Atlantic recording artist Phil Collins has announced the U.S. release of his hugely anticipated new album, “GOING BACK.” The legendary artist’s first full-length solo work in eight years arrives in stores and at all digital retailers on Tuesday, September 28th.
“GOING BACK” is a deeply personal labor of love that finds the eight-time Grammy winner faithfully recreating the Motown and soul music that played such an influential role in his creative life. The album – Collins’ eighth solo studio recording – will be available in a number of digital and physical editions, with exclusive extras including 7 bonus tracks, a 90-minute DVD making-of documentary, and limited edition lyric sheet lithograph. In addition, a very special “Singles Box” comprising 30 tracks across 15 vinyl 7” singles is also on offer – for complete details, please visit www.philcollins.com/us.
“GOING BACK” has quickly proven a worldwide phenomenon, receiving platinum certification in Germany and gold certification in both France and the United Kingdom after little more than one week in release. The album hit #1 in the UK this week as well as in Belgium and the Netherlands. “GOING BACK” has seen top 3 sales in Germany, France, Austria, and New Zealand, as well as top 5 successes in Switzerland and Italy.
“GOING BACK” has received unanimous critical acclaim from all corners of the globe. “So faithfully have Collins and his confreres recreated ‘The Sound of Young America’ – shimmering tambourines drowning out drums, bass compressed to a fat, distorted throb – that it’s hard not to be swept along,” declared BBC Music, which also named the collection as BBC Radio 2’s “Album of the Week.” “You have to take your hat off to Phil Collins,” hailed England’s Daily Express, noting “the 59-year-old singer zips through a selection of mostly-Motown classics like ‘Jimmy Mack’ and ‘Uptight’ with the verve, energy, and wit of a man reborn.”
Closer to home, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer praised Collins for having “a way of personalizing a song, not so much to make it his own but to convince listeners its theirs… He succeeds most in doing so on relative obscurities like the Ronettes’ ‘Do I Love You?’ and the Temptations’ ‘Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue),’ both evoking an air of wistful romance. Another noteworthy highlight is the Stevie Wonder ballad, ‘Blame It On the Sun,’ which Collins renders with empathy and striking conviction.”
Collins will celebrate the release of “GOING BACK” with a number of high-profile TV appearances and radio interviews, including NBC’s Today show on Tuesday, September 28th, and Headline News’ The Joy Behar Show on Wednesday, September 29th. In addition, he will take part in a very special installment of WNYC radio’s Soundcheck, airing live from The Green Space in New York City on Tuesday, September 28th at 2PM ET. Phil also recently joined host Michael Kay for an in-depth conversation on the YES Network’s Centerstage.
Earlier this summer, Collins heralded “GOING BACK” with a series of seven intimate, SRO shows – including a 3-night stand at NYC’s Roseland Ballroom. One of the shows was filmed for a concert special entitled “Phil Collins ‘Going Back’ Motown Special Live from Roseland” that is currently airing on Comcast’s ON DEMAND network through October 31st.
On stage, Phil brought his homage to life with a big band anchored by three members of Motown’s legendary Funk Brothers studio team – bassist Bob Babbitt and guitarists Eddie Willis and Ray Monette – who are also featured on the album. The live band also included long-time Collins cohorts Chester Thompson (drums), Daryl Stuermer (guitar), and Brad Cole (keyboards), plus Leslie Smith (percussion). Rounding out the ensemble was a five-member horn section and six backing vocalists.
In its review of the New York show, Rolling Stone enthused: “…Collins pulled it off. Backed by a killer 18-piece band, he got most everybody in the Roseland Ballroom dancing to classics by Steve Wonder, the Temptations, Smokey Robinson and the Ronettes… From the moment he took the stage and burst into ‘Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,’ it was clear this music was much closer to his heart than even some of his own hits. Every nuance of the original arrangements was meticulously recreated…”
Staged as an “old school” style dance concert, the shows prompted Time Out New York to state, “No fancy stadium gimmickry here, but in Phil-style parlance, a bloody lovely show.” “It was when he dug deeper into the archives that the show blossomed,” said The Hollywood Reporter. “Collins’ talents as a balladeer were showcased in such songs as ‘Blame It On The Sun’ and ‘Never Dreamed You’d Leave In Summer’ (both by Wonder) and especially on the Goffin/King reverie ‘Going Back,’ the lyrics of which encapsulate the rationale for the whole project.”
While in the past Collins has paid tribute to his roots by covering some of his favorite songs – including “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “A Groovy Kind Of Love,” “Tomorrow Never Knows,” “True Colours,” and others – this marks the first time in his 30-year solo career that he has devoted an entire project to the work of other songwriters and performers.
“The ‘60s were without doubt a pinnacle of the songwriting, producing and performing art,” Collins comments in the liner notes to “GOING BACK.” “My aim in finally making this record was to see if it was possible for me to recapture the sound and the feelings I got from listening to these songs the first time around. I’ve always loved covering other people’s songs, and this collection is something I’ve been burning to do.”
Legendary Motown songwriter and producer Lamont Dozier hailed “GOING BACK”: “Recording an album of Motown covers can be tricky, but I have to say this album has exceeded my expectations. Phil Collins has truly given us the real thing vocally, instrumentally, and production-wise… It’s spectacular, making it impossible to pick a favorite because they’re all masterfully done.”
The career of Phil Collins is one that, by any measure, stands among the most creative, prolific, and impressive in the history of modern music. It is a career that really has been many careers – musician, singer, composer, producer, actor – from art rock beginnings to pop stardom, from big band leader to film soundtracks and Broadway. It has been an exceptional musical life spanning four decades, some 100 million solo albums sold (250 million if you count his work with Genesis), an extraordinary string of hits, eight Grammy Awards, an Oscar, two Golden Globes, five BRIT Awards, numerous industry accolades, and, above all, an inestimable influence on countless fellow artists and passionate fans around the globe.