I'm a die hard fan of Phil & have been since the early 80's. He always does quality work & everyone of his albums have something to offer. But this 3rd album is, without a doubt, one of the best of the 80's if not all time & there was no bigger artist than Collins back in 1985. He even won a Grammy for Album of the Year & four of the singles were top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100. "Sussudio" & "One More Night" also reached #1 and were all over the radio. But this album is more than just a few hits. Although there is alot of synth (it was the 80's after all), the rest of the album is very solid & contains lots of high energy songs with great synth, percussion and guitar. There are also a few nice ballads. One of my fav deep cuts - "Long Long Way To Go, which isn't romantic in nature but is actually a political song, has a haunting & melancholy feel to it. It also features Asian styled keyboards & Sting on b/g vocals. Awesome track & would've made a great single. Sting would also sing b/g along with another pal & former bandmate of Phil's - Peter Gabriel on the popular & likable hit "Take me Home".
Ok, as far as this deluxe edition goes...
The original 1985 disc already sounded really good so there was only so much they could do to improve the sound. But the remastering is definitely noticable in a good way if you listen to music on an iPod or in the car. Doesn't sound compressed to my ears or like there is anything missing. Just somewhat louder & fuller overall with more bass & good fidelity. Also, a music site analyzed all the tracks on Phil's reissues & were quoted as saying "The dynamics remain nearly unchanged". I agree with that statement.
Most of the bonus material on the 2nd disc are live tracks of the album's songs. There's no info about them in the liner notes but they sound like they were taken from his concert videos which are a combination of performances from his 1985 NJR tour in Dallas, 1990 "But Seriously" tour in Berlin & his Farewell tour in 2004. I was fortunate enuff to attend concerts during the last two. "Sussudio" also sounds just like his performance from the Knebworth concert in England back in 1990, which I always felt was one of his most exciting & best performances. Some other highlights are live versions of "Only You Know And I Know" which has an extended re-mix sound to it but sounds very faithful to the original (I really dug it) & "Long Long Way To Go" which has kind of an Unplugged sound to it. Phil & his band do these versions alot of justice & Phil's voice also sounded great.
The rest of the bonus material are demo's for "Only You Know And I Know", "One More Night" & "Take Me Home". They sound very similar to the originals but slightly rougher and you could tell that Phil hadn't finished the lyrics yet cuz he only sang the choruses with actual words. For the rest, he just kinda makes sounds that sound like words but aren't. Almost sounds like he's singing in a foreign language which is very interesting.
Anyway, this is a welcome re-issue & even though there is not alot of rare stuff on this release, I still feel it's worth buying if you want better sound quality or to hear excellent live versions of this album's songs.