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Why should we listen to Phil Collins?

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

Singer and Drummer Phil Collins - at the height of his career in the 80's

Those who live with me, and/or are in my social circle, know very well that I am an admirer, not a fanatic, of the singer, songwriter, and drummer Phil Collins.

Me living my childhood in the 80s and adolescence in the 90s, I had contact with his peak and enjoyed, still short, many of his greatest ones. And as a consequence, I acquired their albums.

The record player I used. Yes, I used one of these when I was six years old.

The “guilt” is partly my mother, Rosemeire, who always encouraged listening to music when I was a child. I had one of those phonographs where you took the speaker off the top and set up the equipment. I spent hours listening to LPs on it.

If you don't know, LP, or rather (Long Play) Disc made of vinyl used for sound recording and reproduction, namely music. Google it, this is not the subject. I can write about this way of listening to music, which I still use today.

With this record player, my mom and dad would buy records and listen. But the one who was planted next to the sound box was me.

Around the year 1989, my mother brings a disc of a soundtrack of a soap opera, if I'm not mistaken the soap opera "O Salvador da Pátria" and by the second track that should be on side A of the LP (correct in the comments, if is wrong), the following song plays: “Two Hearts”.

Until that moment, Phil Collins was an unknown to me. But the music caught my attention from the beginning. The rhythm, as if it were a Beatles ballad, the lyrics, which speak of a person in love, who are not close to each other, but are connected as one mind. The lyrics for me are captivating, it is one of the greatest manifestations of romanticism that a person can have towards another:

Two hearts believing in just one mind

You know we're two hearts believing in just one mind

And that's it, the damage was done, oops... Lol... the connection was made. I was very curious to know, who sang this song. Remembering that at the time there was no internet, much of the information came from television, radio or newspapers. Book, only in the library. There was only one name, along with the title of the song: Phil Collins. I saved this name as I would need it later.

But as I said at the beginning of the text, he was at his peak, and it didn't take long for another hit to appear on the radio: "Another Day In Paradise". And the music video aired on TV. And voilà, I have the face of that Phil Collins guy.

He is very different from the stereotype of the famous singer. He is not a tall guy, he has a face that we consider to be “ordinary”, and he speaks in a way that reminds one of a funny relative that everyone has, at least I assume that everyone has…

I will already say that I believe this has captivated me in the singer. The common way. In the late 80s and early 90s, the beauty standard for singers was different: long hair, very voluminous, and the person had to be tall, or at least look tall, and when he was in a band, or was just a vocalist, or at most the bassist.

Singing drummer? It was new. Was Phil Collins a drummer in a band? How did he end up on vocals and become successful?

About Phil Collins

I will summarize for the reader as Phil Collins on vocals. About his biography, you can search here, since it has a lot of material.

Collins replaced John Mayhew in Genesis in 1970. By 1971, he only sang backing vocals and played drums.

The Genesis Band in the 70's - Left to Right: Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett and Phil Collins

The first song with him on vocals was "For Absent Friends". In 1975, Peter Gabriel left the band, and although they had around 400 vocals responded to the ad, they decided to go with Phil.

His first album with Genesis was "A Trick of the Tail". With Phil on vocals, Genesis manages to turn the situation to their advantage. No one thought they would recover after Gabriel's departure.

Between 1978 and 1984, Genesis was on a break to work on private projects and spend time with their families. This was possibly the worst time for Collins, as his family fell apart due to extensive touring.

He had nothing else to do but turn those emotions into a song that led to his first album, "Face Value". I wrote better just below in the part: "The Messy Marriage, the "Face Value" album and the complicated life.

Me with Phil Collins Album "Face Value"

This album was a significant success and reached number one in the UK album charts.

It was sold in 5 million copies worldwide. Collins showcased his drumming creativity on a hit song from this album, "In the air tonight".

After he released his second album, he started touring with his band. The first solo single that went to number one among several charts and earned him a Grammy was "Against All Odds".

His most successful album was "No Jacket Required", which featured Peter Gabriel and Sting and earned him three Grammy Awards.

He eventually left Genesis to focus on his solo career. By that time, he had become more prominent than the band, and with all the hit records and touring commitments, it was time for a change.

After leaving the band, Collins was featured in many exciting projects such as Phil Collins' big band where he played drums, the film Tarzan for which he composed tracks. Tarzan won him an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

He was also inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame, received the Disney Award and a star on a Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 2006, he toured again with Genesis, a band that would earn him an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 4 years later.

Many thought he would retire in 2010, and he was silent until 2016, when he published an autobiography and decided to undertake a "Not Dead Yet" tour.

I went to this show in São Paulo in 2018. It was a dream come true. I knew that Phil Collins was not in good health and that it was my last chance to see it live. He just didn't play the drums. He sang the whole show sitting down. And would go to the show if he sang in a hospital bed with an IV.

Is Phil Collins a good drummer?

He's not very technical, but overall a great musician. He has won many awards for his drumming from Rhythm, Music Radar, and Gigwise, Modern Drummer Magazine. He is cited by many drummers such as Taylor Hawkins, Mike Portnoy, Neil Peart and many others for his significant drum parts.

He played drums on Eric Clapton, Robert Plant, Paul McCartney, Elton John and Philip Bailey records.

(If the reader does not know any of the artists mentioned above, I strongly recommend researching… really…)

Despite the enormous popularity, sales of Collins records began to decline in the 90s, more precisely in 1993, the time of the album "Both Sides", in which his particular problems reflected in the conception of the disc, which did not please those who were used to it. With the upbeat, danceable, pop rock sound already developed.

In 2003, he announced that he would end his solo career, doing a farewell tour, releasing the tour DVD in 2004. Still, in 2003, Collins revealed that he had lost about 60% of the hearing in his left ear due to a viral infection and that he would not more produce their albums.

He has always faced difficulties in his personal life.

That's why some of your songs have a strong personal touch and touch people. I think this way. So it's interesting to hear.

In 2011, Phil Collins announced that he would retire from the stage. The withdrawal did not last long, as in 2016 he returned to the stage. In February 2018, sitting the whole time, he entertained 40,000 fans at Maracana, in Rio de Janeiro, and Allianz Park, in São Paulo, on a tour of the Brazil—a show that I went to, as I said. Last year, he toured Europe and the US with his “Still Not Dead Yet” tour. The latest news is the return of Genesis, which broke up in 1996, had a brief comeback in 2017 and has now just announced the “The Last Domino?” tour. But where will Phil, visibly physically weakened and unable to play the drums for years, get the energy to sustain another period on the road? The love of music and the stage explains part of it, of course. But they are not the complete story.

Genesis in its current lineup.

At 72, Phil has diabetes and is deaf in his left ear, the result of decades of performing in front of megadecibel speakers. He injured a vertebra in his neck during the 2007 Genesis tour and, after unsuccessful surgery, has great difficulty walking and has lost some feeling in his hands.

He doesn't play the piano anymore, he can't stay on his feet for long and needs to get around thanks to a cane. Faced with this fragile health, many have been wondering what would be the artist's motivation to face, once again, the heavy pace of a tour.

Reporter David Jones, from the “Daily Mail”, was one of those who found the justification of the singer and drummer not apparent and heard people close to him to find out what other reasons would be behind this new meeting.

Three years ago, David wrote a series of reports about the artist's tumultuous personal life and learned that his physical condition has not improved since then, despite several rigorous treatments. So, surprise was to be expected when Phil announced his intention to tour again with Genesis, the rock band that made him famous in the 1970s and 1980s. 150 million copies sold.

While the tour is expected to generate millions — six more dates have opened since its announcement — you can tell he's not doing it for the money. Four years ago, his fortune was estimated at $110 million, and more recent reports suggest it could double as his records continue to rack up royalties.

On the one hand, in the assessment of David Jones, Phil, despite his indisputable talent, has always been insecure. Music critics were harsh on him for a long time; many professional colleagues looked down on him. Therefore, one of the theories would be that he was reuniting Genesis in a final attempt to gain the critical acclaim commensurate with its commercial success.

One of the sources takes another tack, claiming he has always used work as a refuge from his personal struggles and that he may be turning to music again for issues that continue to plague him after three rocky marriages. He remains at odds with his first wife, Andrea Bertorelli, who threatened to sue him over events recounted in his 2016 autobiography, "Not Dead Yet."

The Messy Marriage, the "Face Value" Album and the Complicated Life.

Phil and Andrea were married in 1975 and, with the success of Genesis, he was often on tour while Andrea stayed home to care for their two young children, Simon and Joely. Lonely, she had two affairs, infidelity which inspired Phil's first solo LP, "Face Value", known as 'the divorce album'.

But she accused him of adultery too.

Apparently, he has a better relationship with his second wife, Jill Tavelman, to whom he was married from 1984 to 1996—despite breaking up with her via fax. The problem here is daughter Lily Collins, who accused him of being to blame for the anorexia nervosa she developed during his 2008 divorce from his third wife, Orianne.

Orianne, in turn, is a roller coaster in Phil's life, a story worthy of Hollywood. He was 46 when he fell in love with her, 24 years his junior, after she performed for him at a concert in Switzerland. They got married in 1999 and had Nicholas and Matthew. But the disagreements started when he wanted to stay at home with the kids, while she wanted to party. The separation came in 2006.

Two years later, she was remarried while Phil was drinking. When he recovered, he returned to regularly visit his children and Orianne, who had a child with her new husband. The love was rekindled, and she went to live with Phil again in a mansion that belonged to Jennifer Lopez in Miami, where they currently reside with Nicholas, Matthew and Andrea, son of Orianne. But with it moved numerous issues, such as a custody battle over their son and a dispute over the $8.5 million luxury home he bought with his ex-husband in 2012.

All this information made me a little upset to know that one of the artists I've always admired and who was the reason I started playing drums.

Music critic Regis Tadeu, on his YouTube channel, made a video about this melancholic phase, which was one of the reasons for writing here. Video just below:

So, as I said above, I strongly recommend listening to Phil Collins songs. Especially at the height of his career.


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João Falanga
João Falanga
20 בפבר׳ 2023

A Long Play, also known as an LP, is a vinyl record format that was first introduced in 1948 by Columbia Records. It is characterized by its long playing time and high-quality sound, and quickly became the dominant format for commercial music releases in the 1950s and 1960s.

An LP typically consists of two sides, each containing up to 30 minutes of music, with a diameter of 12 inches and a playback speed of 33⅓ revolutions per minute (RPM). The LP allowed for a longer playing time and better sound quality than its predecessor, the 78 RPM record, which could only hold a few minutes of music per side.

LPs quickly became popular among music listeners, and many classic albums…

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