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Celebrate 25 years of Phil Collins and 'No Jacket Required'

Phil Collins' third solo albumPhil Collins - No Jacket Required -- No Jacket Required -- was released 25 years ago today. The occasion is being market by Facebook campaigns (to get everyone to listen to the Grammy-winning album today) and by the Brit Awards, which have nominated No Jacket Required for the Best Brits Album of 30 Years.

Here's how the Facebook organizers are touting the album:

The date is the 25th January 1985. Reagan had just been re-elected in a landslide, nuclear war still seemed a concrete possibility and the world was just waking up to serious humanitarian crises in Africa. Into this mire of fear and confusion, 'No Jacket Required' was released.

Phil Collins had spent much of the late seventies and early eighties recoiling from the shock of finding his wife having an affair with their painter and decorator, a topic which often found its way into his music. By 1984 he was in love again, refreshed, and ready to spawn a masterpiece.

Sweeping the Grammys later that year it was an overnight success, with two Billboard 100 No.1s and a further two top 10 hits. Commercially it remains the pinnacle of Phil Collins career, and many of the songs we remember Phil most for were conceived on this album.

Yet the album has had a difficult time of late. The numbers who actually bought the album no longer match the numbers who admit to owning it, and there are many turn coats in our midst. Well, it is time to put such arguments aside.

On the 25th January 2010 this album will be 25 years old. To pay tribute to an artist who will no doubt have affected you deeply by one of his songs, whether from NJR or not, listen to the album in its entirety. You could be commuting for an hour and have it on your MP3 player, or dust off your vinyl copy and sink into a comfy chair, however you choose to do it, do it.

© Tampabay, by Steve Spears

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