Log in
Phil Collins: Going BackGiven the re-appraisal of Phil Collins by numerous hip-hop producers, rappers and er...that arbiter of all things rock'n'roll, Alan McGee, it's more than baffling to find the one-time Genesis drummer come creeping back to the scene of his1982 crime, the notorious filleting like a fish in Billingsgate market of The Supremes' ‘You Can't Hurry Love'.

Logic dictates that one such musical homicide would have been enough for Collins (Lord knows it was enough for us) but, like a serial killer with uncontrollable homicidal tendencies, here he is 28 years later to perpetrate a cultural massacre of such magnitude that it's doubtful the blood stains will ever be removed with any amount of scrubbing and scouring powder. Avert your eyes and cover your ears, people, as Phil Collins returns with a vengeance to the Motown songbook once more.

Among the bodies lying in a crumpled heap like so much cheap garbage waiting to be cleared away are Stevie Wonder (‘Uptight (Everything's Alright)'), The Temptations (‘Papa Was A Rolling Stone'), The Miracles (‘Going To A Go-Go') and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas (‘Jimmy Mack'). As with any crime, a motive is to be established and Collins' defence, in the form of his sleeve notes, claims that he was seeing if it was possible "to recapture the sound and feelings (he) got from listening to these songs the first time round." So, as with all murderers, pretty selfish reasons then.

With so much of the joyous, uplifting and just plain life-affirming Motown back catalogue freely available (not to mention the any number of soul all-nighters dotted across the country), ‘Going Back' is a redundant exercise into one man's nostalgia. So Phil Collins recaptures that drum sound? So what? The irony here is that this music - some of the greatest tunes committed to vinyl, remember - has been stripped of the very soul that beats at its heart. In many respects, the whole exercise is redolent of the madness that fuels the schlock-horror of ‘The Human Centipede', an experiment with no discernable value and with truly repellent results.

What's really depressing about the whole sorry affair is that ‘Going Back' adds to the debate about the lack of dignity achieved by rockers of a certain age. While someone like Robert Plant - a man not noted for subtlety at the height of his powers - can offer tenderness and wisdom by reinterpreting vernacular music in his advanced years, then watching and listening to Collins pine for his youth is akin to being complicit in his bleak existential desperation.

© Yahoo! Music, by Julian Marszalek

Log in or Sign up