Both Sides

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Both Sides
Both Sides (Phil Collins).jpg
Studio album by
Released8 November 1993 (UK)[1]
Recorded1992–1993, Collins's 12 track home studio.
LabelVirgin (UK and Ireland)
Atlantic (US and Canada)
WEA (Rest of the world)
ProducerPhil Collins
Phil Collins chronology
Serious Hits... Live!
Both Sides
Dance into the Light
Singles from Both Sides
  1. "Both Sides of the Story"
    Released: 18 October 1993
  2. "Everyday"
    Released: 27 January 1994
  3. "We Wait and We Wonder"
    Released: 29 April 1994
  4. "Can't Turn Back the Years"
    Released: 1994 (Promo)[2]
Alternative cover
2016 reissue cover
2016 reissue cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[3]
Entertainment WeeklyB− link
Goldmine3.5/5 stars link
The Irish News4/5 stars link
PopMatters6/10 stars link
Powermetal.de9/10 link
Rolling Stone2.5/5 stars link
Scunthorpe Telegraph10/10[4]

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".[3]

The album achieved commercial success, reaching  No.  1 in the U.K.,  No.  8 in Australia, and  No.  13 in the U.S. Collins also went on the highly successful Both Sides of the World Tour upon its release. That effort involved over a hundred performances in a tour that went over a year,[5] and it showed that he remained a very popular live performer worldwide, despite the shifts in the Anglo-American musical landscape taking place.

A special two-disc edition of the album featuring the Live from the Board – Official Bootleg EP[6] as a second disc,[7] titled Far Side... of the World: Gold Souvenir Tour Edition after the final leg of the Both Sides tour, was released in Southeast Asia and Australia in 1995. It peaked at  No.  13 in Australia.[8]

A newly remastered, two-disc deluxe edition of the album was released on 29 January 2016, as part of the Take a Look at Me Now series of Collins's studio album reissues.[9]


Both Sides was notable for the fact that Collins made it entirely on his own, without usual collaborators producer Hugh Padgham, guitarist Daryl Stuermer, bassist Leland Sklar and the Phenix Horns. After recording demos at home, the album was finished in just six weeks at the Farm with the help of producer/engineer Paul Gomersall. For the first and only time in his career, Collins played all the instruments himself as well as taking care of the primary production duties. In addition, Collins wrote sleeve notes explaining the meaning of each song, another first.

Collins claims this album to be his favorite. "Both Sides is my favorite album, from a songwriting and creative perspective. It was very much a solo album. I played everything, the songs just streamed out of me, and as a writer that's the kind of thing that you dream of," said Collins in 2016.[10] It was also written in response to the failure of his marriage to second wife Jill Tavelman. "It was the second divorce! Personal relationships at that time were tangled, is a better way of saying it, and it all came very spontaneously," he said.[10] As a result, it is seen as his most personal album. "In the end I had 17 songs, and kicked out all those that did not fit that mood. As far as performance is concerned this has more heart and soul than anything I have done before."[11]

Collins expresses both his feelings and personal problems and addresses political issues over the course of the album. He touches on politics and "the daily cloud of terrorism Britain seems to live under" on "We Wait and We Wonder", as well as a maturing disenchantment with the youth culture on "We're Sons of Our Fathers". The overall sound of Both Sides marked a return to the dark and melancholy style of his early albums Face Value and Hello, I Must Be Going!, which were largely grounded on the themes of relationship breakdown and loss. Mirroring the circumstances in which those albums were conceived, Collins' marriage to Jill Tavelman was also failing around the time that Both Sides was written. About the influence of his emotions on his songs he adds: "I have reached this point. Very intimate, very private songs seem to flow easily. I suddenly felt I had a lot to say."[11]

Critical response[edit]

Both Sides was initially met with lukewarm reviews, particularly on adult contemporary radio, being criticised for its over-reliance on slow, dark and downbeat songs. The album was preceded by the title track as the first single, reaching No. 7 in the UK and only No. 25 in the U.S. (in a disappointing chart performance considering the lead singles from his two previous albums were No. 1 hits in America). The album itself was released weeks later only reaching to No. 13 in the U.S., though it still went platinum there. Both Sides was a hit in other European countries such as the UK (where it was the 8th biggest-selling album of 1993, despite only being available for the final eight weeks of the year), Germany or Switzerland, reaching No. 1 all over Europe, but with a limited success, due to the lack of hit singles. The ballad "Everyday", released in early 1994, was another Top 20 hit in the UK, peaking at No. 15, and became the biggest hit single from the album in the U..S, reaching No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 on the Adult Contemporary chart. The third and last single, "We Wait and We Wonder" — a political anthem on which Collins plays bagpipes — reached only No. 45 in the UK.

However, over time the album's reputation improved, and reviews for the 2016 reissue were considerably more positive, AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine rated it 4 out of 5 stars and commended Collins' stepping out of big pop hooks and embracing an introspective art rock style for this album, which he saw as "quietly compelling". On Goldmine magazine's review, Patrick Prince gave the album 3.5 stars, praising the melancholic style of the album as a welcome return to material similar to Face Value, although he criticized the ballads "Everyday" and "There’s a Place For Us", saying they are "as bad as any sappy movie soundtrack cut ready to be forgotten".

Track listing[edit]

All songs written, performed and produced by Phil Collins. All instruments except the drum machine were played live.

1."Both Sides of the Story"6:42
2."Can't Turn Back the Years"4:40
4."I've Forgotten Everything"5:15
5."We're Sons of Our Fathers"6:24
6."Can't Find My Way"5:09
8."We Fly So Close"7:33
9."There's a Place for Us"6:52
10."We Wait and We Wonder"7:01
11."Please Come Out Tonight"5:46

Unreleased tracks[edit]

Several instrumental tracks were recorded and subsequently released as extra tracks on both singles for "Everyday" and "We Wait and We Wonder". These instrumental tracks include "Rad Dudeski" and "Don't Call Me Ashley". In addition, there were other various B-sides that were released from the Both Sides sessions ("Take Me with You", "For a Friend") and a few cover songs that made it on other various albums.

There has been discussion about a song called "Deep Water Town". It is from the Both Sides sessions and did not make the cut. It was never released or widely circulated amongst collectors. A very early "demo" of it was released on the official fanclub in 2011. In fact, this is more of an improvisation from which only a bit of the chorus will make it to the completed track. This completed track features an atmospheric drum machine, keyboard sounds (no piano) and vocals by Collins telling a story about a disaster at sea and families left behind.

In November 2004, Collins himself commented on the song on the forum of his old official website: "DEEP WATER TOWN...again I scratch my head and ask how did someone get it... I don't think it was ever released, or am I going slowly senile. It was a pretty song about a disaster at sea, and the families left behind. Obviously one of my more cheerful pre-divorce moments. Circa Both Sides...."[12]

The Both Sides of the World Tour[edit]

Although Both Sides failed to reach the same heights as ...But Seriously and No Jacket Required, the supporting tour was a huge success. A mammoth 13-month tour, which saw over 150 performances over 6 continents, The Both Sides of the World Tour proved Collins to still be one of the most popular artists in the World.



All instruments performed by Phil Collins.


  • Produced by Phil Collins
  • Engineered by Paul Gomersall
  • Assistant engineer: Mark Robinson
  • Recorded at home on 12 tk (PC engineering) with additional overdubs recorded at The Farm (Surrey, England)
  • Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering (Portland, Maine, USA)
  • Continuous surveillance by Geoff Callingham and Mike Bowen
  • Cover photography by Trevor Key
  • Artwork: Hills Archer Ink

Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ "BPI > Certified Awards > Search results for Phil Collins (page 2)". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  2. ^ Phil Collins "Can't Turn Back the Years" at Discogs
  3. ^ a b Both Sides at AllMusic. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  4. ^ F, Nigel (25 January 2016). "CD REVIEWS: Phil Collins, Old Dominion, Sarah Blasko, Frokedal & Balsamo Deighton". Scunthorpe Telegraph. Retrieved 25 January 2016.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Paul Cashmere (13 May 2015). "Phil Collins Starts Work On Catalogue Remasters". Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Phil Collins - Live From The Board - Official Bootleg (CD)". Discogs. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Phil Collins Far Side Of The World Tour '95 Australian 2 CD album set (Double CD) (42406)". Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  8. ^ " - Phil Collins - Far Side... Of The World". Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  9. ^ a b Sinclair, Paul. "Phil Collins / Face Value and Both Sides deluxe reissue details". Super Deluxe Edition. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Phil Collins webchat – your questions answered on prog rock, self-doubt and Miami Vice | Music". The Guardian. 19 October 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  11. ^ a b Genesis News Com [it]: Phil Collins – Both Sides – CD review. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  12. ^ "Turn it on Again- A Genesis Forum - PC's Forum Messages 2004 to 2006". Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  13. ^ " – Phil Collins – Both Sides". Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  14. ^ " – Phil Collins – Both Sides" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  15. ^ " – Phil Collins – Both Sides" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  16. ^ " – Phil Collins – Both Sides" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  17. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Library and Archives Canada. 31 March 2004. Archived from the original on 14 March 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  18. ^ "BILLBOARD MAGAZINE: 1936 to 2010 Searchable". Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  19. ^ " – Phil Collins – Both Sides" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  20. ^ source: Pennanen, Timo: Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972. Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava, 2006. ISBN 9789511210535. page: 280
  21. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les "Chart Runs" des Albums classés depuis 1985 dans le Top Albums Officiel". InfoDisk. SNEP. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  22. ^ " – Top 100 Longplay". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  23. ^ "Top 40 album DVD és válogatáslemez-lista – 2016. 7. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  24. ^ "Gli album più venduti del 1993" (in Italian). Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  25. ^ "ORICON NEWS|最新情報を発信する総合トレンドメディア". Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  26. ^ " – Phil Collins – Both Sides". Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  27. ^ " – Phil Collins – Both Sides". Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  28. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. 2 April 1993. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  29. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  30. ^ " – Phil Collins – Both Sides". Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  31. ^ " – Phil Collins – Both Sides". Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  32. ^ November 1993/7502/ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  33. ^ "Phil Collins Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  34. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  35. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Phil Collins – Both Sides" (in German). IFPI Austria. Enter Phil Collins in the field Interpret. Enter Both Sides in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen. 
  36. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – albums 1994". Ultratop. Hung Medien.
  37. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Phil Collins – Both Sides" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos.
  38. ^ "Danish album certifications – Phil Collins – Both Sides". IFPI Denmark. Scroll through the page-list below to obtain certification.
  39. ^ "French album certifications – Phil Collins – Both Sides" (in French). InfoDisc. Select PHIL COLLINS and click OK. 
  40. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Phil Collins; 'Both Sides')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  41. ^ "Italian album certifications – Phil Collins – Both Sides" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 25 July 2012. Select "Tutti gli anni" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Both Sides" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Album e Compilation" under "Sezione".
  42. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Phil Collins – Both Sides" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  43. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Phil Collins – Both Sides" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 5 October 2012. Enter Both Sides in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  44. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Phil Collins – Both Sides". Recorded Music NZ.
  45. ^ "Norwegian album certifications – Phil Collins – Both Sides" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway.
  46. ^ "Portuguese album certifications – Phil Collins – Both Sides" (in Portuguese). Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa.
  47. ^ "Spanish album certifications – Phil Collins – Both Sides" (PDF) (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Select album under "Chart", enter the certification year in the field "Year". Select the certification week in the field "Semana". Click on "Search Charts".
  48. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden.
  49. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Phil Collins; 'Both Sides')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien.
  50. ^ "British album certifications – Both Sides of the Story". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Both Sides of the Story in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  51. ^ "American album certifications – Both Sides". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.