Phil Collins is working on his first new studio album in eight years that will give props to his soul music heroes from Motown and Stax Records, which pioneered the music in the 1950s and ’60s.
“It shouldn’t really be a surprise to anyone that I’ve finally made an album of my favorite Motown songs, the former Genesis singer says.
He’s got that right. He had a solo hit with a 1983 cover of “You Can’t Hurry Love” a song by ’60s supergroup The Supremes.
“There was one moment when they were tracking ‘Heat Wave’ that I experienced a wave of happiness and wonder that this was actually happening to me,” Collins says of one recording session.
The classic song was originally performed by Martha Reeves & The Vandellas in the 1960s.
The Temptations’ “Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue),” Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” and the Four Tops’ “Standing In The Shadows Of Love” and “Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever” will also be featured on the album.
“These 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 said.
“I remember it as if it was yesterday, going to the Marquee Club in London’s Soho and watching The Who, The Action, and many others, playing these songs. In turn I’d go out the next day to buy the original versions,” he added.
“My idea, though, was not to bring anything new to these already great records, but to try to recreate the sounds and feelings that I had when I first heard them.”
Collins is taking on some Motown veterans to help with the album. Some of the members of Motown’s house band, The Funk Brothers who played on many of the original classics, will work on his tribute album.
Collins and the Funk Brothers will perform a string of concerts at New York City’s Roseland Ballroom in June (10) to preview the album.