Phil Collins Regretted Making An Album Too Poppy
via Phil Collins / Youtube
Phil Collins’ journey from progressive rock drummer to global pop sensation reached its zenith with the release of his third solo album, No Jacket Required, in 1985. However, as time has passed, Collins has expressed regrets about this particular musical chapter, feeling that it didn’t authentically represent him. Let’s delve into the evolution of Phil Collins and the album that left an indelible mark on his career.
A Gradual Climb to Superstardom
Collins’ ascent to superstardom wasn’t an overnight phenomenon. In the early ’70s, he served as the drummer for Genesis, and even after becoming the lead singer, the band’s spotlight remained on Peter Gabriel. It wasn’t until the late ’70s and early ’80s that Genesis and Collins began to gain recognition on the Billboard Hot 100, marking the start of a slow march toward mainstream success.
Collins’ solo career faced a similar trajectory. His debut album, Face Value, and its lead single, “I Missed Again,” achieved moderate success. It wasn’t until 1984, with hits like “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” and “Easy Lover,” that Collins experienced a surge in popularity.
No Jacket Required: The Turning Point
No Jacket Required, released in 1985, marked a turning point in Collins’ musical evolution. The album’s bright and brash soundscape, characterized by catchy pop tunes, departed significantly from his earlier, more diverse works. The success of singles like “One More Night,” “Sussudio,” and “Don’t Lose My Number” catapulted Collins into the global spotlight, making it his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200.
However, the album’s relentless pace and lack of variety disappointed some longtime Genesis fans who felt that Collins was veering away from his roots. The radio-friendly nature of No Jacket Required alienated some fans, leading to accusations of selling out.
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Mixed Emotions: Collins’ Regretful Reflection
Phil Collins himself has acknowledged his mixed emotions about No Jacket Required. In a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, he expressed his discontent:
“Why do you have to bring me down by asking about this one? It’s from one of my least favorite records, No Jacket Required. At the time, I wasn’t being me. I’ve grown up a bit now and much prefer to play songs that are me. I only play a bit part in that one.”
These candid remarks shed light on Collins’ dissatisfaction with the album, suggesting that the stylistic choices didn’t align with his true artistic identity.
Post-No Jacket Required Era: A Return to Authenticity
Subsequent albums like …But Seriously reflected Collins’ acknowledgment of the potential alienation caused by No Jacket Required. The title alone hinted at a shift toward more serious and profound themes. Collins’ self-produced 1993 album, Both Sides, marked a return to a more organic and stripped-down sound reminiscent of his earlier work in Face Value.
“More heart and soul than anything I have done before.”
In retrospect, Collins’ self-appraisal serves as a validation for fans who sensed a disconnect with No Jacket Required. The conscious return to a more authentic musical expression demonstrated that, for Collins, the album represented a departure from his true self.
No Jacket Required may stand as one of Phil Collins’ most commercially successful albums, but it also carries the weight of regret for the artist. The evolution from a progressive rock drummer to a pop icon was not without its challenges, and No Jacket Required remains a pivotal moment in Collins’ career—one that he views with complex emotions and a desire for a return to authenticity.