In 1985, Phil Collins dominated radio on the strength of his 12-times platinum album, No Jacket Required. The fourth and final single from the record, “Take Me Home,” was released on July 25, 1985.
Two weeks before the song’s release, Collins had been one of the stars at Live Aid, where he performed both in London and Philadelphia on the same day. That sense of jet-setting world-weariness is reflected in the above video, which sees Collins leaving his country estate for such locations as London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, Gothenburg, Chicago, Stockholm, Tokyo, San Francisco, Memphis and St. Louis. At the end, he returns home, dressed in the same casual clothes as when he left, where his wife thinks he’s been drinking at the pub.
But the lyrics reveal a potentially darker theme. Lines like “They don’t tell me nothing / So I find out what I can,” “There’s no point escaping” and “I can’t come out to find you / I don’t like to go outside” could be interpreted to be the thoughts of someone who has been confined to an asylum.
And yet that’s hard to discern on a casual listen, given the high-gloss production — complete with a bubbling synthesizer loop, that was perfect for radio in 1985. Sting and Collins’ former Genesis bandmate Peter Gabriel contribute background vocals.
Reaching No.7 on the Billboard Hot 100, “Take Me Home” was actually the lowest-charting of the his singles — “Sussudio” and “One More Night” went to No. 1, while “Don’t Lose My Number” peaked at No. 4.
© Ultimate Classic Rock, by Dave Lifton