Phil Collins / Hits


Philip David Charles Collins, LVO (born 30 January 1951)[1] is an English[2] singer-songwriter, drummer, keyboardist and actor best known as a drummer and vocalist for English progressive rock group Genesis and as a solo artist.

Collins sang the lead vocals on several chart hits in the United Kingdom and the United States between 1978 and 1994, either as a solo artist or with Genesis. His singles, often dealing with lost love, ranged from the drum-heavy “In the Air Tonight“, dance pop of “Sussudio“, piano-driven “Against All Odds“, to the political statements of “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’s professional music 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. Following 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’s total worldwide sales as a solo artist, as of 2002, were 150 million.[3] He has won seven Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, and two Golden Globes for his solo work. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010.

Collins is one of only three recording artists (along with Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson) who have sold over 100 million albums worldwide both as solo artists and (separately) as principal members of a band.[4] According to Billboard magazine, when his work with Genesis, his work with other artists, as well as his solo career is totalled, Collins has the most top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the 1980s.[5] In 2008, Collins was ranked the 22nd most successful artist on the “The Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists”.

The Analysis:

Another Day In Paradise—-This has always been one of my favorite Collins tracks from my favorite release of his. this song is much more politically charged and current than many of his releases…giving the listener a bit of beef to really sink their teeth in. This is masterfully delivered with lyrics that are almost devestating…truly a high point in the career…even though most people were fed up by this time and ignored it.

True Colors—-Collins covers Cyndi Lauper with huge success! There is an emotional quality to this song that is even more intense than the original version, Phil sounds so lonely and isolated. This has a masterful and full arrangement…you could not ask for a better cover….and Phil maintains his spot in the mainstream eye of popular music as well.

Easy Lover—-Recorded with Phillip Bailey, this was a HUGE worldwide smash that was even further driven by a video that allowed for a much more fun side from Collins…this is catchy as hell, although the entire damn thing was so over played and run into the ground that it almost impossible to enjoy these days..despite that, it is a mainstay of popular 80’s culture.

You Can’t Hurry Love—-Who would ever think that success could be found in a funny little man covering one of the classic R n’ B songs of all time? Well, Collins takes on The Supremes and manages to make this huge cross over hit that was fueled by MTV and a blossoming FM radio to worldwide success once again. Saturating the public ear is his oft too damn pleasant voice, Collins still managed to produce a song that teenagers and desperate housewives could love equally!

Two Hearts—-Delivering another chart smash with a nice throw-back soul sound, Collins seems to be steeped in the neo-Soul sounds of the late 60’s and manages to re-dux them in a masterful way. this is so damn addictive…even though you try to hate it, it will circulate in your brain for days. Remarkable…cheesy….guilty pleasure…but damn magnificent!!!

I Wish It Would Rain Down—-With a nice quasi-Blues sound, the guitar on this song..oft ignored…is pretty fantastic! The vocal is pretty damn pleasant, but the lyrics are the thing that manages to dig a hole in your soul and bring you to a contemplative mood that allows you to really appreciate them. This is a pretty damn intense song for me…making me wonder what Collins fell out of season with so many people..this is remarkable….I have barbs in my soul!

Against All Odds [Take A Look At Me Now]—-The title track to this rather blockbuster 80’s film, how could you go wrong by having Collins perform the title track while in the very heyday and prime? This was a worldwide smash that perhaps helped to propel the film to even greater heights thanks to a video full of movie clips…it wasn’t that great of a movie. But this song…this is what Collins specialized in…that momentary emotional song that leaves holes in your soul and allows foreign emotions to seep in…remarkable!!!

Something Happened On The Way To Heaven—-This is a nice propulsive sound that serves as a reminder of the progressive rock origins of Collins and his landmark band Genesis. This is nice…piano based but with a nice dose of guitars and a huge sound that is produced by a bevy of background singers…a gentle slice of beautiful pie…enjoy this!!!

Separate Lives—-If you are ever questioning if you are less than human and suffer from a lack of empathy, put this track on and you will realize that you feel a hell of a lot more than you care to admit. this is full of every emotional cliché’ that you can imagine…accompanied by the vocal of Mary Martin, this is a tour-de-force of emotion, sadness and genuity…I’m forever damaged!!!

Both Sides Of The Story—-Another very favorite song of mine, this is full of socially aware lyrics that remind you…even more so on this day…of all the suffering that is happening around you. This is Collins at his very best…far removed from his posh lifestyle, Phil reminds us of our responsibility to those who are less fortunate and need human compassion more than you could ever imagine…dig deep and care!

One More Night—-Lush and full of quasi-orchestration, this reminds me of a lot of stuff from the first Collins solo release. Despite the bevy of backdrop singers, this is delivered in a trademark Collins kind of way…full of emotional overload and feelings that seem hugely appropriate for me on this day…I try to squelch all of these emotions…where do these feelings come from.

Sussudio—–Gosh…I abhor this song…..!!!!

Dance Into The Light—-This is another of those songs that has a lot of reminiscent sounds from the very first Collins solo release. There is a nice funk element and a joyous kind of chorus that allows you a celebratory feeling that is almost all-encompassing. This has a nice World Music feel….ala Peter Gabriel. the end result is a huge sing a long that makes you feel a part of everyone else.

A Groovy Kind Of Love—-Phil re-discovers his inner 50’s with this nice quasi-Doo-Wop track that also did phenomenally well on the charts for the solo career man. This is pleasant enough…even addictive at this point, but was so overplayed that at times,  I hated this…today I appreciate it much more.

In The Air Tonight—-Perhaps the signature song from this phenomenal songwriter, as we all know there are all types of Urban Legends that go along with this track. to me, it is a really great layered track that is full of prog-rock tendencies and would have been remarkable as a Genesis single as well as by Collins alone. This is phenomenal…the vocal is cold, eerie and remarkably emotional…the drum solo is legendary and the age never shows through….truly a home run!!!

Take Me Home—-Rounding out this hits collection with another classic song that reeks of Adult Contemporary, Collins never sees to be at a lack for touching and bringing out the elements of human emotion. This is laden with a sadness that is almost overwhelming and makes me rather lonely…this is NOT a good sunday sound when you are struggling with emotion.

**** 1/2 out of 5


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