Love Songs:A Compilation...Old and New (2004)


 
Disc One 1. Tearing and Breaking 2. Do You Remember? 3. One More Night 4. Against All Odds 5. Can't Turn Back the Years 6. Groovy Kind of Love 7. Everyday 8. Don't Let Him Steal Your Heart Away 9. Please Come Out Tonight 10.This Must Be Love 11.It's In Your Eyes 12.Can't Stop Loving You Disc Two 1. Testify 2. True Colors 3. You'll Be in My Heart 4. If Leaving Me is Easy 5. I've Been Trying 6. I've Forgotten Everything 7. Somewhere 8. Least You Can Do 9. Two Hearts 10.Separate Lives (Live) 11.My Girl (Live) 12.Always (Live) 13.The Way You Look Tonight (Live)

 

This is one of those records that's so botched up, you have to wonder why anyone would buy it. Those that did end up buying this double CD probably wish they hadn't after they heard it and received much less than they expected. It should be noted that this could have been a great CD. Sort of a greatest hits album, but not really just hits - we'll just include all the soft stuff. It wouldn't even have been necessary, as some critics pointed out, to whittle down to one CD. Yes, Phil Collins does have a lot of great love songs. It's just a shame that a lot of them aren't here. What's really a shame is what is here instead.

Now, to be fair, about half of this disc is o.k. A lot of well known songs are here, as are a lot of great songs that a casual fan wouldn't know because they've never heard. So that's a good thing. Sadly, the bad things are abundant. First off, why the desire to record "alternate" versions of your hits? There's a live version of Separate Lives that, it itself, makes you feel cheated as well as a rehearsal version of True Colors. The biggest sin of the album is the big band/jazz version of Against All Odds. A big sin because this is so radically different than the "love" song from 1984 that anyone interested in buying something like this would expect. This was arguably his best love song ever, so including a bastardized version is unforgivable. You have to wonder if this was a choice that Phil made himself. Phil never really liked the "love song" monicker that critics assigned him, so maybe he was trying to challenge the status quo here. He should have challenged it somewhere else. These are fans that are wanting to buy this.

Being a double CD vastly improves the selection of songs to choose from, yet many of his classic love songs are surprisingly absent. This includes some of the hits (where is I Wish It Would Rain Down?) and some of his more obscure, yet great, love songs (The Same Moon? We Said Hello, Goodbye??) These exclusions wouldn't have necessarily been bad if this compilation would have left off crap like the obscure covers and strange choices such as My Girl and The Way You Look Tonight. I guess I'm thinking it's o.k. for an artist to put garbage out on a compilation CD such as this, but only after you put out what your fans want and expect.

The label "old and new" is a little misleading as well. The only "new" song that I can find in this mess is Tearing and Breaking. Not without its charms, but certainly not anything special. Unless you count all the unreleased covers and live songs as "new".

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