No Jacket Required is the third solo album by English singer-songwriter Phil Collins, released on 25 January 1985. The album was named after an incident at The Pump Room in Chicago, where Collins was denied admittance to the establishment because of his attire. No Jacket Required features guest vocalists, including Helen Terry, Peter Gabriel and Sting. Some of the songs, like “Don’t Lose My Number” and “Sussudio”, were based around improvisation. Other songs, like “Long Long Way to Go”, had a political message. “One More Night”, “Sussudio”, “Don’t Lose My Number”, and “Take Me Home” were released as singles, with corresponding music videos. All four singles were top-ten hits in the Billboard Hot 100, with “Sussudio” and “One More Night” reaching number one. The three singles that were released in the UK all reached the top 20 on the UK charts.
The album was positively received and won three Grammy Awards including for Album of the Year in 1986. Stephen Holden of The New York Times said that Collins was “quietly revolutionising and expanding the role of the drums in pop record making”. Collins’ most commercially successful album, No Jacket Required went to number one in several countries, including the United States (where it was at the top of the charts for seven weeks), United Kingdom and Canada. According to the RIAA, the record sold over twelve million copies in the US, and in the UK, the album sold over two million copies, and was certified 6× platinum. Worldwide, the album has sold over 25 million copies.
Many of the songs, including “Take Me Home”, and “Long Long Way to Go”, have been used in episodes of Miami Vice and Cold Case, and “The Man with the Horn” was re-written and re-recorded for the episode “Phil the Shill”. “We Said Hello Goodbye” was re-recorded for the movie Playing for Keeps.
Following the release of the album Collins embarked on the successful No Jacket Required World Tour. At the end of the tour, Collins received critical acclaim for performing at both the London and Philadelphia Live Aid concerts on 13 July 1985. During the tour, Collins recorded a song with Marilyn Martin for the movie White Nights, called “Separate Lives”, which was a number one hit in the US, and a top ten hit in the UK. Remixes of six songs from the album were later included on the 12″ers compilation.
The reception for the album was mostly positive. Geoff Orens of Allmusic, in a review written years after the album’s release, said that while some of the songs are “dated”, the album contains “standout tracks.” He describes “Long Long Way to Go” as “one of Collins’ most effective ballads”, and “Take Me Home” as “pulsating”. Orens went on to say “It’s not a completely satisfying recording, but it is the best example of one of the most dominating and influential styles of the 1980s.” Lori E. Pike of the Los Angeles Times gave the album a grade of an A-, saying that “Collins’ recipe of tense vocals spiced with saucy horns and splashy electro-jitterbugging synthesisers often leaves little room for real feeling to squeeze through. When he slows down and lets his smoldering moodiness take over, the effect is magical.”
Stephen Holden of The New york Times said that the album was “refreshing”, and that Collins was “adept” at setting a suspenseful or menacing mood. Holden described “Only You Know And I Know” as an “angry love song” that had some sampling of “Motown” style music mixed in. “In ‘One More Night’, Mr. Collins’s recent number-one hit, a ticking snare drum injects a whisper of lurking fear into a song that suggests a sweeter, tenderer reprise of ‘Against All Odds’ “, says Holden. Holden concluded by saying “On the surface, No Jacket Required, is an album bursting with soulful hooks and bright peppy tunes. But beneath its shiny exterior, Mr. Collins’s drums and his voice carry on a disjunctive, enigmatic dialogue between heart and mind, obsession and repression.”
At the 1986 Grammy Awards, Collins was nominated in five categories. The album won the award for Album of the Year, and Collins won Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male. Collins shared the Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) award with co-producer of the album, Hugh Padgham. In 1986 the album received two American Music Award nominations for Favorite Pop/Rock Album and Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist. At the Brit Awards in 1986 the album received two awards for Best British Album and British Male Artist, while Producer Hugh Padgham was nominated for Best British Producer. At the Brit Awards in 2010, the album was nominated for British Album of 30 Years.
“Sussudio” is one of Collins’ most famous songs and is referenced in many different media, including books, stand-up comedy acts and television shows. He has said that this is the song people most often sing to him when they spot him on the street. In the book and film adaptation of American Psycho, the main character (Patrick Bateman) briefly discusses it, amongst other work by Collins. It was heavily criticised for sounding too much like Prince’s song “1999”, a claim that Collins does not deny, citing that he is a big fan of Prince’s work.
Three songs recorded during the No Jacket Required sessions aired on episodes of the television show Miami Vice. “Take Me Home” appeared in “The Prodigal Son,” the premiere of the second season. “Long Long Way to Go” was played in the closing scene of the Season 2 finale “Sons and Lovers”, during the funeral for Ricardo Tubbs’ girlfriend and son. “The Man with the Horn” was re-written for an episode of Vice in which Collins guest-starred as a con-artist who got in trouble with cocaine distributors. The re-written version was titled “Life Is a Rat Race”.
“Take Me Home” was the closing theme song for the World Wrestling Federation’s television show, Saturday Night’s Main Event for several years in the late 1980s. In 2003, the hip-hop group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony based their song “Home” on this single. That version of the song featured the original song’s chorus, and hit number 19 on the UK charts.
All songs written and composed by Phil Collins, except where noted.
|2.||“Only You Know and I Know” (Lyrics: Collins, Music: Daryl Stuermer)||4:20|
|3.||“Long Long Way To Go”||4:20|
|4.||“I Don’t Wanna Know” (Lyrics: Collins, Music: Stuermer)||4:12|
|5.||“One More Night”||4:47|
|1.||“Don’t Lose My Number”||4:46|
|2.||“Who Said I Would”||4:01|
|3.||“Doesn’t Anybody Stay Together Anymore” (Lyrics: Collins, Music: Collins, Stuermer)||4:18|
|5.||“Take Me Home”||5:51|