Throughout his career, Phil Collins has always been willing to share his talents - whether at the microphone or the drum kit, as a songwriter, or in the producer's chair - with his fellow musicians. On September 28, the superstar will collect 59 of his favorite collaborations on a new 4-CD box set. Rhino/Atlantic will release Plays Well with Others just one week before Collins launches his Not Dead Yet, Live! tour on October 5 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Collins states in the press release, "Some would say I've lived a charmed life. I've done what I wanted for most of it, and got paid well for doing something I'd have done for nothing. Playing the drums. During that time I've played with most of my heroes, most have become close friends. Over these 4 CDs you'll find a mere smattering of those moments. I thank the artists for letting me put this CD together, no easy task! Love, PC" Indeed, the discs represent a "Who's Who" of talent, with Collins' friends including Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Quincy Jones, Tony Bennett, The Bee Gees, Four Tops, Collins' Genesis bandmate Peter Gabriel, and many more.
Plays Well with Others runs is chronologically arranged, beginning with its journey in the late 1960s with the psych-inspired band Flaming Youth, continuing through landmark recordings with experimental artists like Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, and John Cale, and then into the 1980s where Collins was a key player with such artists as Stephen Bishop and Philip Bailey. (Curiously, two collaborations with Philip Bailey of Earth Wind & Fire are included here -"Walking on the Chinese Wall" and "Because of You" - but not "Easy Lover," Bailey and Collins' smash hit and worldwide chart-topper. There are other notable omissions such as "Separate Lives," Collins' chart-topping, Oscar-nominated duet with Marilyn Martin.) The set concludes at the dawn of the 21st century, with Collins supporting Annie Lennox, Eric Clapton, Bryan Adams, and Joe Cocker at the 2002 Party at the Palace celebrating the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
The title of the box set holds special meaning for the artist. The press release explains that "Chester Thompson, the man who became Genesis's day-to-day drummer once Collins had become the frontman, arranged to have a special birthday present made for him. It wasn't a hugely expensive gift - just a t-shirt. On the front, Thompson had a slogan printed to reflect his bandmate's willingness to take his drums along to pretty much any session, his pleasure in working as a producer to help musicians he respected make the records they wanted: 'Plays well with others.'"
The box set, a testament to Collins' musical generosity and expansive, eclectic tastes, will be available on CD as well as digital platforms on September 28 from Rhino. You'll find the track listing and pre-order links below!
Phil Collins, Plays Well with Others (Atlantic/Rhino, 2018) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
CD 1: 1969 - 1982
- "Guide Me Orion" - Flaming Youth
- "Knights (Reprise)" - Peter Banks
- "Don't You Feel It" - Eugene Wallace
- "I Can't Remember, But Yes" - Argent
- "Over Fire Island" - Brian Eno
- "Savannah Woman" - Tommy Bolin
- "Pablo Picasso" - John Cale
- "Nuclear Burn" - Brand X
- "No-One Receiving" - Brian Eno
- "Home" - Rod Argent
- "M386" - Brian Eno
- "And So To F" - Brand X
- "North Star" - Robert Fripp
- "Sweet Little Mystery" - John Martyn
- "Intruder" - Peter Gabriel
- "I Know There's Something Going On" - Frida
- "Pledge Pin" - Robert Plant
- "Lead Me To The Water" - Gary Brooker
CD 2: 1982 - 1991
- "In The Mood"' - Robert Plant
- "Island Dreamer" - Al Di Meola
- "Puss 'n' Boots" - Adam Ant
- "Walking On The Chinese Wall" - Philip Bailey
- "Do They Know It's Christmas (Feed The World)" - Band Aid
- "Just Like A Prisoner" - Eric Clapton
- "Because Of You" - Philip Bailey
- "Watching The World" - Chaka Khan
- "No One Is To Blame" (Phil Collins version) - Howard Jones
- "If Leaving Me Is Easy" - The Isley Brothers
- "Angry" - Paul McCartney
- "Loco In Acapulco' - Four Tops
- "Walking On Air" - Stephen Bishop
- "Hall Light" - Stephen Bishop
- "Woman In Chains" - Tears For Fears
- "Burn Down The Mission" - Phil Collins
CD 3: 1991 - 2011
- "No Son Of Mine" - Genesis
- "Could've Been Me" - John Martyn
- "Hero" - David Crosby
- "Ways To Cry" - John Martyn
- "I've Been Trying" - Phil Collins
- "Do Nothing 'Till You Hear From Me" - Quincy Jones
- "Why Can't It Wait Til Morning" - Fourplay
- "Suzanne" - John Martyn
- "Looking For An Angel" - Laura Pausini
- "Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End" - George Martin
- "In The Air Tonite" - Lil' Kim featuring Phil Collins
- "Welcome" - Phil Collins
- "Can't Turn Back The Years" - John Martyn
CD 4: LIVE 1981 - 2002
- "In The Air Tonight" (Live At The Secret Policeman's Other Ball) - Phil Collins
- "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" - George Harrison
- "You Win Again" - The Bee Gees
- "There'll Be Some Changes Made" - Phil Collins and Tony Bennett
- "Stormy Weather" - Phil Collins and Quincy Jones
- "Chips And Salsa" - The Phil Collins Big Band
- "Birdland" - Phil Collins with The Buddy Rich Big Band
- "Pick Up The Pieces" (Live At The Montreux Jazz Festival 1998) - The Phil Collins Big Band
- "Layla" (Live At Party At The Palace, 3 June 2002) - Eric Clapton
- "Why" (Live at Party At The Palace, 3 June 2002) - Annie Lennox
- "Everything I Do (I Do It For You)" (Live at Party At The Palace, 3 June 2002) - Bryan Adams
- "With A Little Help From My Friends" (Live at Party At The Palace, 3 June 2002) - Joe Cocker
Brinke Guthrie says
Joe Marchese says
Frida is on CD 1!
This is a unique and wonderful box set that demonstrates the many collaborations that Phil Collins has done. I never expected to see a compilation such as this that would contain his collaborations with Frida, Howard Jones, Robert Plant, Phillip Bailey, etc. Definitely a must own.
Rob Maurer says
Wow. Very interesting collection! I know he couldn’t have included everything he’s ever done, but I immediately thought of his drumming on Tina Turner’s “Typical Male” which isn’t represented. I’m in, regardless.
Daniel Pitterman says
This is amazing! Can’t wait! In response to the articles mention of the two omissions, Easy Lover and Separate Lives, my guess is because they are included in PCs own hits collection already.
Philip Cohen says
Finally, Warner Music & Phil Collins get the message and release the kind of collectables that Collins' fans want. Now, how about reissuing his video programs, and giving his back catalog albums the Super Deluxe treatment that they deserved (and which Collins previously vetoed)
It's a shame that song Philadelphia Baby from the Porky's Revenge soundtrack with Dave Edmunds, Paul Martinez, and Robert Plant was not included. That's one of the most fun tunes any of them ever recorded.
Fortunately, I have that song already on the Robert Plant compilation Sixty-Six to Timbuktu. It is on the "rarities" DIsc 2.
For the benefit of your readers who may not be familiar with the Porky’s Revenge soundtrack, no matter how you feel about the Porky’s movie franchise, Dave Edmunds put together an absolutely amazing array of talent to do the music. Dave Edmunds, Jeff Beck, George Harrison, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Carl Perkins, Clarence Clemons, and Willie Nelson all doing recordings that originally appeared on the soundtrack. It’s a blast!
John Foster says
I own that LP, and I must agree wholeheartedly! I was going to mention the omission of the song from the above collection, but you beat me to it. Good job!
Also, I saw Phil Collins in 1983, on tour for "Hello, I Must Be Going". That is still one of my favorite albums by him.
Steve Bruun says
Under most circumstances, a guest spot with Led Zeppelin would be a no-brainer for a collection like this, but Collins has made no secret that he viewed the Live Aid performance as a disaster. I would have liked to have seen the inclusion of Phil's 1982 Prince's Trust performance with Jethro Tull. But I suppose one has to draw the line somewhere.