Aroundtable.ca: Hall of Fame - Phil Collins (Part 2 - Induction)
Updated: Sep 13
Induction into Aroundtable.ca Hall of Fame
I know that fans are very divided in regards to Phil Collins. You have 2 types of Phil Collins critics. You have those that think that he took a Progressive Rock band in Genesis and sold out. Then you have the other side that think that he is great and that he has created amazing music over the years. I am one in the latter group.
I will base our decision here on musical merits. What he has done outside of the music industry will not factor in. A lot of his critics have criticized him about his personality in the 1980's and 90's as being an a**. He also admitted that he was not always easy to get along with.
However, musically, I always found there were many similarities between Phil Collins and Paul McCartney.
1) Both are British.
2) Both play multiple instruments (Drums, Guitar and Piano)
3) Both started in pretty big bands. Although I will admit that The Beatles were much more popular. Although, many bands (Iron Maiden, Rush and Eddie Van Halen) have stated that they were influenced by the progressive rock of the original Genesis band.
However, when you ask people who you think would be one of the best artists of all time, Phil Collins seems to be an after thought. You cannot deny the amount of hits that he has produced over the years. Even on his more lack lustre efforts there was always one song that hit the charts. Not many artists can claim that.
In the 1980's you could not turn on the radio without Phil Collins playing. He was everywhere. You cannot deny the numbers.
In his solo career, he had 7 Number 1 hits, which included Easy Lover, Groovy Kind of Love and Sussudio. He had 14 top 10 hits and 27 songs that made it to the charts in some way.
In terms of albums sold, he sold over 34.5 million albums in the US and over 150 million albums world wide. A lot of his albums made it platinum in many countries around the world. This is only his solo career.
Genesis had similar success especially with Phil Collins at the helm. They sold over 21.5 million albums in the US and over 100 million albums world wide. The most successful album was Invisible Touch with 6 Million albums sold in the United States alone.
So if you combine both band and solo career, he has sold over 250 million albums world wide. This was before the internet and this was at an age where air play and word of mouth was the way music was shared.
Although those are the facts, to me that is not enough. You need that little extra in order to call an artist great. For me, it is the songs that do not make it on the charts.
Collins had many songs that never really hit the charts but I think are gems.
Father to Son (... But Seriously): This to be is one of his best songs. It is basically talking to his son giving him advice about love. The song has light drums and has synthesizers. However, it all gels perfectly in the end and
Since I Lost You (We Can't Dance): This song was dedicated to Eric Clapton after he lost his son. I find that it is a very well written song that seems to be forgotten as one of the last tracks on this album.
Inside Out (No Jacket Required): I really just really love the melody on this one. Yeah it sounds pretty 80's but I love it. Seems like a song that is self reflecting and doing what he wants to do. He does not want to listen to others which think they know what's best.
The Brazillian (Invisible Touch): This is an old school track that is an instrumental. Very heavy on experimental sounds and heavy reverb drums. It is unique on this album, however it is a forgotten track on this hit filled album.
The last thing that is important for me, is what did Phil Collins bring to music. When you listen to his music, you know that it is Phil Collins. You recognize the voice but more importantly, you recognize the drum playing.
I must also commend his writing. The one thing that has remained strong through the years, was his ability to write a song. He was able to paint a picture with his words, let it be a bad breakup or singing about solving world hunger.
Has his music slipped in recent years? Yes, you could say that it has and critics have panned many of his latest efforts. There is a string of albums starting in 1976 until about 1994, where he produced hit after hit.
In the last few years, he has had some health issues and has returned a few times. However, in 2020 before the pandemic hit, he was ready to tour ad even come out with a solo album.
I think as an artist, he is underrated because of Phil Collins fatigue back in the 80's. But, looking back now at his career, you cannot deny that this artist belongs to be in the Aroundtable.ca Hall of Fame.
Hopefully to many more years of music from this great artist.What do you think? Do you like him or not. Let us know you thoughts below.