian editions
No. Title Length
13. "High Flying Angel"   4:44

B-sides[edit]

  • "Hey Now Sunshine"
  • "Tears of a Clown" (Re-recorded for Going Back in 2010)

Personnel[edit]

Production
  • Produced by Rob Cavallo
  • Engineered by Allen Sides
  • Assistant Engineers: Doug McKean & Rene Weis
  • Digital Editing: Doug McKean
  • Tracks #1-9,11 & 12 mixed by Allen Sides
  • Track #10 mixed by Tom Lord-Alge
  • Mastered by Bernie Grundman
  • Photography by Lorenzo Aguis & Norman Watson

Charts[edit]

Chart (2002) Peak
position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[8] 5
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[9] 11
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[10] 31
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[11] 2
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[12] 30
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[13] 3
Irish Albums (IRMA)[14] 30
Italian Albums (FIMI)[15] 16
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[16] 12
Spanish Albums (AFYVE)[17] 10
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[18] 4
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[19] 2
UK Albums (OCC)[20] 15
US Billboard 200[21] 30
Chart (2003) Peak
position
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[22] 3
French Albums (SNEP)[23] 2
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[24] 14


Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Austria (IFPI Austria)[25] Gold 25,000x
France (SNEP)[26] 2× Platinum 600,000*
Germany (BVMI)[27] 3x Gold 300,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[28] Platinum 80,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[29] Platinum 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[30] Platinum 40,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[31] Gold 100,000^
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[32] 1× Platinum 1,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e http://www.genesis-news.com/philcollins/reviews/testify_cd.htm
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Critic Reviews for Testify". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved 19 March 2009. 
  3. ^ Allmusic review
  4. ^ People review
  5. ^ "Testify". Rolling Stone. 5 November 2002. p. 92. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  6. ^ Rolling Stone review at CD Universe
  7. ^ USA Today review
  8. ^ "Phil Collins – Testify" (in German). Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  9. ^ "Phil Collins – Testify" (in Dutch). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  10. ^ "Top 40 Albums - 47 / 2002 - Hitlisten". Hitlisten.nu. Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  11. ^ "Phil Collins – Testify" (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  12. ^ "Phil Collins: Testify" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Top 100 Longplay". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  14. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 46, 2002". Chart-Track.co.uk. IRMA. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  15. ^ "Phil Collins – Testify". Italiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  16. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLIS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLiS. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  17. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). "Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002" (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  18. ^ "Phil Collins – Testify". Swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  19. ^ "Phil Collins – Testify". Swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  20. ^ "PHIL COLLINS | Artist | Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  21. ^ "Phil Collins Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for Phil Collins. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  22. ^ "Phil Collins – Testify" (in French). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  23. ^ "Phil Collins – Testify". Lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  24. ^ "Phil Collins – Testify". Norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  25. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Phil Collins – Testify" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved 25 July 2012.  Enter Phil Collins in the field Interpret. Enter Testify in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  26. ^ "French album certifications – Testify" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  27. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('Testify')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  28. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Phil Collins – Testify" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  29. ^ "Spanish album certifications – Testify" (PDF) (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España.  Select the "Chart", enter ' in the field "Year". Select ' in the field "Semana". Click on "Search Charts"
  30. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards ('Testify')". Hung Medien. 
  31. ^ "British album certifications – Phil Collins – Testify". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 25 July 2012.  Enter Testify in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  32. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 2002". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.