- As Good As It Gets Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish for Collins’ second studio album – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- This is the last of the albums Phil recorded in analog, and of course the sound is big and rich – you will not believe all the space and ambience on this copy
- Includes Phil’s killer version of the Supreme’s classic, “You Can’t Hurry Love”
- 4 stars: “… the album is still a winning follow-up that shows Collins to be in full control of songwriting and production. It may be a shade less impressive than Face Value, but that was a hard act to follow.
Fortunately, the recording quality of this album is still analog and can be excellent, thanks to hugely talented engineer and producer Hugh Padgham (Peter Gabriel, Genesis, The Police, Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, etc.).
Phil’s third album, 1985’s No Jacket Required, sounds digital and ridiculously processed. I suppose not many albums from 1985 weren’t, but it’s still an unfortunate development for us audiophile types who may have wanted to enjoy these albums but are just not able to get past the bad sound.
What the best sides of this Phil Collins’ Second Solo album have to offer is not hard to hear:
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1982
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange — with the guitars and drums having the correct sound for this kind of recording
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the studio
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we listed above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
Transparency Is Key
Phil’s lead and harmony vocals are both breathy and present on the best copies, with natural, not hyped-up, texture, and harmonics. This is especially important for the love songs.
The many ballads on the album don’t work unless the sound is intimate and immediate.
Only the better pressings have the kind of high-resolution, full-bodied sound that allows both the rockers and the ballads to sound their best.
What We’re Listening For on Hello, I Must Be Going!
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
I Don’t Care Anymore
I Cannot Believe It’s True
Do You Know, Do You Care?
You Can’t Hurry Love
It Don’t Matter To Me
Thru These Walls
Don’t Let Him Steal Your Heart Away
The West Side
Why Can’t It Wait ’til Morning
AMG 4 Star Review
After the massive success of his 1981 album Face Value, Phil Collins didn’t take a much of a break. Genesis released Abacab six months later, then headed out on a long tour. When they got back, Collins jumped right into recording his second solo album, 1982’s Hello, I Must Be Going! The album wasn’t a huge departure from the formula established on Face Value, built as it was on introspective, gut-spilling ballads, horn-driven R&B jams, arty rockers, and dramatic breakup songs.
Despite the change in tone from intensely personal and dark to slightly detached and even lighthearted in spots, the album is still a winning follow-up that shows Collins to be in full control of songwriting and production. It may be a shade less impressive than Face Value, but that was a hard act to follow.