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Going Back

4 out of 5 stars 117 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 28, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

A deeply personal labor of love that finds the eight-time Grammy winner, Phil Collins, faithfully recreating the Motown and soul music that played such an influential role in his creative life. Due September 28th, 'Going Back' marks the 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee's first new studio album in eight years. Phil recorded the album along with three of Motown's legendary session players, aka The Funk Brothers bassist Bob Babbitt and guitarists Eddie Willis and Ray Monette. 'It shouldn't really be a surprise to anyone that I've finally made an album of my favourite Motown songs,' explains Collins. 'These songs along with a couple of Dusty Springfield tracks, a Phil Spector/Ronettes tune, and one by the Impressions make up the tapestry, the backdrop, of my teenage years. I remember it as if it was yesterday, going to the Marquee Club in London's Soho and watching The Who, The Action, and many others, playing these songs. In turn I'd go out the next day to buy the original versions. My idea, though, was not to bring anything 'new' to these already great records, but to try to recreate the sounds and feelings that I had when I first heard them. My intention was to make an 'old' record, not a 'new' record. To be able to have three of the surviving Funk Brothers play on all the tracks was unbelievable. There was one moment when they were tracking 'Heat Wave' that I experienced a wave of happiness and wonder that this was actually happening to me! I learned more about production skills and the wonderful songwriting of those concerned whilst making this album, than I have from anything else. To those pioneers... much love and gratitude.'
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 28, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B003HC8I5M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,563 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Phil Collins has never been in better voice than he is on "Going Back," his valentine to the musical influences - namely, Motown and soul of the 60s - that informed his early years.

True, he rarely breathes new life into these songs. It would be a lie to say he transforms into a full-on song stylist. The core audience for these tunes, however, is not looking for that, and the rich, well-informed voice he uses to navigate the record is still a damn fine pleasure to hear. His enthusiasm and vivacity cover the album like wallpaper.

The song selections are also excellent. "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me for a Little While)" (The Doobie Brothers) rolls and tumbles with excitable energy, and the slightly overlong but well-arranged "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" (The Temptations) has a fine-honed, frothy disco-like flavor that throws an interesting curveball to the proceedings.

He can't fail with the likes of the swashbuckling, boundlessly frenetic "(Love Is Like a) Heatwave" (Martha and the Vandellas) and the timeless "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" (Stevie Wonder). This is pop music as it should be - a great singer with great songs to sing.

Of course, new material would be welcome from Collins, who has not released a record since 2002's uneven but enjoyable "Testify," so in light of that "Going Back" may seem like a disappointment in theory. We all know that it takes only slight thought and little effort for someone like Collins to enter a recording studio and whip-up a CD that sounds more like karaoke than covers.

However, that is not the case here. Collins may not re-stylize these songs or cover new ground with them, but he displays passion and dedication to the project through every track. This is not just a vanity project.
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Format: Audio CD
Former Genesis singer/drummer/songwriter and solo superstar Phil Collins's new solo album of covers called Going Back is a must for Phil Collins and Genesis and Motown fans.
Before I continue the review, many of the bellyaching and complaining reviews are saying Phil has gone Rod Stewart's Great American Songbook approach to covers and so on and so forth. Many have either forgotten or failed to recognize that other rock legends from Paul McCartney (with his 1999 Run Devil Run (a covers album of 1950s rock songs plus three originals he recorded with the late Mick Green and former Pink Floyd singer/guitarist/songwriter David Gilmour on guitars and Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice)) to Canadian hard/prog rockers Rush (with their superb covers mini-album from 2004 called Feedback which saw covers of The Who, Cream, Yardbirds, Buffalo Springfield, Blue Cheer) and The Steve Miller Band (with his excellent Bingo which are all old blues numbers done in his own style was released earlier this year) in the last decade or so have put out great covers albums. There were some lemons of cover albums I admit with Queensryche's Take Cover, Styx's The Big Bang Theory (or as I call it The Big Bong Theory) and Phil's ex-Genesis bandmate Peter Gabriel's Scratch My Back (was uninspiring and BORING in my view) being the offenders. Now I got that quip off my chest, back to the album. This is Phil's first solo album since 2002's Testify and while that album had its moments, it wasn't a way to finish a solo career. In recent years, Phil had developed hearing loss in his ear which put a kabosh on his touring days with a two year long farewell tour and having two young sons with his third wife. Plus he did one last tour with Genesis in 2007.
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Format: Audio CD
Oh dear. I am sure that Phil Collins deeply loves this music and to be fair he makes a decent fist of "Papa was a rolling stone" and "Uptight (Everything's alright)". He also frankly admits that this was a labour and love and as such "my idea...was not to bring anything 'new' to these already great records". The trouble with this statement it that it begs the question why record them at all or more importantly what additional dimension is the selling point for this? Doing an X factor style run through of these great songs as an exercise in reverence is laudable but as a scintillating piece of music it falls flat. Carole King's "Going back" has been better covered by other artists not least of all the lovely versions by Dusty Springfield and Nils Lofgren. "Heatwave" always sounded perfect when performed by the Motown female groups like Martha and the Vandellas or the Supremes, thus Collins is onto a hiding to nothing here. His cover of "Jimmy Mack" is truly excruciating (although not as bad as "You keep me hangin on" on the deluxe edition), while "Going to a Go Go" is so intrinsically associated with Smokey Robinson and the Miracles that any artist would be brave to cover it and Collins voice is just not up to this. Thus for anyone to fall deeply in love with this album they must already be deeply in love with Collins voice since he admits that these are ultra straight recreations of the originals and while the backing musicians playing may be impeccable the "shop window" is Collins himself. The previous recent take by a white singer on the Motown catalogue by Michael McDonald kind of worked (although not always) but that was fundamentally because the former Doobie Brother does sound like a black singer, with Collins you keep expecting him to break into "Abacab" at any minute.Read more ›
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Phil Collins new album: Going Back
I'd prefer new material, that's always a welcome addition, but this rehash is not of my interest.
Aug 20, 2010 by Amazon Customer |  See all 9 posts
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