Top critical review
56 people found this helpful
Against all logic...
on 24 June 2004
First up let me explain that I'm a big Genesis fan, and like a lot of Phil's solo work, particularly 1981's 'Face Value', 1982's 'Hello I Must Be Going' and 1994's criminally underrated 'Both Sides'.
With that in mind, I can't argue with the music that's on offer here, three of the man's most popular and best loved albums (although not neccesarily his best), and containing most of his big hit singles from the 80s and early 90s.
But therein lies the problem - 'most of'. It's unclear who this package is actually aimed at: people who buy regular albums will already have all three of the CDs contained within, and none of the 3 discs differ to the versions that have been available for years (they're not even remastered, although hardcore collectors might like to know that the discs themselves have a picture of the album cover on each one, for the first time.)
And those casual fans who are looking for a greatest hits package will find that many of their favourites are not included: 'Against All Odds', 'You Can't Hurry Love', 'Two Hearts', 'Easy Lover' and 'Groovy Kind of Love' being just some of the classic Phil tunes that are not covered by the selection here.
Surely it would have been far better, keeping with the theme of EMI's other 'Platinum Collections', to have selected 3 discs' worth of greatest hits and popular album tracks, spanning Phil's entire career from 1981 to the present day. 1998's 'Greatest Hits' was good up to a point but many great tracks were left off to fit the single-CD format, and Phil has enjoyed something of a renaissance recently with the Oscar winning song 'You'll Be In My Heart' from Disney's Tarzan, hit single 'Through My Eyes' from Brother Bear and his first new album in 5 years with 2002's "Testify". A career-defining retrospective would have been a fitting tribute at this point to one of the country's most important musicians (terminally uncool though it may be to admit), and would have tied in wonderfully with his farewell tour currently playing to sold-out crowds across Europe.
All in all, if you don't have these 3 albums in your collection, then this is as good a way as any to buy them, and you certainly should, since they contain some of the best pop songs of the 1980s as well as some more unusual tracks like jazz-fusion workout 'Hand in Hand' from 'Face Value', the amazing two part-epic 'Colours' from 'But Seriously', and the wonderfully uplifting ballad 'We Said Hello Goodbye' from 'No Jacket Required'.
But if you're after a 'Greatest Hits' then buy 1998's 'Hits' CD which is all a casual fan really needs.
If I were reviewing the albums separately, I'd give 4 stars for 'Face Value' and 'But Seriously' with 'No Jacket Required' getting 3. However, as a package, this belongs in the 2 star category for the sheer wasted opportunity.