The British singer/songwriter/drummer has been relatively quiet since 2002’s Testify, his last album of new material. There was a tour with Genesis in 2007 (which coincided with an extensive reissue campaign of its own) and the aforementioned Going Back, 2010’s Motown covers album. But Collins has been relatively quiet since then, battling health problems that kept him from playing his drum kit properly and donating his extensive collection of artifacts from The Alamo to the state of Texas.
Things started to change when Rhino announced earlier this year that Warner Music had signed a global catalogue agreement with Collins (previously, his works, the masters of which he controls, were split between Warner-controlled Atlantic in the States and Virgin in the U.K.), planning an extensive reissue campaign of his eight studio albums. The first two, 1981’s Face Value and 1993’s Both Sides, will hit stores on November 6.
Plans for the “Take a Look At Me Now” campaign seem slightly thematic: Face Value and Both Sides were both deeply personal albums that kicked off new decades in Collins’ career.
Face Value, released nearly two weeks after Collins’ 30th birthday (and a year after Genesis’ Duke, their second album as a trio and birth of their “pop” period), introduced Collins’ decade-defining sound. Collins and co-producer/engineer Hugh Padgham expanded on their work on Peter Gabriel’s “Intruder,” punctuating tracks with sharp, gated reverb-heavy drums and blasts from Earth, Wind & Fire’s Phenix Horns section. Lead single “In the Air Tonight,” which like many of the tracks dealt with Collins’ divorce at the time, topped the charts in several countries and has become one of Collins’ signature songs, along with killer cuts “I Missed Again” and “If Leaving Me is Easy.”
Twelve years later, Both Sides came after Collins dominated the ’80s as frontman and producer of everyone from Adam Ant to Eric Clapton. A new decade had dawned, and many stars of the ’80s had difficulty adjusting to the new sonic landscape dominated by newer, harder rock. Collins, then, would flush his own format, writing, performing and producing the entire record himself and drawing inspiration from not only another failed marriage but the changing world political scene and the ensuing moodiness he felt therein. Both Sides did not match its predecessors in terms of chart success, but the ensuing tour was a commercial sensation.
Collins has been very hands-on in the production of these reissues, selecting the bonus material himself and hiring Nick Davis (who remastered and remixed the Genesis catalogue in 2007) to newly remaster the original albums. He’s also participated in new artwork for the “Take a Look At Me Now” campaign, recreating the original album sleeves with brand-new photography.
The bonus discs for both reissues (and the others to follow) focus primarily on live material, to “demonstrate how Collins’ songs take on a life of their own once they’re freed from the confines of the studio,” with select demos and B-sides to complement the bonus discs.
“I’ve always been quite proud of my demos and have often made them available as B-sides, but with a few exceptions, I have avoided including those on these collections,” Collins said in a statement. “Instead, I’ve focused on how nicely the songs developed when played on stage, rather than showing how they originated.”
The reissues will be available as 2CD and digital sets with bonus material and straight 180-gram vinyl reissues (single-LP for Face Value and double LP for Both Sides). Both physical formats will also be packaged together in a box set with space for the six additional, forthcoming reissues: Hello, I Must Be Going! (1982), No Jacket Required (1985), But Seriously… (1989), Dance Into the Light (1996), Testify (2002) and Going Back (2010).
Just below, you’ll find the track lists for the first set of reissues plus pre-order links!
Phil Collins, Face Value: Deluxe Edition (Atlantic/Rhino, 2015)
Disc 1: remastered original LP (Virgin V-2185 (U.K.)/Atlantic SD-16029 (U.S.), 1981)
- In the Air Tonight
- This Must Be Love
- Behind the Lines
- The Roof is Leaking
- Hand in Hand
- I Missed Again
- You Know What I Mean
- Thunder and Lightning
- I’m Not Moving
- If Leaving Me is Easy
- Tomorrow Never Knows
Disc 2: Bonus tracks
- Misunderstanding (Live)
- If Leaving Me is Easy (Live) *
- In the Air Tonight (Live) *
- Behind the Lines (Live) *
- The Roof is Leaking (Live) *
- Hand in Hand (Live) *
- I Missed Again (Live) *
- …And So to F (Live) *
- This Must Be Love (Demo) *
- Please Don’t Ask (Demo) *
- Misunderstanding (Demo) *
- Against All Odds (Take a Look At Me Now) (Demo)
Phil Collins, Both Sides: Deluxe Edition (Atlantic/Rhino, 2015)
Disc 1: remastered original LP (Virgin V-2800 (U.K.)/Atlantic 82550 (U.S.), 1993)
- Both Sides of the Story
- Can’t Turn Back the Years
- I’ve Forgotten Everything
- We’re Sons of Our Fathers
- Can’t Find My Way
- We Fly So Close
- There’s a Place for Us
- We Wait and We Wonder
- Please Come Out Tonight
Disc 2: Bonus tracks
- Take Me with You (U.K. B-side to “We Wait and We Wonder” – Virgin VSCDX 1510, 1994)
- Both Sides of the Story (Live) *
- Can’t Turn Back the Years (Live) *
- Survivors (Live) *
- Everyday (Live) *
- We Wait and We Wonder (Live) *
- Can’t Find My Way (Demo) *
- I’ve Been Trying (from A Tribute to Curtis Mayfield – Warner Bros. 45500, 1994)
- Both Sides of the Story (Demo) (U.K. B-side to “Both Sides of the Story” – Virgin VSCDT 1500, 1993)
- Hero (Demo) (U.K. B-side to “We Wait and We Wonder” – Virgin VSCDG 1510, 1994)
* unreleased material