Deep Tracks: Phil Collins – That’s Just the Way It Is

Today, Robert wraps up this week’s Phil Collins Deep Tracks. I hope you enjoyed these as much as I have. To be honest, the only song I was familiar with was yesterday’s (“Long Long Way to Go”). It is always great to discover great music! Thanks so much, Robert!

That’s Just the Way It Is (1989)

Here is another song that is similar to yesterday’s: serious lyrics and a famous background vocalist, this time it is David Crosby (in 1993 Collins would record “Hero” with Crosby for his solo album). Musically, this is a somber tune that matches the lyrics perfectly. The song is about feuds or long standing disagreements that continue through many generations costing many lives along the way. While no specific conflict is mentioned in the song, one of the conflicts that this could easily be about is the fighting that existed between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. This generational fighting existed for hundreds of years and saw no real peaceful solution until the late 1990s. This conflict clearly had a direct effect on Northern Ireland, but it also extended to England due Northern Ireland being a part of the United Kingdom and that many of the Protestants were of English descent. The fight has truly been passed down through multiple generations, “It’s been your life for as long as you can remember / But you cannot fight no more / You must want to look your son in the eyes / When he asks you what you did it for.” The frustration lies in the idea that this fighting could stop at any time. Unfortunately, it has always been this way – it is what is expected, “Young men come and young men go / But life goes on just the same. . . That’s just the way it is.” The futile nature of the conflict is clear as is Collins’ frustration with the continued loss of life.

Beginning on January 29, Phil Collins will begin re-releasing his solo albums. Each package will include a digitally remastered original album and a second disc full of live versions, demos, and previously unreleased versions. All of the album covers will be re-shot in the same design as the originals, but with a new image of Collins’ face. The first two releases will be Face Value and Both Sides with the other albums being released throughout 2016. These releases mark the official “un-retiring” of Collins who, at the end of 2015, announced his return to touring and making new music.

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