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Phil Collins' Motown Road Show Brings Soul Classics to NYC



By Andy Greene, Rolling Stone Magazine, June 25, 2010

It's very hard not to come off like a glorified wedding band when you play a two-hour concert comprised entirely of Motown and soul covers, but last night in New York, Phil Collins pulled it off.

Backed by a killer 18-piece band that included two members of the Motown house band the Funk Brothers and two members of Genesis, Collins got most everybody in the Roseland Ballroom dancing to classics by Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, Smokey Robinson and the Ronettes. "You may wonder what we're doing up here," he said early in the evening. "A couple of years ago I decided to make a record of the songs I loved as a teenager. I haven't played most of the songs since my school band. If I fuck up the words, who cares?"

Collins scored a Top 10 hit with his cover of the Supremes' "You Can't Hurry Love" in 1982, but his career has largely teetered back and forth between prog-rock and 1980s pop. From the moment he took the stage and burst into "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" it was clear this music was much closer to his heart than even some of his own hits. Every nuance of the original arrangements was meticulously recreated, aided by the presence of Funk Brothers bassist Bob Babbitt and guitarists Eddie Willis and Ray Monette. A five-piece horn section, six back-up singers, a drummer, two percussionists and a keyboardist rounded out the lineup, who played on a gigantic semi-circle stage that looked like it came straight from the original Copacabana.

Before this brief six-show tour launched, Collins expressed concern that fans would come to the gigs and expect to hear his own catalog hits, but most everybody seemed please to hear hits by other artists. Highlights included a super funked out rendition of the Temptations' "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," the Four Tops' "Standing in the Shadows Of Love" and the Miracles' "Going To a Go-Go," which featured Collins sharing the front of the stage with his backup singers. Not all the songs were staples of oldies radio. He dug deep with covers of the Ronettes' "Do I Love You" and Stevie Wonder's "Where Has My Love Gone" and "Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer." The later two were ballads that highlighted Collins remarkably preserved voice.

Short of a quick Genesis reunion tour in 2007, Collins has been largely off the grid since his First Final Farewell Tour six years ago. He maintains it's unlikely he'll ever release a record of original material again, and a severe hand injury makes it highly doubtful he'll be behind the drums should Peter Gabriel ever decide to return to Genesis. All that means this could be his last go-round. If so, it's a real shame. He has a tremendous gift for writing pop songs, and even though the critics have torn him up over the years, does anybody now doubt the brilliance of songs like "In the Air Tonight" and "Against All Odds?"

Towards the end of the night he sang a passionate version of Carole King and Gerry Goffin's "Going Back." "I think I'm going back to the things I learned so well in my youth," he sang. "I think I'm returning to the days when I was young enough to know the truth." It was hard to not interpret it a declaration that he's brought his career full circle, and now he plans on quietly walking away from it.

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COMMENTS

Chaque jour que vis, n'est pas une bénédiction. Heureusement pour moi.Non pas en égoïsme. L'égoïsme n'est juste qu'une façade. Crist est invité contre sa volonté chez un homme riche. Il s'y rend avec sa personne. Le riche non seulement lui montre sa richesse et lui montre sa solitude d'être. Le riche le quémande de l'assister. le crist n'étant que l'image de son père: dit: Qu'attends-tu de moi? De toi-même et de tes richesses je ne deviendrais en mon état que ta ressemblance. Je ne le peux, puisque je n'ai aucune envie de te connaître comme tu es. si tu veux me connaître et connaître mon père, ce n'est ni toi ni tes richesses qui pourront suffire. puisque seul à vous deux vous ne faîtes qu'un. Chez mon père être ne peut être qu'une reconnaissance de biens. À plusieurs nous ne formons qu'une compassion. être. Le verbe suivi de tout synonime. Même en imparfait. Le passé est simple, et n'a que de bonnes raisons de ne changer.'L'histoire n'appartient qu'a celui à qui le verbe s'avance. VioleTTes.


violeTTe

Posted 4 years 16 weeks ago

Phil, ainsi la musique a 1 sens? être aurait donc la possibilité d'une satisfaction. Si, je te dis, que j'aime les enfants du Brésil plus que Phil Collins? Que j'aime les enfants du brésil plus que ? Les enfants de tes femmes? Tu as semé? Qu'as-tu semé? des enfants? Les enfants du Brésil de la rue, tu les as semé! N'est-il pas? J'aime tes enfants. les enfants du Brésil peuvent aussi te reconnaître Phil.Tu es seul dans chacun de ses enfants. L'enfant n'a besoin de toi quand tu comprendras l'enfant dans le crist. Hélène très catholique a trouvé la croix, ne crois pas en son indulgence. trouver la croix du crist en tant qu'impèratrice! Sujette d'1 roi, elle est ange nommé qui ne peut s'exiler. 1 2 3 j'irai dans les bois 4 5 6 cueuillir des cerises 7 8 9 dans mon panier neuf 10 11 12 elles seront toutes rouges. Heureusement le sens du crist ne revient pas mais est présent. heureusement également, moi aussi j'ai le droit par lui de regarder mon passé. j'aime énormément ta chanson , it's funny! Fun! Enjoy! I am not! Lucky i'm, the only one to find this wonderful! Like music! Sens! Francis Cabrel-IL Faudra Leur Dire.French langage? I don't know? Do you remember? ? catholique.


violeTTe

Posted 4 years 16 weeks ago

Phil Collins was amazing in NYC!


chrisyu

Posted 4 years 16 weeks ago

PART 1. YouTube:Plongeons Cassis. From:ValmontBeach.29september2007.They are *unique*.The childrens from Brésil are also unique


violeTTe

Posted 4 years 17 weeks ago

PHIL? You can'not find?Plongeons Cassis, 28 septembre 2007. Please and of course ENJOY<<<<<<<<<


violeTTe

Posted 4 years 17 weeks ago

YouTube:ValmontBeach.Plongeons Cassis:28septembre2007.Wat doe you think, when you see this Phil? You'll be in my heart?


violeTTe

Posted 4 years 17 weeks ago

i am a very bad woman. Hélènë !The childrens from the streets in Brésil! Also, together,We are very bad.For yours ,FANS>! We are bad.Can YOU see Phil! How goed YOU ARE? And i bad i can be together? You Tube is a wonder<<<<<<<<<<<


violeTTe

Posted 4 years 17 weeks ago

Phil,for You, i hope that you can see, how bad, i'm. Not because, i am bad, but because i am.When Crist one time speak to the *élèves*. he says, can you see what i'm doing? i'm koming back...When i'm koming back back! believe me<<<<<<<


violeTTe

Posted 4 years 17 weeks ago

phil,do think that you know me now WAKE UP CALL? Everything change around you! it's yours words! What doe YOU WANT Phil? Doe you want to know me? Or doe YOU WANT TO KNOW THE PAST WIT YOURS WOMAN?S YOU SHARE? CARE?It's what YOU WANT? sorry, i'm not, i'm<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


violeTTe

Posted 4 years 17 weeks ago

The album: 'Going Back' sounds like a neat idea... The actual song 'Going Back', i love that
Phil Collins sound and insight. The musicians and backup vocals sounded great to. I would have enjoyed being there. I think Phil could sing anything and it would sound great!


Gail

Posted 4 years 19 weeks ago

"He maintains it's unlikely he'll ever release a record of original material again..."

WHAT the %$&#? I hope he's just creating a stir....now I think I'm 'Going Back' - into a depression.
C'mon Phil....I hope you aren't serious!


jeffkstkrt

Posted 4 years 19 weeks ago

Wish I had been there - sounded like a fantastic night.


SuzieQ

Posted 4 years 19 weeks ago

Was so enjoying this review...until the final line. I for one am not buying that "plans on quietly walking away from it" stuff.


iggie65

Posted 4 years 19 weeks ago

Looking forward to Phil's new album ! Will miss the left handed drumming skills Phil has !!


pcdrums

Posted 4 years 19 weeks ago

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