Friday, May 11, 2012

CD Review: Phil Collins “BUT SERIOUSLY” 24-Karat Gold CD

af Phil Collins But Seriously CD cover

But Seriously 24K Gold CD

It’s been a “Genesis” end of week, with the review of Peter Gabriel’s “Live Blood”. Today, we’ve got Phil Collins fourth studio album as a solo act, But Seriously. Collins's professional music career began as a drummer, originally in a band called the Real Thing with his future wife, Andrea. Collins played drums and shared lead vocals (with Brian Chatton) in Flaming Youth which recorded one album, (Ark II). In 1970 he took over the drum kit after Genesis had gone through three previous drummers over the span of two albums. he also sand back up to Peter Gabriel. In 1970, Collins answered a Melody Maker classified ad for "...a drummer sensitive to acoustic music, and acoustic twelve-string guitarist".  The audition took place at Gabriel’s parents house where Collins took a dip in the swimming pool and listened to other hopefuls preform cuts from Genesis second album, Trespass. He won the audition after memorizing the songs while floating in the pool.

In ‘75, Gabriel left the group abruptly to pursue his solo career and the search was on to find a new lead vocalist and front man. After a lengthy but ultimately fruitless search for Gabriel's replacement (where Collins sang back-up with the over 400 hopefuls that reportedly auditioned). In the short term, the group recruited  drummer Bill Bruford of former Yes and King Crimson fame, to play drums during live shows, although Collins continued to play during longer instrumental sections. Bruford's can be heard on the track "The Cinema Show" on the live album Seconds Out. He was soon replaced by ex-Frank Zappa band member Chester Thompson, who became a mainstay of the band's live line-up. Collins, however, continued to play drums on all of the group's studio recordings.

“Another Day In Paradise”

1976s A Trick of the Tail was the first Genesis album with Collins on lead vocals and it reached the American Top 40, and peaked high as No.3 on the UK charts. Said Rolling Stone, "Genesis has managed to turn the possible catastrophe of Gabriel's departure into their first broad-based American success.” All the while, Collins was in demand for his drumming skills while also performing solo albums. In ‘74 he played drums on Brian Eno’s Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) as well as Eno’s 1975, and 1977 art rock releases Another Green World and Before and After Science. he also performed in a jazz fusion group called Brand X. The band recorded their first album, Unorthodox Behaviour, with Collins as drummer. Collins also performed on Steve Hackett's first solo album, Voyage of the Acolyte, on which he sang lead vocals and played drums. From the early ‘80s onward, Collins stretched out as a songwriter, but the themes running through his songs was the acrimonious breakdown of his first marriage and then-recent divorce. Some of this wasn’t considered material for Genesis, so starting with 1981s Face Value.

“I Wish It Would Rain Down”

Face Value became a surprise international success topping the charts in at least seven countries and hitting the top ten of the Billboard 200 eventually going triple-platinum in the US. In 1980 Collins had played drums on Peter Gabriel's third self-titled record (often referred to as Melt), the first record to feature the "gated reverb" sound, which was used on the song "Intruder". Gabriel reportedly "didn't want any metal on the record" and asked Collins to leave his cymbals at home, to concentrate on the sound of his drums more heavily than usual. Studio engineer Hugh Padgham augmented the drum sound by using a microphone normally intended for studio communication rather than recording and feeding it through a signal processor called a noise gate. This allowed the reverberation added to the drums to be suddenly cut off before it naturally decayed. The result was the arresting "gated reverb" which became Collins signature sound. This was the same 'big drum sound' used on such songs as "In The Air Tonight", "Mama" by Genesis, and Frida's "There's Something Going On".


After the monster success of Collins third solo album, No Jacket Required, he officially left Genesis. But Seriously followed the same year and is one of his most successful, topping Billboard's chart for three weeks, eventually going four-times-Platinum. It became the best-selling album of 1990 in Britain, where it spent 15 weeks in the No. 1 position. The record was Collins' second chart-topper. Produced by Hugh Padgham (Genesis, The Police, Paul McCartney), But Seriously boasted no less than five charting singles, among them the Top 10 titles "Another Day in Paradise," "Do You Remember," "Something Happened on the Way to Heaven" and "I Wish It Would Rain Down," which featured Eric Clapton on guitar.  Other supporting artists on the album include Graham Nash, David Crosby, Stephen Bishop (vocals), Steve Winwood (organ) and Leland Sklar (bass).

“Do You Remember”

Founded in 2002 by entertainment industry executive Marshall Blonstein, Audio Fidelity specializes in deluxe reissues of classic popular-music recordings for the audiophile and collector markets. The Camarillo, California-based label is best known for its 24-Karat Gold CDs and its virgin-vinyl album editions, though it also releases DVD titles.  In 2011, Audio Fidelity launched the Target Series of CD and LP reissues as a means of broadening its audience beyond its loyal audiophile base.

The sound quality on the CD is so much better than the ‘usual’ issues. The separation stands out, even on a run of the mill audio system, and absolutely grabs you on higher quality systems as well as surround sound set ups. They are well worth the money for casual and serious collectors.


The Dirty Lowdown

Copyright © 2012 Robert Carraher All Rights Reserved  

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