“I'm happy to sit behind the drums and let Peter (Gabriel) be the singer. If (a reunion) happens” – Phil Collins on a Genesis reunion of the original line-up
Phil Collins – Dancing Into The Light!
Legendary singer songwriter has transcended many genres of music and was one of the biggest recording artists of the Eighties. Phil Collins poignant song writing with his distinctive and easily recognizable voice has given him a special place in the music industry. From drummer to band leader for super group Genesis, Phil Collins has always been a pioneer. Collins has also acted in several movies, theater and was also portrayed in the video game Grand Theft Auto. His failed three marriages and the costly divorces have made tabloid news all over the world. Phil Collins has also won Album of the Year and 6 other Grammies and an Academy award for his contribution to the Tarzan soundtrack. As a solo artist Phil Collins has sold nearly 35 million albums world wide.
The Genesis of a Superstar!
Phil Collins was born in London and from a very early age started playing the drums. He was also a child actor with a handful of roles Phil Collins became the drummer of UK progressive rock band Genesis in 1970. For the next 5 years playing drums for Peter Gabriel fronted Genesis. Once Gabriel departed Phil Collins was the new lead vocalist. From 1976 to 1986, Genesis recorded several highly acclaimed and successful albums.
Early Years and Genesis
Going SoloPhil Collins harnessed his songwriting skills and released “Face Value” in 1981. The album was a UK No.1 and sold more copies than all of Genesis’s previous work. The heartbreaking ballad “In the Air Tonight” was a global smash. The song dealt with the break down of his first marriage. The song is like an open raw wound and showed an incredible songwriting depth. His next album “Hello, I must be Going” in ’82, which had a UK No.1 single “You can’t Hurry in Love” a cover song of the Supremes.
After focusing on Genesis albums Phil Collins released his most successful album “No Jacket Required” which made him a superstar. The album was very immediate and improvised which even won Phil Collins the coveted Album of the Year Grammy. The track “Sussudio” was a massive hit and a Phil Collins live standard. His love ballad “One more Night” was a hit. His relaxed and up tempo music was lyrically diverse from anything from that era. The upbeat music sounded positive and his live performances were always a fun filled affair. The album has sold over 10 million copies in the US alone. The world tour was also a success.Sussudio Live Aid PerformanceSussudio Phil Collins is also remembered for his contribution to Live Aid song “Do they know its Christmas”. He also managed to play both concerts – first appearing with Sting at Wembley Stadium London and then flying Concorde to Philadelphia to play the show there. He also famously managed to bring Jimmy Page and Robert Plant together for a Led Zeppelin of sorts.
Four year would pass before Phil Collins would release “… But Seriously” in 1989. The album was darker and dealt with many current issues of the time. His lyrical theme was a radically different from his previous effort and the world saw a very serious side of Phil Collins. The famous “Another Day in Paradise” a song about homeless people set the tone and direction of the album. Collins considered it time to embrace some of the real world issues – such as political instability, racism and the strain of relationships. The song “I wish it would Rain Down on Me” with Eric Clapton was a gospel themed song about loneliness and alienation. The album was a US and UK No.1. The Seriously Live tour was another successful tour.
The 1993 “Both Sides” was commercial flop. Coming on the heels of a Genesis reunion and tour Phil Collins could not quite match up to that success. The album looked tired and too emotional. Lyrically once again the album explored the personal trials of the artist who was going through a second divorce. Even though the album was not a major hit, the ensuing world tour Both Side of the World Tour was a massive success. Phil Collins played all his best hits. In ’96 “Dance Into the Light” was a return to the up-beat saxophone and piano style of the ‘80s. But the album was a commercial disappointment. But the ensuing tour was his biggest ever. People were still interested in his earlier songs and live performances.
The 2002 “Testify” was considered an even bigger disappointment then his predecessor. The music felt too outdated and confused tying to be contemporary and the lack of any hit singles resulted in poor sales.
In 2006, Phil Collins went on a successful world wide reunion tour with Genesis. A spectacularly designed stage show saw them play 500,000 people in Rome.
Did you know that...
- ...Phil Collins was lampooned in the controversial South Park series.
- ...Phil Collins and his third wife were one of the guests at Prince Charles wedding to Camellia Parker Bowles.
- ...Phil Collins was one of the hundred screaming teenagers for the Beatles movie Hard Days Night.