I read a while back that Phil had quit drumming. Years behind the drum kit have given him back problems, hearing loss and nerve damage. Now he’s retiring from music altogether. I’m sorry to read that he thinks no will miss him. Wrong. People give him a lot of grief over his sappy ballads in the late ’80s and ’90s, but there are people who remember when he was awesome.
Like most rock lovers I cringed at songs like “Against All Odds,” “Another Day In Paradise,” but I still have respect for him and what he did in Genesis and at least the first 2 solo albums. Putting Genesis’ first singer Peter Gabriel on a pedestal is the hipster thing to do — and I do love Gabriel as well — but Collins ought to get more credit for the early days.
Part of it is nostalgia maybe, but I really loved Genesis when I was a teenager – had Abacab on cassette and played the hell out of it. And Then There Were Three, Duke and Trick of the Tail were among the very first CDs I bought when I graduated from cassettes. “Follow You Follow Me” and “Trick of the Tail” are awesome pop songs. The rest was very decent prog rock/pop, if you like that sort of thing. The ability to make a good pop song is nothing to sneeze at. At some point he decided he just wanted to get paid and I didn’t like the music that gave us, but I guess that was his right, his decision.
And his criticism of the music business is spot on: “I look at the MTV Music Awards and I think: ‘I can’t be in the same business as this.'” Beyoncé, Britney, Kanye, Rihanna, Panic at the Disco… Who are these clowns? What happened to MTV and the music business since the 1980s? If we thought Collins’ ballads sucked, it’s because we just didn’t know how bad it was going to get.