top of page

Why should we listen to Phil Collins?

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 “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 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.

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…)