The Take a Look At Me Now campaign has featured reissues of all of Collins’ solo albums, each with a disc of bonus material personally selected by Collins, featuring mostly unreleased demos and live material.
While Collins’ participation has added some panache to the whole proceedings, with his creative album cover reshoots only recently going viral, some fans have been rightly perplexed as to what was left off from the campaign. To wit, the voluminous B-sides and demos released through various singles over the years remain unaccounted for, as well as a handful of non-LP hits like “Against All Odds (Take a Look At Me Now),” for which the campaign was named; “Separate Lives,” a duet with Marilyn Martin from the White Nights soundtrack; and even Collins’ contributions to Buster, his own starring role. One can only hope Collins and Rhino may head back to the vaults in the future for a more comprehensive compilation covering those routes.
In any case, Collins ends the campaign–for now, with a memoir planned in October–with some of his strongest (or, at the very least, most interesting) work on record. Collins’ fourth album …But Seriously had the thankless task of following up No Jacket Required, which sold more than 25 million copies across the globe, won three Grammy Awards and two BRIT Awards, and spawned four Top 10 hits in America. In the four years since, Collins had seemingly done it all, drumming at both Live Aid concerts (with the help of a Concorde jet), producing rock artists like Eric Clapton, and rejoining Genesis for one of their most popular albums, 1986’s Invisible Touch.
…But Seriously tackled weighty political issues, including homelessness, apartheid and other global crises. Collins and longtime producer Hugh Padgham sought a slightly more organic sound, moving away from drum machines and synthesizers, and invited a host of guests including Clapton, David Crosby, Steve Winwood and bassists Pino Palladino and Leland Sklar. …But Seriously was also a success on its own, topping the charts in 13 countries, selling more than 4 million copies in the U.S. and spinning off four U.S. Top 10 hits (the chart-topping “Another Day in Paradise,” “I Wish It Would Rain Down,” “Something Happened on the Way to Heaven” and “Do You Remember?”).
As has been the case for Collins’ previous reissues, the bonus disc for …But Seriously combines live material with a handful of demo recordings; interestingly, this bonus disc may feature the most previously released demos and B-sides, with four of the seven demos first appearing on singles of that era.
On the other end of the spectrum, 2010’s Going Back caught Collins in a more introspective mood. In the eight years since his last studio album Testify in 2002, he’d focused on many other projects, embarking on two tours (the First Final Farewell Tour in 2006 and a Genesis reunion in 2007); contributing music to the Disney film Brother Bear (2003) and turning 1999’s Tarzan into a Broadway musical; and even appearing in a video game (as himself, circa 1984 in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City).
No stranger to the music of Motown–his cover of The Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love” topped the British charts in 1983–Collins recorded Going Back, an album packed with faithful covers of The Four Tops, The Miracles, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations and many more. With the assistance of both original members of Motown backing band The Funk Brothers and some crucial in-studio trickery (following a surgery on Collins’ vertebrae, he was able to drum by taping his sticks to his hands), Going Back became an expansive love letter to The Sound of Young America.
In fact, even Collins may have found Going Back too expansive in retrospect. First released as an 18-track standard album and 25-track deluxe package, The Essential Going Back now pares it back to a tight 14 tracks and couples it with a live bonus disc recorded on his brief summer tour, which made stops at Philadelphia’s Electric Factory, New York’s Roseland Ballroom, a televised concert in London and the Monreux Jazz Festival of 2010.
Both titles will hit stores on June 10. Check out full details and order links below!
Disc 1: Original CD (released as Virgin CDV-2620 (U.K.)/Atlantic 82050 (U.S.), 1989)
- Hang In Long Enough
- That’s Just the Way It Is
- Do You Remember?
- Something Happened on the Way to Heaven
- I Wish It Would Rain Down
- Another Day in Paradise
- Heat on the Street
- All of My Life
- Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
- Father to Son
- Find a Way to My Heart
Disc 2: Extras (previously unreleased except where noted)
- Hang in Long Enough (Live)
- Something Happened on the Way to Heaven (Live)
- Colours (Live)
- Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Live)
- Always (Live)
- Find a Way to My Heart (Live)
- That’s How I Feel (CD single B-side to “Hang In Long Enough” – Virgin VSCDX 1300, 1990)
- You’ve Been in Love (That Little Bit Too Long) (12″ B-side to “I Wish It Would Rain Down” – Virgin VST 1240, 1990)
- Another Day in Paradise (Demo) (B-side to “I Wish It Would Rain Down” – Virgin VS 1240, 1990)
- That’s Just the Way It Is (Demo)
- I Wish It Would Rain Down (Demo) (B-side to “Something Happened on the Way to Heaven” – Virgin VS 1251, 1990)
- Hang In Long Enough (Demo)
- Do You Remember? (Demo)
Disc 1: Abridged album (tracks first released on Going Back – Atlantic 075678924484 (U.K.)/524541 (U.S.), 2010 – Track 13 released on bonus DVD edition only)
- Going Back
- Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue)
- (Love is Like a) Heatwave
- Some of Your Lovin’
- Going to a Go-Go
- Papa Was a Rolling Stone
- Loving You is Sweeter Than Ever
- Something About You
- Talkin’ About My Baby
- Do I Love You
- Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer
- Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me for a Little While)
- Too Many Fish in the Sea
- Uptight (Everything’s Alright)
Disc 2: Extras (all tracks previously unreleased)
- Signed Sealed Delivered (I’m Yours) (Live)
- Ain’t Too Proud to Beg (Live)
- Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue) (Live)
- Dancing in the Street (Live)
- (Love is Like a) Heatwave (Live)
- Papa Was a Rolling Stone (Live)
- Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer (Live)
- Talkin’ About My Baby (Live)
- Do I Love You (Live)
- Ain’t That Peculiar (Live)
- Too Many Fish in the Sea (Live)
- You Really Got a Hold on Me (Live)
- Something About You (Live)
- Uptight (Everything’s Alright)
- My Girl (Live)
- Going Back (Live)
All tracks recorded live in the summer of 2010