Even though I don’t really have any of his music on my iPod (a tragedy which comes of someone whose whole collection you have on cassette) Phil Collins is and remains one of my favorite musicians of all time. Though he is caricatured in popular culture (South Park) there would not be caricature were there not love somewhere. Phil Collins has put out so much great music and his work with Brand X, Marilyn Martin, and of course Genesis have helped shape the world I live in, anyway. His music were often tunes tinged with longing, heartache, political vigor, and social justice in mind. But who is Phil Collins? What is his story? More importantly where is Phil Collins now?
Who is Phil Collins: Asking who Phil Collins is, is sort of a silly question just because the name and voice Phil Collins has been plastered all over diners, elevators, doctor’s offices, and atriums for the last thirty years. But Phil Collins is a drummer and at first was drummer and backup vocalist for the Peter Gabriel fronted band Genesis. This was in 1970. Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford were the other two members of the band and they all played together for a few years in the early 1970’s. Peter Gabriel eventually went his own way to pursue a solo career and Genesis turned into a threesome with Collins playing the drums in studio and Chester Thompson playing their live shows (though sometimes Collins would get up and play with Thompson on a second set during longer instrumental portions of songs; a feat I’ve seen myself). Genesis were a band similar to the Moody Blues I guess (“Wind & Wuthering”); but the Genesis sound; especially after Gabriel left; was much more Top 40 FM radio stuff. Not to say that Top 40 FM radio was playing much music which sounded like Genesis at the time; but Genesis helped craft the mold which others followed.
Phil Collins: Genesis: Genesis went on to record a bunch of hit records in the 1980’s; all the while Phil Collins was doing his own solo career. I always thought this was sort of interesting because even though Phil Collins had Genesis and was probably more successful than he ever could have imagined; he kept going and doing his solo work. Solo Phil Collins was actually pretty similar to the Genesis stuff, though I’m sure Phil Collins would want you to think otherwise. Phil Collins solo stuff was maybe a little bit darker; the subject matter was a little creepier (“Thru These Walls” is one song which springs to mind) but not all of it was creepy. Some of his solo work was issue oriented (“Another Day in Paradise”) but he was able to keep both Genesis and his solo stuff going for a while.
Phil Collins: Post Genesis: When Genesis stopped playing together, Phil Collins sort of got on the money train. He did that Tarzan song (“You’ll be in My Heart”) which was pretty terrible and did probably a lot more producing or live shows on the oldies circuit.
Phil Collins: Where is He Now: Much to my surprise Phil Collins has a new record due out in September 2010. His new website hasn’t really been set up just yet but keep your ears to the ground on that one. The requisite tour, video, and Grammy may be following but maybe Phil Collins should do a streaming webcast or have a downloadable iPhone-ap because that’s the way the kids these days get their music.
The information in this article is from the authors memory