1. “The Moment”
(Mike Collins, Noel McCalla & Keith O’Connell)
I wrote this song with Noel McCalla and Keith O’Connell back in 1984. At the time, I was thinking of those classic pop soul songs such as Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me”, Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called To Say I Love Her”, and of Sam Cooke’s soulful vocal stylings.
2. “Love Letter”
(Mike Collins & Steve Thompson)
I wrote this song many years ago with Steve Thompson, who had previously written a hit song called “Hurry Home” by Wavelength, when we were both signed to Gus Dudgeon’s Gussongs songwriting ‘workshop’ via Dick James Music back in 1984.
3. “Pictures of You”
(Mike Collins & Breeze McKreith)
I wrote this song with ‘Breeze’ McKrieth, vocalist with ‘Light of the World’ and ‘Beggar & Co’, in 1984. I made this demo on a 4-track Fostex Portastudio, with a TR808 drum machine, a bass guitar, and a couple of electric guitar parts which I played. My friend Keith O’Connell played Fender Rhodes piano and Mary Carewe, who happened to be living in the flat above me at the time, sang the song.
4. “Famous Faces”
(Mike Collins, Keith O’Connell, Gee Bello, Nat Augustin, Nigel Martinez & Jim Hawkins)
I co-wrote this song back in 1981 and it was subsequently recorded by Light of the World and released on EMI Records in 1982. Here’s my new version – the rhythm section features Winston Blissett on bass, me on guitars, and Issa Mbaye on drums, with vocals and keyboards by David Philips.
5. “Number One Girl”
(Mike Collins, Keith O’Connell, Gee Bello, Nat Augustin)
This was one of the first songs I co-wrote back in 1981 with Keith O’Connell and Gee Bello from ‘Light of the World’ – the UK’s leading Brit-funk group at that time. Released on EMI in 1982, it ‘died a death’ as far as sales were concerned – but became a ‘cult’ hit on pirate radio for the next 3 decades!
6. “She’s So Entertaining”
(David Philips & Mike Collins)
“She’s So Entertaining” is a soulful song written by David Philips with some help from me, especially for the great ‘middle 8’ section where David sings about several of the world’s most famous entertaining people…
7. “Temporary Thing”
(Mike Collins & Adrian Port)
I wrote this song with Adrian Port back in 1982 or thereabouts. This version features David ‘DaPaul’ Philips singing and playing piano, me playing guitar, Winston Blissett on bass, and José Joyette on drums.
(Mike Collins, Adrian Port & Keith O’Connell)
Lyrics for everyone who has said things they wish they hadn’t in their angry moments… I wrote this song with Adrian Port and Keith O’Connell way back in 1982 or thereabouts. David Philips sings this version and plays the keyboards and the synths. I played the guitars and José Joyette plays the drums.
9. “Talk Talk Talk”
(Mike Collins & Muriel Jones)
Transylvanian singer Dora Adorra sings this version of this song I wrote with Muriel Jones in 1983.
10. “The Future Will Decide”
(Mike Collins & Elana Harris)
Here’s the latest mix of a great song I wrote many moons ago with Elana Harris who was singing with a band called Floy Joy at the time. This version features a ‘hot’ new vocalist, Miss Dora Adorra – all the way from Transylvania! Issa Mbaye from Senegal plays drums on this recording.
11. “(Don’t think that I’m not) Man Enough”
(Mike Collins & Winston Sela)
I wrote this song with Winston Sela back in 1982 when I was signed to Chappell music publishers. Our intention was to tailor this for a soulful vocalist and I had the Four Tops Levi Stubbs in mind. David Philips sings this new version and plays the keyboards. I play bass, rhythm and lead guitars and José Joyette plays drums.
12. “Don’t Blame Me”
(Mike Collins, Adrian Port, Keith O’Connell & Sam Whittam)
I wrote this song with my songwriting buddies Adrian Port, Keith O’Connell and Sam Whittam, back in 1984 while I was signed to Dick James Music publishers. It was totally overlooked by everyone at the time, but I always believed in the song. So David Philips sang this version and programmed the music, based on the original arrangement. I added handclaps, finger snaps and the guitar… then José Joyette got busy with the drums!!!
13. “Paradise Street”
(Mike Collins & Jamie Petrie)
“Paradise Street” – wouldn’t we all like to live there! Jamie Petrie’s lyric speaks for many people… …and Mike’s music has more than a hint of Caribbean influence!
14. “Stop – Why Don’cha”
(Sylvia Griffin, Mike Collins & Keith O’Connell)
A quick collaboration back in 1983 produced this charming song that strings together lots of famous Motown and soul song titles to form the lyrics! I produced this demo together with Keith O’Connell featuring Sylvia Griffin on vocals.
15. “Positive Vibration”
(Mike Collins & Lorna Rowe)
I wrote this song with Lorna Rowe (now Lorna Marshall) back in the early 80’s. I recorded and produced this version on a Fostex Portastudio, programmed the TR808, played guitar and synthesisers. I cannot remember the name of the guy who raps…
16. “Sexx It Up”
(James Reeno, Mike Collins & Linda Muriel)
This ‘slamming’ track is a unique collaboration between Linda Muriel & Mike Collins in London writing to a backing track created by James Reeno in New York.
17. “Song of Love”
(Mike Collins & Aurora Colson)
I wrote this song in 2010; recorded, arranged and produced the music in 2012; and finally found a great singer for the song in September 2014! I play the guitars, Samuel Dubois plays steel pans, David Philips plays Fender Rhodes, Winston Blissett plays bass, and Westley Joseph plays the drums.
18. “Why I Like Music”
(Mike Collins & Linda Muriel)
Linda Muriel said this reminded her of why she likes music – so she just recorded these vocals! I wrote the music back in 1984 and recorded my guitars and TR808 drums to a Portastudio cassette. My sadly departed Lithuanian friend Balis ‘Novak ‘ Zhuraitis (MD for Imagination at that time) played Rhodes and synths. This year, I overdubbed extra synths, played by David Philips, and recorded José Joyette playing drums.
19. “I’m Leaving”
(Mike Collins & Vivienne McKone)
I co-wrote this song with Vivienne McKone who also plays the electric piano. I played guitar and bass, programmed the synths and drums, and produced the track.
20. “The Way We Found Love”
(Mike Collins, Blair Cunningham & Vivienne McKone)
This song started out as an instrumental that I wrote with Blair Cunningham. Vivienne liked this, and we co-wrote lyrics and melodies to turn the instrumental into this song…
21. “These Times”
(Mike Collins, Ernest Ranglin)
I wrote these lyrics to Ernest Ranglin’s instrumental tune, “These Times”.
22. “Is This Love”
(Mike Collins, Jim Mullen, Blair Cunningham, Winston Blissett)
This song started out as a jazzy instrumental track which I put together a few years ago with guitarist Jim Mullen, bassist Winston Blissett and drummer Blair Cunningham. Last year, I was inspired to sing lyrics about a love affair and I used my improvised guitar solo as the basis for the melody. David liked the song, so I recorded his vocals in a couple of session over the last couple of days to develop the phrasing. Now you can enjoy this bit of fun with us…!!!
23. “Keep It Up”
(Malcolm ‘Molly’ Duncan, Mike Collins, Keith O’Connell, Pat Seymour, Gill O’Donovan)
I wrote this funky instrumental in 1985 with Malcolm ‘Molly’ Duncan, the sax player from the Average White Band, and with Keith O’Connell, my long-time musical collaborator. ‘Molly’ recorded this version in 1986 at Odyssey Studios in London with Pat Seymour on keyboards, Gill O’Donovan and Suzie O’List from the Eurythmics band on vocals, Norman Watt-Roy from Ian Dury’s Blockheads on bass, Onnie McIntryre from the Average White Band on guitar and Neal Wilkinson on drums.
24. “Amazing Grace”
(Traditional, Arranged by Mike Collins)
I created this arrangement of the well-known folk hymn “Amazing Grace” especially for my friend Jocelyn Brown. Jocelyn came to my studio to co-write a song with me. Knowing that she loved “Amazing Grace” and had recently recorded a version as a duet with Russell Watson, I quickly recorded a basic version of this arrangement before she arrived and surprised her with it at the end of our songwriting session! Of course she wanted to record this song with me, and I built up this new arrangement by overdubbing several instruments played by myself and other musicians since. Enjoy!
25. “(If I Had) One Wish”
(Lyrics & Melodies: Mike Collins & Rouhangeze Baichoo, Music: Mike Collins, Damon Butcher & Blair Cunningham)
With melody and lyrics written by Rouhangeze together with Mike, this was originally an instrumental piece co-written by Mike with Damon Butcher and Blair Cunningham.
26. “This Ain’t Love”
(Mike Collins, Keith O’Connell, Steve Jerome)
I co-wrote this song with Keith and Steve in 1984 while we were all working as songwriters in a songwriting workshop under the direction of Elton John’s producer Gus Dudgeon at Dick James’ Dejamus music publishing company. I always liked this funky little Portastudio demo featuring Claudia Cuffey on vocals!
27. “Oh Ruby”
(Mike Collins, Justin ‘Ravi’ Freeman)
Here is a song that I co-wrote with Justin ‘Ravi’ Freeman around 1985! I think that the vocalist is another songwriter, Adam Seymour, who I was working with at the time who had a much more ‘rock and roll’ vocal style. I played all the instruments – guitar, bass and programmed TR707 drums – and recorded these using a Fostex 4-track ‘portastudio’.
28. “And I Realize”
(Mike Collins, Ola Zembron)
I wrote this song with Ola Zembron back in 2009 and recorded this version on which I played acoustic and electric guitars and hand percussion. Later, José Joyette played drums, and Winston Blissett added the finishing touches, playing bass, in March 2015 – a long musical journey!
29. “Feeling Inspired”
(Mike Collins, Jim Mullen & Aurora Colson)
Here is a song that I put together with Jim Mullen and Aurora Colson. Jim and I created the music and I wrote the lyrics with Aurora. Unusually, Jim plays acoustic guitar on this, using my 1940’s Epiphone Broadway. Jim also plays the bass!
30. “Everyday People (Song for a Brighter Day)”
(Mike Collins, David Philips & Blair Cunningham)
I wrote this song together with vocalist David “DaPaul” Philips in 2011. We constructed the music to a drum track that I had recorded with Blair Cunningham a couple of years before that. With a good bit of editing involved, this supported the song very effectively!
(David Philips & Mike Collins)
A moody, soulful song written by David Philips with some help from me, this version has some ‘rock’ influence.
32. “I Don’t Need You Any More”
(Kenya Kamanda, Mike Collins & Blair Cunningham)
Way back in 2004 I met a young singer from Chicago with a soulful vocal style called Kenye Kamanda. I had already recorded a bluesy chord sequence with a guitar melody, rhythm and bass, with Blair Cunningham playing drums. Kenye had a song idea in mind, so we quickly adapted this to my guitar melody and developed the final vocal melody and lyrics together. We only worked on this for a couple of evenings, then life took us both in different directions again and we lost touch – but this song remains!
33. “Wherever You Go”
(Mike Collins & Justin ‘Ravi’ Freeman)
Here’s a song I wrote with Ravi Freeman in 1985 or thereabouts. David Philips plays the keyboards and sings all the lead and backing vocals on this version. I play the bass guitar and José Joyette plays the drums!
34. “The Boogedy Man”
(Mike Collins, Benny Gallagher & Damon Butcher)
I recorded this music many years ago, playing bass guitar, Hohner Clavinet, acoustic and electric guitars, fingersnaps and handclaps, with Damon Butcher playing Rhodes piano and organ and Keith O’Connell playing the string synthesiser. Benny Gallagher wrote and recorded lyrics for this song about the ‘boogedy’ man or men. Blair Cunningham overdubbed the drums and I overdubbed the pedal harp some time later. Then Noel McCalla sang the lead vocal for this mix!
35. “After Noon”
(Mike Collins, Damon Butcher & Blair Cunningham)
A blues-influenced instrumental piece written by Mike Collins together with Damon Butcher and Blair Cunningham provides a perfect setting for Rouhangeze to add her improvised high notes.
36. “Blues for JB”
(Mike Collins, Lyn Dobson, Winston Blissett & Blair Cunningham)
Here is my tribute to blues singer JB Lenoir whose song “I sing um the way I feel” was a powerful early influence on me! This recording features Lyn Dobson playing soprano and tenor saxes – sometimes both at the same time – accompanied by me on acoustic guitar, Winston Blissett on bass, and Blair Cunningham on drums and percussion. Rouhangeze Baichoo adds the ‘icing on the cake’ with her bluesy vocal improvisations!
37. “Hollywood Nights”
(Mike Collins, Keith O’Connell, Gee Bello, Nat Augustin & Jim Hawkins)
I wrote this song with Keith O’Connell, Jim Hawkins and Gee Bello back in 1981. David Philips plays keyboards and sings the vocals on this version. I play guitars, Winston Blissett plays bass and Senegalese drummer Issa Mbaye plays the drum kit.
38. “Personal Touch”
(Mike Collins & Steve Jerome)
A song I wrote with Steve Jerome many moons ago – updated with the help of my ace studio team: David ‘Da Paul’ Philips (vocals & keys), Winston ‘Da Bass’ Blissett (er, bass), and José ‘Da Funk’ Joyette (drums)!
39. “Why Don’t You Believe”
(Mike Collins, Steven Jeffries & Adrian Port)
I wrote this song with Steven Jeffries and Adrian Port in 1982. David Philips sings this version and plays the keyboards. John McKenzie plays bass and José Joyette plays drums.
40. “Best of Both Worlds”
(Mike Collins, Keith O’Connell & Adrian Port)
Lyn Dobson plays the soprano sax improvisations on this mid-tempo track which also features Winston Blissett and José Joyette on bass and drums, respectively. David Philips sings the soulful vocal and plays the keyboards. I play the electric guitar. I co-wrote this song with Steve Jerome and Keith O’Connell back in the 1980’s – with Bill Withers and Grover Washington in mind!
41. “Priceless (Like a Fine Vintage Wine)”
(Mike Collins & Steve Jerome)
I wrote this song with Steve Jerome in 1984. David Philips sings this version and plays Rhodes piano. I play rhythm and lead guitars, Graham Dean plays the drums and Winston Blissett plays the bass. Lyn Dobson plays the flute at the intro.
42. “Quest For Love”
(Mike Collins & Justin Freeman)
I wrote this song around 1985 with Justin ‘Ravi’ Freeman. David Philips sings this version. I play acoustic guitar and Hammond organ – Justin plays acoustic guitar, piano, bass guitar and drums.
43. “Living In A Changing World”
(Mike Collins & Steve Jeffries)
I co-wrote this song back in 1981 with keyboard player Steve ‘Jaffa’ Jeffries. This new version features David Philips singing and playing keyboards – and Lyn Dobson, who plays the haunting flute improvisations. I play the guitar, Winston Blissett plays the bass and José Joyette plays the drums.
44. “The History of Man, Take 2”
(Mike Collins & Adrian Port)
An unusual lyric written by Adrian Port back in 1982 with my funky guitar riffs! David Philips’ funky vocals, Lyn Dobson’s funky soprano sax, José Joyette’s funky drums and Winston Blissett’s equally funky bass continue the journey…!
45. “I’ll Be So Good To You”
(Mike Collins, Steve Jeffries & Adrian Port)
A song co-written with Adrian Port and Steve Jeffries in 1982, re-recorded with David Philips (vocals and keyboard). I play the bass and José Joyette plays the drums.
46. “(As long as we’ve got love) It’s Alright”
(Mike Collins, Steve Jeffries & Adrian Port)
I wrote this song with Adrian Port in 1982. On this version, David Philips sings and plays the keyboards. I play the guitar, Clive Mellor plays the harmonica, Winston Blissett plays my original bass line on this song, and José Joyette plays the drums.
47. “Less Mwa”
(Mike Collins & Rouhangeze Baichoo)
An original song written by Rouhangeze and Michael with Mauritian creole lyrics. “I came up with the guitar idea which reminded Rou of Mauritian music.” says Michael. “I suggested that she write the lyric in her Creole language, then I played a Mauritian Ravanne hand drum. a triangle, and the bass guitar. My friend Lyn Dobson played flute improvisations on this recording.”
48. “Le Temps Des Cerises”
(Traditional, arranged by Mike Collins)
Written in France in 1866, with words by Jean-Baptiste Clément and music by Antoine Renard, the song was dedicated to a nurse who was killed in the Semaine Sanglante (‘Bloody Week’) in which French government troops overthrew the Paris Commune (a government that briefly ruled Paris from March 18 to May 28 in 1871).
49. “Auld Lang Syne (A right good willie waught)”
(Traditional, arranged by Mike Collins)
“A right good willie waught” – New Year’s Eve is the one night of the year that people all over the British Isles have a good will drink together (a good willie waught in the Scots dialect), join hands and sing Auld Lang Syne to make sure that their friendships will never be forgotten… Here is a quirky rock/pop version of the song we all know, featuring Aurora Colson on vocals.
50. “Berwick Rendezvous”
(Lyrics and Melodies: Mike Collins & Aurora Colson, Music: Mike Collins & Damon Butcher)
This song tells the story of a young woman meeting a guy for the first time at a party and immediately falling under his spell – a classic ‘love at first sight’ situation!