78 25504 Both Sides
Produced by Phil Collins
Released on November 1993
UK CHART POSITION #1 . . . US CHART POSITION #13 . . . PLATINUM RECORD (12/21/93)
Find it at GEMM
78 25504 cover  

P hil Collins by his lonesome. He played and recorded most everything in his home (including the vocals), making it in his own words “the most enjoyable album I’ve ever made.” Fortunately for us, you don’t need to be wearing pants to make good music (or at least Phil doesn’t). The knock on Both Sides is that it’s a dour record. No horns. Very little guitar. It’s like a DIY version of Peter Gabriel’s Us in some ways, which means it’ll take time before you begin to appreciate Both Sides. That explains the negative criticism from well-meaning quarters; they listened to this a few times, tallied up the two hits (“Both Sides of the Story,” “Everyday”) and found the rest of it slow going. After a while (I’d say at least ten times, but ask the Owl if you need an exact number) I’d acclimated my ears to the subdued world of Both Sides and began hearing all the little touches that Phil had intended. In this world, tracks like “Survivors,” “Can’t Turn Back The Years” and “We Wait And We Wonder” actually sparkle. It’s not a case of less is more so much as less from Phil is still a lot more than most artists give you. As multitalented as the man is, you don’t hear much about him as a lyricist, but there are some really well-turned phrases here. Fer asample: “Til then every way there is to cry, ourselves to sleep, we will” (from “Everyday”); “There are places that you know you should not go / But some bridges just won’t burn” (“We Fly So Close”). Musically, Phil doesn’t always find le mot juste. Cheesy synthesizer solos and rhythms that amount to little more than time tracking devices (the drums on “I’ve Forgotten Everything” are tantamount to Chinese water torture) should have stayed at home, but they travel intact to the studio and give Both Sides an unfinished feel. A petty complaint against a major talent, of course. I’m not saying that Phil couldn’t have come up with a better batch of songs after four years, but this isn’t product either. Between the heart and the mind, hatched close to the hearth, Both Sides might be Phil’s most personal album to date.

TRACK LISTING

  1. BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY
  2. CAN'T TURN BACK THE YEARS
  3. EVERYDAY
  4. I'VE FORGOTTEN EVERYTHING
  5. WE'RE SONS OF OUR FATHERS
  6. CAN'T FIND MY WAY
  7. SURVIVORS
  8. WE FLY SO CLOSE
  9. THERE'S A PLACE FOR US
  10. WE WAIT AND WE WONDER
  11. PLEASE COME OUT TONIGHT

    All songs written by Phil Collins

CREDITS

PHIL COLLINS -- vocals, all instruments, 12-track engineering
Paul Gomersall -- engineer
Trevor Key -- cover photography
Hills Archer Ink -- line artwork

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK November 1993 Virgin CD/CS CDV/TCV 2800  
US November 1993 Atlantic CD 82550 lyric sleeve
CAN 1993 Atlantic CS 78 25504 lyric sleeve
BRA/GER 1993 WEA 2LP/CD 93757 gatefold cover
CAN 1993 Atlantic CD/CS CD82550/78 25504 lyric sleeve

 

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