Phil Collins Motown tribute tops UK album chart

Phil Collins’ 18-track Motown tribute album Going Back has lived up to its title by putting him back at the top of the UK album charts for the first time since 1998.

Going Back is Collins’ eighth studio album and his first full solo release for eight years. It features cover versions of many of the soul gems that influenced him as a teenager – including The Temptations’ ‘Papa Was a Rolling Stone’ and ‘Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue)’, Martha and The Vandellas’ ‘Heatwave’ , and Stevie Wonder’s ‘Uptight’, along with other classic songs recorded by The Four Tops, The Supremes and Smokey Robinson & The Miracles.

To make the album as faithful to the original Motown sound as possible, Collins brought in three surviving members of Motown’s legendary in-house Sixties studio band The Funk Brothers – bassist Bob Babbitt and guitarists Eddie Willis and Ray Monette.

Collins – who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year – says the album was a deeply personal labour of love for him. “These Motown songs, along with a couple of Dusty Springfield tracks, a Phil Spector/Ronettes tune, and one by the Impressions, make up the tapestry, the backdrop, of my teenage years.”

He says his intention was to make an ‘old’ record, not a ‘new’ record. “I didn’t try to bring anything new to these already great records,” he says. “I tried to recreate the sounds and feelings that I had when I first heard them.

“To be able to have three of the Funk Brothers play on all the tracks was unbelievable. I learned more about production skills and the wonderful songwriting of those concerned whilst making this album than I have from anything else.”

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