Phil Collins of Genesis
Phil Collins is an amazing musician who has done much to elevate
how others view drummers. He is a master drummer, great song writer, and a fantastic vocalist.
Next time you hear a bad drummer joke, bring up Collins.
Mr. Collins plays Gretch Drums and Sabian Cymbals.
HH Medium Crash 20" - HH Extra Thin Crash 17" - Hi-Hats 15" - HH Chinese 20" - HH Medium-Thin Crash 16" - HH Chinese 22" - HH Raw Bell Dry Ride 21"
Phil Collins sang the lead vocals on eight American chart-toppers between 1984 and 1989; seven as a solo artist and one with Genesis. His singles, often dealing with lost love, ranged from the drum-heavy "In the Air Tonight", to the dance pop of "Sussudio", to the political statements of his most successful song, "Another Day In Paradise". His international popularity transformed Genesis from a progressive rock group to a regular on the pop charts and an early MTV mainstay.
Collins' professional career began as a drummer, first with obscure rock group Flaming Youth and then more famously with Genesis. In Genesis, Collins originally supplied backing vocals for front man Peter Gabriel, singing lead on only two songs: "For Absent Friends" from 1971's Nursery Cryme album and "More Fool Me" from Selling England by the Pound, which was released in 1973. On Gabriel's departure in 1975, Collins became the group's lead singer. As the decade closed, Genesis's first international hit, "Follow You, Follow Me", demonstrated a drastic change from the band's early years. His concurrent solo career, heavily influenced by his personal life, brought both him and Genesis commercial success. According to Atlantic Records, Collins' total worldwide sales as a solo artist, as of 2002, were 150 million.
Early life and career Phil Collins was given a toy drum kit for Christmas when he was five. Later, his uncle Mark Wade made him a makeshift one that he used regularly. As Collins grew older these were followed by more complete sets bought by his parents. He practiced by playing alongside the television and radio, and never learned to read and write conventional musical notation; instead, he uses a system he devised himself.
His professional training began at fourteen when he entered Barbara Speake Stage School. This path was inspired by the death of his good childhood friend, Patrick Michael Fithen, who drowned a year before in a pond outside of London. Phil ended up transferring into Barbara as a way to move on. He began a career as a child actor and model, and won his first major role as The Artful Dodger in a London production of Oliver!. He appeared in The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night as one of hundreds of screaming teenagers during the concert sequence. Although only an extra in this sequence, Collins receives a close-up all to himself. His mother was hired to cast the extras in this sequence, and she arranged for her son to receive a brief close-up in the film. He also auditioned for the role of Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (1968). In 1970, the 19-year old Collins played percussion on the George Harrison song "The Art of Dying". Harrison credited him in the liner notes to the remastered CD version of the album released in 2000. Collins was among the last three finalists for the role of "I.Q." on the children's American television show The Bugaloos (he lost out to English actor/musician John McIndoe).
Despite the beginnings of an acting career, Collins continued to gravitate towards music. While attending Chiswick Community School he formed a band called The Real Thing and later joined The Freehold. With the latter group, he wrote his first song titled "Lying Crying Dying".
Collins' first record deal came as drummer for Flaming Youth who released a single album, Ark 2 (1969). A concept album inspired by the recent media attention surrounding the moon landing, Ark 2 (with Ronnie Caryl, Brian Chatton and Gordon (Flash) Smith), failed to make much commercial success despite positive critical reviews. Melody Maker featured the album as "Pop Album of the Month", describing it as "adult music beautifully played with nice tight harmonies". The album's main single, "From Now On", failed on the radio. After a year of touring, band tensions and the lack of commercial success dissolved the group.
Genesis era Main article: Genesis (band) In 1970, Collins answered a Melody Maker classified ad for "...a drummer sensitive to acoustic music, and acoustic twelve-string guitarist". Genesis placed the ad after having already lost three drummers over two albums. The audition occurred at the home of Peter Gabriel's parents. Prospective candidates performed tracks from the group's second album, Trespass (1970). Collins arrived early, listened to the other auditions while swimming in Gabriel's parents' pool, and memorised the pieces before his turn.
The music video for "Land of Confusion" featured the members of Genesis in puppet form, with the single cover (parodying the With the Beatles album and using puppets from the satirical TV show Spitting Image).Collins won the audition. Nursery Cryme was released a year later. Although his role remained primarily that of drummer and backing vocalist for the next five years, he twice sang lead vocals: once on "For Absent Friends" (from Nursery Cryme) and once on "More Fool Me" (from Selling England by the Pound).
In 1974, while Genesis were recording the album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Brian Eno (who is credited with "Enossification" for electronic vocal effects on the track "Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging") needed a drummer for his album Another Green World. Collins was sent to fill the gap, and played drums in lieu of payment for Eno's work with the band.
In 1975, following the final tour supporting the concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Gabriel left the group to pursue solo projects. Collins became lead vocalist after an unfruitful search for Gabriel's replacement. In the short term, the group recruited former Yes and King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford to play drums during live shows, although Collins continued to play during longer instrumental sections. Bruford's drumming can be heard on the track The Cinema Show on the live album Seconds Out. He was soon replaced by ex-Frank Zappa band member Chester Thompson, who became a mainstay of the band's live line-up. Collins, however, continued to play drums on all of the band's studio recordings.
The first album with Collins as lead vocalist, 1976's A Trick of the Tail, reached the American Top 40, and climbed as high as #3 on the UK charts. Said Rolling Stone, "Genesis has managed to turn the possible catastrophe of Gabriel's departure into their first broad-based American success."
Collins simultaneously performed in a jazz fusion group called Brand X. The band recorded their first album, Unorthodox Behaviour, with Collins as drummer. Since he put greater priority on his career with Genesis, there were several Brand X tours and albums released without Collins. He credits Brand X as his first use of a drum machine as well as his first use of a home 8-track tape machine.
Collins also appeared on Steve Hackett's first solo effort, "Voyage of the Acolyte", where he sang lead and played drums.
As the decade closed, Genesis began a shift from their progressive rock roots and toward pop music. The album …And Then There Were Three… featured their first UK Top 10 and US Top 40 single, "Follow You, Follow Me". The first track from Genesis’ A Trick of the Tail, this was Collins's first appearance as the group's lead singer. A progressive rock track, it contrasts with the style of his later work.
Problems listening to the files? See media help. In the 1980s, the group scored a string of successful albums, including Duke, Abacab, Genesis, and Invisible Touch. This last album's title track reached number one on the American Billboard charts, the only Genesis song to do so. The group received an MTV "Video of the Year" nomination in 1987 for "Land of Confusion", another popular single from the album, although they lost to Gabriel's solo hit, "Sledgehammer". Reviews were generally positive, with Rolling Stone's J.D. Considine stating, "every tune is carefully pruned so that each flourish delivers not an instrumental epiphany but a solid hook."
Collins left Genesis in 1996 to focus on his solo career; the last studio album with him as the lead singer was 1991's We Can't Dance. He and Gabriel reunited with other Genesis members in 1999 to re-record "The Carpet Crawlers" for Genesis's Turn It On Again: The Hits. When in the mid-2000s discussions of a possible Genesis reunion arose, Collins stated that he would prefer to return as the drummer, with Gabriel handling the vocals. Eventually Turn It On Again: The Tour was announced for 2007, with the Collins/Rutherford/Banks lineup.
An early theme in Collins’ music, although never specifically mentioned in his albums, involved his then-recent divorce. Two songs he wrote on the Genesis album Duke, "Please Don't Ask" and the Top 20 hit "Misunderstanding", dealt with failed relationships. One year earlier he had produced and played drums on John Martyn's Grace and Danger, an album whose main theme is also marriage breakup. With the recording of his first solo album, Face Value, Collins attributed his divorce as his main influence.
Collins’ marital frustrations formed the bulk of his first solo album as well as his second album, Hello, I Must Be Going!. With songs such as "In The Air Tonight" and "I Don't Care Anymore", Collins’ early albums had a dark presence, usually heavy on the drums. Regarding Face Value, he says, "I had a wife, two children, two dogs, and the next day I didn't have anything. So a lot of these songs were written because I was going through these emotional changes." There were occasional poppier influences – Face Value's "Behind the Lines", for example, was a jazzy remake of a Genesis song he co-wrote. Face Value was a critical and multi-platinum success, and saw Collins’ profile increase further. Hello, I Must Be Going! gave him a UK #1 for his cover of The Supremes' "You Can't Hurry Love". The album went triple-platinum in the United States like its predecessor and the Supremes cover was his first Top 10 US hit (it also hit the Top 10 of Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart). The album also reached #2 on the UK album chart, spending well over a year there.
In 1982 he produced Something's Going On, a solo album by Anni-Frid Lyngstad (Frida), of ABBA fame. Frida, who had just parted with bandmate and husband Benny Andersson, had been impressed by Collins's solo efforts. Consequently, she approached Collins with her own solo project. The resulting album, featuring Collins on drums, spawned the 1982–83 international smash hit "I Know There's Something Going On" (Russ Ballard) and Collins’ duet with Frida titled "Here We'll Stay." An edit featuring Frida on all vocals was released as a single. Two years previously, he had contributed drums to Peter Gabriel's third self-titled record, which was the first record to feature Collins' signature "gated reverb" sound, used on a song called "Intruder". As the story goes, Gabriel "didn't want any metal on the record" and asked him to leave his cymbals at home, to concentrate on the sound of his kit more heavily than usual. Studio engineer Hugh Padgham augmented this drum style by using a special microphone (which was intended for studio communication rather than recording) and feeding it through a signal compressor. The result was the "gated reverb" sound which Collins made famous. This was the same 'big drum sound' used on such songs as "In The Air Tonight", and "Mama" by Genesis.
A turning point in Collins' musical style came when he was asked to compose the title track for the film Against All Odds, a song which he re-worked to become "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" from an original Face Value session out-take entitled "How Can You Sit There?". The emotionally charged ballad shot to #1 in the US and #2 in the UK.
In 1984, Collins produced Philip Bailey's Chinese Wall album. He performed a duet on one of the album's tracks, "Easy Lover" which went to #2 on the U.S. pop chart and spent four weeks at #1 in the UK. Collins worked with the horn section of Bailey's band, Earth, Wind & Fire (later known as the Phenix Horns) throughout the 1980s, both on solo and Genesis tracks. By the end of 1984, Collins participated in Bob Geldof's Band Aid charity project, as well as, playing drums on the Band Aid single "Feed The World (Do They Know It's Christmas)", a drum part he laid down in one take (while being filmed).
Collins released his most successful album, No Jacket Required, in late 1984. It contained the hits "Sussudio", "One More Night", "Don't Lose My Number" and "Take Me Home", as well as the less known yet equally robust "Who Said I Would" and "Only You Know and I Know". The album featured Sting, Helen Terry and ex-bandmate Peter Gabriel as backing vocalists. He also recorded the successful song "Separate Lives", a duet with Marilyn Martin, and an American number one, for the movie White Nights. Collins had three American number one songs in 1985, the most by any artist that year. No Jacket Required went on to win several Grammy awards including one for Album of the Year.
No Jacket Required received criticism that the album was too safe despite its upbeat reviews and commercial success. A positive review by David Fricke of Rolling Stone ended, "After years on the art-rock fringe, Collins has established himself firmly in the middle of the road. Perhaps he should consider testing himself and his new fans' expectations next time around." "Sussudio" also drew criticism for sounding too similar to Prince's "1999", a charge that Collins did not deny. Nevertheless, the album went straight to #1 in the US and UK.
Collins was invited to perform at Live Aid in 1985, Bob Geldof's charity concert, at both Wembley Stadium in England, and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia in the U.S. He accomplished this by performing earlier in the day at Wembley as both a solo artist and alongside Sting (on hiatus from The Police), then boarding a Concorde to perform his solo material, and drum for Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton in Philadelphia.
Howard Jones re-recorded his song "No One Is to Blame", off his Dream into Action album, featuring Phil Collins as drummer, backing vocalist, and producer. He has also played drums on singles for Robert Plant and Tina Turner on their respective albums. Collins also produced and played drums on the Eric Clapton albums Behind the Sun, August, and Journeyman, and appeared in the videos for Clapton's "Pretending" and Bad Love. Collins's solo success, as well as his concurrent career with Genesis, led to a 1985 cover story in Rolling Stone, with the tag reading "Phil Collins Beats the Odds".
In 1988, Collins starred in the movie Buster about the Great Train Robbery, which took place in England in the 1960s. The movie generated good reviews and Collins contributed four songs to the films soundtrack; "Two Hearts" - which he wrote with, Lamont Dozier - "A Groovy Kind of Love" (originally a 1966 hit for The Mindbenders; lyrics by Toni Wine, and music by Carole Bayer Sager, but with the melody of the Rondo section of Muzio Clementi's "Sonatina in G major", op. 36 no. 5.), Big Noise, Written by Phil Collins and Lamont Dozier, which included Collins on vocals (Although the song was not released as a single, an instrumental version of this song appeared as the B-side to the single version of A Groovy Kind Of Love.) The final song "Loco In Acapulco", was another collaboration between him and Dozier, however the vocals were performed by the legendary Four Tops.
In 1989, Collins produced another successful album, ...But Seriously, featuring the anti-homelessness anthem "Another Day in Paradise", with David Crosby on backing vocals. (Collins later went on to co-write, sing and play on the song "Hero" on Crosby's 1993 album Thousand Roads.) "Another Day in Paradise" went to Number 1 on the Billboard Charts at the end of 1989 and won Collins a Grammy for Record of the Year (1990). In the process, it became the last #1 US pop hit of the 1980s. The album ...But Seriously became the first #1 US album of the 1990s. Other songs included "Something Happened on the Way to Heaven" (#4 US, #15 UK), "Do You Remember?" (not released in the UK, but a #4 hit in the U.S.), and "I Wish It Would Rain Down" (the latter featuring Clapton on guitar) (#3 US, #7 UK). Songs about apartheid and homelessness demonstrated Collins’ turn to politically-driven material. This theme recurred on his later albums. A live album, Serious Hits... Live!, followed.
During this period, Collins appeared on various albums, as a guest vocalist. Collins appeared on David Crosby's Thousand Roads album, singing the backing vocals for the single "Hero". Collins also appeared on the Curtis Mayfield album, "A Tribute to Curtis Mayfield", covering Mayfield's song "I've Been Trying". He also sang a cover of Elton John's hit "Burn Down the Mission", in "Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin". Collins also sang on Quincy Jones' "Q's Jook Joint" album, singing "Do Nothin' Til You Hear From Me". Collins also sang on "The Songs of West Side Story", providing lead vocals for "Somewhere", which was also released as a single.
Collins’ record sales began to drop with the 1993 release of Both Sides, a largely experimental album which, according to Collins, included songs that "were becoming so personal, so private, I didn't want anyone else's input". Featuring a less polished sound and fewer up-tempo songs than his previous albums, Both Sides was a significant departure. Collins used no backing musicians, performed all the vocal and instrumental parts at his home studio, and used rough vocal takes for the final product. The album was not well received by radio. Its two biggest hits were "Both Sides of the Story" and "Everyday". Collins worked on the album completely independently of his record company, and took them by surprise when he delivered them a completed album that they were unaware he was making.
Collins attempted a return to poppier music with Dance into the Light, which Entertainment Weekly reviewed by saying that "(e)ven Phil Collins must know that we all grew weary of Phil Collins." It included minor hits such as the title track and the Beatles-inspired "It's in Your Eyes". Although the album went Gold in the US, it sold considerably less than his previous albums. Only the title track made a brief appearance on Collins’ then forthcoming Hits collection. Despite this, its subsequent tour regularly sold out arenas.
In 1996, Collins formed The Phil Collins Big Band. With Collins as drummer, the band performed jazz renditions of Collins’ and Genesis's hits. The Phil Collins Big Band did a world tour in 1998 that included a performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival. In 1999, the group released the CD A Hot Night in Paris including big band versions of "Invisible Touch", "Sussudio", and the more obscure "The Los Endos Suite" from A Trick of the Tail.
A Hits album released in 1998 was very successful, returning Collins to multi-platinum status in America. The album's sole new track, a cover of the Cyndi Lauper hit "True Colors", received considerable play on the Adult Contemporary charts while peaking at #2. Some of Collins’ earlier hits (e.g. "I Missed Again", "If Leaving Me Is Easy", etc.) and other successes were left off of this compilation.
Collins' next single, "You'll Be in My Heart", from the Disney movie Tarzan, spent 19 weeks at #1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart - the longest time ever up to that point - and Collins obtained an Oscar. It was his third nomination in the songwriters category, having been previously nominated in 1984.
Metacritic's roundup of album reviews found his most recent studio album, 2002's Testify, to be the worst-reviewed album by the time of its release, though it has since been "surpassed" by three more recent releases. The album's "Can't Stop Loving You" (a Leo Sayer cover) was yet another #1 Adult Contemporary smash hit for Collins. Testify sold 140,000 copies in the United States by year's end, although a successful worldwide tour followed. The ambiguous lyrics of Collins's first solo hit, "In the Air Tonight", have spawned an urban legend about Collins’ witnessing a murder. "Sussudio" (1985) The dance pop of No Jacket Required, including this number one hit, won Collins a Grammy Award for "Album of the Year". "Another Day in Paradise" (1989) The last of Collins's seven American number one singles, "Another Day in Paradise", was a topical song that discussed the plight of the homeless, and won Collins a Grammy Award for "Record of the Year".
Problems listening to the files? See media help. The hip-hop group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony recorded a remake of the song "Take Me Home" titled "Home" on their album Thug World Order. The song features verses by the group, with the chorus sung by Collins. Though the BTNH-Collins collaboration was highly criticized in the United States (for example, VH1 rated it #9 on its "top 20 least hip-hop moments in history), it received so much positive reception in the UK that Bone Thugs decided to name Collins an honorary member under the moniker "Chrome Bone".
Collins reported losing his hearing in one ear, and in 2003 announced his last solo tour. He called it the "First Final Farewell Tour", a tongue-in-cheek reference to the multiple farewell tours of other popular artists. He continued touring through 2006 while working with Disney on a Broadway production of Tarzan, a musical which received generally poor reviews. In 2007, Collins reunited with his Genesis bandmates for a tour of Europe and North America. He accepted an invitation to drum for the "house band" celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee. He has played drums for Paul McCartney, Ozzy Osbourne, Cliff Richard, Eric Clapton, as well as Led Zeppelin.
Films, theatre and television The majority of Collins' film work has been through music. Four of his seven American number one songs came from film soundtracks, and his work on Disney's Tarzan earned him an Oscar. Collins even sung German, Italian, Spanish and French versions of the Tarzan soundtrack for the respective film versions. Collins's acting career has been brief. As a child, he appeared in three films, although two of the films were for brief moments as an extra. Besides the aforementioned A Hard Day's Night (1964), Collins's first lead role was in Calamity the Cow (1967).
Collins wrote and performed the title song to Against All Odds in 1984. The song became the first of his seven American number one songs and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Song. Collins was not invited to perform the song at that year's presentation, although he was in the audience and had arranged his tour around the telecast. It was believed that the Academy, despite nominating him, did not know who he was. A note to Collins' label from telecast co-producer Larry Gelbart explaining the lack of invitation stated, "Thank you for your note regarding Phil Cooper (emphasis added). I'm afraid the spots have already been filled". Collins instead watched Ann Reinking perform his song. For a long time afterward, he would inform audiences at concerts, "Miss Ann Reinking's not here tonight, so I guess I'll have to sing my own song", before performing "Against All Odds".
Collins performed (although did not write) "Separate Lives" for the film White Nights (1985). A duet with Marilyn Martin, the single became an additional Number One for Collins as well as another nominee for an Academy Award (it being a songwriters award, Collins was not nominated). The song had parallels to his first two albums. Writer Stephen Bishop noted that he was inspired by a failed relationship and called "Separate Lives" "a song about anger".
Collins's first film role since becoming a musician came in 1988 with Buster. His rendition of "Groovy Kind of Love", originally a 1966 single by The Mindbenders, reached Number One. The film also spawned the hit single "Two Hearts", which he wrote in collaboration with legendary Motown songwriter Lamont Dozier. Movie critic Roger Ebert said the role of Buster was "played with surprising effectiveness" by Collins, although the film's soundtrack proved more successful than the movie.
Collins provided the voices to both Muk and Luk in the 1995 animated feature Balto.Collins had a starring role in 1993's Frauds. He had cameo appearances in Steven Spielberg's Hook (1991) and And the Band Played On (1993). He also supplied voices to two animated features, Balto (1995) and The Jungle Book 2 (2003). A long-discussed but never completed project was a movie titled The Three Bears. Originally meant to star him alongside Danny DeVito and Bob Hoskins, he often mentioned the film but an appropriate script never materialized.
Collins performed the soundtrack to the animated film Tarzan (1999) for The Walt Disney Company. He won an Oscar for "You'll Be in My Heart", which he performed at that year's telecast as well as during a Disney-themed Super Bowl halftime show. The song, which he also recorded in Spanish among other languages, became his only appearance on Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks. Disney hired him along with Tina Turner in 2003 for the soundtracks to another animated feature film, Brother Bear, and had some airplay with the song "Look Through My Eyes", where he broke another Genesis.
On television, he twice hosted the Billboard Music Awards. He also appeared in an episode of the series Miami Vice, entitled "Phil the Shill", in which he plays a cheating con-man. He also guest starred in several sketches with The Two Ronnies. Most recently, he had a cameo appearance on the television series Whoopi.
In 2001, Collins was sought out by the satirist Chris Morris and appeared in the Brass Eye 'Paedophile Special' endorsing a spoof charity called 'Nonce Sense'. At one point Collins, dressed in a matching baseball cap and t-shirt emblazoned with the name of this fictitious charity, stares into the camera and declares: "...I'm talking Nonce-sense."
In 2005, Collins' work on Brother Bear was expanded as Disney used the song "Welcome" as the theme for Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams, the main parade celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Disneyland.
In 2006 Disney's Tarzan was adapted for Broadway. Collins contributed 11 new songs and instrumental pieces, and was deeply involved in the production. Unlike the movie, where Collins sang all the material, the characters sang on stage.
Phil Collins as he appears in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City StoriesCollins made an appearance as himself in the 2006 PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 2 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, set in 1984. He appears in three missions in which the main character must save him from a gang that is trying to kill him, the final mission occurring during his concert, where the player must defend the scaffolding against saboteurs while Phil is simultaneously performing "In The Air Tonight." After this, the player is given the opportunity to watch this performance of 'In the Air Tonight.' "In The Air Tonight" is also featured in the movie Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters and the 2007 Gorilla commercial for Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate. The advertisement also helped the song re-enter the New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart at number three in July 2008, the following week reaching number one, beating its original 1981 #6 peak. Phil Collins had several ties to the hit show Miami Vice with no less than 5 songs used in the course of the series as well as having starred in the episode "Phil The Shill."
[?] Subscribe To This Site