Saturday, November 7, 2015

Phil Collins-No Jacket Required (1985)


Well, I certainly have required the use of a jacket over these past few days, considering the relatively frigid temperatures of the fall weather over here in my neck of the woods. But I never require a jacket while listening to this all-time favorite Phil Collins album of mine, as the memorable songs from my childhood just warm me up all over! Took a chance when I decided to make 1985's "No Jacket Required" a part of my recent music lineup, and the end result has been at least half a dozen replays in a span of about a couple of weeks with no definite end to the replays in sight! Just about each and every one of my favorite Phil Collins hits are found right here, and the one signature hit that totally defines the awesome pop sounds of the 80's right to the tee happens to be the one that kicks of the album: "Sussudio". It was the very first Phil Collins song I'd ever heard! I remember when I was a kid&mdashh;and even up until my late teens and early 20's!—I had incorrectly thought Phil was saying 'studio' instead of 'Sussudio'. Now looking back, 'studio' would not have made any kind of sense, considering that, in the lyrics, the diminutive English singer is talking about a woman. But that didn't matter to me; 'studio/Sussudio' was one of my favorite parts about the main chorus and my favorite part of the song (I liked the way he goes 'if I could say the word, ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, su-su-sudio', with an added 'oh' or two in some moments). As for my other favorite part? The dancey vibe, especially the drum beats and that distinctively jazzy accompaniment of the trumpets I've come to know and love. Is it too much to say that "Sussudio" belongs on every 80's pop compilation? Then there's the timeless romantic ballad that belongs on every 80's soft rock compilation: "One More Night". A thousand memories are stirred up by this song alone, including those rides in the back of the car while the song played on the radio. A third memorable favorite that really gets me in that 80's party mood: "Don't Lose My Number". Pop playlist, rock playlist or soft rock playlist—this jam is suitable for either of the three! Fabulous hook on this one! And you know that? This was another song I'd heard for years and years and never quite understood the meaning of, part of that as a result of me having the original lyrics to the main chorus mixed up. 'Baby, baby don't you lose my number' is what I thought, thinking the song had a romantic theme. Yet the song's true meaning, in fact, is shrouded in mystery; my own interpretation is that the man named 'Billy' was involved in some shady business and was running from those trying to capture him. "Take Me Home": a fourth memorable favorite that instantly takes me back three decades the moment the music starts to play. It's the fine production that I love the most, particularly the haunting unified background vocals and the atmospheric melody. It too belongs on every 80's soft rock compilation; at the very least, it deserves to be a mainstay on the adult contemporary radio airwaves for an eternity! I felt it was required of me to rave about all of my supreme favorite songs first, but I cannot overshadow my other favorite hits here that my ears meet with equal adoration. "Who Said I Would?": it's got that dancey pop/rock vibe going on just like "Sussudio" while "Only You Know And I Know" and "I Don't Wanna Know" both get me going—just like "Don't Lose My Number" does—with their energetic rockin' sound. A song whose lyrics I find quite captivating, as they speak the total truth when it comes to relationships: "Doesn't Anybody Stay Together Anymore?". And that's even more truer now than it was back in the 80's, isn't it? Then there's the slower-tempo "Inside Out", which wasn't a big-time favorite of mine originally, but has since over time grown on me to the point that my listening to this wonderful album wouldn't quite be complete without it:

1. Sussudio
2. Only You Know And I Know
3. Long Long Way To Go
4. I Don't Wanna Know
5. One More Night
6. Don't Lose My Number
7. Who Said I Would?
8. Doesn't Anybody Stay Together Anymore?
9. Inside Out
10. Take Me Home
11. We Said Hello Goodbye

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