I Love Phil Collins - His Best Songs and Music
All About Phil
I love his voice, his catchy tunes, and his balding head. This article is all about the music, the mystery, the Phil.
Phil Collins that is!
I will cover some tidbits on the man behind the drums, a mini biography, some trivia, but most importantly, I'll be talkin' bout the music. Read on for clips from some of my all time favorite Phil Collins (and Genesis) songs, as well as some fabulous (and super 80s) music videos.
How much do you know about Phil Collins?
Who Is Phil Collins?
I'm glad you asked.
Phil Collins is a singer/songwriter/drummer/awesome person who was most famous in the 80s and 90s. He's British and has a very recognizable singing voice, both as the (second) front man for the band Genesis, and during his solo career. His music can best be described as pop. He had a string of 13 top ten hits in the heyday of his career.
Throughout his career has also been balding. While it may be a sensitive subject for some men, for Mr. Collins it doesn't seem to be the case. I'm grateful that he took the the higher "Bruce Willis" road rather than the lower "John Travolta" route with hairstyle choices.
Phil, bald looks fabulous on you.
Phil Collins - Take Me Home
This is probably my favorite Phil Collins song (from his solo career). It still gives me the chills.
Lily Collins Photo by Gage Skidmore (CC) via Wikimedia Commons | Phil Collins Photo via Amazon
Phil Collins: The Trivia
- January 30, 1951 - Phillip David Charles Collins was born in Honslow, London to a theater agent and an insurance rep.
- Little Drummer Boy - 5 year old Phillip was given his first (toy) drum set for Christmas in 1956.
- Phil: The Beginning - Phil began his creative career as an actor, appearing in various plays and as an extra in several films. His passion for music continued through his teen years, culminating with contributing his percussion skills to the George Harrison song, "The Art of Dying."
- Phil: The Actor - Collins makes a cameo in the fantabulous Steven Spielberg sequel to Peter Pan: "Hook." He also makes and appearance in The Who's rock opera "Tommy" as Uncle Ernie.
- The Audition - 19 year old Collins answered an ad from the budding band "Genesis" who were looking for a drummer. His audition, at Peter Gabriel's parent's house, blew the band away as Collins had listened to the drumming of those that auditioned before him and performed completely from memory.
- One Door Closes - Peter Gabriel, the former frontman of Genesis, left the group in 1975. After auditioning (and singing backup for) nearly 400 hopefuls, Genesis decides Collins really was the best man for the job.
- You Always Remember Your First - Genesis has their first Top 10 hit in 1978 with "Follow You Follow Me."
- Accolades - "Against All Odds" becomes Phil Collins's first number one hit and yields his first Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Peformance (male). "You'll Be In My Heart," from Disney's Tarzan, brought Collins a Grammy, Golden Globe, and an Oscar.
- Remember the Alamo - Collins loves The Battle of The Alamo so much that he wrote a book about it in 2012.
- A Renaissance Man - In addition to his popular music career, Collins was also the founding member of a jazz fusion band called Group X and was a record producer during the 80s. He also holds 3 honorary doctorates in fine art, music, and history.
- Phil Collins has Been Married 3 Times - He divorced his first wife wife Andrea Bertorelli, following her infidelity with a decorator and painter. Second wife, Jill Tavelman, is famously "divorced from Phil via fax" (something Collins denies, but he admits some paperwork was sent via fax). He was married to his third wife, Orianne Cevey, from 1999-2008. In 2010 he stated that he does not plan to marry again.
- Children - Collins adopted his first child Joely, the daughter of his first wife. From that marriage, his son Simon was born in 1976. Daughter, Lily Collins, is born in 1989 during his second marriage. He is also the father of two children from his third marriage: Nicholas and Matthew.
- It Runs In the Family - Out of his 5 children, Simon Collins, Joely Collins, and Lily Collins are the most recognizable. Simon is a British Canadian musician, while Joely is a Canadian Actress. Lily Collins is an English-American actress, with notable roles in The Blind Side (as Sandra Bullock's daughter) and Mirror Mirror (as Snow White).
- March 4, 2011 - Phil Collins announces via his website that he is retiring to spend more time with his family. A segment of the population weeps a little.
Robert Downey Jr. is a Phil Collins Fan
Robert Downey Jr, aka IRONMAN has been quoted as saying:
"I`m deep into old Genesis. I`m sorry, but these are songs that mean something to me. "Follow You Follow Me" is a song that`s about something to me."
Phil Collins - The Genesis Era
My Favorite Songs
Man On the Corner
Land of Confusion
Follow You Follow Me
I Can't Dance
Throwing It All Away
Genesis - Land of Confusion
The wonkiest puppet video ever. They don't make 'em like this anymore.
Is it as bad as everyone says it is?
Phil's Collin's voice is a gentle, calming, effortless ocean that I like to wrap myself in. Much of his earlier work with Genesis sounds similar to Peter Gabriel, and there's a whole camp of people that believe Collins's voice is better (gasp!) than Gabriel's; many people believe that he has more range with his vocals. Collins has also proven to be the more successful pop artist. With over 150 million records sold, he is thought to be the most popular pop musician of the 80s after Michael Jackson. Even those that don't agree that he is the better musician than Gabriel will agree that Phil Collins was one hell of a drummer.
At the peak of his fame, the Collin's sound is pure, unadulterated pop. While some of his songs fell into the bland, unoriginal category, I'd argue that most were catchy, memorable and have held up over time. Many of his lyrics stem from a darker place than his upbeat melodies and videos might suggest. His multiple failed marriages certainly fueled a large portion of Phil Collins's work.
In a 2010 interview with Rolling Stone, Collins reveals that much of the backlash he received in the 90s took him by surprise. At the same time he accepts that he is often pegged as the punchline to the excess and ridiculousness of the 80s. Such is his lot in life.
Personally, I think Phil Collins is fantastic. I grew up with his music and it makes me happy. There is a certain joyous quality to his songs. It's why I wrote this article and why Phil Collins will remain one of my favorite elements of pop culture today.
Not everything needs to be high art to be worthy and it's certainly okay to like or even love something that is popular.
Phil Collins - The Solo Era
My Favorite Songs
Another Day In Paradise
In the Air Tonight
Don't Lose My Number
Take Me Home
Against All Odds
I Don't Care Anymore
You Can't Hurry Love
A Ridiculous Phil Collins Video
The music video from "Don't Lose My Number" inserts Phil into some iconic movies and music videos from the era. Parodies and references include: classic westerns & samurai films, Mad Max 2, David Lee Roth (California Girls), Elton John (I'm Still Standing), The Police (Every Breath You Take), and The Cars (You Might Think).
© 2013 Shay Marie