No Jacket Required – Phil Collins – 1985
Claimed Sales: 25m
First listen?: Yes
Format Listened?: Apple Music
No Jacket Required is one of those albums that just sounds like the 80s. Full of bombastic horns and saxophone, thudding drums and driving stabs of synth. For the most part No Jacket Required sticks to the format of opener Sussudio with it’s ridiculously catchy hook matching the ridiculousness of the lyrics. Songs like Only You Know and I Know, Who Said I Would and Don’t Lose My Number define that 80s sound. The last of which is a definite standout thanks to the moments where the music drops out entirely as it reaches its climax. Phil Collins manages to keep everything he writes rhythmic, no surprise given his talents as a drummer, but it makes for a ‘Pop Star’ who stands out from the crowd. Even when things are a little less hectic, the thundering echo of Inside Out, or the vocal focused Doesn’t Anybody Stay Together Anymore Collins manages to remain the central focus of an solid and hit packed album. The ballads manage to stand out most of all and while One More Night sadly falls onto the more dreary side of things for me, the rest here are standouts. Long Way To Go is a classic Phil Collins ballad, while closer Take Me Home bridges that gap between a soaring vocal performance and driving drum machine. It sets the tone for the album that preceded it, the distant production overlaid on the vocals here giving this massive sense of scale. No Jacket Required may not feature the obvious standout hit that …But Seriously had, but for me it’s a more consistently great album.
Will I listen again?: Probably yes.
Best Track: Take Me Home is probably the song that stayed with me the longest after my first few listens. I’m very surprised to see that it was the album’s least successful single too.