Hello, I Must Be Going!

Phil Collins

Atlantic Records, 1982


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


As Genesis continued to climb in popularity and his solo career took off, one could think that Phil Collins could do no wrong. After all, he was managing both gigs as a solo artist and as the lead vocalist/drummer for Genesis. But sooner or later, something was going to have to give. (One could say it finally did when Collins departed Genesis in the '90s to devote his energy to his solo career.)

But in 1982, Collins finally did step on the first landmine, with his second solo album Hello, I Must Be Going!. Even though it spawned a major hit with his cover of The Supremes's "You Can't Hurry Love" and a minor hit with "I Don't Care Anymore," the remainder of the album was light fluff, weakly written and sometimes poorly performed. The album has its moments, but it also has a lot of mistakes.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Let's cover the hits first. "I Don't Care Anymore," the album's opener, is an interesting twist for Collins - a song driven almost completely by the drums and some keyboard work. By the time Daryl Steurmer comes in on the guitar, it's almost unnecessary; the primitive pounding on the skins is what seals this song from the start.

"You Can't Hurry Love" is also interesting, in that Collins proved on his previous album Face Value that he was more than capable as a songwriter. So for him to go to a cover is a curious fork in the road. Fortunately for Collins, he nails it with agility and grace. Besides, I guess I really shouldn't be surprised that Collins did a cover tune; he did have his version of "Tomorrow Never Knows" on Face Value.

Unfortunately, that's where most of the praise stops for Hello, I Must Be Going!. Some tracks on this album are just mediocre, such as "I Cannot Believe It's True" and "Do You Know, Do You Care?", almost performed as if Collins and crew knew they were capable of better works. Then there are tracks such as "Like China," which are so god-awful annoying that I almost pitched the tape out my car window. Did we really need to hear Collins deliver a song in a Cockney accent?

For every few so-so songs on Hello, I Must Be Going! like "Don't Let Him Steal Your Heart Away," there is at least one undiscovered gem. Case in point, "It Don't Matter To Me," a track I've heard get a little airplay over the years. This is a cut that is more indicative of what Collins and crew were capable of; pity it didn't get the attention it deserved.

Collins would obviously recover from this album with his mega-success No Jacket Required (which we'll get to one of these days; the inbox is getting to be like Fibber McGee's closet), but Hello, I Must Be Going! is an album that is definitely a "for the fans only" release. If you absolutely have to hear the hits from this one, then pick up Hits. Otherwise, this album might consider following its own title, and going for a major retooling.

Rating: C

User Rating: B


Sure this is an uneven album, but when it peaks rank among Phil's best tunes ever.
Those moments include, among others: Do You Know Do You Care and I Don't Care Anymore, both showing a darker side of the bald guy which would never show up again, and the wonderful Thru' These Walls, which sounds like it could have appeared on a Peter Gabriel album.

© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Atlantic Records, and is used for informational purposes only.