Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a flawlessly crafted pop record:
No Jacket Required from Phil Collins.
This album takes the default prog/alt-rock star turned pop sensation (of 1978s Follow You Follow Me fame*) to its logical conclusion.
This is not a challenging record. Its nothing that you have to study. From the opening bars of Sussudio right through the Sting and Peter Gabriel backed Take Me Home, this record is a pop music masterpiece.
Absent the dark and brooding songs of his first solo LPs, No Jacket Required has Phil Collins going all in on horn sections, drum machines, and ballads.
Will it make my end of year top 50 list? Who knows! But it sure was a blast listening to after a long night at work.
* I remember I had a decent copy of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway in my AF dorm days… I wonder what ever happened to that record? It sure ain’t in The Collection today. I remember digging it, although not quite understanding it. Maybe I’ll need to get after the Genesis catalog next?
** If you watched the video of Take Me Home, the mic Phil is singing into is the fabled Byerdynamic M88 N. I have a matched pair of these mics from my soundman days and they can truly make a hillbilly belch sound like an angel chorus. Trust me, if you ever need to mic a vocal ***, put one of these in front of the drunkest karaoke slob on the planet (with the appropriate amount of reverb) and the nearest A&R man will be pushing his card at you.
*** Or a kick drum. They sound fantastic on a kick drum as well.