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24 of 25 found the following review helpful:
"No Jacket Required" is one of those must have albums. May 26, 2003
In 1985-86, Phil Collins career was at it's mountain-top. Quite fittingly, his best album is also from that span, No Jacket Required. It spent nearly 2 months atop the charts. And it spun off a handful of mammoth singles: "Sussudio", "One more night", "Don't lose my number" and "Take me home". "Who said I would" also garnered a decent amount of time on the airwaves.
The liner notes are terrific. The all red back cover was a nice touch. There's no lyrics, but it gives thank-you's, credits, who-played what on each song and also gives info on where everything was recorded.
There's something for everyone here. "No Jacket Required" had a diverse set of songs, among them Up-Beat pop tracks, eloquent ballads, and prog-rock throwbacks. Daryl Sturmer played all the guitar tracks and his superb tone adds depth.
Here's my track-by-track analysis:
"Sussudio"-A number one hit, the keyboard line sounding Similar to "1999" by Prince, some have said TOO similar but personally that doesn't diminsh the song's quality one bit. The bass and horn section only boosts it's catchiness.
"Only you know and I know"-A semi-pop track with a great synth hook. The lyrical matter is more or less summed up in it's title.
"Long Long way to go"- A moody, atmospheric track. The decision to have Sting sing the background vocals was genius. It enhances the effect ten-fold.
"I don't wanna know"- Phil sings about a relationship ending, and having no interest in hearing that she regrets it. He was warned not to give his heart to her, cuz she wouldn't give it back. The prominent guitar here is a far-cry from the adult contemporary sound he'd soon delve into.
"One More Night"-Another Chart topper. Terrific ballad, truly heartfelt. It's about acknowledging one's human-ness "If I stumble, if I fall, just help me back/so I can make you see/Please give me one more night". The verse after the second chorus really drives the song home "Like a river to the see/I will always be with you/And if you sail away/I will follow you."
"Don't lose my number"-A TOP 5 SMASH, yet it was inexplicably left off his Greatest Hits album. That's barely forgivable. This song is one of all-time favorites. It kicks off with a nice drum beat. The hook for this song is sharp as a fisherman's. The lyrics are a message to a person, named Billy. I'm still not sure who Billy is. Lyrics: "He never meant to do anything wrong, it's gonna get worse if he waits too long/Billy, Billy don't you my number/ Cuz you're not anywhere that I can find you". This song was obviously written before Cell Phones. The video for this song was good, experts kept walking into Phil's office to suggest idea's, One being set in the old west, the other's being parodies of "Every breath you take" by the Police,
"Who said I would"-Starts off with a nice intro, it keeps a steady beat throughout. It has a full platter of Synths, Horns, and vocal effects.
"Doesn't anybody stay together anymore"-The instrumentation sounds like Peter Gabriel-era Genesis. The drums during the chorus are loud, with a driving bass line, quickly sedgewaying into quieter verses. The lyrics tell about things we all do, and tackles confusion in romance, which in actuality are really nothing new.
"Inside out"-Has fine drumming (Hey it's Phil Collins, you're guaranteed that). The slow-down sections are especially pleasant, with a saxophone playing.
Take me home" was recently sampled in a rap song by bone-thugs-n-harmony, it falls under the ballad category, though at the same time it's more cheerful and contains an incessant chorus. Phil's old Genesis buddy Peter Gabriel sings the background vocals.
"We said hello goodbye" is a slower, tear-jerking ballad, I used to dislike this song because it's a far cry from the many up-beat numbers here, but upon realization, it's the perfect closer.
"No Jacket Required" rightly won the Grammy award for 1985 album of the year. This is Phil Collins best solo offering - Bar None.
12 of 12 found the following review helpful:
Don't Lose This Number Nov 30, 2002
By Michael Kerner
The music of the 1980's have brought several acts of goofy joy and crazyness, from the soul of New Wave, to the thrash of Michael Jackson's Thriller. Ironically, some stars develop albums that actually sell for what they're worth. In the case of Phil Collins, that came through right here in 1985.
Phil Collins came through a banner year in 1985, he was nominated for an Oscar for Against All Odds, and scored another #1 song, Seperate Lives. However, his 1985 album, No Jacket Required broke that mold even further. The music on this album is upbeat, and strong. It really revolved around the greater commercial triumphs Phil encountered away from Genesis. Phil scored two giant #1 hits with One More Night, and Sussudio. The album also charted several other Top 40 songs, like Take Me Home, and Don't Lose My Number, and won the Grammy the following year, for Album Of The Year.
It is really kind of sad that people don't give Phil Collins the equal support he has always recieved in the industry, largely because he is older than the "Corporate Pop" acts. Nevertheless, No Jacket Required is truly a classic. I strongly suggest this album.
17 of 20 found the following review helpful:
One of the best albums of the "80's pop" era Jul 04, 1998
By Jeff Killion (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This is an incredible album - a perfect blend of Phil's signature drum beats and the soulful grooviness of his supporting cast. Phil uses the drum machine and concentrates of the keyboarding a lot more in this album, but it really works. Every song on No Jacket Required is an absolute winner and could've been a hit (it's a shame We Said Hello Goodbye wasn't commercially released as a single - it probably would have gone to #1 - that's how much the radio used to play it). Of course the hits like Take Me Home, Don't Lose My Number, Sussudio, and We Said Hello Goodbye still sound great today, but some of the lesser known tracks (such as Long, Long Way To Go and Inside Out) rock as well. No Jacket Required deservedly received the 1985 Grammy for Best Album -it's definitely the high water mark of Phil Collins' career. Check it out!
5 of 5 found the following review helpful:
80s Time Capsule Mar 30, 2003
By Russell Diederich
There are a few albums that totally define the 80s, and this is one of them. Phil Collins spent his time alternating between his solo career and playing with Genesis, until the solo career won out. Of course, during this time, a lot of Genesis sounded like Collins' solo stuff as well. Hired for his drumming, and not his singing, although now he's known mostly for his singing.
All of the songs on this album are good. Collins is a good songwriter, and has a very fitting voice. He's just fun. Great hits came off this album like the nonsense word title "Sussudio", which gave way to many little girls being named such. ""Don't Lose My Number", "Take Me Home", and "One More Night" received tons of airplay, and still do. His lesser popular stuff on this album is good too, like "We Said Hello Goodbye", which turns out to be my favorite song on the album.
This is a classic album, and anyone who grew up in the 80s probably already owns this album.
5 of 5 found the following review helpful:
Solid Pop Music from the 80s Dec 06, 2002
By Lonnie E. Holder
"The Review's the Thing"
While pop is often reviled by those of us that prefer cutting edge or more artistic music, occasionally there is a pop album that comes along that is so good that you finding yourself liking it in spite of its stated genre. "No Jacket Required" is exactly that kind of album.
You can readily list the pop songs that swamped the airwaves for much of 1985 and 1986 (and probably 1987 - and now a fixture on 80s focused stations): "Sussudio", "One More Night", "Take Me Home", and "Don't Lose My Number". For a time it was difficult to listen to a radio station for more than an hour without hearing one of these songs. To an extent these songs are a product of their time with lots of keyboards. However, some of these songs are now timeless, and are already classics of their time.
"One More Night" is a beautiful ballad, easily one of Phil Collin's best songs ever. The beauty of this ballad is that it would have been great in the hands of any good ballad singer, such as Madonna or Celine Dion.
"Take Me Home" has relatively simple lyrics. However, it's not the lyrics that make this song, it's the well-orchestrated music and the reverberation on the vocals used to enhance the soaring feeling of the song. This song is a play it loudly mellow song that will forever be on the best of 80s lists.
While these last two songs are the highlights of this album, the quality extends to most of the other songs on the CD. "We Said Hello Goodbye" has a neo-classical beginning that lead into a vocal performance that will recall some of John Lennon or Elton John's songs. "Only You Know and I Know" is a pop rocker suitable for dancing. "Long Long Way to Go" is another ballad, a very consistent tune that could work as a slow dance. Another song that I think would have been a great single is "Inside Out".
Most of my CD selections from the 80s tend to be limited to progressive rock or music that I thought was off-center. However, this particular CD caught my attention with the number of singles released from it. Not every song on this CD is a gem, but there are enough on here to make this a CD worth buying if you like good solid pop music, Phil Collins' music (of which this CD may be his best), or 80s music in general.
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